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Title: The Canadian Portrait Gallery - Volumes 1 to 4
Author: Dent, John Charles, 1841-1888
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year Eighteen
Hundred and Eighty-one, by JOHN B. MAGURN, in the office of the Minister
of Agriculture.]

[Transcriber's Note: Footnotes and Errata are placed at the end of this


[A Preface and an Alphabetical Index will be given at the close of the
last volume.]


    THE EARL OF DUFFERIN                                              1

    THE REV. ROBERT FERRIER BURNS                                    13

    THE HON. ALBERT NORTON RICHARDS                                  15

    THE RIGHT REV. JOHN TRAVERS LEWIS, LL.D.                         17

    CHARLES, LORD METCALFE                                           19

    THE HON. ALEXANDER MORRIS                                        23

    THE HON. THOMAS TALBOT                                           27

    THE HON. DAVID LAIRD                                             41

    THE HON. CHARLES E. B. DE BOUCHERVILLE                           44

    THE REV. SAMUEL S. NELLES, D.D., LL.D.                           45

    THE HON. WILLIAM HUME BLAKE                                      48

    THE REV. ALEXANDER TOPP, D.D.                                    54

    THE HON. HENRI GUSTAVE JOLY                                      56

    THE HON. MACKENZIE BOWELL                                        58

    THE REV. JAMES RICHARDSON, D.D.                                  60

    LORD SEATON                                                      66

    THE HON. SIR DOMINICK DALY                                       69

    THE HON. WILLIAM MCMASTER                                        72

    THE HON. WILFRID LAURIER                                         75

    THE RIGHT HON. SIR CHARLES BAGOT                                 77

    LA SALLE                                                         79

    THE RIGHT REV. JAMES W. WILLIAMS, D.D.                           90

    LIEUT.-COL. CASIMIR STANISLAUS GZOWSKI                           91

    THEODORE HARDING RAND, A.M., D.C.L.                              98

    THE HON. MATTHEW CROOKS CAMERON                                 100

    THE HON. SIR LOUIS H. LAFONTAINE, BART.                         104

    JOHN CHRISTIAN SCHULTZ, M.D.                                    109

    THE HON. GEORGE WILLIAM BURTON                                  114

    LORD DORCHESTER                                                 116

    THE HON. WILLIAM PEARCE HOWLAND, C.B., K.C.M.G.                 124

    THE MOST REV. MICHAEL HANNAN, D.D.                              128

    GEORGE PAXTON YOUNG, M.A.                                       129

    THE HON. TELESPHORE FOURNIER                                    132

    THE HON. WILLIAM OSGOODE                                        133

    THE HON. WILLIAM MORRIS                                         135

    THE HON. THOMAS D'ARCY MCGEE                                    138

    DAVID ALLISON, M.A., LL.D.                                      149

    THE HON. THOMAS GALT                                            152

    THE RIGHT REV. WILLIAM BENNETT BOND, M.A., LL.D.                154

    THE HON. LEMUEL ALLAN WILMOT, D.C.L.                            156

    THE HON. HENRY ELZÉAR TASCHEREAU                                165

    THE HON. ALFRED GILPIN JONES                                    167

    THE HON. JOHN NORQUAY                                           170

    THE HON. SIR RICHARD JOHN CARTWRIGHT                            172

    THE HON. THEODORE ROBITAILLE                                    175

    THE HON. SAMUEL HUME BLAKE                                      177

    THE MOST REV. ALEXANDRE ANTONIN TACHÉ                           181

    THE HON. JAMES COX AIKINS                                       191

    THE HON. FELIX GEOFFRION, N.P., P.C.                            193

    THE HON. JOHN YOUNG                                             194

    THE RIGHT REV. HIBBERT BINNEY, D.D.                             200

    THE HON. CHRISTOPHER FINLAY FRASER                              201

    SANDFORD FLEMING, C.E., C.M.G.                                  203

    THE HON. DAVID LEWIS MACPHERSON                                 206

    JAMES YOUNG                                                     209

    THE HON. PETER PERRY                                            212

    THE HON. ADAM WILSON                                            215

    THE HON. SIR ALEXANDER CAMPBELL                                 217

    THE HON. LEVI RUGGLES CHURCH                                    220

    CHARLES LENNOX, FOURTH DUKE OF RICHMOND                         222


    THE HON. WILLIAM PROUDFOOT                                      227


    THE HON. JOHN BEVERLEY ROBINSON                                 231


    JAMES ROBERT GOWAN                                              236

    ROBERT FLEMING GOURLAY                                          240


Of all the many personages who have been sent over from Great Britain to
administer the Government in this country, since Canada first became an
appendage of the British Crown, none has achieved so wide a popularity
as Lord Dufferin. None of his predecessors succeeded in creating so wide
a circle of personal friends, and none has left so many pleasant
remembrances behind him. Lord Dorchester was a Governor, but the area
over which his sway extended was very small as compared with the vast
Dominion embraced within the purview of Lord Dufferin; and the
inhabitants in his day were chiefly composed of the representatives of a
single nationality. Lord Elgin was popular, but the exigencies of his
position compelled him to make bitter enemies; and while every one, at
the present day, acknowledges his great capacity and sterling worth,
there was a time when he was subjected to grievous contumely and
shameful indignity. Lord Dufferin, on the other hand, won golden
opinions from the time of his first arrival in Canada, and when he left
our shores he carried with him substantial tokens of the affection and
good-will of the inhabitants. One single episode in his administration
threatened, for a brief space, to interfere with the cordial relations
between himself and one section of the people. His own prudence and
tact, combined with the liberality and good sense of those who differed
from him, enabled him to tide over the critical time; and long before
his departure from among us he could number most of the latter among his
warm personal friends. His Vice-Regal progresses made the lines of his
face and the tones of his voice familiar to the inhabitants of every
Province. Wherever he went he increased the number of his well-wishers,
and won additional respect for his personal attainments. He identified
himself with the popular sympathies, and entered with a keen zest into
every question affecting the public welfare. He will long live in the
memory of the Canadian people as a wise administrator, an accomplished
statesman, a brilliant orator, a genial companion, and a sincere friend
of the land which he was called upon to govern.

He is descended, on the paternal side, from a Scottish gentleman named
John Blackwood, who went over from his native country to Ireland, and
settled in the county Down, towards the close of the sixteenth century.
The family has ever since resided in that county, and has played a not
unimportant part in the political history of Ireland. In 1763 a
baronetcy was conferred upon the then chief representative of the
family, who was conspicuous in his day and generation as a vehement
supporter of the Whig side in politics. In 1800 the head of the family
was created an Irish peer, with the title of Baron Dufferin and
Clandeboye. The father of the present representative was Price, fourth
Baron, who succeeded to the title in 1839. Fourteen years prior to his
accession to the title--that is to say, in the year 1825--this gentleman
married Miss Helen Selina Sheridan, a granddaughter of the Right Hon.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The distinguished orator and dramatist, as
all the world knows, had a son named Thomas Sheridan, who inherited no
inconsiderable share of his father's wit and genius. Thomas--better
known as Tom--Sheridan, had three daughters, all of whom were prominent
members of English society, and were conspicuous alike for personal
beauty and the brilliancy of their intellectual accomplishments. One of
them was the beautiful Lady Seymour, afterwards Duchess of Somerset, who
presided as Queen of Beauty at the famous tournament held at the Earl of
Eglinton's seat in Scotland, in the month of August, 1839. Another
daughter, the Hon. Mrs. Caroline Norton, won distinction by her poetical
effusions, and by several novels, one of which, "Stuart of Dunleath," is
a work exhibiting a high degree of mental power. This lady, whose
domestic misfortunes formed at one time an absorbing topic of discussion
in England, survived until 1877, having some months before her death
been married to the late Sir W. Stirling Maxwell. The remaining
daughter, Harriet Selina, was the eldest of the three. She, as we have
seen, married Captain Price Blackwood, and subsequently became Lady
Dufferin upon her husband's accession to the title in 1839. She also won
a name in literature by numerous popular songs and ballads, the best
known of which is "The Irish Emigrant's Lament." She was left a widow in
1841, and twenty-one years later, by a second marriage, became Countess
of Gifford. She died in 1867. Her only son, Frederick Temple, the
subject of this sketch, was born at Florence, in Italy, on the 21st of
June, 1826.

He received his early education at Eton College, and subsequently at
Christ Church, Oxford. He passed through the curriculum with credit, but
left the University without taking a degree. In the month of July, 1841,
when he had only just completed his fifteenth year, his father's death
took place, and he thus succeeded to the family titles six years before
attaining his majority. During the first Administration of Lord John
Russell he officiated as one of the Lords-in-Waiting to Her Majesty; and
again filled a similar position for a short time a few years later.

One of the most memorable passages in his early career was a visit paid
by him to Ireland during the terrible famine which broke out there in
1846. Deriving his titles from Ireland, where the greater part of his
property is situated, and being desirous of doing his duty by his
tenantry, he had almost from boyhood paid a good deal of attention to
the question of land-tenure in that country. With a view to extending
his knowledge by personal observation, he set out from Oxford,
accompanied by his friend, the Hon. Mr. Boyle, and went over, literally,
to spy out the nakedness of the famine-stricken land. They for the first
time in their lives found themselves face-to-face with misery in one of
its most appalling shapes. They were young, kind-hearted and generous,
and the scenes wherewith they were daily brought into contact made an
impression upon their minds that has never been effaced. They published
an account of their travels under the title of "A Narrative of a Journey
from Oxford to Skibbereen, during the year of the Irish Famine," and
devoted the proceeds of the sale of the narrative to the relief of the
starving sufferers of Skibbereen. The realms of fiction may be ransacked
in vain for anything more truly pathetic and heart-rending in its
terrible, vigorous realism, than is this truthful picture of human
privation and suffering. Upon one occasion, having bought a huge basket
of bread for distribution among the most needy, they were completely
besieged as soon as their intention became known. "Something like an
orderly distribution was attempted," says the narrative, "but the
dreadful hunger and impatience of the poor people by whom the donors
were surrounded rendered this absolutely impossible, and the bread was
thrown out, loaf by loaf, from a window, the struggles of the famished
women over the insufficient supply being dreadful to witness." Of
course, all they could do to alleviate the sufferings in the district
was of little avail, but they gave to the extent of their ability, and
the poor, famishing creatures were warmly touched by their unfeigned and
tearful sympathy. When the two gentlemen left the town, their carriage
was followed beyond the outskirts by crowds of suffering poor who
implored the Divine blessing upon their heads. The publication of the
"Narrative," moreover, aroused a general feeling of philanthropy
throughout the whole of England and Scotland, and liberal contributions
were sent over for the benefit of those who stood most in need of

The practical knowledge of the condition of the Irish people acquired by
Lord Dufferin during this visit was such as the most diligent study of
blue-books could not have imparted. From this time forward he gave more
attention than ever to the Irish question. It was a question in which he
might well take a deep interest, for he was dependent upon the rent of
his estates in county Down for the bulk of his income. His
unselfishness, however, was signally proved by the stand he took, which
was on the side of tenant-right. He has written and spoken much on the
subject, and has contributed more than his share towards enabling the
world to arrive at a just conclusion respecting it. His public
utterances displayed a genuine philanthropy and breadth of view,
mingled, at times, with a quaint and touching humour, which attracted
the attention of every statesman in the kingdom. Twenty years before Mr.
Gladstone's Irish Land Act was passed, its provisions had been
anticipated by Lord Dufferin, and urged upon the attention of the House
of Lords. In an eloquent and elaborate speech delivered before that Body
in 1854 he suggested and outlined nearly every important legislative
reform with reference to Irish Land Tenure which has since been brought
about. A work on "Irish Emigration, and the Tenure of Land in Ireland,"
gave still wider currency to his views on the subject, and it began to
be perceived that the brilliant young Irish peer had ideas well worthy
of the consideration of Parliament. He was created an English baron in
1850, by the title of Baron Clandeboye.

In politics he was a moderate Whig. The leading members of his party
recognized his high abilities, and thought it desirable to enlist them
in the public service. An opportunity soon presented itself. In the
month of February, 1855, Lord John Russell was appointed as British
Plenipotentiary to the conference to be held at Vienna for the purpose
of settling the terms of peace between Russia and Turkey. Lord John
invited Lord Dufferin to accompany him on the mission as a special
_attaché_. The invitation was accepted, and Lord Dufferin repaired to
the Austrian capital, where he remained until the close of the
ineffectual conference. Soon after his return to England he determined
upon a long yachting tour in the far northern seas, and in the early
summer of 1856 he started on his adventurous voyage. The chronicle of
this expedition, written with graphic force and humour by the pen of
Lord Dufferin himself, has long been before the world under the title of
"Letters from High Latitudes." The voyage, which lasted several months,
was made in the schooner-yacht _Foam_, and included Iceland, Jan Meyen
and Spitzbergen in its scope. There is no necessity for extended
comment upon a book that has been read by pretty nearly everybody in
Canada. Who is there among us who has not laughed over the account of
that marvellous bird that, as the nights became shorter and shorter,
never slept for more than five minutes at a stretch, without waking up
in a state of nervous agitation lest it might be cock-crow; that was
troubled by low spirits, owing to the mysterious manner in which a fresh
member of his harem used to disappear daily; and that finally,
overburdened by contemplation, went melancholy mad and committed
suicide? Or over that extraordinary dog-Latin after-dinner speech by
Lord Dufferin during his stay in the Icelandic capital, as voraciously
recorded in Letter VI.? And who among us has failed to recognize the
graphic power of description displayed in the account of the Geysers? Or
the weird poetic force of "The Black Death of Bergen"? In all these
various kinds of composition the author showed great natural aptitude,
and his book, as a whole, is one of the most interesting chronicles of
travel in our language.

In 1860 Lord Dufferin was for the first time despatched abroad as the
head of an important diplomatic mission. In the summer of that year,
Great Britain, France, Russia and other European powers united in
sending an expedition to Syria to protect the lives and property of
Europeans, and to arrest the further effusion of blood in the threatened
conflicts between the Druses and the Maronites. The immediate occasion
of the expedition was a shocking massacre of Syrian Christians that had
recently taken place, and a recurrence of which was considered highly
probable. Turkey professed inability to deal effectively with the
matter, and it became necessary that the leading European powers should
interfere in the cause of humanity. Lord Dufferin was appointed by Lord
Palmerston as Commissioner on behalf of Great Britain. He went out to
Syria, where he remained some months. He proved himself admirably
qualified to discharge a delicate diplomatic mission, and by his tact,
good-nature and popular manners, no less than by his practical wisdom
and good sense, succeeded in effecting a satisfactory settlement of the
matter. As a testimony of the Government's appreciation of his services
he immediately after his return received the Order of a Knight Commander
of the Bath (Civil Division). Another result of his mission was the
publication, in 1867, of "Notes on Ancient Syria," a work which, as its
title imports, smacks more of reading than of observation.

It fell to Lord Dufferin's lot, in December, 1861, to move the address
in the House of Lords, in answer to Her Majesty's Speech from the
Throne, referring to the death of the Prince Consort. The occasion was
one upon which the speaker might be expected to do his best, and the
speech made by him on that occasion drew tears from eyes which had long
been unaccustomed to weep. A perusal of it makes one regret that Lord
Dufferin's legitimate place was not in the other House, where his talent
for oratory would have had an opportunity of growing, and where he would
unquestionably have gained a high reputation as a parliamentary speaker.
It is a simple matter of fact that in the dull, lifeless atmosphere of
the House of Lords, Lord Dufferin's talents were almost thrown away. In
the Commons he would have made a figure, with a nation for his audience.

On the 23rd of October, 1862, he married Harriot Georgina, eldest
daughter of the late Archibald Rowan Hamilton, of Killyleagh Castle,
county Down. This lady, whose lineaments are almost as well known to
Canadians as are those of His Lordship, still survives, and is the happy
mother of a numerous family. In 1863 Lord Dufferin became a Knight of
St. Patrick; and in the following year he was appointed Lord Lieutenant
of the county Down. About the same time he was offered the position of
Under-Secretary of State for India, which he accepted. In 1865 he was
subjected to a searching examination respecting his views on the Irish
Land question, before a Select Committee of the House of Commons. His
examination lasted four days, and his evidence proved of incalculable
value in the framing of the Act of Parliament which was passed before
the close of the session. Several years later he put forth a vigorous
pamphlet entitled, "An Examination of Mr. Mill's Plan for the
Pacification of Ireland," in which he criticised John Stuart Mill's
proposal that the landed estates of Irish landlords should be brought to
a forced sale. Lord Dufferin's thorough knowledge of his subject, added
to the fact that his views were sound, proved too much, even for the
Master of Logic, who had made his proposal without due consideration of
the subject, and on an incomplete statement of the facts.

Lord Dufferin continued to fill the post of Secretary of State for India
until early in 1866, when he was offered the Governorship of Bombay. The
state of his mother's health--she had already begun to sink under the
malady to which she finally succumbed a year later--was such as to
forbid her accompanying him to India, and Lord Dufferin was too
affectionate a son to leave her behind. He was accordingly compelled to
decline the appointment. He accepted instead the post of Under-Secretary
to the War Department, which he retained until the close of Earl
Russell's Administration, in June, 1866. Upon the return of the Liberal
Party to power under Mr. Gladstone, in the end of 1868, Lord Dufferin
became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a position which he
retained up to the time of his being appointed Governor-General of
Canada. He was also appointed Paymaster-General, and was sworn in as a
Member of Her Majesty's Privy Council. In November, 1871, he was made an
Earl and Viscount of the United Kingdom, under the titles of Earl of
Dufferin and Viscount Clandeboye.

The successive dignities thus heaped upon him are sufficient evidence of
the rising favour with which he was regarded by the Members of the
Government; and as matter of fact he had made great progress in the
esteem of the leading members of his Party generally. On the 22nd of
May, 1872, he received the appointment which was destined to give
Canadians a special interest in his career--that of Governor-General of
the Dominion of Canada.

By the great mass of Canadians the news of this appointment was received
with a feeling very much akin to indifference. The fact is that, except
among reading men, and persons intimately familiar with the diplomatic
history of Great Britain during the preceding twenty years, the name of
Lord Dufferin was entirely unknown in this country. A few middle-aged
and elderly persons remembered that an Irish peer named Lord Dufferin
had made an eloquent speech on the death of the Prince Consort. Others
remembered that a peer of that name had done something noteworthy in
Syria. A few had read or heard of "Letters from High Latitudes;" but not
one of us suspected that the new Governor-General was destined to be the
most popular representative of Great Britain known to Canadian history.
It was not suspected that, for the first time during many years, we were
to have at the head of our Administration a statesman of deep sympathies
and enlarged views; a nobleman combining elegant learning and brilliant
powers of oratory with a tact and _bonhomie_ which would win for him the
friendship and respect of Canadians of all social ranks, and of all
grades of political opinion. By many of us the office of a
Governor-General in Canada had come to be looked upon as a sort of
sinecure; as a part which any man not absolutely a dunce is capable of
playing. We regarded the Governor-General merely as the Royal
representative; as a figurehead whose duties consist of doing as he is
bid. He has responsible advisers who prescribe for him a certain line of
action, and all he has to do is to obey. When his Cabinet loses the
confidence of Parliament, he either sends them about their business or
accepts their resignation. The successors selected for him by the
dominant majority are accepted as a matter of course, and everything
goes on _da capo_. This, or something like this, was the way we had
learned to estimate the powers and functions which Lord Dufferin was
coming among us to discharge. It was reserved for him to give us a
juster appreciation of the position of a Canadian Governor-General. The
lesson learned by us during the six years of his residence among us is
one that Canadians will not soon forget. The learning of it has perhaps
made us unduly exacting, and it would have been most unfortunate had his
successor been chosen from the ranks of respectable mediocrity whence
Colonial Governors are not unfrequently selected. Happily the choice
fell upon a gentleman whose character and attainments bear some affinity
to those of his predecessor, and the dignity and respect due to the
Governor-General are not likely to suffer depreciation while the office
remains in his hands.

There was one circumstance which led many Canadians to look upon the
appointment of Lord Dufferin with no friendly eyes. He had been
appointed by the Gladstone Government, and the Gladstone Government had
manifested a disposition to treat Canada rather cavalierly. Canadian
interests had not been very efficiently cared for at the negotiation of
the Treaty of Washington, and there had been a good deal of diplomatic
correspondence between the Canadian and Imperial Governments, in which
the latter had pretty clearly intimated that Canada's separation from
the Mother Country would not be regarded as an irreparable loss to the
Empire at large. The London _Times_ openly advocated such a separation,
and it was known to speak the sentiments of persons high in power. It
was even conjectured by some of the more suspicious that Lord Dufferin
had been appointed for the express purpose of carrying out an Imperial
project for a separation between Canada and Great Britain. Had His
Lordship been a weak or commonplace man he would most probably have had
a very uncomfortable time of it in Canada. He was neither weak nor
commonplace, however, and he began to be popular from the very hour of
his arrival in the country. By the time he had been six months among us
everyone spoke well of him; and long before his administration came to
an end he had gained a firm hold on the hearts of the people throughout
the length and breadth of our land.

He arrived at Quebec on the 25th of June, 1872. During the same day he
was sworn in as Governor-General, and two days later reached his seat of
Government at Ottawa. There is no need to describe in minute detail the
various events which characterized his administration. Those events are
still fresh in all our memories, and have been recorded at full length
by two Canadian authors--Mr. Stewart and Mr. Leggo--in works to which
everyone has access. For these reasons it is considered unnecessary to
give more than a brief summary in these pages.

During the summer of 1872 Lord Dufferin made the first of his memorable
Vice-Regal tours, visiting Toronto, Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, and
other places of interest in the Province of Ontario. To say that he made
a marvellously favourable impression wherever he went is simply to say
what everybody knows, and what might equally be said of all his
subsequent progresses through the Dominion. There was a general
election during the summer and autumn of this year, and an opportunity
was thus afforded His Excellency for observing the working of our
political institutions at such a time.

The result of the elections was a majority in favour of Sir John A.
Macdonald's Ministry. Parliament met in the following March, and on the
2nd of April Mr. Huntington made his serious, and now historic, charge
against the Government, in connection with the granting of the Pacific
Railway Charter, and the corrupt sale to Sir Hugh Allan. A motion was
made for a committee of investigation, but was voted down as a motion of
want of confidence in the Government. A few days later, Sir John,
knowing that a policy of reticence could not long be available, himself
moved for a committee. The motion was passed, and the committee was
appointed, but was unable to proceed, owing to its inability to take
evidence on oath. A Bill was introduced into the House to give the
committee the power required, and was passed without opposition, but was
subsequently disallowed by the Imperial Government as being _ultra
vires_. Meanwhile the inquiry was proceeded with; but on the 5th of May,
owing to the absence from the country of three important witnesses--Sir
George E. Cartier, Sir Hugh Allan and the Hon. J. J. C. Abbott--the
committee deemed it advisable to adjourn to the 2nd of July. The
ordinary Parliamentary business had been got through with, and there was
no necessity for the House remaining in session; but, as the committee
had no authority to sit during recess, it was thought desirable that
there should be an adjournment of Parliament instead of a prorogation,
until the committee should be prepared with its report. Accordingly, on
the 23rd of May, Parliament adjourned to the 13th of August, when it was
agreed that it should meet expressly for the purpose of receiving the
committee's report, and not for the despatch of ordinary legislative
business. It would thus be unnecessary for the Governor-General to be
present at the formal reassembling, and soon after the adjournment His
Excellency, with his family, started on a projected tour through the
Maritime Provinces. On the 27th of June, while on his travels, he
received a telegram from Lord Kimberley, Secretary for the Colonies in
the Home Government, announcing the disallowance of the "Oaths Bill," as
it was called, viz., the Act authorizing Parliamentary committees to
examine witnesses under oath. He at once gave notice of the disallowance
to the Premier, Sir John A. Macdonald, who made it known to the
committee. The committee was composed of five members, three of whom
were supporters of the Government, and the remaining two of the
Opposition. The Government supporters were the Hon. J. G. Blanchet, the
Hon. James Macdonald (of Pictou), and the Hon. John Hillyard Cameron.
The Opposition members were the Hon. Edward Blake and the Hon. A. A.
Dorion. On the 1st of July a proclamation was issued giving public
notice of the disallowance of the Oaths Bill. The Premier offered to
issue a Royal Commission to the committee, which would enable it to take
evidence under oath, and to demand the production of persons, papers and
records. The proposal was rejected by Messrs. Blake and Dorion, who
wrote to the Premier pointing out to him that the inquiry was undertaken
by the House; that the appointment of a Royal Commission by a Government
to investigate charges against that Government would be an unheard-of
and most unbecoming proceeding; and that the House did not expect the
Crown or anyone else to obstruct the inquiry.

When the Parliament met, pursuant to adjournment, on the 13th of August,
the committee, having been prevented from taking evidence, was unable
to report. A numerously signed memorial was presented to His Excellency
praying that there might be no prorogation of Parliament until the
charges against the existing Government had been subjected to
investigation. His Excellency, however, replied that he felt bound to
act on the advice of his Ministry. His Ministry advised him to prorogue
Parliament, and prorogued it accordingly was. Every Canadian remembers
the tumultuous scene which ensued--a scene almost without parallel in
modern Parliamentary history; a faint reflex of that memorable episode
which took place in the English House of Commons two hundred and twenty
years before.

The next act in the drama was the appointment by His Excellency of a
Royal Commission on his own authority. It was issued to the Hon. C. D.
Day, the Hon. Antoine Polette, and James Robert Gowan, three judges
learned in the law. The commission met, and on the opening of the
session in the following October its report was laid before Parliament.
The contents are familiar to every reader of these pages, and do not
form an attractive subject for extended comment. There could no longer
be any doubt as to the course to be taken by the Premier. A few days
afterwards Sir John Macdonald's Government resigned, and Mr. Mackenzie
was called upon to form a new one. This he soon succeeded in doing, and
on the 7th of November the new Administration took office. As was
abundantly proved at the ensuing elections, the new government had the
confidence of the country.

During the progress of these events, Lord Dufferin was assailed with a
good deal of rancour by one section of the Canadian press. The question
now to be considered is: How far were these assaults justifiable? In
other words: How far, if at all, was Lord Dufferin to blame?

The principal allegations made against him were, that his sympathies all
through this deplorable episode in our political history were with Sir
John Macdonald and his colleagues; that he assisted the latter to
postpone and evade investigation into their conduct; that his
partisanship was evinced by his prompt transmission of the Oaths Bill
for Imperial consideration, and by his subsequent prorogation of
Parliament in defiance of the wishes of a large body of the members.

It must be borne in mind, in considering these matters, that we at the
present day are in a much better position to form a correct opinion
respecting them than Lord Dufferin could possibly be in the summer of
1873. He came to this country an utter stranger to every man in Canadian
public life. He found at the head of affairs a gentleman who had long
held the reins of power; who had a very wide circle of warm personal
friends; who was regarded with affectionate loyalty by his Party; and
whose Government enjoyed an overwhelming support in Parliament. With
such a support at its back, the Government might reasonably lay claim to
possessing the confidence of the Canadian people, and, possessing such
confidence, it was entitled to the confidence of Her Majesty's
Representative. There was, moreover, a manifest disposition on the part
of some opponents of the Government to make the most of any little
shortcomings of which Ministerialists might be guilty. One of the most
virulent of the Opposition, a man whose own character could not be said
to be wholly above reproach, made certain wild charges against the
Government. These charges were so utterly monstrous and incredible that
any man of probity might reasonably refuse to believe them until they
were proved to be true by the most irrefutable evidence. Such evidence
was not forthcoming. The head of the Government hurled back the charges
in the teeth of the man who had made them; pronounced the latter a
slanderous calumniator; protested that his own hands were clean; and
called upon his Maker to bear witness to the truth of his avowal. His
conduct was not unlike that of an honest man smarting under a strong
sense of injustice. He professed to court inquiry, and while he treated
Mr. Huntington's motion as one of want of confidence in the Government,
and triumphantly voted it down, he himself came forward with his motion
for a committee. Both from his place in the House, and to the
Governor-General in person, he continued to protest before God that
there was no shadow of foundation for the charges made against him. He
spoke of his acquittal as a matter which did not admit of a moment's
question. Under these circumstances, is it any wonder if Lord Dufferin
refused to believe vague and unsubstantiated charges from such a source;
charges which might well have excited incredulity by the very depth of
their blackness? Is it to be wondered at, even if His Lordship
sympathized with those whom he believed to have been so shamefully
maligned, and who seemed so anxious to set themselves right before the
country? Such was the state of affairs when Parliament was adjourned on
the 23rd of May.

With regard to the prompt transmission to England of the Oaths Bill, His
Excellency simply complied with his official instructions, and with the
Union Act, which requires the Governor-General to transmit "by the
earliest convenient opportunity" all Acts of Parliament to which he has
assented on Her Majesty's behalf. His Excellency's despatch to the
Imperial Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 15th August, 1873,
puts this matter very clearly. It shows that he understood and was
prepared to do his duty, no matter what might be said by Opposition
members, and no matter how scurrilous might be the attacks of hostile
newspapers. "Amongst other respects," says the despatch, "in which my
conduct has been criticised, the fact of my having communicated to you
by the first opportunity a certified copy of the Oaths Bill, has been a
very general point of attack. I apprehend it will not be necessary to
justify myself to your Lordship in this particular. My law-adviser had
called my attention to the possibility of the Bill being illegal. Had
perjured testimony been tendered under it, no proceedings could have
been taken against the delinquent, and if, under these circumstances, I
had wilfully withheld from the Home Government all cognizance of the
Act, it would have been a gross dereliction of duty. To those in this
country who have questioned my procedure it would be sufficient to reply
that I recognize no authority on this side of the Atlantic competent to
instruct the Governor-General as to the nature of his correspondence
with Her Majesty's Secretary of State." The assertion so often made, to
the effect that the Law Officers of the Crown in England were improperly
influenced to advise a disallowance of the Bill, is in itself utterly
preposterous, and no attempt, so far as we know, has ever been made to
bring forward any proof of it.

There remains for consideration the prorogation of Parliament on the
13th of August.

Before the adjournment on the 23rd of May, as we have seen, it had been
understood that Parliament should meet only to receive the committee's
report, and not for the despatch of ordinary business. It had not even
been considered necessary that His Excellency should attend. During his
absence in the Maritime Provinces, however, the famous McMullen
correspondence had appeared in print, and this, together with other
circumstances which had come to his knowledge, had made him resolve to
be present at the reassembling of Parliament. The attendance of
Government supporters was not large, very few, if any, being present
from outlying constituencies. The Opposition on the other hand, was
fully represented, and was eager for the battle, which was regarded as
inevitable. It soon appeared that there was nothing to be done. Owing to
the disallowance of the Oaths Bill there was no report from the
committee. In the estimation of His Excellency, to proceed with the
investigation, as the Opposition members were desirous of doing, would
under these circumstances have been to place the Ministry at an unfair
disadvantage. A considerable number of its supporters were absent,
whereas the Opposition was in full force. It has been charged upon the
Ministry that this was part of their tactics, and that the absentees
were acting under the orders of their Chief in remaining at home. This
is another of those loose, sweeping assertions which may be true, but
the truth of which has not been proved. That unhappy Ministry has enough
to answer for at the Bar of History, without being called upon to refute
charges which have never been substantiated by evidence. In any case, no
fair-minded person will wish to hold the Governor-General responsible
for such tactics. His position was one of no ordinary difficulty. Very
damnatory correspondence had been given to the world, but it was not in
such a shape that the House could possibly regard it as free from
suspicion. The most serious charges seemed to point rather to the guilt
of Sir Hugh Allan and McMullen than to that of the Members of the
Government. The charges directly affecting the Government were solemnly
and emphatically repudiated by the Premier, who pledged himself to
explain the matter under oath to the satisfaction of the whole world, as
soon as a properly constituted tribunal should be appointed, with
authority to take evidence under oath. Sir Hugh Allan published a sworn
affidavit, negativing McMullen's charges, and McMullen himself had
subsequently admitted that his charges had been hasty and inaccurate.
The latter, moreover, was evidently a man whose character was not such
as to inspire respect. The Government could still command a majority of
votes in the House. Under such circumstances, can His Excellency be
blamed if he continued to act upon the advice of his constitutional
advisers by proroguing Parliament? He was determined, however, that
there should be no unnecessary delay, and exacted as a condition of
adopting that course that parliament should be convened with all
imaginable expedition. His reply to the memorial presented by the
Opposition is so much to the point that we cannot do better than abridge
a portion of it. "You urge me," says His Excellency, "on grounds which
are very fully and forcibly stated, to decline the advice which has been
unanimously tendered me by my responsible ministers, and to refuse to
prorogue Parliament. In other words, you require me to dismiss them from
my councils; for you must be aware that this would be the necessary
result of my assenting to your recommendation. Upon what grounds would I
be justified in taking so grave a step? What guarantee can you afford me
that the Parliament of the Dominion would endorse such an act of
personal interference on my part? You yourselves do not form an actual
moiety of the House of Commons, and I have no means of ascertaining that
the majority of that body subscribe to the opinion you have enounced. . .
It is true, grave charges have been preferred. . . but the truth of
these remains untested. . . Is the Governor-General, upon such evidence
as this, to drive from his presence gentlemen who for years have filled
the highest offices of State, and in whom, during the recent session,
Parliament has repeatedly declared its continued confidence?. . .
Certain documents of grave significance have lately been published in
the newspapers, but no proof has been adduced which necessarily connects
them with the culpable transactions of which it is asserted they formed
a part. . . Under these circumstances, what right has the
Governor-General, on his personal responsibility, to proclaim. . . that
he believes his ministers guilty of the crimes alleged against them?"

Such were the circumstances under which the prorogation of the 13th of
August, 1873, took place. Looking back on it, in the light of the seven
years which have since elapsed, it will be hard to arrive at any other
conclusion than that Lord Dufferin did not deserve the animadversions
which were heaped upon him. As he himself observed in his despatch to
the Colonial Secretary two days after the prorogation: "It is a
favourite theory at this moment with many persons that when once grave
charges of this nature have been preferred against the Ministry they
become _ipso facto_ unfit to counsel the Crown. The practical
application of this principle would prove very inconvenient, and would
leave not only the Governor-General, but every Lieutenant-Governor in
the Dominion very thinly provided with responsible advisers; for, as far
as I have been able to seize the spirit of political controversy in
Canada, there is scarcely an eminent man in the country on either side
whose character or integrity has not been, at one time or another, the
subject of reckless attack by his opponents in the press." In a word, he
acted on the well-established principle that every man is to be adjudged
innocent until he has been proved guilty; and in so acting he showed
that he understood the responsibilities of his position. That his
Ministers were culpable, as well as unwise, in advising the prorogation,
is certain; and when the next elections came on they paid the penalty of
their disingenuousness.

The events of Lord Dufferin's residence in Canada subsequent to the fall
of the Macdonald Ministry, which has already been reviewed, must be
given in few words. The political events by which his administration was
characterized have been given at sufficient length in sketches to which
they more properly belong. The Mackenzie Administration had not been
long in power before each individual member of it was on friendly terms
with the Governor-General, and there seems to have been a tacit
understanding that all past differences of opinion should be forgotten.
In the summer of 1874 His Excellency and suite made a tour through the
Muskoka District, and thence westward by steamer over lakes Huron,
Superior and Michigan. The tourists called at most of the interesting
points on the route, including Chicago, where they disembarked, and
returned overland by way of Detroit. All the most important towns in
Ontario were then visited, and the party returned home to Ottawa in
September, after an absence of about two months. It was during his
sojourn in Toronto, while on his return from this expedition, that Lord
Dufferin made his famous speech at the Toronto Club, which aroused the
enthusiasm of the press on both sides of the Atlantic. A part of the
summer and autumn of each succeeding year was spent by His Excellency in
making other tours through the various Provinces of the Dominion. The
last important one was made in 1877, and consisted of a pilgrimage
through Manitoba and part of the District of Keewatin. In 1875 he also
visited Ireland, and in 1876 attended the Centennial Exhibition at
Philadelphia. Wherever he went, his visits were marked by a continual
round of ovations. Lady Dufferin generally accompanied him on his
excursions, and contributed not a little by her personal graces and
accomplishments to the popularity of her lord. Perhaps the most
marvellous thing about him is his ability to make an eloquent speech on
any given topic, without ever repeating himself, and without descending
to platitudes or commonplaces. He has always something to say which is
appropriate to the particular occasion, and the special circumstances
in which he happens to be placed. The quick perception and ready wit
begotten of his Irish blood never fail him. Each of his replies to the
thousand-and-one addresses which at one time and another have been
presented to him has a merit of its own, has an application purely
local, and is unlike all the others. His more serious utterances are
marked not less by maturity of statesmanship than by brilliancy of
imagination. It would be faint praise to say of him that as an orator he
stands alone on the long roll of Canadian Governors. There has been no
other who is even worthy of being named as second to him. It has been
truly said of his speeches that they are "warm with the light of hope,
brimful of sympathy for the toiling and the struggling, sparkling with
humour, and moving with pathos."

As the term of his residence among us drew towards its close the
Canadian people began to realize how much they liked him. Addresses
poured in upon him from every corner of the Dominion, many of which, at
least, could only have had their origin in sincere esteem and hearty
good-will. When, on the 19th of October, 1878, he took his final
departure from among us,

    "High hopes pursued him from the shore,
     And prophesyings brave,"

for it was felt that, if his life and health were spared the record of
his future would not belie the record of his past. It was predicted that
the man whose consummate tact, noble courtesy and largeness of heart had
done so much to strengthen the ties between Great Britain and her
Colonies would render further important services to his Sovereign and to
the nation. That prediction has already been fulfilled. The effects of
his mission to Russia have been made apparent in improved relations
between the courts of St. Petersburg and St. James. In truth, no better
antidote to the "spirited Foreign policy" of the late British Government
could have been devised than the enrolment of Lord Dufferin in the
diplomatic service.

Since his departure for Russia it is said that the Vice-royalty of
Ireland and of India have both been tendered to and declined by him.


Dr. Burns was born at Paisley, Scotland, on the 23rd of December, 1826.
After spending a term of four years at the Public Grammar School of that
town, he was entered as a student at the University of Glasgow in the
month of November, 1840, before he had quite completed his fourteenth
year. He remained at that seat of learning four sessions, during which
he achieved high standing in his classes, and carried off several
prizes, including two in Latin. He stood third in Greek, second in
Logic, and first in Moral Philosophy. While attending the University he
had for associates Principal McKnight, of Halifax, the Rev. William
Maclaren, of Blairlogie, and the late Rev. John Maclaren, of Glasgow. In
1844-5 he attended New College, Edinburgh, during the second session of
its existence, and sat at the feet of Drs. Chalmers, Cunningham and
Duncan. He had meanwhile resolved on emigrating to Canada, and on the
29th of March, 1845, he sailed from Greenock for Quebec. He made his way
to Toronto, where he attended two sessions at Knox College, having for
his contemporaries there Dr. Black, of Manitoba, and the late Rev. James
Nisbet, of the Prince Albert Mission. During his collegiate career he
acted as Student Catechist, and preached as a volunteer at Proudfoot's
Mills, and also at Oakville. During the summer of 1846 he laboured to
good purpose at Niagara. In April, 1847, he was licensed to preach by
the Presbytery of Toronto, and on the first of July following he was
ordained as first pastor of Chalmers Church, Kingston. During his
residence at Kingston he officiated for a year as Chaplain to the
Forty-first Regiment of Highland Infantry.

On the 1st of July, 1852, he married Miss Elizabeth Holden, a daughter
of Dr. Rufus Holden, of Belleville, and a sister of the wife of
Professor Gregg, of Toronto. By this lady he now has a family of eight
children, consisting of four sons and four daughters. After a pastorate
of exactly eight years he left Kingston on the 5th of July, 1855, and
settled at St. Catharines as first pastor of the United Church. He
remained there nearly twelve years, during eight of which he also had
charge of a congregation at Port Dalhousie, four miles distant. During
his ministry at St. Catharines the new church now known as Knox Church
was erected, and his congregation subsequently worshipped there. In 1862
he took a conspicuous part in starting Sabbath School Conventions in
this country, which have since been attended by many blessings to the
young. In the month of July, 1866, the degree of Doctor of Divinity was
conferred upon him by Hamilton College, near Utica, in the State of New
York, the leading literary institution of the New School of
Presbyterians in that State. On the 20th of March, 1867, he became first
pastor of the First Scotch Presbyterian Church in Chicago, which then
and for some years thereafter belonged to the Canadian Church. During
his incumbency of this charge he received several calls from various
churches, all of which were declined. His Chicago pastorate lasted three
years, during which the membership of his church trebled in number, and
a fine new church was erected by the congregation on the corner of Adams
and Sagamore Streets. In October, 1867, he accompanied the Rev. D. L.
Moody, the Evangelist, from Chicago to Toronto, on the occasion of the
first sitting of the Young Men's Christian Association Convention in the
latter city. In the beginning of May, 1870, he returned to Canada, and
was inducted into the pastorate of Cote Street Church, Montreal, where
Dr. Fraser and the present Principal McVicar had previously ministered.
Here he remained five years.

On the 18th of March, 1875, he was settled over Fort Massey Church,
Halifax, of which the Rev. J. K. Smith, of Galt, had been for two years
pastor. Here Dr. Burns has ever since remained. The congregation has
since its commencement discarded pew rents, and has been conducted on
the weekly free-will-offering system, the offertory being collected at
the church door. Their annual givings to church purposes are said to
exceed $100 for each family. He was Moderator of the Synod of Montreal
in 1873, and also Chairman of the Montreal College Board; and on his
removal to Halifax he was elected to the same post there, which he still
fills. During the session of 1877 he delivered special courses of
lectures before the Montreal and Halifax students, and in 1878 these
were followed up by a second special course in the Halifax College. In
1877 he was associated with Principal Grant and others in pushing
forward the $100,000 College Endowment Fund.

Dr. Burns is also known as an author. As early as 1854 he contributed to
the _Anglo-American Magazine_, published in Toronto; and several years
later to the _Presbyterian Magazine_. In 1857 he published "The Progress
and Principles of Temperance Reform;" and in 1865, in conjunction with
the Rev. Mr. Norton, of St. Catharines, "Maple Leaves for the Grave of
Abraham Lincoln." In 1872 he wrote and published his most voluminous
work, "The Life and Times of Dr. Robert Burns, of Toronto." This work
passed through three editions, and was a decided success. His other
works are chiefly pamphlets, sermons, and short fugitive pieces.

At the meeting of the General Assembly held at Ottawa in 1879 Dr. Burns
was one of the eight clerical delegates elected to attend the General
Presbyterian Council, to be held in Philadelphia during the present
year. Last summer he attended the Sunday School Celebration held in
London, England, to commemorate the founding of Sunday Schools by Robert
Raikes, in Gloucester, a century ago.

[Illustration: ALBERT NORTON RICHARDS, signed as A. N. RICHARDS]



Mr. Richards is the youngest son of the late Mr. Stephen Richards, of
Brockville, and a brother of the Hon. William Buell Richards, ex-Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of the Dominion, a sketch of whose life
appeared in the first volume of this series. Some account of the family
history is contained in the sketch alluded to. Albert Norton Richards
was born at Brockville, Upper Canada, on the 8th of December, 1822. Like
his elder brothers, William and Stephen, he received his early education
at the famous Johnstown District Grammar School, and embraced the legal
profession as his calling in life. He studied law in the office of his
brother William, with whom he entered into partnership after his call to
the Bar in Michaelmas Term, 1848. Though perhaps somewhat less
conspicuous at the Bar than his partner, he took a high position, and
was distinguished for the acumen and soundness of judgment which seem to
be inherent in every member of his family. After his brother's elevation
to the Bench, he himself continued to practise at Brockville. His
business was large and profitable. He took a keen interest in politics,
and was identified with the Reform Party. He did not seek Parliamentary
distinction, however, until the year 1861, when he was an unsuccessful
candidate for the representation of South Leeds in the Legislative
Assembly of Canada--his successful opponent being Mr. Benjamin Tett. At
the general election of 1863 he again offered himself in opposition to
the same candidate, and on this occasion was returned at the head of the
poll. In the month of December following he accepted office in the
Sandfield Macdonald-Dorion Administration, as Solicitor-General for the
Upper Province. He was at the same time created a Queen's Counsel. Upon
returning to his constituents for reëlection, after accepting office, he
was compelled to encounter the full strength of the Conservative Party.
The Government of the day existed by a mere thread, their majority
averaging one, two and three, and it was felt that if Mr. Richards could
be defeated the Government must resign. The constituency of South Leeds
was invaded by all the principal speakers and agents of the Conservative
Party, headed by the Hon. John A. Macdonald and the late Mr. D'Arcy
McGee, and no stone was left unturned to defeat the new
Solicitor-General. The result was the defeat of the latter by Mr. D.
Ford Jones, the Conservative candidate, by a majority of five votes. Mr.
Richards, after the resignation of the Government, remained out of
public life until 1867, when he unsuccessfully contested his old seat
for the House of Commons with the late Lieutenant-Governor Crawford, the
latter being elected by a majority of thirty-nine. In 1869 Mr. Richards
was offered by the Government of Sir John Macdonald the office of
Attorney-General in the Provincial Government which Mr. Macdougall, as
Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwest Territories, was about to establish
at Fort Garry. Mr. Richards accepted the office, and accompanied Mr.
Macdougall on his well-known journey, until stopped by Louis Riel at
Stinking River. In the following year he visited British Columbia on
public business, and in 1871 he again visited that Province, this time
for the benefit of the health of his children, eight of whom he had lost
by death during his residence at Brockville. At the general election of
1872, Mr. Richards made another and a successful appeal to the electors
of South Leeds, and was returned to the House of Commons. He held his
seat until January, 1874; when, being absent from the country, on a
visit to British Columbia, he was unable to return in time to be
nominated for his old constituency, and South Leeds became lost to the
Reform Party. Mr. Richards continued to reside in British Columbia, and
for several years was the official Legal Agent of the Dominion
Government in that Province. He took an active part in endeavouring to
bring about various much-needed law reforms, as to several of which he
was ultimately successful. On the 29th of July, 1875, he was appointed
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, a position which he has ever since
held. His sterling qualities have obtained recognition, and he has won
great popularity.

He has been twice married. His first wife, whom he married on the 17th
of October, 1849, was Frances, daughter of the late Benjamin Chaffey,
formerly of Staffordshire, England. This lady died in April, 1853. On
the 12th of August, 1854, he married Ellen, daughter of the late John
Cheslett, also of Staffordshire. His second wife still survives.



Bishop Lewis is a son of the John Lewis, M.A., who was formerly Rector
of St. Anne's, Shandon, Cork, Ireland; and grandson of Mr. Richard
Lewis, who was an Inspector-General of Revenue in the south of Ireland.
He is himself an Irishman by birth and education, but has passed the
last thirty years of his life in Canada. He was born in the county of
Cork, on the 20th of June, 1825. He received private lessons from his
father, and afterwards obtained his more advanced education at Trinity
College, Dublin. He enjoyed a somewhat brilliant career at the
University. He obtained honours both in classics and mathematics during
his course as an undergraduate; and upon graduating, in 1846, he was
gold medallist and senior moderator in ethics and logic. His degree of
LL.D. was received, we believe, from his _alma mater_. He was intended
for the Church from boyhood, and was ordained Deacon in 1848, at the
Chapel of Christ's College, Cambridge, by the Lord Bishop of Chester. He
was soon afterwards ordained Priest by the Lord Bishop of Down, and
became Curate of the parish of Newtownbutler, celebrated in Irish annals
for the victory gained by the colonists over King James's troops in
1689. He did not long occupy that position, but resigned it in 1850, and
came over to this country, where, soon after his arrival, he was
appointed by the late Bishop Strachan to the parish of Hawkesbury, in
the county of Prescott. Upon settling down in his parish he married Miss
Anne Harriet Margaret Sherwood, a daughter of the late Hon. Henry
Sherwood, a Canadian legislator who sat in the old Assembly from 1843 to
1854, and who held office as Solicitor-General and Attorney-General for
Canada West, respectively, in the Ministry of Mr. Draper, during the
_régime_ of Sir Charles Metcalfe and Earl Cathcart.

After officiating in Hawkesbury for four years, Mr. Lewis was appointed
Rector of Brockville, where he remained until his election, in 1861, to
the position which he now occupies. The seven years passed in the
rectory at Brockville must have been busy ones, as we find numerous
published sermons and pamphlets from his pen during this time. His
sermons and writings generally are marked by much learning, and by an
evident fondness for dialectics. Some of them have received high praise
from the reviewers. One of them, entitled "A Plain Lecture to Enquirers
into the meaning of the Liturgy," was thus characterized by the
_American Quarterly Church Review_: "As an argument for Liturgical
worship, and an answer to popular objections to the Prayer-book, this is
one of the most valuable works we have ever seen." Other tracts of his
have also been highly praised by persons whose praise is of value. The
best known of his writings are "The Church of the New Testament;" "Does
the Bible need re-translating?" "The Popular Baptist Argument Reviewed;"
and "The Primitive Method of selecting Bishops;" the last-named
production being given to the world in the _Journal of Sacred
Literature_, published in London, England. During his residence at
Brockville he interested himself actively in various local matters,
sectarian and non-sectarian, and contributed to build up several
important public institutions. He lectured before the Brockville Library
Association and Mechanics' Institute, and did much to extend its
membership and beneficial influence.

The territorial division of the Diocese of Toronto was a project which
began to take shape about the time when the subject of this sketch first
arrived in this country. Up to that time the Diocese of Toronto
comprehended the whole extent of Upper Canada, and was altogether too
large to permit of one man's discharging the duties of the Bishopric
with perfect efficiency, even though that man were endowed with the
tremendous energy and vitality of the late Bishop Strachan. The Diocese
of Huron was in due time set apart and the late Rev. Dr. Benjamin Cronyn
was elected to the Bishopric. In 1861 the eastern division was also set
apart as the Diocese of Ontario, and at the meeting of the Synod held at
Kingston in the summer of that year Mr. Lewis was elected to the office
of Bishop. He was then only thirty-six years of age, and was probably
the youngest Prelate in America. He soon afterwards removed to Kingston,
and thence to Ottawa, where he now resides.

It will thus be seen that the Bishop has had a remarkably successful
career since his arrival in Canada. He devotes himself assiduously to
his official labours, and is held in high veneration by many of the
clergymen of his Diocese. He has a numerous family, and a large circle
of attached friends. His pulpit oratory is marked by fluency and
smoothness of rhetoric, as well as by much learning and depth of


In former sketches we have seen how Responsible Government, after being
strenuously contended for during many years in this country, and after
its adoption had been vigorously recommended by Lord Durham, finally
became an accomplished fact. We have seen how Lord Sydenham was sent
over here as Governor-General for the purpose of carrying out the new
order of things, and how, during his administration of affairs, the
Union of the Provinces was finally effected in 1841. The Canadian
Administration was carried on by both Lord Sydenham and his successor,
Sir Charles Bagot, in accordance with the spirit of our new
Constitution. In 1841 the Imperial Ministry, under whose auspices this
Constitution had been framed, was deposed, and a Tory Government
succeeded to power. In this Government the late Lord Derby, then Lord
Stanley, held the portfolio appertaining to the office of Colonial
Secretary. Soon after Sir Charles Bagot's resignation of the post of
Governor-General, in the winter of 1842, Sir Charles Metcalfe was
selected as his successor. The selection was made at the instance of
Lord Stanley, who had all along been inimical to the scheme of
Responsible Government in Canada, and there is reason for believing that
he entertained the design of subverting it. His selection of Sir Charles
Metcalfe, and his subsequent instructions and general policy, certainly
lend colour to such a belief. The new Governor was a man of excellent
intentions, and of more than average ability, but his previous training
and experience had been such as to render him totally unfit for the post
of a Constitutional Governor.

We can only afford space for a brief glance at his previous career, but
even that brief glance will be sufficient to show how little sympathy he
could be expected to have in colonial schemes of Responsible Government.
He was born at Calcutta, on Sunday, the 30th of January, 1785, a few
days before Warren Hastings ceased to be Governor-General of India. His
father, Major Theophilus Metcalfe, of the Bengal army, was a gentleman
of ample fortune, and a Director in the East India Company. Charles was
the second son of his parents, and was destined at an early age for the
Company's service. He was educated first at a private school at Bromley,
in Middlesex, and afterwards at Eton College, where he remained until he
had entered upon his sixteenth year, when he returned to India. He was
appointed to a writership in the service of the Company, wherein for
seven years he filled various offices, and in 1808 was selected by Lord
Minto to take charge of a difficult mission to the Court of Lahore, the
object of which was to secure the Sikh States, between the Sutlej and
Jumna Rivers, from the grasp of Runjeet Singh. In this mission he fully
succeeded, the treaty being concluded in 1809. He subsequently filled
several other high offices of trust, and in 1827 took his seat as a
member of the Supreme Council of India. Both his father and elder
brother had meanwhile died, and he had become Sir Charles Metcalfe.

In 1835, upon Lord W. Bentinck's resignation, Sir Charles Metcalfe was
provisionally appointed Governor-General, which office he held until
Lord Auckland's arrival in the year following. During this short period
he effected many bold and popular reforms, not the least of which was
the liberation of the press of India from all restrictions. Under his
immediate predecessor, Lord William Bentinck, the press had been as free
as it is in England; but there were still certain laws or orders of a
severe character, which at the pleasure of any future Governor might be
called into operation. These Sir Charles Metcalfe repealed. His doing so
gave umbrage to the Directors, and caused his resignation and return to
Europe, when he was appointed Governor of Jamaica. The difficult duties
of this position--the emancipation of the negroes having but recently
occurred--were discharged by him to the satisfaction of the Government
and the colonists. After over two years' residence the climate proved so
unfavourable to his health that he was compelled to resign. The painful
disease of which he afterwards died--cancer of the cheek--had seized him
in a firm grip. Years before this time, when residing at Calcutta, a
friend had one day noticed a red spot upon his cheek, and underneath it
a single drop of blood. The blood was wiped away; the red spot remained.
For a long while it occasioned neither pain nor anxiety. A little time
after his departure from India, disquieting symptoms appeared, and on
his arrival in England he had consulted Sir Benjamin Brodie; but it was
not till his return from Jamaica that it received the attention it
really demanded. Then consultations of the most eminent surgeons and
physicians were held, and the application of a severe caustic was
determined on. When told that it would probably "destroy the cheek
through and through," he only answered, "What you determine shall be
done at once;" and the same afternoon the painful remedy was applied.
The physicians and surgeons of London did what they could for him, and
he retired into the country. The disorder had not been eradicated, but
merely checked. About this time the ill-health of Sir Charles Bagot had
rendered that gentleman's resignation necessary, and the post of
Governor-General of Canada thus became vacant. It was offered to, and
accepted by, Sir Charles Metcalfe. No appointment could have been found
for him at that moment in the whole political world the duties of which
were more difficult, when the nature of his instructions and the
peculiar position of the colony are taken into consideration. Add to
this that his whole life had hitherto been passed in administering
governments which were largely despotic in their character. Responsible
Government, as we have seen, had been conceded to Canada. Sir Charles
professed to approve of this concession, but his conduct throughout the
whole course of his administration was at variance with his professions,
and showed that his sympathies were not on the side of popular rights.
He came over in the month of March, 1843, and on the following day took
charge of the Administration. For the composition of the Government and
an account of the situation of affairs in Canada at this time the reader
is referred to the life of Robert Baldwin which has already appeared in
these pages. The circumstances under which the Governor contrived to
embroil himself with the leading members of the Administration are there
given in sufficient detail, and there is no necessity for repeating them
at length in this place. Sir Charles chose his associates and advisers
from among the members of the defunct Family Compact. He endeavoured to
circumscribe the power of the Executive Council, which demanded that no
office should be filled, no appointment made, without its sanction. We
are, argued the members of Council, in the same relation to the House of
Assembly as Ministers in England to the English Parliament. We are
responsible to it for the acts of Government; these acts must be ours,
or the result of our advice, otherwise we cannot be responsible for
them. Unless our demand is complied with, there is no such thing as
Responsible Government. On the other hand, Sir Charles contended that by
relinquishing his patronage he should be surrendering the prerogatives
of the Crown, and should also incapacitate himself and all future
Governors from acting as moderator between opposite factions. It was not
long before an appointment, made by Sir Charles, brought the contest to
an issue. Messrs. Baldwin and Lafontaine, the two leading members of the
Executive Council, urged upon the Governor to retract this appointment,
or to promise that no other should be made without their advice. The
Governor was firm in his refusal. The Executive Council resigned. To
form a new Ministry was, under these circumstances, a most difficult
task. Office went begging; a Solicitor-Generalship was offered to six
individuals, and perseveringly refused by all. But Sir Charles was also
persevering in his offers, and at last a seventh was found, who
accepted. At last a weak Ministry was formed, and then followed a
general election. Parliament met at Montreal on the 8th of November,
1844, when, after a hard fight, Sir Allan Macnab was elected Speaker of
the Assembly by a small majority of three. The debate on the address,
after strong opposition, was carried by a Tory majority of six. The
session dragged on without any change in the character of the Ministry,
which was supported by a small and feeble majority in the Assembly. The
popular feeling against the Governor rose to the highest pitch. Meantime
Sir Charles's terrible malady was rapidly doing its work upon him. He
had lost the use of one eye, the eye which was still useful sympathized
with that which was destroyed; nor was there any hope of the eradication
of the cancer. He had now, to his great regret, to use the hand of
another to write his letters and despatches. He was racked by pains
above the eye and down the right side of the face as far as the chin.
The cheek towards the nose and mouth was permanently swelled. He could
not open his mouth to its usual width, and it was with difficulty he
inserted and masticated food. He no longer looked forward to a cure. His
Canadian medical attendants hesitated to apply the powerful caustic
recommended by Sir Benjamin Brodie, and counselled him to return to
England. "I am tied to Canada by my duty," was his constant reply. Mr.
George Pollock, house surgeon of St. George's Hospital, was despatched
from England, to examine the case and apply the most approved remedies.
No aid which science could give was wanting, but the disease was beyond
medical control. Its ravages were now most painful and distressing. So
far as the body was concerned, it was but the wreck of a man that
remained. On this wreck or ruin, however, was to descend, as if in
mockery, the coronet of nobility. He was created Baron Metcalfe. Idle as
the honour was in itself to the childless invalid, it was still a
testimony that his services had been appreciated. "But," says his
biographer, "he was dying, no less surely for the strong will that
sustained him, and the vigorous intellect which glowed in his shattered
frame. A little while and he might die at his post. The winter was
setting in--the navigation was closing. It was necessary at once to
decide whether Metcalfe should now prepare to betake the suffering
remnant of himself to England, or to abide at Montreal, if spared, till
the coming spring. But he would not trust himself to form the decision.
He invited the leading members of his Council to attend him at
Monklands; and there he told them that he left the issue in their hands.
It was a scene never to be forgotten by any who were present in the
Governor-General's darkened room on this memorable occasion. Some were
dissolved in tears. All were agitated by a strong emotion of sorrow and
sympathy, mingled with a sort of wondering admiration of the heroic
constancy of their chief. He told them that if they desired his
continuance at the head of the Government--if they believed that the
cause for which they had fought together so manfully would suffer by his
departure, and that they therefore counselled him to remain at his post,
he would willingly abide by their decision." What their decision was
need hardly be said. Lord Metcalfe embarked for England quietly and
unostentatiously, as his suffering state compelled. He could not, from
the nature of the struggle in which he had been engaged, expect to quit
the shores of Canada with the same unanimous approbation that had
erected to his memory the "Metcalfe Hall" at Calcutta, or raised his
statue in Spanish Town, Jamaica. He returned to England--returned to
doctors and the darkened room. He was in constant pain except when under
the influence of narcotics; but he made no complaint, and endured his
sufferings with fortitude. He died on the 5th of September, 1846, and
was interred in a quiet, private and unostentatious manner in the little
parish church of Winkfield, near Fern Hill. He had often expressed a
wish that this should be his last resting place. On a marble tablet in
this church is an epitaph written by Mr.--afterwards Lord--Macaulay, who
knew and had served with him in India. Thus it runs:--"Near this stone
is laid CHARLES THEOPHILUS, first and last LORD METCALFE, a Statesman
tried in many high posts and difficult conjunctures, and found equal to
all. The Three Greatest Dependencies of the British Crown were
successively intrusted to his care. In India his fortitude, his wisdom,
his probity, and his moderation are held in honourable remembrance by
men of many races, languages, and religions. In Jamaica, still convulsed
by a social revolution, he calmed the evil passions which long suffering
had engendered in one class and long domination in another. In Canada,
not yet recovered from the calamities of civil war, he reconciled
contending factions to each other and to the Mother Country. Public
esteem was the just reward of his public virtue, but those only who
enjoyed the privilege of his friendship could appreciate the whole worth
of his gentle and noble nature. Costly monuments in Asiatic and American
cities attest the gratitude of nations which he ruled; this tablet
records the sorrow and the pride with which his memory is cherished by
private Affection."

Had it been his good fortune to die before receiving the appointment of
Governor-General of Canada, Sir Charles Metcalfe would have left behind
him a high reputation on all hands, and there would have been nothing to
detract from the praise which would have been justly his due. His tenure
of office in this country was a somewhat inglorious close to a long and
useful public career. As Governor of a colony to which Responsible
Government had been conceded he was altogether out of his element. He
was simply unfit for the position, as well by reason of his personal
character as by the training to which he had been subjected. Good
intentions were undoubtedly his, and he acted up to the light that was
in him; but to this modicum of praise no Canadian writer can justly add
much in the way of commendation.


Mr. Morris is the eldest son of the late Hon. William Morris, whose name
is prominently identified with the history of the Clergy Reserve and
School Land questions in this country; and a nephew of the late Hon.
James Morris, who held the portfolio of Postmaster-General in the
Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration, and who was subsequently
Receiver-General in the Administration organized under the leadership of
Messrs. John Sandfield Macdonald and Louis Victor Sicotte. The chief
points of public interest connected with the family history are outlined
in the sketch of his father's life, which appears elsewhere in these
pages. The subject of the present memoir was born at Perth, Upper
Canada--where his father then resided and carried on business--on the
17th of March, 1826. In boyhood he attended the local Grammar School,
which enjoyed a high reputation for the efficiency of its educational
training. His father, who was desirous that his son should enjoy higher
scholastic advantages than were then obtainable in this country, sent
him, while he was still in early youth, to Scotland, where he entered as
a student at Madras College, St. Andrews. After spending about a year at
that establishment he was transferred to the University of Glasgow,
where another industrious year was passed. Returning to his native land,
he began to devote himself to the business of life. He at this time was
intended for commercial pursuits, and spent three years in the
establishment of Messrs. Thorne & Heward, commission merchants, at
Montreal. The knowledge and experience gained during these three years
have since proved of great service to him, although he was not destined
to engage in commercial business on his own behalf. He had meanwhile
resolved to enter the legal profession in Upper Canada, and was
accordingly articled as a clerk to Mr.--now the Hon. Sir--John A.
Macdonald, in the office of Messrs. Macdonald & Campbell, Barristers, of
Kingston. Here he studied with such assiduity that his health gave way,
and he was compelled to relinquish his studies for some months. His
father having previously removed to Montreal, he returned to that city
and resumed his scholastic studies in the University of McGill College,
where he took the degrees successively of B.A., M.A., B.C.L., and D.C.L.
He was the first graduate in the Arts course of that institution, and
was subsequently elected by the graduates one of the first Fellows in
Arts, and thence was promoted to be one of the Governors of the
University, which position he held for several years. He entered the
office of the then Attorney-General Badgley, who subsequently became a
Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench in Quebec. He completed his course
of studies in the office of Messrs. Badgley & Abbott, and then proceeded
to Toronto, where he presented his credentials to the Benchers of the
Law Society and requested to be called to the Bar, under the provisions
of the law which enabled any person who had been duly registered as a
clerk or student during the necessary period for the Bar of Lower
Canada, to be called to the Bar of Upper Canada, after passing the
necessary examination. He was examined in due course by the Benchers of
Upper Canada, admitted to the degree of Barrister-at-Law, and was
thereafter sworn in as an Attorney--both in Hilary Term of the year
1851. He was then about to establish himself in the practice of the law
in the city of Toronto, having been offered a partnership by the then
Attorney-General, the late Hon. John Ross, when family circumstances led
to his return to Montreal, where, having presented his diploma as a
Barrister-at-Law of Upper Canada, he was after examination called to the
Bar of Lower Canada as an Advocate. In November of the same year he
married Miss Margaret Cline, daughter of the late Mr. William Cline, of
Cornwall, and niece of the late Hon. Philip Vankoughnet, of the same
place. He entered upon the practice of his profession in Montreal. His
ability and social connections soon secured for him a large and
lucrative practice, and having entered into partnership with the present
Mr. Justice Torrance, he became known as one of the most successful
practitioners in the Province, devoting himself mainly to commercial
law. Like his father before him, he attached himself to the Conservative
side in politics, and first entered active political life in 1861, when
he contested the constituency of South Lanark, in Upper Canada, for the
Legislative Assembly, in opposition to Mr. John Doran. His father had
represented that constituency for twenty years, and he had no difficulty
in securing his election. Upon the opening of the session he took his
seat in the House, and made his first speech, on the debate on the
Speech from the Throne, which was on the question of Representation by
Population--a measure which he did not believe to be the true remedy for
the unsatisfactory state of things which existed throughout the country.
The true remedy, as he believed, and as he repeatedly urged, both from
his place in Parliament and elsewhere, was the Confederation scheme
which was subsequently adopted. In the negotiations which led to the
formation of the Coalition Government, of which Sir John A. Macdonald
and the late Hon. George Brown were members, and which secured the
necessary Imperial legislation in order to bring about Confederation, he
took an active and initiatory part, as appears by the record of the
steps taken to form the Government, and secure that policy submitted to
the Parliament of Canada at the time. He continued to represent South
Lanark in the Assembly until Confederation, after which he represented
it in the House of Commons until the general election of 1872. He was an
active member, and stood high in the esteem of his Party. In the month
of November, 1869, he accepted office in the then-existing Government as
Minister of Inland Revenue, which he retained until, having resigned his
position in the Government owing to broken health, he received the
appointment of Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba,
in July, 1872. Of this office he was the first incumbent, no Court of
Queen's Bench having previously existed there. The highest judicial
tribunal which had existed in the Prairie Province up to that time was
the Quarterly Court, as it was called, organized under the authority of
the Hudson's Bay Company's Charter, and conducted in a rather primitive
way. A short time prior to the date last mentioned this tribunal was
abolished, and the Court of Queen's Bench established in its place.
After accepting the office of Chief Justice, Mr. Morris prepared a
series of rules introducing the English practice into the Court. He did
not long retain his seat on the Judicial Bench, as, two months after his
appointment as Chief Justice, he was nominated as Administrator, in
place of Lieutenant-Governor Archibald, who was absent on leave. On the
2nd of December, 1872, he received the appointment of
Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and the North-West Territories, a
position which he retained for five years. On the creation of the
District of Keewatin he became Lieutenant-Governor of that territory _ex
officio_. He was also appointed Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs
in the Manitoba Superintendency, and one of the Special Commissioners
for the making of treaties three, four, five and six, and the revision
of treaties one and two; and, as will be seen from the last report of
the Minister of the Interior, he suggested the making of the last and
seventh treaty--that with the Blackfeet. In the making of these treaties
he was the active Commissioner and chief spokesman, and was very
successful in winning the confidence of the Indian tribes. The treaties
in question extinguished the natural title of the Indian tribes to the
vast region extending from the Height of Land beyond Lake Superior to
the Blackfeet country in the vicinity of the Rocky Mountains, covering
the route of the Canada Pacific Railway, and opening up a vast extent of
fertile territory to settlement. When Mr. Morris assumed the government
of Manitoba the Province was in a very disturbed condition. He had the
satisfaction of leaving it reduced to order, and far advanced in
settlement and legislative progress. On his departure from Manitoba, the
_Free Press_, the organ of the Liberal Party, thus referred to his
career in the North-West: "To-morrow is the last day of Hon. Alexander
Morris's connection with Manitoba as Lieutenant-Governor. When, five
years ago, the announcement was made that Chief Justice Morris had been
appointed to the position which he is now just about vacating, very
general satisfaction was manifested by the people of the Province. Mr.
Morris succeeded to the office when it was surrounded by difficulties
great and complicated; and the task before its incumbent was by no means
an easy one. The Province occupied a most peculiar position; having just
had constitutional self-government thrust upon it, without any
preparatory training. The Lieutenant-Governor necessarily found himself
at the head of a people who, no matter how good their intentions, could
not reasonably be expected to have a very perfect appreciation of the
true position of a Lieutenant-Governor under such a government.
Lieutenant-Governor Morris during the early part of his official career
had plenty of evidence of this, and it devolved upon him, in no small
degree, to impress upon them exactly what such government entailed--that
the Lieutenant-Governor was supposed to act almost solely upon the
advice of the Crown Ministers of the day, who in turn were responsible
to the people's chosen representatives in Parliament. And in no one way
has Governor Morris more distinguished himself than in the observance of
this fundamental principle of our constitution, however much he may
actually have assisted in the government of the country by his ripe
experience and statesmanship. The smallest Province though Manitoba is,
the office of its Lieutenant-Governor has entailed more extensive
responsibilities than that of any other Province in the Dominion."

Upon the completion of his term of office Mr. Morris returned from
Manitoba to his native town of Perth, in Ontario, where he had a
residence. At the last general election for the House of Commons, in
1878, he contested the constituency of Selkirk, Manitoba, with the Hon.
Donald A. Smith, but was defeated by nine votes. Mr. Smith was, however,
unseated on petition. About two months later the Hon. Matthew Crooks
Cameron, who sat in the Local Legislature of Ontario for East Toronto,
was appointed to a Puisné Judgeship of the Court of Queen's Bench. This
left a vacancy in the representation of East Toronto, and Mr. Morris,
who was then a resident of Perth, was nominated for the vacancy by a
Conservative Convention. He offered himself as a candidate for the
constituency, and was elected by a considerable majority over his
opponent, Mr. John Leys. At the general local elections held on the 5th
of June following Mr. Morris was again returned for East Toronto--of
which he had in the interval become a resident--by a majority of 57 over
the Hon. Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario. He continues to represent
that constituency, and occupies a prominent place as a member of the

Mr. Morris has also made a creditable name for himself in literature. In
1854 he published a quasi-professional work embodying the Railway
Consolidation Acts of Canada, with notes of cases. In 1855 appeared
"Canada and Her Resources," an essay to which was awarded the second
prize offered by the Paris Exhibition Committee of Canada--the first
prize having been awarded to the well-known essay by the late Mr. John
Sheridan Hogan by Sir Edmund Head, then Governor-General. Three years
later--in 1858--he delivered a lecture before the Mercantile Library
Association of Montreal, in which was predicted the federation of the
British American Provinces and the construction of the Intercolonial and
Pacific Railways--subjects to which Mr. Morris had given a good deal of
attention ever since, when a youth, he had read and studied Lord
Durham's famous "Report" on Canada. This lecture was published, in
pamphlet form, under the title of "Nova Britannia; or, British North
America, its extent and future," by the Library Association. It was
widely circulated, and attracted a good deal of attention, not only in
this country but in Great Britain and the United States. No fewer than
three thousand copies of it were sold in ten days. A contemporary notice
of this pamphlet thus refers to the author and his theory: "Mr. Morris
is at once statistical, patriotic and prophetic. The lecturer sees in
the future a fusion of races, a union of all the existing provinces,
with new provinces to grow up in the west, and a railway to the Pacific.
The design of the lecture is excellent, and its facts seem to have been
carefully collected." In 1859 Mr. Morris delivered and published another
lecture of a somewhat similar nature, under the title of "The Hudson's
Bay and Pacific Territories," advocating the withdrawal of the
North-West Territories from the rule of the Hudson's Bay Company, and
their incorporation with the Confederacy of Canada along with British
Columbia. His latest work, published during the month of May last, is
entitled, "The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the
North-West Territories." It gives an account of all the treaties made
with these Indians, from the original one made by Lord Selkirk down to
the present time; contains suggestions for dealing with them, and
predicts a hopeful future for them.

Mr. Morris has for many years taken an active part in the Church Courts
of, first, the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with the
Church of Scotland, and since the union of the four Presbyterian
Churches of the Dominion as the Presbyterian Church in Canada, as a
representative to the Assembly of that Church. He has been for twenty
years a Trustee of Queen's College, Kingston, of which his father was
one of the active founders. Mr. Morris actively assisted in bringing
about the union of the Churches above alluded to, affirming it to be in
the highest interests of Presbyterianism and religion in the Dominion
that such a consummation should be brought about.

[Illustration: THOMAS TALBOT, signed as Thomas Talbot]


Not often does it fall to the lot of the biographer to chronicle a more
singular piece of history than is afforded by the life of the founder of
the Talbot Settlement in Western Canada. A contemporary writer has
proved to us that Ireland has, at one time and another, contributed her
full share of notable personages to our population; and Colonel Talbot
is certainly entitled to rank among the most remarkable of them all. A
man of high birth and social position, of good abilities, with a decided
natural turn for an active military career, and with excellent prospects
of success before him, he voluntarily forsook the influences under which
he had been reared, and spent by far the greater part of a long life in
the solitude of the Canadian wilderness. He was the early associate and
life-long friend of the illustrious Duke of Wellington. At the outset of
their careers, any impartial friend of the two youths might not
unreasonably have predicted a higher and wider fame for the scion of the
House of Talbot than for Arthur Wellesley; for the former was the
brighter, and apparently the more ambitious of the two, and his
connections were at least equally influential. Had any one indulged in
such a vaticination, however, his prediction would have been most
ignominiously falsified by subsequent events. Arthur Wellesley lived to
achieve a reputation second to that of scarcely any name in history. He
became the most famous and successful military commander of modern
times. Nations vied with each other in heaping well-deserved honours
upon his head, and his Sovereign characterized him as "the greatest
general England ever saw." Statesmen and princes hung upon his words,
and even upon his nod; and lovely women languished for his smiles. When
he died, full of years and honours, and everything of good which a
grateful nation has to bestow, his body lay in state at Chelsea
Hospital. It was visited by the high and mighty ones of the Empire, and
was contemplated with an almost superstitious awe. It was finally borne
with regal pomp, through streets draped in mourning, and thronged by a
countless multitude, to its final resting-place in the crypt of the
noblest of English cathedrals. The funeral rites were solemnized amid
the tears of a nation, and formed an event in that nation's history. The
obsequies of "the Iron Duke" took place on the 18th of November, 1852.
In less than three months from that date his friend Colonel Talbot also
went the way of all flesh. But by how different a road! His life, though
it had by no means been spent in vain, had had little to commend it to
the emulation or envy of mankind. Its most vigorous season had been
passed amid the solitude of the Canadian forest, and in its decline it
had become the prey of selfishness and neglect. Colonel Talbot died in a
small room in the house of a man who had once been his servant. He must
have tasted the bitterness of death many times before he finally entered
into his rest. Neither wife, child, nor relative ministered to his
wants. But scant ceremony was vouchsafed to his remains. His body,
instead of lying in state, was deposited in a barn, and was finally
attended to its last obscure resting-place in a little Canadian village
by a handful of friends and acquaintances. The weather was piercingly
cold, and we may be sure that the obsequies were not unnecessarily
prolonged. Surely the force of antithesis could not much farther go!

And yet, as we review the widely diverse careers of these two remarkable
men, it is difficult to arrive at any other conclusion than that the
result in each case was the legitimate outgrowth of their respective
qualities. Arthur Wellesley, in his earliest boyhood, formed a definite
purpose in life; and that purpose, during all the years of his
probation, was kept constantly in view. Every other passion was kept in
due subordination to it. Fortune was kind to him, and he well knew how
to avail himself of her favours. The acquisition of fame, moreover,
bears some analogy to the acquisition of wealth. The first step is by
far the most difficult. Dr. Johnson once said that any man of strong
will has it in his power to make a fortune, if he can only contrive to
tide over the time while he is scraping together the first hundred
pounds. Arthur Wellesley, having got his foot firmly on the first rung
of the ladder, found the rest of the ascent feasible enough. Now, Thomas
Talbot was endowed by nature with a will so strong as almost to deserve
the name of stubbornness, but that was almost the only quality which he
shared in common with his friend. If he ever formed any definite scheme
of life he was certainly very inconsistent in pursuing it. His moods
were as erratic as were those of the hero of Locksley Hall. He was
unable to bring his mind into harmony with the inevitable, and knew not
how to subordinate himself to the existing order of things. Even as an
army-officer he was not always amenable to discipline. The follies and
frivolities of society disgusted him, and his mind early received a warp
from which it never recovered. He lived in a time when there was plenty
of work ready to his hand, if he would but have condescended to take his
share of it. The work, however, was not to his taste, and his ambition
seems to have deserted him at a most inopportune time. He "burst all
links of habit," withdrew himself from his proper place in the world,
and passed the rest of his days in solitude and obscurity. As the
founder of an important settlement in a new Province, he certainly
accomplished some good in his day and generation. The enterprise,
however, does not seem to have been undertaken with any definite design
of accomplishing good, but merely with a view to securing a more
congenial mode of life for himself. That a man reared as he had been
should find anything congenial in such a life is a problem which is
insoluble to ordinary humanity.

The family from which he sprang has long been celebrated both in English
and continental history. Readers of Shakespeare's historical plays are,
it is to be hoped, sufficiently familiar with that "scourge of France"
who was defied by Joan of Arc, and who, with his son, John Talbot, fell
bravely fighting his country's battles on the field of Castillon, near
Bordeaux. It would be difficult for a man to sustain the burden of a
long line of such ancestors as these. It is therefore reassuring to
learn that the Talbot line has been diversified by representatives of
another sort. Readers of Macaulay's History are familiar with the name
of Richard Talbot, that noted sharper, bully, pimp and pander, who
haunted Whitehall during the years immediately succeeding the
Restoration; whose genius for mendacity procured for him the nickname
of "Lying Dick Talbot;" who became the husband of Frances Jennings; who
slandered Anne Hyde for the money of the Duke of York; who, in a word,
was one of the greatest scoundrels that figured in those iniquitous
times; and who was subsequently raised by James II. to the Earldom of
Tyrconnel. "Lying Dick" was a member of the Irish branch of the Talbot
family, which settled in Ireland during the reign of Henry II., and
became possessed of the ancient baronial castle of Malahide, in the
county of Dublin. The Talbots of Malahide trace their descent from the
same stock as the Talbots who have been Earls of Shrewsbury, in the
peerage of Great Britain, since the middle of the fifteenth century. The
father of the subject of this sketch was Richard Talbot, of Malahide.
His mother was Margaret, Baroness Talbot; and he himself was born at
Malahide on the 17th of July, 1771.

All that can be ascertained about his childhood is that he spent some
years at the Public Free School at Manchester, and that he received a
commission in the army in the year 1782, when he was only eleven years
of age. Whether or not he left school immediately after obtaining this
commission does not appear, but his education must have been very
imperfect, as he was not of a studious disposition, and in 1786, when he
was only sixteen, we find him installed as an aide-de-camp to his
relative the Marquis of Buckingham, who was then Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland. His brother aide was the Arthur Wellesley already referred to.
The two boys were necessarily thrown much together, and each of them
formed a warm attachment for the other. Their future paths in life lay
far apart, but they never ceased to correspond, and to recall the happy
time they had spent together,

    "Yearning for the large excitement that
     the coming years would yield."

Young Talbot continued in the position of aide-de-camp for several
years. In 1790 he joined the 24th Regiment, which was then stationed at
Quebec, in the capacity of Lieutenant. We have no record of his life
during the next few months. Upon the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor
Simcoe at Quebec, at the end of May, 1792, Lieutenant Talbot, who had
nearly completed his twenty-first year, became attached to the
Governor's suite in the capacity of private secretary. He continued to
form part of the establishment of Upper Canada's first
Lieutenant-Governor until just before the latter's removal from this
country. "During that period," says General Simcoe, writing in 1803, "he
not only conducted many details and important duties incidental to the
original establishment of a colony, in matters of internal regulation,
to my entire satisfaction, but was employed in the most confidential
measures necessary to preserve the country in peace, without violating,
on the one hand, the relations of amity with the United States; and on
the other, alienating the affection of the Indian nations, at that
period in open war with them. In this very critical situation, I
principally made use of Mr. Talbot for the most confidential intercourse
with the several Indian Tribes; and occasionally with his Majesty's
Minister at Philadelphia; and these duties, without any salary or
emolument, he executed to my perfect satisfaction."

It seems to have been during his tenure of office as secretary to
Governor Simcoe that the idea of embracing a pioneer's life in Canada
first took possession of young Talbot's mind. It has been alleged that
his imagination was fired by reading a translation of part of
Charlevoix's "Historie Générale de la Nouvelle France," a work which
describes the writer's own experiences in the wilds of Canada in a
pleasant and easy fashion. This idea is probably attributable to an
assertion made by Colonel Talbot himself to Mrs. Jameson, when that
lady visited him during her brief sojourn in Upper Canada. "Charlevoix,"
said he, "was, I believe, the true cause of my coming to this place. You
know he calls this the Paradise of the Hurons. Now I was resolved to get
to Paradise by hook or by crook, and so I came here." It is much more
probable, however, that he was influenced by his own experiences in the
Canadian forest, which for him would possess all the charm of novelty,
in addition to its natural beauties. He accompanied the
Lieutenant-Governor hither and thither, and traversed in his company the
greater part of what then constituted Upper Canada. He formed a somewhat
intimate acquaintance with the Honourable William Osgoode, the first
Chief Justice of this Province, who was for some time an inmate of
Governor Simcoe's abode at Niagara--or Newark, as it was then generally
called. The Chief Justice felt the isolation of his position very
keenly, and was doubtless glad to relax his mind by communion with the
young Irish lieutenant, who possessed no inconsiderable share of the
humour characteristic of his nationality, and could make himself a boon
companion. At this time there would seem to have been nothing of the
misanthrope about Lieutenant Talbot. He seemed to take fully as much
enjoyment out of life as his circumstances admitted of. His constitution
was robust, and his disposition cheerful. He was prim, and indeed
fastidious about his personal appearance, and was keenly alive to
everything that was going on about him. He was popular among all the
members of the household, and was the especial friend of Major
Littlehales, the adjutant and general secretary, whose name is familiar
to most persons who take an interest in the history of the early
settlement of this Province.

On the 4th of February, 1793, an expedition which was destined to have
an important bearing upon the future life of Lieutenant Talbot, as well
as upon the future history of the Province, set out from Navy Hall[1] to
explore the pathless wilds of Upper Canada. It consisted of
Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe himself and several of his officers, among
whom were Major Littlehales and the subject of the present sketch. The
Major kept a diary during the journey, which was given to the world more
than forty years afterwards in the _Canadian Literary Magazine_, a
periodical of which several numbers were published in Toronto in 1834.
The expedition occupied five weeks, and extended as far as Detroit. The
route lay through Mohawk village, on the Grand River, where the party
were entertained by Joseph Brant; thence westward to where Woodstock now
stands; and so on by a somewhat devious course to Detroit, the greater
part of the journey being necessarily made on foot. On the return
journey the party camped on the present site of London, which Governor
Simcoe then pronounced to be an admirable position for the future
capital of the Province. One important result of this long and toilsome
journey was the construction of Dundas Street, or, as it is frequently
called, "the Governor's Road." The whole party were delighted with the
wild and primitive aspect of the country through which they passed, but
not one of them manifested such enthusiasm as young Lieutenant Talbot,
who expressed a strong desire to explore the land farther to the south,
bordering on Lake Erie. His desire was gratified in the course of the
following autumn, when Governor Simcoe indulged himself and several
members of his suite with another western excursion. During this journey
the party encamped on the present site of Port Talbot, which the young
Lieutenant declared to be the loveliest situation for a dwelling he had
ever seen. "Here," said he, "will I roost, and will soon make the forest
tremble under the wings of the flock I will invite by my warblings
around me." Whether he was serious in this declaration at the time may
be doubted; but, as will presently be seen, he ultimately kept his word.

In 1793 young Talbot received his majority. In 1796 he became
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fifth Regiment of Foot. He returned to Europe,
and joined his regiment, which was despatched on active service to the
Continent. He himself was busily employed during this period, and was
for some time in command of two battalions. Upon the conclusion of the
Peace of Amiens, on the 27th of March, 1802, he sold his commission,
retired from the service, and prepared to carry out the intention
expressed by him to Governor Simcoe nine years before, of pitching his
tent in the wilds of Canada. Why he adopted this course it is impossible
to do more than conjecture. He never married, but remained a bachelor to
the end of his days. One writer ventures the hypothesis that he had been
crossed in love. The only justification, so far as we are aware, for
this hypothesis, is a half jocular expression of the Colonel's some
years afterwards. A friend having bantered him on the subject of his
remaining so long in a state of single blessedness, took an opportunity
of questioning him about it, and in the course of a familiar chat, asked
him why he remained so long single, when he stood so much in need of a
help-mate. "Why," said the Colonel, "to tell you the truth, I never saw
but one woman that I really cared anything about, and she would'nt have
me; and to use an old joke, those who would have me, the devil would'nt
have them. Miss Johnston," continued the Colonel, "the daughter of Sir
J. Johnston, was the only girl I ever loved, and she wouldn't have me."

Whatever cause may have impelled him, it is sufficiently evident that he
had become out of sorts with society, and had resolved to betake himself
to a distance from the haunts of civilized mankind. Aided by the
influence of ex-Governor Simcoe and other powerful friends, he obtained
a grant of five thousand acres of land as a Field Officer meaning to
reside in the Province, and to permanently establish himself there. The
land was situated in the southern part of the Upper Canadian peninsula,
bordering on Lake Erie, and included the site of what afterwards became
Port Talbot. This, however, was only a portion of the advantage
derivable from the grant. In addition to the tract so conferred upon him
he obtained a preëmptive or proprietary right over an immense territory
including about half a million acres, and comprising twenty-eight of the
adjacent townships.[2] For every settler placed by the Colonel on fifty
acres of this land, he was entitled to a patent of a hundred and fifty
additional acres for himself. He thus obtained practical control of an
expanse of territory which, as has been said, was "a principality in
extent." Armed with these formidable powers he once more crossed the
Atlantic, and made his way to the present site of Port Talbot, which had
so hugely attracted his fancy during his tour with Governor Simcoe. He
reached the spot on the 21st of May, 1803, and immediately set to work
with his axe, and cut down the first tree, to commemorate his landing to
take possession of his woodland estate. The settlement which
subsequently bore his name was then an unbroken forest, and there were
no traces of civilization nearer than Long Point, sixty miles to the
eastward, while to the westward the aborigines were still the lords of
the soil, and rules with the tomahawk. In this sequestered region
Colonel Talbot took up his abode, and literally made for himself "a
local habitation and a name."

At the time of his arrival he was accompanied by two or three stalwart
settlers who had crossed the Atlantic under his auspices, and with their
assistance he was not long in erecting an abode which was thenceforward
known as Castle Malahide. It was built on a high cliff overhanging the
lake. The "Castle" was "neither more nor less than a long range of low
buildings, formed of logs and shingles." The main structure consisted of
three divisions, or apartments; viz., a granary, which was also used as
a store-room; a dining-room, which was also used as an office and
reception-room for visitors; and a kitchen. There was another building
close by, containing a range of bed-rooms, where guests could be made
comfortable for the night. In his later years, the Colonel added a suite
of rooms of more lofty pretensions, but without disturbing the old
tenements, and these sumptuous apartments were reserved for state
occasions. There were underground cellars for wine, milk, and kitchen
stores. This description applies to the establishment as it appeared
when finally completed. For some time after the Colonel's first arrival
it was much less pretentious, and consisted of a single log shanty. In
order to prevent settlers and other people from intruding upon his
privacy unnecessarily, the Colonel caused one of the panes of glass in
the window of his office to be removed, and a little door, swung upon
hinges, to be substituted, after the fashion sometimes seen at rural
post-offices. By means of this little swinging door he held conferences
with all persons whom he did not chose to admit to a closer
communication. This, which at a first glance, would seem to smack of
superciliousness, was in reality nothing more than a judicious
precaution. In the course of his dealings with settlers and emigrants,
some of them were tempted, by the loneliness of his situation, to
browbeat, and even to manifest violence towards him. On one occasion, it
is said, he was assaulted and thrown down by one of the "land pirates,"
as he used to call them. The solitary situation in which he had
voluntarily placed himself, and the power he possessed of distributing
lands, required him to act frequently with apparent harshness, in order
to avoid being imposed upon by land jobbers, and to prevent artful men
from overreaching their weaker-minded brethren. His henchman,
house-steward and major-domo, was a faithful servant whose name was
Jeffery Hunter, in whom his master had great confidence, and who, as we
are gravely informed, was very useful in reaching down the maps.
Jeffery, however, did not enter the Colonel's employ until the later had
been some time in the country. Previous to that time this scion of
aristocracy was generally compelled to be his own servant, and to cook,
bake, and perform all the household drudgery, which he was not
unfrequently compelled to perform in the presence of distinguished

Some years seem to have elapsed before the Colonel attracted any
considerable number of settlers around him. The work of settlement
cannot be said to have commenced in earnest until 1809. It was no light
thing in those days for a man with a family dependent upon him to bury
himself in the remote wildernesses of Western Canada. There was no
flouring-mill, for instance, within sixty miles of Castle Malahide. In
the earliest years of the settlement the few residents were compelled to
grind their own grain after a primitive fashion, in a mortar formed by
hollowing out a basin in the stump of a tree with a heated iron. The
grain was placed in the basin, and then pounded with a heavy wooden
beetle until it bore some resemblance to meal. In process of time the
Colonel built a mill in the township of Dunwich, not far from his own
abode. It was a great boon to the settlement, but was not long in
existence, having been destroyed during the American invasion in 1812.
For the first twenty years of the Colonel's settlement, the hardships he
as well as his settlers had to contend with were of no ordinary kind,
and such only as could be overcome by industry and patient endurance.

Colonel Talbot for many years exercised almost imperial sway over the
district. He even provided for the wants of those in his immediate
neighbourhood, and assembled them at his house on the first day of the
week for religious worship. He read to them the services of the Church
of England, and insured punctual attendance by sending the
whiskey-bottle round among his congregation at the close of the
ceremonial. Though never a religious man, even in the broadest
acceptation of the term, he solemnized marriages and baptized the
children. So that his government was, in the fullest and best sense,
patriarchal. His method of transferring land was eminently simple and
informal. No deeds were given, nor were any formal books of entry called
into requisition. For many years the only records were sheet maps,
showing the position of each separate lot enclosed in a small space
within four black lines. When the terms of transfer had been agreed
upon, the Colonel wrote the purchaser's name within the space assigned
to the particular lot disposed of, and this was the only muniment of
title. If the purchaser afterwards disposed of his lot, the vendor and
vendee appeared at Castle Malahide, when, if the Colonel approved of the
transaction, he simply obliterated the former purchaser's name with a
piece of india-rubber, and substituted that of the new one.
"Illustrations might be multiplied," says a contemporary Canadian
writer, "of the peculiar way in which Colonel Talbot of Malahide
discharged the duties he had undertaken to perform. There is a strong
vein of the ludicrous running through these performances. We doubt
whether transactions respecting the sale and transfer of real estate
were, on any other occasion, or in any other place, carried on in a
similar way. Pencil and india-rubber performances were, we venture to
think, never before promoted to such trustworthy distinction, or called
on to discharge such responsible duties as those which they described on
the maps of which Jeffery and the dogs appeared to be the guardians.
There is something irresistibly amusing in the fact that such an estate,
exceeding half a million of acres, should have been disposed of in such
a manner, with the help of such machinery, and, so far as we are aware,
to the satisfaction of all concerned. It shows that a bad system
faithfully worked is better than a good system basely managed."[3]

During the American invasion of 1812-'13 and '14, Colonel Talbot
commanded the militia of the district, and was present at the battles of
Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie. Marauding parties sometimes found their way
to Castle Malahide during this troubled period, and what few people
there were in the settlement suffered a good deal of annoyance. Within a
day or two after the battle of the Thames, where the brave Tecumseh met
his doom, a party of these marauders, consisting of Indians and scouts
from the American army, presented themselves at Fort Talbot, and
summoned the garrison to surrender. The place was not fortified, and the
garrison consisted merely of a few farmers who had enrolled themselves
in the militia under the temporary command of a Captain Patterson. A
successful defence was out of the question and Colonel Talbot, who would
probably have been deemed an important capture, quietly walked out of
the back door as the invaders entered at the front. Some of the Indians
saw the Colonel, who was dressed in homely, everyday garb, walking off
through the woods, and were about to fire on him, when they were
restrained by Captain Patterson, who begged them not to hurt the poor
old fellow, who, he said, was the person who tended the sheep. This
white lie probably saved the Colonel's life. The marauders, however,
rifled the place, and carried off everything they could lay hands on,
including some valuable horses and cattle. Colonel Talbot's gold,
consisting of about two quart pots full, and some valuable plate,
concealed under the front wing of the house, escaped notice. The
invaders set fire to the grist mill, which was totally consumed, and
this was a serious loss to the settlement generally.

It was not till the year 1817 that anything like a regular store or shop
was established in the settlement. Previous to that time the wants of
the settlers were frequently supplied from the stores of Colonel Talbot,
who provided necessaries for his own use, and for the men whom he
employed. The Colonel was punctual in all his engagements, and
scrupulously exact in all monetary transactions. The large sums he
received for many years from the settlers were duly and properly
accounted for to the Government. He would accept payment of his claims
only in the form of notes on the Bank of Upper Canada, and persons
having any money to pay him were always compelled to provide themselves
accordingly. His accumulations were carefully stored in the place of
concealment above referred to; and once a year he carried his wealth to
Little York, and made his returns. This annual trip to Little York was
made in the depth of winter, and was almost the only event that took him
away from home, except on the two or three occasions when he visited the
old country. He was accustomed to make the journey to the Provincial
capital in a high box sleigh, clad in a sheepskin greatcoat which was
known to pretty nearly every man in the settlement.

Among the earliest settlers in the Talbot District was Mr. Mahlon
Burwell, a land surveyor, who was afterwards better known as Colonel
Burwell. He was of great assistance to Colonel Talbot, and became a
privileged guest at Castle Malahide. He surveyed many of the townships
in the Talbot District, and later on rose to a position of great
influence in the Province. His industry and perseverance long enabled
him to hold a high place in the minds of the people of the settlement,
and he enjoyed the reflection of Colonel Talbot's high and benevolent
character. He entered the Provincial Parliament, and for many years
retained a large measure of public confidence. Another early settler in
the District was the afterwards celebrated Dr. John Rolph, who took up
his quarters on Catfish Creek in 1813. He was long on terms of close
intimacy and friendship with Colonel Talbot, and in 1817 originated the
Talbot Anniversary, to commemorate the establishment of the District,
and to do honour to its Founder. This anniversary was held on the 21st
of May, the Colonel's birthday, and was kept up without interruption for
about twenty years. It was attended by every settler who could possibly
get to the place of celebration, which was sometimes at Port Talbot, but
more frequently at St. Thomas, after that place came into existence.
Once only it was held at London. It is perhaps worth while mentioning
that St. Thomas was called in honour of the Colonel's Christian name.
Here the rustics assembled in full force to drink bumpers to the health
of the Founder of the settlement, and to celebrate "the day, and all
who honour it." The Colonel, of course, never failed to appear, and even
after he had passed the allotted age of three score and ten, he always
led off the first dance with some blooming maiden of the settlement.

Practically speaking, there is no limit to the number of anecdotes which
are rife to this day among the settlers of the Talbot District with
respect to the Colonel's eccentricities and mode of life. On one
occasion a person named Crandell presented himself at Castle Malahide,
late in the evening, as an applicant for a lot of land. He was ushered
into the Colonel's presence, when the latter turned upon him with a
flushed and angry countenance, and demanded his money. The Colonel's
aspect was so fierce, and the situation was so lonely, that Crandell was
alarmed for his life, and forthwith surrendered all his capital. He was
then led off by Jeffery to the kitchen, where he was comfortably
entertained for the night. The next morning the Colonel settled his
business satisfactorily, and returned him his money, telling him that he
had taken it from him to prevent his being robbed by some of his
rascally servants. On another occasion a pedantic personage who lived in
the Township of Howard, and who spent much time in familiarizing himself
with the longest words to be found in the Dictionary, presented himself
before the Colonel, and began, in polysyllabic phrases, to lay a local
grievance before him. The language employed was so periphrastic and
pointless that the Colonel was at a loss to get at the meaning intended
to be conveyed. After listening for a few moments with ill-concealed
impatience, Talbot broke out with a profane exclamation, adding: "If you
do not come down to the level of my poor understanding, I can do nothing
for you." The man profited by the rebuke, and commenced in plain words,
but in rather an ambiguous manner, to state that his neighbour was
unworthy of the grant of land he had obtained, as he was not working
well. "Come, out with it," said the Colonel, "for I see now what you
would be at. You wish to oust your neighbour, and get the land for
yourself." After enduring further characteristic expletives, the man
took himself of incontinently. Although many of his settlers were native
Americans, the Colonel had an aversion to Yankees, and used to say of
them that they acquired property by whittling chips and barter--by
giving a shingle for a blind pup, which they swopped for a goose, and
then turned into a sheep. On another occasion, an Irishman, proud of his
origin, and whose patronymic told at once that he was a son of the
Emerald Isle, finding that he could not prevail with the Colonel on the
score of being a fellow-countryman, resorted to rudeness, and, with more
warmth than discretion, stood upon his pedigree, and told the Colonel
that his family was as honourable, and the coat of arms as respectable
and as ancient as that of the Talbots of Malahide. Jeffery and the dogs
were always the last resource on such occasions. "My dogs don't
understand heraldry," was the laconic retort, "and if you don't take
yourself off, they will not leave a coat to your back."

By the time the year 1826 came round, Colonel Talbot, in consequence of
his exertions to forward the interests of his settlement, had begun to
be very much straitened for means. He accordingly addressed a letter to
Lord Bathurst, Secretary for the Colonies in the Home Government, asking
for some remuneration for his long and valuable services. In his
application for relief we find this paragraph: "After twenty-three years
entirely devoted to the improvement of the Western Districts of this
Province, and establishing on their lands about 20,000 souls, without
any expense for superintendence to the Government, or the persons
immediately benefited; but, on the contrary, at a sacrifice of £20,000,
in rendering them comfortable, I find myself entirely straitened, and
now wholly without capital." He admitted that the tract of land he had
received from the Crown was large, but added that his agricultural
labours had been unproductive--a circumstance not much to be wondered at
when it is borne in mind that his time was chiefly occupied in selling
and portioning out the land. The Home Government responded by a grant of
£400 sterling per annum. The pension thus conferred was not gratuitous,
but by way of recompense for his services in locating settlers on the
waste lands of the Crown. That he was entitled to such a recompense few,
at the present day, will be found to deny. He was a father to his
people, and, in the words of his biographer, "acted as the friend of the
poor, industrious settler, whom he protected from the fangs of men in
office who looked only to the fees."[4]

In course of time the Colonel's place of abode at Port Talbot came to be
a resort for distinguished visitors to Upper Canada, and the
Lieutenant-Governors of the Province frequently resorted thither. The
late Chief Justice Sir John Beverley Robinson was a frequent and an
honoured guest at Castle Malahide; and Colonel Talbot, in his turn,
generally availed himself of the hospitality of the Chief Justice during
his annual visits to Little York. Among scores of other distinguished
visitors may be mentioned the Duke of Richmond, Sir Peregrine Maitland,
Lord Aylmer and Sir John Colborne. Mrs. Jameson also visited the spot
during her sojourn in this country just before the rebellion, and
published the most readable account of it that has yet appeared.
Speaking of the Colonel himself, she says: "This remarkable man is now
about sixty-five, perhaps more, but he does not look so much. In spite
of his rustic dress, his good-humoured, jovial, weather-beaten face, and
the primitive simplicity, not to say rudeness, of his dwelling, he has
in his features, air, and deportment, that _something_ which stamps him
gentleman. And that _something_ which thirty-four years of solitude have
not effaced, he derives, I suppose, from blood and birth--things of more
consequence, when philosophically and philanthropically considered, than
we are apt to allow. He must have been very handsome when young; his
resemblance now to our royal family, particularly to the King, (William
the Fourth,) is so very striking as to be something next to identity.
Good-natured people have set themselves to account for this wonderful
likeness in various ways, possible and impossible; but after a rigid
comparison of dates and ages, and assuming all that latitude which
scandal usually allows herself in these matters, it remains
unaccountable. . . I had always heard and read of him as the 'eccentric'
Colonel Talbot. Of his eccentricity I heard much more than of his
benevolence, his invincible courage, his enthusiasm, his perseverance;
but perhaps, according to the worldly nomenclature, these qualities come
under the general head of 'eccentricity,' when devotion to a favourite
object cannot possibly be referred to self-interest. . . Colonel
Talbot's life has been one of persevering, heroic self-devotion to the
completion of a magnificent plan, laid down in the first instance, and
followed up with unflinching tenacity of purpose. For sixteen years he
saw scarce a human being, except the few boors and blacks employed in
clearing and logging his land: he himself assumed the blanket-coat and
axe, slept upon the bare earth, cooked three meals a day for twenty
woodsmen, cleaned his own boots, washed his own linen, milked his cows,
churned the butter, and made and baked the bread. In this latter branch
of household economy he became very expert, and still piques himself on
it." Of the château itself and its immediate surroundings, she says:
"It" (the château) "is a long wooden building, chiefly of rough logs,
with a covered porch running along the south side. Here I found
suspended, among sundry implements of husbandry, one of those ferocious
animals of the feline kind, called here the cat-a-mountain, and by some
the American tiger, or panther, which it more resembles. This one, which
had been killed in its attack on the fold or poultry-yard, was at least
four feet in length, and glared on me from the rafters above, ghastly
and horrible. The interior of the house contains several comfortable
lodging-rooms; and one really handsome one, the dining-room. There is a
large kitchen with a tremendously hospitable chimney. Around the house
stands a vast variety of outbuildings, of all imaginable shapes and
sizes, and disposed without the slightest regard to order or symmetry.
One of these is the very log hut which the Colonel erected for shelter
when he first 'sat down in the bush,' four-and-thirty years ago, and
which he is naturally unwilling to remove. Many of these outbuildings
are to shelter the geese and poultry, of which he rears an innumerable
quantity. Beyond these is the cliff, looking over the wide blue lake, on
which I have counted six schooners at a time with their white sails; on
the left is Port Stanley. Behind the house lies an open tract of land,
prettily broken and varied, where large flocks of sheep and cattle were
feeding--the whole enclosed by beautiful and luxuriant woods, through
which runs the little creek or river. The farm consists of six hundred
acres; but as the Colonel is not quite so active as he used to be, and
does not employ a bailiff or overseer, the management is said to be
slovenly, and not so productive as it might be. He has sixteen acres of
orchard-ground, in which he has planted and reared with success all the
common European fruits, as apples, pears, plums, cherries, in abundance;
but what delighted me beyond everything else was a garden of more than
two acres, very neatly laid out and enclosed, and in which he evidently
took exceeding pride and pleasure; it was the first thing he showed me
after my arrival. It abounds in roses of different kinds, the cuttings
of which he had brought himself from England in the few visits he had
made there. Of these he gathered the most beautiful buds, and presented
them to me with such an air as might have become Dick Talbot presenting
a bouquet to Miss Jennings. We then sat down on a pretty seat under a
tree, where he told me he often came to meditate. He described the
appearance of the spot when he first came here, as contrasted with its
present appearance, or we discussed the exploits of some of his
celebrated and gallant ancestors, with whom my acquaintance was
(luckily) almost as intimate as his own. Family and aristocratic pride I
found a prominent feature in the character of this remarkable man. A
Talbot of Malahide, of a family representing the same barony from father
to son for six hundred years, he set, not unreasonably, a high value on
his noble and unstained lineage; and, in his lonely position, the
simplicity of his life and manners lent to these lofty and not unreal
pretensions a kind of poetical dignity. . . Another thing which gave a
singular interest to my conversation with Colonel Talbot was the sort of
indifference with which he regarded all the stirring events of the last
thirty years. Dynasties rose and disappeared; kingdoms were passed from
hand to hand like wine decanters; battles were lost and won;--he neither
knew, nor heard, nor cared. No post, no newspaper brought to his
forest-hut the tidings of victory and defeat, of revolutions of empires,
or rumours of unsuccessful and successful war."

The faithful servant, Jeffery Hunter, came in for a share of this
clever woman's keen observation. "This honest fellow," she tells us,
"not having forsworn female companionship, began to sigh after a
wife--and like the good knight in Chaucer, he did

    'Upon his bare knees pray God him to send
     A wife to last unto his life's end.'

So one morning he went and took unto himself the woman nearest at
hand--one, of whom we must needs suppose that he chose her for her
virtues, for most certainly it was not for her attractions. The Colonel
swore at him for a fool; but, after a while, Jeffery, who is a
favourite, smuggled his wife into the house; and the Colonel, whose
increasing age renders him rather more dependent on household help,
seems to endure very patiently this addition to his family, and even the
presence of a white-headed chubby little thing, which I found running
about without let or hindrance."

In politics Colonel Talbot was a Tory, but as a general rule he took no
part in the election contests of his time. His servant Jeffery Hunter,
however, who seems to have had a vote on his own account, was always
despatched promptly to the polling-place to record his vote in favour of
the Tory candidate. The Colonel was a Member of the Legislative Council,
but he seldom or never attended the deliberations of that Body. During
the Administration of Sir John Colborne, when the Liberals of Upper
Canada fought the battles of Reform with such energy and vigour, the
Colonel for a single campaign identified himself with the contest, and
made what seems to have been rather an effective election speech on the
platform at St. Thomas. He traced the history of the settlement, and
referred to his own labours in a fashion which elicited tumultuous
applause from the crowd. He deplored the spread of radical principles,
and expressed his regret that some advocates of those principles had
crept into the neighbourhood. The meeting passed a loyal address to the
Crown, which was dictated by Colonel Talbot himself. This, so far as is
known, was the only political meeting ever attended by him in this

The Colonel was nominally a member of the Church of England, and
contributed liberally to its support, though, as may well be supposed,
he was never eaten up by his zeal for episcopacy. By some people he was
set down as a freethinker, and by others as a Roman Catholic. The fact
is that the prevailing tone of his mind was not spiritual, and he gave
little thought to matters theological. During the early years of the
settlement, as we have seen, he was wont to read service to the
assembled rustics on Sunday; but this custom was abandoned as soon as
churches began to be accessible to the people of the neighbourhood; and
after that time, though he was occasionally seen at church, he was not
an habitual attendant at public worship. He was fond of good company,
and liked to tell and listen to dubious stories "across the walnuts and
the wine." A clergyman who officiated at a little church about five
miles from Port Talbot was his frequent guest at dinner, until the
Colonel's outrageous jokes and stories proved too much for the clerical
idea of the eternal fitness of things. "It must," says his biographer,
"have been rather a bold venture for a young clergyman to come in
contact with a man of Colonel Talbot's wit and racy humour, and a man
who would startle at the very idea of being priest ridden; in fact, who
would be much more likely to saddle the priest. The reverend gentleman
bore with him a long while, till at length finding that he was not
making any progress with the old gentleman in a religious point of
view--on the contrary, that his sallies of wit became more frequent and
cutting--he left him to get to heaven without his assistance. Colonel
Talbot was never pleased with himself for having said or done anything
to provoke the displeasure of his reverend guest, but being in the habit
at table, after dinner, of smacking his lips over a glass of good port,
and cracking jokes, which extorted from his guest a half approving
smile, he was tempted to exceed the bounds which religious or even
chaste conversation would prescribe, and came so near proving _in vino
veritas_, that the reverend gentleman would never revisit him, although
I believe it was Colonel Talbot's earnest desire that he should."

Bad habits, if not checked in season, have a tendency to grow worse. As
the Colonel advanced in years his liking for strong drink increased to
such an extent that the _in vino veritas_ stage was, we fear, reached
pretty often. To such a state of things his solitary life doubtless
conduced. He had an iron constitution, however, and it does not appear
that his intemperate habits during the evening of his life materially
shortened his days. He lived long enough to see the prosperity of his
settlement fully assured. For many years prior to his death it appears
to have been his cherished desire to bequeath his large estate to one of
the male descendants of the Talbot family, and with this view he invited
one of his sister's sons, Mr. Julius Airey, to come over from England
and reside with him at Port Talbot. This young gentleman accordingly
came to reside there, but the dull, monotonous life he was obliged to
lead, and the Colonel's eccentricities, were ill calculated to engage
the affections of a youth just verging on manhood; and after
rusticating, without companions or equals in either birth or education,
for some time, he returned to England and relinquished whatever claims
he might consider he had on his uncle. Some years later a younger
brother of Julius, Colonel Airey, Military Secretary at the Horse
Guards, ventured upon a similar experiment, and came out to Canada with
his family to live at Port Talbot. About this time the Colonel's health
began seriously to fail, and his habits began to gain greater hold upon
him than ever. As a necessary consequence he became crabbed and
irritable. The uncle and nephew could not get on together. "The former,"
says his biographer, "had been accustomed for the greater portion of his
life to suit the convenience of his domestics, and, in common with the
inhabitants of the country, to dine at noon; the latter was accustomed
to wait for the buglecall, till seven o'clock in the evening. Colonel
Talbot could, on special occasions, accommodate himself to the habits of
his guests, but to be regularly harnessed up for the mess every day was
too much to expect from so old a man; no wonder he kicked in the traces.
He soon came to the determination of keeping up a separate
establishment, and another spacious mansion was erected adjoining
Colonel Airey's, where he might, he thought, live as he pleased. But all
would not do, the old bird had been disturbed in his nest, and he could
not be reconciled." He determined to leave Canada, and to end his days
in the Old World. He transferred the Port Talbot estate, valued at
£10,000, together with 13,000 acres of land in the adjoining township of
Aldborough, to Colonel Airey. This transfer, however, left more than
half of his property in his own hands, and he was still a man of great
wealth. Acting on his determination to leave Canada, he started, in his
eightieth year, for Europe. Upon reaching London, only a day's journey
from Port Talbot, he was prostrated by illness, and was confined to his
bed for nearly a month. He rallied, however, and resumed his journey. In
due time he reached London the Greater. He was accompanied on the voyage
by Mr. George McBeth, the successor to the situation of Jeffery Hunter,
who had died some years before. McBeth had gained complete ascendancy
over the Colonel's failing mind. Being a young man of some education,
and a good deal of finesse, he was treated by his master as a companion
rather than as a servant, and the latter merited his master's regard by
nursing him with much care and attention.

Colonel Talbot remained in London somewhat more than a year, during
which period, as also during his previous visits to England, he renewed
old associations with the friend of his youth, the great Duke. He was
often the latter's guest at Apsley House, and the stern old hero of a
hundred fights delighted in his society. London life, however, was
distasteful to Colonel Talbot, and, after giving it a fair trial, he
once more bade adieu to society and repaired to Canada--always attended
assiduously by George McBeth. Upon reaching the settlement he took
lodgings for himself and his companion in the house of Jeffery Hunter's
widow. Here, cooped up in a small room, on the outskirts of the
magnificent estate which was no longer his own, he received occasional
visits from his old friends. Colonel Airey, meanwhile, had rented the
Port Talbot property to an English gentleman named Saunders, and had
returned to his post at the Horse Guards in England. Mr. Saunders had
several daughters, to one of whom George McBeth paid assiduous court,
and whom he afterwards married. Upon his marriage he removed to London,
accompanied by Colonel Talbot, who resided with him until his death, on
the 6th of February, 1853. When the Colonel's will was opened it was
found that with the exception of an annuity of £20 to Jeffery Hunter's
widow, all his vast estate, estimated at £50,000, had been left to
George McBeth.

The funeral took place on the 9th. On the previous day--the 8th--the
body was conveyed in a hearse from London to Fingal, on the way to Port
Talbot, so as to be ready for interment on the following morning. By
some culpable neglect or mismanagement it was placed for the night in
the barn or granary of the local inn. The settlers were scandalized at
this indignity, and one of them begged, with tears in his eyes, that the
body might be removed to his house, which was close by. The undertaker,
who is said to have been under the influence of liquor, declined to
accede to this request, and the body remained all night in the barn. On
the following morning it was replaced in the hearse and conveyed to Port
Talbot, where it rested for a short time within the walls of Castle
Malahide. A few attached friends from London and other parts of the
settlement attended the coffin to its place of sepulture in the
churchyard at Tyrconnel. The officiating clergyman, the Rev. Mr.
Holland, read the service in a cutting wind, and the ceremony was ended.
A plate on the oaken coffin bore the simple inscription:

             THOMAS TALBOT,


        Died 6th February, 1853.

[Illustration: DAVID LAIRD, signed as D. LAIRD]



The Hon. David Laird is the fourth son of the late Hon. Alexander Laird,
a Scottish farmer who, in the year 1819, emigrated from Renfrewshire to
Prince Edward Island. The late Mr. Laird settled in Queen's County,
about sixteen miles from Charlottetown, the capital of the Province, and
devoted himself to agriculture. He was a man of high character and great
influence, alike in political and social matters. For about sixteen
years he represented the First District of Queen's County in the Local
Assembly, and during one Parliamentary term of four years he was a
member of the Executive Council. He was a colleague and supporter of the
Hon. George Coles, who is called the father of Responsible Government in
Prince Edward Island. He was one of the signatories to the petition
forwarded by the Assembly to the Home Government in 1847, praying that
Responsible Government might be conceded; and he had the satisfaction of
sitting in the Assembly on the 25th of March, 1851, when Sir Alexander
Bannerman, the Governor, announced that the prayer of the petition had
been granted. He was also for many years one of the most active members
of the Managing Committee of the Royal Agricultural Society of Prince
Edward, an institution which did much for the advancement of
agricultural industry in the Province, by encouraging the importation of
improved stock, and by other similar operations.

The subject of this sketch was born at the paternal home, near the
village of New Glasgow, Queen's County, in the year 1833. He was
educated at the district school of his native settlement, and afterwards
entered the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church of Nova
Scotia, which was then situated at Truro, in that Province. He completed
his education at the Seminary, and soon afterwards embarked in
journalism at Charlottetown, where he founded a newspaper called _The
Patriot_. Under his editorship and business management this journal
became, in the course of a few years, the leading organ of public
opinion in Prince Edward Island. It advocated Liberal principles, and
was conducted with much energy and ability. The editor had inherited
Liberal ideas from his father, and spoke and wrote on behalf of them
with great effect. After a time he became estranged from the leader of
the Liberal Party, the chief cause of estrangement arising from the
latter's having lent his countenance to some proceedings tending to
exclude the Bible from the Common Schools. All minor causes of
controversy, however, were cast into the shade by the great question of
Confederation. After the close of the Quebec Conference in October,
1864, Mr. Laird took a firm stand against the terms of the scheme agreed
upon by the delegates, in so far as they related to his native Province.
He assigned as his principal reasons for adopting this course the fact
that the terms contained no proposal for the settlement of the Land
Question, which had long been a sore grievance with the tenantry of the
island; and the further fact that no provision was made for the
construction of public works, although the island could be called upon
to contribute its quota of taxation towards the Intercolonial Railway,
the canals, and the Pacific Railway. He took an active part in the
promotion of sanitary and other local improvements, and was for some
years a member of the Charlottetown City Council. His first entry into
Parliamentary life took place in 1871. The then-existing Government,
under the leadership of the Hon. James Colledge Pope (the present
Minister of Marine and Fisheries in the Dominion Government), had
carried a measure for the construction of the Prince Edward Island
Railway, running nearly the entire length of the island. This project
Mr. Laird had opposed, on the ground that it should have been first
submitted to the people at the polls, and also because he regarded the
undertaking as beyond the resources of the Province. The Government,
however, had carried the Bill providing for the construction of the road
through the House during the previous session, and the surveyors and
Commissioners had been appointed. The Chairman of the Commissioners, the
Hon. James Duncan, represented the constituency of Belfast in the
Legislative Assembly, and was obliged to return to his constituents for
reëlection after accepting office. Mr. Laird offered himself as a
candidate in opposition to the Government nominee. His candidature was
successful. The Commissioner was defeated, and Mr. Laird secured a seat
in the Assembly. A good deal of dissatisfaction had been excited by the
proceedings of the Local Government in connection with the construction
of the road, the result being that Mr. Pope, when he next met the House,
found he had lost the confidence of the majority, and being defeated, he
dissolved the House and appealed to the country. The appeal was
disastrous to his policy, a majority of the members returned being
hostile to his Government. Among these was Mr. Laird, who was elected a
second time for Belfast. A new Government was formed with Mr. R. P.
Haythorne as Premier. During the following autumn Mr. Laird accepted
office in this Government, and was sworn in as a Member of the Executive
Council in November, 1872. Finding that if the railway were proceeded
with on the credit of Prince Edward Island alone, the Provincial
finances would be seriously embarrassed, the new Ministers responded
favourably to an invitation from Ottawa to reconsider the question of
Union. Mr. Laird formed one of the delegation which proceeded to Ottawa
and negotiated terms of Union with the Dominion Government. After the
return of the delegates the Local House was dissolved in order that the
terms agreed upon might be submitted to the people. A good deal of
finesse was practised by the Opposition, and various side issues were
imported into the election contest. The result was the return of a
majority hostile to Mr. Haythorne's Ministry, and Mr. Pope again
succeeded to the reins of Government. Under his auspices the terms of
Union were slightly modified, and Prince Edward Island entered

Mr. Laird had meanwhile succeeded to the leadership of the Liberal
Party. The House did not divide, however, on the question of
Confederation, and both Parties concurred in supporting the measure. Mr.
Laird resigned his seat in the Local Legislature, and offered himself as
a candidate for the House of Commons for the electoral district of
Queen's County. He was returned by a large majority, and on the opening
of the second session of the second Parliament of the Dominion, in
October, 1873, he took his seat in the House of Commons at Ottawa. The
Pacific Scandal disclosures followed, and Sir John A. Macdonald's
Government made way for that of the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie. In the new
Administration Mr. Laird accepted the portfolio of Minister of the
Interior, and was sworn into office on the 7th of November. Upon
returning to his constituents in Queen's County he was returned by
acclamation. He was again returned by acclamation at the general
election of 1874. He retained his office of Minister of the Interior
until the 7th of October, 1876, when he was appointed by the
Governor-General to the Lieutenant-Governorship of the North-West
Territories. This position he has ever since filled with the best
results to the Dominion. During his tenure of office as Minister of the
Interior he carried several important measures through Parliament,
and--in the summer of 1874--effected an important Treaty with the
Indians of the North-West, whereby he secured to the Crown the
possession of a tract of 75,500 square miles in extent, and thus
guaranteed the peaceable possession of a large portion of the route of
the Canada Pacific Railway and its accompanying telegraph lines.

In 1864 Mr. Laird married Mary Louisa, second daughter of the late Mr.
Thomas Owen, who was for many years Postmaster-General of Prince Edward
Island. An elder brother of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Hon. Alexander
Laird, held office in the late Local Government of Prince Edward Island,
and at present represents the Second District of Prince, in the Local


The Bouchers and De Bouchervilles for over two hundred years have played
no unimportant part in the history of Canada. Lieutenant-General Pierre
Boucher, Sieur de Grobois, Governor of Three Rivers in 1653, the founder
of the Seigniory of Boucherville, and a man of great influence in his
day, was one of the most noted members of the family. The late Hon. P.
Boucher de Boucherville, for many years a Legislative Councillor of
Lower Canada, was the father of the subject of this sketch, who was born
at Boucherville, Province of Quebec, in 1820. He was educated at St.
Sulpice College, Montreal. He subsequently went to Paris, pursued his
studies in the medical profession there, and graduated with high
honours. He has been married twice, first to Miss Susanne Morrogh,
daughter of Mr. R. L. Morrogh, Advocate, of Montreal; and after her
death, to Miss C. Luissier, of Varennes. In 1861 he was elected to the
House of Assembly for the county of Chambly. He continued to represent
this constituency until 1867, when he entered the Legislative Council,
and became a member of Mr. Chauveau's Ministry, with the office of
Speaker of the Council, which position he held until February, 1873. On
the reconstruction of the Cabinet, September 22nd, 1874, he was
entrusted with the formation of a Ministry. This duty he accomplished
successfully, taking for himself the portfolio of Secretary and
Registrar, and Minister of Public Instruction. On the 27th January,
1876, he changed his portfolio for that of Agriculture and Public Works.
In February, 1879, he was called to the Senate, an honour which he
accepted without resigning his seat in the Legislative Council.

The De Boucherville Ministry remained in power until the 4th of March,
1878, when it was summarily dismissed by the Hon. Luc Letellier de St.
Just, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, for reasons which appeared to
him to be just. The facts with reference to this matter have been
detailed in the sketch of the life of Mr. Letellier, contained in the
first volume of this work. On the refusal of Mr. De Boucherville to name
a successor, Mr. Letellier called in the Hon. Henri Gustave Joly of
Lotbinière, and invited him to form a Ministry. In October, 1879, the
ex-Premier and his friends succeeded in defeating the Liberal
Government. A Conservative Ministry was formed, in whose councils,
however, Mr. De Boucherville has taken no part, though his efforts to
drive from power the Liberal Administration were conspicuously displayed
in the Upper Chamber of the Province. He is a good speaker, precise,
moderate and adroit. He is skilful in defence and equally skilful in
attack. His administrative capacity is considerable, and the duties of
the several offices which he has held at various intervals, have been
ably and industriously performed.

[Illustration: SAMUEL NELLES, signed as S. S. NELLES]



Dr. Nelles's life, like that of most men of purely scholastic pursuits,
has been comparatively uneventful, and does not form a very fruitful
field for biographical purposes. It has, however, been an eminently
useful one, and has been attended with results most beneficial to the
educational establishment with which his name has long been associated,
and over which he has presided for a continuous period of thirty years.
He is of German descent, on both the paternal and maternal sides. His
paternal grandparents emigrated from Germany to the State of New York
sometime during the last century, and settled in the historic valley of
the Mohawk, where some of their descendants still reside. There Dr.
Nelles's father, the late Mr. William Nelles, was born, and there he
passed the early years of his life. He married Miss Mary Hardy, who was
also of German stock on the mother's side, and was born in the State of
Pennsylvania. By this lady he had a numerous family, the eldest son
being the subject of this sketch. The parents emigrated from New York
State to Upper Canada soon after the close of the War of 1812-15, and
devoted themselves to farming pursuits. The Doctor was born at the
family homestead, in the quiet little village of Mount Pleasant--known
to the Post Office Department as Mohawk--in what is now the township of
Brantford, in the county of Brant, about five miles south-west of the
present city of Brantford, on the 17th of October, 1823. At the present
day, the schools of Mount Pleasant will bear comparison with those of
many places of much larger population; but fifty years ago, when young
Samuel Nelles was in attendance there, they were like most other schools
in the rural districts of Upper Canada--that is to say, they afforded no
facilities for anything beyond a very rudimentary educational training.
Such as they were, however, they furnished the only means of instruction
at his command until he had entered upon his seventeenth year. Previous
to that time he had lived at home, attending school and assisting his
father in farm work. He had, however, displayed great fondness for
study, and had, by dint of his natural ability and steady application,
made greater progress than could have been made by any boy who was not
possessed by an ardent thirst for knowledge. His parents accordingly
resolved that he should have an opportunity of following out the natural
bent of his mind. In 1839 he was placed at Lewiston Academy, in the
State of New York, where he spent an industrious year, and where he had
for a tutor the brilliant, witty and humorous John Godfrey Saxe. Mr.
Saxe was not then known to the world as a poet, but he was an
accomplished philologist, and was reading for the Bar. He had just
graduated at Middlebury College, Vermont, and was teaching
_belles-lettres_ in the Lewiston Academy contemporaneously with the
prosecution of his legal studies. In October, 1840, young Nelles
transferred himself to an academy at Fredonia, in Chautauqua county,
N.Y., where he remained ten months. In the following October (1841) he
entered the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, at Lima, N.Y., where he devoted
his time chiefly to Classics, Mathematics, English Literature and
Criticism. Having spent a profitable year at Lima, he entered Victoria
College, Cobourg--which was then under the Presidency of the Rev.
Egerton Ryerson--in the autumn of 1842. He was one of the first two
matriculated students at the institution, which had just been
incorporated as a University. After an Arts course of two years at
Victoria College, and a year spent in study at home, he attended for
some time at the University of Middletown, Connecticut, where he
graduated as B.A. in 1846. He then spent a year as a teacher in Canada,
and took charge of the Newburgh Academy, in the county of Lennox. In
June, 1847, he entered the ministry of the Wesleyan Methodist Church,
and was placed in charge of a congregation at Port Hope, where he
remained for a year. He was then transferred to the old Adelaide Street
Church, Toronto, where he laboured for two years. Thence he was
transferred to London, but had only resided there about three months
when, in the month of September, 1850, he was appointed President of
Victoria College. This important and responsible position he has held
ever since.

At the time of his taking office, the institution was by no means in a
flourishing condition. It was carried on under circumstances of great
difficulty and embarrassment, and had a competent administrator not been
found to take charge of it, its future would have been very
problematical. An improvement in its condition, however, was perceptible
from the time when Mr. Nelles took the management. It has continued to
prosper ever since, and has long ago taken rank among the most
noteworthy educational institutions in the Dominion. At the time of
Professor Nelles's appointment there was only a single
Faculty--Arts--and the attendance was very small. The teachers were only
five in number. The Professor's vigorous administration soon effected a
marked change for the better. In 1854 the Faculty of Medicine was added.
It at first embraced only one medical college, which was presided over
for many years by the late Dr. Rolph. In process of time a second
institution, L'École de Médecine et de Chirurgie, Montreal, became
affiliated, and still continues to hold the same relationship to the
University. A Law Faculty was added in 1862, and in 1872 a Faculty of

When Professor Nelles became President he at the same time became
Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy, Logic, and the Evidences of
Religion. These subjects he has continued to teach ever since, with the
addition, since 1872, of Homiletics. He has devoted his life to the task
of building up the institution, and has been ably seconded by the staff
of teachers whom he has from time to time gathered about him. Until
comparatively recent times there was no endowment fund, and the College
had to depend for its support solely on tuition fees, on the annual
contributions of the ministers and people of the Wesleyan Methodist
Body, and on a Parliamentary grant which Victoria College, in common
with other denominational schools, had been wont to receive. After
Confederation, all grants to denominational colleges were discontinued,
and Victoria College was left almost entirely unprovided for. At a
meeting of the Methodist Conference it was proposed by President Nelles
that an appeal should be made to the people for contributions to an
endowment fund. The proposal was adopted by the Conference, and the Rev.
Dr. Punshon, who was then resident in Canada, took an active personal
interest in the movement. He contributed $3,000 out of his own pocket,
and made a personal tour through part of Ontario, holding public
meetings, whereby a sum of $50,000 was secured. Several other Methodist
ministers followed his example, and the fund steadily increased. In
1873, however, the amount was still insufficient, and the Rev. Joshua H.
Johnson was appointed by the Conference to make further collections. Mr.
Johnson entered upon his task, and pursued it with great vigour. His
efforts were supplemented by a munificent bequest of $30,000 from the
late Mr. Edward Jackson, of Hamilton. The requisite amount was
eventually obtained, and the future of Victoria College secured.

The erection of Faraday Hall, at a cost of $25,000, chiefly for
Scientific purposes, marks a new epoch in the history of Victoria
College. This Hall was formally opened on the 29th of May, 1878. Dr.
Haanel, a distinguished German Professor, was placed in charge of the
scientific department, and the results of his teaching are already
apparent in an awakened interest in scientific matters displayed by the
students of the College.

Upon the whole, Dr. Nelles may well be pardoned if he looks back upon
his thirty years' Presidency of Victoria College with a considerable
degree of complacency. To him, more than to anyone else, is due its
present state of prosperity and enlarged efficiency. He has also taken a
warm interest in educational matters unconnected with the College, and
his influence is perceptibly felt in all the local schools. He was for
two successive years elected President of the Teachers' Association of
Ontario, and his views on all matters pertaining to public instruction
are held in high respect.

Dr. Nelles was chosen a delegate to represent the Canadian Conference at
the General Methodist Conference held at Philadelphia in 1864, at the
New Brunswick Conference of 1866, and at the English Wesleyan Conference
held at Newcastle in 1873. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was
conferred upon him by the University of Queen's College, Kingston, in
1860. His Doctor's degree in Law was conferred upon him in 1873 by the
University of Victoria College. He is the author of a popular text-book
on Logic, and has frequently contributed to periodical literature. He
enjoys high repute as a lecturer, more especially on educational
subjects; and his sermons, some of which have been published, are said
to be of an exceptionally high order.

On the 3rd of July, 1851, he married Miss Mary B. Wood, daughter of the
Rev. Enoch Wood, of Toronto, by whom he has a family of five children.


The late Chancellor Blake, one of the most distinguished jurists that
ever sat on the Canadian Bench, was a member of an Irish family, known
as the Blakes of Cashelgrove, in the county of Galway. The family was
well connected and stood high among the county magnates. Sometime about
the middle of the last century, Dominick Edward Blake, its chief
representative, married the Hon. Miss Netterville, daughter of Lord
Netterville, of Drogheda. After her death, he married a second wife, who
was a daughter of Sir Joseph Hoare, Baronet, of Annabella, in the county
of Cork. By this lady he had four sons, one of whom, christened Dominick
Edward, after his father, took orders as a clergyman of the Church of
England, and became Rector and Rural Dean of Kiltegan and
Loughbrickland. This gentleman married Miss Anne Margaret Hume, eldest
daughter of Mr. William Hume, of Humewood, M.P. for the county of
Wicklow. During the progress of the rebellion of 1798, Mr. Hume sent his
children to Dublin for safety, and took personal command of a corps of
yeomanry raised in his county. He fell a victim to his loyalty, and was
shot near his own residence at Humewood by some rebels of whom he was in
pursuit. Lord Charlemont, in a published letter, alluded to this
deplorable event as "the murder of Hume, the friend and favourite of his
country," and characterized it as an "example of atrocity which exceeded
all that went before it."

William Hume Blake, the subject of this memoir, was the grandson and
namesake of the unfortunate gentleman above referred to, and was one of
the fruits of the marriage of his father, the Rev. D. E. Blake, to Miss
Hume. He was born at the Rectory, at Kiltegan, County Wicklow, on the
10th of March, 1809. He was the second son of his parents, his elder
brother, Dominick Edward, being named in honour of his father and
paternal grandfather. The elder brother emulated his father's example,
and became a clergyman of the Church of England. The younger, after
receiving his education at Trinity College, Dublin, studied surgery
under Surgeon-General Sir Philip Crampton. Surgery, however, was not
much to his taste. The accompaniments of that profession--notably the
coarse jokes and experiments which he was daily called upon to encounter
in the dissecting-room--proved at last so repulsive to his nature that
he abandoned surgery altogether, and entered upon a course of
theological study with a view to entering the Church. His studies had
not proceeded far, however, before he and his elder brother determined
to emigrate to Canada. This determination was carried out in the summer
of 1832. A short time before leaving his native land, the younger
brother married his cousin, Miss Catharine Hume, the granddaughter--as
he himself was the grandson--of the William Hume whose tragical death
has already been recorded. This lady, who shared alike the struggles
and triumphs of her distinguished husband till the close of his earthly
career, still survives.

The Blake brothers were induced to emigrate to this country, partly
because their prospects at home were not particularly bright, partly in
consequence of the strong inducements held out by the then
Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, Sir John Colborne. The
representations of Major Jones, the elder brother's father-in-law,
doubtless contributed something to the result. The Major was a retired
officer who had served in this country during the war of 1812-'13-'14,
and had taken part in the battles of Queenston Heights and Lundy's Lane.
He was fond of fighting his battles over again by his own fireside and
that of his son-in-law. He was never weary of enlarging on the beauty
and primitive wildness of Canadian scenery, the pleasures and freedom
from conventionality of a life spent in the backwoods, and the brilliant
prospects awaiting young men of courage, energy, endurance, and ability,
in the wilds of Upper Canada. The Blake brothers were Irishmen, and were
gifted with the national vividness of imagination. They doubtless
pictured to themselves the delights of "a lodge in some vast
wilderness," where game of all sorts was abundant, and where game laws
had no existence. They had of course no adequate conception of the
struggles and trials incident to pioneer life. They were not alone in
their notions about Canada. Many of their friends and acquaintances
about this time became imbued with a desire to emigrate, and upon taking
counsel together they found that there were enough of them to form a
small colony by themselves. Having made all necessary arrangements they
chartered a vessel--the _Ann_, of Halifax--and sailed for the St.
Lawrence in the month of July, 1832. Among the friends and relations of
the brothers Blake embarked on board were their mother, who had been
left a widow; their sister and her husband, the late Archdeacon Brough;
the late Mr. Justice Connor; the Rev. Benjamin Cronyn, late Bishop of
Huron; and the Rev. Mr. Palmer, Archdeacon of Huron. After a six weeks'
voyage they reached the mouth of the St. Lawrence, whence by slow
degrees they made their way to Little York, as the Upper Canadian
capital was then called. Here they remained until the following spring,
when they divided their forces. Some of them remained in York;
others--including Mr. Connor and Mr. Brough--proceeded northward to the
township of Oro, on Lake Simcoe; and others settled on the Niagara
peninsula. The elder Blake had meanwhile been appointed by the
Lieutenant-Governor to a Rectory in the township of Adelaide, and there
he accordingly pitched his tent. His brother, the subject of this
sketch, purchased a farm in the same part of the country, at a place on
Bear Creek--now called Sydenham River--near the present site of the
village of Katesville, or Mount Hope, in the county of Middlesex. He
then had an opportunity of realizing the full delights of a life in the
Canadian backwoods. "With whatever romantic ideas of the delights of
such a life Mr. Hume Blake had determined on making Canada his home,"
says a contemporary Canadian author, "they were soon dispelled by the
rough experiences of the reality. The settler in the remotest section of
Ontario to-day has no conception of the struggles and hardships that
fell to the lot of men who, accustomed to all the refinements of life,
found themselves cut off from all traces of civilization in a land,
since settled and cultivated, but then so wild that between what are now
populous cities there existed only an Indian trail through the forest.
Mr. Blake was not a man to be easily discouraged, but soon found that
his talents were being wasted in the wilderness. In after years he was
fond of telling of the rude experiences of life in the bush, and among
other incidents how that he had, on one occasion, walked to the
blacksmith's shop before mentioned to obtain a supply of harrow-pins,
and, finding them too heavy to carry, had fastened them to a chain,
which he put round his neck, and so dragged them home through the

It was during the residence of the family at Bear Creek that the eldest
son, Edward, was born,[5] but he was not destined to receive his
educational training amid such surroundings. While he was still an
infant the family removed to Toronto. A life in the backwoods had been
tried, and was found to be unsuited to the genius and ambition of a man
like William Hume Blake. He had tried surgery, divinity, and
agriculture, and had not taken kindly to any of those pursuits. He now
resolved to attempt the law, and commenced his legal studies in the
office of the late Mr. Washburn, a well-known lawyer in those days.
During the troubles of 1837 he was, we believe, for a short time
paymaster of a battalion, but fortunately there was no occasion for his
active services. In 1838 he was called to the Bar of Upper Canada, and
was not long in making his way to a foremost position. His rivals at the
Bar were among the foremost counsel who have ever practised in this
Province, and included Mr. (afterwards Chief Justice) Draper, Mr.
(afterwards Judge) Sullivan, Mr. Henry John Boulton, Mr. (now Chief
Justice) Hagarty, Robert Baldwin, Henry Eccles, and John Hillyard
Cameron. Mr. Blake soon proved his ability to hold his own against all
comers. He enjoyed some personal advantages which stood him in good
stead, both while he was fighting his way and afterwards. His tall,
handsome person, and fine open face, his felicitous language, and bold
manly utterance gained him at once the full attention of both Court and
Jury; and his vigorous grasp of the whole case under discussion, his
acute, logical dissection of the evidence, and the thorough earnestness
with which he always threw himself into his client's case, swept
everything before them. In the days when such men as Draper, Sullivan,
Baldwin and Eccles were at the Bar, it was something to stand among the
foremost. Mr. Blake became associated in business with Mr. Joseph C.
Morrison--now one of the Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench--and some
years later, his relative, the late Dr. Connor, who in 1863 became one
of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, entered the firm. Business
poured in, and the number of Mr. Blake's briefs increased in almost
geometrical proportion. His arguments were of due weight with the judges
of those times, but with juries his force was irresistible. Many
incidents have been related of his forensic triumphs. Among other cases
recorded by the writer already quoted from, that of Kerby vs. Lewis
occupies a conspicuous place. The question at issue was Mr. Kerby's
right to monopolize a ferry communication between Fort Erie and some
point on the American shore. This right the defendant contested, and
employed Mr. Blake to conduct his case. The judges appear to have leaned
strongly to the side of the plaintiff, and granted a succession of new
trials, as, on each occasion, Mr. Blake's telling appeals to their
sympathy with the defendant, as the champion of free intercourse between
the two countries, extorted from the juries a verdict in favour of his
client. It is said that the Court finally refused to grant any further
new trials in sheer hopelessness of any jury being found to reverse the
original finding.

Another proof of his energy and ingenuity was given in the Webb arson
case, which made a considerable noise at the time. Webb was the owner
of a shoe store in Toronto. Having on more than one occasion obtained
compensation from fire insurance companies for losses he had sustained,
suspicion was excited against him, and, on another fire occurring, the
companies decided on prosecuting. Webb retained Mr. Blake. The theory of
the defence was that a stove-pipe from the adjoining store, which
connected with Webb's premises, had become heated, and had ignited some
"rubbers" hanging in the vicinity. The prosecution denied that "rubbers"
were combustible in any such sense as the defence represented. To put
his theory beyond a doubt, Mr. Blake, on the evening before the trial,
had set his two boys, Edward and Samuel, to look up every piece of
information they could obtain from encyclopaedias or other sources as to
the properties of rubber. Then an old pair of "rubbers" was procured,
experiments were engaged in, and both father and sons were occupied
during the greater part of the night in their investigations, to the no
small discomfort of the other members of the household. When the trial
came on next day, after the case for the prosecution had been presented,
Mr. Blake began his defence. He dissected the prosecutor's evidence with
an amazing fund of irony and sarcasm, and requested the jury to place as
little reliance on the general testimony for the prosecution as they
would soon do on the theory of "rubbers" being non-combustible. Then a
candle and a pair of old "rubbers" were produced; a few strips cut from
the latter were held in the flame, and the interested crowd of
spectators saw them burn. The jury accepted this as sufficient, at all
events, to cast doubts on the whole case against the prisoner, and Webb
was acquitted.

The "Markham gang," as they were called, are still well remembered by
the older inhabitants of Toronto and the adjoining country. In several
of the prosecutions arising out of the outrages of the gang, Mr. Blake
was defending counsel, and invested the defence with additional
interest, in the eyes of the legal profession, by raising the question
of the admissibility of the evidence of an accomplice. Another case
which showed the earnestness and conscientiousness of Mr. Blake, who
prosecuted, was the trial of two persons--a man named McDermott and a
girl named Grace Marks--charged with the murder of Mr. Kinnear and his
housekeeper, near Richmond Hill, in the year 1843.[6] Not content with
secondhand information, the hard-working lawyer devoted the only holiday
which intervened between the committal of the prisoners and the trial to
a careful and minute examination of the house and premises where the
murder had occurred, so that in going into court he had the most perfect
familiarity with every detail connected with the crime. The prisoners
were convicted; the man suffered the extreme penalty of the law, and the
woman, who was reprieved, was only liberated from the Penitentiary after
an incarceration of twenty years. No man could more readily seize hold
of the salient points of a case presented to him; few could make so much
out of a small and apparently insignificant point; but no one ever made
the business before him the subject of more patient study or more
exhaustive attention. Honourable and high-minded himself, he sought to
inspire those about him with the same feelings. He endeavoured at all
times to encourage a gentlemanly bearing in the young men who studied
under him, and would tolerate nothing inconsistent with perfect fairness
and honesty in transacting the business of the office.

Mr. Blake and his partners were all active members of the Liberal Party.
In the early contests for Municipal Institutions, National Education,
Law Reform and all progressive measures, they took an earnest part--and
in the struggle with Lord Metcalfe and his Tory abettors for the
establishment of British Parliamentary Government in Canada, they did
excellent service to the popular cause. Mr. Blake, at the general
election of 1844, was the Reform candidate for the second Riding of
York--now the county of Peel--but was defeated by a narrow majority on
the second day of polling by his Tory opponent, Mr. George Duggan. A
little later, he contested unsuccessfully the county of Simcoe, in
opposition to the Hon. W. B. Robinson. At the general election of 1847,
while absent in England, he was returned by a large majority for the
East Riding of York--now the county of Ontario. The result of that
election was the entire overthrow of the Conservative Government, and
the accession of the Liberal Party to power, under Messrs. Baldwin and
Lafontaine, on the 10th of March, 1848. Mr. Blake became
Solicitor-General under the new arrangement, and was duly reëlected for
East York. Then followed the struggle over the famous Rebellion Losses
Bill. In that contest Mr. Blake took an active part in support of Lord
Elgin, who was so outrageously treated by the Opposition leaders in
Parliament, and by the mob of Montreal that followed in their wake. For
his powerful advocacy of the Governor-General, and his scathing
diatribes against the tactics of the Opposition, he was fiercely
denounced by the Conservative leaders. So far was this denunciation
carried that a hostile meeting between Mr. Blake and Mr. Macdonald--the
present Sir John A. Macdonald--was only prevented by the interference of
the Speaker of the House. The Opposition press, without the slightest
justification, published articles in which the writers professed to
believe that Mr. Blake was wanting in courage, and afraid to meet his
antagonist in the field. The _Globe_, which was the organ of the
Government in those days, replied in a spirit which did it honour. In an
article written by the late Mr. Brown himself, and published in the
_Globe_ on the 28th of March, 1849, we find these words: "The repeated
insinuations against the courage of Mr. Blake, to use the ordinary
phrase, are as untrue as they are base and ungenerous. We are quite
aware of all the circumstances of what was so near leading to one of
those transactions called affairs of honour. We know, and we state it
with regret, that there was, on Mr. Blake's part, no wish to shrink from
the consequences of the intended affair, but a great anxiety to meet it.
We would have thought it far more creditable to him, and far more
becoming the station he holds in the councils of the Province, if he had
exhibited that higher courage which would shrink from being concerned in
an affair which, however it may be glossed over by the sophistry and the
practice of the world, is a crime of the deepest dye against the law of
God and the well-being of society."

The Court of Chancery for Upper Canada had been for years a mark for
scorn and derision on account of the personal deficiencies of Mr.
Vice-Chancellor Jameson, and the lack of organization in the whole
Chancery system. The Baldwin-Lafontaine Government undertook the reform
of the Court, increased the number of Judges to three, and gave it the
improved system of procedure which has earned for the Court its present
efficiency and popularity. When the measure became law, the question
arose as to who should be appointed to the seats on the Bench that had
been created. There was but one answer in the profession. Mr. Blake was
universally pointed out as the man best fitted for the post of
Chancellor. He accepted the Chancellorship of Upper Canada on the 30th
of September, 1849, which he continued to fill until the 18th of March,
1862, when failing health compelled him to retire. There were not
wanting political opponents who declared that Mr. Blake had created the
office that he might fill it; but all who knew the man and the position
in which he stood were aware that it was with extreme reluctance he
accepted the place. As his great judicial talents came to be recognized
the voice of the slanderer ceased, and the services which he rendered on
the Bench will, we doubt not, be now heartily acknowledged by all
parties. Mr. Jameson for a short time continued to sit on the Bench as
Vice-Chancellor, side by side with Mr. Blake. In the month of December,
1850, he was permitted to retire on a pension of £750 a year.

Mr. Blake, while at the Bar, held for a number of years the position of
Professor of Law in the University of Toronto, but resigned it when he
became Solicitor-General. He took a deep interest in all the affairs of
the University, of which he was for a long time the able and popular

Afflicted with gout in its most distressing form, Mr. Blake, after his
retirement from the Bench, sought relief from his sufferings in milder
climes. He returned to Canada in 1869, but it was evident that his end
was not far distant. He died in Toronto, on the 17th of November, 1870.
The late Chancellor Vankoughnet paid an eloquent tribute to his memory.
"With an intellect fitting him to grasp more readily than most men the
whole of a case," said Mr. Vankoughnet, "he was yet most patient and
painstaking in the investigation of every case heard before him. He
never spared himself; but was always most careful that no suitor should
suffer wrong through any lack of diligence on his part. He had,
moreover--what every Equity judge should have--a high appreciation of
the duties and functions of the Court--of the mission, if I may so term
it, of a Court of Equity in this country: not to adjudicate drily upon
the case before the Court, but so to expound the principles of Equity
Law as to teach men to deal justly and equitably between themselves. I
have reason to believe that such expositions of the principles upon
which this Court acts have had a salutary influence upon the country;
and Mr. Blake, in the able and lucid judgments delivered by him,
contributed largely to this result. He always bore in mind that to which
the present Lord Chancellor of England gave expression in one of his
judgments--'The standard by which parties are tried here, either as
trustees or corporations, or in various other relations which may be
suggested, is a standard, I am thankful to say, higher than the standard
of the world.'"


The life of the late Dr. Topp, like the lives of most members of his
sacred calling, was comparatively uneventful. He was born at
Sheriffmill, a farm-house near the historic old town of Elgin, in
Morayshire, Scotland, in the year 1815. He was educated at the Elgin
Academy, the present representative of the old Grammar School of the
burgh, and an establishment of much local repute. Thence, in his
fifteenth year, he passed to King's College, Aberdeen--an institution
affiliated with the University--where he passed through a very
creditable course, winning one of the highest scholarships, and
retaining it for four years. In 1836, immediately upon attaining his
majority, he received a license to preach, and was appointed assistant
to the minister of one of the churches in Elgin. This minister soon
afterwards died, leaving the pastorate vacant. The abilities and zeal of
his young assistant had made themselves recognized, and it was thought
desirable that the latter should succeed to the vacant charge. The
appointment was hedged in with certain restrictions, and was at the
disposal of Government. A petition from the congregation and from the
Town Council was successful, and Mr. Topp was inducted into the charge.
Upon the disruption in 1843 he seceded from the Establishment, and
carried over with him nearly the entire congregation, which erected a
new church and manse for him. He continued in this charge until 1852,
when he removed to Edinburgh, having accepted a pressing call from the
Roxburgh Church there. Here he continued to minister for about six
years, during which period his congregation increased to such an extent
as to render the accommodation insufficient. A project for erecting a
new and larger church was set on foot, but before it had been fully
matured Mr. Topp had accepted a call from the congregation of Knox
Church, Toronto. This was in 1858. Two years before that date he had
received a pressing call from the same quarter, which he had then
thought proper to decline. At the time of entering upon his charge in
Toronto the membership of Knox Church was only about three hundred.
Under his ministry there was a steadily perceptible increase, and at the
time of his death the membership was in the neighbourhood of seven
hundred. His abilities commanded recognition beyond the limits of his
own congregation, and he steadily won his way to position and influence
in the community. In 1868 he was elected Moderator of the General
Assembly of the Canada Presbyterian Church, and thus afforded the first
instance of a unanimous nomination by the various Presbyteries to that
office. He took a prominent part in the movement to bring about the
Union between the Canada Presbyterian Church and the Church of Scotland,
and the successful realization of that project was in no small degree
due to his exertions. In 1876 he was elected Moderator to the General
Assembly of the United Church. His doctor's degree was conferred upon
him in 1870 by the University of Aberdeen, where he had been so
successful a student forty years previously.

For several years prior to his death Dr. Topp's constitution had given
unmistakable symptoms of having become seriously impaired. In the autumn
of 1877 his physicians acquainted him with the fact that he was
suffering from a mortal disease--organic disease of the heart--but it
was not supposed that the malady had made such progress as to endanger
his life for some years to come. In the early summer of 1879 he paid a
visit to his native land, and of course spent some time in Elgin,
renewing the pleasant associations of his youth. He received many
pressing overtures to preach, but the state of his health formed a
sufficient excuse for his declining. One Sunday, however, contrary to
the advice of a local medical practitioner, he consented to occupy the
pulpit, and preached a long and vigorous sermon to his old congregation.
His audience was very large, and his nervous system was naturally
wrought up to a high pitch. It is believed that his efforts on that
occasion materially shortened his life. Immediately after his return to
his home in Toronto he sent in his resignation as pastor of Knox Church,
but it had not been accepted ere the shades of death closed around him.

The end came more suddenly than had been anticipated. He passed away on
the 6th of October, 1879, while reclining on a sofa in the house of one
of his parishioners. His death was very calm, and apparently free from
all pain. He left behind him a name which will long be borne in
affectionate remembrance by the members of the Presbyterian Church in
Canada. He was kind and gentle in his demeanour, and was loved the most
by them who knew him best. At the time of his death he had been pastor
of Knox Church for more than twenty-one years, during the greater part
of which he had laboured assiduously in all the various fields connected
with his sacred calling. He was open-handed in his charities, and was an
invaluable consoler in the sick-room. He literally died in harness, for
death came upon him while he was paying a pastoral visit to a member of
his congregation.

The _Canada Presbyterian_, which may be presumed to reflect the opinions
of Canadian Presbyterians generally, concluded an obituary notice
written immediately after his death in the following words: "The name of
Dr. Topp will never be forgotten in this country. While we regret that
he has so suddenly been called away, we rejoice that in his case there
are left to us so many happy remembrances of a useful and honourable
career, and that he has bequeathed to the youthful ministry of the
Church the example of a brave and faithful servant of Christ."


Since Confederation the Hon. Mr. Joly has occupied a prominent position
in the politics of the Province of Quebec. His high morality, integrity
of character, and fine social qualities, have created for him a
reputation which it is the lot of few public men to enjoy. He is
conspicuous in the history of Quebec as the instrument through whose
exertions the Liberal Party were restored to power for the first time
since the Union. He is also noteworthy as being the Minister on whom
devolved the office of selecting a Government to succeed the De
Boucherville Administration, upon its dismissal by Mr. Letellier in the
month of March, 1878.

He was born in France on the 5th of December, 1829, and is the son of
the late Gaspard Pierre Gustave Joly, Seigneur of Lotbinière, and Julie
Christine, daughter of the late Hon. M. E. G. A. Chartier de Lotbinière,
who was Speaker of the Quebec Assembly from 1794 until May, 1797, and
was afterwards a prominent member of the Legislative Council. Mr. Joly
received a liberal education at Paris, and while yet very young removed
with his parents to Canada, settling in Lotbinière. Having chosen the
law for a profession, he devoted five years to legal studies, and in the
month of March, 1855, he was called to the Bar of Lower Canada. He first
entered political life in 1861, when he was returned to the Canadian
House of Assembly for the county of Lotbinière. This seat he continued
to hold until the Union of the Provinces, when at the general elections
which followed the formation of the Dominion he was elected by
acclamation to both the Commons of Canada and the Assembly of Quebec. He
sat in both Houses until 1874, when, on dual representation being
abolished, he resigned his seat in the Commons, and directed all his
energies to the furtherance of Liberal principles in the Quebec House of
Assembly. The same year he was offered a seat in the Senate, but
declined to accept that dignity, preferring to fight the battles of
Liberalism in the more popular Assembly, in which he had already
achieved a high reputation as a statesman and debater, as well as much
personal popularity. In January, 1877, he again declined elevation to
the Upper House, and refused the portfolio of Dominion Minister of
Agriculture which had been tendered him by the Mackenzie Administration.
The constituency of Lotbinière has never proved fickle to her trust, but
has regularly returned Mr. Joly as her representative to the popular
branch of the Legislature. From the Union, he has been the acknowledged
head of the Liberal Party in Lower Canada, and the chosen leader of the
Opposition in the House of Assembly. In March, 1878, the Hon. Luc
Letellier de St. Just, Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, dismissed his
Ministry under circumstances which have already been detailed at
length in these pages; and on the then Premier--Mr. De
Boucherville--refusing to nominate a successor, Mr. Joly was sent for
and invited to form a Cabinet. He promptly accepted the responsibility,
selected his colleagues, and, on being defeated in the Chamber, appealed
to the people for a ratification of the principles of his Party. The
contest was fought with great vigour and pertinacity on both sides, and
the result was a victory, though a slight one, for the Liberal Party.
Mr. Joly was opposed in Lotbinière by Mr. Guillaume E. Amyot, an
advocate and journalist of Quebec. He was elected by a majority of more
than three hundred votes. He became Premier and Minister of Public
Works--an office which requires the utmost tact and delicacy in its
administration. He set on foot a policy of retrenchment and purity, and
contemplated several much-needed reforms which he did not retain office
long enough to see brought into operation. Mr. Joly's Administration was
based on principles of the closest economy, and every effort was made to
check all unnecessary outlay of the public expenditure. The salaries of
the Ministers were reduced, an effort was made to abolish the
Legislative Council, and the railway policy of the country was developed
with caution. Wherever the pruning knife could be advantageously
employed, the Premier applied it, and if he was not always successful,
the fault was certainly not his own. His personal popularity was
sufficiently attested by the fact that although he is a Protestant, with
fixed opinions on theological matters, he was Premier of a Province
where a large majority of the population are adherents of the Roman
Catholic faith. He carried on the affairs of the country with combined
spirit and moderation until October, 1879, when, on being defeated in
the House, he and his Government resigned their seats in the Executive,
and Mr. Chapleau was sent for. Mr. Chapleau succeeded in forming an
Administration, which at the time of the present writing still holds the
reins of power in the Province of Quebec.

[Illustration: HENRI GUSTAVE JOLY, signed as H. G. JOLY]

Mr. Joly is a good departmental officer, a graceful speaker, a man of
much force of character, and one who has always the courage of his
convictions. Whether in power or in Opposition his language and
demeanour are marked by conciliation and courtesy. He is a man of many
friends, and has few personal enemies, even among those to whom he has
been a life-long political opponent. He has devoted a good deal of
attention to the study of forestry, and is the author of several
important and valuable treatises on that subject. Among other offices
which he holds may be mentioned the Presidency of the Society for the
rewooding of the Province of Quebec, the first Presidency of the Reform
Association, of the _Parti Nationale_ of Quebec, of the Lotbinière
Agricultural Society No. 2, and of the Society for the Promotion of
Canadian Industry. He is also Vice-President of the Humane Society of
British North America, and one of the Council of the Geographical
Society of Quebec, of which latter association he was once

Some years ago Mr. Joly married Miss Gowan, a daughter of Mr. Hammond
Gowan, of Quebec.



Mr. Bowell is English by birth, but has resided in this country ever
since his tenth year. He was born at Rickinghall Superior, a pleasant
little village situated in the northern part of the county of Suffolk,
on the 27th of December, 1823. His father, the late Mr. John Bowell,
emigrated from Suffolk to Canada in the spring of 1833, and settled in
what is now the city of Belleville. His mother's maiden name was
Elizabeth Marshall. He has been compelled to make his own way in the
world, and has risen from obscure beginnings to the elevated position
which he now occupies by dint rather of natural ability than of any
adventitious aids. In his boyhood he enjoyed few educational advantages.
He had been only a few months in Canada when he entered a printing
office in Belleville, where he remained until he had completed his
apprenticeship. He then became foreman of the establishment. He began to
take an interest in politics at the very outset of his career, and
attached himself to the Conservative side. He was very industrious, and
during the term of his indentures did much to repair his defective
education. He availed himself of every opportunity which came in his way
for increasing his stock of knowledge, and erelong attained a position
and influence far more than commensurate with his years. In 1853 he
became sole proprietor of the Belleville _Intelligencer_, with which he
continued to be identified for a period of twenty-two years. Under his
management the _Intelligencer_ became one of the leading exponents of
public opinion in the county of Hastings, and his own local influence
was thereby greatly promoted. Other causes contributed to enhance his
position and influence. When only eighteen years old he allied himself
with the Orange Body, in which he rose to the highest dignities in the
gift of that Order. For eight years he was Grand Master of the
Provincial Grand Lodge of Ontario East. At the annual meeting of the
Grand Lodge of the Loyal Orange Institution of British North America,
held at Kingston in 1870, a change was made in the Grand Mastership,
which had been held for many years by the Hon. John Hillyard Cameron.
Mr. Bowell was unanimously elected to the office, and continued to
occupy it until 1878, when he declined reëlection. For thirteen years he
was Chairman of the Common School Board of Belleville, and was for some
time Chairman of the Grammar School, always taking a lively interest in
the promotion of education among the masses. For many years he was an
active promoter of the Volunteer Militia force, as well as an active
member. At the time of the St. Alban's raid he went with his company to
Amherstburgh, where, at considerable sacrifice to his business, he
remained four months. He was also at Prescott during the Fenian raid in
1866. At present he holds the rank of a Lieutenant-Colonel of
Volunteer Rifles. He was one of the founders of the Press Association,
and during one year occupied the position of President. He was also
Vice-President of the Dominion Editors' and Reporters' Association.

[Illustration: MACKENZIE BOWELL, signed as Mackenzie Bowell]

Mr. Bowell was an active politician long before he emerged from his
apprenticeship, but did not enter Parliament until after Confederation.
In 1863 he contested the North Riding of Hastings, but was unsuccessful,
and did not repeat the experiment until 1867, when he was returned to
the House of Commons for that Riding, and he has ever since represented
it. He signalized his entrance into Parliament by moving a series of
resolutions against Sir George Cartier's Militia Bill, and though he
failed to carry them all, he succeeded in defeating the Minister of
Militia on some important points by which a considerable reduction was
made in the expenditure. Several years later he took a prominent part in
the expulsion of Louis Riel from the House of Commons. It was by Mr.
Bowell that the investigation was instituted into Riel's complicity in
the murder of Thomas Scott before the walls of Fort Garry. In 1876 he
made a powerful attack upon Mr. Mackenzie's Government for having
awarded a contract to Mr. T. W. Anglin, the Speaker of the House. The
result of Mr. Bowell's attack was the unseating of several Members of
Parliament, including Mr. Anglin; and a stringent Act respecting the
Independence of Parliament was shortly afterwards passed.

At the last general election for the House of Commons, held on the 17th
of September, 1878, Mr. Bowell was opposed in North Hastings by Mr. E.
D. O'Flynn, of Madoc, whom he defeated by a majority of 241--the vote
standing 1,249 for Bowell and 1,008 for O'Flynn. After the resignation
of Mr. Mackenzie's Government in the following month, Mr. Bowell
accepted the portfolio of Minister of Customs in the Ministry of Sir
John A. Macdonald. This position he still retains. Upon returning to his
constituents after accepting office he was returned by acclamation. He
is not a frequent speaker, but he has always taken an active and
intelligent part in the business of the House, and is highly esteemed by
his colleagues.

Mr. Bowell married, in December, 1847, Miss Harriett Louisa Moore, of
Belleville. He is a Director in numerous railway and general commercial
enterprises. In 1875 he disposed of the _Intelligencer_, with which he
had been identified for so many years, but he still takes a warm
interest in its prosperity, and is indebted to it for a very firm and
consistent support.



The late Bishop Richardson was born in the same year which witnessed the
death of the great founder of Methodism, John Wesley; the same year also
which witnessed the passing of the Constitutional Act whereby Upper
Canada was ushered into existence as a separate Province. He came of
English stock on both sides. His father, James Richardson, after whom he
was called, was a brave seaman; one of that old-world band of gallant
tars who fought under Lord Rodney against the French, when

    "Rochambeau their armies commanded,
     Their ships they were led by De Grasse."

He was present at the famous sea-fight off Dominica, in the West Indies,
on the 12th of April, 1782, when the naval forces of France and Spain
were almost entirely destroyed. He was soon afterwards taken prisoner,
and sent to France, where he was detained until the cessation of
hostilities. Having been set at liberty in 1785, he repaired to Quebec,
and was subsequently appointed to an office in connection with the
Canadian Marine. His duties lay chiefly on the upper lakes and rivers,
and he took up his abode at Kingston, on Lake Ontario. He married a lady
whose maiden name was Sarah Asmore, but who, at the time of her marriage
with him had been for some years a widow. The subject of this sketch was
one of the fruits of that union. He was born at Kingston, on the 29th of
January, 1791.

His parents were members of the Church of England, and he was brought up
in the faith as taught and professed by that Body. He attended various
schools in Kingston until he was about thirteen years of age, when he
began his career as a sailor on board a vessel commanded by his father.
During his five years' apprenticeship he acquired a thorough familiarity
with the topography and navigation of the lakes and rivers of Upper
Canada. In 1809, when he was eighteen years old, he entered the
Provincial Marine. Upon the breaking out of the war of 1812 he received
a Lieutenant's commission, and was forthwith employed in active service.
He became sailing master of the _Moira_, under Captain Sampson, and
afterwards of the _Montreal_, under Captain Popham. Upon the arrival of
Sir James Yeo in Upper Canada, in May, 1813, the naval armament on the
lakes entered upon a new phase of existence. The local marine ceased to
exist as such, and became a part of the Royal Navy. The Provincial
commissions previously granted were no longer of any effect, and that of
Lieutenant Richardson shared the same fate as the rest. The Provincial
officers resented this mode of dealing with their commissions, and all
but two of them retired from the marine and took service in the militia,
where, in the language of Colonel Coffin, they were permitted to
risk their lives without offence to their feelings. The two exceptions
were Lieutenant George Smith and the subject of this sketch. The latter
shared the sentiments of his brother officers, but he recognized the
importance to the country of working harmoniously with his superiors at
such a juncture, and cast every personal consideration aside. He
informed the Commodore that he was willing to give his country the
benefit of his local knowledge and services, but declined to take any
rank below that which had previously been conferred upon him. The
Commodore availed himself of the young man's services as a master and
pilot, and in those capacities he did good service until the close of
the war. He shared the gun-room with the regular commissioned officers,
with whom he was very popular. He was with the fleet during the
unsuccessful attempt on Sackett's Harbour, towards the close of May,
1813. A year later, at the taking of Oswego, he was pilot of the
_Montreal_, under Captain Popham, already mentioned; and he took his
vessel so close in to the fort that the Commodore feared lest he should
run aground. Soon after bringing the _Montreal_ to anchor a shot from
the fort carried off his left arm just below the shoulder. He sank down
upon the deck of the vessel, and was carried below. The remnant of his
shattered arm was secured so as to prevent him from bleeding to death,
"and there," says his biographer,[7] "he lay suffering while the battle
raged, his ears filled with its horrid din, and his mind oppressed with
anxiety as to its result, till the cheers of the victors informed him
that his gallant comrades had triumphed. He had been wounded in the
morning, and it was nearly evening before the surgeon could attend to
him, when it was found necessary to remove the shattered stump from the
socket at the shoulder joint. During the severe operation the young
lieutenant evinced the utmost fortitude. In the evening he was
exceedingly weak from loss of blood, the pain of his wound, and the
severity of the operation. Next day the fever was high, and for some
days his life apparently hung in the balance; but at length he commenced
to rally, and by the blessing of God upon the skilful attention and
great care that he received, he was finally fully restored." During the
following October he joined the _St. Lawrence_--said to have been the
largest sailing vessel that ever navigated the waters of Lake
Ontario--and in this service he remained until the close of the war.

[Illustration: JAMES RICHARDSON, signed as JAS. RICHARDSON]

Soon after the proclamation of peace he retired from the naval service,
and settled at Presque Isle Harbour, near the present site of the
village of Brighton, in the county of Northumberland. He was appointed
Collector of Customs of the port, and soon afterwards became a Justice
of the Peace. The Loyal and Patriotic Society requested his acceptance
of £100, and a yearly pension of a like amount was awarded to him by
Government in recognition of his services during the late war. This
well-earned pension he continued to receive during the remainder of his
life, embracing a period of more than fifty years.

In the year 1813, while the war was still in progress, he had married;
the lady of his choice being Miss Rebecca Dennis, daughter of Mr. John
Dennis, who was for many years a master-builder in the royal dock-yard
at Kingston. This lady shared his joys and sorrows for forty-five years.
During the last decade of her life she suffered great bodily affliction,
which she endured with Christian resignation and serenity. She died at
her home, Clover Hill, Toronto, on the 29th of March, 1858.

During the early months of their residence at Presque Isle Harbour, both
Mr. Richardson and his wife became impressed by serious thoughts on the
subject of religion. In August, 1818, they united with the Methodist
Episcopal Church. That Church was then in its infancy in this country,
and was struggling hard to obtain a permanent foothold. With its
subsequent history Mr. Richardson was closely identified. He was very
much in earnest, and felt it to be his duty to do his utmost for the
salvation of souls. His piety was not spasmodic or fitful, but steady
and enduring. His education at that time, though it was necessarily
imperfect, and far from being up to the standard of the present day, was
better than was that of most of his fellow-labourers. He at once became
a man of mark in the denomination, and was appointed to the offices of
steward and local preacher on the Smith's Creek circuit. His labours
were crowned with much success. His pulpit oratory is described as being
"full of vitality--adapted to bring souls to Christ, and build up in
holiness."[8] In 1824 he was called to active work, and placed on the
Yonge Street circuit, which included the town of York, and extended
through eight of the neighbouring townships. This rendered necessary his
removal from Presque Isle, and his resignation of his office as
Collector of Customs. His field of labour extended from York northwardly
to Lake Simcoe--a distance of forty-five miles--with lateral excursions
to right and left for indeterminate distances. The state of the roads
was such that wheeled vehicles were frequently unavailable, and the
greater part of the travelling had to be done on horseback, the preacher
carrying his books, clothing, writing materials, and other accessories
in his saddle-bags. His life was necessarily a toilsome one, and his
financial remuneration was little more than nominal. During his second
year on circuit he had for a colleague the Rev. Egerton Ryerson, with
whom he worked in the utmost harmony, and with very gratifying pastoral
results. Dr. Richardson has left on record his appreciation of his
colleague's services at this time. He says: "A more agreeable and useful
colleague I could not have desired. We laboured together with one heart
and mind, and God was graciously pleased to crown our united efforts
with success--we doubled the members in society, both in town and
country, and all was harmony and love. Political questions were not
rife--indeed were scarcely known among us. The church was an asylum for
any who feared God and wrought righteousness, irrespective of any party
whatever. We so planned our work as to be able to devote one week out of
four exclusively to pastoral labour in the town, and to preach there
twice every Sabbath, besides meeting all the former appointments in the
townships east and west bordering on Yonge Street for forty-five or
fifty miles northward to Roach's Point, Lake Simcoe. This prosperous and
agreeable state of things served to reconcile both my dear wife and
myself to the itinerant life, with all the attendant privations and
hardships incident to those times."

In 1826 Mr. Richardson was sent to labour at Fort George and Queenston.
Next year he was admitted into full connection, and ordained a deacon,
along with the late Dr. Anson Green and Egerton Ryerson. Mr. Richardson
was transferred to the River Credit, where he laboured for a year as a
missionary among the Indians. An important crisis in the history of the
Methodist Church in Canada was then at hand. The memorable Conference of
1828 was held at Ernesttown, in the Bay of Quinté district. It was
presided over by Bishop Hedding, and Mr. Richardson was chosen
secretary. It was at this Conference that the decisive step of
separation from the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church
in the United States was taken. Thenceforward the Church in Canada
became an independent Body, with a Bishop and Conference of its own.
"This step," says Mr. Richardson, "was fraught with results, for good or
ill, according as it is viewed by different parties, from their several
standpoints. It was deemed necessary then, by the majority, because of
the political relations of the two countries, and the difficulty
attendant on obtaining our legal right to hold church property, and
solemnize matrimony. Others, viewing the church as catholic, or
universal in her design and character, judged it wrong to limit her
jurisdiction by national or municipal boundaries." Mr. Richardson
subsequently regretted that the scheme of separation had been carried
out. Meanwhile he was appointed, along with the Rev. Joseph Gatchell, to
the Niagara Circuit, a very extensive field of labour, and took up his
abode at what was then the insignificant village of St. Catharines.
There he remained two years, and in 1830 was ordained as an elder by
Bishop Hedding, of the United States--no Bishop having as yet been
selected for the Canadian Church, which, since its separation, had been
presided over by a General Superintendent in the person of the Rev.
William Case. It is unnecessary that we should follow him in his labours
from circuit to circuit. His life was spent in the service of his
Church, and wherever he went he left behind him the impress of a sincere
and zealous man. At the Conference held at York in 1831 he was appointed
presiding elder of the Niagara District. In September, 1832, he became
editor of the _Christian Guardian_, and while holding that position he
opposed the reception of Government support to the churches with great
vigour and determination. He continued to direct the policy of the
_Guardian_ until the Conference of 1833. During this Conference, which
marks another important epoch in the history of Canadian Methodism, the
Articles of Union between the English and Canadian Connexions were
adopted. To this union Mr. Richardson was a consenting party, believing
that the step would be productive of good, though he subsequently had
reason to modify his views on the subject. In 1836 he severed his
connection with the Wesleyans, owing to the reception by that Body of
State grants. He soon afterwards removed to Auburn, in the State of New
York, where he won the respect of his congregation; but he was not
adapted to such a circle as that in which he found himself, and did not
feel himself at home there. "His quiet, unpretentious manners," says Mr.
Carroll, "were not of the kind to carry much sway with our impressible
American cousins; and the constant exhibition of an empty sleeve, ever
reminding them of an arm lost in resisting their immaculate Republic,
was likely to be an eye-sore to a people so hostile to Britain as the
citizens of the United States." He was moreover an uncompromising
abolitionist, and was fearless in his denunciations of the national
curse of slavery. The prevailing sentiment in the State of New York in
those days was not such as to conduce to the popularity of any man who
took the side of humanity. He remained at Auburn only a year, when he
returned to his native land, and took up his residence at Toronto.
Immediately upon his arrival he encountered his old friend and
fellow-labourer the Rev. Philander Smith. A long and serious
conversation followed, during which they both decided to reunite
themselves with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Conference of that
Body was then in session a short distance from Toronto, and their
resolution was at once carried out. They were received with open arms,
and continued in the ministry of the Church during the remainder of
their respective lives.

In 1837 Mr. Richardson was stationed at Toronto. The following year he
travelled as a general missionary. The British and Foreign Bible
Society having established a branch in Canada, Mr. Richardson was, in
1840, appointed its agent, he having received permission of the
Conference to act in that capacity. This office he filled, with
advantage to the Society and credit to himself, for eleven years. While
acting in that capacity he often filled Wesleyan pulpits, preserved the
most cordial relations with his old friends belonging to that Body. In
1842 he became Vice-President, and in 1851 President, of the Upper
Canada Religious Tract and Book Society. He retained the latter position
to the time of his death. In 1852 he was again appointed Presiding Elder
of his Church. After occupying that position for two years his health
was so much impaired that he was granted a superannuation, which he held
for four years. On the 29th of March, 1858, he sustained a serious
bereavement in the loss of his wife. At the Conference held in that year
he reported himself able to resume his labours, and was once more
appointed to the charge of a district, but before the close of the
session he was elected to the Episcopal office. He was consecrated by
Bishop Smith, on Sunday, the 22nd of August. He forthwith entered upon
his duties. During the next two years he was in an infirm state of
health, but a brief respite from work restored him, and he resumed his
Episcopal and other duties with even more than his wonted vigour. In
1865 he visited England on behalf of Albert College, Belleville. The
College Board was hampered by a heavy debt, and it was found impossible
to relieve the pressure by Canadian subscriptions alone. Bishop
Richardson accordingly, at the request of the College authorities,
crossed the Atlantic to solicit aid there. He was accompanied by his
daughter, Mrs. Brett, wife of Mr. R. H. Brett, banker, of Toronto. They
were absent about six months, during which they visited many of the
principal cities and towns of England and Scotland. The Bishop was
indefatigable in his exertions, but the Reformed Methodist Church in
England is not a wealthy Body, and it had enough to do to support its
institutions at home. For these reasons the subscriptions obtained were
neither so large nor so numerous as had been hoped, though the
expedition was by no means a fruitless one.

The next five years were comparatively uneventful ones in the life of
Bishop Richardson. His time was spent in the discharge of his official
duties. His coadjutor, Bishop Smith, had become old and feeble, and
Bishop Richardson willingly took upon himself a portion of the invalid's
work. His time, therefore, was fully occupied. In 1870 Bishop Smith
died, and during the next four years the entire duties pertaining to the
Episcopal office devolved upon the survivor. He seemed almost to renew
his youth in order to meet the extra demands made upon him. He was more
than fourscore years of age, yet he contrived to get creditably through
an amount of mental and bodily labour which would have prostrated many
men not past their prime. He frequently conducted his pulpit services
and the sessions of the Conference without the aid of spectacles; and he
was persistent in his determination to do his own work without the
assistance of a secretary. This state of things, however, in a man of
his age, could not be expected to last. His vital forces began
perceptibly to give way. In the month of August, 1874, at the General
Conference of the Church held at Napanee, he consecrated the Rev. Dr.
Carman to the Episcopal office. The ceremonial taxed his energies very
severely, and he was compelled by physical suffering to leave the
Conference room as soon as he had placed his associate in the chair. At
the close of the Conference he returned to his home at Clover Hill--now
known as St. Joseph Street--where a few days' rest enabled him to regain
as great a measure of health as could be expected in a man who had
entered upon his eighty-fourth year. During the autumn and winter he was
actively at work as earnestly as ever, watching over every department of
the Church, and giving especial attention to the questions submitted by
the General Conference for the action of the Quarterly Meeting
Conferences. During the following winter, while visiting the Ancaster
Circuit, he was prostrated by dizziness, and after his return home it
was evident that his end was near. He sank quietly to his rest on the
9th of March, 1875. His death was like his life--manly, and devoid of
display. "I have no ecstasy," he remarked to a clerical visitor, "but I
know in whom I have believed." To another visitor he remarked, "My work
is done; I have nothing to do now but to die." He retained his mental
faculties in their full vigour almost up to the moment when he ceased to
breathe. He was buried in the family vault at the Necropolis, Toronto,
on the 12th of the month. The funeral was unusually large. The funeral
sermon was preached by Bishop Carman in the Metropolitan Methodist
Church, on the morning of Sunday, March 21st, from the text 1st
Corinthians, xv. 55: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy

Bishop Richardson, while possessing few or none of the superlatively
salient characteristics by which some of his contemporaries were
distinguished, was one of those men who, almost imperceptibly, exert a
wide and lasting influence for good. There was nothing showy or flashy
about him; nothing theatrical or unreal. He made no pretence to
brilliant oratory, or indeed to specially brilliant gifts of any kind.
He was simply a man of good intellect and sound judgment, with a highly
developed moral nature, who strove earnestly to benefit his fellow-men,
and to leave the world better than he found it. He believed in
Episcopacy, and was in full sympathy with the form of government adopted
by his Church; but his zeal for Episcopacy was altogether subordinated
to his zeal for Christianity. His life was conscientiously devoted to
the service of his Master, and he has left behind him many hallowed
memories. Next to his piety, perhaps the most conspicuous thing about
him was his love for his country. His patriotism was as zealous in his
declining years as it had been in those remote times when he lost his
left arm before the batteries of Oswego. At the time of the Fenian
invasion of Canada, in 1866--when he was in his seventy-sixth year--his
loyal sympathies were roused to such a degree that he expressed his
willingness to risk his one remaining arm in his country's defence. He
would have taken the field, had his doing so been necessary, with as
clear a conscience as he would have discharged any other duty of his
life. In the words of his biographer: "Loyalty to God and his country,
uprightness and integrity in his dealings with his fellow-men, and civil
and religious liberty for all, were leading articles in his creed."


Lord Seaton, who is better known to Canadians by his commoner's title of
Sir John Colborne, was a son of Samuel Colborne, an English gentleman
resident at Lyndhurst, in the county of Hants. He was born sometime in
the year 1777, and after passing from the hands of a private tutor to
Winchester College--where he remained several years--he embraced a
military life, in 1794, by entering the army in the capacity of an
ensign. The closing years of the last century were propitious for a
young British soldier fired by an ambition to distinguish himself, and
young Colborne had embraced precisely the career for which he was best
fitted. He was a born soldier, and throughout his military life
furnished an apt illustration of the round peg in the round hole.
Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War, speaks of him as having
developed "an extraordinary genius for war," and another historian
refers to him as one of the bravest and most efficient officers produced
by those stirring times. For the readers of these pages the chief
interest in his career begins with his arrival in Canada in 1828. His
services previous to that date may be summarized in a few sentences. In
1799 he was sent over by way of Holland to Egypt under Sir Ralph
Abercromby, and remained there until the realm of the Pharaohs was
cleared of the French and restored to the Sultan's dominion. He was with
the British and Russian troops employed on the Neapolitan frontier in
1805; also in Sicily and Calabria, in the campaign of 1806. Having
obtained promotion for his gallant services, he became Military
Secretary to General Fox, Commander of the Forces in Sicily and the
Mediterranean, and afterwards acted in the same capacity to Sir John
Moore. He was present at the battle of Corunna, where his brave Chief
met a glorious death. Immediately afterwards he joined the army of Lord
Wellington, and in 1809 he was sent to La Mancha to report on the
operations of the Spanish armies. Having received the command of a
regiment, and having been appointed to a lieutenant-colonelcy, he
commanded a brigade in Sir Rowland Hill's division in the campaigns of
1810-11, and was detached in command of the brigade to Castel Branco, to
observe the movements of General Reynier's _corps d'armée_ on the
frontier of Portugal. At the battle of Busaco he commanded a brigade and
also on the retreat to the Lines of Torres Vedras. On the 21st of June,
1814, he married Miss Elizabeth Yonge, daughter of the Rev. J. Yonge, of
Puslinch, Devonshire, and Rector of Newton-Ferrers. He was actively
employed all through the War in the Peninsula, and received his due
proportion of wounds and glory. In 1815 he was present at the memorable
battle of Waterloo, in command of his old regiment, the 52nd. He
likewise commanded a brigade on the celebrated march to Paris. The
battle of Waterloo was the last European conflict in which he took part.
He subsequently became Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey, one of the
Channel Islands. In 1825 he was appointed a Major-General; and in 1828
he first came to Canada as Lieutenant-Governor, when the chief interest
in his life, so far as Canadian readers are concerned, may be said to
have begun. He succeeded Sir Peregrine Maitland, who had been
transferred to Nova Scotia.

He arrived in Canada in November, 1828, and at once assumed charge of
the Administration. His predecessor had left him a very undesirable
legacy in the shape of great popular discontent. It was announced that
Sir John had come over with instructions to reverse Sir Peregrine
Maitland's policy, and to govern in accordance with liberal principles.
The general elections of that year testified plainly enough that the
people of Upper Canada were moving steadily in the direction of Reform,
and if Sir John had acted in accordance with the instructions he had
received from headquarters a good deal of subsequent calamity might
perhaps have been averted. But the new Governor was essentially a
military Governor. He had been literally "a man of war from his youth."
His character, though in the main upright and honourable, was stern and
unbending, and his military pursuits had not fitted him for the task of
governing a people who were just beginning to grasp the principles of
constitutional liberty. He allied himself with the Family Compact, and
was guided by the advice of that body in his administration of public
affairs. Parliament met early in January, 1829, and it soon became
apparent that Sir John Colborne's idea of a liberal policy was not
sufficiently advanced to meet the demands of the Assembly. There is no
need to recapitulate in detail the arbitrary proceedings to which the
Governor lent his countenance during the next few years. The prosecution
of Collins and of William Lyon Mackenzie, and the setting apart of the
fifty-seven rectories, have often been commented upon, and but little
satisfaction is to be derived from repeating those oft-told grievances.
Upon the whole, Sir John Colborne's Administration of Upper Canadian
affairs cannot be said to have been much more beneficent than was that
of his predecessor. With good intentions, he was constitutionally
unequal to the requirements of the position in which he found himself
placed. His course of action was very distasteful to the Reform Party,
but he continued to govern the Upper Province until 1835, when he
solicited his recall. His request was acceded to. His successor, Sir
Francis Bond Head, arrived in January, 1836, and Sir John was just about
to sail from New York for Europe, when he received a despatch appointing
him Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Canada. He consequently
returned, and took up his quarters at Quebec, the capital of the Lower
Province, where he adopted such prompt measures for the defence of the
country as the exigencies of the times demanded. On the breaking out of
the Rebellion he was once more in his proper element, and showed that
the high military reputation which he had achieved on the continent of
Europe had not been undeserved. There is no need to go through the
minutiae of the Lower Canadian Rebellion, nor to tell in detail the
story of St. Denis, of St. Eustache, and of St. Benoit. Sir John has
been accused of unnecessary cruelty in putting down the insurrection.
Suffice it to say that the emergencies of the occasion were such as to
call for determined measures, and that Sir John employed measures suited
to the emergencies. He soon succeeded in extinguishing the flame of
rebellion in all parts of the country, taking the field himself in
person in several engagements. Papineau was compelled to retreat, as
also was Wolfred Nelson and his colleagues; and when Robert, the
latter's brother, presented himself, he was totally routed by the able
regular and militia forces under Sir John Colborne's command. On the
recall of Lord Gosford, Sir John was temporarily appointed
Governor-General of British North America, which high office he vacated
on Lord Durham's arrival in May, 1838. He was appointed to it again on
that nobleman's sudden and unauthorized departure in November of the
same year. He continued to administer the Government until 1839, when he
earnestly solicited his recall, in order that he might be enabled to
repose from his great labours. The Hon. Charles Poulett Thomson was
appointed his successor, and arrived at Quebec to relieve him of the
cares and anxieties of Government. On the 23rd of October Sir John
sailed for England. On his arrival there new honours awaited him. He was
created a peer of the United Kingdom, as Baron Seaton; received the
Grand Cross of the Bath, of Hanover, of St. Michael, and of St. George.
He was also created a Privy Councillor, and a pension of £2,000 per
annum was conferred upon him and his two immediate successors by Act of
Parliament. In 1838 he was appointed Lieutenant-General, and in 1854
General, as also Colonel of the Second Life Guards. In 1860 he was
raised to the highest rank and honour in the British service--that of
Field-Marshal. He died on the 17th of April, 1863, leaving behind him a
numerous progeny, the eldest whereof, James Colborne, succeeded to, and
now holds, the family titles and estates. The latter are of considerable
extent, and are situated in Devonshire, in London, and in the county of
Kildare, Ireland. It is worth while mentioning that the present
incumbent served his father in the capacity of an aide-de-camp during
the Canadian Rebellion.

The name of Sir John Colborne is inseparably blended with that of Upper
Canada College in the minds of the people of this Province. During the
early days of his Administration of affairs in Upper Canada there was a
good deal of agitation in the public mind with respect to the
establishment of a more advanced seat of learning than had previously
existed here. It had long been considered advisable to afford facilities
to the youth of Upper Canada for obtaining a more thorough education
than was to be had at such institutions as the Home District Grammar
School, which up to the year 1829 was the most advanced educational
establishment in York. Public feeling was aroused, and several petitions
were presented to the Legislature on the subject, each of which gave
rise to prolonged controversy and debate. The outcome of the discussion
was that Upper Canada College was established by an order of the
Provincial Government. Its original name was "the Upper Canada College
and Royal Grammar School," and the system upon which it was modelled was
that which was then adopted in most of the great public schools of
England. The classes were first opened on the 8th of January, 1830, in
the building on Adelaide Street which had formerly been used as the Home
District Grammar School. There it continued for more than a year. In the
summer of 1831 the institution was removed to the site which it has
since occupied. A fine portrait in oil of the subject of this sketch, in
his military costume, may be seen in one of the apartments there.


Sir Dominick Daly was born on the 11th of August, 1799, and was the
third son of Mr. Dominick Daly, a descendant of an old Roman Catholic
family in the county of Galway, Ireland. He was educated at the Roman
Catholic College of St. Mary's, near Birmingham, and after completing
his studies spent some time with an uncle who was a banker in Paris. He
subsequently returned to Ireland. In 1825 the Earl of Dalhousie visited
England, and Sir Francis M. Burton, who acted as Lieutenant-Governor
during his absence, brought with him as his private secretary, Mr.
Dominick Daly, then about twenty-six years of age. Lord Dalhousie
returned to Canada early in 1826, and Mr. Daly returned with Sir Francis
Burton to England.

In 1827 he returned to Quebec, bearing with him instructions to the
Governor-General to confer upon him the office of Provincial Secretary.
The appointment had been procured in England by the influence of Sir
Francis Burton, and other friends of Mr. Daly. During the interval which
elapsed between his appointment as Provincial Secretary and the
rebellion of 1837, a period of about ten years, Mr. Daly carefully
abstained from engaging in the political conflict, and seems to have
enjoyed a larger share of public confidence than any other official.
When Lord Durham was appointed Governor-General after the rebellion, Mr.
Daly was the only public official who was sworn of the Executive
Council, and there is no doubt that he was the only one of the British
officials who was looked on with favour by the leaders of the popular
party. And yet, viewing his conduct by the light of subsequent events,
it is probable that the popular leaders overestimated Mr. Daly's
sympathy with their cause. Unconnected with politics, he considered it
his duty to support the policy of the Governor of the day; and he
doubtless was of opinion that having been for many years incumbent of an
office which had always been admitted to be held as a permanent tenure,
he was justified in retaining it as long as he had the sanction of the
Governor for doing so. When the Union of the old Provinces of Lower and
Upper Canada took place in 1841, the Governor-General called on the
principal departmental officers to find seats in the House of Assembly,
although it is very improbable that he had any intention of strictly
carrying into practice what has since been understood as Responsible
Government. It had been the practice under the old system for the law
officers of the Crown to find seats in the Legislature, but the offices
of Provincial Secretary and Registrar, Receiver-General, Commissioner of
Crown Lands, and Inspector-General, had always been considered
non-political. Lord Sydenham, as far as can be judged from what
occurred, had no definite policy on the subject. He induced Mr. Daly to
enter Parliament, and the latter seems to have had no difficulty in
procuring a seat for the county of Megantic. The Provincial Secretary in
Upper Canada was allowed to retain his office without entering public
life. The Commissioner of Crown Lands in Lower Canada declined becoming
a candidate, and retained his office, while in Upper Canada the
Commissioner of Crown Lands was a member both of the Legislative and
Executive Councils. Mr. Daly seems to have been considered as
unobjectionable by the leaders of the majority in Lower Canada, as he
was by their opponents, which, taking into account the excited state of
feeling at the period of the Union, is conclusive proof that he had
acted with great discretion during the stormy period which preceded the
suspension of the Constitution. When Mr. Baldwin, on accepting office at
the time of the Union, deemed it his duty to acquaint those who were
appointed members of Council prior to the meeting of the first
Parliament of United Canada, that there were some in whom he had no
political confidence, Mr. Daly was one of the exceptions; and as Mr.
Baldwin's avowed object was the introduction of French Canadians into
the Government, he must have been satisfied that they had not the
objection to Mr. Daly that they had to Mr. Ogden and Mr. Day. Mr.
Baldwin's attempt to procure a reconstruction of the Ministry was
unsuccessful, and he resigned, not having been supported by those with
whom he had avowed his readiness to act. Mr. Daly went through the
session of 1841 as a member of the Government, and visited England
during the recess. On the meeting of the Legislature in 1842, Sir
Charles Bagot having, during the interval, succeeded Lord Sydenham,
overtures were made, with the concurrence of Mr. Daly, to Messrs.
Lafontaine and Baldwin, which led to a reconstruction of the Cabinet.
Mr. Daly retained his office of Provincial Secretary, and acted in
perfect harmony with his colleagues, not only during the short term of
Sir Charles Bagot's Government, but during the critical period of 1843,
after Sir Charles Metcalfe's assumption of the Government, and up to the
very moment when, in the opinion of all his colleagues, resignation
became absolutely necessary. During the whole of this period Mr. Daly
appeared to concur with his colleagues on every point on which a
difference of opinion arose, and it was only when resignation became
absolutely necessary that he declined to act any longer in concert with
them. At an early period of the session of 1843 a vacancy occurred in
the Speakership of the Legislative Council--an office of considerable
political importance, and one which it was clearly impossible that the
Ministry could consent to have conferred on a political opponent. The
choice of the Administration fell on the Hon. Denis B. Viger, one of the
oldest Liberal politicians in the Province. On submitting their advice
to Sir Charles Metcalfe, he not only objected most strongly to Mr.
Viger's appointment, but stated that he had offered the post, without
consulting his Ministers, to Mr. Sherwood, a retired Judge, and father
of Mr. Henry Sherwood, one of the leading opponents of the
Administration. Had Mr. Sherwood accepted the offer, the crisis would
have occurred a few weeks sooner than it did, and on a question on which
there could have been no misapprehension. Mr. Sherwood declined the
offer, probably to avoid the impending difficulty, and after some
negotiation, the Ministry consented to withdraw Mr. Viger's name, and to
substitute that of the late Lieutenant-Governor Caron. During all this
difficulty, Mr. Daly was apparently in accord with his colleagues,
although it subsequently appeared that he was acting in concert with Mr.
Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who took an active part in supporting Sir
Charles, and whose letters published in England threw a good deal of
light on the transactions previous to the crisis. Mr. Daly retained his
office of Secretary in the new Ministry formed by Metcalfe, and was
subjected to much censure for what was considered a desertion of his
colleagues. So bitter was the personal feeling that on one occasion
language was used in the House by one of his old colleagues, Mr. Aylwin,
which he deemed so offensive as to lead him to retort in terms that
provoked a hostile message and a subsequent meeting, when, after an
exchange of shots, the dispute was amicably settled.

The Ministry formed under Metcalfe in 1843 was changed repeatedly, Mr.
Daly having been the only member of it who retained office until the
resignation in March, 1848, in consequence of a vote of want of
confidence having been carried in the Assembly at the opening of the
third Parliament. There were during that period two Attorneys-General
and two Solicitors-General in each of the Provinces, two Presidents of
the Council, two Receivers-General, two Ministers of Finance, two
Commissioners of Crown Lands, but only one Secretary, whose adhesion to
office was the subject of a good deal of remark. When at last
resignation became indispensably necessary, Mr. Daly withdrew almost
immediately from public life. It had clearly never been his intention to
continue in Parliament as a member of the Opposition; and it could
scarcely have been expected by the Party with which circumstances had
forced him into alliance that he would adhere to it after its downfall.
It may truly be said of Mr. Daly that he was never a member of any
Canadian Party, and that he had no sympathy with the political views of
any of his numerous colleagues. A most amiable man in private life, and
much esteemed by a large circle of private friends, he was wholly
unsuited for public life. He had never been in the habit of speaking in
public prior to his first election, and he never attempted to acquire
the talent. Having no private fortune, he found himself after the age of
forty suddenly called upon to take a prominent part in the organization
of a new system of government, which involved his probable retirement,
and as an almost necessary consequence, his subsequent exclusion from

In estimating Sir Dominick Daly's political character, it would be
unfair to judge him by the same standard as those who subsequently
accepted office with a full knowledge of the responsibilities which they
incurred by doing so. Sir Dominick Daly was the last of the old Canadian
bureaucracy, and it is not a little singular that he should have been
able to retain his old office of Secretary under the new system for a
period of fully seven years. On his return to England his claim on the
Imperial Government, which without doubt had been strongly urged by
Metcalfe, was promptly recognized, and he was almost immediately
appointed a Commissioner of Enquiry into the claims of the New and
Waltham Forests, which he held until the close of the Commission in
1850-51. He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Island of Tobago,
in the Windward Island group, in 1851, and transferred to the government
of Prince Edward Island in 1854, which he held until 1857. In November,
1861, he was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of South
Australia, where he died in the year 1868, in the sixty-ninth year of
his age. He had received the honour of knighthood on the termination of
his service in Prince Edward Island.

Sir Dominick Daly married, in 1826, a daughter of Colonel Gore, of
Barrowmount, in the County Kilkenny, Ireland, by whom he had several
children. One of his sons is the present representative of the city of
Halifax in the Dominion Parliament.


Mr. McMaster is probably the most widely known among the merchant
princes of Western Canada, and has had a remarkably successful
commercial career. As is the case with most men who have been the
architects of their own fortunes, his success is largely attributable to
his personal qualifications. He inherited a sound constitution, an
active, enterprising mind, and a strong will. With such advantages he
began the battle of life in this country nearly half a century ago. He
grew with the country's growth, and by his industry and shrewdness
achieved, in course of time, a position which made him thoroughly
independent of the world. It has been the fashion to say of him that his
mercantile operations were always attended with "good luck;" but those
who converse with him on commercial or financial questions for half an
hour will draw their own conclusions as to how far "luck" has had to do
with the matter. He has been lucky in the same sense that the late Duke
of Wellington was lucky; that is to say, he has known how to take
advantage of favourable circumstances. Anyone else possessing his
keenness of perception and shrewd common sense would in the long run
have been equally lucky. He has made good use alike of his wealth and
his talents, and the land of his adoption is the better for his

He is by birth and early training an Irishman, and was born in the
county of Tyrone, on the 24th of December, 1811. His father, the late
Mr. William McMaster, was a linen merchant whose resources were not
abundant, but who was able to give his son a good education. The latter
received his educational training at an excellent private school taught
by a Mr. Halcro, who had a high local reputation as a teacher. After
leaving school he was for a short time a clerk in a local mercantile
house. His prospects in Ireland, however, were not commensurate with his
ambition. In 1833, when he was in his twenty-second year, he resigned
his situation, and emigrated. Upon reaching New York he was advised by
the resident British Consul not to settle in the United States, but to
make his way to Canada. He acted upon the advice, and passed on to
Toronto--or, as it was then called, Little York.

The conditions of the wholesale trade in Canada in those days were very
different from those which now prevail. The preeminence of Montreal as a
point of distribution for both the Provinces was well established, and
the wholesale trade of Little York was comparatively insignificant.
There were very few exclusively wholesale establishments in the Upper
Canadian capital, but several of the largest firms contrived to combine
a wholesale and retail business. Young William McMaster, immediately
upon his arrival at Little York, obtained a clerkship in one of these,
viz., that of Mr. Robert Cathcart, a merchant who then occupied premises
on the south side of King Street, opposite Toronto Street. After
remaining in this establishment somewhat more than a year in the
capacity of a clerk, young McMaster was admitted to a partnership in the
business, a large share of which from that time forward came under his
own personal management. The partnership lasted about ten years,
when--in 1844--Mr. McMaster withdrew from it, and started a separate
wholesale dry-goods business on his own account, in a store situated on
the west side of Yonge Street, a short distance below the intersection
of that thoroughfare with King Street. By this time the conditions of
trade had undergone some modification. Montreal still had the lion's
share of the wholesale trade, but Toronto and Hamilton had also become
known as distributing centres, and both those towns contained some large
wholesale warehouses. Mr. McMaster's business was a large one from the
beginning, but it rapidly expanded, until there was not a town, and
scarcely a village in Canada West, which did not largely depend upon the
house of William McMaster for its dry-goods supplies. The attempt to
make Toronto, instead of Montreal, the wholesale emporium for Western
Canada was not initiated by Mr. McMaster, but it was ably seconded by
him, and no merchant now living did so much to divert the wholesale
trade to western channels. In process of time he admitted his nephews
(who now compose the firm of Messrs. A. R. McMaster & Brother) into
partnership, and removed to more commodious premises lower down on Yonge
Street, contiguous to the Bank of Montreal. This large establishment in
its turn became too small for the ever-increasing volume of trade, and
the magnificent commercial palace on Front Street, where the business is
still carried on, was erected. Here, under the style of William McMaster
& Nephews, the business continued to grow. As time passed by, the senior
partner became engaged in large financial and other enterprises, and
practically left the purely commercial operations to the management of
his nephews. Eventually he withdrew from the firm altogether, but his
retirement has not been passed in idleness. He has a natural aptitude
for dealing with matters of finance, and this aptitude has been
increased by the operations of an active mercantile life. He has been a
director in several of the most important banking and insurance
institutions in the country, and has always taken his full share of the
work devolving upon him. Twenty years ago he founded the Canadian Bank
of Commerce, and became its President. That position he has occupied
ever since, and every banking-day finds him at his post. There can be no
doubt that his care and judgement have had much to do with the highly
successful career of the institution. Mr. McMaster was also for some
time a director of the Ontario Bank, and of the Bank of Montreal. He has
for many years acted as President of the Freehold Loan and Savings
Company, as Vice-President of the Confederation Life Association, and as
a director of the Isolated Risk--now called the Sovereign--Insurance
Company. He also for many years occupied the unenviable position of
Chairman of the Canadian Board of the Great Western Railway. Upon the
abolition of that Board a few years ago, and the election of an English
Board in its stead, Mr. McMaster was the only Canadian whose services
were retained.

But it is not only with financial and kindred matters that Mr. McMaster
has busied himself of late years. In 1862 he for the first time entered
political life, having been elected to represent the Midland Division,
embracing North York and South Simcoe, in the Legislative Council of old
Canada. He was opposed by Mr. John W. Gamble, who sustained a crushing
defeat, and Mr. McMaster continued to represent the Midland Division
until the Union. When the Senate of the Dominion was substituted for the
old Legislative Council, after the accomplishment of Confederation, Mr.
McMaster was chosen as one of the Senators to represent Ontario, and he
has ever since taken part in the deliberations of that body. He has
always been identified with the Liberal Party, but has never been an
extremist in his politics, and has kept himself aloof from the faction
fights of the times.

His highest claim to the consideration of posterity will probably rest
upon his services in the cause of education. These have been of a kind
which we would be glad to see emulated by others of our wealthy
capitalists. His first connection with general educational matters dates
from the year 1865, when he was appointed a member of the old Council of
Public Instruction. He continued to represent the Baptist Church--of
which he is a prominent member--at that Board for a period of ten years.
When the Senate of Toronto University was reconstructed, in 1873, he was
nominated one of its members by the Lieutenant-Governor. But his most
important services in the cause of education have been in connection
with the denomination of which he is a devoted member. When the Canadian
Literary Institute, at Woodstock, was originally projected, he
contributed liberally to the building fund, and repeated his
contribution when money was needed for the restoration of the buildings
after they were burned down. He has ever since contributed liberally to
the support of the institution, and indeed has been its mainstay in a
financial point of view. He has been largely instrumental in bringing
about the removal of the theological department of the Institute to
Toronto, where a suitable building is now in process of erection for its
accommodation in the Queen's Park, on land purchased by Mr. McMaster
specially for that purpose. The cost of erecting this building is borne
entirely by Mr. McMaster, and will amount, it is said, to at least

His benefactions to the Baptist Church have been large and numerous, and
of late years have been almost princely. The handsome edifice on the
corner of Jarvis and Gerrard Streets, Toronto, is largely due to the
bounty of Mr. McMaster and his wife, whose joint contributions to the
building fund amounted to about $60,000. To Mr. McMaster also is due the
existence of the Superannuated Ministers' Society of the Baptist Church
of this Province, of which he is the President, and to the funds of
which he has contributed with his accustomed liberality. He has also
long contributed to the support of the Upper Canada Bible Society, of
which he is the Treasurer.

He married, in 1851, Miss Mary Henderson, of New York City. Her death
took place in 1868; and three years afterwards he married his present
wife, Susan Molton, widow of the late Mr. James Fraser, of Newburgh, in
the State of New York. There is no issue of either marriage.


Mr. Laurier was born at St. Lin, L'Assomption, in the Province of
Quebec, on the 20th of November, 1841. He was educated first at
L'Assomption College, and subsequently at McGill University, where he
took his degree of B.C.L. in 1864. A year later he was called to the Bar
of Quebec, his law studies having been pursued in the office of Mr.--now
the Hon.--T. A. R. Laflamme. His health having suffered by too close
attention to his professional duties, Mr. Laurier, at the end of two
years, left Montreal, where he had practised, and became the editor of
_Le Défricheur_ newspaper at Arthabaska. His predecessor in the
editorship was the late Mr. J. B. E. Dorion, the paper being devoted to
the advocacy of Liberal principles. It did not, however, long continue
in existence, and on its suspension Mr. Laurier once more returned to
his professional pursuits, in which he soon obtained a high position,
his personal popularity being as marked as his intellectual attainments.
In 1871 he was the Liberal candidate for the representation of Drummond
and Arthabaska in the Local Assembly, and carried the seat by a large
majority. His talents as a debater and his statesmanlike cast of mind
soon made him prominent in the Legislature, and when, in 1874, Mr.
Mackenzie, shortly after accepting office, appealed to the country, Mr.
Laurier relinquished his seat at Quebec to enter upon a more enlarged
sphere of work at Ottawa. He was elected for Drummond and Arthabaska
after a keen contest, and on the opening of the first session of the new
Parliament was selected to second the address in reply to the Speech
from the Throne. The manner in which he discharged this duty made a most
favourable impression. He was at once recognized as one of the foremost
of the many able representatives Quebec had sent to support the
then-existing Government, and has since never failed to impress the
House favourably when he has taken part in the debates.

It was evident from his first introduction to parliamentary life that he
must, at no distant day, be called upon to take his share in the
responsibilities of office. Even before that time his status as a leader
of opinion and a representative man in relation to public affairs had
been very clearly marked out. In a lecture delivered by him at Quebec in
July, 1877, on "Political Liberalism," he made a splendid defence of the
Liberals of Quebec against the misrepresentations and aspersions to
which they had been subjected. He insisted on the distinction between
religious and political opinions being maintained, and showed how
strictly moderate and constitutional were the views of those with whom
he was politically associated. Of the Liberal Party of the past--of the
follies that had characterized too many of its actions and utterances,
nothing, he declared, then existed, but in its stead remained the
principles of the Liberal Party of England. On the other hand, sketching
the party opposed to him under the name of Conservative, he spoke as
follows:--"Sir George Cartier," he said, "was devoted to the principles
of the English Constitution--if Sir George Cartier were to return to the
world again he would not recognize his Party. I certainly respect too
much the opinion of my opponents to do them an injury, but I reproach
them with knowing neither their country nor the times. I accuse them of
estimating the political situation not by what has occurred here, but by
what has occurred in France. I accuse them of endeavouring to introduce
here ideas which would be impossible in our state of society. I accuse
them of laboriously endeavouring, and, unfortunately, too effectually,
to make religion the simple basis of a political Party. It is the custom
of our adversaries to accuse us Liberals of irreligion. I am not here to
parade my religious principles, but I proclaim that I have too much
respect for the faith in which I was born ever to make it appear as the
basis of a political organization. We are a happy and free people; we
owe this freedom to the Liberal institutions which govern us, which we
owe to our forefathers and to the wisdom of the Mother Country. The
policy of the Liberal Party is to guard these institutions, to defend
and propagate them, and under the rule of these institutions to develop
the latent resources of our country. Such is the policy of the Liberal
Party, and it has no other." Mr. Laurier's Liberalism, in fact, is of
the strictly British type, and to the immense benefit which has accrued
to his French compatriots by the concession of free British institutions
he has borne eloquent testimony. Few men, indeed, could be found better
calculated than Mr. Laurier to effect a union of thought, sentiment, and
interest between those distinguished by difference of race and creed, in
the interest of their common country. It was not, as we have seen, at
all surprising that on a vacancy occurring in the Quebec representation
in the Dominion Cabinet, Mr. Laurier should be offered the vacant
portfolio. His fitness for the position was disputed by none, either on
personal or political grounds. In Ontario, no less than in Quebec, his
acceptance of office was hailed as a just tribute to his worth and
ability. In September, 1877, he was sworn of the Privy Council, and
became Minister of Inland Revenue. The knowledge of his strength in
Parliament and the country served to stimulate the determination of his
opponents to defeat him at all hazards when he returned to his
constituents for reëlection. The contest terminated by Mr. Bourbeau, the
Conservative candidate, being elected by a majority of 22 votes over the
new Minister. The defeat only served to show how highly the importance
of Mr. Laurier's position in the country was estimated. Several
constituencies were at once placed at his disposal. Ultimately the Hon.
Mr. Thibaudeau, member for Quebec East, resigned, in order to create a
vacancy. After a short but very exciting contest, Mr. Laurier carried
the division by a majority of 315 votes. The result was the signal for
general rejoicing, his journey to Ottawa and his reception there being
one continued ovation. He retained the portfolio of Minister of Inland
Revenue until the resignation of the Government in October, 1878. At the
elections held on the 17th of September previous he was returned for
Quebec East by a majority of 778 votes over his opponent, Mr. Vallière,
and he now sits in the House for that constituency. He speaks both the
French and English languages fluently, has a large amount of French
vivacity sobered by great self-command, can strike home without too
severely wounding, and commands the respect and good-will of his warmest
political adversaries.


The Right Honourable Sir Charles Bagot, the successor of Lord Sydenham
as Governor-General of British North America, was born at Blithfield
House, Rugeley, in Staffordshire, England, on the 23rd of September,
1781. He was descended from an old aristocratic family, which has been
resident in Staffordshire for several hundred years, and was ennobled in
1780--the year previous to the birth of the subject of this sketch. He
was the second son of William, first Baron Bagot, a nobleman highly
distinguished for his scholastic and scientific attainments. His mother
was Lady Louisa, daughter of Viscount St. John, brother and heir of the
illustrious Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke.

His life was not marked by much variety of incident, and affords but
scanty material for the biographer. From his early youth he was a prey
to great feebleness of constitution, which prevented him from making any
conspicuous figure at school. Upon completing his majority, his health
being much improved, he entered public life on the Tory side, in the
capacity of Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, under Mr.
Canning, during the Administration of the Duke of Portland. His tenure
of that office does not seem to have been marked by any very noteworthy
incidents. In 1814 he was despatched on a special mission to Paris, at
which time he resided for several months in the French capital. Later on
he was successively appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the United
States, and Ambassador to the Courts of St. Petersburg and the Hague. By
this time his health, which had never been very robust, again gave way,
and he was compelled to decline several other honourable and lucrative
appointments which were offered to him by the Ministry of the day. One
of them was the Governor-Generalship of India, rendered vacant by the
return of Lord Amherst to England. During Sir Robert Peel's short
Administration in 1834, he took charge of a special mission to Vienna,
in the discharge of which he commended himself highly to the authorities
at home. A Reform Government succeeded, and during its tenure of office
we have no information as to the subject of this memoir.

In 1841 the Tories again came into power under the leadership of Sir
Robert Peel. In the Ministry then formed, Lord Stanley, afterwards Earl
of Derby (father of the present Earl), held the post of Colonial
Secretary. Upon Lord Sydenham's death, in that year, it became necessary
to appoint a new Governor-General of British North America. Lord Stanley
offered the post to Sir Charles Bagot, who accepted it, and soon
afterwards sailed for this country, where public affairs, since Lord
Sydenham's death in the preceding month of September, had been under the
direction of Sir Richard Jackson, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. Sir
Charles entered upon his official duties on the 10th of January, 1842,
and it soon became apparent that he intended to carry out the judicious
line of policy inaugurated by his predecessor, Lord Sydenham. He held
himself aloof from purely party questions, and formed no definite
alliance with either Reformers or Conservatives. This was a grievous
disappointment to the latter. His past political career had led the Tory
leaders in Canada to suppose that he would espouse their views, and that
by his aid their ascendancy would be reëstablished. These expectations
were not destined to be realized. Sir Charles spent his time in
familiarizing himself with the position and needs of the country at
large. In some respects he showed himself to be more liberal than his
predecessor, Lord Sydenham, had been. Lord Sydenham had been indisposed
to have anything to do with those persons who had abetted the rebellion.
Sir Charles, knowing that Responsible Government had been conceded,
resolved to govern himself accordingly. Though himself a Tory by
predilection and by training, he knew that he had not been sent out to
Canada to gratify his own political leanings, but to govern in
accordance with the popular will. "He determined," says Mr. Macmullen,
"to use whatever party he found capable of supporting a Ministry, and
accordingly made overtures to the French Canadians and that section of
the Reform Party of Upper Canada led by Mr. Baldwin, who then formed the
Opposition in the Assembly. There can be no question that this was the
wisest line of policy he could adopt, and that it tended to remove the
differences between the two races, and unite them more cordially for the
common weal. The French Canadian element was no longer in the
ascendant--the English language had decidedly assumed the aggressive,
and true wisdom consisted in forgetting the past, and opening the door
of preferment to men of talent of French as well as to those of British
origin. The necessity of this line of policy was interwoven with the
Union Act; and, after that, was the first great step towards the
amalgamation of the races. A different policy would have nullified the
principle of Responsible Government, and must have proved suicidal to
any Ministry seeking to carry it out. Sir Charles Bagot went on the
broad principle that the constitutional majority had the right to rule
under the Constitution." Finding that the Ministry then in being did not
possess the public confidence, he called to his councils Robert Baldwin,
Francis Hincks, Lafontaine, Morin, and Aylwin. Upon the opening of the
Legislature, in the following September, he made a speech which showed
that he understood the situation and requirements of the country, and
was sincerely desirous of promoting its welfare. The session, which was
a brief one, passed without any specially noteworthy incidents. Soon
after the prorogation, which took place on the 8th of October, Sir
Charles began to feel the effects of approaching winter in a rigorous
climate. His physicians advised him, as he valued his life, to free
himself from the cares of office, and betake himself to a milder clime.
He sent in his resignation, and prepared to return to England, but the
state of his health soon became so serious that he was unfit to endure
an ocean voyage in the middle of winter. He was destined never to see
his native land again. He lingered until the 19th of May, 1843, when he
sank quietly to rest, at Kingston, in the sixty-second year of his age.


The publication last year of a revised edition of Mr. Parkman's
"Discovery of the Great West" has made the compilation of a sketch of La
Salle's life a very easy task. Mr. Parkman has told about everything
that is worth telling--indeed, every important fact that is known--with
reference to the great explorer; and for the future, any brief account
of his life must necessarily be little more than a condensation of Mr.
Parkman's book. "It is the glory and the misfortune of France," says M.
Guizot, "to always lead the van in the march of civilization, without
having the wit to profit by the discoveries and the sagacious boldness
of her children. On the unknown roads which she has opened to human
enterprise she has too often left the fruits to be gathered by nations
less inventive, but more persevering." The life of the ardent explorer
whose achievements form the subject of this sketch affords an apt
commentary on the text of the eminent French historian above quoted.
Long prior to the date of La Salle's discoveries, Samuel de Champlain
had dreamed of and fruitlessly sought for a continuous water passage
across the American continent, and hoped to thereby establish a
profitable commerce with the Indies, China, and Japan. La Salle,
following in Champlain's footsteps, and dreaming the same wild dreams,
spent a great part of his life in attempting to do what his great
predecessor had failed in accomplishing. His discoveries, however,
extended over a much broader field. La Salle may practically be said to
have discovered the Great West. He crossed the Mississippi, which the
Jesuits had been the first to reach, and pushed on to the far south,
constructing forts in the midst of the most savage districts, and taking
possession of Louisiana in the name of King Louis XIV. Abandoned by many
of his comrades, and losing the most faithful of them by death; attacked
by savages, betrayed by his own hirelings, thwarted in his projects by
his enemies and his rivals, he at last met an inglorious death by
assassination, just as he was about to make his way back to New France.
He left the field open after him to the innumerable explorers of every
nation and every language who have since left their mark on those
measureless tracts. If but little benefit accrued to France from his
discoveries, the fault was not his. He has left an imperishable record
on the page of American history, and as a discoverer his name occupies a
place in early Canadian annals second only--_if_ second--to that of
Champlain himself.

Réné-Robert Cavelier, better known by his territorial patronymic of La
Salle, was born at Rouen, in Normandy, some time in the year 1643. The
exact date of his birth is unknown, but his baptism took place on the
22nd of November of that year, at which time it is probable that he was
only a few days old. His family had long been wealthy burghers of
Rouen, and there were no obstacles in the way of his receiving a liberal
education. He early displayed an aptitude for science and mathematics,
and, while still young, entered a Jesuit Seminary in his native town. By
this act, which constituted the first step towards taking holy orders,
he forfeited the inheritance which would otherwise have descended to
him--a forfeiture which does not seem at any time to have weighed very
heavily on his mind. He seems to have occupied for a short time the
position of a teacher in the Seminary. After profiting for several years
by the discipline taught in the establishment he requested and obtained
his discharge, obtaining high praise from the directors of the Seminary
for the diligence of his studies and the purity of his life. "The
cravings of a deep ambition," says Mr. Parkman, "the hunger of an
insatiable intellect, the intense longing for active achievement,
subdued in him all other passions; and among his faults the love of
pleasure had no part." His father had died a short time before La Salle
quitted the Seminary, and he would then have at once succeeded to a
large patrimony but for his connection with the Jesuits. A small
sum--amounting to several hundred livres--was handed over to him, and in
the spring of 1666 the young adventurer embarked for fame and fortune in
New France, towards which the attention of all western Europe was at
that time directed. He had already an elder brother in this country--the
Abbé Jean Cavelier, a Sulpician priest at Montreal. The Sulpicians had
established themselves there a few years before this time, and had
already become proprietors and feudal lords of the city and island. They
were granting out their lands to settlers on very easy terms, and La
Salle obtained a grant of a large tract of land a short distance above
the turbulent current now known as the Lachine Rapids. Here he became a
feudal proprietor and fur trader on his own account. Such a pursuit,
however, was far from satisfying the cravings of his ambition. Like
Champlain and all the early explorers, he dreamed of a passage to the
South Sea, and a new road for commerce to the riches of China and Japan.
Indians often came to his secluded settlement; and on one occasion he
was visited by a band of Seneca Iroquois, some of whom spent the winter
with him, and told him of a river called the Ohio, rising in their
country and flowing into the sea, but at such a distance that its mouth
could only be reached after a journey of eight or nine months. Evidently
the Ohio and the Mississippi are here merged into one. In accordance
with geographical views then prevalent, La Salle conceived that this
great river must needs flow into the "Vermilion Sea;" that is, the Gulf
of California. If so, it would give him what he sought--a western
passage to China, while, in any case, the populous Indian tribes said to
inhabit its banks might be made a source of great commercial profit. His
imagination took fire. His resolution was soon formed; and he descended
the St. Lawrence to Quebec, to gain the countenance of the Governor for
his intended exploration. Few men were more skilled than he in the art
of clear and plausible statement. Both the Governor (Courcelle), and the
Intendant (Talon) were readily won over to his plan; for which, however,
they seem to have given him no more substantial aid than that of the
Governor's letters patent authorizing the enterprise. The cost was to be
his own; and he had no money, having spent it all on his seigniory. He
therefore proposed that the Seminary, which had given it to him, should
buy it back again, with such improvements as he had made. Queylus, the
Superior, being favourably disposed towards him, consented, and bought
of him the greater part; while La Salle sold the remainder, including
the clearings, to one Milot, an ironmonger, for twenty-eight hundred
livres. With this he bought four canoes, with the necessary supplies,
and hired fourteen men. This being accomplished, he started on his
expedition, in the course of which he explored the southern shore of
Lake Ontario, and visited the Senecas in Western New York. Continuing
his journey, he passed the mouth of the Niagara River, where he heard
the roar of the mighty cataract, and passed on to an Indian encampment
near the present site of Hamilton. After much delay he reached a branch
of the Ohio, and descended at least as far as the rapids at Louisville,
where he was abandoned by his attendants, and was compelled to return,
his problem being yet unsolved.

But the time was not far distant when he was to make a much more
extended voyage than he had hitherto accomplished, and with somewhat
more important results. In 1672 Count Frontenac came over to Canada and
succeeded Courcelle as Governor of the colony. A friendship sprang up
between him and La Salle, and they began to form schemes of western
enterprise. Erelong we find the latter paying a flying visit to France,
and receiving from the King, mainly through his patron's influence, a
patent of nobility and a grant of Fort Frontenac--which had just before
been founded by the new Governor with imposing ceremonies--together with
a large tract of the contiguous territory. Then La Salle's serious
troubles may be said to have begun. His grant involved the exclusive
right of fur-traffic with the Indians on Lake Ontario, and though trade
was a secondary object with him, he nevertheless engaged in it as a
means of furthering his more ambitious schemes of exploration. The
merchants of Canada, envious of his influence and success, leagued
themselves against him, and resolved to accomplish his downfall. The
Jesuits also placed themselves in opposition to him, for his avowed
projects conflicted with theirs. La Salle aimed at the control of the
valleys of the Ohio and the Mississippi, and the usufruct of half a
continent. The Jesuits were no longer supreme in Canada. In other words,
Canada was no longer simply a mission. It had become a colony. Temporal
interests and the civil power were constantly gaining ground. Therefore
the Jesuits looked with redoubled solicitude to their missions in the
West. They dreaded fur-traders, partly because they interfered with
their teachings and perverted their converts, and partly for other
reasons. La Salle was a fur-trader, and moreover aimed at occupation and
settlement. In short, he was a stumbling block in their path, and they
leagued themselves against him. Many of them engaged in underhand
dealings with the Indians, and while they refused absolution to all
Europeans who sold brandy to the natives, they turned a good many
dishonest pennies by selling it themselves. They laid all kinds of traps
for La Salle, and did not escape the suspicion of attempting to poison
him. It is certain that an attempt to destroy him in this fashion was
made, though he himself exonerates the Jesuits from participation in the
attempt. In the autumn of 1677 he again sailed for France, and while
there procured Royal letters patent authorizing him to prosecute his
schemes of western discovery, to erect forts at such places as he might
deem expedient, and to enjoy the exclusive right of traffic in buffalo
skins. With Henri de Tonty, an Italian officer, as his lieutenant, he
soon afterwards returned to Fort Frontenac, whence, in the autumn of
1678, he set out for the Great West.

The historian of this expedition was a mendacious Recollet friar, Father
Louis Hennepin, a name which has attained some notoriety in early
Canadian annals. Father Hennepin had come out to Canada three years
before the date at which we have arrived. Upon landing at Quebec he was
at once sent up to Fort Frontenac, as a missionary. He found that wild
spot in the western wilderness very much to his liking. He had not been
there long before he erected a gigantic cross, and superintended the
building of a chapel for himself and his colleague, Father Luke Buisset.
He seems to have discharged his duties with a reasonable amount of zeal.
He for some time gave himself up to instructing and endeavouring to
convert the Indians of the neighbourhood. Later on he visited other
Indian settlements, and made a noteworthy journey into the interior of
what is now the State of New York, where he preached the Gospel to
various tribes of the Five Nations, with indifferent success.

Upon receiving intelligence of La Salle's projected western journey, in
1678, Father Hennepin felt and expressed great eagerness to accompany
the expedition. Permission to do so having been obtained from his
Provincial, as well as from La Salle, he set out in advance of the
latter from Fort Frontenac, early in November, accompanied by the Sieur
De La Motte and a crew of sixteen sailors, embarked in a brigantine of
ten tons. They skirted the northern shore of Lake Ontario, and in due
time arrived at the Indian village of Taiaiagon, situated at the mouth
of a river near the present city of Toronto. The river was probably the
Humber, and the village was doubtless a collection of wigwams which have
left no trace behind them. From this point the explorers crossed the
lake to the mouth of the Niagara River, which they entered on the
morning of the 6th of December. They landed on the eastern side of the
stream, where the old fort of Niagara now stands. The site was then
occupied by a small village inhabited by Seneca Indians, many of whom
probably then beheld for the first time those wondrous pale-faces, the
fame of whose exploits had preceded them into the wilderness. As the
vessel rounded the opposite point the entire crew burst forth into
sacred song, and chanted "Te Deum Laudamus" until the anchor was cast
into the river. Later in the day they ascended several miles farther up
the stream, until they reached the present site of Lewiston, where they
built a rude dwelling of palisades. After remaining for some time,
waiting for La Salle to join them, they set off on an expedition into
the interior of New York, to pay a visit to a village of the Senecas.

In the meantime La Salle and Tonty had started from Fort Frontenac, with
a band of men and a goodly store of supplies for the expedition. After
encountering rough weather and being nearly wrecked off the Bay of
Quinté, they crossed the lake and landed at the mouth of the Genesee
River. Here they disembarked, and after a brief delay, started on a
visit to the same Indian village which had just been visited by Hennepin
and La Motte, and which was a short distance south-east of the present
site of the city of Rochester. La Salle called a council of the natives,
and did his utmost to conciliate them, for they looked upon his
proceedings with no friendly eye, and were not slow in expressing their
disapproval. They were wise enough to know that European exploration
would be but the forerunner of European settlement, and that European
settlement must be the "sullen presage of their own decay." La Salle,
however, had a great deal of personal magnetism and force of character,
and contrived to gain the good-will of several of the chiefs. After much
argument and cajoling, he succeeded in gaining their consent to the
conveyance of his arms and ammunition by way of the portage at Niagara.
They also acquiesced in his proposal to establish a fortified warehouse
at the mouth of the river, and to build a vessel above the falls in
which to prosecute his researches in the west. Having accomplished so
much--and considering the jealousy of the Indians, it is surprising
that he should have obtained such concessions--he set out to join
Hennepin and La Motte in the Niagara River, which had been appointed as
their place of meeting.

Father Hennepin and La Motte had not long taken up their quarters on the
banks of the Niagara River before they ascended the stream to regale
themselves with a view of the mighty cataract of which they had so often
heard with awe and astonishment. To the skill of the mendacious priest
we are indebted for the first verbal description of the falls by an
eye-witness, as well as for the first artistic delineation of them. The
friar had a keen eye for the beauties and grandeur of natural scenery;
but, like other travellers before and since his time, he was much given
to dealing in the marvellous. His view is drawn in direct violation of
the laws of perspective, and the proportions are not correctly
preserved. It must be remembered, however, that during the two hundred
years which have elapsed since the sketch was made, nature has been
steadily at work, and that the external appearance of the falls has
undergone many changes in that time. It is probable, too, that the
cross-fall depicted in his sketch as pouring over what has since been
called "Table Rock" really existed in 1678. Upon the whole, there is no
reason for doubting that in its general outlines the sketch made by
Father Hennepin pourtrayed the scene more faithfully than did his
written description, of which the following is a literal translation:
"Betwixt the Lake Ontario and the Lake Erie there is a vast and
prodigious cadence of water, which falls down after a surprising and
astonishing manner, insomuch that the universe does not afford its
parallel. This wonderful downfall is about six hundred feet, and is
composed of two great cross-streams of water, and two falls, with an
island sloping across the middle of it. The waters which fall from this
horrible precipice do foam and boil after the most hideous manner
imaginable, making an outrageous noise, more terrible than that of
thunder; for when the wind blows out of the south their dismal roaring
may be heard more than fifteen leagues off."

Hennepin and La Motte were soon afterwards joined by La Salle and Tonty,
accompanied by a party consisting of mechanics, labourers and voyageurs,
who arrived in a small schooner. After a short exploration of the
country thereabouts La Salle set about the construction of a large
vessel of forty-five tons, for the prosecution of his western voyage.
The ship-yard was located six miles above the Falls, near the mouth of
Cayuga Creek, where the work of shipbuilding was carried on throughout
the winter, spring, and early summer. At last the new vessel--the
ill-fated _Griffin_ (the first European craft that ever navigated the
waters of the upper lakes)--was completed, and on the 7th of August,
1679, the adventurers embarked and sailed into Lake Erie--"where sail
was never seen before." They passed on to the westward end of the lake,
and up between the green islands of the stream now known as the Detroit
River; crossed Lake St. Clair, and entered Lake Huron. In due course,
after encountering a furious tempest, they reached Michillimackinac,
where was a Jesuit Mission and centre of the fur trade. Passing on into
Lake Michigan, La Salle and his company cast anchor in Green Bay. The
_Griffin_ was forthwith laden with rich furs, and sent back to Niagara,
with orders to turn over the cargo to La Salle's creditors, and return
immediately. This is the last item respecting her which history affords.
Whether she foundered or was captured by the Jesuits or Indians remains
an open question to this day, and no certain tidings of her, subsequent
to her departure eastward from Green Bay, ever reached the ears of her

Meanwhile, his creditors, from whom he had purchased his supplies, and
with whom he was heavily involved, were selling his effects at Montreal.
He himself, with his company in scattered groups, repaired in bark
canoes to the head of Lake Michigan; and at the mouth of the St. Joseph
he constructed a trading-house with palisades, known as the Fort of the
Miamis. Of his vessel, on which his fortunes so much depended, no
tidings came. Weary of delay, he resolved to penetrate Illinois; and
leaving ten men to guard the Fort of the Miamis, La Salle himself, with
Hennepin, Tonty, and about thirty followers, ascended the St. Joseph,
and by a short portage over bogs and swamps made dangerous by a snow
storm, entered the Kankakee. Descending this narrow stream, before the
end of December, 1679, the little company had reached the site of an
Indian village on the Illinois, probably not far from Ottoway, in La
Salle county. The tribe was absent, passing the winter in the chase. On
the banks of Lake Peoria Indians appeared, who, desirous to obtain axes
and firearms, offered the calumet of peace, and agreed to an alliance.
They described the course of the Mississippi, and they were willing to
guide the strangers to its mouth. The spirit and prudence of La Salle,
who was the life of the enterprise, won the friendship of the natives.
But clouds lowered over his path. The _Griffin_, it seemed certain, was
wrecked, thus delaying his discoveries as well as impairing his
fortunes. His men began to despond. He toiled to revive their courage,
and assured them that there could be no safety but in union. "None," he
added, "shall stay after the spring, unless from choice." But fear and
discontent pervaded the company; and when La Salle, thwarted by destiny,
and almost despairing, planned and began to build a fort on the banks of
the Illinois, four days' journey below Lake Peoria, he named it
Crèvecoeur (Heart-break). Yet even here the immense power of his will
appeared. Dependent on himself, fifteen hundred miles from the nearest
French settlement, impoverished, harassed by enemies at Quebec and in
the wilderness, he inspired his men with resolution to saw trees into
plank and prepare a barque. He despatched Hennepin to explore the Upper
Mississippi; he questioned the Illinois and the captives on the course
of that river; he formed conjectures respecting the course of the
Tennessee. Then, as new recruits and sails and cordage for the barque
were needed, in the month of March, with a musket and pouch of powder
and shot, with a blanket for his protection and skins of which to make
moccasins, he, with three companions, set off on foot for Fort
Frontenac, to trudge through thickets and forests, to wade through
marshes and melting snows; without drink, except water from the running
brooks; without food, except such precarious supplies as could be
provided by his gun. After enduring dangers and hardships which would
have effectually damped the ardour of any one but a French adventurer of
that time; after narrowly escaping a plot to poison him; after being
deserted by some of his followers, and threatened with all sorts of
unknown penalties by the savages, he finally, after sixty-five days'
journeying, arrived at Fort Frontenac on the 6th of May, 1680. But "man
and nature seemed in arms against him." He found that during his absence
his agents had plundered him, that his creditors had seized his
property, and that several of his canoes, richly laden, had been lost in
the rapids of the St. Lawrence. Another vessel which had been despatched
with supplies for him from France had also been shipwrecked. Instead of
sitting down to mourn over these mishaps, however, they seemed to
inspire him with fresh vigour. Descending to Montreal, he in less than a
week procured what supplies he needed, and returned to Fort Frontenac.
Just as he was about to embark for Illinois, messengers arrived with
intelligence that Tonty had been abandoned by his companions, and had
been compelled to take shelter with a band of Pottawatomie Indians.

Undiscouraged by the manifold disasters which had befallen him, La Salle
once more set out from Fort Frontenac for the regions of the Great West.
Instead of following the route by Lake Erie and the Detroit and St.
Clair Rivers, as he had previously done, he crossed over to the Georgian
Bay by way of the River Humber, which was on the line of one of the
three great westward routes in those times. He was accompanied by
twenty-five assistants, including his lieutenant, one La Forest, and a
surgeon. In due course they reached Michillimackinac, which was then the
great north-western dépôt of the fur trade. Here he found that his old
enemies the Jesuits had been busy poisoning the minds of the natives
against him, insomuch that it was only with difficulty that he could
induce the latter to sell him provisions. After a brief delay he resumed
his journey, passing numerous camps of the terrible Iroquois, who, tired
of devastating the more eastern districts, were now spreading desolation
through these western regions. Upon reaching Fort Crèvecoeur he found it
deserted, and neither here nor elsewhere, for many days to come, was he
able to gain any intelligence of his trusty ally, Tonty, who had been
left behind on the former expedition, as already narrated. He continued
his course southward, and erelong found himself on the banks of the
Mississippi--the mighty Father of Waters, "the object of his day dreams,
the destined avenue of his ambition and his hopes." Finding no traces of
Tonty, he determined to look for him further northward, and retraced his
footsteps to Fort Miami, on the St. Joseph, near Lake Michigan, where he
spent the winter. "Here," says Mr. Parkman, "he might have brooded on
the redoubled ruin that had befallen him; the desponding friends, the
exulting foes; the wasted energies, the crushing load of debt, the
stormy past, the black and lowering future. But his mind was of a
different temper. He had no thought but to grapple with adversity, and
out of the fragments of his ruin to build up the fabric of success. He
would not recoil; but he modified his plans to meet the new contingency.
His white enemies had found--or rather, perhaps, had made--a savage ally
in the Iroquois. Their incursions must be stopped, or his enterprise
would come to naught; and he thought he saw the means by which this new
danger could be converted into a source of strength. The tribes of the
west, threatened by the common enemy, might be taught to forget their
mutual animosities and join in a defensive league, with La Salle at its
head. They might be colonized around his fort in the valley of the
Illinois, where, in the shadow of the French flag, and with the aid of
French allies they could hold the Iroquois in check, and acquire in some
measure the arts of a settled life. The Franciscan friars could teach
them the Faith; La Salle and his associates could supply them with
goods, in exchange for the vast harvest of furs which their hunters
could gather in these boundless wilds. Meanwhile, he could seek out the
mouth of the Mississippi; and the furs gathered at his colony in the
Illinois would then find a ready passage to the markets of the world.
Thus might this ancient slaughter-field of warring savages be redeemed
to civilization and Christianity, and a stable settlement, half feudal,
half commercial, grow up in the heart of the western wilderness. This
plan was but a part of the original scheme of his enterprise, adapted to
new and unexpected circumstances; and he now set himself to its
execution with his usual vigour, joined to an address that, when dealing
with Indians, never failed him."

In pursuance of this scheme he called a council of all the Indian chiefs
for leagues round, and entered into a formal covenant with them. His
new project was hopefully begun. It remained to achieve the enterprise,
twice defeated, of the discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi. To
this end, he must return to Canada, appease his creditors, and collect
his scattered resources. Towards the end of May he set out in canoes
from Fort Miami, and, after a prosperous voyage, reached
Michillimackinac. Here, to his great joy, he found Tonty and one Zenobe
Membré, who had lately arrived from Green Bay. Without loss of time,
they embarked together for Fort Frontenac, paddled their canoes a
thousand miles, and safely reached their destination. Here, in this
third beginning of his enterprise, La Salle found himself beset with
embarrassments. Not only was he burdened with the fruitless cost of his
two former efforts, but the heavy debts which he had incurred in
building and maintaining Fort Frontenac had not been wholly paid. The
fort and the seigniory were already deeply mortgaged; yet, through the
influence of the Count de Frontenac, and the support of a wealthy
relative, he found means to appease his creditors, and even to gain
fresh advances. He mustered his men, and once more set forth, resolved
to trust no more to agents, but to lead on his followers in a united
body under his own personal command.

Returning westward, he once more reached Fort Miami, whence, on the 26th
of December, 1682, he set out for the mouth of the Mississippi, whither
he arrived during the month of April following. "As he drifted down the
turbid current, between the low and marshy shores, the brackish water
changed to brine, and the breeze grew fresh with the salt breath of the
sea. Then the broad bosom of the great Gulf opened on his sight, tossing
its restless billows, limitless, voiceless, lonely as when born of
chaos, without a sail, without a sign of life." La Salle, in a canoe,
coasted the marshy borders of the sea; and then assembled his companions
on a spot of dry ground, a short distance above the mouth of the river.
In this wild spot, on the ninth of the month, which was the month of
April, 1682, he planted a column bearing the arms of France and an
inscription to Louis Le Grand. "On that day," says the writer already
quoted from, "the realm of France received on parchment a stupendous
accession. The fertile plains of Texas; the vast basin of the
Mississippi, from its frozen northern springs to the sultry borders of
the Gulf, from the woody ridges of the Rocky Mountains--a region of
savannahs and forests, sun-cracked deserts and grassy prairies,
inhabited by innumerable warlike tribes--passed beneath the sceptre of
the Sultan of Versailles; and all by virtue of a feeble human voice,
inaudible at half a mile." Louisiana was the name bestowed by La Salle
on this new domain of the French crown, which stretched from the
Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains; from the Rio Grande and the Gulf to
the farthest springs of the Missouri.

Retracing his steps, he founded on the banks of the Illinois River a
colony of French and Indians, to answer the double purpose of a bulwark
against the Iroquois and a place of storage for the furs of all the
western tribes; and he hoped in the following year to secure an outlet
for this colony, and for all the trade of the valley of the Mississippi,
by occupying the mouth of that river with a fort and another colony. The
site of the colony was near the spot now occupied by the village of
Utica, in the State of Illinois. Early in the following autumn he placed
Tonty in charge of it, and made the best of his way to Quebec, whence he
soon afterwards sailed for France. He had an interview with the King, to
whom he unfolded his schemes. Louis, notwithstanding the machinations of
La Salle's enemies, took a favourable view of the latter's enterprises,
and in the month of July, 1684, we find him setting sail from Rochelle
with a fleet of four vessels and a small army of recruits, composed of
soldiers, gentlemen, artisans and labourers. Their destination was not
Canada, but the Gulf of Mexico; La Salle having obtained the royal
authority for a vast scheme of trade and colonization on the
Mississippi, to which was tacked on a wild and impracticable scheme of
conquest of the Spanish settlements in Mexico. One of the vessels, laden
with provisions and other necessaries for the projected colony, was
captured by buccaneers. The other three, after calling at St. Domingo,
entered the Mexican Gulf. La Salle, when at the mouth of the Mississippi
nearly three years before, had taken the latitude, but for some reason
or other had no clue to the longitude, and the consequence was that he
now sailed more than four hundred miles too far west. He landed on the
coast of Texas, and spent some time in exploration before he became
convinced of his error. Meanwhile he was constantly quarrelling with
Beaujeu, his naval commander, as well as with other members of the
expedition. Add to this that he was repeatedly prostrated by attacks of
fever, and in constant expectation of being attacked by the savages of
the neighbourhood; and it will be confessed that his situation was not a
very enviable one. To add to his perplexities, one of his vessels went
aground, and a great part of the cargo was lost. About this time Beaujeu
set out to return to France. He had accomplished his mission, and landed
his passengers at what La Salle assured him to be one of the mouths of
the Mississippi. His ship was in danger on this exposed and perilous
coast, and he was anxious to find shelter. After some delay, La Salle
erected a fort on Lavaca River, in which he placed the women and
children and most of the men who formed part of the expedition, and with
the rest of the men set out to renew his search for the mouth of the
Mississippi. He set out from the fort--which he called Fort St.
Louis--with fifty men, on the 31st of October, 1685, to find the mouth
of "the fatal river"--by which name it had come to be known among the
band of adventurers. Five months were spent in wanderings through the
wilds of that region, during which the hardships and sufferings were
such as to baffle description, but the object of their quest still
seemed as remote as ever. At last, weary and dispirited, the survivors
returned to Fort St. Louis, where La Salle fell dangerously ill, and for
some time his life was despaired of. No sooner had he recovered than he
determined to make his way by the Mississippi and the Illinois to
Canada, whence he might bring succour to the colonists, and send a
report of their condition to France. The attempt was beset with
uncertainties and dangers. The Mississippi was first to be found, then
followed through all the perilous monotony of its interminable windings
to a goal which was to be but the starting point of a new and not less
arduous journey. Twenty men, including La Salle's brother, the Abbé
Cavelier, and Moranget, his nephew, were detailed to accompany him. On
the 22nd of April, 1686, after mass and prayers in the chapel, they
issued from the gate, each bearing his pack and his weapons, some with
kettles slung at their backs, some with axes, some with gifts for
Indians. In this guise they held their way in silence across the
prairie. They travelled north-easterly, and encountered a due share of
adventures with wild beasts and Indian savages. They traversed a large
extent of country, but the attempt to discover the mouth of the
Mississippi proved wholly ineffectual. After several months La Salle and
eight of his twenty men returned to Fort St. Louis. Of the rest, four
had deserted, one had been lost, one had been devoured by an alligator;
and the rest, giving out on the march, had probably perished in
attempting to regain the fort.

The journey to Canada, however, was clearly the only hope of the
colonists, and on the 6th of January, 1687, the attempt to make it was
renewed. The band of adventurers this time consisted of eighteen
persons. At their head was La Salle himself. His brother and nephew,
already mentioned, were also of the party. Of the others the only ones
necessary to specify are Joutel, La Salle's trusty henchman, the second
in command; Hiens, a German, formerly a pirate of the Spanish Main;
Duhaut, a man of respectable birth and education, but a cruel and
remorseless villain; and l'Archévêque, his servant; Liotot, the surgeon
of the expedition; Teissier, a pilot; Douay, a friar; and Nika, a
Shawnee Indian, who was a devoted friend of La Salle's. They proceeded
northward. The members of the party were incongruous, and did not agree
one with another. Duhaut and Liotot were disappointed at the ruinous
result of their enterprise. They had a quarrel with young Moranget.
Already at Fort St. Louis Duhaut had intrigued against La Salle, against
whom Liotot had also secretly sworn vengeance. On the 15th of March they
encamped within a few miles of a spot which La Salle had passed on his
preceding journey, and where he had left a quantity of Indian corn and
beans in a _caçhe_. As provisions were falling short he sent a party
from the camp to find it. These men were Duhaut, Liotot, Hiens the
buccaneer, Teissier, l'Archévêque, Nika the hunter, and La Salle's
servant, Saget. They opened the _caçhe_, and found the contents spoiled;
but as they returned they saw buffalo, and Nika shot two of them. They
now encamped on the spot, and sent the servant to inform La Salle, in
order that he might send horses to bring in the meat. Accordingly, on
the next day he directed Moranget and another, with the necessary
horses, to go with Saget to the hunters' camp. When they arrived they
found that Duhaut and his companions had already cut up the meat, and
laid it upon scaffolds for smoking, and had also put by for themselves
certain portions to which, by woodland custom, they had a perfect right.
Moranget fell into an unreasonable fit of rage, and seized the whole of
the meat. This added fuel to the fire of Duhaut's old grudge against
Moranget and his uncle. The surgeon also bore hatred against Moranget.
The two took counsel apart with Hiens, Teissier, and l'Archévêque, and
it was resolved to kill Moranget, Nika and Saget. All the five were of
one mind, except the pilot Teissier, who neither aided nor opposed the
scheme. When night came on, the order of the guard was arranged; and the
first hour was assigned to Moranget, the second to Saget, and the third
to Nika. Gun in hand, each stood watch in turn. Duhaut and Hiens stood
with their guns cocked, ready to shoot down any one of the victims who
should resist. Saget, Nika and Moranget were ruthlessly butchered, and
then it was resolved that La Salle should share their fate. La Salle was
still at his camp, six miles distant. Next morning, having heard nothing
of Moranget or the others, he set out to find them, accompanied by his
Indian guide, and by Douay, the friar. "All the way," writes the friar,
"he spoke to me of nothing but matters of piety, grace, and
predestination; enlarging on the debt he owed to God, who had saved him
from so many perils during more than twenty years of travel in America.
Suddenly, I saw him overwhelmed with a profound sadness, for which he
himself could not account. He was so much moved that I scarcely knew
him." He soon recovered his usual calmness, and they walked on till they
approached the camp of Duhaut, on the farther side of a small river.
Looking about him, La Salle saw two eagles circling in the air, as if
attracted by the carcasses of beasts or men. He fired his gun and his
pistol as a summons. The shots reached the ears of the conspirators, who
fired from their place of concealment, and La Salle, shot through the
brain, sank lifeless on the ground. Douay stood terror-stricken. Duhaut
called out to him that he had nothing to fear. The murderers came
forward and gathered about their victim. "There thou liest, great
Bashaw! There thou liest!" exclaimed the surgeon Liotot, in base
exultation over the unconscious corpse. With mockery and insult, they
stripped it naked, dragged it into the bushes, and left it there a prey
to the buzzards and the wolves. It is sad to think that such was the
fate of the veritable Discoverer of the Great West.

"Thus," says Mr. Parkman, "in the vigour of his manhood, at the age of
forty-three, died Robert Cavelier de la Salle, 'one of the greatest
men,' writes Tonty, 'of this age;' without question one of the most
remarkable explorers whose names live in history. The enthusiasm of the
disinterested and chivalrous Champlain was not the enthusiasm of La
Salle; nor had he any part in the self-devoted zeal of the early Jesuit
explorers. He belonged not to the age of the knight-errant and the
saint, but to the modern world of practical study and action. He was the
hero, not of a principle nor of a faith, but simply of a fixed idea and
a determined purpose. It is easy to reckon up his defects, but it is not
easy to hide from sight the Roman virtues that redeemed them. Beset by a
throng of enemies, he stands, like the King of Israel, head and
shoulders above them all. He was a tower of adamant, against whose
impregnable front hardship and danger, the rage of man and of the
elements, the southern sun, the northern blast, fatigue, famine and
disease, delay, disappointment and deferred hope, emptied their quivers
in vain. Never under the impenetrable mail of paladin or crusader beat a
heart of more intrepid mettle than within the stoic panoply that armed
the breast of La Salle. To estimate aright the marvels of his patient
fortitude, one must follow on his track through the vast scene of his
interminable journeyings, those thousands of weary miles of forest,
marsh and river, where again and again, in the bitterness of baffled
striving, the untiring pilgrim pushed onwards towards the goal which he
was never to attain. America owes him an enduring memory; for in this
masculine figure she sees the pioneer who guided her to the possession
of her richest heritage."



Bishop Williams is a son of the late Rev. David Williams, who was for
many years Rector of Banghurst, Hampshire, England. He was born at the
town of Overton, Hampshire, in 1825, and his childhood was chiefly
passed in that neighbourhood. He was intended for holy orders from his
earliest years. In his boyhood he attended for some time at an
educational establishment at Crewkerne, a town in the south-eastern part
of Somersetshire, whence he passed to Pembroke College, Oxford. His
collegiate course was not specially noteworthy, but was marked by
considerable diligence. He graduated as B.A. in 1851, taking honours in
classics. He in due course obtained his degrees of M.A. and D.D. He was
admitted to Deacon's Orders by the Lord Bishop of Oxford, and (in 1856)
to Priest's Orders by the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. He for a short
time held curacies respectively in Buckinghamshire and Somersetshire.
His classical attainments were of more than average excellence, and
seeing no prospect of immediate advancement in England, he in 1857 came
over to Canada to assist in organizing a school in connection with
Bishop's College, Lennoxville. Within a short time after his arrival he
was appointed Rector of the College Grammar School, and soon afterwards
succeeded to the Classical Professorship of the College, a position
which he retained until his elevation to the Episcopacy.

Upon the death of the late Right Rev. George Jehoshaphat Mountain,
Bishop of Quebec, in 1863, the subject of this sketch was appointed his
successor by the Synod; and on the 11th of June of that year he was
consecrated at Quebec by the Most Reverend the Metropolitan, assisted by
the Bishops of Toronto, Ontario, Huron and Vermont. His first Episcopal
act was to advance three Deacons to the Priesthood.

The See over which his jurisdiction extends was constituted in the year
1793, and formerly comprised the whole of Upper and Lower Canada. Its
extent has since been from time to time curtailed, and it is now
confined to that part of the Province of Quebec extending from Three
Rivers to the Straits of Belleisle and New Brunswick, on the shores of
the St. Lawrence and all east of a line drawn from Three Rivers to Lake

Bishop Williams is a plain and unaffected preacher, and a man of
scholarly tastes. He makes no pretence to showy or splendid gifts of
pulpit oratory, but is known as an energetic and industrious
ecclesiastic, careful for the spiritual welfare of his diocese and
clergy. Several of his lectures and sermons have been published, and
have been highly commended by the religious press of Canada and the
United States. Among them may be mentioned his Charge delivered to the
Clergy of the Diocese of Quebec, at the Visitation held in Bishop's
College, Lennoxville, in 1864; and a lecture on Self-Education,
published at Quebec in 1865.




In compiling the various sketches which have appeared in the present
series, the editor has frequently been compelled to encounter the
difficulty of constructing a readable narrative out of very sparse and
prosaic materials. A collection of this kind must necessarily include
the lives of many professional and scientific men; and eminence in
literature, in science, and in the learned professions, is commonly
attained by means which--however interesting to those most immediately
concerned--seem wonderfully commonplace to the general public, when
reduced to plain, matter-of-fact narration. As a rule, stirring and
romantic incidents are incompatible with a successful professional
career, and in recounting the life of a learned divine, Chief Justice,
or man of science, it is rarely necessary to deal with thrilling
incidents or dramatic situations. The lives of such men are usually
passed within a narrow and restricted groove, and the salient points may
easily be comprised within a few lines. In the life of Colonel Gzowski,
on the other hand, we have an instance of a remarkably successful
professional career, combined with a chapter of vicissitude and
adventure which, in the hands of a writer familiar with all the details,
might very well form the groundwork of a sensation novel. His elasticity
of spirits, strength of will, and vigour of constitution have supported
him through an amount of labour, fatigue and suffering to which a more
feeble mind and a more delicately-constructed frame must inevitably have
succumbed long ago. Such a life as his commonly leaves very perceptible
traces behind it. In his case no such traces are discernible. Neither in
his visage, his gait, nor his manner, can the most observant eye detect
any sign that his pathway has not always been strewn with roses. No one
remarking his erect and firmly-knit figure, his jauntiness of step, and
his keenness of glance, as he perambulates our streets, would readily
believe that he is rapidly approaching his sixty-eighth birthday. Still
less would it be supposed that he has passed through adventures enough
for a knight-errant; that he has fought and bled in the fierce struggle
for a nation's existence; that he has had his full share of the horrors
of war; that he has languished in a patriot's prison; and that some of
the best years of his life were passed in a hard struggle for existence
in a foreign land. As we pass in review the alternating phases of his
chequered career we seem to be contemplating a shifting panorama of the
novelist's fancy, rather than a veracious chronicle of facts. The story
of his life can be adequately narrated by no other pen than his own, and
for many years past he has found more profitable employment for his
talents than the inditing of autobiographical memoirs. In the absence of
any such memoirs, be it ours to place on record such of the more salient
points of his life as are readily ascertainable.

He is descended from an ancient Polish family which was ennobled in the
sixteenth century, and which for more than two hundred years thereafter
continued to exercise an influence upon the national affairs. His
father, Stanislaus, Count (Hrabia) Gzowski, was an officer of the
Imperial Guard. He himself was born on the 5th of March, 1813, at St.
Petersburg, the Russian capital, where his parents were then temporarily
sojourning. His childhood was spent as the childhood of most Polish
children of his station in life was passed in those days--viz., in
preparation for a military career. At nine years of age he entered a
military engineering college at Kremenetz, in the Province of Volhynia,
where he remained until 1830, when he graduated as an engineer, received
a commission, and entered the army of Russia.

The Russian Empire was at this time on the verge of one of those
periodical insurrections to which she had long been subject, more
especially since the final partition and absorption of Poland, and the
annihilation of the Polish monarchy. In 1825, Nicholas I. succeeded his
elder brother Alexander on the throne of Russia. He had not long been
installed there before he gave evidence of that aggressive policy which
he pursued through life, and which nearly thirty years later involved
him in the Crimean War. Some years before his accession, his elder
brother Constantine, the heir-apparent to the throne, had been entrusted
with the military government of Poland, and in 1822 had resigned his
right to the Russian throne in Nicholas's favour. Upon the latter's
accession he continued his elder brother in his sovereignty of Poland.
Constantine's administration of affairs in that unhappy country was
arbitrary and despotic in the extreme, and little calculated to mollify
the heartburnings of the inhabitants. His oppressions were not confined
to the serfs, but extended to the nobility. The result of his tyranny
was the formation of secret societies with a view to striking one more
blow for Polish liberty. A widespread insurrection, wherein most of the
Polish officers in the Imperial army were involved, finally broke out in
1830--the year in which the subject of this sketch received his
commission. The success of the concurrent revolution in France, and the
forced abdication of Charles X., inspired the insurgents with high
hopes. In November of the year last mentioned the Grand Duke Constantine
and his Russian adherents were driven out of Warsaw, the Polish capital.
If the insurrectionary forces had been thoroughly organized, and if they
had not been subjected to extraneous interference, there is reason for
believing that their country might have been freed from the hateful
domination of the Czar. Notwithstanding all the manifold disabilities
under which they carried on the contest, they achieved a temporary
success. After the expulsion of Constantine, a provisional government
was formed under the presidency of Prince Czartoryski, and a series of
desperate engagements was fought in which the patriots had in almost
every instance a decided advantage. Their desperate courage and
self-devotion, however, were of no permanent avail, for Prussia and
Austria both lent their assistance to crush them, and towards the close
of 1831 Warsaw was recaptured by the allied forces under Count
Paskevitch, who was forthwith installed as viceroy of Poland. The
crushing of the insurrection was of course marked by merciless severity
and cruelty. In 1832 Poland was declared to be an integral part of the
Russian Empire, and all the important prisoners were either put to
death, banished to Siberia, or compelled to endure the horrors of a
Russian prison.

Throughout the whole of this fruitless insurrection Casimir Stanislaus
Gzowski played a conspicuous part. He cast in his lot with his
compatriots from the beginning; was present at the expulsion of
Constantine from Warsaw, in November, 1830, and was actively engaged in
numerous important conflicts that ensued. He was wounded, and several
times narrowly escaped capture. We have no means of closely following
him through the hazardous exploits of that dark and sanguinary period.
Persons who are familiar with the history of Polish insurrections will
be at no loss to conjecture the "hair-breadth 'scapes, and moving
accidents by flood and field," which he encountered in that desperate
struggle for a nation's freedom. After the battle of Boremel, General
Dwernicki's division, to which he was attached, retreated into Austrian
territory, where the troops laid down their arms and became prisoners.
The rank and file were permitted to depart whithersoever they would, but
the officers, to the number of about six hundred, were placed in
durance, and quartered in several fortified stations. There they
languished for several months, when, by an arrangement entered into
between the governments of Russia and Austria, they were shipped off as
exiles to the United States.

When Mr. Gzowski, with his fellow-exiles, landed at New York in the
summer of 1833, he had no knowledge whatever of the English language.
When the pilot came on board at Sandy Hook, and saluted the captain of
the vessel, he heard that language spoken for the first time. Like most
members of the Polish and Russian aristocracy, he was an accomplished
linguist, and was familiar with many of the continental languages; but
it was a part of the Russian policy in those days to exclude English
books from the public schools, and to prevent by every conceivable means
the spread of English ideas among the people. During his course of study
at the military college at Kremenetz, one of the Professors had
exhibited an English book to him as a sort of outlandish curiosity. He
now found himself in a strange land, without means, without any friends
except his fellow-exiles--who were as helpless in that respect as
himself--and without any prospect of obtaining employment. He possessed
qualifications, however, which, as the event proved, were of more value
than mere worldly wealth. He had been a diligent student, and had
acquired what must have been, for a youth of twenty years, a thorough
knowledge of engineering. He was, as has been remarked, a good linguist,
and had not merely a grammatical, but a practical knowledge of the
French, German and Italian languages. Better than all these, he was
endowed with an iron constitution, which even the rigours of an Austrian
prison had not been able to injure, and a strength of will which would
not admit the possibility of failure. Some idea of his resolution may be
formed from the fact that, when he found that his want of knowledge of
English prevented him from following the engineering profession with
advantage, he determined to study law as a means of acquiring a mastery
of the English tongue. After subsisting for some months in New York by
giving lessons in French and German, he betook himself to Pittsfield,
Massachusetts, where he entered the office of the late Mr. Parker L.
Hall, an eminent lawyer of that town, and a gentleman of high social
position. The facility displayed by the natives of Poland and Russia in
acquiring a knowledge of foreign languages is well known, but the
achievements of Mr. Gzowski at this time seem almost phenomenal. It must
be borne in mind that while he was studying law in a tongue which was
foreign to him, he was compelled to support himself by outside
employment. He obtained his livelihood by teaching modern languages,
drawing, and fencing, in two of the local academies. He worked early and
late, and was at first obliged to study the commentaries of Blackstone
and Kent through the medium of a dictionary. In nothing did he appear
to greater advantage than in his invariable readiness to adapt his
mind, without useless repining, to the circumstances in which he found
himself. His indomitable industry, natural ability, and fine social
qualities, combined with his misfortunes to make him a marked man in
Pittsfield society. He gained many warm friends, but was always wise
enough to remember that his success in life must mainly depend upon his
own exertions. In the month of February, 1837, when he had been studying
his profession about three years, he passed a successful examination,
and was only prevented from being admitted to practice by his not having
become a naturalized citizen of the United States. A knowledge of the
legal profession, however, was with him merely a means to an end. He had
no intention of permanently devoting himself to legal practice, and had
always contemplated returning to his profession of an engineer. He had
by this time acquired a competent knowledge of the English language, and
had begun to look about him for some suitable field for his exertions.
The development of the coal regions of Pennsylvania was attracting a
good deal of attention at this time, and it occurred to him that he
might not improbably find employment there. A visit to that State tended
to confirm his views, and in November Term, 1837, having submitted the
necessary proofs, and taken the oath of allegiance, he was duly admitted
as a citizen of the United States, before the Prothonotary of the Court
of Common Pleas, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He had brought with him
from Pittsfield numerous letters of introduction to persons of high
social position and influence, all bearing testimony to his
unimpeachable character and wide attainments. The only obstacle to his
admission to practice having been removed, he was enrolled as an
advocate at the Bar of the Supreme Court, and for a short time acted as
an advocate in Pennsylvania. This, however, was not the line of action
for which he considered himself best qualified, nor did the prospect
held out to him satisfy his ambition. He soon obtained employment as an
engineer in connection with the great canals and public works, and
abandoned the law as a profession. He became interested in several
contracts, which were faithfully and skilfully carried out; and wherever
he went he won the reputation of a delightful companion and a thoroughly
honourable man.

Early in 1841 the project of widening and deepening the Welland Canal
began to be discussed with some vehemence in Upper Canada. With a view
to securing a contract, Mr. Gzowski came over from Erie, Pennsylvania
(where he then resided), to Toronto, and for the first time was brought
into contact with some of the leading public men of Canada. The
Government was then administered by Sir Charles Bagot, a gentleman whose
infirm state of health did not prevent him from taking a warm interest
in the public improvements of the country. Sir Charles formed a high
opinion of Mr. Gzowski's talents, and sanctioned his appointment to an
office in connection with the Department of Public Works. This
appointment having been accepted by Mr. Gzowski, he bade adieu to his
many friends in the United States, and took up his abode in Upper

During the next six years Mr. Gzowski's life was entirely occupied by
his duties in connection with the Department of Public Works. It is
manifestly out of the question to give even an epitome of the numberless
important enterprises conducted by him during this, the busiest period
of his active life. His reports of the works in connection with
harbours, bridges and highways alone occupy a considerable portion of a
large folio volume. It will be sufficient to say that every important
provincial improvement came under his supervision, and that nearly
every county in Upper Canada bears upon its surface the impress of his
great industry and engineering skill. In 1846 he obtained naturalization
and became a British subject. Soon after the accession to power of the
Baldwin-Lafontaine Government, in 1848, his services in an official
capacity were brought to a close, and he began to enter upon large
engineering enterprises on his own account. Towards the end of the year
1848 he published a report on the mines of the Upper Canada Mining
Company on Lake Huron. But his mind was occupied by more important
schemes. The railway era set in. The Railroad Guarantee Act, authorizing
Government grants to private companies undertaking the construction of
railways, having been passed in 1849, the public began to hear of
various railway projects of greater or lesser importance. The first
great enterprise of this sort with which Mr. Gzowski connected himself
was the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad Company, from Montreal to
Island Pond, which has since been amalgamated with the Grand Trunk. Mr.
Gzowski was appointed Chief Engineer of this undertaking, made a survey
of the greater portion of the line, and superintended the actual
construction. When the line became merged in the Grand Trunk he resigned
his position of Chief Engineer, and received the most gratifying written
testimonials from the Board of Directors as to his able administration
of the important duties which had fallen to his share. Having formed a
partnership with the present Sir Alexander T. Galt, the late Hon. Luther
H. Holton, and the Hon. D. L. Macpherson, Mr. Gzowski for some years
devoted himself entirely to the work of railway construction. On the
24th of March, 1853, the firm of Gzowski & Co. obtained the contract for
the construction of the line from Toronto westward to Sarnia. This great
work was prosecuted to a successful conclusion, and was attended with
most gratifying pecuniary results to the contractors. The firm was then
dissolved, and has since consisted of Messrs. Gzowski and Macpherson
only, who continued to carry on large operations in the way of railway
construction. Among other railway works constructed by the firm were the
line from Port Huron to Detroit, in the State of Michigan, and the line
from London to St. Mary's, in this Province. In connection with their
own enterprises, and for the purpose of supplying railway companies with
iron rails and materials used in the construction of railways, Messrs.
Gzowski & Macpherson in 1857 established the Toronto Rolling Mills,
which were carried on successfully for about twelve years. Steel rails
having largely superseded the use of iron ones, the necessity for
maintaining the establishment ceased to exist, and the works were closed
up in 1869.

The excitement produced on two continents in 1861 by the Trent affair,
and the threatened rupture of amicable relations between Great Britain
and the United States, led Mr. Gzowski to reflect seriously on the
defenceless condition of Canada. In the event of hostilities between the
two nations, this country would of course be the first point of attack;
and, in the absence of any efficient means of defence, it would
manifestly be impossible to maintain a frontier extending over thousands
of miles. It occurred to Mr. Gzowski that the establishment of a large
arsenal in Canadian territory, where every description of armament and
ammunition might be manufactured or repaired, would be a very wise
precaution. He counted the cost, prepared elaborate plans, and even
fixed upon what he believed to be the most appropriate site. Full of
this scheme, he proceeded to England, where he submitted it to the War
Secretary and other prominent members of the Imperial Government. Its
liberality created much surprise among all to whom it was broached, for
Mr. Gzowski proposed to provide capital for the construction and
equipment of the entire establishment, subject to certain very
reasonable stipulations. The project was taken into careful
consideration by the Government, and for some time it seemed not
unlikely to be carried out. It was finally concluded, however, that for
certain diplomatic reasons, it would be undesirable to proceed with it;
but full justice was done to Mr. Gzowski's unbounded liberality and
public spirit, and he was assured that the Government were not
insensible to the munificence of his proposal. From this time forward he
began to interest himself in military matters. He took a very active
part in developing the Rifle Association of the Province of Ontario, and
erelong became its President. He subsequently became President of the
Dominion Rifle Association, and was instrumental in sending the first
team of representative Canadian riflemen from this Province to England
in 1870, to take part in the annual military operations at Wimbledon. A
team has ever since been sent over annually by the Dominion, and Mr.
Gzowski has generally made a point of accompanying them himself. In
November, 1872, as a mark of appreciation of his services in connection
with the development of the Rifle Association, he was appointed
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Central Division of Toronto Volunteers; and in
May, 1873, became a Lieutenant-Colonel on the staff. His last and
highest promotion came to him in May, 1879, when he was appointed
Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

For many years past Colonel Gzowski has been the possessor of large
means, acquired by his own industry and talents, and sufficient to
enable him to indulge in a dignified repose for the remainder of his
life. He is, however, possessed of a stirring nervousness of temperament
which impels him to action, and has never ceased to engage in
engineering projects of greater or less magnitude. This sketch would be
very incomplete without some reference to an enterprise which is
entitled to rank among the grandest public works of the Dominion; viz.,
the International Bridge over the Niagara River at Buffalo. The charters
for the construction of this great enterprise were granted by the
Legislature of Canada and the State of New York as far back as the year
1857, but were permitted to lie dormant owing to the difficulty of
obtaining the funds necessary to carrying out so gigantic a project. The
capital was at last raised in England in 1870, and the contract was let
to Colonel Gzowski and his partner, the Hon. D. L. Macpherson, who
forthwith began the work of construction. The engineering difficulties
to be encountered were very great, and at certain seasons of the year
the work had to be totally suspended. The bridge was finally completed
and opened for the passage of trains on the 3rd of November, 1873, and
the entire cost of construction was about $1,500,000. It stands as a
perpetual memorial of the great skill and enterprise of the contractors.
After its completion Colonel Gzowski wrote and published a full account
of the enterprise from its inception, accompanied by elaborate plans and
illustrations. Sir Charles Hartley, in a work published in England in
1875, bears testimony to the fact that "the chief credit in overcoming
the extraordinary difficulties which beset the building of the piers of
this bridge is due to Colonel Gzowski, upon whom all the practical
operations devolved." A still higher testimony comes from Mr. Thomas
Elliott Harrison, President of the (British) Institute of Civil
Engineers, who, in an annual address read before the Institute on his
election to the Presidency in the session of 1873-4, referred to the
International Bridge as one of the most gigantic engineering works on
the American continent, and made a special reference to the difficulties
met with in subaqueous foundations, as described in Colonel Gzowski's

Colonel Gzowski's career in Canada has been one of extraordinary
success, but any one who has watched its progress will admit that his
success has been chiefly due to his high personal qualifications. In
politics he has acted with the Conservative Party, but he is known for
the moderation of his views, and has never identified himself with any
of the purely party factions of the time. Though frequently importuned
to enter public life he has hitherto refrained from doing so, preferring
to confine his attention to professional and financial enterprises. He
has a luxurious home in Toronto, where he occasionally dispenses a
sumptuous hospitality, and where he appears perhaps to greater advantage
than elsewhere. He has entertained most of the Governors-General of his
time, all of whom have been numbered among his personal friends. Of late
years much of his leisure has been passed in England, where several of
his children reside, and where he has many warm friends. He has been
honoured with special marks of the royal favour, and might doubtless, if
so disposed, aspire to high dignities. Her Majesty has not a more loyal
subject than Colonel Gzowski, and should occasion arise he would, we
doubt not, buckle on his sword in defence of British and Canadian rights
no less readily than he embarked his all, half a century ago, on behalf
of the nation to which he belongs by right of birth.

On the 29th of October, 1839, he married Miss Maria Beebe, daughter of
an eminent American physician. This lady, by whom he has had five sons
and three daughters, still survives.


Dr. Rand, who has long been one of the foremost educationists in the
Maritime Provinces, was born at the seaport town of Cornwallis, situated
on an arm of the Basin of Minas, King's County, Nova Scotia, in the year
1835. His life has been passed in educational pursuits, and affords but
few incidents for biographical purposes. His boyhood and early youth
were spent in attending the common schools, whence he passed to the
Horton Collegiate Academy. After spending some time as a student at the
last-named seat of learning he became a teacher there. He also entered
the University of Acadia College, where he graduated in the honours
course in 1860. During the same year he was appointed to the Chair of
English and Classics in the Provincial Normal School at Truro, where he
distinguished himself by his enthusiastic devotion to his work, and by
his intelligence, aptitude and zeal in developing the best methods of
instruction. In 1863 he received his Master's degree from the University
of Acadia College. His Doctor's degree is honorary, and was conferred
upon him by the same institution in 1874.

Upon the passing of the Educational Act of 1864, the subject of this
sketch was selected by the Government of the day for the position of
Provincial Superintendent of Education. Upon him accordingly devolved
the task of putting the new law into operation. The Act of 1864 was one
of the most important measures, bearing on the moral and material
interests of the Province, that was ever introduced there. "It struck at
the very root of most of the evils which tend to depress the
intellectual energies and moral status of the people. It introduced the
genial light of knowledge into the dark recesses of ignorance, opened
the minds of thousands of little ones--the fathers and mothers of coming
generations--to a perception of the true and the beautiful, and placed
Nova Scotia in the front rank of countries renowned for common school
educational advantages."[9] Previous to the time when it came into
operation the school system of the Province was pitiably inefficient.
Its inefficiency was startlingly demonstrated by the census of 1861,
from which it appeared that more than one-fourth of the entire
population of the Province were unable to read. Of 83,000 children
between the ages of five and fifteen, there were 36,000 who were unable
to read. A large majority of the children in the Province did not attend
school, and did not receive any educational training whatever. Teachers
were poorly paid and inefficient. The schoolhouses were frequently
unhealthy, and were almost always uncomfortable and unsightly. To
Dr.--now Sir Charles--Tupper, belongs in great measure the credit of
having brought about a more satisfactory state of things. It was by his
Ministry that the Educational Act of 1864 was passed, and he
himself, though well aware that he seriously risked his popularity by
promoting it--for it introduced direct taxation--repeatedly declared
that even if it should cost him place and power he would regard its
introduction as the crowning act of his public life. After some
negotiation between himself and Messrs. Archibald and Annand, the
leading members of the Opposition, it was agreed that party differences
should for the nonce be laid aside, and that the Education Act should
become law.

[Illustration: THEODORE H. RAND, signed as Theodore H. Rand]

Such was the state of affairs at the time when Mr. Rand was appointed to
the office of Superintendent of Education. For some time his task was no
light one, for the law was unpopular among the masses, who abhorred the
idea of direct taxation. He applied himself to his duties with great
energy, and travelled the Province from end to end, disputing, arguing,
and finally convincing. He found, however, that some clauses of the Act
were impracticable, and others unnecessary. He prepared a measure which
formed the basis of the amended Act of 1865. His energy and vigour
carried all before them, and he soon had the satisfaction of seeing
opposition disappear. A _Journal of Education_ was established, a new
and uniform series of school books was introduced, and commodious
schoolhouses were erected. A system of examination and of grading was
introduced by Mr. Rand, and his plan was so well thought of that its
main features have been adopted in other Provinces of the Dominion.

He continued to fill the position of Superintendent of Education in Nova
Scotia during five and a half busy years. In 1870 he was removed from
office "apparently for political reasons, and under circumstances which
created a great deal of dissatisfaction at the time amongst the friends
of education in the Province." After his retirement he proceeded to
Great Britain, chiefly with a view to acquiring additional knowledge on
educational matters, and to familiarizing himself by observation with
the practical working of the English school system. During his absence
he visited many important schools in England, Scotland and Ireland, and
had conferences with some of the leading educationists of the realm.

In 1871 the New Brunswick Legislature passed an Act, to come into
operation on the 1st of January, 1872, introducing the Free School
system into that Province. The provisions of this Act were very similar
to those of the Nova Scotia measure, and Mr. Rand's success in
introducing the system into the adjoining Province had been such that it
was deemed desirable to secure his services in New Brunswick. In
September, 1871, three months before the Act came into force, he was
offered the position of Chief Superintendent of Education for New
Brunswick by the Government of the day. He accepted, and entered upon
his duties with his accustomed energy. He has ever since filled the
position, and persons who are entitled to speak with authority aver that
he has done for education in New Brunswick all, and more than all, that
he had previously accomplished for education in Nova Scotia. He now
enjoys the distinction of having brought into operation in two Provinces
an enduring and efficient system of public education.

He is President of the Educational Institute of New Brunswick, and a
member of the Senate of the Provincial University. The Baptist
Convention of the Maritime Provinces (of which, in 1875-6, he was
President) elected him in 1877 one of the Governors of the University of
Acadia College. His time is entirely devoted to his educational duties,
and he has reason for self-gratulation at the satisfactory results which
have attended his efforts in the two Provinces which have been the scene
of his labours.


Mr. Cameron was for many years the best-known Nisi Prius lawyer at the
Bar of his native Province, and his personal appearance is familiar to a
greater number of persons than is that of any professional man in
western Canada. For some years prior to his elevation to the Bench he
was also prominent in political life, but it was at the Bar that his
greenest laurels were won, and it is by his professional achievements
that he will be longest remembered. He was born at Dundas, in the county
of Wentworth, on the 2nd of October, 1822. His father, the late Mr. John
McAlpin Cameron, was, as his name imports, of Celtic stock. The latter
emigrated from the Highlands of Scotland to Upper Canada in 1819, and
settled at Dundas, where he engaged in commercial pursuits. In 1826 he
became Deputy Clerk of the Crown for the Gore District, and removed to
Hamilton. He subsequently entered the service of the Canada Company, and
remained in it for many years. He died at his home in Toronto, at an
advanced age, in 1866. His wife, the mother of the subject of this
sketch, was English. She was a native of the county of Northumberland,
and her maiden name was Miss Nancy Foy. She died in Toronto many years

The subject of this sketch was the youngest of his family, and was the
only member of it born on this side of the Atlantic. He was named after
Mr. Matthew Crooks, of Ancaster, a brother of the Hon. James Crooks, and
an uncle of the present Minister of Education. At the time of the
removal of the family from Dundas to Hamilton he was about four years of
age; and he soon afterwards began to attend his first school, which was
a small local establishment presided over by a Mr. Randall. Later, he
was placed at the Home District Grammar School, on the corner of Newgate
and New Streets--now Adelaide and Jarvis Streets--Toronto, where many
boys who subsequently became distinguished in Canadian public life
received their early training. In 1838 he entered Upper Canada College,
where he remained nearly two years. His educational career was cut short
in 1840 by an accident which was destined to affect the whole course of
his future life. One day, while out shooting with two of his
schoolfellows in the neighbourhood of Toronto, one of the latter, who
does not seem to have been a very skilful marksman, carelessly fired off
his gun at an inopportune moment, and young Cameron received the charge
in his ankle, part of the joint of which was completely blown away. He
was conveyed home, and was confined to his room for months. It was out
of the question that he should ever recover the perfect use of his
disabled ankle, and it was announced to him that he must never hope to
walk again without the assistance of a crutch. It must have been a cruel
blow to him, for he was a boy of joyous nature, full of activity and
life, and by no means given to injuring his health by close application
to his studies. From this time forward his habits and train of thought
underwent a change. There were no more frivolity and thoughtlessness, no
more shooting expeditions, no more of the active sports and pastimes of
happy boyhood. Life, thenceforward, was to be contemplated from its
serious side. He did not return to college. His choice of the legal
profession was largely due to the fact that his two elder brothers, John
and Duncan, had already embraced that calling. He entered the office of
Messrs. Gamble & Boulton, barristers, of Toronto, and served the term of
his articles there. He studied with much diligence, and gave evidence of
great aptitude for his chosen profession. In Trinity Term, 1848, he was
admitted as an attorney and solicitor, and in Hilary Term of 1849 he was
called to the Bar.

He at once began to go on circuit, and he had not been many months at
the Bar before he was in the very front rank. When it is borne in mind
that his competitors were such men as Henry Eccles, John Hillyard
Cameron, Philip Vankoughnet, and the present Mr. Justice Hagarty, it
will be admitted that a young man who could hold his own against such
rivals must have possessed exceptional abilities. Mr. Cameron's most
salient qualifications consisted of a competent knowledge of his
profession, a subtle power of analyzing evidence, a ready command of
language, an impressive utterance and delivery, and--more than all--a
manner which was open and confidential without being familiar, and which
to most jurymen was suggestive of honest conviction. Though of somewhat
contracted physique, he contrived to get through an amount of work which
few men endowed with greater robustness of frame could have
accomplished. His popularity grew apace, and erelong his practice was
second to that of no man at the Bar of this Province. His popularity and
practice were not confined to any particular neighbourhood, but extended
throughout the whole of western Canada; and the only two counties in
which he has not held briefs are the counties of Lanark and Renfrew. His
briefs embraced every variety of pleading, civil and criminal. In all
sorts of cases, and with all classes of jurors, he was thoroughly at
home, and his efforts were generally crowned with that best proof of

At the outset of his career at the Bar he was perhaps more assiduous in
his attendance at assizes in the Gore District than elsewhere, as his
brother John practised his profession in Hamilton--and afterwards in
Brantford--and was able to throw a good many briefs in his way. As the
years passed by, the question became, not how to obtain briefs, but how
to get through the labour they imposed. Mr. Cameron, however, is not
only endowed with great capacity for hard work, but has a genuine liking
for it. His exceeding quickness of perception and apprehension was very
often displayed during his career at the Bar, and it was said of him
that he could acquire a more accurate knowledge of his case after it had
been opened than most of his competitors could obtain by a week's

Soon after completing his legal studies Mr. Cameron formed a partnership
with his former principal, the late Mr. William Henry Boulton. Several
years later he entered into partnership with the Hon. William Cayley,
who held the portfolio of Minister of Finance in the Government formed
under the auspices of Sir Allan Macnab in 1854. Mr.--now Dr.--Daniel
McMichael was subsequently admitted, and the firm of Messrs. Cayley,
Cameron & McMichael long had a business second to that of no firm in the
Province. The partnership subsequently underwent various modifications,
but its members have always maintained its position as one of the
leading legal firms in Toronto.

The first ten years of his legal career were devoted by Mr. Cameron
almost exclusively to his profession. He then began to take part in
municipal affairs. In 1859 he represented St. James's Ward in the
Toronto City Council. In January, 1861, he was an unsuccessful candidate
for the mayoralty. He was possessed of strong political convictions, and
was frequently importuned to enter Parliament. He was a very pronounced
Conservative in his views, as his father before him had been, and at the
general election of 1861 he offered himself to the electors of North
Ontario as a candidate for a seat in the Assembly. He secured his
return, and sat in the House until the general election of 1863, when,
upon presenting himself to his constituents for reëlection he was
defeated. A vacancy occurring in the representation for North Ontario in
the summer of 1864, he once more offered himself as a candidate, and was
on this occasion returned. He continued to represent North Ontario in
the Assembly until Confederation, when he was unsuccessful in his
attempt to secure his return for the House of Commons. He accordingly
accepted office in the Sandfield Macdonald Coalition Administration in
Ontario, and was returned for East Toronto, in which constituency he
resides, and which he continued to represent in the Local Legislature
until the close of his Parliamentary career. He held the offices of
Provincial Secretary and Registrar from July, 1867, until the 25th of
July, 1871, when he became Commissioner of Crown Lands. The latter
office he held until the fall of the Government in the following
December, in consequence of the adverse vote of the House on the
railroad subsidy question. Upon the formation of a new Government under
the premiership of the Hon. Edward Blake, Mr. Cameron became leader of
the Opposition, and continued to act in that capacity for a period of
four years. His Parliamentary career was marked by sterling honour and
integrity, and by inflexible devotion to his Party. Mr. Cameron is one
of the few men who have taken a very prominent part in public life in
this country during the last few years, and yet have escaped charges of
political corruption and dishonesty. No man in Canada believes him to be
capable of a corrupt or dishonest act, for the advancement either of his
own interests or those of his Party. It must be confessed, however, that
he was not seen at his best on the floor of Parliament. Some of his
political ideas are widely at variance with prevailing tendencies, and
some of his Parliamentary utterances had an unmistakable flavour of the
lamp. The Halls of the Legislature were not a thoroughly congenial
sphere for him, and the full measure of his strength was seldom or never
put forward there. He was sometimes commonplace, and sometimes carping
and fretful. Before a jury, on the other hand, he was always a
formidable power, and was always master of himself. His duties as a
Cabinet Minister were somewhat onerous, but his capacity for hard work
enabled him to get through them more easily than most persons could have
done under similar circumstances, and his attendance on circuit was
never interrupted for any considerable time. His preëminence at the Bar
was undisputed, and his influence over juries suffered no diminution. He
had been a Queen's Counsel since 1863, and a Bencher of the Law Society
of Ontario since 1871; and when he was elevated to the Judicial Bench on
the 15th of November, 1878, the appointment was regarded by the legal
profession and the country at large as a fitting tribute to his
character and professional standing. His rank is that of Senior Puisné
Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench. As a Judge, he displays the same
characteristics by which he was distinguished while at the Bar, viz.,
quickness of perception, and a ready grasp of the main points of an
argument. He has rendered several important judgments, the points of
which are well known to members of the legal profession.

Mr. Cameron was concerned in organizing the Liberal-Conservative
Association of Toronto, and was President of it from the time of its
formation until his elevation to the Judicial Bench. He was also
Vice-President of the Liberal-Conservative Convention held in Toronto in
September, 1874. Apart from his strictly professional and political
duties, Mr. Cameron has held various positions of more or less public
importance. As far back as 1852 he was appointed by the Hincks-Morin
Government a Commissioner, jointly with the late Colonel Coffin, to
inquire into the causes of the frequent accidents which had then
recently occurred on the Great Western Railway. He was one of the
original promoters and Directors of the Dominion Telegraph Company, and
of several prominent Insurance Companies. He is a member of several
social, charitable and national associations, including the Caledonian
and St. Andrew's Societies. He is a widower. On the 1st of December,
1851, he married Miss Charlotte Ross Wedd, of Hamilton, who died on the
14th of January, 1868. He has a family, the members whereof all reside
with him in Toronto.


The name of Sir Louis Lafontaine is intimately associated in the public
mind with that of his friend and associate Robert Baldwin. What the
latter was in Upper Canada, such was Sir Louis in the Lower
Province--the leader of a numerous, an exacting, and a not always
manageable political party. These two statesmen were the leading spirits
on behalf of their respective Provinces in two Governments which are
known in history by their joint names. Their personal intimacy and
active co-operation extended over only about ten years, but the bond of
union between them during that period was closely knit, and their mutual
confidence was complete. They fought side by side with perfect fealty to
each other and to the State, and their retirement from public life was
almost simultaneous. Their mutual relations, both public and private,
were marked by an almost chivalrous courtesy and respect, and even after
they had ceased to take part in the struggles with which both their
names are identified, they continued to think and speak of each other
with an enthusiasm which was not generally supposed to belong to the
nature of either.

Sir Louis was in some respects the most remarkable man that Lower Canada
has produced. Though he identified himself with many important measures
of Reform, the temper of his mind, more especially during his latter
years, was eminently aristocratic and Conservative. His disposition was
not one that could properly be described as genial. He was not a perfect
tactician, and had not the faculty of making himself "all things to all
men." Coriolanus himself had not a more supreme contempt for "the
insinuating nod" whereby the elector is wheedled out of his vote. His
demeanour was generally somewhat cold and repellent, and though he was
thoroughly honourable, and respected by all who knew him, he was not a
man of many warm personal friends. In the sketch of Robert Baldwin's
life we have given Sir John Kaye's estimate of that gentleman's
character and aspirations, as reflected in the letters and papers of
Lord Metcalfe. The estimate is so wide of the mark that our readers will
probably be disposed to place little reliance upon Sir John's capability
for gauging the public men of Canada. In the case of the subject of the
present sketch, however, Lord Metcalfe's biographer has contrived to
stumble upon a much more accurate judgment. Speaking of Mr. Lafontaine,
during his tenure of office as Attorney-General for Canada East, in
1843, he tells us that "all his better qualities were natural to him;
his worse were the growth of circumstances. Cradled, as he and his
people had been, in wrong, smarting for long years under the oppressive
exclusiveness of the dominant race, he had become mistrustful and
suspicious; and the doubts which were continually floating in his mind
had naturally engendered indecision and infirmity of purpose. But he
had many fine characteristics which no evil circumstances could impair.
He was a just and an honourable man. His motives were above all
suspicion. Warmly attached to his country, earnestly seeking the
happiness of his people, he occupied a high position by the force rather
of his moral than of his intellectual qualities. He was trusted and
respected rather than admired." If we omit the reference to indecision
and infirmity of purpose, we may accept the foregoing as being, so far
as it goes, a not inaccurate estimate of the character of Mr.
Lafontaine. The excepted reference, however, shows how little the writer
could really have known of the subject of his remarks. So far from being
undecided or infirm of purpose, Mr. Lafontaine was almost domineering
and tyrannical in his firmness. He was very reluctant to receive
discipline, and was generally disposed to prefer his own judgment to
that of any one else. It will be news, indeed, to such of his colleagues
as still survive, to learn that Sir Louis Lafontaine was infirm of
purpose. Sir Francis Hincks, who is able to speak with high authority on
the subject, declares in one of his political pamphlets that he never
met a man less open to such an imputation. Other equally trustworthy
authorities have borne similar testimony, and indeed the whole course of
his political life furnishes a standing refutation to the charge. Sir
Louis was intellectually far above most of those with whom he acted, and
he was endowed by nature with an imperious will. He brooked
contradiction, or even moderate remonstrance, with an ill grace. Had he
been of a more conciliating temper he would doubtless have been vastly
more popular. His sincerity and uprightness have never, so far as we are
aware, been called in question.

[Illustration: LOUIS H. LAFONTAINE, signed as L. H. LAFONTAINE]

He was born near the village of Boucherville, in the county of Chambly,
Lower Canada, in October, 1807. He was the third son of Antoine Menard
Lafontaine, of Boucherville, whose father sat in the Lower Canadian
Legislature from 1796 to 1804. His mother's maiden name was Marie J.
Bienvenu. There is nothing to be said about his early life. He studied
law, and in due time was called to the Bar of Lower Canada, and settled
in Montreal. He succeeded in his profession, and while still a very
young man achieved a prominent position and an extensive practice. He
accumulated considerable wealth, which was augmented by an advantageous
marriage, in 1831, to Adèle, daughter of A. Berthelot, a wealthy and
eminent advocate of Quebec. He entered political life in 1830, when he
was only twenty-three years of age, as a Member of the Legislative
Assembly for the populous county of Terrebonne. He at this time held and
advocated very advanced political views, and was a follower of Louis J.
Papineau. He was not always subordinate to his leader, however, and as
time passed by he ceased to work cordially with Mr. Papineau. Their
differences were of temperament rather than of principle, and erelong a
complete estrangement took place between them. Mr. Lafontaine, however,
still continued to advocate advanced radicalism, not only from his place
in Parliament, but through the medium of the newspaper press. He
continued to sit in the Assembly as representative for Terrebonne until
the rebellion burst forth, in which he was so far implicated that a
warrant was issued against him for treason, and he deemed it wise to
withdraw from Canada. He fled to England, whence he made good his escape
across the channel to France. His residence there, unlike that of
Papineau, was only of brief duration. He returned to his native land in
1840, having gained wisdom by experience. He was opposed to the project
of uniting the Provinces, and spoke against it from the platform at
Montreal and elsewhere with great vehemence; but after the passing of
the Act of Union he acquiesced in what could no longer be avoided, and
in 1841 he offered himself once more to his old constituents of
Terrebonne, as a candidate for a seat in the Parliament of the United
Provinces. His candidature was not successful, but, chiefly through the
instrumentality of Robert Baldwin, who had just been honoured with a
double return, he was on the 21st of September elected for the Fourth
Riding of the county of York, in Upper Canada. It will be understood
from this alliance that Mr. Lafontaine's views had undergone
considerable modification. He now perceived that the rebellion of 1837-8
had been not merely a crime, but a political blunder, as there had never
been any chance of its becoming permanently successful. With regard to
the Union of the Provinces, he looked upon it as a scheme which had been
forced upon the Lower Canadian French population, but which, having been
accomplished, might as well be worked in common between his compatriots
and Canadians of British origin. By taking a part in the work of
Government he would not only win an honourable position, but would be
able to obtain many favours and concessions for Lower Canadians which he
could not hope to obtain as a private indvidual. Actuated by some such
motives as these, he in 1842 joined with Mr. Baldwin in forming the
first Ministry which bears their joint names, he himself holding the
portfolio of Attorney-General for the Lower Province. Having vacated his
seat on accepting office on the 16th of September, he was on the 8th of
October following reëlected for the Fourth Riding of York. He
represented that constituency until November, 1844, when he was returned
to the Second Parliament of United Canada by the electors of Terrebonne.
He sat for Terrebonne until after his acceptance of office as
Attorney-General for Lower Canada in the second Baldwin-Lafontaine
Administration, formed in March, 1848, after which he was returned for
the city of Montreal, which he thenceforward continued to represent in
Parliament so long as he remained in public life.

Soon after Mr. Lafontaine's acceptance of office, in the autumn of 1842,
he proposed to Sir Charles Bagot, who was then Governor-General, that an
amnesty should be granted to all persons who had taken part in the
rebellion in 1837-8. To this proposal His Excellency was not disposed to
assent without careful consideration, and probably until he could
communicate with the Imperial Government. Mr. Lafontaine then urged
that, if an amnesty was for the present considered unadvisable, the
various prosecutions for high treason pending at Montreal might be
abandoned. To this Sir Charles, after careful consideration, expressed
his willingness to assent, except in the single case of the
arch-conspirator, Louis Joseph Papineau. Mr. Lafontaine had long ceased
to sympathize with Mr. Papineau's political views, but he was not
disposed to acquiesce in the proposed exception, and for a time the
negotiations fell through. It was subsequently renewed, but before any
definite steps could be taken in the matter the Governor-General's
health gave way, and he rapidly sank into his grave. After the accession
of Sir Charles Metcalfe, Mr. Lafontaine urged his proposal upon the new
Governor, and finally succeeded in carrying his point. Mr. Lafontaine,
as Attorney-General, was instructed to file a _nolle prosequi_ to the
indictments against Mr. Papineau, as well as to those against other
political offenders. He obeyed his instructions with promptitude, and
Mr. Papineau soon afterwards returned to this country. Erelong the "old
man eloquent" found his way into Parliament, where he for several years
made himself a thorn in the flesh to some of his old colleagues of the
ante-Union days.

The first Baldwin-Lafontaine Ministry resigned office in November, 1843,
in consequence of the arbitrary conduct of Sir Charles Metcalfe. All
the circumstances connected with this resignation are narrated at
sufficient length elsewhere in these pages. Mr. Lafontaine remained in
Opposition until March, 1848, when he and his colleagues again came into
power. During the interval he had steadily held his ground in the
estimation of the Reform element in the French Canadian population, of
whom he was the acknowledged leader. The history of the second
Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration[10] in which Mr. Lafontaine held the
portfolio of Attorney-General East, has been given in previous sketches,
and there is no need for repeating the details here. It was Mr.
Lafontaine who, in February, 1849, introduced the famous Rebellion
Losses Bill, which gave rise to so much heated debate in the House, and
to such disgraceful proceedings outside. Mr. Lafontaine, as the actual
introducer of the Bill, came in for his full share of the odium
attaching to that measure. His house in Montreal was attacked by the
mob, and although the flames were extinguished in time to save the
building, the furniture and library shared the fate of those in the
Houses of Parliament, with the fate of which readers of the sketch of
Lord Elgin are already familiar. After much wilful destruction of
valuable property the rioters waxed bolder, and proceeded to maltreat
loyal subjects in the streets in the most shameful manner. Mr.
Lafontaine himself narrowly escaped personal maltreatment. A second
attack was made upon his house. The military, or some occupants of the
house, finding it necessary to use extreme measures, fired upon the mob,
wounding several, and killing one man, whose name was Mason. For a few
minutes after this time it seemed not improbable that Mr. Lafontaine
would be torn in pieces. Yells rent the air, and it was loudly
proclaimed that a Frenchman had shed the blood of an Anglo-Saxon. The
hour of danger passed, however, and Mr. Lafontaine escaped without
personal injury. The unanimous verdict of a coroner's jury acquitted him
of all blame for the death of the misguided man who had fallen a victim
to his zeal for riot. The verdict had a quieting effect upon the public
mind. Meanwhile the Governor-General had tendered his resignation, but
as his conduct was approved of both by the Local Administration and by
the Home Authorities, he, at their urgent request, consented to remain
in office. In consequence of this disgraceful riot, however, it was not
considered desirable to continue the seat of Government at Montreal. The
Legislature thenceforth sat alternately at Toronto and Quebec, until
1866, when Ottawa became the permanent capital of the Dominion.

Notwithstanding all the excitement, and the opposition to which he was
subjected, Mr. Lafontaine generally contrived to carry through any
measure which he had very much at heart. There were certain popular
measures, however, which he never had at heart, and to which, although
the leader of a professedly Liberal Administration, he could never be
induced to lend his countenance. After Responsible Government had become
an accomplished fact, there was no measure so imperatively demanded by
Upper Canadian Reformers as the secularization of the Clergy Reserves.
In the Lower Province the measure most desired by the people was the
abolition of the Seignorial Tenure. To neither of these projects would
Mr. Lafontaine consent. He had an immense respect for vested rights, and
does not seem to have fully recognized the fact that so-called vested
rights are sometimes neither more nor less than vested wrongs. Yet,
notwithstanding his hostility to these measures, he continued to hold
the reins of power, for he was regarded as an embodiment, in his own
person, of the unity of the French-Canadian race. He was, however, like
his colleague, Robert Baldwin, too moderate in his views for the times
in which his later political life was cast. The progress of Reform was
too rapid for him, and he finally made way for more advanced and more
energetic men. His retirement from office and from political life took
place towards the close of 1851. After his retirement he devoted himself
to professional pursuits, and continued to do so until the death of Sir
James Stuart, Chief Justice of the Lower Province, in the summer of
1853, left that position vacant. On the 13th of August Mr. Lafontaine
was appointed to the office, and on the 28th of August, 1854, he was
created a Baronet. In 1861, having been a widower for some years, he
married a second time, his choice being Jane, daughter of Mr. Charles
Morrison, of Berthier, and widow of Mr. Thomas Kinton, of Montreal. He
continued to occupy the position of Chief Justice until his death, which
took place on the morning of the 26th of February, 1864. During his
tenure of that office he also presided at the sittings of the Seignorial
Tenure Court. He attained high rank as a jurist, and his decisions,
which were always delivered with a weighty impressiveness of manner, are
regarded with very great respect by his successors, and by the legal
profession generally.

Mr. Robert Christie, the historian of Lower Canada, contrasts the
political character of Mr. Lafontaine with that of his early colleague,
Mr. Papineau. Mr. Christie knew both the personages well, and was quite
capable of discriminating between them. "Mr. Lafontaine," he says, "it
is pretty generally admitted, has, by consulting only the practicable
and expedient, acted wisely and well, amidst the difficulties that beset
his position as Prime Minister, and upon the whole, though there are
derogating circumstances in the course of it, his administration has
been eminently successful. It was, in fact, from the impetuous and blind
pursuit of the impracticable and inexpedient, that Mr. Papineau lost
himself, shipwrecking his own and his party's hopes, and, with his
example and failure before him, it is to Mr. Lafontaine's credit that he
has had the wisdom to profit by them."

Sir Louis had no issue by his first wife. By his second wife he had one
son, to whom he was very much attached, and upon whom he looked as the
transmitter of his name, and of the title which he had so honourably
won. The little fellow, however, died in childhood, and the title became
extinct. Lady Lafontaine still resides in Montreal.


Dr. Schultz has had some adventurous passages in his life, and has
played a by no means insignificant part in the history of the Prairie
Province. He was born at Amherstburgh, in the county of Essex, Upper
Canada, on the 1st of January, 1840. He is a son of the late Mr. William
Schultz, a native of Denmark, who was for many years engaged in business
as a merchant at Amherstburgh. His mother was Eliza, daughter of Mr.
Willam Riley, of Bandon, Ireland.

After receiving his primary education at the public schools of
Amherstburgh, he entered Oberlin College, Ohio. This institution was
then held in high consideration by many persons in this country, and
some of our prominent men have been educated there. Mr. Schultz remained
there long enough to pass through the Arts course. Having chosen the
medical profession as his future calling, he studied medicine at Queen's
College, Kingston, and afterwards at the Medical Department of Victoria
College, in Toronto. He had conceived the design of emigrating to
Mexico, with a view to practising his profession there, but after
graduating as M.D., in the spring of 1860, he relinquished that design,
and found his way, by the rude and toilsome route then in vogue, to the
Red River Settlement. The community there at that time consisted of
about eight thousand persons, separated from the city of St. Paul,
Minnesota, by a distance of 550 miles of country, a great part of which
was owned by the Ojibway and Sioux Indians. There was of course no
railway in that part of the world in those days, and anyone undertaking
to travel from St. Paul to Fort Garry entered upon a journey which was
not only toilsome but perilous. The barbarians all along the route were
fierce and intractable, not much given to discriminating between
subjects of Great Britain and those of the United States. Between the
latter and the Indians there was much ill-feeling, and murders and
assassinations of white travellers were matters of frequent occurrence.
After enduring many hardships, Dr. Schultz reached Fort Garry, and there
commenced the practice of his profession. He soon afterwards entered
upon the traffic in furs, a pursuit which was very profitable in those
days, but which was still held as a monopoly by the Hudson's Bay
Company. The great Company doubtless well knew that it would not much
longer be permitted to enjoy its monopoly, but it was not disposed to
encourage rivalry, and looked upon Dr. Schultz's interference with no
friendly eye. There are of course two sides to this question. The
Company's agents were sometimes overbearing and tyrannical in resisting
the encroachments of free-traders. On the other hand, it was scarcely to
be expected that they would encourage or quietly submit to interference
with what they regarded as the Company's exclusive rights. In spite of
all opposition, however, Dr. Schultz continued to carry on his
operations with great profit to himself for some years. His negotiations
with the Indians and half-breeds rendered it necessary that he should
traverse a wide extent of country, and he thus gained an accurate
knowledge of the topography of the North-West, as well as an intimate
acquaintance with Indian manners, traditions, and customs.

In the spring of 1862 Dr. Schultz was unfortunate enough to be away from
home when the terrible Sioux massacre occurred in Minnesota, completely
cutting off connection between its frontier settlements and Fort Garry,
and spreading devastation and terror throughout the whole of the
North-West. The Doctor, after waiting some time at St. Paul, where he
had been transacting business, attempted the passage through the Indian
country by the "Crow Wing" trail, as it was called. After many days and
nights of cautious travelling, and one capture by the Indians, from
which he owed his release to his ability to convince the savages that he
was English and not American, he arrived safely at Pembina, whence he
made his way to Fort Garry. In 1864 he became the owner and editor of
the _Nor'-Wester_, the pioneer newspaper of the North-West, and laboured
hard through its columns to make the great agricultural value of the
country known. His policy was, of course, diametrically opposed to that
of the Hudson's Bay Company, and as time passed by, the hostility
between that Company and himself became very bitter and implacable. He
subsequently disposed of the _Nor'-Wester_ to Dr. Walter Robert Bown, by
whom the paper was conducted at the time of the outbreak to be presently
referred to.

In 1868 Dr. Schultz married Miss Agnes Campbell Farquharson, formerly of
Georgetown, British Guiana. He soon afterwards built the house which was
destined to become historical for the defence against Riel and his
insurrectionary force. In the autumn of 1868 he greatly extended the fur
business in which he was engaged, sending expeditions for that purpose
to the far north and west. The following autumn brought with it the
first mutterings of the Red River Rebellion, and it was seen that Dr.
Schultz was a marked man. Warning letters from Riel and other insurgents
were sent to him. Some of the Hudson's Bay Company's officials openly
accused him of having been the means of bringing about connection with
Canada, and in the gathering of the storm there seemed to be an ominous
future for him whom many of the Canadians then in the country looked
upon as their leader, and trusted to for their defence. He was
unfortunate, too, in the situation of his residence and trading post,
which were the nearest buildings to Fort Garry, and within easy range of
the field guns which Riel afterwards planted to force the giving up of
the Canadian Government provisions. Upon the actual breaking out of the
insurrection, Dr. Schultz suffered severely, both in person and in
purse. His pecuniary losses were recompensed to him by the Government,
but the bodily privations to which he was subjected were the means of
inflicting a shock upon his constitution, the effects of which are still
to some extent perceptible. After the seizure of Fort Garry by the
insurgents, the loyal Canadians of the settlement were placed under
surveillance. About fifty of these assembled for mutual safety at Dr.
Schultz's house, about eight hundred yards from the Fort. Here they were
besieged by several hundred of Riel's followers for three days. The
siege does not seem to have been incessant or very active, but there
were more than two hundred armed French half-breeds who kept continually
on the watch, and the inmates were prevented from egress. It is said
that two mounted six-pounders were drawn by the insurgents outside the
walls of Fort Garry, with their muzzles pointed in the direction of the
beleaguered house. The little force inside the building was too small to
enable the besieged to make a permanent resistance, and at last they
were compelled to surrender. They were then marched by the rebels to
Fort Garry and imprisoned there. Dr. Schultz himself, who was the
especial object of Riel's hatred, was placed in solitary confinement,
under a strong guard. His wife, who had insisted on remaining by his
side, was at first permitted to share his imprisonment, but after a few
days she was forcibly separated from him, and it seemed not unlikely
that this separation had been effected by Riel with a view to wreaking
his vengeance on the Doctor by taking his life. Riel himself alleged
that there was no intention of harming any of the prisoners, but that he
considered it desirable to separate Mr. and Mrs. Schultz, lest the
husband should be enabled to escape through the instrumentality of his
wife, who of course was not a prisoner, and who was permitted ingress
and egress at all reasonable hours. Dr. Schultz, however, placed little
reliance on the word of the arch-insurgent. Knowing the sentiments with
which he was regarded by Riel, he felt that his life was liable to be
sacrificed at any moment, and he determined to make an attempt to
escape. This purpose, after being confined for nearly three weeks, he
successfully accomplished. Mrs. Schultz contrived to secretly convey to
him a pen-knife and a small gimlet. With these inadequate means he made
an opening through his cell, large enough to enable him to pass through
into the inner quadrangle of the Fort. On the night of Sunday, the 23rd
of December, 1869, he cut into strips the buffalo-robe which served for
his bed, fastened an end to a projection in his cell, passed through the
opening he had made in the wall, and prepared to descend to _terra
firma_. While he was making the descent one of the strips of buffalo
skin snapped, and he was precipitated violently to the ground. The fall
rendered him temporarily lame, and caused him great suffering, but even
in this disabled condition he managed to scramble over the outer wall
near one of the bastions, and found himself at liberty. He stole away in
the dead silence of night, and after a toilsome march of some hours in a
blinding snow-storm, took refuge in the house of a friendly settler in
the parish of Kildonan. There, in the course of the next few weeks, he
and other Canadians organized a force about six hundred strong, with a
view to releasing their friends who were still imprisoned at Fort Garry.
Everything being in readiness for action, a message, demanding the
release of the prisoners, was despatched to Riel. The demand was
vigorously backed up by the influence of Mr. A. G. B. Bannatyne, a
prominent citizen of Red River, and Miss McVicar, a young lady from
Canada who was on a visit to the settlement. These two called upon Riel
at Fort Garry, and begged him to avert the bloodshed which would
certainly result if he persisted in detaining the prisoners. Riel, under
the combined influence of his interlocutors and the demand which had
been made upon him by the Canadian forces, displayed the better part of
valour, and promptly released the captives. He was determined, however,
to recapture Dr. Schultz, and sent out several expeditions to discover
his whereabouts. He declared that he would have Dr. Schultz's body, dead
or alive, if it was to be found in the Red River Settlement.
Disappointed at the non-success of his emissaries, Riel started out
himself at the head of an expedition, to scour the settlement, and to
recapture the object of his enmity. The expedition reached the Stone
Fort, or Lower Fort Garry, about midway between the capital of the
settlement and the entrance of Red River into Lake Winnipeg. They
entered the enclosure, and searched every nook and corner of the Fort.
Ill would it have fared with Dr. Schultz had he been discovered there;
but he was far away, and was every hour increasing the distance between
Riel and himself. A large meeting of loyalist settlers had been held, at
which Dr. Schultz was requested to proceed to Canada, and to lay the
real state of affairs before the people there. Such a mission involved
grave perils and hardships, for all the roads leading to Minnesota were
closely guarded by the insurgents, and certain death would have
overtaken the Doctor had he again fallen into their hands. He
determined, however, to make the attempt by way of Lake Superior. On the
21st of February, accompanied only by an English half-breed named Joseph
Monkman, he started on his perilous expedition. News of his having done
so came in due course to the ears of Riel, who sent out scouts in every
direction to intercept him. The Doctor and his companion eluded their
vigilance, and with snow-shoes on their feet struck across the frozen
south-easterly end of Lake Winnipeg to the mouth of the Winnipeg River.
They made their way past the rushing cascades of that stream to the Lake
of the Woods; thence across to Rainy Lake, and thence across the
northern part of the State of Minnesota to the head of Lake Superior.
Numerous camps of Indians were encountered on this adventurous march,
and from time to time guides were obtained from the latter. "Over weary
miles of snow-covered lakes; over the watershed between Rainy Lake and
the lakes of the Laurentian chain; over the height of land between Rainy
Lake and Lake Superior; through pine forests and juniper swamps, these
travellers made their way, turning aside only where wind-fallen timber
made their course impossible. Often saved from starvation by the
woodcraft of Monkman; their course guided by the compass, or by views
taken from the top of some stately Norway pine, they found themselves,
after twenty-four weary days of travel, in sight of the blue, unfrozen
waters of Lake Superior. They had struck the lake not far from its head,
and in a few hours presented themselves to the astonished gaze of the
people of the then embryo village of Duluth, gaunt with hunger, worn
with fatigue, their clothes in tatters, their eyes blinded with the
glare of the glittering sun of March." They then learned for the first
time of the terrible event which had occurred at Fort Garry since their
departure--the murder of the unfortunate Thomas Scott. From Duluth they
made their way to Toronto, whither news of their adventures had preceded
them. On the 6th of April an indignation meeting was held in Toronto, at
which a stirring address was delivered by Dr. Schultz, wherein the whole
nature of the Red River difficulty was reviewed. Resolutions expressive
of indignation at Scott's murder, and calling aloud for active
Government interference, were passed. Similar meetings were held, and
similar resolutions passed in Montreal, and in various other cities and
towns in both the Upper and Lower Provinces. The expedition under
Colonel (now Sir Garnet) Wolseley was soon afterwards set on foot, but
the account of it has no special bearing upon Dr. Schultz's life, and
need not be given here. The Doctor soon afterwards returned to Manitoba,
where he has ever since resided, and where he exercises a potent
influence over public affairs.

For nearly ten years past Dr. Schultz has been engaged in active
political life. At the first general election after Manitoba became part
of the Dominion, he was elected to represent the county of Lisgar (which
comprises most of the old Lord Selkirk Settlement) in the House of
Commons. The following year he was appointed a member of the Executive
Council of the North-West Territories, which sat in Winnipeg under the
Presidency of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. In this capacity
he was able to utilize his knowledge of the Indians and their wants much
to their advantage, in the passage of a Prohibitive Liquor Law for the
whole of the North-West, and in other measures for the amelioration of
their condition. He was reëlected to represent Lisgar at the general
election of 1872, and again at that of 1874, and again by acclamation at
the last general election. He is a member of the Dominion Board of
Health for Manitoba, a Director of the Manitoba Southwestern
Colonization Railway, one of the Board of Examiners of the Manitoba
Medical Board, a Director of the Winnipeg and Hudson's Bay Railway, and
of the Great Northwestern Telegraph Company. He is moreover one of the
largest land owners in the Province. He is enthusiastic in his views as
to the future of Manitoba, and of the North-West generally, and takes an
active interest in promoting the welfare and prosperity of that part of
the Dominion. Of late years his health has been somewhat less robust
than formerly. This result is partly due to a native energy which
frequently impels him to overtax his physical strength, and partly,
doubtless, to the sufferings and privations above referred to. The
North-West, however, has upon the whole been propitious to the Doctor.
His speculations have made him a thoroughly independent man, so far as
worldly wealth is concerned, and he can well afford to take repose for
the remainder of his life. He is a member of the Liberal-Conservative
Party, and a staunch supporter of the Government now in power at


Judge Burton was born at the town of Sandwich, the most ancient of the
Cinque Ports, in the county of Kent, England, on the 21st of July, 1818.
He was the second son of the late Admiral George Guy Burton, R.N., of
Chatham. He received his education at the Rochester and Chatham
Proprietary School, under the late Rev. Robert Whiston, LL.D., a Fellow
of Trinity College, Cambridge, who subsequently occupied the position of
Head-Master of the Grammar School at Rochester, and who was the author
of several works remarkable for sound scholarship and independence of
thought. Mr. Burton has always held his tutor in honoured remembrance,
and to this day is accustomed to speak of him with the respect due to
his great learning and attainments.

In 1836, the year before the breaking out of Mackenzie's rebellion, Mr.
Burton, then a youth of eighteen, came over to Upper Canada and repaired
to Ingersoll, in the county of Oxford, where he began the study of the
law in the office of his paternal uncle, the late Mr. Edmund Burton, who
then carried on a legal business there. The gentleman last named had
formerly held an office in connection with the Admiralty, and had been
stationed at the mouth of the Grand River during the War of 1812, '13,
and '14. After the close of the war he devoted himself to the law, and
spent the rest of his life in Upper Canada. His presence in this country
was doubtless to some extent the cause of his nephew's emigration from
England. The latter spent the regular term of five years in his uncle's
office in Ingersoll. Upon the expiration of his articles, he was called
to the Bar, in Easter Term, 1842, and settled down to the practice of
his profession in Hamilton, where he was not long in acquiring a large
and lucrative business. He identified himself with the Reform Party in
politics, and took an active part in various local elections. He was
frequently importuned to enter Parliament, but he preferred to confine
his best energies to his professional duties, and, as the years passed
by, his business assumed such dimensions that he had full occupation for
his time. He formed various partnerships, but was always the guiding
spirit of the firm, and became known from one end of the Province to the
other as a sound and learned lawyer. His connexion with Mr. Charles A.
Sadleir lasted for many years, and the firm of "Burton & Sadleir" was
one of the best known in the western part of the Province. On the 9th of
June, 1850, Mr. Burton married Miss Elizabeth Perkins, daughter of the
late Dr. F. Perkins, of Kingston, in the Island of Jamaica, and niece
and adopted daughter of the late Colonel Charles Cranston Dixon, of the
90th Regiment.

The life of an industrious lawyer, though interesting to himself and his
clients, is uneventful, and there is not much to be said about Mr.
Burton's professional career, except that it was a remarkably successful
one. He had many wealthy merchants and corporations for his clients, and
was regarded as an adept in the law relating to railway companies. He
was for many years Solicitor for the City of Hamilton; also for the
Canada Life Assurance Company, of which he is at present a Director,
having been elected to that position soon after his elevation to the
Judicial Bench. In 1856 he was nominated a Bencher of the Law Society of
Upper Canada, and when that body became elective by the profession at
large, under the Ontario Act of 1871, he was elected to the position. In
1863 he was invested with a silk gown.

His elevation to the Bench took place on the 30th of May, 1874, when he
was appointed a Judge of the Court of Error and Appeal. He then removed
to Toronto, where he has ever since resided. Upon the elevation of Mr.
Justice Strong to a seat on the Bench of the Supreme Court at Ottawa, in
October, 1875, Mr. Burton became, and still continues to be, the Senior
Justice of the Court of Appeal for this Province. He has filled his
position worthily, and with acceptance to the public and profession. He
has delivered many important judgments. One of these, in the case of
_Smiles vs. Belford et al._, is of special interest to persons connected
with literary pursuits. The plaintiff was the well-known Scottish
writer, Samuel Smiles, author of "The Life of George Stephenson,"
"Industrial Biography," and various other works of a similar character
which have enjoyed great popularity among the young. The defendants were
a firm of publishers in Toronto. The case came before Judge Burton in
the month of March, 1877, by way of appeal from a judgment previously
rendered by Vice-Chancellor Proudfoot; and the effect of Judge Burton's
decision was to affirm the Vice-Chancellor's conclusions. It was held
that it is not necessary for the author of a book who has duly
copyrighted the work in England under the Imperial statute 5 and 6
Victoria, chapter 45, to copyright it in Canada under the Canadian
Copyright Act of 1875, with a view of restraining a reprint of it there;
but that if he desires to prevent the importation into Canada of printed
copies from a foreign country he must copyright the book in Canada. The
judgment is an elaborate one, and well worthy of the careful perusal of
literary men.


Prominent among the band of heroes who accompanied Wolfe on his
memorable expedition against Quebec in 1759 was a gallant hero who held
the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the British army, and whose name was
Guy Carleton. He was an intimate personal friend of General Wolfe, and
was at that time thirty-seven years of age, having been born in 1722, at
Strabane, in the county of Tyrone, Ireland. He had embraced a military
career in his earliest youth, and had already done good service on more
than one hotly-contested field. He had served with distinction under the
Duke of Cumberland on the Continent, and had acquired the reputation of
a brave and efficient officer. He was destined to attain still higher
distinction, both in military and civil affairs, and to preserve for his
king and country the realm which Wolfe died to gain. He has been called
"the founder and saviour of Canada," and if these terms are somewhat
grandiloquent, it must be admitted that they are not altogether without
justification. "If," says a well-known Canadian writer, "we owe to Wolfe
a deep debt of gratitude for the brilliant achievement which added new
lustre and victory to our arms, and placed the ensign of Great Britain
on this glorious dependency of the empire, where he fought and bled and
sacrificed a life his country could ill spare, we assuredly, also, owe
much to those brave and gallant men who preserved this land when
conquered, through dint of hard toil, watchful vigilance, and loss of
blood and life."

Guy Carleton's friendship with Wolfe, who was four years his junior,
dated from their early youth. There are many friendly and affectionate
references to him scattered here and there throughout Wolfe's published
letters, and it is evident that their friendship was founded upon the
highest mutual respect and esteem. Wolfe seems to have lost no
opportunity of pushing his friend's fortunes, and to his patronage the
Lieutenant-Colonel was indebted for many signal marks of favour. When
the General was appointed to take charge of the operations against
Quebec, he was informed by Pitt that he would be allowed to choose his
own staff of officers. He accordingly forwarded his list of names to the
Minister, and among them was that of Colonel Carleton, to whom he had
assigned the office of Quartermaster-General. Carleton, however, had
made himself obnoxious to the King by passing some slighting remarks on
the Hanoverian troops--a most heinous offence in the eyes of the
Elector. When the Commander-in-Chief submitted the list to the
Sovereign, His Majesty, as was expected, drew his pen across Carleton's
name, and refused to sign his commission. Neither Pitt nor Wolfe was
likely to humour the stubborn monarch's whim. Lord Ligonier was
therefore sent a second time into the royal closet, but with no better
success. When his lordship returned to the Prime Minister he was
ordered to make another trial, and was told that on again submitting the
name he should represent the peculiar state of affairs. "And tell His
Majesty likewise," said Mr. Pitt, "that in order to render any General
completely responsible for his conduct, he should be made, as far as
possible, inexcusable if he should fail; and that, consequently,
whatever an officer entrusted with a service of confidence requests
should be complied with." After some hesitation Ligonier obtained a
third audience, and delivered his message, when, obstinate and
unforgiving as the old King was, the sound sense of the observation
prevailed over his prejudice, and he signed the commission as requested.
And so it came about that Colonel Carleton accompanied the conqueror of
Quebec in the capacity of Quartermaster-General on that memorable
expedition, which was fraught with such important consequences to both.

The story of the siege of Quebec is already familiar to readers of these
pages. The only further reference to that siege necessary to be made in
this place is to chronicle the fact that Colonel Carleton was severely
wounded in the hand on the plains of Abraham, and was only a few paces
distant from his commander when the latter received his death-wound. For
his services on that eventful day he was advanced to the dignity of a
Brigadier-General. The next important event in his life necessary to
record was his accession to the Governorship of Canada, as successor to
General Murray. He was already regarded with great favour by the
colonists, who had begun to look up to him as a protector. His character
and conduct have been variously judged, some attributing his wisdom and
gentleness to native goodness of heart, others to a prudent and
far-seeing policy. There is no necessity for inquiring too curiously
into his motives. Suffice it to say that he was regarded with the
highest favour and admiration by the colonists. The Government of his
predecessor, General Murray, had, at the outset, been an essentially
military Government, and had been the reverse of popular with French
Canadians generally. During his _regime_ the French Canadians seem to
have been morbidly given to contemplating themselves as a conquered
people, and to have been ever ready to avail themselves of any pretext
for establishing a grievance. Nor were such pretexts altogether wanting.
The civil and criminal law of England had been introduced into the
colony by royal proclamation, and Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas,
and Chancery had been established for its administration. Now, the law
of England was a system of which the French Canadians knew nothing, and
for which they could hardly be expected to have much enthusiasm. Trial
by jury was an especial bugbear to them. It was incomprehensible to them
that any man who was conscious of the goodness of his cause should wish
to be tried by twelve ignorant men; men who had never studied the
principles of law, and who were very imperfectly educated. That a suitor
should prefer such a tribunal to an erudite judge, whose life had been
spent in the study of jurisprudence, was, to the French Canadians of
those days, pretty strong evidence that the said suitor had little
confidence in the justness of his plea. Moreover, trials were carried on
in the English language, of which the French Canadians in general knew
little more than they knew of English law. A native litigant was
compelled to plead through an interpreter, and not seldom through an
interpreter who could be bribed. Even the higher officials of the courts
were sometimes appointed for political reasons, and were utterly unfit
for positions of trust. It is not too much to say that there were
flagrant instances in which judicial decisions were literally bought and
sold. General Murray's report on the condition of the colony, published
after his return to England in 1766, affords indisputable evidence that
the alleged grievances of the French Canadians were not wholly
imaginary. The ex-Governor cannot be suspected of any undue prejudice in
favour of the native population. He describes the British colonists of
the Province as being, with a few exceptions, the most immoral
collection of men he had ever known. Most of them, he alleged, had been
followers of the army, of mean education, or soldiers disbanded at the
reduction of the troops, who had their fortunes to make, and who were
not very solicitous as to how that end was accomplished. They were
represented as persons little calculated to conciliate the natives, or
to increase the respect of the latter for British laws. The officials
sent out from the mother country to conduct the public service are
described as venal, mercenary, and ignorant. "The Judge fixed upon to
conciliate the minds of 75,000 foreigners to the laws and government of
Great Britain," says the report, "was taken from a jail." Both the Judge
and the Attorney-General were unacquainted with the Civil Law and with
the French language. The chief offices of state were filled by men
equally ignorant, who had bought their situations for a price. Such a
state of things was little calculated to endear British rule to the
French Canadians. The picture is a dark one, but hardly darker than the
facts justified. And such was the posture of affairs when Guy Carleton
succeeded to office as Murray's successor.

He was wise enough to perceive that such a system could not be lasting,
and just enough to desire the establishment of a better one. Scarcely
had he succeeded to office before he made some important changes among
the higher state officials. He deposed two obnoxious councillors, and
set up two better men in their stead. He then turned his attention to
law reform. Previous to the Conquest, the law in vogue in the Province
had been a modification of the Civil Law known as the "Coutume de
Paris." This system, abridged and modified so as to meet the
requirements of the colony, he set himself to reëstablish. Under his
direction some of the leading French lawyers set to work at the task of
compilation. Upon the completion of this work he crossed over to
England, taking the compilation with him for the approval of the
authorities there. He met with strong opposition, and for some time it
seemed doubtful whether he would be able to accomplish the object of his
mission. He was subjected to repeated examinations before the law
officers of the Crown, and before Committees of the House of Commons.
Thurlow, the Attorney-General, opposed the measure with all the forensic
learning he could summon to his aid. The Mayor and Corporation of London
also threw the weight of their influence into the same scale. The great
Edmund Burke exhausted against it all his unrivalled powers of rhetoric.
Finally a compromise was effected, and the famous "Quebec Act" was
passed. It repealed all the provisions of the royal proclamation of
1763, annulled all the acts of the Governor and Council relative to the
civil government and administration of justice, revoked the commissions
of judges and other existing officers, and established new boundaries
for the Province. It released the Roman Catholics in Canada from all
penal restrictions, renewed their dues and tithes to the Roman Catholic
clergy from members of their own Church, and confirmed all classes
except the religious orders and communities in full possession of their
property. The French laws were declared to be the rules for decision
relative to property and civil rights, while the English law was
established in criminal matters. Both the civil and criminal codes were
liable to be altered or modified by the ordinances of the Governor and a
Legislative Council. This Council was to be appointed by the Crown, and
was to consist of not more than twenty-three, nor fewer than seventeen
members. Its power was limited to levying local or municipal taxes, and
to making arrangements for the administration of the internal affairs of
the Province; the British Parliament reserving to itself the right of
external taxation, or the levying of duties on imports and exports.
Every ordinance passed by this Council was to be transmitted within six
months, at farthest, after enactment, for the approbation of the King,
and if disallowed, was to be void on its disallowance becoming known at
Quebec. Such were the principal provisions of the Quebec Act, under
which Canada was governed for seventeen years. There can be no doubt
that its enactment was largely due to Carleton's representations, and it
is not to be wondered at if, when he returned to Canada in the autumn of
1774, he was received with rapturous enthusiasm by the French Canadians,
who made up nearly the entire population of the colony. The Legislative
Council, composed of one-third Catholics and two-thirds Protestants, was
inaugurated. The "Continental Congress," which was then in session at
Philadelphia, made vain overtures to the Canadians to join them in
throwing off the British yoke. The French Canadians believed that they
had more to lose than gain by a change. They had not even yet much love
for British institutions, but they thought they saw a disposition on the
part of the Imperial authorities to accord to them some measure of
justice, and were not disposed to rebel. They were moreover greatly
attached to the Governor who had fought so gallantly on their behalf.
"The man," says M. Bibaud, "to whom the administration of the Government
had been entrusted had known how to make the Canadians love him, and
this contributed not a little to retain, at least within the bounds of
neutrality, those among them who might have been able, or who believed
themselves able, to ameliorate their lot by making common cause with the
insurgent colonies."

A time soon arrived when the fealty of the French Canadians was to be
subjected to a stern and an effectual test. On the 19th of April, 1775,
the revolt of the American colonies assumed a positive shape, and the
skirmish at Lexington took place. The colonists then proceeded to strike
what they believed would prove a deadly blow to Great Britain on this
continent. American forces under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict
Arnold passed over to Canada, believing that they would find the country
an easy prey. Crown Point, which was invested with a very small
garrison, was compelled to yield to the invaders. A similar result
followed the attack of the Americans on Fort Ticonderoga, and the
capture of the only British sloop of war on Lake Champlain gave them
entire supremacy in those waters. Then General Carleton manned himself
"to whip the dwarfish war from out his territories." He at once
determined to recover the forts which had been lost, and proceeded to
raise a militia. But when he appealed to the French Canadians to flock
to the side of their seigniors in accordance with the old feudal customs
for which they professed so much veneration, and which he himself had
been instrumental in restoring to them, he found that he could not count
upon their aid. The seigniors, indeed, were most of them chivalrous and
willing enough, but the peasantry refused to lift hand in a quarrel
which was not of their seeking. Much eloquence has been wasted in
attempting to prove that the French Canadian habitans refused on
principle to rally at this juncture. It has been said that their hearts
warmly sympathized with the struggle of the Americans for freedom, and
that they believed that to aid Great Britain would be to strike a blow
at liberty itself. The facts of the case do not justify any such
assumption. Looking back upon that memorable rebellion by the light of
the hundred years which have elapsed since its occurrence, there are not
many right-thinking persons of British blood who will be disposed to
regret its issue. But the "shot heard round the world," of which Emerson
so eloquently sings, produced no echo in the hearts of French Canadians.
They were simply indifferent. They had no stomach to draw their swords
and perform military service in behalf of a cause which did not appeal
to their enthusiasm. Whatever sympathies they had were undoubtedly
enlisted on the side of the Americans, but these were too weak to impel
them to endanger their lives. They had enjoyed an interval of peace, and
many of their most pressing grievances had been redressed. They owed a
debt of gratitude to their Governor, and they were willing to repay it
by passive fealty; but they were as lukewarm as erst were the people of
Laodicea. It was in vain that the seigniors mustered their tenants and
expatiated on the nature of feudal services, and the risk of
confiscation which they would incur by refusing to render such services
in this hour of need. They almost to a man denied the right of their
seigniors to exact military services from them. In a word, they refused
to fight. The Governor was thus placed in an extremity. He had only two
regiments of troops at his disposal--the 7th and the 26th. Their
combined strength was about 850 men. The British colonists were even
less disposed to draw sword than the native Canadians. The American
Congress believed the Canadian people to be favourable to their cause,
and resolved to strike a blow which should be decisive. They despatched
a force of nearly 2,000 men into Canada by way of the River Richelieu,
under the command of Generals Schuyler and Montgomery. Another
expedition, consisting of a force of 1,100 men, under Colonel Benedict
Arnold, was simultaneously despatched from Boston to Quebec by way of
the Rivers Kennebec and Chaudière. The campaign was not badly planned.
The larger of these forces was to capture the forts on the way from
Albany to Montreal. Upon reaching Montreal that town was to be captured
and invested, after which a descent was to be made to Quebec and a
junction formed with Arnold.

Carleton's situation was sufficiently embarrassing to have dismayed a
man less abundant in energy and less fertile of resource. It only
spurred him on to increased exertion. His two small regiments were
divided between Montreal and Quebec. The colonists, both British and
French, had refused to assist him, and it was doubtful if many of them
would not join the ranks of the invaders. Having proclaimed martial law,
he invoked ecclesiastical aid. The priests were believed to be
all-powerful with the French Canadian population, and he knew that he
could count upon the coöperation of the priesthood. He appealed to De
Briand, Bishop of Quebec, to rouse the peasantry of his diocese. The
Bishop complied with his wishes, and put forth an encyclical letter
enjoining the people to bestir themselves in defence of their country
and their religion. Even this appeal was in vain. The French Canadians
still remained apathetic. Many of the British colonists openly professed
their sympathy with the Americans. The Governor then sought to raise a
militia by offering liberal land-bounties. This appeal to the cupidity
of the colonists was more effectual than the appeals of a more
sentimental nature had been, inasmuch as a few volunteers promptly
enrolled themselves. Valuable assistance also came in from another
quarter. The Province of New York had by this time become an unsafe
place of residence for persons of British proclivities. Colonel Guy
Johnson, who had just succeeded to the position of British Colonial
Agent for Indian Affairs in North America, was compelled to seek safety
in Canada. He was accompanied by Joseph Brant and the principal
warriors of the Six Nations, who had resolved to "sink or swim with the
English." These warriors, with Brant at their head, formed themselves
into a Confederacy, and rallied to the side of Governor Carleton. The
American armaments were meanwhile steadily advancing to the attack.
Early in September the forces under Schuyler and Montgomery reached
Isle-aux-Noix. Proclamations were sown broadcast among the Canadians, in
which it was stated that the invaders had no design whatever on the
lives, the properties, or the religion of the inhabitants, and that
their operations were directed against the British only. General
Schuyler having returned to Albany, the chief command devolved on
Montgomery, who invested Fort St. John, and sent a detachment of troops
to attack the fort at Chambly, while Ethan Allen was despatched with a
reconnoitring party towards Montreal. Allen being informed that the town
was weakly defended, and believing the inhabitants to be favourable to
the American cause, resolved to attempt a capture. Carleton had already
arrived at Montreal to make dispositions for the protection of the
frontier. Learning, on the night of the 24th, that a party of Americans
had crossed the river, and were marching on the town, he despatched all
his available force, consisting of about 275 men, nearly all of whom
were volunteers, against the enemy. The American force, which was only
about 250 strong, was compelled to surrender. Allen and his detachment
thus became prisoners of war. They were at once sent over to England,
where they were confined in Pendennis Castle. Meanwhile General
Montgomery was besieging forts St. John and Chambly. Both these
fortresses, after a brief and ineffectual resistance, were compelled to
surrender. Nearly all the regulars in Canada thus became prisoners of
war, and there was nothing to prevent the Americans from advancing upon
Montreal, which they at once proceeded to do. To defend it with any hope
of success was utterly out of the question, and Carleton, anticipating
Montgomery's intention, burned and destroyed all the public stores, and
left the town by one way just as the Americans entered at the other.
During the night he had a narrow escape from the enemy, who were
encamped at Sorel, and whose sentinels he had to pass in an open boat.
This he successfully accomplished, and arrived at Quebec on the 19th of
November. He hastily made the most judicious arrangements in his power
for the defence of the place. He expelled from the city all those who
were disaffected. Arnold had meanwhile made his desolate march through
the wilderness, and though his forces had suffered terrible privations,
and had been greatly reduced in number by starvation and other perils of
the march, he was now in a position to coöperate with Montgomery. The
united forces succeeded in gaining the city on the 4th of December, and
after concocting their plans, they divided their strength, so as to
attack the city in several places. The siege lasted throughout the
month. Montgomery waited for a night of unusual darkness to make a
daring attempt upon the city from the south. Arnold entrenched himself
on the opposite side of the city. The provisions of the besiegers began
to fail, their regiments were being depleted by sickness, and their
light guns made but little impression on the massive walls. At last an
assault was ordered. It took place before dawn on the 31st of December
(1775). In the midst of a heavy snow storm Arnold advanced through the
Lower Town from his quarters near the St. Charles River, and led his 800
New Englanders and Virginians over two or three barricades. The Montreal
Bank and several other massive stone houses were filled with British
regulars, who guarded the approaches with such a deadly fire that
Arnold's men were forced to take refuge in the adjoining houses, while
Arnold himself was badly wounded and carried to the rear. Meanwhile
Montgomery was leading his New Yorkers and Continentals north along
Champlain Street by the river side. The intention was for the two
attacking columns, after driving the enemy from the Lower Town, to unite
before the Prescott Gate, and carry it by storm. A strong barricade was
stretched across Champlain Street from the cliff to the river; but when
its guards saw the great masses of the attacking column advancing
through the twilight, they fled. In all probability Montgomery would
have crossed the barricade, delivered Arnold's men by attacking the
enemy in the rear, escaladed Prescott Gate, and gained temporary
possession of the place, but that one of the fleeing Canadians, impelled
by a strange caprice, turned quickly back and fired the cannon which
stood loaded on the barricade. Montgomery and many of his officers and
men were struck down by the shot, and the column broke up in panic and
fled. The British forces were now concentrated on Arnold's men, who were
hemmed in by a sortie from the Palace Gate, and 426 officers and men
were made prisoners. The remnant of the American army was compelled to
retreat to some distance from the city. On being reinforced, however,
during the winter, they made a stand for another attack on Quebec, but
disease and famine at last compelled them to retreat. In the spring,
reinforcements arrived from England, and Carleton having first possessed
himself of Crown Point, launched a fleet on Lake Champlain, which, after
several actions, completely annihilated that of the Americans. Further
reinforcements soon afterwards arrived from England under the command of
Major-General Burgoyne, who thenceforward took the military command. He
succeeded in gaining some rather unimportant victories, but was finally
compelled to surrender at Saratoga, with his force of 6,000 men. This
may be said to have put an end to the war. The French Government
recognized the new Republic as an independent nation, and all hope of
keeping the latter under British subjection was abandoned.

Governor Carleton, who had done so much to preserve Canada from falling
into the hands of the Americans, and whose efforts, considering his
limited resources, had been almost incredibly successful, was not a
little chagrined at being superseded in his military command. He
considered that he had been slighted by the Government, and that his
brilliant successes had merited a different reward. And he was right. To
him, more than to any other man, is due the praise of having prevented
Canada from becoming, at least for the time, a part of the American
Republic. Mr. J. M. Lemoine, the historian of Quebec, pays a
well-merited compliment to his memory. "Had the fate of Canada on that
occasion," says Mr. Lemoine, "been confided to a Governor less wise,
less conciliating than Guy Carleton, doubtless the 'brightest gem in the
colonial Crown of Britain' would have been one of the stars of
Columbia's banner; the star-spangled banner would now be floating on the
summit of Cape Diamond."

With a heart smarting under a keen, if not loudly-expressed sense of
injustice, Carleton demanded his recall. His successor, Major-General
Haldimand, having arrived in Canada in July, 1778, Carleton surrendered
the reins of Government to him and proceeded to England. The ministry of
the day, however, mollified his resentment, and paid assiduous court to
him. Various honours and substantial emoluments were conferred upon him.
In 1786 he was raised to the peerage of Great Britain, by the title of
Baron Dorchester of Dorchester, in the County of Oxford--a title still
borne by his descendant, the fourth Baron. During the same year he was
requested to once more take charge of the Canadian Administration. He
consented, and came over to this country as Governor-General and
Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's forces in America. He retained both
these positions for ten years--a period marked by many important civil
reforms, and by the passing of the Constitutional Act of 1791, whereby
Canada was divided into two separate Provinces. Lord Dorchester's tenure
of office tended to still further endear him to the Canadian people, and
to this day his name is held in affectionate remembrance by the
inhabitants of the Lower Province where he resided. He took his final
departure from our shores in the summer of 1796, amid the heartfelt
regret of the people over whose affairs he had so long presided. Upon
reaching England he retired to private life, and did not again take any
prominent part in public affairs. His old age, like that of King Lear,
was "frosty, but kindly," and for twelve years he lived a life of
cheerful and dignified repose. He continued to correspond with friends
in Canada, and in one of his letters, still extant, expresses a wish to
revisit the scenes of his past achievements, and mayhap to lay his bones
among them. The wish, however, was not gratified. He died, after a brief
illness, on the 10th of November, 1808, in his 83rd year.

He married, on the 22nd of May, 1772, Maria, daughter of Thomas, second
Earl of Effingham, by whom he had a family of seven children. His three
eldest sons died in his lifetime. He was succeeded by his grandson,
Arthur Henry, son of his third son, Christopher.


_C.B., K.C.M.G._

Among the hundred passengers who landed from the _Mayflower_ at Plymouth
Rock, on the 22nd of December, 1620, was a God-fearing Quaker named John
Howland. He seems to have been unmarried at the time of his emigration;
or at any rate his wife, if he had one, did not accompany him on the
expedition. He settled in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and left
behind him a numerous progeny, whose descendants are to be found at the
present day in nearly every State of the Union. From him, we understand,
the subject of this sketch claims descent. The father of Sir William was
Mr. Jonathan Howland, a resident of Dutchess County, in the State of New
York. The latter was in early life a farmer, but subsequently engaged in
commercial pursuits at Greenbush, in Rensselaer County, on the west bank
of the Hudson River. He died at Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, in the
year 1842. The maiden name of Sir William's mother was Lydia Pearce. Her
family resided in Dutchess County, and were well-known and influential
citizens. This lady still survives, and has attained the great age of
ninety-four years. Soon after the death of her husband she took up her
abode in Toronto, where she has ever since resided.

The subject of this sketch, who was the eldest son of his parents, was
born at the town of Paulings, Dutchess County, New York, on the 29th of
May, 1811. He was brought up to farm work, but early displayed an
aptitude for commercial life. After attending at a public school, and
afterwards for a short time at the Kinderhook Academy, he determined to
embark in a mercantile career. In the autumn of the year 1830, when he
was barely nineteen years of age, he came to Canada, and settled in the
village of Cooksville, on Dundas Street, in the township of Toronto.
Here he obtained a situation as assistant in a country store of the
period. In this store was kept the post-office for the village, the
management of which largely devolved upon his own shoulders. The postal
system in this Province had not then been very elaborately systematized.
The mails for the whole of the western part of the Province passed over
this route. The mail-matter for the different offices was not
classified, but thrown into a bag, from which each successive postmaster
selected such matter as was addressed to his office. The state of the
roads was generally such that the mails had to be carried on horseback.
Young Mr. Howland's duties required him to get up at one o'clock in the
morning to receive the mail, which arrived at Cooksville at that hour.
He was accustomed to select the mail-matter himself from the bag, after
which he would hand the outgoing mail to the carrier, who then passed on
westwardly to Dundas and Hamilton. Such was the primitive method of
handling His Majesty's mail in Upper Canada in the year of grace 1830.
It is scarcely to be wondered at that Mr. Howland, after such practical
experience of the necessity for reform, should have allied himself with
the Reform Party when he began to take a share in the politics of the

His share in politics, however, lay as yet far distant. For some years
he devoted himself exclusively to laying the foundation of the princely
fortune which he subsequently realized. A man with such a remarkable
faculty for success in mercantile life was not likely to remain long an
assistant in a country store. Erelong we find him embarked in business
on his own account, in partnership with his younger brother, Mr. P.
Howland, now of Lambton Mills. Their operations were conducted with the
most careful circumspection, and were so successful that they soon had
several establishments in the townships of Toronto and Chinguacousy. In
addition to a general commercial business they engaged in lumbering,
rafting, the manufacture of potash, and other pursuits incident to
pioneer mercantile life. Their operations increased in volume yearly,
and they became, both commercially and otherwise, men of mark in their
district. The subject of this sketch for some time kept the post office
at Stanley's Mills. Although the quantity of matter distributed by the
mails was infinitesimal in those days as compared with the present, a
country postmaster had no sinecure. The greatest difficulty he had to
encounter was the collection of postage on letters. Those, be it
remembered were the days of high postage. The rate on a single-weight
letter from Great Britain to Upper Canada was 5_s._ 9_d._
sterling--equal, in round numbers, to about $1.50. From Quebec, the rate
was 1_s._ 6_d._ sterling; and the rates from other places were
proportionate. There was little money in the Province, and commercial
transactions largely took the form of barter. The postmaster was
constantly compelled to give credit, for it was an altogether
exceptional thing for a settler to have so large a sum as 5_s._ 9_d._ in
ready money; and to refuse to deliver mail-matter to a poor but
deserving settler would have been neither gracious nor politic for a man
keeping a country store. In this way the postmaster was frequently
compelled to wait for his money for a year, and he was fortunate if he
was not then compelled to receive payment in ashes or produce.

At the time of the rebellion Mr. Howland had become a prosperous man,
and his operations were still extending. There was a good deal of
feeling in his neighbourhood that Mr. Mackenzie had been badly used by
the Family Compact Party, and that many reforms were needed in the body
politic. A deputation of these malcontents waited upon Mr. Howland, and
endeavoured to enlist him in the insurrection which broke out in
December, 1837. Mr. Howland, however, was too wise to connect himself
with an enterprise which never had any chance of being permanently
successful. Moreover, he had not then been naturalized, and as an alien,
he did not deem that he had any right to engage in political contests of
any kind. His naturalization took place soon after the Union of the
Provinces. He did not, however, take any very active part in the
periodical election contests until the general election of 1848, when
Mr. James Hervey Price successfully opposed the Conservative candidate
in the West Riding of the county of York, just prior to the formation of
the second Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration. Mr. Howland's sympathies
were with the Reform Party, and he worked hard to secure Mr. Price's
return. He thenceforward took a not inactive part in all the election
contests, and always on the side of the Reform Party, with which he
became identified. He had meanwhile removed to Toronto, and had embarked
in a large wholesale business, with large interests in the produce,
milling, and other branches of trade. Among his commercial friends he
enjoyed a high reputation for capacity and genuine business worth. He
became a magnate among the wholesale merchants of Toronto, and amassed a
fine fortune which has steadily augmented. His political views became
more pronounced, and he supported the wing of the Reform Party led by
Mr. Brown after the disruption in its ranks. He soon came to be looked
upon as an eligible candidate for Parliament. His eligibility was proved
at the general elections of 1857, when he was returned to the Assembly
by the constituency of West York, in which he had resided for many
years. He continued to sit for that constituency during the whole of his
Parliamentary career, which was terminated by his acceptance, in 1868,
of the Lieutenant-Governorship of Ontario.

In Parliament, though a steady supporter of the Reform Party, Mr.
Howland was by no means demonstrative in enforcing his views, and was
doubtless valued as a party man chiefly because of his respectability
and personal influence. When the Reform Party came into power in April,
1862, under the leadership of the Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald and
Louis Victor Sicotte, Mr. Howland was offered the post of Minister of
Finance, which he accepted and held for a year, when he was succeeded by
the Hon. Luther H. Holton in the Macdonald-Dorion Cabinet, which was
then formed. In that Cabinet Mr. Howland was assigned the office of
Receiver-General. He held this position until the defeat of the
Government in 1864. He was not a member of the Coalition Government as
formed in June of that year, and consequently was not present either at
the Charlottetown Convention, which assembled on the 1st of September,
or at the famous Quebec Conference that met on the 10th of the following
month, at which, during eighteen days' deliberation, the "Seventy-two
resolutions" were agreed to. He was, however, an active and most
influential supporter of the Reform wing of the Coalition; and on the
elevation of the Hon. Mr. Mowat to the Bench in November, 1864, he
succeeded that gentleman as Postmaster-General, and became a member of
the Executive Council. He continued to be Postmaster-General until the
retirement of the Hon. Alexander T. Galt in August, 1866, when he
succeeded the latter as Finance Minister. This office he held till the
Union, when, on the formation of the first Dominion Government, on the
1st of July, 1867, he was appointed a member of the Privy Council, and
Minister of Inland Revenue.

In the discharge of his public duties while a Minister of the Crown, Mr.
Howland accompanied Mr. Galt on the mission to Washington, in 1865,
concerning the then proposed renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty. This
mission is memorable for its political rather than its commercial
results, for while with respect to the latter it merely taught Canada
that she must rely upon herself, with respect to the former it almost
led to the breaking up of the Coalition, and to the indefinite
postponement of Confederation. That these grave political results were
merely threatened, instead of having become realities, was largely due
to Mr. Howland, who, considering the gravity of the situation, and
endorsing, also, the Cabinet policy on the Reciprocity question, refused
to follow his leader out of the Government. He accepted instead a
commission to fill up the vacancy created by Mr. Brown's resignation
with an Upper Canada Reformer, thereby preserving the balance of parties
as established in 1864. Mr. Howland was one of the three delegates
representing Upper Canada at the London Conference at which the Union
Act was framed; and for his services there, as well as generally for the
prominent part he had taken in promoting Confederation, he was one of
the two Upper Canada Ministers decorated with the Order of the
Companionship of the Bath, on the 1st of July, 1867.

There was another conference which Mr. Howland attended in 1867, and one
of much political significance--the great Reform Convention held at
Toronto in June, for the purpose of reuniting the Reform Party and
abolishing the alliance with the Conservatives. Messrs. Howland and
McDougall were both present, and vigorously contended against the
restoration of party lines on the old basis; and their course there and
subsequently at political gatherings throughout the country no doubt did
much towards determining the result of the general election held during
the summer of that year.

The work of confederating the British American Provinces was one of
compromise among the statesmen, the political parties and the people
concerned. Nobody, perhaps, got exactly what he wanted; no Province
secured the full realization of its own views; no political party was
able to put its hand upon the scheme, as first framed at Quebec in 1864,
or as subsequently re-modelled in London in 1866-67, and say, "this is
exactly what we wanted." Concessions were made to Conservative opinion
and to Reform opinion; to Protestant feeling and to Catholic feeling; to
the necessities of the several Provinces according to geographical or
other reasons; and in a great degree to the divergent views on
constitutional government held by the representative men who took part
in the negotiations. When, therefore, Mr. Howland, who had been a
leading spirit at the inception of the scheme, claimed that those who
had so far matured it as to fit it for the consideration and judgment of
the Canadian Legislature had deserved well of their country for the
political and personal sacrifices they had made in the cause of general
harmony, he claimed no more than was due to him and his colleagues, and
no more than was, at the time, freely accorded by their supporters.

Mr. Howland's health, which had not been very robust for several years,
became so enfeebled that he desired to retire from the double drudgery
of Parliamentary and Ministerial life; and in July, 1868, he was
appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario, which position
had been, from the Union up to that time, held by Major-General Stisted,
under an _ad interim_ appointment similar to that which had been
conferred on the first Lieutenant-Governors of New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia. Concerning Mr. Howland's tenure of office as Lieutenant-Governor
there is nothing to be said except that he discharged his duties with
ability, and with acceptance to the people. He continued to be
Lieutenant-Governor until the month of November, 1873. In 1875 his
services were again called into requisition by the Government of the day
to report on the route of the Baie Verte Canal.

On the 24th of May, 1879, Mr. Howland was created a Knight of the Order
of St. Michael and St. George, by the present Governor-General, acting
on behalf of the Sovereign.

He still continues to superintend the most important details of his
great wholesale commercial business in Toronto, and in his seventieth
year preserves a physical and intellectual vigour such as is seldom
found in persons who have passed middle age. He is President of the
Ontario Bank, and of various prosperous mercantile and insurance
companies. He has been twice married. His first wife, whom he married in
1843, was formerly a Mrs. Webb, of Toronto. She survived her marriage
about six years. By this lady he has several children, one of whom is a
partner in the business, which is carried on under the style of Sir
William P. Howland & Co. Sir William's second wife, whom he married in
1866, was the widow of the late Captain Hunt, of Toronto.



The successor of the late Archbishop Connolly was born at Kilmallock, in
the county of Limerick, Ireland, on the 21st of July, 1821. He received
his education at various schools in his native land, and in 1840, when
he was nineteen years of age, he emigrated to the Province of Nova
Scotia, where he has ever since resided. Soon after arriving in the
Province he was appointed a teacher in St. Mary's College, which had
then recently been established in Halifax by Dean O'Brien. While holding
that position he studied theology, and in 1845 was ordained to the
priesthood. He has ever since been an assiduous promoter of education,
and of the interests of the faith which he professes. His labours have
been conducted with a quiet energy which has been productive of not
unimportant results, but which has not been the means of making him
widely known, as his distinguished predecessor was, beyond the limits of
Nova Scotia. In or about the year 1853 he founded a Society of St.
Vincent de Paul in Halifax, over which he thenceforward exercised a
personal supervision. He subsequently became Vicar-General of the
Diocese of Halifax, an office which he held for some years, and in the
exercise of which he displayed the same quiet zeal which characterizes
all his public actions. Upon his retirement he was presented with an
address, numerously signed by Protestants, as well as by the adherents
of his own faith, expressive of strong regret for his resignation, and
of appreciation of his services.

[Illustration: MICHAEL HANNAN, signed as M. HANNAN ALY. OF HALIFAX]

Upon the death of Archbishop Connolly, on the 27th of July, 1876, all
the Roman Catholic bishops of the Province united in signing a
recommendation to His Holiness in favour of Dr. Hannan's appointment to
the Archiepiscopal See of Halifax. The recommendation was acted upon,
and on the morning of Sunday, the 20th of May, 1877, he was consecrated
and installed at St. Mary's Cathedral, Halifax, with imposing
ceremonies, Bishop Conroy, Papal delegate, acting as consecrating
bishop. His tenure of office has not been marked by any event of special
interest to the public. He devotes himself to the duties pertaining to
his high office, is kind and benevolent to the suffering poor among his
flock, and continues to interest himself in the cause of education,
though, unlike his predecessor, he is in favour of separate educational
training for Protestants and Roman Catholics. "Dr. Hannan's mind," says
a contemporary writer, "is of a different stamp from that of his
illustrious predecessor--not different in degree, but in mould.
Archbishop Connolly was emotional and impetuous, fervid and eloquent,
with a clear head and a warm Irish heart, which sometimes carried him
away. Dr. Hannan, on the other hand, is calm and equable, with a
judgment naturally sound and solid, a temper not easily ruffled, and a
sagacity seldom at fault."


The life of Professor Young has been even less eventful than commonly
falls to the lot of persons of purely scholastic pursuits. He was born
on the 28th of November, 1818, at the border town of
Berwick-upon-Tweed--one of the few walled towns to be found in Great
Britain at the present day. In his boyhood he attended the schools of
his native town, whence he passed to the High School of Edinburgh. He
subsequently entered the Edinburgh University, and attended the lectures
of Professor Wilson--the "Christopher North" of _Blackwood's
Magazine_--who then occupied the Chair of Moral Philosophy there. During
his early years he was an industrious student, and displayed that great
aptitude for mathematical and philosophical inquiry by which his
subsequent career has been distinguished. After obtaining his degree he
was for some time employed as a mathematical teacher in the Dollar
Academy, Clackmannanshire. After the Disruption of the Scottish National
Church, in 1843, he entered the Theological Hall of the Free Church,
which had just been opened at Edinburgh, and became a candidate for the
ministry, attending the lectures of the late Dr. Chalmers and other
eminent divines. After his admission to the ministry he was placed in
charge of the Martyr's Church, Paisley, but remained there only a few
months, having resolved to emigrate to Canada where he had many friends
among the ministers and members of the Presbyterian Church. This
resolution was carried out in 1848. Immediately upon his arrival in this
country he was inducted into the pastorate of Knox Church, Hamilton,
where he remained three years, at the expiration of which he resigned
his charge, and accepted the Professorship of Mental and Moral
Philosophy in Knox College, Toronto. His fondness for philosophical
studies, and his wide acquaintance with philosophical literature, marked
him out as peculiarly fitted for such a position. The sphere of his
duties gradually widened, and in addition to Mental and Moral Philosophy
and Logic, he soon had under his charge Exegetical Theology and the
Evidences of Christianity--departments which are now in charge of
Principal Caven and Professor Gregg.

During his Professorship in Knox College, Professor Young contributed
some remarkable papers on philosophical subjects to the pages of the
_Canadian Journal_. One of these, containing a brief exposition of some
points in the Hamiltonian philosophy of matter, reached the hands of Sir
William Hamilton himself, the most eminent exponent of the Scottish
philosophy. The latter was so impressed by the merits of the paper that
he addressed to the author a long and very complimentary letter, in
which he bore testimony to Professor Young's power of grasping and
elucidating the most abstruse points in a philosophical system of which
he was not the originator. Such a testimony, from such a source, must
have been highly gratifying to Professor Young, for Sir William was not
a man given to wasting his words, and would certainly not have written
such a letter to a stranger had he not been very greatly impressed by
the merits of the article in the _Journal_. Various other articles from
his pen have from time to time appeared in the same periodical, and
every one of them bears the stamp of a mind which, to parody Iago's
well-known saying, is "nothing if not mathematical." While on the
subject of authorship it may be mentioned that in 1854 a theological
work from his pen was published at Edinburgh, under the title of
"Miscellaneous Discourses and Expositions of Scripture." In 1862 he
published in the _Home and Foreign Record_ a paper on "The Philosophical
Principles of Natural Religion," which evoked much favourable comment
alike from the religious and secular press at the time of its

After discharging his professorial duties in connection with Knox
College for about ten years with much zeal, and with great satisfaction
to all persons concerned, Professor Young resigned his position on the
Staff. In taking this important step he gave proof of an honesty and a
genuine manliness of purpose which are worthy of the highest
commendation. His philosophical researches had brought about a state of
mind which, in his own opinion, rendered him unsuited to the position of
a teacher of divinity. He was no longer in entire sympathy with the
doctrines which he was called upon to expound to the students. How far
the divergence extended we have no means of knowing, nor is it a
question into which the public have any right to inquire. A man's
theological beliefs are between himself and his Maker. It is sufficient
to say that Professor Young resigned his Professorship and his
connection with the ministry, and this without having any other means of
livelihood in prospect. "His course," says a contemporary writer, "was
characterized by an amount of intellectual candour and moral courage
which do him credit, and is in striking contrast with the practice of
those who, on finding themselves at variance with the communion to which
they belong, and in the attitude of drifting away from their dogmatic
moorings, have neither the discretion to await in silence the end of
their own intellectual struggle, nor the courage of their convictions,
and the resolution requisite for placing themselves at any sacrifice in
a position to speak and act on them without restraint." He soon
afterwards found a suitable field for the exercise of his talents. The
position of Inspector of Grammar Schools was offered to, and accepted by
him, and for more than four years he discharged the duties of that
office with a diligence and success which have been attended with great
benefit to the public, and which have won wide recognition. His tenure
of office, indeed, may be said to mark an important epoch in the
educational history of this Province. At the time of his appointment,
the Grammar School system was singularly inefficient. The fact of its
inefficiency had long been acknowledged by leading educationists, but no
one had indicated anything like an adequate remedy. Mr. Young's official
reports not only exposed the defects of the system, but suggested the
requisite legislation whereby those defects might be removed. His
reports for the years 1866 and 1867 were deemed of sufficient importance
to be published in full in the Chief Superintendent's Report for the
latter year, and they were the means of bringing about a revolution in
the whole Grammar School system. Most of the suggestions embodied in
them have since been acted upon by the Legislature, and the School Acts
of 1871, 1874 and 1877 are to a large extent founded upon them.

Having accomplished so much, Professor Young resigned his Inspectorship,
and once more accepted the position of Professor of Philosophy in Knox
College, but his duties during his second tenure of the Professorship
did not involve the teaching of Theology. Upon the death of the late Dr.
Beaven, in 1871, he succeeded to the Chair of Metaphysics and Ethics in
University College, Toronto, which he still retains. His incumbency has
been marked by most gratifying results. The subjects taught by him are
by many persons regarded as dry and uninteresting. Professor Young's
lectures are so much the reverse of this that they are sometimes
attended as a matter of choice by persons who never approach the
building in which they are delivered for any other purpose. To render
metaphysics and ethics acceptable to persons who have no special object
to serve by pursuing such studies is an achievement of which any
Professor might justly feel proud. His department, which was formerly
the most unpopular in the University, has become one of those most
resorted to by candidates for honours. He is equally popular as a
teacher and as an examiner, and is said to be one of the most erudite of
men in the literature of his department. He is also very eminent as a
mathematician, and has made original discoveries in that branch of study
which, in the estimation of persons who are capable of forming an
opinion, entitle him to rank among the foremost of living


Judge Fournier is the son of William Fournier, of Bécancour, in the
Province of Quebec. He was born at St. François, Rivière du Sud,
Montmagny, in 1824, and was educated at Nicolet College, where he was a
pupil of the Abbé Ferland. At an early age he entered the law office of
the late Hon. R. E. Caron, as a student. At the age of twenty-two he was
called to the Bar of Lower Canada. In 1857 he married Miss Demers. In
1863 he was created a Queen's Counsel, and in the course of his
professional career has been Batonnier and President of the General
Council of the Bar of the Province of Quebec. He was one of the
principal editorial writers engaged on _Le National_, a Liberal journal
which was published at Quebec in 1856-7-8. His writings were
characterized by great breadth of view and vigour of expression, and his
editorials exerted considerable influence. In 1854 he was an
unsuccessful candidate in the Reform interest for the constituency of
Montmagny, in the Canadian Assembly. In 1857 he contested an election
for the same Chamber, for the City of Quebec, and was again defeated. He
was an unsuccessful candidate for Stadacona Division in the Legislative
Council in 1861, and for De la Durantaye division in the same House, in
1864. He was first returned to Parliament in 1870, when he was elected
to the Commons for Bellechasse. This seat he held until his appointment
to the Bench. He also sat for Montmagny in the Quebec Assembly from the
general election of 1871 until the 7th of November, 1873, when he
resigned, on taking office in Mr. Mackenzie's Administration as Minister
of Inland Revenue. He was sworn of the Privy Council on that day, and on
the 8th of July, 1874, was appointed Minister of Justice. On the 19th of
May, 1875, he was transferred to the Postmaster-Generalship of the
Dominion, where he remained until his elevation to the Bench, as a
Puisné Judge of the Supreme Court, in October of the same year. Among
the measures introduced and carried through Parliament by M. Fournier as
Minister of Justice, the most notable are the Supreme Court Bill and the
Insolvency Act of 1875. In his judicial capacity he has been concerned
in two very important causes. The first of these is the famous Jacques
Cartier contested election case, decided in April, 1878, in which
Justices Taschereau and Henry coincided with Justice Fournier in the
opinion that the seat of the Hon. Mr. Laflamme should not be vacated,
and that the appeal should be dismissed. The Charlevoix contested
election case forms the second. Justice Strong delivered an elaborate
judgment, sustaining the plea of the Hon. Hector L. Langevin, that
judgments as preliminary objections were not appealable. Justices
Fournier and Taschereau dissented from this opinion, but Chief-Justice
Richards and Justice Henry concurring, Mr. Langevin was confirmed in his


In view of the fact that this gentleman's name has a very fair chance of
immortality in this Province, it is to be regretted that so little is
accurately known about him, and that only the merest outline of his
career has come down to the present times. Many Canadians would gladly
know something more of the life of the first man who filled the
important position of Chief Justice of Upper Canada, and the desire for
such knowledge is by no means confined to members of the legal
profession. He was the faithful friend and adviser of our first
Lieutenant-Governor, and it is doubtless to his legal acumen that we owe
those eight wise statutes which were passed during the first session of
our first Provincial Parliament, which assembled at Newark on the 17th
of September, 1792.

Nothing is definitely known concerning Chief-Justice Osgoode's ancestry.
A French-Canadian writer asserts that he was an illegitimate son of King
George the Third. No authority whatever is assigned in support of this
assertion, which probably rests upon no other basis than vague rumour.
Similar rumours have been current with respect to the paternity of other
persons who have been more or less conspicuous in Canada, and but little
importance should be attached to them. He was born in the month of
March, 1754, and entered as a commoner at Christchurch College, Oxford,
in 1770, when he had nearly completed his sixteenth year. After a
somewhat prolonged attendance at this venerable seat of learning, he
graduated and received the degree of Master of Arts in the month of
July, 1777. Previous to this time he had entered himself as a student at
the Inner Temple, having already been enrolled as a student on the books
of Lincoln's Inn. He seems at this time to have been possessed of some
small means, but not sufficient for his support, and he pursued his
professional studies with such avidity as temporarily to undermine his
health. He paid a short visit to the Continent, and returned to his
native land with restored physical and mental vigour. In due course he
was called to the Bar, and soon afterwards published a technical work on
the law of descent, which attracted some notice from the profession. He
soon became known as an erudite and painstaking lawyer, whose opinions
were entitled to respect, and who was very expert as a special pleader.
At the Bar he was less successful, owing to an almost painful
fastidiousness in his choice of words, which frequently produced an
embarrassing hesitation of speech. He seems to have been a personal
friend of Colonel Simcoe, even before that gentleman's appointment as
Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, and their intimacy may possible
have had something to do with Mr. Osgoode's appointment as Chief-Justice
of the new Province in the spring of 1792. He came over in the same
vessel with the Governor, who sailed on the 1st of May. Upon reaching
Upper Canada the Governor and staff, after a short stay at Kingston,
passed on to Newark (now Niagara). The Chief-Justice accompanied the
party, and took up his abode with them at Navy Hall, where he continued
to reside during the greater part of his stay in the Province, which was
of less than three years' duration. The solitude of his position, and
his almost complete isolation from society, and from the surroundings of
civilized life, seem to have been unbearable to his sensitive and social
nature. In 1795 he was appointed Chief-Justice of the Lower Province,
where he continued to occupy the Judicial Bench until 1801, when he
resigned his position, and returned to England. His services as
Chief-Justice entitled him to a pension of £800 per annum, which he
continued to enjoy for rather more than twenty-two years. For historical
purposes, his career may be said to have ceased with his resignation, as
he never again emerged from the seclusion of private life. He was
several times requested to enter Parliament, but declined to do so.
During the four years immediately succeeding his return to England he
resided in the Temple. In 1804, upon the conversion of Melbourne
House--a mansion in the West End of London--into the fashionable set of
chambers known as "The Albany," he took up his quarters there for the
remainder of his life. Among other distinguished men who resided there
contemporaneously with him were Lord Brougham and Lord Byron. The latter
occupied the set of chambers immediately adjoining those of the retired
Chief-Justice, and the two became personally acquainted with each other;
though, considering the diversity of their habits, it is not likely that
any very close intimacy was established between them. In conjunction
with Sir William Grant, Mr. Osgoode was appointed on several legal
commissions. One of these consisted of the codification of certain
Imperial Statutes relating to the colonies. Another involved an inquiry
into the amount of fees receivable by certain officials in the Court of
King's Bench, which inquiry was still pending at the time of Mr.
Osgoode's death. He lived very much to himself, though he was sometimes
seen in society. He died of acute pneumonia, on the 17th of January,
1824, in the seventieth year of his age. One of his intimate friends has
left the following estimate of his character:--"His opinions were
independent, but zealously loyal; nor were they ever concealed, or the
defence of them abandoned, when occasions called them forth. His
conviction of the excellence of the English Constitution sometimes made
him severe in the reproof of measures which he thought injurious to it;
but his politeness and good temper prevented any disagreement, even with
those whose sentiments were most opposed to his own. To estimate his
character rightly, it was, however, necessary to know him well; his
first approaches being cold, amounting almost to dryness. But no person
admitted to his intimacy ever failed to conceive for him that esteem
which his conduct and conversation always tended to augment. He died in
affluent circumstances, the result of laudable prudence, without the
smallest taint of avarice or illiberal parsimony."

He was never married. There is a story about an attachment formed by him
to a young lady of Quebec, during his residence there. It is said that
the lady preferred a wealthier suitor, and that he never again became
heart-whole. This, like the other story above mentioned, rests upon mere
rumour, and is entitled to the credence attached to other rumours of a
similar nature. His name is perpetuated in this Province by that of the
stately Palace of Justice on Queen Street West, Toronto; also by the
name of a township in the county of Carleton.


At the present day, the name of the Hon. William Morris is less
frequently in men's mouths than it was half a century ago, but it is a
name of much significance to any one familiar with the ecclesiastical
history of this country. There was a time when there were three
prominent political leaders in Western Canada, agreeing in no respect
but in the possession of great abilities and indomitable energy. These
were John Beverley Robinson, who led the Church of England party, better
known by the name of the "Family Compact;" Egerton Ryerson, who headed
the Methodist, which was then the Liberal party; and William Morris, who
led the Scotch Presbyterians with all the gravity and sagacity which are
usually attributed to that class and creed. The first and last named of
these leaders were in Parliament, and guided its rival parties. The
second, from the lobby and the press, exercised, perhaps, greater
influence than either. Mr. Robinson was the most accomplished, Mr.
Ryerson the most versatile, and Mr. Morris the most determined and
persevering. Mr. Robinson contended for the supremacy of the Church of
England, and her exclusive right to the Clergy Reserves, with the
hauteur of a cavalier. Mr. Ryerson, in seeking a share of all good
things for his co-religionists, identified them with the people, and
consequently had it in his power to use the strong plea for equal
justice, which finally prevailed. Mr. Morris sought a share of the
Clergy Reserves for his own Church only, upon the plea that the Church
of Scotland was, by the Act of Union between England and Scotland, as
much an established Church as the Church of England. There have been
many exciting times in the history of Canada, but none has called forth
more powerful exhibitions of feeling, or, we may add, more ability than
the Clergy Reserve struggle--when the Upper Canada Parliament sat at
Little York, with the gentlemen above named for its leaders, and when
the press was directed by Messieurs Ryerson, Mackenzie, Cary and
Collins. Nor did the then leaders sink into oblivion. Mr. Robinson
became Chief Justice of Upper Canada, an office which he filled with
credit from the time of his appointment in 1829 down to his death in
January, 1863, embracing a period of nearly thirty-four years. Mr.
Ryerson became Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, in which
capacity he served his country faithfully from 1844 to 1876. Mr. Morris
became Receiver-General of United Canada, an office in which it would
have been well for the country if he could have been permanently
retained. Possessed of an integrity which gave perfect security that he
would participate in no jobs himself, he had at the same time that
knowledge of men and of business, that patient industry, and that
discriminating judgment which would permit no others to peculate. He
was a model Receiver-General. Such is the characterization of an able
and discriminating writer of twenty and odd years ago, and his remarks
will stand the test of time. The late Mr. Morris was not, perhaps, what
would be called a man of modern ideas, but he was a man of stainless
honour and thorough conscientiousness of purpose. He initiated one of
the most important movements known to Canadian history, and took a
foremost part in the agitation consequent thereupon. He left his mark
upon his time, and transmitted to his posterity a name which is justly
held in respect. For the following particulars of his career, we are
largely indebted to his eldest son, the Hon. Alexander Morris, who has
himself attained to a high place in public life, and whose career has
been sketched in a former portion of this work.

The subject of this memoir was born at Paisley, in Lanarkshire,
Scotland, on the 31st of October, 1786. When he was about fifteen years
of age he emigrated to Upper Canada with his parents, who settled in
Montreal, where his father embarked in a general mercantile business.
This business involved a considerable shipping interest, and was carried
on by Mr. Morris the elder for some years with much success. In process
of time a catastrophe occurred which materially crippled his resources,
and rendered it necessary that he should resort to a new and hitherto
untried occupation. Having lost a homeward bound ship in the Straits of
Belle Isle, and no part of the cargo having been insured, owing to the
carelessness of an agent, and having sustained other heavy losses, he
was compelled to close his business in Montreal, and retire to a farm
near Brockville. In 1809 he died, leaving large debts in Montreal and in
Glasgow. His son William, the subject of this sketch, remained at
Brockville with his brother and the younger members of the family,
helping to support them by his exertions, till the war of 1812 with the
United States commenced, when he left his business and joined a militia
flank company as an Ensign, having received his commission from General
Brock. In October of that year he volunteered, with Lieutenant-Colonel
Lethbridge, in the attack of the British forces on Ogdensburg, and
commanded the only militia gun-boat that sustained injury, one man
having been killed and another wounded at his side by a cannon shot. In
1813 he was present at and took an active part in the capture of
Ogdensburg, having been detached in command of a party to take
possession of the old French fort then at that place--an achievement
which he successfully accomplished. His comrades in arms, some of whom
are still living, speak in high terms of his soldierly bearing, and of
the affection with which he inspired his men, during this early portion
of his career. He continued to serve till 1814, when a large body of
troops having arrived in the Colony from the Peninsula, he left the
militia service, and returned to Brockville, to assist his brother in
the management of the business there.

In 1816, he proceeded with the military and emigrant settlers to the
Military Settlement near the Rideau, and there commenced mercantile
business, at what is now the substantial and prosperous town of Perth,
but which was then a wilderness. He continued for some years to bestow
his active attention on the mercantile business conducted at Perth by
himself, and at Brockville by his brother, the late Mr. Alexander
Morris. In 1820 an incident took place that marked the character of the
man, and was an index to all his future career. In that year, he and his
brother received two handsome pieces of plate from the creditors of
their late father in Glasgow, for having voluntarily, and without
solicitation, paid in full all the debts owing by the estate. Such
respect for a father's memory indicated a high-toned rectitude that
deserved and could not fail to command success. In this year, also, the
political career of Mr. Morris commenced, he having been elected by the
settlers to represent them in the Provincial Parliament. He soon took an
active and prominent part in that assembly, and in 1820 took one of the
leading steps in his political life, when he moved and carried an
address to the King, asserting the claim of the Church of Scotland to a
share of the Clergy Reserves under the Imperial Statute 31 Geo. III.,
cap. 31. With no hostility to the Church of England, but yet with a
sturdy perseverance and a strong conviction of right, he urged the
claims of his own Church, basing them upon the Act of Union between
England and Scotland. The Colonial Government resisted his pretensions,
but sixteen years afterwards the twelve Judges in England decided in
effect that Mr. Morris was right. In 1835 he was elected for the sixth
time consecutively to Parliament for the county of Lanark. In 1836 he
was called to a seat in the Legislative Council of Upper Canada. In 1837
he proceeded to the Colonial Office, Downing Street, London, with a
petition to the King and Parliament from the Scottish inhabitants of the
Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, asserting their claims to equal
rights with those enjoyed by their fellow-subjects of English origin. He
was selected for this mission by a meeting of delegates from all parts
of the Province held at Cobourg. Subsequently he received from the
Scottish inhabitants of the Province a handsome piece of plate, bearing
an appropriate inscription as a token of their approbation of his public

During the troubles of 1837 and 1838 he was actively engaged in drilling
and organizing the militia of the county of Lanark, of which he was
Senior Colonel, and twice sent to the frontier detachments of several
regiments, going in command on one occasion himself. In 1841 he was
appointed Warden of the District of Johnstown, under the new Municipal
Council Act, and carried the law into successful operation. In 1844, he
was appointed a member of the Executive Council in Sir Charles
Metcalfe's Administration, and also Receiver-General of the Province. He
was a most efficient departmental officer, and proved himself to be what
Lord Metcalfe described him--a valuable public servant. While
Receiver-General, he introduced into that department a new system of
management, and paid into the public chest while he held the office
£11,000 as interest on the daily deposits of public money--an advantage
to the public which had never before been attempted. In 1846 he resigned
the office of Receiver-General, and was appointed President of the
Executive Council, the duties of which office he discharged with great
efficiency and vigour. In 1848, on the retirement of the Administration
of which he was a member, he retired to private life, with health
impaired by the assiduous attention he had given to his public duties.
Till the year 1853, when he was seized with the disease which eventually
terminated his career, he continued, when his health permitted, to take
an active part in the proceedings of the Legislative Council.

He was a clear, logical, vigorous speaker, and was always listened to
with respect; and having a very extensive knowledge of Parliamentary law
and practice, he did much to establish the character of legislation in
that branch of the Legislature of which he was so long a member; and
owing to his high moral character and his firm adherence to principle,
he wielded a very beneficial influence in that body. Few public men pass
through a life as long as his was, and carry with them more of public
confidence and respect than did Mr. Morris. He died on the 29th of June,
1858, in the seventy-second year of his age.


Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the most brilliant orators known to Canadian
Parliamentary history, was born at Carlingford, in the county of Louth,
Ireland, on the 13th of April, 1825. He was the fifth child and second
son of Mr. James McGee, an official in the Coast Guard Service, by his
wife, Dorcas Catharine Morgan. The latter was the daughter of a
bookseller in Dublin, who had been connected with the troubles of '98,
and who had been brought to ruin and imprisonment as a member of that
body known, by a strange misnomer, as "United Irishmen." The real or
fancied wrongs of the patriotic bookseller had made a profound
impression upon the susceptible mind of his daughter; an impression
which was never effaced, and which descended, by hereditary
transmission, to her children. The subject of this sketch, like his
little brothers and sisters, was taught at a very early age to hate the
name of the Saxon, and to long for the emancipation of Ireland from the
thraldom of her hereditary foe. His paternal grandfather had also been a
participant in the ill-advised attempt of Lord Edward Fitzgerald; and
when James McGee accepted employment in the Coast Guard Service we may
be sure that he was not actuated by any profound enthusiasm for the
duties of his position. He seems, however, to have discharged those
duties acceptably to his superior officers, and to have attained to a
position which enabled him to provide a comfortable home for his family.

The wrongs of his country were nevertheless a fruitful theme of comment
in James McGee's domestic circle, and the family traditions on both
sides of the house were constantly retailed for the benefit of the
younger members. Reared among such influences, it is not to be wondered
at if young Thomas D'Arcy grew up to manhood without any very fervid
sentiments of loyalty to the British crown. The mischief wrought by his
early training was great, and was destined to exercise a baneful
influence upon his future life. It was only after many years of severe
discipline, and after he had reached an age to think and reflect for
himself that he was able to unlearn the pernicious teachings of his
childhood. He never ceased to regard the land of his birth with the
affection of a large-hearted patriot, but he grew, in course of time, to
rate at their true value the wild revolutionary projects which for many
years impeded his intellectual advancement, and engrossed so large a
share of his energies. He outgrew the follies of his early youth, and
learned wisdom in the school of experience. He conceived nobler and more
practical schemes for the advancement of the race from which he sprang;
and there is abundant reason for believing that, had his life been
spared, he would have developed into a broad and enlightened
statesman. His untimely death was a loss to the "New Nationality"
which he had helped to call into existence, and a grievous, almost
irreparable loss to the Irish race in Canada. The assassin who sent him
to his doom perpetrated a crime against humanity, but more especially
against his fellow countrymen settled in this Dominion, when he shed the
blood of Thomas D'Arcy McGee.

[Illustration: THOMAS DARCY McGEE, signed as T. D. McGEE]

He was, of course, reared in the faith of his ancestors, and was
throughout his life a zealous adherent of the Roman Catholic Church. He
was christened, in honour of his godfather, Mr. Thomas D'Arcy, a
gentleman who resided in the neighbourhood of Carlingford, and who was a
personal friend of the family. His mother, who was possessed of a good
education, took a pride in directing his infant studies, and by her he
was taught to read and write. He seems to have been her favourite son,
and he returned her affection with all the enthusiasm of an ardent and
poetic nature. She was a melodious singer, and delighted to hold her
little boy on her knee while she sang to him those heart-stirring old
ballads which stir the blood like the blast of a trumpet. Sometime in
1833, when he was eight years of age, his father was promoted to a more
lucrative office than he had previously held. This promotion
necessitated the removal of the family to the historic old town of
Wexford, where the subject of this sketch began to attend a day-school.
We have no accurate information as to the course of study pursued by
him, but as this establishment afforded the only scholastic training
which he ever received, it is tolerably certain that he must have made
good use of his time, for in after years he gave evidence of possessing
a fair share of that peculiar knowledge which is seldom, if ever,
acquired outside the walls of the schoolroom. The family had not long
been settled at Wexford when it was deprived of its maternal head. The
memory of his dead mother was ever afterwards cherished by young McGee
with a hallowed fondness which found frequent expression. "Through all
the changeful years of his after life," says Mrs. Sadlier, "her gentle
memory shone like a star through the clouds and mists that never fail to
gather round the path of advancing life."[11]

Notwithstanding the hindrances under which his genius was developed,
Thomas D'Arcy McGee from a very early age gave unmistakable evidence of
the possession of uncommon abilities. He learned his lessons, whatever
they were, with astonishing rapidity, and without any apparent mental
effort. He was endowed with an ardent imagination, delighted in poetry,
and had ever at command a flow of that brilliant eloquence and wit which
are the especial birthright of so many of the sons of Erin. He read
much, and remembered everything of importance that he read. He had an
especial fondness for the history and literature of his native land, and
was never weary of declaiming to his youthful associates about
"Ireland's Golden Age." He lived an imaginative life, and indulged in
all sorts of wild dreams about the future of his race. He had his full
share of ambition, however, and saw no means whereby he could acquire
fame and influence at home. Like many another clever young Irishman, he
cast longing eyes across the Atlantic, to that favoured land where
hundreds of thousands of his race have found refuge from the buffetings
of adverse fortune. When he was seventeen years of age he emigrated to
the United States, accompanied by one of his sisters. After a brief
visit to a maternal aunt who resided at Providence, Rhode Island, he
repaired to Boston, whither he arrived in the month of June, 1842. A few
days later came the annual Fourth of July celebration, which afforded
him an opportunity of addressing a large crowd of his
fellow-countrymen. His various biographers unite in describing his
eloquence on this occasion as something marvellous. When it is borne in
mind that he was only seventeen years of age, and that his audience was
chiefly composed of emotional Irishmen, ready to applaud any sentiment
from the young orator's lips, so long as it was sufficiently
anti-British in its tone, a considerable discount from the
commonly-accepted estimate is permissible. The speech was probably a
fervid, audacious, emotional effort, partaking largely of the
"spread-eagle" character, and addressed to the prejudices of the
audience rather than to their calm judgments. It answered the speaker's
purpose, however, by attracting a due share of attention to himself. A
day or two later he obtained employment on the staff of the Boston
_Pilot_, a weekly newspaper which was then, as now, the chief exponent
of Irish Roman Catholic opinion in New England, and which was then, and
for many years afterwards, controlled and published by Mr. Patrick
Donahoe. To its columns young McGee contributed some "slashing"
articles, and numerous short poems on national subjects, all of which
were eminently calculated to compel admiration from its readers. Two
years later he succeeded to the chief editorship. He had meanwhile
acquired a good deal of additional knowledge as to the proper functions
of a journalist, and had adopted a somewhat more chastened style than he
had brought with him across the Atlantic. He had also begun to make a
figure on the lecture platform, and had thrown himself with great
enthusiasm into the agitation on the subject of "Repeal," which was then
at its height both in Ireland and in America. His efforts on behalf of
this movement reached the ears of the great Liberator, Daniel O'Connell
himself, who, at a public meeting held in Ireland, referred to young
McGee's editorials and metrical effusions in the _Pilot_ as "the
inspired writings of a young exiled Irish boy in America." The result of
the notoriety thus gained was an offer to Mr. McGee from the proprietor
of the _Freeman's Journal_, of Dublin, to take the editorship of that
widely-circulated paper. The offer was accepted, and early in 1845, at
the age of twenty, our poet-journalist returned to his native land, and
"took his place in the front rank of the Irish press." His connection
with the _Freeman's Journal_, however, was not of long duration. The
line of editorial action prescribed by the management was altogether too
moderate for the radical young Irishman, who had had it all his own way
during his three years' sojourn in the United States, and who believed
himself well fitted to instruct his fellow-countrymen on all subjects,
whether political or otherwise. Mr. O'Connell had laid down certain
limits beyond which the National or Old Ireland Party must not pass. Of
that Party the _Journal_ was the accredited organ, and the editor thus
found himself out of harmony with his position. The Liberator was too
Conservative for him, and was seeking the enfranchisement of Ireland by
what he regarded as too slow a process. Conceiving himself to be fully
competent to instruct Mr. O'Connell as to the political necessities of
Ireland, he was not disposed to submit to dictation. The doctrine of
"moral force" advocated by the _Journal_ had no charms for him. He was
young, enthusiastic, and governed almost entirely by his imagination.
After a brief interval he withdrew from his editorial position, and
allied himself with the "Young Ireland" Party, as it was called. This
alliance brought him into intimate relations with Mr. Charles Gavan
Duffy, known to us of the present day as the Hon. Sir Charles Gavan
Duffy, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, Australia. Mr.
Duffy, in conjunction with Thomas Davis and John Dillon, had several
years before this time established the _Nation_, at Dublin. The _Nation_
was written with that brilliancy of genius and that absence of judgment
which are not unfrequently found allied. It numbered among its
contributors many of the brightest young spirits in Ireland. It went far
beyond Mr. O'Connell and the _Freeman's Journal_ in its demands, and
notwithstanding the ability displayed in its columns, it was neither
more nor less than a disseminator of sedition. With the fortunes of this
paper, and of the "Young Ireland" Party whose platform it advocated, Mr.
McGee now associated himself. His excuse, as well as that of most of his
collaborateurs, is to be found in the attributes of youth. He himself
had not completed his majority, and very few members of the party were
ten years older. They were chiefly composed of briefless but brilliant
young barristers, fiery journalists, and hot-headed students. Their
scheme, in course of time, developed into an association which was
grandiloquently styled "The Irish Confederation," towards one of the
wings whereof Mr. McGee occupied the position of secretary. He
contributed spirit-stirring ballads and editorials to the _Nation_,
delivered vehement harangues to the committees, and went about as deep
into the insurrection as Smith O'Brien himself. He was necessarily
brought into intimate relations with Charles Gavan Duffy, who, in his
recent work entitled "Young Ireland," thus describes the effect produced
respectively upon himself and Davis by a first acquaintance with young
Thomas D'Arcy McGee: "The young man was not prepossessing. He had a face
of almost African type; his dress was slovenly, even for the careless
class to which he belonged; he looked unformed, and had a manner which
struck me as too deferential for self-respect. But he had not spoken
three sentences in a singularly sweet and flexible voice till it was
plain that he was a man of fertile brains and great originality: a man
in whom one might dimly discover rudiments of the orator, poet and
statesman hidden under this ungainly disguise. This was Thomas D'Arcy
McGee. I asked him to breakfast on some early day at his convenience,
and as he arrived one morning when I was engaged to breakfast with
Davis, I took him with me, and he met for the first and last time a man
destined to influence and control his whole life. When the Wicklow trip
was projected, I told Davis I liked this new-comer and meant to invite
him to accompany me. 'Well,' he said, 'your new friend has an Irish
nature certainly, but spoiled, I fear, by the Yankees. He has read and
thought a good deal, and I might have liked him better if he had not
obviously determined to transact an acquaintance with me.'"

The French Revolution of February, 1848, rendered these misguided young
men more impulsive and less discreet than ever, and they wrote,
published and uttered the most bloodthirsty diatribes against the
legitimate authorities. They held meetings at which motions of
congratulation to the Provisional Government of France were passed. At
one of these meetings Thomas Francis Meagher advocated the immediate
erection of barricades and the invocation of the God of battles.
Everybody knows the sequel, which would have been tragical had it not
been so inexpressibly ludicrous. The Confederation appointed a
formidable War Directory, and the redoubtable O'Brien himself took the
field at the head of his troops. It was a perilous time for the hated
Saxon, but somehow or other the hated Saxon did not seem to realize his
danger. When the insurgents broke out into open rebellion, a few
policemen were sent out against the portentous Confederacy, which was
soon scattered and dispersed to the four winds. O'Brien himself was
arrested in a cabbage garden near Ballingarry. He was tried on a charge
of high treason, convicted, and sentenced to death. The sentence was
commuted to transportation for life, and as soon as the Government could
do so with any show of decency, it permitted him and his fellow-rebels
to return to their native land. The subsequent history of some of the
leaders in this insurrection is instructive, as showing how little
unanimity of sentiment there was among them, and how little fitted they
were to be entrusted with the management of a great enterprise. O'Brien
had already shown by his unconstitutional conduct in Parliament that he
was lamentably devoid of self-control and common sense. A man labouring
under such deficiencies may very safely be left to destroy his own
influence in his own way. While in exile he fretted and fumed, but,
unlike some of his colleagues, had the manliness to keep his parole. It
must be confessed, however, that his motive for keeping it was not of
the highest. He kept it, according to his own admission, merely because
he did not want to do anything that would render it impossible for him
to return to Ireland. When the American Rebellion broke out, in 1861, he
issued a manifesto from Ireland--whither, by the clemency of the
Government which he had sought to subvert, he had been permitted to
return--on behalf of the Confederacy. John Mitchel, another leading
spirit in the fiasco of 1848, also became a fanatical champion of the
slaveholders. Thomas Francis Meagher took a military command in the army
of the North. Others headed the riots in New York, massacred a goodly
number of negroes and other peaceable citizens in the streets, and did
their utmost to destroy all law and order. "These," says Miss Martineau,
"are apt illustrations of the spurious kind of Irish patriotism, which
would destroy Ireland by aggravating its weakness, and by rejecting the
means of recovery and strength."

Mr. McGee's share in the treasonable schemes of the Confederation
rendered it impossible for him to remain in the British Islands without
constantly encountering the danger of arrest. A few months before the
collapse of the Ballingarry demonstration he had married, and his
complicity in the insurrection thus brought trouble upon another besides
himself. For some of his public utterances on the platform at Roundwood,
in the county of Wicklow, he was seized by the police; but as all
custodians of the peace were instructed to deal leniently with prisoners
who had not actually been taken with arms in their hands, he was allowed
to go his way. Nothing mollified by this mild treatment, he started for
Scotland, to stir up treason among the Irish population there. During
his sojourn in Glasgow he received intelligence of the bursting of the
bubble which he had assisted to inflate, and of the capture of O'Brien.
Hearing that a reward was offered for his own apprehension, he skulked
about from place to place in various disguises, and after some delay,
crossed over to the North of Ireland, where he took refuge in the house
of Dr. Maginn, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Derry. He had an interview
with his wife, after which he sailed for the United States in the guise
of a priest. On the 10th of October, 1848, he landed at Philadelphia,
but soon made his way to New York, where, with the assistance of some of
his compatriots he established a weekly newspaper called the _New York
Nation_. This enterprise started with fair prospects of success, for the
editor was well known to the Irish of New York and its vicinity, and was
regarded by them with a high degree of favour, as a man of strong
anti-British proclivities. The contents of the paper realized the most
sanguine anticipations of its readers, so far as their tone of fanatical
hostility to England was concerned; but the editor's want of judgment
once more involved him in difficulties. In commenting editorially on the
causes of the failure of the Irish insurrection in which he had borne a
part, he threw the blame on the Roman Catholic hierarchy, whose
influence, as he truly alleged, had been put forward to dissuade their
parishioners from joining the ranks of the insurgents. Bishop Hughes, of
New York, felt aggrieved on behalf of the Irish priesthood, and took up
their cause in the local press. It was, of course, not difficult for him
to show that the clergy had acted wisely in discountenancing an
insurrection of the success of which there had never been even the most
remote possibility. There were rejoinders from Mr. McGee in the columns
of the _Nation_, and surrejoinders by the Bishop in various newspapers.
The former must surely have seen that he had made a false move, but he
had not the good sense to profit by the knowledge by either withdrawing
from his position or holding his tongue. The religious sympathies of his
compatriots, and their profound reverence for the priesthood, were
forces against which he contended in vain. He lost caste with the better
class of his fellow-countrymen in America, and came to be regarded by
them as an unsafe mentor. According to their view of the matter, a Roman
Catholic who set himself up to criticize the clergy of his Church was
little better than an atheist. He was a man to be shunned, and, if
necessary, to be put down. The upshot of the controversy was the ruin of
the prospects of Mr. McGee's journal, the publication whereof was soon

He had meanwhile been joined by his young wife and infant daughter. His
prospects during these months were exceedingly problematical. In 1850,
however, he removed to Boston and began to publish the _American Celt_,
a paper which was of precisely the same cast as the defunct _New York
Nation_ had been. It was full to the brim of hatred and rancour against
Great Britain, and its "mission" seemed to be to influence all the evil
passions of the Irish race in America. By degrees, however, Thomas
D'Arcy McGee began to feel the influence of the civilized atmosphere in
which his life was passing. He figured conspicuously on the lecture
platform, and was necessarily brought into contact with men of good
intellect and high principles. These persons felt and expressed respect
for his abilities, but declined to sympathize with, or even to discuss,
the merits of English rule in Ireland. They tacitly refused to consider
that subject as an absorbing theme for discussion on this continent. He
received much wise counsel, the tenor of which led him, for the first
time in his life, to reflect seriously upon the errors of his past
career. He was apt enough to learn, and gradually the idea began to dawn
upon his mind that all the wisdom and justice in the world are not
confined to Irish bosoms. He began to perceive that there are nobler
passions in the human heart than revenge, and that if a man cannot make
circumstances conformable to his mind, the first thing in his power is
to conform his mind to his circumstances. "The cant of faction," says
Mrs. Sadlier, "the fiery denunciations that, after all, amounted to
nothing, he began to see in their true colours; and with his whole heart
he then and ever after aspired to elevate the Irish people, not by
impracticable Utopian schemes of revolution, but by teaching them to
make the best of the hard fate that made them the subjects of a foreign
power differing from them in race and in religion; to cultivate among
them the arts of peace, and to raise themselves, by the ways of peaceful
industry and increasing enlightenment, to the level even of the more
prosperous sister-island."

This radical change of opinion was not brought about in a day, nor in a
year. The progress of the mental revolution was slow, but certain, and
by degrees the past of Thomas D'Arcy McGee stood revealed to him in all
its insufficient barrenness. He fought against his
steadily-strengthening convictions as long as he could, but his judgment
and good sense at last won the day. In the month of August, 1852, he
liberated his mind in a letter published in the _Celt_, and addressed to
his friend Thomas Francis Meagher. In that letter he unfolded with much
frankness the process by which he had been led to modify his opinions,
and referred to the scheme of the past as "the recent conspiracy against
the peace and existence of Christendom." His emancipation was complete,
and from this time forward there was an entire revolution in the tone of
all his writings and public speeches. Instead of writing diatribes
against the irrevocable he adopted "Peace and good will among men" as
his motto. Amicable relations were restored between him and the Roman
Catholic hierarchy, and erelong, at the request of the late Bishop
Timon, of Buffalo, he removed the office of publication of the _Celt_ to
that place. He continued the publication for about five years after the
removal, during which time he made many friends and achieved a fair
share of worldly prosperity. He was a diligent, albeit rather a fitful
student, and amassed a considerable fund of political and general
knowledge. His paper was regarded as the chief exponent of Irish
Catholic opinion on this continent, and as a standard authority on all
matters connected with Irish affairs. Some of his ablest lectures were
composed and delivered during this period, and some of them were the
means of greatly extending his reputation. Among those which evoked the
most flattering criticism from the press, those on "The Catholic History
of America," "The Irish Reformation," and "The Jesuits" occupy the
foremost place. The many demands upon his time did not prevent him from
engaging in various laudable enterprises for ameliorating the moral and
social condition of his countrymen in America, and from putting forth
many valuable suggestions for their guidance. It was his special object,
says one of the most sympathetic of his critics, to keep them bound
together by the memories of their common past, and to teach them that
manly self-respect which would elevate them before their
fellow-citizens, and keep them from political degradation. He strove to
make them good citizens of their adopted country, lovers of the old
cradle-land of their race, and devoted adherents of what to them was
"the sacred cause of Catholicity." Among other schemes vigorously
propounded by him for their material advancement was that of
colonization--"spreading abroad and taking possession of the land;
making homes on the broad prairies of the all-welcoming West," instead
of herding together in the tenement houses of the large cities. In
furtherance of this project he organized a Convention at Buffalo at
which he addressed the assembled representatives with great eloquence.
He began, however, to experience the pecuniary difficulties inseparable
from the conduct of a newspaper which declines to ally itself with any
political party, for he had persistently held aloof from the troubled
sea of party-politics in the United States. These difficulties
increased, and were sometimes so great as to occasion serious
embarrassment. His future prospects were not bright, and he looked
forward with some anxiety. When matters had reached a pretty low ebb
with him he was advised to change his base of operations. His
journalistic pursuits and his platform experiences had brought him into
contact with many prominent Irish Canadians, with some of whom he had
formed warm personal friendships. By these gentlemen he was urged to
take up his abode in Montreal, where, as he was informed, the want of a
ruling mind such as his was sensibly felt by the rapidly-increasing
Irish population. It was further represented to him that the
appreciation he had met with in the United States had been by no means
commensurate with his deserts, and that his compatriots in Canada stood
in urgent need of his services. To such representations he was not
disposed to turn a deaf ear, more especially as the pecuniary outlook in
Buffalo was far from encouraging. After careful deliberation he assented
to the proposal which had been made to him, disposed of his interest in
his newspaper, and removed to Montreal with his family early in 1857.

The manner of his reception in Montreal was such as could not fail to be
highly gratifying to his feelings. His fellow-countrymen vied with each
other in doing him honour, and in affording him material support. He
established a newspaper called the _New Era_. His acquaintance with
Canadian affairs at this date was not very wide, and he was compelled to
take a somewhat non-committal stand on many questions which the public
had at heart. On one subject, however, he spoke with no uncertain sound.
He advocated with great energy and eloquence the scheme of an early
union of the various British colonies in North America. The _New Era_
did not realize, in a pecuniary sense, the expectations of its founder,
but as matters turned out, its success or non-success was a matter of
little importance. At the next general election Mr. McGee, after a close
contest, was returned to Parliament as the representative of Montreal
West. The publication of the newspaper was discontinued, and he devoted
himself to his duties as a legislator.

From the time of first taking his seat in Parliament he was a
conspicuous figure there; but it must be confessed that during the
earlier sessions of his Parliamentary career he did little to inspire
the public with any belief in his profound statesmanship. He arrayed
himself on the side of the Opposition, and attacked the then-existing
Cartier-Macdonald Administration with all the fiery eloquence at his
command. "It was observed," says Mr. Fennings Taylor, "that he was a
relentless quiz, an adroit master of satire, and the most active of
partisan sharpshooters. Many severe, some ridiculous, and not a few
savage things were said by him. Thus from his affluent treasury of
caustic and bitter irony he contributed not a little to the personal and
Parliamentary embarrassments of those times. Many of the speeches of
that period we would rather forget than remember. Some were not
complimentary to the body to which they were addressed, and some of them
were not creditable to the person by whom they were delivered. It is
true that such speeches secured crowded galleries, for they were sure to
be either breezy or ticklish, gusty with rage, or grinning with jests.
They were therefore the raw materials out of which mirth is
manufactured, and consequently they ruffled tempers that were remarkable
for placidity, and provoked irrepressible laughter in men who were
regarded as too grave to be jocose. Of course they were little
calculated to elicit truth, or promote order, or attract respect to the
speaker. Mr. McGee appeared chiefly to occupy himself in saying
unpleasant and severe things; in irritating the smoothest natures, and
in brushing everybody's hair the wrong way." The personalities in which
he permitted himself to indulge were frequently in the worst conceivable
taste, and he raised up for himself many enemies. It began to be
suspected that this brilliant Irishman, whose advent into Canadian
political life had been heralded with so loud a flourish of trumpets,
was no heaven-born statesman, after all. He said some clever things in
the course of his speeches, and a good many other things that were
neither clever nor sensible. There was an evident desire on his part to
attract attention to himself, and his self-consciousness was sometimes
so marked as to be positively offensive. It was difficult to say why he
had joined the ranks of the Opposition. Of the local politics he, at the
time of his entry into Parliament, knew little or nothing, and there was
not much in common between him and the leaders of the Party to which he
had attached himself. The latter could not feel as though their ranks
had been very powerfully strengthened by such an accession. As the years
passed by, however, D'Arcy McGee became more tractable, and--be it
said--more sensible. He never entirely overcame his fondness for
displaying his Irish wit on the floor of the House, but he taught
himself to be more amenable to certain rules of debate which are tacitly
recognized among the members of all grave deliberative assemblies. To
put the matter in plain English, he less frequently transgressed the
bounds of decorum and sober good-breeding. With increase of years came
increase of knowledge as to the needs of the country, and as to the
proper functions of a legislator. His intellectual vision became keener,
and his views acquired breadth. It began to be apparent that there was a
serious side to his character, and that he could rise to a high level
upon a great occasion. No one had ever doubted that he possessed a
goodly share of genius, but he began to show that he also possessed more
practical qualifications for a statesman. Though largely endowed with
the poetical temperament, he did not disdain to interest himself in such
prosaic matters as statistics, and could make an effective speech of
which figures formed the main argument. His oratory, though florid and
discursive, began to exhibit symptoms of a genuine manly purpose. He
studied law, and in 1861 was called to the Bar of the Lower Province,
though he never seriously devoted himself to the practice of that
profession. He continued to fight in the Opposition ranks until the
downfall of the Cartier-Macdonald Ministry in the month of May, 1862. In
the Administration which succeeded, under the leadership of John
Sandfield Macdonald and Louis Victor Sicotte, he accepted office as
President of the Council. After the resignation of the Hon. A. A.
Dorion, he also acted for some time as Provincial Secretary. Upon the
reconstruction of the Administration in the following year he was not
invited to take a portfolio, and his dissatisfaction at the cavalier
treatment to which he had been subjected soon began to make itself
apparent. He crossed the House, and voted against the new Government,
accompanying his votes with remarks the reverse of complimentary to the
Premier. Upon the formation of the Taché-Macdonald Government, which was
nothing if not Conservative, in March, 1864, Mr. McGee became Minister
of Agriculture; a position which he continued to hold until the
accomplishment of Confederation. He had thus completely changed sides,
though it does not appear that his party convictions had undergone any
material modification, and it was alleged, with some show of truth, that
he was actuated more by pique than by principle.

In the proceedings which resulted in Confederation Mr. McGee took a
conspicuous and an honourable part. The union of the British North
American Provinces, as we have seen, had been advocated by him from the
time of his first arrival in the country. Independently of his speeches
in the House, which were among the most brilliant efforts evoked by the
occasion, he did good service by his writings in the public press, and
by lectures and addresses delivered by him in various parts of Canada
and the Maritime Provinces. In order that he might be relieved from
pecuniary cares by which he was sometimes beset, his friends throughout
the country organized a fund on his behalf, and purchased and presented
him with a comfortable, well-appointed homestead in Montmorenci Terrace,
St. Catherine Street, Montreal, wherein he and his family found a
resting-place during the remaining years of his life. He was thus
enabled to address himself to his cherished projects with comparative
freedom from anxiety.

In 1865 he repaired to England as a Member of the Executive Council to
confer with the Imperial Government upon the great question of
Confederation. During his absence he, after an interval of seventeen
years, once more set foot on his native land, and paid a visit to
Wexford, the home of his boyhood, where he was the guest of his father.
During his sojourn at Wexford on this occasion he delivered an eloquent
speech on the condition of the Irish race in America. He publicly
deplored the part he had played in the troubles of 1848, and enlarged
upon the demoralized condition of his countrymen in the United States as
compared with those resident in Canada. He proclaimed his conviction
that the time for fruitless attempts at insurrection was past, and that
he for his part should regard traitors to Great Britain as the enemies
of human progress. This deliverance gave grievous offence to the Irish
citizens of the United States, by many of whom D'Arcy McGee was
thenceforward denounced as a renegade to his principles. This sentiment
was strengthened by McGee's righteous denunciations of the Fenian horde
who menaced our shores in the summer of 1866, and who shed the blood of
some of our promising young men. At the general election of 1867 these
utterances were called into requisition as an election cry. Mr. McGee
had not accepted a portfolio in the first Government under
Confederation, which had just been formed, but had waived his claim to
office in favour of another Irish Catholic, Mr. Kenny, of Nova Scotia.
McGee, however, though he was thus complaisant, had no intention of
retiring immediately from public life, and once more offered himself to
his constituents in Montreal West. That constituency was the abode of
the local "Head Centre" of the Fenian Brotherhood, and the Fenian
influence there was considerable. Mr. McGee's utterances had made him
the object of the inveterate hatred of that body, and it was determined
that he should be ousted from the seat which he had held ever since his
entry into political life in Canada. Mr. Devlin, an Irish Catholic, and
a prominent member of the Montreal Bar, was brought out as an opposition
candidate, and the most shameless devices were resorted to to secure
that gentleman's return. "Every vile epithet calculated to rouse
ignorant Irish Catholics,"--says the author of "The Irishman in
Canada,"--"was hurled at McGee. He had, as his manner was, gone right
round from denying the existence of Fenianism in Montreal, to
exaggerating the extent of it, and denouncing it, not in undeserved
terms, but in terms which seemed violent from a man of his past history.
He won his election, but by a majority which convinced him that his
power had greatly waned. He had, however, the consolation that if he had
lost popularity, he had lost it in enlightening his countrymen." He had
felt it to be his duty to place Fenianism in its proper light before his
fellow-countrymen in Canada. He knew that the order was powerless for
good, and that it would entail pecuniary loss, if not absolute ruin,
upon many well-meaning but ignorant and misguided persons. So far as the
Fenian scheme contemplated an invasion of Canada, he regarded it with
all the scorn and abhorrence of a loyal subject. For this he was
denounced by the Fenians, and held up to execration as one who had sold
himself to the spoiler.

Before the opening of the first session of the Dominion Parliament he
was attacked by a long and severe illness, which brought him to death's
door, and from which he only recovered in time to attend at the opening
of the session. It was noticed that there was a decided change, not
merely in his physical appearance, but in the workings of his mind. He
had formerly been addicted to frequent indulgence in strong drink. He
had now become rigidly abstemious and regular in all his habits. He
seemed to be pervaded by a seriousness which almost amounted to
melancholy. His friends believed these characteristics to be something
deeper than the temporary humours of convalescence. His serious
indisposition had made him reflect, and his situation was one which
afforded ample food for reflection. Ever since the delivery of the
Wexford speech he had been in receipt of frequent anonymous letters in
which he was anathematized as a traitor, and warned to prepare for
death. Some of these came from Ireland. The envelopes of a few of them
afforded evidence of their having been posted in Montreal; but by far
the greater number came from the United States. He affected to console
himself with the proverb that "threatened men live long," but he could
not bring himself to regard these truly fiendish communications with
indifference. He knew the desperate character of the class of Irishmen
from whom they emanated, and he shuddered as he reflected that he had at
one time been the idol and fellow-worker of such as they. The shadow of
his impending doom was upon him. During the interval between rising from
his bed of sickness and the opening of the session in November he had
determined to retire from public life in the course of the following
year, and to devote the rest of his days to literary pursuits. His
determination was not destined to be carried out. He took a part in the
debates while the session was in progress, and some of the most
statesmanlike utterances that ever passed his lips were delivered during
this, the last winter he was ever to see. On the evening of the 6th of
April he occupied his usual place in the House, and made a brilliant and
effective speech on the subject of the lately-formed Union. A little
after two o'clock on the following morning he left the House in company
with two of his political friends, and proceeded in the direction of the
place where he lodged--the Toronto House, on Sparks Street, kept by a
Mrs. Trotter. When the three had arrived within a hundred yards of Mr.
McGee's destination they separated, each betaking himself to his own
lodging-house. Mr. McGee, having reached his door and inserted his
latch-key, was just about entering, when the sound of a pistol-shot was
heard by his landlady, who was awaiting his arrival. She hurried to the
door, and opened it, to find Mr. McGee's body lying prone across the
sidewalk. The alarm was given, and a crowd soon collected on the spot.
The body was raised, but the assassin's bullet had done its work. The
ball had entered the back of the head and passed through the mouth,
shattering the front teeth, and producing what must have been instant
and painless death.

The miscreant at whose hands D'Arcy McGee met his fate was a Fenian
named Patrick James Whalen. He was subsequently arrested, tried, found
guilty, and hanged at Ottawa.

Had Mr. McGee lived another week he would have completed his forty-third
year; so that he was still a young man, and had his life been spared
there is good reason to believe that he would have made an abiding mark
in literature. During his lifetime he published many volumes, but they
were for the most part written under disadvantageous circumstances, and
merely afford indications of what he might have achieved in literature.
His poems have been collected in various editions; but the work by which
he is best known is his "Popular History of Ireland," originally
published in two volumes at New York in 1863, and since reprinted in
various forms.

[Illustration: DAVID ALLISON, signed as David Allison]



Doctor Allison was born at Newport, Hants County, Nova Scotia, on the
3rd of July, 1836. By both lines of descent he belongs to that thrifty
Scoto-Irish stock to which the central counties of Nova Scotia are
largely indebted for their progress. On the paternal side he belongs to
a family which has displayed much aptitude for public affairs, his
grandfather and father both having occupied seats in the Provincial
Legislature. His brother, Mr. W. Henry Allison, after occupying a seat
in the same Body for several terms, at present represents the county of
Hants in the House of Commons.

His preliminary education was received at the Provincial Academy at
Halifax--since re-organized and developed into Dalhousie College--and at
the Wesleyan Academy, Sackville, N.B. His school-boy days at Halifax
were contemporaneous with a period of great political excitement, and a
race of orators rarely surpassed in any colonial legislature--Howe,
Johnston, Young, Uniacke--enlivened the Assembly room of the Province
with their eloquence. Frequent attendance on the discussions waged by
these masters of debate gave to the young student's mind a strong and
permanent leaning towards political and constitutional studies. At
Sackville, where he studied four consecutive years, the basis of a broad
and liberal training was firmly laid. Twenty-five years ago,
institutions of learning really doing educational work of a high order
were not so numerous in the Maritime Provinces as they now are, and the
Academy at Sackville, distinguished for its high standard and energetic
methods, attracted patronage, not only from Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, but from Newfoundland and "the vexed Bermoothes." During his
connection with this school, he was thus brought into contact with many
young men who have since won distinction in Provincial life. His
academic career ended, he was determined (we suppose) by denominational
proclivities to seek University training and honours at the Wesleyan
University, Middletown, Conn., U.S., where his career was in a high
degree successful and brilliant. For some years after graduation, in
1859, he filled the post of classical instructor at Sackville, first in
the Academy, and from 1862 to 1869 in the Mount Allison College, an
institution organized in that year under charter obtained from the
Legislature of New Brunswick. The resignation of the Presidency of the
College by the Rev. Dr. Pickard, in 1869, gave its Board of Governors an
opportunity of showing their appreciation of his scholarship and
character. He was unanimously elected President, and thenceforward for
nine years devoted himself with assiduity and success to the duties of
that position.

The work of a classical teacher, especially in a country college, does
not attract much public attention, and however effectively performed
cannot furnish much material for biographical remark. It is enough to
say that Professor Allison taught the classics with great efficiency,
illuminating the otherwise dull page with the illustrative light of
history, philosophy and literature. On his accession to the Presidency
of the College he exchanged the Chair of Classics for that of Mental
Science, and his lectures on that subject as delivered to successive
classes would, if published, secure for their author no mean reputation
as an acute and independent thinker. During the nine years of his
Presidency at Sackville he bore a heavy load of responsibility. The work
of endowing the College and generally improving its financial condition
was no light one. The intense intercollegiate competition of the Lower
Provinces rendered it necessary to infuse new vigour into the teaching
staff. The unsettled condition of the "higher education" question, and
the somewhat feverish state of the public mind regarding it, obliged one
occupying his position to be on the alert, ready with pen or voice to
attack or defend as circumstances might require. It is sufficient to
affirm, that when in 1878 he resigned his office for a new sphere of
responsibility, no College in the Maritime Provinces had for its years a
better record than his, and no college officer a wider or more enviable
reputation for varied scholarship and progressive tendencies of mind.

On a vacancy arising in the office of Superintendent of Education for
the Province of Nova Scotia in 1877, all eyes were turned to him.
Enjoying to a flattering extent the confidence of the friends of the
Sackville Institution, he naturally hesitated, but finally yielded when
appeals from the leaders of public opinion on all sides were joined to
the independent attractions of the offered post. The two years during
which he has administered the educational affairs of the Province show
clearly that he possesses a delicate appreciation of the elements of the
problem which he is required to solve. Reforms should, if possible,
follow one another in logical sequence. If the new Superintendent is
moving too slowly for some and too fast for others, he is probably
moving as all his really sincere and well-informed critics would wish
him to do, were their opportunities for taking in the whole situation as
good as his. Since his appointment he has aroused throughout the
Province a fresh interest in the cause of popular instruction, not only
by his masterly reports, but by the vigorous use of his abundant gift of
public speaking.

On assuming office as Superintendent, Dr. Allison found the important
sphere of intermediate education out of proper relation to the higher
and lower departments of instruction. A system of self-terminated common
schools of an elementary type, and a system of colleges mainly without a
trustworthy source of supply, he refused to believe adapted to the wants
of his Province and the genius of the age. His efforts to secure a
better distribution of educational appliances, and better inter-working
of educational forces, have already, we believe, been crowned with some
success. Though not without aptitudes for other departments of public
service, he has hitherto refused to listen to all propositions involving
departure from the strict path of educational effort and usefulness.

Dr. Allison is a man of broad political sympathies. Residing in the
United States during those years of intense feeling which immediately
preceded the great Civil War, and having abundant opportunity of hearing
those passion-stirring appeals by which fiery orators accelerated the
awful crisis, his early prepossessions towards political and historical
studies were greatly strengthened. The reading and thought spent in this
direction have no doubt resulted in the formation of strong,
well-developed opinions. If, as some suspect, these opinions are
somewhat radical, they are held in judicious equilibrium by the
practical conservatism of his conduct. The liberality of his religious
sentiments admirably qualify him for a position in relation to which the
distinction of creeds is ignored. He is a member of the Methodist Church
of Canada, and as a lay representative has taken a prominent part in the
two General Conferences of that influential denomination, and has been
appointed a delegate to the General Congress of Methodism to be held in
London in 1881. This is the sphere of private opinion and action, but
even in that he has always thrown his influence in favour of fraternity
and peace. As regards public relations, the universal confidence in his
impartiality is a prime element of his strength.

He received the degree of B.A. in 1859, and of M.A. in 1862, in due
course from the Wesleyan University, and in 1873 the honorary degree of
LL.D. was conferred upon him by the University of Victoria College,
Cobourg, Ont. In 1876 he was appointed by the Executive Government of
Nova Scotia a Fellow of the Senate of the University of Halifax. In the
hope of unifying and improving the higher education of the Maritime
Provinces Dr. Allison had given the scheme for establishing such a
University, modelled on that of London, an earnest, and at a critical
juncture, most valuable support, and still vigorously sustains the
experiment of an Examining University as under the circumstances of the
case contributing to the satisfactory solution of a difficult problem.
That the proposed scheme was open to some of the objections vigorously
urged against it by the Rev. Mr. (now Principal) Grant and others he did
not attempt to deny. But who could propose any measure directed towards
the improvement of advanced education in Nova Scotia which was not open
to objection? The existing Colleges, five or six in number, were feeble
and ill-equipped, but they had become strongly entrenched in the
affections of religious denominations, whose unwillingness to surrender
real or seeming advantages in connection with these institutions was
proportioned to the sacrifices by which these advantages had been
secured. Assuming this unwillingness of the Colleges to surrender their
chartered privileges, as the first and indeed fundamental condition of
the establishment of a genuine Provincial University to be inexpugnable,
the projectors of the University of Halifax sought to give a steady and
appreciable value to Collegiate degrees conferred in the Province, to
reduce to something like order the chaos of divergent systems, and to
send down into the strata of primary and intermediate education an
uplifting influence from above. Should even these more limited objects
be unattained through the failure of the Colleges to practically aid a
measure designed at least in part for their benefit, it may in the end
appear that the indifference of these institutions was not dictated by
the highest wisdom even as regards their own interests.


Judge Galt is the second son of the late John Galt, who was for some
time the Canadian Commissioner of the Canada Company, and who was the
author of numerous dramas and works of fiction which once enjoyed great
popularity. Some account of the life of the late Mr. Galt has been given
in the sketch of the life of his youngest son, the Hon. Sir Alexander
Tilloch Galt, which appeared in the second volume of this series.

The subject of this sketch was born in Portland Street, Oxford Street,
London, England, where his father at that time resided, on the 12th of
August, 1815. His early life was passed alternately in England and in
Scotland. He received his education at various public and private
schools. He was for about two years a pupil at a private establishment
at Musselburgh, a small seaport town in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh.
The late Hon. George Brown was also a pupil at this establishment. Mr.
Galt was removed from Musselburgh in 1826, and placed under the tuition
of Dr. Valpy, a classical scholar of high reputation. In 1828 he came
out to Canada, and was for two years a pupil in the establishment of Mr.
Braithwaite, at Chambly, where he had for fellow-pupils, the present
Bishop of Niagara and the late Thomas C. Street. In 1830 he returned to
Great Britain, where he spent three years, when, having nearly completed
his eighteenth year he emigrated to Upper Canada, and settled in what
was then Little York. This was in the autumn of 1833, and in the month
of March following, Little York became the city of Toronto, with William
Lyon Mackenzie as its first mayor. Mr. Galt has ever since resided in
Toronto, and has thus had his home in our Provincial capital for more
than forty-seven years.

Upon his arrival at Little York he entered the service of the Canada
Company, of which his father had been one of the original promoters, and
most active spirits. He remained in that service about six years, when,
having resolved upon studying law, he entered the office of
Mr.--afterwards the Hon. Chief Justice--Draper, where he remained until
his studies had been completed. During a part of this period he occupied
the position of chief clerk in the office of his principal, who was then
Attorney-General for Upper Canada. In this capacity it fell to his duty
to prepare the indictments, which required not merely an accurate
knowledge of the criminal law, but a close familiarity with the highly
technical system of criminal pleading which prevailed in those days. In
Easter Term, 1845, he was called to the Bar of Upper Canada, and
immediately afterwards settled down to the practice of his profession.
He was possessed of excellent abilities, a fine presence, and a
remarkably prepossessing manner, which qualifications combined to place
him in a foremost position before he had been long engaged in practice.
He became solicitor for numerous corporations and public companies, and
had always a very large business.

In October, 1847, when he had been at the Bar somewhat more than two
years, he married Miss Frances Louisa Perkins, youngest daughter of the
late Mr. James W. Perkins, who had formerly held a position in the Royal
Navy. By this lady he has a family of nine children. In 1855 he became a
Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and in 1858 he was appointed
a Queen's Counsel, simultaneously with the Hon. Stephen Richards. He
from time to time formed various partnerships, one of which was with the
late Hon. John Ross. Another was subsequently formed with the late Hon.
John Crawford, who some years later became Lieutenant-Governor of

While at the Bar, in addition to a very extensive and profitable civil
practice, he took a front rank as a criminal lawyer, for which
distinction his past experience in the office of Attorney-General Draper
had eminently fitted him. He was engaged in the celebrated case of
_Regina_ vs. _Brogden_, which many readers of these pages will not fail
to remember. The prisoner was a well-known lawyer of Port Hope, who was
tried at Cobourg for shooting one Anderson, the seducer of his wife. A
year or two later he represented the Crown in another historical
criminal case which was tried at Cobourg, wherein the prisoner, Dr.
King, was convicted of poisoning his wife. In 1863 he appeared for the
Crown at Toronto against that well-remembered malefactor William
Greenwood. There were three indictments against the prisoner, two for
murder and one for arson. On the first indictment for murder the
prisoner was acquitted. On that for arson, which was prosecuted by Mr.
Galt, he was convicted. With the other indictment for murder Mr. Galt
was not concerned. The prisoner, however, was convicted, and sentenced
to be hanged, but committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell.

Mr. Galt was appointed to his present position, that of a Puisné Judge
of the Court of Common Pleas for Ontario, on the death of the late Judge
John Wilson, in 1869. His sixty-five years seem to sit very lightly upon
him, and he is still distinguished by a fine, dignified, and most kindly
presence. In addition to the attainments properly belonging to him as an
eminent lawyer, he is known as a master of style, and his judgments are
marked not less by their depth of learning than by the stateliness of
the diction in which they are written.

The most important criminal case over which he has been called upon to
preside since his accession to the Bench was that against Mrs. George
Campbell, who was tried at the assizes held at London, in the autumn of
1872, for murdering her husband under most revolting circumstances. She
was convicted, and suffered the extreme penalty of the law.



Bishop Bond, Dr. Oxenden's successor in the See of Montreal, was born at
Truro, a seaport of the county of Cornwall, England, in the year 1815.
He received his education partly in Cornwall, and partly in London, at
various public and private schools. He was a diligent student, and
displayed much fondness for, and proficiency in, the classics, as well
as considerable aptitude for elocution. In his early youth he emigrated
from England to the Island of Newfoundland, where, after a brief period
spent in secular pursuits, he studied for holy orders under the
direction of Archdeacon Bridge. In 1840, under the advice and influence
of the late Rev. Mark Willoughby, he proceeded to Quebec, where, upon
the completion of his studies, he was ordained Deacon; and in 1841 he
was ordained Priest at Montreal, by the late Right Rev. George
Jehoshaphat Mountain, Bishop of Quebec. Immediately after his ordination
he again proceeded to Newfoundland, where, on the 2nd of June, in the
last-mentioned year, he married Miss Eliza Langley, with whom he
returned to Montreal. For some years subsequent to his ordination he was
a travelling missionary, with residence at Lachine, near Montreal. Under
instructions from Bishop Mountain he organized several missions in the
Eastern Townships, and in addition to his clerical duties interested
himself in organizing schools in connection with the Newfoundland School
Society, establishing eleven in the township of Hemmingford alone. In
1848 he was appointed to the large and important parish of St. George's,
Montreal, as assistant to Dr. Leach. His connection with that parish
subsisted without interruption for a period of thirty years. He
successively became Archdeacon of Hochelaga, and (later) Dean of
Montreal. While holding the office of Dean he took an active interest in
the Volunteer force, being chaplain of the 1st or Prince of Wales's
Regiment. He was out at Huntingdon during the raid of 1866, and in 1870
marched with the regiment from St. Armand's to Pigeon Hill.

On the 1st of July, 1878, the Right Rev. Ashton Oxenden, who had held
the bishopric of Montreal since 1869, resigned his position; and on the
16th of January following (1879) Dean Bond was elected as his successor
by the Synod of the Diocese. His consecration took place in St. George's
Church, Montreal, on the 25th of January, 1879, in the presence of the
Bishops of Fredericton, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Algoma, Ontario and
Niagara; the consecration sermon being preached by the Right Rev. John
Travers Lewis, Bishop of Ontario. He was installed in the Episcopal
Throne, in the Cathedral Church at Montreal, on the day following his
consecration, upon which date he likewise performed his first Episcopal
act by administering the rite of confirmation in the church of his old
parish of St. George's.

[Illustration: WILLIAM BENNETT BOND, signed as W. B. MONTREAL]

Bishop Bond has a fine and commanding presence, is an eloquent preacher,
and an excellent platform speaker. He is very popular among the
clergymen of his diocese, and takes a warm interest in promoting their
welfare. His only published work, so far as known to the present writer,
is a sermon on the death of his old friend the Rev. Mark Willoughby,
already mentioned, which was published at Montreal in 1847.

Bishop Bond is President of the Theological College of the Diocese of
Montreal. He received his degree of M.A. from Bishop's College,
Lennoxville, and that of LL.D. from the University of McGill College,

The Diocese over which Bishop Bond's jurisdiction extends was originally
constituted in 1850. Montreal was the Metropolitan See of Canada from
the year 1860, (when letters patent were issued to the late Dr.
Fulford), until Bishop Oxenden's resignation as above mentioned, in the
month of July, 1878.


It is permitted to few persons to achieve, and permanently retain, so
high and well deserved a reputation as for nearly half a century has
attached to the name of the late Judge Wilmot. In the course of his long
and active public career he was called upon to play many important and
difficult parts. In none of them did he encounter failure, and in most
of them he achieved an unusual degree of credit and success. Alike as a
lawyer and a legislator, as Premier and Attorney-General, as a member of
Parliament, and as the leader of a not always manageable political
party, as a Judge and as a Lieutenant-Governor, he stamped his name upon
the history of New Brunswick. Robert Baldwin and Joseph Howe are not
more intimately identified with the cause of popular rights in the
histories of Upper Canada and Nova Scotia than is Lemuel Allan Wilmot in
the history of his native Province. One of whom so much can truthfully
be alleged must be admitted to have been a remarkable man. His life was
passed in the conscientious discharge of multifarious duties; and in
whatsoever aspect it may be viewed, it was a life which it is thoroughly
wholesome to contemplate. He was a man, and as such he doubtless had the
imperfections incidental to humanity; but happy is that individual upon
whose memory rests no graver charge than imperfection. He was often
placed in positions which subjected his manhood to a crucial test, and
never failed to come out of the ordeal without blemish. In recounting
the various phases of his public life, it never becomes necessary for
the biographer to apologize for acts of corruption; and his personal
character has left behind it a memory without a stain.

The two families to which he owed his origin were both identified with
the struggle of the American colonies for independence. His paternal
grandfather was Major Lemuel Wilmot, of Long Island, a U. E. Loyalist,
who held a commission in the Loyal American Regiment, engaged in much
active service on behalf of his king and country, and, soon after the
close of hostilities, settled under British rule, on the banks of the
St. John River, near Fredericton, in the then recently-formed Province
of New Brunswick. After his migration, the Major married Miss Elizabeth
Street, a sister of the Hon. Samuel Street, of the Niagara District. One
of the fruits of this marriage was the late Mr. William Wilmot, of
Sunbury, N.B., who married Miss Hannah Bliss, a daughter of Mr. Daniel
Bliss, and a descendant of Colonel Murray, of St. John, whose name also
figures conspicuously in the history of the U. E. Loyalists. Several
children resulted from this latter marriage, one of whom, Lemuel Allan
Wilmot, who was born in the county of Sunbury, on the 31st day of
January, 1809, is the subject of the present memoir.

[Illustration: LEMUEL ALLAN WILMOT, signed as L. A. WILMOT]

The incidents of his early boyhood, so far as known to the writer of
these pages, were few, and of little material interest to the
public. He was educated at the Fredericton Grammar School, and
afterwards at the Provincial University of that town. His career at
college was more remarkable for diligence than for brilliancy, though he
became a good classical scholar, and kept up his acquaintance with the
principal Greek and Latin authors throughout his after life. He was fond
of athletic exercises and aquatics, devoting sufficient attention to
such matters to build up a sound and vigorous constitution. He also
belonged to one of the local volunteer companies, and acquired
considerable proficiency in military drill. Upon leaving the University
he chose the law for a profession, and after the usual course of study
was admitted as an Attorney in 1830, immediately upon coming of age. He
settled down to practice in the Provincial capital, and in 1832 was
called to the Bar. He was not a born orator, and during the early years
of his professional life had to contend with a diffidence of manner and
a slight impediment in his speech. It is said that when he first
announced his determination to qualify himself for the Bar, his father,
referring to the last-mentioned infirmity, endeavoured to dissuade him
from a pursuit in which his stammering tongue would inevitably place him
at a great disadvantage. The young man, however, was self-confident, and
his subsequent career proved most incontestably that his confidence was
not misplaced. All things are possible to a man endowed with a strong
will, and a fixed determination to succeed. Young Wilmot possessed both
these qualifications for forensic success, and had also other advantages
which contributed to place him in the high rank which he eventually
attained at the New Brunswick Bar. He had a fine and commanding
presence, keen susceptibilities, a clear, ringing voice, a capacious
memory, and an unusual amount of industry. There was a strong vein of
poetry in his character, and he was possessed of a considerable share of
histrionic power. Aided by such adjuncts, and backed by a constitution
of unusual vigour, he well knew that his success was only a question of
time and unremitting labour. He applied himself with indefatigable
diligence to every case entrusted to him, and did not disdain to make
himself master of the minutest details. He never went into court until
he had seen his way through his case. He soon overcame the defect in his
utterance, and there was a sincerity and self-assurance about his manner
of addressing a jury which told greatly in his favour. In less than two
years from the date of his call to the Bar he had an assured practice
and position. His mind grew with the demands from day to day made upon
it, and at an age when many lawyers of greater brilliancy are content to
wait for fame, Mr. Wilmot had succeeded in establishing a reputation
which was co-extensive with his native Province. His fame was not of
ephemeral duration, but grew with his increasing years, and long before
his retirement from practice he was recognized as the most eloquent and
effective forensic orator of his day in New Brunswick. In an obituary
notice of him, published shortly after his death in a Boston newspaper,
we find the following strong testimony to his professional attainments:
"As an advocate at the Bar, few in any country could surpass him. The
court was full when it was known that Wilmot had a case. He scented a
fraud or falsehood from afar. He heard its gentlest motions. He pursued
it like an Indian hunter. If it burrowed, he dragged it forth, and held
it up wriggling to the gaze and scorn of the court. When he drew his
tall form up before a jury, fixed his black, piercing eyes upon them,
moved those rapid hands, and pointed that pistol finger, and poured out
his argument, and made his appeal with glowing, burning eloquence, few
persons could resist him." This estimate is worth quoting, as, though
florid, and doubtless overdrawn, it conveys a not altogether inaccurate
idea of his power as an advocate. If he was not a counsel whom "few in
any country could surpass," he was at all events a counsel who could
hold his own against such forensic luminaries as Archibald, and Stewart,
and Johnson, all of whom were orators of the highest rank at the Bar of
the sister Province of Nova Scotia, and all of whom were in frequent
request in the courts of New Brunswick. Against one or more of these he
was constantly pitted, and it is high praise to say, as may be said with
perfect truthfulness, that he was able to maintain his argument with
credit against the best of them.

With such endowments, it was a matter of course that he should sooner or
later enter the political arena. He had been only two years at the Bar,
when (in 1834) he was elected by acclamation to represent the county of
York in the New Brunswick Assembly. His return under such circumstances
was a notable event, for he was only twenty-five years of age, and was
the first candidate ever returned by that constituency without a
contest. Prior to his return he held several political meetings in
different parts of the county, at which he addressed the people in a
fashion to which they had theretofore been wholly unaccustomed. He
described the fundamental points of the constitution, and showed that
the rights of the people had been systematically violated for a great
many years. It is said that during one of these addresses a member of
the ruling faction rode up to the hustings and demanded that Wilmot
should be pulled down, or that he would yet become Attorney-General of
the Province. The story sounds too good to be true. However that may be,
he was not long in making his presence felt in the Assembly. He arrayed
himself as the champion of Liberal principles--principles which had a
much more slender following in those days than they have had in later
times. The Family Compact had an existence in New Brunswick, as well as
in the other British American colonies, and any aspiring young
politician who refused to bow his head beneath the yoke, had to make up
his mind for a large measure of obloquy and determined opposition. Young
Wilmot had to bear his share of the burdens which fell to the lot of all
advocates of popular rights in the days when Responsible Government was
sneered at by those in authority. The New Brunswick oligarchy were
somewhat less besotted and tyrannical than were those of Upper Canada
and Nova Scotia, but there were abuses which called imperatively for
removal, and grievous wrongs which cried aloud for redress. All the
important offices were in the hands of the members of the Compact and
their sycophants, and the only road to public preferment lay through
their favour. Political power was confined to the Legislative and
Executive Councils; for, although there was a Body called the Assembly,
which was supposed to be the guardian of the rights of the people, it
was a shadow without substance. Its votes produced no direct influence
upon the advisers of the Sovereign's representative in the colony, who
were permitted to keep their places of power and emolument, no matter
how distasteful themselves and their policy might be to the popular
branch of the Legislature. This oppressive domination was not confined
to secular matters, but extended likewise to matters ecclesiastical.
There was a dominant State Church. Dissenters were regarded by the
adherents of that Church with disfavour, and were sometimes treated with
contumely. A dissenting minister was not permitted by law to solemnize
matrimony, and if he did so he was subject to fine and imprisonment. It
is said that Mr. Wilmot's father, William Wilmot, who was a member of
the Assembly, was refused admission to the House upon the ground that he
was in the habit of conducting religious services on the Sabbath day.
It at one time seemed not improbable that the subject of this sketch
would be subjected to a similar indignity. The latter was a Dissenter
from conviction. He had been awakened to an active sense of religion by
the ministrations of the Rev. Enoch Wood, now of Toronto, but then
pastor of the Methodist Church in Fredericton. No account of Mr.
Wilmot's life which does not take cognizance of the devotional side of
his character can give anything like an accurate estimate of the man.
Further reference to it will be made at a later stage. When he first
took his seat as a member of Parliament he felt that it was incumbent
upon him to contend, not only for his political freedom, but for his
rights as a member of a religious body which was practically proscribed.
The oligarchy, it is to be presumed, well knew that the end of their
reign was at hand, but they fought every inch of the ground with a
spirit and determination worthy of a better cause. There is no need to
go through the _minutiae_ of the struggle. Though differing as to local
details, the principles at stake in New Brunswick were precisely the
same as in Upper Canada and Nova Scotia, and readers of the sketches of
Robert Baldwin, Lord Metcalfe, and Joseph Howe, are sufficiently
informed as to how much was involved in those principles. Mr. Wilmot
soon became the acknowledged leader of the Reformers of his native
Province, and to his vigour, eloquence, and statesmanship the successful
establishment of Responsible Government there in 1848 is mainly due. In
this connection it would be unjust to omit a reference to the late Hon.
Charles Fisher, Mr. Wilmot's colleague in the representation of York
County, who for some years prior to his death in the month of December
last occupied a seat on the Bench of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick.
A sketch of Mr. Fisher's life will appear in due course in these pages,
but a casual reference to him in this place seems to be imperatively
called for. Throughout all the contest which resulted in the triumph of
Liberal principles, and in the establishment of Executive
Responsibility, Mr. Fisher seconded his leader, Mr. Wilmot, with a
loyalty and integrity which entitle him to a high place in the
Provincial annals. His learning and eloquence gave him great influence
in Parliament, and his name is associated with some of the most
important legislation in the colonial jurisprudence, as well as with the
cause of popular freedom. To Lemuel Allan Wilmot and Charles Fisher the
inhabitants of New Brunswick owe a heavy debt, and their names will
deservedly go down to posterity side by side.

The struggle for Responsible Government may be said to have begun in
earnest in New Brunswick about the time when Mr. Wilmot first entered
the Assembly of that Province in 1834. It proceeded with unabated ardour
until the resignation of Sir Archibald Campbell, the
Lieutenant-Governor, in 1837. In 1836 Mr. Wilmot proceeded to England as
a co-delegate with Mr. William Crane on the subject of Crown Revenues
and the Civil List, and then for the first time laid the grievances of
his compatriots before the Imperial Government. Lord Glenelg, the
Colonial Secretary, was well inclined towards the colonies, and treated
the two New Brunswick delegates with much kindness and courtesy. The
state of affairs submitted by them was taken into careful consideration,
and the Assembly's view of the situation was approved of. At Lord
Glenelg's suggestion, a Bill was drafted which granted all the most
important reforms prayed for, and was transmitted to Sir Archibald
Campbell for his approval. The approval was not forthcoming, and Sir
Archibald quietly tendered his resignation. Messrs. Wilmot and Crane
were received with an ovation upon their return to New Brunswick, and
were the heroes of the hour. Next year they were again despatched to
England with an address to the King, in which it was prayed that Sir
Archibald Campbell might be recalled--the fact of his having sent in his
resignation not having transpired. They were received with as much
favour as before, and were informed that the contumacy of Sir Archibald
would not be permitted to thwart the popular will. During this second
visit they enjoyed the honour of being presented at Court to King
William IV. His Majesty, upon Mr. Wilmot being presented to him,
condescended to make some inquiries as to his family and ancestry. Mr.
Wilmot availed himself of the opportunity thus afforded to make a set
speech in the presence of royalty, in which he "burst the awful barriers
of State, and, in loyal phrase, thanked His Majesty for generous
consideration of colonial interests."[12]

The delegates had good reason to congratulate themselves upon the
success of their mission. Sir John Harvey, an English officer who had
served with distinction in Upper Canada, and in various other parts of
the world, was sent out as Lieutenant-Governor, and the Civil List Bill
became law. The House of Assembly of New Brunswick, by way of testifying
its appreciation of Lord Glenelg's conduct, had a full-length portrait
of him painted, and suspended behind the Speaker's chair, where it hangs
to the present day. Upon the return of Messrs. Crane and Wilmot from
their second mission a vote of thanks was unanimously passed by the
Assembly in recognition of their diplomatic services. They also received
more substantial marks of favour. Mr. Crane was called to the Executive
Council, and Mr. Wilmot was invested with a silk gown. For the time,
Liberal principles were decidedly in the ascendant. The passing of the
Civil List Bill had a most mollifying effect upon public opinion. New
Brunswick was spared the turmoil of a rebellion such as disturbed the
peace of Upper and Lower Canada. There was not even any attempt at
insurrection, nor apparently any feeling of sympathy with the violence
begotten of the times. Mr. Wilmot, whose martial spirit has already been
hinted at, raised and commanded a troop of volunteer dragoons, which
performed despatch duty pending the border troubles of the time; but he
was happily never called upon to take part in any active measures of

During Sir John Harvey's four years' tenure of office as
Lieutenant-Governor, the internal affairs of the Province of New
Brunswick were carried on with but little friction between the branches
of the Legislature. The Reform Party were gratified with the signal
victory they had gained in the matter of the Civil Service Bill, and
were not disposed to be captious without serious cause. Sir John Harvey
was a popular Governor, and his moderate policy reäcted upon both the
political parties. Soon after the accession of Sir William Colebrooke,
in 1841, the old hostilities began to re-appear. It was a time of great
commercial depression. For several years the public funds had been spent
somewhat lavishly, and the Provincial credit had begun to suffer. An era
of economy and Conservatism set in. At the general elections of 1842 the
Reform Party made a determined stand on the question of Responsible
Government. Mr. Wilmot, who had sat in the Assembly for the county of
York for a continuous period of eight years, again presented himself to
the electors of that constituency. Tremendous efforts were made by his
opponents to oust him, and the contest was one of the sharpest ever
known in the annals of New Brunswick. He and his colleague, Mr. Fisher,
were successful in securing their election, but the state of public
opinion was abundantly proclaimed by the fact that these two were the
only successful Reform candidates in an Assembly consisting of forty-one
members. The progressive party was badly beaten, but not disheartened,
and a banner bearing the motto "Responsible Government," was unfurled in
the streets of Fredericton. The two Reformers had to maintain the sole
burden of Opposition on their shoulders during the following session.
Notwithstanding their numerical weakness, they made their influence
powerfully felt in the Assembly.

In 1844 Mr. Wilmot was offered a seat in the Executive Council. He
accepted it, without portfolio, but did not long retain his place, owing
to a circumstance which compelled his resignation. The
Lieutenant-Governor, without consulting his Ministers, appointed his
son-in-law, Mr. Reade, to the office of Provincial Secretary. This
proceeding, which was a direct subversion of the doctrine of Responsible
Government, gave offence, not to Mr. Wilmot alone, but to three other
members of the Council. After a fruitless remonstrance with Sir William
Colebrooke, they all four promptly resigned their seats. The Colonial
Secretary declined to confirm Mr. Reade's appointment, and another
gentleman less distasteful to the Assembly became Provincial Secretary.
From this time forward a Liberal reaction may be said to have set in. At
the general election of 1846 a fair proportion of Liberal candidates was
returned, among whom were Mr. Wilmot and his colleague, Mr. Fisher.

Responsible Government, however, was not yet an accomplished fact,
though its accomplishment was nigh at hand. In 1847, the Colonial
Secretary, Earl Grey, in a despatch to Sir John Harvey, who was at that
date Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, clearly defined the principles
upon which the Government of that colony should be carried on. The
principles enunciated were precisely those for which the Reformers had
all along been contending. It was declared that members of the Executive
Council should be permitted to hold office only so long as they
possessed the confidence of a majority of the people, as signified by
the votes in the Assembly. The heads of the various departments, it was
said, should retain office only during pleasure; and Government
officials were neither to be permitted to occupy seats in the
Legislature nor to be removable on a change of Government. These
concessions implied neither more nor less than Responsible Government.
The principles were evidently as applicable to New Brunswick as to Nova
Scotia. Soon after the opening of the session in 1848 Mr. Fisher
introduced a resolution approving of Earl Grey's despatch, and accepting
its doctrines on behalf of the Province. The debate which followed was
big with the fate of New Brunswick. Many of the more advanced
Conservatives coincided with the principles enunciated, and supported
the resolution, which was finally carried by a large majority. Thus was
Responsible Government finally adopted in New Brunswick.

The speeches made by Mr. Fisher and Mr. Wilmot during this debate were
emphatically the speeches of the session. That of Mr. Wilmot was
published in pamphlet form and circulated throughout the Maritime
Provinces. It was considered as sufficiently important to be noticed in
the _North American Review_, published at Boston, Massachusetts, where
it was stated that "He (Mr. Wilmot) possesses brilliant powers, and as a
public speaker ranks with the most effective and eloquent in British

Mr. Wilmot was called upon to form a new Government, which, though the
result of a coalition, was of a Liberal complexion. He himself became
Premier and Attorney-General. During his tenure of office his name is
associated with several important Legislative measures, among which may
be mentioned the Consolidation of the Criminal Laws (1849), and the
Municipal Law (1850). During the latter year he attended as the
representative of his Province at the International Railway Convention
held at Portland, Maine, where he delivered a speech which we have not
read, but which, judging from the encomiums which have been lavished
upon it, must have been an effort of very uncommon eloquence. Mr.
Lathern, in the work already quoted from, says of it: "There were many
able and eloquent speeches at that Portland Convention, from
Parliamentary and public men, but to Attorney-General Wilmot, by common
consent, was awarded the palm of consummate, crowning oratory. He
carried the audience by storm. To people across the border, accustomed
to political declamation, it was a matter of amazement that their most
brilliant men should be completely eclipsed. It was a still greater
cause of mystery how a style of oratory, of the imaginative and
impassioned type, regarded as peculiarly a production of the chivalrous
and sunny South, could have been born and nurtured amidst the frigid
influences and monarchical institutions of a bleak and foggy forest
Province. There were accompanying advantages which stamped the effort as
supreme of its kind. Dramatic action, consummate grace of rhetorical
expression, a voice of matchless power and wondrous modulation,
contributed to the heightened effect. To a very considerable extent the
eloquence was impromptu, and therefore largely took its caste and
complexion, apt allusions, and rich surprises, from the immediate scene
and its surroundings. That magnificent burst of oratory swept over the
audience like fire amongst stubble, and like the tempest that bends
forest trees. Reporters are said to have dropped their pencils, and
yielded to the magnetic, resistless spell; and the people, gathered in
dense mass, were wrought into a frenzy of excitement and enthusiasm."
Making due allowances for the unconscious exaggeration of a writer who
seems to have revered Mr. Wilmot as his "guide, philosopher and friend,"
the Portland speech must have been an effort of which any orator might
justly feel proud. During this same year (1850) Attorney-General Wilmot
visited Washington as a delegate from his Province on the subject of
International Reciprocity; and a few months later, in company with the
Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Edmund Head, he attended a meeting of the
Canadian Government held at Toronto, for the purpose of discussing
important matters relating to the British North American colonies.

In the month of January, 1851, he retired from the Administration, and
accepted a seat on the Judicial Bench, as a Puisné Judge of the Supreme
Court of New Brunswick. At the time of his appointment to this position
the still higher office of Chief-Justice was vacant, and he, as
Attorney-General might not unreasonably have expected to succeed to that
dignity. His acceptance of the less exalted position was the cause of
some surprise, as he would have had the entire Reform Party of the
Province at his back in any dispute with the Lieutenant-Governor, and
might have brought much pressure to bear upon him. His acceptance was
probably due to the fact that politics are an uncertain pursuit, and
that there was no saying what the morrow might bring forth. He never
experienced defeat on the hustings in the whole course of his sixteen
years of political life, but at the last election for York he had been
returned by a very slight majority. He was sensitive to public opinion,
and had no ambition to remain on the stage until he might possibly be
hissed. He was at this time enabled to retire with honour, and the
consciousness that he retained public confidence and respect. Other
reasons may probably enough have influenced him. His professional
business had necessarily suffered through his constant attendance upon
his Parliamentary and official duties. His income had dwindled down to
less than a third of what it had once been, and his expenses had greatly
increased. The position of a Puisné Judge is a high and honourable one,
such as no lawyer, however eminent, need disdain to accept. His choice
was made, and for more than seventeen years thereafter he discharged his
duties as a Judge with usefulness and dignity. During this interval he
frequently delivered lectures before Mechanics' Institutes and Lyceums
in St. John, Fredericton and elsewhere; and some of these discourses
were as remarkable for learning and eloquence as any of his public
utterances. His convictions as a Protestant were unusually strong, and
some of his remarks on sectarian themes occasionally caused irritation
among persons whose theological faith differed from his own, but in no
case does the irritation seem to have been more than temporary. His
exemplary life, and his evident sincerity of purpose, induced even
opposing theologians to allow him a latitude of expression which would
scarcely have been tolerated in an ordinary personage. During his tenure
of office as a Judge he also took an active part in forwarding the cause
of education, and in support of many voluntary associations of a
benevolent and religious character. Among numerous other offices
conferred upon him, he was appointed a Member of the Senate of the New
Brunswick University, from which he received the degree of D.C.L.

Though Judge Wilmot had been for many years removed from the arena of
politics, it was well understood that he was a firm friend of British
American Union, and ardently desirous to see Confederation prove a
lasting success. From his high local standing, from the judicial
position he had held so long having raised him above the confines of
political party strife, and from his acknowledged abilities, he was
singled out for the office of first Lieutenant-Governor of his native
Province, under the new order of things which came into being on the 1st
of July, 1867. The appointment was not made until rather more than a
year afterwards, during which period the duties of Lieutenant-Governor
were performed by Major-General Charles Hastings Doyle, probably for the
same reasons that assigned to some of the other Provinces military
Governors during the first year of Union. When, however, the appointment
was made on the 27th of July, 1868, it gave very general satisfaction
throughout New Brunswick. It was felt that such an appointment was a
fitting tribute to a man who had spent the greater part of his life in
the public service, and who had at all times preserved his honour
untarnished. There is not much of special interest to tell about his
Lieutenant-Governorship. His public addresses, and even his official
speeches in connection with the opening and closing of the Legislature,
were distinguished by sentiments of fervent patriotism, and by the
expression of broad and enlightened ideas as to the duty of the people
in sustaining the consolidation of British power on this continent. He
held office until the expiration of his term, on the 14th of November,
1873, when he received a pension as a retired Judge, and laid down his
governmental functions, with the public respect for him undiminished.
The remainder of his life was passed in retirement, from which he only
emerged for a short time in 1875, when he succeeded the Right Hon. H. C.
E. Childers, as second Commissioner under the Prince Edward Island
Purchase Act of that year. He was nominated as one of the arbitrators in
the Ontario and North-West Boundary Commission, but did not live long
enough to act in that capacity. During the last two or three years of
his life he suffered from chronic neuralgia of a very severe type, and
was sometimes prevented from stirring out of doors. As a general thing,
however, he continued to take active exercise, and to lend his
assistance in the organization of religious and benevolent enterprises,
and he did so up to within a few days of his death. He died very
suddenly at his house in Fredericton, on the afternoon of Monday, the
20th of May, 1878. While walking in his garden after returning from a
drive with some members of his family he was attacked by a severe pain
in the region of the heart. He entered his house and medical aid was at
once summoned, but he ceased to breathe within a few minutes after the
seizure. The immediate cause of death was presumed to have been rupture
of one of the blood vessels near the heart.

Reference has been made to the religious side of Judge Wilmot's
character, but something more than a passing reference is necessary to
enable the reader to understand how greatly religion tended to the
shaping of his social and public life. It has been seen that he first
began to take an active interest in spiritual matters in 1833, the year
after his call to the Bar. The interest then awakened in his heart was
not transitory, but accompanied him through all the phases of his future
career. This is not the place to enlarge upon such a theme, but it is in
order to note that his spiritual experiences were of an eminently
realistic cast. "Through the whole course of my religious experience"
(to quote his own words), "I never once had a doubt in regard to the
question of my personal salvation. The assurance of my acceptance as a
child of God, and the firmness of my confidence, are such that Satan
cannot take any advantage on that side, and cannot even tempt me to
doubt or fear in regard to the reality of my conversion." This
conviction strengthened with his advancing years, and left its impress
upon all his acts. He bestirred himself actively at class-meetings, and
for more than forty-four years taught a class in Sunday-school. Only the
day before his death he took part in these exercises for the last time.
Though a sincere and zealous member of the Methodist Church, he was no
bigoted sectarian, but interested himself in the prosperity of all
religious bodies, and fraternized with the clergy of all denominations.
He had a critical knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures such as few laymen
can pretend to, and his own copy of the Bible bears on almost every page
traces of his diligent study of what he regarded--and that in no mere
metaphorical sense--as the Word of God.

Judge Wilmot was twice married. His first wife was a Miss Balloch,
daughter of the Rev. J. Balloch. His second wife, who still survives,
was Miss Black, a daughter of the Hon. William A. Black, of Halifax, a
member of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. It may also be
mentioned, in conclusion, that during the visit of the Prince of Wales,
in 1860, Judge Wilmot raised and commanded a troop of dragoons for
escort duty, for which service he personally received the thanks of His
Royal Highness.


Judge Taschereau is the eldest son of the late Pierre Elzéar Taschereau,
who, prior to the union of the Provinces, was for many years a member of
the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, and after the union, of that
of the United Provinces. His mother was Catherine Hénédine, a daughter
of the late Hon. Amable Dionne, who was at one time a member of the old
Legislative Council. He is descended from Thomas Jacques Taschereau, a
French gentleman who settled in the Province of Quebec many years before
the Conquest. Various members of the Taschereau family have achieved
high distinction in Canada, no fewer than seven of them having occupied
seats on the Judicial Bench. The present Judge was born at the
Seignorial Manor House, Ste. Marie de la Beauce, on the 7th of October,
1836. He was educated at the Quebec Seminary, and after completing his
scholastic education, studied law in the office of his cousin, the Hon.
Jean Thomas Taschereau. The last named gentleman was one of the most
eminent lawyers in his native Province, and became a Puisné Judge of the
Supreme Court of the Dominion upon its formation in 1875. He was
superannuated about two years ago.

Upon the completion of his legal studies, in October, 1857, the subject
of this sketch was called to the Bar of Lower Canada, and immediately
afterwards entered into partnership with his cousin, the eminent jurist
already mentioned, at Quebec. He attained high rank in his profession,
and subsequently formed partnerships with M.M. William Duval and Jean
Blanchet. He entered political life in 1861, when he was elected to a
seat in the Legislative Assembly for his native county of Beauce. He
continued to represent that constituency until Confederation, when, at
the general election of 1867, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the
House of Commons. During the same year he was appointed a Queen's
Counsel. The following year he was appointed Clerk of the Peace for the
District of Quebec, but resigned that office after holding it only three
days. For some time afterwards he confined his attention to professional
pursuits. On the 12th of January, 1871, he was appointed a Puisné Judge
of the Superior Court for the Province of Quebec, and held that position
until his forty-second birthday--the 7th of October, 1878--when he was
elevated to his present position--that of a Puisné Judge of the Supreme
Court of the Dominion.

He is the author of several important legal works, the most noteworthy
of which is "The Criminal Law Consolidation and Amendment Acts of 1869,
32, 33 Vic., for the Dominion of Canada, as amended and in force on the
1st November, 1874, in the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick, Manitoba, and on 1st June, 1875, in British Columbia;
with Notes, Commentaries, Precedents of Indictments, &c., &c." This
work extends to two volumes, the first of which, containing 796 pages,
was published at Montreal in 1874. The second volume, containing 556
pages, was published at Toronto in 1875. Both volumes display much
erudition, and have been highly commended by competent legal
authorities; among others by Mr. C. S. Greaves, an English Queen's
Counsel, who is one of the most eminent living writers on Criminal
Jurisprudence. In 1876 Judge Taschereau published "Le Code de Procédure
Civile du Bas Canada, with Annotations," which has also received high
commendation from legal critics.

On the 27th of May, 1857, he married Marie Antoinette Harwood, a
daughter of the Hon. R. U. Harwood, a member of the Legislative Council,
and Seigneur of Vaudreuil, near Montreal, by whom he has a family of
five children. Judge Taschereau resides at Ottawa, and is joint
proprietor of the Seigniory of Ste. Marie de la Beauce, which was
conceded to his great-grandfather in the year 1726.

[Illustration: ALFRED GILPIN JONES, signed as A. G. JONES]


Mr. Jones, the leader of the Reform Party in the Province of Nova
Scotia, and one of the most prominent citizens and merchants of Halifax,
is descended from an English family, the head of which emigrated from
England to Massachusetts during the early years of the history of that
colony, and settled in Boston. The family resided in New England until
the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, when they espoused the royalist
side in the quarrel, and endured their full share of the persecutions of
that memorable period. Stephen Jones, the grandfather of the subject of
this sketch, was a graduate of Harvard College, who accepted a
commission in the King's American Dragoons, and fought in the royal
cause until the proclamation of peace. He then, like many scores of his
compatriots, gathered together what property he could save out of the
wreck, and removed, with his family, to Nova Scotia, where he
thenceforward resided until his death, which took place in 1830. His
son, the father of the subject of this memoir, was named Guy Carleton
Jones, in honour of Lord Dorchester. He was a man of influence and good
social position in the county of Digby, where he held the office of
Registrar of Deeds.

Alfred Gilpin Jones was born at Weymouth, in the county of Digby, Nova
Scotia, in 1824. He received his education at Yarmouth Academy, and
after leaving school embarked in commercial life in Halifax, where, in
course of time, he became a member of the firm of Messrs. Thomas Kinnear
& Sons, West India commission merchants. He subsequently founded the
firm of Messrs. A. G. Jones & Co.--engaged in the same trade--of which
he has long been the senior partner. His commercial ventures were
prosperous, and he became, and now is, one of the most extensive
ship-owners in the Maritime Provinces. He was known as a man of energy
and public spirit, and took a keen interest in all the political
questions which agitated the country for some years prior to the
formation of the Dominion. Like many of his compatriots, he was a
strenuous opponent of the Confederation scheme, and spoke and wrote
against it with much vigour. He regarded the terms upon which Nova
Scotia was admitted into the Union as financially disadvantageous to
that Province; and he disapproved of the plan adopted by the Tupper
Administration to impose those terms upon the people. When Confederation
finally became an accomplished fact, and when further opposition could
be productive of no practical result, he acquiesced in the new order of
things, and gave a loyal support to all measures for advancing the
interests of the new nationality.

He soon afterwards entered public life, for which he has since proved
himself to be in many respects well fitted. At the first general
election after the Union, in 1867, he offered himself as a candidate
for the representation of the city and county of Halifax in the House of
Commons. He was subjected to a well-organized and powerful opposition,
but he was returned at the head of the poll, and continued to represent
the constituency until the general election of 1872. On first taking his
seat he identified himself with the minority led by Messrs. Mackenzie,
Holton, Blake, and Dorion, his commercial experience and independent
character securing for him at once a recognized position in the House of
Commons. He continued to support the Liberal policy there as long as he
remained in Parliament. At the general election of 1872 he was again a
candidate for the representation of Halifax, but on this occasion he was
unsuccessful, and he remained out of Parliament until the general
election of 1874, by which time Mr. Mackenzie's Government had come into
power. At that election no serious attempt at opposition was offered to
his return. His claims as a member of the new House to a seat in the
Privy Council were considered incontestable, but he declined all
invitations to exchange his position as a private member of the House
for the charge of a Department, although frequently solicited to do so.
In the session of 1876 the seats of several members were attacked for
alleged violations of the Independence of Parliament Act. Among the
members whose seats were assailed were Mr. Jones and his relative the
Hon. William Berrian Vail, the representative of the county of Digby in
the House of Commons, who held the portfolio of Minister of Militia and
Defence in the Government of the day. These gentlemen had, in the
interest of their Party, taken shares in a Halifax newspaper and
printing establishment, which had obtained a certain amount of
advertising and printing from the Government. Neither Mr. Jones nor Mr.
Vail had ever derived, or expected to derive, any pecuniary profit from
their connection therewith, but the decisions of the Select Standing
Committee on Privileges and Elections in other cases led to the
conclusion that they must also be held to be disqualified, and,
therefore, subject to the heavy penalties imposed by the statute in that
behalf if they ventured to sit and vote in the House of Commons. They
both accordingly resigned their seats and appealed to their constituents
for reëlection. Mr. Vail was defeated in Digby by Mr. John Chipman Wade,
the Conservative candidate, and at once tendered his resignation as a
member of the Government. Mr. Jones, whose election was still pending,
was prevailed upon to accept the vacant portfolio. He was sworn in
before Sir William O'Grady Haly, as Administrator of the Government of
Canada, at Halifax, on the 23rd of January, 1878. This event stimulated
the opposition to his return which had already been inaugurated by his
political opponents. Mr. Matthew H. Richey, the Mayor of Halifax, a very
popular citizen, was brought out in opposition to him. The conflict was
short, but most exciting, and resulted in Mr. Jones's election by a
majority of 208 votes, six days after his acceptance of office. He at
once entered upon his official duties, and displayed in his new sphere
of action a great capacity for an efficient administration of the public
service. He exhibited a very ready grasp of departmental details, and a
familiarity with Militia organization highly useful and important in
connection with his relations to that branch of the public service.
During the progress of the session he engaged in several active passages
of arms with Dr.--now Sir Charles--Tupper, who made somewhat telling
references to a speech made by Mr. Jones at a meeting in Halifax just
prior to Confederation, and during a period of great political
excitement. This speech afforded Dr. Tupper an opportunity for impugning
the loyalty of the new Minister of Militia, of which the former did not
neglect to avail himself very early in the session. The reply of Mr.
Jones was vigorous, eloquent, and aggressive, and although the subject
was more than once revived at later stages of the discussions it was
felt that Mr. Jones had fully held his own in the wordy warfare. The
latter remained in Mr. Mackenzie's Government as Minister of Militia and
Defence so long as that Government remained in power, and was looked
upon as one of its shrewdest and most capable members. At the general
election held on the 17th of September, 1878, he shared the fate of many
other members of the Party to which he belongs. He was opposed by his
former antagonist, Mr. Matthew H. Richey, who was returned by a
considerable majority. He did not present himself to any other
constituency, and has since remained out of Parliament, though he
continues to take an active part in the direction of the Reform Policy
in Nova Scotia, and will doubtless be heard from at future election

Mr. Jones is a Governor of the Halifax Protestant Orphans' Home. He is
also a Governor of Dalhousie College; a Director of the Nova Scotia
Marine Insurance Company, and of the Acadia Fire Insurance Company. He
was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st "Halifax" Brigade of Garrison
Artillery for several years. He has been twice married; first, in 1850,
to Miss Margaret Wiseman, daughter of the Hon. W. J. Stairs, who died in
February, 1875; and secondly, in 1877, to Miss Emma Albro, daughter of
Mr. Edward Albro, of Halifax.



Mr. Norquay is a native of the Red River country, and has taken a
conspicuous part in public affairs ever since the admission of the
Province of Manitoba into the Confederation in 1870. He was born a few
miles from Fort Garry, on the 8th of May, 1841. His father, the late Mr.
John Norquay, whose namesake he is, was a farmer, and a man of some
influence in the colony. The future Premier followed in his father's
footsteps, and has devoted the greater part of his life to farming
pursuits, although public affairs have for some years past engrossed
much of his time. He received his education at St. John's Academy, under
the tutelage of Bishop Anderson, and took a scholarship there in 1854.
In June, 1862, he married Miss Elizabeth Setter, the second daughter of
Mr. George Setter Jr., a native of Red River. He entered public life
immediately after the admission of Manitoba to the Union, having been
returned at the general election of 1870 as the representative of the
constituency of High Bluff in the Local Legislature. He continued to sit
for that constituency until the general election of 1874, when he was
returned for St. Andrew's, and he has ever since represented that
constituency in the Local House, having been reëlected by a large
majority in 1878, and having been returned by acclamation at the last
general election for the Province held on the 16th of December, 1879.

Upon the formation of the first Local Government in Manitoba, on the
28th of January, 1871, under the Premiership of the late Hon. James
McKay, Mr. Norquay accepted the portfolio of Minister of Public Works,
to which was subsequently added that of Minister of Agriculture. He held
office until the 8th of July, 1874, when he resigned, with the rest of
his colleagues. Upon the formation of the new Ministry on the 2nd of
December in the same year, under the Hon. R. A. Davis, Mr. Norquay
accepted a seat in it without portfolio. When Mr. Royal resigned the
office of Minister of Public Works, and became Attorney-General of the
Province, in May, 1876, Mr. Norquay succeeded to the vacant portfolio,
and retained it until October, 1878. During the month last named, Mr.
Davis, the Premier, retired from public life, and thereby rendered
necessary a reconstruction of the Government. Mr. Norquay was called
upon to carry out this reconstruction, which, in conjunction with Mr.
Royal, he successfully accomplished, he himself becoming Premier and
Provincial Treasurer. During his tenure of office as Minister of Public
Works, in 1878, he visited Ottawa while the Dominion Parliament was in
session, on business connected with the educational interests of his
native Province, and for the purpose of bringing about an adjustment of
certain accounts between the Government of Manitoba and the Governor
and Council of the District of Keewatin.

The Government formed, as above mentioned, in October, 1878, remained
intact until the month of May, 1879, when a difference of opinion arose
between Messrs. Norquay and Royal. The latter, who held the office of
Minister of Public Works, and Mr. Delorme, who was Minister of
Agriculture, both resigned their portfolios, and thus left the
Government with only three members. Overtures were made to several
French members of the House to accept the portfolios thus rendered
vacant, but these overtures were not successful. Mr. Norquay then
addressed a letter to the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr. Cauchon, in which he
requested that his Government might be permitted to retain office, and
that the public business might be proceeded with. It was further
requested that the filling of the vacant offices might be deferred until
after the close of the session. To this application the
Lieutenant-Governor declined to accede, upon the ground that his
compliance would be contrary to the spirit and meaning of the
Constitution, more especially as some of the proposed legislation of the
session was very important, and had not been foreshadowed to the people
at the previous elections. The two vacant offices were accordingly
filled by English members, and a round-robin was signed by all the
English members of the House in which the latter pledged themselves to
support a new line of policy announced by the Government. The session
proceeded; and a Bill was passed redistributing the seats. The House was
dissolved in the following October, and on the 16th of December a
general election was held in the Province. Mr. Norquay was returned by
acclamation by his constituents in St. Andrews, and all the other
members of the Government were elected except Mr. Taylor, one of the new
accessions, who was defeated. His portfolio--that of Minister of
Agriculture--was accordingly offered to the Hon. Maxime Goulet, member
for La Vérandrye, who accepted office, and returned to his constituents
for reëlection, when he was returned by acclamation Mr. Norquay's
Government, being fully sustained, has ever since remained in power. The
lines of party in Manitoba are by no means analogous to those in the
other Provinces, but they are rapidly assimilating, and practically
speaking Mr. Norquay's Government may be said to be a Conservative one.

At the general election for 1872 Mr. Norquay was an unsuccessful
candidate for the representation of Marquette in the House of Commons.
He has not since attempted to obtain a seat in that House, but has
confined his attention solely to Provincial affairs. He is a member of
the Board of Health, and also of the Board of Education for Manitoba. He
is a man of much natural intelligence, and enjoys a large measure of
public confidence and respect. Though not an orator, he is a ready
speaker, both on the platform and in the House, and has hitherto proved
fully equal to the requirements of his position.


Readers of this work have already made the acquaintance of the
Cartwright family in the sketch of the life of the late Bishop Strachan.
The Hon. Richard Cartwright, the grandfather of the subject of this
sketch, was a United Empire Loyalist of English descent, who, soon after
the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, emigrated, with his family,
from the Province of New York to the wilderness of what soon afterwards
became Upper Canada. He acted for some time as secretary to Colonel
Butler, of the Queen's Rangers, and after the close of the war settled
at Kingston, where he became a man of mark and influence. He was
possessed of considerable acquirements and mental capacity. Soon after
the division of the Provinces, in 1791, he was appointed to the
important office of a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, the duties of
which position he discharged, without any remuneration, for some years,
and in a manner alike honourable to himself and beneficial to the
public. Upon the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe in the Province
he was appointed a member of the Legislative Council, and was
thenceforward most assiduous in his attendance to his Parliamentary
duties. He was also a Colonel of militia, and took an active part in the
promotion of all matters for the advancement of the public interests.
His services to the cause of education have already been touched upon in
the sketch of the life of Bishop Strachan. He died in 1815. His son, the
father of Sir Richard, was the Rev. R. D. Cartwright, who was at one
time Chaplain to the Forces at Kingston. The latter married Miss
Harriett Dobbs, by whom he had four children, the eldest of which is the
immediate subject of this sketch.

Richard John Cartwright was born at Kingston, Upper Canada, on the 4th
of December, 1835. He was educated, first at Kingston, and afterwards at
Trinity College, Dublin. He was brought up to business habits, and has
been connected with various important financial enterprises. He was a
Director, and afterwards President, of the Commercial Bank of Canada;
and was also a Director of the Canada Life Assurance Company. He
displayed great aptitude in dealing with financial matters, on which he
was, and is, regarded as one of the highest authorities in this country.
He also interested himself in matters connected with the militia, and in
1864 published at Kingston, a pamphlet of 46 pages, entitled "Remarks on
the Militia of Canada." In the month of August, 1859, he married Miss
Frances Alexander, eldest daughter of Colonel Alexander Lawe, of
Cheltenham, England, by whom he has a numerous family.

From his earliest youth he took a keen interest in the political
questions before the country, and was a man of great influence on the
Conservative side, to which he was attached by training and early
association. His entry into Parliamentary life dates from the year
1863, when he was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly for the
united counties of Lennox and Addington. He took his seat as an
Independent Conservative, and for some years rendered a loyal support to
his leader, the present Sir John A. Macdonald. Throughout the various
coalitions formed for the purpose of carrying out the scheme of
Confederation, no grave differences of opinion seem to have arisen
between Mr. Cartwright and those with whom he acted. Upon the
accomplishment of Confederation Lennox and Addington became separate
constituencies, and at the first general election held under the new
order of things, in 1867, Mr. Cartwright was returned to the House of
Commons as the representative of the county of Lennox. It soon
afterwards began to be whispered that he was not thoroughly in accord
with the Party with which he had always acted, with reference to some
important public questions. Soon after the opening of the session of
1870 the whispers received confirmation from Mr. Cartwright's own lips,
as he formally notified the leader of the Government that while he had
no intention of offering a factious opposition, his support could no
longer be counted upon. On the introduction by Sir Francis Hincks, who
had recently accepted the office of Minister of Finance, of his banking
scheme, Mr. Cartwright gave it his most determined opposition, as
tending in his opinion to undermine the security of the banking
institutions of the country. During the same session he supported Mr.
Dorion's motion deprecating the increase of the public expenditure, and
in 1871 he seconded Sir A. T. Galt's more emphatic declaration to the
same effect. His vote was also recorded in successive divisions against
the terms of union with British Columbia, and in 1872 he supported the
Opposition leaders in their efforts to amend the objectionable
provisions of the Bill providing for the construction of the Canadian
Pacific Railway. The rupture between him and the Government Party was by
this time complete; and it is no slight tribute to the estimation in
which he was held by his constituents that he was able to carry them
with him in his secession. At the general election of 1872 he was
opposed by the Hon. J. Stevenson, the Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly of Ontario under the Sandfield Macdonald _regime_, but defeated
that gentleman by a majority of 711. During the following session Mr.
Cartwright acted uniformly with the Opposition, and towards its close he
delivered a powerful speech on the assumption by the Dominion of the
debt of Ontario and Quebec, in the course of which he reviewed the whole
financial policy of the Government, and criticized it in severe


Upon the formation of Mr. Mackenzie's Reform Government in November,
1873, after the Pacific Scandal disclosures, and the consequent downfall
of Sir John Macdonald's Government, Mr. Cartwright accepted office as
Minister of Finance, and was sworn of the Privy Council. His acceptance
of office of course compelled him to return to his constituents for
reëlection. He had to encounter a very bitter opposition, but succeeded
in carrying his election by a larger majority than he had ever had
before. At the general election held in the following year he was
returned by acclamation.

At the time of his accession to office as Finance Minister the condition
of the exchequer was such as to require a readjustment of the tariff,
with a view to additional customs duties. Such a task is not a grateful
one for a Minister to undertake, and Mr. Cartwright necessarily came in
for a due share of hostile criticism from the supporters of the recently
deposed Government. In 1874, 1875 and 1876 he visited England on
business connected with the Finances of the Dominion. During the
session of 1878 he introduced and successfully carried through the House
an important measure respecting the auditing of the Public Accounts.
This measure, which was modelled on an English Act, provides for the
appointment of an Auditor-General, removable, not at pleasure, but on an
address by both Houses of Parliament. Its object was to make the
Auditor-General thoroughly independent, and thereby to inspire the
public with entire confidence in the public accounts. The Bill also
provides for the appointment of a Deputy Minister of Finance.

Mr. Cartwright's abilities as a Finance Minister will of course be
viewed differently according to the political bias of the reviewer. It
may be said, however, that in the opinion of his own political adherents
he is one of the ablest financiers that Canada has ever produced, and
that he successfully tided the country over a period of great political
depression without imposing any unnecessary burdens upon the people. As
a Parliamentary speaker and debater he is deservedly entitled to the
high rank which he enjoys. Finance is not a subject provocative of any
very lofty flights of oratory, but Mr. Cartwright's Budget speeches were
marked by a thorough mastery of his subject, and by clear and impressive
diction. He took a prominent part in the political campaign of 1878, and
some of his speeches at that time are among the ablest of his public
utterances. He of course opposed with all his might the protective
policy of the Party now in power. The electors of Lennox, like those of
many other constituencies, were desirous of testing the promises of the
advocates of the "National Policy," and at the general elections held on
the 17th of September Mr. Cartwright was defeated by Mr. Hooper, the
present representative, by a majority of 59 votes. Mr. Horace Horton,
the member-elect for Centre Huron, having accepted an office in the
department of the Auditor-General, resigned his seat, and Mr.
Cartwright, on the 2nd of November, was elected by a majority of 401
votes for that constituency, which he still continues to represent in
the House of Commons.

On the 24th of May, 1879, Mr. Cartwright was created a Knight of the
Order of St. Michael and St. George, at an investiture held in Montreal
by the present Governor-General, acting on behalf of Her Majesty.

[Illustration: THEODORE ROBITAILLE, signed as Theodore Robitaille]



The Hon. Theodore Robitaille is by profession a physician and surgeon,
and, prior to his elevation to the position of Lieutenant-Governor, was
commonly known throughout the Province of Quebec as "Doctor" Robitaille.
He is descended from an old French family which has long been settled in
the Lower Province, and several members whereof have seen service in the
cause of the British Crown. One of his grand-uncles acted as a chaplain
to the Lower Canadian Militia Forces during the War of 1812, '13 and
'14, and several other members of the family fought on the loyal side
during that struggle. Another grand-uncle, Jean Robitaille, occupied a
seat in the old Canadian Legislature from 1809 to 1829.

The father of the Lieutenant-Governor was the late Mr. Louis Adolphe
Robitaille, N.P., of Varennes, in the Province of Quebec, where the
subject of this sketch was born on the 29th of January, 1834. He
received his education at the Model School of Varennes, at the Seminary
of Ste. Thérèse, at the Laval University, Quebec, and finally at McGill
College, Montreal, where he graduated as M.D. in May, 1858. He settled
down to the practice of his profession at New Carlisle, the county seat
of the county of Bonaventure. Three years later--at the general election
of 1861--he was returned in the Conservative interest to the Canadian
House of Assembly as representative for that county. He continued to sit
in the Assembly for Bonaventure until Confederation. At the general
election of 1867 he was returned by the same constituency to the House
of Commons, and was reëlected at the general election of 1872. Early in
the following year he was offered the portfolio of Receiver-General,
which he accepted, and was sworn into office on the 30th of January. His
acceptance of office was fully endorsed by his constituents in
Bonaventure, who reëlected him by acclamation. He held the
Receiver-Generalship until the fall of the Macdonald Ministry in the
following November. His tenure of office was not marked by any feature
of special importance. At the general elections of 1874 and 1878 he was
again returned for Bonaventure, so that at the time of his appointment
as Lieutenant-Governor he had represented that constituency in
Parliament for a continuous period of about eighteen years. He also
represented Bonaventure in the Local Legislature of Quebec from 1871 to
1874, when he retired, in order to confine himself to the House of
Commons. His long Parliamentary career was not distinguished by any
remarkable brilliancy or statesmanship, but he acquired much Legislative
experience, and was a useful member of the House. He was known for the
moderation of his views, and was personally popular with the
representatives of both political parties.

Upon Mr. Letellier's dismissal from office, as related in previous
sketches, Dr. Robitaille was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the
Province of Quebec. He was sworn into office by the Governor-General on
the 26th of July, 1879, and has ever since discharged the functions
incidental to that position. He was succeeded in the representation of
Bonaventure County by Mr. Pierre Clovis Beauchesne, who now sits in the
House of Commons for that constituency.

On the 30th of September, 1879, Lieutenant-Governor Robitaille paid a
visit to the Seminary of Ste. Thérèse, where he had been a student more
than twenty years previously. He was received with great enthusiasm, not
only by the students of the Seminary, but by the people of the town
itself; and he received very flattering addresses from the Mayor of the
town, as well as from the President of the College. Both the town and
the College expressed their sense of having a share in the high honours
to which their former townsman and fellow-student had attained. About a
month later he was presented with a highly congratulatory address from
more than a thousand of his old constituents in Bonaventure. The address
was signed by the local clergy of all denominations, and by adherents of
all shades of political opinions.

In the month of November, 1867, Dr. Robitaille married Miss Marie
Josephine Charlotte Emma Quesnel, daughter of Mr. P. A. Quesnel, and
grand-daughter of the late Hon. F. A. Quesnel, who was for many years a
member of the Legislative Council of Canada.


Mr. Blake, who for more than six years past has worthily filled the
position of Senior Vice-Chancellor for Ontario, is the second son of the
late William Hume Blake, and younger brother of West Durham's present
representative in the House of Commons. Some account of the lives of
both the father and eldest son has already appeared in this series, and
the reader is referred to those accounts for various particulars more or
less bearing upon the life of the subject of the present memoir. Samuel
Hume Blake was born in the City of Toronto, on the 31st of August, 1835,
soon after his father's removal thither from the Township of Adelaide.
Like his elder brother, he received his earliest educational training at
home, under the auspices of Mr. Courtenay, Mr. Wedd, and other private
tutors. The account given in the first volume of this work of the sort
of training bestowed by the father upon Edward Blake is equally
applicable to the training of the younger son, whose proficiency in
elocution was noticeable from his earliest childhood. From the hands of
private tutors he passed, when he was about eight years old, to Upper
Canada College, where he remained for five years. In those early days he
was a more diligent student in the ordinary scholastic routine than his
elder brother, and was specially conspicuous above most of his
fellow-students for the quickness of his intellectual vision, and the
almost amazing facility he displayed in mastering the daily tasks which
fell to his share. His mind seems to have matured very early, and his
intellectual precocity was such that when ten years old he could
converse intelligently, even on subjects requiring careful thought and
reflection, with persons of much more advanced years. The study and
practice of elocution, in which he was encouraged and directed by his
father, always had special charms for him, and the ease and grace of his
public deliverances while at school procured for him a high repute both
with his teachers and fellow-scholars. Mr. Barron, the Principal of the
College, used to hold him up in this respect as an example to the other
boys, and was wont to remark that Master Samuel Blake was the only boy
in the institution who really knew how to read with taste and
intelligence. He also received a high tribute to his elocutionary powers
from a more exalted quarter. Soon after Lord Elgin's arrival in this
country he attended a public examination at the College, at which young
Samuel Blake was deputed to recite Campbell's "Pleasures of Hope." The
selection was peculiarly appropriate, as the closing line of the poem
contains, as every Canadian schoolboy knows, a glowing tribute to "the
Bruce of Bannockburn." Lord Elgin's family name and lineage, doubtless,
led to the selection of this poem for recitation on the occasion of his
visit. His Lordship was fully sensible of the implied compliment, and
not only availed himself of the opportunity to highly commend young
Blake's elocution, but in the course of his address to the scholars paid
a glowing tribute to the character and public services of William Hume
Blake, to whose judicious training the son's success in declamation was
largely attributable.

Like his elder brother he had been destined for the legal profession,
but his own tastes, combined with the fact that his health was not very
robust, induced him to turn his thoughts to commercial life. The firm of
Ross, Mitchell & Co., was then at the height of its prosperity, and the
establishment formed an excellent field for the acquisition of a
thorough mercantile training. When just emerging from boyhood, Samuel
Blake bade adieu to Upper Canada College, and entered the establishment
as a clerk. There he remained four years, taking his full share of such
work as came to his hand. He thereby not only obtained an insight into
the doings of the commercial world which has stood him in good stead in
the different sphere to which the subsequent years of his life have been
devoted, but, more important still, the actual physical labours which he
was compelled to perform were the means of building up his constitution
and endowing him with much bodily vigour. His tastes, however, had
meanwhile undergone a change, and he had resolved to follow in his
brother's footsteps. His term of apprenticeship having expired, he
passed his preliminary examination before the Law Society, and entered
the office of his uncle, the late Dr. Skeffington Connor, as a student
at law. He at the same time began to read for a University degree, and
with unflagging industry contrived to carry on both his professional and
scholastic studies contemporaneously. In the year 1858 he graduated as
B.A., and in Michaelmas Term of the same year he was admitted as an
attorney and solicitor. He at once entered into partnership with his
brother Edward, the style of the firm being "E. & S. H. Blake." On the
2nd of February, 1859, he married Miss Rebecca Cronyn, third daughter of
the late Right Rev. John Cronyn, Bishop of the Diocese of Huron. In
Hilary Term, 1860, he was called to the Bar. Like his brother, he
devoted himself almost exclusively to the Equity branch of the
profession, in which he soon attained to an eminent position.

The splendid professional and financial successes achieved by the legal
firm of which he was a member have been sufficiently indicated in the
sketch of the life of Edward Blake. Of that firm, under its various
phases, Mr. S. H. Blake continued a member until Mr. Mowat's resignation
of the Vice-Chancellorship of Ontario, towards the close of 1872. The
position thus rendered vacant was promptly offered by the Premier, Sir
John A. Macdonald, to the subject of this memoir, who, after careful
deliberation, resolved to accept it. Only a few months before he had
been invested with the silk gown of a Queen's Counsel. During the
progress of the year he had also for the first time taken part in
political life. Frequent overtures had at various times been made to him
to emulate his brother's example by accepting a seat in Parliament.
These overtures he had persistently declined, but during the long and
heated contest preceding the general election of 1872 he consented to
supply the place of his brother--who was then absent in Europe for the
benefit of his health--by going down to the country and addressing his
constituents on the hustings and elsewhere. His political speeches
afforded unmistakable evidence of his ability to adapt himself to novel
circumstances. They showed an accurate knowledge of the country's past
political history, and of the nature of the various issues then before
the public. His views on all the questions of the day were of course
fully in accord with those of his brother, and in expatiating upon them
he displayed the same grasp and breadth which have always marked the
public utterances of the present member for West Durham.

Sir John Macdonald's political opponents have alleged that his offer of
so exalted a position as a Superior Court Judgeship to so young a man
was prompted by political expediency, and a desire to mollify the
powerful opposition of Edward Blake in the House of Commons. The
allegation, unless supported by stronger evidence than has yet been
produced, is not creditable to those who make it. Even Sir John's
bitterest foes will not deny that he has on more than one occasion
proved himself above party considerations, and in the matter of public
appointments has set an example of disinterestedness which other
Canadian statesmen would do well to emulate. Sir John, moreover, was
shrewd enough to know that Edward Blake was much too high-principled a
man to allow personal or family considerations to interfere with his
honest discharge of his public duties. In the instance under
consideration there is no need to search for any ulterior motive. The
appointment of Samuel Hume Blake to the Vice-Chancellorship was one
which commended itself to those who were most competent to pronounce
upon it--the legal profession of Ontario. In certain branches of his
profession he has had no superior in this country. In the early years of
his practice he devoted himself specially to chamber matters; but later
on, and more particularly after his brother had embarked in political
life, he was called upon to conduct, in the capacity of first counsel,
many of the heaviest cases before the court. As a counsel, his rapid
perception, and his faculty of reviewing evidence, were perhaps his most
noticeable characteristics. He was also, notwithstanding his youth, a
well-read lawyer, of excellent judgment and discrimination, and his
opinions were always regarded with the greatest respect, alike by Bench
and Bar. His appointment was a just and proper tribute to his fine
abilities, his unflagging industry, his great capacity for work, and his
high personal character. When he first took his seat on the Bench he was
the youngest judge who ever sat in any of the Superior Courts of his
native Province, and his elevation was due to a Prime Minister with
whose political views he has never been in accord. Instead of trying to
find sinister motives in such an appointment it is surely more
reasonable, as well as more becoming, to say that the appointment was
creditable alike to the Premier and to Mr. Blake.

Honourable as is the position of a Vice-Chancellor, there were,
notwithstanding, good reasons why Mr. Blake should hesitate before
accepting it. Ever since Edward Blake's entrance into political life the
large and steadily-increasing business of the firm had imposed
additional duties upon the younger brother. The additional duties were
of course accompanied by additional emoluments, and for several years
prior to 1872 his professional income had ranged from $12,000 to $15,000
per annum. As Vice-Chancellor his income would be only $5,000. This, to
a young man with an increasing family, who had largely fought his own
way in the battle of life, was in itself a serious consideration. On the
other hand there was the fact that his labours would be materially
lightened, and that he would have more time to bestow upon religious and
philanthropical objects in which he has always taken a deep interest.
His health, too, had begun to feel the effects of the ceaseless toil to
which he had for years subjected himself, and rest would be equally
grateful and beneficial. He finally concluded to accept the appointment,
and on the 2nd of December, 1872, became junior Vice-Chancellor. On the
elevation of his senior, Mr. S. H. Strong, to a seat on the Bench of
the newly-constituted Supreme Court of the Dominion, in 1875, Mr. Blake
succeeded to the position of senior Vice-Chancellor.

As an Equity Judge Mr. Blake has fully sustained the high reputation
which previous to his elevation he had acquired at the Bar. His tenure
of office has been marked by unwearied diligence, careful and patient
investigation of authorities, rigid conscientiousness, and that high
sense of the dignity of the judicial position for which the Ontario
Bench has long been distinguished. His judgments display all the
qualities of a profound and painstaking jurist. They are couched in a
phraseology which is always clear, and which not unfrequently rises to
eloquence. Some of them are regarded by persons who are entitled to
speak on such matters with authority as models of forensic reasoning. A
mere enumeration of the important cases which he has been called on to
decide in the few years which have elapsed since his elevation to the
Bench would alone occupy much space. The case of _Campbell_ vs.
_Campbell_, owing to its peculiar character, is perhaps the one best
known to the general public. There have been many others, however,
involving much more abstruse points, on which his great learning and
industry have been exercised, and which are regarded as conclusive in
logic as well as in law.

At the urgent solicitation of the Local Government of Ontario, Mr. Blake
consented, early in 1876, to act as one of the Commissioners for
carrying out the Tavern License Law in Toronto. The position was one
calling for the exercise of great judgment and discrimination, but it
was also one very distasteful to him. It was urged upon him as a matter
of duty, however, and as such he regarded it. To say that he discharged
the duties incidental to this position with efficiency, uprightness, and
satisfaction to the authorities is merely to assert what every one in
Toronto knows to be true. He brought to his task the same high qualities
which have always distinguished him both in professional and private
life, and the people of Toronto had abundant reason to feel thankful
that he consented to act.

Mr. Blake is a prominent member of the Church of England, and has ever
since his youth given much time and attention to ecclesiastical affairs.
Anything connected with the Church possesses for him a living interest.
His predilections in this way are so well known that he was long ago
christened by one of his friends "the Archbishop," and by the members of
his own family he is still sometimes jocularly so called. During the
existence of the Church Association he was one of its most energetic
officials. At the time of its dissolution, and for some years
previously, he occupied the position of its Vice-President. He has been
a Sunday-school teacher for nearly a quarter of a century, and is much
esteemed and beloved by the members of his classes. Though not given to
doing his alms before men, it is well known that his works of kindness
and philanthropy are abundant, and that he has been the means of
rescuing many of his fellow-creatures from a life of sin and
degradation. He is, and has long been, President of the Irish Protestant
Benevolent Society, and is connected with various other Christian and
charitable enterprises. He takes a conspicuous part in the proceedings
of the Young Men's Christian Association of Toronto, and frequently
presides at public meetings held for social and philanthropical objects.

[Illustration: ALEXANDRE ANTONIN TACHÉ, signed as ALY. ARCH. of St. BONIFACE]



Archbishop Taché belongs to one of the oldest and most remarkable
families of Canada; one that can refer with just pride to its ancestry,
among whom are ranked Louis Joliette, the celebrated discoverer of the
Mississippi, and Sieur Varennes de la Verandrye, the hardy explorer of
the Red River, the Upper Missouri, and the Saskatchewan country; while
several others are conspicuous in Canadian annals for eminent services
rendered in their respective spheres. Jean Taché, the first of the name
in Canada, arrived at Quebec in 1739, married Demoiselle Marguerite
Joliette de Mingan, and occupied several influential positions under the
French _regime_. He was the possessor of a large fortune, but was ruined
by the Conquest which substituted English for French rule. His son
Charles settled in Montmagny, and had three sons, Charles, Jean
Baptiste, and Etienne Pascal. The last-mentioned became Sir Etienne
Pascal Taché, and died Premier of Canada in 1865. Charles, the eldest of
the three, after having served as Captain in the regiment of Voltigeurs
during the war with the United States, took up his residence in
Kamouraska. He married Demoiselle Henriette Boucher de la Broquerie,
great grand-daughter of the founder of Boucherville, and grand-niece of
Madame d'Youville, the foundress of the Grey Nunnery of Montreal. Three
sons were born of this marriage: Dr. Joseph Charles Taché, a well-known
Canadian writer, Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, and Deputy of the
Minister of Agriculture and Statistics; Louis Taché, Sheriff of St.
Hyacinthe; and Alexandre Antonin Taché, Archbishop of St. Boniface, the
subject of the present sketch.

The Archbishop was born at Rivière du Loup (en bas), Quebec, on the 23rd
of July, 1823. At the tender age of two years and a half he lost his
father. Madame Taché, after the death of her husband, repaired with her
young family to Boucherville, to dwell with her father, M. de la
Broquerie. Madame Taché was endowed with many of the qualities that
constitute the model wife and mother, and made it the sole aim of her
life to have her sons follow in the path of duty and honour trodden by
their forefathers. From his infancy young Alexandre displayed fine
natural qualities, crowned by a passionate love for his mother. This
affection has lost nothing of its intensity, and to the present day the
mere mention of his mother strikes the tenderest chord of his feelings.
At school and at college he was noted for his genial character, amiable
gaiety and bright intellect. He received his higher education at the
College of St. Hyacinthe. Having completed his course of classical
studies, he donned the ecclesiastical habit, went as a student to the
Theological Seminary of Montreal, and subsequently returned to the
College of St. Hyacinthe as Professor of Mathematics.

Meanwhile the arrival of the disciples of De Mazenod, founder of the
Order of the Oblates, threw a new light on the vocation of Alexandre
Taché. Being the great-great-grandson of Joliette, and having been
brought up in Boucherville, in the very house whence the celebrated
Jacques Marquette had started for his western missions--having moreover
been sheltered by the same roof under which Marquette had registered the
first baptism administered in the locality[13]--it is no wonder that the
spirit of those renowned personages still hovered around the young
ecclesiastic, indicating a life of self-denial, to be endured in the far
North-West. He entered the novitiate at Longueil, in October, 1844. The
mission of the Oblate Fathers, which now extends from the coast of
Labrador to the shores of British Columbia, and from the Gulf of Mexico
to the Arctic Sea, was then in its infancy in Canada. In 1844 the
Hudson's Bay and North-West Territories were detached from the diocese
of Quebec, and the Right Reverend Joseph Norbert Provencher, who had
been exercising his zeal throughout those vast regions, was appointed
Apostolic Vicar. The venerable prelate had toiled, with a very small
number of co-labourers, during the twenty-six previous years, in
evangelizing the scattered tribes. Bishop Provencher was convinced that
to give more extension to his work it was necessary to secure the
services of a religious order, and fixed his choice on the Oblates. His
proposal was so much the more readily accepted that it was suited to
carry into practical effect, to a more than ordinary degree, the motto
of the Order--_Pauperes evangelizantur_. This decision awakened a flame
in the heart of the novice Taché. His first impulse was to offer his
services in the generous undertaking. It was not without dread and
apprehension that he harboured the idea, for he was but twenty-one years
of age. So far, he had known in life naught but what was congenial to
his affectionate nature: the pure joys of home, the tenderness and
solicitude of an almost idolized mother. He had grown up in the sunshine
of universal affection, and his feelings had never been chilled or
nipped by deception or unkindness. The struggle was a difficult one;
but, in the designs of Providence, his love for his mother was made the
means of determining his resolution. The act of his life which has
enlisted the most tender sympathies is certainly that which found him at
the shrine of filial piety, offering to the Almighty the sacrifice of
home and country, and of all that he held dearest on earth; begging, in
return, the recovery of his mother from a dangerous illness under which
she was then labouring. Madame Taché was restored to health, and was
spared for twenty-six years to witness the elevation and popularity to
which her beloved son was destined.

On the 24th of June, 1845, the national feast of French Canadians, while
all around was exultant with joy and festivity, the young missionary,
accompanied by the Rev. P. Aubert, took his place in a birch bark canoe
for a foreign shore. A page from the pen of the Bishop of St. Boniface
in his work "_Vingt Années de Missions_," published some years ago,
vividly describes his feelings on the occasion:--"You will allow me to
tell you what I felt as I receded from the sources of the St. Lawrence,
on whose banks Providence had fixed my birthplace, and by whose waters I
first conceived the thought of becoming a missionary of the Red River. I
drank of those waters for the last time, and mingled with them some
parting tears, and confided to them some of the secret thoughts and
affectionate sentiments of my inmost heart. I could imagine how some of
the bright waves of this river, rolling down from lake to lake, would
at last strike on the beach nigh to which a beloved mother was praying
for her son that he might become a perfect Oblate and a holy missionary.
I knew that, being intensely pre-occupied with that son's happiness, she
would listen to the faintest murmuring sound, to the very beatings of
the waves coming from the North-West, as if to discover in them the
echoes of her son's voice asking a prayer or promising a remembrance. I
give expression to what I felt on that occasion, for the recollection
now, after the lapse of twenty years, of the emotions I experienced in
quitting home and friends, enables me more fully to appreciate the
generous devotedness of those who give up all they hold most dear in
human affection for the salvation of souls. The height of land was as it
were the threshold of the entrance to our new home, and the barrier
about to close behind us. When the heart is a prey to deep emotion it
needs to be strengthened. To sooth mine, I brought it to consider the
uncultured and savage nature of the soil we were treading. . . . I
calculated, or at least accepted, all the consequences thereof. I bade
to my native land an adieu which I then believed to be everlasting, and
I vowed to my adopted land a love and attachment which I then, as now,
wished to be as lasting as my life."

The missionaries reached St. Boniface on the 25th of August, after a
long and tiresome journey of sixty-two days. On the first Sunday after
his arrival the young ecclesiastic, who had during the voyage reached
the required age of twenty-two years, was ordained Deacon, and on the
12th of October following he was raised to the Priesthood. The next day
Father Taché pronounced his religious vows. This was the first time that
the vows of religion were pronounced in the far North-West, and it is
worth noting, once more, that the young Oblate then performing the
solemn act was related to the discoverer who first hoisted the banner of
the cross in those remote regions--the illustrious Varennes de la
Verandrye. Shortly after his ordination Father Taché was appointed to
accompany the Rev. L. Lafleche, now Bishop of Three Rivers, to Isle à la
Crosse, a thousand miles distant from St. Boniface. They started on the
8th of July, 1846, and after a harassing journey that lasted two months
they arrived at their destination. The young missionary went heart and
soul into his work. Having heard of an Indian Chief who lay dangerously
ill at Lac Vert, a place ninety miles distant, and who desired to be
baptized, he hastened through dismal swamps and pine forests to perform
that sacred office. On his return, after four days' rest, he undertook
the voyage to Lac Caribou, 350 miles north-east of Isle à la Crosse, and
was the first who ever reached that desolate spot to announce the Gospel
of Peace. There he had the happiness of instructing and baptizing
several poor Indians. His next missionary expedition was to Athabasca.
On his way thither he was warned of the fierce and savage character of
the Indian tribes who frequented that region, but, nevertheless, he
courageously pursued his weary journey of 400 miles to the end. A great
missionary triumph awaited him. In the course of three weeks he baptized
194 Indian children of the Cree and Chippeweyan tribes. These happy
beginnings inspired Father Taché's zeal to pursue with continued ardour
his apostolic career. The annals of the "Propagation of the Faith"
contain soul-stirring accounts of the labours accomplished by the young
missionary. His travels were through the wilderness, where no hospitable
roof offered a shelter. After a long day's walking through deep snow, or
running behind a dog sled, with nothing to appease his hunger but the
unpalatable pemmican, he had to seek repose on the cold ground, with the
canopy of heaven overhead. Still, he affirms that he counts among the
happiest days of his life those passed in his first Indian missions in
the North-West, and relates how his heart beat with joy when, at a
journey's end, he was welcomed by the untutored savages whom he desired
to win to Christ.

While Father Taché was thus giving proofs of his zeal and ability, and
seeking to extend the reign of the Master who had chosen him, his
superiors were admiring his remarkable endowments. The young clergyman
who sought oblivion was being marked out for an exalted dignity. The
keen eye of the venerable bishop of the North-West had remarked the
brilliant talents of his young missionary, and experience has shown how
judicious was his choice in selecting Father Taché, then only twenty-six
years of age, as his coadjutor and future successor. It is easy to
imagine the latter's surprise on receiving the news of his promotion to
the episcopate. At the call of his bishop he repaired to St. Boniface. A
letter from his Religious Superior awaited him there, instructing him to
sail immediately for France for his consecration. His first meeting with
the founder of the Oblates was marked by signs of mutual appreciation.
Bishop Taché received the episcopal consecration on the 23rd of
November, 1851, in the Cathedral of Viviers, in Southern France, at the
hands of the Bishop of Marseilles, Monseigneur De Mazenod, assisted by
Monseigneur Guibert, now Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, and Monseigneur
Prince, Bishop of St. Hyacinthe. Bishop Taché left immediately for Rome.
The paternal encouragements of His Holiness Pope Pius IX., and repeated
visits to the tombs of the Apostles and Martyrs, imparted renewed
strength to the energy of the young prelate. He started in February for
the remote scene of his labours. He spent a few weeks in Lower Canada,
where the liveliest sympathies were lavished upon him. Every one was
impatient to see and to hear the young bishop of the Indians of the
North-West. In the month of June he reached St. Boniface. Bishop
Provencher, feeling that his end was near, had thought of retaining his
coadjutor near him, but the strong reasons adduced by the missionary
bishop prevailed. Monseigneur Taché, on taking his departure for Isle à
la Crosse, knelt to ask the blessing of Monseigneur Provencher. The
venerable prelate gave expression on that occasion to the following
prophetic words:--"It is not customary for a bishop to ask for another
bishop's blessing, but as I am soon to die, and as we shall never again
meet in this world, I will bless you once more on this earth, while
awaiting the happiness of embracing you in heaven."

Father Taché's elevation to the episcopal dignity increased his
responsibilities, and gave a new impulse to his zeal and devotion to the
good cause, while the unction of a divine commission gave efficacy and
power to his efforts. From his residence at Isle à la Crosse the prelate
made frequent excursions to visit different tribes. The following
playful but truthful description, in his own words, of his dwelling
place, and of his mode of travelling, gives an idea of what he had to
endure, and how he bore it:--"My episcopal palace is twenty feet in
length, twenty in width, and seven in height. It is built of logs
cemented with mud, which, however, is not impermeable, for the wind and
the rain and other atmospheric annoyances find easy access through its
walls. Two windows of six small panes of glass lighten the principal
apartment, and two pieces of parchment complete the rest of the luminary
system. In this palace, though at first glance everything looks mean and
diminutive, a character of real grandeur, nevertheless, pervades the
whole establishment. For instance, my secretary is no less a personage
than a bishop--my 'valet de chambre' is also a bishop--my cook himself
is sometimes a bishop. The illustrious _employés_ have countless
defects, but their attachment to my person endears them to me, and I
cannot help looking at them with a feeling of satisfaction. When they
grow tired of their domestic employments I put them all on the road, and
going with them, I strive to make them cheery. The entire household of
his lordship is _en route_, with two Indians, and a half-breed who
conducts a team of four dogs. The team is laden with cooking utensils,
bedding, a wardrobe, a portable altar and its fittings, a food basket,
and other odds and ends. His lordship puts on a pair of snow shoes which
are from three to four feet in length, real episcopal pantofles,
perfectly adapted to the fine tissue of the white carpet on which he has
to walk, moving with more or less rapidity according to the muscular
strength of the traveller. Towards evening this strength equals zero;
the march is suspended, and the episcopal party is ordered to halt. An
hour's labour suffices to prepare a mansion wherein his lordship will
repose till the next morning. The bright white snow is carefully
removed, and branches of trees are spread over the cleared ground. These
form the ornamental flooring of the new palace; the sky is its lofty
roof, the moon and stars are its brilliant lamps, the dark pine forests
or the boundless horizon its sumptuous wainscoting. The four dogs of the
team are its sentinels, the wolves and the owls preside over the musical
orchestra, hunger and cold give zest to the joy experienced at the sight
of the preparations which are being made for the evening banquet and the
night's repose. The chilled and stiffened limbs bless the merciful
warmth of the kindled pile to which the 'giants of the forest' have
supplied abundant fuel. Having taken possession of their mansion, the
proprietors partake of a common repast; the dogs are the first served,
then comes his lordship's turn, his table is his knees, the table
service consists of a pocket-knife, a bowl, a tin plate, and a
five-pronged fork, which is an old family heirloom. The _Benedicite
omnia opera_ is pronounced. Nature is too grand and beautiful in the
midst even of all its trying rigours for us to forget its Author;
therefore, during these encampments our hearts become filled with
thoughts that are solemn and overpowering. We feel it then to be our
duty to communicate such thoughts to the companions of our journey, and
to invite them to love Him by whom all those wonderful things we behold
around us were made, and to give thanks to Him from whom all blessings
flow. Having rendered our homage to God, Monseigneur's 'valet de
chambre' removes from his lordship's shoulders the overcoat which he has
worn during the day, and extending it on the ground calls it a mattress;
his cap, his mittens and his travelling bag pass in the darkness of the
night for a pillow; two woollen blankets undertake the task of
protecting the bishop from the cold of the night, and of preserving the
warmth necessary for his repose. Lest they should fail in such offices,
Providence comes to their aid, by sending a kindly little layer of snow,
which spreads a protecting mantle, without distinction, over all alike.
Beneath its white folds sleep tranquilly the prelate and his suite,
repairing in their calm slumbers the fatigues of the previous day, and
gathering strength for the journey of the morrow; never dreaming of the
surprise that some spoiled child of civilization would experience if,
lifting this snow mantle he found lying beneath it bishop, Indians, the
four dogs of the team, etc., etc., etc." The above description is
applicable not merely to a solitary journey made by Bishop Taché, but to
those habitually performed by him; and as it gives an excellent idea of
the nature of primitive travel in the North-West we have quoted it at

On the 7th of June, 1853, the first Bishop of St. Boniface breathed his
last, worn out by a life of toil and usefulness. His coadjutor received
the sad tidings while making the pastoral visitation of the diocese. The
stroke was a severe one, and it was with dread and mistrust in himself
that Bishop Taché entered upon the office of titular bishop of an
immense territory. Nevertheless, at the call of the new bishop zealous
co-labourers came forth to share a high and holy mission. Colleges,
convents and schools were founded, while those already existing were
supported to a great extent by the generosity of the prelate himself,
ever ready to endure the severest privations for the sake of his flock.
At his request the Sisters of Charity opened an asylum for little orphan
girls, while the orphan boys shared the lodgings and table of the
bishop, until provision could be made for them. Missionary posts were
established and extended three thousand miles distant from St. Boniface.
The visitation of the diocese at necessary intervals became, for the
Bishop of St. Boniface, an impossibility. In 1857, accordingly, the
prelate made a voyage to Europe to obtain a coadjutor. The Rev. Father
Grandin was appointed to this office. In 1860 the Bishop of St. Boniface
undertook a long and trying journey to confer with his coadjutor at Isle
à la Crosse, on the propriety of subdividing the diocese, and of
proposing the Rev. Father Faraud for an episcopal charge. The plan was
adopted and sanctioned by proper authority. The districts of Athabasca
and Mackenzie became a Vicariate Apostolic, confided to the zeal of
Monseigneur Faraud. Bishop Taché had to suffer more during that journey
than can be easily imagined by those unacquainted with the climate and
the mode of travelling in that country. From that time his health began
to fail, but left his indomitable energy unimpaired, as was needed for
the trials which awaited him in the not distant future. Alluding to the
morning of the 14th of December, 1860, he writes as follows:--"We left
our frosty bed at the early hour of one a.m. to continue our journey. We
travelled until ten in the forenoon, and then halted to rest, and to
partake of a little food. We found it almost impossible to kindle a
fire; at last we partially succeeded. I sat beside the dying embers,
cold and hungry and wearied; a peculiar sadness oppressed me. I was then
nine hundred miles from St. Boniface." This sadness might have seemed a
premonition of what was occurring at St. Boniface on the same day and at
the same hour. The episcopal residence and the cathedral were in flames,
and with them everything they contained was reduced to ashes. With what
grief did the bishop witness the scene of destruction on his return
after his painful journey! He writes as follows to the Bishop of
Montreal:--"You may judge, my Lord, of my emotion when, on the 23rd of
February, after a journey of fifty-four days in the depth of winter,
after sleeping forty-four nights in the open air, I arrived at St.
Boniface, and knelt in the midst of the ruins caused by the disaster of
the 14th of December, on that spot where lately stood a thriving
religious establishment. But the destruction of the episcopal
establishment was not the only trial which it pleased God that year to
send us. A frightful inundation invaded our Colony, and plunged its
population in profound misery. What should the Bishop of St. Boniface do
in presence of these ruins, and under the weight of so heavy a load of
affliction, but bow down his head in Christian and loving submission to
the Divine will, whilst blessing the hand that smote him, and adoring
the merciful God who chastised him?"

The soul of the Bishop of St. Boniface, though sorely tried by the above
disasters, as well as by the distress of seeing his flock looking to him
for assistance, was not cast down. He lost no time in taking the
necessary steps to repair the calamities which had occurred. He went to
Canada and to France to raise funds, and success crowned his efforts.
Mr. Joseph James Hargrave, in his work on "Red River," alluding to the
burning of the cathedral and episcopal residence, says:--"This check
has, however, through the ability of the bishop, been turned almost into
a benefit, for a much superior church has been raised on the site of the
old one, and the handsome and commodious stone dwelling-house which has
replaced the other is, in more than mere name, a palace."

In 1868 all the crops in the Red River settlement were destroyed by
innumerable swarms of grasshoppers. The same year the buffalo chase, one
of the principal resources of the country at the time, was a complete
failure. Famine was the result. The most energetic efforts were made to
mitigate the distress, and timely aid from abroad prevented, in many
cases, death from starvation. A Relief Committee was appointed, and
among the members were the clergymen of the different religious
denominations, to whom it belonged to see to the wants of their
respective congregations. While it is true that all these gentlemen
acted their part well, it is but fair to add that Bishop Taché was the
most active; ever devising new means, at his own expense, to preserve
his people from starvation, and securing seed for the ensuing spring
when the resources of the committee were insufficient.

Famine is often a forerunner of political disturbance in a country.
During the spring of 1869 a universal feeling of dissatisfaction and of
uneasiness prevailed in the colony, when it became known, through the
public press, that transactions were being carried on between Her
Majesty's Government, that of the Dominion, and the Hudson's Bay
Company, for the transfer of the Red River country to Canada, while the
authorities of Assiniboia and the population of the colony were entirely
ignored by the negotiating parties. This wounded the susceptibilities of
the inhabitants, among whom a spirit of sullenness and disaffection
began to appear. The surveyors sent from Canada to lay out the land were
not allowed to prosecute their work, and when the newspapers of Ontario
and Quebec brought intelligence to Fort Garry that a Commission under
the Great Seal of Canada had been issued on the 29th of September, 1869,
appointing the Hon. William McDougall to be Lieutenant-Governor of the
North-West Territories, and that the Honourable gentleman was _en route_
with a party, and taking with him three hundred and fifty breech-loading
rifles with thirty thousand rounds of ammunition, the dissatisfaction
became exasperation. The French Half-Breeds took up arms and sent a
party to the frontier to meet Mr. McDougall and order him back. Such was
the beginning of the outbreak.

Bishop Taché was at this time absent in Europe, attending the sitting of
the [OE]cumenical Council at Rome. When the troubles in the North-West
became known to the Canadian Government at Ottawa, it was thought
desirable to secure His Lordship's services. His influence over the
French Half-Breeds was known to be all-powerful, and he was regarded as
the one man for the crisis. He was communicated with by cablegram, and,
recognizing the urgency of the case, he at once set out for Canada. Upon
reaching Ottawa he had a conference with the Government, and received
instructions authorizing him to proceed at once to the North-West, and
to offer the rebels an amnesty for all past offences. He lost no time in
repairing to Fort Garry, but five days before his arrival there the
murder of Thomas Scott--"the dark crime of the rebellion"--had been
committed. Bishop Taché, while deploring that ruthless piece of
butchery, did not conceive that his instructions were affected thereby.
He recognized the Provisional Government, entered into negotiations with
Riel, and was instrumental in restoring peace. He unconsciously
exceeded his powers, and made promises to the rebels in the name of the
Canadian Government which, in the absence of express Imperial authority,
the Canadian Government itself had no power to make. All this, however,
was done from the best of motives, for the purpose of preventing further
bloodshed, and without any idea that he was exceeding the authority with
which he had been invested. A great deal has been said and written
against Bishop Taché in connection with this troublesome episode in the
history of Red River. The Archbishop has informed the author of this
sketch that his intention is to personally prepare a full account of
what he knows respecting that episode. Meanwhile, suffice it to say to
those who would know the part played by him, that His Grace has already
published two pamphlets on the subject, the first in 1874, and the
second in 1875. The latter portrays the painful feeling experienced by
His Grace at the way he was treated by the authorities after he had
succeeded in appeasing the dissatisfied people, and in bringing them to
enter into negotiations, the results of which were satisfactory to the
Government of Canada, as well as to the old settlers of Assiniboia. It
is impossible, in reading those pages, not to be convinced that the
prelate acted with the utmost good faith, and with the interests of the
country at heart. "The Amnesty Again, or Charges Refuted," clearly
demonstrates how deeply the author felt that he had been unjustly
treated. Few men, if any, in Canada, occupying such a high position,
have been attacked so unfairly as Bishop Taché. There is not a man of
sense acquainted with His Lordship and with the country in which he has
laboured so indefatigably during the last thirty-five years that would
venture to repeat the accusations brought against him at the time in
reference to the Red River disturbances. Some of those who had accused
him experienced a complete transformation in their ideas on forming His
Lordship's acquaintance, and could not help sharing in the universal
respect which surrounds him.

On the 22nd of September, 1871, Bishop Taché was appointed Archbishop
and Metropolitan of a new ecclesiastical province--that of St. Boniface,
which comprehends the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, the Diocese of St.
Albert, and the Vicariates Apostolic of Athabaska-Mackenzie and British
Columbia. As already stated, Archbishop Taché's health began to fail
during his harassing journey in the winter of 1860. The calamities above
mentioned, the losses to be repaired requiring unceasing toil, and,
above all, it may be said, the mental suffering of the three previous
years, hastened the progress of the disease which seized Archbishop
Taché in December, 1872, and kept him bedridden during the whole winter.
The malady has since partially subsided, but His Grace still suffers
constantly, more or less, and his strength is by no means equal to what
his appearance would indicate.

In 1875 Archbishop Taché received a remarkable token of the sympathy he
commands in the Province of Quebec. On the 24th of June, the thirtieth
anniversary of his departure from Montreal, and the twenty-fifth of his
election to the episcopate, His Grace was made the recipient of a very
uncommon and valuable gift, that of a splendid organ for his cathedral.
The instrument, which cost about $3,000, was built in Montreal by Mr.
Mitchell, who accompanied it to St. Boniface, at the expense of the
donors, to place it in the loft prepared for it there, "to raise its
rich and melodious tones, as the expression of the feelings of the
numerous friends and admirers of a holy missionary, a devoted bishop,
and a noble citizen."

In 1877 Lord Dufferin visited the Province of Manitoba. Many looked
forward with a certain anxiety to see the attitude the Archbishop of St.
Boniface would take towards or receive from the Governor-General. That
feeling was caused by the recollection of what Lord Dufferin had written
to England with regard to Bishop Taché, and of how His Grace had
repudiated His Excellency's assertions in the pamphlet alluded to above.
Those better acquainted with His Grace knew quite well that every other
feeling would be silenced in order to give vent only to that of profound
respect towards the representative of Her Majesty, and for them it was
no matter of surprise to see His Grace, contrary to his practice, appear
daily in public, when an opportunity afforded itself, to testify his
respect for the illustrious visitor. This, of course, was felt by Lord
Dufferin, who shortly after wrote to a friend: "I left Bishop Taché very
well and in good spirits. Nothing could have been kinder than the
reception he gave me." It may even be said that Lord Dufferin seemed
eager to express his esteem for the venerable prelate. The second day
after His Excellency's arrival he was at the Archiepiscopal Palace of
St. Boniface, and answered as follows to an address from the Archbishop
and Catholic clergy of the locality:--

"MONSEIGNEUR et MESSIEURS,--I need not assure you that it is with great
satisfaction that I at length find myself within the jurisdiction of
Your Grace, and in the neighbourhood of those localities where you and
your clergy have for so many years been prosecuting your sacred duties.
Your Grace, I am sure, is well aware how thoroughly I understand and
appreciate the degree to which the Catholic Priesthood of Canada have
contributed to the progress of civilization, from the earliest days till
the present moment, through the length and breadth of Her Majesty's
Dominion, and perhaps there is no region where their efforts in this
direction are more evident or more strikingly expressed upon the face of
the country than here in Manitoba. On many a previous occasion it has
been my pleasing duty to bear witness to the unvarying loyalty and
devotion to the cause of good government and order of yourself and your
brethren, and the kindly feeling and patriotic harmony which I find
prevailing in this Province bear unmistakable witness to the spirit of
charity and sympathy towards all classes of your fellow-citizens by
which Your Lordship and your clergy are animated. To myself individually
it is a great satisfaction to visit the scene of the labours of a great
personage for whom I entertain such a sincere friendship and esteem as I
do for Your Grace, and to contemplate with my own eyes the beneficial
effects produced by your lifelong labours and unwearying self-sacrifice
and devotion to the interests of your flock. I trust that both they and
this whole region may by the providence of God be long permitted to
profit by your benevolent ministrations. Permit me to assure Your Grace
and the clergy of your diocese that both Lady Dufferin and myself are
deeply grateful for the kind and hearty welcome you have prepared for
us." These words, falling from the lips of the immediate representative
of Her Majesty, during an official visit, should go some distance
towards compensating Archbishop Taché for all the unfair accusations
brought against him, and they were a source of heartfelt pleasure to the
large audience surrounding the Governor-General on that occasion. During
the same year an American writer who visited Manitoba, and published a
pamphlet on the country, was taken by the well-known merits and pleasant
intercourse of Monseigneur Taché, of whom he says:--"Of Bishop Taché,
the Archbishop of this great domain, who resides at this mission (St.
Boniface), much, very much, might be said. His travels, labours and
ministry have been extensive and acceptable. Still a few words of the
Psalmist will better express him as he is than any words of mine. 'The
steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his
way. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that
man is peace.' And so it seems to be with him, in the peaceful air of
this Mission, which, with his kindly, genial way, seems to make the
above-quoted words particularly appropriate, and to cause one to
sincerely wish that 'his days may be long in the land, which the Lord
his God hath given him.'"

In 1879 the friends of the Archbishop dreaded that the wishes expressed
in the last quotation would not be realized. All through the month of
April in that year His Grace was far from well, and on the 2nd of May,
while assisting at a literary entertainment held at the college in
honour of his festal day, he was seized with a severe attack of the
chronic disease from which he suffers. For a whole week much anxiety
prevailed relative to his recovery. Happily he got over the attack, and
three months of rest passed in the Province of Quebec restored His Grace
to his usual condition of health. The Archbishop had proposed crossing
the Atlantic for his decennial visit to Rome, and also to attend the
General Chapter of the Oblate Order. Sickness did not permit His Grace
to make the intended voyage, which would have been the sixth one made by
him to Europe. Archbishop Taché often complains of having lost most of
his energy and activity; nevertheless it is easy to see that he is not
idle concerning the interests of his flock. Last year witnessed the
erection of a splendid college in St. Boniface, a spacious and beautiful
convent in Winnipeg, the new and grand church of St. Mary in the same
city, besides the chapels of Emerson, St. Pie, St. Pierre, and many
other improvements in different localities; and when we know the active
part Archbishop Taché has taken in all these improvements, and the
considerable assistance afforded by him, it must be admitted that his
force is not exhausted. His zeal, energy and activity may be measured to
a certain degree by the following synopsis of what has been accomplished
since his arrival in the country. When Father Taché was ordained Priest
at St. Boniface, in 1845, he was only the sixth Roman Catholic clergyman
in the British Possessions from Lake Superior to the Rocky
mountains--that is to say in the whole diocese of St. Boniface. There
were but two parishes and one mission established in the colony of
Assiniboia, viz.: St. Boniface, St. François Xavier, and St. Paul; and
two missions in the North-West Territories. At present there are in the
same country an Archdiocese, a Diocese and a Vicariate Apostolic,
Archbishop, three Bishops, twenty Secular Priests, sixty-two Oblate
Fathers, thirty Oblate Lay Brothers, three Brothers of the Congregation
of Mary, sixty-five Sisters of Charity, and eleven Sisters of the Holy
Names of Jesus and Mary. There are eighteen parishes in Manitoba, and
more than forty established missions in the North-West Territories.

The above figures will convey some idea of the progress made by the
Roman Catholic religion in the North-West during the last thirty-five
years, and as Archbishop Taché has presided over its affairs for nearly
thirty years as Bishop or Archbishop it is impossible to doubt that he
has displayed a great deal of energy, activity and ability, as well as
much Christian kindness and sympathy.

[Illustration: JAMES COX AIKINS, signed as J. C. AIKINS]


The life of the Minister of Inland Revenue has been rather uneventful.
His father, the late Mr. James Aikins, emigrated from the county of
Monaghan, Ireland, to Philadelphia, in 1816. After a residence of four
years in the Quaker City he removed to Upper Canada, and took up a
quantity of land in the first concession north of the Dundas Road, in
the township of Toronto, about thirteen miles from the town of York.
This was sixty years ago, when that township, like nearly every other
township in the Province, was sparsely settled. There was no church or
place of worship in the neighbourhood, and the itinerant Methodist
preachers were for some years the only exponents of the Gospel that were
seen there. Mr. Aikins, like most Protestants in the north of Ireland,
had been bred to the Presbyterian faith, but soon after settling in
Upper Canada he came under the influence of these evangelists, and
embraced the doctrines of Methodism. His house became a well-known place
of resort for the godly people of the settlement, and services were
frequently held there.

The subject of this sketch is the eldest son of the gentleman above
named, and was born at the family homestead, in the township of Toronto,
on the 30th of March, 1823. He was brought up on his father's farm, and
was early inured to the hardships of rural life in Canada in those
primitive times. He united with the Methodist Body at an early age, and
has ever since been identified with it. He attended the public schools
in the neighbourhood of his home, and afterwards spent some time at the
Upper Canada Academy at Cobourg, which subsequently developed into
Victoria College and University. At the first collegiate examination,
which was held on the 17th of April, 1843, he figured as one of the
"Merit Students." After completing his education he settled down on a
farm in the county of Peel, a few miles from the paternal homestead, and
there remained until about eleven years ago, when he removed to Toronto,
where he has ever since resided. In 1845, soon after leaving college, he
married Miss Mary Elizabeth Jane Somerset, the daughter of a
neighbouring yeoman in Peel. He embraced the Reform side in politics,
and was for many years identified with the Reform Party. His life was
unmarked by any incident of public interest until 1851, when he was
nominated as the representative of his native constituency in the
Assembly. Not feeling prepared for public life at this period he
declined the nomination; but at the general elections held in 1854 he
offered himself as a candidate on the Reform side in opposition to the
sitting member, Mr. George Wright, of Brampton. His candidature was
successful, and he was elected to the Assembly. Upon taking his seat he
recorded his first vote against the Hincks-Morin Administration, and
thus participated in bringing about the downfall of that Ministry. He
took no conspicuous part in the debates of the House, but for some years
continued to act steadily with the Party to which he had allied himself.
He voted for the secularization of the Clergy Reserves, and his voice
was occasionally heard in support of measures relating to public
improvements. He continued to sit for Peel until the general election of
1861, when, owing to his action on the County Town question, which
excited keen sectional opposition, he was defeated by the late Hon. John
Hillyard Cameron. The following year he was elected a member of the
Legislative Council for the "Home" Division, comprising the counties of
Peel and Halton. His majority in the county of Peel alone, where he had
sustained defeat only a few months before, was over 300. He continued to
sit in the Council so long as that Body had an existence. When it was
swept away by Confederation he was called to the Senate of the Dominion,
of which he still continues to be a member. His political views, it is
to be presumed, had meanwhile undergone some modification, as he
accepted office, on the 9th of December, 1867, as Secretary of State in
the Government of Sir John Macdonald, and has ever since been a follower
of that statesman. During his tenure of office the Dominion Lands Bureau
was established, for the purpose of managing the lands acquired in the
North West, chiefly from the Hudson's Bay Company. The scope of the
Bureau has since been extended, and it has become an independent
Department of State under the control of the Minister of the Interior.
The Public Lands Act of 1872 is another measure which dates from Mr.
Aikins's term of office, the measure itself having been in great part
prepared by Colonel John Stoughton Dennis, Surveyor-General. The
disclosures with reference to the sale of the Pacific Railway Charter
resulted, in November, 1873, in the overthrow of the Government. Mr.
Aikins participated in its downfall, and resigned office with his
colleagues. Upon Sir John Macdonald's return to power in October, 1878,
Mr. Aikins again accepted office as Secretary of State, and retained
that position until the month of November, 1880, when there was a
readjustment of portfolios, and he became Minister of Inland Revenue,
which office he now holds. Though he is not an effective speaker, and
makes no pretence to being either brilliant or showy, he has a cool
judgment, and has administered the affairs of his several departments
with efficiency. He is attentive to his duties, is shrewd in selecting
his counsellors and assistants, and has considerable aptitude for
dealing with matters of detail. These qualities, rather than any
profound statesmanship, have placed him in his present high position.

During his residence in the township of Toronto Mr. Aikins held various
municipal offices, and is still Major of the Third Battalion of the Peel
Militia. He is President of the Manitoba and North West Loan Company,
and Vice-President of the National Investment Company. He likewise holds
important positions of trust in connection with the Methodist Church.


Mr. Geoffrion is the son of Felix Geoffrion. His mother was the late
Catherine Brodeur. He was born at Varennes, Province of Quebec, on the
4th of October, 1832. From 1854 to 1863 he was Registrar for Verchères.
In the latter year he was elected member of the House of Assembly for
that county--a position which he continued to hold until the
Confederation of the Provinces in 1867, from which date he has been
returned to the House of Commons regularly at every general election. He
has held the Presidency of the Montreal, Chambly and Sorel Railway,
conducting the duties of his office with more than average executive
ability. In 1874 he did signal service to the country by moving, from
his place in Parliament, for a Select Committee to inquire into the
causes of the difficulties existing in the North-West Territories in
1869-70. He became Chairman of this important Committee, and prepared
the report which was afterwards submitted to Parliament--a report which
was remarkable for the clear and concise character of its statements,
and for its fulness of detail. In politics Mr. Geoffrion is a Liberal,
and the warm and active support which he gave to the late Administration
induced Mr. Mackenzie to offer him the portfolio of Minister of Inland
Revenue, on the elevation of the Hon. Mr. Fournier to the Department of
Justice. On the 8th of July, 1874, he was sworn of the Privy Council of
Canada, and on returning to his constituents after accepting office he
was reëlected by acclamation. Though by no means showy, his
administration of affairs was characterized by executive ability of a
high order, as well as by much tact and judgment. He brought to bear on
the duties of his office well-trained business habits, a cautious
reserve, and a talent which almost amounted to genius in departmental
government. In 1876 he became seriously ill, and for a while his life
was despaired of. He rallied, however, and was convalescing when his
physicians advised rest and freedom from the cares and perplexities of
office. He was compelled, therefore, to resign his seat in the Ministry,
much to the regret of his colleagues, who were warmly attached to him.
His resignation took place in December, 1876, and he was succeeded by
Mr. Laflamme. He retained his place in Parliament, however, and at the
general election in September, 1878, he was again returned for his old
constituency, which he has continued to represent uninterruptedly for a
period embracing more than seventeen years. Mr. Geoffrion has all the
elements of the practical politician, and is by profession a Notary
Public in large and lucrative practice.

In October, 1856, he married Miss Almaide Dansereau, of Verchères, the
youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Dansereau.


The late Mr. Young was in every sense of the word a representative man.
He was representative of the best and most solid side of the Scottish
character, and furnished in his own person a standing answer to the
question which has so often been asked--"Why do Scotchmen succeed so
well in life?" He succeeded because he was steady, sober, of good
abilities, hard-headed, patient, and persevering; and because he did not
set up for himself an impossible ideal. Any man similarly equipped for
the race of life will be tolerably certain to achieve success; and it is
because these characteristics are more commonly found combined among
Scotchmen than among the natives of other lands that Scotchmen are more
generally successful. John Young began life at the foot of the ladder.
He was content to advance step by step, and made no attempt to spring
from the lowest to the topmost rung at a single bound. He was content to
work for all he won, and his winnings were not greater than his deserts.
He left a very decided impress upon the commercial life of his time in
his adopted country, and will long be remembered as a useful and
public-spirited man. In the industrial history of Montreal he played an
important part for forty years, and to him more than to any one else she
owes whatever of mercantile preëminence she possesses. His restless
enterprise impelled him to conceive large schemes, to the carrying out
of which he devoted the best years of his busy life. He would have been
no true son of Scotland if he had been altogether unmindful of his own
interests, but it may be truly said of him that his own aggrandizement
was always subordinated to the public welfare. In the face of strong
opposition, he advocated projects which were much better calculated to
benefit the public than either to advance his own interests or to
conduce to his personal popularity. He was no greedy self-seeker, and
despised the avenues whereby many of his contemporaries advanced to
wealth and position. There was a "dourness" about his character which
would not permit him to bid for popularity. He was independent,
self-reliant, and fond of having his own way, as men who have
successfully carved their own path in life may be expected to be; but he
was always ready to prove that his own way was the right one, and
generally succeeded in doing so. He was a theorist, and some of his
theories were the result of his own intuition, rather than of any mental
training. They were held none the less firmly on that account. People
may differ in opinion as to the soundness of some of his views on trade
questions, but no one will dispute that his advocacy of them was sincere
and disinterested, and that in economical matters he was in many
respects in advance of his time. He has left behind him an honourable
name, and monuments to his memory are to be found in some of the most
stupendous of our public works.

He was born at the seaport town of Ayr, in Scotland, on the 11th of
March, 1811. Hugh Allan, who was also destined to be prominently
identified with the commerce of Montreal, had been born about six months
previously, at Saltcoats, a few miles to the northward, and in the same
shire. The parents of John Young were in the humble walks of life, and
he was early taught to recognize the fact that it would be necessary for
him to make his own way in the world. He was educated at the public
school of his native parish, which he attended until he had entered upon
his fourteenth year. He was at this time much more mature, both
physically and mentally, than most boys of his age, and succeeded,
notwithstanding his youth, in obtaining a situation as teacher of the
parish school at Coylton, a little village about four miles west of Ayr.
Here, for a period of eighteen months, he instructed thirty-five pupils.
It would have been safe to predict that a boy of fourteen who could
preserve discipline over such a number of scholars, many of whom must
have been nearly or quite as old as himself, might safely be trusted to
make his way in life. He saved enough money to pay his passage across
the Atlantic, and in 1826, soon after completing his fifteenth year, he
bade adieu to the associations of his boyhood, and set sail for Canada.
He had not been many days in the country ere he obtained a situation in
a grocery store, kept by a Mr. Macleod, at Kingston, in the Upper
Province. He served his apprenticeship to the grocery business, and then
entered the employ of Messrs. John Torrance & Co., wholesale merchants,
of Montreal. After remaining as a clerk in this establishment for
several years, he, in 1835, formed a partnership with Mr. David
Torrance, a son of the senior partner in the firm of John Torrance &
Co., and took charge of the Quebec branch of the business, which was
carried on under the style of Torrance & Young. He remained in business
in Quebec about five years, during the last three of which he carried on
business alone, the firm of Torrance & Young having been dissolved in

In the autumn of 1837, we find him tendering his services to the
Government as a volunteer, to aid in the putting down of the rebellion.
It appears that he had previously been one of the signatories to a
memorial presented to the Earl of Gosford, the Governor-General,
pointing out the advisability of adopting some efficient means of
defence against the treasonable operations of Mr. Papineau and his
adherents. He was enrolled as a Captain in the Quebec Light Infantry on
the 27th of November, and did duty with his company during the ensuing
winter in keeping night-guard on the citadel. This is the only
noteworthy public incident connected with his residence in Quebec. In
1840 he returned to Montreal, and entered into partnership in a
wholesale mercantile business with Mr. Harrison Stephens, under the
style of Stephens, Young & Co. The business was largely devoted to the
Western trade, and Mr. Young thus had his attention prominently directed
to the subject of inland navigation. His observations on this and
kindred subjects were destined, as will presently be seen, to have
important results. His interest, however, was not confined to economic
questions. He watched the progress of events with a keen eye, and soon
began to be recognized by the citizens of Montreal as an enterprising
and public-spirited man. He first came conspicuously before the public
of Montreal towards the close of the year 1841. The birth of the Prince
of Wales on the 9th of November had given rise to a gushing loyalty on
the part of the inhabitants, and a large sum of money was raised to
commemorate the event by a costly banquet. Mr. Young's loyalty was
undoubted, but his patriotism took a practical and philanthropical
shape. At a largely attended public meeting he opposed the expenditure
of a large sum in providing a feast which would leave no beneficial
traces behind it. He advocated the application of the fund to the
purchase of a tract of three hundred acres of land in the neighbourhood
of the city, and to the erection thereon of an asylum for the poor. His
motion to this effect was carried by a considerable majority, but it was
subsequently rescinded, and the money was spent as had first been
proposed. It may be mentioned in this connection that when the Prince of
Wales visited Montreal nearly nineteen years afterwards, Mr. Young was
Chairman of the Reception Committee.

In politics, as well as in commercial matters, Mr. Young entertained
liberal views. At the general election of 1844 he was appointed
Returning Officer, a position which was far from being a sinecure. The
memorable struggle between Sir Charles Metcalfe and his late ministers
was then at its height, and was maintained with relentless bitterness on
both sides. Party spirit all over the country was of the most pronounced
character, and in Montreal it had reached a point bordering on ferocity.
Upon Mr. Young devolved the task of preserving peace and order
throughout the city, as well as the securing of a fair and free exercise
of the franchise. To accomplish these results was a formidable task. It
was known that secret and unscrupulous political organizations were at
work, and it was not believed possible that the contest could be carried
on without rioting and bloodshed. The city was invaded by large bodies
of suspicious-looking persons from beyond its limits, some of whom were
known to be armed. The aid of the troops was called in, and Mr. Young
instituted a rigorous search for secreted weapons. Wherever he found any
he took possession of them, without pausing to inquire whether he was
acting within the strict letter of the law. His nerve, coolness and
resolution stood the city in good stead at that crisis. His arrangements
were effective to a marvel. Peace was preserved, and not a single life
was lost. His services on this occasion were specially acknowledged by
Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, as well as by Sir
Richard Jackson and Sir James Hope, the officers commanding the forces
in Canada.

In 1846, Sir Robert Peel, roused by the addresses of Mr. Cobden, Mr.
Bright, and other leaders of the Anti-Corn-Law League, became a convert
to the doctrines of Free Trade, and carried the famous measure whereby
those doctrines were imported into the law of Great Britain. The tidings
of the passing of this measure were received by the bulk of the Canadian
population with dissatisfaction. Trade questions were but little
understood in Canada by the general public in those times, and a
protective policy was commonly regarded as an absolute necessity. On the
other hand Mr. Young, the late Luther H. Holton, and others conspicuous
in the mercantile world of Montreal, were out-and-out Free Traders, and
received the intelligence with much satisfaction. A club known as the
Free Trade Association was organized by them in Montreal for the purpose
of making Free Trade principles popular. Mr. Young became President of
this Association, which included many of the leading thinkers of
Montreal. A weekly newspaper, called _The Canadian Economist_, was
started under its auspices, for the purpose of disseminating Free Trade
views, and educating the people in the doctrines of political economy.
To this paper, which was published for about sixteen months, and which
exerted a great influence upon public opinion, Mr. Young was a frequent
contributor. During the same period he devoted himself vigorously to
advocating the deepening of the natural channel of the St. Lawrence,
where the river widens itself into Lake St. Peter. By his personal
observations and representations he succeeded in inducing the
Government to abandon the attempt to construct a new channel, and to
deepen and widen the natural one, whereby the largest ocean steamers
were enabled to reach the wharfs of Montreal. The accomplishment of all
this was a work of some years, but Mr. Young, as Chairman of the
Montreal Harbour Commission, never ceased to urge upon the Government
the necessity of its completion. He also devoted himself to the carrying
out of other public works of importance, some of which were accomplished
at the expense of the Government, and others out of his own resources
and those of his friends. The public benefits conferred by him upon the
city of Montreal, and in a less degree upon the Province at large, were
far-reaching and incalculable. When the St. Lawrence Canals were opened
for traffic, in 1849, he despatched the propeller _Ireland_ with the
first cargo of merchandise over the new route direct to Chicago; and on
her return trip she brought the first cargo of grain direct from Chicago
to Montreal. His commercial ventures were by this time conducted on a
very large scale, and the first American schooner which found its way
eastward by means of the new canals was freighted with his merchandise.
There was a sudden and tremendous increase in the shipping-trade between
the West and Montreal, and there were frequent attempts to prevent the
unloading of cargo by artificial means. Mr. Young applied to the
Government to interpose, and the result was an organized Water Police
which soon put a stop to the ruffianism of the obstructionists.

Mr. Young was also one of the original projectors of the Atlantic and
St. Lawrence Railway, connecting Montreal and Portland; and was a
zealous promoter of the line westward from Montreal to Kingston. When
these two schemes became merged in the Grand Trunk Line, he suggested a
bridge across the St. Lawrence at Montreal. He even went so far as to
suggest the precise place where it was most advisable that the bridge
should be constructed, and at his own expense employed Mr. Thomas C.
Keefer to make a plan and survey. The prejudice against the scheme,
however, was very great, and Mr. Young was compelled to uphold it by
means of numerous pamphlets, newspaper articles, and public speeches, as
well as by private influence, with extraordinary zeal and pertinacity.
The physical difficulties to be encountered, the financial
considerations, and the political complications arising out of the
relations between the Grand Trunk and the Government, were all serious
obstacles to success, while professional controversies raged hotly over
the various points connected with the engineering operations for the
completion of such an undertaking. After encountering an amount of
opposition which would have discouraged a less persistent man, he
succeeded in obtaining favour for his project, and the final result was
the construction of the Victoria Bridge, which spans the river at the
exact spot which he had first suggested.

Another of his schemes was the construction of a canal connecting
Caughnawaga, on the St. Lawrence, with Lake Champlain. This was for a
time taken up by the Government with much favour, and several surveys
were made by different engineers at great cost to the public. After
proceeding thus far, the project was permitted to lapse, though a
kindred scheme has since been carried to a successful completion.
Several other important schemes of his for developing the resources of
the country were characterized by the Government of the day as plausible
in theory, but really impracticable.

His entry into political life interfered, for a time, with the
realization of some of his favourite projects. He first came
conspicuously before the public as a politician at the general election
of 1847, when he proposed Mr. Lafontaine as member for Monteal. During
the ensuing campaign he threw the whole weight of his influence into the
scale on Mr. Lafontaine's behalf, and the latter was returned by a
considerable majority. When Mr. Lafontaine and his colleague, Mr.
Baldwin, retired from public life in 1851, Mr. Young was invited by Mr.
Hincks to enter Parliament and accept a seat in the Cabinet. He
accordingly offered himself to the electors of Montreal as Mr.
Lafontaine's successor. His candidature was warmly opposed. His Free
Trade opinions were objectionable to certain classes in the
constituency, and his advocacy of the Caughnawaga Canal scheme, which
some held to be inimical to Montreal interests, was another ground of
opposition. His well known desire to promote what is now called the
Intercolonial Railway also awakened hostility. The contest was close,
but he was returned at the head of the poll. In the month of October
following he was sworn in as Commissioner of Public Works in the
Hincks-Morin Administration, and at the same time became a member of the
Board of Railway Commissioners. He soon afterwards proceeded with Mr.
Hincks and Mr. Taché to the Maritime Provinces, to promote the
construction of the Intercolonial, although he differed with some of his
colleagues as to the route to be adopted. He favoured the route over the
St. John River to St. John, and thence to Halifax. About the same time,
or very shortly afterwards, he recommended the establishment of a line
of Atlantic steamers, subsidized by the Government. The construction of
lighthouses, the shortening of the passage to and from Europe by the
adoption of the route _viâ_ the Straits of Belleisle, and the
development of the magnificent water powers of the Ottawa, were all
matters that received his attention during his tenure of office. He
differed from Mr. Hincks as to the plan on which the Grand Trunk Railway
should be constructed, and opposed its construction by a private
corporation. Mr. Hincks, however, had his own way about the matter,
although, in deference to Mr. Young's views, the subsidy to the Company
was reduced £1,000 per mile. After remaining in the Cabinet about eleven
months Mr. Young withdrew, owing to a difference of opinion with his
colleagues with respect to placing differential tolls on American
vessels passing through the Welland Canal. He opposed the imposition of
increased duties on foreign shipping as being in his opinion vicious in
principle. The question of Free Trade was involved in the dispute, and
Mr. Young was not disposed to give way an inch. The single report
presented by him to the House during his Commissionership is full of
valuable matter, and plainly shows the bias and texture of his mind.

He continued to sit in the House as a private member throughout the
then-existing Parliament. At the general election of 1854 he was again
returned for the city of Montreal. During the ensuing sessions, though
he did not accept office, he was a very serviceable member of
committees. In 1856 he was Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts,
and introduced some important improvements in the method of tabulating
items. At the general election of 1858 he declined re-nomination, as his
health was far from good, and he was desirous of repose from public
life. In 1863 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Montreal West, his
successful opponent being the late Hon. Thomas D'Arcy McGee. Nine years
elapsed before he again offered himself as a candidate for Parliamentary
honours. In 1872 he once more came out for Montreal West, when he was
returned by a majority of more than 800. Two years later he bade a final
adieu to political life, in order to give his undivided attention to
various commercial and industrial enterprises with which he was
connected. He continued, however, to take a keen interest in public
affairs, and to do his utmost to promote the interior trade of Canada
and the carrying trade of the lakes and St. Lawrence. He never ceased to
advocate the establishment of reciprocity between Canada and the United
States. In 1875 he was Chairman of a commission appointed to consider
the bearing a Baie Verte canal would have on the interests of Canadian
commerce; and after a very exhaustive inquiry he prepared a report
unfavourable to the project.

In addition to the projects already mentioned in the course of this
sketch as having been actively promoted by Mr. Young, he did much to
enhance the due representation of Canada at the various International
Exhibitions, and the last public appointment filled by him was that of
Canadian Commissioner to the International Exhibition at Sydney,
Australia, in 1877. He also took an active interest in ocean telegraphy,
and in the improvement of the harbours of Canada. After his retirement
from Parliament he filled the office of Flour Inspector of the Port of
Montreal on behalf of the Government. He continued to identify himself
with every local measure of public importance down to the time of his
death, which took place at his home in Montreal, on Friday, the 12th of
April, 1878. The funeral, which was attended by a great concourse of
influential citizens, was on the 15th. The local press did due honour to
his memory, and bore unanimous testimony to the fact that Canada, and
more especially the city of Montreal, had sustained a grievous loss by
his death.

A few additional incidents in Mr. Young's career may as well be added in
this place. He was twice sent to Washington as Canada's representative
to bring about satisfactory trade relations between this country and the
United States. The first of these missions was undertaken in 1849,
during the existence of the Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration. The
second was fourteen years afterwards, during the tenure of office of the
Sandfield Macdonald-Dorion Government, in 1863. He also made frequent
trips to Great Britain, generally on private business of his own, but
sometimes on quasi-diplomatic missions connected with industrial
matters. He was twice shipwrecked; once during a passage in the _Anglo
Saxon_, of the Allan Line, on her passage from Liverpool to Quebec; and
once during a passage on the Inman steamer _City of New York_, bound for

It has been seen that he was a Reformer in political and commercial
matters. In theology his views were not less liberal. He was brought up
a strict Presbyterian, but had scarcely reached manhood ere he discarded
many of the tenets of that Body. He embraced Unitarianism, and was
largely instrumental in spreading Unitarian doctrines in the city of his
adoption. As a writer, his style was homely and unpolished, but terse
and vigorous. His writings did much to form public opinion in Canada on
matters connected with Free Trade, and on commercial matters generally.
In addition to his frequent contributions to the newspaper press he
published numerous pamphlets on trade and industrial topics, and
contributed the article on Montreal to the eighth edition of the
_Encyclopaedia Britannica_.



Bishop Binney is a son of the late Rev. Dr. Binney, formerly Rector of
Newbury, Berkshire, England. He was born in Nova Scotia in 1819, but was
sent to England in his youth, for the purpose of receiving a thorough
university education. He was placed at King's College, London, where he
made great progress in his studies, and obtained high standing. After
spending some time there, he entered Worcester College, Oxford, where he
obtained a Fellowship. He graduated in 1842, taking first-class honours
in mathematics and second-class in classics. During the same year he was
ordained a Deacon, and in 1843 was ordained to the Priesthood. He
obtained from his College the degree of M.A. in 1844.

In 1846 he was appointed Tutor of his College, and in 1848 was appointed
Bursar. The See of Nova Scotia having become vacant in 1851, he was
nominated Bishop of that Province, and on the 25th of March in that year
he was consecrated at Lambeth by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted
by the Bishops of London, Oxford, and Chichester. He immediately
afterwards proceeded to Halifax, where he has ever since resided. His
first exercise of the Episcopal office was at an Ordination whereat six
candidates were admitted to the Diaconate, and one to the Priesthood.

In 1855 Bishop Binney married Miss Mary Bliss, a daughter of the Hon. W.
B. Bliss, a Puisné Judge of Nova Scotia. Independently of the high
position which he occupies, he is regarded as one of the foremost men
connected with the Church of England in this country. His classical,
mathematical and theological erudition are of a very high order, and he
is said to be intellectually the peer of any colonial Bishop now living.
His Anglicanism is high, but his views on ecclesiastical matters
generally are broad and statesmanlike, and he is regarded with great
reverence by the clergy and professors of all creeds in his native
Province. By his own clergy he is universally beloved, and a great part
of his life since his elevation to the Episcopal Bench has been devoted
to the promotion of their spiritual and temporal welfare. His name will
be long held in remembrance for his successful exertions on behalf of
the Church of England in Nova Scotia. Many of his sermons and charges to
the Clergy display a high degree of eloquence, and several of them have
been published. A Pastoral Letter, including important correspondence
between himself and the Rev. George W. Hill, the present Chancellor of
the University of Halifax, was published in that city in 1866.

[Illustration: HIBERT BINNEY, signed as H. NOVA SCOTIA]

The See of Nova Scotia, over which Bishop Binney's jurisdiction extends,
formerly embraced a very wide area, including the Provinces of Upper and
Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and the Island of Newfoundland. It is now
confined to the Province of Nova Scotia and the Island of Prince Edward.


Mr. Fraser is a Canadian by birth, but is of Celtic origin on both
sides. His father, Mr. John S. Fraser, was a Scottish Highlander who
emigrated to Canada a few years before the birth of the subject of this
sketch, and settled in the Johnstown District. His mother, whose maiden
name was Miss Sarah Burke, was of Irish birth and parentage.

He was born at Brockville, the chief town of the United Counties of
Leeds and Grenville, in the month of October, 1839. His parents were in
humble circumstances, and could do little to advance his prospects in
life. He was a clever, brilliant boy, however, and from his earliest
years was animated by an honourable ambition to rise. He struggled
manfully to obtain an education, and did not hesitate to put his hand to
whatever employment would further this end. When not much more than a
child he was apprenticed to the printing business in the office of the
Brockville _Recorder_. How long he remained there we have no means of
ascertaining, but he succeeded, by dint of perseverance and good natural
ability, in obtaining what he so much desired--an education. He
determined to study law, and in or about the year 1859 he entered the
office of the present Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Hon.
Albert N. Richards, who then practised the legal profession at
Brockville. Here he studied hard, and laid the foundation of his future
success in life. Having completed his term of clerkship, he was admitted
as an attorney and solicitor in Easter Term, 1864. He settled down to
practice in Brockville, where he was well known, and where he soon
succeeded in acquiring a good business connection. In Trinity Term,
1865, he was called to the Bar. Even during his student days he had
taken a keen interest in the political questions of the times, and had
worked hard at the local elections on the Liberal side. He had not been
long at the Bar ere he began to be looked upon as an available candidate
for Parliament. At the first general election under Confederation, held
in 1867, he offered himself as a candidate for the Local House to the
electors of his native town. He was defeated by a small majority, but
made a good impression upon the electors during the canvass, and
established his reputation as a ready speaker on the hustings. At the
general election held four years later he offered himself to the
electors of South Grenville, but was again unsuccessful, being defeated
by the late Mr. Clark. Two years previous to this time he had, as an
Irish Catholic, taken a conspicuous part with Mr. John O'Donohoe and Mr.
Jeremiah Merrick, of Toronto, Mr. McKeown, of St. Catharines, and
others, in forming what is known as the Ontario Catholic League. This
League was formed under the impression that the co-religionists of its
promoters in this Province were not receiving the amount of patronage
to which they were entitled by reason of their numbers and influence.

Within a short time after the elections of 1871, Mr. Clark, who had
defeated Mr. Fraser in South Grenville, died, and the constituency was
thus left without a representative in the Ontario Legislature. Mr.
Fraser accordingly offered himself once more to the electors in the
month of March, 1872, and was returned at the head of the poll. A
petition was filed against his return, and he was unseated, but upon
returning to his constituents for reëlection in the following October he
was once more successful. A year later he was offered a seat in the
Executive Council, as Provincial Secretary and Registrar, which he
accepted. He returned for reëlection after accepting office, and was
reëlected by acclamation. He retained this position until the 4th of
April, 1874, when he became Commissioner of Public Works. The latter
position he still retains. In the conduct of this important department
Mr. Fraser has displayed administrative talents of a high order, and has
proved himself a most capable public official. He originated, prepared,
and successfully carried through the Act giving the right of suffrage to
farmers' sons. He is a ready and fluent debater, and is always listened
to with respect by the House, where he is regarded as one of the
representative Roman Catholics of Ontario. His position, both in the
House and out of it, has been honestly won, and his influence among his
colleagues in the Government is fully commensurate with his abilities.

He was reëlected for South Grenville at the general election of 1875. At
the general election held in June, 1879, he again contested the South
Riding of Grenville against Mr. F. J. French, of Prescott, but was
defeated by a majority of 137 votes. In his native town of Brockville he
was more successful, 1,379 votes being recorded for him as against 1,266
for his opponent, Mr. D. Mansell. He now sits in the House as member for
Brockville. He is President of the Roman Catholic Literary Association
of Brockville, and takes a warm interest in municipal affairs.

In 1876 Mr. Fraser was created a Queen's Counsel. His wife was formerly
Miss Lafayette, of Brockville.


Mr. Fleming's connection with some of our most stupendous public works
has been the means of making his name known in every corner of the
Dominion. Though not a Canadian either by birth or education, he is
permanently identified with Canadian enterprise, and his name is
distinctly and permanently recorded in our country's annals. He was born
at the seaport and market-town of Kirkcaldy, in Fifeshire, Scotland--a
distinction which he shares in common with the illustrious author of
"The Wealth of Nations." His father was an artisan named Andrew Greig
Fleming. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Arnot. The families to
which both parents belonged have been settled on the shores of Fife for
more than a century, and the names of Fleming and Arnot are common there
at the present day. The subject of this sketch was born on the 7th of
January, 1827. In his childhood he attended a small private school in
Kirkcaldy, and afterwards, when he was about ten years of age, passed to
the local grammar-school. He displayed much aptitude for mathematics,
and made great progress in that branch of study. When he was still a
mere boy he was articled to the business of engineering and surveying,
and after serving his time began to look about him for suitable
employment. He was fond of his profession, and conscious of his ability.
His prospects were not such as to satisfy his ambition, and in 1845 he
emigrated to Canada, and took up his abode in the Upper Province. For
some years after his arrival in this country his prospects did not seem
much more alluring than before. There was comparatively little
employment of an important character for a man of Mr. Fleming's
attainments in those days, and he made but slow headway. He resided for
some time in Toronto, and took an active part in the founding of the
Canadian Institute, "for the purpose of promoting the physical sciences,
for encouraging and advancing the industrial arts and manufactures, for
effecting the formation of a Provincial museum, and for the purpose of
facilitating the acquirement and the dissemination of knowledge
connected with the surveying, engineering, and architectural
professions." Soon afterwards--in 1852--he obtained employment on the
engineering staff of the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway, the first
section of which (from Toronto to Aurora) was opened to the public on
the 16th of May, 1853. Mr. Fleming took a conspicuous part in the work
of construction, and in process of time was promoted to the position of
Engineer-in-Chief of the line. He remained in the employ of the company
(the name of which was changed in 1858 to that which it has ever since
borne--the Northern Railway Company) about eleven years. During much of
this period he also did a good deal of professional work in connection
with the Toronto Esplanade, and other important enterprises. In his
professional capacity he visited the Red River country, to examine as to
the feasibility of a railway connecting that region with Canada. At the
request of the inhabitants there he proceeded to England on their behalf
in 1863, as bearer of a memorial from them to the Imperial Government,
praying that a line of railway might be constructed which would afford
them direct access to Canada, without passing over United States
territory. Upon Mr. Fleming's arrival in London he had repeated
conferences on the subject with the late Duke of Newcastle, who was then
Colonial Secretary. How this project was indefinitely postponed, and was
subsequently merged in the greater scheme of a Trans-continental line of
railway, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is well known to
every reader of these pages. Immediately after Mr. Fleming's return to
Canada in 1863 he was appointed by the Governments of Canada, Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick, and subsequently by that of the mother country,
to conduct the preliminary survey of a line of railway which should form
a connecting link between the Maritime Provinces and the Canadas. The
project of constructing such a road, though agitated at various times,
did not take a practical shape until the accomplishment of
Confederation, when the work of construction was made obligatory upon
the Government and Parliament of Canada by the 145th clause of the Act
of Union. The whole of this great undertaking was successfully carried
out under Mr. Fleming's supervision as Chief Engineer, and the
Intercolonial was opened throughout for public traffic on the 1st of
July--the natal day of the Dominion--1876. A few weeks later Mr. Fleming
published a history of the enterprise, under the title of "The
Intercolonial: an Historical Sketch of the inception and construction of
the line of railways uniting the inland and Atlantic Provinces of the

When British Columbia entered the Dominion, on the 20th of July, 1871,
it was agreed that within ten years from that date a line of railway
should be constructed from the Pacific Ocean to a point of junction with
the existing railway systems in the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Mr.
Fleming's services in connection with the Intercolonial Railway marked
him out as the most suitable man in the Dominion to prosecute the
preliminary surveys of the Canadian Pacific. Accordingly his services
were secured by the Government for that purpose, and he was appointed
Chief Engineer. In the summer of 1872 he started across the continent on
a tour of inspection. He was attended by a capable staff of assistants.
Among the latter was the Rev. George M. Grant, the present Principal of
Queen's College, Kingston, who accompanied the expedition in the
capacity of Secretary. The party left Toronto on the 16th of July, 1872,
and travelling by way of Sault Ste. Marie, Nepigon, Thunder Bay,
Winnipeg, Forts Carlton and Edmonton, the Rocky Mountains, Kamloops and
Bute Inlet, reached Victoria, B.C., on the 9th of October following.
Those who wish to inform themselves as to the literary and social
aspects of that momentous journey may consult Mr. Grant's journal, as it
appears in the pages of "Ocean to Ocean." Those who wish to know the
scientific and more practical results of the expedition can only become
acquainted with them through Mr. Fleming's elaborate report.

Mr. Fleming continued to be the Government Engineer until about a year
ago, when he resigned his position, owing as it is understood, to some
difference of opinion with the Government as to the location of the line
of the Canadian Pacific Railway. His topographical knowledge of the
country is unrivalled, and his professional standing is such as might be
expected from the importance of the great public works which he has
superintended. In recognition of his talents, and of his services to
Canada and the Empire, Her Majesty some time ago conferred upon him the
dignity of a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

In addition to the work on the Intercolonial already mentioned, and to
many elaborate and voluminous reports upon the various enterprises
wherewith he has been connected, Mr. Fleming has contributed numerous
interesting and instructive papers to the _Canadian Journal_ and other
scientific periodicals. He has also written many articles on subjects
connected with his profession for the daily press. Within the last few
months a proposition of his with respect to the establishment of a new
prime meridian for the world, 180° from Greenwich, has been approved of
by the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, Russia, the
secretary whereof recently conveyed information of the fact in a letter
addressed to the Governor-General of Canada.

In the autumn of last Year (1880) Mr. Fleming was elected Chancellor of
Queen's University, Kingston, and upon his installation delivered a very
eloquent inaugural address.

On the 3rd of January, 1855, he married Miss Ann Jean Hall, daughter of
the Sheriff of the county of Peterboro'.



Senator Macpherson is a member of the famous sept whose hereditary feud
with the McTavishes forms an episode in the history of the Highland
clans, and likewise forms the groundwork of one of the most
characteristic of Professor Aytoun's ballads. He is the youngest son of
the late David Macpherson, of Castle Leathers, near Inverness, Scotland,
where he was born on the 12th of September, 1818. He received his
education at the Royal Academy of Inverness. He was enterprising and
ambitious, and upon leaving school, in his seventeenth year, he
emigrated to Canada, where one of his elder brothers had long been
established in a very lucrative business as the senior partner in the
firm of Macpherson, Crane & Co., of Montreal. The business carried on by
this firm was known in those days as "forwarding," and consisted of
conveying merchandise from one part of the country to another. They
performed the greater part of the carrying business which is now
conducted by the various railway companies, and their operations were on
a very extensive scale. Their wagons were to be found on all the
principal highways, and their vessels were seen in every lake, harbour,
and important river from Montreal to the mouth of the Niagara, and up
the Ottawa as far as Bytown. The future senator entered the service of
this firm immediately after his arrival in the country, and remained in
it as a clerk for seven years, when (in 1842) he was admitted as a
partner. He directed such of the operations of the firm as came under
his supervision with great energy and judgment, and achieved a decided
pecuniary success. When the railway era set in, and threatened to divert
the course of trade from its old channels, he seized the salient points
of the situation, and began to interest himself in the various railway
projects of the times. In conjunction with the late Mr. Holton and the
present Sir Alexander Galt, he in 1851 obtained a charter for
constructing a line of railway from Montreal to Kingston. This scheme
was subsequently merged in the larger one of the Grand Trunk, and the
charter which had been granted to the Montreal and Kingston Company was
repealed. The principal members of that Company, including the subject
of this sketch, then allied themselves with Mr. Gzowski, under the style
of Gzowski & Co., and on the 24th of March, 1853, obtained a contract
for constructing a line of railway westward from Toronto to Sarnia. Mr.
Macpherson then removed to Toronto, where he has ever since resided. The
result of the railway contract was to make him thoroughly independent of
the world, and it is only justice to himself and his partners to say
that the contract was faithfully carried out.

In conjunction with Mr. Gzowski, Mr. Macpherson has since engaged in the
construction of several important undertakings, among which may be
mentioned the railway from Port Huron to Detroit, the London and St.
Mary's Railway, and the International Bridge across the Niagara River at
Buffalo. Mr. Macpherson was also a partner in the Toronto Rolling Mills
Company which was conducted with great success until the introduction of
steel rails caused its products to be no longer in great demand.

[Illustration: DAVID LEWIS MACPHERSON, signed as D. L. MACPHERSON]

Mr. Macpherson has never been known as a very pronounced partisan in
political matters, though his leanings have always been towards
Conservatism, and on purely political questions he has been a supporter
of that side. The structure of his mind, however, unfits him for dealing
effectively with party politics, and he never appears to less advantage
than when he ascends the party platform. His natural bent is the
practical. He believes in building up the country by means of great
public works, and in making it a desirable place of residence. His entry
into public life dates from October, 1864, when he successfully
contested the Saugeen Division for the Legislative Council. He was at
first opposed by the Hon. John McMurrich, who had represented the
Division for eight years previously. That gentleman, however, retired
from the contest, and another Reform candidate took the field, in the
person of Mr. George Snider, of Owen Sound. His opposition was not
serious, and Mr. Macpherson was returned by a majority of more than
1,200 votes. He sat in the Council for the Saugeen Division until
Confederation, when, in May, 1867, he was called to the Senate by Royal
Proclamation. He has ever since been a prominent member of that Body,
and has taken an intelligent part in its discussions. His speeches on
Confederation, and on the settlement of the waste lands of the Crown,
were broad and liberal in tone, and won for him the respect of many
persons who had previously known nothing of him beyond the fact of his
being a remarkably successful railway contractor. In 1868, at the
instance of the Ontario Government, he was appointed one of the
arbitrators to whom, in the terms of the British North America Act, was
to be referred the adjustment of the public debt and assets between the
Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. With him were associated the Hon.
Charles Dewey Day, on behalf of the Province of Quebec, and the Hon.
John Hamilton Gray--now one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of
British Columbia--on behalf of the Dominion. The case on the part of
Ontario was elaborately prepared by the Hon. E. B. Wood. Senator
Macpherson discharged his duties as an arbitrator with perfect fairness
and impartiality, alike to the Dominion and to the Province which he
represented. The conclusion arrived at by him and the arbitrator on
behalf of the Dominion, however, was not accepted by Mr. Day on behalf
of the Province of Quebec. It was accordingly contended by that Province
that the award was nugatory for want of unanimity. The matter was
appealed to the Privy Council in England, and the decision of that body
was confirmatory of the award. In 1869 he published a pamphlet on
Banking and Currency, which was widely read and commented upon.

After British Columbia became an integral part of the Dominion in 1871,
Senator Macpherson entered into negotiations with the Government at
Ottawa with a view to obtaining the contract for constructing the
Canadian Pacific Railway. A rival applicant for the contract was Sir
Hugh Allan of Montreal. The subsequent history of the negotiations is
too well known to need much recapitulation in this place. The Government
contracted obligations to Sir Hugh Allan which were nullified by its
fall in the month of November, 1873. Senator Macpherson not unnaturally
felt himself aggrieved at the treatment to which he had been subjected,
and for some time the cordial relations between him and his old
political associates were interrupted. After a brief interval, however,
harmony was reëstablished between them, and Senator Macpherson's support
has ever since been loyally accorded. During the five years' existence
of the Mackenzie Administration his opposition to that Administration
was very conspicuous. On the 19th of March, 1878, he called attention in
the Senate to the public expenditure of the Dominion; more especially to
that part of it which is largely under administrative control. He
arraigned the Government policy as extravagant and indefensible, and his
remarks gave rise to a long and acrimonious debate. Senator Macpherson's
speech on the occasion was considered by the Conservative Party as being
one of exceptional power and research. It was published in pamphlet
form, and distributed broadcast throughout the land. It was used as a
campaign document during the canvass prior to the elections of the 17th
of September, and was replied to by the Hon. R. W. Scott, Secretary of
State. On another occasion during the same session the Senator assailed
the policy of Mr. Mackenzie's Government with respect to the
construction of the Fort Francis Lock, and other public works in the
North-West. On the 10th of February, 1880, he was elected Speaker of the
Senate, which position he now holds. Almost immediately after his
election he was prostrated by a serious illness, and in order that
business might not be interrupted he temporarily resigned office, the
duties of which were for the time discharged by the Hon. A. E. Botsford.

In the month of June, 1844, he married Miss Elizabeth Sarah Molson,
eldest daughter of Mr. William Molson, of Montreal, and granddaughter of
the Hon. John Molson, who owned and (in 1809) launched _The
Accommodation_, the first steamer that ever plied in Canadian waters. By
this lady he has a family. He is connected with various important public
and financial institutions, being a member of the Corporation of
Hellmuth College, London; a Director of Molson's Bank; and of the
Western Canada Permanent Building and Savings Society. He has been
Vice-President of the Montreal Board of Trade, and President of the St.
Andrew's Society of Toronto.


The present representative of North Brant in the Ontario Legislature is
a native Canadian who has made a creditable reputation for himself in
various walks of life. His Parliamentary career has been more than
moderately successful, and ever since his first entry into public life,
his speeches in the House have been listened to with an attention seldom
accorded to those of members of his age. As a public lecturer he enjoys
a more than local reputation, and as a journalist he deservedly occupies
a place in the front rank.

He is of Scottish descent, and is the eldest son of the late Mr. John
Young, who emigrated from Roxboroughshire to the township of Dumfries,
in what was then the Gore District, in 1834. His mother's maiden name
was Jeanie Bell. The late Mr. Young settled in Galt, where he engaged in
business, and resided until his death in February, 1859. The subject of
this sketch was born in Galt on the 24th of May, 1835, and has ever
since resided there. He was educated at the public schools in that town.
He early displayed great fondness for books, and has ever since found
time for private study, notwithstanding the multifarious labours of an
exacting profession.

In his youth he had a predilection for the study of the law, but finding
it impracticable to carry out his wishes, he chose the printing
business, which he began to learn in his sixteenth year. When he was
eighteen he purchased the Dumfries _Reformer_, which he thenceforward
conducted for about ten years. Under his management this paper--the
politics whereof are sufficiently indicated by its name--attained great
local influence, and was the means of making him known beyond the limits
of the county of Waterloo. During the earlier part of his proprietorship
the political articles in the paper were written by one of his friends,
Mr. Young himself taking the general supervision, and contributing the
local news. Upon the completion of his twentieth year he took the entire
editorial control, which he retained until 1863, by which time his
labours had somewhat affected his health. He then disposed of the
_Reformer_, and retired from the press for a time. He soon afterwards
went into the manufacturing business, and became the principal partner
in the Victoria Steam Bending Works, Galt, which he carried on
successfully for about five years.

During his connection with the _Reformer_ he had necessarily taken a
conspicuous part in the discussion of political questions, and his paper
was an important factor in determining the results of the local election
contests. He frequently "took the stump" on behalf of the Reform
candidate, and was known throughout the county as a ready and graceful
speaker. He took a conspicuous part in municipal affairs, and for six
years sat in the Town Council. He was an active member of the School
Board, and devoted much time to educational matters. He also took
special interest in commercial and trade questions, on which he came to
be regarded as a competent authority. In 1857 the Hamilton Mercantile
Library Association offered a prize of fifty dollars for the best essay
on the agricultural resources of the country. Mr. Young competed for,
and won the prize, and the essay was immediately afterwards published
under the title of "The Agricultural Resources of Canada, and the
inducements they offer to British labourers intending to emigrate to
this Continent." It was very favourably reviewed by the Canadian press,
and was the means of greatly extending the author's reputation. Eight
years later (in 1865) the proprietors of the Montreal _Trade Review_
offered two prizes for essays on the Reciprocity Treaty, which was then
about to expire. Mr. Young sent in an essay to which the second prize
was awarded. His success on this occasion procured him an invitation to
the Commercial Convention held that year at Detroit, and he thus had an
opportunity of hearing the great speech of the Hon. Joseph Howe.

He first entered Parliament in 1867, when he was nominated by the
Reformers of South Waterloo as their candidate for the House of Commons.
Mr. Young would have preferred to enter the Local Legislature, but
accepted the nomination, and addressed himself vigorously to the
campaign. It was the first election under Confederation, and he was
opposed by Mr. James Cowan, a Reform Coalitionist, who was also a local
candidate of great influence. Mr. Young had to encounter a fierce
opposition, the Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald, the Hon. William
McDougall and the present Sir William Howland taking the field on one
occasion on behalf of Mr. Cowan. These formidable opponents were
courageously encountered by Mr. Young single-handed, or with such local
assistance as could be procured. He was elected by a majority of 366
votes. When Parliament met in the following November he made his maiden
speech in the House on the Address. He also took a conspicuous part in
the debates of the session, and materially strengthened his position
among his constituents. He was twice reëlected by acclamation; first at
the general election of 1872, and again in 1874, after the accession to
power of Mr. Mackenzie's Government. Of that Government he was a loyal
and earnest supporter throughout. He was Chairman of the Committee on
Public Accounts for five consecutive sessions, and after the death of
Mr. Scatcherd became Chairman of the House when in Committee of Supply.
Among his principal speeches in Parliament were those on the
Intercolonial Railway, the Ballot, the admission of British Columbia,
with special reference to the construction of the Pacific Railway in ten
years, the Treaty of Washington (which was unsparingly condemned), the
Pacific Scandal, the Budget of 1874, the naturalization of Germans and
other aliens, and the Tariff question. Soon after entering Parliament he
proposed the abolition of the office of Queen's Printer and the letting
of the departmental printing by tender. This was ultimately carried, and
effected a large saving in the annual expenditure. In 1871 he submitted
a Bill to confirm the naturalization of all aliens who had taken the
oaths of allegiance and residence prior to Confederation, which became
law. In 1873 he brought in a measure to provide for votes being taken by
ballot. The Government subsequently took up the question and carried it.
On two occasions the House of Commons unanimously concurred in Addresses
to Her Majesty, prepared by him, praying that the Imperial Government
would take steps to confer upon German and other naturalized citizens in
all parts of the world the same rights as subjects of British birth, the
law then and still being that they have no claim on British protection
whenever they pass beyond British territory. In 1874 he proposed a
committee and report which resulted in the publication of the Debates of
the House of Commons, contending that the people have as much right to
know how their representatives speak in Parliament as how they vote.

At the election of 1878, chiefly through a cry for a German
representative, he was for the first time defeated. In the following
spring, the general election for the Ontario Legislature came on, and
Mr. Young was requested by the Reformers of the North Riding of Brant,
to become their candidate in the Local House. He at first declined, but
on the nomination being proffered a second time, he accepted it, and was
returned by a majority of 344. He still sits in the Local House as the
representative of North Brant.

For many years Mr. Young's services have been in request as a writer and
public speaker. He has contributed occasionally to the _Canadian
Monthly_, and has been a regular contributor for many years to some of
our leading commercial journals, the articles being chiefly upon the
trade and development of the country. He has also appeared upon the
platform as a lecturer upon literary and scientific subjects. As a
political speaker he has been heard in many different parts of the
Province, throughout which he now enjoys a very wide circle of
acquaintance. He has held and still holds many positions of honour and
trust. He is a Director of the Confederation Life Association, and of
the Canada Landed Credit Company; has been President, and is now a
Vice-President of the Sabbath School Association of Canada; is President
of the Gore District Mutual Fire Insurance Company; has for ten years
been President of the Associated Mechanics' Institutes of Ontario; and
is a member of the Council of the Agricultural and Arts Association.
Last year Mr. Young wrote and published a little volume of 272 pages,
entitled "Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement
of Dumfries." Apart from the fact that works of this class deserve
encouragement in Canada, Mr. Young's book has special merits which are
not always found in connection with Canadian local annals. It is written
in a pleasant and interesting style which makes it readable even to
persons who know nothing of the district whereof it treats. In religion,
Mr. Young is a member of the Presbyterian Church. From his youth he has
had a marked attachment to Liberal opinions in political matters. He
regards the people as the true source of power, and believes in the
famous dictum of Canning, that if Parliament rejects improvements
because they are innovations, the day will come when they will have to
accept innovations which are no improvements. On the Trade question he
occupies moderate ground, believing that the true fiscal policy for a
young country like Canada is neither absolute Protection nor absolute
Free Trade, but a moderate revenue tariff incidentally encouraging
native industries. He strongly favours the Federal element in the
Constitution, and the retention of the Local Legislatures, but advocates
the reform of the Senate. He earnestly desires to continue the present
connection with Great Britain, but believes that if this should ever
become impossible, Canada has a destiny of its own, as a North American
power, which all true Canadians will seek earnestly to support. During
1875 Mr. Young was offered the appointment of Canadian Commissioner to
the Centennial Exhibition of the United States, but declined this as
well as other positions, so that he might be perfectly untrammelled in
his action as one of the representatives of the people.

On the 11th of February, 1858, Mr. Young married Miss Margaret McNaught,
daughter of Mr. John McNaught, of Brantford.


Mr. Perry's name is not widely known to the present generation of
Canadians; to such of them, at least, as reside beyond the limits of the
district in which the busiest years of his life were passed. Students of
our history are familiar with the most salient passages in his public
life, and regard his memory with respect, for he was a genuine man, who
did good service to the cause of constitutional government. A few of his
old colleagues are still among us, and can remember his vigorous,
earnest eloquence when any conspicuous occasion called it forth. For the
general public, however, nothing of him survives except his name. This
partial oblivion is one of the "revenges" wrought by "the whirligig of
time." From forty to fifty years ago there was no name better known
throughout the whole of Upper Canada; and, in Reform constituencies,
there was no name more potent wherewith to conjure during an election
campaign. Peter Perry was closely identified with the original formation
of the Reform Party in Upper Canada, and for more than a quarter of a
century he continued to be one of its foremost members. During the last
ten or twelve years of his life he was to some extent overshadowed by
the figure of Robert Baldwin, whose lofty character, unselfish aims, and
high social position combined to place him on a sort of pedestal. But
Peter Perry continued to the very last to be an important factor in the
ranks of his Party. He was a man of extreme opinions, and was never slow
to express them. The exigencies of the times were favourable to strong
beliefs. The politician who halted between two opinions in those days
was tolerably certain to share the fate of the old man in the fable, who
in trying to please everybody succeeded in pleasing nobody. Peter Perry
stood in no danger of such a doom. He made a good many enemies by his
plain speaking, but he was likewise rich in friends, and could generally
hold his own with the best. He was implicitly trusted by his own Party,
and was always ready to fight its battles, whether within the walls of
Parliament or without.

He was a native Upper Canadian, and was born at Ernestown, about fifteen
miles from Kingston, in the year 1793, during the early part of Governor
Simcoe's Administration. His father, Robert Perry, was a U. E. Loyalist,
who came over from the State of New York a few years before this time,
and settled near the foot of the Bay of Quinté. Robert Perry was a
farmer, well known in that district for his enterprise, public spirit,
and devotion to his principles. He died just before the consummation of
the Union of the Provinces. His son was brought up to farming pursuits,
and early had to struggle with the many difficulties which beset the
path of the founders of Upper Canada. The only means of tuition for boys
in the rural districts in those days were the public schools, and
throughout his life the subject of this sketch laboured under the
disadvantages inseparable from an imperfect educational training. He
grew up to manhood with little knowledge derived from books, and
continued to devote himself to agricultural pursuits until he had
reached middle life. When he was only twenty-one years of age he married
Miss Mary Ham, the daughter of a U. E. Loyalist of that neighbourhood.
This lady, by whom he had a numerous family, is still living, and has
reached the advanced age of eighty-five years. Mr. John Ham Perry, who
long held the position of Registrar of the county of Ontario, is one of
the fruits of this marriage.

Peter Perry took a warm interest in politics, and early acquired a local
reputation for much native sagacity and strength of character. He was a
fluent, although somewhat coarse, speaker on the platform, and was an
awkward antagonist to the local supporters of the Family Compact. He was
an intimate friend and coadjutor of Barnabas Bidwell and his son
Marshall, and in 1824 assisted in organizing the nucleus of the Reform
Party. During the same year he entered public life as one of the
representatives of the United Counties of Lennox and Addington in the
Assembly of Upper Canada. He soon established for himself a reputation
there as one of the most vehement champions of Reform. His denunciations
of the Compact were frequent and energetic, and the Party in power
dreaded his sharp and vigorous tongue even more than that of his friend
Marshall Spring Bidwell, who was his colleague in the representation of
Lennox and Addington. His first vote in the Assembly was recorded on
behalf of Mr. John Willson, of Wentworth, who was the Reform candidate
for the Speakership, and who was elected to that position as successor
to Mr. Sherwood. The vote on this question was a fair test of the
strength of parties in the Assembly, and for the first time the
adherents of the Compact found themselves in a minority. It will be
understood, however, that the victory of the Reformers was rather
nominal than real, as there was no such thing as Responsible Government
in those days, and the advisers of the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir
Peregrine Maitland, were permitted to retain their places in the
Council, notwithstanding that they did not possess the confidence of a
majority in the Assembly. Against such a state of things the Reformers
of Upper Canada vainly struggled for many years. Mr. Perry was one of
the "fighting men," and hurled his anathemas broadcast during the
Administrations of Sir Peregrine Maitland and Sir John Colborne. His
speeches were like himself, bold and impetuous, and, notwithstanding the
strict party lines of the period, votes were frequently won by the sheer
force of his oratory. He continued to sit in the Assembly as one of the
representatives of Lennox and Addington for twelve years, when, in
consequence of Sir Francis Bond Head's machinations, all the most
prominent Reformers of Upper Canada were beaten at the polls. Mr. Perry
shared the fate of his colleagues, and before the close of the year
(1836) he abandoned the life of a farmer, and removed to the present
site of the town of Whitby, which was thenceforward known as "Perry's
Corners." He opened a general store there, and rapidly built up a large
and profitable business. Notwithstanding his extreme political opinions
he took no part in Mackenzie's Rebellion, and for some years after that
event he remained out of Parliament. He devoted himself to building up
his business, and was identified with every important improvement in the
district wherein he resided. He took an active interest in municipal
affairs, contributed liberally to the construction and improvement of
the public highways, and was justly regarded as a public benefactor. He
continued to fight the battles of Reform at all the local contests, but,
though frequently importuned to reënter Parliament, preferred to remain
in private life, until 1849. The constituency in which he resided, which
is now South Ontario, was then the East Riding of York. The sitting
member, up to the month of September, 1849, was the Hon. William Hume
Blake, of whom Mr. Perry was of course a vigorous supporter. Mr. Blake
was Solicitor-General in the Government, but at this juncture resigned
his portfolio to accept the Chancellorship of Upper Canada. Mr. Perry
consented to once more enter public life in the interest of his
constituents, and was returned by acclamation as Mr. Blake's successor.

At the time of his second entry into the Parliamentary arena Mr. Perry
was only fifty-six years of age, but he had passed a very busy life, and
had taxed his physical energies to the utmost. He was older than his
years, and was no longer the same man who had once so scathingly
denounced the Family Compact. For the first few months, however, he
applied himself with vigour to his Parliamentary duties, and made
several effective speeches. Age had not abated one jot of his advanced
radicalism. He allied himself with the extremists of the Reform Party,
and in consequence was not high in the favour of Mr. Baldwin, but there
was not, so far as we are aware, any personal difference between them.
Early in 1851 he found himself so much prostrated by physical weakness
that he was compelled to leave home for change of air and scene. He went
over to Saratoga Springs, New York, which was then the fashionable
watering-place of this continent. Its waters were supposed to possess
marvellous powers to restore youth to the aged and infirm, and Mr. Perry
remained there for several months. He had, however, literally worn
himself out in the public service, and it soon became evident that his
ringing voice would never again be heard within the walls of Parliament.
He gradually became weaker and weaker, and on the morning of Sunday, the
24th of August, he breathed his last. His remains were conveyed to his
home at Whitby for interment, where they were attended to their last
resting place by many of the leading men of Canada. He was a serious
loss to Whitby and its neighbourhood, the prosperity of which he had
done more than any other man of his time to advance. He was also mourned
as a public loss by the Party to which he had all his life been
attached, and glowing eulogies were pronounced upon his character and
public spirit, even by persons to whom he had always been politically


Judge Wilson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 22nd of September,
1814. He received his education there, and emigrated to this country in
the summer of 1830, when he had not quite completed his sixteenth year.
He settled in the township of Trafalgar, in the county of Halton, Canada
West, where he took charge of the mills and store of his maternal uncle,
the late Mr. George Chalmers, who represented the constituency in the
Legislative Assembly. He developed high capacity for mercantile
pursuits, in which he was engaged for somewhat more than three years.
He, however, resolved to devote himself to the legal profession, and in
the month of January, 1834, was articled to the late Hon. Robert Baldwin
Sullivan, a gentleman whose name is well known in the Parliamentary and
Judicial history of this Province, and who was then a partner of the
Hon. Robert Baldwin, the style of the firm being Baldwin & Sullivan. Mr.
Wilson completed his studies in that office, and in Trinity Term of the
year 1839 was called to the Bar of Upper Canada. On the 1st of January,
1840, he entered into partnership with Mr. Baldwin, and the connection
between them endured until the end of 1849, when Mr. Baldwin retired
from professional pursuits. On the 28th of November, 1850, he was
appointed a Queen's Counsel by the Baldwin-Lafontaine Government,
contemporaneously with the present Judges Hagarty and Gwynne, and with
the late Judge Connor and Chancellor Vankoughnet. During the same year
he became a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

He soon afterwards began to take a warm interest in the municipal
affairs of Toronto, and in 1855 was elected an Alderman of the city. In
1859 he was Mayor of Toronto, and was the first Chief Magistrate elected
by popular suffrage. In 1856 he was appointed a Commissioner for the
consolidation of the public general statutes of Canada and Upper Canada

In politics Mr. Wilson was a member of the Reform Party, and had
frequently been importuned to allow himself to be put in nomination for
a seat in the Legislature. Being much occupied with professional and
municipal affairs he had declined such importunities, but upon the death
of Mr. Hartman, the member for the North Riding of the county of York in
the Canadian Assembly, on the 29th of November, 1859, that constituency
was left unrepresented, and Mr. Wilson, being again pressed to enter
political life, contested the representation of North York, and was
returned at the head of the poll. He took his seat in the House as an
avowed opponent of the Cartier-Macdonald Administration. He was again
returned by the same constituency at the next general election. In 1861
he was an unsuccessful candidate for the representation of West
Toronto. Upon the formation of the Sandfield Macdonald-Sicotte
Administration, in May, 1862, he accepted office therein as
Solicitor-General, and was reëlected by his constituents upon presenting
himself to them. He held the portfolio of Solicitor-General, with a seat
in the Executive Council, until the month of May, 1863. On the 11th of
the month he was elevated to a seat on the Judicial Bench as a Puisné
Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench for Upper Canada. Three months later
(on the 24th of August) he was transferred to the Court of Common Pleas,
where he remained until Easter Term, 1868, when he was again appointed
to the Queen's Bench, as successor to the Hon. John Hawkins Hagarty, who
had been appointed Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. In 1871 Judge
Wilson was appointed a member of the Law Reform Commission. In the month
of November, 1878, he was himself appointed Chief Justice of the Court
of Common Pleas, a position which he now occupies.

While at the Bar he was regarded as second to no man in the Province in
certain branches of his profession; and his reputation has rather grown
than diminished since his elevation to the Bench. His learning, judicial
acumen and perfect impartiality are acknowledged by the entire
profession of this Province, as well as by his brethren on the Bench.

He is the author of a work entitled "A Sketch of the Office of
Constable," published in Toronto in 1861. Early in his professional
career he married a daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Dalton, who was for
many years editor and proprietor of the _Patriot_, a once well-known
newspaper published in Toronto.


Sir Alexander Campbell is of somewhat conglomerate nationality, being a
Scotchman in blood and by descent, an Englishman by birth, and a
Canadian by education and lifelong residence. He is a son of the late
Dr. James Campbell and was born at the village of Hedon, near
Kingston-upon-Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, in 1821.
When he was only about two years old his parents emigrated to Canada,
and settled in the neighbourhood of Lachine, where his childhood was
passed. He received his early education at the hands of a minister of
the Presbyterian Church, and afterwards spent some time at the Roman
Catholic Seminary of St. Hyacinthe. His education was completed under
the tuition of Mr. George Baxter, at the Royal Grammar School at
Kingston, in Upper Canada, whither his family removed during his
boyhood. He has ever since resided at Kingston, with the interests
whereof he has been identified for nearly half a century.

After leaving school he chose the law as his future profession, and in
1838 passed his preliminary examination as a student before the Law
Society of Upper Canada. He then entered the law office of the late Mr.
Henry Cassidy, an eminent lawyer of Kingston, and remained there until
the death of his principal, which took place in 1839. He then became the
pupil of Mr.--now the Hon. Sir--John A. Macdonald, with whom he remained
as a student until his admission as an attorney, in Hilary Term of the
year 1842. He then formed a partnership with Mr. Macdonald, under the
style of Macdonald & Campbell, and in Michaelmas Term, 1843, was called
to the Bar. This partnership endured for many years, and was attended
with very satisfactory results, both professional and otherwise. The
firm transacted the largest legal business in that part of the country,
and their services were retained on one side or the other in almost
every important cause. Mr. Campbell's own professional career, though
subordinate to that of his senior partner, was a highly creditable and
distinguished one. His success at the Bar secured for him a competent
fortune, and opened up to him other avenues to distinction. He served
his apprenticeship to public life in the years 1851 and 1852, in the
modest capacity of an Alderman for one of the city wards of Kingston. In
1856 he was created a Queen's Counsel. During the same year the
Legislative Council was made elective, and the Cataraqui division,
embracing the city of Kingston and the county of Frontenac, having with
eleven other divisions, come in for its turn to elect a member in 1858,
Mr. Campbell offered himself in the Liberal-Conservative interest, and
was returned by a very large majority. The vote polled in his favour
exceeded the united votes polled for his two opponents. In the Council
he soon achieved a commanding position. Though he had the courage of
his opinions, and did not hesitate to express them whenever any
occasion arose for doing so, his remarks were never characterized by the
acrimonious violence which was then too much in vogue. He spoke with
readiness, but never took up the time of his colleagues unless when he
had something definite to say. He was courteous and urbane to all, and
soon became a favourite with the Body, more venerable than venerated, to
which he had been elected. Early in 1863 he was chosen to fill the
important office of Speaker of the Council, which position he held until
the dissolution of Parliament in the summer of that year. During the
Ministerial crisis which ensued in March, 1864, he was invited by the
Governor-General to form a Cabinet, but declined the task, although the
Hon. John A. Macdonald, at a public dinner in Toronto, virtually
resigned in his favour. Mr. Campbell was probably of opinion that the
increase of honour would hardly counterbalance the great increase of
responsibility, as it was impossible in those times for any Government
to feel itself strong. He, however, accepted the office of Crown Lands
Commissioner in the Ministry then formed by the late Sir E. P. Taché and
John A. Macdonald. The Ministry was not of long duration, and Mr.
Campbell retained office with the same portfolio in the Coalition
Government which succeeded it, and which, in one form or another, lasted
till Confederation. He took an active part in the Confederation
movement, and was a member of the Union Conference which met at Quebec
in 1864. During the interminable debates on Confederation he was the
leading advocate of the project in the Upper House, and his remarks were
always characterized by tact, good sense and good breeding. He made no
effort at fine speaking, but appealed to the judgment and patriotism of
his auditors. He had a most persistent opponent in the Hon. Mr. Currie,
the representative of Niagara. Upon so many-sided and comprehensive a
measure as that of Confederation, it was no slight task to reply
off-hand to all sorts of hostile questions, many of which were skilfully
propounded with a sole view to embarrassing the man whose official duty
compelled him to answer as best he could. Mr. Campbell acquitted himself
in such a manner as to increase the respect in which he was held, and
his speech made on the 17th of February, 1865, in answer to the
opponents of Confederation, has been characterized by competent
authorities as the most statesmanlike effort of his life.

In May, 1867, Mr. Campbell was called to the Senate by the Queen's
proclamation, and since that time has been the leader of the
Conservative Party in the Upper Chamber. It may be said, indeed, that
his leadership virtually began as far back as 1864, when he first took
office in the Taché-Macdonald Ministry, as already referred to; for
although Sir E. P. Taché was a member of the Legislative Council, and
was for a time Premier of the Coalition Government, as Sir Narcisse
Belleau was after him, neither of these men possessed the qualifications
needed for the position of a party leader, the duties of which were
therefore to a great extent left to be discharged by their younger, more
active, and better qualified colleague. "Sir John A. Macdonald," says a
contemporary writer, "showed a sound judgment when he gave to Mr.
Campbell the leadership of the newly-constituted Canadian Senate.
Assured from the first of the possession for many years of a majority in
the Chamber he had virtually created, it was necessary that his
lieutenant in the Upper House should be one who could be relied upon to
use his party strength with moderation, and to make all safe without
appearing needlessly to oppress or coerce the minority. . . . In the
conduct of the ordinary business of Parliament Mr. Campbell is an
opponent with whom it is easy to deal. Courteous in personal
intercourse, possessed of plain, practical common sense and good
Parliamentary experience, he is not one to raise obstructions when no
end is to be gained. As a speaker he would, in a popular legislature,
hardly be called effective, and he has certainly no claims to eloquence,
or to that faculty which forms a useful substitute for eloquence, and
which Sir John A. Macdonald possesses--of becoming terribly in earnest
exactly when a display of earnestness is needful to effect a purpose.
But the leader of the Conservative Senators speaks well, takes care to
understand what he is talking about, and infuses into his speeches, when
necessary, just as much force as is required to make them tell on his
followers, if they do not affect very strongly the feelings or
convictions of his opponents. He was the man for the situation, and has
played his part well."

On the 1st of July, 1867, Mr. Campbell was sworn of the Privy Council,
and took office as Postmaster-General in the Government formed by Sir
John A. Macdonald. He retained that portfolio about six years, when the
Department of the Interior, of which he then became the first Minister,
was created. In 1870 he proceeded to England on an important diplomatic
mission, the result of which was the signing of the Washington Treaty.
He did not long retain his position as Minister of the Interior, the
Government having been compelled to resign in November, 1873, by the
force of public opinion, which had been aroused by the disclosures
respecting the sale of the Pacific Railway Charter. During the existence
of Mr. Mackenzie's Government he led the Conservative Opposition in the
Senate, and upon the accession of the Conservative Party to power in the
autumn of 1878 he accepted the portfolio of Receiver-General. He
retained this position from the 8th of October, 1878, to the 20th of
May, 1879, when he became Postmaster-General. Four days afterwards he
was created a knight of St. Michael and St. George, at an investiture of
the Order held in Montreal by the Governor-General, acting on behalf of
Her Majesty. On the 15th of January, 1880, he resigned the
Postmaster-Generalship, and accepted the portfolio of Minister of
Militia. In the readjustment of offices which took place prior to the
assembling of Parliament towards the close of last year he resumed the
office of Postmaster-General, of which he is the present incumbent.

In 1855 he married Miss Georgina Frederica Locke, daughter of Mr. Thomas
Sandwith, of Beverley, Yorkshire, England. In 1857 he became a Bencher
of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was for some time Dean of the
Faculty of Law in the University of Queen's College, Kingston. He is
connected with several important financial enterprises, and is a man of
much social influence. He would probably have gained a much wider
reputation in the Canadian Assembly and the House of Commons than he has
been able to acquire in the less stirring atmosphere of the Legislative
Council and the Senate. He has, however, been a most useful man in the
sphere which he has chosen, and his retirement from public life would be
a serious loss to the Conservative Party, and to the country at large.


The ex-Treasurer of the Province of Quebec is descended from one of the
old colonial families of Massachusetts, several members of which
attained considerable distinction in the early history of that colony.
The name of Colonel Benjamin Church, of Duxbury, Massachusetts, occupies
a very conspicuous place in the annals of New England warfare. He was
the first white settler at Seaconnet, or Little Compton, and was the
most active and noted combatant of the Indians during the famous war
against Metacomet, or King Philip, the great sachem of the Wampanoags.
In August, 1676, he commanded the party by which King Philip was slain.
The barbarous usage of beheading and quartering was then in vogue, and
it is said that Church decapitated the fallen monarch of the forest with
his own hands. The sword with which this act of barbarity is alleged to
have been committed is still preserved in the cabinet of the Historical
Society of Massachusetts, at Boston. Colonel Church kept a sort of rough
minute-book, or diary, of his exploits, and it was from these minutes,
and under his direction, that his son, Thomas Church, wrote his
well-known history of King Philip's War, which was originally published
in 1716, and which is still the highest original authority on that
subject. At a later period the members of the Church family (which was
very numerous and well connected) were conspicuous adherents of the Whig
Party, and at the time of the breaking out of the Revolutionary War
nearly all of them took the Republican side in the memorable struggle.
There were, however, two exceptions, and these two both enlisted their
services in the cause of King George III. One of them was killed in
battle in 1776. The other, Jonathan Mills Church, was captured by the
colonial army in 1777, and would doubtless have been put to death, had
he not contrived to escape from the vigilance of his captors. He made
his way to Canada, and ultimately settled in the Upper Province, in the
neighbourhood of Brockville, where he died at a very advanced age in
1846. His son, the late Dr. Peter Howard Church, settled at Aylmer, in
Ottawa County, Lower Canada, where he practised the medical profession
for many years. Dr. Church had several children, and his second son,
Levi Ruggles, is the subject of this sketch. The latter was born at
Aylmer on the 26th of May, 1836. He received his education at the public
schools of his native town, and afterwards attended for some time at
Victoria College, Cobourg. He chose his father's profession, and
graduated in medicine, first at the Albany Medical College, New York
State, and afterwards at McGill College, Montreal, where he gained the
Primary Final and Thesis Prizes, and acted as House Apothecary at the
General Hospital during the years 1856-7. Becoming dissatisfied with his
prospects, and believing that the legal profession presented a more
suitable field for the exercise of his abilities, he determined to
relinquish medicine for law. Acting upon this resolve, he studied law
under the late Henry Stewart, Q.C., and afterwards under Mr. Edward
Carter, Q.C., at Montreal, and was called to the Bar in the year 1859.
He commenced the practice of this profession in his native town, where
he has ever since resided, and where he has long since acquired high
professional standing and a profitable business connection, as well as a
large measure of social and political influence. He is a partner in the
legal firm of Fleming, Church & Kenney, and a Governor of the College of
Physicians and Surgeons in the Lower Province.

He entered public life at the first general election under Confederation
in 1867, when he successfully contested the representation of his native
county of Ottawa in the Local Legislature. He espoused the Conservative
side, and sat in the House throughout the existence of that Parliament.
He attended closely to his duties, both in the House and as a member of
various committees, and made a favourable reputation for himself as
acting Chairman of the Committee on Private Bills. In July, 1868, he was
appointed Crown Prosecutor for the Ottawa District, and retained that
position until his acceptance of a seat in the Cabinet somewhat more
than six years afterwards. At the general election of 1871, he did not
seek reëlection, and for some time thereafter confined his attention to
his professional duties. He was associated with Judge Drummond and Mr.
Edward Carter in the Beauregard murder case as Junior Counsel for the
defence. On the 22nd of September, 1874, he was appointed a member of
the Executive Council of Quebec, and accepted office as
Attorney-General. He was returned by acclamation for the county of
Pontiac, and enjoyed a similar triumph at the general election of 1875.
He continued to hold the portfolio of Attorney-General until the 27th of
January, 1876, when he became Provincial Treasurer, in which capacity he
repaired to England during the following summer, and negotiated a loan
on behalf of his native Province. He held office as Treasurer until
March, 1878, when the DeBoucherville Government was dismissed from
office by M. Letellier de St. Just, the then Lieutenant-Governor, under
circumstances which are already familiar to readers of these pages. Mr.
Church was one of the signatories to the petition addressed to Sir
Patrick L. Macdougall, who then administered affairs at Ottawa, praying
for the dismissal of M. Letellier from his position as
Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec. At the last general election for the
Province, held in May, 1878, Mr. Church was opposed in Pontiac by Mr. G.
A. Purvis, but defeated that gentleman by a majority of 225 votes, and
still sits in the House for the last named constituency. On the 3rd of
September, 1859, he married Miss Jane Erskine Bell, of London, England,
daughter of Mr. William Bell, barrister, and niece of General Sir George
Bell, K.C.B.



The Duke of Richmond's administration of affairs in Canada was not of
long duration, but his high rank, and the melancholy circumstances
attending his death, have invested his name with an interest which would
not otherwise have attached to it. His rank was higher than that of any
other Governor known to Canadian annals, and his death was due to the
most terrible malady that can afflict mankind.

Charles Gordon Lennox, Duke of Richmond, Earl of March, and Baron
Settrington in the peerage of England; Duke of Lennox, Earl of Darnley,
and Baron Methuen in the peerage of Scotland; and Duc d'Aubigny in
France, was a descendant of King Charles the Second, by the fair and
frail Louise Renée de Querouaille, "whom," says Macaulay, "our rude
ancestors called Madam Carwell." He was the only son of
Lieutenant-General Lord George Henry Lennox, by Lady Louisa Ker,
daughter of the Marquis of Lothian, and nephew of the third Duke. He was
born in 1764, succeeded to the family titles and estates in 1806, and
married, in 1789, Charlotte, daughter of the Duke of Gordon, by whom he
had a numerous progeny. He was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1807 till
1813, during the Secretaryships of the Duke of Wellington and
Mr.--afterwards the Right Honourable Sir Robert--Peel. Having displayed
much ability in the public service, he was appointed Governor-General of
Canada as successor to General Sir John Coape Sherbrooke. He entered on
the duties of his office in the month of July, 1818, having been
accompanied across the Atlantic by his son-in-law, Major-General Sir
Peregrine Maitland, who had been appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the
Upper Province.

The Duke brought with him a good reputation. His Irish administration
had been remarkably successful, and it was believed that his tact, good
nature, and capacity for governing would be productive of happy results
in this country. He spent the remainder of the summer following his
arrival in a trip to the Upper Province, and after his return to Quebec
he was engaged in various diplomatic matters which consumed the greater
part of the following autumn. He met the Legislature for the first time
in January, 1819, when he opened the session with a speech which augured
well for his popularity. It was not long, however, before complications
arose. There was a gradually widening breach between the branches of the
Legislature as to their respective rights and privileges under the
constitution, and it soon became evident that the Governor-General was
not the man to heal this breach. Among the chief points in dispute was
the management of the colonial finances. When the estimates for the year
were presented, it was found that there was an increase of £15,000,
including an item of £8,000 for a pension-list. The Assembly became
alarmed, and referred the estimates to a committee. The committee cut
down several items of expenditure, including that relating to pensions.
The Upper House declined to pass the supply bill, as amended, and the
result was a practical dead-lock in public affairs. It was clear that
the Assembly had no confidence in the Executive. The session was
prorogued on the 12th of April, nothing of importance having been
accomplished. The Governor, in his prorogation speech, expressed his
dissatisfaction with the Assembly, and harangued that body in a fashion
which aroused much ill-will on the part of the members, who repaired to
their homes with a fixed determination to resist to the utmost all
attempts to infringe upon their rights. They were not destined, however,
to come into any further collision with his Grace the Duke of Richmond.
Soon after the close of the session he drew upon the Receiver-General on
his own responsibility for the necessary funds to defray the civil list.

Towards the end of the following June the Governor-General left Quebec,
on an extended tour through both the Provinces. He had a summer
residence at William Henry, or Sorel, in the county of Richelieu, on the
River St. Lawrence, where he made a short stay on his upward journey.
During his sojourn there he was bitten on the back of his hand by a tame
fox with which he was amusing himself. His Grace thought nothing of the
matter, although he experienced some uneasy sensations on the following
morning. He proceeded on his tour to the Upper Province, visited Niagara
Falls, York, and other points of interest, and reached Kingston on his
return journey about the middle of August. He had arranged to visit some
recently surveyed lots in what was then the back wilderness on the line
of the Rideau Canal, between the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. He set out
from Kingston on the 20th of August accompanied by several members of
his staff. It had been calculated that the expedition would occupy
several days. On the morning of the 21st he began to suffer from a pain
in his shoulder. The pain steadily increased and he was recommended to
drink some hot wine and water. He did so, but found great difficulty in
swallowing it. In the evening he reached Perth, and found the pain
somewhat abated. He remained at Perth until the morning of the 24th,
when he resumed his journey, and proceeded on foot over a rugged country
of thirty miles, accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Cockburn. He was much
overcome by fatigue and passed a restless night. On the 25th, he arrived
within three miles of Richmond West, on the Goodwood River, about twenty
miles from Bytown--now Ottawa. There he rested well during the night,
and walked to the settlement on the following morning. He felt much
relieved, and attributed his healthy sensations to his laborious
exercise. In a few hours he again complained of a returning illness, but
passed the night with so much composure that he continued his journey on
the following morning. It was noticed by his staff that he was moody and
irritable, very unlike his ordinary self, and that he displayed an
extraordinary aversion to water, when crossing the little streamlets in
the forest. He was advised by Lieutenant-Colonel Cockburn to rest
himself and send for medical advice, but he continued his journey until
he reached a stream where a canoe was waiting to convey him a short
distance. He must have been sensible of the terrible fate impending over
him for several days before this time, but he bore up with much strength
of mind. Upon reaching the stream just mentioned he expressed his desire
to embark in the canoe, but declared that he did not think he should be
able to do so. He added, "Gentlemen, if I fail, you must force me." His
officers had no suspicion of the real state of affairs, and attributed
his dread of approaching the water to a sort of delirium induced by the
fatigue he had undergone, and the excessive heat of the sun. He was no
sooner seated in the canoe than his face displayed such mortal terror at
the near neighbourhood of the water that the truth flashed upon one of
his officers, who exclaimed: "By Heaven, the Duke has the hydrophobia!"
As the Duke proceeded down stream in the canoe, his officers walked
through the forest to the point where he was expected to disembark. As
they were threading their way along, they were horrified to see His
Grace dart across their path into the depths of the wood. They pursued,
and after a long chase overtook him. He was raving mad. They secured
him, and held him down until the paroxysm had passed, when, with much
self-possession, he explained his terrible situation, and requested them
to do whatever seemed to them best. They resolved to return with him to
the settlement, and began to retrace their steps. Upon reaching the
creek which they had crossed on the previous day, His Grace stopped, and
begged that they would not force him across the stream, as he felt that
he could not survive the effort of crossing the water. They accordingly
made a detour into the forest, and soon arrived at a little bush shanty,
where they requested the Duke to rest himself. The Duke expressed his
desire to take refuge in an adjoining barn, rather than in the shanty,
as the barn, he said, was _farther from water_. His wish was complied
with, and he sprang over a fence and entered the barn. There he spent a
terrible day, sometimes being quite calm and collected, but with
frequent recurrences of his malady. Towards evening he consented to be
removed into the shanty, where he was made as comfortable as
circumstances admitted of. His paroxysms returned frequently in the
course of the following night, and at eight o'clock on the following
morning--which was the 28th--death put an end to his sufferings. The
ruins of the old hovel on the banks of the Goodwood in which the Duke
expired, are, or recently were, still in existence. The spot is in the
county of Carleton, about four miles from Richmond, and near the
confluence of the Goodwood and Rideau rivers, about sixteen miles from
the junction of the Ottawa and Rideau.

His body was conveyed in a canoe to Montreal, where his family awaited
his return from his tour. It was subsequently removed in a steamer to
Quebec, where it was interred close to the communion table in the
Anglican Cathedral. Such was the tragical end of Charles Gordon Lennox,
fourth Duke of Richmond.


Mr. Pelletier was born on the 22nd of January, 1837, at Rivière Ouelle,
in the county of Kamouraska, in Lower Canada. He is a son of the late
Jean Marie Pelletier, by Julie Painchaud his wife. His maternal uncle,
the late Rev. C. F. Painchaud, acquired a Provincial reputation as the
founder of the College of Ste. Anne de la Pocatière, in the building of
which the reverend gentleman expended much of his fortune, and to
promoting the prosperity whereof he gave up many years of his life.

It was at Ste. Anne's College that the subject of this sketch was
educated. After going through all his classes in a highly creditable
manner, he entered Laval University in 1856 as a student at law, being
articled to L. de G. Baillairge, Q.C., the Attorney for the City of
Quebec. After the required lapse of time Mr. Pelletier passed such a
creditable examination that the University, on the 15th of September,
1858, conferred on him the degree of B.C.L. In January, 1860, he was
called to the Bar of his native Province, and for several years devoted
himself entirely to his profession, in partnership with his former
principal, Mr. Baillairge. In July, 1861, he married Suzanne A.
Casgrain, a daughter of the late Hon. C. E. Casgrain, member of the
Legislative Council of Canada. She died during the following year,
leaving one son. In February, 1866, Mr. Pelletier married Virginie A. de
Sales La Terrière, second daughter of the late Hon. Marc Paschal de
Sales La Terrière, M.D., who sat for many years in the Parliament of
Lower Canada, and afterwards in that of the United Provinces.

Mr. Pelletier was for some time Syndie of the Quebec Bar. The _Société
St. Jean Baptiste de Quebec_ has three times elected him as its
President, an honour seldom conferred more than once on the same person.
For several years he served in the Militia of Canada, and the last
Fenian raid found him in command as Major of the 9th Voltigeurs de
Quebec, which battalion he greatly contributed to organize and maintain
in a most efficient state. In 1867, immediately after Confederation, he
was unanimously chosen by the Liberal Party in the county of Kamouraska
as their standard-bearer, and was put in nomination for the House of
Commons. Having secured by his popularity a large majority over his then
opponent, the Hon J. C. Chapais, on a plea of informality in the
proceedings, a special return was made, and the constituency
disfranchised for some months. A short time afterwards the Returning
Officer was censured by the Committee on Privileges and Elections for
his partisan conduct in the matter. Another election having been
ordered, Mr. Pelletier was again chosen as the Liberal candidate, and
elected, in February, 1869, by a large majority, for the county of
Kamouraska, where party strife has always been very bitter, and where a
majority of twenty had previously been considered a decisive victory.
At the general election in 1872 Mr. Pelletier again defeated the
Conservative candidate, Mr.--now Judge--Routhier. In 1873, the Liberals
of Quebec East, having decided to wrest the constituency from the grasp
of the faction which had for several years previously controlled the
vote there, requested Mr. Pelletier to stand for the Division in the
coming contest for the Local Legislature. He acceded to the request, and
an active campaign was set on foot. The event was a memorable one. Both
parties strained every nerve to ensure the success of their respective
candidates, and a loose rein was given to the most violent passions.
Threats were freely indulged in, and on the day of nomination a shot was
fired at Mr. Pelletier on the hustings by some unknown hand. The bullet
grazed his forehead, and passed through the fur cap which he wore.
Nothing daunted by this reprehensible act, Mr. Pelletier continued to
prosecute his canvass with unabated vigour, and a week later he was
returned by a majority of more than 900 votes. In January, 1874, in
consequence of the operation of the Act respecting dual representation,
he resigned his seat in the Quebec Assembly, and remained in the Federal
Parliament. At the general election of 1874, which took place at the
advent to power of the Mackenzie Administration, after the retirement of
Sir John A. Macdonald's Ministry, Mr. Pelletier was returned by
acclamation for Kamouraska.

In December, 1876, the Hon. L. Letellier de St. Just resigned the
portfolio of Minister of Agriculture in the Dominion Government, and was
appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Quebec. Mr. Pelletier
succeeded him in the Department of Agriculture, and was sworn of the
Privy Council in January, 1877, being appointed at the same time Senator
for the Grandville Division. As Minister of Agriculture Mr. Pelletier
was appointed President of the Canadian Commission at the Paris
International Exhibition of 1878, but was prevented on account of
pressing public business, from attending personally in Paris. He,
however, devoted his energies while in Ottawa towards making the
Canadian exhibit a success. For his services the British Government
created him a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. His
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, President of the Royal Commission,
also acknowledged his services in a very complimentary letter, which was
accompanied by His Royal Highness's portrait.

In October, 1878, Mr. Mackenzie placed the resignation of himself and
Cabinet in the hands of Lord Dufferin. Mr. Pelletier in consequence
ceased to preside over the Department of Agriculture. In 1879 he was
created a Queen's Counsel, and since his retirement from the Mackenzie
Government he has devoted his time to his profession at the Quebec Bar.

Mr. Pelletier is a gentleman of great tact and urbanity of manner, and
his fine social qualities and unassuming demeanour have endeared him to
a wide circle of friends. His popular manners, and his constant
readiness to preach peace and good fellowship well qualify him as leader
of the French Canadian Liberals in the Senate. He has in no small degree
been the means of smoothing away that bitterness which for many years
marked political contests in Quebec and Kamouraska. An indefatigable
worker, Mr. Pelletier is recognized as one of the best election
organizers in the Province, and the proof of it lies in the fact that in
no county where he persistently worked did victory desert his banner in
1878. He is known as a fast and firm friend, and though he has been
mixed up in most of the political contests of the District of Quebec for
the past fifteen years, it is believed that he has not a single enemy in
the ranks of his opponents.


Vice-Chancellor Proudfoot was born near Errol, a small village of
Perthshire, Scotland, situated about midway between Perth and Dundee, on
the 9th of November, 1823. He is the third son of the late Rev. William
Proudfoot, who was for many years Superintendent of the Theological
Institute of the United Presbyterian Church, at London, Ontario. The
late Mr. Proudfoot was one of the earliest missionaries sent out to this
country by the United Secession Church, as it was called. He came out
from Scotland with his family in 1832, and after a few months spent at
Little York, removed to London, where he organized a church in which he
officiated until his death, in January, 1851, when he was succeeded by
his second son, the present incumbent. His life was a busy and useful
one, and his services in the cause of theological education have left a
decided impress behind them. He was a man of strong political opinions,
and had before his emigration from Scotland been identified with the
Whig Party. In Canada his sympathies were entirely with the Reformers
throughout their long struggle to obtain Responsible Government and
equal rights for all. During the troubled times of the rebellion he was
subjected to a certain amount of persecution by the Tory Party, but as
he of course had no share in the rebellion, and was a loyal subject to
British connection, he escaped without serious annoyance. Early in 1838
he was informed by some officious friend that he was an object of
suspicion to the ruling powers, and that the Sheriff of the District had
been instructed to watch his movements carefully. With characteristic
intrepidity he at once repaired to the Sheriff's office, and entered
into conversation on the subject with that functionary. He professed his
perfect readiness to be taken into custody. The Sheriff, who held Mr.
Proudfoot's character in high respect, and who well knew that the
Government had nothing to fear from him, begged him to go quietly home
and think no more of the matter. He subsequently aided in establishing a
church in the neighbouring township of Westminster. Not long afterwards
the Theological Institute already referred to was projected. The
Presbyterian Body in this country had no regular seat of advanced
learning at that time, and candidates for the ministry were subjected to
serious drawbacks. Mr. Proudfoot and another clerical gentleman--the
Rev. Alexander Mackenzie--were entrusted with the training of students,
and out of this arrangement the Theological Institute was finally
developed. Many of the leading Presbyterian theologians of Canada
received their training at this establishment, and the name of Mr.
Proudfoot is a grateful remembrance to them at the present day.

The third son, the subject of this sketch, like his elder brothers, was
educated at home by his father, and did not attend any of the public
educational institutions. He chose the law for his profession in life,
and his studies were prosecuted with that end in view. In 1844 he passed
his preliminary examination before the Law Society of Upper Canada, and
immediately afterwards entered the office of Messrs. Blake & Morrison,
barristers, of Toronto, where he spent the five years prescribed as the
period of study for an articled clerk. After his call to the Bar, in
Michaelmas Term, 1849, he entered into partnership with the late Mr.
Charles Jones, and began practice in Toronto. This partnership lasted
about two years, when he was appointed Master and Deputy-Registrar of
the Court of Chancery at Hamilton. He had paid special attention to the
principles of Equity Jurisprudence, and had received much of his
training in those principles from Mr. Blake himself, under whose
supervision the Court of Chancery in this Province had been remodelled,
and who was at this time Chancellor of Upper Canada. He accordingly
removed to Hamilton, and conducted the local business of the Court for
three years, when he resigned his position and devoted himself
exclusively to practice. He formed a partnership with the late Mr.
Samuel Black Freeman and Mr. William Craigie, one of the leading law
firms in Hamilton, under the style of Messrs. Freeman, Craigie &
Proudfoot. Mr. Proudfoot had exclusive charge of the Equity business of
the firm, which attained large dimensions, and became one of the most
profitable in Western Canada. The partnership, which was formed in 1854,
lasted for eight years, and terminated in 1862, when Mr. Proudfoot
withdrew from the firm. He subsequently formed several other
partnerships, he himself continuing to devote himself entirely to
Equity. During the whole of his professional career he was an adherent
of the Reform Party, and used all his influence for the advancement of
Liberal principles. In 1872 he was appointed a Queen's Counsel by the
Ontario Government, but afterwards declined to have the appointment
confirmed by the Government of the Dominion.

His attainments as an Equity lawyer marked him as a fit recipient of
judicial honours, and on the 30th of May, 1874, he was appointed to a
seat on the Chancery Bench, as successor to Mr. Strong, who had been
transferred to the Court of Appeal. His judicial career has thoroughly
justified the wisdom of his appointment. He has presided over many
important cases, and has rendered some very elaborate and profound
judgments on matters connected with ecclesiastical law.

Mr. Proudfoot, in 1853, during his tenure of office as Local Master in
Chancery at Hamilton, married Miss Thomson, a daughter of the late Mr.
John Thomson, of Toronto. This lady, by whom he had a family of six
children, died in 1871. In 1875 he married his second wife, who was Miss
Cook, daughter of the late Mr. Adam Cook, of Hamilton. This lady died in


_B.C.L., D.C.L., Q.C._

Though Mr. Abbott's parliamentary career embraces a period of more than
twenty years, it is not as a legislator that the Canadian of the future
will be likely to remember him. The legislation of 1864 may be said to
have decided his future course, for from that year his rapid rise in his
profession may be dated, and his extraordinary success in the special
branch he had chosen, that of commercial law, first began to develop
itself prominently. Before that year he had won distinction at the Bar
as an able lawyer and a wise counsellor, but he was still undecided with
regard to his future, when a circumstance occurred which promptly
determined him. The Insolvent Act of 1864, which he prepared and carried
through the House with great ability, proved to be the turning point in
his fortunes, and though we have had other legislation on this subject
since then, the principles laid down by Mr. Abbott, when introducing his
measure, have been steadily retained in all later enactments. Before his
bill became law, the only system which existed was the Act under the
civil code, which had been found to be both cumbrous and costly in its
operation. The country had suffered for several years for the want of
something better, and accordingly when Mr. Abbott's Act came into force,
it was regarded by the mercantile community as a sterling piece of
legislation, and one which was well calculated to add materially to the
originator's legal reputation and standing. Mr. Abbott published about
the same time a manual which described fully his Act, with notes and the
tariff of fees for Lower Canada. This book and the measure itself gave
his name wide publicity throughout the Province, and for many years he
was the recognized exponent of the principles of the Act which governed
the law relating to bankruptcy. Merchants flocked to his office to
consult him on a measure which many believed could be explained by no
one else, and this formed the nucleus of a practice which has increased
from that day to this, to enormous proportions. He is still regarded as
the ablest commercial lawyer in the Province of Quebec.

He was born at St. Andrews, in the county of Argenteuil, Lower Canada,
on the 12th of March, 1821. His father was the Reverend Joseph Abbott,
M.A., first Anglican Incumbent of St. Andrews, who emigrated to this
country from England in 1818 as a missionary, and who during his long
residence in Canada added considerably to the literary activity of the
country. He had not been long in Canada before he married Miss Harriet
Bradford, a daughter of the Rev. Richard Bradford, first Rector of
Chatham, Argenteuil County. The first fruit of this union was the
subject of this sketch. The latter was carefully educated at St. Andrews
with a view to a university career, and in due time he was sent to
Montreal, where he entered the University of McGill College. He
distinguished himself highly at this seat of learning, and graduated as
a B.C.L. Shortly after he began the study of law, and in October, 1847,
was called to the Bar of Lower Canada. His professional success has
already been referred to.

His political life began in 1857, when he contested the county of
Argenteuil at the general elections of that year. He was elected a
member of the Canadian Assembly, but was not returned until 1859. He
continued to represent the constituency in that House until the Union of
1867, when he was returned for the Commons. He was reëlected at the
general elections of 1872 and 1874. In October of the last-named year he
was unseated, when Dr. Christie was chosen by acclamation. At the
general election of September, 1878, he was again a candidate, but again
sustained defeat at the hands of his old antagonist Dr. Christie. The
latter, however, was unseated, and in February, 1880, Mr. Abbott was
again elected for the county.

For a short time in 1862 he held the post of Solicitor-General in the
Sandfield Macdonald-Sicotte Administration, and prior to his acceptance
of office he was created a Q.C. In 1864, while in Opposition, he was
instrumental in introducing two bills which have added to his fame as a
lawyer. The first of these was the Jury Law Consolidation Act for Lower
Canada. Its principal provisions were to simplify the system of
summoning jurors, and the preparation of jury lists. The other law which
he added to the statute book was the Bill for collecting judicial and
registration fees by stamps. This was the first complete legislation
that had taken place on the subject, and as in the case of his other
measures, the main principles have been retained in the subsequent
legislation which has followed. Besides these, and many less important
but useful measures, Mr. Abbott's political work consists of amendments
to Bills, suggestions and advice as regards measures affecting law and
commerce. His advice at such times has always proved of the greatest
value, and it is in this department of legislation that he has achieved
the most success. He is a good speaker, but of late years has made no
special figure in the House, either as an orator or a debater.

Mr. Abbott is Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of McGill
College, a D.C.L. of that University, and Lieutenant-Colonel of the
"Argenteuil Rangers," known in the Department of Militia as the 11th
Battalion--a corps raised by him during the patriotic time of the
"Trent" excitement. He is also President of the Fraser Institute of
Montreal, and Director or law adviser to various companies and

Twice Mr. Abbott's name came before the public in a manner which gave
him great notoriety. He was the prominent figure, after Sir Hugh Allan,
in the famous Pacific Scandal episode. Being the legal adviser of the
Knight of Ravenscraig, all transactions were carried on through him, and
it was a confidential clerk of his who revealed details of the scheme
which culminated in the downfall of the Macdonald Cabinet. His second
conspicuous appearance on the public stage was in connection with the
Letellier case, when he went to England in April, 1879, as the associate
of the Hon. H. L. Langevin on the mission which resulted in the
dismissal of the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec.

In 1849 he married Miss Mary Bethune, daughter of the Very Reverend J.
Bethune, D.D., late Dean of Montreal.



The present Lieutenant-Governor of this Province is the namesake and
second son of the late Sir John Beverley Robinson, Baronet, a sketch of
whose life appears elsewhere in the present series. He was born at
Beverley House, the paternal homestead, in Toronto, on the 21st of
February, 1819. He was educated at Upper Canada College, and was one of
the earliest students at that seat of learning, which he attended while
it was presided over by the Rev. Dr. J. H. Harris, its first Principal.
His collegiate days, and indeed, the days of his boyhood generally, were
marked by robustness of constitution, and an excessive fondness for
athletics--characteristics which may be said to have accompanied him
through life. During Sir Francis Bond Head's disastrous administration
of Upper Canadian affairs young Robinson was for some time one of his
aides-de-camp, and in this capacity was brought prominently into contact
with the troubles of December, 1837. He accompanied His Excellency from
Government House to Montgomery's hotel, Yonge Street, on the 7th of the
month, when the hotel and Gibson's dwelling-house were burned, and he
was thus an eye-witness of the spectacle so graphically described by Sir
Francis in the pages of "The Emigrant." A day or two later he was sent
to Washington as the bearer of important despatches to the British
Minister there, and remained in the American capital several weeks.

Soon after the close of the rebellion Mr. Robinson entered the office of
the Hon. Christopher Hagerman, a prominent lawyer and legislator of
those days, who held important offices in several administrations, and
who was subsequently raised to the Bench. After remaining about two
years there he had his articles transferred to Mr. James M. Strachan, of
the firm of Strachan & Cameron, one of the leading law firms in Toronto.
There he remained until the expiration of his articles, when, in Easter
Term of 1844, he was called to the Bar of Upper Canada. He does not
appear to have been admitted as an attorney and solicitor until Trinity
Term, 1869. Immediately after his call to the Bar he began practice in
Toronto, where he formed various partnerships, and continued to practise
up to the date of his appointment to the position which he now holds.

On the 30th of June, 1847, he married Miss Mary Jane Hagerman, the
second daughter of his former principal. He early began to take an
active interest in municipal affairs, and in 1851 was elected as
Alderman for St. Patrick's Ward, which at that time included the present
wards of St. Patrick and St. John. He held the post of Alderman for six
consecutive years; was for some time President of the City Council; and
in 1857 was elected Mayor. At the next general election he offered
himself to the citizens of Toronto as a candidate for a seat in the
Legislative Assembly, and was returned conjointly with the late Hon.
George Brown. Like all his family connections, he was a Conservative in
politics, and yielded a firm support to the Cartier-Macdonald
Administration. While in Parliament he was instrumental in procuring the
passage of several Acts referring to the Toronto Esplanade and other
local improvements. On the 27th of March, 1862, he accepted the office
of President of the Council in the Cartier-Macdonald Administration, and
held office until the resignation of the Ministry in the month of May
following. He has not since been a member of any Administration, but has
always been a strenuous supporter of the Conservative side, and has been
returned in that interest for his native city no fewer than seven times.
At the general election of 1872 he was returned to the House of Commons
for the District of Algoma, which he continued thenceforward to
represent until the dissolution. At the last general election for the
House of Commons, held on the 17th of September, 1878, he was returned
for Toronto West by a very large majority (637 votes) over Mr. Thomas
Hodgins, the Reform candidate. He continued to represent West Toronto in
the Commons until the 30th of June, 1880, when he was appointed to the
office of Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, as successor to the Hon. D. A.

Mr. Robinson was for many years Solicitor to the Corporation of the City
of Toronto. He has held several offices in connection with financial and
public institutions, and has been President of the St. George's Society
of Toronto.


Francois Xavier de Laval-Montmorency was born on the 30th of April,
1623, at Laval, in the diocese of Chartres, France. From childhood his
thoughts were intimately associated with the Church, and at a very early
age he made up his mind to study for the priesthood. Bagot the Jesuit
may be said to have moulded his career, and directed his studies, with
that object in view. He next associated himself with the band of young
zealots at the Caen Hermitage, whose Ultramontane piety was the wonder
of the time. He studied for awhile under De Bernières, and in September,
1645, was ordained a priest at Paris. Eight years later he was made
Archdeacon of Evreux. In 1657 a bishop was wanted for Canada, and the
Sulpicians, like the Récollets some years earlier, aspired to furnish
that dignitary from their own order. They sent forward the name of
Father Queylus as candidate for the bishopric, and though the suggestion
found favour in the eyes of the French clergy, and was approved by
Cardinal Mazarin, the Jesuits were powerful enough to overthrow all the
designs of the rival fathers. They were strong at court, and so well did
they use their influence that Mazarin was soon induced to withdraw his
good offices, and Queylus was forced to relinquish his opportunity. The
Jesuits were then invited to name a bishop, and Laval was chosen. On the
16th of June, 1659, he arrived at Quebec, carrying the Pope's
benediction and the Vicar-Apostolicship for Canada.

It was his fate, during his lengthened stay in Canada, to dispute with
every successive Governor appointed by the Crown, on questions which
were often contemptible and trifling. He kept the King and his ministers
busy settling petty questions of precedence and church dignity. He was a
man of very domineering temper, arbitrary and dictatorial in all his
acts, a firm exponent of the Ultramontane doctrine which declares the
State to be subservient to the will of the Church on all occasions, and
that even princes and rulers must yield to the commands of the Pope. His
first quarrel was with Argenson, the then Governor of Canada, and was
about the relative position of the seats which each should occupy in
church. The case was sent to Aillebout, the pious ex-Governor, for
settlement, and a temporary reconciliation took place. The quarrel burst
forth afresh, however, from time to time, and Argenson, disgusted at
these constant wranglings between Church and State, and dissatisfied
with other matters connected with his administration, asked the Home
Government to relieve him. His resignation was accepted, and the old
soldier, Baron Dubois d'Avaugour, was appointed in his stead. The latter
soon had his point of dispute with Laval. In his case it turned upon the
much-vexed temperance question. Laval embarked for France in August,
1662, determined to lay the matter before the Court, and to urge the
removal of Avaugour. He was successful, and early in the following year
the Governor was recalled.

Laval's next conflict was with Dumesnil, an advocate of the Parliament
of Paris, and the agent of the Company of New France. While in Paris,
the bishop was instructed by the Government to choose a governor to his
own liking. He selected Saffray de Mézy, of Caen, for the governorship,
and with him he sailed for the colony, arriving on the 15th of
September, 1663. Immediately on arriving, Laval and the Governor
proceeded to construct the new Council. Virtually all the nominations
were made by the bishop, who knew everybody, while the Governor knew
absolutely no one in the whole country. The new Council formed, Dumesnil
at once pressed the long pending claims of his company for settlement.
The Council was composed of ignorant and corrupt men, several of whom
were actually defaulters to the company represented by Dumesnil, and
Laval was much blamed for placing them in an office which rendered them
judges in their own cause. The Attorney-General demanded in Council that
the papers of Dumesnil should be forcibly seized and sequestered. To
this the Council at once agreed, and that night Dumesnil's house was
entered and ransacked for the papers, which on being found were seized.
The agent himself barely escaped with his life. He fled to France, and
succeeded in gaining the ear of Colbert, the King's minister, who
promptly moved in the matter.

Mézy, though he owed everything to the bishop, determined that he would
be his mere instrument and tool no longer. The old war between Church
and State broke out again. Mézy was a bigot, who stood in mortal terror
of the power of the Church, and whose whole life was made up of the
veriest superstition, but he rebelled against Laval. Discovering that
the Council was composed of creatures of the bishop, he, on the 13th of
February, 1664, ordered three of the most notorious members to absent
themselves from the Council. At the same time he wrote to the bishop and
informed him of what he had done, and asked him to acquiesce in the
expulsion of his favourites. Of course Laval refused to do anything of
the kind. Mézy then caused his declaration to be announced to the people
in the usual way, by means of placards posted about the city, and by
sound of the drum. The bishop, however, had the best of the encounter.
Mézy learned to his horror and consternation that the churches were to
be closed against him, and that the sacraments would be refused him. In
his despair he sought counsel from the Jesuits, but the comfort which he
received from them was to follow the advice of his confessor--also a
Jesuit. In the meantime Laval had become unpopular through a tithe which
he had caused to be imposed, and the people were clamouring for a
settlement of the difficulty. Mézy called a public meeting, appointed a
new Attorney-General, and declared the old one excluded from all public
functions whatever, pending the King's pleasure in the matter. All
through this conflict of authority, the sympathy of the people was with
the Governor, though the latter was denounced from the pulpits. Mézy
appealed to the populace for justice, and by this act signed the warrant
of his own doom. Laval reported the circumstance to the King, and the
Governor was peremptorily recalled.

In 1663 Laval founded the Seminary of Quebec, and by this act endeared
himself to the priesthood. The King favoured the project, and with his
own hand signed the decree which sanctioned the establishment. Laval's
heart was in this great educational project, and not only did he secure
substantial aid from his friends at home, and from the King himself,
but in 1680 he gave to the institution of his creation almost everything
he possessed. Included in this gift were his enormous grants of lands,
which comprised the Seigniories of the Petite Nation, the Island of
Jesus, and Beaupré, all of immense value.

In 1666 Laval consecrated the Parochial Church of Quebec. In 1674 he
returned to France, and the height of his ambition became realized. He
was named Bishop of Quebec, a suffragan bishop of the Holy See, by a
bull of Clement X., dated the first of October. The revenues of the
Abbey of Meaubec, in the diocese of Bourges, were added to those of the
bishopric of Quebec. The new dignitary, armed with all the power and
influence of his office, set out for Canada, and proceeded, on arriving
there, to set his house in order. Of course, it was not long before
hostilities again broke out between the rival forces of the country.
Frontenac was Governor then, and the prime cause of the disturbance was
the old brandy trouble. Then honours and precedence were the questions
at issue between these two obstinate and high-spirited men. Precedence
at church, and precedence at public meetings were fought all over again,
and referred to France to the great disgust of the King, who losing all
patience at last, wrote a sharp letter to Frontenac, directing him to
conform to the practice established at Amiens, and to exact no more.

Laval continued to dispute from time to time with the Home Government
concerning the system of movable curés which had been instituted by him.
The bishop clung to his method despite all opposition and remonstrance,
even setting aside at one time a royal edict on the subject. In the very
height of the dispute Laval proceeded to Court, and asked permission to
retire from the bishopric he had been so zealous to establish. His plea
was ill-health, and the King granted his prayer, appointing in 1688
Saint Vallier as his successor. Laval wished to return to Canada, but
this privilege was denied him, and it was not until four years had
passed away that he was allowed to come back to the Church he loved so
well. Saint Vallier sought by every means in his power to undo Laval's
great work. He attacked the Seminary, and attempted to change its whole
economy, receiving, however, much opposition from the priests, who were
warmly attached to their old prelate. Laval groaned in despair at these
attacks on the fabric he had raised, but he had the grim satisfaction of
seeing the new bishop fail signally in many of his objects of
demolition. Laval at length, wearied and worn, retired to his beloved
Seminary, and on the 6th of May, 1708, he died there, at the advanced
age of 85, and was buried near the principal altar in the cathedral. The
Catholic University of Quebec, which boasts a Royal Charter signed by
Queen Victoria, stands as a monument to his fame and name.



Judge Gowan is the only son of the late Henry Hatton Gowan, of Wexford,
Ireland, where the subject of this sketch was born on the 22nd of
December, 1817. His family emigrated to this country when he was in his
fifteenth year, and settled on a farm in the township of Albion, in what
is now the county of Peel. The late Mr. Gowan was afterwards appointed
Deputy Clerk of the Crown for the county of Simcoe, which position, we
believe, he retained until his death in 1863. The son's education would
appear to have been somewhat desultory, but he was an apt scholar, and
possessed the national fondness for learning. Having chosen the legal
profession as his future calling in life, he was articled as a clerk in
the office of the late Mr. James Edward Small, of Toronto--a well-known
lawyer of his day and generation, who held the post of Solicitor-General
in the first Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration, formed in 1842. Young
Gowan went through the ordinary routine of study, working hard at his
books, and furnishing frequent contributions to the newspapers of the
day on a great variety of subjects. He was called to the Bar of Upper
Canada in Michaelmas Term, 1839. He at once formed a partnership with
Mr. Small, and devoted himself assiduously to the practice of his
profession, writing occasional articles on legal and other topics for
the press, and building up for himself the reputation of a man whose
opinions were of value. Notwithstanding his youth, he displayed
remarkable ability as a legal draughtsman and special pleader, and had
mastered the cumbrous and elaborate system of pleading then in vogue
among the profession. He took a keen interest in the political questions
of the day. He was a Reformer, and a disciple of Mr. Baldwin, who held
him in high esteem. The partnership with Mr. Small lasted somewhat more
than three years, during which period it was that the senior partner
accepted office in the Government of the day. As Solicitor-General, a
goodly share of patronage must have fallen to the latter's share, and we
presume it is to his connection with Mr. Small that Judge Gowan owes his
appointment to the position of Judge of the District and Surrogate
Courts of the county of Simcoe. His appointment bears date the 17th of
January, 1843, and is said to have been made without any solicitation on
the part of the recipient. However that may be, it is certain that few
better appointments have been made by any Government in this country.
Mr. Gowan first took his seat on the Judicial Bench when he was only
twenty-five years of age. He has continued to discharge his judicial
duties, almost without interruption, from that time to the present,
embracing a period of nearly thirty-eight years. During the whole of
that time not a single important decision of his, so far as we are
aware, has been over-ruled. He enjoys the reputation of being one of
the most profound and learned lawyers in the Dominion, and his decisions
are regarded with a respect seldom accorded to those of County Court

[Illustration: JAMES ROBERT GOWAN, signed as JAS. ROBT GOWAN]

His skill as a legal draughtsman was such that Mr. Baldwin, who, at the
time of Judge Gowan's appointment, was Attorney-General for Upper
Canada, availed himself of his services in preparing various important
measures which were afterwards submitted to Parliament. This was a
remarkably high compliment for a young man of twenty-five to receive,
but there is no doubt that the compliment was well merited, for the
measures so prepared were models of compact statutory legislation, and
gained no inconsiderable _eclat_ for the Administration. The example set
by Mr. Baldwin has since been followed by other Attorneys-General, and
Judge Gowan has thus made a decided mark upon our Canadian legislation
and jurisprudence. It is said, and we believe truly, that it was he who
suggested the introduction of the Common Law Procedure Act of 1856, and
that the adaptation of the English Act to our local requirements was
largely the work of his hand.

At the time of his appointment the judicial system of the inferior
courts was in a very primitive condition. He set himself diligently to
work in his own district, and, in the face of many difficulties,
succeeded in organizing the system which he has ever since administered
with such benefit and satisfaction to the community in which he resides.
The position of a judge in a rural district was attended in those days
with a good many inconveniences which have disappeared with advancing
civilization. The roads were in such a condition that he was generally
compelled to make his circuits on horseback. Judge Gowan's district was
the largest in the Province, and extended over a wide tract of country,
the greater part of which was but sparsely settled. He was frequently
compelled to ride from sixty to seventy miles a day, and to dispose of
five or six hundred cases at a single session. One of the newspapers
published in the county of Simcoe gave an account, several years ago, of
some of his early exploits; from which account it appears that he was
often literally compelled to take his life in his hand in the course of
his official peregrinations. It describes how, on one occasion, he was
compelled to ride from Barrie to Collingwood when the forest was on
fire. The heat and smoke were sufficiently trying, but he also had to
encounter serious peril from the blazing trees which were falling all
around him. On another occasion, while attempting to cross a river
during high water, his horse was caught by the flood, and carried down
stream at such a rate that he might well have given himself up for lost.
He saved himself by grasping his horse's tail, and thereby keeping his
head above water until he came to a spot where he could find foothold,
and so made the best of his way, more than half drowned, to the shore.
He was also frequently compelled to encounter dangers from which
travellers in the rural districts of Canada are not altogether free,
even at the present day--such dangers, for instance, as damp beds,
unwholesome and ill-cooked food, and badly ventilated rooms.
Notwithstanding all these drawbacks, he was able to say, after he had
been a judge for more than a quarter of a century: "I have never been
absent from the Superior Courts over which I preside;"--by which he
meant the County Courts and Quarter Sessions--"and as to the Division
Courts, except when on other duties at the instance of the Government,
fifty days would cover all the occasions when a deputy acted for me."

In 1853 Judge Gowan was one of the five judges appointed under the
Division Court Act of that year, whereby the Governor was authorized to
appoint five judges to frame rules regulating the procedure in the
Division Courts. His collaborateurs in this task were the Hon. Samuel
Bealey Harrison, Judge of the County Court of the United Counties of
York and Peel; Judge O'Reilly, of Wentworth; Judge Campbell, of Lincoln;
and Judge Malloch, of Carleton. The rules framed by them have since
received many additions, and have been elaborately annotated; but they
still form the basis of Division Court practice in this Province. During
the same year (1853), Judge Gowan married Anna, second daughter of the
late Rev. S. B. Ardagh, Rector of Barrie, and Incumbent of Shanty Bay.
After the passing of the Common Law and County Courts Procedure Acts, in
1856 and 1857 respectively, Judge Gowan was associated with the judges
of the Superior Courts in framing the tariff of fees for the guidance of
attorneys and taxing-masters in the Courts of Common Law. He was also
associated with the late Robert Easton Burns, one of the Puisné Judges
of the Court of Queen's Bench, and the Hon. John Godfrey Spragge, the
present Chancellor, in framing rules and orders regulating the procedure
in the Probate and Surrogate Courts. He also rendered valuable service
in assisting the late Sir James B. Macaulay and others in the
consolidation of the Public General Statutes of Canada and Upper Canada

In 1862, during Chief Justice Draper's absence in England, special
commissions were issued to Judges Macaulay and Gowan, authorizing them
to hold certain assizes which the Chief Justice's absence prevented him
from holding in person. Later in the same year disputes arose between
the Government of Canada and the contractors for the erection of the
Parliament Buildings at Ottawa. The disputes were submitted for
adjudication to a tribunal of three persons, consisting of the engineer
employed by the Government, an engineer named by the contractors, and an
Upper Canadian judge to be accepted by both the parties to the dispute.
Judge Gowan was the one so accepted. He acted as Chairman to the
tribunal, which settled the matter by a unanimous decision.

In 1869 a Board of County Court Judges was formed under the statute 32
Victoria, chapter 23, for further regulating Division Court procedure,
and settling conflicting decisions. The Board consisted of Judge Gowan,
and Judges Jones, of Brantford, Hughes, of Elgin, Daniell, of Prescott
and Russell, and Smith, of Victoria. They began their labours, and
promulgated certain rules, in the early spring of the year; but these
rules were only temporary, and were followed, on the 1st of July, by
other and more elaborately formed regulations, which are still in
operation. Judge Gowan was appointed Chairman to the Board, and still
retains that position. His large experience, both in the framing of such
rules and in carrying them into effect in the courts, have proved very
serviceable to the country at large, where the rules and orders
promulgated by the Board have all the force of law. During this same
year (1869), he was engaged, with other leading Canadian jurists, in
consolidating the Criminal Law of the various Provinces, prior to its
submission to Parliament to receive the sanction of that Body. Two years
later he was appointed one of five Commissioners to inquire into the
constitution and jurisdiction of the several Courts of Law and Equity,
with a view to a possible fusion. His colleagues in this important
inquiry were Judges Wilson, Gwynne, Strong, and Patterson.

Judge Gowan was one of the Royal Commissioners appointed on the 14th of
August, 1873, by His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin, to investigate the
charges made by the Hon. L. S. Huntington in connection with the Pacific
Railway Scandal. His colleagues were the Hon. Antoine Polette, a Judge
of the Superior Court of Quebec, and the Hon. C. D. Day, Chancellor of
McGill College, Montreal, and formerly a Judge of the Superior Court of
Lower Canada. The Commissioners were appointed by virtue of an Act
passed during the session of 1868. They were empowered to investigate
the charges, and to report thereupon to the Speakers of the Senate and
Commons, and to the Secretary of State. Everybody remembers the
excitement which prevailed throughout the country at that time. The
Commission met at Ottawa three days after the date of its appointment.
The examination of witnesses began on the 4th of September, and lasted
to the end of the month. Mr. Huntington, though summoned to appear
before the Commission and give evidence, did not present himself, nor
was any evidence offered in substantiation of the charges made by him on
the floor of the House. The labours of the Commission, therefore, were
necessarily unproductive, and they simply reported the evidence taken
and the various documents filed.

In 1874 Judge Gowan was appointed one of the Commissioners for the
revision, consolidation, and classification of the Public General
Statutes relating to Ontario; a task which was finally completed in
1877, and which included all public statutory legislation down to the
month of November in that year. The Judge has recently received from the
Ontario Government a beautifully-executed gold medal struck in
commemoration of the completion of that important work.

From the foregoing account of a few of the most important of Judge
Gowan's public services, it will be seen that his labours, in addition
to his ordinary official duties, have been many and onerous. He has also
held various offices which must have involved a considerable amount of
labour, and close attention to details. He was Chairman of the Board of
Public Instruction from the time of its foundation to its abolition in
1876. He has been for more than thirty years Chairman of the Senior High
School Board of the county of Simcoe. He has also held high office in
the Masonic Fraternity, and has taken a warm interest in all matters
relating to the Episcopal Church, of which he is a life-long member. In
1855 he was largely instrumental in founding the _Upper Canada Law
Journal_, and for many years thereafter he contributed to its pages.
Notwithstanding all these multifarious pursuits he never looks like an
overworked man, but carries his sixty-three years with a remarkably good
grace. He continues to take a warm interest in public and social
matters. He is revered alike by the public and by the professional men
of the county of Simcoe, who are justly proud of his well-deserved fame.
About twelve years ago, when he had completed a quarter of a century's
service on the Bench, he was presented by the local Bar with a
life-sized portrait in oil of himself in his robes. The portrait was
accompanied by an enthusiastic address expressive of the respect and
esteem in which he was held by the donors. He has been offered a seat on
the Bench of the Superior Courts, but has preferred to retain the
position which he has so long occupied. During the last eight years he
has had an efficient ally in the person of Mr. John A. Ardagh, B.A., who
was appointed Junior Judge of the County of Simcoe in 1872.

Judge Gowan resides at Ardraven, a pleasant seat in the neighbourhood of
Barrie, overlooking Kempenfeldt Bay, an inlet of Lake Simcoe. He also
has a delightful summer residence called Eileangowan, situated on an
island containing about four hundred acres, in Lake Muskoka, opposite
the mouth of Muskoka River, about an hour's ride from Gravenhurst.



A few years before his death Mr. Gourlay issued the prospectus of a work
bearing the following title: "The Recorded Life of Robert Gourlay, Esq.,
now Robert Fleming Gourlay, with Reminiscences and Reflections, by
himself, in his 75th year." So far as we have been able to ascertain, no
portion of the projected work has ever been given to the world; and we
may add that nothing like a consecutive account of the life of one of
the most remarkable men known to the early political history of Upper
Canada has ever been attempted. Any account written at this distance of
time, and without access to Mr. Gourlay's family papers, must
necessarily be somewhat fragmentary and disconnected. During his
lifetime he published several volumes and numerous pamphlets, all of
which throw more or less light on certain episodes in his career; but
the writer who undertakes to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to
weave into a harmonious narrative the rambling, discursive, and often
incoherent literary productions of this singular man, will find that he
has no sinecure on his hands. It is desirable, however, that the attempt
should be made, for Robert Gourlay exercised no slight influence upon
Upper Canadian politics sixty-and-odd years ago, and the accounts of him
contained in the various histories of Canada are wofully meagre and
unsatisfactory. His life is interesting in itself, and instructive by
way of an example to egotists for all time to come. It presents the
spectacle of a man of good abilities and upright intentions, who spent
the greater part of a long life in endeavouring to benefit his
fellow-creatures, and who nevertheless, owing to the peculiar
idiosyncrasies of his character, was foredoomed to disappointment and
misfortune almost from his birth. "Robert," said his father, "will hurt
himself, but will do good to others." This judgment was passed when
Robert was a boy at school, and his subsequent career fully vindicated
the accuracy of the paternal estimate.

Robert Gourlay--who when past middle life assumed the name of Robert
Fleming Gourlay--was a native of the parish of Ceres, in Fifeshire,
Scotland, and was born there on the 24th of March, 1778. He came of
respectable ancestry. His father, a man of liberal education, had
studied law, and practised for thirteen years as a Writer to the Signet
in Edinburgh; and before the birth of his son, the subject of this
sketch, had become the possessor, by marriage, descent, and otherwise,
of considerable landed property. Soon after Robert's birth the old
gentleman retired from the practice of his profession, and settled upon
one of his estates, in the parish of Ceres, where he devoted much of his
time to devising and carrying out various agricultural improvements. He
also expended large sums of money in improving and beautifying the
highways in his parish, and in contributing to the comfort and
happiness of his poorer neighbours. His real estates were worth at least
£100,000 sterling, and he had a floating capital of about £20,000.
Robert received an education commensurate with his station in life.
After being taught by several private tutors, he was placed at the High
School of Edinburgh. He was also for a short time at the University of
St. Andrews, where he was a contemporary and warm personal friend of
Thomas (afterwards Doctor) Chalmers. The Doctor has left written
testimony to the capacity and moral worth of his fellow-pupil. The
latter also seems to have spent a term at the University of Edinburgh.
Owing to his being the eldest son, and born to considerable
expectations, he was not bred to any regular profession, and his life
for some years after leaving school seems to have been passed in a
somewhat desultory fashion. He lived at home, and was on visiting terms
with the resident gentry of Fifeshire. He took some interest in military
matters, and in October, 1799, received a commission to command a corps
of the Fifeshire Volunteers. This commission appears to have lapsed,
for, when war was declared by Great Britain against Bonaparte in 1803,
we find Robert Gourlay volunteering as a private in a troop of yeomanry
cavalry. The services of the troop, however, were not required, and,
regarding this as a slight to the troop and himself, he withdrew his
name from the muster-roll in high dudgeon. In 1806 he was again seized
with military ardour, and offered his services to take charge of a
military corps and invade Paris, during Bonaparte's absence in Poland.
He at this time evidently possessed an energetic, but unpractical and
ill-balanced mind, which may have been to some extent due to the nature
of his training, but was doubtless chiefly a matter of inherited
temperament. Like his father, he was very kind and generous to the poor
of Ceres and the neighbouring parishes, and spent much time in making
himself familiar with their needs and sympathies. By the lower orders he
was greatly beloved, and with reason, for he was actuated by a sincere
philanthropy, and contributed largely to the improvement of their
condition. He studied the economical side of the poor question with
great diligence, and was recognized as an authority on all matters
relating to parish rates, tithes, visiting justice business, and
pauperism generally. These studies brought him into contact with Mr.
Arthur Young, the eminent writer on agricultural questions, whose
"Travels in France during the years 1787, '88, '89 and '90," is the most
trustworthy source of information regarding the condition of that
country just before the breaking out of the Revolution. Mr. Young formed
a high estimate of Gourlay, and, at his suggestion, the latter was
appointed by a branch of the Government to conduct an inquiry into the
state of the poor in England. Mr. Gourlay travelled, chiefly on foot,
through the greater part of the chief agricultural districts of England
and Scotland, and when he had brought his inquiries to an end, he was
pronounced by Mr. Young to be better informed with respect to the poor
of Great Britain than any other man in the kingdom. He was consulted by
members of Parliament, political economists, parish overseers, and even
by members of the Cabinet, as to the best means for reforming the poor
laws, and was always ready to spend himself and his substance for the
public good.

In 1807 he married, and settled down at Pratis, one of his father's
estates in Fifeshire. He had only been thus settled a few months when he
got into a quarrel with his neighbour, the Earl of Kellie. The cause of
quarrel seems ludicrously small to have produced such results as ensued.
Lord Kellie was Chairman of a meeting of heritors held at Cupar on the
15th of February, 1808. The object of the meeting was to pass a loyal
address to the King, and to discuss certain details respecting the
farmers' income-tax. The address was duly voted, after which it was
proposed to adjourn the discussion on the income-tax question until a
future day. Mr. Gourlay, who was present, opposed this adjournment with
much vehemence. While he was making a speech, in favour of proceeding
with the discussion without delay, the Chairman, Lord Kellie, pronounced
the meeting adjourned, and vacated his chair. This action Mr. Gourlay
construed into a personal insult to himself. He and Lord Kellie were
diametrically opposed to each other in their views on this income-tax
question, and Mr. Gourlay considered that the Earl had taken an unfair
advantage of his position in order to stave off discussion. In this view
he was probably borne out by the fact. There can be no question,
however, that his anger was altogether out of proportion to the offence.
He wrote to Lord Kellie demanding an apology. The demand not being
complied with he devoted a fortnight to writing his "Letter to the Earl
of Kellie concerning the Farmers' Income Tax, with a hint on the
principle of representation, &c. &c." This letter, which occupies
sixty-three printed octavo pages, was published in London, at the
author's expense, and circulated throughout the county of Fife. Mr.
Gourlay's argument on the main question was sound enough, but it could
have been stated effectively in two or three pages, instead of in more
than twenty times that number. The pamphlet diverged into all sorts of
extraneous matters, and was full of personal abuse of Lord Kellie. It
did Mr. Gourlay no good in the county, even with the farmers whose cause
he espoused, and from this time forward we perceive in all his writings
the most unmistakable evidences of an irritated mind, and a temper under
very inadequate control.

His health having temporarily given way, he determined to try change of
climate, and in the course of the year 1809 he took up his abode in
England, as tenant of Deptford Farm, in the parish of Wily, in
Wiltshire, an estate belonging to the Duke of Somerset. His Grace had
expressed himself as being very desirous of improving the condition of
the English farming community, and had for several years made pressing
overtures to Mr. Gourlay to settle in Wiltshire, and to give him the
benefit of his knowledge and experience. There can be no doubt that Mr.
Gourlay was actuated at least as much by philanthropy as by selfish
motives in becoming the Duke's tenant. It may be said, indeed, that
throughout the whole of his life he was singularly indifferent to mere
gain. He had a bee in his bonnet which was constantly stinging him to
set himself up in opposition to those in authority, but he was
thoroughly honest in his views, and would suffer any trial or indignity
rather than sacrifice what he regarded as a righteous principle. In his
inability to see any side of a question but his own, he was undoubtedly
a consummate egotist, but his egotism was of the intellect only, and a
more honourable and single-minded man in all his pecuniary transactions
never lived. In almost every battle which he fought with the world he
had right on his side, but he had the unfortunate faculty of always
putting himself in the wrong. He was critical without discrimination,
and though naturally frank and open in his disposition, was morbidly
suspicious of the motives of others. He was also infected by an itch for
notoriety. It was sweet to him to know that people were talking about
him, even if they were speaking to his disadvantage. He was often guided
by petulance and passion; seldom or never by sober judgment. His mission
in life seemed to be that of a grievance-monger, and no occupation was
so gratifying to him as the hunting-up and exposure of abuses. Had his
just and liberal principles been allied to a calm intellect and a
patient temper, he would have accomplished much good for his
fellow-creatures, and might have lived a happy and useful life. But his
cantankerous temper and irritable nerves were constantly placing him at
a disadvantage. He had not been long settled at Deptford Farm ere he
began to agitate for a reform of the poor-laws. It was no secret that
the poor-laws were in a most unsatisfactory state, and needed
reformation, but Mr. Gourlay's method of advocacy was ill calculated
either to produce the desired end or to elevate him in public esteem. He
wrote column after column in the form of letters to the local
newspapers, in which the most sweeping and impracticable measures were
suggested as proper subjects for legislation, and in which the magnates
of the county of Wilts were referred to in the most violent and
opprobrious language. When the papers refused to publish his
communications any longer he issued them in pamphlet form, and
circulated them broadcast through the land at his own expense. He got
together considerable bodies of the labouring classes, and harangued
them with scurrilous volubility about the oppressions to which they were
subjected by the "landed oligarchy." He declaimed violently against the
Government, which permitted such "reptiles" to "grind the faces of God's
poor." He drew up petition after petition to Parliament, in which the
landlords were denounced as tyrants, bloodsuckers, and monsters of
selfish greed.

This course of procedure could have but one result. It influenced the
poor against their landlords, who looked upon Gourlay as a visionary and
mischievous demagogue. The Duke of Somerset's ardour for improving the
condition of his tenants suddenly cooled, and he began to regret that he
had imported this pestilent Scotchman, whom he stigmatized as a
"republican firebrand," into the hitherto quiet vales of Wiltshire. The
pestilent Scotchman, however, had an agreement for a lease of his farm
for twenty-one years, drawn up by the Duke's own solicitor, and had
expended several thousands of pounds in improvements and farm-stock. He
had faithfully performed all the conditions on his part, and his farm
was a model throughout the county. He gained premiums from various
agricultural societies for the best ploughing and the best crops. No
matter; it was necessary that he should be got rid of, at any cost. A
cunning solicitor found a pretext for filing a bill in Chancery against
him, and he was thus involved in a protracted and ruinous litigation,
whereby it was sought to avoid the agreement on certain technical
grounds into which it is unnecessary to enter. After much delay a decree
was pronounced in his favour; whereupon he filed a bill against the Duke
for specific performance of the agreement. This occasioned further delay
and expense, for the Duke's solicitors fought every inch of ground, and
resorted to every conceivable means to embarrass the plaintiff. When the
suit was finally decided in the latter's favour, he was a ruined man.
His farming operations had never been profitable, for his object had
been to carry on a model farm rather than to make money. The lawsuits
had been attended with great expense, his mode of living had been suited
to his condition and expectations, and his charities to the poor had
been abundant. Worse, however, remained behind. His father had become
bankrupt, and his own expectations of succeeding to an ample fortune
were at an end.

The bankruptcy of the elder Gourlay was due to various causes. The close
of the war between Great Britain and France had produced a great fall in
the price of real estate throughout the United Kingdom. Mr. Gourlay's
property consisted chiefly of land, and he was thus shorn of much of his
wealth. This might have been borne up against, but he had unfortunately
engaged in some injudicious speculations which collapsed at this time,
and rendered it necessary that he should pay a large sum of money. His
only means of obtaining the requisite amount was by sale of his real
estate, and the small prices realized for the latter were absolutely
ruinous to the seller. So far as can be judged, he seems to have been an
honourable, high-minded man, but--at any rate in his declining
years--with little capacity for business. There is no doubt that his
affairs were wofully mismanaged, and that a man of more tact and
experience might have steered clear of insolvency. The crash came,
however, and he was reduced to ruin. This was in 1815. He survived his
reverse of fortune about four years, and died towards the close of the
year 1819.

Meantime five children--a son and four daughters--had been born to
Robert Gourlay, and his wife was in delicate health. After casting about
in his mind what to do, he resolved to visit Canada, where he owned some
land in right of his wife, and also a block in the township of Dereham,
in the county of Oxford, which he had purchased on his own account in
1810. He looked across the Atlantic with wistful eyes, and thought it
possible that he might to some extent retrieve his broken fortunes
there. Leaving his family on the farm in Wiltshire, where he had then
resided for more than seven years, he sailed from Liverpool in the month
of April, 1817. The expedition was intended to be merely experimental.
In the event of his prospects in Canada turning out equal to his
anticipations he purposed to remove his family thither. In any case he
did not intend to fight the Duke of Somerset any longer, and before his
departure he offered to surrender his tenancy of Deptford Farm, upon
terms to be settled by mutual arbitrators. The offer was declined, the
Duke foreseeing that he would be able to get rid of his refractory
tenant upon his, the Duke's, own terms. Such was the state of affairs at
the time of Mr. Gourlay's departure from England.

He arrived in Upper Canada early in June. He was delighted with the
appearance of the country, and pronounced it "the most desirable place
of refuge for the redundant population of Britain." A man with an eye
for abuses, however, could not be long in Upper Canada in those days
without being greatly dissatisfied with the management of public
affairs. He formed the acquaintance of Mr. Barnabas Bidwell, the father
of Marshall Spring Bidwell, and received from that gentleman a great
deal of valuable information respecting Canadian history and statistics.
He also derived from him a tolerably accurate notion of the evils
arising from an irresponsible Executive and the domination of the Family
Compact. He found the management of the Crown Lands and the Clergy
Reserves in the hands of a selfish and grasping oligarchy, who cared
very little for the advancement of the country, and whose attention was
chiefly directed to enriching themselves at the public expense. There
was corruption everywhere, and some of the officials did not even deem
it necessary to veil their unscrupulousness. With such grievances as
points of attack, Robert Gourlay was in his element, and he soon began
to make his presence felt. He determined to engage in business as a
land-agent, and to set on foot a gigantic scheme of emigration from
Great Britain to Canada. As we have seen, he had obtained much
statistical information from Mr. Bidwell. With a view to supplementing
this knowledge, and making the condition of the Upper Province known to
the world, he addressed a series of thirty-one questions to the
principal inhabitants of each township. Looking over these questions at
this distance of time, the reader, unless he be minutely acquainted with
the state of affairs in Upper Canada in 1817, will be amazed to think
that the seeking for such information should have been regarded by any
one as criminal or objectionable. Not one of the questions is
unimportant, and the answers, taken collectively, form a photographic
representation of the condition of the country which could not readily
have been obtained by any other means. They relate to the date of
settlement of the various townships; the number of people and inhabited
houses; the number of churches, meeting houses, schools, stores, and
mills; the general character of the soil and surface; the various kinds
and quantities of timber and minerals; the rate of wages; the cost of
clearing the land; the ordinary time of ploughing and reaping; quality
of pasture; average crops; state of public highways; quantity and
condition of wild lands; etc., etc., etc. It will be observed that
information relating to such matters was of the utmost importance to the
public, and more especially to persons in Great Britain who were
desirous of emigrating to Canada. It is also apparent that the
particular questions propounded by Mr. Gourlay had no direct bearing
upon politics. The stinger, however, was the thirty-first question,
which was in the following words: "What, in your opinion, retards the
improvement of your township in particular, or the Province in general,
and what would most contribute to the same?" In the phraseology of this
momentous question, it is not difficult, we think, to detect the cunning
hand of Barnabas Bidwell.

Readers of "Little Dorrit" cannot have forgotten the dread and horror of
the brilliant young gentleman of the Circumlocution Office, when Mr.
Arthur Clennam "wanted to know, you know." He regarded the querist as a
dangerous, revolutionary fellow. The horror of Barnacle Junior, however,
was not one whit more pronounced than was that of the ruling faction in
Upper Canada when this other dangerous, revolutionary customer put forth
his famous thirty-one queries. "Upon my soul, you mustn't come into the
place saying you want to know, you know. You have no right to come this
sort of move." Such was the language of the heir of Mr. Tite Barnacle,
and it faithfully mirrors the sentiments of the Canadian oligarchy and
their hangers-on towards Mr. Gourlay in the year of grace 1817. Most of
them had a pecuniary interest in preserving the existing state of things
undisturbed. No taxes were imposed on unsettled lands, and a goodly
portion of the Upper Canadian domain was in the hands of members of the
Compact and their favourites. Being exempt from taxation, these lands
were no expense to the proprietors, and could be held year after year,
until the inevitable progress of the country and the labours of
surrounding settlers converted the pathless wilds into a valuable
estate. If this man Gourlay were allowed to go on unchecked, they would
be compelled either to pay taxes or to throw their lands into the
market. It was imperative for their selfish interests that he should be
silenced. Strenuous exertions were made to prevent the persons applied
to from furnishing any answers to the thirty-one queries. In many cases
the exertions were successful, for the faction had various means of
bringing influence to bear, and were not backward in employing them. The
Home District, including the counties of York and Simcoe, contained
numerous large tracts of land forming what is now the most valuable part
of the Province, but which were then lying waste for want of settlement.
The owners were in nearly every instance subject to Compact influence.
They would not sell at any price, and the country was kept back. Owing
chiefly to the efforts of Dr.--afterwards Bishop--Strachan, not a single
reply was received by Mr. Gourlay from this District. Many replies came
in from other parts of the Province, but in a few instances the stinging
thirty-first question was ignored or left unanswered. In cases where it
was replied to, the almost invariable tenor of the reply attributed the
slow development of the townships to the Crown and Clergy Reserves, and
to the immense tracts of land held by non-residents. A reply received
from Kingston may be taken as a sample of the prevalent sentiment in the
frontier townships wherein public opinion was unshackled. It says: "The
same cause which has surrounded Little York with a desert creates gloom
and desolation about Kingston, otherwise most beautifully situated; I
mean the seizure and monopoly of the land by people in office and
favour. On the east side, particularly, you may travel miles together
without passing a human dwelling. The roads are accordingly most
abominable to the very gates of this, the largest town in the Province;
and its market is supplied with vegetables from the United States, where
property is less hampered, and the exertions of cultivators more free."

But at this juncture, Mr. Gourlay's unfortunate faculty for putting
himself in the wrong asserted itself, and seriously retarded his efforts
for the public good. His pugnacity, querulousness and egotism displayed
themselves in various ways, and rendered him offensive even to many
persons who would willingly have been his friends. He wrote violent
letters to the newspapers, wherein Dr. Strachan and everybody else
connected with the Executive were stigmatized in terms of which no
sober-minded citizen could approve. The Reverend Doctor was referred to
as "a lying little fool of a renegade Presbyterian." Other prominent
personages came in for scurrility equally coarse. This sort of writing,
however, was not without its effect upon a certain class of minds, more
especially as the grievances complained of were patent to all the world.
A feeling of hostility against those in authority began to make itself
apparent throughout the Province, and at the next meeting of the
Legislature the Assembly passed a vote in favour of a commission of
inquiry into the state of public affairs. The Family Compact were
alarmed, and before any steps could be taken towards entering upon the
proposed inquiry they prevailed upon the Governor, Francis Gore, to
prorogue the House. For this prorogation there was not the slightest
legitimate ground, as a great deal of the public business was
necessarily left unfinished. The alleged pretext for the step--a dispute
with the Legislative Council--was not looked upon with more favour than
the act itself, for the dispute was believed to have been artificially
fermented with a view to lending some sort of colour to the prorogation.
The popular discontent was very great, and made itself heard in
unexpected quarters. Mr. Gourlay eagerly availed himself of this
discontent, and suggested through the public press that a convention
should be held at York, for the purpose of drafting a petition to the
Imperial authorities. He himself drafted a petition to the Prince Regent
as a basis, to be approved of by the proposed convention. The manuscript
was submitted to a meeting of sixteen respectable persons, among whom
were six magistrates. These gentlemen approved of the contents, and had
the entire petition printed in pamphlet form. Several thousand copies of
it were gratuitously circulated throughout the Province, and it was also
placed on sale in book-stores in the various towns and villages. Its
contents produced considerable effect on the public mind, which had
become thoroughly aroused. The people caught at the suggestion of a
convention, which was in due course held; but in the meantime the
Executive had also become thoroughly alarmed, and they now determined
that this interloping Mr. Gourlay should be silenced or got rid of. They
bestirred themselves to such good purpose that the action of the
convention came to nothing, it being arranged that the subject-matter
of the petition should be inquired into by the Lieutenant-Governor and
the House of Assembly. The Executive next instituted proceedings against
Mr. Gourlay. In the draft petition published by him, there was a passage
which reflected very strongly upon the way in which the Crown Lands were
administered. As there is no more faithful picture of the state of the
Province to be found, and as the work containing it has long been
practically unprocurable for general readers, we reproduce the passage
entire: "The lands of the Crown in Upper Canada are of immense extent,
not only stretching far and wide into the wilderness, but scattered over
the Province, and intermixed with private property, already cultivated.
The disposal of this land is left to Ministers at home, who are palpably
ignorant of existing circumstances; and to a Council of men resident in
the Province, who, it is believed, have long converted the trust reposed
in them to purposes of selfishness. The scandalous abuses in this
department came some years ago to such a pitch of monstrous magnitude
that the Home Ministers wisely imposed restrictions on the Land Council
of Upper Canada. These, however, have by no means removed the evil; and
a system of patronage and favouritism, in the disposal of the Crown
lands, still exists, altogether destructive of moral rectitude, and
virtuous feeling, in the management of public affairs. Corruption,
indeed, has reached such a height in this Province, that it is thought
no other part of the British Empire witnesses the like; and it is vain
to look for improvement till a radical change is effected. It matters
not what characters fill situations of public trust at present--all sink
beneath the dignity of men--become vitiated and weak, as soon as they
are placed within the vortex of destruction. Confusion on confusion has
grown out of this unhappy system; and the very lands of the Crown, the
giving away of which has created such mischief and iniquity, have
ultimately come to little value from abuse. The poor subjects of His
Majesty, driven from home by distress, to whom portions of land are
granted, can now find in the grant no benefit; and Loyalists of the
United Empire--the descendants of those who sacrificed their all in
America in behalf of British rule--men whose names were ordered on
record for their virtuous adherence to your Royal Father--the
descendants of these men find now no favour in their destined rewards;
nay, these rewards, when granted, have, in many cases, been rendered
worse than nothing; for the legal rights in the enjoyment of them have
been held at nought; their land has been rendered unsaleable, and, in
some cases, only a source of distraction and care. Under this system of
internal management, and weakened from other evil influences, Upper
Canada now pines in comparative decay; discontent and poverty are
experienced in a land supremely blessed with the gifts of nature; dread
of arbitrary power wars, here, against the free exercise of reason and
manly sentiment; laws have been set aside; legislators have come into
derision; and contempt from the mother country seems fast gathering
strength to disunite the people of Canada from their friends at home."

This passage was fastened upon as libellous, and a criminal prosecution
was set on foot against the author. He was arrested, and on the 14th of
August, 1818, thrown into jail at Kingston, where he remained until the
day of his trial, which was the 20th. He conducted his own defence, and,
although the Attorney-General, John Beverley Robinson, pressed hard for
a conviction, he was triumphantly acquitted. A few days afterwards he
was again arrested and placed on trial at Brockville for another alleged
libel contained in the petition. He was once more successful in securing
his acquittal. These triumphs roused his egotism to a high pitch. He
became for a time a sort of popular idol, who had suffered grievously
for endeavouring to obtain justice for the people. Public meetings and
banquets were held in his honour, and he was in his element. His
complacency, however, was doomed to receive a severe check. The Compact,
with Dr. Strachan at their head, finding it impossible to convict him of
libel, resolved that he should literally be driven out of the country.
He was represented to the public as a man of desperate fortunes and
vicious character. Rumours were set afloat that he entertained projects
of rebellion, and that he had attended a treasonable meeting in England
prior to his arrival in Canada. As matter of fact, Mr. Gourlay, both
then and throughout the whole course of his life, was a loyal man, but
his effervescing radicalism seemed to lend some sort of colour to the
accusation. The word "convention," too, under which name the meeting at
York had been summoned, and which word was often in Mr. Gourlay's mouth,
had a republican sound about it which was not grateful to the ears of
the loyal Upper Canadians. The Assembly also modified its hitherto
kindly feelings towards him, and regarded the holding of "conventions"
as an unconstitutional infringement of its own prerogatives. In the
meantime Sir Peregrine Maitland had succeeded to the
Lieutenant-Governorship. It was a matter of course that he should have
no sympathy with a man of Mr. Gourlay's views, and the latter had
prejudiced the new Lieutenant-Governor against him by a foolish letter,
in which he had offered to wait upon the representative of royalty and
give him the benefit of his knowledge and experience of Canadian
affairs. When Parliament met on the 12th of October, the
Lieutenant-Governor's speech contained a sentence that was well
understood to be levelled directly at Gourlay. "In the course of your
investigations,"--so ran the sentence--"you will, I doubt not, feel a
just indignation at the attempts which have been made to excite
discontent, and to organize sedition. Should it appear to you that a
convention of delegates cannot exist without danger to the Constitution,
in framing a law of prevention your dispassionate wisdom will be careful
that it shall not unwarily trespass on the sacred right of the subject
to seek a redress of his grievances by petition." This
cunningly-constructed sentence, in which the hand of Dr. Strachan is
sufficiently apparent, was well calculated, not only by its
characterization of Mr. Gourlay's projects, but by its covert flattery
of the Assembly, to increase the hostility of the latter against the
former. And thus the injudicious champion of popular rights found
himself in conflict with the entire Legislature. The Assembly--the
special guardian of popular rights--in its reply to the speech of the
Lieutenant-Governor, even went so far as to use these words: "We lament
that the designs of one factious individual should have succeeded in
drawing into the support of his vile machinations so many honest men and
loyal subjects of His Majesty." Two or three weeks later, a Bill was
introduced and passed to prevent the holding of conventions. It was
introduced by Mr. Jonas Jones, the member for Leeds, a man whose public
career and conduct, as Mr. Lindsey truly remarks, present as few points
on which admiration can find a resting-place as any Canadian politician
of his time.[14] It was significant of the state of public opinion that
only one vote was recorded against this measure. It was equally
significant of the fluctuating nature of public opinion that when the
Act was repealed, two years later, there was only one vote recorded
against the repeal. In the latter instance the dissenting vote was given
by the Attorney-General, Mr. John Beverley (afterwards Chief Justice)

A good many people still championed Mr. Gourlay's cause, but they were
for the most part unconnected with politics, and unable to materially
assist him when he stood most in need of powerful aid. The time of his
chastening was near at hand. By a statute passed on the 9th of March,
1804, known as "the Alien Act," and intended to check the designs of
disloyal immigrants from Ireland and the United States, authority was
given to the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, members of the Legislative
and Executive Councils, and to the Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench,
to issue a warrant for the arrest of "any person or persons not having
been an inhabitant or inhabitants of this Province for the space of six
months next preceding the date of such warrant,. . . or not having taken
the oath of allegiance,. . . who by words, actions, or other behaviour
or conduct, hath or have endeavoured, or hath or have given just cause
to suspect that he, she, or they, is or are about to endeavour to
alienate the minds of His Majesty's subjects of this Province from his
person or government, or in any wise with a seditious intent to disturb
the tranquillity thereof, to the end that such person or persons shall
forthwith be brought before the said person or persons so granting such
warrant;. . . and if such person or persons. . . shall not give. . .
full and complete satisfaction that his, her, or their words, actions,
conduct, or behaviour had no such tendency, or were not intended to
promote or encourage disaffection. . . it shall and may be lawful. . .
to deliver an order or orders, in writing, to such person or persons,. .
. requiring of him, her, or them, to depart this Province within a time
to be limited by such order or orders, or if it shall be deemed
expedient that he, she, or they, should be permitted to remain in this
Province, to require from him, her, or them, good and sufficient
security, to the satisfaction of the person or persons acting under the
authority hereby given, for his, her, or their good behaviour, during
his, her, or their continuance therein." Under this statute, Mr.
Gourlay, who was just about to establish his land agency, and was
negotiating for a suitable house at Queenston, in which to commence
business, was on the 21st of December, 1818, arrested by the Sheriff of
the Niagara District, and carried before the Hon. William Dickson and
the Hon. William Claus. These gentlemen were members of the Legislative
Council, and bitter enemies of the unhappy man who appeared before them,
though they had at one time professed much esteem for him. They adjudged
that he should depart from the Province on or before the first day of
January, 1819; that is to say, within ten days.

There can be but one opinion about this proceeding. It was not merely a
glaring instance of oppression, but was founded upon downright
rascality. In the first place, the Act of 1804 was an unconstitutional
measure, under which it is doubtful whether any one could have been
legally punished. But, even had it been valid, it was intended to apply
to aliens, and not to loyal subjects of Great Britain, such as Mr.
Gourlay undoubtedly was. He had never been asked to take the oath of
allegiance, and his persecutors well knew that his loyalty was at least
as sincere as their own, and far more unselfish. Moreover he had, as
both Dickson and Claus were well aware, been a resident of the Province
for nearly a year and a half, whereas the Act applied only to "any
person or persons not having been an inhabitant or inhabitants of this
Province for the space of six months." By what bribe or other means an
unprincipled man named Isaac Swayze, who was a member of the Legislative
Assembly, was induced to make oath that he verily believed that Robert
Gourlay had not been an inhabitant of the Province for six months, and
that he was an "evil-minded and seditious person," will probably never
be known. An information from some quarter it was necessary to have
before any decisive action could be taken, and it was furnished by this
man Swayze, who had been a spy and "horse-provider" during the
Revolutionary War, and who now proved his fitness for the position of a
legislator by deliberate perjury.

The allotted term of ten days expired, and the proscribed personage had
not obeyed the order enjoining him to quit the Province. "To have obeyed
this order," says Gourlay, "would have proved ruinous to the business
for which, at great expense, and with much trouble, I had qualified
myself; it would have been a tacit acknowledgment of guilt whereof I was
unconscious; it would have been a surrender of the noblest British
right; it would have been holding light my natural allegiance; it would
have been a declaration that the Bill of Rights was a Bill of Wrongs. I
resolved to endure any hardship rather than to submit voluntarily.
Although I had written home that I meant to leave Canada for England in
a few weeks, I now acquainted my family of the cruel delay, and stood my
ground." On the 4th of January, 1819, a warrant was issued by Dickson
and Claus, under which he was arrested and lodged in jail at Niagara. On
the 20th of the month he obtained a writ of Habeas Corpus, under which
he appeared before Chief Justice Powell, at York, on the 8th of
February. The Chief Justice, after hearing a short argument by an
attorney on Mr. Gourlay's behalf, declined to set him at liberty, and
indorsed on the writ a judgment to the effect that "the warrant of
commitment appearing to be regular, according to the provisions of the
Act, which does not authorize bail or mainprize, the said Robert Gourlay
is hereby remanded to the custody of the Sheriff of the District of
Niagara, and the keeper of the jail therein, conformable to the said
warrant of commitment." The poor man was accordingly remanded to jail,
where he languished for eight weary months. For some time his spirits
remained buoyant, and his pugnacity unconquered. He obtained written
opinions from various eminent counsel learned in the law. These counsel
were unanimous in pronouncing his imprisonment illegal. Sir Arthur
Pigott declared that Chief Justice Powell should have released him from
imprisonment under the writ of Habeas Corpus; and further expressed his
opinion that Gourlay had a good ground of action for false imprisonment
against Dickson and Claus. This opinion was forthwith acted upon, and
civil proceedings were instituted against both those persons. The
plaintiff's painful position, however, compelled him to fight his
enemies at a great disadvantage. An order was obtained by the
defendants, calling upon him to furnish security for costs; which, being
in confinement, he was unable to do, and the actions lapsed.

And here it becomes necessary to revert for a moment to the convention
of delegates which had been held at York during the preceding year.
Among the matters which the convention had had in view was the calling
of the Royal attention to a promise which had been held out to the
militia during the war of 1812-'15, that grants of land should be made
to them in recompense for their services. It had been the policy of the
United States to hold out offers of land to their troops who invaded
Canada--offers without which they could not have raised an army for that
purpose; and these offers had been punctually and liberally fulfilled
immediately after the restoration of peace. On the British side, three
years had passed away without attention to a promise which the Canadian
militia kept in mind, not only as it concerned their interest, but their
honour. While the convention entrusted the consideration of inquiry to
the Lieutenant-Governor and Assembly, they ordered an address to be
sent home to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, as a matter of
courtesy and respect, having annexed to it the rough sketch of an
address originally drafted by Mr. Gourlay, as already mentioned, for the
purpose of being borne home by a commission. In that sketch the neglect
of giving land to the militia was, among other matters, pointed out. The
sketch having been printed in America, found its way into British
newspapers. In June, 1819, when Mr. Gourlay had lain more than five
months in jail, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada summoned the
Assembly to meet a second time, and, in his speech, notified them that
he had received an order from the Prince Regent to grant land to the
militia, but that he himself should think it proper to withhold such
grant from those persons who had been members of the convention. The
injustice of this measure was instantly in the mouth of everyone.
Several weeks passed away, while it was anxiously hoped that the
Assembly would mark its disapprobation of the opening speech, but
approval was at last carried by the Speaker's vote, and the Legislative
Council concurred in the most direct and submissive language. This was
too much for Mr. Gourlay to bear with composure. He seized his pen, and
liberated his mind by writing a virulent commentary upon the situation,
which he procured to be published in the next issue of the Niagara
_Spectator_. The communication was discussed by the House of Assembly,
and pronounced to be a libel, and the Lieutenant-Governor was solicited
to direct the Attorney-General to prosecute the editor. Sir Peregrine
Maitland was not the man to turn a deaf ear to such a solicitation from
such a quarter. The unfortunate editor, who had been away from home when
Mr. Gourlay's diatribe was published, and who was wholly ignorant of its
publication, was seized in his bed during the middle of the night,
hurried to Niagara jail, and thence, next morning, to that of York,
where he was detained many days out of the reach of friends to bail him.
Mr. Gourlay fared worse still. His treatment was marked by a malignant
cruelty to which no pen but his own can do complete justice. "After two
months' close confinement," he tells us, "in one of the cells of the
jail my health had begun to suffer, and, on complaint of this, the
liberty of walking through the passages and sitting at the door was
granted. This liberty prevented my getting worse the four succeeding
months, although I never enjoyed a day's health, but by the power of
medicine. At the end of this period I was again locked up in the cell,
cut off from all conversation with my friends, but through a hole in the
door, while the jailer or under-sheriff watched what was said, and for
some time both my attorney and magistrates of my acquaintance were
denied admission to me. The quarter sessions were held soon after this
severe and unconstitutional treatment commenced, and on these occasions
it was the custom and duty of the grand jury to perambulate the jail,
and see that all was right with the prisoners. I prepared a memorial for
their consideration, but on this occasion was not visited. I complained
to a magistrate through the door, who promised to mention my case to the
chairman of the sessions, but the chairman happened to be brother of one
of those who had signed my commitment, and the court broke up without my
obtaining the smallest relief. Exasperation of mind, now joined to the
heat of the weather, which was excessive, rapidly wasted my health and
impaired my faculties. I felt my memory sensibly affected, and could not
connect my ideas through any length of reasoning, but by writing, which
many days I was wholly unfitted for by the violence of continual
headache. Immediately before the sitting of the assizes the weather
became cool, so that I was able to apply constantly for three days, and
finish a written defence on every point likely to be questioned on the
score of seditious libel. I also prepared a formal protest against any
verdict which might pass against me, as subject to the statute under
colour of which I was confined. It was again reported that I should be
tried only as to the fact of refusing to leave the Province. A state of
nervous irritability, of which I was not then sufficiently aware,
deprived my mind of the power of reflection on the subject; I was seized
with a fit of convulsive laughter, resolved not to defend such a suit,
and was, perhaps, rejoiced that I might be even thus set at liberty from
my horrible situation. On being called up for trial, the action of the
fresh air, after six weeks' close confinement, produced the effect of
intoxication. I had no control over my conduct, no sense of consequence,
nor little other feeling but of ridicule and disgust for the court which
countenanced such a trial. At one moment I had a desire to protest
against the whole proceeding, but, forgetting that I had a written
protest in my pocket, I struggled in vain to call to mind the word
_protest_, and in another moment the whole train of ideas which led to
the wish had vanished from my mind. When the verdict was returned, that
I was guilty of having refused to leave the Province, I had forgot for
what I was tried, and affronted a juryman by asking if it was for

Strange to say, this sad story is not exaggerated. The poor man's mind,
never very firmly set in its place, had been thrown completely off its
balance, and throughout the remaining forty-four years of his life he
was subject to frequent intervals of mental aberration.

To return to the narrative: he was found guilty under the Act of 1804,
and ordered to quit the Province within twenty-four hours, under pain of
death in case of his return. He crossed over into the United States, and
published, at Boston, a pamphlet under the title of "The Banished
Briton," giving an account of his wrongs. From Boston he made his way to
England. His family and affairs there were in a state of unspeakable
disorder, which had been grievously aggravated by his long imprisonment.
At Michaelmas, 1817, the Duke of Somerset had made a distraint for rent.
Poor Mrs. Gourlay had contrived to borrow money to pay the rent, but she
had been panic-struck by calamity, and, by her brother's advice, had
abandoned Deptford Farm. An assignment of the tenancy had been forwarded
by her across the Atlantic to her husband, which he had executed and
returned. His successor had contrived to get possession of the lease and
stock for next to nothing, and Mr. Gourlay's pecuniary condition had
thus been rendered more desperate than ever. When he landed in England
in December, 1819, he found that his father had just breathed his last,
and that his mother was in much affliction at her home in Fifeshire. He
hastened thither, and spent a month in adjusting her affairs, after
which he waited upon a bookseller in Edinburgh with a formidable
collection of manuscript for publication. We have seen that during his
stay in Canada he had become the confidential friend of Mr. Barnabas
Bidwell. That gentleman had, just before the breaking out of the war of
1812-'15, written a series of historical and topographical sketches of
Upper Canada, embodying a large amount of useful information. They were
not published, but the author carefully preserved the manuscript, and
after the close of the war revised it throughout, and inserted a
considerable amount of additional matter. Soon after Mr. Gourlay's
arrival in Canada, Mr. Bidwell presented the MS. to him, partly for the
latter's personal information, and partly with a view to ultimate
publication. We have also seen that Mr. Gourlay received numerous
replies to his series of questions addressed to persons in the various
townships of the Province. During his confinement in jail at Niagara, he
had beguiled his saner moments by carefully going through these various
MSS. After his return to Great Britain he re-read them all with great
care, and wrote a great mass of rambling matter on his own account,
giving a description of his trials and persecutions, and embodying
various official documents and Acts of Parliament. The entire collection
amounted to a formidable mass of MSS., and he was desirous of laying the
whole before the public. Hence his interview with the Edinburgh
bookseller as above recorded. The bookseller declined to undertake the
publication, and Mr. Gourlay carried his MSS. to London, where they were
published in three large octavo volumes in 1822. The second and third
volumes contain what the author calls the "Statistical Account of Upper
Canada;" and the first contains a "General Introduction." The value of
the work as a whole is beyond question, but it is strung together with
such loose, rambling incoherence, that only a diligent student,
accustomed to analyze evidence, can use it with advantage, or even with
perfect safety. His wife had meanwhile been removed from a life of
turmoil and anxiety, and his children had been placed under the care of
some of their relatives in Scotland. Mr. Gourlay himself engaged in
further litigation with his old enemy, the Duke of Somerset, about the
tenure of Deptford Farm. Into the history of this litigation there is no
time to enter. Suffice it to say that the Duke's purse was too long for
Mr. Gourlay, whose household furniture and effects were sold to meet law
expenses. He avenged himself by attacking the Lord Chancellor (Eldon),
and various other persons high in authority, through the public press.
Quiescence seemed to be an utter impossibility for him. He was also
involved in litigation arising out of the winding-up of his father's
estate. Erelong he was left absolutely penniless, and became for a time
nearly or quite insane. On the 9th of September, 1822, he threw himself
upon the parish of Wily, in Wiltshire, where he had formerly resided.
Having proved his right of settlement, he was set to work by the
overseer of the poor of that parish to break flints on the public
highway. This was not such a hardship as it appears, for it was
deliberately brought about by Mr. Gourlay himself, with a view to the
reëstablishment of his mental and physical health, which he believed
would be most effectually restored by hard bodily labour. This state of
things went on for some weeks, after which he seems to have wandered
about from one part of the kingdom to another, in an aimless sort of
way, and generally with no particular object in view. He was at times by
no means insensible to his mental condition, and there is something
ludicrous, as well as pathetic, in some of his observations about
himself at this period. His health, however, was much improved, and his
many afflictions seem to have sat lightly upon him. He compared his
condition with that of the Marquis of Londonderry, who, while suffering
from mental derangement, had committed suicide. "A year before Lord
Castlereagh left us," says Mr. Gourlay, in a paper addressed to the Lord
Chancellor, "I heard him in the House of Commons ridicule the idea of
going to dig; but had he then _'gone a digging'_ he might still have
been prating to Parliament. I have had greater provocation and
perplexity than the departed minister, but I have resorted to proper
remedies; and among these is that of _speaking out_. I have not only
laboured and lived abstemiously, travelled and changed the scene, but I
have talked and written, to give relief to my mind and play to my
imagination." He at this time had a mania for presenting petitions to
the House of Commons on all sorts of subjects, but chiefly relating to
his personal affairs. This line of procedure brought him into collision
with Mr. Henry Brougham, the member for Westmoreland--afterwards Lord
Brougham and Vaux. Mr. Brougham seems to have presented one or two
petitions for him as a mere matter of form, but finally became weary of
his continual importunity, and left his letters unanswered. With an
irritation of temper bordering on insanity, Mr. Gourlay determined to
take a decisive step which should call the attention of the whole nation
to his calamities. On the afternoon of the 11th of June, 1824, as Mr.
Brougham was passing through the lobby of the House of Commons, to
attend his duty in Parliament, a person who walked behind him, and held
a small whip in his hand, which he flourished, was heard by some of the
bystanders to utter, in a hurried and nearly inarticulate manner, the
phrase, "You have betrayed me, sir; I'll make you attend to your duty."
Mr. Brougham, on encountering this interruption, turned round and said,
"Who are you, sir?" "You know well," replied the assailant, who without
further ceremony laid his whip smartly across the shoulders of the
august member for Westmoreland. The latter made his escape through the
door leading into the House of Commons. The bustle excited on the
occasion naturally attracted the attention of the constables, and Mr.
Brougham's assailant--who of course turned out to be Mr. Gourlay--was
taken into custody for a breach of privilege, deprived of his whip, and
handed over to the Sergeant-at-Arms. The _Courier_ of the next morning
(June 12th) contained the following account of the poor man's aspect and
conduct after his arrest: "From the appearance of the individual
yesterday, coupled with the eccentricity of his recent conduct, an
inference would arise more of a nature to excite a feeling of compassion
for this person, who once moved in a different situation of life, than
to point him out as a fit person to be held sternly responsible for his
actions. His appearance is decayed and debilitated; and, when removed
into one of the committee-rooms of the House of Commons, in the custody
of the constable who apprehended him, he let fall his head upon his
hand, as a person labouring under the relapse incidental to violent
excitement. He complained of some neglect of Mr. Brougham's respecting
the presentation of a petition from Canada, which, we understand, has no
foundation, and the course taken by Mr. Canning in postponing the
consideration of the breach of privilege supports the inference of the
irresponsibility of the individual, for a reason apparent from the very
foolish nature of the act itself. On being, in the course of the
evening, told that, if he would express contrition for his outrage, Mr.
Brougham would instantly move for his discharge, he refused to make any
apology to Mr. Brougham, but said he had no objection to petition the
House. He added, that he was determined to have a fight with Mr.
Brougham, because he had shamefully deserted his cause, and taken up
that of a dead missionary. It is hardly necessary to add that Mr.
Brougham is totally unconscious of the alleged desertion, and that
Gourlay labours under a complete and melancholy delusion."

While detained in custody in the House of Commons he was visited by Sir
George Tuthill and Dr. Munro, two eminent "mad-doctors," who concurred
in pronouncing him deranged, and unfit to be at large. He was
accordingly detained in custody until the close of the session several
days afterwards, when he was set at liberty. He walked out of the
committee-room in which he had been detained, and proceeded up
Parliament Street and along the Strand. As he was walking quietly along
he was again arrested by a constable, not for the breach of privilege,
but for a breach of the peace in striking Mr. Brougham. He was consigned
to the House of Correction in Cold Bath Fields, where he lay for
several years. The sole grounds of his detention after the first day or
two were the medical certificates that he was unfit to be at large. He
might have had his liberty at any time, however, but he persistently
refused either to employ a solicitor or to give bail for his good
behaviour. To several persons who demanded from him his reasons for
horsewhipping Mr. Brougham in the sacred purlieus of the House of
Commons, he quoted the illustrious example of One who scourged sinners
out of the temple. During part of the time of his imprisonment he
occupied the same cell with Tunbridge, who had been a warehouseman of
Richard Carlile, and had been sentenced to two years' confinement for
blasphemy. The cell was during the same year occupied by Fauntleroy, the
banker and forger, whose misdeeds form one of the most remarkable
chapters in the history of English criminal jurisprudence.

While he lay in durance he was an indefatigable reader of newspapers,
and took special note of everything relating to Canada. He was also a
persistent correspondent, and in a letter written to his children, under
date of July 27th, 1824, we find this quasi-prophetic remark with
reference to Canada: "The poor ignorant inhabitants are now wrangling
about the Union of the Canadas, when, in fact, those Provinces should be
confederated with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and
Newfoundland, for their general good, while each retained its Local
Government, as is the case with the United States."

How he at last contrived to procure his liberty from Cold Bath Fields
Prison we have not been able to ascertain. He persisted in his refusal
either to give bail or employ a solicitor. It is not improbable that he
was permitted to depart from prison unconditionally. In 1826 we find him
publishing "An Appeal to the Common Sense, Mind and Manhood of the
British Nation;" and two years later a series of letters on Emigration
Societies in Scotland. For some time subsequent to this date we have no
intelligence whatever as to his movements. He came over to America
several years prior to the Canadian rebellion, but the sentence of
banishment prevented him from entering Canadian territory. While the
rebellion was in progress, he resided in Cleveland, Ohio, where he saw a
good deal of the American filibusters who took part in the attempt to
capture Canada at that period. We have said that Robert Gourlay was a
loyal subject of Great Britain. He proved his loyalty at this time by
doing his utmost to dissuade the conspirators from their enterprise, and
by sending over important information to Sir Francis Bond Head as to
their movements. For this he received several letters of thanks from Sir
Francis, and an invitation to return to Canada, which, however, he
declined to do until the sentence of banishment should be reversed. This
was done by the House of Assembly after the Union of the Provinces in
1841, upon the motion of Dr. Dunlop. A pension of fifty pounds a year
was at the same time granted to him, which, however, he refused to
accept. He was not satisfied with a mere reversal of his sentence and
the granting of a pension. He said, in effect, "I do not want mercy, but
justice. I do not want to have the sentence merely reversed, but to have
it declared that it was unjust from the beginning, that I may not go
down to the grave with this stain resting on my children." Nothing
further was done in the matter at that time, and for some years we again
lose sight of him. He seems to have returned to Scotland, and to have
contrived to save from the wreck of his father's estate sufficient to
maintain himself with some approach to comfort. He resided for the most
part in Edinburgh. It might well have been supposed that all the trials
and sufferings he had undergone would have taught him a lesson, and
that he would not again be so ill-advised as to recklessly bring trouble
upon himself by interfering in public affairs which did not specially
concern him. But his foible for searching out abuses was ineradicable
and ingrained in his constitution. He could not behold injustice without
showing his teeth, and his bumptiousness was destined to bring further
suffering down upon his head. When he was not far from his seventieth
year some land in or near Edinburgh which had theretofore been
unenclosed, and which, in his opinion, should have continued unenclosed,
was in some way or other appropriated, and the public were debarred from
its use. We are not in possession of sufficient details to go into
particulars. Mr. Gourlay denounced the enclosure as an act of
high-handed tyranny, and harangued the common people on the subject
until he had worked them up into a state of frenzy. Something resembling
a riot was the result, in which he, while attempting to preserve the
peace, was thrown down, and run over by a carriage. One of his legs was
broken; a serious accident for a man of his years. The fracture refused
to knit. He was confined to his bed for many months, and remained a
cripple throughout the rest of his life.

His case was again brought before the Canadian Assembly during Lord
Elgin's Administration of affairs in this country, but nothing final was
accomplished on his behalf. In 1857 he once more came out to Canada in
person, and remained several years. He owned some property in the
township of Dereham, in the county of Oxford, and took up his abode upon
it. At the next general election he announced himself as a candidate for
the constituency, and put forth a printed statement of his political
views. He received, we believe, several votes, but of course his
candidature never assumed a serious aspect. In 1858 the late Mr. Brown,
Mr. M. H. Foley, and the present Chief Justice Dorion took up his cause
in the Assembly, and procured permission for him to address the House in
person. On the 2nd of June he made his appearance at the Bar, and
liberated his mind by a speech in which he commented rather incoherently
on his banishment and subsequent life, and concluded by handing in
certificates from Dr. Chalmers and other eminent men in Scotland as to
his personal character and abilities. The final result was that an
official pardon was granted by the Governor-General, which pardon Mr.
Gourlay repudiated as an insult. He also continued to repudiate his
pension. Having completed his eightieth year, he married a young woman
in the township of Dereham, who had been his housekeeper. This marriage
was a source of profound regret to his friends, and especially to his
two surviving daughters. The union was in no respect a felicitous one,
for which circumstance the proverb about "crabbed age and youth" is
quite sufficient to account, even had there not been other good and
substantial reasons. In course of time the patriarchal bridegroom
quietly took his departure for Scotland, leaving his bride--and of
course the farm--behind him.

He never returned to this country, but continued to reside in Edinburgh
until his death, which took place on the 1st of August, 1863. He had
completed his eighty-fifth year four months previously, and the tree was
fully ripe.

At the time of his death he had two daughters surviving, and we
understand that all arrearages of pension were paid to them by the
Canadian Government. One of these ladies went out to Zululand as a
missionary several years since, but was compelled by ill health to
return to her home in Scotland, where she has since died. The youngest
daughter, Miss Helen Gourlay, still resides in Edinburgh.


[1] Navy Hall was the Lieutenant-Governor's residence at Newark. See the
sketch of the life of Governor Simcoe, in the first volume of this work.

[2] From correspondence and documents laid before the Upper Canadian
House of Assembly in 1836, and published in the appendix to the Journal
for that year, we learn that the total quantity of land placed at
Colonel Talbot's disposal amounted to exactly 518,000 acres. Five years
before that date (in 1831) the population of the Talbot settlement had
been estimated by the Colonel at nearly 40,000. It appears that the
original grant did not include so large a tract, but that it was
subsequently extended.

[3] See "Portraits of British Americans," by W. Notman; with
Biographical Sketches by Fennings Taylor; vol. I., p. 341.

[4] See "Life of Colonel Talbot," by Edward Ermatinger; p. 70.

[5] A sketch of the life of Edward Blake appears in Vol. I. of the
present series. Since that sketch was published the subject of it has
succeeded Mr. Mackenzie as leader of the Opposition in the House of

[6] A full account of this interesting case will be found in Mrs.
Moodie's "Life in the Clearings, _versus_ the Bush."

[7] See "Life of Rev. James Richardson," by Thomas Webster, D.D.
Toronto, 1876.

[8] See "Case and his Cotemporaries," by John Carroll; Vol III., p. 17.

[9] See "Nova Scotia, in its Historical, Mercantile and Industrial
Relations;" by Duncan Campbell; p. 427.

[10] Mr. Lafontaine was in reality the head of the Administration, which
should strictly be called--and which is sometimes called--the
Lafontaine-Baldwin Administration. In common parlance, however, and in
most histories, Mr. Baldwin's name comes first, and we have adopted this
phraseology throughout the present series.

[11] See "The Poems of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, with an Introduction and
Biographical Sketch by Mrs. J. Sadlier." New York, 1869.

[12] See a sketch of Judge Wilmot's life by the Rev. J. Lathern
(published at Halifax in 1880), p. 45.

[13] It was administered to an Indian child. The great-grandfather of
Madame Taché and the mother of M. Varennes de la Verandrye acted as

[14] See Lindsey's "Life and Times of William Lyon Mackenzie," vol i.,
p. 147.


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