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G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O. 



Rtoetjjitie pre<s Cambridge 



Published December tqts 


Let not the seethe of this rude, hasting hour, 
And the mad moment's futile, petty span 
Thrust into dull Oblivion's vasty black 
All memory of this man 
Who ever stood for Empire's widening dream, 

Whose whole strong, failure-conquering life 
Was one rebuke, forever calling men 
From coward despair, effeminate doubts and fears 
To those firm highways of the great ones gone. 






1886 . . . . ^ 91 



1914 180 


XXIII. THE EMIGRATION MOVEMENT. 1896-1914 . . . 279 

XXIV. "STRATHCONA'S HORSE." 1898-1900 .... 316 
XXV. THE GROWING TIME. 1900-1909 . . . . . 372 

XXVI. THE CLOSING DAYS. 1910-1914 422 


APPENDIX . .- -. 503 



JAMES J. HILL Photogravure Frontispiece 

COMPANY, 1871-78 12 


From the painting by Frank Holl, A.R.A. 




From a photograph taken about 1885 


SIR DONALD A. SMITH, G.C.M.G., 1896 . . . ' . . 232 

The Life of 

Lord Strathcona and 

Mount Royal 



REFLECTING upon the achievements of what 
might almost be called the apostolic succession of 
the fur-trade, one is inclined to agree with the dic- 
tum that throughout the British Empire Provi- 
dence raises up men of a special breed to carry on 
great and special work. In the North-West and 
Hudson's Bay Company's services, like that of the 
East India Company (on a larger scale), for some 
two centuries men were needed able to acquire the 
habit of command and to develop responsibility. 
Their characters were formed amidst constant 
familiarity with danger, and they had to face, as 
one of them has said, "the occasional, and some- 
times frequent, necessity, perhaps under even des- 
perate circumstances, of rapid exercise of tact 
and sound judgment in coming to a safe conclusion 
when life and property were often staked on an 
immediate decision." 

Lord Strathcona 

Although Mr. Smith resigned as Chief Com- 
missioner of the Company's fur-trade, as we have 
just seen, in 1874, to become Land Commissioner, 
yet he never ceased to take a deep personal interest 
in the service in which he had then spent thirty-six 
years of his life. The Company had changed, its 
political principles of trade had altered almost 
beyond recognition; but the little loyal, far-flung 
legion of fur- traders, of the lineage of the old, still 
remained. Amongst themselves practical unity was 
well-nigh impossible; it became more and more, 
therefore, the policy of the London Board through 
their instrument (usually, as I have before re- 
marked, one who knew nothing about the fur- 
trade), to keep them sundered. Reasons of senti- 
ment, rather than of commercial profit, kept 
Donald A. Smith in their ranks, or rather, in the 
van. More and more, no matter who happened to 
be in power, they looked to him for leadership. His 
commercial and industrial interests grew; had he 
consulted these alone he would, as he said himself, 
have "bade farewell to the fur- trade." But he 
would as soon have severed his right arm as cut 
himself off from the old Company of Adventurers 
of the North. He had resigned barely six months 
when we find him writing: 

To Chief Factor Archibald McDonald 

January, 1875. 

Without strict economy in every part of the business 
and retrenchment in outfits, officers, men and posts, 
in every item to the lowest possible degree, divi- 


Strict Economy enjoined 

dends cannot be expected. Indents 1 beyond what 
the resources of the district can produce must be 

It is the wisest and most prudent policy to reduce 
the outfits to the real requirements of the trade and 
cut off all unnecessary luxuries and useless trash that 
are of no beneficial use for men or Indians, but in- 
creasing the discontent and diversion to buy and 
impoverish themselves for what they do not really 
require, and which conduce in no wise to increase their 
comfort, content, or happiness; every additional un- 
necessary item added to the outfit increases the amount 
of cost price. The difficulty of freighting in such large 
bulky outfits, as well as the very heavy cost of freight, 
must always be borne in mind. 

Amongst the letters of the officers to one another 
there are many tributes to Mr. Smith. One from 
a veteran who had known him over thirty years 
I cannot forbear quoting: 

Inspecting Chief Factor Hamilton to Chief Factor 

CARLTON HOUSE, nth August, 1875. 

On reaching Carlton from the Grand Rapids, I was 
not a little disappointed to find that Council had been 
held and the new Chief Commissioner off to Red River. 
I presume, however, that he had reasons of his own for 
being so precipitate, and under existing circumstances 
I don't think he cared much to meet with his Inspect- 
ing Factor, who might perhaps have told him some 
truths that he would not care to have recorded on his 
tombstone when he goes hence. 

1 Orders for merchandise. 

Lord Strathcona 

When under the command of Mr. Smith, I knew 
precisely what duties I had to perform, and my author- 
ity was well and clearly defined, so that every gentle- 
man in that section of territory committed to my super- 
vision was aware that with me and through me only 
could any business be transacted. 

I had heard so much of Mr. G , during his 

reign at Norway House, that I was fearful I would not 
be able to serve under him either with comfort to 
myself or benefit to the Company, but determined to 
make a fair trial and see how matters would get on. 
The trial has now been made, and has proved so unsat- 
isfactory that I have made up my mind to leave the 
old service in which I have spent upwards of thirty 
years of my life, and have requested permission to 
retire next first of June. 

For the large dividends we have already received 
since reorganization, we have to thank a man of a very 

different stamp from Mr. G . I knew at the 

time that we sustained a great loss when Mr. Smith 
resigned his position as Chief Commissioner of the old 
Company we have all served in from boyhood, but I 
did not think that we should feel the effect so soon. 
Mr. Smith was a gentleman in every sense of the word, 
respected by his friends and feared by his opponents; 
for he has wonderful talents. 

I am one of those who believe that a man can be 
thoroughly strict in all business matters and still hold 
the respect and esteem of those with whom he is thrown 
in contact. 

To Mr. Smith the officers were wont to express 
their opinions with great freedom. 

An Officer's Pessimism 

From Chief Factor W. McMurray 

ISLE A LA CROSSE, 5th May, 1875. 

You like myself have doubtless heard the opinion 
expressed that the Canadian Government, as far at' 
least as the North- West Territories are concerned, is 
a failure. What benefit, protection, or aid do we poor 
devils in these parts derive from being subjects of the 
Dominion? If this country had belonged to the Stars 
and Stripes since 1870, we would not find ourselves 
to-day in the position we are. As it is, our isolation is 
only a mild form of banishment. 

With regard to the last year's promotions, it does 
certainly look as if those who have "to bear the heat 
and burden of the day" are overlooked, and only those 
at headquarters and prominent places brought on. In 
saying this I do not for a moment wish to apply the 
remark to myself. I have got my Chief Factorship, 
and never expected or aspired to a higher grade in the 
service. It was not likely that their Honours would 
give an Inspecting Chief Factorship to one who, from 
the first, never failed, when he had a chance of doing 
so, of advocating the rights of the officers in the coun- 
try and of stating his opinions, crude as they may have 
been, in a plain, straightforward manner. 

We get an occasional glimpse of what the diffi- 
culties of transport were in the "seventies" before 
the advent of the railways. 

From Chief Trader W. Clark 

CARLTON, 1875. 

The Chief Commissioner, his son, Mr. Archibald 
McDonald, and Mr. R. Campbell, arrived here on 


Lord Strathcona 

Friday the ninth day from Fort Garry. The roads 
beyond Fort Ellice were fearfully bad, one continued 
swamp, and flies were in millions by the way. Their 
second and third day, they passed bands of freighters, 
who had been already a month on the way with their 
loaded teams, and will be a month more before they 
will reach this far. 

Steam navigation of the rivers, which had been 
introduced during Mr. Smith's regime, offered many 

From Chief Factor Alexander Matheson 

nth January, 1875. 

I have sent you, officially, the whole history of the 
new river steamer. She came back from Carlton all 
safe, though experiencing much more difficulty coming 
downstream than in going up. It is a delicate task to 
steer a huge leviathan like the Northcote in stony, 
crooked rapids; and it is the opinion of those pretend- 
ing to have any knowledge of the subject that there 
can't be certainty of final success until some boulders 
or other obstacles in the Nepowin and Coal Falls 
Rapids are removed. The steamer is now in winter 
quarters at Grand Rapids with the captain watching 
her, and putting up buildings for warehouse purposes 
at each end of the portage. 

Nothing came of either of the proposals touched 
upon in the following letter: 

North-West Territories 

Chief Factor Hamilton to Chief Factor MacFarlane 

CARLTON, July, 1875. ' 

There is a report current that our old governor, Mr. 
Smith, is to be appointed first Lieu tenant-Governor 
of the North-West Territories, but I am not prepared 
to say how much truth there may be in the rumour. 
One thing I do believe and that is that the Dominion 
Government would be very glad to get hold of Mr. 
Smith and I am inclined to think that the position has 
already been offered to him. 

You are, I presume, aware that the Dominion Gov- 
ernment have expressed a desire to get possession of 
the one-twentieth of the land which the Company are 
to receive in the fertile belt and it is generally supposed 
that the Premier, Mr. Mackenzie, is now at home on 
that business. 

If the Company do come to terms with the Dominion 
Government, I think it not at all unlikely Mr. Smith 
will accept the Lieutenant-Governorship of the North- 
West, but if not, he may retain his position as the 
Company's land representative. 

From Chief Factor A B 

EDMONTON, 24th December, 1875. 

The trouble and expense we have incurred of late 
years in introducing steam on the Saskatchewan. I 
wrote you in September, 1874, of the successful trip 
made by the Northcote. I exulted in the idea that all 
our trouble was at an end, and that we were on the eve 
of seeing our business placed on a sure basis. But what 
benefit have we derived from all our work and great 
expenditure? It makes me fairly mad when I think 


Lord Strathcona 

that, through the blundering stupidity of one man, 
the work of several years should have been rendered 

fruitless. Mr. G has managed, or rather I 

should say has grossly mismanaged, our business dur- 
ing the past season, and the Northcote, on her return 
from Edmonton to the Grand Rapids, had to lie at 
that place from the 5th August to the 4th September, 
waiting cargo from Red River. The consequence was 
that the Northcote could only make one trip to Carlton 
and is now passing the winter in the vicinity of that 
post. When a thorough mess of our steamboat busi- 
ness had been made, Mr. G gave orders for 

sending the western outfits across land by way of 
Carlton, and four hundred carts had to be at once 
engaged for that purpose, which cost the Company a 
pretty sum. This, however, is but one item of the 
expense and loss which the trade must sustain. For in- 
stance, the residue of the outfit for the post of Edmon- 
ton will cost a big amount for freight up from Carlton 
at this season, as men cannot be induced to travel 
under double the usual freight price. 

Mr. Hardisty had an examination made last summer 
of the country lying between here and the elbow of 
the Athabasca River, when, I am happy to say, an 
excellent route for a cart road was discovered. 

When I left Slave Lake, Mr. Young was on the 
point of starting for the Peace River for the purpose 
of searching for a cart route through that section. 

Mr. Smith himself could sympathize with the 
laudator temporis acti spirit amongst the older 


Former Trading recalled 

From Chief Factor Robert Campbell 

FORT GARRY, 7th March, 1876. 

I do not at all concur with 's opinion that the 

Company (in our time) have underpaid the Indians 
and that a curse is now falling on the Company. The 
Indians will never be so well off, comfortable, or happy, 
as when under the Company's care and trading alone. 
There never will be again such men and Indians for 
vigour, ability, and ready obedience for every duty, 
service, and instruction in Mackenzie River and 
Athabasca as they were before the introduction of 
such trash among them, and the men [servants] all 
saved their hard earnings for the future rainy days. 

It was a treat to see men work on the passage in 
those days. All strong, healthy, and active, and at 
camping or meal times, not a tea-kettle was seen on 
the fire but the " Master's." They were happier, more 
contented, and healthy with their one or two pounds 
of tea per annum than now if they had a whole chest 
of tea each. 

A new grade that of "Inspecting Chief Fac- 
tor" had been introduced: 

From Chief Factor W. McMurray l 

ISLE A LA CROSSE, 3d April, 1876. 

You will be surprised to learn that I have not yet 
signed the covenant and am therefore not virtually an 
Inspecting Chief Factor. I wrote the Chief Commis- 

1 Mr. McMurray was famous for his facility in the Saulteau and 
Chipewyan languages. He was also an excellent shot and among 
the most experienced winter travellers of his time. 


Lord Strathcona 

sioner, both officially and under private cover, thank- 
ing him and the Honourable Board for their proof of 
their confidence in me, but at the same time informed 
the Chief Commissioner that I would sign the cove- 
nant only after I had met him at Carlton, and received 
from him the proper explanations regarding several 
matters connected with the position of Inspecting 
Chief Factor. 

You who know me are aware that I am not an arro- 
gant or dictatorial person, nor one likely to make an 
abuse of any little power that may be given me; on 
the other hand, you will, I think, admit that I have 
enough of self-esteem and manly pride (not vanity) 
not to allow myself to be placed in a false position. The 
position of Inspecting Chief Factor may, by some, be 
considered a great honour, but for me, it never had, and 
never will have, any attraction, unless the grade gives 
me some discretionary powers, and thereby enables 
me to do some good. 

There is a touch of pathos in the following: 

From Chief Factor Robert Hamilton 

CARLTON, 29th May, 1876. 

A very few days more and my connection with the 
concern in which the greatest part of my life has been 
spent will have ceased, but believe me, that whatever 
my lot may be in future, I shall always feel a deep 
interest in the Company in which I have spent so 
many happy days, and in which I leave behind so 
many esteemed and valued friends. Between you and 
me there has been no cloud during a friendship of over 
thirty years. 


Fur-Traders' Letters 

It is pleasant to add that this officer was per- 
suaded to remain for a few seasons longer in the 

To Chief Factor William Charles 

23d August, 1876. 

The following is the result of the Company's sale in 
London the other day. Do not let the foxes slip from 
you and I would give your outposts instructions to 
that effect, especially at Eraser's Lake and Babines. 

Sale, August, 1876, as compared with the sale for 
Outfit, 1875: 

Beavers decli 
And Otter advar 
Silver Foxes 
Foxes Cross ' 

. 15 

. 25 


. 5O 

. 25 

Bear and Lynx remained unchanged and I presume 
those other furs not mentioned. 

From K. McDonald 

RAMPART HOUSE, loth January, 1877. 

In my last letter to you I said that I hoped to be 
able to^tell you more about the American fur-traders 
on the Yukon when I next wrote you. Instead of 
abandoning the Yukon, they seem determined to carry 
on the trade more vigorously than ever. Mr. McQuestin 
and McNiff are still at Fort Yukon and Mayo is at 
the post up the river occupied by McQuestin two 
years ago. They have a better supply of goods than 
ever and have raised the prices of furs; e.g., 15 M.B. 1 
1 Made (i.e., dressed) beaver. 

Lord Strathcona 

for a black fox, 10 for a cross fox, 3 for a marten, and 
2 for a beaver. A great deal is given away gratis to the 
Indians. To the chiefs 100 M.B. is given gratis, and 
in addition, tea, flour, ammunition, and tobacco. 
McQuestin had runners among some of the Indians 
before the snow fell and he himself was out amongst 
them in the month of November, but the Indians 
proved staunch to the Hudson's Bay Company and 
traded none of their furs with him. 

The wintering partners came slowly, but surely, 
to realize that they had been for a second time used 
as a cat's-paw for what the writer of the next letter 
calls a "crowd of grasping, howling shareholders." 
But what could they do? One of the ablest of the 
Chief Factors, Roderick MacFarlane, had come 
boldly forward with a plan for an equal division of 
profits with the London capitalists. Alas, it was 
too late! Besides, still reasoned many of the veter- 
ans, what was the good of lands even in such 
a centre as Winnipeg? The opinion of such a vet- 
eran as Chief Factor W. L. Christie is illuminat- 

From Chief Factor Christie 

FORT GARRY,, I3th January, 1877. 

The wintering partners have actually had no power 
since 1872. These lands are wonderful things on paper, 
I dare say; but I know that the most valuable part of 
the Fort Garry reserve has been a loss so far, eating 
itself up with taxes. There is a dead set against the 
Hudson's Bay Company and they will eventually be 
taxed out of the country. What do you think of the 



Company's Profits dwindle 

assessment of Fort Garry trade goods only being 
placed at $350,000. They place our inventories at 
what value they choose and we have no appeal. The 
Hudson's Bay Company cannot gain a case in the 
courts here because the Chief Justice is against them ; 
the result is we support the corporation with our taxes. 
We are the only moneyed institution to-day and con- 
sequently the only ones who pay. 

I look now for no future in this service. It is too 
overburdened with capital, and profits seem to be on 
the decrease from opposition and other causes. An 
increase of the capital of the Company is under consid- 
eration. This looks rather bad, for the same profits 
will have only to be divided between a greater number 
and consequently less per cent for each. Of course this 
only affects the shareholders, but must eventually 
make itself felt on the whole business. Expenditures 
are increasing enormously, and these steamers are 
enough to sink any concern. Added to this the small- 
pox now raging around Lake Winnipeg, among the 
Indians and Icelanders, will prevent whatever furs are 
collected in that quarter from being shipped next 
season. Then the Labrador ship with full cargo has 
been wrecked and all hands lost, save one sailor. These 
adversities are all telling on the profits. I probably 
take a rather gloomy view of it all; still there is no 
doubt that the old machine is getting a little unhinged. 
Of course, a company trading for two hundred years 
and making profits and paying its shareholders regu- 
larly a good interest cannot be thrown out of gear for 
some time; but gradually symptoms of decay show 
themselves, which eventually disorganize the whole 

Lord Strathcona 

There certainly was a crisis in the fur-trade and 
some of the leading officers again threatened to band 
themselves together to fight the London Company. 

From the Honourable D. A . Smith, M.P. 

FORT GARRY, 2ist September, 1877. 

Try and reduce your expenses, follow up an econom- 
ical system of trade, and do not buy furs in Athabasca 
at a higher price than they are realizing in England, 
or any market in Europe. The price of furs is still fall- 
ing at home, but I have great hopes that they will rise 
soon. I expect to be in London to the November meet- 
ing of the shareholders and will do all I can for my 
friends in the North. I intend to have a talk and ex- 
plain matters to the directors. 

From Chief Factor William Charles 

VICTORIA, B.C., 3ist October, 1877. 

I have just heard of the result of the Company's 
last sales in August. What are we coming to? I do not 
think the fur-trade can ever go back to what it was a 
few years since. We cannot go on receiving nothing 
for our pay year after year. Unless matters mend, it 
would be as well for us to be either placed on the 
retired list or leave at once. 

I have such a load of responsibility. However, the 
old can die, which will make room for those that re- 

The best paying branch of our business over here is 
the steamer Enterprise, plying between Victoria and 
New Westminster. She has been clearing for some 


He again intervenes 

years back, about 20,000 per annum. The trade is 
increasing and another boat is required to retain the 
trade and do the business. Hence a difficulty between 
us here and the London people, who do not wish to 
augment their capital. On the other hand, if we don't 
do something to help ourselves, others will. The public 
are clamouring for a better boat for winter especially, 
and so the matter stands. There is every possibility 
that the Cariboo country will come rightside-up in her 
quartz-crushing developments, several of them turn- 
ing out very rich lately. Our Factor, Mr. Ross, writes: 
"The quartz here reports rich from $12.75 to $9 P er 
ton. We may expect lively times here as soon as crush- 
ing machinery goes to work, owing to the people here 
being so scarce of cash. It will I think take all next 
summer to get the first mill to work. Quartz is all the 
talk here. Harper, the Government expert, says we 
have the richest country in the world here. We must 
wait a while to see." 

Mr. Smith himself continued little satisfied but 
unable to achieve much for his late colleagues: 

To Chief Factor Rankin 

MONTREAL, 2d January, 1878. 

I go to England next week, and while there will 
likely see the members of the Board, who I have no 
doubt, having the interests of the shareholders and 
officers at heart, will consent to make such arrange- 
ments as will place the business on a more satisfactory 
footing in respect of emoluments than it has been since 
Outfit 1874. 

Lord Strathcona 

From Chief Factor Alexander Matheson 

GRAND RAPIDS, loth January, 1878. 

The letter advising us of the Board's makeshift 
scheme for tiding over the crisis temporarily is respect- 
fully acknowledged, and referred for our answer to our 
attorneys. Now is the opportunity we have been wait- 
ing for so long, and it is to be hoped we shall all prove 
faithful to ourselves. The alarm of the Board indicated 
by the proposals set forth in the Chief Commissioner's 
letter of the i8th of December shows that we have only 
to keep together to insure entire success, and I hope 
all in the North are animated by the same spirit which 
moves us. 

To Mr. Smith all the wintering partners again 
turned to negotiate some more satisfactory terms 
with the London shareholders "calling themselves 
the Hudson's Bay Company." 

From Chief Factor Campbell 

CARLTON HOUSE, 7th July, 1878. 

I wish with all my heart that Governor Goschen, all 
the Directors and shareholders had gone through the 
same ordeal in all its parts. It would give them a better 
idea of the Hudson's Bay Company fur-trade affairs 
than all that is, or can be, written on the subject. 
I concur in what you say on the present suppressed 
state of Hudson's Bay affairs. I wish I could see the 
remedy, or turn of affairs for the better as clearly " cer- 
tain"; as you say, "things can't go on much longer 
this way." 


General Financial Depression 

To an old friend who had done him a favour, of 
which many another would have made lightly 
enough, Mr. Smith wrote: 

To Chief Factor MacFarlane 

MONTREAL, 26th December, 1878. 

Greatly as I am obliged to you for your kind atten- 
tion I feel that you have done so much for me in this 
way on former occasions, and I am already so deeply 
indebted to you, that I really do not know how I can 
ever possibly repay you, but believe at any rate that 
I am very sensible of all your kindness and trust an 
opportunity may occur by which I may be enabled to 
give more expression to it than it is now in my power 
to do. 

You will hear with much regret of the failure of 
City of Glasgow Bank, bringing down with it the 
Caledonian Bank, and involving in misery and ruin 
many of the shareholders of both banks. A more sad 
affair than any that has happened in Scotland for 
many a long day. And in England they have also had 
a bad failure in the West of England and South Wales 
Bank, so you see they are at home suffering more, far 
more, indeed, than we do, although with us it is bad 
enough, as the dividends on all bank stocks have 
recently been greatly diminished and the value of the 
shares have latterly run down tremendously in some 
cases, but it is a consolation to us that as regards banks 
of Montreal and Toronto, the capital at least is safe. 

There is not one man in ten, aye, or in fifty here or 
in Canada generally, who is not very much poorer now 
than eighteen months back from the shrinkage in 
stocks and in investments generally, but this is not 


Lord Strathcona 

confined to Canada, nor to this continent, but is com- 
mon to Europe, and I may say, every civilized country. 
Hudson's Bay business, of course, suffers also, and 
unless something can be done for its future than 
merely the prosecution of the fur-trade, I fear not a 
great deal can be expected from it even when we have, 
if we are at all to have, a revival of general business. 

You do me more than justice in expressing your 
conviction that I would gladly do anything I could for 
my old friends of the fur- trade; and it is only reason- 
able to believe that Mr. would also do his part 

in a cause which is that of both shareholder and officer 
and whose interests must be held to be identical. I am 
glad to learn that your returns, though not equal to 
those of last year, are still a good average, and if good 
prices could be only obtained the result might be a 
tolerably fair one after all. 

I saw William L.Hardisty in Winnipeg the other day. 
He intends, I believe, settling down at Lachine next 
spring and will spend the present winter at my place 
at Silver Heights. 

It is my intention to take passage for England either 
on the 4th or I ith January, if possible the earlier date, 
returning to Montreal early in February, as I have to 
be in Ottawa for the Session. 

From Chief Factor K. McDonald 

RAMPART HOUSE, 22d December, 1878. 

The American traders seem determined to carry on 
the fur-trade on the Yukon, although they must be 
making very little out of it. They still give very high 
prices for furs, in fact, just double what is given here. 
Old Sinati, the Yukon chief, whom you have perhaps 


Obtains Important Concessions 

heard of, is in charge of Fort Yukon and is carrying it 
with a high hand. The old fellow has a good deal of 
influence among the Indians and may do more in with- 
drawing these from this place than any of his prede- 

McQuestin is up the Yukon among the Gens du 
Bois and Gens des Fous. Considering the lowering off 
of the prices here and the high ones the Americans are 
giving for furs, it can hardly be supposed that the 
Yukon Indians and the Gens des Fous will give us 
their furs as before. I, however, managed to keep the 
other three tribes more immediately connected with 
this post and hope that they will do well. Fur- 
bearing animals are becoming very scarce and unfor- 
tunately, where there are a few martens, the Indians 
this year, as well as last, find it impossible to procure 
a living to enable them to trap, owing to the deer keep- 
ing to the mountains. 

In that winter Mr. Smith managed to procure 
some important concessions from the Board : 

To Chief Factor Rankin 

MONTREAL, i6th May, 1879. 

It is quite cheering to hear from you that the exports 
from your inland posts speak so favourably of the 
prospects of trade, and my hearty wish is that your 
best expectations may be realized and that prices may 
not only keep up but materially improve in the home 
markets, so that the commissioned officers may fare 
better than with the guarantee, which, however, with 
the other concessions made by the Board in the negotia- 
tions I had with them, I think with you is all that could 


Lord Strathcona 

reasonably be expected under the circumstances, and 
I trust all the other officers may regard it in the same 
light, and heartily concur in it. 

His growing railway enterprises, of which we shall 
shortly hear, made his further tenure of the Land 
Commissionership impracticable. 

To Chief Factor McMurray 

MONTREAL, i6th May, 1879. 

I am now leaving for Fort Garry, to see about the 
land matters with Mr. Brydges, who, as you know, will 
soon be assuming the immediate charge of that de- 
partment, thus relieving me of what it has latterly 
been impossible for me to continue to attend to with 
even ordinary regard for my own personal interests. 
We have also now got our St. Paul and Pacific Railway 
into that shape that it is to be reorganized on the 23d 
instant, and this makes absolutely necessary my pres- 
ence at St. Paul on that day. Everything goes well 
with this road, far exceeding our highest expectations 
when we took hold of it. I mention this, as I am sure 
you will be glad to know it. 

A retired officer speaks thus of the growing value 
of the land since the completion of the St. Paul and 
Manitoba Railway. 

From Chief Factor Roderick McKenzie 

MELBOURNE, QUE., I4th December, 1879. 

I am glad to learn that brighter prospects are begin- 
ning to dawn now after the late years of depression and 
disappointment. The service is going through such 


Difficulties of Intervention 

rapid changes that old hands hardly know many of the 
names figuring among the staff. The last appointment 
has bridged over the chasm of oblivion. It was a 
grand dodge for the wily wolves to have bound and 
gagged the simple-minded commissioned officers of 
1869-70, to have signed their own death-warrant, in 
regard to the land interest. The fertile lands in the 
North-West will be a source of riches to the neophytes 
for years to come. 

It has been mentioned that Mr. Smith had again 
intervened between the Board and the officers: 

To Chief Factor MacFarlane 

MONTREAL, 23d June, 1880. 

I quite sympathize with you when you complain of 
having to pay quite heavy duties, and my voice has 
invariably been heard in opposition to such, and I am 
very hopeful that we may after a little time be some- 
what relieved from this burden. My efforts in that 
direction will at any rate not be unused. Meantime, I 
fear that any such representation as you suggest to 
the Government would have no good result, and the 
missionaries as compared with the Company's officers 
by you will continue to have the worst of it. 

Your approval of the result of my negotiations on 
behalf of yourself and your colleagues with the Gov- 
ernor and Committee during the winter of 1879, I am 
glad to be informed of, although I apprehend very few 
of the officers had any correct idea of the great diffi- 
culties I had to contend with in undertaking the task, 
and certainly I would not have done so but for the 
very warm interest I have always felt in those who for 


Lord Strathcona 

many years were my confreres, and whose untiring 
exertions in the general interest I was and am so fully 
cognizant of. 

There never could have been any intention on the 
part of the Committee to make a victim of any of those 
who joined in the representations which induced me 
to act for the officers in London, as I had come fully 
provided that nothing of the kind could possibly be 
attempted; and I will on this subject only add that 
while in future negotiation with the Hudson's Bay 
Company the officers may and no doubt will find re- 
presentation infinitely more able, they cannot find one 
having their best interests more at heart than myself. 

I was sorry to hear that provisions had been so 
scarce in your district last winter, which must have 
brought great suffering to the poor Indians. Let me 
thank you for your good wishes in respect of the rail- 
way in which I am interested, and am glad to say it 
continues to go well. 

It will afford me much pleasure to hear from you as 
opportunity may offer, and as I am now gradually 
reducing the amount of personal work to which my 
attention has been given, I shall be glad to write you 
from time to time at greater length and always to be 
of use to you in any way in which I can. 

We get further glimpses of the American "free- 
traders" in the Far North, in the following letters : 

From Chief Factor K. McDonald 

FORT SIMPSON, 5th September, 1880. 

I am sorry to learn there is opposition in the fur- 
trade at Athabasca again this year. At Rampart 


American "Free-Traders" 

House the opposition instead of falling off is getting 
stronger. The two companies of American fur-traders 
in the Yukon are opposing each other very strongly. 
In spring at old Yukon, they put up martens to 5 M.B., 
beaver 3, foxes 12 to 15, black foxes 30, and bears 8 to 
IO. One company speaks of sending up some one to 
establish a post alongside of Rampart House this sum- 
mer, and on my return in the fall I fully expect to find 
some one close to the fort, prepared to withstand me 
to the death. However, notwithstanding the odds 
against me, I think that their trade won't amount to 
much. Martens are still scarce, but the Indians, from 
the packs they saw in spring, hoped that they would 
be more numerous next winter. I hope such will be 
the case, for I am pretty well discouraged with the 
scarcity of furs for the last three years. 

RAMPART HOUSE, soth December, 1880. 

I am sorry that I have no cheerful news to tell you 
of the fur-trade down here. The opposition from the 
Americans is still kept up as strong as ever, and I fear 
some of the Indians are beginning to be turned towards 
it. The excitement produced does not tend to have a 
beneficial effect upon the Indians, for the trade of the 
Americans is so reckless and so much given gratis that 
some of the Indians are becoming indolent and others 
dishonest. As far as I can gather, at all the posts occu- 
pied by the Americans on the Yukon, the Indians seem 
to be rapidly degenerating from the same reason experi- 
enced at home, I suppose, that charity has a tendency 
to produce paupers. 

The majority of the Indians here, however, are still 
staunch to the old Hudson's Bay Company. It is sur- 
prising that any of them prefer trading here, consider- 


Lord Strathcona 

ing the incomparably better trade they could make 
with the Americans furs at more than double and 
goods at half the price. A reason may be found in the 
fact, that the Indians suspect that if this place be 
abandoned, they won't be so well off, for the Yankee 
traders are simple enough to tell them so. Yet we 
reflect that the Indians were never noted for pro- 
viding for the future. 

RAMPART HOUSE, January ist, 1881. 

Jimmy Barber is now a free-trader and he thinks 
himself quite a bourgeois. He went to the Yukon again 
in summer and brought a good deal of trading goods 
given him by McQuestin. He built a small house 
between this and La Pierre House in fall and intends 
doing his level best, as the Yankee would say. Half 
fool as he is, he managed to get a good many furs last 
winter from the Peel River Indians. He has made 
nothing of our Indians here yet, but it is possible he 
may get a skin or two from them this winter. 

A nephew of old Sinati, Yukon chief, is opposing me 
here. He is staying in a small house on the opposite 
side of the river. He is a great scamp and worthy of 
his uncle. I had a talk with him in fall and he promised 
faithfully to give me whatever furs he trapped or 
traded. Having thus put me off my guard, he traded 
on the sly and with the furs he set off to the Yukon. 
On his return, when taxed with his perfidy, he was in 
no wise abashed, but seemed to think himself a pretty 
smart fellow. Such conduct annoys one, but I hope 
he is an exception. 

We learn a great deal of a certain Russian Jew 
trader named Boscowitz, who led the Company's 
men a pretty dance thirty or forty years since. 


The Splendid Boscowitz 

William Charles writes from British Columbia, 
in December, 1880: 

That Boscowitz man bids for grandeur just to have 
the furs, and must lose a lot of money on some kinds 
of fur if he makes it on others. Boscowitz himself now 
lives in London, attends the Company's autumn and 
other sales, and has grown wealthy since he left this 
country. His locum tenens here is a German peer, a 
common-looking, illiterate boor; but he is too much 
for us all the same. He has a better salary than I have 
and can afford to give champagne to almost every one 
that is in the way of procuring furs. The other man, 
Lubbe, is a German, a well-educated man and a gentle- 
man; he is backed by Sir Curtis Lampson. 1 I have 
secured very few lots in consequence of the extraordi- 
nary prices that have been paid occasionally, for pure 
devilment. I double my bids to get a lot or two, when 
they go much better next time. I expend a deal of 
energy in this business. The proper price for beaver 
now should be $2.50 per hundred for number one. 

A few years later it is a roving free- trading adven- 
turer named Sylvester buying gold-dust from the 
Alaskan miners as well as furs: 

From Chief Factor K. McDonald 

FORT SIMPSON, 7th March, 1887. 

I came to this place by steamer, and, for the greater 
part of the way, the route lay among islands of pic- 
turesque beauty, along the coast. The distance is 
about 540 miles and I arrived here on the 2d instant, 
and having made myself acquainted with the place and 
1 Sir Curtis Lampson was now out of the Company. 

Lord Strathcona 

its surroundings, have been obtaining all the informa- 
tion possible regarding the trade on Chase Lake and 
River. There is a very strong opposition up there. 
Mr. Sylvester is the chief trader in that section of the 
country, and last year imported about fifty-five tons 
of goods for the trade. He deals in gold-dust from the 
miners as well as in furs. His returns in furs alone 
amount to about twenty-five thousand dollars yearly, 
and he takes out quite a sum in gold-dust besides. He 
is a very generous man, an extravagant trader, and is 
very popular among the whites and Indians, and is, 
moreover, a man of considerable means. I am going 
in with about twenty-five hundred dollars' worth of 
goods, and I feel that, with such a formidable oppo- 
nent, I am in no position to successfully compete with 
him. He is a wealthy man and can oppose us very 
strongly and is stubborn enough to do so perhaps for 
years. He sells the greater part of his furs in Victoria, 
and it is, I dare say, the best market to-day. At any 
rate, furs are sold in Victoria at an average of fifteen 
per cent over what they bring at the London sales and 
he consequently is in a position to pay higher prices 
for them than we can. 

He is also a close buyer in goods, going yearly to 
New York, Montreal, Victoria, and other places to 
make his purchases. His stock on hand after the year's 
trade is over is about ten thousand dollars and it is 
good, saleable goods. I cannot understand why the 
Company do not put their furs on the market in 
Victoria; that is, the furs obtained in this quarter. 
They could sell much higher than they could do in 
London, and save freight besides. Some people cannot 
understand how it is that the Company have had to 
abandon so many posts along this coast and in the 


Buying out Sylvester 

interior. The reason is simple. The Company's trad- 
ers have their hands tied by a tariff, and the sales are 
by no means the best that can be made, for an auction 
always means a sacrifice. I have suggested that Syl- 
vester be bought out. I am satisfied he would sell out 
for twelve thousand dollars. In that event, the Com- 
pany would have his posts and would control the whole 
of the fur-trade in that quarter. Only let us get 
Sylvester's posts and they could defy any party who 
might undertake to oppose them. I know it is said 
that the buying-out principle is a wrong one, but this 
is an exploded idea. It was all well enough when the 
Hudson's Bay Company was in a position to freeze 
out a party, but times have changed. I would also 
strongly recommend having a steamer of our own, 
which could be used the whole season on the Skeena 
and Stickeen. It is not too much to say that a steamer 
of thirty tons at a cost of seven thousand dollars could 
be made to pay for herself in two years. At present 
the Company are paying heavy rates for their freight. 
With our own steamer we could secure a good part of 
the freighting for mines, and also obtain the trade 
with them, which is quite an item. 

From Factor D. Laird 

BATTLEFORD, 8th July, 1881. 

I observe what you say about destitution among the 
Northern Indians. The Government at Ottawa should 
certainly do something for them. Bishop Bompas 
called my attention to the matter last autumn by let- 
ter and I forwarded his representations with a recom- 
mendation to Ottawa. Whether they will do anything 
or not, soon, I cannot say. This winter they have 
been busy handing over the country well, a great 


Lord Strathcona 

part of it to the railway syndicate. It was scarcely 
worth their while to pay so much to one monopoly to 
get the country if they were going to give so much to 
another to take it off their hands, but this is almost 
political, and Lieutenant-Governors have no politics 
by right. 

I dare say there is much truth in what you say with 
regard to the Hudson's Bay Company in the extreme 
North. Probably if they were protected in their trade, 
and entrusted with the care of the Indians in those 
parts of the country useful for settlement, it would be 
best for all parties. But I doubt whether the Canadian 
Parliament would consent to such an arrangement. 
But as protection is a policy now somewhat in the 
ascendant in Ottawa, the Company might succeed on 
application to have the National Policy extended to 
the fur-trade. 

From Chief Factor C D 

STUART'S LAKE, 3Oth September, 1881. 

The statement of dividends for fifty years shows 
that we are very much underpaid, and the Board grasp 
every mortal cent they can. They will sell out some 

fine morning and leave us in the lurch. is going 

to London this coming winter, and will do his best to 
induce the Board to make the minimum 200 per 
share, and more in proportion as the trade allows. I 
hope he succeeds. 

From Chief Factor MacFarlane 

FORT CHIPEWYAN, 2d March, 1882. 

The Board of Directors have graciously undertaken 
to insure us the continuance of the existing handsome 


Officers' Profits 

guarantee of 200 per one hundredth share for a fur- 
ther term of three years, beginning with Outfit 1882 ! I 
suppose we ought to be more grateful than we are for 
all that they have so generously done for the commis- 
sioned officers since and under reorganization. Shall 
I enumerate some of these acts of appreciation of our 
service? First they give us nothing for Outfit 1875, 
100 per share for Outfit 1876, and to which the offi- 
cers' own reserve fund contributed 5000, while their 
unjust (discontinued of late) assumption of three fifths 
of all the unappropriated fur-trade vacancies has more 
than made up for all the difference, and I believe also, 
most if not all that has been subsequently required to 
make up the 150 guarantee for 1877, and the 200 
for Outfits 1878 and 1879. 

There can be no doubt that the transfer of the coun- 
try to Canada and our exclusion from all interest in 
the lands around, and especially of the post established 
and kept up at the expense of the fur-trade (you know 
that the Winnipeg and the old Red River colony cost 
tens of thousands of pounds sterling), for which no 
compensation has ever been made, has been a very 
bad business for the commissioned officers. Their 
annual incomes have not come up, for the decade just 
ended, to much more than half the amount realized 
by their predecessors. Were we as well remunerated, 
we could not complain, but in the face of the tens of 
thousands already secured by the shareholders, and 
the prospect of millions ahead, it is contrary to reason 
and human nature to expect us to be satisfied with a 
state of affairs that has so injuriously affected our 
pecuniary interest. Let the Directors or shareholders, 
or indeed any impartial person, compare the statement 
of profits realized by the officers from 1821 to 1871, 


Lord Strathcona 

and then to the year 1881, and as men of honour, 
and integrity, they cannot help admitting that justice 
calls for a radical redress of our well-grounded griev- 

Whatever doubts might have been entertained as to 
the right of the fur-trade to participate in the sales of 
lands in the so-called "fertile belt," I firmly believe 
that our claim to a share of the 50,000 acres around 
our establishment was not only, as admitted, morally 
strong, but legally good, and that this view should 
have been confirmed had the question been submitted 
to the decision of a court of law and equity. But all 
this is useless now you will say. Still under the bright 
prospect of the future, so far as the shareholders are 
concerned, the Directors ought to give some effect to 
these doubts and facts in favour of those whose 
services hitherto have been so miserably and inade- 
quately remunerated. 

Had our Canadian investments been of late years 
as profitable as formerly, we might not have felt the 
comparative poverty of our position so very keenly. 
Many of us have large families, some have served 
twenty to thirty years and upwards, and for what? 
while age is rapidly coming on. Several at least of our 
number believe that but for our isolation, large sums 
might have been realized by investment in Winnipeg, 
as well as in railways, which have proved of immense 
benefit to those who were fortunately privileged to 
utilize their means in this manner. I must, however, 
say no more for fear you should consider me as a 

Interest in Investments 

From Chief Factor Roderick McKenzie 

MELBOURNE, QUE., nth June, 1883. 

Our mutual kind and generous-hearted friend, Chief 
Factor Barnston 1 has gone the way of all the earth. 
There are not many living now who were the guiding 
spirits of the Hudson's Bay Company when we came 
to the country first. It is a warning to us, my dear sir, 
that our time is drawing near. May our Heavenly 
Father prepare us for the great change! 

What sort of weather have you got in the North- 
West? How changed is that country from the solitude 
you first saw thousands of people coming in every 
week. I often wonder how they can be fed. I am afraid 
many of them will starve, both from the want of food 
and the inclemency of the weather, before they get 
their houses built. 

As an illustration of the financial relations exist- 
ing between Mr. Smith and the commissioned offi- 
cers of the Company for many years the following 
may serve: 

From the Honourable D. A. Smith 

MONTREAL, nth December, 1882. 

You refer to the surprise and disappointment felt by 
some of our friends in the North- West at "the low 
rate of interest, five and six per cent, at which some 
recent investments have been placed." 

I am sorry to say that no better rates can be ob- 
tained here on such undoubted security of the principal 
as we have always endeavoured to procure ; and indeed 
it is even more difficult just now to get these figures 
1 Under whom Mr. Smith served at Tadousac in 1841. 

Lord Strathcona 

than it was some two or three years back to obtain 
seven, eight, and even nine per cent. Nor, in my 
opinion, is there a prospect of any great increase in 
the value of money for some time to come, owing in 
great measure to the very large amounts of English 
and French capital seeking investment on this conti- 
nent for which they are willing to accept less than five 
per cent. Hereafter, as in the past, we shall always 
endeavour to do the best for our friends whose money 
matters we attend to, but you will, I am sure, quite 
agree with me in believing that it is far better to be 
contented with a moderate rate, as interest now goes, 
than to attempt to get more at risk to moneys invested. 
Perhaps you will make this explanation to any of the 
gentlemen in your district to whom you may consider 
it desirable to do so. 

Mr. G informed me in September last that 

you had requested him to draw on me for one thousand 
dollars for your account, for the purpose of some in- 
vestment in steamboats in the North-West, to which I 
demurred, in the first instance, as I had received no 
intimation from yourself to that effect, but on being 

assured by Mr. G that it was your particular 

wish that he should receive the money, I advised him 
that, although I considered the transaction far from 
regular, I would under the circumstances accept his 
draft on your behalf for the amount; the money was 
in consequence paid to him on the 9th October. 

May I ask, however, that when it is your wish to 
have any further payments made on your account, 
you will be good enough to advise me of the same 
direct, as you will see how very inconvenient and 
against your own interest it might be, were we to make 
such payments on the ipse dixit of this or that person 


Becomes a Director 

who might chance to make a requisition upon me on 
your account. 

Following the "boom" or speculation in land 
which took place in Winnipeg and elsewhere in 
Manitoba, for some time prior to 1882, public 
attention was directed in Canada to the manage- 
ment of the Land Department of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. The Board in London sent their repre- 
sentative to Winnipeg to enquire and report on the 
subject in 1882 and 1883. The Directors, however, 
were unwilling to make any radical changes in the 
arrangement which had been pursued in the Land 
Department abroad, and they held their annual 
meeting in London in November, 1883, when the 
subject was discussed at length. Mr. Smith, who 
had been the largest shareholder prior to that date, 
spoke at length and made suggestions for some 
changes. He did not, however, receive any support 
from the Board of Directors. Consequently he 
voted against their reelection and proposed a new 
body of members, some of whom were found to be 
ineligible and the list was incomplete. This led to 
a conference between the old Directors and Mr. 
Smith, with the result that a compromise was pro- 
posed and accepted which was confirmed at a 
subsequent meeting of the shareholders. Mr. Elvin 
Colvile retained the position of Governor, the bulk 
of the old Directors retired, and Hon. Donald 
Smith and Sir Charles Russell, Q.C., M.P., became 
Directors. 1 The letter he wrote on his return ex- 
plains itself : 

1 Memorandum by Mr. William Armit, 


Lord Strathcona 

To Chief Factor MacFarlane 

MONTREAL, 8th January, 1884. 

You have done a good work in having a steamer 
built in Athabasca, and I can quite understand the 
difficulties you have had to contend with, under the 
circumstances you explain. The ultimate saving of 
cost in the transport business, and the greater facilities 
thus given for conducting the business advantageously, 
will, it is to be hoped, tell favourably on the result of 
trade, both in Athabasca and Mackenzie River dis- 
trict, and when it may be possible to supplement this 
by having a steamer on the Mackenzie River, still 
further reduction may be looked for in the expenses of 
distributing supplies and sending out the returns. You 
have, of course, given your views fully on the subject 
to the Company, through the Fur-Trade Commis- 
sioner, and I feel satisfied that, when submitted in due 
form by him, they will be carefully considered. 

Having only just returned from England, I am un- 
able at present to write you as fully as I could wish, 
but it will be always very pleasing to me to have your 
views with regard to the business which you have been 
so long connected with and which you know so inti- 
mately, and when I can be of use at any time in for- 
warding your wishes, be assured it would give me 
pleasure to do so. 

You will no doubt learn by letters and papers, 
reaching you by the winter express,, that some changes 
have taken place in the personnel of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. These changes were insisted on by myself, 
and although personally I did not care to be on the 
Direction, still, from the part I took in the matter, 
I felt that it was owing to my friends I should not de- 


Upsetting the Directorate 

cline to act. The constitution of the Committee as at 
first elected, you will see, has been modified, the old 
Directors having made advances to me with a view to 
compromise which, considering all the circumstances 
of the case, I thought well to accede to in part. I have 
no doubt that the present members of the Committee 
will be prepared to do anything necessary for putting 
their affairs in this country on a satisfactory footing, 
where they have not been altogether for some time 

This was a dramatic coup, indeed ! 

From Chief Factor Fortescue to a brother-officer 

YORK FACTORY, yth March, 1884. 

What do you think of all the news by the winter 
packet Donald A. Smith is upsetting the whole direc- 
torate and his open charge against some of the princi- 
pal officers of the Company in Canada? 

Has this anything to do with the testimonial to the 
present Chief Commissioner sent from Council last 
summer? I think it only fair to tell you that I declined 
to sign the papers. I did n't like the tone of them. 
They are inapplicable to an outsider, and I disapprove 
of alienating permanently our right of nomination, as 
far as it remains to us, for commissions. I think if 
sanctioned, we shall even regret the step taken. 

But the London Directors and the mass of share- 
holders had gone too far and too fast. They might, 
under threats, exchange one instrument for an- 
other, but the steady sacrifice of the rights of the 
unfortunate winter partners was not to be checked 
by the efforts of any single champion. 


Lord Strathcona 

From Chief Factor Charles to a fellow-officer 

VICTORIA, B.C., 2ist February, 1885. 

I heartily sympathize with you in your comments 
as regards the Hudson's Bay Company. I never be- 
lieved much in their justice or liberality unless when 
they were forced to be so or could not help themselves. 
But at the same time, I always considered it a hopeless 
case to tilt against a great moneyed corporation with- 
out the sinews of war. I was not astonished at Mr. 
Grahame's severance from the Company, as I knew 
that he was at loggerheads with Donald A. Smith, 
who is and has been dictator for some time, not only 
in America, but also in London. This is the age of 
syndicates and those that have the money win, right 
or wrong, principally the latter, I am sorry to say. 
I have been puzzled to find out the true inwardness of 
things for a long time. 

Donald A. was the champion of the officers years ago, 
ameliorating the status of the officers, raising their 
pay, etc., etc. But would not such action now on his 
part be against the interests of the Board, of which he 
is a Director? 

-In the following year, one of the boldest of the 
fur-traders, allied by blood and marriage to many 
of the old North-Westers, addressed an eloquent 
memorial to the Company. 

From Chief Factor R. MacFarlane 


As a Chief Factor and one who has been engaged in 
the service of the Company for upwards of thirty-five 
years, I am intimately acquainted both with the work- 


Memorializing the Board 

ing of the fur-trade and also personally with the feelings 
and opinions of my fellow commissioned officers, and as 
such I now address you on my own and on their behalf. 

I am sorry to have to bring before you the fact that 
our position has been lately rapidly growing worse, 
and that, although our responsibilities and labours 
remain as great as ever and our living expenses have 
increased, our remuneration has decreased and our 
prospects of improvement have dwindled away to 
almost nothing. We who have been long in the service 
can look back on the days when the officers used to 
retire on a sufficient competence after a hard life of 
toil, whilst we ourselves see no prospect of ever doing 
much beyond making a bare living for ourselves and 

On this head I would call attention to the fact that 
I believe this is perhaps the only association of equal 
importance and permanent character which does not 
provide retiring pensions for its officers, and this can 
only be explained by the fact that in bygone days the 
profits of the officers were sufficient to enable them to 
put by money, and that if this had not been the case, 
the necessity of pensions would long ago have arisen. 

The fact I mention of the great falling-off in com- 
missioned officers' prospects is well known to you. 
The statement of profits I left with you recently shows 
that the profits per share used to be over 490 a year, 
whereas now they are little over 200 a year. This is 
attributable to the sale of the Company's chartered 
rights to the Canadian Government, to the railroad- 
building and influx of settlers, to the heavy duties now 
levied on imports, and generally to the competition in 
the fur-trade which has almost doubled the prices we 
now have to pay for fur. 



Lord Strathcona 

Several of these reasons, whilst operating most dis- 
advantageously to us as partners in the fur-trade, are 
for the great benefit of the shareholders generally, 
notably the influx of settlers and consequent sales of 
land by which the capital of the Company is being 
repaid, whilst we, the officers who originally shared in 
all the profits of the Company, are now practically 
limited to that part of the business which suffers most 
by the very causes which make the prosperity of the 
other part. 

Under the circumstances I beg that Governor and 
Directors will take into their earnest consideration the 
necessity of raising the minimum guarantee on each 
share to at least 250 a year, the lowest sum, I sub- 
mit, on which the officers can maintain themselves 
properly and save something; and further that if, at 
the end of five years, it appears that the sums paid 
on each share under guarantee and profits have not 
amounted to 300 a year, then that the deficiency be 
made up in the fifth year. 

I should point out on this head that if the commer- 
cial business should prove as profitable as is hoped, this 
additional guarantee will entail no cost upon the 

You will pardon my apparent insistence on this 
matter. As one of your oldest officers I have the best 
interests of the Company and of my fellow-officers at 
heart, and I feel convinced that it is your desire that 
we should do our work, not only zealously, but also 
hopefully, which we cannot do under our present cir- 

Poor blind Belisarius begging his obolus from 
Dives, who had taken from him his inheritance! 
If the future historian desires to turn a strong light 


A Veteran's Avowal 

upon the inner life, hopes, and prospects of the fur- 
traders of the remote posts of the Company at this 
period, let him peruse the following letter. It will 
reveal much : 

From Chief Factor James L. Cotter 

MOOSE FACTORY, loth July, 1886. 

It is a self-evident fact that nothing can be done 
without union. That the discontent you speak of is felt 
more or less all over the country there can be no doubt, 
but whether all will combine to give forcible utterance 
to it, is another thing. In 1878 the western officers 
refused to join the others ; at the same time they reaped 
the benefit of the stand made by their brethren. At 
that time I threw in my lot with the majority, and if 
things had gone against us, God knows what would 
have become of me, for I had not a sixpence to live on. 
I am now in my thirtieth year of service, and see no 
prospect of ever being able to retire on anything beyond 
a mere pittance. My health is delicate, and I could not 
now go at anything else in the way of business ; so I am 
beset with difficulties and anxieties on all hands. I 
suppose I am the poorest Chief Factor in the service. 

You will pardon me for troubling you with these 
particulars. I only do so to enable you to know some- 
thing of the man with whom you have to deal, and 
how his circumstances must necessarily colour his 
opinions and give bias to his actions. 

I do think we are hardly treated by the Board and 
that an endeavour to get "better terms" should be 
made. Yet, and here lies my difficulty, I ques- 
tion if I have any right to stake on one cast the bread 
and butter of a large young family. I walk on the 


Lord Strathcona 

brink of a precipice, one false step and the toil and suf- 
fering of a lifetime are thrown away and those depend- 
ent on me reduced to poverty. I am too old to pick 
myself up again if I fall. Of course it is possible that a 
firm combination of the officers might make success 
certain ; but to that is added the dread that the Board, 
to avenge their defeat, would proceed to lop off the 
tallest heads; and the existing Chief Factors would 
speedily find themselves shelved. If the choice lay 
between being tolerably well off in the service and just 
a little less well off out of it, in short if the stake were 
not so big to me as it is, there would be little difficulty 
in making up one's mind which course to pursue. But 
when it is a matter of bread and butter on the one hand 
and starvation on the other, one may well pause and 
consider the consequences which might accrue should 
circumstances throw one at the mercy of relentless 
enemies. If I were a bachelor and misfortune befell 
myself alone, I could face it ; but a lot of helpless chil- 
dren wanting food, clothing, and education! I can- 
not bear the thought of it ; I would rather die than see it. 
I should only be too glad if we could get the 250. 
I am, however, thankful for the 200, my only com- 
plaint about it being that it is not a certainty, but a 
thing niggardly promised, as it were, from year to year. 
I say I am thankful, but I am not satisfied. What I 
want is a sure and certain minimum of 250 and a 
retiring interest the same as under the old regime. 
That is what I want, and with that I could jog on in 
some sort of hope. You certainly hit the nail on the 
head when you spoke of your being unable to work 
hopefully under the present circumstances. We work 
as if at the pumps of a sinking ship. It is a strained and 
unhealthy state of mind. 


Board and Public Opinion 
From Chief Factor 

8th June, 1886. 

The Board are taking a long time to answer Mr. 
MacFarlane's Memorial. They want to issue one of 
their conciliatory manifestoes first, very likely as a 
sort of buffer. They are as tricky as Mr. Gladstone, 
who (I am glad to learn this morning) has been kicked 
out of office on account of his Home Rule Bill. 

I think the Board will be afraid to give Mr. M 

his quietus after that Memorial. They dread a series 
of articles published in the London Times or other 
influential paper, exposing their malpractices. They 
are as afraid of modern public opinion as slugs and 
sclaters are of the sunlight; for the reason that their 
deeds are evil. 

As he was now a Director, Mr. Smith could not 
formally represent the wintering partners, as an 
outsider. But he entered as sympathetically into 
their grievances as of old, and always lent them his 

Sir William Butler, author of the Great Lone 
Land, wrote to Mr. MacFarlane: 

I am sorry to hear you have had such an uphill 
struggle with the Board. A corporation has no con- 
science. I believe that selfish greed of place and profit 
has stamped out the last vestige of honour from our 
public bodies, and most of our public men, and that 
at no time in our history has rampant injustice had 
greater sway than now. 

But if I know anything of you, you are not the man 
to give up without a good fight. Sir Donald Smith is, 

Lord Strathcona 

I think, obliged to be what the French call an "oppor- 
tunist," but I have always known he meant well. 

The Board conferred with the shareholders, who 
finally consented to a measure of justice to the 
wintering partners. 

From Chief Factor William Charles 

VICTORIA, B.C., I4th January, 1887. 

So you see the London shareholders were afraid of 
too much ventilation on affairs. But I suppose every- 
thing is fair in war. I am afraid the highly important 
communication will turn out moonshine. I can see 
fully what the object of the Company is. It is not dif- 
ferent now from what it always has been, only now 

Mr. A seems to have acquired Bismarckian 

power over the Board and rules harshly and despoti- 
cally with a rod of iron. I earnestly hope you will suc- 
ceed in clipping that upstart's wings. I am told that 
the new commissioner is not a very happy man and 
finds things do not work so smoothly as he at first 

To Chief Factor Peter Mackenzie 

June 9, 1888. 

I learn you were not so successful in hunting as in 
former years. It is also deeply to be regretted that the 
natives [of Ungava] suffered so much from scarcity of 
food ; but this appears to have been the case through- 
out the country as well as with you ; and this last win- 
ter again we hear there has been great suffering and 
privation from the same cause. 

I have had a good deal of communication and con- 
versation with my associates of the Hudson's Bay 


Governor of the Company- 
Company, and also with the Secretary, and hope that 
you will be able to spend another winter in Ungava; 
after which I trust we shall be able to find for you more 
congenial work. 

From Sir W. F. Butler to R. MacFarlane 

LONDON, October 5th, 1889. 

So you are back on the east of the Rocky Mountains 
again, and at Old Cumberland, so long the advanced 
post of the Hudson's Bay Company, before French- 
Canadians showed stay-at-home John Bull how to 
develop the Great North; nor are the modern repre- 
sentatives of those great companies much better than 
their ancestors. I am sorry you do not like the new 
dispensation, but the London Board will ever be cow- 
ardly and vindictive. They are dishonest themselves, 
and hate honesty as the devil hates truth. 

It was in this year, 1889, that he who had for so 
many years been the outstanding figure in the once 
mighty fur-trade of Canada, became the titular 
Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. The 
suffrages of his fellow Directors elected him to this 
position, first filled by Prince Rupert of the Rhine. 
It had latterly lost its pristine glory; but the 
romance of the young Scottish lad, who, beginning 
at the lowest rung of the ladder, had finally 
achieved the summit, served again to shed, while 
he lived, a lustre on the chair. 

In another chapter I purpose returning to his 
connection with the fur-trade and to the corre- 
spondence of the veterans who still lingered on 
the scene. 



I think it has been made abundantly clear that 
Donald A. Smith was not blind to the potential value 
of the land in the North- West, nor had he been for 
some years. The difficulty was to induce the factors 
generally to accept compensation in the form of land 
rather than money. Yet as an illustration of how his 
attitude continues to be misunderstood I find one 
prominent Chief Factor stating at Lord Strathcona's 
death : 

In 1870 Sir Stafford Northcote and Sir Curtis Lampson 
frankly admitted, as did Secretary W. G. Smith and 
Assistant-Secretary W. Armit, that the fur-trade had a forty 
per cent interest in the fifty thousand acres around the posts, 
and in the posts and establishments themselves. Had this 
important asset been retained, the service would have been 
one of the most remunerative in Canada ! Mr. Smith's own 
Labrador and Gulf of St. Lawrence land experience made 
him all the readier to agree with some of the older partners 
of 1870, to get a little more money at once, rather than wait 
for further settlement developments in which like a few they 
did n't believe. And thus we lost terribly. Had Mr. Smith, 
however, been brought up in the Northern Department, as 
was Governor Mactavish, Joseph Wilson, and other Chief 
Factors and Chief Traders, he would assuredly have been 
as staunch for all land righ'ts as any one. 



UNTIL the sixties of the last century the only 
means of commercial transportation between the 
Hudson's Bay Company's territories in the Cana- 
dian West and the Atlantic seaboard was by ox-cart 
from Winnipeg to St. Paul, Minnesota, and from 
thence down the Mississippi River by steamboat 
to some one of the railways leading from that river 
to Chicago. 

By way of experiment a small steamer, capable, 
so the wits said, of travelling on a heavy dew, was 
placed upon the Red River. Finding it was too 
small for the trade, the Company built a larger 
called the International, and on the 26th of May, 
1862, the first trip of this steamboat to Fort Garry 
was made. For the ensuing nine years the Inter- 
national continued on the route from Abercrombie 
and Georgetown to Winnipeg, carrying goods to 
and fro for the benefit of the Company and the 

We have seen how in 1870 Mr. James Jerome 
Hill had paid his first visit to Winnipeg and had 
made en route the acquaintance of Commissioner 
Donald A. Smith. Hill's business connections with 
the Red River Settlement seemed to him now to 
justify his having a steamer of his own. He there- 


Lord Strathcona 

fore built one, the Selkirk. As a naturalized Ameri- 
can citizen he enjoyed certain technical advan- 
tages over the owners of a rival boat. To adjust 
the situation Mr. Smith, as the chief officer of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, caused the International 
forthwith to be transferred to the Company's agent 
in St. Paul, Mr. Norman W. Kittson, to be oper- 
ated as a regular passenger and freight boat in 
opposition to Hill's Selkirk. The outcome of the 
competition between these two steamers (the his- 
tory of which is not without some elements of 
Mark Twainish humour) was an amalgamation of 
the interests of Messrs. Kittson and Hill, and the 
formation of the Red River Transportation Com- 
pany under Kittson 's management. 

Here was a monopoly, and an outcry went up. 
With the object of lowering rates they deemed 
excessive, the merchants of Winnipeg, acting with 
others in Minneapolis, founded an opposition 
line. Two steamers, the Manitoba and Minnesota, 
were built to compete with the Hill-Kittson Com- 
pany. But this Merchants' Line, as it was called, 
soon succumbed to its more powerful competitor, 
which eventually purchased the steamers and 
added them to its fleet, numbering seven vessels 
in 1878. 

As for the mails, they were carried by stage- 
coach, which continued to run daily until the 
opening, many years later, of the Pembina Branch 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway. 

In the year 1857, the American Congress passed 
an act making a grant of land to the Territory of 


A Broken-down Railway 

Minnesota, to aid the construction of the Minne- 
sota & Pacific Railway from St. Paul, via St. 
Anthony (Minneapolis), to the head of navigation 
on the Red River. In May of the same year, the 
Minnesota Legislature incorporated the Minnesota 
& Pacific Railroad Company, with a capital of 
$5,000,000, to build a railway from Stillwater, via 
St. Cloud and St. Anthony, to the town of Breck- 
enridge, with a branch from St. Anthony, via St. 
Cloud and Crow Wing, to St. Vincent, near the 
mouth of the Pembina River. But this projected 
line was not even begun, and the company lan- 
guished till 1 86 1, when an act was passed to "facili- 
tate the construction of the Minnesota & Pacific 
Railway." The great Civil War broke out and fur- 
ther delay occurred. A year later, another act was 
passed changing the name of the company to the 
"St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company," and re- 
quiring the company to complete the portion of the 
road between St. Paul and St. Anthony by the fol- 
lowing 1st of January, and to St. Cloud by January 
I, 1865. The ten miles between St. Paul and St. 
Anthony, the "first stitch in the network of rail- 
ways which now covers the State of Minnesota," 
were forthwith built in accordance with the pro- 
visions of the act. 

At the time it ran as far as Breckenridge the 
St. Paul & Pacific Railway was a very poor affair, 
and its service in handling the Hudson's Bay 
Company's traffic was highly unsatisfactory. "On 
each of the visits of Mr. Smith to Mr. Hill it 
was violently damned by the one and spoken of 


Lord Strathcona 

deprecatingly by the other, each in his own charac- 
teristic way." 1 

The truth is this railway, which had swallowed 
up vast sums of money, came to a standstill, so far 
as construction went, for want of funds. It was the 
victim a typical case of railway financiers 
and construction companies; it was mortgaged and 
the mortgages were foreclosed and then it was 
re-mortgaged. Yet throughout these transactions 
its charter, giving it extensive and valuable land 
grants, still continued valid and finally tempted a 
syndicate of Dutch capitalists to intervene. On 
the strength of these land securities and the great 
prospects of the line, if completed, they were in- 
duced to purchase $13,380,000 of its bonds and by 
completing the road to avert a forfeiture of its 
land grant. 

This was the situation when Mr. Smith first 
became acquainted with the enterprise. Evil for- 
tune continued to haunt it, and in 1873 the St. 
Paul & Pacific Railway became bankrupt. 

And now, leaving for a moment this bankruptcy 
of a road which was to exert so vast an influence 
upon Mr. Smith's fortunes, let us glance at the 
general railway situation in western Canada at that 

1 Memorandum, Sir William Van Home. "The right honourable 
the First Minister will recollect that when, on the collapse of the 
Jay Gould projects, in 1872, the St. Paul & Pacific Railway being 
constructed in the State of Minnesota stopped short about one 
hundred miles from the international boundary, I, with his con- 
sent, made some enquiries regarding the possibility of continuing 
the road through to Manitoba. I was thus led to look into the pos- 
sibilities of that country." (Parliamentary Debates, May 26, 1887.) 


The Mackenzie Programme 

Manitoba and the West had long been crying 
aloud for effective railway communication with the 
outer world. British Columbia continued to de- 
mand a fulfilment of the pledge by which she had 
been induced to enter the Dominion. 

The fall of the Macdonald Government was a 
serious blow to the fortunes of the North-West 
which had before appeared so roseate. It postponed 
for years the completion of the great main line 
of the railway to the Pacific, which Alexander 
Mackenzie and his colleagues forthwith attempted 
to construct piecemeal as a Government work, and 
in connection with the discredited land-and-water 
Dawson route, stretching between Red River and 
Lake Superior. 

The Act of 1874 provided for the construction 
of a railway on the Pacific Coast, provided the 
construction could be made "without increasing 
taxation." The road was to run from near Lake 
Nipissing to the Pacific and was divided into four 
sections; the first from Nipissing to the west end 
of Lake Superior; the second from Lake Superior to 
Red River, the third from Red River to Edmonton 
or the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and the fourth 
from there to the Pacific Coast. There were also to 
be two branch lines, one to extend from the pro- 
posed eastern terminus to a point of Georgian Bay, 
and the other to make a branch from the main line 
near Fort Garry to some point near Pembina. Each 
branch was to form a part of the main line and to 
be an independent section, and a subsidy of ten 
thousand dollars a mile and twenty thousand acres 


Lord Strathcona 

of land a mile, in alternate blocks, was offered for 
any portion built and operated as a private enter- 

In the Dominion House of Commons Mr. Smith 
"deeply regretted that party feeling should have 
been permitted in any wise to enter into the dis- 
cussion of an enterprise with which the fortunes 
of Canada were closely bound up." "Of vast and 
general importance is this problem" the solution of 
which must in any case be attended with great 

It is an undertaking of such magnitude as to demand 
the cordial cooperation of the whole country to insure 
its successful completion, and it ought, therefore, to 
be regarded wholly outside of party considerations. 

The whole people of Manitoba would be gratified 
by the assurance the reassurance on the part of the 
Government that they intend to carry through, or 
rather, that they do not propose to abandon, their 
intention of constructing an all-rail road from Lake 
Superior to Manitoba. For I distinctly understood 
that their purpose all along has been to complete the 
road between these two points with all possible des- 
patch, merely using the water-courses in the mean 
time during the progress of the work, and not substi- 
tuting them for any portion of the road. More than 
this, it would be absurd to demand. 

It was admitted on all hands that we have under- 
taken an obligation toward British Columbia to build 
a railway through to the Pacific, and I for one hold 
that everything that is practicable should be done to 
carry out this engagement. 

British Columbia, in view of its great natural re- 


The Dawson Route 

sources, abounding as it does in mineral wealth, was 
well worthy of their best attention and consideration 
and although less generally known, its agricultural 
and pastural capabilities are also of a high order. I 
consider that we have cause to congratulate ourselves 
on having added to the Dominion so fair a Province, 
and I trust and believe that however we might differ, 
on minor points, the people of British Columbia, con- 
vinced by the determination of Canada faithfully to 
fulfil all her obligations to the utmost extent that the 
resources of the Dominion permitted, will never ask to 
recede from Confederation. British Columbia, with 
her resources fully developed, will greatly add to the 
importance and prosperity of the Dominion, and 
the main question now to be considered is how far 
the resources of Canada will warrant the vigorous 
prosecution of this work. 

In the opinion of the member for Selkirk, the 
Dawson route was 

all very well so long as they had nothing better, and for 
several years had served a very good purpose in caus- 
ing a reduction of the charges made by American com- 
panies for the transport of passengers and freight. But 
the people of Manitoba were most anxious to have at 
the earliest possible moment railway communication 
between Pembina and Fort Garry. They certainly 
desired, and hoped shortly to see, an all-rail route con- 
structed from one ocean to the other, but they were 
eager to have connection with Pembina in the mean 

Something has been said of the magnificent water- 
courses of the North-West. Statements have been 
made that they were a myth. It is said that they have 

Lord Strathcona 

not yet been discovered by those who had travelled 
over the country. My own impression is that there are 
some stretches of water there that may properly and 
soberly be called magnificent. Lake Winnipeg is cer- 
tainly no inconsiderable expanse of water itself, and 
from this lake, with a very little barrier, an entrance 
is made into the Saskatchewan. From that point there 
are three hundred miles of uninterrupted water com- 
munication. At the end of those three hundred miles, 
it is necessary to transport freight for four miles by 
land, and having again reached the Saskatchewan you 
can go for nine hundred or one thousand miles into 
the interior and within seventy or eighty miles of the 
Rocky Mountains. 1 

While almost wholly useless as an emigration 
route, the Dawson route in Mr. Smith's opinion 
had been of very great advantage in transporting 
supplies to the North- West. The very fact of its 
being turned over to a company in 1874 

had the effect of making the people in Minnesota 
reduce their transportation rates still further. They 
are shrewd men, and, having very little confidence in 
their own Government, they thought the competing 
Dawson route would be more efficiently managed by 
the contractor than by the Canadian Government. 
My opinion is the Administration should still be pre- 
pared to carry emigrants and freight by the Dawson 
route if any attempt is made by the Americans to 
enforce higher rates. It should not be given up alto- 
gether. I understand the Americans will still further 
reduce their rates this year. It is hardly fair to say it 
was money thrown away to spend on the railroads 
1 Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, April, 1876. 


Continuous Line demanded 

connecting with the water-ways, provided they were 
adapted for an all-rail road, and the route is not too 
indirect. 1 

He said on another occasion: 

It is a very different thing to have a railroad and to 
have a wagon road. Many things can be brought into 
the country by means of a rail and "water route which 
cannot be carried by an ordinary wagon or cart, and 
they can be usefully employed while progress was 
being made with the railroads. I would be very sorry 
to see the undertaking stop short with this rail and 
water route. On the contrary, I hope and trust there 
will be a continuous railroad carried out with all pos- 
sible speed. 

Speaking in Manitoba he said: 

While I do not want to be an apologist for the Gov- 
ernment in its construction of the Georgian Bay 

1 The total distance of the Dawson road from Lake Superior to 
Red River was about five hundred and thirty miles; forty-five at the 
beginning and a hundred and ten at the end by land; and three 
hundred and eighty miles between, "made up of a chain of some 
twenty lakes, lakelets, and lacustrine rivers, separated from each 
other by spits, ridges, or short traverses of land or granite rocks, 
that have to be portaged across." 

In the opinion of Principal G. M. Grant, who travelled with 
Mr. Fleming in 1873, the Dawson road, as a route for trade for 
ordinary travel or for emigrants to go west, was far from satisfac- 
tory. " Only by building a hundred and fifty miles or so of railway 
at the beginning and the end, and by overcoming the intervening 
portages in such a way that bulk would not have to be broken, could 
it be made to compete even with the present route by Duluth and the 
railway thence to Pembina. The question, then, is simply whether 
or not it is wise to do this, at an expenditure of some millions on a 
road the greater part of which runs along the boundary line, after 
the Dominion has already decided to build a direct line of railway 
to the North-West." (See Ocean to Ocean, by G. M. Grant, 1873.) 


Lord Strathcona 

Branch and the railroad here, I know it is a great deal 
easier to construct the road as they are doing and far 
cheaper. I believe it is being pushed forward as fast 
as the finances of the country will allow, and I agree 
that the Pembina Branch ought not to delay the con- 
struction of the main line. At the same time I do not 
believe that the building of this road to Pembina will 
stand in the way. 

On another occasion, Mr. Donald Smith told 
his constituents : 

We looked confidently forward to the construction of 
the Pembina Branch ; and great was our disappointment 
when the American railway 1 connecting on the other 
side of the boundary line became disorganized. It was 
stopped sixty miles before reaching the boundary, bar- 
ring us as completely from outer communication as if 
the rails had not been laid beyond Breckenridge. Ef- 
forts were made by the Minnesota Government to take 
up the railway again, but the surrounding circum- 
stances were such that no one could be induced to 
have anything to do with it. 

He then went on to say : 

It happens that I had friends in London and Mon- 
treal who were interested in this country. But when 
these gentlemen were consulted with in reference to a 
railroad to Manitoba, one might just as well have sug- 
gested to them a road to the North Pole. So little was 
known of this part of Canada that capitalists could 
not be induced to embark their wealth in the enter- 
prise and I desisted for a time. 

1 The St. Paul & Pacific. 

Financial Depression 

When speaking of all these great public under- 
takings not having been more rapidly advanced, 
Mr. Smith pointed out the extraordinary financial 
depression which just then existed: 

With a depression more severe than had been known 
for many years, the country and Government had to 
contend. It was a period of embarrassment not con- 
fined to the Dominion, but extending over the United 
States, England, and the Continent, and railroad enter- 
prises had been greatly retarded by it. 

It is interesting to recall that at this time (1876) 
Mr. Smith did not believe in the practicability of 
the transcontinental railway being built by a priv- 
ate company. 

" I will give it as my opinion that if it is to be 
accomplished at all, it must be directly by the Gov- 
ernment, and not through the instrumentality of a 
company as was at one time proposed." When a 
fellow-member spoke of the Canadian Pacific Rail- 
way Company of 1873 as having been composed of 
"most honourable men, well qualified to carry out 
this great undertaking, and who would have accom- 
plished it had they not been interfered with by 
outside influences," Mr. Smith said: 

The gentlemen who composed that company were 
doubtless men of the highest respectability, and some 
of them possessed great wealth, but I would have asked 
the right honourable gentleman for Kingston, 1 if he 
had been in his place to-night, if the gallant knight, 
Sir Hugh Allan, who presided over the company, had 

1 Sir John A. Macdonald. 

Lord Strathcona 

not, before leaving this country, misgivings as to the 
success of the mission he was about to undertake. I 
will not ask his honourable friend from Cumberland, 1 
and the other members of the late Government who 
sit near him, whether within eight days after the 
deputation reached London, those gentlemen were not 
convinced that it was impossible to procure the money 
required on the terms proposed, and in fact that nothing 
short of a guarantee from the Canadian Government 
of interest to some extent on the whole amount of the 
bonds could induce capitalists to embark on the enter- 
prise. This, it must be borne in mind, was before any 
party influence had been brought to play, if indeed 
such had been at all employed, which I am not inclined 
to believe, to thwart the scheme. I had been in Eng- 
land about that time, and had learned, on what I 
believed to be the best authority, that the capitalists 
with whom the company wished to negotiate would 
not touch the proposition on any other terms than a 
Government guarantee, as I have just stated. 2 

Finally, the Mackenzie Government pressed for- 
ward the road. The survey across Manitoba was 
made, when, much to the general disappointment 
and disgust of Mr. Smith's constituents, the plans 
showed that it avoided Winnipeg altogether, taking 
a course much farther north. Here was a bitter 
pill to swallow! With Mr. Fleming the member for 
Selkirk was on terms of great intimacy. He sought 
him and earnestly besought him to demonstrate 
the reasons for the northerly route. 

"If this is persisted in, Mr. Fleming," he ex- 

1 The Honourable Charles Tupper. 
* Parliamentary Debates, April, 1876. 


Sandford Fleming 

claimed, " I might as well resign my representation 
of Selkirk in the House of Commons." 

They went over the plans carefully, and although 
at the end of a four hours' interview, the member 
for Selkirk was unconvinced of the necessity for the 
change he was fully convinced of Fleming's belief 
in such necessity. 

With this conviction he faced a stormy meeting 
of his constituents. 

As the action of the Government in locating the 
Canadian Pacific Railway [he said], they are and any 
Government must be in the hands of their engineers, 
who are alone qualified to give advice in such matters. 
Mr. Sandford Fleming has in this instance reported in 
favour of the northern route which he has adopted, he 
states, as the best selection he could make, in view of the 
purposes for which the railway is mainly constructed. 

It was charged that the chief engineer had ar- 
rived at this decision far too rapidly and without 
sufficient data. 

But [declared Mr. Smith] it has to be borne in mind 
that engineers are provided with staffs of assistants to 
aid them. A man of such high character as Mr. Flem- 
ing would not come forward to give recommendations 
of this description unless he believed he was acting in 
accord with the best interests of the country. 

He reminded his hearers, further, that another 
engineer, Mr. Marcus Smith, made a report, sim- 
ilar to that of Mr. Fleming. 

However [he went on], as far as I am concerned, I 
have always, both in and out of the House of Commons, 


Lord Strath cona 

urged that the Canadian Pacific Railway should be 
run by the southern and not by the northern route. 
On every possible occasion I have urged this on the 
Government, and I have used every effort to secure 
railroad communication through the Province. I have 
not only taken an Active part myself, but I have in- 
duced others to do so. 

To us this comes as a great disappointment. It is 
almost unendurable that the railway, instead of pass- 
ing through the centre of the Province, is to go a con- 
siderable distance to the north, touching it only at one 
point. The Minister of Public Works gives as a reason 
for this that there would be a saving of thirty miles. 
That certainly is a very great consideration from a 
Dominion point of view. If this principle is to be main- 
tained throughout the whole line, we can hardly look 
for an exception in favour of Manitoba, no matter 
how much we may regret the fact. A deputation from 
Manitoba has had an interview with the Minister of 
Public Works, and but little hope is held out of a 
change in the route. However, as we cannot have this, 
I am glad to find an indication of willingness on the 
part of the Government to assist the people of Mani- 
toba in building another line south of Lake Manitoba 
and running westward and southward such assist- 
ance to be in the shape of grants of land. I earnestly 
trust that this disposition will be borne out by fact, 
and that such assistance will be given as will give our 
people the means of sending their produce out of the 
Province to a favourable market. 

Mr. Smith had in view a road running from Fort 
Garry westward toward the south branch of the 
Saskatchewan, for a distance of from one hundred 


"It must not be!" 

to one hundred and ten miles within the Province 
of Manitoba. It might extend, however, for six or 
seven hundred miles farther to that portion of the 
country known as Bow River. That route would be 
south of the arid country stretching to a consider- 
able extent through the British possessions of the 
North-West. It had been said that the desire was 
to bring this road too far south to meet the require- 
ments of the great body of the people of the Prov- 
ince. He denied that this was the fact, and de- 
clared that the requirements of the greater number 
would be duly considered before the Government 
would be asked for any assistance. 

Yet, even while he professed submission, he did 
not abandon hope that the course of the railway 
would be changed. In a phrase which he afterwards 
used on many other occasions and notably to Sir 
John Macdonald, when the latter was again in 
power, "It must not be!" so now he observed 
repeatedly to the Premier, "I tell you, Mr. Mac- 
kenzie, it must not be, it really must not be" 

Time passed; events happened and "it" so 
greatly deprecated was not. 

We will now return to the St. Paul & Pacific Rail- 
way Company, over whose lines traffic between the 
Red River and St. Paul then passed and which had 
become bankrupt in 1873. It was partially com- 
pleted, in poor physical condition, 1 and laden with 
a heavy burden of bonds, owned mostly by finan- 
ciers in Holland. On the other hand, it had a land 
grant that might be valuable later on if it could be 
1 The rails were of iron, not steel, and fast rusting. 

Lord Strathcona 

saved, terminal facilities in St. Paul of considerable 
present and great potential value, and it was the 
predestined continuous railroad route to Winnipeg 
by its authorized line down the Red River Valley 
to the international boundary, some sections of 
which had been built and were lying there in the 
general demoralization. When Mr. Smith saw that 
construction had stopped and that those in control 
of the property were not likely to complete it, he 
began to consider if there were any other means to 
that end. 

He discussed the matter with Mr. Norman Kitt- 
son, and he also found that Mr. Hill had the same 
idea; both believed thoroughly in the country, and 
its possibilities, and in the value of the property 
if it could be secured, rehabilitated, and extended. 
Every year, from 1873 on, Mr. Smith passed through 
St. Paul frequently, and the three men in their con- 
versations came to have a practical idea of what 
would have to be done, and finally to regard a pur- 
chase of the defaulted railway bonds as something 
that might be attempted. 

By 1876, the time appeared to be ripe for action. 
The prospects of the property and the country were 
improving. Legislation had been passed making it 
possible to reorganize a railroad company under 
foreclosure, allowing the bondholders to buy in 
the property and reorganize without forfeiting the 
privileges belonging to the former company. So in 
March of that year Mr. Hill, being in Ottawa, met 
Mr. Smith at his house there, and they decided 
that the opportune time had come and that a prac- 


From the painting by Frank Holl, A .R.A . 

Enter Mr. George Stephen 

tical effort should now be made to see at what price 
the bonds could be bought. 1 

One of Mr. Smith's intimate friends was Mr. George 
Stephen, afterward Lord Mount Stephen, then Presi- 
dent of the Bank of Montreal. From the first he had 
endeavoured to interest Mr. Stephen in the plan. The 
latter, who was not at first familiar with the country 
or the property, for a time believed it not practicable, 
and perhaps not desirable. Mr. Smith's continued 
representations finally induced him to consider it more 
favourably; and in the spring of 1877, he joined with 
the others in the enterprise and the effort to raise, 
through moneyed men in London and elsewhere, the 
funds necessary to buy the bonds. 2 

When the St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company 
became bankrupt [writes Sir William Van Home], it 
occurred to Mr. Smith and Mr. Hill that they might 
help the transportation difficulty, and do something 
for themselves and for the country as well, by getting 
control somehow of the broken-down property. They 
needed, first of all, a financier, and Mr. Smith brought 
the subject to the attention of his cousin, George 
Stephen (now Lord Mount Stephen), a prominent 
Montreal merchant and the president of the Bank 

1 " I succeeded in inducing some friends to join with me in taking 
up the St. Paul & Pacific Railway, now the St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Manitoba Railway. Mr. Stephen was one of those who embarked 
in the enterprise, and at the time we certainly did not expect to make 
much profit out of it, but we did desire, and that very earnestly, to 
have a road into our own North-West country. Contrary to the 
wish of our associates, we made it a condition that it should be con- 
tinued on to the boundary to meet a line at Pembina, a proposition 
which they thought was very foolish, indeed, as it would result in no 
profit, but in a loss to the company." (Parliamentary Debates, May 
26, 1887.) 

* Memorandum of J. J. Hill to the author. 


Lord Strathcona 

of Montreal, who at first scouted the idea. But 
Mr. Smith was, as always, persistent, and he gave Mr. 
Stephen no rest. 

Just then occurred a serious failure of a steel com- 
pany in Illinois which involved the Chicago agency of 
the Bank of Montreal in a heavy loss, and Mr. Stephen 
with Mr. Richard B. Angus, the general manager of 
the Bank, hastened to Chicago to do what they could. 
After some days the proceedings of the law courts 
gave them a week of idleness and they tossed a coin to 
determine whether to use it in a visit to St. Paul or 
St. Louis. Fortunately for them, it fell to St. Paul, 
and Stephen said, " I am rather glad of that, for it will 
give us an opportunity to see the railroad Smith has 
talked about so much." They had heard of Mr. Hill 
through Mr. Smith, and on reaching St. Paul, they 
looked him up. He arranged for a special train to 
Breckenridge and they ran out one day and returned 
at night. 

Mr. Stephen had never before seen a prairie and 
was much impressed by its beauties and possibilities, 
although at the time the plague of locusts which had 
devastated all that region for nearly two years, and 
which continued more than a year afterwards, had 
given the country a bleak and barren look and had 
compelled nearly all the settlers to abandon their 
homes. Mr. Stephen knew that such plagues had 
visited many parts of the world many times since his- 
tory began, knew that they were frequent, but knew 
that they never continued long, and he gave the locusts 
no serious thought. He knew the Americans and knew 
that the settlers would quickly return to their lands 
when the locusts should go, and that these settlers 
would prosper and be followed by many more. 


The Dutch Bondholders 

Then came visits to the representatives of the 
Dutch bondholders whose interest was long in default. 
Mr. Stephen urged these bondholders to join him and 
his friends in reorganizing the company and extending 
the railroad down the valley of the Red River some 
hundreds of miles to the Canadian boundary and spoke 
of the great fortunes to be made by it. But the Dutch- 
men were not to be moved. They had lost much 
money, they were tired and disgusted, and the locusts 
were yet there. "Take our bonds at a price and make 
all that money yourselves," said they. Mr. Stephen 
replied that he and his associates could not take the 
bonds at any price unless they could be sure of the 
necessary legislation in Minnesota. "How long will 
that take?" asked the Dutchmen. "Six months," 
replied Mr. Stephen. "Then," said the Dutchmen, 
"we will give you an option for a nominal amount on 
our bonds for eight months at a price less than the 
accrued interest on them." And Stephen came away 
with the option. 1 

This was in 1876. An association was immedi- 
ately formed, consisting of George Stephen, Donald 

1 Most of these bonds were held by a committee of the owners 
in Amsterdam, called the "Dutch Committee." Through the year 
1877, various tentative propositions were considered in the negotia- 
tions opened with this committee. The associated purchasers were 
all men of modest means. It was found impossible to procure outside 
capital in amount sufficient to purchase for cash, because men in a 
position to command it were not familiar with the country and had 
been made distrustful by the misfortune of other American railroad 
investments. The bondholders stood out for the best terms they 
could make; but further delay threatening the sacrifice of some of 
the company's rights and its property unless they were ready to put 
in a large additional sum of money, they finally entered, February 
13, 1878, into an agreement of purchase and sale on new conditions 
with four associates, Donald A. Smith, James J. Hill, George Stephen, 
and Norman W. Kittson. 


Lord Strathcona 

A. Smith, James J. Hill, Richard B. Angus, John 
S. Kennedy, and Norman W. Kittson. The compara- 
tively small amount required for preliminary expenses 
was provided between them, the reorganization plan 
was carried out, the necessary legislation hurried 
through at St. Paul by Mr. Hill, and the St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company (now 
called the Great Northern) was born. 1 New bonds 
were created for putting the old railway in order, for 
new equipment and for the extension northward. 
Enough of these bonds were quickly marketed to pay 
off the Dutch bondholders. Then more were sold and 
active operations began; and then early in July, 1877, 
the locusts disappeared. Immediately the settlers 
who had left the country returned and the suspended 
movement of people to the western lands was resumed 
at an enormously increased rate. 

" From that time to this the history of the company 
has been one of enterprise, energy, and boundless suc- 
cess. The railway built up the country and the for- 
tunes of its promoters grew a pace. The names of these 
men are held almost in reverence throughout the vast 
region served by the many thousands of miles of rail- 
ways they have made, and among these names not the 
least is that of Donald A. Smith (Lord Strathcona). 
The great corporation created by these men, unlike 
some of the earlier American railway corporations, 
has never been smirched by charges of stock- jobbing, 
money-grabbing, or questionable practices of any 
kind. The vast rewards which have come to it repre- 
sent merely a fair participation in the wealth its found- 
ers created for the country at large." * 

1 Memorandum by James J. Hill. 
1 Sir William Van Home. 


Acquisition of the Railway 

Turning to Mr. Hill's narrative, he says: 

The old bonds were turned in at varying prices 
which, though more or less below face, were well above 
their market value at the time. Payment was to be 
made within six months of the sale of the properties 
under foreclosure, either in gold or in first mortgage 
gold bonds of the new company to be organized by 
the associates. Until then they were to pay interest on 
the purchase price, and they assumed all the risks and 
all the expenses of completing unfinished lines. It was 
stipulated under bond that they should build to St. 
Vincent as quickly as possible, and in not to exceed 
two years from date. They pledged all they had in the 
world to carry through what nearly everybody then 
regarded as a probable failure. 

The new control pushed matters. The new lines 
were built, operation was systematized, the seasons 
were favourable, settlers came pouring in, the coun- 
try developed, the business of the railroad grew. On 
May 23, 1879, these four men, together with a repre- 
sentative of the banking house of John S. Kennedy & 
Company, of New York City, organized the St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company, the 
parent company of the Great Northern of to-day. 
From that time onward, the history of the enterprise in 
which Donald A. Smith had so large a share was one of 
unceasing growth and increasing prosperity. 1 

Having by these strenuous exertions acquired 
the road and carried it to the Canadian boundary, 
the next step was to obtain a lease of the line of rail- 
way which had been built by the Government from 

1 Memorandum, ubi supra. 

Lord Strathcona 

Winnipeg to Pembina in order to link it there with 
the St. Paul & Pacific. 

In every country there is a set of men so jealous 
of capital and suspicious of enterprise likely to 
create wealth for others than themselves that, 
should a political antagonism also exist, they will 
spare no effort to defeat a project destined for the 
public good. It was so in this case and will be 
so in other instances hereafter. One records with 
regret that Sir John Macdonald opposed the grant- 
ing of the lease, chiefly because he was advised that 
the Government of the day intended to grant it 
and he was in opposition, but partly also because 
he had not yet forgiven Mr. Smith for his failure 
to support him at the crisis of 1873. Forces were 
brought to bear to defeat the measure, but in vain. 

A great deal was said at the time about the exist- 
ence of a railway monopoly, which would grind 
down the farmers and producers of the North -West. 

It is important [stated Mr. Smith] for the Govern- 
ment to have connection made with advantage to the 
railway; but the Government has secured the people 
against extortion or excess of charges. If I say any- 
thing on behalf of the St. Paul & Pacific promoters, it 
is that our first proposition submitted to the Govern- 
ment was so moderate in their own interests and bene- 
ficial to this Province that the Government did not 
consider that anything fairer could be asked for. What 
were the terms? That we might have the power to 
run the road for five years which term might be ex- 
tended for another five on a mutual agreement, and 
that the rates should be reasonable. Well, how were 


Rail vs. River Tariffs 

we to arrive at what were reasonable rates? It was 
arranged that the Government should appoint an ar- 
bitrator, the railway men another, and if these two 
did not agree upon a third, then they should go to the 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada to ap- 
point him. This was the offer of those monopolists, of 
those who would grind us down. I ask you could 
anything be more liberal? When I tell you further that 
the road is entirely controlled by Canadians though 
while no men were more honourable than the merchants 
of the United States, we naturally had a leaning for 
our own people and preferred to see the work in their 
own hands, when it was in the hands of Canadian cap- 
italists. I asked if they were not perfectly safe against 
extortion and excessive charges. 

In the course of the debate in Parliament on the 
Canadian Pacific Railway Act Amendment Bill, 1 
in the spring of 1878, Mr. Smith disclosed some 
interesting particulars he had obtained of the 
transportation rates then charged by different com- 
panies in the North-West, to show that the heavy 
rates and great extortion complained of did not 
rest wholly with the Red River Transportation 

From J. J. Hill to D. A. Smith 

ST. PAUL, 2ist April, 1878. 

I beg herewith to send you the particulars you ask 
for with regard to the transportation rates. The first- 
class passage from St. Paul to Winnipeg is $20. Of this 
amount the Northern Pacific will not accept anything 
1 To lease the Pembina Branch. 

Lord Strathcona 

less than $10 for carrying passengers 244 miles to 
Glyndon, which is made within twelve hours. From 
that point to Fisher's Landing, or rather Crookston, 
the other portion of the line belonging to the Red River 
Transportation Company, a distance of 70 miles, $2.50 
is charged. There remains the transit by the Red 
River Transportation Company, for a distance of 380 
miles, occupying two or three days, on the river, for 
which $7.50 is charged. Thus for transportation over 
244 miles, the Northern Pacific obtains $10, that for 
70 miles $2.50 was exacted, and that for 380 miles, 
extending over two or three days, only $7.50 is paid. 
For second-class passage, $12 is paid for the whole dis- 
tance, of which $6 was taken by the Northern Pacific 
for 244 miles, while the Red River Transportation 
Company obtains an amount in the same proportion 
as I have given for the first-class passengers. So much 
for the so-called "extortion" of the Red River Trans- 
portation Company. 

On August 3, 1878, a lease was granted to Mr. 
Stephen giving to the St. Paul & Pacific Railway 
running powers for ten years over the Pembina 

I will not dwell upon the protracted trials of these 
gentlemen in their efforts to secure rail communica- 
tion and their frequent failures, which only nerved 
them to try again; and within three months those 
present will see that they had at last succeeded. Within 
that space of time the cars will be running up from St. 
Boniface to St. Paul, and within a short period after, 
the iron horse will be on the rails on this side of the 
river. I feel gratified on receiving a telegram from my 
friend Mr. George Stephen, a most enterprising mer- 


Mr. Stephen's Confidence 

chant, and, as nearly every one present knows, the 
president of the Bank of Montreal, a gentleman 
greatly interested in opening communication with 

Mr. Stephen had gone west in the summer of 
1878 and travelled up the railway to Fisher's Land- 
ing, and along the St. Vincent extension, and on his 
return to Montreal wired Mr. Smith a despatch 
expressing his confidence that a train would be in 
Winnipeg in October. 

But even if we discount this confidence, if, however, 
taking the latest time possible and allow for some 
unforeseen circumstance, we should have rail commun- 
ication with the outside world that we could leave 
here in the evening and be in St. Paul the following 
day what a boon that will be! And, gentlemen, 
mark my words, we will do it! 

Relating his experiences at this time and the in- 
ducements offered to Messrs. Stephen and Angus 
to come to see this bankrupt railway, Mr. Smith 
said afterwards : 

They finally yielded to my persuasion and came. 
They saw the fine prairies of northern Minnesota; they 
saw the golden grain in fields and in mounds; they 
looked with amazement, for they had no conception of 
such a country even one of which they had heard so 
much. Up here in Manitoba, they were still better 
pleased with the excellence of the land. They saw and 
felt that Canada had a very great country ; to make it 
profitable for it to become the granary of Canada 
and Europe it had merely to be opened. These 
capitalists, these prominent men, were looked upon at 


Lord Strathcona 

home as sober, serious citizens, but when they returned 
from the West, they were almost beside themselves, and 
advised every one they met to "go West.'/ And some 
of these gentlemen were able to infuse the enthusiasm 
they contained into others who knew little previously 
of the North- West. They were helped, and helped con- 
siderably, by the magnificent speech of Lord Dufferin 
in which he declared that Manitoba was not only use- 
ful to the rest of Canada, but was the " bull's eye of the 

It is hardly within the prescribed scope of these 
pages to do more than refer to certain vexatious 
litigation which attended the transfer of the inter- 
ests of the St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company to 
Mr. Smith and his associates. But inasmuch as the 
transaction has been the subject of such gross mis- 
conception, a summary of it may be considered 
called for in this place. 

When, in 1873, the railway went into bankruptcy, 
one James J. Farley, a person with an indifferent 
reputation, was appointed official receiver. The 
interests of the Dutch bondholders were in the 
hands of Mr. J. S. Kennedy, of New York. In or- 
der to obtain financial control and rehabilitate the 
railway, it was necessary to deal with Farley. 

Farley claimed to have 

knowledge, not possessed by any of the other parties, 
as to the whereabouts of the bonds, the rated value 
thereof by holders, and the mode whereby these could 
be procured; also in respect to the situation, amount, 
character, and value of the lines of railroad and prop- 
erty mortgaged to secure said bonds and in respect to 


Farley's Charges 

the pending suits for the foreclosure of said mort- 
gages, and that the services of the plaintiff in respect 
to all of said matters and his cooperation were indis- 
pensable to the success of said enterprise. 1 

He gave this information to Messrs. Kittson and 
Hill in the first instance, and claimed to have en- 
tered into a secret agreement with them to share 
certain profits to be derived. 

Thereupon Kittson made arrangements with and 
procured Donald A. Smith, in conjunction with 
George Stephen, to agree to furnish and advance 
funds necessary to purchase the bonds, and carry out 
said enterprise, and as plaintiff is informed and be- 
lieved, the said defendant Kittson, by and with the 
consent of the defendant Hill, but without the 
knowledge or consent of the plaintiff, and in violation 
of the understanding and agreement before mentioned, 
agreed with Smith and Stephen, that the latter should 
have and hold, for their own use and benefit, three 
fifths or sixty per cent interest in said undertaking and 
enterprise. Subsequently, Smith and Stephen, aided 
by Hill, Kittson, and plaintiff, opened a court of ne- 
gotiations (between 1877 and 1879) for the purchase of 
said bonds, and as a result of such negotiation, Smith 
and Stephen purchased about twenty million dollars, 
in amount, of the bonds. 2 

In the legal proceedings, it was indignantly de- 
nied by Mr. Kennedy that either he or the holders 
of any of the mortgaged bonds knew of Farley's 
interest in the project for purchasing said bonds. 

1 The plaintiff's plea in the subsequent lawsuit. 
1 Minnesota Reports, vol. xxvn. 


Lord Strathcona 

Nor did Kennedy even suspect at any time that 
Farley ever claimed to have any such interest, as 
receiver of the railway, then covered by a fifteen- 
million-dollar mortgage. Moreover, how could Far- 
ley lawfully make any such agreement, or engage 
in the enterprise of purchasing the bonds? The 
mere making of such an agreement and the em- 
barking in such an enterprise by him. would have 
been " a breach of trust on his part as such receiver, 
and a fraud on the holders of the bonds, and a fraud 
on the court, whose receiver he was." 

On the other hand, as general manager of the 
trustees, Farley occupied a situation of confidence 
toward his employers ; by making any such agree- 
ment as he alleged and by engaging in the enterprise 
of purchasing the bonds and said mortgaged prop- 
erty, he would have been guilty of a breach of trust 
toward, and a fraud upon, the trustees and the 

But while privately stigmatizing Farley's infa- 
mous charge of conspiracy, the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis & Manitoba Company (as it was now) were 
advised, as the speediest method of disposing of 
the case, to ignore the issue raised altogether, and 
simply to put forward the plea that, by reason of 
the fiduciary position occupied by the plaintiff, he 
was not entitled to the aid of a court of equity to 
enforce any of the agreements mentioned or any of 
the rights claimed by him. 

Therefore these defendants do plead, whether they 
should be compelled to make further answer to the said 
bill, and pray to be hence dismissed, with their reason- 


A Monstrous Charge dismissed 

able costs and charges in this behalf most wrongfully 

In rendering his decision the Federal judge treated 
Farley's plea with merited severity. He said: 

This is a strange demand to present to a court of 
equity. To what extent the alleged confederates are 
blameworthy or culpable, if at all, can be made to 
appear only after necessary and full proofs. The court, 
however, must dispose of the case as now presented. 
Surely no principle of equity, morals, or law could 
countenance such a demand, and no court worthy of 
its trust would lend its aid to further a scheme so ab- 
horrent to all recognized rules of right and justice. 1 

The plea of the defendants was sustained and the 
suit against them dismissed with costs. 

The whole case aroused widespread interest, and 
an attempt was made in some quarters to create 
another "railway scandal," of a too-familiar type, 
out of it. But the attempt miserably failed. To a 
plain man knowing Farley's character and the char- 
acter of the defendants, and appraising the charges 
as presented in court, no possible doubt could 
exist that the promoters of the railway had acted 
throughout as honourable men, and that the plans 
of a simple blackmailer had happily miscarried. 

The determination of the Government that the 
main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway was not 
to pass through Winnipeg continued to be a source 
of deep dissatisfaction. But Mr. Smith was not dis- 
couraged. He told his constituents: 
1 Federal Reporter, vol. xiv. 

Lord Strathcona 

Our next step, after securing the road to St. Boni- 
face, should be a railway through the country now 
becoming so thickly settled. I see no reason why it 
should not be built; it should already be running. 
Three or four years ago a charter was obtained for a 
road running south-west from Winnipeg; the scheme 
was shown the Government, which seemed inclined 
toward it. I introduced a gentleman well known here, 
Mr. John Ross, to the Premier, and in conversation in 
regard to the railway, Mr. Mackenzie expressed him- 
self most favourably, and so did the then Minister of 
Interior, indeed so far as to speak of the necessary 
grant of land and the arrangements for commencing 
the work within a short time. Some gentlemen here, 
however, stepped in and thwarted the scheme, which 
was hardly to be expected from those in the Province, 
even if the line did not run within a few yards of their 
lands. The scheme, however, was only postponed, and 
I believe that within eighteen months a railway west 
will be commenced. We need not then care whether 
the proposed Canadian Pacific Railway was built to 
the north or south of Lake Manitoba, or whether it 
was built at all, so long as we would have, for all prac- 
tical purposes, and for the wants of the country, a well- 
built road to take in supplies to the hundreds, soon to 
be thousands, who will make their homes in the North- 
West, and who will enrich Manitoba and Winnipeg. 
I know that Manitoba is a small spot, on the map 
it looked little enough, but in a short time it will 
have extended its limits. The boundary difficulty 
between Ontario and the North-West was the only 
difficulty in the way, and that now being dispelled, 
our boundaries to the eastward and to the westward 
will be extended, through Manitoba to the Little Sas- 


Disheartening Indecision 

katchewan I trust, and circumstances warrant me in 
believing a railway will be running in a very short 

Soon it appeared that the Mackenzie Govern- 
ment was weakening on the question of the route 
north of Winnipeg. 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie) stated that 
the principal reason for carrying the railway from 
Red River north of Lake Manitoba to Fort Pelly 
was to shorten the distance to the destined capital 
of the North-West. 

I hope [declared Mr. Smith], now that the seat of 
Government for the North-West Territory is to be 
removed to a point some three hundred miles west 
and somewhat south of that first proposed, the Prime 
Minister might see his way to consider the location of 
this portion of the line so as to bring it south of Lake 
Manitoba, an alteration which would confer a very 
great benefit on the Province of Manitoba, and would 
command the approval and hearty thanks of its peo- 
ple. I believe that the statement and explanation of 
the Premier will give general satisfaction. 

Before his heart had been wrapped up in the 
St. Paul & Pacific, he had been seriously disquieted 
by the shilly-shallying in its railway policy, of the 
Mackenzie Government. 

I am beginning to lose heart over the Canadian Pa- 
cific Railway and to attach less and less importance to 
it as a means of saving the situation at large. 

This he wrote in 1876. A year later, he said: 


Lord Strathcona 

In so far as the facilities given for bringing in the 
supplies and sending out their products is concerned, 
it matters little how the people of Manitoba get it, so 
long as they get it. 

How characteristic of him it was, that up to the 
debate of 1878, Mr. Smith had not considered it 
either desirable or necessary to confirm or deny the 
reports concerning his personal connection with the 
St. Paul & Minnesota Railway. 1 His reason for 
silence was to avoid bringing down upon his head 
the very charges of illicit interest and political cor- 
ruption which Sir John Macdonald, then leader of 
the Opposition, launched at him and from which 
he defended himself. 

The honourable gentleman [observed Sir John with 
unnecessary heat] admitted he was a partner in this 
concern, and the House should know something 
about it. 

I beg the right honourable gentleman's pardon 
[replied Mr. Smith], I admitted no such thing! The 
honourable gentleman, I hope, is not my father con- 

The honourable gentleman [retorted the leader of 
the Opposition] has not denied it, and there is no doubt 
that, if he could have done so, he would. A little while 
ago, he denied positively that he had any interest in 

1 The St. Paul Pioneer Press first stated editorially on March 7, 
1878, that the purchasers of the bonds of the St. Paul & Pacific 
Railway were Messrs. Hill and Kittson, associated with Mr. Stephen 
of the Bank of Montreal, and Donald A. Smith. It asserted that, 
through the influence of the latter, the support and cooperation of 
the Dominion Government have been obtained in the adjustment 
of their connections with the railway system in Manitoba. 

7 6 

Replies to Opposition Leader 

the Kittson line, because he could say so. But he does 
not deny that he has an interest in the St. Paul line. 

To this Mr. Smith rejoined that it was neither 
necessary nor desirable to satisfy the right honour- 
able gentleman's curiosity. 

Whatever I have done in this respect I have done in 
the most open manner possible. When it was found 
that others could do nothing in the way of getting 
better railway facilities and completing the railway 
connections in Manitoba, I certainly, as a Member 
from the Province, did my utmost to effect that. As I 
said on another occasion in this House, for two or three 
years back I have laboured earnestly to that end in 
connection with some friends, and no sooner did it 
become possible to get that which was so much re- 
quired indeed an absolute necessity for the country 
than the honourable gentleman and his friends put 
every obstacle in the way of its being carried out. He 
comes to this House and says that the Government is 
actuated by unworthy motives in proposing to make 
running arrangements with the St. Paul & Pacific 
Company over the Pembina Branch, and that it was 
their intention to reward me in this way for my ser- 
vile adherence to them. Now I would like to ask the 
honourable gentleman for Kingston [Sir John Mac- 
donald] and any member of his Government, if on any 
occasion they found a disposition on my part to ask 
or receive any favour from the Government, either for 
myself or for that corporation which has been so much 
spoken of, and which I have had the honour of repre- 
senting the Hudson's Bay Company? I would ask 
the honourable member if I have received one sixpence 
of public money, or one place, either for myself, or for 


Lord Strathcona 

any other person connected with me, and if at this 
moment there is one single person related to myself 
who receives one sixpence of the public money. 

There could be but one answer to this question. 
Throughout his political career Donald A. Smith 
never asked for either place or favour. As a mem- 
ber of Parliament he drew no salary. As a Govern- 
ment Commissioner he accepted neither salary nor 
indemnity, even paying his own expenses. When 
in the course of time he became Canada's represen- 
tative abroad, he forewent the emoluments of that 

One passes hastily over the conclusion of this 
debate in Parliament, as one draws a veil over fea- 
tures dear to us, but so distorted as to provoke in 
the spectator a sentiment of pain. A scene occurred 

"the most disgraceful," wrote George Brown, 
"in the annals of the Canadian House of Commons" 

when Sir John Macdonald lost his temper, and 
together with his lieutenant, Sir Charles Tupper, 
indulged in vituperative language for which he was 
afterwards sincerely ashamed. Physical violence 
on both sides was narrowly prevented, and in such 
manner was the Session of 1878 brought to an un- 
dignified if dramatic close. 

In the succeeding election Mr. Smith was again 
a candidate for Selkirk. On the hustings he dis- 
claimed the title of " Mackenzieite " which his 
opponent foisted upon him. He denied that he had 
ever been a slavish supporter of either the present 
or the previous Administration. Throughout his 
parliamentary career he had been absolutely inde- 

His Political Independence 

pendent and had never received a personal favour 
from either the present or previous Government to 
the extent of one single dollar. 

In respect to Mr. Morris's charge that as head of a 
great corporation, I would lack weight in the House of 
Commons, how did that compare with the honour- 
able gentleman's assertion that in the House of Com- 
mons I have been able to exercise undue influence in 
favour of the Hudson's Bay Company? There is a 
manifest inconsistency here. 

If I have lost influence on account of my connection 
with the Hudson's Bay Company, how was it that 
again and again during the canvass I have been ac- 
cused of having such power with the Government as 
to be almost a dictator? The argument of my honour- 
able friend does not hang together logically. But the 
fact is that when I was returned to Ottawa by the 
voice of the people of this Province, I would command 
an influence there, and I intend to exercise that influ- 
ence to the fullest extent. The honourable gentleman 
might speak slightingly of the business habits of the 
Hudson's Bay Company's officers, as he had done, but 
those knowing the Hudson's Bay Company knew that 
it ranked among its officers many of just as much intel- 
ligence, business habits, and commercial morality and 
honour as were to be found anywhere in the world. 
The Governor-General at a dinner given in his honour 
in this city, had given his meed of praise to those 
gentlemen, and that was a testimony on which they 
might rest. 

I do not profess to be a Cicero. I leave that dis- 
tinction to my honourable friend. They boast a 
Disraeli and a Gladstone in England men of abil- 
ity, power, and persuasive eloquence. In this country 


Lord Strathcona 

we have a Blake and a Sir John Macdonald men 
ranking high as orators. But no doubt my honourable 
friend will show that these men have dwindled into 
insignificance that in comparison with his, their 
powers of persuasion are vastly inferior and their skill 
in argument not to be mentioned in the same breath. 1 

The Mackenzie Government did not receive at 
the polls throughout the Dominion generally the 
support expected. At a meeting, the evening pre- 
vious to the polling, Mr. Smith had told the elec- 
tors that he had given an independent support to 
Mr. Mackenzie's Government, and he would con- 
sider it his bounden duty, when elected, to sustain 
any Government in passing such measures as were 
in the interests of the people of Manitoba and the 
North-West. All measures introduced into Parlia- 
ment with that end in view, he would sustain and 
advance to the best of his ability. 

As to the defeat of the present Administration, one 
reason above all others which brought this about was 
the idea which got into the minds of many people 
of the country, and, indeed, had been industriously 
instilled into them that the great and widespread 
depression prevailing was the fault of the Government. 
That had more to do with their defeat, apparently, 
than everything else put together. Throughout his 

1 A further example of his platform satire may be cited : 
" I was not in public life at the time of Confederation and conse- 
quently was not aware until this memorable evening that to my 
friend [his opponent Mr. Morris], and a particular friend of his, were 
we indebted for the great work. It is well to know these things, so 
that credit can be given to whom credit is due. I admit that I might 
have been skeptical, but now, hearing it direct from my honourable 
friend's lips, I must accept it." (Speech, August 21, 1878.) 


No "Fair-weather Friend" 

life he had never been a "fair-weather friend," and 
would express his belief in respect to the Government 
which had just fallen, that they were quite able to 
stand by their record, as one showing that they had 
sought to advance the welfare of the country at large. 

On the morning of the poll the following letter 
appeared in the Free Press and attracted marked 
attention : 

The victory which the Conservatives have gained in 
the late election ought surely to satisfy the most exact- 
ing amongst them and allow them to step down from 
the platform of party feelings and give some considera- 
tion to the real position of the country in the present 
contest. Let us look at matters as they really stand. 
In the first place, the great question is, with us, railway 
communication with the East, without which we are 
bound to be at a standstill, no matter how much Sir 
John may seem to favour us. It is quite plain to any 
one that we will have to depend on the American out- 
let for the next three years at least, as, no matter how 
quickly Sir John may push on the road to Lake Su- 
perior, he cannot complete it within that time. Sir 
John A. Macdonald is too astute a politician to refuse 
to work hand in hand with Donald A. Smith in rail- 
way matters, especially as the latter gentleman wields 
a very great influence in that respect across the line, 
where Sir John cannot, if he would, interfere with 

Suppose that Sir John should see fit to cancel the 
lease of the Pembina Branch to the St. Paul & Pacific, 
how much better off are we? The railway company 
has sufficient influence to arrange matters with the 
Northern Pacific by which the two lines can divide the 


Lord Strathcona 

profits of a higher tariff of rates to the boundary line 
which the people of this country will be compelled to 
pay for the next three or four years, and this, in addi- 
tion to an increase in the customs duties, will consti- 
tute a very serious burden on the people of Manitoba. 
Even when the road to Lake Superior is finished we 
will have but a summer route for another long period 
during which we will be at the mercy of American 
roads in winter. It is well known that no direct road 
can be built between Lake Superior and Winnipeg that 
will not take years and a large amount of money to 
construct. Sir John, therefore, in the interest of this 
Province, and in the interest of any schemes he may 
wish to advance for the opening-up of this vast coun- 
try is not going to quarrel with Donald A. Smith in any 
railway matters merely to satisfy a personal grudge. 
If he did, could we blame Mr. Smith if he resented it? 
And then between Sir John A. Macdonald and Donald 
A. we in Manitoba would find ourselves in a nice pickle 
of fish. It is all nonsense to suppose that the North- 
ern Pacific will launch capital to build a road, when 
they are so much in need of money to push on their 
main line, so long as they can make a satisfactory 
arrangement with the St. Paul & Pacific for the trade 
of this city. This is the business way to look at it. 

Now, suppose we reject Donald A. Smith as a 
friend ; is it to be supposed that he will take any par- 
ticular pains to advance our interests? He has become 
a responsible party for millions, and it is very likely, 
indeed, that he will, when under ties of friendship for 
us, make what he can out of the investment without 
much regard for us in the matter. How is Sir John to 
prevent this, I would like to know? He may cancel 
the lease of the Pembina Branch, but is he, or will he 


Charges of Corruption 

be, in a position to manipulate the line outside the 
Dominion? Donald A., I rather think, has been before 
him in this. It is not only probable but certain that 
the people of the Dominion would never sanction the 
expenditure of money to build up American railways. 
Sir John A. would never attempt it; he has had too 
bitter an experience in the past to forget the lesson. 

The election resulted in Mr. Smith's favour; but 
the Opposition charged that a technical violation 
of the law had been committed and demanded an 
annulment. In the course of lengthy enquiry it was 
shown that refreshments had unwittingly been 
served to certain visitors at "Silver Heights" 1 
and other malpractices indulged in, which, though 
innocent of themselves, might conceivably influ- 
ence an individual's vote. But that any bribery or 
corruption, open or secret, could be alleged against 
the successful candidate was shown to be unjust 
and unreasonable. The case came before one Judge 
Betournay, who, after carefully hearing the evi- 
dence, dismissed the charges. 

Unhappily this same judge, who was universally 
respected, though far from affluent, had some years 
before sought to obtain a mortgage upon his prop- 
erty. The property was worth some eight or ten 

1 This residence, " Silver Heights," was occupied by many notable 
visitors including several Governors-General. The late Duke of 
Argyll, when Lord Lome, stayed at "Silver Heights," which was one 
of the most beautiful spots in the Province. The old house at " Silver 
Heights," with its spacious galleries, quaint corners, and handsomely 
furnished rooms, was thrown open, on many occasions, for the enter- 
tainment of distinguished men and women, and its hospitalities be- 
came a household word in Manitoba. When the house was destroyed 
by fire a noteworthy landmark in the Province disappeared. 


Lord Strathcona 

thousand dollars. He had applied to Mr. Smith's 
agent in Winnipeg, who had advanced him four 
thousand dollars on a mortgage. As Mr. Smith 
afterwards publicly stated : 

His agent had acted in this case, as in every other 
with which he had been connected in Manitoba, sim- 
ply as his agent to invest money, and in most cases he 
did not know the parties dealt with or sums handled. 
The particular transactions spoken of in this instance 
took place in August, 1874, when his agent, Mr. 
Blanchard, a barrister of Winnipeg, was put in charge 
of his [Mr. Smith's] personal affairs in Manitoba, and 
who had invested for him to a considerable extent, on 
his belief that the security given was ample. Since 
that time he had no knowledge whatever of the trans- 

Yet when, as a newspaper sensation, the circum- 
stance of the mortgage was revealed such a clamour 
arose that in May, 1879, Mr. Smith felt it was his 
duty to make a personal explanation to the House 
of Commons. After a simple narration of the facts 
he concluded by saying : 

He disliked very much to come before the House on 
any personal matter, and for his own sake would not 
have spoken. He had shown he had cared very little 
for what might have been said against him in the pub- 
lic press ; but, when they knew that the reputation of 
a judge depended so much on the estimation in which 
he was held by the people, he believed that it was his 
duty to come forward and vindicate the judge reflected 
upon. 1 

1 Parliamentary Debates, May, 1879. 


New Election ordered 

Nevertheless, the matter was unscrupulously 
pressed by Mr. Smith's opponents, and on the con- 
tested election being argued before the Supreme 
Court, the decision was reversed and a new elec- 
tion ordered. 

At first he decided not to offer himself for reelec- 

To W. F. Luxton 

July 3d, 1880. 

I thank you much for your telegrams; but notwith- 
standing the desire you mention, on the part of your 
friends, of which I have also had warm assurances 
from other quarters, that I should again offer myself 
as a candidate for the representation of Selkirk, with, 
I am informed, the certainty of reelection, while greatly 
appreciating this proof of your continued confidence, 
I am unable to comply with your wish. 

My engagements for the summer and autumn are 
such that I could not count on being able to be present 
during the election contest; and, apart from this, for 
three or four years back the attendance at the Sessions 
of the Legislature, in fulfilment of my duties to my 
constituents, has trenched so heavily on the time and 
attention required to be given to other affairs, that 
those friends with whom I am more immediately asso- 
ciated have repeatedly and very strongly urged me to 
withdraw from Parliament; a recommendation, unhap- 
pily, recently enforced by illness in my family, which 
makes it necessary for me to be absent a good deal 
from Canada. 

In, for the present, closing a connection extending 
over ten years as the representative in the House of 
Commons for the County of Selkirk, including Winni- 


Lord Strathcona 

peg, which from a small village has, during that period, 
grown to be an important city with a population of 
upwards of ten thousand, let me say to you that I am 
very sensible of all the kindness and consideration ex- 
perienced at the hands of those friends who supported 
me, whether on political grounds or from sentiments of 
personal friendship to myself; that I shall always look 
back with much satisfaction to the very pleasant char- 
acter of our relations toward each other, and that they 
and the Province of Manitoba, with whose interests 
I have been so intimately connected ever since it be- 
came a portion of the Dominion, have my best wishes 
for their happiness and prosperity. 

Afterwards, yielding to the earnest representa- 
tions of his many friends of both political parties, 
he consented to become a candidate for reelection. 
"Liberals and Liberal-Conservatives alike will re- 
joice at this happy solution of the political problem. 
The cordial and spontaneous promises of support 
which have reached Mr. Smith from all quarters of 
the riding, and from all sections of the community, 
must have been as gratifying to himself personally 
as they are significant of the ultimate result of the 
contest." l 

At the first joint meeting of the rival candidates 
Captain Scott said he found an honourable oppon- 
ent in Mr. Smith. After referring to the lateness of 
Mr. Smith's acceptance of the candidature, he went 
on to say that Mr. Donald A. Smith was one who 
" was held and justly so in the highest respect 
by the people of Kildonan. He had not said and 

1 Free Press, July 12, 1880. 

Defeated for Selkirk 

would not say one word against him, further than 
what affected his political career. Mr. Smith, who 
had represented Selkirk for the past seven or eight 
years, had represented the county well; but unfor- 
tunately he had so many irons in the fire that it was 
impossible to look after his own interests and those 
of the Province and do both justice." 

At the close of the meeting Mr. Smith indulged 
in a little pleasantry at the expense of the Captain 
and his "honourable and learned young advocate," 
Mr. Prudhomme. "His playful sarcasms," ob- 
served the reporter present, " kept those two gentle- 
men squirming about in their seats as restlessly as 
though they had been sitting on carpet tacks, while 
the audience, appreciating the situation to the full, 
were kept in a high state of enjoyment. Mr. Smith 
also spoke briefly in French, after which the meet- 
ing broke up with the usual cheers." x 

But so great was the popularity of Sir John Mac- 
donald, and so zealous his friends to humiliate one 
who had had the misfortune to incur his displeasure, 
that the bye-election in September, 1880, could 
hardly fail to result in Mr. Smith's disfavour 
Captain Scott had a majority of 158 votes. 

In the Parliamentary Session of 1880, a great stir 
was attempted in respect of Mr. Smith's connec- 
tion with "an American railway which was keeping 
British immigrants out of the North-West by ad- 
vertising the superior attractions of the lands be- 
longing to that railway." 

"I am really disturbed about this," he wrote, 
1 The Manitoba Free Press, September 2, 1880. 

Lord Strathcona 

"especially after incurring the serious displeasure 
of one or two of my fellow-directors, that I was not 
sufficiently eager to sell our Minnesota lands." 
To the House of Commons he said : 

It is true that I have an interest in the St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway, perhaps three mil- 
lion acres of the lands in Minnesota. But I hope that 
does not make me less a Canadian than I would be 
otherwise. I have been in this country now for upwards 
of forty years, and can therefore claim to be as much a 
Canadian as most of the honourable gentlemen in this 
House. I regret that the honourable member for Mon- 
treal West is not in his place in the House, because 
I can recollect when he and the Honourable Peter 
Mitchell who wrote those very pleasing and inter- 
esting letters, which have engaged the attention of 
honourable gentlemen, and in which he speaks in high 
terms of the lands in Minnesota heard other testi- 

I can recollect that five members of this House and 
myself were on the train between Winnipeg and St. 
Paul together, on our return from Manitoba. We met 
the emigration agent of the Dominion Government, 
and that official, whom I then saw for the first time, 
on being asked, "Are any efforts made by the officials 
of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway 
to keep back emigrants on their way to Manitoba?" 
replied, "Certainly not; on the contrary, every possi- 
ble assistance and facilities are afforded these emi- 
grants for going through to their destination." He did 
say that some other American railway companies acted 
differently, but that had nothing to do with the road 
referred to. That such is the conduct followed by the 


North- West Immigrants 

people of the St. Paul & Manitoba Railway has been 
fully substantiated by others, including the agents of 
Canadian railway companies, who have gone up in 
charge of parties of emigrants for Manitoba. 

Other testimony, both in and out of Parliament, 
corroborated this. It was fortunate for this coun- 
try that the St. Paul Railway Company and their 
lands in Minnesota were controlled by those who 
were so friendly to Canada, and anxious to give 
every reasonable facility for sending emigrants into 
the North- West of the Dominion. 

Our instructions to our officials are that no attempt 
should be made to keep back these people on their way 
to Manitoba, but, on the contrary, to aid and assist 
them as far as possible, and I believe that these instruc- 
tions are honestly carried out. The settlers, both on 
the Government and railway lands along the St. Paul 
& Manitoba Road, are principally farmers from Wis- 
consin, Illinois, Michigan, and other Eastern States, 
who, having sold their farms there at good prices, take 
up wheat lands in Minnesota, and each, in possession 
of capital ranging from one thousand dollars to per- 
haps fifty thousand dollars, contributes immediately to 
building up the country. These are Americans who 
naturally prefer their own institutions to ours, and so 
remain under their own Government; and honourable 
gentlemen must be aware that the great majority of 
Canadians proceeding beyond St. Paul, who do not go 
to and remain in Manitoba, become settlers in the 
Territory of Dakota, and not on the lands of the St. 
Paul & Manitoba Company. 

No one can say that I have ever put forward the 
claims of the United States for emigration in prefer- 


Lord Strathcona 

ence to Manitoba and the North-West Territory. 
Quite otherwise; and when recently in England, on 
the question of resources and development of Canada 
being brought forward at a meeting of the Royal 
Colonial Institute, I took occasion there to speak in 
the most marked terms of the advantage Canada had 
over the United States in this respect, and in this 
superiority I firmly and faithfully believe. 



IT is unquestionable that, despite those amiable 
traits which won him countless staunch personal 
friends, even amongst his political opponents, Sir 
John Macdonald rather inclined to inveteracy 
in his resentments. He frankly admitted as much 
himself. "When a man has done me an evil turn 
once I don't like to give him the opportunity to 
do so twice." He used to say that he deplored this 
disposition to cherish a grudge humorously at- 
tributing it to a Highland strain in his blood, 
adding, however, "I fight against it and I believe 
I shall die at peace with my enemies." For a 
period of years Sir John chose to believe that Mr. 
Smith had been guilty of treachery in failing to 
support him on a critical occasion in 1873. He re- 
fused to credit the purity of Mr. Smith's motives. 
To a friend who undertook to demonstrate that 
the member for Selkirk was still a loyal admirer of 
himself, although obliged on a question of public 
policy to vote against him, he declared, "I don't 
believe it. If he was loyal he would not have 
deserted me." 1 

1 While I quote these expressions on unimpeachable authority, 
Sir Joseph Pope reminds me that his old chief "was wont to charac- 
terize such a type of mind as fatal to success in a public man." Yet 
he admits that the "sore sometimes remained open." In the case 
of Donald A. Smith "it apparently healed up." 


Lord Strathcona 


But this was not the real Sir John Macdonald. 
A long career in politics a familiarity with poli- 
ticians and place-hunters, many dealings with cor- 
rupt interests had made him cynical ; but it did 
not destroy his belief in private honour or public 
morality. He knew, and as years rolled on he con- 
fessed, the mistake he had made with regard to 
Mr. Smith. But for a long time his pride kept him 

On resuming power in 1878, Sir John's first care, 
after his cherished National Policy, which reversed 
the Free- trade tendencies of his predecessor, was to 
carry out the great transcontinental railway pro- 
ject to which the country had so long been pledged. 
Some tentative railway-building in the West, un- 
dertaken by his Minister of Railways, Sir Charles 
Tupper, only confirmed him in his belief that the 
day for haphazard and piecemeal construction was 

We must meet the difficulty [he had said] imposed 
on Canada by the reckless arrangements of the late 
Government with reference to the Pacific Railway, 
under which they pledged the land and resources of 
this country to the commencement of that gigantic 
work in July, 1873, and to its completion by July, 

That contract has already been broken ; over a mil- 
lion dollars has now been spent in surveys, and no par- 
ticular line has yet been located. The bargain is, as 
we always said, incapable of literal fulfilment. We 
must make arrangements with British Columbia for 
such a relaxation of the terms as will give time for the 


Macdonald's Policy 

completion of the surveys, and subsequent prosecu- 
tion of the work, with such speed as the resources of 
the country will permit, and without largely increasing 
the burden of taxation upon the people. 

In the mean time, some means of communication 
across the continent must be secured. It would be the 
Government's policy to unite enormous stretches of 
magnificent water communications with lines of rail- 
way to the Rocky Mountains, thus avoiding, for the 
present, the construction of thirteen hundred miles of 
railway, costing from sixty to eighty millions of dol- 
lars, and rendering the resources of the country avail- 
able for the prosecution of these links, and they should 
endeavour to make these great works auxiliary to the 
promotion of immigration on an extensive scale, and 
to the settlement and development of those rich and 
fertile territories on which our hopes for the future of 
Canada are so largely fixed. 

In 1879, Parliament placed at his disposal one 
million acres of land, but he was not able with 
that grant to arrange for any complete scheme for 
the rapid construction of the railway. In 1880, the 
Ministers again met the House, and met it with the 
same policy of the year before, namely, to take up 
in good faith the obligations that devolved upon 
them through the acts of their predecessors. Al- 
though they had not formulated the plan of carry- 
ing on the work by the Government, they took up 
the work as they found it. 

But the method was exasperating and, con- 
sidered as a means to an end, highly unsatisfac- 
tory. It was now clear that private capitalists 
must be found who would take the whole burden 


Lord Strathcona 

off the shoulders of the Government. Were there 
any such? It soon appeared that there were. To 
some sanguine spirits, at any rate, the great 
scheme was infinitely more attractive in 1880 than 
it had been two years before. 

In June, 1880, Sir John told his followers assem- 
bled at a political rally: 

I can say this, and the Minister of Finance, who is 
on the platform, can corroborate my statement, if 
necessary, that there are capitalists at this moment, 
who, knowing that there is a certain fortune to be 
made out of the construction of the railway, are asking 
that the work be handed over to them. They have 
said, "We will relieve you of all anxiety and the people 
of all apprehension of being taxed. We will take the 
railway in hand, build it, and make fortunes out of it." 
The Government, at this moment, has the offers so 
made under consideration, so that there is no danger 
regarding the road. 

And at the close of that year, Sir Charles Tup- 
per frankly stated to the House of Commons : 

One of the causes which led to the great change in 
the public sentiment in relation to the value of land 
in the North-West, and of railway enterprise in the 
North- West, was the marked and wonderful success 
that was published to the world as having resulted 
from the syndicate who had purchased the St. Paul, 
Minneapolis, & Manitoba Railway, and become the 
proprietors of that line. The statements they were 
enabled to publish showed not only the rapidity with 
which the railway construction in private hands could 
be carried on, but it showed the value of the prairie 


Sir John's Animosity 

lands in the North- West, and the extent they could be 
made valuable for the construction of such lines. It 
attracted the attention of capitalists in relation to 
enterprises of that kind to a degree that had a very 
marked influence, undoubtedly, upon the public mind 
in relation to this question. I may further frankly 
state to the House, because we have nothing to con- 
ceal, that when we decided that it was desirable for us 
to ask intending contractors and capitalists on what 
terms they would complete and take over the road of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway, we placed ourselves 
in communication with all the parties who we had 
any reason to suppose would have any intention to 
contract, for the purpose of getting their lowest possi- 
ble offer. 

It will be recalled that at the exciting close of 
the memorable Session of 1878, Sir John had 
twitted Mr. Donald Smith with being closely con- 
cerned with the St. Paul & Pacific Railway, and 
that Mr. Smith had refused to give him any infor- 
mation on this point. Albeit the facts soon became 
common property, and Sir John was in consequence 
averse to any negotiations in which the member 
for Selkirk would be a party. Moreover, the un- 
toward events of 1873, which had hurled him from 
power, induced him to tread cautiously the devious 
ways of railway finance. 

In the summer of 1880, he paid a visit to Eng- 

Before we went [he explained] there was a provisional 
offer made to the Government, which was distinctly 
understood to be provisional. We subsequently re- 


Lord Strathcona 

ceived a second offer, and the Government came to 
the conclusion, especially as we had an indirect intim- 
ation, verbally, that an offer would probably be made 
from New York and San Francisco, that we could not 
possibly settle the matter here. We decided to inform 
all the parties that we would attend to the reception of 
any applications, tenders, or offers, in London. There- 
upon, the first party who made this provisional offer 
withdrew it and would not hold to it. The second party 
did not do so this was an offer from England, and 
the party subsequently dropped their application. The 
communications that were made in England were 
principally, if not altogether, verbal. Gentlemen came 
over again and again from Paris and sat with us in the 
discussion of these matters. The first offer was with- 
drawn. The second one it would be unfair to disclose; 
as the honourable gentlemen opposite will see there 
were personslin it, bankers and others of considerable 
commercial standing, who were connected with that 
offer. They found they were not strong enough to 
press it. Their offer was made, of course, with the de- 
sire of coming in if they could, and being engaged in 
the construction of the road, and it would be hardly 
fair to them to use their names and to state that these 
persons failed in being strong enough to undertake the 
work. It would affect their position. The present offer 
is the most favourable offer, both as to money and land, 
that the Government or delegates received. Arrange- 
ments were made ; we sat de die in diem as a little com- 
mittee, meeting different gentlemen again and again. 
They were all desirous of making an arrangement, 
money being plenty and enterprise ripe on the con- 
tinent of Europe, especially in France and England. 
They were all anxious to connect themselves with such 


The Syndicate submits Terms 

an enterprise. Some were appalled by the largeness of 
the scheme ; some were frightened by the eventual re- 
sponsibility; and one after another withdrew from 
attempts to be concerned with the railway. As to the 
present parties, we met them every day. 

Sir John and his colleagues were honestly desir- 
ous of having, if possible, Canadians and Cana- 
dian capital undertake and conclude this great 
national project, which had for years been hang- 
ing fire. 

Would Canada [he asked] be likely to have this con- 
tract carried out with the success we all desire, expect, 
and hope for, if we had made the contract with the 
strongest body of capitalists that could be found in the 
city of London? What would you have had? We 
would have had, the first thing, an English engineer, 
with extravagant ideas, totally ignorant of the work 
and the construction of railways through such a coun- 
try, and we would have had, at no distant day no 
matter what their resources might be a perfect failure 
in their hands, and, worse than that, you would have 
had discredit brought upon the country in consequence 
of the parties which had purchased the bonds failing 
to obtain that interest which they justly expected from 
their investment. 

On Sir John's return from England, there were 
various conferences with the financiers thus mys- 
teriously alluded to, and as the result of these 
negotiations a syndicate now openly submitted 
the terms upon which it was prepared to build the 
Canadian Pacific Railway. In that syndicate the 
name of Donald A. Smith did not appear. Actu- 


Lord Strathcona 

ally, its head was Mr. George Stephen, of Mon- 
treal ; it was he who made the formal overtures to 
the Government. 

Mr. Smith wrote to Mr. Stephen: 

I must not and do not complain of Sir John Mac- 
donald's prejudice against me, which I trust time will 
tend to abate; but I shall not the less on that account 
exert myself to the utmost consistent with the condi- 
tions which that prejudice imposes. 1 

On the 1st of December, 1880, it was announced 
that a provisional contract had been made with a 
syndicate composed of George Stephen and Dun- 
can Mclntyre, of Montreal; John S. Kennedy, of 
New York, banker; Morton, Rose & Co., of Lon- 
don, England, merchants; Kohn, Reinach & Co., 
Paris, bankers; and Richard B. Angus and J. J. 
Hill, of St. Paul, who were subsequently incor- 
porated as the Canadian Pacific Railway Com- 
pany. 2 

Briefly, the syndicate agreed to finish the rail- 
way through from Montreal to the Pacific and 
operate it for ten years in consideration of a cash 
grant of $25,000,000, a land grant of 25,000,000 
acres, and the portion of the railway already com- 

1 January 9, 1881. 

2 "It maybe told that the owners of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Manitoba Railway are members of this syndicate; and, Sir, I am 
glad to know that that is the fact; and for this reason, I say that, 
standing outside of this association, they were in a position of antag- 
onism to Canada, because they were the owners of a line of railway 
to the south of our great North-West, and of large tracts of fertile 
land contiguous to that railway." (Sir John Macdonald, Parliamen- 
tary Debates, 1880.) 


A Howl of Execration 

pleted upon which the Government had expended 
in round figures, $28,000,000. 

The terms had only to be made known to cause 
a howl of execration to go up from the Opposition. 
It was roundly declared that the country had 
been sold. The bargain was denounced as un- 
conscionable robbery on the one hand and perfidi- 
ous acquiescence on the other. Hon. Mr. Blake 
pointed out that the eminent engineer, Mr. Sand- 
ford Fleming, had estimated that the cost of con- 
structing the remaining two thousand miles would 
be $48,500,000. 

To induce the syndicate to undertake this portion 
of the road we agree to give them $25,000,000 in cash 
and 25,000,000 acres of land valued at $50,000,000. 
By this cash and land grant we pay the syndicate the 
entire cost of building their portion of the road and 
$26,000,000 additional. The syndicate have, there- 
fore, a profit on the building of their portion of the 
road of $26,500,000. We will then assume that the 
entire road is finished. What does the Government do, 
then? It hands to the syndicate the portion built by 
the latter, and on which the syndicate has already 
made a profit of $26,500,000 by building. It hands 
over also the entire road built by the Government. 
The syndicate get $26,500,000 and they get the entire 
Pacific Railway, estimated to cost in the neighbour- 
hood of $80,000,000, a total of $106,500,000; and they 
get this on condition that they will be good enough to 
accept it and deposit $1,000,000 as security for run- 
ning the road. But the Government did not stop there. 
The road and its equipment and the capital stock of the 
company were forever exempted from taxation. 


Lord Strathcona 
Said the Toronto Globe: 

Under the bargain as it stands, it would appear that 
the company might shut up the unproductive parts of 
the road while still retaining the sections which still 
paid a profit. But supposing the Government could 
force them to relinquish the whole line in case of 
$3,000,000 default, the syndicate would care little for 
the surrender of $5,000,000 of large bonds, if they had 
made $26,500,000 and were able to escape the task of 
operating the road north of Lake Superior through the 
"sea of mountains" of British Columbia. 

It is a fact that under this bargain the syndicate may 
go on to build the road, raising all the money needed for 
the work of construction and over $20,000,000 besides, 
and after their work is done, at the end of the ten 
years, coolly decide whether it will be most to their 
advantage to run the road or to throw it on the shoul- 
ders of the people of Canada. The net result of the 
whole scheme is that the Government is to pay $75,- 
000,000 for the construction of part of a road which 
will cost $48,500,000; and if at the end of ten years 
money is to be made by running the road, the Govern- 
ment will be free from further exactions, and the com- 
pany will be placed in full possession of a line which 
will have cost $80,000,000 to build and for which they 
will have received at least $110,000,000, but if the 
road will not pay, an unknown but certainly large sum 
will be called for to provide the materials for a traffic 
large enough to be remunerative, and a further amount 
to pay working expenses. 

Another objection was that the $26,000,000 
might be spent to no purpose. There was no secur- 
ity, except the reputation of the members of the 


The Bargain ratified 

company, that the railway might not be "thrown 
back on the hands of the country again." Accord- 
ing to Mr. Blake: 

Should the company issue land grant bonds, the Gov- 
ernment will hold only $5,000,000 of those bonds as 
security for the maintenance of the road. Then the 
company may retire, and make money by doing so, if 
circumstances warrant a belief that the losses in run- 
ning expenses will amount to more than $5,000,000. 
On the completion of the road the company will have 
received the larger part of the sum which the people 
are asked to pay as insurance against loss in running 
expenses. As the gentlemen now composing it may die 
or sell out very soon, the security for the maintenance 
of the line is practically nothing. Therefore, the pay- 
ment of $26,000,000 in excess of the cost of the rail- 
way will not secure the country against the danger of 
political corruption. Even though the bargain should 
be duly carried out by the Company, dishonest politi- 
cians will have opportunities. Should a revision of the 
contract be demanded in the public interest, and such 
a revision certainly will be a necessity, the company 
may spend money, as all railway companies do, in 
order to secure political influence. 

It would be tedious to recount the arguments 
employed on press and platform against a ratifi- 
cation of the Government's bargain with Mr. 
Stephen and his associates. The tumult was all 
in vain : the bargain was formally ratified early in 
1 88 1. The Canadian Pacific Company was incorpo- 
rated and one of the most stupendous undertak- 
ings in history began. 


Lord Strathcona 

Of the little band of men who had accepted the 
task it can now be said with certainty that they 
were never, as Mr. Smith said, from the first to 
the last day of those memorable five years, ani- 
mated by any mere spirit of gain. 

The First Minister will bear me out, when I say 
that Sir George Stephen and the other members of the 
syndicate did not approach the Government with 
regard to the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway 
until the Government had tried, in Europe and else- 
where, to get others to take it up, capable of carrying 
it through, but had not succeeded in this. 

/ say distinctly that the gentlemen who undertook the 
charter, although at first unwilling to assume the responsi- 
bility, ultimately consented, more with a view of assisting 
to open up the country than from any expectation of gain 
to be derived from it. 1 

By the terms of the contract the line was to be 
finished in 1891. The policy agreed upon by Presi- 
dent Stephen and his fellow-directors in building 
the line was to press forward construction, so that, 
if possible, the line could be completed in five 
instead of the stipulated ten years. Contracts 
were given out, and in a few weeks thousands of 
workmen were straining every muscle to carry 
out the work. Meanwhile the existing road had to 
be operated and a population induced to take up 
lands in the sections through which it ran. The 
expenses were enormous millions disappeared as 
into the maw of a vast monster, and more millions 

1 The Honourable D. A. Smith, M.P., Parliamentary Debates, 
May 26, 1887. 


William Cornelius Van Home 

had to be found. Every economy was practised, 
save that which would affect the soundness and 
stability of the work. 

The Government's Chief Engineer 2 said, in his 
report of September, 1883: 

It affords me much pleasure to be able to state that 
the Pacific Railway Company are doing their work in 
a manner which leaves nothing to be desired. The 
road is being most substantially built. The larger 
streams are being spanned by strong iron bridges, rest- 
ing upon abutments and piers of massive masonry, 
and the small streams on the eastern section will be 
passed through solid cut-stone culverts. On the cen- 
tral section the streams are for the most part crossed 
by substantially built pile bridges. The work, so far as 
it has been done up to the present time, has been per- 
formed most faithfully and in a manner fully up to 
the requirements of the contract. I am enabled to 
speak with confidence on this point, having made a 
personal inspection during the last two months of the 
work from a point east of Port Arthur (formerly Prince 
Arthur's Landing) to Port Moody. 

By this time the practical management of the 
company had fallen into highly capable hands. 
Even before it had become certain that the ar- 
rangement would be concluded, the leaders of the 
syndicate had discussed the question of the official 

1 Mr. Collingwood Schreiber, C.B., who had succeeded Mr. 
Fleming, was the Chief Engineer of the Government Railways, and 
was also designated by the Government as Chief Engineer of the 
Canadian Pacific Railway, and as such had charge of the completion 
of the two sections of railway which were to be turned over to the 
company; he also had charge of all engineering questions arising be- 
tween the Government and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. 


Lord Strathcona 

personnel of the Canadian Pacific Railway. To 
Mr. Hill there was then known Mr. William Corne- 
lius Van Home, the general superintendent of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. This 
official, still in his "thirties," was notable even 
amongst the many notable figures which the vast 
system of American transportation had called into 
being. He was a scion of ancient Dutch stock, long 
settled in New York, whose name is so often men- 
tioned in the pages of Washington Irving. In the 
words of Mr. Hill: "There was no one on the whole 
continent who would have served our purpose so 
well as Mr. Van Home. He had brains, skill, expe- 
rience, and energy, and was, besides, a born leader 
of men." 

The provision of a three per cent dividend for 
the holders of the $65,000,000 of shares was ar- 
ranged in the summer of 1883. It amounted to a 
purchase of an annuity of three per cent on these 
shares for ten years, based on the deposit of cash 
and securities with the Government by the com- 
pany, which would, by actuarial calculation, at 
four per cent, yield in ten years the amount re- 

This arrangement had hardly been completed 
and the deposit made when the failure of the 
Northern Pacific Railway, in the autumn of 1883, 
brought about a financial crash which defeated the 
object of the arrangement and resulted in the lock- 
ing-up of all the cash and valuable resources of 
the company beyond recall. The situation was a 
desperate one, and was the cause of the visit of 


Thirty Millions wanted 

Mr. Stephen and some of the directors, and Mr. 
J. J. C. Abbott, to Ottawa. The party went di- 
rectly to " Earnscliffe " to lay the matter before Sir 
John Macdonald, and to point out the absolute 
necessity of immediate Government assistance, and 
he was asked to make a loan to the company of 
$30,000,000 to be paid over as the work advanced, 
and to be secured by a first lien on all the properties 
of the company. Sir John replied that it was abso- 
lutely impossible that nothing of the kind could 
be done. He was obdurate and Mr. Stephen and 
his friends had to leave empty-handed and in 
despair. They proceeded to John Henry Pope's 
quarters in the "Bank Cottage," and told him all 
that had occurred. Mr. Pope apparently saw that 
the fate of the Conservative Party was involved 
in the matter, and, although it was past midnight, 
he proceeded at once to "Earnscliffe," asking 
Stephen and his party to await his return. When 
he came back about two o'clock in the morning, 
he merely said, "Well, he will do it." 

The first application to the Government for 
money to carry on the work was favourably con- 

From George Stephen to the Honourable 
Sir Charles Tupper 

MONTREAL, 24th October, 1883. 

The capital stock of this company has been fixed at 
$100,000,000, of which $55,000,000 have already been 


Lord Strathcona 

It now requires a further amount of money to 
enable it to prosecute the work of construction and 
equipment at the same rate of progress as heretofore, 
and in accordance with its policy and in justice to 
its present shareholders, such amount should be ob- 
tained by means of the remaining stock of the com- 

But in the present state of the market and of public 
feeling as to stocks generally, it would be impossible 
to dispose in the ordinary way of any further amount 
of stock at a reasonable rate, if at all, and the company 
is desirous of adopting the following plan as a mode of 
procuring the amount required : 

The company to deposit with the Government 
money and securities constituting a fund sufficient to 
pay semi-annual dividends for ten years on the entire 
stock of the company, at the rate of three per cent per 
annum. The amount required for this purpose has 
been ascertained to be $24,527,145. 

This project would require the assistance of the 
Government, but merely as a depository of the fund to 
be created, and it would impose no responsibility or 
liability upon the Government beyond the periodical 
repayment of instalments of the amount deposited, 
with interest added at the rate mentioned. 

I have, therefore, to request the favour of the coop- 
eration of the Government in carrying out the sug- 
gested plan, and as I purpose leaving for England 
shortly, I should be greatly obliged if this matter could 
be disposed of at an early date. 

Mr. Collingwood Schreiber, the Government's 
Chief Engineer, wrote to the Ministry: 'This 
proposition commends itself favourably to me and 


Arrangements with Government 

as the Government would, in my opinion, incur 
no risk in entertaining it, I beg to recommend its 

In a further letter of the 6th November, Mr. 
Stephen now proposed a modification of the fore- 
going arrangement, namely, that the payment of 
three per cent for ten years be on a sum of $65,000- 
ooo of stock only, inasmuch as the company only 
proposed to dispose of the stock, from time to 
time, in such amounts as may be necessary to meet 
the demands of construction. 

The company offered to deposit the remaining 
$35.000,000 of stock with the Government, interest 
at three per cent to be paid on such part thereof 
as, from time to time, might be paid to the Gov- 
ernment. The company asked that in carrying this 
arrangement into effect, the deposit representing 
three per cent for ten years on $100,000,000 be 
reduced to such a sum as would leave sufficient 
security in the hands of the Government to pay 
the three per cent for ten years on $65,000,000. 

Two or three years before, Sir Sandford Fleming 
had stated it as his opinion that, "A continuous 
road from Lake Nipissing to the Pacific Ocean 
through Canadian territory will pay running ex- 
penses when three million people shall have settled 
in the North-West." 

As a matter of fact, and happily for itself, the 
Canadian Pacific Railway, thanks to the astonish- 
ing skill of its management, paid its running ex- 
penses almost from the beginning. 

Still, millions of dollars were needed for construc- 


Lord Strathcona 

tion. 1 The hour momentarily threatened to strike 
when the millions were no longer forthcoming. For 
a time it seemed as if the daily demands could not 
be met, and the road was doomed to failure and the 
company to bankruptcy. Looking back on this 
phase now, it seems almost incredible that it should 
have been so. But the opinion of contemporaries 
upon the railway was not that universally enter- 
tained to-day. There were many who were ready 
to condole with Messrs. Stephen and Smith for 
their hardihood there were many who freely pre- 
dicted disaster, because they had embarked their 
own and others' millions in an enterprise which 
would not be able to return a profit until they had 
been many years in their graves. 

The demands must be met, money must be pro- 
cured, and consequently the company were driven 
to apply to Parliament for a loan. It was the signal 
for another explosion from the Opposition. What 
had become of the money already advanced by the 
Government? Where was the produce of the sales 
of land and land bonds? There must be something 
wrong somewhere. If it were not corruption, it 
must be prodigality. 

The Deputy Minister of Inland Revenue was 
asked by the Government to go to Montreal in 

1 In April, 1885, the company had outstanding about $7,000,000 
of notes maturing in two months, and no money was available to pay 
them. There was grave danger that all work would have to cease. 
The Government now made a short-term loan of $5,000,000. In 1886 
the company made provision for the extinction of these loans, partly 
in cash and partly by a surrender of a portion of its land grant, which 
was taken over by the Government at $i .50 per acre. (S. J. McLean.) 


Canadian Pacific Accounts 

connection with Mr. Schreiber, the Chief Engineer, 
for the purpose of making such investigation of 
the books and statements of the company as would 
assure beyond all question the accuracy of its 
statements of expenditure. 

From Sir Charles Tupper to Messrs. Miall 
and Schreiber 

OTTAWA, 28th January, 1884. 

I have to request that you will, with all convenient 
speed, proceed to Montreal, with a view to investigat- 
ing the books and accounts of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway Company so far as such examination may be 
necessary to enable you to verify certain statements 
of revenue and expenditure which have been laid be- 
fore my colleagues and myself by that corporation. 

I am aware that an exhaustive and detailed audit 
would entail the labour of weeks, if not of months. 
This is not expected. But you are required to make 
such examination as a prudent business man would 
desire to make before lending capital to, or entering 
into terms of copartnership with, a respectable firm. 
A copy of the company's statements is transmitted 

The two gentlemen went, they examined the 
books and thus reported : 

As the result of our investigations, however, we 
have no hesitation whatever in submitting our opinion 
that the statements furnished by the President, and 
placed in our hands for verification, represent truth- 
fully the actual condition of the company's affairs as 
portrayed by the books of the company. 


Lord Strathcona 

It soon appeared that ulterior causes were at 
work to damage the credit of the company. Com- 
binations were formed against the Canadian Pacific 
Railway by interested roads; the Grand Trunk 
Railway Company and certain American rivals 
strove to obstruct its progress, and the result of 
their combinations and machinations had been to 
prevent the Canadian Pacific Railway Company 
from disposing of its stock at a fair market value, 
at such value as they had fair reason to expect to 
realize in order to apply the proceeds to the com- 
pletion of their great work. But this was not all. 

A great depreciation had taken place in the value of 
American railway securities, not merely in the New 
York market, but also in the other great money mar- 
kets of the world in Amsterdam, Paris, and London ; 
and this depreciation occurred at the very time when 
the Canadian Pacific Railway needed the proceeds 
which they expected to obtain from the sale of their 
stock. To meet this difficulty, the company ap- 
proached the Canadian Government and deposited 
with it a sum of money and securities sufficient to pro- 
vide for the payment of three per cent of the five per 
cent promised by the railway company on a capital 
stock of $65,000,000. It was supposed that this pro- 
vision for a limited amount of the interest promised by 
the Canadian Pacific Railway would have the effect, 
not merely of steadying the stock in the American, 
English, and French markets, but also of giving in- 
creased value to the stock, and that thereby money 
would be realized from the sale applicable to the prose- 
cution of the work. Through a combination of circum- 
stances this result has not been achieved, and the com- 


The Country "given away' 

pany has not been able to realize, from the sale of their 
stock, the amount they might fairly have contem- 
plated. 1 

Mr. Donald Smith and his colleagues bore the 
volley of criticism and abuse directed toward them, 
patiently, and sometimes with humour. 

They say [Mr. Smith wrote to Mr. Hill] we are au- 
thorized to build the flimsiest kind of road possible 
and that there are practically no guarantees for the 
working of the road after it is built. Thus one source 
of expense will be removed. 

Moreover, you will have heard that, although we 
have fixed upon Montreal as the chief place of the 
syndicate for the time being, we really intend to move 
our headquarters shortly to St. Paul ! 

And again : 

The Globe retracts the statement that the Govern- 
ment have sold the country to the Pacific Railway 
Company. It now says they have merely given the 
country away. 

A long and heated debate followed one of the 
longest and most acrimonious in the history of the 
Canadian Parliament. The railway was attacked, 
its good faith was called in question. It was 
charged with gross extravagance and unnecessary 
waste of funds. 

What [asked Mr. Charlton, M.P.] did Canada con- 
tract to pay for under this bargain? Did it contract to 
pay for a road from Nipissing to Montreal? It did not; 
and it was unnecessary for the syndicate to secure such 
1 Parliamentary Debates, February 19, 1884. 

Lord Strathcona 

a road until they required an outlet. Any road run- 
ning in that direction would have been glad to have 
made terms with the Canadian Pacific Railway to 
carry their trade. It would have been an easy matter, 
in the case of the Canada Central, to have made a con- 
solidation, and to have taken that road in as part of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway system, after the Cana- 
dian Pacific Railway was constructed. It was prema- 
ture to purchase the road in advance of the time when 
the Canadian Pacific Railway required an outlet. Did 
we contract for a road to Portland in the State of 
Maine? We did not, and it was unnecessary for the 
syndicate to have acquired such a road. Did we con- 
tract with the syndicate for a road to Brockville? We 
did not. Did we contract with them for a road from 
Ottawa to Detroit? We did not. Did we contract with 
the syndicate for a road from Toronto to Owen Sound? 
We did not. Did we contract with the syndicate that 
we should back them up in making war upon the 
Grand Trunk and become a party to that conflict? 
We did not. Did we contract with the syndicate to 
establish a railway monopoly east of Lake Superior 
as perfect and galling as the monopoly existing under 
that contract west of Lake Superior? No; that was 
not a part of the contract. Did we contract with the 
syndicate to build a place for its president, and endow 
its members with millions of dollars for investment in 
stocks in England and other enterprises? We did not. 
Did we contract to stand sponsors for the ambitious 
and far-reaching designs of railway kings, to make the 
whole Dominion subsidiary and tributary to them? 
No, we did not. We are not parties to any such con- 
tract ; but it is to carry out a contract of that charac- 
ter, to aid them to realize their designs, that they come 


Opposition Anger 

and ask Parliament for an additional subvention to the 
amount of $28,500,000. l 

No; in the opinion of the Opposition there was 
no excuse for this company no reason why they 
should be compelled to come to the House seeking 
help to bridge over their difficulties. Their re- 
sources were ample and abundant. They had mil- 
lions upon millions in excess of the sum required to 
enable them to discharge the contract which they 
had made with the Dominion of Canada. They 
had made their bed, and though it were Damien's 
bed of steel, they must lie on it. 2 

Naturally the Opposition did not scruple to hint 
that the Government were receiving bribes from 
the company. Why this secrecy? Why this inde- 

1 Parliamentary Debates, February 19, 1884. 

* The hostility of the Grand Trunk exercised an adverse effect 
upon the credit of the Canadian Pacific. In the numerous pamph- 
lets of the time, which, if not inspired by the Grand Trunk, were at 
least issued by partisans of that enterprise, the idea was spread that 
the Canadian Pacific was a mere speculative enterprise doomed to 
failure. The value of its lands was depreciated. It was stated that 
for "six months in the year the road will be an ice-bound, snow-cov- 
ered route." The feeling existing in the minds of the unfortunate 
investors of the Grand Trunk that they had been unfairly treated 
was reinforced by the utterances of such a weighty financial journal 
as the London Economist, which cited the chartering of the rival en- 
terprise, which apparently threatened the existence of the Grand 
Trunk, as an example of unfairness. The Canadian Pacific stocks 
fell, between December, 1883, and June, 1884, from fifty-seven to 
forty-two. The trade depression in 1884, which was the outcome of 
the speculative development of 1880-82 and the deficient harvest of 
1883, further aggravated the evil credit not only of the Canadian 
Pacific, but of the Grand Trunk as well. In a period of six months 
the stocks of both lines were depreciated by $38,000,000. (S. J. 

Lord Strathcona 

cent haste? There was something that Mr. Blake 
and the Opposition members did not understand. 

How is it that this syndicate exercises such un- 
bounded power over this Government? How is it that 
the syndicate issues its dictates and the Government 
seems bound to obey? Does the syndicate possess 
some secret which, if breathed to the public, would 
blast the reputation and blacken the characters of its 
servants who are pushing this scheme through at its 
dictation. 1 

But of course the real question was, Was the 
country receiving, and likely to continue to re- 
ceive, value for the money it had pledged, and 
was the security adequate? The reply of one 
member, Mr. Dawson (of Dawson Route fame), 
was conclusive: 

The security is ample and sufficient. That it is 
ample there can be no doubt. They offer to make over 
to the Government every mile of the railway, the roll- 
ing-stock, and everything they possess, and surely 
such ample security as that ought to be sufficient. 
But, sir, there is a further security, which of itself is 
ample, and that is that not a dollar of this $22,500,000 
is to be handed over to them except as the work pro- 
ceeds. It will only be paid for work done. The money 
is not given to them to spend on any other project, but 
as the engineer reports a certain amount of work done, 
this money is to be handed over. Surely that of itself 
is a security which ought to satisfy the House. 

Ultimately, the money was voted and the com- 
pany were enabled to pay off the contractors and 
* Parliamentary Debates, February 19, 1884. 

A Straightforward Transaction 

were granted a brief breathing spell. But it was 
very brief. 

From D. A. Smith, M.P. 

April 9th, 1884. 

You will see by the enclosed that Mr. Van Home is 
"pushing forward construction unflinchingly," from 
which you will gather that our resources are limitless 
and that we have not a care in the world. I fear such 
is too rosy a view of the situation. Our shoulders have 
to bear a vast burden, although our strength will, I 
hope, be equal to it. 

As the great work proceeded, they were subject 
to anxieties and fleeting misgivings of which few, 
if any, in the outside world, were aware. Said Mr. 
Smith some months after success had crowned their 


With regard to the construction of the Canadian 
Pacific Railway, it has been charged against the com- 
pany, with which I am proud to be connected, as it 
will redound to the honour of the country, that we 
went before Parliament and that we got money again 
and again. It is true we applied for a loan of money, 
but we did not go as paupers. We did not go to ask for 
a penny that we had no intention of paying back. We 
went as you or I would go to our banker or to a neigh- 
bour, and say, "give us such and such an amount, 
whether it be $10 or $10,000, and if you do we will pay 
it back to you honestly, with interest ; it will be a great 
benefit to me because it will further the projects and 
the work I have on hand." We went to the Govern- 
ment and asked them simply for the means to go on 
with the great national work. We promised we would 

Lord Strathcona 

pay the money back to the last penny, and is there 
any man who can say to-day that the Canadian Pacific 
Railway Company has not paid the Government back 
to the last cent? We are clear with regard to that. 
The loan was undoubtedly a great benefit to us and a 
great benefit to the country, while at the same time the 
country has not lost one single sixpence by the trans- 
action. It has been said that myself and colleagues 
made money out of the railway. As a matter of fact, 
up to the present we have lost money, and we can never 
reap any benefits out of it other than what the share- 
holders receive. 1 

Mr. Smith's precision of language was second 
nature. Once, in the days of doubt and darkness, 
when the fate of the Canadian Pacific Railway was 
trembling in the balance, there was a directors' 
meeting in Montreal and the prospects of failure 
for lack of funds were long and painfully canvassed. 
At last the President brought down his palm forci- 
bly upon the table and exclaimed, "Gentlemen, it 
looks as if we had to burst!" 

Mr. Smith glanced deprecatingly at the speaker, 
and scratching the green baize cloth with his fore- 
finger, said mildly, "It may be that we must 
succumb, but that must not be," he added, raising 
his voice and gazing round the company, "as long 
as we individually have a dollar." 

Once again in June, 1885, circumstances com- 
pelled them to go before Parliament for a loan. 
This time their enemies were alert and numerous. 
It remained to be seen what was the strength of 

1 Parliamentary Debates, February 19, 1884. 

Undertaking imperilled 

their friends. The Government had stood by them 
so far, but how much farther did they dare? The 
mood of the House was distinctly hostile, but cash 
immediate cash was vitally necessary and the 
banks would grant no more. 

Said the Honourable J. H. Pope in introducing 
the question of a fresh loan : 

The only thing the company are going to ask from 
this House in the shape of money is that they may be 
assisted temporarily to the extent of $5,000,000, with 
ample security for repayment, and to be allowed to 
cancel stock of $35,000,000 and issue bonds, in order 
to pay the loan and complete the road. There is no 
money to be given for the completion of their contract 
- not one farthing they do not ask for it. The 
arrangement is to be made, if at all, not in the interest 
alone of the company, but of the country, that the road 
shall be, in all respects, superior to the contract, and as 
good as any of the other transcontinental railways be- 
tween the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and in every 
respect in a position to compete with the other roads. 
The company desire to get possession of their property 
in order that they may use it for the equipment and 
completion of the road. And, to put it in first-class 
condition, they propose to pay off the indebted unsold 
stock, issuing instead the same amount of preferred 
bonds, the proceeds of which, when sold, to be appro- 
priated to pay off $20,000,000 of the loan of last year. 
The other $15,000,000 of bonds will be deposited, or 
the proceeds when sold, first, $8,000,000 as security for 
a loan of $5,000,000 to pay off their floating debt, 
which loan is to be repaid in July, 1886; the balance is 
for the purpose of equipping and completing the road 


Lord Strathcona 

in first-class style far above the standard con- 
tracted for, and as security, we take the whole 21,000- 
ooo acres. I think no honourable gentleman will say 
that the security we take is not ample, and does not 
secure us fully. 1 

Just then Parliament and the Ministry were 
absorbed elsewhere. 

The mutterings of the Riel Rebellion were 
already heard, and the Government was full of 
anxiety. The loan to the company could not be 
obtained, although an advance of one million dol- 
lars was paid, a mere drop in the bucket of the 
company's indebtedness. The Government's guar- 
antee of its bonds was not forthcoming. The op- 
position to the measure was at first rather fierce, 
but the very important assistance the company was 
able to render the Government in the way of mov- 
ing troops to the North-West for the suppression of 
the rebellion, while Parliament was yet in session, 
pulled the teeth of the Opposition and consolidated 
the Government's support. Nevertheless the pas- 

1 MR. DAWSON. "The Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway and the Deputy Minister of Inland Revenue were sent 
down to investigate the books of the company, and what do they 
report? They report that these books were admirably kept, and 
that the statements before the House truthfully show the condition 
of matters as exhibited in these books. Sir, I prefer to take state- 
ments of that kind, verified by men in high positions, whose honour 
has never been impugned ; I prefer them to the vague and wild state- 
ments which we have heard on every side for the last few days in this 
House. In a work so great as this there must always be something to 
cavil at. In a work which embraces a line of railway extending from 
ocean to ocean, and, with all its branches, has a length of over 
thirty-three hundred miles, it is surprising that there is so little to 
cavil at, instead of so much." (Parliamentary Debates.) 

Confronted by Ruin 

sage of the bill was long delayed because of the 
Franchise Bill, which preceded it and which the 
Government insisted on giving priority. At the 
middle of July, 1885, it had not yet become law. In 
the mean time, the company's obligations had been 
piling up, and its position had become extremely 
desperate. It was accordingly necessary to face the 
crisis at once, and on July 13, 1885, Mr. Stephen, 
accompanied by Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Abbott, 
the solicitor of the company, travelled to Ottawa 
to learn the decision of Sir John Macdonald's 
Government. They went direct to the Council 
Chamber, where they were made aware, by the 
hats hanging in the outer hall, that a ministerial 
council was in session, and in the ante-room they 
awaited the momentous result. There were rows 
of books locked in the official bookcases and a few 
newspapers and bluebooks which they had not the 
heart to glance at. They had even no zest for con- 
versation : but sat there, in the stifling heat of a July 
afternoon, patiently waiting for the door to open 
and the Ministers to file out. But the members of 
the Council departed unobserved by another door, 
and hours later, speechless and dispirited to the 
last degree, Mr. Stephen repaired to the Russell 
House. In the corridor he sank into a chair. A 
friend accosted him after a time as he sat there, 
with his gaze fastened on the floor, and enquired 
how he felt. 

"I feel," replied Stephen, "like a ruined man!" 
That was the lowest ebb in a tide which after- 
wards flowed so high. 


Lord Strathcona 

Largely through the friendly intervention of an 
influential Toronto supporter, Sir Frank Smith, 
the Government finally agreed to allow the issue of 
$35ooo,ooo of stock, of which it was to guarantee 
$20,000,000, leaving $15,000,000 to be issued by 
Mr. Stephen, Mr. Donald A. Smith, and their fel- 
low-directors. Such a proposition was hardly tempt- 
ing. The question was, Would the great European 
bankers consider it favourably? It was agreed that 
Mr. Stephen should journey to London to inter- 
view the Barings, of which famous banking firm 
Lord Revelstoke was the head. His surprise was 
great, when, before he had completed his lengthy 
explanation of the situation, Lord Revelstoke in- 
terrupted him, saying: "We have been looking 
into this question carefully, and if agreeable to you, 
we are prepared to take over the whole issue of 
3,000,000 of stock at 9if." 

Mr. Stephen could hardly credit such good news. 
Nevertheless he asked with admirable self-posses- 
sion, "How soon will the money be available?" 

Whereupon Lord Revelstoke explained that it 
would require some months to arrange the details of 
the issue. Meanwhile, they offered to issue their own 
certificates for 750,000 at once, and three further 
sums of 750,000 at intervals during the month. 

The question of solvency of the company was 
forever settled. Mr. Stephen instantly cabled out 
to Canada the good news. 1 

1 In Montreal, when Mr. Stephen's cable arrived, two of his fel- 
low-directors tore the message open. " In the tumult of our feelings 
we began capering about like school-boys, even to bestowing sundry 
kicks on the furniture of the board-room." 


Lord Revelstoke's Action 

There is a station of the great railway in the 
Canadian Rocky Mountains to-day, which bears 
the name of Revelstoke. It commemorates an im- 
portant event in the financial history of the road, 
for the head of the great English banking house of 
Baring Brothers was not the least of the factors in 
the advancement and consolidation of the fortunes 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. 

From that time forward no shadow of financial 
darkness obscured the bright prospects of the road. 
Not only were the Barings as good as their word, 
but they continued to negotiate all the issues of 
the company until 1890. In that year, when they 
were approached for a fresh loan, they declined. 
The directors were astonished, but Lord Revel- 
stoke said, "The security is excellent, but we be- 
lieve the time has come when the Canadian Pacific 
Railway Company ought to sell its own securities 
over its own counter. As for ourselves, we will 
make a liberal subscription." 

When an explanation at length was forthcoming, 
the Canadian directors had reason to feel a pro- 
found gratitude. For even then the historic firm 
of Baring Brothers anticipated those financial diffi- 
culties in the Argentine Republic which were to 
end for them in utter disaster; they were reluctant 
to involve the great Canadian railway in their fall. 
As Lord Strathcona said long afterwards: "It 
was most enigmatical to us, that attitude of the 
Barings. Until our first issue went off it caused us 
many misgivings." 

At last on the 7th November, 1885, upwards of 


Lord Strathcona 

five years before the expiry of the time allowed by 
the terms of the contract, the railway was finished. 
It has been picturesquely written: 

If an inquisitive eagle, soaring above the lonely 
crags of the Rocky Mountains on November 7, 1885, 
had looked down upon a certain spot near the Colum- 
bia River and about three hundred and fifty miles 
from Vancouver, it would have seen a very unusual 
sight. A railway train had come to a standstill at this 
spot to allow a number of gentlemen to alight, and 
these, surrounded by a great concourse of working- 
men, had gathered together to see one among them per- 
form an action apparently simple and uninteresting. 
At the side of one of the shining rails was an iron plate 
with a hole in it, and through this hole a spike had to 
be driven which would fasten it firmly to the wooden 

Surely it was not necessary, you will say, for all 
these gentlemen to come from a distance to do what 
any one of the stalwart workmen could have done with 
the greatest ease! Ah, but it was a very special spike, 
the last of millions that had been driven in the course 
of constructing a railway which was to join the town 
of Montreal with the Pacific Ocean. 

No bright flags waved in that lonely valley; 
there were no trumpets to sound a fanfare of tri- 
umph. Yet the consummation of a gigantic un- 
dertaking was being celebrated. As the vigorous 
blows from the hammer rang out, it did not seem 
an exaggeration to say that they echoed through 
the British Empire. As some one picturesquely 
wrote at the time: 


Last Spike driven 

The shippers of Victoria, British Columbia, heard 
them and knew that they meant an increase in the car- 
riage of merchandise through their town to and from 
Japan, because the railway would lessen the distance 
between London and Yokohama by many hundreds of 
miles. The farmers of Manitoba, a thousand miles 
away, heard them, too, and knew that they meant a 
larger market for their corn and fruit; and farther 
away still, in the old Canadian cities, the merchants 
heard them, and knew that commerce in the great 
western lands, hitherto unreached by railways, would 
grow more prosperous. 

In Mr. Smith's own words : 

The last rail of the Pacific Railroad was about to be 
laid, the last spike was about to be driven. It was a 
dismal, dreary day in the first week of November, but 
we soon got out nto the open country, and presently 
it was one of those bright, pleasant, bracing days of the 
autumn summer. There were some gentlemen stand- 
ing on the platform and looking at all this new coun- 
try. One of them touched me on the shoulder and said 

"The cattle on a thousand hills." 

We soon got from the mountains to the prairie sec- 
tion again, where there are really thousands of cattle 
to be seen. That is one of the scenes in my life ever to 
be remembered. 

To the station adjacent to the spot was given the 
name of Craigellachie, the Morayshire stronghold 
of Mr. Smith's ancestors on both sides of the family 
tree. 1 

1 Sir William Van Home writes: "The origin of 'Craigellachie' 
goes back to the inception of the enterprise, when one of the mem- 


Lord Strathcona 

On the return journey of the party which had 
assisted at the foregoing interesting ceremony, Mr. 
Smith announced his intention of giving an enter- 
tainment in honour of the event at ' ' Silver Heights. ' ' 
As his residence was several miles distant from 
Winnipeg, Mr. Van Home had previously con- 
ceived the happy idea of giving Mr. Smith a sur- 
prise by having a short branch line constructed 
from thence to the town. The work offered no 
great difficulty; there were a large number of light 
rails and sleepers, left over from the work, close at 
hand. He gave the necessary orders and in a week 
or so it was completed. 

On the morning in question [writes one who was 
present], our train (containing the party, including Mr. 
Sandford Fleming) approached Winnipeg. We were all 
engaged in conversation, and Mr. Smith apparently 
did not notice that the engine driver had reversed the 
engine. At last he looked out of the window. 

"Why, we are backing up," he said ; and then, " Now, 
there's a very neat place. I don't remember seeing 
that farm before. And those cattle why, who is it 
that has Aberdeen cattle like that? I thought I was 

bers of the syndicate wrote Mr. Stephen, pointing out they were all 
now fortunately situated and in going into the Canadian Pacific 
enterprise they might be only courting trouble for their old age, and 
urging that they ought to think twice before committing themselves 
irrevocably. To this Stephen answered in one word, ' Craigellachie ' 
which appealed to the patriotism of his associates, and not another 
doubt was expressed. It was a reference to the familiar lines, ' Not 
until Craigellachie shall move from his firm base, etc.' I heard of 
this when I first became connected with the company, and was much 
impressed by it, and determined that if I were still with the company 
when the last rail should be laid, the spot should be marked by a 
station to be named 'Craigellachie.' " 


The First Through Train 

the only one. This is really very strange." Suddenly 
the house came into view. "Why, gentlemen, I must 
be going crazy. I 've lived here many years and I 
never noticed another place so exactly like ' Silver 

"Silver Heights," called the conductor. The car 
stopped and some of us began to betray our enjoyment 
of the joke. After another glance outside he began to 
laugh too. I never saw him so delighted. 

Before nightfall a telegram arrived from the 
Queen, through the Governor-General, Lord Lans- 
downe, graciously congratulating the Canadian 
people on the national achievement, which Her 
Majesty was well advised in regarding as "of great 
importance to the whole British Empire." 

On the 28th of June, 1886, the first through train 
over the completed Pacific Railway left Dalhousie 
Square Station, Montreal, on its long pilgrimage 
of 2905 miles through the meadows, primeval 
wilderness, fertile prairies, and the lofty mountains 
of the broad Dominion to Port Moody on the west- 
ern coast. The event was too important for the 
city of Montreal for her citizens to permit it to go 
unnoticed. At eight o'clock on this summer night 
the ten cars and engine, which comprised the first 
through train, started on its journey amidst loud 
cheers and the booming of the guns of the field 
battery which fired a parting salute as the historic 
train departed from the densely thronged station. 

This great national work, the Canadian Pacific 
Railway [declared Sir Donald Smith], has consolidated 


Lord Strathcona 

the union of the Dominion ; it has stimulated trade in 
the East, it has opened up the West; it has brought the 
rich agricultural lands of the prairies and the mineral 
wealth of the Pacific Slope within the reach of all ; it 
has given Canada outlets both on the Atlantic and 
the Pacific, and has provided a new Imperial highway 
from the United Kingdom to Australasia and China 
and Japan. 

The departure of this first train marked the con- 
summation of that union of the British Dominions 
on this continent which was inaugurated on the 
1st of July, 1867, and is second only in importance 
to the confederation of the four provinces that that 
day joined their interests and fate in a bond not to 
be dissolved while Great Britain maintains her su- 
premacy over the northern portion of the new world. 

Said the Montreal Gazette : 

The Pacific Railway is truly called a nation at work. 
The people of Canada gave freely of their wealth to 
secure its construction; they watched its progress 
through all the vicissitudes that befell it, under the 
care of three Governments, and lastly in the hands of 
the company whose courage and energy have carried 
it through to completion. They have just right to 
be proud of their achievement. For it is peculiarly a 
Canadian work. Canadians conceived it, designed it, 
built it, and almost unaided provided the money to 
defray its cost, and they will now, it is hoped, enter 
upon the enjoyment of the fruits of their courage and 
hopefulness. But the road is more than national; the 
future is big with promise that it will soon be known as 
a great Imperial trade route, serving to bind together 


The Queen's Interest 

closer for mutual benefit, the interests of the Mother 
Country, not alone with Canada, but as well with 
those far-off antipodean colonists who are building up 
in Australia, as we are in North America, young na- 
tions imbued with the spirit of enterprise and constitu- 
tional liberty that has made England the first among 
the commercial powers of the world. 

In one of the late Sir Adolphe Chapleau's 
speeches, during a critical time in the railway's 
history, there is an eloquent passage which well 
deserves to be recalled. He told the assembled 
House of Commons: 

Sir, the calumnies of those who want to vilify the 
Government, and who desire to destroy the credit of 
the country, of those who want to destroy the great 
work of the Canadian Pacific Railway, will be of no 
avail. They will be like loose winds, blowing sand and 
smoke, and carrying dark things with them. Their 
dark ideas and their dark thoughts, everything that 
is dark in their hearts, which is blown and breathed 
against us and against this enterprise, will not do more 
than those winds which cannot destroy the monu- 
ments of the old world. They may give a darker shade 
to the granite and the marble, but the solidity of the 
pyramids and of the great monuments of Europe will 
remain, as the Pacific Railway will remain, as solid as 
if these winds had not passed over it. 

From the Marquess of Lome 

The Queen has been most deeply interested in the 
account which I have given her of the building of your 
great railway, the difficulties which it involved, and 


Lord Strathcona 

which have been so wonderfully surmounted. Not one 
Englishman in a thousand realizes what those difficul- 
ties were; but now that the great Dominion has been 
penetrated by this indestructible artery of steel, the 
thoughts and purposes of her people, as well as her 
commerce, will flow in an increasing current, to and 
fro, sending a healthful glow to all the members. The 
Princess and I are looking forward to a journey one 
day to the far and fair Pacific. 

Already the Queen had signified her sense of the 
great Imperial service rendered by the promoters 
of the railway. Upon the president was bestowed 
the dignity of a baronetcy and later, on May 26, 
1886, Mr. Smith was nominated a Knight Com- 
mander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. 

To Miss Mactavish 

4th March, 1886. 

You will, of course, have seen that Mr. Stephen has 
been made a baronet, and he is well deserving of any 
honour he would care to accept, although, perhaps, 
hereditary honours are out of place in Canada; but 
then he is at least as much an English resident as 

There has, indeed, been a great upturning in political 
circles since I last saw you and the uncertainty is evi- 
dently as great as ever. Gladstone and some of his 
friends appear, however, to be ready to make any con- 
cession, so long as he may thereby retain place and 


First Japanese Cargo 

At the annual meeting of the Bank of Montreal 
that month, he said: 

I should be very glad, indeed, to see as many as pos- 
sible of our fellow-countrymen from every part of the 
Empire going there and reaping the benefits which by 
industry and perseverance they are sure to gain in the 
North- West. Allusion has been made to the opening- 
up of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the Pacific 
Ocean. If the directors of the company have deferred 
the opening somewhat, it has been that they might be 
so prepared that no invidious comparisons could pos- 
sibly be made to the detriment of the railway. I may 
mention, as one instance of what we may look forward 
to in the future from the opening-up of the country 
traversed by the railway, that I heard from the vice- 
president, Mr. Van Home, the other day, that a ship 
had left or was about to leave Yokohama with a cargo 
of teas for Vancouver, and that these teas are to be 
carried over the Canadian Pacific Railway, and deliv- 
ered not only in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, but 
in St. Paul, Chicago, New York, and the New England 
States. This shipment would be equal to about one 
hundred carloads and would be a very substantial com- 
mencement of the trade which we expect with China 
and Japan. 

I think we may look with great hope to the future 
from such a commencement, and while business may 
not be so prosperous at this moment as we would wish 
it to be, still we may confidently anticipate that the 
business of Montreal and of Canada will steadily en- 
large, and that with the same efficient management of 
the bank which has secured such good profits to the 
shareholders, the results will not only be equal to what 
they have had in the past, but will be even better. 


Lord Strathcona 
Before the meeting closed Mr. Crawford said : 

I believe I voice the sentiments of the shareholders 
present in tendering our sincere congratulations to the 
vice-president of the bank, Sir Donald A. Smith, for 
the mark of distinction which Her Gracious Majesty 
has been pleased to confer upon him, an honour which 
I trust he may long be spared to enjoy, and also to 
adorn. It is a fitting complement to the distinction 
conferred upon his colleague, Sir George Stephen. 

Less than twenty years later l Lord Strathcona, 
in opening the new and palatial London offices 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, took 
occasion to tell the distinguished audience then 
assembled : 

Thirty-five years ago there were not, perhaps, five 
people in Canada who thought there could ever be a 
railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in the Domin- 
ion, round the north of Lake Superior. However, the 
Government were determined, and entered into a con- 
tract with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. 
That was in 1880 and the Company had ten years to 
complete the line, but it was generally considered that 
quite another ten years would be required. The road, 
however, was completed on November 7, 1885, and in 
1886 was opened for through traffic. The resulting 
benefits to Canada have been very great. Previously 
there had been no means of going to North-West Can- 
ada except by the United States, but now it was possi- 
ble to travel from Montreal to Winnipeg in two days 
and to British Columbia that was to Vancouver 
in four and a half days a very great change, indeed ! 
1 January, 1904. 

Sir Charles Tupper's Tribute 

At the time the contract was given out, it was be- 
lieved that the railway could not possibly be a success : 
one eminent statesman, indeed, said that it would 
"never earn enough to pay for the grease required for 
the wheels of the carriages." To-day it was an assured 
success. Not only did their line run from St. John to 
the Pacific, but in connection with it the Empress line 
of steamers ran to Japan and China, and there were no 
more comfortable steamers on the ocean. More re- 
cently the company had taken up a line of steamers 
from Great Britain to Canada, the Far East, and 
Australia. In good time would come a much faster 
service of steamers, as a complement to the railway. 
As a result of the great prosperity of Canada the traf- 
fic was increasing and it was bound to go on increasing. 
When the railway was begun there was nothing to 
send from the North- West but the furs of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. Within the last two years, however, 
the North-West has sent out more than one hundred 
million bushels of grain ! l 

Sir George Stephen was the actual head of the 
undertaking: no one could justly minimize the 
signal part he had played. At the same time few 
tributes paid to Sir Donald Smith were more just, 
and, it may be added, more gratifying to the man 
whose prescience foresaw and whose strong hand 

1 "As to the Canadian Pacific Railway, in connection with which 
the popular imagination has always inclined to exalt him [Mr. Smith] 
above all others, he well knew what was due to others as well as 
to himself, and remembered to give credit where credit was due. In 
accepting a presentation in London in November, 1907, he used 
these words : ' Had it not been for the cordial cooperation of all my 
colleagues who undertook the contract it would have been impossible 
to have carried it through. Happily we were all in perfect accord.' " 
(Sir William Peterson.) 

Lord Strathcona 

educed and promoted this great national project, 
than that uttered by Sir Charles Tupper in 1897 : ~ 

The Canadian Pacific Railway would have no exist- 
ence to-day, notwithstanding all that the Government 
did to support that undertaking, had it not been for 
the indomitable pluck and energy and determination, 
both financially and in every other respect, of Sir 
' Donald Smith. 

Amongst those snow-capped mountains two lofty 
summits bear the names of these two Morayshire 
kinsmen. As long as the earth's surface remains 
unaltered and our language and traditions survive, 
Mount Stephen, on the one hand, and Mount Sir 
Donald on the other, will rear their heights heaven- 
ward, to commemorate one of the greatest achieve- 
ments of patriotism, industry, and engineering since 
the days of the Roman Caesars. 1 


Alluding to the increased prosperity of Canada in 
fifteen years, Sir Richard Cartwright, late Minister of 
Trade and Commerce, stated that in 1896 Canadian Pa- 
cific Railway stock, "which is now near $300 per share, 

1 "The conception of a transcontinental railway was a magnificent 
act of faith on the part of the Canadian Dominion. The Dominion 
contains a population of under five millions of people, and its area 
consists of nearly three and a half millions of square miles. Such a 
population, inhabiting so vast a territory, has manifested so profound 
a faith in its own future that it has conceived and executed within a 
few years a work which, a generation ago, might well have appalled 
the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. It is a material mani- 
festation of the growing solidity of the Empire, and a proof of the 
invincible energy of the Canadian subjects of the British Crown." 
(Canada and the Canadian Pacific Railway.) 



Canada's Development 

was selling at $50." In other words, the whole common 
stock of the Canadian Pacific Railway was worth at 
current market price $32,000,000 in 1896. It is now 
worth over $500,000,000. The total number of home- 
stead entries in the North-West was in that year 
1300 as against an average for the last few years of 
30,000 and 40,000. Take the volume of trade and com- 
merce for the Dominion. In 1874 this had touched 
$217,000,000. In 1896, with an increased population 
of 1,000,000, it was barely $239,000,000, being a con- 
siderable reduction per capita, and a total growth in 
twenty-two years of just $1,000,000 a year; and in 
1911-12 it was over $650,000,000. 



FOR five years Sir Donald had ceased to be a 
member of Parliament. His prestige throughout 
the country following the triumphant completion 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and his reconcil- 
iation with Sir John Macdonald, made it highly 
probable that before the next general election, he 
would be offered a nomination in some constitu- 
ency. The long-wished-for reconciliation with Sir 
John had been brought about in the simplest 
and most natural manner. Mr. George Stephen, 
calling upon Sir John at his hotel in London, was 
accompanied by Mr. Smith. The visit was un- 
premeditated. They shook hands cordially; there 
was no embarrassment, no allusion, tacit or overt, 
to what had passed the conversation was pur- 
sued as naturally as if they had met but yesterday 
and a schism had not yawned between them for 
more than a decade. The healing of the breach 
between the two statesmen was complete, and I 
have the high authority of Sir Joseph Pope for 
stating that never thereafter, in public or private, 
by word, look, or gesture, did Sir John reveal any 
but the frankest and most unclouded cordiality for 
the former member for Selkirk. 1 

1 I am indebted to a friend for the following interesting incident 


A Winnipeg Deputation 

Winnipeg was not long in expressing a desire for 
Mr. Smith's parliamentary services. A deputation 
from that city waited upon him in Montreal toward 
the close of 1886 and besought him in the most 
flattering terms to become the candidate. 

I told them that while fully alive to the compliment 
they paid me, and much as I felt drawn to a constitu- 
ency full for me of pleasant associations, I was not 
eager to return to political life and that, as the matter 
had taken me by surprise, I must have time for consid- 

It was then that a close friend and neighbor, Mr. 
James A. Cantlie, 2 observed: 

If you really again contemplate Parliament, why go 
so far afield as Winnipeg for a seat? There will shortly 

illustrating the relationship between the two men. A private bill, 
inimical to the Canadian Pacific Railway, was impending. Accom- 
panied by one of his colleagues, Mr. Smith, late one evening, was duly 
ushered into Sir John's study. There was a small desk in one corner 
before which the Prime Minister, after a dignified greeting, seated 
himself. Mr. Smith recapitulated the situation, then rising he began 
to approach the front or back of the desk, facing Sir John, uttering 
a pregnant sentence with each step forward. "You see, Sir John, 
this thing cannot be. It must not be, Sir John. It must not, it really 
must not be." Raising his voice, he reached the desk and leaned over 
it, shaking an ominous forefinger, while the Prime Minister shrank 
back, "I tell you, Sir John, it MUST NOT BE !" 

Sir John's expression relaxed. "Come, come, Mr. Smith," he said 
with a smile, "I never said it would, could, or should be. Pray sit 
down." He then explained that the Government had no intention of 
giving any unfair advantage to a rival road, and after having fur- 
nished the fullest assurances on this head, shook hands with his 
visitors and accompanied them, good-humouredly, in the "wee, sma' 
hours," to the door. 

* One of the most respected citizens of Montreal, and brother-in- 
law to Lord Mount Stephen. 


Lord Strathcona 

be a vacancy in Montreal West I can assure you of 
a triumphant return. 

No decision had been reached when Sir Donald 
left for England, but it scarcely came as a surprise 
when in London, at the close of 1886, a cablegram 
reached him from the chairman of the local Con- 
servative Association, advising him of such nomi- 
nation. He instantly replied : 

I appreciate the honour of nomination and accept it, 
if electors are satisfied with my assurance that as an 
independent member, uninfluenced by any other con- 
siderations than those having in view the best interests 
of our common country, I will, if elected, use every 
effort to further the material progress of the Domin- 
ion, and to promote the prosperity of the City of Mon- 

To Miss Mactavish 

3d January, 1887. 

Although there is nothing much the matter with me, 
I have not been able to be out of the hotel for more 
than three hours altogether since my arrival here on 
Sunday of last week. Sir Andrew Clark, however, tells 
me there is nothing organic and that I may expect to 
be "all right" again very soon. 

Lord Randolph Churchill's escapade has, indeed, 
the appearance of an extraordinary freak, and yet, of 
course, we do not know all the particulars as they affect 
both sides. Still, to have abandoned his colleagues at 
such a moment hardly appears capable of being justi- 
fied. Let us hope the accession to the Ministry of Mr. 
Goschen will make up for the loss of the other. 


Accepts Montreal Nomination 

Although I do not go out, Sir George Stephen and 
some other friends occasionally spend part of the even- 
ing with me : so that I am not left absolutely alone. 

Afterwards in February, addressing the electors 
in Montreal, he told them he did not intend to make 
any explicit statement of his political principles : 

I was an active politician of the time when the good 
old custom if it were a good old custom was in 
vogue of verbal nominations, when each candidate 
spoke about the other, and sometimes when he did not 
spare his opponent's feelings. But since you have been 
so very good to meet here on this occasion to reaffirm 
your approval of my nomination as your candidate for 
the Western division of Montreal, I must tell you that 
it is very gratifying to me, indeed, and that I value 
very highly the good opinions of the gentlemen whom 
I see before me, as well as of many others who, I am 
informed, look favourably on my nomination. 

I am disposed to judge of measures more than of 
men. At the same time, if a Government may have 
made some blunders, I am not disposed to oppose them 
because of this. We know that success depends not on 
absolute perfection, but that with individuals as with 
governments, to make fewest mistakes is the criterion 
of success. I will not be disposed to denounce the whole 
policy of a Government because of this measure or of 
that measure, provided it be not one of principle and 
one calculated to be injurious to the community and 
the Dominion at large. I come forward as an inde- 
pendent candidate, prepared to give my support to 
what I believe is in the interests of my constituents 
and of vital interest to the Dominion. 

There was, however [he continued], one great ques- 


Lord Strathcona 

tion affecting the country upon which he hoped senti- 
ment was united. 

I shall do everything in my power that may be re- 
quired in forwarding the interests of the Dominion in 
respect to what is known as the National Policy and I 
shall encourage that due and proper protection which 
is necessary for the industries of a new country. 

We are not usually given to boasting in Canada. 
We know, and we are not ashamed to own, that we are 
a smaller and poorer people at this very moment than 
those on the other side of the line. While they maintain 
high protective tariffs, if we allowed everything to 
come in here just as they should like, we all know what 
would very soon become of Canada. We must judge 
facts by the circumstances of the moment, and of the 
place ; while free trade may be very good for England, 
and while I might support it there with certain modifi- 
cations, I should be very sorry to see it introduced in 
this country and would oppose its adoption. I do not 
mean that duties should become so onerous as to mili- 
tate against the material interests of one class or the 
other. The National Policy is for the benefit of all. 
We know that if you have not manufactories and if 
you have not the means of giving work to the people 
of the country, you cannot have prosperity and prog- 
ress. While we may have articles at a low price, yet, 
if wages were also very low, the workman would lack 
the means of purchasing them. Simply to be able to 
purchase at a low price, with wages also exceptionally 
low, would be no advantage to the people. But we 
know, on the contrary, that the effect of protection 
has been materially to increase the demand for labour 
and raise the wages of the workman, without adding 
to the costs of the necessaries of life. If you have not 


Advocates Technical Education 

your industries "in full blast," you can have no pros- 

He had become an earnest advocate of technical 
education, a field of effort which he afterward left to 
his friend, Sir William Macdonald. 

There is one reform which I think should be intro- 
duced into Canada, so as to enable our employers of 
labour and those whom they employ to compete with 
the other people of other countries. I think we should 
all manufacturers and workmen alike put our 
shoulder to the wheel and endeavour to have estab- 
lished technical and trade schools, which would be of 
immense advantage to the great mass of the people. We 
all know that occasionally there is a slight suspicion 
thrown on the sincerity of promises made during an 
election campaign, so perhaps it is better I should not 
make too many promises, but this I believe to be a 
benefit to the country, upon which men of all shades 
of politics can join. 

I am proud to find gentlemen who have met to- 
gether not because they belong strictly to one side of 
politics or to the other, but that notwithstanding they 
have views on certain matters different from each other, 
they come to give me their support on this occasion. It 
shall be my first effort always to show that their confi- 
dence has not been misplaced, and if returned to Parlia- 
ment by your suffrages, I shall, as long as I represent 
you, do my utmost to promote your interests. 

On another occasion he said : 

In connection with the condition of working-men I 
believe that such means should be placed at their dis- 
posal, at the public cost, as would enable them by 


Lord Strathcona 

technical education to become the most skilled arti- 
sans. This is not a new idea of mine. I have for years 
past advocated technical education in Canada, to en- 
able our working-men to compete with those of other 
countries where the system is in operation. France was 
the first to introduce it, and soon the working-men of 
France became more skilful in artistic work than those 
of England, and England had to follow the example of 
the French. Would it not be a grand thing for us to 
say of any artistic piece of workmanship, "That was 
made in Canada"? 

Sir Donald went on to touch on the subject of 
" temperance " which was even then " a vital and 
burning question." He was no bigot himself, and 
discouraged it in others. 

I am not afraid to speak on the subject of tem- 
perance here or anywhere. I have been temperate 
throughout all my life. I have taken a glass of cham- 
pagne, or a glass of some other wine ; but I have never 
taken too much. I may even have enjoyed a glass of 
liquor, but I always allow my friends who think other- 
wise to do according to their will. I respect no man 
better whether he abstain altogether or whether he 
drink in strict moderation. I shall always be in favour 
of laws that can advance the cause of true temperance 
in the country. 

As the campaign proceeded he addressed many 
meetings. Thus, early in February, he dealt with 
the tariff question : 

We are all fighting in a good cause the industries 
of this country of ours. The question is not a party 
matter, but one which men of all parties can join 


Protection vs. Free-Trade 


heartily in, which they cannot do if the issue be 
narrowed down to a mere party question. It cannot 
be denied that a new country cannot hold its own 
against a rich and powerful neighbour, fully equipped 
with the best methods, appliances, and machinery, and 
a hundredfold more wealthy, unless that new country 
protects its industries and thus protects itself. It is 
entirely different in England and Europe, which for 
hundreds of years have controlled the commerce and 
markets of the world, and have been so long estab- 
lished that they fear no competition. England had 
established "free trade" and for years had maintained 
it against the nations of the world, but even in Eng- 
land they are beginning to realize that it is not 
perfect. The other nations did not come to meet them, 
and to-day there is a strong feeling throughout the 
land that " fair trade " would be more equitable to the 
whole people. As a nation, Canada does not want 
undue protection, but on such goods as can be pro- 
duced in the country the duty should lie. As regards 
luxuries, he was of the opinion that taxation on them 
was highly justifiable. He spoke of the excellent native 
wines produced in this country, and thought if we had 
to pay a heavier duty upon imported champagnes, we 
might, perhaps, produce these native wines of a better 
quality. Many persons may be found who would say 
that increased duties mean an increase in price, but 
this was erroneous. It had been proved, and most con- 
clusively proved that the very opposite is the case 
when properly protected native industry can supply 
what is required more cheaply than outsiders. As a 
matter of vital interest to farmers, he instanced the 
article of land plaster, which a few years ago was 
entirely imported, and to-day it was manufactured in 


Lord Strathcona 

Canada and sold cheaper now than ever before. While 
the farmers got the article cheaper, the workmen now 
received from $i .40 per day, while under the Mackenzie 
regime they worked for 90 cents and $l. With clear 
consciences the electors of this great Dominion might 
all use their best efforts and work together to "let well 
enough alone." 

It must be, of course, understood that the present 
Government are progressive enough to introduce any 
measure that will tend to the improvement and ad- 
vancement of the country. We are all agreed as to the 
necessity that exists for protection, and that those en- 
gaged in our industries should be put in a position to 
compete successfully with the manufacturers of other 
countries. To do this, mechanics and others should 
receive the advantages of all available technical knowl- 
edge, not merely the "three R's," but a thorough 
practical knowledge which will fit them to take the best 
places in their sphere of life. It is the workman of 
to-day who is being fitted to become the employer of 
the future. If elected I will do all in my power to put 
within his reach all such knowledge as would assist 
him in being worthy the confidence of the people. 

Coming down to the city of Montreal, there are sub- 
jects of the deepest and gravest importance, notably 
the deepening of the harbour. It remains with our- 
selves, the citizens, to make Montreal not only the 
second to no city in Canada, but second to none on the 
Continent. Such works as these are not of merely mu- 
nicipal character, but are of benefit to all other places 
in the Dominion, and as a city we now have a right to 
insist that the expense shall no longer be borne by 
us, but shall be taken up by the Dominion, as the 
Dominion at large thereby benefits. 


The "National Policy" 

He had to dwell frequently upon the so-called 
"National Policy": 

We all know that for some eight years back, we have 
had a measure of prosperity in Canada which was ab- 
sent for many years before. We know and we appre- 
ciate that this in a very great measure is owing to the 
proper protection which has been given to the indus- 
tries of Canada by the Conservative Government. 
This protection was necessary to make Canada a great 
nation. If we had not the National Policy, Canada 
would have been swamped by the importation of goods 
from the United States and elsewhere, and we would 
neither have manufacturers in the country nor employ- 
ment for our people. Therefore it is that I believe we 
should maintain the position which we now hold and 
which I shall endeavour to do so far as it lies in my 
power. I feel that in voting for the supporters of the 
National Policy you will be supporting your own inter- 

In one of his speeches he told how, when return- 
ing on the steamer to New York, he met an Ameri- 
can gentleman. The talk turned on the National 
Policy in Canada, and his acquaintance, being 
an extensive manufacturer, took some interest in 
the question, holding that, before the National 
Policy was introduced in Canada, he was doing a 
fine trade, but since Canadians learned to make 
their own goods for their own markets, and to pro- 
tect their native industries, he could not sell in 
Canada at all. 

The question for working-men and manufacturers is, 
"Do you want to return to lower wages and to lower 


Lord Strathcona 

prices for the necessaries of life?" as was the case dur- 
ing the Liberal Administration, or, "Do you wish to 
remain happy and prosperous and progressive as you 
are at present?" The course for the constituencies is 
to support the National Policy candidates, to keep 
things as they are, and to make them as much better 
as we can. One of the largest woollen manufactories 
in the Dominion wrote me how the National Policy 
affected their factory in Sherbrooke. Before the intro- 
duction of the National Policy, the wages paid to em- 
ployees were $80,000, and for the seven years since, 
the wages were more than fifty per cent beyond this. 
During the seven years of the National Policy they 
had paid $246,000 more to those employed in their 
factories than they did before there was protection for 
the industry. As is the case with one factory, so it is 
all over Canada, and as our population and industries 
grow, the necessity for this policy on the part of the 
Government will become all the more imperative if our 
country is to prosper. I have no doubt that you, the 
electors, will see the necessity for sustaining the Gov- 
ernment in this policy, and that you will give a hearty 
and generous support to the candidates who are pledged 
to advocate it. 

On previous occasions, as now, I have stood before 
many French Canadians, and am proud to say I always 
have had their support. I have, indeed, had in the past 
a very warm support from my French Canadian coun- 
trymen, and I believe I will have their support, too, in 
the present contest. It is not my own battle I am 
fighting, because there is nothing that can benefit me 
that will not benefit you, and if elected, as I have every 
confidence I shall be, I will do all in my power to for- 
ward the interests of my constituents. 


Returned for Montreal 

Speaking of the customs regulations, Sir Donald 
remarked : 

Unquestionably it is absolutely necessary that the 
customs laws should be enforced with as little incon- 
venience as possible to the merchants, having regard 
to the due collection of the duties. There can be no 
necessity or excuse for a friction between merchants 
and importers with the law properly laid down, and 
no difficulty should arise with officers who know and 
discharge their duties faithfully, and at the same time 
with civility and courteousness to merchants. I con- 
sider it the duty of a representative of an important 
commercial community like this to see that the laws 
are satisfactorily enforced, and I shall certainly make 
it my duty to see to this when, as I believe, you will 
elect me as your member. 

On the 23d of February the election took place, 
and he was triumphantly returned. In the course 
of a speech on that day, he said : 

The employer and the employee, both alike, were 
bent upon protecting the great interests of this great 
country. Having honoured him with their confidence, 
he trusted that he would be able to prove to them that 
that confidence was not misplaced. It was the duty of 
all to work together to support the National Policy. 
It was that policy which made Canada what she is, 
and the people of Montreal had declared that there 
should be no retrograding, no going back to an era of 
depression and soup kitchens. For himself he would 
prefer to have a little leisure, but there are times when 
for the public good a man must not study his own 
convenience. Anything he could do in the interests of 
domestic manufactures and of the country at large 


Lord Strathcona 

should be cheerfully done. If we did not take care of 
ourselves, no one else would. Canada shall be no 
"slaughter market" for the United States, and while 
we are all prepared to go in heartily for Reciprocity, 
we want no one-sided arrangement. 

A banquet was given in honour of the new mem- 
ber in the following month. Replying to the toast 
of his health, he said: 

Having spent fifty years of my life in Canada, I also 
can claim to be a Canadian. And while calling your- 
selves Canadians you can also rejoice in the rejoicing 
of the Mother Country, and that you will have this 
year an opportunity of celebrating the Jubilee of Her 
Majesty. We have cause to be satisfied that we have 
been under the beneficent reign of that Queen and that 
no part of the world has progressed more during those 
fifty years than Canada. With all the facilities we at 
present enjoy for coming together, with the railway, the 
telegraph, and the telephone facilities, where those two 
thousand miles away are brought nearer together than 
was Montreal and Ottawa thirty years ago, what will 
this country be thirty years hence, if we are true to 

Jointly with his cousin, Lord Mount Stephen, he 
set apart one million dollars to erect a great 
hospital in Montreal to commemorate the Queen's 
Jubilee. Later, when the building had been erected 
on the side of Mount Royal, they gave equally in 
the sum of $800,000 to endow the institution. 
There could be no finer site for a hospital, over- 
looking, as it does, the whole city of Montreal and 
the valley of the St. Lawrence. Behind rises the 


Royal Victoria College 

mountain, terraced with sylvan retreats; before lie 
the squares and steeples, and the glittering river; 
and beyond that, on the south shore, the open 
country, with here and there a domed mountain. 
At intervals a town or village is visible or the metal- 
cased steeple of a parish church that flashes like a 
poniard in the sun. 

This hospital, the Royal Victoria, is one of the 
best equipped institutions on the continent. Mod- 
ern science was drawn upon to furnish it ade- 
quately, and by reason of its large endowment it 
has since kept pace with the newest discoveries and 

But this was not the only institution which was 
to bear the name of Victoria. He had long ere this 
had his thoughts directed toward educational plans 
and problems and was a liberal patron of McGill 
University. In October, 1886, an endowment was 
created in aid of the higher education of women, 
amounting to $120,000, which sum was to be de- 
voted to provide a collegiate education for women 
in the manner and form and for the time being as 
declared in the deed evidencing such endowment. 
By that deed it was also provided that in the event 
of the donor, .by himself or in conjunction with 
others, taking further steps for extending the en- 
dowment and obtaining an act of incorporation 
for a college for the purpose named, the donation 
should be transferred to the college. A year or two 
later Sir Donald communicated his intention to 
found an endowment for a college, with a pre- 
paratory school or branch to be established in 


Lord Strathcona 

Winnipeg or "at such other point or points in the 
Province of Manitoba or the North-West Terri- 
tories, or in British Columbia, as shall hereafter be 
determined." An act of incorporation was obtained 
from Parliament, of the Royal Victoria College. 
The completion of this scheme was, as we shall see, 
deferred for some years. 

In February, 1888, his only daughter, Margaret 
Charlotte, married Mr. Robert Jared Bliss Howard, 
of Montreal, son of the Dean of the Faculty of 
Medicine at McGill University. Three years later 
Sir Donald's first grandson, Donald Sterling 
Palmer, the present heir to the barony, was born. 1 

On November I, 1889, Sir Donald was in- 
augurated Chancellor of McGill. The ceremony 
took place in the William Molson Hall, and the 
room was crowded with influential citizens and 
students of both sexes. The Governors and the 
faculty entered the room attired in their robes, and 
were loudly cheered by the students, who rose in a 
body to receive them. Sir Donald followed in his 
black gown, with red hood, cap in hand, walking 
slowly past the rows of cheering students. 

The chairman introduced the new Chancellor. 
Having alluded to the fact that Sir Donald's ex- 
alted position, and the interest he took in the 
cause of education, entitled him to a high place in 
their regard, he said that in selecting Sir Donald 

1 A daughter, Frances Margaret Palmer (now the Honourable 
Mrs. Kitson), had been born in 1889. A second grandson, Lieutenant 
the Honourable Robert Henry Palmer Howard, born in 1893, was 
killed in action in May, 1915. The other children are Edith, born in 
1895, and Arthur, born in 1896. 


circa 1885 

Chancellor of McGill 

Smith as Chancellor they felt that the honour was 
well bestowed. 

The senior member of the Board of Governors, 
Mr. Peter Redpath, then conducted Sir Donald to 
the chair amid cheers. Mr. Redpath congratulated 
him upon his election to an office of which any man 
might be proud, which was the highest honour the 
university could bestow. The Governors, in choos- 
ing their Chancellor, had not disappointed pub- 
lic expectation, and he believed that under Sir 
Donald's administration the university would con- 
tinue to enjoy the prosperity which had for a 
number of years attended it. In response the 
Chancellor said : 

I thank you as earnestly and as sincerely as it is 
possible for me to do for the greeting you have given 
me. This university cannot boast of great antiquity, 
but as Paris, Oxford, and Cambridge are the oldest in 
Europe, and Harvard is the oldest in America, so is 
McGill the oldest in Canada. Of the great men who 
were trained in the European schools, it is unnecessary 
for me to speak, as it would be impossible for me to say 
anything you do not already know regarding them; 
but you must premise as the outcome of Harvard's 
teaching the standard of intellect and education l 
which is impressed on the people of Boston and New 
England generally. Is it not also the case with our- 
selves? Is not the desire for elegance and good taste 
observable in our surroundings in the city owing to the 
great intelligence which has resulted from the larger 
facilities offered in late years for higher education; 

1 He was once asked what in his opinion was the finest product of 
modern civilization. His reply was "a well-educated American." 


Lord Strathcona 

and that especially by McGill? Regarding those who 
have filled the chair before me, humbly following 
their example, I will endeavour to act to the best of 
my ability, whilst it may be permitted me to fill this 
honourable position. 

We must not only continue the prosperity of the 
university, but raise it to a higher and yet higher posi- 
tion among schools of learning. We must still progress. 
We have many tangible proofs of the interest taken in 
the prosperity of the university. The liberality of the 
friends of the institution, as we all know, has been very 
great, and the issue has been in every way satisfactory 
in the large number of educated men and women sent 
forth from the university. But to enable it to continue 
and render more efficient the means for this great work, 
the Governors are now desirous of further endow- 
ments. Let us all do our best to provide for, if possi- 
ble, making the college more efficient than in the past. 
It has much to contend with at the present moment. 
We know that we are a comparatively small minority 
of English-speaking people in this Province, and we 
know that whilst McGill and its faculty of law had 
up to quite recently the field for itself entirely, things 
are now altogether different. Now there is another 
faculty of law in another university. We wish them 
God-speed ; but at the same time we do not wish that 
McGill in this respect should take other than a fore- 
most place. We desire that it should in no sense be 
second to any other law school or faculty in the Domin- 
ion. The Civil Code of Quebec is entirely different to 
that of the other Provinces df the Dominion. There is 
not that inducement to those outside of Montreal or 
this Province to come here to be instructed by the 
faculty of law; so that it is most essential, indeed, that 


Chancellor's Address 

the citizens should give that support to the school 
without which it cannot possibly have that vitality 
which it should have to be in every way efficient. Of 
this the members of the Board are so fully convinced 
that they are endeavouring to provide an endowment 
for the faculty of at least one chair to begin with, and 
they hope to have one or two additional chairs. There 
is also the faculty of medicine, which holds its head 
high among the schools, not only of this continent but 
of Europe, and in view of the great advances made in 
science, medicine, and surgery within the last quarter 
of a century, I am sure you wish that McGill should 
hold its own; but this will be impossible without the 
liberal aid of those of the community. 

We do not mean that all is to be done to-day or to- 
morrow, but it is well we should keep them in view 
and that a helping hand should be given us as soon as 
possible. There is also required, as soon as it can be 
had, an addition to the general funds of the university 
applicable to all professorship endowments and for 
college purposes. Something is also required to be 
done for the department l for women. Some of us had 
hoped that by this time there would have been such a 
college in existence, but from certain causes it has not 
been brought about. However, I think, we may feel 
assured that before the lady undergraduates who join 
this year are ready to leave the college they will have 
a habitat of their own. The progress which has been 
made in education, in the arts and sciences, and in 
the other professions throughout the world, is so very 
great that to keep pace with it we must bestir ourselves 
in every possible way. 

1 This had already been christened the "Donalda Department" 
in his honour. Mme. Donalda, the cantatrice, was one of the 


Lord Strathcona 

We see how another university here, that of Laval, 
is strengthening itself in every way. We find no fault 
with that. There is a union of certain schools here, and 
union we know is strength, and it is well that in a good 
cause there should be union and that there should be 
strength. But whilst we desire that they should go on 
and prosper, we must not forget that it is our first duty 
to look to ourselves, and it is to be hoped that each 
of us will do his part to the best of his ability to see 
and secure that McGill shall hold its place among the 
schools not only of this Province, but of the Dominion 
as one which will be able to send forth men and women 
who will be a credit to their Alma Mater and will take 
their part efficiently to advance the best interests of 
the whole community. 

On the 6th June, 1891, Sir John Macdonald 
passed away. 

To the Marquess of Lome 

June Qth, 1891. 

The death of Sir John Macdonald not only removes 
the greatest man in Canada but for whom the confed- 
eration of these Provinces might never have been 
achieved, but it takes away the source of patriotic 
inspiration of our best men. I was late in entering 
political life, but I at once, as if I had been a much 
younger man, enrolled myself under his banner and 
regret nothing so much as the temporary estrangement 
which circumstances unhappily brought about. Not- 
withstanding this, I never once ceased to hold him in 
regard and was truly rejoiced when it became possible 
for me to return openly to my allegiance. 


A Ministerial Crisis 

As Governor-General Lord Stanley of Preston 
(afterwards Earl of Derby) was succeeded by the 
Earl of Aberdeen. 

To Sir William Butler 

As to Lord Aberdeen's appointment we can only 
hope for the best. We have so far been especially fa- 
voured by Providence in the matter of Governors- 
General. In this case the fact of Lord Aberdeen's being 
a great favourite with Mr. Gladstone will not predis- 
pose many in his favour; but I believe he is earnest and 
industrious and a Scotsman of rank and lineage, which 
in itself signifies a great deal. Then, as I need hardly 
remind you, there is her ladyship ! 

In the Canadian political world affairs were 
growing troublous. Sir John Thompson's death at 
the close of 1894 had greatly shaken the Conserva- 
tives. Both the party and the country were restive 
under the Premiership of Sir Mackenzie Bowell, 
and in January, 1896, an embarrassing upheaval 

Seven Ministers handed in their resignations to 
Sir Mackenzie Bowell. The truth is, the Prime 
Minister was hardly able to cope with the situation, 
and there was a general demand that Sir Charles 
Tupper, who then filled the position of High Com- 
missioner in London, be summoned back to lead the 
party. Parliament met on the yth of the month 
when the Honourable George E. Foster explained the 
reasons which had induced him and his colleagues 
to resign. It was "from no feeling of personal dis- 


Lord Strathcona 

like or personal ambition, but has been solely dic- 
tated by our wish to sink all minor consideration 
and conserve the party and the country." 

In other words, the wholesale resignations were 
to pave the way for the prorogation of a Govern- 
ment whose Premier could not command the con- 
fidence of all his colleagues. 

Under the circumstances and there being in truth 
no Government, none were surprised to learn of 
Sir Mackenzie Bowell's decision to resign. It was 
then that a new difficulty appeared Lord Aber- 
deen, the Governor-General, refused to accept the 
Premier's resignation. No consideration had been 
given to the Speech from the Throne, and affairs of 
administration were generally in such a state as to 
demand a further effort to reconstruct the Ministry. 
The effort was made, and on Sir Charles Tupper 
consenting to enter the Cabinet as President of the 
Privy Council the recalcitrant Ministers returned. 

Thus ended a nine days' wonder. Its chief inter- 
est for us now is in the narrowness by which Sir 
Donald Smith escaped being drawn into the arena. 
An influential section of the party desired that he 
assume the leadership of the party. 

"There is one man, and one man alone," said a 
member, 1 "who can save the Liberal-Conservative 
Party from falling to pieces, and also who can com- 
mand the respect and confidence of the whole 
country, and that is Sir Donald A. Smith." 

The member for Montreal West was sounded. 
He shrank from the proposal. "I have no claim," 
1 Colonel Hughes, M.P. 

Manitoba Schools Question 

he wrote, "while such a statesman as Sir Charles 
Tupper is alive and active, and prepared to assume 
the burden should the latter prove too great for Sir 
Mackenzie Bowell." 

No sooner was the internal division healed than 
an affair of magnitude came to put the statesman- 
ship of the Government to a severe test. The seem- 
ingly eternal question of race and religion had 
reached an acute stage in Manitoba. In an empire 
such as ours it is always present; it is the problem 
of good citizenship to see that it never engenders 
bitterness and animosity dangerous to the State. 1 

The French Roman Catholic population of Man- 
itoba demanded separate schools where their chil- 
dren should be taught their own language and 
religion. The Manitoba Legislature opposed this 
demand and passed an act abolishing denomina- 
tional schools. 

In May, 1894, tne cardinals, archbishops, and 
bishops of the Roman Catholic Church petitioned 
the Governor-General in Council to disallow the 
Manitoba School Act of 1894. By Order in Council 
of 26th July, 1894, the Privy Council recommended 
that the petition should be transmitted to the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, and expressed 

1 Sir Donald once said to Mr. Wilson-Smith, K.C. ; " My own view 
is that the less said about race and religion in Canada the better. In 
Montreal public opinion is always in a highly combustible state and 
any chance firebrand may set us all in a blaze. The French-Cana- 
dians are very sensitive and if we cannot praise them, we at least 
must be blind to their occasional shortcomings. It is all very artifi- 
cial, but it is only by means of such a modus vivendi that harmony 
can be secured at all." 


Lord Strathcona 

the hope that the Legislature of that Province 
should take steps to remove the grievances com- 
plained of in the petition. 

Again, by Order in Council of July 27, 1895, the 
Dominion Government invited the Manitoba Gov- 
ernment to enter into friendly negotiations in 
order to ascertain how far the latter were prepared 
to go in meeting the wishes of the minority, so that 
the Dominion might, if possible, be relieved from 
the duty of intervening. The Provincial authorities 
paid no attention to the invitation, and it was 
publicly and triumphantly declared that they had 
no intention of helping the Federal Government 
out of a difficulty. 

Instantly, the Provincial authorities, led by the 
Honourable Thomas Greenway, the Premier, were 
up in arms and flouted the Order in Council. The 
Remedial Bill was introduced soon after Parlia- 
ment met. It sought to restore to the Roman 
Catholic minority in Manitoba the rights and privi- 
leges in regard to the education of their children, 
of which they were deprived by the Provincial leg- 
islation of 1890, and which the judgment of the 
Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council 
declared Parliament had the power to restore. It 
professed, also, to interfere as little as possible with 
the functions of the Legislature and Government 
of Manitoba. The nature of the measure was such, 
however, that almost every clause of it dealt with 
acts that the constitutional law meant to be per- 
formed under authority of Provincial legislation, 
that are, therefore, best so performed, and that 


The Remedial Bill 

would continue to be performed in Manitoba if the 
religious majority in that Province had held the 
spirit of the Constitution in the same respect as it 
had been held by the religious majorities of Quebec 
and Ontario. The task of the Government was 
additionally unpleasant, in that the bill, if passed 
into an Act of Parliament, would probably fail to 
effect its purpose. It had to count on the good-will 
of the people and Legislature of Manitoba for so 
much, that, if the good-will were withheld, the 
Roman Catholic minority would not enjoy the full 
benefits of the provision Parliament, when it estab- 
lished the Province, destined them to enjoy. The 
financial side bristled with difficulties. The bill 
provided that the municipal authorities should 
collect and pay to the trustees of the separate 
schools, to be established, all local school taxes 
levied upon consenting Roman Catholic rate- 
payers. In 1894 the total of such taxes in Manitoba 
amounted to $354,963. They were supplemented 
by grants by the Legislature of the Province to the 
extent of $101,013. Nearly a third of the school 
revenue from taxation, therefore, came out of the 
Provincial Treasury. 

A Remedial Bill, following the lines of the 
Imperial Privy Council decision, declared that 
the religious minority should have a right to 
share in this ; but it was clearly impossible for Par- 
liament to dictate to the Legislature of a Province 
how or to whom it shall distribute its revenue. If 
the Legislature of Manitoba declined to pay any 
heed to the provisions of the Remedial Bill in this 


Lord Strathcona 

particular, the Roman Catholics would have to 
depend on the local assessments alone for means to 
keep their schools in operation. In poor localities, 
and sparsely settled localities where the Roman 
Catholics were a small element in the general popu- 
lation, this virtually meant that there would be 
no separate schools. In other words, that would 
happen in Manitoba which has since happened in 
the Province of Quebec with regard to Protestant 
schools. The religious majority would inevitably 
crush the minority out of existence. Both sides 
assumed an uncompromising attitude. Naturally 
the clergy and clerical party of Quebec flew to 
the succour of their co-religious in Manitoba. The 
Orangemen of Ontario responded by snatching up 
the cudgels against Rome and Papal machinations. 
The air rang with vituperation, and for several 
weeks it wanted but little to precipitate a danger- 
ous conflict. 

Meanwhile, the citizens at large and a Govern- 
ment by no means agreed amongst themselves, 
seeing no satisfactory solution of the difficulty, 
prayed for the advent of a pacificator. And again a 
pacificator appeared. Many considerations tended 
to make Sir Donald Smith's assumption of the role 
the most appropriate that could be found his 
patriarchal age, his freedom from the bonds of 
party, his well-known benevolence, but chiefly the 
remembrance of his famous mission of conciliation 
to the North-West a quarter of a century before. 
Albeit, in this instance, he was his own monitor. 

This time circumstances seemed to make it highly 


Privately consults Lord Aberdeen 

imprudent for the Government to despatch him on 
a mission of conciliation. He would go in a private 
capacity: what he would lose in official status, he 
would make up for by his character and reputation. 

There was a question, indeed, whether what he 
proposed was politically desirable. It would not do 
to compromise the Ministry, or to excite either the 
alarm or the enmity of the Opposition. He resolved 
to consult the Governor-General, Lord Aberdeen, 
not as a politician or a member of Parliament, but 
as a private citizen, anxious to perform a signal and 
special act of good citizenship. Advantage was 
taken of an invitation to luncheon at Rideau Hall, 
at which both Lord Aberdeen and his indefatigable 
consort listened to Sir Donald's plan of mediation. 
Both were enthusiastic in their approval. 

He explained afterwards : 

I wish to say very distinctly that I did not go at the 
instance of the Government. It is true that I had 
the privilege of communicating with His Excellency 
the Governor-General, not so much as Her Majesty's 
representative here, but as one, who, as we all know, 
has taken a very warm and deep interest in everything 
that is for the benefit of Canada. Having incidentally 
had an opportunity of speaking of this very important 
matter of the Manitoba School Question, His Excel- 
lency was good enough to express to me his very great 
desire that it should be satisfactorily settled in one way 
or the other, so as to be agreeable, not only to the 
people of that Province, but also to the people of the 
Dominion as a whole, desiring it should be disposed of 
outside altogether of party politics, for we know that 


Lord Strathcona 

the Governor-General never allows himself to become 
a partisan, and that he is here as the representative 
of Her Majesty, to look equally at all sides, and to 
discriminate against none. I myself was greatly im- 
pressed with the view, that were it possible to dispose 
of this matter outside of Parliament, it would be for 
the general good ; and I consequently determined to go 
to Manitoba with the view of seeing Mr. Greenway and 
some of his colleagues, and of endeavouring to ascer- 
tain if there could not be found a satisfactory way out 
of the difficulty. I may mention that had it not been 
for the fact that, owing to serious illness, I was unable 
to leave my house for three or four months, I certainly 
would have visited Manitoba some time before; but it 
is never too late to attempt to do what ought to be 
done. 1 

He was at that time far from well. The weather 
was bitterly cold and tempestuous and his physi- 
cian, Dr. Roddick, had ordered him to repair at once 
to the milder climate of Florida. On the I5th of 
February his servant packed his luggage, he bade 
his wife farewell, and not until the following day 
did she or any of his friends learn that instead of 
the sub-tropics he had departed for the sub-arctic. 
He arrived in Winnipeg on the i8th, and although 
he was careful to disclose nothing to the newspa- 
per representatives concerning his mission, it was 
immediately telegraphed all over the Dominion 
that he was in Winnipeg for a definite political 

Commenting on this the Montreal Gazette ob- 
served : 

1 Parliamentary Debates, March, 1896. 

Departs for Winnipeg 

The statement has been repeated so frequently, and 
no denial given, that there can really be no doubt of 
its accuracy. And besides, Sir Donald, beyond receiv- 
ing his scores of old personal and political friends, and 
attending to the little social amenities consequent 
upon a visit to his former home, is said to have done 
little else but interview the men who have it in their 
power to make any settlement of the case. He is 
known to have spent hours with Premier Greenway 
and His Grace the Archbishop of St. Boniface, 1 but 
whether there will be any practical result therefrom, 
time must be left to develop. That Sir Donald is acting 
sincerely and is really desirous of performing a service 
to the State by snatching from the arena of public dis- 
cussion a brand which, if left where it is, may result 
in disaster to Confederation, can be pretty generally 
taken for granted by all who know him and understand 
his character and motives. 

It went on to say: 

That he would like, incidentally, to assist his party, 
may perhaps be true, but it is better to credit him 
with the higher motive. However much all Canadians 
would like to see the question settled, it is difficult to 
see how Mr. Greenway can make any concessions that 
would satisfy the Ministry. With a fresh mandate 
from the people to stand by the National School Sys- 
tem, no one would surely be bold enough to expect 
that he would commit political suicide by sacrificing 
the schools. The Government has all along professed 
to be most anxious to administer the School Act in the 
most liberal manner, so as to meet the wishes of the 
minority as far as possible, providing no great princi- 
1 The late Mgr. Langevin. 

Lord Strathcona 

pies were sacrificed, but further than that it is difficult 
to see how they can go. 

This was perfectly true; it was, as Mr. Greenway 
told his distinguished visitor, difficult to see how 
they could go further. Yet it was not enough to 
restore peace or to carry out the pledge tacitly 
made in 1870. Sir Donald told the House of 
Commons on his return a few weeks later: 

The great difficulty in which Canada is at this time, 
and England as well, should be another inducement for 
us to do justice to the minority in Manitoba. There 
has been a promise made, made, it is true, to a few 
thousands of people, who have been spoken of here as 
poor half-breeds, but who, on the whole, I can assure 
you, are very intelligent men. 

He pointed out that in 1870 the schools were 
voluntary, the Roman Catholics had their own 
and the Protestants had theirs, and there were 
certain grants of money given to each. 

The Hudson's Bay Company, then the governing 
body, made a grant to the Roman Catholic Bishop, 
the late lamented and reverend Archbishop Tache. 
There was a grant given to the one and to the other 
a money grant as well as a grant of land for school 
purposes. It is true that not much was said about 
schools at that time, but it was distinctly understood 
by the people there, and the promise was made to 
those people, that they would have every privilege, on 
joining Canada, which they possessed at that time. 
And such promise I gave as a special commissioner 
from the Dominion of Canada. That was supple- 
mented by Canada. 


French-Canadian Simplicity 

If the Convention did not enter minutely and par- 
ticularly into the description of the separate schools, 
it was because they thought it altogether unnecessary. 
Any convention about separate schools was never 
dreamt of by them. They were a "simple-minded peo- 
ple." To show that they were really so, and that they 
went very much on good faith, I may mention how 
properties were conveyed from one to another. There 
were no long or written contracts; all that was neces- 
sary was that the parties interested should go to the 
official of the Hudson's Bay Company, who kept the 
land register, and mention verbally to him that it was 
desired to make over such and such property to a 
particular person and the transaction was concluded. 
That showed, I think, that they were " simple-minded," 
and that they had an idea, a belief, that when their 
word was pledged, it was as good as all the deeds that 
could be written. So it was with regard to the prom- 
ises that were made to them at that time. They knew 
that they had their schools, and they believed that the 
promises would be well and faithfully kept, and they 
did not deem it necessary to have anything of a more 
binding character with regard to them. 1 

This is apparent, I think, from what took place in 
the Legislature of Manitoba in 1871, when the School 
Law was passed. It may not be known to a great 
many of the members here that many of those who 
composed the Legislature of that time were members 
of this very Convention, and in deciding that there 
should be separate schools, they were looking to what 
had passed in this Convention; they had it fresh in their 
minds. Therefore, I certainly think that the people of 
Red River, then the majority, now the minority, are 

1 Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, March, 1896. 

Lord Strathcona 

entitled to all the privileges that are given to the major- 
ity at the present day. I think that in one way or an- 
other we should insist that they have full justice, and 
that whether in the form of separate schools, or in some 
other way, still, that justice shall be done, and that 
faith shall be kept with those people. 

Sir Donald returned to Ottawa during the last 
1 days of February. He was by this time so hardened 
to the amenities of political life to having base 
motives imputed to his most straightforward ac- 
tions that he was hardly surprised when one 
or two journals hinted that in his self-appointed 
mission to Manitoba, he had not been altogether 
. disinterested. 

It has been insinuated that, if I did go to Mani- 
toba, ostensibly for the purpose of aiding in settling 
this vexed question, it was no philanthropic idea I had 
in my head, but that it was for the advantage of a cer- 
tain corporation with which I happened to be con- 
nected, namely, the Canadian Pacific Railway Com- 
pany. It was said that there was a question coming 
up of a demand on the Government, a request to the 
Government, concerning the sale of a certain portion 
of the company's lands. I believe it is said that the 
sum was twenty or twenty-four millions it really 
does not signify for a few millions nowadays a few 
millions, a dozen millions, more or less, does not mat- 
ter. So it was said that the Canadian Pacific Railway 
had approached the Government with a view of selling 
to them their lands. The Canadian Pacific Railway 
company have not approached and have no thought of 
approaching the Government with any idea of selling 
'any of their lands, and the rumour is entirely without 


Government's Awkward Predicament 

foundation in truth. But that consideration will per- 
haps influence the conduct of those who circulate such 

A few days after he had left Winnipeg one result 
of his mission was announced. Mr. Clifford Sifton, 
the Attorney-General, moved in the Provincial 
Legislature, on February 25 

that a committee of the whole House should consider 
a resolution protesting against Federal interference, 
inviting an enquiry and protesting that coercive legis- 
lation would not accomplish the relief of the minority, 
but would prove disappointing, and should be resisted. 
The motion proceeded as follows: In amending the 
School Law from time to time, and in administering 
the school system, it has been our earnest desire to 
remedy any well-founded grievance, and remove any 
appearance of inequality or injustice brought to our 
notice, and to consider any complaint in a spirit of fair- 
ness and conciliation. 

Sir Donald consulted with the Prime Minister 
and Sir Charles Tupper as to the conduct of the 
Remedial Bill. It was agreed that the Government 
was in an awkward predicament. Having estab- 
lished personal relations with Mr. Greenway and 
his colleagues, could not Sir Donald induce them to 
come to Ottawa? No time was to be lost, and 
the member for Montreal West prepared a lengthy 
telegram, in which he appealed to the Liberal 
leaders in Manitoba to cast politics to the winds 
and come to Ottawa in the character of patriots. 

To this appeal a brief reply was forthcoming : 


Lord Strathcona 

To Sir D. A. Smith 

WINNIPEG, 2d March, 1896. 

Your telegram has received the most careful consid- 
eration of myself and colleagues. While fully appre- 
ciating all you say, it is quite clear to us that we can 
only proceed to Ottawa for the purpose of holding a 
conference upon the official invitation of the Dominion 
Government. I fully appreciate your kind offices in this 
matter. GREENWAY. 

But the Bowell Ministry were not inclined to 
commit themselves. The Opposition, led by Mr. 
Wilfrid Laurier, were pressing them hard and the 
sentiment of the country was showing plainly 
against them. 

The debate began and was continued with much 
heat for many days. On the I9th of March, Sir 
Donald arose to speak. 

A journalist at the time wrote: 

The feature of the afternoon's debates was the 
speech of Sir Donald Smith. The House, jaded after 
its long vigil, was wearily waiting for six o'clock in the 
hope of a short adjournment. It appeared that nothing 
could animate it except dinner. Who might or might 
not speak next had ceased to be a matter of interest. 
Even the eloquence of a Laurier or a Foster could 
scarcely have filled the vacant seats and thrilled the 
tired members. 

But as Disraeli says: "The unexpected always hap- 
pens." When the gallant Comptroller of Inland Rev- 
enue resumed his seat, an unanticipated form rose in 
its place to address the House. It was the venerable 


Speech in Parliament 

figure of the member for Montreal West, that, from the 
front row of the Conservative benches, apologized to 
Mr. Speaker for claiming the attention of the Chamber. 

It had been a subject of much speculation whether 
Sir Donald would take part in the debate. His inti- 
mate association with the events which led up to the 
admission of Manitoba in the Canadian Confederacy, 
his recent visit to Winnipeg, again to negotiate with 
the people of Red River as a pacificator, were guaran- 
tees that no man more than he could enlighten Parlia- 
ment on the vexed subject under discussion. 

No sooner had the news spread to the lobbies, that 
Sir Donald Smith had the floor, than the members 
began to pour into the almost deserted Chamber. 
Scarcely could the ringing of the division bell have 
quicker filled the vacant benches, and as the voice of 
the patriarchal member gained in power with the 
warming of the speaker to the subject of his speech, so 
did the attention of the House become enchained in 
rapt interest. 

The incident was felt to be historical. Sir Donald 
rarely addressed the House. On this occasion he spoke 
as a voice from the past as he detailed in simple, elo- 
quent language the events of 1870, in which he had 
been so prominent an actor; the House felt that his- 
tory had become incarnate, and was relating itself in 
living tongue. And when, coming to contemporary 
times, the pacificator of Red River in the past told of 
his recent negotiations to secure the elimination of 
Manitoba's schools question as a disturbing force in 
the politics of the present, and appealed to all parties 
of the country to pay homage to the Golden Rule, and 
to insure the consummation of his efforts, the House 
was visibly affected. 


Lord Strathcona 

From every quarter of the Chamber came long ap- 
plause, as the white-haired bearer of the olive branch 
resumed his seat, an appropriate conclusion to a 
unique and long-to-be-remembered Parliamentary 
episode. 1 

It is impossible to do more here than to indicate 
the outlines of a lengthy speech, several extracts 
from which have already been given. Referring to 
his visit to Winnipeg he said : 

I was met by Mr. Greenway and his colleagues in a 
manner that led me to believe that they had an honest 
desire to do what was right in the matter. It is only 
justice to those gentlemen to say that they to me ap- 
peared to be most anxious to have the matter settled 
so as to do substantial justice to the minority, as well 
as to the majority. I was permitted confidentially to 
represent this to the Government here, and I feel sure 
that it is their earnest desire to exhaust all means 
within their power to have justice done in the way in 
which I believe it can best be done, and that is through 
the local Government. True, it is within the power of 
this Parliament to pass a Remedial Bill, and if there is 
no other way of attaining the end which we are all of 
opinion ought to be accomplished, that of having equal 
justice done to the minority and to the majority, if 
after every means of obtaining that, from what I may 
be permitted to call the legitimate source, is exhausted, 
and it is found impossible to get justice for the minor- 
ity, then I consider that the responsibility rests with 
this Parliament, and that this Parliament ought to 
apply a remedy. I trust, I have every confidence, 
honourable gentlemen opposite will all feel that it is 
1 Manitoba Free Press, March 20, 1896. 
1 68 

The Golden Rule 

their duty, as well as the duty of those on this side of 
the House, to assist in every possible way to bring 
about a settlement. I cannot see myself that there is 
any necessity for a commission to enquire into well- 
known facts and circumstances, but I do trust and 
desire that there may be, at any rate, a personal rap- 
prochement of the two Governments, that there shall 
be a conference. I am afraid, while I am sure many 
efforts in the right direction have been made by the 
Ministry to effect what they believe would be a satis- 
factory solution of this matter, they have not person- 
ally come together in such a way as to be able to ex- 
change one another's views, wishes, and ideas, and so 
have an opportunity of deciding in that way what can 
best be done under the circumstances. I will -say to 
the leader of the Opposition, and to honourable gentle- 
men on both sides of this House, that I trust they will 
join heartily and cordially together, and that each will, 
if possible, endeavour to outdo the other in his desire 
and in his determination to do justice to all classes in 
Manitoba, and to do it in the best way. This question 
must be taken out altogether from the arena of party 
politics. Let us all look only to the best interests of 
the country. If in the end it is found that justice a 
proper measure of justice cannot be obtained from 
the Province of Manitoba, it will then be the right and 
ought to be the duty of this House to intervene. 

I heard a much-respected prelate of the Episcopal 
Church, one of the highest authorities in that Church, 
say, that, while his own people were, perhaps, in favour 
of separate schools, still, he did not desire to see these 
schools administered by a dual government, and he 
would desire and wish, above all things, that such ar- 
rangements were made that the schools of the Catholics 


Lord Strathcona 

and of the Protestants should be under the jurisdic- 
tion of the local Government. It is my earnest wish 
and solicitude that there shall be no religious feuds in 
this country, that neighbours shall be neighbours, 
indeed, and that they will do to others that which 
they desire should be done to themselves. That is 
the Golden Rule. 

He closed his speech by urging the House to pass 
the Government's Remedial Bill: 

Once more I would express the earnest hope that 
this school question may be settled, and settled to the 
satisfaction, not only of this House, but of the whole 
country. I should like, sir, to see this Remedial Bill 
pass to its second reading by acclamation. But by vot- 
ing for the second reading of the Bill gentlemen are not 
necessarily committed to vote for the third reading of 
the Bill. If there should be a conference in the mean 
time and I trust that there may be one I am so 
hopeful of the result of that conference that I do trust 
that there will be no Remedial Bill required from this 

It was, of course, not to be expected that the 
disclosure of a preliminary interview with the 
Governor-General would be overlooked by mem- 
bers of the Opposition. Accordingly the member 
for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) asked the 
Government the question : 

Was Sir Donald Smith authorized on behalf of the 
Government to negotiate with the Premier or Admin- 
istration of the Province of Manitoba in reference to 
or on the subject of the School law of that Province? 


Official Action Criticized 

To which Sir Charles Tupper replied instantly in 
the negative. 

On receiving this answer, Mr. Joseph Martin, 
whose subsequent political career was so chequered, 
leapt to his feet. 

Why [he exclaimed] was it necessary for His Excel- 
lency the Governor-General to call in another adviser? 
We have got seventeen or eighteen Ministers of the 
Crown, and none of them appeared to have taken this 
matter in hand, and they advised His Excellency to 
apply to the honourable member for Montreal West, 
who was credited with possessing diplomatic qualities, 
and a talent for negotiation, and who had contributed 
very largely to settle a previous trouble in Manitoba, 
many years ago. So the Government applied in this 
emergency for the help of the honourable member for 
Montreal West. He went to Winnipeg. More than 
that, it was announced in all the newspapers that the 
honourable gentleman had gone there for the purpose 
of holding a conference with the Manitoban Govern- 

Surely [continued this speaker] it was most unfor- 
tunate that any public act of the Government should 
be communicated to this House, not by His Excel- 
lency's advisers who are responsible to this House for 
the public acts of the Government, but by a private 
member of the House. Surely that shows what little 
appreciation the Government has had of their respon- 
sibility in this connection, that they should allow a 
public act of Government, for which now they assume, 
after being practically forced to assume after the dis- 
cussion in this House, full responsibility, to be so 
brought forward. 1 

1 Parliamentary Debates, March 21, 1896. 

Lord Strathcona 

But the future British Columbian Premier and 
British member of Parliament and his friends got 
scant sympathy from either the House or the 
country. The press generally was agreed that Sir 
Donald had performed a highly patriotic action. 
In the House of Commons one member said: l 

We all appreciate the motive which induced him to 
assist the Government in this very difficult question; 
we all appreciate the care with which he has conducted 
a series of very delicate negotiations. 

Another (Mr. Weldon) stated : 

I thank the member for Montreal West for his 
action. He has acted the part of a patriot. 

Concerning the action of Lord Aberdeen, there 
was much approval of the opinion expressed by 
Mr. Nicholas Flood Davin, M.P., who said:- 

Sir, I do not take the view of the position in our con- 
stitution of Her Majesty the Queen or her representa- 
tive in Canada, the Governor-General, taken by some 
honourable members in this House. If such view were 
correct the Governor-General would be reduced to a 
position of almost an automaton, even in his private 
life. Sir, there is nothing to prohibit a Governor- 
General, who takes a deep interest in Canadian affairs, 
from conversing with any member of this House. I 
remember that Lord Dufferin was accustomed to meet 
in his office members of both parties and discuss politi- 
cal questions with them. How would it be possible for 
a man in his august position fully to discharge his du- 
ties unless, by conversation with eminent men, he made 
himself familiar with the events of the day? And what 

1 Mr. Flint. 

A Commission appointed 

would be the object of such communications unless 
he were free, not to suggest policies or advise schemes 
of political action, but to express his opinion on the 
events of the day, and on great questions such as this? 
Why, sir, you limit greatly the usefulness of those 
eminent men who, from time to time, come here as 
Governors-General if you take any such miserable 
view of their position as has been taken by some hon- 
ourable gentlemen of this House. 

In a few days the Cabinet met and resolved that 
if the mountain Manitoba would not come to 
Mahomet, then Mahomet should travel to Manitoba. 
Sir Donald's suggestion of a private conference was 
adopted and a commission was issued to the 
Honourable Mr. Dickey, Minister of Justice, Senator 
Desjardins, Minister of Militia, and Sir Donald 
Smith, to proceed to Winnipeg to negotiate with 
the Manitoba Government with a view to a com- 
promise. In the interval Parliament continued the 
consideration of the Bill restoring denominational 
schools to the Catholics of Manitoba. 

The political situation derived an additional 
piquancy from the fact that the Canadian Liberal 
Opposition was already inclined to support the 
action of the Liberal Government of Manitoba. 
The leader of the Canadian Opposition was a 
French-Canadian, the Honourable Wilfrid Laurier. 
Apart from its religious tendencies, one of the 
cardinal principles of Liberalism, as of Democracy 
in America, is the sacredness of Provincial rights 
of local autonomy. Here French-Canadian Liberals 
ran counter to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. 


Lord Strathcona 

In vain the Church thundered its anathemas 
from a thousand puplits in vain Mr. Laurier was 
warned that he would alienate the majority in 
Quebec from his party. He was unmoved by either 
threats or predictions of political disaster. It was 
alleged that his own personal lukewarmness in the 
matter of religion assisted to render him compla- 
cent, while " thousands of his race and speech were 
slowly being morally strangled in Manitoba." 

An old friend of Sir Donald Smith's in the 
North-West, the aged Father Lacombe, wrote to 

I and all of us await the result of your patriotic 
efforts with anxiety. I have resolved to address a letter 
to Mr. Laurier. I enclose a copy of it. Please look it 
over, both the French and the translation, and let me 
know if in your opinion any expression might be al- 
tered for the better. 1 

1 The letter of this celebrated priest-missionary was as fol- 

In this critical time for the question of the Manitoba Schools, 
permit an aged missionary, to-day representing the bishops of our 
country in this cause, which concerns us all, permit me to say, an 
appeal to your spirit of justice, to entreat you to accede to our re- 
quest. It is in the name of our bishops, of the hierarchy and of 
Canadian Catholics, that we ask your party, of which you are the 
so-worthy chief, to assist us in settling this famous question, and to 
do so by voting with the Government on the Remedial Bill. We do 
not ask you to vote for the Government, but for the Bill, which will 
render us our rights; which Bill will be presented to the House in a 
few days. 

I consider, or rather we all consider, that such an act of courage, 
good-will, and sincerity on your part, and from those who follow 
your policy, will be greatly in the interests of your party, especially 
in the general elections. I must tell you that we cannot accept your 



Suggestions for Settlement 

It may be asked: What proposal had Sir Donald 
Smith, now arrived in Winnipeg with his fellow- 
commissioners, to make to Mr. Greenway and his 

Drafted in Sir Donald's hand, the "Suggestions 
for Settlement of Manitoba Schools Question" run 
mainly thus : 

Legislation shall be passed at the present session of 
the Manitoba Legislature to provide that in towns and 
villages where there are resident, say twenty-five 
Roman Catholic children of school age, and in cities 
where there are, say fifty of such children, the board of 
trustees shall arrange that such children shall have a 
school-house or room for their own use; where they 
may be taught by a Roman Catholic teacher, and 
Roman Catholic parents or guardians, say ten in num- 
ber, may appeal to the Department of Education from 
any decision or neglect of the board in respect of its 
duties under this clause, and the board shall observe 

commission of enquiry for any reason and we will do the best to 
fight it. 

If, which may God not grant, you do not believe it to be your duty 
to accede to our just demands, and that the Government, which is 
anxious to give us the promised law, be beaten and overthrown, 
while keeping firm to the end of the struggle, I inform you with 
regret that the episcopacy like one man, united to the clergy, will 
rise to support those who may have fallen to defend us. 

Please pardon my frankness which leads me to speak thus. Though 
I am not your intimate friend, still I may say that we have been on 
good terms. Always I deem you a gentleman, a respectable citizen, 
and a man well able to be at the head of a political party. May 
Divine Providence keep up your courage and your energy for the 
good of our common country. 

I remain sincerely and respectfully, honourable sir, your most 
humble and devoted servant, 



Lord Strathcona 

and carry out all decisions and directions of the De- 
partment on any such appeal. 

Provision shall be made by this legislation that 
schools wherein the majority of children are Catholics 
should be exempt from the requirements of the regu- 
lations as to religious exercises. 

That textbooks be permitted in Catholic schools 
such as will not offend the religious views of the minor- 
ity, and which, from an educational standpoint, shall 
be satisfactory to the advisory board. 

Catholics to have representation on the advisory 
board; Catholics to have representation on the board 
of examiners appointed to examine teachers for certi- 

It is also claimed that Catholics should have assist- 
ance in the maintenance of a normal school for the edu- 
cation of their teachers. 

The existing system of permits to non-qualified 
teachers in Catholic schools to be continued for, say, 
two years, to enable them to qualify, and then to be 
entirely discontinued. 

In all other respects the schools at which Catholics 
attend to be public schools and subject to every pro- 
vision of the Education Acts for the time being in force 
in Manitoba. 

A written agreement having been arrived at, and the 
necessary legislation passed, the Remedial Bill now 
before Parliament is to be withdrawn, and any rights 
and privileges which might be claimed by the minority, 
in view of the decision of the Judicial Committee of 
the Privy Council, shall, during the due observance of 
such agreement, remain in abeyance, and be not fur- 
ther insisted upon. 

MARCH 28th, 1896. 


The Remedial Bill dropped 

In a subsequent communication in reply to one 
from the Manitoba Government, the Commission- 
ers observed : 

We must further draw your attention to the flagrant 
injustice of the present system, which compels Roman 
Catholics to contribute to schools to which they can- 
not conscientiously send their children, and we beg to 
submit that this fact deserves due weight and consid- 
eration. It is to be further noted that the Roman 
Catholics earnestly desire a complete system of sepa- 
rate schools, on which only their own money would be 
expended, a state of matters which would meet the 
observation under consideration, but which you decline 
to grant. Our suggestion was to relieve you from the 
necessity of going as far as this. It is, perhaps, impos- 
sible to devise a system that would be entirely unob- 
jectionable theoretically and in the abstract. We had 
great hope that what we suggested would commend 
itself to your judgment as a practical scheme doing 
reasonably substantial justice to all classes, and secur- 
ing that harmony and tranquillity which are, perhaps 
more than anything else, to be desired in a young and 
growing community, such as is now engaged in the 
task of developing the resources of Manitoba. 

The Remedial Bill as a practical measure was 
doomed. It was impossible for the existing Federal 
regime to settle the question. Only the advent of 
Mr. Laurier to power paved the way for a settle- 
ment in the following year. 

The arrangement then made was carried in the 
teeth of the Roman Catholic hierarchy who ful- 
minated bitterly against Mr. Laurier and threat- 
ened to invoke the interference of the Pope. 


Lord Strathcona 

Nine months later, when he had become High 
Commissioner, Sir Donald met the Canadian 
Solicitor-General, himself a Roman Catholic, in 
London and undertook to assist the further nego- 

To the Honourable Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, 6th January, 1897. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick explained to me his mission in re- 
spect of the Manitoba School Question, and I at once 
communicated with Mr. Chamberlain regarding an 
interview on the subject, after explaining to him very 
fully the position of the case and its gravity as regards 
the well-being and best interests of Canada, and assur- 
ing him that the settlement come to was the best that 
under the circumstances could be arrived at, meeting 
the approval of the great body of the English-speaking 
people both Catholic and Protestant, and the greater 
part of those of French origin. 

I asked Mr. Chamberlain if he would be good enough 
to extend to Mr. Fitzpatrick official recognition on the 
part of the British Government at the Vatican. Mr. 
Chamberlain regretted his inability to do so, as the 
English Government has no direct relations with the 
Papal Government, but expressed entire sympathy 
with the object in view, and said he would gladly give 
the Solicitor-General a letter of introduction to the 
Duke of Norfolk, who is understood to be the one 
British subject having great influence with the Pope. 
He at the same time suggested securing the active aid 
of Cardinal Vaughan. 

On the same evening of the same day, I introduced 
Mr. Fitzpatrick to the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies. Mr. Fitzpatrick presented his case with 


Archbishop Langevin's Unwisdom 

clearness and much ability, Mr. Chamberlain handing 
him an introduction to His Grace of Norfolk and re- 
peating the assurance he had given me that he would 
gladly aid in the matter as far as he could. 

Later in the evening, Mr. Fitzpatrick and I dined 
with the Lord Chief Justice (Lord Russell of Killowen), 
an old friend of mine, meeting at this table Judge 
Matthews and other Catholic gentlemen eminent in 
legal circles, as well as Mr. Edward Blake, M.P., who 
were unanimous in opinion that every proper effort 
should be made to insure that the Roman Catholic 
bishops and clergy of Quebec accept the settlement 
come to by your Government on the School Question. 

I shall only add that if in any way I can aid toward 
a satisfactory solution of this vexed question, you may 
count on my best efforts. 

And again (February 20) he wrote : 

I trust the result of Mr. Fitzpatrick's efforts both 
here and in Rome may be all that could be wished 
for in solving the awkward Manitoba question. Any 
assistance from me in his mission was most willingly 
given. It cannot be but that Archbishop Langevin will 
soon come to recognize that his present course of ac- 
tion is a most unwise one, disapproved of as it is by 
all men of moderate views. 



WE will now resume the thread of Sir Donald's 
connection with the affairs of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. Although, as the largest individual 
shareholder, he had been elected Governor in 1889, 
he soon came to realize his powerlessness to stay 
the rapacity of the shareholders in the mass. Their 
relations with the wintering partners threatened 
the very life of the fur-trade. 

Chief Factor W. J. Christie to a fellow-officer 
BROCKVILLE, ONT., isth April, 1892. 

The end of the Hudson's Bay Company cannot be 
far off. Sir Donald Smith told Chief Factor Camsell 
that two years more and the Hudson's Bay Company 
would be a thing of the past. I am sorry for the officers 
who gave a life service to the Hudson's Bay Company 
and have not been able to save enough for their old age. 

The personnel of the service had lamentably de- 

From Factor D. C. Mactavish 

CHAPLEAU, I3th August, 1890. 

The trouble is, we can't get good men who under- 
stand our business, and take an interest in it. A 
young man has no inducement to remain in the service, 


The Company's Decline 

and a valuable man is paid no better than a sleepy, 
slow fellow. I have seen new blood sent out from 
England, and get higher wages than I the first year, 
and three of them could not do my work. 

I have done all that I can to protect the Bay trade, 
but if I get abused for my trouble I shall not assist 
others who are not competent to manage the charge 
they have. Four Moose Indians came up this summer 
along with the opposition. I got them away from the 
opposition and sent them back to Moose. They were 
all down on who never could manage Indians. 

From Factor Ferdinand Mackenzie 

STUART'S LAKE, February i8th, 1893. 

Some of the gentlemen in this district will very likely 
be leaving shortly owing to the scanty allowance given 

them to live upon. Mr. intends leaving next 

summer and there is some talk of a brother of Mr. 
coming to take charge of Fort George. 

Another repeats the same complaint : 

From Factor W. H. Adams 

There is no inducement to young men to remain 
with the Company when they can see their way to 
better futures elsewhere. There are now so many 
opportunities for men of ability to obtain remunera- 
tion such as the Company will never pay. During the 
whole of my service I could not fail to observe that 
the suggestions of their experienced officers were 
systematically ignored by the Governor and Commit- 
tee, and I know that their action in this connection, 
in many instances, conduced to a petty rather than 


Lord Strathcona 

an increased energy in the interests of the Company's 
affairs, resulting, in my opinion, most detrimentally 
to the latter. 

Old officers who had served the Company for 
several years were allowed to die unprovided for. 

Factor J. H. Lawson to a fellow-officer 

WINNIPEG, January 23d, 1891. 

. . . Poor Chief Factor Cotter's family are left in 
very poor circumstances, and without deriving any 
benefit from the Pension Fund. I do not quite under- 
stand the working of that fund, but we will no doubt 
receive light on the subject later on, but if Cotter's 
family are penniless I do not see why they should not 
get something from the Reserve Fund. 

You will have heard of the coming change in the 
Commissionership. We are all wondering who will be 
the next to fill the position. It will not be easy, and 
for the good of all concerned I sincerely hope a good 
and competent man will get the appointment. 

Mr. Wrigley has certainly worked hard and done 
his best to carry out the views of the Board, and it is 
to be regretted that his reign has not resulted in im- 
proved dividends, either to the commissioned officers 
or shareholders. We will see in time if a change will 
be to our benefit. 

From Chief Factor Roderick McKenzie 

MELBOURNE, QUE., 6th April, 1891. 

Emoluments are dwindling down to a pretty low 
figure. Of course the expense in purchasing and se- 


New Turn of the Screw 

curing the furs are more than in former years. The 
grasping London stockholders saw that and secured 
to themselves the millions of money paid by Govern- 
ment on one or two occasions as well as one-twentieth 
part of the lands on the fertile belt of the Hudson's 
Bay Territories. 

Mr. Eden Colville promised the late William 
Mactavish, or his brother, that the interests of the 
fur-trade partners would be protected in the con- 
templated change, but the seniors of 1869-70 over- 
looked their own interests. 

In 1891, the need of larger dividends on an enor- 
mously swollen capital had suggested a further 
pressure of the screw upon the unfortunate winter- 
ing partners. The fund set aside for their benefit 
was now in danger. As one wrote : 

For Outfit 1889, there is a dividend of only 6/6 per 
share from all sources (land included), and even this 
makes it necessary to encroach on the undivided 
profits of previous years. It must have been a dis- 
agreeable ordeal for Sir Donald to meet the share- 
holders with such a report. 

From Chief Factor W- 

29th May, 1891. 

We all think this new Commissioner business is a 
most foolish action of the Board. It is an insult to us 
all, and I don't wonder that many are very angry 
about it. But as for myself I shall do nothing at 
present. It would never do for me to stir up strife 
before the new man comes. I promised I would try 


Lord Strathcona 

to conduct the business until Mr. 's successor 

arrived and I intend to keep my promise faithfully. 

Of course, land and not fur was the Company's 
objective. The officials sent out by the London 
Board knew nothing of the fur-trade, which after 
all was according to the traditional policy of the 
Board. Nor were they of the calibre of Sir George 
Simpson. We read: 

The Montreal Department showed a loss of thirty- 
one thousand dollars, and of this actually sixteen 
thousand dollars fell to Sir Donald's old post of 

Bersimis. Poor J M was hustled off to 

Oxford House and C S installed in his 

place. Truly the Commissioner makes some curious 

moves ! C goes to Bersimis with eight or nine 

helpless children and a Swampy woman as nurse. A few 
more nicely balanced "experts" to be saddled on to 
that broken-down section! 

Even the Labrador traffic in salmon, so valuable 
in Sir Donald's day, could not yield a profit. 

From Chief Factor P. W. Bell 

RIGOLET, June 28th, 1891. 

You have heard, of course, of the outcome of our 
salmon sales in London. The whole fine and unusual 
collection of salmon was fairly sacrificed no market 
at all. They realized 53 per cent less than the previous 
year. You can fancy the outcome, when the 95 tierce 
only shipped the Outfit previous realized within a 
fraction almost as much as the 361 tierces I shipped 
from this place alone. I am sick at heart and entirely 


Factors lose Heart 

disgusted with the entire business, and thank goodness 
a few more months will see the end of my reign in this 

For the past few years, the cry from the Secretary 
has been, "Salmon, salmon." For the first time the 
Erik has a full load, so much so that the people at 
home did not know what to do with it. I can meet 
them all with a fearless face, without cavil or cringing, 
as I have faithfully done my duty since 1852. 

We have again passed a miserable, disastrous winter. 
These two past winters are certainly something to be 
remembered by all residents. Gales and snowstorms, 
month after month, week after week, and day after 
day; hunting and trapping was out of the question. 
The poor Husky suffered most of all, as he could not 
prosecute his favourite seal-hunting. We could not 
possibly carry on the necessary outdoor work this 
spring, as there was no abatement of the cold, frosty 
nights until a week ago. 

We have, in spite of fate and weather, secured a fair 
share of foxes. They have done well in that line north 
of this, and I only hope they will realize something 
when they reach the market. 

From Chief Factor J. Ogden Grahame 

REVELSTOKE, B.C., May 2ist, 1891. 

I have waited so long for promotion, and have 
worked so hard to make and keep affairs prosperous, 
that I have lost heart and do not care what is done. I 
will, until I can see something better to do, endeavour 
to do my best for the concern and still do my utmost 
for that end. 

As regards the officers, what can we do? If kicking 


Lord Strathcona 

is the order of the day, we shall simply receive a year's 
notice, be suspended, and probably lose the six years' 
half-pay which, after all, is only at the pleasure of the 

The Deed Poll says we are to have a Council yearly. 
This is not done; it also states that officers shall be 

judged by officers; neither S nor C were. 

I am afraid that nothing can be done that any good 
would be derived from. 

Of one of Sir Donald's successors we are told that 
"he acted a mean, selfish part; was looked down 
upon by the fur-traders and did his best to please 
only the Board. He had to leave; and Sir Donald 
would hardly speak to him. The Council was a 
farce; he could not do or say anything; he should 
have remained at home. Our refusing to dine with 
him last year was partly what killed him, although 
we did not mean it that way at the time. No 
dinners this year; not even at Sir Donald's. He had 
just returned from England and was bothered about 
elections all the time." 

Roderick Ross to a 'brother -factor 

VANCOUVER, B.C., 2Oth December, 1891. 

There is no mistake about it, the fiat has gone forth 
and Attila is to ravage and destroy the handiwork 
of the "Company of Adventurers," that ancient guild 
that has reigned in the land for two long centuries and 
more. The Philistines, or rather the Jews, are now at 
last upon us in reality, and there must be a dividend if 
the heavens should fall. 

's mission is to wind up the old concern, to 


"Sauve qui peut!" 

cremate the old government on which the new patch 
of 1872 was tacked only to make the rent worse as 
time has proved. Many of us foresaw this, and some 
of us fought against it to the death, but the inevitable 
has come to pass so that the cry of "Sauve qui peut! 11 is 
heard as the signal of total rout. " Exit Hudson's Bay 
Company"; enter Hudson's Bay Lands and Coloniza- 
tion Company, Limited. Do you think that all this 
talk at late Hudson's Bay annual meetings and the 
shortcomings of sale in this country really mean the 
beginning of the end of the fur-trade? If so, I will make 
only one other remark on this subject, and that is that 
this is a very favourable moment in which to consider 
the possibility of the Hudson's Bay officers stepping 
forward in their own interests to grasp a business, even 
yet of great promise for them for many years to come. 
Would the Company oppose such a movement now? 
I think not, and it might be to their advantage to 
manage it. You can see all this better than / can, and 
perhaps you have still enough "go" in you to set the 

ball rolling. I sounded the other day, on this 

subject, but he harped on the old slur of the impossi- 
bility of united action on our part. 

I have enrolled as a pensioner, getting 200 per 
annum, which I am politely requested to enjoy for six 
years on condition that I do not engage in the fur- 
trade, or directly or indirectly go into any commercial 
business of any kind in which the Company is con- 
cerned ! ! So there is a fine predicament to be in at my 
time of life. Is our whole life, and everything we hold 
most dear to us, to be really sacrificed to the Company, 
when once we doff their uniform? What do I know 
about anything except the business the Company is 
engaged in? 


Lord Strathcona 

I saw Sir Donald Smith over here in September. He 
was as kind and considerate as ever, but I asked him 
for no favours. The gloom and despair of a prematurely 
dying man has now succeeded the hopeful confidence 
of the bread-winner who has a sacred duty to perform 
for those dependent on him. We are all well, and 
although unavoidably scattered apart by mountains, 
plains, and forests, my hope being that if God spares 
my life this state of things will soon be remedied. 

From Sir Donald A . Smith 

8th January, 1892. 

I have for some ten days been laid up from the 
effects of a severe cold, and it is only quite recently 
that I am able to give attention to correspondence 
again. I cannot think how my letters to Mr. Abbott, 
covering yours to me of the nth November, failed to 
reach him. It was certainly posted from my office, 
copies of both being kept there, and having the follow- 
ing day met Mr. Abbott at dinner in Montreal I told 
him it had been sent to his address at Ottawa. I am 
very glad with him for the letters of December, copies 
of which you have been good enough to send me. It is 
not easy to move the Dominion Government to dis- 
pense money for the relief of Indians, so long as they 
think there is any possibility of fathering the expense 
on the Hudson's Bay Company, but Mr. Abbott led 
me to infer that they would be disposed to authorize 
the Hudson's Bay Company to make advances at their 
own discretion for which they would reimburse the 
Company. On my return to Canada I shall urge that 
the Government pay the outlay already incurred in 

1 88 

Mrs. Stephen's Health 

this way, and make a further appropriation for the 
same purpose. 

Political influence always avails more or less, and 
doubtless other claimants without a tittle of right will 
endeavour to procure for themselves a part of what 
ought to go to you, but I trust this may be prevented, 
and I shall do anything I can in that direction. 

I am glad you, Mr. Mackenzie, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Parson had an enjoyable evening at the St. Andrew's 
Ball, and that it proved to be a success. Business has 
brought me to England so much in the autumn for 
a long time that I have not been able to be at the 
Montreal St. Andrew's Ball for quite a number of 
years. My wife appears to have had a somewhat severe 
attack of influenza which confined her to the house for 
upwards of three weeks, but I am glad to find she has 
quite recovered from it. We have been anxious for 
three or four days back about old Mrs. Stephen, 1 of 
Montreal, who has been dangerously ill with the same 
disease, with pneumonia superadded, but notwith- 
standing her great age, eighty-six or eighty-seven, I 
earnestly trust she may get well over it. 

Again very many thanks for all you so kindly say 
and for your kind interest so thoughtfully shown in my 
welfare. I assure you I greatly appreciate all you say 
and feel in this, and you do me only justice in believing 
that the best interests of my old colleagues in the 
Hudson's Bay Company are very close to my heart, 
and I would gladly advance them as far as I possibly 

1 His first cousin, mother of Lord Mount Stephen. 

I8 9 

Lord Strathcona 

From Chief Factor S. K. Parsons 

LONDON, igth April, 1892. 

I had a most unsatisfactory interview with the 
Board and found the Deputy Governor, Lord Lichfield, 
most overbearing; in fact, he would listen to nothing 
except his own views. After stating what he thought 
of the affairs in the South, he said that they intended 
that I should go down and put things straight. 

I replied that when I consented to go for one year 
I assumed that my right to retire, upon giving twelve 
months' notice according to the Deed Poll, would be 
respected. I pointed out that out of thirty-one years 
in the service, I had passed nineteen in Hudson's Bay, 
and that as an old officer, I considered I had not been 
treated with the consideration I thought myself en- 
titled to expect. He sneered at this, and suggested 
that I should consider my resignation as having been 
given in on 1st June, 1891, which suggestion I promptly 
acceded to, and the affair is so settled. I assume that I 
shall get Outfit 1892, being one of the men who re- 
ceived no compensation under the old Deed Poll. 
Every one (Armit included) considers that I have done 
right. The whole business has been bungled, or else it 
is a deliberate conspiracy to drive me from the service. 
The Board do not know the first thing about our business: 
we need none of us expect the smallest consideration from 
the Board. I am a free man now. 

I must say that I am sorry at leaving the service 
after so long being in it, and however bitter I may feel 
against the Company, I hope to retain my old brother 
officers among my warmest friends. 


An Old Officer resigns 

From Chief Factor Horace Belanger 

NORWAY HOUSE, 2d May, 1892. 

In compliance with the conditions of the Deed Poll, 
I beg to inform you that it is my intention to retire 
from the service on 1st June, 1893, on which date I 
shall have been connected with the Hudson's Bay 
Company for a period of forty years. During that 
time I have served in the following grades: 

19 years as Clerk; 
I year as Chief Trader; 
12 years as Factor; and 
8 years as Chief Factor; 

and in whatever capacity I was employed it has always 
been my earnest endeavour to do my duty to the best 
of my ability and to promote the interest of the Com- 
pany in every way in my power. I sincerely trust that 
the Board as well as yourself will regard my claims on 
their consideration favourably, and see fit to concede 
me the full retiring shares. 

My reason for leaving is entirely of a private nature, 
viz., the welfare of my family, from whom I am at 
present obliged to be separated. At my time of life it 
is my duty to make a home, however humble, for my 
children and myself, and it is with this object in view 
that I have brought myself, with much regretful 
feeling, to sever my active connection with the Com- 
pany in whose service I spent so many happy, though 
sometimes hard, years, and in whose prosperity I shall 
ever continue to take a deep interest. 

"God knows," writes Belanger in a letter to a 
brother factor, " I will have soon enough to paddle 


Lord Strathcona 

my own canoe. Next first of June, I will have 
served the Hudson's Bay Company forty years." 1 

Poor Belanger, he did not survive many weeks. 
He was accidentally drowned in a river, his death 
being regretted by all who knew his staunch and 
cheery character. 

The growing resentment of the fur-traders is thus 
illustrated : 

Chief Factor A. B. to Factor M. F. 

2d November, 1892. 

I have just seen a letter from Tapper's ex-secretary, 
who has been pitchforked into the position of Chief 
Commissioner (ye gods!) of the fur-trade. In it he 
says: " I was present at the distribution of prizes at St. 

John's College last night. A. M 's boy carried 

off the Governor-General's prize and the medal pre- 
sented by the Bishop of Rupert's Land. Hurrah for 
the Hudson's Bay Company!" 

Can you conceive of such cool effrontery ! Daring to 

claim this fine young scion of old A M 

for those cold-hearted Lime Street scoundrels! 

We are told that "New blood new blood!" 
was the cry at meetings of the London Board. 

1 The Factor at Oxford House wrote (November 5th, 1892): 
"My neighbour of Norway House, Mr. Belanger, severs his connec- 
tion with us next first of June, after forty years of business. We may 
all well exclaim with Shakespeare, 'We ne'er shall look upon his like 
again.' " 


Board's New Policy 

From Factor W. K. Broughton 

MOOSE FACTORY, nth February, 1893. 

I submit that the pension should have been made a 
vested interest, payable to one's representatives in the 
event of death occurring before the expiration of the 
six years. No matter what Sir Donald attempts to do 
for us, past experience has, I think, plainly shown us 
that the Board always take their own course in spite 
of him. It was so at the time of the "Round Robin." 
You will remember we held out for a minimum guar- 
antee of 200 and the Board offered 150, and carried 
their point, too. True, we got the 200 afterwards, 
but they established their point in the first instance. 
But to resume : I cannot say that I am not glad of the 
six years' pension even under existing circumstances, 
and I feel sure that it will enable many to make homes 
for themselves (at any rate, in this country) and sever 
their connection with the Company much sooner than 
they could otherwise have done, and this, I think, is 
what is desired by the Directorate. 

"New blood new blood!" is the cry, and I would 
take a pretty heavy bet with any one that no new 
commissions will ever again be given; those holding 
commissions at present will be promoted from time to 
time if it is thought advisable to retain their services, 
but after this I fancy the places of those commissioned 
officers retiring will be taken by clerks who will be 
salaried according to capacity, or I should rather say, 
"ability," and the amount of responsibility they 

. . . Surely they will do something for poor old 

P . It will be simply disgraceful if they don't 

give him a pension ; he has been told they have nothing 


Lord Strathcona 

for him to do, and I fancy the fact of B - not 

having yet been appointed to any charge points in 
the same direction. 

Slowly, Sir Donald's contemporaries disappeared, 
one by one, from the scene. 

From Chief Factor Alexander Munro 

VICTORIA, B.C., 8th June, 1893. 

. . . Naturally you refer to the many changes by death 
and otherwise that have taken place in the service 
since 1887, that memorable year. The number of them 
in so short a time is remarkable as well as most affect- 
ing. I often think of those few days and nights of our 
meeting in Winnipeg and of those of our number since 
departed. Poor Belanger's fate was indeed very sad. 
It is remarkable, too, that so many of his family 
should have perished by drowning. 

You may well exclaim that the old days and pros- 
pects of the officer are gone forever. I am greatly 
pleased, however, to learn that you think the pension 
scheme is likely to be bettered for them by a definite 
arrangement this summer, and sincerely hope for all 
your sakes that it may be so. The Winnipeg Council 
of '87 adjourned for five years, did n't it? The time has 
expired. Will there ever be such another gathering! 

From Chief Factor Bell to R. MacFarlane 

KINGSTON, June loth, 1893. 

Matters in regard to myself and appointment are in 
abeyance at present. My furlough expired on the I5th 
ultimo. The climax is to be adjudicated at the meeting 


Commissioned Officers to go 

in London. What is up now, and what in Heaven's 
name have the Board and Committee to do with the 
appointment of officers in the country? The Com- 
missioner is surely empowered to do that, especially 
when he has such a backer as Sir Donald. This is an 
extract from Sir Donald's letter to me on the 1st inst. : 
"I shall be crossing the Atlantic soon myself, and 
matters in connection with your own position in the 
Company's service will be taken up and disposed of at 
an early date." There the matter rests. 

25th December, 1893. 

The present idea of the new Chief Commissioner 
is to manage the concern as cheaply as possible. The 
Board are doubtless backing him with the cry of re- 
trenchment: reduce all and every expense consistent 
with carrying on the trade. If they can get their first 
and second clerks to do the work of their commis- 
sioned officers, they are going to make use of them so 
as to get rid of their old officers by degrees. What 
about the clerks and commissions? Will they choose to 
remain clerks all their life? 

Deeply grieved was Sir Donald when he heard 
the serious news from his old district of Ungava and 
took immediate steps to improve matters there. 

From Chief Factor Bell 


The news from Ungava is distressing in the extreme: 
no less than two hundred souls of the Inland Indians 
perished from starvation during the winter and spring 
and some twenty-five Esquimaux. All this is to be 
attributed to the want of deer. The horde of these 


Lord Strathcona 

migratory animals seem to have taken another course 
for their usual old haunts. No trace of their route 
could be found, consequently this sad loss of life. 

I never heard of such calamity in my life, no such 
wholesale slaughtering having transpired since the 
advent of the old tried North-West Company. 

It appears that only ten families reached the post, 
where they had to be fed all winter. What think you 
would have been the consequence if fifty or sixty 
families could have dragged themselves out? They 
simply would have eaten Matheson out of house and 
home ; provisions were at a very low ebb and assuredly 
the whole post would simply have starved to death. May 
the kind fates never bring them to such a brink again. 

Mr. Matheson writes that it only leaves about a 
hundred all told of the Inland Indians. The residue 
of the hunters are all trash. I cannot see what under 
the circumstances, will keep Ungava up. The salmon 
and oil will never do, as the prices are so fluctuating 
and altogether unreliable. The district losing the fur- 
trade loses the last chance of remuneration. Say what- 
ever you like, the pickled salmon has seen its best days 
and will soon be a thing of the past. 

From Chief Factor A B 

KINGSTON, September 8th, 1893. 

I have no idea what they purpose doing, but this I 
know, that my patience is all but at an end. I cannot 
endure this forced idleness, and what is more to the 
point, I cannot afford it. I will have to wait now until 
Sir Donald comes out. It must be finally settled then, 
am I to remain in the service or not? There must be 
no more dilly-dallying in the matter. Ever since my 


The Lonely Fur-Traders 

arrival last autumn, no one could have received more 
kindness and consideration than I have from Sir 
Donald. What is the use of all this, if you are to be 
kicked in the end by the Board? 

If Mr. C was as anxious as he professes to be, 

he would doubtless have found a suitable place for me. 
Sir Donald will soon be out now. 

In an address in April, 1897, Lord Strathcona 
thus referred to the life of the lonely fur- traders : 

Thousands of miles separated the more distant posts 
from those which may be termed the shipping ports. 
The life of many of the officers of the Company can 
readily be imagined. They saw few people of their own 
kith and kin, or of their own race, except at long inter- 
vals. There were occasional councils and gatherings 
at central places, but their visits to civilization were 
few and far between. In fact, they were more or less 
out of the world. Letters only reached them in many 
places once a year. Newspapers and magazines were 
many months old when received, and the most impor- 
tant events happened without their knowing anything 
of them for long afterwards. They lived well, and had 
plenty of time for reading and meditation ; but the life 
must have had its attractions, for the officers were 
devoted to their posts and to their work. The great 
event of the year was the arrival of the stores and the 
mails. The canoes or dog trains which took in the 
supplies carried away the proceeds of the year's trading. 
Most of the Company's exports to Europe were then 
carried in their own vessels by way of Hudson's Bay. 1 

1 In February, 1897, Sir Wilfrid Laurier wrote Lord Strathcona 
that Mr. (now Senator) L. O. David was desirous of undertaking the 
history of the fur-trade. To this Lord Strathcona replied: " I quite 
agree with you in the opinion that it is most desirable we should have 


Lord Strathcona 

At the Company's annual meeting in July, 1904, 
Lord Strathcona noted that more than 130,000 
immigrants had gone into Manitoba and the 
North-West Territories the previous year, of whom 
at least one third were from neighbouring districts 
of the United States. 

" Inasmuch as the Hudson's Bay Company owns 
one twentieth of the prairie acreage and is most in- 
timately concerned with the retail business of the 
country, it is obvious that this immigration must 
bring much benefit to it." Indeed, in the year 1903- 
04 the Company realized i 55. 3^. per acre for 
land sold as against i 35. $d. in the previous year. 

In October, 1904, owing to the vast profits which 
the Hudson's Bay Company were making out of 
the sale of lands, Lord Strathcona induced the 
Board to grant a more liberal pension scheme for 
the men who had grown old in their service. But 
this scheme did not comprehend those officers who 
had retired prior to that year, the true heirs and 
successors of the Rupert's Land pioneers. 

Chief Factor MacFarlane to a Director 

7th October, 1907. 

I have before stated that these "old officers" had 
given due thanks for the yearly grant of two fifths of 

a good history of the fur-trade in North America, and in so far as 
I can help Mr. L. O. David with material for it, or in any other way, 
I shall most gladly do so. This can be arranged personally when we 
meet." Mr. David having relinquished his plan, the task, at Sir 
Wilfrid's instance, fell to my pen. The Company's archives were 
generously placed at my disposal and the Governor supplied the 
introduction to the work, which was published in 1900. 


An Appeal to the Board 

the amount of pension guaranteed to many of their 
service contemporaries, while they, no doubt, would 
have felt more grateful had their own equally long and 
faithful connection with the Company received simi- 
lar recognition. Had your fellow-director taken the 
trouble of carefully considering the subject of the com- 
plained-of letters and papers which he says Lord 
Strathcona had, from time to time, reported the pur- 
port of to the Board, I believe he would have better 
understood their import, and would at least have 
refrained from taxing the officers with ingratitude. 

Should all of the referred-to documents be still in 
existence, and you desire to peruse and ponder over 
them at your leisure, they would certainly enlighten 
you on many points regarding the history and former 
status of the wintering partners of the Company since 
the coalition with the North- West Traders of Montreal 
in 1821. You would also, I opine, more readily than 
any of your colleagues (the Governor always excepted) , 
comprehend the raison d'etre of my long friendly and 
truly loyal contention with them in favour of "better 
terms" for men who have given by far the best of their 
years and lives to, and in zealously and faithfully 
maintaining, the rights and interests of the Company of 
Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay. 

The Board of Directors evidently believe that they 
have treated the old officers very liberally. I have, 
however, shown that this is not the case, and we there- 
fore sincerely hope that the youngest and oldest mem- 
bers of the Executive will unite in disabusing the 
others of this erroneous idea, which seems to savour too 
much of the ancient Medo-Persian policy. May I not 
further appeal to you as an English gentleman, a 
lover of justice and fair play, in all matters, to do 


Lord Strathcona 

your utmost in removing the complained-of griev- 

For obvious reasons, apart from those herein stated, 
it is to be earnestly hoped that the Governor and 
Committee will now reconsider the case of the "old 
officers," and at once find that they really merit the 
granting to them as from ist June, 1904, the whole 
amount of their respective rank "time limited" 
pensions, and thus place them on a basis more nearly 
approaching that of their later brethren. This gener- 
ous and retroactive course would be not only warmly 
welcomed, but also come as a perfect "Godsend" to 
Mrs. Lillie, Mrs. Camsell (Chief Factor Camsell died 
in January, 1907), as well as to nearly all of those who 
would benefit thereunder, and its adoption would 
undoubtedly elicit their profound gratitude. 

In the mean time, the Governor will be able to 
explain to you all about the fur-trade partnership, 
and the surrender in 1893 of certain Deed Poll rights, 
which have since wholly provided the Servants' Pen- 
sion Fund of 50,000 sterling. The shareholders have 
practically contributed nothing thereto. 

There was really no just or valid reason for the 
very unfair discrimination exercised by the Board 
in dealing with their "old officers" who retired 
from the service prior to 1st June, 1904. The 
surrender of the Deed Poll fur-trade rights in 1893, 
without any compensation whatever, adversely af- 
fected the old officers, while, on the other hand, 
this valuable acquisition has not only given the 
Board the means of repaying to the shareholders 
every penny advanced by them in the way of 
making up former guarantees, but furnished them 


A "Historical Concern" only 

with the whole amount of the Company's actual 
Pension Fund of 50,000. 

The shareholders of the Hudson's Bay Company 
had at length acquired, without any actual outlay, 
the en tire two fifth rights and interests of their former 
fur-trade partners. This fact was scarcely appreci- 
ated by the majority within the service, while out- 
side citizens of the great Dominion of Canada are 
still in utter ignorance of it. 

The Board of Directors maintained then and 
still maintain that their fur-trade partners have, on 
the whole, been fairly treated ; also that the past is 
a closed book. "No question," vainly protested one 
trader, " is ever settled until it is rightly settled." 

I would once more ask you [wrote Chief Factor 
MacFarlane again in 1908] to do your utmost to aid 
in doing the right thing by those in whose behalf I 
have taken much trouble for many years past, men, 
nearly all of whom, as the Governor well knows from 
his own personal experience in the service, have 
suffered many hardships, and endured many priva- 
tions in the performance of their onerous duties in 
the interior. 

In reply one of the Directors wrote: 

It is really quite useless to reopen a case long since 
settled or to trouble the Board further with papers and 
correspondence relating to a period with which the 
existing Hudson's Bay Company have only an histori- 
cal concern. 

This "historical concern" was the possession 
of millions of acres of lands which the wintering 


Lord Strathcona 

partners had discovered, explored, and held for 
the Empire, and which the London shareholders 
were now disposing of at a rate which was making 
wealthy men out of many who had formerly been 
as poor as the Rupert's Land pioneers. 

From R. Pauling 

HULL, January yth, 1907. 

I don't hear of anything being done to settle the 
claims of old Hudson's Bay servants for the land they 
are legally entitled to. 

Factor W. H. Adams to a fellow-officer 

I3th June, 1907. 

The announcement of a dividend of 4 55. od. per 
share on the Hudson's Bay stock was followed by 
a decline of some points in the market quotation, 
attributed, according to the Daily Telegraph, to dis- 
appointment in the amount of the dividend declared. 
The grounds for this I fail to see, for 40^ per cent on 
par value should be sufficiently satisfying. But some 
people are never satisfied, and in spite of the mal- 
contents, if they exist, I expect to see an advance in 
the price of stock at no very distant date. 

Yet even these dividends did not lead to any 
greater consideration for the men who had made 
their prosperity. In one instance, a capable officer 
died because the medical officer had been with- 
drawn from a district as part of the policy of 


Company's Swollen Dividends 
From Factor W. H. Adams 

I5th May, 1908. 

You will be grieved to hear of the death of my old 
brother officer, Tom Anderson, whom I had learned to 
like much. Had adequate advice been available he 
might have been spared to many more years of useful 
service with the Hudson's Bay Company. It always 
seemed to me that the Company, in default of the 
Government's employing efficient medical aid in the 
Northern latitudes, should have provided a medical 
officer both in Athabasca and Mackenzie River dis- 
tricts, if even they had withdrawn one from Winnipeg. 
The expense would not have made any appreciative 
difference in the dividends. 

Many instances might be given of Lord Strath- 
cona's tenderness for old officers of the service, who 
had erred or been overtaken by affliction. In one 
letter he wrote to the widow of a clerk who had been 
only five years with the Company : 

I have mentioned the matter to the Board ; but I am 
afraid it is one which they do not feel inclined to deal 
with at present. In the mean time [how characteristic 
was the phrase how careful of the reputation for 
generosity of the Board !] I beg to enclose my personal 
cheque for 100 which I trust may be of use to you. 

On one occasion an old servant had been sum- 
marily dismissed for a fault. The Board washed its 
hands of the matter. A friend appealed to the 


Lord Strathcona 

Factor D. H. MacDowall to a friend 

PRINCE ALBERT, April 24th, 1891. 

The day I left Ottawa, Sir Donald told me that 

D would be allowed his retiring interest, and 

that he would do what he could for him if there was 
any position to which he could recommend him. 

Sir Donald Smith thought that a season on the Mac- 
kenzie might have recouped the Company and saved 

him, as D undoubtedly had usefulness when he 

had an interest to serve or a strong hand over him, 
without the extreme measure of throwing him on the 
world with an unfortunate reputation. ... I only feel 
sorry for his wife and children. 

Chief Factor P. W. Bell to a fellow-officer 

RIGOLET, LABRADOR, July i2th, 1891. 

I have written fully to Sir Donald explaining the 
whole matter, telling him that after forty years' hard, 
honourable, faithful service, I will be no man's tool. 
I simply made a just application for my well-deserved 
furlough and gave the Company a year to choose my 

They can and will, no doubt, make me give in my 
resignation. This I will do if required, sending the 
notice by mail and follow my letter by the next steamer. 

The Governor to Chief Factor Bell 

I should be very sorry if any such untoward events 
were to occasion the loss to the Company of one of 
their best officers. It shall not be if I can prevent it. 


Fall in Prices of Furs 

It only remains to add that this officer was 
granted a lengthy furlough and was subsequently 
given a post in the more salubrious climate of 
British Columbia. 

To Chief Factor Peter Mackenzie 

23 March, 1901. 

You will already have heard of the sad downcome of 
prices obtained at the March sales this year, when 
compared with 1900, a fifty per cent decline in all the 
most important items. This is a sad disappointment, 
as we were rather led to expect that furs latterly had 
been looking up in the market. But perhaps and let 
us hope it may be so by the time next year's collec- 
tions come in, there will be an improvement. The 
better salmon fishing at Ungava this last season will be 
a good help to the next year's outfit. 

You certainly want all the good men you can have 
as managers and post-masters in the district lying near 
to civilization and I am sorry to find from you that we 
have not many such at present. 

1 9th September, 1902. 

What you have to say about Mr. (or, as it may be, 
Count) D'Aigneau's proceedings, gives cause for con- 
cern, and I hope that not only at Moose Factory, but 
at all the other posts we have, those in charge can meet 
the situation ... in which case there need be less cause 
for apprehension as regards the trade. 

6th March, 1903. 

Thank you very much for the information you give 
about the Revillon Freres' operations in James's Bay, 


Lord Strathcona 

and along the St. Lawrence River and Gulf. They may 
do some harm, but it is far from likely that it will be of 
any profit to themselves, as, no doubt, our people will 
be on the alert to make the best of the situation. 

I am glad the pheasants reached you in good condi- 
tion [he writes on another occasion to Mr. Mackenzie], 
and if you happen to be over here, which I hope may 
be the case some time soon, you must come to Kneb- 
worth and shoot some for yourself. The sport, they 
tell me, is good; although personally I do not care 
about it, as it is hardly equal to what we have been 
accustomed in the Canadian woods. 

Later, in spite of much criticism, he insisted that 
this old officer, whose health had given way, should 
not be deposed, and his duties were performed for a 
long period by deputy, until his death. 

Factor Adams to C. F. MacFarlane 

1 5th May, 1908. 

I hear that so long as Mr. Peter Mackenzie is alive, 
his successor in the Montreal Department is not likely 
to be appointed. Whilst sympathizing with Mr. 
Mackenzie, as all must do in his serious physical con- 
dition, it appears to me that his retirement would 
be not only just to himself, but also to the staff of the 
service, and I know of no precedent for the existing 

To the close of his life he kept in touch with the 
survivors amongst his old friends in the service, so 
few of whom, alas, now remain. 


Correspondence with Factors 
From Governor Sir Donald Smith 

January 25th, 1891. 

I was very sorry to hear of Mr. Clarke's death. It 
is very sad to see what blanks have of recent years 
been made in our service from deaths alone. Dear 
me, there are very few alive now of the officers of 
twenty years ago ! 

Years later he heard from his successor at Rigo- 
let, in Esquimaux Bay. 

July 1st, 1900. 

The old Labrador is carried on in the same old ratio, 
fairly plenty dire starvation the next. The trade in 
that great solitude is very unsatisfactory. I cannot for 
the life of me understand why the Company keep it up. 

Ungava, depending more upon the migratory fox, 
has been going down hill for the past two outfits. The 
salmon and oil fisheries have proved all but a failure 
for the past two seasons. The unfortunate post has 
never been able to pull up from the Slough of Despond. 

To Ex-Chief Factor Colin Rankin 

MONTREAL, 22d October, 1900. 

With one or two friends who dined with me yester- 
day I had an opportunity of testing the partridges you 
so kindly and thoughtfully sent me, and we all pro- 
nounced them to be delicious, and besides they remind 
me of old friends and old times. Please accept my sin- 
cere thanks. 

Mr. Selous was fortunate in placing himself in your 
hands when he determined to go on a hunting expedi- 
tion. He is known as a great Nimrod, and will return 


Lord Strathcona 

to his friends in England with a goodly appreciation 
of the sport which is to be had in Canada. His success 
will, no doubt, induce others of our English friends to 
follow his example. Should he be in Montreal while I 
am still in Canada I shall be very glad to see him. 

My wife was very anxious to take the trip with me, 
but although she is stronger and in better health than 
she has been for some time back, at the time I left she 
had a slight cold, and the doctors thought it safer that 
she should not undertake the journey at this season of 
the year. We hope, however, to be back in Canada 
soon, and for a longer stay, which will enable us, we 
trust, to see yourself and many of our old friends again 
as in the past. 

22d February, 1902. 

Mr. Donald McTavish, who has done so well at 
Rupert's House, will no doubt give a good account of 
his stewardship at Norway House as well, as he is 
both painstaking and energetic. It is to be regretted 
that Mr. James McDougall's health makes it necessary 
for him to retire from the service, as we all know 
what an efficient officer he has been for the Company. 

nth June, 1902. 

We shall also be happy to see our friends Mr. and 
Mrs. William Clark, who, I believe, are expected here 
about the lyth instant. He has been fortunate in many 
ways as an officer, and we all know how devoted he has 
been to his duties, and how well he has discharged 

To Ex- Chief Factor MacFarlane 

1 7th May, 1902. 

I now have much pleasure in informing you that the 
Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty have, after care- 


Mr. Colin Rankin 

ful looking into the circumstances of the case, decided 
to award you the decoration in recognition of your 
valuable services, now a good many years ago. The 
medal is forwarded herewith, and I am informed that 
it is of the same pattern as those issued in 1859 to such 
of the crew of the Fox discovery ship who had not 
already received it. No other naval medal was awarded 
for Arctic service until 1876. 

June nth, 1902. 

I have just heard that His Grace of Rupert's Land 
arrived in London yesterday, and I shall take great 
pleasure in going to see him, and of being of use to him 
in any way I can. 

Thank you very much for sending me the number of 
the Manitoba Historical Society's Transactions con- 
taining an obituary notice by yourself of our friend, the 
late Peter Warren Bell. Poor Bell was a good and staunch 
friend, and no one deplored his sad death more than I. 1 

To Mr. Rankin, a survivor amongst his old 
associates, he wrote not long before his death : 


Your name brings back many pleasant recollections 
of a long while ago, when we saw so much of each other, 
and it would be a great gratification to me that we 
should come together again and have a long chat about 
Hudson's Bay matters and other things in which we 
are mutually interested. 

I hope you may be visiting England before long, and 
pray feel assured that you will have a cordial welcome 
from my wife, Mrs. Howard, and myself, and all the 
members of our family circle. 

1 He was drowned in British Columbia. 

Lord Strathcona 

To sum up, as an entity possessing any real con- 
nection with the past, the old Company had been 
moribund for years, and its life flickered out alto- 
gether when Lord Strathcona died. For him the 
fiction was kept up: the old forms were maintained. 
But he knew it was all pretence. Behind the stately 
mask were the pert and simpering features of a 
Kensington draper. To show to what base uses the 
ancient coat of arms, the boast of many generations 
of proud and sturdy wilderness adventurers, could 
be put, the following advertisement, one amongst 
thousands, will suffice. I reproduce it literally on 
the page opposite. 

This to-day is the Hudson's Bay Company 

Mrs. B and Miss M , with their 

"powers of design" and their "shirt-waists," and 
the London shareholders, with their two hundred 
per cent, from the land won by those stern and 
rugged God-fearing pioneers, who laboured and 
suffered and won this heritage, whose descendants 
are, many of them, to-day dwelling in privation and 
penury. 1 

" A Timon you! Nay, nay, for shame! 
It looks too arrogant a jest 
The fierce old man to take his name, 
You bandbox. Off, and let him rest. 

The old Timon, with his noble heart 
That strongly loathing, greatly broke." 2 

1 In his will Lord Strathcona bequeathed fifty pounds a year as 
an addition to the pensions of certain of his old colleagues in the fur- 

* Tennyson. 


Incorporated 1670 


Mrs. B , who has been with the Company for the 

past six years, still retains charge of the Department. The 
Company has secured the services of one of the best trim- 
mers in the country, and a combination of Mrs. B 's 

power of design, and Miss M 's ability in carrying the 

same into effect, will enable them, as usual, to offer for in- 
spection a selection of the latest up-to-date Millinery. The 
opening will take place on 


and following days. 

Small hats and Turbans, prettily trimmed with flowers, 
will have the lead for early spring wear. 

As long as shirt-waists are worn, Sailor Hats will accom- 
pany them, and we have never before been able to offer the 
same variety in price and style. 

Lord Strathcona 


From the Coalition in 1821 to 1905, when the last 
fur-trade commission was issued, the number of com- 
missions issued by the Hudson's Bay Company was : 

5 Inspecting Chief Factorships. 
103 Chief Factorships. 

38 Factors. 
208 Chief Traders. 

62 Junior Traders. 

416 Total. 

During this period 262 received (so far as can be 
ascertained) promotion in the service. A calculation 
of the "Imperial relationship" yields the following 
interesting result: 

55 of the wintering partners were of English birth or extraction. 

16 " " " " " Irish birth or extraction. 

II" " " " French-Canadian birth or ex- 


no" " " " Highland and Canadian Scot- 

tish birth or extraction. 

70 " " " " Orcadian and Lowland Scot- 

tish birth or extraction. 

262 Total. 



WHATEVER the issue might be, Sir Donald 
Smith had vastly enhanced his already high posi- 
tion in the country. It has already been shown in 
a previous chapter that the Bowell Administra- 
tion was in serious difficulties. Parliament would 
expire by effluxion of time in June and a great 
effort must be made by the Conservative Party in 
the ensuing elections. A call had therefore been is- 
sued to the veteran Sir Charles Tupper to come 
over to help them. He had responded with alacrity. 
Should he or should he not resign the High Com- 
missionership was the question. A decision was 
soon taken. If his party won at the polls, Sir 
Charles would certainly enter office as Prime Min- 
ister, if he did not do so before ; if his party lost, it 
was incredible that he would be continued in office 
as High Commissioner by the Liberals. Whom to 
appoint as his successor was a more difficult prob- 
lem. Various names were canvassed: meanwhile, 
Sir Charles, before leaving England, had been in- 
formed that the member for Montreal West would 
accept the post. 

"When I heard Sir Donald Smith's name men- 
tioned for the High Commissionership," states 


Lord Strathcona 

Sir Mackenzie Bowell, "I confess I was surprised. 
1 He won't take it,' I immediately said. However, I 
made the offer and it was accepted." 

There were, indeed, some grounds for the then 
Prime Minister's surprise and incredulity. Sir 
Donald Smith was in his seventy-sixth year. He 
had led an unusually arduous life, frequently over- 
taxing his strength; he had acquired vast wealth, 
and was naturally credited with a desire for rest and 
ease in retirement. No man then living in Canada 
could look back on a more notable and successful 
career. Truly, the ways of destiny are inscrutable. 
For Donald Alexander Smith, at the age when 
decrepitude has overtaken the generality of man- 
kind, a fresh and more splendid career was dawn- 
ing. All that he had done hitherto would be eclipsed 
all that he had been hitherto would be taken 
vaguely on trust. His world-wide fame and that 
great and prolonged service which was to make 
Canada his everlasting debtor, were both shrouded 
in the mists of futurity. 

To him a close personal friend had written in 
April : 

It is rumoured that you have been offered the High 
Commissionership in London. I hope it is not true 
that you have accepted the post. It would, in my 
opinion, be a fatal mistake fatal to your peace of 
mind, to your health, and also to your fame and hap- 
piness. Moreover, it will prove to be but an empty 
honour and your enforced retirement in a few months 
will surely follow. Mackenzie Bowell cannot possibly 
carry on and Laurier will come in. If you accept, you 


Appointed High Commissioner 

are laying up a fresh sorrow for your old age. But, of 
course, you have thought of all that. 

Sir Donald was sworn in as High Commissioner 
and a Privy Councillor on April 24, 1896. 

The appointment drew forth the high commend- 
ation of both political parties. He was admittedly 
Canada's foremost citizen, and in his new sphere 
was expected to do much to assist in bringing 
the Colonies into closer touch with the Mother 
Country. His reputation and position in finance 
made him additionally persona grata in commercial 
circles. His acceptance of the High Commissioner- 
ship would not, he found it necessary to announce, 
affect his position as President of the Bank of Mon- 
treal and Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

Sir Donald Smith [commented the well-informed 
London Chronicle} will make an almost ideal Canadian 
High Commissioner. He is the most large-hearted of 
Canadians, and though a nominal supporter of the 
Government now in power at Ottawa, he cares very 
little for party distinctions, and has probably as many 
friends among the Liberals as among the Conserva- 
tives. He has abundant wealth, reaped in such enter- 
prises as the railways which have opened up the West- 
ern States and the prairie regions of the Canadian 
North-West. Most tourists in Canada know with 
what a lavish hand he dispenses hospitality at his 
Montreal mansion in Dorchester Street and his once 
famous Winnipeg residence, "Silver Heights." Last 
year Sir Donald became a host in this country, for he is 
now the proud possessor of the historic pass of Glencoe. 


Lord Strathcona 

Other newspapers spoke in the same strain when 
welcoming the new Canadian representative, and 
he received numerous letters exhibiting the esteem 
in which he was held by many English friends. 
Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that to the 
masses in Britain Sir Donald Smith in 1896 was not 
even a name. Canada herself was on the threshold 
of that Imperial celebrity and material success 
which was soon to surround her. 

"Who is this Sir David Smith who is to replace 
our friend Tupper?" wrote a usually well-informed 
ex-Cabinet Minister to the Honourable Edward 
Blake, who had now transferred himself to an Irish 

To the varied illustrations of romance in the 
careers of notable men, this other might be sug- 
gested to begin climbing the highest ladder of 
fame at the age of seventy-five. 

What, it may be asked, was the precise nature 
of the office to which Sir Donald had just been 
appointed? Previous to 1880 Canada had been 
represented in the United Kingdom by a simple 
agent, Sir John Rose. Early in that year, Sir John 
Macdonald resolved to put the office of agent for 
Canada in London on a more satisfactory footing. 

An act was, therefore, passed constituting the 
office of High Commissioner. In appointing Sir 
Alexander Gait to the post certain definite instruc- 
tions were formulated and approved by the Gov- 
ernor-General. He was also appointed chief emi- 
gration agent for Canada, and he was informed that 
it was the Government's intention to transfer the 


Salary of the Post 

entire management of the public debt and corre- 
spondence relating to the finances of the Dominion 
in London to the High Commissioner. 

After a brief tenure of office, Sir Alexander Gait 
was succeeded by Sir Charles Tupper in 1884. 
With all Sir Charles's qualities of manner and 
knowledge which made him so capital a represent- 
ative of the country abroad, he was, it must be 
avowed, far too keen a politician and followed far 
too ardently his instincts of combat to be quite 
acceptable to both political parties in Canada. 
Moreover, he continued, while holding the High 
Commissionership, to be a member of the Con- 
servative Ministry, and was therefore a fair target 
for the shafts of the Opposition. One instance of 
this criticism will suffice. There was a proposal in 
1891 to raise the emolument of the High Commis- 
sioner to the modest figure of $10,000. "Why," 
asked one member, "should the High Commissioner, 
who lives in England, and who, however you may 
attempt to surround the fact with verbiage, holds 
a sinecure very largely, have a salary larger than 
that of the hard- worked head of the Department? 
What practical duties has the High Commissioner 
discharged during the last eight or ten years?" 

Another member actually proposed abolition of 
the office ; while yet another ironically declared : 

The Minister of Finance has sought to justify the 
continuance of the office of High Commissioner on the 
ground that he has performed great service in respect 
to the egg and poultry trade. The honourable gentle- 
man has, however, undertaken a larger contract than 


Lord Strathcona 

even he is capable of performing, if he seeks to convince 
the House that the spasmodic efforts of the High Com- 
missioner with respect to the egg and poultry trade of 
this Dominion would justify the payment of $18,000 1 
a year for the continuance of the office. The egg and 
poultry trade is a very important one, and its impor- 
tance has always been recognized by the Opposition. 

It is interesting to note the part Sir Donald 
Smith took in the debate. He said : 

The honourable gentleman has compared the emolu- 
ments of the High Commissioner with those of the 
Honourable First Minister and the other Ministers of 
the Crown. The honourable gentleman does not re- 
quire to be informed that many representatives of 
European nations, those in Austria, in France, in Rus- 
sia, in England, get much higher salaries than the 
Prime Minister in any of those countries; and that is 
undoubtedly consistent with their position, represent- 
ing, as they do, their Sovereign, as the High Commis- 
sioner for Canada represents the Dominion. 

While [he characteristically continued] I have a 
proper idea of economy, I think that instead of putting 
it at $10,000 or $12,000, $20,000 would be by no means 
too much to pay I am not speaking of an individual, 
but for the position of the representative of Canada in 
London. There are many demands made on any gen- 
tleman in that position, that I think it would be only 
showing a proper regard to the dignity and the posi- 
tion of Canada to make a worthy allowance for the 
High Commissioner. 

1 Inclusive of the cost of an official residence in Cromwell Road. 
One of Sir Donald's first acts was to dispose of this house, which had 
meanwhile greatly deteriorated in value. 


Opposed to Parsimony 

I think that it would be really in our own interests 
that the position of High Commissioner of Canada (I 
say again, I am not speaking of the individual) should 
be made such as to enable him to entertain, to some 
extent, out of the proceeds of his salary, as is done by 
almost all other representatives. 

At the very time he thus spoke there was a 
notice on the motion paper from him in respect to 
an increase in the salaries of Canada's judges. 

I trust [he urged] this will be taken into considera- 
tion by the Government, because I think we owe it to 
ourselves that the salaries of our judges should be in- 
creased. While I hope I am actuated by a proper 
desire for economy as much as the honourable gentle- 
man or any other member of this House, I should 
certainly not be opposed to seeing the emoluments of 
the Ministers of the Crown as well as the judges in- 
creased. At the same time, we ought to exercise every 
care in introducing into every portion of the Civil 
Service those only who are fit to do the work to be 
assigned to them. If such care be observed, we should 
be able to pay well all those who are capable of doing, 
and who do, good work for the Dominion. 

The suggestion of $20,000 a year in addition to a 
residence rudely shocked the Opposition. As one 
member declared: 

Before the honourable gentleman startles us with 
such an extraordinary suggestion, he must be prepared 
to show that our condition in Canada is so essentially 
prosperous that we should be justified in moving in the 
direction of increasing the salaries of our hard-worked 
officials, before we Increase those of persons holding 


Lord Strathcona 

Another member declared that he had examined 
the authorities to ascertain what the United States 
of America paid their Ambassadors and Ministers 
abroad. While Canada "virtually" paid the High 
Commissioner $18,000 a year, the amount of sal- 
aries paid to the Ambassadors of the United States 
to France, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia 
was only $17,500. America only paid $12,000 a 
year to her Ministers to Austria, Brazil, China, 
Italy, Japan, Spain; to Turkey, Chili, Argentine 
Republic, United States of Colombia, and Peru, 
$10,000; and to Persia, Portugal, and other smaller 
countries, $5000. "So," it was added triumphantly, 
"our High Commissioner receives a larger salary 
than any of the Ambassadors of the United States 
to foreign countries." 

Events and changes were to move rapidly for- 
ward to the time, twelve brief years later, when 
one of these very important American Ambassa- 
dors no less important than Mr. Whitelaw Reid 
was to say publicly to an English audience : 

I sometimes think that my office is magnified by 
your kindness into a greater than it would be otherwise, 
and my duties, more numerous here from the same 
cause, would sometimes overwhelm me if my spirit of 
emulation were not aroused by the constant spectacle 
of a rival. He, too, is an Ambassador of an English- 
speaking Transatlantic country, in extent equalling my 
own and advancing by rapid strides to wealth and im- 
portance second only to ourselves in the whole Western 
world. Wherever I go there is he, and to a great many 
functions I do not go, he does. Yet, great as is the 


Pacific Cable Conference 

country he represents, the Ambassador of the Domin- 
ion of Canada magnifies his office. Beside his inde- 
fatigable exertions, my own office is a sinecure. 

It is only just to say that Canadian industrial and 
monetary conditions were at a comparatively low 
ebb in the early nineties, and were the representa- 
tive ever so persuasive or diligent, the attractions 
then offered by his country were dubious and few. 
Some there were even amongst those in high places 
who despaired of the future. How different was the 
temper of Sir Donald Smith! One of his earliest 
utterances as High Commissioner was at a ban- 
quet in connection with a Pacific Cable Conference 
in London to which he was, with Sir Mackenzie 
Bowell, a delegate. 

Responding to a toast of "Canada," he said: 

Sir Alexander Wilson has told you that it was a 
band of merchants who gave to England and the Em- 
pire the vast and good country of India. That was a 
band of merchant adventurers trading into Hudson's 
Bay. These men, two years after the East India Com- 
pany was chartered, also obtained a charter. The 
whole of the eastern portion of Canada then belonged 
to the Crown of France. These merchant adventurers 
first entered Hudson's Bay. Then they spread them- 
selves over the more northern portion of the continent. 
And what is the country now? It is a very important 
part of the Dominion of Canada, and in years to come 
will be of still greater consequence to the Dominion 
and to the Empire. 

It is in that country within the last year that a small 
number of fanners have produced no less than thirty 


Lord Strathcona 

million bushels of wheat, and when that country be- 
comes what it will in a very few years become, with the 
assistance which we are sure to have from those whom 
we see here to-night and those who have come as 
delegates from all parts of Great Britain and the 
Empire, then that vast North- West of Canada will be 
settled by hundreds of thousands and even millions of 
British subjects. 

Looking to the vast area of the wheat-fields in that 
great North- West, and considering what has already 
been done in the way of wheat growth, we may look 
forward with assurance, and that in a short time, to 
the day when it will produce and send to England all 
the grain she may require. There are in Canada those 
who have as loyal hearts to Great Britain and the 
Empire as we find here at home. 

A reference to the Right Honourable Joseph 
Chamberlain was received with loud cheers: 

We in Canada have the greatest satisfaction in know- 
ing that there is at the present moment at the head of 
the Colonial Department one who has given his heart 
thoroughly to the work of making a great Empire, and 
knitting together every part of the Empire so that 
" Imperialism" shall be not merely a "movement," 
not simply a flash in the pan, but that we shall 
continue steadily growing as an Empire of Englishmen 
with the aspirations and determination of all to do 
their part in keeping their heritage intact and perpetu- 
ating its glories for all time. I may say for Canada that 
its Government and people will be foremost to come to 
the right honourable gentleman and ask him to take 
steps that there may be a gathering of the different 
parts of the Empire in England to devise some means 


Speech in England 

of satisfying every portion of the Queen's dominions in 
respect of commerce and the intercourse between all 
parts of the Empire. We shall be only too glad to knit 
the bonds still closer with the great Empire of which 
we are proud. 

People had asked him [he said] upon what he based 
his opinion of Canada's coming greatness. What is 
this Dominion? It is a country of three and a half 
million square miles about half of North America. 
It is true that at the present moment we have not a 
very large population, for I think we are outnumbered 
by the population of London and its suburbs, but we 
have at least five millions of people, all of whom are as 
loyal to our Queen and to the Empire as any to be 
found in the heart of the Empire. Canada has at pres- 
ent a revenue of $334,000,000. It has railways extend- 
ing over 16,000 miles. It has a shipping tonnage of 
879,000, being in that respect fifth among the nations. 
Not only so, but it produces wheat in very large quan- 
tities and of the very best quality. In the North- West 
they last year produced no less than 33,000,000 bushels 
of wheat and upwards of 20,000,000 bushels of other 
grains. But this is not all. We have a country which in 
many of the eastern parts is rich in minerals, but when 
you cross the mountains, you find in British Columbia 
abundance of both gold and silver, as well as of the 
baser metals. We have in the prairies what is of the 
greatest use to the settler coal in unlimited quanti- 
ties. At one time it was supposed that there could be 
no large centres of population in the North-West be- 
cause there was so little fuel so little timber; but it 
has since been found that throughout the whole of that 
great district coal exists in the greatest abundance. 
Thus, having gold and silver, iron and copper, and the 


Lord Strathcona 

greatest abundance of fuel, we can look forward to a 
great future for that country. 

While [he said] Canada still looks to England for aid 
in her difficulties, we feel that we ought to have inde- 
pendence to help ourselves to the utmost, and that in 
helping ourselves we shall also be doing a great and 
good work for the Mother Country, and for the knitting 
together of all the Colonies and the Mother Land into 
one great Empire, and the creation of a power which 
will command, that England and the Empire shall be 
still more and more respected by all nations. In no 
part of the Empire is there more affection for the Old 
Country than in Canada, or a greater willingness to do 
our part in the work of consolidation. And I think I 
should add that this is the case, not only with the Eng- 
lish-speaking people of Canada, but equally with our 
fellow-countrymen who speak French. As was said 
many years ago by a citizen of that country, a French- 
Canadian is an Englishman to the core, who speaks 
French. Another statesman declared that the last shot 
fired on the North American continent for the British 
Empire and for England would be fired by a French- 
Canadian. It will be, we hope and believe, years, gen- 
erations, centuries, before there is any possibility of 
it being necessary to fire this last shot, for we believe 
that there is a feeling in Canada, and in the whole 
Empire, which will conserve that country to England 
as surely as the different parts of the United Kingdom 
are concerned. 

But a more notable public appearance occurred 
in the early days of June at the Congress of Cham- 
bers of Commerce of the Empire, to which he was 
a delegate. Here he sounded for the first time that 


Imperial Chambers of Commerce 

note of practical Imperialism which Joseph Cham- 
berlain emitted with his latest breath. Sir Donald 
ardently hoped for preferential trade within the 
Empire, but political considerations soon made his 
championship of the proposal incompatible with 
his tenure of a non-political office. 

The Toronto Board of Trade had offered a reso- 
lution, to which Sir Donald proposed the following 
amendment : 

Whereas, the stability and progress of the British 
Empire can be best assured by drawing continually 
closer the bonds that unite the Colonies with the 
Mother Country, and by the continuous growth of a 
practical sympathy and cooperation in all that per- 
tains to the common welfare; and whereas, this coop- 
eration and unity can in no way be more effectually 
promoted than by the cultivation and extension of the 
mutual and profitable interchange of their products; 
therefore, resolved, That this Congress records its 
belief in the advisability and practicability of a customs 
arrangement between Great Britain and her Colonies 
and India on the basis of preferential treatment, and 
recommends that steps should be taken by Her Ma- 
jesty's Government to bring about an interchange of 
opinions on the subject between the Mother Country 
and the other Governments of the Empire. 

In the course of his speech Sir Donald remarked 
that in moving his amendment he did so in no 
spirit of opposition to the previous proposal of the 
Toronto delegation. 

I am, indeed, acting in unison with my friends from 
Toronto and other Canadian representatives. My 


Lord Strathcona 

object is to place before this Congress a resolution 
which represents, I hope, the views of all the Canadian 
delegates and will receive their support, and thus ren- 
der more or less unnecessary the discussion of the other 
resolutions of a similar nature which are on the paper. 
We hope also that the terms of the amendment are 
such as will commend themselves to our friends from 
Australasia, from South Africa, and the other Colonies, 
and we are not without hope that it may commend 
itself to the representatives of the commercial interests 
of the United Kingdom who are present to-day. What 
we are striving for here is not the discussion of the de- 
tails of a commercial arrangement between the Mother 
Country and the other Colonies. That must be left to 
the Government of the different parts of the Empire 
to formulate and arrange. What we want to do is to 
secure the acceptance by this Congress of the principle 
that has been in one way and another so ably advo- 
cated. It has also been discussed by the Canadian Par- 
liament, by Boards of Trade and Chambers of Com- 
merce in Canada, in South Africa and Australasia, and 
also in other Colonies. But the third paragraph of the 
Amendment takes us a step further, and the principle 
being conceded, Her Majesty's Government are to be 
requested to approach the other Governments of the 
Empire with a view to the interchange of opinions on 
this important subject, which is very closely connected 
with the future development of the trade and com- 
merce of this great Empire. 

If Her Majesty's Government will grasp the matter 
boldly and invite an expression of opinion from the 
Governments of the Colonies, we are not without hope 
that it may lead to the calling together of another great 
Conference in London, where the details of a measure 


Practical Imperialism 

satisfactory to the Colonies and the United Kingdom 
might be discussed and arranged. 

Lord Salisbury had said that in the closer union 
between the Mother Country and the Colonies was 
involved nothing more or less than the future of the 
British Empire. Mr. Goschen had said that he thought 
it possible that the advantages of the commercial con- 
solidation of the Empire might be so great that in cer- 
tain circumstances no objection would be raised to it. 
Lord Rosebery, in one of his speeches declared: "It 
is, as I believe, impossible for you to maintain in the 
long run your present loose and imperfect relations to 
your Colonies." You know the extent and importance 
of the Colonial trade at present: and you must have an 
idea of the extent to which it is bound to develop in the 
future. We have immense British territories all over 
the world, and their progress is only just commencing. 
I think these facts are an argument in themselves for 
the formulation of closer and more intimate commer- 
cial arrangements between the different parts of the 
Empire than exist at present. 

We all, here and overseas, have a common origin, 
a common history, a common language, a common lit- 
erature, a common love of liberty and law, common 
principles to assert, and common interests to maintain. 
And, gentlemen, we have all a common love for and 
loyalty to the British Crown and the British connec- 
tion. Why, therefore, cannot we have some arrange- 
ment of the nature sketched in outline in the amend- 
ment I am now proposing? Why should every part of 
the Empire in matters of commerce treat every other 
part of the Empire as they do foreign countries? 
Gentlemen, union is strength. We have competitors 
everywhere, and if we hope to compete with them not 


Lord Strathcona 

only within but without the Empire, we must look 
after what we conceive to be our common interests. 

I think it will be generally admitted that they look 
after theirs. I have already said that we do not want 
to enter into details. We do not wish to get into a dis- 
cussion on abstract free trade or protection. We have 
other and higher objects to attain, the closer com- 
mercial unity of this great Empire, and those who 
run may read, not only the issues that are at stake at 
the present time, but the very much greater issues that 
must make themselves apparent in the near future. 
I do not think there is anything in a moderate scheme 
of preferential treatment which need shock any rea- 
sonable economic theories, neither is it likely to lead 
to retaliation. We have as much right to treat trade 
within the Empire on a preferential basis as the 
various foreign countries with colonies have to give 
to and receive from their colonies preferential treat- 

Germany cannot reasonably object to such a propo- 
sition; neither can the United States, because they 
have adopted it already themselves; and the same 
remark applies to Norway and Sweden. Therefore, 
gentlemen, I commend this amendment very heartily 
and cordially to your acceptance. I am sure its adop- 
tion would cause much gratification in the Colonies, 
and I believe among no inconsiderable part of the pop- 
ulation of the United Kingdom. It would also encour- 
age Her Majesty's Government to take steps to secure 
a modification of those unlucky treaties with Belgium 
and Germany which in their present form block the 
way to any inter- Imperial arrangement. After looking 
into the matter, I do not think there would be any 
great difficulty in bringing about the modification we 


For Closer Union 

desire. I will only say, in conclusion, that the terms 
of the amendment are very elastic in their nature. 
What we are striving for is some plan which may the 
least upset the fiscal system in force in the United 
Kingdom and in the Colonies, and I believe that such 
a scheme could readily be arranged. It would certainly 
mean great things for the Empire a closer sentimen- 
tal and fiscal union than at present, and the retention 
of the Colonial markets for British goods for all time. 
It would stimulate the development of the Colonies, 
provide larger markets for British products, and insure 
larger supplies of food products from British territories. 
These are only a few of the consequences that would 
inevitably follow the closer union of the different parts 
of the Empire, and they are surely worthy of some sac- 
rifices on both sides. The Secretary of State for the 
Colonies has said that there is on one side free trade, 
and protection on the other, but he has pointed out 
another way, and I think in that direction we may 
come together. To do so it is necessary that there 
should not only be discussion, but that either the 
Colonies should approach the Home Government or 
that the Mother Country should approach the Col- 
onies, to ascertain how far each is willing and prepared 
to go in the way of a Zollverein, that there may be one 
feeling and one action throughout. While proud to be 
a native of the United Kingdom, I am still more proud 
to be a Canadian, and that is, I may say, the feeling 
of the vast majority of the Canadian people. There 
is every desire to bring us closer and closer to the 
Mother Land, and that we shall in the end and we 
trust it may be in a very short time feel that 
we are one people, Britons, throughout the British 


Lord Strathcona 

This speech created an ineffaceable impression. 1 
Mr. Chamberlain was amongst the first to con- 
gratulate the High Commissioner. They met fre- 
quently, both in public and privately, and a warm 
friendship sprang up between them. 

Sir Donald went to Glasgow in the middle of 
June to take part in the celebration of his friend 
Lord Kelvin's jubilee. Canada had taken so promi- 
nent a part in the progress of ocean telegraphy that 
it was most fitting for her High Commissioner to 
do honour to the William Thompson whose in- 
vestigations made possible the first Atlantic cable 
of 1858. 

Look [he said] at the telegraphic map of to-day, and 
you realize how vital is Canadian cooperation in the 
telegraphic connections of the Old World and the New. 
The day will soon come when these Atlantic lines will 
be but the first link in truly Imperial lines which will 
make Canada the halfway house of the telegraphs of 
the Empire. In doing honour to Lord Kelvin, Cana- 
dians do not, moreover, forget that he was the first, 
in conjunction with the late Sir William Siemens, to 
suggest the conversion of the energy of Niagara into 
electric power. That Niagara conversion is but the 
beginning of a widespread harnessing of water-power 
in Canada, as well as in all North America. 

1 Amongst those who listened to the speech was the late W. T. 
Stead, who wrote : " In the vigour, the youthful freshness, the massive 
head crowned by the glistening snows, I seemed to see the great 
Dominion of Canada incarnate, and in his language I heard the 
Canadian creed of hope, self-confidence, and loyalty." It was Mr. 
A. G. Gardiner, editor of the Daily News, who afterwards wrote of 
Lord Strathcona as "Canada in a swallow-tail coat." 


The New Premier 

On the afternoon of Dominion Day their first 
reception was given by the High Commissioner for 
Canada, and Lady Smith, in celebration of the day 
at the Imperial Institute. The guests numbered 
between five and six hundred, and a feature of the 
occasion, then as afterwards, was that the music 
was supplied by Canadian musicians studying in 
Europe, to whom he was ever a patron. 

The elections in Canada were by this time tak- 
ing place. Sir Mackenzie Bowell had previously 
yielded the Premiership to Sir Charles Tupper, who 
fought valiantly on the hustings to retain it. But 
the verdict of the country was against him, and 
after eighteen years' exclusion the Liberals returned 
to power. 

There was much speculation as to what effect 
this would have on Sir Donald's retention of his 

If [commented the World] Mr. Laurier has the in- 
terests of his country at heart he will make no change 
in the British High Commissionership. That office 
is now filled by a gentleman who, of all Canadians, is 
best qualified for the position. Sir Donald A. Smith 
is probably the best-known Colonial in London. He is 
in touch with all great movements in which Canada 
is interested. Furthermore, he is a man of wealth, and 
is thereby enabled to create an impression on the 
British public which another representative might not 
be able to effect. 

But the new Canadian Prime Minister needed no 
prompting of this kind. He wrote at once to Sir 
Donald expressing his hope that the result of the 


Lord Strathcona 

elections would make no difference in the former's 
retention of the post. 


1 5th July, 1896. 

Your most kind letter of the 3d July I had the 
pleasure of receiving to-day, only in time to send a 
line in acknowledgment by this morning's mail and 
to thank you, which I do very heartily for it. 

Although a Liberal-Conservative, an independent 
one in the fullest sense of the word, it affords me much 
gratification, as one who was happy to count you a 
personal friend, to congratulate you on the result of 
the elections, as I had the most complete confidence 
that the best interests of your country would in every 
way be safe in your hands. 

I have a very pleasant and grateful recollection of 
the assurance you were good enough to give me in 
March, that of your utmost aid in disposing satisfac- 
torily of the vexed questions of Manitoba Schools, 
which had it been properly handled was capable of 
settlement long ago. You may feel assured that if in 
any way I can assist in arriving at a result so much to 
be wished for, my best services will always be at your 

I write in much haste, but believe me to be, etc., 


The same day, on being summoned to Windsor 
Castle to a private investiture, he received the 
order of the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of 
St. Michael and St. George, of which order he had 
been a member for ten years. Sir Donald, on the 
1 8th July, sailed for Canada in company with Sir 



Royal Victoria College 

Mackenzie Bowell, his late colleague in the Pacific 
Cable Conference. 

Before leaving for London in May he had added 
another to the magnificent series of benefactions 
which he had already conferred upon Montreal, in 
the building of the Royal Victoria College for 
the Higher Education of Women. The establish- 
ment of this institution introduced a new feature 
into Montreal university life a feature which has 
very great attractions for the majority of students, 
and which has long been looked upon as a desidera- 
tum by a large proportion of university men. The 
Victoria College would be essentially a residential 
institution, as are the colleges of the British uni- 
versities, having only subsidiary arrangements for 
teaching apart from those which its students would 
enjoy as members of the university. 

It is looked upon by many [said the Witness news- 
paper] as only the beginning of the residential system 
carried out under the wise direction of the greatest 
friend of higher education that Canada has known. 

Great care was exercised to have the interior 
appointments of Victoria College as nearly perfect 
as possible. The building was six stories in height, 
and included, in addition to the convocation hall, 
classrooms and residential quarters, a gymnasium, 
reading-room and library for the "Donaldas" (as 
the female students on the Donald A. Smith 
Foundation were already known). It was expected 
that the building would be ready at the begin- 
ning of the autumn session of the following year. 


Lord Strathcona 

Queen Victoria accorded her sanction to the title 
and the college was under her patronage. 

The visit to Canada was brief. Sir Donald was 
back in London on August 8, to resume his duties 
as High Commissioner, having in the intervening 
three weeks twice crossed the Atlantic and trans- 
acted important business at Ottawa and Montreal. 
Soon after his arrival he left to pass four or five 
days at his new country-seat in Scotland, after 
which his duties as lecturer and interpreter of 
Canada in Great Britain began in earnest. 1 

If the statistics into which he was prone to launch 
seem trite now, to some of us, let it be remembered 
that they were not so then. Vast audiences, com- 
prising intelligent and well-informed men and 
women, listened spellbound to his recital of the 
advantages Canada offered to the immigrant. To- 
day we may smile Europe knows the story well, 
but how fresh and attractive it seemed in 1896! 

In no country in the world has an enterprising man 
a greater chance of making a success in life than in the 
Dominion, if he possesses the necessary qualities; and 
in Canada those qualities have always the chance of 
making their influence felt. There is no Established 
Church, and many other questions which in England 
are still the subject of controversy have settled them- 
selves long ago in Canada. 

He pursued his policy of public instruction on 
the resources of Canada whenever an opportunity 

1 "Canada in breeches" was the phrase applied to him by Mr. La- 
bouchere, which is reminiscent of Sidney Smith's remark concerning 
Daniel Webster. 


Canada's Great Need 

occurred. No opportunity was too small and 
the need was great. One of his first addresses was 
at Newcastle. 

Not only in Canada [he said], but in all the other 
Colonies, the feeling prevails that too little is known 
in the United Kingdom the heart of the Empire 
of its outlying portions, and we are all trying in every 
way to bring about a different state of things. It is no 
selfish object which has prompted us in our endeavours. 
We want to bring the Colonies into closer relations with 
the Mother Country. We wish to develop trade be- 
tween the different parts of the Empire, as well as with 
other countries, and we much appreciate the great 
services of Mr. Chamberlain in directing public atten- 
tion prominently to the matter. In the Colonies there 
are millions upon millions of acres of land only wait- 
ing to be cultivated to produce everything that man 
requires, and we want to attract to those lands the 
surplus capital and muscle of the United Kingdom. 
The increase of the population of the Colonies must 
add to their wealth and strength, and also to their 
productive and consuming capacities. Such results 
must necessarily tend to make the British Empire, of 
which we all are so proud, a greater factor in the prog- 
ress of the world than it is even at the present time. 

Although next year will be the fourth centenary 
of the landing of the Cabots in what is now Canada,, 
and a part of the country is well advanced in the third 
century of its actual occupation, the positive, actual 
life of the Dominion, with all its potentialities brought 
within reach of the people, commenced a little more 
than ten years ago. Even now, although the popula- 
tion exceeds five million, only a fringe of the territory 
available for cultivation is inhabited. There are no 


Lord Strathcona 

very large cities in Canada, in the sense in which the 
term is understood in the United Kingdom and else- 
where, and over forty-five per cent of the population 
find their means of subsistence and their opportunities 
for the accumulation of wealth in agriculture. Canada 
is proud of its sturdy yeoman farmers. Large holdings 
are exceptions and not the rule, and the policy of the 
Dominion and Provincial Governments is to encourage 
the immigration and settlement of small farmers. The 
holdings may be said to average from one hundred to 
three hundred acres. 

The annual feast of the Master Cutlers' Com- 
pany of Sheffield is an historic affair. Represen- 
tatives of English diplomacy, statesmanship, lit- 
erature, military, and naval science crowded the 
Cutlers' Hall on the feast-day in October to do 
honour to the great industry of Sheffield, and some 
very notable speeches were delivered. 

The toast of "The Colonies" fell to Sir Howard 
Vincent, one of the members of Parliament for the 
city. In the course of his speech he said: - 

God be thanked that the coming year 1897 bids fair 
to be an epoch in English history. It will not only be 
most notable in the annals of British Monarchy, but 
will also be, I hope, a witness to the efforts of the Brit- 
ish Government and statesmen to make our Empire 
proof against shot and shell not alone by the armour 
plates of Sheffield, but by the golden chains of mutual 
commerce. Greet to-night the pioneer of England's 
glorious work, the vast Dominion of Canada, ever in 
the van of public duty. I present to your acclamation 
great Canada's High Commissioner, Sir Donald Smith, 
who has borne a foremost part in binding, with the rails 


First Move should be England's 

of Sheffield, the stormy billows of the Atlantic with 
the boundless tracks of the far Pacific. Over the iron 
way is coming to our millions, as to our contempo- 
rarily afflicted brothers of the Far East, the unrivalled 
British corn of the Far West. Over the Empire 
west by east and north by south waves the banner 
of freedom, the cross of St. George, St. David, St. 
Andrew, and St. Patrick, our Union Jack. I give 
you the toast of your Colonies the Colonies of the 
British Empire, coupled with the name of the Hon- 
ourable Sir Donald Smith. 

Warmly received was Sir Donald on rising to 
respond. He said: 

Sixty and more years ago, I became personally as- 
sociated with Sheffield, by possessing a pocket knife 
bearing the name of your city. Thousands had come 
to know Sheffield in the same way, not only through- 
out the Kingdom, but throughout the world. And on 
finding myself in possession of that part of the wares 
of Sheffield, I was filled with pride and satisfaction, 
because, beholding the name "Sheffield," I knew that 
no better knife no better tool for a good workman 
could be found anywhere on the planet. 

It has been said that the Colonies should come be- 
fore the Mother Country and express their desire for 
a closer union. But it seems to me a matter of such 
great importance to the whole Empire, it would cer- 
tainly not be unbecoming that Great Britain should 
approach the Colonies. We, in Canada, are proud of 
our Mother Country because we believe in it. We have 
there everything which has made the United States, 
and it is no doubt the same thing with the other 
Colonies with Australia and South Africa. I can 


Lord Strathcona 

only say on behalf of Canada, and, I think, equally on 
behalf of all the Colonies, that there are no more 
loyal subjects of the Queen than her subjects in those 
divisions of the Empire not even in Sheffield, or in 
any part of this United Kingdom. 

For years the burden of a hundred speeches and 
addresses was Canada's great need for more people. 

There is a large emigration from the United King- 
dom, a good deal of which goes outside the Empire, for 
want of proper direction. Yet in no country can more 
advantages be obtained by settlers of the right classes 
than in Canada. 

In a new country there must necessarily be more 
openings for the young and energetic than in the 
older one, but it must be borne in mind that the same 
qualities are necessary for success there as elsewhere. 
A capacity for hard work, energy, and enterprise will 
make themselves felt anywhere, but nowhere so rap- 
idly and with such great results as in a country like 
the Dominion. 

People are sometimes sent to the Colonies for their 
country's good some of them to do well, but many 
of them fail; and their want of success is not always 
attributed to themselves. That is not the class we want. 
Canada is a good place to live in, and offers abundant 
advantages to people of the right stamp who will 
come over and throw in their lot with us. 

Certainly the great crying need of Canada was 
more people. "Without people," he wrote, "we 
can do nothing. All our resources are lying fallow 
all our talents are hidden under a bushel." 
"Get population," Mr. Chamberlain told the 
Canadians, "and all else shall be added unto you." 


Canada under-peopled 

Into this truly Herculean task of filling up the 
Canadian North-West, Lord Strathcona flung 
himself with a passion extraordinary in one of his 
years. The apathy of the British people must be 
destroyed ; the tendency of emigrants to travel to 
America must be counteracted. And so, as we shall 
see, he went up and down the country preaching 
indefatigably the gospel of what has been called 
the "ameliorating re-distribution of the British 
peoples." His success in this task is the measure of 
the debt owed him to-day by the Canadian nation, 
and especially the North-West. Of Canada he said 
it was a " field within the limits of the Empire where 
the capital, skill, and energy of those able to emi- 
grate, may be preserved to the British Crown." 

"The development of this country," wrote Sir 
John Macdonald as far back as 1880, "if left to 
Canadian resources alone, must necessarily be ex- 
tremely slow. It is manifestly beyond the means 
of such a limited population as Canada now 
possesses, either themselves to furnish the popu- 
lation required to fill up the North-West or the 
capital necessary for its development. Emigration 
on a large scale, and precisely of that character 
which is most likely to take place from the United 
Kingdom, is essential; and it may be urged with 
much reason that the transference of a large body 
of the suffering people of Great Britain and Ireland 
to the wheat-fields of Manitoba and the North- 
West will directly benefit the United Kingdom 
much more than the settled Provinces of the Con- 
federation, and will indirectly prove of still further 


Lord Strathcona 

advantage by creating a new class of customers for 
goods, the products of whose industry are precisely 
those which are most essential for the independence 
of the United Kingdom for her food supplies." 

In that year the Ottawa Government was actu- 
ally prepared to consider a plan of systematic 
emigration, whereby Canada on her side would 
assume the entire charge for the civil government 
of the country and the maintenance of law and 
order, furnishing free land for the incoming popu- 
lation, and asking from the Imperial Government 
only its assumption of a reasonable proportion of 
the cost of the railway, and of the advances which 
would be required in assisting emigration on a 
large scale. Advances could be secured upon the 
lands reserved for sale by the Government in aid 
of the cost of construction of the Pacific Railway 
or upon the farms occupied by the emigrants or 
upon both, and the Imperial assistance to the rail- 
way might be defined and limited to its satisfaction. 

But all this was a thing of the past. It shows, how- 
ever, to what lengths the Canadian Government, 
with what Mr. Goldwin Smith had called a "white 
elephant on its hands," was then prepared to go. 
Now, the Canadian Pacific Railway had been built 
a decade ago and the agricultural potentialities of 
the country had been tried and found to be great 
even beyond the early expectations. Yet still the 
tide of emigration was to the south of the British 
line; still the intending British emigrant persisted 
in regarding Canada as a land of snow and ice and 
outside the range of his choice of a future home. 


The Country's Fertility 

Lord Strathcona recalled the enormous emigration 
to Canada of the thirties and forties. 

" I am astonished," he said, "when I think of the 
conditions prevailing, that so many should have 
emigrated then and so few now." In a letter, 
written in 1896, he wrote that the Canadian Gov- 
ernment attached the greatest possible importance 
to the resources and capabilities of the Dominion 
becoming better known and understood in the 
United Kingdom than they are at present, and a 
similar feeling prevails among the five million of 
her Majesty's subjects who form the population of 
its different provinces. 

A considerable emigration [Sir Donald went on to 
say] takes place every year from the United Kingdom, 
some of which goes to Canada, some to the other Col- 
onies, and the larger proportion apparently to for- 
eign countries. Canadians would like to see a much 
greater part of this movement going to Canada, which 
offers advantages to immigrants not excelled by any 
other part of the world. The various Provinces 
Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, 
Quebec, Manitoba, the North- West Territories, and 
British Columbia stretch from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific Ocean, and offer a wide variety of climate to 
suit all comers, and a fertile soil which has been highly 
spoken of by the tenant-farmer delegations which have 
visited the country in recent years. Only a fringe of 
the territory is at present inhabited, and there are 
countless millions of acres of fertile soil, ready, with 
cultivation, to grow all the products of the temperate 


Lord Strathcona 

To the Honourable Wilfrid Laurier 

I4th October, 1896. 

One of the leading obstacles in the way of promotion 
of our interests, from an emigration standpoint, lies in 
the apathy of the New York lines, arising largely from 
the higher rates in operation from American ports to 
our North- West, as compared with those from Cana- 
dian ports. It applies not only to British emigration, 
but to Continental emigration; and we must make 
endeavours to get on better terms with the great com- 
panies, which do not help us in the matter of emigra- 
tion at all at present. 

To take an instance, the fare from New York to 
Winnipeg is 3 155. od. From Quebec to Montreal it is 
2 9-s. 4^., a difference of i 55. 8d. The Canadian 
Pacific Railway are not willing to equalize matters 
themselves, because, if they did, and had to pay i 
i os. iod., as they do now, upon every passenger trav- 
elling by way of New York, it would leave them only 
185. 6d. for their share of the haul. Perhaps the officers 
of the Government and the Canadian Pacific Railway 
might be requested to look into the matter, to see 
whether something cannot be done. If it were possible 
it would certainly tend to increase our emigration, for 
we would then have all the agents of the New York 
lines working for us. It would also materially increase 
our passenger traffic over the American lines with 
which the Canadian Pacific Railway is in connection. 
It might be worth the while of both the Canadian 
Government and the Canadian Pacific Railway Com- 
pany to cooperate toward bringing about such a result, 
in view of the great advantage it would have for 
Canada. It is of no use trying to do anything with the 


His English Addresses 

British and Continental New York lines until the 
inequality is removed. In this connection it must be 
borne in mind as a principle that if the New York line 
agents are not working for us, their influence is either 
opposed to us, or is negative. 

All of his emigration addresses were of an emi- 
nently practical character, conveying exactly the 
kind of information that a farmer or workingman 
would find useful if he harboured any thought of 
emigrating overseas. He spoke of the immense 
acreage awaiting cultivation, and of the crops that 
could be grown upon it. He told of the climate ; of 
the remarkable development of our railways and 
canals; of our excellent banking system; of our 
great industrial enterprises; of our mines and min- 
erals, second to none in the world; of the cosmo- 
politan character of our population; of our supe- 
rior educational institutions; and of our desire 
to develop trade with the United Kingdom and 
to draw more closely the bonds of affection that 
attach us to the Empire. Not even the hundreds 
of varieties of wild flowers that so modestly " trans- 
form many parts of the prairies into huge flower 
gardens" were overlooked. His public addresses 
were those of a Canadian proud of his country, 
hopeful of its future, and anxious to do it service. 

Early in January he had the pleasure to be pres- 
ent at a banquet tendered to his friend Sir Charles 
Tupper, who in the course of his speech uttered that 
panegyric of his successor in office to which allusion 
has already been made. 


Lord Strathcona 

Canada now has the good fortune to have as my 
successor in the High Commissionership, Sir Donald 
Smith, a gentleman who possesses to an infinitely 
greater degree than either of his predecessors the con- 
fidence [No, no] yes I say it advisedly he 
possesses, and deservedly possesses, the confidence of 
both parties in Canada to an extent to which I could 
never make the slightest claim. And you will readily 
understand why, when, without mentioning his other 
great claims to public confidence, I say that the mag- 
num opus of Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway, 
would have no existence to-day, notwithstanding 
all that the Government did to support that under- 
taking, had it not been for the indomitable pluck and 
energy and determination, both financially and in every 
other respect, of Sir Donald Smith. 

Lord Strathcona used to say that no tribute that 
had ever been paid him gave him greater pleasure 
than this from his former travelling companion 
over the desolate, snow-clad prairies to Fort Garry 
a generation before. 

Naturally the project of a line of steamers run- 
ning from Britain to a port in Hudson's Bay, and 
there connecting with a railway serving the North- 
West, had much personal interest for Sir Donald. 
His dictum on the subject deserves to be quoted : 

At first blush I should say its commercial practica- 
bility was not possible! But if my long life and experi- 
ence have taught me anything, it is this: everything is 
possible. What man has done, man can do. There is 
no project so fantastic there is no scheme of trans- 
portation so extravagant, at which I would now 


Hudson's Bay Route 

laugh or which I am not disposed to believe, in ca- 
pable hands, possible and even highly successful. 

Which suggests that on one occasion Lady 
Strathcona exclaimed : "Really I could no more 
do such a thing than I could fly." 

"But, my dear," observed her husband quietly, 
"we can all fly now if we choose." 

An application, made by the promoter of the 
Hudson's Bay route to the British Government for 
its cooperation in investigating the possibilities of 
the scheme, had been rejected. Sir Donald wrote 
again to Mr. Goschen urging him to reconsider his 

To the Right Honourable G. J. Goschen, M.P. 

1 8th February, 1897. 

It is a fact that the previous expeditions are not 
regarded as conclusive by many in Canada, and 
especially by a large number of the inhabitants of 
Manitoba and the North-West Territories, who are 
fully impressed with the belief that navigation is 
practicable for at least several months of the year in 
Hudson's Bay and Straits. 

You will readily understand, therefore, the desire 
that exists that the question should be investigated in 
a very thorough manner, in order that the practicabil- 
ity of the new route, or otherwise, may be satisfactorily 
demonstrated. This result is more likely to be achieved 
with the cooperation of Her Majesty's Government 
than without it. 

If the route, even with specially constructed steam- 
ers, should prove to be practicable for a sufficient time 


Lord Strathcona 

each year to encourage commercial enterprise, it would 
be of importance to Manitoba and the North-West 
Territories and also to the exporters and importers 
of the United Kingdom. The North-West Territories 
and Manitoba promise to afford a large market for 
British produce, and their capacity is great for raising 
food supplies of various kinds which are so largely 
imported into Great Britain. 

Therefore, in view of all these circumstances, I hope 
you will be so kind as to reconsider the question, and I 
trust, after consultation with your colleagues, some 
means may be found of cooperating with the Canadian 
Government in the proposed investigation, not only 
by deputing an officer to accompany the expedition, 
but by sharing in the expenses that will necessarily 
have to be incurred. 

But the British Government again declined, and 
ultimately the investigation was made by Canada. 
The result was the commencement of the Hudson's 
Bay railway. 

One of the matters which on the threshold of 
the Jubilee Year gave him great concern was the 
fate of the Imperial Institute, which with a mighty 
blaze of trumpets had promised to accomplish such 
a great work for the Imperial idea. The splendid 
building had been open only four or five years and 
now already appeared to be threatened with bank- 
ruptcy. The amount derived from the endowment 
fund just sufficed to pay the rates and taxes and 
the interest on the debt. For the rest the Institute 
had only its modest subscription list as an assured 
income; and the balance of its working expenses 
had to be made out of Colonial contributions and 


The Imperial Institute 

what it could raise by catering for the general public 
as a place of recreation and amusement. 

You will see [wrote Lord Strathcona to Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier in March, 1897] that Mr. Labouchere says 
that "the history of the Institute is a monument of 
reckless extravagance, purposeless effort, and incom- 
petent administration." It is a great pity, because I 
believe it could still in other hands fulfil its purpose. 

He reverted to the subject in Ottawa, whither 
he proceeded at the end of March to consult the 

To the Honourable Wilfrid Laurier 

OTTAWA, 13 April, 1897. 

So far as Canada is concerned, we are not getting 
from the Institute the results which we ought to expect. 
This arises a good deal from the lukewarm interest 
that appears to be taken in the matter in Canada. 

Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, and perhaps Brit- 
ish Columbia, have a fair collection of products, but 
nothing like what might be sent if the effort was 
made. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island take 
no part in the Institute at all ; they have no collection 
and hitherto have refused to pay any money. 

The North-West Territories have hitherto paid 
their share of the bills, but have sent over no exhibits. 
The same remark applies very much to Nova Scotia. 
The exhibits could be made of much more use if the 
whole expenditure was provided by the Canadian 
Government, and the Canadian Court managed from 
the High Commissioner's office. 

What we have to consider before doing anything on 


Lord Strathcona 

the lines suggested is what is going to be the future of 
the Institute? It is very evident, unless the finances 
are placed in a more satisfactory condition, the Insti- 
tute must collapse. 

With Lord Herschel (who is Chairman of the Insti- 
tute) I had some conversation on the subject just be- 
fore I left England, and he appeared to think that, if 
the present difficulties could be tided over for a few 
years, the Institute would come into an annual sum 
from the Commission of the Exhibition of 1851, which 
would put it on a solid basis. Meantime, however, its 
condition is far from being satisfactory. 

Interesting is it to learn now that he at one time 
entertained the notion of buying the Imperial 
Institute outright and reorganizing it on a new 
basis. He was not deterred by the expense, but by 
a doubt whether the expenditure would be justified 
by its usefulness. 

On the loth of March, Sir Donald departed on 
the Teutonic on another brief visit to Canada to 
consult with Dominion Ministers, and especially with 
the Honourable Clifford Sifton, the new Minister 
of the Interior, on the all-important subject of 
the immigration policy of the Administration. 

The sensational gold discoveries in the Klon- 
dyke were rapidly proving the long-desired magnet 
for immigrants. On every hand one heard of the 
"rush to the Klondyke," and the stirring incidents 
of the great California mining boom of 1849 were 
about to be reenacted. 

The world [he wrote in March, 1897] has taken a 
long time to find out the mineral wealth of the Yukon 


Gold in the Klondyke 

district. I recall many old Hudson's Bay pioneers 
telling of the gold there nearly half a century ago, and 
it was reported to the Company longer ago than that, 
but it was not then considered to be " in their line." 



To the students of British political history, the 
year 1897 will ever mark an era in the relations of 
the United Kingdom and the Oversea Dominions. 
A decade before there had been celebrated by the 
British people the Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign. 
Albeit in the short space of ten years, the whole 
Imperial outlook changed. Conditions at home and 
abroad were not the same. Whosoever takes the 
pains to explore the annals of that decade will be 
struck by the new mood of Imperial sentiment 
which now swept over the whole Empire. Repre- 
sentatives of the Colonies had visited England in 
1 887 : but they came unofficially, and for the temper, 
the spirit, and the knowledge with which they 
were received, one glance at the newspapers of the 
period, recording the well-meant but patronizing 
speeches delivered on many notable occasions, will 
suffice. 1 

The Jubilee celebration of 1897 [wrote the Speaker 
of the Canadian House of Commons], has either 

1 "A few years ago people from Canada and the Colonies were 
regarded in England as merely those to whom it was well to be civil 
very worthy backwoods people, but hardly worth while crossing the 
sea to recognize. We know that our neighbours of the United States 
were thought highly of and seen everywhere in society: but was it so 
of ourselves from Canada?" (Lord Strathcona, Speech in Toronto. 
November, 1900.) 


Canada's Oversea Hegemony 

caused or elicited an Imperial sentiment, the strength 
of which was never before displayed or suspected. 
Was it a little thing that, as a pledge of kinship and 
love, the greatest of all commercial powers denounced 
two of her most important commercial treaties, in 
order to help Canada to draw nearer to her? Assuredly 
a new epoch has at last come in the world's history, 
when the discovery has been made that a parent nation 
can bind a Colony closer to her by striking off all its 
fetters, and can win its enduring loyalty by a gift of 
the broadest freedom. 1 

The Colonies [said Sir Donald Smith] are taking a 
prominent position in the United Kingdom this year. 
Their status in the Empire has at last been recognized. 
They have been invited for the first time to partici- 
pate in a national celebration. They will share in the 
rejoicings of the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of 
Her Majesty's reign. Their military and police forces 
will be represented in the royal procession, and their 
Prime Ministers will be the guests of the Imperial 
Government. Let us hope that their great gatherings 
may lead to a closer union among the family nations, 
all under one flag and owning allegiance to one 
Sovereign, which make up the British Empire. 

In ten years the British Empire had, indeed, 
moved notably and the most marked progress had 
been made by Canada. Canada was the acknowl- 
edged leader amongst the dominions overseas. We 
have noted several causes contributing to enhance 
her prestige. We have seen, after a period of stag- 
nation, an enfeebled Government overthrown and 
a new Administration, at the head of which was a 

1 The Honourable J. D. Edgar, Canada and its Capital. 

Lord Strathcona 

French-Canadian of great personal distinction and 
eloquence, of whom as yet little was known and 
everything was hoped, enter upon the scene. 

It was in the spring of this year that the question 
of the fiscal relations between Canada and the 
United Kingdom came almost dramatically to the 
forefront in Imperial politics. In April there came 
the Fielding Tariff Law by which preferential treat- 
ment was accorded to Great Britain, uncondition- 
ally. Thus a great and momentous step was taken 
toward that Imperial union which had been 
preached so long and preached in vain. It lent the 
British advocates of tariff reform a practical basis 
from which to launch their policy; although in 
Canada it was rather a step toward the free trade 
long promised by the Liberal Party 

But before the preference could go into effect the 
treaties with Germany and Belgium had to be de- 
nounced by Great Britain and this was later agreed 
to. 1 The announcement of the Fielding Tariff, 
according preference to British goods and denounc- 
ing the existing treaty with Germany, thrilled the 
whole Empire, evoking from Mr. Kipling, then at 
the very height of his renown, the lines, 

" Daughter in my mother's house, 
But mistress in mine own," 

1 "The abrogation of the treaties left the commercial relations 
between the United Kingdom and Belgium and Germany in an un- 
stable position; a new treaty was later negotiated with Belgium, but 
the enjoyment of most-favoured-nation treatment in Germany has 
since rested only on an annual resolution of the Bundesrath. It was, 
however, primarily against Canada, as will be seen later, that Ger- 
man resentment was directed." (O. D. Skelton, Canada and its 


Citizens of the Empire 

in which Canada proclaimed her fiscal and com- 
mercial independence. 

The High Commissioner returned to his post in 
the second week in May, and a few days later took 
part in a great banquet, presided over by his friend 
the Marquess of Lome. 

Sir Donald Smith [said Lord Lorne] has just come 
back from a journey to Canada, where his presence was 
so often sought that his countrymen must find it 
difficult to persuade themselves to send him over here 
to represent them, he is so necessary both in Europe 
and in Canada. It is the opinion of one and all who 
have had anything to do with the Canadian Office 
that no better High Commissioner from the great 
Dominion of Canada could possibly have been chosen, 
and we hope he may be continued in that office in 
good health and strength for many years to come. 

Replying to the toast of "Her Majesty's Colo- 
nies," Sir Donald said 

that the subject of the toast was one of great and 
noble proportions. It is one which comes home to the 
heart of every colonist who is proud that his particular 
Colony is a part and that he is himself a citizen of that 
great Empire on which the sun never sets. He feels that 
in England he is every bit as fully an Englishman as 
any of you. He has all the sentiment and reminiscences 
of an Englishman, and having them he is all the better 
citizen of the Colony in which he lives. Looking back 
to the commencement of the reign of the Queen, what 
do we find? In Canada we had what was called a 
rebellion. An important portion of the people were in 
arms, because they thought those rights to which they 


Lord Strathcona 

were entitled as Englishmen were not given to them at 
that time. What have we there now? Are these very 
same people that French-speaking people any 
less loyal than the English-speaking people? There is 
a large proportion of English-speaking people in 
Canada, and they have chosen for their Premier a 
French-speaking statesman. We know for a certainty 
that there could be no more devoted subjects of the 
Queen. It has been said that Canadians have been 
looking toward Washington. Let me say that there is 
not one iota of truth in any such suggestion. If 
Canada were polled, not one man in a hundred not 
one man in a thousand would be found who did not 
wish to live and die under the British flag. Sixty years 
ago the Colonies were little known over here, but this 
has altered, and everybody now knows Australia and 
Africa almost as well as his own country. That is a good 
thing, the drawing together of the Colonies. I have the 
honour of representing eight colonies, now happily one ; 
and I hope we shall shortly be able to say the same of 
the great Colonies in Australia and Africa. Every 
colonist looks upon this sixtieth year of the Queen's 
reign with as great an interest as you do, for the 
Queen is to them, as to you, not only a model Sover- 
eign, but a model woman. Even among our neigh- 
bours in the United States, no sovereign could be looked 
up to with more regard than is our beloved Queen. 

There was a curious protest in certain quarters 
against the term "Our Lady of the Snows, "as ap- 
plied to Canada. This Lord Strathcona did not share. 

I really do not see why we should be ashamed of our 
snow. It seems to me that I have heard this same 
snow praised a great deal by a great many poets and 


Lord Northcliffe 

certainly about Christmas-time I am told that the 
most popular pictures are those depicting snow-clad 
scenery. Our beautiful Canadian snow used to be 
considered a great asset instead of a drawback. Per- 
sonally I think snow, besides being very beautiful, is a 
wonderful convenience to the people of the Canadian 
countryside which England lacks, and to it, besides, is 
due much of the special fertility of our soil. 

It is not too much to say that England's inter- 
est in the visit of the Premiers largely centred upon 
the picturesque figure of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. This 
interest now began to be warmly stimulated by the 
newspapers. Into London journalism had recently 
leapt a new force ; the lethargic, the oracular, and 
the dull had been forced to make way in popular 
esteem to the sprightliness, vigour, and brilliancy 
of youth. 

The career of Mr. Alfred Harmsworth, after- 
wards Lord Northcliffe, will offer a curious study 
to future historians and philosophers. For a long 
time his volatility merely entertained the serious- 
minded. It is now recognized that his influence 
has been profound and far-reaching. We cannot 
yet fairly estimate his contribution to the poli- 
tics and national habits of thought and action in 
England for the last twenty years. Nevertheless, 
a shrewd American observer, the late John Hay, 
once gave it as his opinion that modern British 
Imperialism, "as a popular force, was largely the 
joint production of four men," Joseph Chamber- 
lain, Lord Strathcona, Rudyard Kipling, and Lord 


Lord Strathcona 

My own intimate connection with the then Mr. 
Harmsworth dates from the beginning of 1895, 
before he had yet ventured either into politics or 
daily journalism. In the spring of 1896 he founded 
the Daily Mail, with which I became editorially 

As a Canadian, dwelling at the heart of the Em- 
pire, and not unresponsive to Canadian activities 
and aspirations, I naturally endeavoured to secure 
Mr. Harmsworth's interest in anything which 
would be an advantage in making Canada and 
her affairs figure a little more prominently in the 
public eye. It is entertaining enough to look back 
over that brief intervening span of years and mark 
how different is the popular knowledge of and in- 
terest in the Dominion now compared to what it 
was then. 1 

From the first, Sir Donald, with whom I had 
many conversations on the subject, agreed with me 
in thinking that one cause of the little knowledge 
concerning Canada possessed by the average Eng- 

1 At the risk of seeming to obtrude myself unduly I may mention 
that when I introduced Mr. Harmsworth to the High Commissioner, 
I proposed to the former that I should tour the Dominion from ocean 
to ocean, and endeavour to set forth our resources in an attractive 
light for the enormous public his newspaper already commanded. 
This was arranged, greatly to Sir Donald Smith's satisfaction, and 
the fruits of a protracted journey from Newfoundland to the Pacific 
continued to appear, under the title of "Our Western Empire" in 
the Daily Mail, well on into the spring of 1897. Sir Donald very 
kindly wrote me that these articles had "popularized Canada to a 
most gratifying extent." On my return to London, I was happily 
enabled to act as a sort of unofficial avant-courier to the Honour- 
able Mr. Laurier, the new and then personally unknown Prime 
Minister of the Dominion. 


Advertising Canada 

lishman, was the paucity of Canadian news in the 
British press. Canada was a "land of snow," and 
Montreal was rarely mentioned, save in connec- 
tion with her annual ice-palace. Sir Donald put it 
in this way in a confidential letter to Mr. Laurier : 

To the Honourable Wilfrid Laurier 

2Oth August, 1896. 

You are aware, I think, that very little Canadian 
news finds its way into English newspapers. This 
arises largely from competition having ceased between 
Reuter's and Dalziel's agencies. The latter is practi- 
cally non-existent, and the former for some years past 
seem to have been restricting their expenditure, so far 
as Canadian news is concerned. Then, again, none of 
the papers, with the exception of the Times, have any 
correspondents in Canada who send telegraphic infor- 
mation. In fact, the Times is the only paper in which 
Canadian news appears at all regularly. In the other 
papers it is only telegrams about things of a startling 
or morbid nature which appear to obtain publicity, 
and it is to matters of that kind that Reuter's agents 
seem largely to devote their attention. 

The Times, as you know, has a comparatively limited 
circulation, and does not reach the middle class. Con- 
sequently very little information relating to the com- 
mercial or industrial progress of the country reaches 
the larger public, and a valuable medium for educating 
the people of the United Kingdom about the resources 
and capabilities of Canada is lacking. Canadians who 
visit England are struck by the lack of Canadian news 
and you will see it frequently commented upon in press 
interviews on their return. 


Lord Strathcona 

Naturally, I look upon the matter largely from the 
advertisement point of view. To have Canada and 
Canadian news of a desirable nature appearing fre- 
quently in the English papers would be of great use to 
us. It would help emigration, it would help the exten- 
sion of trade, and would be beneficial from every point 
of view. As the news agencies are apparently not 
prepared to incur any expense in the matter, and the 
newspapers do not appoint their own agents in the 
Dominion, the question is, How is the difficulty to 
which I have referred to be got over? 

It occurs to me that it would be most useful to me, 
as High Commissioner for Canada, and as the repre- 
sentative of the Dominion in this country, to receive 
from you once or twice a week, or even a little more 
frequently, should it be necessary or desirable, tele- 
grams informing me of anything that may be happen- 
ing in the Dominion of an interesting nature and illus- 
trating the progress of the country. For instance, 
particulars about the revenue and expenditure, imports 
and exports, the experimental farms, the crops in the 
different districts, and mining and industrial develop- 
ment, would be most valuable; the same remark applies 
to anything which would serve to draw the attention 
of the people to the Dominion and interest them in its 
progress and welfare. 

I commend the matter to your consideration, and 
shall be glad if you will let me know what you think of 
my proposal at your convenience. 

There are many episodes of that Annus mirabilis 
which are far less significant than the one I am 
about to relate. 

Hearing that a little private entertainment of the 


A Welcome to Mr. Laurier 

visiting First Ministers of the Colonies had been 
planned, Mr. Harmsworth, at my suggestion, re- 
solved upon giving a large party at his town resi- 
dence in Berkeley Square. 

His newspapers, meanwhile, led the way by giv- 
ing prominence to the personality and every cir- 
cumstance connected with the approaching visit of 
the oversea notabilities. 

The Author to Sir Donald A. Smith 

2d June, 1897. 

I hasten to acknowledge your kind note of yesterday. 

Mr. Harmsworth and myself need no assurance of your 

warm cooperation. This is to be a great Colonial year 

- it will not be our fault if it is not also a great 

Canadian year. 

Mr. Laurier sails to-day by the Lucania. He will, of 
course, take precedence amongst the overseas Premiers, 
not only by reason of Canada's status, but because of 
his own personality. Ought not we Canadians to give 
him an especially cordial welcome, not only in London, 
but on his arrival in Liverpool? I suggested to Mr. 
Archer Baker that a party of us travel down and meet 
the Lucania in Liverpool Harbour next Wednesday. 
He approved heartily of this, but thought it essential 
you should head the party. 

Please let me know your opinion of this little plan. 

Unluckily, on the very day this letter was written 
Sir Donald was attacked by one of those violent 
colds to which he was constitutionally subject and 
a verbal message came to me that he was confined to 
his bed. Under the circumstances it was thought 


Lord Strathcona 

wise not to press him to accompany the party of 
Canadians from London. Arrangements were made 
for a steam tug and a small brass band of five musi- 
cians to meet the Lucania at the entrance of Liver- 
pool Harbour, on the loth. But alas, difficulties 
arose the weather threatened and there was 
grave doubt of the exact time of the steamer's 
arrival ; it might be midnight the tug might loi- 
ter about the harbour for twenty-four hours. The 
threatened ordeal was not too severe for Young 
Imperialism, but it was unacceptable to the musi- 
cians and also to the master of the vessel, who im- 
posed conditions which could, we thought, not 
prudently be fulfilled. Wherefore, reluctantly, the 
welcome by water was abandoned. 
On June 7, I wrote to Sir Donald : 

For the reception on the 2 1st to the Premiers, we 
have engaged Melba, Paderewski, and Miss Crossley. 
It is sincerely to be hoped that nothing else will hap- 
pen on that evening such, for example, as a dinner- 
party at Windsor! Judging from a conversation I had 
yesterday at the Colonial Office with Mr. Baillie- 
Hamilton, I should say that anything they can do to 
discourage us they will do. The permanent staff would 
prefer everything this year should be strictly official. 

On the same day I received the following : 

From Sir Donald Smith 


WHITMONDAY, 7th June, 1897. 

Ever since the receipt of your note of the 2d, I have 
been practically laid up from the effects of a severe 


Colonial Premiers arrive 

cold which still hangs over me ; but if you can make it 
convenient to call at my office, 17 Victoria Street, be- 
tween eleven and twelve to-morrow morning, I shall be 
very glad of the opportunity of talking over with you 
the matter referred to by you, of a special and cordial 
welcome to the Honourable Mr. Laurier, our Dominion 

I, and let me add that all Canadians, will greatly 
appreciate the warm interest taken by Mr. Harms- 
worth and yourself in this; and with best regards for 
you and him, believe me, etc. 

When I duly explained to the High Commissioner 
that the Liverpool scheme had been abandoned, he 
seemed disappointed. "I had been thinking," he 
said, " what a splendid surprise it would be and had 
made up my mind that the little sea-trip would do 
me good. However, I suppose you are right." 

Of the welcome given by London to Canada's 
Premier, Mr. Laurier had no reason to complain. It 
was a personal triumph. The First Ministers of 
the other Colonies arriving took up their quarters 
in the Hotel Cecil as royal guests, where they were 
waited on by servants in the royal livery, while 
royal carriages were at their bidding. No wonder 
that some of these Colonial dignitaries were a little 
dazzled by the brilliancy of their welcome. For the 
first time in their lives, they felt the full force of 
being representative: for their personalities and 
achievements alike were unknown. Their carriages 
wound their way hither and thither, the news- 
papers chronicled the most trifling actions of the 
Colonial notabilities. British officialdom called and 


Lord Strathcona 

left their cards. But until the 2ist of June, the 
Prime Ministers were socially nomina et pr&terea 
nihil. London society held aloof from any practical 
demonstration. To invite to their drawing-rooms 
and dinner-tables colonists of whom nothing per- 
sonally was known was too revolutionary of eti- 
quette. They would smile benignly, they would 
even condescend to wave the fluttering cambric, 
but not yet would Mayfair open wide the portals 
of its houses. 

Such being Mr. Harmsworth's opportunity, he 
took full advantage of it. Fifteen hundred invita- 
tions were issued to the leaders of London society, 
ambassadors, prominent members of Parliament, to 
those at the bar and on the stage, to this reception, 
"to meet the Colonial Premiers." 

The long regime of "Mr. Mother Country," 
humorously prefigured by J. K. Stephen, was rap- 
idly drawing to a close. But the discredited auto- 
crat could still aim a blow at " pushf ulness." 

Certain Colonial Office officials, regarding the 
proceeding as very irregular and even impertinent, 
took prompt, but, as they thought, effectual means 
for turning it into a fiasco. For the reception, of 
which all London was now talking, "to meet the 
Premiers," would be absurd without the presence 
of the Premiers themselves. Before it was possible 
for us to change the date it was announced that 
Her Majesty the Queen had commanded the 
Premiers to a reception that evening at Bucking- 
ham Palace! 


A Threatened Contretemps 

From Sir Donald Smith 

I sympathize with you most unfeignedly, but I really 
do not see what remedy there can be. It is most un- 
fortunate, but you may rest assured that Mr. Cham- 
berlain was not concerned in the matter, which is 
entirely out of his control. 

Sir Donald then shared our suspicions, but we 
had no proof until some time afterwards of their 
correctness, that this was a deliberate attempt to 
frustrate the Harmsworth party, by way of admin- 
istering a rebuke to what was called Mr. Harms- 
worth's "pushful Imperialism." I remember Sir 
Donald's quiet laugh as he said, " I am afraid I also 
am laying myself open to the charge of pushful 

The original date for the Royal Reception was 
June 20. It is needless to say that the Queen was 
wholly ignorant of these graceless machinations. 

In this emergency I sought Mr. Laurier, who was 
quite as much chagrined over our threatened pre- 
dicament as we were. 

"If," I urged, "this function at Buckingham 
Palace does not last till midnight, will you come to 
Berkeley Square on the 2ist?" 

"Certainly," he replied promptly; "I will come 
if it lasts till past midnight "; adding, generously, 
"moreover, I will endeavour to induce my fellow- 
Premiers to come the moment we can get away 
without infringing etiquette." 

The evening arrived, the mansion in Berkeley 
Square was crowded with one of those brilliant 


Lord Strathcona 

assemblages which illustrate a London "season." 
Soon after ten o'clock the royal carriages began to 
arrive in quick succession and a series of individuals, 
resplendent in new laced coats, knee-breeches, and 
cocked hats, and each wearing a sword, crossed the 
threshold. The circumstance of the Windsor uni- 
form, which would otherwise have been impossible, 
added much to the eclat of the occasion. Sir Don- 
ald afterwards spoke to me of the general sensa- 
tion produced by the arrival and announcement 
of "The Honourable Mr. Wilfrid Laurier, Prime 
Minister of Her Majesty's Dominion of Canada." 

Such was the popular debut in London of a states- 
man who became as familiar and welcome a figure 
at Imperial reunions as any in the galaxy of states- 
men from overseas. 1 

The evening was not to pass without a further 
episode. By special messenger from Sir Donald, I 
received a copy of the London Gazette, damp from 
the press. The company was first to learn her 
Majesty's gracious intentions: 

To be a Baron of the United Kingdom, Sir Donald 
Alexander Smith, K.C.M.G. 

Hardly less gratifying was the announcement : 

To be a Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael 
and St. George, Honourable Wilfrid Laurier. 

1 The ignorance of the Colonies, rife in what is called "Society," 
will at this time to many seem incredible. One lady, inviting the 
Colonial representative to a garden party, addressed a special request 
to Sir Wilfrid Laurier that he and his fellow-guests from overseas 
would "kindly appear in their native costumes." The letter has 
been preserved as a curiosity. 


Raised to the Peerage 

To Canada's Prime Minister I turned with the 
Gazette in my hands, proud to offer my congratula- 
tions, and to be the first to address him as "Sir 

From Sir Donald A . Smith 

You are indeed very kind to write in the manner you 
have done concerning the high honour Her Majesty 
has been pleased to bestow upon my unworthy self. 
I regard it as one, not so much paid to me as to 
Canada, and I think it will generally and properly be so 

There later ensued some difficulty in the choice 
of a title for the new peer. Having purchased the 
interesting Scottish estate of Glencoe, he had at 
first contemplated that of Baron Glencoe, but a 
sentimental local opposition developed with which 
he himself rather sympathized. The title of Mon- 
treal had been conceded to Earl Amherst. A com- 
promise was effected. Glencoe the glen or valley 
of Conan has its approximate Gaelic equivalent 
in Strathcona. Not until August, on the eve of his 
departure for Canada, was the High Commissioner 
gazetted "A Baron of the United Kingdom by the 
name, style, and title of Baron Strathcona and 
Mount Royal, of Glencoe, in the County of Argyll, 
and of Mount Royal, in the Province of Quebec and 
Dominion of Canada." 1 Like Lord Mountstephen, 
Sir Donald Smith thus effected in his new title a 

1 " I have consulted the proper authorities," he wrote (October 
20), " and find that it is not necessary, when signing my name on 
ordinary occasions, to use the whole of my title. So I shall hereafter 
confine myself to 'Strathcona' only." 


Lord Strathcona 

happy blending of Scottish and Canadian associa- 

On his first visit to Glencoe after being raised to 
the peerage a great ovation awaited him, and he 
was presented with an illuminated address from his 
tenants, servants, and others on the Glencoe estate. 

Said the Montreal Star: 

That Canada's new peer has chosen "Mount 
Royal" as one of his titles will rejoice all Canadians 
who live under the shadow of the Mount itself. Now 
that he has selected it, that title seems marvellously 
appropriate. Mount Royal looks down on many a 
memento of the Baron's long kindness and practi- 
cal philanthropy. The Royal Hospital, which was the 
gift to the city of her two peers, lies just at its foot ; and 
a little to the right are the grounds of McGill, which 
no one can visit without being reminded of the generos- 
ity of "Sir Donald," for as "Sir Donald" Montreal 
learned to love him, and hard it will be to think of 
him under a new name. 

At the annual Dominion Day Banquet on July I , 
at which Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the guest of hon- 
our, the new peer led the way in a Jubilee rendering 
of the loyal toasts, and it was pleasant to hear the 
burst of enthusiasm with which they were received. 
He himself was greeted with exceptional warmth, 
of which the Marquess of Lome supplied the ex- 
planation when he declared his chief difficulty to 
be, how to address their chairman. "He has not 
yet confided in me by what title to address him. 
I shall, however, make no mistake if I call him and 
congratulate him as Lord High Commissioner for 


"Lord High Commissioner" 

Canada" a happy reference most happily re- 

Next came the " Dominion of Canada," proposed 
by Sir Donald, the toastmaster having previously 
given the injunction "Fill your bumpers to the brim, 
if you please, gentlemen." "Canada," Sir Donald 
said with patriotic fervour, "has all the possibilities 
of becoming a country equal to that of their friends 
on the south of the boundary line." And as he 
went on to pave the way for the Premier by a 
sketch of the steps leading up to the position which 
Confederated Canada holds to-day, "We in Can- 
ada," he said, "are a contented people and we are 
proud to feel that we are members, and not unim- 
portant members, of this great Empire. We hope 
the day may be near when other Colonies will take 
a leaf out of our Federation book. How could the 
unity and devotion of Canada to the Empire be 
better shown than by the presence here this even- 
ing of one who, though not an Englishman, is as 
thoroughly English as any other? We may not," 
added Sir Donald, "have seen eye to eye on politi- 
cal matters; still I never was a very great partisan. 
I look perhaps more to measures than to men, and 
feel, as every one here must feel, that, no matter 
whether Liberal or Tory be in power, Canadians 
will exhibit the same devotion and loyalty." 

Nearly seventeen years of work and achieve- 
ment lay before him; yet, when he sailed for Can- 
ada, a peer of the realm, he was supposed in many- 
quarters to be on the point of retirement from the 
High Commissionership. Frequent were the refer- 


Lord Strathcona 

ences to gentlemen who were prepared to succeed 
him. A proposal was even put forward that upon 
the conclusion of the Earl of Aberdeen's term as 
Governor-General, Lord Strathcona should be ap- 
pointed his successor. 

One leading Canadian journal strongly advo- 
cated the appointment. "Canadians, irrespective 
of party, taking pride in his character and career, 
would like to see him at Rideau Hall. His claims 
were, it reasoned, of an exceptional character, and 
he would take rank with the most distinguished sub- 
jects of Her Majesty's who have filled the position." 

But Lord Strathcona would not hear of such a 
proposal. In his opinion it would "wholly subvert 
the happy arrangement which had existed and 
ought always to exist between the central political 
authority and the outlying parts. The Governor- 
Generalship, having always been held by a non- 
Canadian, was a material factor in cementing the 
relations between the Dominion and the Mother 

He even disapproved strongly of the appoint- 
ment of Lieutenant-Governors from the same Prov- 
ince. When I once mentioned to him that a certain 
politician had been appointed to the gubernato- 
rial chair in his own Province, he said, "A good 
man, but a great pity. If they had sent him West 
he could better have done justice to himself. His 
local antecedents will hamper him." 

That aspect of his peerage which pleased him 
most was his thus becoming a member of the Im- 
perial Parliament. He liked to think of himself as 


Colonial Representation 

a pioneer of the future band of Canadian representa- 
tives at Westminster. Yet he recognized the diffi- 
culties in the way. 

The idea of Colonial representation in the councils of 
the Empire is a pleasing one to the Englishmen, and any 
feasible scheme will be eagerly welcomed. There are, 
of course, many difficulties with which to contend. 
There is the question of taxation. Taxation without 
representation is objectionable; but representation 
without taxation is hardly possible ; and it is difficult to 
say how far the people of the Colonies would be willing 
to contribute to an Imperial fund. 

One result of the new Canadian tariff and of Sir 
Wilfrid's utterances, however, is to direct British at- 
tention very strongly to our country, and we may 
expect not only a large increase in our trade with 
Britain, but also that the British investor and capitalist 
will be more willing than before to put money in legiti- 
mate enterprises in Canada. They think a great deal 
of the Colonies in England just now, and will gladly 
assist in strengthening the ties which bind them to the 
Mother Country. 

He recognized that there was much useful 
"spade-work" to be done. The Mother Country 
and Canada must be drawn together gradually by 
the force of common interests, they must achieve a 
unity which would make them mutually necessary. 
The constitutional changes would come simply and 

On his return to England in September he plunged 
newly into his official duties. Each day these grew 
in magnitude. Besides the ordinary routine, in- 


Lord Strathcona 

volving the despatch of hundreds of letters and 
giving personal interviews to callers, there were 
several large schemes which he had much at heart. 
At this time the chief amongst these was the long- 
canvassed plan of a "fast Atlantic service" by 
which steamers would make the voyage from the 
British Isles to a Canadian port in five or six days. 
For many years past, the lines running to Canadian 
ports, and carrying both mails and passengers, had 
had imminent over their heads the threat of a fast 
and heavily subsidized mail service of which they 
might or might not be the providers. 

It is impossible [complained one of them] to imagine 
anything more paralyzing or repressive of enterprise 
than the policy which the Canadian authorities have 
followed. While larger and faster steamers have been 
provided for the New York passenger service, the 
steamship lines to Canada have been practically com- 
pelled to mark time, not knowing what was to be done. 

There were difficulties about making terms with 
the Messrs. Allan, or with the Dominion or Beaver 
lines. But the prospect that the British Govern- 
ment would also assist with a large subsidy tempted 
an enterprising contractor named Peterson to come 
forward with an offer to operate such a steamship 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, 6th October, 1897. 

As shown by my official letters of to-day and cable 
message to your address of the 25th and 28th Septem- 


A Fast Atlantic Service 

ber, I have not been idle since my return from Canada 
in the matter of the "fast Atlantic service." 

My cable message of to-day advises you that Peter- 
son, Tate & Co. have paid into the Bank of Montreal 
here 10,000, the cash guarantee required of them in 
connection with their contract. 

Mr. Peterson has been with me to-day, and on my 
pointing out to him that securities for a further sum 
of 10,000 must be lodged, he assured me that this 
would be forthcoming within the next few days and I 
think we may count on this being carried out. There 
appears to be every reasonable expectation that he will 
be able to form a company with the required capital, 
but it will take some time yet before he can complete his 
arrangements, and until he has secured five directors 
to whom no objection can be taken and until the whole 
of the capital wanted has actually been underwritten 
by men or firms of undoubted financial standing, I 
cannot recommend that your Government should be 
directly represented on the board, nor until then would 
it be wise in my opinion to approach Mr. Chamberlain 
on the subject, with the view of having a director 
representing the Imperial Government. Mr. Chamber- 
lain is at present in Switzerland, but is expected back 

You may feel assured that there will be every effort 
on my part to push the matter on to a satisfactory con- 
clusion, but to insure success we must see that every 
step taken is in the right direction, and it is a decided 
gain that Peterson is to complete his deposit without 
availing himself of the sixty days before doing so. 

To-day I had an opportunity of explaining the posi- 
tion to Mr. Fielding, and I think he is satisfied that we 
are doing all that is possible to expedite matters. 


Lord Strathcona 

With regard to the subject the Finance Minister has 
more immediately before him, that of the proposed loan, 
I think there is every prospect that it will be entirely 

But it soon appeared that Mr. Peterson desired 
more definite backing from the Government and 
from Lord Strathcona himself. 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

OTTAWA, 9th November, 1897. 

The matter of the fast Atlantic service, we think, has 
reached a point at which some definite conclusion, one 
way or the other, must be taken. 

Mr. Peterson has been asking us recently to agree 
to two different things: First, that Milford Haven 
should be the terminus, and second, that you should 
be on the board of directors of the company. 

With regard to the first demand concerning Mil- 
ford Haven, this is a point which must be left for 
further consideration, when everything else has been 
settled. As to your going on the board, this is a matter 
which has to be very carefully considered. It seems 
that unless something is done to help him, Peterson 
is now powerless and cannot carry out his contract. 
It also looks as if, unless you undertake yourself to 
pull him through, the matter must fail. The question 
is now whether it would be too great an undertaking 
to ask you practically to organize the company and 
make it a success. If it were to be a failure ultimately, 
would you not think that the investors would hold the 
Government responsible for having allowed the com- 
pany to have the encouragement of the presence on the 
board of the High Commissioner? In other words, we 


Fast Line postponed 

think that it would not be advisable for you to accept 
a position on the board, unless your judgment is clear 
that the whole scheme is to turn out well financially, 
not only for the Government of Canada, but for the 
investors also. Unless you are satisfied of that, we think 
it better to press the matter to a conclusion and let 
the contract drop. There has been too much procrasti- 
nation already. We have lost one season. It is time 
that we should be prepared to put the matter in such 
a shape as not to lose another. 

The jubilation over the fast line was premature. 
It became clear that the projector could not carry 
out his contract. As the High Commissioner wrote : 

The position is an awkward one, but I am not with- 
out good hopes that a fast Atlantic service can still 
be arranged for on reasonable terms, and I shall cer- 
tainly be glad to aid in every possible way in accom- 
plishing this. 

For the present, then, the fast line was shelved. 
Lord Strathcona expressed the utmost sympathy 
for Mr. Peterson, whom he regarded as an honour- 
able man, who did his utmost to supplement his 

It was too much for him, but this does not mean 
that it would be too much for every man. I received 
a letter, shortly before I left England, from one of the 
partners in a large shipbuilding firm, who has no 
interest one way or the other in the Canadian service, 
and who said that Canada should never consent to 
anything but a fast service, seeing that with the 
recent development the speed of the great Atlantic 
liners would be increased. Twenty knots was the least 


Lord Strathcona 

that the country should accept was the opinion of this 
gentleman. My own personal opinion is that Canada 
should secure the very fastest service for such subsidy 
as she can afford to give. To accept anything less 
would be unfair to those companies which are already 
in the business, and which supply an ordinary speed. 
Of course I do not speak of any temporary arrange- 
ment. I mean the contract for the fast service. This 
should be modern in every sense, and the fastest 
which could be obtained. No permanent subsidy 
should be given for a comparatively slow service which 
would enter into competition with that which we 
already possess. 

He had serious thoughts of taking the whole pro- 
ject on his own shoulders and carrying it through. 
From this he was eventually dissuaded, but it had 
long an attraction for him. Before many years had 
passed the Canadian Pacific Railway Company en- 
tered the Atlantic steamship field, with vessels of 
a superior class. 

Meanwhile, Lord Strathcona had been making 
numerous speeches throughout the Kingdom. 
Replying at a dinner of the Walsall Chamber of 
Commerce, on October 21, to the toast "To the 
Colonies," he expressed the earnest hope that be- 
fore long the Australian Colonies would not be dis- 
tinct or separate, but united in a commonwealth 
embracing the whole of their vast territories. He 
hoped also to see a similar Federation in Africa, 
and another in the West Indian Islands. 

There was [he continued] a short time back a denun- 
ciation of certain treaties which had a very great in- 


No Separate Nationality 

fluence in keeping the Colonies from that closer com- 
mercial union with the Mother Country which they 
were all desirous to have. He thought it was not too 
much to say that to Canada it was in some measure 
owing that the denunciation of these treaties had come 
at the present moment. Canada was desirous of show- 
ing that she would be heart and hand with the Mother 
Country in everything that was in the best interest of 
both, and offered to England a preference in commer- 
cial matters which she would not give to the other 
nations. If that preference had not been carried out in 
its entirety, it was not the fault of Canada. It was 
because of treaty requirements with Belgium, Ger- 
many, and other countries. There had, too, been the 
difficulty about the rate of duty which would be 
imposed by the United States on goods imported 
through Canada. That, however, he was glad to say, 
had been disposed of happily for Canada, and by July 
next the treaties would be got rid of, and there would 
be a clear gain of twenty- five per cent for England, 
upon the goods affected. 

They would welcome all who were willing to work 
and determined to take a part in making Canada not 
only what she must become, a very great nation, not 
a separate nation, but one in the closest comity with 
the English nation. Such a toast as that he had the 
honour of responding to would not have been possible 
a few years ago, but it was rising to importance, and 
would continue to grow. The progress of to-day would 
be as nothing to that, not of fifty years hence, for 
that was a lifetime, but of five and twenty years 

He returned to the same thought at the Master 
Cutlers' Feast at Sheffield in the following month. 


Lord Strathcona 

It is only a few years that we have to look back 
when it would have been one of our very last hopes, 
that this great corporation, or any English corporation, 
would have brought forward as a distinct or separate 
toast that of "The Colonies." True, it was coupled 
in former days with shipping and commerce, but, 
happily, there is now a better order of things with 
regard to all portions of the Empire, and I think the 
toast of "The Colonies" may very well and properly 
now find place amongst those that are offered on such 
occasions as this. What do the Colonies consist of? 
Or what is the difference between now and sixty years 
ago? The population of the whole Empire was about 
127,000,000; now it is 383,000,000. The area now is 
1 1,500,000 of square miles, something like one fifth the 
area of the world. Canada alone, the Colony of which 
I know most, has about 3,500,000, or about one third 
of the whole of those 11,500,000. So that it is meet 
"The Colonies" should appear. It has been most 
gratifying to Colonists, this sixtieth year of Her 
Majesty's reign, to find that they have been received 
amongst you as brothers, as fellow-Englishmen and 
I will say for Canada that we appreciate most highly 
and that we are grateful for the way in which our Prime 
Minister and those detachments which came from 
Canada were received into the hearts of Englishmen. 
And it was a great object lesson, that he who repre- 
sents Canada, elected to that position by the whole 
of the people of the Dominion, by far the majority of 
whom are themselves English and English-speaking, 
was himself of French descent. Nothing I think could 
show more the solidarity and the unity of Canada than 
this fact, which demonstrates to our friends in Great 
Britain, and also I think to the nations, that no 


" Lest we forget ! ' 

matter what the mother tongue of the individual in 
the Colonies, they are one and all loyal and devoted 
to their Queen. 

Speaking at a reception at the Canadian Camp at 
Bisley in this memorable summer, the High Com- 
missioner said that while he had hoped that the 
Canadian Team would again carry off the coveted 
Queen's Prize, "as subjects of a common Sovereign, 
Victoria, they could all rejoice in the victory of the 

During the Jubilee proceedings the visiting sol- 
diers of the Queen had been the recipients of marked 
attention. " Indeed," he went on to say, "it could 
not be otherwise, for although they come from 
various countries, widely separated, they were all 
one people as subjects of the Queen." Speaking 
for Canada, and he was sure he equally echoed the 
sentiment of the other Colonies, he could repeat a 
declaration of loyalty and devotion to the Queen 
and to the Empire which was one with the feelings 
of their fellow-subjects in the United Kingdom. 
While much had been said about the loyalty of the 
Colonies, it really was not one whit more necessary 
to declare it than it was on the part of their friends 
and relations of the Mother Country. All consid- 
ered themselves equally Englishmen, and were nat- 
urally and equally devoted to the maintenance of 
the British Empire in its entirety. 

It had been a great and distinguished year 
this of the Diamond Jubilee the year in which, it 
may truly be said, the British Empire found itself. 
No longer were the "wretched Colonies" "mill- 


Lord Strathcona 

stones" about the neck of the Mother Country: 
but stalwart and loving children gathered in amity 
at her knee. To the old apathy and distrust there 
would be no return. No wonder if the jubilation 
was a little unbalancing for the moment that 
enthusiasts for a united Empire should rush to 
Utopian extremes. But the sober sense of the 
nation recovered itself at a word spoken in season. 
In the Times one morning appeared five stanzas 
entitled " Recessional." These, Lord Strathcona, in 
common, doubtless, with thousands of others, had 
cut out and committed to memory. A few days 
later I found them lying before him on his desk 
and he spoke of them. "They should, "he said, "find 
a place in the hymnal of every Church." It was 
the very voice and lyre of David of Israel : 

"The tumult and the shouting dies 
The Captains and the Kings depart 
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, 
An humble and a contrite heart. 
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, 
Lest we forget lest we forget! " 



OUR great need is people men and women. They 
are required for the millions of acres of land that are 
given away and are only waiting to be occupied and 
cultivated to provide happy homes for any number 
of people. They are wanted also to 'develop more 
rapidly the great wealth of the country, its agricul- 
ture, its fisheries, its forests, its mines, and its manu- 
factures. Increase of population cannot fail to add to 
the wealth and strength of the Empire. You will be 
doing good service to your country if you will help to 
make Canada better known whenever you may have an 
opportunity of doing so. Sometimes it is the custom 
to sneer at emigration, and at the work of those who 
promote it ; but I think this a great error. We possess 
a fair proportion of the unoccupied parts of the earth 
most suitable for the settlement of Europeans. The 
opening-up of the resources of Canada, for instance, 
not only means a greater and cheaper food supply for 
those that are at home, but a sure and steadily in- 
creasing market for those manufactures which are 
exported in such quantities from the Mother Land, 
and upon which its prosperity so much depends. In 
fact, emigration is good for those who go, and good 
for those who remain behind, and certainly for those 
families which have an inducement to emigrate, in 
view of the fact that it enables them to make better 


Lord Strathcona 

provision for their children a desire which is para- 
mount in the minds of most people. 1 

I propose in this chapter to glance at one or two 
aspects of the remarkable Canadian emigration 
propaganda, chiefly on the continent of Europe, 
whose history dates from 1896. No such propa- 
ganda, so vast, so ingenious, so insistent and dra- 
matic had ever been attempted in history, even 
by the United States of America. The era of what 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier once so happily called Canada's 
"spectacular development" (1896-1913) coincides 
so exactly with the term of Lord Strathcona's High 
Commissionership, and is, moreover, so intimately 
connected with the policy of emigration which he 
fostered, that it is little surprising that an eminent 
Canadian public man should already refer to it as 
the "Strathcona period." 2 

Speaking for myself [wrote Lord Strathcona, in the 
early stages of this campaign], I would prefer to fill up 
our enormous tract of vacant lands with settlers from 
the British Isles. But the returning prosperity of 
British agriculture makes this increasingly difficult, 
and our lands only allow for people who may become 
loyal and prosperous British subjects. 

In Britain and Ireland, Canada was free to make 
propaganda, to reach the emigrating class in any 
way she chose. There were no restrictions of any 

1 Lord Strathcona, Address at Birmingham, November, 1899. 

1 " Hereafter our development is likely to be slower and on more 
normal lines than those which the future historians may call the 
'Strathcona period.' " (Sir George Ross, February, 1914.) 


Prohibitions and Restrictions 

kind from Government or from the police. On the 
Continent, however, active hostility was evinced 
toward emigration from the various Governments; 
there was a police system which was hourly in- 
truded into the daily lives of the people, and a whole 
series of laws which absolutely prohibited emigra- 
tion propaganda and surrounded the mere sale of 
tickets to would-be emigrants with restrictions and 
regulations which "did not simply harass, but 

Were not the existence of this condition notorious, 
it would be easy to enumerate these prohibitions and 
restrictions to a wearisome extent. They come, how- 
ever, well within your own knowledge and experience, 
and it will be obvious to you that special expenditure 
and special lines of effort are necessitated by such 
conditions, even to the payment of Continental rail- 
way fare to port of embarkation and of the Canadian 
railway fare to destination in the North-West. 1 

Thereafter began a long struggle against the dis- 
abilities under which Canada has been placed by 
certain European authorities. In its propaganda* 
Canada was served by a force of emigration agents 
who were paid a bonus of so much per capita. The 
difficulties which the Canadian Government alone 
could aid these agents to evade successfully were 
those difficulties eloquently indicated by the emi- 
gration laws of the various countries. Every emi- 
grant who was induced to leave Germany, Austria, 
or Russia was so induced by an evasion of the 

1 Letter to the Honourable Clifford Sifton. 

Lord Strathcona 

emigration laws prevailing in such countries, and 
he could, generally speaking, be secured in no other 
way. A Hamburg agent, for example, not only held 
a concession from the Hamburg Government, but 
also from each German State, all of which have 
separate regulations. He is liable at any moment 
to be fined by any of these States for a supposed 
breach of their varying regulations, such as sending 
a map of Canada to a man who did not actually ask 
for it, or who thought it prudent to deny having 
asked for it. These fines are frequent and range 
from five pounds upwards, and they naturally con- 
stitute a somewhat substantial "disability." Any 
action tending to increase the revenue of these 
agents made the fines more easy to support, and 
consequently Lord Strathcona was urged to in- 
crease the bonus paid to the agents. 

Another suggestion was that the Government 
should seek to promote a movement from the Con- 
tinent by paying the railway fares of emigrants 
to the port of embarkation. This would vary from 
seven to thirty shillings per head, according to dis- 
tance. There was also the creation of a fund by 
which the Canadian railway fare from the port of 
debarkation to the destination on the North-West 
might also, and in select cases, be in part or alto- 
gether defrayed. 

On the whole, it was clear that Canada must of- 
fer more advantages to the emigrants and to the 
agents, in view of what was being done to promote 
emigration from the Continent to Brazil, to the 
Argentine Republic, and to Chili. These embraced 


Evading Emigration Laws 

free passages, free grants of land, and money ad- 
vanced with which to start farming. 1 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

8th October, 1896. 

We must be careful what we do in the direction of 
encouraging any direct evasion of the laws in the 
different countries. The fact that this has been done 
in the past led to a rescript on the part of the Govern- 
ment of Hanover (through the activity of a railway 
agent), forbidding steamship agents to book passen- 
gers to Manitoba. The payment of the railway fares 
on the Continent to the ports of embarkation, and in 
Canada from the ports of debarkation to destination, 
would involve an expenditure which Parliament might 
hesitate to approve of, and the same remark applies 

1 It is interesting to note that in 1896, in the case of Chili, they 
were as follows: 

Payment of the passage from Liverpool to Chili. 

Free railway transportation from port of landing to destination. 

Daily advance of sixpence for every adult and threepence for every 
child from the day of landing to the day of arrival on land. 

Provision to colonist of pair of oxen, gear for field and road, plough, 
wooden cart, 150 planks, and 60 pounds of nails. 

Free land grant of 170 acres to the colonist and 74 acres for every 
son above twelve years of age. 

An advance of thirty shillings per month during first year of instal- 

The supply of uprooting machinery when necessary. 

Free medical assistance and medicine for first two years. 

The full amount to be repaid without interest, in fifths of the 
total amount, such repayments to begin after the expiration of three 

These conditions were more liberal than those offered by Brazil, 
and perhaps by the Argentine, but even the Brazilian Government 
offered free passages and special advantages in regard to land and 


Lord Strathcona 

to the advancing of money to emigrants for other 
purposes. It would be difficult to restrict the classes of 
people and countries to which such concessions were 
given, and not only would it be open to considerable 
abuse, in view of the contiguity of Canada and the 
United States, but it might also lead to our getting 
into difficulties with some of the Continental Govern- 
ments. This applies to the use of cars also, especially 
in Germany, Austria, and Russia. 

What was urgently needed, in the High Com- 
missioner's opinion, was: 

More advertising, better pamphlets, a system of 
carefully selected returned men; the continuance of the 
agent's bonus, the appointment of a travelling Govern- 
ment agent, closer relations with the great Continental 
lines and their agents, and the equalization of the rates 
to our North- West from American and Canadian ports. 

With regard to pamphlets: 

We ought to have three distinct leaflets in German, 
in Swedish, in Norwegian, and in Czech and Finnish, 
the general matter to deal largely with the German or 
Scandinavian colonies in Canada, as the case may 
be, with letters from German, Swedish, Norwegian, or 
Danish settlers respectively for the pamphlet intended 
to be circulated in the respective countries. This 
leaflet should be from 24 to 36 pages, but not larger. 
We should want about 70,000 leaflets 30,000 in 
German, 20,000 Swedish, and 20,000 Norwegian, and 
a few in the other languages. 

A Scandinavian had recently visited the North- 
West under the auspices of the Department of the 


Distributing Literature 

Interior, and had written a report of its advantages. 
Lord Strathcona urged that this brochure should 
be printed in Norwegian and Swedish, and about 
25,000 to 30,000 in each language. In addition he 
wrote : 

About 40,000 handbooks similar to those at pres- 
ent in use, but improved, would be needed 20,000 
German, 10,000 Norwegian, and 10,000 Swedish. We 
want some good photographs of German and Scandi- 
navian farms in the North-West for illustrating the 
pamphlets. This is important. What, however, is even 
more important is a number of letters written by 
German and Scandinavian settlers, stating the places 
on the Continent from which they came when they 
arrived in Canada, their experiences and their progress, 
over their names and addresses in Canada. 

There are free libraries in many places on the Conti- 
nent the same as in England, and a quantity of the 
literature in question could be usefully distributed 
through such channels as well as through the school- 

Of course, we labour under a disadvantage on the 
Continent. Both Scandinavian and German emigra- 
tion has been proceeding to the United States for the 
last fifty years. Most of the people in the different 
parts of the United States have friends on the Conti- 
nent, with whom they are no doubt in frequent com- 
munication, and it is a well-known fact that the largest 
proportion of the Continental emigrants go out to 
join their friends. The remainder, what may be called 
free emigration, is comparatively small, but it is, not 
unnaturally, influenced by the direction in which their 
friends and acquaintances may go. Within the last 


Lord Strathcona 

ten years we have had several thousands of emigrants 
coming within the latter description, and, in the 
course of time, a satisfactory nucleus will no doubt 
be formed, which will attract automatically further 
immigration. But in the mean time we must go on 
working, spending money in encouraging agents, in 
advertising, and in printing, so as to keep Canada 
before the people. 

I may add that, on the Continent, particularly in 
Scandinavia, emigrants seem to prefer to travel by the 
fastest lines, and the newest steamers conditions 
which, coupled with other circumstances, tend to re- 
strict the direct movement to Canada. 

One of the German agents expresses grave doubts 
as to the wisdom of our distributing pamphlets. He 
claims it is much better to carry on the work personally. 
He adds that while many of the people cannot or will 
not read the pamphlets, they do get into the hands 
of the authorities when sent through the post and 
thus they are informed of our endeavours to promote 

There is no doubt that we must keep up the pam- 
phlets, but they must be improved, a matter to be re- 
ferred to later on. It stands to reason that if we hope 
to get more emigration it must be by means of educa- 
tion, and that can only be effected by advertisements 
and pamphlets of an attractive nature, written in 
moderate language, so as not to lay ourselves open to 
the charge of exaggeration, and circulated with dis- 
cretion. Many of the agents, in giving me suggestions 
about the improvement in our methods, have an eye, 
no doubt, on the main chance, and hope to get some- 
thing more out of it than they do at present. 

There is little or no emigration from Holland, and 


Obstacles in the Way 

what there is goes to South Africa. We get a certain 
amount of emigration from Belgium; but it might be 
increased if we advertised more there and dissemi- 
nated information to a greater extent than we do now. 
In France we have been getting more emigrants 
during the last two or three years, but by the laws and 
regulations in force, emigration is not allowed except- 
ing by vessels sailing from French ports. Therefore, in 
the past, except occasionally, when vessels have left 
France direct for Canada, our chance of getting emi- 
grants has been comparatively small. They may go 
by way of New York and to Eastern Canada, as these 
rates compare favourably with those from Montreal, 
but to the West, as you will be aware, we labour under 
a disadvantage. We ought to endeavour to open up 
communication with the Compagnie Generate Trans- 

On another occasion he writes: 

With reference to the obstacles put in the way of 
emigration to Canada, I have many proofs that the 
Austrian Government, by often declining passports 
to intending emigrants, hinder them from leaving the 
country. In addition the German lines have given a 
guarantee to the Russian Government for all passen- 
gers arriving from Austria and Russia. This hinders 
the passage of such people across the frontiers, and 
through Prussia, unless they book with them, and 
as there is little connection between Germany and 
Canada, the agents at the frontier stations induce 
passengers with some success to go to other countries, 
for instance, the United States, South America, or 
South Africa, with which they have direct steam 


Lord Strathcona 

In Russia the situation is very similar, while in 
Germany it is difficult for a certain class of emigrants 
to leave the country, namely, for young men between 
seventeen and forty-five, who in many cases cannot 
get a military passport, especially if the authorities 
think there is some chance of the men leaving Ger- 
many forever. How dangerous it is for unlicensed 
agents to do business you will perhaps have heard of 
before, but it is even more dangerous for licensed 
agents when found to have persuaded any one to go out. 

An arrangement has been made with the German 
lines in consideration of their withdrawing their com- 
petition with the British lines in Scandinavia and 
Finland. As a consequence the British lines are not 
allowed to carry more than six per cent of the emigra- 
tion from the Continent (except as before mentioned), 
the other ninety-four per cent being retained by the 
German lines. If the British carry more than six per 
cent of the traffic, they have to make a certain payment 
per head to the Continental lines; and on the other 
hand, if they do not get six per cent, they receive a 
certain payment per head (at present rates it is three 
pounds per adult) on the number required to make 
up that proportion. This is the arrangement effected 
by the North Atlantic Conference which includes the 
Canadian lines. You will readily understand, there- 
fore, that it is not in the interests of the British lines 
to encourage emigration from the Continent. Their 
agents, however, usually represent the German lines 
as well. As most of the vessels of the latter sail to New 
York, the agreement to which I have referred must 
operate injuriously upon emigration to Manitoba and 
the North-West from the Continent. It emphasizes 
what was mentioned in my previous letter that we 


Russian Hostility 

can never hope to secure a large emigration from the 
Continent until we manage in some way or other to 
secure the cooperation of the two great German lines, 
the North-German Lloyd, and the Hamburg- American 
Steamship Company. The arrangement does not ma- 
terially affect emigration to the United States, but 
it does operate prejudicially so far as Canada is con- 
cerned, in view of the higher inland rates from Ameri- 
can ports to our North- West. 

Of course this active propaganda instantly at- 
tracted the attention of foreign Governments. As 
early as the summer of 1896, the Russian Minister 
of the Interior, M. Yermoleff, notified several of the 
Provincial Governors that "signs of the coming 
revival of the pernicious activity of emigration 
agents are becoming manifest." 

Inasmuch as the facts set forth denote the possi- 
bility of wholesale emigration which undermines the 
regular development of domestic economy, and is ruin- 
ous for the population, the Minister of the Interior 
requests the General Governor to take suitable meas- 
ures for the suppression of the movement. 

I request you, on the smallest manifestation of an 
emigration movement, to personally, as well as through 
the medium of the police organization under you, 
point out to the population the real position, as well as 
the illegality, of their leaving the Mother Country of 
their own accord, and especially to draw their atten- 
tion to the fact that over and above irreparable 
material damage, criminal responsibility is set on them 
for deserting the Mother Country and secretly crossing 
the border. 


Lord Strathcona 

Explanations and denials of false reports on emigra- 
tion must be given with particular care in order not to 
give place to a wrong supposition that they are given 
in the interest of the landowners who are afraid of los- 
ing cheap labor. 

It is further recommendable to carefully keep a 
lookout on any movement which may arise in favour 
of emigration and in case of a party setting out to 
arrest those interested and convey them back to their 
former place of abode. 

As a preventative against the carrying-on of emigra- 
tion by means of passes, certificates stating that there 
is no impediment to foreign travel should only be 
issued to taxpayers (by which every one, with the ex- 
ception of the nobility and merchants, is meant) with 
the greatest discretion. 

From a point of view proven by experience, the 
emigration movement is not only evoked by the agi- 
tation of foreign emigration companies, who, with 
the aid and assistance of local agents, issue proclama- 
tions with promises of sure subsistence and other 
inducements, but also through the participation in this 
propaganda of a certain class of individuals who specu- 
late on easily acquiring the hastily and rashly disposed 
of property of the emigrants. I, therefore, request 
you to use all means in your power to ascertain the 
whereabouts of emigration agents and their abettors, 
supporting in any way this illegal traffic, and in ac- 
cordance with paragraph 328 of the law, bring same 
to justice. 

In case of a judicial pursuit being impossible, en- 
deavour must be made in accordance with the rules of 
increased protection (Exceptional Law) and the results 
reported to me to enable me to bring about an admin- 


German Official Disfavour 

istrative expulsion of the said people from the respect- 
ive district. 

Close watch is to be kept on those individuals who 
have proven their untrustworthiness through various 
dishonourable actions, they forming the class desirous 
of enriching themselves at their neighbours' cost and 
are always ready to place themselves at the dispo- 
sition of those people engaged with the enlistment 
of emigrants. A special outlook should, therefore, be 
kept on such persons, and, on the faintest signs of an 
emigration movement, the Exceptional Law be brought 
to bear on them. 

Further I request all sheriffs to make enquiries into 
the present sentiments of the population on emigration, 
examine the source of all rumours, take the necessary 
measures, and inform me without delay on any note- 
worthy features and developments. 1 

Similarly all over the Continent the High Com- 
missioner's emigration propaganda met with severe 
official disfavour. 

In Germany and Austria, emigration could not be 
directly forbidden in consequence of the free con- 
stitution and free movement law, but for want of a 
uniform emigration law, police instructions were 
issued, whereby a concession from the States must 
be obtained before transportation orders could be 
issued, and the State was empowered if it was 
thought fit to refuse the concession or with- 
draw a concession already granted without stating 
reasons. Should a concession be granted a clause 
was inserted whereby the holder was forbidden 

1 Confidential circular addressed to sheriffs and police officers 
from the office of the Governor, Secret Department, Wilna, July 3. 


Lord Strathcona 

"to incite to emigration through publicity or distri- 
bution of printed matter, through correspondence 
or by oral communication with the population in 
any way." Information and transportation orders 
might be issued only on the application of persons 
who had decided to emigrate. Violation of these 
instructions was punished with a fine or imprison- 
ment. Non-concession agents issuing transpor- 
tation orders or information were punished with 

In Austria efforts are being made to form an Emi- 
gration Law. For the present, however, an Austro- 
Hungarian Colonization Company has been established 
after the style of the German Colonization Company, 
and this institution has the improvement of emigra- 
tion ways and means in view and the abolishment of 
agents as far as possible ; to this effect they have been 
furnished by the Government with far-reaching power. 
We have been in touch with the leading directors of 
the said concern and believe in the course of time to 
have great influence on the working of the company. 

The emigration question is: To which part the stream 
of emigration will turn. In Austria, as in Germany, 
Brazil is the centre of attraction, which country has for 
several years been making the utmost exertions to 
encourage immigration. The inconveniences which 
are still in the way of emigration to Brazil, particularly 
the want of organization and attendance which meet 
the new arrivers, it is hoped will be overcome by the 
Brazilian or the Provincial Government. 

We consider it hazardous if in view of the present 
political state of matters in this continent, the Cana- 
dian Government should endeavour to propagate 


A Delicate Enterprise 

emigration direct, by the distribution of pamphlets, 
etc., from abroad. It might, however, be taken into 
consideration whether it might not be advantageous 
to endeavour to get permission to establish in Ger- 
many and Austria an information bureau. The latter 
would, of course, only be carried on in accordance with 
the legal proclamation and would have the task of 
awaking interest with influential parties for Canada 
and further to dispel prejudices which may still exist 
in general against emigration to Canada. 

There was another side to the business. Canada 
was dangling her bait in the deep waters of Europe : 
a dangerous game for the "predominant partner" 
as well. 

Lord Salisbury to Mr. Chamberlain 

FOREIGN OFFICE. [August, 1898.] 

I should be the last to discourage the efforts of the 
Dominion of Canada to increase her population by 
every legitimate means; but you will understand the 
necessity for proceeding with the utmost caution and 
with reference to the emigration ordinances of the 
several countries concerned, otherwise it is clear that 
the cares and responsibilities of the Foreign Office will 
be vastly increased. 1 

In 1898 the German Minister for the Interior, 
Count Von Posadowsky Welmer, complained to 

1 " About the action of the German Government in connection 
with my visit Count Hatzfeldt did mention it to Lord Salisbury and 
Mr. Chamberlain communicated the conversation to me. I explained 
the nature of my visit to the Continent which had more to do with 
general questions and with the steamship companies than with 
German emigration in particular. My explanation was regarded as 
entirely satisfactory." (Lord Strath cona to Sir Wilfrid Laurier.) 


Lord Strathcona 

Sir Frank Lascelles that the Canadian propaganda 
was giving great offence to the Emperor and those 
subjects who had the interests of Germany at heart, 
and that it would be better for the good under- 
standing between the two countries if means were 
found to check it. "Germany had need of all her 
present population, but if it were considered advis- 
able for any classes or even groups to emigrate, the 
German Government desired to exercise an influence 
as to the choice of countries of their destination." 
The inference was plain Canada was non grata 
to official Germany, however popular and attrac- 
tive she was becoming amongst the masses of im- 
poverished peasants. 

Said a leading German newspaper, the Ham- 
burger Nachrichten: 

The arrogance of the Canadian, Lord Strathcona, 
and the utter disrespect shown by him for the laws 
of the Empire irt publicly conducting his emigration 
propaganda on German soil and in the very teeth of 
the authorities, demand that vigorous representations 
should be made at once to the British Government, 
which is, we presume, still responsible for this Colony. 
While apart from the weakening of the Fatherland 
which the success of such propaganda entails, the 
attempt to lure our fellow-countrymen to this deso- 
late, sub-arctic region is, upon humane grounds alone, 
to be denounced as criminal. 

A glimpse into the practical working of the prop- 
aganda in Austria is furnished in one of Lord 
Strathcona's letters: 


Galician Emigrants 

To the Honourable Clifford Sifton 

23d March, 1898. 

All the agents claim that they have been active in 
organizing the movement from Galicia. They say they 
have obtained from the people who have already 
emigrated, and in other ways, an immense number of 
addresses in the country, and that they have been in 
correspondence with these people for months past, 
sending them letters and pamphlets. They have also 
agents working surreptitiously for them. 

Of course the law will not permit anything in the 
direction of encouraging emigration, and these sub- 
agents are generally pedlars, hawkers, and others, who 
are moving about the country. In that way they dis- 
seminate quietly, but effectively, quantities of litera- 
ture. They have also spent considerable sums in adver- 
tising, such as the law permits. Although it is quite 
possible they may exaggerate their efforts, and their 
expenditure, there is no doubt in my mind that they 
have been spending both time and money in the 
endeavour to increase the business from Galicia. They 
claim in many cases that they have done more work 
than Professor Oleskow 1 has, and the tendency seemed 
to be to underestimate the position of that gentleman, 
although one or two of the agents admitted that he had 
some influence, and was able to secure an amount of 
publicity for Canada which they could not do. At the 
same time, it is only right for me to add that they all 
appear to have been in communication with Professor 
Oleskow, and to have pecuniary consideration in the 
event of his working through their particular agencies. 
Of course none of them know of our arrangement with 
1 A subsidized agent for the Canadian Government. 

Lord Strathcona 

him, but in any case, in order to retain their business, 
they would not hesitate to minimize his efforts. 

The greater part of the Continental business 
except Scandinavian was controlled by the North- 
German Lloyd Company of Bremen and the Ham- 
burg-American Company of Hamburg. The latter 
company owned and controlled the Hansa line of 

It stands to reason [wrote Lord Strathcona] that if 
both these great lines were working in Canadian inter- 
ests, we should have very powerful friends at Berlin. 
As they would be interested strongly in emigration to 
Canada, they would take care as far as possible that 
nothing was done adverse to their interests which 
in this case would be ourselves. 

In February, 1898, Lord Strathcona visited 
Bremen and Hamburg to see what could be done in 
those centres. He saw the directors of the North- 
German Lloyd Company. 

I discussed [he writes] the matter very fully with 
them, and asked if they would tell me, freely and 
frankly, why it was we had not the benefit of their 
cooperation in this matter. The reply was that they 
only ran their steamers to New York, and that the 
railway rates to Manitoba and the West being higher 
than from Quebec and Montreal, they could not com- 
pete, and consequently left the question of emigration 
to the North- West severely alone. Not only was this 
the case, but they told me distinctly that if the people 
came to them or their agents and wanted information 
about the North- West, they did their best to persuade 


Herr Albert Ballin 

them to go elsewhere. So that, as I have pointed out 
on many occasions, the influence of this great company 
is really exercised against Canadian interests. I asked 
them, if it were possible to equalize the rates, whether 
they would then pursue a different policy. Their reply 
was in the affirmative. 

In 1896 a correspondence had taken place be- 
tween Herr Albert Ballin and the German Minis- 
ter of the Interior, which became so acrimonious 
that the former did not hesitate to appeal to the 

If [he wrote] Your Majesty agrees that the efforts of 
the Hamburg-American Company in the direction of a 
German mercantile marine are worthy of Imperial 
support, it is intolerable that we should be met at every 
hand, in our policy of securing profitable traffic, by 
petty official obstacles of which Your Majesty, I am 
convinced, has no cognizance. Thousands of licensed 
German and Polish emigrants are now forced to pro- 
ceed from Dutch and English ports, who otherwise 
would embark by the steamers of this company. 

In reply the Prime Minister stated that a uni- 
form emigration law for the Empire was being pre- 
pared, making emigration increasingly difficult, and 
that the steamship companies' agents must restrict 
their propaganda exclusively to such districts as 
the Government indicated. "With regard to the 
transportation of German subjects to such British 
Colonies as Canada, the Ministry would not en- 
courage it until the completion of enquiries concern- 
ing the future of such emigrants in relation to their 
German citizenship and the future homogeneity of 


Lord Strathcona 


the Empire. Meanwhile, the company had a great 
field to draw upon in Russia and Austria and every 
facility would be given to make Hamburg and 
Bremen the great European entrepots for Continen- 
tal emigrants of non-German nationality." 

In the annual report of the Hamburg-American 
Company it was stated that "in order to give an 
impulsion to business the cultivation of emigration 
is an absolute necessity." Russia was designated as 
the "most adaptable land for the enlistment of 
emigrants." Such emigrants were met at the Prus- 
sian frontier stations by the agents of the steamship 
company and transported direct to Hamburg. 

Herr Ballin, the head of the Hamburg-American 
Steamship Company, was a man already of note 
and destined to be one of the most powerful forces 
in modern Germany. 

Lord Strathcona to the Honourable Clifford Sifton 

I had a most interesting conversation with Herr 
Ballin. I asked him whether there were any suggestions 
he had to make by which the position of Canada on 
the Continent could be improved. In his reply, he 
referred to the following matter. 

Herr Ballin strongly urged that we should arrange 
for an agricultural delegation to be sent out from Ger- 
many to Canada. He mentioned that the Society of 
St. Raphael (a Catholic organization) has ramifications 
over the whole of Europe, and that its principal object 
is the dissemination of reliable information among 
emigrants and their welfare in the land of their adop- 
tion. What he proposes is, that the Society should be 


Herr Ballin's Proposals 

invited to send out to Canada a commission of say 
four persons, two to be Catholics and two to be Prot- 
estants, who could spend a couple of months in the 
different Provinces of Canada, and prepare a report for 
the Society. He states that this report would receive 
wide publicity all over Germany, in the newspapers 
which are under the control of the Society, and he 
added that it might also be published in pamphlet 
form. As regards the expenses, the Hamburg-Ameri- 
can Company will gladly provide passages out and 
home for the delegates, and there is no doubt also that 
the Canadian Pacific and other railways would do their 
share. Therefore, there is only the question of the liv- 
ing expenses of the delegates, and while they would be 
men whose opinion would carry weight, they would 
not, he thought, be extravagant in the matter of 
expenses, and probably about $1000 or $1500 would 
cover everything, so far as the Government is con- 
cerned. I told him the proposal appeared to me a 
good one, and that I would commend it to your con- 
sideration, although a similar proposal has been rec- 
ommended to your predecessors on more than one 
occasion, and I think it is an opportunity of gaining 
publicity for the Dominion which we ought not to miss. 
Herr Ballin some years ago suggested that the 
Government should have an agent at Hamburg; one 
who might be nominally a commercial agent, but 
would also keep a watch on emigration matters so far 
as the Dominion is concerned. Herr Ballin recom- 
mends that a German should be appointed, one who 
is in a good position and well known in official quarters, 
and that before taking up his duties he shoulfl have 
an opportunity of paying a visit to different parts of 
Canada. Your predecessor did not feel able to accept 


Lord Strathcona 

this suggestion and the matter fell through. Herr 
Ballin still thinks that a Canadian agent should be 
appointed, but he now favors Berlin as the location 
instead of Hamburg, for the reason that, under the 
new Emigration Law, all the administrative work in 
connection with emigration will emanate from Berlin, 
instead of from the different States of the German 
Empire. Besides Berlin is a central place, and the 
different parts of Germany can readily be reached from 
it. Herr Ballin thinks that the British Ambassador 
and the German Departments should be consulted in 
the matter. We think that this would lead to the 
selection of some officials on the retired list, who 
would have access to all the Departments, and might 
thus be instrumental in smoothing over difficulties 
affecting Canada, make our work in regard to emigra- 
tion easier than it is at present, and keep us informed 
of what is going on. Herr Ballin considers that such 
an officer need not have an office, and that his expen- 
diture would be confined to salary and travelling ex- 
penses, which might not exceed from 500 to 600 a 

Herr Ballin also gave me some information about 
the new German law in regard to emigration. It is to 
come into force, as you know, on the 1st of April next. 
Its provisions, on the face of it, do not appear to be 
much more stringent than those of the old Act, but its 
administration is expected to be much more severe. 
The regulations are not yet issued, and both the 
companies and the agents appear to be in a state of 
much uncertainty as to what their powers are to be 
in the future. 

They seem to think, however, that more difficulties 
will be placed in their hands than hitherto. Herr 


The Bonus on Emigrants 

Ballin is a member of the Commission for the working 
of the Act. While the Bill was passing through Parlia- 
ment, he stated that there appeared to be a feeling in 
favour of prohibiting altogether emigration to Canada. 
He does not think, however, that this is likely to be 
done, and I am of his opinion, especially in view of the 
fact that if such a regulation was passed, the business 
of the Hansa line of steamers, which is practically the 
Hamburg-American Company, would be done away 
with. That steamship company is one of the powerful 
operations in Germany, and I hardly think that any- 
thing so contrary to their interests would easily be 
carried out. 

It would not be wise in the interests of Canada, Herr 
Ballin thought, to reduce the bonus, either on Galicians 
or other emigrants to Canada, at that juncture. He 
strongly advised that any reduction to be made should 
take effect from the close of the actual season, say 
from the 1st of September or the 1st of October, and 
was of the opinion that, in order to secure the con- 
tinued interest of the agents, it would not be well to 
make too great a reduction. 

I pointed out to the agents that we did not want 
paupers or persons without means, and that they must 
endeavour to send only persons who will have some 
money in hand after their arrival. They claimed that 
this had always been their policy and none would 
accept the responsibility of having sent out persons of 
the poorer classes. It was clearly stated by me that 
any departure from this rule might prejudice the con- 
tinuance of the arrangement, and this matter should 
be referred to in any circular we may send out to the 
agents as the result of my recommendations in this 


Lord Strathcona 

While in Berlin I had a general conversation with the 
British Ambassador [Sir Frank Lascelles] on the sub- 
ject of emigration; but the matter is not one in which 
Her Majesty's representatives abroad take much in- 
terest. This you can readily understand, as it is a 
delicate matter, and the laws are so restrictive. At the 
same time, however, Sir Frank Lascelles promised to 
keep an eye on the matter, and to communicate with 
me if anything came under his notice prejudicial to the 
Dominion and its interests. 

At Vienna I also had an interview with the British 
Ambassador, Sir Horace Rum bold, who did not seem 
to know much about the work in Galicia. I discussed 
the matter with him, with very much the same result 
as happened at Berlin. 

In his discussion with the steamship agents at 
Hamburg Lord Strathcona impressed upon them 
that the Canadian Government was sensible of the 
efforts they had been making to promote emigra- 
tion to Canada, and that while a reduction in the 
rate of bonus then paid was being considered, there 
was no desire to do anything which might appear 
harsh or illiberal. 

In fact, I tentatively mentioned that while perhaps 
the Government, although I could not speak with cer- 
tainty, might decide to reduce the commission in the 
case of Galicians shortly, any general reduction on 
emigrants from other countries would probably not 
take effect until the end of the present season, say the 
1st October. The agents, however, while not question- 
ing the right of the Government to make any change, 
thought that it would hardly be fair to do so at the 
present time, just at the beginning of the season, when 


Fewer German Emigrants 

the results of their winter's work and expenditure be- 
gin to appear. 

Emigration from Germany had in 1898 fallen 
from a quarter of a million to less than fifty thou- 
sand for the year. This was attributed partly to 
the reports from the United States, and partly to 
the increased prosperity of Germany, workmen be- 
ing in greater demand, and at higher wages, than 
they had been. 

We cannot, therefore [he reported], in view of the 
restrictions, and from other causes, hope to get many 
emigrants from Germany proper at present, but we 
must continue our bonuses there, and encourage the 
steamship agents, as much as possible, to work for 
Canada. Now that the British lines have withdrawn 
from emigration work on the Continent, the business 
is entirely in the hands of the great Continental com- 
panies, like the North-German Lloyd and the Ham- 
burg-American Company, and we must endeavour to 
arrange so as to be in much closer communication and 
cooperation with them than we have been in the past. 
I have dealt with this matter at some length in my 
letter on the subject of the equalization of rates from 
Quebec and from New York to the North-West. 

While there may not be much to expect from Ger- 
many, there is likely to be a considerable movement 
from Austria and from Southern Russia, and from the 
latter place particularly we shall have several hundreds 
of people of the Mennonite class during the coming 
season. I heard of the work Mr. Klaas Peters is do- 
ing there, and trust that the result will be to increase 
our immigration. 

In connection with emigration from Scandinavia, 


Lord Strathcona 

we have, however, much to gain from the British New 
York lines by the equalization of the rates. In Norway, 
Sweden, and Denmark, the White Star, Cunard, and 
American lines hold a far better position than the 
Canadian lines, and in Scandinavia there are few 
agents who represent more than one line, and we 
should certainly gain by a removal of the present 
hostility of the agents of the New York lines, which is 
mainly the result of the difference in the railway rates. 
The effect of this want of interest on the part of the 
New York agents has been the principal factor which 
has prevented a proper share of Scandinavian emigra- 
tion going to Canada, notwithstanding our efforts to 
awaken an interest in the Dominion. Not only have 
they failed to help us, but wherever they could do so 
they have tried to influence people against Canada, 
and this state of things is well within the knowledge of 
your department. 

The question of a direct and continuous trans- 
portation was a vital one. 

I earnestly trust you will give it your consideration, 
and see whether something cannot be done to remove 
what, in my judgment, is a great obstacle to emigra- 
tion from all parts of the Continent to Canada, and it 
affects our interests in the United Kingdom also, but 
to a more limited extent. What I should like to see 
would be some arrangements between the American 
lines and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, by 
which passengers could travel from New York, Boston, 
or Philadelphia to the nearest point on the Canadian 
Pacific Railway and thence to the West by our own 
transcontinental line. It may be that an additional 
payment of some kind might be involved, but I venture 


Farm Labourers from Britain 

to think that some means might be found of arranging 
the matter as between the Government and the rail- 
way, in view of its importance. 

In a letter to the Ministry, written in June, 1899, 
he stated : 

I am glad to say that foreign immigration to Canada 
is growing. According to all accounts the Galicians are 
doing well, and will eventually make excellent settlers. 
The Doukhobors also create an excellent impression, 
and their work in Southern Russia, under great dis- 
advantages, indicates that they possess the quali- 
ties which are necessary to success in the Canadian 
North-West. We have not had so many Germans and 
Scandinavians as we would like. This arises from the 
fact that the Governments of the countries in ques- 
tion are opposed to emigration, which makes it as 
difficult as possible, apart from the fact that the 
people of those countries are enjoying an era of pros- 
perity at the present time. The success of the Conti- 
nental settlers in the different parts of Canada is sure 
to have its effect. 

So much for the Continental emigration. In the 
United Kingdom his zeal was even greater. 

The efforts of Sir Donald Smith [wrote a leading 
Canadian journal] to enlighten the public on the other 
side as to the class of immigrants desired in Canada 
are bearing fruit. Instead of stunted, pale-faced 
creatures, the products of the streets of large cities, 
who never saw a tree or cow in their lives, of whom 
we have had far too many samples in the past, most of 
the immigrants this season, so far, are splendid speci- 
mens of the farm-labourer class. There is also notice- 
able a considerable sprinkling of the better class of 


Lord Strathcona 

farmers, men with means to invest ; but chiefly there is 
knowledge of the conditions which await them, and 
fitness for meeting them. The Canadian Pacific Rail- 
way Company has always been labouring in this 
direction, and it is to the credit of the societies in 
England that they have latterly made the most rigid 
investigation into the capabilities and character of the 
intending emigrants before they have sanctioned their 
coming out. The magic-lantern exhibitions which were 
got up by Sir Donald Smith, showing the Dominion 
as an agricultural country, which needed chiefly brawn 
and muscle and the knowledge of crops and cattle, 
brought home to the people in a vivid and effectual 
way the situation which had to be confronted. There 
was everything encouraging in this, particularly when 
the pictures were supplemented with the exhibition 
of the cereals and roots indigenous to the several 
Provinces. It is noticeable in the bodies of emigrants 
thus far landed and distributed this season that a 
considerable proportion were destined for British 
Columbia. Such persons are to be distinguished from 
the labouring class. They are persons with small 
means, who, having heard of the wonderful wealth 
of this comparatively new Province, have pulled up 
stakes in the hope of making sudden fortune. Whether 
such disappointed, for the most part, as must be 
the inevitable experience will settle down to sober 
pursuits, of which the reward will be slow, but prob- 
ably sure in the end, remains to be seen. At any rate, 
the British, though they have been slow to waken up, 
are evidently not going to let the Americans get all 
the precious metal out of the mines which are springing 
up, mushroom-like, in all directions. 1 

1 Montreal Witness, May 5, 1897. 

Room for a Billion 

On another occasion, addressing an audience at 
the Imperial Institute, Lord Strathcona said: 

There are one or two thoughts I wish to submit to 
you as likely to have an important bearing on the com- 
mercial relations between Canada and the Mother 
Country. As already mentioned, Canada has a popu- 
lation of about 5,500,000 at the present time. There is 
no reason to doubt that, without over-crowding, there 
is room for 50,000,000 to 1,000,000,000. People have 
been going in more rapidly recently than in some of 
the preceding years. While we welcome every one who 
is prepared to adapt himself to the country, it is per- 
haps a matter of regret to us that our fellow-subjects 
in Great Britain do not come in larger numbers. A 
considerable area of our free-grant land is being taken 
up by settlers from the different countries of Europe. 
Perhaps it is that those at home are more prosperous 
than those who come to us from the Continent. No 
doubt that children of the latter, in the second and 
third generations, will become as good and loyal 
British subjects as any of us; but we know that there 
are many people in these isles who would much benefit 
themselves and their families by going to Canada, and 
we cannot understand why it is that they do not avail 
themselves of the opportunity. As I have already 
pointed out, this is a matter of as much importance to 
you as to us, for the more people we have the larger 
will be the market for your products and manufactures, 
and the increase in the population also means an 
increase in the wealth and strength of the British 

This question of emigration does not receive nearly 
the attention its importance deserves. It means so 
much from whatever point of view it is regarded, and 


Lord Strathcona 

it has an important bearing on Imperial commercial 
relations. 1 

He recommended the revival of the Canadian 
"exhibition cars" which, after a brief trial, had 
been discontinued. These soon became a feature of 
the British countryside. 

Anything that tends to popularize Canada, and to 
familiarize the public with the country and its products 
is worthy of support. This particular system of adver- 
tising might be continued and extended. If at any 
time it was thought by the Government that the vans 
might with advantage visit particular localities it 
could, of course, easily be arranged. 

At the present time [he reported] we are in corre- 
spondence with two to three thousand schoolmasters. 
Several thousands of our large maps of Canada are 
hung upon the walls of the schools. These maps are 
used in connection with the lessons. A large number 
of our pamphlets are also being used as ordinary 
readers in the schools, and as the children take 
the books home, Canada is thus introduced into 
many homes in which it might not otherwise become 
known. I find that many schoolmasters have a 
practical as well as theoretical knowledge of Canada, 
and our lantern slides on Canadian scenery are much 
asked for by such persons. 

About fifteen hundred lectures on Canada were 
delivered during the autumn, winter, and spring. 
The Canadian Pacific Railway had initiated a series 
of animated photographs of Canada, its scenery, 
and its industries. 

1 Address, November 30, 1899. 

An Audacious Scheme 


In referring to the limited field in the United 
Kingdom from which to draw emigrants, Lord 
Strathcona observed: 

We only encourage persons with capital, farmers, 
farm labourers, and domestic servants. I have ex- 
plained the difficulties that tend to prevent immigra- 
tion of this class on as large a scale as we would 
like, and a good deal of our effort is now directed to 
preventing undesirable immigration. Although our 
enquiry is very large, both personally and by corre- 
spondence, the greater portion of it comes from people 
who have no means to emigrate. Capitalists and 
farmers are slow to emigrate in any case, and the 
other classes are doing better than at any previous 
time, and, except among some of the younger members 
of the families, there is not enough enterprise and that 
disposition to look ahead which so often leads to emi- 
gration. Still, we are getting good results from our 
work, and I am very hopeful that our immigration will 
continue to grow in the future. 

Of the innumerable plans and projects, so often 
fantastic, suggested by immigration agents and 
officials during these early years of his High Com- 
missionership, there was one of which I once heard 
him say that its audacity took his breath away. 
The originator postulated that Scandinavian emi- 
gration to Canada was eminently desirable. A 
fleet of vessels was to be chartered, each equipped 
and provisioned for a long voyage, having on board 
a vigorous lecturer (of the "revivalist" pattern) 
and a brass band. On a suitable date a Sunday 
the ships were each to put into different Scan- 


Lord Strathcona 

dinavian ports on some pretext or other. The popu- 
lace was to be summoned, the band was to play 
"The Maple Leaf Forever," and other inspiring 
melodies, the lecturer was to harangue the crowd 
on the attractions of the Canadian North-West, 
and finally to deliver an impassioned exhortation 
to the following effect: 

Men and women! material salvation awaits you. 
Canada, the land of promise, opens its arms to receive 
you! Your fellow- Norwegians, already there basking 
in prosperity and happiness, call across the Atlantic 
to you! Delay is fatal. Now is the accepted time. 
Yonder good ship sails to-morrow. Passage money is 
not needed come forward and enroll your names and 
sail with us to Canada and fortune. 

The ingenious author of this happy scheme 
whose methods were partly borrowed from the 
Salvation Army and the recruiting sergeant was 
greatly discomfited when Lord Strathcona declined 
to consider it seriously. 

"You are," it was bitterly complained, "throw- 
ing away the chance of getting ten thousand able- 
bodied Norwegians on the spot." 

No mention was made of the probable attitude 
of the Norwegian Government. "I have no doubt 
he designed that the Norwegian Government should 
follow the entire Norwegian population to Canada, 
too," was Lord Strathcona's comment. 

At a later stage, in 1905-06, came the exploits of 
the notorious North-Atlantic Trading Company', 
which entered into a contract with the Canadian 


North Atlantic Trading Company 

Government to supply emigrants to Canada at a 
fixed bonus per capita. The class of emigrants se- 
cured through this channel showed distinct dete- 
rioration, being recruited from amongst the least 
desirable of European races. What Lord Strath- 
cona himself thought of the new arrangement may 
be gathered from a letter to the Prime Minister in 
which he reviews the work of the preceding years. 
Previously he had written to Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
in reference to a statement in the Globe newspaper, 
disclaiming having opened negotiations with the 
North- Atlantic Trading Company, and "stating 
that its suggestions never commended themselves 
to my better judgment." He had yielded and had 
given such assistance as he could, because the 
Department of the Interior strongly favoured the 
plan. In view of the fears he had entertained, he 
had the matter submitted to counsel for an opinion. 
"I had no connection at all," wrote Lord Strath- 
cona, "with the negotiations, the Department of 
the Interior having placed itself in direct commu- 
nication with the company. While personally op- 
posed, however, I desired to carry out the policy 
of the Department." 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

12th May, 1906. 

From the time of my appointment as High Com- 
missioner I was, as you are aware, very much impressed 
with the necessity for an active emigration propa- 
ganda, both on the Continent and in the United 
Kingdom, as my frequent despatches and many 

Lord Strathcona 

recommendations to the Minister of the Interior will 

In the interests of the work, I visited Hamburg, 
Bremen, Berlin, Vienna, and Paris. It was very evident 
to me, at that time, as the result of my enquiries, that 
our preparations, and the cooperation we were receiv- 
ing on the Continent, would inevitably result, in the 
near future, in a large emigration to the North-VVest. 

My principal reason for not favouring a hard-and- 
fast contract with any body of individuals, like the 
North-Atlantic Trading Company, was the fear that 
it might land us in difficulties with some of the Govern- 
ments concerned. There was also the consideration 
that they would obtain the advantage, without any 
great expense or effort to themselves, of the move- 
ment which was bound shortly to take place, as the 
result of our continuous educational work with the 
various agencies on the Continent. My idea was that 
the agents who had been working on our behalf should 
themselves participate in the bonuses; and that we 
should endeavour also to secure the cooperation of the 
large Continental steamship companies, which it would 
not have been difficult to arrange, judging from my 
interviews with the North-German Lloyd directors and 
Herr Ballin, of the Hamburg-American line, gentle- 
men of great influence on the Continent, as reported 
in my letters before referred to. Of course it would 
have been possible to gradually lessen the bonus pay- 
ments as the emigration increased the increase being 
the natural consequence of the work that was being 
done, and of the successful settlement of the people 
who were going out from year to year. 

I do not wish to minimize in any way the energy 
shown by the Department of the Interior in the pro- 


Unsound Methods deprecated 

motion of emigration. They have certainly been alive 
to the importance of the question within the last seven 
or eight years, and have not hesitated to incur in- 
creased expenditure on the work, which I may say was 
recommended for many years before it was adopted. 
They are, therefore, entitled to credit for the increase 
in the emigration that has taken place; but it must 
not be forgotten that the continuous and effective 
work which had been going on for some years, in 
adverse circumstances, both here and on the Conti- 
nent, had prepared the way for the larger movement 
that set in when the proper time arrived. 

Briefly, therefore, I will conclude by saying that I 
am and always have been in favour of a vigorous emi- 
gration policy on the Continent, in the United King- 
dom, and in the United States. At the same time, 
however, I did not view the arrangement with the 
North-Atlantic Trading Company with any personal 
favour for the reasons stated above ; and I am inclined 
to the opinion that the emigration which has taken 
place would have been at least as large in ordinary 
circumstances, under the arrangements in force prior 
to 1899. 

I am sure you will understand that, in writing this 
letter, I only wish to make my own position clear, and 
that I have no desire whatever to reflect in any way, 
either upon the Department of the Interior or its 
officers, in connection with the arrangements made 
between the Government and the company. 1 

1 "The Government agreed to pay the company i for each man, 
woman, and child of the agricultural class brought to Canada and 
for each girl of eighteen years of age or over of the domestic service 
class. It was provided that in no one year should the Government be 
called upon to pay a bonus orv more than five thousand Poles, Ga- 
licians, and Bukowinians. The Government gave special aid to 


Lord Strathcona 

All through his eighteen years of office we find 
Lord Strathcona going up and down the land 
preaching from the same text, and posterity will 
bear witness that he was not heard in vain. 1 

The disadvantages we suffer from at the present 
time are a superabundance of land and a compara- 
tively small population. Both of these are only tem- 
porary. When we get the people the territory can 
accommodate, and the millions and millions of acres 
of vacant land are occupied and utilized, Canada will 
be a country which my powers of imagination do not 
permit me to picture. Just fancy a territory nearly as 
large as Europe, with a population no greater than that 
of London ! That is the position just now. 

Naturally, the latter circumstance limits our capac- 

encourage the operations in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The 
company carried on their work actively. ; In 1906, however, the 
Minister of the Interior claimed that the company was devoting too 
much attention to the Southern and Eastern countries, and too little 
to the Northern countries. This, he held was in violation of the 
agreement, and the Government gave notice terminating the con- 
tract. This is the only case in which the Government has ' farmed 
out,' so to speak, its Immigration propaganda." (W. D. Scott, 
Canada and its Provinces.) 

1 " In the whole period from 1897 to I 9 I 2, the total immigration 
was over two and a quarter millions; the British Isles sent 961,000, 
the United States 784,000, and the rest of the world 594,000. The 
total increase in population in this period was marked; between 
1891 and 1901 population grew from 4,833,239 to 5,371,315, and in 
the following decade to 7,204,838, practically double the population 
of forty years before. The number of British immigrants rose from 
an average of 10,000 in the last years of the nineteenth century to 
50,000 in 1904, and 138,000 in 1912. At the end of this period Can- 
ada had become the chief destination of emigrants from the United 
Kingdom, far surpassing the United States, though Australia, imi- 
tating the Canadian policy of publicity and offering liberal reduced 
or advanced passages, was again becoming a close rival." (0. D. 
Skelton, Canada and its Provinces.) 


His Inspiring Prophecy 

ity as a consuming population ; but at the same time, 
in conjunction with the area of the country, it serves 
to give an indication of the extent of the market that 
awaits the British manufacturer if the Mother Coun- 
try will only help us in the endeavour we are mak- 
ing to attract population to till our lands, and to de- 
velop the great resources with which Providence has 
endowed us. 

They say [he wrote to Mr. Chamberlain in June, 
1899] that we are draining Great Britain of her best 
blood in order to build up and strengthen the Colonies. 
But I venture to express my conviction that the 
strength of the Colonies is Great Britain's strength, 
and that if ever the need should arise, these same 
young men will return with their patriotism increased 
and invigorated rather than weakened, to give their 
help to the Mother Country. 

Whether this prophecy be true or false let a 
dozen bloodstained battlefields in France and Bel- 
gium make answer. 

" From Sydney to Esquimault, from the Lakes to Hudson 

Men who never saw you, Mother, those that left you yes- 

From the prairies and the backwoods, be the struggle brief 
or long, 

We are coming, Mother England, two hundred thousand 



LORD STRATHCONA'S primal effort as a legisla- 
tor in the House of Lords awakened much interest 
both in Britain and in Canada. In deference to 
the wishes of many leading colonists in London, the 
High Commissioner undertook to bring forward 
the Bill for legalizing in the United Kingdom 
marriages in the Colonies with a deceased wife's 

It is hardly surprising to learn now, on the au- 
thority of the late Duke of Argyll, that this incur- 
sion into ecclesiastical law and ordinance did not 
meet with the approval of Queen Victoria. Her 
Majesty is said to have remarked bluntly that she 
thought "his Labrador lordship should be the last 
to meddle in these matters." The royal innuendo 
merely illustrated the persistence of the legend con- 
cerning Lord Strathcona's own marriage, whose 
falsity and injustice both the Duke and Mr. Cham- 
berlain had already endeavoured to expose. Some- 
thing shrewder was the Queen's further remark 
that she was sure Lord Strathcona had not con- 
sulted Lady Strathcona in his choice of a subject 
for debate. 

Colonial Marriages Bill 

From Lord Strathcona 

7th April, 1898. 

As you are no doubt aware, the question of legalizing 
marriages with a deceased wife's sister is a matter that 
is brought every year before the Imperial Parliament. 
So far, while the measure has on one or two occasions 
passed the House of Lords, it has not become law. 

Within the last few years an endeavour has also 
been made to legalize in this country marriages of this 
kind which have been contracted in the Colonies under 
local legislation; but no Act dealing with this part of 
the question has yet been passed. 

The matter as regards the Colonial marriages is now 
up again for consideration, and I have been asked by 
the Marriage Law Reform Association to introduce a 
Bill on the subject into the House of Lords. The matter 
is, I believe, generally approved of in the other Colo- 
nies, but having regard to my position as High Com- 
missioner, I rather hesitate to comply with the request 
that has been made to me without first submitting it 
to you and knowing your views. If you see no objection 
to my doing so, I shall be quite prepared to introduce 
such a Bill; but if you think it would be better for me 
not to do so, I shall merely confine myself to supporting 
such a measure in the House in a general way, and by 
voting in favour of it. 

Kindly write me on the subject at your early con- 
venience, and believe me, etc., 


It was reported at the time that Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier, dreading clerical criticism, strongly depre- 
cated the intention of the High Commissioner. How 

Lord Strathcona 

much truth there was in the report may be gleaned 
from the following cable message, despatched on the 
day the Premier received the foregoing letter. 

To Lord Strathcona 

OTTAWA, 22d April, 1898. 

Your letter received about Colonial Marriages Bill. 
There is no objection to your presenting it. On the 
contrary, I think it quite proper for you to do so. 


The presence of the Prince of Wales and the 
Duke of York, 1 both of whom had taken the keen- 
est interest in the question of marriage law reform, 
gave special interest to the sitting of the House of 
Lords on July 8, when Lord Strathcona moved the 
second reading of the Colonial Marriages Bill. The 
object was stated to be "to make valid, in the 
United Kingdom, marriages legally contracted with 
a deceased wife's sister by domiciled residents in 
the British Colonies, and in dependencies, under 
legal enactments sanctioned by the Crown." 

The case which Lord Strathcona presented to the 
House of Lords seemed an almost overwhelming 
one. The bill, it may be said in passing, was con- 
fined to the legalization of marriages with the de- 
ceased wife's sister. Marriages with a brother's 
widow or wife's niece were left untouched, and the 
Bill concerned itself alone with that of the de- 
bated question marriage with the deceased wife's 
sister upon which both Houses of the Imperial 
1 King George V. 

First Speech as Peer 

Parliament had expressed favourable verdicts. In 
the House of Lords in 1896 the majority in favour 
of the Bill was 38, and the opposition might now be 
said to be confined to the extreme ritualistic clergy, 
though it was clearly an anomaly and an injustice 
that even in marriages made valid in Colonies 
whose legislation had been revised and sanctioned 
by the law officers of the Crown in Britain, a Colo- 
nial married lady should, on landing at Liverpool, 
become a mistress, and be under the ban of society. 
Here it may be noticed that by inadvertence the 
Bill was framed in broader terms than was intended. 
As drawn, marriages solemnized between persons 
temporarily visiting a Colony would come within 
the provisions of the bill. As the remedy provided 
by the Bill was sought only on behalf of domiciled 
Colonists, Lord Strathcona consented to the inser- 
tion of words which would limit the operation of the 
Bill to marriages effected by such persons. 

He had very great diffidence [he began], in ad- 
dressing their Lordships. 

This is the first occasion on which I have had the 
honour and privilege of being present as a member of 
your Lordship's House. I am confident, however, that 
your Lordships will extend to me that indulgence which 
is always given to a new member. 

The Bill which I have to introduce has for its object 
the legalizing in the United Kingdom of marriages law- 
fully contracted between a man and his deceased wife's 
sister in any of the British Colonies. It is intended to 
deal only with the marriages of legally domiciled resi- 
dents, and, in order to remove any doubts there might 

Lord Strathcona 

be on that point, amendments would be moved in 
Committee, if the Bill is read a second time, to make 
that absolutely clear. The Bill is also provided with 
other safeguards to prevent its provisions from being 
abused. Marriages with a deceased wife's sister have 
been legalized in the Colonies with the active consent 
of the Crown and with the tacit approval of the Gov- 
ernment and of the Imperial Parliament, but, in spite 
of that fact, the children of such legal Colonial mar- 
riages were regarded in the United Kingdom as illegiti- 
mate, and could not succeed to real property in this 
country. It is believed, too, that they might be liable 
to other disabilities, and it was to remove this stain 
from the children who had been born in wedlock ren- 
dered lawful by laws passed by the Colonial Legislature 
and approved by the responsible advisers of the Crown 
that the Bill had been introduced. 

Marriage with a deceased wife's sister is not legal in 
the United Kingdom, and the question does not, there- 
fore, arise in the same way; but such marriages are 
legal in the Colonies. Why should the children of such 
marriages, when they come home to the Mother Coun- 
try, bear the mark of illegitimacy? Such a Bill as this, 
if it were passed, would be an act of justice to many 
and would be an injustice to no one. 

Representing the Colonies, and speaking with a 
knowledge of what I say, every man in the Colonies 
looks upon himself as an Englishman just as much as if 
he had been born in the United Kingdom ; he glories in 
the name of Englishman, and he has all the aspirations 
of one and the same loyalty and devotion to our Empire. 
As the Colonists feel that they are equally members of 
the great Empire to which all Englishmen belong, I 
hope your Lordships will send a message of good-will to 


Marriages Bill shelved 

those for whom I plead, a message which will be appre- 
ciated throughout the Colonies; and show them that 
your Lordships have as much consideration for those 
in the Colonies, for whom I speak, as for those in the 
Mother Country; that you desire to do justice to all. 

Notwithstanding that the bill was carried by a 
majority of 129 to 46, the Government refused to 
take it up in the House of Commons. Some years 
were destined to elapse before the measure became 

Meanwhile, many other affairs claimed the High 
Commissioner's attention. In the summer of 1898 
a Joint Conference between Britain and America 
to decide outstanding disputes was decided upon 
and there was much difficulty about the choice of 
delegates. But before the matter was settled Can- 
ada's thirty-first birthday came and went. Rarely, 
if ever, had there been such a gathering of in- 
fluential Canadians and friends of the Dominion 
as assembled to dinner at the Imperial Institute. 
Amongst those who supported Lord Strathcona was 
the Duke of Norfolk, British Postmaster-General, 
whose valuable assistance as the head of the Eng- 
lish Roman Catholics had been invoked in the 
Manitoba Schools settlement. 

In proposing the toast of the evening, Lord 
Strathcona said : 

I think all Canadians will agree with me that we 
have one day we can call our own, one on which we can 
gather together and show that while true Britons and 
devoted subjects of Her Majesty, we are none the less 
citizens of the Dominion. We are not a foreign nation, 


Lord Strathcona 

but a kindred nation with Britain, members of 
the great Empire, as are those within the United 
Kingdom. The advance of Canada within the last 
sixty years, and especially since Confederation, has 
been great, both in the development and extent of her 
resources and in her financial position. We have 
cause to be proud of it. 

Lord Strathcona congratulated the Australian 
Colonies on being within measurable distance of 
federal union, knowing what great benefits federa- 
tion had brought to Canada. He had similar hopes 
for South Africa, and trusted that the West Indies 
themselves might in future become a British com- 
monwealth. In the past few years Canada had 
been able to secure the denunciation of commercial 
treaties which stood in the way of a closer alliance 
between the Colonies. He could not see why any 
foreign nation should take exception to this piece of 
domestic legislation. One foreign country proposed 
to exempt Canada on this account from most- 
favoured-nation treatment. Canada, with such 
support as she could always reckon on, would be 
able to protect her own interests, for she would 
always act with moderation. 

It is also very pleasant to find better relations be- 
tween the United States and Canada. We pray very 
fervently, all of us, that the newly appointed High 
Commission will give full satisfaction to each and all 
of us in the difficulties they are going to deal with. 
You will all be glad to find that we have amongst us 
this evening Lord Herschell. With such representa- 
tives as Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Mr. Charlton, and Lord 


American Friendship 

Herschell, we may have confidence that the proper 
interests of Great Britain and of Canada will be well 
looked after. 

We do not wish to stand at arm's length with our 
neighbours. We desire to be on the most friendly 
terms possible with them, and it would appear that 
that desire is heartily reciprocated. Still, we wish to 
continue as one people with the Mother Country, and 
do our part in that great Empire of which we are all 
so proud. 

On this occasion the Chairman's health was pro- 
posed by the veteran Canadian statesman, Sir 
Charles Tupper. 

After Confederation took place [said Sir Charles] a 
great impassable desert separated Ottawa from the 
great North- West, and it was impossible to reach one 
from the other except by traversing foreign soil. All 
this had now been changed, and that it had been so, 
was largely due to the great financial qualities of Lord 
Strathcona. To his energy, ability, and indomitable 
perseverance the bringing together of the isolated 
Provinces was in no small measure due. Montreal to- 
day possessed admirably equipped hospitals, due to 
the princely generosity of Lord Strathcona and Lord 
Mount Stephen. No man in Canada possessed to-day 
the confidence of all classes to such an extent. 

On the 25th, Mr. Chamberlain wrote Lord 
Strathcona that the Queen had approved the ap- 
pointment of the Earl of Minto to succeed Lord 

I feel sure that Lord Minto will receive from you that 
loyal support always given to the representative of the 


Lord Strathcona 

Queen, and I am convinced that the new Governor- 
General will carry to Canada the most anxious desire 
to do everything in his power for the welfare of the 

On cabling the news to the Premier Lord Strath- 
cona received the following reply: 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

26th July, 1898. 

Minto's appointment will be well received, especially 
as he has already served in this country. Personally it 
will be a pleasure for me to give him every assistance. 
You can assure Mr. Chamberlain of this. 

At the launching at Wallsend of the Mount 
Royal, so named out of compliment to Lady Strath- 
cona who performed the ceremony, the High Com- 
missioner said : 

I do not care to speak any longer of Canada, and the 
other countries constituting the Empire, as Colonies. 
They are constituents of an Empire one and indivisible. 
They are English quite as much as is Great Britain, 
and to remain so to all time is the desire of Canada 
and all the other possessions of the Empire. Though 
we have in Canada a portion of the population who 
had not originally come from Great Britain, I can say 
without hesitation that they are just as good and loyal 
British subjects as ourselves. They are Englishmen 
only with one difference, that they speak French 
as well as English. That circumstance is a source of 
safety in Canada, and one which contributes to the 
safety of the whole Empire. 


Bristol Celebrations 

A long-deferred memorial to the sixteenth-cen- 
tury discoverers, John and Sebastian Cabot, was 
unveiled at Bristol in September, in which the 
Marquess of Dufferin took a prominent part. 

The people of Canada [Lord Strathcona assured his 
hearers] are entirely with those of Bristol in doing 
honour to that great navigator who was the first to 
place foot on Newfoundland and on the northern por- 
tion of the Western Hemisphere, and thereby made it 
possible that there should be colonization of America 
by Englishmen. 

How much has since happened, how much has been 
done even within the period of the reign of Her Most 
Gracious Majesty, by the citizens of Bristol in bringing 
nearer our two countries. It is just sixty years ago that 
the citizens of Bristol sent out the first steamer to cross 
the Atlantic, the Great Western. That marks an era in 
steamboat navigation, which has grown since then, 
until we have in the present day those floating palaces 
in which discomfort has all but disappeared from the 
sea. We must not forget that the people of Bristol were 
the pioneers of this great work that at a time when 
scientific men, and among them that man who was one 
of the foremost in science at that time, Dr. Lardner, 
said that it was an impossibility for a steamer to cross 
the Atlantic, to carry coal and to carry passengers at 
the same time; you showed the road and since then it 
has been well followed. 

The message from the citizens of Halifax shows what 
is thought of Lord Dufferin throughout the whole 
Dominion of Canada. His great services there were 
appreciated, I can assure you; in Lord and Lady Duf- 
ferin we had in Canada those who were respected as 
highly as any Governor-General and his consort could 


Lord Strathcona 

be. It gives me great pleasure to join in the vote of 
thanks to Lord Dufferin for his services in laying the 
foundation stone of this fine tower, placed in a position 
commanding the whole of Bristol, and of which the 
people of Bristol may well be proud. 

In November, 1898, Lord Strathcona himself 
again crossed the Atlantic for Ottawa, to discuss 
with the Government the questions of immigra- 
tion, the Pacific cable, the fast steamship service, 
and other kindred matters. While there on one 
occasion he said : 

The Hispano-American war has given occasion for 
an expression of the feeling existing for America in 
British hearts, and the sympathy and friendship which 
the British Government and people have shown toward 
the American cause may be taken as a strong under- 
lying and lasting feeling of the people of the same 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

MONTREAL, loth December, 1898. 

Immediately on my return to Montreal, I called on 
Sir William Van Home and explained to him your 
views with regard to the bonding privilege question. 

He appears to be entirely opposed to an Interna- 
tional Commission for dealing with the matter. Mr. 
Shaughnessy is equally opposed to such a commission, 
although to me it appeared, when the proposition was 
discussed when I met yourself and your colleagues at 
the Joint Commission at Washington, that it was one 
which might be expected to work equitably and fairly 
for both parties. In this I must, however, defer to the 


Canadian Securities 

opinion of those who, like the President and Vice- 
President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, 
have had great experience in the working of arbitra- 
tion boards, and they are evidently concerned at the 
prospect of having any such International Court. 

The Anglo-American Commission sat both at 
Quebec and Washington; but it soon became clear 
that no decision could be arrived at just then con- 
cerning the chief matters in dispute. 

Lord Strathcona to Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

April 1 5th, 1899. 

When discussing with Mr. Chamberlain, some little 
time back, the question of placing Canadian Govern- 
ment securities on the same footing as those of the 
United Kingdom in respect of trust investments, he 
suggested the possibility of an arrangement being come 
to between the two Governments by which, on the con- 
version of the Canadian loans, they might in a sense be 
"taken over" by England, that is, that the new issue 
should be guaranteed by the Imperial Government. 
With this guarantee the money could, of course, be 
obtained on much more favourable terms, the saving 
on interest being not less than from one half to three 
quarters per cent. His idea was that in consideration 
of this, Canada would devote a portion of the saving 
to Imperial purposes. He was very particular in im- 
pressing upon me that this was partly a personal idea 
of his own, wholly deprived of anything of an official 
character, and it was in that sense I told him I would 
bring the matter confidentially to your notice. 

Of course, it is one of those things which, if thought 


Lord Strathcona 

worthy of further notice at all, would demand the 
gravest consideration both in Canada and here, and 
perhaps you will kindly at your convenience let me 
know if you think it worth while discussing the matter 

You appear to be having long speeches from Sir 
Charles Tupper and his friends in the House, but let 
us hope that this is not an indication of a long session. 

Lord Strathcona's sojourn in Montreal was ren- 
dered memorable not only by his further munifi- 
cence to McGill University, but also by a brilliant 
social function in honour of the new Governor- 

It had five years previously fallen to Lord Strath- 
cona to afford Lord and Lady Aberdeen their first 
formal introduction to Montreal society. By a happy 
coincidence the same duty was again discharged in 
the case of Lord and Lady Minto. The dinner and 
reception given by the High Commissioner and 
Lady Strathcona at their Montreal mansion in 
honour of the new Governor-General was a most 
successful and brilliant function. 

We have entered upon a course of prosperity which, 
I believe, will bear us on for many years, and it is well 
that we should know and feel that this is not dependent 
on one political party or another, but that it results in 
great measure from the good government we receive 
from any party which may be in power. As to the 
needs of the hour: We have been looking for some time 
for a faster Atlantic service. We hoped to have had it 
by this time. But our efforts have not been in vain. 
Preparations have been made for it, and I myself have 


Kruger and Kiel 

every confidence that it is a comparatively short time 
when we shall have much better communication across 
the Atlantic. As to the West Indies, it is gratifying 
that greater facilities had been provided for direct 
intercourse with the Dominion not only by steamers, 
but also by cable ; while as to the Pacific Cable, I hope 
it will not be long before this is an accomplished fact. 
We are looking, too, with great expectations and every 
hope that we shall be able in a very short time to con- 
gratulate our fellow-colonists in the South on becoming 
a Dominion, and that they will, as a nation, attain to 
even greater prosperity. 

Early in the summer of 1 899 there began to loom 
up in the distance the shadow of serious trouble in 
South Africa. From the first, Lord Strathcona took 
the deepest interest in the question. Once he said 
to Mr. Chamberlain: 

There is a curious resemblance in many respects to 
the events of 1869. Kruger, like Riel, has a complete 
misunderstanding of his position. I believe that if there 
was any one in South Africa that both parties and 
races could trust, war might be averted. 

While the negotiations between Mr. Chamber- 
lain, Lord Milner, and President Kruger were in 
progress and the question, raised by the Uitlanders, 
of the Parliamentary representation of rapidly in- 
creasing populations was being agitated, in Canada 
the Laurier Ministry brought in a fresh Redistri- 
bution Bill. Promptly the accusation of "gerry- 
mandering" was launched against them. As the 
charge obtained much currency in the English press, 
Lord Strathcona sent for Miss Flora Shaw (Lady 


Lord Strathcona 

Lugard), then Colonial editor of the Times, in 
order to explain to her the character of and the 
necessity for the Act. Canada, like the Transvaal, 
was face to face with a difficulty common to all new 
countries, namely, that important interests might 
at any moment spring up in desert places. 

This difficulty was one with which the Canadian 
statesmen who carried through the work of federa- 
tion foresaw that Canada as a Dominion would 
have to deal. Consequently, provision was, under 
their inspiration, made for meeting it in the Con- 
stitution accorded by the British North American 
Act to the federated Provinces. But in acting upon 
the provision, each successive Canadian Govern- 
ment of necessity exposes itself to the accusation 
of "gerrymandering" the constituencies in order 
to acquire for its own supporters the largest pos- 
sible amount of Parliamentary representation. The 
accusation was therefore very freely made against 
the Government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his col- 
leagues in reference to their new Redistribution 
Bill which was now before the Dominion parlia- 
ment. On behalf of the Government Lord Strath- 
cona indignantly rebutted the accusation. All their 
principal platform utterances, since the passing of 
the Conservative Redistribution Acts of 1882 and 
1892, demonstrated that the Bill they had intro- 
duced was simply a measure of retributive justice 
to constituencies shamelessly "gerrymandered" by 
previous Governments. 

There is nothing upon which it is more difficult to 
form a just opinion at a distance than the operative 


A Canadian Resolution 

effect of a Parliamentary Redistribution Bill. The 
claim of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Government, that in 
introducing the present measure they do but redeem 
their reiterated election pledges, is one which can, 
however, be verified by a reference to the party pro- 
gramme which has been before the country since the 
meeting of the Liberal Convention at Ottawa in 1893; 
and the unconscious admission of the nature of the 
Conservative Redistribution Acts which was made by 
Sir Charles Tupper, when, in the course of a speech 
attacking the present measure, he argued that if the 
Bill of 1882 had not been passed in the form in which it 
was passed, Canada would have lost some of the most 
valuable developments of Conservative policy by 
which the country has benefited since that date, goes, 
it must be confessed, some way toward proving that, 
from the point of view of local politics, there was 
justification for the pledges of the Liberal leaders to 
carry through a scheme of readjustment whenever the 
power to do so should be theirs. 1 

A few days earlier (July 14) Mr. Chamberlain 
wrote to Lord Strathcona that he had just been in- 
formed by Lord Windsor that a mutual friend had 
had an interview with Sir Wilfrid Laurier at Ottawa. 

Sir Wilfrid has authorized him to say that he will 
at once introduce into the Dominion Parliament a 
resolution supporting the maintenance of Imperial 
supremacy throughout South Africa, provided I in- 
timate through you that such a resolution would be 
welcomed. ! 

If Sir Wilfrid Laurier is correctly reported, I hasten 
to say that such a resolution of sympathy and support 
1 The Times, July 19, 1899. 

Lord Strathcona 

as he suggests Would be most cordially welcomed by 
Her Majesty's Government. 

The High Commissioner cabled instantly to the 
Premier, but for some reason or other no reply came 
until the 24th. 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

24th July, 1899. 

I have your favour of the 1 5th instant, repeating 
your telegram of the same day about the resolution of 
sympathy which we were asked to move on the Uit- 
landers question. Mr. Allan had no authority from me 
to wire as he did, though we are considering at this 
moment if it would be advisable for us to introduce 
such a resolution in the House of Commons. 

In the interval Mr. Chamberlain had been grow- 
ing anxious. A stage in the correspondence with 
President Kruger had been reached when Canada's 
expression would be of signal value. An interview 
with Lord Strathcona on the 26th of July was fol- 
lowed by a letter next day, the date of the sending 
by the Colonial Secretary of an ultimatum to 
President Kruger. 

COLONIAL OFFICE, 27th July, 1899. 


Although I fully appreciate the difficulties of your 
Premier's position, I hope he will not find them insup- 

How greatly it would strengthen the hands of Her 
Majesty's Government at this critical time if Canada's 
moral support for our policy were announced, I need 


The South African War 

not urge to you. An unspoken declaration might go 
far to alter the situation. The opinion of a great self- 
governing Dominion, such as yours, whose leader is not 
of British origin, could hardly fail to impress powerfully 
the gentlemen of the Volksraad and persuade them to 
adopt a more reasonable view of their position and 
ours. It might have the further useful effect of check- 
ing some of that sympathy and encouragement which 
the Boers are receiving from many in the United 
States, who are, I gather, wretchedly informed as to 
the merits of the present dispute. 

I shall hope to hear the moment intelligence reaches 
you. Believe me, 

Yours most sincerely, 


Intelligence of a favourable character reached 
the High Commissioner in a few days, which he 
immediately conveyed to Mr. Chamberlain. 

From Mr. Chamberlain 

I did not receive your private letter of the 3Oth July 
till my return from the House last night. 

I am very much obliged to you for your action in 
the matter, and see the result in the papers this morn- 
ing with the greatest possible satisfaction. I consider 
that the action of the Dominion marks a distinct stage 
in the history of Imperial relations. 

With deep anxiety did Lord Strathcona watch 
the events by no means favourable for British 
arms which marked the beginning of the war in 
South Africa. Much as he desired to see Canada's 


Lord Strathcona 

active participation in the struggle, he felt that it 
would be in the highest degree improper for him to 
attempt, by word or act, to force the Canadian 
Prime Minister's hand. He realized that this war 
was different in strategic character from most of 
those which had gone before that the Boers re- 
sembled Red Indians in their slyness, ruthlessness, 
and fondness for ambuscade, and consequently 
that fighters of the type of the Mounted Police of 
the Canadian Prairies would be more of a match 
for them than the sedulously drilled infantrymen of 
the English pattern. The idea grew upon him and 
was fostered by the letters and public utterances 
of several Canadian friends, who had great faith 
in the peculiar merit of Colonial troops. Chief 
amongst these was Colonel Samuel Hughes, M.P., 1 
an Ontarian militia officer, who took his military 
duties seriously and who strove on all occasions to 
imbue his comrades-in-arms and his colleagues in 
the House of Commons with his own ardent Im- 

Meanwhile, early in November, Sir Edward 
Grey's retirement from the contest for the Lord 
Rectorship of Aberdeen left the way free for Lord 
Strathcona's unanimous election to the office. 
After the nomination the students had a proces- 
sion, which came into contact with the police, who 
drew their batons. To his deep concern several 
students were injured and some arrests were made. 

1 Lord Strathcona used to enjoy hugely Colonel Hughes's alleged 
reason for dropping the "uel" from his baptismal name: "I got so 
tired of explaining that I was an Orangeman and not a 'U.E.L.' 
(United Empire Loyalist) by descent that I decided to 'cut it out.' " 


Lord Rector of Aberdeen 

In the course of a leading article, the Daily News 
observed : 

The new Lord Rector of Aberdeen may fairly be 
called the Grand Old Man of the Colonies. Lord 
Strathcona is seventy-nine, but he is still High Com- 
missioner for Canada, Governor of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, President of the Bank of Montreal, and a 
Director of the Canadian Pacific Railway. No man is 
better able to trace the history of the Dominion, now 
more than thirty years old, and to explain the rather 
complicated system of Federalism which has been 
carried out there with conspicuous success. He may 
remember the beautiful Horatian motto which Lord 
Derby, Prime Minister in 1867, proposed for the new 
State. It was not adopted, but it was as appropriate 
as it was classical. " Juventas et patrius vigor " it ran 
(Youth and inherited force). 

Lord Strathcona was a very young man when Lord 
Durham went out to redress grievances and restore 
order. The loyalty of the French-Canadians and the 
readiness of many among them to serve in South 
Africa are striking and impressive facts of which no- 
body then dreamed. 

For by this time the Canadian Ministry had de- 
cided to send a contingent of troops to the theatre 
of war. The High Commissioner wrote to Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier : 

I fully appreciate the difficulties you had to meet 
in determining to send a contingent to South Africa. 
Happily, the people here were so favourably impressed 
with the unmistakable and enthusiastic loyalty of the 
people of the Dominion as a whole that the strictures 
of one or two Quebec newspapers were hardly noticed. 


Lord Strathcona 

Albeit, the momentary indecision about sending 
the troops made him secretly indignant. Even dur- 
ing his brief visit to Birmingham at the close of the 
black month of November, he was contemplating 
some plan by which he could personally assist in 
the cause of his fellow-countrymen in South Africa. 

Another political uneasiness lay on his mind in 
reference to the much-vaunted Preferential Tariff. 

To Sir Wilfrid he wrote : 

I share your disappointment that while there has 
been such a substantial increase in Canadian exports, 
the imports under the Preferential Tariff have, so 
far, fallen short of what might reasonably have been 
expected from the change. 

It appears as if [he said to Mr. Chamberlain] we had 
almost been pluming ourselves upon a fiscal sacrifice 
which has not yet been made. This will make our 
sacrifices of another kind all the easier. 

As a matter of fact Imperial Preference, to work 
satisfactorily, could not possibly continue to be 
one-sided. He told his audience in Birmingham, 
speaking on the commercial relations of Canada 
with Great Britain : 

It is an encouraging sign of the times that these 
matters of inter- Imperial trade are now receiving, from 
the business community of the United Kingdom, the 
consideration their importance merits. This, doubt- 
less, arises from the great strides that have been made 
in the development of the resources of the outlying 
portions of the Empire within comparatively recent 
years, and from the fact that Canada and the Colonies 
seem to offer the most promising markets of the future 


No One-sided Preference 

for the products and manufactures of Great Britain. 
Whatever opinion may be held as to the fiscal policy 
of the Colonies, it is certain that their tariffs were im- 
posed chiefly for revenue, and not for the purpose of 
restricting importations from Great Britain, which is 
avowedly the case in many other quarters. Moreover, 
statistics show indisputably that the trade of the 
Colonies is largely controlled by the United Kingdom, 
although it must be admitted that other nations are 
doing their utmost, and with some measure of success, 
to obtain a share of it a matter which has not, per- 
haps, attracted so much notice as it merits. 

Mr. Chamberlain has shown a readiness to look upon 
the question from its commercial aspect. Indeed, 
nearly all those who have studied the problem admit 
the value of the sentiment which must necessarily 
surround it; but, at the same time, it is equally gener- 
ally recognized that the commercial element cannot, 
and must not, be ignored. What the United Kingdom 
looks for is a predominance in the markets of the 
Empire ; what the Colonies desire is the market of the 
Mother Country for their products, which they hope 
to see favourably regarded, all other things, such as 
price and quality, being equal. So far as I have been 
able to judge, events appear to be marching in the 
direction of the fulfilment of these desirable objects; 
but progress in such matters is necessarily very slow. 
Still, I think the public mind is beginning to see the 
advantage, to put it mildly, of the relation between 
the different parts of the Empire being so arranged 
as to place Imperial trade on a friendly, or shall I say 
on a family, footing. Such a policy could not fail 
to be beneficial to the Empire, and I cannot see any 
international reason to militate against our regarding 


Lord Strathcona 

from a more favourable point of view our internal 
trade as distinct from the external or, let me say, 
our "domestic trade" from "foreign trade." 

During the following month matters, so far from 
improving at the seat of war, became worse. A sec- 
ond contingent from Canada was announced as 
forthcoming. On the i8th Sir Wilfrid cabled: 

It is important that the commander of Second 
Canadian Contingent be a Canadian officer as in First 
Contingent. Intimate this privately to Lord Lans- 
downe so that nothing may interfere with this plan. 1 

Lord Strathcona wrote: 

I at once went to see Lord Lansdowne, and, after 
one or two fruitless attempts, managed to get an inter- 
view with him yesterday afternoon. 

His Lordship stated that in all probability the 
Canadian force might have to be divided, but he quite 
understood the importance of the matter from your 
point of view, and I left him with the understanding 
that he would look into it, and see that nothing was 
done to interfere with your suggestion being carried out. 
He is also to advise me further. 

Nevertheless there were from the beginning, un- 
satisfactory features about the whole arrangement 

1 "We have," wrote the Prime Minister, "organized our contin- 
gent on basis laid down by Colonial Office despatches of the 3d 
October, which provided for the payment of our men after they reach 
Africa. Efforts are being made to induce us to pay our own men. 
For Imperial and local reasons my opinion is very strongly that this 
question should not be pressed now, but reserved for future action, 
so as to maintain uniform action by all the Colonies. But we would 
like to supplement the pay of our men so as to make it amount to that 
paid them when serving here." (January 19th, 1900.) 


A Force of Rough-Riders 

between the Canadian Government and the War 
Office. These need not be referred to here: they 
must be familiar to any who have perused the his- 
tory of the painfully protracted war which brought 
about the downfall of the two Boer Republics. 

Shortly after Christmas the form which his pri- 
vate assistance to the Empire should take had 
been resolved. He mentioned it first privately to 
Mr. Chamberlain, who heartily applauded, and 
then formally, on December 31, to Lord Lans- 
downe, as Secretary for War. Briefly, and in his 
own words: 

My proposal is that four hundred men should be 
recruited in Manitoba, the North- West, and British 
Columbia, unmarried and expert marksmen, at home 
in the saddle, and thoroughly efficient as rough-riders 
and scouts. The force will be armed, equipped, and 
conveyed to South Africa at my expense. 

Not until the I3th of January did the War Office 
accept his offer. Lord Strathcona cabled General 
Edward Hutton, then Commander-in-Chief of the 
Canadian Militia (or as he himself preferred to term 
it " the Canadian Army") : 

Have presented mounted regiment to Imperial Gov- 
ernment for service in South Africa. Request you 
kindly raise same, mount same, equip same in Canada. 
Please draw on my account, Bank of Montreal, 
150,000. My friend Sir Edward Clouston will pro- 
vide all that is necessary. 

It is no longer a secret that Lord Strathcona 
would have desired that his friend Colonel Hughes 


Lord Strathcona 

should have commanded this little force, but he re- 
solved to leave all the arrangements in the hands 
of the Canadian authorities. Meanwhile, much as 
he regretted the publicity, the fact of his offer had 
reached Canada, and on the 1 3th he cabled the 
Premier : 

Much concerned that matter has been allowed to 
become public prematurely through the medium of 
Ottawa press telegrams, as I wished without my name, 
but secrecy is no longer possible. Her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment has now accepted my proposition and it may 
be announced. Horses preferred from North- West to 
be purchased by McEachran in consultation with 
General Hutton ; men to be engaged on same terms as 
and equipped like Canadian contingents; all officers 
and men to be passed medically under arrangements 
to be made with approval of Dr. James Stewart, of 
Montreal, and General Hutton. Imperial Govern- 
ment takes over force on arrival, like Colonial contin- 
gents, returning men to Canada after campaign, but 
retaining horses, arms, and equipment except clothing 
and necessaries. 

He explained further: 

The matter, of course, is to be entirely non-political, 
only qualification being thorough fitness and suitabil- 
ity of officers and men for services required. Grateful 
to you for use Militia Department, which will assure 
every economy compatible with fullest efficiency and 
thorough equipment of force. Will greatly appreciate 
if can have benefit of experience of General Hutton in 
the selection of men and purchase of horses, arms, and 
equipment. Officers to be nominated by him and 


Strengthening the Bond 

names and particulars submitted my approval. All 
accounts connected with the force till its embarkation, 
endorsed by General Hutton, will be paid by Edward 
S. Clouston, General Manager Bank of Montreal. Any 
stores or equipment not obtainable in Canada will 
purchase here as done for contingents. Am enquiring 
about transport and will cable further. Please tele- 
graph meantime how soon force likely to start. 

His generous and unprecedented offer aroused 
the utmost enthusiasm in Canada and was warmly 
praised in Britain. The Times, in referring to it 
remarked : 

How immense is the reserve of strength on which 
England, in a just cause, can draw, is strikingly re- 
vealed in the munificent offer we have the gratification 
of recording to-day. It comes from one who is at once 
a Canadian citizen and a British peer Lord Strath- 
cona and Mount Royal, the Agent-General for the 
Dominion. The estimated cost of this munificence is 
said to be a million dollars, or 200,000. There are 
not many countries in the world where individual 
citizens are to be found able and ready to prove their 
patriotism on so splendid a scale. Such an offering to 
the common cause of the Empire would have been 
welcome from any quarter. It is doubly welcome from 
the representative of our greatest self-governing Col- 
ony. It is a proof how this war and these misfor- 
tunes, which, in the eyes of superficial Continental 
critics mark the beginning of our downfall, are in truth 
knitting us all together as we never were knit before. 
Blood and iron are doing their work. 1 

1 Read fifteen years later what added significance have these 


Lord Strathcona 

It was the opinion of many military critics that 
no more efficient rough-riders and scouts could be 
desired than these men of the saddle and rifle from 
the prairie. It would have been easy to raise in 
Canada ten times the number: and the hope was 
expressed that when he had them Lord Roberts 
would accord them the fullest opportunities at the 
front. This fresh illustration of the Canadian 
spirit was received in a far less aloof and conde- 
scending spirit than was the case when the first 
Canadian contingent was offered and accepted. 

The Canadian Gazette declared : 

It is for want of just such men as these Canadian 
mounted riflemen, and the scouting and irregular work 
they can do so well, that our army has suffered severely 
in South Africa in face of a mounted enemy. What 
four hundred of the Canadians and Australians did at 
Modder River under Colonel Pilcher is what might 
have been done at the outset of the campaign with the 
greatest advantage. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

53 CADOGAN SQUARE, S.W., igth January, 1900. 

I now take the opportunity of writing to confirm 
the various cablegrams that have passed between us, 
respecting the organization of my little force for South 
Africa, and at the same time to thank you most cor- 
dially for the time and trouble you are devoting to 
the matter. 

I was very grateful, indeed, to you for your willing- 
ness to place the organization of the Militia Depart- 
ment at my disposal, for the raising of the force, the 


Explains his Objects 

purchase of the horses, arms, and equipment, and the 
conveyance of the corps to South Africa. 

In the first place, my impression was, that as the 
force is to be a personal one, it might be desirable to 
deal with it as far as possible in that manner, so that 
it should be considered not as being in any sense of an 
official character. I recognized naturally that it would 
be difficult to carry out the arrangements without the 
help of the Government and Militia Department, but 
I thought the object I had in view would be better 
achieved if arrangements could be made for General 
Hutton to act practically as my representative in the 
matter, and to have charge of the detailed arrange- 
ments, of course, in connection with the Minister of 
Militia, and not in any sense independent of Dr. 

You will, I know, believe that, in mentioning my 
desire that the matter should be regarded entirely as 
non-political, I had no idea of making any reflection 
upon the organization of the First and Second Con- 
tingents. The expression was merely an incidental one, 
on the line of my idea that the force should not be 
official in any way in its character. Had I not been 
convinced thoroughly that no considerations of a 
political nature had been allowed to intervene in con- 
nection with the Government contingents, I should 
hardly have been disposed to move in the matter at all. 

You will understand, I am sure, that the principal 
concern I have is that the force to be raised should be 
thoroughly efficient in every way, that the men and 
the officers should be the most suitable that can be 
obtained for the services for which they are likely to 
be required. And further, that the equipment and 
armament should be as perfect as possible, and I am 


Lord Strathcona 

sure that this could not be done on better lines than 
those that have been adopted with the Government 

With regard to the officers, I should like, of course, 
to have the names of those who are nominated sub- 
mitted to me for approval, with any particulars about 
them that may be available, and there will be no delay 
on my part in reply to any communications I may 
receive on this branch of the subject. 

As I mentioned in one of my telegrams, I am quite 
willing that the force should be increased to four 
hundred and fifty or five hundred men, if this is found 
to be practicable, and if a suitable ship can be obtained, 
to convey the number of men that may be selected 
within these limits, and the necessary horses. I am 
strongly of opinion that the men and horses should go 
in one ship. 

It will be understood, of course, that the men will be 
paid at the same rates as the men forming the Govern- 
ment contingents. While I shall be responsible to that 
extent, and for the expenses connected with the pur- 
chase of the arms, horses, equipment, and of the trans- 
port, no other responsibility will attach to me, as the 
force will be taken over, like the Government contin- 
gents, by the Imperial Government, on its arrival in 
South Africa. 

Unhappily, Lord Strathcona had not been in- 
formed of the strained relations which existed be- 
tween General Hutton and the Laurier Ministry, 
which were now at all but the breaking-point. 
Moreover, General Hutton's rather too-frank ex- 
pression of his opinion of the merits of the Colonial 
militia, as compared with British regulars, had 


Colonel Sam Hughes 

angered several of the leading militia officers, 
amongst them, Colonel Hughes. The latter, in pro- 
test, had addressed an open letter to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief , which General Hutton considered 
"unpardonable." Yet there were many passages 
in this production of manifest truth and force 
and even of eloquence. The upshot was that its 
writer found himself unable to obtain employment 
with the First or Second Contingents. 

It was finally through Lord Strathcona's medi- 
ation, when General Hutton shortly afterwards 
arrived in England, that Colonel Hughes was per- 
suaded to take a step toward a formal reconcilia- 
tion which resulted in his being given employment 
in South Africa. His disappointment was keen that 
he was not to command the Strathcona Horse. 
An offer of a captaincy in that troop he had thought 
it proper to decline. 

Colonel Hughes to General Hutton 

I desire to make full and ample apology to you for 
certain letters written by me to you during recent 
months, letters written under excitement caused by the 
belief that I was to be debarred from participating in 
the deeds of a Canadian contingent in the Imperial 
service, should one be sent to the Transvaal, a project 
which I, as the proposer for many years, felt deeply at 
heart. I especially regret one reflecting, in a sense, 
upon the system, but the remarks I deemed a provo- 
cation as I construed them were a reflection upon 
Canadians ; two or three incidents occurring practically 
on one day which I, from the viewpoint of one more 


Lord Strathcona 

familiar with constitutional law rather than of British 
military practice, believed to bear upon my honour and 
rights as a citizen, caused me to express sentiments that 
are foreign to my belief in the form in which they seem. 
I most respectfully wish to retract all letters written 
in what, to your military instinct, may seem insubor- 
dination, but which were not so meant by me. 

Meanwhile, an excellent officer for the force had 
been found, another Ontarian, Colonel S. B. Steele, 
who had already distinguished himself in the 
Mounted Police. He writes : 

Two months after the First Canadian Contingent had 
sailed for South Africa I heard that it was likely that a 
mounted corps would be sent to the war. I went to 
Halifax, and had been there only two days when Sir 
Frederick Borden, Minister of Militia, telegraphed for 
me to return to Ottawa and raise and command a corps 
of mounted riflemen for Lord Strathcona, who was 
sending a regiment to South Africa at his own expense. 
I was to be allowed to take with me any officers and 
men of the Mounted Police who had volunteered for 
the service and could be spared from their duties, and I 
could have the service of the remainder to recruit the 

One squadron was to be raised in Manitoba, another 
in the North-West Territory, and the third in British 
Columbia; the whole of the saddlery, clothing, trans- 
port wagons, and many other articles of equipment had 
to be manufactured. The horses had to be purchased 
at the very worst time of the year and were to be cow- 
horses, that is, animals trained in round-up and all 
range work. Recruits were not wanting; one could 
have got thousands of the best men in Canada. I had 


Colonel Steele in Command 

an offer from six hundred first-class Arizona stock men. 
They were prepared to supply their own arms, pay for 
any class of rifle that I desired, furnish their own 
horses, spare and riding, if I would take them for 
Strathcona's Horse. I had, of course, to decline, but 
it was clear proof of what the Empire can expect in 
time of trouble. One could have had the assistance 
of thousands of the finest horsemen in the United 

The recruiting was completed on February 8, and 
was most satisfactory. On the I4th, we reached Ot- 
tawa, and were quartered in Lansdowne Park Exhib- 
ition Ground. The regiment was cheered at every 
station en route. March 6, I paraded the regiment 
for inspection of the Governor-General. Our space 
was limited, and the snow, being above the horses' 
knees, prevented me from doing more than march past 
in sections of fours, but the corps looked well. 

The corps was at last complete and ready to move 
at a moment's notice, all the result of one month's 
work. During these strenuous days I had much en- 
couragement from Lord Strathcona, who wrote me 
several kindly letters, impressing upon me that I was 
to spare no expense in providing for the comfort of the 
men and the efficiency of the regiment. I could say 
that in every respect I had carried out his wishes to the 
fullest extent and with due regard to economy, and 
thanks to his liberality and the active assistance I 
received from all concerned, I am sure it would have 
been impossible to find a better equipped corps in the 

On March 17, the Strathcona Horse embarked 
upon the Monterey at Halifax, numbering 28 offi- 
cers, 512 other ranks, and 599 horses. 


Lord Strathcona 

The following cable message was received from 
Lord Strathcona, which, when published on board, 
was received with hearty cheers in every part of the 
ship : 

Very sorry I cannot see my force embark. Have 
transmitted Dr. Borden gracious message I have 
received from Her Majesty, which he will publicly 
convey to you and the men under your command. 
Have also asked him to express my best wishes to you 
all, and that you have a pleasant voyage, every suc- 
cess, and a safe return. Appointments of all officers 
gazetted ; they will receive their commissions from the 
Queen. Hope to forward them to reach you at Cape- 
town, where you will find a letter on your arrival. 
Report yourself to the General Officer Commanding, 
Capetown. STRATHCONA. 

Excellent as were the arrangements on board for 
the comfort of all ranks, the voyage was not a 
pleasant one. 

No sooner [writes Colonel Steele] did we get out into 
the open sea than, in spite of the fact that it could not 
be called rough, the vessel rolled heavily, a motion 
which she kept up on the slightest excuse for the 
greater part of the trip. After a few days one of the 
horses developed pneumonia, and from day to day 
many went to feed the sharks. The greatest care was 
taken, but it was of little avail, the disease had to run 
its course, and it was a pitiful sight to see so many 
exceptionally fine animals thrown overboard. 

On April loth the Monterey arrived and an- 
chored in Table Bay and the commander found 
letters from Lord Strathcona, "all containing use- 


Hutton and Borden Quarrel 

ful advice. He sent out 150 field-glasses and wire- 
cutters, whilst money was placed to my credit to 
purchase lassoes, extra tea, and tobacco." 

Colonel Steele describes how, while the Strath- 
cona Horse were on the march, Sir Redvers Buller 
rode up with his staff, and passed in and out 
through the column of troops, expressing himself 
very much pleased. He said: 

I knew Lord Strathcona very well, when I was in 
Winnipeg on the Red River Expedition of 1870. It 
was arranged with him that I should go west to dis- 
tribute the Queen's proclamation; but it turned out 
that I was required with my regiment, and Butler 
went instead, a very good thing too ; for he wrote a very 
good book describing his journey, which I could not 
have done. 

This is somewhat in advance of our narrative. 
The quarrel between General Hutton and Dr. 
(later Sir Frederick) Borden, led to a demand for 
the former's recall. Mr. Chamberlain had in vain 
endeavoured to heal the breach. 

From Mr. Joseph Chamberlain 

I3th February, 1900. 


Thanks for your letter of the loth instant, telling me 
of the message which you have received from Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier about General Hutton. I can only say 
that I deeply regret that after my promise to endeav- 
our to settle the matter to the satisfaction of the 
Dominion Government, they should have thought it 


Lord Strathcona 

necessary to send an official application for General 
Hutton's recall. Their action will necessitate my 
sending an official reply, going into the whole history 
of the relations between the officers appointed by the 
Imperial Government and the Dominion Ministers. 

"What is the matter with your Ministers of 
Militia in Canada?" asked the Colonial Secre- 
tary. " Is there no one of our Imperial officers with 
whom they can work harmoniously? I confess 
frankly I am disappointed. I thought Hutton and 
Dr. Borden would get along well together." 

Alas, four years later, as we shall see, there was 
to be a further rupture with another British com- 
manding officer. On that occasion Lord Strath- 
cona privately deplored the part politics had al- 
ways played in militia affairs in Canada. "I'm 
afraid it will take years or some great national 
danger to put our military service on a plane above 
party interests," he said. 

From Lord Strathcona 

February lyth, 1900. 


The position with regard to General Hutton as 
shown in your confidential letters of the 3Oth inst., 
received yesterday, is a most regrettable one and 
gives much concern both to Mr. Chamberlain and 
Lord Lansdowne. 

The experience with the generals sent out to com- 
mand the militia has been anything but a satisfactory 
one, and ever since the retirement of Sir Selby Smyth, 
five in succession, including General Hutton, have 


General Hutton recalled 

been recalled, as being for one reason or another 
unacceptable to the Canadian Government. 

On getting your confidential telegrams I communi- 
cated on the subject with Mr. Chamberlain, who made 
a suggestion to the War Office of appointing Hutton 
for service in South Africa. It may be impossible at 
the moment to find an officer in every way qualified 
to be his successor. 

He assured me that not a moment was being un- 
necessarily lost in carrying out your views concerning 
the transfer of the General for service elsewhere. I 
communicated to him your suggestion about Lake. 

I called on him yesterday, and he then said that 
they would not be able to send Colonel Lake to replace 
General Hutton, who I presume will soon be here on 
his way to South Africa. 

That same day the High Commissioner received 
a cable from Sir Wilfrid : 

1 6th February, 1900. 

Concerning the official despatch for the recall of 
General Hutton, we would have been all along willing 
to have a confidential communication. The demand 
for official communication did not come from us. That 
communication when received may be kept in abey- 
ance to be withdrawn, unless General Hutton forces 
whole question before Parliament. 

In the following year the whole question was un- 
happily forced upon the Canadian Parliament, 
when it was conclusively shown that the Govern- 
ment could hardly have overlooked the indiscre- 
tions of the Commander-in-Chief, in certain pub- 
lic speeches reported in the newspapers, without 


Lord Strathcona 

sacrificing its dignity or impairing the prerogative 
of the Minister of Militia. 

The surrender of the Boer General Cronje at 
Paardeberg caused much satisfaction in Canada. 
Lord Strathcona cabled the news instantly to Sir 

Wilfrid Laurier: 

February ayth, 1900. 

Lord Roberts reports that at 3 A.M. to-day a most 
dashing advance made by Canadian regiment and 
some engineers, supported by First Gordon Highland- 
ers and Second Shropshire, resulted in our gaining a 
point some six hundred yards nearer the enemy and 
within eighty yards of his trenches, where our men 
entrenched themselves and maintained their position 
till morning. A gallant deed worthy of our Colonial 
comrades and which I am glad to say was attended 
with comparatively slight loss. This apparently 
clinched matters, for at daylight to-day a letter signed 
by Cronje, in which he stated that he surrendered 
unconditionally, was brought to our outpost under a 
flag of truce. Lord Roberts's despatch was read in 
House of Commons and House of Lords to-day and the 
reference to the gallantry of Canadian regiment was 
loudly cheered. 

The Paardeberg success apparently suggested 
to Mr. Cecil Rhodes that another Canadian bat- 
talion might be employed in Rhodesia, and he com- 
municated the suggestion to Mr. Chamberlain. 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

March Qth, 1900. 

The Colonial Secretary proposes recruiting in West- 
ern Canada for special service in Rhodesia: this force 


Rhodes asks for Canadians 

to be raised at a special rate of pay, and as we under- 
stand from an agent here practically for service of the 
Chartered Company. If anything of the kind was to 
be done it will be necessary to have an official despatch 
from Colonial Secretary making unmistakable distinc- 
tion between proposed force and those already sent 
to South African War. If such distinction is clearly 
marked and the purpose of force stated in express 
terms at the time of recruiting, then there would be no 
objection to course proposed. Without such clear dis- 
tinctions, object of recruiting might be misconceived 
and create serious embarrassment. See Colonial Secre- 
tary, discuss subject, and advise us. 

Lord Strathcona wrote: 

I at once communicated this message personally 
to Mr. Chamberlain. I understood your suggestion 
would be adopted if the matter were proceeded with, 
but owing to difficulties the subject would probably 
be dropped. 

The Colonial Office have since sent me, for my con- 
fidential information, a copy of a telegram which was 
addressed to the Governor-General on the 2d inst., to 
the effect that Her Majesty's Government did not 
propose to proceed with the proposal. 

He much desired that his friend Sir Charles 
Tupper, the leader of the Opposition in Canada, 
should be present at the departure from Halifax of 
the Strathcona Horse. This proved impracticable, 
but he was much gratified at receiving the follow- 
ing: letter: 


Lord Strathcona 

From Sir Charles Tupper 

OTTAWA, March i8th, 1900. 


Your kind cable of the 9th inst. gave me a great deal 
of pleasure as far at it referred to myself, but I was 
very sorry to hear that you had been so ill. I would 
have been very glad to comply with your wishes that 
I should see the Strathcona Horse off at Halifax, but 
I learned that Borden was going, and it was very 
difficult for me to leave the House at such a critical 
period of the Session. I had the pleasure of expressing 
the feeling of the people of Canada upon your munifi- 
cent act, which has done so much for our Dominion, 
during the Debate on the Address, and of speaking to 
your contingent on the grounds at their quarters, and 
at Parliament Square, where they were reviewed by 
the Governor-General. 

If you will accept it, I have no doubt to the joy of 
all Canadians, you will be the successor of His Excel- 
lency, nor do I doubt the British Government will 
mark your valuable services to the Crown by making 
your Peerage descend to your daughter and her son. 

We are, I think, on the eve of a general election, the 
result of which I feel confident will be our return to 
power. I will not say more than to beg you on no 
condition to vacate the High Commissionership before 
a general election takes place. 

Do not fail to take care of your health, upon which 
the whole country is so anxious. 

With kindest regards to Lady Strathcona and your- 
self, I am, always, 

Yours faithfully, 



Tupper's Suggestion 

On the same day Sir Charles also wrote: 

To Mr. Joseph Chamberlain 

OTTAWA, March i8th, 1900. 


I am sure you will be satisfied I made no mistake, 
either from a Canadian or an Imperial standpoint, to 
suggest that a peerage should be conferred upon Sir 
Donald Smith, and I feel certain that you will excuse 
me for saying that all Canadians will rejoice if his great 
services to the Crown at an important crisis are rec- 
ognized by arranging that his peerage shall descend 
to his only child, the Honourable Mrs. Howard. She 
is the wife of Dr. Howard, who is the first Canadian 
who took the fellowship of the Royal College of 
Surgeons. His father was the most eminent physician 
in Montreal, and a professor in the McGill University. 
Mrs. Howard would grace any position, and her 
family of sons and daughters are bright and interest- 
ing. You can imagine what it would be for Lord 
Strathcona, like myself so near the close of life, to feel 
that his grandson, Donald Howard, would one day 
wear his title. It is right you should know that no 
person living knows I have made this suggestion to 
you, and I am quite sure you will appreciate the spirit 
in which it is made. 

You, beyond all your predecessors, have established 
the principle that service to the Crown shall receive 
the same recognition in the outlying portions of the 
Empire as in the Mother Country. 

I was glad to find, when addressing a great meeting 
on the 5th at Boston, in favour of the Patriotic Fund, 


Lord Strathcona 

a reference to yourself and your policy on the Transvaal 
was received with the wildest enthusiasm. 
With best wishes, I remain, 
Yours faithfully, 


It had been Lord Strathcona's ardent wish, al- 
though Providence had denied him a son, that he 
should be the founder of a family bearing his name 
and continuing in the path he had marked out and 
so long had trod. 

Mr. Chamberlain to Sir Charles Tupper 

COLONIAL OFFICE, 3ist March, 1900. 


I have to thank you for your letter of the i8th, and 
the suggestion which you made in it. No one appre- 
ciates more than I do the character and services of 
Lord Strathcona, and I shall be delighted if I can for- 
ward his wishes in any way. As a matter of fact, how- 
ever, when the peerage was conferred, the subject of 
its continuance to a daughter was considered, and it 
was found that there were great difficulties in the way 
of such an unusual grant. It is possible that these dif- 
ficulties may ultimately be surmounted, and you may 
count on my seizing any opportunity of securing the 
desired result. 1 

I am, etc., 

Yours very faithfully, 


Nothing could exceed his pleasure at the pros- 
pect held out that certain obstacles, which he 
1 The new royal patent was granted a few months later. 

His Gratitude to Tupper 

knew were founded upon error, but which he was 
too proud himself to point out, might, through the 
unsolicited exertions of his friends, be removed. 

To Sir Charles Tupper 

May 4th, 1900. 


Your letter of the 22d April, having under cover 
copy of a letter from yourself to Mr. Chamberlain, of 
the 1 8th March, and of his reply of the 3ist of that 
month, has this moment reached me, and I must send 
you a word of grateful thanks for all your great kind- 
ness to me and mine, to catch to-day's mail. 

The kindness which actuated you in writing to Mr. 
Chamberlain as you did, I appreciate infinitely more 
than I would the fulfilment of the object you had in 
view in doing so, and I need only say that I am truly 
grateful to you. My wife and daughter will be not less 
so; but let me say that I would never have moved a 
finger, or said one word in furtherance of that object, 
however much I might desire it for my daughter and 
her children. 

It is true that when a peerage was offered me, a word 
was said on the subject, but the thought was then dis- 
missed from my mind, and in anything I may have said 
or done has not recurred to me since. 

In a letter you most kindly wrote to me, bearing on 
the reception in Ottawa and Montreal to my little 
corps of mounted men, you brought up the subject in 
the kindest terms, but I had no expectation you would 
have gone further, and what is said in your present 
letter is therefore, with its contents, its enclosures, a 
pleasant surprise, that in one quarter at least on this 


Lord Strathcona 

side there is an appreciation of what little I may have 
endeavoured to do for the benefit of Canada. 

Again I thank you. I am not sure I have yet ex- 
pressed to you how sensible I am of all you did in the 
send-off of my little battalion from Ottawa, but I hope 
you know how deeply I feel all the kindness and at- 
tention shown to them by yourself and other friends. 

We were much grieved to hear of the serious acci- 
dent to Lady Tupper, and we earnestly trust she is 
now quite recovered. 

With our kindest regards for her and yourself, and 
in much haste, I am, 

Very sincerely yours, 


A fortnight before he had written : 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, 2ist April, 1900. 

It was a great regret to me not to have undertaken 
my intended visit to Canada this past winter, but as 
I had a sharp attack of pleurisy the doctors thought 
it more prudent I should not venture crossing the 
Atlantic till later on; but I still look forward to being 
in Canada early in the summer, as I have quite re- 
gained my accustomed health. 

The very valuable service of Archbishop Bruchesi 
and Principal Peterson, in their efforts to heal the 
breach so unfortunately caused by some of the McGill 
students in their over-zeal and enthusiasm in connec- 
tion with the war in South Africa, to which you refer, 
cannot be too highly appreciated by all who have the 
true interests of our country at heart. 


A Bi-cameral Advocate 

Both His Grace and the Principal have been good 
enough to write me on the subject, the letters of the 
former having only just come to hand. To Dr. Peter- 
son I had already written, and I shall not fail to write 
to the Archbishop expressing my deep sense of the 
obligation we owe him for having so successfully helped 
to avert a racial cleavage, than which I am entirely 
of opinion with you nothing could be more deplorable 
as affecting the future of the Dominion. 

I need not say to you how your own efforts in the 
cause of the unity of the Empire are appreciated both 
here and throughout the Queen's Dominions. 

During April the delegates from the Australian 
Colonies to the Imperial Parliament, seeking na- 
tionhood under the British flag, arrived in England. 
At a banquet in their honour Lord Strathcona, 
who responded to the toast of "The Home and 
Colonial Legislatures," told his hearers 

that they would do well, instead of speaking of the 
Home and Colonial Legislatures, to speak of the 
Legislatures of the Empire. But they all looked to 
the Home Legislature, to our Lords and Commons. 
In all the countries to which Englishmen had gone, 
they thought of that Mother of Parliaments, the Par- 
liament of Great Britain, and they had also thought 
of and loved that cradle of liberty, their Mother 
Country. They had, he believed, in almost every 
country, decided that it was a wise thing that there 
should be two branches of the Legislature one a 
check upon the other. When there was only one 
there might be some hasty legislation which might 
cause regret in the future. When there was a second, 
the opportunity was given for revising what had been 


Lord Strathcona 

done. In the Legislatures of the outlying portions of 
the Empire there were altogether some fifty distinct 
and separate Governments having their distinct Leg- 
islatures. Of these he thought there were some eleven 
having responsible government. If they counted the 
Dominion of Canada as one of the nations equally 
with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, which all contributed 
to the prosperity of the United Kingdom, if they 
counted the seven or eight Provinces of Canada, 
they would have, instead of eleven responsible gov- 
ernments, something like eighteen or twenty. We 
were now about to have another commonwealth or 
nation. They were all proud and pleased to be there 
that evening to join in receiving and doing honour to 
the delegates who came for that great and momentous 
purpose of forming a new nation. But while it would 
be a new nation, it would not be, less than Canada, 
one in the most complete union with the Mother 
Country. They had with very great care and very 
great consideration come to the determination that 
instead of being isolated, if he might so speak of 
the Colonies, they should be one people for all 
purposes of legislation ; and they came to the Mother 
Country with the full assurance that the Imperial 
Parliament would be only too happy to help them to 
carry out that which they believed was a measure the 
best that could be devised for the purpose of the ad- 
ministration of their country. 

Speaking elsewhere Lord Strathcona said : 

Australians had a good example in Canada, but they 
have not followed us in any detail, having looked 
rather to the United States of America in regard to 
the relations of the Provinces to the Federal Power. 


"General" Strathcona 

He was, besides, all for the retention of the ap- 
peal to the Imperial Privy Council, which the Com- 
monwealth Bill disallowed. The clause was, owing 
to Mr. Chamberlain's opposition, deleted before the 
Act was passed by Parliament. 

During the Boer War Lord Strathcona was in 
constant receipt of extraordinary letters, many of 
them anonymous, giving him advice and informa- 
tion as to events connected with hostilities. Some 
of his correspondents, especially those in remote 
parts of the Empire, even in Canada, laboured 
under a curious delusion as to his own personal 
status. Letters addressed to "General" or "Colo- 
nel" Lord Strathcona were not, infrequent. One 
which greatly entertained him spoke of his "well 
known bravery and skill on the battlefield of which 
the newspapers are now full." This he forwarded 
to Colonel Steele, marking it, "wrongly addressed." 
Another was hardly so complimentary. It was 
from an old Hudson's Bay employee, who wrote: 

I have been reading your doings in South Africa 
with great surprise. Little did I think in the old days 
that you would ever make a soldier. Peace, I thought, 
was more in your line. 

I hope " Strathcona's Horse" [wrote another un- 
known correspondent with more enthusiasm] will plant 
the Union Jack on the Court-House of Pretoria, and 
that the Canadians will be the first to reach Mafeking, 
and the God who made a way for his ransomed people 
to cross the Red Sea, closed the lion's jaws for Daniel, 
tempered the flames for Shadrach, Meshach, and 

Lord Strathcona 

Abednego, and the host whom Elijah prayed the Lord 
to open the eyes of his servant to see, may that 
same host encompass our soldiers and be a cloud by 
day and a light by night until they come home again. 
And may God always bless our Empire, keep our men 
true to her, always remembering the knightly hero 
St. George, their patron saint. And right worthy is 
Strathcona to carry the Standard of St. George. 
Never forget that you belong to Canada and Canada 
to you! 

One letter was so singular that the High Com- 
missioner forwarded a copy of it to the Prime 

April 5th, 1900. 

As you are a statesman that we trust, give this 
matter your closest attention at once. Certain Yankees 
are secretly encouraging the Fenians, furnishing them 
with firearms and giving them advice, the principal 
one just now being to blow up part of the Welland 
Canal, thus diverting trade from Montreal and way 
ports to New York. I am telling you facts; it is fully 
discussed in the States. Forewarned is forearmed! 
They have an opinion they could take Canada in 
twenty-four hours if they wanted to. 

Having read and smiled at this letter, which was 
filled with extravagances, Lord Strathcona picked 
up the Times, therein to read that an attempt had 
actually been made on the Welland Canal. 

Lord Strathcona in responding, at the Press 
Club annual dinner, to the toast, "The Imperial 
Forces," in April, 1900, said: 


Canada's Simple Duty 

Had the toast been submitted in its old stereotyped 
form it would have been very little appropriate for 
him to have responded to it. It was formerly of so 
local a character that those who came from the out- 
lying portions of the Queen's dominions could hardly 
have been expected to answer to such a toast other- 
wise than by expressing the fullest sympathy with the 
Mother Country. Now, however, the toast, instead of 
being "The Army, Navy, and Auxiliary Forces," was 
given in what he considered the improved form of ' ' The 
Imperial Forces." It showed that there was an Empire, 
and that Great Britain alone could not form that 
Empire; that without her Colonies there could be no 
Empire in reality. The Colonies recognized this, too, 
but they considered that their fealty, their duty, their 
homage, was owing to the mother who sent them forth. 
A few years ago they had the example of one of the 
Australasian Colonies coming to the aid of the Mother 
Country; now every outlying portion of the Empire 
where Englishmen were to be found not only came to 
the aid of the Mother Country, but fought the battles 
of the Empire and of her who was Queen and Empress of 
the whole of our great dominions. The men from Aus- 
tralasia had done well, the men from Canada had also 
done well, but they had not done more than the great 
and true men of the Imperial Army, and he was sure 
that they themselves would be the last to assume that 
they had done anything more than their simple duty. 

War was a dreadful thing, but war had its lessons, 
and, if it disclosed weaknesses and imperfections oc- 
casionally, it also gave an opportunity for remedying 
them, and that opportunity would not be lost on the 
nation. Nothing could have shown the unity of the 
Empire as this war had done, and in that respect it had 


Lord Strathcona 

been a good rather than an evil. It had been an object 
lesson for the world; one which the nations would 
doubtless take to heart. The unity of the British 
Empire was no longer an ideal, it was a fact. Nothing 
could contribute more to that unity than the fact 
that the sons of the Empire were fighting together and 
nobly and willingly giving their blood for its weal. 
Citizens of the Empire looked to the Army and the 
Navy and to the Imperial forces and he was sure 
they would never look in vain to maintain the 
dignity, the honour, and the solidarity of the Empire. 

Said the Duke of Argyll, at a public meeting in 

I cannot avoid referring to the patriotic efforts of 
Lord Strathcona in raising the regiment which has 
borne his name, and sustaining it in the field for so 
long a time in Africa. " Strathcona's Horse" is a 
remarkable force, and its composition epitomizes the 
opinion which Canada has deliberately formed as to 
the rights and wrongs of the war that is, unfortunately, 
still proceeding. The people of the Dominion were not 
blinded by any of the party feelings in which some 
may indulge at home; and, looking across the seas, 
they see, as they thought, that the cause of Britain is 
the cause of right, freedom, and justice. They have 
acted upon that opinion, and have come forward 
ready to serve in South Africa in such great numbers 
that many excellent men have, of necessity, to be left 
at home. Such an experience is without parallel, and 
none can recollect a similar case, where one private 
individual has come forward and equipped so magnifi- 
cent a body of men. That is not, however, the only act 
for which we ought to be grateful to Lord Strathcona. 


Invitation to the Prince 

He has lately been the means of inducing the Canadian 
Government to offer medals in the schools of Britain 
for proficiency in knowledge concerning Canada. 
Over one thousand such medals have already been 
distributed; they are being most eagerly sought, and 
I am sure that the action of the Canadian Government 
will be attended by most excellent results. 

At the Colonial Institute Dinner in May, 1900, 
Lord Strathcona suggested that the Prince of 
Wales should again visit Canada: 

There were many he amongst them who looked 
back with the most pleasurable feelings to the visit of 
the Prince of Wales to Canada some forty years ago. 
Canada, at that time, was not a federation, not a 
Dominion, not a nation, as it is to-day, and he was 
sure that, should His Royal Highness go there in the 
near future, he would find a people not less loyal than 
they were nearly half a century ago. 

It was true [he continued], that in Canada some 
sixty years ago there was what was called an insur- 
rection ; but the condition of the Colonies in those days 
was very different from what it is now. The Colonial 
Office is very different to-day from what it was then, 
when they imagined they knew a great deal more 
about what was good for those outlandish places called 
Colonies than the Colonies themselves. Now the Col- 
onies felt that in the Mother Country they had a 
strong friend, while at the head of the Colonial Office 
was a statesman most anxious at all tunes to do every- 
thing that was in the best interests of the Colonies. 
He could only state that nowhere in the United King- 
dom could they surpass the loyal reception which would 
be given to the Prince of Wales or any other member 


Lord Strathcona 

of the Royal Family should they visit the Dominion. 
Let us hope that this suggestion, which is as yet in " the 
air," will come to pass, and that we shall have a visit. 

Hearty cheers greeted Lord Strathcona's con- 
cluding expression of the joy all had felt at the 
escape of the Prince from the hand of an assassin. 
The visit of the Heir Apparent (now George V) 
took place in the following year. 

Referring elsewhere to Canada's contribution to 
the South African Army, Senator Drummond said : 

To ourselves it is a source of pride that among them 
is a corps of mounted infantry consisting of 589 men, 
equipped, armed, and carried to the seat of war 
through the princely liberality of the president of this 
bank. Heavy as is the price exacted in war for any 
benefits not in treasure alone, for that is secondary, 
but in blood Canadians now occupy a place among 
the nations not hitherto accorded to them, and can 
realize as never before that their country is part and 
parcel of the Empire, while the more distant shore 
where our flag flies is but a portion of our heritage. 

That summer, in South Africa, the "Strathcona's 
Horse" performed much useful service. When, in 
October, Lord Dundonald parted from them on his 
return to England he addressed them thus: 

I have never served with a nobler, braver, or more 
serviceable body of men. It shall be my privilege 
when I meet my friend Lord Strathcona, to tell him 
what a magnificent body of men bear his name. 

Later, as they entrained for Pretoria, Lord Dun- 
donald stated that he was very proud of "Strath- 


Strathcona's Horse praised 

cona's Horse." From the time the regiment joined 
the brigade under his command it had covered a 
great deal of ground and had undertaken and suc- 
cessfully carried out many dangerous duties. 

Major-General Barton also wrote their com- 
mander in November: 

I cannot speak too highly of the practical and effec- 
tive manner in which the duty assigned to your splendid 
corps was carried out by yourself and all under your 
command yesterday, and I have specially mentioned 
this in my report to the Field Marshal Commanding- 
in-Chief . I only regret that circumstances prevented 
my supporting your movements by advancing further 
with the main body. 

Lord Kitchener, Commander-in-Chief in South 
Africa, bidding farewell to the regiment on Jan- 
uary 15, 1901, publicly thanked them for their 
services and stated that they had marched through 
nearly every part of the Transvaal and Orange 
River Colony, that he had never heard anything 
but good of the corps, and that they would be 
greatly pleased if he told them of the number of 
letters he had received from general officers all over 
the country asking for "Strathcona's Horse." l 

The regiment sailed from Cape Town on Jan- 
uary 21. All hands had been refitted with new 
clothing from head to foot and new hats sent out 
by Lord Strathcona, who, on their arrival in the 
Thames, sent them a telegram of welcome. 

Subsequently, His Majesty King Edward re- 
1 Major-General S. B. Steele, Reminiscences. 

Lord Strathcona 

viewed " Strathcona's Horse," thus addressing 
them : 

Colonel Steele, officers, non-commissioned officers, 
and privates, I welcome you to these shores on your 
return from active service in South Africa. I know it 
would have been the ardent wish of my beloved 
mother, our revered Queen, to have welcomed you 
also, but that was not to be, but be assured she 
deeply appreciated the services you have rendered, as 
I do. 

It has given me great satisfaction to inspect you 
to-day, and to have presented you with your war 
medals, and also with the King's colours. 

Be assured that neither I nor the British nation will 
ever forget the valuable service you have rendered in 
South Africa. 

Lord Strathcona gave a "magnificent banquet, 
modestly called a luncheon," to the whole corps. 
Many leading persons were present, including the 
Earls of Derby and Aberdeen (ex-Governors-Gen- 
eral of Canada), the Earl of Dundonald, Major- 
General Laurie, M.P., Major-General Hutton, and 
many other officers of the army, prominent Colo- 
nial statesmen and gentlemen interested in the 
Dominion and other oversea portions of the Em- 
pire. Lord Strathcona, surrounded by his guests, 
received each officer and private at the entrance of 
the banque ting-hall, and afterwards proposed the 
health of the regiment. The occasion of his own 
toast being drunk produced the wildest enthusi- 
asm, the officers and men springing to their feet 
and making the roof echo with their ardent cheer- 


War Office Alacrity 

ing. The names of Sir Redvers Buller and Lord 
Dundonald, who, in the absence of Lord Roberts, 
took his place on Lord Strathcona's left, were also 
heartily received, the whole corps rising to honour 

Before their return to Canada, Lord Strathcona 
gave a further banquet to the officers of the regi- 
ment. He received all the guests in the great draw- 
ing-room of the Savoy Hotel. Colonel Steele had 
the place of honour on his right, Earl Roberts, the 
Lord Mayor of London, Lord Lansdowne, Secre- 
tary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Joseph Cham- 
berlain, Sir Redvers Buller, Lord William Seymour, 
Sir James Ferguson, and about thirty others were 

Colonel Steele mentions a typical incident. He 
and other officers were returning to the Govern- 
ment for further service. 

He [Lord Strathcona] went with us to obtain pas- 
sages from the War Office, where it was somewhat 
difficult to get the officers to understand that, as we 
were commissioned officers of a force which was paid 
by the British Government and were going out to 
the War, we were entitled to our passages by military 
transports. From the War Office back and forth to the 
Colonial Office we went; but Lord Strathcona event- 
ually put matters right, and it was arranged that we 
should sail on the transport Makool, the same ship 
which had taken Strathcona's Horse to Kosi Bay. 

So delighted was Lord Strathcona with the ex- 
ploits of the Canadians that he cabled out the bulk 


Lord Strathcona 

of the leading article in the Times to Sir Wilfrid 

All classes of our troops, in success as in defeat, have 
displayed splendid qualities, but if anything could 
enhance the intense and widespread satisfaction at 
their achievement, it is the knowledge that the Cana- 
dian Contingent played a principal part in the move- 
ments which forced the stubborn Boer leader to own 
that he was beaten. 

Lord Strathcona added that the military arti- 
cle in the same journal also stated : 

It is peculiarly interesting to note that the "coup de 
grace" to General Cronje's force was delivered by the 
Canadian regiment, whose action at an early hour of 
yesterday is described by Lord Roberts as a gallant 
deed worthy of our Colonial comrades. The fact that 
the force voluntarily offered by the great self-govern- 
ing Colony of Canada had greatly distinguished itself 
in another continent is one which will not be forgotten. 
The gallant Canadians who fell yesterday have helped 
draw closer the bonds which unite our Empire. 

Nevertheless, he was much concerned over the 
circumstance of the short enlistment of the Cana- 
dian contingents, a single year only, and 
his impatience was great when six out of eight 
companies refused to accede to Lord Roberts's 
request to prolong their term of service by a few 
months. Had it been possible he would himself have 
wished to interfere and appeal to the men : but re- 
flection showed that it was best not to call too much 
attention to the incident. He contented himself 


Imperial Defence 

with explaining the matter to the Commander-in- 
Chief : 

To Field Marshal Earl Roberts 

February loth, 1901. 

We in Canada have been so long isolated and ab- 
sorbed in our own material development that it will 
take us some time to recognize fully the gravity of 
Imperial defence outside our own borders, But the 
temper of the Canadian people is elastic and will be 
found to fit the situation should it ever arise in the 
future. They will only need to be impressed by its 
gravity to come forward to meet it. This war, if only 
a beginning, has, I trust, proved that. 



LORD STRATHCONA may well have felt embar- 
rassed by the overwhelming character of his recep- 
tion when he visited Montreal in the summer of 
1900. On his arrival at the station he was greeted 
by a deputation of prominent citizens and twelve 
hundred students of McGill University, whose ex- 
uberance was no whit dampened by a steady down- 
pour of rain. The interval of waiting for the Chan- 
cellor was employed in pulling down tradesmen's 
signs, upon which the magic name "Strathcona" 
was then chalked. A baker's cart was "held up" 
and deprived of its load of loaves, which, soon ren- 
dered sodden by the rain, made excellent missiles 
for those whose enthusiasm seemed to require a 
stimulus. When at last the train steamed into the 
station, the deputation, headed by Sir William Van 
Home, boarded the car and welcomed Lord Strath- 
cona at his homecoming. " Canada does not forget 
such lifelong services as Lord Strathcona has ren- 
dered." That inscribed on a banner was the note 
of the occasion. The McGill students, shouting 
and cheering, waving their hats, called for three 
cheers for Lord Strathcona, and thousands took 
up the chorus, "For he's a jolly good fellow." 

When the object of their demonstration de- 
scended the steps of the station a mighty roar went 


Reception in Montreal 

up, and it was with difficulty he made his way to 
his carriage, from which the horses had been with- 
drawn and to which ropes were attached by the 
students. Torrents were descending, but the wel- 
coming multitude, wet and covered with mud, with 
broken umbrellas, and boots and trousers past 
recognition, evinced no diminution of ardour. 
They emitted the college yell ; again and again they 
called for cheers for Strathcona and Strathcona's 
Horse, and while the bells of St. George's Church 
loudly pealed a welcome, the carriage was drawn 
along to Lord Strathcona's residence in Dorchester 

Arrived at his residence, and touched at such 
evidences of a popularity his prime had never 
known, Lord Strathcona addressed the students: 

I feel deeply [he said] the kindness of your recep- 
tion and its heartiness, and I hope that I shall have the 
opportunity of meeting you all during my short stay 
here. The reception which you have given me to-day 
will remain vividly imprinted on my memory during 
the remainder of my life, however long or short that 
may be. I cannot in reason expect that many more 
years remain to me. 

At this point a crowd of students interrupted his 
remarks by giving him three cheers, and before the 
sound of this had died away, some one in the crowd 
asked, "What's the matter with Strathcona's 
Horse?" to which the whole crowd duly responded. 
Lord Strathcona then said : 

Yes, gentlemen, they are "all right." They have 
done, and will do, their duty like all the soldiers of 


Lord Strathcona 

the Queen, no matter from what part of the Empire 
they are gathered, and in the same spirit McGill will 
do its duty. 

Loud cheers greeted the conclusion of this 

He later told the Montrealers: 

Imperialism is not confined to any one class in Eng- 
land now; it pervades the whole nation. It is no 
longer a sentiment of any one district. In the parts of 
the country where the labouring classes toil, there you 
find the feeling very, very strong. 

Mr. Chamberlain is essentially a Colonial Minister. 
He has done more for the Colonies, I think, than any 
Minister preceding him in the Colonial Office. He is a 
man of wonderful energy and vigour, determined to 
strengthen the connection between the Mother Coun- 
try and her Colonies. The policy of a closer union has 
become astonishingly popular on the other side. It is 
not now momentary or evanescent. The war in South 
Africa has stirred the people in a wonderful manner. 
The country has seized every opportunity of showing 
its interest for, and sympathy with, the outlying mem- 
bers of the Empire. 

This feeling [he predicted] was sure to be lasting, 
simply because it was entirely voluntary. It is a free 
government in Canada as in England. If Canadians 
had felt that they were compelled to aid England in 
the recent struggle, some of them might possibly have 
been disposed to rebel. The assistance tendered to 
the Empire was not compulsory; no such feelings were 
engendered. What is this seeking after a closer bond 
between the Colonies and the Mother Country, after 
all? Is it not a common necessity? The Mother Land 
is necessary to the Colonies and_the Colonies are 


Federation not to be forced 

necessary to the Mother Country. A close bond of 
Union is our strength it is her strength ! Think of 
its effect on the other nations! It is a course with 
mutual advantages to the Colonies and to England. 

As to the desire for closer union leading to some 
formal arrangement by which the Colonies would be 
represented in the Imperial Councils, I do not think 
this question should be forced. Should the trend of 
feeling eventually run in that way, means will be 
found to devise a working arrangement. At present I 
would not urge it. A common impulse is now felt in all 
parts of the Empire. When the Empire is engaged in 
war, all the component parts feel that they, too, are 
concerned. There is a oneness of feeling which could 
not have been dreamt of before the Transvaal War. 
I would not be in a hurry to force this sentiment into 
legal or binding shape. Canada has gained greatly by 
her action in sending out the contingents. She is known 
now in England in a way which would have been 
simply impossible some years ago. It is felt by people 
in England that they may invest their capital in 
Canada with as much security as they can at home. 
Canada has come to be regarded as an integral part 
of the Empire, sharing in the Imperial thought. 

Speaking of the conduct of Strathcona's Horse, 
Lord Strath cona said : 

There is another thing of which I am very proud, 
and that is the fine stand our Canadian horses took in 
the hardships of the contest. I have it on excellent au- 
thority and from many sources that the horses which 
were shipped from the Canadian North-West to South 
Africa have proved themselves to be the finest class of 
horses used there by the British Army. 


Lord Strathcona 

Everywhere he went and every day of his brief 
sojourn in Canada, the heartiness of his reception 
was the same. 

The Toronto Board of Trade gave him a banquet 
at which four hundred representative persons of 
the Province of Ontario were present. "The gather- 
ing," commented the Globe, "was a great tribute to 
the philanthropic nobleman who had done so much 
for Canada and the Empire." 

We are told that, on his rising to speak, the 
guests and spectators in the galleries cheered for 
several minutes, the band playing " Rule Britannia." 
The principal theme of his speech was the bond of 
union between the Mother Land and her Colonies, 
now cemented by the blood their sons shed together 
on the soil of South Africa. 

When we speak of a united Empire, we speak of the 
Dominion and the other Colonies coming closer to- 
gether. May we not express a hope, too, that in our 
Dominion there may be less provincialism amongst 
us? Whether in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritime Prov- 
inces, the Prairie Provinces, or in that great Western 
country which was once called a sea of mountains, and 
which they now know to be a rich sea of mountains, 
they ought to feel in all their legislation they desired 
to come together in everything that was good for the 
Dominion at large. 

A few years ago people from Canada and the 
Colonies were regarded in England as merely those to 
whom it was well to be civil very worthy back- 
woods people, but hardly worth while crossing the 
sea to recognize. We know that our neighbours of the 


Worthy Backwoods People" 

United States were thought highly of, and seen every- 
where in society, but was it so of ourselves from 
Canada and the other Colonies, as we had a right to 
expect? How is it to-day? To be a Canadian citizen 
or a citizen of any other Colony is to have the warm- 
est good wishes of all the best people of the Mother 

The feeling that has gone forth toward the Colonies 
is not, I feel assured, an evanescent one. While we are 
the first among the nations within the Empire, we are 
glad to know that there is another true-born nation 
which is to take its place alongside of Canada in a very 
few weeks. The grandson of Her Gracious Majesty the 
Queen goes there to assist in opening the new Parlia- 
ment, and I trust that the occasion will not be lost of 
having that same member of the Royal Family, as 
representing Her Majesty, come also amongst us on 
his return. 

We should now be regarded as one people, one great 
Empire of Englishmen, no matter what our mother 
tongue may be. There is one agency which I trust 
within a very short time we shall see as an estab- 
lished fact, and which I believe will be a factor in that 
direction. I feel we may be confident that we shall, at 
the close of 1902, have cable communication direct 
from Canada to Australia. While we have but little 
business connection with the Southern Federation, 
doubtless it will go on increasing to great proportions, 
as there is much in each country that the other 

To the Warden of Victoria College he had pre- 
viously written : 


Lord Strathcona 

To Miss Hilda Oakeley 

5th May, 1900. 

It is a great satisfaction to me to learn from you 
of the excellent progress being made in the Royal 
Victoria College for Women, and perhaps it is an 
advantage that for the first year there should be only 
a few resident students. 

You correctly interpret my wishes with regard to 
the College when you say that I had mainly in view in 
establishing it, "that the more studious students who 
are taking the strict University course should work 
under the happy conditions of home life with those who 
share their ideals and interests." Our object ought 
certainly to be to induce as many of the Canadian 
young women as can be properly accommodated to 
take the entire course as under-graduates, while at 
the same time finding room, as far as practicable, 
for those who are only occasional students. 

It was a great regret to me that I was unable to 
visit Canada this last winter and to be present during 
your session, but the doctors interposed their veto on 
my going out while I was not altogether strong and in 
the best of health. I am still very hopeful of being in 
Canada sometime early in the summer, and look for- 
ward as well to be there again in the autumn or early 
winter during your second session. 

It was during this visit that he formally opened, 
in November, the College he had founded. Lord 
and Lady Minto were present, as well as hun- 
dreds of Montreal citizens and many students of 
McGill University, at a reception which exceeded 


Victoria College Opening 

in size and magnificence any private entertainment 
previously given in Montreal, and even surpassed 
that given by Lord and Lady Strathcona at the 
Imperial Institute, London, in the summer of 1897, 
at which all the Canadians then in the English 
metropolis were invited guests. On this occasion 
Lady Minto unveiled the statue of the Queen, exe- 
cuted by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, at the 
entrance to the college. Miss Oakeley, as Warden 
of the college, then presented Her Excellency with 
an immense bouquet of roses, tied with the college 

In the year following, Lord Strathcona wrote to 
Miss Oakeley: 

May 25th, 1901. 

The account you are able to give of the Royal 
Victoria College and those who have the good fortune 
to be under your care in it, shows indeed a satisfactory 
record for the Session which has just closed, and I have 
no doubt that as time goes on, the College will be in- 
creasingly useful to the people of Montreal and Canada 
in training up well-educated gentlewomen. 

October 28th, 1901. 

It is only now, too, I am able to send a reply to the 
kind letter of the "Delta Sigma" Society, asking if I 
would give an address the annual lecture before 
their literary society, a request which at their sugges- 
tion is enforced in your note. Any such effort on my 
part would, I fear, be a sad disappointment, as I cannot 
hope to do justice to what ought to be the standard of 
such an occasion, but entirely apart from this, fearing 
greatly, owing to my engagements, I could not name 


Lord Strathcona 

an evening when I could be present for the purpose. 
This, pray believe me, is a sincere regret to me, and 
let me add how proud I am to have my name, both 
Christian and surname, so pleasantly associated with 
the Delta Sigma Society. 

In another speech to the citizens of Montreal, 
Lord Strathcona foreshadowed his return to Canada 
" upon the completion of important works in which 
he had been much interested," which were taken 
to mean the Pacific cable and the establishment 
of a fast Atlantic service. Once again he reminded 
his hearers that " the action of the Colonies in send- 
ing troops to South Africa was not merely a matter 
of patriotism, for the Colonies," he said, "are as 
necessary to Britain as Britain is to the Colonies." 

One of the first of his duties on his return to 
England was to take part in the national welcome 
of the war-worn body of Canadian troops returning 
from South Africa under Colonel Otter's command. 
A great reception was given at the Imperial Insti- 
tute in their honour. Addressing the assembled 
company, he said : 

The citizen soldiers of Canada had been received as 
brothers not only by the Queen's soldiers of the 
United Kingdom, but by the whole of London, repre- 
senting admirably the people of Great Britain. It was 
needless to speak of the different battles in which these 
citizen soldiers had been engaged, for their record was 
well known. All the Queen's soldiers had done their 
duty gallantly and well, those from Canada and the 
other Colonies side by side with the rest. This had 
been expected of them by all Canadians, and they 


Queen Victoria's Death 

had not been disappointed. Colonel Otter and his 
officers and men, and indeed the whole Canadian 
Contingent, would be the last to say they had done 
better than others ; but they only claimed to have done 
what they could to conserve the honour, the dignity, 
and the integrity of the Empire. What these troops 
have done in the past they would be equally ready to 
do in the future, if the need of the Empire should arise. 

The illness and death, on January 21, of the 
universally beloved and revered Queen Victoria 
had profoundly affected him. He and Lady 
Strathcona were present in St. George's Chapel, 
Windsor, at the funeral service, where he was heard 
to remark several times to acquaintances, "Think 
of it think of it Queen Victoria is dead!" 
To him the event meant more than to most. His 
memory could travel back to the London of the first 
year of Victoria's accession, when as a fresh-faced 
youth, with all his career before him, he had lin- 
gered in the streets hoping to be "rewarded by 
the spectacle of Her Majesty." 

At a special court of the Governors of the Royal 
Scottish Corporation, held in order to pass a reso- 
lution of sorrow on the Queen's death, of sympathy 
with the Royal Family on their bereavement, and 
congratulation to His Majesty King Edward VII 
on his accession to the Throne, Lord Strathcona 
attended with Lord Rosebery. Canada's High 
Commissioner seconded the resolution, which was 
proposed by the ex- Prime Minister. He said: 

But little is ever required from one who seconds 
Lord Rosebery. It might, however, coming as he did 

Lord Strathcona 

from an outlying portion of the Empire, be permitted 
to him to say a word as to the feeling of the Colonies 
on that most sad occasion. 

If they went back to the commencement of the reign 
of her late Majesty, they would find in Canada symp- 
toms of disloyalty, of race hatreds, and not everywhere 
the warmest possible homage to her name. They had 
different peoples there there were the natives, there 
were the French, and there was not anywhere at that 
time that feeling of love for the Mother Country that 
was now so conspicuous a feature in our great Western 
Dominion. But it was felt for the first time under the 
beneficent reign of Her Majesty that justice would be 
given to all. In his Colony, when her sons visited the 
Mother Country, they must see the Queen. He had 
had a very touching instance of this quite recently. A 
poor man had come to him, stating that he had come 
home from Canada for the express purpose of seeing the 
"great, good mother," and when he had accomplished 
that he would go back again. He was enabled to 
secure for this poor man the privilege of seeing the 
Queen in one of her drives. After that this Canadian 
returned home at once, and said the wish of his life 
had been accomplished. 

At that moment, Canada, as well as the other out- 
lying portions of the Empire, joined in the sorrows of 
the Mother Country. And, likewise, in the United 
States of America it was felt that a great English 
sovereign had passed away, whose life was full of years 
and honours, and who had provided so bright an ex- 
ample to all. It was not alone in Canada that grief 
was felt, but throughout the whole of that great Re- 
public which was its neighbour. As to His Majesty 
King Edward VII, the people of Canada, like all his 


Glencoe's Associations 

subjects, heartily congratulated him, and hoped that 
he might be spared for many long years to follow in the 
steps of his predecessor. They in Canada had a pro- 
found and pleasant recollection of his visit when Prince 
of Wales, forty years before. 

In April, before a distinguished audience at the 
Imperial Institute, he read a paper on "Canada 
and the Empire." The Duke of Argyll in his hap- 
piest vein introduced the lecturer. Everybody, he 
said, knew what Lord Strathcona had done, and 
the Duke, being a Scotsman himself, maintained 
that only a Scotsman could have done what Lord 
Strathcona had done; and only a Scotsman who had 
had a long residence in Canada, benefited by her 
air, her institutions, and by the experience acquired 
on her soil. The Duke was particularly grateful to 
Lord Strathcona in that he had become an Argyll- 
shire man, and had brightened with his presence a 
place which formerly had rather dismal associations. 
Glencoe was associated with the great cruelties 
practised upon some of those who were not up to 
what might be called the " Imperial " ideal of their 
time. The Duke pointed out how matters had 
changed, and the locality was now a centre of light 
and leading in the Imperial feelings of the day. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, 2d May, 1901. 

The other day Mr. Chamberlain asked me to see him 
about some matters which could be better explained 
verbally than in writing. 


Lord Strathcona 

First, he referred to the National Monument to 
Queen Victoria. It was evident from what he said 
that it would be very gratifying to the King and to 
the Government here that Canada should show an 
interest in the matter, by contributing to the fund 
being raised for it, the amount of the contribution being 
of much less consequence than the assurance that the 
Dominion entered cordially into the idea of there being 
one grand memorial in London, joined in by every part 
of the Empire. I am sure that your cooperation in this 
will be regarded with the greatest appreciation here. 

The other matter suggested is that a certain moder- 
ate sum should be placed at the disposal of the Gov- 
ernor-General to enable him adequately to entertain 
the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to 
Canada. Indeed, I believe that Lord Minto has given 
Mr. Chamberlain to understand that his personal 
means do not permit of his doing what he could wish 
in this way. 

About these somewhat delicate matters to deal with, 
I write you frankly, as I know you will not mis- 
understand the spirit in which I bring them to your 
notice, and I also feel sure you would like to have 
placed before you what is passing in the minds of the 
people here on such subjects. 

While I have the pen in hand, let me say that just 
before the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall left for 
Australia their reception in Canada happened to come 
up in conversation with Mr. Chamberlain, on which I 
said that if quite agreeable to the King, and of course 
also to your Government, I should be glad to assist 
in the welcome of the royal party in Montreal, to which 
the response was that anything I might do in that 
respect would be acceptable. 


The St. Lawrence Route 

Please understand that I do not wish unnecessarily 
to put myself forward, but if you entirely concur, I 
shall be pleased to go to Montreal in September to aid 
as best I can either by accommodation and entertain- 
ment, or otherwise in my house. 

To C. R. Devlin, M.P. 

5th August, 1901. 

It is quite unnecessary to take any notice of Mr. 
Henri Bourassa's statement, a sufficient answer to it 
being that on his resolution in condemnation of the 
course of the Government in connection with the 
South African War, he had only three supporters in a 
full House. As regards the action of the Contingent 
from Canada, their deeds speak fully for the admirable 
way in which they conducted themselves, along with 
their fellow-soldiers from the Mother Country and 
other parts of the Empire. 

All of this year, as of preceding ones, he had been 
agitating the scheme of a fast Atlantic steamship 
service. As for that other matter of the Pacific 
cable, it had happily reached finality. The cable 
was being rapidly laid and would soon be one of 
the Empire's assets. But the line of twenty-five- 
knot steamers was still as far away as ever. Lord 
Strathcona said : 

The Canadian Government realizes fully that the 
St. Lawrence route should be made as safe as human 
foresight can make it. The insurance rate for Canada 
is from seven and one half to eight guineas, as against 
three to New York, Boston, and other United States 
ports. Thus we are heavily handicapped, and the 


Lord Strathcona 

Government should, and I am convinced will, do all in 
its power to improve the route if this is possible and if 
such drawbacks exist. There is no sentiment in this 
question of insurance; it is purely a business matter. 
Competition is too keen nowadays for any sentiment 
to intervene, and if it were safe to take lower rates, you 
may be sure there would be plenty of offers. 

If the Government sees its way to grant a subsidy 
which would meet the views of Sir Christopher Fur- 
ness, I have no doubt he would be willing to tender 
for the service. He is firmly convinced that only a 
first-class service will be of any use; a fast service a 
service that can compete with the United States lines. 

On the question of a Canadian terminal I cannot 
but think that the port must be the one giving the 
shortest sea passage from land to land, and I should 
think some point in Cape Breton is the place, if it 
affords good harbour accommodation, and where pas- 
sengers, perishable and certain other kinds of freight, 
can be taken on board. That is the only way we can 
ever secure a thoroughly good, efficient, and up-to-date 

I have always taken a very great interest in this 
question; I have been working at it for years, and I 
have always maintained that it was a necessary adjunct 
wherewith to maintain the reputation of our trans- 
continental route to the east. The Canadian Pacific 
are taking steps to accelerate the speed of their Pacific 
steamers, and we must have a fast service on the 

Highly did he appreciate the distinction when in 
October, 1902, the honorary degree of D.C.L. was 
conferred on him by the University of Oxford, on 
the occasion of the Bodley Tercentenary. 


The Tariff Reform Movement 

The launching by Mr. Chamberlain of his great 
scheme of tariff reform for the United Kingdom 
caused Lord Strathcona the greatest satisfaction. 
"Although," he told the Colonial Secretary, " I can- 
not from my position publicly support you, nor 
even hint in public here at my sentiments, you know 
what those sentiments are." 

He held the view strongly that free trade in 
England was building up the prosperity of Ger- 
many and other nations and retarding, and perhaps 
forever preventing, the commercial unity, and 
therefore the real unity, of the British Empire. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

May i6th, 1903. 

Mr. Chamberlain made a remarkable speech at 
Birmingham and the report of it, as given in the Times 
this morning, I enclose with this, also a report of Mr. 
Balfour's reply to a deputation which waited on him 
yesterday on the question of the corn and flour duties. 

It is very evident that the people of the United 
Kingdom are not yet quite ripe for any measure of 
protection, but there is certainly a strong and growing 
feeling that there ought to be a preference to the 

A fortnight later he wrote: 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

May 30th, 1903. 

Mr. Chamberlain assured me that should pressure 
to impose duty on flour be irresistible, he will insist on 
drawback for Canada. 


Lord Strathcona 

He thought it just possible that the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer might have to give way to the insistence 
for a duty on flour, but he very decidedly said that if 
so, Canada must be exempt. 

I have since had some conversation with him on 
"the new departure," and I have sent you the text of 
his speeches and all pamphlets on the subject which 
have appeared in the principal London papers, so need 
not here trouble you as to anything further about it, 
than to say that Mr. Chamberlain has evidently come 
to regard the position from your point of view, that it 
is the wish of the Imperial Government to formulate 
its own policy and then to approach the Colonies on 
the subject. 

At the annual Dominion Day Banquet, he 
said : 

In a very short time Canada would be able to pro- 
vide every pound of breadstuffs required in this coun- 
try, and with a strong navy the Mother Country would 
be proof against the pinch of necessity. Whilst Canada 
has been glad to give a preference to the Mother Country 
there was at present a good deal in the air regarding 
preferential relations within the Empire. Many who 
had been working in the past for that end now saw 
a gleam of sunshine before them, and he hoped such a 
result would be obtained without depriving themselves 
of their trade with foreign countries. Was there any 
reason why in their domestic affairs they should not 
be one great family throughout the British Empire? 
Surely it was only reasonable that the different parts of 
that Empire should exhibit a preferential feeling to- 
ward each other. They were all proud of that great 
statesman who had done so much for the Colonies 


American Resentment questioned 

he had the courage of his convictions. Was it proposed 
that they should stumble at once into something very 
different from what they had now? Was it not asked 
that they should consider the situation carefully, and 
then do what was thought best for the whole of the 
King's dominions? In Canada they had no fear of the 
outcome of the enquiry, but whatever happened the 
loyalty of the Dominion would remain undisturbed. 

In conclusion, the Chairman mentioned that 
during the last ten months 104,000 people had 
entered Canada, "a considerable proportion of 
them being good citizens of the United States, 
who had now gone to help build up the Empire, and 
be as loyal subjects of the King as any others." 

When some one suggested to him that there 
might be some resentment in America at any pref- 
erential treatment of Canada especially if Ameri- 
can industries suffered thereby, he asked : 

Why should there be any resentment? Americans 
are business men. Between their own States there 
exists an arrangement for the most complete mutual 
benefit, while they interpose a tariff against the out- 
side world. Why should they resent the establishment 
between the States of Greater Britain of a mutually 
benefiting arrangement? Or why should they resent 
the withdrawal on the part of Great Britain of advan- 
tages which she has voluntarily given them if she does 
so in pursuit of a policy of advantage to the constitu- 
ent parts of her Empire? We do not resent any part of 
the domestic policy of the United States. Why should 
her citizens, as business men, resent any change in our 
domestic policy? 


Lord Strathcona 

Was not Canada herself apprehensive of the results 
of a change from her present conditions? Did not the 
Government believe, for instance, that the disturbance 
of fiscal relations with the United States might result in 
the aggravation of friction in questions of policy, such, 
for example, as the Alaskan Boundary Question? In 
short, was there not a feeling in Canada that any 
change might be a change for the worse, and that it 
would be better to leave matters alone? 

To these questions Lord Strathcona replied that 
he did not believe in that expression as the feel- 
ing of Canada. "I do believe that throughout 
the Dominion there exists, on the other hand, the 
greatest confidence in the statesman who is now at 
the Colonial Office. And I think that Canada 
believes in him, and trusts to his judgment and 

During Lord Strathcona's annual absence in 
September of this year Sir Walter Peace, Agent- 
General for Natal, suggested that the representa- 
tives of the self-governing Colonies should unite in 
tendering Mr. Chamberlain an official banquet on 
his retirement. In this he wished Canada to take 
the initial steps. If Canada approved, Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier would be asked to cable the various 
Colonies to instruct their representatives to co- 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

The Canadian Government continues firm in the 
conviction that preferential trade on the lines laid 
down at the Colonial Conference last year is the best 


Mr. Chamberlain's Retirement 

policy in the interest of the British Empire and we 
warmly recognize and appreciate Mr. Chamberlain's 
services as Colonial Secretary, especially his endorse- 
ment of that policy. At the same time we are strongly 
of opinion that the proposed demonstration would be 
ignoring His Majesty's advisers at this moment as 
appearing to take sides in what has unfortunately be- 
come a party question in England and a crisis which is 
now submitted to the judgment of the British elector- 

This seemed sound doctrine and practice. Never- 
theless, Lord Strathcona did not fail to avail him- 
self of this and every opportunity to express pub- 
licly his appreciation of the services of the retiring 

It was no disparagement to his predecessors to say 
that he had done more than any man to promote 
Imperial unity and the development of the Empire. 
During the term of his office many events of impor- 
tance bearing upon the Colonies and the Empire had 
taken place. I would refer to the Conferences of 1897 
and 1902, and it is gratifying to learn that such gather- 
ings were likely to be held in the future. 

I would also point to the Federation ' of Australia, 
the introduction of preferential tariffs in Canada and 
South Africa in favour of British imports, denuncia- 
tion of the German and Belgian treaties, the laying of 
the Pacific cable, the establishment of penny postage 
within the greater portion of the Empire, the abolition 
of the sugar bounties, the inclusion of Colonial stock 
among trustees' securities, and the visit to South 
Africa a precedent which we hoped would be 
widely followed in the future. All these constituted 


Lord Strathcona 

a record of which he and the Government might well 
be proud. He has always been most considerate and 
most appreciative in regard to all matters affecting 
our Dominion of Canada. 

He repeated these sentiments on several other 
occasions, notably in February, 1904, when he de- 
clared : 

Mr. Joseph Chamberlain is a great man and a great 
statesman. The Colonies look upon Mr. Chamberlain 
as their very best friend and one who, in the high posi- 
tion he has held, has done more for the Colonies, and is 
doing more for the Colonies, for the Mother Country, 
for the Empire, and for the general good, than any 
other man. But what have British political parties 
done for the Colonies? Other countries have been 
seeking to be connected closely with them, even more 
so, perhaps, than the Mother Country, for the time 
was not far past when some of their statesmen con- 
sidered that it would be to the benefit of the United 
Kingdom if the Colonies were gently allowed to go 
their own way. Where would their Empire be if 
England were alone? Was it not better that they 
should be brought together, for then they would have 
an Empire of which they might well be proud? During 
the South African War the Colonies had come to the 
assistance of the Mother Land because they felt that it 
was only by being united that there could be real and 
true strength within the Empire. 

As they did in the past, so would they do in the 
future. Therefore, it will be wisdom on their part 
to endeavour to draw closer and still more closer 
to the Colonies than is at present the case, making 


Correct Official Behaviour 

such arrangements in a commercial sense as will 
enable them to have within the domestic circle of 
the Empire the cooperation and union and reciproc- 
ity that would make one great family. 

He was not to go without criticism, and he took 
an early opportunity to reply to the attack made 
on him in the Canadian House of Commons. By 
one member he was accused of exceeding his rights 
as Canadian High Commissioner, by practically al- 
lying himself with one of the British political par- 
ties and campaigning with Mr. Chamberlain. If 
the charge were true, and if he had been guilty of 
allying himself with Mr. Chamberlain, it is only fair 
to say that in so doing he would have acted ex- 
actly as the vast majority of his fellow-Canadians 
would have been proud to have him act. But the 
truth is, he was always very careful to remember 
his semi-diplomatic position in London, and to keep 
himself clear of British party politics. 

He retorted that while a very great admirer of 
Mr. Chamberlain, he had never in any way been 
connected with that statesman's fiscal crusade, and 
that in his position as representative of Canada, 
he knew no politics, British or Canadian. 

This [declared a leading Montreal journal] is an 
entirely satisfactory reply to the criticism in question. 
No attitude could be more proper. Canadians would 
generally not want him to conceal his personal belief 
in Mr. Chamberlain's pro-Canadian policy; but they 
will agree with him that his delicate and highly impor- 
tant work in London can best be done from a position 
of party neutrality. 


Lord Strathcona 

His visit to Canada that year, if not marked by 
such scenes of tumultuous enthusiasm, was again 
very pleasant, and awoke many happy memories. 
He said in the course of a public speech : 

To me it appears looking back as a dream. It dis- 
poses me to rub my eyes sometimes and feel if I am 
really awake. Who could have thought fifty years ago 
of the transformation which has taken place? Seeing 
what has been done in the past by the people of 
Canada, it is an earnest, and a good one, too, that 
they will still be up and stirring, and that they will not 
be contented only with what they and their fathers 
have done, but that they themselves will still continue 
to do their utmost, and that they will instill into the 
minds of their children, and the children again of these, 
that there is an inheritance which is theirs, and that it 
would be a humiliation to all of them not to do their 
utmost to sustain it, and to still press forward. 

Even sixty years ago I was an optimist. Pessimism 
is not a good thing to live upon. You may go upon it 
for a while if you will, but for a country or a person, 
depend upon it you will make more out of anything by 
thinking good of it than by holding it in ill favour. 
And that is how it will be with Canadians. 

From time to time rumours of his approaching 
retirement appeared in the newspapers. In the 
autumn of 1903 these rumours brought forth an 
official denial from the Honourable Mr. Field- 
ing in the Canadian House of Commons. General 
cheers greeted the Minister's statement, and there 
was in England many an echo of congratulation. 
The burden of eighty-three years now rested upon 


Lord Dundonald 

his shoulders, yet he had no sooner returned to 
England than he at once plunged into the heart of 
things Canadian, especially the scheme, not yet 
realized, for a fast Atlantic line. 

Of the many admirers of the Earl of Dundonald, 
who had gone out to Canada to fill the post formerly 
held by General (now Sir Edward) Hutton, he was 
not the least. He deplored the political partisan- 
ship which, in the Dominion, too often ruled in the 
appointment of militia officers. Of Dundonald, 
Colonel Hughes, M.P., said in the Canadian House 
of Commons : 

One of his ancestors was the famous admiral who 
commanded the British frigate, Navarion; another fell 
at the capture of Louisburg in the eighteenth century; 
and the General himself is distinguished in every part 
of the world where he has served. The Strathcona 
Horse and other Canadian corps followed him again 
and again to victory in South Africa, and I can readily 
understand the annoyance that an officer of his stand- 
ing should feel, on coming out here, with the best 
interests of the Empire at heart, with the best 
interests of Canada at heart, because the interests of 
Canada are the interests of the Empire, at having 
to put up with this thing from week to week, and 
finally becoming so exasperated, as at a banquet, 
determined that come what might he would for all 
time to come put a stop to such petty meddling as 
has been indulged in. 1 

None the less, it was clear, as the facts came 
out, that Lord Dundonald had been imprudent 

1 Parliamentary Debates, June 10, 1904. 

Lord Strathcona 

indeed, in his protest against what he conceived to 
be an evil, that he had cast prudence to the winds. 
The result was an Order-in-Council relieving Lord 
Dundonald of his duties. 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

OTTAWA, loth August, 1904. 

His Excellency, the Governor-General, has for- 
warded, by this mail, to the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, copy of an Order-in-Council concerning the 
actions of the Earl of Dundonald, whilst he was acting 
as General Officer Commanding the Canadian Militia. 
I enclose herewith copy of the same Order-in-Council, 
for your lordship's information. I deem it expedient 
that you should be in possession of all the facts con- 
nected with this unfortunate affair, so as to be in a 
position to discuss it in all its aspects, with Mr. Lyt- 
telton, and also, if need be, with Mr. Arnold- Forster. 

Up to this present time I did not deem it advisable 
to trouble your lordship with this case, otherwise than 
to send you copy of the Order-in-Council relieving the 
Earl of Dundonald from his command, and to ask you 
to communicate it to Mr. Lyttelton. 

The document which I now enclose shows that, in 
the exercise of his functions as General Officer Com- 
manding the Canadian Militia, the Earl of Dundonald 
gave direct orders to his subordinates to conceal from 
the Minister of Militia certain information which he 
was bound to place before him. This document throws 
a flood of light on the manner in which the Earl 
of Dundonald understood and practised his duties 
toward the Minister, under whom he had accepted to 


Dundonald's Dismissal 

serve, and, indeed, it is impossible to explain how an 
honourable man, holding the rank and position of the 
Earl of Dundonald, could justify such an action. The 
least that can be said of it is that it was an act of dis- 
loyalty to his chief, and it may give the cue to other 
acts of his violation of the King's regulations, which 
eventually forced the Canadian Government to take 
the only course with which such deliberate insubordi- 
nation can be treated. 

I abstain from further comments, but I would be 
obliged if you would interview, first, Mr. Lyttelton, 
and then Mr. Arnold- Forster, and assure both of them 
that we regret as much as they do themselves that 
the action of the Earl of Dundonald left us no alterna- 
tive, and that the course which we took was dictated 
by the necessity of maintaining the discipline of the 
force and of vindicating the authority of the Govern- 

In reply Lord Strathcona wrote in September 
from Glencoe: 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

There has been much delay in carrying out the in- 
structions conveyed to me in your letter, but this was 
unavoidable as both Secretary Lyttelton and Mr. 
Arnold- Forster had left London before its receipt, the 
former for Scotland and the latter for the Continent. 

Neither of these gentlemen intends being in London 
until October, and it was not without some difficulty 
I at length succeeded in seeing both of them in 

As to the substance of the conversation I had with 
Mr. Lyttelton and Mr. Arnold-Forster with regard to 


Lord Strathcona 

the Lord Dundonald incident, I discussed the matter 
most fully with both. The former considers that the 
action of the Commandant, as shown in report of the 
Privy Council of August 4, was most reprehensible, 
and would not recommend his having any preferment 
or appointment at present. The Secretary for War 
says the Commandant affair does not affect Imperial 
Government so immediately as it does the Canadian 
Government whose servant he was and who dealt with 
his case by dismissing him. 

We may, I think, feel assured that they greatly dis- 
approve of the action of Lord Dundonald and there is 
no fear that anything will be done either by the War 
Office authorities or the Colonial Secretary in giving 
preferment or employment to the late Commandant 
of the Canadian Militia for some time to come. Mr. 
Arnold- Forster informed me that he has called upon 
Lord Dundonald for an explanation of his conduct. 

Lord Strathcona's friend, Colonel Hughes, how- 
ever, championed the cause of Lord Dundonald as 
vigorously as he had denounced General Hutton 
four years before. In the course of a letter Colonel 
Hughes asserted : 

The dismissal of Lord Dundonald by Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier's Government and the appointment of a 
Canadian Major-General of the military forces of the 
Dominion, if resented by the Imperial Government, 
may sunder the tie that binds Canada to the Empire. 

Happily, the Imperial Government did not re- 
sent either. 1 

1 In the course of a debate in the Canadian Parliament Mr. (now 
Sir) Robert Borden said: "While I regard this as a very regrettable 


Earl Grey's Appointment 

It was fortunate that the Imperial tie should be 
strengthened rather than weakened by the arrival 
that year of so strong, ardent, and intelligent an 
Imperialist as Earl Grey, who came to take up 
the Governor-Generalship, which Lord Minto had, 
after six notable years, relinquished for the great 
post of Viceroy of India. 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

OTTAWA, September i3th, 1904. 

I enclose a letter to Lord Grey, our new Governor- 
General, which I would respectfully ask you to deliver 
to him personally. I desire that you would at the 
same time express to Lord Grey that his selection by 
His Majesty for this most important position has been 
received by all classes in the country with very great 

I have suggested to Lord Grey that it would be 
extremely desirable that there should be the shortest 
possible interreign between Lord Minto's departure 
and his arrival in Canada. 

incident, it will not be without benefit to the country, if, in the future, 
it will lead to the withdrawal of partisan interference in the appoint- 
ment of officers of the militia, whether that interference may come 
from the Government now in power or may be sought to be applied 
by any Government which may come into power in the future. We 
do not want political interference in military matters in Canada. 
The people pay a considerable amount for the military service of this 
country; they are willing to pay that amount for an efficient mili- 
tary service; but we do not want that service to deteriorate or be- 
come inefficient by reason of party politics entering into it in any 
way. We have had this afternoon a confession which indicates that 
party politics has been entering into it for some time past, on the 
part of the Minister of Agriculture at any rate." (Parliamentary 
Debates, June 10, 1904.) 


Lord Strathcona 

Lord Minto intends to sail on the 2 1st of October, 
but that date is not fully determined. But whenever 
Lord Minto sails for England, my opinion is very 
strong that Lord Grey should also forthwith sail for 
Canada. I urge this point, because, after the depar- 
ture of Lord Minto, until the arrival of his successor, 
matters of routine alone could be attended to, all 
important questions would have to be deferred, and 
sometimes great prejudice might arise. 

With Mr. Chamberlain's successor at the Colo- 
nial Office, the Honourable Alfred Lyttelton, the 
High Commissioner was on the most cordial terms. 
During his term the long-desired boon of penny 
postage to Canada was established, and at a Canada 
Club dinner, in 1905, Lord Strathcona expressed 
the earnest hope that before long the Imperial 
Government would extend the same preference to 
the postage of newspapers sent from the United 
Kingdom to Canada. 

It would be very greatly appreciated, indeed, if they 
could have their newspapers sent at a preferential 
rate, a rate lower than that which had been given to 
foreign countries. He regarded that as a matter of 
some importance; for they had coming to them from 
their neighbours, cousins, and happily, he could also 
say, their warm friends in the United States, the pa- 
pers of that country by thousands. They were glad 
to see the telegrams and news in these papers, but 
they would prefer to have their own papers from the 
Mother Country to tell them everything that was of 
interest to that country, and also to them as members 
of the same Empire. He trusted that before long they 
would have that privilege. 


English Newspaper Postage 

This boon was at last granted in 1908 and has 
been of incalculable advantage to British sentiment 
and a knowledge of things British in Canada, al- 
though it is to be feared that it has not yet exerted 
a due effect upon the tone of our native newspapers, 
which, as a prominent Canadian complained to 
Lord Strathcona, " technically and literately are 
inferior to those of any other part of the Empire." 

Lord Lansdowne to Lord Strathcona 

November 23d, 1904. 

Owing to the death of a near relative, I find myself 
with great regret prevented at the last moment from 
enjoying the hospitality of the Canada Club. 

It would have been delightful for me to join in doing 
honour to a Governor-General-elect, who, as an old 
friend, I regarded with sincere affection, and for whom, 
as a public man, I entertain feelings of the greatest 
respect. Twenty-one years ago I was just arriving in 
Canada at the commencement of a term of office 
which I have never ceased to look back upon as one of 
the happiest and most instructive periods of my life. 
I recall with pleasure the circumstance that in those 
days Lord Grey, who was amongst our visitors, al- 
ready showed keen interest in the Dominion and its 
affairs. He is, in my opinion, greatly to be envied, and, 
if I may be allowed to say so, I think the Dominion is 
to be congratulated on the appointment of one who 
stands so high in the esteem of all who know him. 

Year after year Lord Strathcona sounded at 
Dominion Day banquets, at which he always pre- 
sided, the same note, of which neither he nor his 


Lord Strathcona 

hearers ever tired, the note of jubilation at Canada's 
material triumphs and confidence in her future 

The progress of Canada since Confederation has been 
[he said in 1906] miraculous. In every respect, through- 
out the reign of Queen Victoria it has progressed. The 
transcontinental railway, for which many prophesied 
disaster at the time of its construction, is soon to be 
supplemented by at least one other similar road. In 
agriculture, trade, industry, and mining, the country 
has gone ahead by leaps and bounds. 

It was indeed a "growing" time for the once- 
neglected Dominion. 

It seems only a few years since, by a liberal sub- 
sidy, Canada obtained a railway across the continent. 
There had been a prevalent opinion that the enterprise 
would be most disastrous for those who took it in hand. 
Last year the gross income of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway reached 12,000,000 sterling. We now feel 
assured that there will be abundant work not only 
for the Canadian Pacific, but for two and perhaps 
three other transcontinental railways. In a few years I 
hope there will be steamers crossing from the United 
Kingdom to Canada in three and a half or four days, 
so that travellers from this country can reach the 
Pacific Ocean in eight days, going on thence to Japan 
and other Asiatic regions, with which Canada was 
coming into close connection commercially. 

Touching the latter project, Lord Strathcona 
never hid his own confident belief in the commer- 
cial success of a twenty-five-knot service between 
Britain and Canada, devoted to passengers alone, 


The "All-Red Route" 

and his dissatisfaction with anything falling short 
of that standard. In other words, the most experi- 
enced, and, one might add, the most cautious, of 
Canadians never wavered in his confidence that 
Canada would not be satisfied with a service in 
any respect inferior to the best that is provided 
on the New York route. He even expressed his 
readiness to subscribe himself 100,000 toward 
such a service from any British or Irish port that 
could be justified as the best port for the service, 
and provided that it were under thoroughly capable 
and experienced management. In February, 1907, 
he said : 

I should be very glad if there were a faster service. 
The present services are very good, and are doing 
very well, but we want it faster yet. The faster we 
can go the more we will come together on both sides. 
There is a real need for a faster service. The numbers 
of Canadians who come to this country seem to justify 
the demand. In July last I saw at one time and in 
one place in London no fewer than twelve hundred 
Canadians. When we see so many people crossing 
from the Dominion, we are naturally desirous of 
securing the best facilities for their transit across the 

The "All-Red Route" was a phrase adopted for 
the sake of brevity to describe a notable scheme 
of improved inter- Imperial communications which 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier proposed at the Conference 
in 1907, and which the Imperial Government ac- 
cepted. 1 

1 "That in the opinion of this Conference the interests of the 


Lord Strathcona 

If [said Sir Wilfrid Laurier] we had on the Atlan- 
tic Ocean between Canada and Great Britain a mail 
service equal in speed and character to the service now 
in existence between England and New York, there is 
no doubt, and there can be no doubt at all, that we 
should save in the journey at least two days, or about 
two days, inasmuch as we have an advantage in our 
favour in distance of nearly nine hundred miles. 

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Lloyd 
George) was equally emphatic on this point. In 
his speech to the Conference (May 6) he said : 

The problem that has been suggested to us by 
Sir Joseph Ward and Sir Wilfrid Laurier and other 
speakers is to reduce, as far as possible, the natural 
disadvantage of distance under which we suffer. The 
prompt and the cheap delivery of foods, perishable 
articles, and raw materials is a very big factor to the 
consumer and manufacturer, and it is these commodi- 
ties which are so largely produced in the Colonies and 
so largely required in this country. The development 
and acceleration of inter- Imperial communication for 
business purposes would undoubtedly be a movement 
in which all parts of the Empire would share for their 
mutual benefit. It would result not only in increased 
facilities for the marketing of goods and for stimulat- 
ing the development of trade, but in giving important 

Empire demand that, in so far as practicable, its different portions 
should be connected by the best possible means of mail communica- 
tion, travel, and transportation; 

"That to this end it is advisable that Great Britain should be 
connected with Canada, and through Canada with Australia and 
New Zealand, by the best service available within reasonable cost; 

"And for the purpose of carrying the above project into effect 
such financial support as may be necessary should be contributed by 
Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in equitable 
proportions." (Resolutions of the Imperial Conference, 1907.) 


Advantages of the Scheme 

opportunities to the movement of individuals from one 
part of the Empire to another. By bringing the dis- 
tant parts of the Empire nearer to the centre it would 
make the Empire more compact. All that is an es- 
sential element in trade. 

He himself had thus explained its advantages: 

The All-Red project would be a great thing, not only 
for Canada, but also for all parts of the Empire ; and I 
earnestly hope to live to see it an accomplished fact. 
The establishment of an eight-day service between 
Liverpool and Vancouver, which would be a result of 
it, would cause large quantities of foreign capital to 
flow into the country. Many people who are now 
deterred, by the length of time necessary for the jour- 
ney, from going so far west as the coast, would, with 
the establishment of the new service, be led to do 
so, and the sight of the great resources of the prairie 
regions would lead them to invest their capital in 
Canada rather than in foreign countries. It is merely a 
matter of cost. There is no reason why the thing could 
not be done if the money were forthcoming. And I 
think it is a thing worth spending money to accom- 
plish. We spend a great deal on mere local improve- 
ments, and here is something that would be a great 
benefit not only to Canada, but to the whole Empire 
as well. I think that in such a case we should be very 
much more willing to disburse the necessary funds. I 
feel quite confident of its ultimate success. A definite 
offer has been made by a steamship company to un- 
dertake the fast service on the Atlantic, as a part of 
the project, for a subsidy of 500,000 a year, and the 
Canadian Government are prepared to bear half of 
this subsidy, 250,000 a year. 


Lord Strathcona 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, 26th April, 1907. 

I have thought a good deal upon the subject of a 
new mail service between England and Canada, and 
connected with it, a service between Canada and the 
Orient. This is one of the most important matters that 
we have had to deal with in many years, and I would 
attach much importance to your active cooperation 
in the same. I am strongly of the opinion that if you 
were to interest yourself with this service it would be 
made a complete success. 

Replying to this Lord Strathcona wrote : 
To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

29th April, 1907. 

It is a great gratification to me to know that you 
have under favourable consideration a more expedi- 
tious mail service between England and Canada, and 
also between Canada and the Orient. 

Let me say that so fully convinced am I that such a 
fast mail and passenger service would be one of the 
most potent factors in the prosperity of the Dominion 
that I shall most cordially, to the best of my ability, 
second your efforts in bringing it about. 

The "All-Red Route" occupied his attention to 
the close of his life. He even enjoyed the jest of the 
eminent surgeon called in to examine his heart and 
arteries, who tapped him significantly in the cardiac 
region and remarked, "We must attend to the 
All-Red Route, my Lord." 


The "All-Red Route" 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

1 5th February, 1908. 

For some little time not much has been said about 
the All-Red Route in the press here, but it is under- 
stood that the Government continue to be as well 
disposed toward it as they were at the time of the 

Immediately on receiving your letters regarding the 
extension for two years of the subsidy to the Canadian 
Pacific Railway Company for their steamers from 
Vancouver to Japan and China, I communicated with 
the Government, but am yet without their answer. I 
am, however, to have an interview with Lord Elgin on 
Monday next, and hope then to learn from him some- 
thing of a definite character with regard to the views 
of himself and his colleagues in the matter. 1 

It was in the autumn of 1906 that there occurred 
the truly remarkable Aberdeen University cente- 
nary celebration. As Chancellor, Lord Strathcona 
was the foremost figure. On the first day he led 
a great procession through the streets of Aber- 
deen to the temporary hall erected at his expense. 
There he received the congratulatory addresses 
handed in by representatives of many universities 

1 The gross revenue collected by the British Post-Office on the 
letter and parcel mails despatched from this country by the Cana- 
dian Pacific service for the year 1907 was estimated at 35,000. To 
this should be added a sum of about 3000 received for the convey- 
ance of foreign and colonial mails. The annual subsidy payable to 
the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was 60,000, of which 
15,000 is contributed by Canada and 45,000 by the British Gov- 
ernment. The subsidy, of course, did not cover the cost of dealing 
with the mails in Great Britain. 


Lord Strathcona 

and learned bodies. There again he entertained at 
dinner the same representatives and all the gradu- 
ates of the University who returned for the cele- 
brations, and representatives of the undergraduate 

It is easy [writes Miss Hurlbatt] for me to recall the 
persistent voice that succeeded in penetrating to the 
recesses of that great hall, and to call up again the 
scene as with quiet dignity he presided over that 
colossal dinner party. It was my good fortune to be 
one of only two ladies at the group of high tables 
(there were, of course, women at the graduate tables, 
for the University opened its doors to women in 1892) 
and from a near vantage-point to watch the face of 
our host. 

It was he who received King Edward in the great 
courtyard of Marischal College, when the latter 
came to declare open the new buildings that had 
been erected as the gift of Lord Strathcona himself. 

Before Lord Strathcona became Chancellor [wrote 
Sir William Robertson Nicoll], the Chancellorship was 
a mere name. The Chancellor of my time took no 
interest in the University, and did nothing save to 
meddle once in a foolish way with the Rectorial 
election. Lord Strathcona's liberality has been un- 
bounded, and he has taken the keenest interest alike in 
the erection and equipment of the new buildings and 
in the ceremonies of their opening. He built for the 
occasion a wooden hall which accommodates between 
four thousand and five thousand people. There was 
genuine and wise kindness in this action. For one 
thing, it enabled many to have a share in the celebra- 


"A Powerful Old Fellow" 

tions who could not otherwise have been present. For 
another, it gave Lord Strathcona an opportunity of 
entertaining some twenty- five hundred guests. If it 
had not been for this, no satisfactory provisions could 
have been made for the multitudes who had a real 
claim to share in the festivities. Lord Strathcona is 
indeed a wonder. Though he bears the burden of 
eighty-six years, he is as erect as ever, as keen, as 
alert, as eager as the youngest. He speaks with great 
fluency, but his voice was scarcely strong enough to 
carry over the immense buildings in which he had 
to use it. Nevertheless, his speeches, when read, are 
seen to be graceful in style, and full of wisdom. A 
famous Irish delegate said to me after the Music Hall 
gathering: "I was most interested in Strathcona; he 
is a powerful old fellow." 

To us here [says the Principal of Aberdeen Univer- 
sity] what Lord Strathcona did for our University 
comes most directly home. First, as Lord Rector, 
chosen by students, then as Chancellor, elected by 
graduates, he gave ungrudgingly his time, thought, 
and substance wise words treasured in our memo- 
ries and our chronicles, generous gifts enshrined in our 
academic history. His name will ever be associated 
with those of the elder and younger Mitchells as one 
of the noble trio whose outstanding munificence and 
stimulating sympathy enabled the heads of our city 
and University to bring our Marischal College exten- 
sion to successful consummation, while in more re- 
cent days his endowment of the Chair of Agriculture 
has supplemented effectively the bounty of the great 
Carnegie Trust. At our quarter-centenary in 1906, our 
Chancellor's keen interest and active participation 


Lord Strathcona 

from first to last in the celebrations evoked universal 
admiration. And when his bold proposal to gather 
students, graduates, officials, delegates membra qu&- 
libet into a vast social assembly, as the embodiment 
of academic unity and brotherhood, when that bold 
proposal at first met with the response that no hall 
in our city could accommodate so enormous a throng, 
we recall how the maker of the Pacific Railway smiled 
away the mountain of obstacle. "Who art thou, oh 
Mountain? Before Zerubbabel a plain." 

Within three weeks we were commemorating our 
quarter-centenary in the great Strathcona Hall. 

Less imposing to the carnal eye, but invested with 
a pathos yet more impressive, was our aged Chancel- 
lor's memorable visit at the graduation of 1909, when 
our late lamented Principal lay on that sick-bed over 
which the angel of death was already hovering. Our 
grand old man, scorning all risk to health, and with a 
fine chivalry toward the stricken Principal and the 
expectant graduates, travelled overnight at, for him, 
a most busy time to fulfil the Vice-Chancellor's duties, 
to crown the proud alumni and alumnae with the cap 
of academic imprimatur, and to address, amid rever- 
ent and unwonted stillness, his never-to-be-forgotten 
words of encouragement and counsel. 

It was on this occasion that Lord Strathcona gave 
one of the most elaborate feasts of modern times, 
and at the time the British press gave a detailed 
account of the whole affair. There was no caterer 
in Scotland capable of undertaking such a large 
contract as a dinner to the whole University, so 
it was let to a London caterer, who made truly 
Gargantuan preparations in his own establishment 


A Gargantuan Feast 

in London and then moved his outfit by special 
train to Aberdeen waiters, food, dishes, and 
everything ready to spread on the tables. The 
serving-staff numbered six hundred and fifty, and 
between them they had to supply a mile of tables. 
There were twenty-five thousand plates of one 
design in use, twelve thousand glasses, and the 
entire service was of silver. A feature of the menu 
was the turtle soup. The dinner cost Lord Strath- 
cona about eight thousand pounds, this including 
about three thousand pounds as the cost of the 
temporary hall in which it was held. The platform 
alone accommodated one thousand guests, and 
altogether there were present as his guests two 
thousand four hundred and forty people. 

In the autumn of 1907 the unfortunate anti- 
Japanese riots, which broke out in Vancouver, 
caused Lord Strathcona to have several consulta- 
tions with the Foreign and Colonial Offices. Lord 
Grey sent the following despatch to the Mayor of 
Vancouver : 

His Excellency the Governor-General has learned 
with the deepest regret the indignities and cruelties 
of which certain subjects of the Emperor of Japan, a 
friend and ally of His Majesty the King, have been 
the victims, and he hopes that peace will be promptly 
restored and all offenders punished. 

Although the troubles subsided, Lord Strath- 
cona saw that all was not well in this direction. He 
was much interested in the statement and pro- 
posals which reached him from one of his corre- 


Lord Strathcona 

spondents, who had studied the whole question, 
and this remarkable letter he forwarded to Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier. 

While it is futile [the author of the letter wrote] to 
exaggerate the mob riots with Japanese at Vancouver, 
there can be little doubt that a repetition of them 
on a larger scale would jeopardize the status of the 
present Government of Canada, and England's present 
alliance with Japan. But racial strife in British Colum- 
bia, or indeed in any part of the Dominion, would of 
necessity, by estranging capital and checking the ad- 
vent of immigrants, become most serious in arrest- 
ing the development of Canada. 

The fact that Canada has no army or navy of its 
own, while Japan in its armaments ranks as a first- 
rate power, might be counterbalanced by the influence 
and power of England but for two things, first, the 
actual alliance of England with Japan, which enabled 
England to denude the Pacific of her battleships, 
i.e., the indispensable in maritime war, and next, 
England's determination not to interfere with the in- 
ternal affairs of her Colonies, and to retain only a 
nominal suzerainty. 

This non-interference should enable Canada to 
make (with England's knowledge) a commercial treaty 
with Japan to the benefit of both countries, and an 
essential part of such treaty would be the regulation 
and restriction of Japanese immigrants, both as to 
number and system of supervision. 

White men refuse to compete with Asiatic labour, 
and their present condition of life and habits freely 
justify them if, indeed, they are right in saying, "This 
is the white man's country and we mean to keep it so." 


Canadian-Japanese Question 

The Japanese retort, "You forced your way into our 
country, now we only assert our rights to do likewise." 

To reconcile interests and to find a modus vivendi 
both for Canadians and Japanese, I would foster 
manufactures (where coal permits) in the first instance, 
and so give employment and profit to Japanese, who 
might otherwise work in the lumber trade and fisheries 
as they do to-day. But the white man should alone 
own and work the soil, unless, in the course of time, 
the Canadian Government is willing conditionally to 
permit the Japanese to become British subjects and 
make their allegiance to the British Empire. They 
would then, of course, have votes. 

Furthermore, to remove prejudice and racial feel- 
ing, I would establish a Canadian-Japanese College for 
general and technical knowledge, where all boys would 
be on the same footing. 

Ever most tenacious was Lord Strathcona of the 
dignity and attributes of the office of High Com- 
missioner. He disliked intensely the prospect of 
Canada's representation at the seat of Empire 
being frittered away into subordinate cliques. Yet 
he was made constantly aware of the desire on the 
part of the Agents-General of the different Prov- 
inces to raise their status and consequence, which, 
of course, could only be at the expense of the higher 
office. Some years ago, Sir Richard McBride, the 
Premier of British Columbia, intervened on behalf 
of his Agent-General, the Honourable J. H. Turner, 
whose personal claims were, in addition, regarded as 
somewhat more favourable, in that he had formerly 
himself held the office of Premier of the Province. 

Lord Strathcona 

From the Honourable Richard McBride 

VICTORIA, B.C., January 4th, 1908. 

As you are no doubt aware, through conversation 
with Mr. J. H. Turner, he has felt that it would be 
advisable were the office of the Agent-General to 
receive official recognition from the Imperial Govern- 
ment, as it would be of assistance in his work were 
such the case. I discussed the matter fully with him 
while he was here last autumn, and we both felt that 
such recognition would be beneficial in his position and 
would meet with your approval. 

Consequently the Executive Council to-day passed 
an Order-in-Council requesting the Dominion Gov- 
ernment to bring the matter to the attention of the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, with a view of 
securing the desired official recognition of the Im- 
perial Government. I would be pleased if you would 
kindly use your good offices to assist. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Lord Strathcona wrote, 
deploring any such action : 

I cannot but think that any such action as that 
recommended by Mr. McBride would be a retrograde 
movement and opposed to the spirit of the federation 
of the Provinces of the Dominion; and one which, if 
acceded to, might readily tend to confusion and even 
to embarrassment. 

And in this view he was upheld by the Dominion 


Provincial Agents-General 

To the Honourable Richard McBride 

March 8th, 1907. 

Let me say at once that I have always been most 
willing and desirous, both officially and personally, to 
further the interests of British Columbia in common 
with the other Provinces of the Dominion, by every 
means in my power; but if Mr. Turner was under the 
impression that I had ever given expression to views 
favourable to an extension of the powers of the Pro- 
vincial representatives in London, he was certainly 
under a misapprehension. 

As you are well aware, under the terms of the British 
North America Act, there is no provision for such repre- 
sentation as is sought, and, in my view, any extension 
of the present principle could only operate unfavourably. 

Doubtless you have given much attention to the 
matter, and will be well aware of the constitutional 
difference between the States of Australia and that 
of the Provinces of Canada. However attractive the 
status of the representatives in London of the several 
Australian Governments may appear to be, in prac- 
tice it can hardly be said to have worked satisfactorily 
or smoothly, and in this matter Australia is confronted 
by an awkward problem, as yet unsolved, but un- 
doubtedly one which might be productive of great 
embarrassment; and I do not think the interests of 
Canada would be promoted by retrograding to the 
condition of affairs which our Australian friends have 
to contend with and which they regard with anything 
but equanimity. 

I have delayed answering your letter, but think it 
well now to write to you thus frankly. Of course 
the matter is one for the Government of Sir Wilfrid 


Lord Strathcona 

Laurier to decide, and we shall doubtless be made 
aware, in due time, of the course it may be determined 
to follow. 

What that decision was, may be gathered from 
the following passage in Sir Wilfrid's subsequent 

Let me say at once that I altogether approve of 
your attitude in this matter and I absolutely share 
the views you have expressed to Mr. McBride. 

When the present King, then Prince of Wales, 
visited Quebec in 1908 on the occasion of the 
Tercentenary celebration, there was some anxiety 
lest the visit should be marred by any untoward 
incident. More than ordinary precautions were 
deemed necessary. Police officers were sent to 
Quebec more than three weeks ahead of the Prince, 
so that they might have time to pick up any avail- 
able information. 

From Sir Edward Henry 

May 3 1st, 1908. 

Under ordinary conditions no one would be appre- 
hensive of an outrage taking place on Canadian soil, 
but as Quebec is within comparatively easy distance 
of certain centres in America where the Clan-na-Gael 
flourishes, an organization very embittered against all 
British institutions, we must not overlook the possi- 
bility of the prince's visit being deemed a suitable 
opportunity for some form of hostile demonstration 
by some of its members. 

This is the view we have independently formed, and 


His Visit to Winnipeg 

as the same view is held by our Consulate General in 
New York, it is one that cannot be lightly put to one 
side. We think it highly advisable, therefore, that all 
police officers should be on the alert so as to be in- 
formed of the arrival of American emissaries, with the 
object of keeping them under really effective super- 
vision, thereby frustrating the execution of any plan 
they may have formed. 

Luckily, nothing happened; but Lord Strath- 
cona himself, on his visit to Quebec, could not help 
being reminded of former occasions when fear 
of the Fenians was uppermost in the minds of 

In the summer of 1909 Lord Strathcona made an 
extended tour of Canada with two of his grand- 
children, Mr. Donald Howard, who is heir to his 
mother, now Baroness Strathcona, and Miss How- 
ard, now Mrs. Kitson. They travelled from coast 
to coast, and made many side expeditions. In Win- 
nipeg it was arranged that he should act the host 
while the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science held its meeting there in old Fort 
Garry, the scene of so many years of his labour. 
Rarely in history has a populous city paid so 
enthusiastic a tribute, even to one of its sons, as 
was paid to Lord Strathcona by Winnipeg, on the 
occasion of this visit. Something, of course, must 
be allowed for the natural exuberance of the youth- 
ful West, but when all is conceded, it was still a 
unique manifestation of personal regard. 

On the evening of his arrival the streets in the 
vicinity of the station were choked with humanity ; 

Lord Strathcona 

his carriage had a military and musical escort, and 
along the route, two miles long, from the station to 
Government House, lit up by electricity, were 
cheering multitudes. For several days the popula- 
tion was en fete in his honour. Welcoming banners 
hung across the leading thoroughfares thousands 
daily wanted to catch merely a glimpse of the white 
hair and benignant features of the object of their 
adoration. Bevies of maidens waited on him with 
flowers. At the banquets and public receptions his 
appearance was hailed by deafening cheers, followed 
by a wonderful silence when he opened his lips to 
speak. His lightest word was received as sanctified 
incense. Every movement nay, almost every 
gesture of the patriarchal figure was chronicled in 
the newspapers. Day succeeded day, and still the 
populace of Winnipeg did not tire of acclaiming 

Forty years before he had entered Fort Garry 
almost furtively to become the prisoner of Louis 
Kiel. On the site of Fort Garry there is now up- 
reared a noble building, ten stories high, bearing 
its name, with corridors of marble and replete with 
beautiful furniture and every luxury. How great 
the contrast a night's lodging here to the wretched 
accommodation, which, in 1869, was the lot of 
Donald Smith! 

Leaving Winnipeg, several visits were made to 
points in the West, including British Columbia, 
where his uncles, John and Robert Stuart, had 
long adventured. During one of these expeditions 
in the Okanagan Valley, he incurred what might 


easily have been a serious or fatal accident to one 
of his eighty-eight years. A wagonette and a pair 
of horses overturned down a hill, and literally shot 
the four or five occupants, including Lord Strath- 
cona, out on to the bank and field. The driver had 
both legs broken. Lord Strathcona was quite un- 
hurt, excepting for a cut and strain of the hand 
and arm, which he carried in a sling for some weeks 

Lord Strathcona had been Canada's High Com- 
missioner in the United Kingdom for a full decade, 
with infinite advantage to Canada and the Empire. 

The Duke of Argyll to the Author 

[2ist April, 1906.] 

It was a happy thought of yours to mark Lord 
Strathcona's decade as High Commissioner by a testi- 
monial from Canadians living in London and I hope 
it will be taken up. He has done so much for others 
that it will be a change for others to do a little some- 
thing for him. 

Having canvassed the Anglo-Canadian commu- 
nity, the idea was duly " taken up." But it was not 
until the autumn of the following year that the 
Duke of Argyll, acting on behalf of the sub- 
scribers, presented to his lordship a beautifully 
executed centre-piece illustrative of the various 
phases of his career. It was on that occasion 
recalled with interest that the Duke first met Lord 
Strathcona thirty years before, when the Mr. 
Donald Smith of that day was strenuously engaged 


Lord Strathcona 

in building the foundation of trade and commerce 
and civil administration in what was then the 
untamed wilderness of Manitoba, of whose first 
Provincial Legislature he was a prominent member. 

It was in this year that he made a splendid gift 
for the benefit of the young people of the Dominion. 
The announcement was made in Parliament by 
Sir Frederick Borden, the Minister of Militia, that 
Lord Strathcona would contribute $250,000 to 
create a fund of $10,000 a year for the encourage- 
ment of physical and military training in the public 
schools of the Dominion. Applause greeted the 
announcement from both sides of the House and 
by unanimous resolution the thanks of Parliament 
and the people of Canada were tendered to the 

In conveying the gift, he wrote : 

To Sir Frederick Borden 

While I attach the highest importance to the advan- 
tages of physical training and elementary drill for all 
children of both sexes, I am particularly anxious that 
the especial value of military drill, including rifle- 
shooting for boys capable of using rifles, should be 
constantly borne in mind. My object is not only to 
help to improve the physical and intellectual capabili- 
ties of the children by including habits of alertness, 
orderliness, and prompt obedience, but also to bring 
up the boys to patriotism, and to the realization that 
the first duty of a free citizen is to be prepared to 
defend his country. The Dominion at the present time, 
and for many years to come, can hardly hope to be 


The Strathcona Trust 

able to give so long a period of training to her military 
forces as by itself would suffice to make them efficient 
soldiers, but if all boys had acquired a fair acquaint- 
ance while at school with simple drill and rifle-shooting, 
the degree of efficiency which could be reached in the 
otherwise short period which can be devoted to the 
military training of the Dominion forces would, in my 
opinion, be enormously enhanced. 1 

Of Sir Robert Baden-Powell's Boy Scout Move- 
ment, he said it was "one of the finest plans for 
the betterment of the race that has been evolved 
in our time." 

1 He himself was four times a colonel. In 1898, he was appointed 
honorary lieutenant-colonel of the Victoria Rifles, Montreal, a 
tribute to the interest he had taken in the military movement in 
Canada. In 1902, he became honorary colonel of the Eighth Volun- 
teer Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment. In 1909, he 
was honoured by being made honorary colonel of the Fifteenth 
Light Horse, and in 1910, he received the honorary colonelcy of 
the Seventy-ninth Highlanders. 



IT was not altogether unnatural, nor indeed 
unexpected, that after enjoying so long a term of 
public favour as the most popular of the Colonies, 
a reaction should supervene in some quarters, and 
that Canada should suffer occasional detraction. 
Lord Strathcona was so jealous of Canada's good 
name that every such attack filled him with indig- 
nation. "I don't care what they say of myself," 
he once told Mr. Alfred Lyttelton. "I am accus- 
tomed to abuse and to having my character as- 
sailed, although I get less and less of this as I 
grow older. But they must not abuse Canada 
while I am alive to defend her." 

To him, so long had he been sounding the 
praises of the vast Dominion, of her mountains 
and prairies, her railways, her wheat-fields, her 
institutions and the loyalty of her people, that 
he grew to believe, in every line of every stanza, 
all that he sang. The praises of Canada on a 
stranger's lips gave him as much pleasure as if of 
himself or of his own family circle. This high 
ideal of patriotism he exacted from others. 


His Resentment at Calumny 

To N. F. Damn, M.P. 

I do not think Mr. , if he had reflected on the 

effect of his words, would have uttered them at this 
time. However, one may be tempted by pique or a 
sense of neglect, it is far better to be silent than to 
asperse one's own country amongst strangers. 

Once a London journal published an unusually 
violent attack, of which the following is an extract : 

Canada is at this moment making every endeavour 
to entice young able-bodied Englishmen to, her do- 
minions; her agents are scouring the country with 
specious promises and glowing reports, which are 
attracting young men by the thousands to try their 
luck in her western regions, which are nothing more or 
less than death-traps for all but those who go out well 
provided for. Train-loads of raw lads, with from 10 
to 100 in their pockets as their sole possession, and 
the barest of ordinary outfits, are being dumped into 
her western towns. In these towns they are compelled 
to stop until the snow and slush have disappeared, 
perhaps for a month or six weeks, or longer, the cost of 
living alone being six shillings a day. The majority get 
to the end of their resources before they can be moved 
to the particular claim district to which they are bound. 

Once on the spot, their condition is pitiable in the 
extreme. Penniless, and without the means to move 
their small belongings, they have to scour a vast dis- 
trict in semi-starvation in search of work or for a likely 
claim. They are useless for skilled work, and so most 
homesteads pass them by. 

At first Lord Strathcona was so angry as to con- 
template taking legal action at once. Afterwards 


Lord Strathcona 

he thought of visiting the office of the paper and 
insisting upon an immediate disavowal of the libel. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

i6th December, 1910. 

The article is an instance of journalistic depravity 
much to be deplored, yet, so far, at any rate, I can 
come to no other conclusion in regard to the matter 
than that to take any official action would simply serve 
the ends of the proprietors of the journal without any 
corresponding benefit to Canada, and would only 
encourage them to proceed still further in their libel- 
lous course. 

I am bound to add, however, that a feeling of indig- 
nation in regard to the articles has been aroused in 
Canadian circles, and should you, while concurring 
generally in my view, think that some action ought to 
be taken, I shall be glad to hear from you by cable. 

The trouble is that Mr. of course knows well 

that a nation cannot be libelled in the legal sense, and 
that we are thus debarred from taking the only meas- 
ures to which a gentleman would be amenable. 

He himself was constantly, as we have seen, be- 
ing dragged into the arena of party politics and 
more than once was obliged to issue a denial of 
views attributed to him in the newspapers. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, i6th December, 1909. 

I find by press reports that my name is used in refer- 
ence to the present political contest in the United 
Kingdom. It is well known in this country that I am 


Tenders his Resignation 

never interviewed. I have not in this instance departed 
from this rule and have had no interview with any one. 
If I had any opinion to express on the present contest 
I would claim the privilege of doing it in my own 
words, but I would consider it absolutely out of place 
for me to say or do anything which might be considered 
ever so remotely as an interference in any party contest 
now before the electors of Great Britain and Ireland. 
Please cause this to be published in such manner as 
you think best. 

For some time ever since his memorable and 
triumphal progress through the West he had 
been far from enjoying his usual health. The injury 
to his right arm caused by the accident at Vernon 
prevented him from writing. " I am still very deaf," 
he tells Sir Wilfrid, toward the close of the year, 
"from the effects of a concussion caused by the 
report of a cannon fired at a short distance from 
my ear some months back." He decided that the 
time had at last come for him to resign the High 
Commissionership and he wrote to this effect to the 
Prime Minister. In reply Sir Wilfrid earnestly 
begged him to reconsider his decision. 

From Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

I5th March, 1910. 

I am in receipt of your favour of the 5th instant 
wherein you express the desire to be relieved as High 
Commissioner for Canada, on the 1st of July next. I 
keep this letter to myself and will not communicate it 
to anybody until I hear again from you that it is your 
absolute and settled determination. 


Lord Strathcona 

In the mean time let me express the hope that you 
will reconsider the question. I make due allowance 
for the fact that you may desire at your time of life to 
be disconnected with the duties of the office. Permit 
me to observe, however, that your resignation will be 
the cause in Canada of universal regret, and I still hope 
that you may defer this determination. 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

LONDON, 8th April, 1910. 

For your most kind letter of the I5th, in acknowledg- 
ment of mine of the 5th March last, I thank you very 
much, and very cordially do I appreciate the terms in 
which you refer to my desire to be relieved as High 
Commissioner for Canada, on the 1st of July next. 

I have felt it the more desirable that the date of 
demitting my present charge should not be left alto- 
gether indefinite, as I am still inconvenienced and 
suffering somewhat from the effects of the accident 
to my right arm at Vernon, in September last, and 
of a subsequent slighter injury to the other arm from 
a motor collision here. 

It is, however, needless for me to say that I am 
truly grateful for your consideration and kindness to 
me now as on all occasions, and in deference to your 
wish that I will reconsider the question, I would sug- 
gest that instead of the 1st of July, my resignation 
should take effect at the end of the fiscal year, 3ist 
March, 1911, or with the close of the present calendar 
year 3ist December, as may be most convenient for 
you in appointing my successor. 

A few weeks later King Edward died. 'The 
loss," he wrote on the day of the King's death, 


Dear Old Uncle Donald >! 

"sustained by the Empire by the death of His 
Majesty would have been heavy in any circum- 
stances, but, coming as it does at this juncture of 
affairs, it is indeed a great calamity." 

For Edward VII Lord Strathcona had always 
a great personal regard, and this was reciprocated 
by the Sovereign, who had long been deeply inter- 
ested in the career of "dear old Uncle Donald," as 
he affectionately spoke of him. " Here comes Uncle 
Donald," His Majesty once exclaimed, seeing the 
High Commissioner approach at a garden party, 
but without his wife, "but where is 'Our Lady of 
the Snows'?" 

Between Queen Alexandra and Lord Strathcona 
the bond of personal affection and of veneration, on 
the one hand, and of a chivalrous loyalty, on the 
other, was very noticeable. 

For some years, owing to the " tariff war," fol- 
lowing on the denunciation in 1897, at Canada's 
instance, of the existing commercial treaty, rela- 
tions between Germany and Canada had not been 
friendly. This era seemed now over, and in Octo- 
ber, 1910, Lord Strathcona again visited Germany 
to take part in the Berlin celebrations which marked 
the centenary of the leading university of Germany. 
Every university of mark throughout the world 
sent its representative; to few, if any, was more 
honour paid than to the nonagenarian who com- 
bined the Chancellorships of McGill and Aberdeen 
with the High Commissionership for Canada in 
Europe. Lord Strathcona was the bearer of cordial 
greetings from the Canadian university to the seat 


Lord Strathcona 

of learning which began its career when the Prus- 
sian capital was in the occupation of French troops. 
As the Chancellor of Aberdeen University, Lord 
Strathcona had also had the pleasing task of laying 
a memorial wreath sent by that university upon 
the statue in the Wilhelmsplatz of Field Marshal 
James Keith, one of Frederick the Great's officers, 
a Scotsman, who, from 1711 to 1715, was a college 
student at Aberdeen. 

Being, moreover, the senior representative pres- 
ent, he was selected as the spokesman for the uni- 
versities of the United Kingdom and the Empire 
as a whole, and on their behalf conveyed to the 
Berlin authorities a message of cordial greetings 
and congratulations. 

He could not but be aware, while in Berlin, of the 
striking prepossession of the governing classes for 
war, even in the midst of profound European 
peace; but expressed the hope, in one of his letters, 
that the military skill and resources of the German 
people would never be put to the test. While he 
had confidence in the power and wish of the 
Emperor for peace, he thought that after him any 
danger there was lay with the Junker party, led by 
the Crown Prince. But these hot-headed young 
men would grow mature, and after all it was "so 
obvious that Germany's best interests now would 
be served by peace and industrial activity." 

On a wintry day at the beginning of January, 
1911, he journeyed down to Westerham, in Kent, 
in defiance of his doctor's orders, to participate in 
the ceremony of the unveiling, by Lord Roberts, of 


The Taft- Fielding Agreement 

the statue to General Wolfe. 1 For an hour he stood 
bareheaded in the open air on a platform, occa- 
sionally swept by sleet, and afterwards spoke at a 
public luncheon, proposing Lord Roberts's health. 

To-day we have Canada before us all in this memo- 
rial of the services rendered by Wolfe one hundred and 
fifty years ago. It is, perhaps, somewhat humiliating 
to us that those services have not been so recognized 
earlier, as they ought to have been, for did not Wolfe's 
victory give to Great Britain the Dominion of Canada 
as the first nation within the Empire? Lord Roberts 
[he added] was himself one of those great captains who 
have given us an Empire within an Empire in India 
and the name of Lord Roberts will ever continue to be 
with us a household word. 

Deeply did he regret the fatal step taken by the 
Laurier Ministry, early in 1911, in connection with 
commercial reciprocity with America. He saw in- 
stantly that, regarded as Canada's national policy, 
the step was a backward one. Yet he strove loyally 
to put the best face on the matter of which it was 

Canada is free [he pointed out] to do anything she 
may desire, by legislation, in respect of British pref- 
erence. The agreement does not prevent her in any 
way from doing that. It is not in the form of a treaty ; 
but assurances of concurrent legislation are mutually 
given, and while the reductions made by Canada are 
comparatively small, those made by the United States, 
owing to their high tariff, are very considerable. 

1 He had early joined a committee of which I was secretary, 
and together with Lord Roberts had personally assisted in drafting 
an appeal to the nation on behalf of a memorial to Wolfe. 


Lord Strathcona 

I repeat that the agreement does not, and will not, 
prevent Canada from making any preferential ar- 
rangements with the Mother Country or with any of 
the overseas dominions which she may consider de- 

In no sense will the ultimate effect of the agreement 
be to weaken the bonds which unite Canada to the 
Empire. The arrangements on the Canadian side apply 
to articles which are obtained mainly from the United 
States, and only in one or two classes from England. 

Nevertheless, as the Liberal plan of campaign 
developed, an opposition arose throughout the 
length and breadth of Canada to the Taft-Fielding 
proposals, amongst which nearly all Lord Strath- 
cona's former commercial associates in the Domin- 
ion were numbered. Yet even then he permitted no 
expression of opinion of his to appear. He indig- 
nantly cabled to Sir Wilfrid Laurier in March : 

To Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

nth March, 1911. 

The statement attributed to me by Mr. Goodeve in 
the House of Commons, Ottawa, on the 9th instant, 
as reported in to-day's London Times by their Ottawa 
correspondent, that I had said "that the Canadian 
Ministers had been hypnotized by the brilliance of the 
American offer and had fallen into a trap," is entirely 
baseless and without foundation in fact. It is un- 
warranted by anything I have ever said in connec- 
tion with the Reciprocity Agreement, which I have 
refrained from discussing. Will you kindly make this 
known in the House? 


Laurier Ministry falls 

Reluctantly, at last, at the Dominion Day 
Banquet in that year, at which H.R.H. the Duke of 
Connaught made his appearance as Governor- 
General, designated to succeed Earl Grey, did 
Lord Strathcona allow Sir Wilfrid to announce his 
resignation of the post of High Commissioner which 
he had held for fifteen years : 

I shall never forget the general blank looks of con- 
cern and dismay which greeted that announcement 
[recalls Major-General Hughes], I went to him after- 
wards and told him in the strongest terms, he should 
not must not, resign. "But," he said, deprecat- 
ingly, "they want my resignation, do they not? I am 
now nearly ninety-one. It is fitting that I should make 
way for a younger man." I told his lordship that no 
one in Canada wanted him to resign that his 
resignation would be a national calamity, and that in 
any case he must await the issue of the impending 

The Canadian elections duly took place in 
September. Lord Strathcona took the liveliest in- 
terest in the progress of the campaign, especially 
the appearance of his friend, Sir William Van Home, 
in the role of political orator, for the ex-President 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, in company with 
many other eminent men of affairs, exerted all 
their powers of persuasion to prevent the conclusion 
of a pact which seemed to them inimical to the 
present and future welfare of Canada. 

On the 2 ist, the issue was decided against the 
Laurier Government, which had been in power since 
1896. A few days later and the Ministers tendered 

Lord Strathcona 

their portfolios to the Governor-General, Earl Grey, 
who called upon Mr. Robert Laird Borden to form 
a Ministry. 

Scarcely was the result known than the High 
Commissioner undertook a trip to Canada to salute 
the new Prime Minister and to place his office at 
his disposal. Concerning his official relations with 
Lord Strathcona, Sir Robert Borden writes me : 

When I visited London, while leader of the Oppo- 
sition in 1909, he was most kind and attentive in every 
way. I was struck at that time with an almost pathetic 
earnestness in the discharge of even the minor duties 
of his office. To this I alluded in speaking in the 
House of Commons upon the occasion of his death. 

Returning to London after a garden party and 
dinner at some distance in the country, I found that 
Lord Strathcona had called on me in Brown's Hotel 
and was then engaged with the Honourable Frank 
Oliver. Having sent word to him that I had returned, 
I was shortly afterwards informed that he would like 
to see me; and going downstairs at midnight I had a 
long conversation with him, in the course of which I 
learned that he was engaged in a somewhat acrimoni- 
ous correspondence with the Lord Chamberlain re- 
specting an invitation for myself and my wife for the 
approaching State Ball. As you are aware, no person 
is entitled to be invited to such a ball unless he or she 
had first been presented; and my wife and I had not 
enjoyed that honour. But Lord Strathcona had taken 
the ground that, in view of my position as leader of a 
political party in Canada, this prerequisite should not 
be insisted upon. It was with the greatest difficulty 
that I induced him to forego any further effort or corre- 


Mr. Robert Borden 

spondence; and he acceded to my wish only after he 
had become convinced that my wife and I earnestly 
desired to go for a proposed holiday in the country. 

During my visit as Prime Minister in 1912 he was 
in evidence on every occasion. He met us at the 
station upon our arrival in London; he regularly 
called upon us at our hotel ; when I left London to visit 
Paris, I found him (to my great astonishment) waiting 
for me at the hotel door early in the morning in order 
to accompany me to the train. On that occasion he re- 
proached me for not having given him formal notice of 
my departure ; and he seemed to feel that his failure to 
attend would have been almost a disgrace. He was so 
earnest on the subject that when I returned from Paris, 
I gave him by telegraph the formal notice which he 
desired, and of course I found him again at the station 
to meet us. 

During the autumn before his death he visited 
Canada and I discussed with him then, as well as in the 
summer of 1912, his continuance as High Commis- 
sioner. On both occasions I strongly urged him to con- 
tinue the discharge of his duties, and I offered him an 
additional secretary or secretaries to be selected by 
himself, and otherwise I assured him that any arrange- 
ments to lighten his labours would be willingly made 
by the Government. At my most earnest request he 
continued to discharge the duties of his high office. 

To Honourable Robert L. Borden 

LONDON, iQth October, 1912. 

We all felt sure that your welcome back to Canada 
would be of the warmest character throughout, seeing 
how worthily the Dominion was represented during 
your stay here. 


Lord Strathcona 

I can quite understand that the large accumulation 
of public business during your absence will occupy you 
very closely for some weeks, and I cannot think of 
troubling you with more than a few words at the 
present moment. 

To my wife and myself it was a great disappoint- 
ment that we had not the pleasure of welcoming you 
in our Scottish home of Glencoe, but we knew how 
impossible it was for you to put aside even for a day 
or two the exacting work which occupied you during 
your whole stay in England; and we can only hope 
that we may be more fortunate when next you cross 
the Atlantic, and that Mrs. Borden and you may then 
be able to stay with us for a few days. 

In the following month he writes with reference 
to the commemoration, in St. Paul's Cathedral, of 
the one-hundredth anniversary of the death of Sir 
Isaac Brock, the hero of Queenstown Heights: 

The presence of so many distinguished men on the 
occasion shows that Canada is now much more in the 
minds of the people of the United Kingdom than it 
ever was before, and that, as you so well observe, the 
great event commemorated is regarded as having a 
profound influence on the destiny of the Dominion as 
an integral part of the Empire. 

At the Royal Society of Arts, Adelphi, London, 
on November 15, 1912, Lord Sanderson, on behalf 
of the Duke of Connaught, president of the society, 
presented the society's Albert Medal to Lord Strath- 
cona, " for his services in improving the railway com- 
munications, developing the resources, and pro- 


Imperial Naval Assistance 

moting the commerce and industry of Canada and 
other parts of the British Empire." 

Lord Sanderson read a message from the Duke of 
Connaught in which His Royal Highness said : 

In my present office of Governor-General of Canada 
I have had special opportunities of fully realizing the 
great services Lord Strathcona has rendered to the 
Dominion, and to the industrial and commercial prog- 
ress of the British Empire. As an old friend of many 
years' standing I rejoiced that, as president of the 
Society of Arts, I had been able to add another mark 
of appreciation of his long and valuable career of use- 

No one was more rejoiced than Lord Strathcona 
at the announcement by the new Prime Minister of 
a measure of assistance to the Imperial navy. 

To the Honourable R. L. Borden 

7th December, 1912. 

Your announcement of Canada's Naval Emergency 
Policy has naturally been of profound interest. Mr. 
Bonar Law, M.P., has given notice that in the House 
of Commons on Monday, the Qth instant, he will ask 
"when the Government will afford the House a suit- 
able opportunity of expressing its deep appreciation 
of the public spirit and patriotism displayed by His 
Majesty's Dominions overseas in contributing toward 
the efficiency of Imperial defence." 

No doubt a sympathetic answer will be given and 
an opportunity afforded for the House of Commons to 
express its appreciation of Canada's splendid gift. 


Lord Strathcona 
To the Honourable R. L. Borden 

4th February, 1913. 

As you are aware, the attention of the public during 
recent months has been called rather persistently, by 
the press and by the speeches of prominent men, to the 
extent to which Canada has been drawing money from 
this country. Lord Faber complains of the neglect of 
gilt-edged securities at home. During last month over 
forty millions sterling had been found for new com- 
panies, against twenty-two millions in January last 
year, and twenty millions in January, 1911, and only 
five millions had been placed in this country. Twenty- 
nine millions had gone to the Colonies and ten millions 
to foreigners. Nearly the whole of the twenty-nine 
millions had gone to Canada. He did not want to 
be an alarmist, because he had a great opinion of 
Canada, but there should be a moderation in all things. 
As an illustration of the position he mentioned, a cer- 
tain bank had to collect a bill of about five hundred 
pounds from a Canadian corporation, and the bill 
came back unpaid, with a request that it should be 
presented again when the corporation had obtained the 
proceeds of a loan from England. It was a very serious 
matter. Certain financial papers have suggested that 
it was good for trade to have money invested abroad, 
but we ought first to see that we had sufficient money 
for the home trade without a high bank rate. No 
doubt new taxes and the fear of war, which he hoped 
would never take place, had driven capital away from 
this country. 

The position of Canada here at present is rather 
susceptible to adverse rumours and requires careful 


New Critical Attitude 

In truth, proof was almost daily forthcoming 
that the old days of unquestioned acceptance, when 
the great Dominion ("the Mayfair of the Colo- 
nies") bounded fresh and blooming into the hearts 
and stock-markets of Britain, were now over. Yet 
his sanguine faith continued as ever. 

The Honourable W. T. White to the Honourable 
R. L. Borden 

OTTAWA, February 18, 1913. 

I return herewith Lord Strathcona's letter of the 
4th instant, which I have read with much interest. I 
still hold the view, notwithstanding Lord Faber's 
opinion, that the money stringency will gradually 
abate, and, while there may be a wholesome check 
for some months, that in due course British capital 
will be attracted here in as large or larger volume than 
in the past. 

To the Honourable R. L. Borden 

2 ist February, 1913. 

An anonymous letter has appeared in the Economist 
dealing unfairly with the question of Canadian crops 
and wheat production. It puts forward official figures 
showing decreased acreage under field crops and wheat 
asserts land is going out of cultivation. The answer 
to this could be that over a million and a quarter acres 
of fall wheat and hay and clover meadows were winter- 
killed and that considerable areas hitherto devoted 
to wheat were diverted last year to oats, barley, and 

To disclose these facts in an official communica- 
tion controverting the Economist and disclosing the 


Lord Strathcona 

extent of the area of winter-killed wheat might be 
even more prejudicial to Canada than the statement of 
the Economist, which, although an important paper, 
has only limited circulation. The position here is del- 
icate quantities of undigested municipal and other 
securities not alone Canadian are causing embarrass- 
ment to underwriters; and in my view there is danger 
that an official communication might precipitate an 
unfortunate controversy. Canadian interests gener- 
ally are in satisfactory position the prospects of 
British emigration indicate that the available trans- 
portation facilities will be taxed to the utmost during 
the coming season. Therefore, while recognizing the 
seriousness of the attack in the Economist, after careful 
consideration I am inclined to the opinion that we had 
better refrain from officially controverting it; but I 
would greatly appreciate an expression of your view. 

Mr. Borden wrote: 

My colleagues, and I, entirely concur in your view 
respecting the anonymous letter in the Economist. Any 
official answer or explanation is quite inadvisable. 

Lord Strathcona wrote later: 


It seemed fairly clear that the author of the letter 

had written with animus, and as the Economist is one 
of the leading financial journals here, it was not a 
matter which could be passed over unconsidered. I 
came to the conclusion, however, that the explanation, 
owing to its nature and the fact that it would be given 
in an official communication, would be more harmful 
than the anonymous letter, as it might not only pro- 
voke a controversy, but would probably be widely 
quoted by other journals and newspapers, and thus 


Defends Canada's Credit 

give great prominence to an abnormal condition the 
knowledge of which would otherwise be confined to a 
very limited number. I am glad to learn that you and 
your colleagues agree in thinking it best to allow the 
attack to pass unanswered. 

He was equally concerned when a statement 
appeared in a London daily paper to the effect 
that the Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada 
had come to an understanding with the leaders of 
the Unionist Party in the United Kingdom in regard 
to the fiscal policy of the latter country. 

This statement [he wrote] was so foreign to what I 
believed to be the truth that an early opportunity was 
taken of placing the matter before Mr. Borden, and I 
send you a copy of a letter I have received from him 
on the question. In the political development of the 
Empire in recent years no principle has become more 
firmly established than that each Dominion should 
be entirely untrammelled in the management of its 

From the Honourable R. L. Borden 

OTTAWA, January 20, 1913. 

I beg to acknowledge your letter of January 3, 
respecting the controversy which has arisen in the 
United Kingdom respecting the policy of food taxes, 
in the course of which assertion has been made that 
I had entered into some understanding, arrangement, 
or agreement with the leaders of the Unionist Party 
in respect to that question. I hardly need to assure 
you that any such assertion is most absolutely and 
unqualifiedly untrue. Inasmuch as the fiscal policy 


Lord Strathcona 

of the United Kingdom is a question of domestic con- 
cern, we most carefully refrained from discussing the 
subject in public and from any arrangement, under- 
standing, or agreement with either party thereon. 

The extraordinary vigour and industry of Lord 
Strathcona' s old age had become proverbial. He 
was accustomed to attend at his office in Victoria 
Street, for many hours daily, whenever in or near 
London. ''I have breakfast at 9 A.M. and din- 
ner at 9 P.M.," he would say, "and that gives me 
eleven hours daily for work." He was a constant 
diner-out, both publicly and privately, but ate and 
drank always very sparingly. His watchword was 
"duty" and he systematically did it as quietly as 
possible, never losing his temper or "fussing." 

He never ceased work, and one of the many 
stories told of him related to an occasion in 1906 
when he had been advised to give himself a rest 
from his labours. 

"You will be gratified to learn," Sir Thomas 
Shaughnessy told an Anglo-Canadian gathering in 
London, "that, yielding to the earnest entreaties 
of Sir Thomas Barlow, Lord Strathcona has 
decided to relax his energies. He has succumbed 
to the united pressure of his medical man, his 
family, and his friends, and has been induced to 
promise to leave his office at 7.30 each evening 
instead of 7.45." 

His habit of long hours became so well known, 
that amongst the other Colonial Government 
offices in Victoria Street that of Canada was called 
"The Lighthouse," because a light was to be seen 


Work and Duty 

burning in his room long after other premises were 
shrouded in darkness. 

Work and duty might be considered the two 
predominating keynotes of his life. He himself 
said, indeed, that hard work was the best tonic a 
man could have. "When he has his duty to do, he 
has n't time to think of himself, nor to allow him- 
self any indulgences which will make him slack and 
spoil him for good work." And so Lord Strathcona 
kept the Spartan tenor of his way. 

Repeatedly had he offered his resignation to the 
Government : his family and friends ardently wished 
him to retire. To their solicitation was added that 
of his physician. His life-work was over. "It is 
good," says the Dutch proverb, "for a man to end 
his life ere he die." 

To the Honourable R. L. Borden 

LONDON, 8th February, 1913. 

Deeply sensible am I of the very kind and far too 
indulgent terms in which, in your confidential letter of 
the I Qth December, you refer to my services as High 
Commissioner, and ask me to dismiss from my mind 
the idea of retiring which I submitted to you when you 
were last in London. You with much generosity offer 
to give me any additional clerical or other assistance 
I might desire which would make my duties less exact- 
ing and less onerous. 

But the fact really is that, since I entered the High 
Commissioner's Office in 1896, the course of events 
have been such that Canada has become far better 
known and is now so thoroughly in the minds of the 


Lord Strathcona 

people that, although the volume of work has largely 
increased, the duties are really much less exacting 
than they then were, and the staff, which has been 
considerably increased, is, as it at present exists, quite 
capable of coping with the requirements. Let me say 
that, in deference to the earnest insistence of my 
medical adviser, Sir Thomas Barlow, I tendered my 
resignation on two occasions to Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
when he was Premier, and at my request Sir Wilfrid 
announced this at the Dominion Day Dinner in 
London on the 3Oth June, 1911. The resignation then 
tendered has never been withdrawn, but when I met 
you in Ottawa on the 2d October, 1911, you, as 
Premier, in the most kind words did me the honour of 
asking me to retain office, and I gladly consented to 
discharge the duties until it might be convenient for 
you to appoint my successor, and so it has stood ever 
since. Almost a year ago, I was very seriously ill, and 
as Sir Thomas Barlow has been even more insistent 
than before that I should give up much of the work 
that I now have in hand, I feel that I ought to act on 
his advice. I shall therefore be greatly indebted to 
you if you will kindly relieve me from the duties of 
the office in May next, when I shall have served seven- 
teen years. Permit me at the same time to give ex- 
pression to my deep sense of gratitude to yourself and 
to the members of your Cabinet, as well as to Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier and his colleagues, for the unvarying 
kindness and consideration and ever ready advice and 
support you and they have extended to me throughout 
my long term of service, a service in the interests of 
Canada which has been to me one of love. 


Proposed Canadian Building 

To the Honourable R. L. Borden 

LONDON, March 22d, 1913. 

Am indeed deeply moved by your most kind and 
far too indulgent message of the 3d instant in reply to 
my telegram of 3d February. Looking to your great 
kindness and consideration, I feel that instead of 
retiring in May next, I should meet your wish that I 
defer relinquishing the duties of High Commissioner 
until an opportunity offers of a personal interview with 
you, and to this I very gladly accede. Let me assure 
you how sincerely I appreciate your own and your 
colleagues' kind remembrances and warm wishes for 
my health and strength, and that these are most 
earnestly reciprocated on my part. 

Amongst the last indeed, as it chanced to be, 
the very last of the many projects he had in 
hand when he came to be stricken down, was the 
acquisition of a suitable site for the erection of a 
building to house the High Commissioner's Office 
and all the Dominion's interests in London under 
one roof. For upwards of a year the matter had 
been in agitation. Personally, he desired no change. 
The offices in Victoria Street, sombre and in- 
adequate and wholly unsuggestive of Canada as 
they were, had become endeared to him by years 
of association. Yet if a change were deemed neces- 
sary, he wished the new offices to be close to the 
Parliament buildings, and in dignified keeping with 
the position Canada had attained in the Empire. 
In June, 1912, two emissaries of the Canadian 
Government arrived in London, the Honourable 


Lord Strathcona 

George Foster, M.P., and Sir Edmund Osier, M.P. 
They found him still in bed, but ready to propose 
that his first outing, after several months' seclusion, 
should be devoted, with them, to the search of a 

To the Honourable Robert L. Borden 

I5th June, 1912. 

My recovery from the serious illness which took 
hold of me in the middle of February last, although 
what the doctor, Sir Thomas Barlow, considers satis- 
factory, is very slow, and it is only during the last 
week or so that I have been able to move about ; but 
within the last day or two I am feeling stronger and 
better. I may not, however, be quite well enough to 
meet you at the steamer on your arrival, but shall 
arrange that Mr. Griffith will be there with all the 
letters for you, of which there will doubtless be a good 
many; and when you get here I shall be most happy 
to be of use to you in any and every way I can. 

Let me now thank you and your colleagues for your 
kind and thoughtful good wishes at a time when I 
was, owing to the severity of my illness, incapable of 
giving attention to correspondence myself, but pray 
believe that I am grateful for your and their kind 

He continued in a further letter: 

To-day we drove to view such sites as, after con- 
sideration, were deemed to be eligible. The ones which 
I think were viewed with most favour were the West- 
minster Hospital site, and Morley's Hotel, facing 
Trafalgar Square. As to the latter, we have yet to get 
full particulars, and the vendors of the hospital site 


Earl Grey's Scheme 

are holding out for what appears to be a rather high 

I arranged with Mr. Foster that he should cable you, 
with a view to ascertaining whether the Provinces 
would join in a general scheme, in the same way that 
the Australian States are doing, and if this could be 
arranged, it would, no doubt, simplify matters. 

But the matter dragged along, and in Decem- 
ber nothing had been decided. He wrote in that 
month : 

A personal interview has been arranged for at an 
early date between the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
and myself, to discuss the matter of the Westminster 
Hospital site, which I hear, informally, the British 
Government may have some idea of acquiring at 
least in part, and I will take this opportunity of 
bringing up the matter that you mention. 

I had hoped to have seen Mr. Lloyd George before 
the Christmas holidays, but it is now scarcely likely 
that I shall be able to do so before next week, when 
I will immediately communicate with you. 

Meanwhile Earl Grey had launched his pre- 
tentious scheme for a Dominions House in the 
Strand, in which all the representatives of the 
nations of the Empire should be gathered together. 
Nothing attracted Lord Strathcona less. His own 
views on the matter he took no pains to conceal, 
and was accordingly much relieved when Mr. 
Borden wrote him in December, 1913, that the 
Ministry "did not consider the time opportune for 
expending a very large sum of money." To this 
letter he replied at some length only three days 


Lord Strathcona 

before he died. He composed and signed the letter 
on his death-bed. It was the last he wrote, and 
there is pathos in this evidence of his devotion to 
Canada's interests when it is remembered that till 
then he had done little or nothing in the final 
arrangements of his own. 

To the Honourable R. L. Borden 

I7th January, 1914. 


In view of the circumstances mentioned in your 
letter I am by no means surprised that you and your 
colleagues do not consider the time opportune for 
expending a very large sum of money in connection 
with the site and buildings for a business home in 
London for the Dominion of Canada. While less than 
twenty years ago there was little belief in the future 
of Canada by men of affairs in the United Kingdom 
or by the peoples of the world generally, the position 
is now entirely changed. To-day the Dominion oc- 
cupies a foremost place in the thoughts of all people, 
and requires no adventitious advertising of a spectacu- 
lar character to draw attention to her merits and to 
the opportunities offered to those from other countries 
who are capable and determined to make a place in 
the world in which they can settle down and become 

An enormously expensive edifice near the Strand, 
on the plan put before me by Lord Grey, with an ele- 
vation overtopping not only the Commonwealth and 
other buildings in the immediate vicinity, but the dome 
of the great Cathedral, St. Paul's, I could not pos- 
sibly regard as other than an unpardonable expendi- 


His Ninety-third Birthday 

ture, and in my mind such a vast building, with a 
dominating pinnacle erected as a striking advertise- 
ment, would provoke ridicule rather than bring ad- 
vantage to our great country and its people. I am 
more convinced every day that it is not in the grand 
architectural effect of the offices of the Dominion in 
London that the requirements of the situation are to 
be found, but in the work that is actually done within 
them in the interests of the Canadian people. 

At the same time a syndicate or company registered 
as the Exchange of International and Colonial Com- 
merce, Limited, has formally asked me to place before 
you certain statements in connection with the Aldwych 
site and their negotiations with Lord Grey, which 
they consider should be brought to your knowledge, 
and I enclose the statutory declaration they have 
forwarded for this purpose. 

Believe me to be, dear Mr. Borden, 
With kindest regards, 

Yours sincerely, 


For the greater part of his ninety-third birthday 
Lord Strathcona had sat at his desk in London 
working as usual, seeming rather surprised that 
the numerous journalists, who crowded his office, 
should take any notice of the fact that he was 
within seven years of attaining his century of life. 
"I have no golden rule of my own making," he 
said; "no secret to practise in living my life. But I 
might say that I have taken no account of the pass- 
ing years. I have not counted them as they came 
and went; I have not considered them as some men 
do." His last visit to Glencoe was in September, 


Lord Strathcona 

when he made a prolonged stay. He left Glencoe 
on the 4th of October accompanied by Lady Strath- 
cona, and few then thought that neither of them 
would again see their Highland estate with its 
romantic surroundings, which they cherished so 

But the year was not to pass without his suffer- 
ing the blow from which he was not destined to 
recover. The whole Empire, which regarded him 
with affection and veneration as a type of what was 
worthiest within it, learnt with regret of the break- 
ing of the tender tie which bound him to his be- 
loved wife. 

Lady Strathcona had of late been frail, subject 
to colds, and much confined to the house. On sunny 
days she would take short walks in Grosvenor 
Square, opposite her London home, accompanied 
by a companion, and her faithful little Yorkshire 
terrier. On Friday, November 7, she suffered from 
what at first seemed a usual cold, but it rapidly 
developed into influenza and pneumonia, and she 
died on the evening of the I2th in her eighty-ninth 
year. Thus terminated a union lasting through 
six decades. 

A friend wrote at her death : 

When her ladyship was away from London, Lord 
Strathcona would allow nothing to stand in the way 
of his daily message to her. During her last visit to 
Glencoe, Lord Strathcona was seen, in seeming peril, 
dodging in and out of the crowded traffic of Victoria 
Street, opposite the High Commissioner's Office. A 
Canadian friend, with the kindliest intentions, offered 


Lady Strathcona's Death 

to escort his lordship to his destination. His help was 
unnecessary. Hastening into the High Commission- 
er's Office, this Canadian begged that some one might 
be sent to do the High Commissioner's message for 
him. He did not know that the nonagenarian High 
Commissioner went out every night at that hour to 
the telegraph office across the way. He would entrust 
a thousand messages to messengers, but this one 
message no one was allowed to handle but himself. It 
went to Lady Strathcona at Glencoe. 

She knew what work was and loved to be busy. 
When you called, you might expect to find her knitting 
some little woollen presents for her grandchildren or 
for near friends. Even her husband and daughter 
knew nothing of many gifts of money and self-knitted 
goods with which she relieved poverty and distress. 

Her last notable exertion was her hurried visit 
to Canada in the previous August. When, in 1912, 
Lord Strathcona made his penultimate trip to 
New York and Montreal, she declared that he 
should never go again without her. She was, she 
said, quite as well able to go as he, and nothing 
could prevent her keeping her word, certainly not 
the reminder that she had always been a bad 
sailor, sometimes withdrawing into her cabin on 
the first day of the voyage, only to leave it when 
the steamer touched American soil. A visitor re- 
ferred to this trip when calling upon her shortly 
before her death, and her remark was, "Yes, I am 
very glad I went. I long desired to see Canada again. 
How wonderful it is ! " 

The memory of Lady Strathcona, which many 


Lord Strathcona 

Canadians cherish, is of a sunny summer garden 
party on Dominion Day, in the beautiful expanse 
of Knebworth Park, where she made welcome 
her friends and showed her unfeigned delight in the 
shrill music of the Scottish pipers. 

Although a woman of retiring and altogether un- 
ostentatious nature, Lady Strathcona throughout 
her life splendidly seconded her husband in his in- 
numerable acts and schemes for the benefit of the 
people of Canada and of mankind at large. With 
her daughter, the Honourable Mrs. Howard, Lady 
Strathcona gave one hundred thousand dollars to 
McGill University for the erection of -a new wing 
to the Medical Building. To Queen Alexandra's 
fund for the relief of the unemployed of Great 
Britain, she gave liberally, and from time to time 
her helpfulness was shown in many directions. That 
in him her death produced a poignant anguish the 
following affecting letter shows : 

To Sir Charles Tupper, Bart. 1 

ijth November, 1913. 


From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your 
most kind letter of sympathy in the greatest sorrow 
I have ever experienced. She was my stay and com- 

1 Sir Charles had written :" No poor words that I can command 
can express the sorrow I feel at learning that the beloved partner of 
all your joys has been called away. From the first hour of our ac- 
quaintance my lamented wife and I were indebted to her for unre- 
mitting kindnesses and attention." 


His Final Illness 

forter throughout a long life, and I can hardly yet 
realize that she has passed away from me. You, my 
dear Sir Charles, have been through the same trial, and 
only those who have done so can fully realize what it 
means, after so many years of dear companionship. I 
know of the affection which existed between Lady 
Tupper and my wife, and of her great regard for you, 
and this makes me the more grateful for your kind 
thought of me in my sorrow. 

I hope that by this time you are feeling better and 
more comfortable, and with the kindest regards to 
you, Mrs. Cameron, and all the family, in which Mr. 
and Mrs. Howard join, 

Believe me, my dear Sir Charles, 

Yours gratefully and sincerely, 


After his wife's death the catarrhal malady, 
which for some time past had troubled him, in- 
creased. He became confined to his room, and on 
the 1 7th he was found to be suffering from great 
prostration, heart failure threatening. His condi- 
tion continued very grave, with no signs of im- 
provement, and it was stated on the evening of 
Monday (the iQth) that he was sinking. 

Now to the simple piety of his boyhood, in a 
northern Scottish town long ago, his thoughts on 
his death-bed returned. 

Never shall those who were around him forget the 
emotion with which they heard him repeat, not many 
hours before he died, without error, pause, or con- 
fusion, the whole of the Second Paraphrase, so dear 
to Scottish hearts : 


Lord Strathcona 

"O God of Bethel, by whose hand 
Thy people still are fed." 

To-morrow that great hymn, dearest of all hymns 
to our people throughout Scotland, Canada, and the 
Empire, will echo down the arches of Westminster 
Abbey as we bear him to his rest. And we shall re- 
member that, halfway up the nave, under the slab 
over which he will be carried, rests the body of another 
Scotsman, David Livingstone, the immortal of an- 
other continent. This paraphrase, we are told, Living- 
stone, when lost and famishing in the desert, would 
read aloud to himself under the scorching sun, just as, 
possibly at the very same time, Donald Smith was 
reading or repeating it on the waste of snows in 
Labrador. Thus did these two great solitaries meet 
in a Scottish hymn, learned at a mother's knee 
before the throne of God. 1 

He never rallied, and passed away very peace- 
fully, at five minutes to two on the morning of the 
2 1st of January, in the presence of the immediate 
members of his family, including Mrs. Howard, his 
daughter; Dr. Howard, his son-in-law; and Sir 
Thomas Barlow, his physician, who had been in the 
house almost continuously for several days. 

He made a brave fight for life, full of the desire 
to conquer his illness. Even on the Saturday 
preceding his death, when suffering great weak- 
ness, when, indeed, his life was despaired of, he 
summoned all his lingering strength to request that 
official letters and documents should be sent to his 
house in Grosvenor Square from the High Com- 
1 The Reverend Archibald Fleming. 

His Death 

missioner's Office, that they might duly receive his 
official signature. 

The news of the High Commissioner's death was 
at an early hour communicated to the King; the 
Duke of Connaught, Governor-General of Canada; 
and the Canadian Government, from whom mes- 
sages of sympathy and regret at the loss Canada 
had sustained were duly received. 

The moment it became known in the City of 
London, the Lord Mayor, Sir Vansittart Bowater, 
despatched the following message : 

The death of Lord Strathcona occasions great grief 
in the city of London. His devoted services to the 
Empire entitle him to a lasting grateful appreciation 
and recognition in the pages of its history, and his 
long, useful, loyal life affords a grand example to his 

The Duke of Argyll telegraphed from Kensington 

"Our greatest, yet with least pretence," as Tenny- 
son said of Wellington. ARGYLL. 

In Canada, the grief at his death was widespread 
and profound. Flags were flown at half-mast on 
the Bank of Montreal, at the Windsor Station, the 
offices of the Grand Trunk Railway, Canadian and 
Dominion Express Companies, and nearly all the 
principal business houses in this, the commercial 
capital of the Dominion, of which he was a citizen. 

The Governor-General, H.R.H. the Duke of 
Connaught, despatched the following message: 


Lord Strathcona 

Please accept expression of very deep sympathy 
from the Duchess of Connaught and myself. Lord 
Strathcona's lofty ideals, his splendid patriotism, as 
well as his distinguished services as High Commissioner 
have long been a source of pride and stimulus to his 
country. Among Lord Strathcona's many great 
qualities, his truly magnificent generosity was prob- 
ably the most outstanding and his memory will ever 
be kept green in the Dominion as the generous man 
of Canada. 

In the Canadian Parliament the Prime Minister 
moved the adjournment of the House. Said the 
Right Honourable Mr. Borden : 

It is fitting, I am sure, and all the members of both 
sides in this House will agree, that we should pay a 
tribute to the memory of the great Canadian who 
passed away yesterday. I speak of Lord Strathcona 
as a Canadian, because, although born across the sea, 
his life-work was almost altogether carried on in this 
country, to the service of which he consecrated many 
years of his life. 

He had a notable career, a career marked, especially 
in the earlier years of his life, by conditions and 
difficulties more arduous than those which most men 
are called upon to meet. 

When one looks back upon the great span of years, 
over which his lifetime stretched, one is tempted to 
recall all that has transpired in His Majesty's Domin- 
ion on this side of the Atlantic since Lord Strathcona 
came to this country at the age of eighteen. 

At that time there was much political unrest in 
Canada, carried in some parts of the country even to 


Prime Minister's Tribute 

the extent of rebellion. At that time we had not 
achieved the right of self-government or many of those 
constitutional liberties which have been developed, 
and have come into force from time to time. Nearly 
half the period of Lord Strathcona's allotted existence 
had passed when this Confederation was formed, and 
from 1838, when he first came to Canada, during the 
period of his life which succeeded, he saw what one 
might call a complete transformation of the northern 
half of this continent. He had been a prominent 
figure in the public life of this country before he under- 
took, at the age of seventy-six, to discharge the 
duties of the high office of High Commissioner of 
Canada. My right honourable friend knows, perhaps 
better than I do, the devotion which Lord Strathcona 
gave to those duties. I have known many men in my 
own lifetime who have been inspired by a high sense 
of duty, but I do not know of any man in my acquaint- 
ance and knowledge who has been inspired by a higher 
conception of duty than was Lord Strathcona. As 
the weight of years pressed upon him, it was almost 
pathetic to see the devotion with which he insisted 
upon performing even the minor duties of his posi- 

In all the time I have known him, and that was in 
the later years of his life, I was struck with the fact 
that time did not seem to have dimmed the freshness 
of his spirit, the vigour of his will, or his strength of 

The duties of the office which he discharged were 
always important and sometimes delicate, and it is 
satisfactory to us to remember that no man more than 
he had a higher pride in this country, in all that it has 
achieved, in all that it might achieve in the future, and 


Lord Strathcona 

no man more than he had a deeper interest in all that 
concerned the honour, dignity, and interests of Can- 
ada, nor was more concerned to do his duty. 

I think that the example of his life may well be an 
inspiration to us Canadians. Some one said many 
years ago that Thomas Carlyle spent his life preaching 
earnestness to the most earnest people in the world. 
It is not for me to speak at length of his great public 
service; in the office which he filled he performed a 
great and important public service to Canada and to 
the Empire. 

Besides that, his many benefactions for great chari- 
table purposes are known to all men, so that I do not 
need to do more than allude to them to-day. I con- 
sider that it would be a fitting tribute of respect to his 
memory that this House should stand adjourned till 
to-morrow, and I shall move, seconded by Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier, that the House do stand adjourned. 

In seconding the motion for the adjournment of 
the House, Sir Wilfrid Laurier joined the Premier 
in expressing the deep sympathy of the Canadian 
people in the loss sustained by the death of Lord 
Strathcona. He said in part: 

Since Sir John Macdonald, I do not think there has 
been any Canadian whose loss has occasioned so 
deep and so universal sorrow. He is mourned by His 
Majesty, by the authorities of commerce and finance 
in London whose equal he showed himself to be, by 
the poor of London for his generosity, by the people 
of Scotland with whom he remained in close relations 
to the end, and by Canadians, high and low, rich and 
poor, of whatever race or creed. 


Canadian Eulogies 

A former Prime Minister, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, 
paid the following tribute to the memory of Lord 
Strathcona on learning of his death : 

It is a great loss to the Empire and especially to 
Canada. He has done so very much for this country, 
the value of his life and work are well known to 
every Canadian. We all had the very highest appre- 
ciation of Lord Strathcona's ability, and his devotion 
to this Dominion and to the Empire has been equalled 
by none. The Government will have difficulty in re- 
placing him. 

Said Sir George Ross, ex-Premier of Ontario : 

Canada owes him a great deal for the standing he 
has given to the High Commissioner's office and for 
his assistance in directing investments in London and 
maintaining the honour and credit of the Dominion. 
It will be no easy matter to replace him with a man of 
equal generosity and adaptability for the position he 
has held for so many years. 

In his own Province of Quebec, the Prime Min- 
ister and the leader of the Opposition both paid 
tribute in the Assembly to the work of Lord 
Strathcona. In moving the adjournment of the 
House, Sir Lomer Gouin said : 

The death of Lord Strathcona involves a great loss 
both to Canada and to the Empire. Of him it may be 
truly said that he was one of the builders of this coun- 
try, and a national benefactor. He represented us 
with the utmost dignity in London, and powerfully 
contributed in making Canada better known in 
Europe. His splendid works and his many acts of 


Lord Strathcona 

munificence will perpetuate his memory and fill one of 
the brightest pages in our annals. 

Mr. J. M. Tellier, leader of the Opposition, in 
seconding the motion, said that the sentiments 
expressed by the Prime Minister were those of 
every member of the House. He added : 

Our loss is a heavy one by the death of one who has 
represented us so worthily in London. 

Canada [declared Archbishop Bruchesi] has lost her 
greatest citizen, the Empire a noble son, and humanity 
a most generous benefactor. 

I long ago learned to esteem and honour the great 
man who has just gone out from amongst us, leaving 
behind an honoured name, a reputation for unequalled 
patriotism, and as a Canadian that of an unexampled 
Empire-builder. Although a much younger man and 
of a different faith and nationality, I am proud to say, 
now he has departed, that Lord Strathcona was a 
generous, broad-minded friend, and on more occa- 
sions than one the venerable High Commissioner gave 
ample evidence of his love for all the races composing 
this great Dominion and his deep respect for the ad- 
herents of the Roman Catholic faith. His donations 
were especially generous to the poor of this city, and to 
those he had known in other lands, and although the 
very large sums were given to other institutions than 
my own, I hasten to express my gratitude for what he 
did for our institutions and to myself personally. His 
lordship gave me ten thousand dollars for the Home for 
the Incurables, and when Father Quinlan was parish 
priest of St. Patrick's, Lord Strathcona gave five thou- 
sand dollars toward the Catholic High School, to the 


Archbishop Bruchesi 

great satisfaction of the Irish Catholic faithful of the 
city. Then, when the noble Canadian peer learned of 
the Eucharistic Congress, he hastened to place the 
sum of five thousand dollars to my credit for that 
splendid manifestation of Catholic faith, and for this 
alone how could we ever forget Lord Strathcona? He 
also placed his palatial home at my disposition during 
the same Congress, and Cardinal Bourne was, while 
occupying the residence in question, treated by his 
lordship in a princely manner. During one of my 
recent trips to the other side of the ocean I was hon- 
oured by an invitation to one of his splendid homes in 
England, and for three days I not only enjoyed his 
never-ending kindness and hospitality, but I espe- 
cially learned to appreciate his qualities as a father and 
as a husband and many other traits which drew him 
so closely to those who were near and dear to him. 
They will all deplore the loss that has just fallen upon 

Truly had he been the friend of McGill Uni- 
versity, whose Board of Governors met and passed 
the following resolution : 

The Board of Governors desires to enter on the 
minutes of this meeting, convened on the very day of 
the funeral service at Westminster Abbey, a heart- 
felt expression of their deep regret for the death of 
Lord Strathcona, who, in addition to his other im- 
portant public offices, had held for more than twenty- 
three years the position of President of the Royal 
Institution for the Advancement of Learning and 
Chancellor of McGill University. The members of the 
Board have felt it an honour to be associated with such 
a man in the administration of the University, and his 


Lord Strathcona 

death comes home to each and all of them with a sense 
of personal loss. It is a matter of satisfaction that, in 
spite of distance and advancing age, his lordship had 
felt able to visit the University as recently as Septem- 
ber of last year, when he was one of the central figures 
of the great and historic gathering convened by the 
American Bar Association. Passing from life now full 
of years and honours, dying, as it were, in harness, 
while still in the active discharge, at the metropolis 
of the Empire, of his official duties as High Commis- 
sioner for Canada, he has left behind him memories 
that will live long in every Canadian heart. 

McGill in particular feels under the greatest obliga- 
tions to her late Chancellor for services rendered dur- 
ing the long period in which he watched over her 
interests; for his wise counsel, his unfailing generosity, 
and the inspiration of his noble example. 

. Said Chief Justice Sir Charles Davidson : 


Strathcona and Rhodes were two magnificent men 
of our day and generation. We who are still living 
will not look upon their like again. Thank God that 
they have been of the brood of the Empire. 

We need not fear exaggeration in speaking of Lord 
Strathcona. In especial degree has he enriched and 
uplifted Canadian life. May we emulate even if we 
cannot in the mean while at least reach to the lofty 
standards of his public and private careers. 

He stood supreme in the superbness, constancy, and 
catholicity of his benefactions. Only when the story 
of his life is written shall one fully know of how mighty 
a part he played in his life's ambition, the welding 
together, with enduring bonds, of all British posses- 
sions and the Mother Land. 


Montreal's Loss 

There should be engraven upon his tomb: "Here 
lies the great and good Lord Strathcona." 

Declared Mr. H. V. Meredith, President of the 
Bank of Montreal : 

Lord Strathcona' s services to Canada and the 
Empire and his deeds of charity and princely bene- 
ficence, will long be remembered and cherished by all 
Canadians. His connection with the Bank of Montreal 
as Director, Vice-President, President, and Honorary 
President, extended over a period of forty-one years, 
and during all that time his wise counsel and wide 
experience were of great value to the bank, and were 
freely placed at its disposal. 

The French-Canadian Mayor Lavallee, of Mon- 
treal, wrote: 

The severance of this great man from mortal 
things is an incalculable loss not only to Canada, but 
to the whole of the British Empire. It is given to few 
men to be so revered and loved. This universal esteem, 
however, was the outcome of a life well spent. The 
world is a better world by Lord Strathcona having 
lived in it. He was not only a brilliant man, but a 
kindly and charitable one. Great as was his position 
in the Empire, he never forgot that it was not wealth 
and position which counted so much as sterling merit, 
and the forming of a character in which charity and pity 
for others does so much to ease the pathway of those 
who have little of this world's wealth and honours. 
To me, one of the most striking characteristics of Lord 
Strathcona was his natural goodness of heart a trait 
that graciously broadened with the passing years. 

The life of Lord Strathcona will stand out in 


Lord Strathcona 

Canadian history as a splendid example of what self- 
denial, right living, and ambition can accomplish. 
For generations to come the young men of our country 
will have a glorious pattern to imitate. Canada is 
especially indebted to the late High Commissioner 
for much of the phenomenal progress it has made. 

It was believed at first that his mortal remains 
would find fitting sepulchre in Westminster Abbey, 
and indeed the Dean and Chapter offered this, the 
greatest honour that can be given to Britain's 
noblest dead. But he had expressed on his death- 
bed a wish to sleep his eternal sleep beside his wife 
in the cemetery at Highgate, and this wish was 
respected by his family. It was, however, at the 
Abbey that the funeral service was performed. 

Before the arrival of the body at the Abbey, Sir 
Frederick Bridge, who was at the organ, played an 
ancient and a modern lament for the dead. The 
first was the sonorous music composed by Purcell 
for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1694, and the 
other was Chopin's well-known "Funeral March." 
The great bell of the Abbey was tolling as the 
funeral procession drove into Dean's Yard. At the 
door of the West Cloisters the body was received 
by the Dean of Westminster, the clergy and 
choristers, and the pallbearers. The coffin was 
borne into the church hidden from view beneath 
the heavy folds of the Abbey pall, of deep purple 
velvet with an edging of silver and gold lace, and 
thickly strewn with lilies-of- the- valley and fern. 
The ten pallbearers, selected on account of their 
special connection with Canada or personal rela- 


Westminster Abbey 

tionship with Lord Strathcona, were as follows: 
Lord Aberdeen, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Lichfield, 
the Very Reverend George Adam Smith (Principal 
of Aberdeen University), Mr. W. L. Griffith (Secre- 
tary of the Canadian High Commissioner's Office), 
the Duke of Argyll, the Lord Mayor, Mr. Harcourt 
(Colonial Secretary), Sir William Osier (Regius 
Professor of Medicine, Oxford) , Sir Thomas Skinner 
(Deputy-Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company). 

The chief mourners included the Honourable 
Mrs. Jared Bliss Howard (the present Baroness 
Strathcona), Mr. Howard, and their sons and 
daughters, Miss Smith (niece), Mrs. Grant (niece), 
and the Misses Grant, Lieutenant Kitson, R.N., 
Mr. A. May, private secretary, and Mr. James 
Garson, W.S., the family solicitor. 

One wreath was carried behind the coffin. Com- 
posed of lilies of various kinds and heliotrope or- 
chids, it was sent by Queen Alexandra, and attached 
to it was a card bearing the words, in Her Majesty's 
handwriting : 

In sorrowful memory of one of the Empire's kindest 
of men and the greatest of benefactors, from 


After the opening sentences of the Burial Serv- 
ice had been read, the procession passed up the 
nave to the singing of "O God of Bethel," his 
favourite hymn, recited by him with his dying 
breath. The coffin was then placed on a bier be- 
neath the Lantern, and around it six candles 
dimly burned. 


Lord Strathcona 

The Dean of Westminster (Bishop Ryle) and the 
Precentor of the Abbey (the Reverend L. H. 
Nixon) officiated. Always beautiful and impres- 
sive, the Burial Service is especially solemn and 
uplifting in this ancient fane, with its historical 
associations and monuments which proclaim how 
great, if fleeting, is the gift of life, and how noble 
and enduring are the things of which mortal man is 
capable. The choir led the singing of the Ninetieth 
Psalm, after which the Dean read the lesson from 
I Cor. xv. The anthems were Blair's paraphrase, 
" How still and peaceful is the grave," to music by 
Tye, and Goss's " I heard a voice," followed by the 
burial prayers which were read by the Precentor. 
Very touching was the singing of the calming and 
consoling hymn, " Now the labourer's task is o'er." 
Finally, after the Benediction, when the funeral 
procession, with the coffin, left the Abbey, the 
"Dead March" in "Saul" was played, conveying 
its high, impassioned sense of the dignity of death. 

The coffin, covered with beautiful wreaths, was 
placed in a glass-framed motor-hearse, which was 
followed by about a dozen motor-cars with the 
relatives and other chief mourners. No horses, 
either ridden or driven, were to be seen in the pro- 
cession. It went by Upper Grosvenor Street, Park 
Lane, Grosvenor Gardens, and Victoria Street. 
The blinds of many of the houses along the route 
were drawn. In Victoria Street the offices of the 
High Commissioner of Canada, the scene of so many 
activities of Lord Strathcona, were closed, and over 
the door hung the Union Jack at half-mast. 


Highgate Cemetery 

The funeral proceeded to Highgate Cemetery by 
Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross Road, 
Tottenham Court Road, and Hampstead Road. 
The vault in which Lady Strathcona was buried lies 
at the northern end of the burial-ground, a pleas- 
antly situated corner almost within the shadow of 
the trees of Waterlow Park. Here a large number 
of people gathered behind the barrier of ropes which 
marked off the space roundabout the graveside. 
Before the arrival of the hearse and procession of 
motor-cars, which reached the cemetery shortly 
after one o'clock, carriages were continually driv- 
ing up laden with wreaths which had been brought 
direct from Grosvenor Square. These were so dis- 
posed as to form a beautiful floral hedge enclosing 
the boarded and carpeted space where the Burial 
Service was read. Those who sent wreaths, in 
addition to Queen Alexandra, were Princess Louise 
and the Duke of Argyll, the Duchess of Albany, 
Prince and Princess t Alexander of Teck, the Land- 
graf of Hesse, the Prime Minister of Canada and 
Mrs. Borden, and the Dominion Government. 
The white enamelled walls of the vault had been 
hung by the cemetery authorities with festoons of 
laurel and wreaths of lilies. 

The service at the graveside was marked by the 
same simplicity as the proceedings in the Abbey. 
The chief mourners stood around the vault, while 
those who had driven from the Abbey, including 
the Duke of Argyll and Lord Aberdeen, were 
grouped behind them. The committal portion of 
the Church of England service was read by the 


Lord Strathcona 

Reverend Archibald Fleming, of St. Columba's 
(Church of Scotland), Pont Street, with the addi- 
tion of special prayers taken from the Church of 
Scotland Order. The coffin was finally lowered 
into the grave and placed beside the body of Lady 
Strathcona, with the two wreaths sent by mem- 
bers of the family reposing upon it. 

It was not a state, nor yet a public, funeral. With 
all the greatness he had attained, Donald Alexander 
Smith was a simple and homely man; and it was 
the desire of his family that his burial should be 
in keeping with his character, as private and devoid 
of show as possible. Accordingly Lord Strathcona 
had been borne to his tomb without pomp, but 
otherwise with many marks of honour, national and 
Imperial, befitting the obsequies of one who had 
given his long life to the enrichment of the Empire 
and the knitting-together of its strength. 

Nor were manifestations of mourning on the part 
of the general community lacking. The public 
to whom Lord Strathcona appealed as a wonder- 
ful veteran of ninety-four serving his country 
almost to the last hour of his long life paid 
such tributes of respect to his memory as were in 
their power. They crowded the unreserved spaces 
of the Abbey, filling the great nave. They as- 
sembled at various points of the way from the 
Abbey to Highgate, and reverently uncovered and 
in silence saluted the coffin as it passed them by. 



IT is perhaps unexampled in history for the life 
of a single individual to coincide at so many points 
with the life of a nation as does Lord Strathcona's 
with that of Canada. The date of his birth is so re- 
mote as almost to take us back to the reign of that 
monarch to whom New France surrendered and for 
whose sake the United Empire Loyalists made their 
immortal sacrifice. He came to Canada in the very 
first year of Queen Victoria's accession and at a cru- 
cial moment in our history. Lord Durham's mission 
marks a new constitutional epoch; the subject of 
these pages was himself an eye-witness of the events 
which the famous pro-consul reported. His activi- 
ties were intimately connected first with the Far 
East and then with the Far West. He began his 
political career soon after the Dominion of Canada 
was born. He saw the genesis of Manitoba and was 
her first representative. He was concerned in the 
creation or the supreme control of some of Canada's 
greatest institutions, the fur-trade, the bank 
system, and the railways. He was largely instru- 
mental in peopling the West and in educating the 
East. He saw the growth of Canada's first period 
of great prosperity, to which his own efforts had in 
full measure contributed, and he died on the eve of 
a new era when our people, stimulated by his teach- 


Lord Strathcona 

ing and his example, sanctified forever by thou- 
sands of lives and millions of money the bond 
which binds them to the British Empire. 

At the public meeting of the citizens of Montreal 
in 1900, which resulted in the erection of the 
Strathcona Monument in Dominion Square, he 
told his hearers that he could then look back on 
more than sixty years of work in Canada. Yet, as 
Sir William Peterson reminds us: 

Already for some time past, he had held his high 
office as the nation's representative in London an 
office which would have sufficed in itself, even apart 
from his great personality, to mark him out as one of 
the most distinguished citizens of the Empire. But it 
was easy to see that at the root and foundation of the 
high position he had won lay the long years of prepara- 
tion for it. From his native Scotland he had taken to 
Labrador all the best results of a careful home training, 
which revealed itself in the remarkable rapidity with 
which he rose to the very top in the service of the 
Hudson's Bay Company. When the call to action came 
to him in connection with the trouble in the North- 
West, it found him a resolute and experienced man of 
affairs, who knew the hearts of others as they knew 
his. Then came the period of service at Ottawa and 
Montreal, which completed his preparation, and gave 
him such a place in the esteem and affection of his 
fellow-countrymen that none but he could be looked 
to when there was a need for some one to take up the 
r61e of Canadian representative in London. 

To quote Mr. Austen Chamberlain: 

He was a splendid illustration of the opportunities 
which the British Empire affords to its sons and of the 


A Conspicuous Figure 

use the best of them can make of those opportunities. 
With no advantages of birth or fortune, he made him- 
self one of the great outstanding figures of the Empire. 
He made a great fortune, but what was more, he used 
it nobly, not for himself, but for his country and his 
Empire. He did more than make a fortune. He helped 
to make a great nation, the greatest of our sister 
nations over the seas, and to encourage in that nation 
a larger patriotism which, abating not one jot of its 
own local spirit, can yet impress the Empire as a whole, 
can think Imperially and place Imperial interests before 
any local interests, however important at the moment 
they may seem. Such a life is an example to us all; 
we must resolve that the great lesson which Lord 
Strathcona's life taught shall be learned by us all, 
and that each, according to his means and in his own 
capacity, will be a true and faithful servant, as Lord 
Strathcona was, of the country which bred him and 
the Empire of which he was a citizen. 

In the years immediately preceding his death, 
his great age, his venerable aspect, his high Im- 
perial reputation, his personal rank and vast 
wealth, combined with his official status as 
Canada's representative to make of him a central 
and commanding figure at Imperial gatherings. 
Never did he shirk the least duty when his presence 
or his counsel seemed needed in Canada's interests. 
Commenting on his maxim that patience and work 
were the best prescription for health, one of his 
friends writes : 

To patience and work there was added this: that he 
was serving others, not striving, working, planning 
for himself, but bearing a responsibility of office, of 


Lord Strathcona 

authority, and as so often happens, finding stability 
under that burden. 

Vast as his wealth was, his sense of responsibility 
kept him a constant servant to the public interest 
as it also kept him from devising fantastic and 
pretentious systems of expenditure whose final 
utility, even as means of commemoration, is ques- 

To quote again the Principal of McGill Uni- 
versity : 

He carved out his career in the heroic days of 
Canadian history, when individual pioneers were 
privileged to write their names in large characters 
across the whole breadth of a continent. And after all 
he was no mere sordid seeker after gain, nor did his 
material prosperity ever blunt the edge of his moral 
and social ideas and aspirations. In a word, his soul 
was not submerged, as is sometimes unfortunately the 
case, by the gathering tide of worldly success. Duty 
was his guiding star duty and conscience. We 
ought to be glad, too, ought we not? in our day 
and generation, that Canada can boast of him as a 
man of unspotted integrity. His word was as good as 
his bond. But he carefully weighed nearly every word 
he uttered, and most certainly every word he ever 
wrote. None could apply the pruning-knife more 
remorselessly than he to the language of any docu- 
ment for which he was expected to make himself in 
any way responsible. He was above everything 
accurate even in the use of words. I fancy he had 
done most of his reading in early life when in the long 
silence of Labrador he acquired that stock of ideas, 
and that power of expression, which stood him in such 


Agmina Ducens 

good stead when he had to address himself, compara- 
tively late in life, to the difficult art of public speaking. 1 
And he could appreciate a telling phrase, or the 
pointed turn of a sentence. I remember when he 
asked me to supply him with a Latin motto for his new 
coat of arms, which had hitherto contained the one 
English word " Perseverance." When I enquired what 
idea he would like to have expressed, he half- whispered, 
" In the van." I gave him "Agmina ducens," and there 
it stands to-day. And yet, for all his eagerness to be 
"in the van," one can never think of him as anything 
but essentially modest and unassertive. You all know 
what his bearing was on the various occasions on 
which he was seen in our midst, inwardly glad, no 
doubt, to receive the homage of our love and praise, 
but genuinely anxious at the same time, that no one 
should be put to any inconvenience because of him. 
And all the qualities of which he gave evidence in 
public were familiar to those who knew him in his 
home. The death of his wife, but ten short weeks 
before his own, was naturally the greatest sorrow of 
his whole life. One who saw much of him at the time 
has told me how it seemed to shake his soul to its 
depths, and thereafter he was as a stricken man. The 
friends who met the aged pair on the occasion of their 
last visit to Montreal will recall some of the instances 
of the kindly humour that always characterized their 
intercourse with each other; and it is a satisfaction 

1 " I have heard him," writes the Reverend Dr. Robert Campbell, 
of Montreal, "on several occasions speak of the manner in which 
he spent the long winter nights in Labrador, when he had books 
only for his companions. He used to laugh when he mentioned the 
variety of reading matter found in the Post's library, and of the 
necessity he was under to wade through some not very attractive 
books, for lack of anything more interesting to occupy his mind 


Lord Strathcona 

to remember, now that they are both gone, that 
through their loving and devoted daughter their line- 
age is continued in the third generation. 

Lord Strathcona lived a strenuous and a useful life, 
characterized by courage and high resolve in critical 
and anxious times. He always showed that he could 
"rise to the height of great occasions." Alongside of 
that should be placed the continuous response of 
constant applications for public and private charity, 
to which his resources were fortunately adequate, 
a charity that was never exercised, be it remembered, 
in mechanical fashion, but always with some personal 
touch of kindly courtesy and consideration. Even in 
his latest days he was thinking of what he could do for 
others: and it ought to be mentioned here that, evi- 
dently remembering of his own accord a certain pay- 
ment which he was in the habit of making to the Royal 
Victoria College about the time of the New Year, he 
cabled me the sum of forty-five thousand dollars, 
on the very day before he died. He was given to 
hospitality; and his Montreal home was long a recog- 
nized place of meeting for many who, under the 
divided conditions of our civil life, seldom met any- 
where else. He was full of the conviction that in our 
province French and English must perforce agree to 
live together, for the very good reason that here 
neither of the two races can live without the other. 

While thus his personal motto was "in the 
van," he never failed to give full credit to others 
in the Canadian Pacific Railway and other great 
enterprises in which he was identified. Albeit non- 
partisan, he "heartily sympathized with Mr. Cham- 
berlain's idea that our Empire should become more 


Aristotle's Definition 

conscious of itself. The late Chancellor's contribu- 
tion to education constituted no mere stereotyped 
or conventional form of benevolence. In scientific, 
medical, and higher education for women he was a 
pioneer with a marked power of initiative which 
had been felt all over Canada. He was no sordid 
seeker after gain, nor did material prosperity ever 
blunt the edge of his moral and social ideals and 
aspirations. In a word, his soul was not submerged 
by the gathering tide of worldly success. A man of 
unspotted integrity throughout his long career, he 
measured up to Aristotle's definition of 'high- 
mindedness.' ' 

And truly no reader of the Ethics, bearing Lord 
Strathcona in mind, but must be struck by the 
remarkable appositeness of many passages in which 
the Greek philosopher dwells upon the virtues 
of ' ' high-mindedness ' ' (/xeya\oi/a>xta) and ' ' munifi- 
cence" (/xeyaXoTT/acVeta). So apposite are they that 
I offer no apology for recalling them here. 

Munificence [he says] differs from Liberality in the 
largeness of the sums with which it deals. Its general 
characteristic is magnitude; but this must be in rela- 
tion to three things: the person who gives, the cir- 
cumstances of the gift, and its object. Hence every 
munificent man is liberal, but not every liberal man is 
munificent. The vice or defect is Meanness. The vice 
of Excess, which we describe as Bad Taste and Vul- 
garity, errs not in the greatness of the amount spent, 
but in the inappropriateness in different ways of the 
expenditure. There is a sort of scientific skill implied 
in Munificence. This is needed to decide under what 


Lord Strathcona 

various circumstances, as they actually occur (for 
action is the only real test of disposition in this as in 
other Virtues), great expenditure is befitting and 
appropriate. The occasion must be worthy of the 
expenditure, and the expenditure of the occasion. 
There must also be the same motive as in all the other 
virtues, viz., the desire for what is noble. Again, the 
munificent act must be done cheerfully and un- 
grudgingly: there must be no close calculations; no 
considerations of "How much, or how little will it 
cost?" but rather, "What will be the grandest and 
most appropriate way of doing it?" And hence the 
munificent man will necessarily be liberal also; but 
besides the mere grandeur of the amount spent, there 
is a grandeur of manner which imparts a special lustre 
to the acts of a munificent man beyond what would be 
achieved by mere liberality even with the same expen- 
diture. For a work and a possession are not to be esti- 
mated in the same way. In the latter case there is only 
a question of intrinsic value; in the former, we must 
take into consideration the grandeur and the moral 
effect produced on the beholders. 

As to the occasions which are fitting for the dis- 
play of Munificence [Aristotle notices] first, the 
service of religion, and next, great public or patriotic 
services. In all these cases, however, regard must be 
had to the social position, and to the means of the doer, 
as well as the work done. It would be out of place 
for a man of small or moderate means to aspire to 
be munificent. It is a virtue reserved for those of 
great wealth, inherited or acquired, good birth, high 
station, and so forth. 

Without merit they cannot form the ground of that 
self-esteem which constitutes High-mindedness, nor 


Miss Hurlbatt's Recollections 

again can they justify the superciliousness in which 
their possessors ape the high-minded. Unlike him they 
have no superior merit to warrant that feeling, nor 
discrimination in its exercise. The High-minded man 
will not court danger, but if it be great and worthy of 
him, he will face it without regard to his life, which he 
does not think worth preserving at the cost of honour. 
He loves to confer and is ashamed to receive benefits, 
and he hastens to requite them with increase. He is 
reluctant to ask a favour, though ready to confer one. 
With great men he carries his head high, while with 
ordinary men he is unaffected. He is no gossip: he is 
a man of few words, sparing alike in his praise and in 
his reproaches. His gait, his voice and his manner of 
speech will be grave, dignified, and deliberate. Such is 
the High-minded man. 1 

To the judgment of many of his contemporaries 
already given it is fitting that some recollections of 
his traits and habits of daily life, by those closely in 
touch with him, should be added. 

Miss Hurlbatt, Warden of Victoria College, 
writes : 

I knew him only as a very old man, always with a 
certain detachment of manner, as if he had already 
passed some boundaries of time and space beyond his 
fellows, and while occupied and keenly interested and 
ceaselessly concerned with work and duty and service, 
really alone with himself. Perhaps he was always like 
this utterly master of himself and of his fate. The 
early years of discipline and loneliness may have 
worked this in him. Certain it is that whatever he had 
suffered of "fret and dark and thorn and chill" had 
1 Aristotle, Ethics, translated by the Reverend E. Moore. 

Lord Strathcona 

with him "banked in the current of the will" to uses, 
arts, and charities. 

Vividly does Miss Hurlbatt recall her first inter- 
view with him : 

I found him in his office in Victoria Street, as he 
has been seen by so many who came to him from far 
and near, seated by his desk in a very bare and un- 
pretentious room, in an attitude with which I was to 
become familiar, and which has been characteristi- 
cally recorded for us by Mr. Robert Harris in the por- 
trait that hangs in our Hall, one hand holding his 
chair, the other resting on his knee, an attitude that 
with many people would suggest relaxation and would 
be an attitude of repose with him, as you will have 
noticed, it was compatible with alertness and a keen 
concentration upon any affair at the moment in hand. 
This attitude, apart from his white hairs and vener- 
able expression, was the only thing which suggested 
age it was as if he gave his body rest that his mind 
should be more free and have the use of all his force. . . . 

I think that then, and whenever I have since met 
him, I was conscious that his voice was a revelation of 
his personality; in an almost startling way it betrayed 
in an instant the man. It was resonant, far-reaching, 
almost hard in the way every word and every inflection 
was sent out to reach its purpose, every word convey- 
ing a sense of power behind it. His voice was even and 
exact and it was so when it was kindest and most 
gentle, and even when other signs betrayed that he 
spoke with a sense of amusement. 

I cannot do better than describe a certain char- 
acteristic incident in Miss Hurlbatt's own words. 


Dr. Grenfell's Testimony 

It reveals the tender relationship existing between 
Lord Strathcona and his wife. 

On a winter's morning at Euston Station, London, as 
our train was leaving for Liverpool, I caught sight of 
a rather alarming scene that had a touching sequel. 
The train was due to start, the guard's whistle had 
been blown, but there was a moment's pause and Lord 
Strathcona was seen hurrying up the platform and 
mounting the train as it began to move, and there 
behind on the platform was the figure of Lady Strath- 
cona supported by four strong arms, lifting her from 
her feet, so that she could see into the window of the 
carriage and wave her farewell. The pathos of that 
figure I shall not soon forget. I had many opportunities 
on the voyage of hearing from Mr. Garson, Lord 
Strathcona's Scottish agent, and who counted Lady 
Strathcona as his dear friend, of the anxiety and 
loneliness that these great undertakings and sudden 
partings and absences caused her, how Lord Strath- 
cona wished always to have her with him, but how she 
shrank from the journeys. It was said that when 
Lord Strathcona decided upon his last visit to Canada 
in September, 1913, she again wished to remain behind, 
until he gently suggested that perhaps there might be 
for him no returning. That was enough, and we know 
how she came on that last lightning visit, an almost 
miraculous effort at their age. 

All those who were brought into close touch with 
him in his later years bear witness to the same 
traits of character which his old fur-trading asso- 
ciates had long since noted. 

His insistence [writes Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, the 
famous Labrador missionary] on the greatness of 


Lord Strathcona 

little things never failed to impress those who came in 
contact with him, and this was combined with his 
distrust of conventions, and emphasis on the reliability 
of plain common sense. I long ago realized how he 
came to be possessed of that secret of greatness, and 
faculty of arriving quickly at correct conclusions, 
unsurpassed even by a Sherlock Holmes. 

As a tiny illustration of this, once at breakfast the 
lamp under the hot-water kettle had gone out. The 
butler, apologizing, said he had forgotten to put any 
spirits into it. Without the slightest display of anger, 
but like a man insisting on some great universal 
principle, our host said quietly, "Remember, James, 
you have only certain duties to perform. This is one. 
Never, under any circumstances, let such an omission 
occur again." Whatever that dignified official got out 
of it, I learned a truth of no small value. In my own 
craft of surgery, the omission of some apparently 
trifling detail and it is equally true of ordinary 
business might at any time cause irreparable dis- 
aster. One of the chief reasons why the Turks, though 
a virile race of physical fighters, are unable to hold 
their own, is because they make " Fate" or " Kismet" 
responsible for their failures and neglect. 

About twenty years ago Dr. Grenfell arrived in 
Montreal just before Christmas Day, anxious to 
get an early appointment with Lord Strathcona. 

He himself was overwhelmed with engagements and 
it seemed impossible for him to give the time we 
sought, and it looked as if we would have to go away 
without seeing him. It was entirely characteristic of 
his courtesy, however, that he should have replied to 
our request, that if we would come on Christmas Day, 


A Christmas Day Appointment 

he would be able to give us the time we desired; but 
when we noticed that he had appointed Hudson's Bay 
House for the rendezvous on that day, we were a little 
surprised. When we found it, it was away downtown, 
and a purely business place, and we knew that, of 
course, all the employees would be away keeping the 
holiday. I still remember vividly the deserted streets, 
so impressive in the big busy centre: the silence and 
the entire absence, even on the streets, of any living 
thing, and at last the great, towering portals of the 
world-famous Company's offices. I climbed the steps 
with no little trepidation, and the bell startled me, 
when its echoes rang out, as if in some long-deserted 
haunt of men. Finally, the great door swung open, and 
there stood, quite alone, the smiling old gentleman, 
already white-haired, positively apologizing for keep- 
ing me waiting. ''There's no one in the house," he 
began, "so I have to answer the door myself." Our 
amazement at seeing him there at all on that day was 
so badly disguised that he went on to explain that the 
famous physician, Sir Andrew Clark, had more than 
once warned him that to stop work would be fatal to 
him, and that he realized it was true. 

When we went in, he was opening letters from an 
almost endless pile. "These are all requests for help," 
he went on. " I like to deal with them personally when 
I can get time, but I have calculated that if I granted 
them all, I should n't have a single cent left." 

On one occasion he was asking me about old 
Labrador acquaintances, and as it was then fifty years 
since he had left the coast, it might have been expected 
that, with all his multiplicity of interests, he would 
long before have forgotten the individuals. He hap- 
pened to ask after a certain woman who had been his 


Lord Strathcona 

servant so many years before. I told him that she 
had long ago passed away, but that her daughter, who 
was married and had a very large family, had often 
spoken of her mother's connection with him. He asked 
how she was faring with so many children, but 
appeared to take very little notice when I told him 
that the family were having hard times. However, 
the next time I visited that part of Labrador, I heard 
that he had sent a special Labrador order of pork, 
flour, molasses, butter, and many outfits of clothing 
for herself and the children. The method of accom- 
plishing this was to us just another demonstration of 
his greatness. To this day the woman is wondering 
"where on earth that winter's diet, and all that cloth- 
ing could have come from." 

My last interview with him was just before his 
death. He had come to the office of the Hudson's Bay 
Company for the discussion of a new policy. While 
we lunched, he sat and talked. There was hardly a 
line on his face, and every faculty was on the alert. 
He had come down, in spite of the doctor's orders not 
to leave the house, to hear what I had to say about 
Labrador. One of his first enquiries was after the 
little hospital steamer, which for so many years had 
borne his name on the coast. He was concerned to 
hear that her boilers had blown out, and that she was 
laid up owing to the lack of the necessary funds to 
replace them. It seems almost superfluous to say that 
he at once ordered them to be replaced at his expense, 
so as to make the ship as efficient as possible, and the 
day after I received a letter to confirm his wishes. 

A gap of two years had elapsed since I had last seen 
Lord Strathcona, and even then he was ninety years 
of age, and one might have supposed that, so long after 


A Solitary Landmark 

the allotted span of threescore years and ten, a man 
whose life had been spent under such strenuous cir- 
cumstances must be verifying the words of the psalmist, 
and finding his days "but labour and sorrow." Not so, 
however, with this man. So far as his keen interest in 
life was concerned, his natural force seemed in no way 
abated. He still found his greatest pleasure in a full 
day's work, and when the day itself had gone, the 
same sufficient satisfaction in the company of the long- 
time partner of his life and of their family. 

This time, however, a blind man could realize a vast 
difference in his attitude toward the world. The same 
interest, the same courage, but no longer the same man. 
He seemed to me like one of the great solitary rocks 
of our barren coast, which, from time immemorial, far 
out in the wide ocean, during the season of open water, 
has raised its head above the gigantic rollers of the 
Atlantic, and in winter, towered over the resistless 
grinding of the Atlantic field ice. 

Alone left of his generation, Lord Strathcona seemed 
now to me to loom up as just such another wonder. 
The discussion on the business which had brought us 
together had come to an end. We were thinking of 
saying good-bye, when suddenly he leaned over 
toward me and said, "You will let me know about the 
boilers for the hospital ship? See that they are done 
as well as they can be and come and see me before you 
go back to Labrador." The word seemed involun- 
tarily to have carried his thought back to the long- 
ago scenes of that country where first he had met the 
wife whom he had loved so truly. It seemed to me 
that his white head bent a little lower, as he added, 
"Doctor, a terrible blow has come to me since you 
were here last, terrible! terrible! " he repeated. 


Lord Strathcona 

The next reference which we saw to our old friend 
was the public despatch in the newspaper telling of his 
death, and that he was to find a last resting-place in 
the Abbey, the Valhalla of the nation's mighty dead. 
But later came the news that his wishes were to be 
respected, and that the personal honour, so much 
coveted by many, found no echo in this great man's 
life. He had chosen to sleep his last long sleep by the 
side of her he loved so well. So even in death he has 
left the nation a better legacy than silver and gold, in 
reminding us again of the greatest of all secrets of the 
greatest of all lives the possession, not of money, 
but of the spirit of simple love. 

In religious matters he was truly catholic: and in 
his religious benefactions favoured in turn Roman, 
Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian. 1 

Dr. Archibald Fleming, of the London Presby- 
terian Church of St. Columba's, with which church 
Lord Strathcona and his family were long con- 
nected, thus pays his tribute to one who was "a 
great benefactor of our church in London": 

I wish to speak of him as I knew him a humble 
Christian and a deeply religious man. Lord Strath- 
cona was a loyal and generous son of the Church of 
Scotland; and almost with his last breath he told me 
as he had often done before how deep was his 

1 Once in giving a donation of one thousand pounds to a Roman 
Catholic institution he wrote: "Whilst I am personally more con- 
nected with the Protestant Church and institutions of the country, 
not the less have I a warm feeling for the fellow-citizens of other 
denominations, including the Catholics, both English- and French- 
speaking, and I would gladly, as far as possible, aid them in their 
efforts for higher education." 


His Religious Toleration 

affection for her simple worship, and how he valued 
her ordinances most of all. 

But in saying this he added and, speaking as one 
who was delivering a testimony, he bade me repeat 
it to others that in his long life he had learned a 
great toleration, and had come to realize that God 
reveals Himself to his faithful people by the lips of all 
the churches; for it had been his experience that he 
could receive benefit from them all; so that to him, 
denominational distinctions, and even the distinction 
between Protestant and Roman, almost ceased to 
exist in view of the great elemental truths which all, 
according to their ability, strove to represent; the 
"Good and Great Creator" could and would reveal 
Himself somehow to us through them all. Such was 
the wide sweep of this great man's spiritual vision, and 
such the large charity of his great heart. 

In other words, Lord Strathcona's religion was 
vital rather than technical. 

"To be religious in the technical sense of the 
word," Mr. A. C. Benson remarks somewhere, "to 
care for religious services and solemnities, for 
priestly influence, for intricate doctrinal emotions, 
implies a strong artistic sense and is often far re- 
moved from any simplicity of conduct. But the 
simple man will have a strong sense of responsi- 
bility a deep confidence in the will of God and 
his high purpose." 

In private life he was a most engaging host. 

He does not [testified a visitor fifteen years ago] 
greatly care for personal talk. He is too self-contained 
and too watchful to be drawn out. Control and a sort 


Lord Strathcona 

of lofty prudence are expressed by his bearing and by 
the intrepid look in his eyes. He carries with him the 
atmosphere that surrounds all men who have dwelt 
long in solitude. His favourite attitude when con- 
versing is a strong folding of the arms and a down- 
ward, pondering look. His hair is now snow-white; 
his skin is fresh, and about him there is a pleasant 
vigour that is wonderful for his eighty years. His talk 
is bright, and he is equally at home in American, 
Canadian, or English politics. There is not a financial 
movement of importance anywhere in the world that 
he is uninformed upon, and his gallery of acquaintances 
and friends is of amazing extent and variety, from the 
clerk at some outlandish post of the Hudson's Bay 
Company to the King of England. 

He was [relates Sir Thomas Shaughnessy] the soul 
of hospitality, loved to have people about him as his 
guests, spared no effort or expense to contribute to 
their comfort and pleasure, and in his dealings with his 
fellow-men he was a model of courteous consideration. 
He never forgot his old friends. 

"A model of courteous consideration" expresses 
but the exact truth. 

The one thing that lives in my memory of one night 
is not the singing of the great diva, Patti, but the 
courtesy of Lord Strathcona, as long after midnight, 
hatless and coatless, his white hair resplendent in the 
bright electric light, he insisted on standing out in the 
cold night wind, seeing his guests personally into their 
carriages, and finally sending us, strangers from a far- 
away country, back to the hotel in a carriage. 1 

1 Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, C.M.G. 

His Later Reading 

The last forty years of his life were so entirely 
given up to affairs that he had little or no time for 
the reading of books. But he was a close and dis- 
cerning reader of the newspapers. He showed a 
considerable familiarity with the standard authors 
whose works he had studied in his youth. Amongst 
the novelists, after Scott, he had a relish for 
Dickens, whom besides he much esteemed as a man. 
On the approach of the centenary of Dickens's 
birth, he was much moved when I told him that 
certain descendants of the great novelist were in 
necessitous circumstances, owing to the nature of 
the laws affecting literary property. "Of course," 
he said, "we must help them. That would be the 
best way to celebrate the Dickens Centenary." 1 

Lord Lytton had not been one of his favourite 
authors (he recalled in his younger days having 
read The Last Days of Pompeii) ; he rather knew 
him as a statesman and especially as Colonial 
Secretary. But when he leased Knebworth, the 
ancestral seat of the Lyttons, 2 the association of 
the famous author and his gifted son had a gen- 
uine interest for him. But the old-world beauty of 

1 Not only did he become one of the first subscribers to the Fund, 
which exceeded ten thousand pounds, but later undertook its in- 
vestment in Canada at a higher guaranteed rate of interest than was 
obtainable by us in England. 

2 The present Lord Lytton writes: "During the latter years of 
his life, Lord Strathcona, in spite of his great age, was incessantly on 
the move. While he was at Knebworth he would come down by a 
special train after dining in town and return to London at nine 
o'clock next morning. At other times he would motor down from 
London on a Sunday for the day, returning the same evening. He 
was the most active man for his age that I have ever met." 


Lord Strathcona 

Kneb worth was its greatest charm. He and Lady 
Strathcona used on special occasions to receive 
their guests in the great hall, with its groined roof 
and stained-glass windows, whence the visitors 
passed out into the gardens beyond, where a band 
usually discoursed sweet music. During the inter- 
vals a couple of pipers of the Scots Guards marched 
up and down the paths playing the bagpipes. Tea 
was served in a large marquee and at small tables 
dotting the incomparable lawn. The valuable 
pictures and objects of art in the state rooms on 
the first floor of the house, he took pleasure in 
showing, as also Queen Elizabeth's chair in a gal- 
lery overlooking the hall. But he loved most to 
walk about in the gardens and converse with his 
friends. 1 

To a former colleague 


May I2th, 1907. 

To-day is quite a summer day, bright and warm, and 
the grounds are looking very beautiful. A letter from 
our old friend puts me in mind of other days like this, 
long, long ago at North- West River, Esquimaux 

1 He once told me he shared my partiality to dwellings having 
historical and personal associations. When he and his daughter, the 
present Lady Strathcona, paid a visit to me at Westerham in 1910, 
he evinced the deepest interest in the scene of Wolfe's boyhood and 
the relics there assembled. A day or two later he wrote me a letter 
which I cherish, referring to this visit. 

When I last saw him in the spring of 1913 he said, "So you are 
going to live in the old home of Haliburton. It ought to be a fine 
inspiration for you. Haliburton was a very brilliant writer" 
adding significantly, "and his mother was a Grant of Strath- 


Improvised Hospitality 

Bay, and later at "Silver Heights" only there the 
peace was invaded sadly by such pests as mosquitoes 
and black flies. 

Many years ago he invited a large and distin- 
guished party of tourists, including two Continental 
princes, to dine and pass the night at "Silver 
Heights" on their way through to the West. 
Accommodation being scanty it was necessary to 
add a series of bedrooms to the house and otherwise 
to improvise domestic arrangements. The notice 
was brief: a force of workmen was engaged, mate- 
rials were hastily shipped from St. Paul, but 
although the work was pressed forward at high 
speed, the night of the party arrived and the bed- 
rooms were not quite finished. The guests were 
dined at the club in Winnipeg, a large staff of 
waiters having been put into a strange livery for 
the occasion, and dinner was protracted until a late 
hour, in order to give the carpenters and furnishers 
time to put on the finishing touches to "Silver 
Heights." In fact it was after midnight when a 
welcome telephone message reached Sir Donald to 
say that his guests could start for the house. By 
that time several were overcome with sleep and 
perhaps an excess of hospitality! There was no 
doubt whatever as to the condition of the carriage 
drivers: they were intoxicated to a man. However, 
all were finally got to Sir Donald's roof, and none, 
surveying their sumptuous sleeping-quarters, could 
have had the slightest suspicion that the whole 
had risen like a mushroom in the course of a few 


Lord Strathcona 

hours. Unhappily, the host, having seen the com- 
pany to bed, found that he had reckoned without 
himself : there was neither bedroom nor bed for his 
repose. Weary with his efforts, in which anxiety had 
played no small part, he flung himself into a chair 
and slept till morning. 

Sir Sandford Fleming relates that once, being in 
the train with a fishing party, Lord Strathcona in- 
vited all to dine and sojourn with him for the night 
at his fishing-lodge at Matapedia, which had for- 
merly belonged to the Marquess of Lome and the 
Princess Louise. 

Next morning, wishing to be abroad early to join a 
friend, I dressed hastily and descended the stairs in 
the half-light. On the bottom stair my feet touched a 
figure, which sprang up, and I recognized my host. 
Though he smiled genially and bade me good-morning 
and was full of solicitude, I knew he had been asleep 
all night on that bottom stair, having given up his 
bedroom either to me or to some other of the party. 

Reflecting [continued Sir Sandford] upon my long ac- 
quaintance of over forty years with Lord Strathcona, 
and remembering so many traits of his quiet benevo- 
lence, I think one may say of him that he was a man 
whose greatest happiness was in making others happy. 

When I in turn related Sir Sandford 's anecdote 
to a well-known statesman in England, he ex- 
claimed : 

Count upon the fingers of your hand the great men 
of the age who could have done that! Can you see 
Cecil Rhodes crouching all night on that bottom 
stair? Can you see Pierpont Morgan or Rockefeller? 

His Favourite Season 

Power combined with humility it is as rare as it is 
irresistible ! 

He was, as has been aptly said, "studiously care- 
less" about his health. His chief affliction was 
colds, and it is a wonder that these did not, through 
his imprudences, lead to serious illness. 

An old Montreal friend, Mr. C. R. Hosmer, 
recalls a typical incident which happened nearly 
twenty years ago. 

Lord Strathcona was declared to be very ill and 
threatened with pneumonia. His private car at the 
time was ordered in readiness for Florida. He learned 
suddenly that his presence might be useful in Winni- 
peg, where the Manitoba School Question had come to 
the front. Without saying a word to his doctor or to 
anybody, he ordered his car to be attached to the 
Winnipeg train and off he went. Lady Strathcona was 
greatly alarmed and came to my office next morning. 
I was then General Manager of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway Telegraphs. We found out that he was as far 
as the north side of Lake Superior at the time and it 
was thirty degrees below zero there. The night after 
he arrived in Winnipeg he gave a banquet to the 
Bishop of St. Boniface. Later, when he returned, I 
spoke to him of how deeply concerned, not to say 
alarmed, Lady Strathcona had been. He smiled and 
said, "Yes, I remember that cold morning; I had to 
break the ice in the pitcher when I got up." 

Yet of the seasons he loved winter best. He 
liked to look out upon a world bathed in sunshine 
a world in which the trees sparkled with frost, 
and the air exhilarated like wine. It was then he 


Lord Strathcona 

would oftenest exclaim, "What a beautiful day, 
what glorious weather!" Once he said to a guest, 
Mr. William Garson, "It has been said that power, 
that empire came from the north. Northern people 
have always stood for courage and unconquer- 
ability. They have the muscle, the wholesomeness 
of life, the strength of will. In Canada we have 
upon the whole, the best climate in the world. Our 
winters may be cold, but think of the dry and ex- 
hilarating atmosphere, which makes for health and 
every sort of alertness. Those who are accus- 
tomed to the North might taste a little experience 
of the South, and the South might drop in upon 
the North once in a while, doubtless with mutual 

His London house was at first number 53 Cado- 
gan Square, and afterwards 28 Grosvenor Square. 
But he long considered his real home as at Mon- 
treal. His Dorchester Street mansion always con- 
tinued as if its owner was in residence. He had 
there a collection of pictures containing examples of 
Raphael, Titian, Turner, Reynolds, Gainsborough, 
Romney, Millais, Rosa Bonheur, Constable, Con- 
stant, Alma Tadema, and other painters. One work 
of art which he was fond of showing was unique in 
its way. It was a carving done by Esquimaux of 
the remoter North, and presented by them to 
Lady Strathcona. It shows a portion of an Esqui- 
maux village, huts covered with snow, sledges, and 
a kayak. Men and women are very cleverly 
modelled, while a fox, a penguin, and a willow 
grouse are carved in walrus ivory. The whole 


His Residences 

production is executed very prettily, and testifies 
to the artistic capacity inherent in those natives 
of the Arctic regions. 

When his lease of Knebworth expired, he pur- 
chased Debden Hall in Essex. In 1905, he had 
acquired the famous Black Corries estate of Glen- 
coe, one of the finest grouse and deer preserves in 
the Highlands, to add to his other property there. 

Black Corries formerly belonged to the chiefs of 
Glencoe, but passed from the representatives of 
the massacred Macdonalds after the rising of '45. 
It extends to Rannoch and Black Mount, a dis- 
tance of some twenty-five miles, and adjoins the 
estate of Sir John Stirling Maxwell, M.P., Sir 
W. Menzies, Lord Breadalbane, and others. The 
famous massacre that inspired Macaulay's refer- 
ence took place in 1691. That the character of 
the scenery suggests dark deeds is confirmed 
by Dickens, who described this part of Argyllshire 
as "perfectly terrible." It was not so to him. 

In London, Lord Strathcona was a familiar 
figure at the Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall, which 
may be called the centre of British culture. Here 
he met some of the most eminent figures of the 
day, and in one of its handsome dining-rooms he 
delighted to gather together distinguished men 
to meet Canadians of high rank on a visit to the 
Mother Country. 

As a public speaker he was solid rather than 
brilliant, although there are passages in his speeches 
of real eloquence. He had formed himself on the 
best models and within his self-appointed bounda- 


Lord Strathcona 

ries was always fluent and self-possessed. As an 
example of his manner, which was rarely ironical 
or patronizing, it may be recalled that on one 
occasion, in 1887, Mr. Edward Blake made merry 
over Sir Donald Smith's glowing picture of the 
future North-West. The member for Montreal rose 
and remarked gravely : 

The leader of the Opposition is very facetious, very 
facetious, indeed. He spoke in a vein of engaging 
pleasantry, and I am sure we were all delighted to see 
him so condescend. Will he permit me to tell him that 
I think he would live more and more in the affections 
of his fellow-citizens if he would more frequently ex- 
hibit that milk of human kindness, that sympathy for 
his fellow-men, and that love of his country which is 
due from every one who is a citizen of Canada? l 

Although he scarcely ever in his life was known 
to utter a too forcible expression, on at least one 
occasion he acquiesced in one. It was after the 
stormy campaign in 1 880, in which he was defeated 
for Parliament by the late Colonel Scott. On the 
day of the election one of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany employees named Cole, who had involved 
himself in many election bets, each of which had 
to be sealed by a drink, awoke from a doze in the 
open air to find his revered candidate, Mr. Smith, 
approaching. Cole staggered to his feet, and after 
a profuse exchange of courtesies, enquired how the 
election had gone. When the painful truth that he 
had been ignominiously defeated had been dragged 

1 Parliamentary Debates. 

Vicarious Profanity 

from the member, his supporter's rage knew no 

"The scoundrels!" hecried, "the 


The defeated member rubbed his hands and 
nodded his head benignantly. "Are they not, Mr. 
Cole?" he exclaimed; "are they not?" 

In the closing years his voice failed him in 
attempting to reach large assemblages. 

"I shall always remember the last Dominion 
Day dinner which I attended," recalls a well-known 
Canadian. "While the veteran statesman was 
speaking, although by reason of his great age his 
words were only audible to those at his own table, 
there prevailed what I can best describe as a 
'mighty hush' amongst the five hundred diners. 
As a Canadian at my table remarked at the 
speech, 'Although we cannot hear it, you can bet 
your last dollar that it is well worth listening to by 
those who can." 

He was fond of stories of his Scottish country- 
men. One which pleased him highly I have heard 
him often repeat. A Scot was once boasting that 
Scotch apples were far better than the Canadian 
variety. "Really," exclaimed his friend, "you 
can't mean that!" "I do mean it," was the 
response; "but I must premeese that for my ain 
taste I prefer them soor and hard." 

Another favourite was the naive remark of an 
Indian, the shikari of an English titled sportsman. 
"He shot magnificently"; adding, "But God was 
merciful to the beasts." 


Lord Strathcona 

One story told of his native town could hardly 
fail to delight him, although he professed incredu- 
lity. The superintendent of the Forres Sabbath 
School had prepared a list of questions for the 
junior class. Name the strongest man; the wisest 
man; the meekest man. Only one child, a cynical 
little elf she was, answered correctly: Samson, 
Solomon, Moses. All the others wrote or printed, 
according to their capabilities, opposite the queries, 
the name of the hero of their hearts .Lord Strath- 
cona. There might be stronger, and wiser, and 
meeker men, but the junior class was not "ac- 
quainted wi' 'em." 

It has been noted that he was always abste- 
mious in his diet and latterly became more so. 
Frequently a friend breakfasting with him was 
surprised to notice that he drank both tea and 
coffee. Lord Strathcona explained that in his 
younger days, living often through necessity in 
small Canadian hotels, he would find the tea so 
bad that he would afterwards as an antidote ask 
for coffee. "In that way," he said, his eyes twin- 
kling, " I got into the habit of both, so that I can't 
make breakfast now with only one beverage." 

When he came to the High Commissionership, 
the duties of Secretary were being ably performed 
by Mr. Joseph Grose Colmer, C.M.G., and to this 
gentleman and his successor, Mr. William Griffith, 
he gave the fullest confidence and loyalty. Re- 
peatedly, in his holograph correspondence with the 
Prime Minister, occur testimonials to their zeal and 
ability and his desire that their services should be 


Old-fashioned Epistolary Methods 

acknowledged in a practical manner. Even for 
those subordinates, who he had reason to suspect 
were not cordially disposed toward him, he was 
constantly exerting his influence, and when these 
were criticized or attacked he was ever offering an 
apology or defence. As one Minister put it to me, 
" Lord Strathcona regarded his staff as if they were 
members of his own family and could not bear to 
have a word said against them." 

"Nothing," Mr. Colmer bears testimony, "was 
too insignificant for his personal attention. It 
was a favourite saying of his that ' what you have 
to do is worth doing well,' and that axiom was 
the keynote of his life. While not a great reader 
of current literature, he was essentially a well- 
informed man. How he acquired his knowledge 
was often a surprise. But he had the knack of 
making people whom he knew and with whom he 
came into contact talk on any subject which inter- 
ested them and him, and in that way acquired 
information more or less at first hand. His memory 
for facts, figures, and faces was phenomenal." 

A characteristic trait of Lord Strathcona was 
his adhesion, to an advanced period of life, to old- 
fashioned epistolary methods. He long shrank 
from the use of an amanuensis or a typewriter as a 
breach of courtesy ; the openings and subscriptions 
of his letters were patterned on the old Hudson's 
Bay model. Even the most official or the lengthiest 
letter he persisted in performing by hand, at an 
almost incredible cost in time and patience. On 
one occasion at least considerable physical suffering 


Lord Strathcona 

was involved. He had had the misfortune, twenty 
years before while in Scotland, to fracture one of 
the bones and otherwise seriously injure his right 
wrist, necessitating complete disablement. His 
arm was put in splints, and while chafing under the 
restraint he seized the occasion to make a voyage 
to Canada vid New York. In transit his arm be- 
came worse, the inflammation spread, and he found 
himself unable to leave his berth. On his arrival at 
New York he was met by Sir William Van Home, 
who found him in a very feverish and distressed 
state. Nevertheless, he insisted on accompanying 
his friend immediately through to Montreal, where 
he was induced to put himself in the care of a 
surgeon. What preyed upon his mind most was 
that he had a number of letters to answer, and in 
spite of his injured hand these must somehow be 

" But," urged his friend, "surely you can employ 
an amanuensis." 

The proposition seemed repugnant to him. 

" I Ve never done such a thing," he declared em- 
phatically. " It would give great offence, I assure 
you. I have always written my letters myself and 
I must do so now." 

Albeit, after considerable expostulation, and 
upon a competent stenographer being produced, he 
consented to try the experiment. 

"But at least I must sign the letters," was his 
stipulation. " Put the pen between my fingers, and 
although it will perhaps be a little difficult and 
painful I must certainly sign the letters myself." 


No Strict Sabbatarian 

So duly the letters were dictated, and when the 
sheets were brought to him the invalid begged to 
be left alone to consider them and affix his signa- 
ture. A pen was fastened between two of his dis- 
engaged fingers and a bottle of ink placed on the 

When a couple of hours later the secretary 
entered to take charge of the correspondence and 
despatch it, they found that to every letter had 
been added a postscript, scrawled slowly and pain- 
fully, explaining how and why the writer had been 
forced to depart from his lifelong practice of manu- 
script and apologizing for the same. 

"And in each case," concludes the narrator of 
the anecdote, "the postscript was longer than the 
body of the letter!" 

On one occasion, leaving London hurriedly for 
Glencoe with an accumulation of work, he was 
prevailed upon to take with him a young steno- 
grapher with whom he was personally unacquainted. 
Arriving at his Highland seat on Saturday evening, 
he looked forward to disposing of a number of 
pressing letters largely dealing with his various 
charities, so as to catch Monday morning's mail. 
On the Sunday morning when he mentioned his in- 
tention to the stenographer, the latter said: "Oh, 
but Lord Strathcona, I 'm afraid I cannot do what 
you ask. I have never worked on the Sabbath." 

For a moment Lord Strathcona seemed dis- 
concerted. Then he said quietly, "Say no more 
about it. Go and take a walk up the Glen." 

Relieved at getting off so easily, the young man 


Lord Strathcona 

seized hat and stick and went for a delicious stroll, 
which he found so alluring that he did not return 
until near nightfall. Weary and footsore he ate a 
hearty supper and retired to bed. Promptly at 
midnight, when he was wrapped in the soundest 
slumber, a thunderous knock at his door startled 
him. He sprang out of bed and encountered Lord 
Strathcona, taper in hand and a winning smile on 
his face. 

"Come, Mr. Blank the Sabbath is now over, 
and we must make haste with those letters, you 
know, so as to catch the morning mail." 

It only remains to add that by dint of incessant 
industry, the morning sun had not risen very high 
over the Vale of Glencoe, when the letters were 
finally despatched, and Mr. Blank, a sadder and a 
wiser man, once more sought his couch to snatch 
a couple of hours' repose before breakfast. 

It cannot be said that he was an easy taskmas- 
ter. Generally speaking, none in his employ held 
a sinecure: but at least he asked none to do that 
which he was not ready to do himself. And idleness 
was a fault he found it hardest to condone. 

The main sources of Lord Strathcona's wealth 
have already been revealed. He left at his death a 
fortune of several millions, the bulk of which, after 
the payment of many legacies amounting to nearly 
a million sterling, was left in trust to his daughter, 
who succeeded him in the title. 

Truly was it said of him: "A sound judgment 
and high purpose marked his great public bene- 
factions." The total amount of his donations 


His Benefactions 

exceeds a million and a half sterling. The principal 
are as follows : 

King Edward's Hospital Fund 200,000 

Cost of raising Strathcona's Horse 200,000 

Royal Victoria College for Women, Montreal 200,000 

Victoria Hospital, Montreal (with Lord Mount Stephen). 200,000 

Victoria Hospital endowment 200,000 

McGill University, Montreal 410,000 

Yale University 100,000 

Victoria Hospital (restoring after fire) 50,000 

Aberdeen University 35,ooo 

Queen's University (Kingston) 20,000 

His charities of a private nature, which were 
incessant, were made with a kindness and sym- 
pathy which won for him much personal affection. 
A simple list of the recipients of his bounty would 
astonish by its length no less than by the charac- 
ter of the recipients. 

A highly characteristic anecdote is related by 
his solicitor, Mr. Garson : 

I was running over the stubs of a cheque-book with 
Lord Strathcona, checking up the various items, when 
I came across the record of a cheque for one hundred 
pounds made out to a man whom I knew to be un- 
worthy. Calling Lord Strathcona's attention to it, I 
expressed my surprise, but, as he made no comment, 
I said nothing more, and continued running through 
the stubs of the cheque-book. 

To my amazement, I shortly came across another 
cheque for the same amount, made out to the same 
individual. This time I ventured to suggest to Lord 
Strathcona that the man's reputation did not justify 
confidence in him and that if he desired an investiga- 
tion, I believed the reputation would be amply borne 


Lord Strathcona 

out by specific evidence. I waited for a reply, but he 
still kept silence, and I went on looking over the stubs. 
Finally, I came across a third cheque for the same 
amount to the order of the same individual. When I 
called his attention to it, he said, in his quiet way: 
"Well, Garson, if one in twenty is worthy - 

Upon the lesson furnished by his character in 
this our age, when national complacence, indolence, 
and luxury have had need of the fiery corrective of 
war, I need not dwell. Industry had with him a 
sleepless inward monitor. Frugality was a habit; 
yet conjoined to a benevolence which could never 
rest until those around him were happier and better. 
Duty was a passion. Thoroughness, a sense of per- 
sonal responsibility and personal dignity, were 
salient traits in the character of a man ever 
"scorning delights to live laborious days." 

Amongst ourselves, we should cherish, above and 
beyond all, the feeling he had for Canada a feeling 
helped by the consciousness that he had assisted 
in her development. It was akin to that of an 
engineer in the powerful mechanism he has himself 
helped to forge and assemble, fragment by fragment, 
and later, with pride, beholds it tirelessly respond 
to his functioning. 

With his last breath he served the Dominion. 
The people of our country have confronting them 
daily, in their streets and roads, their banks, their 
schools and hospitals, their shops, their public 
works, their parks, and their homesteads, even if 
this record of his career had never been written, 



abundant reasons for holding in perpetual rever- 
ence the name clarum et venerabile nomen 

" So pass, O peaceful warrior, to thy rest, 
One gentle step from service to long sleep, 
And thou art with the memories that keep 
A nation steadfast, loyal to the best 
Her hero sons have by their lives confest." l 

1 Lines in the Pall Mall Gazette on his death. 




IN the year 1914 the profit from the Fur-Trade 
amounted to 55,008 55. 3d., and that from the Stores 

tO 63,757 115. ^d. 

Farm-Land Sales, for the year ending 3ist March 
last, comprise 26,292 acres for $572,837, an average of 
$21.78 per acre. Sales of Town Lots amounted to 
$131,170. Total sales amounted to 144,658 igs. $d. 
compared with 1,507,362 for the year preceding. 
The balance to the credit of the Land Account is 

451,928 I2S. lOd. 

In addition to the dividend on the Preference 
Capital an interim distribution of 15 per cent was 
made on the Ordinary Capital in January last, and 
a further distribution of 25 per cent is now recom- 
mended, making a total of 40 per cent for the year. 

The unsold lands now in possession of the Company 
amount to 4,091,376 acres. (From the Report laid 
before the Shareholders, 29th June, 1914.) 


Aberdeen, Earl of, appointment to 
Canada, 2, 153; and ministerial 
crisis (1896), 154; and Manitoba 
schools question, 159, 170-172; 
and Strathcona's Horse, 368; at 
S.'s funeral, 463. 

Aberdeen University, S. as Lord 
Rector, 2, 334, 335; quater-cen- 
tenary, 407-411. 

Abbott, j. J. C., and Pacific Rail- 
way scandal, 1, 464. 

Abbott, Sir John, and Canadian 
Pacific, 2, 1 19. 

Adams, W. H., to S. on deteriora- 
tion of the Company, 2, 181; on 
dividends of the Company, 202; 
on sacrifice of fellow-officer, 203 ; 
to MacFarlane on Mackenzie, 

Aigneau, Count d', free-trader, 2, 

Alabama claims, 1, 204. 

Alaska, free navigation of rivers, 1, 
417; Hudson's Bay Co. posts and 
trade (1871), 510-512; competi- 
tion with Hudson's Bay Co., 
526-532, 2, II, 18, 19, 22-24. 

Albert Medal presented to S., 2, 


Alexander, Fort, Hudson's Bay 
Co. post, S.'s headquarters, i, 
369, 388. 

Alexandra, Queen, and S., 2, 427; 
and death of S., 463. 

All-Red Route, project, S.'s inter- 
est, 2, 403-407. 

Allan, Andrew, S.'s commercial con- 
nection, 1, 225; and Pacific Rail- 
way scandal, 464, 468. 

Allan, Sir Hugh, meets S., 1, 213; 
S.'s commercial connection, 225; 
career, 460 ; plans Pacific Railway, 
461; policy to amalgamate rival 
plans, intrigue and bribery, 462- 
468; campaign contribution to 
Ministry, 467 ; McMullen's black- 
mail, 468, 470. 

Amnesty for Riel Rebellion, con- 
ference on, with delegates, 1, 
377 378, 497 ; and assistance 
against O'Donohue, 445-448; 
question of private promise, 
449; complication of Scott exe- 
cution, 450; Tache's promise, 
450, 452, 453; attitude of British 
Ministry, 450, 451; temporizing 
of Canadian Ministry, 451-454; 
resolution of Manitoba Legisla- 
ture, 454; purchased withdrawal 
of Riel from country, 455-458, 
474, 478-482 ; committee of Par- 
liament, 495; Dufferin's action, 
496, 497 n. 

Anderson, James (a), goes to Eng- 
land, 1, 164; and Deed Poll nego- 
tiations, 198, 203, 219, 220, 407, 
423, 424, 429. 

Anderson, James (b), on W. L. 
Hardisty, 1, 145; death, 534. 

Anderson, Jonathan, bequest to 
Forres, 1, 12. 

Anderson, Tom, death, 2, 203. 

Anglo-American Commission of 
1898, 2, 321, 322, 327. 

Angus, Richard B., and St. Paul 
and Pacific Railway", 2, 62, 63, 
69; Canadian Pacific Syndicate, 

Annexation to United States, party 
in Red River region (1869), 1, 
241, 253 n., 258; O'Donohue's 
activity, 393; S. and others on 
danger during Riel Rebellion, 
432-436; Minnesota Legislature 
and newspaper on, 436-439; 
Fenian support of Riel, 439; pro- 
paganda, 440-442; O'Donohue's 
invasion of Manitoba, 442-449. 

Antiseptic treatment, frontier prac- 
tices, 1, 134. 

Apportionment. See Redistribu- 

Arbitration, Hoar's anecdote, 1, 



Archambault, Louis, and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 468. 

Archibald, Adams G., Lieutenant- 
Governor of Manitoba, 1, 379 n.\ 
arrives, 391; and disorders, 395, 
396; opens first Legislature, 402- 
404; and O'Donohue's invasion, 
appeal to Riel, 445-447, 497 n.; 
and bribe to Riel, 455, 457, 479, 

Argentine, encouragement to im- 
migrants, 2, 283 n. 

Argyll, Duke of (Marquess of 
Lome), on Canadian Pacific, 2, 
127; letter from S., 152; on S., 
253, 266, 283; on Canada and 
South African War, 364; and 
testimonial to S., 419; on death 
of S., 453; at S.'s funeral, 463. 

Aristotle, on high-mindedness, 2, 

Armit, Secretary of Hudson's 

Bay Co., 1, 407. 
Arnold-Forster. H. O., and Dun- 

donald controversy, 2, 397, 398. 
Assuapmoussin, Hudson's Bay 

Co. post, 1, 76 . 
Athabasca, free-traders at, 2, 22. 
Athenaeum Club, 2, 491. 
Atlantic and Pacific Transit and 

Telegraph Company, 1, 186. 
Atlantic cable, plans for sectional 

(1860), 1, 157, 158; S. and com- 
pletion, 211, 212. 
Australia, S. and federation, 2, 274, 

322, 329, 359-361, 377- 
Austria, restrictions on emigration, 

2, 281, 287, 291-293; working of 

Canadian propaganda, 294. 

Babel, Pere, missionary, 1, 88; mis- 
sion to North-West River, 223. 

Back, and John Stuart, 1, 31. 

Baker, Archer, and visiting colo- 
nial Premiers (1897), 2, 259. 

Ballantyne, R. M., on Tadousac, 1, 

Ballin, Albert, and emigration to 

Canada, 2, 297-301. 
Bank of Montreal, S.'s connection, 

1, 138, 214, 2, 461. 
Bannatyne, A. G. B., on Howe in 

Red River region, 1, 257. 
Barber, Jimmy, free-trader, 2, 24. 
Baring, Thomas, Grand Trunk 

Railway, 1, 459 . 

Baring Bros., and Canadian Paci- 
fic, 2, 120, 121. 

Barlow, Sir Thomas, as S.'s physi- 
cian, 2, 440, 442, 444. 

Barnston, George, and reorganiza- 
tion of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 181 ; 
corresp. with S., 199; death, 2, 31. 

Barton, Major-Gen., on Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 367. 

Bauerman, Hilary, in Labrador, 1, 

Beauharnois, in Rebellion of 1838, 

Beaver, as unit of value, 1, 81, 113, 

Bebel. See Babel. 

Begg, Alexander, on S.'s arrival at 
Fort Garry, 1, 323 n. 

Belanger, Horace, to S. on retire- 
ment, 2, 191 ; death, 192, 194. 

Belgium, and Canadian preferen- 
tial tariff law, 2, 252. 

Bell, Peter W., to S. on salmon 
traffic, 2, 184; to MacFarlane on 
appointment of officers, 194; to 
S. on conditions at Ungava, 195; 
on right to furlough, 204; death, 
S. on, 208. 

Benson, and reorganization of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177. 

Benson, A. C., on technical religion, 
2, 483- 

Berens, H. H., and claim to Red 
River region, 1, 169; and reor- 
ganization of the Company, 173, 
177, 178; and fund for wintering 
partners, 502. 

Berlin University, S. at centenary, 
2, 427, 428. 

Bernard, Mountague, Joint High 
Commission, 1, 411-418. 

Bersimits, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, attached to Labrador dis- 
trict, 1, 223. 

Bersimits River, described, 1, 89. 

Betournay, Justus, charge of S.'s 
undue influence, 2, 83, 84. 

Black, Judge John, delegate to 
Ottawa, 1, 349, 350, 376, 497 n. 

Black, Rev. John, and opening of 
Manitoba Legislature, 1, 403. 

Black Cprries estate, 2, 491. 

Black flies, plague in Labrador, 1, 

Blackfeet Indians, condition 
(1873), 1, 533- 



Blake, Edward, and reorganization 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177; 
and Canadian Pacific Railway, 
2, 99, 101, 114; and Manitoba 
schools question, 179; S.'s sar- 
casm, 492. 

Blockade running, Canadian in- 
vestments, 1, 217. 

Bonds, British guaranty of Cana- 
dian, 2, 327. 

Borden, Sir Frederick, and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 348; quarrel with 
Hutton, 349; letter from S., 420. 

Borden, Sir Robert L., on Dundon- 
ald controversy, 2, 398 n.; Min- 
istry, 432; on relations with S., 
432-434; letters from S., 435, 
43 6 . 43 7 1 444. 446; and article 
attacking Canadian credit, 438; 
and charge of understanding 
with Unionists, 439; and S.'s 
desire to resign, 441-443; tribute 
to S., 454-456. 

Boscowitz, free-trader, 2, 24, 25. 

Bouchette, R. S. M., Canadian rebel, 

1. 54- 

Boulton, Major, on contest over S.'s 
papers, 1, 331 n.; rising against 
Riel, 350-352, 364, 37i; saved 
from execution, 352, 353. 

Bourassa, Henri, S. on, 2, 385. 

Bowater, Sir Vansittart, on death 
of S., 2, 453; at S.'s funeral, 


Bowell, Sir Mackenzie, and Riel, 
1, 481, 496; ministerial crisis 
(1896), 2, 153, 154; and Mani- 
toba schools question, 165, 166; 
and High Commissionership for 
S., 214; at Pacific Cable Confer- 
ence, 221; yields Premiership, 
231 ; tribute to S., 457. 

Bown, Walter R., intrigue in Red 
River region, 1, 257. 

Bompas, William C., and Indians, 

Boy Scouts, S. on, 2, 421. 

Brazil, encouragement to immi- 
grants, 2, 283 n., 292. 

Bridge, Sir Frederick, at S.'s fun- 
eral, 2, 462. 

Bright's disease, frontier remedy, 
i, 156. 

Bristol, S. on, and steam transpor- 
tation, 2, 325. 

British Columbia, gold (1877), 2, 

15; and transcontinental rail- 
way, 49, 50. 

Brock, Isaac, centenary of death, 
2, 434- 

Broughton, W. K., on character of 
pension, 2, 193. 

Brown, George, and Canadian 
claim to North-West Territory, 
1, 218; and Pacific Railway scan- 
dal, 464. 

Bruce, John, in Riel Rebellion, 1, 
265; on Mactavish and opposi- 
tion to Canada, 275 n. 

Bruchesi, Paul L. M., and trouble 
in McGill University, 2, 358, 359^ 
tribute to S., 458. 

Brydges, Charles J., Grand Trunk 
Railway, 1, 459 n.; and Allan's 
plan for Pacific Railway, 463; 
Land Commissioner of Hudson's 
Bay Co., 2, 20. 

Buckingham, Duke of, and nego- 
tiations for transfer of North- 
West Territory, 1, 235. 

Buffalo Lake Indians, 1, 532. 

Bulldog, on coast of Labrador 
(1860), 1, 157, 158. 

Buller, Sir Redvers, and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 349, 369. 

Bunn, Thomas, and Riel Rebellion, 
1, 336. 

Burpee, and Canadian Pacific Rail- 
way, 1, 472 n. 

Butler, Sir William F., on Hudson's 
Bay Co., 1, 155; on Riel, 242; 
on expedition against Riel, 389; 
on disorders, 390; on Riel's 
flight, 391, 393; movements, 
534, 536; to MacFarlane, on the 
Company and wintering part- 
ners, 2, 41, 43; letter from S., 

Cabinet. See Ministry. 

Cairns, Sir Hugh, and Hudson's 
Bay Co.'s Deed Poll, 1, 221. 

Caledon, Lord, tour with George 
Simpson, 1, 74. 

Caledonian Bank, failure, 2, 17. 

Cameron, death, 1, 203. 

Cameron, D. R., and Riel Rebel- 
lion, 1, 267; and McDougall, 318. 

Campbell, Robert, and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222, 407, 423; 
at Carlton, 2, 5; to S. on Indians 
under the Company, 9; on treat- 



' ment of wintering partners, 16; 
on ruin for fur-trade, 517. 

Campbell, Rev. Robert, on S.'s 
reading, 2, 471 n. 

Canada, S. and Rebellion of 1837, 
1, 38-40, 52, 53; conditions 
(1838), 45, 46; Durham's rule, 
52-54; Rebellion of 1838, 68-70; 
origin of name, 85; Dominion 
proclaimed, 224; first Ministry, 
224; prophecies of strength and 
loyalty, 430, 431; S. on progress 
under Victoria, and future great- 
ness, 2, 146, 223, 253, 267, 382, 
394, 402; S. on loyalty, 224; S. 
as interpreter of, to England, 
234; and Jubilee of 1897, 251, 
276; S. and "Our Lady of the 
Snows," 254; paucity of news in 
British papers, 256-^258; S.'s 
resentment of, detractions, 422- 
424, 437-439; drain of British 
funds, 436, 437; S.'s services, 

Canada Central Railway, absorbed 
by Canadian Pacific, 2, 112. 

Canada Land and Improvement 
Company, 1, 468 . 

Canadian Gazette, on Strathcona's 
Horse, 2, 342. 

Canadian High Commissioner. See 
Strathcona (High Commissioner). 

Canadian Pacific Railway, first 
resolution of Parliament for a 
railway subsidy, 1, 459; plans of 
Grand Trunk, 459; Allan's com- 
pany, 460-462; plan to amalga- 
mate rival interests, bribery, 
462-468; Allan's campaign con- 
tribution, 467; provisional board 
of directors, 467; charter, 468; 
construction contract, 468 n.; 
exposure of campaign contribu- 
tion, fall of Ministry, 468-478; 
as monopoly, 2, 28; attempted 
piece- meal construction by Gov- 
ernment, 49; S. on need (1876), 
50; Dawson route, 51-53; S.'s 
early disbelief in private con- 
struction, 55, 56; controversy 
over route through Manitoba, 
56-59 73-76; failure of govern- 
mental construction, 92; Mac- 
donald's policy, 92-94; negotia- 
tions for private construction, 
94-98; terms of construction, 98; 

opposition, 99-101; S. on spirit 
of syndicate, 102; construction, 
Van Home, 102-104; financial 
troubles, loans from Canadian 
Government, 104-109, 114-120, 
124 n. ; pays running expenses 
during construction, 107; ob- 
struction by rivals, no, 135 .; 
opposition to governmental loans, 
111-114; connection of Baring 
Bros., 120, 121 ; last spike, 122; 
branch line to S.'s home, 124, 
125; first through train, 125; 
achievement, effect on Domin- 
ion, 125-131 ; honors to construc- 
tors, 128; S. on early through 
freight, 129; S. and construction, 
131, 132; effect in fifteen years, 

Cantlie, James A., and S.'s return 
to Parliament, 2, 135. 

Cardwell, Edward, and opening' of 
North- West Territory, 1, 189, 

Caribou, protective coloring, 1, 

Carlton, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
steamer to, 1, 536, 538. 

Cartier, Sir George E., and negoti- 
ations for transfer of North-West 
Territory, 1, 235 ., 236, 380; 
and survey in Red River region, 
243; and delegates from North- 
West, 377, 378; and S. as M.P., 
404; and Joint High Commis- 
sion, 416; and amnesty for Riel 
Rebellion, 450, 452, 456; resolu- 
tion for Pacific Railway, 459; and 
Pacific Railway scandal, 459, 
462, 465-467, 471; election in 
Manitoba (1872), 493. 

Cartwright, Sir Richard J., on Wm. 
McDougall, 1, 268 n.; on Mac- 
donald and amnesty for Riel 
Rebellion, 458; on Pacific Rail- 
way scandal, 469; on Canadian 
Pacific, 2, 132. 

Case, George W., and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 461. 

Castor, as unit of value, 1, 81, 113, 

Chamberlain, Austen, on S. as il- 
lustrating opportunities, 2, 468. 

Chamberlain, Joseph, and Mani- 
toba schools question, 2, 178, 
179; S. on, and Imperialism, 222, 



365, 374.. 390-393; and S., 230; 
on appointment of Minto to 
Canada, 323; and Canadian 
resolution on South African War, 
331-333; S. on tariff reform, 337, 
387-390; and Strathcona's Horse, 
33 8 369; and recall of Hutton, 
349. 35; and Canadian batta- 
lion for Rhodesia, 352, 353; and 
descent of S.'s peerage to daugh- 
ter, 355, 356; on Imperial inter- 
est in memorial to Victoria, 383, 
384; on royal visit to Canada, 
384; question of official colonial 
banquet to, on retirement, 390. 

Chapleau, Sir Adolphe, on Cana- 
dian Pacific, 2, 127. 

Charles, William, to S. on treat- 
ment of wintering partners, 1, 
19, 2, 42; letter from S., n; to 
. on future of British Columbia, 
14; on Boscowitz, 25. 

Charlton, John, on Canadian Pa- 
cific, 2, 111; American Joint 
Conference, 322. 

Cheeryble Brothers, originals, 1, 
20, 24, 25. 

Chicago, opportunity (1857), 1, 

Chicoutimi, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 76 n. 

Chicora, Sault Ste. Marie Canal 
incident, 1, 383-388. 

Chile, encouragement to immi- 
grant?, 2, 283 n. 

Chimo, Thomas, Nascopie chief, 

1, 104. 

Chipewyan Indians, 1, 532. 

Christie, Alexander, and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222; death, 534. 

Christie, David, and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 467. 

Christie, William J., and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222; and O'Don- 
ohue's invasion, 448; move- 
ments, 536; to S. on gloomy fu- 
ture of fur-trade, 2, 12, 180. 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, S. on 
political action (1887), 2, 136. 

Circee Indians, 1, 534. 

Clark, Sir Andrew, S.'s physician, 

2, 479- 

Clark, W., to S. on transportation, 


Clarke, H. J., in Manitoba Assem- 
bly, 1, 403. 

Clarke, Lawrence, and claim of 
wintering partners, 1, 424; and 
O'Donohue's invasion, 448; to 
S. on conditions at York Fac- 
tory, 532. 

Close, James R., and Deed Poll 
negotiations, 1, 198. 

Clouston, Sir Edward, and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 339, 341. 

Cochrane, Henry, at opening of 
Manitoba Legislature, 1, 403. 

Colbourne, Sir John, and rebellion, 

Colmer, Joseph G., as S.'s secre- 
tary, 2, 494; on S.'s traits, 495. 

Colville, Eden, and reorganization 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177, 
186; on impression of S., 194; 
Governor of Hudson's Bay Co., 
2, 33; and wintering partners, 1 83. 

Committee of 1857, investigation 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 148^-152. 

Congress of Chambers of Com- 
merce, 2, 224. 

Connaught, Duke of, Governor- 
General, 2, 431; on S., 435; trib- 
ute to S., 453. 

Connolly, Henry, and S., 1, 109. 

Connolly, William, 1, 109 n.; and 
paper money, 114. 

Cooke, Jay, and Canadian Pacific 
Railway, 1, 461, 468 . 

Corcoran, death, 1, 203. 

Cotter, James L., to S. on condi- 
tion of wintering partners, 2, 39; 
destitution of family, 182. 

Councils of wintering partners, 2 t 
3, 35, 186, 194. 

Coursol, Charles J., and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 468. 

Cowan, William, and Riel Rebel- 
lion, 1, 340 n., 346, 348 ., 349, 
350; in London on claims of 
wintering partners, 407, 424; 
treatment by Company, 518. 

Cowie, Isaac, on duties at fur-trad- 
ing post, 1, 80 n.', on life at trad- 
ing post, 113. 

Cox, on Peter Ogden, 1, 33 n. 

Craigellachie, B. C., origin of name, 
2, 123 n. 

Craigellachies of Strathspey, 1, 6. 

Cree Indians, condition (1873), 1, 


Gumming, Cuthbert, fur-trader, 1, 



Curley, Thomas, attempted in- 
vasion of Manitoba, 1, 444. 
Customs. See Tariff. 

Dallas, Alexander G., as head of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 170; and 
control of North- West Territory, 
171; on reorganization of Com- 
pany, 182, 183; and Deed Poll, 
220; resigns, 236; on Company's 
decline in Red River region, 
240 n. 

David, L. O., and history of Hud- 
son's Bay Co., 2, 197 n. 

Davidson, Sir Charles, tribute to 
S., 2, 460. 

Davin, Nicholas F., and Manitoba 
schools question, 2, 172. 

Davis, J. C. Bancroft, on Chicora 
incident, 1, 386. 

Dawson, on Forres, 1, 3 n. 

Dawson, Simon J., report on Red 
River region, 1, 168; and survey 
in Red River region, 244; on 
Canadian Pacific, 2, 114, 118 n. 

Dawson route, 2, 51-53. 

Dease, Peter W., explorer, 1, 70. 

Dease's House, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 529. 

Deceased wife's sister, S. and bill 
to legalize colonial marriages, 2, 

Deed Poll of 1821, and reorganiza- 
tion of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 184, 
185, 196-199, 203, 204, 219; new, 
513-516, 518, 521, 522. See also 
Wintering partners. 

De Grey and Ripon, Earl, Joint 
High Commission, 1, 411-418. 

Delorme, Pierre, member of Do- 
minion Parliament, 1, 404. 

Denmark. See Scandinavia. 

Dennis, Stoughton, and surveys 
and trouble in Reid River region, 
1, 244, 247-249, 266; and Riel 
Rebellion, 267; and McDougall's 
proclamation, 285-289. 

Derby, Earl of, retires from Gov- 
ernor-Generalship, 2, 153; and 
Strathcona's Horse, 368. 

Desjardins, Alphonse and Mani- 
toba schools question, 2, 173. 

Des Rivieres, R., Canadian rebel, 

li 54- 
Devlin, C. R., letter from S., 2, 


Dickens, Charles, originals of 
Cheeryble'Brothers, 1, 20, 24, 25; 
S. and centenary, 2, 485. 

Dickey, Arthur R., and Manitoba 
schools question, 2, 173. 

Disraeli, Benjamin, on S.'s report 
on Riel Rebellion, 1, 374. 

Dogs, distemper, 1, 163. 

Dominion Day, S.'s celebrations 
as High Commissioner, 2, 231, 
321, 401. 

Donalda Department, 2, 151, 233. 

Donelly, ]. J., attempted invasion 
of Manitoba, 1, 444. 

Doukhobors, in Canada, 2, 305. 

Draper, William H., on future of 
Western Canada (1857), 1, 152. 

Drummond, George A., on Canada 
and South African War, 2, 366. 

Dufferin, Marquis of, on weakening 
of power of Hudson's Bay Co., 
1, 238 n.; on Riel Rebellion, 
284 .; and amnesty for Riel 
Rebellion, 448 n., 496, 497 n.; on 
Pacific Railway scandal, 470 n.; 
S. on, 2, 325. 

Dugas, and S., 1, 81-85. 

Dugas, Rev. George, at opening of 
Manitoba Legislature, 1, 403. 

Dundonald, Earl of, and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 366, 368, 369; 
controversy in Canada, 395-398. 

Durham, Earl of, in Canada, 1, 52- 

Economist, S. and article attacking 
Canadian credit, 2, 437-439. 

Edgar, J. D., on 1897 and Imperial- 
ism, 2 t 250. 

Education, S. on technical, 2, 138, 
139; S.'s endowment for higher 
education of women, Royal Vic- 
toria College, 147, 151, 333, 377- 
380; S.'s address as Chancellor 
of McGill, 149. 

Edward VII, and Strathcona's 
Horse, 2, 367; at centenary of 
Aberdeen University, 408; death, 
426; and S., 427. 

Egg Island, wreck of Walker's 
fleet, 1, 89. 

Elgin, County of, aspect, 1, 2. 

Ellice, Edward, Sr., and S., 1, 41, 
57,70; and Rebellion of 1838, 69; 
and Committee of 1857, 151, 
152, 169. 



Ellice, Edward, Jr., on policy of 
Hudson's Bay Co. towards em- 
ployees, 1, 63; and reorganiza- 
tion of Hudson's Bay Co., 178. 

Eisner, Moravian missionary in 
Labrador, 1, 132. 

Emerson. See Pembina. 

Emigration, Scottish, 1, 7, 8. See 
also Immigration. 

Enterprise, Hudson's Bay Co. 
steamer on Puget Sound, 2, 14. 

Esquimaux, Southern, 1, 97; origin, 

L 107; and Moravian missionaries, 
1 08, 132; odour, 116; native re- 
ligion, 131. 

Esquimaux Bay, described, 1, 97- 
101, 114-116. 

Ewart, J. S., on surveys in Red 
River region, 1, 250 n.; on Riel s 
reception of S., 325 n. 

Fargo, W. G., and Canadian Pa- 
cific Railway, 1, 461. 

Farley, James J., and St. Paul and 
Pacific Railway, 2, 70-73. 

Farm, S.'s at North- West River, 1, 
124-127, 147, 158, 160. 

Federation, S. and colonial, 2, 274, 
3 2 2, 359-361. 

Fenchurch Street building, suit, 1, 
220, 226, 421. 

Fenians, raid, 1, 205, 231; precur- 
sors, 230; organization, 230, 231 ; 
warn S., 312, 313; and Chicora 
incident, 385; and Riel Rebellion, 
438, 439; attempted invasion of 
Manitoba (1871), 442-449. 

Ferguson, Sir James, and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 369. 

Ferland, Pere, missionary, 1, 88. 

Ferrier, James, Grand Trunk Rail- 
way, 1, 459 n. 

Fertilizer, S. and fish, 1, 137. 

Field, Edward, and Catholic mis- 
sionaries in Labrador, 1, 131. 

Fielding Tariff Law, 2, 252. 

Finlayson, Duncan, 1, 70. 

Fish, Hamilton, Chicora incident, 

1, 385. 

Fish, S. and fertilizer from, 1, 137; 
S. on diet, 142. 

Fisheries, S. on Manitoba, 1, 406; 
expiration of reciprocity and 
controversies, 408; controversy 
before Joint High Commission, 
410-418. See also Salmon. 

Fitzpatrick, and Manitoba schools 
question, 2, 178, 179. 

Flag of Riel Rebellion, 1, 336. 

Fleming, Archibald, on S., 2, 451, 
452; at S.'s funeral, 466; on S.'s 
religion, 482. 

Fleming, Sandford, and develop- 
ment of North- West Territory, 
1, 171; and Canadian Pacific, 2, 
5 6 > 57. 99. 107, 124; on S.'s hos- 
pitality, 488. 

Fletcher, William, at opening of 
Manitoba Legislature, 1, 403. 

Flint, Thomas B., and Manitoba 
schools question, 2, 172. 

Fond du Lac, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 532. 

Forres, described, 1, 1-5; origin 
of name, 2 n.; Anderson's Insti- 
tution, 12; railway connection, 

Forres Pillar, 1, 4. 

Forster, H. O., Arnold-. See Ar- 

Fortescue, James, on rights of win- 
tering partners, 1, 426-428, 508, 
509, 512, 513; on steamers, 512; 
on S. and Directorate of Com- 
pany, 2, 35. 

Foster, A. B., and Pacific Railway 
scandal, 1, 464, 467. 

Foster, George E., and ministerial 
crisis (1896), 2, 153; and site for 
High Commissioner's office, 444. 

Fox, value of fur, 1, 81. 

Fraser, Malcolm, seigniory, 1, 52. 

Fraser, Simon, explorations, 1, 15, 
16; character, 16 n. 

Fraser, Thomas, correspondence 
with S., 1, 163, 165, 191; on win- 
tering partners and reorganiza- 
tion of Company, 181, 182; on 
S., 228. 

Fraser River, discovery, 1, 16. 

Fur-trade. See Hudson's Bay Co., 
Strathcona (Hudson's Bay Co.). 

Free-traders, Alaskan competition, 
1*526-532,2, II, 18, 19, 22-24; in 
North-West Territories (1873), 
535. 536, 2, 205; S. on, 1, 536; in 
British Columbia, 2, 24. 

French Canadians, and North- 
West Territory (1869), 1, 238; 
S. on, 2, 144, 155 n. ; 224, 254, 276. 

Furness, Sir Christopher, and fast 
Canadian line, 2, 386. 


Gaddy, in Riel Rebellion, 1, 361. 

Gait, Sir Alexander T., tariff pol- 
icy, Montreal protest (1866), 1, 
209-211; in Ministry, 224; reso- 
lution for Pacific Railway, 459; 
Canadian High Commissioner, 
2, 216. 

Gardiner, A. G M aphorism on S., 
2, 230 n. 

Gardiner, J. P.,at opening of Mani- 
toba Legislature, 1, 403. 

Garry, Fort, seized by Kiel, 1, 277. 

Gauvin, H. A., Canadian rebel, 1, 


George V, visit to Canada, pre- 
cautions, 2, 384, 385, 416. 

Georgetown, Minn., Hudson's Bay 
Co. post, massacre, 1, 316. 

Germany, restrictions on emigra- 
tion, 2, 281, 288, 291-293, 297, 
300; complaints of Canadian 
activity, 293, 294; and Canadian 
preferential tariff law, 252; S. on 
militarism, 428. 

Girard, M. A., in Manitoba Assem- 
bly, 1, 403. 

Gladstone, William E., and S.'s 
report on Riel Rebellion, 1, 374. 

Glasgow, bank failure, 2, 17. 

Glyn, C. C., and reorganization of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177. 

Glyn, Henry, and reorganization 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177. 

Godbout, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
1, 77, 78, 88. 

Goddu, T. H., Canadian rebel, 1, 


Goodridge, Hunt & Henley's agent 
in Labrador, 1, 167. 

Goschen, George T., Governor of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 2, 16; and 
Imperialism, 227; from S. on 
development of Hudson's Bay 
region, 245. 

Goudy, Toe, of Labrador, 1, 142. 

Gouin, Sir Lomer, tribute to S., 2, 


Governor-Generalship, S. and sug- 
gestion, 2, 268, 354. 

Grahame, Cyril, at opening of 
Manitoba Legislature, 1, 403. 

Grahame, J. Ogden, to S. on treat- 
ment by the Company 2, 185. 

Grahame, James A., and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222; Chief Com- 
missioner of Hudson's Bay Co., 

5431 wintering partners on, 2, 3, 
4. 8, 35. 36; and S., 36. 

Grand Fall, described, 1, no. 

Grand Trunk Railway, and con- 
struction of transcontinental line, 

1, 172, 459; hostility to Canadian 
Pacific, 2, no, 113 n. 

Grant, and contest over S.'s pa- 
pers, 1, 331 n. 

Grant of Elchies, Baron, 1, 6. 

Grant, Cuthbert, fur-trader, 1, 1 8. 

Grant, G. M., on Hudson's Bay 
Co. and land-holding, 1, 525; on 
Dawson route, 2, 53. 

Grant, James, clerk at North- West 
River post, 1, 1 06; marriage and 
divorce, 120. 

Grant, Lewis, and S., 1, 57; and 
Rebellion of 1838, 69. 

Grant, Sir Ludovick, and clan 
lands, 1| 6. 

Grant, Ulysses S., and Chicora in- 
cident, 1, 385-387- 

Grant, William, career, 1, 20, 24, 


Grant clan, 1, 6. 

Granville, Earl, and transfer of 
North- West Territory, 1, 245; 
and Riel Rebellion, 337, 343 n., 
381, 382; and Canadian fisher- 
ies, 414. 

Great Northern Railway. See St. 
Paul and Pacific. 

Greenway, Thomas, and Mani- 
toba schools question, 2, 156, 
161, 166, 168. 

Grenfell, Wilfred T., on life in Lab- 
rador, 1, 121 ; on economic waste 
there, 229; recollections of S., 2, 
477-482, 484. 

Grey, Earl, appointment to Gov- 
ernor-Generalship, 2, 399, 400; 
Landsdowne on, 401; and anti- 
Japanese riots at Vancouver, 41 1 ; 
project for Dominions House, 

Gnffair, Charles P., and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222. 

Griffith, William L., at S.'s funeral, 

2, 463; as S.'s secretary, 494. 
Gzowski, C. S., and Pacific Railway 

scandal, 1, 464. 

Hallock, Charles, on trade at Hud- 
son's Bay Co. post, 1, 106; on 
S.'s farm at North-West River, 


125, 126; on a Labrador home, 


Hamburg-American Company and 
emigration to Canada, 2,296-303. 

Hamburger Nachrichten, on emi- 
gration to Canada, 2, 294. 

Hamilton, John, and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 467. 

Hamilton, Robert, and S., 1, 96; 
on Committee of 1857, 149; at 
opening of Manitoba Legisla- 
ture, 403; on claim of wintering 
partners, 429; on O'Donohue's 
invasion, 448; on S., 499, 2, 2, 
3; to McFarlane on Manitoba 
election, 1, 534; on steamer, 
council of officers, S. as head of 
fur-trade, 539; on Governorship 
for S., lands, 2, 7; to S., on retir- 
ing, 10. 

Hamilton Inlet. See Esquimaux 
Bay, 1, 97. 

Harcourt, Sir William Vernon, at 
S.'s funeral, 2, 463. 

Hardisty, George, in Hudson's Bay 
Co., 1, 145. 

Hardisty, Henry, 1, 119; in Hud- 
son's Bay Co., 145; to S. on con- 
dition of Plains Indians (1873), 
533; search for cart route, 2, 8. 

Hardisty, Isabella, 1, 119; first 
marriage, 120; marries S. by 
consent, 120. See also Strath- 
cona (Lady). 

Hardisty, Joseph, in Hudson's Bay 
Co., 1, 145. 

Hardisty, Maria, 1, 119. 

Hardisty, Richard, Sr., chief trad- 
er at Esquimaux Bay, 1, 119; 
and death of Simpson, 154; 
death, 154, 203. 

Hardisty, Richard, Jr., in Hudson's 
Bay Co., 1, 145; with S. in Red 
River region, 307, 323, 324 n,, 
326, 328. 

Hardisty, Mrs. Richard (Suther- 
land), 1, 119. 

Hardisty, Thomas, 1, 119; in Hud- 
son's Bay Co., 145. 

Hardisty, William L., in Hudson's 
Bay Co., 1, 145; to S. on Yukon 
trade, 532; retires, 2, 18. 

Hargrave, death, 1, 203. 

Harmsworth, Alfred, as popular 
force, 2, 255; party for visiting 
Colonial Premiers, 259-264. 

Harper, on gold in British Colum- 
bia, 2, 15. 

Haven, Jens, Moravian missionary 
in Labrador, 1, 132. 

Hay, Henry, of Labrador, 1, 143. 

Hay, John, on apostles of British 
Imperialism, 2, 255. 

Hay River, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 532. 

Head, Sir Edmund, Governor of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 182, 186; 
on policy of reorganized Com- 
pany, 184; and opening of North- 
West Territory, 189; and offer 
of American syndicate, 223; 
death, 226. 

Henry, Sir Edward, on precautions 
for visit of Prince of Wales to 
Canada, 2, 416. 

Herschel, Lord, f and Imperial In- 
stitute, 2, 248; American Joint 
Conference, 322. 

Hesperia, suggested name for 
North- West Territory, 1, 174 . 

Hill, James J M first meeting with 
S., 1, 368; and Riel Rebellion, 
368; steamers on Red River, 2, 
45; and St. Paul and Pacific Ry., 
60, 61, 63 ., 64; to S., on rates 
to Winnipeg, 67; Farley's suit 
against, 70-73; Canadian Pacific 
Syndicate, 98, 104. 

Hincks, A. S., and Pacific Railway 
scandal, 1, 464. 

Hind, Henry Y., on salmon trade 
of Labrador, 1, 128; report on 
Red River region, 168. 

Hoar, E. R., on arbitration, 1, 418. 

Hodgson, James S., Director of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 186. 

Holton, L. H., and Riel, 1, 496 n. 

Hopkins, E. M., and Simpson's 
book, 1, 74 n.', and investment 
of savings of Company's em- 
ployees, 216; retires, 226. 

Hosmer, C. R., on S.'s carelessness 
of health, 2, 489. 

Howard, Arthur, 2, 148 n. 

Howard, Donald S. P., 2, 148. 

Howard, Edith, 2, 148 n. 

Howard, Frances M. P., 2, 148 . 

Howard, Robert H. P., 2, 148 n. 

Howard, Robert J. B., marriage 
to S.'s daughter, 2, 148. 

Howe, Joseph, and transfer of 
North- West Territory, 1, 235; 



and survey of Red River region, 
244; mission and advice to Red 
River region, 251-260, 280; con- 
duct towards McDougall, 260- 
264; and S.'s appointment as 
commissioner to Red River, 273, 
303-307; realizes blunder, 274, 
275; letter from McDougall, 
285; on McDougall's illegal proc- 
lamation, 289, 290; to McDou- 
gall on S.'s mission, 319; S.'s 
reports to, 340-^343, 348, 349, 
350; on S.'s services as commis- 
sioner, 364, 365; on S.'s report, 
370; and delegates from North- 
West, 377. 

Hudson's Bay, S.'s interest in rail- 
way and steamship line, 2, 244- 

Hudson's Bay Company, Simpson 
as head, 1, 59-62, 67, 70, 154; 
policy towards employees, 63- 
65, 164; King's Posts, 75-77; 
packing of furs, 79-81; change 
from beaver to money as stand- 
ard of value, 81, 113, 114; sup- 
ply ship and Indian trade, 106; 
Nascopie post and route, 109- 
ii i ; post at Ungava Bay, in, 
165; relations with Labrador 
planters, 140; Committee of 
1857, 148-152; unconscientious- 
ness, 155; and Newfoundland 
taxes, 167; Canadian demand 
for control and opening of North- 
West, 168-172; reorganization 
and negotiations for transfer 
of North-West (1862), 172-179, 
186-189, 217, 234-236; Direc- 
tors of reorganized Company, 
1 86; investment of savings of 
employees, 215, 216; American 
offer for territory, 223; terms of 
transfer to Canada, 236, 245- 
247; effect of Dominion Act on 
political power, 238 n., 240 n.; 
and trade with Minnesota, 240; 
popular Canadian misconcep- 
tion of operatives and personnel, 
270-273; local officials and Riel 
Rebellion, 274, 277-283, 284 n., 
286, 292, 295, 296, 298, 299 n., 
300, 301, 308, 339 n., 346, 348 n., 
349, 356 n., 373, 397~399, 436; 
trouble over transfer, 299, 366, 
367, 380-383; transfer accom- 

plished, 383; coalescence with 
North- West Company, 500; 
Northcote and reorganization, 
505; Alaskan posts, 510-512; 
steamers on rivers, 512, 530, 531, 
536-539, 2, 6-8, 27, 34; decline 
of fur-trade, 1, 515, 517, 2, 13; 
proposed rivals in fur-trade, 1, 
519, 520, 2, 187; retrenchment 
in fur-trade, 1, 523, 2, 2, 3, 14, 
181, 183, 195, 202, 203; profits, 
land policy, 1, 525, 526, 2, 33, 
198, 202, 503; competition from 
Alaska, 1, 526-532, 2, 11, 18, 
19, 22-24; a "d free-traders, 1, 
535, 536, 2, 24-27, 205; problem 
of servants, 1, 537; proposed 
sale of reserved lands to Canada, 
2, 7; and Indians, 9, 28, 188; 
grade of Inspecting Chief Fac- 
tor, 9, 10; price of furs (1876), 
II ; Victoria as fur-market, 26; 
in extreme North, 28; change in 
Directorate (1883), 33~35; de- 
terioration of personnel, 180- 
182; character of later Chief 
Commissioners, 183, 184, 186; 
decline of salmon industry, 184; 
ignorance of the Board on fur- 
trade, 190; history, 197 .; real 
death with death of S., 210; 
present activities illustrated, 
21 1 ; fur-tradecommissions issued 
(1821-1905), 212. See c/soStrath- 
cona (Hudson's Bay Co.), Win- 
tering partners. 

Hughes, Katherine, on Lestanc 
and Riel Rebellion, 1, 333 n. 

Hughes, Samuel, suggests S. for 
Premier, 2, 154; and South Afri- 
can War, 334; and Strathcona's 
Horse, 339, 345 ; breach with Hut- 
ton, apology, 345; on Dundon- 
ald in Canada, 395, 398; on S.'s 
proposed resignation, 431. 

Hunt & Henley, operations in Lab- 
rador, 1, 130, 163, 164, 1 66; sell 
out to Hudson's Bay Co., 167. 

Huntingdon, Lucius S., and Pa- 
cific Railway scandal, 1, 469. 

Hurlbatt, Ethel, on S. and Aber- 
deen University quater - cente- 
nary, 2, 408; recollections of S., 

Hutton, Edward, and Strathcona's 
Horse, 2, 339, 340, 343, 368; 


breach with Canadian Ministry, 
344,349-352; Hughes's apology, 

Iddesleigh, Lord. See Northcote. 

Immigration, Canadian, condi- 
tions (1815-40), 1, 47-51; S. on 
need, 2, 238, 241, 279, 314; his 
activities, 239; policy of Mac- 
donald Ministry, 239, 240; and 
railway rates, 242, 304; practical 
character of S.'s addresses, 243; 
S. and non-British, 280, 305; 
Continental prohibitions and re- 
strictions to emigration, 281, 
287-293, 297, 300; method of 
propaganda on Continent, 281- 
287, 294-296; and South Ameri- 
can propaganda, 282, 283 n.; 
propaganda and British foreign 
relations, 293; attitude of Ger- 
man trans-Atlantic lines, 296- 
303; Scandinavian, 303; S. and 
British, 305-309; freak plans for 
encouraging, 309, 310; North 
Atlantic Trading Co., 310-313; 
amount (1897-1912), 314 n.; 
denunciation, 423. 

Imperial Institute, decline, S. and 
restoration, 2, 246-248. 

Imperialism, S. on, 2, 222, 324, 374, 
376, 377; S.'s advocacy of pref- 
erential duties, 225-229; S. on 
development of Canada and, 
2 35; ^97 as turning point, 250, 
276-278; Canada's preferential 
tariff law, 252, 275; S. and colo- 
nial representation, 269, 375; S. 
and colonial federation; 274, 
359736i; reciprocity in prefer- 
ential duties, 336-338; S. on 
South African War and, 363; 
Chamberlain's tariff reform, 387- 
390; S. on services of Chamber- 
lain, 391-393; and attempted 
American-Canadian reciprocity, 
429, 430; S. and naval assistance, 

Indians, Montagnais, 1, 85, 89, 90; 
Nascopie, 102-105, 22 4I an .d 
transfer of North-West Terri- 
tory, 247, 263; and Kiel Rebel- 
lion, 368, 374; Chipewyans, 532; 
Buffalo Lake, 532; Crees and 
Blackfeet, 533; Circees, 534; 
treatment by Hudson's Bay Co., 

2, g, 28, 1 88; destitution of 
Northern (1881), 27. 
Inkster, Colin, on S. at Fort Garry, 

1. 343 . 

Inspecting Chief Factor, grade, 2, 

9, 10. 
International, on Red River, 1, 240, 

2, 45- . 

International Financial Society, 
and reorganization of Hudson's 
Bay Co., 1, 179, 180, 187. 

Irish Republican Union, 1, 230. 

Isbister, Alexander K., before Com- 
mittee of 1857, 1, 151; and S., 
196, 219; career, 196; on fund for 
wintering partners, 502. 

Isle Jeremie, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 78. 

Japanese, Vancouver riots, 2, 411; 
suggested policy for Canada to- 
wards, 412, 413. 

Jarvis, S. P., at Winnipeg, 1, 403. 

Joint High Commission, impor- 
tance of Alabama claims, 1, 409, 
410, 418; fisheries question as 
excuse, 410, 411; Canadian in- 
terests and discord among Brit- 
ish commissioners, 411-418; free 
navigation of Alaskan rivers, 
417; arbitration, 418, 419. 

Jordan, William, and S., 1, 86." 

Jubilee of 1897, and Imperialism, 
2, 250, 276; Harmsworth's party 
for Colonial Premiers, 259-264; 
Dominion Day Banquet, 266, 

Kane, Paul, on pettiness of Sir 
George Simpson, 1, 155, 156; as 
artist, 156. 

Keith, James, 1, 31. 

Kelvin, Lord, jubilee, 2, 230. 

Kempt, Sir James, on Canadian 
immigrants, 1, 50. 

Kennedy, John S., and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 465; and St. 
Paul and Pacific Railway, 2, 64, 
65; and Farley suit, 70-73; Ca- 
nadian Pacific Syndicate, 98. 

Kernaghan, William, letter from 
S., 1, 146; before Committee of 
1857, 151- 

Kimberley, Lord, and Canadian 
fisheries, 1, 413; and amnesty for 
Riel Rebellion, 450. 



King, E. H., meets S., 1, 213; S.'s 
commercial connection, 225. 

King's Posts, character, 1, 75-77. 

Kipling, Rudyard, on Canada, 2, 
252, 254; and Imperialism, 255; 
S. and "Recessional," 278. 

Kitchener, Earl of, and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 2, 367. 

Kittson, Norman W., agent at St. 
Paul, 1, 240; and S., 311, 316; 
on Riel Rebellion, 325 n.; Red 
River steamers, 2, 46; and St. 
Paul and Pacific Railway, 61, 
63 n., 64, 71 ; Farley's suit against, 

Klondyke gold discovery, S. and, 2, 

Kohn, Reinach & Co., Canadian 

Pacific Syndicate, 2, 98. 
Kruger, Paul, S. on, 2, 329. 

Laberge, free-trader, 1, 527. 

Labouchere, Henry, aphorism on 
S., 2, 234 n.; on Imperial Insti- 
tute, 247. 

Labrador, S. and salmon trade, 1, 
127-131; S. and resources, 136, 
137, 214, 228, 229; economic 
waste, 229; decline in salmon 
industry, 2, 184, 185; conditions 
(1900), 207. 

Labrador, 1, 214, 232. 

Labrador tea-plant, 1, 136. 

Labradorite, S.'s interest, 1, 136. 

Lachine, situation, 1, 58 n. 

Lacombe, Pere Albert, missionary, 

1, 88; to Laurier on Manitoba 
schools question, 2, 173. 

Lady Head, Hudson's Bay Co. 

boat, 1, 541. 
Laidlaw, G., plan for railway, 1, 

Laird, David, to S. on Indians, 2, 

Lake, Col., and Canadian militia, 

2, 35i- 

Lake St. John, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 76 n. 

Lake of Two Mountains, Hudson's 
Bay Co. post, 1, 72. 

Lalonde, Paul, free-trader, 1, 536. 

Lampson, Sir Curtis M., Director 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 186, 
194; S. on, 195; onS., 224; and 
transfer of North-West Terri- 
tory, 246; from S. on Red River 

mission, 368; threatens to resign, 
407; letter from S., 412; and free 
fur-trade, 2, 25. 

Lands of Hudson's Bay Company, 
under transfer of North-West to 
Canada, 1, 236; wintering part- 
ners and share in, 430, 507, 515, 
520, 2, 12, 21, 29, 30, 38, 44, 183, 
20 1, 202; management and prof- 
its, 1, 525, 526, 2, 7, 33, 198, 
503; S. in charge, 1, 543; pro- 
posed sale to Canada, 2, 7 ; S. re- 
tires from Commissionership, 20. 

Langevin, Sir Hector L., and am- 
nesty for Riel Rebellion, 1, 451- 
453 > 456; and Pacific Railway 
scandal, 467. 

Langevin, Louis P. A., and Mani- 
toba schools question, 2, 161, 179. 

Lansdpwne, Marquis of, and Ca- 
nadian troops, 2, 338 ; and Strath- 
cona's Horse, 338, 369; on Earl 
Grey, 401; at S.'s funeral, 463. 

La Pierre's House, Hudson's Bay 
Co. post, 1, 530, 531. 

Lapp House, Hudson's Bay Co 
post, 1, 511. 

Laprairie, in Rebellion of 1838, 1, 

La Rocque, Felix, fur-trader, 1, 43. 

Lascelles, Sir Frank, and Cana- 
dian immigration propaganda, 
2, 294, 298. 

Laurie, H. J., and S.'s statement, 
If 397, 398. 

Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, on Pacific Rail- 
way scandal, 1, 474 n.; and Man- 
itoba schools question, 2, 166, 
173-175, .177-179; and S. as High 
Commissioner, 23 1 ; letters from 
S., 247, 257, 283, 293, 311, 326, 

327, 336, 342, 358, 383, 387, 424; 
Ministry, 251; plans for recep- 
tion in England (1897), 259-261 ; 
at Harmsworth's reception, 263, 
264; G. C. M.G., 264; correspond- 
ence with S. on fast Atlantic 
service, 270-274; and bill on mar- 
riage to deceased wife's sister ,316, 
317; American Joint Conference, 
322; on Minto's appointment, 
324; Redistribution Bill, 329- 
331; and resolution on Imperial 
supremacy in South Africa, 331- 
333; and Canadian troops for 
South Africa, 338; breach with 



Hutton, 344, 349~35 2 : and spe- 
cial battalion for Rhodesia, 352 ; 
and Strathcona's Horse, 368; 
opposes official colonial ban- 
quet to Chamberlain, 390; Dun- 
donald controversy, 395~398; 
and appointment of Earl Grey, 
399, 400; and All- Red Route, 
403, 404, 406, 407; and status of 
Agents-General in London, 414, 
416; and S.'s proposal to resign 
(1910), 425, 426; fall of Minis- 
try, 431; tribute to S., 456. 

Laval University, S. on, 2, 152. 

Lavallee, Mayor, tribute to S., 2, 

Lawson, J. H., on neglect of old 
officers, new Commissioner, 2, 

Leblanc, Pere, on terms Canada 
and Quebec, 1, 85. 

Leith, James, and John Stuart, 1, 
28, 31, 33; missionary fund, 33 n. 

Lemay, Joseph, and Riel Rebellion, 
1, 312 n. 

Lepine, Ambroise D., in Riel Rebel- 
lion, 1, 267, 347, 361 ; and O'Don- 
ohue's invasion, 447; bribe to 
leave country, 455-45$, 474, 478; 
indicted for murder of Scott, 495; 
commuted sentence, 496. 

Lestanc, Pere, and contest over S.'s 
papers, 1, 332, 333, 338; conduct 
in Riel Rebellion, 333 .; and 
execution of Scott, 356, 358. 

Lichfield.Lord, and wintering part- 
ners, 2, 190; at S.'s funeral, 463. 

Lindsay, James, and Riel Rebel- 
lion, 1, 381, 382. 

Liquor, in fur-trade, 1, 527, 528. 

Lisgar, Lord. See Young (John). 

Lloyd-George, David, on All-Red 
Route, 2, 407. 

Lockhart, J., on claim of wintering 
partners, 1, 429, 506; on new 
Deed Poll, 521. 

Lodge, Henry, of Labrador, 1, 139. 

London Chronicle, on S.'s appoint- 
ment as High Commissioner, 2, 

London Times, on Strathcona's 

Horse, 2, 341. 

Lome, Marquess of. See Argyll. 
Lowe, Robert, and S., 1, 195. 
Loyalty, S. on Canadian, 2, 224, 

237, 275, 277, 315. 

Lubbe, free-trader, 2, 25. 

Luxton, VV. F., letter from S., 2, 85. 

Lyall, George, and reorganization 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177, 186. 

Lyttelton, Alfred and Dundonald 
controversy, 2, 397, 398; rela- 
tions with S., 400. 

Lytton, Lord, on S.'s activity, 2, 
485 n. 

MacArthur, D., and claim of win- 
tering partners, 1, 423; on Deed 
Poll and proposed new fur-trade 
company, 515, 518, 519; on free- 
traders, 535. 

MacAulay, promotion, 1, 537. 

Macbeth, connection with Forres, 
1, I. 

McBride, Sir Richard, and status 
of Agent-General in London, 2, 

McCarthy, Dal ton, and Manitoba 
schools question, 2, 170. 

McClintock, F. Leopold, in Lab- 
rador, and S., 1, 157-161. 

McDermott, Henry, and election 
during Riel Rebellion, 1, 356 n.; 
and Canadian Pacific Railway, 

McDonald, Archibald, from S. on 
economy, 2, 2; at Carlton, 5. 

Macdonald, James, and Pacific 
Railway scandal, 1, 475. 

Macdonald, Sir John A., and nego- 
tiations for North-West Terri- 
tory, 1, 186, 235, 243; Ministry, 
224; and surveys in the Terri- 
tory, 242, 243; and transfer of 
the Territory, 246; letter from 
Howe on Riel Rebellion (1869), 
256; regards S. as Simpson's 
successor, 270; belated advice to 
McDougall, 275, 276, 282 ., 
293 .; on McDougall's illegal 
proclamation, 288, 289; confer- 
ence with S. on Rebellion, 297- 
301 ; appointment and instruc- 
tions to S. as commissioner, 303- 
306; and S.'s request for Privy 
Councillorship, 312; S.'s reports 
to, 326; and Tache, 343 n. ; antic- 
ipates S.'s failure, 366 n.; and 
delegates from North- West, 377, 
440; illness (1870), 378; and 
Chicora incident, 385; on fisher- 
ies question, 408; in Joint High 



Commission, 410-418; on future 
strength and loyalty of Canada, 
431 ; on danger of annexation of 
western territory by United 
States, 436; on Fenians and Riel 
Rebellion, 4.30^ 440; and O'- 
Donohue's invasion and Riel, 
447; and amnesty for Riel Rebel- 
lion, 451-454; and bribe to Riel, 
456-458, 474, 478-482; Pacific 
Railway scandal, fall of Ministry, 
467-478; breach with S., 473, 
476-478, 497, 2, 78, 81-83, 87, 
91, 92, 98; opposes lease to St. 
Paul and Pacific Railway, 66, 
76-78, 81-83; return of Ministry, 
policy as to transcontinental 
Railway, 92-94; negotiations for 
private construction, 94-98; and 
construction loans to Canadian 
Pacific, 105, 109; reconciliation 
with S., 134; death, 152; on im- 
migration, 239. 

McDonald, K., to S., on competi- 
tion from Alaska, 2, II, 18, 22- 
24; on free-traders, market for 
furs, 25. 

Macdonald, Sir William, tariff let- 
ter from George Stephen, 1, 212. 

McDonell, Sir James, and Rebellion 
of 1838, 1, 69. 

McDougall, James, in Yukon trade, 
1, 510-512; to S. on competi- 
tion from Alaska, 528; death, 2, 

McDougall, William, and Cana- 
dian claim to Red River region, 
1, 1 88; and negotiations for its 
transfer, 235, 236, 246; and sur- 
vey of region, 243; appointment 
to North- West Territory, 245 n., 
252; character and frustrated 
hopes, 255, 268 n.; Howe's 
conduct toward, 257, 260-264; 
barred out, 264, 267, 284; Mac- 
tavish's warning and advice, 
265-267; and Hudson's Bay Co. 
officials, 274 n., 278-283, 286, 
292; Macdonald's belated ad- 
vice, 275, 276; furniture seized, 
283; illegal proclamation, 284- 
290, 292 ; accuses Canadian Gov- 
ernment of deserting him, 290 n. ; 
attempt to confer with Riel, 290- 
292; departs, 293; on false re- 
ports, 312 n.; meeting with S., 

317-320; resigns, 379 n.; Mac- 
tavish on, 399. 

MacDowall, D. H., on S. and win- 
tering partners, 2, 204. 

McEwen, offer for Hudson's Bay 
Co. territory, 1, 223. 

MacFarlane, C. F., letter from 
Adams, 2, 206. 

MacFarlane, Roderick, and claim 
of wintering partners, 1, 419- 
424, 2, 12, 28; acknowledgment 
to, 1, 499 n. ; on competition in 
Alaska, 526, 527; letters from R. 
Hamilton, 534, 539, 2, 2; to S. 
on need of steamers and servants, 
li 537: establishes Fort Smith, 
539; letters fromS., 2, 17,21,34; 
memorial to the Company, 36- 
38; letter from Butler, 41; from 
Bell, 194; protest on treatment 
of old officers, 198-201; medal, 

McGill, James, endowment for 
McGill University, 1, 56. 

McGill, Peter, Mayor of Montreal, 
1, 70. 

McGill University, endowment, 1, 
56; S.'s inauguration as Chancel- 
lor, 2, 148; problem of law school, 
150; trouble over South African 
War, 358, 359; students and re- 
ception of S., 372, 373; tribute 
to S., 459, 460; S.'s benefactions, 

499-. . 

MacGillivray, Simon, 1, 27, 30. 

MacGillivray, William, 1, 27 n. 

McGreevy, Thomas, and Pacific 
Railway scandal, 1, 464. 

McGrigor, Sir James, 1, 32. 

Machray, Robert, and Riel Rebel- 
lion, 1, 307, 326, 354; at opening 
of Manitoba Legislature, 403. 

Mclnnes, D., plan for railway, 1, 


Mclntyre, Duncan, Canadian Pa- 
cific Syndicate, 2, 98. 

McKenny, Henry, on Howe in Red 
River region, 1, 257, 258. 

McKenzie, promotion, 1, 537. 

Mackenzie, Alexander, and seating 
of S., 1, 404; and Pacific Railway 
scandal, 475; and Hudson's Bay 
Co. lands, 2, 7; and transconti- 
nental railway, 49; and route 
through Manitoba, 74, 75; fall of 
Government, 80. 



Mackenzie, Ferdinand, to S. on de- 
terioration of the Company, 2, 

Mackenzie, Peter, letters from S., 
2, 42, 205, 206; S.'s rescue, 206. 

McKenzie, Roderick, and Deed 
Poll controversy, 1, 222; and 
claim of wintering partners, 422 ; 
and fund to recompense winter- 
ing partners, 502-504; on retir- 
ing, 516; on dividends, 542; to 
S. on sorrows of wintering part- 
ners, 2, 20, 182 ; on passing of old 
officials, Manitoba, 31. 

Mackenzie, Samuel, and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222. 

Mackenzie River District, value, 
1 53i; policy toward (1873), 
531, 532. 

McKinney, and annexation, 1, 441. 

McLaughlin, John, proclamation to 
the Indians, 1, 152, 153; charac- 
ter, 153. 

McLean, John, and Riel Rebellion, 

1. 352. 354. 355. 356 n. 
McLean, John, on Simpson, 1, 61; 

on service in Hudson's Bay Co., 

[^ 65; on Esquimaux, 108; estab- 
lishes Nascopie post, 109. 

McLeod, Roderick, 1, 28, 31. 

McLoughlin, John, birthplace, 1, 
52 n. 

McMullen, George W., and Cana- 
dian Pacific Railway, 1, 461, 
468 n.; Allan's letters to, 463: 
blackmail, 469, 470. 

McMurray, William, on Commit- 
tee of 1857, 1, 150-152; and 
Deed Poll controversy, 222; and 
O'Donohue's invasion, 448; to 
S. on free-traders, 536; on gov- 
ernment of North-West Terri- 
tories, promotion, 2, 5, 9; abili- 
ties, 9 n.; letter from S., 20. 

Macnab, The, of Upper Ottawa, 1, 

MacPherson, David L., and Pacific 
Railway scandal, 1, 459, 463,464. 

MacPherson, Joseph, clerk at 
North- West River post, 1, 106; 
adventure, 112. 

McQuestin, on Yukon, 2, 19. 

Mactavish, Miss, letters from S., 

2, 128, 136. 

Mactavish, D. C., to S. on decay 
of fur-trade, 2, 180. 

McTavish, Donald, S. on, as offi- 
cer, 2, 208. 

Mactavish, Dugald, letter from S., 
1 X 53.' n death of Simpson, 154; 
at Washington, 226. 

McTavish, G. S., and claim of win- 
tering partners, 1, 429; letter 
from brother, 281. 

McTavish, J. H., on Riel Rebellion, 
1 293 n.; in Manitoba Assembly, 

McTavish, William, and Deed Poll 
negotiations, 1, 197, 221; suit 
against the Company, 226; Gov- 
ernor, 237; and Bishop Tache, 
238; and trouble in Red River 
region, 253; and annexation to 
United States, 253, 441; and 
Howe's visit, 258, 261; warns 
McDougall, 265-267; jealous of 
S., 269; treatment by Canadian 
officials and attitude toward Riel 
Rebellion, 274, 278-283, 284 n., 
286, 292, 296, 298, 299 n., 308, 
309; on seizure of Fort Garry, 
277, 296; on McDougall's con- 
duct, 278; on Riel's plans, 279; 
proclamation, 280; on S. at Fort 
Garry, 339 n., 340 n.; Riel's re- 
pression, 346, 348 n., 350; S. to 
succeed, 369, 379; and Gover- 
norship of Manitoba, 379 n. ; 
death, 391 ; and claim of winter- 
ing partners, 422. 

Mail, S. on preferential rate for 
newspapers to Canada, 2, 400, 

Mair, Charles, intrigue in Red River 
region, 1, 257, 263. 

Malmaros, Oscar, intrigue in Red 
River region, 1, 241. 

Manitoba, S. on future of region 
(1857), 1, 146, 147, 153, 168, 
169; parliamentary investigation 
of control by Hudson's Bay Co., 
148-152; provincial act, 378; 
appointment of Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor, 379; origin of name, 400; 
first Legislature, 401-404; S. 
on resources and development 
(1871), 405, 406; S.'s speech on 
(1872), 488-493; settlement, 2, 
31; Red River steamers, 45, 46; 
S. on railway needs (1876), 50- 
55; route of Canadian Pacific 
through, 56-59, 73-76. See also 



Manitoba schools question, 
North- West Territory, Kiel Re- 
bellion, St. Paul and Pacific. 

Manitoba, Red River steamer, 2, 46. 

Manitoba schools question, Cath- 
olic demand for restoration of 
separate supported schools, 2, 
155; failure of mediation of Privy 
Council, 155, 156; Remedial Bill 
in Parliament, problem, 156- 
158, 165, 166; public opinion, 
158; S.'s private mission of con- 
ciliation, 158-165, 170, 489; 
position of provincial Ministry, 
161, 162, 1 66; S. on precedent 
of 1871, 162-164; attitude of 
Laurier, 166, 173-175; S.'s 
speech, 166-168; ministerial 
commission to Winnipeg, 173; 
commission's suggestions for 
settlement, 175-177; arrange- 
ment, 177; S. and negotiations in 
England, 178; S. on Archbishop 
Langevin's action, 179. 

Manitoban, on S., 1, 484, 485. 

Marchessault, S., Canadian rebel, 1, 

Markham, Sir Clements, on S. at 

North- West River, 1, 158. 
Martin, Chester, on Howe in Red 

River region, 1, 255; on S.'s 

amnesty report, 496. 
Martin, Joseph, and Manitoba 

schools question, 2, 171. 
Masson, Madame, and Riel, 1, 241. 
Masson, Luc H., Canadian rebel, 1, 


Master Cutlers' Company of Shef- 
field, annual feast, 2, 236. 

Matheson, and reorganization of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 178. 

Matheson, Alexander, to S. on fur- 
trade, 1, 535; on steamer on Sas- 
katchewan, 2, 6; on Directors, 

Matheson, Duncan, on S. and the 
kyak, 1, 115 .; and destitution 
at Ungava, 2, 196. 

Matthews, and Manitoba schools 
question, 2, 179. 

Maynard, and reorganization of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 178. 

Mazocchi, Vincent, musical adver- 
tisement, 1, 53 n. 

Meinertzhagen, Daniel, Director 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 186. 

Melville Lake, described, 1, 99- 

101, 115. 
Meredith, H. V., tribute to S., 2, 

Metabetshuan, Hudson's Bay Co. 

post, 1, 76 n. 
Miall, E., and Canadian Pacific, 2, 


Miles, Edward, and S., 1, 75. 
Miles, George, on S.'s accounts, 1, 


Military training, S.'s fund, 2, 420. 
Militia, politics in Canadian, 2, 350, 

395, 399 
Milnes, Robert, Canadian rebel, 1, 

Mingan, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 1, 

77, 78, 90, 91, 96; attached to 

Labrador district, 223. 
Ministry, first of Dominion, 1, 224; 

fall of Macdonald's, 472-478; 

fall of Mackenzie's, 2, 80; fall of 

Tupper's, 231; fall of Laurier's, 


Minneapolis Tribune, on annexa- 
tion, 1, 437-439-. 

Minnesota, resolution for annexa- 
tion of western Canada (1868), 
1, 436-439- 

Minnesota, Red River steamer, 2, 

Minnesota and Pacific Railway, 
land grant, 2, 47. 

Minto, Earl of, Governor-General, 
2 323, 324; S.'s reception at 
Montreal, 328; and visit of Duke 
of Cornwall, 384. 

Missionaries, S. and Catholic, 1, 
88, 223; and Moravian, 108, 109, 
132, 133- 

Mistassini, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
1, 76 n, 

Moberly, promotion, 1, 537. 

Moisie, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 1, 
76 n. 

Molson, William, Grand Trunk 
Railway, 1, 460 n. 

Monck, Viscount, and opening of 
North- West Territory, 1, 187; on 
Fenian raid, 206. 

Montagnais Indians, traits and 
customs, 1, 85, 89, oo. 

Monterey, carries Strathcona's 
Horse, 2, 347, 348. 

Montreal, in 1838, 1, 54-57; and Re- 
bellion of 1838, 69; S.on (1866), 


204; protest on tariff reduction 
(1866), 209-211; S.'s first com- 
mercial interests, 214, 225; S. 
and commercial improvements, 
2, 142; Royal Victoria Hospital, 
146; Royal Victoria College, 
1.47, I5L 333. 377-380; recep- 
tion of S. (1900), 372-374. See 
also McGill University. 

Montreal Gazette, on commercial 
effect of Atlantic cable, 1, 213 . 

Montreal Star, on S.'s peerage, 2, 

Moravian, 1, 227. 

Moravians, missionaries and Es- 
quimaux, 1, 108; S.'s interest, 
109, 132, 133. 

Morayshire, aspect, 1, 2. 

Morris, Alexander, campaign 
against S. (1878), 2, 79. 

Morton Rose & Co., Canadian 
Pacific Syndicate, 2, 98. 

Mosquitoes, plague in Labrador, 
1, 112. 

Mount Royal, S. at launching, 2, 


Mount Stephen, Lord. See Ste- 
phen (George). 

Mousseau, Joseph A., and Riel, 1, 
496 n. 

Mulgrave, Lord, tour with George 
Simpson, 1, 74. 

Munro, Alexander, to S. on passing 
of old officers, 2, 194. 

Murdock, Sir Clinton, and Riel 
Rebellion, 1, 382; and amnesty, 

Muskapis, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 

1, 76 . 
Musquarro, Hudson's Bay Co. 

post, 1, 77, 96. 

Napier, Gen., and Fenian raid, 1, 

Nascopie Indians, described, 1, 
102-105; and Catholic mission- 
aries, 224. 

Nascopie post of Hudson's Bay 
Co., 1, 109, 224; trail to, from 
North- West River, 109-111. 

Nathan, Henry, and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 468. 

Nathan, N., and Pacific Railway 
scandal, 1, 464. 

Natural science, S.'s knowledge, 
1, 122, 160. 

Navy, S. and Imperial assistance, 

2, 435- 
Necobau, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 

1, 76 n. 
Nelson, Wolfred, Canadian rebel, 

1. 53. 54- 

New Nation, on annexation, 1, 433. 
New York Sun, on annexation, 1, 

Newcastle, Duke of, and Hudson's 

Bay Co.'s control of North-West, 

1, 171-176, 178, 187, 188. 
Newfoundland, taxation in Labra- 
dor, 1, 167. 
Newspapers, preferential rate on 

British, to Canada, 2, 400, 401. 
Nicoll, Sir William R., on S. and 

Aberdeen University, 2, 408. 
Norfolk, Duke of, and Manitoba 

schools question, 2, 178, 179. 
Norman, Nathan, and S., 1, 137, 

227; and Ungava Bay, 165. 
North-Atlantic Trading Company, 

and emigration to Canada, 2, 

North-German Lloyd Company, 

and emigration to Canada, 2, 


North-West Company, Simpson s 
policy after coalition, 1, 61 ; pur- 
pose and terms of coalition, 500. 
See also Wintering partners. 

North-West Mounted Police, origin, 

1. 374 

North-West River, Hudson's Bay 
Co. post, S. transferred to, 1, 94; 
situation, 100, 101; life at post, 
111-114; surroundings, 114; S.'s 
farm and garden, 124-127, 147, 
158-160; Catholic missionaries, 

North-West Territory and Ru- 
pert's Land, Canadian demand 
for control and opening, 1, 168- 
172; population (1869), 263; 
attitude of French, 237-239; 
under Canadian Government, 2, 
5; S. and Governorship, 7; S. on 
importance and future, 221, 222. 
See also Hudson's Bay Co., Man- 
itoba Red River region, Riel Re- 
bellion, Wintering partners. 

Northcliffe, Lord. See Harms- 

Northcote, Sir Stafford H. (Lord 
Iddesleigh), letter from Lamp- 



son on S., 1, 224; heads Hudson's 
Bay Co., 226; and Riel Rebellion, 
293; abandoned visit to Red 
River region, 367; from S. on 
Governorship of Manitoba, 379; 
and transfer of North- West Ter- 
ritory, 380; letters from S., 385, 
394, 465; Joint High Commis- 
sion, and Macdonald, 411-418; 
and arbitration, 418; and claim 
of wintering partners, 420, 425, 
426, 428, 505; on danger of an- 
nexation, 435, 436; and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 472 n. 

Northcote, on Saskatchewan River, 
1 536; 2, 6-8 

Norway. See Scandinavia. 

Nourse, William, Chief Trader of 
Labrador posts, 1, 96, 101; re- 
lieved, 119. 

Oakeley, Hilda, from S. on Victoria 
College, 2, 378, 379. 

Obe, Joseph, 1, 96. 

O'Brien, Edward, letter from Jo- 
seph Howe, 1, 260. 

Ocean Nymph, 1, 191 ., 202. 

O'Donnell, William, on S. at Fort 
Garry, 1, 342 n., 343 n., 486. 

O'Dpnohue, W. B., intrigue in Red 
River region, 1, 241, 439; and S. 
at Fort Garry, 331 n., 333, 343 n.; 
flight, 393, 396; character, 442; 
attempted invasion of Manitoba 
(1871), 444-449- 

Ogden, Peter, 1, 33; career, 33 n. 

Ogden, W. B., and Canadian Pa- 
cific Railway, 1, 461. 

Oleskow, Prof., as Canadian emi- 
gration agent, 2, 295. 

O'Lone, Robert, on Howe in Red 
River region, 1, 259. 

O'Neill, John, career, 1, 443; at- 
tempted invasion of Manitoba, 

444, 449- 

Oregon County, claim of wintering 
partners of Hudson's Bay Co., 

If 427- 
Osier, Sir Edmund, and site for 

High Commissioner's office, 2, 

Osier, Sir William, at S.'s funeral, 

2, 463- 

Otelne, Nascopie chief, 1, 143. 
"Our Lady of the Snows," S. and 

term, 2, 254. 

Oxford University, D.C.L. for S., 
2, 386. 

Pacific Cable Conference, 2, 221. 

Pacific Railway scandal. See Cana- 
dian Pacific. 

Papinachois, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 76 n. 

Papineau, Louis, fugitive, 1, 53. 

Paquet, Pere, missionary, 1, 88. 

Parent, Etienne, letter to S., 1, 


Parliament, British, S. and colonial 
representation, 2, 269. 

Parsons, S. K., to S. on attitude of 
Company's Board, 2, 190. 

Paytabais, Nascopie chief, 1, 104, 
105 n. 

Peace, Sir Walter, and Chamber- 
lain, 2, 390. 

Peacocke, George, on Fenian raid, 
1, 206. 

Peel's River, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 530, 531. 

Peerage for S., question of title, 2, 
264-266; descent to daughter, 

Pembina, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
McDougall at, 1, 264 268, 284, 
293; S. at, 321-323; O'Dono- 
hue's invasion, 444, 448; plan for 
railway, 463. 

Pension, of wintering partners, 2, 
182, 187, 193; more liberal 
scheme, 198. 

Peters, Klaas, Canadian emigra- 
tion agent, 2, 303. 

Peterson, and plans for fast Atlantic 
service to Canada, 2, 270-274. 

Peterson, William, on S. and con- 
struction of Canadian Pacific, 2, 
131 n.; and trouble in McGill 
University, 358, 359; on S.'s pre- 
paration for later career, 468. 

Pifcher, Thomas D., in South Afri- 
can War, 2, 342. 

"Planters" of Labrador, 1, 140. 

Pope, John H., and Canadian Pa- 
cific, 2, 105, 117. 

Pope, Sir Joseph, on Governor for 
Manitoba, 1, 379 n. 

Porcupine River, navigation in 
Treaty of Washington, 1, 417. 

Posadowsky Welmer, Count von, 
and emigration to Canada, 2, 



Potter, Richard, and reorganiza- 
tion of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 179, 

Price, William, career, 1, 53 n. 

Privy Councillor, S.'s appointment, 
2, 215. 

Provencher, J. A. N., and Kiel Re- 
bellion, 1, 267. 

Provincialism, S. on decrease, 2, 

Prowse, Robert H., and S., 1, 138, 

Quebec, origin of name, 1, 85; 
Civil Code, 2, 150. 

Que-hee-le River, proposed Hud- 
son's Bay Co. post, 1, 529, 

Rae, John, on S.'s promotion, 1, 
162; return to England, 164. 

Railways, early plans for Canadian 
transcontinental, 1, 172, 175; 
S.'s interest in rolling-stock com- 
pany, 225; S. on need of Mani- 
toba (1871), 406. See also Cana- 
dian Pacific, St. Paul and Pacific. 

Ramparts, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
1, 511; free-traders at, 2, 22, 24. 

Rampini, Charles, on Forres, 1, 4. 

Rankin, Colin, letters from S., 1, 
232, 301, 304 n., 428, 2, 15, 19, 
207, 209; from Hamilton, 1, 499. 

Reciprocity, influence of treaty of 
1854 in Labrador, 1, 128; and 
in Canada, 407; S. on, 2, 
146; S. on attempted American 
(1911), 429, 430. 

Red Leggins, Alaskan chief, 1, 511. 

Red River, first steamers, 2, 45, 46. 

Red River region. See Hudson's 
Bay Co., Manitoba, North-West 
Territory, Riel Rebellion. 

Redistribution Bill, S. on, of Lau- 
rier Ministry, 2, 329-331. 

Red path, Peter, S.'s commercial 
connection, 1, 225. 

Reid, J. M., on Riel Rebellion and 
annexation, 1, 440. 

Reid, Whitelaw, on Canadian High 
Commissionership, 2, 220. 

Renaud, Pere, missionary, 1, 88. 

Rendezvous, Alaska, fur-traders at, 

If 529- 
Resolution, Fort, to be abandoned, 

1, 532. 

Reuter's Agency, and Canadian 
news, 2, 257. 

Revelstoke, Lord, and Canadian 
Pacific, 2, 1 20. 

Revelstoke, B.C., origin of name, 
2, 121. 

Revillon Freres, in fur-trade, 2, 

Rhodes, Cecil, and Canadian bat- 
talion for Rhodesia, 2, 352. 

Richards, Arnold N., and Riel 
Rebellion, 1, 318. 

Riel, Louis, early career and char- 
acter, 1, 241, 242; and O'Dono- 
hue's invasion (1871), 445, 446; 
bribe to leave the country, 455- 
458, 474, 478-482; return, elec- 
tion to Parliament, expulsion, 
480, 482, 493, 494, 496; indicted 
for murder of Scott, 495; out- 
lawry, 495, 496; Rebellion of, in 
1885, executed, 497. See also 
Riel Rebellion. 

Riel Rebellion, origin, 1, 189, 237- 
264, 380^-383; parties in Red 
River region on transfer of terri- 
tory, 233, 241, 245 n., 371-373; 
character of Riel, 241, 242; trou- 
ble over surveys, land grabbing, 
242-245, 247-250, 372; attitude 
of Hudson's Bay Co. officers, 
250. 253. 261, 274, 275, 277, 281, 
284 n., 296, 298, 299 ., 300, 301, 
308, 373, 397-399. 436; Joseph 
Howe's mission and advice, 251- 
260, 280; McDougall Lieutenant- 
Governor, 252; Howe's conduct 
toward McDougall, 260-264; 
McDougall barred out, 264, 267, 
284; Mactavish's advice to Mc- 
Dougall, 265-267; influence of 
McDougall's character, 268 .; 
Macdonald's belated advice to 
McDougall, plan to placate Riel, 
275, 276; Fort Garry seized, 276, 
277, 296; Mactavish on McDou- 
gall's conduct, 278; organization 
and plan of rebels, 279; Mac- 
tavish's proclamation, 280; Mc- 
Dougall's illegal proclamation, 
284-290, 292; arrest of Canadian 
partisans, 287; S. directed to 
offer assistance to Canadian 
Government, 293-295; McDou- 
gall's effort for conference with 
Riel, 290-292; McDougall quits, 



293; S. supports Canadian claim, 
297; his conference with Minis- 
try, 297-303; absence of Tache, 
300; S.'s appointment as com- 
missioner, instructions, 301-306; 
Queen's message, 306, 337; meet- 
ing of S. and McDougall, 317- 
320; reception of S. as Company 
official, 323-325. 340, 34i; Har- 
disty's activity for S., 326, 328; 
S. advocates military prepara- 
tion, 326; annexation to United 
States feared, 327, 432-442; dis- 
closure of S.'s commissionership, 
contest for his papers, 329-333, 
341 ; public meeting, reading of 
S.'s documents, 333-338, 342; 
flag. 336; Convention, 338, 339, 
343-350, 2, 163; Kiel's repression 
of Hudson's Bay Co. officers, 1, 
339. 346, 348 n., 349, 350, 356 n.\ 
execution of Scott, 342 ., 356- 
363, 376, 396; delegation to Ot- 
tawa, 345, 349, 376, 440; bill of 
rights, 345, 347~349; Boulton's 
rising, 35O-354, 364, 37 1, 44o; 
election for provisional govern- 
ment, 350, 354-356; Kiel's plea 
and promise to S., 353, 354; de- 
parture of S., 363; results of mis- 
sion, 364, 365, 371, 374-376; mil- 
itary preparation, 366, 369, 381- 
383; Indians and, 368, 374; S.'s 
report, 369-374; amnesty ques- 
tion, 377, 448 ., 449-458, 495- 
497; Manitoba Act, 378; passage 
of military supplies through 
Sault Ste. Marie Canal, 383-388; 
military expedition, flight of Kiel, 
388, 389. 391-393; S. as tempo- 
rary Governor, disorders, 389- 
391, 393-396; American subsidy, 
435; Fenian interest, 438, 439; 
O'Donohue's attempted inva- 
sion (1871), 442-449; bribe to 
Kiel to leave country, 455-458, 
474, 478-482. 

Rigolet, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
situation, 1, 99; trade, 106; Es- 
quimaux, 107; conditions(i89i), 
2, 184, 185. 

Riots, election, at Winnipeg, 1, 493. 

Ripple, 1, 213. 

Ritchot, J. N., in Kiel Rebellion, 
1, 265; and S.'s papers, 331; 
delegate to Ottawa, 349, 350, 

376, 497 n.; and O'Donohue's 
invasion, 445. 

Roberts, and Fenian raid, 1, 206. 

Roberts, and reorganization of 
Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 178. 

Roberts, Earl, and Canadian 
troops, 2, 352, 370, 371; and 
Strathcona's Horse, 369; at un- 
veiling of statue to Wolfe, 428; 
S. on, 429. 

Robertson, Leith, death, 1, 203. 

Robinson, H. N., intrigue in Red 
River region, 1, 241; on execu- 
tion of Scott, 363; and annexa- 
tion, 441. 

Robitaille, and amnesty for Riel 
Rebellion, 1, 451, 454. 

Rochester, John, attack on S., 1, 

Rogers, Sir Frederic, on S.'s mis- 
sion to Fort Garry, 1, 366. 

Roman Catholic Church, missions 
of Lower St. Lawrence, 1, 88; 
missions in Labrador, 131, 157, 
223. See also Manitoba schools 

Rose, John, and transfer of North- 
West Territory, 1, 246, 382, 383; 
letter from Macdonald, 288. 

Rosebery, Earl of, and Imperial- 
ism, 2, 227. 

Ross, on Cuthbert Grant, 1, 18 n. 

Ross, B. R., in Hudson's Bay Co., 

1, 145- 
Ross, Sir George, on S. and Pacific 

Railway scandal, 1, 477; tribute 

to S., 2, 457; on "Strathcona 

period," 280 n. 
Ross, J. J., and Canadian Pacific 

Railway, 1, 468. 
Ross, James, and Riel Rebellion, 

1. 355- 

Ross, Roderick, on gold in British 
Columbia, 2, 15; on end of the 
Company, 186. 

Roy, Pere, missionary, 1, 88. 

Royal, Joseph, Speaker of Mani- 
toba Assembly, 1, 403. 

Royal Society of Arts, medal to S., 

2, 434- 

Royal Victoria College, S.'s endow- 
ment, 2, 147, 233, 499; S. on 
purpose, opening, 377-380. 

Royal Victoria Hospital, 2, 146, 147. 

Rupert's Land. See North-West 



Russell of Killowen, Lord, and 

Manitoba schools question, 2, 179. 
Russell, Sir Charles, Director of 

Hudson's Bay Co., 2, 33. 
Russell, John, Earl, and Alabama 

claims, 1, 204. 
Russia, restrictions on emigration, 

2, 281, 288-291. 

Sadler, Bill, his "leg box," 1, 141. 

Saguenay, Hudson's Bay Co. post, 
1, 76 n. 

St. Paul, S.'s interest, 1, 310. 

St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, S.'s 
first journey over, 1, 314, 315; 
S. on prospects (1879), 2, 20; 
origin, 47; first construction, 47; 
bankruptcy, 48; S. on need of 
line between Winnipeg and 
Pembina (1876), 51, 54; plan of 
S. and J. J. Hill to get control, 
60; interest of George Stephen, 
61, 62, 69; option on bonds, 
63; reorganization, 63-65; con- 
struction to Canadian border, 
65; lease of Winnipeg- Pembina 
line, 65-69; Farley's attempted 
blackmail, 70-73; S. on question 
of his connection, 76-78; charge 
of discouraging Manitoban im- 
migration, 87-90; influence on 
Canadian Pacific, 94, 98 n. 

St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Mani- 
toba Railway. See St. Paul and 

Salaberry, C. M. de, sent to Red 
River region, 1, 302, 304, 323 
n.; conduct there during Riel 
Rebellion, 327, 328 n., 330, 332, 
334, 340 n., 348, 370, 371. 

Salisbury, Marquis of, and Impe- 
rialism, 2, 227; on Canadian im- 
migration propaganda, 293. 

Salmon, S.'s development of Lab- 
rador trade, 1, 127-131, 166; de- 
cline in profit, 2, 184, 185. 

Samluk, 1, 144. 

San Francisco, land owned by Hud- 
son's Bay Co., 1, 178. 

Saskatchewan River, steamer on, 
1. 536, 538- 539, 2, 6-8. 

Sault Ste. Marie Canal, passage of 
supplies for expedition against 
Riel, 1, 383-388. 

Scandinavia, Canadian emigration 
propaganda, 2, 303. 

Schreiber, Collingwood, and Cana- 
dian Pacific, 2, 103, 106, 109. 

Schroeder, John H. W., Director 
of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 186. 

Schultz, John C., intrigue in Red 
River region, 1, 241, 245 n., 248, 
256-258, 263, 264; arrested by 
Riel, 287, 290 n.; and Hudson's 
Bay Co., 350 n.; Riel's enmity, 
352; and S.'s statement on in- 
criminating papers, 397, 398; 
election to Parliament, 493; 
arrest for perjury, 535. 

Scott, Alfred H., delegate to Otta- 
wa, 1, 349, 350, 376, 497 n. 

Scott, Hugh, and execution of 
brother, 1, 376. 

Scott, Thomas, execution, 1, 357- 
363; excitement over execution, 
376; disposition of body, 396; 
execution and amnesty, 450; 
indictment of murderers, 480, 

Scott, Thomas, campaign against 

S. (1880), 2, 86, 87. 
Scott, Thomas A., and Canadian 

Pacific Railway, 1, 468 n. 
Scott, W. D., on North- Atlantic 

Trading Company, 2, 313 . 
Scott, W. D. B., anecdote of S., 1, 

91 n.; service under S., 214. 
Selkirk, on Red River, 2, 46. 
Semple, Robert, death, 1, 389. 
Seven Islands, Hudson's Bay Co. 

post, 1, 76 n., 77; attached to 

Labrador district, 223. 
Seward, William H., and Alabama 

claims, 1, 204. 
Seymour, Lord William, and 

Strathcona's Horse, 2, 369. 
Shaughnessy, Sir Thomas, on S.'s 

hospitality, 2, 484. 
Sheddon, John, and Pacific Rail- 
way scandal, 1, 464. 
Sherbrooke, Lord. See Lowe. 
Siddons, Mrs., anecdote of Macbeth 

at Edinburgh, 1, 13 n. 
Sieveright, on Simpson, 1, 63 . 
Sifton, Clifford, and Manitoba 

schools question, 2, 165; letters 

from S., 295, 298. 
Silver Heights, S.'s residence, 2, 

83 n.; branch line to, 124, 125. 
Simpson, Sir George, and John 

Stuart, 1, 29; character, 29, 
?o, 155, 156; S.'s letter of intro- 



duction, 41; importance, 59; 
policy as head of Hudson's Bay 
Co., 59-62, 67, 75, 92-94. 154- 
170; real office, 59 n.; Napoleonic 
cult, 62; and S., 72; married 
life, 72; knighthood, world tour, 
74; book, 74 n. ; and post at 
Ungava Bay, 1 1 1, 166; and Cath- 
olic missionaries, 131; on agri- 
cultural possibilities of Mani- 
toba region, testimony before 
Committee of 1857, 147-151, 
168, 169; death, 154, 157. 

Simpson, Thomas, Sir George 
Simpson on, 1, 151. 

Simpson, Wemyss M., and S. as 
M.P., 1, 404. 

Simpson, Fort, conditions (1880- 
87), 2, 22, 25-27. 

Sinati, Yukon chief, 2, 18. 

Sir Donald, Mount, significance of 
name, 2, 132. 

Skead, James, and Canadian Pa- 
cific Railway, 1, 467. 

Skelton, O. D., on Canada's pref- 
erential tariff law, 2, 252; on 
immigration, 314 n. 

Skey, John, on immigration to 
Canada, 1, 47. 

Skinner, Sir Thomas, at S.'s fu- 
neral, 2, 463. 

Smith, Alexander, character and 
ancestry, 1, 5; marriage, 5, 8; 
children, 8; death, 23. 

Smith, Barbara (Stuart), marriage, 
ancestry, 1, 5-8; children, 8; 
character, 10; death, 23; letters 
from S., 36, 40; and return of 
S., 192, 193. 

Smith, Charles M., and Canadian 
Pacific Railway, 1, 463. 

Smith, Donald A. See Strathcona. 

Smith, Sir Frank, and Canadian 
Pacific, 2, 120. 

Smith, George, S.'s ancestor, 1, 5. 

Smith, George A., at S.'s funeral, 
2, 463. 

Smith, Jane, 1, 23. 

Smith, John S., 1, 8; education, 
12; doctor in East India Com- 
pany's service, 22. 

Smith, Marcus, on railway route 
through Manitoba, 2, 57. 

Smith, Margaret, 1, 8; character, 
14, 15; death, 23, 86. 

Smith, Margaret C. See Strathcona. 

Smith, Marianne, death, 1, 23. 

Smith, W. G., letter from Mac- 
tavish, 1, 278; resigns from Hud- 
son's Bay Co., 407. 

Smith, Fort, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, 539. 

Snow, John A., survey in Red River 
region, 1, 244. 

Society, British attitude toward 
colonials, 2, 250 n., 264. 

Society of St. Raphael, and emi- 
gration to Canada, 2, 298. 

South Africa, S. and federation, 2, 

South African War, S. and ap- 
proach, 2, 329; question of Cana- 
dian resolution of support, 331- 
3331 S.'s attitude on Canadian 
participation, 334; first Cana- 
dian contingent, 335, 336; second 
Canadian contingent, question of 
command, 338; Canadian troops 
and surrender of Cronje, 352, 
370; question of Canadian bat- 
talion for Rhodesia, 352, 353; 
S. on Imperial forces, 362-364; S. 
and refusal of Canadians to ex- 
tend service, 370, 371 ; return of 
Canadian troops, 380; conduct of 
Canadians, 385. See also Strath- 
cona's Horse. 

Spanish- American War, S. on, 2, 

Spear, and Riel Rebellion, 1, 439. 

Spence, Thomas, on election dur- 
ing Riel Rebellion, 1, 356 n. 

Spruce Bud, 1, 163. 

Stanley of Preston, Lord, Governor- 
General, 2, 153. 

Stead, William T., on S., 2, 230 n. 

Steamers, Hudson's Bay Co. river 
boats, 1, 512, 530, 531, 536-539, 
2, 6-8, 27, 34; on Red River, 45, 
46; S. and plans for fast trans- 
Atlantic, to Canada, 270-274, 
328, 380, 385, 386, 402-407. 

Steele, S. B., Strathcona's Horse, 
2, 346-349, 366-369. 

Stephen, Elspeth (Smith), 1, 208. 

Stephen, George (Lord Mount 
Stephen), first meeting with S., 
1, 207 ; early career, 208 ; defence 
of low tariff, 21 1, 212; plan for 
railway from Pembina, 463; and 
St. Paul and Pacific Railway, 2, 
61-64, 69; syndicate for con- 



structing Canadian Pacific, 97, 
98 ; and financial problems of con- 
struction, 105, 119, 120, 124 n.; 
baronetcy, 128; credit for con- 
struction, 131; and reconcili- 
ation of S. and Macdonald, 134; 
and S., 137; Royal Victoria Hos- 
pital, 146, 147. 

Stephen, William, and George 
Stephen, 1, 207, 208. 

Stephen, Mount, significance of 
name, 2, 132. 

Stewart, Alexander, letters from 
J. Stuart introducing S., 1, 27, 
41-43; and S., 57. 

Stewart, James, and Strathcona's 
Horse, 2, 340. 

Stewart, James G., and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222. 

Stikine River, navigation in Treaty 
of Washington, 1, 417. 

Strathcona and Mount Royal, 
Donald A. Smith, Baron, Early 
years and Hudson's Bay Co. : an- 
cestry, parents, 1, 5-8, 10; birth, 
names, 8 ; on Scottish emigration, 
8; early home, 8, 9; and para- 
phrases, II, 2, 451 ; education, 1, 
12-14; and sister Margaret, I 4i I 5; 
early interest in fur-trade, 15-18; 
question of career, law studies, 
18-22, 34; at London, 35-40; 
departure for Canada, plans, 40- 
45, 52; letters of introduction to 
Simpson and Stewart, 41-43; on 
Canada in 1838, 45, 46; at Que- 
bec, 52, 53; at Montreal, 54; 
enters service of the Company, 
57, 65; first duties at Lachine, 
66-68; on Rebellion of 1838, 68- 
70; first post assignments, learns 
French, 72; and Simpson, his 
jealousy, 72, 73; appointment to 
Lower St. Lawrence, 74, 75; 
character of posts there, 75-77; 
journey thither, 77; influence of 
service there, 78; routine and 
system, 78-81; anecdote of first 
black-fox purchase, 81-85; on 
Montagnais, 85, 89, 90; and 
Catholic missionaries, 88, 131, 
157, 223; on wreck of Walker's 
fleet, 89; on Bersimits River, 89; 
trouble with eyes, unauthorized 
journey to Montreal, 92, 93; 
transfer to Labrador as punish- 

ment, 93, 94; winter journey 
thither, 94, 95; new district de- 
scribed, 97-101 ; and Moravian 
missionaries, 109, 132, 133; and 
Connolly, 109; and Ungava post, 
in, 165; life at Esquimaux Bay, 
its influence, in, 112, 121-124, 
227 ; on mosquitoes, 1 12 ; explora- 
tions and adventures around 
post, 114-118; marriage by con- 
sent, 120; and Indians, 123, 188; 
farm and garden, 124-127, 147, 
158; development of salmon 
trade, 127-131, 166; and Hunt 
and Henley's operations, 130, 
163, 164, 166, 167; religious serv- 
ice, 133; and medicine, 134-136; 
and resources of Labrador, 136, 
137, 214, 228, 229; correspond- 
ents and Labrador acquaint- 
ances, 137-140, 142-146; and 
"planters," anecdotes, 140, 141; 
on relative value of meat and fish 
diet, 142; on future of Manitoba 
region (1857), 146, 147, 153; 
on death of Simpson, 157; and 
Admiral McClintock, 158-161; 
Chief Factor, 162, 163; and New- 
foundland taxes, 167; and reor- 
ganization of Company and Deed 
Poll question (1862), 179-186, 
189, 196, 222; winter voyage to 
St. John's (1864), illness, 190- 
192; on English ignorance of 
Canada, 192; return to England 
(1864), 192; at old home, and 
mother, 192-194; and Board of 
the Company, 194; on Lampson, 
195; at Directors' dinner, unde- 
livered speech, stage fright, 200, 
201; return to Labrador, 202; 
effect of trip on reputation, 202, 
224; still unknown in Canada, 
202; on Montreal (1866), 204; 
on Fenian raid, 206; first meet- 
ings and impressions of George 
Stephen, 207, 211; on completed 
Atlantic Cable, 212; first Mon- 
treal commercial interest, 213, 
214, 225; and investments of 
brother officers, 215, 543, 2, 31- 

J3; and Canadian investments, 
,21 7 ;and blockade-running, 2 17; 
on American offer for Hudson's 
Bay Co. territory, 223; district 
enlarged, 223; and proclaiming 



of Dominion, 224; General Man- 
ager of Eastern Department, 
226, 232, 233, 237; reputation in 
Labrador, 227; Mactavish's jeal- 
ousy, 269; considered as succes- 
sor to Simpson's power, 270; fa- 
ble of service in Rupert's Land, 
272; regarded as Mactavish's 
successor, 369; and Joint High 
Commission, 407, 412-417; and 
settlement of claim of wintering 
partners (1871), 421-430, 502- 
504, 2, 44; activity and prob- 
lems as Chief Commissioner, 1, 
499, 506; and improved transpor- 
tation, 510, 538, 2, 34; gives up 
management of fur-trade, 1, 517, 
540, 541, 543; and new appoint- 
ments, 519; opposes rival fur- 
trade company, 520; continued 
interest in wintering partners, 
525, 2, 2, 14, 15, 35, 36, 41, 42, 
180, 188, 189, 193, 197, 198, 203, 
206-209; reorganization of fur- 
trade, 1, 526; and Mackenzie 
River District, 531; on free-trad- 
ers, 536, 2, 205; and council of 
officers (1874),!, 539; subordinate 
on, 540; profits of fur-trade under 
his management (1874), 540- 
542 ; realizes gloomy future of fur- 
trade, 543, 2, 18; on need of econ- 
omy, 2, 3, 14; wintering part- 
ners on management, 3; on price 
of furs (1876), ll; (1901), 205; on 
concessions to wintering part- 
ners (1879), 19, 21, 22; retires 
from Land Commissionership, 
20; upsets Directorate, becomes 
a Director, 33-35 ; and Grahame, 
36; becomes Governor, 43; and 
political position, 79; on life of 
wintering partners, 197; and his- 
tory of the Company, 197 n. ; on 
death of old officers, 207. 

Kiel Rebellion: on Riel, 1, 242; 
interest in Red River controver- 
sy, 268, 269; offers assistance 
of Company, 293-295; supports 
Canadian claim, 297; conference 
with Ministers, 297-301 ; appoint- 
ment as commissioner, instruc- 
tions, 301-308; journey to Fort 
Garry, 307-317, 320-323; request 
for Privy Councillorship, 311; 
warning by Fenians, 312, 313; 

meeting with McDougall, 317- 
320; reception as Company offi- 
cial by Riel, 323-325; refuses to 
take oath, 324,341; virtual con- 
finement, 325, 332, 347, 350; ad- 
vocates military preparations, 
326; disclosure of commissioner- 
ship, contest for papers, 329-333, 
341 ; at public meeting, 333-338, 
342 ;and execution of Scott, 342 ., 
356-362; danger and conduct, 
342 n., 343 n., 371 ; assurances to 
Convention, 344; and delegation 
to Ottawa, 345, 349; and bill of 
rights, 345, 347~349; and elec- 
tion for provisional government, 
35. 354-356; and Boulton rising, 
351-353. 364. 37i; departure, 
363; results of mission, 364, 371, 
374-376; intercepts Northcote, 
367; report, 369-374; and Gov- 
ernorship of Manitoba, 379; on 
Chicora incident, 385; in military 
expedition, 388; as temporary 
Governor, and disorders, 389- 
39 * 3931 letter from Riel on his 
flight, 392, 393; on destruction 
of Company's papers, 397; on 
danger of annexation to United 
States, 432-435; and amnesty, 
453. 454; and bribe to Riel to 
leave the country, 454-458, 474, 

Politics: initiation, 1, 209-212; 
election to Manitoba Assembly, 
401 ; to Dominion House of Com- 
mons, 401; introduction as M.P., 
404; and Pacific Railway scandal, 
breach with Macdonald, 473- 
478, 497, 2, 78, 81-83, 87, 91, 92, 
98; as independent, 1, 483; popu- 
larity with constituents, 483- 
485; local measures, 485, 486; as 
member of the Assembly, 486; 
banquet to (1872), speech on 
North- West, 486-493; reelection 
as M.P. (1872), 493, 494, 499; 
and Governorship of North- 
West Territories, 2, 7; on his 
clean hands, 77, 78; reelection 
(1878), independence, 78-83; 
charge of technical corruption, 
83-85; defeated at second elec- 
tion, 85-87, 492, 493; reconcil- 
iation with Macdonald, 134; 
election to Parliament from Mon- 



treal (1887), 135-146; on con- 
duct of Lord Randolph Church- 
ill, 136; on protection, 138, 140- 
146; on technical education, 138, 
139; on local improvements, 142; 
on French Canadians, 144, 155 n., 
224, 254, 276; on customs regula- 
tions, 145; on reciprocity, 146; 
on Canadian progress under Vic- 
toria, 146; Royal Victoria Hospi- 
tal, 146, 147; Royal Victoria Col- 
lege, 147, 233, 377-380; inaugu- 
ration as Chancellor of McGill, 
148-152; on death of Macdonald, 
152; on Aberdeen's appointment, 
153; and suggested Premiership 
(1896), 154; and Manitoba 
schools question, mission and 
speech, 158-173, 489; in minis- 
terial commission on subject, 
173; suggestions for settlement 
of question, 175-177; later con- 
nection with question in Eng- 
land, 178, 179; on salary of High 
Commissioner and judges, 218, 

Railways: first connection with 
St. Paul and Pacific, 1, 314, 315; 
first meeting with J. J. Hill, 368; 
on resources and development of 
Manitoba (1871), 405, 406; on 
future strength of Canada, 430; 
on line between Pembina and 
Winnipeg, 463, 2, 51, 54; and 
Pacific Railway scandal, 1, 464, 
465, 467, 472-474. 476-478; and 
construction contract then, 
468 n. ; and Red River steamers, 
2, 46; on need of transcontinental 
line (1876), 50; on Dawson route, 
52-54; early disbelief in private 
construction of transcontinental 
line, 55, 56; and route through 
Manitoba, 56-59, 73-76; control 
and reorganization of St. Paul 
and Pacific, 60-65; lease of Win- 
nipeg- Pembina line, 65-69, 81- 
83; on Stephen's connection with 
St. Paul line, 69; Farley's suit 
against, 70-73; on question of 
connection with St. Paul line, 
76-78 ; Macdonald advised to se- 
cure cooperation of, 81-83; and 
charge of discouraging immigra- 
tion, 87-90; and Canadian Pacific 
Syndicate, 97, 98 ; on spirit of the 

Syndicate, 102; on abuse against 
Canadian Pacific, 1 1 1 ; on burden 
of construction, 115; on govern- 
mental loans, 115; on connection 
of Baring Bros., 121; on last 
spike, 123; and branch line to Sil- 
ver Heights, 124, 125; on effect 
on Dominion, 125; knighted, 
128, 130; on achievement of the 
line, 129-131 ; credit for construc- 
tion, 131, 132, 135 n. 

High Commissioner : appoint- 
ment ,2,21 3-2 1 5 ; public reception 
of appointment, 215, 216; nature 
of office, 2 1 6-22 1 ; on importance 
and future of North- West, 221, 
222; on Imperialism, 222, 235, 
237, 324, 374, 376, 377: on prog- 
ress and future of Canada, 223, 
253, 315. 382, 394, 4 2 ; and pref- 
erential duties, 225-229, 274, 
336-338; at Lord Kelvin's jubi- 
lee, on Canada and Imperial tele- 
graph, 230; aphorisms on, 230 n., 
234 n. ; celebrations of Domin- 
ion Day, 231, 266, 267, 321, 401; 
under Laurier's Ministry, 231; 
G. C. M. G., 232; as lecturer and 
interpreter of Canada, 234; and 
immigration, 238, 241-243, 279- 
315; Tupper's tributes, 243, 244, 
323; and Hudson's Bay railway 
and steamer line, 244-246; and 
Imperial Institute, 246-248; and 
Klondyke gold rush, 248 ; on Eng- 
lish society and colonials, 250 .; 
on Colonies and Jubilee of 1897, 
251 , 276; Argyll on, 253, 383; and 
term "Our Lady of the Snows," 
254; and paucity of Canadian 
news in England, 256-258; and 
reception of Laurier (1897), 259- 
261, 263; peerage, question of 
title, 264-266; expected retire- 
ment (1897), 267; and Governor- 
Generalship, 268, 354; and colo- 
nial representation, 269, 375; and 
fast Atlantic service to Canada, 
270-274, 328, 380, 385, 386, 402, 
403, 405-407; and colonial feder- 
ation, 274, 329, 359-361, 377; 
on Kipling's "Recessional," 278; 
and Canada's "spectacular de- 
velopment," "Strathcona pe- 
riod ," 2 80 ; in House of Lords, and 
deceased wife's sister bill, 316- 



321; on American-British Con- 
ference (1898), 322; and ap- 
pointment of Minto, 323; on 
Bristol and steam transportation, 
325; on Spanish- American War, 
326; on British guaranty of Ca- 
nadian bonds, 327; function at 
Montreal for Governor-General, 
328; and approach of South Afri- 
can War, 329; on Laurier's Re- 
distribution Bill, 329-331; and 
Canadian resolution to support 
policy in South Africa, 331-333; 
and Canadian participation in 
the war, 334~336, 338, 352, 353, 
370, 37 if 380; Lord Rector of 
Aberdeen, 334, 335; Strathcona's 
Horse, 339~344, 348, 349, 367- 
369, 373,. 375: and Mutton's 
quarrel with Canadian Ministry, 
345 , 349~35 2 ; a d descent of 
peerage to daughter, 354-358; 
and trouble at McGill over the 
war, 358, 359; and freak war 
correspondence, 361, 362; on 
Imperial forces, 362-364; promo- 
tion of knowledge of Canada in 
British schools, 365; and pro- 
posed royal visit to Canada, 365, 
377, 384, 385; reception at Mon- 
treal (1900), 372-374; on de- 
crease of provincialism, 376; and 
Pacific Cable, 377, 380, 385; and 
death of Victoria, 381; on Bou- 
rassa, 385; Oxford D.C.L., 386; 
and Chamberlain's tariff reform, 
387-390; on Chamberlain as 
Colonial Secretary, 391-393; crit- 
icism of support of Chamberlain, 
393; attempts to retire, 394, 425, 
426, 431, 433, 441-443; and Dun- 
donald controversy, 397, 398; on 
preferential rate for newspapers 
to Canada, 400; quater-cente- 
nary of Aberdeen University, 407- 
411; and anti-Japanese riots at 
Vancouver, 411-413; and dig- 
nity and attributes of High Com- 
missionership, 413-416; tour of 
Canada (1909), reception at 
Winnipeg, 417-419; accident, 
419; testimonial on decade of 
service, 419; fund for military 
training in schools, 420; on Boy 
Scouts, 421; honorary military 
offices, 421; resentment of de- 

tractions of Canada, 422-424, 
437-439; keeps aloof from poli- 
tics, 424; on death of Edward 
VII, 426; relations with him, 
427; and Queen Alexandra, 427; 
at centenary of Berlin Univer- 
sity, 427, 428; on militarism in 
Germany, 428; at unveiling of 
statue of Wolfe, 428, 429; and 
attempted Canadian-American 
reciprocity, 429, 430; relations 
with Premier Borden, 432-434; 
on centenary of death of Brock, 
434; presented with Albert 
Medal, 434; and Imperial naval 
assistances, 435; on Canadian 
drain of British funds, 435, 436; 
and article on Borden and Union- 
ists, 439; and site for office of 
High Commissioner, 443-447; ill- 
ness and death, 451-453; trib- 
utes, 453-462; funeral, 462-466; 
coincidence with life of Canada, 

Traits : generosity, benefac- 
tions, 1, 13, 35, 36, 2, 454, 456, 
458, 460, 472, 479, 485, 498-500; 
on service, anecdote of burning 
of house, 1, 19, 20, 91; conserva- 
tism, 38; appearance, 73, 87, 159; 
no sportsman, 87; superstition, 
86; temperance, 115 n., 2, 140, 
494 ; reading, 1, 122, 163,2,471 n., 
485; and natural science, 1, 
122, 160; frugality, 124, 138, 2, 
500; gentleman, 1, 228; and sub- 
ordinates, 228, 229, 2, 494, 497, 
498; sarcasm, 79, 80 n., 492; 
residences, hospitality, 83 n., 
472, 483, 484, 486-491; pre- 
cision of language, 116, 470; re- 
ligion, 155 n., 482, 483; optimism, 
394; industry, 440, 441, 479, 
500; old age, 447, 481, 485 n.; 
and his wife, 448-450, 471, 477, 
481; goodness of heart, 461; 
preparation for later career, 468 ; 
career as epitomizing Imperial 
opportunities, 468 ; sense of duty, 
469, 500; integrity, 470; motto 
for coat of arms, 471 ; as illustrat- 
ing Aristotle's " high-minded- 
ness," 473-475; detachment of 
manner, 475; characteristic atti- 
tudes, 476, 484; voice, talk, 476, 
484; particularity, 477, 478, 495; 



courtesy, 478, 484; and Dickens 
centenary, 485 ; carelessness 
about health, 489; love of win- 
ter, 489; club, 491; as public 
speaker, 491-493; fondness for 
stories, 493, 494; information, 
memory, 495; adhesion to old 
epistolary methods, 495-498 ; 
fortune, 498 ; lesson of character, 
500; personal dignity, 500; serv- 
ice to Canada, 500. 

Strathcona, Isabella (Hardisty), 
Lady, marriages by consent, 1, 
120; letter to mother, 144; death, 
2, 448; and husband, 448, 449, 
471 ., 477, 481; character, 450. 

Strathcona, (Margaret C. Smith- 
Howard), Baroness, birth, 1, 
120; marriage, children, 2, 148; 
descent of father's barony to, 

Strathcona's Horse, plan, 2, 339- 
344; organization, 346, 347; 
voyage to Capetown, S.'s mes- 
sage to, 347-349; services, en- 
comiums, 366, 367; in England, 
367-369; S. on, 373, 375. 

"Strathcona period" of Canadian 
history, 2, 280, 467. 

Strathspey, Grant clan, 1, 6; emi- 
gration, 7, 8. 

Stuart, Barbara. See Smith. 

Stuart, Donald, grandfather of S., 
1, 5; children, 6 n. 

Stuart, Donald, 1, 17, 19, 31, 


Stuart, James, as law student, 1, 9. 

Stuart, John, 1, 6 .; explorations 
in Canada, 15, 16; character, 
16 n., 26-32; as fur-trader, 17; 
and career of S., 18, 22, 35, 37, 
40; travels in Europe, 33; retire- 
ment, 34, 43; letters to Simpson 
and Stewart introducing S., 41- 
43; to S. on service in the Com- 
pany, 70. 

Stuart, Margaret, 1, 6 n. 

Stuart, Peter, career, 1, 6 n., 29 n. 

Stuart, Robert, 1, 6 .; fur-trader, 
death, 17. 

Stuart, William, career, 1, 6 n. 

Stutsman, Enos, intrigue in Red 
River region, 1, 241 ; and Riel 
Rebellion, 311 n.; and annexa- 
tion, 441, 442. 

Subsidy, Canadian, 2, 405, 407 n. 

Supperuksoak, Esquimaux god, 1, 


Swanston, death, 1, 203. 
Sweden. See Scandinavia. 
Sylvester, free-trader, 2, 25-27. 

Tache, Alexandre, as bishop of Red 
River region, 1, 238, 245 .; and 
Riel, 241; and Howe's visit, 258; 
and Riel Rebellion, 300, 334 n., 
343 n., 356, 367, 368, 370 n., 373; 
and disorders after flight of Riel, 
393; at opening of Manitoba 
Legislature, 403; and promise of 
amnesty, 450, 452, 453, 497 .; 
and tribe to Riel, 455, 479. 

Tadousac, S.'s appointment to 
trading post at, 1, 74, 75; char- 
acter of post, 77. 

Tariff, Montreal protest on reduc- 
tion (1866), 1, 209-211; George 
Stephen's defence of low, 211, 
212; S. on protection, 2, 138, 
140-146; S. on customs regula- 
tions, 145; S. on reciprocity, 146; 
S. on preferential duties, 225- 
229; Canada's preferential law, 
2 52, 275; transportation in bond, 
326; S. on need of reciprocity in 
preferential duties, 336-338; S. 
and Chamberlain's reform move- 
ment, 387-390; attempted Ameri- 
can-Canadian reciprocity, 429, 

Taylor, Thomas, and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222. 

Tea, Labrador plant, 1, 136. 

Telegraph, Atlantic Cable, 1, 157, 
158, 2ii, 212; plans for trans- 
Canadian, 169, 172, 177, 186; S. 
on Canada and all- British, 2, 
230. 377. 38o, 385- 

Tellier, J. M., tribute to S., 2, 

Temperance, S. on, 2, 140. 

Thibault, Vicar-Gen., sent to Red 
River region, 1, 302, 304, 323 n.; 
conduct there during Riel Rebel- 
lion, 327, 328 n., 330, 332-334. 
340 n., 348, 370, 371; at opening 
of Manitoba Legislature, 403. 

Thorn, Adam, and Simpson's book, 
1, 74 . 

Thompson, Sir John, death, 2, 153. 

Thompson, William. See Kelvin. 

Thornton, Sir Edward, and Chicora 



incident, 1, 384-387; Joint High 
Commission, 411-418. 

Tilley, Sir Samuel L., and negotia- 
tions for transfer of North- West 
Territory, 1, 235. 

Torngak, Esquimaux god, 1, 131. 

Torrence, Daniel, plan for railway, 

1, 463- 

Trans-Atlantic service, S. and fast, 
for Canada, 2, 270-274, 328, 380, 
385, 386, 402-407. 

Trutch, Sir Joseph, banquet, 1, 405. 

Tupper, Sir Charles, journey to 
Fort Garry with S. (1869), 1,307- 
322; letters from Macdonald on 
Joint High Commission, 411, 
415, 417; and Canadian Pacific, 
472 ., 2, 92, 94, 109; and bribe 
to Riel, 1, 479; attacks on S., 
497, 2, 78; on S. and construc- 
tion of Canadian Pacific, 132; re- 
turn to rescue Ministry, 153, 154, 
213; and Manitoba schools ques- 
tion, 165, 171; as High Commis- 
sioner, 217, 243, 244; Premier, 
fall of Ministry, 231; tribute to 
S.,323; and Strathcona's Horse, 
353. 354. 358; and descent of S.'s 
peerage to daughter, 354~358; 
and death of Lady Strathcona, 

Turner, J. H., and status as Agent- 
General, 2, 413-416. 

Ungava Bay, Hudson's Bay Co. 
post, 1, in; S. and reestablish- 
ment, 165; conditions (1888), 

2, 42; destitution (1893), 195, 
196; conditions (1900), 207. 

United States, S. on relations, 2, 
323. See also Annexation. 

Vancouver, anti-Japanese riots, 2, 

Van Home, Sir William C., on suc- 
cess of reorganized St. Paul and 
Pacific, 2, 64, 65; and construc- 
tion of Canadian Pacific, 104; 
on origin of name of Craigellechie 
Station, 123 n.\ and branch line 
to Silver Heights, 124; and bond- 
ing privilege question, 326; in 
Canadian election (1911), 431. 

Verrall, and S., 1, 96. 

Victoria, Queen, and completion of 
Canadian Pacific, 2, 125, 127, 

128; and deceased wife's sister 
bill, 316; S. on death and reign, 
381-383. See also Jubilee of 

Victoria, as market for furs, 2, 

Victoria Bridge, S. on, 1, 204. 

Viger, B., Canadian rebel, 1, 54. 

Vincent, Sir Howard, toast to the 
Colonies, 2, 236. 

Wainwright, Griffith, at Fort Garry, 
1, 402. 

Walker, Sir Hovenden, wreck of 
fleet, 1, 89. 

Wallace, James, on Howe in Red 
River region, 1, 257, 258, 441. 

Walrus, wrecked, 1, 534. 

Watkin, Sir Edward W., and reor- 
ganization of Hudson's Bay Co., 

1, 172-180; negotiations with 
Canada, 186. 

Watson, Robert, and S., 1, 19, 194. 

Watt, William H., destruction of 
papers, 1, 397; and O'Donohue's 
attempted invasion, 444, 448. 

Weldon, Richard C., and Manitoba 
schools question, 2, 172. 

Welland Canal, attempt to de- 
stroy, 2, 362. 

West Indies, S. and federation, 2, 
274, 322; direct intercourse with 
Canada, 329. 

Westminster Abbey, S.'s funeral, 

2, 462-464. 

Wheaton, Frank, and O'Donohue's 
attempt to invade Manitoba, 1, 
/I /I /I, 448, 449. 

White, W. T., on Canadian 
finances (1913). 2, 437- 

Williams, John, of Labrador, 1, 

Willis, N. P., on Montreal, 1, 55. 

Wilson, James, on S., 1, 228. 

Wilson, Joseph, and Deed Poll 
controversy, 1, 222. 

Winnipeg, in 1869, 1, 237; election 
riot (1872), 493; and route of 
Canadian Pacific, 2, 56-59, 73- 
76; rail connection with St. Paul, 
65-69; reception of S. (1909), 417, 
418. See also Riel Rebellion. 

Winslow, Lanier & Co., and Cana- 
dian Pacific Railway, 1, 461. 

Winter, Sir James Newfoundland 
tax collector in Labrador, 1, 167. 



Wintering partners of Hudson Bay 
Co., 1, 154, 500; importance, 170; 
and reorganization of the Com- 
pany, Deed Poll, 179-186, 189, 
196-199, 203, 204, 219, 502-504; 
S.'s undelivered speech on, 200, 
201; Fenchurch Street building 
suit, 220, 226, 421; and share in 
transfer of North- West Territory 
to Canada, controversy and set- 
tlement, 241, 247, 253, 261, 407, 
419-430, 2, 183; and share in re- 
served lands, 1, 430, 507, 516, 520, 
2, 12, 21, 29, 30, 38, 44, 183, 201, 
202; declining condition, 1, 500, 
501, 504, 506-509; Northcote's 
plan to recompense, 505; and 
other activities of Company, 
5 12 . 513. 52i, 524. 5435 and new 
Deed Poll, S^-S 1 ^, 5i8, 521, 
522; treatment and complaints, 
518, 2, 2, 16, 28-30, 35, 36, 39, 
43, 180, 185-187, 190, 191, 196, 
203; S.'s continued interest, 1, 
525, 2, 2, 14, 15, 35, 36, 41, 180, 
188, 189, 193, 197, 198, 203, 204, 
206-209; councils, 1, 539, 2, 3, 35, 
1 86, 194; character, i; policy of 
promotion, 5; S. on concessions 
(1879), 19, 21, 22; MacFarlane's 
memorial (1886), 36-38, 41; need 
of union, 39, 187; concessions 
(1886), 42; neglect of old officers, 
182; pension, 182, 187, 193, 198- 
20 1 ; beneficial fund threatened, 
183; on character of Commission- 
ers, 183, 184, 1 86; proposed new 
company, 187; characteristic re- 
sentment, 192; passing of old 
officers, 194; appointment of 
officers, 194; S. on life, 197; all 
rights as partners lost, 201; 

justice of protests, 201 ; sacrificed 
by policy of retrenchment, 202, 
203 ; nativity, 212. See also Hud- 
son's Bay Co., Strathcona (Hud- 
son's Bay Co.). 

Witches' Stone at Forres, 1, 4. 

Wolfe, James, S. at unveiling of 
statue, 2, 428, 429. 

Wolseley, Sir Garnet (Lord), on 
conditions in Red River region 
('869), 1, 253, 254; expedition 
against Riel Rebellion, 383, 388, 
389; and Governorship of Mani- 
toba, 379 . 

Wolverton, Lord, and reorganiza- 
tion of Hudson's Bay Co., 1, 177; 
Grand Trunk Railway, 459 n. 

Wrigley, as Chief Commissioner, 2, 

Yermoleff, and emigration to Can- 
ada, 2, 289-291. 
Young, search for cart route, 


Young, George, on S. at Fort 
Garry, 1, 324 n., 329, 375; and 
execution of Scott, 357, 361-363; 
at opening of Manitoba Legisla- 
ture, 403. 

Young, Sir John, and Riel Rebel- 
lion, 1, 307, 308, 343 n.; and 
Chicora incident, 384, 386; and 
amnesty for Riel Rebellion, 450, 

45i, 453- 
York Factory, conditions (1872), 

If 522-525, 532. 

Yukon, Fort, and Hudson's Bay 
Co., 1, 527, 528; American trad- 
ers, 2, 19, 23. 

Yukon River, navigation in Treaty 
of Washington, 1, 417. See also 

U . S . A 

A 000 887 276 4