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´╗┐Title: Canada and the States
Author: Watkin, E. W. (Edward William), Sir
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Canada and the States" ***

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"_If the Maritime Provinces [of Britain] would join us,
spontaneously, to-day--sterile as they may be in the soil under a sky
of steel--still with their hardy population, their harbours, fisheries,
and seamen, they would greatly strengthen and improve our position_,
and aid us in our struggle for equality upon the ocean. _If we would
succeed upon the deep, we must either maintain our fisheries or_

E. H. DERBY, Esq, Report to the Revenue Commissioners of the United
States, 1866.

[Illustration: The Duke of Newcastle, K.G.]

_In the absence of any formal Dedication, I feel that to no one could
the following pages be more appropriately inscribed than to_

Lady Watkin.

_On her have fallen the anxieties of our home life during my many
long absences away on the American Continent--which Continent she once,
in 1862, visited with me. My business, in relation to Canada, has, from
time to time, been undertaken with her knowledge, and under her good
advice; and no one has been animated with a stronger hope for Canada,
as a great integral part of the Empire of the Queen, than herself._

_2nd May, 1887._


The following pages have been written at the request of many old
friends, some of them co-workers in the cause of permanent British rule
over the larger part of the Great Northern Continent of America.

In 1851 I visited Canada and the United States as a mere tourist, in
search of health. In 1861 I went there on an anxious mission of
business; and for some years afterwards I frequently crossed the
Atlantic, not only during the great Civil War between the North and
South, but, also, subsequent to its close. In 1875 I had to undertake
another mission of responsibility to the United States. And, last year,
I traversed the Dominion of Canada from Belle Isle to the Pacific. I
returned home by San Francisco and the Union Pacific Railways to
Chicago; and by Montreal to New York. Thence to Liverpool, in that
unsurpassed steamer, the "Etruria," of the grand old Cunard line. I
ended my visits to America, as I began them, as a tourist. This passage
was my thirtieth crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Within the period from 1851 to 1886, history on the North American
Continent has been a wonderful romance. Never in the older stories of
the world's growth, have momentous changes been effected, and,
apparently, consolidated, in so short a time, or in such rapid

Regarding the United States, the slavery of four millions of the negro
race is abolished for ever, and the black men vote for Presidents. A
great struggle for empire--fought on gigantic measure--has been won for
liberty and union. Turning to Canada, the British half of the Continent
has been moulded into one great unity, and faggotted together, without
the shedding of one drop of brothers' blood--and in so tame and quiet a
way, that the great silent forces of Nature have to be cited, to find a

In this period, the American Continent has been spanned by three main
routes of iron-road, uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: and one
of these main routes passes exclusively through British territory--the
Dominion of Canada. The problem of a "North-west Passage" has been
solved in a new and better way. It is no longer a question of threading
dark and dismal seas within the limits of Arctic ice and snow, doubtful
to find, and impossible, if found, to navigate. Now, the two oceans are
reached by land, and a fortnight suffices for the conveyance of our
people from London or Liverpool to or from the great Pacific, on the
way to the great East.

Anyone who reads what follows will learn that I am an Imperialist--that
I hate little-Englandism. That, so far as my puny forces would go, I
struggled for the union of the Canadian Provinces, in order that they
might be retained under the sway of the best form of government--a
limited monarchy, and under the best government of that form--the
beneficent rule of our Queen Victoria. I like to say our Queen: for no
sovereign ever identified herself in heart and feeling, in anxiety and
personal sacrifice, with a free and grateful people more thoroughly
than she has done, all along.

In this period of thirty-six years the British American Provinces have
been, more than once, on the slide. The abolition of the old Colonial
policy of trade was a great wrench. The cold, neglectful, contemptuous
treatment of Colonies in general, and of Canada in particular, by the
doctrinaire Whigs and Benthamite-Radicals, and by Tories of the
Adderley school, had, up to recent periods, become a painful strain.
Denuding Canada of the Imperial red-coat disgusted very many. And the
constant whispering, at the door of Canada, by United States
influences, combined with the expenditure of United States money on
Nova Scotian and other Canadian elections, must be looked to, and
stopped, to prevent a slide in the direction of Washington.

On the other hand, the statesmanlike action of Sir Edward Bulwer
Lytton, Colonial Minister in 1859, in erecting British Columbia into a
Crown Colony, was a break-water against the fell waves of annexation.
The decided language of Her Majesty's speech in proroguing Parliament
at the end of 1859 was a manifesto of decided encouragement to all
loyal people on the American Continent: and, followed as it was by the
visit--I might say the triumphal progress--of the Prince of Wales,
accompanied by the Colonial Minister, the great Duke of Newcastle,
through Canada, in 1860, the loyal idea began to germinate once more.
Loyal subjects began to think that no spot of earth over which the
British flag had once floated would ever, again, be given up--without a
fight for it. Canada for England, and England for Canada!

But, what will our Government at home do with the new "North-west
Passage" through Canada? The future of Canada depends upon the
decision. What will the decision be? How soon will it be given?

Is this great work, the Canadian Pacific Railway, to be left as a
monument, at once, of Canada's loyalty and foresight, and of Canada's
betrayal: or is it to be made the new land-route to our Eastern and
Australian Empire? If it is to be shunted, then the explorations of the
last three hundred years have been in vain. The dreams of some of the
greatest statesmen of past times are reduced to dreams, and nothing
more. The strength given by this glorious self-contained route, from
the old country to all the new countries, is wasted. On the other hand,
if those who now govern inherit the great traditions of the past; if
they believe in Empire; if they are statesmen--then, a line of Military
Posts, of strength and magnitude, beginning at Halifax on the Atlantic,
and ending at the Pacific, will give power to the Dominion, and,
wherever the red-coat appears, confidence in the old brave country will
be restored.

Then the soldier, his arms and our armaments, will have their
periodical passages backwards and forwards through the Dominion. Mails
for the East, for Australia, and beyond, will pass that way; and the
subject of every part of the Empire will, as he passes, feel that he is
treading the sacred soil of real liberty and progress.

Which is it to be?

Some years ago, Sir John A. Macdonald said, "I hope to live to see the
day--and if I do not, that my son may be spared, to see Canada the
right arm of England. To see Canada a powerful auxiliary of the Empire,
not, as now, a source of anxiety, and a source of danger."

Does Her Majesty's Government echo this aspiration?

Thinking people will recognize that the United States become, year by
year, less English and more Cosmopolitan; less conservative and more
socialist; less peaceful and more aggressive. Twice within ten years
the Presidential elections have pushed the Republic to the very brink
of civil war. But for the forbearance of Mr. Tilden and the Democrats,
on one occasion; and the caution of leading Republicans when President
Cleveland was chosen, disturbance must have happened.

We have yet to see whether Provincial Government may not, in the
Dominion, lead towards Separation, rather than towards Union. While one
Custom-house and one general Government is aiding Union, the Province
of Quebec accentuates all that is French; the Province of Ontario
accentuates all that is British: the problem, here, is how, gradually,
to weaken sectional, and how gradually to strengthen Union, ideas.
State rights led to a civil war in the United States: Provincial
Government fifty years hence may lead to conflicts in Canada.

In the United States there was no solution but war. Surely in Canada we
can apply the safety valve of augmenting British aid and influence. Why
not try the re-introduction of the red-coat of the Queen's soldier
--that soldier to be enlisted and officered, let us hope in the early
future, from every portion of the Queen's Dominions--as of the one
Imperial army;--an Imperial army paid for by the whole Empire.


























_Preliminary--One Reason why I went to the

A quarter of a century ago, charged with the temporary oversight of the
then great Railway of Canada, I first made the acquaintance of Mr.
Tilley, Prime Minister of the Province of New Brunswick, whom I met in
a plain little room, more plainly furnished, at Frederickton, in New
Brunswick. My business was to ask his co-operation in carrying out the
physical union of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and through them Prince
Edward Island and Newfoundland, with Canada by means of what has since
been called the "Intercolonial" Railway. That Railway, projected half a
century ago, was part of the great scheme of 1851,--of which the Grand
Trunk system from Portland, on the Atlantic, to Richmond; and from
Riviere du Loup, by Quebec and Richmond, to Montreal, and then on to
Kingston, Toronto, Sarnia, and Detroit--had been completed and opened
when I, thus, visited Canada, as Commissioner, in the autumn of 1861. I
found Mr. Tilley fully alive to the initial importance of the
construction of this arterial Railway--initial, in the sense that,
without it, discussions in reference to the fiscal, or the political,
federation, or the absolute union, under one Parliament, of all the
Provinces was vain. I found, also, that Mr. Tilley had, ardently,
embraced the great idea--to be realized some day, distant though that
day might be--of a great British nation, planted, for ever, under the
Crown, and extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Certainly, in 1861, this great idea seemed like a mere dream of the
uncertain future. Blocked by wide stretches of half-explored country:
dependent upon approaches through United States' territory: each
Province enforcing its separate, and differing, tariffs, the one
against the other, and others, through its separate Custom House; it
was not matter of surprise to find a growing gravitation towards the
United States, based, alike, on augmenting trade and augmenting

Amongst party politicians at home, there was, at this time, of 1861,
little adhesion to the idea of a Colonial Empire; and the reader has
only to read the reference, made later on, to a published letter of Sir
Charles Adderley to Mr. Disraeli in 1862, to see how the pulse of some
of the Conservative party was then beating.

There was, however, one bright gleam of hope. That was to be found in
the, still remembered, effects of the visit of the Prince of Wales,
accompanied by the Duke of Newcastle, to Canada, and the United States,
in 1860.

Entertaining, with no small enthusiasm, and in common, these views of
an Anglo-American Empire, Mr. Tilley and I were of the same opinion as
to practical modes. We must go "step by step," and the Intercolonial
Railway was the first step in the march before us.

In the following pages will be found some record of what followed.
Suffice it here to say, that the Railway is made, not on the route I
advocated: but it is in course of improvement, so that the shortest
iron road from the great harbour of Halifax, in Nova Scotia, to the
Pacific may be secured. The vast western country, bigger than Russia in
Europe, more or less possessed and ruled over, since the days of Prince
Rupert, the first governor, by the "Merchant Adventurers of England
trading to Hudson's Bay," has been annexed to Canada, and one country,
under one Parliament, is bounded by the two great oceans; and, as a
consequence, the "Canadian Pacific Railway" has been made and opened
for the commerce of the world.

Mr. Tilley, now Sir Leonard Tilley, is, at the moment, Lieutenant-
Governor of New Brunswick, having previously filled the highest offices
in the Government of the "Dominion of Canada;" and he has not forgotten
the vow he and I exchanged some while after our first acquaintance.
That vow was, that we neither of us would die, if we could help it,
"until we had looked upon the waters of the Pacific from the windows of
a British railway carriage." The Canadian Pacific Railway is completed,
completed by the indomitable perseverance of Sir George Stephen, Mr.
Van Horne, and their colleagues--sustained as they have been,
throughout, by the far-sighted policy and liberal subsidies, granted
ungrudgingly, by the Dominion Parliament, under the advice of Sir John
A. Macdonald, the Premier. I have, in the past year, fulfilled my vow,
by traversing the Canadian Continent from Quebec to Port Moody,
Vancouver City, and Victoria, Vancouver's Island, over the 3,100 miles
of Railway possessed by the Canadian Pacific Company, and have "looked
upon the waters of the Pacific from the windows of a British railway

My impressions of this grand work will be found in future chapters.

"The Dominion of Canada" now includes the various Provinces of North
America, formerly known as Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Vancouver's Island, and
the extensive regions of The Hudson's Bay Company, including the new
Province of Manitoba, and the North West Territories; in fact, the
whole of British North America, except Newfoundland.

This territory stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and
(including Newfoundland) is estimated to contain a total area of some
four million square miles.

As matter of mere surface, and probably of cultivable area, also, more
than half the Northern Continent of America owes allegiance to the
Crown and to Queen Victoria. So may it remain. So it will remain if we
retain the Imperial instinct. These noble provinces are confederated
into a vast dominion, with one common Law, one Custom House, and one
"House of Commons"--by a simple Act of the Imperial Parliament, the
Confederation Act of 1867, passed while Lord Beaconsfield was Prime
Minister and the Duke of Buckingham Colonial Minister. This union was
effected quietly, unostentatiously, and in peace; and (circumstances
well favouring) by the exertions, influence, and faithfulness to
Imperial traditions, of Cartier, John A. Macdonald, John Ross, Howe,
Tilley, Galt, Tupper, Van Koughnet, and other provincial statesmen, who
forced the Home Government to action and fired their brother colonists
with their own enthusiasm.

At home, all honour is due to a great Colonial Minister--the Duke of

Taking up, some years ago, a tuft of grass growing at the foot of one
of the grand marble columns of the Parthenon at the Acropolis at
Athens, I found a compass mark in the footing, or foundation--a mere
scratch in the stone--made, probably, by some architect's assistant,
before the Christian era. I make no claim to more than having made a
scratch of some sort on the foundation stone of some pillar, or other,
of Confederation. And I throw together these pages with no idea of
gaining credit for services, gratuitously rendered, over a period of
years and under many difficulties, to a cause which I have always had
at heart; but with the desire to record some facts of interest which,
hereafter, may, probably, be held worthy of being interleaved in some
future history of the union of the great American provinces of the
British Empire. I have another motive also: I should wish to contribute
some information bearing upon any future account of the life of the
late Duke of Newcastle. He is dead: and, so far, no one has attempted
to write his biography. That may be reserved for another generation. He
was the Colonial Minister under whose rule and guidance the foundations
of the great measure of Confederation were, undoubtedly, laid; and to
him, more than to any minister since Lord Durham, the credit of
preserving, as I hope for ever, the rule of her Majesty, and her
successors, over the Western Continent ought to attach. For, while the
idea of an union, of more or less extent, was suggested in Lord
Durham's time--probably by Charles Buller,--and was now and then
fondled by other Governors-General, in Canada, and by Colonial
Ministers at home--the real, practical measures which led to the
creation of one country extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific were
due to the far-sighted policy and persuasive influence of the Duke. The
Duke was a statesman singularly averse to claiming credit for his own
special public services, while ever ready to attribute credit and
bestow praise on those around him.

My first interview with the Duke was in January, 1847. He was then Lord
Lincoln, and the Conservative candidate for Manchester; in disgrace
with his father. His father was the old fashioned nobleman who desired
"to do what he liked with his own," and never would rebuild Nottingham
Castle, burnt in 1832 by the Radicals. The son had cast in his lot with
Sir Robert Peel and free trade. The father was still one of the narrow-
minded class to whom reform of any kind was the spectre of "ruin to the
country." They were quite honest in the conviction that the people were
"born to be governed, and not to govern." They probably saw in the free
importation of foreign food the abrogation of rent.

In 1847 Mr. Bright was the candidate for Manchester, whom we of the old
Anti-Corn Law League supported. The interview I refer to was actuated
by our desire to avoid an undeserved opposition; Lord Lincoln retired,
however, owing mainly to other reasons, including that of the
intolerance of a body of Churchmen regarding popular education.

A long period of wretched health compelled me for several years to
consume what strength I had left in the ordinary routine of daily
business. And it was not until 1852 that any further intercourse of any
kind took place between us. In that year I published a little book
about the United States and Canada, the record of my first visit to
North America, in 1851. And, if I recollect rightly, I travelled with
the Duke in the spring of 1852, probably between Rugby and Derby, and
found him in possession of a copy of this little book, on which he had,
faute de mieux, spent half-a-crown at the book stall at Euston. He
recognised me; and it was my fault, and not his, that I saw no more of
him till 1857, by which time, no doubt, he had forgotten me. Still our
conversation in 1852 about America, and especially as to slavery, and
the probability of a separation of North and South, will always dwell
in my memory. Lord Lincoln had studied De Tocqueville; but he had not,
yet, seen America. He had, therefore, at that time many erroneous
views, which could only be corrected by the actual and personal
opportunity of seeing and measuring, on the spot, the country, which
always really means the people. This opportunity was given to him by
the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States, in
1860. He accompanied the Prince in his capacity of Colonial Minister.

These casual glimpses of Lord Lincoln were followed by an interview
between us in 1857. In the meantime, it is true, he had had my name
brought before him during his term of office pending the Crimean War
Some one had suggested to the Government to send me out to the Crimea
to take charge of the Stores Department, at a time when all was
confusion and mess, out there, and I was asked to call on the Minister
about it. It seemed to me, however, a duty impossible of execution by a
civilian, unless the condition of "full powers" were conceded,--and the
matter came to nothing.

In 1856 I was the Manager of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire
Railway. In that year a reckless engine, travelling between Shireoaks
and Worksop, threw out some sparks, which set fire to the underwood of
one of the Duke's plantations--for he was then Duke--and he wrote to
the Chairman of the Railway, the then Earl of Yarborough, in what
appeared to me a very haughty manner. I therefore felt bound to defend
my chief, and I took up the quarrel. In a note addressed from the
Library of the House of Commons, I asked for an interview, which was
somewhat stiffly granted. This was the note which led to our

                                        "1 Decr. 1856.


"Instead of placing the enclosed extraordinary production in the hands
of my Solicitor, I think it best, in the first instance, to send it to
you as Chairman of the M. S. & L. Railway, because I cannot believe
that either its tone or its substance can have been authorized by the

"I am sorry to say this is not the first piece of impertinence which I
have had to complain of in reference to the damage done to my woods by
the engines of the Company, and neither Mr. Foljambe nor I have had any
encouragement to treat the matter in the amicable spirit which we were
anxious to evince.

"The demands now made by the aggressors upon the party aggrieved is
simply preposterous, and, of course, will be treated as it deserves. We
shall next have the Company, or rather, as I hope and believe, the
Company's Solicitors, demanding us to cut all our corn within 100 yards
of the line before it becomes ripe, and consequently inflammable.

"Your Solicitor knows perfectly well that the Company is by law liable
for damage done to woods; and, moreover, that such damage is
preventible by proper care on the part of its servants.

"I think the Directors ought to order their Solicitor to write to me
and others, to whom so impertinent a letter has been addressed, and beg
to withdraw it, with an apology for having sent it.

"I am sorry to trouble you with this matter, because I feel that you
ought not to be troubled with business in your present state of health;
but as you are still the Chairman, I could not with propriety write to
any other person.

                                      "I am, my dear Yarborough,
                                        "Yours very sincerely,


Accordingly, I went to the mansion in Portman Square. I waited some
time; but at last in stalked the Duke, looking very awful indeed--so
stern and severe--that I could not help smiling, and saying--"The burnt
coppice, your Grace." Upon this he laughed, held out his hand, placed
me beside him, and we had a very long discussion, not about the fire,
but about the colliery he, then, was sinking--against the advice of
many of his friends in Sheffield--at Shireoaks; and when he had done
with that, we talked, once more, about Canada, the United States, and
the Colonies generally.

After this date, I had to see the Duke on business, more and more
frequently. The year after the Duke's return from Canada, in 1861, he
happened to read an article I had written in a London paper, hereafter
given, about opening up the Northern Continent of America by a Railway
across to the Pacific, and he spoke of it as embodying the views which
he had before expressed, as his own.

In 1854 Mr. Glyn and Mr. Thomas Baring had urged me to undertake a
mission to Canada on the business of the Grand Trunk Railway, which
mission I had been compelled to decline; and when, in 1860-1, the
affairs of that undertaking became dreadfully entangled, the Committee
of Shareholders, who reported upon its affairs, invited me to accept
the post of "Superintending Commissioner," with full powers. They
desired me to take charge of such legislative and other measures as
might retrieve the Company's disasters, so far as that might be
possible. Before complying with this proposal, I consulted the Duke,
and it was mainly under the influence of his warm concurrence that I
accepted the mission offered to me. I accepted it in the hope of being
able, not merely to serve the objects of the Shareholders of the Grand
Trunk, but that at the same time I might be somewhat useful in aiding
those measures of physical union contemplated when the Grand Trunk
Railway was projected, and which must precede any confederation of
interests, such as that happily crowned in 1867 by the creation of the
"Dominion of Canada."

I find that my general views were, some time before, epitomized in the
following letter. It is true that Mr. Baring, then President of the
Grand Trunk, did not, at first, accept my views; but he and Mr. Glyn
(the late Lord Wolverton) co-operated afterwards in all ways in the
direction those views indicated.

                                        "13_th November_, 1860.

"Some years ago Mr. Glyn (I think with the assent of Mr. Baring)
proposed to me to go out to Canada to conduct a negotiation with the
Colonial Government in reference to the Grand Trunk Railway. I was
compelled then, from pressure of other business, to refuse what at that
time would have been, to me, a very agreeable mission. Since then, I
have grown older, and somewhat richer; and not being dependent upon the
labour of the day, I should be very chary of increasing the somewhat
heavy load of responsibility and anxiety which I still have to bear. It
is doubtful, therefore, whether I could bring my mind to undertake so
arduous, exceptional--perhaps even doubtful--an engagement as that of
the 'restoration to life' of the Grand Trunk Railway.

"This line, both as regards its length, the character of its works, and
its alliances with third parties, is both too extensive, and too
expensive, for the Canada of to-day; and left, as it is, dependent
mainly upon the development of population and industry on its own line,
and upon the increase of the traffic of the west, it cannot be
expected, for years to come, to emancipate itself thoroughly from the
load of obligations connected with it.

"Again, the Colonial Government having really, in spite of all the
jobbery and political capital alleged to have been perpetrated and made
in connexion with this concern, made great sacrifices in its behalf, is
not likely, having got the Railway planted on its own soil, to be ready
to give much more assistance to this same undertaking.

"That the discipline and traffic of the line could be easily put upon a
sound basis, that that traffic could be vigorously developed, that the
expenses, except always those of repair and renewal, could be kept
down, and that friendly, and perhaps improving and more beneficial,
arrangements could be made with the local government--is matter, to me,
of little doubt. Any man thoroughly versed in railways and quite up to
business, and especially accustomed to the management of men and the
conduct of serious negotiation, could easily accomplish this. But after
all, unless I am very much deceived, all this will be insufficient, for
many years to come, to satisfy the Shareholders; and I should not
advise Mr. Glyn or Mr. Baring to tie their reputations to any man,
however able or experienced, if it involved a sort of moral guarantee
that the result of his appointment should be any very sudden
improvement, of a character likely much to raise the _value of the
property in the market_, which unfortunately is what the
Shareholders very naturally look at, as the test of everything.

"To work the Grand Trunk as a gradually improving property would, I
repeat, be easy; but to work it so as to produce _a great success_
in a few years can only, in my opinion, be done in one way. That way,
to many, would be chimerical; to some, incomprehensible; and possibly I
may be looked upon myself as somewhat visionary for even suggesting it.
That way, however, to my mind, lies through the extension of railway
communication to the Pacific.

"Try for one moment to realize China opened to British commerce: Japan
also opened: the new gold fields in our own territory on the extreme
west, and California, also within reach: India, our Australian
Colonies--all our eastern Empire, in fact, material and moral, and
dependent (as at present it too much is) upon an overland
communication, through a foreign state.

"Try to realize, again, assuming physical obstacles overcome, a main
through Railway, of which the first thousand miles belong to the Grand
Trunk Company, from the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific,
made just within--as regards the north-western and unexplored district
--the corn-growing latitude. The result to this Empire would be beyond
calculation; it would be something, in fact, to distinguish the age
itself; and the doing of it would make the fortune of the Grand Trunk.

"Assuming also, again I say, that physical obstacles can be overcome,
is not the time opportune for making a start? The Prince is just coming
home full of glowing notions of the vast territories he has seen: the
Duke of Newcastle has been with him--and he is Colonial Minister: there
is jealousy and uncertainty on all questions relating to the east,
coincident with an enormous development of our eastern relations,
making people all anxious, if they could, to get another way across to
the Pacific:--the new gold fields on the Frazer River are attracting
swarms of emigrants; and the public mind generally is ripe, as it seems
to me, for any grand and feasible scheme which could be laid before it.

"To undertake the Grand Trunk with the notion of gradually working out
some idea of this kind for it and for Canada, throws an entirely new
light upon the whole matter, and as a means to this end doubtless the
Canadian Government would co-operate with the Government of this
country, and would make large sacrifices for the Grand Trunk in
consequence. The enterprise could only be achieved by the co-operation
of the two Governments, and by associating with the Railway's
enterprise some large land scheme and scheme of emigration."

The visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the Maritime Provinces,
in 1860, had evoked the old feeling of loyalty to the mother country,
damaged as it had been by Republican vicinity, the entire change of
commercial relations brought about by free trade, and sectional
conflicts. And the Duke, at once startled by the underlying hostility
to Great Britain and to British institutions in the United States
--which even the hospitalities of the day barely cloaked--and gratified
beyond measure by the outbursts of genuine feeling on the part of the
colonists, was most anxious, especially while entrusted with the
portfolio of the Colonies, to strengthen and bind together all that was
loyal north of the United States boundary.

Walking with Mr. Seward in the streets of Albany, after the day's
shouts and ceremonies were over, Mr. Seward said to the Duke, "We
really do not want to go to war with you; and we know you dare not go
to war with us." To which the Duke replied, "Do not remain under such
an error. There is no people under Heaven from whom we should endure so
much as from yours; to whom we should make such concessions. You may,
while we cannot, forget that we are largely of the same blood. But once
touch us in our honour and you will very soon find the bricks of New
York and Boston falling about your heads." In relating this to me the
Duke added, "I startled Seward a good deal; but he put on a look of
incredulity nevertheless. And I do not think they believe we should
ever fight them; but we certainly should if the provocation were
strong." It will be remarked that this conversation between Seward and
the Duke was in 1860. That no one, then, expected a revolution from an
anti-slave-state election of President. Still less did the people, of
either England or the United States, dream of a divergence, consequent
on such an election, to end in a struggle, first for political power,
and then following, in providential order, for human freedom. A
struggle culminating in the entire subjection of the South, in 1865,
after four years' war--a struggle costing a million of lives, untold
human misery, and a loss in money, or money's worth, of over a thousand
millions sterling.

In our many conversations, I had always ventured to enforce upon the
Duke that the passion for territory, for space, would be found at the
bottom of all discussion with the United States. Give them territory,
not their own, and for a time you would appease them, while, still, the
very feast would sharpen their hunger. I reminded the Duke that General
Cass had said, "I have an awful swallow ('swaller' was his
pronunciation) for territory;" and all Americans have that "awful
swallow." The dream of possessing a country extending from the Pole to
the Isthmus of Panama, if not to Cape Horn, has been the ambition of
the Great Republic--and it is a dangerous ambition for the rest of the
world. We have seen its effects in all our treaties. We have always
been asked _for land_. We gave up Michigan after the war of 1812.
We gave up that noble piece, the "Aroostook" country, now part of the
State of Maine, under the Ashburton Treaty in 1841. We have, again,
been shuffled out of our boundary at St. Juan on the Pacific, under an
arbitration which really contained its own award. The Reciprocity
Treaty was put an end to, in 1866, by the United States, not because
the Great West--who may govern the Union if they please--did not want
it, but because the Great West was cajoled by the cunning East into
believing that a restriction of intercourse between the United States
and the British Provinces would, at last, force the subjects of the
Queen to seek admission into the Republic. So it was, and is and will
be; and the only way to prevent aggression and war was, is, and will
be, to "put our foot down." Not to cherish the "peace-in-our-time"
policy, or to indulge in the half-hearted language, to which I shall
have hereafter to allude--but to combine and strengthen the sections of
our Colonial Empire in the West--to give to their people a greater
Empire still, a nobler history, and a prouder lot: a lot to
_last_, because based upon institutions which have stood, and will
stand, the test of time and trouble. Unfortunately we have had a
"little England" party in our country. A Liberal Government,
immediately following the Act of Confederation, took every red-coat out
of the Dominion of Canada, shipped off, or sold, the very shot and
shell to any one, friend or foe, who chose to buy: and the few guns and
mortars Canada demanded were charged to her "in account" with the ruth
of the miser. If the Duke of Newcastle had been a member of that
Cabinet such a miserable policy never could have been put in force; but
he was _dead_. I venture to think that the whole people of
England, who knew of the transaction, were ashamed of it. Certainly, I
saw, a few years ago, that one member of the very Cabinet which did
this thing, repudiated the "little England" policy, as opposed to the
best traditions of the Liberal party.

The "little England" party of the past have tried, so far in vain, to
alienate these our fellow subjects. But, fortunately for the Empire,
while some in the mother country have been indifferent as to whether
the Provinces went or stayed, many in the Colonies have been earnest in
their desire to escape annexation to the States. The feeling of these
patriotic men was well described in December, 1862, by Lord
Shaftesbury, at a dinner given to Messrs. Howe, Tilley, Howland and
Sicotte, delegates from the Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia. He said Canada addressed us in the affecting language of Ruth
--"Entreat me not to leave thee, nor to refrain from following after
thee"--and he asked, "Whether the world had ever seen such a spectacle
as great and growing nations, for such they were, with full and
unqualified power to act as they pleased, insisting on devoting their
honor, strength, and substance to the support of the common mother; and
not only to be called, but to be, sons." And Lord Shaftesbury asked,
"Whether any imperial ruler had ever preferred," as he said Canada had,
"love to dominion, and reverence to power."

Lord Shaftesbury's sentiments are, I believe, an echo of those of the
"great England" party; but, I repeat, "little England" sold the shot
and shell, nevertheless.

Whatever this man or that may claim to have done towards building up
Confederation, I, who was in good measure behind the scenes throughout,
repeat that to the late Duke of Newcastle the main credit of the
measure of 1867 was due. While failing health and the Duke's premature
decease left to Mr. Cardwell and Mr. W. E. Forster--and afterwards to
Lord Carnarvon and the Duke of Buckingham--the completion of the work
before the English Parliament, it was he who stood in the gap, and
formed and moulded, with a patience and persistence admirable to
behold, Cabinet opinion both in England and in the Provinces. At the
same time George Etienne Cartier, John A. Macdonald, and John Ross, in
Canada; Samuel L. Tilley, in New Brunswick, and, notably, Joseph Howe,
in Nova Scotia, stood together for Union like a wall of brass. And
these should ever be the most prominent amongst the honoured names of
the authors of an Union of the Provinces under the British Crown.

The works, I repeat, to be effected were--first, the physical union of
the Maritime Provinces with Canada by means of Intercolonial Railways;
and, second, to get out of the way of any unification, the heavy weight
and obstruction of the Hudson's Bay Company. The; latter was most
difficult, for abundant reasons.

This difficult work rested mainly on my shoulders.

It may be well here to place in contrast the condition of the Provinces
in 1861 and of the Confederation in 1886. In 1861 each of the five
Provinces had its separate Governor, Parliament, Executive, and system
of taxation. To all intents and purposes, and notwithstanding the
functions of the Governor-General and the unity flowing from the
control of the British Crown--these Provinces, isolated for want of the
means of rapid transit, were countries as separate in every relation of
business, or of the associations of life, as Belgium and Holland, or
Switzerland and Italy. The associations of New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia were far more intimate with the United States than with Canada;
and the whole Maritime Provinces regulated their tariffs, as Canada did
in return, from no consideration of developing a trade with each other,
or with the Canadas, between whose territory and the ocean these
Provinces barred the way. Thus, isolated and divided, it could be no
matter of wonder if their separate political discussions narrowed
themselves into local, sectional, and selfish controversies; and if,
while each possessing in their Legislature men in abundance who
deserved the title of sagacious and able statesmen, brilliant orators,
far-sighted men of business, their debates often reminded the stranger
who listened to them of the squabbles of local town councils. Again,
the Great Republic across their borders, with its obvious future,
offered with open arms, and especially to the young and ambitious, a
noble field, not shut in by winter or divided by separate governments.
Thus the gravitation towards aggregation--which seems to be a condition
of the progress of modern states--a condition to be intensified as
space is diminished by modern discoveries in rapid transit--was, in the
case of the Provinces, rather towards the United States than towards
each other or the British Empire. Thus there were, in 1860, many causes
at work to discourage the idea of Confederation. And it is by no means
improbable that the occurrence of the great Civil War destroyed this

I remember an incident which occurred at a little dinner party which I
gave in Montreal, in September, 1861, to the delegates who assembled
there, after my visits, in response to the appeal just made to the
Governments of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, on the subject
of the Intercolonial Railway. It illustrates the personal isolation
alluded to above. The Honorable Joseph Howe, then Premier of Nova
Scotia, said, "We have been more like foreigners than fellow-subjects;
you do not know us, and we do not know you. There are men in this room,
who hold the destinies of this half of the Continent in their hands;
and yet we never meet, unless by some chance or other, like the visit
of the Prince of Wales, we are obliged to meet. I say," he added, "we
have done more good by a free talk over this table, to-night, than all
the Governors, general and local, could do in a year, if they did
nothing' but write despatches. Oh! if you fellows would only now and
then dine and drink with us fellows, we would make a great partnership
directly." And the great partnership has been made, save only that
Newfoundland still remains separate.

In Canada the divisions between the Upper and Lower Provinces were, in
1861, serious, and often acrimonious; for they were religious as well
as political. The rapid growth of Upper Canada, overtopping that of the
French-speaking and Catholic Lower Province, led to demands to upset
the great settlement of 1839, and to substitute for an equal
representation, such a redistribution of seats as would have followed
the numerical progression of the country. "Representation by
population"--shortly called "Rep. by Pop."--was the great cry of the
ardent Liberal or "Grit" party, at whose head was George Brown, of the
"Toronto Globe"--powerful, obstinate, Scotch, and Protestant, and with
Yankee leanings. In fact, the same principles were in difference as
those which evolved themselves in blood in the contest between the
North and South between 1861 and 1865. The minority desired to preserve
the power and independence which an equal share in parliamentary
government had given them. The majority, mainly English and Scotch, and
largely Protestant and Presbyterian, chafed under what they deemed to
be the yoke of a non-progressive people; a people content to live in
modest comfort, to follow old customs, and obey old laws; to defer to
clerical authority, and to preserve their separate national identity
under the secure protection of a strong Empire. Indeed, it is
difficult, in 1886, to realise the heat, or to estimate the danger, of
the discussion of this question; and more than one "Grit" politician,
whom I could name, would be startled if we reminded him of his opinion
in 1861,--that the question would be "settled by a civil war" if it
"could not be settled peaceably," but that "settled it must be--and

The cure for this dangerous disease was to provide, for all, a bigger
country--a country large enough to breed large ideas. There is a career
open in the boundless resources of a varied land for every reasonable
ambition, and the young men of Canada, which possesses an excellent
educational machinery, may now look forward to as noble, if not more
noble, an inheritance than their Republican neighbours--an inheritance
where there is room for 100,000,000 of people to live in freedom,
comfort, and happiness. While progress will have its periodical checks,
and periodical inflations, there is no reason to doubt that before the
next century ends the "Dominion," if still part of the Empire, will--in
numbers--outstrip the present population of the British Islands.

Now, in 1886, all this past antagonism of "Rep. by Pop." is forgotten.
Past and gone. A vast country, rapidly augmenting in population and
wealth, free from any serious sectional controversy, free, especially,
from any idea of separation, bound together under one governing
authority, with one tariff and one system of general taxation, has
exhibited a capacity for united action, and for self-government and
mutual defence, admirable to behold.


_Towards the Pacific--Liverpool to Quebec._

Leaving Liverpool at noon of the 2nd September, 1886, warping out of
the dock into the river--a long process--we arrived, in the fine screw
steamer "Sardinian," of the Allan line, off Moville, at five on the
following morning; and we got out of the inlet at five in the
afternoon, after receiving mails and passengers. It may be asked, why a
delay of twelve hours at Moville? The answer is--the Bar at Liverpool.
The genius and pre-vision of the dock and harbour people at Liverpool
keep the entrance to that port in a disgraceful condition, year after
year--year after year. And the trade of Lancashire, Yorkshire,
Cheshire, and Derbyshire, is compelled to depend upon a sand-bar, over
which, at low tide, there is eight feet of water only. Such a big ship
as "The Sardinian" can cross the bar in two short periods, or twice in
the twenty-four hours, over a range, probably, of three or four hours.
On my return home I wrote the following letter about this bar to "The


"SIR,--You inserted some time ago in 'The Times' a letter from
Professor Ramsay detailing the troubles arising to travellers from the
other side of the Atlantic, owing to shallow water outside the entrance
to Liverpool, and you enforced the necessity of some improvement, in a
very able article. Professor Ramsay was at that time returning from the
meeting of the British Association, held in the Dominion of Canada.

"Still, while time goes on, and the question becomes more and more
urgent, the bar, with its eight feet of water at low tide, remains as
it was, save that some navigators contend that it grows worse.

"Yesterday 340 passengers, of whom I was one, by the noble Cunard ship
'The Etruria,' experienced the difficulty in all its varieties of

"After rushing through very heavy seas and against violent winds for
three or four days, we cast anchor a good way outside the bar at 5
o'clock yesterday (Sunday) morning. The weather was too rough for the
fine tug-boat, 'The Skirmisher,' to come so far out. So, after swinging
about till 10 o'clock, we moved slowly on, crossed the bar about half-
past 11, and were off the northernmost dock later on. Here the usual
process of hauling the ship round by the aid of the tug took place, and
then the further process of putting the baggage on board the tug, in
advance of taking the passengers. I was fortunate in being taken off
the ship in a special tug-boat by some friends, got to the landing-
stage, where the baggage is examined by the Customs, and, a carriage
waiting for me, was at the Central Station at Liverpool at one o'clock.
But, with all these comfortable arrangements, I had lost at least seven
hours, and had missed all morning trains. The other passengers, I fear,
did not get through for two or three hours later, and those for London
would be lucky if they just caught the 4 o'clock train.

"It would not, I am told, be prudent to take a ship of the size and
draught of 'The Etruria' over the bar till two hours before high water
on a flowing, and one hour after on an ebbing, tide. Thus, for such a
ship--and the tendency is to build larger and larger vessels--the
margin, even in moderate weather, is probably three hours out of the
twenty-four, or, in other words, exclusion from the port for twenty-one
hours out of the twenty-four, more or less.

"Lancashire will soon have to say whether its manufactures and commerce
are to be tied to the bar at Liverpool; and, in the new competition of
ports, a port open at any time of tide must ultimately draw the trade
and traffic.

"Before the Committee of the House of Commons, on Harbour
Accommodation, on which Committee I had the honour to sit, it was
proved that every country in Europe, having a sea-board, was making and
improving deep-water harbours,--except England.

"Take the case of Antwerp, which is already attracting traffic to and
from the great British possessions themselves by reason of its great

"Liverpool is a place where the dogma of absolute perfection is
accepted as a religion. But some of us may be pardoned if, in both
local and national interests, we must be dissenters.

"That the bar may be made better instead of growing worse is obvious.
But the great cure is by cutting through the peninsula of Birkenhead
and obtaining a second entrance to the Mersey, always accessible, and
obviously alternative. This was the advice of Telford seventy years
ago, and 'The Times' has called public attention to a practical way of
working out the Telford idea, planned by Mr. Baggallay, C.E., and laid
before the Liverpool authorities--in vain.

"I may add that if our ship had called at Holyhead, the London
passengers might have left Holyhead on Saturday evening instead of
Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, a difference of a day.

                              "I beg to remain very faithfully yours,
                                "EDWARD W. WATKIN.
"Northenden, _Oct_. 18, 1886."

Some Liverpool cotton broker wrote to me to say that I had forgotten
that there were two tides in the twenty-four hours. Nothing of the
kind. There was one word miswritten, and, therefore, misprinted, which
I have corrected: but the broad fact remains, and why my compatriots in
the broad Lancashire district do not see the danger, I cannot
comprehend, unless it be that some of them are up in the "Ship Canal"
balloon, and others, the best of them, are indifferent.

Steaming along, after leaving Moville, we passed Tory Island, the scene
of many wrecks, and of disasters around. It has a lighthouse, but no
telegraphic communication with the shore at all.

I wrote a letter about that to the Editor of the "Standard." Here it


"SIR,--Newspapers are not to be had here, but as this good ship is only
a week out from Liverpool, and five days from out of sight of land to
sight of land, I may fairly assume that Parliament is still discussing
Irish questions.

"Thus I ask your indulgence to make reference to a question which is
decidedly Irish, but is also Imperial, in the sense that it affects the
lives of large numbers of persons, especially of the emigrant class,
and is interesting to all the navigation and commerce of necessity
passing the north-west extremity of Ireland.

"If your readers will refer to the map they will see, outside the
north-west corner of the mainland of Ireland, Tory Island. It was on
Tory Island that 'The Wasp' and her gallant captain were lost, without
hope of rescue, for want of cable communication; and Tory Island itself
has excited the interest of the philanthropist on many occasions. On
Tory Island there is a lighthouse, with a fixed light, which can be
seen sixteen miles. Not long ago, as I learn, a deputation from the
Board of Irish Lighthouses went all the way to England to beg the Board
of Trade, at Whitehall, to sanction the expenditure of eight hundred
pounds, with a view to double the power of the light on Tory Island.
Perhaps the Board of Trade, after some interval of time, may see their
way to do what any man of business would decide upon in five minutes as
obvious and essential. But that is not the point I wish to lay before
you. My point is, that while the lighthouse on Tory Island is good for
warning ships, and may, as above, be made more effective, no use is
made of it in the way of transmitting ship intelligence.

"I ask, therefore, to be allowed to advocate the connection of Tory
Island, by telegraph cable, with the mainland of Ireland and its
telegraph system. The cost of doing this one way would, as I estimate,
be two thousand five hundred pounds; the cost of doing it another way
would be about six thousand pounds.

"The first way would be by a cable from the lighthouse on Tory Island,
leaving either Portdoon Bay, on the east end of Tory Island, or leaving
Camusmore Bay on the south of it, and landing either on the sandy beach
at Drumnafinny Point, or at Tramore Bay, where there is a similarly
favourable beach. The distance in the former case is six and a half, in
the latter seven and a half miles, the distance being slightly affected
by the starting point selected. Adopting this route at a cost of two
thousand five hundred pounds, which would include about twenty miles of
cheap land telegraphs, available for postal and other local purposes,
would be the shortest and cheapest mode.

"The second way would be to lay a cable from Tory Island to Malin Head,
where the Allan Steamship Company have a signal station. The distance
is twenty-nine miles; the cost, as I estimate, about six thousand
pounds. I should, however, prefer the former and cheaper plan, as I
think it would serve a larger number of purposes and interests.

"From Portdoon Bay, on Tory Island, to Tramore Bay the sea-bottom is
composed of sand and shells, very good for cable-laying; and there is a
depth of water of from seventeen to nineteen fathoms.

"Tory Island is the turning point--I might say pivot point--for all
steam and sailing vessels coming from the South and across the Western
Ocean, and using the North of Ireland route for Liverpool, Londonderry,
Belfast, Glasgow, and a host of other ports and places. It can be
approached with safety at a distance of half-a-mile, near the
lighthouse, as the water is deep close to, there being twenty fathoms
at a distance of one-third of a mile from the Island.

"The steamers of all the Canadian lines pass this point--the Allan, the
Beaver, the Anchor, the Dominion--while all the steam lines beginning
and ending at Glasgow, Greenock, and other Scotch ports do the same.
Again, all sailing vessels, carrying a great commerce for Liverpool and
ports up to Greenock and Glasgow, and round the north of Scotland to
Newcastle and the East Coast ports, would be largely served by this
proposal. Repeating that this is a question of saving life and of
aiding navigation at an infinitesimal cost, I will now proceed to show
the various benefits involved.

"First of all it would save five hours, as compared with present plans,
in signalling information of the passing to and fro of steamships. As
respect all Canadian and many other steamers it would also expedite the
mails, by enabling the steam tenders at Loch Foyle to come out and meet
the ships outside at Innishowen Head; and this gain of time would often
save a tide across the bar at Liverpool, and sometimes a day to the
passengers going on by trains. As respects the Scotch steamers going
north of Tory Island, it would enable the owners to learn the
whereabouts of their vessels fourteen hours sooner than at present. In
the case of sailing ships the advantages are far greater. Captain
Smith, of this ship, a commander of deserved eminence, informs me that
he has known sailing ships to be tacking about at the entrance of the
Channel, between the Mull of Cantyre and the north coast of Ireland,
for eighteen days in adverse and dangerous winds, unable to communicate
with their owners, who, if informed by telegraph, could at once send
tugs to their relief. Again, when eastern winds prevail, in the spring
of the year, tugs being sent, owners would get their ships into port
many days, or even weeks, sooner than at present.

"But it needs no arguing that to all windbound and to disabled ships
the means of thus calling for assistance would be invaluable.

"For the above reason I hope the slight cost involved will not be
grudged, especially by our patriots, who have taken the Irish and
Scotch emigrants under their special protection. I respectfully invite
them and every one else to aid in protecting life and property in this
obvious way.

                                 "I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
                                   "E. W. WATKIN.
"S.S. Sardinian, off Belle Isle,
  "_September_ 9, 1886."

Our voyage on to Quebec had the usual changes of weather: hot sun, cold
winds, snow, hail, icebergs, and gales of wind, and, when nearing Belle
Isle, dense fog, inducing our able, but prudent, captain to stop his
engines till daylight, when was sighted a wall of ice across our track
at no great distance. Captain Smith prefers to take the north side of
Belle Isle. There is a lighthouse on the Island, not, I thought, in a
very good situation for passing on the north side. But I found that
there was no cable communication between Belle Isle and Anticosti.
Thus, in case of disaster, the only warning to Quebec would be the non-
arrival of the ship, and the delay might make help too late. I ventured
to call the attention of a leading member of the Canadian Government to
this want of means of sending intelligence of passing ships and ships
in distress. In winter this strait is closed by ice, and the
lighthouses are closed too. Inside the fine inlet of "Amour Bay," a
natural dock, safe and extensive, we saw the masts of a French man-of-
war. The French always protect their fishermen; we at home usually let
them take care of themselves. This French ship had been in these
English waters some time; and on a recent passage there was gun-firing,
and the movement of men, to celebrate, as the captain learned, the
taking of the Bastille. On the opposite coast is a little cove, in
which a British ship got ashore, and was stripped by the local pirates
of everything. Captain Smith took off the crew and reported the piracy;
but nothing seems to have been done. A British war-ship is never seen
in these distant and desolate northern regions. It may well be that the
sparse population think all the coasts still belong to France, in
addition to the Isles of St. Pierre and Miquelon. This is how our navy
is managed. Can it be true that the Marquis of Lorne recommended that
an ironclad should be sent to Montreal for a season, as an emblem of
British power and sway--and was refused?

After some trouble with fog and wind, preceded by a most remarkable
Aurora Borealis, and some delay at night at Rimouska, we reached
Quebec, and got alongside at Point Levi, on the afternoon of Saturday,
the 11th September; and I had great pleasure in meeting my old friend
Mr. Hickson, who came down to meet Mrs. Hickson and his son and
daughter, fellow-passengers of mine. I also at once recognized Dr.
Rowand, the able medical officer of the Port of Quebec, who I had not
set eyes on for twenty-four years. I stayed the night at Russell's
Hotel; and next day renewed my acquaintance with the city, finding the
"Platform" wonderfully enlarged and improved, the work of Lord
Dufferin, a new and magnificent Courthouse being built, and, above all,
an immense structure of blue-grey stone, intended for the future
Parliament House of the Province of Quebec. The facility of borrowing
money in England on mere provincial, or town, security, appears to be a
Godsend to architects and builders, and to aid and exalt local ambition
for fine, permanent structures. Well, the buildings remain. To find the
grand old fortifications of Quebec in charge of a handful of Canadian
troops, seemed strange. Such fortresses belong to the Empire; and the
Queen's redcoats should hold them all round the world. I was told--I
hope it is not true--that the extensive works above Point Levi,
opposite Quebec, constructed by British military labour, are
practically abandoned to decay and weeds.


_To the Pacific--Montreal to Port Moody_.

On the evening of the 12th September I left Quebec by the train for
Montreal, and travelled over the "North Shore" line of 200 miles. One
of the secretaries of the Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific, Mr.
Van Horn, called upon me to say that accommodation was reserved for me
in the train; and that Mr. Van Horn was sending down his own car, which
would meet me half way. It was no use protesting against the non-
necessity of such luxurious treatment. I was further asked, if I had
"got transportion?" which puzzled me. But I found, being interpreted,
the question was modern American for "Have you got your through
ticket?" I replied, that I had paid my fare right through from
Liverpool to Vancouver's Island--as every mere traveller for his own
pleasure ought to do; and I was remonstrated with for so unkind a
proceeding, as the fact of my having been President of the Grand Trunk
was of itself a passport all over Canada.

At Three Rivers, about half way, while reading by very good light--good
lamp, excellent oil, very good trimming--there was some shunting of the
train, and the usual "bang" of the attachment of a carriage. A moment
afterwards Mr. Van Horn's car steward entered, and asked if I was Sir
Edward Watkin; and he guessed I must come into Mr. Van Horn's car, sent
specially down for me. Where was my baggage? I need not say that I was
soon removed from the little, beautifully-fitted, drawing-room into
this magnificent car. In passing through, I heard some growls, in
French, about stopping the train, and sending a car for one "Anglais."
So, on being settled in the new premises, I sent my compliments,
stating that I only required one seat, and that I was certain that the
car was intended for the general convenience, and would they do me the
favour to finish their journey in it? I received very polite replies,
stating that every one was very comfortable where he was. One
Englishman, however, came in to make my acquaintance, but left me soon.
I now became acquainted with Mr. Van Horn's car steward--James French,
or, as his admirers call him, "Jim"--and I certainly wish to express my
gratitude to him for his intelligence, thoughtfulness, admirable
cookery, and general good nature. He took me, a few days later, right
across to the Pacific in this same car, which certainly was a complete
house on wheels--bedroom, "parlour, kitchen and all." His first
practical suggestion was, would I take a little of Mr. Van Horn's "old
Bourbon" whisky? It was "very fine, first rate." On my assenting, he
asked would I take it "straight," as Mr. Van Horn did, or would I have
a little seltzer water? I elected the latter, at the same time
observing, that when I neared the Rocky Mountains perhaps I should have
improved my ways so much that I could take it "straight" also.

At Montreal, my old friend and aforetime collaborateur, Mr. Joseph
Hickson, met me and took me home with him; and in his house, under the
kind and generous care of Mrs. Hickson, I spent three delightful days,
and renewed acquaintance with many old friends of times long passed. It
was on the 28th December, 1861, that Mr. Hickson first went to Canada
in the Cunard steamer "Canada" from Liverpool. He was accompanied by
Mr. Watkin, our only son, a youth of 15, anxious to see the bigger
England. Mr. Watkin afterwards entered the service (Grand Trunk), in
the locomotive department, at Montreal, and deservedly gained the
respect of his superior officer, who had to delegate to Mr. Watkin,
then under 18, the charge of a thousand men. There were, also, Howson,
Wright, Wainwright, and Barker; subsequently, Wallis. Mr. John Taylor,
who acted as my private secretary in my previous visit, I had left
behind, much to his distress at the time, much for his good afterwards.
Mr. Barker is now the able manager of the Buenos Ayres Great Southern
Railway, a most prosperous undertaking; and poor dear, big, valiant,
hard-working Wallis is, alas! no more: struck down two years ago by
fever. These old friends, still left in Canada, are leading honorable,
useful, and successful lives, respected by the community. To see them
again made it seem as if the world had stood still for a quarter of a
century. Then, again, there was my old friend and once colleague, the
Honble. James Ferrier, a young-minded and vigorous man of 86: who, on
my return to Montreal, walked down to the grand new offices of the
Grand Trunk, near Point St. Charles--offices very much unlike the old
wooden things I left behind, and which were burnt down--to see me and
walked back again. Next day I had the advantage of visiting the
extensive workshops and vast stock yards of the Canadian Pacific, at
Hochelaga, to the eastward of Montreal, and of renewing my acquaintance
with the able solicitor of the Company, Mr. Abbot, and with the
secretary, an old Manchester man, Mr. Drinkwater. Then on the following
day Mr. Peterson, the engineer of this section of the Canadian Pacific
Company, drove me out to Lachine, and took me by his boat, manned by
the chief and a crew of Indians, to see the finished piers and also the
coffer-dams and works of the new bridge over the St. Lawrence, by means
of which his Company are to reach the Eastern Railways of the United
States, without having to use the great Victoria Bridge at Montreal.
This bridge, of 1,000 yards, or 3,000 feet, in length, is a remarkable
structure. It was commenced in May and intended to be finished in
November. But the foundations of the central pier, in deep and doubtful
water, were not begun, though about to begin, and this, as it appeared
to me, might delay the work somewhat. The work is a fine specimen of
engineering, by which I mean the adoption of the simplest and cheapest
mode of doing what is wanted. All the traffic purposes required are
here secured in a few months, and for about 200,000_l_. only.

The "Victoria" bridge at Montreal is a very different structure. A long
sheet-iron box, 9,184 feet in length, with 26 piers 60 feet above the
water level, and costing from first to last 2,000,000_l_.
sterling. The burning of coal had begun to affect it; but Mr.
Haunaford, the chief engineer of the Grand Trunk, has made some
openings in the roof, which do not in any way reduce the strength of
the bridge, and at the same time get rid of, at once into the air, the
sulphurous vapours arising from coal combustion.

Mr. Peterson told me that their soundings in winter showed that ice
thickened and accumulated at the bottom of the river. This would seem,
at first sight, impossible. But experiment, Mr. Peterson said, had
proved the fact, which was accounted for by scientific people in
various and, in some cases, conflicting ways. May it not be that the
accumulation is ice from above, loaded with earth or stones, which,
sinking to the bottom by gravity, coagulates from the low temperature
it produces itself? Mr. Peterson is not merely an engineer, and an
excellent one, but an observant man of business. His views upon the
all-important question of colonising the unoccupied lands of the
Dominion seemed to be wise and far-sighted. He would add to the
homestead grants of land, an advance to the settler--a start, in fact
--of stock and material, to be repaid when final title to the property,
were given.

Taking leave of my old friends, I left Montreal at 8 p.m. on the night
of September 15th, in the ordinary "Pacific Express," on which was
attached Mr. Van Horn's car, in charge of James French. I went by
ordinary train because I was anxious to have an experience of the
actual train-working. Mr. Edward Wragge, C.E., of Toronto, an able
engineer of great experience, located now at Toronto, has sent me so
concise an account of the journey of this train, and of the general
engineering features of the line, that, anticipating his kind
permission, I venture to copy it:--

"Leaving Montreal in Mr. Van Horn's car, the 'Saskatchewan,' by the 8
p.m. train on the 15th September, we passed Ottawa at 11.35 p.m.

"During the night we ran over that portion of the Canadian Pacific
Railway which was formerly called the Canada Central Railway, and
reached Callander (344 miles from Montreal), the official eastern
terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, at 8.30 a.m. 13 miles from
this, at Thorncliff is the junction with the Northern and Pacific
Junction Railway, which forms the connection with Toronto and Western
Ontario, being distant from Toronto 227 miles. At North Bay, which is a
divisional terminus, the line touches Lake Nipissing, where there is a
flourishing settlement, the land being of a fair quality. The line is
laid with steel rails, about 56 lbs. to the lineal yard, and with ties
about 2,640 to the mile. For the first 60 or 70 miles from Callander
the line is ballasted entirely by sand, and, with the exception of a
few settlements, is entirely without fencing. Most of the bridges are
of timber; but there are one or two of the larger ones of iron or
steel, with masonry abutments.

"At Sudbury is the junction with the Algama Branch, not yet opened for
traffic. This is 443 miles from Montreal. After leaving Sudbury the
character of the country changes, and is alternately swampy and wild
rocky land. Numerous large trestles are necessary, which will
eventually be filled in with culverts and earthwork. The schedule
running time of the trains along this portion of the line is 24 miles
per hour, including stoppages.

"At 8 p.m. Chapleau, another divisional terminus, was reached, and the
schedule running time during the night from that point to Heron Bay,
reached at 5.15 a.m. the following morning, is 20 miles an hour. At
Heron Bay (802 miles from Montreal) the north shore of Lake Superior is
first touched, and the line runs along it to Port Arthur, a distance of
993 miles from Montreal. The scenery here is very wild and picturesque.
At one time the line runs along the face of the rock, with the lake
from 50 to 100 feet below, the road-bed being benched out on the cliff,
and at another time is away back among barren hills and rocks, crossing
several large streams (with either bridges of iron and masonry or
timber trestle work), which streams flow into the lake at the north end
of deep indentations or arms of the lake. The line through this
district is winding, having many sharp curves and steep grades. There
are several short tunnels, all of them through rock, and not lined. The
schedule time for trains on this portion of the line is 16 miles per
hour. We were detained some little time near Jack Fish, owing to a
slight land slide coming down in one of the cuttings.

"The Nepigon River is crossed at a high level with a steel trussed
bridge, masonry piers and abutments, and there is an old Hudson's Bay
settlement on the river a short distance above the bridge. Between
Nepigon and Port Arthur the line runs through a country much more
accessible for railways, and the schedule time here is at the rate of
24 miles an hour. We reached Port Arthur at 4 p.m. on the 17th. This is
a flourishing town, situated at the head of Thunder Bay, a large bay on
the north shore of Lake Superior, and has a population of four or five
thousand at the present time. From the north shore of Lake Nipissing to
this point, however, a distance of over 600 miles, the country may be
said to be almost without inhabitants, except those connected with the
working of the railway, squatters, and Hudson's Bay trappers and
traders. The weather was chilly during the evening of this day, and a
heavy sleet storm arose before arriving at Port Arthur. At night a fire
had to be lighted in the car, as there was a sharp frost. During the
night the train was detained for some little time east of Rat Portage,
in consequence of a trestle having given way while being pulled in, and
the train arrived at Rat Portage at 7.30 a.m., four hours, behind time.

"From Port Arthur the line westward is run upon the 24 o'clock system,
commencing from midnight; 1 p.m. being 13 o'clock, 2 p.m. being 14
o'clock, and so on. The train arrived at Winnipeg at 12.45 on the 18th
(1,423 miles from Montreal), and time was allowed to drive round the
town, the train leaving again for the west at 13.30 o'clock. From
Winnipeg westward the line runs through a prairie country, which
extends without intermission to Calgary, a distance of 838 miles, and
2,261 from Montreal. At Winnipeg the Company have good machine shops,
round houses, &c., and a large yard, and has acquired 132 acres of land
for these purposes of working and repair and renewal.

"The country for three or four hundred miles from Winnipeg west is more
or less settled; in some parts farms are quite numerous, and the land
good and well cultivated. At Portage la Prairie the Manitoba and North-
Western Line leaves the Canadian Pacific. It is being rapidly pushed
forward, and 120 miles of it have already been completed through the
'Fertile belt.' It should have been mentioned that the line between
Port Arthur and Winnipeg, a length of 430 miles, was constructed by the
Government of Canada and given to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company
free as a portion of their system. This part of the line is laid with
57 lbs. steel rails, and is well ballasted. The line is also ballasted
east of Port Arthur, though in some places the ballast is of poor
quality, and in others there is not sufficient of it. West of Winnipeg,
however, there is no ballast across the prairie, except where the
excavations through which the line goes afford ballast, it being simply
surfaced up from side ditches with whatever the material may happen to
be; but it is in good condition for a line of such a character, and the
schedule time is 24 miles an hour, including stoppages.

"The train ran through Qu'Appelle, Regina, and Moose Jaw during the
night of the 18th, and reached Dunmore (650 miles from Winnipeg) at
15.30 o'clock on the 19th. At this point there is a branch, 3-feet
gauge line, 110 miles in length, to the Lethbridge mines, belonging to
Sir Alexander Galt & Company. His son, Mr. Galt, met us at Dunmore, and
invited us to go and inspect the mines, but as it would have made a
delay of at least one day, the idea had regretfully to be abandoned.
The train reached Bassano (750 miles from Winnipeg) at 19 o'clock, our
time, having made up 3 hours and 20 minutes since leaving Winnipeg,
which was the time late leaving there. The train was then exactly 97
hours since leaving Montreal, having travelled 2,180 miles, an average
speed, including all stoppages and delays, of 22-1/2 miles an hour.

"During the night of the 19th and the early morning of the 20th, the
train ran through Calgary, at the foothills of the Atlantic slope of
the Rocky Mountains; and at 5.30 on the 20th arrived at the summit of
the Rocky Mountains. As it was just daylight we were enabled to see the
scenery at that point and Kicking Horse Pass. From the summit of the
Rocky Mountains, for some nine miles, the line is considered to be
merely a temporary one, though permanently and strongly constructed,
there being a grade for two or three miles of it of 4-1/2 feet per
hundred, say 1 in 22-1/2. There are several catch sidings on this
grade, running upwards on the slopes of the mountains, for trains or
cars to be turned into, in the event of a break loose or run away, and
a man is always in attendance at the switches leading to these sidings.
All this day the train ran through mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the
Selkirk Range, and Eagle Pass. With the exception of the steep grade
mentioned, the ruling ones are 116 feet to the mile, and there are
numerous sharp curves, usually to save short tunnels. The line,
however, is in some parts well ballasted, and work is still going on in
this direction. The rails are of steel, 70 lbs. to the yard, and the
locomotives, of the "Consolidation" pattern, with eight driving wheels,
are able, Mr. Marpole, the able divisional superintendent, stated, to
take a train of 12 loaded cars over the ruling grades, two of them
being required for the same load on the steep grade already mentioned
at Kicking Horse Pass. Mr. Marpole stopped the train at the Stony Creek
Bridge, a large timber structure 296 feet high, and said to be the
highest wooden bridge in America. The scenery through the Selkirks is
magnificent, the mountain peaks being six and seven thousand feet above
the level of the railway, many of them even at this season of the year
covered with snow, and there being several large glaciers.

"During last year, before the line was opened for traffic, observations
were taken with the view of ascertaining what trouble might be
anticipated from avalanches, the avalanch paths through the Selkirks
being very numerous. Several large avalanches occurred, the largest
covering the track for a length of 1,300 feet, with a depth in one
place of 50 feet of snow, and containing, as was estimated, a quarter
of a million cubic yards of snow and earth. The result of these
observations caused the Company to construct during this season four-
and-a-half miles of snow sheds, at a cost of $900,000, or $200,000 a

"The sheds are constructed as follows:--On the high side of the
mountain slope a timber crib filled with stones is constructed. Along
the entire length of the shed, and on the opposite side of the track, a
timber trestle is erected, strong timber beams are laid from the top of
the cribwork to the top of the trestle, 4 feet apart and at an angle
representing the slope of the mountain, as nearly as possible. These
are covered over with 4-inch planking, and the beams are strutted on
either side from the trestle and from the crib. The covering is placed
at such a height as to give 21 feet headway from the under side of the
beam to the centre of the track. The longest of these sheds is 3,700
feet, and is near the Glacier Hotel.

"Over the Selkirk Range the schedule time for trains from Donald to
Revelstoke, that is, from the first to the second crossing of the
Columbia River, a distance of 79 miles, is only eleven miles an hour;
but this time table was made before there was much ballast on this
portion of the line, and better time can now be made. On the 21st
September the Fraser River was crossed early in the morning over a
steel cantilever bridge, and the line runs down the gorge of the Fraser
River to Port Moody, reached at noon. The train had thus been
travelling from 8 p.m. on the 15th September to 12 noon on the 21st,
apparently a total of 136 hours; but, allowing for the gain of three
hours in time, an actual total of 139 hours. During this time the train
travelled 2,892 miles, or an average speed made throughout the journey,
including all stoppages, of 20-1/2 miles per hour, and this is the
regular schedule time for passenger trains at the present time.

"Port Moody is the present terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
but the line has been partially graded for 12 miles further to
Vancouver. Owing, however, to the hostile attitude of some landowners,
the Company have not been able to complete this work, as the contention
has been made that, although the Company have power to build branches,
an extension of the main line is not a branch, and the Company will
have to obtain legislation before this can be done. Vancouver at the
present time is said to have a population of about 3,000. It is
situated at Burrard Inlet, a mile or so inside what are called the
First Narrows, but the neck of land on which it is situate is only
about a mile across; and in the future, when the town grows, English
Bay, which is outside the Narrows, can easily be made the harbour in
preference to the present one, as it is fairly well sheltered, and
affords good anchorage.

"The trip down Burrard Inlet, the Straits of Georgia, and through the
San Juan Archipelago to Victoria, a distance of about 90 miles from
Port Moody, occupied 9-1/2 hours, and Victoria was reached at 10.30 on
the night of the 21st September."

To this memorandum I may add a few words. First, in praise of the
excellent rolling stock; secondly, of the good discipline and smartness
of the service; and, thirdly, of the wonderful energy, boldness, and
success of the whole engineering features of this grand work of modern
times. I should be ungrateful if I did not thank the chief officers of
the Canadian Pacific, whose acquaintance I had great pleasure in
making, for their exceeding kindness, for the full information they
afforded to me, and for showing me many cheap, short, and ready plans
of construction, which might well be adopted in Europe. These gentlemen
have looked at difficulties merely in respect to the most summary way
of surmounting them; and, certainly, the great and bold works around
the head of Lake Superior, the many river and ravine crossings of
unusual span and height, and, especially, the works of the 600 miles of
mountain country between Calgary and the last summit of British
Columbia, so successfully traversed, would make the reputation of a
dozen Great George Streets.


_Canadian Pacific Railways_.

The pioneer suggestion of a railway across British territory to the
Pacific has been claimed by many. To my mind, all valuable credit
attaches to those who have completed the work. The christening of "La
Chine"--the town seven miles from Montreal, where the canals which go
round the rapids end, and the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa rivers join
their differently coloured streams--contained the prophecy of a future
great high road to the then mysterious East, to China, to Japan, to
Australia; and it is to the Sieur de la Salle, who, 200 years ago,
bought lands above the rapids from the Sulpician Fathers of Montreal,
and began his many attempts to reach the lands of the "setting sun,"
that we owe the name; while the resolution of Sir Charles Tupper,
carried in the Dominion Parliament, finally embodied in an Act which
received the Royal assent on the 17th February, 1881, and was opposed
throughout by the "Grit" party, was really the practical start. It
would be inadequate to write of the Great Canadian Pacific Railway
without some reference to the history of railways in Canada itself.

In the interesting book, "Rambles on Railways," published in 1868, it
is remarked that great as has been the progress of Canada, in no
respect has the growth of the country shown itself in a more marked
manner than in the development of its railway system. It was in 1848,
or almost immediately after the completion of the magnificent canal
system of Canada proper, and by which vessels of 800 tons could pass
from the ocean to Lake Ontario, and _vice versa_ (ships now pass
from Chicago to Liverpool of over 1,500 tons burthen), that the
Canadians discovered it was necessary, notwithstanding their unrivalled
inland navigation, to combine with it an equally good railway
communication; and accordingly, in 1849, an Act was passed by the
Canadian Government pledging a six per cent. guarantee on one-half the
cost of all railways made under its provisions. In 1852, however, the
Government, fearing the effect of an indiscriminate guarantee, repealed
the law of 1849, and passed an Act guaranteeing one-half of the cost of
one main Trunk line of railway throughout the Province, and it was
under this Act that the Grand Trunk Railway was projected.

These terms were subsequently modified, by granting a fixed sum of
3,000_l_. per mile of railway forming part of the main Trunk line.
It is true that prior to these dates railways existed in Canada. There
was, for example, the horse railway from La Prairie, nine miles above
Montreal, to St. John's on the Richelieu River, opened in July, 1836,
and first worked with locomotives in 1837; there was also a horse
railway between Queenstown and Chippewa, passing Niagara, opened in
1839, and over which I travelled in 1851; but with these exceptions,
and the Lachine Railway, a line running from Montreal for seven miles
to the westward, the railway system of Canada cannot be said to have
commenced until after the passing of the Railway Act in 1849, and even
then, it was not for about a year that any progress was made. Soon
after that date, however, the works of several lines were pushed
forward, and in 1854 the section between Montreal and Quebec was
opened, the first train having carried Lord Elgin, who was then _en
route_ to England to confer with the home authorities respecting the
future Reciprocity Treaty with the United States Government. So, whilst
in 1852, Canada could only boast of about 30 miles of railway, she has
now over 10,000 miles. The population of the Dominion is estimated
roughly at 5,000,000, so that this mileage gives something over two
miles of railway for every thousand inhabitants, a greater railway
mileage system per head of population than, perhaps, is possessed by
any other country in the world.

The old Grand Trunk proprietors feel that their early pioneer services
to Canada, and their heavy sacrifices, have rather been ignored in
competition, than recognized, by the Canadian Pacific not being an
extension of the Grand Trunk system. Had I remained in office as
President of the Grand Trunk, undoubtedly I should have laboured hard
to bring about such a consummation, which undoubtedly would have
economised capital and hastened the completion of the great Inter-
oceanic work. But the London agents of Canada, who were, and are,
responsible for launching the Grand Trunk and for its many issues of
capital to British shareholders, have undoubtedly aided the competition
and rivalry complained of; for in July, 1885, they floated--when other
great financial houses were unable--3,000,000_l_. sterling, not
for the Pacific line itself, but to complete other extensions of the
Pacific Company's system of a directly competitive character with the
Grand Trunk, and which could never have been finished but for this
British money, so raised. While I do not enter into the controversy, it
still seems to me that blame lies nearer home than in Canada, if blame
be deserved at all. Great financiers seem sometimes ready to devour
their own industrial children.

The Canadian Pacific Railway from Quebec to Port Moody is a mixture of
the new and the old. The first section, from Quebec to Montreal, is an
old friend, the North Shore Railway, once possessed by the Grand Trunk
Company, and sold back to the Canadian Government for purposes of
extending the Pacific route to tide-water at Quebec, and making one,
throughout, management. From Montreal to Ottawa, and beyond, is another
section of older-made line. The piece from Port Arthur to Winnipeg is
an older railway, made by the Canadian Government. Again, on the
Pacific there is the British Columbia Government Railway. All the rest,
round the head of Lake Superior up to Port Arthur, from Winnipeg across
the Great Prairies to Calgary, and on to, and across, the Rocky
Mountains, the crossings of the Selkirk and other Columbian Ranges, is
new Railway--with works daring and wonderful.

Pioneer railways are not like works at home. The lines are single, with
crossing places every five, ten, or twenty miles; ballast is not always
used, the lines on prairies being laid for long stretches on the earth
formation; rivers, chasms, canons and cataracts are crossed by timber
trestle bridges. The rails, of steel, are flat bottomed, fastened by
spikes, 60 lbs. to the yard, except through the mountains, where they
are 70 lbs.

Begun as pioneer works, they undergo, as traffic progresses, many
improvements. Ballast is laid down. Iron or steel bridges are
substituted for timber. The gorges spanned by trestles are, one by one,
filled up, by the use of the steam digger to fill, and the ballast
plough to push out, the stuff from the flat bottomed wagons on each
side and through the interstices of, the trestles. Sometimes the timber
is left in; sometimes it is drawn out and used elsewhere. This trestle
bridge plan of expediting the completion, and cheapening the
construction, of new railways, wants more study, at home. Whenever
there are gorges and valleys to pass in a timbered country, the
facility they give of getting "through" is enormous. The Canadian
Pacific would not be open now, but for this facility.

All these lines across the Continent have very similar features. They
each have prairies to pass, with long straight lines and horizons which
seem ever vanishing and never reached; mountain ranges of vast
altitudes to cross, alkaline lands, hitherto uncultivable, hot sulphur
springs, prairie-dogs, gophyrs, and other animals not usually seen. The
buffalo has retired from the neighbourhood of these iron-roads and of
the "fire-wagons," as the Indians call the locomotives. Here and there
on all the prairies on all the lines, heaps of whitened bones, of
buffalo, elk, and stag, are piled up at stations, to be taken away for
agricultural purposes. The railways resemble each other in their
ambitious extensions. The Canadian Pacific Railway, from Quebec to Port
Moody, is above 3,000 miles in length, but the total mileage of the
Company is already 4,600 miles, and no one knows where it is to stop,
while Messrs. Baring and Glyn will, and can, raise money from English
people; the Union Pacific possesses 4,500 miles in the United States;
the Southern Pacific nearly 5,000; and the newest of the three, the
Northern Pacific, has about 3,000 miles, and is "marching on" to a
junction with Grand Trunk extensions at the southern end of Lake
Superior, in order to complete a second Atlantic and Pacific route,
through favoured Canada. Each of these great lines has found the
necessity of supplementing the through, with as much local traffic, as
it can command. Some of this is new, such as the coal traffic from Sir
Alexander Galt's mines, situated on a branch line of 110 miles, running
out of the Canadian Pacific at Dunmore, and the mineral traffic in the
territory of Wyoming on the Union Pacific. But, again, some of it is
the result of competition. Let us hope that the development of both
Canada and the United States may quickly give trade enough for all. It
seems to me, however, that the Ocean to Ocean traffic, alone, cannot,
at present at least, find a good return for so many railways.

Canada has been unusually generous to the promoters of the Canadian
Pacific Railway. A free gift of five millions sterling: a free gift of
713 miles of, completed, railway: a free gift of twenty-five millions
of acres of land: all materials admitted free of duty: the lands given
to be free of taxation for twenty years: the Company's, property to be
free of taxation: the Company to have absolute control in fixing its
rates and charges until it should pay 10 per cent. dividend on its
Ordinary Stock: and for twenty years no competitive Railway to be
sanctioned;--summarize the liberality of the Dominion of Canada, in her
efforts to bind together her Ocean coasts. The work is essentially an
Imperial work. What is the duty of the Empire?


_A British Railway from the Atlantic to the


My letter of the 15th November, 1860, to a friend of Mr. Thomas Baring,
then President of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, gives concisely my
general notions of opening up the British portion of the Great
Continent of America. A while later a leading article written by me
appeared in the "Illustrated London News" of the 16th February, 1861.
The article was headed, "A British Railway from the Atlantic to the
Pacific." I will here quote a portion of it:--

"'I hope,' said her Majesty, on proroguing Parliament in 1858, 'that
the new Colony on the Pacific (British Columbia) may be but one step in
the career of steady progress by which my dominions in North America
may be ultimately peopled in an unbroken chain, from the Atlantic to
the Pacific, by a loyal and industrious population.' The aspiration, so
strikingly expressed, found a fervent echo in the national heart, and
it continues to engage the earnest attention of England; for it speaks
of a great outspread of solid prosperity and of rational liberty, of
the diffusion of our civilization, and of the extension of our moral

"Since the Royal Speech, Governments have done something, and events
have done more, to ripen public opinion into action. The Governments at
home and in Canada have organized and explored. The more perfect
discoveries of our new gold fields on the Pacific, the Indian Mutiny,
the completion of great works in Canada, the treaties with Japan and
with China, the visit of the Prince of Wales to the American Continent,
and, at the moment, the sad dissensions in the United States, combine
to interest us in the question, and to make us ask, 'How is this hope
to be realized; not a century hence, but in our time?'

"Our augmenting interests in the East, demand, for reasons both of
Empire and of trade, access to Asia less dangerous than by Cape Horn,
less circuitous even than by Panama, less dependent than by Suez and
the Red Sea. Our emigration, imperilled by the dissensions of the
United States, must fall back upon colonization. And, commercially, the
countries of the East must supply the raw materials and provide the
markets, which probable contests between the free man and the slave may
diminish, or may close, elsewhere. Again, a great nation like ours
cannot stand still. It must either march on triumphantly in the van, or
fall hopelessly into the rear. The measure of its accomplishment must,
century by century, rise higher and higher in the competition of
nations. Its great works in this generation can alone perpetuate its
greatness in the next.

"Let us look at the map: there we see, coloured as 'British America,' a
tract washed by the great Atlantic on the East, and by the Pacific
Ocean on the West, and containing 4,000,000 square miles, or one-ninth
of the whole terrestrial surface of the globe. Part of this vast
domain, upon the East, is Upper and Lower Canada; part, upon the West,
is the new Colony of British Columbia, with Vancouver's Island (the
Madeira of the Pacific); while the largest portion is held, as one
great preserve, by the fur-trading Hudson's Bay Company, who, in right
of a charter given by Charles II., in 1670, kill vermin for skins, and
monopolise the trade with the Native Indians over a surface many times
as big again as Great Britain and Ireland. Still, all this land is
ours, for it owes allegiance to the sceptre of Victoria. Between the
magnificent harbour of Halifax, on the Atlantic, open throughout the
year for ships of the largest class, to the Straits of Fuca, opposite
Vancouver's Island, with its noble Esquimault inlet, intervene some
3,200 miles of road line. For 1,400 or 1,500 miles of this distance,
the Nova Scotian, the Habitan, and the Upper Canadian have spread, more
or less in lines and patches over the ground, until the population of
60,000 of 1759 amounts to 2,500,000 in 1860. The remainder is peopled
only by the Indian and the hunter, save that at the southern end of
Lake Winnipeg there still exists the hardy and struggling Red River
Settlement, now called 'Fort Garry:' and dotted all over the Continent,
as lights of progress, are trading posts of the Hudson's Bay Company.

"The combination of recent discoveries places it at least beyond all
doubt that the best, though, perhaps, not the only, thoroughly
efficient route for a great highway for peoples and for commerce,
between the Atlantic and the Pacific, is to be found through this
British territory. Beyond that, it is alleged that while few, if any,
practicable passes for a wagon-road, still less for a railway, can be
found through the Rocky Mountains across the United States' territory,
north-west of the Missouri, there have been discovered already no less
than three eligible openings in the British ranges of these mountains,
once considered as inaccessible to man. While Captain Palliser prefers
the 'Kananaskakis,' Captain Blakiston and Governor Douglas, the
'Kootanie,' and Dr. Hector the 'Vermilion' Pass, all agree that each is
perfectly practicable, if not easy, and that even better openings may
probably yet be found as exploration progresses. Again, while British
Columbia, on the Pacific, possesses a fine climate, an open country,
and every natural advantage of soil and mineral, it has been also
discovered that the doubtful region from the Rocky Mountains eastward
up to the Lake of the Woods, contains, with here and there some
exceptions, a 'continuous belt' of the finest land.

"Professor Hind says:--

"'It is a physical reality of the highest importance to the interests
of British North America that this continuous belt can be settled and
cultivated from a few miles west of the Lake of the Woods, to the
passes of the Rocky Mountains; and any line of communication, whether
by wagon, road, or railroad, passing through it, will eventually enjoy
the great advantage of being fed by an agricultural population from one
extremity to the other.'

"Although the lakes and the St. Lawrence give an unbroken navigation of
2,000 miles, right to the sea, for ships of 300 tons burden, yet if
there is to be a continuous line, along which, and all the year round,
the travel and the traffic of the Western and Eastern worlds can pass
without interruption, railway communication with Halifax must be
perfected, and a new line of iron road, passing through Ottawa, the Red
River Settlement, and this 'continuous belt,' must be constructed. This
new line is a work of above 2,300 miles, and would cost probably
20,000,000_l_., if not 25,000,000_l_., sterling.

"The sum, though so large, is still little more than we voluntarily
paid to extinguish slavery in our West Indian dominions; it does not
much exceed the amount which a Royal Commission, some little time ago,
proposed to expend in erecting fortifications and sea-works to defend
our shores. It is but six per cent, of the amount we have laid out on
completing our own railway system in this little country at home. It is
equal to but two and a-half per cent. of our National Debt, and the
annual interest upon it is much less than the British Pension List.

"We say, then, 'Establish an unbroken line of road and railway from the
Atlantic to the Pacific through British territory.'

"Such a great highway would give shorter distances by both sea and
land, with an immense saving of time.

"As regards the great bugbear of the general traveller--sea distance--
it would, to and from Liverpool, save, as compared with the Panama
route, a tossing, wearying navigation of 6,000 miles to Japan, of 5,000
miles to Canton, and of 3,000 miles to Sydney. For Japan, for China,
for the whole Asiatic Archipelago, and for Australia, such a route must
become the great highway to and from Europe; and whatever nation
possesses that highway, must wield of necessity the commercial sceptre
of the world.

"In the United States, the project of a Railway to the Pacific to cross
the Rocky Mountains has ebbed and flowed in public opinion, and has
been made the battle-cry of parties for years past, but nothing has yet
been done. Such a project, in order to answer its purpose, requires
something more than a practicable surface, or convenient mountain
passes. Fine harbours on both Oceans, facilities for colonization on
the route, and the authority of one single Power over the whole of the
wild regions traversed, are all essential to success. As regards the
United States, these conditions are wanting. While there are harbours
enough on the Atlantic, though none equal to Halifax, there is no
available harbour at all fit for the great Pacific trade, from Acapulco
to our harbour of Esquimault, on Vancouver's Island, except San
Francisco--and that is in the wrong place, and is, in many states of
the wind, unsafe and inconvenient. The country north-west of the
Missouri is found to be sterile, and at least one-third of the whole
United States territory, and situated in this region, is now known as
the 'Great American Desert.' Again, the conflicting interests of
separate and sovereign States present an almost insuperable bar to
agreement as to route, or as to future 'operations' or control. It is
true that Mr. Seward, possibly as the exponent of the policy of the new
President, promises to support _two_ Pacific Railways--one for the
South, another for the North. But these promises are little better than
political baits, and were they carried out into Acts of Congress,
financial disturbance would delay, if not prevent, their final
realization; and, even if realized, they would not serve the great
wants of the East and the West, still less would they satisfy England
and Europe. We, therefore, cannot look for the early execution of this
gigantic work at the hands of the United States.

"Such a work, however, is too costly and too difficult for the grasp of
unaided private enterprise. To accomplish it out of hand, the whole
help of both the Local and Imperial Parliaments must be given. That
help once offered, by guarantee or by grant, private enterprise would
flock to the undertaking, and people would go to colonise on the broad
tracts laid open to their industry."

My subsequent and semi-official inquiries induced me to modify many of
the conclusions of the article quoted above. On the essential question
of the pass in the Rocky Mountains, in British territory, most adapted
by Nature for the passage of a road or a railway, all the evidence
which I collected tended to show that the passage by the "Tete-jaune
Cache," or "Yellow-head," Pass, was the best. The Canadian Pacific
Company have adopted the "Kicking Horse" Pass, much to the southward of
the "Yellow-head" Pass. Again, it became clear to me that the whole
Rocky Mountain range was rather a series of high mountain peaks,
standing on the summit of gradual slopes, rising almost imperceptibly
from the plains and prairies on the eastern side, and dropping
suddenly, in most cases, towards the sea-level on the western or
Pacific side, than a great wall barring the country for hundreds of
miles, as some had dreamed. Every inquiry from trappers, traders,
Indian voyageurs, missionary priests of the Jesuits, and from all sorts
and conditions of men and women, made difficulty after difficulty
disappear. The great work began to appear to me comparatively easy of
execution between Fort Garry, or the lower town of Selkirk and British
Columbia; the cost less; and, owing to facilities of transport,
especially in winter, the time of execution much shorter than had been
previously assumed. In addition, an examination into the physical
conditions of the various routes proposed through the United States,
convinced me that here again the difficulties were less, and facilities
for construction greater, than I and others had first imagined. In
fact, I came rightly to the conclusion that the more southerly the
United States route, and the more northerly the British route--while
always, in the latter case, keeping within cultivable range--the
better. Still, at this time there was much to find out. As respects
real knowledge of the country to be traversed, the factors of the
Hudson's Bay Company knew every fact worth divulging, but they were
afraid to speak; while the Catholic missionaries, accustomed to travel
on foot in their sacred cause over the most distant regions, possessed
a mine of personal knowledge, never, so far as I could learn, closed to
the Government of Canada or to any authorized inquirer.

Prior to my sailing to New York, _en route_ for Canada, to fulfil
my mission for the Grand Trunk, in 1861, I had a long interview with
the Duke of Newcastle, as Colonial Minister. He had seen, and we had
often previously discussed, the questions raised in the article above
quoted, and which he had carefully read. The interview took place on
the 17th July, 1861. Every point connected with the British Provinces
in America, as affected by the then declared warlike separation of the
northern and southern portions of the United States, was carefully
discussed. The Duke had the case at his fingers ends. His visit to
America with the Prince of Wales, already alluded to more than once,
had rendered him familiar with the Northern Continent, and its many
interests, in a way which a personal study on the spot can alone bring
about; and he declared his conviction that the impression made upon the
mind of the Prince was so deep and grateful, that in anything great and
out of the ordinary rut of our rule at home, he would always find an
earnest advocate and helper in the Prince, to whom he said he "felt
endeared with the affection of a father to a son." I called the Duke's
special attention to the position and attitude of the Hudson's Bay
authorities. How they were always crying down their territory as unfit
for settlement; repelling all attempts from the other side to open up
the land by roads, and use steamers on such grand rivers as, for
instance, the Assiniboin and the Saskatchewan. He said Sir Frederick
Rogers, the chief permanent official at the Colonial Office, whose
wife's settlement was in Hudson's Bay shares, and who, in consequence,
was expected to be well informed, had expressed to him grave doubts of
the vast territory in question being ever settled, unless in small
spots here and there. The Duke fully recognized, however, the
difficulty I had put my finger upon. I never spent an hour with a man
who more impressed me with his full knowledge of a great imperial
question, and his earnest determination to carry it out successfully
and speedily. The Intercolonial Railway, to connect Halifax on the
Atlantic with the Grand Trunk Railway at Riviere du Loup, 106 miles
below Quebec, he described as "the preliminary necessity." The
completion of an iron-road, onwards to the Pacific, was, "to his mind,
a grand conception." The union of all the provinces and territories
into "one great British America," was the necessary, the logical,
result of completing the Intercolonial Railway and laying broad
foundations for the completion, as a condition of such union, of a
railway to the Pacific. He authorized me to say; in Canada, that the
Colonial Office would pay part of the cost of surveys; that these works
must be carried out in the greatest interests of the nation, and that
he would give his cordial help. This he did throughout.

In bidding me good-bye, and with the greatest kindness of manner, he
added: "Well, my dear Watkin, go out and inquire. Master these
questions, and, as soon as you return, come to me, and impart to me the
information you have gained for me." Just as I was leaving, he added,
"By the way, I have heard that the State of Maine wants to be annexed
to our territory." I made no reply, but I doubted the correctness of
the Duke's information. Still, with civil war just commencing, who
could tell? "Sir," said old Gordon Bennett to me one day, while walking
in his garden, beyond New York, "here everything is new, and nothing is
settled." Failing health, brought on by grievous troubles, compelled
the Duke to retire from office in the course of 1864, and on the 18th
of October of that year he died; on the 18th October, 1865, he was
followed by his friend, staunch and true, Lord Palmerston, who left his
work and the world, with equal suddenness, on that day.

But from that 17th July, 1861, I regarded myself as the Duke's
unofficial, unpaid, never-tiring agent in these great enterprises, and,
undoubtedly, in these three years, ending by his retirement and death,
the seeds were sown.


_Port Moody--Victoria--San Francisco to Chicago_.

At "Port Moody," and even at the new "Vancouver City," I felt some
disappointment that the original idea of crossing amongst the islands
to the north-east of Vancouver's Island, traversing that island, and
making the Grand Pacific terminus at the fine harbour of Esquimalt, had
not been realized. Halifax to Esquimalt was our old, well-worn plan.
The "Tete Jaune" was our favoured pass. This plan, I believe, met the
views both of Sir James Douglas and the Honorable Mr. Trutch. But I
consoled myself with the reflection, that if we had not gained the
best, we had secured the next best, grand scheme--a scheme which, as
time goes on, will be extended and improved, as the original Pacific
Railways of the United States have been.

The sea service between "Port Moody" and "Victoria," Vancouver's
Island, is well performed; and Victoria itself is an English town, with
better paved streets, better electric lighting, and better in many
other ways that might be named, than many bigger American and English
towns I know of. I spent four delightful days in and about it,
including an experimental trip, through the kindness of Mr. Dunsmuir
--the proprietor of the Wellington Collieries, a few miles north of
Nanaimo--over the new railway from Victoria to Nanaimo, constructed,
with Government aid, by himself and Mr. Crocker, of San Francisco. I
had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Sir Mathew Begbie, the
Chief Justice of British Columbia, to whose undaunted courage
Vancouver's Island and British Columbia owed law and order in the
dangerous and difficult times of the gold discoveries.

Upon the question of relative distances, engineering, and generally
what I saw between Port Moody and Chicago, I again take advantage of
Mr. Edward Wragge's excellent notes.

"_Table of Distances between Liverpool and China and
Japan_, via _the Canadian Pacific Railway, through Canadian
territory, and_ via _New York and San Francisco, through United
States territory_:--


"_Summer Route_                                           MILES.

Liverpool to Quebec, _via_ Belle Isle                     2,661
Quebec to Montreal                                        172
Montreal to Port Moody                                  2,892
Port Moody to Vancouver                                    12
Vancouver to Victoria                                      78
Vancouver to Yokohama                                   4,334
Vancouver to Hongkong                                   5,936

"_Winter Route_                                           MILES.

Liverpool to Halifax                                    2,530
Halifax to Quebec                                         678
Other points as in summer.

Summer route, Liverpool to Yokohama                    10,071
Winter route,     "           "                        10,618


Liverpool to New York                                   3,046
New York to Chicago, _via_ N.Y.C.
and M.C. Railways                                         961
Chicago to San Francisco                                2,357
San Francisco to Yokohama                               4,526
San Francisco to Hongkong                               6,128
Liverpool to Yokohama                                  10,890

"For distance to Hongkong, add 1,602 miles to the distance to Yokohama.

"_Note_,--Distances by rail are statute miles. Distances by sea,
geographical miles.


"The Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway runs from West Victoria, near
Esquimalt, to Nanaimo, which latter place is a small mining town in the
Island of Vancouver, lying on the east coast, on the shore of the
Straits of Georgia, nearly opposite Burrard Inlet, from which it is
distant about 28 miles.

"The line is well constructed with a good and substantial road-bed;
steel rails, weighing 54 lbs. per yard (except a few miles near
Nanaimo, where they are 50 lbs. per yard); well ballasted, and well
tied; the bridges and trestles are all of timber, of which material
there is about 1,000,000 cubic feet employed altogether. The steepest
grade is 80 feet per mile rising towards Nanaimo, and 79 feet per mile
rising towards Esquimalt; these grades are rendered necessary to enable
the line to overcome the summit lying between the two places, and which
is 900 feet above the level of the sea. Running, as the line does,
through a rugged country, there are a good many sharp curves rendered
necessary. The distance from Esquimalt to Victoria is 75 miles. The
line was not quite completed when we went over it; and the buildings,
turn-tables, &c. were not yet erected, although some of them were under

"The traffic on the line will be light, the country being sparsely
settled. It will consist to some extent of coal; but there is water
competition for the carriage of this article of merchandize; and the
station at Victoria is too far from the town at present for much of it
to come by rail for consumption in the town. There is a wharf in the
harbour of Esquimalt, at which coal can be delivered to men-of-war
lying there. Mr. Dunsmuir, of Victoria, is the chief proprietor of the
railway, and he has associated with him Mr. Cracker, President of the
Southern Pacific Railway, and others.

"The Government of Canada gave a bonus of $750,000 (say
150,000_l_.) in aid of the construction of the railway, and a belt
of land, with the minerals under it, of 10 miles in width on each side
of the line.

"During the afternoon of the 23rd of September we visited the West
Wellington Coal Mines, 4 or 5 miles beyond Nanaimo, and to which the
railway is to be extended, work on the extension having just been
commenced. The mines are owned by Messrs. Dunsmuir & Sons, and at the
present time they are working at five shafts, the output for the month
of August being 17,000 tons. We went down the shaft of No. 5 pit, which
was 240 feet deep, and found the seam was very thick, from 10 to 11
feet, but not very solid block coal, having apparently been crushed.
The mines are all connected with wharves on the coast at Departure Bay
by a three-feet gauge railway; the lines around the mines were all in
fair order. The line is worked by small locomotives, six wheels coupled
and no truck, of the Baldwin Locomotive Company's manufacture, the load
handled by them being 15 cars, each containing 3-1/2 tons of coal, and
averaging in dead weight 1-3/4 tons each. The grade down to the port is
very steep, and the heaviest work for the engines is in taking the
empties back again.

"The coal is mined by white miners, who employ each of them a Chinese
labourer; they employ gunpowder for blasting purposes, chiefly Curtis &
Harvey's make, and use naked lights of oil. The miners are found in all
tools except their auger drills, which they all use, and which cost
some $30 each. Each miner has an allowance of one ton of coal per month
for his own use. There was a little drip at the foot of the shaft we
went down, but otherwise the mine was quite dry. The mode of unloading
the cars at the wharf was rather primitive, but at the same time simple
and ingenious. When the car has been weighed it is run forward by five
Chinamen to the end of the wharf, the front end of the car being hinged
at the top, with a catch opened by a lever, a short piece of track
sufficiently long for the car to stand upon is built projecting beyond
the wharf and over the hold of the vessel, this piece of track is laid
on a framework, which is hinged to the wharf in front so as to tip up
from behind, to it is attached a long wooden pole as a lever, round the
end of which is a rope, made fast to the wharf by a belaying pin; as
soon as the car is on the tipping track, the lever on the front end of
the car is knocked up so as to allow the coal to fall out, and the end
of the long wooden pole is allowed to rise slowly by the rope being
loosened, the coal then shoots out of the car. When empty the Chinamen
weigh down on the pole and bring the track, with the car on it, back to
its former position, making the rope fast to the belaying pin, and the
car is run back to make way for another. We were told that in this way
five Chinese have put 1,000 tons of coal on board a vessel in a working

"On the following morning we visited the mine at Nanaimo, of the
Vancouver Coal Company, and Mr. S. Robins, the superintendent, showed
us over his works, and accompanied us down the shaft into the mine. The
shaft is 600 feet deep, and the heading and workings are under the sea
to a distance of 400 or 500 yards. The coal is hard and of good
quality, making a good gas coal (which the West Wellington coal does
not do). There have been one or two faults met with lately in the seam,
which is 7 feet thick; but Mr. Robins thinks they have been overcome.
There is only one shaft working, and the output in the 24 hours of the
day previous had been 434 tons. The coal comes to the surface in two
'boxes' at a time, each containing about 35 cwt. This Company has good
railway tracks of 4 feet 8-1/2 inches gauge, with English locomotives,
&c. The machinery and appliances at this mine were all better and more
costly than at the West Wellington mines, and the cars were hopper
bottomed, and discharged their contents directly into the hold of the
vessels by simply opening the hopper bottom. The staff of men employed
at the present time amounts to 350, and the miners are white men, with
Chinese labourers. The work at this mine and West Wellington is all
done by piecework.


"The harbour at Esquimalt is quite land-locked, and can be very easily
protected from an enemy approaching by sea, the heights around being
easily fortified, as there are many in good positions for commanding
the entrance, both at a distance from it, and also in the immediate
vicinity; there is plenty of depth of water at low tide to enter the
harbour. A fort on the Race Rocks, where there is a lighthouse, and
which are some 2 miles or so from the coast, would, if supplied with
heavy guns capable of long range, command the whole of the San Juan de
Fuca Straits, the distance from Race Rock to the American shore not
exceeding 8 miles.

"The harbour contains an area of about 400 or 500 acres, in which there
is sufficient depth of water for large vessels to lie at all states of
the tide.

"The line of railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt touches the harbour, and
has a wharf at which coal from Nanaimo and West Wellington mines may be
delivered at any time.

"The graving dock, which has been some eleven years in progress, or
rather which was commenced eleven years ago, but which practically has
been constructed within the past two years, has a length of 430 feet on
the ways, and could easily have been made, in the first instance, 600
feet in length for a comparatively small additional cost. The cost will
have been, when completed, about $700,000, and it is now waiting only
for the entrance caisson, which is being made at the Dominion Bridge
Company's Works, near Montreal.

"The masonry of the dock is of a hard sandstone, the character of the
workmanship being very good, and the dock very dry and free from
leakage; it has been constructed, so as to save excavation, in a small
creek, but this has caused an additional thickness for the walls, and a
considerable quantity of filling behind them. It would appear that it
could have been built for very much less money had a site been selected
among the numerous rocky situations in the harbour, where the rock
would only have required facing with masonry instead of the work having
been done as it has.

"The naval-yard is a fair size; the workshop is small, however, and
apparently little or no materials for the repair of vessels are kept on
hand. It will be a necessity for this to be remedied if the graving
dock is to be of any use for ships of the navy. We saw two torpedo
boats, and some Whitehead torpedoes, the boats were built in Great
Britain for Chili, and purchased from the Chilians two years ago.


"Left San Francisco on 29th September, 1886, at 7.30, by steam ferry to
Oakland, 4 miles across the harbour; left Oakland by train at 8.10
a.m.; 32 miles from Oakland we reached Port Costa, where the train was
ferried across an estuary of the sea to Benicia; for 20 miles from
there the line (the Central Pacific division of the Southern Pacific
Railway Company) runs, across a flat, marshy country, then into a
cultivated country with the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada
rising around it, the country being very dry and parched, having had no
rain since March: the farm-houses have the Eucalyptus, or Australian
blue gum, planted around them; and about 75 miles from San Francisco we
entered the vineyard country, which continues to and past Sacramento.
Reached Sacramento, which is 90 miles from San Francisco, and only 30
feet above the level of the sea, at 12 o'clock; the schedule time from
Oakland, including the ferry at Port Costa, being 25 miles an hour. At
Sacramento we crossed the Sacramento and American Rivers, the former by
a Howe truss bridge, one of the spans being a swing-bridge, and having
a total length of 700 or 800 feet; the latter by a Howe truss bridge,
and fully a mile of trestle work.

"From Sacramento the line begins to rise so as to cross the Sierra
Nevada Range; the country is rolling, and with the 'live oak' trees
scattered over it among the grass presents quite a park-like
appearance. The grades as we ascend are very steep, 116 feet to the
mile, this line being well ballasted. In the valleys the line was laid
originally with steel rails of 50 lbs. weight, and 3,080 ties to the
mile, in the mountains with 60 lbs. rails, but no renewals are made
with less than a 60 lbs. rail. From Rocklin to Newcastle the vineyards
and orchards are very numerous, and again at Colfax, at which latter
place we got some very fine grapes grown at an elevation of 2,400 feet
above the sea. In the afternoon we passed the mining country, where the
whole features of the country have been changed by the use of the
'Monitor' for hydraulic mining, by means of which the sides of the
mountains have been washed down to the valleys, filling them and the
streams up, and doing much damage to the flats below: this system of
directing a stream of water through a six-inch nozzle against the cliff
to wash out the gold has now been discontinued, and is illegal, owing
to the damage caused by it. The snow sheds commence at Blue Canon,
4,693 feet above the sea, and 170 miles from San Francisco. They are
simply rough wooden sheds to protect the line from drifting and falling
snow, there being no avalanches to contend with on this route.

"Some of the views on the Sierra Nevada are very fine, notably that at
'Cape Horn.' There is very little timber until Blue Canon is reached,
but from there to Truckee and beyond the timber is good, and about
equal to that on the Rocky Mountains of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
There are several saw mills in this vicinity. After leaving Emigrant
Gap we ran through a continuous snow shed for 39 miles, which was very
unpleasant, both by reason of the smoke in the cars, and the noise, as
well as the loss of the view. We reached Reno about 10 p.m., an hour
and a half late. The schedule time over the mountain, up grade, is 17
miles an hour, and from Oakland to Reno, 246 miles, 20 miles an hour.
Reno is 4,497 feet above the sea. The summit of the Sierras, which is
196 miles from San Francisco, is 7,017 feet above the sea. We remained
all night at Reno. While there we saw in the morning a locomotive
engine, with cylinders 22 x 30 and eight driving wheels coupled, said
by the driver to weigh 165,000 lbs., start for the ascent of the
mountain, up grades of 116 feet to the mile, with 22 cars and a van.

"The country round Reno is table land with high mountains around it.
The only crop grown is 'alfalfa,' a species of clover. Three crops a
year are taken off the land, and it fetches, as fodder, from $8.00 to
$16.00 per ton, according to the season.

"At Wadsworth we saw a very nice reading-room and library for the
employes of the railway. This is quite a model station, kept green and
bright with lawns and flowers. It is a division terminus, and has a
machine shop, round house, &c. The country from Reno to Salt Lake is
dry, and almost a desert, sandy, and with sage bush in tufts; the
journey through it was hot and terribly dusty. The view of Brigham and
other villages, with farms at the foot of the hills on approaching
Ogden, was a great relief after the monotony of the last day's run.

"At Ogden we were transferred from the Central Pacific to the Union
Pacific train, and upon leaving there passed, after a few miles,
through Weber Canon, and afterwards Echo Canon; the scenery was very
picturesque, and, at this season of the year, was rendered more so by
the beautiful autumn tints which were afforded by the foliage of the
bushes which grow up the mountain sides for more than half their
height. At Evanston we left the mountains and got on the high table
land, over which we ran all day, having it cool and pleasant, a great
contrast to the heat of the previous day. During the night of the 1st
October we had it quite cold, our altitude being at no time less than
6,000 feet above the sea.

"On the morning of the 2nd October we reached Laramie, where we saw the
works of the Union Pacific Railway Company for Burnettizing their ties.
The ties are placed on trucks, run into a cylinder, steamed, treated
with a solution of chloride of zinc, with glue mixed with it, and
afterwards with a solution of tannic acid. When dried they retain only
about 1 1/4 lb. of the material with which they have been treated. Mr.
Octave Chanute, of Kansas City, Missouri, United States, erected the
works for the Union Pacific Company, and has an interest in the patents
under which the process is carried out, which is a modification of Sir
William Burnett's process. At 8.55 we crossed the highest point on the
Rocky Mountains, 8,235 feet above the sea, on table land, no peaks
being more than a few hundred feet above us. The rock here is all red
granite, and some of it disintegrated, which is used for ballast. There
are many snow sheds on the high land here, but none very long. We ran
rapidly down from 'Sherman,' the summit, to 6,000 feet level, and more
gradually afterwards, running all day through the plains, over which,
although very dry, numerous herds of cattle and horses were pasturing,
and we reached Omaha at 7.50 a.m. on the 3rd October.

"At Omaha we crossed the Missouri River. The bridge here, of iron,
founded on iron cylinder piers, is for a single track only, and is
being taken down bit by bit, and a double track iron bridge on masonry
piers substituted..

"From Council Bluffs, the station on the Iowa side of the Missouri
River, we left by the Chicago and North Western Railway, which is a
well constructed, well equipped, and first class American Railway. The
line runs through a good agricultural country, the chief crop being
Indian corn, and was doing a good business. We met many freight trains
during the day, and saw several trains of cattle going east also. We
reached Chicago on time at 6.50 a.m. on the morning of the 4th


_Negociations as to the Intercolonial Railway; and North-West
Transit and Telegraph_, 1861 _to_ 1864.

It was in September, 1861, that I visited Frederickton and Halifax on
the question of the Intercolonial Railway, travelling by way of Riviere
du Loup, Lake Temiscouata, Little Falls, Woodstock, round by St.
Andrews, Canterbury, Frederickton, St. John, Shediac, and Truro to
Halifax. Later in the autumn, representatives from New Brunswick and
Nova Scotia visited Quebec and Montreal, and it was generally agreed
that deputations from Canada and from the two Maritime Provinces should
proceed to England. These deputations were, from Canada the Hon. Mr.
Van Koughnet, from New Brunswick the Hon. Mr. Tilley, and from Nova
Scotia the Hon. Joseph Howe. It was impossible to choose a more
influential delegation: men earnest in the cause they came to advocate;
politicians of tried metal; men of great influence in the colonies they

I arrived in England from Canada in the beginning of November, 1861,
and at once telegraphed to the Duke, and on my way to London, at his
request, I visited him at Clumber, and made my report of progress,
which appeared to be highly satisfactory. The only difficulty, as to
the Intercolonial, appeared to rest in Mr. Gladstone's "peculiar views
about subsidies, grants, and guarantees out of the funds, or on the
security, of the State." But the Duke said, he must "labour to show the
Chancellor of the Exchequer that this was no new proposal; that, in
fact, the Provinces had been led to believe that if they would find the
money, the State would guarantee the interest under proper precaution,
as the State had guaranteed the capital for the Canadian canals, every
shilling expended on which had been honourably repaid." In fact, "this
work was not a mere local work, but satisfied military and other
Imperial conditions." The end of this, and many other, interviews, at
the Colonial Office and at the Duke's residences, was complete
concurrence in the following programme:--(I) the Intercolonial
guarantee must be carried by the Duke; (2) measures must be taken to
start Pacific transit, in the first instance, and as a pioneer work, by
roads and telegraphs; (3) Confederation must be pushed on; and (4) that
the difficulties arising from the position of the Hudson's Bay Company
must be gravely considered with a view to some solution.

Mr. Van Koughnet, accompanied by Mrs. Van Koughnet, was, unfortunately,
wrecked off Anticosti, in the Allan steamer "North Briton." Happily
every one, after a time of great peril, was landed in safety, while
losing personal baggage and almost everything else. At a critical
moment Sir Allen McNab, who was on board the ship, also on his way to
England, when the vessel was expected to go down, said to Van Koughnet,
"Come with me and bring your wife, and we will go down together, away
from this crowd of frightened people"--alluding to the mass of steerage
passengers jostling about in panic.

On the 11th November Mr. Howe and Mrs. Howe, and Mr. Tilley arrived:
and I took the delegates to the Duke's house in London on the 14th. The
Duke received these delegates with very great cordiality. He had made,
already, an appointment with Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister, and
had spoken to Mr. Gladstone. So, armed with a letter from the Duke, we
went on to Cambridge House. We were shown into a room overlooking the
court-yard, and had not long to wait for the veteran minister. He came,
as usual, with his grey--not white--hair brushed up at the sides, his
surtout buttoned up to his satin neck-tie, or, more correctly, "breast-
plate," which had a jewelled pin in the midst of its amplitude. He
said, the Duke had told him our business, which was very important, not
only for the interests we represented, but for the Empire, and
especially so at a time when the "fires were alight" across the British

Mr. Howe very ably and concisely stated the case. No subsidy wanted,
simply a guarantee on perfect security. Precedent for such guarantees,
which had always been punctually and fully met. Previous promises of
previous Governments--sanction of such statesmen as Lord Grey, Lord
Derby, and Bulwer Lytton. Peculiar need of the work at this time; and
so on.

Palmerston listened attentively, did not interrupt; did not while Howe,
and afterwards Tilley, were speaking, stop either, by asking a single
question; but when they had concluded, he repeated and summed up the
case in far fewer words than had been used to state it: and in a manner
which gave a new force to it all. He then spoke of the various treaties
with the United States. He spoke of the giving up of the fine Aroostook
district, now part of the State of Maine, and with some heat said, that
"the Ashburton Treaty was the most foolish treaty ever made." He
replied to the argument about the past commitment of other Governments,
by describing it as "not possessing much attraction for an existing
Government." Here Howe made him laugh much, by saying, "At least, my
Lord, it might have an influence with your conscientious Chancellor of
the Exchequer."

After a good many questions and answers affecting the state of the
Provinces, the facilities and difficulties of moving troops in winter,
the conveyance of the mails, future closer relations of commerce
between the Provinces, and, especially, the state of things in the
United States,--he asked us to "Go and see Gladstone." We "might say he
had suggested it."

Then he shook hands, with a swinging jollity, with each of us, saw us
to the door, and, finally, wished us "success." There might have been
no "Trent" affair pending, to look at him.

Some delay took place before we could see Mr. Gladstone. But we finally
accomplished the interview with him at his fine house in Carlton House
Terrace, on the 23rd November. After waiting some while, following, as
we did, about a dozen previous waiters on the Chancellor, we were shown
into Mr. Gladstone's working room, or den. The room was very untidy.
Placards, papers, letters, newspapers, magazines, and blue boots on the
table, chairs, bookshelves, and the floor. It looked, altogether, as if
the window had been left open, and the contents of a miscellaneous
newspaper, book, and parliamentary paper shop had been blown into the
apartment. Mr. Gladstone, himself, looked bored and worried. Though
perfectly civil, he had the expression of a man on his guard against a
canvasser or a dun. He might be thinking of the "Trent" affair. We
stated our errand, and as I had, as arranged, to say something, I used
the argument of probable saving in the Atlantic mail subsidies, by the
creation of land routes, &c. He brushed that aside by the sharp remark,
"Those subsidies are unsound, and they will not be renewed." He then
spoke of the objectionable features of all these "helps to other people
who might help themselves." He did not seem to mind the argument, that
assuming this work to be of Imperial as well as of Provincial
importance, unless aid,--costless to England, or, at the highest, a
very remote risk, and not in any sense a subsidy,--were given, the work
could not proceed at all. He struck me to be a man who thought spending
money, or taking risks, however slight, a kind of crime. That, in fact,
it was better to trust to Providence in important questions, and keep
the national pocket tightly buttoned. We got little out of him, save an
insight into the difficulty to be overcome. And yet he had been a party
to the Crimean War. On the final discussion, in the House, on the vote
for the Intercolonial guarantee, on the 28th March, 1867, Mr. Gladstone
concluded his speech by declaring, "I believe the present guarantee
does depend upon motives of policy belonging to a very high order, and
intimately and inseparably associated with most just, most enlightened
views of the true interests of the Empire." Thus we had sown the seed
not in vain, and the counsel of the Duke was not forgotten.

Mr. Van Koughnet arrived on the 26th November. On the 27th I took him
to see the Duke, and we had a long conference.

Finally, it was decided to send in a memorial to the Duke to lay before
the Cabinet. Howe prepared it. It was most ably drawn, like all the
State papers of that distinguished man, and it was sent in to the
Colonial Office on the 2nd December, 1861. Thus, all had been done that
could then be done by the delegation. We had to rely upon the Duke. Our
difficulty was with Mr. Gladstone.

In the time of waiting, Howe, Tilley, and I, attended meetings at
Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Oldham, Ashton, and other places,
endeavouring, with no small success, to make the Intercolonial Railway
a public question.

But the delays; the "pillar to post"; the want of knowledge of
permanent officials, whose geography, even, I found very defective,
made our efforts irksome, and now and then, apparently, hopeless.

But an event had startled England, like a thunderclap in a summer sky.
On the 8th of November, 1861, Captain Wilkes, of the United States ship
"San Jacinta," took the Southern States envoys--Messrs. Slidel and
Mason--and two others, forcibly from the deck of a British mail ship,
"The Trent." The country was all on fire. Palmerston showed fight, and
the Guards and other troops, and arms and stores to the value of more
than a million sterling, were sent out to Canada. The delegates were
sent for to the War Office, and, as desired, I accompanied them. At the
time all seemed to hang in the balance. The powers had joined England
in protest, and our ambassador was instructed by despatch, per ship
--for the submarine wires were not at work--to leave Washington in seven
days if satisfaction were not given.

At the War Office we met Mr. Cornewall Lewis, Minister for War, a man
erudite and accomplished, who had lived on public employments nearly
all his life, but who hardly knew the difference between the two ends
of a ramrod. He asked, in long sentences, the questions which
Palmerston had put shortly and in the pith; all sorts of queries as to
winter transport in the Provinces, the disposition for fight of the
people, and so on. Then it was demanded, What we had to suggest? Van
Koughnet, who writhed under the tone adopted, bluntly said, "Why, to
fight it out, of course; we in Canada will have to bear the first
brunt. But we cannot fight with jack-knives; and there are no arms in
the country. You have failed to keep any store at all." This led to a
deliberate note being taken by the Under Secretary, the present Marquis
of Ripon. Other details followed, and then, finally, we were asked if
we had anything more to propose? To which I answered "Yes; send out a
man who may be truly regarded as a general." This was received with
silence and open mouths. The fact was, the soldier in command in Canada
was General Fenwick Williams, a most gallant man, who, in a siege,
would eat his boots before he would give in: but was not the man who
could so manoeuvre small bodies of men as to keep in check, in forests
and on plains, large masses of the enemy. When we left, Captain Gallon
came running after us, and said, "I am so glad you said that, we all
feel as you do here"--(the War Office).

Although the Government of the United States retreated from an
undefendable position, wisely and with dignity, by surrendering their
prisoners, who, delivered over to a British man-of-war, landed in
England on the 29th January, 1862,--still it was decided to keep the
troops in the Provinces, to reinforce them, to add to the armaments,
and to adequately arm strategic points alongside the American frontier.
And, as President of the Grand Trunk, I was asked to go out to Canada
to aid and direct transport across the country.

In the meantime--whether the cause was the "Trent" affair, or pre-
occupation on the part of the Duke, or neglect of permanent officials,
or their bad habit at that time of regarding Colonists as inferior
persons--our delegates and their wives felt hurt at the social neglect
which they experienced. And I agreed in the truth of their complaints
so much, that I formally addressed the Duke on the 31st December. He
acknowledged the neglect, apologised for it, and thereafter, until the
day of their departure, the delegates, and Mrs. Howe and Mrs. Van
Koughnet, were received in high circles, and were especially invited to

To sum up, I left England for Canada, in "The Asia," on the 1st
February, 1862, landing at New York, where my son and Messrs. Brydges
and Hickson met me--and after a deal of hard work on the part of every
officer and man on the Grand Trunk, and no small anxiety, labour,
responsibility, and exposure to storms and climate, inflicted upon
myself, Mr. Brydges, Mr. Hickson, and the whole staff, Quartermaster-
General Mackenzie sent us a handsome acknowledgment of our semi-
military services. But the authorities at home did not condescend to
recognize our existence or our labours.

The late Sir Philip Rose gave me the greatest assistance with Mr.
Disraeli, Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, and all the great party whose
confidence he possessed. The following letter, addressed to him by Sir
E. Bulwer Lytton, will be read with great interest:--

                                      "BUXTON, DERBYSHIRE,
                                        "_April_ 27, 1862.


"I am much flattered by your wish, and that of our Colonial friends;
but I fear that I must decline the important and honourable task to
which you invite me: partly from a valid personal reason; partly on
political grounds. With regard to the first, I am here for a course of
the Baths, in hopes to get rid of a troublesome lumbago, which has
harassed me all the winter, and appears to have been epidemical from
the number of victims it has cramped and racked this wet season. And I
fear I shall not be able to get away till the middle of May, unless it
be for some special vote. But apart from this consideration, I doubt
whether it would be prudent for any member of Lord Derby's late
Government, with the support of those leaders who might very soon form
another administration, to urge upon Parliament any new pecuniary
burthen, nay, any new loan, in the face of a deficit. Would not this
really play into Gladstone's hands, and furnish him with a plausible
retaliation in case of attack on the side in which he is most
vulnerable, viz., the dealing with a deficit as if it were a surplus?
And again, would it be quite prudent in the coming Conservative
Chancellor of the Exchequer and his future colleagues to commit
themselves to a measure they might find it inconvenient to carry out
when in power?

"These are doubts that occur to me; and would be well weighed by Mr.
Disraeli--who might, perhaps, agree with me, that, on the whole, it
would be better that this very important question should be brought
before the House by some one not in the late Cabinet--some great
merchant, perhaps--some one, in short, who could not be supposed to
compromise or commit the future administrative policy of the party.

"I remain, however, of the same opinion, that aid to intercolonial
communication can be defended on Imperial grounds--and would in itself,
if not opposed on purely fiscal reasons, be a wise as well as generous

"I regret much that my absence from town prevents, my seeing Mr. Watkin
and profiting by the information, he could give me. I fear he will have
left London before I return to it. But I should be very glad if he
would write to me and acquaint me with the exact state of the case at
present--and the exact wishes and requests of the Colonists.

"Is it a renewal of the former proposition or what? 'The whole question
of intercolonial communication' is a vast one. But I suppose
practically it would limit itself before Parliament to the Railway
before submitted to us--according to the pamphlet you sent me.

                                        "Believe me,
                                      "Yours very truly and obliged,
                                          "E. B. LYTTON."

The following letter was addressed to me:--

                                        "_May_ 3,1862.


"Allow me to thank you cordially for a letter, which cannot but be
extremely gratifying to my feelings. Certainly my first object when I
had the honour to preside at the Colonial Office was to attach all
parts of that vast Empire which our Colonies comprise to the Mother
Country, by all the ties of mutual interests and reciprocal affection.

"The importance of the Railway line between Halifax and Quebec must be
transparent to every clear-sighted politician. And had I remained in
office, I should have urged upon my colleagues--I do not doubt
successfully--the justice and expediency, both for Imperial interests,
commercial and military, and for the vindication of the Imperial good
faith which seems to me indisputably pledged to it, some efficient aid,
or guarantees the completion of the line. I should willingly have
undertaken the responsibility of recommending that aid to Parliament;
and I do not think the House of Commons would have refused it when
proposed with the authority of Government. In that case the Railway by
this time would have been nearly, if not wholly, completed.

"Traffic begets traffic; railways lead on to railways; and a line once
formed to Quebec, it would not be long before the resources of British
Columbia would, if properly directed and developed, suffice to commence
the Railway that must ultimately connect the Atlantic and Pacific. That
once accomplished, the destinies of British North America seem to me

"I shall rejoice to hear that the present Government make a proposal
which the Provinces accept. Some time, I conclude, must elapse before
their decision can be known; and in that case the question can scarcely
come before Parliament this Session. A mode of aid accepted by the
Colonies would have my most favourable consideration; and, I cannot
doubt, my hearty support, whatever might be the administration that
proposed it.

                                      "Yours truly obliged,
                                        E. B. LYTTON."

The Canadian Parliament met, early in March, 1862, at Quebec; in bitter
winter and snow storms. We took down all the members who chose to go,
by a special through train, in charge of Mr. Brydges,--desiring to show
them that, poor and unfortunate as the Grand Trunk might be, we could
carry "M.P.Ps." safely and quickly, as we had carried soldiers, and
guns, and stores, to the satisfaction of the military authorities. The
train made a famous journey. In a few days I followed in company with
the Honourable John Ross, and was several days on the road--in constant
fight with snowdrifts--in getting to Point Levi. Then came the canoe
crossing of the St. Lawrence, an enterprise startling, no doubt, as a
first experience, though safe, if tedious. We were put in a canoe,
really a disembowelled tree, and this was dragged, like a sledge, by a
horse down to the margin of the river, where it was launched amongst
floating ice, going up, down, and across the stream and its eddies. Our
canoe men coming to a big piece of ice, perhaps 20 feet square, jumped
out, dragged our canoe over the obstruction, and then launched it
again. When getting jammed between the floating ice, they got on the
sides of our boat, and working it up and down, like pumping the old
fire engine, they liberated us. Sometimes we went up stream, sometimes
down--all points of the compass--but, after an hour's struggle, we
gained the wharf at Quebec, safe and sound. But a while after I
certainly was exercised. It was important that Mr. Brydges should go
back to Montreal, and my son went with him. I watched their crossing
the river from the "Platform," in a clear, grey, winter afternoon. They
were two hours in crossing the river, a mile or two in width, in a
straight line. At one time, I almost despaired, for they had drifted
down almost into the Bay; but, by the pluck and hard work of their men,
they kept, in this tacking backwards and forwards, and up and down,
gradually making their way, till they landed, a long way below the
right point, however, and we exchanged handkerchief signals--and all
was well.

In the interval between this and my last visit, Lord Monck had been
appointed Governor-General in place of Sir Edmund Head, retiring. In
talking with the Duke about this appointment, he said, "I offered the
position to five men previously, and they refused it." I replied, "Did
your Grace offer it to Lord Lawrence, now at home?" The Duke put down
his pen, turned from one side of his chair to the other, looked down
and looked up, and at last said, "Upon my honour, I never thought of
that. What a good appointment it would have been!" Be that as it may,
Lord Monck made an excellent Governor in very difficult times. Canada,
and the great cause of Confederation, owe him a deep debt of gratitude.

I found unexpected difficulties about Grand Trunk affairs. The
Government were afraid of their own shadows. Instead of bringing in the
Grand Trunk Relief Bill as a Government measure, as we had expected,
they, in spite of remonstrance from Mr. Gait, confided it to a private
member, and such was the, unexplained, opposition that I verily believe
had the Cartier-Macdonald Government remained in power the Bill, though
entirely in the nature of a private Bill, affecting the public in every
sense of indirect advantage, would have been thrown out. The newspapers
throughout the two Provinces, with half-a dozen honorable exceptions,
were vile and vicious, as trans-Atlantic newspapers especially can be.
I was full of unexpected anxiety. The Government tactics were Fabian;
and on the 5th April they decided to adjourn the House to the 23rd. So
I went home in the "China" from New York on the 9th April with my son;
saw the Duke of Newcastle, discussed the situation; saw the opening of
the Great Exhibition of 1862 on the 1st May, and a few days afterwards
sailed, with Lady Watkin, in the old Cunarder, the "Niagara;" arriving
at Boston after a long and difficult passage, and then travelling on to
Quebec. But, on the 20th May, an event occurred--caused, it seemed to
me, as a looker on, through want of tact--which ended in the
resignation of the Government. The circumstances were these. Under
pressure from home, administered through the new. Governor-General, the
Ministry had brought forward measures of defence. They proposed to
raise and equip, at the cost of Canada, 50,000 men. They proceeded, if
my memory serves me, by the introduction of a Bill, and that Bill was
rejected by a very small majority (61 to 54), composed of Sandfield
Macdonald and a few others, described as "Ishmaelites." Upon that vote
Mr. Cartier at once resigned, as I thought in too much haste. I met him
as he walked away from the Parliament House in the afternoon, and
expressed regret. He said, with set teeth, clenched fist, and sparkling
eyes, "Ah! Well, I have saved the honour of my country against those
'Grits' and 'Rouges;' traitres, traitres." Mr. J. A. Macdonald,
afterwards, took the matter very quietly, merely remarking that the
slightest tact might have prevented the occurrence. So I thought.

The question was, Who was to succeed? In the ordinary course Mr. Foley,
the assumed leader of the Opposition, would have been sent for. It was
the opinion of the Honorable John Ross that he ought to have been. But
the Governor, considering, I suppose, that the scanty majority was led
by Sandfield Macdonald, sent for him. All sides believed that it would
be a ministry of a month. But this astute descendant of Highlanders
managed to stay in for nearly two years: two years of no good: two
years of plausible postponement of all that the Duke had been so
loyally working for in the interest of Canada. Personally, I had no
reason to complain as regarded Grand Trunk legislation. Sandfield
Macdonald promised to carry our Bill, and he honourably fulfilled his
promise. The Bill passed; Lady Watkin and I sailed from Boston for
England on the 7th June.

But the refusal of the Canadian Parliament to vote money for defence
had created a very bad impression in England. England had made large
sacrifices in filling Canada with troops and stores, at a critical
time--and it was naturally said, in many quarters, "Are these people
cowards? Are they longing for another rule?" Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, when
Mr. Rose and I called upon him at his lodgings, in St. James's Place,
during my short stay in London, said, "I do not see what we can do. Had
Canada helped us at all, we could have succeeded. Now every one will
say, What is the use of helping such people?" And Mr. Disraeli said, in
the House, answering a statement that the vote of the Canadian
Parliament did not represent the feeling of the people: "I decline to
assume that the vote of a popular assembly is not the vote of those
they represent." All this was awkward. But I resolved I would never
give in. So I went to Canada again in the autumn of 1862.

Mr. Joseph Howe came from Halifax to Canada to meet me. He did all he
could to induce Sandfield Macdonald to settle the long out-standing
postal claim on Canada of the Grand Trunk; but in vain. He never would
settle it, just and honest as it was. Mr. Howe tried to induce the
Government to take up the Intercolonial question where we had left it
in the previous autumn: and in this he so far succeeded that it was
agreed a delegation from Canada should meet delegations from Nova
Scotia and New Brunswick before the end of this year--1862--in London.
Messrs. Howland and Sicotte were the Canadian delegates; Mr. Howe for
Nova Scotia, and Mr. Tilley for New Brunswick. We set to work to carry
both the Intercolonial guarantee, and the Pacific transit scheme, the
moment these gentlemen arrived in England.

Meeting Messrs. Rowland and Sicotte at their hotel, in Jermyn Street,
on the 2nd December, 1862, and discussing matters all round, they
certainly led me, unsuspectingly, to believe they had the same desire
to carry the Intercolonial as that entertained by Messrs. Howe and
Tilley; and further, that if a road and telegraph project could be
carried on the broad lines laid down in so many discussions, their
arrangements on both questions would be cordially welcomed and approved
by their colleagues. I very soon found out, however, that they were
"riding to orders," and those orders, no doubt, being interpreted,
were: "Refuse nothing, discuss everything, but do nothing."

On the 8th December we met the Canadian delegates at the bank of
Messrs. Glyn, in Lombard Street, and we drew up a proposal, which these
gentlemen corrected. We adopted their corrections and sent in the
paper, as an agreed paper, to the Duke.

Two days afterwards, for better assurance, we received the following

"With a view of better enabling the gentlemen whom they met yesterday
at 67, Lombard Street, to take immediate measures to form a Company for
the object of carrying out the construction of a telegraph line, and of
a road to establish frequent and easy communication between Canada and
the Pacific, and to facilitate the carrying of mails, passengers, and
traffic, the undersigned have the honour to state, that they are of
opinion that the Canadian Government will agree to give a guarantee of
interest at the rate of four per cent, upon one-third of the sum
expended, provided the whole sum does not exceed five hundred thousand
pounds, and provided also that the same guarantee of interest will be
secured upon the other two-thirds of the expenditure by Imperial or
Columbian contributions.

"If a Company composed of men of the standing and wealth of those they
had the pleasure to meet is formed for the above purposes, under such
conditions as will secure the interests of all parties interested, and
the accomplishment of the objects they have in view, such an
organization will be highly favourable to the settlements of an immense
territory, and, if properly administered, may prove to be also of great
advantage to the trade of England.

"London, 10 Decr. 1862.
                        "L. V. SICOTTE,
                        "W. P. HOWLAND.
"To MM.
    &c. &c. &c."

A few days afterwards these Canadian delegates started an objection.
The Imperial Government merely gave land and did not take one-third of
the proposed guarantee, and the following further memorandum was sent
to me:--

"Although little disposed to believe that Her Majesty's Government will
not accede to the proposal of co-operation they have made in relation
to the opening of communication from Canada to the Pacific, the
undersigned have the honour to state, in answer to the letter of Mr.
Watkin of the 17th instant, that in their opinion the Government of
Canada will grant to a Company organised as proposed in the papers
already exchanged, a guarantee of interest, even on one-half of the
capital stated in these documents, should the Imperial Government
refuse to contribute any portion of this guaranteed sum of interest.

"In answer to another demand made in the same letter, the undersigned
must state that the guarantee of the Canadian Government of this
payment of interest ought to secure the moneys required at the rate of
four per cent, and that they will not advise and press with their
colleagues a higher rate of interest as the basis of the arrangement.

"London, 20 December, 1862.
                         "L. V. SICOTTE,
                         "W. P. ROWLAND.

"ED. WATKIN, Esq., London."

So much, and so far, for the Pacific affair. But in the Intercolonial
discussion there was an undercurrent. The only points left for
discussion with the Duke and Mr. Gladstone were the question of survey,
which was easily settled, and the question of a sinking fund for the
loan to be made on the credit of Great Britain. At first Mr. Gladstone
insisted on such a short term of repayment, and therefore so heavy a
put-by, that his terms took away the pecuniary value of the guarantee
itself: that is to say, that what the Colonies would have annually to
pay, would have amounted to more than the annual sum for which they
could have borrowed the money themselves. I suggested a longer term,
and also, that the interest on the annual put-by, to accumulate, should
be altered so as to alleviate the burden. In answer to a letter written
with the assistance of Messrs. Howe and Tilley, I received the
following from the Duke:--

                                        "8 _Decr_. 1862.


"I am sorry to say your letter confirms the impression I have
entertained from my first interview with the Canadian delegates--an
impression strengthened by each subsequent meeting--that Mr. Sicotte is
a traitor to the cause he has come over to advocate. I am unable to
make out whether he is playing false on his own account or by order of
his colleagues; but I cannot say I have any reason to associate Mr.
Howland with the want of faith in any dealings with me.

"You can have no idea how I have been compelled to forbear and to fence
with Mr. S. to prevent his breaking off upon every possible occasion
and upon any almost impossible pretext. His whole aim has been to find
some excuse for throwing up the railroad and saying it was the act of
the Imperial Government. As for Mr. Gladstone being 'all powerful,' he
knows that in the financial details alone Mr. G. interferes, and I
presume Mr. Rowland would tell him that this is the duty of a Finance

"Nothing struck me more than Mr. S.'s objection to _your_ being
present at our meetings. When you did 'drop in' I felt obliged to say
nothing about it till your card was brought, and on that occasion I
particularly remarked that his usual obstructiveness was suspended.

"The _one_ point now in dispute between the delegates and the
Treasury is really of no importance to either party. I hope and expect
that Mr. G. will give way; but I suspect if he does Mr. S. will be (by
no means for the first time) much disappointed.

"Have you seen a remarkable letter in the 'Standard' of the 6th, signed
'A British Canadian,' commenting upon Mr. Sicotte going over to Paris
and dictating to the editor of 'La France' an article upon a despatch
of mine to Canada on the subject of the Militia? The article in 'La
France' can _only_ come from _a_ member of the present
Canadian Government.

"Do not at present get up any new deputation or go to Lord Palmerston.
Considering Mr. G.'s strong opposition to the whole scheme on
principle, I cannot say I think he has shown any desire to thwart by
obstacles in details a measure upon which his views have been
overruled, and it would be ungracious to show distrust where none at
present has been merited. I may differ with him on some points; but he
has certainly conceded more to me than I to him, and I could be no
party to attempting to supersede his proper functions of the financial

"I am anxious not to be brought up to town _unnecessarily_, for I
am conscious that I want _comparative_ rest, and that my health is
not very fit for the commencement of a Session; but whenever you are
passing between London and Manchester I shall always be happy to see
you, and glad if you can stay a day or two--only invite yourself.

                                      "Yours very sincerely,

The next day I had the following:--

                                        "9 _Decr_. 1862.


"It is no easy matter to give any advice as to what should be done,
especially as I do not know whether Mr. Gladstone is still in London,
though I rather imagine he has left for Hawarden.

"If Mr. Sicotte were anywhere but here (where he never ought to have
been), I should advise Messrs. Howe and Tilley to see Mr. Gladstone,
perhaps with you; but I can neither recommend them to see him
_with_ or _without_ Mr. Sicotte, so long as he is here.

"As I wrote to you yesterday, the business ought to have been closed
three days ago, for though I think. Mr. Gladstone's stipulation wrong,
it ought not to have been allowed to interfere with a final

"I agree with you that the new phrase about an 'uncovered loan' is not
very intelligible, but I put the same interpretation upon it that you

"I am not without hope that whilst I am writing some 'leeway' may have
been recovered through Sir F. Rogers and Mr. Anderson, but, as the best
thing I can do, I propose this:

"I _ought_ to go down to Surrey, to attend Mrs. Hope's funeral on
Thursday morning, but being far from well, I was inclined to excuse
myself from so long a railway journey, which I find injurious, but my
decision is altered by your difficulty. I will be at Thomas' Hotel to-
morrow night at 10 o'clock, if you can meet me at that time, and if you
like to appoint Howe and Tilley a quarter of an hour later, I will see
them and discuss what we ought to do.

"I feel very confident we can yet set matters right, if we can only
prevent Mr. Sicotte upsetting the coach.

"I cannot see you on Thursday, as, being in London, I must go by the 9
a.m. train to attend the funeral at Deep Dene, and I may be late in
returning to town in the evening.

                                      "I am, yours sincerely,

_Memorandum from my diary of 10th December, 1862._

"To the Duke (_of Newcastle_), at 10 p.m.--(Thomas Hotel), by
request. Saw Howe (_representing Nova Scotia_), and Tilley
(_representing New Brunswick_)after. Very satisfactory. Duke said
Gladstone had expressed strong approval of Pacific, &c. affair--and had
added, 'that it was one of the grandest affairs ever conceived, and he
hoped it would be completed in Duke's time--and it should have his
hearty support.' Good."

Messrs. Sicotte and Rowland suddenly went home, and we appeared to be
at a dead lock. After several letters and suggestions, the Duke sent me
this letter:--

                                        "6 _Jany_. 1863.


"I have received several letters from you without sending any answer;
but I must confess I am so disheartened about the result of all the
trouble I have taken with the 'delegates,' that I do not know how to
proceed, or, rather, I do not see the possibility of proceeding at all.

"At the last interview I had with the Canadian delegates, everything
was considered settled to their satisfaction, except the one point of a
sinking fund, and even that was admitted by all but Mr. Sicotte to be
met by Mr. Gladstone's consent, that the money should be invested in
Colonial securities. Thus matters stood until the _day_ the
Canadians embarked, when (avoiding an interview with Sir F. Rogers, and
everybody else) they sent me in a paper, couched in terms offensive to
the British Government, and complaining of every single provision in
the conditions--evidently got up to carry out Mr. Sicotte's pre-
arranged plan of upsetting the whole scheme, and throwing the blame on
the Imperial Government.

"Unless this miserable creature and his colleagues are turned out of
office on the first day of the Session, it is manifest that the measure
will be _sold_ for party purposes; and in that case I shall be
unwilling to play into their hands, by giving them the N. W. Transit

"I cannot be in town till after the 19th. I will see you then, if you
wish it, or any day next week if, on your way to or from Manchester, it
were convenient to you to dine and sleep here. I shall most likely be

"I do not understand your alarm about a clause in the Treasury Minute.
I know of no provision which impedes legislation this Session, except
that requiring a previous survey, which I more than once discussed with
you, and which I thought you agreed could easily be met.

"When you are in London Sir F. Rogers can show you Messrs. Sicotte and
Rowland's extraordinary paper, if you wish to see it.

                                      "I am, my dear Sir,
                                        "Yours sincerely,

Sir Frederick Rogers showed me the "extraordinary paper" of Messrs.
Sicotte and Howland, and yet Mr. Howland, on his return, favoured me
with the following letter:--

                                        "3_rd April_, 1863.


"The pressure of public business has prevented me from sending an
earlier reply to your valued favour of the 26th February. In reference
to the tariff of charges of your Company, you must be aware that it is
not legal, unless approved by the Governor and Council. I am not aware
of the circumstances stated by you, but presume, that if the Provincial
Secretary called for your tariff, it was because it had not received
the sanction of the Government; however, I feel safe in saying, that in
the exercise of that power the Government would not be actuated by any
feeling other than that of performing a public duty.

"Mr. Sicotte and myself were treated with the greatest consideration
and kindness by His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, and I deeply regret
that the action which we felt it necessary to take, in the performance
of a public duty, should have produced any unpleasant feeling on the
part of his Grace: however important the Intercolonial railroad may be,
the opening up of the N. W. Territory would increase its value, and, in
fact, afford much stronger grounds for its construction than exists at
present, and the immediate result of opening up that territory would,
in my opinion, be productive of much greater good to the people of
England and Canada than would result from the construction of the
Intercolonial railroad.

"I send by post the report of Mr. Taylor to the United States
Government, upon the N. W. Territory of B.A., by which you will
perceive, that they attach much greater importance to the future of
that country than the people of England or Canada have hitherto shown.
The description given of the climate appears to have been compiled from
reliable data, and affords the clearest information upon that point
that has as yet come before the public: I regret not having another
copy to send His Grace the Duke of Newcastle; if he has not received
one, will you be kind enough to send him this.

"Mr. Sandford Fleming (who is an engineer of high character and
ability) is now here, as a delegate from the people of Red River, in
charge of a memorial on their behalf to the Governments of Canada and
England: this memorial is accompanied with a very clear statement of
the condition and prospects of the country, and a report upon the
proposed communication to be made through it. I am now getting the
documents printed, and when done I will send you a copy, and one will
be forwarded by His Excellency to the Duke.

"Mr. Fleming and myself are preparing some suggestions for you, in
reference to the purchase of the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company,
with a view to show in what manner it could be carried out, and afford
security that the country should be opened for settlement, and at the
same time afford an inducement to the parties who might become the
purchasers. It would truly be a great project, and if the Company would
come down in their pretensions to what their possessory rights are
really worth, it could be carried out, and result in great good to the
country, and offer great inducement to those who might engage in it.

"I am much pressed with work, and somewhat better in health.

                                      "Yours faithfully,
                                      "WM. P. HOWLAND.

  "21, Old Broad Street, London."

And if further proof were wanting that these gentlemen deserved the
previously-quoted strictures of the Duke, always bearing in mind the
trouble, responsibility and expense incurred, mainly at their instance,
upon the Pacific project, the following gives it:--

"No. 1107.                           SECRETARY'S OFFICE, QUEBEC,
                                         "1_st Augt_. 1863.


"I have the honour to inform you that your letter of the 27th ultimo,
addressed to the Hon. John S. Macdonald, has been transferred to this

"I am now directed to state, in reply to the inquiry therein made, that
the details of the scheme for the promotion of telegraphic and postal
communication across the Continent of British North America have not,
as yet, been placed before the Provincial Government in such a definite
shape as to enable them to determine the course which it may be
advisable to take in relation to that important undertaking.

"The Government will, however, be prepared, whenever a sufficiently
matured scheme shall be submitted for their consideration, to give the
subject their most earnest attention.

                             "I have the honour to be, Sir,
                               "Your most obedient Servant,
                                 "E. A. MEREDITH,
                                   "_Assistant Secretary_."


Two days after the Duke's last letter, came the following:--

                                         "KELHAM, NEWARK,
                                           "8 _Jany_. 1863.


"Since your letter of the 6th (received to-day), you will partly have
learnt why I could not answer some of your private letters, but as
regards the official letter respecting the Western project, I think you
will see that I cannot answer it without consulting my colleagues.
_I_ cannot _grant_ a subsidy, and on the other hand I should
be unwilling to _refuse_ it. The proposal that part of the subsidy
should be Imperial necessarily entails delay. I do not think I can
possibly send an answer till after the next Cabinet.

"I shall be sorry to miss Mr. J. A. Macdonald. The only chance of
seeing him would be if he could dine and sleep a night at Clumber on
his way to Liverpool. Unfortunately I must be all day on the 16th at
Newark on County business. Could he come on the afternoon, of 15th
without inconvenience?

                                         "I am, yours very sincerely,

And farther letters in the order given.

                                           "15 _Jany_. 1863.


"I have written officially to the Admiralty respecting the formation of
a Naval Station at Esquimault, but I will now write privately to the
Duke of Somerset and ask for an early answer.

"Mr. Macdonald came last night, and I was delighted to see him a new
and healthy man. I had an interesting conversation with him, but fully
expecting he would stay till to-morrow reserved several things for to-
day. It was not till breakfast was over that I knew he was returning in
five minutes. As, however, his return to Canada is postponed for a
week, I shall see him in London.

                                         "I am, yours very sincerely,

                                           "26 _Jan_.

"Your letter received just as I am starting for London. I remain there,
and can see Mr. Cameron in town any day. I was in London last week, and
saw Mr. Macdonald. Mr. Cameron was Mr. Malcolm Cameron, a man whose
worth was undoubted.

                                         "Yours, &c.,

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "20 _Feby_. 1863.


"It has not been till to-day that I could have given you any answer
respecting the proposed subsidy to the N. W. Transit.

"I think a short verbal communication would be more satisfactory than
explanation by letter.

"Can you call here to-morrow about 2.30, or, if more convenient, at
Thomas' Hotel--between 11 and 1.

                                         "Yours very sincerely,

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "27 _March_, 1863.


"I do not on the first blush of your proposal see any great difficulty
in agreeing to it,--_if_ indeed the Imperial Government is in
absolute possession of the tract of country you speak of.

"I have requested Sir F. Rogers to look into this and see you if you
like to call upon him when you come to town.

"I leave London to-morrow morning for, I hope, a fortnight.

                                         "I am, yours sincerely,

This letter of the 27th March, 1863, was in reply to a letter from

                                         "ROSE HILL, NORTHEN,
                                           "_March 27th_, 1863.


"In looking over the maps very carefully prior to sending in the
documents proposed to be transmitted through your Grace, I find that it
is very probable--from the desirability of carrying a telegraph through
a wooded country, and avoiding the plains, where buffaloes often move
about in square miles of extent--that we may go through the Imperial
territory for a more or less considerable distance. It therefore
strikes me, that what I have before suggested, as to the desirability
of Imperial assistance, may not be reconciled with Mr. Gladstone's
desire to avoid an Imperial contribution of money. I therefore suggest
to your Grace, that the Imperial Government should agree to give a
grant of land of some reasonable extent, also that portion of the
territory lying between the Hudson's Bay territory and British Columbia
which belongs to the Crown, provided a telegraphic and road
communication passes through any portion of that territory.

"If this meets your Grace's views, would it not be better that the fact
of the Imperial Government having made this concession should be
recited in the preamble of the proposed Bill which we are to send to
Canada, and that thus invited to the scheme by a contribution of land,
power to purchase or control should be directly given by a clause to
the Crown? If your Grace will give me your views upon this at once, I
will have the documents prepared accordingly, and transmitted without

"'Minesota' has given about two millions of acres in aid of works to
extend their rail and water communications in the direction of Red

"I have to thank your Grace for sending me Mr. Foley's report, and,
also, copy of the Minutes of Council as to the Intercolonial and the
western project.

"The territory I allude to is hunted over by the Hudson's Bay Company,
and forms, mainly, a portion of what they call the Athabasca district."

It was matter of deep regret to me that the Government of the day would
not accept any share of the pecuniary responsibility of adding to the
compactness of the Empire, by connecting the two oceans by telegraph
and by road. The despatch which I copy--dated Downing Street, 5 March,
1863--distinctly says, in its third paragraph, "Her Majesty's
Government are of opinion that they cannot apply to Parliament to
sanction any share in the proposed subsidy by this country."

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "5_th March_, 1863.


"I am directed by the Duke of Newcastle to acknowledge the receipt of
your letter of the 27th of December, and to express his Grace's regret
that so long, though quite unavoidable, a delay should have occurred in
replying to it.

"I am now desired to make to you the following communication:--

"Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that they cannot apply to
Parliament to sanction any share in the proposed subsidy by this
country; and though they take great interest in the project
contemplated with so much public spirit by the gentlemen represented by
you for carrying a telegraphic and postal communication from the
confines of Canada to the Pacific, they do not concur in the opinion of
the Canadian delegates that the work is of such special 'Imperial
importance' as to induce them to introduce for the first time the
principle of subsidizing or guaranteeing telegraphic lines on land.

"Her Majesty's Government are further of opinion that without a
submarine Transatlantic telegraph the proposed line in America will be
of comparatively small value to the Imperial Government, and that
whenever a scheme of the former kind is renewed, it is almost certain
that this country must be called upon to bear a much larger charge for
it than that which it is now proposed to devolve upon the British
Colonies in respect of the land-telegraph and communication.

"As Canada has offered to bear one-half of the proposed guarantee, the
Duke of Newcastle is prepared to recommend, and his Grace has no doubt
of ready acquiescence, that British Columbia and Vancouver Island shall
pay the sum of L10,000 per annum, as their share of L20,000 (being at
the rate of L4 per cent, on a capital of L500,000), to commence when
the line is in working order.

"It will, however, be necessary, before any proposal is made officially
to the Colonies, that the Duke of Newcastle should receive further
details. It is requisite that his Grace should be informed what
provision will be proposed as to the duration of this subsidy; what
conditions as to the right of purchasing the line, and to what
authorities that right should belong; and on what terms the whole
arrangement may be revised in the event of the Hudson's Bay Company
coming to any agreement for the sale of their territory.

"There will doubtless be other provisions which the Colonies will

                                  "I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
                                    "T. F. ELLIOT.
"E. W. WATKIN, Esq."

I close this narrative of the Pacific Transit Scheme with the despatch
of the 1st May, 1863, which summarises the proposals made and generally
concurred in. These long discussions were not abortive, for they led up
to the great question of the buying out of the Hudson's Bay Company,
without which neither successful Confederation, nor its child the
Canadian Pacific Railway, would have been achieved in this generation.

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "1_st May_, 1863.


"I am directed by the Duke of Newcastle to state that he has had much
satisfaction in receiving your letter of the 28th ultimo, enclosing the
heads of a proposal for establishing telegraphic and postal
communication between Lake Superior and New Westminster, through the
agency of the Atlantic and Pacific Transit and Telegraph Company. These
proposals call for some observations from his Grace.

"New Westminster is named as the Pacific terminus of the road and
telegraph. His Grace takes for granted that if the Imperial Government
and that of British Columbia should find on further inquiry that some
other point on the coast would supply a more convenient terminus, the
Company would be ready to adopt it.

"_Article_ 1.--His Grace sees no objection to the grant of land
contemplated in this Article, but the 'rights' stipulated for are so
indeterminate that without further explanation they could scarcely be
promised in the shape in which they are asked. He anticipates, however,
no practical difficulty on this head.

"_Nos_. 1 _and_ 2.--The Duke of Newcastle, on the part of
British Columbia and Vancouver Island, sees no objection to the maximum
rate of guarantee proposed by the Company, provided that the liability
of the Colonies is clearly limited to 12,500_l_. per annum. Nor
does he think it unfair that the Government guarantee should cover
periods of temporary interruption from causes of an exceptional
character, and over which the Company has no control.

"But he thinks it indispensable that the Colonies should be
sufficiently secured against having to pay, for any lengthened period,
an annual sum of 12,500_l_. without receiving the corresponding
benefit, that is to say, the benefit of direct telegraphic
communication between the seat of government in Canada and the coast of
the Pacific.

"It must, therefore, be understood that the commencement of the
undertaking must depend on the willingness of the Canadian Government
and Legislature to complete telegraphic communication from the seat of
government to the point on Lake Superior at which the Company will take
it up. Nor could his Grace strongly urge on the Colonies of Vancouver
Island and British Columbia the large annual guarantee which this
project contemplates, unless there were good reason to expect that the
kindred enterprise of connecting Halifax and Montreal by railway would
be promptly and vigorously proceeded with. It will also be requisite to
secure by formal agreements that the guarantee shall cease, and the
grants of land for railway purposes revert to the grantors, in case of
the permanent abandonment of the undertaking, of which abandonment some
unambiguous test should be prescribed, such as the suspension of
through communication for a stated period.

"The Duke of Newcastle does not object to five years as the maximum
period for the completion of the undertaking--and he thinks it fair to
exclude from that period, or from the period of suspension above
mentioned, any time during which any part of the line should be in
occupation of a foreign enemy. But injuries from the outbreaks of
Indian tribes and other casualties, which are inherent in the nature of
the undertaking, must be taken as part of the risks which fall on the
conductors of the enterprise, by whose resource and foresight alone
they can be averted.

"His Grace apprehends that the Crown land contemplated in Article 3, is
the territory lying between the eastern boundary of British Columbia
and the territory purporting to be granted to the Hudson Bay Company by
their charter. His Grace must clearly explain that Her Majesty's
Government do not undertake, in performance of this article of the
agreement, to go to the expense of settling any questions of disputed
boundary, but only to grant land to which the Crown title is clear.

"With regard to the 7th Article, the Duke of Newcastle could not hold
out to the Company the prospect of protection by any military or police
force in the uninhabited districts through which their line would pass
--but he would consider favourably any proposal for investing the
officers of the Company with such magisterial or other powers as might
conduce to the preservation of order and the security of the Company's

"With reference to the 9th and concluding Article, the Duke of
Newcastle would not willingly undertake the responsible functions
proposed to him, but he will agree to do so if by those means he can in
any degree facilitate the project, and if he finds that the Colonies
concur in the proposal.

"Subject to these observations, and to such questions of detail as
further consideration may elicit, the Duke of Newcastle cordially
approves of the Company's proposals, and is prepared to sanction the
grants of land contemplated in the 3rd Article. He intends to
communicate the scheme, with a copy of this letter, to the Governor-
General of Canada, and the Governor of Vancouver Island, recommending
the project to their attentive consideration.

                                 "I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
                                   "C. FORTESCUE.
"E. W. WATKIN, Esq."


_Negociations for Purchase of the Hudson's Bay

In response to our demand for a large tract of land through the
"Fertile belt" of the Hudson's Bay territory, the Governor answered,
almost in terror, to the Duke of Newcastle:--"What! sequester our very
tap-root! Take away the fertile lands where our buffaloes feed! Let in
all kinds of people to squat and settle, and frighten away the fur-
bearing animals they don't hunt and kill! Impossible. Destruction--
extinction--of our time-honoured industry. If these gentlemen are so
patriotic, why don't they buy us out?" To this outburst the Duke
quietly replied: "What is your price?" Mr. Berens, the Governor,
answered: "Well, about a million and a half."

Finding that our demands for land alongside the proposed road and
telegraph were not acceptable to the Governor and Court of the Hudson's
Bay Company, we had nothing for it but either to drop the Pacific
transit proposal, after many months of labour and trouble, or to take
the bold course of accepting the challenge of those gentlemen, and
negociating for the purchase of all their property and rights. Before
making a decided move, however, I had many anxious discussions with the
Duke as to who the real purchaser should be. My strong, and often
urged, advice was, that whoever the medium of purchase might be, Great
Britain should take to the bargain. I showed that at the price named
there could be no risk of loss; and I developed alternative methods of
dealing with the question:--That the fur trade could be separated from
the land and rights, and that a new joint stock company could be
organized to take over the trading posts, the fleet of ships, the stock
of goods, and the other assets, rights, and privileges affecting trade,
and that such a company would probably pay a rental--redeemable over a
term of years, were that needful to meet Mr. Gladstone's notions--of 3
or 3-1/2 per cent, on 800,000_l_., leaving only 700,000_l_.
as the value of a territory bigger than Russia in Europe. Such a
company would have to raise additional capital of its own to modernize
its business, to improve the means of intercourse between its posts,
and to cheapen and expedite the transport to and fro of its
merchandise. I carefully described the nature of these changes and all
that they involved. The Duke seemed to favour this idea. Then I pointed
out that, if desired, a land company could be organized in England,
Canada, and the United States, which, on a similar principle of rental
and redemption, might take over the lands--leaving a reserve of
probably a fourth of the whole as the, unpaid for, property of the
Government--at the price of 700,000_l_. If these proposals
succeeded, then all the country would have to do was to lend
1,500,000_l_. on such security as could be offered, ample, in each
case, in my opinion. But I said it must be a condition, if these plans
were adopted, to erect the Hudson's Bay territory into a Crown Colony,
like British Columbia, and to govern it on the responsibility of the
Empire. I showed that this did not involve any large sum annually; and
that, as in the case of British Columbia, the loss would be turned into
a profit by sales of the one-fourth of the land to be given, in return
for the responsibilities, taken, to our country. Again, the cost of
government might be recouped by a moderate system of duties in and out
of the territory, to be agreed with Canada and British Columbia on the
one hand, and the United States on the other. This, in outline, was one
plan. The next was, to sell a portion of the territory to the United
States at the price, which I knew could be obtained, of a million. A
third plan which I suggested was, to open up portions of the "Fertile
belt" to colonization from the United States. To offer homes, in a
bracing, healthy country--with fertile lands and long waterways--to the
multitudes of men and women in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, and many other
States, who desired to flee from war and conflict; whose yearning was
for settled government and peace. These men and women had still
resources, friends, and credit, and if our country opened its arms to
them, they would flock to the old red flag, and bring their energies to
bear on the industrial conquest of these vast regions to the West.

But--if any man went, morally, down on his knees to another, I did to
the Duke, to beg, beseech, implore,--that this great bargain, this
purchase of purchases, of a Continent, should be made for our country,
and should be untainted by even the suspicion of a mercantile
adventure. In the end, I thought I had converted the Duke, well
disposed always, to the wisdom of such a policy. Following this line,
we discussed many details. He "would not sell," but he would
"exchange;" and, studying the map, we put our fingers upon the
Aroostook wedge, in the State of Maine--upon a piece of territory at
the head of Lake Superior, and upon islands between British Columbia
and Vancouver's Island--which might be the equivalent of rectification
of boundary on many portions to the Westward along the 49th parallel of

Further, at one of our many interviews a name for the new Crown Colony,
if established, was mentioned--"Hysperia." Dr. Mackay had suggested it
to me. The general answer of the Duke was--"Were I a minister of Russia
I should buy the land. It is the right thing to do for many, for all,
reasons; but ministers here must subordinate their views to the
Cabinet." Still, he went so far, that I believed if the Hudson's Bay
property were once bought, the Duke would manage to take the purchase
over for the country. I was too sanguine. I had not measured the
passive resistance of the inside of the Colonial Office to everything
that inside had not initiated; though the fact that day by day
objections, urged to the Duke from inside, were put to me, by him, and,
I believe, always satisfactorily answered, might have warned me. I hope
to live to find three conditions established at the Colonial Office:--
(1) That no one, from the head down to the office boy, shall enter the
doors without having passed in general and in British Empire,
geography. (2) That no one shall be promoted who has not visited some
one British Colony or Province; and (3) That no one shall be eligible
for the highest offices who has not visited and studied, personally,
every portion of the distant British Empire.

With confident hope I went to work. It is true that Mr. Thomas Baring
warned me. He said: "If the Duke wants these great efforts made he must
make them on behalf of the Government: he must not leave private
persons to take the risk of Imperial work." And, in this state of mind,
Mr. Baring refused, afterwards, to be one of the promoters of the
Pacific scheme, a refusal which led Mr. Glyn to hesitate to sign the
legal papers without his friend and colleague. It was an anxious time
for me; for on my head rested the main responsibility. One circumstance
somewhat sustained me. On "the 10th December, 1862, at Thomas' Hotel,
the Duke had read to me a private letter from Mr. Gladstone to him,
containing these words. Words of which I was allowed to make a note"
Your Pacific scheme would be one of the grandest affairs ever achieved,
and I hope it will be completed in your time. It shall have my hearty
support." Alas! however, Mr. Baring was right.

The first official interview with the Governor and Court of the
Hudson's Bay Company was at the "Hudson's Bay House," Fenchurch Street,
on the 1st December, 1862. The room was the "Court" room, dark and
dirty. A faded green cloth, old chairs almost black, and a fine
portrait of Prince Rupert. We met the Governor, Berens, Eden Colville,
and Lyell only. On our part there were Mr. G. G. Glyn (the present Lord
Wolverton), Captain Glyn (the late Admiral Henry Glyn), and Messrs.
Newmarch, Benson, Blake, and myself. Mr. Berens, an old man and
obstinate, bearing a name to be found in the earliest lists of Hudson's
Bay shareholders, was somewhat insulting in his manner. We took it
patiently. He seemed to be astounded at our assurance. "What! interfere
with his Fertile belt, tap root, &c.!" Subsiding, we had a reasonable
discussion, and were finally informed that they would give us land for
the actual site of a road and a telegraph through their territory, but
nothing more. But they would sell all they had, as we "were, no doubt,
rich enough to buy," for "about" 1,500,000_l_., as they had told
the Duke.

The offer of the mere site of a road and ground for telegraph poles was
of no use. So, just as we were leaving, I said, "We are quite ready to
consider your offer to sell; and, to expedite matters, will you allow
us to see your accounts, charters, &c." They promised to consult their
Court. And, gradually, it got to this, that I was put in communication
with old Mr. Roberts, aged 85, their accountant, and with their
solicitor, the able and honorable Mr. Maynard, of the old firm of
Crowder and Maynard, Coleman Street, City.

I had many interviews; and on the 17th March, 1863, I met the Governor,
Mr. Ellice, jun. (son of Edward Ellice-the "old bear"), Mr. Matheson
and Mr. Maynard. They showed me a number of schedules, which they
called "accounts." Next day I had a long private interview with Mr.
Maynard, but "could not see the 'balance-sheet.'" The same day I saw
the Duke with Messrs. Glyn and Benson. Next day (19th) I spent the
forenoon with Mr. Roberts, the accountant, and his son and assistant,
at the Hudson's Bay House. Mr. Roberts told me many odd things; one was
that the Company had had a freehold farm on the site of the present
city of San Francisco of 1,000 acres, and sold it just before the gold
discoveries for 1,000_l_., because two factors quarrelled over it.
I learnt a great deal of the inside of the affair, and got some
glimpses of the competing "North West" Company, amalgamated by Mr.
Edward Ellice, its chief mover, many years agone with the Hudson's Bay
Company. Pointing to some boxes in his private room one day, Mr.
Maynard said: "There are years of Chancery in those boxes, if anyone
else had them." And he more than once quoted a phrase of the "old
bear": "My fortune came late in life."

On the 8th May I went to see the Duke. He was very ill; but his
interest in the Hudson's Bay purchase was unabated. I saw him again on
the 15th, and wrote a letter to the Hudson's Bay Company. On the 19th
Mr. Maynard told me that the Hudson's Bay Court were meeting that day
to reply to my letter. The reply came on the 21st, and was "nearly what
we wished."

Owing to the Duke's illness, and to some secret difficulty which he
never enlightened me upon, I was given to understand, after a short,
but anxious delay, that any purchase must be carried out by private
resources; but all sorts of moral support would be at our service. What
good was moral support in providing a million and a half? What was to
be done? There were only two ways: one, to make a list of fifteen
persons who would each take a "line" of a hundred thousand pounds for
himself and such friends as he chose to associate with him; the other,
to hand the proposed purchase over to the just founded International
Financial Association, who were looking out for some important project
to lay before the public.

Leaving out Mr. Baring and Mr. Glyn (senr.) we had a strong body of
earnest friends, substantial men, and we could, no doubt, have
underwritten the amount. My proportion was got ready; and my personal
friends would have doubled that proportion, or more, if I had wanted
it. I strongly recommended this course. But the Hudson's Bay Company
would give no credit. We must take up the shares as presented and pay
for them over the counter. Thus, the latter alternative was, after some
anxious days, adopted. Mr. Richard Potter was the able negociator in
completing this great transaction, began and carried on as above. The
shares were taken over and paid for by the International Financial
Society, who issued new stock to the public to an amount which covered
a large provision of new capital for extension of business by the
Company, and a profit to themselves and their friends who had taken the
risk of so new and onerous an engagement.

I may finish this section by stating that, as respects the new Hudson's
Bay shareholders, their 20_l_. shares have been reduced by returns
of capital to 13_l_., and having, nevertheless, in the "boom" of
lands in the West, been sold at 37_l_. as the price of the
13_l_.; they are now about 24_l_. Thus, every one who has
held his property, and will continue to hold it, has, and will have, a
safe and unusually profitable investment. These shareholders, besides
the large reserves near their posts, which I shall enumerate later on,
have a claim to one-twentieth of the land where settlements are
surveyed and made. This gives a great future to the investor. On the
other hand, Canada--in place of the Mother Country, to whom the whole
ought to have belonged, for the purposes previously set forth--has
obtained this vast and priceless dominion for a payment of only
300,000_l_., on the award of Earl Granville; and the Pacific
Railway, by reason of that great possession, has been completed and

But there is much to record between the period of purchase and the sale
to Canada.

I here give to the reader some letters of the Duke's relating to these
negotiations generally:--

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "14 _Augt._ 1862.


"I am glad to tell you that since I received your letter of Saturday
last, the Hudson's Bay Company has replied to my communication, and has
promised to _grant_ land to a company formed under such auspices
as those with whom I placed them in communication. The question now
is--what _breadth_ of land they will give, for of course they
propose to include the whole _length_ of the line through their
territory. A copy of the reply shall be sent to Mr. Baring, and I hope
you and he will be able to bring this concession to some practical

"I was quite aware of the willingness of the Company to _sell_
their _whole_ rights for some such sum as 1,500,000_l_. I
ascertained the fact two months ago, and alluded to it in the House of
Lords in my reply to a motion by Lord Donoughmore. I cannot, however,
view the proposal in so favourable a light as you do. There would be no
immediate or _direct_ return to show for this large outlay, for of
course the trade monopoly must cease, and the sale of land would for
some time bring in little or nothing--certainly not enough to pay for
the government of the country.

"I do not think Canada _can_, or if she can _ought_ to, take
any large share in such a payment. Some of her politicians would no
doubt support the proposal with views of their own,--but it would be a
serious, and for some time unremunerative, addition to their very
embarrassing debt.

"I certainly should not like to _sell_ any portion of the
territory to the United States--_exchange_ (if the territory were
once acquired) would be a different thing,--but that would not help
towards the liquidation of the purchase-money.

"I admire your _larger views_, and have some tolerably large ones
in this matter of my own, but I fear purchase of this great territory
is just now impracticable.

                                         "I am, yours sincerely,
"Edwd. Watkin, Esq."

This letter was written in the educational period. The doubts came from
the officials of the Colonial Office. I removed them.

                                         "Downing Street,
                                           "17 _Novr_. 1862.

"My dear Mr. Watkin,

"I send you the 'route' from the Pacific to Canada, which I promised.

"I cannot vouch for it; but it comes from an unusually well-informed
quarter, and I incline to think it is much nearer accuracy than such
information as represents the obstacles to be almost insuperable.

                                         "I am, yours very truly,

"Memorandum of a Route from Vancouver Island to

        _Stations_             _Conveyance_ _Time_

"Victoria, Vancouver Island
Yale, on Fraser River, or
Douglas, on Harrison Lake               Steamer         2 days
Lytton, on Fraser River, or
Lillovet                              Stage coach       2 days
Alexander, on Fraser River                Do.           4 days
Fort George, on Fraser River            Steamer         2 days
Tete Jaune Cache    do.                   Do.           5 days
   between 53 degrees and 54 degrees N L                -------
                                                       15 days

The stage road from Douglas to Lillovet is described as complete, and
that from Lillovet to Alexandria as in progress, as also the machinery
of a stern-wheel steamboat for the water communication between
Alexandria and Tete Jaune Cache.

The last-named place [Sidenote: Tete Jaune Cache.] is situated between
53 degrees and 54 degrees N.L., and is at the western extremity of the
most practicable pass of the Rocky Mountains. The distance from this to
Jasper House, [Sidenote: Jasper House, between 53 degrees and 54
degrees N.L., and distant 120 miles from Tete Jaune Cache.] at the
eastern extremity of the pass, is 120 miles by trail, admitting, it is
said, of conversion at small cost into an easy carriage road.

The distance from Jasper House to the next post, Edmonton, [Sidenote:
Edmonton, 200 miles by road from Jasper House, and 90 miles by road
from Assiniboin.] on the Saskatchewan, is 200 miles by road through a
level wooded country, or the Elk and Athabasca Rivers may be descended
by water to Fort Assiniboin, whence to Edmonton is only 90 miles.

The road communication between Tete Jaune Cache and Edmonton is
represented as the only necessary work beyond Alexandria, and may be
opened for 50,000_l_.

Two courses are suggested from Edmonton to the Red River, one by water
along the Saskatchewan and Lake Winnipeg, another by road from
Carleton, on the Saskatchewan, through the Prairie.

No remarks are offered upon the character of the route between the Red
River and Lake Superior, except that it is said to present no serious

                                         "13_th Nov_. 1862.

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "18 _Novr_. 1862.


"I have had a long interview of two hours today with Mr. Berens, Mr.
Colville, and Mr. Maynard; but I am sorry to find that matters have by
no means progressed so far as I was led to expect.

"I think I ought now to see Mr. Baring, Mr. Glyn, and yourself as soon
as possible.

"Can they and you come here on Thursday at any hour not earlier than
2.30 nor later than 4? If that will interrupt other business, I could
propose 11.30 on Friday at Thomas' Hotel.

                                         "Yours sincerely,

                                           "7 _April_, 1863.


"I have received from Sir F. Rogers the draft print of your Bill, and
his remarks upon it.

"I still think it quite possible to meet your views respecting the
lower portion of the Athabasca territory; but the _mode_ of doing
it does not appear to me so simple or clear.

"I should much desire to consult the Land Commissioners before the
matter is settled; and I do not see that the delay of ten days or a
fortnight from this date could endanger the measure, for Lord Monck
wrote to me by last mail that the Parliament had as yet not begun

"If you agree to this, I will send the papers and my remarks to the
Land Commissioners at once, and see you (after getting their report) on
Wednesday next, or any day after it, except Friday.

"Pray let me hear by return.

                                         "Yours very sincerely,

                                         "DOWNING STREET,
                                           "6 _May_, 1863.


"I hope and believe that the despatches in their final shape, as they
went out to N. Columbia on Friday last, and to Canada on Saturday, were
quite what you and the proposed 'N. W. Transit Company' would wish.

"I added words which (without dictation) will be understood as implying
'No Intercolonial, no Transit.'

"If you happen to be in this neighbourhood any day between 3 and 4.30,
I shall be glad to see you, though I have nothing at all pressing to

                                         "Yours very sincerely,


_The Right Honorable Edward Ellice, M.P._

I have alluded to this remarkable man under the soubriquet attached to
him for a generation--"the old Bear." I assume that when his son, who
for many years represented the Scotch constituency of the St. Andrews
Burghs, grew up, the father became the "old" and the son the "young"
Bear. Mr. Ellice was the son of Mr. Alexander Ellice, an eminent
merchant in the City of London. Born, if the "Annual Register" be
accurate, in 1789, he died at the end of 1863. It is strange that he
began life by uniting the Canadian fur trade with that of the Hudson's
Bay Company, and just lived long enough to witness the sale and
transfer of the interests he had, by a bold and masterly policy,
combined in 1820. Leaving Canada, Mr. Ellice joined the Whig party, and
was returned to Parliament for Coventry in 1818; and, with the
exception of the period from 1826 to 1830, he retained his seat till
the day of his death. Marrying the youngest sister of Earl Grey, of the
Reform Bill--the widow of Captain Bettesworth, R.N.--who died in 1832,
leaving him an only son; and, in 1843, the widow of Mr. Coke, of
Norfolk, he became intimately connected with the Whig aristocracy.

In Mr. Ellice's evidence before the Parliamentary Committee of 1857, on
the Hudson's Bay Company, I find that, in answer to a question put by
Mr. Christy, M.P., as to the probability of a "settlement being made
within what you consider to be the Southern territories of the Hudson's
Bay Company?"--he replied, "None, in the lifetime of the youngest man
now alive." Events have proved his error. Mr. Ellice was a man of
commanding stature and presence, but, to my mind, had always the
demeanour of a colonist who had had to wrestle with the hardships of
nature, and his cast of countenance was Jewish. According to his own
account, he went out to Canada in 1803, when he must have been a mere
youth, and then personally associated himself with the fur trade, a
trade which attracted the attention of almost the whole Canadian
society. It was, in fact, at that time, the great trade of the country.
The traders had inherited the skill and organization of the old French
voyageurs, who, working from Quebec and Montreal as bases of their
operations, were the doughty competitors of the Hudson's Bay Company,
many of whose posts were only separated by distances of a hundred miles
from those of the French. When Canada became the possession of our
country, in the last century, Scotch and English capital and energy
reinforced the trade; and, as time went on, a powerful organization,
called the "North-West Company," arose, and extended its operations
right across to the Pacific.

At the end of the last century, or the beginning of this, Mr. Ellice's
father, as Mr. Ellice stated, "had supplied a great part of the capital
by which the whole north-west trade was conducted." Profitable trading
brought division of interests; and, in addition to smaller swarms from
the parent hive, a new organization, called the "X. Y. Company," or
"Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Company," carried on trade in competition
with the original "North-West Company of Canada." Mr. Ellice became
connected with this "X. Y. Company" in 1805. The leading spirit of the
North-West Company was Mr. McGillivray: and Mr. McGillivray and Mr.
Ellice were, as a rule, cordial allies. Two leading firms engaged in
the fur trade were McTavish, Fraser & Co., and Inglis, Ellice & Co.

Competition raged amongst these Canadian interests, and between them
and the Hudson's Bay Company, whose affairs were administered from
England. The business was carried on, therefore, with great
extravagance. The Indians were tempted and corrupted by strong drink.
Frequent collisions took place between the Indians and the whites, and
everything grew worse till 1811. In 1811 Lord Selkirk joined the
Hudson's Bay Company. He became not only a stockholder in the Company,
but took great interest in the trade; and he was the proprietor of a
large tract of territory on the Red River, acquired from the Hudson's
Bay Company under a deed dated 12th June, 1811. In this territory, he
made settlements for the purposes of agriculture.

The conflict of interests between the Canadian fur traders and the
Hudson's Bay Company became more and more violent, and ended in
bloodshed. Finally Lord Selkirk, in virtue of his assumed powers as a
magistrate, seized Mr. McGillivray, of the North-West Company, at Fort
William, at the head of Lake Superior, and the whole of his property.
The confusion and outrage became so great that Canada became alarmed,
and a Mr. Coltman was sent up as Commissioner. Mr. Coltman reported,
and made a recommendation that, to restore peace and order, some
attempt should be made to unite the interests of the various fur
traders in the country. In the meantime the Hudson's Bay Company ceased
to pay dividends, and the other companies were almost bankrupt. At this
moment Mr. Ellice, by great tact, and force of will, succeeded in
uniting all the conflicting combinations; and from that time onwards
the fur trade has been carried on under the Charter of the Hudson's Bay
Company, extended by licenses, from time to time renewed, of exclusive
trade in the North-West and in the Pacific States, including
Vancouver's Island. Out of these fusions arose the Puget Sound Company,
created to utilise, cultivate, and colonise the Pacific territories,
over which licenses to trade had been given to the Hudson's Bay

The vigorous action of the united interests soon told upon the trade
and discipline of the vast area hunted and traded over. The Indians
were brought back to tea and water in place of rum and brandy; and
peace was restored, everywhere, between the white man and the red. The
epidemics of small pox, which had at times decimated whole tribes of
Indians, were got rid of by the introduction of vaccination.
Settlement, if only on a small scale, was encouraged by the security of
life and property. The enlargement of their action, as issuers of notes
and as bankers aided the trade and the colonists; and so good was a
Hudson's Bay Company's note that it was taken everywhere over the
northern continent, when the "Shin Plasters" of banks in the United
States and Canada were refused. When, for a short time, in 1865 and
1866, I held the office of shareholders' auditor of the Hudson's Bay
Company, I cancelled many of these notes, which had become defaced,
mainly owing to the fingering of Indians and others, who left behind on
the thick yellow paper coatings of "Pemmican,"--the pounded flesh and
fat of the buffalo, done up in skins like sausages--a food eminently
nutritious and lasting long, but fearfully odorous and nasty.

Mr. Ellice supplied much of the political energy inside the old Reform
party, displayed in the Reform Bill struggle of 1830-1832. He became
one of the Secretaries of the Treasury; and, in 1831, had to organize
the eventful election of that year. His great powers and never-failing
energy, devoted in early life to the fur trade and its conflicts,
became of infinite value to the country, in many momentous struggles,
at home, for liberty and progress. It amused me much when, by chance,
meeting Mr. Ellice, after we had bought and paid for his Hudson's Bay
property, to see the kind of astonished stare with which he regarded
me. I think the purchase of the Hudson's Bay Company was a mystery to
him. I remember meeting him at the Royal Academy a few months before
his death. He stopped opposite to me, as if to study my features. He
did not speak a word, nor did I. He seemed in a state of abstraction,
like that of a man endeavouring to recollect a long history of
difficulty, and to realize how strangely it had all ended,--by the
negociation I had brought to a head.


_The Select Committee, on Hudson's Bay Affairs, of_

This Committee was appointed "to consider the state of those British
possessions in North America which are under the administration of the
Hudson's Bay Company, or over which they possess a licence to trade."
Lord John Russell, Mr. Gladstone, the present Lord Derby, Mr. Roebuck,
Mr. Labouchere, Mr. Lowe, and Mr. Edward Ellice, were of the nineteen
members of which the Committee originally consisted. Later on, the
names of Mr. Alexander Matheson and Viscount Goderich were substituted
for those of Mr. Adderley and Mr. Bell; and Mr. Christy was added to
the Committee. The evidence before the Committee much resembled that
taken by the Committee of 1749. There were the same disaffected, and
discharged, officials; the same disappointed merchants and rivals; the
same desire, in varied quarters, as before, to depreciate and despoil a
somewhat prosperous undertaking. The rival views were those of the
majority of the Committee, on the one hand, and of Mr. Gladstone, on
the other. The claims of Canada to annex territory useful, in her
opinion, to her inhabitants, was solidly urged. But the Honorable John
Ross, then President of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, who was the
first witness examined, said, "It is complained that the Hudson's Bay
Company occupy that territory and prevent the extension of settlement
and civilization in that part of the Continent of America. I do not
think they ought to be permitted to do that; but I think it would be a
very great calamity if their control and power in that part of America
were entirely to cease. My reason for forming that opinion is this:
during all the time that I have been able to observe their proceedings
there, there has been peace within the whole territory. The operations
of the Company seem to have been carried on, at all events, in such a
way as to prevent the Indian tribes within their borders from molesting
the Canadian frontier; while, on the other hand, those who have turned
their attention to that quarter of the world must have seen that, from
Oregon to Florida, for these last thirty years or more, there has been
a constant Indian war going on between the natives of American
territory, on the one side, and the Indian tribes on the other. Now, I
fear very much that if the occupation of the Hudson's Bay Company, in
what is called the Hudson's Bay territory, were to cease, our fate in
Canada might be just as it is with Americans in the border settlements
of their territory."

Mr. Ross advocated a railway to the Pacific, and he showed good
practical reasons for it. Failing a railway, he claimed a "good, broad
open road." On the question of renewed competition in the fur trade, he
added, "I believe there are certain gentlemen at Toronto very anxious
to get up a second North-West Company, and I dare say it would result
in something like the same difficulties which the last North-West
Company created. I should be sorry to see them succeed. I think it
would do a great deal of harm, creating further difficulties in Canada,
which I do not desire to see created."

"Certain gentlemen at Toronto" have ever been ready to despoil any old
and successful undertaking.

Mr. Gladstone's resolutions, as proposed at the end of the evidence,
were negatived by the casting vote of the chairman, Mr. Labouchere, the
numbers being 7 and 7. Mr. Gladstone proposed that the country capable
of colonization should be withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the
Hudson's Bay Company; while the country incapable of colonization
should remain under that jurisdiction. And, having thus disposed of any
chartered, or other, rights of the Company, his last, or 10th,
resolution, said, "That inasmuch as the Company has tendered
concessions which may prove sufficient to meet the necessities of the
case, the Committee has come to no decision upon the question how far
it may be, as some think, just and even necessary, or on the other
hand, unwise or even unjust, to raise any judicial issue with the view
of ascertaining the legal rights of the Company."

The Committee's report recommended that the Red River and Saskatchewan
districts of the Hudson's Bay Company might be "ceded to Canada on
equitable principles," the details being left to her Majesty's
Government. The Committee advised the termination of the government of
Vancouver's Island by the Hudson's Bay Company; a recommendation
followed, a year later, by the establishment of a Crown Colony. But
they strongly advised, in the interests of law and order, and of the
Indian population, as well as for the preservation of the fur trade,
that the Hudson's Bay Company "should continue to enjoy the privileges
of exclusive trade which they now possess."


_Re-organization of Hudson's Bay Company_.

Thus, after a long and continuous period of inquiry and investigation--
a grave game of chess with the Hudson's Bay Company--many anxieties and
a great pecuniary risk, surmounted without the expected help of our
Government, the battle was won. What now remained was to take care that
the Imperial objects, for which some of us had struggled, were not
sacrificed, to indifference in high places at home, or to possible
conflicts between the two Provinces in Canada; and to secure an
energetic management of the business of the fur trade and of land
development by the executive of the Company, whose 144 posts covered
the continent from Labrador to Sitka, Vancouver's Island, and San

It seemed to me that this latter business was of vital and pressing
importance. The Hudson's Bay factors, and traders were, in various
grades and degrees, partners in the annual trade or "outfit," under the
provisions of the "deed poll." This "deed poll" was the charter under
which the hardy officials worked and saved. Their charter had been
altered or varied over the long period since the date of the Royal
concession, in the twenty-second year of the reign of Charles the
Second. The deed poll in existence in 1863 provided that the profits of
the fur trade (less interest on capital employed in the trade, which
belonged to the stockholders who provided it) were to be divided into
100 parts, of which 60 parts belonged to the stockholders, and 40 to
the "wintering partners." The "wintering partners" were the "chief
factors" and the "chief traders." These 40 parts were again subdivided
into 85 shares; and each "chief factor" was entitled to two of such
shares, and each "chief trader" to one share. The clerks were paid by
salary, and only a person who had served as a clerk could be promoted
to a "chief tradership," and only a "chief trader" to a "chief
factorship." Thus all had a direct or remote partnership interest. On
retirement, an officer held his full interest for one year and half his
interest for the succeeding six years.

I had much apprehension that if the unexpected sale and transfer of the
share property, under terms and conditions in every sense unique, were
not frankly and explicitly explained, and under authority, alarm and
misconception would arise; while the news of the transfer would find
its way to distant regions in a distorted fashion, and through
unfriendly sources, long before the explanation and answer could
arrive. My fear, owing to bad management in London, was somewhat
realized, and I found that I had not rushed across the Atlantic, to
perform every service in my power to the undertaking, in June, 1863,
one moment too soon.

Then, having studied the "deed poll," I felt that, unless we made the
factors and traders partners in the whole enterprise--fur trade,
banking, telegraphs, lands, navigation of rivers--on generous terms, we
could not expect to elicit either their energies or their adhesion to a
new order of things.

Further, I saw no way to secure supervision and control over the
Fertile belt, and all around it, except by the construction, to begin
with, of a main line of telegraph from St. Paul to the Hudson's Bay
territory, and thence by Fort Garry to the extreme western post on the
east side of the Rocky Mountains. Such main line to be supplemented by
other subsidiary lines as rapidly as possible. The "wire," to my mind,
was the best "master's eye" under the circumstances. But, apart from
business re-organization, it was most essential to explain everything
to the Government of Canada; and to ascertain the views of political
parties, and of industrial interests, as, also, of religious bodies, as
to future government. In dealing with these questions, I had to assume
an authority which was to have been confided to a delegation, to
consist of Captain Henry Glyn, Colonel Synge, and myself.

On leaving England promptly--the main work being done--Mr. Richard
Potter undertook for me all the details which, if at home, I should
have managed, and he especially took up the discussions at the Colonial
Office, which I had personally carried on, with the Duke, for the
previous period.

Thus it was that the new Board was constituted, and the arrangements
for taking over were made in England without my taking any, further,
part. Sir Edmund Head was appointed Governor at the suggestion--almost
the personal request--of the Duke of Newcastle: some members of the old
Board were retained for the, expected, value of their experience, and
amongst the new members were Mr. Richard Potter and Sir Curtis Miranda
Lampson, a rival fur trader of eminence and knowledge, and an American.
A seat at the Board was left vacant for me.

It may be interesting here to quote what the Duke of Newcastle said, in
explaining, in the House of Lords, the recent transactions with the
Hudson's Bay Company.

TIMES, _July_ 3, 1863. [HOUSE OF LORDS.]

"The DUKE OF NEWCASTLE, in moving the second reading of the British
Columbia Boundaries Bill, said that he should give some further
information as to an extension of the means of communication across
that great interval of country between British Columbia and Canada.
After referring to the system of government which then existed both in
Vancouver's Island and British Columbia, and to the revenues of both
colonies for the previous few years--that of British Columbia being
most remarkable, having nearly doubled itself in two years (the imports
in 1861 being $1,400,000, and in 1862 $2,200,000)--the noble Duke
proceeded to say, that the greatest impediment to the future prosperity
of the Colony was a want of communication with the outer world. He had
stated on a previous occasion that he hoped to be able to state this
year to the House that arrangements had been made to complete the
communications between the Colony and the east of British North
America, and he thought he could now inform their Lordships that such
arrangements would be carried out. He had desired a gentleman of great
experience, knowledge, and energy, who was constantly travelling
between Canada and this country, to inquire whether it would be
possible to effect a communication across the Continent. This
gentleman--Mr. Watkin--had returned with considerable information, and
he had suggested to him to place himself in communication with persons
in the commercial world who might be willing to undertake the carrying
out of such a communication. He had put himself in communication with
Mr. Baring and others, and he believed they had arrived at the
conclusion that if arrangements could be made with the Hudson Bay
Company the undertaking should have their best attention. In order that
these important communications might be made certain, guarantees were
to be given by Canada on the one hand, and British Columbia and
Vancouver Island on the other. A complete Intercolonial railway system
had long been looked forward to by those interested in our North
American Provinces, and it would be impossible to overrate the
importance to this country of an inter-oceanic railway between the
Atlantic and Pacific. By such a communication, and the electric
telegraph, so great a revolution would be effected in the commerce of
the world as had been brought about by the discovery of the Cape of
Good Hope. It was unnecessary to point out to their Lordships of what
importance it would be in the case of war on the other side of the
Atlantic. There was another matter on which he wished to say a few
words. Some eight or nine days ago it was stated in a portion of the
press that the Hudson Bay Company had sold their property. That
statement was not altogether accurate, and certainly it was premature,
for he had been informed within two hours before he came down to the
House that the whole arrangement had only been completed that
afternoon. He had not received any official communication on the
subject, but some of the gentlemen concerned had been kind enough to
inform him of the facts. He had stated on a former occasion that the
Hudson Bay Company had wished to sell. Certain parties in the City had,
in the first instance, entered into communication with them for the
purpose either of purchasing or obtaining permission for a transit
through the Company's possessions. After some negociation the
alternative of permission for a transit was agreed upon. That
conclusion having been arrived at he did not know what it was that
raised the whole question of sale again, but some fortnight or three
weeks ago fresh negociations were opened. Parties in the City proposed
to the Hudson Bay Company to give them by way of purchase a sum of
1,500,000_l_. What had taken place was this: The Hudson Bay
Company very prudently required that the money should be paid down, and
that the whole sum of 1,500,000_l_. should be ready on a given
day, which he believed was yesterday. Of course the intending
purchasers could not carry out that transaction in the course of a
week, and they, therefore, applied to the International Financial
Association to assist them. The Association agreed to do so, and the
money either had been paid or would be on a day arranged upon. A
prospectus would be issued tomorrow morning, and the shares would be
thrown upon the market, to be taken up in the ordinary way upon the
formation of companies. These shares would not remain in the hands of
the Association, but would pass to the Proprietors, as if they had
bought their shares direct from the Hudson Bay Company. Of course the
Company would only enjoy the rights which those shares carried, and no
more. They would, in fact, be a continuation of the Company; but their
efforts would be directed to the promotion of the settlement of the
country: the development of the postal and transit communication being
one of the objects to which they would apply themselves. Of course, the
old Governor and his colleagues, having sold their shares, ceased to be
the governing body, and a new council, consisting of most respectable
persons, had been formed that afternoon. Among them were two of the
Committee of the old Company, with one of whom, Mr. Colville, he had
had much personal communication, and could speak in the highest terms
as a man of business and good sense. There were, also, seven or eight
most influential and responsible people, and the name of the Governor,
Sir Edmund Head, who had been elected to-day, would be a guarantee of
the intentions of the new Company, for no one would believe that he had
entered into this undertaking for mere speculative purposes, or that
the Company would be conducted solely with a view to screw the last
penny out of this territory. While the council, as practical men of
business, would be bound to promote the prosperity of their
shareholders, he was sure they would be actuated by statesmanlike
views. No negociation with the Colonial Office had taken place; and as
this was a mere ordinary transfer, no leave on their part was
necessary. But arrangements must be entered into with the Colonial
Office for the settlement of the country; and at some future time it
would be, no doubt, his duty to inform their Lordships what these
arrangements were."

The Prospectus, as issued in London, for the new organization, at the
end of June, 1863, contained this paragraph:--

"With the view of providing the means of telegraphic and postal
communication between Canada and British Columbia, across the Company's
territory, and thereby of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by
an exclusively British route, negociations have been pending for some
time past between certain parties and Her Majesty's Government and the
representatives of the Government of Canada, and preliminary
arrangements for the accomplishment of these objects have been made
through Her Majesty's Government (subject to the final sanction of the
Colonies), based upon a 5 per cent. guarantee from the Governments of
Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver Island. In further aid of these
Imperial objects, Her Majesty's Government have signified their
intention to make grants of land in portions of the Crown territory
traversed by the proposed telegraphic line.

"One of the first objects of the Company will be to examine the
facilities and consider the best means for carrying out this most
important work; and there can be little doubt that it will be
successfully executed either by the Hudson's Bay Company itself, or
with their aid and sanction.

"For this, as well as for the other proposed objects, Mr. Edward
Watkin, who is now in Canada, will be commissioned, with other
gentlemen specially qualified for the duty, to visit the Red River and
southern districts, to consult the officers of the Company there, and
to report as to the best and safest means of giving effect to the
contemplated operations."

A letter of instructions, from the new Governor, dated London, 6th
July, 1863, received by me about the 22nd July, after I had made no
small advance in the real business, stated:--


"I am authorized by the Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company to
request you to proceed on their behalf to the Red River Settlement, for
the purpose of reporting to them on the state and condition of this
Settlement, the condition of the adjoining territory, the prospect of
settlement therein, and the possibility of commencing operations for an
electric telegraph line across the southern district of Rupert's Land.

"The Committee have full confidence in your discretion and judgment,
but they have deemed it right to associate with you in this inquiry
Governor Dallas, of the Red River Settlement, with whom they request
you to communicate at once.

"The Committee are aware that it is now so late in the season as to
preclude you from doing more than procure such information as may
enable them to commence fresh inquiries at the opening of next season.

                                     "I have the honour to be, Sir,
                                       "Your obedient Servant,
                                         "EDMUND HEAD, Governor.

I found soon after my arrival in Canada that Governor Dallas was coming
down from Red River, and would meet me at Montreal. He was a very able
man; cool, clear, cautious, but when once he had had time to calculate
all the consequences, firm and decided. He had been for years on the
Pacific coast; and, thanks to his prudence, the landing, in 1859, of
General Harney, and a detachment of United States troops on the Island
of St. Juan, between Vancouver's Island and the mainland, on the
Pacific, had been controlled and checkmated, by the proposal of a joint
occupation until negotiations had settled the question of right. This
right was, afterwards, given away by our Government under the form of
an arbitration before the Emperor of Germany. Governor Dallas' opinion
of the transaction will be gathered from his letters to me of the 29th
and 30th October, 1872, hereafter copied.

The Governor and I became fast friends, and our friendship, cordial on
both sides, continued until his death, a very few years ago. The only
fault of Governor Dallas was a want of self-assertion. Brought out by
the Mathesons--hardy Scots of the North--as he was, he made a
reasonable fortune in China: and coming home, intending to retire, he
was persuaded to accept the Governorship of the Hudson's Bay Company on
the death of Sir George Simpson. Meeting at Montreal, our first act of
"business" was to voyage in the Governor's canoe from Lachine through
the rapids to Montreal; a voyage, to me, as almost a novice, save for
my New Brunswick canoeing, of rather startling adventure; but the
eleven stalwart Indians, almost all six feet high, who manned the boat,
made the trip interesting, as it was to me in the nature of a new
experience. These men had been with Governor Dallas nearly 4,000 miles
by river, lake, and portage; and he told me he never knew them to be
late, however early the start had to be made; never unready; always
cheerful and obliging; and that a cross word had never, in his hearing,
been uttered by any one of them. These men made Caughna Wauga, opposite
Lachine, their home, and there were their families.

After the most careful study and discussion of the questions above
alluded to, and others, the discussion extending over a month, we
agreed to various memoranda. The one affecting the re-organization of
management was as follows:--

"The first measure necessary towards the re-organization of the
Hudson's Bay service, will be the abolition, or modification of the
deed poll, under which the fur trade is at present carried on. The
difficulty involved in this proceeding is, an interference in the
vested rights of the wintering partners (chief factors and chief
traders). That might be overcome by some equitable scheme for the
extinction of those rights, which would serve the double purpose of
rendering practicable a reorganization of the service, and a reduction
in the number of superior officers, at present too large. This
reduction would give the opportunity of dispensing with such men as are
inefficient, and of retaining those only likely to be useful. The
Company are under no covenants in reference to the clerks.

"The arrangements of the deed poll are, in outline, as follows:--The
profits of the fur trade (less the interest charge, which goes
exclusively to the stockholders) are divided into one hundred parts; of
those, sixty are appropriated to the stockholders, and forty to the
wintering partners. These last are subdivided into eighty-five shares,
of which two are held by each chief factor, and one by each chief

"Clerks are paid by salary. Only a clerk can be promoted to a chief
tradership (1-1/85 share), and only a trader to a chief factorship (2-
1/85 shares). The promotions are made by the Company on the nomination
of the chief factors, though this rule has not always been adhered to.
On retirement an officer holds his full interest for the first year,
and half this interest for the succeeding six years. The deed poll
authorizes the Company to put an officer on the retired list, without
reasons assigned, after he has served four years, but they cannot
deprive him of his retired interest except for proved misconduct; but
neither of these regulations has ever been put in force. It is possible
the wintering partners might raise a question whether, under the
existing deed poll, the Company could make any great changes in their
business, or embark in new undertakings, if likely to affect
injuriously the incomes of the officers on the active list, or the
interests of those on retirement.

"One mode of removing this obstacle would be to ascertain the value of
a retired interest, and to give a money compensation to each officer on
his entering into an agreement to consent to the abrogation of the deed
poll. This would involve an outlay of money, but would also be
productive of a considerable subsequent annual saving.

"The eighty-five shares belonging to the wintering partners are, at
this date, held as follows:--

         15 chief factors               30 shares
         37   "   traders               37   "
         10 retired chief factors       13   "
         10    "      "   traders        5   "
                                        85   "

"As regards the shares held on retirement, some of the interests have
nearly run out, and none of the parties have any voice in the business.

"The value of a 1-85th share has been, on the average of the last
thirteen outfits, which have been wound up (1846-1858), about
408_l_. At that rate a chief factor's retired interest would
amount to 3,264_l_., and a chief trader's to 1,632_l_., less
discount, supposing payment to be made at once, instead of its being
spread over nine or ten years. On the other hand, the invariable custom
of the service has been to allow every officer one or more year's
furlough on retiring, which has come to be considered almost a right;
when more than one year has been granted, it has been by special
favour. Adding one year's furlough, a factor's retired allowance would
be 4,080_l_., and a trader's 2,040_l_. The discount being
taken off, to render them equal to cash, would make a factor's
allowance about 3,000_l_., and a trader's 1,500_l_.

"The cost of commutation, on the above scale, would be--

     15 chief factors, at 3,000_l_               L45,000
     37   "   traders, at 1,500_l_                55,500
     18 shares held on retirement, about               14,000

"Without allowing a year's furlough, the above amount would be reduced
about one-sixth.

"The outlay would only be called for in the case of such officers as
are already retired, and of such as under a new agreement might not be
re-engaged. The retired interest of the officers who might enter into a
new engagement would be provided for in the revised deed poll.

"As a set-off for the outlay on commutations would be a large reduction
in the pay of officers, to be hereafter noticed, and the Company would
also receive actual value for their money; and on buying out the
wintering partners they would become possessed of their 4/10th share of
the profits of the trade.

"Under the present organization the pay of officers in the service is
about as follows:--

     Governor-in-Chief                       L 2,000
     16 chief factors                         12,000
    35 chief traders                          14,000
     Clerks, about                            10,000

"The following would probably prove a more efficient staff:--

     Governor-in-Chief                       L 2,000
     Lieutenant-Governor                       1,250
     4 councillors, at 800_l_             3,200
     25 chief traders, at 300_l_          7,500
     100 clerks, at various salaries, about   10,000

"The saving of 14,000_l_. per annum would soon reimburse the
Company's outlay in buying up the present interests of the factors and

"The system of making the pay of officers (of the upper grade)
dependent on the success of the business, has worked well, and might be
advantageously continued, in a modified form, to be hereafter noticed.

"The duties of the officers of the proposed reduced staff would be
adapted to the existing distribution of the territory into departments
and districts, which are as follows:--

"There are four main divisions--the Northern, Southern, Western, and
Montreal Departments, roughly bounded as follows:--the 'Western'
embraces all the country west of the Rocky Mountains; the 'Northern' is
composed of the country east of the mountains, as far as Lake Winnipeg
and Lac la Pluie, and from the American frontier to the Arctic Sea; the
'Southern' embraces the southern and eastern shores of Hudson's Bay;
and the 'Montreal' extends from Lake Superior down the Gulf of St.
Lawrence to Labrador. These departments are divided into districts, and
in each district are several posts. The limits of districts are fixed
by local peculiarities; but commonly embrace some large river, on which
the various stations are planted--such, for example, as the McKenzie
and the Saskatchewan. There are twenty-three districts on the east side
of the mountains; to the west such subdivision of the business is now
scarcely practicable, and is being abandoned. To proceed to the duties
of the officers.

"The Governor-in-Chief would fulfil his present large functions, and be
the medium of communication between the Company and their officers in
the country.

"Under the present system the Governor is supposed to maintain a
personal supervision of the whole service. This is practically
impossible, the country being too large to enable him to travel over
more than a limited section of it in each season. To relieve him of
that heavy duty, and at the same time to maintain a real and close
personal inspection, one of the four councillors might be stationed in
each department, of which, in the absence of the Governor, he would be
the chief officer, and held responsible for all local details, and the
various posts in which he should periodically inspect and report upon.
Once, or oftener, in each year, a meeting of the Governor and the four
councillors should be held, at any time or place most convenient--say,
Fort Garry, Montreal, or elsewhere. Aided by such a council, the
Governor would be accurately informed as to details in every part of
the country, and able to deal satisfactorily with all local questions.

"The duty of the Lieutenant-Governor would be to relieve the Governor-
in-Chief of some share of his labours, and to act in his absence as
President of Council.

"The chief traders would, as a general rule, be placed at the head of
districts, and the clerks in charge of posts.

"The very efficient class of officers known as 'postmasters' would
remain as at present. They are usually men who have risen from the
ranks from merit; and, being good interpreters, and Indian traders, are
commonly placed in charge of small posts. Their scale of pay is rather
less than that of clerks, and they are rarely advanced to any higher
rank; indeed, their ambition is satisfied when they are made

"Reverting to the mode of paying officers, and making their incomes to
some extent dependent on the success of the business, it might answer
to give them an interest as stockholders. Instead of paying a chief
trader 300_l_. per annum, he might have 250_l_., and a sum of
1,000_l_. of stock placed to his credit, of which he would receive
the dividends only, the stock itself reverting to the Company when his
connection with them terminated.

"A councillor might have 700_l_. pay and the dividends on
2,000_l_. stock. It would also be a great encouragement to the
officers, and secure prolonged service, to give them an annual increase
of stock--say, 200_l_. to be added for every year's service. Thus,
if a man did not get as early promotion as he expected, he would still
benefit by length of service.

"The principle of retired interests might be maintained, by allowing
the officers to receive the dividends on the stock they held at
retirement for--say, seven or ten years, before it reverted to the

"To carry out these arrangements, it would be necessary to set aside in
trust about 150,000_l_. stock. But the Company would lose nothing
by it, as they would save in salaries what they gave in dividends.

"At the outset only 35,000_l_. of the stock would be called for,
with an increase of 5,400_l_. per annum. Even allowing for a
considerable retired list, it is doubtful if the whole 150,000_l_.
would ever be appropriated; and of course the dividends on whatever
portion was not appropriated would revert to the Company.

"In the revision of the deed poll, it would be essential to retain the
clauses which secure to the Company the right to place officers on the
retired list, and to dismiss them for misconduct.

"The mode of keeping the accounts, both in London and in the country,
is one of much importance, requiring early consideration. At present
there are no accounts, properly speaking, kept at the posts; and very
great delay occurs in ascertaining the results of the business from
London. It is essential to introduce some system of analysed post
accounts, which should keep the Governor and his Council fully informed
of the state of the business at every post, and by which they might
judge of the management of the officers in charge. There is now no
practical check on extravagance or dishonesty, except that arising from
the upright principles of the officers in the service. The adoption of
a system of local audit appears the best remedy for many of the
existing evils.

"The Company's agent at New York (Mr. Wm. McNaughton), who is a
valuable officer, has not at present sufficient employment to make his
position worth occupying. As there is a valuable market in New York to
which it would, at certain times, be advantageous to send buffalo
robes, wolves' and some other furs, which could be done without
interference with the market in England, it is important to render the
New York agency more efficient.

                        "(Signed)            A. G. DALLAS.
                        "(Signed)            EDWARD W. WATKIN.

"_7th August_, 1863."

This memorandum was sent home to Governor Sir Edmund Head, with other

On the serious questions of the future relations of the vast territory
to Canada and the Mother Country; how it could best be settled; how it
should be governed; what arrangement as to boundaries, and so on--I had
many and serious conferences with public men. And in answer to many
questions as to my own views, I drew up the following memorandum, as a
_resume_ of the whole subject. It is now nearly twenty-four years
old. I have read it again and again. I am not ashamed of it. I see
nothing to retract; little to alter:--

"The present state of government in the Red River Settlement is
attributable alike to the habitual attempt, encouraged, perhaps very
naturally, in England and in Canada, to discredit the traditions, and
question the title of the Hudson's Bay Company, and to the false
economy which has stripped the Governor of a military force, with
which, in the last resort, to support the decisions of the legal
tribunals. No other organized Government of white men in the world,
since William Penn, has endeavoured to rule any population, still less
a promiscuous people composed of whites, half-breeds. Indians, and
borderers, without a soldiery of some sort, and the inevitable result
of the experiment has, in this case, been an unpunished case of prison-
breaking, not sympathised in, it is true, by the majority of the
settlers, but still tending to bring law and government into contempt,
and greatly to discourage the governing body held responsible for
keeping order in the territory.

"At the same time it must be conceded, that, while government by a
merchant organization has eminently succeeded, up to an obvious point
of time and circumstances, in the cases both of the East India and
Hudson's Bay Companies, and is still applicable to the control and
management of distant districts, it contains within itself the seeds of
its own ultimate dissolution. In fact, the self-interest, however
enlightened, which brings a dividend to stockholders, is opposed to the
high impartiality and absence of individualism which should
characterize a true Government. Individuals and corporations may trade
and grow rich,--Government may not; they may embark in constant
speculation, while it cannot; they must either insensibly measure their
dealings by consequences, as affecting _gain_, or be suspected of
doing so, while the interest of Government is not individual, but
collective; its duty being, to give facility to the acquirer, security
to the possessor, and justice and equal protection to all.

"Therefore, although the Government of Red River has had few faults and
many excellences, and has been marked by a generous policy, in many
instances it has been, and is, open to suspicion; because the
commercial power which buys furs, trades with Indians and whites alike,
and is, in fact, the great merchant, storekeeper, and forwarder of the
country; appoints a Governor and assistants, places judges upon the
bench, selects magistrates, and administers the law, even amongst its
possible rivals and trade competitors. Such a state of things is
unsound in principle, and ought only to be continued until a stronger
and permanent Government can be organized; at the same time it can only
be continued in safety, on the opening up of the country, by arming the
Governor with a military force of reasonable amount.

"That the Hudson's Bay Company _can_ govern the country
efficiently, on this obvious condition of all other Governments, is
clear enough; and the peaceable relations between the Indians and the
whites, and between the various tribes themselves, throughout the whole
of this enormous territory, as well as the general state of health and
occupation of the aborigines, prove how perfect and wise has been the
management of the country. But government of Indians, who can be
employed and traded with, and who at last become more or less dependent
upon the Company's organization, as in this case, is one thing,--
government of a large and expanding colony of free white men is quite

"It is a question whether the government of the Indians can or ought to
be changed, for a long period to come, so completely is the Indian life
now associated with the operations of the Company. Of course, the
settlement of a new or an extended colony, involves the extinguishment
of Indian rights within the area proposed; and while the outside
district not set apart, would still be roamed over by the Indians, and
be valuable for the fur trade, its limits must, from time to time, be
narrowed by further additions to the circle of civilization and free
government. Thus, the Hudson's Bay Company, if dispossessed of the
government of Red River, and the proposed new Colony, would still
manage and govern where it traded, and would still preserve sobriety,
order, and peace amongst the Indian tribes of its territory thus

"It may happen that the Hudson's Bay Company may be compelled to govern
everywhere, by the refusal of the Home or Canadian Government to
encounter the responsibility and expense, which at first might be
serious, and which, as regards cost, must be greater in their hands
than in those of a Company using portions, of its business organization
for purposes of administration. It is well to look these probabilities
fairly in the face.

"Such a necessity may arise from the indisposition of certain schools
of politicians at home to incur Colonial expense, and the
responsibility of defending a new nation flanking the United States; it
may happen, owing to the refusal of Lower Canada to widen out the
borders, and thus increase the political power of Upper Canada; or it
may be objected in Canada generally, that the finances of the country
will not, at present, prudently authorize the maintenance of a new
Canadian military force; and again, the Indian war in Minnesota, which
may spread itself, may raise up fears of Indian wars in the new country
to be settled.

"Should the Hudson's Bay Company be compelled, then, to continue to
govern the whole territory, the first essential, as before said, is a
military force. That force may consist partly of regular troops, partly
of mounted irregulars or militia, and it need not, in their hands, be
large. The population is suited to military pursuits, and the half-
breeds mounted would make an excellent irregular cavalry. And the next
essential would be a convention and treaty with the United States, as
to boundary and transit through the United States and Hudson's Bay
territory respectively, for purposes of travel, and commerce, and of
postage, and the telegraph.

"Then the limits of colonization must be defined, and it must be
maturely considered at the outset, and decided as to how far, and in
what form, and how soon, the principle of self-government shall be
introduced. It is assumed that a thriving and expanding colony of white
men neither can nor ought to be taxed and governed without their own
consent, obtained in some form or other; and that it would be both
unwise and unjust to attempt a permanently autocratic government. This
is a most serious question, and the Act 31st George III., under which
Canada was governed until 1841, would appear to solve the difficulty.
The general scheme of government of that Act might operate so soon as
the new Colony had a population of (say) 50,000, and its provisions
might be elaborated into a constitution, to be voted by the Colony in
general assembly, so soon as the population reached (say) 300,000.

"The grand basis of all successful settlement--the land--presents fewer
difficulties than might have been imagined, because the admirable model
of the land system of the United States is before us, and no better can
be devised to enable a country to grow up side by side with the
Republic. Reliable surveys and plans, cheap and unclogged titles to the
land in fee, a limited upset price of not exceeding $1-25/100 an acre;
division of the land saleable into regular sections; the issue of land
warrants and regulations as to location, which will prevent, as far as
may be, monopolies of land in the hands of speculators--are all
essential conditions, and whatever power governs, they must be equally

"Again,--reserves of land, on a liberal scale, must be made to support
schools and churches, and to assist roads and other public works
conducted by the Government.

"But let it be hoped that this necessity of continued government by the
Hudson's Bay Company may be avoided by the wise and far-sighted action
of the Home Government and of Canada. No beneficial decision can be
arrived at without the concurrence of both powers, for each have rights
and ideas in some respects differing, and Canada especially has the
deepest concern in the future organization of the North-west. In
selecting a governing power for such a country, the strength and
influence of that power are the grand essentials. Even with equal
enlightenment, these essentials could not be overlooked. A weak
Government would invite attack, deter investment, and check general

"Apart from the government by the Hudson's Bay Company, there appear to
be these alternatives:--

"1. Government by Canada annexing to her territory a tract of country
extending to the limits of British Columbia, under some reasonable
arrangement with the Hudson's Bay Company, fairly protective of their
rights, and which arrangement ought not to be difficult to draw out,
when once the principle of the settlement of the country, and the land
system, and extent of land reserves, are agreed upon.

"2. Government by the Crown, as a separate Crown Colony, totally
independent of Canada.

"3. Government by the Crown as a separate Crown Colony, with
federation, more or less extensive, with Canada, and the establishment
of a customs union between the new and old communities.

"It must always be observed that a decision as to the fate of this
territory must be immediately made. It cannot wait political
necessities elsewhere, or be postponed to suit individual wishes. The
fertile country between Lake Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains will be
now settled, since that is now a fixed policy, and its plan of
government must be in advance of, and not lag behind, that settlement.
The electric wire, the letter post, and the steamboat, which two years
more will see at work, will totally change the face of things; and as
Minnesota has now 250,000 inhabitants, where, in 1850 there was hardly
a white man, so this vast district may, when once it can be
communicated with from without, with reasonable facility, be flooded
with emigrants, not forgetting a very probable rush of English, Irish,
and Scotch farmers, and settlers from the United States, who here will
find a refuge from conscription and civil war.

"The discoveries of gold, and the disturbed state of the border Indians
in Minnesota, are both unanswerable reasons of necessity for the
immediate establishment of a permanent form of Government, and fixed
laws and arrangements for the settlement and development of the

"1. The government of the North-west, as an 'annexe' to Canada,
possesses advantages of contiguity and similarity of ideas on the part
of Canadians and the probable settlers. Canada, it will be said, has a
good and responsible Government, and why not now extend its machinery
to the 1,300 miles between the height of land and the Rocky Mountains?

"But will Canada accept the expense and responsibility, and, more
especially, is it just now politically possible? Were Canada
politically and practically one united country, the answer would be
perhaps not difficult. But Canada, for the present, is really two
countries, or two halves of one country, united under the same form of
government, each half jealous of the mutual balance, and neither half
disposed to aggrandize the power or exaggerate the size of the other.

"Would Lower Canada, then, submit to see Upper Canada become, at one
bound, so immensely her superior? And would Upper Canadian statesmen,
however personally anxious to absorb the North-west, risk the
consequences of such a discussion as would arise? Would it be possible,
in fact, to found a Government based upon the platform of accepting the
responsibility of settling, defending, and governing the North-west? If
not, then, however desirable, the next best alternative must be chosen.

"Assuming that at some period, near or distant, the British North
American Provinces, between the Atlantic and the Pacific, unite in a
federal or legislative union, and thus become too great and too strong
for attack, that next best alternative would point to such
arrangements, as respects the North-west, as would lead on to and
promote this union, and not stand in its way. Thus, disputes about race
and customs should, if possible, be avoided by anticipation, and the
constitution and power of the new Colony should foreshadow its
connection with the countries to the east and to the west. Future
isolation should be forbidden, while present independence should be

"2. The above assumption tends to throw doubt upon the desirability of
establishing a Crown Colony, separate in all respects from Canada, and
able to shut out or let in Canadian produce and manufactures at its
pleasure. This is a danger to be foreseen and avoided.

"The new Colony, placed between Canada and the Pacific, must be
essentially British, in the sense of its forming one secure link in a
chain of British nations, or, in the interests of Canada, it had better
never be organized. The power and _prestige_ of the Crown is
essential to this end, and a separate Colony, even, would have many
advantages _per se_. It would also save Canada the cost of a new
Government at a time when financial pressure and political majorities
would be in the way. A Crown Colony could not be looked upon with
jealousy in Canada, while government by the Hudson's Bay Company would
be so regarded.

"3. But a Crown Colony with such a federation as would not alter the
political balance of Upper and Lower Canada, and with a system of free
trade with Canada, would appear to solve the whole difficulty; and if
so, the scope of the federative principle would be matter to be settled
between Canadian statesmen and the Colonial Office. The interchange
between the North-west and Canada appears to be an absolute necessity
in the interest of the latter. As Government, however, would require
taxation, the new Colony must, in all probability, have its Custom-
house; and it should be considered whether the Custom-house of Canada
would not serve, as far as the eastern frontier is concerned, for the
new Colony. If so, why should not duties, on a scale to be agreed upon
under constitutional powers to agree, be levied on imported foreign
goods, by Canada, and the duties be divided between the two powers in
agreed proportions? Were this done, at least in the beginning, expense
would be saved to the new Colony, a revenue would be easily collected
for it, through existing machinery, and Canada would obtain the revenue
and trade. Of course the scale of duties must be moderate, so as not to
excite dissatisfaction, by establishing dear prices, and it would be
the interest of Canada to make them so, for the more she stimulated the
growth of the new customer, the better for the trade. On the other
hand, the new Colony would be insured a market and an outlet for its
own productions, and would be content, therefore, to accept a
reasonably high scale of duties, levied for revenue purposes only, on
its articles of foreign consumption."

I discussed the question involved at length with the Honorable George
Brown and with his brother Gordon, at Toronto. I felt the importance of
having the views, and, if possible, the concurrence of the leader of
the "Grit" party. He led me to think that he concurred with me; and I
sent him a copy of this document. He kept it some time, and then re-
directed it to me without remark. Afterwards, I received a verbal
message to the effect that "It would not do at all." I became convinced
that nothing "would do at all" with a small band of men--who, at that
time, had objects of their own--in Upper Canada. Some of them--few in
number, I am happy to know, and impecunious--appeared to consider the
old corporation of the Hudson's Bay in the light of Blucher, when
driving through the streets of London, "Mein Gott! what a plunder."
Some of them tried their best to confiscate the property; and once or
twice, by weakness and vacillation in London, they almost gained the

Governor Dallas and I also carefully considered the telegraph question;
the route, the cost, and the best agencies to complete its very early

The two agreements, which, as matter of history, I here copy, were
intended to bring about the complete connection of the Hudson's Bay
territories direct with England and with the United States.

"Memorandum of Agreement between Mr. Edward W. Watkin and Mr. O. S.
Wood (subject to the approval of the Montreal Telegraph Company and the
United States Telegraph Companies, affected by this Agreement, and also
by the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company) for
completing telegraphic communication between the Atlantic and Pacific.

"1. The Montreal Telegraph Company to construct a new line of telegraph
between Father Point and Halifax, _via_ Dalhousie and Mirimichi,
to be completed on or before the 1st October, 1865; and also a line
from the telegraph at Arnprior to the Hudson's Bay post at the Sault
St. Marie, to be completed on or before the 1st October, 1865, with all
necessary instruments, stations, staff, and appliances for a first-
class through and local telegraph line.

"2. The Hudson's Bay Company (directly or through parties to be
appointed by them, as they may elect) to construct a telegraph line
from Fort Langley to Jasper House, thence to Fort Garry, and on to the
United States boundary, near Pembina, to be completed on or before the
15th October, 1865; and also a telegraph from Fort Garry to the
Hudson's Bay post at Fort William, at the head of Lake Superior; and
also to make arrangements with other parties to erect a telegraph from
Fort William to the Sault St. Marie, with all necessary instruments,
stations, staff, and appliances for a first-class through and local
telegraph line: provided always that the construction of the telegraph
between Fort Garry and Sault St. Marie is dependent upon arrangements
with the Canadian Government, and that it is understood that, failing
or pending these arrangements, the route to be adopted shall be
_via_ Detroit, St. Paul, and Pembina to Fort Garry.

"3. The telegraph from Fort Langley to Halifax to be worked for all
through business as one through system, and the through rates to be
divided _pro rata_ the mileage, except that for the lines west of
the Sault St. Marie (to be erected by the Hudson's Bay Company as
above) an additional mileage proportion of thirty-three per cent. over
the actual distance shall be allowed, until those lines pay ten per
cent per annum on the outlay, after paying all operating and other
expenses, including repairs and renewals, and this allowance shall be a
condition with the United States lines between Canada and the Hudson's
Bay boundary.

"4. Arrangements to be made by the Montreal Telegraph Company, with
parties in the United States, for the construction of a telegraph from
St. Paul to the connecting point near Pembina.

"5. The Sault St. Marie and Sarnia to be respectively the boundaries of
the Montreal Telegraph Company and of the Hudson's Bay Company and
their representatives, for the purposes of this Agreement.

"6. This Agreement to be for twenty-five years.

                         "(Signed)           EDWD. W. WATKIN.
                         "(Signed)           O. S. WOOD.

"Montreal, _August_ 10_th_, 1863."

"Agreement between Mr. Edward W. Watkin and Mr. O. S. Wood, for the
construction of the telegraph between Fort Garry and Jasper House, and,
if hereafter agreed, between Fort Langley and Jasper House, and Fort
Garry and the United States boundary near Pembina (subject to the
approval of the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company in

"1. Mr. Wood to construct a telegraph, and all needful works and
stations, from Fort Garry to Jasper House, at the cost of the Hudson's
Bay Company, and to put the same in full operating order, and also
instruct, and where necessary provide, the staff for the operation and
repair of the line.

"2. Mr. Wood to proceed with Governor Dallas to St. Paul, with as
little delay as possible, and on to Fort Garry, if necessary; and to
make all arrangements required for transporting the telegraph wire,
insulators, fittings, instruments, and other materials to Fort Garry;
for distributing all materials from Fort Garry; for cutting, preparing,
and distributing the poles; and generally for commencing and for
completing the work (including a system of posts at proper distances
apart) in an efficient manner, and at the earliest period.

"3. Mr. Wood to receive the cordial aid and cooperation of the staff of
the Hudson's Bay Company in carrying out this work, under the orders,
instructions, and control of Governor Dallas.

"4. Mr. Wood's travelling and other necessary expenses, and the
salaries and other necessary expenses of his assistants, to be paid,
and, in consideration of his services, he is to receive the sum of ten
thousand (10,000) dollars, as a fixed payment; one-third to be paid on
the storage of the materials as above at Fort Garry, one-third upon the
completion of two hundred (200) miles of the telegraph, and one-third
on the completion and operation of the whole line between Fort Garry
and Jasper House; and further, should the whole be completed prior to
the 15th October, 1864, Mr. Wood is to receive a bonus of two thousand
(2,000) dollars, so soon as the line has been one month in operation;
and should the whole cost of the work not exceed thirty thousand
(30,000) pounds sterling, Mr. Wood to receive a further bonus of
fifteen per cent. on all savings upon that sum, payable when the line
has been in operation twelve (12) months.

"5. Should the telegraph lines between Fort Langley and Jasper House,
and Fort Garry and the United States boundary near Pembina be ordered
to be constructed, and the Hudson's Bay Company desire it, Mr. Wood to
undertake the construction, on proportionate terms.

                            "(Signed)        EDWD. W. WATKIN.
                            "(Signed)        O. S. WOOD.

"Montreal, _August_ 10_th_, 1863."

"MEMORANDUM _by Mr. Wood as to supply of Materials_.

                                      "_August_ 10_th_, 1863.


"We shall want 40,000 insulators--they will cost from $6 to $8 per 100;
35,000 red cedar top pins will cost $3 per 100; 40 sets of telegraph
instruments at $60 per set; main and local batteries, $500.

"As some of these articles ought immediately to be prepared, since
their preparation takes a little time, I will at once, in accordance
with our understanding of this morning, order a small quantity, and the
remainder when I receive your confirmation of the whole arrangement. In
the meantime I shall go to New York personally, to arrange the exact
form and description of insulator, it being very desirable to have this
article of the most perfect description.

                                     "Yours faithfully,
                                       "(Signed) O. S. WOOD.

My official letter to Sir Edmund Head from Montreal, 24th July, 1863,
summarized all my proceedings up to its date.

                                       "_July_ 24_th_, 1863.


"I have the honour to acknowledge your official letter of the 6th July,
requesting me to proceed to the Red River Settlement, for the purpose
of reporting upon the state and condition of that Settlement, of the
condition of the adjoining territory, the prospects of settlement
therein, and the possibility of commencing operations for an electric
telegraph line across the southern district of Rupert's Land; and
associating with me in this inquiry Governor Dallas, of the Red River
Settlement, with whom you request me to communicate at once.

"I observe that the Committee consider the lateness of the season will
preclude me from doing more than procure such information as will
enable them to commence further inquiries at the opening of the next

"In consequence of verbal communications received before leaving
England, and suggestions unofficially received from members of the new
Committee, I have deemed it my duty, though unofficially, to
communicate with the Canadian Government, and with those gentlemen
likely to form the Government of Canada, should any change of ministry
take place on the opening of Parliament, so as, as far as possible
(unauthorized as I was), to prevent antagonism to the operations of the
new organization pending official communication and explanations from
the Governor and Committee.

"No one can be better aware of the state and views of parties in Canada
than yourself. The leader of the present Government expresses a strong
opinion in favour of the settlement of a separate Crown Colony in the
Hudson's Bay district, and this also is the view taken by Mr. Cartier
and Mr. J. A. Macdonald, and is strongly concurred in by Mr. Cazeau,
the Vicar-General, who, as you are aware, leads the Catholic party in
Lower Canada. On the other hand, the feeling of Mr. Geo. Brown and the
'Grits,' as heretofore expressed, has been in favour of annexing the
Hudson's Bay territory to Canada, thereby securing that preponderance
which would practically settle the question of the future government of
the whole country.

"The views of the Duke of Newcastle, and also, so far as I understand
them, the views of yourself and your colleagues, being in favour of the
establishment of a separate colony unconnected with Canada, I consider
the discussions which have taken place have now put the question in its
right position here; but at the same time I shall endeavour to see Mr.
George Brown, and give such explanations, unofficially, as may at all
events prevent his considering that he has not been consulted in this
important transaction.

"I have also placed myself in communication with many of those who have
advocated the settlement of the North-west, including Professor Hind,
who has explored much of the district; and, at my request, Professor
Hind has written a memorandum, and letter upon the gold discoveries in
the Hudson's Bay territory, which I now enclose.

"I have no doubt that Governor Dallas's own letters will more than
corroborate what is stated in this memorandum, and I need not suggest
that the most anxious and immediate attention of yourself and the
Committee be directed to these discoveries, and to their political and
other necessities and consequences.

"Having possessed myself of so much information in reference to the
subjects referred to Governor Dallas and myself, I think we shall be
able to fulfil the wishes of the Governor and Committee, Governor
Dallas being here, accompanied by Mr. Hopkins, without the necessity of
my proceeding on this occasion to the Red River; though, should further
discussion with the Governor lead to our joint impression that such a
visit would be advantageous, I shall not hesitate to undertake the

"In advance of some memorandum to be prepared for you by Governor
Dallas and myself, and which I shall beg him to be good enough to
draft, I would mention that I have suggested that the Governor issue a
circular to the employes of the Company, stating briefly the nature of
the recent changes of proprietorship in the Company, and thereby having
the tendency to remove any misconceptions which might arise, and which,
I regret to learn, have in some few quarters appeared amongst the
factors and other officers of the Company, who, as partners in the
trade, have considered themselves entitled to be consulted by the late
Governor and Council on the subject of the transfer.

"Governor Dallas informs me that the outfit of 1862-3 will show very
much improved results; and I have little doubt that the wise and
energetic measures which he has initiated since his tenure of office
will bring abundant benefits in every direction. The result in the
western district, which, if I recollect rightly, exhibited a loss, and
which, in the past year, with all exclusive privileges taken away,
gives a profit of no less than $166,000, is a convincing proof of what
may be effected by improved business organization and thorough energy
and firmness. It has, however, been matter of considerable anxiety to
me to learn that it is Governor Dallas's desire to return to England
next year.

"As regards the future management of the fur trade, Governor Dallas is
of opinion that a considerable reduction may be made in the number of
the employes; and that by a judicious weeding out of those who, in all
large establishments managed from a distance, either were originally,
or have become, inefficient, not only will expenses be saved, but a
much larger trade be carried on.

"In any considerable change of personnel, the partnership rights of the
factors will have to be considered; and one of the gravest and most
difficult subjects of consideration will be, how to reconcile the
rights of these gentlemen in a share of profit with that reorganization
which the commercial interests of the Company evidently require.

"These changes can only be made after discussion with the factors and
chief officers; and in some cases it may be desirable to buy out
individual interests on a more or less extended scale.

"The 40 per cent. of the net profit of the Company allowed to the
factors, in addition to the salaries of considerable amount, is a heavy
drain, and involves other considerations opposed to rigid discipline,
which need not be further touched upon here, but which are sufficiently
obvious. This re-organization can only be effected by giving to the
Governor very large and exceptional powers, and without delay. If these
powers are given, I am quite confident that the results will be such as
abundantly to satisfy the Committee. Hitherto, as it appears to me, far
too little discretion has been permitted; and the practice of sending
all the accounts home to England, and dealing with them in such a
manner that the Governor could not tell from time to time how the
financial results of expenses and profits were progressing, has
produced its inevitable consequences. In future, I feel convinced, it
will be found matter of the utmost consequence to concentrate the
accounts at Fort Garry, and to send copies of the vouchers, journals,
and ledgers from Fort Garry to England, instead of adopting the reverse
practice, and endeavouring, as hitherto, to make the accounts travel as
long a distance and be made up over as remote a time as possible. With
proper telegraphic and postal communication between the principal posts
of the Company and Fort Garry and Montreal, there is no reason why the
accounts should ever be two years in arrear in future.

"As regards the settlement of the country, and, involved in that
important question, the state and prospects of the Red River, the
discoveries of gold above alluded to involve very serious

"Assuming a rush of miners to different portions of the territory, the
machinery of Government for the preservation of order cannot be for a
moment neglected, or its construction be delayed. This involves, again,
the question of the establishment of a new colony. Is that colony to be
governed by the Hudson's Bay Company, who are essentially a trading and
landowning corporation, or is it to be governed in the name of her
Majesty, the Hudson's Bay Company, so far as the limits of the Crown
Colony are concerned, becoming merely traders and landowners, and
ceasing to govern as at present?

"All the difficulties at Red River--which, after all, have been much
exaggerated, and can be very easily dealt with--would be disposed of at
once were a Governor, appointed by the Crown, to be sent out; and it
does not follow that representative institutions need at first be
granted, though ultimately they would become matter of necessity. The
great object of the Governor and Committee--and Governor Dallas and
myself perfectly agree in the view--should be to induce the Colonial
Government to found a Crown Colony under arrangement with the Hudson's
Bay Company with the least possible delay.

"Such a Government would not only relieve the Hudson's Bay Company of
an immense responsibility, but it would render titles to land sold by
them, and claims to interest in the minerals, far more certain,
marketable, and profitable than at present.

"The commercial re-organization of the Company is a matter perfectly
easy in the hands of Governor Dallas, empowered to act in accordance
with his own best judgment; but this question of the government of the
country is, after all, the grand difficulty, and, if successfully
negociated, the grand hope of success as regards the future settlement
of this vast district.

"As to the suitability of an immense portion of the district west of
Fort Garry for eligible settlement, Governor Dallas--who has now made
journeys of 1,800 miles in the last year--has no doubt whatever; and I
trust that the old traditional phantoms of inhospitable deserts will be
finally dismissed from the minds of the new Governor and Committee,
especially when they have before them the many letters and reports in
evidence of the true state of affairs, which must be in possession of
the Company in Fenchurch Street.

"As regards telegraphic communication, I have made every inquiry
necessary upon the subject, and Governor Dallas agrees with my views of
the importance of connecting the Hudson's Bay posts by telegraphic

"Subject to further discussion, I may indicate my opinion that the
route suggested by Governor Dallas through the Hudson's Bay territory,
viz., from Jasper House by Edmonton, Carlton, and Fort Pitt to Fort
Garry, would be the proper route for a telegraph.

"This portion, as it seems to me, should be constructed at once, and by
the Hudson's Bay Company.

"Were it to be constructed in Canada, it would not cost more than
15,000_l_. sterling. It may cost less, though in some cases it may
cost more, through your territory; though I am inclined to think that
it may be constructed for 20,000_l_. as an outside sum, and that
it is impossible that the cost of this portion of the work should
exceed 30,000_l_. in any event.

"This outlay being sanctioned, the connection with the American
telegraph through Minnesota would be a matter of negociation; and the
extension of telegraphic communication to Fort William on the one side,
and to Fort Langley on the other, would depend upon the subsidies to be
obtained from Canada, and from British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

"I have the assurance of the present leader of the Canadian Government,
that the offer to give a subsidy, made last year, will be officially
renewed, and I shall endeavour to get this promise put into writing,
and send it to you home.

"British Columbia, I assume, would do what the Colonial Office
requested, but, in any case, we ought not to commit ourselves to a
through communication through Canada and British Columbia without a
clear understanding as to the subsidies. At the same time, if you, the
Hudson's Bay Company, have command of one thousand miles of telegraph,
enabling you to transmit information through your own channels with a
new expedition, you will practically have command of the future
discussion of this large question.

"I have obtained estimates, and made calculations of the cost of these
telegraphic operations, and I have selected a very eligible gentleman,
Mr. Wood, the Manager of the Montreal Telegraph Company, who, I am
quite sure, will carry out the operation, with the assistance of the
employes of the Hudson's Bay Company, and under the orders of Governor
Dallas, with perfect success.

I should recommend that immediate steps be taken; and there is no
reason, in my opinion, why all the materials should not be on the
ground by the end of the coming winter, since much of it can be taken
by canoe, and the remainder may be taken across the snow in the winter;
and why may not the whole telegraph from Jasper House to Fort Carry be
completed by September in next year?

"The present attitude of the Sioux Indians in the State of Minnesota
deserves serious attention. Little Crow has waited upon Governor
Dallas, and the Governor has written to General Sibley.

"I have suggested whether a visit to Washington would not be desirable,
and that the opportunity of assisting the American Government to make
peace with these troublesome Indians should be improved, by attempting
to get a settlement of your Oregon claims.

                                "I have the honour to be, Sir,
                                  "Your most obedient Servant,
                                "(Signed)        EDWARD W. WATKIN.
"Sir EDMUND WALKER HEAD, Bart., &c. &c.,
"Governor, Hudson's Bay Company."

Finding, however, that the Governor and his Committee were not prepared
to act with the energy and preciseness I had desired, I closed my,
unpaid, mission by the following letter of 26th August, 1863, from my
house, Norfolk Street, Park Lane.

                                         "NORFOLK STREET, PARK LANE,
                                           "_August_ 26, 1863.


"I have to thank you for sending me copies of the official letter from
the Secretary of the 13th instant, in reply to my report and private
letter of the 24th July, and of your private notes of the 13th and 18th
instant, the latter noticing my letter of the 4th instant.

"I desire at once to say that the heads of arrangement which I have
written down with the Montreal Telegraph Company and with Mr. Wood, for
your consideration, were of course entirely subject to the sanction of
the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company. And, in
accordance with what I understood to be your views, when to-day you
were good enough to leave the Deputy-Governor in order to see me in the
board room by appointment, I shall consider it my duty to cancel all
that has passed, in such a manner as, I trust, will be perfectly
satisfactory to your colleagues. There will then remain nothing beyond
a responsibility for a few essential materials, as to which time was an
object, amounting to not more than a few hundred pounds at the utmost,
which I shall take entirely upon myself, under the circumstances of
doubt and difficulty as to the opinions of the shareholders of the
Hudson's Bay Company which you represented to me. And with a desire to
avoid similar complaints, I do not propose to make any charge whatever
for my own expenses, or, if I may be excused the word, services, in
connection with the mission I have had to undertake. That mission,
however, cannot go without explanation, for I am anxious to avoid all
misconception now, or hereafter, and I desire, therefore, by a frank
statement, at once to court contradiction, should it be merited.

"Having had much to do with the discussions which led to the transfer
of the Hudson's Bay Company's property, I had expressed my willingness,
inconvenient as it must be to me, to act as a member of a proposed
commission of three, including Captain Glyn, R.N., and Captain Synge,
R.E., whose duty would be to investigate the position of the
undertaking at its head establishment,--to report upon the re-
organization of its business, the development of its mineral resources,
the settlement of portions of its territory as a new colony, and the
opening up of the country by the telegraph and by means of transit.
Captain Glyn and Captain Synge had both been consulted, and the Duke of
Newcastle had been applied to to obtain leave for Captain Synge at the
War Office. I had been led to believe that my services were considered
of some value, and I left England on the 20th June, expecting that
Captain Glyn and Captain Synge would follow me in a week, and that we
should at once proceed to Red River, and send home a first, but full,
report by the beginning of October. I understood also that such a
report was desired, to clear away any objections to the operations of
the re-organized Company which might be factiously raised. And when,
after my arrival in Canada, I received the prospectus with your name as
Governor of the Company at its head, I found a condition of that
document to be that I was to examine and report and advise generally,
in concert with other gentlemen, specially qualified for the duty, not
only upon the question of telegraphic and postal communication, but
also as to the other objects proposed in the scheme officially laid
before the public.

"Before leaving England, I repeatedly pressed the necessity of
communicating with the Governor and 'wintering partners' of the Company
in America, so that they should not hear of the transfer of the
property for the first time from the newspapers; and I expected to be
specially authorized to give the needful information and assurances. I
was no party, I beg to say, to this mention of my name in the
prospectus; but my friends and business connections who may have taken
shares on the faith of my name, will naturally hold me responsible
accordingly. Still, anxious to witness the success of a project which,
energetically managed, is so intrinsically sound, I refrained from
writing to you to decline the responsibility, hoping that the original
plan of delegation, though delayed, would be carried out. That plan, I
must observe, involved not a mere commission of engineers to explore
the route for a telegraph to Jasper House, as assumed in the
Secretary's letter of the 13th inst., but far wider objects, the
realization of which would, I venture to think, have given satisfaction
at home, and have dissipated many misconceptions, now existing,
inimical to the interests of the new proprietary.

"Your letter to me of the 6th July did not reach me till the 20th, and
in the meantime the newspaper notices in England led to many official
and unofficial inquiries from me, involving difficulty of answer. I
found, in fact, that the staff of the Hudson's Bay Company was quite at
fault, and that public men in Canada misunderstood the objects of the
new organization, for want of information very simple in its nature,
but which--except so far as the prospectus authorized me--I had no
right to supply.

"Several of the Hudson's Bay Company's chief factors and traders had,
it appeared, addressed a memorial to the then Governor and Committee,
some months ago, upon the rumoured sale of the property, and had been,
as stated to me, informed that no transfer was likely to take place, or
would in fact be undertaken without previous consultation; and yet
these gentlemen learnt for the first time from the public papers that
new arrangements had been made. It was not unnatural, therefore,
considering the relations of these gentlemen with the Company, that
they should feel much annoyed; nor was it, perhaps, surprising that an
influential member of the body should have predicted a general
resignation of the factors 'from Labrador to Sitka,' followed by a
confederation amongst them, in order to carry on the fur trade in
competition with the Hudson's Bay Company, they possessing, as was
said, 'the skill, the will, and the capital to do it.'

"The appearance of Mr. Lampson's name as Deputy-Governor, in the
absence of any prior explanation, aggravated the first feeling of
distrust; for it was said that he and his connections had been, and
then were, the Company's great, and often successful, rivals in the fur
trade, carrying on a vigorous competition at all accessible points.

"The arrival of Governor Dallas at Montreal some days before my receipt
of your letter of the 6th July, enabled these misconceptions to be
dealt with; and the issue of a circular by the Governor, together with
many personal explanations, and some firmness on the part of Mr.
Dallas, will, I trust, very soon remove the want of confidence and
dissatisfaction on the part of the staff, which at first looked
threatening. These explanations, of course, took time, and rendered the
Governor's presence in Canada necessary.

"Governor Dallas and myself made various opportunities of meeting
members of the present and of the late Government of Canada, and of
talking over the subject of the North-west, and of its organization and
government; and I feel convinced that these unofficial discussions were
of considerable use, and may help to prevent antagonism and territorial
claims on the part of Canada, which, in my opinion, might be very
embarrassing, and ought to be foreseen and avoided. Possibly the
following article in the Government organ, written by order, and handed
to me by the Honorable W. P. Howland, will best exhibit, without
further troubling you, the friendly spirit of the Canadian Government
before I left for England:--

"(From the _Quebec Mercury_.)

"'The recent announcements concerning the transfer of the title and
territory of the Hudson's Bay Company to a new corporation have
naturally awakened considerable interest in Canada. So far, however, no
specific intimation of the opinions of the new Company has been given.
It is understood that they will not confine themselves to a mere
following in the footsteps of their predecessors, but that
colonization, telegraphy, the opening up of common roads, and
eventually of railroad communication, enter into the scheme which,
whether as regards the interests at stake or the capital involved, may
be said to be colossal in its character. It is no doubt anticipated by
the new Company that the Canadian Government and people will cheerfully
aid them in an enterprise which evidently concerns us so closely.
Speaking in general terms, we presume that it may be conceded that such
anticipations have been correctly formed. The development of Canadian
territory, or of British territory immediately adjacent to it, could
never be a matter of indifference to the Government or people. Though
young in years, still Canada cannot forego those aspirations regarding
the future which are naturally suggested by the magnificent domain
which, stretches along the northern portion of the Continent. It is for
Canadians to occupy and eventually to govern it, and any means which
point to the furtherance of an object which may be called spontaneous
in the Canadian mind must engender solicitude and evoke encouragement.

"'When Messrs. Howland and Sicotte were in England, they expressed
their opinion that Canada would be willing to aid the "Atlantic and
Pacific Transit Company" in their enterprise of opening up
communication across the Continent through British territory. Upon
their return to this country, the matter was fully discussed, and it
was understood, subsequently, that the Government of that day was
prepared to recommend an appropriation of $50,000 per annum, provided
that the Company gave the necessary assurances of their ability to
commence and carry out the work. Since that time, however, those who
formed that Association appear to have enlarged the field of their
operations, and have included the whole of the Hudson's Bay Company,
with their territory, _prestige_, and appliances, within the scope
of their operations. But the same general policy which suggested the
recommendation of the $50,000 referred to, would also prompt similar
assistance to the New Hudson's Bay Company. It can be of little moment
to Canada by whose agency the western territory is developed--that
which is wanted is development.

"'Judging, then, by what has gone before, and from the exigencies which
the spirit of progress imposes upon all Governments, it is not
improbable when the new Company has itself determined what they will
do, in what shape their enterprise will be promoted, that reasonable
assistance will be given them. At present, it seems hardly likely that
any exact conclusion has been made by themselves in this matter. Mr.
Watkin, in whom a wide and just confidence is placed, not only by the
shareholders in the new enterprise, but by the British Government
itself, is here, engaged, no doubt, in collecting from the various
sources within his reach such information as will enable him to report
fully upon the matter. That done, the Company will be able to make
propositions and to solicit the kindly aid of Canada. Looking at the
wide field for enterprise that will be opened up; at the speedy
colonization that is likely to take place, consequent upon the recent
discoveries of gold; at the prospect that Canada may be made the high
road for commerce between the great East and West; that the trade of
the St. Lawrence, and all the various and manifold interests connected
with it, will be inspired with new and energetic vitality,--from these
and many other considerations it must be evident that the policy for
Canada, let her political position as to parties be what it may, is to
extend a friendly and greeting hand to those who come with capital and
confidence to become the pioneers of a new order of things, which
cannot fail to pour riches into the lap of Canada, and to lay the
foundation of a prosperity which can be at present but dimly imagined.'

"The importance of assisting the work of opening up the North-west for
telegraphic and postal purposes would, I believe, be alluded to in the
Governor-General's speech on the 15th. [Footnote: This was done, and
the  following is an extract from the speech of the Governor-General of
Canada, on opening Parliament:--

"I have received a despatch from the Secretary of State for the
Colonies, enclosing copies of a correspondence between Her Majesty's
Government and the agent of the 'Atlantic and Pacific Transit and
Telegraph Company,' in reference to a proposal made by that Company for
the establishment of a telegraphic and postal communication between
Lake Superior and New Westminster, in British Columbia. The importance
of such an undertaking to the British North American Provinces, both in
a commercial and in a military point of view, induces me to commend the
subject to your consideration. Copies of the correspondence shall be
laid before you, and I feel assured that should any proposal calculated
to effect the establishment of such communication on terms advantageous
to the province be submitted to you, it will receive encouragement at
your hands."] But whatever may be the extent or the value--as to which
latter point I fear my opinion does not, as I regretted to find, quite
coincide with yours--of the sympathy and support of Canada, any new
bias in favour of your projects, as promised in your prospectus, has
been mainly aided by the belief which, entertaining it, I inculcated,
that without loss of time, and with the promptness and energy of
English merchants, the new Government of the Hudson's Bay Company would
establish, with the aid of the provinces east and west of the Hudson's
Bay territory, but without shirking its own share of duty, telegraphic
and postal communication in British interests, available for
commercial, and requisite for other and even more serious, purposes.
That the works would be begun at once, and that the Hudson's Bay
Company, so long obstructive, would now set an example of despatch, and
that that which had long been hoped for and promised by others, would
now be accomplished by them as the pioneer works of an early settlement
of the cultivatable portions of the country.

"It is obvious that, unless materials are supplied and plans arranged
before the end of September, the overland operations must wait a year's
time. Therefore, apparently under a misapprehension of your wishes or
policy, as our interview of yesterday showed, I looked out for the best
practical man I could find fit to undertake the construction of a
telegraph and system of posts, enabling postal and telegraphic service
to be worked together. I found that man in Mr. O. S. Wood, an American
settled in Canada, the engineer and manager of the 4,000 miles of
telegraph owned by the Montreal Telegraph Company, which pays 23 per
cent, upon its capital of 100,000_l._; and believing him to be
exactly the man for the occasion, I agreed with him, subject to your
sanction, to superintend and be responsible for the erection and
operation of a telegraph and system of posts between Fort Garry and
Jasper House. I do not trouble you with the document, as it is to be
cancelled, so far as your Company is concerned; but I may shortly state
that it proposed the completion of the works by October, 1864, and in
addition to a liberal, but not excessive, payment for Mr. O. S. Wood's
work, responsibility, and experience, it awarded a percentage upon all
savings on the total sum of L30,000_l._, the outside estimate
taken for the whole job, and a small premium for all time saved in the
completion of the work. These payments were to be so made that the
integrity, completeness, and success of the work would be their main

"I also made a very important conditional agreement with this Montreal
Telegraph Company, under which they were to extend a new and
independent, or precautionary, line of telegraph from Halifax (Nova
Scotia) to Mirimichi and on to Father Point, connecting with the other
existing telegraphs up to Arnprior (Ottawa), and another telegraph from
Arnprior to the Sault St. Marie, where you have a trading port. On the
other hand, subject to the aid of Canada and British Columbia, your
Company were to extend, or obtain the extension of, a telegraph from
the Sault by Lake Superior to Fort Garry, and another by Jasper House
to Fort Langley. All these telegraphs were to be completed by October,
1865. The Montreal Company were also to obtain the extension of the
Minnesota telegraph to your boundary near Pembina, you extending your
telegraph to that point. Thus, assuming the Fort Carry and Jasper House
telegraph to be completed by October, 1864, and knowing that this, and
the telegraph from Fort Langley to Jasper House, could be finished as
easily, a complete and independent Atlantic and Pacific telegraph,
stretching for more than 1,000 miles through your territory, might have
been secured,--always assuming that this season of 1863 were saved,
which was the great practical object before me. I obtained, as a
condition, that in dividing the rates paid for messages, your
telegraphs should have a bonus of 33 per cent. so long as your capital
did not pay a clear 10 per cent. dividend.

"To this end, I advised you to confirm the order of 175 tons of
charcoal wire and of the insulators, post pins, batteries, and
instruments needed for the length between Fort Garry and Jasper House
(the wire from England, and the other material from Canada and the
United States), at a total cost, already given you in complete detail,
estimated, when delivered at Fort Garry, as not to exceed
10,000_l._. This statement of cost, and a reference to my past
statements, will answer the question in Mr. Fraser's letter of the
13th, as to whether I had calculated the heavy expense of carriage--
20_l._ per ton to Fort Garry. The question shows that it had not
been calculated in Fenchurch Street that the poles and timber would be
got in the country, and that the whole weight of material to be sent to
Fort Garry was about 200 tons at the most.

"I may pause, however, in answer to another similar question, about the
relative prices of American and English wire, &c., to say, that the
best market for wire is England; and the best market for the less
important articles is the United States, while the proper prices
chargeable for the best article by the best houses are known to all
practical men. I may add, as I am asked what is the weight per mile of
telegraphic wire, that 'best charcoal No. 9 electric wire' is 320 lbs.
to the mile of 1,760 yards.

"On leaving this subject, I may add, that if on further consideration
you determine to store the material above named (cost and carriage
10,000_l._) at Fort Garry, there is yet time to get it out to St.
Paul, and some, if not all, may go through to Fort Gany. There is a
post three days per week to Fort Garry, and posts go through all parts
of your own territory regularly, the 'Winter Express' leaving Fort
Garry on Christmas Day. Though, in my humble opinion, not the best
thing, still the transmission and storage of that material would be
looked upon as an evidence of your intentions, and would help to keep
you right in Canada and in your own territory, as also in British
Columbia, and would expedite a final and favourable decision as to the
proposed subsidy. So strong is my opinion, that I am ready to join any
four or five gentlemen of your Committee feeling an interest in the
work, in providing and paying for the material itself, if you will send
it through at once.

"It will, I assume, be apparent to you how necessary it is to keep the
section of telegraph in your own special district in your own hands.
Your organization, also, will enable you to convey and erect material
very cheaply. As to all details, I refer to the papers already sent
over containing full particulars, and showing quantities, kind, cost,
means of conveyance, and, more important than all, character of country
and proposed route; the latter from the personal experience and
knowledge of the country of Governor Dallas and Mr. Hopkins, whose
reliability and capacity as advisers no one will question.

"While in Upper Canada, I received proposals for the establishment of
steamers on your rivers and lakes: and no doubt these could be arranged
for; but as the telegraph is to stand over for the present, I do not
add to the length of this paper by any statement on this head.

"I would call attention, however, to the exploration of Dr. Hector, on
behalf of the Canadian Government, of the lands adjoining Lakes Huron
and Superior. Dr. Hector has surveyed a line of road all the way up to
Dog Lake; and Mr. McDougal, the present Commissioner of Crown Lands,
appears ready to recommend the gradual, but rapid, construction of
roads throughout this territory, and onwards to that of the Hudson's
Bay Company. Possibly you may consider the suggestion which I made in
reference to obtaining an independent outlet to Lake Superior, in the
direction of Superior City, as well worthy of consideration.

"As respects the alleged discoveries of gold, upon which some doubt is
thrown in Mr. Fraser's letter of the 13th, I have merely to add that
the testimony of Governor Dallas is important, and that the report of
Professor Hind appeared to me to contain valuable evidence and
reasoning, which can be tested by the further explorations of a
geographical commission, for which purpose either Professor Hind, or
Sir William Logan, or Mr. Sterry Hunt, or all these well known
Canadians, are at once available. Professor Hind's suggestion as to the
supply of quicksilver by the Company to miners, may or may not be
valuable to a Company desiring to retain the lead of trade in portions
of its own territory; but a reference to his report will show that it
was not proposed to you as an immediate measure, as surmised. In any
case, it is undoubted that gold exists in districts east of the primary
rocks of the east flanks of the Rocky Mountains, and that persons are
seeking for it in greater or less numbers. We have yet to learn how far
the information has spread, and what influence it may have upon the
movement of the American population. But, great or small, it is a fact
affecting the settlement of the community, which enlarges the general
pressure for a decision as to how large tracts of your territory,
suitable beyond doubt for human habitation, are hereafter to be
governed for the good of the people who may come, and so as to preserve
British ascendency in your part of the Continent. Both Governor Dallas
and myself have had many discussions as to this, and you have before
you already both his views and mine. But the paper gives a
_resume_ of the general case as presenting itself to many
thoughtful persons, known to you in Canada, and belonging to the
various political parties. It was desirable to record their ideas, and
I present them for what they may be worth, wishing you to understand
that the proposal for federation and a joint Custom-house is the view
of Mr. George Brown. On the other hand, Mr. Cartier, and even Mr.
Sandfield Macdonald, desire to see a separate Crown Colony established.

"I now come to the all-important matter of the wise, economical, and
efficient working of the business of the Company in America. The paper
drawn up under the instructions of Governor Dallas by Mr. Hopkins, and
discussed at length between us, is offered to you as an attempt to
solve a difficulty which must be got rid of if more business is to be
done at less cost, and if the competition around you is to be met, as
it easily may be, with thorough success. The deed poll is an
arrangement standing in the way of change and extension of your
operations: it covers legal questions which some day may give you
trouble; and it may be modified in some such manner as that suggested
by your assent in the first place, and by the judicious action of
Governor Dallas, who should receive your instructions soon, consequent

"The proposal to substitute a contingent and temporary interest in so
much stock of the Company for the 40 per cent. of profits now given to
the chief factors and traders, may assist you in placing your unissued
shares, in a mode leading to a very large annual saving, to be
accompanied by an evident increase of efficiency. For, able as your
staff is in general, there are many useless, and even mischievous,
persons under pay or profits; and the unfortunate propensities of Sir
George Simpson did not lead in his latter years, I fear, to the
improvement of the moral tone of your servants. There are cases of
favouritism and abuse not at all creditable, such as that of the
employment of Sir George's illegitimate son, and the retention of a
chief trader notoriously useless and drunken, for many years after the
chief factor of his district had reported his demerits to the local
governor. But the service is popular, and there can be no difficulty in
keeping up a staff fully able to cope with the sharp and energetic men
employed by the American traders,--your permanent rivals in business.

"It is perhaps unnecessary further to explain the reasons of my not
proceeding to Red River. As before stated, I had expected to do so in
company with Captains Glyn and Synge, without whom I should have
hesitated to undertake the more extended and responsible task at first
proposed. I did not in any event expect that Governor Dallas would come
to Canada prior to the receipt of your official letter of the 6th July,
and for which I had been waiting from the 30th June until the 20th
July; and when he arrived, and especially when I found that the
purposes of my proposed journey had been in great measure previously
fulfilled by him, it became a question of whether it ought not to be
postponed. He had already folly advised the Governor and Committee of
the 'state of the Red River Settlement,' of its 'suitability for
settlement,' and of the general and highly favourable features of the
tracts, over which he had travelled for 1,800 miles in various
directions. The best route for a telegraph could be, and was,
suggested, to you from his own observations, corroborated and added to
by the personal experience of Mr. Hopkins and others, who had often
traversed the districts, and had resided for years therein. The entire
feasibility of constructing a telegraph across the Continent was not
only confirmed by these experiences, but by the practical views of
persons consulted, who had set up lines through even more difficult and
wilder tracts of country.

"Therefore the objects you appeared to have before you were realized,
if not directly through me, yet through the colleague you had selected
for me, your own local governor, of whom I cannot express too high an
opinion, having been his almost constant companion for above a month,
during which every detail, so far as we could grasp it, was thoroughly

"Having given my best attention and labours to the whole subject for
some years, and believing that I might be of more service to you here,
since Governor Dallas could not be spared to come home, and could not
prudently have left Canada until he had put all your business there in
order, I exercised no unwise discretion in returning to England.

"I have now to ask your forgiveness for the length of this paper, and
to express my readiness to give any further explanations in my power,
while wishing you and your colleagues quite to understand that I have
no desire whatever--but far the contrary--to obtrude myself upon you in
the control of an enterprise which I honestly believe can be made
completely successful by the exercise of even ordinary energy and
skill, and which ought to be safe and certain in such experienced and
able hands as yours.

                                   "I have the honour to be, dear Sir,
                                     "Yours faithfully,
                                       "EDWD. W. WATKIN.

          "Sir E. W. HEAD, Bart.,
_"Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company."_

One other object I desired to accomplish, was an exchange of boundary
between the Hudson's Bay and the United States, with the view to
Superior City being brought into British territory by a fair payment
and exchange of land. The negociation looked very hopeful at one time,
but it was not followed up in London, and it fell to the ground. There
are few people who understand that it is not only desirable to do the
right thing, but to do it at the right time--that is, when
circumstances favour the doing.

I am entitled to say that, owing to the non-acceptance, at the time, of
our proposals, much delay in realizing the great object of settling the
government and colonizing the territory arose: inadequate terms for the
sale and purchase of the vast landed estate of the Company had to be
accepted from Canada; and the "wintering partners," not made real
partners, as recommended by Governor Dallas and myself, but held at
arm's length, had, at last, to be compensated for giving up the old
"deed poll" with a sum of 107,055_l._, paid in 1871--ten years
after the date of our report to Sir Edmund Head.

But, "all's well that ends well," and the great work is, at last,


_The Hudson's Bay Company and the Select Committee of_

The history of the old co-partnery, the "Governor and Company of
Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay," ought to be written
by some able hand. Samuel Smiles or Goldwin Smith, with the aid of the
archives held by the Governor and Committee, would make a book which
would go round the world. To publish such a record is a duty incumbent
upon Mr. Eden Colville and his colleagues. From no merit or prevision
of theirs, a happy and profitable transformation has been made of their
undertaking. The individuals, as well as Canada as a State, and the
Empire, also, have gained largely. The monopoly has been broken up,
under liberal and generous treatment of the monopolists--monopolists
who had deserved their monopoly by their able administration; and those
who ran the risk, paid the cost, and incurred the anxiety, neither
complain nor ask for the credit of their work. The merchant adventurer
trading to the Eastern Indies, and the merchant adventurer trading into
Hudson's Bay, each on his side of the world, has preserved vast
territories to the Crown and people of England. Their conquests have
cost the taxpayers of England nothing; while the trade and enterprise
they promoted have enriched millions, and have opened careers, often
brilliant, for men of courage and self denial, many of whose names will
go down to posterity in fame and honour.

The Hudson's Bay Company was constituted under a charter of Charles the
Second. That charter began thus: "Charles the Second, by the grace of
God King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the
Faith, to all to whom these presents shall come greeting:

"Whereas our dear intirely beloved cousin, Prince Rupert, Count
Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria and Cumberland; George Duke of
Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, Henry Lord Arlington, Anthony Lord
Ashley, Sir John Robinson, and Sir Robert Vyner, Knights and Baronets;
Sir Peter Colleton, Baronet, Sir Edward Hungerford, Knight of the Bath,
Sir Paul Neele, Sir John Griffith, Sir Philip Carteret, and Sir James
Hayes, Knights; John Kirke, Francis Millington, William Prettyman, John
Fenn, Esquires, and John Portman, citizen and goldsmith of London, have
at their own great costs and charges undertaken an expedition for
Hudson's Bay, in the Northwest parts of America, for the discovery of a
new passage into the South Sea, and for the finding of some trade for
furs, minerals, and other considerable commodities; and by such their
undertaking have already made such discoveries as do encourage them to
proceed farther in pursuance of their said design, by means whereof
there may probably arise great advantage to us and our kingdom:

"And whereas the said undertakers, for their further encouragement in
the said design, have humbly besought us to incorporate them, and grant
unto them, and their successors, the whole trade and commerce of all
those seas, streights, and bays, rivers, lakes, creeks, and sounds, in
whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the entrance of the
streights commonly called Hudson's Streights; together with all the
lands, countries, and territories upon the coasts and confines of the
seas, streights, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, and sounds aforesaid,
which are not now actually possessed by any of our subjects, or by the
subjects of any other Christian Prince or State."

And the adventurers were made "one body corporate and politic, in deed
and in name," by the name of "The Governor and Company of Adventurers
of England trading into Hudson's Bay."

They were granted "the sole trade and commerce" of "all those seas,"
&c., &c., "in whatever latitude they shall be;" "together with all the
lands and territories upon the countries, coasts, and confines of the
seas, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks and sounds aforesaid;" "with the
fishing of all sorts of fish, whales, sturgeons, and all other royal
fishes;" "together with the royalty of the sea upon the coasts within
the limits aforesaid, and all mines royal, as well discovered as not
discovered, of gold, silver, gems, and precious stones, to be found and
discovered within the territories, limits, and places aforesaid; and
that the land be from henceforth reckoned and reputed as one of our
plantations or Colonies in America, called Rupert's Land."

All this was to be "holden" "of us, our heirs and successors, as of our
manor of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in free and common
soccage, and not in capite or by knight's service; yielding and paying
yearly to us, our heirs and successors, for the same, two elks and two
black beavers, whensoever and as often as we, our heirs and successors,
shall happen to enter into the said countries, territories, and regions
hereby granted."

The adventurers were further granted "not only the whole, intire, and
only liberty of trade and traffick, and the whole, intire, and only
liberty, use and privilege of trading and traffick to and from the
territories, limits, and places aforesaid, but also the whole and
intire trade and traffick to and from all havens, bays, creeks, rivers,
lakes, and seas into which they shall find entrance, or passage by
water, or land, out of the territories, &c. aforesaid; and to and with
all the natives and people, inhabitants, or which shall inhabit within
the territories, &c."

The charter proceeds to grant the fullest powers for the government of
the countries by the adventurers; every power, in fact, provided the
laws in force in England were administered. And then it authorizes
"free liberty and license, in case they conceive it necessary, to send
either ships of war, men, or ammunition, into any of their plantations,
forts, factories, or places of trade," "for the security and defence of
the same." "And to choose commanders and officers over them, and to
give them power and authority, by commissions under their common seal,
or otherwise, to continue, or make peace or war with any prince or
people whatsoever, that are not Christians, in any places where the
said Company have plantations, forts, or factories, or adjacent
thereunto, as shall be most for the advantage and benefit of said
Governor and Company, and of their trade;" "and also to right and
recompense themselves upon the goods, estate, or people of those

Thus, the adventurers had exclusive rights of trade, exclusive
possession of territories, exclusive powers of government, and the
right to make war, or conclude peace.

By an Order of Council of 4th February, 1748, a petition from one
Arthur Dobbs, Esq., and from members of a committee appointed by the
"subscribers for finding out a passage to the Western and Southern
Ocean of America," was referred to the consideration of "A. Ryder" and
"W. Murray," who heard counsel for and against the Hudson's Bay
Company, and finally decided that, "Considering how long the Company
have enjoyed and acted under this charter without interruption or
encroachment, we cannot think it advisable for his Majesty to make any
express or implied declaration against the validity of it till there
has been some judgment of a court of justice to warrant it."

On the 24th April, 1749, a Select Committee of Parliament reported,
through Lord Strange, upon "the state and condition of the countries
adjoining to Hudson's Bay, and the trade carried on there." The report
begins by stating--

"The Committee appointed to inquire into the state and condition of the
countries adjoining to Hudson's Bay, and the trade carried on there;
and to consider how those countries may be settled and improved, and
the trade and fisheries there extended and increased; and also to
inquire into the right the Company of Adventurers trading to Hudson's
Bay pretend to have, by charter, to the property of lands, and
exclusive trade to those countries;--have, pursuant to the order of the
House, examined into the several matters to them referred, and find the
particular state thereof to be as follows:--

"Your Committee thought proper, in the first place, to inquire into the
nature and extent of the charter granted by King Charles the Second to
the Company of Adventurers trading to Hudson's Bay; under which charter
the present Company claim a right to lands, and an exclusive trade to
those countries; which charter being laid before your Committee, they
thought it necessary, for the information of the House, to annex a copy
thereof to this Report, in the Appendix No. 1. Your Committee then
proceeded to examine the following witnesses:--

"The witnesses were Joseph Robson, who had been employed in Hudson's
Bay for six years as a stonemason; Richard White, who had been a clerk
at Albany Fort and elsewhere; Matthew Sergeant, who had been employed
in the Company's service, and 'understood the Indian language'; John
Hayter, who 'had been house-carpenter to the Company for six years, at
Moose River'; Mathew Gwynne, who 'had been twice at Hudson's Bay';
Edward Thompson, who had been three years at Moose River, as surgeon;
Enoch Alsop, who had been armourer to the Company at Moose River;
Christopher Bannister, who had been armourer and gunsmith, and had
resided in the Bay for 22 years; Robert Griffin, silversmith, who had
been five years in the Company's service; Thomas Barnett, smith, who
went over to Albany in 1741; Alexander Brown, who had been six years at
Hudson's Bay as surgeon; Captain Thomas Mitchell, who had commanded a
sloop of the Company's; Arthur Dobbs, 'Esquire,' 'examined as to the
information he had received from "a French Canadese Indian" (since
deceased), and who was maintained at the expense of the Admiralty, on a
prospect of his being of service on the discovery of a North-west
Passage,' 'and who informed your Committee that the whole of that
discourse is contained in part of a book printed for the witness in
1744, to which he desired leave to refer'; Captain William Moore, who
'had been employed in Hudson's Bay from a boy'; Mr. Henry Spurling,
merchant, who 'had traded chiefly in furs for 28 years past, during
which time he had dealt with the Hudson's Bay Company'; Captain
Carruthers, who had been in the Hudson's Bay service 35 years ago;
Arthur Slater, who had been employed by the Company on the East Main."

It will be seen that one object aimed at in granting a charter to the
Hudson's Bay Company was to further the discovery of the "North-west
Passage." Beginning in 1719, and ending, probably in despair, in 1737,
the Hudson's Bay Company fitted and sent out in the whole six separate
expeditions, which the Committee record in their Appendix, as follows
(The instructions to the commanders usually ended, "So God send the
good ship a successful discovery, and to return in safety. Amen"):--

_A List of Vessels fitted out by the Hudson's Bay Company for
Discovery of a North-West Passage_.

1719. _Albany_, frigate, Captain George Berley, sailed from
England on or about 5th June. _Never returned_.

1719. _Prosperous_, Captain Henry Kelsey, sailed from York Fort,
June 19th. Returned 10th August following.

      _Success_, John Hancock, master, sailed from Prince of
Wales' Fort, July 2nd. Returned 10th August.

1721. _Prosperous_, Captain Henry Kelsey, sailed from York Fort,
June 6th. Returned 2nd September.

      _Success_, James Napper, master, sailed from York Fort, June
26th. Lost 30th of same month.

1721. _Whalebone_, John Scroggs, master, sailed from Gravesend
31st May, wintered at Prince of Wales' Fort.

1723. Sailed from thence 21st June. Returned July 25th following.

1737. The _Churchill_, James Napper, master, sailed from Prince of
Wales' Fort, July 7th. Died 8th August, and the vessel returned the

      The _Mus-quash_, Robert Crow, master, sailed from Prince of
Wales' Fort, July 7th. Returned 22nd August.

It must be observed that, in 1745, Parliament had offered a reward of
20,000_l_. for the discovery of the North-west Passage. The Act
was entitled "An Act for giving a publick reward to such person, or
persons, His Majesty's subjects, as shall discover a North-west Passage
through Hudson's Streights to the Western and Southern Ocean of
America." In the evidence before the Committee, varied opinions were
given as to this Northwest Passage. Mr. Edward Thompson, who had been a
ship-surgeon, being examined as to the probability of a North-west
Passage, said, "He had the greatest reason to believe there is one,
from the winds, tides, and black whales; and he thinks the place to be
at Chesterfield's inlet; that the reason of their coming back was they
met the other boat which had been five leagues further, and the crew
told them the water was much fresher and shallower there; but where he
was the water was fifty fathoms deep, and the tide very strong; the ebb
six hours and the flood two, to the best of his remembrance; that it is
not common for the tide to flow only two hours; but he imagines it to
be obstructed by another tide from the westward; that the rapidity of
the tide upwards was so great, that the spray of the water flew over
the bow of the schooner, and was so salt that it candied on men's
shoes, but that the tide did not run in so rapid a manner the other
way." Captain William Moore, being asked whether he believed there was
a North-west Passage to the South Seas, said, "He believes there is a
communication, but whether navigable or not he cannot say; that if
there is any such communication 'tis further northward than he
expected; that if it is but short, as 'tis probable to conclude from
the height of the tides, 'tis possible it might be navigable; and it
was the opinion of all the persons sent on that discovery that a north-
west wind made the highest tides." Captain Carruthers said, "That he
don't apprehend there is any such passage; but if there is, he thinks
it impracticable to navigate it on account of the ice; that he would
rather choose to go round by Cape Horn; and that it will be impossible
to go and return through such passage in one year; and he thinks 'tis
the general opinion of seamen that there is no such passage." Mr. John
Tomlinson, merchant, of London, said, "He was a subscriber to the
undertaking for finding a North-west Passage; which undertaking was
dropped for want of money: that he should not choose to subscribe again
upon the same terms; that he cannot pretend to say whether there is
such a passage or not, or whether, if found, it could be ever rendered
useful to navigation."

The merchant witnesses were in favour of throwing open the trade of
Hudson's Bay; and this Mr. Tomlinson said more ships would be sent, and
more people brought down to trade. "This is confirmed," he said, "by
the experience of the Guinea trade, which, when confined to a company,
employed not above ten ships, and now employs 150;" and "that the case
of the Guinea trade was exactly similar (to the Hudson's Bay), where
the ships near one another, and each endeavours to get the trade; and
the more ships lie there, the higher the price of negroes."

The capital of the Hudson's Bay Company, increased by doublings and
treblings of its nominal amount, was, in 1748, 103,950_l_., held
by eighty-six proprietors.

The trade between London and Hudson's Bay was carried on in 1748, and
for some previous years, by four ships. The cost of the exports was in
1748 5,102_l_. 12_s_. 3_d_., and the value of the sales
of furs and other imports in that year amounted to 30,160_l_.
5_s_. 11_d_d. The "charge attending the carrying on the
Hudson's Bay trade, and maintaining their factories," in 1748, is
stated at 17,352_l_. 4_s_. 10_d_. The original cash
capital was 10,500_l_. That capital was "trebled" in 1690, making
the nominal capital 31,500_l_.; in August, 1720, it was proposed
to augment the cash capital, and to make the nominal total
378,000_l_. But at a "General Court," held on the 23rd December,
1720, it was resolved to "vacate" the subscription "by reason of the
present scarcity of moneys, and the deadness of credit." And it was
further "Resolved, that in the opinion of this Committee, that each
subscriber shall have 30_l_. stock for each 10_l_. by him
paid in," "which resolutions were agreed to by this Court." Anyhow, the
capital in 1748 is stated at 103,950_l_. A trade which, by sending
out about 5,000_l_. a year, brought back a return of
30,000_l_., was no doubt worth preserving; and even taking the
outlay for working and maintenance of forts and establishments, there
was over 8 per cent, on the nominal capital left, or probably 40 per
cent on all the cash actually paid in; not too great a reward for the
benefits gained by the country from this trade.

Some particulars of the regulation of exchange of commodities may here
be interesting.

The system of trade was simple barter. The equivalent of value was
beaver skins; while skins of less value were again calculated as so
much of each for one beaver. A kettle was exchanged for one beaver. A
pound and a half of gunpowder, one beaver. One blanket, six beavers.
Two bayonets, one beaver. Four fire-steels, one beaver. One pistol,
four beavers. Twelve needles, one beaver. One four-foot gun, twelve
beavers. Three knives, one beaver, and so on over a long list of
various articles. Some of the things exchanged nearly 130 years ago,
show that the Indians had a good knowledge of trade, and of objects
used by civilised people. For example; brandy (English), one gallon,
four beavers. Vermilion, one and a half ounces, one beaver; and combs,
egg-boxes, files, glasses, goggles, handkerchiefs, hats (laced), hawk-
bells, rings, scissors, spoons, shirts, shoes, stockings, and thimbles.

The factors were accused of imposing upon the Indians by using
defective weights and measures; and it was said that the doubtful
profit thus made, in opposition to the standards sent out from England,
was called the "overplus-trade."

In the year 1748, the forts and settlements of the Hudson's Bay Company
"in the Bay" were:--


Moose Fort                                             51 28
Henley House, or Fort                                  52
The East Main House                                    52 10
Albany Fort                                            52 18
York Fort                                              57 10
Prince of Wales' Fort                                  59

This limited occupation contrasts in a marked manner with the area of
posts, all over the continent, at this later date; see a list at pp.
222-226, and a map in front of this volume.

The skins and other articles imported, and sold at the Company's
warehouse, in the City of London, by the "inch of candle"--a mode of
auction common in those days (under which the bidding went on till the
inch of lighted wax, candle went out)--fluctuated in the ten years
between the years 1739 and 1748 very much. In that period the highest
and lowest prices were for:--

                          L   s   d          L   s   d_
Beaver (per lb )          0   7  101/4         0   5   3
Martin (per skin)         0   6   8          0   5   11/4
Otter      "              0  13   6          0   5   5
Cat        "              0  18   0          0  10  101/4
Fox        "              0  11   71/4         0   6   71/4
Wolverines "              0   7   0          0   5   5
Bear (per skin)           1   6   71/2         0  12  101/4
Mink       "              0   4   8          0   2   0
Wolves     "              0  18  11          0   9   01/4
Woodshock  "              0  12   0          0   8   0
Elk        "              0  11   7          0   6   1
Deer       "              0   0   9          0   2   01/4
Bed feathers (per lb )    0   1   41/4         0   1   0
Castorum         "        0  13   21/4         0   6   1
Ivory            "        ----------         0   0   61/4
Whale Fins       "        0   2   9          0   1  101/4
Wesakapupa       "        0   2   4          0   0   61/4
Whale Oil (per tun)      18  13   0         10   1   0
Goose quills (per 1,000)  0  18   0          0  11   7

"Ivory" only appears once, viz. in the sale of 1738-9. This article may
have been, simply, bones of the whale; and "whale oil" only appears
four times in the ten years quoted.

The report of Lord Strange's Committee quotes many quaint and solid
instructions, as well in times of war as of peace, to the governors and
agents on the Bay. A letter from London, dated 10th May, 1744, says,
"The English and French having declared war against each other, and the
war with Spain still continuing, we do hereby strictly direct you to be
always on your guard and to keep a good watch; and that you keep all
your men as near home as possible. We do hereby further direct that you
cut away all trees, hedges, bushes, &c., or any other cover for an
enemy; and lay all level and open round the factory, further than
cannon shot, which we compute to be a mile; in order to hinder the
enemy from attacking you unawares, and from being sheltered from the
factory's guns. But you are to keep up, and repair, your palisadoes,
for your defence." ... "You are to fire point blank upon any ship,
sloop, or vessel that shall come near the factory, unless they make the
true signal, and answer yours. The letter proceeds to offer 30_l_.
to the widow or children of any man killed in defence of the factory;
to every one who should lose a leg, or an arm, 30_l_. Compensation
to men receiving smaller wounds; and especial reward to such of the
"chiefs, officers, and common men" as might specially distinguish

The 18th paragraph of this remarkable letter says: "In case you are
attacked at Henley House, and, notwithstanding a vigorous resistance,
you should have the misfortune to be overpowered, then you are to nail
up the cannon, blow up the house, and destroy everything that can be of
service to the enemy, and make the best retreat you can to the

Grand old London merchants, these!


_The Hudson's Bay Posts--to-day_.

In their Report of 28th June, 1872, the Governor and Committee report
the details of the varied posts from Ocean to Ocean of the Hudson's Bay
Company, as follows:--

_Statement of Land belonging to the HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, exclusive
of their claim to one-twentieth of the Land set out for settlement in
the "Fertile Belt," or the district coloured green in the accompanying
Map [in front of this volume]_.

                      |                                 | Acres
District              |           Post                  |  of
                      |                                 | Land
LAKE HURON            |  1 | La Cloche                  | 6,400
TEMISCAMINQUE         |  2 | Kakababeagino              |    10
SUPERIOR              |  3 | Long Lake                  |    10
UNITED STATES         |  4 | Georgetown                 | 1,133
MANITOBA, or         }|  5 | Fort Garry                 |   500
RED RIVER SETTLEMENT }|  6 | Lower Fort                 |   500
                     }|  7 | White Horse Plains         |   500
MANITOBA LAKE         |  8 | Oak Point                  |    50
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE    |  9 |                            | 1,000
LAC LA PLUIE          | 10 | Fort Alexander             |   500
                      | 11 | Fort Frances               |   500
                      | 12 | Eagles Nest                |    20
                      | 13 | Big Island                 |    20
                      | 14 | Lac du Bennet              |    20
                      | 15 | Rat Portage                |    50
                      | 16 | Shoal Lake                 |    20
                      | 17 | Lake of the Woods          |    50
                      | 18 | White Fish Lake            |    20
                      | 19 | English River              |    20
                      | 20 | Hungry Hall                |    20
                      | 21 | Trout Lake                 |    20
                      | 22 | Clear Water Lake           |    20
                      | 23 | Sandy Point                |    20
SWAN RIVER            | 24 | Fort Pelly                 | 3,000
                      | 25 | Fort Ellice                | 3,000
                      | 26 | Qu'Appelle Lakes           | 2,500
                      | 27 | Touchwood Hills            |   500
                      | 28 | Shoal River                |    50
                      | 29 | Manitobah                  |    50
                      | 30 | Fairford                   |   100
                      |    |                            |
CUMBERLAND            | 31 | Cumberland House           |   100
                      | 32 | Fort la Corne              | 3,000
                      | 33 | Pelican Lake               |    50
                      | 34 | Moose Woods                | 1,000
                      | 35 | The Pas                    |    25
                      | 36 | Moose Lake                 |    50
                      | 37 | Grand Rapid Portage        |   100
                      |    |                            |50 Acres
                      |    |                            |at each
                      |    |                            |end of
                      |    |                            |Portage
SASKATCHEWAN          | 38 | Edmonton House             | 3,000
                      | 39 | Rocky Mountain House       |   500
                      | 40 | Fort Victoria              | 3,000
                      | 41 | St  Paul                   | 3,000
                      | 42 | Fort Pitt                  | 3,000
                      | 43 | Battle River               | 3,000
                      | 44 | Carlton House              | 3,000
                      | 45 | Fort Albert                | 3,000
                      | 46 | Whitefish Lake             |   500
                      | 47 | Lac la Biche               | 1,000
                      | 48 | Fort Assiniboine           |    50
                      | 49 | Lesser Slave Lake          |   500
                      | 50 | Lac St  Anne               |   500
                      | 51 | Lac la Nun                 |   500
                      | 52 | St  Albert                 | 1,000
                      | 53 | Pigeon Lake                |   100
                      | 54 | Old White Mud Fort         |    50
                      |    |                            |
ENGLISH RIVER         | 55 | Isle a la Crosse           |    50
                      | 56 | Rapid River                |     5
                      | 57 | Portage da Loche           |    20
                      | 58 | Green Lake                 |   100
                      | 59 | Cold Lake                  |    10
                      | 60 | Deers Lake                 |     5
                      |    |                            |
YORK                  | 61 | York Factory               |   100
                      | 62 | Churchill                  |    10
                      | 63 | Severn                     |    10
                      | 64 | Trout Lake                 |    10
                      | 65 | Oxford                     |   100
                      | 66 | Jackson's Bay              |    10
                      | 67 | God's Lake                 |    10
                      | 68 | Island Lake                |    10
                      |    |                            |
NORWAY HOUSE          | 69 | Norway House               |   100
                      | 70 | Berens River               |    25
                      | 71 | Grand Rapid                |    10
                      | 72 | Nelson's River             |    10
                      |    |                            |
ALBANY                  73 | Albany Factory             |   100
                      | 74 | Martin's Falls             |    10
                      | 75 | Osnaburg                   |    25
                      | 76 | Lac Seul                   |   500
                      |    |                            |
EASE MAIN             | 77 | Little Whale River         |    50
                      | 78 | Great Whale River          |    50
                      | 79 | Fort George                |    25
                      |    |                            |
MOOSE                 | 80 | Moose Factory              |   100
                      | 81 | Hannah Bay                 |    10
                      | 82 | Abitibi                    |    10
                      | 83 | New Brunswick              |    25
                      |    |                            |
RUPERT'S RIVER        | 84 | Rupert's House             |    50
                      | 85 | Mistassing                 |    10
                      | 86 | Temiskamay                 |    10
                      | 87 | Woswonaby                  |    10
                      | 88 | Meehiskun                  |    10
                      | 89 | Pike Lake                  |    10
                      | 90 | Nitchequon                 |    10
                      | 91 | Kamapiscan                 |    10
                      |    |                            |
KINOGUMISSEE          | 92 | Matawagauinque             |    50
                      | 93 | Kuckatoosh                 |    10
                      |    |                            |
LABRADOR              | 94 | Fort Nascopie              |    75
                      | 95 | Outposts do.               |    25
                      | 96 | Fort Chimo (Ungava)        |   100
                      | 97 | South River, Outposts      |    30
                      | 98 | George's River             |    50
                      | 99 | Whale River                |    50
                      |100 | North's River              |    25
                      |101 | False River                |    25
                      |    |                            |
ATHABASCA             |102 | Fort Chippewyan            |    10
                      |103 | Fort Vermilion             |   500
                      |104 | Fort Dunvegan              |    50
                      |105 | Fort St  John's            |    20
                      |106 | Forks of Athabasca River   |    10
                      |107 | Battle River               |     5
                      |108 | Fond du Lac                |     5
                      |109 | Salt River                 |     5
                      |    |                            |
MCKENZIE RIVER        |110 | Fort Simpson               |   100
                      |111 | Fort Liard                 |   300
                      |112 | Fort Nelson                |   200
                      |113 | The Rapids                 |   100
                      |114 | Hay River                  |    20
                      |115 | Fort Resolution            |    20
                      |116 | Fort Rae                   |    10
                      |117 | Fond du Lac                |    10
                      |118 | Fort Norman                |    10
                      |119 | Fort Good Hope             |    10
                      |120 | Peel's River               |    10
                      |121 | Lapierre's House           |    10
                      |122 | Fort Halkett               |   100


VANCOUVER'S ISLAND    |123 | Victoria, including        |
                      |    |      Town Lots, about      |    70
                      |124 | Esquimault (Puget's Sound  |
                      |    |      Company Land          | 2,300
                      |125 | Uplands Farm               | 1,125
                      |126 | North Dairy Farm           |   460
                      |    |                            |
BRITISH COLUMBIA      |127 | Fort Alexander             |   100
                      |128 | Fort George                |   100
                      |129 | Fraser's Lake              |   100
                      |130 | Stuart's Lake              |   100
                      |131 | McLeod's Lake              |   100
                      |132 | Connolly's Lake            |   100
                      |133 | Babine                     |   100
                      |134 | Chilcotin                  |   100
                      |    | Five other places          |   100
                      |135 | Fort Dallas                |    50
                      |136 | Fort Berens                |    50
                      |137 | Fort Shepherd              |   100
                      |138 | Fort Simpson               |   100
                      |139 | Salmon River               |    50
                      |140 | Langley and Langley Farm   | 2,220
                      |141 | Yale, sundry small blocks  |
                      |142 | Hope                       |     5
                      |143 | Kamloops                   | 1,976
                      |144 | Similkameen                | 1,140
                      |    | Barkerville             )  |  Town
                      |    | Quesnel                 )  |  Lots


_"Uncertain Sounds"_

I may illustrate the consequences of vacillation and delay in the
vigorous government of the Hudson's Bay territory, and in all distant
parts of the Empire, by giving a verbatim copy of a Bill ordered to be
"printed and introduced" in July, 1866, into the "House of
Representatives" of the United States, at Washington, providing for
relieving the Queen of her sovereign rights in the British territories
between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The only excuse--an excuse far
from valid for so monstrous a proposal--was that no one knew what the
British Government were inclined to do; and at Washington no one
believed that John Bull would "make a fight of it;" while everyone knew
that if a similar Bill, with the object of enabling the Southern States
to come under the dominion of the Queen, had been introduced into the
British House of Commons, the United States Ambassador "to the Court of
St. James'" would have been recalled--to begin with. The British
Ambassador took no notice, made no remonstrance; but the advent of Mr.
Disraeli to power discouraged such outrages, and led in the following
year to the passing of the Act for Confederation. In printing this
Bill, my object is to show the mischief, mischief which half-a-dozen
times in my lifetime has placed before my countrymen the alternative of
ignominious concessions or war between English-speaking people, of
"uncertain sounds." It is essential to continued peace, trade and
prosperity, that it should be known to all the world that the broad
lands between the two great oceans are an integral part of the Empire;
that they will never be parted with without a struggle, in which all
our forces will be amply used; and that either invasion, or the
insidious agitations which from time to time are hatched in the United
States with an eye to rebellion, will be put down by force.

Here is this insulting document printed verbatim. I challenge the
quotation of any similar outrage on the part of any civilized nation at
peace with the Empire attacked:--

                                             "[Printer's No., 266.
"H. R. 754.
"JULY 2, 1866.
"Read twice, referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and ordered
to be printed.
"Mr. BANKS, on leave, introduced the following Bill:

"For the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada
East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the Territories of
Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia.

_"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_, That the President
of the United States is hereby authorized and directed, whenever notice
shall be deposited in the Department of State that the Governments of
Great Britain and the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince
Edward Island, Newfoundland, Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver's
Island have accepted the proposition hereinafter made by the United
States, to publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the
States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and
the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, with limits and
rights as by this Act defined, are constituted and admitted as States
and Territories of the United States of America.

"SEC. 2. _And be it further enacted_, That the following articles
are hereby proposed, and from the date of the proclamation of the
President of the United States shall take effect, as irrevocable
conditions of the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the future States of
Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, to wit:


"All public lands not sold or granted; canals, public harbors, light-
houses, and piers; river and lake improvements, railway stocks,
mortgages, and other debts due by railway companies to the provinces;
custom-houses and post-offices, shall vest in the United States; but
all other public works and property shall belong to the State
governments respectively, hereby constituted, together with all sums
due from purchasers or lessees of lands, mines, or minerals at the time
of the union.


"In consideration of the public lands, works, and property vested as
aforesaid in the United States, the United States will assume and
discharge the funded debt and contingent liabilities of the late
provinces, at rates of interest not exceeding five per centum, to the
amount of eighty-five million seven hundred thousand dollars,
apportioned as follows: to Canada West, thirty-six million five hundred
thousand dollars; to Canada East, twenty-nine million dollars; to Nova
Scotia, eight million dollars; to New Brunswick, seven million dollars;
to Newfoundland, three million two hundred thousand dollars; and to
Prince Edward Island, two million dollars; and in further consideration
of the transfer by said provinces to the United States of the power to
levy import and export duties, the United States will make an annual
grant of one million six hundred and forty-six thousand dollars in aid
of local expenditures, to be apportioned as follows: To Canada West,
seven hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, five hundred and fifty
thousand dollars; to Nova Scotia, one hundred and sixty-five thousand
dollars; to New Brunswick, one hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars;
to Newfoundland, sixty-five thousand dollars; to Prince Edward Island,
forty thousand dollars.


"For all purposes of State organization and representation in the
Congress of the United States, Newfoundland shall be part of Canada
East, and Prince Edward Island shall be part of Nova Scotia, except
that each shall always be a separate representative district, and
entitled to elect at least one member of the House of Representatives,
and except, also, that the municipal authorities of Newfoundland and
Prince Edward Island shall receive the indemnities agreed to be paid by
the United States in Article II.


"Territorial divisions are established as follows:--(1) New Brunswick,
with its present limits; (2) Nova Scotia, with the addition of Prince
Edward Island; (3) Canada East, with the addition of Newfoundland and
all territory east of longitude eighty degrees and south of Hudson's
Strait; (4) Canada West, with the addition of territory south of
Hudson's Bay and between longitude eighty degrees and ninety degrees;
(5) Selkirk Territory, bounded east by longitude ninety degrees, south
by the late boundary of the United States, west by longitude one
hundred and five degrees, and north by the Arctic circle; (6)
Saskatchewan Territory, bounded east by longitude one hundred and five
degrees, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, west by the Rocky
Mountains, and north by latitude seventy degrees; (7) Columbia
Territory, including Vancouver's Island, and Queen Charlotte's Island,
and bounded east and north by the Rocky Mountains, south by latitude
forty-nine degrees, and west by the Pacific Ocean and Russian America.
But Congress reserves the right of changing the limits and subdividing
the areas of the western territories at discretion.


"Until the next decennial revision, representation in the House of
Representatives shall be as follows:--Canada West, twelve members;
Canada East, including Newfoundland, eleven members; New Brunswick, two
members; Nova Scotia, including Prince Edward Island, four members.


"The Congress of the United States shall enact, in favour of the
proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, all the
provisions of the Act organizing the Territory of Montana, so far as
they can be made applicable.


"The United States, by the construction of new canals, or the
enlargement of existing canals, and by the improvement of shoals, will
so aid the navigation of the Saint Lawrence river and the great lakes
that vessels of fifteen hundred tons burden shall pass from the Gulf of
Saint Lawrence to Lakes Superior and Michigan: _Provided_, That
the expenditure under this article shall not exceed fifty millions of


"The United States will appropriate and pay to 'The European and North
American Railway Company of Maine' the sum of two millions of dollars
upon the construction of a continuous line of railroad from Bangor, in
Maine, to Saint John's, in New Brunswick: _Provided_, That said
'The European and North American Railway Company of Maine' shall
release the Government of the United States from all claims held by it
as assignee of the States of Maine and Massachusetts.


"To aid the construction of a railway from Truro, in Nova Scotia, to
Riviere du Loup, in Canada East, and a railway from the city of Ottawa,
by way of Sault Ste. Marie, Bayfield, and Superior, in Wisconsin,
Pembina, and Fort Garry, on the Red River of the North, and the valley
of the North Saskatchewan river, to some point on the Pacific Ocean
north of latitude forty-nine degrees, the United States will grant
lands along the lines of said roads to the amount of twenty sections,
or twelve thousand eight hundred acres, per mile, to be selected and
sold in the manner prescribed in the Act to aid the construction of the
Northern Pacific Railroad, approved July two, eighteen hundred and
sixty-two, and Acts amendatory thereof; and in addition to said grants
of lands, the United States will further guarantee dividends of five
per centum upon the stock of the Company or Companies which may be
authorized by Congress to undertake the construction of said railways:
_Provided_, That such guarantee of stock shall not exceed the sum
of thirty thousand dollars per mile, and Congress shall regulate the
securities for advances on account thereof.


"The public lands in the late provinces, as far as practicable, shall
be surveyed according to the rectangular system of the General Land
Office of the United States; and in the Territories west of longitude
ninety degrees or the western boundary of Canada West, sections sixteen
and thirty-six shall be granted for the encouragement of schools; and
after the organization of the Territories into States, five per centum
of the net proceeds of sales of public lands shall be paid into their
treasuries as a fund for the improvement of roads and rivers.


"The United States will pay ten millions of dollars to the Hudson Bay
Company in full discharge of all claims to territory or jurisdiction in
North America, whether founded on the charter of the Company or any
treaty, law, or usage.


"It shall be devolved upon the Legislatures of New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia, Canada East, and Canada West, to conform the tenure of office
and the local institutions of said States to the Constitution and laws
of the United States, subject to revision by Congress.

"SEC. 3. _And be it further enacted_, That if Prince Edward Island
and Newfoundland, or either of those provinces, shall decline union
with the United States, and the remaining provinces, with the consent
of Great Britain, shall accept the proposition of the United States,
the foregoing stipulations in favour of Prince Edward Island and
Newfoundland, or either of them, will be omitted; but in all other
respects the United States will give full effect to the plan of union.
If Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick
shall decline the proposition, but Canada, British Columbia, and
Vancouver Island shall, with the consent of Great Britain, accept the
same, the construction of a railway from Truro to Riviere du Loup, with
all stipulations relating to the maritime provinces, will form no part
of the proposed plan of union, but the same will be consummated in all
other respects. If Canada shall decline the proposition, then the
stipulations in regard to the Saint Lawrence canals and a railway from
Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie, with the Canadian clause of debt and
revenue indemnity, will be relinquished. If the plan of union shall
only be accepted in regard to the north western territory and the
Pacific Provinces, the United States will aid the construction, on the
terms named, of a railway from the western extremity of Lake Superior,
in the State of Minnesota, by way of Pembina, Fort Garry, and the
valley of the Saskatchewan, to the Pacific coast, north of latitude
forty-nine degrees, besides securing all the rights and privileges of
an American territory to the proposed territories of Selkirk,
Saskatchewan, and Columbia."

So much for an outrage of a character unheard of and unparalleled. It
was the result of "uncertain sounds;" of "duffer" government.

Let me give some illustrations. Before we began the, finally
successful, movement for the Intercolonial Railway, the confederation
of the Provinces of North America, and the final completion of a
railway binding the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific together, the
Right Hon. C. B. Adderley, M.P., wrote a "letter to the Right Hon. B.
Disraeli, M.P., on the present relations of England with the Colonies."
It was a skinflint document, and here are a couple of quotations:--

Page 57.--"I would have the Canadian Government, in the right time and
manner, informed that after a. certain date, unless war were going on,
they would have to provide for their own garrisons, as well as all
their requisite peace establishments, as they might deem fit; and that
they should be prepared to hold their own in case of foreign attack, at
least till the forces of the Empire could come to their aid."

Page 50.--"Let Canada, however, by all means look to England in the hour
of peril also; but if the sight of English red-coats, at all times, has
become a needful support of Canadian confidence, and English pay has
ceased to be resented as a symptom of dependence, we must bow humbly
under the conviction that Canada is no longer inhabited by men like
those who conquered her."

Then I must quote my revered friend, Mr. Cobden, who, addressing his
relative, Colonel Cole (at one time administrator of New Brunswick), on
the 20th March, 1865, only thirteen days before his ever-to-be-lamented
death, wrote about Canada: "We are two peoples to all intents and
purposes, and it is a perilous delusion to both parties to attempt to
keep up a sham connection and dependence, which will snap asunder if it
should ever be put to the strain of stem reality. It is all very well
for our cockney newspapers to talk of defending Canada at all hazards.
It would be just as possible for the United States to sustain Yorkshire
in a war with England as for us to enable Canada to contend against the
United States. It is simply an impossibility. We must not forget that
the only serious danger of a quarrel between these two neighbours
arises from the connection of Canada with this country. In my opinion
it is for the interest of both that we should, as speedily as possible,
sever the political thread by which we are, as communities, connected,
and leave the individuals on both sides to cultivate the relations of
commerce and friendly intercourse as with other nations." ... "There
is, I think, an inherent weakness in the parody of our old English
constitution, which is performed on the miniature scenes of the
Colonial capitals, with their speeches from the throne, votes of
confidence, appeals to the country, changes of ministry, &c., and all
about such trumpery issues that the game at last becomes ridiculous in
the eyes of both spectators and actors."

Speaking in the House of Commons on the second reading of the British
North America Bill, in 1867, Mr. Bright said: "Is this new State--or
this new nation, as I think Lord Monck described it--to be raised up
under the authority of an Act of Parliament--is everything to be done
for it? Is it intended to garrison its fortresses by English troops? At
present there are, I believe, in the Province 12,000 or 15,000 men.
There are persons in this country, and there are some also in the North
American Provinces, who are ill-natured enough to say that not a little
of the loyalty that is said to prevail in Canada has its price. I think
it is natural and reasonable to hope that there is in that country a
very strong attachment to this country. But if they are constantly to
be applying to us for guarantees for railways, and for fortresses, and
for works of defence; if everything is to be given to a nation
independent in everything except Lord Monck and his successors, and
except in the contributions we make for these public objects, then I
think it would be far better for them, and for us--cheaper for us, and
less demoralising for them--that they should become an independent
State, and maintain their own fortresses, fight their own cause, and
build up their own future, without relying upon us. And when we know,
as everybody knows, that the population of Canada, family for family,
is in a much better position as regards the comforts of home than
family for family are in the great bulk of the population of this
country--I say the time has come when it ought to be clearly understood
that the taxes of England are no longer to go across the ocean to
defray expenses of any kind within the confederation which is about to
be formed. The Right Honorable gentleman the Under-Secretary of the
Colonies (Mr. Adderley) has never been an advocate for great
expenditure in the Colonies by the Mother Country. On the contrary, he
has been one of the members of this House who have distinguished
themselves by what I will call an honest system to the Mother Country,
and what I believe is a wise system to the Colonies. But I think that
when a measure of this kind is being passed, having such stupendous
results upon the population of these great Colonies, we have a right to
ask that there should be some consideration for the Revenue and for the
taxpayers of this country."

In speaking on the Canada Railway Loan Bill in the House on the 28th
March, 1867, Mr. Gladstone, alluding to Canada, said: "We have carried
it to this point, that as far as regards the Administration, I believe
it may be said that the only officer appointed by the Colonial
Secretary is the Governor; and I believe there cannot be a doubt that
if it were the well-ascertained desire of the Colonies to have the
appointment of their own Governor, the Imperial Parliament would at
once make over to them that power."

I may, perhaps without presumption, here add two short speeches of mine
in the House of Commons: one, in reply to Mr. Bright in the discussion
on the Confederation, or British North America Bill, on the 28th
February, 1867; the other, in reply to Mr. Lowe, on the Canada Loan
Bill, on the 28th March, 1867.

Language affecting the relations between the Mother Country and the
Colonies, such as I have quoted, does infinite mischief--more mischief
than those who do not mix with the people can understand. It is as bad
in its consequences as the unfortunate policy of Mr. Gladstone: the
"Majuba Hill" policy.

[_Hansard, vol. 185, page 1187, Feb. 28, 1867._]

"Mr. Watkin said he fully concurred in the statement of the right hon.
gentleman (Sir John Pakington), that the House of Representatives and
the Senate of Nova Scotia had approved the scheme of Confederation. The
representative body approved it in 1861--not 1862, as the right hon.
gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty had stated.

"There was a general election in 1863, and the Prime Minister (Mr.
Tupper) went through the country preaching this Confederation of the
Provinces. It was brought under the notice of the electors at every
polling-booth, and at every hustings the issue was distinctly raised.
Well, after that general election, the plan of the Government was
sustained by an enormous majority in the House of Representatives, and
delegates were sent to the Conference to carry out the plan. If there
was any question on which the British North American Provinces not only
had enjoyed an opportunity of expressing, but had actually expressed,
opinion, it was on this very question of Confederation.

"Mention having been made of the name of Mr. Howe, whose acquaintance
he had the honour of possessing, he might state his own conviction that
a man of purer patriotism, or one who had rendered more able and
distinguished service to the Crown of this country, did not exist. He
remembered the speech delivered by Mr. Howe some years ago at Detroit
on the question of whether the Reciprocity Treaty should be continued
or not; and he believed it was in no small degree owing to that
remarkable speech--one of the most eloquent ever heard--that the
unanimous verdict in favour of continuing the treaty had been arrived
at. It was matter of surprise and regret to him that the valuable and
life-long services of Mr. Howe had not received recognition at the
hands of either the late or the present Government.

"The hon. member for Birmingham seemed dissatisfied with the phrase
used by Lord Monck respecting the establishment of a new nation. Now he
(Mr. Watkin) supported the Confederation, not as the establishment of a
new nation, but as the confirmation of an existing nation. It meant
this, that the people of the confederated colonies were to remain under
the British Crown--or it meant nothing. He joined issue with those who
said, 'Let the Colonies stand by themselves.' He dissented from the
view that they were to separate from the control of the British Crown
the territory of this enormous Confederation. But there was a vast
tract beyond Canada, extending to the Pacific; and the House should
bear in mind that more than half of North America was under British

"Did the hon. member (Mr. Bright) think that it was best for
civilization and for public liberty that this half of the Continent
should be annexed to the United States? If that were the opinion of the
hon. gentleman, he did not think it was the opinion of that House.
Every man of common sense knew that these territories could not stand
by themselves; they must either be British or American--under the Crown
or under the Stars and Stripes. The hon. member for Birmingham (Mr.
Bright) might think that we should be the better for losing all
territorial connection with Canada; but he could not agree with that
doctrine. Extent and variety were amongst the elements of Imperial

"Descending to the lowest and most material view of the subject, he did
not believe that, as a mere money question, the separation would be for
our interest.

"Take, again, the question of defence. Our North American possessions
had a coast line of 1,000 miles on the east, and 800 on the west, and
possessed some of the finest harbours on that Continent, and a
mercantile marine entitling it to the third rank among maritime
nations. The moment these advantages passed into the hands of the
United States, that country would become the greatest naval power in
the world. In preserving commercial relations with the United States,
the Canadian frontier line of 3,000 miles was likewise extremely

"As long as British power and enterprise extended along one side of
this boundary line, and as long as the tariff of extremely light duties
was kept up by us, and that imposed only for the purposes of revenue,
it would be impossible for the United States to pursue what might be
called a Japanese policy.

"If England, therefore, desired to maintain her trade, even apart from
other considerations, it was desirable for her to maintain her North
American possessions.

They had lately had to pass through a cotton famine, and they had been
taught the inconvenience of the prohibition of the export of cotton by
the American Government.

"A large proportion of the corn imported into this country was brought
from America, and in what state would England find herself if all the
food exports of North America were placed under the control of the
Government of Washington? If the frontier line became the sea coast,
what might be looked for then? Scarcely three years had elapsed since
Mr. Cobden declared that if there had not been a plentiful harvest in
America he did not know where food could have been procured for the
people of this country.

"Now, the corn-growing fields of Upper Canada alone ranked fifth in
point of productiveness. Did England not wish to preserve this vast
storehouse? Suppose that Canada belonged to America: in the event of a
quarrel with England there was nothing to prevent the United States
from declaring that not an ounce of food should leave its territories,
which would then extend from the Arctic regions to the Gulf of Mexico.
He had hoped that upon this Bill, not only both sides of the House, but
every section of the House, might have been found in unison.

"It was no use blinking the question. This would not be a decision
affecting Canada merely. We had sympathies alike with Australia and the
other Colonies. If it were seriously proposed that England should
denude herself of her possessions--give up India, Australia, North
America, and retire strictly within the confines of her own Islands, to
make herself happy there,--the same result might be brought about much
more easily by those who wished it. They might become citizens of some
small country like Holland, and realize their ideas of happiness in a
moment. But he hesitated to believe that the people of England did
really favour any such policy.

"If any one were to hoist the motto, 'Severance of the Colonies from
the Crown,' he did not believe that one per cent. of the people would
adopt it. He believed that the people of England felt a deep attachment
to their Empire, and that not a barren rock over which the flag of
England had ever waved would be abandoned by them without a cogent and
sufficient reason. Every argument used in support of the necessity of
giving up the Provinces, which lay within eight days of our own shores,
would apply with equal force in the case of Ireland, if the people of
the United States chose to demand possession.

"Was this country prepared to give up Gibraltar, Malta, Heligoland, all
its outlying stations, merely because some strong power took a fancy to
them? He did not believe that the people of England would ever act in
such a spirit.

"As to the argument of expense, if Canada chose to pick a quarrel on
her own account, clearly she ought to pay the bill; but if she were
involved in war on Imperial considerations, then he maintained that the
Imperial revenues might properly be resorted to.

"The British Empire was one and indivisible, or it was nothing. And
what was the principle upon which the United States acted? If any
portion of the territory of the Union was touched, were there one of
its citizens who would not be ready and forward to defend it? Should we
then be less determined to maintain intact the greatness and the glory
of the British Empire?

"He, for one, would not give up the opinion that Englishmen were
prepared to maintain, in its integrity, the greatness and glory of the
Empire; and that such a feeling would find a hearty response in that


"[_March_ 28, 1867.]

"In reply to Mr. Lowe and others, "Mr. Watkin said that, in following
the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Lowe), he felt very much as a quiet Roman
citizen must have done on passing the chief gladiator in the street--
inclined to pass over to the other side, and to have nothing to say to
him, for fear of the consequences.

"But some years ago he was requested by the late Duke of Newcastle to
make inquiries, which convinced him that the hobgoblin fears expressed
that night in regard to the construction of this 375 miles of railway
were unfounded.

"Let hon. members remember that Her Majesty's American dominions
extended over an area equal to one-eighth of the habitable globe. This
Railway gave us communication, not only with Canada and with 10,000
miles of American railways, but with the vast tract of British
territory extending across to the Pacific. The consequence of making
this Railway would be, that two days would be saved in going from
England to the northern continent of America, including the great corn-
growing district of the West.

"If the House had seen, as he had seen, the Canadian volunteers turn
out in bitter winter to repel a threatened invasion, without a red-coat
near them, they would think that the right hon. gentleman's taunts
might have been spared.

"The British Provinces had taxed themselves 360,000_l_. a-year for
the execution of these works, which Lord Durham had proposed in 1838,
with the object of binding together, by the means of physical
communication, the varied sections of the Queen's American dominions.

"The evidence of every military man, including Sir John Michell, the
present Commander-in-Chief in Canada, was that this Railway was
absolutely necessary for the military defence of the Colonies. It was,
however, to be defended not only on that ground, but upon the ground of
its great commercial advantages.

"There were now in the Government offices memorials from many of the
large towns in the three kingdoms, concurring in the commercial
necessity and advantages of the measure which the House was now asked
to agree to. Therefore, originating as it did with Lord Durham,--
sanctioned as it was by Lord Grey's proposals of 1851--adopted by the
late and present Governments,--demanded for purposes of defence, as
also for the more genial and generous objects of commerce and peace,--
he hoped the House would support the construction of the Railway by a
guarantee, which would not cost this country a shilling."

The motion for giving the guarantee was carried by 247 votes to 67--or
by a majority of 180.


"_Governor Dallas._"

I should do injustice to my own loving memory of the man, if I did not
publish some letters from the late Governor Dallas, which are, to my
mind, especially interesting. Though some of his views, in 1863, as to
the value of the Hudson's Bay lands, and their settlement, did not
accord with my own, yet his experience should plead against mine. No
one was more pleased than he to find that the country was in process--
after many delays, over which he and I used to groan in concert--of
successful colonization.

                                        "_17th August_, 1863.


"With reference to our late conversations upon various matters
connected with the past and future of the Hudson's Bay Company, I take
the liberty of calling your attention to several points of the business
requiring immediate attention, in a more explicit manner than I may
have done in desultory conversation.

"The government of the territory is come almost to a dead-lock in the
Red River Settlement, and nothing short of direct administration under
the authority of the Crown will, in my opinion, remedy the evil. Two
prisoners have been, in separate instances, forcibly rescued from jail,
and they, with about thirty to fifty others implicated in the riots,
are still at large, fostering discontent, and creating great disquiet.
Their secret instigator controls the only paper published in the
settlement, and its continued attacks upon the Company find a greedy
ear with the public at large, both in the settlement and in Canada. The
position of those in authority is so disagreeable that I have had great
difficulty in persuading the magistrates to continue to act. Mr.
William Mactavish, Governor of Assiniboin, has resigned his post, and I
have only been restrained from following his example, for a short time,
in the hope that a remedy would speedily be applied, and that I should
be relieved from the unfair position in which I find myself placed,
with all the responsibility, and the semblance of authority over a vast
territory, but unsupported, if not ignored, by the Crown. In the
absence of a just grievance, the cry of 'the Company' is quite a
sufficient watchword amongst the ignorant and discontented.

"The open malcontents are few in number, and I had ample volunteer
force at my back to protect the jail and support my authority, but, as
I have already explained to you, I could exercise but little control
over my friends, who were keen for what would have ended in a free
fight, with the certain death of the sheriff and ringleaders on both
sides, and led to endless animosities. It required more resolution on
my part to follow the course I did, than to have resisted the rioters.
For details of the transactions I refer you to my official letters to
the Board, which you will find in the Hudson's Bay House.

"Of the settlers, the greater number, including the French Canadians,
are our staunch personal friends, while the openly disaffected are but
few. There is still, however, a considerable portion of the people who,
though taking no open part, are yet dissatisfied. Some of these last
named have real or imaginary grievances, of long standing to complain
of, and nothing but the extinction of the governing powers of the
Company will satisfy them. I came amongst them as free from prejudice
as you can be, and determined to redress every grievance and meet their
wishes in every reasonable way, but to no avail. I have already
transmitted to the Board evidence in the 'Nor' Wester,' that our
unpopularity arises entirely from the _system_ of government, and
not from any faults in its administrators.

"A continuance of this state of matters may lead to the formation of a
provisional government by the people themselves, and to annexation to
the United States, as have been threatened. With the opening up of the
St. Paul's route, there has been a large increase of the 'American'
element in the settlement; and in the enclosed copy of the 'Nor'
Wester' of the 22nd July, you will observe that the United States
Government is quietly recruiting for its army in British territory.
This matter, I trust, may be in the meantime brought to the notice of
the proper authorities pending further information upon my return to
Red River.

"The trust which the Board has placed in my hands, and the confidence
reposed in my ability to guide you in forming your plans for the
future, impose on me no little responsibility and anxiety. I must
relieve my shoulders of this weight by stating plainly my belief that
the opening up of the country by waggon road and telegraph, and by the
encouragement of settlement, must prove so far detrimental to the
current commercial business of the Company as to render it difficult,
if not impossible, to provide a fair dividend upon the portion of its
capital embarked in the trade. I do not, however, the less recognize
the necessity of opening up the country and its communications. It is
not at all clear to my mind how you are to secure a remunerative
dividend upon the extra sum to be embarked in the erection of the
telegraph, formation of roads, &c., &c. In a commercial point of view,
I do not consider it safe to enter upon these extended operations till
secure of a sufficient subsidy from the different Governments

"Upon a mature consideration of the whole subject, I entirely concur in
the views expressed by Mr. Johnstone in his letter, of which I have
already sent only an _extract_ to Sir Edmund Head, viz., that with
the government of the country the territorial right should also revert
to the Crown, upon whatever terms might be arranged. Anything short of
a full measure of this sort would fail to satisfy the settlers and the
public at large, who seem inclined to view with distrust the present
position of Her Majesty's Government in its supposed alliance with the
new Board of Direction.

"It is a question for consideration whether the northern region of the
country beyond the limits of probable settlement should not still
remain under the control of the Company, with such a monopoly of trade
as would induce them to undertake the responsibility of managing the
Indian tribes, and excluding the introduction of ardent spirits. I make
this suggestion solely on behalf of the Indians, upon whom free
intercourse with white men will, in my opinion, be ultimately

"Having already impressed upon you the necessity of procuring from Her
Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies such instructions to the
Governors of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia as may put an end
to all proceedings against us in the local courts, and place us in
possession of proper titles to our lands, I have now, in reminding you
of the importance of the matter, to hand you the enclosed extract of a
private letter which I received yesterday from Mr. D. Mactavish, senior
member of our Board of Management in Victoria, which speaks for itself.

"Though I have marked this communication 'private,' I shall be obliged
by your laying it before Sir Edmund Head, as I am so very hurried that
I have not time at present to write officially to the Board.

                               "I remain, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
                                      "A. G. DALLAS.

"E. WATKIN, Esq., London.

"P.S.--The undoubted discoveries of gold diggings in the Saskatchewan
and other portions of the territory is another strong reason why the
land should revert to and be administered by the Crown. Large grants to
the Company would be looked upon with great disfavour by the public.

"A. G. D."

Extract private letter from D. Mactavish, Esq., to A. G. Dallas, dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 13th July, 1863:--

"We hear nothing of our land question from the Governor, and there is
no getting him to give titles for the Company's lands at Hope, Yale,
and Langley. Orders have come out for the Royal Engineers to go to
England immediately after the new year, so that Colonel Moodie and his
staff of surveyors will do no more work, their time being so nearly
up--this is worrying, but cannot be helped. The Governor has so much
to do, making roads and so forth in British Columbia, that there is no
drawing his attention to our matters, and when we do call on him to
act, his invariable answer is, that he cannot get Moodie to do
anything, and I daresay there is some truth in it, as it is shrewdly
surmised that His Excellency has had more to do with the recall of the
Engineers home than anyone else, and they all feel that they are
leaving under a cloud."

                                        "17_th Augt._ 1863.


"Along with this I send you a letter which, though marked private,
treats only of our affairs, in such a manner that it may be laid before
the Duke of Newcastle. It ought, I think, also to be laid before Sir
Edmund Head, and I shall refer him to it for my views. It is very
important that _the whole_ of Johnstone's letter, and of my
account of affairs at Red River, in regard to the Corbett riots,
addressed to the Board, should be read along with the above letter. I
do not think that we can ever make anything out of our lands,
[Footnote: Experience has shown that this was an error.] and I am
therefore strongly of opinion that they should be transferred to the
Government upon certain terms, excepting only such lands around our
forts as may be necessary for our business, and our farms, &c. in
actual occupation.

"Although a great outcry has been raised against us on account of our
being a 'stop in the way,' and enjoying a monopoly of trade, the cry is
groundless. It may, therefore, be well for you to know that for a
number of years past we have enjoyed _no monopoly_ of trade
whatever, and that there is no impediment to the settlement of the
country by any one who pleases. A settler may squat wherever he thinks
fit, without question, or being called upon to pay for lands yet
unsurveyed, and of which the Indian titles are not yet extinguished.
The small portion of surveyed land in the district of Assiniboin has
been all long since occupied, though not paid for. With a recognized
Government, there would be no difficulty in obtaining payment for these
lands from the occupiers.

"In erecting the telegraph, the Indian titles to the land ought to be
extinguished by annual payments; but the absence of a recognized and
respected Government will be of itself a great bar to the successful
erection of the apparatus, and the preserving it and the various
stations in good order. Though, by increased energy and supervision,
the fur trade _may_ for a time be maintained, yet you must not
_count upon_ increased profits, as with the opening up of the
country the furs are costing us more, and many of our posts are so
distant that they cannot, from that and a variety of causes, be placed
all at once upon a proper footing, and it is very difficult to exercise
a proper supervision over them. It behoves the Company, therefore, to
look out for other sources of profit. One of these is that of banking
operations, both here and at Red River, and probably also at Victoria
and at St. Paul, or other suitable locality in the U. S. On this head I
may again address you from Red River, and Mr. Hopkins will afford you
every information in regard to the prospects at this place, which are
represented to be _very great_, when you come out in September.

"I am just about starting for Lake St. John's on the Saguenay River,
and shall be absent about ten days. Upon my return I shall be ready to
return to Red River--say, about the 1st September.

"Hoping you have had a pleasant passage, believe me,
                                      "Yours very truly,
                                        "E. WATKIN, Esq., London.


"P.S.--I do not see how the Company can make anything out of placer
gold diggings in such a country. The miners must be encouraged, and
mining licences cannot be expected to do more than pay the cost of
collection, magistracy, police, &c. The surrender of all this territory
to the Crown, however, is a question to be dealt with by the Board. My
aim is to disabuse you of the idea that the Company can of itself turn
the territory to profit by sale of lands, mining rights, making roads,
telegraph, &c.

"A. G. D."

                                        "18_th August,_ 1863.


"I left New York the evening of the day I parted from you, and reached
this place on the Saturday night, _via_ Boston and Portland, quite
done up, having travelled two nights without undressing. The crowds
were such as they were on the Hudson, and my mind often reverted to the
good things I left at the door of the steward's pantry in the 'Scotia,'

"Brydges is not yet back from Quebec, and Hopkins and I start to-morrow
for the Saguenay and St. John's Lake, where affairs require to be
looked after.

"I have a letter to-day from St. Paul, in which Kittson says that the
railroad gentry were anxiously expecting you, and making much capital
out of the expected visit. He adds, 'The people of the State will not
be so blind to their own interest as to decline to undertake to
complete the portion of telegraph required. I have no doubt that a
company could immediately be formed to accomplish the object.'

"Reverting to _my grievance_ against the old Board, I wish to
state what I complain of, viz., that I am charged with my passage
across the Atlantic, and with a sum of L50, drawn to cover travelling
expenses to Montreal. These were charged against me in February, 1862,
and _have borne interest against me_ since then.

"2ndly. I complain that I am charged interest on all sums drawn by me
in each year--though _within_ the amount of that year's salary. I
surely am entitled to draw my pay from time to time to cover my
expenditure? Officers in this country manage under the existing system
of accounts to get the benefit of funds, even in excess of their pay,
for two years without interest.

"3rdly. I had charge of the Puget Sound Company's affairs, which, with
great labour, I placed upon a satisfactory footing--including the
recovery of large sums from Government, and the terminating complicated
and ruinous engagements with bailiffs or tenants and partners. I paid
my expenses to Vancouver's Island, and devoted my whole time to the
above matters, from 1st January, 1857, to the period of my leaving the
Island in 1861, without having received one shilling of recompense. For
the latter portion of the time I was paid by the H. B. Co., when I had
the sole charge of its affairs during a most anxious and harassing
period--constantly involved with all around me defending the rights of
both companies.

"I say nothing as to my scale of pay under the old Board, but in making
the changes which they did I think they ought not to have assumed that
I should continue to act for the same remuneration.

"The pay was not my inducement to come to the country, but when
overtures were first made to me, nothing being said to the contrary, I
expected that I should at least receive the same pay and be placed on
an equally good footing with the late Sir George Simpson, who for a
number of years past lived at his ease at Lachine, and attended more,
apparently, to his own affairs than to those of the Company. The latter
bear evidence in every district of having been left entirely to
themselves, while extreme discontent prevails in consequence of
favouritism having regulated the promotions.

"Though not a ground of complaint, or a matter requiring redress--yet I
may call attention to the inadequacy of my pay hitherto, when it is
taken into account, that, from the unsettled life I have led in the
Company's service, I have been obliged to neglect my private affairs. I
have never received anything for outfit, and I was unlucky enough on my
way out to have the most of our traps burnt the night before we
embarked at Liverpool, in the Adelphi Hotel. The clothes ordered to
replace these have all gone to the bottom in the 'Anglo Saxon.'

"I do not allude to these matters now with the view of obtaining higher
pay for the future, as you know my intention is to return to England in
the spring, and with the business in fair working order I can be of
more avail there.

"It so happens that the fruits of my labours in America, both as
regards the Hudson's Bay and Puget Sound Companies, will be reaped
mainly by the present proprietors. At the same time, all such claims as
the above ought to have been settled up to 31st May last by the old

"A grumbling fellow is, I know, looked upon with great disfavour,
especially when there is nothing more to be got out of him. This,
therefore, is intended for your own eye alone. The substance of my
complaint you may make use of as you see fit.

"Excuse this scrawl, and believe me in haste,
                                      "Very truly yours,
                                        "A. G. DALLAS.

"E. WATKIN, Esq., London."

                                      "FORT GARRY, RED RIVER,
                                        "16th October, 1863.


"I arrived here on the 9th instant, after a wet, cold, and very
miserable ride on horseback, of 520 miles, from St. Cloud, and was not
sorry to get _home_ again.

"After parting from you I went to the Saguenay River and Lake St.
John's, where I need say no more than that my presence was very much
wanted. No practical supervision had ever been exercised over the posts
in that district, so far as I could learn.

"Brydges accompanied me to St. Paul; but I could not induce him to come
any further, as he said he had a wife, eleven hundred children, and six
miles of railway (more or less of either) to look after.

"You will doubtless have seen what I have written to the Board in
regard to the telegraph across the Continent. The more I consider the
subject the more satisfied I am that next year's operations ought to be
confined to a survey of the line, and to bring the material to Fort
Garry. In addition to sending a practical man, I would recommend that
Mr. Wood himself come to Fort Carry. By following the 'Crow Wing' route
he will get a perfect idea of the difficulties to be encountered along
the whole line, as perfectly as a pinch of flour would represent the
contents of the whole sack.

"I wish to call your particular attention to a letter which I have this
day addressed to the Board, upon the subject of Indian claims to lands,
and the officious part taken by the editor of the 'Nor' Wester,' in the
hope that you may be able to exercise some influence over the Duke of
Newcastle in prevailing upon him to discourage such men in some marked
manner. As my residence in that country will now be a very short one,
and as I have no pecuniary interest in the Company or the country, I
write disinterestedly, and this knowledge may induce his Grace to pay
some attention to my warnings. There will be serious trouble hereafter
with the Indians and half-breeds, unless the local government is better
supported, and such men as Ross and others are discountenanced.

"My interest in the old Company was a nominal one, merely sufficient to
qualify myself for a seat on the Direction. That interest I sold out on
accepting my present appointment. During my residence at Vancouver
Island and on this side, I have been working for _honorary
occupation_--my pay having formed no inducement, and being quite
inadequate in countries where, in matters of expenditure, a dollar
passes for little more than a shilling in England, and liable, as I
was, from my wandering life, and with a family--to the losses incurred
by a frequent breaking up of establishment. I allude to these matters,
not for the purpose of complaint, but in support of the position that,
as a disinterested and impartial administrator of the affairs entrusted
to my charge, I was actuated by no selfish or pecuniary motives.

"The formation of the colony of British Columbia could not have been
carried on as it was but for the assistance rendered by the H. B. Co.,
and I considered I was acting as much for the Government as for the
Company, in the services then rendered, which, being unofficial, have
not been in any way recognized. The unscrupulous way in which Douglas
wished to saddle all expenses on the Company, and his attempts to
deprive us of the lands which he himself made over to me as Company's
property, led to serious differences between him and me, and which may
have caused me to be looked on with probably a hostile eye by the
Government, when I was actuated by the most impartial motives, and did
at the same time everything I could to help the local government in its
elections and other views, where our influence was overwhelming.

"Since assuming office on this side, I have been thoroughly
disheartened, in the midst of very trying and difficult circumstances,
between the Americans, Sioux Indians, and local disturbances on one
hand, and the want of any encouragement or support by Government on the
other hand. We have been not only ignored, but the worst enemies of the
country have direct access to the Colonial Office, and though,
probably, not attended to, are yet encouraged, from the fact of their
petitions being received. No temptation would induce me to continue
longer in office, even were it considered desirable that I should
continue to hold my appointment, which for the good of the country I
ought not. At the same time. Her Majesty's Government cannot continue
much longer to ignore this territory. By such a course they are only
sowing the seeds of further trouble, which I shall not be sorry to

"I am afraid I have let my pen run away with me; but in our isolation
local matters absorb our whole energies, and we look upon the affairs
of Europe, or even the fall of Charleston, as of minor importance.

                                      "Believe me, yours very truly,
                                        "A. G. DALLAS.

"EDWARD WATKIN, Esq., London."

The extract from the "Grit" paper, the "Nor 'Wester" was as follows:--


[_"From the 'Nor' Wester.'_]


"A few weeks ago, the venerable Chief of the Red River Indians, William
King, or 'Pegowis,' left his home at the Indian Settlement--a most
unusual thing for him--and came up to Fort Carry to make a formal
statement, once for all, of the arrangement made by the late Earl of
Selkirk with the Indians of this region in regard to their land. This
statement, which he made voluntarily and deliberately, for the benefit
of all whom it may concern, and for future reference if necessary, he
desired to be published in this journal, and a copy thereof to be
forwarded to the Duke of Newcastle. His immediate reason for doing this
at present, is, he says, because he is now the only surviving Chief of
the five who treated with Lord Selkirk, and as there have been many
misrepresentations, he desires to see the facts placed on record before
he passes off the earthly stage.

"The following is his account, taken down at his own request, by one of
the editors of this journal:--

"'This transaction happened a long long time ago. I am now a very old
man--I was then in the prime and vigour of manhood. We were taken by
surprise when, all of a sudden, those who came before, disembarked. We
had not been apprised of the coming of the foreigners--when they
landed, we were greatly surprised and wondered what they meant. We were
in this neighbourhood at the time. They only spoke among themselves,
while the agents of the North-west Company were here. We did not know
what it meant, when they asked the North-westers into the plain. As
soon as they were done speaking among themselves the cannons were
fired. We said, "What can it mean? It must be some great affair." The
apparent harmony of the two Companies did not last long. The same
summer differences arose which led to fighting: they fought twice that
summer. We wondered at their proceedings--meeting in friendly council
together, and then, immediately after, taking each others' lives!

"'As soon as the fighting was over, the report came that Lord Selkirk
had arrived at Fort William. The ensuing winter, I called together all
the Indians round here--those at Red Lake, at the Manitobah, and at the
mouth of the Red River; I also invited the Crees on the Upper
Assiniboine. "Come," said I--"assemble here--come and listen--this
great man cannot be coming for nothing." A large multitude had gathered
here early in the spring, when the Earl arrived with 30 canoes.

"'The day after he arrived, about noon, he sent for us. There were many
of us, and we all left our tents at his call, and marched to the place
of conference. There lay before us six kegs. He said--"Friends, I
salute you." Immediately after the salutations, a day was fixed for a
Council. Two personages were appointed to meet us. On the day named,
one gentleman arrived, the other did not. He said--"Let us do without
him who did not come." But the other soon came.

"'As soon as we had taken our seats, he said--"Friends, I have come to
ask you about the lands, if you will give them to me. I do not want
much--give what you choose. Will you give me as far from the river as
you can distinguish the belly of a horse? It is to put settlers here--
people far off, who have misery in their own country. This is why I
want it. They will not trespass upon or spoil your lands that you
retain outside of the limits I have named. I wish to put inhabitants
upon it to cultivate the soil. I will endeavour to make the country
like my own country. If I succeed in accomplishing what I intend, there
will be merchants and traders from one end of the Settlement to the
other, who will furnish you with goods. They will be at a little
distance from each other, and you will have a chance of seeking out the
best places for trading. All this I will do, if we can arrange about
the land."

"'We were five Chiefs. I represented this district, the other Chiefs,
other districts. The Earl said to me--"Speak you first--how much land
will you give me?" I said--"I will speak last: let the others speak
before me." KITCHE OTTAWA (Grand Courte-Oreille) spoke first. He
mentioned Riviere aux Rose Aux. The Earl made no reply to this;
whereupon the Chief mentioned as far as Pembina. The Earl said--Yes.
Then he appealed to Mahkatayihkoonaya, _Le Grand Noir_, and asked
what _he_ would give. He said, from Pembina to Red Lake. Then he
turned to _La Robe Noir_, who said as far as Portage Laprairie. At
this the gentlemen hummed among themselves for a little, and the end
was a question from the Earl. Is there no stream about there which you
could mention as a limit? Mahkatayihkoonayai replied--Yes, there is la
Riviere Champignon, a little beyond. The Earl said--There, that will be
the limit. Then he asked Senna the Cree Chief, who said--No, I do not
want agriculturists, I only want traders! The Earl said--Do you think
you will ever see your trader again? (referring to the North-West
Company). Never: he (the N. W. Co.) has done a bad thing--he has killed
people. The Earl added--Then you do not wish to get a load of powder, a
knife or a steel from _settlers?_ Well, work diligently at the
furs, and you will find a trader (meaning the H. B. Co.). The nobleman
then said to me--Your turn, speak. I said--This is my place. How much
will you give me for the part between this and the Rapids? I will then
go below that. He said--a little further down, if you will. I replied--
Yes, I will give you to the bend of the river above Sugar Point. That
point I like very much--I cannot part with it--it is for my children.
This satisfied the Earl, and he said further--Fear not: the people I
plant here will not trouble your wild animals--they will merely work the
soil. If they pass beyond the two-miles limit, do not allow them: they
have no right there. At present we cannot conclude the arrangement, for
I have nothing to pay you with. Let us leave the matter as it stands. I
will come back, and then we will close the negociations. I am in a
hurry, and cannot remain longer, but I will be sure to return. I want
to go to the States and get cattle, that we may eat. That is the meat
_we_ eat. Perhaps even _you_ may desire to get some of our
cattle when you see them with the inhabitants here. But before I leave,
I would like to give you something in consideration of the arrangement,
which is to be made when I come back. What would you like to have? I
said--Powder is useful to Indians, and tobacco they like--rum, too,
they would fain have. We got what we asked. When we were done speaking,
the Earl said--I want you to put your names to a paper, to show in
England what we propose to do. We all said, No--wait till you come
back. He asked us again to sign, but we refused, saying it would be
time enough when the arrangement was completed. The Earl said--If your
names were down, it would be easier for me to conclude the affair when
I get back; besides, your young men would see, in the event of your
deaths, what you had proposed to do. So we consented. Our names and
marks were put down. We did not see why he pressed us to sign; but I
now think it was in order to have us in his power, should he not do
what he promised. He did not tell us what was in the paper, and I
regret to say we did not even ask him what was in it. That was our
ignorance. It was a great mistake, as after events showed; Lord Selkirk
never came back, and never completed the arrangements about the lands.
Our lands have not been bought from us--we have not received payment
for them. We got some things from time to time--small supplies--but
less and less as time rolled along, until we got nothing. These little
presents we looked upon as a consideration for the use of our land
until a bargain should be properly made. Besides, we were friendly to
the settlers, and often saved them from harm. We thought this also a
reason why we got things. For my part, there was a great reason why I
should receive something, irrespective of the land. I was the means one
time of saving Lord Selkirk's life. When he was going off, some half-
breeds wished to kill him--they asked us to take pemican to an ambush
ahead. I refused, and prevented them doing it. The Earl thanked me for
this. The things we got, I repeat, were not in payment for our lands.
We never sold them. We only proposed to do so; but the proposal was
never carried out, as Lord Selkirk never came back. At the time we held
council with him, there was no mention of the Hudson's Bay Company.
They were not spoken of, or taken into account at all. All of a sudden,
some years afterwards, it turned out that they were claiming to be
masters here.

"'And now I wish this statement to go across the waters to my great and
good Mother, and I pray her to cause a proper settlement to be made
with us for our lands, so that our children, and our children's
children, whose lands are being taken possession of by foreigners, may
receive what is just and fair for the loss of their lands. I am old and
feeble. I am the only surviving Chief of those who spoke to Lord
Selkirk. I pray the great Mother, whose medal I have, to feel for us
and help us.

                                           "WILLIAM KING.'"

I should like here to add a very interesting letter from the agent of
the Hudson's Bay Company in the United States:--

                                      "52, CEDAR STREET, NEW YORK,
                                      "_24th August, 1863._


"If in addressing you, and expressing a sincere hope that you had a
pleasant voyage to Liverpool per the steamer 'Scotia,' I seem to take
too much liberty, I beg your pardon, as it is not my nature to be

"A friend, knowing that I am interested in the fur and skin trade,
handed me, to-day, a copy of the (London) 'Economist' of 4th ulto.,
calling my attention to the article headed _'The Hudson's Bay
Company.'_ As you are interested in the 'International Financial
Society,' I thought it proper, even at this late date, to call your
attention to the ignorance, if not malice, displayed by the editor.

"He says: '_Civilization destroys wild animals, we all know. An eager
trade destroys them, too. The moment they become either valuable to
man, or disagreeable to man, they cease to live.'_ This sounds very
like Dr. Johnson, _without Dr. Johnson:_ for any farmer, trapper,
or trader knows, that as the United States territory becomes settled,
_furred_ animals increase, because the refuse of civilization--the
hen-roosts, the corn-fields, &c.--feed, directly and indirectly, the
smaller animals, such as musquash, minks, foxes, racoons, opossums,
skunks, and others; but the larger animals, such as buffaloes, bears,
wolves, deer, elk, and others, would suffer from civilization were it
not that they retire to the deserts, of which there will be enough for
hundreds of years. Germany (it is said) produces more red-foxes than
all America; and wolves are plentiful in France. As to an '_eager
trade_,' or excessive hunting, destroying wild animals, it is
impossible. If the 'catch' is excessive this year, the supply will
exceed the demand, and prices will fall; the hunt will be less
_eager_ next year, and the animals will increase. In the March
sales in London this year, there were only 3,094 skunks, and the demand
was greater than the supply, so that the price was as high as _7s.
2d._, which stimulated the United States collectors so much that
very likely C. M. Lampson & Co. will have about 100,000 in their
September sale, and prices will very likely fall to _1s_., or
lower. The result will be, that the skunks will live in peace, and
increase and multiply for some years to come. The skunk is the most
'disagreeable' of animals to man; but it is not, therefore, destroyed.
I have a catalogue (Row, Row, Goad & Reece, brokers) of a fur sale (by
the candle) at the London Commercial Sale Room, Mincing Lane, on the
21st and 22nd March, 1821, which I compare below with catalogues of fur
sales in London on 27th and 28th January, and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th,
9th, and 11th March, 1863. I include January, because musquash and
beaver are sold in that month. This statement does not embrace many
other, but lesser, sales, which take place about the same time. _A
vast quantity goes direct from here to Germany, which, in past years,
went to London_.

1821                                                 1863
----                                                 ----

    300                   Musquash               1,289,773
  6,380                   Bears                      3,962
   None                   Beaver                    95,557
  8,290                   Otter                     12,933
  3,280                   Fisher                     5,485
108,850                   Martens                   66,827
 10,340                   Minks                     25,989
  8,190                   Foxes                     28,369
  2,500                   Wolves                     3,322
    370                   Wolverines                   918
 57,100                   Racoons                  204,888
   None                   Skunks                     3,094
   None                   Opossums                     560
   None                   Badgers                    1,370
 23,000                   Rabbits                   46,151
  5,631                   Lynx                       4,276
  2,285                   Cats                         100

"Do the above data of forty-two years prove his assertion, that '_the
fur trade, by which old profits were made, is a peculiar trade, tending
to disappear_' or do they prove the reverse? The value or price of
furs has steadily advanced also.

"Again: '_The hunters in the Hudson's Bay Company are as perishable a
race as the animals hunted.'_ Any trader knows this is false, except
in the sense that we are all perishable. Applied to the United States
Indians, it is true, from the cause assigned--rum--and worse causes--
the vices of civilization. The cost of transportation to any portion of
the Hudson's Bay territory heretofore has been so great that the rum
used there must, _to be profitable,_ be the purest that can be
found, as there is water enough in Prince Rupert's Land with which to
dilute it: so that what the Indian gets will not hurt him. The rivers
in the United States (the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Yellowstone,
the Arkansas, the Platte, and others) easily and cheaply carry '_rot-
gut_' and death to the United States Indian. It seems to be the aim,
and will be the gain, of the United States to exterminate the Indian;
it ought to be the aim, and would be the gain, of the 'International
Financial Society' to preserve him.

"Again: '_The climate forbids effectual fertility, and the distance
from more habitable regions forbids effectual transit. The regions to
be colonized are mostly very cold and very barren_.' If such is the
case, of what value, applied to the new Company, are his assertions:
'Civilization destroys wild animals,' &c., and 'The hunters are as
perishable,' &c.? The shareholders of the International Financial
Society need have no fears of a failure of the fur trade, whatever may
become of the 'sale of lands to new settlements, and the communication
with British Columbia.'

"Again: '_In fact, the whole of the Red River region, such as it is,
is best accessible from the United States, and, in case of war, would
be exposed to an inroad from Minnesota, which adjoins it, without the
possibility of aid from England_.' If the editor would undertake to
travel from St. Paul to Pembina (about 600 miles), and also read the
accounts of expeditions in pursuit of hostile Indians in Minnesota, he
would quickly get rid of his fear of the Americans ever invading the
British North Western Territory. One of my correspondents, an old
Indian trader, writes me on the 30th ult. that he had just reached
Pembina, after a 'dirty and disagreeable trip' of 25 days from St.
Paul. So long as the British Indians are treated as they have been,
they could, and they would, sweep Minnesota clean of any army, even
although as invincible as the 'army of the Potomac.' Even if the
redskins did not want help, the United States Indians would unite with
the British Indians, in order to be revenged on the pale faces.

"To my mind, the worst feature in the new Company is that of allowing a
foreigner (American) to hold office. He owes allegiance to the United
States, _and his position gives him, knowledge which no American
should possess_. 'Blood is thicker than water,' says the proverb.
Besides, he has his own fur trade to attend to, and it is as true now,
as it was in old times, that 'no man can serve two masters.' Although
he should withdraw from his own firm, still 'blood is thicker than
water.' As to the idea that, being in the fur trade, his experience and
influence will benefit the new Company, will any furrier believe that?
If the new Company will sell _all the furs they may have in their
warehouse at the time of their regular sales_, HOLDING BACK NONE TO
RAISE PRICES, they will always have the confidence of the buyers,
always get full value, and never require the influence or experience of
any man. I am, unfortunately for myself, not a shareholder in either
the old or the new Company, but if I were, I would never rest satisfied
while an American was in the management.

"Should you ever visit this city, I will feel honoured if you call on
me, and be glad to hear from you, or be of service to you, at any time.

                                      "With great respect, yours truly,
                                        "WM. MACNAUGHTAN.

"E. W. Watkin, Esquire,
"Care Hon. Hudson's Bay Co., London."

                                "Dunean, Inverness,
                                  "_29th October, 1872. Midnight._

"My dear Sir Edward,

"Your letter reached me to-night, just in the nick of tune, and I
enclose a letter which I was just about to send to the Editor of the
London 'Standard.' Please send it to that or any other paper you like,
barring the 'Times,' 'Saturday Review,' or 'Pall Mall Gazette.' I wrote
another letter to the 'Times,' by which they corrected the discrepancy
between their statement of the 18th Oct. and that of the 26th, that the
Emperor had three channels to consider, but they never published or
acknowledged my letter. I suppose because it exposed their blunder, and
attacked the Government. I had written both to the 'Pall Mall' and
'Saturday Review' in summer, pointing out that we had virtually
surrendered our position by departing from the words of the Treaty of
1846, on the American demand; but for certain reasons they would not
publish the letter, and you will observe that they now refrain from
laying the blame on our Government. You must read carefully the
articles in the 'Times' of 18, 25 and 26 October, and in the 'Standard'
of Saturday last. The 'Standard' attacks our Government fairly and
ably. You may give my name as the writer of the enclosed letter, but
not for publication, as I do not wish to make an enemy of the 'Times.'
Send me a copy of the paper in which it may appear, or make any use you
may like of it.

"I send you Tuckerman's Report. It is very satisfactory and re-

"I and some others here were much pleased at your expose of Fowler. He
tried to set up here as the cock of all our railways, but he got the
worst of it, and now he has got his quietus (that is, if you intend to
let him rest), and has lost what he was very ambitious of, viz., high
social position in the North. The Duke of Sutherland and others with
whom he had gained a footing, have given him the cold shoulder, and I
hope you will, by some means or other, enlighten his friends at the
Egyptian Embassy. I may write a few lines to you tomorrow--being now in
great haste,

                                      "Yours truly,
                                        "A. G. DALLAS.

"P.S.--I have not kept a copy of my San Juan letter, which I have only
just hurriedly written."

                                      "Dunean, Inverness, N.B.
                                        "_30 October, 1872._

"My dear Sir Edward,

"I wrote you a few hurried lines last night, with an enclosure, for
publication, on the subject of the San Juan Arbitration.

"In the 'Times' of yesterday there is a letter signed 'The Ghost,'
which, like all that the 'Times' permits to appear in its columns, is
intended to throw dust in the eyes of the public, and direct attention
from the real authors of the calamity, viz., the present Government, to
that of Lord Aberdeen, or the German Emperor. The letter says, 'It is
difficult to understand how an arbitrator could have accepted the task
imposed upon him,' &c., alluding to his being debarred from deciding on
the middle channel. An arbitrator will, of course, decide upon any
conditions laid down; but is it not much more difficult to understand
_why_ we should have imposed such conditions on the arbitrator, on
the demand of America, when we had the simple words of the Treaty to go

"The same letter, in alluding to Harney's invasion, says, 'It is
pleasant to remember how promptly the American Government disavowed the
act of their officer.' They never did so practically. They never
withdrew the offensive troops, and forced us to maintain an equal
number of men there since that date, at who can tell what cost to this
country, and for what good end?

"In considering the main question, I all along held that we erred in
claiming the Rosario Channel; for the reason that although I have no
doubt whatever it was the channel intended in the Treaty (as against
the Haro Channel, and excluding consideration of the middle channel),
we cannot prove to demonstration that it was so. In getting up a
grievance it is now doubly dangerous to claim it, as we know that,
comparing it with the Haro Channel, it is decided against us, on what
we must suppose to be good reasons. On the above contention, too, we
absolve our Government of their blunder, and make a scape-goat of the
Emperor of Germany. The words of the Treaty define the boundary to be a
line drawn southerly through the centre of the channel from the centre
of the channel separating Vancouver's Island from the mainland. Had the
existence of three channels been then known, one of them--the one
meant--would certainly have been named. Only one channel, Rosario, was
known at the time, and the presumption is that it was meant. Making too
sure of this we claimed it. It is, however, clear to my mind that the
whole space between the Continent and Vancouver Island was treated as
one channel. The Douglas, or middle channel, would then fulfil to the
letter the words of the Treaty, and give us all we wanted, and still
leave a channel free to the Americans. It was, I contend, a fatal error
to abandon this position. Having done so and departed from the words of
the Treaty, it was really a toss up which of the two other channels was
selected by the umpire. Though we argued that Rosario was the only
channel known at the time of the Treaty, the Americans argue (as you
know how) that it was not so, and moreover that there was no intention
to give us more than Vancouver Island. Why such a red herring as this
was allowed to decoy us from the straight path of the words of the
Treaty is what, in the words of Dundreary, 'No fellah can understand.'

"I hope I have made myself clear to you, and that you will ventilate
the subject in Canada (through the press), where and in British
Columbia there must be a deep feeling of disappointment and disgust,
without a just appreciation of how we came to be so befooled.

"Don't forget to send me any paper that may be published on the subject
through you. I feel as if I had been personally swindled and insulted,
and have lost all confidence in our present ministry. I am writing this
again at midnight, having been from home all day.

                                      "Yours truly,
                                        "A. G. DALLAS.

"P.S.--Laing passed through Inverness to-day, on his way to canvass the

At Victoria, Vancouver's Island, in a fine position fronting the sea,
there is a granite pedestal to record the services of Sir James
Douglas, K.C.B., the father-in-law of Governor Dallas. The services of
Sir James, were rendered to the great benefit, not only of the island,
but of British Columbia generally. The colonist roads along the great
mountain sides, across rivers, and, through the forests, are of his
doing, with the practical co-operation of ex-Governor Trutch, a very
able engineer; and to Douglas, Trutch, Sir Mathew Begbie, Mr. Dunsmuir,
and a few others, the order, obedience to the law, and progress of the
country must be mainly attributed. But no stone marks the services of
Governor Dallas; no honour was offered him by our Government at home;
and he received scant reward from the Governor and Committee of the
Hudson's Bay Company sitting in London. Surely those who have profited
by his self-denying labours might consider whether his great services
should be allowed to fall into oblivion for want of some adequate
monument to his memory.


The Honorable Thomas d'Arcy McGee.

Amongst the men, able and earnest, who carried the union of the
British, separated, Provinces, and made the "Dominion," no man gave
more soul and substance to the cause, by his eloquence, than Mr. d'Arcy
McGee. His had been a chequered career. Beginning, like Sir George
Etienne Cartier, in revolt against what he believed to be British
tyranny, he ended his life, one of the most loyal, as he was one of the
most eloquent, of Her Majesty's subjects. In 1848 he was one of the
"Young Ireland" party, and became an exile from his country; and, at
length, a denizen of the United States. From thence he came to Canada.
In Canada he found all the liberty, without very much of the license,
of politicians in the United States. In Canada he could think for
himself; in the United States he must think the thoughts of some secret
organization--or perish. In Canada he was welcomed, and soon made a
position. I first met him, in a casual way, in Ireland, in the time of
O'Connell, I think in 1844; and in 1861 I made his acquaintance, and I
knew him well until his untimely death, by Fenian assassination, at
Ottawa. He had faults--what politician has not? But he was honorable
and kindly; no man's enemy, unless it were his own. He was remarkable
in appearance; of middle height, very dark complexion, and with hair so
curious and curly that he always joked about his popularity with the
negroes of Canada. He told a story of a meeting in Montreal at a little
public-house called "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Here he was addressing an
audience containing a considerable number of dark men. Mr. Holton, his
colleague, had orated about differential duties, very dry and Yankee-
like, as usual. McGee followed in one of his arousing speeches. When he
sat down, the respected negro landlord of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" got up to
move a vote of confidence. And, according to McGee's story, said:
"Bredren, we all on us heah came to dis land on a venter. Mr. McGee he
came heah on a venter. Dis child know nothing bout dem disgreable
duties. All we wants, bredren, is to pick out de best man. How is we to
do dat? Bredren, best way is to follow de hair. Mr. McGee has hair like
good nigger. Bredren, let us follow our hair." The result was McGee was
adopted unanimously.

In 1865 a volume of Mr. McGee's speeches was published by Chapman &
Hall. He did me the favour to dedicate the book to me in these, too
complimentary, terms: "To E. W. Watkin, Esq., M.P. for Stockport, whose
intimate connection with many great enterprises in which the material
future of British America is interwoven, and, still more, whose high-
spirited advocacy of a sound Colonial policy, both in and out of
Parliament, has conferred lasting obligations, upon these Provinces,
this volume is very sincerely and cordially dedicated."

The last speech in this volume was delivered in the Legislative
Assembly of Canada, at Quebec, on the 9th February, 1865. I venture to
record some portion of it in this book:--

"With your approbation, Sir, and the forbearance of the House, I will
endeavour to treat this subject in this way:--First, to give some
slight sketch of the history of the question; then to examine the
existing motives which ought to prompt us to secure a speedy union of
these Provinces; then to speak of the difficulties which this question
has encountered before reaching its present fortunate stage; then to
say something of the mutual advantages, in a social rather than
political point of view, which these Provinces will have in their
union; and, lastly, to add a few words on the Federal principle in
general: when I shall have done. In other words, I propose to consider
the question of Union mainly from within, and, as far as possible, to
avoid going over the ground already so fully and so much better
occupied by hon. friends who have already spoken upon the subject.

"So far back as the year 1800, the Hon. Mr. Uniacke, a leading
politician in Nova Scotia at that date, submitted a scheme of Colonial
Union to the Imperial authorities. In 1815, Chief Justice Sewell, whose
name will be well remembered as a leading lawyer of this city, and a
far-sighted politician, submitted a similar scheme. In 1822, Sir John
Beverley Robinson, at the request of the Colonial Office, submitted a
project of the same kind; and I need not refer to the report of Lord
Durham, on Colonial Union, in 1839. These are all memorable, and some
of them are great, names. If we have dreamed a dream of Union (as some
of you gentlemen say), it is at least worth while remarking that a
dream which has been dreamed by such wise and good men, may, for aught
we know, or you know, have been a sort of vision--a vision
foreshadowing forthcoming natural events in a clear intelligence: a
vision--I say it without irreverence, for the event concerns the lives
of millions living, and yet to come--resembling those seen by the
Daniels and Josephs of old, foreshadowing the trials of the future, the
fate of tribes and peoples, the rise and fall of dynasties. But the
immediate history of the measure is sufficiently wonderful, without
dwelling on the remoter predictions of so many wise men. Whoever, in
1862, or even in 1863, would have told us that we should see even what
we see in these seats by which I stand--such a representation of
interests acting together, would be accounted, as our Scotch friends
say, 'half daft'; and whoever, in the Lower Provinces, about the same
time, would have ventured to foretell the composition of their
delegations which sat with us under this roof last October, would
probably have been considered equally demented. But the thing came
about; and if those gentlemen who have had no immediate hand in
bringing it about, and, therefore, naturally feel less interest in the
project than we who had, will only give us the benefit of the doubt--
will only assume that we are not all altogether wrong-headed--we hope
to show them still farther, though we think we have already shown them
satisfactorily, that we are by no means without reason in entering on
this enterprise. I submit, however, we may very well dismiss the
antecedent history of the question for the present: it grew from an
unnoticed feeble plant, to be a stately and flourishing tree; and, for
my part, any one that pleases may say he made the tree grow, if I can
only have hereafter my fair share of the shelter and the shade. But in
the present stage of the question, the first real stage of its success
--the thing that gave importance to theory in men's minds, was the now
celebrated despatch, signed by two members of this Government and an
honourable gentleman formerly their colleague (Hon. Mr. Ross), a member
of the other House. I refer to the despatch of 1858. The
recommendations in that despatch lay dormant until revived by the
Constitutional Committee of last Session, which led to the Coalition,
which led to the Quebec Conference, which led to the draft of the
Constitution now on our table, which will lead, I am fain to believe,
to the union of all these Provinces. At the same time that we mention
these distinguished politicians, I think we ought not to forget those
zealous and laborious contributors to the public press, who, although
not associated with governments, and not themselves at the time in
politics, yet greatly contributed to give life and interest to this
question, and, indirectly, to bring it to the happy position in which
it now stands. Of those gentlemen I will mention two. I do not know
whether honorable gentlemen of this House have seen some letters on
Colonial Union, written in 1855--the last addressed to the late Duke of
Newcastle--by Mr. P. S. Hamilton, an able public writer of Nova Scotia,
and the present Gold Commissioner of that province; but I take this
opportunity of bearing my testimony to his well-balanced judgment,
political sagacity, and the skilful handling the subject received from
him at a very early period. There is another little book, written in
English, six or seven years ago, to which I must refer. It is a
pamphlet, which met with an extraordinary degree of success, entitled
Nova Britannia, by my honorable friend, the member for South Lanark
(Mr. Morris); and as he has been one of the principal agents in
bringing into existence the present Government, which is now carrying
out the idea embodied in his book, I trust he will forgive me if I take
the opportunity, although he is present, of reading a single sentence,
to show how far he was in advance, and how true he was to the coming
event which we are now considering. At page 57 of his pamphlet--which I
hope will be reprinted among the political miscellanies of the
Provinces when we are one country and one people--I find this

"'The dealing with the destinies of a future Britannic empire, the
shaping its course, the laying its foundations broad and deep, and the
erecting thereon a noble and enduring superstructure, are indeed duties
that may well evoke the energies of our people, and nerve the arms and
give power and enthusiasm to the aspirations of all true patriots. The
very magnitude of the interests involved, will, I doubt not, elevate
many amongst us above the demands of mere sectionalism, and enable them
to evince sufficient comprehensiveness of mind to deal in the spirit of
real statesmen with issues so momentous, and to originate and develop a
national line of commercial and general policy, such as will prove
adapted to the wants and exigencies of our position.'

"We, on this side, Mr. Speaker, propose for that better future our plan
of Union; and, if you will allow me, I shall go over what appear to me
the principal motives which exist at present for that Union. My hon.
friend the Finance Minister mentioned the other evening several strong
motives for Union--free access to the sea, an extended market, breaking
down of hostile tariffs, a more diversified field for labour and
capital, our enhanced credit with England, and our greater
effectiveness when united for assistance in time of danger. The Hon.
President of the Council, last night also enumerated several motives
for Union in relation to the commercial advantages which will flow from
it, and other powerful reasons which may be advanced in favour of it.
But the motives to such a comprehensive change as we propose, must be
mixed motives--partly commercial, partly military, and partly
political; and I shall go over a few--not strained or simulated--
motives which must move many people of all these Provinces, and which
are rather of a social, or, strictly speaking, political than of a
financial kind. In the first place, I echo what was stated in the
speech last night of my hon. friend, the President of the Council--that
we cannot stand still; we cannot stave off some great change; we cannot
stand alone--Province apart from Province--if we would; and that we are
in a state of political transition. All, even honorable gentlemen who
are opposed to this description of Union, admit that we must do
something, and that that something must not be a mere temporary
expedient. We are compelled, by warning voices from within and without,
to make a change, and a great change. We all, with one voice who are
Unionists, declare our conviction that we cannot go on as we have gone;
but you, who are all anti-Unionists, say--'Oh! that is begging the
question; you have not yet proved that.' Well, Mr. Speaker, what proofs
do the gentlemen want? I presume there are the influences which
determine any great change in the course of any individual or State.
First--His patron, owner, employer, protector, ally, or friend; or, in
our politics, 'Imperial connection.' Secondly--His partner, comrade, or
fellow-labourer, or near neighbour; in our case, the United States.
And, thirdly,--The man himself, or the Province itself. Now, all three
have concurred to warn and force us into a new course of conduct. What
are these warnings? We have had at least three. The first is from
England, and is a friendly warning. England has warned us by several
matters of fact, according to her custom, rather than verbiage, that
the Colonies had entered upon a new era of existence, a new phase in
their career. She has given us this warning in several different
shapes--when she gave us 'Responsible Government'--when she adopted
Free Trade--when she repealed the Navigation Laws--and when, three or
four years ago, she commenced that series of official despatches in
relation to militia and defence which she has ever since poured in on
us, in a steady stream, always bearing the same solemn burthen-
'Prepare! prepare! prepare!' These warnings gave us notice that the old
order of things between the Colonies and the Mother Country had ceased,
and that a new order must take its place. About four years ago, the
first despatches began to be addressed to this country, from the
Colonial Office, upon the subject. From that day to this there has been
a steady stream of despatches in this direction, either upon particular
or general points connected with our defence; and I venture to say,
that if bound up together, the despatches of the lamented Duke of
Newcastle alone would make a respectable volume--all notifying this
Government, by the advices they conveyed, that the relations--the
military apart from the political and commercial relations--of this
Province to the Mother Country had changed; and we were told in the
most explicit language that could be employed, that we were no longer
to consider ourselves, in relation to defence, in the same position we
formerly occupied towards the Mother Country. Then, Sir, in the second
place, there came what I may call the other warning from without--the
American warning. Republican America gave us her notices in times past,
through her press, and her demagogues, and her statesmen, but of late
days she has given us much more intelligible notices--such as the
notice to abrogate the Reciprocity Treaty, and to arm the lakes,
contrary to the provisions of the Convention of 1818. She has given us
another notice in imposing a vexatious passport system; another in her
avowed purpose to construct a ship canal round the falls of Niagara, so
as 'to pass war vessels from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie;' and yet
another, the most striking one of all, has been given to us, if we will
only understand it, by the enormous expansion of the American army and
navy. I will take leave to read to the House a few figures which show
the amazing, the unprecedented, growth (which has not, perhaps, a
parallel in the annals of the past) of the military power of our
neighbours, within the past three or four years. I have the details
here by me, but shall only read the results, to show the House the
emphatic terms of this most serious warning. In January, 1861, the
regular army of the United States, including of course the whole of the
States, did not exceed 15,000 men. This number was reduced, from
desertion and other causes, by 5,000 men, leaving 10,000 men as the
regular army of the United States. In December, 1862, that is, from
January, 1861, to January, 1863, this army of 10,000 was increased to
800,000 soldiers actually in the service. No doubt there are
exaggerations in some of these figures--the rosters were, doubtless, in
some cases filled with fictitious names, in order to procure the
bounties that were offered; but if we allow two-thirds as correct, we
find that a people who had an army of 10,000 men in 1861, had in two
years increased it to an army of 600,000 men. As to their munitions and
stock of war material at the opening of the war--that is to say, at the
date of the attack upon Fort Sumter--we find that they had of siege and
heavy guns 1,952; of field artillery, 231; of infantry firearms,
473,000; of cavalry firearms, 31,000; and of ball and shell, 363,000.
At the end of 1863, the latest period to which I have statistics upon
the subject, the 1,052 heavy guns had become 2,116; the 231 field
pieces had become 2,965; the 473,000 infantry arms had become
2,423,000; the 31,000 cavalry arms had become 369,000; and the 363,000
ball and shell had become 2,925,000. Now as to the navy of the United
States, I wish also to show that this wonderful development of war
power in the United States is the second warning we have had, that we
cannot go on as we have gone. In January, 1861, the ships of war
belonging to the United States were 83; in December, 1864, they
numbered 671, of which 54 were monitors and iron-clads, carrying 4,610
guns, with a tonnage of 510,000 tons, and manned by a force of 51,000
men. These are frightful figures; frightful for the capacity of
destruction they represent, for the heaps of carnage they represent,
for the quantity of human blood spilt they represent, for the lust of
conquest they represent, for the evil passions they represent, and for
the arrest of the onward progress of civilization they represent. But
it is not the figures which give the worst view of the fact--for
England still carries more guns afloat even than our well-armed
neighbours. It is the change which has taken place in the spirit of the
people of the Northern States themselves which is the worst view of the
fact. How far have they travelled since the humane Channing preached
the unlawfulness of war--since the living Sumner delivered his
addresses to the Peace Society on the same theme! I remember an
accomplished poet, one of the most accomplished the New England States
have ever produced, taking very strong grounds against the prosecution
of the Mexican war, and published the Bigelow Papers, so well known in
American literature, to show the ferocity and criminality of war. That
poet made Mr. Bird-o'-Freedom Sawin sing:

                 "'Ef you take a soaord an droar it,
                   An go stick a feller thru,
                   Guv'ment won't answer for it,
                   God'll send the bill to you!'

This was slightly audacious and irreverent in expression, but it was
remarkably popular in New England at that time. The writer is now one
of the editors of a popular Boston periodical, and would be one of the
last, I have no doubt, to induce a Northern soldier to withdraw his
sword from the body of any unhappy Southerner whom he had, contrary to
the poet's former political ethics, 'stuck thru.' But it is not the
revolution wrought in the minds of men of great intelligence that is
most to be deplored--for the powerful will of such men may compel their
thoughts back again to a philosophy of peace; no, it is the mercenary
and military interests created under Mr. Lincoln which are represented,
the former by an estimated governmental outlay of above $100,000,000
this year, and the other by the 800,000 men, whose blood is thus to be
bought and paid for; by the armies out of uniform who prey upon the
army in uniform; by the army of contractors who are to feed and clothe
and arm the fighting million; by that other army, the army of tax-
collectors, who cover the land, seeing that no industry escapes
unburthened, no possession unentered, no affection even, untaxed. Tax!
tax! tax! is the cry from the rear! Blood! blood! blood! is the cry
from the front! Gold! gold! gold! is the chuckling undertone which
comes up from the mushroom _millionaires_, well named a shoddy
aristocracy. Nor do I think the army interest, the contracting
interest, and the tax-gathering interest, the worst results that have
grown out of this war. There is another and equally serious interest--
the revolution in the spirit, mind, and principles of the people, that
terrible change which has made war familiar and even attractive to
them. When the first battle was fought--when, in the language of the
Duke of Wellington, the first 'butcher's bill was sent in'--a shudder
of horror ran through the length and breadth of the country; but by-
and-by, as the carnage increased, no newspaper was considered worth
laying on the breakfast table unless it contained the story of the
butchery of thousands of men.

'Only a thousand killed! Pooh, pooh, that's nothing!' exclaimed Mr.
Shoddy, as he sipped his coffee--in his luxurious apartment; and
nothing short of the news of ten or fifteen thousand maimed or slain in
a day could satisfy the jaded palate of men craving for excitement, and
such horrible excitement as attends the wholesale murder of their
fellow-creatures. Have these sights and sounds no warning addressed to
us? Are we as those who have eyes and see not; ears and hear not;
reason, neither do they understand? If we are true to Canada--if we do
not desire to become part and parcel of this people--we cannot overlook
this, the greatest revolution of our own times. Let us remember this,
that when the three cries among our next neighbours are shoddy,
taxation, blood, it is tune for us to provide for our own security. I
said, in this House, during the session of the year 1861, that the
first gun fired at Fort Sumter had a 'message for us;' I was unheeded
then; I repeat now that every one of the 2,700 great guns in the field,
and every one of the 4,600 guns afloat, whenever it opens its mouth,
repeats the solemn warning of England---Prepare! prepare! prepare! I
think, Sir, I am justified in regarding the American conflict, as one
of the warnings we have received; and the third warning, that things
cannot go on in this country as they are, is a warning voice from
within--a warning voice from our own experience in the government of
these Provinces. On these internal constitutional difficulties existing
among ourselves, which were so fully exposed last evening by my hon.
friend, the President of the Council, I need say little; they are
admitted to have been real, not imaginary, on all hands. An
illustration was used in another place in explaining this part of the
subject by the venerable and gallant knight, our Premier, than which
nothing could be more clear. He observed that when we had had five
administrations within four years, it was full time to look out for
some permanent remedy for such a state of things. True--most true--
Constitutional Government among us had touched its lowest point when it
existed only by the successful search of a messenger or a page after a
member willingly or unwillingly absent from his seat. Any one might in
those days have been the saviour of his country. All he had to do was,
when one of the five successive Governments which arose in four years
was in danger, to rise in his place, say 'Yea!' and _presto_ the
country was saved. This House was fast losing, under such a state of
things, its hold on the country; the administrative departments were
becoming disorganized under such frequent changes of chiefs and
policies; we were nearly as bad as the army of the Potomac before its
'permanent remedy' was found in General Grant. Well, we have had our
three warnings: one warning from within and two from without. Some
honorable gentlemen, while admitting that we have entered, within the
present decade, on a period of political transition, have contended
that we might have bridged the abyss with that Prussian pontoon called
a Zollverein. But if any one for a moment will remember that the trade
of the whole front of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia gravitates at
present along-shore to Portland and Boston, while the trade of Upper
Canada, west of Kingston, has long gravitated across the lakes to New
York, he will see, I think, that a mere Zollverein treaty without a
strong political end to serve, and some political power at its back,
would be, in our new circumstances, merely waste paper. The charge that
we have not gone far enough--that we have not struck out boldly for a
Consolidated Union, instead of a union with reserved local
jurisdictions--is another charge which deserves some notice. To this I
answer that if we had had, as was proposed, an Intercolonial Railway
twenty years ago, we might by this time have been perhaps, and only
perhaps, in a condition to unite into one consolidated government; but
certain politicians and capitalists having defeated that project twenty
years ago, special interests took the place great general interest
might by this time have occupied; vested rights and local ambitions
arose and were recognized; and all these had to be admitted as existing
in a pretty advanced stage of development when the late conferences
were called together. The lesson to be learned from this squandering of
quarter centuries by British Americans is this, that if we lose the
present propitious opportunity, we may find it as hard a few years
hence to get an audience, even for any kind of union (except democratic
union), as we should have found it to get a hearing last year for a
legislative union, from the long period of estrangement and non-
intercourse which had existed between these Provinces, and the special
interests which had grown up in the meantime in each of them. Another
motive to union, or rather a phase of the last motive spoken of, is
this, that the policy of our neighbours to the south of us has always
been aggressive. There has always been a desire amongst them for the
acquisition of new territory, and the inexorable law of democratic
existence seems to be its absorption. They coveted Florida, and seized
it; they coveted Louisiana, and purchased it; they coveted Texas, and
stole it; and then they picked a quarrel with Mexico, which ended by
their getting California. They sometimes pretend to despise these our
colonies as prizes beneath their ambition; but had we not had the
strong arm of England over us we should not now have had a separate
existence. The acquisition of Canada was the first ambition of the
American Confederacy, and never ceased to be so, when her troops were a
handful and her navy scarce a squadron. Is it likely to be stopped now,
when she counts her guns afloat by thousands and her troops by hundreds
of thousands? On this motive a very powerful expression of opinion has
lately appeared in a published letter of the Archbishop of Halifax, Dr.
Connolly. Who is the Archbishop of Halifax? In either of the coast
colonies, where he has laboured in his high vocation for nearly a third
of a century, it would be absurd to ask the question; but in Canada he
may not be equally well known. Some of my honorable friends in this and
the other House, who were his guests last year, must have felt the
impress of his character as well as the warmth of his hospitality.

Well, he is known as one of the first men in sagacity, as he is in
position, in any of these colonies; that he was for many years the
intimate associate of his late distinguished _confrere_,
Archbishop Hughes of New York; that he knows the United States as
thoroughly as he does the Provinces,--and these are his views on this
particular point; the extract is somewhat long, but so excellently put
that I am sure the House will be obliged to me for the whole of it:--

"Instead of cursing, like the boy in the upturned boat, and holding on
until we are fairly on the brink of the cataract, we must at once begin
to pray and strike out for the shore by all means, before we get too
far down on the current. We must at this most critical moment invoke
the Arbiter of nations for wisdom, and abandoning in time our perilous
position, we must strike out boldly, and at some risks, for some rock
on the nearest shore--some resting-place of greater security. A cavalry
raid, or a visit from our Fenian friends on horseback, through the
plains of Canada and the fertile valleys of New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia, may cost more in a single week than Confederation for the next
fifty years; and if we are to believe you, where is the security even
at the present moment against such a disaster? Without the whole power
of the Mother Country by land and sea, and the concentration in a
single hand of all the strength of British America, our condition is
seen at a glance. Whenever the present difficulties will terminate--and
who can tell the moment?--we will be at the mercy of our neighbours;
and, victorious or otherwise, they will be eminently a military people,
and with all their apparent indifference about annexing this country,
and all the friendly feelings that may be talked, they will have the
power to strike when they please; and this is precisely the kernel and
the only touch-point of the whole question. No nation ever had the
power of conquest that did not use it, or abuse it, at the very first
favourable opportunity. All that is said of the magnanimity and
forbearance of mighty nations can be explained on the principle of
sheer inexpediency, as the world knows. The whole face of Europe has
been changed, and the dynasties of many hundred years have been swept
away within our own time, on the principle of might alone--the oldest,
the strongest, and, as some would have it, the most sacred of all
titles. The thirteen original States of America, with all their
professions of self-denial, have been all the time, by money, power,
and by war, and by negociation, extending their frontier until they
more than quadrupled their territory within sixty years; and believe it
who may, are they now of their own accord to come to a full stop? No;
as long as they have the power, they must go on onward: for it is the
very nature of power to grip whatever is within its reach. It is not
their hostile feelings, therefore, but it is their power, and only
their power, I dread; and I now state it as my solemn conviction, that
it becomes the duty of every British subject in these Provinces to
control that power, not by the insane policy of attacking or weakening
them, but by strengthening ourselves--rising, with the whole power of
Britain at our back, to their level, and so be prepared for any
emergency. There is no sensible or unprejudiced man in the community
who does not see that vigorous and timely preparation is the only
possible means of saving us from the horrors of a war such as the world
has never seen. To be fully prepared is the only practical argument
that can have weight with a powerful enemy, and make him pause
beforehand and count the cost. And as the sort of preparation I speak
of is utterly hopeless without the union of the Provinces, so at a
moment when public opinion is being formed on this vital point, as one
deeply concerned, I feel it a duty to declare myself unequivocally in
favour of Confederation as cheaply and as honourably as possible--but
Confederation at all hazards and at all reasonable sacrifices.

"'After the most mature consideration, and all the arguments I have
heard on both sides for the last month, these are my inmost convictions
on the necessity and merits of a measure which alone, under Providence,
can secure to us social order and peace, and rational liberty, and all
the blessings we now enjoy, under the mildest Government and the
hallowed institutions of the freest and happiest country in the world.'

"These are the words of a statesman--of a mitred statesman--one of that
order of mighty men, powerful in their generation, whose statesmanly
gifts have been cast in the strong mould of theological discipline--
such men as were Ximenes and Wolsey, Laud and Knox. The next motive for
Union to which I shall refer is, that it will strengthen rather than
weaken the connection with the Empire, so essential to these rising
Provinces. Those who may be called, if there are any such, the anti-
Unionists, allege, that this scheme now submitted will bring separation
in its train. How, pray? By making these countries more important, will
you make them less desirable as connections to England? By making their
trade more valuable, will you make her more anxious to get rid of it?
By reducing their Federal tariff, will you lessen their interest for
England? By making them stronger for each other's aid, will you make
her less willing to discharge a lighter than a greater responsibility?
But if the thing did not answer itself, England has answered that she
'cordially approves' of our plan of Union,--and she has always been
accounted a pretty good judge of her own Imperial interests. She does
not consider our union inimical to those interests. Instead of looking
upon it with a dark and discouraging frown, she cheers us on by her
most cordial approval, and bids us a hearty 'God speed' in the new path
we have chosen to enter. But I put it on provincial grounds as well.
When Canada proposed to move, in 1859, Newfoundland alone responded;
when Nova Scotia moved, in 1860, New Brunswick alone agreed to go with
her; at all events, Canada did not then concur. Of late years the
language of the Colonial Office, of Mr. Labouchere, of Sir Bulwer
Lytton, and of the lamented Duke of Newcastle, was substantially:
'Agree among yourselves, gentlemen, and we will not stand in the way.'
Ah! there was the rub--'Agree among yourselves!' Easier said than done,
with five Colonies so long estranged, and whose former negotiations had
generally ended in bitter controversies. Up to the last year there was
no conjunction of circumstances favourable to bringing about this
union, and probably if we suffer this opportunity to be wasted we shall
never see again such another conjunction as will enable us to agree,
even so far, among ourselves. By a most fortunate concurrence of
circumstances--by what I presume to call, speaking of events of this
magnitude, a providential concurrence of circumstances--the Government
of Canada was so modified last spring as to enable it to deal
fearlessly with this subject, at the very moment when the coast
Colonies, despairing of a Canadian union, were arranging a conference
of their own for a union of their own. Our Government embraced among
its members from the western section the leaders of the former Ministry
and former Opposition from that section. At the time it was formed it
announced to this House that it was its intention, as part of its
policy, to seek a conference with the Lower Colonies, and endeavour to
bring about a general union. This House formally gave the Government
its confidence after the announcement of that policy, and although I
have no desire to strain terms, it does appear to me that this House
did thereby fully commit itself to the principle of a union of the
Colonies, if practicable. Everything we did was done in form and with
propriety, and the result of our proceedings is the document that has
been submitted to the Imperial Government as well as to this House, and
which we speak of here as a treaty. And that there may be no doubt
about our position in regard to that document, we say, Question it you
may, reject it you may, or accept it you may, but alter it you may not.
It is beyond your power, or our power, to alter it. There is not a
sentence--not even a word--you can alter without desiring to throw out
the document. Alter it, and we know at once what you mean--you thereby
declare yourselves against the only possible union. On this point, I
repeat, after all my hon. friends who have already spoken, for one
party to alter a treaty, is, of course, to destroy it. Let us be frank
with each other; you do not like our work, nor do you like us who stand
by it, clause by clause, line by line, and letter by letter. Well, we
believe we have here given to our countrymen of all the Provinces the
possible best--that we have given them an approximation to the right--
their representatives and ours have laboured at it, letter and spirit,
form and substance, until they found this basis of agreement, which we
are all confident will not now, nor for many a day to come, be easily
swept away. And first, I will make a remark to some of the French
Canadian gentlemen who are said to be opposed to our project, on French
Canadian grounds only. I will remind them, I hope not improperly, that
every one of the Colonies we now propose to re-unite under one rule--in
which they shall have a potential voice--were once before united as New
France. Newfoundland, the uttermost, was theirs, and one large section
of its coast is still known as the 'French shore;' Cape Breton was
theirs till the final fall of Louisburgh; Prince Edward Island was
their Island of St. Jean; Charlottetown was their Port Joli; and
Frederickton, the present capital of New Brunswick, their St. Anne's;
in the heart of Nova Scotia was that fair Acadian land, where the roll
of Longfellow's noble hexameters may be heard in every wave that breaks
upon the base of Cape Blomedon. In the northern counties of New
Brunswick, from the Mirimichi to the Metapediac, they had their forts
and farms, their churches and their festivals, before the English
speech had ever once been heard between those rivers. Nor is that
tenacious Norman and Breton race extinct in their old haunts and homes.
I have heard one of the members for Cape Breton speak in high terms of
that portion of his constituency; and I believe I am correct in saying
that Mr. Le Visconte, the late Finance Minister of Nova Scotia, was, in
the literal sense of the term, an Acadian. Mr. Cozzans, of New York,
who wrote a very readable little book the other day about Nova Scotia,
describes the French residents near the basin of Minas, and he says,
especially of the women, 'they might have stepped out of Normandy a
hundred years ago!' In New Brunswick there is more than one county,
especially in the North, where business, and law, and politics, require
a knowledge of both French and English.

"I think it is to their honour, that the Highlanders in all the Lower
Provinces preserve faithfully the religion, as well as the language and
traditions of their fathers. The Catholic Bishop of Charlottetown is a
McIntyre; his Right Rev. Brother of Arichat (Cape Breton) is a
McKinnon; and in the list of the clergy, I find a. constant succession
of such names as McDonald, McGillis, McGillvary, McLeod, McKenzie, and
Cameron--all 'Anglo-Saxons' of course, and mixed up with them
Fourniers, Gauvreaus, Paquets, and Martells, whose origin is easy to
discover. Another of the original elements of that population remains
to be noticed--the U. E. Loyalists, who founded New Brunswick (as they
founded Upper Canada), for whom New Brunswick was made a separate
Province in 1784, as Upper Canada was for their relatives in 1791.
Their descendants still flourish in the land, holding many positions of
honour; and as a representative of the class, I shall only mention
Judge Wilmot, who the other day declared, in charging one of his grand
juries, that if it were necessary to carry Confederation in New
Brunswick, so impressed was he with the necessity of the measure, to
the very existence of British laws and British institutions on this
continent, he was prepared to quit the Bench and return to politics.
There are other elements also not to be overlooked. The thrifty Germans
of Lunenberg, whose homes are the neatest upon the land, as their fleet
is the tightest on the sea; and other small sub-divisions; but I shall
not prolong this analysis. I may observe, however, that this population
is almost universally a native population of three or four or more
generations. In New Brunswick, at the most there is about twelve per
cent. of an immigrant people; in Nova Scotia, about eight; in the two
Islands, even less. In the eye of the law, we admit no disparity
between natives and immigrants in this country; but it is to be
considered that where men are born in the presence of the graves of
their fathers, for even a few generations, the influence of the fact is
great in enhancing their attachment to that soil. I admit, for my part,
as an immigrant, of no divided allegiance to Canada and her interest;
but it would be untrue and paltry to deny a divided affection between
the old country and the new. Kept within just bounds, such an affection
is reasonable, is right and creditable to those who cherish it. Why I
refer to this broad fact, which distinguishes the populations of all
the four seaward Provinces, as much as it does Lower Canada herself,
is, to show the fixity and stability of that population; to show that
they are by birth British-Americans; that they can nearly all, of every
origin, use that proud phrase when they look daily from their doors,
'This is my own, my native land.' Let but that population and ours come
together for a generation or two--such are the elements that compose,
such the conditions that surround it--and their mutual descendants will
hear with wonder, when the history of these present transactions is
written, that this plan of union could ever have been seriously opposed
by statesmen in Canada or elsewhere. I am told, however, by one or two
members of this House, and by exclusive-minded Canadians out of it,
that they cannot get up any patriotic feeling about this union with New
Brunswick or Nova Scotia, and that they cannot look with any interest
at those Colonies, with which we have had hitherto so little
association. 'What's Hecuba to me, or I to Hecuba!' Well, I answer to
that, Know them, and my word for it, you will like them. I have made
several journeys there, and I have seen much of the people, and the
more I have seen of them, the more I respected and esteemed them. I
say, then, to these gentlemen, that if you desire any patriotism on the
subject; if you want to stir up a common sentiment of affection between
these people and ourselves, bring us all into closer relation together,
and, having the elements of a vigorous nationality within us, each will
find something to like and respect in the other; mutual confidence and
respect will follow, and the feeling of being engaged in a common cause
for the good of a common nationality will grow up of itself without
being forced by any man's advocacy. The thing who shuts up his heart
against his kindred, his neighbours, and his fellow-subjects, may be a
very pretty fellow at a parish vestry, but do you call such a forked-
radish as that, a man? Don't so abuse the noblest word in the language.

       *       *       *       *       *

"But there is one special source of wealth to be found in the Maritime
Provinces, which was not in any detail exhibited by my hon. friends--I
allude to the important article of coal. I think there can be no doubt
that, in some parts of Canada, we are fast passing out of the era of
wood as fuel, and entering on that of coal. In my own city every year,
there is great suffering among the poor from the enormous price of
fuel, and large sums are paid away by national societies and benevolent
individuals, to prevent whole families perishing for want of fuel. I
believe we must all concur with Sir William Logan, that we have no coal
in Canada, and I may venture to state, on my own authority, another
fact, that we have--a five months' winter, generally very cold.

"Sir W. E. Logan demonstrated by a laborious survey the thickness or
depth of the whole group in Northern Nova Scotia to be over 2 3/4
miles, an amount which far exceeds anything seen in the coal formation
in other parts of North America; in this group there are seventy-six
coal beds one above the other.

"These exhaustless coal fields will, under our plan--which is in fact
our Reciprocity Treaty with the Lower Provinces--become, hereafter, the
great resource of our towns for fuel. I see the cry is raised below by
the anti-Unionists, that to proceed with Confederation would be to
entail the loss of the New England market for their coals. I do not
quite see how they make this out, but even an anti-Unionist might see
that the population of Canada is within a fraction of that of all New
England put together, that we consume in this country as much fuel per
annum as they do in New England; and, therefore, that we offer them a
market under the Union equal to that which these theorizers want to
persuade their followers they would lose. Sir, another cry raised by
the anti-Unionists below is, that they would have to fight for the
defence of Canada--a very specious argument. What, Sir, three millions
and one million unite, and the one million do the fighting for all! In
proportion to their numbers no doubt these valiant gentlemen will have
to fight, if fighting is to be done, but not one man or one shilling
more than Canada, _pro rata_, will they have to risk or spend. On
the contrary, the greater community, if she should not happen to be
first attacked, would be obliged to fight for them, and in doing so, I
do not hesitate to say, on far better authority than my own, that the
man who fights for the valley and harbour of St. John, or even for
Halifax, fights for Canada. I will suppose another not impossible case.
I will suppose a hostile American army, on a fishery or any other war,
finding it easier and cheaper to seize the Lower Colonies by land than
by sea, by a march from a convenient rendezvous on Lake Champlain,
through Lower Canada, into the upper part of New Brunswick, and so
downward to the sea--a march like Sherman's march from Knoxville to
Savannah. While we obstructed such a march by every means in our power,
from the Richelieu to Riviere du Loup, whose battles would we be
fighting then? Why, the seaports aimed at, for our common subjugation.
But the truth is, all these selfish views and arguments are remarkably
short-sighted, unworthy of the subject, and unworthy even of those who
use them. In a commercial, in a military, in every point of view, we
are all, rightly considered, dependent on each other. Newfoundland
dominates the Gulf, and none of us can afford to be separated from her.
Lord Chatham said he would as soon abandon Plymouth as Newfoundland to
a foreign power, and he is thought to have understood how to govern
men. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are Siamese twins, held together by
that ligature of land between Baie Verte and Cumberland Basin, and the
fate of the one must follow the fate of the other. Prince Edward Island
is only a little bit broken off by the Northumberland Strait from those
two bigger brethren, and Upper and Lower Canada are essential to each
other's prosperity.

"If the honest and misguided would but reflect for a moment the risks
they run by defeating, or even delaying this measure, I am sure they
would, even yet, retract. If we reject it now, is there any human
probability that we shall ever see again so propitious a set of
circumstances to bring about the same results? How they came about we
all know. The strange and fortunate events that have occurred in
Canada; the extraordinary concessions made by the leaders of the
Governments below--Dr. Tupper, the Nova Scotian Premier, for instance,
admitting to his confidence, and bringing with him here as his co-
representatives, the Hon. Messrs. Archibald and McCully, two of his
most determined political opponent--can we ever expect, if we reject
this scheme, that the same or similar things will occur again to favour
it? Can we expect to see the leader of the Upper Canadian Conservative
party and the leader of the Upper Canadian Liberals sitting side by
side again, if this project fails to work out, in a spirit of mutual
compromise and concession, the problem of our constitutional
difficulties? No, Sir, it is too much to expect. Miracles would cease
to be miracles if they were events of every-day occurrence; the very
nature of wonders requires that they should be rare; and this is a
miraculous and wonderful circumstance, that men at the head of the
Governments in five separate Provinces, and men at the head of the
parties opposing them, all agreed at the same time to sink party
differences for the good of all, and did not shrink, at the risk of
having their motives misunderstood, from associating together for the
purpose of bringing about this result. I have asked, Sir, what risks do
we run if we reject this measure? We run the risk of being swallowed up
by the spirit of universal democracy that prevails in the United
States. Their usual and favourite motto is--

               "'No pent-up Utica contracts our powers,
                 But the whole boundless continent is ours.

That is the popular paraphrase of the Monroe doctrine. And the popular
voice has favoured--aye, and the greatest statesmen among them have
looked upon it as inevitable--an extension of the principles of
democracy over this continent. Now, I suppose a universal democracy is
no more acceptable to us than a universal monarchy in Europe would have
been to our ancestors; yet for three centuries--from Charles V. to
Napoleon--our fathers combated to the death against the subjugation of
all Europe to a single system or a single master, and heaped up a debt
which has since burdened the producing classes of the Empire with an
enormous load of taxation, which, perhaps, none other except the hardy
and ever-growing industry of those little islands could have borne up
under. The idea of a universal democracy in America is no more welcome
to the minds of thoughtful men among us than was that of a universal
monarchy to the minds of the thoughtful men who followed the standard
of the third William, or who afterwards, under the great Marlborough,
opposed the armies of the particular dynasty that sought to place
Europe under a single dominion.

"But if we are to have a universal democracy on this continent, the
Lower Provinces--the smaller fragments--will be 'gobbled up' first, and
we will come in afterwards by way of dessert. The proposed
Confederation will enable us to bear up shoulder to shoulder; to resist
the spread of this universal democracy doctrine; it will make it more
desirable to maintain on both sides the connection that binds us to the
parent State; it will raise us from the position of mere dependent
colonies to a new and more important position; it will give us a new
lease of existence under other and more favourable conditions; and
resistance to this project, which is pregnant with so many advantages
to us and to our children, means simply this, ultimate union with the
United States. But these are small matters, wholly unworthy of the
attention of the Smiths, and Annands, and Palmers, who have come
forward to forbid the banns of British-American Union. Mr. Speaker,
before I draw to a close the little remainder of what I have to say--
and I am sorry to have detained the House so long--

I beg to offer a few observations _apropos_ of my own position as
an English-speaking member for Lower Canada. I venture, in the first
place, to observe that there seems to be a good deal of exaggeration on
the subject of race, occasionally introduced, both on the one side and
the other, in this section of the country. I congratulate my honorable
friend, the Attorney-General for this section, on his freedom from such
prejudices in general, though I still think in matters of patronage and
the like he always looks first to his own compatriots for which neither
do I blame him. But this theory of race is sometimes carried to an
anti-christian and unphilosophical excess. Whose words are these--'God
hath made of one blood all nations that dwell on the face of the
earth'? Is not that the true theory of race? For my part, I am not
afraid of the French Canadian majority in the future local government
doing injustice, except accidentally; not because I am of the same
religion as themselves; for origin and language are barriers stronger
to divide men in this world than is religion to unite them. Neither do
I believe that my Protestant compatriots need have any such fear. The
French Canadians have never been an intolerant people; it is not in
their temper, unless they had been persecuted, perhaps, and then it
might have been as it has been with other races of all religions.

"All who have spoken on this subject have said a good deal, as was
natural, of the interests at stake in the success or failure of this
plan of Confederation. I trust the House will permit me to add a few
words as to the principle of Confederation considered in itself. In the
application of this principle to former constitutions there certainly
always was one fatal defect, the weakness of the central authority. Of
all the Federal constitutions I have ever heard or read of, this was
the fatal malady: they were short-lived, they died of consumption. But
I am not prepared to say that because the Tuscan League elected its
chief magistrates but for two months and lasted a century, that
therefore the Federal principle failed. On the contrary, there is
something in the frequent, fond recurrence of mankind to this
principle, among the freest people, in their best times and in their
worst dangers, which leads me to believe, that it has a very deep hold
in human nature itself--an excellent basis for a government to have.
But, indeed, Sir, the main question is the due distribution of powers
in a Federal Union--a question I dare not touch to-night, but which I
may be prepared to say something on before the vote is taken. The
principle itself seems to me to be capable of being so adapted as to
promote internal peace and external security, and to call into action a
genuine, enduring, and heroic patriotism. It is a fruit of this
principle that makes the modern Italian look back with sorrow and pride
over a dreary waste of seven centuries to the famous field of Legnano;
it was this principle kindled the beacons which yet burn on the rocks
of Uri; it was this principle that broke the dykes of Holland and
overwhelmed the Spanish with the fate of the Egyptian oppressor. It is
a principle capable of inspiring a noble ambition and a most salutary
emulation. You have sent your young men to guard your frontier. You
want a principle to guard your young men, and thus truly defend your
frontier. For what do good men who make the best soldiers fight? For a
line of scripture or chalk line--for a text or for a pretext? What is a
better boundary between nations than a parallel of latitude, or even a
natural obstacle?--what really keeps nations intact and apart?--a
principle. When I can hear our young men say as proudly, 'our
Federation,' or 'our Country,' or 'our Kingdom,' as the young men of
other countries do, speaking of their own, then I shall have less
apprehension for the result of whatever trials the future may have in
store for us. It has been said that the Federal Constitution of the
United States has failed. I, Sir, have never said it. The Attorney-
General West told you the other night that he did not consider it a
failure; and I remember that in 1861, when in this House I remarked the
same thing, the only man who then applauded the statement was the
Attorney-General West,--so that it is plain he did not simply adopt the
argument for use the other night when advocating a Federal Union among
ourselves. It may be a failure for us, paradoxical as this may seem,
and yet not a failure for them. They have had eighty years' use of it,
and having discovered its defects, may apply a remedy and go on with it
eighty years longer. But we also were lookers on, who saw its defects
as the machine worked, and who have prepared contrivances by which it
can be improved and kept in more perfect order when applied to
ourselves. And one of the foremost statesmen in England, distinguished
alike in politics and literature, has declared, as the President of the
Council informed us, that we have combined the best parts of the
British and the American systems of government; an opinion deliberately
formed at a distance, without prejudice, and expressed without
interested motives of any description. We have, in relation to the head
of the Government, in relation to the judiciary, in relation to the
second chamber of the Legislature, in relation to the financial
responsibility of the General Government, and in relation to the public
officials whose tenure of office is during good behaviour instead of at
the caprice of a party--in all these respects we have adopted the
British system; in other respects we have learned something from the
American system, and I trust and believe we have made a very tolerable
combination of both.

"The principle of Federation is a generous principle. It is a principle
that gives men local duties to discharge, and invests them at the same
time with general supervision, and excites a healthy sense of
responsibility and comprehension. It is a principle that has produced a
wise and true spirit of statesmanship in all countries in which it has
ever been applied. It is a principle eminently favourable to liberty,
because local affairs are left to be dealt with by local bodies, and
cannot be interfered with by those who have no local interest in them,
while matters of a general character are left exclusively to a General
Government. It is a principle inseparable from every government that
ever gave extended and important services to a country, because all
governments have been more or less confederations in their character.
Spain was a Federation, for although it had a king reigning over the
whole country, it had its local governments for the administration of
local affairs. The British Isles are a _quasi_-Confederation, and
the old French dukedoms were confederated in the States-General. It is
a principle that runs through all the history of civilization in one
form or another, and exists alike in monarchies and democracies; and
having adopted it as the principle of our future government, there were
only the details to arrange and agree upon. Those details are before
you. It is not in our power to alter any of them even if the House
desires it. If the House desires, it can _reject_ the treaty, but
we cannot, nor can the other Provinces, which took part in its
negociation, consent that it shall be _altered_ in the slightest

"Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to have detained the House so long, and was
not aware till I had been some time on my legs, that my physical
strength was so inadequate to the exposition of those few points which,
not specially noticed by my predecessors in this debate, I undertook to
speak upon. We stand at present in this position: we are bound in
honour, we are bound in good faith, to four Provinces occupied by our
fellow colonists, to carry out the measure of Union agreed upon here in
the last week of October. We are bound to carry it to the foot of the
Throne, and ask there from Her Majesty, according to the first
resolution of the Address, that she will be graciously pleased to
direct legislation to be had on this subject. We go to the Imperial
Government, the common arbiter of us all, in our true Federal
metropolis--we go there to ask for our fundamental Charter. We hope, by
having that Charter, which can only be amended by the authority that
made it, that we will lay the basis of permanency for our future
government. The two great things that all men aim at in free
government, are liberty and permanency. We have had liberty enough--too
much, perhaps, in some respects--but, at all events, liberty to our
hearts' content. There is not on the face of the earth a freer people
than the inhabitants of these Colonies. But it is necessary there
should be respect for the law, a high central authority, the virtue of
civil obedience, obeying the law for the law's sake; for even when a
man's private conscience may convince him sufficiently that the law in
some cases may be wrong, he is not to set up his individual will
against the will of the country, expressed through its recognized
constitutional organs. We need in these Provinces, and we can bear, a
large infusion of authority. I am not at all afraid this Constitution
errs on the side of too great conservatism. If it be found too
conservative now, the downward tendency in political ideas which
characterises this democratic age is a sufficient guarantee for
amendment. Its conservatism is the principle on which this instrument
is strong, and worthy of the support of every colonist, and through
which it will secure the warm approbation of the Imperial authorities.
We have here no traditions and ancient venerable institutions; here,
there are no aristocratic elements hallowed by time or bright deeds;
here, every man is the first settler of the land, or removed from the
first settler one or two generations at the farthest; here, we have no
architectural monuments calling up old associations; here, we have none
of those old popular legends and stories which in other countries have
exercised a powerful share in the government; here, every man is the
son of his own works. We have none of those influences about us which,
elsewhere, have their effect upon government just as much as the
invisible atmosphere itself tends to influence life, and animal and
vegetable existence. This is a new land--a land of young pretensions
because it is new; because classes and systems have not had that time
to grow here naturally. We have no aristocracy but of virtue and
talent, which is the best aristocracy, and is the old and true meaning
of the term. There is a class of men rising in these Colonies, superior
in many respects to others with whom they might be compared. What I
should like to see, is--that fair representatives of the Canadian and
Acadian aristocracy should be sent to the foot of the Throne with that
scheme, to obtain for it the royal sanction--a scheme not suggested by
others, or imposed upon us, but one the work of ourselves, the creation
of our own intellect and of our own free, unbiassed, and untrammelled
will. I should like to see our best men go there, and endeavour to have
this measure carried through the Imperial Parliament--going into Her
Majesty's presence, and by their manner, if not actually by their
speech, saying--'During Your Majesty's reign we have had responsible
Government conceded to us: we have administered it for nearly a quarter
of a century, during which we have under it doubled our population, and
more than quadrupled our trade. The small Colonies which your ancestors
could hardly see on the map, have grown into great communities. A great
danger has arisen in our near neighbourhood. Over our homes a cloud
hangs, dark and heavy. We do not know when it may burst. With our own
strength we are not able to combat against the storm; but what we can
do, we will do cheerfully and loyally. We want time to grow; we want
more people to fill our country, more industrious families of men to
develop our resources; we want to increase our prosperity; we want more
extended trade and commerce; we want more land tilled--more men
established through our wastes and wildernesses. We of the British
North-American Provinces want to be joined together, that, if danger
comes, we can support each other in the day of trial. We come to Your
Majesty, who have given us liberty, to give us unity, that we may
preserve and perpetuate our freedom; and whatsoever charter, in the
wisdom of Your Majesty and of Your Parliament, you give us, we shall
loyally obey and observe as long as it is the pleasure of Your Majesty
and Your Successors to maintain the connection between Great Britain
and these Colonies.'"


1851.--First Visit to America: a Reason for it.

My first visit to America was mainly induced by a misfortune which
happened to me in the spring of 1846. The year 1845 had been one of
excitement, and my hands had been very full at that time. I was to a
great extent a water drinker. I had the habit of sticking to my work,
various and complicated as much of it was, day by day, until that day's
work was done. It often happened that I forgot to eat the modest lunch
carefully put in my pocket by my wife on my leaving home, in early
morning. And often and often I did not get home till nine o'clock at
night, so tired that occasionally I fell asleep over my dinner; and my
wife, seeing my condition of fatigue, got into the habit of carving our
frugal joints, a habit which has become permanent. Thus, when I say, as
a bit of pleasantry, that where the lady carves, you learn who is the
master of the house, Lady Watkin will retort by mentioning this old
story of past and anxious times.

Well, the Trent Valley Railway, of which I was Secretary and Manager,
was sold, at a large profit--I think 438,000_l._--to the London
and Birmingham and Grand Junction Companies, then about to amalgamate
under the name of the "London and North Western." In the spring of 1846
it became necessary to close our accounts, and balance our books, with
a view to give each shareholder his share of principal and profit. It
was arranged that the shareholders should call at the office in Norfolk
Street, in Manchester, for their cheques on and after a day in April,
1846. Two days before this date, my Scotch book-keeper came to me to
report that in balancing the books he was out the small sum of
1_s_. 10_d_. (I think it was), and he proposed to carry that
to profit and loss ("Profeet and Loasse," he said). To which I, of
course, replied, "My good friend, a failure to balance of even a penny
may conceal errors on the two sides of the account by the hundred. Set
all hands to work to call over every item." We set to work, and I was
up the best part of one, and the whole of another, night. I was so
anxious that I did not feel to want food; and drink I was unused to. A
beefsteak and a pint of stout would have saved me from ten years, more
or less, of suffering, weakness, and all kinds of misery. In the early
morning of the day on which we were to begin paying off our
shareholders, the books balanced. We had discovered errors, both to
debit and credit, probably a hundred at least in number.

It was a clear, cold morning. I went out to a little barber's shop and
got shaved. I did not feel in want of food--and took none. At ten
o'clock shareholders began to arrive: got their cheques, and went away
satisfied. One of them, who would gain about 30,000_l._, actually
gave me a 5_l._ note for the clerks, which was the only expression
of gratitude of a practical character, so far as I remember, now. About
noon Mr. Henry Houldsworth, the father of the present member for
Manchester, called for his cheque; and, chatting with him at the time,
as I was making the upstroke of the letter H in "Houldsworth," I felt
as if my whole body was forced up into my head, and that was ready to
burst. I raised my head, and this strange feeling went away. I thought,
how strange! I tried again, the same feeling came again and again,
till, with a face white as paper, that alarmed those about me, I fell
forward on the desk. Water was given me; but I could not swallow it. I
never lost entire consciousness; but I thought I was going to die. I
never can forget all that in those moments passed through my brain.
They put me into a carriage, and took me to the consulting room, in
Mosley Street, of my old friend William Smith, the celebrated
Manchester surgeon, nephew of the great Mr. Turner, the surgeon. He
placed me on a sofa, and asked me what it was,--feeling, or trying to
find, my pulse the while. I whispered, "Up all night--over-anxious--no
food." He gave me brandy and soda water, and a biscuit, and told me to
lie still. I had never tasted this popular drink before. In about a
quarter of an hour I felt better, got up, and said, "Oh! I am all right
now." But Mr. Smith, nevertheless, ordered me to go home at once, go to
bed, take a pill--I assume, a narcotic--which he gave me, and not to
get up till he had seen me in the morning. I insisted on calling at the
office. I felt able to go on with my work. But at the office, something
in my looks induced them to send a faithful clerk with me in the cab to
our house, Woodland Cottage, Higher Broughton. So he and I went away. I
found afterwards, that some of the clerks said, "We shall never see him
again." But they did--shaky and seedy, as he was, for many a long day.

Well, just as our cab mounted the small hill on which our house stood,
the faithful clerk, with more zeal than discretion, said, "You look
awful ill, sir; why your face is as white as my shirt." I looked at his
shirt, seemingly guiltless, for days past, of the washerwoman.

But I was within three minutes of home: and I was distressed at the
thought of alarming my wife, who was not in a condition to be alarmed.
So, with what little strength I had left, I rubbed my forehead, face,
nose, lips, chin, with my clenched fist, to restore some slight colour.
Entering our door, I said, "I am rather worn out, and will go to bed.
Up all night. Work done. Now, please, I will go to bed."

So, after every affectionate care that a good wife could pay, I
swallowed my narcotic pill--and slept, slept, slept--till, at eight in
the morning, the sun was coming in, charmingly, through the windows.
Nothing seemed to ail me. What weakness, what nonsense, said I. But I
had promised to remain in bed till Mr. Smith came. But I sent down for
my clerks, and at 11 a.m. I was in full activity, dictating to one man,
listening to another, and giving orders to a third, in, as I thought,
the fullest voice--when in came Mr. Smith. He looked round in doubt,
and then went down stairs. I have only just forgiven him for that. For
in a moment up came my wife. "Edward," she said, "Mr. Smith declares
that if you do not give over at once, you will have brain fever." Oh!
unwise Smith. The words were hardly out of my wife's mouth, when I felt
I could do no more. Had the world been offered to me, I could have done
no more.

Alas! my _nerve_ was gone.

At that tune I was working for a livelihood. Fortunate that it was so,
otherwise a lunatic asylum, or a permanent state of what the doctors
call hypochondriasis, might have followed.

After some years of struggle with this nerve-demon, the child of
overwork, I wrote, in 1850:--

"I am not fond of writing, and I know I must do it badly. Still I feel
that the little narrative I am about to put together may do some good
to some few people who may be suffering. I know that the roughest and
dullest book ever written, had it contained a similar relation to this
of mine, would have brought balm to my mind and hope to my heart not
many years ago. And who knows but that other men (for the scenes of
this world, and its good and evil, are very much alike), may be
suffering as I did, and may therefore be influenced by my rude
scribbling, as I might have been by some of theirs?

"There was a time, and not a very distant one either, when I was
utterly ignorant of two things--first, the existence, in my particular
case, of the thing called the human stomach; and secondly, the reality
of those mysterious telegraphic wires--yclept NERVES. Often nave I
sneered at 'bilious subjects,' 'dyspepsia,' and that long string of
woes which one hears of, in such luxuriance of description, usually
over breakfast, at Clifton, Tonbridge, or Harrogate. Like the old
Duchess of Marlborough, too, I used 'to thank God I was born before
nerves came into fashion.'

"But 'live and learn.' I have lived; and I have learnt the utter misery
which a deranged digestion and jarring nerves, acting and reacting upon
each other, can inflict upon their victims. To be laid up in bed for a
month with a violent disease is nothing. You are killed or cured; made
better, and your illness forgotten even by yourself; or quietly laid
under the dust of your mother earth, to lie there in oblivion, the busy
world moving on, unheeding, over your cold remains, till the great day
of judgment. But to have, as it were, your whole 'mind, body, soul, and
strength' turned, with a resistless fascination, into the frightened
study of your own dreadful anatomy. To find your courage quail, not
before real danger, but at phantoms and shadows--nay, actually at your
own horrid self--to feel every act of life and every moment of business
a task, an effort, a trial, and a pain. Sometimes to be unable to sleep
for a week--sometimes to sleep, but, at the dead of night, to wake,
your bed shaking under you from the violent palpitation of your heart,
and your pillow drenched with cold sweat pouring from you in streams.
But, worst of all, if you are of a stubborn, dogged, temper, and are
blessed with a strong desire to 'get on'--to feel yourself unable to
make some efforts at all, to find yourself breaking down before all the
world in others, and to learn, at last, in consequence, almost to hate
the half-dead and failing carcase tied to your still living will. This,
not for months only, but for YEARS. Years, too, in what ought to be
your prime of manhood. Ah! old age and incapacity at thirty is a
bitter, bitter punishment. Better be dead than suffer it; for you must
suffer it alone and in silence--you may not hope for sympathy--you dare
not desire it--you see no prospect of relief--you wage a double
warfare, with the world and with yourself. I do not, I dare not,
exaggerate. Indeed, a lady of a certain age could hardly feel more
abashed at the sudden production of her baptismal certificate than I--a
man, a matter-of-fact man, a plain, hard-headed, unimaginative man of
business--do, at this confession. Suffice it to say, that in the last
four years I have lived the life of a soul in purgatory or an
inhabitant of the 'Inferno,' and though I have worked like a horse,
determined, if possible, to rout out my evil genii--the wave of health
has gradually receded, till, at last, an internal voice has seemed
solemnly to say, 'Thus far shalt thou go and no farther.'

"If any one, who has not suffered similarly, has patience to read thus
far (which is doubtful), before now he has said, with Mr. Burchell in
the 'Vicar of Wakefield'--'FUDGE.' No matter--I should have so
exclaimed once; and I now envy him his healthy ignorance. The history
of my derangements is told above in one word: that word is--OVERWORK.

"If any one who may not just like an actual dissection, will look at
one of Quain's 'Plates of the Bones, Muscles, and Nerves of the Human
Body,' he will see that, growing as it were out of the walls of the
stomach, there are, in our wonderful human machine, great bunches of
nerves, called, by the medicals, the 'great ganglionic system,' and he
will observe that these nerves are in intimate and inseparable
connection with the spinal cord, and the brain. Then, if he recollects
that a perpetual series of conversations and signals goes on by those
agents between the stomach and the brain--that, in fact, the two are
talking together every moment (without even the delay of that
inappreciable interval for which the electric current lingers on the
wires in its wondrous progress of intelligence)--he will see that he
cannot abuse either great organ without a 'combination of parties'
against his administration.

"My unfortunate mistake, therefore, was this: I _overworked my
brain_. It rebelled. Stomach joined the outbreak. Heart beat to the
rescue; and all the other corporal powers sympathised in the attempt to
put me down. They would not stand ten days' work a week, and no
Sunday,--relieved though the labour might be by the amusement of
speeches and leading articles.

"The first explosion of the conspiracy laid me fainting at the desk. A
sort of truce followed this. I consented for a few days to the terms of
the belligerents.

I rested. But resting, I was restless. Unfit to work, I was tormented
by an unnatural desire for action. Thus I roused myself early--rode to
the office (for I was too weak to walk), buried myself amidst my
letters, reports and accounts--and rushed on with the day's duties as
if all the work of the world had to be done in that one day, and that
one day was the last. But an hour or two usually settled the contest.
Head swam, heart beat, fluttered, stopped, struggled,--knees knocked
together,--and out oozed that cold clammy sweat which reminds one of
weakness and the grave. So with a pale face, anxious eye, and hollow
cheek, I had to quit the desk again and ride mournfully home, the
remainder of the day being consumed in a rest, which only increased my
melancholy feelings, because it made me more than ever conscious of my
feebleness and excitability.

"But by great care and management of myself, by desperate strivings to
get a little health, I _did_ improve. Two hours a day at work, two
or three times a week, became two or three hours every working day of
the week. Then, as a wonderful achievement, at last I managed to endure
half a day's business at a time. And at the end of some months (one
beautiful day in August, bless the sunlight) I actually did a
_whole_ day's work! And so, at last, I got before the wind
sufficiently to engage again in the competition of business life, with
some credit and success. None of those, however, with whom I had to
compete, and to whom work (as it should be to every man in health) was
easy and pleasant, knew the cost of many of my weary days and nights of
labour, or the nervous suffering and physical weakness; in spite of
which I endeavoured always to meet my compeers in the working world
with pleasantry, or at least with a smile.

"I had many relapses--but I hardly ever laid up for more than an hour
or two. In these cases a loll, or rather a recumbent pant, upon the
sofa, and a dose of some bitter tonic, or a strong glass of brandy,
usually brought down the palpitation, and enabled me to set to work
again as if nothing had happened. Indeed, as the eels get accustomed to
skinning, so I got used to all this; and it became at last an old
habit, and bearable.

"Thus I went on from 1846 until 1850. Four years of incessant and
various labour, relieved only by the confidence and appreciation of
those who directed, and the good feeling of those who were engaged,
like me, in the executive management of the great corporation with
which, during this (to me) memorable period of my life, I was
connected. I need not repeat how thoroughly I was sustained and
comforted by the assiduity of one of the best of women. I tried to
thank her by making light of my many miseries.

"This sort of life was, however, too great and continued a strain for a
rickety machine to last. And at times, when I gave way to those strange
thoughts about the use and end of human existence, which crowd upon the
mind in nervous disease--it seemed to me as if I could weigh and
measure the particles of vitality from my daily diminishing store--
expended in each unnatural effort of labour--as if every stroke of my
business craft represented so much of that daily shortening distance
which lay between me and the end. I felt the price I was paying for the
privilege of labour, and for its remuneration. But I thought, ever, of
my wife and little babies, and the thought roused me to a kind of
desperation, and made me feel for the time as if I could trample
weakness under foot, and tear out, break in pieces, and cast away those
miserable, oversensitive organs, which chained, cramped, and hindered
me. I like work, too. And I had a sort of shame of confessing myself
incapable. I morbidly derided the sympathising regret likely to be
shown by my friends, and I pictured the moribund predictions likely to
follow a temporary desertion of my post.

"But the estates of my mortal realm stepped in again.

"At the end of a time of hard, anxious, and difficult labours, I went
down into the country on business, and was seized, in the streets of a
little town, with violent palpitation, and with faintness. I had to
take refuge in a shop; to resort to brandy, physic, and a doctor; and,
at the close of a day's confinement to my room, to sneak back to
London, as miserable as any poor dog, who, having run about all day
with a tin kettle at his tail, is, at last, released, to go limping and
exhausted home.

"I struggled with this, too, and for some time would not 'give in.' But
my face, now, would not answer to my will. It would look pale and
miserable. My friends began to commiserate me. This was dreadful. So I
at last yielded to the combined movement, of my own convictions of
necessity, the wishes of my friends, the orders of my physician, and,
most effective of all, the kind commands of one whom I deem it an
honour, as it is a necessity, to obey in most things--I went away from
business. I went away without hope. I did not expect cure. I believed
functional derangement had become, at last, organic disease--and that
my days were numbered. I tried the water cure, homoeopathy, allopathy--
everything. Some day, I must recount my consultations, on the same
Sunday, with Sir James Clarke, Her Majesty's physician, and Dr. Quin,
homoeopathist, jester, and, as some said, quack."

At the end of five years of my suffering, I went to America. The trip
did me good. It did not cure me. I wrote a book--a very little one.
Half-a-crown was its price. The present First Lord of the Treasury, Mr.
W. H. Smith, published it. All the edition was sold. I did not venture
another. I will quote some portions of it, as a preface to what is to

When this book was just out of the press, I received the following
letters from Mr. Cobden:--

                                      "DUNFORD, NEAR MIDHURST, SUSSEX,
                                      "_6th January_, 1852.


"When lately in Manchester I heard from S. P. Robinson that you had
been to the United States; that you had been much struck with what you
saw there; that we were being fast distanced by our young rival, &c.
Since then I have seen an extract in a paper from a work published by
you; but being in an outlying place here, have no means of informing
myself further about it. Now, if the book be not large, and can be sent
through the post, I wish you would let me have a copy. I know how
unreasonable it is to ask an author to give away his works; for, as Dr.
Johnson said to Thrale, the brewer, in vindication of his own rule
never to make a present of his writings, 'You do not give away your
porter, Sir;' but I feel very anxious to know what you think of the
United States.

"I have long had my notions about what was coming from the West, and
recorded my prophecy on my return from America in 1835. People in
England are determined to shut their eyes as long as they can; but they
will be startled out of their wilful blindness some day by some
gigantic facts proving the indisputable superiority of that country in
all that constitutes the power, wealth, and real greatness of a people.

"Hoping that you are quite well after your holiday, which you would not
allow to be a holiday.

                                      "I remain, very truly yours,
                                        "R. COBDEN.


In reference to a paragraph in the following, I should mention that in
my letter transmitting the book, I had written about my meetings with
Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot, and had referred to his visit to the
United States.

                                      "DUNFORD, NEAR MIDHURST,
                                        "_8th January_, 1852.


"Many thanks for your kindness in sending me a copy of your work,
which, so far as I have gone, pleases me much. You could not have done
a wiser and more patriotic service than to make the people of this
country better acquainted with what is going on in the United States.
It is from that quarter, and not from barbarous Russia, or fickle
France, that we have to expect a formidable rivalry--and yet that
country is less studied or understood in England than is the history of
ancient Egypt or Greece. I should like to go once more to America, if
only to see Niagara again. But I am a bad sailor, and should dread the
turmoil of public meetings when I arrived there.

"My impression of Kossuth's _phrenology_ was that there was not
power or animal energy sufficient to account for the ascendancy he
acquired over a turbulent aristocracy and a rude uncivilized democracy.
The secret lies evidently in his eloquence, in which he certainly
surpasses any modern orator; and, taking all things into account, he is
in that respect probably a phenomenon without equal in past or present
times. I fear when the French news reaches America, it will damp the
ardour of his friends there, and make them more than ever resolved to
'stand upon their own ground' rather than venture into the quagmire of
European politics. It has confirmed me in my non-intervention policy.
It is evident that we know nothing about the political state of even
our next neighbours, and how are we likely to be better informed about
Germany or Italy? _Their ways are not our ways._ Let us not
attempt to judge them by our standard. Let us endeavour to set them a
good example. If 36 millions of Frenchmen, or 46 millions of Germans,
submit to a despotic Government, it is because they do not really
desire anything better.

"If they wished for a different form of Government they could have it.
What presumption in _us_ to think that our interference in the
matter can be necessary!

                                      "Believe me, faithfully yours,
                                        "RICHARD COBDEN.


I venture here a few extracts from my little book of 1851, as detailing
my views, new and fresh as they were, on American questions.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have presumed to think that these hasty Letters, destitute as they
are of all literary merit, written during a visit to the 'New World,'
may be, just now, worth presenting to 'every-day sort of people,' like
myself, who have little time to travel; and, unable to do both, would
rather watch the free growth of a new country, than observe the
decadence and decrepitude of old ones. For just now, when a large part
of our labouring population is strangely awakening to the impression,
that a dollar a-day and a vote at elections in the United States are
better than eightpence a-day in Ireland; the New Home to which our
fellow-countrymen are thus flocking--and in which, somehow or other,
they prosper and are independent--is especially interesting.

"Steam navigation and railways have so far reduced the difficulties and
uncertainties of Western travel, that it is now as easy and as cheap to
spend one's autumn holidays, as I have done, in a trip to America of
some eleven thousand miles out-and-home, as fifteen years ago it was to
get to John o' Groats and back by land conveyance, or to go a-shooting
in Sutherlandshire--which, by-the-bye, is an out of the way and dismal
sort of county even yet.

"Every one ought to know how easy it is, and how pleasant and
instructive, to travel in the States. But, though many people do know
this, the plague of English travellers which annually overspreads
Europe, from July to December, and disturbs even the quiet of the Nile,
has hardly touched America. And while one cannot enter the drawing-room
of any decent house without hearing descriptions of scenery and manners
in Germany, Italy, or Russia,--to have visited America almost involves
the suspicion of some commercial connection with that country. Yet no
other land in the world has so close an alliance with our own; and,
while we are culpably ignorant of almost everything but its
peculiarities and its vices, no other country studies our history, and
watches our progress, with greater interest or more solicitude. Any
English youngster will tell you that Americans speak through their
noses, spit, and hold slaves; but how few, even of the most
intelligent, know that better English is spoken by the mass of
Americans, than by the majority of English citizens, and that education
is practically an institution of the United States, and universal;
though at home it hardly exists as a system, and can never be extended
in any truly national direction without exciting a war of parties! Be
the reason what it may, we have been in the habit of looking down on
America. We shall soon perhaps have to look up to it.

"It is but sixty-two years since the foundation of the Republic. It
then consisted of thirteen small States. It now comprises twenty-nine
States; without reckoning the new dominions of Oregon, California, New,
Mexico, and Texas. Ten years ago its area was 2,000,000 square miles,
or more than 1,300,000,000 acres. That area has become, in 1850,
3,252,689 square miles, or 2,081,717,760 acres. It is thus nearly
thirty times the size of Great Britain and Ireland.

"The Republic now possesses an ocean coast of 5,140 miles, viz.,--l,920
on the Atlantic, 1,620 on the Pacific, and 1,600 on the Gulf of Mexico.

"Its population in 1790 was less than 4,000,000; in 1840 it stood at
17,000,000; it is now 25,000,000. And if its vast territory, with a
more productive soil, and greater resources of all kinds, should some
day become as thickly peopled as our own island, it will then contain a
population of 800,000,000 of souls speaking the English tongue. If the
Federation hold together in peace, why should this result, though
distant, be doubtful? For it now comprises almost every variety of
soil, climate, vegetable productions, and mineral wealth.

Its 20,000 miles of river and lake navigation--its 10,000 miles of
railway--its 4,000 miles of canal--and its 11,000 miles of telegraphic
wire--connect every part of its vast territory together, and give to an
interminable continent the compactness of a small island. The
facilities of communication, too, place at the command of the people of
one part of the country the climate of every other. When the
thermometer is below zero at New York, a journey of three days will
bring the traveller to Savannah, where a genial temperature of 60
degrees, clear skies, and verdant nature, await him. And when a
scorching sun is filling New Orleans with fever, the cool weather of
the North, and upon the great lakes, is healthy and delightful. The
apple bloomed at Natchez, in 1850, as early as the 24th March; while at
Montpelier, in Vermont, it bloomed on the 10th June. The distance
between the two places is but three or four days' travel.

"One can hardly name a staple article of production which some part or
other of the States will not grow--not as a mere garden curiosity, but
as an article of profitable cultivation. The champagne of Cincinnati is
beginning to be noted, and tea is under experimental cultivation in
South Carolina.

"The mineral resources of the country are enormous; and their
development is only limited by the present want of capital to work them
more efficiently. The coal of Pennsylvania--the iron in various parts
of the Union--the copper of Lake Superior--the lead about Galena on the
Mississippi; and lastly, the gold of California, which has already put
in circulation a coinage of 15,000,000_l_. sterling--all these are
but the first tapping of almost boundless resources.

"In 1791, the public debt of the United States was $75,000,000. It is
now, with six times the population, only $64,000,000; and in the same
period, the imports of the country have increased from a value of
$52,000,000 to $147,000,000; the exports from $19,000,000 to
$145,000,000; and the tonnage of shipping from 500,000 tons to
3,300,000 tons.

"The post-office statistics show how the transmission of intelligence
has outstripped even the march of population. In 1790, the number of
post-offices in the entire States was 75; in 1850, the number was
16,789. In 1790, there were 4,875 miles of post routes; in 1850, there
were 167,703. In 1790, the whole post-office revenue was 37,905
dollars; in 1850, it was 4,905,176 dollars; which sum consisted of
4,082,762 dollars for letters, and 819,016 dollars for newspapers and
pamphlets. The mileage run in transportation of letters in 1850, was
42,544,069 miles, at a cost, for transportation only, of a little more
than twopence-halfpenny per mile. And the total number of letters
conveyed was 67,500,000; 62,000,000 of which were paid, and 5,500,000
free and franked.

"To come from letters to arms; it is a curious fact, as exhibiting the
real military strength of this great country, that the militia force of
the States amounts to 1,960,265 men, or as many as the whole population
of Canada, or two-thirds of that of Scotland, who could be called out
and in the field in less than a month.

"The school funds belonging to the respective States, swelled by the
constant addition of every sixteenth section of government land sold,
are very large. Those belonging to seventeen free States amounted, in
1850, in fixed value, to 21,400,000 dollars. Popular education is the
condition on which all new States are admitted into the Union.

"There are 121 colleges in the States; with a total of 950 instructors;
50,115 alumni; 9,028 ministers; and 11,565 students; and having 769,079
volumes in their libraries.

"And without a farthing from the State, or from any source beyond the
free-will offerings of the people, to support them, there are in this
country of yesterday, 30,217 churches (exclusive of those belonging to
the Wesleyans) connected with the various sects of Christians: 26,588
ministers; and 4,558,168 communicants, or 1 in 5 1/2 of the population.

"This country, then, possesses all the elements which are usually
considered as contributing to civilization and to power. It has far
outstripped us in the rate of its progress; and it becomes every day,
more and more, the refuge for the industrious poverty, not only of
Great Britain, but of Europe.

"Those who wish to gaze at ruins need not go to it. Those who only
yearn for the sight of crown jewels, or ancient armour, had better stay
away. But to all who would see the realm which Nature has spread out,
in her largest features, for the development of the Anglo-Saxon race,
under institutions once deemed Utopian, and even yet wondered at as
experimental--to all who would see how a people can GROW--North America
is the country of irresistible attraction."

       *       *       *       *       *

As to slavery, I wrote:--

"Maryland is a slave State, and Baltimore exhibits traces of the
existence of the 'Institution.' At the railway stations--the one
belonging to the line which connects Baltimore with Philadelphia, for
instance--are notices, stating 'that coloured persons desiring to go by
the cars, must be at the depot two hours before the starting of the
train, to have their names registered and their papers examined, or
they will not be allowed to travel.'

"The following announcements in the 'Baltimore Clipper,' were amongst
similar advertisements:--

"'SLAVES WANTED.--We are at all times purchasing Slaves, paying the
highest _cash_ prices. Persons wishing to sell, will please call
at 242, Pratt-street. (Slatter's Old Stand.) Communications attended

"'NEGROES WANTED.--I will pay the highest prices, in cash, for any
number of Negroes with good titles, slaves for life, or for a
term of years, in large or small families, or single Negroes. I will
also purchase Negroes restricted to remain in the State, that sustain
good characters. Families never separated. Persons having Slaves for
sale, will please call and see me, as I am always in the market with
the cash. Communications promptly attended to, and liberal commissions
paid, by John D. Denning, No. 18, South Frederick-street, between
Market and Second-streets, with trees in front of the house.'

"Maryland has 89,000 slaves, and the number is decreasing. Virginia,
its neighbour State, has 448,000--the total number in the Union being

"I have found throughout my tour, what all English travellers must
find--that slavery is a question which it is better not to go out of
one's way to discuss. For, although I have had many friendly
conversations with its most ardent supporters and most violent
opponents, I soon discovered, on the one hand, that the question is
practically compromised by the great political parties in the Free
States, from time to time, in order to conciliate Southern votes; and,
on the other, that the slave-owners consider the word 'abolition' as
synonymous with confiscation and civil war. The latter meet you at the
outset of the argument by stating that their whole property consists of
land and slaves. That their lands of course derive their value from
cultivation; and that, apart from the mere question of cost, that
cultivation is impossible in the hands of the white man. They tell you,
that while the negro endures the labour of the rice field mid-leg deep
in water, and with a scorching sun above his head, without danger, and
can withstand the miasma-hanging in the night air on the plantations--
the white man is attacked with hopeless fever if he exposes himself to
these influences. They declare that the unconditional abolition of
slavery, in a country abounding in unappropriated lands, where men may
squat without being disturbed, means simply the confiscation of three
hundred millions sterling, the value of the slaves, in the first place,
and the abandonment and destruction of the entire planting interest,
in the second. To urge the morality of the question with these men,
would be as successful as a similar appeal to our opium traders; to the
maker of fire-arms certain to burst; or, to use an American free State
illustration--to the successful manufacturer of wooden nutmegs.

"After hearing these statements, doubtless exaggerated, but which were
made with earnestness, and are at least partially true, I was not
surprised to learn, that since the forcible seizure of a slave at
Boston, some months ago, by the abolitionists of that city, many of the
Southern merchants have transferred their purchases of manufactured
goods to New York, to an extent which, were it not stated on authority,
would be beyond belief. Indeed I learn, that so strong is this anti-
abolition feeling, that where any option exists, the avowed
abolitionists are systematically avoided in business dealings. A first-
class firm in New York, having a magnificent shop in the Broadway, see
their old Southern customers pass by to a rival establishment in the
same street, the only reason being that they are known to be earnest
abolitionists, while their rival has never publicly expressed any
opinion on the question.

"This feeling, showing itself in an endless variety of shapes, is just
now most-fierce, owing to an outrage which has occurred in
Pennsylvania, in which a Mr. Gorsuch has been shot down, and his son
seriously wounded, in an attempt to seize a fugitive slave (under the
provisions of the 'fugitive slave law'), which was resisted by a rising
of the free black population, and of some white abettors.

"The 'fugitive slave law' is, indeed, simply a declaratory act. For it
is unfortunately the fact, that the Southern States gave in their
adhesion to the Federal Republic solely on condition that, while the
slave trade should cease, the institution of slavery should be
respected, and they should have the right to follow and seize fugitive
slaves in any part of the Union. The 'fugitive slave law' was the work
of the 'Union' party--a party composed of men of all shades of opinion,
who wished, by conciliation, to prevent the threatened withdrawal of
South Carolina and other slave States from the Union.

"Greatly as all just and dispassionate men must abhor slavery, every
one must admit the difficulties with which its immediate abolition is
here surrounded. The negro does not possess the cordial sympathy of the
white man. For while a small, and, politically speaking, uninfluential,
party are prepared to make every sacrifice and run all risks in order
to blot out slavery on the instant, the influential and acting leaders
of the majority, whatever their occasional language of denunciation,
and affectation of horror, are not disposed to brave the rebellion of
the South, and the possible disruption of the Republic, for the sake of
shortening the thraldom of the negro some fifty years. They profess to
rely upon the natural progress of events, which, by quiet change, has
already banished slavery from the majority of the States originally
parties to the Union; and has, within the last few years, forbidden the
future existence of slave States north of latitude 36 degrees 3o'--for the
gradual extinction of the system; and in the meantime they are prepared
to alleviate the lot of the slave; to refuse any extension of slavery;
and, as far as concession can obtain it, to narrow the area which it
now occupies.

"Perhaps, should these cold political views still hold possession of
the moving spirits of the country, the next practical step in advance
may be to secure to the slave a personal right to some small portion of
the day, and to the produce of his labour in that portion;--to say, in
fact, that after a stipulated number of hours' labour for his master,
the remainder of his time shall be his own. The effect of this would be
to enable him legally to accumulate property. And if, in addition, a
minimum price be fixed at which his master should be bound to allow him
to redeem himself, and savings' banks were opened to receive the
produce of his free earnings--some glimmering of daylight would dawn
upon his lot, and his condition, as a 'chattel' to be bought and sold,
would not be hopeless."

Referring to what I hereafter relate of the incident at Saratoga, I
may, at this point, remind the reader that, as late as 1862, President
Lincoln, a sincere abolitionist, could not see his way to declare the
freedom of the slave. He told a deputation from Chicago that "a Pope
once issued a Bull against an eclipse, but the eclipse came along
nevertheless." The moment I saw black soldiers in Northern uniform,
carrying Northern muskets, at the end of 1863, I made up my mind that
the North had won. In 1865 Dr. Mackay, registrar, showed me the
registry of the passage of John Brown's, corpse through New York. I
quote from memory; but if I recollect rightly, it was this:--

|_    Date.         Name.       Age.  Occupation.  Cause of
Death._ |
|    -----         -----       ----  -----------  --------------- |
| Nov., 1859.   John Brown      59     Farmer         Hanging     |
|                                                                 |
|                          _Remarks._                        |
|                                                                 |
|   Tried and found guilty of treason and of inciting slaves to   |
|   rebel against their masters.                                  |

       *       *       *       *       *

"Thursday, September 4, 1851.

"Owing to the locomotive habits of the people, the hotels of America
are more extensive and more systematized than ours. One of their
features is the system of charging a fixed sum per day, which covers
all the annoying extras of English hotel bills. On entering an hotel,
you write your name and address in a book, have the number of your
bedroom placed opposite your name, and receive a key, which, when you
go out you leave in the office. The breakfast, lunch, dinner, and tea,
take place at stated hours, and are managed with great precision and

"At the 'United States Hotel,' Saratoga, the waiters are blacks, and
are commanded by a black maitre d'hotel. On dinner being served, the
gong is sounded, and each guest takes his appointed place. All being
seated, the maitre d'hotel claps his hands, and in an instant, at one
_coup_, the covers are nipped away, as if with the same hand, by
waiters stationed at regular distances around the tables. Then the
serious work of eating commences. If any embarrassment arises, a clap
of the hand calls attention to it, and a sign directs its immediate
remedy. Then, as each course is finished, another clap stations the
waiters again at their old places, and at a wave of the hand all the
dishes skip off the table. Then, the table being cleared of dinner
dishes, the whole posse of waiters march two and two round the tables,
and leave the room by a side door. In a few seconds they return again
in the same order, each man bearing three dishes, and fall again into
their places. Then, all eyes being fixed upon the maitre d'hotel,
_clap one_, and down goes one dish from the hands of each waiter
all along the tables. _Clap two_ brings down dish the second; and
_clap three_ drops the third. And at a table of nearly 400 persons
all are thus served with dessert, as before they had been with each
course, in about half a moment, and each at the same time. Even in
changing knives, forks, and plates, a system is adopted. A portion of
the waiters, obeying a sign, fall out of line, and divide into threes;
one of each three bears the plates, one the knives, and one the forks;
and each party goes round its allotted length of table. Black No. 1
dots down a plate opposite each person; No. 2 plants a knife on one
side of it; No. 3 puts down a fork on the other side. The men do this
with an even regularity of movement, and a gravity which is quite
amusing. All this rapid and regular action drives dinner on amazingly;
indeed, it almost hurries you. In fifty minutes all is over, and the
table cleared. The Americans, who seem to know the value of time,
generally get up and decamp immediately after the last mouthful, which
is perhaps a sensible plan.

"At Saratoga we found a party of Indians. Eighteen of these children of
the forest, who had been down to New York to sell toys and ornaments,
which they manufacture in the winter, were on their return home, and
were encamped outside the village during Sunday. They showed little of
the costume of their tribe, or rather, I suppose I should say, want of
costume; one man wearing a pair of red plush breeches, and some of the
women having bonnets. Still there were the features, the attitudes, and
the language of the aborigines. We visited their camp at night, a
collection of gipsy-like tents, and conversed with one or two of them,
which led others to steal out and listen. I say steal out, for it was
only upon turning round, that I became aware that we were suddenly
almost surrounded. One man spoke very good English. He said they were
Oneidas, or as he pronounced it 'Onidehs,' and were going back to their
country, where they would remain with their tribe, about two hundred
and eighty of whom were left, till next year, and then come down again.

"On Sunday evening I witnessed another and a very different spectacle.
A Methodist preacher came into the village in a little four-wheeled
car, with a square black hood over it, and preached from his car, on
what is termed by the common voice 'Nigger abolition.' He was
accompanied by a young woman and a very pretty little child, who both
sat behind him. He soon got an audience, amongst whom were several men
from the Southern States. He denounced slavery in no very measured
terms, and soon provoked the Southern men to interject--'Why don't you
go into the South?' 'Why, Sir,' was the reply, 'you know, it would be
as much as my life is worth.' 'Nonsense! we will give you five hundred
dollars to go, and you shall be safe.' 'To what State, Sir?' 'Georgia,'
replied one voice; 'Alabama,' another; 'North Carolina,' another.
'Why,' was the rejoinder, 'three of our preachers were expelled from
those very States not a month ago.' 'Your niggers here are free, and
they are worse off than ours; why don't you mend their condition
first?' And so the attack and reply went on (this was Sunday evening)
for half an hour, amidst laughter, jeers, and the occasional
propulsion, by fellows behind, of some unlucky lad or other against the
poor preacher's horse; a movement which endangered the woman and child
especially, but which appeared to give great satisfaction to many, and
which no one interfered in any manner to prevent. I left the spot in
disgust. I have seen, however, as much petty intolerance at home. I
returned from my walk in time to hear the preacher pronounce his
benediction, in the midst of which there arose a hideous yell: three or
four boys were shot against the horse, and the car was nearly
overthrown; after which a shouting multitude followed the retreating
abolitionist for some distance, to harass and annoy him, as he drove
with difficulty away.

"On Monday morning, recruited by the previous day's rest, I left
Saratoga, and travelled forty-one miles by railway through a partially
cleared, and, in many parts, very beautiful country, to Whitehall,
which is at the southern end of Lake Champlain, where we took a
steamer, a nice, orderly, and comfortable boat, and steamed to Rouse's
Point, 132 miles further. The scenery of the lake is very beautiful.
The ruins of the old fortress of Ticonderoga rise upon it, standing
upon a steep rocky headland, and commanding the lake, which narrows at
this point; a wide expanse of water swelling out both above and below.
Ticonderoga was taken from the French by the English, by the use of
artillery fired down from the mountain above it. In the American war of
independence it was taken from us by surprise by one Colonel Ethen
Allen. It is reported that Allen awakened the commandant, who was in
bed, and told him to surrender. 'By what authority?' said the half-
awakened officer. 'By the authority of the Lord Jehovah and the
Continental Congress,' replied Allen.

"About the middle of the lake is the thriving town of Burlington, the
chief town of Vermont. Here we stopped to take in passengers, and were
pleased with the bustle and activity of the place. The wharf was
crowded; and, as the day was hot, straw hats and shirt-sleeves, also
the mitigated form of comfort--viz., coat and trousers without
waistcoat--were abundant.

"It was dusk when we arrived at Rouse's Point, and we had not so good a
view as I could have wished of the extensive wharves and landings; the
boat, 300 feet long, built to carry over whole trains; and the
extensive station works of the Northern or Ogdensburgh Railroad, which
is just opened. 'I had been introduced, at Saratoga, to the
superintendent of this line, Colonel Schlatter, by Mr. Van Ransellaer,
of the Saratoga and Washington line. Both these gentlemen were very
polite, and gave me orders to pass over their railways when I pleased.
The Ogdensburgh line extends from Rouse's Point to Ogdensburgh, near
the head of Lake Ontario. It forms, with other lines, a complete system
from Boston and New York to Lake Ontario, and has many difficult and
extensive works in its course.

"From Rouse's Point we took the Champlain and St. Lawrence line, opened
two days ago, and at Isle aux Noix passed into British-American
territory, and heard the old French patois of the 'habitans' of that
locality, from the mouths of a crowd of curious people awaiting the
arrival of the train. At La Prairie we joined the ferry boat, an
immense vessel as usual, and dropped down the St. Lawrence for nine
miles, to Montreal, where I got to bed at Donnegana's hotel, at one
o'clock on Tuesday morning, desperately tired.

"Montreal is a flourishing town of 50,000 inhabitants. It is built upon
an island formed by the confluence of the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa.
The 'island' belonged to the Catholic priesthood of the place, who
still exercise rights over it similar to those of the 'lords' in cases
of English copyholds, and who obtain an annual revenue of some
30,000_l_. or 40,000_l_. from it. The city was founded about
250 years ago, and has still many of the features of a French town,
though the improvements of the last twenty years, by obliterating
single story and wooden houses from the best quarters, have altered its
character. In old times it was the depot for the great fur trades. Now,
however, it receives its furs almost entirely back from England, to
which country the Hudson's Bay Company send their whole supply, to be
dressed and prepared for re-exportation. It is the commercial emporium
of this district; and, though it has suffered from the equalization of
duties, it is now recovering. The facilities for communication with the
United States, by the systems of railroad made and making, which may
bring it within twelve hours of Boston and New York, will doubtless
urge forward its prosperity.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Montreal has considerable general commerce, commanding, as it does,
the St. Lawrence, now connected by railway directly with the United
States, and being at the outlet of the Ottawa river district. The
island upon which it stands is some thirty miles long, and contains
much fine and valuable land, mostly under cultivation, and abounding in
good farms and gardens, and fine orchards. From the 'Mountain' above
Montreal, a splendid view is obtained of the St. Lawrence and its
wooded shores; the dark forests of the Ottawa valley; the fine bright
lands of the islands; the city, and its villaed suburbs. In the
distances, north and south, the 'green mountains' of Vermont, and the
distant summits which separate the cultivated parts of Lower Canada
from those far-off and savage regions, in which the trappers of the
Hudson's Bay Company and some scattered Indians are the sole monarchs
of the woods--are visible. There can be no view more beautiful, few
more extensive. It gives all the peculiarities of this North American
scenery in its largest and finest features. And seen again from the
high towers of the Catholic Cathedral (the cathedral will hold several
thousand people, and is the largest church in Canada), to which I
mounted, up 268 steps, it again delights the eye with its extent and
beauty. From this latter point, too, the St. Lawrence is seen just
below, and you may watch the rushing of the nearest rapids, and the
struggles and windings of the boats and steamers, in passing on their
upward voyages.

"Montreal and Quebec (more especially) have the distinctive features of
French towns with many of the peculiarities of English ones. Here is
the well-known countenance of the northern parts of France. Carts such
as might have been seen, no doubt, hundreds of years ago in France. The
Norman breed of horses: small, round, strong, and enduring. Every other
signboard presents a French name; the blacksmith styling himself
'forgeron;' the baker, 'boulanger;' the ladies' attendant, 'sage-
femme;'--and so on. The professional man generally has two plates upon
his door:--one telling you that he is 'M. Charles Robert,' 'avocat;'
and the other, that he is 'Mr. C. Robert,' 'attorney at law.' In the
'Cote des Neiges,' behind the mountain, at Montreal, and in the suburb
or quarter 'St. Henry,' this French appearance is universal. 'Notre
Dame des Neiges,' in the former, with its gaudily painted inside and
unpretending outside, its wooden roof and tin-covered steeple, would
recall to you the wooded districts of France; and the houses in both
quarters, the people with their 'bonnets rouges' (as distinguished from
the 'bonnets bleus' and 'bonnets gris' of the Quebec district), and
innocence of English and English ways of living, working, farming, and
thinking, are even more French than the French themselves. Indeed, so
little have they changed since the settlement of the country two
hundred years ago, that they speak the French of that time without the
alloy since introduced into the language. Their old modes of farming
are still in vogue; and they despise all change, satisfied to live in
quiet and simple comfort, without the worry of improvements. In the
Quebec district the farmers singe their pigs when they have killed
them, and despise the use of hot water. Just as farmers do in Normandy,
and in some parts of the south of England. This pig-singeing is a great
event; and on one occasion during the Rebellion, the singeing of two or
three pigs on a hill-side at night, caused the Quebec garrison and the
country volunteers to turn out, under the belief that the light seen
was that of a beacon fire, and that the enemy were at hand.

"Montreal, and Quebec also, abound in fine Catholic churches, and the
streets swarm with comfortable-looking priests, dressed in black
cassocks and bands, and wearing big-buckled shoes and broad-brimmed

"The difference in language, customs, and religion, divides the
population into two distinct sections, and is a bar to united effort
and to the improvement of the country; which nevertheless does improve
in spite of this difficulty, though not as rapidly as it might and
ought. I did not fully appreciate this until I visited the Superior Law
Court, then sitting in Montreal. This court is held, during the
erection of the new court-house, in the old, low-walled, high-roofed,
building in which the French Government conducted their public affairs
a hundred and fifty years ago. In this building, in 1839, the Privy
Council decided to place the country under martial law, and the
proclamation was issued from it.

"The judges sitting when I visited the court were Smith, Van Feloon,
and Mondelet, the latter a French Canadian. The first case argued was a
long-pending one between Sir John Stewart and an architect, who had
superintended the erection of some buildings on one of Sir John's
farms. The counsel were not over clever, but sufficiently verbose, and
full enough of 'instances,' both ancient and modern. The counsel for
Sir John laid great stress upon the erroneous manner in which the
action had been laid, and contended that as the English form of'
assumpsit' had been taken, in order to get both debt and damages,
instead of a single action of damages being brought, all the
consequences of the form adopted must be taken by the plaintiff, who,
not having proved _damages_, or even stated them, must be held by
the court to have made out no case, and be cast accordingly. The
counsel quoted the old French law, and a French law-writer of 1700,
Chardon, and also English and Canadian authorities. The French Canadian
judge having, during the oration, thrown in an observation or two in
English, which he did not speak over fluently, at length uttered in
French a long comment upon the fallacy of the argument--which sounded
strangely. The counsel for the architect went at the argument of his
opponent with great vigour, stimulated by the expressed opinion of
Judge Mondelet, and went back to the days of ancient Rome to show that
forms of action had been difficult even in those days, having once
caused a revolt. He declared that even in England they were as
unsettled as ever; and wound up by propounding as a dogma, that the
Canadian law was neither English, French, Roman, nor of any other
precedent, but was founded upon common sense, which was the only guide
and authority in the administration of it. In corroboration of this,
the little black eye of Judge Mondelet brightly twinkled, and he nodded
his head in dignified approbation. Judge Van Feloon, who seemed more
phlegmatic, quietly settled the matter by saying, that he supposed if a
man _did_ work for another, and the other had agreed to pay him,
he was entitled to the money, and that therefore the court would have
to see that a bargain had been made, and the work duly performed, and
then decide. The next case argued arose out of a fraudulent assignment;
and in this, too, French authorities, in the old language of a hundred
and fifty years since, were often appealed to--Chardon being apparently
the standard book of reference. The mixture of custom evidently caused
embarrassment, and it was clear that no fixed decisions could regulate
disputes concerning property, while the precedents relied upon were
based upon the differing laws of two separate countries--laws, perhaps,
not now operating in those very countries themselves.

"The tenure of property in Lower Canada is still in part based upon the
old French feudal system. There are still 'seigneurs' who hold lands,
and have 'censitaires' or tenants, paying fee-rent in produce,
services, and money. It is true that a law has been passed enabling a
fixed commutation, in money, of these seigneurial rights; but I am told
that the parties adhere in most cases to the old usage, and despise

"A singular custom, too, prevails. Parents, when old and tired of
labour, assign their property to their children, or to one of them, in
consideration of a string of conditions for their own maintenance and
comfort, each one of which is recited in the deed with minute
exactness. They stipulate usually for a house, so much meat, bread,
sugar, tea, &c.; a caleche and horse to take them to church on Sundays
and holidays; so much tobacco or snuff; so many gowns and bonnets, or
suits of clothes and hats; and so on. These gifts lead to frequent law-
suits; and one can quite understand how, in a country with large tracts
of its land held upon tenures of the most complex character, under a
system which has passed away even in the country from whence it came,
and where to this mass of difficulty is added the cause of dispute just
alluded to, the legal profession should flourish,--which I understand
it does.

"Many of the public buildings of Montreal are excellent. The Bon
Secours Market is a very fine building, and puts many of ours at home
to shame. The Jesuits' College is large and sombre; and some of the
convents and institutions are well worth a visit, both as buildings and
as institutions of the place.

"In the country little progress appears; but you see no misery, and
much comfort and joyfulness. Indeed, these French settlers seem happy
upon their small properties, surrounded by their old customs, and in
the enjoyment of the fetes and holidays which their religion allows.
They look upon the rush of improvement with calmness, though often with
a sort of incredulity as to the agency by which it is brought about,
and the righteousness of its existence. 'Mais, croyez-vous que le bon
Dieu permettra tout cela?' said one of them on seeing a train move
along, dragged by no visible horseflesh, and propelled without birds'
wings. They are quite a contrast to their American neighbours, who have
often suggested that Lower Canada might go ahead if the French
population were 'improved off the face of the earth.'

"The priests set a good example of taking matters enjoyably and
peacefully: their country farm outside Montreal, at the foot of the
mountain, for example. The house is situated so as to command a
beautiful view of the basin of the St. Lawrence, which, on a fine day,
shows its river gliding on with broad tranquil surface, peacefully
towards the sea, and exhibits the gardens, woods, and orchards, which
cover the country with a fertile and smiling landscape. The grounds are
large and well planted; and the rude gaze of the multitude is shut out
by a high wall, which extends half round the farm itself. Here the good
fathers come for a few days at a time, and in turns, to recruit
exhausted nature, and spend their hours in exercise and reading. Fine
old fellows! we need not envy them; but rather hope that all men may
some day have as many of the means of quiet and simple happiness to
resort to.

"The short summer of Lower Canada causes great activity in business
during the 'seasons.' The summer and autumn are therefore the times of
business; the short interval between them the time for visits to the
seaside, or to Saratoga, or the Caledonia Springs; while the winter,
with its snow and ice and long endurance, brings round a continuous
carnival of pleasant racket, and is really the season of society
amongst all ranks of the people. I heard magnificent accounts of the
balls, parties, sleighings, and country frolics, which take place; also
of the walking expeditions far out into the wilds, with snow shoes,
tents to sleep in, and Indian attendants; and of the wild sport in
hunting the moose-deer, and other tenants of the wood--during this
winter season. Some of the English agents spend five business months in
Canada, and all the rest of the year in England, going home in November
and returning in April.

"The residences in the suburbs of Montreal are usually well built,
large, and beautifully situated. We drove through the suburbs to
Monklands, which is on the western side of the mountain, and commands a
fine view of the country. This house, which is capacious and handsome,
is now used as an hotel. It was the seat of the Governor-General, Lord
Elgin; and the landlord showed us a point at the end of the now
dilapidated, but some time beautiful, garden, from whence, he said, his
lordship viewed afar off the burning of the Parliament Houses at
Montreal a year or two back. Lord Elgin shut himself up in Monklands
for about three months after this outrage, and the Parliament and court
were removed to Toronto, which, until the turn comes round to some
other place, has the exclusive honour of hearing the rather strong
oratory of the Upper Province. The country about Monklands is very
beautiful, and there are still abundant openings on the mountain sides
for villas, similar to the very handsome and tasteful erections with
which they are at present pretty thickly studded.

"Leaving Montreal one evening by steamer, I dropped down to Quebec. The
St. Lawrence below Montreal is broad, deep, and, in some places,
winding. The principal population of Lower Canada is on its immediate
shores; and the numerous cottages and houses, with cultivated fields
around them, would lead to a belief that the whole population of the
country, so thickly appearing on the margin of the river, was greater
than it is. The sail by daylight must be beautiful, and as the hours of
day, which going and returning allowed, enabled me to see a great part
of the distance, I only regretted that I could not see more of so noble
a river, and of the industry and the people settled on its banks.

"When within five miles of Quebec, coming down the river, there
commences a succession of wharfs, to which the timber, which forms so
great a trade here, is floated down stream, and from which it is loaded
into vessels for Europe and other parts of the world. The stock of
timber balks floating in the basins about these wharfs and landings is
now so great, that for three miles the margin of the river looks like
one great raft. We passed two immense rafts of timber, floating down
the stream, to be stowed here, one of which was some 400 yards long,
had eighteen sails set, and four wooden houses complete, erected upon

"Quebec is admirably placed as a fortified city, and also as a point
for commerce. It stands on a high point of land opposite the Isle of
Orleans, which here divides the St. Lawrence into two large streams.
The citadel overlooks the Bay of Quebec, the Isle of Orleans, and the
high banks of the St. Lawrence. The view from it is most extensive, in
whichever direction the eye wanders. Forty miles of the St. Lawrence
are seen from it. The white wooden houses on the hill-sides, and the
broad fields of yellow grain, set off the dark wood; and the river--its
bay, fronting the point of land on which the city is placed, covered
with sails and glistening in the sun--mellows the landscape most
exquisitely. Quebec, as seen from the river, too, has a fine commanding
aspect. The Citadel crowning the height does not give so great an
appearance of extent or strength as it possesses. In reality, Gibraltar
preeminent over all, it is one of the most impregnable strongholds in
the world; and its underground works, I am told, are so extensive that
5,000 men may be garrisoned and hidden within the bowels of the earth
beneath it. Visitors are not allowed to walk on the west ramparts; and
on complaining of this to a distinguished military officer, I was
assured that the workmen, who are still employed in the excavations
below, are taken in blindfold--that the engineer officer alone knows
the form and shape of the works in progress, and that the plan of the
remainder is kept sealed up in the hands of the commandant, to be
opened only in case of actual need. This is mystery with a vengeance,
and but for the authority from whence I received the statement, I
should doubt the fact--most decidedly.

"The lower town of Quebec stands upon the river bank, beneath the
almost perpendicular face of rock, surmounted by the Citadel. It is
old, and the houses are principally of wood, and ultra-French in
appearance. The streets are narrow and not over clean. To reach the
upper town you drive up a very precipitous road, or walk up a long
flight of timber steps, which shorten the steepest portion of the way.
The upper town is built on the acclivity and on the slopes of the hill-
side, which slide down to the river St. Charles, to the north. The fire
of 1845 improved the town, by clearing out miserable old wooden
dwellings; and the buildings erected on the site are of good brick or
stone. Since these fires, too, it has been forbidden to build houses of
wood, within the walls; and the use of shingles for roofing has been
prohibited. The roofs are mostly covered with tin, which shines and
glares in the sun at mid-day, but reflects the morning light very

"The Protestant and Catholic Cathedrals are fine buildings, as are the
new Catholic church outside the suburbs, the Catholic seminary, and
many other edifices. But the narrow streets, steep ascents, and ancient
buildings, take away all beauty from the town itself, delightful as is
its situation, and beautiful as are the vistas and views from various
parts of it.

"A pilgrimage to the Plains of Abraham, about a mile from the Citadel,
which consist of the high tableland between the St. Lawrence and the
St. Foix road and St. Charles river, was to me a traveller's duty.

"It was on the night of the 12th of September, 1759, that Wolfe,
checked by the French, at Montmorenci, two months before, dropped down
the St. Lawrence with his army in boats, and succeeded in landing at a
little bend of the river, still half hidden by trees, where the high
and precipitous shores are most accessible, though yet most difficult
of ascent. The troops scaled the heights, meeting little opposition,
formed into line across the plains, and waited the attack of the
French, who had marched that morning from Beauport, near to which the
battle of Montmorenci had been fought. The French came on gallantly,
and the English stood their fire until they approached within forty
yards, and then delivered theirs. The French wavered, and Wolfe charged
at the head of his men, Montcalm heading his. A desperate fight took
place, and Wolfe fell, struck by the third ball, just as the French
line broke in confusion, and the English cheer of victory burst from
his conquering army. Montcalm was mortally wounded immediately

"On the spot where Wolfe fell, on the extreme right of his line, a
plain unpretending pillar is placed, bearing the simple inscription,--


Near the Citadel, and in the town, another monument has been erected,
which bears the name of Wolfe on one side and that of Montcalm on the

"To see the country, I had a drive of twenty-five miles along the St.
Charles river, through the Indian village of Lorette, and back through
the fine open district to the westward of the town. Our road was good
for a few miles, but then became such a collection of deep pits and
heaps of mud, that, but for a rude fence and wheel-marks, it would
hardly have been distinguished from the fields. The course of the St.
Charles, however, at this point, is between precipitous and sometimes
rocky banks, covered with trees and jungle: and in enjoyment of the
scenery, the fresh pure air, cooled by the previous night's rain, and
the sweet scents thrown out by the trees and wild-flowers, the slow
progress of the vehicle and the bumping of one's sides, were forgotten.

"Lorette was originally a colony of Christianized Huron Indians, to
whom lands were granted by the French. The village is now principally
inhabited by whites and half-breeds, though there are some of the pure
race left--the men wearing European dresses, the women adhering to the
ancient costume. Their cottages are generally neat and clean. Andre
Romain, the chief, resides in the centre of the village, a high pole
denoting his residence and rank. I found him bending over his simple
dinner of milk and coarse bread. He was dressed in old, and somewhat
ragged, garments. He seemed so extremely old, that I did not trouble
him with more than a very short conversation, in French. He showed me a
portrait of George IV., given to him, he said, from the hands of that
monarch, and a coloured engraving of the installation of one of the
royal princes as chief of the Hurons. The poor old man, broken down
with extreme age, had still the remains of a commanding presence, which
even his miserable dress, unshaven beard, and bleared and misty eye,
could not altogether extinguish.

"This village gives an example of the fate of all the Indian tribes.
Here, once brought together to live after the manner of the whites,
this tribe has been reduced in number, and finally all but absorbed;
and in a few years not one of the unmixed race will remain, and the
language of the tribe will be obliterated.

"At Lorette are the falls of the St. Charles, which are very
interesting. After seeing them, I had some milk at the 'Billy Button,'
a public-house kept by a Yankee, who deals in the Indian ornaments made
in the village, and shows the falls, and then drove round to Quebec,
through a fine and richly-tilled district; and, in passing, saw a
hotly-contested heat run upon the course on the plains of Abraham--for
it was Quebec races."

       *       *       *       *       *

"TORONTO, "Saturday, September 6th, 1851.

"Returning to Montreal, I spent Thursday in visiting various
institutions of that city, and drove out with Mr.---- to see the
country residence of a friend of his, which is hidden in a sweet little
glen, from whence, however, glimpses of the St. Lawrence river are
obtained. This gentleman lives here in summer, and employs his leisure
in the cultivation of the fruits and flowers, which a fine soil and a
forcing climate produce in perfection. He complains of the destruction
of the large trees in his vicinage, regretting that those who own the
neighbouring woods should be impelled to bring down, first, the oldest
and finest timber, and should be unable to preserve even so much of it
as might illustrate hereafter the magnificent proportions of the native
forest wood. This is truly one of the sad features of advancing
civilization. The fine old forests, like the native Indians, lose their
noblest chieftains, and, degenerating to a few dwarfed and scattered
specimens, at last disappear and are forgotten.

"Mr.---- told us much of the happy and comfortable lives of the farmers
and settlers hereabouts. All have land; food in abundance, including
sugar from their own maple-bush; cattle; horses; light spring waggons,
which serve as family coaches when not required for the week-day's
work; good homely furniture and clothing: in short, an abundance of all
the essentials of existence, and even wealth--but they possess little
money. In many cases, and now that agricultural improvement has become
a necessity, this want of money is found to be a great evil. The
ordinary sized farms, of 100 acres of good land, all in cultivation,
are worth from 500_l_., to 1,000_l_.; and very often an
expenditure of 200_l_. or 300_l_. in improvements would
double their value. The legal rate of interest here is 6 per cent.; and
as high a rate as 7 or 8 per cent could be got for small loans on
mortgages for these purposes were the money to be had. The banks,
however, do not, as a rule, lend money on mortgage, and the monied men
of the country have usually lands of their own requiring the same sort
of development. Foreign capital is therefore looked to; and doubtless
it will ultimately be procured in abundance, the security being
undeniable, and the rate of interest so high.

"Mr.---- does not consider the long winter any impediment to farming,
but rather the contrary, as the sudden burst of spring, and the rapid
growths of summer, make up for it; while in a country like this, where
roads are so scanty, many of the farmers' operations are performed more
easily during the snow and hard frosts which prevail.

"Leaving Montreal, by a short railroad of nine miles in length,
constructed to avoid the rapids of a bend of the St. Lawrence, I came
to Lachine. Here are the head-quarters of the Hudson's Bay Company, and
the house of Sir George Simpson, the Governor; and hence, annually,
towards the end of April, proceed the 'maitre-canots,' or large canoes,
of the company, manned by its officers and hardy 'voyageurs,' up the
waters of the Ottawa to Lake Nipissing, and down the Riviere des
Francais into Lake Huron.

"At Lachine I took the 'Champion,' a fine new steamer, built and
equipped at Montreal, and worked up the St. Lawrence, along Lake
Ontario, to Toronto, a journey of 450 miles, and occupying about forty
hours in the performance.

"The navigation of the St. Lawrence is impeded by several large
'rapids,' formed by the action of the suddenly descending current upon
sunken rocks deep below the surface of the water. On the upward voyage
these are impassable for merchandize vessels; and, though the large
steamers struggle through many of them, there are others which no force
can cope with. To remedy these impediments, several fine canals, equal
to any similar works in the world, have been constructed. The first of
these, the Beauharnois Canal, connects, by a cut eleven miles long, the
broad embayment called 'Lake St. Louis,' above Montreal, with the
similar reach called 'Lake St. Francis;' and in the narrow passage
between these unruffled waters are the principal rapids--the 'Coteau du
Lac,' the 'Cedars,' and the 'Cascades.' The passage through this
'sixteen miles' declivity of boiling waters' is exciting. The large
steamers rush down with the rapidity of the wind, through waves lashed
into foam--sweeping close past the rocks and islets in the stream, and
only kept in safety in their course by the united exertions of six or
seven 'voyageurs,' and a pilot, at the wheel.

"The upper shores of the St. Lawrence are populous and well cultivated.
In stopping to take in our supply of wood, which we had to do several
times during the day and night, usually at quiet secluded nooks along
shore, or on some little island, I had many opportunities of seeing the
comfort of the people, and the progress of the country. The houses,
usually of wood, painted white, or of some showy colour, and having
verandas covered with climbers, looked both commodious and gay. It
might be mistake, but I fancied that improvement was more perceptible
when, passing the point where line 45 degrees 'strikes' the river, we came
into the American territory. I was particularly struck with one farm
near Warrington, over which I had half-an-hour's walk, upon the best
fields of which were still protruding the heavy stumps of the forest
trees, cut down ten or twenty years ago. The owner told us he had 160
acres, which he bought, partly cleared, seventeen years ago, for ten
dollars an acre. He had, a year ago, refused twenty dollars an acre for
it, intending to make it worth fifty; and during his occupation he had
brought up a large family in comfort and independence upon it, and
saved money. The crop of oats he was now clearing was a poor one, he
said,--only forty-five bushels per acre.

"Arrived at Ogdensburgh, on the American side of the river, I spent
some time, while waiting the arrival of the train bearing Boston and
other eastern passengers, in going through the extensive and commodious
depot of the Northern Railway. The works are not quite completed. They
will cover an area of some forty acres, and comprise warehouses for the
stowage of corn and other produce, a fine passenger shed, and large
engine-houses and sheds for cars. The quantity of corn and flour stored
here in the fall is very large. Last year it was 80,000 barrels.
Unfortunately, however, for the railways, the rate for conveyance of
these staples is brought down by the competition of the steamers to a
very low point; the charge from Toronto to Montreal being but one
shilling per barrel of 218 lbs., or a farthing per ton per mile.

"Opposite Ogdensburgh is the village of Prescott, remarkable as the
scene of a deadly conflict during the rebellion, the traces of which it
still exhibits, in dismantled houses, and a windmill in ruins.

"On the evening of this day we entered a part of the river, called,
from the unceasing abundance of islets which gem its surface, the 'Lake
of the Thousand Isles.' These islets, above fifteen hundred in number,
vary in size from tiny things, little bigger than an upturned boat, to
areas of many hundred acres. They are a succession of rocky
excrescences, mostly covered with wood, which grows, or overhangs, down
to the water's edge. Some of them are cultivated, but the mass are just
as nature left them, when--their broken and jutting strata having
settled into bearings far down below the stream, on the morrow of some
vast convulsion and upheaving of nature--the forest era was at last
established. How long a time elapsed before the action of the weather
had produced, from the hard face of the stone itself, soil enough for
the lichen and the moss, or for these, in their turns, to become the
receptacle of the seeds of forest trees, blown from some distant
region--is a problem. In threading these islands, sometimes our vessel
passed through tortuous passages apparently blocked up at the end, and
within a few yards of land, but by a sudden turn emerged into fine
large basins, and so wound and twined its way along. As the sun
declined, every island made a full, clear reflection in the glassy
surface of the water; and the boughs and branches, the flowers by the
water's edge, the very marks upon the rocks, were repeated upside down,
as if in a perfect mirror. The whole scene bore an air of such complete
seclusion, that our noisy passage through it appeared like a rude
intrusion into some fairy realm, before time uninvaded by mortal
visits. The birds were disturbed from amongst the trees, and the wild
ducks and other water-fowl skimmed away, scared at the splashing of our
paddles and the panting of our engine.

"At sunset we stopped to take in wood at Gannanoque, a village sweetly
placed on a swelling hillock above the river. Here I entered some of
the houses, and found considerable comfort, plenty of dirt, and a good
many pigs, who seemed on the best possible terms with the children. An
Irishwoman, standing at her door, her eldest son in her arms, a fine
bright-eyed urchin, told me, in return for my compliments on the
healthy appearance of the child, that she 'had been afther bathing him;
for sure he had made himself dirty with playing with the pig.'

"The full moon had risen high when we left the last of the isles behind
us; and late at night we emerged from the St. Lawrence, and arrived at
Kingston, the tin roofs of which shone brightly in the moonlight.

"Kingston is an important town, and is the port of the Rideau Canal,
which connects Bytown and the Ottawa with Lake Ontario. A walk through
the streets by moonlight enabled us to see the market-house, a stone
building, considered to be the finest in Upper Canada.

"Keeping along the north shore of Lake Ontario, we stopped at several
thriving little ports, and arrived in Toronto early on the afternoon of

"Toronto is the chief city of Upper Canada, and is evidently a highly
prosperous place. It has a thoroughly Anglo-Saxon cast about it, and
looks new and bright. The streets are long and wide, the houses
generally of brick, high and regular; and everywhere is the appearance
of vigorous trade and rapid extension. The houses of the richer classes
are fully equal to those in the suburbs of Montreal; while no old
dilapidated dwellings, like those which appear in that city, are here
visible. There are many fine public buildings--St. Lawrence Hall, the
Banks, the Parliament House, and many others. The grounds of King's
College are well worth a visit. Toronto is at present the seat of
Government, and the Governor-General resides here.

"This city, and its people, present many points of favourable contrast
with the older cities and population of Lower Canada. The soil and
climate may perhaps be more favourable, and the vicinity of American
energy may have some effect; but the secret of the greater growth of
this province may be traced to its settlement by American Loyalists in
1783. These men, driven away from their country by their adherence to
the British Crown, here found a refuge and new home. The whole land
along the St. Lawrence, above the French settlements, was formed into
townships, and farms were allotted to these, the 'United Empire
Loyalists,' who thus became the fathers of Upper Canada. The population
of Upper Canada was not more than 210,000 in 1830, now it is nearly
1,000,000. Much of the land in the Province is equal to any in the
world; and nature seems to have given every aid to the formation of a
great country. All that is wanting would seem to be that independence,
which, with all its reputed vices, would appear to be the condition of
Anglo-Saxon progress. Canada has been hitherto the resort of British
settlers only, while the United States have become a home for all the

What precedes was written nearly thirty-six years ago. I need not
apologise for its crudeness, for I only represent, in plain words, the
impressions of the time. And I think I have troubled the reader quite
enough about my "first visit to America, and the reason for it." I may
say, however, that my trip induced many other visits to the growing
countries of North America. I was, to some extent, a pioneer traveller
to the other side of the Atlantic.


_The Reciprocity Treaty with the United States._

After asking various questions in the House of Commons, to which I
received unsatisfactory replies, I brought the subject of the
Reciprocity Treaty with the United States before the House of Commons
late one night in February, 1865. My observations, as reported in
"Hansard," were:--

"That the hour was too late to permit more than a speech in outline as
to the Reciprocity Treaty and the Bonding Acts. Under the latter,
articles chargeable with duty could be sent through United States
territory and Canada in bond, and as Canada was for the present, and
would be until the completion of railway communication to Halifax on
the Atlantic, cut off from access to the ocean for five winter months
of the year, the Bonding Acts enabled her commerce with the outside
world to pass unimpeded. The Northwestern States received in return
corresponding facilities of access through Canada. The Reciprocity
Treaty included three essential provisions--the rights of fishery on a
shore line of 1,500 miles, the free navigation of the St. Lawrence, and
the free interchange of productions between the British Provinces and
the United States. (The beneficent theory of the treaty was to make two
countries, politically distinct, commercially one, and to induce the
two peoples, otherwise opposed, to live in co-operation and in peace.)
The provision as to the fisheries had settled for the time difficult
questions leading, in past days, and over and over again, to dispute,
collision, and sometimes the imminence of war. The free navigation of
the St. Lawrence and of Lake Michigan had removed jealousies and
fostered the idea of common interests in the great waterways to the
ocean, while the results of trade had been so happy that a total annual
interchange of commodities of a value of nearly 10,000,000_l. a year
in amount between the British Provinces and the United States now
existed. They were now threatened with the termination of this treaty
at the end of twelve months, and no hope appeared to be held out, so
far, of an amicable revision and extension of its benefits. The
consequences to commerce were evident, and at first would be most
serious. Trade at last, no doubt, would take other channels, and the
British Provinces, trading between each other and with the Mother
Country, and reducing their duties to a low rate, might at the end be
largely benefited at the price of a present loss; but that was merely
the money view, and such a gain would be dearly purchased at the cost
of humanity and civilization if it broke up the commercial and social
union heretofore existing. He held that peace and progress and the
future good relations between Great Britain and the United States, on
which peace and progress were largely based, would suffer by such an
isolation, and he would look with distrust upon a prosperity which was
not still shared between the people on each side of the border. He had
travelled much on both sides of the British lines, and it was cheering
to see there how thoroughly one the two peoples had become, socially
and commercially. They traded together, went into partnership together,
visited together. A Canadian or New Brunswicker would often have a farm
on each side of the, practically imaginary, boundary line; and a
citizen of the United States often lived on his own and traded or
manufactured on the other side of the border. In fact, the border
jealousies which had caused such bitterness and danger even in our own
country had in this generation all but disappeared in this case, under
the operation of high-minded and far-sighted legislation. Considering,
therefore, the magnitude of the commercial interests, the grave
questions of navigation, ocean rights, and free communication, he must
express the most anxious, surprise to learn that Her Majesty's
Government had allowed the matter to drift into its present position.
He was told that no effort whatever had been made to preserve the
treaty as it was, or as it might be amended, by negociations at
Washington. His honorable friend, the Under-Secretary for Foreign
Affairs, had said, in answer to a question he had put in that House
last May, that no negociations were pending as to the Reciprocity
Treaty, and that Government had no official information upon the
subject of the Bonding Acts. He was bound to take that answer as a
correct statement; and he then asked, Was it possible that her
Majesty's Government could remain inactive when a trade of
10,000,000_l_ a year and the issues of future peace or disturbance
were in the balance? Were the proposed notice to terminate the treaty
any matter of suddenness or by way of surprise, he might comprehend it;
but for above three years the subject had been agitated and discussed
in Congress, in Canada, and in all the Chambers of Commerce in the
North-west. It had been notorious to everybody that one party desired
isolation from the British Provinces and another desired the operations
of the treaty to be extended. It was, therefore, a question to be
discussed in advance of the present entanglement; and, as Canada had no
treaty-making power, the responsibility rested with the Government at
home. This was a question so serious from every point of view that the
House would have to take it up as soon as the noble lord at the head of
the Government laid upon the table the notice which he had told them
would be given on the 15th March next. Then would be the time to
discuss it fully and in all its bearings. His object now was to prepare
for that discussion by obtaining all the facts. The papers laid before
the House last week did not go back far enough. It appeared that in the
autumn of 1861 the New York Chamber of Commerce memorialized Congress
for a revision of the treaty, and a committee reported upon it in
February, 1862. That report he had here. It did not advocate notice;
no, it advocated adherence to the principles of free exchange, and it
proposed that commissioners should negociate an extension of the
treaty. In March, 1864, Mr. Ward reported resolutions appointing
commissioners for that purpose, and ultimately the discussion was
postponed to December, 1864. During all this time surely communications
of some kind passed to or from this country; and it was self-apparent
that the treaty might have been revised and extended before recent
causes of irritation had appeared. Those causes had led to much bitter
feeling, and it might now be too late to restore the principle of the
treaty and of the Bonding Acts in all their integrity. He now moved for
all papers subsequent to December, 1861, with a view to further
discussion hereafter. He would call attention to a very singular
letter, given at pages 70 and 77 in the papers printed last week. That
letter had been intercepted by General Augur, and was stated by Mr.
Seward to be undoubtedly genuine. He would ask whether any explanation
of that letter had been offered by his Excellency the American
Minister, Mr. Adams? And, if so, why that explanation had not been
printed? The letter was from a Confederate agent residing in Canada,
apparently to Mr. Seddon, the Confederate Secretary for War. It must
have been written at the end of October last year. It stated that the
writer had made an arrangement with parties 'powerful and influential
with the Government of the United States' to deliver supplies of meat
in exchange for cotton, 'at any port Mr. Secretary Seddon may designate
on the east side of the Mississippi,' or on 'the west side,' and after
this delivery it was said that 'the way was perfectly clear to deliver
anywhere within General Butler's department.' He adds, that he has made
another contract with another Federal American citizen, 'by which
supplies of meat will be furnished at Mobile by written permission of
the President of the United States to the free passage of the
blockading fleet at that port.' His contract, he says, is for 5,000,000
lbs. of meat in exchange for 5,000,000 lbs. of cotton. Now, if this
were true, it opened up a very large question. Merchants in England who
had run the blockade had been most properly censured for the practice.
Their having done so was naturally matter of diplomatic complaint; but
here were the seal and the signature of the President of the United
States himself made use of to send supplies to the enemy on the one
hand, and to give cotton to the manufacturers of the Northern States on
the other. He thought that letter ought not to have been printed
without some comment. If explanations had been given by Mr. Adams and
were not printed, the omission was a slight; and he thought a good
understanding with the United States, desired so sincerely by, he
hoped, the House at large, would not be promoted by its publication."

The "Observer," referring to this speech, made the following remarks:--

"There is a great disadvantage in bringing any important question
before the House of Commons at a late hour of the night, because in
such a case it is impossible, arising from the exigencies of the
morning papers, that full justice can be done by the parliamentary
reporters to the speech of the speaker. An illustration, of this
occurred on Friday evening. Mr. Watkin, in moving for papers respecting
the Reciprocity Treaty between the United States and the British North
American Provinces, entered at considerable length and with great
ability into that important subject. His speech will be found in
another part of our impression. It would not be easy to overrate the
importance of the interests to this country involved in the question
which Mr. Watkin so lucidly brought before the House. He showed that
under the operation of the existing treaty British trading interests to
the extent of 10,000,000_l_. per annum were involved. This is no
inconsiderable sum. Assuredly it is much too large to be heedlessly
sacrificed if means can be found consistent with the honour of the
country to prevent it. And yet, notwithstanding the great and manifest
importance of the subject, and though the United States have given
notice of their intention to terminate the treaty in twelve months from
the present time, it would appear that no steps have yet been taken on
the part of the Imperial Government to avert the evils of which the
termination of that treaty would be productive to the British North
American Provinces, and through them to the Mother Country; for, apart
from the stoppage that would ensue to the international trade now
existing between the States and Canada and her sister provinces, the
old vexed question as to the right of Americans to participate in the
fisheries in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, along a shore upwards of
1,500 miles in length, is again raised. To call attention to these
facts was the main object of Mr. Watkin's speech. He had no wish to
embarass the Government in any way, but was simply desirous of
impressing on it the importance of early action in the matter, with the
view to the preservation or modification of the Reciprocity Treaty. It
is to be hoped, now the matter has been so fully and ably brought
before the British Government, that steps will be immediately taken to
enter into such negotiations with the United States as will secure this
desirable result. If this were done, we cannot doubt that the
Government of the United States will respond in a friendly spirit to
the wishes of our own Government, and that not only the best results
will follow as regards the treaty in question, but also as regards the
general commercial relations between the United States, the British
North American Provinces, and this country."

I felt so strongly that great opportunities had been lost owing to the
negligence and incapacity of our rulers, that I drew up and widely
circulated, various memoranda, intended to inform public opinion in
England. I felt convinced that, if once this wise and fraternal treaty
were allowed to expire, the future relations of the British Provinces
and Canada must gravitate towards antagonism, or towards annexation. My
forebodings are, at this moment, justified by the action of the United
States Congress in the matter of the fisheries. Because Canada has
enforced the provisions of the, still existing, and recognized, Treaty
of 1818, the Congress of the United States has, in 1887, by statute,
instructed the President to put in operation odious "reprisals"--
reprisals which throw the "Milan Decrees" of the first Napoleon into
the shade of barbarism. The President, believed to be an enlightened
man, threatens to put his powers into strict operation. If he goes to
the full length of this unique enactment, he may practically close all
industrial, and even social, intercourse between the British territory
--a territory larger in area than that over which he rules--and the
United States. Such legislation, so eagerly acted on, is simply
sickening. Talk of fraternity and liberty for all mankind. Delusion

A concise _resume_ of this question, written by me in 1865, here

"A treaty of amity and commerce between Great Britain and the United
States of America, known as the 'Reciprocity Treaty,' [Endnote 1] has
been allowed to expire with the expiry of the twelve months' notice,
given on the 17th March, 1865, by the Government at Washington, under
the authority of the Senate.

"No explanation has been given to Parliament; nor has a single paper of
any kind been laid upon the table of the House by Her Majesty's
Government. It is, therefore, thought to be time to ask for
explanations, and thereby, so far as may now be possible, to prevent
that gradual 'drifting' into serious complication which disfigured the
transactions of the Whig Government in 1854 (Russian war), in 1861-2
(Poland), and in 1863-4 (Denmark). The Reciprocity Treaty provided not
merely for free interchange of commodities between Her Majesty's North
American Colonies and the United States, but it settled the fishery
complications, on a coast line of 4,000 miles, and provided for the
international navigation of the St. Lawrence (1,200 miles), and of the
canals and locks of that mighty river, and of Lake Michigan and its
tributaries. It thus dealt with questions which, unsettled and in
doubt, had led to antagonism and the recurring danger of war; and, in
the twelve years of its existence, its operation has alike enlarged the
commerce and the friendship of the neighbouring subjects of the two
powers parties to the treaty. Perhaps no convention of modern times has
more tended to produce material prosperity and peace and goodwill
amongst those concerned. But it has been, it is repeated, allowed to
expire, and, as will be shown, owing mainly to the culpable negligence
and maladroit management of those who have had charge of British

"On the 27th June, 1854, Lord Clarendon said in the House of Lords, in
answer to a question put by Lord Fitzwilliam (see 'Hansard's Debates,'
27th June, 1854):--

"'It appeared to Her Majesty's Government that the return of Lord Elgin
to Canada afforded an opportunity which ought not to be neglected, of
endeavouring to settle those numerous questions which for years past
have been embarrassing the two Governments. One of those questions
especially, that relating to the fisheries, has given rise to annually
increasing causes of contention, and has sometimes threatened
collisions, which, I believe, have only been averted for the last two
years by the firmness and moderation of Sir George Seymour and of the
British and American naval commanders, and by that spirit of friendship
and forbearance which has always characterized the officers of both
navies. But, my Lords, your Lordships are aware that there are other
questions which have given rise to embarrassing discussion between the
Governments of the two countries--questions which involve the commercial
relations of our North American possessions with the United States, and
that those questions, which involve very divergent interests, have
become so complicated as to render their solution a matter of extreme
difficulty.' And he added, 'I trust, therefore, that nothing will occur
to mar the completion of this great work, which, I firmly believe, more
than any other event of recent times, will contribute to remove all
differences between two countries, whose similarity of language and
affinity of race, whose enterprise and industry, ought to unite them in
the bonds of cordial friendship, and to perpetuate feelings of mutual
confidence and goodwill.'

"In the conversation which ensued all parties coincided as to the vast
importance of the treaty, and Lord Derby, while doing so, took the
opportunity of insisting that Her Majesty's Government should keep such
treaty negociations affecting the whole Empire in their own hands, and
not permit them to be dependent upon the will or consent of the local
authorities. He said (see 'Hansard,' 1854):--

"'He was afraid that if we had to consult the Colonies, with respect to
a treaty with a foreign country, the effect would be that in such
questions the Colonies would be independent.'

"It is well specially here to note, that the Government of that day,
speaking by Lord Clarendon, considered it as a condition, that the
person highest in dignity, authority, and ability should be selected as
the fittest negociator; and that Lord Derby gave a caution which all
who regard the British Empire as 'one and indivisible,' must coincide
in. It will be seen hereafter how, in the present case, the actual
Government has departed from both the condition and the caution.

"An extract from a letter from Mr. John Bright, M.P., to Mr. Joseph
Aspinall, of Detroit, Michigan, in response to an invitation to attend
the Reciprocity Convention, held last year, will illustrate the
benevolent idea of the treaty, and exhibit the opinion of a
distinguished admirer of the United States upon the renewal of the
instrument. The letter, itself, is dated London, 10th June, 1865. 'The
project of your convention gives me great pleasure. I hope it will lead
to a renewal of commercial intercourse with the British North American
Provinces, _for it will be a miserable thing_ if, because they are
in connection with the British Crown, and you acknowledge as your Chief
Magistrate your President at Washington, there should not be _a
commercial intercourse between them and you, as free as if you were one
people, living under one Government_.'

"To make 'one people,' though living under two separate Governments,
was the great, and has been the successful, object of Lord Elgin and
Mr. Marcy. But the 'miserable thing' has happened, and the treaty is at
an end.

"On the 23rd May, 1864, I put a question on the subject of the renewal
of this treaty. The question and the answer of the Under-Secretary for
Foreign Affairs were as follows:--

[_From_ "HANSARD," _Monday, May 2nd, 1864_.]

"'Mr. Watkin said he wished to ask the Undersecretary of State for
Foreign Affairs to state the present position of negociations with the
Government of the United States in reference to the proposed
termination or repeal by the United States of the "Reciprocity Treaty,"
and of the "Bonding Act," under which instruments facilities for mutual
commercial interchange have been afforded, and a large and increasing
trade has grown up with the colonies of British North America?

"'Mr. Layard, in reply, said there were no negociations pending with
regard to the suspension or repeal of the Reciprocity Treaty, and the
Government had received no official information upon the subject of the
"Bonding Acts."'

"On the 17th February, 1865, I again called attention to the question
becoming more and more urgent, by moving for 'Copies of all papers in
the possession of Her Majesty's Government respecting the Reciprocity
Treaty and the Bonding Acts, of dates subsequent to December, 1861.'

"In reply, the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs said (see 'Hansard,'
17th Feb. 1865):--

"'He had only to report what was stated by the noble lord the other
night, that there were no papers on the subject of the Reciprocity
Treaty; as the hon. gentleman was aware, no notice with respect to the
treaty had been given to Her Majesty's Government. Resolutions on the
subject had been submitted to Congress, but there had been no
intimation given to Her Majesty's Government, consequently, there were
really no papers to lay on the table.'

"Thus we have it on the direct declaration of the organ of the
Government, that no negociations were undertaken having any reference
to the retention or renewal of the treaty up to the 23rd May, 1864; and
that there were no 'papers' even in the possession of the Government up
to the 17th February, 1865, bearing upon so momentous an international

"The Bonding Act, or Acts, are above alluded to; and it will be well
here to state, that under these Acts of the Congress of the United
States, goods liable to United States duties may be sent in bond
through United States territory into and through Canada or New
Brunswick. In fact, but for this privilege, Canada would be, under
present circumstances, shut out for the five months of her winter from
access to Europe. That access could, of course, be given by the
construction of the remaining links of the 'Inter-colonial' Railway
(about 360 miles), connecting Halifax, Nova Scotia, with Quebec and the
Canadian railway system; but pending such construction, it is in the
power of the United States thus to isolate Canada. Being in their
power, we may ask, What is their intention? and we may ask, What have
the Government done to ascertain the one and prevent the other? Have
they ever thought of danger? Certainly, in May, 1864, both Mr.
Cardwell, the Colonial Secretary, and Mr. Layard, the Undersecretary
for Foreign Affairs, were puzzled to know what was meant by the
'Bonding Acts.'

"Particulars of these Acts are given in a note below. [Endnote 2]

"We must now briefly sketch the history of the discussions and events
which more immediately preceded the notice of the 17th March, 1865,
given by the United States Government and Senate, to put an end to the
treaty. Subsequent to the treaty (1854) Great Britain (1859) founded
the Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island on the North
Pacific. For this we are indebted to the then colonial minister, Sir E.
Bulwer Lytton. The first gave a new gold field; the second contains all
the bituminous coal to be found on the west side of the great North
American Continent. These new countries were not embraced in the
operation of the treaty; nor does it seem that after Sir E. Bulwer
Lytton left office, any effort was made to enlarge the operations of
the treaty. But of course American commerce was anxious to extend
itself, and Californian and American cruisers in the Pacific wanted the
coal of Vancouver. Hence a party in the States was formed for an
extension of the area of the treaty. Then Canada, having established
her railway system by the aid of British capital, and having expended
large sums to promote public works generally, got into debt and had to
raise her taxation; and as import duties are, and must always be, most
easy of collection in a new country, and the most popular, or rather
the least unpopular, mode of taxation, she raised her import duties
generally to a scale as high on many articles, if not higher, than the
import duties of the United States. This led to complaint; and hence a
party was formed in the United States for an extension of the 'free
list,' or list of articles to be admitted duty free into Canada. It is
but fair to bear in mind that the Canadian import duties on United
States goods were the same as those on _British_ goods; so that
whatever ground of complaint might be set up, Great Britain had the
right to the largest share of it, because she had the ocean freights to
add to the duty, and _pro tanto_ was at a disadvantage in
competing for Canadian custom with the manufacturers of the States.

"In 1861 the Chamber of Commerce of New York moved Congress on the
whole subject. Their object was the extension of the area and purposes
of the treaty: in no sense its termination. Congress, hereupon,
referred the matter to the 'Committee on Commerce,' Mr. Ward being
chairman. That committee reported in February, 1862, in a most able
document, usually known as Mr. Ward's report. This report also
recommended a more extended area, and _more_ extended purposes;
but in no sense the abrogation of the treaty.

In March, 1864, Mr. Ward proposed a resolution in Congress for the
appointment of commissioners to negociate an extended and improved
treaty with Great Britain. That resolution was laid over by Congress
till December, 1864. In the summer and autumn of 1864 a correspondence
sprang up between Earl Russell, Mr. Seward, Mr. Adams and others in
reference to the dangers of the invasion of the territory of the United
States by Confederate agents asylumed in Canada. Mr. Seward and Mr.
Adams strongly urged that preventive measures should be taken by Great
Britain, but Earl Russell could not see it--did nothing, and the
burning of United States steamers engaged in peaceful commerce, and the
robbery and murders at St. Albans and Vermont followed. Correspondence
in reference to the 'St. Albans' raids' was laid before Parliament last
year. The following is an extract, bearing, too, indirectly upon the
Reciprocity Treaty, from one of the letters of Mr. Adams, United States
Ambassador in London, to Earl Russell, echoing a despatch of Mr.
Seward's and dated November 23rd, 1864:--

'In the use of the word exigency, the full sense of its effect is
perfectly understood. The welfare and prosperity of the neighbouring
British Provinces are as sincerely desired on our part as they can be
by Great Britain. In a practical sense they are sources of wealth and
influence for the one country only in a less degree than for the other,
though the jurisdiction appertain only to the latter. That this is the
sincere conviction of my Government has been proved by its consent to
enter into relations of reciprocal free commerce with them almost as
intimate as those which prevail between the several States of the Union
themselves. Thus far the disposition has been to remain content with
those relations under any and all circumstances, and that disposition
will doubtless continue, provided always that the amity be
reciprocated, and that the peace and harmony on the border,
indispensable to its existence, be firmly secured. The fulfilment of
that obligation must be, however, as your Lordship cannot fail to
perceive at a glance, the essential and paramount condition of the
preservation of the compact. Even were my Government to profess its
satisfaction with less, it must be apparent that by the very force of
circumstances peace could scarcely be expected to continue long in a
region where no adequate security should be afforded to the inhabitants
against mutual aggression and reprisal.

'Political agitation, terminating at times in civil strife, is shown by
experience to be incident to the lot of mankind, however combined in
society. Neither is an evil confined to any particular region or race.
It has happened heretofore in Canada, and what is now a scourge
afflicting the United States may be likely at some time or other to re-
visit her. In view of these very obvious possibilities, I am instructed
to submit to Her Majesty's Government the question whether it would not
be the part of wisdom to establish such a system of repression now as
might prove a rock of safety for the rapidly multiplying population of
both countries for all future time.

                              "'I pray, &c.,
                                "'(Signed) CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.'

"But the 'Alabama' correspondence was also going on, and a new Congress
had to sit in 1865. Was it then surprising that on the 17th March,
1865, notice to put an end to the treaty was given?

"But in July, 1865, a convention, already alluded to (see Mr. Bright's
letter), composed of delegates from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore,
Cincinnati, St. Louis, Boston, Portland, and in fact from almost every
important town and district of the States north of Washington,
assembled at Detroit to consider the expiry of the treaty and the
question of its renewal. After long and earnest deliberations they
unanimously approved the notice given, and as unanimously passed the
following resolution for transmission to the Government of the United

"'That the convention do respectfully request the President of the
United States to enter into negociations with the Government of Great
Britain, having in view the execution of a treaty between the two
countries, for reciprocity and commercial intercourse between the
United States and the several Provinces of British North America,
including British Columbia, the Selkirk Settlement, and Vancouver's
Island, upon principles which should be just and equitable to all
parties, and which also shall include the free navigation of the St.
Lawrence and other rivers of British North America, with such
improvements of the rivers, and enlargement of the canals, as shall
render them adequate for the requirements of the west communicating
with the ocean.'

"At the time of passing this resolution a 'Revenue Commission' was
sitting, and its members recommended the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr.
McCulloch, to have a special report upon the treaty and its renewal.
The task was, thereupon, committed to Mr. E. H. Derby, of Boston. The
Commission also includes this subject in their report. Their report
(dated January, 1866,) says:--

"'In accordance with the resolutions of Congress and the notification
of the Executive, the commercial arrangement known as the "Reciprocity
Treaty," under which the trade and commerce between the United States
and the British Provinces of North America have been carried on since
1854, expires on the 17th day of March, 1866. The consideration of the
effect which the termination of this important commercial arrangement
is likely to have upon the revenue, as well as upon the trade and
commerce of the United States, has legitimately formed a part of the
duties devolving upon the Commission; and has also been especially
commended to their attention by the Secretary of the Treasury. The
Commission do not, however, propose to present in this connection any
review of the history of the treaty, or of the circumstances which, in
the opinion of Congress, have rendered its termination expedient. This
work has already been performed, under the auspices of the Treasury
Department, by E. H. Derby, Esq., of Boston, to whose able and
exhaustive report the Commission would refer, without, however,
endorsing its conclusions. There are, however, certain points connected
with this subject to which the Commission would ask special attention.

"'The first of these is, that during the continuance of the Reciprocity
Treaty the trade and commerce between the United States and the British
North American Provinces _has increased_ in ten years _more than
threefold_, or from seventeen millions in 1862 to sixty-eight
millions in 1864: so that at present, with the exception of Great
Britain, the commercial relations between the United States and the
British North American Provinces outrank in importance and aggregate
annual value those existing between this country and any other foreign
state. [Footnote: The value of the import and export trade of the
United States with the following countries for the year ending June
30th, 1864, was, according to the Treasury Report, as follows (in round

Great Britain ...................... $317,000,000
British North America ..............   68,000,000
Spanish West Indies ................   57,000,000
France .............................   29,000,000
Hamburg and Bremen .................   29,000,000
Mexico .............................   20,000,000
Brazil .............................   19,000,000
China ..............................   19,000,000
British West Indies ................   12,000,000]

"'It may also, they think, be fairly assumed that taking into
consideration the growth of the two countries in population and wealth,
(that of Canada for the last ten years having preserved a nearly equal
ratio in this respect with that of the United States,) the trade as at
present existing is really but in its infancy, and that the future may
be expected to develop an increase equally as great as that of the

"'A change in the conditions under which a reciprocal commerce of such
magnitude is carried on, and is now developing, ought not, therefore,
to be made without the most serious consideration.

"'As regards the present treaty, the Commission, as the result of their
investigations, have been led to the conclusion that its continuance,
under existing circumstances, unless accompanied with certain important
modifications, is not desirable on the part of the United States.

"'They, however, are also unanimous in the opinion, that, in view of
the close geographical connection of the United States with the British
Provinces--rendering them in many respects but one country--and of the
magnitude of the commercial relations existing between them, it would
be impolitic and to the detriment of the interests of the United States
to decline the consideration of all propositions looking to the re-
establishment of some future and satisfactory international commercial
arrangement. Such a course would be in entire opposition to the spirit
of the age, the liberality of our people, and the policy of rapidly
developing our resources as a means of diminishing the burden of our
public debt.

"'In view of such an arrangement, the question of whether either of the
parties to the treaty has, or has not, conformed to the spirit of its
stipulations, is of little importance. It is the future, not the past,
that we are to consider; and if advantageous terms for the future are
offered--terms which are calculated to promote the development of the
trade and commerce of the United States, encourage good feeling and
prevent difficulties with our neighbours, and at the same time protect
the revenues of the country from serious and increasing frauds--it
would be, in the opinion of the Commission, most impolitic to disregard

"'The offer on the part of the provincial authorities to re-negociate
in respect to the commercial relations of the two countries, is in
itself an expression of desire to make an arrangement that must be, in
every respect, reciprocal; inasmuch as it is evident that no treaty
can, for any length of time, continue that does not conduce to the
benefit of both parties.

"'It is evident that the necessities of the United States will for many
years require the imposition of high rates of taxation on many
articles, and that with the production of such articles free, or
assessed at low rates of duty, in the British Provinces, the
enforcement of the excise laws on the borders will be a matter of no
little difficulty, annoyance and expense; and under all ordinary
conditions a large annual loss of the revenue must inevitably occur.
The experience of all the nations of Europe has shown that to attempt
to wholly prevent smuggling, under the encouragement of high rates of
duty, is an utter impossibility. If, however, such an arrangement can
be made with the British Provinces as will ensure a nearly or quite
complete equalization of duties--excise and customs--it must be
apparent that all evasions of the revenue laws by smugglers would
instantly come to an end; and that the attainment of the above result
would be of immense advantage to the United States in a revenue point
of view.

"'Again: it is also urged that under the existing system the products
of American industry subject to high rates of excise, are injuriously
brought into competition with similar products of provincial industry
which are subjected to little or no excise, and then admitted into the
United States free of duty. That such is the fact cannot be denied; and
is itself a reason why the abrogation or modification of the present
Reciprocity Treaty has become imperative. But if it were possible to
effect such an arrangement with the British Provinces as would allow
the imposition of duties equivalent to the American excise on all
articles of provincial production passing into the United States, it
seems clear that the afore-mentioned objection would be entirely

"'As the whole subject, however, is now before Congress for
consideration, the Commission do not consider it as within their
province to submit any specific recommendations; but would content
themselves with merely pointing out that, under certain circumstances,
conditions of great advantage to the United States, in a revenue point
of view, might be secured.'

"Mr. Derby's report contains much that is sensational, and many curious
admissions, but its general tenor is strongly in favour of a new
treaty, regard being had to the revenue necessities of the United
States; _i.e._, that articles admitted into the United States from
Canada should pay a duty equivalent to the internal revenue tax on the
same articles charged in the States. This is just as if Great Britain
said that brandy from France coming into England should pay a duty
equivalent to the English excise duty upon spirits, which would be
quite fair.

"The next fact in the history is that delegates from Canada, New
Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, are found at Washington on the 24th
January, 1866, and that they remain there till the 24th February, on
which day they report that after many days' discussion they have failed
to do anything, and that the Reciprocity Treaty is finally at an end.

"Our Government having done nothing, the Provinces, it would appear,
had, at the last moment, to send 'delegates' themselves to negociate; a
mode of procedure altogether very unlike the action of 1854.

"The following papers give a _resume_ of the discussion :--

                                 "_February 7th_, 1866.

"'We have the honour to inform Your Excellency that our negociations
for the renewal of Reciprocal Trade with the United States have
terminated unsuccessfully. You have been informed from time to time of
our proceedings, but we propose briefly to recapitulate them.

"'On our arrival here, after consultation with Your Excellency, we
addressed ourselves with your sanction to the Secretary of the
Treasury, and we were by him put in communication with the Committee of
Ways and Means of the House of Representatives. After repeated
interviews with them, and on ascertaining that no renewal or extension
of the existing treaty would be made by the American authorities, but
that whatever was done must be by legislation, we submitted as the
basis upon which we desired arrangements to be made the enclosed paper
(marked A).

"'In reply we received the Memorandum from the Committee, of which a
copy is enclosed (B). And finding after discussion that no important
modifications in their views could be obtained, and that we were
required to consider their proposition as a whole, we felt ourselves
under the necessity of declining it, which was done by the Memorandum
also enclosed (C).

"'It is proper to explain the grounds of our final action.

"'It will be observed that the most important provisions of the
expiring treaty, relating to the free interchange of the products of
the two countries, were entirely set aside, and that the duties
proposed to be levied were almost prohibitory in their character. The
principal object for our entering into negociations was therefore
unattainable, and we had only to consider whether the minor points were
such as to make it desirable for us to enter into specific engagements.

"'These points are three in number.

"'With regard to the first--the proposed mutual use of the waters of
Lake Michigan and the St. Lawrence--we considered that the present
arrangements were sufficient, and that the common interests of both
countries would prevent their disturbance. We were not prepared to
yield the right of interference in the imposition of tolls upon our
canals. We believed, moreover, that the privilege allowed the United
States of navigating the waters of the St. Lawrence was very much more
than an equivalent for our use of Lake Michigan.

"'Upon the second point--providing for the free transit of goods under
bond between the two countries--we believed that in this respect, as in
the former case, the interests of both countries would secure the
maintenance of existing regulations. Connected with this point was the
demand made for the abolition of the free ports existing in Canada,
which we were not disposed to concede, especially in view of the
extremely unsatisfactory position in which it was proposed to place the
trade between the two countries.

"'On both the above points, we do not desire to be understood as
stating that the existing arrangements should not be extended and
placed on a more permanent basis, but only that, taken apart from the
more important interests involved, it did not appear to us this time
necessary to deal with them exceptionally.

"'With reference to the third and last point--the concessions of the
right of fishing in provincial waters--we considered the equivalent
proposed for so very valuable a right to be utterly inadequate. The
admission of a few unimportant articles free, with the establishment of
a scale of high duties as proposed, would not, in our opinion, have
justified us in yielding this point.

"'While we regret this unfavourable termination of the negociations, we
are not without hope that, at no distant day, they may be resumed with
a better prospect of a satisfactory result.

                  "'We have the honour to be,
                    "'Your Excellency's most obedient Servants,

                      "'A. T. GALT, Minister of Finance, Canada.
                      "'W. P. HOWLAND, Postmaster General, Canada.
                      "'W. A. HENRY, Attorney General, Nova Scotia,
                      "'A. J. SMITH, Attorney General, New Brunswick.

"'To His Excellency, SIR FREDERICK BRUCE, K.C.B., &c., &c., &c.'"


"'The trade between the United States and the British Provinces should,
it is believed, under ordinary circumstances, be free in reference to
their natural productions; but as internal taxes exceptionally exist in
the United States, it is now proposed that the articles embraced in the
free list of the Reciprocity Treaty should continue to be exchanged,
subject only to such duties as may be equivalent to that internal
taxation. It is suggested that both parties may add certain articles to
those now in the said list. With reference to the fisheries and the
navigation of the internal waters of the continent, the British
Provinces are willing that the existing regulations should continue in
effect; but Canada is ready to enter into engagements with the view of
improving the means of access to the ocean, provided the assurance be
given that the trade of the Western States will not be diverted from
its natural channel by legislation; and if the United States are not
prepared at present to consider the general opening of their coasting
trade, it would appear desirable that, as regards the internal waters
of the Continent, no distinction should be made between the vessels of
the two countries.

"'If the foregoing points be satisfactorily arranged, Canada is willing
to adjust her excise duties upon spirits, beer and tobacco upon the
best revenue standard which may be mutually adopted after full
consideration of the subject; and if it be desired to treat any other
articles in the same way the disposition of the Canadian Government is
to give every facility in their power to prevent illicit trade.

"'With regard to the transit trade, it is suggested that the same
regulations should exist on both sides and be defined by law. Canada is
also prepared to make her patent laws similar to those of the United

   "'_Feb. 2_, 1866.'"


"'In response to the Memorandum of the Hon. Mr. Galt and his
associates, Hon. Mr. Smith, Hon. Mr. Henry, and the Hon. Mr. Howland,
the Committee of Ways and Means, with the approval of the Secretary of
the Treasury, are prepared to recommend to the House of Representatives
for their adoption a law providing for the continuance of some of the
measures embraced in the Reciprocity Treaty, soon to expire, viz.--For
the use and privileges as enjoyed now under said treaty in the waters
of Lake Michigan, provided the same rights and privileges are conceded
to the citizens of the United States by Canada in the waters of the St.
Lawrence and its canals as are enjoyed by British subjects, without
discrimination as to tolls and charging rates proportioned to canal
distance; also for the free transit of goods, wares, and merchandize in
bond, under proper regulations, by railroad across the territory of the
United States to and from Portland and the Canada line; provided equal
privileges shall be conceded to the United States from Windsor or Port
Sarnia, or other western points of departure to Buffalo or Ogdensburg,
or any other points eastward, and that the free ports established in
the Provinces shall be abolished; also the bounties now given to
American fishermen shall be repealed, and duties not higher imposed
upon fish than those mentioned in Schedule A., provided that all the
rights of fishing near the shores existing under the treaty heretofore
mentioned shall be granted and conceded by the United States to the
Provinces, and by the Provinces to the United States.

"'It is also further proposed that the following list of articles shall
be mutually free:--

                   Burr Millstones, unwrought.
                   Cotton and Linen Rags.
                   Grindstones, rough or unfinished.
                   Gypsum or plaster, unground.


FISH--Mackerel                                $1 50 per bbl
"     Herrings, pickled or salted              1 00     "
"     Salmon                                   2 50     "
"     Shad                                     2 00     "
"     All other, pickled                       1 50     "

"'Provided that any fish in packages other than barrels shall pay in
proportion to the rates charged upon similar fish in barrels.

All other Fish                                  1/3 cent per lb

"'As to the duties which will be proposed upon the other articles
included in the treaty, the following are submitted, viz.-

Animals, living, all sorts                      20 per cent  ad val
Apples and Garden Fruit and Vegetables          10    "         "
Barley                                          15 cts  per bushel
Beans (except Vanilla or Castor Oil)            30    "        "
Beef                                             1 ct  per lb
Buckwheat                                       10 cts  per bushel
Butter                                           4    "      lb
Cheese                                           4    "       "
Corn (Indian) and Oats                          10 cts  per bushel
Corn-meal (Indian) and Oatmeal                  15  "         "
Coal, bituminous                                50  "        ton
  "   all other                                 25  "         "
Flour                                           25 per cent, ad val
Hams                                             2 cts per lb
Hay                                          $1 00 per ton
Hides                                           10 per cent  ad val
Lard                                             3 cts  per lb
Pine, round or in the log                    $1 50 per M
" sawed or hewn                               2 50   "
" planed, tongued and grooved or finish'd       25 per cent  ad val
Spruce and Hemlock, sawed or hewn            $1 00 per M
Planed, finished or partly finished             25 per cent  ad val
Shingle bolts                                   10     "        "
Shingles                                        20     "        "
All other, of Black Walnut, Chesnut, Bass,
White Wood, Ash, Oak, round, hewed or sawed     20     "        "
Planed, tongued and grooved or finished         25     "        "
Ores                                            10     "        "
Peas                                            25 cts  per bushel
Pork                                             1 ct  per lb
Potatoes                                        10 cts  per bushel
Seed, Timothy, and Clover                       20 per cent  ad val
Trees, Plants and Shrubs, Ornamental and Fruit  15    "         "
Tallow                                           2 cts  per lb
Wheat                                           20 cts  per bushel


"'In reference to the Memorandum received from the Committee of Ways
and Means, the Provincial Delegates regret to be obliged to state that
the proposition therein contained in regard to the commercial relations
between the two countries is not such as they can recommend for the
adoption of their respective Legislatures. The imposts which it is
proposed to lay upon the productions of the British Provinces on their
entry into the markets of the United States are such as in their
opinion will be in some cases prohibitory, and will certainly seriously
interfere with the natural course of trade. These imposts are so much
beyond what the delegates conceive to be an equivalent for the internal
taxation of the United States, that they are reluctantly brought to the
conclusion that the Committee no longer desire the trade between the
two countries to be carried on upon the principle of reciprocity. With
the concurrence of the British Minister at Washington, they are
therefore obliged respectfully to decline to enter into the engagement
suggested in the memorandum, but they trust that the present views of
the United States may soon be so far modified as to permit of the
interchange of the productions of the two countries upon a more liberal

   "'_February 6th_, 1866.'

"This abortive negociation was followed (March, 1866) by a United
States Bill for enabling a new treaty upon impossible terms; that Bill
was at last hung up in Congress, and so the matter ended, so far as the
States were concerned.

"The operation of the treaty from 1854 to 1866 may now be considered.

"The Report of the Revenue Commissioners shows that the trade under it
increased from 20,000,000 dollars, to 68,000,000 dollars in 1864, and
that this trade was larger than the trade of the United States with any
country in the world except Great Britain. It was 31/2 times more than
with China; 31/2 times more than with Brazil; above 3 times more than
with even Mexico; 21/4 times more than with Hamburg and Bremen,
notwithstanding the direct line of steamers to and from New York; 21/4
times more than with France, with all its wines, silks, and fashions;
and one-third more than with Cuba and the Spanish West Indies.

"Then, on the whole, 'the balance of trade,' as it is called, was in
favour of the States during the whole period of the treaty by a sum of
56,000,000 dollars.

"As regards coal, the quantity taken in 1865-6 from Pennsylvania and
other States to Upper Canada was about 180,000 tons; while the quantity
of Nova Scotian coal taken to Boston and the Eastern States was about
200,000 tons. Thus the supply of districts 1,000 miles apart had nearly
balanced itself under the treaty. As regards fishing rights, the United
States appeared largely to have the advantage, for they had, by the
treaty, access to excellent fishing grounds and passage through the Gut
of Canso, while the provincial fishermen rarely troubled the coasts of
Maine or Massachusetts--'bare pastures' for fish. As an example, the
boats employed by the United States in the mackerel fishery in 1852
were 250, the tonnage 18,150 tons, and the value 750,000 dollars, while
the catch of fish was 850,000 dollars; while in 1864 it showed 600
vessels, 54,000 tons, 9,000 men, and a catch worth 4,567,500 dollars.

"Upon the general question, Mr. Derby says in his report:--

"'If the Maritime Provinces would join us spontaneously to-day--sterile
as they may be in the soil under a sky of steel--still with their hardy
population, their harbours, fisheries, and seamen, they would greatly
strengthen and improve our position, and aid us in our struggle for
equality upon the ocean. If we would succeed upon the deep, we must
either maintain our fisheries, _or absorb the Provinces_.'

"'No negociations' and 'no papers'--say our Government. This may be
true. Or it may be true that the Foreign Office have had papers, and
the Colonial not. Or that the Board of Trade have had papers, and the
Foreign and Colonial people have not; but, however that may be, Canada
has made, in good time, very serious representations. It is believed
that her Government had long before made personal appeals to both the
Colonial and the Foreign Offices, but the following document (19th
February, 1865), will speak for itself; and the Government at home
cannot deny that they had it, but which of the three departments will
admit its receipt is yet to be seen; always let it be remembered that
in _May_, 1865, there were 'no papers:'--

"'_Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honorable the Executive
Council_, approved by his Excellency the Governor-General on the
19th February, 1865.

"'The Committee of the Executive Council deem it to be their duty to
represent to Your Excellency that the recent proceedings in the
Congress of the United States, respecting the Reciprocity Treaty, have
excited the deepest concern in the minds of the people of this

"'Those proceedings have had for their avowed object the abrogation of
the treaty at the earliest moment consistent with the stipulations of
the instrument itself.

"'Although no formal action indicative of the strength of the party
hostile to the continuance of the treaty has yet taken place,
information, of an authentic character, as to the opinions and purposes
of influential public men in the United States has forced upon the
Committee the conviction that there is imminent danger of its
abrogation, unless prompt and vigorous steps be taken by Her Majesty's
Imperial advisers to avert what would be generally regarded by the
people of Canada as a great calamity.

"'The Committee would specially bring under Your Excellency's notice
the importance of instituting negociations for the renewal of the
treaty, with such modifications as may be mutually assented to, before
the year's notice required to terminate it shall be given by the
American Government; for they fear that the notice, if once given,
would not be revoked; and they clearly foresee that, owing to the
variety and possibly the conflicting nature of the interests involved
on our own side, a new treaty could not be concluded, and the requisite
legislation to give effect to it obtained before the year would have
expired, and with it the treaty.  Under such circumstances--even with
the certain prospect of an early renewal of the treaty--considerable
loss and much inconvenience would inevitably ensue.

"'It would be impossible to express in figures, with any approach to
accuracy, the extent to which the facilities of commercial intercourse
created by the Reciprocity Treaty have contributed to the wealth and
prosperity of this Province; and it would be difficult to exaggerate
the importance which the people of Canada attach to the continued
enjoyment of these facilities.

"'Nor is the subject entirely devoid of political significance.

"'Under the beneficent operation of the system of self-government,
which the later policy of the Mother Country has accorded to Canada, in
common with the other Colonies possessing representative institutions,
combined with the advantages secured by the Reciprocity Treaty of an
unrestricted commerce with our nearest neighbours in the natural
productions of the two countries, all agitation for organic changes has
ceased--all dissatisfaction with the existing political relations of
the Province has wholly disappeared.

"'Although the Committee would grossly misrepresent their countrymen if
they were to affirm that their loyalty to their Sovereign would be
diminished in the slightest degree by the withdrawal, through the
unfriendly action of a foreign Government, of mere commercial
privileges, however valuable these might be deemed, they think they
cannot err in directing the attention of the enlightened statesmen who
wield the destinies of the great Empire, of which it is the proudest
boast of Canadians that their country forms a part, to the connection
which is usually found to exist between the material prosperity and the
political contentment of a people, for in doing so they feel that they
are appealing to the highest motives that can actuate patriotic
statesmen--the desire to perpetuate a dominion founded on the
affectionate allegiance of a prosperous and contented people.

"'The Committee venture to express the hope that Your Excellency will
be pleased to bring this subject and the considerations now submitted
under the notice of Her Majesty's Imperial advisers.

"'W. H. LEE, C. E. C.'

"Does it not seem as if the whole business was let alone, neglected,

"What were our Government doing from 1861 to 1865?

"POLAND exercised the minds of the Foreign Office from an early date,
and they have given us papers from July 31st, 1862, December 31st of
that year, and on to April 23rd, 1863, when that affair ended.

"DENMARK revived their old discussions in 1863, and they began to write
despatches about them. They have given Parliament papers about the
'Conference,' which only began January 23rd, 1864, and ended March
26th, 1864.

"The whole number of papers printed for Parliament, and laid on the
table in 1864, was 369. Yet there was not, out of these, one single
paper about the Reciprocity Treaty.

"The whole number of papers printed for Parliament, and laid likewise
upon the table in 1865, was 170, but not a line appears about the
Reciprocity Treaty. So much for the attention of the people we pay to
watch over our affairs.

"The question, as regards our relations with the States, Was a great
opportunity lost? arises. Let us see. 1st, the Chamber of Commerce of
New York, and its 1,300,000 people, ask for a treaty in 1861; 2nd,
Congress asks for it by appointing a committee in 1861; 3rd, the
committee ask for it by their report of 1862 and by their resolutions
of 1864; 4th, Mr. Seward endorses it even so late as November, 1864;
and 5th, the Convention at Detroit ask for it so late as the 14th July,
1865. In further testimony, a member of Congress said, on the 14th
March, 1866, on the debate on the _abortive Bill_ for regulating
trade with British North American Provinces:--

"Mr. Brooks, 'Dem. N. Y.,' said, 'that he would not have risen to
obtrude any remarks on the committee on a subject that had been
discussed with an ability and ingenuity reminding him, of ancient times
in the House, and demonstrating that upon subjects which interest our
own race there is as much ability here as of old, if he had not voted
last year, with others, for an abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty,
and if he did not see now, from the tendencies and sympathies of the
House, that the moment the Bill passed from the hands of the committee
of the whole it would receive its final death blow. He did not believe
there would have been thirty votes obtained in this House last year for
the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty with Canada, but for the
explicit understanding that some sort of reciprocity in trade would be
forthwith re-established, either through the treaty-making power, or
through the legislative power of the Government. The people of the
United States were ground down by the internal revenue taxation, and he
had not felt at liberty to let the Reciprocity Treaty stand, without
being at liberty to make some sort of bargain with the people of
Canada, that whatever our internal revenues might be, the same would be
levied, either by them or by us, on our imports from them. It was
exclusively on that understanding that he had voted for the abrogation
of the treaty. And he now saw in the additional claims of those who
represented the lumber interests, and the coal and other interests of
the country, that advantage was to be taken of the present opportunity,
and that never again were we to have reciprocity with the neighbouring
Provinces. On the contrary, we were to impose as high duties as could
be imposed upon their products, higher if possible than those now
levied under the general tariff bill. If that were to be so, he never
should regret any vote that he gave in his life as he would regret his
vote of last winter to abrogate the treaty. He had given it with the
understanding that it should be substantially renewed. He spoke of the
people of the Provinces as being connected with us by kindred and by
blood, and as rightfully belonging to us; and he hoped to live to see
the day when the seats on this floor and in the Senate would be
occupied by representatives and senators from Canada, New Brunswick,
Nova Scotia, Prince Edward's Island, and all the other American
dependencies of Great Britain.'

"Then it will not be forgotten that the Government and Congress of the
States ratified a treaty with Great Britain, which never could before
be acted on, viz., that affecting the African slave trade, on the 7th
April, 1862, and they agreed to the important additional article on the
17th February, 1863. At these dates the Government and people of the
United States were most anxious, therefore, for friendly relations with
us. But Earl Russell lost the golden opportunity. British interests
were entirely neglected.

"We must now look at the new features of difficulty which have sprung
up; and first, there is now a Congress with a Republican majority, and
the majority of that majority are Protectionists: while a considerable
number are Annexationists.

"The Convention at Detroit was appealed to by the latter. Mr. Consul
Potter, United States Consul at Montreal, Canada, and Mr. O. S. Wood,
Manager of the Montreal Telegraph Company, appear in the following
report of a speech of the Consul at a meeting specially convened by him
at Detroit:--

"Mr. Consul Potter, at Detroit, July 12th, 1865, said, "'I would meet
the people of Canada on the most friendly footing, but I would say to
them, in making an arrangement, we must look to our own interest as
well as yours, and in looking to our interest we cannot forget that the
policy we may adopt in relation to reciprocity will have a very great
influence on the future relations of the two countries. Now, we are
ready to give you in Canada the most perfect reciprocity. We will give
you complete free trade, but we ask you to come and share with us the
responsibilities of our own government. We make this proposition, but
not in a spirit of conquest, for, as I remarked before, if it were
positively certain that by one day of war we could obtain possession of
the whole Provinces for ever I would say--No!--for this reason, that
after the conquest you would find a feeling of opposition to the United
States and our government on the part of the people of Canada which
would prevent any harmonious working. When they come, let them come by
their own consent, let them come as brothers, and let us be all
brothers with one flag, under one destiny. The question then is, Shall
we simply be content to give the Canadians all the privileges of our
markets? For the true policy is, that in getting those privileges they
should be placed on equal footing with our own citizens in relation to
our responsibilities and in relation to taxation. I believe I express
the general feeling of those who are the most friendly to the United
States in Canada when I say it is not the policy of our Government, or
our policy, to continue this treaty, and I believe that in two years
from the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty, the people of Canada
themselves will apply for admission to the United States. I repeat that
I believe in two years they would ask for admission. I have a letter
which I received on the evening of my departure for Detroit, and I may
say I came here, with the consent of my own Government, to express my
views on reciprocity. This letter is from a gentleman in Montreal, than
whom none stands higher--a gentleman of intelligence and wealth, and
whose judgment is as good as that of any person in Canada on these

                                "'_July 10th._


"'I am much delighted to hear that you have decided to attend the
Detroit Convention, as it is in my opinion of the greatest importance
that the real friends of the United States who reside here shall be
represented at Detroit, or that our friends, before committing
themselves to a renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, may know our views
on the subject; and I can assure you, from the knowledge I have of the
sentiments of those who have been and still are the friends of the
United States in this country, that not one in fifty of them wants a
renewal or extension of the treaty. On the other hand, every man who
has been openly hostile to us is for the renewal. The reasons are
obvious, as it is clear to all intelligent men that a failure to renew
the treaty will result in thorough reciprocity. All the friends of the
Western States here, and they are rapidly increasing in numbers and
influence, would rejoice to submit to temporary inconvenience and loss,
for the purpose of accomplishing this result, while those who are
against us wish for a renewal of the treaty which, during the last four
years, has given so much trouble to both sides. They know that a
renewal of the treaty would be the only effectual check on the
annexation movement. I believe the renewal of it would be one of the
greatest political blunders on the part of the United States. This is
the feeling of our friends on this side, and I am sure our friends on
the other side of the frontier who have already suffered so much, will
join us heartily in this additional sacrifice, if such it should

"As Mr. Potter closed reading the letter there were loud cries from the
Canadian delegates of 'Name, name.'

"Mr. Potter gave the name, 'O. S. Wood, Superintendent of the Montreal
Telegraph Company'--a gentleman, he said, of wealth and the highest
respectability in Montreal.

"Some one asked whether Wood was a born Canadian.

"Mr. Potter replied he was not, but came originally from New York.

"The Republican journals in the West have since taken up this tone, and
Mr. Morrill, the Protectionist chairman of the 'Committee of Ways and
Means,' echoed it even in conference with the provincial delegates at
Washington last February:--Witness the following:--

"'Chicago Tribune' (Republican), Jan. 6th, 1866.

"The 'Tribune' concludes:--'The Canadians will soon discover that free
trade and smuggling will not compensate them for the loss of the
Reciprocity Treaty. They will stay out in the cold for a few years and
try all sorts of expedients, but in the end will be constrained to
knock for admission into the Great Republic. Potter was right when he
predicted that the abrogation of the treaty would cause annexation.'

"(Mr. MORRILL, Chairman of Ways and Means, "Washington, Feb.
6th, 1866.)

"'Mr. GALT: We would not build those canals for our own trade alone. I
think, indeed, it might well be considered whether it would not suit
both parties to put this trade on a better footing. I am not authorized
to make any proposition looking to this end, but my idea is that these
waters might be neutralized with advantage to both.

"'Mr. MORRILL: That will have to be postponed until _you, gentlemen,
assume your seats here_.'

"Mr. Derby coolly discusses the question as to whether concession or
coercion will best succeed in inducing the British Provinces to 'come
over,' and his recipe for all outstanding grievances is the following.
He says, in his report of January 1st, 1866:--

"'And if as an inducement for this treaty and in settlement of Alabama
claims we can obtain a cession of Vancouver's Island, or other
territory, it will be a consummation most devoutly to be wished for.'

"Would our Government 'devoutly wish' such a consummation?

"Mr. O. S. Wood had to resign his position as manager of the Montreal
Telegraph Company: that was done by public opinion in Canada. But Mr.
Potter, who attends a meeting to enforce the annexation of a part of
the Queen's dominions, by the consent of the Washington Government, is
still Consul at Montreal.

"But what are these dominions which Mr. Potter would annex? Read what
Mr. Ward's Report of 1862 says:--

"'The great and practical value of the British North American Provinces
and possessions is seldom appreciated. Stretching from the Atlantic to
the Pacific Oceans, they contain an area of at least 3,478,380 square
miles--more than is owned by the United States, and not much less than
the whole of Europe, with its family of nations!

       *       *       *       *       *

"'The climate and soil of these Provinces and possessions, seemingly
less indulgent than those of tropical regions, are precisely those by
which the skill, energy, and virtues of the human race are best
developed. Nature there demands thought and labour from man as
conditions of his existence, and yields abundant rewards to a wise

"Specially, as regards Canada; let us recapitulate her progress, as
compared with that of her giant neighbour, the United States.

"During the interval between the last census and the preceding one
(1850-1860), the decennial rate of increase of population in Canada
exceeded that in the United States by nearly 51/2 per cent.--Canada
adding 40.87 per cent. to her population in ten years, while the United
States added only 35.58 per cent. to theirs. She brought her wild land
into cultivation at a rate, in nine years, exceeding the rate of
increase of cultivated lands in the United States in ten years by
nearly 6 per cent.,--Canada in 1860 having added 50 acres of cultivated
land to every 100 acres under cultivation in 1851, while the United
States in 1860 had only added 14 acres to every 100 acres under
cultivation in 1850. The value per cultivated acre of the farming lands
in Canada in 1860 exceeded the value per cultivated acre of the farming
lands of the United States--the average value per cultivated acre in
Canada being $20.87 and in the United States $16.32. In Canada a larger
capital was invested in agricultural implements, in proportion to the
amount of land cultivated, than in the United States--the average value
of agricultural implements used on a farm having 100 cultivated acres
being in Canada $182 and in the United States $150. In proportion to
population, Canada in 1860 raised twice as much wheat as the United
States--Canada in that year raising 11.2 bushels for each inhabitant,
while the United States raised only 5.50 bushels for each inhabitant.
Bulking together eight leading staples of agriculture--wheat, corn,
rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, peas and bean, and potatoes,--Canada,
between 1851 and 1860, increased her production of these articles from
57 millions to 123 millions of bushels--an increase; of 113 per cent.;
while the United States in ten years, from 1850 to 1860, increased
their productions of the same articles only 45 per cent. In 1860 Canada
raised, of those articles, 49.12 bushels for each inhabitant, against a
production in the United States of 43.42 bushels for each inhabitant.
Excluding Indian corn from the list--Canada raised of the remaining
articles 48.07 bushels for each inhabitant, almost three times the rate
of production in the United States, which was 16.74 bushels for each
inhabitant. And as regards live stock and their products, Canada in
1850, in proportion to her population, owned more horses and more cows,
made more butter, kept more sheep, and had a greater yield of wool,
than the United States.

"Our British Government having thus allowed the treaty to expire, and
having thereby damped the energies of the colonies, and excited the
hopes of the Protectionist and Annexationist parties in the States,
what are we to do?

"In the first place, Parliament should express its condemnation of the
failure of the executive; in the second, its desire for peace and
fraternity with the United States; and in the third, its determination
to stand by the Queen's dominions on the other side of the Atlantic.
Language so just and so clear would lead to the inevitable result of
renewed negociation. But who should negociate? The incapable,
nonchalant people who have so signally perilled the interests of Great
Britain,--or new and capable men? Or should the whole state of our
relations with the United States be remitted to a plenipotentiary?

"What ought we to seek now to secure, in the interests of peace and

"1. A neutralization of the 3,000 miles of frontier, rendering
fortifications needless.

"2. A continuance of the neutrality of the lakes and rivers bordering
upon the two territories.

"3. Common navigation of the lakes and the outlets of the sea.

"4. An enlargement of canals and locks, to enable the food of the west
to flow unimpeded and at the smallest cost direct in the same bottom to
Europe, or any other part of the world.

"5. Neutrality of telegraphs and post routes between the Atlantic and
Pacific, no matter on which territory they may traverse.

"6. A free interchange of untaxed, and an exchange, at internal revenue
duty rate only, of taxed, commodities.

"7. The passage of goods in bond through the respective territories as

"8. A common use of ports on both sides of the Continent."

It seems to me, now, in 1887, that this paper sums up a question of the
past, now re-appearing in full prominence. It also sums up what ought
to be done if civilization and friendship between English-speaking
nations still exist.

[Endnote 1]

The Government of the United States being equally desirous with Her
Majesty the Queen of Great Britain to avoid further misunderstanding
between their respective citizens and subjects in regard to the extent
of the right of fishing on the coasts of British North America secured
to each by Article I of a Convention between the United States and
Great Britain, signed at London on the 20th day of October, 1818; and
being also desirous to regulate the commerce and navigation between
their respective territories and people, and more especially between
Her Majesty's possessions in North America and the United States, in
such manner as to render the same reciprocally beneficial and
satisfactory, have respectively named Plenipotentiaries to confer and
agree thereupon--that is to say, the President of the United States of
America, William L. Marcy, Secretary of State of the United States; and
Her Majesty, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, James, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Lord Bruce and Elgin, a
peer of the United Kingdom, knight of the most ancient and most noble
Order of the Thistle, and Governor General in and over all Her
Britannic Majesty's provinces on the continent of North America and in
and over the island of Prince Edward--who, after having communicated to
each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form,
have agreed upon the following articles:--

ART. I. It is agreed by the high contracting parties that, in addition
to the liberty secured to the United States fishermen by the above-
mentioned convention of October 20, 1818, of taking, curing, and drying
fish on certain coasts of the British North American Colonies therein
defined, the inhabitants of the United States shall have, in common
with the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty, the liberty to take fish of
every kind, except shell-fish, on the sea-coasts and shores, and in the
bays, harbours, and creeks of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward's Island, and of the several islands thereunto adjacent,
without being restricted to any distance from the shore; with
permission to land upon the coasts and shores of those colonies and the
islands thereof, and also upon the Magdalen Islands, for the purpose of
drying their nets and curing their fish: provided that, in so doing,
they do not interfere with the rights of private property or with
British fishermen in the peaceable use of any part of the said coast in
their occupancy for the same purpose.

It is understood that the above-mentioned liberty applies solely to the
sea fishery, and that the salmon and shad fisheries, and all fisheries
in rivers and the mouths of rivers, are hereby reserved exclusively for
British fishermen.

And it is further agreed that, in order to prevent or settle any
disputes as to the places to which the reservation of exclusive right
to British fishermen contained in this article, and that of fishermen
of the United States contained in the next succeeding article, apply,
each of the high contracting parties, on the application of either to
the other, shall, within six months thereafter, appoint a commissioner.
The said commissioners, before proceeding to any business, shall make
and subscribe a solemn declaration that they will impartially and
carefully examine and decide, to the best of their judgment and
according to justice and equity, without fear, favour, or affection to
their own country, upon all such places as are intended to be reserved
and excluded from the common liberty of fishing under this and the next
succeeding article, and such declaration shall be entered on the record
of their proceedings.

The commissioners shall name some third person to act as an arbitrator
or umpire in any case or cases on which they may themselves differ in
opinion. If they should not be able to agree upon the name of such
third person, they shall each name a person, and it shall be determined
by lot which of the two persons so named shall be the arbitrator or
umpire in cases of difference or disagreement between the
commissioners. The person so to be chosen to be arbitrator or umpire
shall, before proceeding to act as such in any case, make and subscribe
to a solemn declaration in a form similar to that which shall already
have been made and subscribed by the commissioners, which shall be
entered on the record of their proceedings. In the event of the death,
absence, or incapacity of either of the commissioners, or of the
arbitrator or umpire, or of their or his omitting, declining, or
ceasing to act as such commissioner, arbitrator, or umpire, another and
different person shall be appointed or named as aforesaid to act as
such commissioner, arbitrator, or umpire in the place and stead of the
person so originally appointed or named as aforesaid, and shall make
and subscribe such declaration as aforesaid.

Such commissioners shall proceed to examine the coasts of the North
American Provinces and of the United States embraced within the
provisions of the first and second articles of this treaty, and shall
designate the places reserved by the said articles from the common
right of fishing therein.

The decision of the commissioners and of the arbitrator or umpire shall
be given in writing in each case, and shall be signed by them

The high contracting parties hereby solemnly engage to consider the
decision of the commissioners conjointly, or of the arbitrator or
umpire, as the case may be, as absolutely final and conclusive in each
case decided upon by them or him respectively.

ART. 2. It is agreed by the high contracting parties that British
subjects shall have, in common with the citizens of the United States,
the liberty to take fish of every kind, except shell-fish, on the
eastern sea-coasts and shores of the United States north of the 36th
parallel of north latitude, and on the shores of the several islands
thereunto adjacent, and in the bays, harbours, and creeks, of the said
sea-coasts and shores of the United States and of the said islands,
without being restricted to any distance from the shore, with
permission to land upon the said coasts of the United States and of the
islands aforesaid for the purpose of drying their nets and curing their
fish; provided that, in so doing, they do not interfere with the rights
of private property, or with the fishermen of the United States in the
peaceable use of any part of the said coasts in their occupancy for the
same purpose.

It is understood that the above-mentioned liberty applies solely to the
sea fishery, and that salmon and shad fisheries, and all fisheries in
rivers and months of rivers, are hereby reserved exclusively for
fishermen of the United States.

ART. 3. It is agreed that the articles enumerated in the schedule
hereunto annexed, being the growth and produce of the aforesaid British
Colonies or of the United States, shall be admitted into each, country
respectively free of duty:--


Grain, flour and breadstuffs of all kinds.
Animals of all kinds.
Fresh, smoked, and salted meats.
Cotton-wool, seeds, and vegetables.
Undried fruits, dried fruits.
Fish of all kinds.
Products of fish, and all other creatures living in the water.
Poultry, eggs.
Hides, furs, skins, or tails, undressed.
Stone or marble, in its crude or unwrought state.
Butter, cheese, tallow.
Lard, horns, manures.
Ores of metals of all kinds.
Pitch, tar, turpentine, ashes.
Timber and lumber of all kinds, round, hewed and sawed, unmanufactured,
in whole or in part.
Plants, shrubs, and trees.
Pelts, wool.
Fish oil.
Rice, broom-corn, and bark.
Gypsum, ground or unground.
Hewn or wrought or unwrought burr or grindstones.
Flax, hemp, and tow, unmanufactured.
Unmanufactured tobacco.

ART. 4. It is agreed that the citizens and inhabitants of the United
States shall have the right to navigate the river St. Lawrence, and the
canals in Canada, used as the means of communicating between the great
lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, with their vessels, boats, and crafts, as
fully and freely as the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty, subject only
to the same tolls and other assessments as now are or may hereafter be
exacted of Her Majesty's said subjects; it being understood, however,
that the British Government retains the right of suspending this
privilege on giving due notice thereof to the Government of the United

It is further agreed that, if at any time the British Government should
exercise the said reserved right, the Government of the United States
shall have the right of suspending, if it think fit, the operation of
article three of the present treaty, in so far as the Province of
Canada is affected thereby, for so long as the suspension of the free
navigation of the river St. Lawrence or the canals may continue.

It is further agreed that British subjects shall have the right freely
to navigate Lake Michigan with their vessels, boats, and crafts, so
long as the privilege of navigating the river St. Lawrence, secured to
American citizens by the above clause of the present article, shall
continue; and the Government of the United States further engages to
urge upon the State Governments to secure to the subjects of Her
Britannic Majesty the use of the several State canals on terms of
equality with the inhabitants of the United States.

And it is further agreed that no export duty or other duty shall be
levied on lumber or timber of any kind cut on that portion of the
American territory in the State of Maine watered by the river St. John
and its tributaries, and floated down that river to the sea, when the
same is shipped to the United States from the Province of New

ART. 5. The present treaty shall take effect as soon as the laws
required to carry it into operation shall have been passed by the
Imperial Parliament of Great Britain and by the Provincial Parliaments
of those of the British North American Colonies which are affected by
this treaty on the one hand, and by the Congress of the United States
on the other. Such assent having been given, the treaty shall remain in
force for ten years from the date at which it may come into operation,
and further, until the expiration of twelve months after either of the
high contracting parties shall give notice to the other of its wish to
terminate the same; each of the high contracting parties being at
liberty to give such notice to the other at the end of the said term of
ten years, or at any time afterwards:

It is clearly understood, however, that this stipulation is not
intended to affect the reservation made by article four of the present
treaty, with regard to the right of temporarily suspending the
operation of articles three and four thereof.

ART. 6. And it is further hereby agreed that the provisions and
stipulations of the foregoing articles shall extend to the Island of
Newfoundland, so far as they are applicable to that colony. But if the
Imperial Parliament, the Provincial Parliament of Newfoundland, or the
Congress of the United States shall not embrace in their laws, enacted
for carrying this treaty into effect, the Colony of Newfoundland, then
this article shall be of no effect; but the omission to make provision
by law to give it effect, by either of the legislative bodies
aforesaid, shall not in any way impair the remaining articles of this

ART. 7. The present treaty shall be duly ratified and the mutual
exchange of ratifications shall take place in Washington within six
months from the date hereof, or earlier if possible.

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this
treaty, and have hereunto affixed our seals.

Done in triplicate at Washington, the fifth day of June, anno Domini
one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four.

                      W. L. MARCY.                  [L.S.]
                      ELGIN AND KINCARDINE.         [L.S.]]

[Endnote 2:]

Act cap. 71 [Dunlop's Laws of the United States, Federal], passed March
3rd, 1845, page 1075.

"SEC. 7. That any imported merchandize which has been entered, and the
duties paid or secured according to law, for drawback, may be exported
to the British North American Provinces, adjoining the United States;
and the ports of Plattsburg, in the District of Champlain; Burlington,
in the District of Vermont; Sackett's Harbour, Oswego, and Ogdensburg,
in the District of Oswegatchie; Rochester, in the District of Genesee;
Buffalo and Erie, in the District of Prequ'isle; Cleveland, in the
District of Cuyahoga; Sandusky and Detroit, together with such ports on
the seaboard from which merchandize may now be exported for the benefit
of drawback, are hereby declared ports from whence foreign goods, wares
and merchandize on which the import has been paid or secured to be
paid, may be exported to ports in the adjoining British Provinces, and
to which ports foreign goods, wares, and merchandize may be transported
inland, or by water from the port of original importation, under
existing provisions of law, to be thence exported for benefit of
drawback. Provided, that such other ports situated on the frontiers of
the United Sates, adjoining the British North American Provinces, as
may hereafter be found expedient, may have extended to them the like
privileges on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury, and
proclamation duly made by the President of the United States, specially
designating the ports to which the aforesaid privileges are to be

NOTE--Several other ports have since been proclaimed, viz., Whitehall,
Lewiston, and others.

"SEC. 11. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby further
authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations, not inconsistent
with the laws of the United States, as he may deem necessary to carry
into effect the provisions of this Act, and to prevent the illegal re-
importation of any goods, wares, or merchandize which shall have been
exported as herein provided; and that all Acts or parts of Acts
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, be, and the same are
hereby repealed."

See, also, Warehousing Act of United States Congress, chapter 48,
Dunlop's United States Statutes, page 1106, passed 6th August, 1846, in
which it is enacted as follows:--

"And in case the owner, importer, consignee or agent of any goods on
which the duties have not been paid shall give to the collector
satisfactory security that the said goods shall be landed out of the
jurisdiction of the United States in the manner now required by
existing laws relating to exportations, for the benefit of drawback,
the collector, &c., on an entry to re-export the same shall, upon
payment of the appropriate expenses, permit the said goods, under the
inspection of the proper officers, to be shipped without the payment of
any duties thereon," &c.


_The Defences of Canada._

In February and March, 1865, I spoke in the House of Commons on the
general question of the defences of Canada; and, also, on the special
vote (carried by a majority of 235) of 50,000_l_. for the
fortifications of Quebec. The first of these speeches was delivered on
the 13th March, 1865; the second on the 23rd March. On the second
occasion I was followed by Lord Palmerston; and I commend his speech,
pithy and decisive as it was, to the statesmen who have to deal with
our Imperial relations with Canada, and with her Canadian Pacific

"Hansard" reports that,--

"Mr. WATKIN said that having, like the right hon. gentleman the member
for Calne, visited Canada not once but frequently, he felt unable to
corroborate the description given of Quebec; nor could he agree as to
what had been said of other places. The fortifications of Quebec were
not those of the days of Wolfe; they had been systematically enlarged
and strengthened. Quebec, naturally a position of enormous strength,
was now most efficiently fortified, and so far from the nature of the
surrounding country exposing it to attack, that country presented
features enabling the speedy and easy construction of additional works
rendering the fortress impregnable. In fact, it might easily be made
the strongest work upon the continent. Nor was it fair to say, as the
gallant member opposite had declared, that the guns were all antiquated
and the gun-carriages rotten. It was true that many of the guns were
old, but newer ordnance had been supplied; there were abundant stores
of shot, shell, and rockets, and a considerable number of Armstrong
guns had been received at the citadel very recently. Canada could be
made capable of defence, without difficulty, though, of course, not
without cost. No one would contend that the defence of Canada, if an
Imperial duty, was simply an Imperial liability. Every one would admit
that the colony should contribute, both in times of peace and of war,
its fair share of the burden. Independence and defence were co-existent
ideas, and Canada, desiring to be free of foreign control, should, and
he hoped would, be ready to defray her just and honest share of the
burden. He took this as admitted on all hands and on both sides of the
Atlantic. His objection, then, to the proposal of the Government was
that it was not worthy of that emergency which alone could justify the
policy of the fortification of a frontier. But the question really
before the House was not one of the extent of territory to defend, but
plainly this--Was this House, was the country, ready to abandon--to
alienate for ever from the British Crown--the vast expanse of territory
lying between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans? There was no half-way
house between 'cutting the painter,' as one or two hon. gentlemen near
him now and then suggested, in conversation only, as regarded Canada,
and severing all connection, now and for ever, with Prince Edward's
Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada, on the
east; British Columbia, one of the most thriving and hopeful of the
British possessions, on the west; and that vast intermediate country
known as the 'Hudson's Bay Territory,' which they were told contained
within itself fertile land enough to sustain 50,000,000 of people--and
holding on to the Queen's possessions. Hon. gentlemen near him should
remember their geography a little, and they would cease to speak of
Canada as more than a section of that northern continent over which the
Queen of Great Britain ruled, and which comprised an area larger than
that of the Federal and Confederate States put together. Now what was
that great property? He could not describe it better than in the
language of the United States. If the House would refer to the report
on the Reciprocity Treaty laid before the House of Representatives at
Washington in 1862 by Mr. Ward, they would find a glowing description
of the vast extent, the wonderful means of internal navigation, the
richness of mineral resources, the bracing healthiness of climate, and
the immense extent of fertile soil which British North America
contained. The report said:--'The great and practical value of the
British North American Provinces and possessions is seldom appreciated.
Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, they contain an
area of at least 3,478,380 square miles--more than is owned by the
United States, and not much less than the whole of Europe, with its
family of nations.' And, again, it said--'The climate and soil of these
Provinces and possessions, seemingly less indulgent than those of
tropical regions, are precisely those by which the skill, energy, and
virtues of the human race are best developed. Nature there demands
thought and labour from man as conditions of his existence, and yields
abundant rewards to a wise industry.' Indeed, the warmth of language
used irresistibly suggested the idea that the people of the United
States, with whom the love of territory was a passion, were disposed to
cast a covetous eye upon these possessions of old England. Now, knowing
something of America, he must express his belief that there was no very
imminent danger of war with the United States. The issues of peace and
war, however, depended upon the attitude of that House and of the
country. Weakness never promoted peace, and an uncertain and half-
hearted attitude was provocative of war. This country had, he believed,
the desire to preserve its power and influence on the American
continent. It was for the good of mankind that the rule of the British
Crown and the influence of the wisely-regulated liberty of Britain and
of the British Constitution should continue. The way to prevent war was
not to talk of severing the connection with Canada or of withdrawing
our troops from Canada for fear they should be caught in a net, but to
announce boldly but calmly, in language worthy of the traditions of
that House, that these vast American possessions are integral parts of
the great British Empire, and come weal, come woe, would be defended to
the last. If that language were held there would be no war in America.
The only danger arose from impressions produced by speeches in that
House and elsewhere, leading to the belief that we were indifferent to
our duties or our interests on the American Continent; for we had
duties as well as interests. Those who thus spoke--humanitarians by
profession--could support the continuance of a war which, in his humble
opinion, disgraced the civilization of our time; and, while professing
to be Liberals, they were ready to thrust out from our Imperial home of
liberty the populations of some of our most important possessions to
satisfy some imaginary economical theory of saving. They spoke of the
Empire as if it were this mere island, and they seemed enchanted with
the idea of narrowing our boundaries everywhere. That was not a
question of simple arithmetic, it was a question of empire; not a
question of a single budget, but a question of the future destiny of
our race. These gentlemen seemed to prefer to live in a small country.
For his part, he hoped he should all his life live in a great one. No
country could be stationary without becoming stagnant, or restrict its
natural progress without inviting its decay. It was so in all human
affairs; it was so even in ordinary business. Every man of business
knew that if his enterprise ceased to grow bigger, it soon began to
dwindle down; and so a country must grow greater or else must slide
away to weakness, until at last it would be despised. Now the
Government proposed to spend 50,000_l_. at Quebec;
50,000_l_., he repeated, was really nothing if it were necessary
to carry out the fortification policy at all. He had two objections to
make. One was, that Quebec was not the vulnerable point; that point was
Montreal. Montreal was the key to Canada. Once holding that key, the
enemy would cut Canada in two--would separate Upper and Lower Canada
from each other. Yet the Government proposed to leave all that to the
unaided resources of Canada--to do nothing, in fact, where, if action
were necessary at all, that action was pressing and imperative. He
should deplore to see this country commencing and carrying on a
competition of expenditure on fortifications with the United States.
The results must be, as he warned the House, excessive votes of money,
of which this one was only the small beginning, and an entire change in
the nature of those relations which had so happily subsisted between
the United States and the British North American possessions. Let the
House remember the case of France. England and France had for years
been running a race of competition of this kind. If France raised a new
regiment, or added a new ship of war, or built an ironclad, or erected
a fortress, we must do the same. And thus it had been that the forces
still remained on a measure of some sort of equality, notwithstanding a
vast outlay, which had crippled the resources of both countries, and
here at home had delayed fiscal reform and retarded, nay even
prevented, the most obvious measures for the elevation and education of
our people. Were we to play the same game over again with the States?
Now, as regards the great lakes and water ways of America, possessing a
coast line of above 3,000 miles, we had since 1817 neutralized these
waters as regards armaments. Under that truly blessed arrangement, the
sound of a hostile shot, or even of a shot fired for practice, had
never been heard now for nearly half a century. Here was a precedent of
happy history and worthy of all gratitude and of all imitation. Now, if
they were to fortify, let it be done adequately, whatever the cost.
That cost would, he repeated, be great and also uncertain. Now he would
venture to make a suggestion to the Government. It was to try
negociation. Place before the minds of American statesmen the
neutralization of the lakes and ask if the frontiers could not be
neutralized also. Was it not possible that if Her Majesty's Government
took Brother Jonathan in a quiet mood, he might be disposed to save his
own pocket and thereby to save ours, and unite with us to set a bright
example to surrounding nations? The people of the United States had
their faults and we had ours; but they were distinguished by their
common sense. No people had more of it. This suggestion would, he
thought, come home to it; for they would argue, if we lay out millions
so will the British, and, after all, it is merely adding burdens to
both and not really strength or dignity to either. Let the Government
try. If they failed the trial would have shown them to be just and in
the right. If they succeeded how happy would it be for us. Reference
had been made by the right hon. gentleman to the fortifications at New
York, Boston, and Portland; but no one had mentioned a very strong work
within forty miles of Montreal itself. He had seen that work. It was
called 'Fort Montgomery,' and there was a railway all the way from it
to Montreal. It was now very strong. He believed it had embrasures for
some 200 guns. All the time this war had been going on, this work had
been going on also. Now this looked like menace. Our Government had
been informed about it, but he failed to find that they had made any
representation to Washington. Surely they might have said, and would
have been justified in saying to a friendly nation--'If you must have
200 guns 40 miles from Montreal, we must have 250 at Montreal; and
whatever you do, we must imitate--therefore, why should either of us
lay out our money?' But Government had done nothing; and now, before
attempting any negociation, they asked the House to agree to make
fortifications. He had humbly offered a suggestion to the Government.
Let them take one of two decided courses. Let them deal firmly and
wisely with the question. Let them state, in no spirit of offence, to
the United States that, as Canada was part of the British Empire, we
would defend it at all cost; or let them endeavour to induce the
Government of Washington to distinguish itself for ever by adopting the
alternative--the neutralization of the lakes and the avoidance of
hostile fortifications on both sides of the frontier."

The second speech is reported as follows:

"Mr. WATKIN, member for Stockport, said, that he felt concerned to hear
the United States so often spoken of in the debate as 'the enemy;' and
if he thought that the vote before the committee would in any manner
increase international irritation, he should regret his vote in favour
of the proposition of the Government. As it was, he felt that he could
not quite agree with the policy the vote indicated. That policy was one
of armament against an enemy. The proposition, in his opinion, went
either too far or not far enough. It did not go far enough to inspire
undoubted confidence and to deter attack by providing for absolute
defence; and still it went far enough to raise suspicion and to excite
or to aggravate a frontier feeling. But he thought that our actual
relations with the United States were guiding considerations in
reference to the policy of this vote. Government ought, therefore, to
tell the House how far they could repeat the peaceful assurances of a
former debate. Did the despatches by the mail just arrived tend towards
peace or misunderstanding? Was it true, on one side, that formal notice
had a few days ago been given to our Government by the United States to
terminate the Reciprocity Treaty? and was it true that that notice had
been entirely unaccompanied by any overture or suggestion for a re-
discussion of the question? On the other and more friendly side, was it
true that the vexatious passport system had been abrogated? and, above
all, was it also true that the Government of Washington had expressed
to Her Majesty's Government their intention to revoke the notice to
terminate the arrangement of 1817, and to place gunboats on the great
American lakes? If this was true, and if it should also appear that the
notice to put an end to the Reciprocity Treaty had either not yet been
given or had been accompanied by some friendly declaration of a desire
to negociate anew, the House must receive the intelligence with
satisfaction; but should it, unfortunately, be the fact that non-
intercourse regulations were maintained, that the lakes were to be
covered by armaments, and that international trade was to be interfered
with, then he thought the House would consider the question as one
affecting a hostile neighbour, whose unfriendly designs had to be met
by preparation. He hoped, therefore, that the right hon. gentleman
would give the House all the information at his command. Had he been in
possession of all the facts, he should have been disposed to move as an
amendment that it was inexpedient to consider a vote of money for the
construction of fortifications adjoining the United States frontier
until negociations had been undertaken and had failed, with a view to
the suspension of such works under treaty obligation. He was strongly
in favour of negociation. There was an example and precedent in the
arrangement of 1817 for the neutralization of the lakes. That peaceful
compact had endured for fifty years, and had alike saved the expense
and obviated the dangers attending rival navies on the great internal
waters of America. It was self-evident that we must either fortify
efficiently or let it alone. The United States could not fail to see
that if they laid out large sums on permanent works of defence, we must
do the same; while if we voted money, they must follow us. And thus
while both countries made themselves poorer in the process, neither
became much stronger, because a sort of equilibrium of forces would
after all be maintained. The Government at Washington surely had no
present desire to enter upon a race of expenditure for military works
on both sides of the frontier. If they had, the sooner we knew it the
better, for then the House would only have one course, however they
might deplore it, to pursue. But here was a case where the common sense
of the American people could, he thought, be appealed to not in vain.
Instead of fortifying, let us neutralize the frontier--let us agree to
do away with the expenditure. [Mr. BRIGHT: On both sides the frontier?]
Yes, on both sides. If the American people were appealed to as the hon.
member for Rochdale appealed to the Emperor of the French in favour of
the French treaty, he believed that similar earnestness and tact could
bring about an arrangement. The Government at Washington would thereby
set an example to all countries having long frontier lines, and a
precedent would be established of inestimable value to the world. What
could be more deplorable than to substitute for neutrality and the
operation of the Reciprocity Treaty an armed frontier and practical
non-intercourse? He had before stated, from much personal observation
on the spot, that border feeling and jealousy had hardly an existence
as between the people of our possessions, and of the United States; but
so soon as rival fortresses, frowned at each other on both sides of the
line, and an armed truce were, so to speak, established, all the
feelings and prejudices of separate nationality would grow up in
abundance. The free exchanges of industry would, perhaps, be at the
same time arrested, and war itself might not be impossible. The
Reciprocity Treaty practically made the people of the United States and
of the British North American possessions, each living under a totally
different form of government, one for all purposes of trade and
intercourse. Why should they be separated? But unfortunately our
Government did not appreciate the value of, or they did not appear
disposed to undertake, negociations. Instead of endeavouring to come to
some friendly understanding first, they came down to the House and
asked for a vote of money, enough to change the aspect of discussion
with the United States, but not enough to effectually protect from
danger. They would spend money first, he supposed, and then negotiate;
they would allow some great evil to happen, and remonstrate afterwards.
The difficulties in Canada might have been avoided by previous
precaution. The threatened notice to put an end to the treaty, which
grew out of those difficulties, might have been avoided by a renewal of
the engagement two years ago. But the Government had done nothing. They
had been--how many months?--without a Minister at Washington at the
most critical period of our relations with the United States. Now it
was proposed to send out a gentleman of many attainments, but who
certainly was not of the first order of diplomatists. Was he gone? [Mr.
BRIGHT: They say he goes to-morrow.] His hon. friend the member for
Birmingham said he was to leave to-morrow. Hitherto all the interests
of this country had been left in the hands of Mr. Burnley, who, if only
from his position, was not able to meet on equal terms the able men of
whom Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet was composed. Ever since the 17th December a
vexatious system of passports and consular regulations as to
merchandize had been in force. These regulations were probably in force
now. They had seriously impeded trade, produced uncertainty and alarm,
and great losses to individuals. They had also created great
exasperation; yet during all this time we had no ambassador at
Washington. Since he entered the House, a letter, by the mail just in,
had been placed in his hands, and he would, with the permission of the
House, read an extract from it. The writer, under date Portland, March
11th, says:--'Some eighteen passengers, per "Belgian," arrived here
without passports for Canada. The United States Government, by order of
General Dix, has detained them, and sent a squad of soldiers to guard
them on board the "Belgian." At this time of writing they are still in
custody, one of them being a clergyman. Only fancy, United States
soldiers taking charge of an English ship and English subjects! This is
carrying the matter with a high hand.' Now, he did not believe that the
Government of the United States had purposely and of malice
aforethought committed this outrage, nor did he speak of it to increase
irritation; but did it not show how wrong the Government had been in
leaving the interests of this country so long without representation?
What, in fact, was the use of an embassy at all if our ambassador was
not at his post? The Embassy at Washington was now the most important
of our diplomatic establishments abroad. We ought to place there the
ablest man we could find, regardless of all party or personal
considerations. The people of the United States knew our own estimate
of our own officials well, and they took it as a slight if we did not
send to Washington a man of the first rank as a diplomatist. He would
appeal to the noble lord at the head of the Government to consider the
suggestion he had ventured to make, and not to allow the country to
embark, without any attempt at negociation, in an expenditure of which
this was but the first beginning if the policy of it should be forced
upon the House. Our fellow-subjects in Canada ought to be assured that,
if an unjust war broke out, this country would stand by them at all
hazards; but that assurance was quite consistent with the attempt
which, he hoped, would be made after all, to neutralize the frontier
and the lakes and to re-establish the Reciprocity Treaty. The House
would, he felt assured, do nothing to raise up bitter feelings between
the British Provinces and the United States, nor to alienate still
further two peoples of common origin, who, for the sake of civilization
itself, ought, as far as possible, to be one and united in the
interests of commerce and of peace."

"Lord PALMERSTON: Sir, this is not a Canadian question, it is not a
local question, it is an Imperial question. It is a question which
affects the position and character, the honour, the interests, and the
duties of this great country; and I hold it to be of the utmost
importance to the character of the nation in a case like this, and when
the great majority of the House seem to be of the same opinion, that it
should not go forth to the world that there has been a difference of
opinion on this motion; but that it should be seen to have been
accepted by a unanimous House of Commons. Sir, there are one or two
points with regard to which I think it right to express my dissent from
some doctrines which have been laid down. Many gentlemen have argued
this question as if there was a general impression and belief that war
with the United States was imminent, and that this proposal of ours was
for the purpose of meeting a sudden danger which we apprehended to be
hanging over us. Now, I think there is no danger of war with America.
Nothing that has recently passed indicates any hostile disposition on
the part of the United States towards us; and, therefore, I do not base
this motion on the ground that we expect war to take place between this
country and America. But is it necessary that when you propose to put a
country in a state of defence you should show that war with some
powerful neighbour is imminent and likely soon to take place? Why, the
whole practice of mankind is founded on an entirely different
assumption. Every country which is able to do so fortifies its frontier
if its neighbour is a powerful state, which might, if it thought fit,
attack it. But it is said that you cannot defend Canada. Now, I utterly
deny that proposition. I think that is assuming a conclusion which no
man is entitled to assume. Does the example even of the war now going
on tend to justify that conclusion? The territory of the Confederates
is vast and extensive; have they attempted to defend every portion of
that territory? They have fortified certain important points, and those
important points, although the rest of the country may have been
overrun, have resisted attack--some of them even to this day and others
for three or four years of the contest. Look at Richmond; is Richmond
taken? Has not Richmond been attacked for a great length of time? And
what are its defences? Why, chiefly earthworks, with a force behind
them; and, though that force is inferior in numbers to the force which
threatens it, it has hitherto remained in Confederate hands. The mere
occupation of territory by an army that traverses through it without
reducing its fortresses is no conquest. The conquest is limited to the
ground that the invading army occupies, and when that army passes to
another part of the country its conquest passes away with it. But all
countries fortify particular points, and when those points are secure
they trust that the general bulk of the territory is safe from any
permanent occupation or conquest by any enemy who may attack it. It is
urged that Canada has an extended frontier; but are no other States
similarly placed in that respect? What country has the largest
frontier? What is the extent of our own frontier? Why, the whole coast
of the United Kingdom; and we might as well say that it would be
necessary for the security of this country that we should line our
whole coast with defensive works because we may be attacked at any
point of that great and extensive frontier. I maintain, therefore, that
there is nothing that has passed--nothing that is now passing--between
the Government of the United States and our Government which justifies
any man in saying that the relations between the two countries are
likely, as far as present circumstances go, to assume a character of
hostility leading to war. But, then, the hon. member for Birmingham
says that any danger which might threaten Canada and our North American
Provinces must arise from political disputes between England and the
United States. And, therefore, the hon. gentleman says the Canadians
will find that their best security is, not in fortifications or in
British support, but in separating themselves from Great Britain. Now,
in the first place, that happens not to be the wish or inclination of
the Canadians. The Canadians are most anxious to maintain the
connection with this country. They are proud of that connection; they
think it for their interest; they are willing to make every exertion
that their population and resources enable them to achieve, and, in
conjunction with the efforts of this country, to preserve that
connection, and prevent themselves from being absorbed by a
neighbouring power. Is it not, therefore, alike the duty and interest
of this country, for the sake of that reputation which is the power and
strength of a nation, when we find the Canadas and our other Provinces
desirous of maintaining the connection, to do that which we may have
the means of doing in assisting them to maintain that connection and
remain united with Great Britain? But, sir, is it true that the only
danger which a smaller colonial state runs from a more powerful and
larger neighbour arises from quarrels that may exist between the Mother
Country and the foreign state? I say that is a total fallacy. Suppose
these provinces separated from this country--suppose them erected into
a monarchy, a republic, or any other form, of Government, are there not
motives that might lead a stronger neighbour to pick a quarrel with
that smaller state with a view to its annexation? Is there nothing like
territorial ambition pervading the policy of great military states? The
example of the world should teach us that as far as the danger of
invasion and annexation is concerned, that danger would be increased to
Canada by a separation from Great Britain, and when she is deprived of
the protection that the military power and resources of this country
may afford. If these American Provinces should desire to separate, we
should not adopt the maxim that fell unconsciously from the hon. member
for Birmingham, who maintained that the North was right in suppressing
the rebellion of the South; we will not adopt his maxim, and think that
we have a right to suppress the rebellion of the North American
Provinces. We should take a different line, no doubt, and if these
Provinces felt themselves strong enough to stand upon their own ground,
and if they should desire no longer to maintain their connection with
us, we should say, 'God speed you and give you the means to maintain
yourselves as a nation!' That has not happened; but, on the contrary,
they much dislike the notion of annexation to their neighbours and
cling to their connection with this country. And I say that it will be
disgraceful to this country--it would lower us in the eyes of the
world--it would weaken our power and leave consequences injurious to
our position in the world if, while they desire to maintain their
connection with us, we did not do what we could to assist them in
maintaining their position. I think that the Government are perfectly
right in proposing this vote to the House. We are of opinion that all
those examples which my right hon. friend behind me (Mr. Lowe) has
adduced are not applicable. We all know that in winter the snow is so
deep in Canada that if an army should march it could only be in one
beaten track, and that it would be impossible to carry on siege
operations in winter. We know that warlike operations must be limited
to the summer months, and we think that we can, by the fortifications
now proposed--some to be made by the Canadians and some by this
country--put Canada into such a state of defence that, with the
exertions of her own population, and assisted by the military force of
this country, she will be able to defend herself from attack. My right
hon. friend the member for Calne argued in a manner somewhat
inconsistent with himself, for what did he say? He says that you cannot
defend Canada because the United States can bring a military force into
the field much superior to that which you can oppose to them. Yet the
right hon. gentleman says we ought to defend Canada. You ought not to
relinquish the connection, he says, but you should defend Canada
elsewhere. Where? Why, as you are not able to cope with the United
States in Canada, where you have a large army, and where you can join
your forces to those of the Canadians, you should send an expedition
and attack the people of the United States in their own homes and in
the centre of their own resources, where they can bring a larger force
to repel our invasion. If we are unable to defend Canada, we shall not
have much better prospects of success if we land an army to attack New
York or any other important city."


_Intended Route for a Pacific Railway in 1863_.

The result of mature consideration, reasoning carefully upon all the
facts I had collected, was, that, at that time, 1863, the best route
for a Railway to the Pacific was, to commence at Halifax, to strike
across to the Grand Trunk Railway at Riviere du Loup, 106 miles east of
Quebec, then to follow the Grand Trunk system to Sarnia; to extend that
system to Chicago; to use, under a treaty of neutralization, the United
States lines from Chicago to St. Paul; to build a line from St. Paul to
Fort Garry (Winnipeg) by English and American capital, and then to
extend the line to the Tete Jaune Pass, there to meet a Railway through
British Columbia starting from the Pacific. A large part of this route
has been completed. For instance, an "Intercolonial" Railway--
constructed so as to serve many local, but no grand through, purposes;
constructed to satisfy local interests, or, probably, local political
needs--has been built. The Grand Trunk extension from Detroit to
Chicago, an excellent Railway, has been completed, thanks to the
indomitable efforts of Mr. Hickson, the Managing Director of the Grand
Trunk. A line from St. Paul to Winnipeg has also been opened; but the
route of the line from Winnipeg to the Pacific has been deviated from,
and, to save distance, the Kicking Horse and Beaver River Passes have
been chosen. I think needless cost has been incurred, and that future
maintenance will be greater than it need have been.

The British Columbian Railway has been constructed from Fort Moody to
Kamloops, and is now part of the Canadian Pacific.

It seemed to me, at that time, that the route of the Ottawa Valley,
Lake Nipissing, and round by the head of Lake Superior, was a great
project of the future; and that to accomplish so great a work, in such
a country, the policy was to utilize existing outlays of capital,
filling in vacant spaces rather than duplicating what we had got.

It seemed to me, also, that the use of existing railways in the United
States was not only economical, but politic: and I knew that, at that
time, the Government of the North would have made every reasonable
advance to meet England in affairs of mutual interest. There was every
desire, at that juncture, to work cordially with our Queen and her
people. For example, the passing of the Slave Trade Bill, modelled on
English legislation, in, I think, 1863, through both Houses of Congress
at Washington, with hardly a hostile expression. _Apropos_ of this
Bill, Mr. Charles Sumner told me, in 1865, at his house at Boston, the
following story. "The Bill for putting down the slave trade in
association with England and the other anti-slave trade countries
passed so quickly as to astonish its friends. Charles Sumner, on the
final question being put, 'that the Bill do pass'--as we should put it
at home--immediately ran across to Mr. Seward, opened the door of Mr.
Seward's private office, without knocking, and found Mr. Seward asleep.
He awoke him by calling out, 'Seward, Seward, the Bill is passed: the
Bill is passed.' Seward gradually opened his eyes, stared under his
bushy eyebrows, and said, 'Then what in ---- has become of the "great
democratic party?"'"

Again, it was the fault of our own Government at home that the
Reciprocity Treaty, nearly expiring, was not renewed. Our Government
did nothing. It was the "masterly inactivity" of Lord Granville, and
other Whigs, which has done so much harm to the prestige and power of
our Empire. Opportunities are everything--they are the statesman's
chances. In this case the chance was lost. However, I had every reason
to believe that Mr. Seward would have been willing to agree to the use
of United States lines up to St. Paul (which he once predicted would
become the centre, or "hub," of the United States) and through
Minnesota to the boundary of the Hudson's Bay territory,--under a
treaty of international neutralization. There were, it is true,
difficulties at home. The authorities, at home, did not know what was
to be the end of the Civil War. They did not know the country to be
passed through. They doubted if there was any precedent. I quoted the
treaty, of years before, between England, the United States, and other
countries, for the neutralization of a railway, if made, across
Honduras, and other analogous cases. But I failed to bring about any
official action at that time. I think, in looking back for twenty-three
years, I have nothing to modify as respects this. Had my proposals been
carried out millions sterling would have been saved; throughout railway
communication to the Pacific might have been secured fifteen years
sooner; and a friendly agreement with the United States for a great
common object would, no doubt, have led to many more equally friendly

As respects neutralization, I, unconsciously, put a spoke into my own
wheel, and I was not aware of it until I had a conversation with Mr.
Bright a good while afterwards. Had I known of the grievance at the
time I would have gone right off to Washington and explained all about
it. The facts were these:--

I was at Quebec in July, 1863. At that time, and previously, and after,
there was a tall, long-legged, short-bodied, sallow-faced, sunken-eyed
man, whose name, if he had reported it correctly, was Ogden. He was
called "consul" for the United States at Quebec. He reported, I was
told, direct to Mr. Seward at Washington. He was, in fact, the sort of
diplomatist whose duties, as he apprehended them, were those of a spy.
He was a person disagreeable to look at, as in his odd-coloured
trousers, short waistcoat, and dark green dress-coat, with brass
buttons, he went elbowing about amongst the ladies and gentlemen
promenading the public walk, which commands so beautiful a view over
the St. Lawrence, called the "Platform." Phrenology would have
condemned him. Phrenology and Physiognomy combined, would have hung
him, on the certain verdict of any intelligent jury.

One day, as I was preparing to go West, a deputation from the
"Stadacona" Club of Quebec, of which I was a member, asked me to take
the chair at a private dinner proposed to be given at the club to Mr.
Vallandigham, the democratic leader of Ohio, who had come across
country from Halifax, on his way homeward--through, free, Canada--after
his seizure in bed, in Ohio, and deportation across the Northern
frontier into the land of secession. It appeared that Mr. Vallandigham,
not being a secessionist, merely desiring an honourable peace between
North and South, which he had ably advocated, had gone on to Nassau,
thence to Halifax, thence to Quebec: where he was.

I at first declined the honour. But I was much pressed. I was told that
leading citizens of Quebec and members of the late Canadian Government
would attend. That the dinner was merely hospitality to a refugee
landed upon our shores in distress; and that my presidency would take
away any suspicion that there was the slightest _arriere-pensee_
in the matter. I concurred. The dinner took place. Not a word was said
of the great pending contest, unless some words of Mr. Vallandigham,
apologizing for the poverty of his dress, might be so construed. He
said: "Mr. Chairman, I must apologize for my costume. I can only
explain that I am standing in the clothes I was allowed to put on,
after being taken out of my own bed, in my own house, without warning
and without warrant, and I have not had the means to re-clothe myself."

The dinner was certainly about as non-political and as innocent as any
such assembly could be. Mr. Vallandigham left for Niagara the same
night. I saw him into the train. He declined a friendly loan; but he
accepted a free passage to Niagara, where, later on, I spent two or
three pleasant and interesting days in his society; our little party
being Governor Dallas, of the Hudson's Bay Company, D'Arcy McGee, Dr.
Mackay, who had acted as correspondent of the "Times," Professor Hind,
my son, Mr. Watkin, and myself. The "consul" had, no doubt,
misrepresented our proceedings.

Now this is the whole story. I never after this got any answers to
letters to Mr. Seward; and, as stated above, I never knew of the
grievance till spoken to by Mr. Bright, who had received a letter of
complaint of me from somebody at Washington.


_Letters from Sir George E. Cartier--Question of

The "Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and
the government thereof, and for purposes connected therewith," received
the Royal Assent on the 29th of March, 1867.

The following letters may be of some interest to the friends of the
late Sir George Etienne Cartier, and to mine:

                              "W. P. HOTEL, LONDON,
                                "30 April, 1867.


"I leave to-morrow for _Liverpool_ on my way to _Canada_.
Allow me, before my departure, to convey to you personally and for
'Canada' the most sincere and grateful thanks for all the kindnesses
you have bestowed, on me since my _sojourn in_ London, and for all
the political services you have rendered to 'Canada' in having so
_efficiently helped_ the carrying of the _great confederation
measure_. I hope that before long we will see you again in Canada,
and rest assured that we will be delighted to demonstrate to you _our

"Be kind enough to present my best respects to Mrs. Watkin, and to ask
her to accept from me the within-enclosed photograph taken at 'Naples,'
which I think is very good.

                         "Good bye, my dear Mr. Watkin, and believe me,
                              "Yours very truly,
                                 "GEO. ET. CARTIER.
"E. W. WATKIN, Esq., M.P."


When the Act for Confederation had been passed, and while some of the
delegates were still in England, a notification was made of honors
intended to be conferred by Her Majesty on some of those who had
devoted anxious hours of labour to the great cause of Union. In my
case, my name was mentioned for knighthood, while the names of Mr.
Cartier and Mr. Galt were named for the honor of "C. B.," and Mr.
Langevin's name appeared to be entirely omitted. When, how, or by whom,
the leader of the great French-speaking section of the Canadian people
was placed, thus, in a position inferior to that of the leader of Upper
Canada, who was made "K. C. B.," I do not care, now, to inquire. But I
felt at the time, and I feel now, that it would have been unjust--
unselfish and earnest as my services had been--to give to a man like
Mr. Cartier, an honor inferior to that which common report had
attributed to me. I felt, also, that the proposal would be treated as a
slight to the Catholic and French-speaking people. I did all in my,
limited, power to represent the mistake and the danger to the leaders
of the Government, at home; and, as will be shown in the next Chapter,
I wrote to Mr. Disraeli on this serious question on the 3rd August,

                                "23rd August, 1867.


"I thank you very much for your kind letters. Really you are too good
to _espouse, as it were_, my cause respecting the _honors
conferred_ in Canada. There is no doubt that----is the cause of all
the _evil_ in the matter of the _honors conferred_. Some
_other parties_ are also not exempt from blame. I have not as yet
received a reply to my letter declining the _C. B. ship_. I
presume I shall have it very soon. I have to tell you that I will make
throughout _all_ Lower Canada the _best electoral campaign_ I
have ever made. The _Rouges_ will not elect 10 members out of the
65 _allotted_ to _Lower_ Canada. _Holton_ and
_Dorion_, the _leaders_ of the Rouge Party, will very likely
be defeated. I went to Chateaugay on Monday last to attend a meeting
against Holton. I gave it to him as he deserved. I will tell you in
_confidence_ that _Gait and myself_ through the large
majority I will have in Lower Canada, will be stronger than ever. Mrs.
Cartier and my girls are at Rimouska. I will deliver them your kind
messages as soon as I see them. My kindest regards to Mrs. Watkin, and
believe me,

                              "My dear Mr. Watkin,
                                "Yours very truly,
                                  "GEO. ET. CARTIER.

"E. W. WATKIN, Esq, M.P.,

                                "22_nd September_, 1867.


"Accept my most sincere thanks for your such unappreciable kindness in
having made common cause with me in reference to the late distribution
of honors in Canada. I do really think, and I am convinced, that you
have allowed your good heart to go too far in having declined the honor
and distinction offered to you, and which you so well deserved in every
respect. I hope that _my matter_ will not stand in the way of you
having your public and political services in England, as well as in
Canada, sooner or later fully recognized, and well rewarded by a proper
and suitable distinction. I hope so, for your own sake as well as for
that of Mrs. Watkin and your son and amiable daughter. The Chancellor
of the Exchequer has written you a very nice letter, indeed. With
regard to my _matter_, would you imagine that the Duke of
Buckingham has written a _confidential note_ to Lord Monck,
telling to this latter that there _being no precedent_ for a
resignation of the C. B., the only way to have my wishes carried out
would be by the _Queen_ directing by _order_ in the Gazette
my name to be struck out from the Order, which proceeding, the Duke
adds, would be _construed_ by _outsiders_ and
_uninitiated_ that it was for _misconduct_. Lord Monck having
communicated to me the substance of the Duke's communication, I have
asked Lord Monck to obtain from the Duke leave to communicate to me the
substance of his note in _no confidential_ manner, in order that I
may reply to it. I do really think that the intention is to
_frighten_ me, in order to induce me to withdraw my letter asking
leave to resign the C. B. That I _will not do_, and when the
Duke's communication is under my _eyes_ in _no confidential
manner_, I will send such a reply that will make people understand
the _injury done_ to me, and the _slight_ so absurdly
_offered_ to a _million_ of _good and loyal_ French
Canadians. As a matter of course, all that I say to you in this letter
is _strictly_ in confidence to you.

"Mrs. Cartier and myself have had the pleasure, yesterday, to have the
company at _dinner_ of your friends Mr. and Mrs. Sidebottom. They
are really a very nice couple, and we thank you for having given us the
opportunity of making their acquaintance. Be kind enough to present on
my behalf, and on that of Mrs. Cartier and my daughters, our best
respects and regards to Mrs. Watkin, and to believe me, my dear Mr.

                              "Your devoted friend,
                                "GEO. ET. CARTIER.

"E. W. WATKIN, Esq., M.P., London."

                                "24_th November_, 1867.


"I am so much thankful to you for your kind wish of the 10th of October
last. I do appreciate with gratefulness your so kind expression of
feelings towards me. I enclose you an extract of the 'Montreal
Gazette,' giving the report of a debate which took place in our House
some few days ago respecting the 'C.B.' matter, and also an 'extract'
of the same paper, containing some editorial remarks on the same
subject. I like to keep you _au courant_ of that matter, since you
are so good as to take interest in it. I took great care not to take
any part in the debate. I have not as yet got a copy of the Duke of
Buckingham's letter. I will follow your advice with regard to any
answer to it on my part. I will never forget your disinterestedness in
this question of '_honor_' and nothing will be more agreeable to
me than to act in such a way, whenever the opportunity will offer
itself, as to show by reciprocal action my thanks and my feelings.

"'The Grand Trunk Act' will be read a second time to-morrow (Monday).
Mrs. Cartier and my girls are here for a few days. We were all sorry to
hear that your son had an attack of fever. We all hope that he got over
it, and that he is well again. Be kind enough to present to Mrs. Watkin
and your dear son our best regards and kindest remembrance. I regret
very much the retirement of 'Galt' from our government. You will have
heard that I have replaced him by _Rose_. I could not do better
under any circumstances.

                              "Believe me, my dear Mr. Watkin,
                                "Yours very truly,
                                  "GEO. ET. CARTIER.

"E. W. WATKIN, Esq., M.P.,
  "London, England."

                                "15_th February_, 1868.


"I am very grateful to you for your three kind letters of the 2nd,
13th, and 15th January last. Be good enough to excuse me if I have not
sooner acknowledged their receipt.

"I am in Quebec since a couple of weeks, attending the 'Local
Parliament,' of which I am a member. Things are going on very well. I
got elected to the 'Local Parliament' in order to help my
_friends_, the '_Local Ministers_' to carry on the 'Local
Government' and I must say they are doing it very well. The 'Quebec
Legislature' carries this 'business' better than does the 'Ontario
Legislature.' I will leave for Ottawa on the 17th instant, to be there
on the 20th to attend the _Council Meeting_ for deciding on the
_route_ of the _Intercolonial Railway_.

"I felt so sorry to hear that your dear son was so long unwell. I hope
that by this time he is himself again.

"I gave to Mrs. Cartier and my daughters your kind message of good
wishes for them and myself during this present year. We are all
thankful to you. Have the goodness to accept in return from them and
myself for you, Mrs. Watkin, and your dear son and daughter, our best
wishes for the prosperity and happiness of you all.

"I must say, my dear Mr. Watkin, that with regard to the C. B. matter,
you do really take too much trouble and interest for me. I am very
thankful to you for it, and also to Mr. Baring and Lord Wharncliffe. If
you have occasion to _intimate_ to them my thankfulness, if any
opportunity for so doing should offer itself to you, you would oblige
me very much.

"Really it was too kind of Lord Wharncliffe to have brought that
delicate matter before Lord Derby, and to have written you about it. I
thank you for the enclosures you have made to me of what Lord
Wharncliffe had written to you about the C. B.

"I have now to tell you something which happened about that subject
since my last to you.

"You very likely must have seen or heard of the 'notification,'
published in the 'London Gazette' at the end of the month of
_December last_, about the _honors distributed_ in Canada in
connection with the 'Confederation.' In that 'notification' you must
have seen that the names of 'myself and Galt' are omitted, and it was
stated in that _notification_ that it must be 'substituted' for
the 'one' published on the 9th of July last, in which Galt's name and
mine _were inserted_ as C. B. Now, you must recollect that some
months ago I wrote you about a 'confidential communication' of the Duke
of Buckingham to Lord Monck, in order that it should be intimated to me
and Gait, that there was no precedent of a resignation of the Order of
the Bath, and that the only way left for the _carrying out_ of
Galt's wishes and mine would be by '_an order of Her Majesty ordering
our names to be struck off the roll_.' The communication of the Duke
having been made to me in a _confidential manner_, I had no
opportunity to answer it. I had written to Lord Monck to ask the Duke's
leave for communicating to me in no confidential manner the despatch of
the Duke, in order to give me an opportunity to answer it. I never had
any _answer_ from Lord _Monck_ to that request. To my great
surprise, at the end of December last, I received from Lord Monck a
note, accompanied by the copy of a despatch from the Duke, informing me
that a _mode had been found_ to meet my wishes and those of Galt,
which consisted in the publication in the 'London Gazette' of a
'notification' omitting our names, and such notification to be
substituted for the former one of July last.

"The reading of this last despatch more than astonished me, and my
astonishment was greater when I saw by the 'London Gazette' that it was
_carried into effect_ by the _notification_ above _alluded
to_. I have had no more opportunity to answer the second despatch of
the Duke than the _first one_, which was marked 'confidential.'
Allow me to add, that the 'Duke' expressed in his 'first communication'
that he did not like to suggest that my name should be struck off the
roll, because an ungenerous construction now and hereafter might be
made against me by those not acquainted _with the facts_. Now, by
the course followed, as explained in his second despatch, I feel as
badly treated as if the first course had been adopted. In one case my
name would have been ordered to be struck off the roll, and by the
second course followed up, my name was ordered to be omitted in the
second notification. There is not much difference between these two
courses. I have written a letter to Lord Monck to complain of the
second course followed up, inasmuch as there being no reason assigned
for the omission of my name in the second notification, a construction
ungenerous to myself and my children after me could now and hereafter
be made. Excuse me for troubling you so long about that C.B. matter.
Now, with regard to the _Hudson Bay matter_, not the least doubt
that the speech of 'John A.' was very uncalled for and injudicious. He
had no business to make such a speech, and I told him so at the time--
that he ought not to have made it. However, you must not attach too
much importance to that speech. I myself and several of my colleagues,
and John A. himself, have no intention to commit any spoliation; and,
for myself in particular, I can say to you that I will never consent to
be a party to a measure or anything intended to be an act of spoliation
of the Hudson Bay's rights and privileges. I must bring this long
epistle to a close.

"My kindest regards and respects to Mrs. Watkin.

"Remember me to your dear son, and believe me, my dear Mr. Watkin,

                              "Yours very truly,
                                "GEO. E. CARTIER.

"E. W. WATKIN, Esq."


These discussions were both unfortunate and embarrassing; in the course
of them, I had suggested that the way out of the difficulty was
generously to offer a baronetcy to Mr. Cartier. During the discussion
Dr. Tupper arrived in England. He cordially agreed with me. He deplored
the mistake made, and, acting from his official position, and with the
great judgment which he has always shown, he was able to assist in the
desired happy solution.

On the 22nd of April I received the following letter:--

                              "WESTMINSTER PALACE HOTEL,
                                "_April 22nd_, 1868.


"The Duke (of Buckingham) showed me (in _strict confidence_ until
after the official announcement here) the copy of his telegram to Lord
Monck, announcing the fact that the Queen had conferred a baronetcy
upon Mr. Cartier, and a C.B. upon Langevin, and was pleased to say that
he was very much indebted to me for having suggested it. I told him
that I was satisfied that his Grace had conferred a signal service to
our country, which would be productive of much good. Knowing how much
pleasure this will give you I cannot forbear mentioning it, of course
in confidence.

"I enclose a letter received to-day from our late lamented friend. Be
good enough to return it to me. Ought I to communicate his wishes to
Messrs. Hurst &

Blackwell? I had a long interview with Mr. Cardwell to-day. He will do
anything in his power to aid in putting matters right in Nova Scotia,
and is anxious that I should see Mr. Bright. Mr. C. takes your view as
to the Union question having been an issue before the people in 1863,
in the strongest manner.

                              "Yours faithfully,
                                "C. TUPPER.

"E. W. WATKIN, Esq., M.P."

I feel assured that Mr. Cartier was moved, solely, by a regard for the
honor of his compatriots.

                                "_28th May_, 1868.


"On Friday last, the 21st instant, our Parliament was prorogued. We
have had a very hard and laborious session. For my part, I had charge
of the two most difficult measures, the Militia and the Fortifications
measures, which I carried through successfully, and which were
sanctioned on the 21st instant. Without being considered guilty of
_boasting_, I can say, and every man in Parliament will say, that
I was the only one who could carry through these measures. My Lower
Canada Parliamentary strength supported me nobly. I consider that in
carrying these two measures to successful issue, I have rendered a good
service to Canada, to England, and to British transactions. I wanted to
write you last week, before the closing of our session, but really I
could not find a moment for so doing. During ten days we sat three
times a day, and we had to attend our executive sittings during the
very short intervals allowed us. I have not as yet answered your so
kind letter of the 24th April last, nor your also kind former one of
March last, and I hope you will have the goodness to excuse my delay.
My dear Mr. Watkin, I do really not know how to thank you for all that
you have done for me with regard to the injustice done me in the matter
of the distribution of honors to the Confederation delegates, and with
regard to the baronetcy which the Queen intends to confer on me. As you
remark in your last note, I became aware of Her Majesty's intentions by
a _cable_ telegram to Lord Monck, and the last _mail_ has
brought a despatch to Lord Monck from the Duke of Buckingham to apprise
me _officially_ of Her Majesty's intentions, and to request me to
send to the Colonial Office my pedigree and my coat of arms, for the
preparation of the letters patent to be issued. I am now procuring all
the information and things required by the Heralds' College. The first
telegram to Lord Monck was to offer me the baronetcy, and to ascertain
if I would accept of it. I took a few days to consider the matter, as I
would not do anything which might not have been approved by Galt and
Langevin. Both of them urged me to accept; and consequently I made Lord
Monck aware of my acceptance. A few days afterwards came another
_cable telegram_, informing Lord Monck that the Queen had
conferred on me the baronetcy dignity, and the C.B. on Langevin. When
the Queen's pleasure was announced in the House, there were cheers and
approbation from both sides of the House. I have not the _least_
doubt that I am under obligation to Lord Derby and to Lord Wharncliffe
for their interference in my favour; and I must add, that I feel under
stronger obligation to you for the honor conferred on me, first, for
your having _moved_ so kindly and so urgently Lord Wharncliffe,
and, secondly, for your so chivalrous disinterestedness in having
yourself declined the royal mark of favour offered to you by Mr.
Disraeli, on the ground of the injustice at first done to me. My dear
Mr. Watkin, I cannot forget such friendly and disinterested conduct on
your part. I hope it will be in my power, in return, to be useful to
you. Very likely I will have to go to England on the question of
_defence_ before the next Session of our Parliament, and I will
not fail to say the _proper words_ to the proper quarters; and if
it were possible for me to do something by correspondence, I would
gladly do it; but I don't know how to proceed, and _whom_ to move.
Besides, I would not like to do or write anything which might not meet
your wishes. I would like very much to know your views on that delicate
question. I thank you for your suggestion to write a few lines to Lord
Wharncliffe. I enclose you a letter for him, which I leave open, in
order that you should see it. If the letter meets your views, be kind
enough to seal it and to mail it to Lord Wharncliffe. I was so pleased
the other day to hear from our friend Brydges, that your dear son had
arrived in Montreal, and that his health is improving. I have not
failed to let Langevin know your kind congratulations to him. He feels
very thankful for the interest you take in him. I showed him your last
note to me. I have duly transmitted to Mrs. Cartier and my daughters
your kind message,--and they all feel grateful to you. I enclose you
the Militia and Fortification measures as they finally passed. I
enclose you also the return to an _address_ for the correspondence
and despatches on the defence-fortification question. You may, perhaps,
like to have all these papers. I enclose you also the _return_ to
an address for the correspondence on the C.B. matter, and the report of
the _Select Committee_ upon it; you will find the report of the
_Committee_ in the _Notes and Proceedings_ of the 15th of
May. It seemed to me, that you might like to have these documents, as
you took such a degree of interest in Galt and myself. Do me the
kindness to present my best regards to Mrs. Watkin, and to remember me
kindly to your daughter when you write her.

"We are threatened with a _Fenian_ invasion in the course of
_June next_. We are preparing to meet it. It is too bad that the
_Imperial Government_ should allow such an hostile organization to
be formed in the United States without a _word of remonstrance_.
In the hope of hearing from you at your earliest convenience,

                              "Believe me, my dear Mr. Watkin,
                                "Your sincere and grateful friend,
                                  "GEO. ET. CARTIER.

"E. W. WATKIN, Esq., M.P. London."


Sir George Cartier's allusion to the neglect by our Government in
permitting, without remonstrance, the repeated invasion of Canada,
makes one shiver with shame. As President Johnson said to me in 1865,
"Why don't your people remonstrate?"

My countrymen may feel assured that if remonstrances, firm and
dignified, had anticipated each known intended outrage--English and
Irish-American conspiracies would have not been as now.

                              "ROSE HILL, NORTHENDEN, near MANCHESTER,
                                "12th August, 1868.


"I, gladly, enclose a copy of the Gazette notice of your Baronetcy.

"I have had the fees at the Heralds' College, and also the stamps and
expenses, through the Home Office, duly paid, and I will send you the
papers and receipts as soon as I receive them.

"The completion of this matter will close the somewhat intimate
connection which now for some years has given me, if trouble and
anxiety, still deep pleasure and satisfaction,--in reference to your
now united Provinces.

                              "With best wishes allow me to remain,
                                "Yours very faithfully,
                                  "EDW. W. WATKIN.

"To the Hon. Sir G. E. CARTIER, Bart.,
  "Montreal, Canada."

                                "_18th September, 1868._


"The last English mail has brought us the happy news that the honor of
knighthood has been conferred on you by the Queen.

"Allow me to offer you, Lady Watkin, and your dear son and daughter, my
sincere and heartfelt congratulations on the bestowal on you of so well
deserved a distinction. You must bear in mind that I do not forget that
the honor so recently bestowed on you would have been conferred on you
a long time ago, had not your generous feelings towards me prompted you
at one time to decline the same distinction. Lady Cartier and my
daughters gladly unite with me in this expression of congratulation,
which I now offer you, Lady Watkin, and your son and daughter. I hope
that your future election will not give you much trouble, and that
Canada and the British people will have again the benefit of your
presence in Parliament.

"I may see you before long in England. Be kind enough to accept for you
and Lady Watkin the assurance of the kindest regards of myself, Lady
Cartier, and my daughters, "And, believe me, my dear Sir Edward, "Yours
very truly,

                              "GEO. ET. CARTIER.

"Sir EDWARD W. WATKIN, M.P., Kt., London."

                                "Westminster Palace Hotel,
                                  "_20th November_, 1868.

"My dear Sir Edward,

"You cannot conceive how sorrowful I feel that the result of the
election in Stockport was adverse to you. I was watching the incidents
and proceedings connected with that election with such an interest and
with such sure hope that you would be successful. You have no idea of
my grief and disappointment when I became aware of your defeat. Our
friend Brydges has mentioned to me some of the _causes_ which have
militated against you amongst your constituents, viz. your having
attended at the laying of the corner stone of a Roman Catholic School,
and your drinking the health of the 'Pope' at the _lunch_ which
_ensued_, and also the _displeasure_ which you have
_incurred from Mr. Bright_ and some of his friends for not having
supported _him_ in _his motion_ for Nova Scotia against the
Confederation. I have already written to some of my colleagues in
Canada to let them know there the _'liberality'_ of these
pretended 'Liberals' here. I hope you will not remain a long time
_out_ of _Parliament_, and that very soon some vacancy will
occur which will give you an opportunity to be re-elected, and to serve
and _advocate_ again in the Imperial Parliament, not only the
interests of the _three British Isles_, but also the Colonial
interests, and particularly those of the Dominion of Canada, to which
you have always attended with such ability, zeal, and ardour, that you
have now the everlasting gratitude of every Canadian. I hope your
electoral _contretems_ will not deter you from your political
pursuits. I would have had such a pleasure in congratulating Lady
Watkin on your electoral success.

"I hope Lady Watkin, Miss Watkin, and your son are enjoying good
health. Have the goodness to present my best regards to Lady Watkin,
and to remember me kindly to your dear daughter and son; and, my dear
Sir Edward, reiterating to you my sincere thanks for all you have done
for me, and expecting the pleasure of seeing you very soon in London,
believe me, as always,

                              "Your very sincere,
                                "And devoted friend,
                                  "GEO. ET. CARTIER.

"Sir EDWARD W. WATKIN, 21, Old Broad Street, London.

"On my leaving Canada Lady Cartier and my daughters have asked me not
to forget to present to you and Lady Watkin their best wishes and
kindest regards, to remember them kindly to your son, and to offer
their compliments to Miss Watkin, in the hope of making her
acquaintance hereafter."



No one aided the cause of Canada more readily than Mr. Disraeli, and I
ought to explain how I first gained his confidence and kindness. But
Mr. Philip Rose, who was his solicitor, his friend, his executor; who
had stuck by him "per angusta ad augusta," was of priceless service in
placing before him, from time to time, the facts, affecting
Confederation, as I collected them.

My first acquaintance with Mr. Disraeli was the consequence of my
connection, as an honorary secretary, with the "Manchester Athenaeum," a
literary institute, originated in 1835 by Richard Cobden, on his return
from a visit to his brother in the United States, a country at that
time on the rage for social clubs with classic names. The "Manchester
Athenaeum," owing partly to defective management and architectural
costliness, partly to some years of bad trade and deficient employment,
and partly to an unfortunate sectarian conflict, had fallen into debt
and difficulty; and a few of the younger members, who had profited by
the existence of the institution, came to the rescue, and by various
methods got rid of its debts, and set it fairly on the way again. One
method was, the holding of a great literary soiree in the Manchester
Free Trade Hall. The audience was more than 4,000. The President was
Charles Dickens.

On the morning of the day before the soiree, which took place on
Thursday, the 5th of October, 1843, I received a note, in these terms,
from Mr. Cobden:--

                              "MOSLEY St,

"Dear Sir,

"Mr. Benj'n Disraeli, the author of 'Vivian Grey,' is at the Mosely
Arms Hotel, with Mrs. Disraeli.

"I wish you would call and invite them to the soiree.

                              "Yours truly,
                                "R. COBDEN.

"Mr. E. Watkin,
  "High St."

I print the note exactly as it was written.

It has appeared to me, since, that Mr. Cobden at that time considered
it necessary to identify Mr. Disraeli as Mr. "Benj'n" Disraeli, "the
author of Vivian Grey."

I called accordingly, without delay. Mr. Disraeli was out, but I found
Mrs. Disraeli at home. She was a little, plain, vivacious woman; one
who, like an india-rubber toy, you have only to touch, and it issues
sound. But she was obviously no common-place woman. Her comments upon
what she had seen already in Manchester were acute, and, at times,
decidedly humorous. They were those of a shrewd observer. We became
good friends. She promised, both for herself and her husband, to attend
the soiree; and, in answer to my further request that Mr. Disraeli
would speak, she said, she "could almost promise that he would." The
soiree of the next evening was brilliant. Dickens was at his very best;
and it must have been difficult indeed to follow so admirable a
speaker. But Mr. Disraeli certainly shared the honours and the applause
of this great meeting. His speech, in fact, created so decided a
sensation that I was asked to invite him to preside at the soiree of
the coming year of 1844,--which he did. Few, who heard it, will forget
the eloquent oration he delivered. I cannot forbear, out of place as it
may seem to some, here to quote the concluding portions of this
remarkable address; an address which I have never yet seen amongst the
published speeches of Lord Beaconsfield:--

"If my description of what this institution offers to us, if my view of
what it in some degree supplies, be just, what, I must inquire, is the
reason that an institution, the prosperity of which now cannot be
doubted, but so brief a time ago could have been apparently in the last
stage of its fortunes? It is not an agreeable task--I fear it may be
considered by some an invidious one--if I, who am a stranger among you,
shall attempt to play the critic upon your conduct; but I feel
confidence in your indulgence. I remember the kindness which has placed
me in this honourable position, and therefore I shall venture to
express to you the two reasons to which I think the dangerous state of
our position must fairly be ascribed. I would say, in the first place,
without imputing the slightest fault to the originators of this
institution, wishing to be most distinctly understood as not only not
imputing any fault to them, but most decidedly being of opinion that
the fault does not lie at their door; still I cannot shut my eyes to
the fact that, in the origin of this institution, by circumstances not
foreseen, and which, certainly, were not intended, a party, a limited,
and a sectarian feeling, in some degree pervaded its management. I
confess, myself, that it appears to me that it would have been a marvel
had it been otherwise. When we remember the great changes that had then
but very recently occurred in this country--when we recall to our mind
not only the great changes that had occurred, but the still greater
that were menaced and discussed--when we remember what an influence is
created when local jealousy blends with political passion--it is not
difficult to imagine, because there are none of us present but in their
sphere must have felt its influence--it is not wonderful that men of
different political opinions should look with extreme jealousy upon
each other. A combination of peculiar circumstances that created a
balanced state of parties in those places where the struggle for
dominion and power takes place, very much assisted this feeling; and
that such a feeling existed throughout all England in a degree more
intense and more virulent than has ever been equalled in the history of
this country, I think no man will deny, and all must deplore. For my
own part, I really believe that, had that party and sectarian feeling
proceeded in the same ratio of virulence it has done for the last
twelve or fourteen years, it must have exercised a barbarising
influence upon public sentiments and public manners. There are some
amongst us now, I know, who believe that the period has arrived when a
great effort must be made to emancipate this country from the degrading
thraldom of faction--to terminate, if possible, that extreme, that
sectarian, and limited view, in which all human conduct is examined,
observed, and criticized--to put an end to that exclusiveness, which,
in its peculiar sphere, is equally deleterious as that aristocratical
exclusiveness of manners which has produced so much evil; and, as far
as I can form an opinion, these views have met with sympathy from every
part of the country. I look upon it that to-night--I hope I am not
mistaken--we are met to consummate and to celebrate the emancipation of
this city, at least so far as the Athenaeum extends, from the influence
of these feelings. I hope that our minds and our hearts are alike open
to the true character of this institution, to the necessities which
have created it, to the benefits to which it leads; and happy I shall
be, and all, I am sure, who are assisting me this evening, if it prove
that our efforts, however humble, may have assisted in so delightful
and so desirable a consummation.

"Now that is one of the reasons, and one of the principal reasons, why
I believe a blight seemed to have fallen over our fortunes. I think at
the same time that there is another cause that has exercised an
injurious effect upon the position, until recently, of this
institution. I think that a limited view of its real character has been
taken even by those who were inclined to view it in a spirit of extreme
friendliness. It has been looked upon in the light of a luxury, and not
of a necessity--as a means of enjoyment in the hour of prosperity, from
which we ought to be debarred when the adverse moment has arrived; so
that, when trade was prospering, when all was sunshiny, a man might
condescend to occupy his spare hours in something else than in a
melancholy brooding over the state of the country--that, when returns
were rapid, and profits ready, one might deign to cultivate one's
faculties, and become acquainted with what the mind of Europe was
conceiving or executing; but these were delights to be reserved only
for those chosen hours. Now that, I am bound frankly to say, is not the
view which I take of this question--not the idea which I have formed of
the real character of the Manchester Athenaeum. I look upon it as part
of that great educational movement which is the noble and ennobling
characteristic of the age in which we live. Viewing it in that light, I
cannot consent myself that it should be supported by fits and starts.
The impulse which has given us that movement in modern times, is one
that may be traced to an age that may now be considered comparatively
remote, though the swell of the waters has but recently approached our
own shore. Heretofore society was established necessarily on a very
different principle to that which is now its basis. As civilization has
gradually progressed, it has equalized the physical qualities of man.
Instead of the strong arm, it is the strong head that is now the moving
principle of society. You have disenthroned Force, and placed on her
high seat Intelligence; and the necessary consequence of this great
revolution is, that it has become the duty and the delight equally of
every citizen to cultivate his faculties. The prince of all philosophy
has told you in an immortal apophthegm, so familiar to you all, that it
is now written in your halls and chambers,--'Knowledge is power.' If
that memorable passage had been pursued by the student who first
announced this discovery of that great man to society, he would have
found an oracle not less striking, and, in my mind, certainly not less
true; for Lord Bacon has not only said that 'Knowledge is power,' but
living one century after the discovery of the printing press, he has
also announced to the world that 'Knowledge is pleasure.' Why, when the
great body of mankind had become familiar with this great discovery--
when they learned that a new source was opened to them of influence and
enjoyment--is it wonderful that from that hour the heart of nations has
palpitated with the desire of becoming acquainted with all that has
happened, and with speculating on what may occur? It has indeed
produced upon the popular intellect an influence almost as great as--I
might say analogous to--the great change which was produced upon the
old commercial world by the discovery of the Americas. A new standard
of value was introduced, and, after this, to be distinguished--man must
be intellectual. Nor, indeed, am I surprised that this feeling has so
powerfully influenced our race; for the idea that human happiness is
dependent on the cultivation of the mind, and on the discovery of
truth, is, next to the conviction of our immortality, the idea the most
full of consolation to man; for the cultivation of the mind has no
limits, and truth is the only thing that is eternal. Indeed, when you
consider what a man is who knows only what is passing under his own
eyes, and what the condition of the same man must be who belongs to an
institution like the one which has assembled us together to-night, is
it--ought it to be--a matter of surprise that, from that moment to the
present, you have had a general feeling throughout the civilized world
in favour of the diffusion of knowledge? A man who knows nothing but
the history of the passing hour--who knows nothing of the history of
the past but that a certain person, whose brain was as vacant as his
own, occupied the same house as himself, who in a moment of despondency
or of gloom has no hope in the morrow because he has read nothing that
has taught him that to-morrow has any changes--that man, compared with
him who has read the most ordinary abridgment of history, or the most
common philosophical speculation, is as distinct and different an
animal as if he had fallen from some other planet, was influenced by a
different organization, working for a different end, and hoping for a
different result. It is knowledge that equalizes the social condition
of man--that gives to all, however different their political position,
passions which are in common and enjoyments which are universal.
Knowledge is like the mystic ladder in the patriarch's dream. Its base
rests on the primaeval earth--its crest is lost in the shadowy splendour
of the empyrean; while the great authors, who for traditionary ages
have held the chain of science and philosophy, of poesy and erudition,
are the angels ascending and descending the sacred scale, and
maintaining, as it were, the communication between man and heaven. This
feeling is so universal that there is no combination of society in any
age in which it has not developed itself. It may, indeed, be partly
restrained under despotic governments, under peculiar systems of
retarded civilization; but it is a consequence as incidental to the
spirit and the genius of the Christian civilization of Europe as that
the day should follow night, and the stars should shine according to
their laws and order. Why, the very name of the institution that brings
us together illustrates the fact--I can recall, and I think I see more
than one gentleman around me who equally can recall, the hours in which
we wandered amid

"Fields that cool Ilyssus laves.

At least, there is my honorable friend the member for Stockport (Mr.
Cobden), who has a lively recollection of that classic stream, for I
remember one of the most effective allusions he made to it in one of
the most admirable speeches I ever listened to. But, notwithstanding
that allusion, I would still appeal to the poetry of his constitution,
and I know it abounds in that quality. I am sure that he could not have
looked without emotion on that immortal scene. I still can remember
that olive-covered plain, that sunset crag, that citadel fane of
ineffable beauty! That was a brilliant civilization, developed by a
gifted race more than two thousand years ago, at a time when the
ancestors of the manufacturers of Manchester, who now clothe the world,
were themselves covered with skins, and tattooed like the red men of
the wilderness. But influences more powerful even than the awful lapse
of time separate and distinguish you from that race. They were the
children of the sun; you live in a distant, a rugged, and northern
clime. They bowed before different altars; they followed different
customs; they were modified by different manners. Votaries of the
Beautiful, they sought in Art the means of embodying their passionate
conceptions: you have devoted your energies to Utility; and by the
means of a power almost unknown to antiquity, by its miraculous
agencies, you have applied its creative force to every combination of
human circumstances that could produce your objects. Yet, amid the toil
and triumphs of your scientific industry, upon you there comes the
undefinable, the irresistible yearning for intellectual refinement--you
build an edifice consecrated to those beautiful emotions and to those
civilizing studies in which they excelled, and you impress upon its
front a name taken from--

"Where on AEgean shores a city rose,
 Built nobly, dear the air, and light the soil,
 Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
 And eloquence."

Beautiful triumph of immortal genius! Sublime incentive to eternal
fame! Then, when the feeling is so universal, when it is one which
modern civilization is nurturing and developing, who does not feel that
it is not only the most benevolent, but the most politic thing you can
do to avail yourselves of its influence, and to direct in every way the
formation of that character upon which intellect must necessarily now
exercise an irresistible influence? We cannot shut our eyes any longer
to the immense revolution. Knowledge is no longer a lonely eremite,
affording a chance and captivating hospitality to some wandering
pilgrim; knowledge is now found in the market-place, a citizen, and a
leader of citizens. The spirit has touched the multitude; it has
impregnated the mass--

                       "----Totamque infusa per artus,
            Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet.

"I would yet say one word to those for whom this institution is not
entirely but principally formed. I would address myself to that youth
on whom the hopes of all societies repose and depend. I doubt not that
they feel conscious of the position which they occupy--a position
which, under all circumstances, at all periods, in every clime and
country, is one replete with duty. The youth of a nation are the
trustees of posterity; but the youth I address have duties peculiar to
the position which they occupy. They are the rising generation of a
society unprecedented in the history of the world; that is at once
powerful and new. In other parts of the kingdom the remains of an
ancient civilization are prepared ever to guide, to cultivate, to
influence, the rising mind; but they are born in a miraculous creation
of novel powers, and it is rather a providential instinct that has
developed the necessary means of maintaining the order of your new
civilization than the matured foresight of man. This is their
inheritance. They will be called on to perform duties--great duties. I,
for one, wish, for their sakes and for the sake of my country, that
they may be performed greatly. I give to them that counsel which I have
ever given to youth, and which I believe to be the wisest and the best
--I tell them to aspire. I believe that the man who does not look up
will look down; and that the spirit that does not dare to soar is
destined perhaps to grovel. Every individual is entitled to aspire to
that position which he believes his faculties qualify him to occupy. I
know there are some who look with what I believe is short-sighted
timidity and false prudence upon such views. They are apt to tell us--
'Beware of filling the youthful mind with an impetuous tumult of
turbulent fancies; teach youth, rather, to be content with his
position--do not induce him to fancy that he is that which he is not,
or to aspire to that which he cannot achieve.' In my mind these are
superficial delusions. He who enters the world finds his level. It is
the solitary being, the isolated individual, alone in his solitude, who
may be apt to miscalculate his powers, and misunderstand his character.
But action teaches him the truth, even if it be a stern one.
Association affords him the best criticism in the world, and I will
venture to say, that if he belong to the Athenaeum, though when he
enters it he may think himself a genius, if nature has not given him a
passionate and creative soul, before a week has elapsed he will become
a very sober-minded individual. I wish to damp no youthful ardour. I
can conceive what such an institution would have afforded to the
suggestive mind of a youthful Arkwright. I can conceive what a nursing-
mother such an institution must have been to the brooding genius of
your illustrious and venerated Dalton. It is the asylum of the self-
formed; it is the counsellor of those who want counsel; but it is not a
guide that will mislead, and it is the last place that will fill the
mind of man with false ideas and false conceptions. He reads a
newspaper, and his conceit oozes out after reading a leading article.
He refers to the library, and the calm wisdom of centuries and sages
moderates the rash impulse of juvenescence. He finds new truths in the
lecture-room, and he goes home with a conviction that he is not so
learned as he imagined. In the discussion of a great question with his
equals in station, perhaps he finds he has his superiors in intellect.
These are the means by which the mind of man is brought to a healthy
state, by which that self-knowledge that always has been lauded by
sages may be most securely attained. It is a rule of universal virtue,
and from the senate to the counting-house will be found of universal
application. Then, to the youth of Manchester, representing now the
civic youth of this great county and this great district, I now appeal.
Let it never be said again that the fortunes of this institution were
in danger. Let them take advantage of this hour of prosperity calmly to
examine and deeply to comprehend the character of that institution in
which their best interests are involved, and which for them may afford
a relaxation which brings no pang, and yields information which may
bear them to fortune. It is to them I appeal with confidence, because I
feel I am pleading their cause--with confidence, because in them I
repose my hopes. When nations fall, it is because a degenerate race
intervenes between the class that created and the class that is doomed.
Let them then remember what has been done for them. The leaders of
their community have not been remiss in regard to their interests. Let
them remember, that when the inheritance devolves upon them, they are
not only to enjoy but to improve. They will one day succeed to the high
places of this great community; let them recollect those who lighted
the way for them; and when they have wealth, when they have authority,
when they have power, let it not be said that they were deficient in
public virtue and public spirit. When the torch is delivered to them,
let them also light the path of human progress to educated man."

As time went on, I had many interviews and conversations with Mr. and
Mrs. Disraeli. I learned to appreciate, more and more, that the
oddities attributed to the latter were mainly of society manufacture;
while her fine qualities had been kept in the background by the over-
shadowing ability, and prominence, of her husband. She was a devoted
wife, and the soul of kindness to every one she liked or respected.
Peace and honor to her memory.

In the sad years which followed my misfortune of 1846, previously
alluded to, it was enough for me, wearily, to get through the work of
the day, and then to return to a home where there has always been
sympathy, kindness, and cheerfulness in the darkest and most anxious
hours of laborious and self-denying lives. In those years I rarely saw
any of my old friends of prominence and station. My wife and I lived
the lives of recluses until clouds ceased to lower. Health became
restored, a moderate and augmenting fortune, laid in the foundations of
carefulness, came to us; and we at last emerged into daylight, again.

When in Parliament, in 1857, I made a speech in the House of Commons,
which some thought timely, upon the then pressing question of Indian
railways. Mr. Disraeli did me the honor to listen to what I had to say.
After his lamented death, one of his executors handed back to me, in an
envelope, endorsed in his own hand, the letters which I had written to
him in the years of the Manchester Athenaeum.

I may add, that Mr. Disraeli's ear was always open to me during the
struggles for the Intercolonial Railway as a means, and the
Confederation of the British Provinces in America as the great end, of
our efforts. He was strongly in favour of Confederation; and, just as
we owe the establishment of a Crown Colony in British Columbia to the
sagacity of Bulwer Lytton, so we owe the final realization of
Confederation, through the passing of an Act by the Queen, Lords, and
Commons of Great Britain and Ireland, to the Government, no less
sagacious on this question, of Lord Beaconsfield.

I think the following letters reflect no discredit upon my motives,--
neither self-seeking nor selfish. At the same time they are further
evidence of Mr. Disraeli's thorough kindness and feeling of justice
towards all who had, in his judgment, "deserved well of their country."

                                "_3rd August, 1867_.


"On my return from Scotland yesterday I learnt, confidentially, that
you had been good enough to propose to present my name to the Queen for
the honour of knighthood, in consideration of my services in connection
with the union of the British North American Provinces under the Crown,
and with their Intercolonial Railway. And I see that a semi-official
statement to that effect is in some of the papers. Will you permit me
to thank you very sincerely for such a recognition of the services of a
political opponent whose known opinions will protect him from the
suspicion of receiving, and you from that of giving, an unworthy

"But the mail brings me tidings from Canada which convince me that the
French Canadian population at large look upon the course pursued
towards Messrs. Cartier and Langevin in the recent distribution of
honors as an act of indifference towards themselves. It might be
possible, therefore--but you will be the best judge--that the honor now
proposed for me might lead to an aggravation of this feeling of
dissatisfaction, which arises at the very inopportune moment of the
birth of the 'new Dominion.'

"I think, therefore, that I should be as deficient in public duty as in
generosity, if I did not evince my gratitude for your unsolicited
remembrance by saying that, should the difficulty I allude to be found
really to exist, I shall not feel myself slighted or aggrieved should
your kindness proceed no further, pending such an unfortunate state of

"I ought to add, that my late most kind and indulgent friend, the Duke
of Newcastle, suggested some little time before his death an even
higher reward for the services, which he alone knew the real extent of;
but at my request it was postponed until--all the manifold difficulties
being one by one cleared away--the great question of policy which he
had so much at heart should be finally realized in legislation.

"Having thus been led almost, to rely upon some adequate recognition of
several years' gratuitous and arduous exertion on both sides of the
Atlantic, I feel the sacrifice I propose to make. But a desire to avoid
aggravating this unfortunate misunderstanding induces me to trouble you

                              "I have the honour to be, dear Sir,
                                "Yours very faithfully and obliged,
                                  "E. W. WATKIN.


                              "DOWNING STREET, S.W.
                                "_August 8, 1867_.


"I have had the honor of receiving your letter of the 3rd instant, in
which you refer to the rumoured intention of Her Majesty's Government
to recommend your name to the Queen for the honor of knighthood, in
consideration of services connected with the International Colonial
Railway, and the influence of that undertaking on the union of the
British North American Provinces; and in which you state your
apprehension, that such an intention, in consequence of the recent
intelligence from Canada with respect to the distribution of honors,
might prove embarrassing to the Government.

"Under that impression you have, in a manner highly creditable to
yourself, and most considerate to the Government, stated that you
should not feel yourself slighted or aggrieved, if the views of Her
Majesty's Government towards yourself were not proceeded with pending
such an unfortunate feeling in Canada.

"It is quite true that it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government
to recommend to Her Majesty to confer the honor of knighthood on you,
in consideration of your services in question, thereby, as they
believe, fulfilling the purpose of the late Duke of Newcastle, when his
Grace was Secretary of State for the Colonies; but Her Majesty's
Government, appreciating your motives in the suggestion which you have
made, are of opinion that it may be expedient to suspend, for a time,
conferring a distinction on you which, under the peculiar circumstances
of the case, might occasion a painful, though an unfounded, feeling of

                              "I have the honor to remain,
                                "Dear Sir, yours faithfully,
                                  "B. DISRAELI.
"E. W. WATKIN, Esq., M.P."

Time went on, and, one morning in the summer of 1868, I received this

                              "10, DOWNING STREET, WHITEHALL,
                                "_August 11, 1868_.


"The Queen has been graciously pleased to order, that letters patent
should be prepared, to confer the honor of knighthood on Mr. Watkin,
the Member for Stockport.

"As I know you take a great interest in the welfare of that gentleman,
I have sent you this line, that you may be the first to know the
distinction that awaits him.

                              "Sincerely yours,
                                "B. DISRAELI.

I may also add a curious bit of history of a personal character.

Mr. Disraeli was returned to Parliament, in 1837, for Maidstone,
mainly, by the exertions and influence of his agent, Mr. Richard Hart,
the eminent solicitor. Mr. Hart was my friend and agent on my return
for the borough of Hythe, in 1874, and in 1880.

Mr. Hart had many interesting reminiscences of Mr. Disraeli to recount,
and some day, in a more appropriate place, I hope to be able to recount


_Visits to Quebec and Portland, and Letters Home_,

Leaving Montreal by the night boat, I arrived at the wharf at Quebec;
and, after a visit to the hotel and a walk round the city, called on
Mr. Cartier, the Chief Minister of Canada, at the small house he then

My first relation with Quebec was in acting as Honorary Secretary to a
Committee in Manchester, which raised 7,500_l_. by subscription,
and sent it out in money and goods to relieve the people, houseless and
ruined by the great Quebec fires of May and July, 1845, when 3,015
houses were burnt down, and thousands of people were made homeless, and
were starving. I also visited the city in 1851. Later on, in the year
1866, I was Chairman of the City of London Committee, which raised
23,800_l_. to alleviate the suffering caused by the great Quebec
fire of that year.

In my walk round the city (in 1861) I was struck with the absence of
precautions against fire, and the persistence in building wooden
houses, when the cost of brick or stone could not be greatly more than
of wood.

I may say, however, in my right as an old helper in these fire
disasters, that on inspecting the city last September (1886), I was
much impressed by the new building regulations in rigid force, and
especially by the admirable system adopted for the effective repression
of fires. There are central and subordinary fire stations, all
connected together by telegraph and telephone. A constant watch is
kept, engines are always ready to start off, and a sufficient number of
men available for duty night and day.

But to come back to Mr. Cartier. After I had waited in his salon for a
few minutes, he entered: A man under middle height, hair turning a
little grey, eyes grey blue, sparkling and kindly; face almost Grecian;
figure spare but muscular; well proportioned; manner full of almost
southern fire, and restlessness. We discussed our Grand Trunk affairs.
I explained the objects of our draft Bill, which were few and simple--
(A) To raise 500,000_l_. as an "equipment" mortgage, to provide
the railway with, much needed, plant and material; (B) to set aside all
revenue derived from postal and military services; and upon the
security of this revenue to issue "Postal and Military" Bonds,
wherewith to pay the debts due by the Company in Canada and England.
These debts were pressing, and were large. (C) To alter the
administration of the Company in such wise that while the executive
work would be done in Canada, with Montreal as headquarters, the seat
of government would be in London, the stock and bonds being mainly held
in England. I think, at that time, there were not more than
20,000_l_. of the original issue of Ordinary Stock of the Grand
Trunk held in Canada.

Mr. Cartier knew, of course, all the ins and outs of the Grand Trunk.
His Government had in previous years placed the loan of
3,100,000_l_. from Canada, expended in construction, behind other
securities, to enable an issue of second bonds with which to complete
the Trunk lines. But, unfortunately, as a condition of this concession,
profitless branches were undertaken, branches, no doubt, locally
useful, perhaps politically needful, but profitless nevertheless.

Mr. Cartier's sole query was, "Have you arranged with the Government at
home as to the Military Revenue?"--to which I replied, that there was
no occasion: the Government made no objection, and regularly paid the
moderate charges made for the conveyance of men and material over the
Railway: and we could, of course, if the Canadian Parliament passed our
draft Bill into an Act, appropriate these receipts in any way the Act
directed. With the Canadian Government it was different. The Canadian
Government had, so far, delayed any settlement of our accounts for the
costly conveyance of mail matter, by special trains, over long
distances, so timed as to suit the Province but not to suit the Grand
Trunk passengers; and one of my objects in coming out was to endeavour
to induce Mr. Cartier and his colleagues to close up this pending
matter for the past and to accord a just and adequate amount for the
service of the future, such amount to be effective over a period of
years. We then went into general conversation. I told Mr. Cartier I had
been in Canada in 1851: and had at that time seen Papinean, Mackenzie,
and others, whose resistance had led to peace and union, and greater
liberty for all. This remark fired his eye; and he said, "Ah! it is
eight years that I am Prime Minister of Canada; when I was a rebel the
country was different, very different."

Mr. Cartier often preceded his observations, I believe, by the words
"When I was a rebel;" and old George Crawford, of the Upper Province, a
magnificent specimen of a Scotch Upper Canadian, once said, "Cartier,
my frind, ye'll be awa to England and see the Queen, and when ye come
bock aw that aboot ye're being a robbell, as no doobt ye were, will
never be hard again. Ye'll begin, mon, 'When I was at Windsor Castle
talking to the Queen.'" Years before, on Cartier being presented to the
Queen by Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, he told Her Majesty that a Lower
Canadian was "an Englishman who speaks French."

But Mr. Cartier had been a rebel; and a gallant and brave one. One of
the incidents was, that when Sir John Colborne's troops invested the
Chateau of St. Eustache, Cartier, a young man of nineteen, was lowered
from a window at night, crawled along to the Cache, then under range of
fire, and brought back a bag of cartridges strapped round his waist, to
replenish the exhausted ammunition of the defenders of the Chateau. And
I believe that he was hauled up again amidst a rain of bullets, having
been discovered,--which bullets, fortunately for Canada, missed the

I may here mention that in the autumn of 1865 I had a long interview
with President Andrew Johnson, at the White House at Washington, having
been introduced by Mr. Rice, of St. Paul's, Minnesota, a man to whom
the United States and Canada are each deeply indebted, for the
completion of railways from St. Paul's to the Hudson's Bay post of Fort
Garry, now the thriving town of Winnipeg. The President told me he had
that morning received a letter from the wife of the ex-President of the
just defeated Southern Confederacy, which he said was "the reverse of
complimentary." He read a sentence or two; and smiled quietly at a
reference to his, as assumed by the lady, early occupation of
journeyman tailor. President Davis was at the moment in prison in the
case-mates of Fort Hatteras. "It is, of course, difficult to know what
to do with him." Well, I said, "Mr. President, I remember when you were
a Senator you said to those who talked secession, that if they carried
out their threats, and you had your way, you would 'hang them as high
as Haman.'"

The President paused, and then lifted his head and replied, "So I did,
Sir. But we must look at things all round; consider faults on both
sides, and that we have to be fellow-citizens in future." I added, "Mr.
President, I have just left Canada, and taken leave of Mr. Cartier, the
Prime Minister of that country. The Queen has not a more loyal subject.
Yet, in 1839, he was a rebel in arms against the Crown. _He_ was a
secessionist. For a while he was a refugee in the woods at Rouse's
Point, on Lake Champlain. A reward of 500_l_. was offered for his
apprehension. But our country removed grievances, recognized the
equality of French and English Canadians, united the Provinces, and
forgave the rebels. All that sad contest is now forgotten."

The President seemed much struck, and, after a pause, he said, "Sir,
will you say that again?" I repeated the words, and he scribbled, as I
spoke, some notes on the blotter of the portfolio before him. He then
said, "A countryman of mine has been over to your side of the Atlantic
to teach you to tame horses. This gentleman, Mr. Rarey, uses what he
calls 'mild force.' Mild force will probably be useful with us." The
Fenian demonstrations in the United States against England were named
as a breach of comity. The President said, sharply, "Why don't your
people remonstrate? We hear no complaint."

To return to my narrative, Mr. Cartier arranged an interview for me
with the Governor-General, Sir Edmund Head, and I presented my letters
from Mr. Baring, and was assured of all the help he could give me.
"Your demands are very clear, and appear to me equally just. First you
ask the Government of Canada to aid you in passing a Bill through
Parliament, which clearly is for the benefit of Canada, because it
proposes to increase the efficiency of the railway service by a further
outlay of capital, and also to pay off debt, a considerable part of
which is incurred in Canada; and secondly, you ask for an immediate and
just settlement of the charge for the conveyance by you of the mails."

The Governor-General then sent for Mr. John A.

Macdonald, who came immediately, and the conversation which had taken
place was repeated.

This was the first time I had seen either Cartier, Sir Edmund Head, or

Sir Edmund Head was a tall stately man, with thoughtful brow, and
complexion a little purpled by cardiac derangement. As the don of a
college he would have been great, and in his sphere: as the Governor of
a Province with a self-asserting people, I doubt if he had found the
true groove.

His despatches were scholastic essays. His simplest replies were grave
and learned, sometimes too complex for ordinary comprehension. When he,
subsequently, became Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, he tried to
manage a profit-and-loss undertaking as if he were governing a
province: just as when he governed a province he administered all
things as if he were dealing with Russia in Europe. He was, however, a
man of the kindest heart, and the strictest honor. But, after all, he
was one of the round men put into the square holes of Provincial
Government by the "authorities" at home. Still, on the whole, a noble
character, and in very truth a gentleman. His chronic ailment led to
some irritability of temper; and when, during the visit of the Prince
of Wales, one of the Governor's aides-de-camp was pushed over from the
steamer at Detroit by the press of the crowd, and fell into the water,
Colonel Irving said:--"Ah! there was no danger whatever to ----'s life.
The Governor-General has blown him up so much that he could never
sink." I was present at a farewell dinner to Sir Edmund Head at Mr.
Cartier's, at Quebec, in the winter of 1861-2. In response to the toast
of his health, he alluded to his infirmity of temper, admitted his
suffering--before concealed from outside people--and expressed his
apologies in a manner so feeling and so gentle that the tears came into
everybody's eyes. I heard more than one sob from men whose rough
exterior disguised the real tenderness of their hearts.

Mr. John A. Macdonald entered the Governor-General's presence with a
manly deference. I was at once struck by an odd resemblance in some of
his features and expressions to Disraeli--dark curly hair, piercing
eyes, aquiline nose, mouth sometimes firm, almost stern in expression,
sometimes so mild that he seemed especially fitted to play with little
children. I soon learned that, in tact, fixed purpose, and resources,
he was ahead of them all. And, after watching his career for a quarter
of a century, I have seen no reason to alter that opinion. He is the
statesman of Canada--one of the ablest men on the Continent. I wish he
administered the Colonial relations of the whole Empire. Had he done so
for the last ten years we should have escaped our mistakes in South
Africa, and the everlasting disgrace of Majuba Hill. Why is it that
such men are excluded from office at home? Sir John A. Macdonald (then
Mr. Macdonald) was once taken by me under the gallery, by special order
of Mr. Speaker, to hear a "great" speech of Mr. Gladstone, whom he had
not before heard. When we went away, I said: "Well, what do you think
of him?" He replied: "He is a great rhetorician, but--he is not an
orator." Would that men would not be carried away in a torrent of happy
words. One hour of the late Patrick Smyth was, to my mind, worth a week
of all the great rhetoricians.

A day or two after these interviews, the Hon. John Ross took me down to
Portland, to have an interview with the Hon. A. T. Galt, the Finance
Minister of Canada. I at once recognized in Mr. Galt a reduced likeness
of his father. Mr. Galt was about five feet eleven: his father, who I
had seen when a boy, about six feet four, and "buirdly" and stout in
proportion. The father wore spectacles--the son did not. The father was
the author of the "Annals of the Parish," "Laurie Todd," and many works
greatly read when I was young. He was, also, the founder of the town of
"Guelph," and of other towns in Upper Canada. If anyone wants to see an
admirable likeness of him, he had better consult "Fraser's Magazine,"
of one of the issues of 1830 to 1833, and he will there find a rough
engraving of the hoisting of the Union Jack at Guelph. Mr. Galt,
_pere_, was so very large a man that Mr. Archibald Prentice, of
the "Manchester Times," used to tell a story about his pointing Mr.
Galt out to a little humpbacked Scotchman in the High Street of
Edinburgh: "Eh! Jamie, mon, there's the great Galt, author of the
'Annals of the Parish.'" "'Annals o' the Payrish,' Archie, hech, sirs,
he's big eneuch to be the Payrish itself--let alone the annals o' it."

Mr. Galt, the Finance Minister, has done great services to Canada, and
is doing them still, in developing the mineral resources of the West,
and in other ways. Our conversation on Grand Trunk affairs was long and
anxious. I could see that Mr. Galt would do everything in his power;
but the public prejudice was strongly against the Grand Trunk. The
Grand Trunk Arrangements Bill was passed, as herein stated, in May,
1862; but, alas, the question of postal payments by Canada stood over
till the end of 1864.

In reference to my visit, of 1861, so far as my personal journeyings
were concerned, I will merely transcribe a few letters sent home.

                              "STEAMSHIP 'PERSIA'
                                "(in the Gulf of St. Lawrence),
                                  "_Sunday noon._

"I have not had a pen in hand for a week--not since I wrote just as we
were coming to Cork.

"Just now the weather is as like that of last Sunday as one pea is to
another--rain and mist--mist and rain! Yet we have, on the whole, had
wonderful weather--little sea--little wind--little of anything very
unpleasant--nothing unbearable.

"Our church-service is just over: the Captain reads prayers and a
sermon, and does it very well: the sailors are dressed in their best,
and behave with great decorum, but show some sleepiness: the day is
wet, and that, and the general devoutness, draws a large congregation,
--indeed, the cabin is full.

"And now for a long letter:--

"When I left off, before, we were coming to Cork. It was blowing and
raining, and the atmosphere was thick with mist. We went on till six.
Captain looked anxious--the Cork pilot bothered, the passengers ill-
tempered, and everything had a dismal dampness about it. At last we
stopped, and the big boilers sent out their steam through the waste
pipe with a loud roar. Around us was nothing but _mist_--the, to
me, nastiest form of fog. We could not see more than three times the
length of the ship. We tried the lead twice, and the second time got
soundings. We then fired a gun--then another--then a third. Then we
moved on--then stopped--then moved on. The Captain sent for his chart,
and put on his eye-glasses. The pilot stared out into the fog, and
pointed first in one direction, then in another. All no use. We knew we
_ought_ to be outside the Queenstown harbour--but we could see
nothing. At last we heard a gun, and then in quick succession appeared
a row boat and a steam tug with the passengers and mails; and, the mist
breaking a little, we saw the land right a-head of us, about half-a-
mile off. It was disagreeable, but it got over; and now came the
transfer of bags, luggage, and passengers--only two or three of the
latter. The tug came alongside and made fast, but there was a good deal
of swell, and as she bobbed up and down it became highly amusing to see
the crew and passengers scramble up the ladder, which sometimes was
perpendicular, and at other times almost flat, as it followed the
altering level of the tug. The ladder got broken--two or three ropes
snapped--a deal of profane swearing took place--but it got over, too.

"The tug brought the news--the Confederates had defeated the Federal
forces at Manasses Junction--three thousand killed and wounded--
prisoners taken--artillery captured, &c., &c. I went up to one of the
Misses Preston and hoped the news was happy--for she seemed delighted
at what she had heard, and which then I had not. She said she 'did not
quite know--it was for the South.' I replied that such news hardly
could be happy for both sides, and, unless the news were _peace_,
was unhappy for all the world. She did not quite agree--and then told
me the tidings. But what a strange effect in such a little ship-
confined community!

"The Southern people collected together in delight--the Northern in
anger and disgust. The former predicted an early possession of
Washington for the Palmetto flag; the latter talked of raising half-a-
million of men, and 'crushing out' the South, right amain; while, as in
any disaster, there is always someone to be blamed, many of the
Northern men laid all the responsibility upon the 'lawyer-generals' and
'store-keeping-colonels,' who had assumed commands for which they were
never fit. It is a sad, unhappy quarrel!

"But I must describe our circle to you. First, I should tell you that I
have the honor to sit at the Captain's table, and on his left hand--a
Miss Ewart sitting on his right. Our set consists of the Captain,
Judkins--the right and left-hand passengers as aforesaid--Col. Preston,
Mrs. Preston and the three Misses Preston.

Mr. Stone, Col. Stewart, Miss Warde, Mr. Still, and Mr. Hutton, of
Sheffield, and his daughter. We have 134 passengers, _only_, on
board--a slack muster, caused by the evil times in America--and all
were at dinner on Saturday, the day we sailed, but the wind, rain,
mist, and misery of the next three days sent many of them below, and
for those days we had plenty of elbow-room. The weather, however,
improved, the sun got now and then out, though it has, so far, been
anything but warm, and out came the sick people again in renovated
appetite--some epicurean and dainty, many others with a ravenous, all-
devouring maw, reminding one of the 'worm that never dieth.'

"Now, Col. Preston is the late U.S. Ambassador to Madrid, where he has
resided officially, and with his family, for the four years of the
Buchanan Presidency. He is now replaced, I think, by a Mr. Falkner. He
is a tall, stout, gentlemanly man, but, while a perfect gentleman in
his conversation, and having less of the American accent than most
Americans, his manner is somewhat ungainly--perhaps owing to his make,
which is large and a little inclining to the unwieldy.

"Mrs. Preston has an Americo-Grecian face, and is a 'grand-dame.' She
talks of the blessings of slavery, and of the vain and self-recoiling
efforts of her mother, who liberated many slaves and educated more, to
reduce the evil; and is full of the troubles and robberies of foreign
house-keeping and of the gossip of the diplomatic circle.

"Her daughters are high-spirited, good-humoured, large-sized girls--
fresh, natural and charming. One of them has a fine face with eyes of
blue, just like those Bradley liked to paint--and the other two are
good looking enough. They have, however, no conversation--lots of talk
and gossip; much of it, too, amusing and quick witted, but it wants
thought. They all come from Kentucky, where they are now going. Colonel
Stewart is, I think, from Louisiana. He talks little, and does not
interest me. Mr. Stone is a voluble high-spirited Northern man, with
Southern tendencies. He says that the men who started this secession,
and have made it what it is, ought (on both sides) to be hung, and he
'would go home on purpose.' It seems that a house in which he had a
large sum has failed, and, to use a phrase I have heard both Mr.
Preston and himself make use of, the civil war has 'shocked' his
property above one half, _i.e._ has reduced its value above one
half. They all agree, in fact, that the value of all property has gone
down at least half, a loss, if the nation had to sell up--which it has
not, but has only to 'liquidate'--of a sum greater than required to buy
up all the slaves and set them free. Credit is gone--the faith of the
people in their Government is weakened, and thousands are ruined in
every city in the land. Sad civil war! Our passengers comprise all
sorts of people--from all sorts of places, clothed in all sorts of
dresses: anything will do at sea. We have, too, a good many old stagers
of the Atlantic, who think nothing of 'going across.' This will console
you--as you have to go 'across' next spring--to know that one man has
been across 57 times, another 31, another 18, and another 13; and one
lady has been 6--while the fat buxom stewardess has done a hundred, and
is alive and well, and quite as ready to receive a half crown from a
passenger, of any country, as ever!

"But I must give over writing for a little, till this breeze of wind is

"We have now only 1,000 miles to go, and shall be in New York on


"We had a bad night, and I could not sleep for the row and the motion.
We have now got it over, and are going merrily along with a smart
breeze, bright sun, and sparkling sea. It will be late on Wednesday,
however, when we get in.

"A rough night at sea has its features. On board these ships there are
strict rules and strict discipline. We breakfast, lunch, dine, and tea
at hours which are kept to a moment. The bell rings, and down we sit.
Then the bar closes at 11, and all lights are put out at 12. The lights
in the cabins are placed inside a partition, glazed with ground glass,
so that there is no glare, and you cannot get at them. No loose lights
are allowed, and a passenger who struck a light would be severely
handled. These are proper precautions against fire, and should be
obeyed. But at 12 we are in total darkness--the ship rolls and pitches
--every now and then a sea strikes her, and burr--hush--swish--goes the
water over her sides or bows, and along her decks.

Then the men above run about, ropes are pulled, sails set or taken in,
and a general hullabaloo goes on--no doubt in the interest of the
passengers--but very disagreeable. Then the boatswain's whistle--Pee-
ee-ee ah! Pee-ee-ee ah-h-h!--every now and then wakes you up. Light is
a comfort, and darkness at sea seems to aggravate the strange feeling
which now and then affects you, as you think you are following a great
road without track or guide--save that which the stars, if visible, and
the previous day's observations afford.

"On Saturday morning (10 August) I was called up to see the Great
Eastern: and certainly an immense steamer was making its way eastward,
about 15 miles due north of us. You will see by the date of her arrival
if she was the object we saw or not. Saturday was very cold. We had
heard at Queenstown, from a note from Capt. Stone to Judkins, that
icebergs had been seen on the homeward passage, and at 3 o'clock we saw
ahead of us something which looked like the wreck of a steamer--but
which was pronounced to be ice. It was about 10 miles off. As we
approached it we found it was a little mountain of ice, covering
perhaps a couple of acres in area, and about 50 or 60 feet high. It
assumed all sorts of shapes as we caught sight of it at different
points--it looked, once, like a great lion crouching on the water--then
it took an appearance like part of the causeway at Staffa. As soon as
we got abreast of it we saw pack ice around it, and the light, then
shining upon the whole mass, gave a fairy-like whiteness--transparent,
snowy whiteness--which was very beautiful to see. While we were
observing it, a great mass broke away, toppled over into the sea,
sending up an immense snowy spray, and disappeared. The remainder
stayed in sight, with the evening sun-light upon it, for a couple of

"Yesterday, Sunday, morning, we sighted Cape Race, the eastern
extremity of Newfoundland, and ran close in shore along a most
desolate, dismal, coast, for a couple of hours. Abreast of the
lighthouse and telegraph station a boat came off, and we pitched over a
packet, with a little red flag attached, containing the latest news, to
be telegraphed from thence to New York and other places, so that our
passing would be known that afternoon everywhere--and if the steamer
had not left Halifax it might bring the news thence to England; thus
you may know of our safe arrival, so far, by about the 18th or 19th. I
hope you may, as it will relieve your mind from various fears about me.
It is very seldom indeed that the steamers actually sight Cape Race, as
we did. However, we saw that desolate coast and the poor hermits of the
place. Rounding the Cape, we enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which
broke in rain and storm upon us. We saw several fishing sloops 'lying
to,' to wait for better weather. These little craft are often run over
by larger vessels, as they swarm in what is the great east and west
track for steamers and other large ships; and when the wind is south,
or south west, there is always fog and mist in the Gulf, and on the
banks of Newfoundland outside.

"I find it a great comfort having a cabin to myself. I am now writing
in my 'drawing-room'--_i.e.,_ my upper berth, with my legs hanging
down over my bed-room, or lower berth. All my property is stowed away
and hung up, and the steward keeps all nice and clean--calls me in the
morning, and at half-past seven brings me a foot-pan of fresh sea-water
to bathe in. The _rum_ is not very much diminished, as I have been
very self-denying, being desirous of coming home in full vigour and
hard health, if possible. It is very good, however, and when I finish
this letter I shall reward good resolution by taking a little drop to
drink your health--and God bless you!

"Taylor was excessively sick and ill, but is now all alive, and says he
'feels so light' he could run a race.

"I am pretty well. I have not been sick at all: I wish I had--but I
ought to be thankful for a great deal of comfort in this long journey.

"I shall open this if anything worth recording takes place before we
reach New York. If not, the receipt of this will tell you that we are
'safely landed.' I shall, however, write again from New York before I
leave it for Boston--but I shall only remain a portion of a day and a
night at New York."

                              "ST. LAWRENCE HALL, MONTREAL.
                                "_Sunday, August 18._

"From New York I went on, _via_ Long Island Sound, to Boston,
where I arrived at 7 a.m. on Friday. I stayed there all day, in
conference with Mr. Baring's agent, Mr. Ward, and went on to Montreal,
in the evening, _via_ Lowel, Concord, and Rouse's Point. I engaged
a double berth in a sleeping car, and slept pretty well and pretty
comfortably from about 10 till 5--with sundry breaks, caused as
hereafter stated. I got to Montreal at 10--washed, breakfasted, and
then did a hard day's work, and dined at 7, with the internal
satisfaction that I had done a good day's duty, and had a good appetite
for both food and drink--the latter, however, moderate--only one pint
and one cup of coffee and one cigar after--the first cigar which I have
smoked since leaving England. The rum, thanks to similar moderation,
holds out, and will last some time yet.

"New York is be-flagged and be-bannered to a wonderful extent. Every
street is disfigured by huge streamers, some right across the street,
others out of windows and from the tops of houses--while each occupant
tries to vie with his neighbour in this sort of loyalty, till there
seems almost to be hypocrisy in it. 'Stars and Stripes' everywhere, and
on all occasions, opportune and inopportune. The main public place in
New York is half filled by ugly wooden sheds, used as military store
rooms and barracks, and, every now and then, with a frequency which is
startling, are the head-quarters of all sorts of Volunteer regiments--
American, Irish, German, Dutch, French, and Scotch. These rooms are
adorned with flags, and transparencies showing the costume of the
corps, or the portrait of the colonel, or general, shown generally on a
big prancing horse, and sporting a savage-looking beard. All along the
roads and routes--everywhere almost--are tents and wooden sheds, the
encampments of companies and regiments; and every now and then bands
and recruiting parties parade the street, and draw crowds of people
after them. The mothers of America have taken up the question, too, and
there are societies to make lint and bandages for the wounded, and to
stitch together clothing for the new companies. Little Zouaves are
plentiful--red vest, blue sash, and red fez and breeches.

"The day we arrived, the New York Firemen Zouaves (7th New York)
returned from the defeat at Bull's Run--380 out of 1,000, who left two
months ago under a young fellow named Ellsworth, as colonel. Ellsworth
was shot by a public-house keeper, whose secession flag he hauled down
--and the regiment was much cut up at Bull's Run. It has been very
uproarious, and some of its men 'retreated' on the way from Bull's Run
to New York, on the principle that, once ordered to retreat, they had
better 'retreat right away home.' There can be no doubt, however, that
the bulk of these men fought well--but were, like most of the
regiments, badly officered--zealous men, but lawyers, store-keepers,
and political partisans, who could do nothing in handling _bodies_
of men.

"But to go back: about 60 miles from Boston, and just as I got into the
bed-berth in the car, several companies of one of the Vermont regiments
joined the train, having been discharged, on the expiration of their
three months' term, the day before. These men had to be dropped in
companies at various stations all along the road; and every hour or so
I was wakened up by bell ringing, gun firing, and cheering, as each
section got back home to their friends. In the morning I got amongst
those who were left, and heard their adventures. They had been in
nothing but skirmishing, however, and only had had three men wounded.
They seemed a nice body of young fellows, many very young. All were
voluble and in high spirits (_coming home_), and were very large
about the hard biscuits they had eaten--some, as one 'boy' said--for
they are all 'boys,' not 'men,' as with us--with the stamp of 1810 upon
them,--of camping out--keeping sentry at night, &c., &c., &c. They had
three young fellows, girlish-looking lads, with them, '_sick;_'
two--one certainly--sick under death; just get home to die! I went into
the baggage car and saw them lying on the floor, covered up in
tarpaulins and blankets, poor fellows!

"I have been to the Catholic Cathedral at Montreal to-day, and heard
high mass. I visited it in 1851. Fine church, fine music, and a good
sermon, in French; but I thought I should have preferred Mr. Woolnough
and the little church at home.

"The matter of business I have in hand is surrounded with difficulty,
and there are here, I fear, two classes in connection with the concern.
Mr. Baring and Mr. Glyn have been, I can see already, deceived by over
sanguine estimates--and they do not know all yet, but they shall, if I
can find it out.

"Letters leave here to-morrow, and I shall open this before I post it
should there be any new feature. As at present advised, I shall go to
Quebec on Wednesday night, and spend four or five days in that
district. Then I shall come back here, and then go to Toronto and the
western portion of the line. After that, all will depend upon whether
the Government will call a special session, or not. We shall see. I
shall know, perhaps, in time for the following post."

                              "HAMILTON, _
                                "Sunday, I Septr. 1861._

"I left Toronto on Tuesday and went to Samia, stayed till Wednesday
morning, and then went on to Detroit. Spent the day in Detroit, and
then went on to Chicago; stayed Thursday in Chicago, and went on Friday
into Illinois, over the Prairies as far as Urbano. Came back to
Calumet--near to Chicago. Near Chicago I visited poor dear Ingram's
drowning place. Alas! More about it hereafter--and came on thence to
Detroit and this place, which I reached yesterday at 2-tired and
irritated with tooth-ache, which has never left me for some days and
sticks by me yet. I have travelled 1,300 miles since last Tuesday, and
3,070 in all since I landed at New York. This has necessitated
travelling during eight nights out of the eighteen I have spent in this
country. However, I have thereby cleared off some subsidiary work and
have seen the extremes of the territory over which I have to work and
plan, and by to-morrow I shall have looked at, and taken account of,
most of the people I shall have to deal with. This will enable me now
to go to work, and will, I hope, so much shorten my stay on 'this
Continent,' as they call it. I have a hard and difficult job before me,
but hope to scrape through it with credit, if not with much success. It
is a very different country: and they are not only very different, but
very difficult, people to manage. Socially, every one has been very
civil and kind, and I have had no lack of company or advisers--the
latter sometimes giving rather odd suggestions. Everyone is expecting
to hear daily of a great battle near Washington, and it may be that the
fate of one or other of the contending parties will be decided, for the
time, at least, before I leave. At present there is great hatred and
animosity, and every possible evil passion abroad. If it were not for
the actual loss of _dollars_ I believe they would cut each other's
throats to all eternity: but the hope is that their rapacity may check
their ferocity. As to any high purpose about the war--it is moonshine.
It is a war for supremacy and to find out which brother shall rule the
house and run away with the dying old man's goods. [Footnote: The
following Resolution passed the United States House of Representatives,
February 11, 1861, by a nearly unanimous vote:--

"_Resolved_--That neither the Federal Government, nor the people
or Government of the non-slaveholding States, have a purpose or a
constitutional right to legislate upon or interfere with slavery in any
of the States of the Union.

"_Resolved_--That those persons in the North who do not subscribe
to the foregoing proposition, are too insignificant in numbers and
influence to excite the serious attention and alarm of any portion of
the people of the Republic; and that the increase of their numbers and
influence does not keep pace with the increase of the aggregate
population of the Union." ] I am spending to-day with Reynolds, and
dine to-night with Brydges. Reynolds has a good house, but he complains
of his high rent, as his house was taken in the piping times of 1858.
Now rents are down one-half, and he could get as good a house for
100_l_ a year, whereas he pays 200_l_ In 1857 it was--to use
a vile Yankee phrase, the literal meaning of which no one can explain,
but the illustrative meaning of which is inflation--"High Felluting"--
or, as the Yankees write it, "Hi Falutin"--now everything is sobered,
and in many places depressed: only one house now being built in all
this town of 40,000 inhabitants."

                                "6 _Sep_. 1861.

"I spent Monday in Toronto and came on here on Monday night, reaching
here on Tuesday afternoon. Since then I have been busy here. I have had
a more satisfactory interview with the Finance Minister, and we go to
Quebec together on Tuesday, after which I meet the Government,
officially, and shall know before the end of next week whether they
will help us, or not. I think they will do something. The management of
this railway is an organized mess--I will not say, a sink of iniquity.
I shall, however, know all about it before I have done with it.

"I feel tired, somehow--perhaps with travelling too hard--perhaps with
too much anxiety to get on quickly with this Grand Trunk business; but,
on the whole, I am very well, and have kept my spirits and nerve up to
the mark, generally. I have a great task in hand, and I should like to
come out of it creditably.

"There is a belief here that Jeff. Davis is dead, and, if so, it may
alter the complexion of affairs in the United States. The U.S.
Government have introduced passports--so one cannot leave their
agitated soil without that badge of tyranny. It will not affect me, as
I shall not stop long in their land--but get out of it as soon as I

"There is a doctor and another man to be hanged here to-morrow, for
procuring abortion--the woman having died. The doctor is a Yankee, and
the Finance Minister tells me that this is a common practice in the
States, and carried on to an alarming extent, even amongst respectable
people, and, that this, and similar, frightful practices are the cause
of the degeneracy of much of the American race. He says the Canadian
Government have determined to stop it in Canada, in the outset, by
hanging this doctor and his employer, and so deterring the rest--and it
seemed to me to be _right_. I thought once of going to see the two
ruffians, expiate their crime--but I thought afterwards I would not.
What a wicked world a mere money-making world becomes! true, we all
require chastening by pain and misfortune and difficulty. The Americans
have been spoiled by too great and sudden prosperity and too much
license--not 'real liberty.'  The very children, scorn obedience--in
fact, there is none of the general fine 'honor of parents' we, still,
find at home. As Mrs. Preston said, 'the Kentucky boys are fine
generous fellows; but as to obeying _anyone_--even father or
mother, after 15--_that_ is out of the question.'"

                              "HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, _
                                "Sep. 18, 1861._

"I left Quebec last Thursday, and went by railway to Riviere de Loup.
There I had a fall, and hurt my ribs. Next day I drove over the, new,
Temiscouata road to the Lake, and thence took a birch bark canoe and
two men and paddled down the Lake, and down the river Madawasca to
Little Falls, where I arrived in a drenching storm of rain at one
o'clock in the morning--having had 'perils by water.' Our canoe leaked,
and we damaged its bottom in going through a rapid, and had to haul up
for repairs and to bale out, for fear of sinking.

"Next day I drove to Grand Falls in a spring waggon, and then by
Tobique to Woodstock, where I arrived on Sunday morning--having driven
through the night.

"On Sunday drove to Canterbury, and then railed to St. Andrews, where I
stayed with the able manager of the Railway.

"Monday railed and drove to Frederickton, where I had an interview with
the Government of New Brunswick--then steamed down the St. John river to
St. John; yesterday went by railway, St. John to Shediac, and then
completed my journey, by hard travelling, driving through the night
from Shediac (over the Cobequid Mountains) to Truro, where I joined the
railway at 5 a.m., and came on to this place, reaching it at 12--three
hours late--owing to our engine getting off the track. Here I have seen
the Government, and also the Governor-General, and to-morrow I go by
St. John's and Portland to Montreal, where I shall arrive on Saturday
at 8 p.m., and go on to Toronto on Monday.

"I have only time to write a bare list of my doings, but will write
fully by next mail. I hope to find heaps of letters at Montreal, and
good news of your health and comfort."

                                "_Sunday, Sept. 22, 1861._

"I have made the tour described in my note from Halifax, and I got back
here yesterday at 2 p.m., having travelled about 1,780 miles since
leaving Quebec, and nearly 2,000 since I left here last Thursday week.
I have spent the best part of one day and night in a canoe--two late
nights on the road in the spring waggon and stage--one night, and part
of another, in steamers--and the remaining five nights in bed. I am all
right to-day--except my ribs--having had a good sleep. I could not
consult any one with any good while travelling, but as soon as I got
here I sent for Dr. Campbell, and he prescribed for me, and I am now
wearing, a belladonna and irritant plaster, and a flannel bandage. He
says the pleura is badly bruised, and that there is some inflammation,
but that if I keep quiet, and do not catch cold, I shall soon be right.
I assure you it does not affect my appetite, which is a good one--very
different from home--needing substantial carrion, and no put off of
slop or shadows. I am, too, as hard as a horn, and believe I could
travel for a week without any great personal grief. I went to New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia to see the Governments of the two Provinces,
and I had favourable interviews at Frederickton and Halifax, at the
latter place seeing Lord Mulgrave, who was very polite, and invited me
to stay, and, if possible, also to come again. I go to Quebec on
special summons, to see the Government on Tuesday.

"I am growing anxious to know what Government will do: and I do hope I
shall be able to get them to propose something before I leave. Until
they declare themselves, I cannot arrange to leave for home; cannot
complete my plans, or do anything, in fact. It is annoying--but the
negociation is serious, and I must have patience. I know, from painful
experience, how, when the nerves and brain are excitable from over
tension and exertion, and anxiety and constant worry and wear, little
matters are magnified. But already I feel myself so much stronger in
nerve and courage that I look now complacently upon much which in the
last two years would have cut me to the quick.

"I have worked very hard here, and done much in a little time."

                              "QUEBEC, _
                                "Septr. 26, 1861._

"I am glad to tell, and you will be glad to learn, that I have to-day
got my business with the Government into a good shape, and I shall have
an official and, to a fair extent, favourable, answer to my
application, on Saturday next. This will enable me, I hope, to come
home sooner than otherwise--and I shall, at all events, be in the
position of having, to a fair extent, succeeded. The Government agree
to leave the amount they have to pay for postal service to arbitration,
and to consider the question of capitalizing the amount as soon as
Parliament meets, and on certain conditions, which I shall have to take
home and consult my principals about. This will necessitate coming out
next year. My side is better, but the plaster Dr. Campbell gave me has
blistered me, with little hard pustules, over a piece of my side as big
as a pancake; and I have suffered three days and nights of downright
misery. To-day, however, I am almost all right, and go to dine with the
Governor-General and Lady Head on Saturday. On that day the
deputations, got together owing to my visit to Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, come here to meet the Canadian Government about the Halifax
and Quebec Railway. If this succeeds I shall have not been idle.

"I send some trees which I got on the Madawasca river, and which please
plant at once. Also a box containing samples of Canadian woods, which
keep till I come. They are very beautiful. I think we must give them to
Mr. Glyn."

[Illustration: END]

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