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The making of the Canadian West : being the reminiscences of an eye-witness MacBeth, R. G. (Roderick George), 1858-1934 1898

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(Donald A. Smith).   THE MAKING OF THE
REV. R   G. MacBETH, M.A.,
Pastor of Augustine Church, Winnipeg; Author of. " The Selkirk Settlers
in Real Life," etc.
xfy portraits mtb lllttstratioits.
Wesley Buildings.
Montreal: C. W. COATES. Halifax: S. F. HUESTIS, aenvding to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year
one thousand eigfet hundred and ninety-eight,. % Wiujam
Buses, ait the Department of Agriculture. PREFACE.
When the few short papers on the first
colony in the North-West were put into book-
form, under the title of " The Selkirk Settlers
in Real Life," the book received a welcome far
beyond its intrinsic deserts, because it gave
some idea of how the early settlers lived in
their homes rather than the ordinary history
of contemporary events. Letters received from
readers far and near, as well as verbal communications, have given me to feel that people are
anxious to get glimpses of the moving actors
in the human drama as an aid to understanding
the events commonly known as the history of
the country. iv Preface.
Hence, many who took deep interest in the
simple story of the early colony on the Red
River, were anxious that a record of the life
succeeding those early days should be written
by some one who was an eye-witness of the
change from the old life to the new, as well as
of the subsequent stirring events in the formative period of Western history. In answer to
these requests, and with a desire to preserve a
life-story of the land in which I was born and
in which I have thus far spent my life, these
chapters have been written. I have had neither
the time nor the desire to write a compendium
of all the events that have transpired in the
country, nor to give minute details of all I have
mentioned. I have sought rather to dw^ell upon
men and events only so far as a record of them
seemed to me to be relevant to my purpose, as
expressed in the title of this book. I have
simply gone back and lived through the past
again, seeing the faces and hearing the voices Preface. v
of other days, and what I have seen and heard
I have herein written.
It is hoped that the present work will
give a sufficiently succinct account of the progress of the country through its formative
stages, and at the same time have enough of
personal reminiscence about it to make the
dry bones of history more palatable to the
taste of the ordinary reader than they might
otherwise be.
Should it appear to some that certain things
they deem of importance have been omitted,
such will kindly bear in mind the scope this
book contemplates, and they can fill out the
incompleteness by themselves taking up the pen
and traversing fields which this work does not
occupy. It is in such way after all that a complete history is secured, for every man has his
own peculiar point of view, if he has realized
the meaning of individuality. The Canadian
West has little more than begun a great history. Preface.
We  who  have   lived   here   always   have  but
heard by anticipation,
.    .    the tread of pioneers
Of nations yet to be,
The first low wash of waves where yet
Shall roll a human sea "—
and perhaps the present writing by one who
was at the very beginning may be of interest.
R. G. MacBeth.
Winnipeg, April, 1898. CONTENTS.
Musings on the Old 11
The Pathos and Peril of Change       ....       19
Armed Rebellion        - 32
The Plot Thickens 40
Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results  -       -       -       55
Collapse of the Rebellion 73
The Making of a Province 89 vm
Contact with the Outside World
A "Boom" and Another Rebellion   -
Campaigning on the Prairies
Rebellion at an End
Religious and Educational Development
Lord  Strathcona  and  Mount Royal (Donald A.
Smith) Frontispiece.
Old Fort Edmonton  19
Louis Riel  ,35
Ambroise Lepine  44
Hon. A. G. B. Bannatyne   -       -       -       -       -       - 53
James Ross  67
Senator Sutherland  70
Riel and His Council (1869-70)        -       -       -       - 73
Lord Wolseley  86
Group of Early Governors : Hon. A. G, Archibald,
Hon.  Alex.  Morris, Hon.  David  Laird, and Sir
John Schultz -        -        -  89
Hon. Donald Gunn  100
Hon. John Norquay  102
F. H. Francis, M.P.P. - 108
Hon. Joseph Martin, Q.C.  110
Rev. George McDougall  -       -       -       -                - 114
Lord Dufferin  118 Portraits and Illustrations.
Hon. Thomas Greenway   -       -       -       -       -       - 134
Hon. Edgar Dewdney  139
Gabriel Dumont  146
Lieut.-Col. Osborne Smith  151
North-West Legislative Assembly, 1886        -       - 153
Chief Crowfoot  157
Interior of Hudson's Bay Co.'s Fort at Edmonton 164
Group of Officers, Canadian Forces, 1885: General
Middleton,    Major-General   Strange,   Lieut.-Col.
Otter, and Major Steele  165
Interior of Fort Pitt just before Rebellion of
1885  174
Chief Poundmaker  186
Riel's Councillors in 1885  187
Tom Hourie, Scout    -  188
Hon. Hugh John Macdonald, Q.C. -       -       -       - 201
Lieut.-Col. Williams  202
Group of Pioneer Clergymen: Archbishop Tach£,
Archbishop   Machray,   Rev.   John   Black,  D.D.,
and Rev. George Young, D.D.       -        -        -        - 209
Rev. George Bryce, LL.D.  216
Hon. Clifford Sifton  221
Hon. F. W. G. Haultain  223
D. J. Goggin, M.A.  226
Hon. Gilbert McMicken   -....- 227 THE   MAKING  OF THE
It was not to be expected that the great
domain of British America west of the inland
sea of Superior would remain for an indefinitely
long period under the sway of a fur-trading
company, however paternal and beneficent to
those under its care that sovereignty might be.
Nor was it likely that the westward course
of empire would fail to extend over the vast
area which has been aptly described as the
very home of the wheat plant, and which has
become in its several parts the great producer
of the staff of life, the grazing ground for innumerable herds, as well as the cynosure on
which the eyes of the mineral-seeking world
are now fixed. I never have had any sympathy with the somewhat generally accepted
ll 12
!the Making of the Canadian West.
view that the Hudson's Bay Company, who
since the year 1670 had partially, and from
1821 had absolutely, controlled most of this
wide region, was the determined and active
opponent of its settlement and progress.
Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal (Donald A.
Smith), in his excellent preface to my former
book on "The Selkirk Settlers in Real Life,"
puts the matter in such capital form that I
cannot do better than reproduce here his paragraph on the point: "It has been the custom,"
says His Lordship, " to describe the Hudson's
Bay Company as an opponent of individual
settlement and of colonization. To enter into
a controversy upon this point is not my
purpose, but it may be proper to state that the
condition of affairs at the time in question in
the country between Lake Superior and the
Rocky Mountains does not appear to have
been sufficiently appreciated. Owing to the
difficulty of access and egress, colonization in
what is now Manitoba and the North-West
Territories could not have taken place to any
extent. Of necessity, also, the importation
of the commodities required in connection
with its agricultural development would have
been exceptionally expensive, while, on the
other   hand, the cost of transportation  of  its Musings on the Old. 13
possible exports must have been so great as to
render competition with countries more favorably situated at the moment difficult if not
impossible. The justice of these contentions
will be at once realized when it is remembered
that the Red River valley was situated in the
centre of the continent, one thousand miles
away in any direction from settled districts.
. . . Personally, it is my opinion that the
acquisition and development of the Hudson
Bay Territory was impossible prior to the
confederation of the Dominion. No less a body
than united Canada could have acquired and
administered so large a domain, or have undertaken the construction of railways, without
which its development could only have been
slow and uncertain. It was not until 1878,
eight years after the transfer, that Winnipeg
first received railway communication through
the United States. Three or four more years
elapsed before the completion of the line to
Lake Superior, and it was only late in 1885—\
sixteen years after the Hudson's Bay Company
relinquished their charter—that the Canadian
Pacific Railway was completed from ocean to
ocean, and Manitoba and the North-West
Territories were placed in direct and regular
communication with the different parts of the
Dominion," 14
The Making of the Canadian  West.
In addition to what His Lordship thus tells
us, in a statement whose form and contents will
commend it to every sensible person who is
at all cognizant of the conditions referred to
therein, it remains to be said, from the standpoint of the people who then lived in the country,
that so far as my recollection and information
go, they made no active effort to remove what
might be called by some the " invidious bar " of
their isolation, if we except the action of a few
of the adventurer class—a class always ready
to exploit frontier communities for their own
glory. Why should it be reasonably thought
that the people of that time, along the banks of
the Red and Assiniboine rivers and out on the
great plains, would make any special effort to
bring in the flood of that larger life which, from
the older settled portions of the continent, wa"S
beginning to beat up against their borders ?
The conditions under which those people lived
were for the most part the best they knew, and,
speaking generally, they were contented and
happy under the regime of the Hudson's Bay
Company, especially as that company did not
latterly insist on monopoly in trade. The community, before the transfer, might be roughly
divided into two classes, if we except those who
during the sixties had come from without into
their midst. Musings on the Old. 15
The Selkirk settlers and those of their class
(who composed the one part) would not, so far
at least as the older generation was concerned,
be eager for more struggles and wrenchings.
For years after coming to the country their
life had been one of grim and incessant conflict with all manner of difficulties. Not only
were they met again and again by the deadly
hostility and persecution of the North-West
Fur Company, who were determined to destroy
the colony brought out under the care of
their rivals in trade; not only had locust
plagues and epidemics assailed them with
ruinous force, but the very elements seemed
so unfriendly to people unaccustomed to the
climatic conditions, that more than ten long
years from their first coming had passed before .
they had any means of livelihood other than
the fish or fowl or products of the chase they
might ofttimes with great hardship and suffering
secure. Even following those ten years they
had scarcely got their homes built and their
little plots sowed, when, after the " long and
cruel winter" of 1826, the raging Red swept
everything they owned before its frothing current into Lake Winnipeg. Is it any wonder
that when they got fairly settled, the old men
who had come through this magnificent struggle 16
The Making of the Canadian  West.
felt that now when their sinews had been tamed
by age and trouble and their heads frosted with
the unmelting snows, they were entitled to that
decade of rest that rounds out the threescore
years and ten ?
And so it was that the older of them, while
loyal to every British institution that might
be set up in their midst, and while anxious to
do what was best for their children, waited in
the lengthening shadows for the sunset, and
neither clamored for changed conditions nor
took much active part in them when those
conditions began to obtain. The younger people
amongst them, it is true—many of whom, as I
have said in my former volume, had gone to
eastern institutions of learning and had come
back with some knowledge of life's possibilities
under different conditions; and others of whom
had, in freighting expeditions, tapped the
arteries of business and got the taste of commercial blood—were not averse to the incoming
of the new life when circumstances would be
ripe for its advent.
The other part of the community was composed largely of the bois-brules—the adventurous hunters and traders of the time—and
these could have no special interest in pressing
for the opening of the country to the newer the Old. 17
civilization. From their childhood these men
had roamed over this great area with a lordly
sense of ownership. Without any let or hindrance they had followed the buffalo over the
trackless prairie; they had trapped the fur-
bearing animals in the forest and on the plains;
they had fished in the great lakes and rivers,
and in the midst of it all had lived in the enjoyment of a satisfying, if rude, abundance. No
one who ever saw one of these plain hunters
come in to Fort Garry after the season's work
on the Saskatchewan, could fail to see that he
was a person in exceedingly comfortable material circumstances. In his train he had any
number of carts (with ponies for each and to
spare), and these were laden with the choicest
viands in the shape of buffalo meat, marrow fat,
beaver-tail, etc., while he also had a goodly
supply of furs that would bring handsome
prices. Besides his ponies, he had several choice
horses of the larger breed for buffalo runners;
and camping with his family and following in
their cosy tents on the prairie, he was as independent as a feudal baron in the brave days
of old. Under such circumstances these men
were not likely to be active in securing the
advent of conditions that would circumscribe
their domain; but neither they nor any other
2 The Making of tJie Canadian  West.
class of the population were predisposed to put
obstacles in the way of any incoming system
that would pay due regard to the rights of those
who were in the country before its advent.
Summing up the whole situation, then, it
would seem that things had to take their normal
course, and that circumstances were shaping
so that in the fulness of time the West was
to come to its majority and clothe itself in the
garments of national citizenship. The number
of people from the eastern provinces who began
looking westward, and the increase of publications concerning the country by those visiting
it, directed the attention of statesmen to its
great possibilities, and prepared the way for
the movement that secured the " Great Lone
Land " as a part of the Dominion of Canada.   CHAPTER  II.
There is always a strong element of pathos
in the way in which the people who have been
in undisputed and absolute possession of a
country, realize that limitations are being put
upon them by the incoming of new population
and new conditions. A few years ago it was
my privilege to be present on an island in one
of our western lakes when the Indians of the
district were assembled for the annual treaty
payment and the usual supply of rations.
Everyone knows how fairly and honorably
the Indians of the West have been treated by
the Government, and, for the most part, by
their agents, and we all realize how the progress of the world and the good of mankind
necessitate the acquisition of the land from
those who have not had the training or the
opportunity required to fully develop its resources ; but, withal, the scene at one of these
19 20
The Making of the Canadian  West.
Indian treaties has its sadness for the thoughtful
onlooker. As the men who had once been lords
of the isles and lakes sat meekly round in a circle
to receive each his handful of flour and piece of
bacon for the mid-day meal, one could not help
feeling that our duty as a Christian people is
not wholly done when we bestow a meal, pay
a few. dollars and provide a reservation. The
children of the wild, upon whose heritage we
have entered, must become the wards of the
nation and the charge of the Church of Christ,
that their declining days may be cheered and
brightened in the noblest sense.
As one of an armed force I have witnessed
the surrender of princely Crees and Chip-
pewyans beyond the banks of the North
Saskatchewan—many of them men of magnificent mould and royal bearing—who had been
incited to rebellion by people who should have
known better. When these misguided men laid
down their arms and were guarded by our
wakeful pickets, thoughts of pity for their
unhappy predicament filled the minds of their
guards in the watches of the night. These
Indians must be taught by force, if need be,
the wrong of rebellion against a rightly constituted authority that is disposed to treat them
fairly; and above all, they must be taught the Pathos and Perils of Change. 21
sacredness of human life. But seeing that in
the interests of progressive civilization we have
policed the plains over which they once roamed
as "monarchs of all they surveyed," that we
have placed limitations upon them to which
they were wholly unaccustomed, and which
were not provided for in their own dark code
of ethics, we ought to be more ready to follow
them with the blessings of peace than with the
waste of the sword.
These, somewhat extreme examples will serve
to illustrate our opening sentence as to the ele^
ment of pathos present when people who have
had illimitable range begin to find themselves
circumscribed, even though this narrowing of
the field is for their own ultimate good. They
give us to understand how the white settlers by
the banks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers,
though perfectly ready to acquiesce in the new
order of things beginning to obtain amongst
them, would feel that a great change was coming
over the spirit of their dream. Those who know
what the old order had been realize how completely in many ways it was to be reversed, and
hence how carefully and judiciously the Government of Canada, and those who professed to be
its agents, should have acted in bringing the
change to pass. . For those settlers, once they 22 The Making of the Canadian  West.
had conquered their earlier difficulties, life had
been singularly peaceable and uneventful. Its
central points outside the home, with all its
guileless hospitality and simplicity, were the
church and school, both of which bulked far
more largely with them than some people in
these days of complex society seem able to
They were without the vexation and the
heart-burning of active politics, they were
ignorant of taxation in any form, while the
rivalries that existed were in keeping with
their simple life, and had nothing of that fierce
element of competition into which the newer
civilization was to hurl them. The contests
that had been most in evidence were over such
matters as the speed of horses, in regard to
which the settlement would often be deeply
stirred, especially if the horses were owned in
different parts of the colony. There was sometimes a great deal of strength put into efforts to
be first with the seeding, harvest, hay-cutting,
hay-hauling or freighting expeditions. It was
the ambition of many households always to have
breakfast by candle-light, that they might have
a good deal done before their more tardy neighbors arose. In the matter of hay-hauling we
used to get up in the night, and going out to the Pathos and Perils of Change. 23
yard, where the oxen had been tied to the carts,
grope round in the darkness to get them hitched
up, now and then pausing to listen whether we
could hear the creaking music that betokened
the departure of our neighbor's cart-train to
the hay swamps. Friendly contests in feats of
physical strength were very common. The
number of bags of wheat a man could carry on
his back, the quantity of shot-bags he could lift
over his head, the weight he could hang to his
little finger and then write his name on the wall
with a coal, the number of loads of hay he could
cut with a scythe in a day, or the number of
" stooks" of wheat he could handle with a
sickle—these were some of the rivalries that
gave zest to the simple life of the early days.
The school was another field for competition,
and on the great days of oral examination the
parents and friends were present as eager and
interested spectators of the contest which decided
who was the best reader, writer, etc., in the district.
In the business life of the people there was
nothing tumultuous. There were no banks and
no promissory notes—on the latter of which
they would have looked with contempt as on
something implying distrust in a man's word
of honor.     The general  stores, either   of the 24
The Making of the Canadian  West.
Hudson's Bay Company or of individual dealers,
were not clamorous for business, as there was
no compelling force of competition. Frequently
on going to one of these stores you had to look
up the proprietor, who, leaving the store to take
care of itself, was out attending to his horse,
or something of that sort. When you went into
a store there was no modern clerk to advance
with an alluring smile; indeed, the proprietor
or clerk might even say that he had not the
article asked for, until the customer would
wander round and find it for himself. No
wrapping paper was used, and you had either
to bring a bag with you, buy some cotton, or
leave your tea and sugar on the counter.
Think of a community like that being suddenly
confronted with the necessity for political strife,
with the prospect of municipal government and
taxation, with all the keen and sometimes bitter
rivalries of present-day business methods, and
with, alas, some adventurers all too ready to
take advantage of their simple-heartedness, and
no one will wonder if it took the people some
little time to gather themselves up and accommodate their lives to such new conditions.
But more important in its bearing upon the
feeling of the people was the sudden realization
of the fact that, after long years of undisputed Pathos and Perils of Change. 25
possession of large privileges on the great areas
around them, limitations were being put upon
their operations by the incoming of strangers,
who, driving stakes here and there, barred the
old ways and the old fields—sometimes unjustly
—against a people who could only be expected
to learn slowly that their domain must some
time be curtailed. There was an element of
pathos, and yet, withal, of sound reason in all
this, in view of which those who were bringing
in the new conditions would have done well to
exercise a caution and care they did not always
manifest. Add to this the fact that ofttimes it
was discovered that the persons who, by show of
authority, sometimes excluded the settlers from
places, had themselves no rightful claim, and
one should not be surprised if the settlers under
such circumstances were in some unrest as to
the future. I remember, for instance, how the
hay meadows to which the settlers had come
for many years, with the marking out of
a "circle" as the only condition precedent to
holding all within it, were closed against them
by people who, coming from the village around
Fort Garry, desired to hold these meadows for
their own profit. If they had just claim it
was all right, but if they had not their action
was   resented.     The   settlers,   however,   were 26 The Making of the Canadian  West.
not slow to seize the situation, and some incidents took place which showed, to the disgust
of the discomfited, that they could hold their
own. The " green knoll swamp," lying between
the Kildonan settlers and Stony Mountain, was
a favorite source of hay supply, and new-comers,
finding this out, often came round with formidable papers to frighten the settlers away from
their accustomed haunts. A friend of mine still
relates with great relish that one day, just as
he and the people of his immediate neighborhood
were starting into hay-cutting there, an important-looking stranger with a large retinue of
men; mowers, rakes, etc., bore down upon him,
and with book in hand asked him in great
wrath who the people were who dared to come
upon this land, as he wished to have them
arrested for trespass. The settler, standing upon
his mower, told him that the Gunns, McDonalds,
MacBeths, Pritchards, Harpers and Sutherlands
were visible. All these names were taken down
with tremendous emphasis by the irate gentleman, who expected that the settler would at
once warn his neighbors, and that he and they
would "fold their tents like the Arabs, and
silently steal away" from the coveted hay-
fields. In this, however, the new-comer was
mistaken, for the settler coolly went on to say, Pathos and Perils of Change.
" You have not yet taken me down in your
book. My name is Francis Murray," upon which
the man " with curses not loud but deep," seeing that his game was understood, took himself
away and was not again heard from.
Besides all this, some of the new arrivals,
who had been hospitably entertained by the
settlers with their best, wrote to eastern papers
ridiculing the manner of life and the accommodation they found amongst them, and made
reference to the dark-skinned people under the
somewhat contemptuous name of " breeds."
The number, of course, who did any of these
things was small, but their conduct offended
and estranged many who, ignorant of the fact
that such people were only the excrescences on
the better life of the older provinces, somewhat
guardedly awaited further developments.
In the meantime matters were shaping in the
direction of a confederation in Canada,—and
when that movement, beginning in the Maritime
districts, had spread westward, the great statesmen of all parties, dropping their minor differences, united nobly in accomplishing it, so that
in the year 1867 the older provinces came
together into one federation with provincial
autonomy in regard to certain matters. This
task once finished it would seem as if Canadian 28 The Making of the Canadian  West.
statesmen looked round for fresh worlds to
conquer, and as the great West was beginning
to attract attention, steps were taken in the
Dominion Parliament to secure through the
Imperial Government the surrender by the
Hudson's Bay Company of their charter in
Rupert's Land. This charter they had held for
some three hundred years, and they naturally
declined to give it up without compensation
for the loss they would sustain by relinquishing claim to the vast territory it covered.
Instructed by the Dominion Government, Sir
George E. Cartier and the Hon. William Mac-
dougall proceeded to England, and arrangements were concluded for the transfer of the
North-West to Canada. The Hudson's Bay
Company were to receive £300,000 sterling, certain reservations around their posts, and about
one-twentieth of the lands in the territory as
thereafter surveyed, and were therefor to surrender their charter to the Imperial Government ; the latter were to transfer the territory
to the Government of Canada, who in their turn
undertook to respect and conserve the rights
of the people in the area thus added to the
Dominion. This arrangement was concluded
in the spring of 1869, and it was then expected
that  the  purchase  money  would  be  paid on Pathos and Perils of Change.
the 1st of October following, and that probably
on the 1st day of December the Queen's
Proclamation would issue, setting forth these
facts and fixing the date of the actual transfer
of the North-West to Canada.
So far all was well. The ideas leading to the
acquisition of this great territory were in every
sense statesmanlike, and if carefully carried out
were calculated to be of the greatest benefit to
the people in the new territory and to the
Dominion as well. We cannot too thankfully
pay tribute unstinted to the men whose ideals
wrere for an ever-widening horizon, and who felt
that " no pent-up Utica should confine the
powers " of the young nation just beginning to
stretch out and exercise its giant limbs. Once
the older provinces were brought into a
Confederation it was wise to look forward to a
Canada extending from ocean to ocean, and to
take the necessary legal steps to secure the
West as part of the Dominion. But just there,
after the negotiations with the Hudson's Bay
Company through the Imperial Government
were well in hand and were being wisely concluded, the Canadian authorities seem to have
blundered by overlooking the fact that the new
territory had a population of some ten thousand
people,   who   ought   at   least   to   have   been 30
The Making of the Canadian  West.
informed in some official way of the bargain
that was being made, and of the steps being
taken to secure and guard their rights and
Rumors of the transaction certainly reached
the Red River through unauthoritative sources,
only to produce uneasiness there. Before the
transfer was completed men were sent out to
open roads from the Lake of the Woods into the
settlement. Surveying parties entered the new
territory and went hither and thither, driving
their stakes and erecting their mounds, to the
bewilderment of the people, and, to cap all, a
governor was despatched to the Red River
before the old Government was in any sense
superseded and before a Queen's Proclamation,
which would have been instantly recognized by
all classes of the community, was issued. The
Selkirk settlers and other people of that class,
however perplexed at the procedure, had the
utmost confidence that the Canadian authorities
would ultimately do substantial justice in the
recognition of all just and lawful claims and
privileges enjoyed by the inhabitants of the new
territory, and hence awaited patiently, though
somewhat anxiously, the developments of time.
But the French half-breeds (commonly called
"the French" in the Red River Colony)—more Pathos and Perils of Change. 31
fiery and easily excited, more turbulent of
spirit and warlike in disposition, accustomed to
passages at arms with any who would cross their
path, and withal, as a class, less well-informed
on current events than their white brethren—
were not satisfied with a course that seemed to
them to place their rights in jeopardy, and so
they rose up in a revolt that, alas, while possibly
accomplishing some of the objects which should
have been reached by constitutional means, left
its red stream across the page of our history. CHAPTER III.
"The French are off to drive back the
Governor! " These words, somewhat excitedly
uttered by one of my brothers, and addressed
to my father, made up the first intimation I, a
lad of ten summers, had that something serious
was on foot; yet I recall the exact words as
distinctly as if they had been spoken yesterday,
and most of the acts in the drama of the
rebellion whose actual outbreak they announced
are indelibly stamped upon my memory. It
was in October, 1869, and my brother had just
come home from the morning service in Kil-
donan church, over which upon that day the
shadow of the situation had been cast, perhaps
to the serious detriment of devout and undivided worship. The fact that the news first
came to us in this way throws a curious sidelight on the primitive life of the time. The
churchyard was the modern representative of
32 Armed Rebellion. 33
the Athenian market-place, so far as the giving
and receiving of news was concerned. The
settlement had no telegraphic communication
with the outside world; the solitary post-office
was miles away, and mails, in any case, were
few and far apart. A few of the people subscribed for an eastern paper, which was comparatively old before it reached its destination,
and the local paper was doubtless often greatly
at a loss for "copy." Moreover, it must be
remembered that in certain seasons of the year
the settlers were away from home haying,
wood-cutting, etc., during the whole week.
Saturday evening, however, they were all back.
A general brushing-up was in order, and on
Sabbath morning, except in cases of sickness or
some similar cause, they were all wending their
way in good time to the church.
I What's the latest news ?" was a question
requently heard, and the men often gathered in
knots in the churchyard before the service that
they might get abreast of the times. Some
stay-at-home man, perhaps the school-teacher,
who was always looked upon as a species of
encyclopaedia, or someone who was in touch
with the inhabitants of Fort Garry, " held the
floor," and gave what information he could as to
current events. The Sabbatarian ideas of these
3 34
The Making of the Canadian  West.
people were, for the most part, strict enough;
but I suppose they looked on this parliament as
a sort of family gathering to talk over family
affairs, and as a general thing the news imparted
was not startling enough to disturb that air of
devoutness which they sought to cultivate when
they entered the portals of the place of worship.
But on the day just mentioned the intelligence
was of unusual moment, and, perchance, may
have deepened the earnestness with which they
joined in the prayer for the preservation of
peace to Him " who breaketh the bow in sunder
and burneth the chariot in the fire."
"The French are off to drive back the
Governor !" repeated my brother, fresh from the
churchyard conclave, and though it was the
first I recall hearing of active trouble, doubtless
the announcement was not wholly unexpected
by my father. It seemed that for some weeks
previous to this Louis Riel, who was to have
the " bad eminence " of leading two rebellions,
had been holding meetings amongst the French
half-breeds, and, doubtless, moved by others far
and near, had been delivering fiery orations in
regard to the rumored changes which he claimed
were to put in jeopardy all the rights they held
dear. It may as well be admitted that the
situation,   as   they   saw   it,   gave   him   some Armed Rebellion.
plausible ground on which to work. The difficulty of conveying reliable information from
the outside world to the settlement must not be
overlooked; but we repeat that it now seems
passing strange that the Government of Canada
did not in some way get official word to the
settlers before sending forward a governor, and
letting loose in the territory some not over-
prudent persons who claimed to be the agents
of the Dominion. Had some man as widely
known and respected in the country as Donald
A. Smith, who, coming afterwards, even when
the revolt was at white heat, did so much to 36 The Making of the Canadian  West.
secure peace—had such a man been sent at
that stage, the face of our history might have
been changed.
But these are large provisos; and, in the
absence of any such precautions, the signal
fires for rebellion were lit on the banks of
the Red River, and called sympathizers from
out on the great plains. Add to the situation
as it was the fact that Riel had commanding
influence over those French half-breeds, and we
find additional explanation for the uprising.
His father, who lived many years in St.
Boniface, and was sometimes called " the Miller
of the Seine," from his having a mill on that
little tributary to the Red, had been an idolized
leader amongst them, and the son inherited
much of his immense energy and eloquence.
Moreover, it must be remembered that Riel's
fiery speeches fell upon very inflammable
material. These men were naturally of stormy
spirit—daring rough-riders of the plains, who
brooked no interference from anyone, and who
had passed through many a conflict with their
darker brethren on the wild wastes of the West.
Once get men of that sort to feel that they are
fighting for their homes and the rights of their
families, put modern weapons into their hands,
and  in   their own kind of warfare they are Armed Rebellion. 37
dangerous men to attack. Being of that stamp,
and being made to feel that they were to be
trodden upon, they rose in armed insurrection;
and, a,s a first step, went on the errand noted in
the opening words of this chapter. No one can
defend an act such as theirs, even had it not
led to some of the deplorable events which
followed. Though many can see extenuating
circumstances, armed rebellion is a serious business ; and if there is a place for it in the present
state of the world, it is when all constitutional
means have been exhausted, and people accomplish a revolution in the face of some iniquitous
and tyrannous government. Tubal Cain's offensive weapon is an instrument of last resort, only
to be taken up when every other arbitrament
has failed; and this we say, though we agree
'' That while Oppression lifts its head,
Or a tyrant would be lord,
While we may thank him for the plough,
We won't forget the sword."
But the case before us was far short of that.
At best Riel and his men were starting to fight
the shadows of events which might never come,
even though those shadows seemed to their
kindled imaginations to be portents of dire
disasters heading in their direction.    No threat 38
The Making of the Canadian  West.
had been made against these people, and they
should have known that no act of robbery or of
deprivation of rights had ever been permitted
ultimately by the flag under whose folds they
were to be governed. Besides, they had no
right to assume to speak for the whole country
before consulting with others who lived in it.
Why did they not take counsel with the Selkirk
settlers and men of that class who, being of less
nomadic habits, had larger settled interests in
the territory, and who, moreover, had always
been better informed as to events that were
transpiring ? Why did they not see whether
some concerted and peaceful action on the part
of the whole population could not be planned
to attain the ends in view and conserve the
rights of the inhabitants which seemed to be
threatened ? And yet, though we ask these
questions, we cannot be justly bitter towards the
mass of the rebels at that stage. They were
easily imposed upon and led by many who
should have counselled peace, and notably by
.the ill-starred man who, twenty-five years afterwards, selfishly offered to give up the struggle
for alleged popular rights in exchange for a sum
of money for himself. Whether Louis Riel had
all his senses or not God only knoweth, and now Armed Rebellion.
that he has gone beyond the bar of human judgment, we pronounce not whether in our opinion
he was knave or lunatic, or partly both. We
give some of the facts concerning him in the
following pages, and let the reader bring in a
verdict if he chooses so to do. CHAPTER IV.
The first overt act of rebellion was committed
when an armed and organized force, on the 21st
of October, 1869, took possession of the highway near the Salle River, between Fort Garry
and the international boundary. By this route
the Hon. Wm. Macdougall and his staff would
have entered the territory in the normal course
of things, but the rebels put an effectual stop
to the programme by interposing on the one
great roadway an obstacle which the Governor's
aide is reported as having somewhat irreverently designated "a blawsted fence." A fence
extending only a few yards each way across a
roadway in a prairie district that can be travelled
in almost any direction need not necessarily prevent people from traversing the country, but
this one erected upon that highway was in
tangible form a declaration that the armed men
who erected  it  had made  up  their minds to
40 The\Plot Thickens. 41
oppose the entrance of the new regime into the
territory. At this primitive barricade a large
body of men were camped, with horses at hand
for service ut any moment, and they let down
or put up the bars according as they viewed
with approval or otherwise the passing of any
who came that way.
It was the regular travelled route of the
freighters from the United States to Fort Garry,
and the force at the fence examined all the cart
and waggon trains. The commissariat had to
be supplied, and while dry goods were allowed
to pass without much detention, the articles of
moister texture and of edible description were
quite freely confiscated to the use of the camp.
The mail-bags they also diligently examined in
search of documents that might furnish plausible
excuse for the uprising, and to prevent any
communications with whose contents they were
unacquainted reaching the friends of the new
regime in the settlement. The new governor, of
course, was the especial object of their search,
and every equipage about which a governor
could be concealed was scrutinized by them as
keenly as the cars are explored by lynx-eyed
trainmen in the season when tramps are stealing free rides across the country. One of the
Kildonan settlers found this out one day, some- The Making of the Canadian  West.
what to his alarm, when he tried to play a
harmless joke after the elephantine manner
supposed to be characteristic of us Scotchmen.
It appears that the settler was bringing in
from St. Cloud a Presbyterian missionary who
was coming out for the first time to take part
in the church work of the West, and upon
their arrival at the fence they were stopped
and interrogated in the customary way. The
missionary being a somewhat magisterial-looking man, it occurred to the settler that the
obstructionists were eyeing him with considerable suspicion, and so thinking to have some
diversion he waited for the question, " Whom
have you here ?" " Our governor," he replied.
The words were scarcely out of his mouth before
there was such a " mustering in hot haste," and
such a threatening display of fire-arms that the
settler thought the* joke had gone about far
enough, and so, without much loss of time, said:
" Perhaps I had better explain for fear we misunderstand each other. If you are looking for
the new governor of the country I haven't got
him, but this gentleman here is a governor in
our church." After a little parley the settler,
who was quite well known to some of the party,
was allowed to pass through with the man of
peace, the latter, perhaps, more thankful than The Plot Thickens.
ever before that he held a commission from
higher authority than that of earthly potentates.
Every effort short of force was being used by
the local authorities, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and his Council, to secure
a peaceable solution of the difficulties impending, but to all these the rebels turned a deaf ear,
and a few days after the erection of the barricade
a mounted troop of them, under command of
Ambroise Lepine, rode to the place where Governor Macdougall had come upon British territory, and warned him to leave before nine o'clock
next morning. They returned the following day
at eight to see this programme carried out,
and the Governor, having no other recourse in
the presence of arms than to obey, recrossed
the boundary line to Pembina, in the State of
A striking figure was this Ambroise Lepine, as
I remember seeing him in Fort Garry in the
heyday of his power (and even as I saw him at
the market-place in Winnipeg a few days ago,
unbroken by the weight of sixty years or more)
—a man of magnificent physique, standing fully
six feet three and built in splendid proportion,
straight as an arrow, with hair of raven blackness, large aquiline nose and eyes of piercing
brilliance; a man of prodigious strength, a skilled 44 The Making of the Canadian  West.
rough rider and, withal, a dangerous subjeet to
meet in conflict. He had great influence amongst
his compatriots, and by reason, doubtless, of his
physical prowess and striking military appearance, soon obtained control of their armed
movements.    No excuse can be made for his
complicity in some of the events that transpired
later, but of all the leaders of the rebellion he
was the only one who manifested anything like
manliness after it was over, by refusing to stay
abroad and by submitting to arrest, saying that
the law could take its course with him seeing
he had only done what he thought was his duty.
Speaking of that arrest by anticipation, it is The Plot Thickens. 45
told that when the two men who were entrusted
with the duty of executing the warrant went
to his house in the night, Lepine took a look at
them, and remarking that he could knock their
heads together if he wished, nevertheless got
ready and went unresistingly along with them.*
To revert to the barricade again, we are not
surprised to find that, as winter was coming on,
the rebels began to look around for more comfortable quarters, and that accordingly, on the
3rd of November, they rode down to Fort Garry,
and in spite of the protest of the Hudson's Bay
officer in charge, entered upon possession of it,
with all its stores and abundant supplies. It is
quite well known that some (amongst them
certain old pensioners from regiments formerly
in the country) had expressed opinion that such
a movement as this would take place, and had
offered to garrison the fort, but there being
difference of mind upon the point, nothing was
done. Riel accordingly entered without forcible
opposition, and proceeded to make himself comfortable by utilizing the furniture intended for
Governor Macdougall; and as the provision of the
fort was ample, the rebel chief and his followers
* Lepine was tried and sentenced to death, but the sentence
was commuted by Lord Dufferin to two years' imprisonment
and permanent forfeiture of his civic rights. 46
The Making of the Canadian  West.
wore fine linen, the best of cloth capots, silk-
worked moccasins, etc., and fared sumptuously
every day.
It has been fashionable, in some quarters,
to accuse the Hudson's Bay Company of conniving at this seizure * and at the rebellion
generally, but the utter absurdity of assertions
like these is apparent to anyone who thinks
upon the subject. The company had parted
with their control of the country, which indeed
was, in the nature of things, getting beyond
their domination. They had nothing to gain
and everything to lose by having the whole
territory in a state of unrest, to the serious
detriment of their trade, and wTere certainly to
suffer a loss, that could not well be appraised, by
having Riel and his following quartered upon
them for nearly a year. Besides this, Governor
McTavish, the head of the company in the
country, on the 16th of November, in view of the
fact that Riel had called a convention from all
parts of the settlement, issued a proclamation
denouncing in the strongest terms the insurrectionary movement, calling upon those engaged
in it to disperse to their homes, and with all the
weight of his authority asking the convention
to employ, in any movement in which they
might engage to secure their rights, only such The Plot Thickens.
means as were "lawful, constitutional, rational
and safe." I remember, too, hearing my father,
who visited Governor McTavish in his sickroom about this time, say that he never witnessed
anything more pathetic than the way in which
the Governor referred to the fact that the
insurgents had hauled down the Union Jack
and hoisted an ensign of their own device with
fleur-de-lis and shamrock, and how he said,
" As I saw, through my window, the hoisting of
their rag on our old flagstaff, I almost choked
with mortification and shame." Add to these
things, also, the fact that Riel, in the general
convention held in February, after his entry
into Fort Garry, made, according to the report
in his Own paper, the New Nation, a most
bitter attack upon the Hudson's Bay Company,
saying, amongst other things, that instead of
having the prefix " honorable " they should have
the title " shameful,"—consider all this and the
theory as to collusion between them becomes
exceedingly chimerical.
One of the first acts of Riel was to issue,
under duress, from the Nor-Wester office, a
circular addressed to the people of the country,
asking them to a convention to consider the
situation of affairs ; but in regard to this and
any later  convention called, if  we can judge 48
The Making of the Canadian  West.
from his conduct as reported in his own organ,
it seems as if he wished to give the outside
world the impression that all the people of the
country were in sympathy with him, while at
the same time he was determined to have his
own way, whatever the others advised.
If it be asked how it was that the other
inhabitants of the country did not rise up and
put the rebellion down at that stage or later,
various answers might be given in the presence
of some abortive efforts made by certain well-
meaning people so to do. It is quite safe to say
that the white settlers, at first, never dreamed
that the movement would be carried as far as it
was eventually, and we are equally safe in
asserting that the leaders of the movement
themselves went far beyond their original
intention as they became the more intoxicated
with power and success. It must be borne in
mind that to these settlers Canada was practically an unknown quantity, and that they
looked upon the quarrel as not theirs to settle
in view of the circumstances that brought it
In the report of Colonel Dennis, chief of the
staff of surveyers, and Governor Macdougall's
deputy in the new territory, the matter is put
in  concise  and very  intelligible   shape.     The The Plot Thickens.
Colonel had gone along the Red River to raise
a force to escort the new Governor in, and he
gives the following as the general expression of
feeling: "We (the English-speaking settlers)
feel confidence in the future administration of
the government of this country under Canadian
rule; at the same time we have not been consulted in any way as a people on entering into
the Dominion. The character of the new
government has been settled in Canada without
our being consulted. We are prepared to accept
it respectfully, obey the laws and become good
subjects; but when you present to us the issue
of a conflict with the French party, with whom
we have hitherto lived in friendship, backed up
as they would be by the Roman Catholic
Church (which seems probable by the course
taken by the priests), in which conflict it is
almost certain the aid of the Indians would be
invoked, and perhaps obtained by that party,
we feel disinclined to enter upon it, and think
that the Dominion should assume the responsibility of establishing amongst us what it and it
alone has decided upon."
Who is there whose calm common-sense will
not say that this position was a reasonable one
to take? As to the references made in the
statement,  that  concerning the part taken by 50 The Making of ihe Canadian  West.
the priests had ground in the fact that the
blockading party at the Salle River were
quartered in part at Pere Richot's house,
that seditious meetings had been held on Sundays almost, if not altogether, in connection
with the church services, and that O'Donoghue,
perhaps the deepest and most dangerous of
all the rebel leaders, was studying for the
priesthood in St. Boniface. The reference to
the probability of Indian aid being invoked
and obtained is shown to have been reasonable
by the fact that such aid was invoked and
obtained with terrible effect under much less
favorable circumstances, and against heavier
odds, by practically the same parties, some
fifteen years later, in the second rebellion.
So much in explanation of the position taken
by the settlers other than the French at the
outset. Later on, when the temper and attitude
of Riel and his followers were such as to estrange
from them any sympathy they might otherwise
have had, the settlement was utterly unable to
make any successful move against them, however much the people may have desired so to do.
The rebels held a stone-walled and bastion ed
fort, built for defence; they*held all the military
stores of the country in Enfield rifles and cannon, and, as the New Nation said in one of its The Plot Thickens.
February numbers, they had all the powder in
the territory except a small and damaged lot at
Lower Fort Garry. With all the Hudson's Bay
stores in their power, a siege against the rebels
would have been hopeless, even though the settlers could have left their homes in the dead of
winter and camped around the fort, while to
have attempted an assault with shotguns and
scant ammunition would have been absurd.
As an example of the kind of arms some of
the loyalist settlers were provided with, I
myself saw more than one man at the rendezvous afterwards in Kildonan armed only with
a bludgeon weighted with lead. We give due
credit for good intention and even for valor
to those who carried them, but to suggest an
attack upon a fully-garrisoned fort such as
we remember Fort Garry to have been at
the time, with such weapons, was certainly.
giving small evidence of possessing that discretion which is valor's better part. And yet
there were attempts made against the rebels,
as we have already implied, but although'
ihe men who engaged in them doubtless meant
well, it has scarcely required the after-light of
twenty-five years to show that these attempts
did more harm than good. They certainly
led to the death of two excellent young men 52 The Making of the Canadian  West.
—the one of the older, the other of the newer
settlers—and to the intense suffering of many
more; to the exasperation of the whole situation, and to the creation of a race and creed
cleavage from which we have not yet wholly
There had been a time when a large portion
of the French population did not follow Riel
in his resort to arms, though they, in common with nearly all the people of the country,
felt somewhat keenly anxious as to their rights
under the incoming Government. On looking
up records I find that my father, then a
magistrate and a member of the Council of
Assiniboia (the governing body in Hudson's
Bay Company days), seconded, with the Hon.
A. G. B. Bannatyne as mover, the following
resolution: "That Messrs. Dease and Goulet
be appointed to collect as many of the more
respectable of the French community as possible, and with them proceed to the camp of
the party who intend to intercept Hon. Mr.
Macdougall, and endeavor to procure their
peaceable dispersion." That the men sent failed
in their mission does not disprove the fact that
they had large loyal support amongst their own
people. Moreover, we find that after Riel had
seized Fort Garry he was at one time on the The Plot Thickens.
point of consenting to the Hudson's Bay Company continuing in authority till a committee
of French and English could treat with Mr.
Macdougall or with the Dominion direct, when a
rumor that the Canadians around were about to
move on Fort Garry put an end to the matter.
HON.   A.   G.   B.   BANNATYNE.
Besides all this, there was a time, even after
the rebellion had gone some length, when,
through the intervention of Mr. Bannatyne, three
well-known French half-breeds, Francois Nolin,
Augustin Nolin, and one Perreault, agreed to
have a meeting of English and French to discuss
their rights and send a statement of these to 54
The Making of the Canadian  West.
Mr. Macdougall, whom, if he granted them, they
would bring into the country in spite of Riel.
It is said on good authority that these men with
others were actually in council on the matter
when a report reached them that the Canadians,
together with the English-speaking settlers, were
combining to attack the French. This seemed
to the friendly half-breeds to mean that the
French element was to be coerced without
regard to their rights, and hence, though some of
the French half-breeds never joined. Riel, the
opposition offered by these movements against
him practically solidified the great body of
them in sympathy with his position, and led
to serious consequences.
These movements, however, though in some
cases irresponsibly organized, were doubtless
entered upon with the best intention on the part
of those engaged in them, and we shall give
a few reminiscent sketches of them in the next
chapter. CHAPTER V.
Large " ifs " always stand stiffly in the way,
and therefore we gain little now by saying that
if the Hon. William Macdougall had returned to
Ottawa, instead of remaining on the frontier,
and if his deputies and agents within the new
territory had been more discreet, we might have
been spared some of the deplorable scenes that
followed. The Governor on the frontier was an
irritant to the rebels, and the agents or alleged
agents within were a ferment in the midst of
the elements composing the population. Both
parties were doubtless actuated by the very
best motives and most loyal intentions, but the
retirement of the one and the silence of the
other would have left the incensed and (in
their own view) wronged rebels without any
excuse for openly assailing the residents of
the community and depriving some of their
liberty and others, alas, of their lives. The
55 56 The Making of the Canadian  West.
Governor was ill-advised by friends in the
territory, "on no account to leave Pembina,"
and by communication between them the
unreasonable idea of some forcible effort to put
down the rebellion was kept alive, with the
irritating results already noticed. On the 1st
day of December it was expected that the new
territory would have been formally transferred
to Canada, and so upon that day Governor Macdougall issued what purported to be a Queen's
Proclamation appointing him as Governor of the
territory, and another proclamation, signed by
himself as Governor, appointing Col. Dennis his
Deputy within the territory, with power to raise
and equip a force wherewith to overcome the
rebellious element. No one feels disposed to
impugn Mr. Macdougall's good faith and good
intention in taking this course, but it turned out
to have been taken without due authority, and
for the unwarrantable use made of the Queen's
name he was severely censured by the Canadian
When it was discovered that what was
called the Queen's Proclamation was not so
in reality, the situation became more chaotic
than ever; but in the meantime Col. Dennis
thought he was justified in raising an armed
force to overturn the rebel power, and with the Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.      57
aid of others proceeded so to do. One of the
first results was the gathering of some forty-
five men in the house of Dr. Schultz, in the
village near Fort Garry, to protect some Government supplies; but this handful wras practically nothing against the rebel force in Fort
Garry. Accordingly, when, a few days later,
a force of some three hundred rebels, well
armed and with several pieces of artillery,
came towards the flimsy building, the poorly
equipped little garrison did the only sensible
thing under the circumstances and surrendered
without resistance. They were disarmed and
imprisoned in Fort Garry, some, amongst them
Schultz himself, being placed in solitary confinement.
Schultz was a man his captors feared with a
wholesome dread. For a number of years he
had been active in the affairs of the country,
especially in connection with the agitation for
free trade and for closer connection with the
Empire, and was known as a man very impatient of restraint and in many ways difficult to
handle. Physically he was of giant stature and
possessed of almost incredible strength, as some
who attempted his arrest in connection with
the free-trade and other squabbles in the
country had found to their cost.    I remember The Making of the Canadian  West.
when a boy running beside him, as with powerful stride he walked from our home to the river
on an occasion when I was sent to direct him to
a house which he was to visit on a medical consultation, and I can yet see the oars bending
ike willows in his strong hands as he propelled
the rough boat against the waves. I recall, too,
hearing how once at a meeting in the town a
riot was feared, and how Schultz, who was
seated on a great home-made oaken chair, rose,
and putting his foot on one of the bars, wrenched
the chair asunder as if it had been made of pipe-
stems, after seeing which the crowd decided that
if they were going to do any rioting they would
leave him unmolested at any rate. A man of
that physical stamp and, withal, of somewhat
inflammatory cast of mind, the rebels thought
they had better keep apart and well guarded;
hence they placed him alone, and, as afterwards
appeared, they fully intended to put a sudden
end to his career.
But they were to be baulked of their prey.
Certain delicacies from friends were allowed
him, and it is said that in a pudding one day a
knife and a gimlet were concealed. With the
knife he cut into strips the buffalo robe he
slept upon and such clothing as he could spare,
and having with the aid of the gimlet fastened Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.     59
the line thus made to the wall, he let himself
out of the window on the night of the 23rd
of January. His ponderous weight was too
much for the slender rope, and while yet quite
a distance from the ground the line broke
and the escaping prisoner came to the earth
with great force, injuring his leg somewhat
seriously. A less determined man would have
given up, as there was still the high stone wall
to scale, but in some way he managed it and in
due time was on the outside of the fort. The
night was dark and stormy, with cold wind and
whirling snow, and Schultz, somewhat dazed by
the fall, missed his bearings, only realizing his
whereabouts when he came on landmarks which
told him he was making for St. Boniface. That
was not very satisfactory, so he. turned and
nearly ran up against a sentry at one of the
fort gates! But by this he had found his latitude and as rapidly as he could walk and run
he made his way to my father's house in Kildo-
nan, about six miles away from the place of his
I have heard it said on good authority lately
(though I have no personal knowledge of the
fact), that up to that time the relations subsisting between Schultz and my father'were not
the most cordial, perhaps because the  former I
The Making of the Canadian  West.
was bitterly opposed to the Hudson's Bay Company, while my father would not allow anything
said against the Company in his presence. If
any such coldness did exist between them
previous to that night, the coming of Schultz
for refuge to my father's house was but another
instance of that shrewd, far-sighted knowledge
of human nature for which he was always
noted. Apart altogether from my father's well-
known contempt for the alleged government of
Riel, he was too much of a Highlander to close
his door against even an enemy when he was
wearied and hard-hunted, or else he would have
been unworthy of the name that has become
synonymous with hospitality, and has been immortalized by Scott in the famous meeting of
Fitz-James and Roderick Dhu.
I remember well the arrival of Schultz at
our house. It was in the grey dawn, and a
cold morning at that, when a knocking came
at the door, which my father rose and opened.
I can recall his surprised exclamation, " Bless
me, doctor, is this really you ?" Then I can
see the fugitive enter, thinly clad, tall, haggard and gaunt,- and as soon as he had
assured himself that there were no servants
in the house who might betray him, he told
the story of his escape as we have just related Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.      61
it. My father escorted his guest upstairs,
watched over him while he slept, and all that
afternoon the two remained there, conversing
only in whispers so that their voices would not
be heard by any wTho might come into the
house. Again and again that day Riel's scouts,
on their red-blanketed horses, passed by the
door looking for their escaped prisoner, concerning whom Riel said to the Rev. George
Young, "The guards are out looking for him,
and they have orders to shoot him on sight."
Meanwhile my brother Alexander had gone
into town and secured from his friends a pair
or two of pistols, which were duly brought and
handed upstairs, where a new programme was
made out. Schultz was determined that he
would never be taken alive, hence he decided
that if the scouts entered the house he would
sell his life as dearly as possible and neither give
nor take quarter. For two days he remained
there, and on the second night my father's
favorite horse, " Barney," was hitched up, and
the brother above mentioned drove the hunted
man, by an unfrequented road, to the Indian
settlement near Selkirk, whence, accompanied
by the faithful Joseph Monkman, he made
that terrible mid-winter journey on foot to
eastern  Canada.     Afterwards we heard  that 62 The Making of the Canadian  West.
some of the scouts had located him when in our
house; but that either out of respect to my
father, who had doubtless befriended many of
them, or from dread of the desperate man they
were hunting, they concluded not to enter.
In after years when I heard Sir John Schultz
say that he " had still the shattered remnants of
a good constitution," I used to account for the
" shattering " by thinking of the desperate leap
from the prison, the running with maimed limb
and scanty clothing six miles in an arctic atmosphere, and then the fearful journey on foot
across the rocky shores and wind-swept bays
of Lake Superior to the cities of the East.
Whether he and my father were warm friends
before or not, they certainly were after that
experience in the "City of Refuge;" and born
orator as Sir John was, he never made a more
graceful allusion in spoken words than he did
when, at the unveiling of the Seven Oaks
monument, he spoke of the man who at great
personal risk opened the door of welcome to
him in his extremity.
Meanwhile, the other prisoners were detained
in Fort Garry, Riel was taking steps to form
a provisional government, and Mr. Donald A.
Smith (now Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal)
had arrived   from the East  as a special com- Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.     63
missioner from the Dominion Government to
settle the existing difficulties. By reason of his
long experience in the country and the great
respect in which he was held by all classes, Mr.
Smith's arrival was hailed with pleasure. Exercising rare skill and tact, he secured from Riel
the calling of an assemblage of all the settlers
on the 19th of January, for the purpose of hearing the commission read as to the purpose and
scope of Mr. Smith's mission. About ten days
before this Riel had caused to be published the
slate of the so-called Provisional Government,
the principal part of which consisted in the
declaration of himself as President, O'Donoghue
as Secretary-Treasurer, and Ambroise Lepine as
Adjutant-General. - > .
Many racy incidents are related by those
who were present at the Assembly on the 19th
of January to hear Mr. Smith's commission.
Probably a thousand or more had gathered,
so the meeting had to be held in the open
air. An open-air meeting with the thermometer over twenty degrees below zero
could hardly be called a deliberative assembly,
as the conditions were not favorable to absorption in the subject. Mr. Smith is said
to have refused to read his papers under the
hybrid ensign of the rebel government, and so 64 The Making of the Canadian  West.
the Union Jack had to be displayed. Then
Riel, who was becoming more and more of a
"megalomaniac," wished to prevent the papers
being read at all, on which a well-known settler
caught the redoubtable President by the back of
the collar and pulled him down the steps on
which he was standing. Riel immediately
threw off his coat (which in falling struck my
father, to whom Riel, true tcf his French politeness, even in his rage, said "Pardon, monsieur"),
and called out the guard. The gates were closed
and things generally looked ugly, but finally
quiet was restored and the papers read. At the
close of the reading, on motion of Riel himself,
seconded by Mr. A. G. B. Bannatyne, it was
resolved that a convention consisting of twenty
men from the English and twenty from the
French side be called for the 25th of January to
consider the whole matter of Mr. Smith's mission,
and to formulate such a programme as seemed
best for the country.
This meeting on the 19th January wTas the
first direct blow given to Riel's position; or,
changing the figure, it was the first real undermining of his authority, and Mr. Smith,
as Commissioner from a Government which
now showed every anxiety to do what was
fair to all classes, scored a most decided and Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.     65
influential victory. One cannot help feeling
now that had counter-movements against Riel
(which could not possibly succeed under the circumstances) ceased, there would have been a
bloodless settlement of the whole business; but
the irritation caused by military movements
against him, coupled with the fact that his star
was on the wane, led doubtless to the horrible
murder he shortly afterwards committed in the
vain hope of establishing his authority beyond
The convention of forty French and English
representatives met as called on the 25th of
January, and continued from day to day
till the 11th of February. The best existing report of that convention is found in the
New Nation, Riel's organ, which is in the
possession of Mr. J. P. Robertson, in the Provincial Library of Manitoba. The file, which
was purchased from Mr. Wm. Coldwell, the
ablest newspaper man of his time, tells an
eloquent tale even in its appearance. The first
page of it is called The Red River Pioneer, Vol.
L, No. I.; the next page is blank, and on the
following one we read, The New Nation, Vol.
I., No. I. The explanation is that Mr. Coldwell
was just beginning the publication of the
Pioneer when Riel came down upon him, and
5 66
The Making of the Canadian  West.
vi et armis nipped it in the bud and established with its plant the New Nation, under
control of one of his own following. Whoever
reported the proceedings of the Convention of
Forty for the New Nation did it well, not only
as wielding a facile pen, but wielding it impartially, since several things not at all flattering to
Riel are preserved, We have, too, the record of
some hot passages-at-arms in which Riel was
distinctly worsted.
The chairman of the convention was Judge
Black, head of the law courts in the territory,
a man of commanding intellect, of great forensic
ability, and such noble bent of character that
he had the utmost confidence of the whole community. During the convention we find he
made several speeches of considerable length,
in which occur passages of lofty and impassioned eloquence. Next to Judge Black, whose
official position gave him prominence, the most
influential and distinctively directing spirit was
James Ross, a man of singular ability, deep
learning and rare fluency of utterance. He was
a son of Sheriff Ross, who had been famous as
a leading man and an historian in the early
days of the country. James Ross, who was a
native of Red River, had graduated with high
honors from Toronto University, had been a Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.      67
leading writer on the Globe there, and was an
able lawyer. Despite the slanders of adventurers, he is remembered as one who had at heart
the highest good of the country in which he was
born. His legal accomplishments and intimate
knowledge of the Canadian constitution made
him a most indispensable member of the convention, and to his opinions the greatest deference was paid. Amongst the other members
were several who afterwards became prominent
in the history of the country, and who even
then showed remarkable acquaintance with
public questions.
This convention was of great importance, and The Making of the Canadian  West.
hence the full list of members selected for it is
here given, with the sections of the country they
French Representatives.
St. Paid's—
Pierre Thibert.
Alex. Page.
Magnus Birston.
St. Francois JCavier—
Xavier Page
Pierre Poitras.
Baptiste Beauehemin.
Louis Riel.
Andre Beauehemin.
Point Coupee—
Louis Lacerte.
Pierre Delorme.   *
St. Norbert—
Pierre Paranteau.
Norbert Laronce.
B. Touton.
St. Boniface—
W. B. O'Donoghue.
Ambroise Lepine.
Joseph Genton.
Louis Schmidt.
Oak Point —
Thomas Harrison.
Charles Nolin.
Point a Grouette
George Klyne.
English Representatives.
St. Peters—
Rev. Henry Cochrane.
Thomas Spence.
Thomas Bunn.
Alex. McKenzie.
John Fraser.
John Sutherland.
St. James'—
George Flett.
Robert Tait. Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.      69
St. Andrew's —
Judge Black.
Donald Gunn, sen.
Alfred Boyd.
St. Paid's—
Dr. C. J. Bird.
St. John's—
James Ross.
St. Mary's—
Kenneth McKenzie.
John Taylor.
Wm. Londsdale.
St. Margaret's—
Wm. Cummings.
St. Anne's— =
George Gunn.
D. Spence.
Alfred H. Scott.
As there are some people even to this day
who claim that Riel was loyal to British interests, though anxious about the privileges and
rights of his countrymen, it may be worth while
to give a few extracts from the report in his
own paper: " For my part I would like to see
the power of Canada limited in this country;
that's what I want." " England chose to neglect
us for one or two centuries back, and I do not
suppose we are under any very great obligations to keep her laws." " For my part I do not
want to be more British than I can help."
Amongst the incidents of the convention we
notice in the report an attempt on the part of
Riel to rebuke Mr. John (afterwards Senator)
Sutherland, of Kildonan, who hotly replied that
he had been giving his time all winter without
fee or reward to  efforts  for  the  good  of  the The Making of the Canadian  West.
country, that he was there to speak for the
people who sent him, and did not propose to be
taught his duty by Louis Riel. At another
point three of the French half-breed representatives, Nolin, Klyne and Harrison, incurred the
displeasure of Riel by voting against a motion
he had submitted suggesting that the Hudson's
Bay Company be ignored in all bargains made
as to the transfer of the country. Nolin replied
defiantly, which so angered Riel that he made a
number of unaccountable arrests during the few
following days, and even started out after Nolin,
whose  relatives, however,
were  so  numerous, Some Counter-Efforts and Their Results.      71
powerful and determined that Riel desisted in
time to save himself from annihilation.
In the convention every phase of the country's
future was discussed, and every question from
railroad construction to a standing army was
canvassed. A very elaborate Bill of Rights was
framed and submitted to Commissioner Smith,
who replied on behalf of the Dominion Government as far as he was able within the scope of
his commission, after which he invited the convention to send delegates to confer with the
authorities at Ottawa. This invitation was
accepted, and thus an important stage of progress was reached. One cannot study closely
this portion of our country's history without
feeling what a lasting debt the country owes
to the courage, tact and patience of Mr. Donald
A. Smith, who has been so deservedly raised to
the peerage for his eminent services to the
It was not within the province of the convention, nor was it contemplated in the summons
calling it, to take any steps towards confirming
or approving the Provisional Government that
Riel had already formed, but the opportunity
was too good a one to be lost, and so he introduced the question when the other business was
concluded.     Most of the English delegates at 72 The Making of the Canadian  Wei
once took the position that they had no instructions from their constituents on that point, and
that therefore they could take no action upon it
that would bind those who sent them to the convention ; but Riel was anxious to have the matter
pressed so that he would seem to have the approval of the country. The representatives from
Kildonan, John Fraser and John Sutherland,
declined to be parties to it till it seemed in the
interests of present peace. They, having no
time to consult their constituents, went to see
Governor McTavish, and he, wearied with the
protracted strife, said: " Form a government of
some kind and restore peace and order in the
settlement." And so with that end in view the
delegates, without professing to bind their constituents, consented to the formation of a Provisional Government, whose personnel as to the
chief officers was as stated above, though there
was some hot feeling in the convention over
continuing Riel in the presidency.  §1
When the Convention of the Forty adjourned
they left such organization as undertook to carry
on the government of the country, and from that
time President Riel and his Council became the
body that alleged to have the right to make and
administer law in the community. Concurrently
with the adjournment of the convention nearly
all the remaining prisoners were released. The
question as to why the English-speaking members of the convention did not refuse to sit
except on the condition that they would all
be released occurs most naturally here, and the
only possible reply that can be given is that
they had agreed to meet with the French and
discuss the political situation, and that if they
had withdrawn the latter would have remained
and given the business whatever turn seemed
pleasing to themselves, regardless of the views
and wishes of any other portion of the community. But on the close of the convention
73 74
The Making of the Canadian  West.
the majority of the prisoners were released,
and in all probability there would have been
a general gaol delivery had not some developments taken place outside. Another warlike
expedition began up the Assiniboine River, in
Portage la Prairie, High Bluff, Poplar Point,
White Horse Plains and Headingly, and a body
of men numbering seventy-five or eighty, poorly
enough armed, started on the march, intending
to rendezvous at Kildonan and enlist the settlers
along the Red River in the movement. The
occasion of this was probably the delay in
releasing the balance of the prisoners, and, on
the part of the leaders, a certain amount of
impatience with existing conditions. On the
way down several of the houses were searched
for Riel, who sometimes visited them, and though
certain of those engaged in the search claimed
that they only intended to hold him as a hostage
for the release of the remaining prisoners, others
openly said they would have made an end of
When this was reported to Riel he was once
more at white heat. Many of his men had gone
to their homes, but runners were quickly sent
out, and until the counter-movements ceased
Fort Garry was garrisoned by between six
and  seven  hundred  well-armed men—a force Collapse of the Rebellion. 75
so great as to render attack by their poorly
armed opponents on the stone-walled, bastioned
and artilleried redoubt utterly futile. Nevertheless the body of men above referred to
came on to Kildonan, where the most of them
bivouacked in the historic church and school. I
remember well when they arrived at the school,
the morning of, I think, the 14th of February.
The younger fry amongst us thought the
whole thing a splendid idea, on the same
principle that actuated the boy who fiercely
rejoiced at the burning of his school because
he did not know the geography lesson.
To the older people, doubtless, the situation
was much more serious, and large numbers of
men, not only from Kildonan, but also from
St. Paul's, St Andrew's and St. Peter's, gathered together to discuss it. The consensus of
opinion amongst them seems to have been
that any movement of the kind contemplated
would not only be futile, for the reasons
above given, and likely to end in a useless
shedding of blood, but that it was also inopportune, inasmuch as the species of union
effected between the opposing parties by the
convention just held would be the most certain
means of preserving peace until the Dominion
Government,  with  whom  the  delegates   from 76
The Making of the Canadian  West.
that convention were treating, would take the
whole matter in hand. In the meantime, those
assembled at the rendezvous received every
hospitality from the people of Kildonan, who
entertained as many as they could in their
homes, and provided food for those quartered
in the church and school.
On the second day after the arrival of the
party a very distressing incident took place
in the shooting of one of the most promising young men in the parish. I remember
as it were yesterday how one of the neighbor
boys rushed into our house, exclaiming,
"John Hugh Sutherland is shot!" and how
the news fell upon us like lead. It appeared that on the night before a young
French half-breed named Parisien, suspected
of being one of Riel's spies, was taken prisoner
by the men in the school-house, and the next
day, when out with a guard, he made a dash
for liberty, snatching a double-barrelled gun
from one of the sleighs as he went. He ran
swiftly down the river-bank, and there met
young Sutherland, who was riding on horseback toward the school. Parisien either feared
that he would be intercepted, or perhaps he
hoped to get the horse and so escape; but
at any rate, he shot at Sutherland full in the Collapse of the Rebellion. 77
breast. The horse swerved and the rider fell,
but Parisien continued on. Looking back, he
saw Sutherland rising to his feet, when,
without stopping, he swung the gun over his
shoulder (such was the deadly skill of these
men) and discharged the second barrel, the
contents entering the back of the unfortunate
youth, who staggered and fell upon his face.
Strong hands raised him and bore him to the
hospitable manse of the Rev. John Black, near
at hand, and on Sutherland's recovering consciousness and seeing the venerable face of his
old minister, his first words were," Pray for me."
He lingered on into the night, and then one of
the brightest lives of his time went out into the
unseen with the prayer upon his lips, not for
vengeance upon his murderer, but for mercy
upon all. Meanwhile the horse, with empty
and blood-stained saddle, had run back home
to carry the tale to the parents; while the
desperate spy, narrowly escaping lynching,
lingered on to die from natural causes a few
months afterwards. The effect of this lamentable affair was sobering in the extreme, and
revealed, as by a startling providence, what
might be the fate of others and what untold
sorrow might come upon many homes without
adequate cause and without commensurate
results. 78 The Making of the Canadian  West.
Some messages passed between Riel and the
assembled force, and it seemed to be understood
that the latter had liberty to return to their
homes without any let or hindrance, and that the
prisoners still held would be released. Accordingly, those gathered at Kildonan dispersed
quietly to different parts of the parishes northward, but those from up the Assiniboine, who
had begun the movement, did not fare so well.
I have heard it said that Riel was angered at
their exhibiting distrust of his word by making
a detour to avoid passing Fort Garry, instead of
going home by the usual travelled highway, but
I think the story extremely improbable. It is
more likely that he was enraged because some
of those in the party were for the second time
engaged in effort against him, and because, as
referred to above, he had a lively idea of what
might have befallen him had he been found by
them on the way to the rendezvous. Whatever
the reason may have been, the upshot was that
as this handful of men were making their way to
their homes across the deep snow of the prairie,
they were intercepted by a large force of Riel's
men, mounted and well armed. No resistance
was made, as it was represented to them that
Riel wished to see them at the fort, and they
never dreamed of imprisonment.    In any case, Collapse of the Rebellion. 79
neither in numbers nor equipment would they
have been any match for the rebels; but from
personal acquaintance with many of those men,
1 feel sure that if they had known the indignities they were all to suffer, and if they could
have seen the causeless and cruel murder of one
of their number, they would have made then
and there a last desperate stand against the
enemy. As it was they went quietly to the
fort, where to their surprise they were " thrust
into the inner prison," and several of them—
Boulton, Scott. Powers, McLeod, Alexander and
George Parker—were specially singled out and
the sentence of death by shooting suspended
over their heads.
Riel was exceedingly desirous of securing the
recognition of the Provisional Government by
the English-speaking settlers, and took this
method of forcing their hand, promising to
spare the lives of these men if all the settlement would fall into line and send representatives to his "parliament." This, for the
sake of peace, Special Commissioner Smith,
aided by the clergy of various denominations,
persuaded the people to do, and but for this it is
exceedingly probable that Riel would have begun
a series of murders whose end no one could
foretell.    Concerning Boulton (who was to do 80
The Making of the Canadian  West.
signal service in the field against his captor
fifteen years later), Riel remained obdurate, and
indeed decided that he should be shot on the
night of the 19th of February, as having been
the chief military director of the counter-movement. It has not been generally known, but the
fact is that Boulton's life was finally spared at
the intercession of Mr. (now Senator) and Mrs.
Sutherland, of Kildonan, who had known Riel
from his childhood, and who had come almost
direct from the grave of their slain son to plead
for the life of the condemned man. Riel was by
no means without heart, and when he saw the
earnestness as well as the grief of the parents,
who had been so recently bereaved but who in
their sorrow were thinking of others, he said,
placing his hand upon the shoulder of the
mother, " It is enough—he ought to die, but I
will give you his life for the life of the son you
have lost through these troubles."
And still the clouds had not all lifted. Riel's
"parliament" met on the 26th of February, and to
this, in the interests of peace, the English-speaking settlers, true to the promises they had made
Commissioner Smith, sent representatives, who
began forthwith to enact such legislation as the
requirements of the time demanded. But there
was withal a sullen feeling of unrest  in the?* Collapse of the Rebellion.
country, and a growing, even though unexpressed, discontent with the continued dominance and arbitrary methods of the so-called
President, who played fast and loose with
pledges and had such utterly un-British views
as to the liberty of the subject. Doubtless
Riel felt this atmosphere and tried a desperate
remedy to change it, when on the 4th of March
he caused the wanton murder of Thomas Scott,
one of the prisoners.
I recall the first announcement of this tragedy
made at a meeting in the Kildonan school by
one who had come from Fort Garry that day
—" There's been a man shot at the fort." That
was all, until questioning drew from him such
information as he had been able to gather; and
that Riel had taken a mistaken means of
impressing the settlers with his absolute
authority was evidenced by the imprecations
invoked upon his arrogant insolence. It is
true that no means of taking steps to put an
end to his lease of power were at hand, and as
the best means in their judgment of keeping
a madman quiet, the representatives of the
settlers continued to sit in Council with the
Provisional Government; but from that time
the sympathy of the English-speaking people,
was completely estranged, and many of Riel's
6 82
The Making of the Canadian  West.
own class  openly repudiated  complicity with
him in the killing of Scott.
Riel's paper, the New Nation, styled the
murder of the young man a "military execution," and "regretted its necessity," which was
said to be on account of Scott's alleged quarrelsome spirit which led him to insult the guard
and even defy the President himself. There is
no need now to canonize Scott, nor to claim
that he possessed all the virtues and none of
the vices of life; but so far as we can gather
from those who knew him well, he was a young
man of rather quiet habits, indisposed, as most
men of Irish blood are, to be trodden upon, but
not given to aggressive and unprovoked offending. Perhaps it was more by what we call
chance than otherwise that he instead of
Parker, or some of the others, was singled out
for slaughter by the man who hoped through
his death to strike terror into the community.
It seems almost incredible now that after a
mock trial, without any specified charges
against the prisoner, without any opportunity
for defence either in person or by counsel,
against the protest and pleadings of the Rev.
George Young, Commissioner Smith and others,
a British subject in a British country should
have been condemned to death and shot in the Collapse of the Rebellion.
most brcftal and bungling way at a few hours'
However peacefully inclined one may be, he
cannot picture the scene of the shooting and
see this young man led out blindfolded to the
shambles without feeling his blood move in
fiercer thrills, and without adapting to the
situation the sentiment of a verse written long
ago in another connection:
" Had I been there with sword in hand
And fifty Camerons by,
That day through high Dunedin's streets
Had pealed the slogan cry.
"Not all their troops of trampling horse
Nor might of mailed men,
Not all the rebels in the South
Had borne us backward then.
" Once more his foot on Highland heath
Had trod as free as air,
Or I, and all that I led on,
Been laid around him there."
Certain it is, as we have said, that from that
hour the majority of people, however much
they felt themselves obliged to remain passive,
utterly disapproved of Riel's course; and some
there were who told him to his face that for 84 The Making of the Canadian  West.
that and other reasons they would have nothing to do with him. Of this latter number was
my father, as I recall from an incident that took
place on the Queen's birthday, 1870. On the
20th of May, as appears from the files of the
New Nation, he, with one or two others, was
appointed by the Provisional Government a
magistrate for the Fort Garry District. On
May 24th the Queen's birthday was celebrated
near Fort Garry with the usual sports, though it
had been extensively reported that Riel was to
seize the horses brought there for the races that
he might have the best mounts for his cavalry.
In the afternoon of that day I remember standing with my father on the roadside (now Main
Street, Winnipeg) opposite the post-office, then
kept by Mr. Bannatyne. It was quite customary in those days of limited correspondence and
primitive postal facilities for the postmaster or
his assistant to go out with a letter after anyone
to whom it was addressed, as otherwise it might
remain there uncalled for during many days.
On this occasion Mr. Dan. Devlin, the assistant,
seeing my father across the road, came over and
handed him a large official envelope which had
been recently dropped in the office. My father
opened it, read the contents, and said to me,
" We will go up to the fort,"     The envelope Collapse of the Rebellion. 85
contained his commission from the Provisional
Government as magistrate. He said little to
me about it, as I was of but few years at the
time; but I remember that, as we drove in
through the gateway of Fort Garry, the guards
were very polite to him, and one was detailed
to hold his -horse. My father went straight to
the council-room, where Riel was found, and
laid the commission down before the President.
" What is wrong with that ?" asked Riel.
" Isn't it properly signed and sealed ? It is
intended for you."
"I suppose it is properly signed," said my
father, " but I do not wish to keep it. The fact
is, Mr. Riel, I do not recognize your government
as having any right or authority to make
appointments like this. I am already a justice
of the peace by the Queen's appointment through
the Hudson's Bay Company, and so do not desire
to keep this document, which has to me no
Riel seemed rather nettled, but brushed the
paper aside with a " Very well, please yourself!"
and then began to talk on other matters.
Amongst other things, he said: " We had a
Council meeting last night, and were talking
about the soldiers who are coming from Canada.
Poor fellows! they will have a hard time of it. se
The Making of the Canadian  West.
They will not reach here till the winter, and
we were thinking of sending a party of men
out to meet them with snowshoes." At this
stage my father remarked that this would be
needless trouble, as he thought they would be
here sooner than some people wished.    This did
not seem to improve matters much, and so
shortly afterwards a somewhat ceremonious
good-bye was said, and we drove away, the
guards with much civility turning the horse
and leading him out through the gates.
The summer wore on without much excitement, the prisoners having been all released,
and the settlers going on with their usual work, Collapse of the Rebellion.
while  all   the  time   looking eagerly  for   the
troops.    The first detachment of  these, under
Col. Wolseley (now Commander-in-Chief of the
British  army), arrived  in the district on  the
24th of August, when they came up the river
and camped near  Kildonan  on  their  way  to
the fort.    Many of the settlers went down to
see them, but once they got within the picket
lines they stayed there, much to their surprise,
all night.   Col. Wolseley, so far as he knew, was
in the enemy's country, and was not going to
run any risks from possible spies; hence every
man that came within reach was held and examined by him.  Of course, the people who were
satisfied as to their own loyalty and knew nothing of military rules were considerably incensed,
and one of the older men of the Selkirk settlers
is said to have waxed perilously near the profane   as   he   wrathfully  assured   the   gallant
Colonel that he was just as loyal as that commander himself.    Wolseley, however, remained
provokingly unmoved, and so quite a number
of the settlers remained in "corral" till  next
morning, when he moved on to Fort Garry.    I
remember the day as one of drenching rain, when
partly by boats on the river and partly by land
as mounted scouts, the soldiers proceeded to the
rebel  stronghold.     A   goodly   number of the 88 The Making of the Canadian   West.
settlers followed in their wake, expecting to see
a " clash at arms," but they were all doomed to
disappointment on that score, for when Wolse-
ley's men reached the fort they found that
Riel, O'Donoghue, Lepine and the rest had
vacated in favor of the new-comers the very
comfortable quarters they had occupied for so
many months.  Hon. A. G. Archibald.
Sir John Schultz.
Hon. Alex. Morris.
Hon. David Laird.
With the leading historical facts concerning
the formative period immediately succeeding the
first rebellion most of our readers will be more
or less familiar, but they are only the centre of
a great deal in the life that was unique and
peculiar. On taking possession of Fort Garry
Col. Wolseley very wisely refrained from assuming a military dictatorship, but called upon Mr.
Donald A. Smith to act as the administrator of
Government until the arrival and installation of
the Hon. Adams G. Archibald, the first actual
governor of the country under Canadian rule.
The interregnum was not altogether devoid of
excitement, nor were indeed many of the succeeding days commonplace or monotonously
For the maintenance of law and order a
mounted police force was organized under command of Capt. Villiers, of the Quebec Rifles,
and as  this was the first regular police force 90
The Making of the Canadian   West.
in the West, and as some of the members in
after years became prominent and wealthy men,
we give the list in full: W. F. Alloway, James
Cross, William Montgomery, Timothy Carroll,
Edwin Doidge, Elijah Ketts, George Kerr, John
Melanson, John Stevenson, Leon Hi vet, George
Nicol, H. Montgomery, Robert Power, Maxime
Villebrun, W. Miller, John Paterson, Andrew
Persy, Neil McCarthy, Michael Fox. These
policemen had no sinecure, as may easily be
imagined when the condition of things is
The soldiers, released from the struggle of
the half-military, half-voyageur life they had
led for the past few months, were more or less
disposed to take advantage of any opportunities
that offered themselves for the somewhat fast
and furious pace allowed by the codeless life of
a frontier, and as they looked with some bitterness upon the half-breed population, as on those
whose compatriots had imprisoned many and
murdered one of their countrymen, conflicts
more or less sharp were not infrequent on the
streets of the straggling village. In one case
a French half-breed, who had hot words with
some of them in a saloon, was chased by an
excited crowd to the river, and was there
drowned in efforts to escape from them, though The Making of a Province. 91
it was not likely they would have done him any
serious injury. On another occasion a huge
drummer had a pitched battle on the street with
a French half-breed of colossal size and strength,
who, however, having never been trained in the
I manly art," succumbed to the superior skill of
the new-comer.
One of the results of this latter encounter was
that the aforesaid drummer established a notoriety as a fighter, thereby coming into demand
for the stormy political meetings of that primitive time, and more than once have I seen him
alert and ready to ply his pugilism at the
signal of his political leader. Meetings of the
kind indicated were not infrequent, as nearly
every aspirant for political leadership was
accompanied on his stumping tours by a " bully"
with such help as he could gather, and I
remember once seeing a meeting pass off
peaceably, owing to the presence of the big
drummer on the one side and an equally
redoubtable champion on the other, each fearing to provoke active hostilities.
The beginnings of political life were crude
enough. Governor Archibald simply chose a
small " Cabinet " somewhat representative of
the English and French elements in the community, then a census of the new province was 92 The Making of the Canadian  West.
rapidly taken, a distribution into constituencies
was made, and the first election to the Local
Legislature held. The Province was named
Manijboba after the lake bearing that name, the
word being derived from two Indian words,
meaning together " the straits or narrows of the
Great Spirit," and though usage has placed the
accent on the third syllable, it should properly
be pronounced with the accent on the last.
As "first things" are always of interest in
later days, it might be well to say that the
census in 1870 showed a population of 11,963
in the new province—of whom 1,565 were
whites, 578 Indians, 5,757 French half-breeds,
and 4,083 English half-breeds. There were
6,247 Catholics, 5,716 Protestants, and the
nationalities of the whites were as follows: 747
born in the North-West, 294 in eastern Canada,
69 in the United States, 125 in England, 240 in
Scotland, 47 in Ireland, 15 in France, and 28 in
other countries. The first local election was
held on the 30th December, 1870, and the
following is a list of the members elected to the
first Legislative Assembly of the Province of
Manitoba, with the constituencies they represented :
Baie St. Paid  Joseph Dubuc.
Headingly John Taylor. The Making of a Province.
High Bluff  John Norquay.
Kildonan  John Sutherland.
Lake Manitoba  Angus McKay.
Poplar Point  David Spence.
Portage la Prairie      F. Bird.
St. Agathe  George Klyne.
St. Andrew's North Alfred Boyd.
St. Andrew's South  E. H. G. G. Hay.
St. Anne  J. H. McTavish.
St. Boniface East  M. A. Girard.
St. Boniface West Louis Schmidt.
St. Charles  Henry J. Clarke.
St. Clement's  Thomas Bunn.
St. Francois Xavier East . Pascal Breland.
St. Francois Xavier West. Joseph Royal.
St. James'  E. Burke.
St. Norbert North   Joseph Lemay.
St. Norbert South Pierre Delorme.
St. Paul's  Dr. C. J. Bird.
St. Peter's   Thomas Howard.
St. Vital  A. Beauehemin.
Winnipeg  Donald A. Smith.
The first regularly constituted  Government
consisted of the following members:
Hon. Henry J. Clarke, Q.C, Attorney-General.
Hon. Marc Amable Girard, Treasurer.
Hon. Thomas Howard, Secretary.
Hon. Alfred Boyd, Public Works and Agriculture. '
Hon. James McKay, without portfolio. 94
The Making of the Canadian  West.
It was some years before party politics could
be developed, and hence, during the meetings
above referred to, the questions discussed were
of a very local character, and in the end the
candidate who had the largest family connection in the neighborhood was generally elected.
For some time rebellion echoes were heard at
all the meetings, like the war issues in United
States politics, and in the English-speaking
constituencies any suspected complicity in the
misdeeds of the past and any heresy as to the
amnesty of the rebel leaders would contribute
powerfully to the overthrow of the suspected
party. These meetings were not without their
humorous side, and ofttimes somewhat peculiar
situations arose out of the unfamiliarity of the
settlers with the methods and expressions of
parliamentary debate. I recollect once when a
school-teacher had framed a motion and made a
speech as to the leniency with which we should
view those who, as mere dupes, had been drawn
into the rebellion, that the reporter gave out
that he had made a motion as to the brutes who
had gone into the rebellion. The chagrin of the
school-teacher may be imagined. I also recall
seeing a man who had occupied the chair during
a meeting leaving it in high dudgeon on a motion
to vacate, which he was not aware was made The Making of a Province.
preparatory to moving him a vote of thanks.
On another occasion one embryo statesman, who
was holding before his audience the hope of
some change in governmental methods, and who
sought to clinch his speech by the use of a
proverb, got the two sayings, "Every dog has
his day" and " It's a long lane that has no
turning" slightly mixed, and vehemently assured
the people that " It was a long dog that had no
The voting was all done openly, and hence it
was not surprising that in the older settled
districts an election threw apples of discord into
regions where formerly the inhabitants had lived
in peace and quietness, while the ties which
frequently occurred during the polling-day sent
the pulse of the community up to fever pitch.
Canvassing was of the most personal kind, and as
we then had no legislation in regard to corrupt
practices to reveal the sin, it was considered a
sign of meanness on the part of a candidate not
to provide a somewhat elaborate meal at every
committee meeting, and ample refreshments
in some house near the polling-place on election day. Riots were not altogether unknown.
and at the first election in Winnipeg wagon-
spokes were freely used, the Chief of Police was
rendered hors de combat, a printing office was 96
The Making of the Canadian  West.
wrecked,  and finally the  military  had  to be
called out to overawe the noisy multitude.
When the first legislature met, it could not
reasonably be expected that the same dignity
and decorum, the same acquaintance with parliamentary methods or the same breadth of
statesmanship would be manifested as in older
lands. The appearance of the early House was
peculiar and characteristic of a transition stage.
I recall seeing in the old legislative chamber
men clothed in the faultless Prince Albert black
beside men in a curious compound of the old
and the new, having the long curled hair of
raven hue, wearing the moccasins to which they
had always been accustomed and which certainly had the advantage of silence over creaky
boots; coats open, displaying the colored flannel
shirt without a collar, and across the waist,
picturesquely slashed, the French belt or sash
commonly worn on the prairies. The literary
education of some of these men had been of the
scantiest, and when one day a member sent a
note across the floor asking a member of the
Government to move the House into a " com-
mitty of the hole," it was taken jocularly as a
deep-laid plot to entrap the Executive unawares.
In a case under my own observation .a newly-
elected member, whose sudden elevation had The Making of a Province.
induced the too free use of stimulants, was
making himself so obnoxious that he had to
be sharply called to order by the Speaker with
threats of expulsion from the precincts. The
member, unabashed, told the Speaker, in effect,
that he ought to remember the primitive condition of things in the country; and desiring
to impress the Speaker with the fact that
though he (the member) was not a finished
statesman, he wTas fairly representative of, if
not superior to, his constituents in attainments,
said : " You may think I am a fool, Mr. Speaker,
but I am not such a fool as the people who sent
me here;" in which saying the member builded
better than he knew, and aptly described what
has been witnessed frequently enough in political
That early House, too, had, in the person of a
member of great avoirdupois, an inveterate
joker, who, being something of an artist, used to
sketch his fellow-members in their various
attitudes and confront them with the pictures
that they might see themselves as others
saw them. Notwithstanding these peculiarities
much solid work was done and many a thrilling
speech made. The foundations were laid in
much good legislation, and special attention
was given to the religious, educational and
7 The Making of the Canadian   West.
benevolent projects of the time. Back there
the enactments that gave rise to the famous
School Question were passed, though it is no
secret now that the House had no intention of
committing the young province to the dual
system of schools abolished by the famous
statutes of 1890. Proceedings were conducted
in the Legislature, the courts, etc., in both
English and French for many years, and one of
the most impassioned and eloquent speeches of
the time was made by a Frenchman on behalf
of retaining his mother tongue in public and
official use; albeit that same speech was made
in English, and the absurdity of wasting time
and money in using two languages in a British
country, where all who took an intelligent interest in affairs spoke English, soon became
apparent. Moreover, it was found that while
the appropriation was duly made, there were
cases in which the French printing of the proceedings was not done for years after the sessions
of the House. There was, too, a somewhat ridiculous side to the matter. Speeches from the
throne were always read in both languages.
Some of the governors could read in both;
others, who only read English, had the good
'sense to hand the speech for reading to the
French clerk; but when English-speaking gov- The Making of a Province.
ernors, for fear of shattering the Constitution,
persisted in reading the French speech with
English pronunciation, the effect was so distressing that the French themselves were doubtless
glad when their beautiful language could no
longer be mangled so heartlessly before the
Changes other than the abolition of the dual
language system were also made at an early
date. " Dualities " have had a hard time in the
West, for shortly after the beginning of our history dual representation in local and Dominion
Houses had to succumb. Next in order the
" Upper House " was forced to go.
The Legislative Council (as our " Upper
House " was called) had come into existence on
the 10th March, 1871, and was composed of the
following gentlemen appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council: Hons. Donald Gunn,
Francois Dauphinais, Solomon Hamelin, Colin
Inkster, Dr. J. H. O'Donnell, Francis Ogletree
and James McKay, the latter being Speaker
of the House. This institution, intended, I
suppose, as " a check on hasty legislation," was
not easily annihilated, for the members in full
enjoyment of its titles and emoluments were
not likely to approve any bill for their own
decapitation; but after some new appointments 100
The Making of the Canadian  West.
the body finally lapsed out of existence by the
casting vote of the Speaker. It was only by
degrees that the party element came into
western politics. The natives of the country
had no hereditary tendencies in that direction,
but gradually the presence of Federal differences began to be felt in local circles, and under
that pressure men were soon found arrayed in
opposing lines of battle. Amongst the politicians
of the early years were many who had won
their spurs in the older provinces, and whose
names will be in memory there; but of those
indigenous to the soil of Manitoba were several
who  took  a prominent   part  in  shaping the The Making of a Province.
destinies of their native land, and around these
more especially interest for our present purpose
In this number by far the most prominent
and powerful figure was that of John Norquay,
a man who made his influence felt far beyond
provincial bounds. He was what was called a
Scotch half-breed, uniting in himself the strain
of the Orkneys with a mixture of Indian blood
which he was always proud to own. He was
educated wholly at the Anglican school and
college at~St. John's, through the benevolence
of the Church, became a school-teacher in early
life, and at the first local election became a
member of the Local Legislature, and so remained till his death in 1891. For some seventeen years he was a member of the Government,
and during nearly all that time he was First
Minister of his native province. Physically, he
was a man of tremendous size and strength,
standing some six feet three in height, and
broad and strong in proportion. As an indication of his physique, I recall seeing him at a
political meeting, when a fight was imminent,
thrust himself between the combatants, who
found themselves as much apart as if a rock
had dropped between them. He must have
been a diligent student to secure the complete 102        The Making of the Canadian   West.
mastery of English he manifested in his public
addresses, as well as the thorough acquaintance
with public questions that gave his speeches
authority. As a speaker he was at his best.
He had a Voice of clear and resonant force, and
a fluency which carried everything before it
without degenerating into wordiness, while his
vocabulary was that of one who had gained it
by wide reading and keen study. I heard him
speak on almost every kind of theme, on a great
variety of platforms, and never knew him to
disappoint the expectations of his listeners.
Wherever he spoke in the native parishes he
would naturally have a specially sympathetic
audience; but as an example of his influence
on other audiences, I remember hearing him
speak with great effect in an immense hall
in St. Paul, Minnesota, on the occasion of a
concert given there during an ice carnival
by the St. George's Snowshoe Club, of Winnipeg. He was on his way home from
Ottawa to Winnipeg when we secured him
at St. Paul, knowing that his presence would
redeem our concert from possible failure. The
gathering of several thousands was representative of many parts of the United States, that
nation of public speakers, and they looked with
somewhat critical gaze upon our burly Premier HON._JOHN  NORQUAY.  The Making of a Province.
when he wa£ introduced as an extra on the
programme. He had no special text given him,
but dwelt chiefly upon the friendly relations
and close connection which had always subsisted
between the Red River colonists and the cities
of the western States, whence he passed to the
wider questions of international fellowship,
evoking rounds of applause by the rolling
periods of his eloquence.
In his home life, John Norquay was a lovable man, and I have more than once seen him
lay aside the cares of state and play like a
school-boy with his children, who clambered
delightedly upon his stalwart person. His
tenure of political power closed in 1889, when,
weakened from without by conflicts with the
Federal authorities on questions of provincial
rights as to railway advantages and other
matters, and from within by the overcrowding of government departments by men to
whom he was too good-natured to say "no,"
he resigned the premiership into the charge
of Dr. Harrison, who shortly afterwards
met defeat at the hands of the Greenway-
Martin forces. At the next session, Mr. Norquay returned to the House as leader of a
" corporal's guard " in Opposition. His speech
in self-defence, as he stood almost alone like 104
The Making of the Canadian West.
a wounded stag at bay, remains as the one
passage of genuine and lofty eloquence that has
echoed in the halls of our Legislature. In that
speech he reviewed his long tenure of office,
without claiming infallibility, but showing how,
with abundant opportunity for enriching himself, he had surrendered in comparative poverty
the seals of office, and declaring how he was
satisfied in being able to hand down an unsullied name to his children. During the delivery
of his speech a member thoughtlessly taunted
him with his Indian blood, and few will forget
the thrillingly dramatic effect of Mr. Norquay's
action as he threw up his hand to reveal the
dark skin of which he said he was proud, and
how he sent back with stunning force a rebuke
for the unhappy sneer.
Not many months after that Mr. Norquay
died of a sudden inflammation. The recollection is yet vivid of how the news sped to
the startled hearts of the people, and of the
way in which, regardless of party, they united
in mourning for one who had done signal
service to the Province in which he was born.
The Greenway Government gave him a state
funeral, and friends all over Canada contributed to the erection of the handsome monument which stands  over  his  dust  in the old The Making of a Province. 105
graveyard at St. John's. No claim is made by
anyone that he was a faultless man, nor even
that he could have taken the highest place in
the highest sphere, but considering his opportunities and the lateness of the hour in his life
when he came, without any experience whatsoever, into the new career of politics, John
Norquay's name stands as that of one of the
most remarkable men we have yet seen in
Beside Mr. Norquay for some years in public
life stood another of the native-born, the Hon.
A. M. Sutherland, a brother of the young man
who was shot by one of Riel's spies during the
first rebellion, as already recorded. One of my
first recollections of Sutherland goes back to a
day at the Kildonan school in 1870, when a boy
came over to the icy play-ground and said,
" Aleck Sutherland has come to attend school."
When the bell rang and the school assembled
we saw, with the admiring gaze of small boys,
a powerfully built, broad-shouldered, athletic
and handsome man, who had come back to
school after years of absence with the view
of receiving higher education and going on to
the legal profession. And so in that school, in
Manitoba College and in Toronto University he
pursued his studies to graduation, and in due The Making of the Canadian  West.
time was admitted to the practice of law in
Winnipeg. During his law studies he ran for
the Local Legislature in Kildonan, his birthplace, was elected and re-elected, holding the
seat till his death in 1884, and in the meantime
occupying the posts of Attorney-General and
Provincial Secretary with marked success. His
most outstanding characteristic was a manly
straightforwardness which made him a universal
favorite, a fair, if forcible opponent, and a factor
in a political contest that no one could ignore.
His untimely death cut short what would doubtless have been a notable career, and the letters
from all quarters that poured in upon his sorrowing parents, to the size of a small volume,
were an index of the esteem in which he was
held far and wide.
At the time of the death of Mr. Sutherland,
John MacBeth, an almost inseparable personal
friend, held the position of Clerk of the Executive Council, which he unselfishly resigned at
the call of his leader, Mr. Norquay, to contest
the constituency of Kildonan, he being also a
native of that parish. He was elected for the
unexpired term, and returned again at the
following election, holding the seat till a redistribution took place, when he, with equal loyalty
and    unselfishness,   retired   in   favor  of   Mr. The Making of a Province. 107
Norquay, who contested the new division. His
warmth of heart completely disarmed the personal enmity of his bitterest political opponents,
so that when the news of his death, which took
place in October, 1897, reached Manitoba, there
were found amongst his most sincere mourners
many to whom he had stood diametrically
opposed on many a hotly contested political
In the history of every country there are
found the names of some who have apparently
taken but a small part in public affairs, and are
soon forgotten in the rush of events, but who,
nevertheless, formed an important link in the
chain of the country's progress; and as I look
back over the death-roll of Manitoba, the somewhat obscure name of F. H. Francis appears as
one occupying this unique place. Mr. Francis
was an Englishman by birth, an educated and
cultured man, and a fluent speaker as far as
delicate health permitted. When Mr. Norquay
resigned the premiership in favor of his
colleague, Dr. Harrison, the latter took into his
Cabinet as representative of the French element,
Mr. Burk, a merchant at St. Charles, who
offered himself for re-election in the constituency of St. Francois Xavier. To oppose him
with all the Government prestige and patronage The Making of the Canadian  West.
at his back seemed a forlorn hope, but the then
Opposition persuaded Mr. Francis to make the
effort. It was in Mr. Francis' favor that he was
equally at home in speaking English or French,
and that as a merchant within the constituency
he personally knew nearly all the electors.   It is
HON.   F.   H.   FRANCIS.
almost certain that he was the only man at that
time who could gain sufficient support from the
different elements to defeat Mr. Burk, as he did,
to the great surprise of the Government.
By that defeat the Harrison Government was
overturned, the present Greenway administration took office, and ere long the famous school The Making of a Province.
question, which changed the political face of
all Canada, came into being. I have had many
conversations with people who took part in that
election, but there seems to be a great divergence of opinion as to what actually took place
in regard to this special matter. It appears
certain that for some reason or other the
Harrison party assured the electors that if the
Greenway party succeeded the French Roman
Catholic Separate Schools would be abolished,
and as to what the Greenway party said in reply
there is remarkable lack of unanimity. What
really took place during the election is matter
of controversy, but not many days elapsed
thereafter before Mr. Joseph Martin, the
Attorney-General in the new administration,
announced the intention of the Government
to abolish Separate Schools and inaugurate
a national system, which was accordingly done
by the now famous Act of 1890. The St.
Francois Xavier election, which was won by
Mr. Francis, was the pivotal point in the whole
matter. ^&;
Another of Mr. Francis's achievements was
the building of the Deaf and Dumb Institute,
now one of the best equipped institutions in
the Province. At an early stage in the session
he secured a commission to take a census of The Making of the Canadian  West.
the deaf and dumb in the Province, and thereafter, even at his own expense, secured rooms
and a teacher, but lived to see this work for
the unfortunate on which he had set his heart
an accomplished and successful fact. And so
with only a few months of political life, for
which he had no special love, Mr. Francis was
able to bring about changes with results of
extraordinarily far-reaching character. Other
names of those who took part in the formative
period of our history readily occur, but of these
I have little personal reminiscence, while any
detailed sketches of our living statesmen on
both sides of politics are omitted for obvious
reasons. The Making of a Province.
Amongst the Dominion statesmen who have
gone from us the name of the late Sir John
Schultz survives with the foremost by reason of
his commanding ability and his close connection
with the. most stirring events of our history.
What we have already written in regard to him
will give some idea of his striking appearance,
his loyalty, his indomitable will and courage.
But we would be giving an imperfect portrait
of him did we not cause him to stand out in the
memory of the country he loved as a man of
culture and refinement as well as of courage and
strength. As a public speaker he excelled by
reason of his perfect coolness, his musical, well-
modulated voice, his choice language and clearheaded statesmanship. As a member of the
House of Commons he exerted great influence
on all legislation affecting this country, and did
much to direct the attention of Canada to the
great domain now being opened up in the far
North-West. The knighthood conferred upon
him was a fitting recognition of the perils and
sufferings he had undergone in the country's service, to the complete ruin of a once splendid
constitution. While Lieutenant-Governor of
Manitoba he did signal service in the way of
inculcating lessons of patriotism amongst the
school children of the Province, as well as by
throwing the full weight of his influence on the The Making of the Canadian West.
side of temperance and other moral reforms.
In private life he was courtly and graceful,
considerate of the comfort and feelings of those
he met, and from an abundant store of information always a ready and interesting conversationalist. From intimate intercourse with him
in the closing years of his life I was given to
feel that he was realizing to the full the earnestness of life with all its opportunities, and the
solemnity of being called upon to exert an
influence on one's day and generation.
Back somewhat farther in the history of the
West we find the name of the late Hon. James
McKay, of Silver Heights, as one who, in the
interests of Canada, wielded a marked influence
on the country when it was passing from the
old to the new. He was what we call a Scotch
half-breed, his father a Scotchman who had
taken a share in one of the Sir John Franklin
expeditions, and his mother having the blood
of the French and the Cree in her veins. As I
remember James McKay, in the last decade of
his life, he was a man of immense size and
weight, but his width of shoulder and general
strength were so extraordinary that he seemed
to carry himself lightly enough. From early
custom on the plains he always wore moccasins,
and I have seen somewhere a note by a traveller
who met him in the corridor of a hotel, and The Making of a Province.
who could not help contrasting the soft footfall
of the magnificently massive man with the
noisy step of some fussy little body who passed
with creaking boots at the same time. McKay
was a member of some of the early Cabinets,
and afterwards Speaker of the Legislative
Council in Manitoba, but his contribution to the
national history was not made so much in legislative halls as out on his native prairies in
connection with the treaties arranged between
the Government and the Indians all over the
West. He knew the Indians and they knew
him, hence he became a medium of communication, ensuring the conclusion of treaties wise,
humane and lasting. The Dominion will never
wholly realize how much of the comparative
peace she has enjoyed on the vast plains of the
West she owes to the statesmanship of Governors Morris and Laird, aided by such men as
James McKay, the Revs. John McKay, George
McDougall, Father Lacombe, and others whom
the Indians loved and trusted. The last time I
recall seeing James McKay was during Lord
Dufferin's visit to this country in 1877, when in
Deer Park, near his own place, McKay was
master of ceremonies in a reception to the
Governor-General which took the form of a
wild-west entertainment.    McKay had a buffalo 114
The Making of the Canadian West.
herd there, with broncho-breakers from the
frontier, and as the massive man drove his
famous cream horse here and there to regulate
matters, the Governor-General perhaps realized
the peculiar value of having such men to stand
between the old life  and the new—a fact to
which he made reference afterwards in many a
public address. Through the action of a limited
number of them, many people think of the
name " half-breed" only in connection with
western rebellions, whereas the real history
shows that the presence of men with Indian
blood in their veins has been a most important
factor in the peaceful making of the West into
a part of Canada. CHAPTER VIII.
From the earliest times the question of communication with the outside world had been a
burning problem. The first settlers, who had
begun their isolation by failing to hear of
Waterloo for long months after that famous
battle took place, had become more or less
reconciled to living "far from the madding
crowd's ignoble strife." These pioneers grew
content with the bi-annual trip to York Factory
for merchandise and mail, and with the commerce
and communication that percolated through the
western States. They were not quite so solitary
as the Hudson's Bay Company's officer at a
remote point, who received his copies of the
London Times once a year with the annual
packet, and who began always at the farthest
back number and read right through to get
abreast of events, though even then he left off
about a year behind. But while the condition
115 116
The Making of the Canadian  West.
of the first settlers was, soon after their arrival,
a little better than his, it was not wholly
satisfactory to the growing colony on the Red
River, and especially was it unsatisfactory to
those who in the sixties began to come more
rapidly into the settlement. Hence, as soon as
the rebellion had quieted down, people began
to look around for inlets for population and
merchandise and outlets for produce. The old
steamboat, flat-bottomed and stern-wheeled, was
one of the prized institutions of the time. It
ran from near the " head waters " in the western
States down the Red River to Fort Garry, and
on rare occasions down past the lower settlement
to Lower Fort Garry. These latter occasions
were red-letter days for the community: schools
were dismissed while the boat was passing, and
grown-up people gathered on the banks, greeting her with shotgun salutes, and eliciting
responses from the boat whistle, to the half-
terror, half-delight of the children. When
merchants began to open stores in some numbers on the present site of Winnipeg, the
advent of " the first boat" after the long winter
was the goal to which the hopes and the longings of people most turned. The merchant of
to-day who has "just sold out," but assures the
customer that he has seme of the desired goods Contact with the Outside  World.
"on the way," is distinctly of the same genus
as the ancient and veracious merchants of
Winnipeg, who invariably asserted concerning
everything that they did not have on hand,
that " it would be in on the first boat." Some
mathematical genius, who perhaps desired to
keep his mind engaged in arithmetical gymnastics during the long winter, made much
inquiry for goods, keeping note of the stereotyped reply, and towards spring gave in miles
what he considered the dimensions of " the first
boat" would be if the promises of the merchants
had any tangible foundation.
One of the first indications we had of swifter
communication with the outside world was the
erection of telegraph poles and lines across our
farms in the early seventies. The proceedings
Were more or less shrouded with that mystery
and occultness which provokes the inquiry of
boys; and like the man who, seeing the electric
light for the first time, wondered "how they
could get such light from a hairpin in a bottle,"
we used to wonder how men sent messages on
those wires twisted round a "bottle" at intervals.
We tried to examine as far as possible, and
although warned as to the danger of meddling
with the strange machinery, some boy of sure
eye and hand would knock one of the " bottles " 118
The Making of the Canadian  West.
off occasionally; but it refused to yield up the
secret of telegraphy, and replacing it, we would
take our seats upon the fence and watch whether
any of the daring birds that took their places
on the wires would be " shot" by the passing
By degrees railroads pushed their way westward through the States to the boundary line,
and the Pembina branch of the Canadian Pacific
Railway was built to connect with Winnipeg in
1878. The first spikes in this road were driven
in September, 1877, by the Governor-General
and the Countess of Dufferin, whose visit in that
year to the North-West marks a new era in the Contact with the Outside  World. 119
history of the country. They came by way of
Toronto, Chicago and St. Paul, taking the last
stage of the journey from Fisher's Landing to
Fort Garry on the steamer Minnesota. They
were received with unbounded enthusiasm in
the new West, and there, as elsewhere, the tactful
Governor-General did much to oil the machinery
of Confederation and remove particles likely to
cause friction. They had many unique experiences during their tour and their camping out,
amongst them being shooting the Grand Rapids
above Lake Winnipeg in a York boat, and
riding in a Red River cart drawn by thirty
garlanded oxen at Stony Mountain. The
speech given by Lord Dufferin at a dinner in
Winnipeg, before returning east, has always
been regarded as one of the best immigration
agencies the West has had, and we give a portion of it as bearing on the subject in hand. On
rising Lord Dufferin said :
" Mr. Mayor, Your Honor, Ladies and Gentlemen :
" In rising to express my acknowledgments to the
citizens of Winnipeg for thus crowning the friendly
reception I have received throughout the length and
breadth of Manitoba by so noble an entertainment,
I am painfully impressed by the consideration of the
many respects in which my thanks are due to you The Making of the Canadian  West.
and to so many other persons in the Province. From
our first landing on your quays until the present
moment, my progress through the country has been
one continual deHght, nor has the slightest hitch or
incongruous incident marred the satisfaction of my
visit. I have to thank you for the hospitalities I
have enjoyed at the hands of your individual citizens,
as well as of individual communities —for the tasteful
and ingenious decorations which adorned my route
—for the quarter of a mile of evenly-yoked oxen
that drew our triumphal car—for the universal proofs
of your loyalty to the throne and to the Mother
Country, and for your personal good-will to Her
Majesty's representative. Above all, I have to thank
you for the evidences produced on either hand along
our march of your prosperous condition, of your perfect contentment, of your confidence in your future
homes ; for I need not tell you that to anyone in
my situation, smiling cornfields, cosy homesteads, the
joyful faces of prosperous men and women, and the
laughter of healthy children are the best of all
triumphal adornments.
" But there are other things for which I ought to
be obHged to you; and first, for the beautiful weather
you have taken the precaution to provide us with
during some six weeks of perpetual camping out,
for which attention I have received Lady Dufferin's
especial orders to render you her personal thanks—
an attention which the phenomenon of a casual
waterspout enabled us only the better to appreciate; Contact with the Outside  World.
and lastly, though certainly not least, for not having
generated amongst you that fearful entity, ' a Pacific
Railway question •—at all events not in those dire
and tragic proportions in which I have encountered
it elsewhere. Of course, I know a certain phase of
the railway question is agitating even this community, but it has assumed the mild character of a
domestic rather than an inter-provincial controversy.
Two distinguished members, moreover, of my government have been lately amongst you, and have doubtless acquainted themselves with your views and
wishes. It is not necessary, therefore, that I should
mar the hilarious character of the present festival by
any untimely allusions to so grave a matter.
I Well, then, ladies and gentlemen, what am I to
say and do to you in return for all the pleasure and
satisfaction I have received at your hands 1 I fear
there is very little that I can say, and scarcely anything that I can do commensurate with my obligations. Stay! There is one thing, I think, I have
already done for which I am entitled to claim your
thanks. You are doubtless aware that a great political controversy has for some time raged between the
two great parties of the State as to which of them is
responsible for the visitation of that terror of two
continentswthe Colorado bug. The one side is disposed to assert that if their opponents had never
acceded to power the Colorado bug would never
have come to Canada. I have reason to believe,
however, though I know not whether any substantial 122
The Making of the Canadian  West.
evidence has been adduced in support of this assertion, that my government deny and repudiate-having
any sort of concert or understanding with that irresponsible invader. It would be highly unconstitutional if I, who am bound to hold an impartial
balance between the contending parties of the State,
were to pronounce an opinion upon this momentous
question. But, however disputable a point may be
the prime and original authorship of the Colorado
bug, there is one fact no one will question, namely,
that to the presence of the Governor-General in
Manitoba is to be attributed the sudden, total, otherwise unaccountable, and, I trust, permanent disappearance, not only from this province, but from the
whole North-West, of the infamous and unmentionable ' hopper,' whose visitations in the past have
proved so distressing to the agricultural interests of
the entire region.
" But apart from being the fortunate instrument
of conferring this benefit upon you, I fear the only
further return in my power is to assure you of my
great sympathy with you in your endeavors to do
justice to the material advantages with which your
Province has been so richly endowed by the hand of
Providence. From its geographical position and its
peculiar characteristics, Manitoba may be regarded
as the keystone of that mighty arch of sister provinces which spans the continent from the Atlantic
to the Pacific. It was here that Canada, emerging
from  her woods and  forests, first  gazed  upon her Contact with the Outside World. 123
rolling prairies and unexplored North-West, and
learned, as by an unexpected revelation, that her
historical territories of the Canadas, her eastern
seaboards of New Brunswick, Labrador and Nova
Scotia, her Laurentian lakes and valleys, lowlands
and pastures, though themselves more extensive than
half a dozen European kingdoms, were but the vestibules and ante-chambers to that till then undreamedof Dominion, whose illimitable dimensions confound
the arithmetic of the surveyors and the verification
of the explorer. It was hence that, counting her
past achievements as but the preface and prelude to
her future exertions and expanding destinies, she
took a new departure, received the afflatus of a more
important inspiration, and felt herself no longer a
mere settler along the banks of a single river, but
the owner of half a continent, and in the magnitude
of her possession, in the wealth of her. resources, in
the sinews of her material might, the peer of any
power on earth. In a recent remarkably witty speech
the Marquis of Salisbury alluded to the geographical
misconceptions of ten engendered by the smallness of
the maps upon which the figure of the world is
depicted. To this cause is probably to be attributed
the inadequate opinion of well-educated persons of the
extent of Her Majesty's North American possessions.
Perhaps the best way of correcting such a universal
misapprehension would be by a summary of the
rivers which flow through them, for we know that as
a poor man cannot afford to live in a big house, so a 124        The Making  of the Canadian West.
small country cannot support a big river. Now, to
an Englishman or a Frenchman, the Severn or the
Thames, the Seine or the Rhone would appear considerable streams, but in the Ottawa, a mere affluent
of the St. Lawrence—an affluent, moreover, which
reaches the parent stream six hundred miles from its
mouth—we have a river nearly five hundred and fifty
miles long, and three or four times as big as any of
them. But even after having ascended the St. Lawrence itself to Lake Ontario, and pursued it across
lakes Erie, St. Clair, Huron and Superior to Thunder
Bay, a distance of one thousand five hundred miles,
where are we 1 In the estimation of the person who
has made the journey, at the end of all things; but
to us, who know better, scarcely at the commencement of the great fluvial system of the Dominion,
for from that spot, that is to say, from Thunder Bay,
we are at once able to ship our astonished traveller
on to the Kaministiquia, a river some hundred
miles long. Thence, almost in a straight line, we
launch him upon Lake Shebandowan and Rainy
Lake and River, a magnificent stream three hundred
yards broad and a couple of hundred miles long,
down whose tranquil bosom he floats into the Lake
of the Woods, where he finds himself on a sheet of
water which, though diminutive as compared with
the inland seas he has left behind him, will probably
be found sufficiently extensive to make him fearfully
sea-sick during his passage across it. For the last
eighty miles, however, he will be consoled by sailing Contact with the Outside World.
through a succession of land-locked channels, the
beauty of whose scenery, while it resembles, certainly
excels the far-famed Thousand Islands of the St.
Lawrence. From this lacustrine paradise of sylvan
beauty we are able at once to transfer our friend to
the Winnipeg, a river whose existence in the very
heart and centre of the continent is in itself one of
nature's most delightful miracles, so beautiful and
varied are its rocky banks, its tufted islands; so
broad, so deep, so fervid is the volume of its waters,
the extent of their lake-like expansions, and the
tremendous power of their rapids. At last, let us
suppose we have landed our protege at the town of
Winnipeg, the half-way house of the continent, the
capital of the Prairie Province, and, I trust, the
future ' umbilicus' of the Dominion. Having now
had so much of water, having now reached the home
of the buffalo, like Falstaff he naturally ' babbles of
green fields' and careers in imagination over the
primeval grasses of the prairie. Not at all. Escorted
by Mr. Mayor and the Town Council we take him
down to your quay, and ask him which he will
ascend first, the Red River or the Assiniboine—two
streams, the one five hundred miles long, the other
four hundred and eighty, which so happily mingle
their waters within your city limits. After having
given him a preliminary canter on these respective
rivers, we take him off to Lake Winnipeg, an inland
sea three hundred miles long and upwards of sixty
broad, during the navigation of which for many a 126
The Making of the Canadian  West.
weary hour he will find himself out of sight of land,
and probably a good deal more indisposed than ever
he was on the Lake of the Woods or even the
Atlantic. At the north-west angle of Lake Winnipeg he hits upon the mouth of the Saskatchewan,
the gateway to the North-West, and the starting point
to another one thousand five hundred miles of navigable water flowing nearly due east and west between
its alluvial banks. Having now reached the Rocky
Mountains, our * ancient mariner,' for by this time
he will be quite entitled to such an appellation,
knowing that water cannot run up hill, feels certain
his aquatic experiences are concluded. He was never
more mistaken. We immediately launch him upon
the Athabasca and Mackenzie rivers, and start him
on a longer trip than he has yet ever taken, the navigation of the Mackenzie River alone exceeding two
thousand five hundred miles. If he survives this
last experience, we wind up his peregrinations by
a concluding voyage down the Fraser River, or,
if he prefers it, the Thompson River, to the coast;
whence, having provided him with a first-class ticket
for that purpose, he will probably prefer getting
home by the Canadian Pacific.
" Now, in this enumeration, those who are
acquainted with the country know that, for the sake
of brevity, I have omitted thousands of miles of
other lakes and rivers which water various regions
of the North-West, the Qu'Appelle River, Belly River,
Lake Manitoba, the Winnipegosis, Shoal Lake, etc., Contact with the Outside World.
along which I might have dragged, and finally exterminated, our way-worn guest. But the sketch I have
given is more than sufficient for my purpose; and
when it is further remembered that the most of these
streams flow for their entire length through alluvial
plains of the richest description, where year after
year wheat can be raised without manure, or any
sensible diminution in its yield, and where the soil
everywhere presents the appearance of a highly
cultivated suburban kitchen-garden in England,
enough has been said to display the agricultural
richness of the territories I have referred to, and the
capabilities they possess of affording happy and prosperous homes to millions of the human race."
After referring to the many different nationalities composing the population of the West, to
the problems yet to arise, and dwelling eloquently upon the future destiny of the Dominion,
Lord Dufferin closed a great speech by expressing the hope that the finances of the country
would soon provide for the West a railway to
carry out the surplus produce, " which," said he,
"my own eyes have seen imprisoned in your
storehouses for want of the means of transport."
The Governor-General's hope in this regard soon
found fruition.
This was the decade when efforts were made
to   construct  a  transcontinental  line  through 1 28        The Making of the Canadian  West.
Canadian territory by utilizing " the magnificent
water stretches," of which the Governor-General
had spoken so eloquently, and hence eastward
from Winnipeg beginnings were made somewhat
to the bewilderment of the old settlers, through
whose growing crops the roadway of the iron
horse was relentlessly pushed. The Federal
Government of the day felt inclined to cross the
Red River about twenty-two miles north of
Winnipeg, where the picturesque town of Selkirk
now stands at the head of Lake Winnipeg navigation, but to that course it was objected that
crossing at Selkirk would ignore the growing
centre at Winnipeg, would miss the fertile plains
just west of that city, as well as necessitate the
great expense of construction over certain districts north-west of Selkirk, where morasses
alleged to be bottomless existed. However that
might be, the fact is that Winnipeg eventually
drew the main line of the great railway through
her borders. Not many of us have found common
ground on all points with Mr. Debs, but most
of us will agree with him in preferring Government ownership of railroads to railroad ownership of Governments; and yet in the light of the
history of the time* we know that it was not
till the Canadian Pacific Railway had passed
out of the immediate control of the Government Contact with the Outside  World.
into the hands of a company that its construction
and operation became a success. That may be to
the discredit of the Government and to the credit
of the company, as the case may be, but I am
now simply stating the fact. It is true that the
company received from the country an enormous
bonus in money and lands, but it should not be
forgotten that they faced enormous difficulty in
attempting to build a road, offering the most
amazing engineering problems, across a vast
area of country at that time only partially
settled, and a great part of which will, so far
as we see, remain unsettled and non-producing
for all time. It was, perhaps, fortunate that
most of the Canadian directorate hailed from
the land of the saying, " a stout heart to a stey
brae," and few who know the way in which
these men pledged their private fortunes and
hazarded their business reputations will grudge
the joy that must have been theirs when one of
the most distinguished of their number, Sir
Donald A. Smith, at Craig Ellachie, in 1885,
drove the last spike in the band uniting oceans
which lave the opposite shores of Canada. In
fact, one cannot read the name of the place
amidst the great mountain ranges where that
notable act was done without thinking of the
legends of Highland seers concerning the " grey
9 130       The Making of the Canadian West.
frontlet of rock" which stood in the glen of
Strathspey, and from whose summit the scattered firs and wind-swept heather in war time
whispered ta the clansmen, "Stand fast," for
only by the most determined steadfastness could
men have completed the task of which we have
just spoken.
It was for some time quite fashionable to
denounce the rapid construction of the C.P.R. as
conducing to the scattering of population westward, and to say that the road should have been
built by easy stages, and settlement consolidated
in lateral directions. Apart from the fact that
such a process would have been oblivious of the
conditions upon which British Columbia entered
Confederation, there was only a modicum of
truth in the assertion that slower construction
of the railway would have consolidated settlement, as early settlers who witnessed the movement of population can testify. There seems
always to have been a westward moving
instinct in humanity, and under its influence
men have, from the beginning, been crowding
towards the setting sun. In the West, long
before a railway was dreamed of, I saw my
own kith and kin leave the Red River colony
to travel, amidst great difficulty, with cart-
trains, five hundred miles north-westward and Contact with the Outside  World.
form a settlement there. Those who were in
the country at the time know that during the
construction of the C. P. R. emigrants left its
trains at the various termini, and, loading their
effects on " prairie schooners," pushed on, leaving
good land unoccupied to the right hand and to
the left.
For several years the Canadian Pacific Railway was the only railroad traversing the
prairies west of Winnipeg. Then the Portage, Westbourne and North-Western (now the
Manitoba and North-Western) Railway branched
off from the Canadian Bacific Railway at Portage la Prairie, and took its way over the northwestern part of the Province, heading for Prince
Albert on the North Saskatchewan. From this
road, in turn, there was built last year, beginning at Gladstone, the Lake Dauphin Railway,
which strikes northward to the fertile areas in
the direction of Lake Dauphin and Lake Win-
nipegosis, and which may become a route to the
northern seaboard. Down through the beautiful districts of south-western Manitoba two
lines of railway run from Winnipeg, tapping
one of the richest grain districts of the West,
also the soft coal deposits of the Estevan region;
while north and north-westward short branches
run to Stonewall and Selkirk.    From the south The Making of the Canadian  West.
the Northern Pacific Railway (the first to enter
the field as a rival of the Canadian Pacific Railway) and the Great Northern Railway enter
through the States, and over the road of the
former the Grand Trunk Railway, eager for
its share of western trade, is now running
special colonist trains into Winnipeg. The
Northern Pacific has also pushed westward,
by two branches from Winnipeg, to Brandon
and Portage la Prairie respectively. From
Chater, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, the
North-West Central Railway goes northward
to Hamiota. Away out on its line towards the
coast the Canadian Pacific Railway sends out
offshoots in many directions. From Brandon
a line runs south into the Souris district; from
Regina a line goes to Prince Albert; from
Calgary one strikes north-westward through
the Red Deer country to Edmonton. Southward
from the great transcontinental road a branch
runs from Medicine Hat to the coal mines at
Lethbridge, and from Calgary through the vast
ranching country to Fort Macleod; while out in
the rich mining districts of British Columbia
branches tap every centre of any importance.
For a long time the question of railway communication from the west to the east and south
was a burning one in our politics, and as one Contact with the Outside World. 133
charter after another passed by the Local
Legislature in Manitoba was disallowed by the
Dominion authorities, on the ground that the
Canadian Pacific Railway, while still struggling,
would suffer, feeling in the West rose sometimes to fever pitch. It was largely through a
fruitless fighting on behalf of Provincial rights
in this matter that the Norquay Government
fell, but since the time when, shortly after
the Greenway Administration took office, the
Northern Pacific Railway entered the Province,
we have had, as I have shown, railroads numerous enough. There are more to follow, and the
change wrought in the course of a few years
makes a marvellous contrast between the isolation of the early days and our present closeness
of contact with all the great centres on the
continent. CHAPTER IX.
Once communication with the outside world
was established, the growth of the country's life
in all lines was comparatively rapid. We say
1 comparatively " in view of its former isolation,
but there has never been what in western
phrase would be called " a stampede " of immigration towards this country as compared with
the influx of population other new lands have
sometimes received. For that reason it is
claimed that the conditions of life and work
which now obtain in the West are much more
solid and substantial than might be expected
from the age of its history, inasmuch as the
population came in so gradually that it has
been readily assimilated and made part and
parcel of the institutions of the land.
But though there has never been for any
protracted period a rush into this country, our
history is not altogether destitute of that
Premier of Manitoba.  A  " Boom " and Another Rebellion.
adjunct to the progress of all young territories
known as a "boom" time. That particular
epoch came upon the West in the fall and winter
of 1882-83. Just what began it we cannot say,
except that there was general prosperity at that
time in many parts of the world, and that
capital looking for investment found its way
to the new land whose resources were beginning
to compel attention from without.
The " boom " opened in the fall of 1882, with
the turning over of a few lots in Winnipeg, but
as they went on turning over at considerable
advance in price, men plunged wildly in, and
the young city became in a few weeks a seething sea of real estate brokers, speculators and
auctioneers. The auctioneers' rooms were a
sight to see, as some man with " the dangerous
gift of fluency " flourished a pointer with which
he indicated the choice lots on a map, and expatiated on the merits of some coming Chicago
to the men who clambered over each other in
haste to buy. Fortunes were made and lost in
a few days' time, figures became meaningless of
real value, and we have known men without
any available money make ten thousand dollars
in a single evening. Fabulous prices were paid
for all sorts of real estate, and " towns" with
the  slightest   possible   chance   for the  future 136
The Making of the Canadian  West.
commanded for their corner lots large figures,
while places long leagues from railway communication were readily sold on the off chance
of some railroad heading that way.
Great harm was done to the country by all
this " wild-cat" speculation. The people themselves got inflated ideas and extravagant habits
which they afterwards tried with disastrous
results to maintain after the means to do so
had been exhausted. The effect outside told
terribly against the country. The many in
different parts of the world who were " bitten "
turned against the West, and denounced everything connected with it as a swindle and fraud.
They themselves were to blame for the haste to
be rich that impelled them to make investments
ignorantly, but the specious accounts given
them by the " land sharks" were set down
against the country. When on a mission field
in southern Manitoba, in 1890, one of my people j
received from a lady school-teacher in Ireland
a sum of money to. pay her taxes on town lots
in a place called Pomeroy, and she asked on
what street a certain family lived, and would he
kindly send her a copy of the Pomeroy paper.
At that date, Pomeroy consisted (as it still does)
of a farm-house and a lot of surveyors' stakes on
the virgin prairie, and there was no newspaper A  " Boom " and Another Rebellion.
published within fifteen miles of it. This state
of matters was gently hinted to the Irish schoolteacher, with the result that she, like many
others similarly situated, became the reverse of
an emigration agent for Manitoba. But the
" boom " drew widespread attention to the country, and scattered people far and wide over it
westward towards the Rocky Mountains, and
north-westward along the valleys of the great
Saskatchewan. New territories with evergrowing autonomy were carved out on the
prairies, with central points such as Regina,
Calgary, Edmonton, Prince Albert, Battleford
and other now thriving communities.
When Canada first took over the great North-
West Territory, only a corner out of its vast
area had been organized into a province, and
called Manitoba; but in 1872 an Act was passed
in Ottawa providing for the government of
the unorganized territory by the Lieutenant-
Governor of Manitoba and a council appointed
by the federal authorities.
The members of this first Council, gazetted in
January, 1873, are herewith given: Hons. M. A.
Girard, Donald A. Smith,. Henry J. Clarke,
Patrice Breland, Alfred Boyd, John Schultz,
Joseph Dubuc, A. G. B. Bannatyne, William
Fraser, Robert Hamilton and William Christie. The Making of the Canadian  West.
To these were afterwards added: Hons. James
McKay, Joseph Royal, Pierre Delorme, W. R.
Bown, W. N. Kennedy, John H. McTavish and
William Tait. This Council, presided over by
Lieutenant-Governor Morris, of Manitoba, did
exceedingly important service in trying times,
and paved the way for fuller organization.
Acts were shortly afterwards passed by the
Dominion Parliament, establishing the Mounted
Police force and making rules for the regulation
of trade, notably for the suppression of liquor
selling, the Territories being put practically
under prohibition, in order to keep liquor out of
the reach of the inflammable and easily excited
Indian population. Treaties had been made
with the Indians far and wide, and such was
the fairness with which the Government treated
them, and such was the influence of the Mounted
Police, that when the Custer massacre and similar
events were taking place south of the boundary,
on the north all was peace and comparative
In 1875 an Act for the fuller organization
and government of the North-West Territories
was introduced by the Hon. Alex. Mackenzie,
and came into force in October, 1876, the Hon.
David Laird being appointed the first lieutenant-
governor, aided by a small Council consisting A " Boom" and Another Rebellion.
of Stipendiary Magistrates McLeod, Ryan, Richardson and Major Irvine (N.-W. M. P.), A. E.
Forget, Secretary of the Council; M. St. John,
Sheriff. The position of Governor Laird and
his Council was not an easy one, as the changing conditions, the disappearance of the buffalo
and other means of support, were throwing
upon the Governor the burden of caring for and
arranging about the future of almost the entire
native population of Indians and half-breeds.
Gov. Laird was succeeded in the governorship
by Hon. Edgar Dewdney, in 1881. The Territories were divided into local electoral districts, The Making of the Canadian  West.
with a legislative assembly meeting at Regina,
and into Dominion constituences, with the privilege of sending four members to the House of
Commons. The whole territory was divided
into judicial districts, with experienced and able
jurists at the head of each; and the vast domain
was becoming the prosperous home of thousands
when a second rebellion broke out in 1885, and
for a time checked the progress by disturbing
the peace of the land.
Just what gave rise to the North-West rebellion is perhaps more than anyone can definitely
say. Political gladiators have fought the question over and over again to no definite end,
and probably the great parties have their own
opinion in the matter to this day, though they
may be chary about telling all they know. It
appears certain that the French half-breeds who
were settled on the south branch of the Saskatchewan River (many of them being the same,
or of the same, families as those concerned in
the Riel rebellion of '69) were determined to
hold to the old system of long narrow farms
fronting on the river, as against the rectangular, or "square," survey proposed by the
Government, which threatened to break up the
homes they had built and overturn the old
social life fostered by contiguous residence; and A  " Boom " and Another Rebellion.
it seems also tolerably clear that many of the
settlers had been waiting an extraordinarily
long time for their land patents and scrip.
These things were sufficient to unsettle the
easily ruffled and somewhat turbulent half-
breed element, and once anything like rebellion
was contemplated, the aid of their duskier brethren all over the great plains was confidently
The local authorities seem to have been singularly oblivious of the excitement that was afoot,
and of the meetings that were being held for
the redress of the wrongs alleged. They do not
seem to have kept those at the seat of federal
government properly informed as to the true
state of matters at the scene of the discontent,
nor of the important fact that many of the
white settlers in the region sympathized with
the malcontents at the outset, though deprecating the use of any but constitutional means
for redress. But it is doubtful whether the
discontent that seethed under the. surf ace would
ever have burst into active rebellion had not
the agitators sent for Louis Riel, who since his
first escapade had been living in the United
States, and who at the time he was sent for
was engaged in the quiet work of school-teaching in  Montana.     The malcontents  felt  that, 142
The Making of the Canadian  West.
with his energetic personality at their head,
they could secure all the rights they claimed,
and so despatched a deputation asking him to
come and lead them in their struggle. The
reply of Riel was exceedingly characteristic of
the man, being a mixture of the egotist, the
mercenary and the patriot, and in June, 1884,
he accompanied the deputation back to the
North-West. The very presence of the man on
the ground should have put the local authorities
on the alert. But either the local powers were
making light of the situation, or else the pigeonholes at Ottawa were receiving unread petitions,
and so far as we can gather, we incline to the
former as the more correct opinion. Then as
anyone who knew Riel should have expected,
the inevitable sequel came. He was a man easily
excited and inordinately vain; hence, as he felt
the wine of a new movement in his system, and
became intoxicated with the success of his fiery
appeals to the meetings that assembled, he broke
out into amazing and extravagant pretensions.
He openly separated from the Church of Rome,
and such was his influence over the French half-
breeds that he drew them from allegiance to
their priests. He added David to his name,
and called himself " Louis David Riel exovede,"
in allusion to both his kingly and his priestly m
A " Boom" and Another Rebellion.
claims; he established a Government with
headquarters at Batoche, arrested whom he
pleased, plundered the stores around, and sent,
word to Major Crozier, who commanded the
Mounted Police at Fort Carlton, the nearest
post, to surrender at once. This was rushing
matters with a vengeance, and it is not surprising that, on the 19th of March, Major
Crozier, hearing of these things, sent word to
Prince Albert for help, and shortly afterwards
despatched Thomas McKay, one of the Prince
Albert volunteers, to remonstrate with Riel.
The McKay family did signal service for the
country during the rebellion, there being no less
than five brothers of them engaged in its suppression. Being natives of the country they
were thoroughly at home in camp or in saddle,
were deadly shots, had immense endurance and
unmistakable courage. One of them, George, a
canon in>the Anglican Church, accompanied our
column as chaplain and scout, and I can vouch
for it that he could fight as well as pray.
When Thomas McKay reached Riel's Council
at Batoche, he found things at white heat, and
was told by Riel that there was to be a war of
extermination during which " the two curses, the
Government and the Hudson's Bay Company,"
and all who sympathized with them, were to be The Making of the Canadian  West.
driven out of the country. " You don't know
what we are after," said Riel to McKay. " We
want blood, blood—it's blood we want." McKay,
barely escaping with his life from such a gory
atmosphere, returned to Carlton, and the next
day, in company with Mitchell, of Duck Lake,
met Nolin and Maxime Lepine (brother of
Ambroise Lepine, Riel's adjutant in '69-70), from
Riel, demanding the surrender of Fort Carlton.
This, of course, was refused, and in a few days
rebellion was rampant with a madman at its
For many weeks previous Riel had been
sending his runners amongst the Indians, and
counted on a general uprising of the tribes,
assuring them that the Government could easily
be overthrown and that the whole country
would be theirs again. We can forgive Riel for
a good many things, but to justify his incitement of the Indians to murder and rapine is
more than any reasonable person cares to
undertake. As a rule the Indians were perfectly
satisfied on the splendid reserves the Government had provided for them, were well cared
for and taught, but the savage instinct was still
strong in them, and to let them loose on defenceless homes with all the horrors of the scalping-
knife and the torture, seems to take the man ' Boom " and Another Rebellion.
who is responsible for it out of the reach of
ordinary consideration, and puts a tongue in
every wound of the massacred calling for
justice on the foul compasser of their death.
The first actual collision took place near Duck
Lake, on March 26th, when Crozier, in an effort
to secure stores from that point, met Gabriel
Dumont, the redoubtable fighter, in command of
a large force of half-breeds and Indians. A flag
of truce was displayed by Dumont's party, but
while parleying with the leaders Crozier saw
that the rebels were surrounding his force of
police and Prince Albert volunteers, and he immediately gave the order to fire. He, however,
was directly in front, and his men held the fire
of their 9-pounder on that account, though the
gallant officer told them afterwards that they
should have obeyed orders.and shot him, if need
be, with the enemy.
Firing became general, and after an hour
Crozier and his men, who had acted throughout
with the utmost coolness, were forced to retire
before superior numbers, leaving twelve dead
on the field and taking with them twenty-five
wounded. They arrived at Fort Carlton, where
they were joined two days afterwards by Col.
Irvine, with eighty police and thirty more
volunteers from plucky Prince Albert, and as
10 The Making of the Canadian  West.
there was no advantage in holding Fort Carlton, they retired from it to Prince Albert,
where the greater portion of them remained
till the close of the rebellion.
For this inaction the Mounted Police, than
whom no more gallant force exists in the world,
have been much criticised by ignorant people;
but those who know that without them the
most populous community in that part of the
West would have been at the mercy of the now
savage and excited enemy, honor the brave men
who repressed their desire to be at the front,
and loyally did less brilliant but not less
important duty in defending the otherwise
defenceless homes of the district.
Gabriel Dumont was certainly the mos't
striking figure amongst the rebels in all the
fighting which followed the battle at Duck
Lake. He was living quietly enough upon his
farm on the South Saskatchewan when the
agitation began, but from his noted prowess and
activity in the conflicts and hunts on the great
plains in former years, became at once the
acknowledged military leader of the rebel force.
He was a man of magnificent physique and
vast strength, a daring rider, a deadly shot,
and, withal, possessed of undoubted dash and.
courage.    It is not generally known  that he m
Leader of rebel forces in second Riel Rebellion, 1885.  A "Boom" and Another Rebellion.
was wounded at Duck Lake by a bullet which
plowed along his scalp and felled him, stunned
and bleeding, to the ground. There are some
who say that after that experience he was more
cautious about exposing himself. The incident,
however, could not have materially affected his
nerve, for it is well known to some that but for
the interference of Riel he would, on a night of
cold and rain, have led a " forlorn hope" in a
midnight raid on Middleton's camp just before
the fight at Fish Creek.. How that raid would
have eventuated it is useless to conjecture, but
one who has passed nights in such a camp on
such a night could easily see what confusion
would be caused by a rush that would stampede
the horses and produce a momentary panic.
From their bearing in all situations during the
campaign j we know that our boys would have
been equal to the occasion; but from the rebel
standpoint Dumont's proposition stamps him as
a man of courage as well as of considerable
strategic ability.*
The news of the disaster at Duck Lake sped
like a flash to the hearts of the Canadian people,
and the one thing of value that resulted from
* No proceedings were ever taken against Dumont. He
left the country fora time after the rebellion, but is now a
peaceful resident. 148
The Making of the Canadian  West.
this wretched rebellion was the manner in which
the spontaneous rush to arms manifested the
spirit of the nation. Procrastinating officialdom
had had its day. A Commission, consisting of
Messrs. W. P. R. Street, A. E. Forget and Roger
Goulet, was appointed, on the 30th March, to
investigate of the half-breeds, and
when the Government, who never before seemed
to be fully seized of the situation, started in
vigorously to suppress the uprising, they found
the people of all parties more than ready to
second their efforts. The alertness with which
the people answered the bugle's call to arms
reminds one of the incident related by Scott in
" The Lady of the Lake," when in answer to the
shrill whistle of Roderick Dhu the sides of Ben
Ledi swarmed with Highland clansmen, as
" Every tuft of broom gave life
To plaided warrior armed for strife."
Scarcely had the story of Duck Lake reached
the seat of Government at Ottawa, when from
the frowning fortress of old Quebec to Halifax
away down by the sea, from the populous cities
and backwoods farms of Ontario to the scattered
ranches at the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains,
hosts of armed men sprang up to defend the
laws and liberties of the land they loved.    As A " Boom " and Another Rebellion.
we look into the situation we do not wonder at
this swift response to the country's call. There
was something peculiarly touching and pathetic
about the death on that ill-fated field of the
young men from Prince Albert .who had gone
outside the ordinary routine of their life to help
the authorities maintain order in the country.
A friend in Prince Albert said to me, on the way
back after the rebellion was over, "If one had
picked out the men we could least afford to
spare from the community, he would certainly
have included the nine who were killed at
Duck Lake." And so as the people of Canada
heard of those who fell in the prime and
glory of their young manhood, and thought
that far away from their homes and the peaceful graves of their fathers they were sleeping
their last long sleep, wrapped in the snow-
shroud of the western prairies, and that, instead of the accents of those they loved, the
last sounds that had fallen upon their ears were
the mad rattle of the rifle and the fierce yellings
of a treacherous foe, we are not surprised that
a great wave of mingled sorrow and wrath
swept over the country.
To these feelings that humanity would dictate add those of patriotism and national pride,
and it is little marvel that when the uniform 150        The Making of the Canadian  West.
of the Queen was fired upon there was a mighty
and immediate answer to the country's call.
For sixty long years now the Queen has swayed
a gracious and commanding sceptre over an
empire so vast ."that the beat of her morning
drum, following the sun and keeping company
with the hours, encircles the globe with one
continuous strain of the martial airs of England." Over all this vast domain the story of
the Queen's life has become one of the prized
possessions of her subjects. Her career, so
strangely chequered with joy and sorrow, has
brought out perfect types of girlhood, wifehood
and motherhood, while her strong common-sense
has so linked her to the love and esteem of her
people, that we can say in truth of her what
Edmund Burke so vainly hoped for Marie
Antoinette wdien he said : " I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her
with insult."
Hence we find the most strenuous action at
once taken by the Government, who without
delay sent forward General Middleton, the commander-in-chief of the Canadian forces, to take
swift measures for the suppression of the
General Middleton was a man of many battle- A "Boom" and Another Rebellion.
fields, and though the North-West Rebellion
provided new experience in a peculiar warfare,
he bore himself throughout as a man of the
utmost coolness and courage—in short, a true
British soldier of the best type.
He  arrived   in  Winnipeg  on   the   27th   of
March, and left that same night for the scene
with the 90th Rifles and the Winnipeg Field
Battery. Troops from all parts of Canada,
to the number of five or six thousand, were
hurrying to the front, and in the West every
district was furnishing a ready quota to the
various bodies being raised for the occasion.
Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba, besides 152        The Making of the Canadian  West.
the battery, cavalry and Boulton's scouts, furnished three infantry regiments, two of them, the
91st, under Col. Scott, and the 92nd (Winnipeg
Light Infantry), under Col. Osborne Smith,
being specially enlisted in a few days for the
suppression of the rebellion. With the latter
regiment I had the honor to serve, and I purpose
giving some personal recollections of the campaign such as have apparently been interesting
to Canadian audiences at many points.
As indicated in the preface to this book, no
attempt is made to give a complete record of the
military operations of the whole force in the
field. One can only be in one place at a time,
and this volume is chiefly one of personal reminiscence; but it is hoped that the account here
given, as written out from notes made nightly
at the camp-fire, will be in some measure typical
of the experience of all who went to the front.  Ills
■g S*5& a5
2"§ ^S
The regiment known as the Winnipeg Light
Infantry may be spoken of as one recruited out
of almost every nation under heaven. The main
body of it was made up of men enlisted in the
city of Winnipeg, to which the noise of tumult
had brought adventurers from every point of
the compass, many of whom hailed the rebellion
as a great windfall. Numbers of men just back
from the Gordon Relief Expedition up the Nile
fell readily into the ranks. Some of Indian, Irish,
Scotch, English, Icelandic, German, French, and
I know not what other extraction, were on hand,
and I remember two men who followed our company to quarters one day and forswore their
allegiance to the United States—till the close of
the campaign, when, with four months' pay in
their pockets, they shook the dust of Canada off
their feet and returned to Chicago. One company, however, was enlisted in the old pioneer
153 "■
154       The Making of the Canadian   West.
parish of Kildonan and contiguous points, from
the farmers there, and another was enrolled from
Minnedosa, a point some 150 miles distant to
the north-west of the city. To the Kildonan
company (afterwards No. 1 in the regiment) I,
who was a native of the parish and at that
time a student-at-law in Winnipeg, attached
myself as a full private, though in the process of
unaccountable events, and to my own great surprise, I became shortly afterwards second lieutenant.
It was significant of the times that our company had its barracks in a deserted "boom"
house, whose hardwood floors made an excellent
place for drill. After some scant preliminary
training we left Kildonan, suitably fare welled,
on the 13th of April, to join our regiment in the
city. As we marched up, one of those incidents
common in the experience of amateur soldiers
occurred in passing the camp of the 9th Volti-
geurs of Quebec. The guard turned out and
presented arms, but we did not know how to
return the compliment, and so kept on steadily
as if they had not attracted our attention.
Fortunately, however, we happened to be marching " at the shoulder," and I suppose that to this
day the 9th have no idea that it was only by
the merest chance in the world we did the right-
thing at the right time. Campaigning on the Prairies.
On Wednesday, the loth, after being addressed
by Lieutenant-Governor Aikins, our regiment
marched to the C. P. R. station, and it was then
known that we were under orders for the extreme north-west of the Territories, where the
Frog Lake massacre had just taken place, and
where the posts and settlements on the North
Saskatchewan were in danger from the surrounding Indians. Soon the final farewells
were said—for how long we knew not—and
with many a last word and handclasp the severest
ordeal of all was over, and the train moved out
amidst the answering cheers of those going away
and those left behind.
Doubtless many a stalwart uniformed figure
was held in more than necessary military erect-
ness, and many a voice firm enough in command
was hushed lest a tell-tale tremor should reveal
to others the sorrow felt at seeing lost in the
heaving throng some dear and well-known face.
But such feelings, however deep and constant,
must be kept in check—soldiers, we thought,
must be made of sterner stuff—and so before
we had travelled many miles the usual gaiety of
spirits, the amusing story and the patriotic song
were in evidence, and no grim forebodings were
allowed to displace the enjoyment of the hour.
The car in which No. 1 (Kildonan) Company 156        The Making of the Canadian  West.
travelled was certainly a jovial one, and a good
deal of the mirth was at the expense of the
guard at the door, a man who had been enlisted
at the last moment from some outside point,
when he was barely recovered from a prolonged
spree, and who made grotesque efforts to spring
to sober attention whenever the officer of the
night passed through to see that all was well.
The judgment of our color-sergeant, at whose
request the man was enrolled, was amply vindicated during the campaign, for the wild-looking
soldier of that first night, once beyond the reach
of liquor, became one of the finest marchers in
the regiment, and the head navigator for our
flat-boat flotilla on the North Saskatchewan.
Our flying special "halted" at 11 a.m. of the
next day at the town of Moose Jaw for breakfast, and the fast from the previous afternoon,
together with the knowledge that we would
soon be beyond the reach of what is ordinarily
called a " square meal," led to such display of
appetite that, when the regiment boarded the
train, Moose Jaw must have somewhat resembled
a country just traversed by an army of locusts.
Our next stop was at Gleichen, or Crowfoot
Crossing, near the home of Crowfoot, the
redoubtable chief of the Blackfoot Indians,
whose reserve was near at hand.    Crowfoot Campaigning on the Prairies.
promised to be loyal, and he kept his word; but
as the spirit of rebellion was abroad at the time,
and young braves are easily roused, the Minnedosa Company was left here to repress any undue
exuberance. We saw Crowfoot several times
going to and from Calgary, a stern, stoical man,
(From photograph by Prof. Buell.)
whose will was law* for his tribe, and whose
consistent loyalty was of great value to Canada
during that troublous time.
To Calgary we came on the 17th of April,
amid a drizzling rain and snow, but after the
first night the weather, which Calgarians assured
us was exceptional, cleared and was beautiful
during the remainder of our stay.    Some of the The Making of the Canadian  West.
prophecies made concerning Calgary have not
yet come true, but it is, nevertheless, one of the
most perfect sites for a city in the west. We
shall not soon forget the view from the great
mound across the Elbow River in those spring
evenings. The town, on its picturesque upland,
lay peacefully quiet at the close of the day.
Around it twined the glistening coils of the Bow
and the Elbow rivers, which pour their united
waters into the great Saskatchewan, while awray
to the west the Rockies, mighty monuments of
the Creator's power, reared their snowy peaks
against the purpling sky, resembling the vast.
tents of some giant host rising majestically
above the plain.
Calgary, on its more material side, seemed
that year the very paradise of cowboys, horsemen and scouts, for the place was full of the
great rough, good-hearted fellows, fairly bristling
with arms. Belts of cartridges round the waist
and slashed across the chest held supplies for
the Winchester rifle and Colt's revolver; great
leather leggings, called "schaps," bowie-knives
here and there about the person, huge jingling
spurs, immense grey hats turned up at one side,
" the cavalry swagger," and somewhat ferocious
language were the prevailing characteristics.
These men were magnificent riders, more at Campaigning on the Prairies.
home in the saddle than on carpets, and as they
had the run of the town, the sight of a number
of them, with their wild horses at full speed
along the principal streets, was quite common.
Most of us who had been brought up in the
West knew something by experience of broncho-
breaking, but it was worth while going to the
corrals to see the broncho broken for use in our
column. The horse, perhaps five or six years old,
had never been handled except to be branded
when a foal. He was dexterously lassoed, and (as
the whole process is one of breaking rather than
training) if necessary choked into submission.
Sometimes the headstall was fastened with a
blindfold, the great saddle was thrown on and
tightly " cinched," then a cowboy leaped into
the seat, locked his spurs and yelled " Let her
loose !" There was a scattering of those holding
the broncho, and a retrograde movement quickly
executed on the part of the spectators as the
trouble began. Sometimes the broncho, dazed
for a few moments, stood with hunched-up back
or walked quietly away for a few yards, then
suddenly "exploded" into the air with terrific
violence, and came down facing the opposite
direction, with a continuation of such "bucking"
as only a well-regulated broncho understands.
The rider, however, was generally what wrest- 160        The Making of the Canadian  West.
erners call a " stayer," and after a half-hour
or so the broncho gave up and was pronounced
" broken" ; but we would not advise any of our
tender-foot friends to mount the " hurricane
deck" of a broncho, even though he may be
broken enough for a cowboy's use.
Orders shortly came that our column was to
march northward to the relief of Edmonton
and the districts on the North Saskatchewan,
which were being terrorized by Big Bear and
his tribe, a portion of whom had massacred
nine men at Frog Lake on the 2nd of April.
Word, too, had just reached us of the fight at
Fish Creek between Middleton and Riel, with
heavy loss to our comrades.
The Fish Creek fight was evidently planned
by Gabriel Dumont as a surprise for our troops,
and it certainly did come upon them with
unexpected suddenness. It would be utterly
wrong to say, as some have said, that Middleton
walked into a trap, for he had his mounted
infantry and Boulton's scouts well spread out
in front in proper form. But men who were in
the advance guard of the 90th have told me
that the first indication of the enemy's presence they had was in seeing several of the
scouts in front fall from their saddles under the
deadly fire of the half-breeds concealed in the Campaigning on the Prairies.
bluffs. The main body of the volunteers was
soon brought up to support the scouts, and the
fighting became general. A ravine near by
afforded almost perfect cover to the enemy, and
from it a hot fusilade was poured upon the
advancing troops. Dumont's men also set the
prairie on fire so that the smoke would confuse
the volunteers, but they put out the fire and
advanced steadily, adopting the enemy's tactics
and taking cover as much as possible. After
some hours the half-breeds, except a few in the
ravine, were dislodged from their position, and
as a heavy thunderstorm was beginning Middle-
ton decided to form camp for the night. In
this fight eleven of our men were killed or died
subsequently of wounds, and* a large number
were wounded more or less seriously. When this
news reached us at Calgary, just as we were
under orders for the north, our letters home
probably took on a final farewell flavor, and,
withal, contained bequests of our worldly goods
as holograph wills.
When we marched out towards Edmonton on
the afternoon of the 27th we had but 165
men of our own regiment, the rest being on
detachment duty, but we had two small
bodies of Mounted Police and scouts under
command of Major Steele, Major Hatton and
11 162        The Making of the Canadian  West.
Capt. Oswald. About' six miles out we crossed
the Bow River by fording, and this wras one of
the first of many picturesque scenes on our
route. The river was wide and swift-flowing,
the water where we crossed on the stony
bottom being from two to four feet deep. The
loaded wagons, with four and six horses or
mules driven by skilful though somewhat
profane teamsters, the red-coated soldiers, the
Mounted Police in scarlet and gold, and the
picturesque corps of scouts, all passing through
the water together, made a view worthy of
being placed on canvas. Occasionally the
scene would be spoiled by a mule throwing
himself down in the water, but the free use of
the black-snake whip, with the freer use of
language not to be repeated here, overcame
the obstinacy of the animal. A few miles
farther out we camped for the night. A marvellously beautiful night it was, and I shall not
soon forget how still and white the encampment
looked under the splendor of the moon as it
shone upon the tents grouped together on the
wide prairie. It was probably on such a night
that the young shepherd watching his flocks
on the uplands of Canaan saw the infinite
stairways of stardust that " sloped through
darkness up to God," and exclaimed, " When I Campaigning on the Prairies.
consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast
ordained, what is man that thou art mindful
of him, or the son of man that thou visitest
him?" Few men remain wholly unmoved under
a study of the starry heavens, and doubtless
many a sentry beneath those eloquent skies
night after night drank in new messages as to
the sublimity and goodness of God.
The next morning the strident notes of the
bugle-band sounded reveille at half-past four, and
breaking camp early we marched twenty-five
miles our first day. On we went with the usual
round of marching by day and guard- by night
till we came to the Red Deer River, where, it
being high-water time, we were stopped by
what Adjutant Constantine (now in command
of the Mounted Police in the Yukon country)
called "a wide, swift-flowing and treacherous
stream." After many futile attempts a rude
ferry was constructed, upon which, under the
pilotage of Sergt. Pritchard, of No. 1 Company,
we all crossed in safety, and set out on our
march of 110 miles to Edmonton.
On May 7th we came upon the first bands of
Indians, numerous enough and of the Cree tribe,
under chiefs bearing the not very classical
names  of  Ermine-Skin,  Cayote',  and   Bobtail. 164
The Making of the Canadian  West.
Whether these were disposed to be hostile or
not we did not know, but our Colonel held the
men in readiness for any event; and then, with
bayonets fixed and rifles at the slope, with band
playing and every weapon exposed to view, we
marched through, while the Indians gathered in
the woods by the roadside and gazed wonder-
ingly at the spectacle.
We reached Edmonton on May 8th, and
encamped south of the town in the midst of
wigwams. The Indians were loyal enough now,
with flags displayed from the tepees, in the
presence of an armed force ; but the Edmonton
people gratefully  assured   us   that   only   the  S    6 Campaigning on the Prairies.
timely arrival of our column had prevented
repetitions of the Frog Lake massacre at many
points along the North Saskatchewan. At
Edmonton we met the commander of our
brigade, General Strange, who with part of that
plucky regiment, the 65th of Montreal, and a
detachment of Mounted Police under Major
Perry, had preceded us a few days. General
Strange was a retired British army officer, who
was living on a ranch near Calgary wThen the
rebellion broke out, and was given command of
our column. He had done signal and distinguished service as an officer of artillery in the
.Indian mutiny and elsewrhere, and in every
respect was a splendid type of the British
soldier. Somewhat eccentric in certain ways,
he was, withal, as kindly of heart as he was
brusque of manner, and so cool and courageous
that by the end of the campaign every man in
the column had personal affection for him, and
would have gone at his command wherever
men could go. On this occasion, at Edmonton,
General Strange made a speech complimenting
the men highly on the swift march they had
made. The speech was delivered in characteristic soldier style, with few words, and these
shot out with quick emphasis, like the firing of
bullets.    As we crossed the ferry and marched The Making of the Canadian  West.
into Edmonton, we saw the picturesque town,
with its Hudson's Bay post, the great distributing point for the Company's fur-trade, rising
high on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan, and stretching out over considerable
territory. Edmonton had borne its part in the
" boom," and was mainly responsible for the
breaking of it, as some men, coming to themselves, realized how foolish they had been to
buy lots at an enormous figure in a place, at
that date, 210 miles from even a prospective
railway station (though it is now connected
by rail with the C.P.R. from Calgary).
We remained at Edmonton a fewT days while
flat-boats were being made to take us down the
river, and I especially remember that with the
lavish hand of the soldier of Epicurean philosophy, we spent our scanty cash in buying up the
ancient stock of delicacies (?) from the Hudson's
Bay store. Dried apples and prunes, ginger
bread of rocky firmness, canned fruit, and such
like, found their way to our tents, and on these
unaccustomed delicacies we fared sumptuously
for several days. On the 14th of May we
embarked in open flat-boats to go down the
river, greatly to the dismay of our Edmonton
friends, who asserted that the Indians would
enjoy the sport of standing on the high banks Campaigning on the Prairies. 167
and " potting" us as we went by. Well do I
remember the first night out, when our flat-
boats were tied to trees and we encamped in
a storm, half rain, half snow, for the night, for
I was officer in command of the picket. The
twenty-five men fell in as best they could to
be inspected in the darkness and on the sliding
mud of the bank. Then we groped our way
through the wet bush some distance to the rear
of the camp, where we posted our line of sentries,
while the rest of the picket huddled together
under the dripping-trees. The work of relieving
sentries was made difficult by the very darkness
of the forest; but the slightest movement drew
out the hoarse challenge, and the sentry thus
found always gladly welcomed the relief. At
four o'clock we came in, roused the camp, got
on board breakfastless, and moved dowTn the
river in a driving snow-storm, with our clothes
standing upon us like icy coats of mail.- On
the 16th we landed at Fort Victoria, which had
been recently looted by Big Bear and his band,
who were now sullenly retreating before us with
all the prisoners and their ill-gotten plunder.
On Sunday, the 17th, we had three church
services. In the morning Col. Smith,' assisted
by Adjt. Constantine and Surgeon Penny father,
read the Church of England service, with the 168
The Making of the Canadian  West.
big drum for a pulpit; in the afternoon the
well-known Methodist minister, the Rev. John
McDougall, of Morley, who was with our
column, preached in a long building near by;
while Mr. Mackenzie, the Presbyterian chaplain to the Mounted Police, became a " field
preacher," and conducted service in the woods
in the evening.
Reference already has been made to the
amateur drill witnessed on such an expedition
as this, and an incident that occurred at the
close of the morning service was, I fear, more
discussed and made more impression than the
service itself. It being the official church
parade, the whole regiment was formed up in
three sides of a square, facing in to the "pulpit."
When service was over the Colonel turned the
parade over for dismissal to another member of
the staff. This officer faced the situation, and
knew just enough about drill to know that he
should get the men back into line before giving
the "dismiss," but how to get them there in
military order was more than he could tell for
the life of him. But he was a man of resource,
and boldly went at it. " Regiment! 'Tion ! Men
on the sides, backwards wheel." They, however,
had never heard such an order before and had
never practised circus drill, so they remained Campaigning on the Prairies. 169
motionless till Sergt.-Major (now Capt.) Lawlor,
a Crimean veteran, who often had to unravel
tangles during our campaign, came to- the rescue
and dismissed the parade in the orthodox way.
While at Fort Victoria, in " the enemy's country," orders had been issued that no man should
leave the camp; but failing to understand the
full purport of this, a soldier who was an ardent
disciple of Izaak Walton got an old punt and
pushed across the river to a likely-looking creek
to do some fishing. His return was witnessed
by the Colonel, who happened to be on the
bank, and that officer immediately sent the sergeant of the guard (Sutherland, of No. 1 Company) to arrest and bring the man before him.
To Sutherland's surprise the "outlaw" proved
to be Pritchard, one of his fellow-sergeants in
No. 1, who submitted good-humoredly to the
arrest, but insisted on bringing his string of fish
with him. The Colonel was equally surprised,
Pritchard being a favorite all round, and the
very opposite of a wilful offender; but as the
sergeant had been of prime service to the column
in crossing the Red Deer River, and as he moreover gravely avowed that he had been intending
the best fish for the Colonel's dinner, that officer,
keeping his face straight with great difficulty,
administered a reprimand and set the offender
at liberty. l70        The Making of the Canadian West.
On May the 20th we left Fort Victoria on
our march overland after Big Bear, who had
"looted" all the posts between Edmonton and
Battleford, and at Fort Pitt, near the scene of
the Frog Lake massacre, had received the surrender of Mr. W. J. McLean, the Hudson's Bay
officer in charge, together with all his family
and employees, whom he now held as prisoners.
To secure the release of these prisoners and to
break up the armed force of the Indians became
now the objects of our expedition, and as the
sequel showed, both these objects were accomplished, happily without much immediate loss
of life.
Various points northward were passed, such
as Saddle Lake (where some of the atrocities
had been committed, the leader in which, a giant
Indian named Mamanook, was shot with some
others by Steele's scouts a few days after this),
Egg Lake and Dog Rump Creek, not far from
Frog Lake. During these days the rain fell
almost incessantly; it was a case of marching in the mud by day and sleeping in our wet
clothes by night. To make matters worse, our
commissariat was not well supplied, and until
further supplies, which were being brought from
Edmonton, would reach us, we were on half
rations.   It was an uncomfortable predicament Campaigning on the Prairies.
to be in, and I remember standing by a camp-
fire which the rain was like to extinguish, and
distinctly envying two scouts who were enjoying a repast of " hard tack " and black tea after
a day of hard riding.
• On May 23rd, after a long day's march, we
had orders to camp on the low ground beneath
a ridge to avoid advertising our presence to the
Indians, but the place was a shaking bog, and
after a few vain attempts to prevent the tent-
poles and pegs from going through towards the
antipodes^ Surgeon Pennyfather refused to risk
the health of the men by asking them to sleep
there, and preferred rightly to have them risk
their lives as targets on the ridge, where we
accordingly encamped.
On the following morning reveille sounded as
Usual at 4.30, and we rose from our cheerless
bivouacs on the muddy ground. At 5.10 we fell
in amidst drenching rain and driving wind, and
were addressed by General Strange as follows:
" Col. Osborne Smith, officers and men of the
Winnipeg Light Infantry, you have marched
well. I know that you will stick to me, and we
will stick to Big Bear's trail as long as our grub
lasts. This is the Queen's birthday; we have no
time to celebrate and can't have fireworks, but
let us hope we soon will have firewTorks with The Making of the Canadian  West.
the enemy. Boys, three cheers for the Queen ;
God bless her!"
To my mind no incident during the campaign
more amply demonstrated the loyal hearts of
our boys. It is easy to make a fair showing
and to feel enthusiasm on the parade ground
amidst a cheering throng of spectators, but
the environment of our boys was different that
morning. They were away out on the hillside
in the solitary wilderness, rain-drenched in the
driving storm, but at the name of the Queen
they stood in the ranks with heads uncovered,
and when the old General called for cheers the
shout that went up might well have rent the
concave of the low-hanging clouds. Then the
General, who with all his bluff exterior was an
earnest Christian, said :
" Boys, this is also Sunday, but we have no
time for service to-day; we must push on the
march. I am reminded of an old soldier, who
on going into battle prayed, ' 0 God, I often
forget thee. I will be very busy to-day. I am
sure to forget thee, but do not forget me.' Boys,
we wTill sing together,/Praise God from whom
all blessings flow,'" and this old doxology was
sung by the regiment ere we began another
day's forced march.
That evening we reached Frog Lake, the scene Campaigning on the Prairies.
of the terrible massacre some weeks before, and
by special order slept every man on his arms, as
we were reported by the scouts to be surrounded
by Indians who might attack us during the
night. Next morning Sergt.-Major Lawlor,
with a fatigue party, buried the bodies of those
who had been massacred there some weeks
before. The charred remains of the heroic
priests, Fathers Marchand and Fafard, who
had thrown themselves between the savage
Indians and the whites, were recognized by
the beads and crosses they wore, but all the
others were little more than indistinguishable
ashes. A look around the reserve showed how
inexcusable was the rising of the Indians, who
were treated so well by a paternal Government,
and caused one to feel how utterly devilish was
the action of those who by plausible messages
had caused these easily excited and merciless
savages to bite and destroy the hands that fed
them. The reserve, as it lay before us that
morning, was one of the most beautiful spots in
all the wide country we traversed that year.
" Fair as a garden of the Lord," it stretched
afar, a flower-flecked prairie, diversified by
shady groves and sparkling lakes; but the
houses were all burned or wrecked, all implements were destroyed, murder and rapine had 174       The Making of the Canadian  West.
made their horrid havoc, and war flags of
hideous colors on every side mocked the pure
breeze of heaven. Sun-dance lodges were standing there and at several points along our route
thenceforward, to overawe the soldiers with
evidences of the bravery of those who had taken
part in the wild orgies these lodges represented.
From their rafters still dangled the cords on
which the young braves had hung by hooks in
their lacerated flesh till, as they danced wildly
around, the portion was torn out, and their recklessness of pain was admitted beyond a doubt.
It was a mingled scene that met our gaze as we
stood on the shores of Frog Lake that day—a
mingled scene of beauty and desolation, reminding us again of the world, still untouched by
the Gospel, "where every prospect pleases and
only man is vile."
We left Frog Lake and pushed on by a forced
march of forty-one miles to Fort Pitt, which our
scouts reported the Indians were burning, and
which we reached late in the evening only to
find the fort (except two buildings) a heap of
smoking ruins and the Indians vanished in
retreat. As we came down over the brow of
the river bank to the fort we found the body
of young Cowan, the mounted policeman, who
had  been   killed  by the  Indians  some weeks m
o    S
a; W  Campaigning on the Prairies.
before. His body lay naked with face upturned to the open sky. The scalping-knife
had not touched his fair hair, but from wounds
in the breast it appeared that the Indians, who
believe that if they eat a brave man's heart
they will get his spirit and courage, had followed
that course in the case of the young trooper.
They certainly had cause to know of his
bravery. He and Constable Loasby had been
out from the fort scouting towards Frog Lake,
and on their return found the Indians in force
along the slope towards the place where their
comrades were standing siege. Putting spurs
to their horses they made a desperate effort to
cut their way through to the fort, but the
odds were too great. They were both shot—
Cowan dead; but Loasby, whose roan charger
we found nearer the fort, was only wounded,
and after simulating death awhile to deceive
the enemy, he escaped into the stockaded
As soon as possible after finding the body of
Cowan, his comrades of the Mounted Police dug
a grave and reverently buried it, the rattle of
their musketry his only funeral requiem, but
nothing could more vividly tell the record of a
man who worthily wore the uniform of his
Queen and died a soldier's death.    A few years 176
The Making of the Canadian  West.
since, when relating the story of the rebellion,
I was glad to hear, from one who stated that he
was young Cowan's cousin, that the body thus
buried on that lonely bank was exhumed the
next winter by order of the young soldier's
mother, and taken down to be laid in the place
of his father's sepulchre hard by the city of
We hurriedly put in defensible shape the
two buildings which remained, left a company
of the 65th to hold them, and after a swift
march of about eight miles, to a point where
two Indians had been shot in a skirmish by
Steele's scouts the night before, came within
reach of the enemy, as we soon learned definitely
by hearing the bullets whistling over our heads.
It had been a long chase from the point of starting, but despite all Indian expectations to the
contrary, our General had fully made up his
mind to " stick to Big Bear's trail" and accomplish the breaking up of his band, if it should
take all summer. Hence there was great satisfaction when the routine of the long march was
varied on that 27th of May by our coming into
contact with the wily and light-footed foe. CHAPTER XI.
The place in which we now met the enemy
was full of ravines and heavily wooded. The
Indians were seen along the top of the hill
in front of us, seemingly holding the position.
Our little force was thrown into line, with
Hatton's scouts to the right and Steele's to
the left. On our side the old 9-pounder, which
Perry's men had brought from Fort McLeod,
opened by sending a shell screaming into the
thicket on the hill-top, in a way that must have
been extremely unsettling to the nerves of the
braves who occupied the place. Then the order
came to us to advance, and we rushed forward in
skirmishing order, the Indians meanwhile keeping up a scattering fire. We halted for breath,
and I remember feeling rather amused at Major
Steele, who warned me to take cover, saying,
" If you don't, they will pot you sure," while at
the same time he seemed to forget about his
177 The Making of the Canadian  West.
own colossal figure seated on a horse seventeen
hands high. Once more the bugle broke in
with the " Advance," and the line rushed up the
hill and over the summit only to find the Indians
retreating and leaving us in possession. For
some hours we skirmished through the woods,
and then our wagon train having come up we
camped in the forest for the night.
Humanly speaking, I have never been able to
make out why the enemy, who were in force
outnumbering us three to one, did not make
short work of us in the darkness. The clearing
in which we encamped was small and surrounded
by dense forest, the wagons were in zareba
form with all the men and horses inside, and
the night was intensely dark. The Indians must
have been already in panic, or, with their knowledge of the situation, they might have rushed
in, stampeded our horses, and in the confusion
done serious execution. With the sunrise we
moved on again, and soon encountered the enemy
in a position which a glance showed to the
merest amateur to be impregnable to our handful
if held by any considerable force. The Indians
occupied a steep conical-shaped hill, moated by
a deep valley and marshy stream, topped with
forest and fortified with rifle-pits, there being,
as we afterwards found, no less than five rows Rebellion at an End.
of rifle-pits along the ravine by which they
expected to be assailed. For some hours the
fight w7as kept up sharply. Our men wrere in
the open, but, strangely enough, only four w7ere
wounded, though afterwards many proudly
exhibited caps shot through, etc., as evidence of
close-enough calls. The enemy were practically
invisible, and little could be seen to indicate
their presence but the puffs of smoke from their
rifles and the "ping" or thud of the bullets
around us. About ten o'clock their firing had
practically ceased, except for scattering shots
from the pits. We afterwards learned the
Indians were then in retreat; but the scouts
were of opinion that the retreat was a ruse, and
that the enemy were coming round behind us (as
some of them actually did) to cut off our wagon
train and hem us down in the valley.
In a letter I received from General Strange
some years afterwards, he said in reference to
this engagement: " My force would have gone
in to a man, if I had allowed them, but I had
the lessons of Fish Creek and Cut Knife before
me," implying that he did not feel warranted in
risking the lives of his men in a possible trap,
against the opinion and advice of the column's
" tentacles." So the men were slowly retired by
companies till the wagon zareba was reached, The Making of the Canadian  West.
when a camp was formed and the wounded men
looked after. Word was then sent down the
river to General Middleton, at Battleford, for
ammunition and reinforcements.
On the day following Major Steele offered to
take a flying column and follow the Indian
trail, and accordingly, with about fifty picked
men out of the Police, the Alberta Rifles and
Oswald's scouts, he left camp, accompanied by
the " grey team " and wagon with ammunition
and supplies. I remember how these fellows—
magnificent riders, every one of them—wheeled
out on the gallop, and followed where the tracks
showed that most of the Indians had gone. We
saw no more of them for days, but they kept to
the trail and came upon the main body of the
Indians at Loon Lake, where a brilliant dash
was made upon the enemy, who retired across
an almost impassable morass. In this hot, if
brief, engagement several Indians bit the dust,
and Steele's sergeant-major (Fury by name), j
and two of the scouts (Fisk and West), were
wounded. Fury was very seriously hurt, being
shot through the breast and rendered perfectly helpless. Steele's only course, with these
wounded men on his hands and no transport or
ambulance, was to retire toward the main body,
leaving the Indians continuing their journey to
the north. Rebellion at an*End.
Another of our own companies having come
down from Edmonton with much-needed supplies just as Steele left us, we marched back to
the scene of our encounter at Frenchman's Butte,
only to find that the enemy had vanished, leaving
every evidence that they had fled in the wildest
panic. The encampment was nearly intact, with
the wigwams standing. Great heaps of furs
(which went quickly we know not whither),
wagons, carts, flour, bacon, cooking utensils,
etc., lay around in the greatest disorder, as if
they had become of very secondary importance
in the race for life. Concerning the furs a good
deal has been said even in the sober debates of
our Houses of Parliament, but there is not much
certainty as to where they were finally bestowed.
The staff officers in all the brigades were
mightily blamed by those who were themselves
angry at not getting a haul, but it is quite likely,
according to my observation, that the teamsters,
who had the great advantage of receptacles in
which to carry parcels, could unfold tales that
would exonerate the poor officers from at least
a part of the blame.
Standing that day in a pelting rain-storm, wre
surveyed the position recently held by the enemy
and wondered why they had not kept on holding
it, so excellently was it suited for standing a The Making of the Canadian  West.
long siege. Then going out to the plain beyond
we encamped to wait for orders from Middleton,
while our scouts tried to locate the scattering
trails of the fleeing Indians. While we remained
there, several of the white prisoners who had
escaped during the fight and confused retreat
were brought into camp by the scouts, rejoicing
at having regained once more a freedom which
they doubtless at times had despaired of ever
obtaining, as from day to day hope deferred had
made their hearts sick.
Here, too, I remember seeing one of those
touches of nature which make the whole world
kin. One of the roughest riders and apparently
one of the most reckless of the cowboy scouts
was seen coming into camp, leading his rougher
horse and carrying carefully upon his arm a
small wooden box, such as originally might have
contained groceries of some kind. At once
curious men gathered in a knot at the edge of
the camp, and wondered what find Jack (as we
will call him) had made. As he approached, one
of the men stepped in his way and lifted the cover
of leaves, unveiling the wan dead face of a white
child some few months old, whose body had
thus been reverently coffined and covered by
the hand of the mother and left in the woods as
the prisoners w^ere dragged  along.    The man Rebellion at an End.
whose curiosity had tempted him to discover the
nature of Jack's "find" started to make some
contemptuous remark to the crowd, but the
. scout's eyes flashed such a dangerous fire that
the remark stopped short, and the rest made way
for that strange funeral procession. Picketing
his wild broncho, the scout dug a grave with his
own hands, and with a gentleness that would
have done that mother's heart good, committed
the little body to the ground. After all, we are
every one of us under the influence of an unseen
world. Perhaps the quiet sympathy Jack had
with the unknown mother's grief, or perhaps
the tender recollections of child-life as he remembered it, made that rough scout for the time
being as gentle as a woman, or it may have been
that sometime in an older land he had laid his
own dead under the sod, and his heart went back
to that God's-acre where a mother was sleeping
with their infant child upon her breast.
On the 21st of May, General Strange, feeling
that we were close on the enemy, had thought it
well to send despatches to Col. Otter at Battle-
ford, acquainting him with the situation, so that,
if necessary, a junction could be effected between
his force and ours for the hemming in of the
Indians and the disposal of the whole question.
Two   scouts,  George  Borradaile  (now  Crofter 184       The Making of the Canadian  West.
Commissioner in Winnipeg) and William Scott
(whose present whereabouts I do not know),
were selected for the difficult and dangerous
enterprise. It was an undertaking requiring
both courage and resource, to go down by the
river through the enemy's country. A somewhat clumsy boat was the means of travel,
and the two scouts made a perilous run in the
shadows of night past Fort Pitt, which the
Indians were even then setting on fire. When
the scouts reached Battleford, General Middleton
had arrived there from Batoche. The despatch
was delivered, and when next morning the
scouts were to return on the south side of the
river, Borradaile asked for a revolver, as he had
lost his in a mishap by the upsetting of the
boat on the way down. The General, much to
Borradaile's disgust, said that he himself would
go through that country with a stick ; but when
he did come, as General Strange said, " he
brought two infantry regiments, a troop of
cavalry, and artillery." The scouts made the
return trip safely, though under considerable
strain, and reached Fort Pitt again on the 29th
of May, the day after our fight at Frenchman's
Butte, but in time to take a hand in the Loon
Lake expedition.
At this point in our campaign some of our Rebellion at
officers—Capt. Wade, Lieut. Mills and Sergt.-
Major Lawlor—left us, being called back to
Winnipeg by their duties as government officials.
Perhaps there was no man in our regiment so
deservedly popular as the sergeant-major, and
before he went, though not a man given to
speech-making, he responded to the demand of
the boys, and bade them farewell in a few
words. I can still see the scene before me. It
is a dark weird night, with here and there a
glimpse of the moon through the rifts of the
flying clouds. Near the camp-fire is the w7agon
which is to carry the officers homeward, and
around it the group of red-coats, which includes
nearly every man off duty. Beside the wagon,
with one hand resting lightly on a wheel,
stands the sergeant-major, his tall, powerful
figure erect as ever, his grey beard sweeping
the broad breast on which glisten, in the flickering light of the camp-fire, three medals, the
rewards of his sovereign for services in the
Crimea and China. After referring to the long
weary marching, and then to the fight which
followed, he said that "he was glad that this,
probably the last of his many campaigns, had
been undertaken with men who had proven
themselves of such good stuff as the men of the
Winnipeg Light Infantry."   It was warm praise 186        The Making of the Canadian  West.
from a man who was in the habit of saying
only what he meant, and as the wagon drove
out and was lost in the darkness, many a poor
fellow who had done his best felt his heart swell
at the words of the veteran soldier.
While we had been pushing on to this point,
our comrades nearer to the centre of the rebellion had been doing some very active service.
A brigade under Col. Otter had, after an exceptionally swift march from Swift Current,
relieved Battleford, which had been in a state of
siege for months, and then, not without severe
loss to themselves, inflicted deserved chastisement on Chief Poundmaker and his marauding  III
... vi
Ma j;;»'' d"^«
P:« Rebellion at an End.
band at Cut Ejiife. Farther eastward, at the
fiery heart of the trouble, General Middleton
had captured Batoche, the stronghold of Riel.
The advance from Fish Creek had been carefully made. Batoche was Riel's " last ditch,"
and after the battle General Middleton himself
expressed wonder at the splendid use the rebels
had made of the means at their disposal to hold
the position. The fight continued for four days,
when, the volunteers seemingly growing restive
under the protracted manoeuvring, made a brilliant charge and carried the position with a
rush. The gallantry of all the troops engaged
is undisputed, and the list of nine killed and
forty-six wounded evidences the keenness of
the struggle.
The day after Batoche Riel was found by
Scouts Hourie and Armstrong. Hourie took
him up on the saddle and brought him into
camp, whence he was sent to Regina, with a
special 'guard under Capt. George H. Young,
of the Winnipeg Field Battery. There Riel
remained through the eventful trial, during
which the plea of insanity was raised in vain,
and there he was executed on the 16th of
November, 1885, meeting his death manfully.
His body was given to his friends, and now
rests in the graveyard at St. Boniface beneath The Making of the C-anadian  West.
a granite pillar on which is engraved the single
word " Riel." I was present at the funeral service in the old cathedral, and was deeply
impressed by the evident sorrow of the people
whose cause he had, with many mistakes,
Returning to the field, we find Middleton moving with his column, by way of Prince Albert,
to Battleford, where he demanded and received
the unconditional surrender of Poundmaker on
the 26th of May, the day before our first skirmish with Big Bear. This left the Commander-
in-Chief free to move in our direction and effect
such a concert with the  force under General Rebellion at an End.
Strange as would secure the hemming in and
capture of the retreating Indians. Accordingly,
Middleton with a strong force came on to Fort
Pitt, and leaving his infantry there in camp,
reached the point where we were with his
mounted men and artillery. There a new
plan of campaign was decided on. General
Strange's column of infantry was to march
northward to the one (as was then supposed)
crossing of the Beaver River, while General
Middleton, with all the mounted men, was
to follow: after the main trail of Big Bear
and force him up to us at the crossing, where
between two fires the matter could soon be
settled. Accordingly, we started out next
morning to perform our part of the contract,
and that night camped at Onion Lake in one
of the most terrific thunderstorms I ever witnessed—an amazing and overwhelmingly grand
spectacle. The continuous flashing of lightning
transformed the prairie with its waving grass
into a heaving, tossing sea of flame, while the
incessant boom and crash of the thunder, awe-
inspiring in the extreme, reminded us of the
feeble strength of all earthly force, the puny
power of boasted arms before the flash and roar
of the artillery of heaven.
AH the next day  our forced marching was The Making of the Canadian  West.
continued through roads almost impassable and
innumerable places where the wagons had to
be pulled out by the men, and towards evening
Indians were reported ahead near the Beaver
River crossing. It was decided to make what
became known in the rebellion annals as " the
silent march," and so leaving our wagon train,
the horses being completely tired out, we started
marching again about eight o'clock in the evening. For quite a distance our way was through
wrater knee-deep, and through this swamp I
remember how the Frenchmen of the 65 th,
almost shoeless and half-clad though they were,
more than once helped the horses on Perry's
gun, next to which they were marching. It was
night when we struck the heavy and practically
trackless forest, for there was scarcely any trail
to be found. The darkness grew denser as we
advanced, and the great trees meeting above us
shut out the sky. Sometimes in rank, and
sometimes in Indian file, we kept on marching
in dead silence, with our arms ready for instant use, until about two o'clock in the morning, when a halt was ordered, and by little twig
fires—larger were not allowed—we tried to dry
our wet and well-nigh frozen garments.
As the  day  began  to dawn we  moved  on
again, and by sunrise arrived at the point near Rebellion at an End.
the Beaver River where the Indians had been
seen, but found they had vanished. Evidences
of their recent presence, however, were at hand,
for we found about one hundred bags of flour
cached in the woods. This was a " windfall," as
by this time bread was little more than a distant
memory, and even "hard tack" was scarce enough
to be appreciated. The brigade supply officer,
however, took formal possession of the cache of
flour, lest the men should get enough to eat for
once; but by various devices known to soldiers,
such as putting two " kits " in one rubber sheet,
and a bag of flour in the other, they rescued
a good deal of it from his rapacious clutches,
and fared sumptuously, if somewhat secretly,
for several days.
Next morning we marched to the Beaver
River, where we had orders to wait until General Middleton, whom we left starting out after
Big Bear from the scene of our fight, should
force him up to us. However, had we done so,
we should have had a weary waiting.
The General, following on Steele's trail, met
that officer with his command returning from
Loon Lake. The wounded were sent back
to the main column, and Steele, although his
horses and men were much spent, turned back
with the General to the scene of the Loon Lake 192        The Making of the Canadian  West.
fight. After careful investigation of the ground,
Middleton decided that with his guns and heavy
horses he could not cross the shaking bog over
which the light-footed Indians with their nimble
ponies had made their way. He accordingly
concluded to turn back, on finding which the
Indians also deflected their course, instead of
running up to receive our welcome.
In the afternoon of the day we arrived at the
Beaver River, No. 1 Company was ordered out
under arms to" accompany Colonel Smith to the
river, about a mile and a half away, to find a
suitable crossing should we have to go farther.
Here we found another cache made by the
Chippewyan Indians, filled with articles for
priests' wear and church services, which they
probably thought they could dispense with
while on the war-path. The scenery at this
point is very fine. The river, flowing swiftly
eastward, is joined by a small stream from
the south; the banks are very high and so
densely wooded from top to bottom that the
foliage seems to be piled in green luxuriance
to the very summit. I got permission from the
Colonel to take the men down to see the river,
and away we went rushing down the steep
to the water's edge. There the place is a
magnificent natural park. Grand trees, perfectly Rebellion at an End.
straight and with few boughs, tower aloft;
there is no Undergrowth, and the whole place is
a perfect picnic-ground. In fact, it so struck
one of our fellows, who remarked, " Boys, this
would be a great place for the people at home
to hold their Sunday-school picnics"; but as
we were then nearly two thousand miles from
home by the route we had followed, we did
not think it necessary to discuss the question
On coming again to the top and turning
eastward, the view that met our eyes was marvellously beautiful. The sun, which was slowly
sinking, struck his shafts across the river and
lit the tree-tops beyond. The sunbeams glowing and glinting in mellow radiance on the great
clouds of foliage on the towering banks, the
river flashing and twining in and out through
the forest like some serpent-fish with silvery
scales, the sparkling of the little tributary
stream, of which one could catch glimpses away
down through a veil of green boughs, all
together made up a scene rarely surpassed even
in the great picture gallery of nature. A few
moments we stood gazing on the wondrous view,
and then the word to fall in being given, we
reluctantly left the scene and marched back
to camp.
13 ■
The Making of the Canadian  West.
That night our outlying picket wras fired
upon, but in the deep darkness and fog nothing
could be done except arouse the camp, keep the
whole picket under arms, and wait for the day.
On that day a band of Chippewyan Indians,
with a Roman Catholic priest at their head,
came in, and surrendering unconditionally, laid
down their arms in a heap at the feet of the
General. One could not help feeling sorry for
the poor fellows. They did not appear to be a
bad lot, but seemed to have been dragged by
threats, rather than their own inclination, into
rebellion. From the day they surrendered they
certainly became a great help to us in many
ways, and did their utmost to discover the
whereabouts of the bands who still held certain
of the white prisoners.
On the next day, Sunday, June 14th, we had
service by the Rev. John McDougall inside the
zareba. What a motley congregation was there
assembled!—some on the wagons, some on the
prairie, and some seated on their saddles on the
ground. Here a mounted policeman in faded
scarlet and gold stood beside a scout with his
wide slouch-hat and general air of carelessness ;
there an infantry man with coat, once red, now
like Joseph's—of many colors—sprawled on the
grass   beside   some   rough   western   teamster,
j Rebellion at an End.
whose respect for the minister's cloth kept him
quiet, but who, if personally interviewed,
might not hesitate to avow heterodoxy in his
favorite terse expression, "Difference here,
pardner." To the credit of these rough men be
it said, I never saw amongst them anything
but the most respectful attention to these services, and often one could see their bronze faces
light up with a surprising tenderness as they,
perchance, recalled the days when they had
heard from a mother's lips the same old, but
ever new, story of the- Cross.
Next day General Strange accepted the offer
made by Colonel Smith a few days previously,
to take one hundred picked men from the
Winnipeg Light Infantry, cross the river and
strike northward to a chain of lakes, where he
shrewdly, and, as the sequel proved, correctly,
thought some of Big Bear's band might have
gone with the remaining prisoners. Regimental
orders quickly required Companies 1, 2 and 3 to
furnish the men, and perhaps the " picking"
consisted largely in a selection of those who had
some remnants of boots left, and whose uniforms
could be counted on as likely to hold together a
little while longer.
We (for the writer was fortunate enough to
be one of the hundred) were ordered to leave all 196       The Making of the Canadian West.
transport except the Indians' pack-horses, and
each man was to carry his own outfit strapped
upon his back, as the country through which
we wrere about to travel was impassable to all
but foot-soldiers and the nimble pony of the
plains. We crossed the river by sections, in
two birch canoes, and there left Color-Sergt.
Sutherland with a party of five men to build
a boat on which to cross the rest of the force if
required. We then struck north, and made
about five miles that night. Having no tents
or other covering, we lay down under the starry
canopy of heaven to sleep upon delightful couches
of pea-vine on a grassy ridge beside a lake.
Next morning we started at 4.30 without
breakfast, as, according to the map, Cold Lake,
for which we were striking, was only a fewr miles
distant; but the man who made that map or
arranged its scale would have fared ill if he
had fallen into the hands of our hungry pack
when some hours later Cold Lake was not yet
reached. The men marched for the most part
in Indian file, threading their way over fallen
trees and through mossy swamps, while the
Chippewyan Indians (formerly enemies, now
our scouts and guides) followed in the rear
with the pack-ponies. While passing through
a clearing there occurred one of those amusing Rebellion at an End.
incidents which always seemed to come in the
nick of time to relieve the pressure of weariness
and restore the equilibrium of the men. An
Indian pony behind took fright at a tea-kettle
which fell off his back, and which, being tied,
as everything on a pack-horse is, kept hitting
him on the heels. The pony, after having first
kicked vigorously without being able to break
the tough " shagganappi" line, finally came
tearing along our column like a hurricane,
upsetting a captain who had done his best to
get out of the way, and then bowling over a
color-sergeant, who was taken wholly by surprise. The sergeant, who was a middle-aged
and grizzled man, wore his hair very long and
very thick, the military crop not being insisted
on during prairie campaigning, and he was,
moreover, a man of great dignity, polite address,
independent opinions and high-toned bearing.
He was not seriously hurt by the cavalry
onslaught, but in taking his involuntary somersault the pack which he carried on his back
was thrown over his head, to the serious detriment of his toilet, and I can still hear the roar
of laughter that made the woods ring as the
wild tangles of his hair appeared above the
long grass, his face wearing the appearance of
a man caught in a cyclone. The Making of the Canadian  West.
On we plodded, hungry and weary, through
the forest, and at length arrived at the lake,
which we had almost begun to think was, like
the enemy, retiring before us. We hailed with
joy the sparkle of water through the trees, and
as we neared it the grand repose and the vast-
ness of this lake, so far remote from the haunts
of men, struck us with a feeling akin to awe.
It stretches away far almost as the eye can
reach, the water pure, clear, cold and deeply
blue; the beach, stone, gravel and sand, the
latter resembling small diamonds; the woods
by the shore grand, umbrageous, reflected in
the glassy surface. In the stillness of that
sunny June day the lake lay before us like
some gigantic and marvellous mirror, reflecting
the glorious beauty of its Creator's works. ;
All day long the men wore kept busy building willow huts in the woods, as we were to
remain here for some time to scout and explore
in the surrounding country. I felt, as doubtless
did many others, amply repaid for many a weary
march by coming to this lovely spot. The evening came down in quiet splendor, the lake lying
peaceful and miraged over with the golden,
dusky haze of the sunset coolness. Everything
seemed as hushed and still as the holy calm of
a Sabbath.    It was as though conscious Nature, Rebellion at an End.
which had shuddered at the deeds of bloodshed
and crime enacted on her bosom, was thus prophetically naanifesting forth their speedy close
and exhibiting in sublime silence the tranquil-
izing power of that Gospel whose spread in those
lonely wilds will put an end to all savagery and
woe—that Gospel whose heralding still rings to
us across the centuries, " Glory to God in the
highest and on earth peace, good-will toward
On the 20th of June Indian scouts from our
column found the portion of the band that
held the McLeans and other prisoners, and on
the 23rd, word being conveyed to them to bring
these prisoners in, they were sent in all safe and
sound to Fort Pitt, being met on the way by
Major Bedson and a detachment of the 90th. We
now felt that our campaign was practically over,
and that we could return with the consciousness of having at least tried to do our duty.
We received orders to return to the brigade, our
hundred having penetrated farther than any
armed force of that time, and accordingly
marched back to the Beaver River. There we
found that our boat party had completed a
large boat, made without a nail and capable of
carrying some sixty men. The patriotic souls
of the boys had found vent in the launching, 200        The Making of the Canadian  West.
for with some compound of axle-grease they
had " writ large" across the side the name
of their birth-place, the old historic name of
Kildonan. There on the Beaver River the
"Kildonan" was left, and there for aught I
know it may still remain, a souvenir for the
Chippewyan Indians of the sudden and unsolicited visit of the white soldiers to their far-
distant fastnesses.
We rejoined our regiment and marched toward
the Frog Lake landing of the Saskatchewan,
reaching there about midnight, and amidst
falling rain crowded aboard the steamer, which
passed down the swift-rushing stream to Fort
Pitt, where we were warmly welcomed by the
90th of Winnipeg, the Grenadiers of Toronto,
and the Midland Battalion. There we ascertained that our regiment, partly for lack of
transport, though principally to gather in the
outlaw Indians, was to remain behind for a
time, but some fifty of us (the campaign being
over) got leave of absence, and on the 4th of
July, in company with the 65th, the 90th, the
Grenadiers and the Midland Battalion, left Fort
Pitt for home in three steamers, the Marquis,
the Northwest and the Baroness. That day
Col. Williams, of the Midland Battalion, who
was in the forefront of the charge at Batoche, Rebellion at an End.
died on board the steamer Northwest, and a
private of the 65th, who had been wounded at
Frenchman's Butte, died on board the Baroness.
Only a few days before this I had met Col.
Williams at Fort Pitt, being introduced to him
by Capt. Hugh John Macdonald, and was much
impressed with his manly appearance and
soldierly bearing. He took some kind of fever,
and, the facilities for nursing not being of the
best, he went down under it with startling
The next day we  landed  at  Battleford, 202
The Making of ihe Canadian  West.
picturesque though somewhat straggling town
on high upland near the river, and at this point
we were joined by the Queen's Own Rifles and
Ottawa Foot Guards, with the Quebec Battery.
Preparations were here made for the funeral of
Col. Williams, whose body was to be sent home
overland. It was one of the most impressively
affecting and imposing sights I had ever witnessed. The plain board coffin, wrapped in the
folds of the old flag under whose shadow he had
fought so honorably and well, was lifted on a
gun-carriage, behind  which  a soldier led   his Rebellion at an End.
riderless horse. His own fine regiment, now
going home without a leader, followed as chief
mourners, with arms reversed, and the cortege
numbered fully fifteen hundred armed men. Brass
bands were there with muffled drums, and the
wild lonely upland echoed the wail of the "Dead
March in Saul," as slowly and sadly we conducted the gallant dead to the once beleaguered
fort, where within the stockaded inclosure the
Revs. D. M. Gordon and Whitcombe held a most
impressive service. Many a stern soldier who
had stood unmoved amidst dangers gave way to
his feelings, many a stalwart form heaved with
emotion, and on many a sun-bronzed cheek the
tear was seen as we consigned to his last journey
one of the heroes in the charge that crushed
the centre of rebellion, a man who had passed
gloriously through the battle, and who, with a
name that will live enshrined in the memory of
his country, was returning to his home where
loved ones looked for his coming, but had fallen
here so suddenly before the grim King of
Terrors. Escaping the shot that had ploughed
the ranks, he, by a death reached through the
gateway of duty, had passed into the unseen,
and had added his name to the bead-roll of the
slain whose lives were yielded up in sacrifice on
the altar of their country. 204
The Making of the Canadian  West.
'' The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
Our soldier's last tattoo,
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.
Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood ye gave;
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave !
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While Fame her record keeps,
Or Honor points the hallowed spot
Where Valor proudly sleeps."
The solemn service over, we boarded our
steamers again and moved down the broad
stream, passing the ashes of Fort Carlton (burned
just after the Duck Lake fight), and stopping a
few hours at Prince Albert. Here we saw the
place where the people had garrisoned themselves, and also the place where our active
enemy, Big Bear, who had been captured a few
days before, was held in durance.*    There, too,
* The old chief after the Loon Lake affair had separated
from the band with one companion, and being found by the
Mounted Police near the site of Fort Carlton, was taken to
Prince Albert. Personally he was rather a harmless old
man, and but for two of his band, Wandering Spirit and
Little Poplar, would never have been found on the war-path. Rebellion at an End.
we met many old friends of former days, and
as our bands enlivened the day with music
and uniforms were everywhere, the scene was a
brilliant one, broken only by the sadness all
felt as here and there we saw emblems of
mourning worn for the gallant men who from
that place had volunteered to maintain the law
and had laid their bodies on the fatal field of
Duck Lake. In the afternoon we swung out
from our moorings and moved down the river,
the bands playing " Auld Lang Syne" amidst
the cheering of our men, returned by the waving
of innumerable handkerchiefs in the hands of
ladies fair. We made a swift run to the Forks,
where the north and south branches of the
Saskatchewan unite in one gigantic stream, and
at this point we found the hospital barge with
the wounded from Fish Creek and Batoche.
The barge, from which the wounded were then
transferred to one of the steamers, was a model
of cleanliness and comfort, a great credit to the
medical staff and to Nurse Miller, the " Florence
Nightingale" of the rebellion time. The trip
thence was uneventful (save for a storm on
Cedar Lake, which nearly swamped our river
boats), and as we came down the broad bosom of
the magnificent stream we enjoyed the rest, the
meeting with old friends and the  telling one 206        The Making of the Canadian  West.
another of "the dangers we had passed," and
the story of " how fields were won."
At Grand Rapids, where a horse tramway
connects the river with Lake Winnipeg, we left
our boats and, passing over to the lake, packed
into every corner of the boats and barges there,
and reached Selkirk in the early morning of
July 15th. There we found many friends
awaiting us, and these, notwithstanding our
bronzed and bearded faces, recognized us without
difficulty and bade us a hearty welcome. After
a lunch, provided by the citizens, we boarded
our train and reached Winnipeg in the afternoon, exactly three months from the time our
regiment had departed for the west.
A magnificent reception awaited the returning
troops. The train seemed to push its way
through a living mass of men, women and
children at the station, and it had scarcely
stopped when the cars were besieged by such a
throng that the disembarking soldiers could
scarcely find room enough to form up. But at
length the lines got into some semblance of order,
with "Fours, right, quick march" we swung
out to Main Street, and as we passed up towards
the City Hall beneath arches and banners, and
amidst the intense enthusiasm of cheering
crowds we saw the genuineness of the welcome Rebellion at
and felt amply repaid for all the hardships and
dangers of the campaign.
Our own regiment, the Winnipeg Light
Infantry, arrived a few weeks later, being the
last to leave the field, after receiving the
surrender of enemies to iive times their own
number, amongst them some of the worst
Indians in the West, several of whom came
under capital sentence at the hands of the
country. The regiment had a fitting reception
accorded it by the city of Winnipeg, where the
equal readiness with which these volunteers had
marched through swamps or fought the enemy,
as called upon, was duly appreciated, and when
No. 1 Company marched down to their former
barracks at Kildonan, we were received with
Highland hospitality by the kind friends whose
goodness had cheered us on the weary campaign,
and whose kindness will long be remembered
by the boys who went to the front.
The scars left by the rebellion are slowly
disappearing, and little else remains but the
memory of the manner in which a young nation
showed itself ready and able to cope with
serious difficulties within her borders. That
memory is enough to effectually prevent any
such unfortunate movement ever again taking 208       The Making of the Canadian  West.
place, and, perhaps, in view of the fact that the
pressure of difficulties compacts and solidifies
character, it was well that, before sweeping out
into the great possibilities that lie before this
once "great lone land," it had to pass through
such wrestlings as produce a strength never
reached on the dead level of uninterrupted ease. SB Archbishop Tached
Archbishop Machray.
Rev. George Young,  D.D.
Rev. John Black, D.D.
Without religion an individual or a nation is
a comparative failure, and without education the
means of making the most of our native resources
must be largely lacking. Hence it is matter for
thankfulness on the part of all who are interested in the West, that the. religious and educational work of the country, has always had a
foremost place in the thought and life of the
people. It is a lamentable fact that this has not
always been the case in new countries, where
the ease with which material prosperity'can be
attained has often led to more or less serious
disregard of the higher life and the institutions
which are the hope of humanity. The better
state of things in the Canadian West is due
principally to two causes. The first is, that the
early colonists were of a character and a race
always disposed to pay special attention to these
14 209 210        The Making of the Canadian  West.
things; and the second, that missionaries being
early on the ground were able to keep the work
of Church and school so well abreast of the
country's progress that few, if any, communities
to-day are out of touch with these advantages.
In the matter of church work, the Roman
Catholics, following the early French explorers, were first on the ground, though their
people were not of the colonist but the more
nomadic class. Across the Red River from
where the city of Winnipeg now stands, this
denomination established its headquarters for
church and school, near the opening of this
century, and named the place St. Boniface.
Amongst the early settlers of all creeds their
leading men were well known, and often have
we heard special mention of Bishop Provencher,
a man of magnificent physical mould and statesmanlike ability. It was of his cathedral, with
its turrets twain, that Whittier, the Quaker
poet, wrote his famous and exceedingly beautiful poem, " The Red River Voyageur," in which
he describes the hard voyage of the oarsman
in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company,
and of the joy that lit up his swarthy countenance as he heard the "bells of St. Boniface"
that spoke the message of his home-coming.
That cathedral was burned down many years Religious and Educational Development.    211
ago, and on its site was reared the present one,
from whose tower the bells still ring out their
musical chimes.
Some years ago Sir John Schultz (then Lieut.-
Governor of Manitoba) reminded the authorities
of the cathedral of the birthday of the poet,
and asked that the bells be rung in honor of
the day. This being done, the Hon. J. WT. Taylor,
the United States consul at Winnipeg, wrote
informing Whittier of the fact. The aged poet,
on recovering from an illness with which he was
suffering at the time, wrote to Archbishop Tache',
at St. Boniface, acknowledging the thoughtful
courtesy of the act, and in his letter the following sentences of great beauty occur: " I have
reached an age when literary success and
manifestations of popular favor have ceased to
satisfy one upon whom the solemnity of life's
sunset is resting; but such a delicate and
beautiful tribute has deeply moved me. I shall
never forget it. I shall hear the bells of St.
Boniface sounding across the continent and
awakening a feeling of gratitude for thy generous act." The letter was scarcely less beautiful than the poem itself, and adds to the halo
of romance which the pleasing incident threw
around the old cathedral.
As   already   indicated,   Bishop    (afterwards The Making of the Canadian  West.
Archbishop) Tache came next in the succession
at St. Boniface. He was a man of gentle, lovable
disposition, and yet of indomitable will and
untiring energy. No man could have exerted
a larger control over his own people, and few
had wider influence in the country at large.
Under his direction missions were extended
widely over the whole West, and at St. Boniface
the College, which is the principal educational
institution of the Roman Catholic Church in the
West, was built, so that when the present Archbishop Langevin came into office he found a
fully organized and well administered diocese.
Next in the order of their coming into the
country is the Episcopal Church, which, partly
through the influence of Hudson's Bay Company officials, but mainly by their own enterprise, had a missionary, Rev. John West, on the
banks of the Red River in 1820, and this
Church continued to be the sole representative
of Protestantism in that part of the West until
the year 1851, when the Presbyterian Church
sent a missionary to the field. This was the
more remarkable by reason of the fact that the
colony on the Red River brought out by Lord
Selkirk was exclusively Presbyterian, and the
great majority of that colony remained so, while,
to the credit of both missionaries and people, Religious and Educational Development.    213
fully availing themselves of and supporting the
services of the Anglican Church for more than
thirty years The Episcopalians, under Bishop
Anderson, early established a school for boys,
which came to be one- of the leading factors in
the life of the country, and which under the
present regime of Archbishop Machray, a distinguished educationist, grew into St. John's College, now the principal seat of learning in connection with the Anglican body in the West.
Archbishop Machray deserves more than passing
mention in connection with any reminiscences
of Western history. He is a man of exceedingly
striking appearance, being of gigantic stature
and build, with a strongly-marked and leonine
face. An Aberdonian by birth, he was educated
in his native land and in Cambridge, and it is
generally believed by the students under his
care that what he does uot know, especially
about mathematics, is not worth knowing. But
it would be a mistake to suppose that he is only
fitted for residence " within the studious cloisters
pale." He is a man of affairs, who had much to
do with maintaining the equilibrium of the
country in the stormy days of the '69 Rebellion,
and who proved himself so efficient an administrator of church matters in his immense diocese
that he has been honored by the Church with The Making of the Canadian  West.
first place as Primate of all Canada. His influence has been widely felt in educational matters,
and especially in connection with the Provincial
University, of which he has been Chancellor
since its foundation. The missions of the Church
of England extend all over the West, and approach about as near to the North Pole as it is
possible to do and live. Great dioceses bearing
such names as Moosonee, Athabasca and Mackenzie River, give an idea of the far-extended
character of this Church's work, and it may be
safely said that no denomination has striven
more faithfully or more effectively to raise the
standard of true living amongst the aboriginal
tribes of the North-West.
The third Church to enter this part of the
country, as already intimated, is the Presbyterian, whose first missionary, the Rev. John
Black, came to the .Selkirk colony on the Red
River in 1851. For many years he alone upheld the banner of his denomination in the West;
then he was joined by the Rev. James Nisbet
(who in 1866 founded Prince Albert, on the
Saskatchewan), the Rev. Alexander Matheson,
William Fletcher, John McNabb and others, till
to-day the Presbyterian is the most powerful
church organization west of Lake Superior.
Its  pre-eminent  place  is  due   largely  to   the fi*
nd Educational Development.    215
character of its early missionaries and members, to its educational institutions, and to the
splendid organization of its missionary efforts
in the newer districts. John Black- was a man
of great energy, as well as of ripe scholarship,
and his people in Kildonan became the pioneers
in church extension and also the founders of
the educational institutions which have done so
much for the Presbyterians, and in which have
been trained for various walks in life many
from other churches, Protestant and Roman
Catholic alike. The parish school at Kildonan
fed the demand of the early Scotch settlers for
education, and from it Mr. Black outgathered
those who sought for higher instruction, until
the people's needs demanded a college, and Manitoba College was founded by the Presbyterian
Church in 1871. The first professors were the
Revs. George (now Dr.) Bryce and Thomas Hart.
Dr. Bryce has taken an exceedingly active and
vigorous part in all the affairs of the country,
and has by voluminous writings contributed
much to the diffusion of information as to the
West. Prof. Hart is a specialist in classical
study, a cultured, gentle and lovable man, who
has always exerted marked influence for good
on his students. Later on, when the Theological
Department of the College was to be strength- -216        The Making of the Canadian  West.
ened, Revs. Dr. King, the present Principal, and
A. B. Baird, men of strong personality and ripe
scholarship, were added to the staff. With this
staff, assisted by several lecturers in certain
branches, Manitoba College has made abundant
progress, and has become a strong force in the
upbuilding of the new West. This college alone,
of all educational institutions of its class, has a
summer session in theology in order to provide
opportunity for summer study to the students
who man the mission fields through the long
Speaking of mission fields brings us to the Religious and Educational Development.    217
work that has been done in the way of keeping
abreast with the needs of a growing country in
the matter of religious services; and while many
men have done much in this regard, the man who,
next to the pioneer, deserves to have his name
honored, is the Rev. Dr. Robertson, Superintendent of Presbyterian Missions in the North-
West. A man of Highland blood, full of intense
energy, equally at home in the abode of the
millionaire and in the ranch of the pioneer, an
indefatigable worker and a powerful pleader in
public and private, Dr. Robertson has made an
ideal superintendent. He was the first regularly
settled pastor of Knox Church, Winnipeg, where
he was in charge from 1874 to 1881, when the
General Assembly, recognizing the importance
of the work and his peculiar fitness for it, appointed him to direct the Home Missionary work
of the Church west of Lake Superior. The
growth of the Church from three preaching
places in 1870 to 840 in 1897 attests the earnestness of the people, and speaks forcibly as to the
work done by the Superintendent. As immigration flowed westward over the great plains
and through the mountains, the heralds of the
Cross were sent onward, the last achievement
being the despatching of three missionaries to
the  Klondike.     What  has  been  done  in   the 218
The Making of the Canadian West.
Presbyterian Church has been done also in
others, though no other man, so far as we
know, has been so long in special touch with
this particular work as Dr. Robertson.
Where work is to be done one can safely
count on finding the Methodist Church in active
operation, and so it has proved in the Canadian
West. From about 1840 and onward, missionaries of that denomination, Rundle, Evans,
Woolsey, George McDougall and others, had
been at work farther west, and just before the
Rebellion of '69 the Methodist Church in Canada
sent the Rev. George Young to begin work in
the Red River country. Mr. Young quickly
found his way to the heart of affairs, and was
eminently successful in laying the foundations
of prosperity in a new domain. In the stirring
days of the first rebellion, no minister of any
denomination exhibited more courage and none
had more intimate connection with the unfortunate men who fell under the imprisoning
power of Louis Riel. Mr. Young will be especially remembered in the West, not only as the
founder of Methodism in Manitoba, but as the
man who, after all efforts to secure his pardon
were unavailing, was the spiritual adviser of the
unfortunate Thomas Scott in his last hours.
Since the days of Mr. Young, the missions of Religious and Educational Development.    219
the Church have made giant strides, and few
places can be found where some of their workers
have not gone at some time or other. With
the Anglican and Presbyterian churches the
Methodists have done much missionary work
amongst the Indians, and each of these bodies
has charge of Indian Industrial Schools at different points in the country. Under the prin-
cipalship of Rev. Dr. Sparling, a Methodist
college was begun in Winnipeg a few years ago,
and now Wesley College, as it is named, possesses
one of the most strikingly handsome buildings
in the city, and has upon its staff able and
influential men.
Other Protestant bodies in the West are the
Baptists, who have shown great energy in the
extension of their church work, and the Con-
gregationalists, the latter Church only working
thus far in the larger centres. Neither of these
churches has, as yet, any educational institutions, and hence they are somewhat at a disadvantage in having to draw their trained
workers from distant centres.
When we turn to consider the educational
system of the country we find remarkable excellence, considering the newness of things. The
Province of Manitoba started out with a separate
school system, Protestant and Homan Catholic, The Making of the Canadian  West.
and this state of affairs continued until 1890,
when the famous Greenway-Martin Act was
passed, abolishing the separate and establishing
a national unsectarian public school system.
To recount the controversy that raged around
this Act for the six years following would be
beyond the purpose of the present writing,
and would, in fact, make a literature to the
extent of a library. The Roman Catholics
claimed that, by a clause in the Manitoba Act
providing for the perpetuation of any rights
existent, by law or practice, as to denominational schools amongst the people of the country
at the time of the transfer, they were entitled
to separate schools for all time. Against this
people who were familiar with the state of
matters when Manitoba entered Confederation
could say that if the clause was valid the
Episcopalians and Presbyterians had the same
rights as the Roman Catholics, and if all pressed
their claims a remarkable confusion would
soon ensue. It was also said by Mr. Martin,
who was the father of the Act of 1890, that
if the constitution required the separate school
system (which he denied), it would be better in
the interests of moulding the people of a new
country into one homogeneous mass, to seek
amendment  to  the   Constitution   rather   than Religious and Educational Development.    221
perpetuate the double system. Finally, it is
now very generally conceded as discovered
during the progress of the controversy (if
not known for certain before), that the real
Bill  of  Rights as presented by the people of
Minister of the Interior ; formerly Attorney-General of Manitoba.
the country did not ask for the enactment of
the clause above referred to in the form in
which it was, after some doctoring, enacted. In
any case the Act of 1890 gave great offence to
the Roman Catholics, who for the most part
persisted in maintaining their own schools out Thi Making of the Canadian  West.
of private subscriptions while paying their
taxes like others, and at the same time carrying
the case without success through every court in
the land, and then to the Imperial Privy Council.
In the process of a few years the Manitoba
school question became a public nuisance, inasmuch as it monopolized the attention of politicians and electors all over Canada, to the
almost total exclusion of trade and other
weighty issues. Hence there was very general
relief when the Governments of the Hon. (now
Sir) Wilfrid Laurier and of Hon. Thomas
Greenway came to a basis of settlement shortly
after Mr. Laurier came into power at Ottawa in
1896. The settlement perpetuated the national
system of schools, and has been accordingly
resisted by the Roman Catholic hierarchy,
though many of the people of that Church
seem disposed to accept it and come under the
operation of the Act and the settlement, which
are intended to be enforced in a considerate and
conciliatory spirit. The latest development is
the somewhat irenic encyclical of the Pope,
who adheres to the justice of the claim made
by Roman Catholics, and advises continued
effort in the course they have been pursuing,
but after all practically tells them to take what
they can get.    Whatever be the intent of the R ligious and Educational Development.    223
encyclical it is highly probable that with
possible slight modifications to render the
acceptance of it more agreeable to the Roman
Catholics, the system will continue for all time
to be in essence a national system of public
HON.   F.   W.   G.   HAULTAIN,
Premier of the North-West Territories.
In the North-West Territories the educational
system is under the control of a Council of
Public Instruction, consisting of the four members of the Executive Committee, ex-officio, and
four appointed members (two Protestants and
two   Roman   Catholics) without   votes.     The .224        The Making of the Canadian  West.
provisions of the School Ordinance, 1896, in this
respect are:—
The members of the Executive Committee of
the Territories, and four persons, two of whom
shall be Protestants and two Roman Catholics,
appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, shall constitute a Council of Public Instruction, and one of the said Executive Committee,
to be nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor in
Council, shall be Chairman of the said Council
of Public Instruction. The appointed members
shall have no vote, and shall receive such
remuneration as the Lieutenant-Governor in
Council shall provide.
(1) The Executive Committee, or any subcommittee thereof appointed for that purpose,
shall constitute a quorum of the Council of
Public Instruction, but no general regulations
(a) The management and discipline of schools;
(b) The examination, grading and licensing of
(c) The selection of books;
(d) The inspection of schools ;
(e) Normal training;
shall be adopted or amended except at a general
meeting of the Council of Public Instruction
duly convened for that purpose. Religious and Educational Development.    225
The following paragraphs from the last report
of the Council of Instruction will give further
insight into the system:—
" The classes of schools established are Public
Schools and Separate Schools. The minority of
the ratepayers in any organized public school
district, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic,
may establish a separate school therein, and in
such case the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate school shall
be liable only to assessments of such rates as
they impose upon themselves in respect thereof.
Any person who is legally assessed or assessable
for a public school shall not be liable to assessment for any separate school established therein.
Provision is made for Night Schools for pupils
over fourteen years of age who are unable to
attend school during the day.
" Inspectors are appointed by the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council, and report to the Council
of Public Instruction and the trustees of each
district on the scholarship, behaviour and progress of the children, teaching and governing
power of the teacher, condition of the buildings,
grounds and apparatus, and state of the treasurer's books. They are expected to give any
advice and instruction necessary for the successful conduct of the schools. They have nothing
to do with religious instruction,"
10 226        The Making of the Canadian  West.
From this it will be seen that the system is a
somewhat complex one as compared with that of
the Province of Manitoba, where, as indicated
already, there is a national unsectarian public
school system established, and where an Advisory Board has control under the Government.
D.   J.   GOGGIN,  M.A.
The Superintendent of Education in the Territories is Mr. D. J. Goggin, M.A., a gentleman
of large experience and special talents for the
work. The comparative smoothness with which
the educational machinery of the Territories has
been working is due largely to his wisdom and
abundant labors. Religious and Educational Development.    227
In the matter of higher education the University of Manitoba, the only degree-conferring body
in Arts, is a somewhat unique institution in the
educational world. It is constituted by an
affiliation of all the denominational colleges  in
First Agent of Dominion Lands in Manitoba, and one time
Speaker of the Local Legislature.
the West, Protestant and Roman Catholic, as
well as the Medical College. It is still without
buildings, an examining body principally, the
teaching except in one or two departments
being done in the colleges maintained by the
several  churches.    Notwithstanding  this  coin- 228
The Making of the Canadian  West.
posite character of the institution, the manner
of its administration has evidenced such an
admirable spirit of mutual good-will, and such
an earnest desire to advance the common cause
of higher education, that the University has
been a signal and unbroken success. All the
colleges and the graduates elect representatives,
who form the Council, which is the governing
body of the University. Altogether we can
say, in closing this brief chapter on the religious
and educational life of the country, that in an
eminent degree for a new land the West furnishes
advantages in these directions to all who come
within her borders.
As we close this volume and pause a moment
to take another look back over the way by
which we have come, we are impressed with the
marvellously rapid strides that have been taken
in the march of the country's progress. Prairies
over which not many years ago we have ridden
for days in succession without meeting a human
being except the roving Indian, or seeing a
dwelling other than his wigwam, now are transformed into thriving farms, where in autumn
the wheat fields wave and toss like a golden sea.
Verily the wilderness has been made glad, and
the desert has rejoiced and blossomed like the Religious and Educational Development.    229
rose. Railways now run like a network over
the once virgin plains, and along the various
lines towns have risen from the level sod as if
by magic. At these towns, which are growing
with a rapidity surprising to anyone who visits
them frequently, huge elevators in large numbers receive the finest wheat in the world and
seud it abroad into ready markets. On the wide
plains, once the home of roaming herds of
buffaloes, vast numbers of their tamer species
feed on the richest grasses, and from every
station these cattle are shipped by the hundred
to the great food-devouring centres of the world.
Away on our Pacific shore the Orient and the
Occident stand face to face, and great ships
from every quarter of the globe drop anchor
in the harbors of our coast cities; while rushing on to the wondrous gold fields, thronging
multitudes pass with eager tread. Thus from
the isolation of a few years ago has the Canadian West come into touch with the busy haunts
of men, and instead of the feeble throbbings of
a primitive trade, the blood of a world's commerce, that "calm health of nations," now flows
steadily through the giant arteries of a new
nation. From what has been related in the
closing chapter of this book, it may justly be
inferred that  those  who believe that without 230
The Making of the Canadian  West.
religion and education the material greatness of
a country is but dust and ashes, are doing their
utmost to keep all the nobler ideals of life before
the people and uplift the truest standards of
success in the presence of all who come into our
midst. If Canada knows her opportunity and
the day of her visitation, if she holds this vast
domain for God and home and truth and purity,
there are limitless possibilities of noble endeavor
and high achievement before us. De Selkirk Settlers in Real Life
(Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal).
-   75 Cents, Postpaid
Press Comments
1 In every instance Mr. MacBeth tells his story in happy terms, and
supplies many details of the life of the settlers."—Royal Colonial
Institute Journal.
" The author is a-descendant of one of the hardy Scots who were in
the Red River Valley a life-time before Riel was born. His story is the
more romantic for its very simplicity."—St. John Sun.
"Not a dry-collection of details, but an interesting account of the
Settlement. . . . These experiences are unique. . . . Mr.
MacBeth is to be congratulated on his book."—Canadian Magazine.
" A fascinating little volume, telling a tale that redounds to the honor
of the Scottish race. . . . Mr. MacBeth's sketch gives a pleasing
impression of the sterling worth and industry of the settlers."—Review of
Historical Publications, Vol. II.
IA small but useful contribution to the history of the North-West.
. . . Mr. MacBeth was brought up in the colony, and recalls some of
its primitive laws, methods of agriculture and social customs, with a
flavor of personal reminiscence."—Montreal Witness.
" The story of the Red River Settlement is one of unique interest.
Its early days were a perfect Iliad of disaster. Flood, famine and hostile
Indians sorely tried the faith and patience of the brave pioneers. A descendant of one of these tells in these pages the stirring story."—Onward.
Rev. Robert Murray, Editor of the Presbyterian Witness (Halifax,
N.S.), writes the author: " Accept of my thanks for your most readable
and refreshing book. I am delighted with it. Brought up among the
Highlanders I appreciate some of the chapters more than others; but
the book as a whole is excellent. I only wish it were ampler in its
1 As the title indicates, the aim of the writer is to give to the people
of to-day ah idea of how the settlers lived in their homes, as apart from
their struggles as a community for political and commercial rights. In
this he has been eminently successful, and a valuable picture of the
social life as it then was has been preserved for future generations."—
Winnipeg Tribune.
WILLIAM   BRIGGS,   Publisher
29-33 Richmond Street West,      -       -      TORONTO, ONT, Manitoba
Founder of Methodist Missions in the " Red River Settlement."
General Secretary of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Church.
In Extra English Cloth Boards, with J 5 Portraits and Illustrations.
PRICE,  $1.00,   POSTPAID.
« « Personal and Press Comments « «
"The book is of fascinating interest, and gives authentic information not elsewhere to be obtained on the stirring events of the early history of Manitoba. It
is handsomely printed, with numerous portraits and other engravings.'"—Onward.
"The reader will readily perceive that «ne who has lived so long in such
varied scenes as have fallen to the lot of Dr. Young must have witnessed many
things worthy of record, and will rejoice with the present writer that the venerable author, notwithstanding his characteristic modesty, was prevailed upon, after
much entreaty, to send forth this charming volume."—Mail and Empire.
" An interesting chapter is devoted to the Fenian Raid of 1871; another to
Dr. Lachlan Taylor's tour among the missions in the 'Great Lone Land,' taken
from Dr. Taylqr's own report and journal; and still another chapter recounts the
history of the early educational movement in the West. On the whole the book is
a very interesting and indeed valuable one, not only to members of the author's
Church, but also to the general reader."—Ottawa Citizen.
S. R. PARSONS, Esq., writes:
"Only one who has lived in that land of 'illimitable possibilities,' and
experienced the brightness of its winter and summer sunshine, and tasted of the
water of the Red River, that ever after leaves an unquenchable thirst, and sniffed
the ozone of the prairies, and mingled with the heartiest and most friendly people
on earth, can fully appreciate this book. The high respect in which the author is
deservedly held Will, no doubt, ensure a large sale, for the work. In the North-
West, particularly, it should be in every home and Sunday School library."
WILLIAM   BRIGGS,  Publisher,
29-33 Richmond St. West, TORONTO, ONT. Forest, Me em Prairie
WESTERN CANADA, 1842-1862.
With 27 Full-Page Illustrations by J. E. Laughlin.
Bead tlie following:
" This is a true boy's book, and
equals in stirring interest anything written by Kingston or
Ballantyne. It ought to sell by
the thousand."—Mrs. S. A. Cur-
zon, in Orillia Packet.
" Possessed of an intimate acquaintance with all the varied
aspects of frontier life, Mr. McDougall has produced a book that
will delight the heart of every
boy reader."—Endeavor Herald.
" There are many graphic descriptions of scenes in that vast
fertile region in those early days
vhen travelling was difficult and
dangerous, but most fascinating
to a youth of John McDougall's
temperament and training. He
lives those stirring times over
again in his lively narrative, and
relates his personal experiences
with all the glow and vividness
of an ardent, youthful hunter."
—Canadian Baptist.
WILLIAM BRIGGS, Publisher, Toronto. Sail M ai SflWSlK
With 15 Full-Page Illustrations by J. E. Laughun.
"... If it be their good fortune to obtain it, * Saddle, Sled and Sxowshoe'
will not disappoint their most sanguine expectations. . . . While hard work, hardship, and plucky endurance
characterize and give vim and
go to the story, the incidents in
which the love of fun, inherent
in every boy's nature, finds
opportunity of play, add much
to the brightness and realistic
value of the book. The book is
well illustrated, the drawings
being faithful to the reality, and
the scenes well chosen."—The
Press Comments on "Forest,
Lake and Prairie."
" Mr. McDougall is a true child
of nature. He has passed through
scenes that would stir the pulses
of less impulsive men, and he
writes with the keenest enthusiasm : and this spirit possesses
the reader of his thrilling pages."
—Christian Gxiardian.
"I have read no book better
fitted to inspire our Canadian
boys with a healthy interest in
their own undiscovered country;
" nor any more calculated to put
into our growing youth the
strong, sturdy, self-reliant spirit
of a real manhood, an heroic,
muscular Christianity." — Canai-
dian Home Journal.
WILLIAM BRIGtiS, Publisher, Toronto.
'hfld^^C The Warden of the Plains
By  JOHN    MACLEAN,   M.A.,   Ph.D.,
Author of " Canadian Savage Folk,"" etc.
Illustrated by J. E. LAUGHUN.
CLOTH,  $1.25,   POSTPAID.
CONTENTS: The Warden of the Plains—Asokoa, the Chief's Daughter—The
Sky Pilot—The Lone Pine—The Writing Stone—Akspine—Old Glad—The
Spirit Guide — Alahcasla—The Hidden Treasure—The White Man's Bride—
The Coming of Apauakas.
" Dr. Maclean's familiarity with
western life is evident in this collection of stories. All are well told."
—The Westminster.
" Dr. Maclean has rendered a distinct
service to Canadian literature by
photographing in this series of pictures
a type of Canadian life which is ta?t
passing away."—Rev. W. H. Withrow,
" These stories are admirably written.
They present the life and legends of
the great North-West in a manner calculated to excite a sincere and useful
interest among strangers."—Mail and
"A collection of short stories, some
dramatic, some pathetic, all serious.
. . . The Indian tales are very pathetic and most interesting from an
ethnological standpoint. . . . The
stories are accurate pictures of North-
West life."— Victoria Times.
WILLIAM   BRIGGS,   Publisher,
29-33 Richmond St West, TORONTO, ONT. «Canadian Savage folk*
Savage Folk
Jon\ *4vL,EAS,PaJ>
M.A.,   PH.D.
Author of " The  Indians  of
Canada," " The   Warden
of the Plains," etc.
I  641 pages, more than \ 00 illustrations, complete  index,
well annotated, beautifully bound*
Cloth,   $2.50 ;   Half-
Morocco, $3.50.
personal anb press IRotices.
" The book is full of romance from beginning to end."—Canadian Magazine.
" The most complete work on the Indian races in Canada yet issued. No
more entertaining book has been published."—Canadian Bookseller.
"This book will be a permanent authority on this subject."—Methodist
"' Canadian Savage Folk' will be a standard work for all time in the history
of Canada."—The Week, Toronto.
" A useful and entertaining book."—Montreal Witness.
" It is the best volume that has been written upon the subject of the Canadian Indians,"—American Antiquarian.
" It is well put together, and will be a standard work."—Rev. Dr. Peet, Editor
of American Antiquarian.
"The work, which is copiously illustrated, is a most able and interesting one,
not only for the specialist, but for the general reader also."—Journal of Royal
Colonial Institute.
" This is, we believe, the largest and most important book on the native races
of Canada that has yet been published. It is the result of a careful and thorough
study of many years."—Rev. W. H. Withrow, D.D., in Onward.
WILLIAM  BRIGGS,  Publisher,
29-33 Richmond St. West,     -      -      TORONTO, ONT. Across the Sub-Arctics of
By J.  W.  TYRRELL,   C.E.,   D.L.S.
Illustrated by Engravings from Photographs and from Drawings
" A story of immense scientific value."
—Toronto Globe.
"A most valuable contribution to
the literature of the great North-West.
. . . Mr. Tyrrell's touches of description are delightful."— Victoria Times.
"As a mere record of adventure, of
imminent peril and hair-breadth
escapes, of hunting polar bears, and
taking a winter tramp of a thousand
miles, we know no narrative of more
absorbing character. "Methodist Magazine. .  —
"Upon the whole, no book of travel
and exploration in Canada has appeared since Butler's 'Great Lone
Land' was published, that combined
the interest and value of Mr. Tyrrell's
book."—Hamilton Herald.
" A remarkable trip of exploration,
one of the most important of recent
years."—Buffalo Illustrated Express.
"The tale is a marvellous one ; the
only wonder is the party ever succeeded in returning to civilization."—
Christian Guardian.
" The record of their journey will
be found delightful reading by those who feel the peculiar fascination of the vast
melancholy Northland. . . . Altogether the volume is one of solid merit."—
Christian Advocate (New York).
"There is a variety in this narrative which those of strictly Arctic expeditions
lack. It leads through wonderful lakes and rivers hitherto unvisited by white
men, with thrilling adventures in running unknown and perilous rapids."—The
Bookman (New York).
" The illustrations have the double virtue of illustrating the subject and of
being trustworthy; and this final remark applies to the whole book."—N. Y.
WILLIAM   BRIGGS,  Publisher,
29-33 Richmond St. West, TORONTO, ONTf mi
Overland to Cariboo
An Eventful Journey of Canadian Pioneers to the Gold-
Fields of British Columbia in 1862.
With Portraits and
Price,   $1.00,
" A timely contribution to the literature of the farthest West."
—Montreal Witness. •
1' Gives a broad idea of this western part of our young country as
it was before civilization pushed westward."—Canadian Magazine.
" A story of unflagging and often thrilling interest, told in a simple, pleasing and vivid style."—New Westminster Daily Columbian.
'' The narrative teems with interesting details of travel thirty
years ago. . . . The work is highly entertaining and well worth
perusal."—Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute.
"This modest expedition, untrumpeted, unboomed, did more
for the progress of humanity than all the Arctic exploring expeditions ever did or ever could accomplish."—Dundee Advertiser.
" The journey described was an historic event in the development
of the West, and as such is worthy of the perusal of everyone
interested in the progress of the country."—Edmonton Bulletin.
'' Such books as these throw a clearer light on the rapidity of
the advancement which Canada is making, besides paying a just
tribute to the memory of those intrepid individuals who laid the
foundations of a new Western Canada."—Canadian Magazine.
"It is not only a graphic account of hazardous enterprises successfully accomplished, but also purposes to show the resources of
a region whose vast territory and practically limitless possibilities
are even yet hardly appreciated by people at home or abroad."—
Massey's Magazine.
WILLIAM   BRIGGS, Publisher,
39-33 Richmond St. West,      -      r      TORONTO, ONT? - Some Notable
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Including the negotiations on which they are based,
and other information relating thereto.
CLOTH, $1.00.
Nova Britannia; or, Our New Canadian Dominion
Being a series of Lectures, Speeches and Addresses.
. WILLIAM   BRIGGS,   Publisher,
29-33 Richmond St. West,     -      -      TORONTO, ONT. 0     M


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