Skip to main content
JOHN H. O'DONNELL, M.D., C.M.
MANITOBA AS I SAW IT.
FROM 1869 TO DATE.
With Flash-Lights on the First Riel
JOHN H. O'DONNELL, M.D.C.M.
THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY
Copyrighted Canada, 1909 by The Muison Book Company, Limited,
ALEXANDER HUGH FERGUSON
Chapter No. Page.
1 From Montreal to St. Cloud ; 9
2 From St. Cloud to Sauk Centre 13
3 First Important Information from Winnipeg 15
4 Our Meeting with Mr. Turner and Mr. Sanf ord 19
5 Crossing into British Territory 21
6 The People of Winnipeg Excited 25
7 I was a Neutral Observer 28
8 The Schultz Blunder 32
9 The Deputation to Ottawa 37
10 The Arrival of the Commissioner 40
11 Hon. Joseph Howe and MeDougall's Commission 44
12 Arrival of Lieutenant-Governor Archibald 48
13 Attorney-General Clark Early Made Himself Unpopular 52
14 The Personnel of the First Legislature 57
15 School Legislation 65
16 'Arrival of the Wolseley Expedition 69
17 Winnipeg the Western Headquarters of H. B. Company 73
18 The University 77
19 Lieutenant-Governor Cauchon 81
20 Sir Daniel McMillan 85
21 The ' ' Hotel ' ' Premier of Manitoba 88
22 Premier Greenway 91
23 Premier Eoblin 94
24 Two Prominent Western Men 98
25 Mr. A. McT. Campbell 100
26 Hon. Edmund Burke Wood 101
27 Colonel Rankin's Reception by Eiel 104
28 Mr. D. E. Sprague 107
29 Dr. Wm. Cowan 110
30 Mr. A. R. McKenzie Ill
31 Hon. Alex. Murray 112
32 Hon. David Mar Walker 113
33 Mr. A. W. Austin 115
34 Mr. William Whyte , 116
33 Chief Justice Howell 117
36 Eiel's Departure from the Country 118
37 Messrs. Archibald and Campbell 128
38 Mayors of Winnipeg 131
39 Mr. Alexander McDonald 142
40 Sir Charles Tupper 146
John H. O 'Donnell, M.D.C.M , Frontispiece
Major-General Cameron Page 12
Prairie Transportation, 1869 16
Hon. Senator Turner 20
Group of Hudson Bay Company's Factors 26
Sir John Schultz 32
His Grace Archbishop Tach6 40
Lieutenant-Governor Archibald 42
Hon. Francis Ogiltree 54
Hon. Colin Inkster, Sheriff 56
John H. McTavish 60
Chief Justice Dubuc 78
Lieutenant-Governor Cauchon 82
Hon. Wm. Hespeler 92
C. N. Bell 96
F. J. C. Cox 98
A. McT. Campbell 100
Chief Justice Wood 102
D. E. Sprague 107
Harold C. H. Sprague 108
A. E. McKenzie Ill
A Scene in Winnipeg Suburbs 130
Alexander McMicken 136
Sir Chas. Tupper 146
Prairie Transportation, 1909 154
His Grace Archbishop Lynch, Toronto 156
In placing before the public an account of
incidents occurring in Manitoba from eighteen
hundred and sixty-nine to date, the writer has,
in order to avoid the difficulties incidental to
such an undertaking, confined himself to per-
sonal observation, in so far as the historical
facts appear, such as reference to the details of
the First Kiel Rebellion, and the organization of
the new Province of Manitoba, the framing of
the first Acts placed upon the Statute Book,
with general remarks on their application, and
the persons more intimately associated with
such measures passed during the first and sub-
In Manitoba, just starting out on its career
as a sequence of a Rebellion, political issues de-
velop strong sympathies, and in some in-
stances prejudices. The writer deems it of the
first importance that references to public men
shall be written with justice and with entire
freedom from political bias. It is hardly to be
expected that the writer 's estimate will, in
every case, meet with universal acceptance. It
is hoped, however, that no reader will dispute
the fact that there has been an honest attempt
to do justice to the character and actions of
every man mentioned in this volume.
Manitoba as I Saw It
FEOM MONTBEAL TO ST. CLOUD.
In September, 1869, having had induce-
ments which I considered advantageous held
out to me for some time, urging me to come
west to Fort Garry, Rupert's Land, and, after
giving the subject careful consideration, I
decided to take the step. So, after having made
the necessary preparation to surmount pos-
sible contingencies, I took the west-bound train
at the St. Bonaventure Station (Montreal)
September, 1869, for the " Great Lone Land."
On reaching Toronto, Ontario, the city was
en fete to welcome His Royal Highness, Prince
Arthur, Duke of Connaught, on his first visit to
Canada. I spent a few days in the beautiful
Queen City, securing needed information, after
which I passed on to Guelph, where I re-
mained long enough to consult a gentleman who
had been many years in the Hudson's Bay
Company's service, and the information gained
at that interview was of the greatest possible
value to me later on.
10 Manitoba as I Saw It.
I again took the west-bound train to Sarnia,
crossing into the State of Michigan; went by
train to Grand Haven; and from there to Mil-
waukee by boat, and on to La Crosse by train,
where I took a Mississippi River boat to St.
Paul, Minnesota. The steamer was large and
very comfortable. The autumn rains had
swollen the river to nearly the capacity of its
banks, and in some places flooded the adjoin-
ing countryside. There had been a few sharp
frosts, and the foliage that fringed the banks
of the great river was, indeed, too beautiful for
my pen to describe. There was a large pas-
senger list, returning to their homes in St.
Paul and adjacent country, from visiting East-
ern friends. The trip up the river was slow,
but delightfully enjoyable, and I reached St.
Paul tired. The journey up to that stage had
been most inspiring.
A suitable rest, and then the "solemnities"
of the occasion began ; which ^ere to prepare
for a drive across four hundred miles of prairie,
and the time of year made frosts and snow-
storms quite possible; and from reports, other
obstacles not easily overcome.
I called at the office of Messrs. Hill, Griggs &
Company, and presented a letter of introduc-
tion to Mr. James J. Hill. After carefully per-
From Montreal to St. Cloud. 11
using the letter, he greeted me cordially, and
remarked: "I am inclined to think you will
have difficulty in reaching Fort Garry. The
half-breeds are up in arms, and, if reports are
correct, will not permit Governor McDougall
to enter the Red River Settlement. I will see
a gentleman who is at present in the city, Mr.
William Gomez Fonseca, a man of influence in
Winnipeg, and ask him to call and see you dur-
ing the evening. You can rely upon any-
thing he says, and if he asks you to become
one of his party, I have every reason to be-
lieve you will reach your destination with
very little difficulty."
The gentleman, Mr. William Gomez Fonseca,
called, and said that Mr. Hill's introduction
was all that was necessary to put himself at
my service, and he would guarantee to see me
safely to the "Land of Promise." After a
lengthy conference, we agreed upon terms, and
complete arrangements were made for our jour-
We took the train to St. Cloud, to begin our
travel with Red River carts, two covered light
spring wagons, changes of horses, and suitable
tents. At St. Cloud Lieutenant- Governor Mc-
Dougall and party, including some members of
his intended Council, were waiting for their
12 Manitoba as I Saw It.
luggage to arrive, which delayed us ten or
I was with the party, but not of it, and it con-
sisted of Governor McDougall and Secretary,
Miss McDougall and servants, Captain Cam-
eron, wife, and servants ; Dr. A. G. Jacques,
Mr. Eichards, Major Wallace, Mr. Charles Mair
and wife, and others; also the men necessary
to look after the pitching of tents, and to man-
age a well-equipped camp.
PBOM ST. CLOUD TO SAUK CENTBE.
At times the nights were cold, but the weather
was fine, and traveling pleasant.
During our stay at St. Cloud, and while the
Governor's freight and luggage were being re-
moved from the cars to the carts and wagons,
for transportation across the prairie to Win-
nipeg, I observed a man always present. So
constant was his attendance, that I asked him if
he belonged to Governor McDougall's party.
He answered in French: "Non, Monsieur."
After leaving St. Cloud, I did not see him again
until we reached Grand Forks.
On the prairie, the first day out, we went into
camp early, so as to familiarize ourselves with
camp methods, and to test our skill in arrang-
ing tents, camp fires, beds, and tethering our
horses. A good supper, and the fatigue of the
day prepared us for refreshing sleep, which we
enjoyed without interruption, arising at 6 a.m.
punctually; and the second day began. The
weather was cloudy and cool, fine, excellent
for traveling. The trail was good, and we
made excellent time, reaching Sauk Centre
early after midday, where we had two and a
half hours' rest, and dinner.
14 Manitoba as I Saw It.
It was here that I got the first direct informa-
tion from Winnipeg which I thought import-
ant, but Governor McDougall made light of it.
I was approached by two gentlemen from Fort
Garry Major Robinson and Mr. Charles
House, who were on their way to St. Paul. They
said the natives were up in arms, had formed a
camp at La Riviere Salle, and intended to pre-
vent the Governor and party entering Rupert's
Land, and advised me to return to St. Paul.
I consulted the gentleman with whom I was
traveling (Mr. William Gomez Fonseca), who
asserted we would reach our destination who-
ever failed, and I believed him from what Mr.
J. J. Hill had said of him that we would, and
I conversed with Mr. Richards, one of
the Governor's Executive- to-be, and while he
was impressed, Mr. McDougall said he felt
sure he could make it plain to the half-breeds
that his mission was peace, and there would be
no trouble. Mr. Charles Mair, a personal
friend of the Governor, then in the Government
service, and acquainted with the Red River
Settlement people, talked the matter over with
the Governor, and appeared not to be much con-
cerned; and all faced the North cheerfully, as
if on a pleasant outing.
FIBST IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM WINNIPEG.
During the next few days our journey was
delightful; the trail was smooth and dry, the
days sunny, the sky without a cloud, the nights
frosty, and the broad prairie dotted with beau-
tiful little lakes, which swarmed with every de-
scription of wild fowl swan, pelican, the dif-
ferent varieties of geese the grey goose and
the white wavy (Arctic goose) and every
known variety of duck, were to be seen on those
long-to-be-remembered Minnesota Lakes.
One of Governor McDougall's party had a
fine gun, and created much amusement one day.
After lunching pleasantly, appeasing that ap-
petite prairie traveling always gives, he went
over to the edge of a small lake to shoot a
brace of mallards. After adjusting his mon-
ocle, he took good aim and fired one barrel at
a bird sitting, and the other as the flock rose,
but not a feather was ruffled. Some of his more
intimate friends of the party chaffed him un-
mercifully for shooting before flushing the
bird. He, however, accepted the badinage with
that stoical, cynical smile, always an excellent
weapon of defence used by the refined English
gentleman. He at times turned the tables on
16 Manitoba as I Saw It.
his tormentors so cleverly that they were glad
to cry quits.
We were now traveling on through that por-
tion of the country which suffered so terribly
during the Sioux Indian massacre, where whole
families were wiped out by those cruel savages,
who have now been brought into subjection by
the United States troops.
We arrived at the Otter Tail crossing (the
head waters of the Bed River) just as the sun
was sinking indescribably beautiful below the
horizon. Autumn sunset on the prairie is some-
thing to remember, and not likely to be for-
There was a comfortable stopping place the
first time we were able to secure a house to
sleep in since leaving St. Cloud. We had an
excellent supper and breakfast. The morning
was sharp, but no wind, and the trail was good,
and all started out cheerfully.
During the evening at the Settlement, the
probability of our meeting some opposition to
our entering Rupert's Land was discussed, but
Governor McDougall had no fears, feeling quite
sure that all would be well.
The evenings were perceptibly colder as we
traveled northwards, and we continued to make
good time, considering that the next comfortable
First Information from Winnipeg. 17
stopping place was at Fort Abercrombie, where
we secured good meals and comfortable sleep-
ing rooms, but many of the party preferred
sleeping in their tents, which they did.
The ice was floating in the river, but, not-
withstanding, some of the party crossed, and
were hospitably entertained by the officers of
Fort Abercrombie, and returned at a seasonable
hour highly pleased with their reception.
At the hotel, I was much interested in the re-
cital of the Honorable Joseph Howe's visit to
Fort Garry, by two Americans, and what they
had to say about the reception that awaited Gov-
ernor McDougall at the boundary forty-ninth
parallel of latitude.
Mr. Howe and party crossed us on their way
east, somewhere between Fort Abercrombie,
and a place called Morris, the then terminal of
the railroad in the direction of Grand Forks.
There was a daily stage line from the Fort to
Morris, where most of the travelers took the
train when traveling east. The gentleman with
whom I was traveling (Mr. William Gomez Fon-
seca) was anxious to go on quickly, as it was
getting cold, and a blizzard was possible. We
therefore made an early start, and towards
evening it began blowing and snowing in a way
18 Manitoba as I Saw It.
that was anything but pleasant, and we called
in our distress at the Catholic Mission between
Fort Abercrombie and Georgetown, where
there was a small Hudson's Bay Post. The
good priest took us in, and not only housed and
fed us, but he nearly roasted us, so anxious was
he to make us comfortable.
OUR MEETING WITH ME. TUBNEB AND MB. SANFOBD.
Leaving the Mission, our next stopping-place
was Georgetown. At midday we passed round
a small clump of trees, and were pleased to
find two gentlemen just preparing to start after
having finished their midday meal, leaving
us a fine fire on which to prepare our dinner.
The gentlemen were Mr. James Turner and Mr.
Sanford, of Hamilton, Ontario. They were
supporters of the Federal Government, and
were both elevated to the Senate later on. They
felt sure that my escort would get through all
right, but not Mr. McDougall ; giving some rea-
sons which I carefully noted.
We crossed the Bed Eiver the following
morning with some difficulty, owing to the
floating ice. However, the ferryman seemed
to understand just what to do, and I was very
pleased when we were safely over. We were
three days traveling after that before we saw a
The wild fowl had forsaken the small streams
and lakes, and gone south, and the prospect
was not enchanting.
20 Manitoba as I Saw It.
The evening of the third day after leaving
Georgetown, we were preparing our evening
meal, when two horsemen came galloping quick-
ly toward us, and asked if they might boil some
water to brew some tea. They seemed in a
hurry, and my guide asked them in French, why
they hurried, and they said they were anxious
to reach home to repair shelter for their horses
and cattle, as it was getting late, and we might
have winter any day. I recognized in one of
them the man I had seen in St. Cloud, who ap-
peared to observe so closely all Mr. McDou-
gall's goods. I learned on enquiry from the gen-
tleman (Mr. William Gomez Fonseca) who was
transporting me northward, that he was one of
the sympathizing half-breeds of the Bed Eiver
Settlement, and his name was Elezear Lajemo-
niere. I learned later on why he scrutinized
Mr. McDougall's baggage so closely, and why
he was so anxious to reach the Ked River Set-
tlement before the others.
After the passing of the two men, I felt less
easy in my mind, and began to reflect seriously
on the event of not being able to enter British
territory. Mr. William Gomez Fonseca was
cheerful, but thoughtful, and talked but little
as we approached the boundary line. We ar-
rived at Pembina just at sundown, and halted
at the Custom House.
HON. SENATOR TURNER.
CROSSING INTO BRITISH TERRITORY.
The officer was genial and talked very freely
with my guide, and without hesitation declared
the Governor and party would not be permitted
to reach Fort Garry, and would be sent back
across the line into American territory.
We were permitted to cross into British ter-
ritory, and I was much relieved in mind. We
called at the house of an old person, a white
man married to an Indian woman, the daugh-
ter of a chief, and I suppose a princess; she
hardly looked the part, and the house was not
princely, but they did their best to make us
comfortable. Our host seemed to think it amus-
ing that Governor McDougall should even think
it possible to reach Fort Garry, and outlined
very clearly the preparations the half-breeds
had made, and spoke of the church at La Riviere
Salle being used as barracks by them, and
the roadway had been barricaded; but said to
my guide: "You and your party will be al-
lowed to pass on without doubt." That assur-
ance made us more hopeful. He said: "Your
friend had better dress more like the people,
and put on a Hudson Bay sash around his over-
22 Manitoba as I saw It.
coat, and a pair of moccasins." The sugges-
tion was adopted, which I think was wise.
I must say here, that two days before reach-
ing Pembina, Captain Cameron, his wife and
servant, with two men, left the party, traveled
quickly in advance, and crossed at Pembina,
and after a brief stay at the Hudson Bay Post,
traveled on in the direction of Fort Garry.
Our host with the Indian wife saw them, but
felt sure they would be returned to the Ameri-
Our first night in Rupert's Land was re-
freshing. We had rested well, and started at
nine o'clock towards what we hoped would be
the end of our journey. Twelve miles further
on, we were met by twenty horsemen fully
armed. They spread across the trail, and we
at once stepped down. They knew our guide
(Mr. William Gomez Fonseca), and after a
short parley, they shook hands with us, and
seemed friendly enough. They told us that
Captain Cameron and his party had been
turned back at La Riviere Salle, and an escort
of eight armed men were to see them into Ameri-
can territory; after which they would join the
twenty-four horsemen, and their duty was to
prevent the Governor and his party from enter-
ing into British territory.
Crossing into British Territory. 23
We camped that night at Scratching River,
and were kindly and nicely treated in the house
of a native settler, and after breakfast we
started to face the barricade at La Riviere
Salle, which we reached about four p.m. We
were halted, our horses taken by the bridle,
and quickly led up to St. Norbert Church,
where the army was bivouacked.
The ladies were taken into the Convent, and
were kindly treated by the Gray Sisters, given
good meals and nice rooms for the night. Rev.
Father Richot received the men of our party
cordially, gave us a splendid supper and ex-
cellent bed, and also a breakfast, which we all
heartily enjoyed with that kind of an appetite
which can be only acquired by a few days ' travel
over the prairie.
The time had arrived for us to be brought be-
fore the President of the impromptu Govern-
ment, who was to decide whether we were to be
deported, or permitted to pass on to Fort
Garry. His name was John Bruce, and he was
not by any means a formidable person in ap-
pearance. His secretary, Louis Riel, was a
young man with a full head of hair and in-
clined to be wavy, deep- set eyes, an unpleasant
mouth, alert, a nervous temperament, vicillat-
ing and exceedingly vain.
24 Manitoba as I Saw It.
We were asked a few questions, and after a
short conference with Father Bichot, the secre-
tary gave us a pass through the guards at Fort
Garry, and we were allowed to proceed.
We started on the last stage of our journey,
and reached Fort Garry November 3rd, 1869,
about 5.30 p.m. The guards accepted our
passes, and the gentleman (Mr. William Gomez
Fonseca) to whom we were indebted for safely
landing us at our destination, took us to his
home, and made us comfortable, for which we
were devoutly thankful.
THE PEOPLE OF WINNIPEG EXCITED.
The people of the Settlement were very much
excited, and all were uncertain as to what the
outcome of it all was to be. I called upon Dr.
Schultz, whose house was the rendezvous of all
the Canadians; and with his usual placid dis-
position, unless he spoke upon the surroundings,
you would look upon him as a disinterested
Some days after I came to Winnipeg, a pub-
lic meeting was called to discuss the situation.
It was convened in a large building used as a
fire hall. The French natives were well repre-
sented; some American traders and some local
business men ; some settlers from the adjoining
parishes. The hall was packed to the doors.
Mr. A. Gr. B. Bannatyne was called to the
chair. The Chairman said he felt certain that
everyone present, who had the welfare of the
Settlement at heart, was aware that present con-
ditions could not long continue; the tension
was becoming unbearable, and he hoped that
the meeting would discuss the business in a
dispassionate manner, and say nothing to irri-
tate or give offence, and to allow every person
to speak freely his convictions without interrup-
26 Manitoba as I Saw It.
tion. Dr. Schultz was clearly championing the
side of the Canadians that were then in the
country. The English speaking people, old
settlers, appeared neutral ; if they had any lean-
ing they did not show it. The few American
traders were with the natives, and were inclined
to be turbulent. The French natives were bit-
terly opposed to everything and anything Dr.
Schultz said, but he spoke with deliberation,
clearly set forth that he was of the opinion that
the Hudson Bay Company were not using their
influence to pacify the disaffected people, but
were tacitly aiding and abetting the natives.
The Doctor's remarks were bitterly resented
by an English speaking half-breed, Mr. James
Boss, who was an eloquent speaker, and re-
butted the charges in a very masterly manner.
He spoke perfect English, and was in every way
the lion of the meeting. Dr. Schultz in reply
said that many of the Hudson Bay Company's
servants, and the Chairman of this meeting,
could no longer throw dust in the eyes of the
Canadians who were loyal, and the settlers (the
natives) would do well to be advised in time
they were facing a great danger that would be
disastrous and possibly ruin many; but the
results were already seen by all loyal Cana-
The People of Winnipeg Excited. 27
The officials of the Hudson Bay Company, so
far as I could observe, were absolutely loyal,
and I am of the opinion they were the real pro-
tectors of the Canadians during their imprison-
Mr. J. H. McTavish was the man who per-
haps had more influence over the French half-
breeds than any man in the Settlement. He was
loyal and a friend of the Canadians, and acted
in their interests. He was an officer of the
Hudson Bay Company, and if they were not in
accord with the Canadian Government he would
have said nothing. Mr. Donald A. Smith (now
Lord Strathcona), had every confidence in Mr.
McTavish. The late Mr. Arthur Hamilton was
of the same opinion.
I took rooms, and my wife and I began house-
keeping in rather unfavorable surroundings.
I WAS A NEUTRAL OBSERVER.
I observed as much as possible, a neutral
standpoint, being careful to express no opinions,
although many leading questions were put to
me, upon which I could but answer evasively, as
I had not been long enough in the country to
form an opinion on the matters in dispute.
I became acquainted at St. Cloud with a Mr.
Burdick, who was in the service of the Hudson
Bay Company, and he introduced me to most of
the leading men in Winnipeg, and they spoke
freely to me, which gave me a very good in-
sight how the different factions were lining up,
with a fair idea as to why Governor McDougall
would not be allowed to enter the country, and
also that the natives were very well informed in
regard to Governor McDougall 's powers and
movements, and why they were running very
little risk in keeping them out of the country,
also upon what they based their assumption, as
I shall be able to show you later on.
By this time the weather was becoming very
cold, and the rivers "had frozen up, but there
had been very little snow up to this point.
The Ottawa Government, during the earlier
I Was a Neutral Observer. 29
part of the season, had sent Mr. Snow, a Domin-
ion Land Surveyor, to the Bed River Settle-
ment, to begin surveying the country, before
the transfer had been made to Canada, although
the terms of the treaty between the Hudson Bay
Company and the Dominion had been agreed
upon according to Act 19. I may here remark
the beginning of the surveying was the spark
which started the Rebellion. The original sur-
veys were not made from base lines, but the
lines were drawn from the junction of the Red
and Assiniboine Rivers, running back four
miles, and varying and deviating lines drawn,
not the same as the survey of the Province of
Ontario, consequently the new lines of survey
bisected the lots in many places, and in some
instances passed through their buildings, or
left their buildings on their neighbor's farm.
They were very much alarmed, feeling that
their property, which they had occupied so long,
was to be rendered valueless, or to be deterio-
rated in value ; and perhaps that fear had been
taken hold of by some unscrupulous persons to
exaggerate the supposed grievance for their
own purposes. The results were that the half-
breeds warned Mr. Snow to desist. Mr. Snow
had a large camp and many men, and it would
have been a great loss to him to do so. The
30 Manitoba as I Saw It.
laborers of the party began making demands
which he could not well accede to, and some of
them threatened to throw him into the river.
The more troublesome men were sent to Winni-
peg to be paid off. They were summoned before
a Magistrate, charged with using violent and
threatening language, and were fined. Thomas
Scott, who was of the Snow Survey, was one of
the party that was fined, and perhaps that was
the beginning of his ill-luck and tragic death.
Those who knew him, described him as a cheer-
ful, kindly man, trusted and very much liked by
his acquaintances. After this he accepted a sit-
uation in the village, where he remained until he
was enrolled with other Canadians in the house
of Dr. Schultz.
It was then announced that Colonel J. S.
Dennis was on his way to Winnipeg, and he had
full powers from the Government to deal with
all public matters connected with the Snow
party of surveyors, as Governor McDougall had
not been allowed to remain in the territory. He
was escorted by the detachment of armed na-
tives, of which I have already spoken.
After this Governor McDougall crossed into
Canada, raised the Canadian flag, and issued his
proclamation, which was distributed in Winni-
peg, and through the Settlement; however, the
I Was a Neutral Observer. 31
half-breeds being aware that Governor McDon-
gall had not his commission were not very much
THE SCHULTZ BLUNDER.
There had been a slight fall of snow, and a
letter was received from Colonel J. S. Dennis,
with instructions to guard the Government
stores. For that purpose the Canadians were to
organize and arm themselves, and under no cir-
cumstances to fire a shot unless attacked.
The Canadians formed a Company at once,
with Dr. Lynch of the Snow Survey, as Captain,
and assembled at Dr. Schultz's house, and the
Canadians were at this time within easy call,
and most of them came in during the evening.
Colonel Dennis passed on to the Stone Fort,
and instructed his party as to their duties so
far as the stores were concerned, and then made
his way out of the country and back to Ottawa.
There was a building in the rear of Dr.
Schultz's house used for storing Government
supplies, to be used by Mr. Snow and his men
in the survey camps ; and when the half-breeds
began congregating at Fort Garry, then it was
that Dr. Schultz, together with Mr. Snow and
some of his party, deemed it advisable to call
the Canadians together for the purpose of
guarding and protecting the Government stores.
It was a great mistake. The value of the pro-
-v SIR JOHN SCHULTZ.
The Schultz Blunder. 33
visions therein stored was inconsiderable, and
their destruction or removal by the Metis was
of small moment. Why establish a guard? The
half-breeds then in arms had the opportunity
for which they were waiting. Men supposed to
be armed, headed by Dr. Schultz, congregated
in his house, intending no doubt to drive the
natives from Fort Garry; that was the half-
breeds' conclusion. "While they had the num-
bers they evidently thought it best to take the
initiative, and they did, and the result is now
It does not require stretching one's imagina-
tion to see that if the Canadians had remained
in their individual lodging houses or homes,
away from Dr. Schultz 's residence, and attend-
ed as usual to their daily duties as they had
been doing, the cause for an attack upon them
would have been removed. The rebellious half-
breeds could not well attack individual peace-
ful citizens ; and the cause of the uprising would
have been barren. Should they have marched
upon the Schultz house, and finding but himself
and family, it is unlikely they would have made
them prisoners. The wily O'Donohue would
have vetoed that. They would scarcely go
about from house to house, making individual
arrests of men, having nothing more formid-
34 Manitoba as I Saw It.
able on their persons than a pipe and tobacco
pouch; that would have been silly. But when
they surrounded the Schultz home they found
sixty people and some small arms; they made
them prisoners. The rest is history.
The segregating of the Canadians was the
Schultz blunder. The killing of Scott was the
outrageous blunder made by the half-breeds.
The reader may judge for himself who started
the Bed Eiver Rebellion. Was Dr. Schultz a
The natives were increasing in numbers, and
about the first of December were inclined to be
aggressive, and began making small " sorties"
pretty close to where the Canadians were con-
gregated, and this state of affairs continued for
two or three days, when they openly avowed
their purpose of taking the Canadians prison-
ers. At this time the house was practically
guarded, the citizens outside were much
alarmed for the safety of the few Canadians,
and a deputation waited upon Riel (who had
been declared President), with a view to their
safety. Riel would not listen to anything like
reason, and said he would fire on the building
and raze it to the ground, with all in it, unless
they surrendered unconditionally, which the
Canadians would not do. Finally the efforts of
The Schultz Blunder. 35
Mr. A. G. B. Bannatyne with others, got Eiel
to commit himself in writing, that if they sur-
rendered, their lives and property would be
After some consideration, terms were then
agreed upon, and the Canadians, numbering
about sixty, were taken to Fort Garry (then in
possession of the Eiel party), as prisoners, men
Dr. Schultz, Mrs. Schultz and Mrs. Mair were
allowed to accept an invitation to lodge in the
house of Mr. J. H. McTavish, in the Hud-
son Bay post; and Dr. O'Donnell and his
wife were allowed to accept rooms with Dr.
Wm. Cowan's family, the chief factor in
charge of Fort Garry. Two days after Dr.
O'Donnell was taken from Dr. Cowan's house
and lodged with the other prisoners, but
Dr. Schultz was allowed to remain with his
wife with Mr. McTavish 's family until two
days prior to his escape, when he was placed
in the building where the other prisoners
were, but in a room by himself. The morning of
the second day he had escaped, supposedly by
letting himself down from the window by two
straps of shaginappie attached to two gimlets
bored into the casing. The gimlets were not
sufficiently strong to bear his weight, and he
36 Manitoba as I Saw It.
fell some distance to the ground ; so it was said.
Dr. Schultz was comfortably housed and
boarded during his stay in Fort Garry, in fact
the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. McTavish, and
therefore suffered less than three days in prison
proper, and then had a room to himself and his
meals sent to him from Mr. McTavish 's house.
The other prisoners were placed in overcrowded
rooms, had to sleep on the floor, and had black
tea without milk or sugar, and during the first
few weeks were fed on coarse meat, pemican
and bannock. After that time the citizens were
permitted to send regular meals to them during
the remainder of their term as Eiel 's prisoners.
At this time the Doctor was on his way out of
the country in a dog cariole (the most comfort-
able winter conveyance in the Northwest) to
Duluth and on to Toronto, Montreal and
THE DEPUTATION TO OTTAWA.
The Riel party kept strict guard over the
prisoners you may be sure; and the natives
from every part of the Settlement were drum-
med up to discuss the situation, and to decide
what was the best course to pursue. A deputa-
tion had been sent to Ottawa with a Bill of
Rights, which was presented to the Federal
Government by the Reverend Father Richot
and A. Scott, an American.
For some time the prisoners were unable to
know anything that was taking place, but some
of the prisoners could speak French, and were
able to keep fairly well posted on outside
Mr. Arthur Hamilton, a surveyor of the Snow
party, spoke French fluently, and memorized
everything the guards said that was of import-
ance. Some of the guards were always at the
Riel Council meeting, and would relate what
had taken place at the meeting to the night
guards, when the prisoners were supposed to
be asleep; by which, with Mr. Hamilton's
knowledge, we were able to forecast what was
likely to take place, correctly, and did, as a
rule ; but the knowledge which we were gaining
38 Manitoba as I Saw It.
was not reassuring or calculated to elevate our
Mr. Hamilton had formed an opinion that
Eiel was a dangerous crank (half lunatic), that
O'Donohue had great influence over him, and
that influence was bad; also that M. Lepine
was a man honest in his folly, and was doing
all in his power to keep Eiel within bounds.
Every Sunday morning, and sometimes dur-
ing the week, a priest from the St. Boniface
Cathedral came and said mass, and preached
to the natives, charging them as to their duty
in the present crisis. It was not always the
same priest, but all spoke along pacific lines,
some less so than others, but Mr. Hamilton was
of the opinion, that it was due to an improper
conception of the gravity of the situation.
Others of the prisoners were in some instances
incensed at the wording of the sermons, and
felt certain the priests were in sympathy with
the half-breeds, and were not using their influ-
ence in endeavoring to allay the turbulence in
the minds of the half-breeds. It must be
remembered that the natives were being in-
structed by their own spiritual advisers, and
would naturally be in sympathy with them.
There was one priest, a Frenchman, and while
I am not aware of his personal sympathy with
The Deputation to Ottawa. 39
the uprising of the natives during the imprison-
ment, after we were released I have thought
his views rather radical.
THE ABRIVAL OP THE COMMISSIONEB.
About this time delegates from each of the
parishes were selected, both English and
French, and were summoned by the Provisional
Government, and they met in Fort Garry. At
such a time, and meeting in a hostile camp,
very little could be expected; nothing that did
not bear the permissive stamp of Eiel.
A Commissioner was sent from the Federal
Government at Ottawa, to Winnipeg, in the per-
son of Mr. Donald A. Smith (now Lord Strath-
cona), who met with the leading men, both Eng-
lish and French, of the Settlement, and Kiel
and those associated with him, and it was
through his influence and that of Reverend
George Young, and the late Archbishop McRae
and Mr. A. G. B. Bannatyne, that the life of
Major Boulton (then under sentence of death
by Riel) was spared. This cruel upstart, how-
ever, with the coward's characteristics, brave
only when powerful, was but checked in his
murderous design, and soon after fixed upon
poor Thomas Scott for his victim. Scott was
tried by a so-called Court-Martial, in a language
that he did not understand, convicted and sent-
HIS GRACE ARCHBISHOP TACHE.
The Arrival of the Commissioner. 41
enced to death, and was executed on March
4th, 1870, and when some of his associates
begged for Scott's life, Kiel's reply was: "He
was a dangerous man. He first quarrelled
with his employer, Snow, was convicted and
fined for threatening language, and afterwards
escaping from prison was recaptured with the
Canadians who had assembled at the Kil-
donan Church with the avowed object of recap-
turing Fort Garry from the Provisional Govern-
ment. I cannot spare his life." 'Such was the
reply of the President of the Provisional
Mr. Donald A. Smith (Strathcona) returned
to Ottawa, and made his report on the condition
of affairs in the Red River Settlement. The
report was clear and explicit, defining every-
thing to be considered by the Federal Govern-
ment. They saw the force of it, with the result
that the General Wolseley Expedition was sent
as soon as it was possible.
The Expedition reached Winnipeg after much
fatigue and hardship, arriving at Fort Garry
early in September, 1870, when Riel's army had
settled down to their farms, and become good
citizens, and his Executive fought in the way to
be expected, to wit, they ran away, but Riel
lived to fight another day, with the result that
42 Manitoba as I Saw It.
he was captured and hanged as a rebel. If he
had been tried at that time, and dealt with as
he eventually was, it would have saved many
valuable lives, and saved the Dominion of Can-
ada over eight millions of dollars, but the man
who signed the warrant for his arrest was dis-
missed from the Commission of the Peace.
Honorable Adams George Archibald was
made Governor of Manitoba, and arrived in
Winnipeg a few days after the Wolseley Expe-
dition ; and the preliminary steps were taken to
establish the Government of the new Province.
The Governor appointed Mr. Alfred Boyd, of
Redwood Place, Provincial Secretary; Mr.
Max A. Gerard, Provincial Treasurer ; in order
to legally transact the business of the country
until after the elections, which were to take
place after a proper census had been taken and
Electoral Divisions had been arranged for the
Provincial election, and four Electoral Districts
by the Dominion Government.
It will be remembered at this time that Bishop
Tache had not yet returned from Rome, where
he had been for several months on official busi-
ness, having left the Settlement before the cause
of the uprising had appeared upon the surface.
I feel sure, from what I afterwards learned of
his powerful influence over the natives, that he
The Arrival of the Commissioner. 43
would have been able to sufficiently control them,
and settle diplomatically the questions in dis-
pute before any violence was resorted to. That
he was deeply grieved at what had taken place,
I am sure, but Eiel felt his power over his fol-
lowers to be greater than that of the Bishop's,
and so it proved; Biel having the Hudson Bay
Company's fort, and in possession of the stores
where he could deal out rum, brandy and wine,
dry goods and all sorts of provisions to them
ad libitum, was the weapon used by the cun-
ning Kiel to defy the good prelate, well knowing
that an appeal to their stomach had a much
greater force than an appeal to their already
elastic conscience, and would last so long as the
supplies held out.
From that on, up to the approach of the
Wolseley Expedition, it was "high life below
stairs ' ' with this silly bombast. From the time
the prisoners were released Eiel never left the
Fort without a mounted guard escort, and his
efforts to appear a military potentate were, to
say the least, not only amusing, but grotesque.
Occasionally he wore a purple silk vest, and at
other times a black vest with buttons covered
with purple silk. They were left off, however,
after Bishop Tache's return. I understand the
natives objected to his wearing purple.
HON. J. HOWE AND M^DOUGALI/S COMMISSION.
The prisoners having been released, and some
having returned to Ontario and other Eastern
Provinces, the old business men of Winnipeg,
and men of influence throughout the parishes,
began talking freely to those of us who had
settled down to make Winnipeg our home. From
them we learned, referring to the incident of
not allowing the Honorable William McDougall,
the Lieutenant- Governor, to come in, that it was
due to the information given to well known
sympathizers of the French half-breeds, by the
Honorable Joseph Howe, who had preceded Mr.
McDougall to the Bed River Settlement, and had
said at a private dinner party given in his
honor, that the Government had not given the
Honorable Mr. McDougall his commission, but
had promised to send it to him on his arrival
at Fort Garry. Many of the guests at that dinner
were in touch with the leaders of the natives,
and they, of course, grasped that news from a
Cabinet Minister with avidity. The result was,
that as soon as Mr. Howe had got out of the
country, the statement was communicated to
the Riel party, and they then knew their ground.
This was hinted plainly to us at our noonday
Howe and McDougall's Commission. 45
lunch on the prairie, near Georgetown, Minne-
sota, by Mr. James L. Turner and Mr. San-
ford, both gentlemen supporters of the Domin-
ion Government, and who afterwards were both
elevated to the Dominion Senate.
With this knowledge, and from such a source,
you can readily understand that they had no
fear of results detrimental to their cause in
refusing McDougall entrance into the country,
knowing that he had not his commission and
was not vested with proper authority to issue a
The Eastern mail matter all came through by
way of St. Paul, and from Pembina had to pass
through the half-breed settlements, and in
most cases were carried to the Winnipeg office
by half-breeds, and under the censorship of the
Kiel combination. They knew all the move-
ments of the persons directing the Dominion
affairs in the Bed Eiver Settlement, and that
news came from a Minister of the Crown.
The Honorable Mr. McDougall was not
allowed to enter Rupert's Land. He did not
have his commission when he made the attempt.
When the Riel party were dispersed, and the
country tranquil, Honorable William Mc-
Dougall was not reappointed Governor, and
now you can ask yourself the question: Was
46 Manitoba as I Saw It.
he fairly treated by the Government of that
When Mr. McDougall was appointed, the
Government was to be a Governor and Council.
Captain Cameron, son-in-law of Sir Charles
Tupper; Mr. Proveneher, a Montreal news-
paper man of some ability ; Mr. Eichards, from
Ontario ; Major Wallace, and one or two others,
were to be of the Council; the others to be
named from persons living at the time in the
country; but after the uprising it was deemed
advisable by the Federal Government to create
the Province of Manitoba, under the provisions
made and provided in the British North
The first Governor was appointed in the per-
son of Honorable Adams George Archibald, a
man of ability, of genial manner and great tact.
He reached Fort Garry September 30th, 1870,
and set about the work of organizing the new
Province, with caution and most excellent
judgment, after first having met and obtained
the views of some of the leading men of the
several parishes, who were in a position to give
him information that would assist him in carry-
ing out the mission in which he was engaged.
During the latter portion of the summer or
beginning of autumn, Mr. Joseph Royal and
Howe and McDoug all's Commission. 47
Mr. Joseph Dubuc reached St. Boniface, and a
short time after Mr. H. J. Clark reached Win-
nipeg. They most likely had some hopes or
promises that under the new regulations there
would be a place made for them, which after-
wards proved to be the case. They were each
provided with French constituencies, and elect-
ed at the first general election.
THE ARRIVAL OF LT.-GOVERNOR ARCHIBALD.
Lieutenant-Governor Archibald associated
with him in conducting the Government Mr.
Alfred Boyd and Mr. Max A. Gerard, the former
as Provincial Secretary, the latter as Pro-
vincial Treasurer, until the elections could be
held, and representative government fully
The first elections were held December 20th,
1870, and on the 10th of January, 1871, follow-
ing, the first regular Cabinet was formed as
Honorable Alfred Boyd, Minister of Public
Works and Agriculture; Honorable Max A.
Gerard, Provincial Treasurer; Honorable H. J.
Clark, Attorney- General ; Honorable Thomas
Howard, Provincial Secretary; Honorable
James McKay, President of the Council.
The first session of the Legislature took place
on Wednesday, March 15th, 1871, when Honor-
able Joseph Royal was elected the first Speaker.
About forty-three Bills were passed, and many
of them were important Acts. The Education
Act is amongst the number, being an Act to
establish a system of education in this Prov-
ince, and to establish Public Schools, the dual
Arrival of Lt.-Governor Archibald. 49
system having been inaugurated, Catholic and
Among the more important Acts passed of
the forty- three enumerated were :
1 'The Interpretation Act,"
"The Supreme Court Act,"
"The Registration of Deeds Acts,"
"The License Act,"
"The Medical Act,"
"Bishop of St. Boniface Act,"
"Bishop of Rupert's Land Act."
"St. John's College Act,"
"St. Boniface College Act,"
and others of less importance.
The Legislative Council was summoned with
the other branch of the Legislature to meet on
the 15th March, 1871. The members of the
Council were sworn in the previous day in the
office of the Provincial Secretary :
Honorable J. McKay, Honorable Dr. J. H.
O'Donnell, Honorable C. Inkster, Honorable S.
Hamlin, Honorable S. Dauphenais, Honorable
F. Ogletree, Honorable D. Gunn.
The Honorable James McKay was named
Speaker of the Council, and Thomas Spence
50 Manitoba as I Saw It.
Dr. J. C. Schultz ran for Winnipeg, and was
opposed by Donald A. Smith (now Strathcona).
At first we had dual representation. Mr.
Smith was elected by a large majority, consid-
ering the small number of votes in each Elec-
toral Division ; the natives nearly all voting for
Most of the Canadians then in the country
regretted Dr. Schultz 's defeat. Mr. Smith
showed himself a man of great ability, free from
prejudice and just in his deductions.
The Federal Government appointed Judge
Francis Johnson, a Commissioner, to report at
Fort Garry, and inquire into the Eebellion
Losses Claims. So far as concerned Mr. John-
son's ability he was admirably fitted for the
work, being an excellent French scholar and
especially learned in the law. He appeared to
go carefully into all the cases that came before
him, and made an excellent report to the Gov-
ernment; but many were much disappointed at
the awards. The Canadians were of the opinion
that Dr. Schultz 's compensation was much in
excess of his losses, while some received but a
small percentage of their actual losses. Those
who were in a position to know, were of the
opinion that most of .the Doctor's goods were
disposed of before he and the others were made
Arrival of Lt.-Governor Archibald. 51
prisoners, and that his losses were from being
thrown out of business, but were really in a
measure made up by increased prices and quick
sales for the large consignment of goods that
came down the Bed Eiver immediatly after the
arrival of the Wolseley Expedition; but Dr.
Schultz, with that placid individuality, had a
pleasant word for everyone, and seldom spoke
of his gains or losses, but keeping his eye on
whatever point he was endeavoring to make,
kept his own counsel, and generally succeeded.
Judge Johnson was a man of great ability,
but insufferably vain, and if that vanity were
appealed to in the proper manner I am afraid
his conscience would have forsaken him, even
if a deserving man was being sacrificed.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL, CLARK EARLY MADE HIMSELF
Attorney- General Clark made himself un-
popular early. He no sooner assumed office
than he felt he was the law, instead of legal
director, and so expressed himself; but the
working out of his early conceived idea one day
received a severe jolt.
A soldier from the Barracks was one day in
the "Old Emerling" Hotel, and engaged in a
friendly game of cards with a French half-
breed, and suggested that they play for money
just to make it interesting. The soldier, after
winning the little money the native had, was
spending it at the bar. The man left the hotel,
and meeting the Attorney-General, told of his
loss, and the "Law" had to take its course.
Honorable H. J. Clark called the nearest police-
man, and ordered him to take the soldier out of
the hotel to the station and lock him up. An-
other soldier nearby saw the arrest, and at
once ran off to the Barracks and reported. In
a very short time a number of soldiers marched
to the jail where the prisoner was, and de-
manded his release, which was refused. They
at once seized a long piece of timber and using
it as a battering ram, smashed the door and took
Attorney-General Clark Unpopular. 53
the prisoner back to the Fort, and on the way
saying: "We'll hang the Attorney- General on
the Barracks gate some day." The Attorney-
General looked upon the whole affair as a warn-
ing which he should take, and he did.
The Attorney- General assumed the leader-
ship of the House, but as a matter of fact there
was no Premier. The members of the Cabinet
were individually responsible to the Lieutenant-
Governor, and all Bills brought before the
House were carefully gone over by the Gover-
nor and a few trusted members of the Assembly
and two members of the Legislative Council,
and suggestions made.
Of the personnel of the Legislative Council I
have very little to say. Honorable James Mc-
Kay, the first Speaker, was a half-breed; cau-
tious, of excellent judgment in some instances;
but had implicit faith in the advice of the clergy
and not likely to oppose the views of the Arch-
bishop. I must say in fairness he considered
those opposed to him, and was at all times will-
ing to discuss public questions with his oppon-
ent, with a degree of justice, and at times won-
derful adroitness. He was a quasi-king among
the half-breeds, and had great power over al-
most all the Indian tribes, speaking several
54 Manitoba as I Saw It.
Indian tongues with fluency. He was a man of
means, treated the Indians generously, and was
the peacemaker in many of their disputes, and
his word was law unto them.
The two French members of the Council,
Honorable Solomon Hamlin and Honorable
Francis Dauphenais, were honest, kindhearted
men, unable to read or write, and voted on
almost all questions in accordance with the
wishes of their advisers.
Honorable Francis Ogletree was a Canadian ;
very well read, fair in debate, and had a good
knowledge of civic legislation, having been a
County Councillor in Ontario for many years.
He was absolutely free from prejudice, and not
easily swayed from his opinion by any argu-
Honorable Donald Gunn was very old, but
his intellect was in no way impaired. He was
born in the Orkneys; very well read, and in
narrating past events or happenings in the Set-
tlement, or indeed the whole of Rupert 's Land-
he was a veritable encyclopedia. He had,
through his own energy and application, ac-
quired a very good knowledge of astronomy,
was very well up in meteorology, and respected
by all classes of the people.
HON. FRANCIS OGELTREE
Attorney-General Clark Unpopular. 55
Honorable Colin Inkster was a son of the
late John Inkster, of Seven Oaks, Kildonan. He
was a hardy old Norseman from the North of
Scotland, for many years in the Hudson Bay
service; and the greatest treat you could give
a distinguished visitor to the Settlement, was
to give him an evening with happy, hearty,
warm-hearted, intelligent John Inkster, of
Seven Oaks. Honorable Colin, the present
sheriff, in firmness is like his father. He had
opinions on all subjects up for discussion and
irrespective of opposition, always stood by
those opinions, as I have good reason to know,
having frequently been opposed to him in de-
bate ; but he was a fair and honorable opponent,
and I am pleased to say I number him now
among my best friends. He is a gentleman of
the old school ideals, and would honor any
position in which he might be placed.
Honorable Colin Inkster opposed Dr. Schultz
for the Commons the first Dominion elections,
but was defeated. Dr. Schultz carried the seat
by a small majority.
Honorable J. H. O'Donnell opposed the abo-
lition of the Legislative Council, which was
brought about in the main by the late Honorable
Joseph Eoyal and one or two others. I am of
the opinion that it was a mistake at the time,
Manitoba as I Saw It.
when so many conflicting interests had yet to
be adjusted. The French half-breeds are the
ones that have suffered most severely.
HON. COLIN INKSTER, .SHERIFF.
THE PERSONNEL OP THE FIRST LEGISLATURE.
Mr. Thomas Spence was appointed Clerk of
the Legislative Council, a position he filled with
considerable ability. He was a very well edu-
cated Scotchman from Edinburgh, and came
to Canada when a young man, living in Mon-
treal for a few years.
Some years previous to the purchase of
Rupert's Land from the Hudson Bay Company
by the Dominion Government, he came to the
Red River Settlement (Fort Garry), and made
his home in the Cathedral Town of St. Boniface.
He was an excellent clerk, in fact, could do any-
thing acceptably in an office; was a good en-
grosser, a fairly good draughtsman, and
sketched in landscape. Mr. Spence had quite a
few of the characteristics of Wilkins Micawber ;
he was always living in great expectations, and
when they were not materializing he became de-
pressed, and would tell dramatically how shame-
fully his services had been overlooked by the
Federal Government. It was never very appar-
ent as to what those services consisted of, but
it was an excellent text for considerable elo-
quence on his part, mingled with an occasional
tear; but a friendly suggestion of a "yard of
58 Manitoba as I Saw It.
clay" and a little of the cup "that cheers," and
he felt sure that his great services would be
duly considered by the Government. His Grace,
the late Archbishop Tache, thought much of
him, as having in many ways great ability, and
always befriended him when it was necessary.
Mr. Victor Beaupre was Usher of the Black
Rod at that time.
The first Legislative Assembly of Manitoba,
was composed of twenty-four members only. It
is doubtful if any Legislative Assembly in any
Province of Canada at that time had as many
men of ability, and that have figured so con-
spicuously in Canadian public affairs, and so
many that hold positions of trust and promin-
ence to-day, as did that first Assembly of that
The first members of the Legislative Assem-
bly were :
Mr. Donald A. Smith (Strathcona), Dr.
Curtis J. Bird, Mr. John H. McTavish, Alfred
Boyd (of Redwood), Joseph Royal, Joseph
Dubuc, Max A. Gerard, Kenneth McKenzie,
John Sutherland (of Kildonan), Thomas Bunn,
John Norquay, Thomas Howard, all men that
have figured prominently in Canadian public
affairs, and some having attained the highest
Personnel of the First Legislature. 59
positions in the gift of the Government, which
they occupy to-day.
Edmund Bourke, of St. James; H. J. Clark,
Joseph Lemay, Pierre Delorme ; Dr. Cowan, of
Portage la Prairie ; P. Breland, Louis Schmidt,
Frederick Bird, John Taylor (Headingly), E.
H. G. G. Hay, A. McKay, George Klyne, all
men more or less prominent in their respective
Following are a few remarks on these first
members of the Legislative Assembly:
Donald A. Smith (Lord Strathcona) ; every
line of Canadian history from 1870 must be
closely allied to his name, and a synonym for
the progress and greatness of Manitoba and the
Northwest of Canada.
Dr. Curtis J. Bird, born in the Settlement, of
English parents, learned in his profession, hav-
ing recently received his training in Guy's
Hospital, London, England; a man of culture
and refinement, and a clever diagnostician, was
of a retiring disposition, but his general read-
ing had been broad, and his judgment always
for the best; was for a time Speaker of the
John Norquay, I need only mention his name
to awaken the most kindly, generous impulse
in the minds of all who ever knew him. Great,
60 Manitoba as I Saw It.
big, hearty, broad-minded, eloquent, noble John
Nor quay. When speaking upon any subject
touching upon the old and native population,
his eloquence equalled the best efforts of D ' Arcy
McGee. Had he been less generous, he would
have remained longer in power.
Thomas Bunn was a son of the late Dr.
Bunn, a distinguished member of the medical
profession here, a man of great erudition. His
son inherited the quickness of perception and
judicial mind of his father, and was a good
speaker, ornate and convincing, and never spoke
in the House unless thoroughly conversant with
the subject before the chair.
John H. McTavish, an officer of the Hudson
Bay Company, a thorough business man, and
from his intimate knowledge of the people of
the Settlement and their requirements, rendered
very valuable services in framing the new laws
and adapting them to the requirements of the
legal changes the.t were necessary under the
Alfred Boyd, a wealthy Englishman, of Red-
wood, St. John's Parish. He was the first Pro-
vincial Secretary; a man of good education, a
gentleman of refinement, and readily adapted
himself to the duties of his office. He was an
JOHN H. McTAVISH.
Personnel of the First Legislature. 61
excellent office man, and did good work in com-
mittee; a clever cartoonist, and drew many
laughable sketches of members of the House
that were grotesquely funny.
Edmund Bourke, born in this country, of the
Parish of St. James. He is one of several
brothers, all looked upon as men of sterling in-
tegrity. He had opinions on all subjects before
the House, and always voted in accordance with
Joseph Royal, the first Speaker of the Assem-
bly, a gentleman of courtly bearing, had some
ability as a newspaper writer, and was a fair
speaker. He occupied several positions in the
Government, at one time Attorney-General. He
ultimately became Lieutenant-Governor of the
Northwest Territories, which practically closed
his public career.
Joseph Dubuc, a man of quiet, unassuming
manner, and his whole course has been one of
progression. At different times he occupied
positions in the Provincial Cabinet, until he was
elevated to the Bench. As a lawyer he was
looked upon as fair and honest, and never subtle
or endeavoring to get an unfair advantage, and
as a Judge his judgments were looked upon as
among the best, and many think as a judge of
62 Manitoba as I Saw It.
fact he stands pre-eminent. At present he is
Chief Justice of Manitoba.
Max A. Gerard, a French gentleman of the
old school, a man of good reasoning powers and
a great favorite with all who knew him. He
was the first Provincial Treasurer, and later on
became Premier of the Province. He was not
given the fullest support of those of his own
nationality, and feeling that, he retired. On
resigning he said: "Since it is the wish of those
whose support I had every reason to expect, I
obey their wishes. I am the first French Prem-
ier of the Province, and it is my opinion I will
be the last." Certainly up to this time his
words have been prophetic.
Thomas Howard, a son of a distinguished
member of the medical profession in Montreal.
He came up with the Wolseley Expedition, and
became Provincial Treasurer. He assumed the
Chesterfield manner, a good diner out, and was
harmless and amusing.
Mr. D. A. Boss has been for many years an
active participant in all that pertains to the
City and Provincial development.
He was for several years a prominent mem-
ber of the City Council, and very many of the
permanent improvements bear his impress.
Almost from the first he has been on the
Personnel of the First Legislature. 63
Board of the City's Public Schools, and has
worked hard for compulsory education and the
best class of school building, and in no instance
has he neglected to raise his voice for the ad-
vancement of our Public School System.
He is at present the representative in the
Provincial Parliament of the Electoral Consti-
tuency of Springfield, and has shown himself
to be an active and painstaking member. He is
a brother of the late A. W. Ross, who represent-
ed an Electoral District in Manitoba for sev-
eral years in the Canadian House of Commons,
and was a prominent figure in Winnipeg in
Dr. Cowan, Portage la Prairie, a man of good
business ability, and an excellent committee
man ; a very useful and efficient member.
Kenneth McKenzie, of Westbourne, an excel-*
lent Scotch farmer, imported the first herd of
thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle to the country;
in short, was a model farmer. He was always
listened to in the House and his opinion was
valued. His word was never questioned, and
it was a loss to the Province when he retired
Mr. Molyneux Singean was appointed the
first Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. He
represented as correspondent some Eastern
64 Manitoba as I Saw It.
newspaper and was with the Wolseley Expedi-
tion. As a young man he had been a Lieutenant
in the British Army, a gentleman of pleasing
manner, good ability, and considered a clever
writer. He was up to the time of his death
always in Government employ ; his last position
being Usher of the Black Rod, Ottawa.
One of the most important measures passed
in the first session of the Manitoba Legislature
was ''The School Act," being an Act to estab-
lish a system of education in the Province, and
establishing Public Schools; the dual system
having been inaugurated Catholic and Protes-
tant, not separate schools as they have gener-
ally been called.
Previous to the passing of the Public School
Act, all schools were denominational, being
managed and financed by their respective
churches, namely: Catholic, Anglican, Presby-
terian, Methodist; and gave good satisfaction
in so far as results were obtained.
When the Bill came up for discussion in the
House the speeches were very mild indeed, and
the measure passed both Houses of the Legisla-
ture and became law. Public Schools were duly
established, and for a time worked well. Later
Church organizations and Eastern newspapers
began discussing the Manitoba School affairs,
and not being conversant with the subject wrote
in error, and in a manner calculated to cause
turbulence in the minds of the people. The
politicians saw their opportunity, picked up the
66 Manitoba as I Saw It.
"cue" and the game was on, and played with
much skill on both sides for political purposes,
until settled by the Government of Canada.
The great mistake in framing the first * ' Pub-
lic School Act" was in not having a uniform
curriculum, a standard up to which all teachers,
Catholic and Protestant, had to come, and a
uniform system of school inspection. Nothing
could then have arisen to cause discussion.
It was a relief to the majority of the people
of Canada when the Federal Government took
up the question and settled it for all time, inso-
far as the Province of Manitoba is concerned.
The School system as it now stands, is per-
haps quite equal to any Public Schools in opera-
tion on the continent. Our system is neither
secular nor denominational. I am of the opin-
ion if they are to have a name they should be
called Protestant. However, they are not ultra,
and there is very little friction, if any, on that
score. The inspection of schools in the country
appears very generally satisfactory at present,
with the exception of Winnipeg and Brandon,
in which cases the Archbishop, not being in
accord with the system, the Catholic School
Board erected separate school buildings, so that
the Catholic ratepayers are doubly burdened
in paying rates both for their own and the
School Legislation. 67
Public Schools. Where there are grounds for
complaints they will ultimately evolve them-
selves into harmony, and the deep-toned mur-
mur of discontent here and there will become
like a ripple on the surface of water, becoming
less and less until it disappears altogether.
In the City of Winnipeg the Public Schools
are up to a high standard. The buildings are
roomy, well heated and sanitary, ventilation
good, and the rooms kept thoroughly clean; an
efficient teaching staff; large average attend-
ance and the discipline of the best.
Mr. Daniel Mclntyre, the Superintendent, is
a thorough educationalist, and supervises the
school working with excellent tact and judg-
ment. The teachers are selected with great care
and placed in departments best suited to their
In consequence of the rapid growth of the
city it is not easy to provide school space with-
out overcrowding, but by the superior skill dis-
played, Mr. Mclntyre seems to surmount the
difficulty. So great is the increase of pupils
yearly that it is found necessary to build one or
two large school buildings every year in order
to have sufficient accommodation even then,
at times, it becomes necessary to rent a build-
ing or two to meet the demand.
68 Manitoba as I Saw It.
Notwithstanding the heavy demands made
annually upon the ratepayers for school build-
ings very few objections have been raised for
the outlay, free schools being looked upon as
such a boon.
THE ARRIVAL, OF THE WOLSELEY EXPEDITION.
The arrival of the Wolseley Expedition, of
course, put matters on a quasi basis of law and
order, but it was naturally to be expected that
a bitter feeling would still exist between the
Loyalists and the half-breeds who took part in
the uprising. Chagrin at their defeat pervaded
the minds of the natives, and the overbearing
attitude assumed by the Canadians was the
cause of an occasional rencontre, that ended
disastrously on one particular occasion, and
caused much ill-feeling to again spring up In
the minds of the French natives and a bitter
hatred of all Canadians.
A French half-breed, a Mr. Goulet, who was
looked upon as a leading rebel, came into a
saloon not far from Fort Garry, where a few
Canadians and retired soldiers were drinking.
He was recognized and a quarrel ensued.
Goulet was driven from the hotel. In his fright
he ran away, pursued by a few men whose
hatred overcame their judgment. After run-
ning rapidly until he reached the brink of the
Bed Eiver, and feeling, no doubt, that his
pursuers intended him grievous bodily harm,
Goulet plunged into the stream, and in his at-
70 Manitoba as I Saw It.
tempt to swim across to save himself, got but
a short distance when he sank from exhaustion
and was drowned.
It was a most regrettable thing, but might
have occurred under other circumstances which
would have been thought but the outcome of a
drunken brawl. The men who drove Goulet to
his grave were of no credit to either party, and
were a class having no standing in the com-
munity, and should have been severely pun-
ished, but they were not legally dealt with,
which stands to the discredit of those who were
parties to the outrage.
At this time we had no newspaper worthy of
the name here, and no Government can succeed
without a Government organ.
Mr. Robert Cunningham, a very clever
writer, who was at one time attached to the
Toronto Globe, about this time came to Fort
Garry. He was a Scotchman from Aberdeen,
thoroughly educated in newspaper work, a good
Parliamentary reporter, and his advent was
hailed with delight, and he was at once secured
to write up the policy of the Government; and
aided Governor Archibald materially in carry-
ing out his ideas of administration along lines
of pacifying the various discordant elements,
unifying opposing factions, which had much to
Arrival of the Wolseley Expedition. 71
do with starting the newly created Province of
Manitoba out upon its career, taking up its
responsibilities as the poorest and smallest part
of the Dominion. That Mr. Cunningham suc-
ceeded well as the first editor of marked ability
is now a matter of history.
Mr. Robert Cunningham afterwards repre-
sented in the House of Commons the Electoral
Division of Marquette (Manitoba), and his
voice was always heard in the interest of Mani-
toba and the Northwest. Mr. Donald A. Smith
(Strathcona) always spoke of him in terms of
praise, and thought him a man of more than
After the opening of the first session of the
first Parliament of Manitoba, the next event to
be mentioned was the State Dinner at Govern-
ment House. The reader must not imagine it
one of those perfunctory dinners of State where
everyone looks bored, wearing that fixed smile
which suggests the idea of "Why did I accept
the invitation? How glad I shall be when it is
over, that I may make my escape!" It was
nothing of the sort; it was superlatively inter-
esting. The favored of the Court, who were in
juxtaposition to His Honor, wore the most
recent evening dress. All Canadians, of course,
dressed appropriately, but the other members
72 Manitoba as I Saw It.
wore their ordinary holiday attire, common to
the country, which was in many instances, very
picturesque. At that table was seen the broad-
cloth capot of the Hudson Bay Company, with
polished brass buttons, Hudson Bay sash and
moccasins; some in Scotch tweed suits; others
in frock coats, and the most surprising thing
was the ease of manner displayed by alL The
table manners were all the most fastidious
could desire, and the conversation edifying, and
a gentleman of the press of Montreal, who sat
beside me, remarked "If all dressed the part,
they would appear well at a Vice-Eegal State
Dinner anywhere. "
WINNIPEG THE WESTEKN HEADQUARTERS OF HUDSON
Winnipeg was the central point around which
focussed all the people coming into the country.
It was the postal distributing office, and the
traveling headquarters of the Hudson Bay
Company, as well as for all " free traders" of
every description, and the people who came
from Eastern Provinces and who were accus-
tomed to municipal advantages, began to clamor
for an Act to incorporate the City of Winnipeg.
The most of the property was owned by a few
old settlers and old traders, who foresaw they
would be taxed to pay for all municipal im-
provements, and they naturally objected. A
Bill of Incorporation was framed by an Ontario
barrister, Mr. Francis Evans Cornish, the first
Mayor of Winnipeg, and in due course was
introduced in the Assembly, and after a good
deal of useless discussion was thrown out on a
technicality. This aroused the population to an
intense degree of excitement little dreamed of.
An indignation meeting was called the follow-
ing day in the open air. Violent speeches were
delivered, which aroused the more turbulent
members of the community, who were terribly
74 Manitoba as I Saw It.
wrought up. Extravagant language was used
and threats were made, and a resolution put and
carried to the effect that the whole population
were to meet at three o'clock in the afternoon,
and march in a body to the Bar of the House
(then in session), and demand the reintroduc-
tion of the Bill of Incorporation of the City of
Winnipeg. Dr. Bird, the Speaker at that time,
was called by an emissary of those in favor of
the Bill, ostensibly to see the Reverend John
Black's wife, at night. He had driven but a
short distance when he was taken from his trap
and maltreated most shamefully, to the disgrace
of all Canadians who took part in the affair.
At the time appointed nearly the whole popu-
lation assembled, some out of curiosity, but
most of them were inclined to be violent, and
declared unless their demands were acceded to,
they would tear down the Parliament House
about the heads of its members. They marched
in good order, filling both yard and street in
front of the Assembly and the Legislative
They sent a messenger to the Bar of the
Legislative Council that the Speaker address
them. The speaker, Honorable James McKay,
deputed Honorable Dr. O'Donnell to speak to
them. The Doctor advised them to go to their
Western Headquarters of H. B. Co. 75
homes peaceably, and if they prepared a new
Act of Incorporation sufficiently different from
the one that was rejected, to constitute a new
Bill, handing it to the Clerk of the Council, it
would be introduced and would be carefully
considered by that body.
Mr. F. Evans Cornish, barrister, the spokes-
man of the party, agreed to this suggestion, and
called for three cheers for Honorable Dr.
O'Donnell and the Legislative Council, and
three groans for the Legislative Assembly,
which were given with vim, and the crowd dis-
The Bill of Incorporation in its new form was
presented to the Clerk of the Legislative Coun-
cil, introduced and passed without amendments.
The following day it was sent to the Lower
House for consideration, and within a few min-
utes the people gathered in large numbers,
filed into the Assembly Chamber, stood at the
Bar, and demanded the passing of the Act. A
short consultation took place between Attorney-
General Clark and the Speaker, and the Ser-
geant-at-Arms informed the deputation that the
Government had decided to consider the Bill at
its next sitting, which they did, and it passed
with a few unimportant amendments.
76 Manitoba as I Saw It.
Such was the feeling of the people at that
time that it would have been very unwise for
the Government to have refused their demand.
An Act to establish a University was intro-
duced February, 1877, and passed both Houses
of the Legislature with little or no opposition.
The first officials of the University were : Chan-
cellor, Archbishop Machray; Vice-Chancellor,
Honorable Joseph Eoyal ; Registrar, Mr. E. W.
Jarvis; Bursar, Mr. Duncan McArthur.
Students having studied in either of the Sec-
tarian Colleges could write for a degree, after
giving the necessary proofs that they had pur-
sued the studies prescribed in the curriculum
to the satisfaction of the Board of Studies.
The University Act, was, of course, to be con-
sidered absolutely non-sectarian. The first
Chancellor was the late Archbishop Machray, the
best man possible for the position. At the time
of his death Chief Justice Dubuc was Vice-
Chancellor, and in direct line for the Chancellor-
ship, and should have received it. They ap-
pointed Archbishop Matheson Chancellor, an
excellent man for the position in all respects.
Chief Justice Dubuc is a Frenchman and a
Roman Catholic. Is that the reason he was not
78 Manitoba as I Saw It.
made Chancellor? It gives one that impression.
If that is so, the University is practically
"It has been said that the introduction of the
University Act was mainly due to the Lieuten-
ant- Governor, at the time Honorable Alexander
Morris. He was a man of high ideals, anxious
to signalize his term of office by some great
achievement, and found in the creation of the
University an object worthy of his ideals."
Governor Alexander Morris did signalize his
term of office by an action worthy of his ideals,
but it was not the University Act.
More than two years had elapsed before a
Justice of the Peace could be got to take a depo-
sition and sign a warrant for the arrest of Eiel,
Lapine and others. When at last a Magistrate
did issue the warrant, Lieutenant- Governor
Alexander Morris sanctioned the cancellation
of the Commission of the Peace held by that
Magistrate for signing the warrant. The intel-
ligent reader will judge for himself and accord
him the amount of glory to be attached to that
act of His Honor. It must be said in extenua-
tion that he was not a very strong man, and his
frequent indisposition rendered his judgment
at times very difficult to account for.
Governor A. G. Archibald, on the contrary,
CHIEF JUSTICE DUBUC.
The University. 79
was a man of great tact. At that early day,
distant from city markets, it was difficult to
obtain luxuries for elaborate entertaining. Not-
withstanding, he gave a dinner nearly every
Thursday evening, bringing together people of
the most discordant political views, and every-
things passed off so pleasantly that those social
gatherings were looked forward to with a great
deal of pleasure, and it did much to allay public
ill-feeling. Governor Archibald was a most
charming conversationalist, and all who assem-
bled at his board left with "he is a jolly good
fellow" smile on his countenance. He was un-
doubtedly the right man for the place at the
time, and in that respect it was better that
Mr. McDougall failed to reach the position. He
lacked the discrimination and tact that was
absolutely required at the time, and I have since
wondered why the Federal Government made
the selection, especially as he was an opponent.
After the arrival of the Wolseley Expedition
Winnipeg was policed by soldiers detailed from
the Barracks. After the troops were withdrawn
and up to the time that Winnipeg was incorpo-
rated, the police were appointed by the Pro-
vincial Government, and of a class that suited
Attorney- General Clark's purpose, irrespective
of the wishes of the people.
80 Manitoba as I Saw It.
The Chief of the Police was a henchman of
the Attorney-General, and was ordered to go to
a camp of Indians, who were on the river bank,
and order them to stop the beating of their
' ' tumtums ' ' and move out in the early morning.
The Indians looked upon this man as an in-
truder, and refused to obey. No treaty having
been made at that time, the Chief of Police lost
his temper, and fired his revolver into a tent
where there were women and children, and
wounded an Indian woman. The Aboriginals
became excited, and, happily, in the excitement
the policeman made his escape.
It so happened that the Indian Commissioner
from Ottawa was in Winnipeg at the time, and
had the Chief of Police arrested. He was
brought before the Grand Jury. Attorney-Gen-
eral Clark did not have any evidence to submit
and no bill was found.
Lieutenant-Governor Joseph Cauchon suc-
ceeded Mr. Morris, and entered upon his duties
under very painful circumstances ; his wife was
very seriously ill on reaching Winnipeg, and
grew rapidly worse, and had hardly got settled
in Government House when she died. Madame
Cauchon was a very charming woman, very
beautiful and highly accomplished. Her death
was very much regretted by all classes of the
community. She was buried at the St. Boniface
Cathedral. The funeral was very imposing and
largely attended by all classes of the people,
irrespective of creed or nationality.
Government House was presided over by the
sister of the deceased, Miss Nolan, for a year or
more, when His Honor married Miss Le Moyne,
a French lady from Ottawa. She presided at
Government House with dignity and tact, and
became a general favorite. She entertained
with judgment and grace, which is natural to
the cultured French lady. Her dinners, balls,
soirees, musicales, children's parties and after-
noon teas were appreciated, and did much to
allay the friction that had arisen as a result of
the late uprising.
Governor Cauchon was democratic, and a
82 Manitoba as I Saw It.
finished entertainer. He had been Mayor of
Quebec City for several terms, and nearly all his
life in politics. Almost constantly either enter-
taining or being entertained, he had become a
perfect host; he had a fund of humor and an
immense faculty as a storyteller, telling stories
that produced side-splitting laughter. His long
political career gave him an insight into public
affairs which made it easy for him to be an
ideal Lieutenant- Governor. His health ulti-
mately failed, and he was succeeded by Honor-
able James Cox Aikins.
Lieutenant- Governor Aikins, previous to his
appointment, had been many years in public
life, for several years a member of Sir John A.
Macdonald's Government. His mind was judi-
cial, and he was throughout his term of office, in
every sense of the term, a Constitutional Gover-
nor. The social side of Government House was
very quiet, he entertaining very little. His con-
scientious views practically caused him to elim-
inate dancing, etc., and, as a result, his social
functions were not numerous, but enjoyable to
elderly and church-going people.
His term of office having expired, he retired
with the respect of all classes of people, who
believed he had filled the office with dignity and
Lieut. -Governor Cauchon. 83
Honorable Dr. J. C. Schultz succeeded Gover-
Honorable Dr. Schultz had served in the
House of Commons for several years, when his
health began to fail, and Sir John A. Macdonald
elevated him to the Senate of Canada, a position
held by him until he received the appointment
of Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, a position
held by him for nearly seven years, up to the
time of his death.
When he assumed office he was in poor health
and remained an invalid until he was removed
by death. His official term was characterized
by nothing in particular. He was at all times
placid, discreet, plausible and non-committal.
The social side of life at Government House was
very neutral, due most likely to the Governor's
health. He had been a long sufferer, and his
death was not unexpected.
Governor Schultz was succeeded by Mr. Pat-
terson, at one time a Cabinet Minister. He was
a barrister from Windsor, and had represented
a constituency in the Western part of Ontario.
He was a society man and entertained lavishly,
but Government House was less popular than
it would have been had Mrs. Patterson been
with him to preside at social functions.
Governor Patterson was the first Lieutenant-
84 Manitoba as I Saw It.
Governor of Manitoba to accept invitations at
social gatherings in private houses, which he
did generally, and thereby became very popular
with the younger and more democratic side of
society. The old school families thought it
infra dig, while holding the Queen's Commis-
sion, and did not approve of it. The precedent
which he originated has been followed by his
successor and bids fair to continue. He was not
at any time thought a man of great ability, but
did what was expected of him in accordance
with the Constitution, and was seldom spoken
of after his term of office expired.
SIB DANIEL M'MILLAN.
Lieutenant-Governor Sir Daniel McMillan
came West with the Wolseley Expedition in
1870 as Captain of a Company; a young man,
unassuming, dignified, affable, and with a man-
ner that impressed one. He was an agreeable
conversationalist, but not verbose. He settled
in "Winnipeg, and has resided in that city unin-
terruptedly since. He has always taken a lively
interest in all matters pertaining to the pro-
gress of the City and Province. He was en-
gaged in business for several years, and was
considered an excellent business man, and his
opinion was always sought and valued on all
In politics he was always a Liberal, and rep-
resented Winnipeg Centre for several terms in
the Provincial Legislature. Honorable Thomas
Greenway took him into his Cabinet as Pro-
vincial Treasurer, a position he held for several
years ; and he was looked upon as a very efficient
Cabinet Minister, and a strength to the Gov-
ernment. He succeeded Governor Patterson,
and has performed his duties at Government
House very satisfactorily to the Federal Gov-
ernment, and was reappointed a second term, at
86 Manitoba as I Saw It.
the close of five years, which was thought a mis-
take. Most of the "old Grit party" do not be-
lieve in a second term, and think it should be
discontinued. Although the Provincial Govern-
ment is Conservative, Sir Daniel in his official
capacity has always been considered absolutely
neutral, and the social side of Government
House has been all that could be desired by the
most fastidious society critic.
Captain Cameron (now Major-General), was
one of Lieutenant- Governor McDougall's party,
and was to have been one of the Executive. He
had been an officer in the British Army and had
served in India, and although a man of medium
size, he had the bearing, every inch, of a soldier.
He was exceedingly practical, and demonstrated
the fact whenever an occasion arose. Crossing
the prairie, at times a train became fast in one
of the many sloughs, but he always knew the
most ready way to extricate them. Captain
Cameron was a reserved man, but had excellent
ideas, and was conversant with almost any sub-
ject, giving one the impression that he was
widely read, and had read understandingly, and
he possessed an agreeable, placid manner; was
an excellent listener and a quick observer, tak-
ing in the most salient points of a conversation,
which at times amused him when others did not
Sir Daniel McMillan. 87
see the humor. It was thought by those who
knew him well, that it was unfortunate that he
was unable to reach Fort Garry, believing that
his advice would have been of great value at
that stage of the country's history.
THE " HOTEL" PBEMIEB OF MANITOBA.
The Honorable Robert Atkinson Davis, at one
time Premier of Manitoba, was unfamiliar with
Parliamentary usage, but developed rapidly, so
much so, that he soon became fairly well posted
in political adroitness; but he always had the
countenance of an innocent abroad. On arriv-
ing at Winnipeg, and having some means, he
looked about for an investment that would yield
the greatest returns, and soon decided that the
hotel business would be the most profitable.
He purchased the Emerling Hotel, which then
stood on the site of the present Mclntyre Build-
ing; and proceeded to do business, and from
appearances amassed money very rapidly.
He was a man of few words, but was all things
to everybody, disagreeing with none, and as a
result he became known to the whole population,
and thought to be a most agreeable man, and if
on an occasion it was learned that he was agree-
ing with two men of widely different views,
and was taxed with it, he invariably had a
plausible excuse and smoothed away the little
ripple by asking them to have a glass of port
wine that had been sent to him from Montreal
by an old Scotchman, claiming the wine had
The "Hotel" Premier of Manitoba. 89
been in his friend's cellar for over thirty years,
and the two politicians on the way home agreed
that Mr. Davis was the prince of good fellows.
In consequence of a small divergence from
the lines laid down by the leaders of the differ-
ent political parties, it so happened that Mr.
Davis received the nomination, and was elected
to a seat in the Legislature, and in course of
time became Premier of the Province of Mani-
At the opening of the first session after Mr.
Davis became Premier, the hall was filled with
the elite of Manitoba, anxious to observe the
ease of manner always possessed by the Honor-
able B. A. Davis. He, as a rule, dressed a little
different from the average man, in short, in a
style of his own. On this occasion he wore a
dress coat, closely fitting, tightly buttoned, and
in the centre of his immaculate shirt front wore
a gold nugget, in which was set a diamond that
was brilliant and of great dimensions. I over-
heard some ladies remark that he was an origi-
nal dresser. I believed them; even in his ex-
alted position he followed his own ideas rather
than fashion. He was not an eloquent speaker,
but speaking slowly took up a good deal of the
time of the House. When speaking on a Gov-
ernment measure, he always began his speech
90 Manitoba as I Saw It.
by saying: "Mr. Speaker, the Government of
which I am the head" and when speaking of
Her Majesty, the Queen, always spoke of her as,
"Our Sovering Lady the Queen," and in ad-
dressing an opponent would in reply say: "I
certingly don't agree with the Honorable gen-
When he became Premier the appointment
was sharply criticized by some of the leading
politicians. One of the local papers said: "His
only equipment for the position was a slate
pencil and a saloon ; and a person having busi-
ness to transact with the Provincial Treasurer's
Department, if he were not in, they would be
sure to find him at the Davis House."
When his term of office expired, he gave up
politics, sold what property he had, and left the
country, settling in Chicago. His administra-
tion was what might have been expected, in no
particular creditable to himself or his colleagues
and retarded the progress of the country. He
was not aiming for glory; he was in office for
what there was in it for himself, making the
most of his position, having no reputation to
Honorable Thomas Greenway was distinctly
a prominent figure in Manitoba politics. He
was leader of the Liberal party in the Legisla-
tive Assembly of Manitoba for more than
twenty years. He was Premier of the Province
for twelve years, and all measures of import-
ance passed during that period bear the impress
of his far-seeing judgment. In every sense, he
was one of Manitoba's greatest men on all sub-
jects pertaining to the interests of the Province.
His speeches were well thought out, and deliv-
ered in that logical, forcible manner peculiarly
his own, leaving a lasting impression upon the
minds of his listeners.
I shall never forget his arraignment of the
Honorable Premier Norquay, on the settlement
of the boundary between Ontario and Manitoba.
It was a masterly effort, completely shattering
the findings in Mr. Norquay 's eloquent appeal,
which was probably his greatest effort. It was
an effort of giants. It is doubtful if two such
legislators will again come to the surface in
Manitoba for a very long time.
Honorable Mr. Greenway was of the people,
with the people of Manitoba and the West in
92 Manitoba as I Saw It.
all things pertaining to their welfare and pro-
gression. He ought to be, and no doubt will be,
ranked well up on the column among Canada's
Honorable William Hespeler landed in Win-
nipeg in the month of June, 1873, in charge of
the German-Bussian Mennonite Delegation. In
the following year he was appointed Commis-
sioner of Immigration and Agriculture by the
Dominion Government for Manitoba and the
Northwest Territories ; from which position he
resigned in 1883, having been appointed Ger-
man Consul for Manitoba and the Northwest
Territories, by the German Government, which
position he held until 1908. For his services
during twenty-five years he received two deco-
rations from the Emperor of Germany.
During the time of Mr. Hespeler 's Consular
services he was elected to the Manitoba Legis-
lature in the year 1899, for the Electoral Divis-
ion of Bosenfeldt, and was then elected Speaker.
He has also been a member of the Board of the
Winnipeg General Hospital for the last thirty-
three years, and President of the Board since
Honorable Hugh John Macdonald in 1897
undertook the leadership of the Conservative
party in Manitoba, and opposed Mr. Green-
HON. WM. HESPELER.
Premier Greenway. 93
way's Government in a general Provincial Elec-
tion, in which he had such success that he and
his supporters were put in a position to take
possession of the Treasury Benches. He advo-
cated Government control or ownership of rail-
ways, which was the policy which carried him
into power, notwithstanding the legal firm of
which he was a member were solicitors for Can-
ada's largest railway corporation. Mr. Mac-
donald resigned the Premiership of Manitoba
and accepted a nomination in the constituency
of Brandon. Mr. Macdonald was opposed by
the Honorable Clifford Sifton, who carried the
constituency by a very large majority, and since
that time Mr. Macdonald has adhered closely
to his legal practice, not again entering the
Honorable R. P. Eoblin, the present Premier,
succeeded the late Dr. Harrison, who was Prem-
ier for but a short time after the defeat of the
Mr. Eoblin is a Canadian by birth, of Ger-
man descent. He is a fluent speaker, and has
all the pertinacity of his race. He has for a
number of years been closely identified with the
grain trade, and is looked upon as a far-seeing
dealer, and one of the leading grain men of the
Northwest. He has a large farm near Carman,
claims to work for the best interests of the
farming community; has a cheerful, happy dis-
position, but one must not bank on his good
nature. He can be sufficiently aggressive, a
good fighter, and rather a formidable opponent,
as those on the left of the speaker can testify.
As a citizen, it may be said, that he is progres-
sive, frugal and active ; whatever he undertakes
he does with all his might, and never says,
THE WINNIPEG GRAIN EXCHANGE.
The Winnipeg Grain Exchange is an associa-
tion conducting the grain business of the Cana-
Premier Roblin. 95
dian West, and having its headquarters in a
magnificent building especially erected for that
purpose at a cost of $650,000. Fully ninety-five
per cent, of the whole grain raised in Manitoba,
Saskatchewan and Alberta, which seeks a mar-
ket in Eastern Canada and Europe, is handled
by the members of this Exchange, which in
addition to the facilities for an exchange mar-
ket, conducts a regular trading room where
grain for future delivery is bought and sold,
and the facilities for transacting business are
most complete. Quotations made in the leading
markets of the world are regularly and almost
instantaneously received by special wires, and
the quotations and records of sales and pur-
chases made on the Exchange's floor are imme-
diately wired to the leading markets in Eastern
Canada and the United States.
In connection with the Grain Exchange trad-
ing there is a grain clearing house where all
trades made upon the floor of the Exchange are
cleared regularly each day. The daily clear-
ances have reached instances as high as six
It would be utterly impossible to move or
finance the Western grain crops without such
an institution, and the Exchange meets the
necessities of the situation, and comprises in its
96 Manitoba as I Saw It.
membership three hundred country elevator
owners, terminal elevator owners, exporters,
commission men, millers, track buyers, brokers
and transportation officials.
Mr. C. N. Bell has been Secretary of the
Board of Trade since 1887, and Secretary of
the Grain and Produce Exchange since its or-
Since the grain inspection system came into
force in Manitoba, he has been Secretary of
the "Western Grain Standards Board, the Grain
Survey Board and the Board of Grain Exam-
iners. He was Secretary of the Royal Commis-
sion on Shipment and Transportation, which
important body is studying and reporting upon
the whole national system of transportation of
the products of the country to the markets of
He has been delegate to many Boards of
Trade and other business conventions in Can-
ada, and also to the Congress of the Chambers
of Commerce of the Empire.
Mr. C.' N. Bell is widely read and has at all
times perfect control of himself, never becomes
the least impatient in business, however great
the cause ; always ready and willing to give in-
formation in business hours, and an authority
on everything connected with the grain trade
C. N. BELL
Premier Roblin. 97
of the Northwest, and the statutes which govern
it. He is one of Canada's most useful men, and
anything he undertakes is certain to be well
TWO PROMINENT WESTERN MEN.
Mr. George D. McVicar came to Manitoba
before the first Eiel Rebellion, and accompanied
Dr. Schultz across the country to Duluth, both
making their way out of the country, after Dr.
Schultz got out of his confinement in Fort
Mr. McVicar, on his return to the Red River
Settlement, gave me a full detailed account of
their journey from the Settlement to Duluth,
and on to Ontario. He was among the first to
import agricultural implements into the coun-
try, and I believe the first to import sewing
machines. He was a man of sterling merit,
absolutely reliable in every respect. His widow
and family at present reside in Winnipeg.
Mr". Fred J. C. Cox was born in Huddersfield,
Yorkshire, England, and educated in Hamburg,
Germany ; married Miss Lillie Erb, daughter of
L. H. Erb, of Winnipeg.
Mr. Cox has always taken keen interest in
the development of Manitoba and the progress
of the City of Winnipeg. He has resided here
He has been Secretary of the Northwest Com-
mercial Travelers' Association of Canada, the
F. J. C. COX.
Two Prominent Western Men. 99
past nine years. He has been a member of the
City Council six years, Chairman of the Legisla-
tive Committee for five years, Chairman of the
Health Committee and Chairman of Police Com-
He is a clear headed business man, a quick
thinker, a thorough accountant and watches with
shrewdness all the city's business, and is an
active, assiduous worker in the public interest.
Mr. Cox is a man of quick perception, has
clear-cut, well-defined opinions on all matters
affecting the public, and once he is well satisfied
as to the correctness of his theories, adheres to
those opinions and argues them with great
MB. A. M'T. CAMPBELL.
Mr. A. McT. Campbell is the Manitoba Man-
ager of the Manitoba Branch of the Canada
Life Assurance Company. The business in
force in Manitoba, the oldest of the Western
branches, exceeds those of any of the others, as
does also the value of new business being
written. He is the "Dean of the Western Man-
agers, and it is largely due to his energy, ability
and personal popularity, that Manitoba ranks
so high." Mr. Campbell, who is well known
from Winnipeg to the Coast, has been Manager
for Manitoba since 1895.
Mr. McTavish Campbell's father was for
many years a chief factor of the Honorable
Hudson Bay Company, and during his long resi-
dence in the City of Winnipeg he has become
thoroughly familiar with the business of Mani-
toba and the whole Northwest, especially the
financial interests and the best methods of in-
vestment. He is a close reasoner, discreet, emi-
nently cautious, and his opinion is valued highly
in financial circles.
In social life he is a refined gentleman of the
old school, pleasant and agreeable, and his
presence at any social gathering always insures
the success of the affair.
A. McT. CAMPBELL.
HON. EDMUND BURKE WOOD.
Honorable Edmund Burke Wood was ap-
pointed Chief Justice of Manitoba on the llth
of March, 1874.
After his elevation to the Judicial Bench of
Manitoba he effected some important changes
in the legal procedure of the Manitoba Courts,
and delivered many well prepared judgments
which attracted much attention at that time.
The first case tried by Judge Wood after
taking his seat on the Bench, is the best known
of all cases that ever came before him, "the
cause celebre," of the Queen vs. Ambrose Le-
pine, for the murder of Thomas Scott, whose
tragical death was a prominent event in con-
nection with the Bed River Rebellion of 1869
The prisoner's counsel repudiated the juris-
diction of the Court over the offence charged in
the indictment; the Crown demurred to the
prisoner 's plea, after which the case was argued
before the two puisne judges, who allowed the
matter to stand over from term to term without
pronouncing judgment. Upon Honorable E. B.
Wood's accession to the Bench, the case was at
once brought before him. The trial, which in-
102 Manitoba as I Saw It.
volved grave questions, both of law and fact,
lasted about two weeks. At the close of the
argument he pronounced judgment for the
Crown on the demurrer without leaving his
He (the Judge) decided that both the Court
in Manitoba and the Court in the old Provinces
of Canada, and since Confederation in Ontario
and Quebec, have concurrent jurisdiction on
such offences as that charged, and over the par-
ticular case in question.
Eminent jurists in the Eastern Provinces un-
hesitatingly gave it as their opinion that Chief
Justice Wood's law was unsound, but his de-
cision was upheld by the law officers of the
Crown in England, and his written judgment
was pronounced a remarkable specimen of
forensic learning and acumen.
Honorable Edmund Burke Wood, to take him
all in all, was one of Canada's greatest men.
He was a veritable encyclopedia of Canadian
history, and outside of that he was a man of
very great experience and widely read. He was
an excellent classic, eminently mathematical in
his deductions, in short, a very close reasoner,
an excellent judge of men, and one of Canada's
greatest public speakers.
In private life he was one of the most genial
CHIEF JUSTICE WOOD
Hon. Edmund Burke Wood. 103
of men, very witty, most entertaining. At the
time he was appointed Chief Justice of Mani-
toba just such a man was required for the place
and his record will live in the history of the
COLONEL RANKINGS RECEPTION BY RIEL.
An amusing incident occurred early in 1870
when Colonel Eankin, from Windsor, Ontario,
came to Fort Garry, to interview Kiel, and give
him some advice that would be of great use to
him. He first called upon an officer of the Hud-
son Bay Company, and informed him of his
mission. The Hudson Bay man did not think it
wise for him to " beard the lion in his den,"
and he did not think he would have cause to con-
gratulate himself on the result of his interview.
The Colonel walked up to Eiel's quarters,
with all the assurance of a man accustomed to
command, and gave his card to the guard at the
door. After some minutes he was ushered to
the great man's presence.
Mr. Biel said: "Be seated, Mr. Eankin."
"Colonel Eankin, Monsieur."
"You are not Colonel here. You have no
rank in my presence. What is your business in
as few words as possible? Are you accredited
with instructions from the Ontario Government
or from any organization that would warrant
me in giving you an official audience?"
Col. Rankin's Reception by Riel. 105
* * No, but I am in close touch with the Federal
Government, and any report that I would make
to the Government would have great weight,
and they would give it careful consideration/'
"You think the Government of Canada would
look upon any report that you would make as
"You may say officially that you had an in-
terview with Kiel, the leader of the Metis, and
he said you had but twenty-four hours to get
out of the country, and further, if after that
you were taken north of the forty-ninth parallel
of latitude, you would be arrested and tried by
Court-Martial, and dealt with according to the
findings of the Court. You say you are a mili-
tary man ; it will not be necessary to explain to
you what that means. Batice, show this gentle-
The Colonel made haste to consult the Hud-
son Bay Company officer whom 'he had first
interviewed, who said laughingly, "A horse, a
horse, my Colonel's commission for a horse!"
The Colonel said : ' ' My dear sir, it is serious.
Don't jest, please. What shall I do? Can you
help me out?"
"We will see the Postmaster. The mail
106 Manitoba as I Saw It.
leaves for Pembina in two hours. He will most
likely arrange a passage for you that far."
The Postmaster sent the old man on his way
presumably happy, but he had the countenance
of the man "who never smiled again."
The Colonel was supplied with hospital com-
forts to enable him to guard the mail as far as
D. E. SPRAGUE.
MB. D. E. SPBAGUE.
Lumbering as an industry commenced about
the year 1872. Previous to that time the modest
requirements of the settlers were supplied by
means of the whipsaw or the most primitive
kind of saw mill. The first introduction of
what may be regarded as a modern saw mill
was erected in 1872 by Macaulay & Sprague, on
the banks of the Bed River between Notre Dame
and Lombard streets ; a small portable mill was
built the same year by Dick & Banning in the
same vicinity. At this time only a few million
feet of lumber was manufactured here, the logs
coming from the Roseau and Red Lake Rivers.
The bulk of the lumber which was required in
what was considered the extraordinary develop-
ment of Winnipeg came down the Red River by
flatboat or raft from Moorehead, to which point
it had been shipped from Anoka, Minneapolis,
Duluth and other American lumbering districts.
Subsequently mills were built by D. B. Sprague,
who had retired from the Macaulay & Sprague
Company, Hugh Sutherland & Bros., Jarvis &
Burridge and Clarke & Sutherland. The only
one of these plants remaining is the mill built
108 Manitoba as I Saw It.
in 1882 by Mr. Sprague, and which has been
running continuously ever since. It may be
said of this mill that when built it was up to
date in every particular ; to this may be added
the further distinction of having installed in it
the first horizontal bandmill for sawing slabs
ever introduced into the West, if not into Can-
Mr. D. E. Sprague is in the truest sense of the
word a Canadian, quiet and unassuming in man-
ner, courteous always, but a countenance indi-
cating decision of character and unlimited firm-
ness. He has always been in the front rank of
anything pertaining to Manitoba interests and
Winnipeg progression. Having amassed a
large fortune by strictly adhering to a business
that he thoroughly understands, and having
kept his business within the limits of his capital
and his whole capital within his interests, he
is now among the largest taxpayers in the City
of Winnipeg. He is head of the Sprague Lum-
ber Company, which is one of the most exten-
sive west of Ontario, employing a great many
laborers, skilled and otherwise, who must be
the sole means of support of many hundreds
Mr. Sprague 's son, Mr. Harold C. H.
Sprague, who is Assistant Manager of the
HAROLD C. H. SPRAGUE.
Mr. D. E. Sprague. 109
Sprague Lumber Company, is as fine, hand-
some, and muscular a specimen of manhood as
one could wish to see. He is assiduously apply-
ing himself to his duties with an earnest desire
to master the details of the business, and will, I
have no doubt, ultimately make a worthy suc-
cessor to his father.
Upon the completion of the Canadian Pacific
Railway and other railway lines, the lumber
industry developed from the manufacture of a
few million feet of lumber per annum by mills
located in Winnipeg, to the manufacture of
hundreds of millions annually by mills located
from Port Arthur to Vancouver, and distribut-
ed over the intervening territory from the in-
ternational boundary in British Columbia to
Edmonton in Alberta, and constituting, as it
does now, one of the most important industries
in Western Canada.
DR. WILLIAM COWAN.
Dr. William Cowan was the Chief Factor in
charge of Fort Garry in 1869 and 1870, retir-
ing from the service of the Hudson Bay Com-
pany after the creation of the Province of Mani-
toba. Dr. Cowan was a graduate in medicine
of the University of Glasgow, Scotland; a gen-
tleman of refined tastes, and learned in his
profession. He was an excellent conversation-
alist, and possessed with a fund of quiet wit ;
saw the ridiculous quickly, and was an excellent
story teller; could call up the personality of
persons with whom he had associated in a very
During the time the Metis had control of
Fort Garry the Doctor behaved in a very dis-
creet manner, courteous to all, but never dis-
cussed or expressed an opinion pro or con on
questions over which the opposing parties were
contending. Dr. William Cowan was one of
A. R. McKENZlE.
MR. A. B. M'KENZIE.
In eighteen sixty-nine, during the time that
Fort Garry was in the possession of the Metis,
Mr. A. B. McKenzie was the storekeeper of the
Fort. He said that Riel's men would go down
into the Hudson Bay Company's cellar, with
pitchers and small pails, and would not take
the time to draw the Hudson Bay rum by way
of the taps, but would break the heads off the
barrels and dip their vessels in the rum and
walk away. He said the Governor of the Com-
pany and officers were in great fear that in
their excitement from drinking the strong
spirits that they might in their frenzy do some-
thing dreadful or perhaps kill some of the pris-
oners. It was indeed an anxious time for the
Mr. McKenzie 's statement, to anyone know-
ing him, goes a long way towards proving the
Hudson Bay Company innocent of the charge
of aiding and sympathizing with the uprising.
Mr. McKenzie is now a successful farmer in a
place called Oakville, seventeen miles south of
Portage la Prairie. Mrs. McKenzie is a daugh-
ter of the late Chief Factor Flett, formerly of
Lower Fort Garry.
HON. ALEXANDER MUEEAY.
Honorable Alexander Murray was born in
Manitoba and educated at St. John's College.
Mr. Murray has lived here all his life, and
has advanced ideas with regard to the best
methods of developing the country. He was
Speaker of the Assembly for one Parliament
during the Norquay regime, and his rulings
were strictly according to "May" and were
never questioned. His perfect knowledge of
everything connected with the country has been
of great value, and his advice is always sought
by intending purchasers throughout Manitoba
and the West.
He has been for some years connected with
the Land Department of the Provincial Govern-
ment, and is a very useful and efficient officer.
HON. DAVID MAB WALKEE.
Honorable David Mar Walker, Senior
County Court Judge of Manitoba, born in or
near Simcoe, Ontario, was admitted to the Bar,
Osgoode Hall, Toronto.
He came to Fort Garry as an officer with the
Sir Garnet Wolseley Expedition, 1870. After
leaving the service he began the practice of
law in Winnipeg, and after a time was elected
to represent St. James in the Legislative
An amusing incident connected with his elec-
tion is worth repeating. His opponent was a
citizen of the Electoral District, and the con-
test was carried on with considerable earnest-
ness. At the last meeting before the day of
polling, a man reputed to be an excellent
speaker, was called upon by the Chairman to
speak in behalf of the opposing candidate. He
had memorized one of Lord Beaconsfield's
speeches, and delivered it very deliberately with
variations, to the great amusement of the au-
dience. In replying, Mr. Walker said, that
although Lord Beaconsfield was not present,
they had just heard one of his best Parliament-
ary speeches delivered by the last speaker, and
114 Manitoba as I Saw It.
it was very well spoken, but he would have been
better pleased if his opponent had selected one
a little less lengthy.
Mr. Walker was elected, became a member of
the Government, was for a time Attorney- Gen-
eral, and later on was elevated to the Bench.
His whole course since entering Manitoba has
been one of credit to himself and friends, who
are legion throughout the Dominion.
ME. A. W. AUSTIN.
Mr. A. W. Austin (now of Toronto) came to
Winnipeg early, and established the first street
railway or horse cars, as they were called, em-
ploying a great number of men and three or
four hundred horses. This was maintained by
Mr. Austin for several years, until the time
approached when Winnipeg should have elec-
tric street cars, when Mr. Austin sold out his
interests, and soon after the electric street rail-
way became an established fact.
Mr. Austin sold out a great deal of his Win-
nipeg property and returned to Toronto, where
his vast business interests demanded his pres-
ence. Mr. Austin's departure was a public loss
to our city; a public spirited gentleman, a
kindly disposition and very charitable.
He pays Winnipeg a visit occasionally, and
always has a good word for the city of his early
MB. WILLIAM WHYTE.
Mr. Win. Whyte, Second Vice-President of
the Canadian Pacific Railroad, has probably
from his position and inclination, done more
to people and develop Manitoba and the West
than any other man in the country. Having
lived in the West, and knowing all the details
of its development up to this date, he must have,
with his advice to the company, assisted in
having branch lines in parts of the rural dis-
tricts where railway facilities could assist the
greatest number, until at the present time there
is hardly a place settled in Manitoba where a
farmer could not drive with a load of grain in
one day to a station or village.
Aside from his official duties he is a public
spirited citizen of Winnipeg, always ready to
assist any progressive enterprise.
CHIEF JUSTICE HOWELL.
Honorable Chief Justice Howell of the Mani-
toba Court of Appeals, came to "Winnipeg at an
early date, and formed a law partnership with
Mr. Heber Archibald, the law firm of Archi-
bald & Howell. Mr. Howell was always a stu-
dent, and a persevering worker, and soon be-
came a barrister of note in the profession, and
for the last fifteen or twenty years he has been
considered the leader of the Bar, and it sug-
gested itself to the Government that his ability
was needed on the Bench, and he was elevated
to the position of Chief Justice of the Court of
Appeals of Manitoba.
It was a position justly merited, a position
he will fill with distinction. I have heard law-
yers say his elevation to the Bench was a great
loss to the Bar of the city.
KIEI/S DEPASTURE FROM THE COUNTRY.
After Riel's departure from the country, and
the case of Ambrose Lepine having been dis-
posed of, the country increased in population
but slowly. Transportation was of the most
primitive description, immigration was limited
to those who had secured positions in the coun-
try that awaited their arrival, and those of an
adventurous turn of mind, who had sufficient
means to overcome any obstacle that might
arise. This condition continued until the years
1880, 1881 and 1882, when people of all classes
rushed into the country to participate in the
great "boom," which proved so disastrous to
hundreds who came to "get rich quick," and
lost all their money. Many a man in good cir-
cumstances previously was ruined, and but very
few that came out of that lamentable craze
made any money, or were free from loss. The
country's growth and financial standing was
very much retarded and immigration practi-
Following so closely after the Western Riel
Rebellion of 1885 gave another check to the
country's healthy progress, but that Rebellion
advertised the country; that uprising brought
Riel's Departure from the Country 119
many officers and men of education with the
regiments that were stationed throughout the
West, who saw the fertility of the soil, the vast-
ness of the country, with a fairly good idea of
its illimitable possibilities, and they returned
to their Eastern homes only to be dissatisfied,
and to set about maturing plans to enable them
to return to this, the greatest of all countries on
the globe, and many of them came back during
the next year.
Up to this time the transportation was not of
the best, and the Government policy of immi-
gration appeared not of a kind that invited the
best class of immigrants. They came in slowly,
it could not be called a rush.
The land regulations were complained of by
settlers, but evidence was apparent that banks
and other monied corporations had faith in the
country and were putting up permanent office
buildings ; railroads were projected in every di-
rection throughout the country, that gave us to
understand that wealthy, thinking men were
beginning to look upon the country as a country
worth developing, and a most desirable place
for safe investments.
Immigration increased somewhat, and busi-
ness houses in the East began establishing
branches in Winnipeg and in some outside dis-
120 Manitoba as I Saw It.
tricts ; commercial travelers began pushing their
way into remote settlements, and good settlers
began selecting locations upon which they
might found homes for their families. This
was the condition that prevailed for a length
of time, when the General Elections came on,
and resulted in a change of Government, the
Conservatives retiring and the Liberal party
assuming power with Wilfrid Laurier (now Sir
Wilfrid) as Premier.
When the Honorable Clifford Sifton entered
the Cabinet, taking the Interior Portfolio, a
banquet was tendered him by his friends in
Winnipeg. It was held in the old Manitoba
Hotel, and was largely attended by the most
prominent men in the city, of both parties.
On that occasion Mr. Sifton said it was under-
stood on his entry into the Government that he
was to have a free hand in the management of
immigration, as the system required complete
change of method, or reorganizing.
This statement or pledge was well received
by all classes of people in the West, irrespective
of party, and all waited in expectation to ob-
serve the realization of their hopes.
Within the year it was apparent that the
Minister of the Interior was perfecting a vigor-
ous immigration policy. The surplus popula-
Riel's Departure from the Country 121
tion from all parts of the world were turning
their attention to Western Canada, instead of
pouring into the United States, as they had
been doing. It was but a year or two, when
instead of people selling their homesteads or
leaving them, in Manitoba, and taking up lands
in Dakota and Minnesota, practical farmers,
well-to-do in their own country, were selling
out and coming to Western Canada from the
United States, bringing with them capital,
stock and agricultural implements and making
new homes for themselves and families.
In conversation with one of these Americans
I asked him why he left his own country where
he had been living in easy circumstances, to set-
tle in the West of Canada. His reply was that
he had sold his land in the States for sufficient
money to buy three times as many acres, and
much better land in Canada, than the farm he
had left, which enabled him to place his sons
on farms around, where their small children
could have the advantage of excellent schools
There was another consideration: "We have
as good laws in the United States as you have
in Canada, but they are not administered in
the same way. I observe all laws on your Sta-
tute Books are strictly put into force, as occa-
122 Manitoba as I Saw It.
sion requires, while in our country many laws
are a dead letter. I have, therefore, come to
the conclusion that our lives and property are
better conserved here than in the United
Mr. Sifton was about eight years in Sir Wil-
frid Laurier's Cabinet, and during that time
immigration steadily increased until at the
present the population from the Eastern boun-
dary of Manitoba to the Rocky Mountains has
nearly doubled and business is in a very healthy
state. The advantages to be gained by the set-
tler in Manitoba and the West have been so well
advertised that immigration will continue to
pour into the country and of a better class from
Some of the best families of the United King-
dom are represented in Manitoba and the West-
ern Provinces ; sons having purchased tracts of
land for ranching and agricultural pursuits;
many of the daughters of old and distinguished
families have married young English, Scotch
and Irish men from their own country, and
grace the Western home in a manner that bodes
well for the future population of Greater
It is not an uncommon thing to find graduates
from the great Universities: Oxford, Cam-
Kiel's Departure from the Country 123
bridge, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Trinity Uni-
versity, Dublin, engaged in agricultural pur-
suits, making it a success, and their wives and
daughters love the freedom and exhilaration of
Many of the Old Country ladies throughout
the West are highly cultured, and from their
isolation they have more time to read, and read
more understandingly than the society women
of the city. The former are well up in the litera-
ture of the day, and able to discuss all ques-
tions of public interest intelligently and fluent-
ly. Many are well up in botany, with a fair
knowledge of the surface geology of the country
around them. The society women of the cities
and towns read light literature and society pa-
pers and popular magazines using the same
phrases, which causes them in time to become
narrow minded and less interesting than those
of broader reading and sufficient knowledge to
profit by their observation.
Throughout the country districts of Manitoba
their modest houses or cottages are tastefully
decorated with pretty bric-a-brac brought from
their old homes in the older Provinces, or from
the Old Country; pretty flowering vines and
well assorted flowers deck their lawns. Their
sons and daughters are reared in the open air;
124 Manitoba as I Saw It.
the boys, fine, athletic youths, able to take a
hand at anything from lassoing a wild steer to
bringing down a fleeing prairie wolf at four
hundred yards; the daughters healthy, active
and as easy in the saddle as in the drawing
room, racing across the plain with an abandon
charming as it is surprising.
Such is the condition in Manitoba, where
proper selection of location has been made by
the right kind of settlers. With the Canadian
Pacific Eailroad branching out in all directions,
also the Great Northern, the Canadian Northern
and the Grand Trunk Pacific Eailroads, the
country is lined in all directions; so much so
that the days of hardships for the new settler
have practically passed.
Surely this is the country to invite the young,
healthy and /intelligent people to settle and
make homes for their families.
The Icelandic immigrant is by far the best,
and rapidly becomes Canadianized. Every Ice-
lander who is healthy in mind and body must
be able to read and write at the age of twelve
years. He is honest, quick to learn and ener-
getic, and has good application. When he lands
in the Canadian West he seeks employment,
and as soon as he has earned sufficient money
he dresses himself well, and as near like the
Riel's Departure from the Country 125
young people of his own age as possible, in
order to appear as near like the young Cana-
dians as he can. As to the young Icelander
girls, after two years in the country it is very
difficult to be certain whether they are Icelandic
or young English girls.
The Icelanders prosper; they identify them-
selves with municipal and other public interests
and they are Canadians in reality. We now
have among them lawyers, doctors, teachers,
contractors, merchants, business men of all
kinds, clerks, telegraph operators, mechanics,
railroad men, steamboat captains and, to be
short, the Icelander is to be found in all walks
When they first came to Manitoba they were
placed in a little colony, Gimli, but they grad-
ually left, and all the young took up the general
industrial pursuit of the country. The young
were sent to school, and altogether the results
are very gratifying.
The Icelandic women, too, are found every-
where; teachers, dressmakers, milliners, sten-
ographers, and in every industry suitable for
The young Icelanders are taking Canadian
wives, and Canadians are marrying Icelandic
women, who in appearance are fair and very
126 Manitoba as I Saw It.
like the young English girl. It will be but a
very few years, two generations or less, when
all that race will be Canadians.
That is the great consideration in selecting
immigrants to fill up our vast fertile prairies.
It is the plain duty of the Federal Government
to cease segegrating or placing grants so that
any set of people should live in small colonies.
The Galician is a hardy, industrious individ-
ual, but they are not allowed to learn English
at school until they have learned to read in their
own language, and up to that time they will not
send them to school ; and living in small colonies
or villages, they are apt to quarrel amongst
themselves, and at their wedding feasts there
are, as a rule, some injured, and in some in-
stances murdered. Then they, when left to
themselves, living in colonies, always remain
Galicians, retaining all their vicious habits and
prejudices, and never become Canadians. The
same applies to all Continental immigrants.
What is the remedy? The Federal Govern-
ment should cease making grants of land to
immigrants of any nationality for settlement in
colonies, but should allow them to take up their
homesteads and pre-emption the same as Cana-
The Provincial Governments should compel
Riel's Departure from the Country 127
every child of a school age who is not able to
read and write the English language to attend
school and to be taught the simple rules of
arithmetic. .That, at all events, would be the
first step towards Canadianizing the foreigner
or getting him to understand the advantage it
would be to himself to have that much education.
Wherever a small settlement of any nation-
ality is placed, it is certain to retain some of
the prejudices and shortcomings and even
superstitions common to the place from whence
the settlers came, which will prevent them for
several generations from adopting Canadian
ways, and make of them a foci liable to generate
discord and strife. That applies to all nation-
It also applies to all organizations, whether
for social, commercial, or for any purpose
where whole communities are sufficiently organ-
ized to act as a unit; where occasion requires,
in a vast country like this, and located in differ-
ent places, they will ultimately become an em-
barrassment, if not a menace, to the peace of the
MESSES. AKCHIBALD AND CAMPBELL.
Mr. Heber Archibald came here early, and
began the practice of law, and after a time
Mr. H. M. Howell, now Chief Justice of the
Court of Appeal, was taken in, forming the
legal firm of Archibald & Howell, which con-
tinued until Mr. Howell was elevated to the
Mr. Archibald is a B.A., Toronto University,
widely read and conversant with all public
questions affecting the general welfare of
Manitoba and the West. He is considered a
very sound lawyer, and has always been known
to advise his clients against litigation where it
was in their best interest. While in the active
practise of his profession he was at his office
adhering to his business closely, and has
amassed a very large fortune by close applica-
tion, business integrity and ability. Mr. Archi-
bald has a tranquil, somewhat serious counten-
ance ; underlying is a strong vein of humor, and
he enjoys the society of his friends in a very
marked degree. He is kind hearted and gives
liberally to deserving charities, and he is among
Winnipeg's best citizens.
On his arrival in Winnipeg Mr. Isaac Camp-
Messrs. Archibald and Campbell. 129
bell entered the legal firm of Archibald, Howell
Several years elapsed when Hough and
Campbell became the legal firm, which is one of
the most important in the city. Mr. Campbell
was City Solicitor until his time became fully
occupied by his own practice, when he relin-
quished the City Solicitorship.
Mr. Campbell is a quiet, unassuming gentle-
man who has read widely and understandingly
and a lawyer of erudition. He is a Liberal in
politics. He is a pleasing public speaker, fluent,
logical and convincing. He is of the Old School,
eminently sociable and agreeable, and would fill
any position in the gift of the people or Crown
with dignity and ability.
Mr. E. L. Barber, an American, came here at
an early date from one of the New England
States, and has resided here uninterruptedly up
to the present. He was doing business as a gen-
eral merchant in Winnipeg for many years. The
past ten years he has been doing a large real
Mr. Barber is of a jovial disposition, an ex-
cellent conversationalist, well posted on all
Western questions, and has observed Winnipeg
grow from its inception, and has enthusiastic
and unbounded faith in Winnipeg, Manitoba
130 Manitoba as I Saw It.
and the West. He married Miss Logan, a de-
scendant of Chief Factor Logan, Hudson Bay
Company. His family all reside in the West,
but not all in Winnipeg.
Mr. Stuart Mulvey came to the country a
subaltern in the Wolseley Expedition. When
the troops were withdrawn he remained in the
country and identified himself with its interests,
but principally with the educational, and for
several years before his death he was Secretary
Treasurer of the City School Board.
He was a good citizen, much respected and of
undoubted ability; a logical, forcible speaker.
Mr. William Fisher Luxton was a prominent
man in the early history of the City of Win-
nipeg, He was practically the founder of the
Free Press, and his columns were always used
in the interests of the city and Province of
Manitoba. Mr. Luxton had strong, well defined
opinions on all public questions, to which he
adhered with great pertinacity, sometimes to
his detriment. He was a man of ability, strictly
honest, honorable, a good citizen, and but few
deserve so well for the city and Province.
MAYORS OP WINNIPEG.
From the date of its incorporation, in the
year 1873 down to the year 1908.
1874 Francis Evans Cornish, Q.C.
1875 "William Nasseau Kennedy.
1876 William Nasseau Kennedy.
1877 Thomas Scott.
1878 Thomas Scott.
1879 Alexander Logan.
1880 Alexander Logan.
1881 Elias George Conklin.
1882 Alexander Logan.
1883 Alexander McMicken.
1884 Alexander McMicken.
1885 Charles Edward Hamilton.
1886 Henry Shaver Westbrook.
1887 Lyman Melvin Jones.
1888 Lyman Melvin Jones.
1889 Thomas Eyan.
1890 Alfred Pearson.
1891 Alfred Pearson.
1892 Alexander McDonald.
1893 Thomas William Taylor.
1894 Thomas W. Taylor.
1895 Thomas Gilroy.
132 Manitoba as I Saw It.
1896 Richard Willis Jameson.
1897 William F. McCreary.
1898 Alfred J. Andrews.
1899 Alfred J. Andrews.
1900 Horace Wilson.
1901 John Arbuthnot.
1902 John Arbuthnot.
1903 John Arbuthnot.
1904 Thomas Sharpe.
1905 Thomas Sharpe.
1906 Thomas Sharpe.
1907 James H. Ashdown.
1908 James H. Ashdown.
1909 W. S. Evans.
CITY OF WINNIPEG.
The City of Winnipeg is the Capital of the
Province of Manitoba, and is situate at the junc-
tion of the Bed and Assiniboine Rivers. It is
almost midway between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans; forty miles south of Lake Winnipeg
and sixty miles north of the boundary line be-
tween Canada and the United States of Amer-
ica. Winnipeg is the commercial and whole-
sale centre of the Northwest ; and the very com-
plete railway systems branching in every direc-
tion afford great facilities for trade to the re-
Mayors of Winnipeg. 133
taller in the Province and Northwest. By rea-
son of its position the city offers a most desir-
able inducement as a location for the establish-
ment of manufacturing industries.
The city is noted for its wide and well paved
thoroughfares, and beautiful boulevarded and
residential streets. It is the educational centre
of the Province, and the school system is con-
sidered as complete as can be made.
The government of the city is carried on un-
der the powers of a charter from the Provincial
Legislature. The Council is composed of a
Mayor, four Controllers forming the Board of
Control, and fourteen Aldermen. The Mayor
and Controllers are elected annually from a
vote of the entire city. One Alderman is elect-
ed annually from each of the seven Wards into
which the city is divided and holds office for a
term of two years. The Mayor is Chief Magis-
trate of the city. Persons eligible for election
as Mayor and Controller must be owners of
property rated on the assessment roll of the
city to the value of two thousand dollars, over
and above all encumbrances against the same,
and for Aldermen must be rated in a like man-
ner to the amount of five hundred dollars. The
election is held annually on the second Tuesday
134 Manitoba as I Saw It.
in December, and nominations on the first Tues-
day in December.
The Board of Control is the executive body,
and as such deals with all financial matters,
regulates and supervises expenditures, reve-
nues and investments, directs and controls de-
partments, nominates all heads of departments,
prepares specifications, advertises for tenders
and awards all contracts for works, materials
and supplies required, inspects and reports to
the Council upon all municipal works being car-
ried on or in progress within the city, and gen-
erally administers the affairs of the city,; except
as to the Public Schools and Police Department,
the former being under control of the Public
School Board, elected annually by the ratepay-
ers and the latter under the Board of Police
Commissioners, which consists of the Mayor,
the County Court Judge, Police Magistrate and
two Aldermen appointed by the Council.
The public parks of the city are placed under
the control and supervision of a Public Parks
Board, composed of the Mayor, two members of
the Council and six ratepayers appointed by
the Council. For the purpose of providing for
the expenditures required for park purposes, a
rate of one-half of one mill on the dollar is lev-
ied on the general assessment of the city.
The Hudson Bay Company. 135
THE HUDSON BAY COMPANY.
In the days of the Bed River Settlement the
Hudson Bay Company added to their functions
as the chief trading body of the community, the
business of banking, to the limited extent re-
quired by the inhabitants. Money- could be
deposited with the Company, and it is not on
record that any interest was allowed ; the Com-
pany issued their own notes in denominations of
one shilling, five shillings, one pound and five
pounds sterling, and these notes passed readily
from hand to hand and supplied all the currency
needs of the settlement. It is probable that no
one ever asked the question: "How and where
are these notes payable 1 ' ' Had such a question
been asked the answer would have been found
on the notes themselves. They were payable at
York Factory, by a sixty days' sight draft on
the Hudson Bay Company in London. The fact
that the question never once arose adds addi-
tional testimony, if such were wanted, to the
unbounded confidence reposed in the Hudson
Bay Company by all classes of the community.
If "The Company" issued the notes they must
be all right.
There is no knowing whether the Hudson Bay
Company might or might not have continued to
be the bankers of the new Province of Manitoba
136 Manitoba as I Saw It.
if they had so desired. Their charter is a wide
one and might have been made to cover much
more than the trading rights they have con-
tinued to exercise. They made no effort to do
so, however, and early in the seventies the need
of more extensive banking facilities began to
Mr. Alex. McMicken, who is still a leading
citizen of Winnipeg, was the first to open an
office devoted wholly to banking. In a building
formerly occupied by the Hudson Bay Com-
pany, about what is now the corner of Portage
avenue and Fort street, he established a busi-
ness that for a considerable time afforded all
the facilities that were at the time required by
the rapidly growing population. It was in Sep-
tember, 1871, that the convenience of issuing
cheques^ first became known to Winnipegers,
and so well was the business managed that in a
very short time all the banking of the future
city was in Mr. McMicken 's hands.
The first chartered bank in Winnipeg was
the Merchants Bank of Canada, which, under
the management of the late Mr. Duncan Mac-
Arthur, in December, 1872, opened an office
nearly opposite the building till recently occu-
pied as the Post Office.
The premises were most unpretentious, con-
The Hudson Bay Company. 137
sisting of a very ordinary frame building, with
rooms for the manager in the upper story, no
vault, and very insufficient accommodation for
the clerks. Such as they were, however, they
sufficed for several years to supply all the wants
of the people.
No single fact shows more clearly the gi-
gantic strides that the Canadian West has
made than the development of banking business
in Winnipeg. In 1871 one branch of a chartered
bank in a wretched shack on Main street, to-
gether with a private banker, supplied all the
banking facilities required for not only the City
of Winnipeg but for the whole of the North-
west. To-day a line of palatial buildings on
Main street house the institutions that, aided
by hundreds of branches through the Province,
keep a staff of employees many times more
numerous than the whole population of Winni-
peg in 1872, busy in supplying the needs of the
community in this one branch of business.
From nothing in 1872 Winnipeg has risen to
the third rank in the clearings of the Dominion,
being exceeded only by Montreal and Toronto.
The banking house of Alloway & Champion,
Winnipeg, was established in 1879 by Messrs.
W. F. Alloway and H. T. Champion.
It is the only private bank in the city. Their
138 Manitoba as I Saw It.
business has been conducted in a quiet, unob-
trusive manner, keeping pace with the growth
of the city, and they are at present well up in
the line of Main street's permanent financial in-
stitutions. They have a branch office, a fine
structure, on Main Street north.
There are now eleven public parks in Win-
nipeg, with a total area of about 315 acres, pur-
chased at a cost of $140,000. This includes a
large Suburban Park of an area of 282 acres,
which is situate on the banks of the Assiniboine
Eiver, in the municipality of St. Charles, about
three miles from the City Hall. This park
property was acquired in 1903, and considerable
improvements are now under way.
During the year 1907 about four miles of
driveways were completed and considerable un-
derbrushing and clearing done. This year the
Parks Board anticipates to instal a water works
system and erect a pavilion, and it is expected
that the park will be formally opened to the
public in July next. The herd of buffalo owned
by the city are kept in this park, as are also a
number of other native animals.
This cemetery is owned by the city and main-
The Hudson Bay Company. 139
tained under the supervision of the Public
Parks Board. Lot owners are assured of per-
petual maintenance of plots.
The population of the city in 1908 was 118,000.
Carnegie Library, William avenue, between
Dagmar and Ellen streets. J. H. McCarthy,
Librarian. Phone 4445.
The Winnipeg Public Library Building is a
handsome two- storey structure, built of native
dressed stone at a cost of $100,000, towards
which a donation of $75,000 was made by Mr.
Andrew Carnegie. The building was completed
in August, 1905, and formally opened by His
Excellency the Governor-General and Lady
Grey on October 11, 1905.
The Library contains at present about twenty-
one thousand carefully selected volumes at the
service of any resident of the city.
The Beading Booms, which, are open to all
comers, are stocked with a very adequate sup-
ply of daily and weekly newspapers and with
all the leading magazines published in the Eng-
lish language. Any book in the Library can be
obtained for use in the building by anyone who
During last year 11,000 readers borrowed
140 Manitoba as I Saw It.
200,000 books for home reading, while 60,000
volumes were issued as books of reference. The
Juvenile Department has on the reading tables
a complete assortment of boys' and girls' pa-
pers in addition to several standard magazines,
while the open book shelves contain 2,000 care-
fully selected titles suitable for young people's
The Library is open every day, except Domin-
ion Day and Christmas Day, from 9:30 a.m. to
9:30 p.m., except Sundays and holidays, when
the hours are from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Juvenile
Department from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on school
days and from the general opening hour until
6 p.m. on other days.
Branch depots have been established to bring
the benefits of the Library within convenient
reach of those living in the outlying wards of
the city. Four of these depots, each of which
is kept supplied with 1,000 books, are in opera-
tion. They are situated as follows :
No. 1, corner of Burrows avenue and Main
street, Ward 6. No. 2, Nairn street, Ward 7.
No. 3, corner of Furby street and Portage ave-
nue, Ward 3. No. 4, at 116 Osborne street,
The Hudson Bay Company. 141
The City of Winnipeg is a firm believer in
municipal ownership of all public utilities. The
city owns and operates its water works plant,
street lighting system, stone quarry, fire alarm
system and asphalt plant. "Winnipeg enjoys the
distinction of being the first city in America to
acquire a municipal asphalt plant.
Year 1907 Number of teachers, 248; num-
ber of buildings, 30, also seven rented build-
ings; value of buildings and site, $1,552,753;
The water works system is owned and operat-
ed by the city. The supply is from an artesian
source and is exceptionally pure.
There are five theatres, two seating 2,500,
and the other three 1,000 each.
ELECTRIC STREET RAILWAY.
The street railway system is operated by the
Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company,
under franchise granted by the city in 1892.
The bank clearings for the year 1907 were
MK. ALEXANDER MCDONALD.
Mr. Alexander McDonald came to Winnipeg
in the seventies, a man of shrewd business ob-
servation and tact. He traveled through the
Territories, and has business interests at sev-
eral points. He settled in business here, and at
present is one of the largest wholesale grocers
in the city.
Having from the first absolute faith in the
country, Mr. McDonald took an active part in
municipal affairs ; was elected Mayor, and from
his knowledge of the infant city's requirements
and his business ability, had much to do in
putting the city's affairs on a good financial
basis. Mr. McDonald is a man of sterling in-
tegrity, and considered one of the city's best
citizens, as he is one of the heaviest ratepayers.
Colonel Thomas Scott, at the present Collec-
tor of Customs, came to the city in 1870. He
was Commandant of the Second Expedition.
After retiring from the military he established
himself in business and was elected Mayor. He
was a useful and efficient Chief Magistrate, and
managed the city's interests with much tact and
ability. He represented Winnipeg a number of
Mr. Alexander McDonald. 143
years in the Dominion Parliament, and was a
close friend of Sir John A. Macdonald.
Mr. Alexander McMicken, a son of the late
Honorable Gilbert McMicken, was Mayor of
Winnipeg 1883 and part of 1884. During his
term of office he visited Ontario, where his
friends made much of him. He was banqueted
by his admirers in many of the Eastern cities
and towns. Mr. McMicken is at present Pro-
vincial Chief Magistrate, and considered spe-
cially well fitted for the position.
His brother, Mr. Hamilton McMicken, is a
financial agent in London, England.
Mr. Thomas Taylor was Mayor of "Winnipeg
two terms, and was looked upon as progressive
and practical. He has represented Winnipeg
Centre in the Local Legislature for several
years, and is at present the occupant of the
Honorable Lyman M. Jones, Dominion Sena-
tor, now of Toronto, Ontario, when a citizen of
Winnipeg, was twice elected Mayor. He was a
practical business man, and considered an able
financier. The business of the city was by him
judiciously managed. When his term of office
expired, the finances were in such a position
that the city's credit was of the best, and his
able direction had much to do with it.
144 Manitoba as I Saw It.
Mr. James H. Ashdown was elected Mayor of
Winnipeg for 1907 and 1908. When he entered
upon his duties it was thought by many that
the credit of the city had been jeopardized by
the city's management the last few years, and
that Mr. Ashdown was the proper person to
straighten the defects and place the city once
more on a good financial basis. At the end of
his second term, in his own words, "The slate
has been cleared off, and the city is now once
more financially sound, and . our borrowing
capacity up to what it should be."
Mr. Ashdown 's successor is Mr. Sanford
Evans, who retired from the Board of Control
to enter the contest for Mayor, and was elected
by the people by a very large majority, and has
entered upon his duties under very favorable
Mr. Evans is a Toronto University man,
about in the prime of life; a cultured gentle-
man, a fluent speaker, and of very pleasing ad-
dress. This year will afford abundant oppor-
tunities to show the people how well he is fitted
for the position.
The late Alexander Logan was the only one
of the descendants of the old settlers that ever
filled the Mayor's chair. He was five times
Mayor of the city, once elected by acclamation.
Mr. Alexander McDonald. 145
Mr. Logan was a genial, gentlemanly man, an
excellent entertainer and strictly honorable in
every sense of the word.
SIR CHARLES TUPPEB.
Captain Cameron, after having been deported
by Eiel 's men, found himself at Pembina at the
beginning of a severe Dakota winter, with wife
and servants, to face a journey across the
prairie of four hundred miles to St. Paul, with
no other conveyance but Red River ponies. The
prospect was not pleasing.
To Mrs. Cameron, a daughter of Sir Charles
Tupper, unaccustomed to roughing it, it must
have been alarming. Her father, Sir Charles,
came at once to Pembina, to assist and direct
her safe return to her home in the East, reach-
ing the border line in January.
While at Pembina he crossed over to the Hud-
son Bay Fort and made arrangements to come
on to the River Salle and have a talk with Rev-
erend Father Richot, making the trip and
spending the night with the Reverend Father,
and safely returned to Pembina. It was at the
time rumored that Sir Charles came to Fort
Garry and talked over matters with Riel, but of
that I am not certain.
Captain Cameron and Sir Charles having
SIR CHARLES TUPPER
Sir Charles Tupper. 147
completed arrangements, returned across the
prairie in February, 1870, braved the cold and
fatigue, and reached St. Paul safely and well.
Verily Mrs. Cameron was the heroine of the
first Riel Rebellion, and deserves a stellar place
in Manitoba history.
During Lieut.-Governor Archibald's term of
office here, Miss Emily McTavish, of To-
ronto, came to visit her brothers, John, George
and Donald McTavish, all prominent in the
service of the Hudson Bay Company. The
Governor was an excellent entertainer, and Miss
McTavish being one of the * ' society buds ' ' from
Toronto, was a noticeable personage at the din-
ners and dances at Government House, dis-
tinguished in appearance and faultlessly gown-
ed in the up-to-date fashions of that day, and
she was somewhat of a revelation to our West-
ern ladies, who, from their isolated location,
were at a disadvantage.
After Miss McTavish returned to Ontario,
and at the next public function, it was clear that
Manitoba ladies had profited thereby, and the
gowns worn were quite in order, and would have
been considered charming anywhere.
Miss McTavish remarked, in a chat I had with
her not long since, ' ' That present conditions of
the social order are less sincere in many ways
148 Manitoba as I Saw It.
than those existing in what are called 'pioneer
days' of Winnipeg." We had our "noblesse"
then as now, which included all the Settlement,
for quite a few of the inmates of the log cabins
scattered here and there, possessed a family
genealogical tree in the old land reaching back
farther than the time-worn date of William the
Conqueror, so often quoted. No one was ag-
gressive for social rights, for indeed we could
not be, depending as we had to, on each other in
those troubled times. There was one definite
social rule of superiority, however, maintained
in all severity; which was the order of prece-
dence at official dinners and balls, which existed
then as now, and occasionally there was some
heart-burning among our official ladies who
were overlooked in the placing at some of our
official functions ; on the whole, however, we had
jolly times. In the first place our women and
girls were all excellent horsewomen, and
thought nothing of a twenty-five mile ride to a
dance which lasted all night. Among the resi-
dent families here at that time who contrived to
enjoy life, were the "Forty Party," consisting
of the Lieutenant-Governor and family, the Mc-
Tavishs, Balsilies, Herchmers, Andersons, Cow-
ans and several others. Outside were the A. G.
B. Bannatynes, the Inksters, Dr. and Mrs.
Sir Charles Tupper. 149
Schultz, Honorable James Mackay and family;
at Deer Lodge, Donald A. and Mrs. Smith
(Baron and Baroness Mount Koyal and Strath-
cona) at Silver Heights. The Stone Fort
(Lower Fort Garry) also added its quota to our
As I mentioned before, all the women were
fearless riders, our horses were excellent, and
we all rode side saddle, and did not require to
have specially trained horses for our use, nor
did we understand the civilized privilege of
timidity on horseback.
Our dances gave keen enjoyment to old and
young alike, for grandfathers and grandmoth-
ers were not to be outdone in staying power by
us children; indeed when it came to the Eight
Hand Reel and the Eed Eiver Jig (without
which no gathering was complete) it not infre-
quently happened that the grey-haired ones
happily danced on whilst the younger genera-
tion subsided exhausted on the nearest seats.
The Red River Jig was a most unique dance, if
dance it could be called, and no description
could satisfactorily picture it to those who have
never seen it performed.
We had theatricals and operas, our local tal-
ent being quite equal to our best amateurs of
to-day, and many a pleasant evening was passed
150 Manitoba as I Saw It.
in this way. Of course the imagination had
occasionally to lend kindly aid to the scenic
effects intended, and costumes of the perform-
ers were sometimes peculiar; then an added
spice was given to our entertainments, by one
or two warning reminders during the evening
from the stage manager, "not to be too enthus-
iastic in our applause, as the crowd had caused
the floor to sag considerably, and although they
had placed upright scantlings in the store below
as supports, too much stamping or clapping
might cause a catastrophe," which naturally
tended to keep our otherwise high spirits in
check. We never criticized nor felt that our
ticket money was wasted, and were all glad to
go again to the next performance.
The dress question was a grave perplexity
to the feminine element, for the few dressmak-
ers resident here, had like Topsy, "just
growed," and it was never safe in ordering a
gown, and selecting a design for same, to pro-
phesy exactly what would be the final result;
for if the modiste found the selected pattern
too difficult, she merely improvised another
model more suitable to her capabilities, and
which no doubt was the mode she had used for
all the old ladies, but somewhat trying to a
young girl. Shopping, too, had its idiosyncra-
Sir Charles Tupper. 151
sies. We had the " Company's Store," but the
supplies were seldom added to, thus making the
choice limited when one wished to appear at
a party in something really recherche, and
all knew to a penny the price of every roll of
goods on the dusty shelves. We thought noth-
ing of mounting a horse and riding down to the
Lower Fort at St. Andrews for dress supplies
not procurable in town, or even farther down
Kildonan to one or other of the scattered stores
existing there only to find on arrival that the
shutters were up and the door locked, making
necessary an extra quarter of a mile ride to the.
owner's house, where a general hunt ensued to
find the key; then on returning to the store we
looked for lace, ribbon, etc., among a pile of
nails, fish hooks, seeds, twine and other like
commodities. It will be seen, therefore, that
we had great need for originality to appear well
dressed. One lady high in our official circles
wore at one of our very select balls a stately
trained robe of unbleached canton flannel, with
the woolly side out, and she wore it with such
grace and dignity, that I question even now if
she would be challenged for the genuineness of
her costly plush gown. There were a few fortu-
nate ones, who once or twice a year replenished
their wardrobes with importations from Edin-
Manitoba as I Saw It.
burgh, London, Montreal and New York, but
all had not ' * Fortunatus ' purse," so many had
to at least imagine themselves stylish with what
the village could supply.
The Northwest of Canada is so vast and the
local characteristics so diverse that it is very
evident that the Federal Government, in order
to legislate in the best interests of Western peo-
ple must be possessed of better and more com-
plete information than they are able to obtain
from the few Senators and members of the
House of Commons, who are sent to Ottawa to
represent the whole of Greater Canada. They
cannot, and it ought not to be expected of them,
know very much of the minutiae of this great
country. Surveyors and engineers sent out in
the interests of railway companies have but a
cursory knowledge of the country, other than
that which the companies who employ them are
directly interested in, often not in the best in-
terests of the people. In this country, where
there are fifty-seven languages spoken; this
vast region containing the largest lakes and
rivers, the greatest and richest mineral deposits
in the world; with an agricultural area much
larger and incomparably more fertile than that
in China ; the production of food stuffs that feed
four hundred millions of people; any and all
information should be at the hand of every
154 Manitoba as I Saw It.
member of the Federal Government, in con-
cise form, when dealing with questions affecting
That information cannot be obtained by ap-
pointing a Commission of men taken from Prov-
inces east of Lake Superior, headed by a Judge,
none of whom can have practical knowledge of
the country or what is required of them. It will,
in order to secure the proper information, be
necessary to appoint men in the West who know
the country and its requirements, who know all
parts that have settlers, their nationality,
whether they are suited to the location, how they
are equipped for the work before them, schools,
if any, the topography of the country, the flora,
a synopsis of the surface geology, mineral de-
posits, if any, and a brief sketch of the natural
history; the water supply and how obtained,
and such information as may be deemed advis-
able in such a report.
THE DANGERS TO BE AVOIDED.
There are many Americans now in the coun-
try, good settlers, and some of them well in-
formed ; in fact, in many instances, they have a
better knowledge of the capabilities of the West
and North, a more intimate knowledge of the
readjustment of the tariff to so order things
that their presence would be either to the ad-
vantage of Canada or the United States. The
great majority of those American settlers are
good citizens, but they have great powers of
assimilation, and are, first, last and always,
Americans. The removal of the duty on cer-
tain Canadian productions, and they would
readily put certain of our products on the free
list, which would be disastrous for the Western
farmer; for instance, if they put wheat on the
free list, our No. 1 Hard would be ground in the
A competent committee or commission to
make the necessary inquiries, and make a com-
plete report, concise, put in book form, for the
use of Government Legislators, they would be in
a position to deal with any matter that came
before the House concerning the Northwest
more intelligently than they are at present.
The people of the older Provinces have pro-
vincial or sectional ideas; the people of the
West are for a United Dominion and the Em-
pire ; and they want their utterances to be taken
seriously. They do not charge the older Prov-
inces of endeavoring to be unfair to the West,
but at times think it possible. They have not
made any special efforts to study the West, in
order that Canadian interests as a whole might
156 Manitoba as I Saw It.
be enhanced throughout the Dominion. In other
words, they do not know the people of the West
as they should. Not an unprejudiced observer
of the great West of Canada but can see the
people have noble ideals, great respect for law,
and keener sense of responsibility of power,
than the older Provinces.
The policy of the Canadian Government in
the not remote future, will be noticeably influ-
enced by the West, and the people of the East
and West should know each other better than
they do at present. The Ministers, during the
hiatus between the Parliamentary sessions,
would gain much useful knowledge by devoting
some of their vacations in the Great West of
Canada, and learn something of the heritage of
the Dominion, of which at present their know-
ledge is very superficial. The experiment
would be exhilarating and most astonishing to
THE MOST REVEREND JOHN JOSEPH LYNCH, THE
LATE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP, TORONTO.
As a Prelate he was liberal to a degree al-
most unprecedented in the history of the hier-
archy of the Church.
Though one of the most devout of Catholics,
and a sincere advocate from conviction of the
HIS GRACE ARCHBISHOP LYNCH, TORONTO
doctrine of Papal infallibility, he was willing to
accord, so far as the rules of his church permit-
ted him to do so, full liberty of conscience to
those who differed from him. He believed that
priests should confine themselves to their
proper functions, and was opposed to clerical
interference with the political consciences of
their flock. "He plainly declared that a priest
has no more right to dictate to his parishioners
how they should vote, than he has to interfere in
the cut of their clothing or the quality of their
In short, Archbishop Lynch of the Eoman
Catholic Church, never forgot the fact that he
was also a man a man dwelling in a community
which was largely made up of Protestants, and
where by reason of his high position, he was
bound to exercise a potent influence, whether for
good or evil.
Some years before his death, on his return
from Borne, he took occasion to call on the
Lord Lieutenant and other persons high in
authority in Ireland, and decorously expressed
his views as to the Irish Question, with special
reference to schools. He was listened to with
the respect due his knowledge of the subject, no
less than the high position which he occupied;
158 Manitoba as I Saw It. .
and seemed to have left a most agreeable im-
pression behind him, judging from the com-
ments of the Irish press.
University of Toronto
Acme Library Card Pocket