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A bishop in the rough Sheepshanks, John, 1834-1912 1909

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• The University of British Columbia Library
— !■          "      - —
Frazer River, 1860.
(Photo Maull & Fox, London.) i BISHOP
HIRD     H
--~- . ^    -.    . I JOHN BHEEF8HAN1
■'razer River, I860.
Maull & Wo&¥ Li ■ ■ ■ i A BISHOP  IN   THE
All rights reserved\
■    '     -J- ■ PRINTED BY
A few prefatory words may be necessary to explain how it
has come to pass that this volume appears now, and in its
present form.
From time to time, in lectures and addresses and in
private conversation, I have been led to relate incidents of
my past life which have been received with more or less
interest. And from many quarters, from my own dear
relatives, from friends and brother clergy, there has come
" A prayer of earnest heart
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate
Whereof by parcels they had something heard."
I was in some degree able to gratify this wish, for I
had always, even in trying circumstances, at the gold-mines
of Cariboo or on the arid steppes of Asia, kept a fairly full
journal. And at odd times of my present life, when on my
annual holiday, perhaps in some simple Tyrolese inn, I have
found amusement in filling out my journal from my own
recollections. I thought that possibly my children might
like to have it printed after my decease.
But a few months since one of my clergy, the Rev. D.
Wallace Duthie, himself an author of repute and experience,
most kindly offered to undertake the work of revising and
piecing together the portions of my journal and preparing
them for the Press.
1 VI
This kind offer was readily accepted; for I had neither
the leisure, nor perhaps, through indolence, the inclination
to do the work myself, yet would gladly see some of my
reminiscences of the past years in print. So all the labour
was in fact performed by Mr. Duthie, who has also, as will
be perceived, with much trouble and skill, supplemented the
narrative where needed; and the book, under the auspices
of the excellent publishers, is now launched upon the public.
There is a serious, and in truth a sad, consideration which
causes me to welcome the opportunity of setting some of my
experiences in foreign, and especially in heathen, lands before
the public.
It is to me a striking thought that this earth is undergoing far more rapid changes than at any former period of
its history. Not only are the means of travel enormously
improved, the railroad and the motor-car now penetrating
into countries absolutely untravelled but a few years ago;
not only are countries quite unknown in the days of our
grandparents, such as the vast continent of Africa, being
traversed in every direction, but to me, a much more interesting thought, the animals and men that inhabit the earth are
rapidly changing year by year.
Many of the most beautiful beasts of creation are disappearing with melancholy rapidity. As a young man I
have followed the tracks of the buffalo on the prairies of
North America. Now, as wild creatures {ferae naturae),
they have ceased to exist. Only a few miserable creatures
are preserved in Canada and the Yellowstone Park. Those
beautiful creatures that thronged South Africa fifty years
ago, whose wonderful horns we beheld with admiration in
the halls of our gentry, grandsons of the hunters, the antelopes, the elands, the springboks, are either exterminated or driven
indeed, as
away into other latitudes,
I hope, steps are taken to
there to
perish, unless
them in their
wild state of nature in extensive parks.
Even the ungainly hippopotamus is, we are told, vanishing
from the sluggish rivers. Similarly the cariboo and the
moose are disappearing from Northern Canada. The Englishman with his deadly rifle, under the guidance of the great
modern god, sport, gives no quarter.
But sadder far than this is the fact that races of men are
disappearing. The natives are gone from Tasmania. In
Australia the I black fellows | have dwindled to a wretched
remnant. The Indians of North America are either dying
off or degenerating—they are but few in number compared
with what they were when I first knew them, fifty years
ago—or they are being domesticated or amalgamated with
the whites. My grandchildren will see the time when,
north of Mexico—I do not know that I need even make that
qualification—there will be not a single I Wild Indian" in
North America. The " noble savage " is being improved off
the face of the earth, and some of us lament him. I
cannot now dwell upon the causes of the disappearance of
these people, though, alas! some of them I know right well.
But my point is that they, with their traditions, legends,
manners, and thoughts, are in fact disappearing, and the world
will soon know them no more.
Any work, therefore, which gives a truthful and realistic
account of their lives and manners should be of some interest
as the time goes by, though another volume will be necessary for those particulars of their history and religion of
interest to the ethnologist which came under my observation.
Similarly, though perhaps in a less degree, there may be
some interest in the sketch of the community at Salt Lake
I Vlll
City under the astute absolute government of President
Brigham Young.
That state of affairs has now passed away for ever.
Even the comparatively immutable Asia is changing. The
railway has penetrated Mongolia to the astonishment and,
I suspect, disgust of the simple nomads. Motor-cars have
appeared in the sacred city, and I suspect that before long
the bizarre customs of the Mongols and the strange religious
rites, the fire-worship, and the adoration of the Khutuktu,
will be matters of the past, and but scantily recorded in the
memoirs of travellers.
It has been suggested to me that, as a kind of finish to
these memoirs, I should append some reminiscences and
reflections upon the work of the Church at home, as it has
come under my observation during the past sixty years, in
the belief that they might be useful and not without interest
at the present time.
I do not know that I can write anything of value, except
to testify to the enormous improvement in the activity and
work of the Church during this truly wonderful period. In
the forties and fifties of the last century the | Oxford Movement " had effected a change in the religious and churchly
opinions of a considerable but not, I think, a very large
number of Church-people. But those new or revived
opinions and theories had as yet but a very slight practical
effect upon the Church life of the parishes. At least in
middle England we occasionally, but only occasionally, met
with a clergyman who had daily prayers in his church, and
perhaps even preached in a surplice, and was in consequence
dubbed a " Puseyite "; but, in general, things went on much
in the old way.
There were good men who did their duty according to PREFACE ix
their lights, but there was but little pastoral skill exhibited
in the working of the parishes, and but few attempts at
new methods or more complete organization. The idea of
work of the ordinary clergyman might perhaps be set forth
in three sentences: two full services on Sunday (with no
omissions), careful attention to the sick, kindly "relief"
given to the poor.
No one, I think, contributed more, if as much, to set up
a wholly different standard of parochial work than the man
who gave the impulse to my own life—Walter Farquhar
Hook. He translated the principles of the Oxford revival
into actual work. For many years, by his life and doings
at Leeds, and by his writings, he exercised a practical
influence over the character and work of the Church which,
I think, has not been exercised since by any presbyter of
the Anglican Communion.
Until the day of his death he was in the habit of
receiving large numbers of letters from clergy, and indeed
from laity also, asking for instruction and advice upon
matters of faith or conscience or discipline. In this correspondence Mrs. Hook, a very clever woman, and one who
well knew her husband's mind, was of great help to him.
When Dr. Hook went to Leeds as Vicar in the year 1837,
the Church of England was in fact in that rising town
nowhere. The various Dissenting bodies were numerous,
zealous, wealthy, and progressive. The poor Church was
altogether behind.
His appointment, as being that of a High Churchman,
roused hostility. When the churchwardens, eight in number,
were elected, it was found that the Dissenters had carried
every seat. The Vicar manifested no anger, told the newly
elected wardens that he relied upon them to fulfil their X
legal duties, to be present at church and keep order, and that
he had no doubt that they would get on very well together.
To their surprise the wardens found that there were not,
as they supposed, considerable funds at their disposal; but,
on the other hand, it rested with them to provide means for
carrying on the services of the church. Accordingly—
strange fact, unprecedented, I should suppose, in the history
of a great parish!—collections were made in the Dissenting
chapels for the carrying on the services of the parish church.
The Vicar continued on pleasant terms with his churchwardens, until at the end of the year they were replaced by
Churchmen. Some of them had learned in the mean while
to respect their Vicar and appreciate his ministrations, and
continued on as worshippers at the parish church.
If the secret of his remarkable personal influence be
inquired of, the first and comprehensive answer must be
returned that it was his own personal goodness. No one
who was ever associated with him could have any doubt of
his personal piety. He was a large-hearted, generous,
lovable man, with nothing small or mean about him.
Strongly holding decided views, and ever ready strenuously
to oppose what he held to be doctrinal error, he was yet
personally truly humble-minded. No one ever saw a sign
of pride or assumption in him, and his subordinates, the
youngest curates, he ever treated as though he were their
elder brother, and was met in return with enthusiastic
The parish was mapped out into different districts, one of
the eight curates being assigned to each district, though
sometimes a junior, a deacon, was put under the care of one
of the priests. This staff was under the immediate direction
and superintendence of the senior curate. PREFACE
The Vicar always took the utmost care in the selection
of the curates, who were as a rule invited to stay at the
vicarage " on likes " before any engagement was made. If
the Vicar were quite satisfied as to the character of the man
—and he made no mistakes—he was put over a district, and
apparently left much alone, under the superintendence of
the senior curate. There was much independence left to
each curate, who might set agoing new machinery and make
new ventures of faith in his district with the general concurrence of his immediate superior. Yet the Vicar's eye was
over the whole, and he knew pretty well what was going on
in all the districts. He was always ready to be referred to,
and would often visit peculiar cases at the request of the
curate in charge.
There can be no question that one of the chief causes of
his very remarkable influence in Leeds was his preaching.
He regarded preaching as a solemn, responsible converting ordinance, took great pains with his sermons, and, when
at home, preached always every Sunday morning and evening
and usually on Saints' days. In his latter years, believing
preaching to be a work to which he was specially called, and
having reason to believe that his sermons were often greatly
blessed, he preached a good deal in all parts of England; for
he regarded an invitation to preach as a Providential call, so
that the jocose saying sprang up, " Bait Hook with a sermon,
and he is sure to take."
Doubtless there are those who, now reading his sermons
with, to the present day, their rather unattractive style, will
wonder at the effect which they unquestionably had. But
those who heard him in his own church would cease to
wonder. The secret of his influence, which is the secret of
all the deep effect which is ever made by oratory, lay in the
fact that he was entirely en rapport with his audience, and
they with him.
Of the multitudes of rich and poor who, Sunday after
Sunday, hung upon his lips for three-quarters of an hour—
we felt we were defrauded if the evening sermon were less
than forty minutes—there were very, very few—I should
think only a handful—who did not thoroughly believe in the
Vicar. They knew that he was carrying out in his life the
truths and the precepts which were uttered with so much
power yet softness by his magnificent yet truly human
One important point in his preaching, and indeed in all
his ministrations, was his singular knowledge of human
nature. All other men whom I have been associated with
in my life have made mistakes, and sometimes grievous mistakes, in their judgment of human character, but Hook
never. His accurate knowledge of the principles which
guide human conduct was of the greatest value to him in his
I remember on one occasion the senior curate and I
walked behind the Doctor and Mrs. Hook on our way to the
vicarage, where we always had supper on Sunday night and
arranged the work for the week.
As the Doctor walked up the steps to the vicarage, a
man, who had been following hard upon his footsteps, sprang
up behind him and began to talk eagerly. We, of course,
stood still. On entering the vicarage, after the man's
departure, the Vicar, with a curious smile upon his sympathetic countenance, told us what the poor fellow had been
saying. " * Ah, Vicar, you were too 'ard upon me to-night \ 1
(i.e. in the sermon). "* I don't say you were wrong. But
if you had known all the circumstances, you wouldn't have PREFACE
been so *ard upon me—you wouldn't, indeed.'" Of course
the Vicar knew nothing whatever about the poor man.
Another point in his preaching was this—that he always
set up a high, but never an unattainable, standard. I have
heard a baker, an enthusiastic admirer, say, "The Vicar
never tells us to do anything but what we might do, and
ought to do. He knows how to make allowances. There is
no preacher like t'ould Vicar."
Mrs. Hook, within my own hearing, attributed the
Vicar's success in great degree to his bonhomie, and I have
no doubt that she was right. He was always genial with
everybody. On one occasion he was trying to persuade a
man of intemperate habits to take the pledge. At last the
man replied, "Well, Vicar, I will take it if you will."
I Done! " was the quick reply. Rather taken aback, the
man retorted, " But how shall I know if you keep it ?"
Many men would have been ruffled by such a doubt. But
not so the Vicar.   "You ask my missus, and I will ask
» *
His "bonhomie was very useful on many occasions, as
sometimes when he was in the chair at meetings. He was,
of course, Rural Dean; and sometimes hot discussions would
arise, for those were days of eager controversy. If the
discussion became sharp, the President would intervene.
Rolling about in his chair, somewhat after the manner of
Dr. Johnson, he would  plunge into anecdotes,  and tell
* Sometimes in his genial good humour he would, with much amusement, tell a story against himself, such as the following. Calling upon an
old friend at Coventry, a pretty little girl came into the room, and walking
up to the Doctor, and gazing at his bulky form and massive face, said
deliberately, "Tve seen zu before." "Have you, my dear?" "Yes.
I've seen zu at ze Zoological Gardens!"
 m f j
us some capital story of one of the notabilities of his
acquaintance. And the laugh restored us all to good
humour, except, of course, the two who wished eagerly to
press their own views.
I have drawn this slight sketch of Dr. Hook, because,
learned as he was, and an authority on pastoral theology,
he was, I think, unquestionably the foremost parish priest
of his day. And this because the principles upon which he
acted, increasingly adopted since the time he first advocated
them, appear to me to be the true principles of the Church
of England, and well calculated to promote her work. He certainly was feiix opportunitate vitce. He raised the Church
and increased the strength of the Church enormously in
Leeds, and indirectly throughout all Yorkshire and the
The change that has passed over the episcopate during
the last sixty or seventy years is, I suppose, to the full as
remarkable as that which has passed over the work and
character of the parochial clergy. The worst days of the
eighteenth century had indeed departed for ever. The
Bishops were no longer found haunting the ante-room of
the Prime Minister to make interest for promotion to a
better, i.e. a richer, See.
But bishoprics were still often, perhaps usually, given
to political adherents, or to oblige a great man, or under
the influence of private friendship. The object aimed at, as
indeed is too often the case'now—the object which commends
itself to those who desire preferment to benefices—was to
oblige and benefit the person preferred, rather than to seek
out the man most likely to do well the work of the vacant
post. The person, not the work, was the predominating
consideration. PREFACE
Bishop Bathurst, of Norwich, and his friends were
bitterly angry because at the age of eighty-three the
important and onerous See of Winchester was not offered
to him by the Liberal Government. And in actual fact, in
the year 1831 the Archbishopric of Dublin was offered to
him, when eighty-seven years of age, by the Prime Minister,
Lord Grey. He was well known to be an enthusiastic
supporter of the Reform Bill.
There were many excellent men upon the Episcopal
Bench, but they knew little of the science of episcopal
work. They remained usually in their cathedral cities,
unless they were in town, and scarcely ever went into their
dioceses, except when on their periodical rounds for the
purpose of holding Confirmations.
I remember well one worthy Bishop, a kindly, courtly
old man with an aristocratic lisp, speaking thus at my
father's table: " Some of my Right Rev. Bwethren say they
find the work of their dioceses vewy onerous. I cannot but
think this is from want of method, want of method. What
I do is this. I have a map of my diocese, and draw an
imaginary line—an imaginary line—across it, dividing it
into two fairly equal moieties. I go through the one half
one year, confirming the dear young people. I go through
the other half the next year, confirming the dear young
people. And the third year—why, haw, haw, haw! I have
a holiday."
Similarly, the excellent Bishop of the then vast diocese
of Lincoln writes to the Bishop of Norwich in 1833: " The
present is my idle year: I have neither Visitation nor
Confirmations, and can therefore, without the slightest inconvenience, hold Confirmations for you."
I do not suppose that these Fathers in God had any
I. w
idea that there was more that could be done. There was
no tradition in the English Church of a Bishop going
frequently throughout his diocese, visiting the clergy in
their own parishes, and preaching in the village church.
Such was an idea never broached. There were excellent
Bishops wishful to do their duty, but some one was wanted
to show the way.
Our own Bishop was a country clergyman, who got his
bishopric through the interest of his patron, who became a
Cabinet Minister in the Whig Administration. He was a
very kindly man, and certainly on one occasion, in which
my own honoured father was concerned, exhibited singular
humbleness of mind.
It is remembered to this day how his kindness of heart
once nearly got him into trouble. Walking along the highroad, he saw a carter beating his horse rather cruelly.
Whereupon the Bishop stopped and remonstrated strongly
with the man, who, however, not knowing him, only gave
him " sauce." So the Bishop went on his way somewhat
A gentleman coming up, who had seen the two conversing, asked the waggoner if he knew who it was. " No,"
he says; " but I gave him a piece of my mind." " That was
the Bishop." "The Bishop! Why, we rent land under
him.   I'll run and beg his pardon."
The good Bishop, still ruffled, chanced to look behind,
and saw the carter tearing along with his long whip in his
hand, doubtless to administer personal chastisement. So
he took to his heels and trundled along the road as well
as his age would let him, the carter gaining on him fast.
Fortunately, before long there was a cottage by the roadside, where the panting prelate took refuge.   The carter PREFACE
followed.    An  eclaircissement took  place,  and a suitable
apology appeased the good-natured Bishop.
The traditional mode of administering Confirmation was
In the West Riding of Yorkshire, and in the great East
Anglian See, Confirmations were held only once in seven
years. Of the former, Dean Stephens says: " A vast number
of ill-prepared young people were brought together in
waggons from great distances. The occasion was frequently
a scene of scandalous festivities and improprieties, and many
of the candidates returned to their homes initiated in vice,
instead of being confirmed in goodness."
Upwards of 1000 candidates were presented at Leeds
on the occasion of the first Confirmation of Dr. Hook's
vicariate. It was much the same in East Anglia. The
custom of the diocese is, and has been since the Middle
Ages, for the Bishop to hold his Visitation of the clergy once
only in seven years. My brethren of the Episcopate will
envy me.
When the appointed time arrived the Bishop's carriage
was brought round. On one or two of these Visitations, so
the story goes, the Bishop and Mr. Gurney exchanged horses
for the occasion, the Bishop's four bays going to Mr. Gurney's
stables, and Mr. Gurney's four blacks going to the Palace.
Then in step the Chancellor, the Registrar, the Chaplain,
and the Bishop himself, all in wigs and gowns and canonicals,
to go off in solemn procession all round the diocese, visiting
and confirming. This solemn progress had been handed
down from mediaeval times, when the Bishop stayed at his
various stately houses, visited the clergy, instituted and even
ordained others.
On one of these progresses, immediately after the " Black
— xvm
Death," some hundreds of priests were ordained. The children,
results of the seven years' waiting, were brought in to the
various centres in crowds, in carts and waggons. Incidentally, Bishop Bathurst mentions in one of his letters
that the day before he had confirmed between 1600 and 1700
young people in one of the fine churches at Bury St.
Edmunds. There were eatings and drinkings and junketings
in the public-houses, and the candidates went back to their
often distant homes in the gloaming. The certain dangers
and probable sins of such gatherings as these are obvious,
and so too the distaste they would breed in the minds of
pious Dissenters to the blessed ordinance of Confirmation.
This progress occupied about two months.
I myself was confirmed in the noble church of St.
Michael, Coventry, with between 300 and 400 others. The
Bishop gave us no address at all before the laying on of
hands—which would suit well enough some of our modern
critics. But after the Confirmation, mounting the pulpit
and drawing from his silk cassock his black velvet sermon
case, he gave us what was then styled his " charge."
His opening struck me, and has never since been forgotten : | My dear bwethren, we have just been engaged in a
vewy interesting, and I must confess, as far as I myself can
perceive, a wholly unobjectionable ceremony." The sharp
schoolboy thought that, if that were all that could be said,
he might as well perhaps have stayed away.
But indeed in those days very little was said, except by
an occasional " Tractarian," on Confirmation as being one of
the blessed God-instituted means of grace. It was regarded
rather as being the taking upon one's self the vows of Holy
Baptism—a useful ceremony.
There is no need to point out the contrast between the PREFACE
Ordinations of the present day and those of the time to
which I am referring.
I believe I am doing no injustice when I say that the
matter which apparently was then thought of the greatest
importance was that of the examination. The candidates
had the briefest possible private interview with the Bishop,
perhaps none at all. His legal secretary, on the Saturday
evening, told the assembled gentlemen with an affable smile
that they were all " through," and must be at the cathedral
next morning at half-past ten.
There were no days of meditation and prayer, no kind
of a "retreat," as now, between the examination and the
Ordination. At Norwich, as one of my clergy tells me,
whose uncle went through the experience, "Very little
work was done in the Ember days; and in the evenings they
all met in the Palace and played whist. And for no inconsiderable stakes, too."
There were great difficulties and obstacles handed down
from the past which thwarted the earnest efforts of most
zealous clergy. In some parts of the country there were
the hunting parsons, and in all parts there were the nonresident parsons. The dreadful hindrance to the work of
the Gospel presented by non-residence is strikingly brought
out in that interesting and iUuminating book, the " Life of
Bishop Stanley," by his son Arthur Stanley.
Some of the facts there brought out seem almost beyond
belief, e.g. that there was an instance of fifteen benefices
being held by three brothers. "In 1837," writes a gentleman from Norwich, " I saw from my window nine parishes,
of which only one contained a resident clergyman."
In driving through the diocese the coachman has often
pointed out  to me the knoJJ, not far from the church, XX
where the parish clerk would stand and wave a white
handkerchief to the parson, as he rode by on his cob, to
signify that there was no congregation, and that he might
ride on and take the duty at his next living. It is
delightful to see what a change the firm and righteous
administration of the new law enforcing the residence of
the clergy by good Bishop Stanley effected in all this.
I suppose that there is no branch of the work of the
Church which has developed in a more remarkable way
than the work of missions to the heathen.
For long years after the Reformation the Church, in
trials and difficulties, was trying to maintain her position
in England. Then came the Deistic movement and the
miserable Erastianism and deadness of the Georgian era.
Missions to the heathen were not only neglected, but
In grubbing among the books of my father's library, I
once fell upon two handsome volumes of sermons by Dr.
Coetlogon, a divine of considerable repute in his day.
Being always fond of sermons, I set about their perusal,
and came to this question, "Are we bound to send missionaries to convert the heathen ?" Will it now be believed
that the answer was | No" ? And the reason given was
this: " The preaching of the Gospel at the first was authenticated by miracles. To attempt to preach the Gospel to*
heathen without the power of working miracles would be
futile. We now have no power of working miracles; therefore to send missionaries for their conversion would be
useless."   I read no more.
Matters were improving. Good and earnest men, more
particularly the Evangelicals, were showing increasing zeal
for the good work; for, indeed, zeal fo? the conversion of PREFACE
the heathen is the thermometer of love for Christ. But
generally Church-people were languid and indifferent, or
even hostile, to the cause. " Charity begins at home."
How cleverly Satan makes use of proverbs! Milner, in
his "End of Controversy," makes zeal and success in the
conversion of the heathen one of the notes of the Church,
and pours scorn upon the miserable attempts of the
"Protestants." And I have heard extreme Tractarians do
the same. Since that time the Pope himself has sounded
the note of alarm for the zeal of the " Protestants " and the
increasing success of their missionary efforts.
But no enthusiasts in their wildest dreams would have
thought it possible that within a century there should take
place such a gathering as that of the late " Pan-Anglican
Congress "—not that personally I think we have any ground
for exultation or self-complacency in that world-wide
gathering. When we contrast our position in the mission-
field and the position of our Church in the Colonies with
our influence as a nation, the enormous wealth of those
who call themselves members of our Communion and the
efforts and the results of the work of other Christian bodies,
who have also all their home needs to supply, I feel sure
that we have cause for soul-searching and shame.
The condition of the foreign work of the Church is
analogous to that of her work and prospects at home. It
fills us with humiliation because of our deficiencies, and
yet gives us hope because of our improvement and progress.
But for this it would have seemed unkind and invidious
to have touched upon the lamentable neglects of the past.
But these matters show us two things: (i.) the difficulties
that we have inherited from the past—the amount of leeway which the modern Church has had to make up; (ii.) XXII
that while the present condition of the Church, with regard
to her influence upon the nation, is indeed truly saddening,
yet we are improving. The tide is not on the ebb, but on
the flow. God, in spite of our sins, has watched over His
Church. A new movement and a fresh life has stirred
within her during the past seventy years, j
The Church is no longer thought of and spoken of as
" The Establishment." She is regarded as the Spiritual Body,
to which more especially God has committed the work of
ministering to the great Anglo-Saxon race. The old methods
—or, perhaps, rather the old non-methods—of work are
regarded as unsatisfactory. New ideals have sprung up, and
new and more thorough methods are being employed. By
God's good providence good men were raised up to show us,
in a concrete form, how the work of the Lord might be
improved. Such among the presbyters were men like Dr.
Hook, of Leeds, and Mr. Claughton, of Kidderminster. And
for the raising of the standard of episcopal life and work, the
great Bishop of Oxford, Dr. S. Wilberforce, showed the way.
Look to the Church now, and the contrast between the
work being done at the present day and that which was
being done sixty or seventy years ago is indeed remarkable.
We believe that " the good hand of our God has been upon
us." But whether the results achieved are commensurate
with the improvement in the work done is another and a
difficult and a doubtful question. Is the Church, with
regard to the nation, stronger than she was seventy years
I do not doubt that there is far less hostility. The
Establishment was odious, as a rule, to all Radicals. It was
regarded as a privileged institution, opposed to all progress
and liberality of thought.    The conduct of the Bishops and PREFACE
clergy, especially of the former, in their persistent opposition
to the Reform Act, was still tenaciously remembered Church
rates were regarded as a hateful impost. At a fiercely contested election, no leading Churchman and Tory—for, alas!
the two were synonymous—was safe from insult. When the
mob, with colours and band and banners, the Liberal "rally,"
swept round the town at election time, they always paused
before my father's house, though he was personally greatly
respected, and was indeed a Liberal until his latter years.
We children were bidden not to show ourselves at the
windows, and cowered behind the blinds while the yelling
and the hissing and the opprobrious epithets went on.
All this has passed away. Some excellent legislation
has been carried; among the rest the Church Rates Abolition
Act, dreaded and opposed by the clergy, but indeed a blessing in disguise. The greater earnestness and zeal of the
clergy have been recognized. The Church has learned to
depend less and less upon the aid of the State, and more
upon the devotion and liberality of her own members. And
in proportion her strength has increased. We need to go
further in the same direction.
But has the Church a greater spiritual influence upon the
masses, and especially upon those forces which, as is inevitable in the long run in a democratic country, are rising up to
increasing power amongst us ? Is it not a startling and
lamentable fact, if it be true, that of the large contingent of
I labour members " in the House of Commons, only one professes himself to be a member of the Church of England ?
What is the explanation of this ?
A sufficient answer would require treatment at considerable length. I will only briefly put forward two considerations:   (i.)  Politics.     An   established Church  has  almost
inevitably a tendency towards conservatism. The clergy have
a shrinking from democracy, and offend therefore the advocates of popular rights.
To give but one instance. There is no doubt that the
great majority of the clergy were opposed, or were generally
thought to be opposed, to the extension of the franchise to
the agricultural labourers, and were certainly believed by
them to sympathize and to act with those who would deny
to them what they regarded as their interests and legitimate
ambitions. The result of this, and the consequent hostility
of the "Agricultural Labourers' Union," was seen in what
was called the " exodus of the labourers," when thousands
of the labourers openly left the Church, and either joined
the Nonconformists or more usually dropped into the vast
army of the indifferents.
I trust and believe that this alienation from the Church
is dying out, and the labourers, especially the younger men,
are becoming increasingly attached to our Communion.*
But great harm was done. My own conviction is that while
a clergyman, as an individual, has as much right to his
opinion and the exercise of his vote as any other citizen,
for the ministers of the Gospel to take such a line in purely
secular matters as alienates a section of the nation, and
indisposes them to accept the ministrations of the Gospel
at their hands, is wrong and indefensible; for we are ordained
not to teach secular politics, but to save souls.
(ii.) Such men as our artizans, a fine class of men whom
* At the time of my first Visitation, in 1893, there were only a few
hundreds of communicant labourers in the diocese. By my second
Visitation, in 1901, the number had increased to 4527, and by 1908 to
7119—a good increase, yet the number ought to be many times greater.
The population of the rural districts has in the mean time considerably
decreased. PREFACE
we wish to win for the Gospel, are alienated from the
Church, as they say, because they seem to have no place in
her Communion.
The artizan can go to the parish church, if he please,
unless indeed it be, as is not unlikely, a pew-rented church;
in which case it is not the place for him. Otherwise he can
go and no one notices him. Perhaps the musical service,
the intoning, the anthem, the short sermon, do not suit him.
But he has no opportunity of advocating any change. The
church is managed by the vicar, with perhaps the aid of a
few "influential people." Oh, that expression, the "influential people "! What harm it has done! There are those
who appear to think that the Church exists for the influential people. To this I cordially assent, if we may merely
omit the word "influential." The artizan knows that none
of his sort has any part in the work or management of the
church. Nobody accosts him when he attends, or extends
to him the right hand of fellowship, or misses him when he
stays away. He thinks he is neither welcomed nor wanted,
and will go elsewhere where he will be, or else he gives up
religion as a bad job.
I contend that in such parishes as the bulk of our town
parishes, consisting partly of the affluent, partly of the
working classes, partly of those who belong precisely to
neither, it should be known and understood that people of
every class are welcomed and invited to take part in the
work and management of the church. In fact, every such
local church should be managed upon democratic lines.
While the spheres of doctrine and worship are reserved, all
the temporal affairs of the church—the finances, the temporal
undertakings—should be managed by the laity under the
presidency of the parish priest.
And care should be taken that upon this body of
management every class should be adequately represented
by those who are ascertained (by votes, if necessary) to be
genuine representatives of the class. The aid and co-operation of every man of good character, willing to help, is
thankfully welcomed. A place and a work of some kind
should, as far as possible, be found for every one. All should
be brought in, and there should be a keen sense of brotherhood among all who listen to the same Gospel and kneel
together at the same holy table. There are churches where
this is being attempted, and with happy results being done.
Were they multiplied a hundred-fold, the Church would be
stronger and the work of the Church's Lord better done.
I must express my cordial thanks to Miss Claudet for
the kind loan of photographs by my late dear friend F.
Claudet; and also to the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge for permission to make extracts from my work
(" My Life in Mongolia and Siberia ") published by them.
Christmas, 1908. ii
.   v—xxvi
At Leeds—"Come over and help us"—Choice of route—West
Indies—Haunts of the buccaneers—First acquaintance with
gold-miners—The Vigilance Committee—Arrival in San
Francisco    ...••••••
Esquimault Harbour—The beginnings of New Westminster-
Roughing it—Shooting at sight—Through the woods-
Replenishing the larder—Christmas away from home .
Forest fires—Fight with the flames—Canadians to the rescue—
Native Indians—Tsilpeyman and his race for life—Bloodshed averted—Jack Sprague in goal and out of it       .        .    28-35
His treatment by the white races—His impending fate—The
ravages of the bottle—His personal appearance—Mr. Sheepshanks as a "Resurrectionist"        .        ....        •    ob-40
" 1 XXV111
The unspeakable mosquito—Dinner under difficulties—Indian
encampment—Method of teaching—Return home—Visit to
settlers—Beavers and their work     .....
Chinamen in British Columbia—Their gratitude and generosity
—Amongst the big fish of Canada—Rheumatic fever—A
hard winter—Stag-hunting extraordinary      .        ,
The men of the pick and cradle—A fellow-worker—Crazy craft
on the Frazer—On horseback and foot—Experiences by
the way—A judgment of Solomon—Double or quits—La
Fontaine Indians—Care for body and soul—Effects of the
lancet      .........
Incidents of travel—"Green timber"—Disappointment and
retreat—Loss of money—Loss of life—Antlers Creek—
An unconventional service—Methods of mining
Autumn in North America—Forest and lake—Treachery and
attempted murder—A faithful dog—The long watch—
The " varsities " in the wilds—A landlord Senior Optime—Men
in place of mules—A bear in the way—Work in Richfield
—A lending library—Bruin once more—Intelligent native
Frozen out—The despatch rider's last journey—A hanging jury
—The work of an evangelist—A gift of bells—Trade
depression—Leave of absence	
Yosemite Valley—Virginia City—Night and day travel—
Mormonism — Salt Lake City—Brigham Young — The
Danites—The President's womenkind   ....
A green oasis—Climate and people—A superstitious religion—
Sunday at the Bowery—Wild predictions—Brigham Young
as a theologian
A notable man—The President at home—Education and amusements in Utah—A singular experience—Bishop Woolly—
Undercurrents of feeling—Polygamy—Night at the theatre   116-12 2
Josephite Brethren—Apostle John Taylor—An unhappy wife
— Story of conversion — History of Joe Smith — His
assassination     ........
Hasty meals—Fatigues of travel—Rough companions—The
friendly Alsatian—Accident to coach—Sioux brave—
Buffalo hunt—A lament     ......
129-137 XXX
f 1
I I  I
Rail and steamboat once more—Niagara—Disappointment in
Washington—Three  days'   exploration  of  caves—The
magic of song
American hospitality—The old country—A successful beggar—
Afloat again—Cornish miners—Jamaica—Negro Insurrection— Governor Eyre — San Francisco — Imperturbable
Chinaman ........    144-149
Bad news from home—Resignation—Farewell visit to Victoria
— Paul Legaick — His. murderous career—Indian forebodings—A good investment—Positions reversed   .        .    150-154
On board the Bernice—Generous to the last—Intemperate
officers and an ill-found boat—Wine for water—Hawaii—
Criminals bathing—Honolulu      .....    155-160
Boys at school and play—Staff of life—Kanaka crowd—Poi—
Traces of Mormonism—-Worship of the shark .        .    161-168
Scnool of the Devonport Sisters—Kukui tree—A half-breed
passenger—Some pattern babes—Hospitality in Hilo—
An American host—Sudden festivities  ....    169-175 CONTENTS
Through the forest—Inland vegetation—Diminishing population—Halfway house—Native geography—A precious
export—First sight of Kilanea—Primitive hotel     .        .    176-186
A walk on hardened lava—Possible dangers—Burning lakes—
Kilanea—Slowly dying superstitions—Volcanic eruptions
—A Christian heroine—Defiance of Pele—A strange bathhouse           187-196
Indigenous animals—The coming of the mosquito—Wild geese
—Wandering in the forest—A contrast of character—
Captain Cook's death explained—Aquatic sport      .        .    197-202
Picnic inland—Merry school-girls—Kanaka farmhouse—Native
singer—Expedition to Waikiki—Ancient temples—Human
sacrifices—House of refuge .....    203-208
Setting out for Asia—On board the Ethan Allen— Fellow-
passengers— Becalmed — Dread of pirates — Captain's
diplomacy—Hong Kong	
Hong Kong—Its thoroughfares and people—A British colony-
Canton—Riverside population—Street sights-Confused
feeding—Chinese artificers—Pawnbrokers' shops    .        .    216-224
1 II XXX11
Merchants' guild-—Scene of the willow pattern—Its legend—
Private grounds—Suburban residences—Lunch with the
ladies       .......«•
Opium eaters—Place of execution—Cemetery—Monastery at
Honan—Temple service—Idol worship—Chant of adora
tion—Forbidding ceremonies
Just in time—A story of the drought—Irrigation on river-banks
—Watchmen and their drums — Tien-tsin—Belated
melodies j.   239-242
Mule carts—Their discomfort—Attempts at imposition—The
village inn—Pest of insects—Life in small towns—The
story teller—Where are the women?—An unexpected
burst of speed—Sleepy driver 243-249
Impressions of city—Visit to lamasery—The lordly Superior—
Basso profundo prayers—Disciplinary measures—Refreshments—Ludicrous scene     ......    250-254
Bishop Schereschewsky—His history—Disguise and expedition to Kai-Feng-Fu—His discovery—"The smew that
shrank "—Buddha and Mahomet for Jehovah—Inspection
of Mohammedan mosque    ...,;.,
255-261 CONTENTS
System of examinations—Successful candidate—Proud parent
—Temple of Heaven—Burglarious entry—Bribery and
corruption—Three terraces—More palm oil and a little
violence—A prayer-meeting—Sequel   ....    262-270
Preparations for departure—Farewells—Man and beast in
China—Bird companions—Fishing with cormorants—
Racial deliberate!] ess—Attempted extortion—Successful
ruse—Ruined crops—Improved temperature ♦       *       .   271-277
Passing sights—Effects of drought—Wayside inn—Mohammedan landlord—Dishonest servant—Flooded stream—
More roguery—Nemesis—The country of the conventional   278-289
Across Asia—Little wall of China—Kalgan—Tea trade—Horse
fair—Agriculture under difficulties—Great wall—Travellers' equipage—The tedious camel        ....
Backward glances—Chinese qualities—The maker of Mongolia
—World ruler—Extent of conquest—Odd proceeding—
Argol—Psychological problem—Bara and Geluga   .        .    297-303
A leaky abode—Entering upon the desert—Wells—Mongol
guides—Yourts and their furniture—Etiquette in Gobi—A
praying race	
304-309 I
Killing a sheep—Uninvited guests—Mongol and Chinese
women—Lama visitors—Exorcism—More about the camel
—A friendly brute    .......    310-316
Monotonous scenery—Daily routine—Barq's homegoing and
return — Dangerous dogs — Hospitality — Salutations —
Objects of worship—Keeping the peace—Tea drinking—
Prayer cylinder—A memorable procession     .        .        .    317-323
Weary camels—Mirage—Banks of the Tola—Exciting crossing
—Parting from Bara and Geluga—Mixed races—No women   324-328
A collection of huts—The city proper—No sanitation—Prosperous trade—Visit of pilgrims—Women and their dress—
Lamas—Their head-gear and character .        .        .    329-333
A human god—Mongolian Buddhism — Grand Lama — His
dangers—Successor—The three manifestations of Buddha
—Wise intervention—Prayer-wheels—A purchase .        .    334-339
Unique experience—Potentate leaves for country quarters—
Waiting crowds—Costly presents—Procession—Ceremony
—Interior of temples . .....    340-345 CONTENTS
Traces of  Shamanism
Officiating priest — Preparations —
deeding the f
Tedious ceremony—Refreshments
Curious vestments—Feeding the furnace—Incantations—
Journey from Ourga—Obi worship—Kiachtka—Decaying prosperity—Cathedral—Russo-Chinese boundary—Maimatchin
-Return to civilized life—Mr. Grant—Off again—Old
Lithuanian—Selenga River .
Prolific stream—Holy Sea—Sudden storms—Home of Shamanism — Monseigneur Benjamin — Deadlock — Mimicry —
Bouriats—Old religion of Asia—Mr. Birkbeck and the
Archimandrite ........
First steamboat—Irkutsk — Governor's kindness — Interview
with Archbishop—Clergy and work—Greek Liturgy—
Memorable drive begins—Travelling companion—Taran-
tass—River of Paradox       ......
Sensations of travel—Empire highway—Coming of the locomotive—Roadside change houses—The age of wood—
Peasantry in Siberia—Resources of country—Intemperance—Tomsk   ........
Exiled in Siberia—A natural prison—Omsk—The Urals—
Ekaterinburg—The boundary-post—Rush for the steamer
—On the Volga—Nijni-Novgorod—Moscow—Home       .    377-382
»   »
Rev. John Sheepshanks, Frazer River, 1860: Bishop
of Norwich, 1908 Frontispiece
The Beginnings of New Westminster, 1860    . To face p.   17
Holy Trinity Church, New Westminster
Holy Trinity Church and Rectory
Brigham Young, Mormon President
House of Brigham Young's Wives, Salt Lake City
monseigneur benjamin, blshop of the trans-baikal
The Travellers' Tarantass	
„ 110
„   110
„   364
„  364
At Leeds—" Come over and help us "—Choice of route—West Indies—
Haunts of the buccaneers—First acquaintance with gold-miners—
The Vigilance Committee—Arrival in San Francisco.
I Go by all means.    I hope you may do some good out in
British Columbia.   Anyway " (with one of his sweet smiles),
II think you will get good yourself."
This was the encouragement given to the future Bishop
of Norwich in the contemplation of work and wanderings
that were to fill up the next eight years of his life. It was
no common man who spoke it. Tall, red-haired, with large
mouth, so little was he beautiful to outward seeming that he
wrote in his diary, " Terrible ugly fellow I am, but I can't
help it," and placed on record the fact that his granddaughter
I cried at the sight of me."
To most people the sight of him was welcome and inspiring. Of most quaint and beautiful nature, apt and droll in
language, vigorous beyond the common in mind and body,
no citizen of Leeds but delighted in the brave and vehement
old Churchman, Dr. Hook. To his curates he was as a father.
Advice from him was more urgent than commands from
i B L
other lips, so that Kstening to his sanction his young
colleague knew he must respond to the voice which had
already called to him across the Pacific.
Few men were more fitted for the task which lay before
him than John Sheepshanks. Though he went down from
his University of Cambridge undistinguished as an athlete,
he had happily the physical qualifications which fitted him
to be a pioneer of the Church. How much of fatigue and
weariness he was capable of enduring, how little the loss of
comfort and convenience affected him, this record will show.
It was no school for skulkers in Leeds. There they heard
nothing but manly notes. Possessed of the missionary spirit
from his earliest youth, he now turned to the colonies with
the advantage of a training in so good a workshop.
But why leave Yorkshire, that county of broad acres?
Why desert Leeds when sin and sorrow were for ever
clamouring at the door, where work was eager and
absorbing ?
His face was set to leave his native land because of compelling claims in British Columbia. Gold had been discovered there, and with that magic word thousands had
hurried to the new domain which lay by the wash of the
North Pacific. By the end of 1858 a rush had been made
into the country, especially from the United States, whence
no less than twenty thousand souls had landed on Vancouver
Island. All sorts and conditions were amongst them—
Scandinavians, Germans, Italians, and other alien nationalities ; men of business with offices closed and neglected;
lawyers and doctors, their clients left behind; sailors who
had deserted their ships, and shopmen with souls above yard
measures and tape; farm hands and teachers; the strong
and the weak, the starving and the well-to-do, they were AT  SEA
all there, and all on fire to make or mend their fortunes.
Nor in the Babel of tongues were there wanting the distinctive accents of our own islands, for multitudes from Great
Britain and Ireland had pressed on to the far West by
steamers and sailing vessels.
Here, then, were the opportunities for a young and ardent
Churchman, his resolution for service abroad approved by
" surely the most delightful vicar a young curate ever had,"
as well as by his more immediate relatives. He was soon
ready to set forward with the added encouragement that a
friend, the Kev. E. Dundas, had engaged to journey with him,
and share in the task of breaking up the fallow ground
under Dr. Hills, the newly appointed Bishop of British
Their travels began at a time when the great, the incredible drama of the Mutiny was drawing to a close, a time when
John Brown had made his famous raid into Harper's Perry
to ,be captured, shot, and gathered to the Immortals. The
year of grace was that of 1859. As for the season of the
year, it was so far forward in the summer that the blossoms
in the Warwickshire orchards were already changing into
There were various routes open in making for Western
Canada—by New York, then across the Isthmus of Panama
to San Francisco, with its steamboat service to Victoria; or
by Quebec and Lake Superior over the Rockies, a long and
fatiguing journey; or they could reach their desired port in
Vancouver after a four months' voyage by plunging round
the Horn in a sailing vessel.
They chose rather to visit the West Indies and the
island of St. Thomas, bearing away along the shores of
South America.   From his youth Mr. Sheepshanks had been
enamoured of those islands and magical seas; he was hungry
to see the quaint cities of the Conquistadores, where the
sandalled sentinels cry through the night the same reassuring
watchword, just as they did hundreds of years ago.
The swell ran high, and out in the open there were
I skippers' daughters I when the two young men found themselves on board the mail steamer La Plata bound for the
West Indies.
1 There was nothing remarkable about our voyage in the
W.I. mail steamboat La Plata to the West Indies, though
to me, who had never previously been for a long voyage,
everything was novel and full of interest. We had the
rough weather usual round this tempestuous island of ours.
The usual bird, wearied, almost spent with fluttering over
the waste of waters, settled upon the bulwarks, was nursed
and fed and then dismissed, probably to die. Then came the
blue cloudless skies, the burning sun, and the ocean smooth
as a mirror, the flying fish flitting over the water. Then there
was the harbour of St. Thomas and its sharks, the brown
hills and the desolate, ruined sugar plantations of the
From this point the voyage was continued in a vessel
destined to make history. The Battle of Bull's Run, with
all that it meant of humiliation to a great and patriotic
people, was still unfought. But the time was not far distant
when the heroic age of the American Commonwealth was to
begin, and to begin with that, struggle for life or death,
between slavery and the principles of freedom, in which the
fate of the flag with the stars and the stripes was to stagger.
Messrs. Slidell and Mason, representatives of the south at
the Courts of St. James' and the Tuileries, were to be forcibly
removed from the protection and neutrality of a. vessel flying ON  BOARD THE  TRENT
the Union Jack, a breach of international law to be resented
by the English Government, atoned for indeed, yet to leave
behind it an iU-will, deepening to hatred, between the two
It was in the Trent that Mr. Sheepshanks sailed into the
harbour of St. Thomas, to find it much as Charles Kingsley
described it a few years later, " as veritable a Dutch oven for
cooking fever in, with as veritable a dripping-pan for the
poison, when concocted in the tideless basin below the town,
as man ever invented." He was not sorry when they steamed
out of port.
Yellow Jack had come aboard, and the captain, with
sixteen of his crew, of whom one died, were down with the
fever. Calling at St. Martha and Carthagena, "miserable
places, brown and dusty, the earth brown, the men's faces
brown and sallow, the houses looking as if they had at first
been made of soft gingerbread, and then had been baked a
yellowish brown by the soft sun," the young parson had an
eye to past ages and mused on the changes that had happened
since our enterprising privateers lay in wait for the treasure-
laden galleons rolling heavily homewards through these
waters. How often had the English buccaneers welcomed
the sight of the enemies' topsails in these seas! History
brooded over that part of the world; of all these towns,
posted along the shore, not one of them was without its
legends, survivals of the hundreds of years of violence and
bloodshed they had known.
At Aspinwall they said good-bye to the old Trent and
her cockroaches, and crossed the isthmus by rail to Panama.
A stay of several days enabled Mr. Sheepshanks to make
short excursions into the neighbouring country.
"I had  often dreamed  in  England of   the   gorgeous
! i
Vi *
1 6
vegetation of the tropics, and at last I beheld it around me.
There is something new, some fruit or flower unseen before,
at every step. The road is lined on either side with the
cactus, the caoutchouc, the acacia, and the prickly pear.
Great ants are clearing a way for themselves across the
path, or hurrying up the trees with leaves for their home.
"Mighty gourds hang above the shrubs and white
blossoms, and scarlet berries shine out from among the
foliage. Creepers hold out their orange and lilac flowers
across the path. The flowering trees, which I think are
always beautiful in our eyes, are brilliant with colour.
The branches of the mango are now laden with the rich
luscious fruit. High above, the palm leaves droop in the
sultry air. Tall trees of the palm species, with long fernlike leaves, are crowned with masses of bright yellow berries,
and round and round them there are wreathed skeins of
parasites, hanging in festoons from tree to tree, and falling
down to the earth in graceful folds of drapery.
" Nor is the jungle devoid of life. Beetles quiver round
the blossoms, myriads of insects fill the air with their ceaseless hum. Gaudy butterflies zigzag across the path, and the
timid iguanas steal away through the leaves at the sound of
footsteps. Creeping quietly along by the banks of a stream,
I came across a whole family of these inoffensive creatures
playing on the bank.
" The scene somewhat changes as the morning advances,
and the sun ' coming out of his chamber rejoices as a giant
to run his course.' The freshness of the early morning
disappears. The moisture is licked up, and nature seems to
faint. The burning rays beat down upon the jungle and the
mire with savage strength. The palm trees droop, and the
insects fly for shelter beneath the  leaves.     Their  hum LIFE  IN  THE TROPICS
gradually subsides, and before long there is perfect silence.
Everything seems to be beaten down by the intense heat,
and the sun, that glorious tyrant, is the conqueror.
"But go forth again in the evening, and the scene is
changed. Scarcely has the sun set in the Pacific, glaring
fiercely to the last, when the world seems to awaken from its
trance and gives signs of life. The air becomes moist and
balmy. The air scintillates with fire-flies; they gleam out
from the leaves and grass. The shrubs, too, rejoice in the
departure of their tyrant; their leaves once more are strong
and crisp, and the palm again lifts up her head.
" The insects, too, begin to stir, and the f Whirr, whirr,
whirr, cheep, cheep, cheep,' go on increasing in volume. The
frogs croak out their thrilling drone from every pool and
steaming morass until the air seems to vibrate with the
chorus of sounds. And then, down upon the whole scene,
upon shrubs and trees, upon ferns and grass, the moon, never
so lovely as in the tropics, pours down her floods of silver
Mr. Sheepshanks formed an opinion, unfavourable in the
highest degree, of the state of the Christian religion in those
parts of Central America—an opinion confirmed by travellers
like Humboldt before him, and by contemporary judgment,
both Roman Catholic and Protestant. The churches were
filthy and full of tawdry images; congregations there were
none, or of the scantiest; priests, repulsive in look, gave an
appearance of irreverence as they gabbled through their
offices; the people themselves were superstitious and immoral. Even the Pope himself was able to effect no
reformation, though he had been rightly concerned, and had
sent a high ecclesiastic to cleanse, if it might be, this Augean
After a few days' interval, the boat from New York, for
which they were waiting, arrived in A spin wall with seven
hundred passengers. Whilst these were urging a wild career
across the isthmus, Mr. Sheepshanks and his companion,
their tickets for San Francisco in their pockets, made their
way to the railway station on the western edge, whence a
small steamboat bore them to the Golden Age at anchor out
in the gulf. And here they were met by the first and
most picturesque signs of the new life to which they were
committing themselves.
" The cars arrived; and out at once rushed some hundreds
of dirty, shabby, bearded men, all of them, as Americans of
this class always are, in an amazing hurry to be first. They
swarmed along the pier, every man for himself, each absolutely
regardless of others. Why not? Other people are able to
look after themselves. They dragged vehemently behind
them boxes of all shapes and sizes with as much vigour as
if thousands of pounds depended upon their getting them
into the steamboat without a moment's loss of time.
"At once they ensconced themselves, each in the best
place that he could secure, with an utter disregard of everybody's comfort but his own, which I think even surpassed
that of the ordinary travelling Englishman. That done,
they promptly bought up every eatable that was being vended
along the pier. Bread and cakes, mangoes, bananas, and
shaddocks vanished in a twinkling. And then they began at
once to vociferate that the boat must immediately \ go ahead.'
" Accordingly—for these men were not to be trifled with—
' go ahead' we did, and were soon on the deck of the Golden
Age, the most commodious, comfortable, luxurious steamboat
that I had hitherto seen.
" I may as weU put down here my first impressions of
that remarkable class of people, of which our fellow-passengers
almost entirely consisted, the Californian gold-miners and
adventurers. As regards their appearance, they were
generally shabby, nearly all bearded, though some wore
only a i goat-tee,' and all dirty. Let it not be inferred, however, that they were all poor. By no means. That portion
of them which had already been to California, and were now
returning—perhaps only after an absence of a few weeks—
and these constituted the great majority—had what we in
England would consider plenty of money in their pockets.
If high stakes were required for a bet or a game at cards,
the money was always forthcoming. And, as a rule, the
grimiest of them possessed each his handsome gold watch,
chain, and seals.
I They might, had they chosen, have been clean and well
dressed, and at certain times would be; but to be ordinarily
shabby and dirty was their way. They were used to it; and
certainly it was a way to save them a good deal of trouble.
The only peculiar articles of their dress were the boots and
hats; the boots being almost always top-boots coming up to
the knee, and going over the trousers; the hats being wideawakes of every size, shape, and hue. The favourite was, I
think, a high-crowned hat, shaped like that of the old
Puritans, with about four inches cut off the crown, and of a
tawny orange colour. In face they were hairy and brown,
with a keen look, very bright restless eyes, and a person,
though some were mere youths, broad and muscular.
| To leave their appearance. The first thing that struck
me was their shocking profanity—of this I had been warned
before; but the reality exceeded my expectations. Every
sentence had its oath. And this, not an ordinary oath, but
one of the most horrible description.   I was particularly n
V! i
struck with the constant use of the Saviour's name. They
appeared to disdain the ordinary forms of swearing, and to
search for the most far-fetched and shocking oaths with
which their imagination could supply them.
" The youngest men were by far the worst. These oaths
when talking with a clergyman they always avoided.
Perhaps one might occasionally drop out inadvertently;
but for this, if they noticed the fact, they would at once
apologize, not as having said what was wrong, but as having
committed a breach of good manners.
"All spoke to each other on good terms of perfect
equality; and mere youths made impudent, sarcastic, and
even contemptuous speeches to men who could have killed
them at a blow. And yet, as far as I could see, this never
bred any ill-feeling; and the older men treated the youths
as if in all respects their equals. Age gave no superiority
of any kind.
" I observed that they looked upon England as in all
respects a foreign land, and upon Englishmen as though
they had no more in common with them than with men of
any other European country. In this there was a marked
difference between them and Americans of the more cultured
"Of their habits the most noticeable was their constant
chewing of tobacco—with its concomitant. Upon this I
need not enlarge; but may mention that the most important
item of the furniture of the upper deck was two or three
long rows of spittoons, each of which was always [ engaged.'
And it was one man's work to take charge of these most
indispensable articles, and to sweep up the fragments of
tobacco lying about upon the deck."
Fifteen years before Mr. Sheepshanks sat down in the MINERS AT MEALS
cabin with these Californians, Charles Dickens had offended
their countrymen with his description of their habits and
manners. The grudge borne to the novelist has long ceased;
few there are who cannot laugh heartily over the humorous
exaggerations of Martin Chuzzlewit. Remembering, however, the soreness of feeling which pervaded the whole of
American society on what was regarded as the caricature
of Transatlantic life; how Lowell deemed it deserving a
special word of condemnation in his article on " a certain condescension in foreigners"; remembering, too, that Kipling,
in his own trenchant way, has insisted " the American has
no meals. He stuffs for ten minutes thrice a day," let us
see how the American at table presented himself to the
observant traveller of 1859.
" Their manners with regard to eating were characteristic.
At the sound of their own dinner bell—there were several
dining-hours during the day—they were off. Every man
instantly left his place on the upper deck and rushed
" Arrived at the table, every man promptly helped himself
from the dish nearest to him, then perhaps took some of
the next, and of the next; all was heaped upon the same
plate and disposed of, as if life and death depended upon
their speed. As a rule, they drank nothing but water. The
next course was then cleared off, and so on till they could
conscientiously declare themselves ' through.'
" The dessert was placed upon the table. Dash went
every man's hand into the dish, and lo! nuts and oranges
and figs were gone, stored in the pocket for a munch up
above. Then a move to the bar for a I liquor up.' A cocktail, consisting perhaps of a little spirit, a Httle syrup, and
a little water, was mixed by the bar-keeper and swallowed
iM If
down at a gulp; and then to the upper deck for nut-cracking
and a chew and a smoke. One of these men will be
'through' with his dinner in twelve minutes. A smart
fellow, if supplied with dishes with sufficient rapidity, in
about seven."
In this company the two clergymen heard much of the
doings of the famous Vigilance Committee, whose summary
methods had purged a city of its ruffianism almost in an
For the California of these days was the California of
Bret Harte and Tennessee's partner. In the absence of
law, settled and inflexible, there had arisen the wildest kind
of justice. Its verdict pronounced, the desperado or thief,
after a few minutes of passionate expostulation or sullen
silence, was run up to the nearest bough, or riddled with
shots from a score of revolvers.
There was no place for the casuistries of a law court;
extenuating circumstances, that sobering influence which
interposes between the commission of a crime and its
punishment, were little known. Decisions were sudden as
death itself.
It was significant of the force of popular opinion that
the Federal Government had at last organized its justiciary
in California, for its first representative was one of the
Golden Age's passengers, and on his way to become head
of the Supreme Court of San Francisco. How Judge Lynch
came into existence, Mr. Sheepshanks learned from the lips
of those who had firsfc seen his sudden and terrifying
"It was at the time of the greatest excitement of the
gold fever. California was the centre for the desperadoes of
the world.   Crimes were of constant occurrence, and were
open and mostly unpunished. The breakers of the law were
men often who had been successful in mining and had
plenty of money at command. Jurors, or lawyers, or warders,
or, so it was whispered, possibly even the judge, might be
bribed. Crimes increased in number and the malefactors
in audacity. Confidence in the power of the law to protect
life and property was rudely shaken, and there was a general
feeling of insecurity and alarm throughout society.
" It was felt time a remedy must be found; and secretly
numbers of the citizens of San Francisco formed themselves
into a 'vigilance committee/ which soon felt itself strong
enough to take drastic measures. On a prearranged night
all the fire bells of the city were set ringing, and citizens
poured out into the streets, which were thronged with people.
The crowds poured down to an open space near the quays,
where preparations had been made for a rough administration of justice.
IA number of well-known desperadoes, murderers and
other law-breakers, had been secured, and they were now
put up to trial. The name of some notorious feUow was
called out, and at once witnesses stood up and testified. 11
was present when he shot a man at the gaming tables at
Stoney Creek. His name was So-and-So.' f1 was there
too, and wiU swear to it.' f1 saw him shoot down a man
in a drinking-bar at Sacramento.'    And so forth.
" The prisoner had an opportunity of speaking in his own
defence, and then his case was decided.
" The next case was then rapidly dealt with. The men
were notorious criminals. There was and could be really
no doubt about their guilt. So rough justice was done.
Some four or five men were promptly hanged, and two or
three times that number were told to f skedaddle' out of the
ii mi
country at once.   If they were found in California in three
days' time, they, too, would be hanged.
" Quiet, law-abiding people in the East were shocked at
such proceedings. But if law becomes powerless, society in
the last resort must protect itself. A wholesome fear fell
upon criminals. And before long the law was able to
resume its sway."
On the 15th of August the adventurers thronged the
deck with shining eyes, already " Talmapais was lifting its
shapely head from the sea;" a few more hours and the city
of San Francisco, with the blue expanse of the bay, were
discovered. It was the promised land! But of those who
seemed to descry against the rising sun "the spires of
Eldorado," how many were to return disenchanted! From
the interior men were retiring in disappointment and wrath,
yet with the arrival of every ship the stream poured on to
the gold-mines.
Esquimault Harbour—The beginnings of New Westminster—Boughing
it—Shooting at sight—Through the woods—Replenishing the larder
—Christmas away from home.
Fkom the Pacific capital the Northerner carried the traveller
another stage towards his destination, landing him at
Esquimault Harbour, where H.M.S. Ganges was lying at
anchor with his brother on board as mate.
This was a happy meeting—with nothing to forecast the
coming of that terrible day off the coast of Spain when
H.M.S. Captain was to turn turtle, carrying most of the
crew, Commander Sheepshanks amongst the others, to the
bottom of the sea.
Of the trip in the Northerner', Mr. Sheepshanks says—
"The incident of this voyage which is most deeply
impressed upon my memory, is connected with the first
officer, Mr. French, a Welshman by birth, but by adoption
a decided American. At dinner one day he was offered a
glass of claret, but refused it on the ground of his being a
'dash-away* (Anglice, 'pledged teetotaller'). Afterwards,
when smoking in his cabin, he offered to tell us his story."
From this it appeared that, convivial as he was by
nature and habit, he had, after one particularly humiliating
I ■St
experience, abandoned strong drink out of love for wife and
He had been wise enough to see when a man makes a
fool of himself and loses self-control through liquor, he
should take the first train to the safe and serene land of
There was a strain of the heroic in this unpretending
seaman. A few months afterwards, Mr. Sheepshanks, sleeping in the cockpit of the Ganges, on another visit to his
brother, heard two bluejackets at midnight describing the
total wreck of the Northerner with the loss of many lives.
The first to swim ashore with a line was French. It
was he who returned to the vessel to bring others back with
him to the safety of the shore. Yet once again he swam out
to the aid of a woman seen helpless on the deck. In this
supreme effort his strength, not his courage, failed him, and
he sank not to rise again.
The wayfarer was now not far from the end of his
journey. The scene of his labours was New Westminster,
the capital of the colony, and the future seat of government.
Hither he proceeded on one of the Hudson Bay Company's
As they bore along shore, with the land on their port
beam, there streamed before them an interminable labyrinth
of watery lanes and reaches, ever-changing visions of greenness and forest, with mountains in the distance touched with
whiteness to their tips.
" On either hand, as we steamed up the noble river, the
Frazer, the dense forest stretched away over the low lands
which formed the delta. The distant view was indeed shut
out by the mighty pines, which shot upwards to a height
of between 250 and 300 feet. ill Ii
ft i
I < .'
" On turning a corner of the river, after an hour or two
of steady steaming up stream, at about fifteen miles from the
mouth of the river, the captain, who was standing by my
side, said, 'There, sir, that is your place.' I looked up a
long stretch of the river, and there on the left-hand side
I saw a bit of a clearing in the dense forest. Mighty trees
were lying about in confusion, as though a giant with one
sweep of his mighty arm had mown them down. Many
of the trunks had been consumed by fire. Their charred
remains were seen here and there. The huge stumps of the
trees were still standing in most places, though in others
they had been eradicated and consumed.
" And between the prostrate trees and stumps there were
a few huts, one small collection of wooden stores, some
sheds and tents, giving signs of a population of perhaps
250 people. This clearing continued up river to the extent
of somewhat more than a quarter of a mile. And the dense
pine-forest came down to somewhat less than the same
distance from the river's bank.  This was New Westminster."
It is difficult for an Englishman accustomed to the trim
landscapes or ordered streets of his native country to
imagine a place like New Westminster—the place was so
new and of so odd a pattern. Along the horizon there arose
no spires of venerable churches; at the end of any vista
nothing but sky and water and the eternal and interminable
timber, with glimpses of the snow-clad summits of the
Cascade Range. There were few neighbours, no proper roads,
no streets of solid houses.
It would have been no matter for surprise had the young
man's courage failed him as he stepped ashore: the tren-
chancy of contrast was almost overwhelming. Behind him
a crowded city and the settled ancient laws of England, the
c 18
chime of bells, the stiles and hedgerows of his native land;
before him the forest, the wilderness, the naked heavens,
camps of shaggy men lost in the lust of gold, Indians decked
in the rags of civilization trooping in to see the stranger.
Moreover, the voice of the settlers had declared that in
British Columbia there should be no State Church, so that
an English clergyman must dismiss from him ideas of
privilege and endowment—must, indeed, enter upon his
strange task after the old Apostolic fashion. Destined to
make good proof of his ministry, neither cold, nor wet, nor
indifference, nor dead opposition to progress—the things that
daunt the spirit of most men—must shake him.
He had to rough it from the first. About him were
wooden houses still sweating from the axe, paths unworn
and sketchy, wanting, indeed, in the litter and discoloration
of civilized life, yet with few of its conveniences. His first
house was a log hut, placed at his disposal by three Canadian
miners whose turn it had already served.
"It was rather draughty, as the wind came in at the
interstices between tbe logs; so I gathered moss and stuffed
it well into the crevices. The floor was only of mud, but I
had some boards put down, and put in a sheet-iron stove
with stove pipe. I also, for cleanliness' sake, had it lined
with calico. It is about ten feet long by seven broad, and
is made of pine logs. There'is a square hole cut for a
window. There is no sash in it at present, for sashes are
rare, but only a piece of calico, which I draw across the
aperture by night and open by day.
" There are curious little dodges for supplying the necessary light. The man in the next hut to mine, just lower
down the bank, has out with his axe a number of holes in
the waUs of his cabin of the size and shape of a bottle, and
i !
has jammed a number of white transparent gin-bottles into
these holes.   So he gets his light.
"I have a wooden 'bunk' for my bed, and can sit on
the bunk and open the window, and shut the door, poke the
fire in the stove, and get down anything from off the shelf
Without moving from the bunk. I have opened my big
boxes and taken out some of my theological books, so that
I have plenty of food for the mind.
" You may fancy how novel were my sensations when I
closed the door and found myself alone with my luggage,
bedding, and blankets. The first thing that I did was to sit
down on the wooden frame or ' bunk,' as I have called it,
that forms my bedstead, and have a very hearty laugh. My
next was to get a broom and bucket and axe. With the
first I swept the floor, and with the second I trotted down
to the little stream that flows down the ravine and got a
supply of water, and with the last I set to work and soon
obtained a good supply of wood for fires. I made my bed,
and got out some paper and ink, and soon made myself
quite snug.    I find I get on very well.
" Every day makes me add to the list of ' needless
luxuries' what I used to class as 'comforts,' and to the
category of ' comforts' what formerly I considered ' necessaries.' I now believe that there are but six necessaries,
viz. shelter, fuel, water, fire, something to eat, and blankets.
I am really quite well off. I toast some bread for breakfast,
and make some tea. Butter is too expensive, i.e. fresh
butter, being a dollar per pound. I do the same for lunch,
and then dine out very often at the Mess, of which the
officers have kindly made me an honorary member, sometimes at a restaurant in the \ town,' kept by an old Irish
I 20
Amongst his new parishioners there existed but one
Prayer-book; of his flock, composed of a few Engl^hmen
and Americans, some Canadians, one or two negroes, a
handful of Germans and Scandinavians, not one of them—
excepting an English lady—was a communicant.
At the first service held in the Custom House, only
seven or eight men, no women, put in a shamefaced appearance. There were no vergers, no sacristans, and no church
The new rector himself, with a borrowed axe, cut up
wood from the fallen timber lying about, lit a fire, put out
some blocks and boxes, and sounded a gong, which had
probably formed part of the loot in a recent China war.
One helper there was whose history was typical of the
wild Californian life of those days. In the grief and terror
of his tragical experience, it is not unlikely that his mind
was unhinged, or perhaps his loneliness became a burden
too heavy to be borne.
At any rate he suddenly disappeared.
" There was a little pale-faced man who was usually
quite early for the service; and then offered to take my
place in sounding the gong on the verandah. Observing
this I asked him one day whether he would not undertake
always to be present and beat the gong for me. Willingly
he would do so, he replied, but before acceding to my
request it was right that he should let me know something
about himself.
"' I am only just out of the gaol at San Francisco,' he
said, f Indeed! And what were you in gaol for ?' ' Murder,'
was his startling reply. His story was sad ; but not a very
uncommon one. He had unwisely taken his wife with him
to California, a country dangerous for women not of weU-
iM (■
grounded virtue. For there were numbers of men there
attractive, unscrupulous, unrestrained by considerations of
religion or morality, and with abundance of money which
they were lavish in spending upon the object of their desires.
The unhappy woman fell, and her outraged husband meeting
her seducer in the street, shot him through the heart.
" This crime, with such provocation, was not thought to
be very heinous, and after conviction he was let off with
three months' imprisonment. I dropped my offer, yet sometimes allowed him to assist me. No one else in the settlement knew his sad history. He was a baker by trade, and
supplied me with bread for some years. I used to see his
pale face, which looked as if it would never wear a smile
again, at the bottom of the church. But after two or three
years he became wild-looking and strange in manner. I lost
sight of him, and fancy he must have left the colony while
I was up-country at the gold-mines.
" These shootings were matters of not very rare occurrence
then in the Western States. But it was not in accordance
with the code of honour to take a man unawares, so that he
had 'no show' at all.     The correct  thing was to send a
written notice, usually to this effect, 'You d d villain.
I give you notice: I shoot you at sight.' Each man then
went about with his revolver—indeed, in the wilder parts of
the country, it was a common practice to wear such a weapon
—and if they met in the street, or elsewhere, it was a question which of the two beheld his adversary first and was the
readiest with his pistol. Sometimes, the first shots not taking
effect, they would stand firing at each other, and then passers-
by would duck their ^eads and run for shelter. But it is to
be observed that these things only took place among the
roughs.    Quiet, well-conducted people were safe enough." ¥
I ■
i vs j
ll :
Begun under such conditions the little church community
gradually spread in numbers, until after a few months it
outgrew its temporary home, and was removed to the Court
Autumn gave place to winter, and the rigours of the
climate set in.
The rainfall in the year is sufficient to cover the whole of
the territory to the depth of at least four feet. Milder and
more like our own English seasons on the coast, it was this
humidity which attracted Mr. Sheepshanks' notice during
his first winter.
The spell of the woods fell upon him. When once in the
forest he found it difficult to turn homeward. " All woods
lure a rambler onward." The emptiness of them gives a
feeling of freedom and discovery as he walks. It is well,
however, that his senses should be quick to notice the
direction in which he moves, or that the heavens have signs
by which he can guide his way.
Fitting pioneer in a country far beyond the extreme of
railways, Mr. Sheepshanks was a backwoodsman by nature.
His senses grew keener; he could guide himself about the
woods on the darkest night by touch and instinct.
"There is something very solemn, many would think
melancholy and depressing, in a walk in such a forest as
that of the lower Frazer. In winter-time the stillness, the
absence of life and sound, is weird and impressive. For
weeks there will not be a breath of wind. I have known
a woodman walk home from his work after nightfall for some
weeks with a naked candle in his hand.
"When the snow is on the ground you may perceive
indeed the footprints of animals, of birds, of deer, or occasionally of a bear, but you hear no sound, not a cry, not a THROUGH  THE WOODS
whisper, not the rustle of a leaf. Sit down upon a fallen
tree and the silence becomes oppressive, almost painful. It
is relief even to hear at last the sough of the fall of snow
from the boughs of the cypress, the pine, or the yew which
stretch like dark green horse-plumes across the trail.
"In summer-time the scene is somewhat different. The
prevailing colour is a sombre green. The undergrowth is
but scanty. The ground is covered, more or less thickly,
according to the soil, with scrub, ferns, and berry bushes.
Yet the wood is dense and impervious, for above the scrub
there are deciduous trees. In many places the trunks of the
forest trees are covered with moss, for the air is damp where
the rays of the sun cannot penetrate, and drooping masses of
grey lichen, not without beauty in themselves, hang down
from the branches towards the ground, and add to the sombre
melancholy of the scene.
"There are everywhere mighty trees lying upon the ground.
Commonly their roots, which have not struck down deep
into the soil, stand up, the light soil still adhering to them,
to the height of a one-storied house. If they are still living,
they draw up moisture through a tap-root and still send their
boughs upwards, and if, as is more often the case, the mighty
trunks are rotting on the ground, seeds dropping on them
from neighbouring trees soon germinate, and all along their
length saplings and young trees are sprouting forth into
luxuriant life. So here, as elsewhere, decay is seen to have
its uses, and from death renewed life springs forth. Above
all this the wood of mighty pines towers upwards, rising to a
height of some three hundred feet, the branches overhead
almost meeting at the top, so that it is only a narrow strip
of sky that is seen from the trail below.
" It is no easy work making a way through this forest.
fit ii
The mounting some of these fallen decayed giants; the creeping under others; the brushing aside the branches; the crossing streams; the getting across the ravines—this was no easy
work. We thought it good travelling to get through at the
rate of half a mile an hour.
" There is almost the same strange and impressive silence
in the woods in summer as in winter. Occasionally one
hears the pattering feet of the squirrels, the screeching of
the jays, the crowing of the wood pheasants, and near a
stream the pleasant little song of the water-birds. But this
is all. Usually there is no sound whatever, but 'all the
air a solemn stillness holds.' What a contrast to our dear
English woods, vocal with the sweet songs of our English
birds!   Assuredly England is the land of song.
" On my lonely walks I sometimes took my gun with me,
for the sake of getting a bird or two. At first the pheasants,
unused to the sound of firearms, were dazed at the explosion,
and would perhaps flutter on the tree on which they were
sitting—probably a crab-tree—but not take flight. I have
not infrequently shot two birds consecutively off the same
tree, being at some distance and not seen by them. No
doubt the sportsman will consider this but tame work, but
I shot not for sport, but for the pot.
" Usually, however, there was a good deal of interest of
a peculiar kind about this shooting. Walking along a forest
trail, birds which had been feeding on the partridge berry
would start up at one's very feet. In a second, before the
gun could be raised to the shoulder, they were in the wood
hidden by the trees. Standing quite still, one listened to
ascertain the direction in which they had flown and the
distance they had gone. Practice enables the sportsman to
gauge their flight with singular accuracy. REPLENISHING  THE  LARDER
" Then, quitting the trail—first, perhaps, taking a glance
to note the position of the sun—he plunges into the wood,
parting the branches and climbing over the trunks of the
fallen trees. As he draws near to the spot where he believes
the birds to be, he creeps along as quietly as may be, looking
up as he goes, in the somewhat dim light, into the branches;
for it is a question of which spies the other first. If the
sportsman first perceives the long neck of the bird as he
peers round from among the branches, he pots him. But
very commonly the pheasant is more on the alert, and takes
a second flight further into the forest, perhaps in a somewhat
different direction. This may be repeated four or five times;
and when the sportsman has secured his bird or abandoned
the pursuit, the question arises, especially if he be not
habituated to the woods, ' Where is he ?'
"Fortunately for me, I have been endowed with an
unusual faculty for locality, and in the woods had an intuitive feeling in which direction I had come, and whereabouts
lay my home. This faculty, which has often stood me in
good stead, is susceptible of development. The mind, I
imagine, takes a mental note of the direction in which one
has come, and then of subsequent changes of direction, and
is able to make aUowance for them all.
"I never lost knowledge of my whereabouts but once,
when I had been moving about in various directions in a
very dense wood for a considerable time. Then it flashed
across me that I knew not where I was. Fortunately I
knew that the moon was at the full and would rise ere long,
and so, sitting down upon a fallen tree and lighting my pipe,
I waited for this occurrence; for there were no landmarks
near, nor any stream, and in wandering about I might only
have gone further into the forest.   After some time I saw, to
1 ill 26
my satisfaction, a silvery glimmer through the trees, and
was thus enabled to take my bearings and make my way out
of the wood."
It may seem a cheerless career, that of the Rector of New
Westminster, as he figures in those early days: his hut
rough and comfortless; a prey to the domestic cares of
a bachelor; a wintry sky above him, and a desolate landscape around him. Yet he was not unhappy. Nor was the
element of sport wanting, though we have seen it was not
so much the lust of killing as the demands of the larder
which urged him on.
Still, it was discouraging to a young and ardent man
fresh from the memories of the crowded parish church at
Leeds and the abounding life of that great town, to find
himself in a spiritual desert. His first Christmas in the new
country brought with it poignant recollections of home.
"On Christmas Eve (1859) I spent the day in calling
upon all those who, as far as I could judge, ought to be
impelled to keep the birthday of the dear Lord in such a
way as would be acceptable to Him, by coming to our
worship to offer their spiritual sacrifices of praise and
thanksgiving and to partake of the Blessed Sacrament. But
I found very little encouragement.
"It was a miserable evening; a soft mild wind was
blowing, drizzle was falling; it was soon pitch dark, and in
the neighbourhood of the huts and stores the mud was deep
and sticky. I floundered about in the darkness, occasionally
tripping over a stump, feeling very warm in the moist air
with my waterproof garments; and now and then, when
down by the riverside, I heard the voices of men in the
drinking-bars shouting and singing, and the light gleaming
from the saloon fell upon the black mud and cast-away CHRISTMAS  AWAY  FROM  HOME
playing-cards that I was treading underfoot. And I thought
of happy scenes at home, and old friends at Leeds, and the
dignified, uplifting services at the parish church.
" But still, it was all right. It was delightful having the
society of friendly, highly educated men at the camp. We
had a nice number of communicants on Christmas morning,
and the message of Christmas is always one of' good news.'" CHAPTER III
Forest fires—Fight with the flames—Canadians to the rescue—Native
Indians—Tsilpeyman and his race for life-—Bloodshed averted —Jack
Sprague in gaol and out of it.
Those who have lived abroad are familiar with the pillar of
cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night telling of a
conflagration in the distance; they know the peculiar acridity
of the hot dry air as it hangs over a town and proclaims
that the woods are afire.
Consternation and disaster follow in the train of these
fires, kindled, it may be, by trifles. The settlers lay down
everything, or run from their beds to work like demons to
stop the onward rush of the destroyer. British Columbia
was not free from these visitations, as an early and startling
experience of the Rector of New Westminster declares.
" Yesterday and to-day my housekeeping has been nearly
brought to an abrupt termination. There was a large cedar
felled a short time ago a little below my hut, and a Canadian,
who wanted to break it up, set it on fire. It blazed steadily
and quietly for about a week until yesterday, when a fresh
breeze arose.   The fire immediately began to spread.
" During afternoon service, while I was preaching in the
Treasury not far off, I heard the loud crackling and roaring
of the flames; and when the service was over I was told
that my hut was in danger. After a spell of dry weather a
fire spreads with marveUous rapidity, and is indeed almost
resistless. The ground is covered with dry vegetable matter,
leaves, twigs, bark, and moss. Above, there is a network of
branches; masses of decayed wood smoulder away inextinguishably, and the dry fallen cedars and pines act as
strongholds for the flames.
" Moreover, you never can be sure that the fire is put
out. The ground is permeated with roots, which stretch for
yards beneath the surface. These often act as conductors
for the fire; so that when it appears to be extinguished
in one quarter, it suddenly breaks out again, yards from
the spot.
" I hurried off, accompanied by one or two helpers with
axes and spades. It was indeed high time. The fire was
coming right onwards, spitting and crackling, licking what
trees there were in its course, and sending before it clouds
of smoke. It is a fine sight to see the gigantic pines catch
fire. The fire runs up the trunk until it reaches the lowest
of the branches, which are very high up, perhaps 180 to 200
feet from the ground; and when it catches the leaves it
flares up, and there is a great conflagration. With a rush,
and with the sounds of an explosion, the flame sweeps
upward to the very top of the tree; showers of sparks
fall to the ground, and a column of smoke floats away
before the breeze. In the darkness of the night this looks
very fine.
" There was a path between us and the fire, and this we
took as our line of defence. One cut through branches
which extended across the path; another tore up the roots;
while another turned up the soil with a shovel. By these
means and by throwing water, of which we had only a small
ff!i 3o
supply, upon the places to which the fire had advanced, we
arrested for this time its progress.
" I had an evening service at the camp, and was obliged
to go, leaving my hut, my goods, and chattels to the care of
a Yankee, a regular ' down-Easter,' late a grog-shop keeper,
a quondam soldier under ' General Scott' in Mexico, a
somewhat rough diamond, but a kind-hearted and generous
man. On my return at night I found that the fire had
extended greatly, and was burning quietly past my hut up
into the woods.
" Being tired with my day's work, and not wishing to
be disturbed by the crackling and the smoke and the consciousness of risk, I engaged a bed in the ' town,' but was
awakened in the morning by the announcement that the
fire was extending round my cabin. Hastily dressing and
hurrying off with a friend, an assistant in one of the stores,
I found that the flames, having made a detour, were
besieging my citadel, which was being gallantly defended,
for good fellowship's sake, by three Canadians. They had
cleared away the brush immediately round the house, and
my friend and I now took up the defence, and continued it
for some hours. He threw buckets of water upon the blazing
ground, while I fetched mud from a piece of marshy ground
near at hand, and with it made a pathway round the house.
There was a decayed upright tree blazing away about twelve
yards off, from which the breeze blew sparks towards us.
The walls of a log hut are made of the trunks of trees placed
horizontally one upon another, with moss stuffed between
the interstices. This moss was quite dry and likely to catch
fire, so we threw buckets of water over the walls and the
shingle roof every few minutes. In short, we did everything
possible, and succeeded. TSILPEYMAN AND  HIS  RACE  FOR LIFE 31
"At first it appeared as if nothing could arrest a fire.
The bright line comes creeping along the ground, blazing up
and rejoicing over every little heap of dry wood. It comes
on like a rapid flood tide, gaining yard after yard, and
leaving all behind it smouldering and blazing, bright with
flames and white with ashes. It reached within two yards
of the hut, but got no further. Its attacks became feebler
and feebler, and at about 2 p.m. the enemy retired baffled
and discomfited. The large logs and trunks are still blazing
around. I see them now while I am writing, through my
little window, and they will probably continue burning for
a week."
From time to time he was reminded that he was on the
hereditary continent of the red man. An Indian, suspected
of the murder of an old Irishman, escaped from his sapper
guard to flee for his life, his pursuers firing upon him with
their revolvers as he ran.
" One man, an Indian, named Tsilpeyman, known to be
a bad character, hated and feared by his tribe, and suspected
by them of having been implicated in the murder, was given
up by a party of the Musquioms across the river into our
hands. He was kept somewhat loosely guarded at the camp,
a young sapper named Meade being specially told off to
watch him. During the afternoon he managed to divest
himself of his clothing, and sat with only a blanket wrapped
round him.
" In the evening he watched his opportunity and darted
away from his guard. They were armed with revolvers, and
rushed after him firing. But the revolvers had been loaded
for some time, and hung fire. Young Meade had sprung
towards him as he started off; but the Indian cleverly
threw his blanket over him, and sped away down the bank 32
towards the river. It was then quite dark, and for some
time eager search was made with lanterns in the water, and
out of the water among the stores and sheds.
" I was going my rounds at the time, visiting the families
of the sappers, and wondered what the shouting and firing
could mean. The poor fellow had indeed leapt into the
river, which was rushing along filled with floes of ice at
about freezing temperature, to swim for his life. A sergeant,
Jock M'Clure, a knowing, cool-headed Scotchman, guessing
what had happened, and knowing that there was a spit of
sand some few hundreds of yards lower down the river
round which the tide would be sweeping—for he was one of
those men who notice everything—quietly ran down to the
spit and waited for what he believed would come to pass.
It was pitch dark, and he could see nothing except the
waters rushing swiftly by. Listening, however, intently, he
heard a sound which he knew, a choking sound and a faint
,cry, and then all was still. The Indian was heard of no
more, and after a little while his tribe recognized the fact
that he was dead. His kloochman (wife) wept for him, and
his blankets were given away.
"The Musquioms were divided about this matter. It
was old Tsimlanogh, the chief, a man who was always very
friendly with the whites, who had given up the Indian to
our people. Another party of the same tribe was much
angered at this, and determined to have their revenge.
Accordingly, they crept through the forest and began firing
through the bush upon Tsimlanogh's ranch. He and his
sons returned the fire, and it seemed as if there would be
loss of life. The Engineers, hearing the firing, sent an armed
party across the river to protect an American family that
was residing there. 1
" But the fighting was stopped by a very happy circumstance. The colonel had purchased a large steamboat beU
to serve as a church bell and summon the soldiers and their
families to Divine worship. Fortunately, this day happened
to be a Sunday, and in the height of the firing the church
bell was heard sounding across the river. The Indians were
startled at the unwonted sound proceeding from the camp,
not knowing what was going to happen, and stopped their
fighting. Peace was soon afterwards, I believe, patched up
between the two factions."
When Mr. Sheepshanks could not exercise the great
human gift of talk amongst his neighbours, he burned,
literally, the midnight oil in his studies. Thus the hours
of evening, when he was once more "curtained with the
friendly dark," sped lightly.
So many have suffered when the means of all intellectual
life has been lacking: without libraries or stimulating converse, the mind has become like a garden long uncultivated.
Not so with this disciple of the great teacher in Leeds who
thought his morning wasted that did not begin at five and
witness some striving of the brain.
If it be true that "books should be read amongst the
cooling influences of external nature," he was able, with a
brain at rest and in a plain, unfevered temper of mind, to
address himself to the great thinkers whose words were to
serve him so well in after-years.
That the great majority of the settlers had expunged
Sunday from their calendar; that Americans and native-
born Colonials were ready to give generously to Church work,
and even levy a friendly tax on their neighbours for the
benefit of the new Gospel ship; that his own countrymen
were laggards both in their gifts and in encouragement, were
D 34
facts that he came to recognize quickly. To him, the endowments of the Church in the old country, and the scanty
demand made upon the liberality of her children, were
responsible for this astonishing lukewarmness and niggardliness. The truth of the matter was that many of them were
poor specimens of the religion they were supposed to cherish.
" Jack Sprague was a notorious criminal who came under
my charge in the gaol, a typical American desperado. He
himself told me that he believed he had committed every
possible offence against the laws except one. He made a
resolution when he began his career that he would not shed
blood; and though he might by shedding blood have escaped
arrest more than once, he had never done so. He knew
several modern languages, and learned German while he
was in prison, chiefly by talking to his neighbour through
the wooden wall which separated them.
"He had never read a page of the Bible, and did not
know a prayer. I lent him a Bible; and when he returned
it to me after some weeks, his comment was this: ' Well,
sir, that book shows me that crowds of men who pretend to
believe that book really do not. For if they really believed
it, they could not possibly live as they do.' If Jack had
met me in the highway and thought I was a rich man, no
doubt he would have robbed me if he could. But if he
thought I was poor or suffering, I do not doubt that he
would have relieved me liberally.
" Jack was a striking instance of what the ' common
school' system in the States sometimes leads to. I asked
Jack, when his term of imprisonment was over, what he
should do. His immediate reply was this: ' Why, sir, I
shall clear out of British territory without delay,' which was
rather a compliment to our Government." I 111
it     lr
(The log hut is the Rectory.) DAILY ROUTINE
But, alas! Jack Sprague was destined to be "cleared
out" altogether—and by way of the gallows.
During the day Mr. Sheepshanks' time was well occupied.
No man can be described as idle who visits, collects subscriptions and gifts, supervises a work of building, teaches a
Sunday school, preaches four sermons on the seventh day
with the usual offices of the Church, and walks five or six
miles in the performance of that duty.
The church building progressed. There was a " bee " for
the clearing of the ground. A considerable number of
people put in a day's work, brought shovels and pickaxes,
cleared the ground of stumps, rolled away logs, and made a
pathway from the road up to the church lot.
But the labours in the settlement were intermitted by an
order from the Bishop to go up country and visit the miners
and the Indians. 111'
His treatment by the white races—His impending fate—The ravages of
the bottle—His personal appearance—Mr. Sheepshanks as a | Eesur-
The miner was a picturesque and interesting figure, but the
personality which arrested and fascinated the young missionary was that of the aboriginal dweller in the land. A
lover of the Indian, his character and claims, he resented
as if it had been a personal grievance of his own the injuries
which indifference under one flag, and positive wrong-doing
under another, had inflicted on the native.
To an Englishman it was a matter of gratulation that
the chapter of the Indian was not written in red blood as
in the neighbouring territory of the United States, where
the moral feeling proper to a Christian people was in the
early days wanting. Assumption and incivility had passed
into hostility and outrage; natives were harassed and shot
down by a people who did not understand their speech or
their passions.
The early chronicles of gold-mining in California are
full of the reckless and indiscriminate slaughter of these
helpless people. To shoot a buck Indian was no more a
crime than to shoot a buck.   Evicted from the best parts
of their own hereditary continent, subject to the extortion
of unworthy whites, denied the reservations which were
theirs by the Government's own provisions, and driven out
into the more inhospitable parts of the country, their wrongs
made up a sorrowful chapter of injustice and indignity.
In British Columbia, where they had been treated with
tolerance and guarded by merciful laws, their lot had been
less hopeless. Yet even there their record was dismal and
evil enough. Attended with whatever of amelioration and
compassion, the civilization of the white man means the
disappearance of the aboriginal. Well may his countenance
wear a sadness prophetic of his fate, for drink and the
diseases of an alien race will destroy him. Many things he
may survive—his own barbarous rites, the tribal and
desultory fights pursued almost without intermission, the
growing domination of the white man—but he cannot survive
the civilization of the bottle.
The most malignant figure which rises up from the shore
of every sea is that of the pioneer trader with his stores and
cheap maddening liquor, bringing ruin and extermination
to the unhappy, ignorant folk who buy a short cut to a wild
kind of happiness.
Mr. Sheepshanks has recorded in his diary his earliest
impressions of this doomed race.
11 was at first deeply disappointed with the appearance
and manner of living of the native tribes, commonly called
the American Indians. They are as unlike as can well be
imagined to the idealized Indians of Fenimore Cooper's
novels. In appearance they are evidently of the Mongolian
type, being probably the descendants of some of the last
waves of immigration which long ago crossed over from
Northern Asia, either by Behring's Straits, or, as is perhaps
* 38
more likely, by the Aleutian Islands. Their faces are large
and flat, with short broad noses, large mouths, and slightly
Mongolian eyes. They have masses of black hair, parted
in the middle—the parting being sometimes painted vermilion—plastered with fish oil, falling down in a straight
mass nearly to the shoulders, where it is cut short. At first
they used a good deal of paint, chiefly vermilion, and sometimes black. But we laughed them out of this to a great
extent, for there is nothing that the Indian dreads and
shrinks from so much as ridicule.
" In person they are rather short, but often strongly made.
The coast Indians live chiefly on fish, and pass a good deal
of their time in their canoes. They will paddle for hours
and hours, sometimes for a day with little intermission, and
their legs being curled under them while they paddle, are
commonly not properly developed. So that you may observe
an Indian who appears a fine, muscular, well-developed man
while he is sitting down; but when he rises and stands
upright his legs, being somewhat attenuated, do not appear
to correspond to his fine chest and shoulders. The expression upon their countenances is grave, soft, and undoubtedly
melancholy, though when pleased or amused they have a
pleasant smile.
"Several of the different septs of the Cowichan nation
which inhabit the Lower Frazer are 'Flatheads/ so called
from their curious custom of flattening the head. The process is of this nature. The little baby is carried about in a
wicker basket, shaped like an open coffin, and slung on the
mother's back. As the child lies in this basket a pad,
perhaps of bark, is placed upon his forehead, and strong
sinews are so placed and fastened with screws into each
side of the basket that they press upon the pad, and by HUNTING  FOR A  CRANIUM
turning the screws every now and then additional pressure
is put upon the infant's forehead before his skull has grown
quite hard. Thus the fore part of the skull is pressed down,
and as a consequence the top and back part is bulged out.
Thus the normal shape of the skull is changed, and it takes
a comparatively oval form. It might be thought that the
power of the brain would be injuriously affected by this
strange custom. But I am not aware that it is so. I think
the ' Flatheads' are to the full as intelligent as any other
of these tribes.
" Canon Greenwell of Durham, a well-known craniologist,
begged me to get him, if possible, one of these skulls.
It was rather a delicate job to undertake, as the Indians
are mostly careful about sepulture. However, I set off on
my quest, and knowing of an old burying place of the
Musquiom Indians, I paddled across the Frazer with two
Indian boys to seek out the spot. The lads were very
inquisitive as to what I wanted, and why I had taken an
empty sack with me. But I would not satisfy their curiosity.
They put me ashore, and I made my way through the forest
to the place where the burying ground had been. I should
mention that the Indians do not put their dead into the
ground, but usually fasten them up in trees. If the dead
man be a chief or brave warrior, they put his arms and
accoutrements around him, and thus leave the body to
"It was a long time before I found the object of my
search, but at length I came across a small skull, apparently
that of a female, obviously a flathead, yet not so excessively
flattened as some that I have seen. My lads eyed me and
my burden very curiously as I returned with my sack. I
would give them no information as to what I had brought 4Q
away. One of the sharp young rogues guessed it, however,
for after making several guesses, he turned round upon me
in mid-stream and said, ' It is a Siwash letete'—Siwash,
corrupted from 'sauvage,' being the word by which they
designate themselves. It is not unlikely that the lads, when
my back was turned, had, after the Indian fashion, stolen
after me through the bush, watched my proceedings, and
then crept back to the canoe." CHAPTER y
The unspeakable mosquito—Dinner under difficulties—Indian encampment—Method of teaching—Eeturn home—Visit to settlers—Beavers
and their work.
On this journey he was to make the acquaintance of the
mosquito at close quarters. Macdonald's account of the
Columbian variety reads like a traveller's tale, for he asserts
that mosquitos have actually brought horses and cattle to
a painful and lingering death, have forced whole families,
by the discomfort they inflict, to leave their homes for
months together. Mr. Sheepshanks bears witness to the
severity of their attacks.
I In England—favoured land!—we are practically unable
to realize the full meaning of the ' plague of flies.' But it
is very different in lands of forest and jungle and undrained
marshes. A few mosquitos had already made their appearance at New Westminster, and I had been interested in
taking note of the operations of the little creature. I
watched him as he would settle upon the back of one's hand,
and then dig his little proboscis, or trunk, into the flesh and
pump and pump away in so greedy and engrossed a way
that he was commonly lifted off his hind feet as his proboscis
dug itself deeper and deeper into the flesh.    But a minute
1 \w
or two ago when he settled, he appeared as shrunk and
bodiless as poor insect could be; but soon he begins to take
the hue of pink, and ere long he is like a little pink bladder
supported on his legs. Then comes the Nemesis, and he is
" But what mosquitos could be I had no notion until this
journey. I have since heard, with some amusement, travellers speaking of the intolerable nuisance of mosquitos on
the Continent, at Yenice, or Yerona. What would they
think if the numbers there were multiplied by thousands!
On the Douglas trail I met with the Indians covered with
paint, carrying branches of trees in their hand, which they
were sweeping round them as they walked. They were
evacuating their country, being temporarily driven out by
these pests. Life was simply not livable. If by chance you
arrived at a clearing or an open space where there appeared
to be immunity from them, ere long they would appear, for
I suppose they scent the human body afar off.
" Quite early in the morning after meeting those Indians
I issued from my tent and found an open space on the river's
bank where I could get my bath. But no sooner had I
emerged from the water than I found swarms of them
assailing me, and do what I would, slaughter them by
dozens, I suffered severely.
" It was on that same day, dining at a wayside house, that
I took part in a scene which I never can forget. What was
there to be seen ? Some twenty or twenty-five men, nearly
all miners going up to the mines. Food was on the table.
There was a ceaseless hum in the apartment; for it was literally
brown with hundreds, I do not doubt thousands, of mosquitos.
There was a small hive of them buzzing in the air, trying to
find an ingress at any part of every man's person. AN  UNCOMFORTABLE MEAL
"It was swelteringly hot, yet every man had made himself
as impervious as he could. Each man wore his coat buttoned
up, strings were fastened round his cuffs, and trousers also,
if he had not top-boots. He had gauntlets on his hands,
his hat on his head, and a veil hanging down covering his
face and neck. He would stick his fork into a piece of meat
and pop in under the veil as quickly as possible. When
drinking their coffee the men would hold the cup underneath
the veil, first clearing out the bodies of the mosquitos which
possibly had been feeding upon the hairy miner close at
" Not a word, I believe, was uttered during that brief meal,
for we were beaten down and cowed by the insects. The
first words spoken were by a miner in pushing away his
chair from the table, 'Oh, this God-forsaken country!'"
In passing from this point to Lillooet, he was fortunate
enough—for the lake must be crossed—to find an empty
boat. In this, rowing hard with his Indian, he made the
spit of land where he found his Diocesan already encamped.
His task of instructing the aboriginal began at once.
There were many Indians in this encampment under the
chief Chil-hoo-seltz—a man with all the fine self-sufficiency
and grave politeness of the hunter and the savage.
" Chil-hoo-seltz, the chief of the Lillooet Indians, an
excellent and most attractive man, was a fine figure. Short
in stature, but strongly made, with his fine features, intelligent and amiable expression, clad in a hunter's coat of
deer-skin, ornamented with strips of the same, black cloth
trousers, scarlet leggings from the knee downwards, embroidered moccassins, cloth cap ornamented with the tail
of a silver fox, he was indeed a picturesque object."
The young missionary had made himself familiar with 44
the jargon called Chinook. Poor enough as a medium,
he had found that with a few earnest words in it he
could kindle the faces of his savage listeners, whilst it
also enabled him to interpret for others.
" That evening away galloped Indians to inform different
parties of their tribe, some of whom were engaged in salmon-
fishing ; and next morning quite early, before I left my tent
for the matutinal plunge into the Frazer, I heard parties of
Indians arriving. We had a large gathering, and the Bishop
addressed them, I acting as interpreter. They all sat in two
semicircles on the sand, and were, as usual, fixed in their
attention. As hundreds of miners were passing up through
their country, and grog-shops were being set up in all their
villages, we made a point of warning them strongly concerning the evils of the drink. Good Chil-hoo-seltz supported
us in all that we said.
" Usually in these meetings we would teach the Indians
a prayer; and did it in this fashion. I would write out a
prayer in Chinook, and taking one or two of the most
intelligent boys, who knew the Chinook best, would tell
them to translate this, sentence by sentence, into the local
dialect. This I wrote down phonetically from their lips.
Then calling other boys to me, I would read over this
prayer as I had written it down, and make them translate
it for me into Chinook. Thus I became sure that I had
made no mistake, and that the Indians would understand
what I taught them. Then we all knelt down, and I
would recite the prayer sentence by sentence. And the
Indians, shutting their eyes, would repeat the sentence
all together in a loud monotone. Thus, going over it again
and again, they before long knew it by heart.
"Then we would appoint  some one whom the chief THE  PROCESSION   HOMEWARDS
approved, perhaps the chief himself, to be their leader,
and tell them to meet every day and repeat the prayer.
This, I believe, they invariably did. It was very cheering
on one or two occasions, visiting the same tribe again
after the lapse of a year, to find that they had carefully
and gladly kept to their prayer-meeting."
With the Bishop he visited mining bars, an unpromising
sphere for a clergyman's ministrations, yet one singularly
free from incivility or ridicule. After a few months' stay
the little company retraced their steps.
" We returned homeward by the river route to Fort
Hope. There was no road in those days. We therefore
followed the rough trail which went partly through* open
country, and then over ' Jackass Mountain' and across the
river ' slides' and so to the ' Cascade' range of mountains.
When we were going along the forest trails our progress
was rather slow.
" First came the tall, grave, dignified Bishop. So tall was
he, and so long of limb, that riding on a big horse, if he
dropped his whip on the ground, he could pick it up while
still in the saddle.
"Next came the young presbyter, his chaplain, by no
means so correct in his appearance, in wide-awake, serge
coat, clerical tie—which he never abandoned—corduroy
trousers, and hob-nailed boots.
" Next came ' the faithful William,' the Bishop's servant,
not much relishing the rough work of missionary travel, and
the calvacade wound up with two packed horses and the
"The Bishop was always kindly and considerate; but
sometimes his English clerical ideas of propriety were a little
disturbed.    The young chaplain had a 'way,'  the same 46
' way t which in Mr. Sam Weller so disturbed the equanimity
of Mr. John Smauker, of putting his hands in his pockets
and whistling as he went. It appears that this fidgeted
the stately Bishop and shocked his sense of the proprieties.
So one day the reproof fell: ' I cannot think how you can
indulge in that habit of whistling. It is so undignified. I
might say so unclerical.' There was a twinkle in the
chaplain's eye, and a smile flickered round his mouth. But
he had too genuine a respect for his superior to make any
reply, and a pleasant conversation ensued. But a while
afterwards, perhaps after the midday meal, the chaplain
would strangely enough find himself half a mile behind the
others, and lo! again the sombre forest would re-echo with
the popular airs of the period."
At home again Mr. Sheepshanks found his church, a
wooden structure, and the first to be built in the colony of
Church people, nearly finished.
By December it was consecrated. It would seat about
three hundred people, and its erection completed the happiness of its first incumbent, who was able, henceforth, to exist
on the free-will offerings of his people. The temper of the
future and democratic Bishop of Norwich was to be seen in
the share of Church government committed to the laity of
his first parish.
With him, as with so many of the clergy in the colonies,
there were many and pathetic inquiries for relatives. His
search for the missing son was usually unavailing or of
pitiful result, and many a letter remained unanswered not
through neglect but from compassion. Released from the
restraint of home and English life, the wanderer, in too
many instances, had yielded to immorality, or a passion for
The experience of Mr. Sheepshanks abroad early convinced him of the folly of sending "remittance men" and
ne'er-do-wells into the remote corners of the earth in hope
of amendment.   He is of the same mind as R. L. Stevenson.
" For the weakness of drink and incompetency, this trick
of consigning men overseas appears to be the most foolish
means of cure," since there is nothing in a sea voyage or a
new country to give any one a stronger mental or moral fibre.
His battle must be fought to some extent before he quits
the shores of England. He must change his character, or,
let him go where he will, he will be a failure until he die.
" It is the height of folly to pack off young men who are
inclined to be' fast' to some colony, where there are stronger
temptations and fewer restraints and safeguards. This is
sometimes done, I fear, selfishly, that the evil doings may
not be seen, nor bring disgrace. But it is likely to end in
deeper ruin. Nothing can strengthen a young man against
the temptations of such a colony as ours except religion."
The routine work of the town was varied by occasional
expeditions into neighbouring settlements. One of these,
undertaken with a clerical colleague, is thus described. (It
is interesting because of the domestic details given of a
settler's home and life.)
| A settler's life in a wilderness such as this is certainly
interesting, and, I think, instructive to one brought up in a
highly civilized country. Picture to yourself a small room,
about one-third of the size of the dining-room at home, with
a low roof slanting down till on one side it is only just above
your head. A pretty girl is boiling coffee and potatoes and
salt salmon for the meal at the stove up in the corner.
There is a good pile of firewood with which she keeps the
pot boiling.  The old man, of good Irish family, with weather- 48
beaten countenance and fine grey beard, is talking to the
two parsons, one of whom, the Rector, has the one chair, the
seat of honour.
" The old man is sitting on his bed, covered with an
opossum skin brought from Australia, in the corner opposite
to the stove. The two young men, tired with their day's
work, are lounging about listening to the conversation and
teasing their sister. Two fine strapping fellows they are,
manly, modest, hard-working, courageous, fearing God, and
Him only. I hope to present both of them before long for
Confirmation. They know more of their Bible than eighty
per cent, of the men that go to the University.
"The room itself looks like a magazine. On shelves
fastened to the wall, or hanging from nails, are the articles
which a settler must always have ready to his hand—a gun,
powder and shot flask, axe, hatchet, saw, pots and pans,
clasp-knife, matches, flour, etc.
" And thus we sit and talk by the flaring light of a rush
lamp, fed with fish oil, till a fork stuck into the potatoes
shows that they are cooked, and supper is announced.
Supper ended, more talk, and then prayers and exposition
of Scriptures, and then to bed. And in what a queer place!
In a large outhouse used as a store. There were deposited
all their tools, spades, picks, shovels, a huge pair of bellows
for a forge, seeds, a few cabbages, strings of onions, etc., etc.
At one end were two large bedsteads, with no bed-clothes
or mattress. On one of the two the brothers rolled themselves in their blankets. On the other Knipe and I also
rolled ourselves up like two mummies—for we had, of
course, brought our blankets with us—and though the place
was average cold—by day you can see the light shining
through everywhere—were soon fast asleep." BEAVER-LAND
On this visit an opportunity was given to the young
clergy of seeing the homes and haunts of the beaver.
" Going any distance by land through these woods, unless
there is a trail cut, is, as I have told you before, out of the
question. So we had to paddle up-stream in a canoe. A
boat in these very swift, and at places very shallow, streams
would be of no use.
"And I may observe that paddling a canoe up one of
these swift little rivers is uncommonly hard work; how hard
you may judge from the fact that we were an hour and
three-quarters going up what it only took us six minutes
to come down. Generally we paddled as vigorously as we
could. Sometimes we poled. Sometimes quite spent with
our work, but not daring to desist, as we should immediately
be swept down by the stream, we paddled into the bank,
and held on by the overhanging bushes. Sometimes to
avoid a 'shoot' we got out and lifted our canoe over a
sandbank or log. There were three of us, Knipe and I
and Ned, the younger of the brothers.
"At length, however, we arrived at the slue, or small
branch brook, up which was the beaver dam. We soon discovered signs of these truly marvellous creatures. Whole
clumps of young trees lay upon the ground, cut through
about two feet from the ground, apparently felled, as the
uninitiated would think, by the woodman's axe. These
have been gnawed through by the beavers for the sake of
the bark upon which they feed. Some of the trees were
standing half-gnawed through, the work, as it seemed, of
the day before.
"We came upon the first dam a little way up the
stream. The ingenuity here displayed by the little creature
j.s wonderful.    They know where they want to place the
e Eh
ii i
t •
trees, and they gnaw through them in such a way that they
fall them across the stream as cleverly as could be done by
the experienced axeman. Then they fasten sticks into the
mud to prevent the young trees that they have felled from
being carried away. How they do this I do not know. Some
say that they hammer the sticks down with their tails.
They carry small branches and twigs upon the dam thus
begun; and earth and sand brought down by the brook
consolidate the work. If the stream seems inclined to run
round their dam, they continue it a long way. This was
the case in the present instance.
"It is curious to observe how they take advantage of
every tree and bush that will serve as a pier or buttress
to their work. The dam being made, of course quite a
pool is formed above it; and thus they are enabled to
float down logs to their holes, peel them, and lay up the
bark for the bad weather. In this case there were three
or four dams, and therefore quite a chain of pools.
" There are those who aver not only that the beavers
pat down the earth upon the dam with their tails, but also
that, in guiding the logs to their holes, they sit upon them
and use their tails as a propeller. It may be that this is
going too far. Their ingenuity and sagacity are so extraordinary that it is not surprising if men add further marvels
that are not based on fact. The words of Job are apposite:
'Ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee; and the
fowls of the air and they shall tell thee; and the fishes
of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in
all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the
breath of all mankind ?'
"Having inspected  the  dam, we   turned  homewards. RETURN  TO  THE TOWN
Then came the excitement. Down we glide with the pace
of a railway train. We shoot by the bushes. We turn
the corners rapidly. We fly by rocks and snags, sometimes
scraping the bottom, sometimes gliding down a shoot into
a deep boiling pool, paddling lustily all the while in order
to be able to steer. We are quite sorry when it is over, and
we are once more on shore. Next day we returned to New
Westminster." ■ <(    It
Chinamen in British Columbia—Their gratitude and generosity—Amongst
the big fish of Canada—Eheumatic fever—A hard winter—Stag-
hunting extraordinary.
In the autumn, at the Bishop's request, Mr. Sheepshanks
went up to Fort Hope. On his way he met with an illustration of the social gratitude of the " heathen Chinee." From
what he had already learnt of them, he did not share in the
disfavour of the Chinese, so common amongst Americans.
Whilst here and there there was a desperado combining
in one person the depravities of two races, in general they
were worthy and useful members of the community. Their
virtues, their industry, their grateful recognition of a kindness
commended them to him.
"On board the river steamboat there was a Chinaman,
with whom I conversed, and who was much astonished at
my acquaintance with the religions of China, and inquired
my name. It appears that he mentioned the circumstance
to his fellow-countryman with whom he was to lodge, and
it happened that this man had been for a few months at
New Westminster, and I had taught him to read. So he
set to work to find out where I was staying, and presently
brings me an offering of a very handsome purse and a
bracelet of sandalwood. Right glad he was to see me, and
we shook hands and nodded and grinned at each other
"Next day I called upon him at his store, and he
served up refreshments for me. The Chinamen are not
only personally grateful for benefits or kindness received,
but they have a racial gratitude. Because I did my best to
teach a few Chinamen at New Westminster, and was of
course courteous and kind to them, I was always most
kindly and hospitably received by Chinamen throughout
the colony. When I visited Victoria I was welcomed by
Chinese store-keepers there, and was invited to partake of
refreshments—tea and ginger and preserves wherever I
His run of robust health was at length to receive a
shock in the shape of a fever due to imprudence. Setting
out in the morning for a long paddle with Mr. Knipe, he
was drenched to the skin by a heavy downpour of rain.
Arrived at a friend's cabin, that of Mr. Atkins, he thoughtlessly dried his clothes at the stove amidst clouds of steam.
This was the first risk.
The second came with an expedition for salmon-fishing
undertaken with Ned Atkins after the midday meal.
It will be known that the Frazer is a famous river for
that 1 royal fish," sturgeon.
"The Indians kill and take them in a curious way.
They have a long wooden spear, about the thickness of a
hop-pole, but quite straight, about nine feet in length, and
sharpened at one end. At the extremity is a wooden haft,
about seven inches in length, so notched at one end that
it fits upon the sharpened end of the spear, and having
at the other end a keen steel blade.   One end of a stout Iff
piece of cord is attached to this haft, the other end is held
by the fisherman.
"A canoe, manned by two Indians, floats in silence down
the centre of the mighty river. One of the two paddles gently;
the other holds the spear down into the water. Their skill is
so great, their knowledge of the bottom of the river so accurate, their touch so fine, that they feel when the sharp
blade is passing over the sturgeon lying on the bottom.
When this is felt, the man strikes strongly, the haft comes
off the spear, which is lifted and laid in the canoe. The
sturgeon is hauled in by the cord. The spectator beholds
a mighty splash by the side of the canoe. The great fish
is drawn to the side, beaten upon the head with a club,
and then lifted into the canoe.
" They vary a good deal in size and weight. Those that
I have seen have been usually, I think, from 70 lbs. to
about 200 lbs. I must not omit to mention the hooligars,
a small, delicious fish, about the size of large sardines.
For a short while in the early summer they are caught in
great abundance. They are full of oil: so full that it
was asserted that when dried they will burn like a candle.
But I never saw this tried. I have no doubt that if put
up like sardines they would be every whit as good. But I
have not heard whether this has yet been done."
But the quest was not for sturgeon, but for salmon.
"The fish that Ned Atkins and I were after was a
species of white salmon. After paddling for perhaps
half a mile from the shanty we anchored our canoe by a
large stone, and jumped into the stream, the water being
about halfway up our thighs. The weapon that we used
was the sturgeon spear which I have just described.
" We had scarcely taken our station, one a yard or two
above the other, when my companion called out, 'Here
they come,' and I saw a shoal of perhaps a dozen large
salmon coming rapidly up-stream, and darting past us.
I made my lunge, and missed. My companion secured a
fine salmon. Presently I again made my stroke, and again
missed. My friend threw, with a laugh, another fish into
the canoe. However, after some experience, and making
allowance for the speed of the salmon and the glittering
of the water, I too succeeded very well. So that in an
hour and a half we had secured about twenty fish,
averaging, I should say, 10 lbs. each. The bottom of the
canoe was filled with the great creatures. And then
returning to the shanty we found that Mr. Atkins and
his other son had been employed in our absence in digging
trenches across the garden. Into these the great fish were
thrown; for though not very good for food—though the
Indians dry them—they make excellent manure."
The drenching of the day before, and the sport, thigh-
deep in the river, had a serious result. That night he
was tossing in a rheumatic fever. Yet this indisposition,
grave enough in itself, had at least one good effect. It led
to the provision of a modest rectory house.
" I was getting better, when one day there came a knock
at the hut door, and when it opened there was the Governor,
Sir James Douglas, in his uniform. I can recall now his
look of horrified surprise as he stooped his head to come in,
and then stood upright. ' This must not be,' he said; ' this
wretched place is no place for a clergyman, a gentleman, and
a scholar.'
"I had become so habituated to my surroundings that
I was rather surprised at this depreciatory view of my
household.    But, however, he went away and stirred up 56
various people, and set on foot a movement for the erection
of a house, heading the list of subscribers himself, so that
in a few months' time a lot was cleared and a beginning
made with a modest wooden rectory house."
In January, 1862, winter set in with a severity unusual
even in British Columbia. As the parsonage was not yet
ready for occupation, the two young clergymen lived together
in a smaU house, with an Indian lad as house-boy. The
Frazer below them became gradually filled with large floes
of ice: these, carried up and down by the ebb and flood
of the tide, floated backwards and forwards many days.
"A wonderful sight it is to see the huge fields of ice
being hurried along by the rapid current, grating against
the fringe of strong ice which clings to the shore until they
have cut it, and it has cut them as straight and as evenly as
a glazier cuts an irregular piece of glass with his diamond—
and to see them when brought to a jam crunched against a
projecting piece of land, and smashing up and still borne on
by the current, forming quite a mound of ice fragments—and
to see them overlapping each other, and forced on to each
other's backs, and slipping about until broken, or welded
together by the frost. All this is striking, and the sound
perhaps still more so. It is grand and solemn to hear
morning, noon, and night that continual crashing going on,"
The frost brought with it opportunities which no
Englishman can resist. For the first time since the Creation
skating began on the hardened surface of the river. Early
one morning the young Siwash rushed into Mr. Sheepshanks'
room to tell him, in much excitement, that a Boston man
(that is, American) was moving about in a very quick and
surprising way upon the ice.
" It being then apparent that we were in for a spell of JACK FROST AND  HIS DOINGS
wintry weather, various preparations were made, notably by
the Canadian portion of the population for winter amusements. Sleighs were rapidly made, and presently the ladies
were being driven about in the rough equipages, made smart
with skins, and jingling with bells. Hockey sticks were
cut from the forest, and the male portion of the population,
officials, parsons, storekeepers, woodmen, and Indians, were
engaged in this exciting game upon the broad river. This
has continued now for some weeks. Occasionally carts
come down the river upon the ice, and cattle are driven
across to the other side. Business is at a standstill, and
sleigh-driving and hockey have been the order of the day." i
Communication with the outer world ceased. This sent
up the price of provisions, but had an effect even harder to
bear, since it stopped all news from England at the time
when the Northern and Southern States of America were at
death grips, and the Mason and Slidell incident made the
peace of Great Britain itself tremble in the balance. :
Accustomed though they were to rough it, the winter of
1862 brought with it more demands upon the patience and
endurance of the settlers of New Westminster.
" When I awake in the morning the bucket of water for
my bath is frozen solid. The first thing to be done is to
light a fire—taking care not to touch a piece of iron or
steel—put a lump of ice into a saucepan, and so get some
water, then pour that, when hot, upon the bucket of ice, and
so we can wash.
" My blind fell down the other morning, and I fastened
it up again by driving a nail in with my sponge. I cannot
easily comb my hair, for it is frozen together. My uppermost blanket is hoary with my frozen breath: I make a
snowball of the hoar-frost and throw it at Knipe. 1
" All the bed-clothes near my mouth are stiff with ice.
When one proceeds to breakfast, the cups and saucers are
stuck hard to the cupboard. The bread is frozen, and must
be put in the oven before it can be eaten. The ink is solid,
and in the evening the camphine will not burn. But, notwithstanding, I like the weather. The cold affects one
more in England because of the damp and wind. Here, in
the heavy frost, there is no wind. Indeed, if there were, we
could not live."
For no less than four months the great river remained
fast bound in ice. Milder weather brought with it water
and slush on the surface, but the ice still remained, showing
how deeply the frost must have penetrated. No steamer
was able to come up from Burrard's Inlet: life with the
outer world still languished. A sporting incident came to
break the monotony of their daily life.
"One morning, I think it was in the first week of
March, we were having breakfast when our young Siwash,
who went to look out at the window, uttered a cry of surprise.
Looking up the river we saw a noble stag coming slowly
down the river upon the ice, evidently tired, and apparently
unable to get away to the woods. He was soon perceived
in the town, and the storekeepers came out with their rifles,
and, hurrying along the shore, were taking long shots at the
poor animal. They did not hit him, however, and after
awhile he stood still.
" Presently one or two white men brought out a canoe,
and pushing it before them as a safeguard, stepped out upon
the ice and made for the stag. At the same time it was
seen that two Indians on snow-shoes had set out from the
other side. It was a race between the two parties, and for
some little time the issue appeared doubtful.   The Indians, A  REDSKIN  TRIUMPH
however, had rather less distance to travel, though it must
have been toilsome walking in snow-shoes on the rotten,
melting ice, and the foremost Indian, coming up to the stag,
which did not move, while the other party was yet some
thirty yards off, brought the noble creature to his knees
with one blow of his club, and then despatched him.
"The jubilation of our boy over the success of his
countrymen was comical to witness. He scoffed at the
'Boston men.' He mimicked their shooting, and went
through the whole scene. He gloried in the superior skill
of the ' Siwashes.' He laughed and danced about the room.
He was a merry fellow, and we were much amused."
Meanwhile the clergy found full scope for their energies.
They visited the people and ministered to the sick, and
taught in the day-school at the camp: consoled those in the
hospital, and talked with the prisoners in the gaol: fulfilled
their ministrations in the church on Sundays and Saints
days, varying their labours in the town by occasional visits
to the settlers in the woods.
By this time the services in church were well attended:
the singing was good—for not only did the Royal Engineers,
who came down from camp, provide an excellent choir, but
on festivals swelled the music with their admirable band.
ii 1
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D^tM I1
1 ll
r 11
1    J
The men of the pick and cradle—A fellow-worker—Crazy craft on the
Frazer—On horseback and foot—Experiences by the way—A judgment of Solomon—Double or quits—La Fontaine Indians—Care for
body and soul—Effects of the lancet.
Mr. Sheepshanks was now to address himself more immediately to the miners—to the men who, penetrating into the
interior of the country, had made its empty spaces swarm
with industrious hands.
They were mostly young men, scorning restraint, who
had crossed the Atlantic, or climbed the Rocky Mountains,
to fight for their own hand in the great battle for gold. For
in those strenuous days there was not so much need of the
thinker or inventor or skilled tradesman, but of muscle and
thew, human flesh and blood that could work hard and work
At their coming the face of the country had changed—
camps had grown up as by enchantment; tracts of land had
been cleared and settled, while the bear and the Indian
had been scarce aware of their approach; the treasure for
which they sought had been drawn from its secret resting-
That the life they lived was a rough and godless one
may not be denied—but it was given to the large-hearted
parson to see the wind of hope and humanity which was
blowing through this lust for gold, and to rejoice in it.
He was now instructed to travel north, up to the rich
gold-fields of Cariboo, with Mr. Dundas as a companion.
Fortunate in so good a comrade, and one with so keen a
relish for what he saw, he took his passage on a steamboat
plying on the Frazer to Fort Yale. A current fed by freshets
from the melting snow made it difficult to proceed.
Readers of the "Mississippi Pilot" will remember the
catastrophes which ensued through the racing of the rival
steamboats on the great American river. No such sporting
element entered into the navigation of the Frazer, but the
boats labouring against the rapid tide sometimes came to a
like end. Two steamers blew up whilst Mr. Sheepshanks
was in the colony. As he watched the fragile vessel quivering under the strokes of the stern wheel, the steam bursting
from her side to waft away in jets as from a huge kettle, the
purser advised him to sit as far away from the wheel as
possible, lest the worst should happen.
Safely arrived at Yale, the long journey into the interior
on foot or horseback commenced.
" Travelling in those early days through the interior was
primitive, but in fine weather, though laborious, yet very
healthful and very agreeable. It was before the days of
roads and conveyances. It was the time of rough trails and
long tramps.
" We purchased a horse which carried all our goods and
chattels. On the horse's back there was placed a Mexican
pack-saddle, shaped somewhat like a St. Andrew's cross, the
horse's back being between two of the limbs. Our goods
were put up in three packages—one containing our tent
(weighing 7 lbs.) and blankets; another our food, and pots
11 1
h! *
\mk '
i!1 y
and pans; the third our personal belongings, clothes, books,
etc. One bundle was placed on one side, between two of the
limbs of the cross, another on the opposite side balancing it,
and the third on the top, then the whole three were bound
together with a rope in the intricate way known as the
Mexican knot, and an indispensable axe was thrust in between
the packages.
" The food that we took was a bag of flour, with a tin of
yeast powder; a piece of bacon and a bag of American beans;
a packet of preserved apples or, peaches, which go in a small
compass and swell out in the cooking; some tea and sugar.
We required a frying-pan for the bacon, the slap-jacks
(Australian ' dampers') or pancakes, and cakes of bread, a
saucepan for the tea, and a larger one for the beans, metal
plates and tea-cups. With knife and fork, and matches
added, one could go anywhere.
" Our little tent was an oblong. We took no framework
with us, but took care to pitch it in the neighbourhood of
trees and not far from a stream. First of all three quite young
trees were cut down—or branches were cut off larger trees.
Two of these, forked at the top by the cutting of a branch,
were forced into the ground about seven feet apart; upon the
third, carefully stripped of all branches, the tent was strung,
an incision being made for this purpose at each end of the
ridge of the tent. This pole was then lifted up and placed
upon the other two as a ridge pole. The cords were stretched
out and fastened into the ground with pegs, the curtain hung
down to the ground and the tent was ready. When the
poles and pegs were cut, two of us, after a little experience,
could pitch the tent in seven minutes. Inside, two men
could just sleep. We each of us had a waterproof sheet or
blanket, and two very large warm blankets. THE  IRISH  MAGISTRATE
" Sometimes the forest was very wet. I have occasionally
pitched my tent and slept on ground so wet that my feet
sank an inch or two into the soft mud. Then one would
strew pine leaves on the ground to a depth of several inches,
and spread the waterproof blanket upon them. I did this
also on other occasions if there were time to spare. So an
excellent bed was made, and the scent of the pine leaves was
delicious. We never caught cold from the wet surroundings.
Indeed, for a healthy man, living in a tent is a preventive of
cold. A cold bath in the morning is also hardening and
invigorating. I have crunched the ice beneath my feet, as I
have run in the morning to plunge into the ice-cold river,
and in the mountains have rubbed myself with newly fallen
snow by way of a tub, and this, as I think, formed a preservative against colds and chills.
" When pitching the tent in the wet forest, the ground
covered with moss, and grey beards of lichen hanging down
from the trees, the mist and drizzle coming steadily down, it
was sometimes very hard work requiring patience and skill
to light a fire. When once lighted it seemed to change the
melancholy scene as by magic. No wonder the ancients
fabled that fire was stolen from heaven.
" But a difficulty even greater and more distressing was
that of finding fodder for the horse. I was often greatly
distressed by the half-starved condition of our poor animal.
Multitudes of horses perished on the way to the mines."
At Ashcroft they were entertained by a very delightful
Irishman, with all the bonhomie and resource of his race.
As a magistrate, he had knotty cases to decide, and showed
the wisdom of Solomon in dealing with them.
" On one occasion two Chinamen, who were working at a
bar close by, appeared before him, each claiming to be the 64
lawful owner of a nugget of gold, which was produced,
Chinaman number one told his tale, which proved conclusively that of right it belonged to him. Then John
Chinaman number two told his story, which proved beyond
doubt that he was the fortunate owner. One was lying, of
course.    But which of the two it was not possible to say.
" My friend, the magistrate, thought for a moment, and
then stepping to the corner of the room and fetching thence
his shillelagh, with a look of infinite wisdom on his face,
delivered his decision. ' I do not know now to which of you
two the nugget belongs. But I shall know to-morrow. Let
the true owner come here for it. But if the one to whom it
does not belong, the liar, come here, I shall smash his head
as I smash this saucer/ And down came the shillelagh with
tremendous force upon a saucer lying on his table and
smashed it into fragments.
"The magistrate had been told that in some of their
transactions the Chinamen ratify the matter by solemnly
breaking a piece of china. No doubt the two men went
away duly impressed.
" Next morning, sitting at his desk and looking down
the slope which led up to the Court-house from the village,
the magistrate saw one of the Chinamen coming slowly up.
The shrewd Irishman noted his slow and hesitating manner.
The knock came at the door. 'Come in,' shouted the
magistrate. John slowly opened the door and poked in
his shaven, pig-tailed, oblique-eyed face. The magistrate,
bouncing up, rushed to the corner for his shillelagh. Slam
went the door, and John was seen from the window fleeing
for his life down the road. The magistrate resumed his
seat with a smile.
"Presently  the   other   Chinaman   was   seen   steadily A YANKEE WORSTED
plodding up the road duly watched by the Irishman. The
knock comes at the door. ' Come in,' roars the magistrate.
John opens the door. The magistrate bounds up, and,
rushing to the corner, clutches his shillelagh. Turning
round he sees that John is standing there, having shut the
door behind him. ' There is the nugget,' he says; ' you may
take it.'
" Before coming to Lytton my friend was placed at the
frontier in the valley of the Columbia, when one of his
duties was to collect toll on the cattle imported into the
colony from the States.
"On one occasion, when his constable happened to be
away or ill, an American drover brought in a herd of cattle,
for which he stoutly refused to pay the toll. The magistrate
would not let him pass, and he, seeing that there was no
force at hand, resolutely maintained his refusal to pay. So
there was a deadlock, from which there appeared to be no
way of escape. Was the man to pay the toll or not ? At
last the American offered to the magistrate to fight him for
it. 'Well, you know,' said he to me with an inimitable
smile, ' that was playing into my hands! So we had it out,
and,' added he, with a droll look, ' he paid the toll.' As I
looked at him I admired his magnificent proportions more
than I did the wit of the Yankee who challenged him to the
At Lytton the travellers left the Frazer and descended
the valley of the Thompson River, walking about twenty
miles a day to camp at eventide when opportunity served
in the neighbourhood of an Indian settlement. A visit paid
to the La Fontaine Indians was memorable first of all
because Mr. Sheepshanks drank of the alkaline waters of
Lake Vert with disastrous results.   He was very sick, ulcers
\l    |py If
broke out on his gums, loosening his teeth, whilst for many
days he could eat no solid food. The other event is worthy
of a detailed account.
"As my dear friend Mr. Dundas and I were tramping
along the trail, and towards evening were drawing near to
Lake Vert, a couple of Indians in their picturesque costume,
with hunter's coat and scarlet leggings, galloped past us,
taking off their caps as they speeded by, hurrying on to tell
the Indians of the La Fontaine tribe that two ' King George
Leplate,' i.e..English priests, were on the trail.
"Accordingly shortly afterwards, about five p.m., we
found at the foot of a low mountain, at the base of which
we were passing, a small group of Indians, consisting of the
head chief, his wife and daughter (a sweet-looking girl), and
two others, by whom we were affectionately greeted, and
invited to visit their camp. Having assented, we were
conveyed up the slope to the encampment situated on a
small plateau on the hill side.
" It was a singularly picturesque spot, looking out on a
semicircular group of hills, or low mountains, and upon
the lovely emerald green lake just below. Following my
inveterate habit of bathing, I was rash enough to take a bath
very early next morning in the lake. Immediately I sank
nearly up to my knees in the whitish slime, which, as I
have said, usually extends for some yards from the margin
in these lakes, and, as the water bubbled around me, a
sickening fetid smell arose as of decayed vegetable matter.
As quickly as I could I extracted myself with some discomfort.
"But to resume. Being arrived at the plateau the
Indians at once took us under their wing. One having
unpacked our horse, led him away to the pasture.    Some
pitched the tent, others made a fire, fetched water, and,
under Dundas' superintendence, began to prepare our supper.
"I took advantage of this time to vaccinate the tribe.
Just then the small-pox, for the first time introduced, was
making terrible ravages among the native tribes, and before
starting on our mission I thought it well to get some instruction in the art of vaccinating from Doctor Seddall, the good
doctor of the Royal Engineers, who gave me a quantity of
dry vaccine matter, and also a lancet, which, by the way, I
discovered nearly thirty years afterwards in an old pocket-
book which had contained the vaccine, with the point broken
off against the tough skin of an old Indian chief, and gave
to one of my young daughters.
" Accordingly, sitting down upon a fallen tree and taking
out my lancet, I told the chiefs that I wished to cut them
all slightly in the arm and put in a little good medicine,
which I hoped—I tried to express myself carefully—would
preserve them from the bad disease. It was a matter of
simple faith for the Indians, who, of course, had never heard
of vaccination, but were quite prepared to take my word.
So they formed themselves into a line—there were about
eighty of them—in order of dignity.
"First came the head chief; then his wife, then his
daughter, then the chief second in rank, and so forth. One
after another, turning up the sleeve of the left arm, they
presented themselves to me, as I sat upon the log, lancet in
hand, to undergo the mysterious operation. They came up
with the intense gravity peculiar to the Indians, as though
they were going to the stake, but soon perceived the simplicity of the process.
" It was pretty to see the mothers as they brought up
the fat, copper-coloured babies, placing their hands across ill!
the little one's eyes, and drawing his head a little on one
side, as I believe English mothers do, to prevent his being
frightened and seeing the tiny speck of blood. So true it is
that' one touch of nature makes the whole world kin.'
"When the operation was gone through and we had
partaken of our supper, we summoned the Indians, as they
expected and desired, to preach to them. They formed
themselves in two semicircles and squatted upon the ground
in front of our tent, while I spoke to them. Mr. Dundas
said but little, as living in the town of Victoria, and seeing
very little of the Indians, he did not know the Chinook so
well as I. Some of the old people here, as elsewhere, did
not know the Chinook jargon. So we placed boys, who all
knew it well, at intervals; and while I was speaking in the
Chinook, the boys kneeling on the ground were translating
each sentence into the La Fontaine tongue. And the old
people pressed near to the boys that they might hear and
" It was difficult, and not what one would wish, to speak
to these dear people through such a poor medium whereby
one could do little more than state facts, such as those of
the Apostles' Creed, set before them a few simple truths,
and enforce a few plain moral lessons. Yet, though the
preaching was so imperfect, it was delightful and very
touching to see with what gladness these wild, untaught people
received the Word. How great a contrast to multitudes of
our people at home, who in the preaching of the Gospel are
indifferent, wearied, bored, thus refusing to respond to the
message that comes from their Father!
"But to these poor dear people of the prairie or the
forest, the message brought is indeed the ' Gospel,' the ' good-
spell,' the glad tidings of great joy.   And at the announce- THE  GLAD TIDINGS
ment of the simple revealed truths of Christianity, when we
told them of the one God, the Father, and that He is a
Being of love, and that He loves all His children, the redskins as much as the white-skins; that we are all His, and
that He has sent His Son Jesus to live and die for us; and
that there is a happy world beyond the grave for all those
who love Him and His Son, and who resist sin and try in
life to please Him—at these truths, trite and inoperative as
they are to many nominal Christians in our own land, the
heart of the wild, untaught savage is moved within him.
"They are not news to the multitudes of indifferent
hearers in our own land, who think they know all about
them; but to those who have been ' sitting in darkness'
they come like a stream of light from heaven to cheer and
console them, to fill them with a blessed hope. The painted
faces that a while ago looked stern, almost threatening, are
now changed, and soft expressions play now upon their
features. The eyes that were so wild now look calm and
gentle; and the old people nod their heads, and with shut
eyes exclaim,' Klosh klosh, klosh' (' It is good; it is good').
" If there be a pause, they will ask,' Did you say, chief,
that the great Chief up on high loves us all as His children ?
Did you say there is life after death ? It is good. Tell us
that again.' And they repeat the saying over again to
" At length the sermon ended; they are dissatisfied, not
that it has been so long, but that it has been so short. ' Tell
it us again, chief,' they cry, as the light of the fire, which is
between us and them, falls upon their painted faces with
their eager but kindly expressions. We spoke for a long
time, until we were tired; and after we were in our tent,
wrapped in our blankets, we still heard them talking round 7o
the fire of what they had heard, and muttering the prayer
that we had taught them.
I One wished we could have given them more thorough
instruction, yet it seemed to be a gracious privilege to be
able to speak to them at all, and to instil into their hitherto
dark minds some idea of the love of God, and to brighten
their lives with a ray of hope.
" During the night a storm of wind arose, which in that
exposed situation came upon us very heavily, and our tent
was blown down upon us. Whether the Indians, being
unused to the work, had put it up insecurely, I do not know.
It was cold work, being dressed only for the night, putting
it up again. However, we managed somehow, and in the
morning wished the dear people good-bye. I was never
there again."
But though Mr. Sheepshanks was never to look upon
that encampment again, he was to be kept in grateful
remembrance by the people he had literally " saved alive."
The kindly hand of a white man was to bring to the little
community the antidote to that deadly disease white men
had imported. There are still in England those who look
upon vaccination as a loathsome and pernicious thing.
Though the prejudice—once carried to the verge of martyrdom—has somewhat abated, it is still sufficiently alive to
bring into strong relief the sequel to this visit.
" It was about a year and a quarter after this event that
I was coming down country from Cariboo alone, driving my
little horse bearing my baggage before me. It was the same
day, I remember, that a prairie wolf frightened my horse by
galloping across the prairie just in front of us. I was drawing near to the Thompson River, and was doubtful whether
I should find means for getting across. VACCINATION VINDICATED
"Coming in sight of the sparkling, rushing river, I
perceived the figure of a man, evidently, like myself, wishing
to cross. Approaching, I saw that he was an Indian; and
he, recognizing me, ran up and embraced me in an affectionate and touching manner, stroking down my arms as I
stood before him, looking up in my face with a soft expression, and saying in gentle tones,' Ah tyee, ah tyee, ah, chief,
my heart is with your heart.' ' You know me ?' said I.
' Ah yes, chief; I remember you when you came to us of the
La Fontaine tribe, and cut us in the arm for the bad disease.'
Well, and what was the result ? j ' We are all well, chief;
we none of us got the bad disease. But a few of our tribe'
(I am not sure whether he said three or five) ' were away
when you came, having gone up the river to pick berries,
and they took the disease and died.'"
U f!
Incidents of travel—"Green timber"—Disappointment and retreat—
Loss of money—Loss of life—Antlers Creek—An unconventional
service—Methods of mining.
The journey was now daily bringing them, not merely in its
scenery but in its experiences, into the wilder, rougher life
associated with the name of goldfields. The desperado of the
Californian mines was notably absent, but revolvers were a
part of every man's equipment, robbery was not infrequent,
murders not unknown.
"After leaving the silent, sombre forests of the lower
country and passing through the canons of the cascade range,
the tramp over the intervening country, mainly prairie, to
the commencement of the Cariboo range, some two hundred
miles, though laborious and trying both from the fatigue and
the heat, was on the whole pleasant enough and healthful.
" We sometimes slept in one of the wayside houses, often
mere log hovels, that were beginning to spring up here and
there along the trail. Then, wrapped in our blankets, we lay
down on the dirty floor of the cabin along with miners or
storekeepers going up to or returning from the mines. If
the latter, they were sometimes carrying their gold-dust
with them in belts round their person, and the revolver was
placed, perhaps somewhat ostentatiously, conveniently at
hand. A friend of mine, an inoffensive, peaceable man, was
put into a nervous flutter by the frank declaration of a miner
close by. ' Wal, mates, I give notice, that if I hear any one
moving hereabouts, I shall shoot.'
" It was much pleasure camping out. But inasmuch as
there was no pitching of a tent, and no fire-lighting nor
cooking—for the master of the house would serve up beans
and bacon—it was a considerable saving of time to put up at
a wayside house, especially if we wanted to make an early
start in the morning.
"We got along very fairly well with our cooking.
Occasionally we had a little variety in the shape of fresh
vegetables, such as radishes and lettuces, but this was very
seldom. Once a good Scotchwoman, delighted to find a
compatriot in Dundas, gave him a tin of fresh butter. This
was the first I had tasted for many months, for the bad
salt butter I could not manage.
" At the first, fresh butter was not procurable, and afterwards it was not less than a dollar (4s.) per pound. All
dairy produce was equally dear, eggs being a dollar a dozen.
The acquisition of this butter caused us some amusement,
for that afternoon we fell in with some wild gooseberries, and
I succeeded in making two cocked-hat gooseberry pasties,
which I think were the greatest triumph in cuisine that
I achieved. To make good bread and bake it I found not
easy, especially if, just when the dough was being kneaded
and was hanging in flakes from one's hands, swarms of
mosquitos would find us out and attack my bare arms and
face when it was not possible to defend them."
Nearing the Cariboo country, they were now, in the midst
of incessant rains, to understand the difference between 74
"burnt timber" and "green timber." The one was land
smoothed out, not by the axe, but by the forest fires which
from time to time sprang up and galloped through these
hills and ravines, threatening to leave the plains of Cariboo
as bald as the Norfolk broads. Desolation reigned, yet the
trail which ran through the land so robbed of its timber was
comparatively dry and firm.
" But, oh, the green timber! The rays of the sun could
not get down to the narrow trail, which was in some degree
walled in on either side by the felled trees and the logs that
had been rolled out of the way. Thus the hundreds of pack
animals, mules and horses, all the time going up to or
returning from the mines, had trampled the trail into a long
continuous line of quagmire. The tramp of the animals had
worn the trail into ' ridge-and-furrow' steps.
" And there was no way of escape. One must stick to
the trail; it was not feasible to go through the forest. Nor
was it practicable to step upon the ridges, which were often
more than a foot high and very slippery. The only thing
to do was to lift one's foot over the ridges as the mules
did, and step into the little pools of mud, some inches deep
in the ' furrows.'
"This was fatiguing; and the mud being continually
churned by the feet of the animals and brought into a
paste-like consistency, gave forth a sickening stench. At
the 'bottoms/ or sometimes where the trail was crossed
by a rivulet, the mud was very deep, and perhaps afforded
no firm footing for the animal, which here, therefore, ran
a risk of being bogged. It was a piteous sight to see a
poor overloaded-mule lose its foothold, and, frightened,
struggle frantically and fall over and lie on its side
exhausted.     Unless   quickly   rescued,   it   must   soon   be IN FULL RETREAT
smothered. The packers rush to its help, cut the rope,
and carry the packs into the wood if they can. Then they
throw a rope round the poor beast, and try to haul him
out upon the dry ground. We took a hint from Dandie
Dinmont and his horse Dumple, and usually allowed our
horse to choose his own way, which answered very well.
"Day after day we met groups of men, chiefly young
men and Englishmen, turning back, never having reached
the mines, disappointed, broken down, haggard, furious with
those whose lying representations (as they said) had brought
them to this accursed country. 'Back, back,' they cried;
' to go on is madness. You will never get to the mines.
Very few who start will ever get there alive. Provisions
are at famine prices. The men are starving. All have
gone back except the thieves and gamblers. Oh, that
Times correspondent, if I catch him ! Oh, this God-forsaken
In the English newspapers, notably in the Times,
descriptions of the most extravagant nature had been
given of the wealth and prospects of the mines; page after
page of the Press was but a story of sudden enrichment,
of nuggets, and shovels and equipment. Reading them
now, one sees in these articles a vast virgin ignorance of
the life and conditions of British Columbia.
But the young' English parsons were not wanting in
pluck; they set their faces like a flint towards the spot
described as the " abomination of desolation," and they
lived to hear the miners say, " Wal, whether those chaps
do much good I don't know.   But anyhow they've got grit."
So far they had been journeying as those who are, if
not affluent, able to pay their way. By an unlucky accident
they were to become a pair of tramps, depending, like the 76
mendicant friars of another age and country, upon the goodwill and charities of the settled inhabitants.
"One afternoon, when we were drawing near to the
' Forks of Quesnel River,' we arrived very hot at a delicious-
looking stream at the edge of the ' green timber.' Dundas
had a small leather bag strung round him, in which he
was good enough to carry both his and my money for our
expenses at the mines—some £70. I lay down upon the
ground by the edge of the brook, and plunged my face into
the water and drank.   Refreshed, we proceeded on our way.
| Just as we were entering the ' green timber' three men
emerged. I only saw the face of one: a villainous face, of
deathly pallor. On we went into the wood, and when we
had proceeded some two or three miles, Dundas exclaimed,
'I have left the purse behind. It must have been at that
brook.' So he returned to seek for the money, while I
went on with the horse to wait for him at the nearest
wayside house."
After a few hours Dundas arrived, but with no tidings
of the money.    It was gone.
Next day murder rose up and confronted them.
Making their way to the coast, with a good deal of gold-
dust in their possession, three Jews had been waylaid and
done to death, their bodies being found by a search party in
the forest. Viewed in the outhouse where they were lying,
they showed no more sign of their taking off than the small
blue mark in the temple through which their life had passed
out. In spite of hue and cry, their assailants effected their
Beneath inclement skies, with mire unspeakable around
them, with feet that sunk and slid in the laborious business
of walking,  the two  companions,  leading their starving "JUMPING" A  HUT 77
horses, came at last to Antlers Creek. Desolate enough,
with the grip of frost upon it, and wearing the wintry
aspect of a village four thousand feet above the level of the
sea, they were glad to reach it.
" That night," says Mr. Sheepshanks, " I spread my
blankets on the floor of a store, and next day looked out
for a domicile. Walking up the A creek'—for the word in
American parlance means simply a brook or stream—I was
fortunate enough to find an empty, well-built log hut, about
a mile from the clump of stores. This hut, imitating the
hermit crab, I incontinently took possession of, and at once
removed my traps thither, and setting to work with my axe,
soon succeeded in lighting in the fireplace, rudely made of
rough stones, a blazing fire which showed to any one who
cared to know that some one was in possession.
" Nor had I any fear of being disturbed, for whether the
miners paid any heed to our ministrations or not—and the
latter, with some few exceptions, was the case—they were
quite willing that we should be there, and would, I believe,
have resented any personal incivility or rudeness done to us.
When my dear friend Mr. Knipe was on this same creek
the year before, the miners, respecting him and wishing to
make him comfortable, actually lifted a small wooden house
from a lot where it could not be allowed to remain, on to
another lot, in order that he might live in it. For myself, I
never received anything but kindly and respectful treatment
from the miners while I was in the Colony.
" My hut suited me very well. It was weather-tight, and
had a nice look-out across the creek which, after rain, was
rushing along below. It was quiet and secluded, and a
little brook which fell into the creek supplied me with
water, and, when dammed, with my bath. 7*
" The only slight drawback was its distance from the
village, and the difficulty of finding my way home after late
visiting or an evening service. But I soon learned to know
the various pitfalls, and have always been able to see fairly
well in the dark. I had a few books with me, and trimmed
the midnight lamp. Between midnight and dawn some
good-sized animal used to come into the hut, no doubt down
the short, broad chimney. It was, I believe, of the stoat or
weasel kind; but it did not trouble me, and I never saw it."
On the first Sunday evening the largest drinking saloon
in Antlers Creek presented a scene not unworthy of the
pen of Bret Harte.
It must have been strange to see the services of the
Anglican Church held, as they were, in a saloon, with the
raw young Englishman reading at a table, and to hear
the singing of the hymns and the reading of the eloquent
prayers of the Liturgy mingling without with the strange,
humorous vein of talk that marked a miners' camp.
" The monte tables were swept away at the further end
of the saloon, and benches and chairs put out for the congregation and a small table for me. I rang the dinner bell
up and down the street and at the door of the saloon, and
soon had a gathering of about thirty men. There was not a
woman on the creek.
" We took three packets of good-sized cards with us in
bags. On one there was printed an abbreviated form of
matins and evensong, on another a select number of psalms,
and on the third some selected hymns. These cards I
handed round.
" The men sang fairly well, and listened attentively and
gravely. Levity or obvious inattention would be thought
bad form.   If a man did not care for what was going on he
would rise quietly and go away. But this was of very rare
"At the other end of the saloon' bar-keeper' was handing
out occasional cocktails. Men would come in, cigar in
mouth, but they were perfectly silent, and would listen for
a little while and then go away, or occasionally throw away
the cigar and join us.
"When 'the preaching' was over, as I was thanking
' bar-keep' for his courtesy, he politely offered me a drink.
' Thank you, I don't use it; but I will take a cigar.' This
answered the purpose just as well of allowing him to show
one a kindness. ' Wal, sir, I guess you had the whole
crowd here this evening.' ' Whom do you mean ?' ' Why,
sir, all the gamblers. Did you observe that handsome Jew
right opposite you ? That was Lichenstein, who keeps the
bank.    Wal, doc', good night.'"
Gambling, it may be noticed, had been elevated at the
mines to the dignity of an honourable profession. Lichenstein the "handsome Jew" invited Mr. Sheepshanks to
visit him in his own home in Victoria, which the diary
describes as " an orderly, well-conducted house and a united
Mining on the Cariboo differed from the primitive work
with rockers and cradles upon the bars of the Frazer River.
"The system pursued upon the creeks of Cariboo was
necessarily somewhat different, for while fine gold-dust was
found upon the banks of the Frazer, being brought down
from above, the coarser gold must be sought deeper down,
either upon the ' bed rock,' or in some stratum, often called
pay-dirt, immediately above it.   The process, then, is this:
"Wooden troughs or 'sluices,' as they are called, are
constructed and supported upon tressels, along which the
i So
water of the stream is conveyed. Frames of wooden latticework are placed in these to retard the flow of the water and
dirt. Quicksilver, which has the quality of retaining and
amalgamating with the gold, is plentifully poured into the
sluice boxes. The miners then dig down into the bed of
the stream, and the pay-dirt is thrown up by spades, or,
where it is considerably below the surface, a shaft being
sunk, it is hauled up in buckets, and cast into the sluices.
The rush of water carries away the soil and many of the
stones, and the gold-dust is caught by the quicksilver and
retained in the boxes.
I From time to time, more or less frequently according
to the circumstances, the water is turned off and the sluice
boxes ' cleaned up.' All the stones are thrown out, and the
gold amalgamated with the quicksilver is carried away in
pans and placed in the miners' cabin. The process of
cleaning up, especially in the more flourishing claims, is
always regarded with much interest by a number of lookers-
on. It sometimes transpires that, good pay-dirt having
been struck, a man from utter poverty has suddenly become
" One evening, not long after my arrival upon the creek,
I was present at a cleaning up, and the sluices were glittering with gold to the amount of several hundreds of pounds.
The principal proprietor was hailed by a man at my side,
' Say, mate, do you remember when you and I came over
the bald mountain t'other day what money we had between
us ?' ' Why, we had a dollar.' ' And what did we do with
it ?'   ' Why, we went and had a drink.'
" In a letter home, dated September 22 (1862), I find
that I wrote as follows: ' You see that I am still at the dig-
gings.   This creek has turned out rather a failure.   There A RISKY CALLING
are but few really rich claims; and owing to the very dry
weather there has not been sufficient water in the creek for
the mining machinery, so that a good many men have left
the place. William's creek, however, has turned out astonishingly rich, and miners from other creeks have rushed thither.
"' Dundas, who was stationed there, having gone down
country with the Bishop, and Richfield, the village, being
only twelve miles from this place, I walked over and took
duty there for two Sundays.
I' The mode of mining there is somewhat different from
ours here. For the gold is found at from forty to sixty feet
below the surface in the narrow valley through which the
creek runs. A shaft is sunk at no great distance from the
stream until the bed rock, which is there a blue slate, is
struck; and if no gold be found, they then "drift," i.e.
excavate in a straight line until they strike the pay-dirt,
which is then hauled up with rope and bucket and thrown
into the sluices. I saw there pay-dirt so rich that a wash-
hand basinful would yield from two to three pounds sterling
in gold-dust.
1' Each miner is allowed to take up 100 feet square of
ground; but usually four or five men combine and take up a
" claim I of 400 or 500 feet together. Perhaps in this claim
there may be no gold at all. Perhaps the "lead" may run
right through it, and it may take them two or three seasons
to get out all the gold, in which case they may be said to
be rich men. Gold-mining in this country is therefore a
very risky calling. A man may come up here, and not be
able for a long time to get a claim.
I' The creeks already discovered may be all taken up,
and he may be obliged to go and "prospect," i.e. search round
about for new diggings.    Or he may buy into a claim, and
G 82
it may turn out a failure. Or he may go to work upon an
unoccupied piece of ground, and spend some hundreds of
dollars and find nothing. Or, on the other hand, he may,
and possibly one in every twelve does, light upon a rich
claim, and in a few months with hard work, much excitement, and anxiety, realize a small fortune. But it is clear
to me that a return for honest labour is less certain in gold-
mining than in any other lawful occupation that I know of.
It is this element of gambling, together with the wild life,
that constitutes the great charm of gold-mining to men of
adventurous minds.'" CHAPTER IX
the tale of the young englishman
Autumn in North America—Forest and lake—Treachery and attempted
murder—A faithful dog—The long watch—Belief party.
Autumn still held the land under its mellowing touch
when Mr. Sheepshanks went back to his own fold in New
" The autumn was, as usual, very beautiful. I have seen
and admired the lovely autumn tints in many countries, but
nowhere so lovely as in North America. For the forest is
still; wind cannot penetrate to its recesses, and the trees
silently change into their varied brilliancy.
" Search out an open glade where deciduous trees are
round you, and the tall, sombre pines in the background.
The trees are full of leaf, and exhibit almost every shade of
yellow, red, and russet. But step a little further. There is
a sight for a painter's eye. See that maple. Not a dozen
leaves have fallen. Every leaf is on its stem, and every leaf
is a brilliant gold. You look with delight upon the glory.
It is a sight to be remembered.
" You stand still and note how the radiant colours are set
off against the pines and yews of the wood you are approaching.   You listen, but there is not a sound.   And the scene
83 -
for a moment appears like one of the imagination only. But
you pass on.
" And if you come again in a few days' time and wish to
see again that tree of glory, lo! it now stands bare, with not
a leaf, and beneath it the ground is carpeted with gold.
"Such scenes as these naturally gave birth to some
reflections. Being out in the forest, I have at times pushed
my way slowly and with difficulty through the tangled bush,
climbing over the great fallen trees and forcing a passage
through the intricate masses of boughs, and have stepped out
upon a savannah by the side of a little lake, and there have
seen with delight the strange beauty of the spot—the lake
smooth as a mirror fringed with sedges; the water clear as
crystal; the great pine trees fallen into the lake, lying
and decaying upon the bottom; the trunks clearly seen
many feet below; the branches stretching up towards the
" Not a sign of life is there except now and then a string
of wild ducks speeding in rapid flight above the surface of
the water. The ground is carpeted with flowers, mostly of
brilliant colours. Delicate lichens of varied shades of grey
droop in light, feathery masses from the trees. Underfoot
are rich glossy mosses. Kneeling down one admires their
exquisite structure.
" It is a fair spot. But who has ever seen it ? No canoe
has ever been steered upon that lake. What is the use of
beauty but to be seen ? These fair flowers and mosses have
shown their beauty here, for aught I know, for thousands of
years. It may be that no human being has ever before
beheld them. There is nothing to bring the savage here, and
if by some strange chance one had wandered thither, he
would see no more beauty here than the bear whose tracks A  REMARKABLE  ADVENTURE
I noticed.    And beauty is useless until it meets the eye of
one who appreciates and is delighted by it."
About this time, whilst on a visit to Victoria, he saw
limping through the streets of the town a tall young
Englishman, the hero, or the victim, of a very remarkable
I He had gone up North on a prospecting expedition, and
paddled up the Stikine River for many days, having with
him an Indian, of whom he knew but little, and also,
providentially, a favourite little dog. It was the wintertime or early spring, and the weather was very cold. They
would paddle during the greater part of the day, and land
towards evening and camp on a suitable piece of ground on
the river's bank.
" One evening, when they had ascended the river a good
many miles, they went ashore and cooked their meal, and
made preparations for the night. The tent that they pitched
was of a rude but not unusual description. Two stout poles,
cut from the neighbouring wood, were driven into the ground
about six feet apart, and a cross-piece fastened on the top
from one to the other. Two quite short stakes with a cross-
piece were fixed on one side, and a sheet of light canvas
spread from the higher cross-piece over the lower one and
fastened to the ground with heavy stones. Thus there was
protection from the rain or snow, and it was so put up as to
afford shelter from the wind; but the other side was, it will
be observed, quite open and looked towards the forest.
" Mr. W., of course, slept rolled in his blankets, with his
feet towards the open part, and his belongings around him.
He was awakened very early in the morning by the report of
a gun close by his head, and he felt himself frightfully
wounded in the thigh.   Instinctively it flashed across him 86
that the Indian had taken his gun and was attempting to
murder him. There was yet another loaded barrel, so, lest he
should give some guidance to his assassin, he lay perfectly
still. The other barrel was fired, but mercifully missed him.
The murderer had not dared to look him in the face, but was
shooting from behind through the canvas.
" Now, however, thinking his murderous work was done,
he came round with the axe in his hand to despatch his
victim. But to snatch up his revolver which lay by his side,
cock it, and present it to the Indian was for Mr. W. but the
work of an instant.   The Indian at once fled into the bush.
"Mr. W., agonized with pain, soon fell into a state of
semi-stupor, from which he was aroused by the vehement
barking of his little dog. Rousing himself, he saw his would-
be murderer again approaching, axe in hand. But again
the revolver was presented at him which he dared not face,
and again he retired.
"The same thing recurred at intervals during the day.
The poor Englishman was lying, hour after hour, faint from
pain and loss of blood, his head swimming, half unconscious.
Again and again he would be aroused from his stupor by the
barking and yelping of the little dog, and again the murderer
would shrink from the pointed weapon.
| Then nightfall came, and with it snow, which floated in
at the open side and covered his blankets, and, I suppose,
mitigated the fever of his wounds. He could not move his
lower limbs, but providentially there was a bag of sugar
within the reach of his arm; and I suppose there could be
no better sustenance for him than that.
" The same incidents recurred during the next day. Mr.
W. could occasionally see the Indian skulking or moving in
the bush, and every now and then creeping towards him. RESCUE AT LAST
But the little dog did not sleep, and the right arm and the
revolver were always ready.
"The Englishman could more than once have shot his
enemy. But he felt that that would mean his own sure
death by starvation; for no one knew that he was there.
No Indians would be coming up the river at such a time as
that. His only chance of communicating with the outer
world must be through the murderer.   So he held his hand.
" Thus the day passed and the night. The morning after
the Indian could bear it no longer. He was being starved;
for there were no berries, and he had nothing to eat. So it
was with intense relief that Mr. W. saw him get into the
canoe and paddle down stream.
" That day passed and the night. And in the morning
the sound of paddles was heard, and a canoe came up to the
bank full of Indians, who stepped ashore and came towards
him. The intrepid Englishman pointed his revolver towards
them, and bade them take him up and put him in the canoe,
or he would shoot them every one.
" It is probable that, anyway, they had kindly intentions
towards him, for the evil-disposed among them are few. The
miscreant had told them that there was a 'King George
man' up the river dead or dying. They might go and take
possession of his belongings.
" So they went. They lifted him up carefully and placed
him in the canoe, took him down to the ranch, where their
squaws nursed him until he was better. Then, hearing that
there was a party of white men at the mouth of the river
some two days' journey off, he sent them down a message,
and in due time a boat arrived which took him down the
river, and thence he made his way to Victoria. Whether
anything was done to his would-be murderer I never heard." CHAPTER X
The " varsities " in the wilds—A landlord Senior Optime—Men in place
of mules—A bear in the way—Work in Bichfield—A lending library
—Bruin once more—Intelligent native.
Mr. Sheepshanks and his fellow-clergyman, Mr. Knipe, were
again ordered North by their Bishop to resume their mission
amidst the army of bearded, reckless men in the mines of
Even in the wilds of British Columbia, Mr. Sheepshanks
was to make and renew the acquaintance of men, like himself,
of University training. Meeting in the far country, whether
they hailed from Oxford or Cambridge, some ready-made
affection joined them on the instant.
"One meets here with every conceivable variety of
character—men who have filled almost every position in life,
and men who are experiencing precisely the reverse of their
former circumstances; rich men now who hitherto have
always been poor; poor men now who in time past have
been usually rich; employed who were once employers;
employers who up to the present have been employed.
" You will be interested in hearing how singularly one
sometimes runs up against University men. Last year,
when going down country, Knipe and I stopped at a wayside house, a wretched hovel, where the only food that we
could get was American beans and bread. A young man
with a wild head of hair, who as we entered was employed
in baking a loaf of bread on the hearth, welcomed us courteously. He was in his shirt-sleeves, and was clad in a flannel
shirt—of course not over-clean—pants, and moccassins.
There was no woman in the house, as usual. He was the
landlord, and did, I fancy, all the work, and was a Cambridge
Senior Optime.
I We rolled ourselves in our blankets, and lay down on
the not over-clean floor of the one room. I conversed a
little while about Cambridge with mine host, who threw
himself down upon a bunk above me; and then he took
down a book from a shelf above his head, and I fell asleep.
" Having the curiosity to see in the morning what book
it was with which he had beguiled the time, I found that it
was ' Goodwin's Course of Mathematics.'
" As Knipe and I were coming up this time we passed
a gang of men (labourers you would call them in England)
who were making the road. As we passed, one of them,
leaning on his shovel, cried out with a cheery voice,' How
d'ye do? Have you got any tobacco? because we're out.'
I No,' said we,' we haven't.' Then added Knipe, ' Haven't
I seen you before up the country ?' ' No,' was the answer;
I but I have seen you at Oxford.'
"The other day, just before getting into William's Creek,
I fortunately for me, lit upon a tent of Captain Grant's
with two sappers. Captain Grant was away. The sappers
were very good and kind to me, as usual, and gave me some
welcome supper—good bacon and beans, and bread and coffee
—and then I sat by the fire warming myself with that sense
of satisfaction which one has when a day's arduous work
has been done. 90
| It was a fine starlit, frosty night, for we were at a
considerable altitude. These were hard times on the Creek,
for there was a great rush then, and the weather had been
bad, and hundreds of mules had died. Food was scarce,
and at a fearfully high price, and men had been engaged at
five dollars a day to carry on their backs two sacks of flour
over the mountain range into the Creek.
"There came a man out of the wood in the obscurity,
broad-shouldered, muscular, haggard, obviously dead-beat,
and flung himself down on the ground by our fire, and called
out,' For God's sake, Digby, give me something to eat!' He
was roughly clad, and begrimed with dirt.
I Yet his intonation showed to what grade of society he
belonged. He had been earning money by carrying flour
over the mountains; but now, as mules were again able to
get into the Creek, that employment had come to an end,
and he was obliged to go below. I thought at first sight
that I knew my man, and so I asked him, ' Have I not met
you before at Cambridge ?' ' Very likely,' he said; ' I was
there a few years ago.' The last time we had met was on
the 5th of November, when we had let off fireworks and
pelted each other with squibs and crackers in his rooms in
the new Court of St. John's."
An encounter of more singularity than this took place
on the waggon road coming up.
Mr, Sheepshanks had tarried at a wayside house to buy
fresh meat, of which his party were in need; hurrying on
to overtake the others, he was aware from a rise in the road
of a huge black bear pushing its way in his direction. His
first and natural inclination was to bid this hairy, dangerous
brute a respectful and rapid adieu.    But he held his ground.
" With strong but supple motion, he stepped on to the "TAKING UP THE COLLECTION"
road between fifteen and twenty yards ahead of me. Having
reached the middle of the road, he stood still and looked up
it wistfully. ' Now,' I thought, ' he will next look down the
road.' So, while he was thus looking, I confess to having
taken two steps backward, so as to get a little bit more of a
start for a run, still, however, keeping my face towards him.
"' Now we are coming to it,' thought I. He looked, and
I looked. I thought he was an ugly-looking customer.
What he thought of me I don't know. But apparently he
thought me beneath his notice, for he continued his quiet,
springy walk, and stepped up from the road on to the
opposite bank, and disappeared in the bushes.
" I waited a little while, and then walked on, looking
curiously at the brake where he had entered. It is singular
enough that, though I have seen so much of the country,
and have travelled some hundreds of miles along lonely
trails, and without a trail, yet though I have no doubt I
was once very near a bear before, I have never seen a wild
beast till then, and that then it should be in broad daylight
and on ' the Queen's highway.'"
Settled down at Richfield, the young missioner determined
to leave permanent traces of his ministry in a substantial log
church. A site having been obtained from Government at
a cost of five hundred dollars for pre-emption grading and
improvements, the building was begun. It remained for its
founder to collect the money necessary for its erection. He
gives us a good idea of the unconventional nature of the
task, and of the generosity of the miners.
" In going round the claims I usually found out beforehand the name of the chief man. In the open claims the
men would be working from ten to fifteen feet below the
surface.   I would ask by name for the chief proprietor, or, if Ill
I did not know his name, would inquire for * the boss.' A
man would pause from his work, roll his quid in his mouth,
expectorate, and look up. In a few, very few, words I would
tell him of my scheme for a church and library, and add that
I had brought up the books.
"He would listen, but not many words would pass.
' Wal, doc', have you got a piece of paper about you ?' You
may be sure that I always had pieces of paper, and one
would go floating down into the claim. The boss would
take out his leathern bag or purse from his pocket, jerk some
grains of gold-dust into the paper, as one might jerk peppercorns out of a packet, screw up the paper, and then,' Here,
doc', catch!' The paper was caught, thanks were given,
and ' doc' departed. Sometimes two or three men in a
claim would give, the rest being hired workmen. The
amount was usually about £2. After a few weeks of this
I got nearly all the money."
The church completed, a lean-to was provided for its
minister, which had little pretension to comfort, none to
respectability. Sufficiently airy and cool in the warm
weather, with a gaping chimney of rough stones, it leaked
unconscionably in the days and nights of rain. Yet it
provided him with a healthy dwelling-place, always well
ventilated, never deserted by the outdoor freshness of the
woods and open spaces.
Mr. Sheepshanks wisely provided himself with a library,
and the books procured him a welcome where the sight of
a clergyman's face was otherwise regarded with disfavour.
Every one of his publications claimed a reader. Not only
"Dickens in Camp," but hard theological works that had
to be brazed in the mortar of the mind.
"The books were undoubtedly useful.    Many of the LOOSE MORALS 93
miners, indeed, would read nothing; but not a few were
very glad of a book to read in the evening when the work
was done. We had a few novels of the standard kind, but
there was more demand, I think, for books of science.
Travels were popular. A few hard-headed fellows would
like a good strong intellectual nut to crack, such as ' Butler's
Analogy.' Most people would be astonished to hear that a
book which was highly appreciated by one or two was
' Pusey's Sermons.' One man especially, so Mr. Knipe told
me, was much taken with its condensed thoughts and severe
simplicity of style, with no rhetoric or flowers of speech."
In those early days morality was not of a high order.
The missioner found himself in Richfield before the railway
and statutory laws and honest women and the Ten Commandments were thjere.
" On one occasion, when I was walking down the Creek
to see a sick miner, I met a man and woman coming up.
Wal, doc', me and this young woman were coming up to
look for you. We want to know if you can marry us?'
' Oh yes, certainly, if all is right, and after proper notice.'
' Wal, y' understand, it is only to be for the season.'
" With some indignant remarks I walked on, rather suspecting that the parties had been having drink. A week
or two afterwards that same woman started off alone on
horseback to go down the country. I am afraid she was
far gone in drink. She did not put in an appearance at
the wayside houses lower down the trail, and it was evident
that she had strayed from the trail and was lost.
" This was enough to rouse the Creek. No matter under
such circumstances about her character, she was a woman;
that was enough. Parties were organized, and the woods
were scoured.   For several days no traces of her could be 94
found, and it was feared that she had perished. But after
some time—I believe it was four days after her disappearance—she was discovered many miles from the spot where
she had wandered from the trail. Her life had been sustained
by the few berries that were yet to be found upon the
bushes; but she was in a fearful state, and at the time
was quite out of her mind. Whether she ever regained
fully the use of her faculties I never heard."
Mr. Sheepshanks' love of pedestrianism led him again to
the edge of an adventure.
" One afternoon about this time I took a good long walk
up the hillside, through the forest, and then up a bald
mountain, some 6000 feet high, to see the sun set. It was
a fine evening, and the scene was singularly beautiful. I
sat down on the summit and watched the glory moving
down the western sky, the last gleam, and then the lovely,
somewhat melancholy afterglow, with the brilliant yet soft
colours changing and gradually fading.
" I then awoke to the fact that I had lingered too long,
and ran down the upper slopes; but it was getting quite
dusk when I entered the forest, and, to my chagrin, I perceived what I had forgotten, that the denseness of the
forest and the narrowness of the opening, the trees almost
meeting overhead, shrouded the trail in semi-darkness, so
that, but for its lighter colour through the churning of the
mud, I should have found it very difficult to keep the track.
"However, I made my way slowly and with some
difficulty, stumbling over the stones in the trail, and the
obscurity steadily increasing; but had not gone very far,
perhaps three-quarters of a mile, when my steps were
arrested by a noise immediately in front of me. It was a
crashing sound of  the brushing   aside  and   snapping of HOME  IN  A  HURRY
branches, as some great body, evidently of a wild animal,
was forcing its way through the bushwood from the slope
of the hill down towards the track.
"I stood still, not knowing what might happen, and I
could tell that the beast came down to the trail and was
standing upon it not more than five or six yards from where
I was; but there being a sharp turn in the trail, I could
see nothing. The animal then gave forth a series of pants,
which in the dead silence of the forest sounded astonishingly
loud, and such as I had never heard before. I felt that it
was conscious of my proximity, and seemed to be waiting
for me. If I did not go onwards, it might turn the corner
and come to me.
I At this thought I bounded over the logs and branches
that formed the fringe of the trail, and, despite the semi-
darkness, ran as fast as I could down the mountain-side.
At that spot the underwood was by no means thick, but I
soon caught my foot in a root and fell, rolling over. However, I was soon up again, and hurried on down through the
forest. My bump of locality made me pretty confident that
at the bottom of the mountain I should find a stream that
would lead me down to Richfield.
" And so it was. After about an hour's walking, splashing through the water, and scrambling over the debris of
deserted claims, I saw the lights of Richfield, and was soon
in my little hut. On speaking of this incident to a group
of miners who knew the woods well, one of them remarked,
I That, sir, was a b'ar. And if it was a grizzly—and there
are not a few of them hereabouts—p'raps it's just as well,
sir, that you made tracks.'"
The straying of his horse served to bring into relief a
characteristic Indian and savage trait.
! if 96
" On arriving at Richfield I had tethered him while I
looked out for some place where to spread my blankets, and
some passer-by had cut the cord and let him go, possibly
out of mercy, for I grant the animal had been badly fed
and was very tired. Several days passed, and I heard
nothing of the animal; but some one told me that he had
been seen standing by the trail about half a mile from
the town.
" Captain Grant happening to mention that he had a fine,
intelligent Indian with him, I got hold of him, and asked
him if he would try to find my horse for me. This he
readily undertook to do; so I walked with him to the spot
where, as far as I could tell, the horse was last seen, and
simply telling him that the animal was a large, oldish,
chestnut with a white nose, left him to do what he could.
It was -rather interesting to watch the Indian setting about
his work, and I sat on a fallen tree and looked on.
"He walked very slowly and carefully about in the
bushwood above the trail, for below the mountain sloped
down to the creek, peering into the scrub before him to see
if there were any sign of twigs being broken, and carefully
parting the berry bushes and undergrowth to scrutinize
closely the ground for any marks. For, I suppose, a quarter
of an hour he went backwards and forwards above the trail,
yet never going again precisely over the same spot. I began
to doubt whether he would find any clue, but gradually he
moved up the hill, and though I could see him no more, he
appeared now to be going in a straight line.
" Knowing their extraordinary sagacity, I thought I
would leave him, and so continued my walk; for it was
my regular practice to take a constitutional, both for the
sake of exercise and also to gather berries as an antidote. FOUND
to scurvy.   And on my return, some two hours afterwards,
I found the old chestnut tied up to my hut.   The Indian
was gone.
"He did not want any reward, and I never saw him
again. But I heard afterwards from Captain Grant that
he had tracked the horse all through the dense jungle
right up to the top of the mountain. There, on the summit,
stretched an open, grassy space, on which several escaped
horses were grazing. The Indian, however, spotted the
animal that he was in search of, caught him, and brought
him down."
Frozen out—The despatch rider's last journey—A hanging jury—The
work of an evangelist—A gift of bells—Trade depression—Leave of
With the commencement of the cold weather large numbers
of the miners began to leave Richfield, and made for the
coast. Warm enough in summer, with the thermometer
climbing amongst the nineties, later in the year Fahrenheit
registered thirty to forty degrees below zero, the mercury
occasionally freezing. A clergyman who had dared these
rigours to continue his ministrations all through the year
had been severely frost-bitten.
But a thousand of the men resolved to winter in the
creek. Usually if they remained in camp during the winter
they must needs consort in the most unbroken idleness. It
happened, however, their claims were so situated below the
surface, and worked with a shaft, that with some intermission
they could be exploited through the cold weather.
Mr. Sheepshanks would willingly have remained to
minister to them, but the demand for his presence at New
Westminster was urgent.
With an animal entrusted to his care by a Jew, who
wished to send it down to the Lower Frazer, he set out on
a lonely tramp of 320 miles to return home.    After a few
days' march he found himself on the track of a great crime.
Arriving at a wayside house where he was to sleep, he heard
the particulars of a murder which had occurred about forty-
eight hours before.
The despatoh riders of America were a well-known and
picturesque feature of the early days. Mostly youths,
mounted upon wiry and active nags, they would carry their
despatches for a hundred miles at a time, at the rate of about
eight miles an hour. With four changes of horses, they
would accomplish their mission, returning to their stations
next day.
" At that time a very extensive and important company
(Wells, Fargo, and Co.) was engaged in conveying letters,
parcels, and gold all over North-West America. Their
express-man had set off from Richfield with a considerable
consignment of gold-dust, in company with a friend, on a big
black horse. The two men had slept at the wayside inn,
and had set out together early in the morning on the down-
country trail. But the house was full of other men, two
of whom had started on foot yet earlier.
" As soon as the two horsemen emerged from the wood
upon a bit of prairie they overtook two pedestrians, who as
they approached drew up across the trail, and whipping out
their revolvers began firing. The horsemen drew out their
revolvers, and several shots were exchanged, but without
effect, for the horses were excited by the firing and began
capering about. The express-man, who was a brave, resolute
little man, jumped from his horse and grappled with the
foremost of the murderers. He succeeded in throwing him
upon the ground, and was so far master of the situation
that he called out to his companion, asking him how he
was 'making out.' 100
" But at this moment the big man's horse turned round,
and, his rider being unable to control him, bolted from the
scene and galloped back to the wayside house. So at least
the big man averred.
"But of course there were those who impugned his
courage. An armed party at once set out, and hurried to the
scene. There lay the little express-man on his face, quite
dead. The second miscreant, freed by the flight of the big
man, had come up and shot him in the back of the head.
His death must have been instantaneous. The party galloped
down the trail, but no one was to be seen.
" The murder was followed by a long chase—a chase of
days and nights. The country was in a state of excitement,
for the little express-man was very popular. Ropes were
stretched across the road, and parties of men were on the
watch. But no arrest was made—the murderers had
evidently taken to the bush.
" There was no reason, however, for me to feel any misapprehension. As the old adage says,' Cantabit vacuus,' etc.
And, moreover, I felt sure that the two villains would hasten
to make their escape from the country; and they had two
full days' start of me.
"A group of Indians reported that two 'Boston men' had
burst upon them, and with presented revolvers had demanded
and taken their food from them. And for full ten days
there was no further news. Then, however, we heard that
Captain M'Lean, an old settler residing in the Buonaparte
Valley, hearing of a man in a miserable plight, and not able
to give a satisfactory account of himself, had ridden out and
brought him, with a rope round his neck, to his house and
shut him up there.
" In due time the man was tried.    In truth, there was HANGED BY THE NECK
but slight legal evidence against him; for the survivor, the
big man, when confronted with him, could not swear to him.
The man had no gold-dust upon him; for it had so happened
that at the time of the murder the big man was carrying the
gold-dust for his friend. All that the prosecution could
prove was that the man arrested had slept in the wayside house the night before the murder, that he had set
out on the fatal morning before the express-man, and, I
think, that he and his companion were the only men that
had done so.
"There was also the negative evidence that he had not
called at any of the wayside houses down the trail and
had not been seen upon the road, and therefore that, as it
appeared, he had left the road and gone down through the
forest.    That was all.
"But the jury went in for hanging—and the judge, I
think, was not unwilling—and so the man was convicted and
hanged. No one, I think, had any moral doubt that he was
guilty. And about the time of his arrest the dead body of
another man was found in the Thompson, who had apparently
been trying to cross the river, avoiding the ferry. And this
was supposed to be the corpse of the other murderer. Thus
ended one of the tragedies of the gold mines.
" My journey down the country was healthy and, on the
whole, pleasant. The average altitude of the road was, I
suppose, about 2000 feet, so the air was cold and bracing.
A fair amount of the country was now being cultivated, and
it was agreeable once again to partake of milk and butter
and vegetables.
" There were still some autumnal flowers, though not the
same as in the summer, when not a few of our English
garden flowers may be seen growing wild by the side of the 102
trail. I have noticed the larkspur, Michaelmas daisy, lupin,
and groves of syringa.
" I walked from twenty-two to twenty-four miles per day,
and put up at the wayside houses. This was less comfortable than sleeping in the tent; but it saved the time of
pitching and striking tent and cooking meals. As a rule, the
keepers of these rough houses, unless they were Englishmen,
would charge the clergy nothing.
" It was interesting work tramping all day through the
keen autumnal air, instructing and preaching to groups of
Indians, and administering to them pledges of abstinence
whenever possible, resting on the Lord's day, and holding
Divine Service for whatever white people could be got
together. One got into fine training, and I arrived at
New Westminster, as one of my friends told me, looking
' as hard as nails.'"
The fortunes of New Westminster were not improving;
the vision of men, women, and children pouring out of
Europe, crowding into the ships and spreading over the
country, had not been fulfilled. It was only as the nineteenth
century closed that the tide began to set in fairly for British
The helpful, friendly Engineers were ordered home, and
embarked for England to the tune so hard for exiles to bear,
" Home, sweet Home." The monotony of Church life was
broken by what may be called the Battle of the Bells.
" About this time we heard in the Victoria, V. I., newspaper of a beautiful peal of bells for the Bishop's church at
Victoria, given by Miss (afterwards Lady) Burdett-Coutts.
And in due time the arrival of the ship with the bells was
chronicled. I happened to be in Victoria at the time, and
meeting my good friend Mr. Holbrook, who also chanced to THE BATTLE OF THE BELLS
be down there, we agreed to go on board the vessel and
have a look at them.
" Accordingly we went on board, and, the hatches being
open, we looked down and saw one or two of the bells being
uncovered. I climbed down into the hold and read the
inscription on the tenor bell, and I remember well the shout
of delight with which I called up to Mr. Holbrook, who was
looking down from the deck above, to tell him that the
inscription was * for the Church of St. Stephen, New Westminster.'
" There was always a good deal of rivalry and jealousy
between Victoria and New Westminster, and we knew that
every effort would be made by the people of Victoria to
retain the bells there. With regard to this fine peal of
bells, it was true that our church was not dedicated in the
name of St. Stephen, yet the crucial point, we thought,
was the place, and as they were inscribed 'New Westminster,' we believed and maintained that of right they
were ours.
" We took measures accordingly, and got up a public
meeting and began a movement for the erection of a bell-
tower, and memorialized the Bishop. And, in short, we
showed ourselves so unanimous and insistent that we gained
our point, and in a few weeks' time the bells were deposited
on the bank of Frazer River."
Winter gave place to spring, and spring to summer; still
there was depression in the town and straitened commerce,
whilst the trans-continental railway, which was to transform
the face and fortunes of the place, seemed as though it would
never come.
Further to the north, despite the glowing paragraphs in
the Times, luck had failed, but little metal rewarded the w
pick and shovel, and many of the miners departing left their
quarter of the world to deer and grizzlies.
At such a time, and with the work so well advanced that
it might safely be left to the care of a substitute, Mr. Sheepshanks determined to visit his native land to beg for his
i j a
Yosemite Valley—Virginia City—Night and day travel—Mormonism—
Salt Lake City—Brigham Young—The Danites—The President's
In the early summer of 1864 Mr. Sheepshanks sailed for San
Francisco. Here he saw the famous Yosemite Valley, with its
En<dish-like garniture of black oaks wreathed in mistletoe.
A ride into Mariposa country brought him in view of
the famous trees, some of them more than 300 feet high,
with a diameter (by his own measurement) of 25 feet,
exclusive of the bark, and ringed with no less than 1490
circles. Ever a lover of Nature, and a true Briton, it seemed
to him that a tree with its head in the skies was a finer
si«ht than a New York block assaulting the heavens with
its thirteen stories. Upon the stump of one of the trees,
seven feet from the ground, a summer-house had been built
which afforded space for the dancing of two sets of lancers.
Yet another ancient of the woods was so voluminous that a
horseman could ride for seventy feet within it.
Making his way to Sacramento, he began, in one of Wells,
Fargo, and Co.'s express waggons, a journey which was to
take him right across the continent of America by way of
Nevada and Utah.    Crossing the range of the Sierra Nevada,
105 io6
he stopped at Virginia City to see the sHver-mines. Here
he was welcomed by Mr. Whittaker, the resident clergyman.
As they slept upon the floor in the wild mining district
beyond the Rocky Mountains, they would have regarded a
vision of lawn sleeves as the emptiest of dreams.
Yet thirty-three years later they were to find themselves
in the same great procession of prelates at Ebbs Fleet—the
one, Bishop of Norwich; the other, head of the diocese of
"Those who have seen 'Buffalo Bill's' Exhibition will
remember the ' Deadwood Coach.' It was in a rough coach
of this kind that I was to cross the continent of North
America, until I reached the civilized countries of the East.
The vehicle was rough and strong, with no springs worth
speaking of; but the cattle were excellent. The journey
would, I knew, make considerable demands upon one's
physical powers; for the coach would go rattling and jolting
along night and day, with but brief stoppages for the purpose of changing horses. Only snatches of sleep, 'tired
nature's sweet restorer,' could be obtained, so that the strain
upon the brain would be great. Not a few would break
down under it.
"For some time after leaving Virginia City we were
passing through an absolute desert. There was nothing but
sand of the finest kind beneath the horses' feet, and no road,
but a mere track across the plain. Not a vestige of verdure,
not a green blade, was in sight—nothing but burning brown
sand all round, the air filled with sand fine as powder, spiral
whirlwinds of sand twirled round here and there with the
occasional flaws of wind. It was baking hot, dry, and
dusty. In these absolutely desolate tracks there were no
signs of life." THE RISE OF MORMONISM
At last, emerging from desolation, they came upon human
habitations, occasionally on men and women from Utah.
The city of the Latter Day Saints was before them. Begun
in the burlesque discoveries of Joseph Smith (Diana of
Ephesus fell from the skies; the book of Mormon was dug
from the earth), continued under conditions unfavourable to
its growth, its distinctive tenet, the plurality of wives—a
belief repugnant to all Christian communities—rising superior
to all persecution even to the claims of the civil power,
growing in numbers and prosperity with the growing years,
Mormonism is to-day a marvel of human credulity. It is
the faith of one God and many wives.
The early history of the community is that of a people
harried and scattered. Wherever they went, something in
their pretensions and manner of living quickened the antipathies of their neighbours, whose liveliest concern was to
be rid of them. Stoned out of Jackson County, treated as
public enemies, shot, assaulted, and killed, they were finally
expelled from Missouri at the point of the bayonet.
Crossing the river into Hlinois, to settle at Nauvoo after
open warfare, pitched battles, and the death of their prophet,
they were compelled in despair to trek again into the desert.
Their wretchedness as they fled from their city of refuge
may be known from the report of a witness unfavourable to
their claims.
" In every part of the city scenes of destitution, misery,
and woe met the eye. Families were hurrying away from
their homes without a shelter, without means of conveyance,
without tents, money, or a day's provision. Sick men and
women were carried on their beds, weary mothers with
helpless babes dying in the arms, hurried away—all fleeing
they scarcely knew or cared whither, so it was from their io8
enemies whom they feared more than the waves of the
Mississippi, or the heat or hunger and lingering life or
dreaded death of the prairies on which they were about to
be cast."
Arrived in their promised land, no stream of milk and
honey awaited them. It was their lot at first to wring a
scanty subsistence from an unwilling soil, until by industry
and a belief in their own destiny the wilderness, hitherto
given up to the wolf and the bear and half-naked Digger
Indians, blossomed like the rose. With the settlement in
Utah and Salt Lake City prosperity began; in that prosperity Mr. Sheepshanks found them.
From the beginning of his stay in Utah, he was confronted
with the all-pervading personality of Brigham Young.
His lodging, the only hotel in the city, belonged to that
autocrat. Put up for the night, and the President is your
host and pockets your money; visit the theatre, and the
contents of the pay office dribble into the same ample pocket.
Send your corn to be ground or your logs to be sawn, you
find yourself paying toll to the same ownership. Make your
long journey of sixty to eighty days across the plains, and
your emigrant waggon carries not only Caesar and his
fortunes, but the goods freight free (800 lbs. per waggon) of
the Dictator. By contracts, by the stewardship of tithing,
by playing the part of the honest broker in almost all the
work done in the settlement, by concessions, and by exclusive
rights, this man, who began life in poverty and had the
maintenance of twenty wives and their establishments, left
at his death from four to six hundred thousand pounds.
The existence of the Danites, or Destroying Angels, has
been often asserted, as often denied.
Remembering that the Mormons looked upon themselves DESTROYING ANGELS
much in the light of the Israelites conquering their Canaan,
it is easy to imagine the more intemperate spirits were ready
for any act of violence which might be deemed politic or
necessary. That Young, Kembal, and others proposed to
take the lives of those whom they considered offenders seems
In a denunciation of Brigham Young, Smith, the brother
of the Prophet, declared that he "had around him men,
bound by acts and covenants, who are reckless enough to
commit any crime, or fulfil any command that their self-
crowned hero might give them."
In the experience of Mr. Sheepshanks, the readiness to
be the avenger was still the mark of an enthusiastic Mormon.
1 Being anxious to get all the information that I could
with regard to the extraordinary community of the Mormons,
I asked questions, perhaps somewhat incautiously, of any
one whom I met.
" On one occasion I asked a man whom I encountered at
one of the houses whether the stories about the ' destroying
angels' were true. The man looked at me with a glare,
and replied, 'I don't know, sir, what you mean by the
destroying angels. But I can tell you this, that if you and
I were in the presence of President Brigham, and when you
left the room he were to say, I Gentlemen, I have no further
use upon earth for that person who has just left the room,"
I should shoot you down, sir.'
I Nearing the city I observed a peculiarity in the construction of the houses. They were low, neat houses, with
well-kept gardens round them, and several external doors.
Passing a nice looking, newly painted house with four front
doors on the side facing the road, I commented upon this
curious plan to the driver, beside whom I was then sitting. A BISHOP  IN THE  ROUGH
' Well, sir, you see that is caused by the " institution."' As
I looked puzzled, he went on, ' By the " institution," I mean
the plurality of wives. You see, sir, if a gentleman is
blessed with several wives, it would hardly do for the ladies
to come in and out by the same door. That might give rise
to ructions. So each lady has an entrance to herself. If
you wish, therefore, to find out how many blessings a
gentleman possesses, I guess you should walk round his
house and count the number of doors.'" I
A green oasis—Climate and people—A superstitious religion—Sunday at
the Bowery—Wild predictions—Brigham Young as a theologian.
Of Salt Lake itself, Mr. Sheepshanks gives the following
" It is an oasis in the midst of the desert^ a green, cultivated, civilized spot surrounded by hundreds of miles of
arid, sandy, desert plains streaked with ranges of barren
mountains. For miles and hundreds of miles one sees scarce
any sign of life, no quadruped, scarce an insect, not a bird,
not a tree, only vegetation here and there.
" And then suddenly one comes upon a city bright and
green, with smart, comfortable-looking houses surrounded
with gardens planted with fruit trees laden with fruit, and
streets and shops and public buildings. The outward scene
is striking, for the town is situated in a broad and, at this
time, green valley, between two fine ranges of mountains,
about fifteen miles south of the Great Salt Lake.
" The city is laid out on the parallel-line system, with
clear streams of running water and rows of fine young
acacias and other trees beside the footpaths. The streets
are very broad and well kept, though rather dusty just now,
and all the houses except the stores have their gardens.
^M 112
The climate at this time of the year (July) is glorious, very
dry, for rain is unknown during spring, summer, and
autumn—there is some snow during the winter—and vegetation is produced by irrigating the land with streams of
water brought for many miles from the neighbouring
" Each day is like the preceding one, bright and dry and
hot, with blue unclouded sky, but not sultry; the altitude—
4000 feet—prevents that. The nights are cool, and there is
almost always a pleasant breeze blowing either up or down
the valley. The people are clean, tidy, sunburnt, and rustic
in appearance, with an unmistakable old-country look about
them; for, alas! a very large proportion—four-fifths, I should
suppose, of the population—is from Great Britain.
" Their order, apparent morality—setting aside for the
moment the question of polygamy — and sobriety are
certainly remarkable. Never have I seen a community
outwardly so peaceable, orderly, and well conducted. There
are no saloons, no grog-shops, no billiard-tables, and only
one hotel in a population of some 16,000 people. The
streets are always quiet. The men move about on their
business; the women do their shopping and marketing.
In the evening all return to their homes, and by soon after
ten o'clock, theatre and ball nights excepted, the town is
wrapped in slumber.
" And all this while the religion is the most superstitious,
fanatical, and blasphemous, I should suppose, on the whole
earth. The more one sees and hears of their belief, the more
one is amazed at its abominations and absurdities. It
combines the errors of Christians and heretics, of Mohammedans, and of ancient and modern schismatics. And in this
the majority remains satisfied, though there are not a few SONS  OF THE PROPHETS
who renounce their belief in Mormonism and leave the
place, or remain tied by their social relations and fill their
lives with regrets that they ever came thither."
The first Sunday in Salt Lake City found the new
arrival at the Bowery, the summer sanctuary of the Mormon
" This was a huge booth simply constructed of uprights
fixed in the ground, with cross-pieces, and roofed over
thickly with boughs. Thus the sides being open, the
congregation was sheltered from the hot sun and cooled by
the fresh, soft breeze.
" When I arrived in good time before the service, I found
already assembled a congregation of several hundreds of
respectably draped, farmer-like, 'dour-looking' men. At
one end of the Bowery there was a platform for the speakers
and a choir of both sexes. After a hymn and an extemporary prayer of an unconventional and secular kind, a sermon
was preached by Mr. Wallace."
The sermon showed how prominently prophecy—that
most admirable gift, enabling the prophet to impress his
own will on his hearers—was interwoven with the new faith.
Smith himself claimed to be a seer able to discern the things
of the future. Singularly unfortunate in this role, he contrived that one revelation should supplement and sustain
the failure of its predecessor.
Brigham Young succeeded to the office of the forthteller:
in this capacity he too came heavily to the ground. Nothing
but an extreme credulity amongst their followers could have
sustained these men amidst such mendacity and ignorance.
The elders of the community also exercised this gift.
In the sermon to which Mr. Sheepshanks listened, Isaiah,
Micah, and other of tjje Hebrew seers were pressed into the
11 1 liii
service of a prediction—destined to share the fate of many
another forecast—for it declared of the American War, then
in the fiercest of its fury—
" Mormons knew what would be the end of it. Joseph
(Smith) had foretold it years before. They will go on fighting until they will be in such a hurry to kill each other that?
they will not stop to drag their cannon along, but will take
their swords and spears only. They will fight until they
get thoroughly broken up, so that there will not remain two
states together. Then those who had persecuted the Saints
and driven them out of Missouri, will come and say, 'Let
me be a Mormon.' Children in the West will then say,' I
have an uncle Joe, who is a Mormon, of whom we were all
ashamed. Shall we write to him ? Perhaps he will be willing
to help us,' etc., etc. The great mass of men—there were
no women present—listened to this stuff seriously, and
appeared to take it all in."
Within a few months of this utterance, peace was declared
and the United States consolidated.
But it is the mark of a prophet not to be discouraged,
and most of the speeches and addresses to which the new--
comer listened—whether from the President himself or his
supporters—were prophecies of Mormon superiority, Gentile
ruin combined with " ignorant, pseudo-philosophical themes,
and occasionally rhapsodies of frantic, blasphemous nonsense." Brigham Young committed himself to the following
statements in a sermon preached in the Tabernacle.
" Our God and Father in heaven is a being of tabernacle,
or in other words, He has a body with parts the same as you
and I have. . . . His Son'Jesus Christ has become a personage of tabernacle, and has a body like His Father. . . .
Now hear it, 0 inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, GROTESQUE THEOLOGY
saint and sinner. When our father Adam came into the
garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and
brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make
and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the
Ancient of Days ! about whom holy men have written and
spoken. He is our father and our godt and the only god
with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will
know it sooner or later. . . . And who is the father? He
is the first of the human family; and when he took a
tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the
same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, etc. From the
fruits of the earth the first earthly tabernacles were originated
by the father, and so on in succession. ... It is true that
the earth was organized by three distinct characters, viz.
Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a
quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and an organizing element,
perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost. . . . Let all who may hear these doctrines pause
before they make light of thenr, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation." H
w \
A notable man—The President at home—Education and amusements in
Utah—A singular experience—Bishop Woolly—Undercurrents of
feeling—Polygamy—Night at the theatre.
It was now the young parson's good fortune to look upon
the man .who had wrapped the mantle of the prophet Joseph
Smith about his own shoulders, who had led the first settlers,
with their women and children, through manifold dangers
and much endurance into safety and wealth.
Brooking no rival, he was an absolute dictator; none might
cross his path and survive. Death itself was supposed to
attend upon his sign. The head of a mob of outcasts who
boasted " that he would ask no odds of Uncle Sam or the
devil," was well worth seeing. So large were his ambitions,
he predicted in twelve years' time he would be President of
the United States, or dictate the successful candidate. He
aimed at nothing less than political and national independence.
Furnished with a letter of introduction to a prominent
citizen of Salt Lake, an unbeliever in Mormonism, Mr.
Sheepshanks was brought by him into direct touch with the
magnates of this strange community.
"My friend  asked me if I would go and call upon
President Brigham. I assented, and he made an appointment at ten o'clock one morning. On our arrival, we found
his carriage with two good grey horses waiting to take
him to his cotton station. Entering, I was introduced to
Messrs. Carrington, Stonhouse, King, and others, and passed
through one office into another, where two chairs were
placed in the middle of the room opposite to an easy
" After a few minutes in came the President, not at all
a bad-looking man, of fair height, stout, and broad shouldered.
His face was rather fleshy, with clear complexion, not pale,
but with no colour, square, rather narrow forehead, small,
clearly cut chin, and cold blue eyes. He did not appear to
be much more than fifty years of age; but in conversation
he spoke of remembering events that occurred sixty years
previously. He was clad in black, but with a white calico
overcoat. His manner was agreeable, but that of a man of
powerful will accustomed to have his own way absolutely.
Over the thousands of his people he wielded despotic power
He was their Sultan, High Priest, Prophet, and Revelator.
I He shook hands, sat down in the rocking-chair opposite
to us, and entered into conversation. He said people came
to see him out of curiosity, but were quite welcome. The
Mormons were much maligned, but those who came to Salt
Lake generally altered their opinions. Instanced Horace
Greely and Captain Burton. Had been in England twenty-
four years before. England a rich and hospitable country,
with good people. But the Government does not do its
duty. It ought to send tens of thousands of the poor out
into the Colonies. Spoke about education. Every district
in the city has a day and Sunday school. All the children
go to school.    Approved of recreation for the people.   We u8
must give them recreation; for if we do not give them
recreation which is innocent they will indulge in that which
is injurious.   Recommended me to go to their theatre.
" Upon my replying that it was not my habit to attend
the theatre, he replied, ' No, sir; I dare say not, and with
good reason. But if you come to our theatre you need not
leave your religion at the door. The plays are moral. I
supervise them myself. There is no drink allowed within
the walls. The actors are not paid. They are our own
citizens, who act only to give their fellow-citizens pleasure.
There is no bad language permitted. They behave as
irreproachably as they do at meetin'.' On the same terms
he approved of dancing."
Here it may be said that the Saints, though grave and
unjovial, were social in their habits. The dancing, to which
their President referred, must not be considered, however,
as the light-hearted and frivolous pastime of other countries.
It was regarded as a distinctly edifying exercise. Brigham
Young danced, the Apostles danced, the Bishops danced;
and the solemn gyrations of these dignitaries must have
made an irresistible appeal to the Gentile spectators.
One thinks of Alvanley's bon mot on Lord Aberdeen, that
he danced as if he were paid to do it, and were afraid of not
getting his money.
Young's manner was that of a man unaccustomed to
be contradicted. He took all the conversation to himself;
when any one else was speaking his attention seemed to
fade away.   But he was not uncourteous.
Suddenly, to the surprise of his visitor, he demanded,
"Will you preach for us on Sabbath?" An objection to
be one of several speakers was at once removed when he
put his hand on the clergyman's shoulder, saying, " You can THE SERMON  OF A LIFETIME
have the morning service all to yourself. You can have my
chair, and choose your own hymns. You may say what you
like, and do what you please."
Next Sunday the Tabernacle was the scene of a singular
spectacle. Never before or since has an Anglican priest
preached to the Assembly of Mormons; never, perhaps, in
the history of the Church has one of her ministers testified
before a community of heretics. Before him were 3000
people, all men, heads of families, mainly from his own
country, " mostly earnest and fanatical, swallowing eagerly
the wildest stories and most extravagant doctrines, whatever
is put before them by the Prophet and his crew." Behind
him on the platform sat the apostles and elders. The
President's chair was empty, but as the preacher began to
speak he was aware of some one moving near him, and
saw Brigham Young himself on his knees, pushing a cushion
towards his feet, having remembered the custom to use one
for kneeling.
From this scene of fanaticism and misbelief even
heathendom was not wanting, " for happening to turn round
to the left, my eye fell upon two noble Sioux Indians who
had just come in. They stood there in full dress and paint,
with their keenly cut, handsome faces like bronze statues,
impassively surveying the gathering."
The Rector of New Westminster had preached to strange
congregations in his time, never to one like this. Greatly
moved by such an audience and such an opportunity, he
proclaimed the simple saving truths of the Gospel with all
his might. Nor in vain. It is true that those who followed
endeavoured to provide an antidote to the poison of his
teaching, but subsequent events showed the value of his
witness borne to truth and Catholic doctrine.    His visit to 120
Utah undoubtedly paved the way for the sending of a Bishop
and clergy from the Episcopal Church of America.
The same evening the preacher became a hearer in turn,
and sat at the feet of Bishop Woolly. This gentleman
had distinguished himself by marrying a daughter and her
mother at the same time, not because he wished such a dual
act of matrimony, but because the younger woman declined
to be " sealed " without the elder.
At the close of the meeting the Bishop proceeded to
bless the oil to be used in the healing of the sick, a curious
travesty of the consecration of the oil for unction by a
prelate of the Church.
In his walks through the city the keen inquirer was able
to fathom some of the deeps of this strange society, discovering amongst much outward contentment and satisfaction how strong an undercurrent of unhappiness and unrest
was running. One woman explained that for years she had
been wishing to leave the place, but had been unable to do
so. Her children, so far unbaptized into Mormon beliefs,
were growing up around her; her husband, too, encumbered
with another wife, declined to move. This mother and wife
declared that she did not know one really happy family or
believe in its existence.
A man from Lancashire, who described himself as "a
physiological tonsor," had been cut off from communion
with the Saints for what in most communities would have
been a deed of merit—the discovery of a silver-mine. Like
Kruger, Brigham Young saw the dangers of these treasures,
and dissuade his people from the pursuit of them.
In an interview with one of the more intelligent of
the Mormons, a man he had met at the President's, Mr.
Sheepshanks learnt something of distinctive Mormon beliefs. IN  THE  PLAY-HOUSE 121
"Theologically, he said the chief point in which they
differ from the Christian world is with regard to the
materiality of God. They believe that He existed as a
man in some previous world, and that He, like the Son, is
material. We spoke of polygamy; and I said that, as I
thought, they would have to give that up. ' No,' he replied,
' not in this awfully immoral part of the world. Polygamy
preserves their morality, for it enables them to punish
adultery with death/ On my inquiry if there were a law
to that effect, he replied, 'Yes, there was a law which
exculpated the injured husband who killed the adulterer,'
and mentioned an instance.
" I asked him if the Mormon Church claimed the power
of working miracles. He said they anointed with oil for
the recovery of the sick, and prayed; and believed, as he
supposed the Church of England did, that the prayer of
faith does often 'save the sick.' They believed no more
than that. I told him that I had met with Mormon teachers
who claimed the power of working miracles, even such as
the raising of the dead. He said,' Oh, that was all false,
all stuff.'
"One night I went to the theatre. The building was
spacious and handsome. On either side of the stage there
was a box, one for President Brigham, and the other for
Heber Kimball. By the time the curtain rose the house
was well filled. There was a considerable preponderance of
females, and an overwhelming number of children.
" The play was Damon and Pythias, and it set forth the
nobility of disinterested friendship. The two principal parts
(of the two friends) were well sustained; the others were
not much. The general appearance of the people was that
of well-to-do   farmers.    They applauded   the   noble  and 122
democratic sentiments in a boyish way with clapping of
hands and hurraing, greatly preferable to the shrill whistling
and vile noises of country theatres in England. The
President, it was well known, did not like much noise, and
if the applause became vociferous, his well-known face
would be seen protruding from the curtain of his box and
looking round, and lo! at once all was hushed. The pit was
filled entirely with his wives and children. I was told, but
do not vouch for the numbers, that there would be twenty-
five Wives and some sixty of his children present.
"There was perfect decorum of behaviour throughout.
The young women, of whom there were many in the house,
behaved with exemplary propriety and modesty, and conversed during the intervals of the play chiefly among themselves. The noble friendship of the two heroes seemed to
excite their warm sympathy, and at the most pathetic
passages many bright eyes around me were filled with
"At the conclusion of the entertainment there was no
loitering about, no congregating at the entrance, but on
emerging from the doors all walked quickly away as if the
next thing to be done now was to go quietly to bed. The
parents went off with their children, and young girls, who
had perhaps come alone, walked away separately and quietly
as if not in the least fearing rudeness or molestation. Altogether I came away pleased with what I saw, glad that I
had taken advantage of the President's suggestion, and
mentally wishing that we could have recreation of the same
sort in England."
Josephite Brethren—Apostle John Taylor—An unhappy wife—Story of
conversion—History of Joe Smith—His assassination.
On another Sunday evening Mr. Sheepshanks came to know
those severer disciples and Joseph Smith, who had renounced
Brigham Young and all his works, held polygamy as an
abominable thing, and held themselves aloof from all the
religious and social life of Salt Lake. It was their mission
to proclaim the true doctrines of the revelation given to
their founder, from whom they were called Josephites.
The measure of their zeal may be known from the
fact that though this one man found himself the only
member of the congregation in a large marquee where
services were held, the speakers on the platform addressed
themselves to his conversion with as much determination as
though he were but one of a thousand. Their countenances
fell when they found they had been endeavouring to win an
English clergyman from the errors of polygamy.
These Josephites were comparatively few in number, not
more than forty of them in Salt Lake City or two hundred
in Utah, though the body of adherents was swollen to ten
thousand in Missouri and Illinois.
Robert Louis Stevenson found them in remote islands of
123 124
the South Sea, these followers of Joseph Smith, with an
undying belief in their Prophet, and an undying hatred of
his successor.
Speaking first to one of them and then to another,
the investigator heard the same story of licentiousness,
hesitating at no decency or degree of consanguinity.
Before his visit terminated he made the acquaintance of
the Apostle John Taylor, one of the first Mormon converts
and President of the Mormon Communion at Brigham
Young's death.
"I went to his compound, and was introduced to his
first wife, a nice, kindly, simple old lady, who was very
pleasant. After dinner I took advantage of the temporary
absence of Mr. Taylor from the room to ask Mrs. Taylor her
views of polygamy. She answered me very seriously and
frankly that it was a state of unhappiness. ' It is a cross
laid upon us. It is the will of the Lord, and we must
bear it.'
11 met with not a few women during my stay, apparently
gentle, quiet, and uncomplaining, though sad, who expressed
themselves in a similar way. There seems to be something
congenial to the gentle, self-sacrificing nature of women in
the bearing of a cross in what they believe to be the cause
of right.
" And this leads me to remark what I have noticed in
many lands among various nationalities and creeds, that if
people have a good sound conscience, and try genuinely and
heartily to act up to what they believe, they become nice
and good people, exhibiting virtues and attractive qualities,
even though their code of belief be deficient, and even in
some respects quite erroneous. People of a defective and
even partially erroneous creed often put to shame those AN  EARLY  CONVERT
whose creed is richer and fuller, and even truer, because
they are endeavouring more earnestly and conscientiously to
shape their lives by what they believe or profess to believe.
The good seed may be scattered abundantly upon their soil,
but there are no fruits worth speaking of, because there is
no depth of earth. But where there is the proper soil, the
' honest and good heart,' only a few seeds, and those not of
the best quality, will bring forth undoubted fruit.
I After dinner Mr. Taylor and I had a long conversation,
partly in his house and partly when walking about in his
grounds. He told me the story of his 'conversion.' He
was a Methodist local preacher at Toronto between the years
1835 and 1840, and with others formed a club to study
the Bible without prejudice. And they came, as was not
surprising, to some curious conclusions—that there would be
a millennium, that there was no true uncorrupt Church
upon the earth, that miracles ought not to cease. And they
prayed God that if there were a true Church upon the earth,
He would send them a messenger.
" Shortly after this, Mr. Parly P. Pratt called upon him
with a letter of introduction, the explanation of which was
this. Heber Kimball came down to Mr. Pratt's house in
Missouri one night and awakened him, saying that he had a
message to deliver. Pratt came down, and Kimball, placing
his hands upon his head, told him that the Lord willed him
to go to Toronto; that he should convert many, and that a
door should be opened for the preaching of the Gospel in
England. He also told him that his wife, who was barren,
should have a son.
" All this duly came to pass. The child was born, Pratt
was the means of Taylor's conversion, and Taylor wrote the
first letter to England on the subject of Mormonism. bl w liii
" His belief in Mormonism was rendered certainty by the
signs which he saw, and by the gift of tongues. He was
distressed and ashamed when he first heard of polygamy,
and would have given all that he possessed for it not to be
true; but when he searched the Scriptures he found out his
" Their missionaries go forth without purse or scrip. He
himself had travelled over a great part of the world without
money, and related various wonderful stories of his being
strangely supplied with money when left penniless. He
had himself received revelations, and knew twenty-five years
before that the Union of the States would be broken up, etc.
The Mormons were a more moral and well-behaved community than any other in the world; and so they ought to
be. They professed more. In other societies there are
some professors of religion, and many that are not. Here
they are all professors. He knew that Joe Smith had more
than one wife, but did not tell."
With Smith, Taylor had been associated from the early
days, and to him the founder of the Latter Day Saints was
always "the man I loved." Lowly born, half educated, of
morals more than doubtful, preposterous in his claims, this
leader yet contrived to call out the ardent attachment of
those who believed in him. The man who was " Joe Smith "
to every one, the butt of rough jokes, of whom one has
written, "I can see him now in my mind's eye, with his
torn and patched trousers held to his form by a pair of
suspenders made out of sheeting, with his calico shirt as black
as the earth, and his uncombed hair sticking out through
the holes in his old battered hat"—yet this man, known
to his companions as " a romancer of the first water," was to
be the Moses of a new pilgrimage into a Land of Promise.
He claimed to work miracles; hearing was denied to his
deaf, and sight to his blind; his sick men almost invariably
died. He asserted that he was in the true following of the
Hebrew seers, and, as we have seen, one revelation had to
supplement and sustain the failure of its predecessor. Yet
nothing, save in a few isolated instances, could shake the
credulity of his followers.
The growth of his cult was witnessed with such disfavour that early in his career, on Lady Day, 1832, a mob
forced him from the arms of his wife and the shelter of his
lodging, and tarred and feathered him under circumstances
of great brutality.
In 1844 the doctrine of plural marriages brought to a head
the hatred his pretensions had inspired. With his brother
Hyrum and his faithful adherents, Richards and Taylor, he
was arrested and cast into gaol. Sitting in an upper room
in the place of their detention, the prisoners were aware of a
number of men with blackened faces approaching. With
the yell of forty the house was carried. Shots were fired
through the closed door, killing Hyrum. Sped by these
dire sounds, Joseph Smith ran to the open window. But
even as he climbed, the smoking muzzles of rifles were
thrust through the door now ajar, and with a cry, " 0 Lord
—my God," he fell outward, pierced with balls.
Joe Smith was dead—and his adversaries had done the
worst day's work of their lives.
They had given to Mormonism its Apostle and Saint:
henceforward his followers marched beneath the banner of a
Prophet who had been slain with the word of the Lord hot
in his mouth.
It was the opinion of many that with his death Mormonism would decay,   Had he lived, the movement might 128
have failed, for he was capable of any folly. But Martyrdom
beckoned him on, and the community he had founded gained
new vitality from the dark deed intended to destroy it. That,
at least, was the belief of Taylor.
At the census of 1890, of a total church membership in
Utah of 128,000 people, no less than 118,000 of them were
Latter Day Saints. In Idaho and other States and communities near Utah, they are to be found thirty thousand
strong. They exist all over the world, their men amongst
the most zealous and enterprising of missionaries, their
women the most convinced advocates of polygamy. CHAPTER XVI
Hasty meals—Fatigues of travel—Rough companions—The friendly
Alsatian—Accident to coach—Sioux hrave—Buffalo hunt—A
Mr. Sheepshanks now bade farewell to Mormon territory,
and continued his memorable journey.
"For the next three weeks my life was physically a
trying one, though fall of interest. For the greater part of
the time I was bowling along in the stage-waggon, first over
desolate, desert country, though not such a terrible sandy
waste as the desert to the west of the valley of the Salt
Lake, and subsequently over flat, grassy prairies.
" We stopped periodically to change horses at wayside
houses, often called 'forts,' frequently strongly built of
stones, capable of being defended against the attacks of the
Indians; and we took advantage of these stoppages to
swallow hastily a little food, usually consisting of bacon and
American beans, perhaps 'pie' in the middle of the day,
washed down with villainous coffee, and supplemented at
times with figs and biscuits which I had brought with me.
" The weather on the whole was gloriously fine, too hot in
the middle of the day; and the time of darkness was very
brief.   In the clear, dry atmosphere the starlit nights were
129 K 130
beautiful; but yet* more strikingly beautiful was the coming
on of the dawn from the first faint streaks of grey until the
sky was all aglow.
"' Bight against the Eastern gate
Where the great sun "begins his state,
Bohed in flames and amber light
The clouds in thousand liveries dight.'
Though, in point of fact, not infrequently there were no
clouds at all, but in the very eye of the increasing glory
the golden orb shot up and sent his rays across the sea of
"The physical trial was the difficulty of getting sleep.
We bowled along night and day without stopping, save to
change horses. And the coaches had frequently no springs
to speak of, so that the jolting was very severe. For there
was no road at all, only a track, which at times was very
stony, especially when passing through the low ranges of
mountains, or rather rocky hills, which from time to time we
crossed at right angles to our course. We went at a good
speed, a fast trot, frequently a canter or a gallop, for the
cattle were very good. And we carried no lights, for the
Indians were always supposed to be on the war-path; and
it was alleged that if we carried lights, the driver would
assuredly be picked off.
" The question, therefore, really was, how to get sleep;
and the question was usually solved by nature herself, who
insisted upon getting some sleep somehow.
"In the interior of the waggon there were usually, I
think, two benches on which the travellers could sit, with
leather belts for the back to lean against. But the seats
were not arranged in the same way in all the coaches. It
was most comfortable, or rather least uncomfortable, when UNEASY SLUMBERS
either the coach was very full, or when there were only two
or three passengers. In the former case one was wedged in
tightly and could get snatches of sleep, perhaps awaking
with a start and finding one's head reposing lovingly on the
breast and long beard of the hairy and not over-clean miner
"When there were only two or three passengers, we
managed once or twice to tear up the benches and lie on the
dirty floor of the vehicle, wedging ourselves together as
tightly as we could, like sardines in their box, so that no
jolt would disturb us. If one had a seat or a bench from
which, as was sometimes the case, the leathern belt had
been cut away, how to get a doze was a hard problem. The
only resource which I found in this case was to prowl about
at the stopping-places, and if there was a spare coach in the
yard, to abstract the belt and fasten it to our own vehicle,
with the gleeful congratulations of the other passengers.
" Occasionally, through a longing for sleep, I had resource
to other expedients. Once I lay on the flat top of the coach
on my back with arms extended, and straps fastened across
my body by a friendly driver to prevent my falling off.
Once or twice I curled my body up in ' the boot,' with my
head on the splash-board between the muddy feet of the
driver. But on the whole, owing to the sweet, healthful,
fresh air day and night, I did very fairly well.
" The company on the way was varied, and would _be
stigmatized by sober old-country people as ' rough.' There
were settlers moving from one place to another along the
route. There would be rough, wild men going to Pike's
Peak, a locality that was attracting an influx of settlers."
In this company the traveller was made vividly aware
of the feeling he so much reprobated towards the Indians. 132
Instead of regarding with compassion and restraint these
broken remnants of the nations that once kept the white
man at bay over an entire continent, some of these settlers
held them as subjects only for bitter contempt or spoliation.
With them and many another, assumption and incivility
passed into hostility and outrage.
"They appeared to entertain a hatred for the Indian
tribes, whom apparently they did not regard at all as fellow-
creatures. One fellow spoke carelessly of ' buck-shooting,'
by which he meant shooting Indians; and on his observing
the look of horror which no doubt was expressed upon my
countenance, his remark was,' Yes, sir, I would as soon shoot
a buck Indian as I would shoot a deer.'"
Travellers are apt to be baited with impertinent curiosity.
With that canon of experience Mr. Sheepshanks was already
familiar. But he was not prepared for the religious bully—
the man who curses roundly one moment, the next breaks
out into spiritual aspirations with an unction bewildering
for one to whom this inconsistency was new.
" There was a | preacher' of one of the Methodist sects,
a man with seedy clothes, florid countenance, and moist
eyes, apparently fond of drink. He would look out upon a
quiet grassy spot and exclaim,' Oh my! what a lovely place
for a camp-meeting!' and break out into snatches of worldly
and silly songs sung to old Methodist hymn tunes. On his
inviting me to join in with the chorus, I replied that I did
not sing profane songs. Whereupon he got into a furious
passion, and threatened to knock my head off. As I looked
at him I had my thoughts, but kept them to myself and
said nothing.
" On one occasion, rather tto our chagrin, two soldiers
with their muskets and bayonets were thrust in upon us on RUNAWAY COACH
the plea that the Indians were on the war-path, and it was
very Hkely that we should be attacked. One of these proved
to be a German, an honest fellow from Alsace, who could
not speak very much English. I made myself agreeable to
him, and we talked about Alsace and the dear old town
Strasburg; so we became very friendly.
"Towards evening a sudden lurch of the coach showed
that something had gone wrong. One of the wheels had
come off; for the 'button,' having become unscrewed, had
fallen off and was lost. Americans, however, are not often
at a loss, and as the button was not to be found, the driver
promptly cut off a part of the heel of his boot with his bowie-
knife, and making a square hole, and replacing the wheel,
screwed it on as an extemporized button. And so we went
on safely for some miles.
"But a little before midnight another sudden lurch
nearly threw some of us out of the open side of the stage,
and scrambling out we found that again the wheel had come
off. The only thing to be done was by our united strength
to hoist up the coach, that the wheel might be put on again.
But while we were all engaged in heaving it up, at a sudden
and loud cry of ' 'ware!' we all dropped our work and stood
aside, and the four fine horses, who had been startled, dashed
off with the coach on three wheels into the semi-darkness,
the coach raising a cloud of fine dust as it went. We all set
off running in its wake, but a loud crash soon warned us
what had been its fate. It had been dashed against a
telegraph post and then apparently against a boulder, and
was pretty well smashed up. We had been at the time
passing through a rocky defile, precisely the spot where the
Indians, had there been any about, would have been likely
to pot us. i34 A BISHOP IN THE ROUGH
"There was nothing for it but to trudge on to the
next station, which was fortunately not above three or four
miles off. I had but two bags with me. One of the two I
shouldered, and the other my German friend from Alsace
volunteered to carry. Accordingly he marched away sturdily
with my bag strung upon his musket (moral: always show
politeness towards fellow-passengers; possibly one of them
may be moved to carry your carpet bag for you); and in due
time we arrived at the station, a small house, strongly built,
with walls and roof of stones, capable of resisting an Indian
attack. And here we waited patiently until another stage-
waggon, which had been sent for, arrived to take us on."
After a few more days and nights of constant travelling
he arrived at the Platte River, entering upon a prairie land
well covered with grass, and containing not only birds of
prey and wild beasts, but deadly enemies of the human
kind. It was the country of the Sioux and the Pawnees,
those untiring foes.
And with the time and place came a sight to inspire
repugnance, almost alarm.
" One day, having snatched a hasty meal of bacon and
beans and bad coffee, I was holding, with some amusement,
a conversation with a lanky, weedy, sallow, overgrown
youth of about sixteen years, who chewed his tobacco, and,
as is not uncommon with the American youth, gave himself
all the airs of manhood, when there came up to us a fine-
looking Sioux Indian in his picturesque costume—leather
coat with hanging strips of hide, cloth leggings with
moccassins, cloth cap with feathers. He was evidently
exultant over a feat of his the day before, which he proceeded
to narrate to us.
" He knew, as far as appeared, but one English word,
viz. the numeral two. However, he contrived to tell his
tale with perfect clearness. ' Two Sioux,' said he, holding
up two fingers, and pointing to himself and then to a person
supposed to be beside him, viz. his companion. 'Two
Sioux.' Then he imitated their action in riding over the
prairie, jig, jig, jig, jig. 'Two Pawnee,' said he, quickly
laying his head upon his hand, shutting his eyes, and
imitating the breathing of men asleep.
" Then he imitated the action of the two Sioux creeping
stealthily over the prairie and springing upon their sleeping
foes. Rapidly he drew his knife across his throat with a
gurgling sound, and then a low laugh. Seizing his scalping
tuft he drew his knife quickly round it, and seemed to tear
it off. Then he and his comrade mount their horses again,
and ride across the prairie, jig, jig, jig, jig, to their own
tents. With a last gesture he pointed to his girdle, and again
laughed a low laugh. Looking down, I saw two or three
dried scalps at his girdle, and among them one on which
the blood was only freshly dried."
But it was not to be forgotten that deeds that seemed,
in the light of civilization, to reek of murder were to the
young Indian and his fellows but the semblance of justice.
The prairie suggested idea of sport, in which Mr. Sheepshanks participated as a spectator.
To the man-hunting of the Red Indian succeeded the more
civilized quest for big game on the plains near Blue River.
"Soon after breakfast a buffalo-hunting party, consisting of two men on horseback, and two men in a four-horse
covered waggon, came up; and I asked and obtained their
ready permission to go with them. We left the track, and
travelled all day over the prairie in a south and southwesterly direction.    But we saw nothing, neither buffalo nor 136
Indians. My companions were armed to the teeth with
rifles and revolvers, and all the rest of it. I walked by the
side of the horses, and sometimes climbed into the waggon
for a drive.
" As the daylight failed we halted and cooked our supper,
and then prepared for rest. My companions slept in the
waggon, and wanted me to do the same. But I preferred
the fresher air, and made up my mind to sleep on the
ground underneath the waggon. As night feU the prairie
wolves yelped all round us, but at a respectful distance. I
built up a good fire and lay down close by one of the horses,
which were tethered to the wheels, consoling myself with
the reflection that if any of the prairie wolves should come
stealing up in the night, which was not at all likely, they
would attack the horses before they thought of meddling
with me. I slept well, and did not wake up until the sun,
not long risen, was pouring his beams over the prairie.
" All that day we journeyed on, making a circuit, but
saw no sign of buffalo. It was surmised that the Indians
had driven them off; but in fact the noble beasts were
getting scarce. We saw herds of deer and antelopes—
beautiful creatures—peering at us from some distance
through the quivering air; and our two mounted friends
tried once or twice to run them down, or get near enough
to have a shot at them. But though their horses were fast
and strong, they had no chance of getting near these graceful,
agile animals. In the afternoon our two horsemen left us
to search the country further south for buffalo. And at
night we camped out on the prairie as before.
"Next day we shaped our way back to 'Blue River,'
and our two friends rejoined us en route. They averred
that they had found an old bull buffalo near a stream THE LUST OF KILLING
wounded and lame. But they brought back no meat nor
trophies; so probably they were only jj gassing.' The three
days on the prairie, though unsuccessful, were healthful and
"The days of buffalo-hunting are gone for ever. I
believe that there are now no buffalo extant, except a few
wretched tame creatures carried about in shows. This is
the sad way things are going all over the world. The I big
game' is being killed off in every quarter of the globe. The
splendid wild beasts are diminishing, and before long will
be extinct. Rare birds are mercilessly shot. If a scarce
animal or bird is seen in our own country, it may be spared
by one exceptionally merciful; but it cannot run the gauntlet
of all the sportsmen (!) and gamekeepers, and we soon
hear of it as having fallen a prey to that insensate, selfish
love of killing which is one of the characteristics of our race
and age." CHAPTER XVII
Bail and steamboat once more—Niagara—Disappointment in "Washington
—Three days' exploration of caves—The magic of song.
The long journey was almost over—the meals in wayside
houses; the mottled tablecloth, the plague of flies; the
coarseness of the food vilely cooked, and the rough men
devouring it in silence; the exciting rumours of lurking
Indians; the driver armed to the teeth; the abominable
roads along which the plunging team was launched with
such reckless disregard of accident or life; the nights of
splendour around and above the coach, and the unquiet
slumbers within;—all these were now but things for the
With his arrival at St. Joseph he found himself once
again in the land of railways and steamboats. Passing
through St. Louis, blackening the heavens with its chimneys,
he went down the Mississippi to Cairo, a place that reminded
him of "Eden" in "Martin Chuzzlewit." There he made
his way up the Ohio to Cincinnati, and on to Detroit and
Lake Erie, where the roughness of the sea and the size of
its waves excited his wonder.
With the Falls of Niagara Mr. Sheepshanks experienced
a  feeling  of   disappointment—a   state   of   mind   by   no
means unusual in those who look upon them for the first
From Niagara he went down the St. Lawrence to
Montreal and Quebec, where he renewed his acquaintance
with the romantic memories of Montcalm and General
With Quebec behind him, he sailed along the Hudson to
New York; thence on to Philadelphia and Washington.
In the American capital he had an interview with
Secretary Sumner, in the hope of obtaining a pass into the
more immediate zone of warfare. He was keen to see the
chivalry of the South under its great leader, General Lee,
in its hopeless combat with the friends of national unity
and of the slave. But his ardour was quenched by an
uncompromising refusal from the Minister of War.
Nor did he see the statesman patriot who in those days
of stress and discord seemed like some heroic figure strayed
out of antiquity into an age of little men. At the time Mr.
Sheepshanks was passing through the States, Lincoln was
the subject of unfavourable criticism in England, where the
cut of his clothes, the straggliness of his beard, the familiar
nature of his discourse, were permitted to prejudice the fine
quaUties of his heart and mind.
But another desire, with him from his youth—to behold
with his own eyes the mammoth caves of Kentucky—the
traveller was able to realize.
" I was, however, enabled to carry out another wish of
my youth and visit the mammoth caves of Kentucky. I
stayed at the hotel close at hand and passed the greater
part of three days in the cave, during which I walked about
fifty miles in exploring its various parts.
I There is a cold breeze always blowing out of the cavern
Ml: 140
at its mouth, so that, as the weather was very hot, one could
stand with one arm in a temperature of 59 degrees, and the
other in a temperature of about 80 degrees. The caves,
which are of vast extent, have been worn out of the limestone rock in the process of ages by the action of water, the
river, now called the ' Green River,' forcing its way through
the rock and from time to time, in the lapse of centuries,
sinking to lower and lower levels. The only Hving creatures,
except in the river, of which more anon, are bats, crickets,
and grey rats.
" The cave as a rule is quite dry, and the air is sufficiently
fresh and pleasant. The furthest point that I walked to was
about seven miles from the entrance. Hour after hour my
guide and I, with Hghted candles in our hands, walked
through the caverns and galleries, sometimes branching off
to the right hand or to the left, at times passing through
lofty halls—the Mammoth Dome is said to be 200 feet high
—at times through corridors and long, low galleries. There
was ' Fat Man's Misery,' a trench, formed by the action of
water, through which we squeezed ourselves sideways; and
' Tall Man's Agony,' a corridor about three feet high, through
which we crawled stooping for some two hundred yards,
our backs scraping along the rock above. We went through
halls where massive columns seemed to support the roof and
stalactites stretched down from above, and stalagmites went
up to meet them from below. Little bits of gypsum had in
some places faUen from the roof, and, looking upwards, these
spots appeared through the darkness somewhat like stars.
There were pitfalls—one ugly-looking place called the
' bottomless pit,' in reaHty, I was told, about 120 feet deep.
" At one time we walked for some three miles along what
was manifestly the ancient bed of a river long dried up. A REALM  OF  DARKNESS
Imagine a stream some twenty feet deep and twenty feet
wide; imagine the water to be diverted, so that its bed is
dry; imagine the sides to be converted from mud into rock,
and yourself walking on to the dry bottom, and you wiU then
have a tolerably accurate idea of this part of the cave. The
track, being palpably along the ancient course of the river,
is of course tortuous, but in height and width is pretty
"In ages gone by the stream must have approximated
rather closely to the roof of the cave. Then it must have
sunk at intervals, for different water-lines are clearly discernible on the face of the rock. At the last it would seem
to have been very shaUow, and then, having probably
formed some fresh cavity below, to have sunk altogether out
of sight. Along the whole of these three miles there are
no stalactites nor gypsum formations of any kind, but the
general effect, though very dreary, is fine.
" At one spot, where we rested to take some food in one
of the lofty halls, I directed my guide to take away the
lamps for a little while and leave me alone in the darkness.
The darkness was absolute and appalling. The silence also
was absolute. Brief as the time was, the darkness and
silence soon became oppressive. It helped one to realize what
total blindness must be, and to appreciate the eager cry,
' Lord, that I may receive my sight.' It made one reaHze
the awful cruelty inflicted upon poor prisoners immured for
years in pitch-dark dungeons. No wonder if they became
demented; a few weeks, methought, of such awful isolation
would take away one's reason.
" On the second day of my visit I entered the cave with
a small party of Americans, very pleasant and accomplished
people who were staying at the hotel.   Proceeding along 142
the main gaUery, and turning to the right at about three
miles from the mouth, we came to the river Styx, which we
crossed in a flat-bottomed boat.
" The descent to the water was dark and sHppery, and
two of the party behind slipped into the water up to their
waists. A little further along we came to another bend of
the same stream which is caUed Lethe, and then to another
called Echo River. This is navigable in a flat-bottomed
boat for nearly half a mile. Stepping into the rickety old
boat, we were paddled gently along by the guide sitting in
the stern.
"Turning away from the gallery, the water here glides
underneath the solid rock, which, though the stream was
very low at the time, was very little above the gunwale of
the boat. It may be imagined how very novel and striking
was the scene. Walking through the dim and lofty gaUeries
was impressive, but this sail down the dark river, how much
more so! Close above our heads—in fact, so close that for
a considerable distance we were obliged to stoop to avoid
contact with it—was the arch of soHd rock. Beneath us
was the clear river, here about twenty feet deep, containing
those strange, eyeless fish that we could, by the light of our
lamps, see here and there darting through the water.
"I brought away with me one of these eyeless fish,
preserved in spirits of wine. It had a slight mark like a
healed scar where the eyes ought to have been. It was a
type, I thought, of many a man who once saw, but, having
lost his spiritual sight through non-use of it, still bears the
scar of what he might have had, and ought to have had, but
now, alas! has lost.
"Around us there was Cimmerian darkness, lighted up
for a few yards only by the feeble lamps that we had
brought with us. On we sailed through the gloom, feeliug
that we were in the bowels of the earth, and that hundreds
of feet above us, separated by vast belts of rock and sand,
were the open air and the trees and the flowers and the
glorious light of heaven. As we moved on silently—for our
guide took care to make no noise with his paddle, and there
was nothing else to break the stillness—one could fancy that
we were souls gliding on to the font of Arethusa, and that
we should go on and on under the arched rock and through
lakes and subterranean fires until we reached the very core
of our planet, and there might hold converse with the ghosts
of departed heroes, philosophers, and saints. It were a fit
place in which to meditate the value of earthly things, and
see and mourn for the foUies and vanities of the past.
" Gloomy thoughts, however, did not dwell long in our
minds. Fortunately for us one of our company, a young
American girl, was a sweet singer, with a voice of unusual
compass, flexibility, and purity of tone. Oh, how she sang!
As it seemed, under the influence of the hour, like an angel
that had lost her way, or out of compassion was accompanying poor human sou*J.s down to their subterranean resting-
place. The sweet, pure, young voice rose and fell and floated
along the dark river and under the soHd arches and away
into the black distance, and seemed there to die away, and
then came echoing back again and rang round and round us,
until the rocks resounded and the water seemed to vibrate
with the thrilling harmony. That voyage of ours on the
dark river will, by one at least, be not readily forgotten."
American hospitality—The old country—A successful beggar—Afloat
again—Cornish miners—Jamaica—Negro Insurrection—Governor
Eyre—San Francisco—Imperturbable Chinaman.
Wherever he went through the Eastern towns, Mr. Sheepshanks was met with an unbounded kindness, which left a
lasting impression on his mind.
"I had brought a few letters of introduction from my
friends in California, which, indeed, they pressed upon me.
These letters were to some of the best people, and everywhere I was welcomed with cordiality and true hospitality.
For the members of the Episcopal Church it seemed to be
enough that I was an Englishman and a clergyman; for
though in a national and patriotic point of view they are
Americans to the backbone, they have yet a love for the
' old country' and an enthusiastic love for the Church. I
left the States with a great admiration for the grand country
and a warm feeling of regard for my kind friends."
Arrived in England, he was impressed, as all wanderers
are, with the exceeding greenness and beauty of his native
land. He commenced at once his ungrateful task of begging for the endowment of the parish of New Westminster,
a task interrupted by grievous news from the Bishop that
Holy Trinity, the church itself, had been burnt to the
This was additional incentive to his quest. With such
energy did he set about to compass his design of raising
money that within fifteen months he was ready to return to
the place of his work with twelve hundred hard-earned
sovereigns in the bank.
February, 1866, found him again on the high seas, and
again with his face set in the direction of the West Indies.
He left England behind him, thrilling with the loss of the s.s.
London, whose lamentable story had just been made known.
Amidst the Babel of bewildered men, women, and
children who had joined the emigrant ship at Southampton
were a body of Cornish miners. To make their closer
acquaintance, as well as for economy's sake, Mr. Sheepshanks took his berth in the steerage. In this class, indeed,
the food was execrable, and in full keeping with the rigours
of Lent, but the company he found deHghtful.
Here were no men smitten with gold fever, their mouths
fuU of brimstone, but a knot of miners who read their Bibles
and sang their Methodist hymns with the long-drawn repetitions. A famous Scotchman traveUing with these Cornish
folk a dozen years later could make nothing of them at all.
They were more foreign to him than a Red Indian, though
they were his neighbours at home. But for the genial,
earnest-hearted young clergyman ready to preach to them,
ready to pray and sing with them, they broke through their
tendency to keep grimly to themselves, and opened their
The Atlantic crossed, they entered the home of summer
and the sun, and cast anchor in Port Royal, the port of
L 146
"The sail from Port Royal up the long harbour to
Kingston was very enjoyable. On our right was the low
sandy spit which shelters the harbour from the south, dotted
with cocoa-nut trees that were waving and flapping wildly
their huge leaves in the fresh morning breeze. At the
extremity of this spit stands Port Royal.
"Before us and stretching away to the left were the
beautiful Blue Mountains, deeply serrated by numberless
ravines, covered thickly with the tropical vegetation, slopes
trending down towards the south, and glittering in the
early morning sun. Right in front, on the shore, was the
many-coloured town of Kingston, red with tiles and green
with jalousies, alive with the waving of the cocoa-nut and
other fruit trees in the fresh breeze which ruffled the waters
of the harbour.
I Kingston is not much of a place. The houses are principally of wood, the streets iU-paved and ill-lighted. There
was a good market stocked with many products: large, misshapen, many-coloured fish, fresh lean meat and bundles of
vegetables, heaps of tempting, luscious-looking fruit, huge
yellowish-green shaddocks, cocoa-nuts dry and green, fresh
oranges, baskets of limes, clusters of bananas, sugar apples,
sour sop, stir apples, sugar-cane, pine-apples, plantains,
cocoa, pepper, etc.
"It all looked very fresh and very tempting. The
negresses stand and loll and sit about, clad as usual in
their bright cotton gowns with gay shawls, and gaudy
turbans and kerchiefs round their heads. They grin and
chatter, and make one eat all sorts of things to please them.
" I stand and partake sumptuously of cocoa-nuts, pierce
a hole in one and drink half the milk, and throw away the
rest; break another in search for the cream—too greeny GOVERNOR EYRE
break another—all right, and scrape off the cream with a
spoon. Negroes and negresses crowd round with interest
and chatter. ' What boat come in, massa ?' ' You bring
news, massa?' 'You take me wid you to England, sare,'
says a portly negress; ' I berry good cook. Only one darter.'
'Massa, gib me a cigar,' and so forth. I pay threepence
for the cocoa-nuts (everything seemed to be threepence in
Kingston), and move on. I made a very pleasant excursion
through hedges of prickly pear and cactus to the foot of the
Blue Mountains. The fertility of the soil was apparent, and
the air delicious. But as it was winter—the thermometer
at 85 degrees—there was not much fruit on the trees. It
hung, indeed, in clusters from the mangoes; but instead of
being red and yellow, luscious and tempting, it was unripe
and green."
Mr. Sheepshanks found this island of Jamaica still in
the undercurrent of the feelings stirred by its Negro Insurrection of 1865.
In England the floggings of men and women by Governor
Eyre, his hangings and hut burnings; the unfavourable
report of the Commission appointed by the Government;
perhaps more than all, his summary execution of Gordon,
the coloured member of the House of Assembly, who died
with dignity protesting his innocence;—aH these had raised
opinions of violent opposition. He was on one side the
saviour of his country, who had protected its white population from the horrors and lust of a triumphant negro rebellion ; he was a monster to many others. Spencer, Huxley,
Mid, Gold win Smith, were of those who denounced him; of
the great company of his apologists were Tennyson, Dickens,
Carlyle, Kingsley, Ruskin, Disraeli Amongst these latter
Mr. Sheepshanks was constrained to rank himself, regarding 148
Eyre, in spite of some errors, as an official who had behaved
nobly at a supreme crisis.
Once more he arrived at Aspinwall, and once more
crossed the wonderful railway through the luxuriant vegetation of the isthmus. On the other side he received—not
for the first time in his experience—an illustration of the
American consideration towards ministers of religion. He
was presented with a first-class ticket, though entitled by
his fare to a berth in the steerage only.
After touching at one or two ports in Mexico, he arrived
in San Francisco, to be received with "the cordiality and
hospitality usual among the best class of Americans." His
stay had been much longer had he responded to the earnest
invitation of a number of Churchmen to become their rector
with a stipend of £720 a year. But his work on that side
of the world lay in New Westminster, and he pressed on to
finish it. The last part of his journey was the least pleasant
—a time of storms, with a small screw steamer kicking its
way boisterously through the heavy seas, and rolling at an
alarming angle.
He landed to find that rumour had been hard at work
with his private affairs. It insisted that he was bringing
back a wife with him. Journalism—the journalism which
asserts in one issue the thing which it denies in the next—
entered into the conspiracy, assuring his parishioners that
"the lady of his choice was in every way worthy of the
reverend gentleman." With this particularity it was not
easy to disabuse, not only the minds of the colonists, but
of the Indians, who were agog to see their missionary
accompanied by his " squaw."
Of the church he had left behind him, Mr. Sheepshanks
found only a few charred fragments and a blackened site. IN SEARCH  OF A MASTER
Until another and permanent building could be provided,
Divine Service was held in the large upper room of a brick
stora Trade was in such a stage of decay that the room was
not needed by the owner, who wilHngly transferred it from
the service of commerce to that of religion. And to this
apartment came the unconscious humour of the Oriental.
" The other Sunday morning, while I was preaching, the
door opened gently and very slowly, and presently a
Chinaman's face was seen inside the partly opened door,
peering cautiously around. Evidently he saw at last what
he was seeking, for his body appeared, and John walked
steadily up the room.
" A Chinaman always is to English eyes a quaint object
to look at, with his loose blue suit, baggy blue trousers, quaint
shoes, shaven head, pig-tail, flat expressionless face, and small
Oriental eyes. Every eye was upon him as he waddled up
the room. John had spotted his young master sitting with
his eyes shut in the seat immediately below the pulpit,
'lulled to light slumbers,' as the next issue of the local
newspaper asserted,' by the soothing eloquence of the reverend preacher.' Coming up to his master, the heathen Chinee,
quite unconscious of what was going on, poked him in the
ribs, saying, in a distinct voice, heard by every one in the
store,' You gib me key; me want make bed.'" Ill
Bad news from, home—Besignation—Farewell visit to Victoria—Paul
Legaick—His murderous career—Indian forebodings-
ment—Positions reversed.
-A good invest-
Spring and summer passed away in routine work; with the
autumn came bad news from home. The father of Mr.
Sheepshanks had been stricken with paralysis; his mother
was infirm: there was a need of the eldest son by their side.
As for the work in New Westminster, it seemed for the time
being to have come to a standstiU.
Trade still languished; mines were not prospering, or had
petered out altogether; there was no growth in population
nor any signs of the great iron railroad that was to connect
the resources of the colony with the wealth of the Mother
The Rector of New Westminster determined to resign
his charge and return to England. He had been offered the
Archdeaconry recently formed, but he had never contemplated
a lasting residence in British Columbia.
During a farewell visit to his Bishop at Victoria, he
preached in the cathedral. There, amongst those who listened,
he saw a man whose history had written itself deeply in his
mind—one who had played his part in the past, sanguinary,
relentless, now clothed and in his right mind, a reader of the
Bible, a hearer of sermons. Strange as it was to see this
man so much altered, strange to think of him with a memory
charged with " images of violence and blood," it was strangest
of aU, perhaps, to find him a willing hearer in a house of
prayer where no ancestor of his had ever come.