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Title: England and Canada - A Summer Tour Between Old and New Westminster
Author: Fleming, Sandford
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "England and Canada - A Summer Tour Between Old and New Westminster" ***

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[Illustration: ENGLAND AND CANADA.--_A Journey between OLD and NEW
WESTMINSTER, by Sandford Fleming, C.E., C.M.G. etc._

  _Eastern Journey- - - - - - - - Western Journey------------_

  George Philip & Son London & Liverpool.]





    Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year 1884,
    in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture.



    The Right Honourable the Marquis of Lorne, K.T.

    G.C.M.G., P.C., &C., &C.,











  Halifax--Cunard Line--Intercolonial Railway--Truro--Travelling
    by Pullman--New Brunswick--Miramichi--Great Fires in New
    Brunswick--Salmon Fishing--Micmac Indians--Rimouski--S.S.
    Parisian--The first Ocean Steamer the Royal William--Incidents
    of Ocean Voyage--Arrival.                                    Page 11



  Willie Gordon--Custom House Annoyances--Cable Telegram--Post
    Office Annoyances--London--Spurgeon’s Tabernacle--An Ancestral
    Home--English and United States Hotels--English Reserve--A
    Railway Accident--The Land’s End--A Deaf Guest.              Page 33


  _ENGLAND (Continued)._

  Marquis of Salisbury--Classical Studies--Henley Regatta--Red
    Lion--London Dinner to Lord Dufferin--His Speech--Greenwich--
    Fisheries Exhibition--Bray--The Vicar--The Thames--Minehead--
    The Polynesian.                                              Page 58



  The Ocean Voyage--Its Comfort--Moville--Mail Coach Road of Old
    Days--Impressive Service on Deck--Comfort on the Vessel--
    Rimouski--Halifax.                                           Page 84



  Early Colonization--De Monts--Champlain--Sir William Alexander--
    Capture of Quebec--The Treaties--The Acadian Evangeline--
    Louisbourg--First Capture--Peace of Aix la Chapelle--Boundary
    Disputes--The Final Struggle--Deportation of the Acadians--
    Nova Scotia constituted a Province.                         Page 102



  Home in Halifax--Start for the Pacific--The Intercolonial
    Railway--Major Robinson--Old Companions--The Ashburton
    Blunder--Quebec--The Provincial Legislature--Champlain--The
    Iroquois.                                                   Page 119



  Montreal--Ship Channel--Hon. John Young--St. Lawrence Canals--
    Indifference of Quebec--Quebec Interests Sacrificed--Need of a
    Bridge at Quebec--Montreal Trade in Early Times--Beauty of the
    City--Canadian Pacific Railway--Ottawa--The Social Influence
    of Government House--Kingston.                              Page 131



  Toronto--Collingwood--Georgian Bay--The Sault St. Mary--
    Navigation of the Great Lakes--Manitoulin Islands--Lake Huron--
    Arrival at the Sault.                                       Page 147



  Lake Superior--Early Discoverers--Joliet and La Salle--
    Hennepin--Du Luth--Port Arthur--The Far West--The North-West
    Company--Rat Portage--Gold Mining--Winnipeg.                Page 161



  Early Explorers of the North-West--Du Luth--De la Verendrye--
    Mackenzie--Hudson’s Bay Company--Treaty of Utrecht--North-West
    Company--Lord Selkirk--War in the North-West--Union of the
    Rival Companies--The North-West Annexed to Canada.          Page 179



  Winnipeg--Great Storm--Portage-la-Prairie--Brandon--Moose Jaw--
    Old Wives’ Lakes--The Indians--Maple Creek--Medicine Hat--
    Rocky Mountains.                                            Page 201



  Start for the Mountains--The Cochrane Ranche--Gradual Ascent--
    Mount Cascade--Anthracite Coal--Sunday in the Rockies--
    Mountain Scenery--The Divide.                               Page 221



  The Descent--Summit Lake--The Kicking-Horse River--Singular
    Mountain Storms--An Engineering Party--A Beaver Meadow--A
    Dizzy Walk.                                                 Page 237



  The Eagle Pass--Kicking-horse River--Valley of the Columbia--The
    Selkirk Range--The Columbia River--Summit of the Selkirks--
    Major Rogers’ Discovery.                                    Page 252



  The Descent of the Selkirk Range--Glaciers--The Last of our
    Horses--Devil’s Clubs--The Ille-celle-waet--A Rough Journey--
    A Mountain Storm--Slow Progress--A Roaring Torrent--Skunk
    Cabbage--Marsh--A Long Ten Miles’ Journey.                  Page 271



  A Difficult March--Cariboo Path--Organization of Advance--
    Passing Through the Canyon--Timber Jam--A Gun-shot heard--
    The Columbia again--Indians--Disappointment--The Question of
    Supplies becomes Urgent--No Relief Party Found--Suspense.   Page 284



  The Kamloops Men at Last--No Supplies--On Short Allowance--An
    Indian Guide--Bog-wading--The Summit of the Pass--Bluff Lake--
    Victoria Bluff--Three Valley Lake--Eagle River--Shooting
    Salmon--The _Cached_ Provisions--Pack-horses again--Road
    Making--The South Thompson--Indian Ranches.                 Page 295



  Lake Kamloops--Savona’s Ferry--Irrigation--Chinese Navvies--
    Chinese Servants--Lytton--The Fraser River Canyon--Old
    Engineering Friends--Sunday at Yale--Paddling Down the Fraser--
    An English Fog at New Westminster.                          Page 311



  New Westminster--Enormous Forest Trees--English Broom--Port
    Moody--Down Burrard Inlet--Sea Fog--Navigation by Echo--
    Straits of Georgia--The St. Juan Archipelago--Seamanship--
    Victoria.                                                   Page 329



  Sir Francis Drake--Mears--Vancouver--Astor--Hudson’s Bay
    Company--Gold Discoveries--Climate--Timber--Fisheries--
    Minerals--Mountain Scenery.                                 Page 340



  Puget Sound--The Columbia--Portland--Oregon and San Juan
    Disputes--Arid Country--Mountain Summits--The Yellowstone--
    The Missouri--The Red River--Chicago--Standard Time Meeting--
    The British Association--Home.                              Page 355



  Indian Population--The Government Policy--Indian Instincts--The
    Hudson’s Bay Company--Fidelity and Truthfulness of Indians--
    Aptitude for Certain Pursuits--The Future of the Red Man.   Page 380



  Rapid Construction--Travelling Old and New--Beginning of Pacific
    Railway--Difficulties--Party Warfare--The Line North of Lake
    Superior--The United States Government--Mountain Passes--Soil
    and Climate--National Parks--Pacific Terminus.              Page 394



  England and Canada--Old and New Colonial Systems--Political
    Exigencies--The High Commissioners--Lord Lorne’s Views--The
    Future--The French Element in Canada--Colonial Federation--The
    Larger Union.                                               Page 420




If we carry ourselves in imagination to that part of North America
nearest to Europe, we find that we have reached the most easterly coast
of the Island of Newfoundland, an outlying portion of the continent.
Standing on Cape Bonavista and looking from this promontory over the
waste of waters, we discover that between the Equator and Greenland
the Atlantic Ocean is generally of much greater width in every other
parallel than opposite our present position: that its breadth rapidly
increases as we proceed southward, if but a few degrees of latitude,
and that, in the parallels of New York or Philadelphia, the ocean is
more than double the width. Towards the continent of Europe the first
land the eye rests upon is that of the British Islands. Four centuries
back the first recorded discoverer of Newfoundland sailed from those
shores, and from the time of the Tudor monarchs this stretch of ocean
has been unceasingly traversed by European ships. It has thus been the
cradle of ocean navigation. Adventurous men, who planted the early
settlement of America, crossed to the new world on this narrow belt.
The vessels which carried them were indeed frail craft compared with
the creations of modern ship-building. But, step by step, they were
enlarged and developed to the magnificent clipper, which again has been
supplanted by the still more magnificent ocean steamer.

In old days, even in a sailing vessel of large tonnage, a sea voyage
was frequently accompanied with much misery. It was not uncommon
for emigrants to be detained at sea as many weeks as now days are
needed for the voyage. Ships might be retarded or driven back by
adverse gales, or they might remain in mid-ocean, becalmed in water
as unruffled as a mirror of glass. Steam has revolutionized these
conditions. Instead of ships being turned far from their course by
contrary winds, or with flapping canvas waiting for a fair breeze, we
behold on the waters of the Atlantic fleets of swift steamers, carrying
thousands of passengers to and fro with the regularity of the daily
post between two neighbouring cities. However formidable the voyage
once was, its greater drawbacks are now removed. A steam ferry has been
practically established between the two continents, and transportation
is effected with scarcely less regularity than between opposite banks
of a navigable river. The path of the ocean steamer has in reality
become, as it were, the Queen’s highway; and were anything wanting
to facilitate intercourse, we possess it in the telegraph. If this
belt of ocean has been the nursery of the ocean steamers, it has also
given birth to ocean telegraphy. In no part of the world are so many
submarine cables laid along the ocean bed as in this direction. We
live in a period when instantaneous communications from continent to
continent are as easily effected as from county to county. Year by year
the facilities of intercourse, both by steamship and by telegraph, are
increasing in a manner to bind closer than ever, by the ties of mutual
benefit and common interest, the different members of the British
family. On the one hand, the Canadian is enabled to visit the old land,
where his traditions have been gathered, and where there is a history
in which he can claim an inherited participation. On the other, it
provides the youth of the Mother Country with an outlet by which he
may gain a home with a kindred people, who revere the same memories,
and who will cordially welcome his labour and energies to aid in
strengthening and consolidating the institutions of that portion of the

From a multiplicity of causes, there are different shades of character
and thought to distinguish the several members of the British family.
They are called into being by geographical position, by race, by
climate and other influences. Diversities exist, and why should it not
be so? It is a shallow and unwise pretension which would ignore the
fact. The inhabitants of neighbouring counties, even the members of
one family, have not the same characteristics or identical likes and
dislikes. As in the family so in the state. It is natural, and in some
respects advantageous, that varieties of character and power should be
traceable; on the other hand, as the family likeness may be seen in
a group of individuals, however in many respects they may differ, an
essential unity of national life and sentiment may be found one and the
same amid characteristics the most divergent. The people of Canada and
of England differ as the current coin of the realm differs. While in
the currency there are dissimilarities of name, of value, of colour and
of metal, all are impressed with the stamp of the one sovereign; so in
the people there are diversities, but all can be recognized as British

If we turn our eyes in the direction opposite to Europe, we find
Newfoundland situated as a barrier between the outer ocean and an inner
sea; the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Whatever its destiny, Newfoundland is
the one portion of British North America which has not allied her
fortunes with the Canadian Dominion. Geographically, the island stands
as a gigantic breakwater to shelter from the surges of the Atlantic the
continent to the west, and to protect the entrance of the St. Lawrence.

The Gulf of St. Lawrence has been compared to the Baltic, but, unlike
the Baltic, having but one narrow channel of entry, it is approachable
from the ocean by two wide navigable openings. These passages--the
Straits of Belle Isle and St. Paul--lie to the north and south of
Newfoundland. Around this inner Baltic-like sea we behold the Maritime
Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, to
which may be added the eastern portion of Quebec. These Provinces
occupy an extensive coast line, indented with bays and capacious
harbours, presenting all the facilities for shipping, commerce and
fisheries. They are bound together, and to the other Provinces of the
Dominion, by one trade, one tariff and by one common nationality; on
the other hand, they have each distinct local institutions for their
own domestic government.

Continuing our glance westward, a thousand miles from Bonavista, beyond
the ancient fortress of Quebec, we behold Montreal, the commercial
metropolis of the Dominion. Here are seen ocean steamers of the largest
class discharging cargoes loaded twelve days back in Liverpool, Glasgow
and other parts of Europe. Advancing our view another thousand miles,
over cultivated fields and flourishing cities and lakes of unrivalled
magnitude, our vision carries us through deep forests beyond the
Province of Ontario to the confines of Manitoba, in the middle of the
continent. Still another thousand miles to the west, across prairies
abounding with a fabulous fertility of soil, we reach the foot-hills of
a snow-capped mountain range, concealing the country which lies beyond
it. To penetrate this barrier we must advance by the known passes, and
for hundreds of miles follow deep defiles, traversing further mountain
ranges, until we reach the wide grassy plateau interspersed with
picturesque lakes in the heart of British Columbia. We may still pierce
another serrated wall of mountains by a deep and rugged valley, and, by
following a tortuous and foaming river to its mouth, we meet the flow
of tide of another ocean far greater in extent than that which lies
behind us.

Carrying our vision beyond the shore of the western mainland, across
a strait similar to that separating England from Europe, we see the
Island of Vancouver, washed by currents warmed in the seas of Asia.
Vancouver Island is not quite so large as England, but it enjoys the
same climatic conditions, and possesses in profusion many of the same
mineral treasures.

British Columbia is the youngest colony of the Empire, and until
recently was practically the most distant from the Imperial centre.
Its chief city bears the name of Her Majesty. The sun does not rise
on Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, until eight hours after
it gilds the towers of Westminster. One-third of the complete circle
of the globe separates the Imperial capital from the capital of the
Pacific Province, but no land intervenes which is not British, and the
whole distance is under the shadow of the one national flag.

In imagination we first glanced across the ocean at its narrowest
limit. Turning our glance landward, we have looked across a continent
at its greatest width. All we have scanned, from sea to sea, is Canada.
The vast proportions of the Dominion, its varied features, its lakes
and rivers, mountains and plains, its sources of wealth and magnificent
scenery, are but little known to Englishmen. A country to be known must
be seen. It is not enough to examine a terrestrial globe or ponder over
maps and geographies in order to form an estimate of the character of
half a continent. They suggest but a faint idea of territorial extent.
You must traverse its different sections, and bestow time in examining
its fields and forests, its natural landscape, its cities and its

There are few, indeed, who possess anything like an adequate conception
of the immense extent and resources of the Dominion. It is scarcely
possible even for Canadians themselves to conceive the wealth of
territory and the varied magnificence of scenery and the productive
capacity of the land, the destinies of which it is their privilege to

During the past summer (1883), circumstances induced the writer to
visit England, to recross the Atlantic, and make a journey through the
whole extent of Canada to the Pacific coast. The railway took him to
the base of the Rocky Mountains. From thence he entered the passes, and
by pack-horse and on foot he followed the route proposed to be taken by
the Canadian Pacific Railway through British Columbia.

As is customary in such circumstances, the writer sent home, at
convenient opportunities, a diary of his daily progress. He is aware
that the notes of travel which have interest for a circle of intimate
friends, have often but slender claim to public attention. These notes,
however, give a sketch of the first continuous journey ever made,
indeed the only one yet attempted, through the whole longitudinal
extent of the Dominion by the route taken. From the interest which has
been attached to his notes of travel, the writer has been prevailed
upon to prepare them for publication, and, with the view of supplying
such information as the future traveller may desire, a few historical
notes have been included in the narrative.

Canada is certainly not within the actual geographical limits of the
Mother Land, yet it is no mere rhetorical phrase to say that this half
of the North American continent has become an integral part of the
Empire. Seventeen years ago, when the British North American Act of
1867, creating the Dominion, passed the Imperial Parliament, British
and Canadian statesmen laid the foundation of a great future for the
confederated provinces. From that date Canada has steadily, step by
step, done her part to realize all that was then foreshadowed of her
future. She undertook to establish a highway for commerce through her
forests, prairies and mountains, to connect the most distant Provinces.
In a short time the national highway will be opened from the Atlantic
to the Pacific, and Canada will become a recognized central commercial
link between England and Asia.

The writer ventures to think that the record of the journey he made,
will show how closely England and Canada are brought together by the
modern agencies of steam and electricity. Equally it will be obvious,
how easily the British subject in Canada may revivify old associations;
and how the denizen of the United Kingdom can, without discomfort,
visit the whole extent of the Dominion, to enjoy the varied scenery in
the many forms in which it is presented. The writer sincerely hopes
that what he ventures now to submit may be instrumental in leading
others to enjoy what proved to him a delightful summer tour by sea
and land. It is not without diffidence that he yields to the wish
expressed for the publication of his notes. He is desirous, however, of
establishing that such a journey as he has accomplished presents many
other points of attraction independent of the beauty of the scenery
and novelty of the associations. There is much to repay enquiry in the
examination of our system of government and of the institutions of the
several Provinces; in ethnological developments; and in geological and
kindred scientific researches. It will be found, too, that there is a
past history which gives attraction to many a scene, and in all that
constitutes and promotes the advance of nations there is presented much
of varied interest worthy of investigation.

The writer does not hide from himself the fact that, in describing
scenes and events, he may say much that is well known to many. He makes
no pretension to original research. His endeavour is simply to present
the notes of his journey side by side with some leading historical
facts, in a way which may admit of generalization and be useful to
the ordinary reader. Hence it is not impossible that the professional
_littérateur_ may, with a certain cynicism, consider that the following
pages contain much that is not worth the record.

The two voyages across the ocean and the journey over the continent
embraced a total distance travelled of about 14,000 miles, the eastern
and western portions of which began and ended at Halifax.



  Halifax--Cunard Line--Intercolonial Railway--Truro--Travelling
    by Pullman--New Brunswick--Miramichi--Great Fires in New
    Brunswick--Salmon Fishing--Micmac Indians--Rimouski--S. S.
    Parisian--The first Ocean Steamer the Royal William--Incidents
    of Ocean Voyage--Arrival.

Halifax, selected for its excellence as a harbour in connection with
its geographical position, is well known throughout the world as one
of the most important stations for the British Navy. For upwards of a
century it has been pre-eminently the Admiralty port for the British
fleet in North Atlantic waters, and it was its superiority as a harbour
in all respects which determined the demolition of Louisburg in 1756.
It was held that no second naval arsenal was required in proximity to
Halifax, and consequently not one stone was left standing upon another
at Louisburg after its second capture. The enterprise of the city
has intimately connected its name with the history of the navigation
of the ocean. Ships of Nova Scotia may be seen on every sea, and it
is here that the centre has been, around which the commerce of the
Province revolved. It was in Halifax that the Cunard Steamship Company
took its origin, under the distinguished family who have so long
lived there: an organization which may well be considered one of the
most successful known. For nearly half a century the record of their
immense fleet shows that not a passenger has been lost or a letter
miscarried. The irreverent Frederick the Great was wont to say that
Providence was generally on the side of large armies. His own good
fortune in the field was owing, however, mainly to his supervision of
the simplest detail and attention to discipline. In a similar manner
the unprecedented success and the perfect organization of the Cunard
Company must be traced to the unwonted care and vigilance continually
observed in connection with the enterprise. The principle laid down by
Mr. Cunard was that nothing was to be left to chance; that the best of
all material and workmanship was to be obtained in the construction
of his steamers; that the crew were to be subjected to the strictest
discipline; and that no possible care or precaution, even in the
simplest detail, was to be omitted. The result of these efforts from
the initiation of the company is seen in the magnificent Cunard fleet:
a noble monument to the name it bears.

My connection with Halifax sprang from my relationship with the
Intercolonial Railway, the explorations of which I was appointed to
conduct in 1863, and of which I remained Chief Engineer until its
completion in 1876. My acquaintance with this locality consequently
extends back twenty years. I have formed there many warm friendships,
which I am happy to think I still retain, and scarcely a year goes by
without my passing some portion of the summer months at that delightful
suburb of Halifax known as the “Northwest Arm.”

In common with all who have been connected with Halifax, I must express
my humble view of the charm which the place possesses. Its scenery
of wood, hill and dale; its ample expanse of water in all forms; its
healthy climate and fresh air; its cool evening breezes in the heat
of summer; its pleasant drives and the varied features of its daily
life; all leave an impression not easily forgotten. But when to these
recognized advantages the social elements of Halifax are added, it is
held by common consent that there are few cities more attractive. And
when we remember the well-bred, travelled men, many of whom also highly
educated, to be met among the officers of the garrison and on board
the ships at the station, with their continuous efforts to return the
hospitalities of the citizens, we all must acknowledge that Halifax, in
its social aspects, possesses features and a charm peculiar to itself.

A line of steamers runs from Halifax to Liverpool, but I had taken
my passage by the steamer “Parisian,” of the Allan Line. The weekly
steamer of this line, as a rule, leaves her moorings in front of
Quebec at a fixed hour on the forenoon of Saturday. The traveller
ordinarily goes on board the tender an hour earlier. But a train
leaves Toronto, 480 miles west of Quebec, on the evening of Friday,
connecting at Montreal on Saturday morning with an express mail train
for Rimouski, a point on the St. Lawrence about 200 miles below Quebec.
By this means letters can be posted at Toronto, indeed at nearly all
the cities in Canada west of Quebec, to the last moment. This express
mail, which makes rapid time, reaches Rimouski late on Saturday night.
By it, passengers who have been unable to embark at Quebec may take
the steamer, as it always remains off Rimouski to receive the mail.
Travellers to Europe from the Maritime Provinces may also embark at
Rimouski by taking the regular train over the Intercolonial Railway
from St. John or Halifax. The latter is the route which I followed.

On the afternoon of the 15th June I said goodbye to my family at
the station at Halifax, and with my youngest daughter I started for
England. The day was bright and beautiful; indeed, although sea fogs
prevail at certain seasons of the year, I know no latitude where the
air is purer than it is in Nova Scotia, or where nature, during summer,
is more attractive. There were several of my friends on the train, and
when the sadness of parting passed away there was everything to make
the trip cheerful.

After leaving Halifax we have supper at Truro, a large, clean-looking
Nova Scotian town, situated on one of the heads of the Bay of Fundy.
Truro, however, was not always so clean and cheerful looking as it
is to-day. At one time it was conspicuous for its dark and dingy
appearance, and it has to thank the visit of the Prince of Wales,
nearly a quarter of a century back, for the change. The Prince had
landed at Halifax, and was expected to pass through Truro in a few
days. Meetings were held to devise means to do honour to the Royal
visitor. I think it was Mr. Hiram Hyde who said that “evergreen arches
would be out of place unless the town presented a clean face.” He moved
a resolution, which was unanimously adopted, that a schooner load of
lime lying in the bay should be secured, and every one be obliged to
turn out with whitewash brushes. In forty-eight hours Truro was so
metamorphosed as not to seem the same place, and so well satisfied were
the inhabitants that they have kept its face clean ever since.

To continue. We are at the Truro refreshment room. One never criticizes
railway meals too severely, at least those who are much accustomed to
travel. The golden rule on such occasions is to open your mouth, shut
your eyes, and take what is placed before you. If things are to your
liking, then you can “give them the painted flourish of your praise.”

Our route passes over the Cobequid Mountains, and at Amherst, on
another inlet of the Bay of Fundy, you may have further refreshments
at ten o’clock. Then comes the night’s rest in the Pullman. To the
denizens of this continent the Pullman is a necessity. In a country of
narrow geographical limit nothing is more pleasant than a few hours
in an ordinary first class English carriage. But we do not count our
trips by hours on the western continent. Often we do so by days.
Sitting up all night in one of the old carriages, which many yet from
circumstances are obliged to do, was one of the small miseries of life.
The want of rest, the cramped position, the foul air, the banging of
doors, frequently the crowd of passengers, had all to be endured; and
who of that date cannot remember the extreme discomfort to which the
traveller was compelled to submit as best he could. With a Pullman you
have comparative quiet, and with well-mannered and competent officials,
who keep the car heated only to an endurable temperature and properly
ventilated, you have all the auxiliaries of comfort. What dream is
there in the Arabian Nights equal to the realization of finding
yourself in a comfortable bed, with all the accessories of home,
travelling at the rate of forty miles an hour?

Soon after leaving Amherst we crossed the Missiquash, the river
which separates Nova Scotia from New Brunswick. It has some historic
import of which I will speak hereafter. Our course is now through New
Brunswick to the River Restigouche, on the north side of which lies
the Province of Quebec. The whole distance through the three Provinces
embraces a variety of scenes of great interest to me, as many years of
my life were passed in the construction of the Intercolonial Railway.

It was not until after the American Revolution that New Brunswick was
looked upon as a colony. Five thousand of the United Empire Loyalists
arrived at St. John in the British fleet in 1783, one hundred years
ago. It became a Province in 1786. No little of its history is in
connection with its terrible fires. That of Miramichi in 1825; of St.
John in 1837, when, in the heart of a rigorous winter, nearly the whole
business part of the city was destroyed; and again of St. John in 1877,
when, in the short space of nine hours, 200 acres of buildings were
levelled to the ground, and fully two-thirds of the entire city laid in
ashes. During the night the train passes through the scene of the first
disaster, which left some 6,000 square miles in a state of devastation.
The summer had been unusually hot and dry. On the first day of October,
1825, the inhabitants of the valley of the Miramichi were disturbed by
immense forest fires in the neighbourhood of the settlements. The smoke
with great heat continued for seven days, when the fire extended to the
settlements, defying all efforts to extinguish it, and sweeping away
all that lay before it. The town of Newcastle was consumed, as also
Douglastown with all the smaller outlying settlements. The devastation
continued along the northern side of the river for one hundred miles.
Hundreds of settlers and thousands of cattle were lost. The number of
wild animals which were burned was also very great. Even the salmon
perished in the smaller streams, owing to the intense heat. To this
date the trace of the fire is distinctly seen in the character of
the trees which have grown upon the burnt district. A gale increased
the violence of the fire, so that its fury was uncontrollable. In
many cases the inhabitants, not looking for such a calamity, were
suddenly awakened in their beds by the alarm of danger. A few minutes’
delay would have led to their destruction. Many were unable to save
themselves. Not a few owed their preservation to the fact that their
farms were near the river, in which they threw themselves, and escaped
by clinging to logs. The loss of life to those at a distance from the
river, where escape was impossible, must have been serious. Many of the
survivors were dreadfully mutilated, and in the distant settlements few
escaped to tell their dreadful experience.

In the morning we reached Campbellton, on the Restigouche, at the head
of the Bay Chaleur, and we have a royal breakfast of salmon fresh from
the nets. Some of our friends on the train are enthusiastic fishermen.
Col. Chalmers, recently from India, and the Rev. Mr. Townend, Garrison
Chaplain at Halifax, are among the number. They are bound for the
fishing pools on the Restigouche, and are in high spirits. They learn
here that the run of salmon up the river is unprecedentedly large, and
their excitement is intense. My sympathies are with them, for fishing
to me is a most pleasant recreation. If I am not a skillful, I am at
least a devout, disciple of Isaac Walton.

At the station I met some of my old Micmac Indian friends, some of whom
I have known for twenty years, and who accompanied me in my various
wanderings in the wilds of New Brunswick. I have a strong and kindly
feeling for these children of the forest. Personally I have found their
simplicity of character not the sham which many claim it to be. There
are exceptions, but, as a rule, in their relations to me, they have
proved honest and faithful. Although perfectly undemonstrative, they
never forget a kind act or word. Such is my experience, and I have had
much to do with Indians of nearly every tribe between the Atlantic and
the Pacific. It has been my invariable good fortune to come in contact
with those among them to whom I could at any time have trusted my life.
We shook hands all round. Breakfast, however, has only left time for a
few words. The train starts, and as it leaves the station I receive
from my dusky friends a hearty _bò jou! bò jou!_

We are still in New Brunswick, but in half an hour we cross the
Restigouche and enter the Province of Quebec near the Metapedia
station. Here our friends of the rod leave us with our best wishes for
their success. The Railway now follows the River Metapedia, and the run
up the valley is all we could wish. The day was fine; no morning could
be more bright. The curves in the track are frequent but unavoidable,
and how few who whirl over them ever think of the labour bestowed in
order to reduce them to a minimum! In the Metapedia many splendid
salmon pools are found. Mr. George Stephen, President of the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company, has the most pleasant of fishing boxes here,
pleasantly situated within sight of the passing train at Causapscal.
H. R. H. Princess Louise and Prince Leopold remained for some weeks
here three years ago. Mr. Stephen is himself a keen sportsman, and
never lets a season pass without spending a holiday at Causapscal. He
had arrived the day previous with a party of friends.

In the middle of the afternoon we reached Rimouski, where we left
the train and placed ourselves in the hands of Madame Lepage, who
keeps a comfortable _pension_ at this place. This landlady’s untiring
devotion to the comforts of her guests is on a par with the glow of
her sparkling black eyes. She is the mother of a large family, some
of whom are grown up, yet she retains all her youthful vivacity and

Rimouski is a large straggling French Canadian town, the last of
any importance in the Province of Quebec to the east, if we except
the thriving village of Matane. It is chiefly remarkable for its
ecclesiastical and educational institutions. There is another
peculiarity; the largeness of the family in many households. It is no
uncommon matter to find a family of from fifteen to twenty children.
Not long ago I heard of a case of a family of eighteen, and there was
a question of an orphan to be taken, for whose nurture nothing was to
be paid, its parents having died under circumstances of privation and
poverty. “Let it come and take its chance with our children,” said this
excellent French Canadian mother, and it was so resolved.

Travellers to Europe, like ourselves, have their letters and telegrams
directed to Rimouski in case of more or less last words being
necessary. I was very glad to find good news in those I received. I
went to the station to meet the train for the south. There I found more
fishermen bound for the Restigouche, New Yorkers, who now come yearly
to our waters, a class who do not fish for the pot, but are sportsmen.
Among them were Mr. Dean Sage and Mr. Worden, with a party of friends.

At 10 o’clock p.m., the mail train having arrived, we took the tender
for the steamer, which lay off in the stream. Sir Alex. Galt was on
the train, on his way back from Halifax, where he had taken part in
a public banquet given to his successor as High Commissioner for
Canada in London; Sir Charles Tupper. I was in hopes that he, too, was
starting for England, but to my disappointment he continued his journey
to Montreal.

We reach the wharf on the branch railway, where the tender is lying.
The arrangements are not quite perfect. The wharf itself is of unusual
length, but it only reaches shallow water at low tide. In consequence
the capacity of the tender is limited, and, although strongly built, it
rolls disagreeably in rough weather, to the discomfort of passengers
who are indifferent sailors.

We embarked on the “Parisian,” and at once found our way to the cabins
allotted to us. A friend had previously consoled us by saying that
they were the worst in the ship. They were directly under the scuppers
used for pouring the ashes overboard, the disagreeable noise of which
operation we were expecting to hear every hour in the night. We did
not, however, experience much inconvenience on this score, as for the
greater part of the voyage, our cabin was on the windward side, which
is never used at sea for the discharge of refuse.

The passenger list placed in our hands contained several familiar
names. There were Canadian Cabinet Ministers and Montreal merchants,
with their wives and families, and there were friends whom we expected
to meet, some of them we found in the saloon before retiring for the

Trips by ocean steamers have much the same features, and, while
the changes and vicissitudes of fog, rain and fine weather are all
important in the little floating community, they have little concern
for the outer world. To sufferers from sea-sickness, an ocean trip is a
terror. Medical men say, in a general way, that the infliction should
be welcomed, for it brings health, but I have seen those prostrated by
it who have been so depressed that I can not but think that if this
theory be true the improvement to health will be dearly purchased by
the penalty. Such, however, are the exceptions. With most people one
or two days’ depression is generally the extent of the infliction.
Personally I cannot complain. Nature has made me an excellent sailor.
With no remarkable appetite, I have never missed a meal on board ship,
nor ever found the call to dinner unwelcome.

Our first morning commenced with fog, but it cleared away as we coasted
along the somewhat bold shore of Gaspé in smooth water. There is always
divine service on these vessels on Sunday. The Church of England form
is as a rule adhered to, which is read by the captain or doctor if no
clergyman be present. If a clergyman be found among the passengers he
is generally invited to conduct divine service, and any Protestant form
is admitted. On the present occasion the Rev. C. Hall, Presbyterian
minister of Brooklyn, N. Y., officiated. The service was simple and
appropriate, and the sermon admirable. The day turned out fine, and the
water so smooth that in the afternoon every passenger was on deck. Our
course being to the south of the Island of Newfoundland, we passed the
Magdalen Islands and the Bird Rocks, and we think of the vast number of
ships which have ploughed these waters on their way to and from Quebec
and Montreal. It is now fifty years since “The Royal William” steamed
homewards on the same course we are now following. Much interest begins
to centre in “The Royal William.” It is claimed that she was one of the
pioneers of steamers, if not the very first steamer which crossed the
Atlantic under steam the whole distance. She was built in Canada. She
left Quebec on the 18th August, 1833, coaled at Pictou, in Nova Scotia,
and arrived at Gravesend on the 11th September. She did not return to
Canada, as she was sold by her owners to the Spanish Government. Her
model is preserved by the Historical Society of Quebec. Some of these
particulars I had from the lips of one of the officers of “The Royal
William,” who died a quarter of a century ago.

There is but one counter claim to the distinction. A ship named the
“Savannah” crossed the Atlantic from the port of that name in the
Southern United States to Liverpool in 1819. She had machinery for
propulsion of a somewhat rude description, which seemed to be attached
as an auxiliary power to be used when the wind failed. There is nothing
to show that it was continuously employed. I have recently heard from
a friend in Savannah on the subject, and I quote from his letter: “She
was 18 days on the voyage. She resembled very much in mould an old
United States war frigate. The hull was surmounted with a stack and
three masts--fore, main and mizzen--and was provided with side wheels
of a primitive pattern, left wholly exposed to view, and so arranged
that they could at any time be unshipped and the vessel navigated by
sails only.”

On Monday before 2 a.m. we pass out of the Gulf by the Strait of St.
Paul into the open Atlantic, and still the water continues perfectly
smooth. There is a slight fog, which passes away, and we behold nothing
but the world of waters around us. The moon appears, and we have an
evening on deck long to be remembered. Everything stands out clear and
distinct, but the shadows are dark and heavy. The moon casts its line
of rippling light across the waves, and the ship glides onward, almost
weird-like in its motion.

One of the pleasures, as well as penalties, of travelling is to be
asked to make one at whist. It is a pleasure to take part in a single
rubber if played without stakes, but to one indifferent to cards, who
does not want to win his friend’s money or lose his own, to join such a
party is often no little of a sacrifice. Your reply when asked to play
may take the conventional form, “With pleasure,” and in a way you feel
pleasure, for you like to oblige people you care for, and you may be
in an extra genial mood; but how often I have wished some other victim
could have been found at such times. On this occasion I left the deck
when I would have willingly remained, and took my seat at the card

The fog returned, and the ship went at half speed for the night. When
next day came there was no fog, but there was some little rocking,
which, to me, during the previous night, was but a pleasant incentive
to sleep, for I did not once hear the fog whistle in its periodic
roar--no pleasant sound--nor was I sensible of the dreaded rattling of
the ashes emptied overboard, a nightly and unavoidable duty, and by no
means a musical lullaby.

I find that several ladies are absent from breakfast this morning. A
breeze springs up; a sail is hoisted; and occasionally we have fog, and
now and then a cold blast, with alternations of damp and moist air.
Such is the general experience in crossing the Banks. As one passenger
remarked, “It is hungry weather.” The breakfast in most cases had been
sparing, an enforced necessity in some instances, but the general
feeling is one of being ravenous for lunch. The day passes pleasantly,
possibly idly, and in the evening the whist table has its votaries. We
leave the fog behind us, but the next day is cloudy. There is a light
wind, and the sea is a little disturbed. Most of the passengers keep
the deck. We fancy we see a whale. There is too much cloud for the
moon to penetrate, so the passengers generally leave the deck to enjoy
themselves quietly in the saloon. We have a bright midsummer day this
21st June after a glorious morning, and we advance eastward with all
sail set. The spirits of all on board seem to rise, the sky is so blue,
and the sea so bright. There is but slight motion, with which, most of
the passengers are becoming familiar.

We are now half way across. We begin to calculate when we shall arrive,
and what trains we shall take at Liverpool. I have many times crossed
the Atlantic, but I never could understand the restlessness with
which so many look for the termination of the voyage. If there were
some urgent necessity for immediate action on the part of those who
are travelling this impatience could be accounted for. The majority,
however, are tourists for pleasure or for health, and, as for business
or professional men, I never could see how a few hours one way or the
other could influence their operations. To some the voyage is simply
imprisonment; the condition of being at sea is a penalty they pay at
the sacrifice of health and comfort. These are the exceptions. There
are a large number who feel as I do, and for my part, while it would be
affectation to profess to be fond of storm and tempest, a sea voyage
in ordinary fine weather is one of the most pleasurable experiences of
my life. I have good digestion and good spirits, and I am satisfied
with the pleasant change from a life on shore. I can generally read,
and I can always remain on deck, and I always have a certain feeling
of regret when I think that the voyage is soon coming to an end. We
are all well cared for, we form pleasant associations, and anyone who
can study human nature finds no little opportunity for doing so on

Our library, it is true, is somewhat limited, but it has a few good
books. I was somewhat struck on reading during this voyage almost
the last words of the celebrated Mary Somerville, who, after a most
distinguished career in science, died eleven years ago at Naples. These
words appear more striking to me when read on board ship. “The blue
peter has long been flying at my foremast, and, now that I am in my
92nd year, I may soon expect the signal for sailing.”

We discuss our progress on all occasions. There is a general
thankfulness as we advance. Towards evening the motion of the ship has
increased, but we can all walk the deck. On the following day we put
on more canvas, for the breeze has increased and is more favorable,
and our progress is much greater. There is now considerable motion,
but we have all got familiar with it, and, as sailors say, we have our
sea-legs. The wind is at north-west; the day clear and bright, with a
warm-looking sky, speckled with fleecy clouds. The decks are dry. We
appear to be achieving wonders in speed, and we are entering into all
sorts of calculations as to what extent we shall make up the seven
hours’ detention by fog on the Banks of Newfoundland. Our run yesterday
was 342 miles in 23½ hours. Reckoning by observed time, we lose half an
hour daily by the advance made easterly. During the afternoon we have
a fair breeze, with all sail set, followed by the same pleasant and
agreeable evening. The passengers talk of leaving with much readiness.
Well is it said that much of the pleasure of life is retrospective. “We
are approaching land” is now the cry, and we commence early the next
morning calculating when we shall reach Moville. Saturday afternoon
is delightful. Bright gleams of sunshine appear in the intervals of
occasional showers. In the evening there is a concert with readings
from eight to ten. The collection is for the “Sailors’ Orphanage” at
Liverpool. On account of the concert our lights are allowed to burn
until midnight, and many of us remain on deck nearly to that hour. The
moon is three-quarters full; we have all sail set, and we can see the
reflected light of the sun in the northern sky at midnight. To me
there is a strange fascination in a scene of this character, with all
its accompaniments. There is a movement in the sea and a freshness in
the air which give a tingle to the blood, and we seem to walk up and
down the deck with an elasticity we cannot explain to ourselves.

Next morning was Sunday. I was on deck half an hour before breakfast.
The land on the west coast of Ireland was in sight. The morning was
most fair, and it seemed to give additional zest to the excitement
produced by the approaching termination of the voyage. We learn that
we shall be at Moville at 2 o’clock. We have again divine worship. A
Methodist minister read the Church of England service and delivered an
admirable sermon. We reach Moville, and find we have been seven days
and ten hours making the run from Rimouski. I took the opportunity
here to send a cablegram home; it consisted of one word, but that word
contained a page of family meaning.

We passed the Giant’s Causeway, at which the passengers intently
looked. We could also see Islay and the Mull of Kintyre.

In the evening we have a second service. Our eloquent friend from
Brooklyn satisfied us so well the previous Sunday that we begged of him
to give us another sermon. He complied with our wishes, and with equal

It is our last night on board; to-morrow we are to separate. Many
of us on this voyage have met for the first time, and in all human
probability few of us will again come side by side. There is always
a feeling of sadness in thinking you do something for the last time.
I can fancy even a convict leaving his cell where he has passed some
years pausing upon the threshold while a rush of the old recollections,
the long, sad hours cheered by gleams of hope, crowd upon him, when he
will feel some strange sentiment of regret that it is the last time he
looks upon the place. The feeling may last but a second, but it is an
impulse of our nature which is uncontrollable.

On board ship, with a certainty of gaining port to-morrow, the last
hours are passed in packing up and preparing to leave, and a feeling of
regret creeps in that now so many pleasant associations are to end, and
in spite of yourself some of the good qualities of those who are set
down as disagreeable people come to the surface in your memory. Some
few friendships are formed at sea which are perpetuated, but generally
the pleasantest of our relations terminate with the voyage. It is too
often the case, as in the voyage of life, that those we have learned to
esteem are seen no more.

We had to lose no time in order to pass the troublesome bar at the
mouth of Liverpool harbour. With vessels of the draught of the American
steamers it can only be crossed at high water. The officers generally
calculate what can be done from the hour they leave Moville, and
regulate their speed accordingly, so as to approach it at the right

No one knows better than the occupants of the cabin corresponding with
our own on the opposite side of the vessel that a great many tons of
ashes have been thrown overboard during the voyage: we all know that
a large volume of smoke has passed out of the funnel, a proof of the
great weight of fuel which has been expended in keeping the screw
revolving. The draught of the ship is consequently considerably less
than when we left the St. Lawrence.

There is now no fog; the weather is fine; there is everything to
encourage the attempt to run in, and it proves successful. On this
occasion, had we been twenty minutes later, we should have had to
remain outside until another tide. The lights of Galloway and the
Isle of Man were passed before the most of us retired last night. We
all awoke early; at a quarter to five we had crossed the bar; the
“Parisian” was in the Mersey; the tender came alongside the ship, and
very soon afterwards I stood again on English ground.



  Willie Gordon--Custom House Annoyances--Cable Telegram--Post
    Office Annoyances--London--Spurgeon’s Tabernacle--An Ancestral
    Home--English and United States Hotels--English Reserve--A
    Railway Accident--The Land’s End--A Deaf Guest.

As I stood on the landing stage at Liverpool awaiting patiently and
with resignation for the Customs officers to allow the removal of our
luggage, a host of recollections ran through my mind. My thoughts went
back twenty years to another occasion when I landed from an ocean
steamer at an hour equally early. My memory has been aided by one of
those works which appear so frequently from the New York press, so
fertile in this species of encyclopædiac literature, endeavouring to
embrace in a few pages the truths learned only by a life’s experience.
The small volume tells you what not to do, and it sententiously sets
forth its philosophy in a series of paragraphs. There are ninety-five
pages of this philanthropic effort, with about four hundred negative
injunctions. The title of the book is “Don’t.” The injunction that
struck my eye most forcibly may be taken as no bad type of the teaching
of the book. It runs, “Don’t” is the first word of every sentence.
“Don’t go with your boots unpolished, but don’t have the polishing done
in the public highways.” These words met my eye as I was engaged in
these pages, and they brought back the feelings which passed through my
mind on the morning I left the “Parisian.”

My thoughts reverted to my visit to the Mother Country after eighteen
years’ absence; the first made by me since I left home in 1845. I was
a passenger on the “United Kingdom,” due at Glasgow. She had passed
up the Clyde during the night, and arrived opposite the Broomielaw in
the early morning. The night previous the passengers were in the best
of humour, and the stewards had been kept up late attending to us. We
were all in high spirits, and without exception delighted at returning
to Scotland. I was particularly impatient to get ashore, to touch the
sacred ground of my native land. I arose that morning one of the first
of the passengers, before the stewards were visible. The ship was
in the stream off the Broomielaw. A boat came to the side. I jumped
into her and went ashore. I strolled along the quay. My foot was not
literally on “my native heath,” but I enjoyed intensely the pleasure we
all feel in revisiting our native shores, and in being near the scenes
from which we have been long absent. Everything seemed so fresh and
charming. I had no definite purpose in my wandering, but I was at home;
it was Scotland. In my semi-reverie I was interrupted by a young voice
in the purest Clydesdale Doric saying “hae yer butes brushed?” I looked
down mechanically at my feet, and found that the cabin bootblack of our
vessel had neglected this duty, probably owing to the irregular hours
of the last night on board. Moreover, it was the first word addressed
to myself, and I should have felt bound to accept the offer if it had
been unnecessary in the fullest sense. I commenced conversation with
the boy. He was very young. I summoned to my aid my best Scotch for the
occasion. His name was Willie Gordon, and he told me his widowed mother
was a washerwoman, that he had a number of brothers and sisters younger
than himself, that his earnings amounted to about half a crown a week,
and that between him and his mother they managed to earn ten shillings
in that time. “And how do you live, Willie?” “Reel weel,” replied the
boy, with the cheeriest of voices. “And now, Willie,” I said, when
I had paid him his fee, “it is many years since I have been here. I
want to see the places of greatest interest in Glasgow.” “Ou, sir,”
he promptly said, “ye shuld gang ta see Corbett’s eatin hoose.” “Do
you know the way there?” I asked. “Fine, sir. I ken the way vary weel.
I’ll gang wi ye tae the door,” and his face looked even happier than
before. I accepted his guidance, and, if my recollection is correct,
the place was in Jamaica street. The boy walked by my side carrying his
brushes and box, and chatted gaily of himself and his life. Apparently
no prince could be happier. We reached the renowned establishment he
had named. It was a species of home which a benevolent citizen had
instituted, on the same principle on which the coffee taverns are now
established: to furnish an early hot cup of tea or coffee to men going
to work, to offer some other refreshment than whiskey and beer, to give
a meal at cost price with all the comfort possible with cleanliness
good cheer and airy rooms, warm in winter. After some hesitation, and
persuasion on my part, Willie shyly entered with me. The _menu_ was on
the wall. Porridge and milk one penny, large cup of coffee one penny,
bread and butter, thick, one penny, eggs and toast one penny, &c.,
&c.; everything, one penny. I cannot say that I give a precise account
of what appeared, but it was essentially as I describe it. We were a
little early even for that establishment, so Willie and I sat down.
The buxom matron gave us some account of the place and its doings. The
Duke of Argyle had dined with her a few days before. She told us the
establishment was well patronized and prosperous. The time soon came
for our order, for we were the first to be served. I set forth what I
required for myself, and that was no light breakfast, as I had a sea
appetite, sharpened by the early morning walk. I directed the attendant
to bring the same order in double proportions for the boy, so that we
had a splendid _déjeuner_. My little companion was in ecstasies. Never
was hospitality bestowed on a more grateful recipient. He would not
leave me, and he seemed bound to make a morning of it, and from time to
time graciously volunteered, “I’ll tak ye ony gait, Sir.” His customers
were forgotten, but I trust he did not suffer from his devotion to
me, for I did my best to remedy his neglect of professional duty. He
followed me from place to place, carrying the implements of his day’s
work, and he seemed anxious to do something for the trifling kindness I
had shown him and the few pence I had paid for his breakfast. But I was
more than compensated by the pleasure I myself received. I listened to
all he said with fresh interest, for he was open, earnest, honest and
simple-minded. He was deeply attached to his mother, and was evidently
proud to be able to add to her slender earnings, which were just enough
to keep her and her family from want. He certainly seemed determined
to do all in his power to make her comfortable. He never lost sight of
me till I left by the eleven o’clock train, and my last remembrance,
on my departure from Glasgow on that occasion as the train moved out,
was seeing Willie waving his brushes and boot-box enthusiastically in
the air. I often wonder what Willie’s fate is. He appeared to me to be
of the material to succeed in life. In Canada he certainly would have
worked his way up. I never heard of him again, but I certainly shall
not be greatly astonished to hear of Sir William Gordon, distinguished
Lord Provost of Glasgow.

One of the nuisances of travelling throughout the world is the ordeal
of passing the Custom House. Frequently the traveller from Canada
thinks the infliction at Liverpool is pushed a little further than is
requisite. What can we smuggle from Canada? I know quite well that
there is generally a very loose conscience as to the contents of a
lady’s trunk, considered under the aspect of its fiscal obligations,
but surely some form of declaration might be drawn up by means of which
honourable men and women would be spared this grievous and irritating
delay. Apart from the delay, it is no agreeable matter to open out your
carefully packed portmanteau. To ladies it is particularly offensive to
have their dresses turned over and the contents of their trunks handled
by strangers. Canadians, while crossing their own frontier, find the
Custom House officers of the United States, as a rule, particularly
courteous, and, on giving a straightforward declaration that they have
nothing dutiable, they are generally allowed to pass at once. Liverpool
may not be alone in strictly exacting all that the law allows, but is
this course at all necessary or wise? It cannot increase the revenue,
for the additional expense of collection must more than absorb the
trifling receipts. And one is not kindly impressed with this reception,
especially when we feel that it is totally unnecessary. We cross the
ocean from Canada with peculiar feelings of pride and sentiment to
visit our Mother Land, and it is somewhat of a severe wrench to be
treated as foreigners by the Customs authorities on our arrival; I will
not say uncivilly or wrongfully, but as if we were adventurers going
to England on some plundering tour. It is certainly no petty annoyance
to Canadians, when they make their entry into a land they are taught
to call “home,” to have their sense of common honesty thus challenged
at the threshold. Anything which is brought from Canada can only be
some trifling present, such as Indian work, to some relative in the Old
Country; and if, possibly, a few pounds be lost to the exchequer, it is
made up a thousandfold by the good will arising from being courteously
treated on the first landing on English soil. Would it not suffice if
every ordinary passenger were required to make a declaration in some
such form as the following?: “I am a Canadian subject. I declare upon
my honour that my baggage contains nothing whatever for sale. I have
with me my personal effects for my own use only.” Or it may be added,
“I have a few gifts for old friends, of little or no commercial value.”

Perhaps some British statesman might not think these suggestions
beneath his notice. Let him send a competent agent to examine and
report upon this subject. He will probably discover that the whole
nuisance can be swept away without inflicting the slightest injury
on the national exchequer. It would form no discreditable sentence
in a statesman’s epitaph to read that “he did away with the needless
and offensive restrictions imposed on British subjects from the outer
empire visiting the Imperial centre.”

Having at last passed the Custom House, I drove to Rock Ferry, one
of the most pleasant suburbs of Liverpool, to visit a family I was
acquainted with, and with them I passed a most enjoyable day. The
greeting I received was most cordial and gratifying. In the afternoon I
started for London, leaving my daughter behind me, and I found myself
once more whirling through the green meadows and cultivated fields
of England. I was alone, but I did not feel solitary. How charming
everything looked! The air was fresh with passing showers, and the
rain played for some quarter of an hour on the landscape only to make
it look fresher and fairer, and, when the sun came out, more full of
poetry. Why, we are at Harrow-on-the-Hill! Has time gone so quickly?
There is so much to think about, so many fresh scenes to gaze upon, and
so many events seem to crowd into the hours that the traveller, in his
bewilderment, loses count of time.

I am again in London, at Batt’s hotel, Dover street, and I walk to the
Empire Club to learn if there are any letters for me. I am disappointed
to find there is no cablegram. I despatched one from Moville, and one
word in reply would have told me if all was well. I recollect well the
depression I experienced at the time at not receiving news. It was an
inexplicable feeling; not exactly one of impatience or disappointment,
but rather of keen anxiety. “Why should there be silence,” I murmur,
when everything points to the necessity for a reply.

Next day my business took me to the city, and I returned as rapidly
as I could. In the afternoon, to relieve my suspense, I went to the
Geological Society’s rooms, and mechanically looked over the books
and specimens. I wandered into the rooms of the Royal Society, and
found before me the well known features of Mary Somerville as they
are preserved in her bust. I then strolled into the parks and down to
the Club, and still no cablegram. These facts are of no interest to
any but the writer, but possibly they may suggest, not simply to the
transmitter of telegrams but to the officials who pass them through
their hands, how much often depends upon their care and attention,
and that there is something more required than simply receiving
and recording a message. There is the duty of seeing to its proper
delivery, and it was precisely on this ground that my trouble took its

I was three days in London when I received a telegram from Mr. George
Stephen, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, stating
that he was desirous that I should proceed to British Columbia as soon
as possible. It was my acceptance of this proposition which has led
to the production of these pages, but at that hour I felt that Mr.
Stephen’s communication only increased my bewilderment. My telegraphic
address was properly registered at the General Post Office in London,
and it had been used over and over again during my annual visits to
England. The cablegram I had just received bore the registered address,
and yet I had received no message from my family in Halifax. I have
often sent cablegrams, and never more than twenty-four hours elapsed
before receiving a reply. Consequently I again telegraphed, plainly
stating my anxiety, and then wandered out to call on some friends.
Later in the evening I at last found an answer, and, in order that it
might not again miscarry, the sender put on my address five additional
words, held as quite unnecessary, at two shillings each, making ten
shillings extra to pay. On my return to Canada I learned that no less
than three cablegrams had been sent to me, each one of which remains
to this day undelivered. Two of the despatches were sent before,
one subsequently to, the message last mentioned. All were properly
addressed. I felt it a public duty to write to the Secretary of the
Post Office Department in London, but no satisfactory explanation has
yet been given. Life is a mass of trifles, as a rule. The exceptions
are our griefs and our sufferings, our triumphs and joys; the latter,
as a French writer says, “counting by minutes, the former by epochs.”
I passed three particularly unpleasant days during this period, my own
personal affair, of course, and one in which the world may seem to have
no interest. But the public has really a deep interest in having a more
perfect system of Atlantic telegraphy than we now possess, and the
facts I have described, have their moral. At least it is to be hoped
that the authorities may remember that anyone separated by the ocean
from his correspondents is not content that telegrams should be delayed
for days, and still less content not to have them delivered at all.

I was a month in England, chiefly in London, remaining until the 26th
of July. I must say that when in London I often thought of, although
I can not fully endorse, the words of that enthusiastic Londoner who
held that it was the “best place in the world for nine months in the
year, and he did not know a better for the other three.” In London you
can gratify nearly every taste, and although it always takes money
to secure the necessaries and luxuries of life, especially in great
cities, still, if one can content himself with living modestly, it
does not require a wonderfully large income to enjoy the legitimate
excitements and amusements of London. In this respect it is a marked
contrast to New York, where, generally speaking, a large income must be
at your command for even a moderate degree of respectable comfort.

In London, to those who cannot afford a carriage, there is a cab, and
those who have no such aspirations as a “hansom” can take the omnibus.
It is not necessary to go to the orchestra stalls to see a performance,
nor are you obliged to pay six guineas per week for your lodgings or
one pound for your dinner. The reading room of the British Museum is
open to every respectable, well-ordered person. You can look at some of
the best pictures in the world for nothing, and, if you are a student
of history and literature, there are localities within the ancient
boundaries of the city which you cannot regard without emotion. You
have two of the noblest cathedrals in the world; Westminster Abbey,
with its six centuries of history, and with its tombs and monuments,
setting forth tangibly the evidences of the past national life. Then
you have Wren’s classical masterpiece St. Paul’s, one of the most
perfect and commanding edifices ever erected anywhere. Its interior has
never been completed. Will it ever be so? Yet, as Wren’s epitaph tells
us, if you wish to see his monument “look around you.”

Again, in London, by way of recreation, you have public parks,
river-side resorts, and by the river itself and underground railway you
can easily reach many pleasant haunts about the suburbs. Indeed, by
the aid of the steamboat or rail you can take the most charming outings
any person can desire to have. London may be said to be inexhaustible.

As one of the directors of the Hudson Bay Company I had often to
visit the city, and some very pleasant relationships grew out of my
attendance at the various board meetings. I was constantly meeting
Canadians, and certainly we hold together in a peculiar way when away
from the Dominion. It is a strong link we are all bound by, and yet we
would find it hard to explain why. Even men who are not particularly
civil to one another in Canada will cross each other’s path with
pleasure when from home, and intimacies never anticipated are formed,
and associations entered upon once thought impossible.

One of my visits was to Spurgeon’s Tabernacle. The name is familiar to
everyone, and as I had been many times in London without hearing this
celebrated preacher, I was anxious not to return to Canada without
making the attempt. I was told to be in good time, and, acting on the
suggestion, I obtained a good seat, and formed, I should suppose, one
of four thousand people. Just in front of me, strange to say, I beheld
a familiar form, which I recollected last to have seen at Queen’s
College convocation, Kingston: the Premier of Ontario! Mr. Oliver Mowat
was the gentleman who was seated two pews in front of me. He was the
last person I expected to meet in such a place, as I did not even
know he was in England. He was the only one in that vast assemblage I
recognized. Spurgeon is, undoubtedly, worthy of his great reputation,
and on this particular Sunday his sermon was forcible, marked by
rare good sense, and perfectly adapted to his auditory. I felt fully
rewarded for my effort to be present. When the service was over I had
a few words with Mr. Mowat, but our interview was but short, for I had
an engagement, and it was necessary for me to hurry to the Waterloo
Station to take the train for Guildford, in order to reach ---- Park,
in its neighbourhood.

This was a most agreeable visit to me. I do not think there is any
country but England where scenes and associations are known such as I
there witnessed. At the station a carriage met us, for I found myself
in company with a gentleman going to the same hospitable mansion. He
was an Irish M. P. On our entering the grounds we passed amidst grand
old elms, along a noble avenue, and through walks beautiful with roses,
ivy and laurel. My welcome was most courteous and graceful. There were
several guests, but it was my privilege to sleep in the haunted room.
The walls were hung with tapestry; the floor was of oak; the fireplace
was a huge structure of sculptured stone from floor to ceiling. No
ghost disturbed my slumbers, and, in the words of Macbeth, “I slept in
spite of thunder.” I awoke at dawn, and drew back the heavy curtains
to admit the light. It was about sunrise. Shall I ever forget that
magnificent view from the old windows, with their quaint transoms and
quarterings, and circular heads! the sight of those fine old trees,
stately beeches, tall ancient elms, venerable blue beech, and many a
noble oak of from two to three centuries’ growth! It was one of those
old ancestral domains, with glades, avenues and forest, which seem to
take you out of the present world and back in thought to one altogether
different, in many of its conditions, from the life of to-day. The
most carefully developed homestead of old Boston, or one of the finest
mansions on the Hudson, with the outline of mountain scenery, and its
associate stream; any one of the well built halls south of the Potomac,
elaborated with all the wealth of the planter; or even one of our
own palatial Canadian residences; all appear a thing of yesterday as
compared with that stately edifice, with its delightful lawns, walks
and avenues, which bear the ancient impress of their date and of their
early greatness. No doubt these paths were trod by men in the troublous
times of Henry VIII. and his three children, men who then may have
debated mooted points of history in this very neighbourhood. There
is a tradition also that the virgin Queen has looked upon this same
landscape “in maiden meditation fancy free.”

The morning was peculiarly fine, and as I opened the window to admit
the pure, fresh air I really breathed again to enjoy it, and inhale the
perfume of foliage and of the garden flowers; flowers whose ancestors
may have traced three centuries of life, at least the early known
plants indigenous to English soil; while those of foreign origin could
boast of sires, perhaps, the first of their genus brought from the
Continent. The air was vocal with music; the trees seemed peopled with
scores of blackbirds and mavis, and there was many a proverbial “early
bird” busy with the yet earlier worm, who had gained so little by his
rising. All nature seemed teeming with life and gladness. I can only
here acknowledge the courtesy I received from my host and hostess. The
hours passed away unclouded by the slightest shadow, and I know no more
pleasant memory than that of my visit to this English ancestral home.

I was highly pleased, on my return to Batt’s Hotel, to receive
intimation that my daughter was shortly to join me in London. There is
a certain solitude in a London hotel, which is much the opposite of
the continental life, and entirely distinct from the _table d’hote_
system of this continent. In England the desire is to secure extreme
quiet and privacy, while on this side of the Atlantic every auxiliary
is provided for publicity and freedom of movement. This is especially
the case in the United States. In Canada it may be said that a middle
course is taken. In many large hotels on this continent, in addition
to the drawing and breakfast rooms, parlours and halls and writing
and news rooms are open, where papers are furnished and sold, seats
at the theatre obtained, telegrams sent, books, especially cheap
editions of novels, purchased, with photographs of the professional
beauties, leading politicians and other celebrated people. All of
these places are marked by busy, bustling life. The dining room, from
its opening in the morning till a late hour at night, is one scene
of animation, be the meal what it may. Some of the _beau sexe_ even
visit the breakfast room with elaborate toilets, and many a pair of
earrings glitter in the sun’s early rays. A walk up and down the
wide passage or hall at any hour is proper and regular, and it is
stated that it is often the only exercise indulged in by many living
in the great hotels of the United States, the street car furnishing
the invariable means of locomotion. In the large cities the hotels
are situated, as a rule, on the main streets. There are always rooms
where one may from the windows look upon the crowds passing and
repassing. Thus a drama of ever-changing life can be comfortably
witnessed from an armchair placed at the right point of observation.
There is no such thing as loneliness. Almost everyone is ready, more
than ready, to converse with you. If you yourself are courteous and
civil you will probably find those around you equally so, whether
they be guests or belong to the establishment. With a little tact
and judgment you can always obtain useful information. My experience
likewise is that the information is invariably correct: for there
never seems to be any hesitation in a negative reply when those you
address are not acquainted with the particular point of inquiry. The
gentleman who presides over the cigars, the controller of the papers
and the photographs and the official of the bar, an important field
of action in a high class hotel, each and all make it a point of
duty impressively to patronize your local ignorance when you ask for
information. In an English hotel the general rule is for no one person
to speak to another. If you do venture on the proceeding, Heaven only
knows what reply you may receive. In the class divisions of the Mother
Country there may be social danger in not observing the lines defined
by etiquette. There are always men of good address and appearance who
are not unknown to the police, and whose photographs may be destined
at no distant period to figure in the Rogues’ Gallery. But such men
are to be found in all countries. Whatever necessity there may be for
prudence and circumspection, it has struck me that there is really no
ground for that absolute uncompromising offensiveness of manner which
often well-meaning men in England feel bound to show to any person
who addresses them, as the joke goes, “to whom they have not been

If you are quite alone very little experience in the English hotel is
enough to throw you back on yourself, and to depress even a gay and
blithsome nature. You walk with a listless air through the corridors,
you take your meals with a sort of mechanical impassiveness which you
cannot help feeling, and you seem to drop into the crowd of reserved,
self-contained individuals, who act as if they thought that courtesy
to a stranger was a national crime. I do not speak of the clubs,
where, if you are a member, you can always meet some acquaintance.
But comparatively few Canadians visit England who are club men. I
know no solitude so dreary, nor any atmosphere so wearying, as that
of the London hotel in a first class lateral street when you have
nobody to speak to, where you can see scarcely a living soul out of the
window, where the only noise is the distant rumble of vehicles in the
neighbouring thoroughfare, and where, when you are tired with reading
or writing, you have no recourse but to put on your hat and sally out
into the street.

A circumstance crosses my mind as I am writing which gives some
insight into English life and character. It happened to a friend, now
no more, with whom I had crossed the Atlantic. He was travelling
from Liverpool to London, and took his place in the railway carriage,
sitting on the back middle seat, while opposite in the corner seats
were two gentlemen, each with a newspaper. The train had been an hour
on its journey, but the silence was unbroken. At last my friend spoke.
“Gentlemen,” he said, “I am L---- D----. I have come from ----”, and
he named a city in the Dominion. “I have been a merchant for fifty
years, and now I am living in ease. I am eighty-three years of age,
and, like the large majority of Canadians, I have two eyes and one
tongue, and, like a great many of my countrymen, I feel a pleasure in
using them. My eyes feel the period of time they have done me service.
I cannot read from the motion, but I can take part in a conversation.
My business in Britain is to see my daughters. One is married to an
officer quartered at the Royal barracks in Dublin. I am just returning
from a visit to her, and I am on my way to see my second daughter,
whose husband is stationed at Woolwich. Having now introduced myself, I
trust, gentlemen, you will not look upon me as a pickpocket or anything
of that sort.” One of the gentlemen carefully drew out his card-case
and gave his card. This example was followed by his opposite neighbour.
“What, gentlemen,” my friend said, looking at the cards through his
spectacles, which he deliberately put on, “you do not seem to know
one another; let me introduce you.” At the same moment he crossed
his arms and presented the card of the one to the other. The curtest
and least definable bow was given. One query followed another, and
my friend had a great deal to say and much to enquire about. He had
occupied the highest position in the city he came from, and had mixed
a good deal with the men of his world. The three or four hours which
followed were most pleasing to the trio. My friend’s fellow travellers
were county men, and he was cordially invited to spend a week with each
of them. The invitations were accepted, the acquaintance renewed, he
met with the most cordial English welcome, and the visits proved to be
particularly agreeable to all parties.

In my experience, and in that of others who come under the name of
Canadians, whose fortunes now lie in the Dominion, whatever our place
of birth, all that the Englishman wants to know regarding us is that
we are Canadians; in other words, that we are not dubious members of
an uncertain phase of English society. We then at once receive the
most genial courtesy and kindness; real, true, honest, hospitable
kindness. I reason from this that we must be outside the circle in
which this frigid intercourse is observed as a protection. We are in
England for a brief time; then we pass from the scene, and there is
no fear entertained on the part of our English neighbours of forming
an unpleasant and unprofitable, that is scarcely the word, an
embarrassing, relationship. I have heard the explanation given for this
peculiarity that its very defects spring from the loyalty of character
which marks the high-bred Englishman. The theory is that, if he knows
you once, he is always to know you. He wishes to run no risk of being
placed in a false position, and hence avoids any intercourse which,
although in a way agreeable to him, he will not accept at the cost of
his own self-respect. And there are men who in no way incur blame for
want of courtesy in a railway carriage, but they will pass their fellow
traveller after a week’s interval as if they had never seen him. It
may be urged that those who live in the state of society which obtains
in England are the best able to understand its conditions and the
wisdom of its laws. It is quite possible that this mode of treatment
of a stranger may be commended by experience. There are many examples
where the opposite course has led to trouble, but prudence and good
sense would surely avoid annoyance, and they are requisite under all
circumstances. But is it not also advisable to avoid the extraordinary
discourtesy with which sometimes a remark from a stranger is received,
as if it were designed to serve some deliberate scheme of wrong, or to
lead up to some act of swindling and imposture. Surely we may always be
able to detect any attempt of this kind and protect ourselves; and in
all conditions of life good manners cost little and entail no risk.

In one of my excursions from London I was travelling by the Great
Western Railway. A lady and gentleman were in the same compartment.
I made the third. Shortly after leaving Paddington the lady suffered
from a spark in her eye, certainly a most painful annoyance. Her fellow
passenger appeared much troubled and as much bewildered. Neither seemed
to know what to do, and the lady did not conceal how much she suffered.
I ventured to address the gentleman, and said, as was the case, that
I had frequently experienced this unfortunate accident, and that if
the eye was kept moist the pain would be lessened. He barely answered
me. The lady continued in pain. The train stopped for three minutes
at Swindon. I took my flask, made a rush to the refreshment room,
carefully washed the cup, filled it with water, and brought it to the
carriage. I offered it, I believe with ordinary good manners, to the
gentleman, and suggested that a handkerchief moistened with cold water
should be applied to the eye. My offer was curtly declined! There was
nothing more to be done. I threw the water out of the window, replaced
my flask in my travelling bag, and turned to my book. I did not forget
the incident during my trip, nor, indeed, have I ever done so.

I continued on my journey, and proceeded to visit some friends in the
West of England, after which I found my way to the Land’s End, which
I felt a great desire to see. I went to Torquay, and the sight of so
many invalids in Bath chairs made me melancholy; to Dartmouth, at
the entrance of the River Dart, near the birthplace of the great Sir
Walter Raleigh; to Totness, to Davenport and to Penzance; thence to
the treeless, bleak-looking district of the Land’s End, to look at a
landscape which I shall always remember.

At a little inn on the most westerly point of England I found I could
get a chop and a glass of ale. Having ordered luncheon, I strolled out
in the meantime to have a look at the blue water and the wide expanse
of ocean. The place is certainly solitary enough, but in its way the
boldness of the landscape and the never-ceasing roar of the waves
elevated it from dreariness. I returned to the room of the inn and
found a gentleman seated at the table. I had a perfect recollection of
my experience in the railway carriage a few days previously. But it
seemed to me to meet a stranger at this spot, seldom visited, gave a
guarantee of a certain similarity of tastes, and that it might possibly
be agreeable to both to exchange a few words. Indeed, I thought it
would be perfect folly for us to remain together in silence for about
half an hour as if ignorant of the presence of each other. I therefore
made up my mind that, at any rate, the fault should not be mine,
and that I would make bold to break the ice. We were certainly not
introduced, but at all risks I would make an effort to begin by saying
some ordinary words about the weather. The sky was cloudy and the air
cold, but I raised my voice to a cheerful tone and said, “It is rather
raw to-day, sir.” The gentleman addressed took not the slightest notice
of what I had said! And how ridiculous and embarrassing it did seem to
me at the time to think that two rational beings should be lunching
together at a little round table in the last house in England in solemn
silence! I fear that not a few disagreeable thoughts passed through
my mind, but I could do nothing. In due time I was ready to return to
Penzance. I entered the vehicle which had brought me hither, and at no
great distance away from the inn we passed the individual I had lunched
with, walking by himself. I took the opportunity, when out of hearing,
of asking the driver if he knew who he was. I received the reply that
he was a deaf and dumb gentleman who lived in the neighbourhood!



  Marquis of Salisbury--Classical studies--Henley Regatta--Red Lion--
    London Dinner to Lord Dufferin--His Speech--Greenwich--Fisheries
    Exhibition--Bray--The Vicar--The Thames--Minehead--The Polynesian.

I was exceedingly glad to be joined by my daughter in London, because
much depended on her arrival. We had many places to see together, and
she was to accompany me on a visit to some friends in the country, who
had extended to us a very warm invitation. During this visit we met all
the kindness we could have even fancied, at one of those English homes,
standing among old trees, with ivy-covered walls, and gardens full of
roses of all colours and in the greatest perfection.

We returned to London, as I had matters to attend to at the offices of
the Hudson Bay Company, the Colonial Office, and the office of the High
Commissioner for Canada.

Shortly after my arrival the Marquis of Salisbury distributed the
prizes at King’s College, and his remarks on the occasion struck me
forcibly. Owing to my connection with Queen’s University, Kingston,
it had become my duty, however imperfectly I might have performed it,
to approach the same question: the extent to which classical studies
should form the basis of education. Lord Salisbury pointed out, with
all the polish which marks his utterances, that intellectual capacity
is as varied as any other of God’s creations; that many minds have
little inclination for study: and that to devote the best years of life
to the acquisition of an imperfect acquaintance with Greek and Latin
was most unwise and barren of good results. Lord Salisbury proceeded to

  “I cannot but feel, in reading this list, how singularly privileged
  the present generation is in the studies they are invited to
  pursue. In my time, and before my time, for I was just at the
  end of the darker period, there were only two possible lines of
  study--classics and mathematics. Mathematics was looked upon in
  many quarters with considerable jealousy and doubt. Classics was
  the one food tendered to all appetites and all stomachs. I do not
  wish to say a word in depreciation of classics. It would be as
  sensible to speak in depreciation of wheat and oats because wheat
  will not grow in the North of Scotland and oats will not grow at
  the equator. But people are coming gradually, if they have not
  come fully, to the conclusion that the intellectual capacity is
  as various as any other of nature’s creations, and that there are
  as many different kinds of minds, open to as many different kinds
  of treatment, as there are soils on the surface of the earth;
  and that it is as reasonable to try to force all minds to grow
  classics, or to grow mathematics, or to grow history, as it would
  be to force all soils to grow fruit, or grass, or corn. This is
  an enormous gain to the present generation. For what happened
  in the last generation, or two generations ago, was this, that
  those minds which were fitted for education in classics received
  full development, while those minds not fitted for that treatment
  were stunted and turned from intellectual pursuits altogether.
  There is no greater privilege of the present generation than the
  full conception at which we have arrived of the fact that almost
  every intellect is, if it be properly treated, capable of high
  development. But whether that development be reached or not depends
  upon the judgment with which its capacities are nurtured and its
  early efforts encouraged. Now, in this list I am very glad to see
  that modern history and the English language and literature occupy
  a very distinguished position.

  “I have the greatest possible respect for the educational
  establishments in which I was brought up, but I never look back
  without a feeling of some bitterness to the many hours during
  which I was compelled to produce the most execrable Latin verse
  in the world. I believe that if a commission of distinguished men
  were appointed to discover what is the most perfectly useless
  accomplishment to which the human mind can be turned a large
  majority would agree that versification in the dead languages was
  that accomplishment. On that account, I suppose, we were compelled
  in the last generation, whether we were fitted or not, to devote a
  considerable time to it, and, if it is any compensation to you for
  the severe examination you have to undergo, think of the agonies of
  unpoetical minds set to compose poetical effusions, which you are
  happily spared.”

Lord Salisbury dwelt upon the number of examinations to which everybody
in the military and civil services is subjected, and instanced one
official who had passed through thirty-six examinations. In his own
able way he declared his opposition to the system of cramming, by which
the mere surface of knowledge is floated over with facts, cunningly
grouped together, soon to be forgotten and never of true value.

Hot weather is sometimes experienced in London, but it is a different
heat from that of Canada, and by no means to be compared with it in
temperature. Few people dress to meet the summer in England, and in
winter the sole addition is the great coat. A fur cap is unknown. The
round silk hat, so much abused, holds its own, summer and winter,
against all attempts to banish it. Although the days are hot, the
nights are generally cool. Any extraordinarily hot weather is
exceedingly oppressive to the Londoner.

It was during the warm days that I went to Henley, to join a party who
had engaged to be present at the regatta. With a Canadian friend I took
the train to Maidenhead, thence by the branch railway to Henley, one of
the most striking landscapes in the valley of the Thames, remarkable
for its many beauties. The river here is broad, and runs between
undulating hills covered with foliage. We cross the old stone bridge
at Henley in order to find our friends among the many carriages. No
more pleasant spectacle could have been seen. It presented only the
sunny and holiday side of life. It was as different from the mixed mass
of human beings of all classes and conditions you meet at the Derby
or the other horse races near the metropolis as can be imagined. All
was order, quietude and irreproachable respectability. There were no
drinking booths, no gambling, no shrieking out the “odds,” none of
the professional rough element in search of a “good thing.” We were
among the most elaborate toilets. No one but looked her best. Probably
nowhere do we see more thoroughly this one phase of English life than
at the Henley regatta. The scenery is English, the people are English;
we have the theoretical English staidness and propriety. The amusement
is English. What struck me was the absence of all excitement. This
indifference appeared to me remarkable. Indeed, the only exhibition of
interest was that shown by the oarsmen, who were young men in perfect
condition, with muscles well trained and developed, and who bent
enthusiastically to their work. I did not hear a single cheer. I never
before nor since beheld such an orderly crowd, if I may apply that word
to an assemblage of so many distinguished people. I noticed that those
who came under my observation were generally light-haired or brown,
with fair complexions. It seemed to me, judging from appearances, as
if the regatta was looked upon as a very ordinary affair in itself,
and that it was more an occasion for the well-dressed mass of people
to meet together. There evidently was a theory that some one boat must
come in first, and, as it generally happened that there was a foregone
conclusion as to who the winner would be, there was nothing to call for
enthusiasm. Certainly none was shown.

We did not find our friends, although we searched diligently for them
on both sides of the river. After giving up the attempt reluctantly,
we resolved to take luncheon at the renowned old hostelry, the “Red
Lion,” celebrated as the inn where Shenstone wrote his lines in praise
of an inn, perhaps his only lines now generally remembered. The “Red
Lion” did not belie its ancient reputation. There is always a pleasure
in visiting these haunts of a former generation. There is little of
modern finery and frippery about them, but you find the actual comforts
of life above criticism. Nowhere can be seen a whiter cloth, brighter
glass, finer bread, sweeter butter, juicier meat or a more royal
tankard of English ale, whose praises Chaucer might have sung.

We took the 6.10 evening train to Maidenhead, and then walked to our
friends’ place. We found that they had driven to Henley, excepting
those who kindly received us. The party, however, came back in
good time, having heard of us through a common friend, recently an
Aide-de-camp on the General’s staff in Halifax. We had met him at the
regatta, and asked intelligence of the party. He had succeeded where we
had failed, and had found those of whom we were in search.

We returned to London. Finding we had now about a fortnight to remain,
we mapped out our plans in order to see what we could do in that time.
We saw all the public sights which our engagements enabled us to do.
I cannot say that I was greatly impressed with the pictures of the
Royal Academy. Several were good, but I did not find a large number
of surpassing excellence, I was much struck by a water-colour drawing
of mountain scenery, with a bridge and stream, Kirbrücher Stadden
in Switzerland, by Arthur Croft. We went to the theatre, and saw
Irving in “The Bells” and “Impulse” at the St. James; to a promenade
concert at the Botanical Gardens, Regent’s Park and to Wimbledon.
Through the courtesy of Col. Otter, in command of the Canadian camp,
we were invited to an at home given by him, where we saw a great many
Canadian friends. We also met some distinguished military people. We
were gratified to learn all about the success of our marksmen. The
rain, however, was exceptionally heavy during the whole day, and most
unfortunately there was no going beyond the shelter of the canvas

One event of no ordinary importance which we witnessed was the
banquet to Lord Dufferin at the Empire Club. Lord Bury presided. Sir
Charles Tupper and the Honourable Alexander Mackenzie both spoke
very effectively. It struck me that in each case their speeches were
admirable. Neither of them occupied more than ten or fifteen minutes,
and what they said had the impress of careful consideration and finish,
for it was dignified, concise and appropriate. I have no recollection
of having heard either of those well known public men speak to better
advantage, and it was a matter of great regret to all of us that their
speeches were not reported. The dining room of the club is not large;
it can hold no more than sixty at most, so the number who could attend
was limited, much to the disappointment of many. We were all of us glad
to see Lord Dufferin. He was quite unchanged. He had the same high-bred
charm of manner, and that polished courtesy which becomes him so well
and is never out of place. We did not sit down to dinner until 8.30, so
it was late when we separated. There was something in Lord Dufferin’s
speech which made it more than a mere after-dinner address, something
so striking, so statesmanlike, that I deem it my duty to include it in
these chapters:

  My Lords and Gentlemen,--If there is one thing more embarrassing
  than another to a person on commencing a public speech it is to
  find his oratorical ground suddenly cut away from beneath his
  feet. I had fully intended to claim your indulgence on the grounds
  so eloquently referred to by my noble friend, and I can assure you
  that that indulgence is as much needed as I have ever experienced
  it, for, however easy it may be to speak with an empty head, it
  is very difficult to do so with a full heart. In rising, however,
  to return my warmest thanks for the kind manner in which you have
  drunk my health, I cannot help asking myself with some anxiety
  what title I possess to the good-will of my entertainers. Your
  chairman has been pleased to refer in very flattering terms to my
  public services: but I fear that the reason of your cordiality is
  further to seek than anything which can be found in the indulgent
  observation, I hope, on the present occasion, of the members of the
  Empire Club, and I think I am not wrong in conjecturing that I am
  indebted for the signal honour which you have conferred upon me,
  not so much to my individual merits, as to the fact that for the
  last twelve years of my life I have been unremittingly occupied
  in promoting and maintaining the Imperial, as distinguished from
  the domestic, interests of our common country. In Canada, at St.
  Petersburg, at Constantinople and in Egypt, I can conscientiously
  say that home politics, with all their irritating associations,
  have faded from my view, and that my one thought by day and night
  has been to safeguard, to protect and to extend the honour,
  the influence and the commerce of England with the foreign
  Governments or else to draw still more closely together those
  ties of affectionate regard by which she is united to one of her
  most powerful, most loyal and most devoted colonies. Well, then,
  gentlemen, under these circumstances, I think I may be pardoned if
  I have come to look at England, this sceptred isle, this earth
  of majesty, this other Eden-beaming paradise, this happy breed of
  men, this precious stone set in a silver sea; not as she displays
  herself in the recriminatory warfare of parliamentary strife, or
  in the polemical declamation of the platform, but in an aspect
  softened by distance and regarded as the happy home of a noble
  and united people, whom it is an honour to serve, and for whose
  sake it would be a privilege to make the greatest sacrifices. I
  do not say this in any spirit of selfish and vulgar “Jingoism,”
  although I must admit that by their profession ambassadors and
  colonial governors are bound to be a little “jingo.” I have come
  to regard England in the same light as she is regarded by those
  great communities who are carrying her laws, her liberties, her
  constitutional institutions and her language into every portion of
  the world, many of whose most distinguished representatives are
  present here to-night, and to whom it is the especial function of
  this club to extend the right hand of brotherhood and affection.
  Gentlemen, I am well aware that many of our most influential
  thinkers are almost disposed to stand aghast at the accumulative
  responsibility and increasing calls upon our resources, and
  the ever-widening vulnerability entailed by England’s imperial
  position. Certainly, the outlook counsels both prudence and, above
  all, preparation. After all, the life of nations and individuals
  in many respects resemble each other, and each of us is aware that
  his daily burden of care, anxiety and responsibility gathers weight
  and strength in proportion to the expansion of his faculties, the
  accumulation of his wealth, the energy of his endeavours and the
  extension of his influence. Why, gentlemen, even the children
  that people our homes are so many hostages given to fortune; and
  the wives of our bosoms--I say this beneath my breath--are very
  apt each of them to open a startling chapter of accidents; but
  what man of spirit has ever turned his back upon the opportunity,
  or refused to enter upon the tender obligations of a love-lit
  fireside for fear of increasing his responsibilities, entailed by
  a fuller, ampler and more perfect existence? But, my lords and
  gentlemen, even did she desire it, I believe that the time is
  too late for England to seek to disinherit herself of that noble
  destiny with which I firmly believe she has been endowed. The
  same hidden hand which planted the tree of constitutional liberty
  within her borders, and thus called upon her to become the mother
  of parliaments, has sent forth her children to possess and fructify
  the waste places of the earth. How a desert in every direction has
  been turned into a paradise of plenty those who are present can
  best tell. I believe that, great as have been the changes which
  have already occurred, our children are destined to see even still
  more glorious accomplishments. One of the greatest statisticians of
  modern times, a man of singularly sober judgment, has calculated
  that ere the next century has reached its close the English
  speaking population of the globe will have already exceeded one
  hundred millions of human beings. Of these, in all probability,
  forty millions will be found in Canada alone, and an equal
  proportion along the coast of Africa and in our great Australian
  possessions. If these great communities are united in a common bond
  of interest, if they are co-ordinated and impelled by a common
  interest, what an enormous influence, as compared with that of any
  other nationality, whether for good or evil, whether considered
  from a moral or material point of view, are they destined to
  exercise! But, gentlemen, that they will remain Englishmen who
  can doubt! The chops and changes on an accelerated momentum of
  human progress forbid all accurate prediction. These enormous
  forces, operating over such a large space, defy all prescience and
  human wisdom to direct the current of events; but one thing, at
  all events, is certain, and that is that these great communities
  will be deeply impressed by English ideas, by English literature,
  by English institutions and by English habits of thought. That
  this shall long continue to be the case is, I am sure, the earnest
  wish of those whom I am addressing. It is their desire that our
  statesmen should so conduct the relations of this country with
  their colonial dependencies as to cherish and maintain those
  affectionate ties by which they are so remarkably and distinctly
  bound to the Mother Country. One thing, at all events, is certain:
  that the people of England will never again allow their Government
  to repeat the error which resulted in the separation of the United
  States. Whatever may be our present relations with the great
  transatlantic republic, it is certain that, had it not been for the
  violent disruption that occurred, those relations would now have
  been even more mutually advantageous. The catastrophe, unhappily,
  was brought about by the Ministry of the day being incapable of
  appreciating and understanding the force and direction of colonial
  sentiment. Now, my lords and gentlemen, I believe that statesmen
  can make no greater mistake than not accurately to comprehend
  the enormous part which sentiment plays in human affairs. By far
  the greater number of the wars which have devastated the globe
  have been produced and generated by outraged sentiment rather
  than by the pursuit of material advantages. Even commerce itself,
  the most unsentimental and matter-of-fact of interests, is
  wont for long periods of time to follow in the track of custom,
  habit and sentiment. This was a fact which for a long time the
  English people failed to comprehend. They failed to comprehend the
  desire which the colonies had to have their kinship recognised.
  Happily, however, the increased facilities of communication and
  the necessities and exigencies of trade have changed all this,
  and I believe that now there is not a man in England who does not
  understand, and to whose imagination it has not been forcibly
  brought home, that beyond the circuit of the narrow seas which
  confine this island are vast territories, inhabited by powerful
  communities who are actuated by ideas similar to our own, who are
  proud to own allegiance to Queen Victoria, whose material resources
  are greater than those possessed by his own country, and whose
  ultimate power may, perhaps, exceed the power of Great Britain. And
  yet these great communities of noble, high-spirited, industrious
  Englishmen, if only they are properly dealt with, and if only
  their feelings and just exigencies are duly considered, will never
  have a higher ambition than to be allowed to continue as co-heirs
  with England in her illustrious career, associated with her in
  her gigantic empire, and sharers in her fortunes, whether they be
  for good or evil, until the end of time. Gentlemen, such are the
  sentiments and opinions which I believe this club has been founded
  to encourage and propagate, and I felt that in rising to return
  thanks for the great and signal honour which you have done me, and
  for which really I cannot find words sufficient to thank you, I
  could not do so in a more acceptable manner than by telling you
  with what enthusiasm and with what sincerity of conviction I myself
  subscribe to these sentiments.

One of my pleasantest recollections of London dates about ten days
before my departure for Canada. When the heat was tempered by a fresh
breeze, a party of us met by appointment on one of the wharves near
London Bridge. We owed the invitation to a Canadian who, like myself,
was from the north of the Tweed. He introduced me to our host, one of
his oldest friends, a friendship which had lasted from boyhood. Our
host had engaged a steamer to take his guests down the river to the
large establishment of which he is the leading mind. I believe I am
safe in saying that thousands of people are employed in these works.
We went through the various departments, and to do so took some hours.
Some of the ladies of the party thought they had accomplished miles
of pedestrianism. They were greatly interested in what they saw, and
before they left were delighted, for our host, who has a heart as large
as the business he controls, presented from the factory to each of our
party a substantial mark of his regard.

We returned to Greenwich, the very name is redolent of fish dinners and
whitebait to the Londoner, and twenty-one of us sat down at the great
round table in the bow window of the “Ship Hotel.” We were not in a
mood to criticise our entertainment. Had we been so, we could only have
found something additional to praise. We had good appetites, were in
the best of humour, and felt prepared to do justice to the profusion
of dainties set before us. Our host had visited Canada nearly half a
century ago, and he spoke of his experience in what is now a highly
cultivated district, but was then very thinly populated. His youthful
days came back to him, and he referred to a pair of bright eyes he
encountered at a picnic on the shores of Lake Simcoe which very nearly
made him a Canadian. I do not know what prominent position amongst us
he might not now have occupied had the possessor of the bright eyes
affirmed her conquest.

We are not, in Canada, a people particularly demonstrative in our
own land, but away from home, when those of us who are bound by
friendly associations come side by side, no meeting can be more gay or
pleasant. It was especially so on this occasion, and our host had the
satisfaction of seeing all his good cheer thoroughly appreciated by his
guests. It was ten o’clock before we separated, and found our way back
to London.

The Fisheries Exhibition was then the event of the season. In London or
Paris there is always something going on which everybody feels bound to
see, and not to have the privilege or opportunity of seeing places you,
in an undefined way, in such a secondary position that you appear to be
excluded. The question is not always if the spectacle or exhibition, or
other notoriety of the moment, will repay the time and attention given
to witnessing it. The leading consideration is that it is something to
be seen, and it is never of any use running counter to the tide of the
community in which you live and move. Very often a good deal of trouble
is taken, and frequently no small amount of money expended, to pass
through some ordeal of this character, which brings no addition to our
information and but little satisfaction.

The Fisheries Exhibition, however, was not of this character. Many must
have been surprised at the part played in it by Canada, and at the
richness and variety of her exhibits. Scarcely anything could have been
designed to set forth better to the London world the vastness of the
resources of the Dominion than this exhibition, and to bring before the
English people an idea of the extensive fishing grounds it possesses.
Many would then learn for the first time that our fisheries are not
confined to the St. Lawrence and the lakes. Canada has an immense
extent of sea coast in the Maritime Provinces frequented by shoals of
fish, for which these waters have been famous since the first discovery
of America. The almost virgin waters of British Columbia swarm with
fish of the finest description, and Canada possesses the whole of
Hudson Bay and the northern coast of America in which to develop her
enterprise and industry. What country in the world can boast of such
great and prolific fish fields on three oceans, all open to enterprise.

One of the agreeable associations connected with the exhibition was
the _fête_ in aid of the English Church at Berlin, and in commemoration
of the silver wedding of the Crown Princess of Germany, Her Majesty’s
eldest daughter. It seemed to me that there was a constant rush of
visitors till midnight. The spectacle was a brilliant one, as much on
account of the great crowd of people who were there as from the light
and glitter of the scene itself. The newspapers mentioned the number
present as 6,000, and they truly described it as a fairy scene. The
whole place was bright with many-coloured lamps, Chinese lanterns and
electric lights. One of the striking features was the tea party of the
Chinese court, where a veritable Chinese grandee presided with her
daughter. The Marchioness Tseng seemed to me a type of liberality.
It could scarcely be political exigency which led this lady and her
family to intervene in aid of an Anglican Church in the heart of a
Lutheran population. The Duke and Duchess of Albany assisted her. Fans
were sold here, the recommendation of which was that they had been
specially painted by the Chinese Minister himself and embroidered and
worked by the Marchioness and her daughter. It struck me that if this
display be typical of the industry of the Chinese family our western
civilization is much behind in the path of productive labour. There
were to be seen also an English refreshment room, and an “American”
bar, under the direction of Mrs. Lowell, attended by all the United
States beauties in London, whose personal charms, supplemented by New
York taste in dress, not a little influenced the price of what was
served. The Countess of Dufferin was there. She seemed quite in her
element, doing her best to promote the general gaiety and brightness
of the scene. A distinguished naval officer, whose name has penetrated
wherever the English language is spoken, Lord Charles Beresford,
assisted Lady Dufferin. It was their duty to preside over the fish
pond, where the small charge of five shillings was paid for the use
of the rod and line. There seemed to be an unlimited supply of fish.
The successful anglers generally brought up something which excited
shouts of laughter. One fisherman would land a nightcap, another a toy
of some sort, and so on. The Prince and Princess of Wales came about
eleven o’clock, which added in no little degree to the excitement of
the scene. What must strike strangers on British soil is the admirable
order which prevails during an exhibition of this kind. It is seldom
that any unpleasantness occurs. We did not remain until the close, but
it was late before we reached home.

It was my good fortune to spend some pleasant days with my friends
at their charming and hospitable house within four miles of Windsor.
A few hours in the country is always a congenial change even to the
inveterate London-loving resident of the capital. It was equally so
with myself. I awoke at my friend’s pleasant home one bright Sunday
morning. Some of the family started for the old church at Bray, and
invited me to accompany them. We pass along a winding road, between
hedges of hawthorn, with here and there fine old trees, some of them
with trunks as much as five and six feet in diameter, relics of Windsor
Forest. The country is somewhat flat, but it is rendered peculiarly
attractive by its fertility and the richness of the foliage. Windsor
Castle stands out boldly in the landscape, and to-day the Imperial
Standard on the Round Tower shows that Her Majesty is at her ancient

We reached the cross roads, with a finger post directing us to Windsor
and to Bray. Following the road to the latter, we came upon “Jesus
Hospital,” founded, we read on the inscription over the gateway
in quaint old English characters, by William Goddard in 1627. His
statue over the entrance looks upon a plot of garden flowers. On the
inscription we further learn that “he hath provided for forty poor
people forever.” Then we are told that there is no admission for
vagrants, or unlicensed hawkers, or dogs.

We attended service at Bray Church, an old edifice dating, in some
parts, from the beginning or middle of the fifteenth century. The
square tower tells a story of a later date.

Who has not heard of Simon Aleyn, the Vicar? His memory is still as
fresh as it was three centuries back, when he died. He lived from
the time of Henry VIII. to that of Elizabeth, and was an Anglican, a
Presbyterian or a Papist as was expedient. It does no harm to repeat
old Fuller’s words, although they appear in the guide book: “He had
seen some martyrs burned at Windsor, and found this too hot for his
tender temper. This Vicar being taxed by one with being a turncoat
and an inconsistent changling, ‘Not so,’ said he, ‘for I have always
kept my principle, which is to live and die Vicar of Bray.’” After the
service we walked through the churchyard, and, Scotchman-like, I looked
among the tombstones to see if there were any Dugalds, Donalds or Macs.
There were none. I never before felt so much being in the heart of
England. There was not a record of one Scotchman having died here, and
I thought they had penetrated everywhere. I can well recollect making
a trip to the west coast a few years back. It was during the period
when the Honourable A. Mackenzie was Premier of Canada. I was then an
officer of the Canadian Government on leave. I visited Truro, the most
southern city in England, and on entering the principal business street
the first sign I saw was that of Alexander Mackenzie & Co. I certainly
thought then I was a long way from Scotland, and still further from all
Canadian associations. I have been in many strange and remote corners
of the globe on both continents, but I was never before in a place
where there was no trace of the ubiquitous, enterprising and energetic
north-country man. And yet it was a Vicar of the church which I had
just attended who curtly refused to pay a bill of James the First at
Maidenhead. That monarch, on a certain occasion, having outrode his
hunting escort, and being hungry, begged leave to join the Vicar and
curate at dinner. His Majesty seems to have been in excellent humour.
He told so many stories that the two listeners, who did not know their
Royal guest, laughed as they seldom did. The bill came, the King had
no money, and asked his companions to pay for him. The Vicar declined,
it would seem, somewhat irately. The curate was more kindly disposed,
and paid the bill. In the meantime the retinue arrived, and with it
recognition of the Royal person. The Vicar threw himself on his knees,
and asked pardon for his harshness. James told him he should not
disturb him in his vicarage, but that he should always remain Vicar of
Bray. The genial curate he would make a Canon of Windsor, so that he
would look down on both him and his vicarage.

On returning from the church we strolled by the river, which, from
Oxford to London, is renowned as boating water, and we saw many skiffs
and pleasure boats upon it. It is here that Monkey Island is situated,
so often visited from Windsor and Eton. The houses in the neighbourhood
are all suggestive of comfort; they are surrounded with abundance
of flowers, and have all a look of cleanliness, and an aspect both
cheerful and inviting.

We return home by another route. Our walk is a good mile and a half,
in the course of which we are caught in the rain and take shelter in a
cottage. Some one remembers that it is St. Swithin’s Day, the 15th of
July, and according to the tradition, if it rains on that day, it will
rain for forty days. We revert in thought to those ancient historians,
the most sceptical of whom, while they very summarily got rid of the
portents and miracles of their own time, hesitated to reject the
traditions of their ancestors. However there is a break in the clouds
and we reach the house.

Even with the dread of the realization of the prophecy, we take an
afternoon walk and return at five, just in time to escape another St.
Swithin shower. In the evening we go again to church. I experience that
which is not always the case in the Anglican service. The lessons are
remarkably well read, the words properly and distinctly pronounced,
the sentences not dropped in tone at the end and run into one another,
and above all with an entire absence of affectation. I learn that the
reader is Mr. Wallace, who has lately taken high honours at Oxford.

The weather at this time turned exceedingly cold, and the Londoner may
recollect this exceptional wave of low temperature. The newspapers
declared that the thermometer fell to a degree lower than it read
on Christmas day. I never heard any explanation of this abnormal
depression in July, but last year was marked by remarkable phenomena.
The terrible earthquakes in the south of Europe and in the Indian
Ocean betokened the activity of extraordinary forces. We are, indeed,
fortunate in our experience throughout the British Empire that hitherto
no portion of it has suffered by such terrible convulsions, and that
the extent of them is limited to a fall of the temperature or an excess
of rainfall.

I again receive a telegram to know when I will leave for Canada and
proceed to British Columbia. I had already arranged to leave London by
the 20th, but I felt that my plans must be altered, and that I would be
obliged to give up the idea of spending a week in Scotland.

Previous to starting for Liverpool I had arranged to visit some friends
in Somersetshire. The route is by the Great Western Railway and the
branch line to Taunton. As I passed from Bristol to the latter place
the appearance of the country reminded me of the reclaimed marsh land
at the head of the Bay of Fundy; and the turbid water of the Bristol
Channel was very much the same in colour as that of the bay. The
country is admirably adapted for grazing, and large herds of beautiful
cattle; Herefords, Devons, and Shorthorns were to be seen along the

We reached our destination at Minehead, and here our friends, who
were originally from Nova Scotia, gave us that warm welcome which
we everywhere received in England. Not the least of the pleasant
associations connected with this visit was the charming scenery
from the hills behind the town, which command a view of the Bristol
Channel east of Ilfracombe and the distant mountains of South Wales.
The foliage of the west of England is always particularly striking to
anyone from Canada. Trees and plants which, with us, can only be raised
under glass, are found in luxurious abundance. There is a profusion of
walnut, myrtle, wistaria, laurestina, bay, ivy, and roses, which give
a rich variety to the flora of the parks and gardens, leaving nothing
to be desired. The drives are unrivalled; often through narrow lanes;
with high hedgerows blooming with flowers such as, at least, I have
never seen out of England. One of our drives took us to Exmoor, the
only district of England, as I was informed, where stag-hunting is
still enjoyed yearly. At Exmoor I gathered a bunch of heather which,
on the higher levels, has an extensive growth. On Sunday there was
a christening at the church, in which we were all interested, and
through which one of the names born by the humble writer of these
pages may be remembered a few years after his own race is run. There
was an old church in the neighbourhood which we visited, as a north
country man would say, “in the gloaming.” There was, however, light
enough to see in the dusk a marble statue of Queen Anne near the altar,
which might easily pass for the Virgin. There is a chained Bible on
the stand as in the first days when the people were called to hear
it read. I could not say what the date of the Bible was; whether one
of Tyndall’s or Archbishop Cranmer’s, or one more modern. The pews
were separated from each other by high divisions, five or six feet in
height, so that those who desired to pray unseen could do so. Certainly
they were not favourable to the display of any finish in dress worn by
their occupants, and which now makes such a marked feature in what are
called, I borrow the phrase, fashionable churches.

On Monday we had to leave, and it is often hard to say good-bye under
such circumstances. Is it not one of the hardships of life that we have
to undergo these separations? But often our pleasantest memories are
crowded into the narrow space of such brief visits. Our destination
is Liverpool; we leave by the morning train at eight o’clock, and
reach Bristol to take the connecting train to Liverpool. We pass by
the world-renowned Stratford-on-Avon, by Burton, for which place the
unrivalled pale ale of Bass and Allsopp have obtained an almost equally
extended reputation. As we crossed the silvery Trent I wondered if any
calculation had ever been made as to the quantity of its water which
had found itself transferred to every clime in the shape of bitter
beer. We soon leave Birmingham behind and pass through the hills and
dales of Derbyshire; a district celebrated for its loveliness and
beauty. The panorama which is seen even from the carriage window is
worth the trip. It is, indeed, something to say you have looked upon
it. At half-past six we are again in Liverpool. Tuesday and Wednesday
we enjoy the society of some old friends, and on Thursday we embark
on the Allan line steamer “Polynesian,” and start on our way over the
western waters to Canada.



  The Ocean Voyage--Its Comfort--Moville--Mail Coach Road of Old
    Days--Impressive Service on Deck--Comfort on the Vessel--

We are off this Thursday, 26th July, and underway at three p.m. As
is usually the case we have a pleasant run down the Mersey to the
Irish Sea. With few exceptions the passengers are all strangers, one
to the other, and we remain on deck, no few of us speculating as to
“who is who?” We dine at four the first day. There is a printed list
of passengers on the plate of each as we take our seats at the tables
which have been assigned to us, perhaps in some cases by a little
pre-arrangement with the purser. In the evening we pass close to the
Isle of Man with its bold headlands and picturesque coast line, but
few of us appear to be inclined to stay up late. There is always an
excitement, and consequent rebound, in leaving the land where we
have passed some weeks, whatever the associations we have separated
from, and whatever future may lie before us. The first night at sea
is generally quiet; it is true you have always your inveterate whist
player who wants to get up a rubber as if it was the one duty of life
not to lose an opportunity of gaining the odd trick. And you have the
perpetual smoker who looks upon leisure as specially designed for the
enjoyment of the pipe or cigar, as if the sole charm of life lay in

The whole conditions of an ocean voyage have, of late years, been much
changed. A voyage in the modern steamship is more like a yacht trip.
Indeed, excepting the yachts of men of colossal fortunes, the yacht
suffers by comparison with the steamship. In the latter you have a
bed clean and comfortable, with all the auxiliaries of the toilet. On
nearly all the best ships you have hot and cold baths. Some vessels
carry a professional barber; and I have known a chiropodist to be
in attendance. If you want more bedding, or hot water, or any other
_et cetera_ you ask for and obtain it. You have a cabin as large and
comfortable as it is possible to have under the circumstances, and if
you chose to pay for it you can have it to yourself, and thus obtain
all the privacy of an anchorite. Your state-room, as it is called, is
cleaned daily, and it is open to you whenever you see fit to enter;
you have a large saloon in which you take your meals, sit, read, or
write, or play chess or whist; where ladies can group themselves in
order to carry on their embroidery, or to undertake less pretentious,
if more useful work. Generally there is a separate saloon, for ladies,
in an airy part of the ship, where, if they are not free from nausea
or depression, they can retire and be as private as they desire. You
have the best of food, thoroughly and carefully cooked, with the
most obsequious of attendants whom you are generally expected to
reward at the end of the voyage, and you feel yourself second to no
one in the world you are in. There are no troublesome experiences on
points of etiquette or ceremony; you never receive a lesson of your
insignificance, although if it be particularly sought for, it can be
obtained. You have fresh air, bright skies, and the ocean that

   “Glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form
    Glasses itself in tempests.”

is your constant monitor. All you seem to want is a sea-stomach and
firmness on your feet. As a rule, a few days, often a few hours,
will give you both. To those who are not sea-sick what life is more
pleasant? You have all sorts of people on board, and the sea seems to
act as a sort of leveller of individualism. Although there are men and
women who are known to have spoken to nobody, and who have walked up
and down during almost the whole voyage in perfect solitude, wrapped up
in themselves, as if no contact with others were permissible. On seeing
these people I have thought of Æsop’s mountain in labour, and pitied
the poor little mouse brought into the world with such effort.

There are storms at sea, naturally, but you have a crew in the highest
state of discipline; you have a ship as strong as money and iron
can make it; you have an engine of wondrous power and a marvel of
perfection in machinery. Competition, energy, and enterprise, have so
multiplied the means of travel that you may pass from one continent
to the other with comfort, and for not much more money than the sum
you pay for the same period of time at one of the high class hotels
in London or New York. You have no extras to pay for in the steamship
except wine or beer.

According to your feeling you can give a _douceur_ to the steward who
attends to your room, and if need be nurses you in sickness, and to the
steward who waits upon you at table. The only items you have to pay
extra for, as before stated, are beer and wine, if you choose to order
either. You are not remarkable either in avoiding or using them, for
never was there so unrestrained a matter of taste as in this respect at
the saloon table.

It is Friday: we have passed the first night at sea, and we take
an early tepid salt water bath. We are now steaming up Lough Foyle
to Moville, where the mails containing letters posted in London
on Thursday night, are put on board. Thus the clear business day
of Thursday is gained by English correspondents. The weather is
delightful. Some of the party go on shore as the steamer is seven hours
in advance of the train with the mails.

There is nothing specially attractive on this part of the Irish
coast it is true, still it is always pleasant to touch _terra firma_
as a change, and it is always a break during the hours that we are
lying at anchor. We remain at Moville until three o’clock, when the
“Polynesian” starts. The weather continues bright and clear, the
water smooth, all is pleasant on deck, where all the passengers are
present. The only spectacle to which I can compare the scene is a
garden party where everybody has but one thing to do, and that is to
amuse and be amused, and look as charming as each one can. We all know
that the best way to succeed in being genial and good-humoured is to
endeavour to be so, and where can a day be better enjoyed than at
sea? I am aware that tradition is against me. The poor sufferer from
sea-sickness may remember this trying time, as the most dreary of his
life, and this form of sickness is to many, even in a minor way, a
most serious ordeal, but, as a rule, it soon passes away. I believe
the best cure for those afflicted with this malady is to remain quiet,
to eat sparingly, and avoid everything greasy; if there be nausea to
take only toast and tea, and make the effort to get on deck. Looking
at the severities of the affliction in their strongest light they
are certainly by no means what they were in the old days of sailing
vessels of small tonnage, and with accommodation proportioned to the
craft. There were then many discomforts and privations now happily
unknown. Voyages were, at that period, counted by weeks instead of
days, and to one unaccustomed to the sea the Atlantic trip was no
little of a penalty. It is very much owing to the reminiscences of
this period that the dread of the sea now prevails. The discomforts
of land travelling in the past have now ceased to be even thought of.
The bad roads, the ricketty coaches, the foul air in the inside, and
the suffering from cold and wet on the outside of the coach, have all
passed out of mind. Even the modern novel does not dwell upon them.
All that is recorded is the cheery appearance of the old-time coach
on a fine evening, driving through a town, with the guard arrayed in
bright uniform, with his bouquet in his buttonhole, the cynosure of
all the servant girls; while the coachman handled the ribbons to the
admiration and envy of all the fast young gentlemen of the place. In
its way there was bitter suffering in bad weather in the course of
such a journey, but the ease and comfort of railway travelling have
destroyed all remembrance of it. What greater contrast can there be
between the torture felt in the inside of an old stage coach going
from Liverpool to London and the luxury of sitting in a Pullman car
travelling the same distance? What more striking difference can there
be between railway life as it is now in the journey from Brighton to
London, accomplished in an hour, and the same journey performed by the
old stage coaches? Railway travelling has so insensibly crept into our
system that the present generation does not think of the privations of
half a century ago.

One of the causes doubtless of the continuance of the prejudice against
ocean navigation is the poor and inefficient steamers still in use for
crossing the English Channel. There is frequently bad weather, indeed,
if all that is said be true, it seldom would appear to be otherwise,
and an immense percentage of those now passing to the continent
suffer the tortures of sea-sickness, much as was experienced on this
route half a century back. One of the channel steamers, on a fine day
when the run is made in calm weather, is a spectacle. Everybody is
good-tempered and in the best of humour; even the most high-minded
somewhat unbend and cease to be ungenial. They appear to feel that a
great penalty has been escaped, that they have passed unscathed through
what is generally considered a terrible ordeal.

To such as these, whose experience has been gained in this school of
travel, the escape from sea-sickness may appear impossible. They will
be exceedingly surprised to learn that many make an ordinary voyage
across the Atlantic without any sea-sickness at all. Some may, it is
true, have a slight qualm; but half a day’s retirement and careful
diet, are all that is necessary to bring back health, good spirits, and
vivacity, and possibly a wonderful increase of appetite.

Such was the experience on Friday afternoon; all were pleasant and
agreeable, and many, as they retired that night to rest, on the
Atlantic Ocean, felt that the voyage was a delightful reality and that
there was every prospect of their proving excellent sailors.

Saturday is equally pleasant, happy, and bright. The portholes are
opened, and, as usual, many begin the day with a salt water bath.
We pass the “Oregon,” which left Liverpool at the same time we did,
but our visit to Moville enabled her to sail onward as we entered
Lough Foyle. A light breeze springs up, and the swell of the ocean
gives movement to the vessel which causes more or less sea-sickness
and depression. Many are walking about with comfort and ease, and a
few are miserable. There is dinner at 6.30; one of those sumptuous,
well-served dinners which no wise man will face every day of his life,
even if he can manage to obtain it. There are one hundred and fourteen
saloon passengers and five children on board, but only seventeen are
at table, one of them a lady, Mrs. D., of Toronto. A great contrast to
yesterday’s experience. The deck is wet and uncomfortable, the rain is
falling and there is a heavy fog. The planks are slippery, and with the
unsteady motion of the ship, there is little to tempt one to abandon
the shelter of the warm, cheery, well-lighted saloon.

On Saturday night there was a head wind, but on Sunday morning the ship
was somewhat quieter, the decks were dry, and motion was practicable.
There are on board two clergymen of the Anglican Church, so service
is held in the saloon. We have also with us Bishop Rogers, the Roman
Catholic Bishop of Chatham, New Brunswick, who holds a service in
another part of the ship. We pass through a school of whales, some six
of which rise above the water not far from the vessel. The majority
of the ladies make an effort to appear on deck, and either sit on
chairs or recline on couches extemporised with cushions, wraps and
shawls; some few even attempt a promenade. Well does Shakespeare tell
us that “Courage mounteth with occasion.” There are those who shake
their heads at the prediction of their immediate recovery. Some few
achieve wonders and attend dinner. The evening turns out fine, the air
is warm, so the Rev. H. Huleatt conducts a service on deck. He is an
old army chaplain, and over his white surplice wears three medals for
service in the Crimea, China and Abyssinia. I was bred in, and adhere
to, the Presbyterian Church, in which the forms of the Anglican Church
are certainly not taught, and by many of us not favourably regarded.
The persecution of the Covenanters in the seventeenth century, having
in view the establishment of Anglicanism, produced results which
its projectors did not conceive possible. It cannot be said that
persecution always fails in its purpose, for history furnishes painful
examples to the contrary. But there are few instances of its failure
more remarkable than this attempt to force on the people of Scotland
a form of worship which they did not favour. With certain classes
and individuals the feelings which the attempt left have long since
died out, but the memory of them remained for many a year. I am not
one who has been trained to regard the ceremonies of the English
Church with marked reverence, especially when they turn towards the
“high” development. With men like myself I venture the remark that
the Church of England is never so strong as when she adheres to her
simplest teaching. Her ritual is never so impressive as when stripped
of strained formality; it is then that, in spite of ourselves, we must
feel and admire all the strength and beauty of her liturgy. It is not
easy to comprehend how thoughtful men can advocate the introduction
of extreme ceremonies, which even many Anglicans themselves regard
as theatrical accessories. It has been my good fortune to attend the
English Church service in some of the noblest cathedrals in England;
at Westminster, Canterbury, Chester and St. Paul’s, unrivalled in its
classic excellence: and I have at such times felt how decorous and
impressive it can be made when the ritual is not encumbered with
the observances which a strong party in the Church of England regard
as unseemly, and which, with my feelings, I hold to be unnecessary.
With this limitation this form of prayer, in my humble view, appears
peculiarly adapted to the English mind and character. For more
gorgeous ceremonial, I have witnessed the Mass at St. Peter’s, one
of the grandest temples erected by man for the worship of his Maker.
Never in any church was I ever present at a scene and service more
memorable than the evening prayer on the deck of the “Polynesian.”
The military chaplain, in his white surplice, appeared with the three
medals on his breast and his Bible and prayerbook in his hand, walking
slowly once or twice up and down the deck, by way, as he afterwards
explained, “of ringing the bell.” In this manner the passengers
generally were collected into picturesque groups. He took an elevated
position; his white dress and his long white hair moving in the breeze,
formed a striking contrast to the dark funnel, masts and spars in the
background. He repeated the simple words of the Anglican liturgy in
a clear, natural voice. He spoke briefly and forcibly, as possibly
he had often done on the eve of battle. He conducted the singing of
some of those touching hymns common to all branches of the Christian
Church. The congregation, consisting of all sects and beliefs, was
unaffectedly serious and devout, and many voices joined in earnest

We occupied the centre of the ocean, that marked emblem of the
Everlasting. Above and around us the blue vault of heaven was frescoed
with fleecy clouds, radiant with the rich hues of the evening sun. On
every side the rolling waters added solemnity to the scene. There were
few who did not feel the spectacle itself to be a sermon not soon to be
forgotten. It spoke to us all against our littleness and selfishness.
As we looked beyond the bulwarks of our ship, a point in God’s endless
creation, we could feel how imperfect was the teaching of sects and
creeds, in view of the higher and nobler views we should aspire to: the
faith which widens our sympathies as the warmth of summer expands the
buds of our northern forests.

Monday again is a beautiful morning, and we are all on deck enjoying
the fresh, healthful breeze and the sun, whose bright beams glitter on
the face of the rolling waters, the blue sky above us with its passing
clouds, and the sea in ceaseless motion all around us, wave chasing
wave, chequered with varying light and shade. We are all so full of
life that the afternoon is given over to games which, on shore, many
of us might think somewhat undignified. At dinner the table is full.
And what appetites most of us have! Some achieve perfect wonders as
trencher men and women, and often in memory many of the passengers
will revert to their powers in this respect. Wholly undisturbed by
fears of dyspepsia, they ate with the best of appetites. The evening
passed pleasantly with most of us in the saloon, which presented
a scene of quiet comfort and amusement. The next morning is also
enjoyable. We find we are now half way across, and we talk of making
the Straits of Belleisle by Thursday. Our run at noon is 332 knots.
There is a little fog, and the air is somewhat cold. The theory is
expressed that we are near Greenland; that a cold blast may come from
across its “icy mountains,” told of by Bishop Heber in the hymn we have
heard so often.

All the passengers, without exception, are now accustomed to the motion
of the ship. Every one appears at home. The forenoon passes quickly,
and we can hardly believe that the dinner hour is near. When we all
sit down at the long and well-provided tables one can hardly conceive
that he is not on shore at some famed hotel in Montreal or Toronto. I
am aware that I run the risk of being charged with exaggeration, but I
express the result of my convictions. I am sure that my remarks will be
borne out by all who have made several trips across the Atlantic. There
are stormy and particularly unpleasant voyages, I know. Such I have
myself experienced, but they are generally in winter; in summer they
are the exception.

The evening passes in the usual pleasant way, and we all separate
reluctantly when bed-time comes.

We have again another fine day, and the forenoon is marked by sunshine.
During the night we passed the steamer “Parisian,” homeward bound. At
noon we learn the run is 332 miles, the same as yesterday, and our
chart shows us that we are due at the Straits of Belleisle at midnight.
During the afternoon, at intervals, fog arises and disappears to return
again, and when the fog is on the water we prudently go at half speed.
We pass some icebergs, and they seem to have affected the temperature,
for the air is cold. The passengers are in high spirits. The prospect
of seeing land gives an impetus to the general hilarity. We expect to
enter the northern passage to the St. Lawrence before morning. The
trip so far has been most agreeable. The time has passed pleasantly.
The group to which I was more particularly attached was always full of
life and animation. One gentleman, who had retired from the army, and
was going out to Canada on a sporting tour, proved to be an excellent
artist, and made many amusing sketches. To another member of our group
we owe particular acknowledgments for the life he inspired around him,
and, if he cheered us by his unfailing good temper and charm of manner,
we owe also no little to his brilliant and ready wit.

The evening was spent in asking riddles and playing card tricks. One
effort led to another. Some of them were worth perpetuating. Indeed, a
very interesting volume of a moderate size could be written descriptive
of our trip, which would be read with no small amount of pleasure, and
I have no doubt would lead to the removal of many prejudices regarding
sea voyages.

We are now in the straits of Belleisle, having passed the light at
five a.m. During the forenoon the weather is a little foggy, so we go
at half speed. In the afternoon the fog clears away to be replaced by
pleasant sunshine. There is to be an amateur concert this evening in
aid of the funds of the Sailor’s Orphanage at Liverpool. Those who are
directors in this matter are particularly earnest. In the meanwhile
some of us write letters to post at Rimouski. I take it into my head
to count how many trips I have made across the Atlantic Ocean since I
left Glasgow in April, 1845. I have crossed in every kind of vessel,
from a sailing ship up to the “Great Eastern,” and this present voyage
I find to be my nineteenth, so I think I can speak with some confidence
of what life on an ocean steamship truly is. My shortest passage was
by the “Alaska,” in October, 1882, from Sandy Hook, New York, to
Liverpool, in seven days and five hours, but on this occasion we were
detained inside the bar in the harbour of New York for two days, owing
to fog. My longest voyage was by the ship “Brilliant,” it occupied
nearly six weeks.

The concert was, as usual, a success, at least everybody was pleased.
Thirteen pounds sterling were collected. Those who ventured on supper
partook of all the usual delicacies in vogue on these occasions, and
the disciple of the pipe and cigar indulged himself for some time on
deck. By half-past eleven the last of us had turned in.

It was wet the following day; we were steaming up the St. Lawrence as
we took breakfast. Those who were to leave at Rimouski, of whom I was
one, point out that it is the last time we may take this meal together,
for we may arrive at Rimouski by night. In the afternoon we have fog,
showers, and fine weather alternately. We overtake the “Hanoverian.”
She had passed us during the five hours we had lost in the fog. Night
comes on, and at ten o’clock we run into a dense fog. Prudence dictates
that we advance “dead slow,” so I throw myself on my bed without
undressing, to catch some little sleep in the interval before we are
met by the Rimouski tender.

We are called at three o’clock on Saturday morning; we take a cup of
coffee in the saloon, and I receive a batch of letters from my family
and other correspondents. We enter the tender and arrive at the long
Rimouski wharf just as dawn is breaking. My daughter and myself go
southward to Halifax with three others, amongst them the venerable
Bishop Rogers, of Chatham.

However pleasant the trip across the ocean has been, and although
many of us found its associations most agreeable and we separate from
them only by necessity, nevertheless all of us reach the shore with
no little satisfaction. The fact is we are subjected to a new set of
influences. We revive old associations. We see well-known scenes,
and meet familiar faces. There is a change from our life of the last
nine days to a new series of events and excitements. One of the first
Canadians to give us a welcome was the young son of Madam Lepage, who
had seen us off by the tender on 17th June.

The train carries us over the familiar Inter-Colonial Railway, nearly
every spot along the line having a special claim on my recollection.
The landscape is always striking in the neighbourhood of the Metapedia
and Restigouche. There has been much rain and the vegetation is
luxuriant. Bishop Rogers and myself revert to fifteen years ago when we
crossed the Atlantic together. Then, as now, he was returning from a
visit to the Holy Father at Rome. The Bishop insisted on acting as host
at breakfast at Campbelton: he held that we had now entered his diocese
and that he must consider us his guests. It would have pained the good
old Bishop had we declined his courtesy.

We learn that the fishing on the Restigouche this season has been
excellent. As usual, we have the best of fresh salmon for breakfast. We
say good-bye to the Bishop, who leaves us at Newcastle, and we proceed
on our journey, arriving late at night safely at our home in Halifax.

We are now in Nova Scotia, where I am delayed a few days before
starting on the long land journey over the western continent.



  Early Colonization--De Monts--Champlain--Sir William Alexander--
    Capture of Quebec--The Treaties--The Acadian Evangeline--
    Louisbourg--First Capture--Peace of Aix la Chapelle--Boundary
    Disputes--The Final Struggle--Deportation of the Acadians--
    Nova Scotia constituted a Province.

The first attempt at the colonization of Nova Scotia which was made
from France was singularly unfortunate. In 1598, we read, the Marquis
de la Roche left Saint Malo with a crew, almost entirely composed of
convicts. He landed forty of them at Sable Island until he could select
a place fit for settlement, when a westerly storm drove his ship back
to France. These settlers, if they can be so called, remained unnoticed
for seven years, and when they were found twelve only remained. Had it
not been for De Lery, who placed some live stock here in 1518, which
in the interval had greatly multiplied, they must have starved. Their
houses were built of the timbers of wrecked vessels, and it would
seem no little of the fuel was derived from the same source. There
is a letter from one John Butt to Henry VIII., which states that in
1527, seventy years previously, he met fifteen vessels in the harbour
of Newfoundland, and there is every ground to warrant the belief
that individual enterprise led to constant communication between the
maritime nations of Europe and America from the early days of the
discovery of Newfoundland, and that very many vessels penetrated to
the shores of Nova Scotia and to the St. Lawrence before the days of
Verazzano and Cartier. The object being alone that of trade with the
Indians, and to obtain fish, no settlement followed, and doubtless many
a wreck lay on the dreary shores of the exposed island where these
unfortunate men had been landed.

The first well-considered attempt at European colonization occurred
under the leadership of De Monts in 1604; in which we of Canada feel
the greater interest, as the founder of Canada, the illustrious
Champlain, took part in it. He has himself recorded the voyage,
and Lescarbot, the first chronicler of the northern portion of the
continent has fully related its history. It is mentioned that when De
Monts arrived, he found a free trader in one of the bays whose name
is preserved, Rossignol, a marked proof which I venture to adduce as
showing the frequent intercourse between the two hemispheres at that
date. De Monts entered the Bay of Fundy and passed up St. Mary’s Bay,
whence he proceeded to what is now known as Annapolis. Poutrincourt
was of the party, and he commenced his chequered career by obtaining
a grant of Port Royal from De Monts, founding a settlement there and
giving it the name it bore for upwards of a century. De Monts himself
passed over to Saint John whence he descended to Passamaquoddy Bay,
where he built the Fort of Saint Croix. His crew suffered from scurvy
during the winter. Hence he formed the opinion that the settlement
was unhealthy, and accordingly he went as far south as the Penobscot.
Finding the Indians unfriendly at this place, he returned to Port
Royal. Here he met Pontgravé, known as the friend and associate of
Champlain, who at this date first appears on the scene.

The leaders returned to France where strong influences were exercised
against them. But they reappeared in 1606 and commenced in earnest
to cultivate the land. A mill was constructed, and in the height of
their efforts the following year notice was received from France that
the monopoly of the trade in peltry given to De Monts was revoked. De
Monts’ future scene of labour was the Saint Lawrence, but Poutrincourt
obtained the confirmation of De Monts’ concession to him of Port Royal,
accompanied by the condition that it should maintain a Jesuit Mission.

The influence which sustained this addition was all powerful, so the
two Jesuits, Biard and Masse, arrived at Port Royal.[A] The Jesuits
could not agree with the commander of the settlement and they departed
to found a colony on the Penobscot River. But in 1613, Captain Samuel
Argall, from James River, in Virginia, where a settlement had been
established since 1606, sailed to fish for cod in the more northern
waters. His pretensions were higher than that of a fisherman, for he
carried fourteen guns and a crew of sixty men. Some Indians in perfect
good faith set him on the track of the new settlements, which he at
once attacked and destroyed.

No attempt was made to form a settlement from the Mother Country until
1621, when what in modern language are called the Maritime Provinces
were granted to Sir William Alexander. A vessel with emigrants sailed
in 1622, but owing to storms, was driven to Newfoundland. James I. died
in 1625, and his death led to the complications which followed on this
continent. Charles I. had determined to assist the French Protestants
then besieged in Rochelle, and as a portion of his operations, Kirke’s
celebrated expedition against Canada, took place in 1628. Quebec was
taken. The French settlements still continued with small increments in
what is known as Acadia: at Port Royal, Annapolis, to the country round
Minas Bay, or the Basin of Minas from Chignecto to Cobequid, and south
to Windsor and Cornwallis. There were some small settlements at Cape
Sable, Cape la Have and at Canso. Fifty years after this date the total
population was but little over 800, so settlement could only have taken
place slowly and at intervals.

In 1632 all that is now known as British America, which lies beyond
the valley of the St. Lawrence, was given over to the French by
treaty. But Oliver Cromwell became Protector of England, and seized
the forts of St. John and Port Royal, and, what is more, in the treaty
of Westminster of 1655 held Nova Scotia as a possession. In 1658 the
great Englishman died, and the discreditable days of the restoration
followed. In 1662 the French Ambassador received instructions to
demand restitution of the country. The English King, the pensioner
of France, had no resource but compliance, although the people of
Massachusetts, hearing of the proposition, sent a remonstrance against
the proceeding. Its only effect was to lead to delay, for in 1667 a
discreditable surrender was made by the treaty of Breda. The Governor
was ordered to hand over Nova Scotia to French rule. The accession
of William III. led to war, and in 1690 an expedition against Port
Royal ended in its capture. But by the Peace of Ryswick, 1697, Nova
Scotia was again transferred to France. Port Royal was occupied and
placed in a condition of defence, and it was among the grievances
of the New Englanders that it was the resort of pirates who preyed
on Massachusetts commerce. War again broke out in 1702. The early
attempts to capture Port Royal were not successful. Had the Governor,
Subercase, been sustained from France, the conquest might have been
perhaps stayed. But the support he asked was not extended, and in 1710
the place was again taken. The English Government had learned some
terrible lessons on the necessity of holding the territory in this
direction. The massacres at York and Oyster River in 1694 and the
attempt to destroy Wells must have taught her rulers that the English
colonies required some firmly seated support against such attempts. The
effort of France was to connect Canada by a series of outposts with
the Atlantic. A fort was built on the St. John, opposite Fredericton,
Naxouat, and at the Jemseg to the south. The thinly-peopled northern
parts of Maine and Massachusetts were thus constantly exposed to
attack, and it was manifestly necessary to the protection of New
England that a garrison of sufficient strength should be established
in a locality where it would be available to meet an excursion from
Canada, if French encroachments were to be resisted. It was thus
that attention was directed to Port Royal, which had been taken in
the expedition under Nicholson in 1710, and now received the name of
Annapolis, from the reigning Queen. Halifax was then unknown, and the
whole settlement of Nova Scotia consisted in what went under the name
of Acadia, which did not contain 1,000 souls. It was resolved, however,
to hold Nova Scotia permanently, and a garrison was left at Annapolis.

It was not until 1755, forty-five years after this date, that the
deportation of the Acadians took place, and what follows in the history
of Nova Scotia must be remembered in connection with the relentless
policy of Governor Lawrence, which enforced their banishment.

Many have formed their idea of that measure by Mr. Longfellow’s well
known poem of “_Evangeline_,” but it must be judged in a far wider
view than what is suggested by those polished hexameters. Few can
deny that the measure was one bringing much suffering with it, and
that many innocent persons underwent tribulation, and that there is
a hard, unbending purpose running through the proceeding to cause
feelings of horror and pain. This cannot be denied. But what is all
war but an unvarying scene of individual misery and wrong? A private
execution of the most notorious malefactor makes an appeal to one’s
more merciful feelings. The real question to be considered is; was this
step a merciless, treacherous, unnecessary brutality like the massacre
of Glencoe, inflicting uncalled for suffering on a defenceless
people, taken unawares, who had no chance given them to avoid such a
fate; or was it an act of necessary policy entailed by most pressing
circumstances, by consideration for the safety of a community, which
the sufferers could have avoided, without the slightest sacrifice
of principle, feeling or of individual right. The fact must be
clearly stated. The Acadians, as a conquered people, obtained every
consideration and kindness, and for years they were called upon
earnestly to be loyal and to abstain from injury to those who were now
their masters. No one ever received the slightest individual injury.
They were treated with justice, with forbearance, with mercy. They
were assured the practice of their religion, the maintenance of their
property and their personal liberty. All they were asked to do was to
give a solemn assurance, to become in fact and by their lives, subjects
of their conquerors. Not to side with their foes, but to defend the
land on which they held their property, against its enemies, and above
all to abstain from encouragement of the savage Indian, whose theory of
warfare was stealthy assassination. I return to the date 1710.

Port Royal was conquered, and its conquerors clearly shewed that they
intended to retain it as a possession. The inhabitants never ceased
from hostility in all its forms. Parties sent out to cut wood were
assassinated. Travelling beyond the fort was dangerous; for the
individual it was death. The enmity of the people was kept up by the
missionaries with the assurance that the fort would be attacked and
retaken at the first opportunity, and that British continued possession
was an impossibility. War was closed by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713,
when Nova Scotia remained a British possession. The French retained
the sovereignty of the Island of Cape Breton,[B] which with the Port
of Louisbourg, remained an eternal threat to Nova Scotia. The Acadians
were pressed by the French governor, to remove to Cape Breton. By the
14th Article of the Treaty, they had one year in which they could
leave Nova Scotia. But they would not do so. At the same time, they
declared to the French of Cape Breton their intention of remaining
subjects of France, and that they never would take the oath of
allegiance to England under any circumstances.

In 1714 Nicholson was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia, then a
recognized Province. No steps appear to have been taken for some years
with regard to the Acadians. The oath had been tendered and refused. It
was not enforced, and they remained in this unsatisfactory condition
for thirty years, when war broke out again in 1743. It was well known
that, in the event of war, every Acadian would be an enemy to British
rule. Mascarene was then Governor. Descended from Huguenot French,
he was a man of rare ability and power. A French force attacked the
fort. The attack was to have been made in connection with a French
squadron. The latter not arriving, the force retired, having shewn
little enterprise. The Acadians did not join the attacking army. There
was a body of Indians from the main land, friendly to the English, who
were sufficient to counterbalance the Nova Scotian Micmacs, and the
determined defence was a guarantee against any pronounced aid from

If Nova Scotia was to be retained with a population ever ready to rise
at the first gleam of success of the enemies of Great Britain and its
religion, Louisbourg, it was evident could not be allowed to continue,
a constant omen of danger and loss. Whoever first proposed the attack,
and I think it must have been a necessity everywhere understood, it was
Shirley, then Governor of Massachusetts, who prepared the organization
by which the first taking of Louisbourg was effected, and whose
energy and ability led to the expedition of 1745. William Pepperel
was appointed its commander. Few such expeditions have been marked
by such signal organization and completeness, a striking contrast to
the contemptible result of Phipp’s expedition against Quebec in 1690,
and Walker’s miserable failure in 1711. Admiral Warren commanded the
naval forces. Louisbourg fell. The booty was immense, and to increase
it the French flag was kept flying so that vessels from France entered
the harbour to become the spoil of the conqueror. A lesson not
forgotten when Boston was evacuated by the British in 1776, by the
incompetent General Gage and his equally inefficient lieutenants. For
the British flag, still flying on the fort, invited the English vessels
unhesitatingly to sail in, if combatants, to become prisoners of war
and for the stores and merchandise to be sequestrated. It is said that
at Louisbourg the share of a seaman before the mast was eight hundred
guineas. The efforts on the part of France to revenge this reverse were
futile. The design was even to destroy Boston, but the expedition was
one of the most impotent on record.

Port Royal, Annapolis seemed more easy of attainment. The commandant
knowing the weakness of his garrison applied for reinforcements. On the
arrival of 420 men, they were sent to Minas. A French fort was then at
Chignecto. An attack was at once determined. The English troops took
no precaution, as if they were in full security. Led by Acadian guides
to the exact locality where the men were quartered, the French arrived
at 2 o’clock in the morning on 23rd January, 1747. Snow was falling
so the advance was not seen until close on the sentries. The troops,
attacked in bed, made a desperate resistance, but they were defeated
and capitulated. Such a result would have been impossible without the
assistance of the Acadians, who led the troops precisely to the points
to be attacked and withheld all knowledge of the expedition.

The disgraceful peace of Aix-la-Chapelle was made in 1748. It is hard
to believe that Louisbourg and Cape Breton were given back to the
French under the vague clause that no conquest since the commencement
of the war should be held. England, therefore, retained Nova Scotia
and France Cape Breton, for the tragedy of Louisbourg to be repeated
ten years later. We all recollect the toast of Blucher that the
diplomatist may not lose by the pen what the soldier has gained by the
sword. On this continent we have much to remind us how a few words in a
treaty, indistinct and indefinite in their purport, have ignored many
years of national effort, courage and determination, at the same time
sacrificing remorselessly a multiplicity of private interests.

But the time had come when the quarrel between France and England
should be fought out, and both powers felt that this chronic condition
of war could no longer continue. In ten years the struggle had ceased.
One by one the strongholds of France passed from her hands, and in ten
years her flag had ceased to be a type of power on the continent. Both
countries accordingly put forth their whole strength in this period: a
fact of importance when the question of the treatment of the Acadians
is judged. One of the first steps was the foundation of Halifax in 1749
under Cornwallis. It was done with rare organization, with perfect
success. Without delay Cornwallis called upon the Acadians to take
the oath of allegiance. They declined. For six years was this request
avoided with ill-concealed hostility. “In fact,” said Governor Hopson
in July, 1753, “what we call an Indian war is no other than a pretence
for the French to commit hostilities upon His Majesty’s subjects.” The
French, moreover, while recognizing the provisions of the Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle, drew an arbitrary boundary of Nova Scotia: that of
Missiquash River, now the boundary of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia;
and La Jonquière, then Governor of Canada, sent a force under La Corne
to erect a chain of forts from the Bay of Fundy to Bay Verte. They
constructed Fort Beauséjour. The Governor of Nova Scotia established
Fort Lawrence, near the settlement of Beauséjour. In 1755 it was
resolved to drive the French from their position. As was looked for,
the Acadians were there on the French side, but the fort was taken and
called Fort Cumberland. It was these very encroachments of the French
against Nova Scotia which led to the declaration of war in May of 1756.
What followed I need but cursorily mention. Louisbourg again fell in
1758; Quebec in 1759. In 1760 Louisbourg was demolished, for no other
port than Halifax was needed. In six months this monument of French
power, which it had taken twenty-five years to raise, was levelled
to the ground. All of value was transported to Halifax, many of the
boucharded stones, even, having been taken there. In this year Montreal
capitulated, and De Vaudreuil signed the capitulation which gave the
continent to British rule.

All these facts require to be stated when the deportation of the
Acadians has to be considered. What else could be done with them in
this crisis? From the period when Cornwallis first arrived, in 1749,
it was the one question: how to act with a body of men disloyal to the
country as it was governed. Too weak to obtain a national standing,
but constantly intriguing to injure the authority they lived under
but would not recognize; refusing all efforts of conciliation; and,
with the guarantee of possessing personal liberty, the free practice of
their religion, the enjoyment of their property, they still declined
to give the slightest assurance of good behaviour or fidelity. They
refused even to furnish supplies to the British garrison, and they
ranged themselves actually on the side of the French expeditions. They
encouraged the savage to rob, and to plunder, and to murder. They
complacently looked on while a vessel was looted under their eyes,
and at the same time they were subject to no direct tax and had every
privilege a loyal subject could ask. European writers who have alluded
to this proceeding have dwelt much on the peaceful lives and the quiet,
primitive habits of most of those who suffered. That fact has never
been disputed. But poetry has endeavoured to sublimate their virtues
to a height they never reached. The Acadians lived in rude plenty,
unmarked by the least culture. Their prejudices were only developed
among themselves. They were litigious and grasping, and French writers
of that date complain that the specie which they received never left
their possession, for they held it back for the hour of difficulty,
which would have been in no way unwelcome if it ended in driving from
their midst those who, with all the exaggeration on the subject, could
not be called their oppressors. In September, 1755, a considerable
number of the most troublesome were seized, arbitrarily, undoubtedly,
and banished from the country. What the number was which were thus
scattered and shipped in transports it is hard to state. Many were left
behind, as the despatches of subsequent Governors clearly establish.
In Grand Pré 1,925 were collected. At Annapolis and Cumberland many
took to the woods. I cannot form any other opinion than that the number
5,000 is an exaggeration. Among the papers at the Colonial Office or
at Halifax the true state of the case may be found. I am quite unable,
from what I can learn, to give any estimate, but the evidence leads me
to think that probably less than 3,000 were so deported. A melancholy
fate of suffering, sorrow and privation; for these poor creatures
were sent, homeless and destitute, to other States; but there was no
unnecessary hardship and cruelty shown, and their condition was not
worse than that of the immigrant who in old days sought our shores.

Undoubtedly it is a chapter of human misery, this enforced exodus, but
those who suffered by it could have avoided it by a line of conduct
marked by no one act in any way unworthy or humiliating. All that was
called for was the acceptance of an unavoidable condition of events,
beyond their control, irremediable. They refused to become friends
of those who made the offer of peace and conciliation in the hour of
danger and difficulty. They showed themselves to be avowed enemies.
For upwards of forty years they destroyed the peace of the colony, and
had at length to pay the penalty their conduct exacted, which was only
with reluctance adopted as a necessity which self-preservation demanded.

It is not until 1714 that Nova Scotia ranks as a British Province.
There were many mutations before it took this definite form, and in
connection with its history there is the record common to most of the
communities of this continent: that of misapprehension and a failure to
understand its importance as an American possession.

For the hundred and seventy years which Nova Scotia has continued
under British rule its population has steadily increased from various
sources, and as a maritime people they have placed themselves in the
highest rank. Nova Scotia thus possesses the distinction of being the
oldest British Province of the Dominion.



  Home in Halifax--Start for the Pacific--The Intercolonial Railway--
    Major Robinson--Old Companions--The Ashburton Blunder--Quebec--The
    Provincial Legislature--Champlain--The Iroquois.

Arrived at my Halifax home, I made the few preparations necessary for
the journey before me. In the interval, I rambled through the Dingle
with my children and paddled over the north-western arm, a sheet of
water of much beauty. There is always unusual pleasure in such quiet
occupations, exacting neither labour, nor thought, nor any great strain
upon the attention. We float along or stroll idly, as it were following
the bent of our inclinations, now and then considering what lies before
us, or reverting in memory to that which once has happened. Then I
visited my old friends, who gave me the proverbial Halifax welcome. Two
vessels of the fleet were in port, the “Northampton” and the “Canada,”
the latter attracting some attention from the fact that Prince George,
the second son of the Prince of Wales, was on board, performing the
duties of a midshipman, as any other youngster in that position and as
efficiently. A new Commander of the Forces had arrived, Lord Alexander
Russell, formerly known in Canada as commanding one of the battalions
of the Rifle Brigade, and the conversation of the garrison was the
changes in discipline and general economy introduced, as is frequently
the case by new administrators. All my friends were well and in good
spirits. I had the additional pleasure of finding that the kindness of
former days was unimpaired, and my whole visit was one of pleasantness.

I was four days in Halifax, and on the ninth of August, I started
alone. Dr. Grant who accompanied me on my first trip to the Pacific
eleven years ago, had accepted the invitation to accompany me across
the Rocky Mountains, and it was arranged that he should join me in
Winnipeg. My second son was also to be of the party. He was to meet me
in Toronto.

My family went with me to the station. There was an unusual effort to
say good-bye in starting on this long journey, but that matter has no
interest here.

It is only on alternate nights that the Pullman car runs through from
Halifax to Montreal. On this occasion I had to leave Halifax by the
Pullman which went no further than Moncton Junction, and with the
other western passengers I had to wait there for the train to arrive
from St. John. We reached Moncton at two o’clock in the morning, an
hour not the most convenient for effecting the change. It is among
the minor miseries of travelling to be obliged to turn out at such an
hour for a coming train. But the fault was my own. Had I curtailed my
brief sojourn in Halifax a few hours, or had my arrangements admitted
of delay for another day, I would have had the advantage of a through
Pullman without the inconvenience of a break at this place. Moncton is
in New Brunswick, at the junction of the lines from Halifax and St.
John, whence a common course is followed to the St. Lawrence.

As I was sitting on the platform in the cool summer air before dawn,
I could not but recollect that the 10th of August was one of the red
letter days of my life. Thirty-one years back, on that day my railway
career in Canada commenced. I was appointed as an Assistant-engineer
on what was then known as the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway,
afterwards developed into the Northern Railway of Canada, and of which
I remained chief engineer for a number of years. The Montreal and
Portland Railway was under construction. The Grand Trunk Railway had
just been commenced, and with the exception of some small lengths of
line, such as the Lachine, the La Prairie, and the Carillon Railways,
it may be said that, at that date, railways had no working existence in

The station ground at Moncton was illuminated by an electric light;
to escape its piercing rays, I turned away to a seat which they
did not reach. As I was thus sitting apart, my recollection went
back over the last thirty-one years and to the many events which the
spot suggested. The night was dark, and, excepting in the immediate
neighbourhood, it seemed to be rendered darker by the light which
flickered and glared directly above me. I cannot say that the dazzling
“Brush” light is agreeable to me at any time, or on that occasion that
my tone of thought was affected by it; but in spite of myself my mind
ran over much of the past, and brought vividly before me many events
long forgotten. I remembered the frequent mention of Moncton by Major
Robinson in his well known report, and I felt how much I owed to his
labours and to those of his efficient assistant Captain, now Sir Edmund
Henderson. I thought of poor Major Pipon, who was drowned in one of
the streams while gallantly striving to save the life of an Indian
boy. Prominent among the actors I reverted to my friend Mr. Light,
who constructed the line from Moncton to St. John, whose labours were
continued on the Intercolonial Railway until its completion, and who is
still actively engaged in his profession. Naturally, in connection with
these memories, the whole staff of engineers who worked with me on the
Intercolonial Railway passed before me, from the first long snow-shoe
tramps through the forest and across the mountains in 1864 to the
completion of the line in 1876. Some are no more; those who remain are
scattered over this continent doing their work as manfully as they did
it here, wherever their field of duty.

So far as the Intercolonial Railway appears before the public to-day,
those engineers who were for years engaged in its construction are
as if they never existed. I was struck with the similitude between
the life of the engineer and of the soldier. There is much which is
identical in the two professions. In both, privations and hardships
are endured. In both, self-sacrifice is called for. In both, special
qualities are demanded to gain desired results; and the possessors
of them for a time obtain prominence, to pass out of mind with the
necessity for their service, and to be forgotten and uncared for. It is
peculiarly during an hour of patient waiting in the advanced hours of
night that much of the past comes vividly before us. My mind reverted
to all the incidents connected with the history of this national
railway. I recalled many recollections of the Railway Commissioners
whom the Government appointed at that date, and I did my best to forget
many an unpleasantness. Differences of view were not unfrequent. They
seemed important enough at the time, but on looking back to them now,
how insignificant many of them appear. Those mistakes which permanently
affect the public interests are only to be deplored. The train had just
passed over the scene of one of the most glaring of these departures
from a wise policy. In order to serve purely local interests, the
railway was diverted many miles out of its true direction. The proper
location would have cost less; the line, when completed, would have
been better in an engineering point of view; the distance would
have been ten miles shorter. But the local interests, in themselves
insignificant, were sustained by political influence. Whatever
administration was in power, there was some one prominent politician to
advocate the location by the circuitous route. In this one point men on
opposite sides of the House could meet on common ground, and in spite
of all remonstrances[C] and regardless of the facts, their individual
interests prevailed.

Thus the country was saddled with an unnecessary expense of
construction of a needless increased length of line with its perpetual
maintenance, and every person, and every ton of goods, entering or
leaving Nova Scotia, has to pay a mileage charge of conveyance over
ten extra unnecessary miles: a tax on the travelling public and the
commerce of the country for ever! As I looked along the track into the
darkness, I remembered that some fifteen years had passed since the
troubles and unpleasantness of those days, and it came to my mind that
the prominent actors in the events are dead. I was struck with the
truth of our experience in the vanity of human wishes and the worse
than folly of sacrificing permanent public interests for matters of
passing moment.

The circumstances suggested another recollection of higher historical
importance and infinitely more consequence. Moncton itself,
geographically, is nearly due east of Montreal, but in order to reach
this point, the Intercolonial railway has to diverge northerly nearly
three degrees of latitude, through the narrow limit of territory
along the St. Lawrence. The extraordinary series of negotiations
which led to the establishment of the Maine boundary, is a chapter
in our history which the British nation equally with Canadians would
willingly forget. It is with pain and humiliation that we reflect on
the ignorance of the simplest facts of the case and of the deplorable
inattention to every national interest which marked the conduct of
the Imperial representative, Lord Ashburton, in the settlement of
that question. I had occasion, some years ago, carefully to examine
the whole subject, and I could never discover that the blame of
the discreditable settlement of the matter at issue is in any way
chargeable to the Washington Government, as many suppose, and as I
myself at one time had been taught to believe. The diplomacy of the
United States was perfectly straightforward throughout. Strange as it
may seem, the objectionable settlement, which leaves this painful blot
on the map of the Dominion, is due to the rejection of a proposition
which came from the Executive at Washington. Had the wise and just
proposal made and repeated by President Jackson been accepted, there
cannot be a doubt that the boundary would have been satisfactorily
established, in accordance with the true spirit of the treaty of 1783.
We would have been spared the bitter humiliation of the Ashburton
treaty; we would have saved ten millions of dollars in the first cost
of the Intercolonial railway, and Nova Scotia would have been, for all
practical purposes of trade and intercourse, two hundred miles nearer
the western provinces of the Dominion.

The yearly cost of maintaining and working this unnecessary length of
railway represents a large sum. The direct advantages of the shorter
line would have been incalculable. The transport of coal alone, at half
a cent per ton per mile, reckoned on 200 miles, would effect a saving
to the consumers in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario of one dollar
per ton. Such a reduction in itself would have created great activity
in the mining industries of Nova Scotia, the coal fields of which are
inexhaustible, but which from their distance from market are subjected
to much unfavorable competition.

The train arrives in due time; a sleeping berth had been secured by
telegraph, and I proceed onwards. The following evening, the train
reaches the Chaudière Junction, opposite Quebec, having passed Rimouski
and Rivière du Loup in the afternoon. At the latter place, generally
so quiet and free from bustle, we saw an unusual number of people
assembled. It was the annual excursion of the Press Association, and
the members had been listening to an address from the Premier of the

There are three ways of reaching Montreal from Quebec. The traveller
may take the steamboat up the St. Lawrence, 180 miles. He may cross the
river and avail himself of the North Shore Railway, or he may remain on
the south side and proceed by the Grand Trunk Railway. It is now seven
in the evening and the train is about starting, so I continue on the
Grand Trunk route and have a second night to pass in the Pullman car.
In the morning at half-past six the train enters Montreal by the famed
Victoria Bridge.

To those who desire to pass a day at Quebec, the steamboat is a very
pleasurable mode of travelling. The steamers on the route are well
built. The accommodation is excellent, and they present a varied and
animated sight during the season from the number of passengers.

I have frequently visited Quebec, and I have passed many days among its
many pleasant associations. On this occasion, it was a mere point in my
travels. Those who visit Canada for the first time, will certainly not
hurry past this famous city as I was then doing.

Quebec will always be remarkable for its historical associations and
for the exquisite beauty of its scenery. The traveller, however far he
may have rambled, can not fail to recognize that the view from Durham
Terrace is one of the finest he has ever seen. Some contend that it
is unsurpassed. On one side is the citadel in all its strength and
grandeur. On the opposite bank of the river, Point Levis stands forth
with its coves and buildings and scenes of stirring life. Immediately
below us the majestic river itself flows in a great, placid stream
on its way to the ocean. To the north, rise the bold heights of the
Laurentian range, bearing evidences of life from their base far up on
the hill side. The whole scene furnishes a panorama rarely to be met.
In Quebec one feels that he is on a spot where every foot of space was
once of value, from the necessity of protecting the whole by works of
defence. We are taken back to the European life of insecurity of two
centuries ago, when every town was so protected, and yet was often
ravaged and despoiled. Quebec is the one memorial of that condition of
things on this continent. The city itself is built on an eminence which
admits of much variety of landscape. It is a spot of great attraction
which everybody visits with pleasure. The society has long been known
by the genial and kindly character of its hospitality. Although its
commerce is not relatively what it was in former years, it is still a
centre of much activity and possesses great wealth. The commencement of
a railway to the settlement at Lake St. John, to the north, entirely
by Quebec capital, is a proof that the spirit of enterprise yet remains.

The city is the seat of Provincial Government. During the sitting of
its Legislature it is much frequented by men busy in political life.
In summer the hotels are invariably full of tourists, chiefly from the
United States, hundreds often arriving daily to go over the ground of
its historic associations, to enjoy the beauty of the landscape, and
to observe what remains of the life of a past, of which in their own
country they are without a parallel. Much of the history of Canada
centres around Quebec. Many illustrious names are associated with the
ancient city. The most distinguished is its founder, Samuel Champlain.

Champlain’s career in Canada dates from 1608 to 1635. He founded
Quebec. He ascended the Richelieu and discovered Lake Champlain, which
bears his name. He ascended from Ticonderoga to Lake George, and
penetrated the valleys of the Hudson and the Mohawk. He ascended the
Ottawa, passed over the height of land, and by Lake Nipissing reached
Georgian Bay. He travelled the country overland from Lake Simcoe to
the Trent, and by the Bay of Quinté crossed the waters of Lake Ontario
to what is now the State of New York, and penetrated to one of the
lakes, believed to be Lake Canandaigua. He was the first to make a map
of Canada, and he published his memoirs and his travels. He, and he
only, is the founder of Canada. What he effected was wonderful. Few
men have been marked by such singular honesty of character. Few men
have possessed so well directed a spirit of adventure, controlled by an
unusually active and penetrating mind. His fortitude, his endurance,
his courage, his perseverance, his personal honour make him one of the
great characters of history.

Midway between Quebec and Montreal the City of Three Rivers is
situated. This place was early settled, a fort having been constructed
here in 1634. Its geographical position called for this protection. It
is at the foot of the St. Maurice, whose sources lie far to the north,
and west of Lake St. Peter, which in those days might be called an
Iroquois lake, from the frequent incursions of the Indians, who were
merciless in their warfare. For forty years the early French Canadian
settler never knew if he would be able to reap the harvest of the seed
he had sown. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was
doubtful, when he left his home for his day’s labour, if he would not
be before night a scalped corpse. It was not until 1686 that Tracy
passed by the Richelieu and read the Iroquois a lesson by which peace
was obtained. Three Rivers was at an early day a settlement of some
importance. It even obtained a preference over Quebec, but the better
situation of Montreal eventually diverted the trade to that city. It
has long been a pleasant enough place, but, as the saying goes, one
through which everybody passes and where nobody stops.



  Montreal--Ship Channel--Hon. John Young--St. Lawrence Canals--
    Indifference of Quebec--Quebec Interests Sacrificed--Need of a
    Bridge at Quebec--Montreal Trade in Early Times--Beauty of the
    City--Canadian Pacific Railway--Ottawa--The Social Influence
    of Government House--Kingston.

It is only within the last half century that the commercial advantages,
geographically, possessed by Montreal have been understood and
developed. It is not possible to enter into the history of the
remarkable works, extending east and west, which have secured to this
city its commercial success. They may, however, be briefly mentioned.
To the east a ship channel has been dredged through Lake St. Peter to a
depth of twenty-five feet, to admit of the passage of ocean steamers.
The original depth over the St. Peter flats was eleven feet. This
gigantic work, commenced in 1840, has been continued until the present
day. The excavation extends for a distance of seventeen miles, over
shoals irregular in depth. At this date the sum of $3,500,000 has been
expended in the work. The further deepening of this channel to admit
the depth of twenty-seven feet six inches is now in progress, and to
obtain this depth throughout above Quebec the shoals of the River St.
Lawrence itself above and below Lake St. Peter must likewise be dredged.

There is but one parallel to this work in the world: the improvement of
the Clyde, which has been continued for one hundred years. Originally
only vessels drawing three feet six inches could reach Glasgow. From
time to time this depth has been increased, until it may be said that
at this date ocean steamers of the largest draught are found at the
Broomielaw. Hence Glasgow, by artificial means, has become one of the
most important ports in the United Kingdom; and similarly Montreal,
although a thousand miles from the ocean, is now one of the chief
seaports of the Dominion, and, judged by the standard of Customs
receipts, must be held to be the first.

In connection with the improvement of the St. Lawrence, between
Montreal and Quebec, indeed with regard to much which has increased the
prosperity of Montreal, one name rises into marked prominence, that
of the Hon. John Young, so long and so honourably known in that city,
and still so well remembered. It was owing in a great degree to his
energy and capacity that the deepening of Lake St. Peter was completed
according to the original design. It may also be said that he was one
of the first to recognize the necessity of an increased sufficiency
of depth of channel above Quebec, if Montreal was to remain the
unquestioned port of the ocean steamer. A project which he advocated
to his death, and which until a great extent he was instrumental in
placing in its present satisfactory condition, so that in no great
number of years the depth will be attained.

To the west of Montreal several canals have been completed to overcome
the rapids of the St. Lawrence, the last of which is the renowned Falls
of Niagara, and which our grandsires held to be so insuperable as to
bar settlement on the upper lakes. These works are a marked feature
of Canadian enterprise, and in themselves an important chapter in the
history of canal construction. Nowhere in the world, on a line of
navigation, are such locks to be seen. Those of the Lachine Canal are
two hundred and seventy-five feet in length, forty-five feet wide,
with twelve feet of water in the sills, so constructed that, without
interruption to traffic, they may be increased to fourteen feet.
The enlargement of the whole navigation of the St. Lawrence, now in
progress, is on a similar scale. It is by the central and commanding
position which these works have created for Montreal that the city has
attained its present supremacy.

For a time Quebec enjoyed to the full extent the control of the ocean
shipping trade, but the day the channel was formed through the flats
of Lake St. Peter for the passage of seagoing vessels the monopoly was
broken and the trade diverted.

The City of Quebec has long complained that its commerce was
languishing, among other causes, from the persistent efforts of
Montreal to control it. The deepening of the channel between the two
cities has accomplished more than was even hoped for by its far-seeing
projectors, for most of the seagoing steamships steam past Quebec, to
find at Montreal the point of transfer for their western freight, and
the point where it is most convenient to receive a cargo. There is a
recorded saying of the Hon. John Neilson, a well known public man of
forty years back, that there are two advantages Montreal could not take
away from Quebec: the Citadel and the tide. Evidently meaning by the
former that tourists would always visit the city to see what only could
there be found, and that Quebec, by constructing tidal docks, had the
means of bringing to her harbour vessels which, from their draught,
could not ascend the river to Montreal. The persistent, well-directed
efforts of Montreal, however, have been to concede no such advantages.

What, in the meantime, has been the course of Quebec? It is well known
that at this hour great efforts are being put forth by Halifax public
men to establish Halifax as the winter shipping port of the Dominion.
It is contended that the Intercolonial Railway is a national work,
constructed with public money, and that it is precisely to meet an
emergency of this character, to prevent the diversion of the winter
freight to the United States ports, that one of the main causes of
its construction can be found. The City of Quebec, labouring under a
depression of its trade, gave its strongest support to the project of
the North Shore Railway, with its prolongation to Ottawa, and even
contributed $1,000,000 towards its establishment. In the eye of the
Quebec merchant it is a national work, the object of which is to extend
to Quebec, by railway, the same facilities for transhipment of freight
which is now possessed by Montreal. The Province had a plain policy
to follow. It was of paramount importance that she should retain full
control of the line to Montreal and Ottawa, and that it should offer,
at both points, perfect facilities for the transfer of traffic to
and from the competing railway lines: the Canadian Pacific and Grand
Trunk. The effect would have been to restore a share of the trade in
shipping freight which Quebec had previously enjoyed. Moreover, as
the navigation is confined to the summer months, it would appear to
be clearly the policy of Quebec to develop and complete her railway
connections to the east, so that the traffic in winter would flow
in a continuous stream over the North Shore line, and be carried
onward to the winter shipping port at Halifax. To carry out this
theory successfully the St. Lawrence would have to be bridged as near
Quebec as practicable. In the vicinity of the city, some few miles
south, there is a site adapted for such a bridge. The shores of the
river are high, and the deep-water channel can be crossed by a single
span, lofty enough for the tallest masts of a vessel to pass beneath.
Modern engineering has rendered the project not only possible but
comparatively easy, for it has reduced greatly the time and the cost
which some years back would have been held necessary to consummate the
project. The railway connections, equally of the City and Province of
Quebec, I may add of the Dominion, will always remain incomplete and
unsatisfactory without such a bridge. With this structure the whole
conditions of the problem would be changed. At all seasons of the year
it would facilitate the arrival and increase the number of tourists.
It would have the effect of augmenting traffic on both the North Shore
and Intercolonial Railways. It would extend provincial as well as local
advantages to commerce generally, and it would go far to establish
Halifax as the winter port of the Dominion. Moreover, it would affect
all this result without the sacrifice of one single Canadian interest.

There is much in the late policy of the Government of Quebec to
astonish and bewilder all who study the laws of trade. It has been
remarked that the City of Quebec felt its interests to be so deeply
concerned in the completion of the North Shore Railway that it voted
$1,000,000 to secure its establishment. Throughout the Province the
railway was advocated for many years; it was fostered and cherished,
and held to be the key to its future prosperity. Nevertheless the
Provincial Government has deliberately sold all its interest in the
work, and has passed over its control to a railway company whose
interests lie in an entirely different direction. They have thus
sacrificed the one chance of extending a fostering hand to local trade
and regaining the prestige of the Ancient City. Indeed, the Provincial
Government stands in relationship to this railway as if it had never
been constructed as a public work. As I am writing I read in the
newspapers that the present tariff of charges between Montreal and
Quebec, a distance of one hundred and eighty miles, on certain articles
of freight, is thirty-three per cent. higher than between Quebec and
Halifax, a distance of six hundred and eighty miles! Possibly an
extreme case; but can any fact bear stronger testimony to the sacrifice
which has been made of the interests of the City of Quebec? It is long
since there has been such an abandonment of a position from which
so much might have been hoped, and, strange to add, the sacrifice
has been made without a protest, without a remonstrance from those
most interested. It would seem that there is a failure to understand
the extent of the advantages which have been thrown away. If there
be any truth in the adage that misery likes company, it may be some
consolation to the people of Quebec to know that the shadow of this
unfortunate transaction has been equally cast over the fortunes of the
Intercolonial Railway and on the prosperity of the City of Halifax.

It seems to me that the error committed cannot too soon be rectified.
Indeed, it is a case in which the intervention of the general
government is both justifiable and necessary. The Intercolonial
Railway, owned and operated by the Dominion Government, extends from
Halifax to a point opposite Quebec. It connects only with the Grand
Trunk Railway. The interests of the Grand Trunk Company call for
the transport of freight to Portland, in the United States, rather
than its transfer to Halifax. The Intercolonial was established for
national purposes. Strong reasons present themselves why it should not
terminate at Chaudière Junction, but that its outlet should be Ottawa.
This policy of extension to the capital would involve bridging the St.
Lawrence at Quebec and of obtaining control of the railway to Ottawa.
Such a connection would admit of the exchange of traffic with the
competing lines on equal terms at Montreal and Ottawa, and would remove
from Quebec, from the Intercolonial Railway and from Halifax the
serious disabilities under which they now labour.

Under French rule Montreal had simply a monopoly of trade with the
Indians, and no attempt was made until a later period to overcome the
natural impediments which lay in the way of its advancement. It was not
until some years after the conquest, when Western Canada, now Ontario,
became a field for settlement, that any improvement of the navigation
of the St. Lawrence was attempted. Some rude canals, with narrow locks,
were early formed to enable the Durham boats, then the only means of
transit, to pass up the Cascade, Cedar and Coteau Rapids. The present
canals were the impulse of a later date. In the early days of Canada
commerce was not of the importance it has now attained. There was a
chronic state of war, first with the red man for the possession of the
country itself; secondly with the English and the southern colonies for
the traffic with the Indians. The scene of the struggle was generally
on the borders of the great lakes, and then, as now, the main effort
was put forth to determine whether the products of the west would pass
by the Mohawk to the Hudson, or whether it would follow the course of
the St. Lawrence to the sea.

Montreal, at this period, was virtually the end of French settlement,
and the population was small. At the present day Montreal is a city,
with its suburbs, of nearly 200,000 inhabitants. Most of the old French
landmarks are disappearing, one by one, and there remains little
of material form to recall French rule. It may almost be said that
the language, and that portion of our laws which owes its origin to
France, are all that remain to remind us of her power. Her criminal and
commercial law is English; the other divisions of her jurisprudence
retain their early impress. There remains, however, the Roman Catholic
form of worship, the most marked heirloom of those days which the
French Canadian has most jealously retained. Montreal, socially, is
now characterized by those features which wealth, proceeding from a
long and prosperous commerce, stamps upon a community on this side
of the Atlantic. On all sides you see palatial residences and highly
cultivated grounds. The main business streets are marked by unusual
architectural embellishments, for which the limestone quarries in the
neighbourhood furnish the best of facilities. The wharves in front of
the city, with the stone revetment wall, have not their equal on the
continent. The canals have already been referred to, and I know nowhere
else where such works are to be seen. The Canadian canal is a river,
and not a small one, and the vessels which pass through it are of no
ordinary size. There is much material success; and this commercial
element has gathered together a busy, anxious, enterprising, pushing
population, with all the accessories in connection with it which wealth
gives. But I must turn to the matters which have brought me to Montreal.

I had a long and important interview with the Directors of the Canadian
Pacific Railway. They desired me to proceed to British Columbia on
a special professional service, and, if practicable, they wished me
to pass over the line west of Winnipeg to examine the passes of the
Rocky Mountains. It was agreed that I should start without delay. Some
preparations are always necessary for such a journey, and to cross
the mountains over an almost untrodden path I required strong, rough
clothing and unexceptional protection for the feet.

I took the afternoon train for Ottawa. In Montreal the terminus of the
Canadian Pacific Railway is at Dalhousie Square. It extends from Notre
Dame street, at a lower level, to the quay, and it would be difficult
to find a more striking site for a railway station. For upwards of a
mile the line runs along the side of the harbour, and you have in view
the bold landscape produced by the river and St. Helen’s Island. To
the west Victoria Bridge stands out in bold relief, and, in spite of
its massiveness, it spans the river with the most graceful of lines.
The harbour of Montreal during the season of navigation is always more
or less full of shipping, among which the ocean steamer predominates.
In winter it presents a totally different appearance. The river is
a field of ice, often cumbered with Cyclopean masses, distorted by
“shoves” into most picturesque forms, often a scene in all respects
striking and rarely met. The railway, on leaving Montreal, passes
through a really charming landscape. Crossing two branches of the St.
Lawrence, at Sault-au-Recollet and Rivière-des-Prairies, it touches
the River Ottawa, and continues generally in sight of the river till
it reaches the capital. Twenty miles east the line passes directly
over the falls of Le Lievre, at Buckingham, which form an object of
special attraction. On approaching Ottawa we cross the long iron bridge
over the river, and see the city lying before us, and the outline of
the Government buildings, with their peculiar architecture, almost
suggesting that you are entering some mediæval city.

At no period of the year, except during the three months when the
House is in session, is there any particular animation in the Capital.
Parliament meets in February, occasionally in January, and continues
its sittings until April or May. From Christmas to the opening of the
House the Government offices are unusually active in the preparation of
documents to be laid before Parliament. Strangers arrive a week before
the day of the opening. There is a constant succession of new faces
in the streets. The Ministers commence their series of dinners, the
intention of which is to affirm their political influence, but clothed
with all the graces of social attraction. Those in the city proper who
can entertain do so at this season. The Club, which for the remaining
nine months can number in its rooms its visitors by tens, is then
crowded, and the hotels are full of busy, bustling individuals engaged
in the many schemes which await the countenance of Parliament, and the
dining-room in the evening has the fullest attendance.

Few cities of the size are more lively under this aspect than Ottawa
during the session. A few days after its close another story is told.
Government House, which for the last ten years has been the scene of so
much polished and plenteous hospitality, becomes tenantless. The two
previous Governors-General, Lord Dufferin and Lord Lorne, endeavoured
to bring side by side all that was estimable and prominent in the
capital. There was something so cordial, so unaffectedly hearty in the
welcome given to all, that no one went there without pleasure or left
without regret. The invitations were not confined to a comparatively
narrow clique. No hospitality could be more genial, more liberal
or more unaffected. Twice a week, or so, there were skating and
tobogganing parties. Once a week there were state dinners, frequently
on other evenings guests were gathered around the private table. Lord
Dufferin inaugurated a series of private theatricals. He was also
followed by Lord Lorne in his desire to add to the common happiness,
as indeed in all that was excellent which Lord Dufferin commenced.
No balls ever were more pleasant than those given at Ottawa under
their regime. There is a delicacy in writing all this, as both these
distinguished men are in active political life, and it is not easy to
speak of the actors in our Canadian drama who yet play a part in the
wider Imperial life. Equally difficult to venture to allude to the
Countess of Dufferin, who exercised such a healthy influence on the
society in which she mixed. The more exalted position of H. R. H. the
Princess Louise makes it more embarrassing to refer to her presence;
but who that has, in any way, been brought within her influence can
forget all the associations which it suggests, not those of rank, but
the more durable impress of genius, of excellence, with the most simple
and unaffected manner, blended with a consideration for others which
delighted everyone.

I remained a few hours in Ottawa, and took the night train for Toronto.
We start from the Canadian Pacific station, at which I had arrived,
and follow the line to Brockville. Brockville is a town of importance
on the St. Lawrence, at the lower end of that interesting reach of
forty miles which embraces the Thousand Islands. During the night the
Pullman is connected with the Grand Trunk train, and we proceed on our
journey as if we were travelling on the system of lines we started
on. There is no tax imposed on travellers, as at Moncton on alternate
nights turning you out of your berth at three in the morning. When you
awake you are still proceeding onward on the western journey. We pass
Kingston at night, a town which has grown around Frontenac’s fort,
erected in 1672. Its site is still a barrack used for the Military
College. Kingston has the advantage of a finely settled country in its
rear; it has an ancient look, and is substantially built of limestone.
Its position at the junction of Lake Ontario with the St. Lawrence, and
the presence of many owners of craft, cause some activity during the
season of navigation. Kingston is also known as the seat of Queen’s
College and University, in which, personally and officially, the writer
has the greatest interest.

There is a restaurant car attached to the train, and one can obtain
any breakfast he may require. After breakfast one generally becomes
critical, for thought is turned outward. As we are moving onward it
struck me that the farming between Trenton and Cobourg was not of a
high character. At no season should thistles and weeds be seen in the
fields, certainly not at the period when they are going to seed, and
even a few slovenly farms will disfigure a whole district. The grain
crop is later than usual, but is fast ripening, and in this section of
the country not without promise. West of Cobourg the land is among
the best in the world. Nowhere is agriculture more careful. There is
scarcely any land remaining uncultivated, and no one but can be struck
with the fertility of the district through which we are passing.



  Toronto--Collingwood--Georgian Bay--The Sault St. Mary--Navigation
    of the Great Lakes--Manitoulin Islands--Lake Huron--Arrival at
    the Sault.

Arriving safely at Toronto I was welcomed by my son Sandford, who
accompanies me on my journey. For the first time I am presented to a
still younger descendant, who confers upon me a new claim to family
respect, and whom I meet with much pleasure.

It was the civic holiday in Toronto. It has been a custom on this
Continent, in the large cities and more important towns, for one
day in the year to be set apart, when, by common consent, business
ceases. All sorts of excursions are organized by railway and steamboat
companies, and to crown the whole with additional dignity, the purport
of the day is officially declared by proclamation by His Worship the
Mayor. Every possible auxiliary is called in aid to give effect to the
occasion. In the city there are various performances at the theatres,
morning and evening. The neighbouring small towns contribute their
sympathizing crowds. There are cricket matches, lacrosse matches,
with other meetings of every character of pleasurable association.
There is the best of good eating and drinking for all who require it
and are willing to pay for it. This Toronto holiday was in no way
wanting in the general characteristics which such a day brings with
it. Crowds of good-looking, good-humoured, holiday-dressed personages
filled the streets, and there was a gaiety of manner and an atmosphere
of amusement in the main thoroughfares which even the indifferent
spectators could with difficulty resist.

If Montreal may be said to be the admitted commercial capital of
Canada, Toronto is battling hard to dispute its supremacy. The capital
of Ontario, it is what Montreal is not. It is a political centre of
great activity, where much is originated to influence both Dominion and
local politics. It justly claims, too, a higher tone of intellectual
life. On the whole, it may be said that there is a more assured type
of culture and urban refinement by the shores of Lake Ontario than
on the Island of Montreal. The city contains two Universities: one,
Toronto University, without religious test, supported by the Province;
the second, Trinity, supported by the Church of England. Besides
which there are a Presbyterian College and Theological Halls of other
denominations. The Canadian Institute also has a reputation. It
numbers among its members some of the leading minds of the country, and
for many years it has been distinguished as a centre for the exchange
of thought on scientific and literary topics; it has greatly aided
the collection of information respecting the economic resources of
the Dominion and in the determination of problems which have a direct
influence upon its future. There has been always a marked polish of
manner, blended with a sympathy with intellectual power, which has
distinguished Toronto society. The leading members of the professions
have, as a rule, obtained greater social recognition, and generally the
horizon of education is much more extended than in the larger eastern

The surrounding country is of little interest beyond what is
artificially obtained, but the large sheltered sheet of water in front
of the city, locally designated “the Bay,” and protected from the lake
by a long sandy island about a mile from the shore, will always give
it value as a harbour, and afford excellent boating water for the
members of the Yacht Club. The more distant environs are particularly
striking. In four hours, steamboats take you to Niagara. On excursion
days they are crowded with passengers. Niagara is one of those sights
which the more you behold the more you are astonished. I have met those
who have expressed disappointment at their first view of the Falls.
It is difficult to explain how this feeling is entertained, except by
some previous extravagant misconception of their extent and appearance.
Their character and beauty have deservedly included them in the wonders
of the world. Necessarily they have become a show place, and to some
extent one experiences the unpleasant influences which the tourist has
to contend with at such resorts. The locality is the scene of many
a small extortion into which the unwary occasionally stumble. There
cannot be a doubt that the Falls of Niagara, with the scenery above
and below them, and the masses of rushing water in all its various
aspects and circumstances, present a sight to dwarf into insignificance
everything of the kind generally beheld. At all seasons of the year
they attract crowds of visitors to the neighbourhood, and scarcely any
one visiting the Continent fails to look upon them.

I spent a pleasant day at Collingwood with my dear old mother, 83 years
of age, looking fresh and hearty, without one physical ache or pain; at
the same time her mind retains its marked natural acuteness.

At four in the afternoon on Tuesday, the 14th August, with my son, I
went on board the steamer “Campana” in the best of spirits. She is
a staunch iron vessel, built in England and registered in London.
There was an unusual crowd of passengers, but I had telegraphed and
secured state-rooms, as the cabins are called, so I had not to content
myself with a mattrass on the floor, the fate of many. The water was
perfectly smooth. As the steamer left the dock the outline of the town
of Collingwood, with the blue mountains in the background, appeared to
me more picturesque than ever. What a change has taken place at this
spot in the last thirty years, since the day when my men cut the first
trees on the first examination of the ground on which this important
town now stands. It was then in a state of nature with the primeval
forest to the water’s edge. It is to-day a scene of busy active life,
with wharves, streets, churches, schools and many a pleasant residence.
The ground on which the dry dock is constructed I recollect as the spot
where I have watched for deer when I had seen their foot tracks fresh
on the sand beach. Where are the men who were busy at their work in
those days? Who remain of the directors, engineers, contractors, and
what the newspapers called “influential personages,” who, on a bright
winter morning in 1851 gathered near the shore and on the ice, breaking
a bottle of wine, named the future City of Collingwood. The familiar
features of Sheriff Smith, Judge Orton, Captain Hancock, Messrs. Isaac
Gilmour, Geo. H. Cheney, Angus Morrison, John McWatt, De Grassey and
Stephens are yet kindly remembered by many, and especially by myself.
There were others present whom I do not so well recollect. How many
of these voices are mute, which then joined in the cheers given as the
heralds of our good wishes! Few of the actors in that scene remain but

The direct course of the “Campana” was along the coast of Georgian
Bay, skirting Craigleith and Thornbury. We touch at the bustling town
of Meaford, where our well-filled passenger list receives additions,
certainly by no means desirable. But the new-comers crowd on board,
and the steamer moves off to round Cape Rich, to enter the bay of
Owen Sound. It was one of those pleasant, moonlight, calm evenings so
enjoyable in Canada. There was not a ripple on the water. The air was
cool and pleasant, the moon three-quarters full, and its reflection
seemed to dance over the whole surface of the bay. The steamer is of
iron, and we move onward with little noise and without vibration. We
enter the narrow harbour at Owen Sound, a town surrounded by low hills,
through the gorges of which the River Sydenham penetrates, passing over
some falls of great beauty a mile from the town. As we are moving up
to the wharf we hear the arrival of the train from Toronto, with more
passengers for the boat. The latter have come on board, the vessel has
started, when all at once the cry is heard, “A man overboard!” He is
soon rescued, but he has lost his hat, and the air of suffering with
which he regards this misfortune would lead us almost to think that he
held life of little account that it had been preserved at this serious
cost. Such an event is by no means uncommon on these lakes. Generally
it happens that some one is late for the steamer. Passengers have often
to drive long distances; nevertheless they loiter to chat over an
evening dram, and lose their time in gossip, or they fail to recollect
the length of the distance they have to pass over. Be that as it may,
punctuality seems to have been imperfectly learned in these latitudes.
It is remembered that the steamer itself is often late, and there is
ever present the good natured friend to suggest that “there is no
hurry.” At last the moment comes. The dawdler is made aware that there
is no time to spare. The steamer’s last whistle has sounded. There is a
rush to get on board, under unfavourable circumstances, and sometimes
the experiment is dearly paid for. It is not always the hat that is
lost. Sometimes it is the fate of the unhappy wearer never again to
require one.

We have recovered from this adventure. We are starting, and have
actually left the wharf, but suddenly the signal is given to stop the
engine, and the voice of the captain is heard shrieking out, “Sam!
there is a letter left at the office by two young ladies.” Sam takes no
short time to find the letter, but at last we get under way, and our
captain is benignity itself. Our next landing place is Sault St. Mary,
which we will not reach for thirty hours.

The arrangements for the steamer leaving Collingwood to touch at Owen
Sound cannot be accounted for by any doctrine of necessity. It would
appear as if the owners were anxious to act with perfect impartiality
to the two railway companies, which, if they cannot be called
opposition lines, have few interests in common. The Northern line runs
to Collingwood; the Toronto, Grey & Bruce to Owen Sound; both from
Toronto. As a rule, passengers by the steamer are for the North-West.
Generally Port Arthur, on Lake Superior, is their destination. But we
lost some twelve hours coasting around from Collingwood, and I could
not see with one single advantage. This profitless waste of time will
in all probability cease when the boats of the Canadian Pacific run
between Port Arthur and Algoma, on the north shore of Lake Huron,
connecting at that point with the railways now under construction.
The new route will give to eastern passengers what they never yet
possessed: a direct connection with Lake Superior without loss of time.
From Toronto, passengers will probably continue to be carried for some
time as at present.

Having passed three succeeding nights on the railway train on my
journey from Halifax, I willingly sought my berth. The breakfast hour
is seven, but I had had some experience of the preceding evening’s
supper. Appetite must possess to many a somewhat tyrannical mastery,
if we are to judge by the demonstrative determination to obtain
seats at a steamboat table. With us there were four relays of supper,
and it was an effort to find a seat at any one of them. Who has not
noticed, under such circumstances, the rows of men and women who place
themselves, with suppressed impatience, behind the seats, standing in
the most prosaic of attitudes, in expectation for the word that the
meal is ready. I was myself content to take my place at the fourth
table, so that I could eat what I required with deliberation. With this
experience, I was in no hurry to rise, so it was about nine o’clock
when I entered the long saloon. There were a few stragglers like
myself present, probably influenced by the same philosophy, who were
seated here and there at a table on which lay the scattered remains of
the fourth breakfast. On these lake boats the attendants are called
“waiters,” not “stewards,” as on ocean steamers, and if there be a
difference of nomenclature, there is certainly no identity of manner.
The steward of the ocean steamer is the most benignant, courtly,
kindly, considerate person in the world, and, as a rule, his virtues in
this respect are sufficiently appreciated. On this boat I addressed one
of the waiters, I thought politely enough, and gave my orders. I was
met by the rugged reply, in the hardest of tones, “Ye cannot have hot
breakfasts if ye lie in bed.” The man’s axiom was certainly borne out
by fact. There was no breakfast, in the sense of the word, and what
there remained was not hot. But the coffee was exceptionally good, and
with a crust of bread I thought that I might have fared worse. Possibly
the owners of the new steamers to be placed on the lakes next summer
will introduce some improvement in the stewards’ department, which the
ordinary traveller, they may be assured, will duly appreciate.

We were passing through the chain of islands extending from Tobermory
to the Great Manitoulin. The water is perfectly smooth. The passengers
are lounging, smoking, or basking on deck. Others, proud of their
prowess, are relating their adventures and experiences, enlivened
with many an anecdote, to the amusement of knots of hearers. As we
were running through these waters they were so beautifully smooth and
the air so fresh and pleasant that my mind went back to the Adriatic
as you see it near Venice, or to the western coast of Italy from
Civita Vecchia to Genoa. What you miss is the deep, ultra-marine
blue of the Mediterranean. Although above you to-day there is a sky
not less cloudless, bright and blue than we see in Southern Europe,
the hue of the water is a deep slate colour, but in no way wanting
in transparency. We have a horizon only broken by the islands behind
us and the Great Manitoulin, dimly lying to our right. Like the
Mediterranean, this great inland sea does not always exhibit the
glassy surface it presents to-day. As in the Bay of Naples, the waters
of which all pictures depict in the brightest blue, the gale can
sometimes produce an angry, turbid sea, so on Lake Huron, especially
in the late autumn, we have many a storm, often to create the roughest
of weather. Some thirty years ago, while crossing in a Mackinaw boat,
those were not the days of steamers with four relays of meals, I was
caught in a nor’-wester, and driven to take refuge to the windward of
one of the smallest of the islands we are leaving behind us. We reached
the shore before sundown by the most strenuous exertions. All of us in
the boat were exhausted, and we slept soundly on the gravel beach until
the following day. The island was but a few acres in extent, but we
could not venture to leave it. To have done so would have been certain
death, for the water rolled in on the exposed beach in giant, swelling
breakers. All the subsistence the whole crew had for three days was a
solitary rabbit, which we managed to snare, and a few biscuits we had
in our pockets.

It seems as if the whole study of the hour on board the steamer is
to provide food for the passengers. It brings to recollection the
prosperous hotel manager, who related with great zest how many hundreds
he had been feeding in the last few days. It certainly required some
genius to feed the numerous passengers of the “Campana,” with such
limited accommodations. At noon dinner is provided. There are eighty
seats, and four times that number of people to fill them. But dinner,
like everything else, has its end. The passengers again form in knots
upon the deck: the lounger, the smoker and the man who delights in
euchre, the latter more within the scope of lake travel than the more
classic whist, are all seen at their occupation, and the _raconteur_,
with a fresh audience, is more than usually loquacious.

The moon is a day nearer the full; and when the sun sets, it does so
gloriously and more brightly than last night. We arrive at a landing
place and are moored to a wharf where we have to wait till morning. The
Neebish Rapids lie before us. They have been improved for the purpose
of navigation, but they are not yet lighted, and it is extremely
hazardous to attempt to run them in the dark. Until a few years ago,
when they were deepened and widened, they were positively dangerous.
Eleven propeller blades were picked up by the divers during their
operations. By daylight the Rapids can now be safely enough ascended,
but it is not simply the Neebish Rapids which are unnavigable without
daylight. An artificial channel through Lake George, made some years
ago by the United States authorities, follows a circular course, and
it is not possible to pass through it after dark without extraordinary
precaution. It is true that it can be effected by sending two boats
with lights following the course of the buoys on each side one by one,
but all this was a labour our captain had no instructions to undertake,
so we remained at the wharf. Had we not experienced the incident of
the man overboard, and the forgotten letter of the two damsels at Owen
Sound, we might have arrived in time to have ascended by daylight.

The next morning the boat left her moorings at dawn. It is a pleasant
sail through Lake George and the St. Mary’s River, with its Indian
settlements and the quiet locality known as Garden River. We had passed
all these places when I awoke. We were then moving through the canal
constructed on the Michigan side to overcome the Sault St. Mary. At the
“Sault” there are, on either side, the Canadian and United States town
bearing its name. Neither of them has much pretension, and neither of
them is deficient in picturesqueness. The United States town, on the
south side, is not without a certain commercial activity, and contains
some barracks, in which generally there are two or three companies of
the United States regular army.

The Sault is celebrated for its white-fish, and the passer-by will
frequently observe a number of Indian canoes at the foot of the rapids,
paddling about, with a man in the stern to seize the fish by a hand
net. The white fish is held to be a great delicacy. They appear on the
table first about Kingston, and are caught in all the lakes, but the
opinion seems to be that the further north you go the better they are,
those on Lake Superior being considered the best. We run out of the
canal, and continue through the stretch of the River St. Mary above
the Sault. There is little to attract the eye until we reach the lofty
heights standing as portals to Lake Superior, the last and largest of
the great sheets of water tributary to the St. Lawrence.



  Lake Superior--Early Discoverers--Joliet and La Salle--Hennepin--
    Du Luth--Port Arthur--The Far West--The North-West Company--Rat
    Portage--Gold Mining--Winnipeg.

The morning is dull, the sky leaden, and the temperature is not very
enlivening for the most of us. But the boat moves pleasantly up the
slight current until we reach Whitefish Point, then we enter the lake
which lies before us in all its magnificent extent. Some idea of the
size of Lake Superior may be formed when it is pointed out that from
its two extremities the distance is equal to that from London to the
centre of Scotland. In width it is capacious enough to take in the
whole of Ireland. Its surface is 600 feet above, its bed is 300 feet
below, the ocean level, the lake being 900 feet in depth. Its water is
remarkably pure, with the colour of the finest crystal.

We pass a number of steamers and deeply laden vessels. We are now
fairly in the lake, with its rugged, rocky hills on the north shore
ascending to the height of a thousand feet. We are in the midst of
a light fog. The air becomes chilly and raw, but the water continues
smooth, and we sail calmly over it. Towards evening the fog has cleared
away, and we find ourselves in the midst of this immense fresh water
sea. The nearly full moon appears and is high up in view. Our horizon
is the circumference of an unbroken circle, for there is not a trace of
land in sight. Our position is near the meridian of Chicago, although
six degrees of latitude further north; and we approach the longitude of
that great western territory which on both sides of the International
boundary is being developed with such marvellous progress.

Champlain appears to have known the existence of a northern fresh water
lake of great size, but he never visited it. He showed on his map a
large body of water under the title, Mer de Nor Glaciale. This was in
1632. Galinée’s map of 1670 gives the River Ottawa and Lake Ontario
sufficiently correctly for those days, everything considered, but Lake
Michigan was unknown to him. He considered Lakes Michigan and Huron to
be one body of water, and so represented them. Lake Superior he did
not appear to know, although he had reached Sault St. Mary. One of the
earliest works of the Jesuit Fathers in Canada is their map of Lake
Superior, published in 1671, with the title of Lac Tracy-ou-Superior.
It showed that the many bays and inlets had been explored, and the
map is marked by great correctness, allowing for the date of its
production. They also knew of the Peninsula of Michigan. Indeed by
this date the general geography and coast line of the great lakes was
fairly understood. In 1669 La Salle made the first of the series of
discoveries which have preserved his name. He had heard of the great
river to the west, and he was desirous of proceeding thither. He
descended the Ohio, probably as far as Louisville, but it was not until
eleven years later that he discovered the outlet of the Mississippi.
Marquette and Joliet had in the meantime ascended from Green Bay, Lake
Michigan, and followed the Fox River to the Mississippi. They may be
held to be its discoverers, although claims antagonistic to their
priority have been advanced, I believe, without sufficient proof.
Hennepin, the Recollet Friar, was the first to ascend the upper waters
of the Mississippi and describe the Falls of St. Anthony, where the
great milling City of Minneapolis now flourishes. On his return with
his captors, for he was a prisoner of the Indians, he met Du Luth some
distance below the falls. Du Luth was one of those many enterprising
spirits whom France sent to this Continent, a man of untiring energy
and undaunted nature. He penetrated to the then utmost limit known.
He was a martyr to rheumatism, but no suffering interfered with his
discoveries and his devotion to the supremacy of France. At Lake
Superior he had heard that there were white men on the Mississippi.
The news caused him anxiety. His first thought was that English traders
had penetrated from New York, and in the interest of France he felt
such intrusion had summarily to be stopped. He started with four well
armed Frenchmen, followed one of the streams leading southerly and
passed by the St. Croix, which falls into the Mississippi below St.
Paul. It was here that he met Hennepin, who proved to be the white man
he had heard of. Du Luth returned by way of Lake Michigan.

Previous to this date Du Luth had established himself on the
Kaministiquia, Lake Superior. In 1680 he built a fort on the site
of the present Fort William on that river, for half a century the
extreme point beyond which the French did not penetrate, and in itself
the first settlement on the north shore. The Jesuits had established
themselves on the south shore of the lake at an early date in Canadian
history at La Pointe, the modern Bayfield.

It was a brilliant summer morning, Friday, 17th August, when I awoke;
we were near land. Silver Islet was in sight, and Thunder Cape, a bold
headland lit up by the sun, stood forth to bid us welcome. During
breakfast we enter Thunder Bay, a noble expanse of water surrounded
on three sides by lofty hills. The entrance is some six miles wide,
protected to some extent from the storms of Lake Superior by Isle
Royale, some distance to the south. We have fourteen miles to steam
before we reach what was formerly called Prince Arthur’s Landing, now
known as Port Arthur. It has grown up of late years. It possesses an
air of liveliness, and I do not think that those whose interests are
centered in the town underrate the advantages of its situation or have
any doubts with regard to its future. There are copper and silver mines
in the neighbourhood, some of which are represented to be of value.
They have been worked from time to time and discontinued, and their
occasional operations have told on the progress of the town.

But Port Arthur does not possess unchallenged all the advantages
claimed for it. Fort William on the Kaministiquia proffers an equal
claim to become the Lake Superior terminus of the Canadian Pacific
Railway to the west, and to the point of connection with the eastern
bound steamers in summer. A propeller with freight, loaded in the canal
basin at Montreal, can reach Thunder Bay without breaking bulk. A large
movement in freight and passengers for transfer to the railway for
Winnipeg may be looked for, even when the railway line on the north
shore of Lake Superior shall have been completed. A trip by the lake
steamers is pleasant and agreeable in the fine weather of summer, and
doubtless these ports on Thunder Bay will retain their importance.

There is but one train in the twenty-four hours from Port Arthur to
Winnipeg. We were twelve hours too late for the train which had left
and twelve hours too early for the one to leave. All that could be
done was to accept the situation. Human nature, however, asserts its
prerogative under a sense of injustice. My mind, in spite of myself,
reverted to our useless journey to Meaford and Owen Sound, and to the
waste of time at these places by which we lost so many hours at the
Neebish. It was the old story of the nail in the horseshoe of the
Cavalier. I think the experience of all travellers is that when a
journey is marked by delay, little is done in the way of remedying it.
Indifference succeeds the sense of misadventure or carelessness, and
the chance of making up lost time becomes every hour less and less.

I had twelve hours before me, so I determined to make good use of them.
I communicated by telegraph with the railway superintendent at Winnipeg
and the engineer in charge of construction at Calgary, to enlist their
co-operation in our advance over the mountains. I drove with my son
from Port Arthur to the River Kaministiquia, a river which assumed some
importance in the early days of the construction of the railway six
years back. The terminus was established three miles from its mouth.
The river is upwards of three hundred feet in width, deep enough to
float the largest lake craft. A bar, easily removable, extends across
the entrance. When this obstruction is removed the river will be in
all respects accessible, and will extend greater capacity for shipping
than the river at Chicago, which accommodates the enormous business of
that city.

As it was my duty, I visited the Hudson Bay Company’s post near
the mouth of the river. After an existence of two centuries as a
fur-trading station under varied fortunes, it is soon to disappear,
the fate of all such establishments on this continent as civilization
overtakes them. As Bishop Berkeley wrote a century ago, “westward the
star of empire takes its way.”

In my own recollection the “Far West” was on the eastern shores of
Lakes Huron and Michigan, now far within the limits of civilization.
Those whose fortunes were cast there looked on themselves as pioneers
of an unexplored wilderness. Twenty years ago the upper waters of Lake
Huron and Lake Superior were but just coming into notice, and Fort
William was regarded as the chief eastern outpost of the Hudson’s Bay
Company, beyond which few thought of passing. This celebrated company,
which has played such a part in the history of the North-West of this
continent, was formed under a charter of Charles II. in 1670. It was
the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 which fully recognized the English title
to the territory granted under the charter, and abandoned forever such
French claims as had been preferred, for the Treaty of Ryswick with
France in 1696 had left the question of sovereignty undecided.

As early as 1641 two Jesuits, Jogues and Raymbault, extended their
missionary labours to the shores of Lake Superior. The main mission, La
Pointe, now Bayfield, on the south shore, was established in 1670, and
the Indians remained during French rule entirely under their influence.
At the period of the conquest the trade of the French disappeared, for
they had no longer the power to visit the country, and by degrees it
fell into British hands. On the one side, the Hudson’s Bay Company,
from the north, pushed onwards to control it, for a period with
success; on the other, parties were started from Montreal to obtain
a share of the great profits which were made, the value of which was
fully known.

The French trade had been carried on under admirable regulations.
Liquor, so ruinous to the Indian, was withheld from him. The
enterprising Montreal trader introduced it, regardless of consequences:
hence the orgies, the drunkenness and the quarrels which were a scandal
even to the wilderness. To intensify this condition of affairs, some
Montreal merchants entered into a partnership in 1787, and formed
the celebrated North-West Trading Company. It then consisted of
twenty-three partners, with a staff of agents, factors, clerks, guides,
interpreters, voyageurs, amounting in all to two thousand persons.
If the individual trader disappeared from the field, there were two
powerful companies remaining, who had to operate in the same field side
by side, and there sprang up the fiercest and most embittered rivalry.
I shall hereafter refer more definitely to this contention. This state
of things was leading to the common ruin of the two companies, when, in
1821, after forty-three years of competition, discord and disaster, the
two formed one corporation under the title of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

As I looked upon the old fort on the site of its departed greatness, I
thought of the many stirring scenes which it witnessed before and after
the beginning of this century. The stone store houses, once so well
filled with every requirement, erected around the sides of a square,
are now empty, containing a few boxes of rusty flint muskets and
bayonets, with chests of old papers, dating back, some of them, more
than a hundred years.

The buildings will all soon be unroofed, to make way for a railway
station. A year ago I saw two old cannon in the front of the courtyard.
On that occasion I believe they fired their last salute. They are now
removed. The old rickety flagstaff still remains, and so soon as it
is known that a member of the Company of Adventurers is within the
precincts the flag is run up as a salute, a service probably for the
last time performed at Fort William. In a few months the whole scene
will be changed. There is still an agent of the Hudson’s Bay Company
in charge, Mr. Richardson, whose complexion of bronze tells of many
years of exposure; and his attendant, an Indian, who has been attached
to the fort for forty years.

On leaving Mr. Richardson we called on a retired Hudson’s Bay officer,
Mr. John McIntyre, who lives in a comfortable house a little further up
the river. He is an Argyleshire Highlander, who has the stalwartness of
his race, and is as active as ever. At his suggestion we go to Point
de Meuron, named after the soldiers of that regiment in Lord Selkirk’s
service, camped here in the memorable days of 1817. There was nothing
to be seen but the farm, so we returned to the town plot, and, as the
hour suggested, took dinner at the Ontario House, a place of some local
reputation. There were several vessels from Ohio discharging coal at
the railway wharves adjoining, showing that even the narrow cut dredged
some years ago across the bar at the mouth of the river was still
sufficient to admit their passage; establishing, moreover, how easily a
properly excavated channel can be maintained, and plainly showing that
the completion of navigation at the entrance of the Kaministiquia will
eventually have an important bearing on the commerce of the North-West.

I returned to Port Arthur to prepare for the train, when some of my
friends kindly gave me an invitation to a ball to take place in the
evening. I should have liked to have accepted it for several reasons,
not the least of which was to see that phase of social life in this
region; but it was impossible to lose the twenty-four hours, the price
of my attendance.

It was dark when the train left, so all that could be done was to turn
to the comfortable Pullman, and in due time retire for the night. The
railway to Winnipeg is far from being completed; indeed, it has but
lately been put in operation. Many of the station buildings have yet to
be erected. As a consequence, the following morning the breakfast was
served under a large canvas awning. There was no pretension about this
breakfast, but what there was of it was good; certainly the ventilation
was perfect.

The distance from Port Arthur to Winnipeg is some 430 miles, and,
as the unfinished condition of a considerable portion of the line
necessitated travelling at reduced speed, the journey to most of
the passengers seemed very tedious. To me every mile was full of
interest. We pass over that portion of the line known as “Section A,”
which extends to a point 230 miles from Port Arthur. Civilization
and settlement have not penetrated to this district, lying, as it
does, intermediate between Lake Superior and the prairie region. We
have traversed a long stretch of black, boggy swamp, to which the
Indian name of Muskeg has been given. One is reminded of Chatmoss,
where similar difficulties in the infancy of railway construction
were so triumphantly met by the elder Stephenson. Muskeg is much of
the character of peat. It is here inexhaustible, and hereafter may be
valuable from its capacity to be formed into fuel.

As the train moves on, nothing is to be seen but rock and forest in
their most rugged forms. The falls of Waubigon and those of Eagle
River, as we pass them, are the more striking by the contrast they
present. We reach the far-famed “Section B,” of which we have heard so
much, and which is still a theme of such varied comment by politicians
and newspaper writers. This section of railway passes through a country
rugged in the extreme. The surface is a succession of rocky ridges,
with tortuous lakes and deep muskegs intervening. The line has been
carried across these depressions on temporary staging, and steam
shovels and construction trains are busy converting the miles of frail
looking trestlework into solid embankment. Our train moves slowly over
this portion of the line; indeed, until this work is further advanced
it would be hazardous to adopt a high rate of speed. Eagle Lake, with
the numerous lakelets which we see from the railway, are sheets of
water with beauty enough to command attention. A few rude graves on the
hillside mark the violent death of the poor workmen who suffered from
the careless handling of that dangerous explosive, nitro-glycerine.
Although the most effective of instruments in the removal of rock, the
least want of caution and care often exacts the most terrible penalty.
In the fifty miles we have passed over, upwards of thirty poor fellows
have lost their lives by its use. This explosive may be used with
perfect safety, but in its handling it exacts prudence and attention to
details; otherwise there will be no immunity from want of care. With
the reckless and negligent it is a constant source of danger.

There is no great area of land suitable for profitable farming
in this district. A few good townships may be laid out, but the
country generally through which the railway runs is not adapted for
agricultural purposes. Every acre of soil, however, is covered with
timber of more or less value. Care should be taken to prevent the
destruction of these forests. Stringent regulations should be made with
regard to them, and no reckless waste permitted. In a few years these
forests will prove sources of considerable wealth, and the ground over
which we are now passing should be jealously guarded as a preserve for
the supply of timber in coming years.

The passengers begin to be clamorous for the next refreshment station.
We learn that it is at Rat Portage. We trust that the name does not
suggest the cheer we are to receive. There is an old tradition that the
Chinaman delighted in that rodent, and we all have read that during
the siege of Paris it was an established article of food. Rat Portage
is beginning to be an important place. It is situated where the waters
of the Lake of the Woods fall into the River Winnipeg. Four large saw
mills have been constructed here, and immense quantities of lumber have
been despatched to Winnipeg and the country beyond. At present Rat
Portage is the watering place for the City of Winnipeg. Gold mining has
been commenced, but it is a pursuit on which but little calculation can
be made.

For the moment there is excitement in the district, and many explorers
are engaged in examining the rocky ledges which crop out on the shore
and are exposed on the innumerable islands of the Lake of the Woods. It
is to be seen if this is a passing spasm or an assured success. When
some instance of individual good fortune in gold mining becomes known,
crowds for a time push forward eagerly, many desperately, on the path
which they impulsively trust is to lead them at once to fortune. Such
hopes are often built on imperfect foundations. The slightest reverse
depresses the sanguine gold-hunter, and the pursuit is most often
abandoned with the recklessness with which it was undertaken. How many
may with bitterness repeat the well known words of my countryman, John
Leyden, in his ode to an Indian gold coin:

   “Slave of the mine, thy yellow light
    Gleams baleful on the tomb fire drear.”

When the train came to a stand the proverbial rush for dinner was made.
No regular refreshment room could be found. In fact, none had yet
been erected. But there were several temporary shanties built around,
whose merits were loudly proclaimed by the several touts in a great
many words and the ringing of bells. We had made the acquaintance of
some New Zealand travellers on their way to see two sons settled in
Manitoba, and we agreed to take our dinner together. We selected one
of these establishments. Our recollections of Rat Portage are not
impressed by any excellence in its commissariat. That which was set
before us was execrable. I am not difficult to please, but there is
a lower depth in these matters. Such a meal would scarcely have been
palatable during the hunger of the siege of Paris, and a man could only
have swallowed what was given at Rat Portage when suffering the pangs
of starvation. There is evidently a call for improvement at this place
before the line is fully opened to travellers.

Leaving Rat Portage, we pass to what is known as “Section Fifteen.” It
is nearly forty miles in length, and, like “Section B,” runs through a
district remarkable for its rugged aspect. For a long distance west of
Rat Portage the country is much the same in character as the Lake of
the Woods: full of rocky, tree-covered ridges and islets, the former
a labyrinth of deep, narrow, winding sheets of water, separated by
tortuous granite bluffs. If the lake has within its limits hundreds of
islands, the land embraces innumerable lakelets. It was this rugged and
broken country, so repelling in its condition in the wilderness, which
dictated the opinion of a quarter of a century back of high authorities
that the country between Lake Superior and Red River was not
practicable for railway construction. The difficulties have, however,
been grappled with and overcome, necessarily with great labour and
great cost; and, as I was passing over it, it struck my mind as no bad
example of the danger of positively asserting a negative. The necessary
work of placing the trestlework in good condition on “Section Fifteen”
is more advanced than on “Section B.” The train, therefore, runs at a
higher rate of speed. As we proceed we can observe that the roadbed is
fairly well ballasted, and we run at about thirty miles an hour on the
finished portion of the line, over the gigantic earthworks of Cross
Lake, Lake Deception and the succeeding lakes.

The distance from Lake Superior to the Red River at Selkirk is 410
miles, and notwithstanding the extreme roughness of the country through
which it passes, the railway, when completed, will bear comparison with
any other line on this Continent. The utmost care has been exercised
to establish gradients favourable to cheap transportation. In this
respect I know of no other four hundred miles of railway in the
Dominion or in the United States that can be compared with the section
west of Port Arthur.

We leave “Section 15” and the rugged country behind us, and enter on
the prairie land of the West. We pass Selkirk, which once promised to
be a centre of importance, but the City of Winnipeg, twenty miles to
the south of it, has grown up, is rapidly increasing, and asserting its
claim to be the first city in the North-West. As we proceed the sky
becomes darkened and we are overtaken by a thunderstorm, during which
the rain falls in as heavy masses of water as it has ever been my fate
to see. The wind increases to a hurricane, but art triumphs over the
elements. As the train continues its course on the well ballasted road,
at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour, the passengers generally
seemed scarcely aware of the tempest raging outside. An unusual
phenomenon is presented: we pass through an electrical snowstorm,
which, in a few minutes, whitens the ground over a stretch of a mile.
Hail storms are in no way uncommon when the conditions of the air are
disturbed, but I have never before witnessed a snowstorm under similar

We reach the station at Winnipeg, having been twenty-four hours on
our journey. A few years ago the distance from Lake Superior to this
point, by the old canoe route, exacted twelve or fourteen days. When
the railway is in complete working order the journey may be performed
in fourteen hours. On my arrival at the station the night was black and
forbidding, for the rain continued to fall in torrents. Nevertheless
several old friends were there to extend me a welcome and the offer
of a temporary home. Among others I grasped the hand of Dr. Grant,
of Queen’s College, who again is to be my companion to the Pacific
Coast. Before leaving the station I made definite arrangements with the
railway officials to leave in thirty-six hours for Calgary. We groped
our way through the wind and rain to profit by the hospitality so
kindly offered, and I was not sorry to find myself again under a roof
with the best of good cheer before me.



  Early Explorers of the North-West--Du Luth--De la Verendrye--
    Mackenzie--Hudson’s Bay Company--Treaty of Utrecht--North-West
    Company--Lord Selkirk--War in the North-West--Union of the Rival
    Companies--The North-West Annexed to Canada.

Winnipeg, with a population of 30,000 inhabitants, is the creation of
the last decade. Thirteen years back there was little to distinguish
its site from any other spot on the river’s bank. The Red River was
skirted by a single tier of holdings on the shore line, directly
along its banks for a distance of fifty miles, known as the Selkirk
Settlement. At the confluence of the River Assiniboine with the main
stream there stood old Fort Garry, an establishment of the Hudson’s
Bay Company. We have in this old fort the precursor of the city. In
1859 a few buildings, including a hotel, were clustered near it as the
commencement of the future Winnipeg. At an early date in the history of
French Canada a great extent of the country around the western lakes
was explored. Prominent among the many men eminent in these discoveries
was Du Luth, who appears in connection with the North-West as having
been the first to establish a fort on the River Kaministiquia, Lake
Superior, about 1680, on the site of Fort William. It is not to be
supposed that at this date no further explorations were undertaken
westward by the French. Many of the waterways were certainly known, and
to some extent they were followed. But no attempt was made to extend
trade operations beyond Lake Superior; and it was only to a limited
extent that discovery was pushed westward. For some years exploration
was turned towards the south of the territory held by the French, to
guard against the encroachment of the English from New York, which now
commenced to attract more attention.

There is no proof that any change in this respect took place until the
days of De la Verendrye. This remarkable man in 1731 was in charge of
Fort Nepigon, Lake Superior. In that year he started westward across
the height of land, passed through the chain of lakes to the Lake of
the Woods and followed the River Winnipeg to Lake Winnipeg. Proceeding
to the south of the Lake he ascended the Red River and reached the
Assiniboine. I cannot learn that any white man, before him, ever stood
on the site of the present City of Winnipeg.

A series of forts were constructed by him; one where Rainy River flows
into the Lake of the Woods, Fort St. Pierre; one on what is known as
the Northwest Angle, Fort Charles; one where the River Winnipeg flows
into Lake Winnipeg, Fort Maurepas, which name he also gave to the
lake itself; one where the Red River flows into Lake Winnipeg, Fort
Rouge; and one at the junction of the Assiniboine with the Red River,
proximately on the site of the City of Winnipeg, Fort de la Reine.

De la Verendrye, himself, never saw the Rocky Mountains, but the
discovery was made by his two sons in an expedition organized by him
and carried out in accordance with his instructions. They started from
the Fort de la Reine, followed the Assiniboine to the River Souris,
which they traced to one of its sources, thence passing to the Missouri
they followed that stream till they came within sight of the first
range of mountains. It was therefore to the south of Canadian territory
that the peaks were first seen. De la Verendrye had made a series of
northern explorations, reaching the Saskatchewan by Lake Winnipeg,
into which it discharges. He established Fort Bourbon at this point.
He advanced along the river as far as Lake Cumberland, at the entrance
to which he established Fort Poscoyac, which seems to have been the
limit of his travels. He was acquainted with Lake Winnipegoosis and
Lake Manitoba, and established Fort Dauphin at the northern end of the
latter lake. While engaged in organizing a more extended expedition he
died in 1749 at Quebec.

The succeeding ten years of French Canada were passed in the struggle
for national life. The North-West obtained but little attention
except for the purpose of commerce with the Indians. In spite of the
difficulties of carrying it on, it had increased in extent and was
now of considerable importance. With the conquest the trade almost
disappeared, and it was not for some years afterwards that it was
recommenced on the part of the British.

The celebrated Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the first white man who by land
reached the Pacific Ocean in Northern latitudes, has left some valuable
information concerning the trade of this period. We learn from him that
the military posts established by the French at the confluence of the
lakes had strongly in view the control of the traffic in furs. During
French rule, trade had been conducted under admirable regulations. He
himself tells us that a number of able and respectable men, retired
from the army, had carried on their operations under license with
great order and regularity. At the same time, the trade itself was
fettered by many unwise restrictions. Nevertheless it was taken to
immense distances, and “it was a matter of surprise,” he adds, “that no
exertions were made from Hudson’s Bay to obtain even a share of the
trade,” which, according to the charter of that company, belonged to it.

The Hudson’s Bay Company at this date had been nearly a century in
existence. Hudson’s last voyage to Hudson’s Bay was in 1610. In
1612 Button sailed and discovered Port Nelson, York Factory. It was
not, however, until 1669 that any settlement was made, when Captain
Zachariah Gillam, a New England captain, established himself at the
discharge of the Nemisco and constructed a stone fort, calling it Fort
Charles, the present Fort Rupert. It was after this step, on the 2nd of
May, 1670, that the charter was given to the Hudson’s Bay Company, a
result no little owing to the influence of Prince Rupert.

The first operations of the company were marked by great energy,
and their trade rapidly increased. In the first fifteen years five
factories were in operation: Rupert, to the east of James’ Bay, at the
discharge of the River Nemisco; Hayes, at the south-western corner and
at the mouth of the Moose River; Albany, on the west, some twenty miles
north of Moose River; York Factory, on the Nelson River; and Churchill,
north of York, the most northerly settlement on the west coast.

From 1686 to the Treaty of Utrecht there were a series of attempts
on the part of French Canada to dispossess the company. No doubt the
French authorities held that their supremacy was dangerously threatened
by the establishment of flourishing settlements to the north,
identical in nationality with the Bostonnais of Massachusetts and the
English of New York. The Treaty of Ryswick itself, in 1695, even became
the cause of difficulty, from the vagueness of its provisions, and it
was not until the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, that the French claims
were entirely abandoned. The English Government had determined to
retain Nova Scotia, the fisheries of Newfoundland and what was called
the Hudson’s Bay Territory, and on that basis peace was made.

For the next half century there was no clashing of interests between
the Hudson’s Bay Company and the French of Canada, owing to the
operations of the latter being extended in a limited degree north
of Lake Superior. After the conquest, for some years, the trade was
thrown entirely into the Company’s hands. Indians even went to York
Factory to barter their furs. During this period the profits must have
been immense. It was only by degrees that the English traders from
Canada penetrated into the country. They found the Indian unfriendly.
The French had instilled into his mind a jealousy of the English
speaking race, having represented it as the ally of the Iroquois, the
long-standing enemy of the Lake Superior Indians. A rooted distrust
had thus grown up which long remained. About 1766 trade somewhat
recommenced, assisted by Montreal enterprise. Michillimackinac was for
a long time the base of such operations, and few traders penetrated
further than the Kaministiquia. Thomas Curry was the first to pass
beyond this limit. He reached Fort Bourbon, where Cedar Lake discharges
into Lake Winnipeg, whence he brought away so fine a cargo of furs that
he was satisfied never again to return to the Indian country.

By this time the Hudson’s Bay Company had pushed on their posts
to Sturgeon Lake, and now commenced that antagonism between those
representing the interests centered at Montreal and the members of the
company, which for half a century caused difficulty, embarrassment,
loss and finally bloodshed.

One of the charges made against the Montreal traders of those days was
that they were the first to introduce rum into the North-West, to the
ruin of the Indians.

A name of that period, preserved in the records of the law, still
survives: Peter Pond, who was tried for the murder of one of his
partners. He escaped by the Court determining that they had no
jurisdiction in the territory. Pond was a man of much energy. Following
in the steps of Frobisher, he traded north of Lake Winnipeg to the
tributaries of the Churchill, and to the Westward as far as the
Arthabaska and Elk Rivers. His purpose was to intercept the furs _en
route_ to Fort Churchill, on Hudson’s Bay. The trade, in the meantime,
received a severe blow from the conduct of some traders at Eagle
Hills. A dose of laudanum was given to an Indian, and caused his death.
In the turmoil which ensued several lives were lost, and the commerce
with the Indians became much impeded.

To remedy the depressed condition of the trade and to avoid further
complications, the North-West Company was formed in 1783. A rival
company was started, of which the celebrated Mackenzie was a member.
The two were, however, united in 1787.

At this date the North-West Company arrogated to itself full control
over the country. No operations of any kind except under their
authority were permitted. The company was supreme. The private trader
was driven from the field, and it would seem that these extreme
measures could be carried out with impunity. They were the days of the
North-West Company’s affluence and power. Influences even without its
ranks came within their control, to make the organization irresistible.
Peculiarly it was a Canadian enterprise, and as such commanded
sympathy against competition from without. We can scarcely, at this
day, understand the extent of its power. In our commercial world, as
we find it, there are many wealthy corporations possessing social and
political control. The avenues to wealth and distinction are numerous,
branching out from many centres. It may be asserted that formerly the
North-West was looked upon as the one field which promised prizes in
life’s lottery to the youth of the country. The leading magnates, who
had large incomes, indulged in princely hospitality, the memory of
which has not wholly died away, and it may be conceived how, at that
date, with a small population, with a limited field for enterprise,
with little general wealth, the power of the company was everywhere

I have now arrived at the period when I have to record the settlement
of Red River, the forerunner of the City of Winnipeg: indeed, the first
step taken towards making the prairies the abode of civilized life. The
task is not easy. The ashes of the fires of that day are yet warm under
our feet. The sons and grandsons of the men whose names are identified
with the leading events are among those who we meet daily. The story
has often been told; nevertheless it is only imperfectly known. The
principal actor in these events was Lord Selkirk. As his character is
studied it must be conceded that few men have been marked by a higher
sense of life and duty. A man of remarkable ability, his character was
one of rare disinterestedness and chivalry, and I cannot but think his
name will so live in our history.

As early as 1802 Lord Selkirk entered into correspondence with the
English Government on the advisability of promoting emigration from
the Highlands and Ireland to Rupert’s Land. The following year he
arranged to carry a body of Highlanders to Prince Edward Island. We
next hear of him in Canada and the United States, where he passed two
years examining into the means available to carry out his purpose.
During 1804 he entered into correspondence with General Hunter,
then Governor of Upper Canada, now Ontario, with regard to making
settlements in that Province. Those were not the days when questions
such as these received much attention, nor were they even understood.
The value of population to develop the resources of a country had
generally to be better known before correct views could prevail as to
the value of unsettled land, and the negotiations failed owing to the
excessive price demanded for it.

As Canada did not offer the field sought, Lord Selkirk turned to the
Hudson’s Bay Company as the means by which his theories of colonization
could be carried out. He and his friends took their measures
accordingly. He purchased stock in the company, and thus obtained a
commanding influence and the recognition necessary for the prosecution
of the undertaking. This event took place in 1811.

From the commencement the North-West Company vigorously opposed his
project. They looked upon Lord Selkirk as a visionary, and his scheme
alike impracticable and undesirable. They might not be unwilling to
divide the hunting ground of a continent with their rivals, but they
did not recognise that the prairies of the west were available for
support of human life. They regarded the country as a wilderness,
to be reserved for the fur-bearing animals alone. Hitherto their
profits had been excessive and secure, and any change threatening the
discontinuance or reduction of the advantages which they possessed had
to be avoided.

Evidently such a scheme as that of Lord Selkirk’s was the first step
towards the destruction of their trade and the diminution of their
profits. The same year some ninety persons, mostly Highland cotters
from Sutherlandshire, with a few additions from the West of Ireland,
reached Hudson’s Bay. They wintered there, and in 1812 travelled to
Red River, a proceeding in itself memorable, as from it dates the
settlement of the North-West. A further number was added in 1813. The
two winters 1812-1813, till the spring of 1814, were passed at Pembina,
at Fort Daer. The Governor was Captain Miles Macdonnell, formerly of
the Queen’s Rangers. In 1814 further settlers arrived under Mr. A.
Macdonald, having passed the winter at Fort Churchill. Towards the end
of the year the number amounted to two hundred.

It was in this year that the Governor issued the proclamation so much
criticized and censured, and it has been brought forward as sufficient
in itself to justify the inimical proceedings subsequently taken
against the settlement. It is difficult to recognize that it was
not warranted by the circumstances, and, considering the interests
entrusted to the Governor, that it was not one which he had a perfect
right to issue when he did so, in no way to the injury of others. He
directed that no provisions should be exported from the country, as
such stores were required for the arrivals expected, that money would
be paid for all produce, and that those not observing these regulations
would be arrested. The Governor must have known and felt the
difficulties under which he was placed. The North-West Company, both in
London and on this continent, had shown the strongest opposition to the
settlement. Independently of the nature of the difficulties incident to
the situation, there was this enmity to be met; an enmity known to be
powerful and not over scrupulous. It is true that it had not taken the
armed and open attitude which it ultimately assumed, but the ruin of
the settlement had long been resolved upon.

A council of the officers of the North-West Company was held at Fort
William in 1814, and it is in evidence that it was here that plans
were formed to induce the settlers to abandon their homesteads and
prejudice the Indians against them--every employé of the company was
already their foe--and to buy up all the provisions so that scarcity
should result and ruin to the settlement follow. It was in anticipation
of such a scheme that the Governor’s proclamation was issued. He had
obtained information that such a policy would be followed, and he
endeavoured, on his side, to meet it as best he could.

The Selkirk settlers had constructed a new fort, Fort Douglas. Its site
lies within the present City of Winnipeg, not far from Fort Gibraltar,
the property of the North-West Company. It was in 1814 that Duncan
Cameron came to the Red River in charge of the latter. His special
mission was to influence the settlers to abandon their homes. Cameron
is represented to have been a man of address and plausibility, and he
so well executed the duty assigned him of making those who listened to
him discontented that about three-fourths of the number left the Red
River for Upper Canada. Their descendants are yet to be found in the
Counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Simcoe, in Ontario.

It will scarcely be believed that a notice was served on those
who remained, signed by four partizans of the North-West Company,
sternly requiring them to leave the settlement. It had to be entirely
abandoned. The better to show their power, in the temporary absence of
the Governor, they removed the cannon, implements and other property
from Fort Douglas. The proceeding was doubtless calculated to show the
strength of the North-West Company, side by side with the impotent
character of Lord Selkirk’s protection. There was no course open but
compliance. The exiles took canoes and paddled down the Red River to
Lake Winnipeg, and reached Norway House, to the north of the lake.
They had not been long here when they were met by Collin Robertson and
some twenty employés passing up Jack River on their way to join the
settlement. Robertson was a man of determination, and saw that there
was no good reason why the enterprise should be abandoned, and that
such an outrage, with one of Selkirk’s character, would only call for
renewed effort. He induced the settlers to return. They found their
houses burned and their property destroyed. This occurred in August,
but in October an additional number came, and the settlement had
regained more assured strength. We have now arrived at 1816.

In the half century which had elapsed since the conquest that which
may almost be called a new race of men had sprung up: the children of
the French _voyageurs_ of the North-West Company, who had married or
lived with Indian women in the neighbourhood of the several forts.
They obtained the name of “Bois-Brulés.” They were powerful in frame,
disinclined to restraint, attached to a wandering life and unsettled
habits, mostly without education. They were easily accessible to those
who knew how to appeal to their prejudices. They had courage, and
under able leaders became a formidable foe. Their sympathies were
difficult to determine. Perhaps the leading feature of their character
was jealousy of their individual rights. In subsequent years their
self-assertion took so threatening a form that the presence of Imperial
troops more than once became necessary. Early in June, 1816, a party
of them gathered at Portage-la-Prairie, on the Assiniboine. They had
but one object in view. It was, in a sentence, to retain the country
for themselves, and to drive out all whom they had learned to look upon
as intruders. There is everything to show that they were perfectly
organized. They were armed, it is said that they were painted and
disguised, and every precaution taken to make their movements appear an
act of the genuine Red man. The evidence, accessible to those who will
examine it, shows that the Indians were in no way mixed up with the
expedition. It was confined to the men whose sympathies were with the
North-West Company. Their operations commenced by seizing some boats
and furs at Portage-la-Prairie, belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Company,
and advancing to Fort Douglas, at Red River.

At the fort itself the intrigues and intentions of those hostile to
the settlement were known, and in some undefined way it was felt that
danger was near. What form it would take, or whence it would come,
none could say, but a watch was kept night and day. It would appear
that the attack came earlier than was looked for. On the evening of
the 17th June the alarm was given of the approach of the Bois-Brulés.
Semple was the Governor. He was a man of courage and had served. He
did what little he could with the resources which at that hour were
available. He collected a few men and started onwards to meet the
advancing party. Seeing the numbers increase, he sent for a cannon and
more force, and in the meantime continued to advance. As the opposing
parties approached, each leader asked the other what he wanted. It is
stated that one of the Governor’s party fired a shot in the air, on
which a shot from the Bois-Brulés brought down Mr. Holte, who held
the rank of lieutenant in the settlement. The firing became general.
Governor Semple was killed and his men fell around him. Twenty-two
in all were shot. There is no report of a death on the side of the
Bois-Brulés. No further resistance was attempted, and Fort Douglas was
given over to the North-Westers. The settlers were compelled to take
to their canoes and find a refuge where they could. The settlement was
again entirely broken up.

Such was the celebrated affair of Seven Oaks on the 17th June, 1816,
yet sung in the songs of the Bois-Brulés and chanted as the hymn of

Lord Selkirk had heard the story of the attack of the preceding
year, and at once hurried to Canada. He passed the winter of 1815
in Montreal, the season being too late for him to go west. Governor
Semple was held to be in all respects competent, and Lord Selkirk had
given him his full confidence; so it was thought that until his own
arrival no further difficulty would be experienced. He was, however,
convinced that the attacks had not ceased, and that if the settlement
had to be defended a force sufficient to meet such outrages had to
be found. The deMeuron and Watteville regiments were on the eve of
being disbanded, and Lord Selkirk obtained from their ranks the men
he required to recruit the colony. These regiments were two of the
foreign legion raised during the Peninsula war; they had been ordered
to Canada in 1812. At the peace after Waterloo their disbandment was
resolved on. They left the British service with the highest reputation
for discipline and conduct. Early in June, 1816, the expedition started
from Montreal with four officers and eighty men of the deMeuron corps.
At Kingston the number was increased by seventy of the Watteville
regiment. It proceeded up to Drummond’s Island on Lake Huron to receive
a sergeant and six men of the Imperial army, who were to be present at
Red River as a proof of the countenance given to the settlement by the
home authorities.

Selkirk joined the expedition at Sault St. Mary His purpose was to
have proceeded to Duluth, Fond du Lac, and to have crossed overland to
Red River. They had not advanced far when they met Miles Macdonnell
bringing down the news of the second destruction of the colony and of
the violent death of the Governor and twenty-one of his people. Selkirk
at once started for Fort William to meet the foe on his own ground.
They arrived on the 12th August and encamped on the Point deMeuron,
some five miles from the mouth of the Kaministiquia, a name it still
retains, and which the reader may remember I alluded to when visiting
that locality. A demand was at once made on the fort for the parties
captured, who had been brought there as prisoners. The North-West
people denied the fact of the arrest, and sent them to Point deMeuron.

Lord Selkirk had now before him the evidence of such of his people who
had suffered at Seven Oaks to confirm the opinion that the trouble
had been caused by the North-West Company. Fort William was unable to
resist him. He arrested McGillivray, McKenzie and others of the Company
who were then present, by warrant. They were allowed to remain for a
time at Fort William, but as it was evident a rescue was intended, he
sent them down as prisoners to York, now Toronto, under an escort.
Selkirk wintered on the Kaministiquia and collected provisions. On the
1st May, 1817, he started for Red River, and arrived there the last
week in June, passing over the distance in seven or eight weeks, which
recently I travelled by rail in twenty-four hours. The settlement was
again established.

Like all men who take a prominent part in life’s drama, Lord Selkirk
has his admirers and defamers. There are those who can see in his
conduct only the most self-interested motives and an example of
arbitrary, tyrannical self-assertion. He lived in an age when his
unselfish views were rare. To-day we can better understand that his
object in urging emigration as a scheme to aid the poor and struggling
masses of an overcrowded country, sprang from philanthropy and a desire
to relieve suffering humanity. His personal comforts and benefits lay
in the opposite direction to the course he pursued. A calculation
of the chances could promise only misconception of his motives and
personal annoyance. He lived half a century before his time. Of late
years his theories have been accepted as admitted truths. Every
facility has been established to carry them out. The shores of this
Continent yearly bear witness in the number of immigrants who arrive,
that it is the policy of all wise governments to aid the less fortunate
of a people to seek a home on the unoccupied lands which are open to
them. Such was Selkirk’s view. Moreover, he desired to keep up the
national prestige. His aim was to transplant those who were willing
to struggle to better their future to a land of promise beyond the
seas, where they were required to adapt themselves to no new political
existence; where they changed, it is true, the scene of their lives,
but still remained subjects of the mother land whence they had sprung.

In 1821 the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North-West Company united
their fortunes, and have since continued under the name of the Hudson’s
Bay Company.

Here I shall leave the subject. The events which grew out of the
proceedings above described are too near the present day to suggest
that any comment should be made upon them in the circumstances under
which I write. For the next half century the colony passed through many
difficulties. It had no assistance in the shape of emigration. The
Bois-Brulés often caused trouble. After Lord Selkirk’s death, which
took place in Paris in 1820, the wants of the settlers were cared for
by his relatives. In 1835 they gave up all control to the Hudson’s Bay

The events following the transfer of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s
territory to the Government of Canada in 1870 are fresh in remembrance,
and the period has not arrived to state them dispassionately. In the
meantime Winnipeg has grown up to be a lively, bustling city, full of
business and enterprise. One danger, however, threatens Winnipeg, that
of floods; and I allude to it in the hope of directing the attention
of those of her citizens who have influence, that some consideration
be given to the subject, so that all possible precautions be taken to
reduce the risk of danger and loss. I believe it is one of the painful
experiences of humanity that where a flood has once been, there is
always a probability that it may repeat itself. During the early days
of the Pacific Railway this question was earnestly considered. The
levels of the recorded floods of 1826, 1852 and of 1861, from which
the Selkirk settlements suffered so much, showed that there was danger
to be apprehended, and that it would be advisable to bridge the Red
River at a point where traffic would run no risk of being impeded. The
town plot of Selkirk, about twenty miles nearer Lake Winnipeg, was the
point recommended. I have no desire to be an alarmist and to reproduce
the accounts of these floods, written by Archbishop Taché, the Bishop
of Rupert’s Land, and by Mr. Alexander Ross. It is not to be said that
these gentlemen were interested witnesses desirous of injuring the
country in which they lived.

No one can more firmly hope than myself that no such flood may ever
again happen. We have, however, before us the experience of this winter
in the central United States, and the people of Winnipeg themselves
have had several premonitory warnings within the past few years. Should
there be a repetition of what has previously happened, damage so
extensive must arise that it cannot be contemplated without dread. All
but the original landowners and the speculators who have been enriched
by their operations in lots will be serious sufferers, and none more
than the population of Winnipeg will deplore that the city has been
built within the known limits of a periodic overflow.

The time has passed for the consideration where a better location might
have been obtained for the establishment of a centre of the importance
which Winnipeg promises to attain. But it is necessary to endeavour to
find a solution to the complicated engineering problem by which future
disastrous consequences may be avoided. The responsibility is now
thrown upon the Municipal Corporation, and it is their duty to care for
the safety of the city, so that there will be the least cause to lament
that it has not been founded on a site above all risk of injury from



  Winnipeg--Great Storm--Portage-la-Prairie--Brandon--Moose Jaw--Old
    Wives’ Lakes--The Indians--Maple Creek--Medicine Hat--Rocky

The rain continued to fall in torrents the whole night of our arrival
in Winnipeg, and the gale increased in violence. The streets were next
to impassable. Roadways, without paving or metal, in the newest of
cities, formed only on the deep, black, vegetable soil of the locality,
are the least fitted to undergo an ordeal such as that of the last
fifteen hours. The storm increased in strength to the time when the
services commenced, so on this Sunday the city clergymen preached to
pews almost empty. It was not until late in the afternoon that its
violence passed away. But its traces were everywhere visible. Trees
recently planted had been torn up by their roots; buildings had been
unroofed and many injured; frame-work in course of construction had
been destroyed, and a church steeple was completely thrown down. As
daylight was waning it became possible to walk on the plank sidewalk
without danger of being mastered by the wind. The roads were in a
terrible condition, and where no plank had been laid down, the foot
sank deep into the tenacious mud.

I had arranged to start by the eight o’clock train on the Monday.
Our baggage had been all collected, and we breakfasted early. The
cabman anticipated the appointed hour, bearing in mind the condition
of the streets through which his horses had to toil. The roads were,
indeed, in a wretched state. I could only compare the thoroughly
saturated, deep, black, vegetable soil to treacle, and the horses
had to do their utmost to draw the load through it. The wheels were
often axle deep, and the vehicle cracked, from time to time, as if
it was going to pieces. The platform of the station was crowded. The
last look was given to the bags, blankets and waterproofs, and to the
saddles, bridles, tents and our whole outfit, to see that they were all
collected and that nothing was left behind. As it would be impossible
to supply a missing necessary after we had left the railway, the
inspection had to be made with care.

During my stay in Winnipeg I saw the Chief Commissioner of the Hudson’s
Bay Company, and discussed with him the possibility of having supplies
sent from the Company’s establishment in British Columbia to meet us at
a point east of Kamloops. It would scarcely be possible to carry with
us from this side sufficient food for the whole distance. It seemed
practicable, however, to make this arrangement, and he kindly undertook
to telegraph and also explicitly instruct his agent in British Columbia
to carry it out. Before leaving the station it was definitely agreed
that such supplies should reach the Columbia River, opposite the
Eagle Pass, by the 8th or 10th of September. If on our arrival at
Calgary circumstances compelled us to abandon the attempt to cross the
mountains, the fact would be telegraphed both to himself and to British

The distance across from Calgary to Kamloops is possibly over 400
miles. Leaving the railway at the former place, we must carry our
provisions with us, limiting our supply to the bare quantity necessary
to reach the point agreed upon. To make a good start is one of the
first elements of success, and it was my endeavour to avoid all ground
for self-reproach whatever might hereafter happen.

As the train moved out of the station many of our old friends kindly
bade us farewell. The railway company had kindly placed at my disposal
a private car, attached to the rear of the four ordinary cars, which,
with the baggage and post office cars, constituted the train. My small
party was now joined by Dr. Grant, who had accompanied me on a similar
expedition across the continent eleven years back.

There is no great extent of farming to be seen immediately in the
neighbourhood of Winnipeg. The land, I believe, is generally held
by speculators; probably as the “boom” has lost somewhat of its
force, this fallow land may once more be considered of value to the
agriculturist. During the past two years the locality has generally
been regarded as given up to speculation. As we proceed, however, we
come upon fields of oats and wheat, and much to the surprise of all of
us the grain stands up undamaged by the recent storm.

The line runs, I will not say in the Valley of the Assiniboine, for
such an expression will scarcely convey the meaning in this prairie
country, but its direction follows generally the course of the river
to Portage-la-Prairie, from which point the route is almost due west.
Ten years ago Portage-la-Prairie had little more than the name by which
it was known by the _voyageur_; it is now a thriving town with many
streets and buildings extended over possibly a square mile. Two large
elevators are constructed on the railway line for the storage of wheat,
and there is a brisk, lively tone about the station, which, I am told,
is characteristic of the place. The town is on the northern bank of the
Assiniboine, directly to the south of Lake Winnipeg. A branch railway
has been established north-westerly to Gladstone. The next station is
Burnside, an improvement on Rat Creek, as it was once called. The new
name has not unlikely been suggested by some recollection of McGill
College, Montreal; the Burnside estate being the property on which that
University is built, and which furnished the means of its endowment.

Eleven years ago I camped at this place, not far from the last house
on the prairies, no settlers having ventured west of where we stood.
The country around is now well cultivated, large fields of waving grain
stretch far back from the railway on both sides; and one might easily
fancy he was looking at a champagne country, developed by a century of
agriculture. Archbishop Taché was on the train, and did me the favour
to join us in our car. It need scarcely be said that our comfort and
convenience had been much increased by the possession of this private
car. Accommodation, in respect to meals, on many parts of the line is
not fully completed. We had a kitchen and a cook and a well provided
larder. We had bedrooms and couches, chairs and tables in perfect
arrangement. Meals were served regularly whether the train was standing
or moving. Our dinner with the Archbishop was very pleasant. He was in
excellent spirits, and we thoroughly enjoyed his conversation. We were
fortunate in respect to our cook, an artist in his way, and he did his
utmost to develop the many resources kindly provided for our use.

Before reaching Brandon we passed through the luxuriant rolling prairie
in the neighbourhood of Carberry. It is diversified by groves of
trees, and it is an easy effort of thought to imagine that you are in
a suburban park of some large city. The soil is good and warm. Large
crops of grain are visible, and in no way have they been affected by
the storm of yesterday.

We arrived at Brandon, where the passengers dine. We are now 130
miles from Winnipeg. The progress at Brandon in so short a time is
remarkable. The streets are well formed, and, owing to the gravelly
nature of the soil, I could not but think, in a much better condition
than those we had left behind in Winnipeg. The town is advantageously
situated on a slope rising from the River Assiniboine, and commands
a good view of the surrounding landscape. It has become a busy and
important place. I was here a year ago, and then a cluster of canvas
tents constituted the town. The prairie in all directions in the
neighbourhood has a warm subsoil of sandy or gravelly loam, differing
from the deep, black, vegetable mould of the level banks of Red River.
Settlers’ houses and huts are seen in all directions, and I learn
that a great extent of the country has been taken up for farming.
As we advance westward the prairie appears in all respects suited
for settlement, and we see indications on all sides that the land is

We pass Virden, a station and village which have sprung into existence
in a year. About forty good wooden houses have replaced the one
tent of twelve months back. Carpenters are at work on an elevator,
on the summit of which their hammers resound, and which will soon be
completed. The streets of the village are also in course of formation;
and one feels that there is here great promise of a prosperous future.

We have now reached the spot on the line where the reservation of the
mile belt along the railway begins, so the farms cease to come within
our immediate view. Stations succeed each other at every eight or ten
miles. To a greater or less extent a village is springing up around
each station. Passing one of these places our attention was drawn
to a pile of lumber destined, we were told, for the erection of a
Presbyterian Church. With some complacency we are asked to accept it
as an evidence that there are farmers, not far distant, to attend the
church, and that it is an evidence of their piety. It is a material
proof of the confidence of those furnishing the money to build it, that
there is every inducement to remain where they have settled, and that
their future is one of assured confidence.

Moosomin is the place where the train halts for supper. It has a life
of six months and now counts several buildings. Meals, however, are
still given in a canvas tent. Broadview, twenty miles further, is a
place of more importance. Here an engine stable has been constructed,
and we obtain a fresh locomotive. As it is nine o’clock when we
arrive, a Pullman sleeper is attached to the train. It has been raining
and the night is dark; between ten and eleven the moon comes out to
some extent. We can see by its light the country around us, but all of
us had risen early and we were not sorry to seek our beds.

During the night we have passed fourteen or fifteen embryo towns.
We even failed to see Regina, the capital of Assiniboine. I cannot,
therefore, speak of its Government buildings, its terraces, its avenues
and its parks. Possibly it may be described as being a place of as much
importance as Winnipeg was ten or twelve years ago.

We reached Moose Jaw before breakfast, and received a copy of the
_Moose Jaw News_. Amongst its advertisements we learn that pianos are
offered for sale, and that these luxuries can be had side by side with
buckboards, stoves, and, what is of first importance in that country,
lumber. The paper, we learn, is published every Friday morning in the
city of Moose Jaw. There can be no doubt of its journalistic loyalty
to the interests advocated. The city is declared to be in all respects
a better, larger and more promising city than its rival, Regina, and
it is authoritatively claimed that the _News_ has an infinitely larger
list of subscribers than the _Leader_, published at the Capital. On
leaving this ambitious place, four hundred miles from Winnipeg, and
the editor and his readers have our best wishes for the future of
their city, our cook gives us a breakfast which would satisfy the most
critical _gourmet_. The line now follows Thunder Creek, gradually
ascending the grand Coteau of the Missouri. It may be said that we have
been passing over classic ground. According to common belief, it was
this route which the sons of De la Verendrye followed when they first
saw the Rocky Mountains. Leaving the Red River by the Assiniboine, they
turned into its tributary, the Souris, which they traced to its source,
not far to the south of us, and then passed over to the Missouri.

The herbage is light but the soil, when turned over to form the
embankment, is warm, friable clay. I cannot but believe that if the
rainfall be sufficient, almost any crop will thrive upon such a soil.
The summers are undoubtedly dry in this section, if we may judge from
the flora; all grain, it seems to me, should be sowed in the first days
of spring to profit by the moisture of that season and to obtain early
strength. There is an utter absence of trees on these rolling plains,
and it would be well to encourage plantation for many reasons, not the
least important being the improvement of the climate. It is not by
spasmodic efforts at plantation that any appreciable change will be
effected. It is only by constant and persevering labour that the face
of the country can be changed and the climate rendered less arid.

Secretan is the name of the station on the summit and we descend
westerly, passing through cuttings which expose fine beds of gravel,
excellent for ballast and road work.

At some of the stations there are groups of Indians, men and women.
We enter into conversation with them through an interpreter on the
platform. Pie-à-Pot, the great Indian chief, we are told, has gone on a
mission to the Lieutenant-Governor at Regina to complain of the smoke
of the locomotive, which he considers to be an evil medicine to ruin
the health of his people.

We pass a group of three salt water lakes, the “Old Wives’ Lakes.”
Together they extend fifty miles in length and from six to ten miles
broad. They abound in wild duck. Chaplin Station is in the vicinity.
Buffalo skulls and bones strew the ground, telling of the past, and
buffalo tracks are distinctly traceable in all directions.

We had been led to expect, from much that we have heard, that this part
of the country was perfectly barren. I can entertain no such opinion.
The soil is light and variable. In seasons not too dry good crops may
be raised in the district we have passed over. In crossing the Coteau
des Missouri we have traversed a great grassy region, the surface of
which has the appearance of the ocean subsiding into a calm after a
great tempest. There are countless undulations of varied extent and
outline, and as the train passes along they look as if they themselves
were in motion; as if they were masses of water rolling into quietness
with the calm swell, so often experienced in mid-ocean after a gale has
passed away.

We arrive at Swift Current, ten degrees of longitude west of
Winnipeg. This station is not far from the southern bend of the South
Saskatchewan, where that river makes a _detour_ before proceeding
northward to Carlton. A large engine house has been erected at Swift
Current. Dinner is provided for the passengers and we remain an hour
and a half at the station. Several Indians are lounging about. We
make an effort to converse with them, but as we have no means of
understanding each other the attempt is not successful. What will
be the fate of the Indian as the plains are filled up? Is he to be
engulfed in the common field of industry? Is he to become civilized
and labour with the rest of us at the prosaic occupations of every day
life? Is he to be uncared for and left to his fate, or be clothed and
fed in idleness? The problem is not an easy one to unravel. I learned
from one of the passengers, who seems to speak with authority, that
at present some ten thousand Indians receive an allowance of rations.
It may be said that the Indian territory has been appropriated in the
interest of the community, and that it is a consequent duty to care
for the Red man. If it be possible the course to follow is to train
the coming generation to habits of industry and self-reliance. Is it

As a rule we take our meals when the train is in motion, so that we can
utilize the various halts to obtain information from those we may meet
at the stations. There is a change to be made in the composition of the
train at this point. The sleeping car goes no further, and a number of
cars loaded with material for construction purposes are appended. We
are really from this point half a construction train. There is only one
ordinary passenger car, with the private car occupied by our party. Our
speed, too, is reduced. It seemed to me somewhat churlish to retain
to ourselves all the comfort and accommodation the directors had so
liberally extended to me and mine, when there were others I knew on the
train not so fortunately circumstanced. I was therefore glad to be of
use to some of my fellow passengers. Our party became thus increased
by the Baron de Longueuil, Dr. Grant the younger, of Ottawa, and other

We pass Gull Lake and Cypress Stations, 554 miles from Winnipeg, north
of the Cypress Hills. Not a tree or shrub is to be seen; the lofty
ground to the south of us is perfectly bare; the country is dry, the
herbage scanty. On the other hand there are plain indications that
the country is not barren and worthless. It has been described by
some people as a semi-desert. So far as my memory will admit the
comparison, the soil resembles in colour and character that of the
Carse of Gowrie in Perthshire. Those who remember that section of
Scotland will perceive the force of the comparison. The ditches and
excavations expose a fine fertile clay soil, not only on the surface
but to the whole depth of the cuttings. On the recently formed
road-bed, in the bottoms of ditches, there are tufts of green oats
growing vigorously twenty-four inches high, each plant with twelve to
twenty strong stalks sticking out from a single root. This scattered
growth, so luxuriant in itself, has arisen from the seed dropped from
trains or the horse’s feed, during construction, without any attempt
at cultivation. It is true that the herbage is brown and dried up, but
not more so than I have frequently seen it in Ontario at this season.
I cannot speak of the country from Moose Jaw to Qu’Appelle, for it was
night when we passed through it, but from what I heard at the various
stations the land is good; and generally it may be affirmed that in the
five hundred and fifty miles of territory between Swift Current and
Winnipeg the waste and worthless land is scarcely appreciable.

We reach Maple Creek, 596 miles from Winnipeg. The country continues
to be of the character I have described. I had some conversation with
a Dumfries man who had passed twenty years in the County of Bruce, in
Ontario. He had a comrade with him and both were fully satisfied with
their new home. There is evidently nothing whatever in their experience
to lead to a regret that they have left Ontario. Last November there
was not a single house at Maple Creek; this evening I counted more
than two dozen. The surface water is reported not to be the best. It
is slightly alkaline; but good, pure water has been obtained from
wells at no great depth. The snow does not appear until the end of
December. Last year ploughing took place on the 11th March.[D] Some
two inches of snow fell after this date, but it soon disappeared. This
year potatoes have been obtained from the virgin soil. I was informed
by these parties that all the land is fair to Medicine Hat, the country
being of the character of that which we have passed through. They are
decidedly of opinion that fall ploughing and early sowing will never
fail to produce good crops; they consider the country is excellent for
stock raising, as the winter is short and but little snow falls. The
water required can be obtained from wells pumped by wind-mills, and the
climate is in all respects healthy. It is men of this stamp who are of
the right build to force their way in a new country. They make light
of difficulties and are fertile in expedients. They know that their
success depends upon their skill and labour; they have no yearning for
continual holidays, nor do they affect an exaggerated love of sport to
take precedence of all duty. If they have some hardship for the moment
they put aside every thought regarding it, for they feel that their
reward is assured and that they are laying up a safe provision for
those who are to follow them. Hence their cheerfulness is unfailing.
Their romance lies in the future: numerous herds and flocks, with rich
harvests of grain, and men busy gathering them in. The small wooden
house they have put up is one day to give place to a more imposing
building of stone or brick, with verandahs and blinds and plenty of
room for occasional friends. The piano may come, too, bye and bye,
from Moose Jaw or some nearer place. Crowds of settlers will succeed,
with weddings and births. There will also be the churchyard, where, in
future generations, some Canadian Gray may write his “Elegy” over the
graves of the village Hampdens and Cromwells, whose force of character
has led their memory to be handed down as the pioneers of the district
they reclaimed from the wilderness.

It was dark when we left Maple Creek. Observation in the dim light was
not possible. Our eyes were fatigued by reading, so recourse was had
to that universal panacea when time hangs heavy, the whist table. Our
rubber caused no regret on the part of the loser, for the winner had
nothing to receive.

I was called early the following morning, for I was desirous of seeing
the station at Medicine Hat and of observing the course of the South
Saskatchewan. We had crossed the river when I rose. I learned that the
stream is spanned by a temporary structure of timber trestles on piles,
some thirty feet above the water level, to be replaced by an iron
bridge before next spring.

There has been a hard frost during the night, and the air is cool.
I am writing on the 22nd August. We start as the sun rises and we
soon experience the heat of his rays. We have, as usual, an excellent
breakfast, and our cook proportionately rises in our esteem. Several
people joined the train at Medicine Hat. We discuss the character of
the country with them, for I desire to obtain as many independent
opinions as possible. I learn that the land between Maple Creek and
Medicine Hat, passed over during the night, is of the character of the
country to the east and west of it, which I have described.

As we proceed we can see, undoubtedly, by the herbage, that the climate
is dry, but the excavation shows the friable soil necessary to the
growth and nourishment of cereals. There are probably seasons of
drought when ordinary root crops will not be generally successful.

We continue through a genuine prairie without tree or shrub. Our point
of vision is really and truly the centre of one vast, grassy plain,
the circumference of which lies defined in the horizon. As we look
from the rear, the two lines of rails gradually come closer till they
are lost, seemingly, in one line; the row of telegraph poles recedes
with the distance to a point. I should estimate the horizon to be
removed from us from six to eight miles. The sky, without a cloud,
forms a blue vault above us; nothing around is visible but the prairie
on all sides gently swelling and undulating, with the railway forming
a defined diameter across the circle. Looking along the track in the
distance there is a small cloud of vapour discernible, indicating that
an engine is following us. The train itself is not visible. There is
certainly no little monotony in a railway journey over the prairie.
The landscape is unvaried: a solitude, in which the only sign of life
is the motion of the train. To obtain some change in this oneness of
view, I obtain permission to take a seat in the cab of the locomotive.
I discover that the engine driver is from Truro in Nova Scotia, Mr.
Charles Wright. I learn from him that he began his railway life under
me on the Intercolonial Railway. I need not say that the look-out from
the locomotive was no new sensation to me, but I was impressed with
different feelings to those which affected me when looking rearward
from the train. I do not think I ever was more conscious of the power
of the locomotive, or in so marked a way had I ever been so capable
of grasping its wonderful capacity to change the whole condition of
our lives. I felt as if I was borne along on the shoulders of some
gigantic winged monster, moving onward with lightning speed, skimming
the surface of the ground, and setting time and distance equally at

We are now on a broad plateau between Bow River and the Red Deer River.
The outline of the eroded valley of the former is visible away on the
southern horizon; the latter is too far distant to be traceable. We
expect soon to be able to see the Rocky Mountains. The soil improves as
we advance, and the prairie has long, gentle ascents, with occasional
heavy gradients. At the “Blackfoot Crossing” there is a large Indian
reserve, and at the station opposite we see many red men and women
still clinging to the life of their past, wrapped in the white or red
blanket, with fringed leather leggings. Some of the younger men have
their faces painted a brilliant scarlet, and, mounted on Indian ponies,
do their utmost to keep up with the train, the women and children
partaking in the excitement of the effort. They all looked so cheerful
and contented that they made no appeal to our sympathies on any ground
of suffering or discontent.

We gradually ascend to the summit of the rolling plain, and now for
the first time the peaks of the Rocky Mountains appear in view. They
are possibly one hundred miles distant; nevertheless they stand out
clear and defined in the horizon, their snow-clad tops glistening in
the afternoon sun. They give a marked relief to the landscape after
the monotony of the prairie. They look like a huge rampart stretched
from north to south to impede all progress beyond them. Their features
slowly change as the sun sinks to the western ocean, but as long as
daylight lasts we never tire looking upon them, and in watching the
varying colours of the atmosphere reflected by their lofty summits.

Our train has become heavy by constant additions. There are now twenty
loaded cars, and it is as much as the engine can do to take them up
the heavy grades. We experience, therefore, some delay in the last ten
miles to Calgary. It is after dark when we cross Bow River and enter
the outer valley. At last we arrive at Calgary, having reached the
114th meridian, 840 miles west of Winnipeg.

When I crossed the continent eleven years ago, before Winnipeg as a
city had even a name, I left Fort Garry on the 2nd August, and did
not arrive in sight of the mountains until the 7th September. In that
journey we did not spare ourselves or our horses, for we made over the
prairies an average of over forty miles a day. On the present occasion
we left Winnipeg on Monday morning, to come within sight of the
mountains on Wednesday afternoon. The first journey occupied thirty-six
days, and the last about fifty-six hours!

It was eleven o’clock when we stopped on a siding. We were anxious
to acquire the positive information which we were to obtain here.
Our further advance depended on the facts which we hoped to learn
respecting the country we were desirous of passing over. For it was
yet a question if it was possible to cross the Selkirk Range to
the Columbia; and it was not a matter of certainty that either the
Kicking-Horse or the Eagle Pass could be followed. But those who could
throw any light on the subject had long retired, so we could do nothing
better at that late hour than follow their example.



  Start for the Mountains--The Cochrane Ranche--Gradual Ascent--Mount
    Cascade--Anthracite Coal--Sunday in the Rockies--Mountain
    Scenery--The Divide.

We had reached the point on our journey when the accessories of modern
travel ceased to be at our disposal. Before us lay the mountain zone to
Kamloops, the distance across which, as the crow flies, is about three
hundred miles. We had failed to obtain any reliable information of the
character of the country over which we had to pass. Indeed, it was by
no means a certainty that there was a practicable route through it.
We had hoped to learn at Calgary all that was known of the territory,
to gain such thorough information that we should know precisely what
course we should take to reach British Columbia.

The problem had now to be discussed: if we could venture to advance
directly westward, or if we should be driven to pass through the United
States. At the worst, it was in our power to turn to the south from
Calgary to Montana, and find our way by the Northern Pacific Railway
through Oregon to Victoria, in British Columbia.

We had been referred to Mr. James Ross, the manager of construction of
the mountain district at Calgary. He had been instructed by telegram
before I left Montreal to collect the fullest information. Accordingly
he had sent out Indian couriers to the exploring parties to learn all
that was known, and it was in his power to acquaint us with the facts
if any one could do so. I had endeavoured to ascertain by telegraph
what Mr. Ross had learned; the invariable reply had been that the
couriers had not returned.

Mr. Ross entered while we were at our early breakfast. The couriers
he had sent to the Columbia had been detained by forest fires, but
they had at last returned with letters from Major Rogers, at the mouth
of the Kicking-Horse River. I learned that the journey to Kamloops
through the mountains was not held to be impracticable, but undoubtedly
it was marked by difficulties. There was a road which waggons could
travel for some distance up the valley of the Bow River. Where the road
ceased there was a rough horse-trail as far as the exploring parties
had penetrated from the east, some five miles beyond the summit of
the Selkirk Range. From that point the ground was perfectly unbroken.
We were told that for the remainder of the distance the only way open
to us was to go on foot; that the walking, at the least calculation,
would occupy ten or twelve days; and that it required about ten Indians
to carry supplies.

The question of supplies had specially to be considered, as there
was no possibility of obtaining them by the way. The country was
totally uninhabited. We could depend on no resource but our own
commissariat, which should be sufficiently ample to avoid all risk of
the chance of starvation. Our means of conveyance would not admit of
transportation to the full extent of our requirements for the whole
distance to Kamloops. Before leaving Winnipeg this contingency had been
anticipated, and definite arrangements, which we thought could scarcely
fail, had been made with the Hudson’s Bay Company for supplies, to be
sent easterly from Kamloops to the Columbia, opposite Eagle Pass. It
was my calculation that we would find our stores without fail at that
point on the 10th September. We therefore resolved to attempt to cross
the mountains on the trail across the Selkirk Range as it had been
described. To place the question of supplies beyond a peradventure, I
sent a special telegram to the Chief Commissioner of the Hudson’s Bay
Company, which I hoped would make error impossible.[E]

It was the morning of the 23rd August. We all wrote some last lines
home, and telegraphed some last words to our friends in the east,
informing them that we were leaving Calgary to follow the mountain
route. Previous to starting I called at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s
store to learn all that was there known about the country before us,
and to see the establishment itself.

We got off about eleven, meeting an unwelcome delay of an hour in
crossing Bow River. The ferry was being transferred to a better site,
and we had to wait until the final arrangements for stretching the wire
rope were completed. Finally it is stretched and secured, and we move

Before many miles were passed our waggon broke down. To save time we
take lunch during the halt for repairs. The prairie about us has good
soil, but the herbage is dry. However, it affords good pasturage. We
proceed onwards through the Cochrane ranche, passing along a stretch of
rolling country, with hills bringing in mind many parts of the south of
Scotland; well adapted for grazing. A smoky atmosphere conceals from
our view the outline of the mountains. Our drivers, however, inform
us that when the air is clear they stand out distinctly to view, and
present a grand sight.

Our miserable waggon again causes us trouble. One of the wheels gives
way. We have again to halt, and remain by a large pond bordered by
willows. A fire is made to furnish some boiling water, by means of a
frying pan, to Mr. David MacDougall, who has appeared on the scene.
Boiling water, says this authority, repairs a wheel “slap bang, and
makes it go for another hundred miles,” with a few willow withes and
some cod lines, which everyone should carry in the mountains, unless he
has what is better, “shaginappy.”[F] The wheel is pronounced fit for
use, although it looked much less like a wheel, and we reach in safety
Morley, forty miles from Calgary.

Our day’s journey had been partially through rich pasture without a
tree. In certain parts a few groves are seen. The general course was
along a wide valley bounded by lofty hills. We had to do the best
we could at Morley. What accommodation we obtained we owed to Mr.
MacDougall, who gave up his own bed. But few travellers passed this way
until recently, and but little provision has been made for them. We
were thankful for any shelter we could obtain. It was nine o’clock and
dark when we arrived, so in any case there was but time to establish
ourselves as best we could. We were up at an early hour the next
morning, to find that our baggage waggon had not come up. Who should we
see, as we sat down to breakfast, but Senator Ogilvie, to lead us to
think that we had still some relations with the world behind us.

I determined not to wait for the waggon, but to push on to the next
stopping place and see what arrangements could be made for our further
advance. The baggage was to follow. I was much struck with the view as
we started. It was very fine, but its effect was marred by the cloudy
atmosphere which hid the more distant peaks. For twenty-two miles to
Padmore the whole route was equally striking. The valley is from three
to eight miles wide, extending generally in a western direction between
the foot hills of the mountains. It is marked by no sudden precipitous
ascents and is usually flat, carrying the prairie character with a
gentle ascent into the heart of the mountains. We are told that at one
time this valley, with the country around Morley and Calgary, was the
haunt of the buffalo. Mr. David Macdougall tells us that he has seen
the ground black with them, and that from an eminence not far from
Morley he has beheld them in herds on the plains, the number of which
would not be less than a million!

The prairie diminishes in extent as we advance. We pass through
park-like scenery. Groups of trees appear at intervals, and the
Bow River in its windings gleams pleasantly in the sun. The heavy
atmosphere is partially lifted and the outline of the mountains in
the distance comes to our view. What we see is probably the outlying
group; they are, nevertheless, bold bluffs, some of them defined
precipices to the summit, with long slopes in one direction, and in
some cases their fantastic forms look as if shaped in masonry.

The streams crossed to-day run in ravines of some depth, and the water
is clear and cold. We halt at Padmore, where the valley is contracted
to half a mile. Evidently we are about entering the portals of the
mountains. To the north, the slopes are bare; to the south, they are
wooded. The bare precipitous rock to the north is stratified and
strongly contorted. The geological features are most striking and the
exposure is on a grand scale. A great bluff rises nearly vertically
to the height of possibly fifteen hundred feet and is about two miles
in length. The lines of the strata are distinctly traceable, dipping
towards the west.

Four miles west of Padmore we are completely in the mountains. On every
side the sound of the hammer and drill was heard, and every turn of
the road revealed new views of the grandest mountain scenery. Peaks
towering behind and above each other came in sight, and the sun poured
down its warmest rays, deepening the shadows and bringing out fresh
beauties. As we advanced, the eye rests only on these mighty heights
when they are not concealed from view by the hazy atmosphere. The smoky
air, occasionally, it seemed to me, opened up, and in a way added to,
the landscape by developing the aerial perspective. As we advanced the
vapour disappeared, and before us stood out, clear and well defined in
the horizon, bold, massive mountain heights, crowned by sharp, turreted

We pass Mount Cascade, so named from the small stream issuing from its
side, said to be at the height of two thousand feet, and with one leap
descending to the valley below. It is the most striking of the masses
we have seen, and we learn that its summit is 5,060 feet above the
plain. Discoveries of anthracite coal have been made in the flanks of
this mountain, and since my visit mining operations have commenced. The
road has become very rough; the wonder is how any vehicle can stand the
jolting, jarring and sudden wrenches over rocks and stumps which we

We are indebted to Mr. Graham, of Mount Forrest, for our dinner. He
very hospitably received us at his contractor’s camp, and we were in a
condition to enjoy all he gave us.

About 4 o’clock we arrived at Hillsdale, named after Mr. Hill, manager
of the company’s store. I was glad to meet here Mr. Dunbar, the
resident engineer, for I had looked forward to obtaining from him some
more definite information than we had yet received, especially of our
way across the Selkirk Range. A short conversation with this gentleman
gave a new colour to our enterprise, and I resolved not to proceed
further that day. Indeed we would have derived no advantage from
doing so. One statement of Mr. Dunbar, and he was supported in it by
one of his assistants who had recently come from the country in front
of us, certainly surprised me. He had heard of no one having crossed
the Selkirk Range. Major Rogers had made several attempts to do so,
but he had only so far succeeded as to reach the summit, or one of
the summits, but had not penetrated entirely through the mountains on
a connected line. No one was known to have passed over from where we
stood by the route before us to Kamloops; not even an Indian, and it
was questionable, if it were possible, to find a route which could be

I must confess that this information was unwelcome to me. I was
not without experience in crossing mountains, but expected in this
instance that our route would be over known ground, and that, whatever
difficulties lay before us, we had only to persevere to overcome them.
From what I now heard all seemed uncertain before me. It was possible
that we might have to walk our toilsome way onwards for many days,
suddenly to find it was impossible to proceed. I did not contemplate
assuming the position of an original explorer. My knowledge of work of
this kind had taught me how frequently it exacted much time and labour,
often to end in failure; that a gigantic natural impediment might
present itself to bar further advance, and that whatever the courage,
determination and fertility of resource shown, failure to proceed
onward would be the irremediable result.

I reserved, however, my opinion of our position until I had met Major
Rogers, in charge of these explorations. I understood he was at the
mouth of the Kicking-Horse River. In the meantime I entered into the
details of our journey with Mr. George Wilson, who had been detailed to
go with us in command of the pack train.

We discussed our route, estimated every day’s journey, and all the
possibilities and probabilities incident to our advance. George had
once been a scout in the service of the Southern States during the war,
and was evidently experienced in rough travelling. He appeared to me to
know well the work and duty of crossing the mountains, and we formed
some estimate of the pork and flour required to take us, with half a
dozen packers, to Eagle Pass, at the Columbia. I went into the whole
question so far as my knowledge permitted, and we talked it over until
bed time.

I owed to Mr. Dunbar, on that occasion, that we had comfortable beds
to sleep on, for he and his friends insisted that we should take
possession of their quarters.

The weather on Sunday morning was really beautiful. Those living in
cities can with difficulty understand the effect on the spirits and
minds of men away from civilization of a bright, cheery Sunday. In all
well ordered expeditions Sunday is a day of rest, and this view alone,
denuded entirely of all religious feeling, which is to some extent
dependent on early education, creates a scene of quiet and repose not
always experienced to the same extent in civilized communities. To
one bred like myself in the strict views of the Presbyterian Church,
there is something more than this sentiment: it is as if you held it
a privilege on these remote mountains to pay homage to the lessons of
your youth. Not from the merely mechanical acceptance of them, but
from a heartfelt sense of their truth. I have felt, on such occasions,
a sense of peace and freedom from the carping cares of life I never
could explain; but that the thought is not peculiar to myself many
circumstances have shown. You seem, as it were, at such times, only
to commune with nature, and to be free from all that is false and
meretricious in our civilization. You are beyond the struggles and
petty personalities of the world, and you feel how really and truly
life is better and happier as it is more simple.

The sun lit up in warm colours the great mountains encircling the
valley. We were surrounded by these magnificent heights. Our camp
was but a few miles distant from the valley, which leaves Bow River
for the Vermilion Pass. The atmosphere was not so clear as we could
wish, and the distant peaks were invisible. We had, nevertheless, a
remarkable view of the towering battlements to the north, in themselves
so lofty and so near to us, and the details so intricate that it would
be impossible to portray them within the limits of ordinary canvas. It
remains to be seen what effect will be produced by photography.

Dr. Grant held a service at ten o’clock, and gave a short sermon. The
congregation was composed of men engaged on the surveys and works. Some
two dozen attended. There was one also of the gentler sex present, who,
with her husband, came from the contractors’ camp near by. We dine
early. As to-morrow we have to take to the saddle, and in order to get
hardened to our work, we think it prudent that we fit ourselves for the
journey. We ride about twelve miles up the valley, between mountains of
the grandest description. To the south two heights of great prominence
present themselves. They command a view of the depression leading to
the Vermilion Pass. One of the peaks is crowned with perpetual snow,
and is of striking beauty. The other has a cubical form of summit.
A third, at no great distance, is pyramidal, and so on in every
conceivable variety these mountains tower above us. Westward we see
Castle Mountain to our right. The resemblance to Cyclopean masonry
has doubtless suggested the name, for it is marked by huge masses of
castellated-looking work, with turreted flanks. After passing through a
mile of burnt pine wood at its base, we reach Spillman’s camp, where
we stay for the night. The fires in the valley are extinguished, but
they are still running up the mountain side, and as night comes on
the flames gleam with a weird light. We soon wrapped ourselves in our
blankets. Although with a certain sense of fatigue, I could not sleep.
My thoughts reverted to the journey before us. Uncertainty seemed to
increase as we advanced.

Next morning some of us felt a little stiff and tired from our
afternoon drill, for such indeed was the object of our ride. Wilson and
Kit Lawrence, his assistant, started early with the supply waggon, as
our own movements are governed by those of the baggage. We did not deem
it necessary immediately to follow, and hence did not hurry our start.
The sun was a degree or so above Castle Mountain as we left. Our ride
was very agreeable: to some extent through Banksian pine, occasionally
along the bank of the Bow River, still a large stream, more
considerable, for instance, than the Thames at Richmond. The current is
strong, and unhappy the canoeman who has to pole up against it. Here
and there we ride through burnt woods. A “brulé” is an ominous word to
any one who has to make his way through the bush. The fire has recently
destroyed the growth of young timber. The existence of these fires
explains the frequent thick, heavy, smoky atmosphere through which we
have been unable to see the outline of the mountains. Occasionally a
snow-covered peak peers far above the dense smoke below, and to the
south we see what the maps suggest to be Mount Lefroy; but there are
several lofty summits, any one of which is sufficiently remarkable to
be named after that distinguished General. One is crested like a huge
camel’s back; one rises to a sharp cone; a third has the appearance of
an extinct volcano, and the crumbling edge of the crater reveals the
glacier within.

The waggon which has brought us from Calgary has been driven by a young
man named Kane. He had started early in the morning with Wilson, and at
a turn in the path we came suddenly upon Wilson’s horse tethered up by
the bridle. Kane was lying upon the ground, suffering from a violent
attack of colic. We had at once to ride and overtake the waggon for
medicine. Thirty drops of chlorodine relieved him, and we left him at
the nearest contractors’ camp. The two waggons with which we started
from Calgary have now nearly disappeared, for we have lost three
wheels, and one of the drivers is left behind.

Twelve miles distant from Spillman’s Camp the waggon road, bad as it
had been, comes to an end, and our supplies must now be carried on
pack horses. Here we met Mr. Neilson, a Kingston man, who renders us
great service; and it is here also, that Dave Leigh joins our service
as cook and pack man. There is always great delay in getting a pack
train ready; horses, saddlery and men must be collected. Our first
calculation was that three horses would suffice, as we know the weights
of all the packages and our calculation had been based upon them; but
from the badness of the roads we reduced the theoretical weight of the
pack by increasing the number of our animals. Our whole load amounted
to eleven hundred pounds, and our packers assured us that over the
bad roads it could not be carried by less than six horses. Experience
proved that the judgment of the men was correct; the consequence was
that the pack train could not leave that night.

Our party, however, started. One of them, who left after the rest, took
a wrong direction and narrowly escaped losing himself, at least for the
night. George shewed wonderful judgment in hunting up the wanderer and
putting him on the right track, relieving us all from great anxiety.
Our course took us across two forks of the Bow River and thence along
the banks of a rapid stream called Bath Creek, so named from one of the
engineers having fallen into it. We ascended for a few miles, when we
turned to the west by Summit Creek, a small glacier-bed stream, which
we followed till we arrived at the engineer’s camp at the Summit, 5,300
feet above sea level.

I had here to take leave of my friend Mr. Dunbar, who had to return
to his duties. He had been good enough to accompany us this far, and I
had found his presence of great use. Sitting around the camp fire at
night he was an admirable companion, for he had a fine voice. I have
particularly a very pleasurable recollection of the hymns he sang on
the Sunday evening in the first mountain pass. All music has a peculiar
effect under such circumstances, especially when it brings back
thoughts of the past and of distant friends; and there is to men of my
age a peculiar feeling in listening to devotional music, the influence
and power of which, however simple, are not easily forgotten.

To-night we fall asleep on the continental “Divide.” Hitherto we have
passed over ground draining to the east. To-morrow we follow a stream
flowing into the waters of the Pacific.



  The Descent--Summit Lake--The Kicking-Horse River--Singular
    Mountain Storms--An Engineering Party--A Beaver Meadow--A Dizzy

We were up at half-past five, and it was a cold, sharp morning. At six,
Mr. Dunbar had said good-bye and turned eastward. When breakfast was
over the pack-train arrived, and by nine we had started for the River
Columbia. It was a rugged and broken path which we entered upon. To
our right two conspicuous twin summits were standing out in the range.
The water of the streams which we were following was more heard than
seen, for the trail exacted all our attention. Our horses were moving
among sharp broken granite rocks and fallen trees. In about half an
hour we passed by the side of Summit Lake. The northern mountains were
now concealed from view by a forest of spruce, through which we were
passing. To the south the landscape is more magnificent than ever;
a bold, rocky bluff rises thousands of feet directly in front of us,
while mountains of great height, in groups, tower above it to the right
and left. Some of them have crater-shaped peaks filled with snow. Our
progress is slow and much interfered with by the pack-horses getting
continually off the trail and losing part of their load.

We pass the second mountain lake, and about four miles from our morning
camp we reach the third and largest lake, about a mile in length. We
cross the path of a great snow slide, an avalanche divided into two
forks, one about fifty yards and the other about one hundred and fifty
yards wide. Thousands of trees, two and three feet in diameter, have
been broken into shreds by it, and roots, trunks and branches, in a
tangled mass, have been swept away, and, with a multitude of boulders
of all dimensions, hurled into the lake, to form a promontory of which
three or four hundred feet still remain. To the south, beyond the lake,
the eye rests upon a mighty mountain, streaked by snow-filled crevices,
and reflected in the bright, glassy lake, presenting to our eyes a most
striking picture. We cross the outlet by fording a stream some forty
feet wide and about sixteen inches in depth. I looked upon it with no
little interest for it is the stream we are to follow for some days.
There is often a history lying behind the nomenclature of these waters
and peaks, and in the present instance it is said that Dr. Hector, who
accompanied the Palliser expedition, was kicked not far from this spot.
The Indians have translated it Shawata-nowchata-wapta--Horse-Kicking

As we ascend the steeper and southern bank we obtain a grand view
of the lofty twin mountains seen from our last camp, and it struck
me that it was from the lower heights that the avalanches must have
descended. A mile of bad trail brought us to Walton’s camp, where we
delivered the mail which had been entrusted to our care. We were now
six miles from our morning’s starting point. By George’s account we
are about entering the worst five miles of road before us, and bad
enough it proved to be. Dave declared that there were places further
on far more trying. We moved at a snail’s pace, but our progress, if
slow, was sure. The scramble on the rugged path, through the boulders,
rocks and ragged surface, was a constant effort to the poor horses. In
many places they had to be dragged up almost perpendicular heights.
Three packs rolled off, and one of the horses fell down a side hill,
accomplishing a complete somersault. No doubt the creature was saved
from injury by the pack, firmly secured to his back. He was soon
released by George and Dave unfastening the pack ropes and lifting him
to his feet. We are seldom in the saddle, for it is safer to walk. Now
and then we catch a glimpse of the stream passing along in foaming
rapids, with an inclination apparently from 1 in 5 to 1 in 8. By this
rapidity of current the water is churned into a liquid in colour like
weak whitewash. It gathers its volume from so many side tributaries
that although its source is a mere brook, yet four miles below when the
water is high the stream seemingly attains a width of nearly a thousand
feet. Even at the present time its volume is so great that it is only
with difficulty it can be forded.

We descend the mountain side to the bed of the river and follow the
gravel banks. Before we reach our night’s camping ground we meet with
some remarkable scenery. Looking upwards to the south at about an
angle of sixty degrees, we can see high, in the clear air, a mountain
peak which, lighted up by the sun, presents in its horizontal strata
various colours, and assumes the form of a mural crown. Separated
from this height by a great depression rises a sister peak singularly
striking, both undoubtedly rising to a vertical mile above the river. A
great glacier on the second mountain overhangs a precipice with a face
of hundreds of feet in thickness: at the base _debris_ has gathered
for countless centuries to form an immense deposit sloping down the
mountain. We cross its base, and accept the first place suitable for
a camp which we reach. Grass for the horses is the first requirement,
water we can always count upon. Our saddle horses have travelled
twelve miles, the journey of the pack-horses has been seventeen. It was
still early in the afternoon, but the strain upon the poor animals had
been severe. The last six miles had taken four hours and a half to pass
over; and then there had been no mid-day halt and feed. There cannot
be a doubt that one of the secrets of driving a horse long continuous
distances is to let him take his own pace and feed him regularly. Any
one who has had any experience with horses well knows that the creature
will by a hundred ways let you know when he looks for his food should
you neglect to give it him. There is everything to show that he suffers
in strength if there be great irregularity in this respect.

We learn that there is no pasture in our front for a long distance, so
we camp on the gravelly beach. The ground we are on, at high water,
is covered, and a few rods from us the river is winding on its rapid,
rolling course. The horses are provided for in a gully near by. Close
to us rise four massive, lofty mountains, and as we turn to their
summits the eye is raised from forty to fifty degrees. A blue sky looks
down between these heights through an atmosphere free from smoke.
These high peaks rising directly from the valley form the points of a
quadrilateral figure, the longest side of which does not exceed three
miles. There are no foot hills, no intervening eminence between us and
these mountains, rising 5,000 feet above where we stand. The sun sets
behind the western heights. I have often felt the calm of evening, but
I do not recollect so perfect a picture of quiet and repose as that
which reigned in this amphitheatre of nature in the first twilight,
when everything was marked and distinct, but with subdued colour, with
no high lights, and presenting a solitude so vast that one for the time
loses all consciousness of the existence of an outer world.

Two families of Stoney Indians were encamped near by. They belonged to
the christianized tribe at Morley, and consisted of a father, three
handsome sons, two squaws and a number of children. They had with them
some of the spoils of the chase, mountain sheep and goats.

Towards night a party of the locating engineers arrived wet to the
middle from fording streams. Their pack-horses had not come up, so
they were without dry clothes or tents, but they made the best of the
situation. They were all cheerful, and indulged in that “chaff” by
which men work themselves up to make a molehill of what is often a
serious hardship, accepting what is inevitable with perfect stoicism.
They made a huge fire to dry their wet clothes, by which they passed
the night without tents or blankets. For our part we had some days’
serious work before us, and were not sorry to seek repose, and we soon
were lulled to sleep by the roar of the rapid which ran within fifty
yards of us.

We are now fairly up to our work. We rise about five; then breakfast,
an important element at the start; then see to the packing of the
animals, an operation which takes a good hour’s time. We say good-bye
to the Indians and to the engineering party, none of whom seem the
worse for their night’s experience, and we start. Often during the hour
are the names of the horses shouted in those valleys, occasionally
with no feeble echo; especially of the pack animals, and we soon know
them one and all. There is always a wonderful link between the man and
the horse, and the kinder the man the more gentle the quadruped. The
names of our horses are Black, Coffee, Blue, Calgary, Coaly, Buck, Pig,
Bones, Strawberry and Steamboat, and each creature knows perfectly the
reproof or the cheering cry addressed to him.

We follow the bed of the river, which is of considerable width, for
five miles, and leaving it we turn to a trail over low ground to return
to the stream some distance down. We find it considerably increased in
volume and it would be impossible to ford it fourteen miles from our
morning camp. The valley has widened out, the river now flows in a well
defined channel with banks six feet above the water level. We stop and
take our mid-day meal; the horses, too, must have rest and be fed. The
atmosphere has again become smoky, not a pleasant indication, for we
may be approaching forest fires, and it is the last situation in which
one desires to be placed, for when the fire is around you there is no
extrication. We advanced, however, but took the wrong trail, which led
to a _cul-de-sac_, where Mr. Davis was encamped, and his trail was the
best defined. We made our way back and fortunately met two gentlemen,
Messrs. Hogg and Shaw, connected with the engineering staff, returning
from an exploration to the Selkirk Range; they spoke of the travel as
of the roughest description as far as they had gone, and it was as far
as it was possible to go. They held that the continuance of the route
on which we were bound was impracticable; there was no path or track of
any description beyond the point at which they turned back and nothing
to mark the way; in fact, no one had been through to the western slope
of the Selkirks. I must add that, however little I said, I had some
very serious reflections on what I heard from these gentlemen.

We halted about twenty miles from the last camping ground; the horses,
owing to the _detour_ at Davis’, had travelled about twenty-three miles
and had little to eat since we first started. It was six o’clock in
the evening, and on examining the grassy plain we discovered it was a
beaver meadow with the beaver works in excellent condition. One beaver
house was twelve feet in diameter by six feet high, formed of sticks,
and each stick showed the marks of the beaver’s teeth. We found a
number of underground passages through which the water flowed; here
and there were vertical openings twelve or fifteen inches in diameter;
the passages crossed and recrossed each other like the underground
passages made by moles. The dam was, generally, in good preservation,
but the water had found a way for itself at some points. We pitched
our camp on the edge of the beaver meadow; the horses could not have
better pasture. Our beds, too, were a shade in advance of last night’s
quarters on the gravelly beach, for they were of hemlock boughs, and if
well laid who would ask a daintier resting place. Certainly we were all
asleep at half-past nine. What a sound sleep it is after a day’s ride
or march over a bad road!

As we started on our next day’s journey a high mountain frowned down
upon us; but not from its lofty summit, for its peak is hidden by rain
clouds. Yesterday the smoke interfered with our landscape, for we could
only dimly see the outline even when the glaciers were gleaming in the
sunlight. Our last night’s camp was half a mile distant from the river,
but we heard the roar of the water; the heavy atmosphere, the lowering
clouds and the loud echo of the rapid river warn us to prepare for
rain, and we do so as best we can. We ride onward, leaving the pack
animals to follow, for I am desirous of reaching Major Hurd’s camp, a
few miles distant. We were unfortunate on our arrival, for Major Hurd
had left for the Columbia about an hour and a half before we appeared.
As it was possible to overtake him we hurried forward; the trail winds
through old windfalls up and down the elevations in our path. We were
in hopes of meeting him at Island Camp, but on our reaching the place
we found that he had stopped and fed, but that he had left before we
arrived. Our horses were tired, his were fresh, and we had been told
that for the next thirteen miles there was no food for the animals, so
we remained there for the night. By this time it commenced to rain; we
made a good fire and toasted the slices of bacon we had brought for
luncheon. The pack-horses came up and there was good feed for them on
the island in the river.

The clouds shortly rolled away. We could see that snow-covered
mountains lay directly in our front; indeed at all points of the
compass, and especially from the direction we had come, there were
magnificent lofty peaks. As we sat at our early supper a cloud appeared
and swept rapidly down the mountain side with a mighty rush of wind.
Heavy rain commenced to fall and everything about us which we could
not gather up got so drenched that we had some trouble in drying our
things. We retired in good time, to prepare for an early start, for we
well knew that we had a hard journey before us on the morrow.

It was cold during the night, and on rising there was a dense fog,
with the prospect of a wet day. The mist hung like a thick curtain,
concealing everything not directly near the camp fire. But we start;
the six pack-horses in front with their loads standing out from their
backs, giving the creatures the appearance of so many dromedaries. Dave
rides ahead with the bell-horse, then the pack-horses follow, and the
horsemen bring up the rear to see that none stray behind. Our journey
this day was over exceedingly rough ground. We have to cross gorges so
narrow that a biscuit might be thrown from the last horse descending,
to the bell-horse six hundred feet ahead, ascending the opposite side.
The fires have been running through the wood and are still burning;
many of the half-burnt trees have been blown down, probably by the
gale of last night, obstructing the trail and making advance extremely
difficult. The delays are frequent; ascending a long slope by a narrow
path, the footing of one horse gave way and the poor animal fell,
rolling over a dozen times. Our fear was that Calgary was killed, or at
least seriously injured, and that he would have to be left behind. The
first thought is to prepare the rifle to put him out of agony, but Dave
and George unfastened the load and soon had him again on his feet at a
depth of some fifty yards below the trail. After some delay the poor
brute takes his place in the pack-train as if nothing had happened.

The road does not improve as we advance, and we have many miles of
burnt woods to pass through. Fortunately there was no wind. The air
was still and quiet, otherwise we would have ran the risk of blackened
trunks falling around us, possibly upon the animals or ourselves, even
at the best seriously to have impeded our progress, if such a mischance
did not make an advance impossible, until the wind should moderate. We
move forward down and up gorges hundreds of feet deep, amongst rocky
masses, where the poor horses had to clamber as best they could amid
sharp points and deep crevices, running the constant risk of a broken
leg. The trail now takes another character. A series of precipices
run sheer up from the boiling current to form a contracted canyon. A
path has therefore been traced along the hill side, ascending to the
elevation of some seven or eight hundred feet. For a long distance not
a vestige of vegetation is to be seen. On the steep acclivity our line
of advance is narrow, so narrow that there is scarcely a foothold;
nevertheless we have to follow for some six miles this thread of trail,
which seemed to us by no means in excess of the requirements of the
chamois and the mountain goat.

We cross clay, rock and gravel slides at a giddy height. To look down
gives one an uncontrollable dizziness, to make the head swim and the
view unsteady, even with men of tried nerve. I do not think that I
can ever forget that terrible walk; it was the greatest trial I ever
experienced. We are from five to eight hundred feet high on a path of
from ten to fifteen inches wide and at some points almost obliterated,
with slopes above and below us so steep that a stone would roll into
the torrent in the abyss below. There are no trees or branches or twigs
which we can grip to aid us in our advance on the narrow, precarious
footing. We become more sensible to the difficulties we encounter
each step as we go forward. The sun came out with unusual power; our
day’s effort has caused no little of a strain, and the perspiration is
running from us like water. I, myself felt as if I had been dragged
through a brook, for I was without a dry shred on me. About three
miles from the mouth of the Kicking-Horse Valley we met Major Rogers
and Major Hurd. At the same time we obtained the first uninterrupted
look upon the Selkirk range. From this point to the Columbia the trail
improved, but it still ran at a great height. We had not, however, got
out of our difficulties, for we came upon a hornets’ nest. The leading
horses were stung and darted forward. To have been attacked by the
whole colony on so narrow a path might have caused serious disaster, so
we abandoned the trail and traced a new route for ourselves to avoid
that which we were following, and thus escaped the dilemma.

The Kicking-Horse Valley turns into the valley of the Columbia River,
which at the junction is some twelve miles wide from peak to peak. Our
train has now travelled through the whole valley of the Kicking-Horse
from its summit to the flats of the Columbia, a distance of about
fifty miles, with a descent of 2,700 feet; the average fall is about
fifty-seven feet to the mile, the first six miles however, give a
descent of twelve hundred feet, being two hundred feet per mile; the
last ten miles the river falls at an average of sixty feet per mile,
leaving on the intervening thirty-two miles an average fall of thirty
feet per mile.

Arrived at Major Rogers’ camp, I own I was weary and foot-sore
after our frightful march of many miles over rough ground high up
on the mountain side, over a path every step of which was a renewed
difficulty. I was somewhat indemnified by knowing that the horses had
travelled without a mishap. I thought of the _Mauvais-pas_ at Chamouni,
which, extending only a few hundred yards, is thought to be a feat in
its way, even with a special guide leading the traveller, holding his
hand; but the _Mauvais-pas_ of the Kicking-Horse Valley extended for
miles, and they were only passed over from the very desperation of our
circumstances. Having entered on the journey we could not turn back and
we had to face the difficulties in our front cost what it would.

We were all tired and weary, men and horses, and all equally hungry.
A sponge down with cold water, fresh, dry clothing and a good supper
are always the best of comforters, so in a few hours I had been able
to discuss our future progress with Major Rogers, and one of the first
arrangements to which we came was that to-morrow both men and horses
would take a day’s rest.



  The Eagle Pass--Kicking-Horse River--Valley of the Columbia--The
    Selkirk Range--The Columbia River--Summit of the Selkirks--Major
    Rogers’ Discovery.

The point which we have reached is about two and a third degrees
north of the international boundary, of the forty-ninth parallel. The
Columbia takes its rise ninety or a hundred miles to the south-east of
us and flows in a generally direct course to a point known as the Boat
Encampment, some seventy miles to the north-west. From its source for
nearly this whole distance the Columbia is flanked by lofty mountains,
those on the south-west side of the valley being known as the Selkirk
Range. The Boat Encampment is a trifle to the north of the fifty-second
parallel. At this point the Columbia completely changes its course
and runs almost directly south to Washington Territory, in the United
States. This section of the Columbia also flows between high mountains,
the Selkirk Range being in this direction of its course on the east and
the Gold Range on the west.

Near the point where the river crosses the 51st parallel there is a
remarkable opening in the Gold Range, known as the Eagle Pass, which
leads westerly towards Kamloops. Measured on the map, the distance, in
a straight line to the second crossing of the Columbia at the Eagle
Pass, is scarcely sixty miles. To reach that point is the task directly
before us.

The route which we had followed to the position where we now are, is
the Valley of the Kicking-Horse River, which has its source in one
of the Summit lakes of the Rocky Mountains. It flows with tremendous
impetuosity for the first six miles from the summit and for the last
ten miles through canyons. The descent in the principal canyon is most
rapid, and the water in the lower reach, now of great volume, rushes
downwards with wonderful force before it falls into the Columbia. In
the lower canyon this large volume of water is forced through a rocky
chasm of unknown depth. At one spot which I visited, the rocks on
opposite banks so over-hung the current that their summits did not seem
to be more than fifteen yards apart.

The valley of the Columbia where we are now encamped is several miles
in width. Although less than one hundred miles from its source the
river is of considerable size, being fed by many streams, like the
Kicking-Horse, having their sources in the glaciers.

It is the first of September, which we devote to the rest needed for
the horses and men. The subject of discussion naturally is the chance
of getting through to Kamloops. A lofty range of mountains intervenes
directly before us to make our advance in that direction impracticable.
We know that there is a possibility of passing round the Selkirk range
by descending the Columbia to the Boat Encampment and thence continuing
until we reach the Eagle Pass, and so get through the Gold Range to our

We learn, however, from Major Rogers that he has found a pass through
the Selkirk range which we can take, and he proposes to accompany
us part of the distance and to send his nephew, Mr. Albert Rogers
the entire route. We must follow the Columbia River north-westerly
thirty-two miles on the way to the Boat Encampment, and then turning
westerly enter the Selkirk Mountains by the valley of a stream named
Beaver River to an opening in the west of the range, and crossing the
summit descend the valley of a stream, the Ille-celle-waet, which,
running southerly and westerly, falls into the Columbia directly
opposite Eagle pass. We learn that a horse trail has been opened to the
summit of the Selkirk range and a short way down the Ille-celle-waet.
Beyond that point we have the wilderness in its native ruggedness,
without a path for the human foot, with the river and mountain gorges
only as landmarks and guides.

Such is the condition of the country to the second crossing of the
Columbia. The passage through the Eagle Pass is mentioned as being
of the roughest description; we have therefore to prepare for the
work before us. We take a day’s rest, lightening the packs as much
as possible. We arrange to start the horses in the morning, while we
ourselves will descend the Columbia in a canoe and overtake the animals
at the end of their first day’s journey.

It is again Sunday. The horses with the men leave us as arranged. We
remain quietly in our camp. It is a beautiful morning; the sun lights
up the whole valley of the Columbia. The great Selkirk range lies in
front of us. To the west and north-west high peaks appear, forming a
golden line of stern magnificence. We are at the base of the Rocky
Mountains, which lie behind us to the east, and hence they form no
part of the panorama. A glacier is visible to the south and huge areas
of snow, possibly the accumulation of centuries, rest between the
peaks. It is a prosaic fact to record, amid all this grandeur, that
yesterday’s halt admitted of some washing of our clothes; a homely fact
but suggestive of volumes of comfort. We look forward for the rest of
the day to enjoying the quiet scene in which we seek a few hours’ rest,
to regain our vigour and elasticity, and they have never more strength
than after repose from labour.

As it is Sunday Dr. Grant holds a short service. Our congregation,
gathered from the nearest engineer’s camp, numbers twenty-two. The
incident may hereafter be remembered as the first act of public worship
in this part of the Columbia Valley. After service we walk to the
river, about a mile and a half of a stroll over low ground. We find
the quiet stream gently flowing in its north-western course, a strange
contrast to the bold broken mountain peaks which form the border of
the valley through which it runs. The evening was warm. Some of us
took a plunge into the Columbia, a pleasant incident in our trip. The
water was of the right temperature, and there was a certain romance in
swimming in a stream in the heart of the mountains, in water as calm as
the Serpentine, in the centre of a vast solitude without the slightest
impress of civilization. In the cool of the evening we walked up the
first gravelly terrace in rear of the camp to enjoy the view, ascending
some 500 feet. We were repaid for our effort. The huge mountains in our
front and the valley stretching away in the magnificence of foliage
to the south-east, lit up by the warm colour of sunset, presented a
noble landscape. I asked myself if this solitude would be unchanged,
or whether civilization in some form of its complex requirements would
ever penetrate to this region? What is the nature of the soil, what
isothermal lines curve in this direction? Is there anything that
can be sown and ripened? Certainly as a grazing country it must be
valuable. Beef and mutton may be produced for men and women of other
lands. Will the din of the loom and whirl of the spindle yet be heard
in this unbroken domain of nature? It cannot be that this immense
valley will remain the haunt of a few wild animals. Will the future
bring some industrial development: a future which is now dawning upon
us. How soon will a busy crowd of workmen take possession of these
solitudes, and the steam whistle echo and re-echo where now all is
silent? In the ages to come how many trains will run to and fro from
sea to sea with millions of passengers. All these thoughts crowd upon
me with that peaceful scene before us as the sun sinks behind the
serrated Selkirk Mountains, and I do not think that I can ever forget
the sight as I then gazed upon it.

The evening, like all evenings in the mountains, after sunset, became
cold, and we found our camp fire comfortable. As we sat opposite it we
missed our friend, Mr. Dunbar, whose cheery voice we would have all
welcomed. Possibly I exaggerate my friend’s powers, for it was the only
human melody we heard on our travels. We retired early to prepare us
for the journey. The night was cold, and sleeping in our clothes and
wrapped in our blankets we could not complain of the heat. As usual
we were up early. At eight we were in a canoe floating down the River
Columbia. The immediate banks are low and the river winds in its
course with but little current. We could now see the rocky range which
we have left behind us. The terrace on which we stood at sunset lies
along the foot of the hills and a second terrace is seen to follow the
Kicking-Horse River, I learn, some 1,200 feet high. The ground from the
canyon of the Kicking-Horse River ascends to this terrace with a slope,
as far as I can judge, scarcely one to one, an angle of less than 45°,
and it was along the face of this upper shelving acclivity that the
narrow ledge of pathway was traced, which we followed for miles. I
never wish to take such another walk. I dared not look down. It seemed
as if a false step would have hurled us to the base, to certain death.
There is many a joke of the strong head of the North Countryman. I
shall ever listen to any wit of this character complacently, for I feel
that it was because of my experience in my younger days amid hills
and dales that my nerve did not fail me as we went onward. I am not
ashamed to say that I still look upon the tramp in the Kicking-Horse
as a serious effort. I believe that there are many who could not have
passed through it in any form. The power to walk along heights is a
constitutional endowment not extended to us all. For my part I have no
desire to retrace my steps by the path I have followed in the descent
of the Kicking-Horse Valley.

Six miles below our starting point, to-day, we touched the shore to
take note of the buildings erected by those engaged on the railway
survey of twelve years back. They are five or six in number, and look
as if once they offered a comfortable resting place.

We continue our journey for three miles. We feel the contrast between
this comfortable advance compared to our efforts of last week. The
glacier-fed river, the grand wide banks and the dim distant hills,
with the snow-covered mountains far behind them, presented a panorama
as striking as it is rarely seen. At noon we passed a tributary
which has been called “Wait-a-bit,” suggestive as the spot where
travelling parties rest and adjust the loads in their canoes before
passing the three miles of descending rapids which lay before them.
In twenty minutes we have passed the rapids and reach the landing. We
have crossed the outlet of a clear stream from the east discharging
its bright blue water far into the turbid flood of the Columbia. The
landing is at the upper end of a canyon through which the river passes
between rocky bluffs at the foot of the mountains. At this point we
have overtaken our pack train. George and Dave speedily unload the
canoe and we make preparations for a twelve mile march on foot or
saddle. The sun has been hot the whole day. The air is smoky and the
distant mountains are not visible. The trail we follow passes up the
hillside for some little distance and then descends to a lower level,
and for this locality is comparatively good. It continues for six
miles alongside the canyon, so called, but which, really, is no more
than a series of rapid descents through the contracted portion of the
river. There is nothing to prevent them being safely run by canoes and
boats, as many of the rapids of the Saint Lawrence are so passed over.
Indeed, I believe that a steamer could descend them, for the water is
less turbulent than the rapids overcome by the Beauharnois canal. Once
down, however, ascent would be impossible. As far as I can learn, the
Indians of this territory do not use canoes to any extent. Generally
they depend on the Indian ponies, and mounted upon them they follow
known trails through the forest. We followed the flats of the river to
our camping ground, some thirty miles north-westerly from the mouth of
the Kicking-Horse River, opposite the mouth of the Beaver River on the
Selkirk side.

We had now to ascend the eastern slope of the Selkirk range. We are
up by day-break. Although only the 4th of September, as usual in
these mountain valleys, the morning was raw and cold. A heavy dew had
fallen during the night. Breakfast was over at six, but our horses
were missing. There was little pasture for them in the neighbourhood
and they had strayed in search of food. George has been absent since
day-break in search of them. He shortly returns with three horses
less than our number. Those he has collected have to be taken across
the river, and the only way of reaching the opposite bank is to make
them swim the stream. The width is about 400 feet and the water is deep
for three quarters of the distance. All animals swim, especially the
horse, but to land on an opposite shore is not always easy. Such was
the case in this instance, and some of the poor creatures, failing to
make a landing, by instinct returned to the side whence they started,
the strong current sweeping them a long distance down stream. The three
lost horses are found. At last man and beast are on the Selkirk side of
the river.

We ourselves, and the _impedimenta_ are taken across by an old leaky
boat built by the Moberly surveying party in 1871. By this time it is
nine o’clock. It is no use crying over spilt milk; but time is now
precious, and every hour lost is a mishap. I did not look complacently
on our delay; there was, however, the satisfaction that we had overcome
the difficulty. We hope after crossing the mountains before us to
meet the Columbia in its southern course in about a week. We follow
the rough and recently cut trail by the Beaver River itself, a large
stream, passing through an open canyon for four or five miles. It is
quite unnavigable. There are few places where it can be forded along
the whole route. We proceed through a flat well-timbered valley over
half a mile in width.

There is a dense growth of cedar, spruce and cotton wood, and such
magnificent cedar! Four feet and more in diameter. We have now an
undergrowth which is the genuine flora of the Pacific slope. Everywhere
the prickly aralia or devil’s club[G] and ferns and skunk cabbage[H]
are to be seen, all of the rankest growth, on the low ground. There is
no pasture for horses. Having had little to eat last night the poor
animals look miserable and wearily wind their way through the woods up
and down the ascents, while the voices of the drivers are constantly
heard encouraging them.

As we advance we come upon a flock of grouse, five of which were
secured by hand without much difficulty, the birds being so tame. The
packmen know them as “fool hens.” We fancy that they resemble the
spruce partridge of the Atlantic Provinces. A short time after the
capture as we were trudging onwards a few miles beyond the spot, my
friend, Dr. Grant, finds that he has lost his watch. He supposes that
it dropped from the guard as he was engaged in the chase. We are three
miles past the spot. Unfortunately it was a gold presentation watch,
highly valued, and an effort must be made to find it. Along with Mr.
Albert Rogers he determines to return to make a search for it. It was
not possible to halt; the pack-train moves forward and I accompany it.
The smoke in the air now becomes more dense, for we were reaching a
region where fires appeared to be ahead of us, the ordeal of passing
through which we did not wish to experience. The forest had evidently
been burning some time, and the trees had fallen in many directions,
obstructing the path and causing considerable delay. With difficulty
we continued our advance. The horses at one time clambered over fallen
trees, still on fire, at another waded through hot ashes or burning
vegetable soil. We go on with some dread. If wind arises the half
burned trees may be hurled across the horses and ourselves.

We continue on wearily hour after hour in the hope of finding a spot
where the horses can pasture, but none is to be seen. At last we reach
an engineer’s camp about six p.m., and Dr. Grant soon appears, in the
best of spirits. He had found his watch, and if ever a patient search
was justly rewarded it was in his case.

There is no pasture for a long way before us, and there is no
alternative; we must remain for the night, even if there be no feed for
the horses. The surveying party is in charge of Major Critchelow, a
West Point man, with all the marks of culture which that institution
extends. His assistants are equally agreeable. They give us a cordial
welcome, and we have a supper of oatmeal porridge and condensed milk.
I could eat only with effort when I thought that our horses were
without their feed. But so it was, and nothing could be done. We have
still five or six miles to ascend before we reach the summit. We have
travelled eighteen miles to-day, and we are fatigued, and I do not
think any of us were long wrapped in our blankets before we were fast

Our poor horses could only nibble the leaves of the devil’s club in
the attempt to satisfy hunger. There was nothing to be done but to
proceed, and as soon as possible reach good pasture at the summit. We
were now no longer by Beaver River. We had followed it for fifteen
miles, and had ascended a branch named Bear Creek. We heard that a
number of these creatures are to be met in this locality. The surveying
party had seen as many as fifty. We pass through a tall forest until
we reach a rugged mountain defile leading up to the summit, which we
are to cross. The mountain peaks rise high above us, and although it is
far advanced in the forenoon the sun has not yet appeared to us in the
defile, for it has not yet ascended to the lofty horizon. We crossed
many old avalanche slides. On the southern side of the mountains, as we
wind our way, great scaurs, banked with snow, are seen two hundred or
three hundred feet above the bottom of the narrow valley through which
Bear Creek flows. To the north we observe a glacier, possibly fifty
yards thick at its overhanging termination. It takes its origin at some
remote lofty source far beyond the reach of our view. Below the glacier
on the mountain side there are traces of a heavy avalanche, where trees
have been broken and crushed in all directions. Judging from the age
of the timber the movement must have taken place a considerable time
back, and was probably caused by the breaking off of a huge mass of the
glacier. What could have been more majestic than the fall of one of
those great glaciers, in its descent driving everything before it as
stubble in the field.

Five miles from our last night’s camp we leave Bear Creek and follow
a small stream to the south. Half a mile further brings us to the
summit. At last there is pasture for the poor horses, so they are
unloaded and unsaddled and turned out to their food. Our dinner, too,
is prepared, although it is not yet noon. The horses require rest and
we ourselves are now in no hurry to proceed. There is a grassy knoll
in our neighbourhood which might have been placed in the most sylvan
of scenes, and we recline at our full ease to enjoy the scene around
us. Nothing would have been gained by leaving before the horses had
satisfied themselves. I recollected that I had a package of cigars,
a gift from our genial Ottawa friend, Mr. N----. They had crossed and
re-crossed the Atlantic with me during the present summer, and it was
little thought when they came into my possession that their aroma would
mingle with the atmosphere of a summit in the Selkirk range. They are
produced. We have no wine, so we can only congratulate Major Rogers
over the cigars on the discovery of a pass so far practicable and on
certain conditions appearing to furnish a solution of the problem of
crossing over the Selkirk range instead of making a detour, following
the Columbia by the Boat Encampment. We are now 4,600 feet above the
sea, surrounded by mountains of all forms, pyramidal, conical and
serrated. They are marked in bold relief on the lofty sky line. Between
them the everlasting glaciers present the most remarkable variety of
appearance. Westward there is an open valley with great peaks which
stands out in the dim distance. It is by looking north in the direction
whence we came that we have the grandest view. The valley is to all
appearance completely enclosed by what seemed to be impenetrable
mountains. The defile which we entered is not visible, although the
entrance is dimly seen clothed in shadow through the smoky air.
Towering high near the crest there is a series of glaciers extending
for half a mile or more from north to south.

As we quietly rested, enjoying our cigars in the midst of the
remarkable scenery which surrounded us on every side, Major Rogers
described to us various details connected with the discovery of the
pass, and we felt that his description was as creditable to him as the
discovery itself. He stated that he was indebted to the report of Mr.
Walter Moberly for a suggestion which led to the examination. As far as
I have any knowledge, Mr. Moberly is the first white man who ascended
the Ille-celle-waet, the stream which we have now to follow on our
journey. It was eighteen years ago. He was engaged in an exploration
for the Government of British Columbia. In the year 1865, Mr. Moberly
had discovered the Eagle pass, through the Gold Range. He then
ascended the Ille-celle-waet, a distance which he estimated at forty
miles, to the Forks, where it divided into two streams, one of which,
the most northern, he traced some thirty miles farther. This branch
terminated in a _cul-de-sac_ among snowy mountains. The other branch
he was unable to follow, as the season was advanced, 23rd September,
and his Indian guide declined to accompany him. In his report, Mr.
Moberly spoke hopefully of a route by that branch[I] and recommended
that it “should be examined before a road is finally determined on.”
It was upon this hint that Major Rogers acted. Three years back he
traced the Ille-celle-waet to the Forks, and then followed the eastern
branch. This branch also proceeded from two streams, the most southerly
of which he followed. With his nephew he climbed a mountain on its
northern bank, and from the summit he looked down on the meadow on
which we were then resting. Major Rogers, pointing up to the height
directly in front of us, said: “There Al. and I stood; we could trace
through the mountains a valley, and the conclusion was established in
my mind that it led to the unexplored branch of the Ille-celle-waet. We
also traced a depression to the east, which we considered might lead to
the upper waters of the Columbia. And so it proved.” Major Rogers could
go no further at that date. He was short of provisions, and he returned
as he came. But next year he ascended the stream by which we have
travelled for the last two days and reached this grassy plot. On this
occasion also his nephew accompanied him, and recognized the meadow,
the height on which they formerly stood and the peculiar features
of the scenery which they beheld. All that remained was to follow
the flow of water westerly. They did so as far as the forks of the
Ille-celle-waet. They returned by another route in the hope of finding
a better pass, but this effort proved unsuccessful.

A party had been detailed to cut out a trail westward, which we are now
to follow as far as it is made passable. Beyond that point our party
will be the first to pass across the Selkirk Range from its eastern
base on the upper Columbia to the second crossing of that river.

The horses are still feeding and we have some time at our command. As
we view the landscape we feel as if some memorial should be preserved
of our visit here, and we organize a Canadian Alpine Club. The writer,
as a grandfather, is appointed interim president, Dr. Grant, secretary,
and my son, S. Hall Fleming, treasurer. A meeting was held and we
turn to one of the springs rippling down to the Ille-celle-waet and
drink success to the organization. Unanimously we carry resolutions
of acknowledgment to Major Rogers, the discoverer of the pass, and to
his nephew for assisting him. The summit on which we stand is a dry
meadow about a mile in extent, with excellent grass. On the approaches
we found raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, pigeonberries and
gooseberries. They were a treat to us with our hard fare. Fruit,
gathered from the bush is always more pleasant to the taste, and fancy
eating these delicious fruits in the heart of the Selkirk Range,
nearly a vertical mile above the ocean! We are in the best of health,
and have the digestion of ostriches. The air is bracing, the day is
fine. We have regained our freshness and elasticity, and to show that
we are all still young and unaffected by our journey we deem it proper
to go through a game of leap-frog, about the only amusement at our
command, an act of Olympic worship to the deities in the heart of the
Selkirks! Our packers look upon our performance gravely, without a
smile. It struck us that the thought passed through their minds that
it would be as well for us to reserve our strength for the morrow, and
that in view of the path before us our elation was somewhat premature.
If such were their thoughts they were certainly justified by the
following week’s experience.



  The Descent of the Selkirk Range--Glaciers--The Last of our Horses--
    Devil’s Clubs--The Ille-celle-waet--A Rough Journey--A Mountain
    Storm--Slow Progress--A Roaring Torrent--Skunk Cabbage--Marsh--
    A Long Ten Miles’ Journey.

Our horses having grazed on the rich pasture are evidently satisfied,
some are actually rolling on the grass. So the hour has come to leave
the pleasant meadow in the Rogers Pass and pursue our journey. The
animals are loaded with their packs, but they are not too eager to
make another start. We hear “Steamboat,” “Calgary” and the other names
shouted in tones of anything but gentle remonstrance, and occasionally
stronger means of persuasion are employed. At last we are fairly
under way. Our descent is rapid. We soon come in sight of a conical
peak rising about fifteen hundred feet, as near as I can judge, above
the surrounding lofty mountains. It stood out majestically among its
fellows. We thought that it was a fit spot for the virgin attempt of
the Alpine Club. We name it Syndicate Peak. Major Rogers declared it
would be the summit of his ambition to plant on its highest point the
Union Jack on the day that the first through train passed along the
gorge we were now travelling. To the west there is a remarkable glacier
whence issues one of the sources of the Ille-celle-waet. We descend
slowly enough but with increased rapidity of actual descent, crossing
a series of avalanche slides with a growth of tall alder bushes, the
roots being interlaced in all directions. A line had been cut through
by the surveying party, or our progress would have been exceedingly
difficult. The narrow gorge occasionally widens out. The flat in the
valley of the Ille-celle-waet in some parts may be a quarter of a mile
in width, but it is exceedingly irregular in that respect.

We soon find ourselves five hundred feet below the summit. The
adjoining mountains are steep, and tracks of avalanches are frequent.
From some little distance to a point where the last pasture for
the horses can be had the trail is moderately good. Later in the
afternoon we came upon an encampment of two Shuswap Indians, who had
left Critchelow’s camp in the morning before we started. They had
pack-animals with them, and had selected the spot on account of some
grass growing on the line of a snow-slide. They informed us that this
was the last pasture to be found on the trail, so we resolved to camp
at the same place.

Our course had been westerly through a valley flanked on both sides
by high mountains of all forms with interlying glaciers. We have
difficulty in finding a place to pitch our tent, but finally we secure
a nook with area enough on the low gravelly bank of a brook of crystal
eighteen inches wide, but so small is the space available that the camp
fire must be placed on the opposite side of the rivulet; the murmur of
its waters at my feet was the sound by which I fall asleep.

In our encampment we had eleven men and sixteen horses, and a strange
compound of nationalities we presented. We are from Massachusetts,
Minnesota, Virginia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Scotland, England, Norway
and Austria, and two are Shuswap Indians of British Columbia.

The nights are now cold, and before morning we are chilled, although
we wrap ourselves in our blankets without being undressed. It could
hardly be otherwise in the neighbourhood of so many glaciers. The hot
sun penetrates into the valley, but after sunset the cold air of the
upper strata by degrees usurps its place. Breakfast and exercise make
us once more ourselves, and we again start, winding along the rough and
rocky edge of a rapidly descending stream on a narrow trail traced out
by the surveying parties a few days previously. We continue through
the valley walled in by mountains, the height of which must be counted
by thousands of feet. After a progress of fourteen miles we come upon
two large masses of frozen snow, one on each side of the river and
fifty feet back from it. We learn that three years ago, when first
seen, they were much larger and higher, forming a great natural bridge
across the stream. The water, which is here of considerable volume and
impetuosity, passed through the opening which it had forced in the
centre. It is the remains of an avalanche from one of the glaciers,
at what date no one can tell, and as I have said, it was first seen
three years ago. The bridge has disappeared and only the abutments
of hard frozen snow or ice are left, and they are gradually melting
away. It is to be inferred that it was of no late occurrence, and that
the mass must have been precipitated from a neighbouring glacier,
evidently not an uncommon occurrence in this district. Mr. Moberly
mentions in his journal, 26th September, 1865, having seen further up
the Ille-celle-waet a snow bridge on which his party crossed the stream
which flowed two hundred and fifty feet beneath without being seen.

We trudge slowly along the newly cut trail high up among the rocks, to
descend again to the flats with its alders and devil’s clubs until at
last, we reach a surveyors’ camp, twenty-four miles from the summit.
Such is the measured distance but we would have estimated it as much
longer by the tax upon our strength.

Our horses have now to leave us, it being impossible for them to
proceed further. I feel quite sad in separating from them. In an
expedition such as we are on, horses and men become identified, for
they have the common object of moving onwards on the trail before them.
A spirit of comradeship springs up but little known in the world of
paved streets and hack-cabs. Day after day, as you see the familiar
creatures obediently serving you and partaking of your fatigue, and, as
in this instance, undergoing privation by your side you regard them as
friends. You have always a cheery word of kindness for them, and how a
horse knows a man’s voice and makes an increased effort at obedience in
response to it! These poor creatures had acted admirably for us. On one
occasion for a spell of nearly sixty hours they had been almost without
food. Yet how patiently they kept to their labours. All of us, I may
say, greeted the pasture at the summit with as much delight as if our
own food depended on it. But we have now to separate. They return on
their way and we go onwards. I had a kind thought for the poor brutes
and said to them some parting words, and I hope to-day they have a
perfect paradise of pasture wherever they may be.

On reaching the surveyors’ camp alluded to I find a fellow laborer of
former days, one of the Intercolonial staff, and I was delighted to see
him, Mr. McMillan. He commenced the active duties of his profession
with me some seventeen or eighteen years back. Engineers have always
a pleasure in meeting those who have been on the same work, and when
there has been no unpleasantness, which, I am glad to say, does not
often happen, the link having so worked together is very strong.
Nothing but the best of feeling existed between Mr. McMillan and
myself, so we were equally pleased at the meeting.

We spent the evening in discussing the best means of proceeding, for we
required additional men to take our provisions, at least to the south
flow of the Columbia.

The camping ground was not good. Between the tall cedars there was a
dense growth of devil’s club through which we had to pass going from
tent to tent, and to avoid it we were driven to carry torches to light
our way. Before the evening was over we had finally made arrangements
for our further journey, and it was ten before we retired.

Last night it rained hard, with thunder and lightning. This morning
everything is wet and the trees are dripping in all directions; not a
pleasant prospect for those who have to travel under them. There is,
however, no halting in a journey such as ours. Our horses have left
us. They were driven back to find pasture last night. The men must now
carry on their shoulders what we require, through an untrodden forest
without path or trail of any kind. Clothing, tents, food and a few
cooking utensils constitute what we have to bring with us. Fortunately
we can always find water. It is a matter of some calculation and care
putting these articles into proper packs, but the task is finally
accomplished. We say good-bye to Major Rogers and Mr. McMillan and
we start at half-past nine. In saying good-bye to them we were
bidding farewell to all civilization which had forced itself into the
mountains. Hitherto we had enjoyed what appliances of the great world
were available. Our advance had been made as easy as it was possible
to make it. We were now turning our back on civilized life and its
auxiliaries, again to meet them, we trusted, at Kamloops. Our world was
for a time in our little band. We knew nothing of the country before
us and we had no assistance to look for from the world behind us. We
were following a tributary of the Columbia to the waters of that river,
and this was the one guide for our direction. One by one we march off
in Indian file to the forest, and I bring up the rear. Independently
of myself, the party consists of Dr. Grant, my son Sandford, Mr.
Albert Rogers and five men from Mr. McMillan’s party, transferred to
our service to carry our necessary stores as far as the Columbia.
We had also Dave, our cook. I must here say that Dave, in his way,
was a man of genius; with that magnificent equanimity that is seldom
unaccompanied by great powers. Dave was a plain, honest Englishman,
who had spent part of his life as a sailor, and had roughed it in
many parts of the world. He never shirked his duty, was of herculean
frame and always shouldered the heaviest pack. With a certain roughness
of manner he was, with us, one of the round formed pins set in the
roundest of holes. I often think of him, and I am sure that he will be
equally useful wherever he is.

The walking is dreadful, we climb over and creep under fallen trees of
great size and the men soon show that they feel the weight of their
burdens. Their halts for rest are frequent. It is hot work for us all.
The dripping rain from the bush and branches saturate us from above.
Tall ferns sometimes reaching to the shoulder and devil’s clubs through
which we had to crush our way make us feel as if dragged through a
horse-pond and our perspiration is that of a Turkish bath. We meet
with obstacles of every description. The devil’s clubs may be numbered
by millions and they are perpetually wounding us with their spikes
against which we strike. We halt very frequently for rest. Our advance
is varied by ascending rocky slopes and slippery masses, and again
descending to a lower level. We wade through alder swamps and tread
down skunk cabbage and the prickly aralias, and so we continue until
half-past four, when the tired-out men are unable to go further. A halt
becomes necessary. We camp for the night on a high bank overlooking the
Ille-celle-waet. Three of us have dry underclothing, in water-proof
bags, but the poor men have no such luxury, so they make large fires
by which to dry themselves. Dave, our cook, fries the pork and makes
us tea in the usual way on such expeditions. We have all excellent
appetites and no fear of a bad digestion; and all quite ready to sleep,
literally and truly in spite of thunder, without criticizing the couch
on which we lie.

The Ille-celle-waet, on whose banks we have camped, has increased from
a tiny brook to a raging torrent, some fifty yards wide. The colour of
the water is much as that at London Bridge; a result possibly due to
the disintegration of the rock over which the stream rushes and to the
grinding action of the boulders rolling down the stream. A sediment is
thus formed which is visibly precipitated in any vessel where the water
remains quiet.

Last night we discussed the suggestion of constructing a raft and with
the current float down to the Columbia. As we look upon the water
foaming past us and the numerous rocks and obstacles in the stream,
we are satisfied that no raft could live long in such a torrent. The
valley is narrow and is skirted by lofty mountains, wooded up their
sides and of considerable elevation; but owing to the height of the
trees we cannot see their summit. Occasionally during the day we have
beheld snow peaks peering above the lower levels. In some parts of
the valley a stray sunbeam never penetrates to the lower ground. The
vegetation in consequence is peculiar, and mosses of rare variety are
found. The ferns, where the soil is rich, are as high as a man’s head.
The aralia and skunk cabbage are as rank as possible. Here and there
on rocky points, above the deeper portions of the valley, we find many
berry-bearing shrubs. They enjoy but little sunshine. The fruit in
consequence is acid but palatable. Darkness at an early hour enshrouds
the base of the peaks, so the cook has to bake to-morrow’s bread by
the light of the fire. Suddenly thunder is heard and the red glare of
lightning illuminates all around us. For some time we are threatened
with rain and at length it falls in torrents. The thunder and lightning
are now seen and heard through the valley, and our one danger is that
a heavy wind may spring up, and, as often happens, root up many of
the forest trees around us; but our trust is in Providence as we wrap
ourselves in our blankets to sleep.

By the morning the thunder had ceased and the tall trees around us
stood erect; the air is thick with mist. The mossy ground with every
bush is wet with rain. Breakfast comes, with one and the same _menu_
for all meals, and for us all, fried pork and bread made in a frying
pan, now and then some dried apples boiled, and tea without milk,
strong enough for anyone, and nothing could have been more relished.
We mount our packs, for we all carry something, and start onwards for
another hard day’s march. Our yesterday’s advance on a direct line we
estimate at four miles. This day’s experience was a repetition of that
of yesterday, and our great business at the halting places is for each
of us to extract the prickles from our hands and knees.

The scene of our mid-day meal of cold pork and bread was the junction
of two clear streams from the mountains, the more bright and
crystal like from contrast with the chocolate looking water of the
Ille-celle-waet. We resolve to encamp somewhat earlier, so that the men
may dry their clothes by daylight. It was fair weather when we halted
by a picturesque brook, tired and weary enough. The spot we selected
was at a turn of the Ille-celle-waet where the boiling, roaring torrent
sweeps past with formidable fury. Coming from the south a brook falls
by gentle slopes into the larger stream forming a cascade near its
mouth, where we obtain a shower-bath of nature’s creation. On the river
side there is a forest scene of dark cedars, while here and there lie
immense prostrate trunks, some of them eight or ten feet in diameter,
covered with moss. Beyond the river the mountains frown down upon us as
defiantly as ever. The usual routine of camp settling is gone through
and after supper has been eaten the last pipe is smoked and the last
lingerer leaves the camp fire for his blankets.

It is Sunday, so we venture to sleep a few five minutes longer, and as
we hear the roar of the rapids which seem to shake the very ground,
we wonder how we could have slept through it. It rained all night,
none of the men had tents and they nestled by the trees and obtained
what protection they could. Our waterproofs were divided among them
as far as they would go and such as did not possess them were more
or less drenched. Looking skywards through the openings in the thick
overhanging branches there seems a prospect of the clouds rising.
Sunday though it be, with our supplies limited, we are like a ship
in mid-ocean: we must continue our journey without taking the usual
weekly rest, which would have been welcomed by us all. Dr. Grant called
us together, and after the simple form of worship which the Church
of Scotland enjoins under such circumstances, we start onwards. The
walking is wretchedly bad. We make little headway, and every tree,
every leaf, is wet and casts off the rain. In a short time we are as
drenched as the foliage. We have many fallen trees to climb over, and
it is no slight matter to struggle over trees ten feet and upwards in
diameter. We have rocks to ascend and descend; we have a marsh to cross
in which we sink often to the middle. For half a mile we have waded, I
will not say picked, our way to the opposite side, through a channel
filled with stagnant water, having an odour long to be remembered.
Skunk cabbage is here indigenous and is found in acres of stinking
perfection. We clamber to the higher ground, hoping to find an easier
advance, and we come upon the trail of a cariboo, but it leads to
the mountains. We try another course, only to become entangled in a
windfall of prostrate trees. The rain continues falling incessantly:
the men, with heavy loads on their heads, made heavier by the water
which has soaked into them, become completely disheartened, and at
half-past two o’clock we decide to camp. Our travelling to-day extended
only over three hours, we have not advanced above a mile and a half of
actual distance and we all suffer greatly from fatigue. I question if
our three days’ march has carried us further than ten miles.

We build huge bonfires and dry our clothes and are just beginning to
feel comfortable, under the circumstances, when we discover that an old
hollow cedar of some height, near us, has caught fire and leans towards
our camp threatening to fall across it. I have heard unpleasant stories
about camps in such situations, so we move to another place. In the
morning this very tree lay on the ground directly along the site where
we were first encamped. In the meantime the rain falls more and more
heavily. Our blankets, kept in their water-proof bags, are the only
parts of our baggage which are dry. Under the circumstances it was a
blessing we possessed this luxury.



  A Difficult March--Cariboo Path--Organization of Advance--Passing
    Through the Canyon--Timber Jam--A Gun-shot Heard--The Columbia
    Again--Indians--Disappointment--The Question of Supplies becomes
    Urgent--No Relief Party Found--Suspense.

It rained when we awoke at five on the Monday. Dave, our cook, had had
one of those nights of misery which many have now and then to undergo,
but his excellencies are more appreciable as difficulties increase.
Soaking wet to the skin he performs the duty of preparing breakfast as
cheerfully as if he were in the Royal Kitchen, and in such a situation
good humour is the first of virtues. Some time is exacted in drying,
even partially, our wet blankets and clothing, so as to lighten the
loads, already heavy enough; we cannot, therefore, start as early as we

In the first hours of our journey we make fair progress. We are now
far up the mountain side, and here and there we come upon the path of
the bear and the cariboo. Generally these trails do not run in the
direction we wish to take, but if they incline in the least towards
the West we gladly turn to them. They are gone over with so much more
ease than the tangled forest, that however much they prolong the
distance it is a saving to follow their windings. The cariboo paths,
however, too frequently lead to recesses in the mountains or to alder
swamps near the river. An attempt to systematize our travelling was
made to-day. Hitherto our rests had been irregular. Our halts were long
and we were drenched with perspiration; we got chilled, so we laid
down the rule to walk for twenty minutes and rest for five. Dr. Grant
is appointed the quartermaster-general for the occasion, with absolute
authority to time our halts and our marches by the sound of a whistle,
and when he sees fit to call special halts after extraordinary efforts.
Our period of progress for twenty minutes often seems very long, and we
wearily struggle through the broken ground and clamber over obstacles,
eagerly listening for the joyful sound to halt proclaimed by the
whistle. It was a system of forced marches and answered admirably,
for we made more progress in this way than on any previous occasion.
We have another experience of an alder swamp, possibly not quite so
formidable as that of yesterday, for we did not sink deeper than the
knee. But we had another phase of experience. We reached the lower
canyon of the Ille-celle-waet and climbed from rock to rock, grasping
roots and branches, scrambling up almost perpendicular ascents,
swinging ourselves occasionally like experienced acrobats and feeling
like the clown in the pantomime as he tells the children, “here I am
again.” At some places the loads had to be unpacked and the men had
to draw each other up, by clinched hands, from one ledge to another.
Then we had another chapter of the Kicking-Horse Valley experience:
passing cautiously along a steep slope, where a false step was certain
disaster; creeping under a cascade, over a point of precipitous rock
and surmounting obstacles, which, unless we had to go forward or to
starve, would have been held to be insurmountable. But we persevere
and overcome them, and reach our camping ground for the night, all of
us showing traces of our day’s work. We select for our camp a small
_plateau_ of about half an acre, overlooking the river, which passes in
a foaming torrent through a deep canyon with perpendicular rocky sides,
which twists in gigantic irregularities. Such places are only seen in
these mountains. The packmen give them the name of “box canyons.” A
dead tree furnishes us with fuel, and we obtain water by letting a man
down with a sling half way to the river’s edge to a spot where there is
an excellent spring. The water of the river was objectionable, being
impregnated with dark sand held in solution.

As we were preparing to rest for the night a bright glare of lightning
and a sharp peal of thunder warn us to protect our clothes as best
we can against rain. We saw but one flash and heard its accompanying
loud crash, to remind us that each night of our descent by the
Ille-celle-waet we have been saluted after dark by heaven’s artillery.

Our relief is great in the morning to find that it does not rain, that
the sky is clear and that there is promise of a fine day. We have all
slept well and are refreshed and hope to make the Columbia early in
the day. We start off cheerfully, but we are not out of the canyon.
We again climb through the rocky defile, and about half a mile from
our starting point we reach a jam of trunks of trees, not far from its
lower end. Tree after tree has been piled here by the current for many
a year. Who can tell the period? For the space of some hundreds of
yards up and down the stream a mass has been heaped up thirty or forty
feet above the level of the water. There is an accumulation of material
at this spot which would be a fortune to its possessor if he had it
in London or any European city. We cautiously clamber from log to log
over this jam and reach the opposite side of the canyon. We proceed
onward soon to find the ground cumbered by many fallen trees, with
masses of rocks and the invariable ferns and devil’s clubs in all their
luxuriance. We continue our march, making our halts by rule, and on the
whole make decent progress.

We halt at mid-day sufficiently long to eat our bread and cold bacon,
and we thought we ought to be within hearing of a gunshot from the
Columbia. We expect the party from Kamloops with supplies to meet
us there. It is the eleventh of the month. I had named the 8th of
September as the date at the latest when we should reach the place
appointed. Accordingly I direct my son rapidly to fire two rifle shots.
We listen attentively and in a short time we hear the welcome report of
a gunshot. We answer with three shots in quick succession, and again
we hear a gunshot. We count almost with breathless excitement. It is
repeated and again repeated,--it is the three shots! Thank God! We have
established our connection. Our friends are in front of us with the
provisions on which we rely. All anxiety for the future is past, and
the promised waters of the Columbia cannot be far from us.

By the nature of the ground over which we have to pass some time is
exacted for us to overcome the obstacles before us, but not a moment
is lost. We are all alive with excitement, and move forward as rapidly
as it is possible to do. At our first rest we fire another shot, and
we hear two shots more distinctly than on the first occasion. We are
much elated to feel that our combinations have been so successful, and
that we were on the eve of having to welcome new faces from the outer
world, and possibly receive letters from home. We strike a bee line in
the direction of the sound and strive to follow it. Soon we are out
of the green woods and are in sight of the Columbia. We observe the
smoke of a camp a mile from us on the opposite shore. Impulsively we
give a series of hurrahs, for it seems to us we can see our friends
from Kamloops. Two canoes cross the river. We are standing upon the
high sandy bank in full view of the Eagle pass, directly opposite to
us. We soon observe that our expectations have deceived us. The canoes
contain Indians only. We meet them at the water’s edge. They can speak
no English, but with the help of a little “Chinook,” we learn, to our
great disappointment, that no one has arrived from Kamloops! It was the
Indians who had replied to our shots. They were Fort Colville Indians,
and had come by the Columbia some time ago as a small hunting party,
and they had been on this spot for at least four weeks. However, we
decided to cross the river in their canoes and send back the men to Mr.
McMillan, as we had promised him.

We divided our little store of provisions with the fine fellows who
had carried our _impedimenta_ down the Ille-celle-waet, so that they
would have enough to take them back to McMillan’s camp. I added a
letter of approval to their chief. No men ever more deserved thanks
than they did. Our lives had been passed side by side for many an hour,
so I could judge and estimate their good-will and the cheerfulness
with which they performed their duties. I never knew men with better
pluck or endurance. I could easily see that my friend, McMillan, had
specially picked them out for the arduous service they had to perform.
They were all made of the truest and best of stuff, and let me here
make my acknowledgments to them for their admirable conduct. We had
Campbell, Currie and McDougall, from Ontario; McMillan, from New
Brunswick, and Scoly, an Englishman, from Lancashire. These men had
been put to the test, and showed of what material their manhood was
made. They could not have behaved better, and they carry with them my
best wishes for their future welfare.

Our canoes shot out from the shore and those we leave behind give us
three hearty cheers, which we as cordially acknowledge. The Columbia
at the junction of the Ille-celle-waet, is a noble stream, broad and
deep. We landed at the gravelly bank of the Indian encampment, where we
found three Indian families, with four canoes. We pitched our tent four
hundred yards down stream, where the current was much stronger. The
width here is about twelve hundred feet, and the whole river brought
to my mind the South-west Miramichi, where the Intercolonial Railway
crosses it.

It was early in the afternoon and the stream furnished us the luxury
of a good bath. We made a fire on the beach and had dinner, after
which we seriously considered our situation. We were fatigued beyond
measure and every joint ached. The skin of all of us in a few places
was somewhat lacerated, our hands were festering from the pricks of
the devil’s club, and we had not yet come to the end of our work. I
was well aware that we would yet have difficulties to meet in reaching
Kamloops. Our supply of food was nearly exhausted, and what was left
we had to carry ourselves. I certainly felt grievously disappointed
that the men from Kamloops were not present. We were three days later
than the appointed day of meeting. We ought to have found the party on
the spot to receive us, and their absence had a most depressing effect
on us. Neither men nor provisions were on the ground. I distinctly
remembered the arrangements made at Winnipeg. I read over and over
copies of the directions left behind, also the telegrams sent from
Calgary, and I knew that if any one could carry out the arrangement
it was the agents of the Hudson’s Bay Company. I had been careful in
impressing upon the Chief Commissioner that we depended on him solely
and absolutely for our supplies of food at this point. We were on the
spot where they should have been delivered, and the time had passed
when the relief party should be on the ground. We thought of all sorts
of mishaps that might have befallen them. We knew there was no trail
through the Eagle Pass; indeed I myself had telegraphed that fact
from Calgary. Major Rogers and his nephew had traversed it three
years ago, and we were aware that the ground to be passed over was
of the most trying description: that there were several lakes to be
crossed. The thought came upon us that the supply party might have met
with an accident in crossing one of these lakes, or they might have
been overtaken by forest fires, or some other misadventure might have
happened which we knew nothing of.

There was one alternative open to us. Fortunately the band of Indians
were on the spot, and if the worst came to the worst we might induce
them to paddle us down the Columbia to Fort Colville, in the United
States, and thence find our way through Washington Territory and Oregon
to our destination. But we had started to go through the mountains to
reach Kamloops on a direct line, and the idea of abandoning the attempt
and making a flank movement was the last we could entertain.

Our decision as to the course we are to take cannot be long delayed,
as our slender stock of provisions will last but a few days. In this
painful embarrassment, and it was painful, we asked ourselves the
question: Would it be prudent to go on risking the chance of meeting
the party from Kamloops, or do the circumstances compel us to give up
the idea of crossing the Gold Range and force us to enlist the services
of the Indians to take us down the Columbia, some two hundred miles to
their own village, from which point we can find our way to Portland in
Oregon in twelve days, and then by Puget’s Sound reach our destination
in British Columbia? This mode of procedure was most repugnant to us;
but however desirous we were to cross the Gold Range of mountains, we
had seriously to consider the situation. I may seem to exaggerate the
doubt and misgiving which thus crossed my mind. But the facts of the
case must be borne in mind that our dependence rested entirely upon
receiving the supplies from Kamloops; this source failing, none was
open to us. Had our stock of provisions been exhausted and no Indians
been present on the Columbia, I do not see that our fate would have
been different to that of many an explorer: starvation. There was only
one deduction to be drawn from the absence of the Kamloops party: that
there had been misapprehension or misfortune, and that we could not
look for assistance where we stood.

The responsibility of determining the course to be taken under such
circumstances was serious and depressing. It was evident that we had to
act independently of others, and viewing the state of our provisions
we had at once to do so. Our united feeling was strong that we should
not abandon the Eagle Pass. We all recognized that after a night’s
rest immediate action was imperative, that we ought in no way to delay
but to proceed onward, leaving behind us tent, blankets, baggage and
everything not absolutely required, carrying only the remnant of food
we still had, with a small frying pan, and so work our way westward
as best we could. With this feeling uppermost in our minds we try to
consider the prospect before us with equanimity.

We had at least accomplished an important part of the journey, and
our advance had so far been without mishap. We had crossed through
the Rocky Mountain Range and the Selkirk Range, and had arrived at
the second crossing of the Columbia by the time estimated. We are no
longer in the wet and clammy recesses which we passed through along the
course of the turbulent river recently followed. We are on the banks of
a noble stream in the wide open valley of the Columbia. The landscape
which met our view was of great beauty. It was mellowed with autumnal
tints and confined within countless lofty peaks. To the east lay the
valley of the Ille-celle-waet, surrounded by towering heights gradually
fading in the distance, while in front of us the Columbia swept along
through its various windings, made more glittering by the contrast of
the dark masses of foliage on the low ground.

Evening came on to throw a more sombre tint of colour over the scene.
All that was to be heard was the peculiar sound of the rapidly flowing
stream and the distant roar of the Falls of the Ille-celle-waet.



  The Kamloops Men at Last--No Supplies--On Short Allowance--An
    Indian Guide--Bog-wading--The Summit of the Pass--Bluff
    Lake--Victoria Bluff--Three Valley Lake--Eagle River--Shooting
    Salmon--The _Cached_ Provisions--Pack-horses Again--Road
    Making--The South Thompson--Indian Ranches.

Our anxiety passed away when five men appeared coming from the woods on
the flats of the Columbia, a short distance from our camp. We saw them
approach with more than usual satisfaction, for we felt certain that
they were the men we were looking for, and we hastened to meet them as
they came towards us.

McLean was in charge, with four Shuswap Indians, and without delay he
gave me letters from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s agent. And among them
was a sheet of foolscap setting forth a list of the provisions sent us,
which, in the condition of our own stores was peculiarly acceptable.
On inquiry we learn that the sheet of paper alone represented the
provisions, for it was all that the party had brought with them. The
stores entrusted to them to bring to the Columbia had been _cached_
at a point five days distant from us, and they had brought with them
barely enough food to supply their own wants. It was neither welcome
nor looked for intelligence with our slender stock of pork and flour.
We had already put ourselves on short allowance, and in view of our
resources we had not a moment to lose in making a start.

The non-appearance of the Kamloops party at an earlier day was
accounted for by the well-meant but ill-advised attempt to bring horses
with them to the Columbia, and by the exceedingly rough character of
the ground through the Eagle pass itself, even for foot travel. Many
parts of the valley were blocked up by fallen trees of gigantic size;
and the obstructions, owing to masses of rock, the lakes, swamps and a
general ruggedness, had proved to be formidable. No attempt had been
made to bring on any of the provisions beyond the point which the
horses could not pass. At that spot the whole was _cached_, and one
of the Indians had been detailed to remain behind in charge of the
animals. The main object of their mission had, therefore, not been
fulfilled: that of being at the Columbia on the 8th of September with
provisions. They had neither observed the date of meeting, nor had
they brought with them the food which we looked for at their hands.
Fidelity to an engagement of this character is indispensable in the
wilderness. It ought to be felt that failure might lead to privation
and suffering. Had any one of us or our party slipped on the rocks or
trees, had forest fires impeded our progress, had we lost our way, or
had we, through any other unforeseen cause, been delayed, our stock
of supplies would have been exhausted when we reached the Columbia.
Fortunately we had met with no misadventure. We had been exceedingly
careful with our provisions, and hence we had a small reserve of pork
and flour, which, with careful management, could be made to serve for
a couple of days longer. There was nothing left for us but to make an
effort to extricate ourselves from the false position in which we found

We discovered that the Fort Colville Indians encamped near us were well
acquainted with the country for some distance back of the Columbia.
It had been their hunting ground; accordingly we engaged one of their
party, old Baptiste, as a guide, to take us on our way by the least
difficult route, to the extent of his knowledge of the country.

After the usual delay incident to a start with a new set of men we
march off in Indian file, headed by old Baptiste. None of us had been
impressed either by the knowledge of the country which the Kamloops
party possessed or by their skill in combinations. The Indian knew the
route well as far as Three Valley Lake, and we felt safer under his
pilotage, and assigned him the advanced post of our party.

We imagined that we were making the best of starts. We all started
forward in Indian file with that springy gait which marks men having
confidence in themselves. The guide, however, led us to his own camp.
He did so without explanations or remark. He entered his wigwam and we
remained outside. The proceeding was inexplicable until we learned that
he had to repair his moccasins before he could start. We halted three
quarters of an hour, while the squaw deliberately plied her awl and
leather thong, the Indian in the meanwhile sitting motionless, smoking
his pipe and looking into the embers of the fire. We could only imitate
his patience and await the result. At length in the same silent way he
re-appeared, and started without comment on the trail. We submissively
followed. The thought crossed my mind that in this case knowledge was

Our guide took us by a circuitous route round the shore of the “big
eddy,” avoiding a mile of exceedingly painful walking, which the
Kamloops men had passed over last night.

We find our way over ground almost clear of trees. Some years back
the country had been ravaged by one of the great forest fires, often
extending over immense distances. The trees had not again grown, and
we rapidly reach the green wood in the pass, where we take our mid-day

We start again, skirting a large marsh. It seemed to us at first to be
a beaver meadow. It was full of water holes, skunk cabbage and deep
black muck. McLean and his men had waded through this bog up to their
middle for the greater part of the way. It was the one part of their
return they most dreaded to encounter. Do any of my readers know what
it is to wade through a marsh of deep oozy mud, covered with stinking
water? It is not an experience they may long for. The path we pass
along is the one taken by the Indians for carrying cariboo and game
over the mountains. The various wild berries we saw on the route were
unusually large. They more resembled small grapes in size than the
ordinary berry, and were pleasant to the taste. There was an abundance
of black huckleberries and blackberries. Is not this presence of a
luxurious growth of wild growing fruit an indication that garden fruits
might find their home in these sheltered valleys?

We are fast ascending towards the summit. The valley leading to the
Eagle pass is about a quarter of a mile wide, walled in by parallel
mountains generally wooded to the top. We pass through a vast grove of
fine timber, mostly hemlock, fit for purposes of railway construction.
We cross several times the stream we are following, and about five
o’clock encamp on its eastern side. The site we select is the freest
we could find from the formidable devil’s clubs. Cedars, four feet in
diameter, rise up around us like the columns of a lofty temple. We
counted some forty or fifty in a circle of a radius of a hundred feet,
and a striking appearance they presented.

We have travelled seven miles and have reached the summit of the Pass.
Our journey has been in every way satisfactory. We thoroughly recognize
all we owe to our guide. He has saved us labour, time and much
painful experience, and we are proportionately satisfied with our own
forethought that his services could be utilized.

As night came on we lit up a hollow cedar. It is some distance from
us, and when it falls it will be away from us, as it inclines in
the opposite direction to our camp ground. It burns rapidly, and
illuminates the scene around us for the whole evening. It was moonlight
also, but the dense forest intervened, so the camp remained in shadow.
The vegetation around us was rank, with a green, luxurious growth of
mosses. Indeed the mosses extended in all directions, the surface of
the lower branches of the lofty trees not excepted. Some of the ferns
we saw were striking, and the abominable devil’s club was in profusion
all around us.

It rained during the night; we were comfortable in our tents, but the
men were exposed to the rain, having brought with them no protection
against it. Before starting their blankets had to be dried, so it was
nearly eight o’clock before we got off.

In less than two-thirds of a mile we gain Bluff Lake on the summit;
the steep rocky sides have given it its name, and the walking is so
difficult that we deem it expedient to form a raft on which we can
float to its further end.

We have now entered into the third range of mountains and have passed
beyond the waters flowing into the Columbia. We have reached the
waters of the Eagle River, which find their way to the Fraser. Our
raft carried the tent and baggage, but was not large enough for all to
find a place upon it. Accordingly some had to clamber over the rocks
as best they could, and a difficult walk they had. We reached the end
of the Lake and continued on our journey. Another three-quarters of a
mile brings us to a second Victor Lake. We did not construct a raft to
navigate it. Baptiste took us by what he called an easy route. We had,
however, to clamber over rocky precipices the whole of the way, and it
is the afternoon before we sat down to take our meal at its western
end. The Lake is about three-quarters of a mile in length; the water is
like a mirror, in which the lofty peaks are reflected in every variety
of shade. Directly in our front there is a magnificent bluff rising
vertically sheer from the water seven hundred feet. Its image appears
in the mirror-like lake as well defined as in the atmosphere. On behalf
of the Canadian Alpine Club we name the bluff after Her Majesty, and
give three cheers for the Queen in honour of the occasion. We all
feel in good spirits, for we are satisfied with the progress we are
making. Our advance, however, was not without its difficulties. We
had a seemingly endless number of prostrate trunks of trees and rocks
to surmount, and on the lower ground we had from time to time to wade
through troublesome marshes.

Three and a half miles from Victor Lake we arrived at Three Valley
Lake. Our Kamloops men, on their way to meet us, had constructed a
raft at this point, which is again available. It is large enough to
take the whole party. So we embarked upon it. Baptiste followed in
a small, birch-bark canoe, which he had taken from its _cache_. We
move slowly through this beautiful lake, nestling in the mountains,
where three valleys meet. Its shape is somewhat that of a three-corner
staff officer’s hat. It has lofty, wide banks, with bold rocky bluffs
standing out from the spruce and birch wood, here and there visible.
It is a beautiful sheet of water, dark in color and exceedingly deep.
It has been said that it is fathomless. Few Swiss lakes, which I have
seen in my limited wanderings, rise in my mind as superior to it in
wild, natural beauty. This sheet of water has a character of its own.
We reach the outlet in about an hour, somewhat chilled by sitting
immovably in one position on the raft. We soon are ourselves again as
we arrange our camping ground. Every spot is bright green, but there is
not a blade of grass. Possibly, owing to the excessive moisture of the
locality, the ground is brilliant with rich mosses of the thickness of
three or four inches, and you walk on them as on a Turkish carpet.

We encamped on a small tree-covered promontory at the outlet of the
lake. Eagle River has now become a good sized stream of clear water
flowing over a rocky bottom. The scenery is striking in all directions.
The central of the Three Valleys branches into four subordinate
valleys, between each of which high peaks, covered with snow, are to be
seen. To the north and west the peaks are less lofty. Baptiste tells us
that much game abounds, and that from the lake large fish are taken, as
we infer, salmon. The evening was very pleasant; we were all in good
humour, not by any means the worst resource to the wanderer in his

It did not rain last night. I do not hold my own experience as
sufficient for any generalization, but from all I can learn, at
this season of the year, it is seldom that such is the case in the
mountains. Certainly the nights during which we have escaped rain since
entering the Selkirk Range have been few.

We had now to part with our Indian guide, who had fulfilled his
contract, so we settled with him and found he had a cool way of his
own in reckoning the value of his services, whatever he might know of
arithmetic. As a “lucky penny” we supplied him with enough matches to
last him a month, a mine of wealth to him; and he paddled away to the
east to find his way back to the Grand Eddy.

The Kamloops Indians, now on their own ground, are unusually active
this morning. A tree is felled on which we can cross the river, and
we get off by eight o’clock, trudging through the woods, passing over
alder swamps and dry rocky ground, encountering prostrate trees of
giant growth until we reach Griffin’s Lake, a mile in length, with
rough and rugged sides. We constructed a raft of light timber and
formed our paddles of split cedar. It took an hour and three-quarters
to make the raft, but by paddling through the lake we made up the time
and reserved our strength for further efforts. We had an excellent
opportunity of seeing the country from the middle of the lake. Snow
covered peaks were here and there visible, but I question if this snow
be permanent; it struck me that it was only the deposit of the late
storms which we had experienced. We took our mid-day meal, it was now
bread and water, on the raft, so there was no delay in our starting
westward when we landed. The ground was smooth for some distance, but
we soon reached a part of the valley where it was entirely swamp to the
base of the hills. We had, therefore, to clamber along its side, which
was encumbered with large fallen trees and huge stones. Our progress
was as slow as in the valley of the Ille-cellewaet; and soon, from
sheer fatigue, we were forced to accept the first available camping
ground which offered: a small plateau near a mountain stream.

As arranged, Albert and McLean started next morning at day-break
towards the point where the horses and supplies had been left, to get
everything in order, so that when we came up no time would be lost
and we could at once proceed. We shall not reach the spot a minute
too soon, for we are out of everything in the shape of food. McLean
and the four Indians, despatched from Kamloops with supplies, have
helped to finish the remnant of stores which we have carried across
three mountain summits from the Bow River. Without our forced marches
our provisions would certainly have been insufficient, and but for
the accident of meeting a guide we might have been in an unenviable
situation. Yet the failure of our plan was in itself so ridiculous that
I cannot look back upon it without a smile. We were in the heart of a
desert and asked for bread. We did not even get a stone, but we met
five hungry Indians ready to devour the little store we had brought
with us.

We started soon after seven, every member of the party carrying his
own pack, except Albert and McLean, who had been already despatched
without loads. Our advance had much of the character of that of
yesterday, along a steep hill side, among fallen trees from four to
six feet in diameter. Our progress was exceedingly slow through these
difficulties; at length we reached the _cached_ provisions at eleven
o’clock. The hour of short commons was passed, and at our mid-day meal
we had a sumptuous fare. We found tinned oysters, potatoes, coffee,
bacon, flour, onions and such delicacies; we also had an example of the
saying that “it never rains but it pours,” for my son fortunately shot
a salmon in the Eagle River. We were thus in the very lap of luxury;
but our business was to do more than revel on good fare. We had to be
up and moving. The Indians expressed great astonishment when the order
was given to march. They expected we should remain here for a few days
to feast on the good things till they were done: as they term it in
British Columbia, to have a regular “potlatch.”

We continued our journey, having horses to carry the loads.
Occasionally we ourselves mount, but the trail is so rough that for the
best part of the distance it was easier made on foot. The horses were
fresh after a week’s rest, and for an hour they bounded over the logs
and rocks with ease, but they soon settled down into their ordinary
pack-horse walk.

Two miles from our dinner camp we crossed a stream of bright blue water
from the north, nearly equal in volume to the Eagle River. Four miles
further we met Mr. Joseph Hunter on his way to find us. He gave us the
welcome news that to-morrow we would be on a waggon road, now being
constructed over the western end of Eagle Pass, and that at Shuswap
Lake we would find a steamer to take us to Kamloops.

Our trail did not improve. It continued on the hill side over rocky
ground, partially through a _brulé_. Our march was tedious, for we were
more on foot than in the saddle.

Eight miles from our noon camp we reached the north fork of the Eagle
River, a stream about eighty feet in width. The water was turbid,
indicative of a glacial source. We found some difficulty in fording
it, owing to the rapidity of the current and the bed of the stream
being full of large boulders. A mile further on we camped on the hill
side among the charred remains of a forest fire, and had an excellent
supper. The moon rose, nearly at the full, lighting the lofty hills in
our front, and as we sat by the fire Mr. Hunter told us all he knew
of the doings of the outer world, of which we had lost all trace for
nearly four weeks. We learned that our camp is but four or five miles
in a direct course from a working party constructing a waggon road in
our direction.

As the morrow will be Sunday, Dr. Grant suggests that we should start
as usual, and that he should hold a service when we arrive. Accordingly
the following morning Mr. Hunter and he start off on foot in advance.
We were so eager to reach the waggon road that all were up and at
breakfast before sunrise and were under way as its early rays were
peering over the mountains where, last night, the full moon came up.
The sky was without a cloud. The trail was so imperfect and circuitous
that, although the distance was given as from four to five miles, it
took us from six until about twelve to reach the encampment of Mr. G.
B. Wright, the road contractor. It was a tented village. Our hostess,
Mrs. Wright, received us under a large tent, appearing to us with an
additional charm as being the first white woman we had seen since we
left Morley on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. One of our
first luxuries was the use of soap and hot water, and certainly we all
required it. After we had partaken of the bounteous hospitality of Mrs.
Wright, Dr. Grant held a service, at which about forty men attended,
together with the only woman of our race within a long distance--our
hostess. The men wore the usual long beard, bearing no signs of the
scissors, and their dress was rough, but they all listened with marked
attention and reverence.

In the afternoon we left this canvass town, which comprised some sixty
tents of all sizes. We were accommodated with a spring waggon and were
driven some sixteen miles over an excellent road. The whippletree gave
way more than once, but was speedily repaired by the help of a short
stick and some cod line. At half-past five we reached Shuswap Lake,
where a steamer was waiting for us, Albert having ridden ahead to
detain it. We were soon on board and steamed through the Sicamouse
Narrows, about three hundred feet wide with about six to eight feet of
water, as the last rays of the sun were lighting the lake. The moon
rose and we could see the country around us with the water channels
from every point of view. The shore is still in a state of nature,
without a settlement. There is not even a house at the steamboat
landing, and the supplies for the waggon road construction parties find
shelter from the rain under canvas. The steamer is about a hundred
feet in length, with a stern wheel for navigating shallow waters. It
was eleven o’clock before we turned in, and I could not but contrast
our present mode of travel with that of a few days back, and it seemed
almost like a dream as I thought of our advance from the first summit.

We had still, however, a most unpleasant recollection of our wearing
journey through the mountains; the prickles of the devil’s club in
their poisonous effects had become a great annoyance to many of us.
Indeed, our swollen hands had to be wrapped in oatmeal poultices.
In one case the swelling and pain were really serious, and as a
consequence at least one of our party suffered from loss of sleep.

At eight next morning we were on deck. The steamer was sailing down the
South Thompson. We stopped frequently at Indian ranches for passengers
and freight. The effort of getting some pigs on board at one of the
landings created some amusement; a scene in its way suggestive of our
having entered again the realm of civilization. Breakfast had been
delayed until our arrival at a spot where we were to obtain fresh milk
and some butter. When we reached the place, a ranche by the river side,
the fresh butter was not ready, so we waited until the churning had
been completed. Affairs seemed to us rather primitive west of Kamloops
Lake. Our cook is a Chinaman, comely looking enough, and the breakfast
that he put before us was certainly a respectable proof of his skill.

We were now gliding through a country entirely different from that
east of Shuswap Lake. We had left the lofty peaks behind us, and were
surrounded by high hills covered with bunch grass, with groves of trees
and sometimes with single massive trunks of spruce or Douglas pine.
The landscape has a park-like character, and is highly picturesque.
The hills are high and varied in outline. Some portions of the River
Thompson recall the scenery on the upper portions of the Arno and
the Tiber on the journey from Florence to Rome. No rocky bluffs are
visible; the hills are smooth and rounded, but nevertheless of such
variety as to take away any monotony in the landscape as we move down
the river. About nine o’clock we arrive at Kamloops, some ninety miles
distant from Shuswap Lake, our starting place of the previous night,
where we had embarked.



  Lake Kamloops--Savona’s Ferry--Irrigation--Chinese Navvies--Chinese
    Servants--Lytton--The Fraser River Canyon--Old Engineering
    Friends--Sunday at Yale--Paddling Down the Fraser--An English Fog
    at New Westminster.

The district into which we have entered, in its physical character,
is directly the opposite of that which we have traversed. We have no
mosses to tell the story of excessive humidity. We are now in a country
where the leading feature is extreme aridity. I can compare the dark
powdered earth to nothing to which it bears more resemblance ground
pepper. On all sides the indications show that this condition of soil
and climate extends over a wide district. The surface is covered by
a tufted vegetation known as bunch grass. There is only one remedy
to make it productive of farm crops: a system of irrigation on an
extensive scale. As yet no steps have been taken for its introduction
in this neighbourhood. Nowhere is the eye relieved by a flower garden
or by the familiar charm of cultivated ground. The small town of
Kamloops at present can boast of no such advantages, but there is
nothing to lead to the belief that they are not attainable.

We are indebted for a temporary home to the hospitable factor of the
Hudson’s Bay Company. Naturally one of our first acts is to report our
arrival to our friends in the east. Unfortunately the telegraph line
is down and the operator absent repairing it. Deeming it of importance
that no time should be lost we despatch an Indian courier with messages
to the next station, Savona’s Ferry, thirty miles distant.

We all feel that after our tramp we are entitled to a few hours’
additional rest. It is true that for the most part we have slept
soundly every night of our journey; indeed, if men could not sleep
after serious work like ours, it would be hard to say when they could
do so. But we had not indulged in the luxury of late hours. We were
always up at day-break, and I never heard the complaint that any of
us had slept too long. One satisfaction we had, we can thankfully say
that we were generally spared the penalty of loss of sleep. Last night,
however, was an exception. In my own case the wounds on my hands,
swollen by the poison of the devil’s club, made sleep impossible. We
resolved accordingly to pass the afternoon quietly at the Hudson’s Bay
post, and retire early to bed; in this case not a figure of speech, for
under this roof we had all the comforts of civilization.

We were up in good time next morning. I paid what bills we owed, bade
farewell to our Kamloops friends, said good-bye to Mr. McLean and his
Indians, and prepared to proceed westward. A steamer had been engaged
to take us to Savona’s Ferry. We started about nine o’clock, skirting
along the north shore of Lake Kamloops by Battle Bluff. We returned by
the south side, examining the ground adjoining Cherry Bluff. The day
was fine, so the trip was pleasant. The sky was as clear and the air as
pure and balmy as on an Italian lake. The steamer touched at a place
called Tranquille, where the land has been irrigated. In this instance
the experiment has been in all respects satisfactory. The result is
shown in a good garden with excellent fruit and vegetables.

At Savona’s Ferry I received messages by telegraph, and I was
reminded of being once more within the circle of artificial wants and
requirements. For the last thirty days we have been out of the world,
knowing nothing beyond the experience of our daily life. Our leading
thoughts were of the difficulties which lay in our path and of the
labour necessary to overcome them. There was nothing vicarious in our
position; there was no transfer of care or labour to others. Each one
had to accept what lay before him, and our world for the time was in
our little circle. Now we are reminded that we are again in another
condition of being. There is scarcely anything more powerful to recall
the attention to this change than the receipt of a telegram sent across
a continent to remove anxieties as to home and family.

I had much pleasure in meeting Mr. Hamlin, an old Intercolonial friend,
the Resident Engineer of the section under contract west of Savona’s
Ferry. I had telegraphed to him the previous evening, and he had
taken the trouble to come seventeen miles to meet me. We took dinner
at Savona; and the fact recalled to my mind that eleven years ago I
had stopped at this same place. Mrs. Whorn was then our hostess, whom
I perfectly recollected, but the poor lady had been dead for twelve
months, and is buried not far distant.

Dr. Grant and my son started in a waggon for Cache Creek. I had
professional business with Mr. Hamlin. We proceeded by the banks of
the River Thompson, and reached his quarters about sunset, to receive
from his wife and mother the most kindly of Irish welcomes. We passed
a pleasant evening and spoke much of old days, going back to the time
when we were working in the valley of the Metapedia, in Quebec.

I had another excellent night’s sleep and was up early. At six Mr.
Hamlin and myself started. The morning air was cold. We arrived at
Cache Creek about half-past seven, and found Dr. Grant and my son
under canvas. The hotel was so unpromising that they preferred their
tent to the cheerless entertainment it suggested. Albert and Mr.
Hunter soon join us, and the four took the stage to Spence’s bridge.
Mr. Hamlin was good enough to drive me there with his own horses.
We took some refreshment at Ashcroft, seven miles from Cache Creek.
The country residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
is at Ashcroft, and I felt it my duty to pay him my respects. Mr.
Cornwall, himself, was absent; the ladies, however, received us with
much kindness, and our conversation turned to a previous occasion
when I passed an evening in their society under the same roof, some
years back, of which I retained the most pleasing recollection. In
fact, I may remark that, as they say in Paris, this was my _visite de
digestion_ after the pleasant dinner which I then had with the family.

As we proceed the sun shines upon us with unusual heat for the time
of year. Small fields of irrigated land are seen here and there and
present a promising appearance. The ground generally is dry, for there
is little rainfall in this district. From the indications I fear no
crop can thrive without irrigation, and it appears to me it is the main
consideration for the residents to entertain.

We descend by the westerly bank of the River Thompson, and obtain a
good view of the railway work on the opposite bank. We reached Spence’s
Bridge about three o’clock, where Mr. H. F. Macleod greeted me with
a warm welcome and invited the whole party to his house. Mr. Hamlin
returned to his own place. Dr. Grant, my son and myself availed
ourselves of Mr. Macleod’s hospitality. Mr. Macleod is another old
friend and fellow worker on the Intercolonial Railway. Spence’s Bridge
has a canvas town of about one thousand Chinamen, engaged on the
railway works. I presume the Chinese population will disappear as the
railway is completed. The place contains a good hotel, with a garden of
some size, producing apples, grapes and excellent vegetables; in itself
showing what can be accomplished with irrigation, effort and skill.
No fact is more patent than that irrigation is indispensable in this

Mr. Macleod kindly drove us over the works. We follow the deep gorge
through which the Thompson forces its way. Mr. Macleod’s house is
situated at Drynoch, so called from his relationship to the Macleods
of Skye. It is scarcely necessary to say that at Drynoch we received a
cordial and graceful Highland welcome. We were particularly struck with
the appearance of the Chinaman waiting at table. His loose dress was of
spotless white, and with his thick soft-soled shoes he moved so quietly
as to be scarcely audible. He had always a smile on his face, and his
mistress gave him the best of characters for intelligence, industry
and good manners. We passed a delightful evening in this oasis in the

In the morning Mr. Macleod accompanied us to Lytton, where the Thompson
falls into the Fraser. Lytton has not greatly improved since I saw it
last year. It is still a wretchedly dilapidated place. The dingy wooden
buildings were marked by a striking absence of paint, and evidently the
summary course applied at Truro, in Nova Scotia, on the occasion of
the Prince of Wales’ visit, could with benefit be introduced here. At
Lytton I said good-bye to Mr. Macleod, heartily thanking him for his
hospitality. Mr. Hannington, another of my old assistants, from Ottawa,
now received me.

Mr. Hannington drove me to his place, three miles beyond Lytton, and
we proceeded eight miles further to the site of the railway bridge to
cross the River Fraser. The bridge, a massive structure of stone and
iron, is in progress. Here we met Mr. George Keefer, the Engineer in
charge of this section, another of my old staff. Mr. Keefer took me to
his quarters, seventeen miles below Lytton, being thirty-three miles
from Drynoch. Mr. Keefer’s house is on the railway line on the western
bank of the Fraser. So we crossed the river in a canoe and floated down
the boiling, seething current to a convenient landing place. Ascending
the bank about two hundred feet nearly vertically, we reached Mr.
Keefer’s present house, where we remained for the night. Mrs. Keefer
and her children were absent on a visit at Victoria, but he himself
left no effort untried to entertain us. I was delighted again to see my
old friend so pleasantly circumstanced, and we were all indebted to
him for his hospitality.

I was awakened in the morning by a Chinaman appearing with a bath, a
luxury more appreciated after my late experience, and one among the
first benefits of civilization, which we hasten to enjoy. We are forty
miles from Yale, in that huge cleft in the Cascade Range through which
the Fraser impetuously continues its course. The rails are laid from
Yale to a point two miles above where we now are. We can accordingly
reach Yale by a locomotive in little more than an hour, but it is my
desire to pass leisurely over the line, in order somewhat to examine
it. It has therefore been arranged that we proceed on our journey by
hand-car. A dense fog fills up the valley but the sun soon comes out
and the fog is dispelled. As we approached Mr. Keefer’s quarters last
night we had to pass over the long ascent of Jackass mountain, a name
familiar to British Columbians from the day of the discovery of gold
in Cariboo. The road leading to the gold mines passes over it. The
frame of a house on a small terrace some nine hundred feet above the
river, was pointed out as the resting place for the night of Lord and
Lady Dufferin when in British Columbia. It affords a magnificent view
of Fraser river and the great mountains which flank the valley on both

The hand-car came, bringing with it my old friend Mr. H. J. Cambie. He
had left his home this morning at Spuzzem, twenty miles distant. We
again start. To Dr. Grant the hand-car was almost a revelation; it was
certainly a new mode of travelling which he was about to experience.
Mr. Keefer follows on a railway velocipede. This machine has its two
main wheels on one rail, with a third wheel to steady it, gauged to the
opposite rail. It is kept in motion by a crank, worked by the rider’s
feet. I am sorry to say that on this expedition Mr. Keefer’s velocipede
was crushed by a gravel train backing, owing to a mistake of orders,
and Mr. Keefer had only just time enough to extricate himself to avoid
a similar fate.

Our course followed the railway down the western bank of the great
canyon of the Fraser. The Cariboo waggon road runs on the opposite bank
as far as the Alexandria Bridge. We had an opportunity of observing the
lofty cliffs and the precipitous ledges it passes over, and from the
really slight character and dangerous appearance of the staging upon
which man and horse have so long risked their lives, I could not but
think that the railway would not be open for traffic an hour too soon.
I presume that when that result comes to pass the waggon road will
fall into disuse. The construction of the railway has been exceedingly
difficult and costly within the twenty-eight mile section in charge of
Mr. Cambie. The work is extremely heavy, including thirteen tunnels.
We reach Spuzzem in the afternoon, having travelled leisurely. We
proposed making another start, but Mr. Cambie would not hear of our
passing his house, and despatched the hand-car to Yale for our letters,
the place where they had been ordered to be addressed. In a couple of
hours I had received the bag containing my month’s correspondence,
including letters from home of the latest date.

I was under no apprehension of any bad news, for the telegram which I
had sent from Savona’s Ferry had been answered to the effect that all
was well; but with what delight, when we have been for weeks cut off
from those dear to us, do we read in their own words that everything is
precisely as it should be.

Every onward step, every hour, was bringing us more into the world’s
usages. I had not been long at Spuzzem when I was invited to attend
a telephone conference. On taking my place, at once I recognized the
voice addressing me, although at twelve miles distance, and I had not
heard it for two years. It was that of Mr. Onderdonk, giving the party
a cordial invitation to make his house our home during our stay in Yale.

Under Mr. Cambie’s roof we had another delightful evening, as might
be supposed from my many years pleasant intercourse with him. It is
twenty years since he entered my staff on the first explorations on
the Intercolonial Railway in 1863, and I am glad to say our relations
have been untinged by the least unpleasantness. I cannot but express
the satisfaction I felt in meeting so many of my old associates in
my journey from Kamloops. I was no longer the Chief Engineer of the
Railway: I was simply a wayfarer. Nevertheless I felt no little
satisfaction to find the works originally planned by me so well
advanced and in such good hands. Nothing could have given me more
pleasure than the cordial way in which the members of my old staff
received me. There is always a perfunctory mode of paying a civility
which it is somewhat embarrassing not to offer, and it is generally
well understood on both sides what such attentions amount to. But
in the case of my old friends I was received by a hearty, natural,
unmistakeable kindness, and I feel confident that it will not be
unwelcome to them to learn that I was much affected by it.

It was nearly ten the next morning before we started, continuing our
journey on the hand-car. The works we pass still continue very heavy.
We are in the heart of the Cascades, and many of the rocky masses which
rise up perpendicularly from the foaming torrent must be pierced by
tunnels as the only means of passage through them.

We make our halt at Mr. Onderdonk’s gate at Yale, to meet with a
hearty welcome from his family. I continue my journey some twenty
miles further, but I return to Mr. Onderdonk’s house before dark, for
it is Saturday night and I had accepted his kind invitation to pass
the Sunday with him. We now sleep in beds in the true meaning of the
word, and how we enjoy our night’s rest! We learn that there is but one
church in Yale, a small wooden building of the Church of England, and
we readily accept the offer to attend the service. _En route_ Mr. and
Mrs. Cambie joined us, increasing our number to nine. When we entered
the building we really formed the major part of the congregation. As
the service proceeded other parties arrived at irregular intervals.
There were twenty-four in all, including five children. Two clergymen
officiated, evidently educated men, but with “advanced” views. To
me even the Lessons, the only part of the service not chanted, were
far from being read in a natural tone of voice. Intoning the service
may be proper enough in some circumstances, but it certainly seemed
out of place in Yale. There are possibly at this time eight hundred
or a thousand people, white people, Christians statistically at
least, within half a mile of the spot where the church was situated,
nevertheless the congregation was little more than half as large as the
number assembled for worship the previous Sunday, at the invitation
of Dr. Grant, in the Eagle Pass. As we walked home we saw not a few
loitering about the streets, and especially around the taverns. One
would think that with all the teaching which the Church of England has
received since the days of Wesley, the wants of those to whom the
clergy have to minister would be better understood. I asked myself
could these clergymen know the character and habits of the men who
have been brought together to perform the work of the railway. No
class of men are so peculiar. They are not perfect in many respects.
Some are sensual, brutal and self-indulgent. But they are not all of
this character. If the mass of them have any trait which is at all in
prominence, it is their respect for straightforward dealing and regard
of what is natural. They can understand what is plain and free from
pretension and affectation, but the least shade of what is artificial
and strained repels them. This very conclusion was again forced upon me
from the appearance of the congregation. I doubt if a single man of the
six or eight hundred workmen in Yale on that Sunday were present in the
Anglican Chapel, the only church open for worship. If the workmen were
not attracted by the service, the merest handful of ordinary citizens
were present. It was painful to observe so small an attendance. The
character of the service may not have been the wholly repelling cause
which existed; but I venture the remark that in my humble judgment
in circumstances of this character the simpler the worship the more
consideration it will obtain. What is wanted on railway works is the
active, simple effort of the missionary who will seek men out in
their houses and penetrate within their daily lives and conduct.
Such ministers of religion bring men within their influence by the
genuineness of the sympathy which they show and by an appeal to the
best feelings of their listeners. Ritualism on the Fraser was obviously
not a success. I am strongly of the opinion that such men as the army
chaplain whom we had on board the “Polynesian” would have found a fine
field in Yale, and would have attracted crowds of willing worshippers
to his services.

We pass a quiet afternoon in Mr. Onderdonk’s shady verandah, around
which the hop vines luxuriantly grew. In the evening, as the lights
appeared in the windows, Yale had a pleasant and picturesque
appearance. It is built on a bend of the river at the head of steamboat
navigation, and at night, with the reflected lights in the stream, it
assumes an importance which by day one would not concede to it. As a
landscape the mountains are too lofty, too near, too precipitous and
crowded to be remarkable for beauty. There is a total absence of all
distance in the picture. One sees only a maze of rugged, towering
rocks, for the most part covered with a stunted vegetation.

Monday came and with it our determination to start by the steamer for
New Westminster. We gratefully said good-bye to our polished host
and hostess, whose kindness reminded me of what I had heard of the
hospitality of the old Knickerbocker families. During our stay at Yale
it was hard to believe that we were not in some hospitable mansion on
the banks of the Hudson. We take with us a dug-out canoe and a crew of
Indians to paddle us on our journey when we deem it advisable to leave
the boat. My purpose is to proceed by steamer to the point which on
Saturday night I reached by hand-car and then take to the canoe. I will
thus be enabled fully to examine the whole line in the valley of the
Fraser. The steamer is by no means of little account on these waters,
to judge by the passengers that she carries and the places she stops
at. Our landings are frequent, to receive or discharge freight, cattle
and passengers.

We reach the spot where, with my son, I go on board the canoe. We
arrive at Harrison River at half-past three. I was met at this point
by Mr. Brophy, also an old Intercolonial friend. Mr. Wilmot, who has
hitherto kindly accompanied us, goes on shore. We ourselves continue
our descent of the Fraser. The three Indians paddle at a good pace down
the Nicomen Slough to a point off Sumas. It is after six and twilight
is coming on, so we find our way through a cross channel to the main
river. We believe that any other course would be hazardous, so we
follow the stream to the point where Dr. Grant was to leave the steamer
and where we expect to meet him. The Fraser is wide at this spot and
the current swift but we keep the centre of the river. The Indians
continue to paddle briskly. We float down the current very rapidly.
The air is much warmer than we have yet experienced it, both when we
were in the mountains and since we reached Kamloops. Night comes on,
and although there is no moon the sky is without a cloud and the stars
shine brightly, giving us enough light to guide our canoe. We still
keep to the middle of the river where the stream is the strongest.
About eight o’clock we see a light on the shore towards which we
paddle, and as we approach we hear the well known voice of Dr. Grant.

We find supper waiting for us for which we are indebted to Mrs.
Perkins, who keeps a workman’s boarding house. But we had a mile
further to paddle to the engineers’ camp, where we are to find
beds. They receive us as hospitably as engineers always receive men
accredited to them. They insist on me taking the one stretcher they
have; the rest of the party find rest on the floor.

We were up early, for although we had come sixty miles yesterday we
were anxious to continue our journey. A heavy fog made it impossible
to leave before nine. We paddle for an hour and a half until we reach
Stave River, where we land. There is a fine view of Mount Baker, forty
miles distant, when the weather is clear, but there is too much mist in
the air to-day for us to see it.

We again land three miles above Maple ridge, and walk that distance
over the half-constructed railway, crossing Kanaka bridge. We owed our
dinner at Maple Ridge to Mrs. Sinclair’s culinary art.

We come to the site of the land slide of four years back. A surface
of twenty-four acres was carried into the river, bearing along with
it the forest trees with which it was covered. A large extent of the
mass was thrown across the River Fraser, fully a quarter of a mile on
to the opposite shore, uprooting many acres of forest and for a time
damming back the stream. Its traces are still visible, to show what the
consequences are of these minor convulsions of nature which on a great
scale effect such wonderful changes.

We are again in the canoe. The water of this great river is as calm as
a canal in Venice, and our quiet progress partakes no little of the
motion of the gondola. The air conveys the idea that it is full of
smoke, while the temperature recalls the season of Indian summer. The
banks of the river, even at a short distance, are scarcely discernible.

We now reach the tidal waters of the Pacific. There is no great rise
where we now are, and the water is still fresh for some distance, but
at flood there is no current and the surface looks like a placid lake.
The air is pleasant. The three Indians keep paddling with marvellous
regularity. Two sit in front, side by side, and the third is at the
stern steering as he paddles. The men work as if they were pieces of
mechanism, in perfect silence; not a word is spoken.

We leave the main stream at the mouth of Pitt River, where we paddle
up to the new railway bridge, spanning 1850 feet of a deep inlet, at
one spot sixty feet below high water. We return to the Fraser, where we
were about thirty-four miles from the starting point of the morning.
We pass on our right the mouth of the River Coquitlum and on the left
is the salmon cannery of that name, consisting of a large number of
scattered buildings, the centre of one of the chief industries of the
Province. We meet a number of boats manned by Indians, drawing in or
laying down salmon nets. The river is nearly half a mile wide with deep
water. The Fraser is a noble stream, but it is only at intervals, as
the fog lifts, that you can see the opposite shore. So thick is the
fog that the sun itself is obscured, and it was in weather of this
character, bringing back to my mind the November fogs of the world’s
emporium on the banks of the Thames, that we made our landing at New
Westminster, on the Pacific ocean.



  New Westminster--Enormous Forest Trees--English Broom--Port
    Moody--Down Burrard Inlet--Sea Fog--Navigation by Echo--Straits
    of Georgia--The St. Juan Archipelago--Seamanship--Victoria.

We had reached the most important town on the Mainland of British
Columbia. Although New Westminster is of modern date the town has had
its mutations and disappointments, the last and not the least of which
is to have seen the Railway terminus diverted northward to Burrard
Inlet, a proceeding which her own citizens must admit to have been

In the morning we found the fog even thicker than last night. I had
finished breakfast and was considering what course I would take when
Mr. Marcus Smith did me the favour to call upon me, and kindly offered
to drive me to Port Moody, first calling at old Government House,
now the Railway Engineer’s office. Government House was, I believe,
last occupied by Governor Seymour and, from all I have heard, many
pleasant hours have been passed within its walls. It has fallen upon
the evil days of ceasing to be the home of official life. Victoria,
on Vancouver’s Island, is the seat of government, and is the present
centre of political movement. The capacious dining and ball rooms are
much out of repair, but they still retain a trace of former grandeur.
The grounds are well laid out with shade trees and rich green lawns,
but unfortunately the fog conceals everything but the objects almost
within reach, and prevents any extended examination.

New Westminster is not remarkable either for its extent or population.
Two thousand five hundred is the estimated number of its present
inhabitants. It possesses, however, a four peal of bells, the gift of
Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the only peal on the whole Pacific coast,
and indeed a rare possession on this continent. The residence of the
Anglican Bishop is in the neighbourhood of Government House; and at no
great distance the Lunatic Asylum and the Penitentiary are to be found.

About half-past ten, under the escort of Mr. Smith, we started in
an open carriage for Port Moody, on Burrard Inlet. My attention was
attracted by the forest trees of enormous size. Within the limits
cleared for the roadway, blackened stumps of many of them, ten feet in
diameter, still remain, on which the record of their age is traceable.
Some of these trunks show a life of six centuries, and hence must have
attained the rank of good-sized trees before the recorded discovery
of the American continent. The ground is covered with a luxuriant
flora, indicating a rich soil and a moist climate. Along the road side
English broom was growing wild, in great luxuriance, the first I have
met in such circumstances on this continent. A drive of six miles over
a hilly road brought us to Burrard Inlet, at Bronson’s tavern, a recent
erection, where the road terminates. At this point we had recourse to a
boat and rowed about a mile to Port Moody, the terminus of the railway.

Port Moody is something more than a village, but at the present moment
it is a strained recognition of its importance, even as a railway
terminus, to call it a town. The number of inhabitants when I was
there could not exceed two score of souls. Whatever its future, at the
present time it has certainly no claim to civic rank. A wharf of good
size has been constructed. At this time it was covered with piles of
steel rails. A freight shed is attached. Near it stands the small house
occupied by Mr. A. J. Hill, Resident Engineer. Two sailing vessels were
lying at the wharf. The rail track has been laid a few miles westward.
In the neighbourhood are half a dozen scattered frame buildings,
some of them scarcely finished, erected by speculators to promote
the selling of town lots. Several square miles of land have been so
laid out. At this moment the greater part of the city of the future
is covered with a dense growth of primeval forest, the age of some
portions of which carries us back to the century in which the Magna
Charta became law. I was told on the spot that the lots so projected
would accommodate tenfold the present white population of British

I have to acknowledge the kindness and hospitality of Mr. and Mrs.
Hill. I derived no little pleasure from looking at the water-colour
drawings of the wild flowers of British Columbia, which Mrs. Hill had
executed. They promise to be a valuable contribution to science. I
trust they may be published at some future date, when they shall have
been sufficiently completed to admit of this proceeding.

The steamer on which we had to embark at Burrard Inlet had not arrived,
so we obtained a small boat and descended the inlet to meet her in
order to have sufficient daylight to continue our trip through the
entrance. The fog, which had partly cleared away by this time, soon
re-appeared, and accordingly we kept near the shore so as not to lose
our reckoning. We had rowed a distance of three miles when we met the
small tug sent in search of us. We got on board without delay. The fog
necessitated caution in our progress. It became thicker and thicker,
until it was impossible to see a ship’s length ahead. Night came on
and we did not know where we were. The head of the tug was turned in
the supposed direction of the settlement, near Hasting’s saw-mill.
All that we had to steer by was a pocket compass, which on more than
one occasion has done good service. Some of us fancied that we heard
the squealing of a pig; important in the double sense that we were
not far from land and also near a settlement. Our whistle was almost
continually sounded and the sharpest look-out kept. The pig replied
unmistakably. We continued cautiously to approach in the direction of
the sound, and were enabled to land at almost the only settlement on
the south side of Burrard Inlet, west of Port Moody.

On landing we obtained intelligence of the steamer “Alexandria,”
detailed to take the party to Victoria. The vessel was lying at the Saw
Mill wharf, at no great distance, so we found our way to it. Supper
was gone through; but the fog still continued. The captain therefore
concluded that it was better not to start, but wait until morning; he
on his part being prepared to leave the moment the fog lifted. The
“Alexandria” is a large, powerful tug, which the owner had kindly
placed at our disposal to cross the Straits of Georgia. She came
expressly from Nanaimo to Burrard Inlet to meet us. We slept on board,
and when we awoke found that we were still moored to the wharf. It was
early, half-past five, but the fog continued heavy and damp. Capt.
Urquhart, however, determined to start and to feel his way through the
thick mist. About half-past seven he took his bearings, and directed
the steamer towards the entrance of the Inlet. We steamed slowly on
through the fog, and in a few minutes nothing was visible from the
deck. The whistle was sounded continually, and the lead was cast
without ceasing. We several times stopped, backed, and again proceeded
slowly, till we reached the Narrows at the entrance. Here the current
is rapid and the channel narrow, not having above two hundred and fifty
yards of sea-room. Fortunately we got a glimpse of the shore through
the haze. The captain, however, saw enough to satisfy himself, and with
a fresh departure put the boat at full speed down English Bay; at least
so we concluded by reference to the chart, for we could see nothing
through the fog by which we are surrounded.

We proceeded down the Straits of Georgia towards the San Juan Islands,
our whistle continually blowing. Mr. Joseph Hunter is the only
passenger not directly connected with the party.

At Victoria I am to part with Dave Leigh, the last of the men who had
been with us in the mountains. He joined us at Bow River, and had
determined to see us to the end of our journey. From the day when we
commenced with pack-horses to cross the range of mountains, Dave has
stood by us and has gallantly helped in many a difficulty. He is a
powerful Cheshire man, such as one would fancy a northern Englishman
to be: honest, self-reliant, plain-spoken and staunch, with a
peculiar habit of calling a spade a spade. He has cooked for us in
all circumstances, there is no other word for it, heroically. He did
his share of the packing, and if there was a load a shade heavier it
was caught up by Dave with some saying of his own, and off he trudged
as if it were a plaything. He had done everything for us that a man
could do with unfailing cheerfulness, and has followed our fortunes for
many a mile. He has driven pack-horses, paddled canoes, rowed boats,
built rafts, stretched our tent, driven hand-cars, cooked our food and
indulged in many a hearty objurgation at Skunk Cabbage and Devil’s
Club. He crosses the Straits of Georgia, and then at Victoria we have
to say good-bye, he to seek other employment. I wish him all happiness
and success, but I have no fear of his future. Whatever his sphere he
will do his duty, and always be found from the beginning to the end a
true man.

We approached the San Juan Archipelago and made our way from the
soundings read from the line and by the echo of the whistle, as its
tone was affected by the nearness or distance of the land. I stood on
the bridge with Capt. Urquhart, and the fidelity with which he could
judge the situation was not simply the result of experience, but of a
natural capacity to determine the niceties and delicacies of sound. I
myself began somewhat to understand the shades of difference, but I was
a very long way from possessing the ability to navigate the ship. We
were approaching an island. The whistle vibrated toward it with a more
muffled tone. We are warned by the echo on which side of us it lay. We
came opposite to it and passed without its being visible to the eye.
The echo changed as we proceeded.

The lead is unceasingly cast. We are warned that we are coming near
land. The current is carrying us towards it. We see plainly before us a
precipitous rock, and with difficulty we change our course, for we have
to back against the current and give the ship’s head another bearing;
so we grope our way, stealing along to avoid mischance, without the
least guide beyond the echo of the whistle, as it is affected by the
nearness or distance of the shore.

The fog continued all day; it appeared, however, to have little
influence upon Captain Urquhart more than to bring out his phonetic
genius. Familiar with the intricate channels, currents and tidal
influences of the San Juan Islands, the lead constantly going, he
keeps on his course slowly and cautiously, but perfectly undismayed
and without a moment of doubt. The whistle, with its echo, pilots him
through the archipelago; and to this day it is a wonder to me how we
found our way. I was by his side and had the benefit of his shrewd
deductions and theories. Even with a bright sun, skill and knowledge
of the landmarks are called for in the passage through these waters.
Our difficulties and the skill displayed in overcoming them may well
be imagined. Fortunately for us there was no wind; frequently we found
ourselves amongst kelp, with its rank leaves floating on the surface.
At one point we passed by rocks not seventy yards distant from us on
the starboard side, the land appeared through the fog a ship’s length
ahead. We immediately stop. The engine is backed. We are so near that
we can hear the voices of children playing on the elevated shore
directly ahead. No one is visible, but in reply to the question from
the look-out at the bow we learn that we have passed Victoria Harbour
and are near the entrance to Esquimalt.

The course of the steamer is changed and we shortly enter Victoria
Harbour in as dense a fog as can be seen in any part of the world.
It was dark when we reached the wharf. I do not think that any of us
were sorry that the experience of the last thirteen hours had been
brought to a close. It was entirely new to me, and with all its success
somewhat bold and enterprising. Capt. Urquhart undoubtedly displayed
great qualities, sagacity, caution, coolness and skill to track his way
as he did. He achieved wonders in seamanship, but to men wanting in
the qualification he possesses, the attempt to imitate it is not to be

It was three o’clock in the afternoon of the following day when the
regular steamer from New Westminster arrived. She left twenty-four
hours before we started for Burrard Inlet, and took fifty-six hours to
cross the Strait through the fog. We found our way in thirteen hours.
In clear weather the trip is made in about half that time.

We went directly to the Driard house, an hotel which the Victorians
never tire praising. We were late but had a special dinner, and Mr.
Hunter with Captain Urquhart did us the favour to join us, when, as in
duty bound, we did due homage to the captain and ship which carried us
over; and we had especial cause to do so as we were indebted to Mr.
Dunsmuir, the owner, who, hearing of my desire to pass to Vancouver
Island, with great courtesy placed the vessel at my disposal. I did
not fail next day to call and thank him for his kindness, and I feel
it my duty again to acknowledge my obligations to him. The dinner was
excellent and after it was over we strolled out into the gaslight of
Fort street and walked a few miles into the country before we retired.
I looked upon the gaslight as an old friend whose acquaintance I was
glad to make again, and a pleasant duty it is to recognize all we owe
to a well lighted city.

We obtained our portmanteaus, which had been sent from Winnipeg by the
way of San Francisco, and we were by no means unwilling to fall back on
the garb of every-day city life. Moreover we also had the happiness to
receive letters from home.

Saturday was a comparatively idle day. We walked through nearly every
street of Victoria.

We made some calls, and I recollected that eleven years ago on
Saturday, September 29th--to-day is the 28th--I reached Kamloops after
a hard journey across the mountains by the Yellowhead Pass.

My task was now accomplished. We were on the shores of the Pacific,
having passed through the mainland of British Columbia and crossed the
waters to Vancouver Island. Our next thought is the direction we must
follow homewards. But for the moment, as birds of passage, we have to
wait for the fog to lift.



  Sir Francis Drake--Mears--Vancouver--Astor--Hudson’s Bay Company--
    Gold Discoveries--Climate--Timber--Fisheries--Minerals--Mountain

The western Province of the Dominion cannot lay claim to even a
geographical recognition of longer date than that of a century. Drake
first visited the Pacific ocean three centuries back, in 1579, but it
is questionable if he ascended higher than the forty-eighth parallel
when he took possession of the country now included in Oregon and
Washington Territory in the royal name of Queen Elizabeth and called it
New Albion.

There is also a tradition that Vancouver Island was discovered by De
Fuca in 1592. From this date the northern Pacific waters remained
without further notice for two centuries, until the voyage of Capt.
Cook, who coasted along the shores in 1778. Ten years later these
possessions were on the verge of causing war between England and
Spain. In that year, 1788, some subjects of Great Britain, the most
prominent among whom was a Mr. Mears, purchased from the natives the
land about Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver
Island. What was then held to be the transfer of the territory was
gone through; buildings were erected and possession assumed. Mr. Mears
shortly after left the spot to return the next season, placing the
whole in charge of Maquema, an Indian chief. During his absence two
Spanish ships of war arrived, took formal possession of the place and
declared it to belong to the realm of Spain. An appeal was at once made
to the Imperial Government for protection. Spain, on the other hand,
in the first instance, seemed determined to justify the act of its
officers. The proceeding attracted much attention in England. Public
feeling was greatly excited. The spirit of the nation was thoroughly
aroused. A fleet was fitted out, and it looked as if the dispute could
only be settled by war, when Nootka Sound was surrendered by Spain.

It was in 1792, when Capt. Vancouver, of the Royal navy, was sent from
England to receive the transfer, and to make a voyage of discovery to
the Pacific. Those familiar with the literature of the last century
will recall all that was then said of Nootka Sound. By this date the
mainland had been penetrated from the east. Sir Alexander McKenzie had
discovered the river which bears his name, running to the north, and he
had accomplished the difficult journey of penetrating to the shores of
the Pacific overland, the first of our race to find his way through the
wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. To the south, the Government of the
United States had fitted out the expedition of Clark and Lewis, who in
1802-3 ascended by the sources of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers,
and reached the Columbia and the Pacific Ocean. The name also of John
Jacob Astor cannot be forgotten in connection with the Columbia River,
at the mouth of which he established the celebrated settlement of

In 1821 the Hudson’s Bay Company obtained a license to extend their
operations to New Caledonia, as British Columbia was then designated,
and the country virtually passed under their control. There was indeed
little to tempt the emigrant to cast his lot there and to seek an
independent existence, for without aid from the organization of the
Hudson’s Bay Company it was impossible to cross the continent. New
Caledonia could only be approached from the ocean.

Vancouver Island continued in its state of isolation. Thirty years ago
its white population of all ages, chiefly employés of the Hudson’s Bay
Company, was four hundred and fifty. The Mainland was even less known
and had fewer civilized inhabitants. Without the influences which
caused the rush of population to the Fraser, New Caledonia might have
remained undisturbed for half a century. It is difficult to see how it
could cease to be other than a wilderness, and its gigantic forests
unpenetrated except by Indian tribes, with a few trappers of wild
animals. In 1856 the discovery of gold inaugurated a total change in
its character. The Fraser was then the scene of the gold excitement.
This, the chief river of British Columbia, flows in a course seven
hundred miles, and is marked by rare grandeur of scenery, with frequent
rapids dashing through gorges almost impassable. Mr. Douglas was at
that time chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company and Governor of
Vancouver Island. In April of this year, 1856, he reported to the Home
Government the discovery of gold, the miners being chiefly retired
servants of the Company. In 1857 the number was increased by arrivals
from the United States. In a short time the report of the richness
of the deposit was spread among the miners of California. The result
was that by July, 1858, some twenty thousand persons left California
for British Columbia. The parties who engaged in the new venture are
described as being of all ages and conditions; men advanced in life,
those still on its threshold, many with ample means, doubtless the
greater part extremely needy; all crowded to the Fraser, it was said,
some to steal, unquestionably some to die. They arrived too early in
the season, and the majority experienced disappointment. The river was
swollen and the bars containing the deposits covered with water. Those
who failed in patience or endurance through deficiency in resources,
returned to California, to share in the abuse of the district and of
the country in general. Those who remained received the reward of their
patience. The water ceased to cover the bars, and the miners who worked
them found what was sought after in fair amount.

The political history of British Columbia goes no further back than
1840. Vancouver Island was then created a colony, with Governor
Blanchard as administrator. The only inhabitants were Indians, and
there was no revenue from any source. No laws were enacted, and
scarcely anything was done to promote settlement. He returned to
England in 1851, when Sir Francis Douglas succeeded him. In the same
year a Surveyor General and assistant arrived from England, and surveys
were commenced as the first step towards emigration and settlement.
A Council of four was nominated to assist in passing laws. Shortly
afterwards one hundred and fifty persons, farm labourers and miners,
arrived from England. Mr. Labouchere was then Secretary for the
Colonies, and in accordance with his instructions Governor Douglas,
in June, 1856, issued a proclamation for the election of a House of
Assembly, composed of seven members. The qualification of a member
to be the possession of £300, that of the electors the ownership of
twenty acres of land. The first House met in April, 1858.

In 1858 the discovery of gold, which had become known, led to a great
increase of the population along the Fraser. The mainland, British
Columbia, was, however, not declared a colony until 1859, when the
license of occupation of the Hudson’s Bay Company expired. It was
presided over by the Governor of Vancouver Island, and possessed of
itself no Legislative Council or Assembly. The Assembly of Vancouver
Island, on the other hand, was increased to twelve members. There
was also this further distinction: Vancouver Island was free for
importation, whereas British Columbia had a revenue tariff.

In 1864 Governor Douglas retired, and Governor Kennedy was appointed to
Vancouver Island, at the same time Governor Seymour was named Governor
of British Columbia, with an Assembly partly nominated and partly

In 1866 Vancouver Island became part of the Colony of British Columbia,
with one Assembly, as above described--partly nominated and partly
elected. Governor Kennedy retired. On the death of Governor Seymour,
in 1869, Governor Musgrove was appointed, and it was during his rule
that the incorporation of the Province in the Dominion of Canada was
accomplished in 1871.

It returns to the Dominion Parliament three Senators and six Members
of the House of Commons. According to the census of 1870 the population
was 8,576 whites, 472 coloured and 1,578 Chinamen.

The present population is roughly estimated at 25,000 whites, 40,000
Indians, 17,000 Chinese.

Victoria, the capital, is reported to contain 8,000 inhabitants.

The Province has been described as a sea of mountains. Within its
limits, however, are considerable tracts of rolling prairie, marked by
fertility. They consist of good soil, capable of abundantly producing
cereals, although in some localities there is too large an admixture of
gravel or of decomposed rock.

Its extent is about 200,000 square miles, extending from latitude 49°
to latitude 57°. The sea coast is about 450 miles in length, indented
from north to south by a succession of inlets running many miles within
the coast line, in each case presenting a harbour of perfect security,
of great depth of water, generally to be approached with safety and in
all cases marked with the boldest scenery. In no part is the climate
so severe as in the same parallel of latitude on the Atlantic. To find
the eastern equivalent of the mildest sections we must descend twelve
hundred miles to the south.

As a rule, throughout the Province, in the habitable portions, the
climate is favourable to the conditions of human life, generally
without the great extremes of heat and cold. It is marked, however,
with atmospheric diversities. From the mouth of the Fraser, inland, it
is moist. The rain is abundant in spring, summer and autumn, in the
fall of the year continuing for days together. In winter the depth
of snow is from one to two feet, in the extreme northern districts,
frequently deeper. It remains on the ground, near the coast, from a
fortnight to three weeks, and it disappears to be succeeded by another
fall, and so continues throughout the winter. Fogs prevail in October
and November, sometimes earlier, as was the case in my experience. But
they do not occur every year, for on a former occasion I found the air
both light and clear during my whole visit at the same season.

There is much to be learned about the climate and its variations, and
it is difficult to form a close generalization of the extent of the
localities where changes begin and end. We pass by insensible mutations
from the one zone to the other. There is no definite arbitrary line
shewing when we are in another climate. It may, however, be said that
the humidity of atmosphere is found to extend from the sea coast up
the Fraser, as far as Lillooet, above the junction of the Thompson,
and that it is continued along the Upper Fraser to the Forks. Within
this district the level land is fertile and densely wooded. In the more
northern Cariboo section there are extensive tracts of forest land
and of open prairie, highly fertile, fitted for farming purposes,
and well watered and drained. The soil, most strongly marked by these
characteristics, is found more immediately in the neighbourhood of
the Fraser and of the innumerable lakes in this district. In these
localities the climate is superior to that of the Lower Fraser, for it
is drier. In Winter it is of a lower temperature, much like that of
some parts of Ontario.

Leaving the Fraser to the east by the Valley of the Thompson, the land
is elevated but the winter is less cold. Indeed whatever varieties of
climatic influences may be found in different localities, it can with
certainty be affirmed that Southern British Columbia is free from the
extreme heat of summer and the intense cold of winter experienced in
Eastern Canada and North-Eastern United States.

So far as such a statement can be made, it may be said that snow on
the Upper Fraser and its tributaries does not reach the depth found in
Eastern Canada. Often it is not deeper than from six to twelve inches;
frequently the ground is quite bare. The authorities I have referred
to assert that the larger lakes in the district do not freeze, as in
Eastern Canada, nor do the Fraser and other streams become locked up
in ice like the tributaries of the St. Lawrence. Stock can subsist on
the bunch grass throughout the whole year. On the more lofty ranges and
summits, the height to which they ascend must be taken as typical of
the depth of snow.

There is, undoubtedly, east of the Fraser an extent of country where
the dryness of the soil calls for irrigation, especially in the
direction through which I passed; but wherever artificial moisture has
been obtained by this means, the result has left nothing to be desired.

Around the more southern coast and the lower lands of Vancouver Island
it is not possible to live in a more favourable climate. The winter is
especially mild, the thermometer seldom falling below freezing point.
The summer is temperate; the thermometer, Fahrenheit, seldom rises
above 72°, the lowest range being 23° 30′. Southerly winds prevail for
two-thirds of the year, and summer lasts from May to September. The
atmosphere is sensibly affected by the current which flows from the
southern latitudes of Japan and China. The Kuro-Siwo brings the warmer
temperature of the southern seas in the same way as the Gulf Stream has
heightened the salubrity of the British Islands.

It has been said that the weather of Vancouver Island is milder and
steadier than that of the South of England, the summer longer and
finer, and the winter shorter and less rigorous; and this is saying a
great deal. The climate of this Island must be almost perfection. It is
its oldest inhabitant who should be the most free from disease.

There is one recorded fact to establish the salubrity of the general
climate of British Columbia. I refer to the miners, who suffered
great hardship and exposure, toiling in cold, rapid streams, camping
on damp ground, constantly wet from the rain, wading in water of
low temperature, and even suffering from insufficiency of food.
Nevertheless, no sickness, no epidemic was experienced by them. It was
the saying at the time that many increased in weight, and it was the
boast of not a few that they were never so robust. This circumstance
was brought into strong prominence by a recollection of the contrary
results which had been experienced in California when the conditions
of mining operations were much the same, and where there remained a
painful record of broken health and shattered constitutions. To a far
greater extent is this condition experienced in Vancouver Island,
described as one of the gardens of the world. The residents of
Victoria speak of the delight which Her Royal Highness the Princess
Louise experienced in this healthy locality, the more so as she could,
unrestrained and without annoyance, follow the simple habits she
prefers. Many anecdotes are still told of Her Royal Highness during her
residence, and twelve months have elapsed since she left.

Medical men prophesy that the lower lands of Vancouver Island will be
constantly visited by many whose health exacts absence from latitudes
marked by severe temperature. Such as now visit Colorado will find
a more salubrious and genial retreat on the waters of the Pacific.
Vancouver Island promises not simply to furnish coal and to be a site
of many a manufactory of iron, but equally, to offer to the invalid a
home and a sojourn where he may hope for renewed health.

The timber of British Columbia, drawn from its majestic forests,
might supply the markets of the world for years without a perceptible
diminution of its extent. In many localities trees, tall and straight,
stand so close together as to be a marvel. Its wealth in the pine
or cone-bearing family is very great. It consists of the celebrated
Douglas pine, white pine, hemlock, spruce and balsam. The cedars, I may
say, are of fabulous size. I have measured them and found the diameter
not less than twelve feet. At the saw-mills where the Douglas pine is
manufactured, it is strange to have to relate it, no log of greater
diameter than eight feet is received, for the trees of larger diameter
are unmanageable.

There are localities of prairie destitute of trees, but the growth on
the river flats is abundant and varied. Birch, oak, ash, yew and maple
are found in some localities, and in the swamps alder, cotton wood and
Balm of Gilead.

The wild fruits and berries seem inexhaustible. With fish they furnish
the diet of the Indian in his native state. They consist of the
wild plum, the cherry, the crab-apple, prickly pear, the raspberry,
blueberry, scarlet currant, gooseberry, bearberry, and on low ground
the cranberry.

The game is most varied and plentiful, as every one who has lived at
Victoria can bear witness. I have counted fifteen deer hanging in a
butcher’s shop. The mountain sheep, when full grown, weighs several
hundred pounds. It is covered with long hair resembling coarse wool,
with enormous horns. There is a tradition that when escaping pursuit
the animal leaps over precipices to a lower level, and it is upon these
horns it throws itself. The flesh is equal to that of the domestic
sheep, but they are rarely caught as they keep up in the mountains
until forced down by the snow in search of food.

The fisheries have already become a prolific source of wealth and yet
they are in their infancy. The British Columbia salmon is well known,
even in the English market, in which it has been introduced preserved,
and has been favourably received. Herrings abound around the islands,
and many kinds of fish are caught off the coast. The development of the
fisheries naturally will create other industries, such as are connected
with their own requirements, with fish oil and isinglass.

The mineral deposits are coal, iron and copper, with the precious
metals. More or less gold is found in every stream. There are immense
iron ore deposits at Texada Island, in the Gulf of Georgia. Bituminous
coal is found on Vancouver Island at several points; at Nanaimo the
mines are profitably worked. Anthracite coal is obtainable on Queen
Charlotte Island. The proximity of iron and coal cannot fail to have
a large influence on the fortunes of the Province, especially as
manufactured articles will find an outlet to the east by rail equally
as by water in the opposite direction.

It remains only to allude to the scenery, of which it would be
impossible to omit mention, for it is in every respect remarkable. It
presents the most marked contrasts. Gigantic mountains, themselves
overcapped by snow-covered peaks, quiet prairie, foaming cascades,
striking waterfalls, the most rapid of running waters, river reaches
with scarcely a ripple. Everywhere it is bold and even its occasional
sylvan quietude is impressive, sometimes reaching a grandeur as
majestic as it is wild. The canyons are clefts in the mountains which
ascend almost perpendicularly from the rivers and in some spots incline
inwards, while a torrent fiercely rushes through the fissure. On some
sections of the Fraser terraces are seen to rise in regular gradations
and to extend far back, each change of level shewing angles and slopes
as defined as if formed by art. The peaks, in clear weather, are seen
standing out in bold relief, receding by gradations until the last
outline can with difficulty be traced. Among all these bewildering
spectacles are seen waterfalls descending hundreds of feet of
perpendicular height.

The fiords indenting the whole line of coast run into the Cascade
Range. Their shores rise perpendicularly to peaks, often a
perpendicular mile from the water’s edge, while the water is so
sheltered as to be without a ripple and lies dark and fathomless at
their base.

Travellers relate how, in the solitude of the wilderness, sounds have
come upon them as of muffled thunder. It is the descent of an avalanche
from a glacier, miles away from them; or one of those mountain slides
of earth and trees which occur in the summer heat in the lands at high
elevation. These spectacles are among the most wonderful movement of
the earth’s forces. I have spoken of some of these phenomena as traces
of them passed under my notice.

It would be difficult to find in any one of the four continents more
majestic or more varied scenery, marked by more of Nature’s fertility
of resource in grouping together scenes of astonishing grandeur. I
do not except Switzerland, with which no comparison can be made, for
British Columbia has a character of its own. It must be seen to be



  Puget Sound--The Columbia--Portland--Oregon and San Juan
    Disputes--Arid Country--Mountain Summits--The Yellowstone--The
    Missouri--The Red River--Chicago--Standard Time Meeting--The
    British Association--Home.

The fog had become less dense on the early Monday morning we were
leaving Victoria to cross to Puget Sound, to proceed thence to
Portland, in Oregon. We had now entered on October. It was the first of
the month. My object in taking this route was to pass over the Northern
Pacific Railway. It seemed to me in every way desirable, that correct
information should be obtained of the nature of the country through
which that line passes, and I had already travelled over the Central
Pacific line from San Francisco. The last spike had been driven when we
were in the Valley of the Ille-celle-waet, and the opening ceremonies
had been celebrated on an unusually large scale, three weeks back,
before we had finished our journey across the Selkirk Range.

We had crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We had passed over
the four ranges of mountains by a hitherto partly unsurveyed route,
and I had satisfied myself as to the possibility of establishing the
railway on the line we had traversed. The journey we made was the
first of its kind, and no limited portion of the distance had proved
exceedingly trying. In a few years the railway connection will be
completed, and what a field for travel will then be opened to those who
desire to visit the boldest and most majestic of Nature’s scenes which
the traveller will be able to visit with very little effort.

The Northern Pacific Railway extends from the western end of Lake
Superior to Portland, in Oregon, where it will have a connection
with a branch line to Puget’s Sound. To the east it is at present
connected with St. Paul and Minneapolis, and is accordingly brought
into relationship with the whole railway system of the continent. Its
charter dates from 1864, so it has taken twenty years to complete the
line. The enterprise has passed through many vicissitudes. No real
progress in its construction was made until Messrs. Jay Cooke & Co.,
of Philadelphia, arranged in 1870-71 to float thirty million dollars
of its bonds, by which means the line was constructed from Lake
Superior to Bismarck, on the Missouri. The misfortunes of that firm
in 1873, involved the railway in the common ruin. The line was thrown
into bankruptcy. The company was re-organized, the bonds transferred
into preferred stock, and the building of the railway commenced at
the western end. The Missouri division followed. Several presidents
endeavoured to carry the line to completion. Finally a first mortgage
loan was negotiated. At this period the credit of the company was
established, money was obtained, and the track was pushed on equally
from east and west and the rails finally connected.

The steamer North Pacific crossed the San Juan de Fuca Straits to
Admiralty Inlet and ascended Puget’s Sound. The day was wet and cloudy.
Neither at Victoria nor the Straits were we able to obtain a glimpse
of Mount Baker. I well remember the first view of the majestic outline
of this mountain, reaching far above snow-line. I was then at sea at
a point eighty or one hundred miles distant. Its appearance is as
familiar to the British Columbian as the less elevated “Fujisan” to
the Japanese. Nor could we see the striking Olympic Range, which in
clear weather in so marked a way strikes the eye on the southern coast
of Vancouver Island. The steamer called at one or two places before
reaching Seattle, the principal port of Puget’s Sound, itself a place
of considerable importance as the locality whence the product of the
coal mines is shipped. Tacoma, however, was our destination, which we
reached after dark. It has an excellent harbor, and is the terminus of
the railway. It was so dark on our arrival that we proceeded to the
nearest hotel, a few yards distant. In the evening, to obtain some
exercise we indulged in the proverbial “sailor’s walk” up and down the
platform in front of the building.

We rose early next morning, for the train left at seven. The rain had
ceased, but the sky was dull, and there was no view of Mount Tacoma to
the east of us.

The railway line ascends rapidly from the level of the Sound, and
continues through a partially settled country, much of it prairie,
with here and there groves of pine. The soil is generally of gravel
except in the flats of the Kalama River. The appearance of the
homesteads differs little from the backwoods settlements of Ontario.
I saw no example of good husbandry, nor could I trace any signs of
productiveness in the country through which we passed. We arrived at
Kalama about noon, striking the Columbia for the third time. First,
when we descended by the Kicking-Horse pass; again, when we came by the
Ille-celle-waet. From the latter point the river has flowed some six
hundred and fifty miles, four hundred of which are through the United
States territory on a course southerly and thence westerly. It now
makes a slight deflection to the north previous to discharging into the
ocean at Astoria.

At Kalama we waited for the steamer which ascends the river to
Portland, that portion of the railway being yet incomplete. We also
took dinner at the one hotel, near the station. The fare was bad, the
charges exorbitant. It seemed to me that there was much uncalled for
delay in moving on board a small quantity of lumber. Incidentally, it
may be remarked that there is a tone of thought, a course of action
with the people on the Pacific slope by no means in accord with eastern
energy. There is no appearance of the bustle and rush you see nearer
the Atlantic. The steamer is propelled by a stern wheel. She is of some
size and is a regular river boat, with tiers of state-rooms above the
main deck. The river is about half a mile wide and is navigable for
sea-going vessels to Portland, and for some distance above that city
for vessels of less draught. Our trip is limited only to the thirty
miles between Kalama and Portland. We passed places with ambitious
names but of little promise. The cities of St. Helen and Columbia, so
called, neither of which is half so large as the new town of Brandon.
Each may be described as the site of a saw-mill, with dwelling houses
for the owner and workmen.

We ascended the Columbia until we reached a branch, the Williamette,
which we followed to Portland. We were now thirty miles south of Kalama.

The River Columbia is the boundary between the State of Oregon and
Washington Territory. Portland, on the Williamette, is in Oregon. It
is a commercial centre of such territory on the Pacific slope as San
Francisco has not made tributary. The construction of the Northern
Pacific has exercised great influence on its growth, for in twelve
years it has increased in population from 11,000 to 35,000. This city,
like Montreal, is some distance from the coast, being one hundred and
twenty-five miles from the ocean. But, unlike Montreal, it is not
easily approachable by a very large class of ocean going vessels.
The wharves, however, present some animation from the ships moored
there. On this occasion there were one iron steamer and six sailing
vessels. The railway accommodation for the transfer of freight is on
an extensive scale, and its promise of a prosperous future seems well

We went to the hotel, which we were told both at Victoria and on our
way up the river, was the best. If such be the case, Portland must
be one of the worst provided cities, in this respect, in the United
States. Our rooms were small. One had no window to admit light. Not
one of them had a fire-place to assist in ventilation, which was
especially needed, for the passages were filled with a nauseating
stench proceeding from the filthy offices immediately below. The beds
were without clean linen; the towels seemed scarcely washed, certainly
they had not been ironed nor been passed through the mangle. The supply
of water was insufficient, and when more was asked for it was refused.
To crown all, we were hurried off from the hotel at half-past five
without breakfast, to cross the river to wait until seven when the
train started.

The night previous we secured tickets for Chicago and paid for a
Pullman drawing-room, but there was no Pullman on the train on
starting, nor a restaurant car where we could get breakfast. From
Portland the railway runs easterly two hundred and twenty-eight
miles, to Ainsworth. Our first view of the Columbia is striking. It
is the locality where it flows through the Cascade Mountains. The
line runs along the base of bold, rocky bluffs, twisting and curving
a few feet above the water line. The fog and smoky atmosphere conceal
the mountains, but I should judge, when visible, that the view is

For eighty miles from Portland the flora indicates a somewhat moist
climate, but on passing east of the Cascade Range everything is as
dry as at Kamloops. We are informed that no rain has fallen for four
months. We see bunch grass on the hills. The rocks are balsaltic, and
the indications suggest that the geology of the Thompson extends to
this locality. One of the most characteristic features of the landscape
are the basaltic columns which stand out prominently on both sides of
the river.

Before twelve we reach the Dalles at the eighty-seventh mile. I have
kindly recollections of this place, for we broke our fast here. It was
dinner hour for the passengers, and what was served was very good.
Our hostess was an Ontario woman from Kingston, and the landlord one
of those genial, imperturbable geniuses whom our neighbours so often
produce, who have been everywhere and learned much. In his wanderings
he had been in Canada, whence he had carried away his wife. He had
so much to tell us of the Dominion that we looked upon him as a
countryman. Dalles, in Indian phraseology, we learn from him, means
“swift water,” or rapids.

We continue the ascent of the southern bank of the Columbia. The
valley is generally from two to three miles wide, in the centre of
which the stream flows in its placid course. The banks are hilly and
appear broken frequently by trap and balsaltic rock. For miles not a
tree is to be seen. The light, dry sand is drifted with the wind, like
snow in winter, and sand is often formed during storms into mounds and
banks, which are more troublesome to the company than snow itself. We
were told that the trains were often seriously delayed by it. From the
car windows we could see the “dunes” which have accumulated in many
places. An occasional house is visible, with the sand half concealing
the windows; sometimes cast up to the very eaves. Persevering efforts
have been made to arrest its progress by planting trees, and to prevent
the saplings from being blown away the roots have been covered with
paving stones. At other places the surface is shingled with boards to
hold down the sand, so that it will not be blown on the railway track.
The landscape has a dreary and forlorn look, which even the river fails
fully to relieve.

About one hundred and fifty miles from Portland the high river banks
have disappeared. We run through a flat, level, barren country covered
with sage brush, and we are probably less than three hundred feet above
tide water.

Umatilla, one hundred and ninety miles from Portland, is the ghost of
a once flourishing centre, which existed when gold digging in the Blue
Mountains was actively followed. To-day it is a picture of desolation,
with deserted streets, with dilapidated wooden buildings surrounded by
a desert of sage brush. There is one marked memorial of its prosperity:
a graveyard, where many a poor miner lies in his last home. The fence
which encloses it is maintained, and what makes it more remarkable, it
is the only fence to be seen for many a mile.

At Wallula Junction we have supper. There is at this place a branch to
Walla-Walla, thirty-one miles distant. On the side track there is an
excursion train full of “Oregon pioneers” travelling towards St. Paul.
They left Portland seventeen hours before us and had been detained by
an obstruction. As a regular train we take precedence and arrived at
Snake River about seven, a little way above its junction with the
Columbia at Ainsworth. Snake River is one of the chief tributaries of
the Columbia; it takes its rise five hundred miles to the south-east.
It is as yet unbridged, and we cross to the opposite shore by a ferry;
passengers, mails and baggage being transferred to the train, attached
to which, for the first time, we find the Pullman.

We have followed the valley of the River Columbia from Kalama to this
point, generally on an easterly course, south of the 46th parallel,
ascending its great current flowing westerly. It runs in a southerly
course directly from 49° lat. to this place; and now we leave this
magnificent river to see it no more on our journey.

The railway has followed the south or Oregon bank of the Columbia
from Portland. As a Canadian I could not but feel a deep interest
in looking across on the opposite bank to Washington Territory. I
reverted to the settlement by treaty of the Oregon question in 1846.
Great Britain most justly claimed the whole territory north of the 42°
parallel. The claims of the United States as set forth by them were
only limited by Alaska. At that date the fact is undoubted that there
was not a single citizen of the United States established north of
the Columbia River. The country was occupied only by the Hudson’s Bay
Company. The Columbia was the thoroughfare of that Company to the Boat
Encampment, already alluded to, at the extreme north of the Selkirk
Range. This river would have made a good natural boundary line, and
in itself would have been a compromise most favourable to the United
States. It would have given them Astoria and all the discoveries of
Lewis and Clark, but the treaty of 1846 was simply a capitulation even
more inglorious than the Ashburton Treaty of four years earlier date,
and will so live in history. Six degrees of latitude by three degrees
of longitude of British Territory were deliberately abandoned by the
Imperial diplomatists, and what is more remarkable the settlement
was so ill-defined as, some years afterwards, to cause the San Juan
difficulty, which raised great trouble and much ill-feeling.

At six next morning we arrive at Spokane Falls, a well built town with
a population of fifteen hundred. The soil is light and gravelly, with
groves of pine. We reach Rathdrum, thirty miles distant, described in
the guide book as an agricultural centre in the best portion of the
valley. The train remains here twenty minutes. We learn that no rain
has fallen since early in May, and that the crops are almost a failure.
All the soil we have looked upon for three hundred miles is sandy and
gravelly, and without rain good crops can scarcely be looked for.

At nine we reach Sand Point, four hundred and forty-five miles from
Portland. From Ainsworth we have been running in a north-easterly
direction and we are now fifty miles south of the Boundary Line. The
mouth of the Kicking-Horse River is two hundred miles from us, nearly
due north. I looked on Sand Point with some interest, for if we had
been driven at the Ille-celle-waet to abandon our journey through the
Eagle Pass, it was at this spot we would have reached the Northern
Pacific Railway on our descent by the Columbia past Fort Colville.

We have passed the northern part of Idaho and are entering Montana. At
Heron, thirty-eight miles from Sand Point, a few drops fall from the
cloudy sky, we are told the only rain since spring! We are following
Clark’s Fork Valley towards the Rocky Mountains. We come upon open
prairie with good soil and bunch grass pasture, with patches of good
sized forest trees. The valley varies in width from one to five miles,
and is not wanting in natural beauty. It resembles somewhat Bow River,
above Calgary; but at Bow River the mountains are higher and bolder in
outline than on the Northern Pacific, and at this spot the heights are
wooded to the summit and are unmarked by bold, rocky, lofty peaks.

We have rain during the afternoon. If it be acceptable to the arid soil
it is equally welcome to the traveller as an accessory to comfort.
Hitherto the dust has followed us like a cloud, but the rain dispels
it. It is getting dark. My intention had been to stay up to observe, as
best I could, the mountain “divide,” but as it was hopeless to look
for moonlight I turned in before twelve.

I slept an hour when I again rose. It was still dark and drizzly, but
the glare from the engines working their full power up the ascent was
reflected by the hanging clouds, and near objects were dimly visible.
I was desirous of seeing what I could of the country, for we were
approaching the divide of the water flow of the continent; the one
turning to the Pacific, the other to the Atlantic and the Gulf of
Mexico. As morning advanced the sky became clear and the features of
the country visible. A tunnel two-thirds of a mile long, the Mullan
tunnel, is in progress through the summit. At present the rails are
connected over the mountain by a surface line, four miles in length,
with steep grades. The train was drawn up by two engines and we crept
up at a slow pace. On reaching the highest point we came to a stand to
admit of an examination of the couplings and of the whole machinery of
the locomotive and train.

We had now to face the serious work of descent. The heaviest grade is
confined to a mile. The inclination, evidently great, was shown by the
angle formed by the hanging articles in the Pullman, with the vertical
lines of its panels. I extemporized a plummet and line with the silk
cord of my glasses, and according to my calculation the gradients we
passed over for some distance exceeded two hundred and sixty feet to
the mile; in one spot they reached nearly three hundred feet: 5.7 feet
to the hundred feet.

We left the temporary line and followed the permanent track, the
gradient of which I was told is one hundred and sixteen feet to the
mile. In our passage over the summit no mountains were visible. The
hills through which we passed were but a few hundred feet higher than
the track. We crossed the “divide” by a narrow depression, as far as we
can judge, of no great depth. The exact length of the completed Mullan
tunnel will be 3,850 feet, its height 5,547 feet above sea level.

We have reached Helena. We are now in the valley of the Missouri. The
second summit, between the Missouri and the Yellowstone Rivers, is
about one hundred and forty miles distant from the main summit. Before
reaching it I take the opportunity to get some sleep.

Seventy miles from Helena we come to Gallatin. At this spot the
Missouri may be said to commence. It is fed by three important
tributaries, the Jefferson, the Madison and the Gallatin, all rising
within the periphery of a semi-circle of mountains visible to the south
and east of us.

We passed through the fertile plain of Bozzeman, where we obtained
a fine view of the Rocky Mountains, south of us. Their lofty peaks,
tipped with snow, are probably eighty miles distant. It could not have
been very far from this neighbourhood that the sons of De la Verendrye
first looked upon the mountain heights as they ascended a branch of
the Missouri. At Bozzeman we prepared for another ascent and pass over
a temporary track until the Bozzeman tunnel is completed. It will be
4,500 feet long and 5,572 feet above tide level. There is a marked
contrast in the character of the heights at Bozzeman to those of
Mullan. The latter are wooded, whereas the former are bare, with only
a few small bushes. The Bozzeman tunnel, although only through a spur
of the Rocky Mountain chain, is a few yards more elevated than the
Mullan tunnel through the main divide. At Livingstone we are in the
Yellowstone Valley, eight hundred and eighty miles from Portland. We
followed the Yellowstone for three hundred and forty miles. Yellowstone
park is sixty miles to the south, and a railway leads to it from this
point. We can see the mountains of the National park in the distance,
grand, lofty and striking, recalling some portion of the Selkirk range.
I saw nothing on the Northern Pacific Railway except this distant view,
to equal the mountains on our Canadian line.

We cross the Yellowstone River, about one hundred and fifty feet wide,
and which takes its rise in Yellowstone Lake, one hundred miles south
of us.

At Livingstone we enter a prairie country which we follow in our
journey eastward for twenty degrees of longitude. As we pass over the
two water sheds, between five and six thousand feet above the sea,
we form the impression that there is abundance of moisture at this
elevation. We are now, however in comparatively low ground, and the
district generally is evidently dry, if not to some extent rainless.
Possibly the mountains intercept the vapour-bearing clouds, or drive
them into the higher regions. The maps show that there are spurs of the
Rocky Mountains continuing to the north and south of the Yellowstone
Valley for a long distance east of the main range, but all of them are
too distant from our point of vision or too low to appear above the

The railway follows the general direction of the river, sometimes along
its banks, and at no place at any great distance from it. The soil on
the bottom lands is loam or clay with a gravelly sub-soil. The grass is
dry and thin, but preparations for irrigation on a considerable scale
have been undertaken west of Billings’ station, one hundred and fifteen
miles east of Livingstone. By this means the lowlands adjacent to the
river will be brought under cultivation. Beyond the immediate valley
itself, in which irrigation is practicable the ground must remain
much as it now is. East of Billings we meet the same arid country,
with scanty herbage and a few scattered trees of small size along the
river’s edge.

We are now in the territory which for so many years was the scene of
frequent Indian wars. Fort Custer is to the south of us, and to the
east Fort Keogh. At Custer station an officer entered the train on
his way to Fort Keogh. Like most officers of the United States army,
he was agreeable and full of conversation. He had had fifteen years’
experience of the country, and consequently had many anecdotes to
tell of the wars. He showed us a rusty revolver which, a few days
previously, he had picked up from the field where Custer’s whole
command was destroyed in the last successful effort of the Red man on
a large scale. We can recollect the extraordinary excitement the news
caused on this continent. I must frankly say that, making all allowance
for Custer’s known gallantry, my sympathies have always been with the
men who rode after him, rather than with their leader. Custer himself,
it is true, paid the penalty of his rashness. The record is simple.
He, with his command, some six hundred sabres, rode up the valley of
the Rosebud. Not one returned to tell the tale of their extermination.
The criticism of the day was not favorable to Custer’s generalship. He
had turned into an attack what was intended as a reconnaisance. His
critics accuse him of endeavoring to attract public attention by some
bold dashing movement, the one justification of which would have been
its success. Every reader of the Indian wars knows that the strategy
of the Red man is that of surprise and ambuscade, and that failure in
observing caution in an advance, incurs the danger of defeat and loss.
The snare into which Custer fell is one of the most remarkable in its
results that not a man escaped. Its parallel in misfortune, however,
was not long after witnessed at Isandula, when not one man of the two
hundred in the ranks of the Imperial second 24th regiment survived the
Zulu attack on the unfortified camp.

During the night we left the Yellowstone at Glendive. We have passed
over the _Mauvaise Terre_ which I had wished to see; but it was not
possible, as it was dark when we came through it. Our restaurant car
no longer accompanies us. The fact is brought to our mind by a bad and
expensive breakfast at Richardson, in Dacota. Between Glendive and
Bismarck the soil is good; the grass, however, is brown, but of better
growth than to the West. At Sims, coal mining has been commenced with
some success.

This place is scarcely a year old, but it contains a number of brick
buildings. The site of the town is on an eminence, and altogether it
looks more promising than any spot we have seen since we left Portland.
We are now in the hundred and second meridian of longitude.

Improvement advances as we proceed easterly; the towns are more
numerous and better built, and are marked by more bustle. The land is
of a higher character and better cultivated, and we see a superior
class of station buildings.

We reached Mandane on the Missouri. Bismarck is on the eastern bank,
opposite. These two places are the creation of a few years, and the
progress they have made is marvellous. They are connected by a high
level iron bridge. The three centre spans are each four hundred feet,
on stone piers. The height from the bottom of the deepest foundation
to the top chord is one hundred and seventy feet, the height of the
truss is fifty feet. It is approached by timber trestling at one part
sixty feet in height. It is a bold piece of engineering, and the cost
is named at one million dollars. The bridge was finished in May of last

The land near Bismarck is very good. Already the country is well
settled; but night came on and cut off further observation. We passed
over an important but scarcely perceptible water-shed, about one
hundred and fifty miles east of Bismarck. The elevation above the
general level cannot be distinguished, and we have prairie around us on
all sides. Near the small station of Sanbon we leave the basin of the
Gulf of Mexico, and without visible signs of change pass to that of the
Hudson’s Bay. From the Rocky Mountains to this point the drainage has
been by the Missouri. The rainfall passes now to the Red River and Lake
Winnipeg to the north. We are in the upper part of the Red River Plain,
an extension of that district in Canada so unequalled for fertility.

At eleven at night we reach Fargo, where the line crosses the Red
River. Fargo, like Winnipeg, is the wonderful creation of a few years.
The Station is illuminated by electric lights, and even at the late
hour the place has the appearance of an important commercial centre.
Moorhead is on the eastern bank of the river, opposite Fargo. Glyndon,
ten miles further east, is 1,626 from Portland and 274 miles from St.
Paul. It is a place of importance, in so far that a connection is made
with the railway from St. Paul for Winnipeg, but is not otherwise
remarkable. I was sorry to separate from my old friend and fellow
traveller, Dr. Grant, who left the train for Winnipeg. We had been
together for six weeks through the adventures which I have recorded. At
midnight we shook hands; Dr. Grant to go northward, and myself and my
son to find ourselves at St. Paul on the next forenoon.

At St. Paul we are on known ground. Twenty-four hours brings us to
Chicago and another twenty-four hours to Toronto. There are many
Canadian interests in St. Paul, and this picturesque city on the banks
of the Mississippi has been often visited and described. We are now
thoroughly within all the influences of busy life, and the meagerest of
newspaper readers turns to the journals of the day to learn what has
happened and is to be looked for.

I am gratified to learn that the next meeting of the British
Association will be held in Canada, and I read that in a couple of
days there is to be a gathering in Chicago of railway managers from the
United States and Canada in special convention to determine what steps
are to be taken to establish the standards for the regulation of time.

Twenty years ago, personally, I had felt that in connection with the
railways of Canada in the future, extending over several degrees of
longitude, difficulties would arise in the computation of time. To my
mind it was evident that, in place of the rude mode followed, some
more scientific system was called for. When I became Engineer of the
Intercolonial Railway from Nova Scotia to Quebec, and of the Canadian
Pacific Railway from Ontario to the far West, my views were confirmed,
and, as I devoted time and study to the problem, I became more than
ever impressed with the importance of the question, not only to Canada
or to this continent, but to the world generally.

Reasoning on the subject _à priori_ from the admitted necessity of a
change of system, it struck me forcibly that it could only be effected
on principles which would meet every objection and generally commend
themselves as well founded. Moreover, the subject appeared to me of
unusual interest, and as such I thought it my duty specially to bring
it under the notice of the British Association for the Advancement
of Science. I formed the opinion that this Association, having been
established for promoting the general welfare, was the body above all
others to which any proposition having so universal an application
should be submitted. I was in London in 1878, and addressed the
permanent officers of the Association on the subject, expressing my
wish to bring it forward. I complied with all the regulations, and
gave notice of my intention to introduce its consideration before
the forty-eighth meeting to be held in Dublin the following August.
I prepared a paper and submitted an outline of it. I was informed by
letter from the Secretary that it would be brought before Section A,
“Mathematics and Physical Science.” I arrived in Dublin the first
day of the meeting, the 14th August, and lost no time in addressing
the Secretary, personally, and informing him that I was prepared to
read my paper when called upon. He answered that I should receive a
reply in due course. Not receiving any communication for three days,
I saw the Secretary and was then informed by him that the Committee
had decided that my paper should be read on the 21st. It turned out
that on that day there would be no meeting. The last meeting was on
the 20th. My paper was put down at the end of the list: it was the
twelfth. I attended the Section until the meeting closed, but no
opportunity was given me to introduce it. There was still another day,
so I approached the Secretary and endeavoured to make some arrangement
for its being read in the morning. I was curtly told that Section A
would not meet again, as all the papers but mine had been disposed of,
and he took upon himself to add that the reading of my paper was of
little consequence. I deemed it my duty, without delay, to bring the
circumstance under the notice of the President of the Association, but
my letter did not receive the slightest attention. What could I do?

The letter of the Secretary received in London distinctly informed me
that my paper would be considered, and consequently I had travelled to
Dublin and waited from day to day until the last meeting, but all to
no purpose. I was unknown. I was from the other side of the Atlantic,
and in those days there was no High Commissioner to obtain common
justice for the Canadian. I had simply experienced one of those acts of
official insolence or indifference so mischievous in their influence
and so offensive in their character, which I fear, in years gone by,
too many from the Outer Empire experienced. I assume that the secretary
represented the Committee, and that the Committee had the right to form
their own opinion as to the importance of the subjects proposed to
be brought before the Association, and reject such as to them seemed
unworthy of attention. But they were not justified in saying one thing
in London and acting as they did in Dublin. I will take upon myself
to remind the officers of the British Association that since that
date the subject I proposed to bring before the Dublin meeting has
not been considered beneath the notice of many scientific societies
on both sides of the Atlantic, that it has been earnestly discussed
at International Congresses in Venice and Rome, and it has led to the
House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States passing a
joint resolution requesting the President to invite the attention of
all civilized nations to the question.

It struck me as a singular coincidence that among the first things
that I read in the Chicago newspapers was the notice of the important
meeting of Railway Managers[J] to take definite action on the subject
of regulating time, so unpleasantly disposed of in Dublin by the
British Association, and that the Association itself was coming to
Canada to learn that the managers of one hundred thousand miles of
railway, travelled over by fifty millions of people on this continent,
had taken the first important step in the scheme of Cosmopolitan Time
Reckoning, which, as an Association, it officially and offensively
refused to entertain; and, further, to learn that on the 1st October,
after their visit to Canada, an International Conference will be held
in Washington, on the invitation of the President of the United States,
to take another step in its establishment, and to recommend to the
world such further action regarding it as may be deemed expedient.

I venture to say that members of the British Association visiting the
Dominion next summer will be received with cordiality and hospitality,
and some may recross the ocean with new ideas of the busy world outside
of England. Possibly their visit to Canada and the warm reception
which, I am sure, they will receive, will engender new feelings; less
insular, perhaps, and more kindly, more sympathetic, towards their
fellow subjects whose homes are to be found in the territory of the
Empire which lies beyond the four seas.

From Chicago I followed the usual route to Ottawa. I paid my respects
to His Excellency Lord Lorne and Her Royal Highness, so soon to leave
Canada. Lord Lorne was in a few days to proceed to Quebec to meet Lord
Lansdowne. I went on my way to Halifax, where I arrived on Saturday,
13th October, exactly seventeen weeks since I left for England, on the
17th of June.



  Indian Population--The Government Policy--Indian Instincts--The
    Hudson’s Bay Company--Fidelity and Truthfulness of Indians--
    Aptitude for Certain Pursuits--The Future of the Red Man.

In the foregoing chapters I have alluded more than once to the Indian
population scattered over the Dominion and more especially remarkable
in the North-West and British Columbia. It is a subject to command
attention when the future of Canada is at all considered. Fortunately
it is one concerning which little anxiety need be felt. The Government
on one side recognizes its obligations to the Red man, and is desirous
of doing him justice. The Indian is satisfied that there is a desire
to treat him fairly. The land formerly held by them and now owned
by the Dominion has not been ruthlessly seized, arbitrarily held in
possession by squatters and remorseless traders. It has been obtained
by treaty on principles of right and justice, and has been ceded to the
commonwealth for an agreed equivalent; when the settler enters upon
possession, he simply takes his holding on Government land.

The decrease of the Indian population has steadily advanced since
the settlement of the east coast by the first Anglo-Saxon in the
seventeenth century. The number of the native race at that date must
be always a matter of conjecture. Catlin estimated it at that time to
have been fourteen millions, and half a century ago he described it as
reduced to two millions. All the early writers of Canada describe the
populous condition of the Indian tribes. That they no longer present
this character is undoubted. General Lefroy, in a paper read before the
Canadian Institute, of Toronto, in 1858, estimated the total number of
Indians in North America at 250,000. Even without intercourse with the
white man, their desolating wars, the frequent scarcity of food and
the want of knowledge of the means by which life can be preserved, all
had their influence. As the country became more occupied and under the
control of the European, their territory became narrowed, and hence
the greater cause of quarrel arose. Then the Indians of the Mohawk and
those of Lake Huron became mixed up in the wars of the English and
French. During the revolutionary war with the United States and the war
of 1812 the tribes took opposite sides, while there were whole races
who lived in open hostility to the white man.

Except in the North-West, they have almost passed out of mind. In
Ontario they are seldom thought of, but in the neighbourhood where they
are seen, nevertheless their number amounts to 18,000. In Quebec they
attract greater attention; their number, however is only 12,000. In the
Maritime Provinces they number 4,000. At present the estimated number
of Indians east of the Rocky Mountains is 51,500; in British Columbia
proper there are nearly 36,500; in the more northern Hudson’s Bay
Territories, Labrador and the Arctic coast, 9,000. In the North-West,
at no late date, there was much to unsettle confidence, in view of the
rapid strides with which settlement was advancing, and in view also
of the difficulty which appears inherently to attend the solution of
this important problem in political economy; more especially when we
consider the constant turmoil and difficulty experienced in the United
States. But the solution has been found, as much else in life, by
following the very simple principle of justice and honesty.

There are now in the North-West under the immediate care of the
Government 10,000 Indians. The proximate cost of beef and flour
furnished them is twelve cents per head per day.

It may confidently be affirmed that the present satisfactory condition
of our North-West Indian relations is entirely owing to the admirable
government of the Hudson’s Bay Company. One principle observed was
never to allow the Indian to suffer from starvation. Provisions under
conditions of privation were given to those in need; but the recipients
were made clearly to understand that it was an advance of goods to be
repaid in the future. Those receiving assistance when in want, or to
enable them to start for the hunting grounds were held to give back the
value of what was then given, when the recipient was in a condition
to do so. A principle was accordingly established, which the Dominion
Government is endeavouring to enforce: that the Indian should never
regard himself as an object of charity, specially to be provided
for. He is by these means taught that to beg is discreditable, and
to receive Government rations as alms is personally dishonourable to
himself. He is taught self-reliance, for he is made to understand that
the rations, or clothing, or powder must be repaid by work or otherwise
as he can satisfy the claim.

The duty has accordingly been imposed on those able to work to make
some return for what they have received. Such as these labour under the
eye of the farm instructor on each reserve. If there be no work there
will be no food, a principle perfectly within Indian comprehension and
sense of justice. Moreover, what labour they give redounds to their own
personal advantage. The strides to civilization may not be immediate,
but they are perceptible, and progress is in that direction. Above all
things, the Indian is satisfied, for he feels that he is treated with

We must, on our side, be reasonable in our expectations. We must
remember that the Indian has never been habituated to steady labour,
and it should not be a matter of bewilderment if he is vacillating and
irregular in accepting that condition. For countless generations his
life has been nomadic. He has been lord of the soil, bred a warrior,
and the white men who has been the cause of the change in his condition
should bear with him and be patient, and extend him help and aid. It is
not only the Indian who finds it hard to accept the life of monotonous
employment, day out, day in. Many of our race who, at a somewhat
advanced period in their career are set down to patient effort, find it
no little of a trial. The hand of little employment hath the daintier
sense, and we must look to two or three generations passing away before
the Indian will take his place in the family of civilized man. He has
much of his former life to unlearn; he has to struggle against the
instincts of his blood; he has to accept the great truth that labour is
honourable. Those human lilies of the valley who toil not, neither do
they spin, do not hold the same high grade in human estimation which
they obtained a century back. No doctrine is more recognized than that
every right is co-existent with a duty. The Indian has to reach the
condition of understanding that he can only hold his place by the
side of the white man by fulfilling the obligations attendant on the
position he claims.

The white man engaged in the effort to elevate the Indian, must not
be discouraged if the attempt made on his part does not at once
lead to little more than perceptible results. He must look forward
to much patient perseverance for many years, and he must guard
against discouragement. If he has difficulties to meet there is also
much in the Indian character by which they are fitted for peculiar
employment; as guardians of rivers, as herdsmen, as boatmen; and they
have extraordinary aptitude for any calling which exacts readiness of
resource and quickness of perception. Moreover, the Indian in many
ways displays much artistic skill. The Indians of the Pacific coast
especially are noted for their taste. This is exemplified in the really
fine models of ship architecture seen in their large sea-going canoes.
They are also distinguished for carving in wood and their work in

They are capable of taking part in many profitable occupations. In
British Columbia they are preferred as labourers to the Chinamen. The
Indian has proved himself to be an excellent assistant on a farm. He is
useful in a saw-mill, and in such manufactures as he can undertake. He
can be relied upon as an overseer of rivers and to protect fisheries.
He can be trained to look after forests and to prevent the wholesale
destruction of timber, so often the result of carelessness and
imprudence. As forester and guardian of the observance of the game laws
he would be invaluable; and it is only by strict observance of our
regulations with regard to the season in which fish and game can be
hunted and killed that its preservation can be assured. Who more fit
for this duty?

The Indians have already some minor industries, by which they show
strong commercial instincts. They split cedar logs by means of yew
wedges, which they sell to the northern tribes for seal or whale
oil, blankets and dried fish. The seal fisheries which they carry on
are of great extent. The annual value is named at $200,000. Speaking
generally of them in British Columbia, they are in no way held in this
western part of the Dominion, where they are well known, to be the
unimpressible animals many assert them to be. I can myself trace many
strong indications of progress, and I do not think that many years will
pass before this fact has been clearly established.

Many are now receiving instruction in agriculture. They are furnished
with the necessary implements and seed. Cattle have also been given
them. If in some instances there have been failures, the majority of
those to whom these advantages have been extended have fairly profited
by them.

On many of the reserves much interest has been shewn in agriculture,
with the important result that the grain raised has reduced the number
of rations issued. It is proposed to introduce on their farms pigs to
breed from. It is held that many will understand that they are not
at once to be killed and eaten. If successful, it will prove a step
of importance; on one side inculcating thrift, on the other being a
provision against want. Even the Blackfeet, who a few years back were
continually on the war-path, have settled down to peaceable pursuits.
Most families have a small farm or garden in place of the wigwam. An
attempt is to be made to establish industrial schools. But the Indians
do not willingly see their children separated from them.

The Sioux, who were driven out of the United States twelve years back,
came to Manitoba with the stigma of the atrocities they were charged
with; into these I will not enter. They asked a home. They prayed to be
allowed to be hewers of wood and drawers of water. No special privilege
was claimed by them. The desire was granted; and they have never
violated the hospitality extended to them. Their career has been one of
patient labour.

The Hudson Bay Company obtained control over the Indian, by its
inflexible regard to its obligations. They never falsified their word.
The love of truth in the Indian in his natural condition is one of
the marked features of his character. It is a virtue he respects in
others, for he himself practices it. It has been said that such was
the confidence in every officer of the Company, hence in every white
man, that an Indian would accept a few pencil words which he could
not understand, on a sheet of paper, from a stranger, telling him to
present it as a certificate at a certain post in payment for provisions
or skins or any service rendered.

The fidelity of the Indian to his engagements is best known by those
who have intercourse with him. However the fact may be disputed by
mere petulant abuse, it is uncontradictable. A proof of the strongest
character can be adduced, even at this hour, by the agents of the
Hudson’s Bay Company. There are many localities where the business
is not sufficient to support a resident storekeeper, where there are
none but Indians. At the same time there are requirements of traffic
which cannot be ignored. This condition is met by an arrangement of a
simple character, but it is only possible when unvarying good faith and
honesty are observed. The Hudson’s Bay Company erect a store, generally
a large log shanty; glass being difficult to obtain, generally the
windows are made of parchment. The door is only secured against the
intrusion of wild animals, that is to say, it is securely fastened
from the outside by a latch or bar. So any one can enter it at any
time. Here are stored such supplies as the Indian may need: blankets,
clothing, arms, powder, shot and such articles as are used by the Red
man. When an Indian in the district requires any article from the
store, he enters and takes what he wants, leaving behind the requisite
number of skins in barter, denoting by some mark the individuality of
the deposit. A tariff of equivalents has been established, and the
Indian knows precisely what he has to leave behind for the value of
that which he takes away. This arrangement has existed for many years.
I have never heard an instance of the store having been fraudulently
visited, or of the least dishonesty on the part of the Indian. In the
regular periodical visit to these localities, in some cases not oftener
than twice a year, the agents have invariably found everything in order
and satisfactory. In these visits the stock is replenished and the furs
deposited taken possession of. The system still prevails, and until
fraud has been learned from intercourse with the white man it will
continue in the remote districts.

It is difficult amid civilized commerce to find a parallel to the
confidence on one side and to the honesty shewn on the other. If all
the chronicles related of the days of Alfred be true, the national
honesty may then have partaken of the reliability and trustworthiness
of the Indian. But no other record of this character is to be found in
any page of history. It can only exist, indeed, in a simple state of
society in which the dominant class is marked by the strictest honesty
and fidelity to a promise made. It is this tone of personal honour
which the Red man both appreciates and in his own conduct observes,
until it is lost in the vices and misfortunes of a civilization which
generally he has experienced to his ruin, subsequently to be developed
to untiring calumny of his race. Whatever the feelings and weaknesses
of the Indian in his natural condition, in other respects truth and
honesty are his marked characteristics.

There is a special difficulty in British Columbia, found in no other
part of Canada, the custom of holding “pot-laches”: feasts spread over
much time, when extravagant gifts are made. A proclamation was issued
by Lord Lorne forbidding these meetings. It is now proposed to make
them a misdemeanor by statute. In some parts of this Province liquor
has been introduced among the Indians by the Chinese and others, and
in some tribes the spirit of gambling is springing up. In one agency,
however, they have been induced to burn their cards.

A more important proceeding is the introduction into the House of
Commons of a measure to give some of the old tribes self-government.
What is specially required is to make the Indian self-reliant and
self-respecting. If he have to live by the side of whites he can only
be taught a sense of equality with them by removing every remnant
of patronizing protection. Even communities not Indian, not subject
to effort, from whom little exertion is called for, easily drop into
habits of indulgence and indolence. The true policy towards the Indian
is that of extending to him protection from being robbed and abused,
but at the same time teaching him to feel how much of his happiness
depends on his own conduct, and that his future depends largely on

There are a class of men who reason themselves into the theory that
the best civilization for the Indian is to civilize him off the face
of the country. Such as these seem to forget that the worst faults of
the Red man are those which he has learned from our race. From the days
of Columbus and Cortez until modern times, the white man has looked
upon the Indians as a class of beings to whom he was bound by no tie of
honour. By the wrongs he himself has committed he awakened feelings of
revenge, and one policy only was known, coercion and force. In modern
times, happily, one duty has been recognized, the enforced abstinence
of the Indian from liquor. Throughout the Dominion, but especially in
the North-West, on Canadian soil, the strongest precautions are taken
against the introduction of spirituous liquors. No alcohol is admitted
into Indian territory. Were the contrary course allowed, the Red man
would soon degenerate into the lowest depths of misery and crime. It is
not to be denied that our own race shew many examples of dishonesty
and fraud; but crime with the Indian is found in its most marked form
when in contact with the white man. The experience of all who know them
is that they have great tenacity of purpose, and will endure hardship
and privation uncomplainingly. The advance of events has changed their
whole lives, and in the proportion that governments have recognized
this fact and have endeavoured to adapt the tribes to the new relations
in which they have to live, so are they found to be willing to accept
what lies before them and to be grateful for the consideration which
they receive. The Canadian Government is acting on this principle.
Those who study the question hopefully look forward to the day when
the Indian population of the North-West will turn to pastoral and
agricultural pursuits and constant labour to obtain their bread. The
present peaceable character of the Indian is sufficiently established
by the fact that the mounted police, which consists of five hundred
men, is sufficiently strong to exercise the necessary control over the
fifty thousand of Indian population east of the Rocky Mountains. All
authorities agree in stating that they are under perfect subjection
to law, and that the police are competent to keep out the mischievous
whiskey trader, whose progress through the land is a blight and a curse
where it passes.

It is true that the days of adventure and individual prowess have
passed away, but their energy and power of almost untiring effort
remain. All that is needed is a healthful, well-considered, just policy
to turn these good qualities into the right direction.



  Rapid Construction--Travelling--Old and New--Beginning of Pacific
    Railway--Difficulties--Party Warfare--The Line North of Lake
    Superior--The United States Government--Mountain Passes--Soil
    and Climate--National Parks--Pacific Terminus.

Any one who, with the least attention, has followed the writer in
his journey cannot fail to have observed the ease with which long
distances on this continent in modern times are passed over. Within
the last quarter of a century the whole system of travel has changed.
With efficient railway carriages, possessing sleeping accommodation
and accessories to personal comfort and with a restaurant car,
making allowance for time and distance, the traveller may pass over
half a continent with no greater difficulty than he meets in going
from London to Liverpool. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company has
shewn extraordinary energy in the construction of the work. The
progress seems fabulous. Four hundred and fifty miles of main line,
independently of collateral branches in the North-West, aggregating
one hundred and forty miles, which they have completed in one summer.
The railway now extends westerly from Port Arthur, Lake Superior, to
the first range of the Rocky Mountain zone, thirteen hundred and ninety
miles. It has practically reached the eastern boundary of British
Columbia, in itself identical with the mountain crest forming the
continental water-shed. The Canadian Government, in accordance with
the contract, retained in its hands the construction of the line from
Kamloops to Port Moody, 215 miles. The intervening distance of 300
miles remains to be constructed to complete the connection between Lake
Superior and the Pacific.

North of Lake Superior the line is under construction easterly. During
the present winter a force of 10,000 workmen have been continually
engaged in the task of establishing the line between Port Arthur and
Callander, 650 miles, at which last named point connection has been
made with the railway systems of Ontario and Quebec.

By degrees these gaps will be closed, and in two or three years it is
estimated that trains starting on the eastern seaboard will run on an
unbroken line to the Pacific waters. Literally a new continent will be
opened to the traveller; the tourist of other lands will be tempted to
visit Canada by the care bestowed on his comfort and convenience, and
by the moderate expense at which the journey can be accomplished.

During the last century travelling was the prerogative of the wealthy
alone. The spirit of enterprise which leads to the examination of the
institutions and the inner life of foreign countries was not general.
The journey itself was marked with so much discomfort that it required
no little love of adventure to face the ordeal. There was also the
insular prejudice against the continent and what is still called
foreign manners. Men of ancient families and of large ancestral acres
frequently, during a long life, were known not to have extended their
visits beyond the county town of their shire. The grand tour of the
continent, it is true, was a portion of the education of the sons
of noblemen and of men of large fortune, but it was enjoyed by few
others. It was not simply a matter of money which imposed a limit to
the number. Leisure was equally necessary for its enjoyment, and men in
busy life could not give the time required. To pass from one locality
to another, separated by long distances, even in England itself, was a
matter of expense; and, although in their day the mail coach and the
post chaise achieved wonders in the then standard of rapid movement, it
was only the possessors of assured and ample means who could use those
conveyances to any extent for a pleasure tour.

The wide influences which steam applied to motion, exercised upon life
in all its forms was rapidly felt. When we consider the shortness
of the period within which these changes have arisen, we recognise
additional ground for astonishment, that in so limited a period so
much has been done to mould us to a new condition of being. All the
important departures from our old theories and habits have taken
place within this century. It was but a few years beyond this limit
when Johnson expressed the belief that one of the happinesses of life
was to be whirled rapidly along in a post chaise. Only a few years
previously, in 1762, Brindley commenced his first canals which, if they
did not admit of speed, permitted intercommunication along their line,
until the very traffic which they created led to the establishment of
railways, in one sense, to supplant them.

The success of the locomotive and the rapidity of movement which it
created, with the decreased cost of travel, were early suggestive of
the modifications which would arise in thought, in manners, in the form
of life and the political aspirations of modern times. The opening of
railways in the early stages of the system established that the new
mode of conveyance was one attended with less risk and danger than
the old stage and mail coach, and by the control obtained over it
applicable to all our wants. Moreover, it was of common utility from
the extreme lowness of the charge which it exacted from those using
it. It is no exaggeration to say that with the highest class of minds
profound emotion was experienced in the changes which they saw would
follow in the introduction of this new awakening of thought. It was
to them an entirely new departure from old traditions. The ordinary
mass of men saw but little beyond the excitement of the hour. Not a
few feared trouble in its democratic developments, that something
portentous and inevitable had come into being, the consequences of
which could not be foreseen. It was felt that life henceforth would
be turned into a new track. Men traced an analogy of feeling to
that experienced by their fathers when America was discovered, when
printing became a power, when the Reformation established liberty of
thought and made inward conscience the guide of conduct. It was felt
that new relations of life, new comforts, joys and sorrows had come
upon us; that the institution of the railway seemed almost a special
dispensation, the ends of which were inscrutable, and that the very
form and colour of our being had been changed. There are numerous
passages in modern literature to prove that in no way I exaggerate the
anticipations which were formed, and doubtless which many can well

As we look back to 1839, when the “Rocket” ran the first trip, we have
but a few years of interval beyond half a century within which every
department of human life has been expanded, enlarged and widened.
Much as successive additions, adaptations and developments have made
the locomotive in its character, weight, power and capabilities,
wonderfully in advance of the primitive machine of that date--in
itself, be it said, in every respect remarkable, containing many
elements of what was to follow--so our lives, by its influence have,
step by step, assumed a totally distinct and different character to
that which marked the early days of the century.

Few of those who are struggling in the business and pleasures of the
day stop to consider that the world was ever different to what it now
is. The positive results and advantages which we now enjoy have come
to us gradually. They are accepted by our children as if they had
always existed. It must, however, be evident to all who for a moment
think, that to the creation of the railway system we owe much. If the
railway has revolutionized many parts of Europe, I cannot but think
that the history of the United States would have been very different
but for its introduction. Certainly the lines of travel would have
been by no means so extended, and what influence a restricted field
of settlement might have exercised on the fortunes of the Republic no
mere speculation can define. It is obvious that without the new agency
the successful settlement of the great North-West of Canada would have
been impossible. We have only to compare the condition of the Selkirk
settlement of a few years back and the limited progress made during
half a century to the sudden and extraordinary bound which it took
when the first few miles of railway were put in operation.

It is now twenty years since I was first publicly called upon, as a
delegate on behalf of the Selkirk settlement, to give my attention to
the question of opening up British North America by the establishment
of a line of communication from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I was
then called upon to submit my views on the subject to the Imperial and
Canadian Governments. Those views were recorded in the parliamentary
documents of that year, 1863,[K] and since that year have frequently
been referred to in debate.

British Columbia became connected with Canada in 1871, and one of
the conditions of union was the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railway. I was appointed Engineer-in-chief of the undertaking. What the
condition of the country was at that period may be seen in the many
volumes published by the Government. I shall quote but one passage from
the report for 1873, of the Department of Public Works, issued by the
Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, then Premier: “It is no exaggeration to speak
of the extent of territory to be explored as immense.” I undertook
the duty with all the zeal I could command, and moreover, I did so
with a strong feeling of sympathy with the work as a great national
undertaking, and as one which, I believed, would in the future command
more than an equivalent for all the moneys expended upon it, in its
bearing on our history and the advantages it would extend.

In the tenth year of my labour in connection with this gigantic
undertaking political or rather party exigencies compelled me to sever
all official connection with it. I do not wish in any way, directly
or indirectly, to allude to my retirement from the position I held.
The subject can be of no interest to the general reader, but I may say
that before I retired, in 1880, the problem of the practicability of
the Railway had been grappled with and solved. The formidable natural
barriers which lay before us had been penetrated. Construction had been
commenced at several points between British Columbia and Lake Superior,
within a range of two thousand miles; and, further, the completion
of a length of railway of eight hundred miles, embracing some of the
most difficult sections of the work, was assured within a very short
period of time. The latter in the west piercing to the heart of British
Columbia from the Pacific, and in the east opening up a way through
Canadian territory for the influx of settlers to the fertile prairies
of the North-West.

As I am writing, the subject of the Canadian Pacific Railway is
again before Parliament. Four years ago the Ministry entrusted the
construction of the railway to a Company. The measure was carried by
large majorities in both Houses. If I understand the argument advanced
for this policy, it was advocated on the ground that a Company could
carry on the work more efficiently and more economically than a
Department of the Government.

The facts disclosed in the recent discussions in the House of Commons
establish that a Company cannot find money at less than double the
cost at which it is obtainable by the Canadian Government. The Company
has been raising capital at more than nine per cent. The Government
can find money at four per cent. or less. That a Company can carry
out a national undertaking more efficiently and economically than a
government, if the argument be not a fallacy, most certainly implies
that there is some defect in the system of government itself.

The difficulty with our present system lies in the fact that the
interests of party must be consulted, whatever the cost, whatever
the sacrifice. Party takes precedence of every other consideration.
Party seems to cloud the judgments of men who, in many instances, are
irreproachable in private life. Public men seem to act on the principle
that there is one creed and language for the hustings, the press and
parliament, and another for social intercourse.

The Canadian Pacific Railway has been considered a political question
during three administrations, and has played an important part in
party warfare. Every year, since 1871, motion after motion has been
made in Parliament relating to engineering operations and the mode
of conducting the work. Seldom have there been such acrimonious
discussions. Frequently the whole debate was dictated by the party
results supposed to be obtainable. Committee followed Committee,
year after year, in the Senate and House of Commons, nominally to
investigate matters, in reality to create party capital. Who now can
point out the slightest result from all these efforts? Two Royal
Commissions of special enquiry were appointed. The first made no
report; the second prolonged its sittings for two years, at a cost
of some $40,000 to the country. What remains of the labours of those
Commissions beyond the items of their cost in the public accounts? The
report of the second Commission was contained in two bulky volumes. The
record of an attempt for party ends to blast the reputation of men who
had given the best years of their lives to the performance of public
duty. When this report was considered it was held to be so valueless
that it has never been circulated.

In Canada we enjoy a liberal constitution, and it may be affirmed that
it is the only principle of authority which, as a people, we would
tolerate. It cannot, however, be said that in its present form our
system of government is an unmixed blessing.

We may ask if representative government is ever to be inseparable from
the defects which form the most striking feature in its application
and administration, especially on this continent. Must a country
constitutionally governed be inevitably ranged into two hostile camps?
One side denouncing their opponents and defaming the leading public
men of the other, not hesitating even to decry and misrepresent the
very resources of the community and to throw obstacles in the way of
its advancement. Never was partyism more abject or remorseless. Its
exigencies are unblushingly proclaimed to admit the most unscrupulous
tactics and the most reprehensible proceedings. Is there no escape
from influences so degrading to public life and so hurtful to national

It is evident that the evils which we endure are, day by day, extending
a despotism totally at variance with the theory and principles of
good government. Possibly Canada may be passing through a phase in
the earlier stage of her political freedom. Can we cheer ourselves
by the hope that institutions inherently good will clear themselves
from the slough into which they unfortunately may be immersed? May not
the evils of partyism at last become so intensified that their climax
will produce a remedy. As by natural laws a liquid in the process of
fermentation purifies itself by throwing off the scum and casting the
dregs to the bottom, so may we be encouraged to believe that we are
approaching the turning period in the political system we have fallen
into, and that year by year Parliament will become less and less a
convention of contending party men and be elevated to its true position
in the machinery of representative government. Public life will then
become more ennobling; it will, indeed, be an object of ambition for
men of honour and character to fill places in the Councils of the
Nation, when rectitude of purpose and patriotism and truth will be
demanded in all and by all who aspire to positions of national trust
and dignity.

From the earliest days of my connection with the Pacific Railway I felt
convinced of its national necessity. If the North-West country was
to become a part of the Dominion vigorous efforts for its settlement
were necessary. Among the facilities to be given to the immigrant one
of the most important was that of obtaining a means of ingress and a
market for his produce. Taking the geographical central position of
the country it was not enough to have completed a connection in one
direction. If, in due time, a market was open to the Atlantic, it
appeared equally essential that an outlet to the Pacific should be
obtained. It was clearly foreseen that the only true principle on which
the line could be constructed was to form a connection equally with the
valley of the St. Lawrence and with the Pacific Ocean.

This view was not generally entertained. There were many who readily
admitted that the Railway should be carried across from Red River to
Lake Superior, to find an outlet to the East by the St. Lawrence.
For without such a connection no Canadian character would have been
given to the line, and freight and passengers equally would have been
diverted to St. Paul and Chicago, to be engulfed in the United States
system of railways. But while such as these recognized the commercial
and political wants of a line from the interior to Lake Superior, there
were many who saw no advantage in its Eastern extension along the north
shore of Lake Superior, to connect with the lines in operation to the
East. It was held that the Railway should terminate at Lake Superior.
It was argued that from May to the month of November navigation is open
for vessels to proceed by the lakes and the St. Lawrence; and that
during the remaining five months of the year it was contended that
connection could be obtained by passing over the Canadian frontier to
St. Paul and by following the railways eastwards. It was remembered
that Montreal had been many years without a winter port, and that
no practical inconvenience by that arrangement had followed. On the
contrary, that every convenience had resulted, and for the five winter
months the limited travel of that period had been profitably directed
through the United States Railways to Portland. Very many, therefore,
argued that the line should stop at Port Arthur, and that the
completion of the portion on the north shore of Lake Superior should
be postponed for an indefinite period. I have always held a different
opinion. My theory, from the first, has been that the construction of a
Pacific Railway meant the construction of the whole Railway.

If Canada had held the sovereignty of the south shore of Lake Superior
or controlled the railways in operation by the South Shore, there
was much plausibility in the argument that the several links should
be connected by the completion of the parts wanting, and that this
route should be followed for a quarter of a century or until a large
increase of population called for the construction of the line along
the north shore of Lake Superior. But all lines south of the lake
pass through the States of Michigan and Minnesota. Any diplomatic
difficulty would at once be felt in this direction. We were, by such
a policy, creating for ourselves a weak spot to be felt on the least
strain in our relations with our neighbours. That it is not a fanciful
supposition may be found in President Grant’s proposition to Congress
in his annual message of 1880. In alluding to the course taken by the
Canadian authorities in seeking to protect the inshore fisheries of
the Dominion and to the Statute passed by Parliament in that intent,
General Grant makes the following deliberate proposal to Congress:
“I recommend you to confer upon the Executive the power to suspend
by proclamation the operation of the laws authorizing the transit of
goods, wares and merchandise in bond across the territory of the United
States to Canada; and, further, should such an extreme measure become
necessary, to suspend the operation of any laws whereby the vessels of
the Dominion of Canada are permitted to enter the waters of the United

Such language as this is a threat of no slight moment, and its record
is a warning both so powerful and unmistakeable as not to allow it to
pass without providing against the contingency of its future execution.
With a summer route by water _via_ Port Arthur and a winter railway
line through the United States to Winnipeg, encouragement would be
offered to the United States Government on the slightest provocation,
to repeat the language of General Grant, and for Congress to carry it
into effect. Without a connection on the north shore of Lake Superior
we would have possessed but a shadow of a line, which an hour’s
declaration of unfriendliness would have nullified. Even in summer
Canada would be practically cut in two, for the canal overcoming the
Rapids of Sault St. Mary, at the outlet of Lake Superior, is in the
State of Michigan. With the connection completed from Ottawa we are
perfectly independent of any diplomatic strain on our relations.
Possibly the cost of our freedom from this risk may be some millions
of dollars, but it is precisely the situation when cost cannot be

Some attempt has been made to cumber the problem by assertions of the
bleak and barren character of the intervening distance from Callander
to Port Arthur. One important industry is certainly ministered to by
this line: that of the lumber trade. At a period when some of the old
fields of enterprise have ceased to furnish the timber supply of former
days, all the territory where the waterfall runs away from the Ottawa
will be directly served by this line, and an opportunity for working
it opened up. It is also confidently affirmed that the mineral wealth
of the territory is great and that in no long period many important
industries will arise in connection with its development.

The British Columbia terminus of the Pacific Railway involved many
considerations and it could not at once be determined. At any early
stage of our proceedings it was expedient to adopt a pass through the
mountains which would admit of a connection with any one of the many
harbours advocated. The Yellow Head Pass was the only one to meet this
condition; it was attended also with the accompanying advantage that
the line from Red River to this locality passed through the heart of
the best land in the North-West. It has been designated the fertile
belt; a fact, I believe, indisputable. On both sides of the proposed
line the land was marked by great productive qualities; the soil was
considered, in every respect, suitable for agricultural purposes.
Moreover, the line so projected ran within easy reach of the extreme
Peace River District, by some reported to be the most fertile of the
North-West. It was these reasons, its low elevation and its freedom
from objectionable features of climate, which led to the almost
universal recognition of the excellency of the Yellow Head Pass. I have
not seen it necessary to modify the views which, under the aspect in
which it was selected, I then expressed concerning it. I still regard
it as peculiarly favourable, and under that aspect superior to every
other passage through the mountains to the south or to the north.

When the Railway Company entered into their contract with the
Government and assumed the work of construction, the conditions under
which the consideration of the location presented themselves were no
longer the same. Port Moody, Burrard Inlet, had been definitely chosen
as the terminus, and construction had commenced between Kamloops and
Port Moody, that distance being the extent of line which the Government
undertook to complete. To the East the line between Lakes Superior and
Winnipeg was also being pushed forward with vigour by the Government.
The problem which the Company had to solve was the location between
Winnipeg and Kamloops. They have considered it on the principle of
obtaining the shortest trans-continental route, and in these few
words they explain the theory of their selection. They claim that this
reason, in itself, is all powerful to determine the location by the
more southern route which they follow, and one in itself sufficient to
meet any objection urged against it.

In the earlier pages of this volume I described the soil of the country
west of Winnipeg through which the Railway has been constructed, and I
expressed my opinion as to its capability for agricultural development.
It is generally conceded that for four hundred miles, to Moose Jaw,
it is of great fertility. I could not learn one unfavourable view of
any portion of this extent with the most trifling exception. The whole
distance may be said to be entirely free from that sterile, forbidding
surface soil which passes under the name of waste land.

There is by no means the same unanimity of opinion regarding the
country from Moose Jaw to Calgary. Travellers and land jobbers in
Winnipeg described it to me as a semi-desert. I came to a different
conclusion. I was surprised, from what I heard, to find the soil
such as I have described it. I am satisfied that the same land in
the climate of the farming districts of England and Scotland would
produce the most luxuriant crops. I will not compare it in character
to the land away to the north on the route by Edmonton. In many places
I found the pasture short and dried brown, as it is often to be seen
in the best districts of Ontario at the end of August, the period
of the year I passed through the North-West. The fears which I heard
expressed respecting an insufficient rainfall exacted more attention,
for without moisture even good soil will bring only indifferent crops.
This important consideration, however, will soon be brought within
the domain of fact. The railway company has commenced a series of
experimental operations, breaking up the land and bringing it under
cultivation in the neighbourhood of the stations in those localities
where any doubt has been expressed of the character of the soil.

I have crossed the continent on the four different lines now known, and
to a certain extent can contrast the features of the country and its
fertility as they are represented on each line by such an examination
as I could make. We have, likewise, the known opinions of each separate
route by those familiar with it. So some fair ground of comparison
exists as to their characteristics:--

  1. The Central and Union Pacific from Omaha to San Francisco;

  2. The Northern Pacific from St. Paul _via_ Portland, Oregon, to
     Puget Sound;

  3. The Canadian Pacific from Lake Superior to Port Moody by the
     Kicking-Horse, Rogers and Eagle Passes;

  4. The line originally surveyed from Lake Superior to Port Moody
     by the North Saskatchewan and Yellow Head Pass.

Speaking generally, the country traversed by these lines is the least
valuable on the most southern and increases in value as the lines run
through the more northern country.

The best land is undoubtedly to be met on the line through the valley
of the North Saskatchewan, leading to the Yellow Head Pass. The most
indifferent is the Central Pacific at the south. The Northern Pacific
line passes through a better country than the latter, but is again
greatly inferior to the land between Winnipeg and Calgary, which I
cannot recognize as so good as on the more northern route.

The engineering character of the four trans-continental routes may in
some respects be judged by the mountain summits passed over.

The Central and Union Pacific Railway passes over four main summits at
intervals apart of from 300 to 400 miles; the lowest of which is 6,120
feet, the highest is 8,240 above sea level.

The Northern Pacific line passes over two summits 120 miles apart,
reaching elevations of 5,547 and 5,572 feet.

The Canadian Pacific Railway, by the route followed on the recent
journey, has the Bow River summit, 5,300 feet, and the Rogers summit,
4,600 feet above sea level. The latter summit may, however, be entirely
avoided by following the River Columbia, a _detour_ which would
somewhat lengthen the line.

The one main summit on the line by the North Saskatchewan is at the
Yellow Head Pass, 3,720 feet above tide water.

As nearly as can be ascertained, the lengths of the four lines are as
follows: From Montreal to Port Moody by the Yellow Head Pass 2,940
miles, and by the route adopted 2,890 miles. From New York to Tacoma by
the Northern Pacific 3,380 miles, and from New York to San Francisco
by the Central Pacific 3,270 miles. It thus appears that the railway
through Canada will be 380 and 490 miles shorter between ocean ports
than the other lines established through the United States.

The Canadian Pacific, now in process of construction, has this
remarkable peculiarity: it is unsurpassed in the variety and
magnificence of its scenery. Between Calgary and Kamloops we meet a
group of bold, striking combinations of rivers and mountains, not
yielding in any way to the scenery of Switzerland, so often visited and
described. I have not myself seen the Yosemite Valley, but, judging
from the photographs which are well known, my experience suggests
that there are scores of places in the mountain zone to be made
accessible by the Canadian Pacific equally as striking and marked by
as much beauty. They only require to be known to obtain a world-wide
fame. There are also some localities near the north shore of Lake
Superior possessing attractive scenery of a different character. It
is therefore suggested that the opportunity for establishing one or
more national parks or domains should not be neglected. Two such Parks
of ample dimensions, one to the east and the other to the west, might
now be selected. The most easterly should undoubtedly embrace Lake
Nepigon, to the north of Lake Superior, and the other should take in
possibly one hundred miles square of the finest mountain scenery in
the Rocky Mountain zone. Such parks, with the marked salubrity of the
climate, would attract visitors to frequent them. Rendered perfectly
easy of access by the Railway, and with assurance that the life to be
found there was marked by comfort at no extravagant cost, these resorts
would, especially in the heat of summer, bring many within their
boundaries on the score of health and recreation. Sportsmen and crowds
of tourists would flock thither, some to hunt the grizzly, the cariboo
or the bighorn, others to fish the splendid speckled trout to be found
in the mountain streams; many with alpenstock in hand to climb the
glacier-covered heights, and all to enjoy the pure air and the charm
of the scenery and the striking features of natural beauty nowhere
else to be seen. Every year a limited expenditure in forming roads and
bridle paths to the remote sections would render the localities more
and more attractive. In no long time all the aid that art could furnish
would be manifested in developing the landscape and in establishing
retreats of quiet and repose amid some of the grandest scenes of wild
nature. Evidently such improvements, being in the common interest, they
should in some degree be borne by the Dominion. In itself it would be a
national matter. It would require no large expenditure; the development
should be gradual and systematic, and in a few years the Dominion
would possess attractive spots of the rarest picturesque scenery, to
be ranked among those remarkable localities which all look upon with
pleasure, and which, by the number of strangers who would visit them
would become a source of general profit. It is scarcely possible to
estimate the amount of money circulated in this form in Switzerland.
It really forms no inconsiderable part of the annual revenue of the
Republic. Once a route of travel and centres of attraction of this
character are established with ourselves, the profit derived would
be equally considerable; and, taking the question in its commercial
aspect, would repay any moderate outlay so incurred.

One important result of more than ordinary Imperial interest is
attained by the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Halifax,
with its admirable harbour, is the headquarters of the North American
fleet, and its dockyard is furnished with every accessory for refitting
and repair. If the British fleet is to rendezvous in Pacific waters,
it must be plain that the same opportunities for repair and renewal
of stores must be extended, and in proportion that the distance from
England is greater the more positive demand exists for a completely
equipped dockyard on the Pacific Coast.

Naval and military men have come to the one conclusion on the subject:
that the Imperial Dockyard should be as near as practicable to the
terminus of the Railway. Indeed it must be evident to all, that where
there is a naval station with war vessels on active service there must
be the means of refitting and renovation, in a location central and
accessible, and one perfectly defensible. It is held that the dockyard
should be on an efficient scale, so that a ship of war which has
found refuge in port, whatever her condition, can be replaced in her
integrity and made completely serviceable.

Captain Colomb, in reference to Imperial and Colonial responsibility
in war, has remarked “That an absolute and pressing necessity exists
for the erection of a great Imperial dockyard at the other side of the
world which would relieve the pressure on home dockyards, and fulfil
duties they cannot in war perform, and in peace offer commercial
advantages of construction and repair to ships of the mercantile
marine.” The advantages of a naval station in British Columbia extends
beyond the mere repairing and refitting of vessels. They can be best
set forth in the words of Admiral Mayne, who reports that with respect
to the fleet in Chinese waters:--“Our ships there, which are sometimes
almost disabled from sickness, could reach the healthy climate of
Vancouver in six weeks, and might, if required, be relieved by vessels
of the Pacific Squadron. Vessels have been ordered to Esquimault from
China with crews greatly debilitated, and afterwards returned with all
hands in perfect health.”

However well situated Esquimault may be for a Sanitorium, it cannot be
looked upon as offering equally the proper site for a naval arsenal.
Esquimault was selected, it is said, at mere haphazard for the purpose
of an hospital during the Crimean war. It is an exposed situation, and
its defence is complicated by the position of the city of Victoria in
the neighbourhood.

The construction of the railway, with its terminus established at Port
Moody, has totally changed all the circumstances which hitherto had
obtained prominence. It is now held that the naval dockyard should be
on Burrard Inlet, near the terminus. The site has been pointed out by
Major-General Lawrie and advocated by him in a carefully written paper,
in which both the question of the necessity of such a dockyard and the
site itself are fully discussed.

The spot on Burrard Inlet described by General Lawrie, is held to be
eligible in every point of view. It is defensible by land and by sea,
with good anchorage in front. It is situated on the north shore, west
of the North Arm, so far within the Inlet as to be unassailable by
cruisers, except at the risk of their total destruction, unapproachable
by surprise by land, and in close proximity to the terminus of the
railway; while at the mouth of the Inlet batteries can be constructed
to make entry next to impossible. It must also be borne in mind that
Burrard Inlet is directly opposite to the coal fields of Nanaimo.
Coal is even to be found on Burrard Inlet itself, and in modern
naval warfare coal is an important article of equipment. Indeed,
it may be said to take priority; for without fuel no vessel of
modern construction can move from her anchorage. The supply of coal,
therefore, becomes of primary consideration, and the source where it
can be obtained is of special value and has jealously to be protected.

These views of naval and military men have been widely echoed by all
who have studied the question. It is on all sides an accepted opinion
that with the completion of the Railway, bringing British Columbia
within twelve or fifteen days of England, the terminus on Burrard Inlet
becomes the most important strategic centre on the Pacific Ocean.



  England and Canada--Old and New Colonial Systems--Political
    Exigencies--The High Commissioners--Lord Lorne’s Views--The
    Future--The French Element in Canada--Colonial Federation--The
    Larger Union.

Scarcely a season passes without the production of some volume of
startling adventures. If romance of incidents have been sought in these
pages the result must have been disappointing. Nevertheless I venture
to think that the described journey, embracing one hundred and twenty
degrees of longitude, which I twice passed over in seventeen weeks,
must have some interest to many who are identified with the growth and
development of the Empire.

If I have any dominant thought in putting these pages into type,
it is the hope that they may aid, in however humble a manner, in
placing in prominence the close relationship between Great Britain and
British North America, and in showing how firmly and permanently it
may be established. Inferentially, it may be said that the feeling
of attachment to the Mother Land, which is blended with hope for the
future, is not confined to the Dominion alone, but is common to all the
outlying Provinces, in whatsoever quarter of the globe they may be.

The part which Canada has to play in the aggregation of States which
constitute the British Empire is a subject which has constantly
crossed my mind when engaged on these notes. It is a subject which I
can only approach with diffidence. Until late years there has been
an active Imperial minority who estimate the value of colonies by a
narrow standard. They regard them simply as possessions beyond the
sea which, when they cease to yield direct returns of profit, should
be considered as so many sources of weakness. It was not only with
complacency that men of this stamp viewed their possible separation
from the Imperial relationship; but they advocated a severance of the
connection equally as a benefit to the community to be cut adrift as
to the Mother Country, which would thus be relieved of an embarrassing
and unprofitable responsibility. The early difficulties which were
experienced in some of the colonies arose mainly from the blunders
and mismanagement due to the fact that the principles of colonial
government were misunderstood. The second Pitt was one of the first
boldly to advance the theory that the gift of self-government to the
colonies would serve to attach them to the Mother Country, and Fox
gave expression to his conviction that the only method of retaining
them was to enable them to govern themselves.

The old colonial system has passed away. It is now forty years since
virtual self-government was given to Canada. The Colonial Legislatures
became supreme in all matters which bore on national life within their
geographical limits. The only attempt at control exercised has been on
those points of legislation which had an Imperial bearing.

Since the days when the Colonial House of Assembly possessed the
power of directing its own local affairs there has been an end of the
heart-burnings and disputes which were never absent on any assertion
of Downing street control. The concession of self-government in a
few years not only quieted the public mind concerning much which had
agitated it, but it admitted the settlement of the most difficult
questions, such as the Seigniorial Tenure in French Canada and the
advance of money on municipal security. It enabled each successive
administration to devote its energies to the establishment of the great
public works necessary to open out important lines of communication.
The true principle of colonial government has thus been realized. Great
Britain has adopted as a fixed policy and has faithfully adhered to the
principle of giving to her colonies of European races, equally with the
United Kingdom, the fullest liberty of self-government, entailing upon
them the wise observance of their political duties. As a consequence
a totally new character has been given to Provincial aspirations.
The principle, even with enlarged powers, has been extended to the
Confederated Provinces of the Dominion. Many prominent men have
advocated an extension of the system. They claim that the Dominion
should be represented in the Imperial Parliament. The difficulty must
always exist that the Canadian, as a representative of his own country,
cannot with propriety interfere with questions affecting the domestic
and political condition of the people of the British Isles. Their
internal affairs can only be constitutionally controlled by their own
representatives in parliament at Westminster. The Canadian’s interests
are assured by his own institutions. It is the Parliament at Ottawa
which controls the laws of the Dominion. Those who dwell in the United
Kingdom might equally claim to interfere in the legislation of this
country as the Canadian to vote on laws in the working of which he
has no direct interest. It would be at variance with all right for
a representative from this side of the Atlantic to cast a vote on
questions of taxation and expenditure to which the Dominion in no way

It is only step by step that human institutions adapt themselves to
political exigencies. The advance of opinion is slow. All change is
pertinaciously resisted. The British Constitution has grown and been
developed from the first century of its existence. It may not always
have kept pace with the progress of events, but the advance has been
steadily in the direction of good government. Why should it cease to
adapt itself to human requirements? As the world moves onwards it will
doubtless continue to expand and to improve, and as circumstances
demand its elasticity will admit of extension. Certainly there are
wonderful progressive agencies now at work, and the conditions of
life are changing every year. We cannot doubt that some political
organization will be arrived at by which the various units which
make up the Empire, while maintaining full control over their own
local affairs, will be held together by an alliance founded on mutual
affection and a consensus of belief in the common benefit which all

In the mean time matters cannot be left to chance, and the best
possible provision must be made by which the Dominion may be
represented at the Imperial centre. To a great extent the void is
supplied by the presence in London of a High Commissioner. He is a
member of the Canadian Privy Council and can speak with authority on
the part of the Ministry of which, to some extent, he is a member.
All special representations can be clearly and lucidly submitted
through him, while he can receive and forward those confidential
communications which are made public only when it is expedient to
publish them. There is here a guarantee against misrepresentation or
misunderstanding on both sides by means of an organization which is
simple and natural.

In his address to the Royal Colonial Institute Lord Lorne referred
to the appointment of a High Commissioner, resident in London,
representing the Dominion. He alluded to it as “by far the most
important event which has occurred in the colonial history of the last
few years. As the first step taken by a colony and cordially accepted
by the Imperial authorities,” to lead to an arrangement by which the
Imperial policy will be directly guided.

Lord Lorne in no way overvalues the importance of the presence at the
Imperial centre of a High Commissioner of ability and experience. The
Dominion thus represented can submit on all occasions precise and
correct information, and in matters of treaty with foreign powers can
set before the Imperial authorities the considerations which directly
affect our interests. We have but to think of what we suffered through
the ignorance displayed during the Ashburton negotiations leading to a
treaty which, in its disastrous features, could not be repeated to-day.

Until late years, except the few who by some strange chance obtained
the official ear, the Canadian entrusted with official business with
the home government felt that he was not included in the circles and
courtesies of diplomacy. Then the ordinary Canadian who was present
in London was made painfully to feel that he was far less favourably
placed than the actual foreigner. The citizen of a foreign state had
his Embassy to which he could address himself, but the Colonial Office
seemed to have the door barred against the Colonist.

If the teaching of history has any weight the barriers between the
British people on the two sides of the Atlantic should be entirely
removed. By the appointment of a High Commissioner the connection
between the Empire and Canada, so far as the individual is concerned,
becomes more real. The great truth to bring to the mind of the Canadian
who sets his foot on the soil of the parent state, be it England,
Ireland or Scotland, is that it is his home; that he is in much the
same position as he would occupy in any Province of his own land.

The office of the High Commissioner is common ground whereon all may
meet. At this centre the Canadian registers his name, and his address
is known to all who ask for it. It is at this office that all enquiries
about him can be made. He is personally and cordially welcomed. His
letters may be directed to the office. His friends may meet him in
the public room as if in a national club. He is in the midst of all
information, and if his business partakes of a public character he
is on the spot where its bearings can best be learned. If he has
legitimate claims to be brought into official relations with some
Departmental Head the High Commissioner is present to obtain for him
an audience. The days are gone when a Canadian of credit and _status_
was placed in a position inferior to that of a visitor from a foreign

There are many ways in which the High Commissioner can assist the views
of those visiting England. He can intervene even in the courtesies
of life. Cabinet Ministers in London have but twenty-four hours in a
day, like other folk, and, similar to the Governor General, no one
of them can hold himself at the beck of the first comer asking for
an interview. But there are many duties in life performed from self
respect and not through the prospect of profit. Few men of any position
in Canada visit Ottawa without leaving their names in the visitors’
book of the Governor General, even when it is impossible that the least
attention can be extended to them. So in London it would be a courtesy
to inscribe your name in the book of the Minister in whom Colonial
interests centre. On the other hand, it could not be but agreeable to
him to receive this act of homage from a Transatlantic British subject.
To all of us with any right feeling it is no little of a pleasure to
testify our respect even in this unpretending manner.

I have thought that it would be by no means without advantage if,
during the sitting of Parliament, and periodically when in London, the
Colonial Minister held an occasional _levee_, where colonists could be
presented by some responsible personage. With us the High Commissioner
would be held to introduce any one entitled to the distinction. The
presentation would be itself sufficient guarantee of respectability
everywhere exacted. The reception might be monthly, and no Minister
of the Crown could devote a few hours in a twelve months to a more
important purpose. The proceeding would be simple and without cost,
and it would be productive of good. It would establish the fact that
there exists a strong ground of sympathy which unites the members
of a common Empire. There is no feeling so paralyzing as that which
makes us think we are held in indifference. Turning back no great
number of years in the history of Canada, a feeling had crept on many
of us that the Mother Country had become completely careless whether
we remained within the fold of her Empire or passed out of it. Owing
largely however to the social and statesmanlike qualities of the two
last Governors-General that feeling has passed away. We do not now
view ourselves in that dreary and disheartening condition. It may be
said that there is much of sentiment in all this; but sentiment plays
a stronger part in national feeling than the mere _doctrinaire_ will
admit. No true statesman will ignore the fact. There are few who
possess the slightest knowledge of history but must recognize the
presence and strength of sentiment in national life. In Canada we
feel that from England have sprung all true theories of liberty and
personal freedom which have so much advanced the world. Not even the
Roman citizen in the best days of the Empire could feel greater pride
than any one of us in the possession of the right of declaring himself
a British subject. The sentence itself is, as it were, the aegis under
which he is protected and by which he is included in the first rank of
national honour.

All that can be said respecting the degree of relationship between
Canada and the Mother Country applies with equal force to the
connection between every British possession and the Imperial centre.

Lord Lorne, in his address before the Royal Colonial Institute, has
dwelt upon this subject with much power.

  “These islands have thirty-five millions of people, Canada has
  now about five millions, Australia will soon have four millions.
  Britain has, for the small area she possesses, great resources in
  coal and other wealth, but it may be well for her to remember how
  little of the earth’s surface she possesses in comparison with her
  children. The area of Canada and of the Australian States is so
  vast, the fertility of the soil is so remarkable, the healthfulness
  of their climate is so well proved, and the rapid increase of
  their white population is so certain that within the lifetime of
  the children of gentlemen here present their numbers will equal
  our own. In another century they must be greatly superior to us
  in men and material of wealth. How foolish, therefore, will our
  successors in England deem us to have been if we do not meet to the
  fullest degree possible the wishes of those growing States. They
  have a filial affection for their Fatherland. They will retain a
  brother’s feeling for us if we are friendly to them in the critical
  time of their coming manhood. Days may arrive when we shall implore
  their assistance, and when the alliance of those Powers, grown into
  maturity and strength, and under very possible circumstances the
  strong arbiters of our own destinies, shall be ours through the
  wisdom we may show to-day.”

That a closer union between the different outlying members of the
Empire and the parent land is desirable, has passed beyond the stage of
argument. The basis on which the relationship will rest is certain and
known. It is that of affection and common interest. It may, however, be
difficult to define the precise arrangement by which its accomplishment
can be attained. The unity of the Empire is one of the leading
considerations of the day. Its dismemberment cannot be thought of. Even
in those more general interests which are common to the whole human
race, it is desirable that this vast Empire, marked by progress and
humanity of purpose, should be maintained in its integrity; an Empire
world-wide in its extent, with a population of three hundred millions
of souls.

All the difficulties which naturally lie in the way of
inter-communication between these scattered possessions have been
removed by science. The ocean is the common link of intercourse, and
because it is so constituted Great Britain must remain its mistress to
safeguard it.

If it be a marked feeling of this common nationality that a firm union
should knit together into one whole the several separated communities,
to each one there must be assigned special duties and functions, which
may be difficult but yet must be quite possible to determine when all
are animated by one dominant sentiment.

Lord Lorne conceives that a legislative union would be impracticable.
At the same time he favours an organization in which the Mother Country
and each division of the Empire would meet as a collective body. Each
self-governing colony or group of colonies might be represented by
their High Commissioner or by members appointed on some established
principle. In allusion to this consideration Lord Lorne adds:--

  “Your diplomacy in commercial matters must take into account
  the vastness of Imperial sway, and it must be thoroughly
  representative, not of this little island only, but of the great
  continents or parts of continents which are content to be under
  the same flag with you for the sake of mutual advantage. It must
  be an Imperial, not alone a British, Commission which discusses
  trade arrangements. The confederation of the Empire, which has
  been spoken of as possible in the future, must be expressed by no
  central and unwieldy parliament, representing lands separated from
  each other by the width of the world; but it must be represented by
  a council of envoys, who, by working together for each part, may
  consummate treaties and enforce agreements. No country like Canada
  would now allow the out-voting of her representatives which would
  take place in a parliament in London.”

It has been remarked that the Empire must maintain its naval supremacy,
and in this policy the Dominion, with her recognized nursery for seamen
can render important service.[L]

The great importance of this principle rises into special prominence
when we bear in mind that the opening of the Railway to the Pacific
will lead to a great increase of British mercantile marine in these
waters. The construction of a system of submarine telegraphs will also
follow at an early day. They will be established across the ocean
to Japan and connect with China. They will be extended to India, to
Australia and New Zealand. Great Britain may then be in close relations
with her possessions in every quarter of the globe by lines of
communication under the protection of her flag without passing through
an acre of foreign soil.

Egypt, owing to its geographical relationship with India and Australia,
is constantly a source of anxiety. Lord Wolseley gave as his opinion
that the destruction of the Suez canal could be effected by the
means of a few old canal boats loaded with stone or one effective
torpedo exploded in a well selected spot. Notes of warning in other
forms have frequently been given. Three years ago an insurrection in
Egypt, out of the fold of Imperial policy, but claiming consideration
from the aspect it assumed with regard to Indian interests exacted
British interference. Two-thirds of the available naval power of Great
Britain was called into service to keep open the canal. Given then the
possibility that the canal may at any hour be rendered unnavigable and
the telegraph destroyed, what other conclusion can there be than the
words of Lord Wolseley, that it is suicidal to depend on the route
through Egypt as the means of communication with the East.

The Imperial character which this consideration gives to the lines of
communication now being constructed by Canada is indisputable. They
offer a constant reliable communication with the Eastern possessions of
Great Britain when European complications shall assume a threatening
attitude, or when Egyptian difficulties have led to the stoppage of
the navigation of the Suez Canal. Canada will consequently add greatly
to the common safety by the completion of her national Railway from
the Atlantic to the Pacific seaboard. Its two termini have the common
excellence of possessing within command inexhaustible coal deposits,
where ships may be supplied and naval arsenals may be established on
any scale. The Railway itself passes through a territory a great part
of which east of the Rocky Mountains is not surpassed in fertility by
any soil in the world, while immediately north of the line the fertile
belt presents a field for immigration for centuries, where bread and
butchers’ meat will be plentifully produced to meet the most extended
requirements which the future may create. I have described the changes
which have taken place in a few months, even under my own eyes, along
the line. What districts of population and cultivation a few years of
prosperity may create is beyond calculation.

We are taught by history that some four centuries back Columbus
discovered this western land. But Cabot,[M] of English birth, and under
the English flag, was absolutely the first to land on the continent. We
owe to another nation the early knowledge we possess of a large extent
of Canada. The French were the first to penetrate the valley of the
Saint Lawrence to the limit it is naturally navigable.

All nations are influenced by the events which they experience, and no
people were more moulded into a new development than the Anglo-Saxon
race in the Eleventh century, when the Norman crossed the channel
and wrung the sovereignty of the country from the reigning monarch.
Traces of customs, of laws, of thought, of language, of feeling, of
the character of those earlier centuries still remain. But in a few
generations the descendants of those who fought in the battle near
Hastings had no sentiment but for English soil. They had ceased to be
Norman, and it was by the children of the conquering race that the
liberties of the country were affirmed in the Great Charter.

In the Province of Quebec there yet remains the unmistakeable impress
of its early settlement: of those Normans and Bretons who settled
on the shores of the St. Lawrence and in Acadia, and of those who
claim ancestry with the noble race which, south and east of the
Loire, extending to Rochelle, so constantly battled for freedom of
thought. One hundred and twenty years have passed since the last
remnant of the power of France disappeared from the northern part of
the continent. Great changes have taken place within this period. It
was only step by step, in confusion and difficulty, that the present
system of self-government became established: a truth evolved out of
much complication and from want of the comprehension of Imperial and
Colonial relations. The effect has been of imperfect accomplishment
in much. This positive good has, however, been achieved, even if in
other respects the consummation has been incomplete. The whole of the
inhabitants of the several Provinces are united by the one feeling of
advancing the common prosperity, and the French Canadian is found in
the advanced ranks when the progress of the whole Dominion is in any
way concerned.

Of the five great colonial empires which arose in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and Great
Britain, the British Empire is the only one which survives. The
remaining powers possess but a few remnants of their once outstanding
colonies. No one of them retains the character of its former strength.
The loss of the thirteen colonies of North America a century back by
Great Britain was a wound to the national greatness which it was feared
by many would never be healed. It was a serious and painful separation
which prudence and good government might have averted.

It is often no little of a benefit to each of us to pass through
tribulation. Equally so with communities. The Mother Country in this
struggle had much to unlearn before her possessions were wisely
governed. It took nearly seventy years before the lesson bore fruit.
But thoughtful men, step by step, won adherence to their sound policy.
We have its result in the present prosperous condition of the Outer
Empire, which now, apart from India, contains ten millions of the
European race, little less than the population of the British Isles at
the period of the American war.

In the last century powerful antagonistic forces were in operation:
religious disabilities, commercial restrictions, a narrow franchise,
an imperfect parliamentary representation, unwise trade regulations.
Discontent followed. It was the interference with the commerce of
Massachusetts with the West Indies which was one of the first causes
of the severance of good feeling, so soon to be transformed into
bitterness and hate. That these grievances no longer exist and that the
several British Provinces enjoy free institutions, which it is to be
hoped they will learn wisely to work; all this dates from that terrible
struggle. Probably the lesson was only the better remembered that it
was taught in blood and suffering.

No such repelling forces now exist. The causes of dissension have
passed into oblivion. Commerce, science and increased intelligence
have relieved the problem from the features which disfigured it. The
Atlantic has ceased to be a cause of separation. It is a pertinent
query, had these new conditions prevailed a century back, whether the
Declaration of Independence would ever have been written.

The American revolution divided the history of the English speaking
race into two streams. What will be their future course? They cannot
flow in opposite directions. Are there any influences which will lead
them insensibly to gravitate one to the other, until in process of
years the waters will blend?

We may assert thus far, that however we may be unable to forecast the
future, we can trace at this date an assimilation of thought in much,
which a few years back could meet on no common ground. Such a result
is visible on many occasions and in a thousand ways. In the words of
Commodore Tattnall, who went to our rescue at the Pei-ho forts, “Blood
is thicker than water.” On all sides the movement is convergent.

The diffusion of the English race and the English language over the
face of the globe is a result without a parallel. When Columbus and
Cabot crossed the Atlantic the number of the English people equalled
proximately half the present population of Canada. When Elizabeth
ascended the throne it was about five millions. At the time of the
American revolution the English population in the British Isles and in
North America together numbered fifteen millions. The English-speaking
population in all parts of the globe has now increased to a hundred
millions, nearly equally divided between England, her Colonies and the
United States.

The progress and well-being of the world is largely dependent on
the prosperity and harmony of this rapidly increasing branch of the
human family. That any of its elements should disintegrate, or
that antagonism should take the form of hostility, is painful even
to contemplate. There are no signs of any such tendency. There is a
natural affinity existing between the children of the one parentage,
with substantially the same theories of human duty, with the like
interests in the progress of art and science, by which our comforts
are multiplied and human happiness increased. They enjoy equally free
institutions, speak one language, with one literature, with common
traditions, with a history one and the same for nearly the whole of the
nineteen Christian centuries. The aims of the two great sections of the
race are identical, and whatever political institutions in either case
may prevail, it is an object worthy of the highest ambition of the most
enlightened statesmen to bind these peoples in a perpetual alliance of
union and friendship and common interest.

We may look hopefully to the closer union of all countries where our
language is spoken as a consummation to be desired in the general
interest of mankind. In the meantime as Canadians and British subjects
our first duty is the strengthening and consolidating of the State to
which we owe allegiance. It is the peculiar privilege of Canada to make
manifest her earnest desire to build up and uphold the Empire of which
we are an integral part, an Empire without a parallel in the world’s


    Acadia, 106.

    Acadians called on to take oath, 114;
      deportation of, 108, 115.

    Ainsworth, 361.

    Aix-la-Chapelle, peace of, 113.

    Albany, Duke of, 74.

    Alexander, Sir Wm., 105.

    Alexandra Steamer, 333.

    Aleyn Simon, Vicar of Bray, 77.

    American Bar, London, 74.

    Amherst, N. S., 16.

    American war, its unfortunate character, 437.

    Anne, Queen, her statue, Minehead Church, 82.

    Annapolis, 105;
      Stone inscription, 105 _n_.

    Argall, Capt. Samuel, 105.

    Argyle, Duke of, 36.

    Ashburton treaty, 125;
      its commercial effect, 126.

    Ashcroft, 315.

    Astoria, 342.

    Bad weather at sea, 91.

    Baker Mount, 357.

    Baptiste, 297;
      Guide up Eagle Pass, 302.

    Battle Creek, 235.

    Batt’s Hotel, 41.

    Bear Creek, Selkirk range, 264.

    Beauséjour Fort, N. S., 115.

    Beaver Meadow, Kicking-Horse, 244.

    Beaver River (Columbia River), 250.

    Belleisle, Straits of, 98.

    Beresford, Lord C., R.N., 75.

    Biard, Jesuit, 104.

    Billings Station Irrigation, 370.

    Bismarck, 373.

    Blackfoot Crossing, 218.

    Blanchard, 344.

    Blucher, Marshal, his toast, 113.

    Bluff Lake, Eagle Pass, 300.

    Bois-Brulés, 192.

    Bow River, 222;
      crossing, 224, 226.

    Bozzeman, 368.

    Bozzeman tunnel, 369.

    Brandon, 206.

    Bray, 76.

    British Association, 374;
      its proceedings in Dublin in the matter of a paper on standard
          time, 376.

    Bristol channel, 80.

    British Columbia, 6;
      known as New Caledonia, 342;
      Discovery of gold, 343;
      Political history, 344;
      House of Assembly first called, 344;
      Vancouver Island incorporated with, 345;
      included in Dominion, Number of Senators and members allowed, 345;
      Population, 1870, 346;
      Physical geography, 346;
      Products, 351;
      Scenery, 353;
      Indians, 385.

    British Empire, part which Canada has to take in, 421.

    British family, main characteristics the same, 3.

    Brockville, 144.

    Brophy, Mr., 325.

    Buffalo at Calgary, 226.

    Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, 330.

    Burnside, 204.

    Bury, Lord, 65.

    Brett, John, 103.

    Cabinet Ministers, Imperial, 427.

    Cache Creek, 315.

    Calgary, 219.

    Cambie, H. J., 318, 320.

    Cameron, Duncan, 191.

    Campana, S. S., 150.

    Campbell, Mr., 290.

    Campbellton, N. B., 18.

    Canada influences yet traceable of its early settlement, 435;
      duty to the Empire, 439.

    Canadian Alpine Club, its formation, 269, 301.

    Canadian Camp, Wimbledon, 64.

    Canadian Canals, 133, 140.

    Canadian Government retained portion of the railway work in its
          control, 395.

    Canadian Pacific Railway, its Montreal terminus, 141;
      its branch to Ottawa, 142;
      line to Winnipeg, 171;
      energy in construction of work, 394;
      principle governing location, 405;
      proposition to leave work on north shore Lake Superior
          unfinished, 406;
      positive reasons why that section should be constructed, 407;
      reasons for its present location through mountains, 410;
      height of passes, 413.

    Canadians abroad, 72.

    Cape Breton, 110, & _n_ 113.

    Cariboo waggon road, 319.

    Castle Mountain, 232.

    Cedars, large diameter, 299.

    Central Pacific Railway, 413.

    Chalmers, Colonel, 19.

    Champlain, Samuel, 103, 129;
      knew of Lake Superior, 162.

    Chaplin Station, 210.

    Charles I., 105.

    Chinamen, 316.

    Church service on Polynesian, 93.

    Clark’s Fork Valley, 366.

    Climate British Columbia, 346.

    Clyde River, 132.

    Cobourg, 145.

    Cochrane Ranche, 224.

    Collingwood, 151.

    Colonial Government, true principles of, 422.

    Colomb, Captain, 417.

    Columbia River, 253;
      feature of its territory, 257;
      descent to Beaver River, 259;
      junction with Ille-celle-waet, 290;
      not an American citizen north of it in 1846, 364;
      thoroughfare of Hudson’s Bay Co., 364;
      river leaves line Northern Pacific, 364.

    Columbia Valley, 362.

    Commerce (early) of Canada, 139.

    Concert, 99.

    Cook, Captain, coasted Pacific Ocean, 340.

    Corbett’s Eating House, 35.

    Coquetlon River, 328.

    Cornwall, Lt.-Governor, 315.

    Cornwallis, 114.

    Coteau de Missouri, 210.

    Critchelon, Major, 263.

    Croft, Archer, 64.

    Cromwell, Lord Protector, 106.

    Cross Lake, 176.

    Currie, Mr., 290.

    Curry, Thomas, 185.

    Custer Fort, 371.

    Custer, General, his command and its extermination, 371.

    Cypress Station, 212.

    D. Mrs., of Toronto, the one lady at table, 91.

    Dalles, The, 361.

    Dansmuir, Mr., 338.

    Devil’s club, 262;
      poisonous effects, 312.

    Dinner on Steamship, 91.

    Divide Northern Pacific Railway, 367.

    Dominion of Canada, 7.

    Douglas, Fort, 193.

    Douglass, Governor, 343.

    Downing Street in Colonial matters--invariable cause of
          difficulty, 422.

    Drake visits Pacific Ocean, 340.

    Driard House, 338.

    Dry dock--its advantages 416;
      construction recommended at Burrard Inlet, 418.

    Drynock, 316.

    Dufferin Lord, his speeches at Empire Club, 65, 143, 318.

    Dufferin, Lady, 74, 143.

    Du Luth, 163, 180.

    Dunbar, Mr., 228, 230, 235.

    Eagle Lake, 172.

    Eagle Pass, 253, 298, 303.

    Eagle River, 301.

    Engineers, their career, 123;
      cheerfulness under privation, 242.

    English Channel Steamers, 90.

    English Society, its reserve and hospitality, 54.

    English-speaking races, their duties to each other, 437;
      their population, 438;
      happiness and progress of the world dependent on their
          concord, 439.

    Evening on board ship, 88.

    Exmoor, 81.

    Failure in Provision Supply, 291.

    Fargo, 374.

    Fine Weather at Sea, 95.

    Fires, 233, 247.

    Fisheries Exhibition, 72.

    Fisheries, Canadian, 73;
      number engaged on them, 432_n_.

    Fleming, Sandford Hall, 269, 277.

    Fog whistle, 26.

    Forest trees, immense size, 330.

    Fort Colville Indians, 289, 297.

    Fort William, 164, 169.

    Frozen River, 325.

    Frozen Snow, 274.

    Fuca, de, tradition he discovered Vancouver Island, 340.

    Fur trade, 168.

    Gallatin, 368.

    Galinee’s Map, 162.

    Galt, Sir Alexander, 22.

    George, Prince of Wales, 119.

    Georgia, Straits of, 334.

    Georgian Bay, 152, 156.

    Gillam, Capt. Zachariah, 183.

    Glaciers, 240, 265, 273.

    Glasgow, 34, 132.

    Glendine, 372.

    Glyndon, 374.

    Goddard’s Hospital, 76.

    Gold Mining, 174;
      British Columbia, 343.

    Gordon, Willie, 35.

    Graham, Mr., 228.

    Grant, Rev. Dr., 120, 178, 203;
      holds service at Hillsdale, 232;
      holds service at the Columbia, 256;
      loses his watch, 262, 277;
      service on the Ille-celle-waet, 282, 285;
      service at Shuswap Lake, 308, 314, 319, 326;
      leaves for Winnipeg, 374.

    Grant, General, his message to Congress, 407;
      its threat, 408.

    Great Western Railway, England, 55, 80.

    Greenwich hospitality, 71.

    Griffin’s Lake, 304.

    Guildford, Park near, 46.

    Gulf of St. Lawrence, 4.

    Gun shot signals, 288.

    Halifax, its harbour, 11;
      its pleasant society, 13;
      arrived at, 101;
      founded, 114;
      again arrived at, 119;
      a winter shipping port, 134.

    Hall, Rev. C., 24.

    Halliburton, Mr. R. G., 105_n_.

    Hamlin, Mr., 314.

    Hannington, Mr., 317.

    Harrison River, 325.

    Helena, 368.

    Henderson, Sir Edward, 122.

    Henley Regatta, 62.

    Hennepin, Father, 163.

    Henry VIII., 103.

    Heron, 366.

    High Commissioner of Canada, advantages of his presence in London,
          424, 426.

    Hill, Mr., 228.

    Hill, Mr. A. J., 331.

    Hill, Mrs., 332.

    Hillsdale, 228.

    Holte, Mr., 194.

    Hopson, Governor, 114.

    Horses on the route, 241;
      their names, 243;
      unable to proceed further, 274.

    Hudson’s Bay Co., 45, 167, 183;
      admirable treatment of Indians, 382;
      special arrangement of supply, 388.

    Hudson’s Bay Territory, French attempt upon, 184.

    Hunter, Mr. Joseph, 306, 315.

    Hurd, Major, 245, 249.

    Ille-celle-waet, valley of, 272;
      passage through on foot, 276-278;
      painful advance of party, 283;
      Lower Canyon, 285.

    Indian population: its decrease, 381;
      estimated present population of the Provinces of the
          Dominion, 382;
      cost of support by Government, 382;
      difficulties in way of civilization, 384, 391;
      aptitude for many positions, 385;
      those of British Columbia in many respects skilful, 385;
      their love of truth, 387;
      fidelity to engagement, 388;
      measure to be introduced in House of Commons, 390.

    Indians, Blackfoot Crossing, 218.

    Indians, Micmac, New Brunswick, 19.

    Indians, Swift Current, 211.

    Intercolonial Railway: Chief Engineer, 12;
      national work, 135.

    Irving, Mr. Henry, 64.

    Jackass Mountain, 318.

    Jam of Timber, 287.

    James I. at Maidenhead, 78.

    Jesus Hospital, 76.

    Jogues, 168.

    Joliet, 163.

    Kalama, 358.

    Kaministiquia River, 165, 180.

    Kamloops, 311.

    Kamloops Indians, 304.

    Kanaka Bridge, 326.

    Kane’s illness, 234.

    Keefer, Mr. George, 317, 319.

    Kennedy, Governor, 345.

    Kicking-Horse Pass., 287, 366.

    Kingston, 145.

    Kirke’s expedition against Quebec, 105.

    La Corne’s Fort, 115.

    La Jonquiere, 114.

    Lake George, 159.

    Lake Huron, storm, 157.

    Lake St. Peter, 131.

    Lake of the Woods, 174.

    Lake Steamer accommodation, 155.

    Land’s End, 56.

    Land, character of, West of Winnipeg, 411.

    La Salle, 163.

    Lawrence, 108.

    Lawrie, Major-General, recommends Burrard Inlet as site for dry
          dock, 418.

    La Verendrye, his discoveries, 181, 209, 368.

    Leigh Dove, 235, 334.

    Lefroy, General, 381.

    Leopold, H. R. H. Prince, 20.

    Lepage, Madame, 20.

    Lepage, Mr., jun., 100.

    Lery, De, 102.

    Levée suggested: to be held by Imperial Colonial Minister, 423.

    Light, Mr., 122.

    Liverpool, 33, 40.

    Livingstone, 369.

    Location circuitous, 124.

    Locomotives, changes effected by, 397.

    London, its attractions, 44;
      hotel life, 48;
      its heat, 61.

    Longueuil, Baron de, 212.

    Lorne, Lord, 143, 379;
      his views as to the High Commissioner, 425;
      address Colonial Institute, 429;
      his views as to the Imperial connection, 431.

    Louise, H.R.H. Princess, 20, 144;
      at British Columbia, 350, 379.

    Louisbourg taken, 112;
      2nd conquest, 113;
      its destruction, 115.

    Lowell, Mrs., 75.

    Lytton, 316.

    Macdonald, 189.

    Macdonell, Capt. Miles, 189.

    McDougall, 290.

    McDougall, David, 225.

    Mackenzie, Hon. A., 65, 77;
      description of extent of exploration, 400.

    Mackenzie, Sir A., 182;
      discovered Mackenzie River, 342;
      first recorded white man to cross Rocky Mountains by land, 342.

    McLean, 295.

    Macleod, Mr. H. F., 315.

    McMillan, Mr., 275, 277.

    McMillan, 290.

    Moredone, 373.

    Maple Creek, 213.

    Marquette, 163.

    Maquena, 341.

    Mascarene, 111.

    Massachusetts against cession of Nova Scotia, 106;
      commerce preyed upon, 107.

    Massacres, York and Oyster River, their lessons, 107.

    Masse, 104.

    Mayne, Admiral, 417;
      his report on the salubrity of Vancouver Island, 418.

    Meaford, 152.

    Mears, purchased territory near Nootka Sound, 341.

    Medicine Hat, 216.

    Metapedia River, 20.

    Meuron Point de, 170, 196.

    Meuron de Regiment, 195.

    Minas, attack of troops there, 113.

    Minehead, 81.

    Miramichi fire, 1825, 17.

    Missiquash River, 114.

    Missouri, Valley of, 368;
      Bridge at Bismarck, 373.

    Moberly, Mr., Survey, 261;
      exploration Ille-celle-waet, 267 and 267_n_.

    Moisture excessive, 300.

    Moncton, 121.

    Montreal, routes from Quebec, 127;
      canals to West, 133.

    Montreal, city of, 5, 140.

    Moose Jaw, 208.

    Moosomin, 207.

    Morley, 225.

    Monts, de, first effort colonization, 103.

    Mountain scenery, 227, 231, 238-241;
      on the Columbia, 255;
      Beaver River, 264, 279, 294, 304.

    Mount Cascade, 228.

    Moville, 30, 87.

    Mowat, Hon. Oliver, 45.

    Mullan Tunnel, 367.

    Musgrove, Governor, 345.

    Muskeg, 172.

    Nanaimo, its coal fields, 419.

    Naval supremacy of England, influence of Canadian Pacific upon
          it, 416.

    Narrows, 334.

    Neebish Rapids, 158.

    Neilson, Mr., 234.

    Neilson, Hon. John, 134.

    Nepigon Fort, 180.

    Newfoundland, 1.

    New Westminster, 328, 337.

    New York in London, 75.

    Naxouat, 107.

    Niagara, 149.

    Necomen Slough, 325.

    North Pacific S.S., 357.

    Northwest Company, 168-186.

    Northwest settlement, 379.

    Northwest trade, early records, 182.

    Northern Pacific Railway, reasons for returning by, 355;
      its history, 356;
      height of passes, 413.

    Nova Scotia, first colonization, 103;
      held by Cromwell, 105;
      demanded by French, 106;
      route or British province, 118.

    Ocean voyages past and present, 2;
      Polynesian, 84;
      present comfort, 85.

    Ogilvie, Senator, 225.

    Old Wives’ Lakes, 210.

    Onderdonk, Mr., 320.

    Oregon Pioneers, 363.

    Oregon Question, 1846, 364.

    Ottawa, 143.

    Otter, Col., 64.

    Owen Sound, 152.

    Pacific Slope, people deficient in Eastern energy, 359.

    Pack train, 235.

    Padmore, 226.

    Parisian S.S., 22, 97.

    Parks, national establishment recommended, 415.

    Parliamentary discussions as to the Canadian Pacific Railway, 401.

    Party, its unfortunate influence, 402.

    Passamaquoddy Bay, 104.

    Penobscot, 104.

    Pie à Pot, 210.

    Pipon, Major, 122.

    Point de Meuron, 170.

    Polynesian S.S., 83.

    Pond, Peter, 185.

    Pontgravé, 104.

    Port Arthur, 165.

    Port Moody, Burrard Inlet, 330.

    Port Royal, capture of, 107, 108.

    Portage la Prairie, assembly of force there, 193, 204.

    Portland, Oregon, 359;
      its bad hotel, 360.

    Poutrincourt, 104.

    Potlach, 306, 390.

    Provisions non-arrival, 295.

    Provisions obtained, 305.

    Pullman car, its comfort, 16.

    Quebec, City of, 127;
      its trade, 134;
      supports North Shore Railway, 135.

    Quebec, Province of, duty regarding North Shore Railway, 135.

    Quebec, late Government of, policy, sale of North Shore
          Railway, 137.

    Railway, appearance of on the prairie, 217.

    Railway delays, 166.

    Railway mail train, 14.

    Railway travel. Mr. L. D., 52;
      its comfort, 90;
      ease of modern travel, 394.

    Railways, their social and political influence, 396.

    Rapids, St. Lawrence, 139.

    Rat Portage, 173;
      its bad fare, 175.

    Rathdrum, 365.

    Raymbault, 168.

    Red Lion, Henley, 63.

    Red River plain, 373.

    Red River settlement, 189;
      Governor’s proclamation, 196;
      settlers called upon to abandon it, 192;
      broken up, 194.

    Regina, 208.

    Representative Government, its abuses, 404.

    Representation in Imperial Parliament by Colonies
          impracticable, 423.

    Richardson, 372.

    Robinson, Major, 122.

    Robertson, Collin, 192.

    Roche, de la, Marquis, 102.

    Rocky Mountain, first view, 218.

    Rogers, R. C., Archbishop of Chatham, 92, 99, 100.

    Rogers, Major, 222, 230, 249, 254;
      discovers pass, 268, 277.

    Rogers’ Camp, 250.

    Rogers, Mr. Albert, 254, 277.

    Ross, Mr. James, 222.

    Route, uncertainty as to, 229.

    Royal Academy, 64.

    Royal Commissions, their importance, 401.

    Royal William, pioneer steamer across Atlantic, 24.

    Russell, Lord Alexander, 120.

    Ryswick, peace of, 107.

    Sacrifice of British Territory, 365.

    Sage, Mr. Dean, 21.

    Sailors’ Orphan Concert, 29.

    Salisbury, Marquis of, Speech at Kings College, 59.

    Sanbon Water Shed, 373.

    Sand, its troublesome Character on the North Pacific R.R., 362.

    Sand Point, 365.

    Sault St. Mary, 159.

    Savannah, SS. Pioneer across Atlantic, 24.

    Savona’s Ferry, 312.

    Scenery Remarkable on Canadian Pacific R., 414.

    Scoby, 290.

    Scotchman, absence of all memorial of, 77.

    Seattle, 357.

    Sea Sickness, 23, 88.

    Sea Voyage, 23;
      Sunday service, 24;
      impatience of passengers, 29.

    Section A, 171.

    Section B, 172.

    Section 15, 175.

    Self-Government to Colonies, its concession the removal of
          difficulty, 422.

    Selkirk, 176.

    Selkirk Range, front view of, 249;
      ascent, 260;
      summit, 266.

    Selkirk, Lord, 187;
      early attempt at emigration, 188;
      joined Hudson Bay Co., 188;
      opposed by Northwest Co., 189;
      Red River settlement, 189;
      hurries to Red River, 194;
      proceeds to the Kaministiquia, 196;
      his character, 197;
      death, 198.

    Semple, Governor, 194.

    Seven Oaks, affair 17th June, 194.

    Seymour, Governor, 329, 345.

    Shaginappy, 225, _n_.

    Shirley, Governor, 112.

    Ship Building, 2.

    Shuswap Indians, 272, 295.

    Shuswap Lake, arrive at, 303.

    Sicamouse Narrows, 309.

    Simms, 372.

    Sinclair, Mrs., 327.

    Sioux, their conduct in Canada, 387.

    Skunk Cabbage, 262, 253.

    Slave River, 326.

    Smith, Mr. Marcus, 329.

    Snake River, 363.

    Snow Storm, 177.

    Soil on the Plains, 209.

    Soil, Moosejaw to Qu’Appelle, 213.

    Somerville, Mary, 28.

    South Thompson River, 309.

    Spain, seizes country of Nootka Sound, 341.

    Spellman’s Camp, 233.

    Spokane Falls, 365.

    Spurgeon’s Tabernacle, 45.

    Spuzzem, 320.

    Stage coach, the old, 89.

    Standard Time--Meeting of railway managers to determine, 375;
      proceedings taken by Congress United States, 378;
      date when came in operation, 379.

    Start for the Mountains, 202.

    Stephen, Mr. Geo., President C. P. R., telegram from, 42.

    St. Croix, fort of, 104.

    St. John, city of, its fires, 17.

    St. Mary’s Bay, N. S., 103.

    St. Lawrence River, dredging near Quebec advantageous, 136.

    St. Paul, 374.

    St. Swithin’s day, 79, _n_.

    Stony Indian’s, 242, _n_.

    Subercase, Governor, 107.

    Suez Canal, its exposed state, 433.

    Summit Creek, 235.

    Sunday in the Mountains, 230, 255.

    Superior, Lake, 161;
      north shore connection indispensible, 408;
      progress of work, 395.

    Supplies to the Columbia, 223.

    Swift Current, 211.

    Syndicate Peak, 271.

    Taché, Archbishop, 205.

    Tacoma, 357.

    Tattnall, Commodore, 438.

    Telegram, ocean, its non-receipt, 42;
      receipt of recalls civilization, 313.

    Telegraph extension over Chinese seas, 432.

    Telephone, 320.

    Thames at Monkey Island, 78.

    Three Rivers, 130.

    Three Valley Lake, 302.

    Thunder Bay, 164.

    Thunder storm, 177.

    Toronto, 146.

    Townsend, Rev. Mr., 19.

    Trail through Kicking-Horse, 239;
      on the side of precipice, 258.

    Travel, difference of present mode and that of last century, 396.

    Trent River, 82.

    Truro, N. S., Prince of Wales’ visit to, 15.

    Tseng, Marchioness, 74.

    Tupper, Sir Charles, 22, 65.

    Umatilla, 363.

    Union of the several component elements of the British Empire a
          necessity, 430.

    Union Pacific Railway Co., 413.

    United Kingdom, 34.

    United States hotel life, 49.

    Urquhart, Captain, navigates by sound, 333.

    Utrecht, treaty of, 184.

    Vancouver Island, 6.

    Victor Lake, 301.

    Victoria, 330.

    Verden, 207.

    Voyage across Atlantic, 98.

    Wait a bit, 259.

    Wales, Prince of, 75.

    Wallace, Mr., 79.

    Wallula junction, 363.

    Warren, Admiral, 112.

    Watershed Gulf of Mexico and Hudson’s Bay, 373.

    Watteville regiment, 195.

    West of England, its flora, 81.

    Westminster, treaty of, 106.

    Whist often a penalty, 25.

    White fish, 159.

    Wild fruit on Selkirks, 269, 280.

    Wilderness, entry into, 277.

    Williamette River, 359.

    Wilmot, Mr., 325.

    Wilson, George, 230.

    Windsor, visit near, 75;
      forest, 76.

    Winnipeg station, 177.

    Winnipeg, 179;
      its low level, 198;
      unprofitable land, 204.

    Wolseley, Lord, his views of Suez Canal, 433.

    Wright, Mr. Charles, 217.

    Wright, Mr. S. B., 308.

    Wright, Mrs., 308.

    Yale, 321.

    Yellow Head Pass, its advantages, 409.

    Yellowstone River, 363;
      park, 368.

    Young, Hon. John, 132.

       *       *       *       *       *


The ceremony of naming Collingwood, which has been described at page
151 as having taken place in 1851, should have been referred to the
14th January, 1853. It was at this date that the meeting took place,
when the locality in question, protected from the north by a few
islands near the shore, then known as the “Hen and Chickens,” was
formally named Collingwood by the Sheriff of the County of Simcoe.


[A] A stone inscription, dated 1609, was found in an old wall in the
Fort at Port Royal, now Annapolis, by the late Judge Halliburton,
author of “Sam Slick.” Some fifteen years ago it was in the possession
of his son, Mr. R. G. Halliburton, then in Halifax. That gentleman gave
it as a loan to the writer to be placed in the Museum of the Canadian
Institute. Thus the oldest stone inscription probably in America may be
found in Toronto.

[B] The readers of Humphrey Clinker may recollect the astonishment
of the Duke of Newcastle, the foolish Minister of George II., on
hearing that Cape Breton was an island. The story as recorded is worth
reproduction: “They [the Ministers] are so ignorant they scarce know a
crab from a cauliflower, and then they are such dunces that there is
no making them comprehend the plainest proposition. In the beginning
of the war this poor, half-witted creature told me, in great fright,
that thirty thousand French had marched from Acadia to Cape Breton.
‘Where did they find transports?’ said I. ‘Transports!’ cried he; ‘I
tell you they marched by land.’ ‘By land to the Island of Cape Breton?’
‘What! is Cape Breton an island?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘Ha! are you sure of
that?’ When I pointed it out in the map he examined it earnestly with
his spectacles; then, taking me in his arms, ‘My dear C----!’ cried he,
‘you always bring us good news. Egad! I’ll go directly and tell the
King that Cape Breton is an island.’”

[C] This matter is entered into at length in the writer’s published
history of the Intercolonial Railway, 1876, page 102.

[D] At the same date in Ottawa the snow usually lies to a depth of two
or more feet.

[E] “We expect to reach Columbia River, opposite Eagle Pass, on foot
from Selkirk summit about 10th September. No trail reported from that
point on Columbia River to Shuswap Lake. If there is no trail the
supplies must be packed through Eagle Pass. We will depend absolutely
upon your agent at Kamloops sending a guide, with supplies, to meet us
at Columbia River by 10th September. We leave to-day for the mountains.

[F] Buffalo rawhide, used for cordage, indeed for nearly every purpose,
by Indians and trappers.

[G] Devil’s Club

        Fatsia horida--Panax horridus
        Echinopanax horridus--
        Oplopanax horridus--
        Horsfieldia horrida.

[H] Skunk Cabbage

        Symplocarpus foetidus
        Pothos foetidus
        Icttodes foetidus--
        Lysichiton Kamtschatcensis.

[I] The latter valley was evidently the one that, judging from
its general bearing, would be most likely to afford a pass in the
direction wished for. I therefore tried to induce the Indians I had
with me by every possible persuasion to accompany me all the way
across the Selkirk Range, and make for Wild-Horse Creek. (The Columbia
River Indians would, from the first, only engage to go as far as the
head waters of the Ille-celle-waet.) All my efforts were, however,
unavailing, as they affirmed that if we went on we should be caught in
the snow and never get out of the mountains.--_Mr. Moberly to Chief
Commissioner of Lands and Works, 18th Dec., 1855._

[J] This meeting was held on October 11th. As a result the Standard
Hour system went into force throughout North America on the 18th
November following.

[K] Vide Sessional Papers, Province of Canada.

[L] The fisheries, only in their infancy, already employ 60,000 men and

[M] Cabot landed on the coast of Labrador 24th June, 1497. Columbus did
not see this continent till the following year. He discovered the West
India Islands in 1492-3-4.

Transcriber’s Notes

The original book contained an unusually high frequency of
typographical and spelling errors. Missing periods generally have
been remedied, but apparently misspelled words have been changed only
when correctly-spelled (according to dictionaries when this ebook was
produced) versions of those words also occur.

Ambiguous hyphenation has been retained; unbalanced quotation marks
have been corrected when the intent was clear, and otherwise have not
been remedied.

Page 19: “Rev. Mr. Townend” is spelled “Townsend” in the Index. The
latter seems more likely to be correct, so both have been retained.

Page 70: Unmatched closing quotation mark removed after “these

Page 268: “There Al. and I stood;” was printed with the period after

Pages 361-362: “balsaltic” should be “basaltic”, but as it was
misprinted that way twice, and only printed as “basaltic” once, both
spellings have been retained here.

Page 372: “Dacota” was printed that way.

Page 434: The reference to the footnote was missing. Based on the
context of the page and the footnote, the reference has been added
after the first occurrence of the name “Cabot”.

The Index was not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page
references, except for three whose page numbers did not exist: “457”
changed to “417”; “458” to “158”; and “613” to “413”.

In the Index, some periods, commas, and semi-colons were changed for
consistency, but not enumerated in these notes.

When words in the Index were spelled differently than on the pages they
referenced, and this was noticed by the transcribers, the Index entry
spellings were changed, except for “Townsend” as noted above.

Page 447: “Potlach” refers to two pages. On page 306, it is spelled
“potlatch”; on page 390, it is spelled “pot-laches”.

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