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Entered according to Act of Parliament in the year 1887 in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture 

by Dawson Brothers, for the Royal Society. 






Proceedings for 1886 I 

Officers and List of Members XXXIII 


I. Le Pionnier. Par Louis Frechette 1 

II. Le golfe Saint-Laurent (16Q0-liJ2[>}. Par BENJAMIN Sulte ^7 

III. Un Pèlerinage au pays d' Evangeline. Par l' ABBÉ Casgrain 19 

IV. Oscar Dunn. Par M. A. D. DeCelles 65 

V. Les pages sombres de V Histoire. Par J. M. LeMoine "71 


I. Til e Right Hand and Left-handedness. By Daniel "Wilson 1 

II. Local Government in Canada: an Historical Study. By John George Bourinot... 43 
///. Historical Record of the St. Maurice Forges, the Oldest Active Blast-Furnace on the 

Continent of America. By F. C. Wurtele ,. *77 

IV. Brief Outlines of the most famous Journeys in and about Rupert's Land. By Rev. 

George Bryce 91 

V. The Lost Atlantis. By Daniel Wilson 105 


/. Presidential Address. By Chakles Carpmael 1 

II. Tlie Genetic History of Crystalline Roc/cs. By T. Sterry Hunt 1 

HI. On the Colouring Matter of Black Tourmalines. By E. J. Chapman . . . . , 39 

IV. Time-Reclioning for the Twentieth Century. By Sandford Fleming 43 

V. Du choie d'une projection pour la carte du Canada. Par E. Deville 5*7 

VI. Supplement to " A Natural System in Mineralogy, etc." By T. Sterry Hunt 63 

VII. On Some Canadian Minerals. By B. J. Harrington .,.., 81 

VIII. On Some points in reference to Ice Phenomena. By Dr. Robert Bell 85 

IX. Abel's Forms of the Roots of the Solvable Equation of the Fifth Degree. By George 

Paxton Young 93 

X A Meteorite from the Northwest. By A. P. CoLEMAN 97 



/. Presidential Address : Some Points in lohich American Geological Science is indebted to 

Canada. By Sm J. "William Dawson 1 

//. Recent Additions to Canadian Filicineœ, ivith Neto Stations for some of the Species 

previously reported. By T. J. "W. BuEGESS 9 

III. On the Fossil Plants of the Laramie Formation of Canada. By SiR J. William 

Dawson 19 

IV. On the Silurian System of Northern Maine, Neiu Brunswick and Quebec. By L. W. 

Bailey 35 

V. Note sur le contact des formations paléozoïques et archéennes de la province de Québec, 

Par l'abbé J. C. Laflamme , 43 

VI. Mechanism of Move7nent in Cucurbita, Vitis and Robinia. By D. P. Penhallow 49 

VII. On Certain Borings in Manitoba and the Northtcest Territory. By George M. 

Dawson 85 

VIII. Illustrations of the Fossil Fishes of the Devonian Rocks of Canada {Part I). By J. F. 

"Whiteaves 101 

IX. On some Marine Invertebrata, dredged or otherivise collected by Dr. G. M. Dawson, in 
1885, in the northern part of the Strait of Georgia, in Discovery Passage, Johnstone 
Strait, and Queen Charlotte and Quatsino Sounds, British Columbia; ivith a 
Supplementary List of a few land and fresh-water shells, fishes, birds, etc., from the 

same region. By J. F. Whiteaves ,... Ill 

X On the Glaciation and Pleistocene Subsidence of Northern New Brunswick and South- 

Eastern Quebec. By R. Chalmers .,.,,. 139 

AT. On the Cambrian Faunas of Cape Breton and Newfoundland. By Gr. F. M.4.TTHEW.... 141 

XII. Notes on the Limestones of East River, Pictou, N. S. By Edwin Gilpin, Jun 159 

XIII. Preliminary Report on some Graptolites from the Loiver Palaozoic Rocks on the South 

Side of the St. Lawrence from- Cape Rosier to Tartigo River, from the North Shore 
of the Island of Orleans one mile above Cap Rouge, and from the Cove Fields, 
Quebec. By Charles Lapworth let 




Ciit to illustrate Dr. Sandford Fleming's paper on Time-Reckoning for the Twentieth 
Century, p. 51. 

Cut to illustrate Professor Harrington's paper on Canadian Minerals, p. 83. 
Plate to illustrate Dr. Sandford Fleming's paper on Time Eeckoning, etc. 


Cut to illustrate Mr. T. J. W. Burgess's paper on Canadian Filicineœ, p. 12. 

Cuts to illustrate Mr. J. F. Whiteaves's paper on Marine Invertebrata, etc., pp. 114, 
124, 125. 

Cuts to illustrate Mr. Gr. F. Matthew's paper on Cambrian Faunas, etc., pp. 151, 153, 
155, 156. 

Two plates to illustrate SiR William Dawson's paper on Fossil Plants of the Laramie 

Three plates to illustrate Professor Penhallow's paper on Mechanism of Movement 
in Plants. 

Five plates to illustrate Mr. J. F. "Whiteaves's paper on Fossil Fishes of the Devonian 

Plate to illustrate Mr. E. Gilpin's paper on the Limestones of East River, Pictou 
Co., N.S. 




SESSION I. (May 25th.) 

The Royal Society of Canada held its fifth general meeting in the Jlailway Committee room, 
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, on Tuosdaj^, May 25th. The President, Dr. Daniel Wilson, took the 
chair at 11 o'clock a.m., and formally called the meeting to order. 

The Honorary Secretary then read the following 

Eeport of Council. 

The Council have the honour to submit their Annual Eeport. 

In the month of May last, the Council appointed the following gentlemen as members of the 
Printing Committee, viz., Drs. T. Sterry Hunt and Daniel Wilson, Sir William Dawson, Prof. Alex. 
Johnson, Drs. Frechette and Cliauveau, and Mr. Thos. Macfarlane, of whom three should constitute a 

The following Eeport of the Printing Committee has been submitted to the Council: — 

"The Pi'inting Committee have to i-eport the publication of the third volume of the Proceedings 
and Transactions of the Eoyal Society of Canada, which appeared May 22nd, and contains 640 pages 
of text (being a little larger than the report last year), and not less than thirteen pages of maps and 
plates. They would note also the great number of pages of tabulated figures in the paper on the 
Longitude of Monti'eal, the printing of which necessarily caused much additional expense and con- 
siderable delay. Still farther delays have been caused by the great amount of alteration made by 
some writers in their proof-sheets, and by their remissness in many cases in returning these sheets. 
The Committee, under all these circumstanoos, have reason for congratulation in the fact that their 
task is completed before the Annual Meeting, and that copies of the volume are now in the hands of 
the Society. Their thanks are due for the many courtesies shown by the publishers Messrs. Dawson 
Bros, of Montreal, and to Mr. E. W. Boodle, the acting editor, for his skill, care and efficient services. 

" They call attention to the fact that of the Eeport on Fellowships, etc., which forms an Ajipen- 
dix of fourteen pages to the Proceedings of this year, 750 copies, printed apart, have already been 
distributed to the members of the Society, to Universities, learned societies, and others interested. 

" The Committee would earnestly recommend to all the members of the Society greater care in 
the preparation of their papers for publication. No paper should be sent to the Secretaries until it is 

Proc. 1886. A. 


in a completed state and ready for printing, without farther additions. They would also urge that 
papers should be sent in without delay, in order that pi'inting might commence at once, and would 
recommend that August 1st be fixed as a date at which all matter should be in the hands of the 
Printing Committee, and after which no moie can be received. 

"They have got from the publishers a statement herewith appended of the number of copies of 
the Volumes I and 11, now on hand, amounting to 298 copies of Vol. I, and 327 copies of Vol. II. 

" The accounts of the Society with the publishers, up to May 22nd, have been received and are 
herewith submitted." 

MoNTEEAL, May 22nd, 1886. 
The Royal Society of Canada. 

To Dawson Brothers, Dr. 

For Balance as per last account $ 288 53 

Account of editing 327 00 

Foreign and domestic freight, express charges on deliveries 331 61 

Stationery 3 75 

Case», packing, shipping expenses 85 90 

Binding of extra copies 28 50 

Expenses of committees 144 00 

Paper 1,391 25 

Postages, proofs 58 37 

Illustrations 420 GO 

Composition 1,606 53 

Press work , 303 50 

Cancelled matter 50 00 

Alterations from cojjy 280 57 

5,319 51 

By Cash $235 00 

" " 328 00 

" " 200 00 

" " 800 00 

" " 403 87 

u « 2 227 48 

4,194 35 

$1,125 16 

A special cojjy of the Transactions for the year 1884 was forwarded to Her Majesty the Queen, 
through His Excellency the Governor-General, and the following acknowledgment duly received : — 

Ottawa, April 19, 1886. 
J. G. BouRiNOT, Esq., Clerk of the House of Commons, dec. : 

Sir,— I have the honour to forward to you herewith a copy of a despatch from the Colonial OfSce, 
acknowledging the receipt of a copy of the Transactions of the Eoyal Society of Canada for the year 
1884, and conveying Her Majesty's thanks to the Society. 

I have the honoiir to be, Sir, your obedient servant, 

Henry Streatfield, 

Qovernor-GeneraVs Secretary. 



Downing Street, March 26, 1886. 

Governor-General the Most Hon. the Marquess of Lansdowne. G. C. M. G., A-c. : 

Mr LoRD,^I have received and laid before the Queen your Lordship's despatch. No. 50, of the 
23rd ult., forwarding for Her Majesty's acceptance a copy of the Transactions of the Eoyal Society of 
Canada, for the year 1884, and I am commanded to convey to the Society, through your Lordship, 
Her Majesty's thanks for the volume. 

I have, etc., 

(Signed) Granville. 

The Honorary Secretary communicated to Professor Bonney, the distinguished President of the 
Geological Society of London, the fact of his having been unanimously elected one of the Correspond- 
ing Members of the Eoyal Society, and subsequently received the following letter of acceptance : — 

British Association for the Advancement op Science, 

22 Albemarle St., London, W., June 18, 1885. 

To J. G. Bodrinot, Esq., Hon.-Sec. Roy. Soc. Canada: 

Sir, — Your letter of June 2nd, announcing my election as a Corresponding Member of the Eoyal 
Society of Canada, has caused me no less surprise than pleasure. I should not have deemed myself 
worthy of so high an honour, and shall regard it as an incentive to render myself worthy of the con- 
fidence which your members have reposed in me. Pray convey to them ni}^ sincere thanks, and 
express my sense of obligation. 

I remain. Sir, yours faithfully, 

T. G. Bonnet. 

During the past winter the Council had the honour of an interview with the Premier and other 
members of the Government of Canada, and urged on them the desirability of continuing the grant 
of $5 000 which the Society has received for the last three years. Several members of the Council 
addressed the Ministers on the subject, and the Premier replied in very satisfactory terms, expressing 
his approval of the work already done by the Society, and his own opinion that it was deserving of 
financial assistance. He promised to bring the matter to the attention of his colleagues, and at his 
suggestion the Council addressed a memorial to the Governor-General, setting forth the objects and 
labors of the Society and formally praying for a renewal of the grant. We are happy to be able to 
state that the Goverinnent has placed the sum in the Estimates, and we have every confidence that 
Parliament will approve the recommendation and pass the vote in due form. 

The Council have contiuued to cooperate with the British Association in pressing on the Cana- 
dian Government the importance of publishing Tide Tables, and the necessity of establishing for 
this puipose stations for continuous Tidal Observations in the waters of the Dominion. A large dele- 
gation, composed of members of the Eoyal Society, of the Committee appointed by the British Asso- 
ciation, and of the Board of Trade of Montreal, waited on the Minister of Marine and Fisheries in 
January last, and gave him full explanations on a subject of such great interest to the commerce 
and marine of Canada. At a subsequent interview, on the same day, with the Premier and other 
members of the Cabinet, arguments were advanced in favour of the scheme, and information given on 
practical points connected with the proposed observations. It is satisfactory to know that the mem- 
bers of the Government appeared to approve of the propositions submitted to them, but in conse- 
quence of the expenditures entailed by the siu-veys of Georgian Bay and by the expeditions to Hudson 
Bay, they have been unable, so far, to recommend a vote to Parliament. The deputation, however, 


felt encom-aged by tlie interview, and there is much reason fm- coming to the conclusion that no long 
time can pass before the Government will take the matter into their earnest and favourable considera- 
tion. Under these circumstances, the Council recommend that the Eoyal Society continue to pres8 
on the Government and the Parliament of Canada the importance of these Observations. 

In accordance with the regulations of the Eoj'al Society, invitations were issued by the Honorary 
Secretary to the leading literary and scientific societies of Canada, asking them to send delegates to 
take part in all general and sectional meetings for the reading aud discussion of papers, and to com- 
municate statements of the work done by their respective associations. It is gratifying to find that 
the resjjonses to these invitations have been most cordial, and we shall have an average attendance of 
representatives of bodies who are doing a most useful work throughout the Dominion. The Transac- 
tions for the past two years contain summaries of the labours and investigations of these societies, 
which will be very interesting to all those wishing information as to the intellectual development of 
this country. The Council believe that in thus cooperating with all the kindred societies throughout 
the Dominion, the Eoyal Society is performing a work which is eminently satisfactory, since it 
enables a number of persons to meet together from all parts of Canada, and compare notes of literary 
and scientific progress in its different Sections. The Eoyal Society is not exclusive, but is intended 
to be thoroughly national and representative in its object and scope. 

The following is a list of the Societies which have appointed delegates to this Annual Meeting : — 

List op Delegates from Affiliated Societies. 

1. Numismatic and Antiç[uarian Society of Montreal. — W. D. Lighthall. 

2. Historical Society, Winnipeg. — Bev. Br. G. Bryee. 

3. Entomological Society of Ontario. — W. H. Harrington. 

4. Literary and Historical Society of Qacbec. — Dr. J. M. Harper. 

5. Natural History Society of Montreal. — A. H. Mason. 
C. Nova Scotia Historical Society. — Bev. Dr. J. Forrest. 
1. Natural History Society of St. John, N.B.— J. A. Estey. 

8. Institut Canadien, Ottawa. — F. B. E. Campeau. 

9. Société Historique de Montréal. — A. Garneau. 

10. Ottawa Literary and Scientific Societj^ — W. P. Anderson. 

11. Canadian Institute, Toronto.— Pro/. W. H. Ellis. 

12. Institut Canadien de Québec. — J. J. T. Fremont. 

13. Geographical Society of Quebec. — H. J. J. B. Chouinard. 

14. Ottawa Field Naturalists' Club.— 7Ï. B. Whyte. 

15. Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science. — A. H. MacKay (substitute, Maynard Boioman). 

16. Murchison Society of Belleville.— T/ios. Wills. 

17. Hamilton Association. — T. C. Keefer. 

The necessity of a stricter compliance with the rule that requires members to send in titles 
aud abstracts of papers, at least three weeks before the day of the Annual General Meeting, is urged 
by the Council in view of the great advantages that all the members derive from being made cogni- 
Eant in time of the subjects that are to be discussed in the Sections. For the first time this year, 
the Honorary Secretary published the titles and abstracts so far as he had received them, and for- 
warded them by mail to the members of the Society. But it will be seen that the rule has been 
observed in only a few cases. It is also necessary to state that members should make their abstracts 
as brief as possible. In one or two cases the matter was altogether too full for publication. 

It is satisfactory to know that the volumes of the Transactions which have been sent to other 


countries have met with a very fiivourable reception, and that a large number of publications are now 
received in the course of the year from foreign societies. So faj-, on account of the Royal Society's 
having no place for a library, the value of these exchanges is in a great measure lost to the members 
and other persons who may be desirous of consulting these scientific and literary publications. In 
view of this fact, the Society should, as soon as possible, take into its serious consideration the 
necessity of making provision for suitable rooms where the members can meet as occasion requires. 
It is hoped that in the event of the Government of the Dominion erecting at some future time a suit- 
able building for a National Museum in Ottawa, it will be f)0ssible to procure from them the accom- 
modation required by the Society. 

The Council think it advisable to call attention to the difficulty that arises of obtaining a large 
attendance of members of the Society at the Annual General Meetings. The average attendance for 
four years has not exceeded forty-five out of a total membership of eighty Fellows. This year, the 
Colonial and Indian Exhibition has naturally attracted to England a number of gentlemen who have 
taken an active part in the proceedings of the Society. In asking the attention of the Society to this 
subject, the Council would at the same time refer sjjecially to the rule which sets forth, that "Any 
member failing to attend three years in succession, without presenting a paper, or assigning reasons 
in writing satisfactory t^ the Society, shall be considered to have resigned." The attention that was 
called to this rule at the Annual General Meeting of 1885, has produced a good effect, since it has 
induced several members to take a more active interest in the work of the Society, by sending 
papers, which will be found of considerable interest and value. In this connection, the Council 
regret to state that Mr. Charles Sangster has sent in a formal resignation of his membership in 
Section II, on account of the condition of his health, which prevents him from taking an active part 
in the work of the Society. Under these circumstances, the Council would recommend that Mi-. 
Sangster's resignation bo accepted. 

Some doubts having arisen as to the interpretation to be placed on Rule 6, providing for the 
election of new members, the Council would recommend that the second paragraph of the Rule be 
rescinded, and the following substituted therefor: — 

"The number of members in each section shall be limited to twenty. Any vacancy occurring 
in any Section shall be reported to the Secretary of that Section by the Honorary Secretary, as early 
as possible. The Section shall proceed at the time of the Annual General Meeting to nominate by 
ballot for the filling of such vacancy, The nominations, with reasons stated in writing, shall then be 
transmitted to the Council, and by it submitted for final vote to the Society at its General Meeting of 
the ensuing year." 

List op Members Present. 

The Honorary Secretary called over the roll of members, and the following gentlemen responded 
to their names : — ■ 

Dr. Daniel Wilson, Very Rev. T. B. Hamel, Sir W. Dawson, Dr. T. Sterry Hunt, J. G. Bourinot, 
G. T. Denison, Prof Chapman, A. Lusignan, Dr. R. Bell, J. M. LeMoine, P. Lemaj-, F. N. Gisboi-ne, 
W. Rirby, Abbé Tanguay, A. D. DeCelles, T. Macfarlane, G. Stewart, Jun., Dr. J. A. Grant, C. H. 
Carpmael, Dr. Sandford Fleming, Dr. G. M. Dawson, G. C. Hoffmann, J. F. Whiteaves, Dr. Withrow, 
Prof. Bailey, Dr. iEneas Dawson, John Reade, Prof J. A. K. Laflamme, J. Fletcher, Dr. Fortin, 
B. Suite, J. Tassé. 


The minutes of the Fourth General Meeting, May, 1885, as printed in the third Volume of the 
Transactions, were read and approved. 


The resignation of Mr. Sangster, as a member of Section IT, was accepted in accordance with 
the recommendation of the Council. 

The draft of Eulc 6, as amended by the Council in their Eeport, was then considered, and form- 
ally adopted nem. con. 

Eeports from Affiliated Societies. 

The Honorary Secretar^^ then again read the list of delegates, and the following Eeports were 
submitted from the Affiliated Societies : — 

I. — Fiom the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal, through Mr. W. D. Lighthall : — 

Our Society, though the word "Numismatic" stands before "Antiquarian" in its title, pursues 
chiefly antiquarian work. It was incoi-piorated in 1869, and holds meetings once a month, from 
November to Api-il. During the last two years, great advantage has been found in holding the meet- 
ings at members' residences, where the Society has been greatly instructed by the view of private 
collections and unique objects, with which it would have been otherwise impossible for the whole to 
become acquainted, and the sociable atmosphere of such receptions has contributed greatly to the 
free communication of ideas; while the young men in j^articular h.avo been attracted by this means 
to increased interest in the objects of the Society, which they see so happily pursued in the private 
life of their elders. 

The following papers have been read during the past session : — 

Nov. 17. Château Boisbriant, by Mr. E. Lyman. 

The Glastonlmiy Penny, by Mr. E. "W. McLachlan. 
Dec. 15. Meanderings in History, by Mr. Henry Mott. 
Jan. 15. Notes on the Conseil Souverain, by Hon. P. J. O. Chauveau. 
Feb. 16. Old Edinburgh and its Associations, by Mr. J. H. Bowe. 
March 16. The Louisbourg Medals, by Mr. E. W. McLachlan. 
April 15. The Old Parish Churches of the Province of Quebec, by Mr. W. D. Lighthall. 

Besides the holding of these meetings, our work includes the support and publication of the 
Canadian Antiquarian and Numismatic Journal, and the gathering together of a collection of coins and 
other objects, which is kept by one of the officers. We also endeavor, where possible, to protect and 
preserve " the ancient landmarks," and to jn'osecute and encourage antiquarian work of all kinds in 
our neighborhood. 

For instance, it is almost certain that the old Church of Notre Dame de Bonsecours, nearly the 
sole remaining public relic of consequence in Montreal, was saved from absolute demolition by the 
efforts of the Society, though very painful alterations have been made. Nor is it likely that several 
books treating of interesting matters would have seen the light of ]niblication had the Society not 
been steadily doing its duty — such, for example, as the " History of Montreal Jail and the Prison 
Eecords," by the Eev. John Borthwick, Chaplain, which is just appearing. 

Among our members, Mr. Henry Mott is bringing out an admirable "Histoiy of Montreal;" Mr. 
Charles T. Hart is gathering a large, unique and invaluable collection of photographs of old localities 
and buildings, chiefly old parish churches, which are fast disajjjjearing. Mr. Eoswell Lyman is 
adding industriously to the accurate sketching and measurement of antiquarian structures and 
articles. The Society is, in fact, turning its attention strongly to the importance of registering the 
actual mould and impress of historic things by pictorial means, and its suggestions have moved seve- 
ral outside painters who have reproduced in color such objects as the Bonsecours Chui-ch above 
mentioned, before alteration, and the homestead of La Salle, on the Fraser Farm, at Lower Lachine, 
the latter of which was exhibited at the Spring Exhibition of the Eoyal Academy at Montreal. A 


little has been done, likewise, in the way of taking heel-ball impressions from monumental inscrip- 
tions. The writer would take this opportunity to recommend that some one should undertake a set 
of the more interesting Canadian inscriptions, of which there are many of value in the churches and 
graveyards. The process is the simple one of laying a piece of white "lining-paper" (which any 
wall-paper dealer sells) over the inscription and rubbing across the surface with shoemaker's heel- 
ball. Indeed, to make a broad suggestion, every family ought to possess a set of these simple records 
j)ertaining to itself I shall close my sketch of our year's work by adding that material is being 
collected by our Secretary, Mr. Bowe, for a projected description of the coats-of-arms of French 
Canadian soisniorial families. 

II. — From the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, through Dk. John Harper : — 

As I predicted last year, in making my report as delegate from the Literary and Historical 
Society of Quebec to the Eoyal Society of Canada, the efforts of our President, George Stewart, Jun., 
to place our Society more directly in line with the literary activity of to-day have been attended by 
the most favorable results. A greater interest has been taken in the various departments of our 
work, and in none more so than in the reading of papiers and in the arrangements for a course of 
lectures. The latter particularly have been a great success, the various lecturers having been greeted 
by large audiences, consisting of the members of the Society and the citizens of Quebec. Though 
our finances are not altogether yet in a sufficiently tiourishing condition to enable the Society to 
resume its work of i^ublishing papers and original documents, arrangements were made whereby a 
printed Eeport of our Ti'ansactions has been issued; and in the name of the Society, I have much 
pleasure in presenting the Council of the Eoyal Society with a copy of this Eejroi-t, wherein will be 
found the record of the Society's proceedings for the past three years, and a reprint of the "Histoire 
du Canada," by Abbé de Belmont — a memoir which was first published by our Society in 1840 from 
the original MS. in the Bibliothèque du Eoi at Paris. The various papers and lectures which have 
been received by the Society, as may be seen from the printed Eeport, are as follows : — 

Nov. 19. The Administration of de Denonville and the Second Term of Frontenac : Inaugural 

Address, by the President, Dr. SteWart. 
Doc. 3. A Year's Experience among the Eskimos in Hudson Strait, by Mr. W. A. Ashe. 
Dec. 11. Burmah and the Indo-China Territory in its connection with the Canadian Pacific 

Eailway, by Lieut.-Col. W. Ehodes. 
Dec. 18. Impressions de voyage, sir Walter Scott, sa carrière, ses écrits, son château d'Abbots- 

ford, by Mr. J. M. LeMoine. 
Dec. 30. Une course dans le nord de l'Afrique, by the Hon. Justice Eouthier. 
. Jan. 29. Quebec and Literature, by Dr. John M. Harper. 
Feb. 12. Historic Glimpses in the Old World, by Eev. Dr. Mathews. 
Feb. 19. The Origin of the Saguonay, by Abbé J. C. K. Laflamme. 
Feb. 26. Hudson Strait, by Mi-. W. A. Ashe. 
March 12. Stories of Coast Life, and Description of some of the least known and most interesting 

Fish of Canada, by Mr. J. U. Gregory. 
March 19. Eailways and Waterways, by Mi-. Joseph Shehyn. 

Our membership includes at the present time about two hundred and thirty names, and a Com- 
mittee has been appointed to secure additional members, in order to place the Society in a sound 
financial position. Dm-ing the year, twenty-four new members have been elected, while twelve of the 
old members have withdrawn. Six of our most highly esteemed members died during the year, viz., 
William Darling Campbell, Ninian Davidson, E. C. Burke, William Home, Michael Stevenson and 
Dr. Jackson. His Excellency the Marquis of Landsdowne, Governor-General of Canada, was elected 


patron and honorary member of the Society; and the following gentlemen wore elected cori'espond- 
ing members, viz., I. Allen Jack, Recorder of the City of St. John, N.B., and B. Percy Scott, of 
Windsor, N.S. 

The Library continues to improve under the superintendence of the energetic Librarian, Mr. F. 
C. Wurtele, who reports that during the year 2,234 volumes were given out to members. 

The following gentlemen were elected to office for the year 1885-6 : — 

President George Stewart, Jun. 

( Wm. Hossack. 
Cyr. Tessier. 
John M. Harper. 

I J. Wliitehead. 

Treasurer Edwin Pope. 

Librarian Fred. C. Wurtele. 

Eecording Secretary J. F. Belleau. 

Corresfjonding Secretary W. S. Bennett. 

Council Secretary .,.,. Alexander Eobertson. 

Curator of Museum J. U. G-regoiy. 

Curator of Apparatus E. McLeod. 

f J. M. LeMoine. 


Additional Members of Council. 

Herbert M. Price. 
Hon. D. A. Eoss. 
Peter Johnston. 

Mr. E. Turner was appointed Auditor for the ensuing year. 

III. — From the New Brunswick Natural History Society, through Prof. Bailey: — 

The New Brunswick Natural History Society, of St. John, respectful!}' submits to the Eoyal 
Society of Canada the following report of progress for the past year : — 

The Society has a membershiji of over one hundred members, and among them many active 
naturalists, who are doing zealous and careful work in the several departments in which they are 
engaged. Owing to the j'early grant received from the Local Government of New Brunswick, the 
Society has been enabled to increase its Museum accommodation, and to engage more effectively in 
original work. Valuable additions have been made during the year to its Museum, especially in the 
departments of geology, botanj^, zoology, ornithology, etc. 

During the summer of 1885, a summer camp was held under the auspices of a working club of 
the Society, on Fiye's Island, near the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay. The work principally 
carried on was in geology, zoologj' and botany, and considerable introductory work was done in 
marine zoology and botany. 

The accompanying Bulletin contains a more corajilete resume of the work of the Society during 
the past year, and is herewith transmitted to the members of the Eoyal Society for their inspection. 

IV. — From the Hamilton Association, through Mr. T. C. Keefer. 

The Association has held nine meetings during the year just closing. The attendance at these 
meetings was good, and the interest manifested in the subjects brought before Ihe members satislac- 
tory. The following were the subjects of the jiapers : — ' 

1. The Mound Builders' remains in Manitoba, by Mi-. Charles N. Bell. 

2. The Pressure and Elasticity of the Atmosphere (illustrated by numerous experiments), by 

Mr. A. Gaveller. 


3. American Oi'nithology, by Mr. Thomas Mcllwraith. 

4. Pessimism, by Eev. Samuel Lyle. 

5. The Phosphate Trade of Canada, ly Dr. H. B. Small. 

6. Telegraphic Communication with a Moving Train, by Mr. George Black. 

7. Life in Nature and Evolution in Life, by Mr. J. Alston Moffatt. 

Our Association is fortunate in having as a member Mi'. Thomas Mcllwraith, who, has contribu- 
ted during this Session so mt • h original work to the Biology Section, in the shape of a full 
description of no less than two liundred and fifty birds of Canada. This important work has been 
handed over unconditionally to 'he Association, and will be published and distributed shortly, and 
will form a valuable addition to the science of ornitholog}'. 

The Geological Section has not been overlooked, for Lt.-Col Grant and other members have 
added to our collection of specimens. 

The Eeading Eoom has been supplied with some of the leading scientific magazines and reviews. 

Our present membership is one hundred and forty-five, twenty-four new members having been 
admitted dui'ing the Session. 

V. — From the Murchison Scientific Society of Belleville, through Mr. T. Wills. 

In presenting the repiort of the Murchison Scientific Society of Belleville, we have to express 
our regret that, in consequence of the pressing business engagements of so many of oar members, not 
much original work has been done during the past year, but papers have been read on the following 
subjects : Fresh Watei- Sponges, the Early History of Electricity, Fruit and Flowei-s, and Physio- 
logical and Pathological Chemistry. Meetings have been regularly held, and several microscopical 
exhibitions have been given. The Society was honoured by a visit trom the members of the Phar- 
maceutical Society of Ontario, which held its convention in Belleville, in August, and the convex-- 
sazione which was given in thcii' honour was well attended. Progress continues to be made with 
the Museum, and a number of valuable and interesting articles have lately been presented which add 
much to the attractiveness of the collection. 

The officers for the present year are : — 

President Mr. Thos. Wills. 

Vice-President Mr. 0. C. Greenleaf. 

Secretary Mr. W. E. Smith. 

Treasurer Mr. E. W. Edwards. 

VI. — From the Institut Canadien-français d'Ottawa, through Mr. F. E. E. Campeau, C. St.-S. 

Le bureau de direction de l'Institut Canadien-français d'Ottawa, fier comme les années précé- 
dentes de l'honneur que lui a fait la Société Eoyale du Canada en l'invitant à présenter un rapport 
sur ses opérations de l'année courante, peut se vanter de l'état comparativement prospère de ses 

Nous avons éprouvé, le 6 avril 1885, une perte considérable par l'effondrement du toit de notre 
édifice, mais les touscriptions généreuses de ses membres et d'autres personnes sympathiques, 
s'eièvant à près de sept cents dollars, ont couvert une partie de nos frais de reconstruction, qui se 
montent à plus de seize cents dollars. 

Le gouvernement d'Ontario continue à accorder l'allocation annuelle de trois cents dollars, ce 
qui est d'un grand secours pour nous, surtout dans cette période critique que nous avons à traverser. 

Le nombre de nos membres titulaires est de deux cent trente-sept. 

Pendant l'année littéraire qui vient de s'écouler, onze conférences ont été données devant 

Proc. 1886. B. 


l'Institut, en présence d'assistances généralement nombreuses, qui témoignaient de l'intérêt porté aux 
lettres par la population française d'Ottawa. 

Ces conférences se résument comme suit : — 

lo La langue que nous parlons, par M. Napoléon Legendre, de la Société Eoyale. 

2o Deux femmes d'après Corneille, par le E. P. Fillâtre, O.M.I. 

3o Montcalm, par M. P. J. Ubalde Baudry, grefiSer adjoint du conseil privé. 

4o Une résurrection, par le E- P- Nolin, O.M.I. 

5o Au pôle nord, par M. Achille Talbot, avocat. 

60 L'étude des sciences naturelles, par le E. P. Marsan, O.M.I. 

To Les traces d'aborigènes constatées par la découverte de spécimens archéologiques, par M. 
■ Faucher de Saint-Maurice, M.S.E.C. 

80 Nos premières relations littéraires avec la France, par M. Alphonse Lusignan, de la Société 

9o L'Angleterre et la Eussie dans l'Inde, par M. Napoléon Champagne, secretaire de l'Institut 

Canadien-français d'Ottawa. 
lOo Les falsifications dans le commerce et dans la société, jjar le Dr F. X. Valade. 
llo Le drame et les auteurs dramatiques au Canada, par l'honorable Pascal Poirier, sénateur. 

Je constate un intérêt pour nos séances publiques, qui ne s'abat point. Sans doute, le nombre 
de ceux qui viennent s'instruire à notre foyer n'augmente pas vite, mais c'est une consolation de 
savoir qu'il ne décroît pas. 

Tout dernièrement, nous avons noué des relations avec cinquante-sept sociétés littéraires et 
scientifiques, dont: 

26 de France, 14 des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, 4 d'Angleterre, 2 d'Italie, 2 do Suisse, et 1 de 
chacun des pays suivants: Algérie, Autriche, Bavière, Belgique, Ecosse, Egypte, Irlande, Eussie, 
Sicile et Suède. 

Les nombreuses publications que nous avons reçues de ces différentes sociétés sont autant de 
précieuses acquisitions pour notre bibliothèque, et, si la fortune nous favorise, nous pourrons peut-être 
un jour, peu éloigné je l'espère, publier nous aussi nos conférences et nos délibérations, que nous 
serions si heureux d'offrir aux sociétés avec lesquelles nous sommes en correspondance. 

Somme toute, notre état financier et notre situation littéraire sont satisfaisants, et je puis 
ajouter qu'ils nous permettent d'espérer un progrès prochain. 

En terminant, j'ai l'honneur de vous présenter la liste suivante des membres du bureau de notre 
institution pour l'année exjjirant le premier jeudi d'octobre mil huit cent quatrevingt-six : — 

Piésident F. E. E. Campeau, C. St-S. 

1er vice-président Chs Desjardins. 

2nd " " J.L.Olivier. 

Secrétaire-archiviste Napoléon Champagne. 

Assistant secrétaire-archiviste J. B. A. Pigeon. 

Trésorier L. J. Béland. 

Bibliothécaire Napoléon Boulet. 

Curateur du musée J. Auger. 

Dr L. C. Prévost. 

Conseillers . 

Aug. Laperrière. 
J. A. Pinard. 
Ant. Champagne. 
P. H. Chabot. 
A. Biais. 


VII.— From the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, through Mr. E. B. Whtte :— 

In pi-esenting to your honourable Society the fourth report fiom the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' 
Club, the Council have great pleasure in being able to say that its work has been carried on with in- 
creased and gratifying success. The Club has, at present, over one hundred and eighty ordinary and 
seven corresponding members, making it numerically one of the strongest scientific societies in the 
Dominion, and as regards original work performed by the members, it can compare favourably with any 
similar society. 

The usual excursions to places of interest in the vicinity were held at intervals during the sum- 
mer, and many valuable fects concerning the natui'al history of this district were recorded. 

Much useful work was also accomplished at the subexcursions, which were held on Saturday 
afternoons, to points in the immediate neighborhood of the city. These subexcursions are of the 
chai'acter of out-door classes, and are conducted with a view to enable the younger and less experi-, 
enced members to study the different branches under the guidance of the appointed leaders, whose duty 
it is to give any assistance and explanation that may be necessary. Diu-ing the winter, six soirees 
were held — one being an evening devoted to the microscope, at which short papers were read and slides 
exhibited, illustrative of the different subjects; while at the others the following papiers were read :— 

1. The President's Address, by W. H. Harrington. 

2. The Black Bear, by W. P. Lett. 

3. Water Crystallization affected by Magnetic or Electi-ic action, by E. Odium (Pembroke.) 

4. The Teaching of Mineralogy, by Eev. C. P. Marsan. 

5. Ottawa Dragonflies, by T. J. McLaughlin. 

In addition, there were reports from the leaders of the work done during the year in the various 
departments of natural history, and notes by members. These, as well as the papers read, were fol- 
lowed by discussions of an interesting nature, which discussions are a distinctive feature of the soirees. 

Afternoon lectures were also given during the winter on the following subjects : — 

Entomology (4), by W. H. Harrington and J. Fletcher. 

Mineralogy (1), by Eev. C. F. Marsan. 

Ornithology (1), by W. L. Scott. 

Botany (5), by J. M. Macoun and E. B. Whyte. 

The tive on Botany were delivered before the students of the Normal School, by request of Prin- 
cipal McCabe. In addition to these lectures, at the request of the Inspector of Public Schools for 
Ottawa, a weekly class in Botany has been organized as part of the regular instruction for the Senior 
Students at the Central School West. The attendance and attention displayed at this class have been 
most encouraging to the Senior Leader in Botany, who has undertaken the work. 

The Council are much gratified to know that their efforts in the way of encouraging the study 
of natural history are being more ajjpreciated, the attendance at the soirees, the excursions and the 
classes, has been larger, and the interest shewn by those present has been much more marked than in 
any previous year. 

A copy of the Club Transactions, No. 6, containing 132 pages and 2 plates, is herewith submitted, 
and we hope that it will be found a creditable addition to our list of publications. 

At the annual meeting of the Club, held on March 17, the following officers were elected for the 

year 1886-87 :— 

President Prof J. Macoun. 

,.. T, . , , j E. B. Whyte. 

Vice-Presidents | Principal Woods. 

Secretary ...c ...i,. ,.W. H. Harrington. 

Librarian F. E. Latchford. 

( J. Fletcher, 
Committee } Dr. Small, 

( Eev. Prof Marsan. 


The following leaders have been ap23ointed in their several subjects :— 

Geology—}!. M. Ami, Prof. Marsan, H. P. Brunell and T. W. B. Souter. 
Botany— R. B. Whyte, Principal Woods and Dr. H. B. Small. 
Entomology— :S . Fletcher, W. H. Harrington and T. J. McLaughlin. 
Co7ichology— lion. P. A. Poirier and F. R. Latchford. 
Ornithology— W. L. Scott, G. E. White and J. M. Macoun. 
Zoology— K. B. Small and W. P. Lett 

SESSION II. {Afternoon Sitting.) 

Eeports fkom Affiliated Societies. (Continued.') 

The members of the Society assembled at 3 o'clock, p.m., and the President called the meeting 
to order. 

Mr. George Stewart, Jun., acted as Secretary in Mr. Bourinot's absence. 

The Societies which had not reported at the morning meeting were then called upon, and the 
following reports were accordingly presented : — 

VIII. — From the Entomological Society of Ontario, through Mr. W. H. Harrington: — 

As delegate from the Entomological Society of Ontario, I have much pleasure in announcing that 
the Society which I have the honour to represent, continues its labours with undiminished energy and 
success. Its membership is large, and it is everywhere recognized as one of the most important 
scientific institutions of the country. 

Its monthly publication, the Entomologist, continues to receive the support of, and to be welcomed 
by, entomologists of all places, and Vol. XVII for 1885, is a most valuable addition to the recorded 
knowledge of American insects. The contributors to this volume, forty in number, include the leading 
Canadian workers, and many of the best known entomologists of the United States. A complete set 
of the Entomologist and of the annual reports will be found to contain a vast store of information in 
regard to the structure, classification, distribution, and habits of our insect foes and friends. 

The title "Entomological Society of Ontario" might lead many to sujjpose that its work was 
limited to this province, but in reality, it is carried on by members in all parts of the Dominion, 
from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia. The faunas of the latter province, and that of the 
Northwest Territories have been investigated during recent years by several experienced collectors, 
and large additions have been made to Canadian lists, and many new species discoveied in the 
several orders of insects. 

Through the contributions of members, the collection maintained by the Society has rapidly 
increased in size and value. By special request of the Dominion Government, this collection has been 
sent to the Colonial Exhibition just opened in London. It was first carefully rearranged by members 
having special knowledge of the various orders, and was much improved by having a large proportion 
of the old specimens replaced by fresh material, and by having a lai-ge amount of new mateiùal 
incorporated. The collection, as thus an-anged and enlarged, fills over one hundred large cases, and 
will undoubtedly favourably impress all beholders with the great number and variety of our insects. 

The Society has learned with jjleasui'e that a competent entomologist is jji-oposed to be employed 
in connection with the experimental farm to be started for the investigation of scientific agi-iculture. 
Such an oificer is a decided essential, and his duties will be, to quote from Prof Saunders's Eeport to 
the Department of Agriculture, " to investigate the habits of insects destructive to farm and garden 
crops, fruits, etc., as well as those affecting animals, with a view of testing such remedies as may be 
available for their destruction. He should also prepare such collections for the Museum at the Cen- 


tral Station as would illustrate the insects injurious and beneficial to vegetation, and duplicate collec- 
tions of a similar character, as early as practicable for each of the substations." 

In this connection, it may be stated that Mr. Fletcher, who is at present acting as Honorar3^ 
Entomologist, has, under exceptionally unfavoi-able conditions, and without being able to devote his 
time to the woi'k, or to employ needed assistance, published a repoi-t containing a large amount of 
information about the insects which were found to be most injurious during the past yeai-. The 
report is based upon his personal observations in ditfurent sections, and upon voluminous corres- 
pondence from all parts of the Dominion. It is an earnest of what might be accomplished by an 
entomologist having the necessary equipment and assistance to prosecute and record investigations. 

Fortunately, neither from Mr. Fletcher's report, nor from those of the Entomological Society, do 
we find that any especially destructive new pests were met with duiing the past year, nor were some 
of the old ones so abundant and devastating as formerly, The ravages of the Larch Saw-Fly (iVe- 
matiis Erichsonii) and of the Spruce-bud Moth {Tortrix fumiferana) showed signs of decrea&e. The 
Clover-seed Midge (Cecidomyia leguminicola) continued to do serious injury over extended areas, but if 
farmers will act upon the suggestions which have been made in our reports regarding the cultivation 
of this crop, thej^ can harvest a good yield of seed. 

Two of the most destructive insects in Canada for many years past have been the Codling Moth 
(CarjMcapsa pomonella) and the Plum CnrcaUo {Conot?-achelus nejiuphar), the former destroying or injur- 
ing probably one-tifth of our apple crop, and the latter often causing a total failure of the crop of 
plums. Numerous remedies have been proposed and employed against these pests, but the labour 
required was, in each instance, considerable, and the results were scarcely ever entirely satisfactory. 
Experiments made during recent years by our members have, however, proved that Paris green is an 
efficient and practicable remedy, when mixed with water and sprayed upon the trees as soon as the 
flowers have been fully fertilized. 

These facts are mentioned by me in order that a knowledge of them may be diffused by the Fel- 
lows of j-our honorable Society, and by the Delegates to this meeting. 

The loss to the country annually by the ravages of insects upon crops of all kinds is so enormous, 
that it becomes the duty of every society, interested in the prosperity of the country, to do what may 
be in its power to enable agriculturists to conquer their small but numerous foes. 

IX. — From the Société de Géographie de Québec, through Abbé Laflamme : — 

Le comité de légie de la Société de Géographie de Québec a l'honneui' de faire un rapport des 
opérations de la Société pendant l'année 1885. . 

Le bail de notre société avec l'Institut Canadien de Québec expirait le 30 avril 1885, et le prix du 
loyer devenant trojj onéi'eux pour nos ressources, nos directeurs ont dû songei- à trouver un autre 
local. Après bien des recherches infructueuses, nous avons décidé de faire un marché avec messieurs 
les commissaires du gouvernement fédéral chargés de l'octroi des licences dans la ville de Québec, par 
lequel nous avons eu l'autorisation d'occujjer conjointement avec eux les salles dans lesquelles nous 
nous réunissons encore aujourd'hui. Cette installation n'était que temporaire, et entraînait de sérieux 
inconvénients ; mais nous avons dû nous en contenter jusqu'à ce jour. Nos successeurs seront sans 
doute plus heureux que nous dans leurs démarches pour régler cette importante question ; nous le 
souhaitons vivement. 

Le lac Mistassini a continué d'attirer l'attention publique durant l'année qui vient do s'écouler. 
On se rappelle les démarches nombreuses et pressantes entreprises par notre Société depuis plusieurs 
années pour engager les gouvernements d'Ottawa et de Québec à faire explorer cette immense région 
encore à peu près inconnue. 

Nous voulions connaître les ressources du grand nord de notre province, et nous avions l'ambition 
bien légitime d'assurer à la partie occidentale de la Confédération canadienne les mêmes chances 


d'agrandissement et de progrès vers le Nord, que celles obtenues par nos concitoyens d'Ontario, du 
Manitoba et la Colombie-Anglaise. Le résultat de nos efforts a été l'organisation d'une expédition au 
lac Mistassini sous l'autorité combinée des gouvernements d'Ottawa et de Québec, et préparée par la 
commission géologique du Canada et le département des Ten-es de la couronne de Québec. Bien que 
nous ne puissions pas maintepant juger la valeur des résultats pratiques de cette exploration, parce 
que les rapports officiels n'en sont pas encoie publiés, il nous est cependant permis d'espérer que nous 
en recueillerons des fruits précieux pour la science géographique et pour la connaissance de notre 
propre pays. 

Malgré la modicité de nos ressources, nous avons pu continuer la publication de notre bulletin, et 
le No IV est maintenant prêt à être distribué. Ou y remarquera que les études sur la région du lac 
Mistassini et les vallées du lac Saint>Jean et du Saguenay, et la question des exjDlorations en général 
ont été la préoccujmtion dominante de nos conférenciers et de nos collaborateurs. 

Notre société a continué d'être en j'apports d'amitié avec la plupart des sociétés de Géographie du 
monde entier, et la longue liste de nos échanges et des dons que nous avons reçus prouve que notre 
Société est tenue en grande estime chez nous et à l'étranger. 

Nous saisissons avec empressement l'occasion de notre assemblée générale pour offrir nos senti- 
ments de vive reconnaissance aux hommes distingués qui ont contribué jjar leurs écrits et leur confé- 
rences à la confection de notre bulletin, et aussi aux nombreuses sociétés et aux bienfaiteurs dont les 
envois généreux ont enrichi notre bibliothèque. 

L'année 1865 a moissonné parmi nos membres et nos officiers. Elle nous a enlevé un homme 
distingué dans la personne de M. Franklin B. Hough, de Washington, membre honoraire, et un jeune 
officier de notre Société, M. Joseph Chouinard, l'un des assistants secrétaires-correspondants. 

Le rapj)ort de notre trésorier démontre avec l'éloquence irrésistible des chiffres la nécessité des 
efforts sérieux pour ranimer le zèle de nos membres, pour rallier ceux qui nous ont laissés, pour recru- 
ter en grand nombre de nouveaux adhérents, afin que l'œuvre entrej^rise par notre Société, non-seule- 
ment ne périsse pas, mais grandisse et produise la riche moisson ambitionnée par nos fondateurs. 
On ne saurait trop déplorer le malheur des temps qui a forcé, nous aimons à le croire, le gouvernement 
de Québec à supprimer les octrois aux sociétés qui s'occupent de science et de littérature. Espérons 
que le moment n'est pas éloigné où les efforts généreux des rares adeptes de la science et des lettres en 
notre pays ne seront pas entièrement méconnus, qu'après avoir largement pourvu aux besoins maté- 
riels de notre peuple, on fera une part aussi large que possible des deniers publics pour aider à ces 
associations qui travaillent, avec désintéressement et sans espoir de récompense pour leurs membres 
dévoués, à favoriser une belle et noble cause, la cause de la science et de l'éducation, et font à elles 
seules, au Canada, ce qui dans tous les pays est l'œuvre des gouvernements, c'est-à-dire une œuvre 

Addresses of the President and Vice-President. 

The President, Dr. Daniel Wilson, then delivered the following address: — 

■ We meet to-day after another year of work as a Society, to report progress, and to submit, in the 
various Sections, the contributions of the year to the departments of letters and science embraced 
within our comjjrehensive oi-ganization. In fulfilling the duty that now devolves on me, I might be 
tempted to follow the example of some who, in analogous positions, have surveyed the whole field of 
work, -with its possibilities and opportunities : I might aim at a resume not only of the actual achieve- 
ments of Canadian science and letters, but of all that lies within the compass of its most ambitious 
aims. But such an attempt would involve a review of the intellectual life of the age. Physics and 
metaphysics, palœontology, archaîology, history, and bdles-lettres, all alike claim our attention ; but 
amid the wide diversity of intellectual activity which marks the era, a disposition is increasingly 


manifested to give the foremost place to questions which directly affect humanity. The speculations 
of science more and more converge towards one centre; and along with this it is impossible to over- 
look the growing tendency among one class of inquirers to translate hypothesis into scientific dogma. 
It is well that we should ever bear in remembrance that "Evolution," which is the magic word 
assumed for the present to solve all difficulties, necessarily implies piogressive change ; and so points 
to a beginning— a Creator. This novel hypothesis of the great English naturalist of our century, 
which offers for its acceptance a new tcience of life, has revolutionized the whole course of scientific 
speculation. The geologist, responding to its appeal, undertakes, on strictly scientific evidence, the 
sii^nificant problem of the antiquity of man. The biologist unites with the pakrontologist, in a 
renewed search for his pedigree. The psychologist has embraced within the sphere of his philosophic 
speculations the evolution of the intellectual powers, the conscience, and the will ; and assumes no 
less dogmatically to determine the descent of mind. 

With so vast a range of speculation thus comprehended within the field of scientific research, 
the most gifted student might well hesitate to cope with the theme, in this its revolutionary stage. 
For me, the attempt would be altogether presumptuous; and I shall best fulfil the duty now devolving 
on me by limiting luy: elf mainly to one department of research, which, as I conceive, has special 
and urgent claims on the attention of this Society at the present time. 

The Science of Language, itself among the youngest of the sciences, has not escaped the influence of 
the new revolution ; and novel theories of the evolution of language itself supersede earlier inquiries 
into the origin of letters. In one icspect the Royal Society of Canada differs in its constitution 
from older kindred societies of the mother country, in so far as it includes, within the recognized 
work of its Sections, both French and English literature. Here, accordingly, language finds its legiti- 
mate place ; and without embarking on the seemingly shoreless sea of speculation and hypothesis 
that I have indicated, there are certain aspects of comparative philology which ai-e full of interest 
and value to ourselves as Canadians. This department of study will not hamper in any degree the 
legitimate operations of other Sections; though it may influence inquiry in certain allied directions. 
But here, it seems to me that, without limiting the freedom of individual membei's in their choice of 
subject, much work of great practical value may be accomplished by a judicious selection of themes 
specially necessitating prompt consideration. The literature of France, with its " Chanson de Roland," 
its Froissart, its Molière, Corneille, Racine ; and all its brilliant creations, to the latest productions 
of de Musset or Mérimée, pertains, like contemporary English literature, to European classics. 
Canadians may emulate the great masters in letters, as they have b heady done in more than one 
department; but the republic of letters is free to all without the fostering aid of a Society such as 
this. It is, indeed, a matter of just interest to watch the growth of a native Canadian literature m the 
languages both of France and England ; and to trace the influence of novel environments moulding 
and fashioning our intellectual, no less than our physical development. But without slighting this 
attractive branch of work, it appears to me that more important results may be anticipated from a 
class of communications that have already received some attention in the past, and which I hope to 
see making greater demands on our space in the future. They are exemplified in the volume of 
Transactions now issued, in such papers for example, as " La race française en Amérique," " L'élément 
étranger aux Etats-Unis; " etc., as in previous volumes, we had "Les races indigènes de l'Amérique 
devant l'Histoire," "Les aborigènes d'Amérique, leui-s rites mortuaiies ;" and in another, but not 
less interesting aspect : " La jirovince de Québec et la langue française." In like manner, in both 
the present and the past volumes, papers on " The Half-Breed," " The Huron-Iroquois," and others 
of the aboriginal races of the continent have been contributed to Section II. Thus the ethnology 
and comparative philology, not of Canada only, but of America, have, to some partial extent at 
- least, been brought under review. It is a small portion of the wide field mapped out for our joint 
labours; but in this direction, as it seems to me, valuable results may be anticipated, marked by such 
local character as will naturally be looked for from our Canadian Royal Society, and constitute a 


special feature of its Transactions. The polished language of cultured France, though here trans- 
ferred to a region beyond the Atlantic, is kept en rapport with the Parisian centre of refinement, and 
fed from the perennial fount of French literature. But here also are the peasants of Normandy and 
Brittany, transplanted to " la Nouvelle France," under the old regime, bringing with them to their 
new home a provincial patois, embodying elements peculiar to those scenes of Scandinavian coloniza- 
tion and Celtic institutions. Here, unaffected by revolutions that have so largely influenced the more 
recent history of France and of Europe, they have dwelt for generations, intei-mingling to some 
extent with the aborigines, and brought into novel relations with other intrusive races of the New 
World. To the modern Frenchman, they cannot fail to present in many ways a singularly attractive 
study; but it is in their philological aspect that the widest value lies; and the changes already 
noticeable in idiom and vocabulary, have awakened an intelligent interest among many students of 
language. The cultivated Frenchman not only brought with him to his new home, a written 
language, and a literature rich and varied in its attractions, but the intervening ocean has scarcely 
impeded his enjoyment of its latest triumphs. But the habitant has stood in very different relations 
to the language. It was to him from the first an unwritten local dialect; and now illustrates, in 
some singulai-ly striking aspects, the beginning anew of a process of evolution akin to that to which 
we owe the whole Eomance languages. This is a branch of comparative philology, of interest to all 
Canadians, and which has a special claim on the attention of Section I. 

But a wider interest pertains to the native languages, and to the indigenous races of this continent. 
Their approximation in physical characteristics to the Asiatic Mongol renders all the more remark- 
■ able the wide diversity of speech between the two continents. On both, indeed, an agglutinate char- 
acter predominates in large groups of languages ; but beyond this, any affinities thus far traced out 
are remote and uncertain. Here, therefore, is a problem in comparative philology, of which a solution 
may not unreasonably be looked for from us. In this direction uncjuestionably lies the detei'mination 
of questions relating to the origin of the American race; the ethnographic key to the earliest 
migrations ; the prehistoric chronicle of this western hemisphere ; the interpretation, it may be, of 
the venerable myth of the lost Atlantis, which vainly excited the interest of the disciples of Socrates, 
as even then a tradition from old times before that era to which they belonged, when the world was 
two thousand three hundred years younger than it is now. 

Looking to the subject in its narrowest asjDect, the native languages of this continent are deserv- 
ing of careful study; and those of our own Dominion have a claim on our attention, as a Society, 
which we cannot ignore without discredit to ourselves. We owe not a little of the knowledge of them, 
thus far secured, as one — and not the least valuable— of the results due to the devoted labours of 
French missionaries for upwards of two centui-ies among the Indians of Canada and the Northwest. 
The Huron version of the Lord's Praj-er, reproduced in the second volume of the Society's Trans- 
actions, was derived from a MS. of the seventeenth century, ascribed to the Rev. Father Chaumonot; 
and is of value as an example of the language of that race, when first brought into intimate 
intercourse with Europeans. The vocabulary of the language, prejmred by the same zealous Jesuit 
missionarj', is still in existence; but its present custodian, M. Paul Picard, son of the late Huron 
Chief, Tahourenche, has hitherto repelled all applications for its purchase, and even for permission to 
have it printed. Its genuineness is placed beyond dispute by the date of the water-mark on the 
paper, and its interest and value are unquestionable. Our earliest knowledge of the native vocabu- 
lary of the Province of Quebec is derived from the two brief lists furnished by Cartier as the result 
of his visit in 1535; and a comparison of them with the Huron vocabulary leaves no doubt of their 
aflînity. We have also the dictionary of the Eecollet Father, Gabriel Sagard, printed at Paris in 
1632. But \he lecovery of the vocabulary of Father Chaumonot, and its printing bj' the Eoyal 
Society, will furnish an important addition for the study of the language of a people interestingly 
associated with the early history of Canada, and will be a creditable work for either of the Literary 
Sections. I regret that my own efforts to obtain access to the MS., with a view to laying it before 
the Section of English Literature and of History, have thus far failed. 


We already owe to the "Lexique de langue iroquoise," aad to the "Etude philologique sur 
quelques langues sauvage de l'Amérique," of Abbé Cuoq, valuable help to the study of the Iroquois 
and Algonquin tongues. We are no less indebted to the Rev. Father Lacombe for the like aid in 
his "Dictionnaire et grammaire do la langue des Cris." But the frontiers of Quebec are still occu- 
pied by native tribes little affected by the civilization of European intruders, and beyond this, the 
Eskimo of Labi-ador are easilj^ accessible. In Ontario, the Huroii-Iroquois are being transformed 
into an industrious, civili/.ed people. In tiie Maritime Provinces, the Micmacs and Milicents are in 
process of like ti-ansfbrmation ; and on many Canadian reserves, the representatives of Algonquin 
and other tribes are now settled, and gradually learning to conform to the usages of their supplanters. 
But in such a process, language and much else which is invaluable to the ethnologist, must disappear; 
aud still more is this the case in the gj-eat wilderness of the Northwest. There, in very recent years, 
the buffalo roamed in vast herds, furnishing an unfailing supply, not only of food, but of furs and 
skins, from which the tents, robes, and couches of Crées and Blackfoet were fashioned, and on which 
the Hudson Bay factors largely depended for like supplies. The Indian tribes lived around the Hud- 
son Bay forts much after the fashion of their fathers, bartering the pj'oduce of the chase for other 
needful supplies. But now all this is at an end. A revolution of the most radical character has super- 
vened. The inevitable disappearance of the wild hunter ti-ibes of the Northwest, at no distant date, 
can no longer be questioned. Some memorial of the native races will, doubtless, survive in civilized 
tribes settling down to cultivate the soil over which their fathers roamed as nomad hunters. But 
such a process cannot fail to involve the extinction of the native languages from which alone the 
ethnical affinities and the history of the race are to be recovered. 

Nor must we overlook the significance of the fact that the Province of Manitoba began its 
indejjendent career with a pojiulation of some ten thousand half-breeds. In that old historic past, 
when the gifted Eoman annalist followed on the steps of imperial conquest in the British Islands, 
the dark type of the Silurian Britons was noted by Tacitus, and assigned by him to an Iberian 
source. In the latest classification of anthropologists, the modern representatives of this persistent 
type are designated "Melanochroi," the assumed representatives of the metis of Eui-ope's prehistoric 
dawn, when the first wave of Aryan immigration came in contact with their Turanian or Allophylian 
precursors. Here, in our own Dominion, the same great Aryan wave, which reached the shores of 
the New World before the close of the fifteenth century, and, with ever added volume, has driven 
before it the native tribes, moves westward with irresistible aggression ; and on our Northwest 
frontier, the same results are everywhere apparent. The ethnological history of Europe repeats 
itself here; and this phenomenon of the rise of a race of mixed blood settling down among the 
intruding colonists is replete with interest to the student of ethnology. 

I bring this subject under your special notice now, because it is one that demands immediate 
attention, one indeed that will not brook delay. The Indian may survive for a time. The inter- 
blended elements due to the contact of native and intruded races, I doubt not, will remain as a 
permanent factor in our future population. But the aboi-iginal arts must vanish; the native tradi- 
tions, in which so much history lies embodied, will scarcely survive to another generation ; and as 
for their languages, if not recovered from the lips of the living generation, they will ere long be as 
utterly beyond recall as the snows of the past winter. Yet it is to compai-ative philology that we 
have to look for the solution of problems of highest interest and value to ourselves. If we are ever 
to recover any reliable clue to the ancient history of this continent, and the source and affiinities of 
the nations to whose inheritance we have succeeded, this can only be done by means of comparative 
philology; and for this, the materials must be gathered ere it be too late. "The Comparative 
Vocabularies of the Indian tribes of British Columbia," the work of one of our own members, in 
conjunction with Dr. Fraser Tolmie, which was published in connection with the Geological and 
Natural History Survey of Canada, in 1SG4, is a timely and valuable contribution to the desired 

Proc. 1886. c. 


materials. But the reception which it met with from those in authority was not gi'oatly calculated 
to encourage the repetition of such disinterested labours. 

It is in work of this liind, at once of great pi'actical value, and yet essentially unremuncrative, if 
judged by the test of mere profitable pecuniar}^ results, that Canada has to look for the most beneficial 
labours of its Eoyal Society. The history of the Geological Suivey, both here and in the United 
States, is well calculated to guide us in this respect. Geology has long enjoyed the fostering care of 
the Government in both countries, though rather in its economic, than in its scientific aspect. 
Large sums have been expended, and an efficient staff employed, in surveying and mapping out the 
geological structure of the continent. The sister sciences, and especially those of mineralogy and 
chemistry, have been enlisted in its service; and palœontologj^ has necessarily been largely elucidated 
in the combined research. But the urgent demand is ever for what arc called practical results. 
True, it is to the disinterested study of puie science, to the love of abstract truth, that we owe all 
the grand, practical fi-uits by which science is revolutionizing the world. But Canada has been, till 
recently, sufficiently indifferent to this; and as for the United States — after doing splendid work in 
geology, ethnology, hydrography, geodesy, and meteorology, and publishing works of no less .scientific 
than practical value — a commission recently appointed by Congress to investigate the operations of 
the various scientific bureaus, has draughted a bill resti-icting the work and publications of the 
Geological Survey, and absolutely forbidding the expenditure of amy portion of the Government 
appropriation for the publication of pahpontological material, or for the discussion of geological 
theories. In other words, there shall be no seed-time for science. Henceforth it must be hai'vest 
through all the seasons. This, I doubt not, is a mere passing phase of misapplied thrift, which will 
speedily give place to a wiser recognition of the economic value of all scientific research. But I 
refer to such experience elsewhere, I'ather than to any action in our own Dominion, because we may 
the more impartially estimate the probable results. The scientific value of the labours, and of the 
published results, of the United States Geological Survey has been widely recognized; and the 
restrictions suggested by the recent commission, will be felt throughout the scientific world, even 
more keenly than would the withdrawal of American specie and all its equivalents by the commercial 
world. It will not only be a great discouragement to American science, but, if persisted in, would 
enormously diminish the practical usefulness of the Survey. It is impossible to neglect pure science, 
and yet hope to reach those results which are but its latest fruitage. Pakeontologj-, with all its 
marvellous disclosures relative to ancient life; chemistry, with its determination of the origin of 
crj'stalline rocks, or its wondrous spectrum analysis, revealing to us the physical structure of the 
heavens; or physics, with its more comprehensive discoveries of the correlation of forces — all alike 
present themselves to the "practical" mind as mere sports of scientific speculation, with no possible 
bearing on the economic needs, or the industrial interests of the community. "What can it benefit 
the miner to learn of Tertiary vertebrates; or the ilirmer to be assured of the verification of the 
Hesperornis, the Ichthyornis, or other toothed birds of the Cretaceous strata of our Worth American 
continent ? It is not indeed a matter of wonder that, to the man of "advanced vews " in political 
and social science, who claims above all things to be "practical," it should seem a matter of equal 
inditterence whether the dawn of life has been discovered in the Eozoon Canadense of our Laurentian 
rocks; or the existence of pateolithic man in America has been demonstrated by the recovery of the 
turtle-back celts in the drift of New Jersey. Nevertheless, to note only one familiar instance, the 
determination of the relative age of the strata of the Earth's crust has been of scarcely less economic 
value in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, in saving the useless expenditure of many thousands 
of dollars in a vain search for coal, than in guiding the geologists of Nova Scotia in the develop- 
ment of their rich coal fields. It is the same in everj^ department of science. Amber (l'/Xeurpoi-) 
furnished the first hint of latent Electricity, which perpetuates in its name the seemingly insignificant 
beginnings of that branch of science to which we now owe the telegraph, the telephone, electric 
light, the ocean cable; which have annihilated sj)ace, and outstripped time in their winged messages 


over land and sea. Yet such is the world's inheritance, won for her in the ardent search for abstract 
truth, in the unselfish devotion to pure science. We can no more look for the practical fruits of 
science without such preliminary labour, than for the reaping of the harvest where there has been 
no seed-time. 

The institution of this Eoyal Society by the Canadian Legislature is in itself a recognition of the 
value thus assigned to pure science. By our constitution it is provided "that the advice and assis- 
tance of the Society shall at all times be at the disposal of the Government; " and in no way can this 
be more legitimately i-endered than by interposing to prevent a premature demand for economic 
results arresting the reseai'ches of science. We are not likely to forget that Canada is still a young 
country — favoured in many ways on that vei-y account, by reason of the unimpeded course that thus 
lies befoi'e us; but also with some of the difficulties incident to national youth. The learned societies 
of Eurojje have, in many cases, endowments at their disposal, which enable them to render efficient 
aid to science, and to issue costly works dealing with subjects such as no publisher would view vrith 
favour. No such endowments as yet exist in Canada ; and occasion» will occur when it may be our 
duty — looking to the true interests of the Dominion — to recommend to the Legislature a liberal 
encouragement of the higher work of j)ure science in various dejjartments, without neglecting those 
immediate practical results which the country reasonably looks for as evidence of the enlistment of 
science in the service of the people. 

The volume of Transactions now issuing from the press will, I believe, be found in some respects 
in advance of its predecessors, and do no discredit to the representatives of Canadian letters and 
science. I have already referred to some of the contributions embodied in the work of Sections I and 
II, when inviting to a line of research, in which the biologist, no less than the philologist and the 
littérateur, will find a legitimate field. The contributions to Section III will also bo found to include 
valuable work, alike in pure physics and mathematics, and in their practical application. The Council 
of the Society had occasion during the past year to press on the Government the desirableness, in 
the interest of our commercial navy, of cai-rying out a systematic hydrographie survey, not only in 
the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, but along our whole Atlantic and Pacific coasts, so as to follow up the 
work already so efficiently executed by the United States Geodetic and Coast Survey. In connection 
with this, attention may be fitly directed now to a valuable paper on " Tidal Observations in Cana- 
dian Waters." I may also be permitted, without invidious distinction, to note in Section IV the 
continuance, by Mr. Matthew of St. John, of his description of the Cambrian fossils, adding considei- 
ably to our knowledge, and keeping Canada in advance of other parts of the Continent on this subject. 
A contribution by Prof. Eamsey Wright on the anatomj' of an interesting group of fishes, will, I 
believe, be found to introduce a style of work of which little has hitherto been done in Canada. The 
catalogue of Canadian butterflies, by Mr. Saunders, renders our knowledge more complete and system- 
atic; and gives information as to their local distribution, which may be of practical significance in 
relation to a branch of animal life, which, however beautiful, is regarded with well-gi'ounded dis- 
favour by the agriculturist. Sir William Dawson's paper on the latest Cretaceous discoveries of 
fossil plants in the Norlhwost, adds to North American geology a new horizon of Lower Cretaceous 
plants not previously known, including a number of novel and interesting species. I may also refer 
here to the contribution by Professor Chapman of a piece of local economic geology in his account of 
the Wallbridge hematite mine, in order to note in passing that this was, I believe, one of the deposits 
resorted to by the aborigènes, and used as a pigment. Among the primitive native implements in 
the Eedpath Museum, at Montreal, may be seen the antler picks and shells used by the Indians in 
collecting the hematite for their own purposes. 

In this slight and very f)artial glance at some among the subjects treated of in the new volume, 
my notice is necessarily meagre, as I have only had access to some of its detached sheets; and 
therefore cannot pretend to aim at any exhaustive review of the work embraced in its varied 
contents. By our very constitution, as a Society, alike scientific and literary, the range of themes is 


necessarily comprehensive and diversified. In all alike, we shall ever, I trust, set before ourselves, 
a lofty standard; finding in literature a stimulus to the highest culture, and in science the motive to 
a reverent, yet fearless search for all truth. 

The Vice-President, the Very Eeverend T. E. Hamel, then spoke as follows:— 

Monsieur le Président, Messieurs: — -L'objet de la Société Eoyale est d'encourager l'étude et le 
développement de toutes les branches du savoir au Canada. Deux choses sont donc en présence 
comme buts de nos efforts combiués : le développement des ressources matérielles et intellectuelles 
que peut présenter notre immense pays, pour le plus grand avantage de ceux qui l'habitent, et l'élé- 
vation du niveau intellectuel do notre jeunesse studieuse. Inutile de dire que la première partie sera 
comme un écho de la seconde, et que nos ressources tant matérielles qu'intellectuelles se développeront 
d'autant plus vite que le 2)ays présentera une armée ]:)lus nombreuse de travailleurs zélés et intéressés. 
C'est à augmenter cette armée que travaille la Société Eoyale du Canada. 

Mais y a-t-il de l'ouvrage pour tant de travailleurs ? — La réponse à cette question est probable- 
ment ce qui a embarrassé un certain nombre de pei-sonnes, lorsque Son Excellence le marquis de 
Lorne a jeté les premiers fondements de la Société Eoyale. On a alors contesté l'utilité pratique de 
cette société, et on lui a prédit une existence éphémère, voire même la plus triste fin, l'inanition. Seu- 
lement, tandis que les uns trouvaient le paj-s irop bien organisé, d'autres au contraire le trouvaient 
trop peu avancé pour une semblable société. 

Les premiers soutenaient que la Société Eoyale n'avait pas sa raison d'être dans le pays, parce 
qu'il n'}^ a rien à faire comme encouragement à l'initiative pi-ivée ; que, d'un côté, les lettres prennent 
un développement plutôt à modérer qu'à exciter, et que, de l'autre, pour les sciences, la commission 
Géologique du gouvernement et les sociétés d'Histoire naturelle du pays absorbent tout ce qui peut 
être un objet d'étude. 

Il semble quelque peu paradoxal de dii-e que notre pays est tellement bien organisé qu'il n'y a 
plus qu'à se croiser les bras et à laisser faire. Cependant, sans partager précisément cette idée, un 
bon nombre de nos compatriotes paraissent être sous l'influence d'un préjugé qui conduit pratiquement 
au même résultat. On dirait que nous avons pris à la France l'idée que tout ce qui sort de lintérêt 
particulier et de ce qui ne regarde que le besoin spécial de la famille individuelle, doive être fait par 
le gouvernement. C'est là une manière de voir qui nous distingue complètement de nos compatriotes 
d'origine anglaise, et malheureusement à notre désavantage. 

Tandis que l'Anglais cherche constamment à se rendre utile à la société par les efforts de son 
initiative privée, le Canadien-français se fait un scrupule de travailler pour l'avantage général, à moins 
d'y être obligé par une fonction gouvernementale. Ce n'est pas que l'on ait horreur de procurer le 
bien public, car c'est une course au clocher parmi nos jeunes gens pour avoir une place du gouverne- 
ment. Or je disque c'est là une tendance dangereuse, parce qu'elle favorise cette nonchalance intel- 
lectuelle qui ne voit rien à faire pour le public, en dehors de ce qui peut rapporter immédiatement 
quelques sous à la famille. Au sui-plus, cette malheureuse tendance conduit, comme autre consé- 
quence, à l'étroitesse d'esprit et à la mesquinerie. Heureusement c'est un défaut guérissable, et c'est 
à cette guérison (|ue contribuera la Société Eoyale, en encourageant le travail individuel et l'initiative 

Hâtons-nous de faire voir que l'ouvrage ne manquera pas ; et cela, au lisque de paraître, jjour 
quelques instants, favoriser l'opinion de ceux qui prétendaient que la Société Eoyale était une œuvre 
prématurée, parce que le pays ne présente pas encore assez de ressources pour fournir les éléments 
d'une société organisée sur des bases aussi larges. Ces personnes soutenaient que les associations de 
ce genre ne peuvent convenir qu'aux vieux pays, dans lesquels les ressources accumulées pendant des 
siècles permettent à une classe assez nombreuse d'hommes indépendants de fortune, de se livrer à des 


travaux et à des recherches de longue haleine, sans crainte de la faim, et sans être obligés de gagner 
leur pain de chaque jour. 

Eh bien, oui, cela e,st vrai, Messieurs, notre immense pays n'est encore que dans l'enfance, et 
tout y est à faire. Ne nous laissons pas éblouir par nos magnifiques voies de communication. Il y a 
longtemps que nous jouissons de nos fleuves, ainsi que de nos lacs, qui sont des mers; mais ce n'est 
pas ce qui a fait avancer l'étude do nos ressources naturelles. De même, si nous avons ou si nous 
espérons avoir bientôt un magnifique réseau de chemins defer ; si nous pouvons admirer ce colossal 
Pacifique Canadien, qui nous met à quelques jours seulement des Montagnes Rocheuses et de 
Vancouver; — c'est le commerce qui l'a fait pour son besoin, comme il l'aurait fait ailleurs, s'il l'eût 
trouvé plus avantageux. Mais encore iine fois ce n'est pas cela qui fait connaître les ressources du 
pays, excepté en ce sens qu'il en facilite les recherches. En réalité tout reste encore à étudier. 

Remej'cions le gouvernement do ce qu'il a fait jusqu'ici, surtout par l'institution de la commission 
Géologique, et prions-le de faire encore beaucoup plus. Mais ce ne sera pas assez. La commission 
Géologique n'a, jusqu'à ce jour, fait examiner qu'une bien petite partie de nos interminables domaines, 
et ce qu'elle a parcouiu garde encore bien des détails secrets à scruter. Ses ressources, très limitées, 
ne lui permettent guère de constater, pour bien dire, que les grandes lignes. Or, s'il en est ainsi de 
la géologie, que faut-il penser des autres parties, moins favorisées, des sciences naturelles ? 

Pour me servir de l'expression do notre premier président, sir William Dawson, s'il y a quelque 
part des fruits à reeueiliii-, ce ne peuvent être encore que des fruits de printemps. Et partout ail- 
leurs, loin de songer à la récolte, nous n'en sommes qu'à l'époque où il faut défricher, éclaircir, labou- 
rer, plantei" et somei-. 

Jetons un coup d'œil sur le champ ouvert à nos efforts. Laissons do côté la physique, la chimie 
et l'astronomie, qui supposent plus de ressources et ne sont pas toujours accessibles aux études privées» 
bien que nos collèges et nos grandes écoles puissent faire beaucoup dans ce champ d'observation. 
Mais il y a la météorologie, la minéralogie, la géologie locales, qui peuvent toujours ajouter à la science 
générale, et qui sont accessibles à l'étude privée. 

Puis vient l'étude des êtres vivants, animaux et végétaux. A part les grands animaux qui sont 
recherchés par le commerce, et nos grandes essences forestières, la fauneet la flore de noti-e pays ne 
sont qu'incomplètement connues par les travaux de quelques chercheurs infatigables, qui sont bien 
loin de suifire à la peine. Quant à la paléontologie, qui sujjpose l'anatomie et la physiologie com 
j)arées, elle n'est étudiée que par quelques rares sommités de la science. 

Chose singulière, il y a jjIus de cent ans que nos immenses forêts sont jjarcourues en tou.s sens 
par les chasseurs, les explorateurs de coupes forestières, les sauvages et les coureui's de bois de toutes 
les dénominations; il n'y a pas un lac, pas une rivière qu'ils ne connaissent et qui n'ait un nom, pas 
un versant de montage, pas une vallée dont ils ne puissent vous dire les essences, et cej)endant, à 
part les endroits habités, la géographie- de notre pays n'est pas connue d'une manière précise. Je 
doute fort qu'on puisse tracer sur une carte le cours exact de l'Ottawa jusqu'à sa source ; et que 
dire des autres rivières bien moins importantes ! Pourquoi ? Parce que voyageurs, chasseurs et 
exploiteurs de forêts se contentent de jouir pour leur projjre comjjte sans s'inquiéter du jjublic. Si 
seulement quelques-uns do nos hommes instruits qui, de temjjs en temps, s'enfoncent dans nos forêts 
pour y faire la pêche ou la chasse, voulaient simplement se donner la peine de fixer leur itinéraire, 
d'y condenser leurs souvenirs et leurs informations certaines, ils rendraient de grands services à notre 

J'ai parlé des sciences, parce que ce sujet m'est jjlus familier ; mais nos amis des sections litté- 
raires ne me pardonneraient pas si je ne signalais aussi les nombreux desiderata du champ de leur 
travail. Les ouvrages d'imagination, poésie et prose, ont certainement leur mérite, et doivent être 
encouragés ; mais ce n'est là que le partie agréable des travaux littéraires. Il y en a d'autres beau- 
coup plus ardus, parce qu'ils supposent des efforts, des recherches, des études préliminaires pénibles. 
Notre histoire, par exemple, surtout si l'on y comj^rend tout le Dominion, n'est-elle j)as une mine 


riche et féconde pour le chercheur consciencieux, même si l'on se borne aux faits et gestes des Euro- 
péens et de leurs descendants en Amérique? Or il y a toutes les populations sauvages, si intéres- 
santes à tous les points de vue, — populations qui tendent rapidement à disparaître, et dont l'histoire 
préhistorique présente tant de problèmes. 

Les langues sauvages sont elles-mêmes des plus importantes à étudier, puisque bientôt elles n'exis- 
teront plus que dans nos livres. Et c'est avec beaucoup de raison que monsieur le pi-ésident vient 
d'apjDeler sur ce point l'attention de la Société Royale. 

Dans une autre direction se présentent à nous tous les problèmes de notre état actuel de société : 
l'économie sociale et politique, science qui sujipose tant de statistiques encore inconnues; puis la 
lutte du travail et du capital, le paupéiùsme, la colonisation, l'éducation, la concurrence, la protection 
et le libre échange, les impôts directs et indirects. . . . Tout le monde parle de ces grands sujets qui 
intéressent à un si haut degré notre jeune pays ; mais on en parle contradictoirement, parce qu'on ne 
les connaît qu'à des points de vue restreints, faute de ces rechei'ches préliminaires, de ces chifiVes, 
accumulés patiemment et sans parti pris, pour servir de base à une argumentation exempte de 

Comme on le voit, ce ne sont pas les problèmes qui manquent à nos recherches. Le danger est 
bien plutôt dans la ci'ainte du découragement à la vue de tant de travaux, dans tant de directions 
difierentes. Comment en effet aborder toutes ces études pratiquement ? C'est ce à quoi je veux 
essayer de répondre, et ce sera le côté pratique de ces quelques remarques. 

Avant de lire et d'écrire, on apprend patiemment à connaître et à former ses lettres. De même, 
avant de faire de la science d'ensemble, il faut commencer par en étudier, reconnaître et réunir les 
matériaux. Or c'est précisément cette étude préliminaire qui est essentiellement du ressort du travail 
privé. Il n'est pas même nécessaire d'indiquer dans quelle direction chacun doit exercer son énergie, 
puisque ioMi est à étudier. Que chacun se persuade seulement qu'il ^ewf et qu'il cZoj'f se rendre utile 
en prenant une part quelconque dans l'accomplissement de cet immense programme; puis, qu'il suive 
son goût et qu'il persévère. 

Vu l'importance du sujet, qu'on me permette d'entrer dans plus de détails, en prenant pour 
exemple l'Histoire naturelle, et, dans celle-ci, un des nombreux objets d'étude qu'elle présente, l'ento- 
mologie ou l'étude des insectes. L'entomologie corajirend sept à huit grandes divisions : eh bien, je 
ne conseillerais pas à un amateur d'entreprendre la collection de toute la faune entomologique de .son 
voisinage, ni même toute une des grandes divisions de cette intéressante étude, mais simplement un 
de ses grands genres. C'est le seul moyen d'arriver à s'en rendre maître, et de l'étudier à fond. 

Vouloir faire autrement, c'est se moi'fondi-e et n'aboutir à rien d'utile, à moins de pouvoir y con- 
sacrer tout son temps, ou d'être doué d'une de ces volontés de fer, qui ne reculent devant aucune peine, 
et que les années ne diminuent pas, comme, par exemple, notre abbé Provencher. Mais les Proven- 
chers sont rares, et il faut compter avec les faiblesses générales de la natui-e. 

D'ailleurs ils sont peu nombreux ceux qui, parmi nous, peuvent consacrer tout leur temps à une 
étude quelconque, vu que chacun doit commencer par s'assurer le pain de chaque jour à l'aide d'une 
profession remunerative quelconque. Aussi fais-je appel, en ce moment, non pas à des travailleurs 
qui se fassent une occupation unique de l'étude des sciences, mais à des personnes engagées dans une 
profession lucrative, et je leur demande seulement de consacrer une partie de leurs loisirs à une étude 
déterminée et restreinte. Cette étude, en même temps qu'elle sera pour elles une récréation, aura 
l'avantage de contribuer au progrès général. 

Nous en avons un très frappant exemple dans notre illustre collègue, M. l'abbé Tanguay. Tenu 
à un ouvrage de travail déjà fatiguant par lui-même, M. l'abbé Tanguay a dévoué ses loisirs à un seul 
objet, classifier nos registres de baptêmes, mariages et décès. Ce travail si simple, commencé dans un 
petit nombre de localités, puis continué patiemment de paroisse en paroisse, durant plus de trente 
ans, a donné naissance à cet ouvrage monumental, unique en son genre, gloire de la race française en 
ce pays, le Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes. Et combien d'autres perles précieuses 


dont ces registres, si arides en apparence, sont devenus la mine féconde entre les mains de notre 
infatigable travailleur ! 

On ne saurait donc trop faire valoir l'importance de coucentj'cr les efforts de ses moments de 
loisir sur un objet restreint d'étude. J'ai connu un jeune natui-aliste à Québec, ayant, dans le cœur de 
la ville, un jardin à sa dispo.sition. et qui a entrepris, une année, dans ses moments libres, le matin 
avant ses heures de bureau, de faire la collection complète des insectes de tous genres qui fréquen- 
teraient son jardin. La collection s'augmenta tellement qu'il dût renoncer à tout prendre, et se 
borner à certaines classes. On cite un autre amateur qui entreprit la même jecherche sur une éclielle 
bien plus réduite, en faisant avec soin la chasse aux insectes qui fréquentaient les quelques pots de 
fleurs, ornement de son balcon. 

Si, dans chaque localité de notre immense Dominion, les quelques jeunes gens instruits qui s'y 
rencontrent, occupaient ainsi quelques-uns de leurs loisirs à la collection des spécimens ou à l'étude 
de l'une des mille subdivisions des trois règnes de la nature, dans les envirom de Itur demeure, chacun 
suivant son goût, et cela avec persévérance, quelle masse de matériaux ne ramasseï aient-ils pas ainsi! 

Or la science est communicative de sa natuie. Ils sont bien rares, et heureusement, ceux qui se 
plaisent à étudier égoistement pour eux-mf'mes. Généralement on aime à faire part de ses décou- 
vertes, et ceux qui font des collections n'ont pas de plus grand plaisir que de montrer le résultat de 
leui's recherches. De là à la formation de sociétés locales ou régionales, dans lesquelles chacun 
ajjporte son contingent d'information curieuse aussi bien qu'utile, il n'y a qu'un pas. A cet égard 
VOttaiva Field Naturalist Club est un exemple aussi encourageant qu'il est facile à imiter. 

C'est ici que pourrait intervenir avec profit notre Société Eoyale, dont un des résultats les plus 
avantageux, comme l'a fort judicieusement fait remarquer notre dévoué secrétaire, M. Bourinot, est 
d'encourager les sociétés scientitiques dispersées dans tout le pays, en même temps qu'elle peut 
devenir, pour ces sociétés, l'intermédiaire de la publication des travaux coordonnés de leurs membres. 

Ce que j'iii dit en prenant pour excmj^le les sciences naturelles, peut se dire, comme de raison, de 
toutes les autres bi-anchesdes connaissances humaines. 

Verrons-nous bientôt ce réseau de travailleurs et de sociétés locales couvrir tout notre immense 
et magnifique pays ? C'est un trop beau rêve pour qu'il se réalise ; mais hâtons-nous de dire qu'il 
n'est pas nécessaire que ce plan s'exécute dans son entier. Si l'on ne peut trouver cent travailleurs, 
tâchons d'en susciter dix. La noble contagion de l'étude et du travail utile se propagera petit à 
petit. Faisons donc autour de nous une propagande aussi active que possible ; et si, en moyenne, 
chacun des membres de la Société Eoyale détermine un seul travailleur de bonne volonté à se mettre à 
l'œuvre, nous aurons assurément bien mérité de la patrie. J'ajoute que nous aurons aussi bien mérité 
de la religion; car chaque travailleur arraché ainsi à l'oisiveté est une conquête faite sur les mau- 
vaises passions, vu que celles-ci sont le plus souvent incompatibles avec la noble passion de l'étude. 

The Society then adjourned at the call of the Council, in order to give an opportunity for the 
meeting of the respective sections. 

SESSION III. (May 28th.) 
The Society was called to order at 3 o'clock by the Pi-esident. 

Eeports prom Affiliated Socikties. {Continued.) 

X. — From the Société Historique de Montréal, through M. Garneau: — 

La Société Historique de Montréal se réjouit à juste titre de voir un de ses membres élevé à la 
haute dignité de cardinal. Son Eminence Mgr Taschereau, alors prêtre du séminaire de Québec, avait 
bien voulu devenir un de nos premiers membres. Comme la Société Historique en était encore à ses 


débuts, elle fut sensible à l'honneur de pouvoir compter dans son sein un homme déjà remarquable par 
sa science et par son amour pour les études historiques. Nous ne doutons pas que Son Eminence ne 
profite de sa position élevée pour favoriser les recherches relative à l'histoire du Canada, comme elle 
l'a déjà fait d'ailleurs pendant son dernier voyage à Eome. 

Si nous avons des motifs de nous réjouir, nous en avons aussi de nous attrister en voyant les rangs 
des anciens membres s'éulaircir. Celte année, nous avons eu à regretter la perte de M. le juge Loran- 
ger, qui prenait, surtout dejjuis quelques années, une j)art active à nos délibérations. 

Depuis son dernier rapport, la Société a continué de s'occuper de la publication d'un premier 
cahier du livre d'ordres des campagnes de 1755-59. L'impression vient d'en être terminée, et le volume 
sera bientôt distribué. Nous publierons l'année prochaine les ordres de la campagne de 1*756. 

Notre bibliothèque s'est enrichie de plusieurs pièces manuscrites, offertes par M. le juge Baby. 
Ces pièces se rapportent au com moi-ce de la colonie dans les premières années qui ont suivi la con- 
quête. Grâce à la généro,^ité do plusieurs membres, nous avons augmenté considérablement nos col- 
lections de Factums de la cour d'appel, de brochures et de documents parlementaires. Nos échanges 
avec le Smithsonian Institute nous ont permis de comj)léter plusieurs publications importantes. Cepen- 
dant nous sommes forcés d'avouer que nous n'avons encore, en fuit d'ouvrages sur l'histoire du Canada, 
que ceux qui sont considérés comme indispensables. 

Le président a continué de faire copier soit au greffe de cette ville, soit ailleurs, les pièces qui ont 
rapport à l'histoire particulière de Montréal. 

11 est peut-être encore plus utile en ce moment de recueillir des documents que de les publier, ou 
d'acheter des livres. C'est pourquoi la Société Historique de Montréal prie la Société Eoyale de vouloir 
bien user de son influence auprès du gouvernement fédéral, afin que celui-ci fasse copier — mais avec 
toute l'exactitude possible — les documents dont l'importance pour notre histoire lui a é;é signalée. 

XL— From the Natural History Society of Montreal, through Mr. Alfked Henrt Maso.n:— 

It is my privilege to have the honour to report to this distinguished Society the work done by 
the members of the Natural History Society of Montreal during the past session 1885-86 : — 

The Society has held five meetings, at which the following oi-iginal papers have been read : — 

1. The Origin of the Ainos and their final Settlement and Distiibution in Japan, by Prot. Pen- 

2. Boulder drift and Sea Margins at Little Metis, by Sir William Dawson. 

3. Pleistocene Fossils of Anticosti, by Lt.-Col. Grant. 

4. Exploration of some Mounds in the Northwest, bj^ C. N. Bell. 

5. Description of New Fjesh- Water Sponges, by A. 11. MacKay. 

6. The Hydration of Wood Tissues in Trees and Shrubs, by Prof Penhallow. 

7. The danger of Poisoning from the Commercial Uses of Arsenic, by Dr. J. Baker Edwards. 

8. The Physical Characteristics of the Ainos, by Prof. Penhallow. 

9. Canadian Minerals, by Dr. Harrington. 

10. Our Northwest Prairies : their Origin and their Forests, by A. T. Drummond. 

11. The Forests of Canada, by Dr. Eobert Bell. 

12. The Protection of North Ameiican Birds, by Alfred H. Mason. 

13. Polyembryony, by Prof. Penhallow. 

Most of these papers have been printed in the Canadian Record of Science, ajournai published by 
the Society, the editors being members of the Society, and their services voluntary. Five hundred 
copies of this journal are published quarterly, 350 being distributed amongst the members and in 
exchanges. The Society exchanges Proceedings with the scientitic publications in Canada, wiih 
23 in the United States, 87 in Great Britain, 25 on the Continent of Europe, and one in Australia. 
These exchanges are available for the use of the members. 


The Society provides six original scientific Lectures during the Winter months, called the 
" Somerville Course of Lectures," and the public are admitted free. The following lectures were 
delivered by members of the Society last session, and as there are no fees, the whole work is a labour 
of love : — • 

1. Antiseptics and Disinfectants, by Alfred H. Mason. 

2. The Chalk Formation, by Eev. W. J. Smyth. 

3. The Source of Igneous Eocks, by Thos. Macfarlane. 

4. The Chemistry of Bread and other Farinaceous Foods, by. Dr. Casey A. Wood. 

5. Cotton and Cotton Manufactures, by Wm. Hobbs. 

6. Breathing and Ventilation, by Dr. J. B. McConnell. 

t. The History of a Modern Volcano, by Sir William Dawson. 

The Society has a Museum, which is open to the public daily, at a nominal chai-ge, and to mem- 
bers and their families free. It comprises objects in four different departments of science — zoology, 
botany, geology and mineialogy; also miscellanies and antiquities. Several contributions have been 
added during the past session. 

The Library contains over 3,000 volumes of publications in accord with the objects of the Society ; 
amongst these are many very rare books, not to be found in any other library in Canada. During 
the past session, the whole of the books have been overhauled, classified and numbered, and a com- 
plete catalogue is in course of comj)ilation. 

For some years, the Society has received mateiial assistance in the good work it is doing from 
the Provincial Government. The Council regret that this grant has recently been withdrawn, and 
if any of the members of this, the foster-daughter of Canadian scientific societies, can influence the 
restoration of this grant, we resjjectfuUy ask your sympathy and cooperation. 

XII. — From the Nova Scotian Institute of Natui-al Science, through Prop. A. H. MacKat. 

This session of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science has produced as large a number of papers 
on subjects connected with Natural Science as usual, shewing that in the twenty-fourth year of its 
existence it is still vigorous. It has been called ujjon to mourn the loss of its late esteemed 
President, Robert Morrow, one of its most zealous workers in comparative anatomy, whose j^apers 
have contributed much to the value and interest of the Proceedings and Transactions of the Institute. 
Dr. John Somers has succeeded as President. 

List of papers read during the session, 1S85-6 : — 

1. Additional Notes on Glacial Action, at Bedford Basin, Halifax Harbour, and North-west Arm, 
by Dr. Honeyman. 

2. New Plants of Nova Scotia, by Dr. Somers. 

3. On the Eelative Bulk of certain Aqueous Solutions and their Constituent Water, by Dr. 

4. Sable Island, its probable Origin and Submergence, by Simon D. Macdonald. 

5. Additions to former list of Plants collected in the vicinity of Truro, N. S., 1885, by G. G. 

6. Fungi of Novia Scotia, by Dr. Somers. 

I. The Carboniferous of Cape Breton, by Edwin Gilpin. 

8. Notes of a Polariscopic Examination of Crystalline Bocks of Antigonish County, N. S., by 
Dr. Honeyman. 

9. Observations on the Currents of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, by John J. Fox. 

10. Notes on the Anatomy of Delphinus delphis, by Dr. Somers. 

II, Geology of Antigonish County reviewed, by Dr. Honeyman. 

Proc. 1886. D. 


12. Additions to the Catalogue of Nova Scotian Fishes, etc., by Dr. Honeyman. 

13. On Specimens of Labrador Duck in the McCulloch Museum, Dalhousie College, by Andrew- 

XIII.— From the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba, through Prof. Bryce. 

The Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba has just completed the seventh year of its 
existence, the last year having been the most vigorous. 

One of its tirst aims was to establish a Eeference Library of Canadian and Northwest Literature. 
It has now, in this department, 300 volumes, so that with the private library of the President, and 
that of the Province, almost any books necessary for prosecuting the study of Canadian history are 
procurable in Manitoba. During the past year, the Society has combined its Library with that of the 
University of Manitoba, the Isbister Library of 4,400 volumes, and has taken charge of the whole. 
The Society has consequently some 11,000 volumes in its rooms, which form the chief place of resort 
in Winnipeg, for those of literary or scientific inclinations. During the year, special steps have been 
taken to increase the Natural History and Archaeological Museum of the Society. Communication 
has been opened with some hundreds of persons scattered from Lake Superior to the Eocky Mountains, 
and promises have been given of additional articles in Indian work, as well as fossils from the 
Silurian, Cretaceous, and Laramie formations During the year, a small amount was devoted to 
following up the explorations of the aboriginal mounds, which have been going on for several years 
under the auspices of the Society. Invitations have been given to the Society to visit different mound 
regions, especially one group of twenty, seemingly fortification mounds, which were so lemarkable 
as to have attracted the attention of Prof. Hind in his flying visit through the south of Eupert's 
Land, in 1858. The Society has had, during the past year, its most successful year so fiir as papers 
are concerned, almost all of tliem being the results of original rescaich. They were as follows: — 

Session op 1884-5. 

1. Galileo, by Ex-Judge Eyal. 

2. Etknology of Alaska, by Mr. J. Hector Inkster. 

3. Hudson Bay, by Dr. Walton Haydon. 

Session of 1885-6. 

1. The Old Settlers of Eed Eiver. Inaugural lecture by the President, Dr. Bryce. 

2. Economic Minerals of the Northwest, by Mr. A. McCharles. 

3. Geology of Lake Winnipeg, by Prof J. H. Panton. 

4. British Columbia, by Mr. Walter Moberly. 

5. Time-Marking, by Mr. E. E. W. Goodridge. 

6. Chinook Winds, by Mr. A. Bowerman. 

7. Characteristic Mammals of the Northwest, by Mr. E. E. T. Seton. 

8. The Celt in the Northwest, by the President. 

The Society is indebted to the Provincial Government, and 1 1 the city of Winnipeg, for the con- 
tinuance of grants, one of $250 and the other of $500. 

It has also received bountiful recognition from the Hon. Sir Donald A. Smith, Messrs. C. J. 
Brydges, J. H. Ashdoun, F. W. Stobart, Commissioner Wrigley and others. 

The receipts of the Society for the year were some $2,300, there being a small balance on hand 
at the end of the year. The financial affairs of the Society have been well managed, and are in a 
flourishing condition. Exchanges are maintained with all the leading societies in Great Britain, 
United States and Canada. 

A number of the members of the Society are much interested in a project submitted to the 


Eoyal Society by our President in his "Plea for a Canadian Camden Society," two years ago. The 
plan suggested the feasibility of printing, say two or three woiks a year, under the auspices of the 
Royal Society, by a system of subscriptions. Unpublished manuscripts, early books out of print, and 
the material needed for historical study can be had in abundance to make such a scheme successful. 
In the Parliamentary Library, Ottawa, theie is in manuscript the travels of Alexander Henry, Jun., 
which are most valuable for the Northwest history of 1800-10. There is in private hands the 
Journal of David Thompson, Astronomer of the North- West Company of Montreal. Mr. Thompson, 
from whom Thompson River, British Columbia, was named, was, about the beginning of this century, 
one of our most adventurous and successful explorers. He died at Williamstown, Glengarry County. 
In the Hudson's Bay Co.'s Library, London, there is a manuscript of the explorer in the Fi-ench 
times, Pierre Eadisson ; also that of Peter Fidler, of the Hudson's Bay Co. 

If some energetic bookseller were to undertake the matter, under the direction of a Committee 
of the Royal Society, no doubt, with the cooperation of the affiliated societies, subscriptions could be 
got which would make the scheme self-sustaining from the beginning. 

Our Societ}' would earnestly urge the matter on the attention of the Royal Society. 

XIV. — From the Ottawa Literary and Scientific Society, through Mr. Wm. P. Anderson : — 

I have the honour again to represent the Ottawa Literary and Scientific Society as its delegate, 
and to submit its report of work done since the last meeting. 

The year has been for the Society an uneventful one, consequently there is little of interest to 
submit. The usual routine work has been gone through with a fair measure of prosperity, and the 
reading-room and library have been efficiently maintained, the reading-room especially being well 
patronised, and containing a great many of the best newspapers and periodicals. 

On behalf of the Society, I beg to extend to all the Fellows of the Royal Society a most cordial 
invitation to use our library and reading-room, 25 Sparks Street, during their present visit. The 
necessity for some less formal meeting room than the reading-room, where conversation could be freely 
indulged in, had long been felt. It was, in consequence, lately determined to prepare an extra room 
for that pui-pose, and it is hoped that this action will have the eifect of extending our social influence, 
and also of inducing the chess-players of the city to make our rooms their headquarters. 

During the winter a jirogramme of lectures was prepared, and these were delivered for the most 
part to large audiences. It was deemed expedient to enlist our staff of lecturers wholly from residents 
in the city, and this new departure was attended with a gratifying measure of success. 

The plan which has been followed for two or three years j)ast, of inviting short essays from the 
younger members of the Society, on this occasion produced two or three exceptionally brilliant 
papers, and proved the wisdom of thus encouraging rising literary ability. The following is a list of 
the lectures and addresses given : — 

1. Inaugural address on Science in Canada, by the President, Mr. William P. Anderson. 

2. The Rocky Mountains and what I saw in them, by Prof. Macoun. 

3. A Study of Thackeray, by Mr. Martin J. Griffin. 

4. The Hudson Bay Territories and their Inhabitants, by Dr. Robert Bell. 

5. Travels in the South Seas, by Mr. F. N. Gisborne. 

6. A Topic of the Times, by the Hon. Wm. McDougall, C.B. 

7. Gaspé Peninsula, past and present, by Mr. R. W. Ells. 

8. Nathaniel Hawthorne and his Wj'itings, with illustrative readings, by Mr. J. M. Oxley. 

9. Is Vivisection, or Experimentation on the Lower Animals, justifiable ? by Dr. R. M. Powell. 

10. Byron, by Mr. A. Lampman. 

11. Edgar Allan Poe, by Mr. A. W. Gundry. 


The Society at present occupies rooms of which the lease will expire in about two years' time, 
and as their value is steadily increasing, we find ourselves face to face with the problem of having to 
find new quarters. The advisability of having a building owned by the Society is sufficiently 
apparent, Init heretofore the encouragement offered in Canada for the pursuit of literary or scientific 
studies has not been very great, and without any endowment, or the prospect of securing any, the 
outlook is far from hopeful. 

I would suggest that the Eoyal Societj- might in some degree help to influence public opinion 
favourably, in the direction of supporting more generously societies whose only aim is the intellectual 
imjîrovement of the citizens. 

Our best prospects of securing a building are by uniting with other associations in the city 
having kindred objects, such as the Field Naturalists' Club and the local Art Association, and by 
joint effort putting up a building which will accommodate all the several Societies; to this end our 
efforts must be directed during the coming year. 

The annual election of officers for the ensuing year took place on April 30th last, with the 
following result: — 

President Wm. P. Anderson. 

First Vice-President W. D. LeSueui-. 

Second" " J. P. Featherston. 

Secretary F. K. Bennetts. 

Treasurer J. E. Armstrong. 

Librarian , J. H. Brown. 

Cui-ator H. M. Ami. 

f 0. J. Jolliffe. 

Members of Council < D. Ewart. 

[ J. C. Kearns. 


The following Eesolutions weie then adopted : — 

1. That the Council be instructed to consider the method of electing members under Section 6 of 
the Eules and Eegulations, and to recommend to the Society, at its next General Meeting, such 
amendments as may seem desirable. (On the motion of Sir "W. Dawson, seconded by Mr. T. 

2. That the thanks of this Society be communicated to the Speakers of the Senate and the 
House of Commons, for the accommodation and facilities afforded to its members during the present 
General meeting. (On the motion of Mr. George Stewart, Jun., seconded by Abbé Casgrain.) 

3. That the Society tenders its acknowledgments to the Literary and Scientific Society, and the 
Field Naturalists' Club of Ottawa, for the courtesies extended to its members during their present 
visit to this city. (On the motion of Sir W. Dawson, seconded by Very Eev. T. E. Hamel.) 

Eeport or Sections. 
The following Eeporte of Sections were then presented, in accordance with usage: — 

Rapport de la Section I. 

Nous avons l'honneur de soumettre le rapport de la section française : — 

1. Nous regrettons que le nombre des membres qui ont pu assister cette année à nos séances soit 
si faible. Ils étaient 15 en 1882, — 8 en 1883, — 12 à l'assemblée de Québec, et 14 à celle d'Ottawa, en 
18S4, — et 13 en 1885. Nous n'étions que sept cette année, ce qui ne doit pas pourtant prouver que 


nous prenons moins d'intérêt aux travaux de la Société, car deux de nos membres sont en Europe en 
mission officielle; deux sont députés à l'assemblée législative de Québec, qui est maintenant en 
session ; quatre sont l'etenus à Québec par leur devoir de membres et de secrétaire du conseil de 
l'Instruction publique, lequel s'est réuni hier le 26 ; un autre préside la cour supérieure qui siège en- 
ce moment ; deux ont envoyé des excuses qui ont été acceptées par notre section ; les deux autres 
n'ont pasenvoj-é de letti-es, mais nous savons que l'un d'eux est paralytique. 

2. Les travaux qui ont été lus sont au nombre de dix ; cinq se rapportent à l'histoire, trois sont 
des œuvres poétiques ; un autre est l'éloge du regretté M. Oscar Dunn, fait par son successeur, d'après 
la coutume suivie dans l'Académie française ; le dernier traite un jwint préhistorique. 

3. Notre section recommande l'insertion de sej)t de ces travaux dans les mémoires de la Société 

4. La section française a remarqué avec regret que l'on n'a pas obéi cette année à l'injonction de 
la Société, exigeant que le titie français fût imprimé sur le dos de nos mémoires comme le titre 

5. Tout en remerciant le parlement pour la gracieuse permission qu'il nous donne de siéger dans 
ses chambres, nous exj^rimons le désir que la Société Royale puisse bientôt tenir ses séances dans des 
chambres à elle. 

6. La section française désire pouvoir accorder trois diplômes chaque année à des personnes qui 
n'appartiennent pas à la Société. Son but est d'encourager le talent des jeunes gens et les études 
sérieuses en histoire," littérature, archéologie, etc. Les membres de la section paieiaient de leur bourse 
le coût de ces diplômes, et ceux-ci seraient signés par le président et le secrétaire de la section, et 
contresignés jDar le président et le secrétaire généraux. 

7. Les élections ont eu lieu ce matin. Ont été élus : — 

Président — Paul de Gazes. 
Vice-président — Pamphile Le May. 

Secrétaire — Alphonse Ltjsignan. 

Le tout humblement soumis. 

Benjamin B>vlt:e, jirésident. 
A. Lusignan, secrétaire. 

Report of Section IL 

I have the honour to report that Section II has elected as office-bearers for the ensuing year : — 

E. M. BucKE, M.D., President. 
Wm. Kirby, Vice-President. 
George Stewart, Jfn., Secretary. 

The Committee on Publications is composed of Dr. Daniel Wilson, John George Bourinot and 
George Stewart, J un. 

The Committee appointed last yfiar to consider the question of iDublishing memoirs, or old books 
relating to Canadian history, travel, etc., under the auspices of the Eoyal Society, was reaj^pointed. 
The Committee is composed of John George Bourinot, Chairinan; John Eeade, John Lesperance, and 
George Stewart, Jun. 

The Secretary formally notified the Section that Mr. Charles Sangster had resigned his mem- 
bership of the Eoyal Society. In accordance with Eule 6, a nomination to fill his vacancy was made 
and submitted to the Council. 


The following papers were read: — 

I. Caractacus, the British Hero, a poem. By Rev. A. McD. Dawson, LL.D. 
II. Some Prehistoric Remains in Manitoba. By CiiAS. N. Bell, F.R.G.S. 

III. Mair's Tecumseh. By Lieut.-Col. G. T. Denison, LL. B. 

IV. The Right Hand. By Daniel Wilson, LL.D. 

V. The Wilderness Missions of Canada. By Rev. Dr. Withrow. 
VI. Local Government in Canada. By J. G. Bourinot, F.S.S. 
VII. Historical Record of the St. Maurice Forges. By F. C. Wortele. 
VIII. The Lost Atlantis. By Daniel Wilson, LL.D. 
IX. Some Notes on Canadian Ethnology. By John Reade. 
X. The Emotions, their place in Mind. By Prop. Wm. Lyall, LL.D. 
XL Noted Journeys in Rupert's Land and Beyond. By Prof. J. Brtce. 
XII. Malcolm and Margaret, a poem. By Rev. A. McD. Dawson, LL.D. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Youi- obedient servant, 

George Stewart, Jun., Secretary. 

Report of Section III. 

The number of members of the Section in attendance was ten. The absent members were Profs. 
Bayne, Cherriman, Dupuis, Haanel, Johnson, MacGregor and Loudon, Drs. Fortin and Girdwood, and 
Mr. C. Baillairgé. 

The following papers were read, in full or in abstract, before the section : — 

I. Presidential Address. By C. Carpjiael, M.A. 
II. The Genetic History of Crystalline Rocks. By T. Sterrt Hunt, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S. 

III. Suijplement to "A Natural System in Mineralogy." By T. Sterrt Hunt, M.A., LL^D., 


IV. The Colouring Matter of Black Tourmalines. By E. J. Chapman, Ph.D., LL.D. 
V. Some Canadian Minerals. By B. J. Harrington, B.A., Ph.D. 

VI. A Meteorite from the Northwest. By A. G. Coleman, Ph.D., communicated by Prof. 

Haanel. (Read by C. Carpjiael.) 
VII. Some Points in reference to Ice Phenomena. By Robert Bell, M.D., LL.D. 
VIII. Paper on Time-Reckoning for the Twentieth Century. By Sandford Fleming, C.M.G., CE. 
IX. Le choix d'une projection pour la carte du Canada. By E. Deville, Surveyor General. 
X. Abel's Forms of the roots of solvable equations of the fifth degree. By G. Paxton Young, 

M.A. (Read by C. Carpmael.) 
XI. Conditions of the Solvability of Ejections of prime degrees — Ivronecker's law. By G. 
Paxton Young, M.A. (Read by C. Carpmael.) 

The following resolutions were passed : — 

(1). " That the Council be requested to continue to cooperate with the Committee of the British 
Association in soliciting the attention of the Government to the important matter of Observations on 
Tides and Currents of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts." 

(2). "That the Council be requested to memorialize the Government on the subject of the 
erection, at Ottawa, of a suitable building for a National Museum, in connection with the Geological 
and Natural History Sui-vey of the Dominion, and with accommodation for this Society, and for a 


(3). " That this section recommends to the favorable consideration of the Council the proposal 
to assist Dr. Franz Boas, of Berlin, pecuniarily or otherwise, in his further explorations in BaiHn 
Land, during the present year." 

The cflScers elected for the ensuing year were : — 

Mr. T. MacFarlane, M.E., President. 

Mr. Sandford Flemino, C.M.G., C.E., Vice-President. 

Mr. G. C. Hoffman, F. Inst. Chem., Secretary. 

Charles Carpmael, President. 

G. C. Hoffman, Secretary. 

Report of Section IV. 

The number of membeis of the Section attending the meeting was eight ; but Mr. G. F. 
Matthew, who w^as not able to be present, sent two piapcrs to be read. 

The following is a list of papers which were read, in full or by title:— - 

I. Presidential Address on the Obligation of Geological Science to Canada. By Sir Wil- 
liam Dawson. 
II. The Fossil Flora of the Laramie Series of Western Canada. By Sir William Dawson. 

III. Une Etude Géologique sur les phénomènes de contact entre les formations Siluriennes et 

Archéennes de la Province de Québec. By Abbé J. C. K. Laflamme. 

IV. Quelques notes sur la pureté de la glace des rivières, exposant surtout le résultat des 

travaux que j'ai faits à Québec dans le cours de l'hiver. By Abbé J. C. K. Laflamme. 
V. Some recent additions to the list of Canadian Ferns. By Dr. T. G. W. Burqess. 
VI. On the Cambrian Faunas of Cape Breton and Newfoundland. By G. F. Matthew. 
VII. Illustrations of the Fauna of the St John Group. By G. F. Matthew. 
VIII. The Silurian System of Northern Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec. By Prop. L. W. 
IX. Notes on the Glaciation and Pleistocene Subsidence of Northern New Brunswick and 

South-eastern Quebec. By E. Chalmers, communicated by Dr. G. M. Dawson. 
X. On some Marine Invertebrata, etc., from the coast of British Columbia. By J. F. 
XI. Illustrations of the Fossil Fishes of the Devonian i-ocks of the Dominion. Part I. By 

J. F. Whiteaves. 
XII. List of the Crustacea collected by Dr. G. M. Dawson on the coast of British Columbia in 
1885. By Prof. S. J. Smith, of Yale College, communicated by J. F. Whiteaves. 

XIII. On certain borings in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. By Dr. G. M. Dawson. 

XIV. Notes on some points in Arctic American Geology. By Dr. G. M. Dawson. 

XV. Notes on the Carboniferous marine limestone formation of the EastEivei-, Pictou County, 

N. S. By E. Gilpin, Jun. 
XVI. Preliminary Eeport on some Graptolites from the Lower Palœozoic rocks on the south 
side of the St. Lawrence from Cap Eosier to the Tartigo Elver, from the rocks of 
Orleans Island, Cap Eouge, and the Cove fields, Quebec. By Prof. Charles Lapworth, 
LL.D., (of Mason College, Birmingham, England), communicated by J. F. Whiteaves. 
XVII. Mechanism of Movement in Cucurbita, Vitis and Eobinia. By Prof. D. P. Penhallow. 

The following resolution w^as passed unanimously by the section: — "That the Council be 
requested to memorialize the Government on the subject of the erection at Ottawa of a suitable 
building for a National Museum, to embrace the accommodation necessary for the Geological and 


Natural History Survey of the Dominion, and for this Society and its Libnuy, and respectfully to 
urge that, in view of the present insufficiency of the building of the Survey, and of the need of 
further provision for the adequate display of economic as well as scientific specimens, and of the 
preservation of ethnological remains, the erection of such a building is a matter of much imjjortance 
to the welfare and reputation of the Dominion." 

The election of officers of the Section for the ensuing season resulted as follows: — 

President, Eev. Prop. Laflamme. 
Vice-President, Dr. E. Bell. 
Secretary, J. F. Whiteaves. 

J. F. Whiteaves, Secretary. 

Election of Officers. 

The Society then proceeded to the election of officers for the year 1886-7, and the following 
gentlemen were nominated and unanimously elected : — 

President.— Y Eev. T. E. Hamel, M.A. 

Vice-President. — G. Lawson, Ph.D., LL.D. • 

Honorary Secretary. — J. Gr. Bourinot, F.S.S. 
Honorary Treasurer. — J. A. Grant, M.D., F.G.S. 

Tlio thanks of the meeting were then voted to the retiring officers for their assiduity in furthei'- 
ing the interests of the Society during the past twelve months. 
The Society then adjourned. 



OFFICERS FOR 188 6-87. 




President - _ - VERY REV. T. E. HAMEL, M.A. 

Vice-President - - G. LAWSON, PH.D., LL.D. 


HON. p. J. 0. CHAUVEAU, LL.D., L.D., Montreal. 
T. STERRY HUNT, LL.D., F.R.S., Montreal. 


SEC. I. — French Literature, History, and Allied Subjects. 

President - _ - - PAUL DE CAZES. 
Vice-Peesidbkt - - - PAMPHILE LEMAY. 
Secretary - - - - A. LUSIGNAN. 

SEC. II. — English Literature, History, and Allied Subjects. 

President _ - - - R. jNIAURICE BUCKE, M.D. 

Vice-President _ - - W. KIRBY. 

Secrhtary - - - - GEO. STEWART, Jun., D.C.L. 

SEC. III. — Mathematical, Physical, and Chemical Sciences. 

President _ - - - T. MACFARLANE, M.E., CE. 
Vicb-Prbsidbnt - - - SANDFORD FLEMING, CM.G. 
Secretary - - - - G. C. HOFFMANN, F. Inst. Cliem. 

SEC. IV. — Geological and Biologiccd Sciences. 

President _ - _ a REV. J. C. K. LAFLAMME, D.D. 
Vice-President - - - R. BELL.M.D., F.G.S. 
Seoebtaey - - - - J. F. WHITEAVES, F.G.S. 

Honorary Secretary ----- J. G. BOURINOT, F.S.S. 
Honorary Treasurer ----- J. A. GRANT, M.D., F.G.S. 

The Council for 1886-87 comprises the President and Vice-President of the Society, the Presidents, Vice- 
Presidents and Secretaries of Sections, the Honorary Secretary, and the Honorary Treasurer, besides ex-Presidents 
of the Society (Rule 7) during three years from the date of their retirement. 

Proc. 1886. E. 


LIST OF MEMBERS, 1886-87. 

Begin, l'aeisé L. N., S.T.D., uniA'orsite Laval, Québec. 
Bois, l'abdé L. E., Maskinongê. 
Casgrain, l'abbé h. R., LL.D., Quéhee. 
Chauve AU, P, J. 0., LL.D., L.D., Monlrêul. 
De Gazes, Paul, Québec. 
DeCblles, a. D., Ollawa. 
Fabkb, Hector, Paris, France. . 
Faucher de Saint-Maurice, N., Québec. 
Feéciibttb, Louis, LL.D., Nicolet. 
Lkgendrio, Napoléon, Québec. 


LeMay, Pamphile, Québec. 

LeMoine, J. m., Québec. 

Lusignan, A., Olhma. 

Maechand, F.-G., Saint-Jean, Q. 

Maemette, Joseph, Oitaiva. 

EouTHiER, A. B., LL.D., Québec. 

SuLTE, Benjamin, Ollarea. 

Tanguay, l'abbé Cyprien, L.D., Ollawa. 

Tassé, Joseph, Montréal. 

Verreau, l'abbé Hospice, LL.D., Montréal. 

Géant, Very Rev. G. M., D.D., Principal of Queen's 
University, Kingston. 

Kirby, William, Niagara. 

Lesperance, John, Montreal. 

Lindsey, Charles, Toronto. 

Lyall, Rev. W., LL.D., Dalhousie University, Halifax. 

Murray, George, B.A., High School, Montreal. 

Murray, Rev. J. Clark, LL.D., McGill LTniverBity, 


Boueinot, John George, M.A., F.S.S., Ottawa. 
BncKB, R. Maurice, M.D., London, 0. 
Dawson, Rev. ^Eneas Macdonbll, LL.D., Ollawa. 
Denison, Lt-Col. G. t., B.C.L., Toronto. 

McCoLL, Evan, Kingston. 

Reade, John, Montreal. 

Smith, Goldwin, D.C.L., Toronto. 

Stewart, George, Jun., D.C.L., Quebec. 

Watson, J., M.A., LL.D., Queen's University, Kingston. 

Wilson, Daniel, LL.D., F.R.S.E., President of Univer- 
sity of Toronto, Toronto. 

WiTHROw, Rev. W. H., D.D., Toronto. 

Young, G. Paxton, M.A., University of Toronto, 




Baillahgf., C, ce., Quebec- 

CAErArABL, C. H., M.A., Superintendent of iMoteorologi- 
cal Service, Toronto 

Chapman, E. J., Ph.D., LLD., University of Toronto, 
Toronto. • 

Chereiman, J. B., M.A., Ottawa. 

Devillb, E., Surveyor General, Ottaim. 

DUPUI8, N. F., M.A., F.R.S.E., Queen's University, 

Fleming, Sandfokd, C.M.G.,C.F., Ottava. 

FoETiN, r., M.D., Montreal. 

GiEDWooD, G. P., M.D., McGill University, Montreal. 

GiSBOENE, F. N., M.I.T.E.E., CE., Ottawa. 

Haanel, E., Ph.D., Victoria University, Cohourg. 

Hajiel, Very Kev. T. E., M.A., Rector of Laval Univer- 
sity, Quebec. 

Harrington, B. J., B.A., Ph.D., JIcGill University, 
Mon Ireal. 

Hoffmann, G. C, F. Inst. Chem., Geological Survey, 

Hunt, T. Sterry, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S., Montreal. 

Johnson, A., LL.D., McGill University, Montreal. 

Loudon, J. T., M.A., University of Toronto, Toronto. 

Macfarlane, t., M.E., Montreal. 

MacGregor, J. G., M.A., D.Sc, F.R.S.E., Dalhousie 
University, Halifax. 


Bailey, L. W., M.A., Ph.D., University of New Bruns- 
wick, Fredericton. 

Bell, Robert, M.D., CE., F.G.S., Geological Survey, 

Burgess, T. J. W., M.D., London, 0. 

Dawson, G. M., D.Sc., A.R.S.M., F.G.S., Geological Sur- 
vey, Ottaioa. 

Dawson, Sie J. William, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S., Princi- 
pal of McGill University, Montreal. 

Flbtchbe, James, Ottawa. 

Gilpin, Edwin, M.A., F.G.S., Inspector of Mines, 

Geant, J. A., M.D., F.G.S., Otta^m. 

Honeyman, Rev. D., D.CL., Museum, Halifax. 

Jones, J.M., F.L.S., Halifax. 

Laflamme, Rev. J. C K., D.D., M.A., Laval University, 

Lawson, G., Ph-I>., LL.D., Dalhousie University, 

Macoun, J., M.A., F.L.S., Geological Survey, Ottawa. 

Matthew, G. F., M.A., St. John, N.B. 

Penhallow, D. p., B.Sc, McGill University, Montreal. 

Saunders, W., London, 0. 

Selwyn, a. R. C, LL.D., F.R.S., F.G.S., Director of the 
Geological Survey, Ottawa. 

St. Cye, D. N., Quebec. 

Whitbavbs, J. F., F.G.S., Geological Survey, Ottaioa. 

Weight, R. Ramsay, M.A., B.Sc, University of Toronto, 


The Marquis of Loene. 

BoNNEY, T. G., D.Sc-, LL.D., F.R.S., London, England. ■ 

DorcBT, Camille, secrétaire perpétuel de l'Académie 
française, Paris. France. 

Maemier, Xaviee, de l'Académie française,Pam, France. 

Parkman, Francis, LL.D., Boston, Mass. 

Rameau de Saint Père, Edmé, Adon, Loiret, France. 


BouRA.ssA, Napoléon, Monlcbello. 

Gilpin, J. Bernard, M.D., M.R.CS., Halifax. 

OsLEE, W., M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. 





ANNEE 1886 

Section I, 1886 [ 1 J Mémoires S. R. Canada. 

I — Le Pionnier, 

Par Louis Frechette. 

( Lu le 25 mai 1886. ) 

.T'ai bieu connu jadis le vieux Baptiste Auclair. 
C'était un grand vieillard jovial, ayant l'air 
Déluré d'un ancien capitaine en retraite. 
Autrefois au Nord-Ouest il avait fait la traite, 
Et sa fortune aussi, disait-on dans le temps ; 
Mais on n'en était pas bien sûr, car à trente ans 
Il était retourné, sans le moindre étalage, 
Reprendre la charrue et sa place au village. 
Héritier de la terre et du toit paternels. 
C'est là que je l'ai vu, dans les jours solennels, 
Rieur, et se faisant craqueter les jointures. 
Nous raconter ce c^u'il nommait ses aventures. 

Il avait élevé seize enfants : huit garçons 

— Là-dessus je ne sais plus combien de bessous — 
Et huit tilles, tous seize installés en ménage. 

Il n'en portait pas moins gaillardement son âge. 

— J'ai, disait-il, bon pied bon œil, et sapristi ! 
Sans me vanter, jamais je ne me suis senti 

Si jetine et si dispos que lorscjue la cohorte 

De mes petits-enfants vient frapper à ma porte. 

Et j'en ai, Dieu merci, cent dix-sept bien comptés ! 

Beau chiffre, n'est-ce pas ? Tenez, vous plaisantez. 

Vous autres, lorsque vous disc^^tez politic[ue. 

Nation, avenir ; l'œuvre patriotique, 

Jeunes gens, c'est la mienne ! Un homme est éloquent, 

Et peut se proclamer bon patriote . . . quand ? 

Quand il a cinquante ans labouré la prairie. 

Et donné comme moi cent bras à la Patrie. 

Mettez cela dans vos papiers, beaux orateurs ! 

Et, parcourant des yeux son cercle d'auditeurs, 
Il éclatait de rire attendant la réplique. 

Sec 1,1886. — 1. 


Le vieillard conservait une étrange relique 
Au fond d'un vieux bahut à moitié ruiné ; 
Il tenait ce trésor de son père, et l'aîné 
De ses enfants devait en avoir l'héritage.... 
Il ne lui plaisait pas d'en dire davantage. 

Un beau soir cependant qu'on le sollicitait, 
Il étala l'objet devant nos yeux ; c'était 
Un petit vêtement de gros chanvre, une espèce 
De chemise d'enfant, lourde, grossière, épaisse, 
Mal cousue, et portant sur son tissu taché 
Quelques traces d'un brun noirâtre et desséché. 

— C'est là du sang. Messieurs, du sang de race aère ! 
Dit le vieillard. Et puis, roulant sa tabatière 
Entre ses doigts noueux, il nous fit le récit 
De la simple et navrante histoire que voici : 

Ce fut un temps bien rude et plein d'âpres angoisses 

Que les commencements de ces belles paroisses 

Qvi'on voit s'échelonner aujourd'hui sur nos bords. 

Quand, du haut du A'aisseau qui s'ancre dans nos ports, 

Le voyageur charmé se pâme et s'extasie 

Au spectacle féerique et plein de poésie 

Qui de tous les côtés frappent ses yeux surpris, 

Il est loin, oui bien loin de se douter du prix 

Que ces bourgs populeux, ces campagnes prospères 

Et leurs riches moissons coûtèrent à nos pères. 

Chez nous, chaque buisson pourrait dire au passant : 

Ces sillons ont moins bu de sueur que de sang. 

Par quel enchaînement de luttes, de souffrance, 

Nos aïeiTx ont conquis ce sol vierge à la France, 

En y fondant son culte immortel désormais, 

La France même, hélas ! ne le saura jamais. 

Quels jours ensanglantés ! quelle époque tragique ! 

Ah ! ce fut une race à la trempe énergique 

Que les premiers colons de ce pays naissant. 

Ils vivaient sous le coup d'un qui-vive incessant : 

Toujours quelque siirprise, embûche, assaut, batailles ! 

Quelque ennemi farouche émergeant des broussailles ! 

Habitants égorgés, villages aux abois, 

Prisonniers tout sanglants entraînés dans les bois!... 

Les femmes, les enfants veillaient à tour de rôle. 

Tandis que le mari, le fusil sur l'épaule. 


Au pas ferme et nerveux de son cheval normand, 

Semeur de l'avenir, enfonçait hardiment 

Dans ce sol primitif le soc de sa charrue ; 

Et si, l'été suivant, l'herbe poussait plus drue 

Dans quelque coin du pré, l'on jugeait du regard 

Qu'un cadavre iroquois dormait là quelque part. 

Personne n'en faisait de cas, c'était la mode. 

Mais arrivons de suite au sanglant épisode 
Conté par mon ami le vieux Baptiste Auclair. 

Au penchant d'un talus baigné par le flot clair 
Où le beau Nicolet, à trente arpents du fleuve. 
Mire aujourd'hui gaîment sa cathédrale neuve, 
A l'ombre d'un boucjuet de pins au faîte altier, 
Que les siècles n'ont pu terrasser tout entier. 
Trois de ces pionniers, en ces jours de tourmentes, 
Avec l'espoir prochain de saisons plus clémentes. 
Avaient planté leur tente à la grâce de Dieu. 

L'un d'eux se nommait Jacqu.e. Il avait dit adieu 
Aux droits, à la corvée, à la taille, aux gabelles. 
Pour s'en venir chercher, avec d'autres rebelles. 
Sous des cieux où le fisc n'eût pas encore lui. 
Un peu de liberté pour les siens et pour lui. 
Sa femme, une robuste enfant de Picardie, 
Trois fois avait doté leur famille agrandie 
D'un nouveau-né gaillard, alerte et bien portant. 
Et l'œil des deux époux allait à chaque instant, 
Avec un long regard, hélas ! souvent morose. 
Des aînés tout brunis au bébé frais et rose. 

Or ce dernier n'avait que six mois seulement. 

Lorsque se déroula l'afireux événement 

Qui sur un lit d'horreurs le jeta seul au monde. 

Pour les colons l'année avait été féconde. 
La pente des coteaux et le creux des vallons 
Etalaient, souple et lourd, un manteau d'épis blonds 
Qui, comme un lac doré que le soleil irise, 
Flottait luxuriant au souffle de la brise. 
L'heure de la moisson était venue ; aussi 
Le cœur des défricheurs, oubliant tout souci, 
Montait reconnaissant vers Celui dont l'haleine 
Féconde les sillons et fait jaunir la plaine. 


Un soir, notre ami Jacque, après mûr examen, 
Prépara sa faucille, et dit : — " C'est pour demain ! " 
Puis il pria longtemps et dormit comme un juste. 

Hélas ! si par hasard, ce soir-là même, juste 
A l'heure où les colons se livraient avi sommeil. 
En amont du courant, prêt à donner l'éveil, 
Quelqu'un eût côtoyé la rive solitaire, 
Il eût sans doute vu, furtifs, rasant la terre 
Dans l'ombre de la berge, et pagayant sans bruit, 
Trois longs canots glisser lentement dans la nuit. 
C'étaient les Iroquois — ces maraudeurs sinistres 
Dont les premiers feuillets de nos anciens registres 
Racontent si nombreux les exploits meurtriers. 
Rendus non loin des lieux où nos expatriés 
Avaient fortifié leur petite bourgade, 
Dans un enfoncement propice à l'embuscade, 
Ils prirent pied, masqués par un épais rideau 
De branchages touffus inclinés à fleur d'eau, 
Puis sur le sable mou halèrent en silence 
Leurs pirogues au fond le plus obscur de l'anse, 
Et, sous les bois, guettant et rampant tour à tour, 
Tapis dans les fourrés, attendirent le jour. 

Celui-ci se leva radieux et superbe. 

C'est fête aux champs le jour de la première gerbe : 
Aussi nos moissonneurs, les paniers à la main. 
Dès l'aube, tout joyeux, se mirent en chemin. 
Les aînés, que la mère_ avec orgueil regarde. 
S'avançaient, tapageurs, en piquet d'avant-garde, 
Taudis que Jacque, ému, riait d'un air touchant 
Au petit que sa femme allaitait en marchant. 
Car, suivant la coutume, on était en famille. 

Bientôt, au bord d'un champ où l'épi d'or fourmille, 

On fit halte. Partout, des prés aux bois épais. 

Nul bruit inusité, nuls indices suspects, 

Rien qui troublât la paix des vastes solitudes. 

Du reste on n'aA^ait nul sujet d'inquiétudes : 

Pas une bête fauve, et, quant aux Iroquois, 

Ils n'osaient plus tirer leurs flèches du carquois. 

Refoulés qu'ils étaient au fond de leurs repaires. 

On pouvait donc compter sur des jours plus prospères 

Enfin, l'espoir au cœur, et ne redoutant rien. 


Jacque — après avoir fait le signe du chrétien — 
Près dn marmot dormant au creux d'une javelle, 
Commença les travaux de la moisson nouvelle. 

Vous voyez le tableau : dans le cadre assombri 
De l'immense forêt qui lui prête un abri, 
Une calme clairière où l'on voit, flot mouvant. 
Les blés d'or miroiter sous le soleil levant ; 
A genoux sur la glèbe, et tête découverte, 
Les travailleurs penchés sur leur faucille alerte ; 
Deux enfants jjoursuivant le vol d'un papillon ; 
Et puis ce petit ange, au revers d'un sillon. 
Parmi les épis mûrs montrant sa bouche rose... 
C'était comme une idylle au fond d'un rêve éclose. 

Qu'advint-il ? on ne l'a jamais su tout entier. 

Ce matin-là, quelcju'un, en suivant le sentier 
Qui conduisait du fort à la rive isolée, 
Entendit tout à coup, venant de la vallée 
Où Jacque était allé recueillir sa moisson. 
Quelque chose d'horrible à donner le frisson. 
C'étaient des cris stridents, aigus, épouvantables ; 
Et puis des coups de feu, des plaintes lamentables, 
Appels désespérés et hurlements confus 
Frappant lugubrement l'écho des bois toulFus. 
Les farouches rumeurs longtemps se prolongèrent ; 
Longtemps dans le lointain des clameurs s'échangèrent ; 
Et puis, sur la rivière où le bruit se confond, 
Succéda par degrés un silence profond.... 

Le soir, lorsque les deux colons du voisinage 
Osèrent visiter la scène du carnage. 
Un spectacle hideux s'offrit à leurs regards : 
Trois cadavres sanglants, défigurés, hagards, 
Jacque et les deux enfants, pauvre famille unie. 
Dans une même horrible et fatale agonie. 
Yeux crevés, ventre ouvert, le crâne dépouillé. 
Gisaient là sur le sol par le meurtre souillé. 
Quant à la femme, hélas ! elle était prisonnière ; 
Sans doute condamnée à mourir la dernière 
A quelque affreux gibet par l'enfer inventé. 

On plia le genou sur le champ dévasté. 

Et, de ces cœurs naïfs glacés par l'épouvante, 


La prière des morts allait monter fervente, 
Lorsqu'au De profundis clamavi, — faible et doux, 
Un long A'agissement venant on ne sait d'où 
Répondit aussitôt comme un cri d'âme en peine. 

Les colons étonnés retinrent leur haleine.... 

C'était comme un sanglot d'enfant ; et, stupéfait. 
Quelques instants plus tard, on trouvait en effet, 
Dans le creux d'un sillon, la face contractée. 
Perdu sous un amas de paille ensanglantée, 
Un enfant de six mois suffoquant à demi. 
Sans doute que la mère avait de l'ennemi 
Par cet ingénieux moyen trompé la rage. 
Et, dévoûment sublime, avait eu le courage 
De marcher à la mort d'un cœur déterminé, 
Sans trahir d'un regard le pauvre abandonné ! 

— Or ce pauvre orphelin, ce pauvre petit être. 
Fit le vieux plus ému qu'il ne voulait paraître, 
Voici le vêtement qu'il portait ce jour-là ; 
Et, si je le conserve avec respect, cela 
Ne surprendra bien fort personne ici, j'espère. 
Car cet enfant, c'était mon arrière-grand-père ! 

Section I, 1886. [ 7 *] Mémoires S. E. Canada 

II — Le golfe Saint-Laurent 

( 1600-1625 ) 

Par Benjamin Sulte. 

( Lu le 26 mai 1886. ) 


Avant le premier voyage de Cartier (1534), les trafiquants, français fréquentaient le 
golfe Saint-Laurent. La pêche et la traite des pelleteries y attiraient les armateurs. Lors 
de la visite de Champlain (1608), le troc s'avançait déjà dans le fleuve jusqu'au lac 
Saint-Pierre, et les nations situées plus à l'ouest en avaient connaissance. 

Nous avons pris l'habitude de concentrer notre attention entre Montréal et Québec, 
durant la période de Champlain. Je me propose de reporter itu instant la pensée du lec- 
teur sur le bas du fleuve, principalement dans le golfe, au cours des vingt-cinq années qui 
s'écoulent de 1600 à 1625. 

Si je ne soulève pas de problème intéressant, je pourrai du moins ofi'rir un tableau des 
choses les plus ordinaires dans ces parages, et montrer que la lutte — car il y a toujours 
lutte en ce monde — avait lieu plutôt pour le commerce qu'en faveur de la colonisation. 
Le vaste et riche domaine maritime que comprenaient eu ce moment les terres appelées la 
Nouvelle-France était tout, aux yeux des navigateiirs et des hommes employés au négoce. 
Prendre au. sérieux l'établissement de Québec et le Canada proprement dit, n'entrait point 
dans les idées du temps. De cette manière les efforts de la France, ou plutôt des Français, 
s'arrêtaient à la porte de notre pays. Le champ ainsi exploité satisfaisait les ambitions du 
grand nombre. Au-delà se trouvait l'avenir, que peu de j^ersonnes étaient en état d'appré- 
cier. Une Nouvelle-France non seulement maritime mais terrestre — colonisée en un mot 
— paraissait comme un rêve aux yeux du vulgaire ; aussi Champlain était-il peu écouté, 
encore moins secouru. 

L'amiral de Coligny, reprenant (1555) le travail de Roberval, avait voulu fonder une 
colonie stable. Il obtint l'assentiment d'Henri II ; mais on s'occupait alors de la Floride 
et du Brésil, d'où André Thevet revenait chargé de renseignements. Le Canada fut négligé 
encore une fois. Cartier venait de mourir. Nicolas Durand de Yillegaguon conduisit ses 
compatriotes vers l'Amérique du Sud sans pouvoir les y fixer. Cet échec qui parut inex- 
plicable, dans un pays regardé comme supérieur au Canada, ne pouvait que faire reculer 
l'idée coloniale, et c'est ce qui ne manqua pas d'arriver. 

Mézeray, parlant de Villegagnon, dit qu'il " commença de faire voir aux Espagnols 
qu'ils ne seraient pas tout seuls les maîtres du nouveau monde." L'impression de Mézeray 
date de la fin du gouvernement de Richelieu, 1640 ; il est douteux c^u'elle ait existé à la 


cour de France vers 1560. Toutefois les Bretons, et avec eux la famille de Cartier, persis- 
taient à se diriger du côté du Saint-Laurent, mais pour les fins du commerce uniquement. 
Les Anglais faisaient de même, sur une assez grande échelle, se tenant de préférence à 
Terre-Neuve, tandis que les Basques allaient au Cap-Breton, et les marins de Saint-Malo 
jusque dans le fleuve. 

PontgraA^é, Chauvin, de Chatte, Champlain, tentèrent en 1603 de créer le mouvement 
canadien. L'année suivante, Henri IV permit à toute les classes de la noblesse de se livrer 
au négoce sans déroger, aussi commencèrent-elles à entrer dans les compagnies anciennes 
ou qui se formaient dans cette vu.e ; elles y coudoyaient les gens de robe et les marchands- 
bourgeois, — ce qui était un spectacle nouveau. 

Les Basques débitaient beaucoup de poisson sur les marchés de France. Ils tournèrent 
les regards des armateurs vers la région de l'Acadie. Le golfe Saint-Laurent était redouté 
des pilotes à cause de ses côtes dangereuses et des tempêtes qui y sévissent. De deux 
maux on choisit le moindre : l'Acadie fut préférée. 

L'expérience personnelle des navigateurs tenait lieu de renseignements écrits ou 
publiés. Les cartes, s'il y eu avait, était la propriété secrète de ceux qui les dressaient, à 
la suite de leurs propres voyages. Telle maison de commerce payait les services de pilotes 
et de capitaines qui possédaient des connaissances spéciales dans cet ordre de choses, et 
parvenait à réaliser de forts bénéfices en perdant moins de vaisseaux ou en trafiquant sur 
les côtes peu ou point connues de ses rivales. Tout était mystère pour les mariniers de 
l'Europe dans ce golfe immense, dans ces baies profondes, dans ces rivières étonnantes, 
dans ce fleuve rempli d'écueils et balayé par les ouragans. L'amitié des sauvages ne se 
partageait pas non plus également entre les races civilisées qui cherchaient à traiter avec 
eux. Chaque capitaine exerçait un prestige plus ou moins direct sur l'imagination des 
diverses tribus. C'est pourquoi la palme du succès revenait au plus habile navigateu.r et 
au phis adroit négociateur. La bravoure sous les armes et le génie militaire dans les com.- 
bats étaient aussi des cjualités de rigueur. Le pavillon de certains navires était plus 
respecté que celui d'un autre, à cause du chef d'équipage qu'il annonçait aux matelots 
étrangers comme aux indigènes. 

Le trajet entre les deux continents se faisait rarement en ligne droite. Le P. Biard, 
parti de Dieppe en 1611, raconte qu'il toucha d'abord deux ou trois fois aux côtes d'Angle- 
terre, puis descendit en longeant les terres de France jusque vers La Rochelle, où il fut tout 
surpris de voir le navire continuer sa route au sud jusqu'aux îles Açores, après quoi, virant 
de bord, il se dirigea vers le Cap-Breton. Ces zigzags se rencontrent dans plvisieurs voyages 
de l'époque. Les marins m'ont dit, ajoute le P. Biard, que f>our trois raisons ils descendent 
ainsi aux Açores : pour éviter la mer du Nord, pour s'aider des vents du sud, pour mieux 
calculer leur marche sur le soleil ; mais, dit-il de nouveau, je n'eu veux rien croire. Ils 
desceudireut jusqu'à 39' 30' sans voir les Açores, et tournèrent, pour atteindre le grand 
banc de Terre-Neuve, qu'il estime large en qiielqiies endroits de vingt-cinq lieues. " Sur 
le bord de ce grand banc, dit-il, les vagues sont d'ordinaire fort furieuses trois ou quatre 
lieues durant, et ces trois ou quatre lieues on appelle les Açores.... ' Nous entrâmes dans 
les glaces sur les Açores du banc, degré du nord 46... et le cinq mai nous descendîmes à 

' L'imprimé que j'ai .sous les yeux dit bien Adores, mais je pense qu'il faut mettre accons, contour d'un bam- 
sous-marin ou d'un écueil. On dit aussi écores. 


Le petit tableau qui suit met en regard quelques localités européennes et américaines 
qui se trouvent sur une même latitude tout en jouissant de températures très différentes : 

50^ —Ville de Dieppe. Milieu de la pointe nord de Terre-Neuve. Passage entre l'île d'An- 
ticosti et la rive nord du fleuve Saint-Laurent. Ville de "Winnipeg. 

47" — Ville de Nantes. Sortie de la Loire. Passage entre Terre-Neuve et le Cap-Breton. 
Ville de Québec. 

46"_ Ville de La Eochelle. Pointe est du Cap-Breton. Ville de Sorel. Michilliraakinac. 

46°, 45°, 44° — Grand banc de Terre-Neuve. La Nouvelle-Ecosse. Montréal. Kingston. 

43° _ Saint- Jean-de-Luz, pays des Bascj[ues. Pointe sud de la Nouvelle-Ecosse. Ports- 
mouth, entre Portland et Boston. 

40° — Ville de Lisbonne, Portugal. Iles Açores. Ville de Philadelphie, Pensylvanie. 

Donc, le P. Biard alla du 50° au 40", et remonta au 46° pour arriver à Canseau, Cap- 
Breton. Ayant, si l'on A^ut, cent lieues à parcourir du nord au sud, il en avait fait quatre 


Au printemps de 1604, le sieur de Monts, partant pour fonder un poste en Acadie, 
confia un navire au capitaine Pontgravé, avec instruction de chasser de Canseau et des 
alentours du Cap-Breton les Français qu'il y rencontrerait faisant la pêche ou la traite. 
Pontgravé captura quelques Basques, mais on sait que cela ne suffisait pas pour arranger 
les affaires de son maître, lesquelles se gâtaient fort en ce moment. L'année suivante, le 
fondateur de Port-Royal se recommandait aux pêcheurs de morue pour se procurer les 
moyens de 'retourner eu France; ils lui brûlèrent la politesse, et de plus portèrent plainte 
à Henri IV, qui leur donna gain de cause. 

Poutrincourt, qui obtint le privilège de de Monts, ne manqua pas, dès 1606, de recom- 
mander au même Pontgravé la saisie des bâtiments qu'il trouverait au Cap-Breton. Les 
navires de de Monts qui fréquentaient encore le golfe Saint-Laurent, à la suite d'une 
entente avec Poutrincourt, furent pillés à cette époque par des corsaires hollandais. 

Sully, ambassadeur d'Henri IV, baissait pavillon, à trois lieues des rives de France 
devant la menace d'un simple brigantin de Londres. La marine anglaise tenait la mer, 
les Hollandais venaient en second lieu, les pirates d'Alger et de Tunis s'en mêlaient, les 
entrepreneurs de colonie, comme de Monts, n'avaient que des vaisseaux armés ; et de tout 
cela résultaient des hostilités continuelles. 

Dans l'été de 1608, Pontgravé, se rendant à Québec, voulut arrêter des commerçants 
basques qui trafiquaient sur son chemin ; mal lui en prit car ils résistèrent, capturèrent 
son bâtiment, et blessèrent Pontgravé lui-même d'un coup de feu. La situation n'en était 
que plus mauvaise ; à peine commencées les colonies de Port-Royal et de Québec se 
voyaient entourées d'ennemis appartenant à quatre ou cinc[ nations aventureiises. 

Pontgravé est le marin qui a le plus souvent parcouru le golfe Saint- Laurent, de 1600 
à 1630. Sur des coquilles de quarante à cent tonneaux, il se lançait à travers l'océan et 
les dangers du grand fleuve, bravant le froid, les glaces, les vents, les compagnies hostiles, 
les corsaires, la famine, les révoltes de ses propres matelots, et faisant passer les Malouius 
partout, selon son cri de guerre connu. Si ce capitaine avait laissé des mémoires écrits, 

Sec. 1, 1886. 2. 


ne serait-ce qu'un journal de bord, nous saurions beaucoup de choses qui se sont efifacées 
du souvenir des hommes. A défaut de tels renseignements, tâchons de reconstruire une 
partie de ce passé déjà lointain. 

Poutrincourt raconte que, retournant en Acadie, on 1610, un navire de forban lit mine 
de l'attaquer,' et ne se retira qu'après avoir constaté les forces du bâtiment français. 

Il existait des pirates dans ces parages antérieurement à Povitrincourt. Eemarquons 
cependant que la mort d'Henri IV, survenue le 14 mai 1610, inspirait une audace nouvelle 
aux écumeurs de mer. Jusque-là le roi de France était parvenu à contenir, dans une cer- 
taine mesure, les forbans des Etats barbaresques, ainsi que d'autres, qui leur aidaient dans 
les entreprises de ce genre. Lui mort, et la terreur de sou nom dissipée, les pêcheurs du 
Saint-Laurent offraient une proie facile aux coups des Tunisiens et des Algériens. 

Par le traité intervenu entre le sultan et Henri IV, " les Vénitiens, les Anglais, les 
Espagnols, les Portugais, les Catalans, les Ragusois, les Genevois, les Anconitains et les 
Florentins, et généralement tovites nations " pouvaient librement trafiquer dans l'empire 
turc " sous l'aveu et sûreté de la bannière de France, laquelle, dit le traité, ils porteront 
comme leur sauvegarde... obéissant aux consuls français... et d'autant que les corsaires 
de Barbarie, allant par les ports et havres de France, y sont reçus et secourus, et aidés à 
leur besoin de poudre et plomb et autres choses nécessaires à leur navigation, trouvant 
des vaisseaux français à leur avantage, ils ne laissent de les piller et saccager, en faisant 
les personnes esclaves, contre notre vouloir et celui du défunt empereur Méhémet notre 
père... commandons que les Français pris contre la foi publique soient remis en liberté.... 
Si les corsaires continuent leurs brigandages, à la première plainte c[ui nous en sera faite 
par l'empereur de France, les vice-rois et gouverneurs des pays de l'obéissance desquels 
seront les voleurs et corsaires seront tenus des dommages et pertes qu'auront faits les 
Français, et seront privés de leurs charges.... Si les corsaires d'Algers et Tunis n'observent 
ce qui est porté par cette capitulation, que l'empereur de France leur fasse courir sus, les 
chastie... nous approuvons.... Se trouvant par notre empire des esclaves français, étant 
connus pour tels des embassadeurs et consuls ", ceux au pouvoir desquels ils se trouve- 
ront faisant refus de les délivrer, qu'ils soient obligés de les amener ou envoyer à notre 
Porte, afin d'être jugés à c[ui il appartiendra... Déclarons ceux qui contreviendront à ce 
notre vouloir, rebelles, etc." '' 

Cette situation changea notablement après l'assassinat du roi de France, car un enfant 
placé sur le trône, au milieu des factions italiennes et françaises qui se disputaient le 
pouvoir, n'avait rien de redou.table aux yeux des Turcs. 


Le capitaine Foulques ( ou Foucques, ou Fouque ), de La Rochelle, commandait un 
navire à destination de l'Acadie, dans la société du. sieur de Monts, en 1604 ; il comman- 

' Lescarbot dit que c'était vers les Casquets, un peu à l'ouest de Dieppe. Ne pas confondre cette localité avec 
le Conquet, petite ville de la basse Bretagne, pays des Cornouailles, que C'haniplain mentionne à la page 349 de ses 

'' Un frère de Poutrincourt vivait en Turquie et s'était fait musulman. 

'■' Archives curieuses de l'Histoire de France, série 1, t. XV, pp. 411, 414, 419 et 421. 


dait aussi le Jonas, qtii partit de La Rochelle, en 1606, avec la colonie de Poutrincourt. 
C'est lui sans doute qui nous a laissé le rapport suivant, daté de 1612 : 

" Mémoires portants plvsievrs advertissems présentez av Roy par le Capitaine Fouc- 
ques, Capitaine ordinaire de sa Maiesté en la marine du Ponant, après estre deliuré de la 
captiuité des Turcs, pour le soulagement des François, et autres nations Chrestiennes, 
marchands et matelots qiii traiiqueut sur mer. 

"Sire: — Il me serait mal séant, suyvant mon petit jugement, si je n'avoi adverty 
Vostre Majesté des tyrannies et cruautez qui se commettent journellement sur vos 
pauvres subjects françois, Dieu m'ayant de sa grace retiré de cette mesme peine afin de 
vous en donner advertissemeut, pour en prendre la vengeance, ayant la force et la puis- 
sance en la main, c[ue Dieu vous a donnée pour ce faire contre tous payens et infidelles, 
lesquels pensent aller librement à leur trafic[ues et navigations ordinaires, sur l'as- 
surance de la continuation de la paix accoutumée entre Vostre Majesté et le G-rand- 
Sultan, qui néanmoins ne laisse à présent, et tous autres de la nation chrestienne et 
voyager, d'estre pris et menez captifs dans la ville des Thunes (Tunis ), par le Carosse- 
men ou ses adhérans, qui est un homme turc de nation, aagé de cinquante-cinq 
ans ou environ, homme bazanné, fort G-rand et puissant à l'advenant, c[ui estoit soldat 
povir le grand Sultan sous le baschat (pacha) que le dit Sultan tient ordinairement au 
royaume de Thunes ; et ce dit Carossemen estant natif de la dite ville de Thunes, estant 
soldat genissaire, est si bien parvenu depuis quinze ans qu'il a assujetty tous les grands 
de Thunes sous son obéyssance, pour avoir acquis l'amitié de tous les genissaires et bas- 
chats. Et il n'y a que douze ans qu'il n'avoit que deux esclaves dont l'un est François de 
Croisy, lequel il tient encore en son pouvoir, et à présent a sept cens esclaves à luy seul, 
tant Italiens c[ue François, Espagnols et Flamaus ; et a deux galères bien armées, des 
meilleures qui se peut voir, avec six grands vaisseauz, dont le moindre est de trois cens 
tonneaux, et deux pataches, par le moyen de quoy il s'est rendu seigneur et supérieur 
dans tout le pays.... Ses vaisseaux prennent sur tous, tant François que Flamans et autres, 
soit terreneviers ou pescheurs venant de la Terre-Neufve, ou navires marchans, sans ex- 
empter aucune nation. Il y a trois ans ' qu'il n'y avait rien de cecy ; en toute la force 
de Thunes il n'y avait que deux galliotes ou trois au plus ; ils ne prenaient point sur les 
François comme ils le font à présent. S'ils prenaient quelcj^ue chose, ils ne captivaient 
point les hommes, si ce n'est que, depuis les dits trois ans, u.n raeschant forban anglais, 
nommé G-ardes, et un autre Flamen, ou forban ou vouloir, qui est marié à Marseille, nommé 
de Haûs, lequel s'est retiré à présent dans la ville d'Ârges ( Alger ), ne captivant nuls Fran- 
çois, mais prenant et pillant leurs marchandises. Et est dans un navire à luy de six cens 
tonneaux et quarante pièces de canon, avec trois cens hommes, et deux autres moyens na- 
vires prenant sur toutes nations ; et un appelé Biche, un appelé Sanson, un appelé Antoine 
et un nommé Grlandfil, tous capitaines voleurs et forbans, anglois de nation, lesquels ont 
esté bien venus avec Carossemen et ses associés turcs. Lesquel Anglois ont instruit les 
Turcs à armer et mettre vaisseaiix sur mer, prendre et captiver sur toutes nations chré- 
tiennes.... Et avec toute ceste force destruirout la chrestienté, si ou n'y met remède, et la 
France qui en pâtira le plus, comme n'ayant eu jusques à présent aucune defFence en la 
coste.... Quant au roy de France, il ( le Carossemen ) dit qu'il est plus fort que luy, et 

' C'est-à-dire avant la mort d'Henri IV. 


qu'il ne sçauroit avoir mis deux gallères en mer, et qu'avec les siennes il ira jusque dans 
les ports de France.... Le consul des François c^ui est à Thunes est l'un des traistres ; il 
a de chacun François qui est là cai)tif dix escus pour consentir et dissimuler avec le Caros- 
semen.... Il est marié à Marseille, et s'apelle Hugues Changet.... Il y a aussi un appelé 
Soubéran, qui est natif de Nîmes, avec ses consors, qui sont un appelé Anthoiue Lovic, 
Corse, marié à Marseille, et ses deux heau-frères, les Martins de la dite ville, et Antoine 
Bélanger et Servien, commissaires de l'artillerie de Provence, et monsieur Nicolas, maistre 
fondeur de Marseille ; ceux-cy ont mené uu nommé, fondeur de son estât et 
nepveu de ce maistre fondeur du dit Marseille, qui est fondeur du Carossemen à Thunes, 
pour faire des canons.... A la fin de juillet dernier, ils avaient achevé de fondre la qua- 
triesme pièce de batterie et coursiers de gallères...." ' 


On le voit, la situation n'était guère rassurante. Pour les colonies de la Nouvelle- 
France elle se compliqua de l'hostilité des armateiirs anglais. Samuel Argall détruisit en 
1613, " les postes de Saint-Sauveur et de Port-Royal, les seuls établissements français de 
l'Acadie. C'était un acte de brigandage, commis en pleine paix et sans l'excuse d'une pro- 
vocation. Yoilà bien les mœurs du temps. 

De nombreux vaisseaux de toutes les nations sillonnaient le golfe, à la recherche de 
la morue et autres produits de la pèche. Chacun s'en tirait avec peine et misère, et les 
aggressions allaient leiir train. J'ai raconté, il y a deux ans, l'existence de Biencourt et 
de ses gens en Acadie, après 1615. Deux compagnies françaises commencèrent (1619) à 
exploiter les côtes de la péninsule. Ou dit que, en 1621, il circula dans le golfe huit cents 
navires de traite et de pêche. Les Anglais s'établissaient en 1620 au Massachusetts. 
Biencourt et Latour érigeaient des forts. Sir William Alexander tentait de créer iine co- 
lonie écossaise sur les ruines de celle de Poutrincourt. 

Tout cela ne se faisait pas sans amener des conflits, et, comme le désir de s'emparer 
des meilleurs endroits de ce nouveavi monde grandissait à Loudres et à Paris, le recours à 
la force brutale suivait le développement des ambitions mises en jeu pour y parvenir. 
Biencourt, Latour et Champlaiu, qui visaient plus haut que le simple commerce, ne re- 
cueillaient presque aucun avantage ; ils étaient même exposés à beaucovip de contre- 
temps et de tracas par suite de ces auimosités. On les voit s'en plaindre fréquemment. 
La lettre admirable de Biencourt' (1618) nous en fournit une preuve assez tangible. Paris, 
qui s'approvisionnait de poisson dans notre golfe, se voyant menacé d'en manquer par 
suite des périls que couraient les navires français dans ces parages où les haines natio- 
nales "j'exerçaient ouvertement, tandis que la France était en proie aux guerres civiles et 

La lutte du parlement et des princes contre Marie de Médicis, le soulèvement des 

^ ArcMves curieuses de l'Histoire de France, série 1, t. XV, p. 363. 

- Les princes français étaient en pleine révolte contre le jeune Louis XIII et son ministre Concini. L'influence 
française devenait nulle en Europe. 

■' Mon ami Alfred Gariieau dit qu'il attribuerait cette lettre à Marc Lescarbot, si elle ne portait une autre 
signature. En effet, c'est le style de Lescarbot, Je crois qu'il l'a écrite, et que Biencourt l'a signée, car il n'y a pas 
d'apparence que ce dernier fût un écrivain. 


huguenots de Guieune et du Languedoc (1615), l'arrestation du prince de Condé, vice-roi de 
la Novxvelle-Frauce (1616), l'euvoi de trois armées royales contre le parti des princes, l'as- 
sassinat de Conciui (1611), la révolte du Béarn, les débuts de la guerre de Trente ans en 
Europe (1618), la guerre entre Louis XIII et sa mère (1619), la réunion de la Navarre à la 
France (1620), la prise d'armes des calvinistes du royaume (1621), la guerre de la Valteline 
(1623), la guerre contre Gênes, une autre insurrection des protestants français (1625), — il 
n'eu fallait pas davantage pour empêcher Louis XIII de s'occuper du Canada, si toutefois 
il eu avait eu le désir 

Eichelieu, entré au Conseil (1624), était mal vu du roi, et d'ailleurs ce ministre était 
trop occupé des affiiires du dedans pour songer à celles du dehors. 

Depuis 1605, Jacques I, fils de Marie Stuart, régnait paisiblement sur l'Angleterre 
d'où il avait chassé les jésuites après la célèbre " conspiration des poudres." Ses sujets 
profitaient de la tranquillité publique pour créer des colonies sur le littoral de l'Atlanti- 
que, et supplanter les Français dans le golfe Saint-Laurent, où ils venaient pêcher en eau 
trouble, — c'est le cas de le dire, puisque la France ne protégeait plus ses nationaux dans 
ces parages. Au moment où Eichelieu pesa décidément dans la destinée de son pays, et 
parla tout haut de surveiller les affaires de l'Amérique, le roi d'Angleterre maria son fils 
aîné, Charles I, avec Henriette, fille d'Henri IV, et mourut aussitôt (1625), laissant le 
trône à ce fils désormais allié de la France, croyait-on. 

Le frère Gabriel Sagard, se rendant au Canada, dans l'été de 1623, nous fournit une 
peinture assez vive de ce qui se passait sur l'Océan à cette époque. Citons quelcj[ues lignes 
de sa description : 

" On se plaint avec raison du grand nombre de A'^oleurs et de larronneaux, cj^ui en guise 
de chenilles ceuvrent aujourd'hui presque toute la surface de la terre, dont les uns semblent 
honnêtes gens et passent pour de gros messieurs, et ceux-là sont les pires de tous, car ils 
dérobent beaucoup et font pendre ceux qui prennent le moins. Les autres, moins dange- 
reux, sont ceux qui comme hiboux ne vont que de uiiit, sont assez mal couverts et aussi 
peu courtois.... De ces pirates vous en voyez qui font les honnêtes marchands pour n'être 
point soiipçonnés, et surprendre quand ils trouvent leur coup disposé... et ce fut un de 
ceux-là qui nous vint menacer à deux ou trois cents lieues en mer... mais il nous laissa 
aller, ayant bien opinion qu'allant en Canada on n'avait pas grand richesse.... Nous ren- 
contrâmes un petit navire anglais.... Il pouvait s'esquiver, mais comme nous étions assez 
bons voiliers, nous allâmes à lui et lui demandâmes, selon la coutume de la mer usitée par 
ceux qui se croyent les plus forts : " D'où est le navire ?" — Il répondit ; " Angleterre." — 
On lui répliqua : " Amenez ! " c'est à dire abaissez vos voiles, sortez votre chaloupe et venez 
nous faire voir votre congé.... En cela il se commet souvent de très grands abus, pour ce 
que tel feint d'être marchand, et avoir bonne commission, qui lui-même est pirate et mar- 
chand tout ensemble, se serA'^ant des deux qiialités selon les occasions et rencontres. De 
même nos mariniers eussent bien désiré la rencontre de quelque petit navire espagnol, où 
il se trouve ordinairement de riches marchandises, pour en faire curée et contenter aucune- 
ment leur convoitise, comme si prendre le bien d'autrui sur mer n'était pas larcin et 
volerie obligeant à la damnation éternelle, aussi bien que le prendre sur terre.... Nos 


Anglais vinrent à nous, savoir : leur maître, un vieil gentilhomme... ils appréhendaient 
le même traitement qu'ils sont accoutumés de faire aux Français, qua-nd ils ont le dessus, 
c'est pourquoi leur chef offrit en particulier à notre capitaine tout ce qu'ils avaient en 
marchandises en leur navire, pourvu que la A'ie sauve on les laissât aller en leur pays 
avec un jîeu de vivres, ce que notre capitaine refusa.... Néanmoins il nous fit accepter un 
baril de petun et un autre de patates ; ce sont certaines racines des Indes, en forme de 
"•ros uaA^eaux, rouges et jaunes, mais d'un goût beaucoup plus excellent que toute autre 
racine que nous ayons par deçà." 

Si l'on veut savoir comment se gouvernaient les affaires du golfe et du fieuA'^e Saint- 
Laurent, de 1621 à 1625, lisons les mémoires de Champlain, dont voici c[uelques extraits : 

En 1621, le roi et le duc de Montmorency adressèrent des lettres au fondateur de 
Québec pour lui recommander de faire bon accueil à la nouvelle compagnie dirigée par les 
sieurs de Caen, sur quoi Champlain fit l'observation suivante : " Pendant qu'une société, 
en un pays comme celui-ci, tient la bourse, elle paye, donne et assiste qui bon lui semble. 
Ceux C[ui commandent pour Sa Majesté sont fort peu obéis, n'ayant personne pour les 
assister cjue sous le bon plaisir de la compagnie, qui n'a rien tant à contre cœur." 

Le 23 juillet 1623, Champlain écrivait de Québec : 

"Ce jour même arriva le pilote Doublet, lui sixième, dans une double chaloupe qui 
venait de l'ile Saint-Jean et Miscou, où était le sieur de la Ralde en pêcherie, qui donnait 
avis au sieur de Caen qvie des Basques s'étaient retirés à la dite île Saint- Jean pour se 
mettre en défense si on les allait attacjuer, ne voulant subir aux commissions de Sa Majesté, 
et qu'ils s'étaient saisis d'un moyen vaisseau où était un nommé Gruers ( ou plutôt Gî-uérard ), 
qui l'année d'auparavant était venu à Tadoussac... Ces Basques avaient donné de mau- 
vaises impressions de nous aux sauvages des côtes. Le premier du mois de jiiin, ' arriva 
à Québec un canot de Tadoussac qui nous dit qu'aux environs du Bicq il y avait un vais- 
seau rochelois qui traitait avec les sauvages, que dans ce vaisseau était un puissant homme 
qui y commandait, étant toujours mascjué et armé.... L'on empêche les autres vaisseaiix de 
venir traiter avec les sauvages." Ceux-ci, ajoute-t-il, se procuraient des marchandises à 
meilleur marché des Rochelois et des Basques que de la Compagnie du Canada. Ce même 
printemps, l'un des vaisseaux des sieurs de Caen fut pris par les Hollandais ou Flamands. 
Le 19 septembre 1624, Champlain retournaut en France, aperçut dans le golfe Saint-Laurent 
un navire de La Rochelle et lui donna la chasse, mais sans pouvoir l'atteindre. Le frère 
Sagard, c^ui était du voyage, dit que ce navire était " un pirate rochelois qui nous était 
" venu reconnaître." Il ajoute que les équipages de Champlain parlaient avant ce moment 
d'attac[uer onze bâtiments basques, vers Miscou, et d'aller ensuite s'emparer des vaisseaux 
espagnols aux îles Açores. " Dieii sait quelle prouesse nous eu eussions faite, dit-il, n'ayant 
" pu prendre au forban de soixante tonneaux ! " Le 27 septembre, sur les bancs de Terre- 
Neuve, une petite barcjue où commandait Cananée se sépara de Champlain, pour aller à 
Bordeaux, selon l'ordre cju'il en avait. Depuis, nous sûmes qu'elle fut prise des Turcs, le 
Ion"" de la côte de Bretagne, qui amenèrent les hommes qu'ils y trouvèrent et les firent 

Dans la commission que le duc de Vendatour accorde à Champlain, le 15 février 1625, 

^ Vers cette date, le capitaine Charles Daniel, qui commandait un navire de Dieppe en destination du Canada» 
soutint sans désavantage un rude combat contre des bâtiments anglais. { Julien Félix : " Voyage du capitaine 
Charles Daniel." ) 


il autorise celvii-ci à saisir hommes, vaisseaux et marchandises, de provenance française 
qu'il trouvera trafiquant notamment depuis Graspé jusqu'au cinquante-deuxième degré 
nord, et à les livrer à la justice. Champlain ajoute : " Il y a un lieu dans le golfe Saint- 
Laurent qu'on nomme la Grrau de-Baie, proche du passage du nord de l'île de Terre-Neuve, 
à cinquante-deux degrés, où les Basques vont faire la pêche des baleines." 

Dans l'été de 1626, Champlain étant à Québec raconte que le sieur de la Ralde lui 
envoya des novivelles de Miscou, ' portant c^u'il avait trouvé plusieurs vaisseaux qui 
traitaient avec les sauvages, contre les défenses du roi, et demandant des secours armés 
pour eu opérer la capture ^. 

Ainsi marchait l'établissement du Canada, c'est-à-dire c^ue rien de durable ne se 
faisait. Champlain en avait un chagrin continuel. La morue, le hareng, le castor, l'ori- 
gnal, — il paraissait impossible de sortir de là. Le projet de cultiver les terres se mettait 
sur le papier, et y restait. Tout ce qui ne rapportait point de bénéfice immédiat pouvait 
être approuvé, mais non exécuté. L'heure allait venir néanmoins où une politique 
moins aveugle serait invoquée par les hommes d'Etat. 


Fouillez les archives de France et les livres imprimés, vous ne trouverez pas deux 
auteurs de la force de Lescarbot et Champlain sur l'idée coloniale, à venir jusqu'au 
moment où Richelieu prit la direction des affaires. Cela ne veut pas dire qu'il n'y eût en 
France, avant 1625, des hommes éclairés et tout à fait bien disposés eu faveur de ce mou- 
vement ; certes, nous n'aurions cju'à citer le président Jeannin et son groupe pour affirmer 
d'honorables exceptions ; mais pris comme ensemble, le monde administratif français était 
très en arrière des Espagnols sous ce rapport. 

Dans la Revue de géographie de Paris, 1885, M. Léon Deschamps a publié une étude 
dont j'emprunte ici des passages, sous forme de citations ou d'analyses. Il dit : 

" Avec cette promptitude de jugement et de pessimisme à notre égard qui nous sont 
particuliers, les contemporains de Champlain et Lescarbot — quelques-uns du moins — ont 
préféré l'aventure de Villegagnon à l'expédition de Champlain ou de beaucoup d'autres, 
pour asseoir leur jugement. Mais il s'est trouvé heureusement des patriotes éclairés, 
comme Easilly, pour faire voir que ce sont vieilles chimères." Rasilly, ajoute-t-il, écrivait 
on 1626 : " Plusieurs personnes de qualité et même du Conseil m'ont dit et soutenu que 
la navigation n'était point nécessaire en France, d'autant que les habitants d'icelle ne 
voyant toutes choses que pour vivre et s'habiller, sans rien emprunter des voisins : par- 
tant, que c'était pure erreur de s'arrêter à faire naviguer — et c[ue l'exemple est que l'on a 
toujours méprisé au passé les affaires de la mer comme étant de tout inutiles : et outre que 
les Français ne sont pas capables d'entreprendre de voyages de long cours, ni planter 
colonies. A quoi je réponds que ce sont vieilles chimères de croire que la navigation ne 
soit pas nécessaire en France, et que les Français ne soient propres à naviguer, et je pré- 
tends faire voir le contraire.... J'ai le cœur tout serré quand je viens à considérer les dis- 

' En 1627, il y avait parmi les Cent-Associés un nommé Guillaume Martin, et c' son fils, je crois, qui acheta, 
vers 1080, le titre de marquis de Miscou (voir le Magasin Pittoresque, année 1S49, p. 247). 
' Œuvres de Clumplain, pp. 996-7, 1045-6, 1059, 1061, 1075, 1088 et 1113. 


cours que fout tous les jours les étrangers quand ils parlent de la France, et même j'ai eu 
dispute pour soutenir l'honneur du royaume." 

Le 10 septembre 1626, Eichelieu écrivait à Rasilly : " Quand votre frère Launay 
Rasilly sera ici, nous parlerons particulièrement ensemble " du projet des colonies. 

Jean de Lauzon adressait au. cardinal, le 26 novembre 1626, une lettre dans laquelle, 
s'exprimaut au nom des négociants de Rouen, il dit qvie ces derniers remercient le roi de 
l'intérêt qu'il porte au commerce et du souci qu'il a de le protéger contre les corsaires, 
mais ils lui remontrent qu'il n'a pas pris, à leur avis, la meilleure voie pour aller au but. 
D'abord l'achat de navires aux Hollandais n'aurait pas dû être fait au nom du roi, à cause 
" de l'appréhension qu'ils ont (les Hollandais) que le roi ne devienne puissant sur la mer." 
Et ils ajoutent que, si l'on avait emprunté le nom des négociants, le roi serait servi avec 
plus de diligence. Ce n'est pas assez ; il faut que le roi fasse construire les vaisseaux en 
France, " non pas en si grand nombre à la fois, mais tant il y a qu'il pourrait être servi 
avec contentement." Une partie de ces vaisseavix pourraient être employés " à l'assistance 
des navires marchands," à la condition qu'on donne aux négociants la liberté entière d'y 
préposer " telles personnes de probité et valeur reconnues qu'ils pourront choisir eux- 
mêmes. Ils fourniraient des vaisseaux, les tiendraient en état de servir le roi. Quant à 
la dépense, ils proposaient une répartition à prendre sur les marchandises convoyées." A 
aucun prix ils ne veulent de capitaines nommés par le roi. Les continuelles pertes souf- 
fertes durant les dernières années font que les négociants refusent de contribuer à la 
construction des navires ici mentionnés, mais ils indiquent un moyen d'y pourvoir : c'est 
de faire comme le roi d'Angleterre qui "l'an passé fit par forme d'emprunt de grandes 
levées sur les étrangers de nouveau établis en son royaume jusqu'à faire payer vingt mille 
ecus à tel d'entre eux." On est, disent-ils, d'une tolérance inouïe pour les étrangers qui 
habitent la France ; on leur accorde des lettres de naturalisation, sans même exiger qu'ils 
possèdent ou contribuent en ce pays. " Ils n'y font aucunes acquisitions d'immeubles, 
n'y font construire aucuns vaisseaux, et ayant tous leurs biens en une cassette le trans- 
portent qviand il leur plaît." ' Bien plus, on leur donne les mêmes droits et faveurs 
qu'aux Français, tandis que les autres nations se réservent chez elles certains privilèges, 
comme en Angleterre, par exemple, où les Anglais ne paient que moitié des droits impo- 
sés aux Français qui les fréquentent. 


Les grandes compagnies datent de ce moment, c'est-à-dire de 1626. 

Après avoir cité les textes ci-dessus, M. Léon Deschamps continue : " Il est important 
de savoir d'où est venue l'idée des grandes compagnies dont le monopole et les privilèges 
ont tant nui au succès de nos établissements. Richelieu a exposé toute sa politique 
coloniale devant l'assemblée des notables en 1626, et ses mémoires donnent l'analyse de 
son discours : " Il n'y a de royaume si bien situé que la France et si riche de tous les 
moyens nécessaires pour se rendre maître de la mer. Pour y parvenir, il faut voir comme 
nos voisins s'y gouvernent, et il faut faire de grandes compagnies, obliger les marchands 

' La plupart de ces citatious conviennent encore à l'état des choses en France, deux siècle? et demi après 


d'y entrer, leur donner de grands privilèges comme ils font ; faute de ces compagnies, et 
parce que chaque petit marchand trafique à part, et partant pour la plupart eu de petits 
vaisseaux et assez mal équipés, ils sont la proie des corsaires et des princes non alliés, 
parce qu'ils n'ont pas les reins assez forts comme aurait une grande compagnie, de pour- 
suivre leur justice jusqu'au bout. Ces compagnies seules ne se voient pas néanmoins 
suffisantes si le roi de son côté n'est armé d'un bon nombre de A^aisseaux pour les mainte- 
nir puissamment au cas qu'on s'opposât par force ouverte à leurs dessins. Outre que le 
roi en tirerait cet avantage qu'en un besoin de guerre il ne lui soit pas nécessaire d'avoir 
recours à mendier l'assistance de ses voisins." 

Cette année, 162i3, le cardinal-ministre achetait des Hollandais vingt navires et avait 
obtenu, non sans supplications, qu'on les lui cédât avec la permission de les faire monter 
et commander par des Français. 

M. Deschamps expliqua encore ce fait : " Richelieu a été amené, par l'invitation des 
Espagnols, des Anglais et surfont des Hollandais, à choisir le système des compagnies pri- 
vilégiées comme mode unique de fondation et d'exploitation des colonies, et ce système a 
pesé depuis lors et jusqu'à la Révolution sur notre histoire coloniale." Il veut toutefois 
que l'on rende hommage au génie du cardinal : " C'est Richelieu qui a réellement inau- 
guré la politique coloniale, en lui donnant une place et un rôle dans le jeu de sa politique 
continentale. Après lui, malgré la pauvre administration de Mazarin, qui laisse nos 
vaisseaux pourrir au port, malgré la Fronde et malgré les déprédations financières la tra- 
dition fvit suivie. Les actes et mémoires du gouvernement et des particuliers ne sont pas 
moins nombreux de 1642 à 1660 que dans la période précédente." 

Eu 1626, dans son Mémoire au roi, Richelieu demande de relever la puissance mari- 
time de sa patrie, sans laquelle, dit-il, il ne fallait plus faire état d'aucun trafic. Se voyant 
en faveur, il annonce qu'il est résolu à consacrer un million et demi de francs par année 
à l'entretien de trente vaisseau.x de guerre pour tenir les côtes nettes. H songeait à créer 
une nouvelle France — même plusieurs Frances en Amérique. H lui semblait que l'Europe 
devait agir comme tête du mouvement universel — donner l'impulsion et garder la suprê- 
me puissance sur des colonies qui seraient le dédoublement des nations du vieux monde — 
et il voulait que la France eût sa part de ces entreprises à la fois glorieuses et profitables. 
M. Deschamps l'en félicite : " La marine et les colonies ont été des constantes et princi- 
pales occupations de Richelieu. Dès le début de son ministère, il s'est fait donner la 
charge de grand-maître, chef et surintendant général de la navigation et commerce du 
Canada. Son brevet de grand-maitre est du mois d'octobre 1626, mais déjà, en 1625, il 
adressait à XIII un " Règlement pour lamer" et un "Mémoire" qui contenaient 
des idées novatrices.... Il mérite la première place, moins parce qu'il est le premier en 
date, que parce qu'il est lé véritable initiateur de la politique coloniale ; Colbert en a seul 
la gloire devant la postérité. Il serait injuste de contester à Colbert son mérite, mais il 
est certain qu'il n'a été que l'élève de Richelieu. Il a fait analyser et classer toutes les 
pièces du cabinet de son devancier, les a étudiées et s'en est servi. L'examen des docu- 
ments gardés aux archives des affaires étrangères ne laisse aucun doute à cet égard." 

C'était donc un nouveau courant d'idée qui traversait la France en 1625-26. Riche- 
lieu a eu la gloire de le comprendre et d'utiliser sa force. S'il n'a pas réussi tout à fait, 
imputons-en la faute à cette politique de conquête ou de domination européenne dont il 
fut saisi peu d'années après 1626, tout comme Louis XIV en 1673, au moment où il venait, 

Sec-1, 1886.— 3. 


avec l'aide de Colbert, de préparer les plans les plus beaux et les plus exécutables en 
feveur du Canada. Dès que l'ambition d'un i,nand ministre ou d'un grand roi se repliait 
sur la seule Europe, il rétré( issait son rôle sans le savoir, et renvoyait à la postérité ou à 
un autre peuple que le sien, la noble tâche de dominer le monde entier par l'expansion 

Section I, 1886. [ 19 ] Mémoires S. E,. Canada. 

Ill — Un Pèlerinage au pays cï Evanrjeline, 

Par l'abbé Casgrain. 

( Lu le 27 mai 1886. ) 

A mou ami A. Duclos-DeCelles, 

Bibliothécaire du Parlemeut, à Ottawa. 

Mon cher ami, — " J'apprends, m'ésrivez-vous. que a'ous êtes de retour d'un voyage 
dans les provinces maritimes, et que vous étiez à G-rand-Pré juste au jour anniversaire de 
l'expulsion des pauvres Acadiens. Que n'étais-je auprès de vous pour partager les émo- 
tions que vous avez dû ressentir en visitant le site du village, du cimetière et de l'église, 
d'où les infortunés Acadiens furent forcés, l'épée dans les reins, de prendre le chemin de 
l'exil ! Faites-moi donc du moins part de quelques-unes de vos impressions, de ce que 
vous avez vu, observé, de ce qui vous a le mieux redit le passé de l'Acadie. Que reste-il 
des ruines de l'ancien Port-Royal, des forts Beauséjour, Beaubassin, etc.? Tout ce que 
vous m'apprendrez aura four moi de l'intérêt." 

Mon cher ami, vous m'écrivez comme si je revenais de l'Acadie les maius pleines de 
dépouilles archéologiques. Détrompez-vous, je n'ai fait qu'une excursion de touriste, et 
n'ai guère rapporté que des impressions et des notes de voyage. Mais, puisque vous le 
désirez, les voici : je les transcris de mon carnet, et vous les envoie telles que je les ai 
prises au vol de la pensée, un peu comme ces gibiers c[ue je voyais abattre par les chasseurs 
dans les joncs de la rivière G-aspareaux. 

La seule étude qui mérite votre attention dans ce journal de A^oyage est le récit de la 
dispersion des Acadiens, d'après des documents dont les uns sont nouveaux, les autres 
peu connus. 

Départ de Québec à huit heures du matin, le 1er octobre. — Je ne sais plus quel auteur 
a dit : " Je ne connais pas de plaisir plus triste que celui des voyages." Rien de plus 
vrai, si le voyageur n'a pas un but arrêté. Il a beau changer de scène, chevaucher, comme 
on disait au temps de Boileau, " l'ennui monte en croupe et galope avec lui." Aussi ai-je 
bien eu le soin de donner un sens à l'excursion que j'entreprends. J'irai voir Grrand-Pré, 
le pays d'Evangeline, et les colonies acadiennes qui fleurissent aujourd'hui heureuses et 
grandissantes, comme avant la dispersion, non loin du bassin des Mines, sur les bords du 
Peticoudiac et du Memramcook. 

Le train express de l'Iutercolonial longe à toute vitesse les falaises de LéA'is, et décou- 
vre les divers points de vue du port de Québec ; l'ile d'Orléans, avec ses coquettes maisons 


échelonnées snr ses hauteurs, ombrées çà et là de massifs d'arbres ; la nappe de neige du 
saut Montmorency, les prairies de Beauport, et au-dessus de tout le paysage, le cap crénelé 
de la vieille forteresse, avec sa ceintvire de maisons, et sa forêt de mâts à ses pieds. Tout 
familiers que sont les Québecquois avec leur paysage, ils ne s'en lassent jamais; ils 
permettent volontiers aux touristes de l'admirer en passant, mais ils se réservent de 
l'admirer toujours. 

Arrivé à Campbellton à t heures du soir. — Campbellton, village anglais, à 305 milles 
de Québec, et situé au fond de la baie des Chaleurs, sur la rivière Ristigouche, qui sert ici 
de frontière entre la province de Québec et celle du Nouveau-Brunsvvick. De l'autre côté 
de la rivière, s'élève le village sauvage de Sainte-Anne de Ristigouche, sur un étroit 
plateau resserré entre l'eau et les montagnes. 

Je m'arrête ici quelques jours afin de voir de près ces bonnes familles micmaques, dont 
le souvenir se mêle à mes premières impressions d'enfance. Il me semble encore voir 
passer leurs longues files de canots d'écorce au bord de la grève. Leurs petites flottilles 
de quinze ou vingt pirogues ne doublaient pas la pointe de la Rivière-Oaelle sans s'y 
arrêter, car, comme je l'ai déjà dit ailleurs, les sauvages ont toujours affectionné ce promon- 
toire couvert de bois, où ils avaient abondance de chasse et de pêche. Ils traînaient leurs 
embarcations sur le sable du rivage, et y dressaient leurs cabanes pour quekjues jours. La 
fumée de leurs feux, que nous apercevions au-dessus des arbres, nous avertissait de leur 
présence. Ils ne tardaient pas à descendre au manoir, attirés surtout par les présents que 
leur faisait ma mère, qui avait pour eux des prévenances de toutes soi tes, car elle a tou- 
jours eu pour ces pauvres sauvages une affection qu'elle ne négligeait en aucune occasion 
de nous communiquer. 

J'ai encore présentes à l'esprit quelques-unes de ces figures caractéristiques et 
étranges pour nous, avec leurs traits osseux et basanés, leurs yeux perçants et leurs longs 
cheveux noirs et plats. Leur accoutrement n'était pas moins étrange que leur personne. 
Ils étaient le plus souvent tête nue; la couverte de laine dont ils s'enveloppaient leur des- 
cendait jusque au-dessous des genoux, et leurs pieds étaient chaussés de mocassins. Les 
femmes portaient sur leurs épaules des charges d'ustensiles en écorce et de paniers de 
toutes grandeurs et de toutes nuances. En retour des présents qu'elles recevaient, elles 
donnaient aux enfants quelques-uns de ces petits paniers, c[ui nous servaient de jouets 
entre nos heures d'école. 

Un matin, ou voyait la flottille, dont chaque canot était chargé de cinq ou six sau- 
vages, prendre le large et pagayer vers la pointe des Aulnaies, pour de là remonter 
■jusqu'à Québec, où ils recevaient leur prêt du gouvernement, c[ui consistait en fu.sils, 
munitions, couvertes, etc., etc. Mais un autre motif les engageait à entreprendre ce long et 
pénible voyage ; ils venaient satisfaire leur dévotion envers la " bonne sainte Anne du 
Nord," pour laquelle, de temps immémorial, ils ont eu un culte touchant, et qui a souvent 
été récompensé par d'éclatants miracles. La plupart faisaient coïncider leur pèlerinage 
avec la date des distributions annuelles ; mais en d'autres temps, même aux époques 
rigoureuses de l'année, on voyait passer des familles entières, des malades se traîner péni- 
blement, mendier l'hospitalité le long de la route, dans l'unique but d'aller implorer la 
sainte patronne dans son sanctuaire privilégié. 

Un soir — c'était la A'eiile de Noël — pendant que ma mère était occupée au salon à 
faire une lecture aux aînés de ses enfants, afin de les préparer à la fête du lendemain, 


nue de nos domestiques vint Kii annoncer que deux sauvngesses venaient d'entrer et deman- 
daient à lui parler. Attirés par la curiosité, nous accourûmes à sa suite. 

Les deux snuva^esses, la mère et la fille, étaient assises auprès du poêle, dans la 
cuisine. La jeune fille, maigre, pâle comme une morte, avait l'air presque mourante. Une 
toux creuse, qui lui déchirait la poitrine, indiquait clairement qu'elle était à un période 
avancé de la consomption. Les deiix pèlerines venaient demander l'hospitalité afin 
d'être proches de l'église et d'assister à la mes^e de minuit, ori elles voulaient communier. 
Ma mère leur fit immédiatement préparer à souper, et les invita à s'approcher ; mais ni 
l'vTne ni l'autre ne consentirent à prendre une seule bouchée, disant qu'elles ne voulaient 
pas se priver de faire la communion. Ma mère eut beau leur expliquer que, la communion 
n'ayant lieu qu'après minuit, il était permis de prendre c[uelque chose auparavant, que le 
prêtre qui célébrait la messe faisait de même, elles s'y refusèrent obstinément. Aveugle 
mais touchante foi de ces bonnes gens, qui fait bien voir la fermeté de leur croyance, et 
le grand respect qu'elles avaient pour l'eucharistie. 

Ces pèlerinages ont cessé peu à peu depuis l'érection de l'église actuelle de Eistigou- 
che, qui a été dédiée à sainte Anne. Cette église, dont l'intérieur a été achevé il y a une 
vingtaine d'années, est sans prétentions architecturales, mais propre et convenable. Il 
n'en est pas de même du presbytère, qui a été mal construit et qui est devenu inhabitable, 
surtout eu hiver. Comme il n'y a dans le voisinage aucune maison où le prêtre puisse se 
retirer, et qu'il n'y a aucunes ressources pour bâtir un nouveau presbytère, les pauvres sau- 
vages sont exposés à être privés un jour oil l'autre de leur curé, et à n'être desservis que 
par voie de mission. Cet éloignement leur serait fatal, car aucune population n'a plus 
besoin de l'œil vigilant du pasteur. Espérons que la bonne sainte Anne, iDour lac|uelle ils 
ont toujours la même dévotion, viendra à point à leur secours, comme elle a fait tant de 
fois dans le passé. 

Les maisonnettes du A'illage, lesquelles sont bâties et meublées à peu près comme 
celles de nos cultivateurs pauvres, sont échelonnées tout le long de la reserve, qui n'a guère 
que trois milles d'étendue. Quelques-unes sont assez spacieuses et ont un cerl;ain air de 
propreté et de confort. 

Le costume de ces Micmacs n'a guère d'original que l'espèce de turban que portent 
les femmes, qui consiste en un grand foulard rouge qu'elles enroulent autour de leur tête. 
A peine y en a-t-il qiielques-uns parmi cette tribu qui aient le vrai type sauvage. Leurs 
traits et les noms de famille de plusieurs d'entre eux rappellent le sang européen dont ils 
sont plus ou moins mêlés. Comme partout ailleurs, ils sont plus aptes à s'approprier les 
vices que les vertus des blancs. Insouciants et sans prévoyance comme air temps jadis, ils 
ne s'adonnent guère à la culture, n'ensemencent que quelques petits champs de pommes 
de terre et de grains. La pêche et la chasse sont encore leurs occupations i'avorites, et ils 
n'ont rien perdu de leur habileté à construire et à guider leurs admirables canots d'écorce, 
vrais chefs-d'œuvre de légèreté, d'élégance et de solidité. Les bêtes à lourrures deviennent 
de plus en plus rares dans cette région ; mais les caribous, m'assurent quelques chasseurs, 
sont encore assez communs dans la presqu'ile gaspésienne. Les meilleurs hommes parmi 
cette tribu micmaque trouvent une source de profits en servant de guides aux sportsmen 
anglais, américains, etc., qui viennent en été dans ces parages pour la pêche à la mouche, 
soit du saumon, soit de la truite. Us sont doux et tranquilles, parlent peu et ont gardé 
quelque chose de cette timidité et de cette réserve naturelles à leur race. Les désordres 


que cause parmi eux l'ivrog-nerie ont été réprimés depuis que leur missionnaire a fait 
nommer par le gouvernement fédéral un officier de police qui veille sévèrement à lobser- 
A'ation de la loi. Quiconque leur livre de la boisson est passible d'une très forte amende 
ou de la prison. Aucun blanc ne peut demeurer sur la réserve après le coucher ou avant 
le lever du soleil. 

Dimanche, 4 octobre. — A la grand'messe, un choeur de sauvages et de sa?wagesses 
chantent dans leur langue les principales parties de l'office divin. Leur voix, justement 
vantée, est d'une beauté rare, avec un timbre mélancolique qui pénètre et impressionne. 

Les éloges qu'en ont faits les anciens voyageurs n'ont rien d'exagéré : " Je les ai plus 
d'une fois, racontait Dièreville en llOO, entendus chanter dans l'église de Port-Royal à la 
grand'messe et à vêpres ; les voix des femmes particulièrement étaient si douces et si tou- 
chantes que je croyais entendre les anges chanter les louanges de Dieu. Les voix des 
hommes se mêlaient de temps en temps si justement avec celles des femmes, que cela 
faisait un effet admirable, et j'en étais charmé." ' 

hivité à laire le sermon, j'admire l'éloquence et les gestes expressifs de l'interprète 
Polycarpe, qui, debout à la balustrade, me dévore des yeux pendant que je parle ; puis, 
après avoir écouté un passage de mou sermon, le traduit avec la plus étonnante fidélité, 
au dire de plusieurs des assistants qui comprennent les deux langues, et que j'ai pris la 
peine d'interroger ensuite. Polycarpe est depuis quelques années le chef de la tribu ; c'est 
un grand gaillard dans toute la force de l'âge, beau tyi^e de sang mêlé, d'un visage et d'un 
caractère avenants, influent parmi les blancs cotnme dans sa tribu. 

La population micmaque de Ristigouche, dont le chiffre reste à peu près stationnaire, 
ne dépasse pas 500 âmes. Comme tous les autres groupes de race indigène, elle est desti- 
née fatalement à disparaître ou à se noyer dans le flot populaire cjui l'environne. A la fin 
du siècle prochain, il n'en restera probablement pas d'autre trace que les manuscrits en 
langue sauvage de l'abbé Maillard, surnommé l'apôtre des Micmacs, dont j'ai feuilleté les 
pages jaunies et rongées par le temps dans la bibliothècjue de la missiou.. Ces manuscrits 
qu'on ne peut ouvrir sans éprouver un sentiment de respect et d'admiration, à la vue des 
patients travaux et du zèle apostolique qu'ils indiquent, ces glossaires dont les feuilles 
usées se détachent, sont bien les monuments qui conviennent le mieux pour rappeler le 
souvenir de ces tribus éphémères que le soutfle de la civilisation emporte comme les feuil- 
les de leurs forêts. 


Lundi. — Matinée d'automne claire et fraîche. La température en septembre et octobre 
est plus douce dans la baie des Chaleurs que dans la vallée du Saint- Laurent. 

La rivière Ristigouche coule entre des montagnes fortement accentuées et couvertes 
de forêts primitives. On n'aperçoit de champs cultivés que sur les plateaux Cjui bordent 
les rivages. 

Les montagnes s'ouvrent en bleuissant au loin, de cap en cap, baignant leurs x'ieds 
dans les eaux de la baie des Chaleurs. 

Sur l'aA'ant-scèue, au milieu de la rivière, se détache du ciel bleu la vigoureuse sil- 

' Voyage de Diereiille^n Acadie; édition imprimée à Québec, 18S6, p. 101. 


houette d'un navire norvégien chargé de bois de construction, qui appareille pour Belfast. 
Trois avitres navires sont amarrés le long des quais. Il y a cent vingt-cinq ans, au mois 
de juillet 1760, le même nombre de vaisseaux étaient ancrés dans cette même rade; mais 
c'était la guerre et non le commerce qui les avait poussés jusqu'ici. " Québec, raconte 
l'abbé Ferland dans son Voyage dans la Gasjjêsie, avait été pris l'automne précédent. Pressée 
par le marquis de Vaudreuil, la cour de Versailles envoyait de iaibles et tardifs secours 
au chevalier de Levis, qui était décidé à tenter une attaque contre Québec. La flottille 
française s'était amusée en route à poursuivre quelcjues navires ennemis ; aussi fut-elle 
devancée par les vaisseaux anglais, qui lui barrèrent le passage à l'entrée du fleuve Saint- 
Laurent. Elle se jeta alors dans la baie des Chaleurs, et remonta la rivière Eistigouche, 
où le commandant, M. de Danjac, trouva cjuinze cents personnes réiugiées sur ses bords, 
et vivant dans un état déplorable de misère. Le capitaine Byron. probablement le célèbre 
navigateur, grand-père du poète de ce nom, s'avança avec les vaisseaux le Fame, le Dorset- 
shire, V Achilles, le Scarborough et le Repuise, pour attaquer la flotte française, qu'il rencontra 
le 8 juillet à peu près dans cette partie du Ristigouche. Elle était composée du Machault, 
de trente-deux canons, — àà V Espérance, de trente, — du Bienfaisant, de vingt-deux, — du 
Marquis de Marloze, de dix-huit. Les Français s'étaient préparés à recevoir chaudement 
l'ennemi ; leurs vaisseaux étaient protégés par la pointe à la Batterie, où plusieurs canons 
avaient été mis en position. Plus bas, à la pointe à la GJ-arde, d'où la vue s'étend jusqu'à 
l'embouchure du Eistigouche, était un piquet de soldats, qui avaient ordre de veiller sur 
le cours de la rivière et d'avertir de l'approche de la flotte anglaise. 

" Favorisés par un bon vent, les vaisseaux de Byron remontèrent sans obstacle jus- 
qu'à la pointe à la Batterie, où une vive canonnade s'engagea. Deux bâtiments français 
furent mis hors de combat, et les canons de la batterie réduits au silence. Le Bienfaisant 
et le Marquis de Marloze durent alors se retirer vers le village sauvage, taudis que les 
Anglais s'avançaient ju.squ'à la pointe à Martin, sur la rive opposée, où ils souffrirent 
beaucoup du feu de quelques canons placés. à fleur d'eau. Cependant leur artillerie supé- 
rieure criblait les vaisseaux français. Un de ceux-ci fut poussé au rivage, près de la cha- 
pelle de Ristigouche, tandis que le commandant de l'autre mettait le feu aux poudres, afin 
de l'empêcher de tomber aux mains des Anglais. 

" Resté maître du champ de bataille par la destruction de la flotte ennemie, Byron fit 
détruire un amas de cabanes décoré du nom de Nouvelle-Rochelle, et situé sur la pointe 
à Bourdo, à trois milles au-dessus du village de Ristigouche. Pendant ce temps les 
Français et les Micmacs se réfugiaient dans les bois, où ils attendaient en sûreté le départ 
de la flotte anglaise. 

" L'imagination se reporte vivement A^ers ces scènes animées et terribles, quand on se 
trouve sur le théâtre même de la lutte. Les vaisseaux des deux nations rivales se croisant, 
se fuyant, se rapprochant ; leurs longs pavillons cjiii flottent dans les airs et portent un 
défi à l'ennemi ; au milieu des broussailles du rivage, ces troupes sauvages grotesquement 
coiffées et habillées ; ces caps arides surmontés du drapeau blanc et défendus par des 
pièces d'artillerie, dont la gueule s'allonge hors des meurtrières pour vomir le feu et la 
mort ; ces nuages de fumée roulant sur les eaux et dérobant aux combattants la vue du 
ciel ; les craquements des mâts qui se brisent, les sifflements aigus du commandement, le 
bruit de la mousqueterie et du canon, les cris de la victoire, de la douleur et de la rage : 
voilà les parties du drame qui se jouait, il y a soixante-quinze ans, sur le théâtre resserré, 


au milieu duquel uous nous trouvons. C'était un des épisodes de la rivalité entre la 
France et l'Angleterre." 


Mardi, 5 octobre. — De Campbellton à Memramcook, deux cent cinq milles. Une nuit 
en sleeping car. Aa^cc tout leur esprit inventif, les Américains trouveront difficilement 
un moyen de locomotion plus commode et plus confortable que ces chars-dortoirs ; ce qui 
n'empêche pas qu'on en sorte toujours plus ou moins ahuri, poudreux, harassé. Il en est 
des nuits qu'on y passe comme des champignons, la meilleure ne vaut rien. 

De la gare de Memramcook, on aperçoit à droite, sur une hauteur, à deux milles de 
distance, le beau portail gothique de l'église paroissiale, le collège de Saint-Joseph et le 
joli couvent des religieuses de la Charité. On a quitté le pays des montagnes. Un sol 
ondulé et fertile, cjui me rappelle les plaines de la Vendée ou de la Touraine, s'étend de 
tous côtés à perte de vue. Je me sens le cœur réjoui eu songeant que cette belle contrée 
arrosée par les rivières Memramcook et Peticoudiac est encore toute française. Les Aca- 
dieus, qui eu avaient été expulsés en 1755, en ont de nouveau pris possession, et ils y ont 
si bien prospéré qu'ils forment aujourd'hui le groupe le plus important de leur race au 
Canada. La paroisse de Memramcook à elle seixle ne compte pas moins de six mille âmes. 
Les terrains que leurs ancêtres avaient conquis sur la mer par les travaux d'endiguement 
qu'ils avaient faits le long des deux rivières, et qui avaient été submergés après la dis- 
persion, ont été remis eu culture dès leur retovir. Ces terrains ont été tellement agrandis 
d'année en année, qu'aujourd'hui leur longueur totale n'a Y}àS moins de trente milles sur 
une largeur considérable. 

Le brave Acadien qui m'a fourni son rustique équipage pour me conduire au collège, 
me fait remarquer les aboiteaux^ qui suivent les contours du Memramcook et qui ressem- 
blent de loin à un immense serpent couché dans l'herbe. 

Pendant c|ue je passe devant le portail de l'église, j'admire ses élégantes proportions 
et la flèche hardie qui le surmonte. J'observe, sans pouvoir me l'exijliquer, la ressem- 
blance de cette pierre de taille avec celle qui a servi à la construction des rues fashiona- 
bles de New-York. 

Le collège est un vaste et superbe corps de logis en pierre de taille comme celle de 
l'église, à quatre étages et à toit mansard, flanqué à droite d'un pavillon qui n'attend que 
celui de gauche pour donner à l'édifice toute son ampleur et sa beauté. 

Il est tenu par des religieux de Saiute-Croix, la plupart canadiens. A la distance 
où ils sont de la province de Québec, ils n'ont pas souvent occasion de voir des compa- 
triotes, surtout des membres du clergé. Aussi ma visite parait-elle leur faire un sensible 

— Soyez le bienvenu, me dit en me serrant vivement la main, le supérieur, l'excellent 
P. Lefebvre. Vous vous êtes bien fait attendre, car un de nos pères nous a annoncé 
votre venue pour l'ouverture des classes, mais vous ne pouvez arriver mieux à point. 
Nous faisons demain l'inauguration de notre nouvelle chapelle, qui fait partie de l'aile 
que nous Amenons d'achcA'er, et pour laquelle un de nos anciens élèves, un Acadien, l'abbé 

' Digues. 


Cormier, nous a fait don de trois mille dollars. C'est lui-même qui vient la bénir et 
chanter la messe ; et c'est a'ous qui novis donnerez le sermon. 

J'ai beau me récrier, alléguer les meilleures raisons du monde, le P. Lefebvre est 
inflexible ; il n'y a qu'à se soumettre. 

Le collège de Memraracook n'a guère plus de vingt ans d'existence (1864), et il marche 
déjà de p:iir avec les collèges classiques de la province de Québec. Plusieurs de ceux-ci 
lui sont même inférieurs sous le rapport de l'organisation matérielle. L'édifice actuel, 
qui ne date cjue d'uue dizaine d'années, a été construit selon les meilleures conditions 
hygiéniques ; le système de chauffage à l'eau chaude, la ventilation, la distribution de l'eau 
dans tous les étages au moyen d'un aqueduc qui n'a pas moins d'un mille de longueur, 
rien n'y manque, hormis peut-être ce qui fait défaut dans toutes nos maisons d'éducation, 
je veux dire une salle de gymuase établie d'après un système raisonné, telle qu'il en 
existe quelques-unes aux Etats-Unis, — système admirable dont le but est de proportionner 
le développement physique au dév^eloppemeut intellectuel, et qui réalise d'aussi près que 
possible l'axiome antique mens sana in corpore sano. Les études se divisent en cours com- 
mercial et cours classique, et sont suivies par deux cents élèves, dont le nombre va crois- 
sant chaque année. Ce résultat est dû principalement à l'enseignement pratique du fran- 
çais et de l'anglais, qui est facilité par le mélange à peu près égal d'élèves parlant l'une ou 
l'autre langue. Au surplus la situation du collège de Saint-Joseph, sur les confins du 
Nouveau-Brunswick et de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, au centre même des populations acadiennes, 
ne pouvait être mieux choisie. Ce concours de circonstances en explique le grand et 
rapide succès, mais ce succès est dû avant tout à un homme qui restera comme l'insigne 
bieufaitevir des Acadiens. 

Remontez à l'origine de chacune de nos institutions catholiques, vous trouverez un 
prêtre. Ici encore c'est un prêtre qui apparaît au premier jour, et qui est l'âme de cette 
œuvre. C'est sous l'inspiration du P. Lefebvre, c'est par son zèle, son énergie, sa persé- 
vérance, sou habileté administrative, en un mot par toutes les qualités qui- distinguent 
les fondateurs, qu'a été créé et organisé ce magnifique établissement. Le collège de Saint- 
Joseph est le seul de ce genre, dans les provinces maritimes, qui soit particulièrement 
dédié aux Acadiens. 

On ne saurait exagérer l'importance d'un pareil établissement. Le plus grand mal- 
hevir des Acadiens n'a pas été leur dispersion, mais l'abandon presque complet dans 
lequel ils ont été laissés durant près d'un siècle. Dans toute cette douloureuse période, ils 
n'ont eu, on peut dire, aucun moyen d'instruction. La plupart furent même longtemps 
sans avoir de missionnaires résidant au milieu d'eux. ' 

On conçoit l'état d'ignorance et de stagnation qui s'en est suivi. Mais de nos jours 
une ère nouvelle a commencé pour les Acadiens, et elle coïncide précisément avec l'ou- 
verture du collège de Memramcook, qui en a été la principale cause. Il en est sorti toute 
une pléiade d'hommes instruits, actifs, animés d'un patriotisme ardent et éclairé, qui ont 

'■ Le clerjié du Canada se trouvait réduit en 1706 à cent trente-huit prêtres séculiers et réguliers ; etl'évêque de 
Québec, Mgr Briand, était obligé d'envoyer des missionnaires sur tout l'immense territoire qui s'étend depuis 
l'Acadie jusqu'aux Illinois. 

Dans la lettre demission donnée par ce prélat au P. de la Brosse, le 11 avril 1770, il est dit "qu'il aura à 
desservir tous les catholiques établis depuis Cacouna et an-dessous jusqu'à l'Acadie, l'Ile Saint-.Jeau ( Prince- 
Edouard ) et l'Ile Eoy aie ( Cap-Breton ) ; " c'est-à-dire une étendue de pays de plus de cinq cents milles. 

Sec. 1,1886. — 4. 


fait leiir réputation dans différentes carrières, et qui défendent la cause de leurs compa- 
triotes sur tous les terrains de la vie publiq\ie et privée. Ou compte parmi eux des séna- 
teurs, comme M. l'oirier, écrivain aussi distingaié que sage politique, des députés aux 
communes et aux législatures provinciales, comme MM. Landry, LeBlanc, Terriault, Le- 
Billois, etc., des avocats, des médecins, des instituteurs et d'excellents prêtres, parmi les- 
quels il faut compter l'abbé Cormier, curé de Cocagne, l'insigne bienfaiteur du collège 
dont j'ai déjà mentionné le nom. Chaque année voit s'aceroitre cette phalange d'hommes 
remarquables, qui, avec le temps, fera reprendre au peuple acadien la place que ses mal- 
heurs lui avaient fait perdre. 


6 octobre. — Le soleil se lève radieux et promet une si belle journée que le P. Le- 
febvre me propose une promenade dans la campagne. Nous irons visiter les bords de la 
rivière Peticoudiac jusqu'à son embouchure, et nous reviendrons en remontant le cours du 
Memramcook. — Après le déjeuner, la voiture nous attend au pied du grand escalier en 
pierre de taille, qui conduit à la porte principale du collège. Pendant que nous descen- 
dons l'avenue le père me fait remarquer les cours spacieuses des élèves, les belles planta- 
tions qu'il a faites, et qui déjà donnent une ombre agréable durant les chaleurs de l'été. 
Le chemin de fer Inlercolonial passe au pied de la colline, et n'attend que l'érection d'une 
gare nouvelle pour déposer les voyageurs à quelques arpents d'ici. 

Voilà devant nous le couvent des sœurs du Sacré-Cœur, et celui des sœurs de la Cha- 
rité, dont les religieuses sont presque toutes acadiennes. Les sœurs du Sacré-Cœur s'oc- 
cupent de différentes bonnes œuvres, et veillent eu même temps à l'entretien et à la nourri- 
ture des élèves du collège. Les sœurs de la Charité tiennent un pensionnat qui est assez 
nombreux et prospère. 

— Cette 'grande maison que vous voyez près de l'église, me dit le P. Lefebvre, c'est 
l'ancienne école fondée par mon prédécesseur, le vénérable curé Lafrauce. Un de ses 
frères, qu'il avait fait venir de Québec, y a enseigné pendant quelques années. Les Aca- 
dieus n'ont pas eu. de meilleur ami que le curé Lafrance. Dieu seul, qui l'a récompensé, 
connaît les sacrifices qu'il a faits pour l'instruction de la jeunesse. Il a le mérite d'avoir 
eu, le premier, l'idée d'un collège ici. Il lui a légué toutes ses épargnes et de grandes 
terres qui donnent actuellement un excellent revenu. 

Au nom de ce digue prêtre, le P. Lefebvre aime à associer celui de Mgr Sweeney, 
évêque de Saint-Jean, N. B., dont la sollicitude est au-dessus de tout éloge. C'est Mgr 
Sweeney qui en 1864 est allé lui-même à Montréal frapper à la porte des pères de Sainte- 
Croix pour les prier d'entreprendre l'œuvre de l'enseignement dans sou diocèse. Aucune 
institution ne lui tient pkis au cœur que le collège de Memramcook. Sa main est toujours 
ouverte pour venir en aide aux élèves pauvres qui montrent d'heureuses dispositions, sur- 
tout s'ils donnent des espérances pour l'Eglise. 

— Ce cheval appartient-il à votre maison, demandai-je au P. Lefebvre, en lui dési- 
gnant le bel alezan qu.'il conduit avec une parfaite dextérité ? 

— Ne savez-vous pas, reprend le père avec un sourire satisfait, que nous avons un 
haras qui nous donnent les meilleures espérances ? Celui-ci en provient. Vous avez raison 
de le remarquer ; mais je vous en montrerai d'autres que vous admirerez bien d'avantage, 


si vous êtes uu connaisseur. L'élevage est profitable dans ce pays-ci. Aujourd'hui même 
j'ai relusé pour une paire de jeunes ciievaux un prix qui vous étonnerait et qu'on trouve 
bien rarement à Montréal ou à Québec. 

Le P. Lefebvre s'entend en agriculture aussi bien qu'en enseignement. Curé de la 
paroisse en même temps c[ue supérieur du collège, il s'intéresse un progrès matériel autant 
que spirituel de ses paroissiens. Il les réunit pendant les soirées d'hiver, et leur commu- 
nique le fruit de ses études et de son expérience. Afin d'inspirer du goût pour l'agricul- 
ture à ses écoliers, il les fait assister à ses conférences. Il fait préparer d'avance une thèse 
par l'un deux, et il en prend occasion pour développer ses propres idées, dissiper les pré- 
jugés, suggérer des améliorations. 

Ces leçons et les résultats qu'il obtient sur les terres du collège, dont il surveille lui- 
même la culture, ont déjà produit une révolution dans les esprits. Les Acadiens se sont 
mis à l'œuvre, et ils se piqiient d'honneur pour rivaliser avec le P. Lefebvre. Est-il 
besoin d'ajouter qu'ils apprécient son dévouement, qu'ils l'aiment comme un père, qu'un 
mot de lui est une parole d'Erangile. Le P. Lefebvre est le souverain de toute cette 
contrée ; son influence est sans rivale parmi toutes les classes et toutes les nationalités ; 
le peu que je Aaens d'en dire prouve qu'il en est digne. 

Modeste comme le A^rai mérite, le P. Lefebvre rejette la plus large part de ses succès 
sur ses coopérateurs, qui de fait l'ont merveilleusement compris et secondé. C'est un éloge 
de plus pour celui qui a su ainsi faire concourir tous les éléments qui l'entouraient à l'éta- 
blissement de sou œuvre. 

L'aspect général de ce pays fait songer aux environs de Montréal. A la franche allure 
des gens, à la politesse et à l'air de connaissance avec lesqtiels ils nous saluent au pas- 
sage, on s'aperçoit bien qu'on est dans un pays français et catholique. On le devinerait 
sans cela à la seule apparence des maisons. Elles n'ont pas cette architecture de fantaisie, 
ces airs de prétention plus ou moins ridicule qu'on remarque dans les campagnes des 
Etats-Unis, et qui menacent de s'introduire au Canada. On voit que les propriétaires les 
ont bâties en vue de leiir propre confort et non pour attirer les yeux des passants, et qu'ils 
ont profité de leur expérience des lieux et du climat. Le site de ces habitations est bien 
choisi, et leurs ouvertures principales regardent le soleil levant, afin d'en recevoir abon- 
dance de lumière et de chaleur. Leur construction simple et régulière est faite de façon à 
présenter le moins de surface possible au vent et au froid L'habitant acadien s'y montre 
tel qu'il est, vrai homme des champs dans le sens antique du mot, en ayant gardé les 
goûts modestes et les solides qualités. 

Le pays que nous parcourons est un terrain d'alluvion assez accidenté, et partout ou- 
vert à la culture. Dans les champs, des groupes d'hommes et de femmes sont occupés 
activement à faire la dernière récolte, celle des pommes de terre, qui donne ici de magnifi- 
ques rendements, car les Acadiens n'ont pas de rivaux pour ce genre de culture. 

Grâce à l'allvrre alerte de notre monture, nous arrivons bientôt sur les hauteurs qui 
dominent le cours de la rivière Peticoudiac. Le paysage qu'on y a sous les yeux est gra- 
cieux et doux comme une idylle. Les deux rives s'élèvent graduellement en amphithéâ- 
tres, couronnés d'arbres verts et tachetés de blanc par les maisons proprettes des Acadiens, 
qui ont l'air heureuses avec leurs granges et leurs remises bien tenues et fermées d'un eu- 
clos de palissades blanchies à la chaux. A droite, la vue suit les méandres de la rivière, 
jusque dans les profondeurs des terres ; à gauche elle s'étend jusqu'à son embouchure qui 


s'ouvre en large entonnoir siir la baie de Fuudy, dont les eaux bleuâtres se confondent là- 
bas avec le ciel. 

Voiis voyez distinctement d'ici, me dit le P. Lefebvre, cette seconde pointe qui 
s'avance dans la baie et qui ferme l'horizon de l'autre côté du Peticoudiac, c'est la pointe 
de Chipoiidy ; c'est là que vint s'établir, en 1G99, le meunier Thibaudeau avec sa famille 
qu'il amenait de Port-Royal. C'est dans la baie de Chipoudy c^u'il bâtit sou moulin et établit 
sa colonie, qui dès son vivant était déjà si florissante. Vous vous rappelez le beau chapitre 
qu'en a écrit notre ami M. Rameau dans son histoire d'Une colonie féodale. C'est une de 
ses meilleures pages. Le portrait de ce colon entreprenant, de sa vaillante femme et de 
ses enfants, l'arrivée des familles qui A'inrent les rejoindre, les progrès de l'établissement, 
la satisfaction du A'ieux Thibaudeau à la vue de ses travaux si bien récompensés, des riches 
moissons, des troupeaux augmentant d'année en année, la paix et le contentement qui 
régnaient dans cette solitude, si loin du monde qu'elle semblait à l'abri des moindres 
dangers, tout cela est tracé aA^ec une vérité saisissante. C'est une délicieuse pastorale ; on 
serait même tenté de croire, de prime abord, à i\n tableau de fantaisie fait à plaisir, tant il 
est frais et séduisant ; mais les documents officiels, les recensements sont là pour attester 
la réalité des faits. Pendant le demi-siècle qui suivit la mort de Thibaudeau, la colonie 
de Chipoudy continua à prospérer. Mais, hélas ! aucune trace n'en reste aujourd'hui. 
Tout a disparu depuis la tourmente de 1755. Des étrangers occupent maintenant leurs 
foyers, cultivent leurs champs et jouissent des fruits de leurs travaux. Le nom même de 
Chipoudy, qui rappelait trop le souvenir des malheureux spoliés, a été changé pour un 
nom moderne. 

L'expulsion des habitants de Chipoudy, de Peticoudiac et de Memramcook n'avait 
pas été effectuée par la ruse comme à Grand-Pré et à Pisiquid, mais par la force ouverte. 

Un fort détachement de troupes anglo-américaines, sous le commandement du major 
Frye, avait fait une descente à Chipoudy et avait brûlé toutes les maisons sur le bord de 
l'anse, ne laissant intactes que celles qui se trouvaient à l'entrée du bois, où les habitants 
purent les protéger en faisant feu sur les assaillants. 

De là Frye avait jeté une partie de ses hommes sur la rive gauche du Peticoudiac, 
pour faire mettre le feu à l'église et au A'illage ; mais les habitants avaient eu le temps de 
se reconnaître et de se réunir avec un parti de sauvages sous les ordres de M. de Boishé- 
bert. Ils les surprirent, les cernèrent et en firent un affreux massacre. La moitié resta 
sur la place, ou fut prise ; le reste s'enfuit A'ers le lùvage et s'abrita derrière les digues, où 
il se défendit jusqu'à ce que Frye eût le temps de débarquer et de les rejoindre. Il voulut 
reprendre l'ofTensive ; mais, après un combat acharné, il fut obligé de se rembarquer en 
toute hâte. 

Mais que pouvait cette poignée d'hommes sans espoir de secours, contre des régiments 
armés de toutes pièces ? Ils se virent forcés d'abandonner leurs terres et de se réfugier dans 
les bois, emportant avec eux les objets les plus précieux. Si vous entrez aujourd'hui chez 
certaines familles acadiennes originaires de Chipoudy, de Peticoudiac et de Memramcook, 
vous entendrez le récit des scènes navrantes qui se passèrent alors et dont elles ont gardé 
la tradition. 

Un des détachements qui avait le plus harcelé les Bostonnais et les avait forcés de se 
rembarquer, était commandé par Noël Brassard, vieux chasseur et milicien accoutumé aux 
guerres de partisans. 


Aucun habitant du lieu n'aA^ait plus d'intérêt que lui à défendre ses foyers. Il était 
père de dix enfants dont le dernier avait à peine huit jours ; il avait avec lui sa vieille mère 
octogénaire. Son père, l'un des premiers colons de Peticoudiac, lui avait légué, avec la 
maison paternelle, une grande et belle terre en pleine culture, qui lui donnait une honnête 
aisance. Aussi Noël Brassard ne pouvait se résigner à la pensée de quitter Peticoudiac 
pour aller errer dans les bois avec sa famille, aux approches de nos terribles hivers. Il 
savait quelles misères les y attendaient ; il saA'ait que les plus faibles y trouveraient une 
mort certaine. 

Dans l'assemblée des habitants oii le départ fut décidé, Noël Brassard opina pour une 
lutte à outrance, et ce ne fut qu'après que toute la paroisse eût été abandonnée cjii'il se 
décida à rejoindre les fugitifs. 

Pendant que sa femme, qui pouvait à peine se traîner, se dirigeait vers la lisière de la 
forêt, suivie de ses enfants, et portant le dernier-né dans ses bras, il entassait dans une char- 
rette le peu d'effets qu'il pouvait emporter et y étendait sa vieille mère, que les émotions 
des derniers jours aA^aient réduite à l'extrémité. Il eut bientôt rejoint sa famille qui l'at- 
tendait sur le haut de la colline d'oii l'on apercevait le village à moitié incendié et l'entrée 
du Peticoudiac. 

Ils s'arrêtèrent là silencieux ; les enfants se pressaient autour de leur mère en étouf- 
fant leurs sanglots ; pour Noël Brassard, il ne pleurait pas, mais il était pâle comme un 
mort, et ses lèvres tremblaient quand il regardait sa femme qui sovipirait en essuyant ses 
larmes. Le soleil se couchait en arrière d'eux sur la cime des arbres — un beau soleil clair 
d'automne qui réjouissait tout le paysage. Ses rayons obliques allumaient des reflets d'in- 
cendie sur les fenêtres des maisons, et allongeaient leurs ombres dans la vallée. 

La mère Brassard, épuisée de force, avait paru à peu près insensible pendant le trajet ; 
mais alors elle ouvrit les yeux, et, comme si l'éclat des objets la ranimait, elle se mit à 
examiner l'une après l'autre chacune des maisons du A'illage ; elle jeta un long regard 
d'adieu sur le toit où elle avait si longtemps vécii ; puis ses yeux restèrent fixés sur le cime- 
tière dont les tombes et les croix blanches brillamment illuminées se dessinaient en relief 
sur l'herbe du gazon. 

— Je n'irai pas plus loin, soupira-t-elle à son fils ; je me sens mourir. Tu m'enterreras 
là, près de ton père. 

La voiture se remit en marche ; mais, quand elle eut fait c[uelques arpents sur le 
chemin cahoteux et mal tracé qui plongeait dans la for';t, Noël Brassard s'aperçut que le 
visage de sa mère devenait plus blanc que la cire ; une sueur froide perlait sur ses joues. 

Sa femme et liai s'empressèrent autour d'elle pour la ranimer, mais ce fut en vain. 
Elle était morte. 

Le lendemain au soir, deux hommes étaient occupés à creuser une fosse dans le cime- 
tière de Peticoudiac. A côté d'eux attendait le missionnaire, M. LeGruerne, qu'ils avaient 
eu le temps d'aller prévenir. Noël Brassard et sou beau-frère se hâtèrent d'achever leur 
besogne, car la lune, alors dans son plein, montait rapidement à l'horizon et aurait pu 
facilement trahir leur présence. 

Quand la fosse fut terminée, le missionnaire revêtit son surplis avec son étole noire, et 
récita à voix basse les prières de l'absoute. Il aida ensuite les deux hommes à combler la 

— Avant de partir, leur dit-il, nous allons réciter un Deprofondis au pied de la grande 


croix, afin de mettre nos morts sous la protection de Dieu et les défendre contre la profa- 
nation des hérétiqiies. 

Un instant après, la porte du cimetière grinça sur ses gonds, el tout rentra dans le 

Noël Brassard n'était qu'au commencement de ses tribulations. Malgré ses sinistres 
pressentiments, s'il eût pu prévoir tous les malheurs qui l'attendaient, il aurait reculé 

Dans le cours de cet affreux hiver, il perdit sa femme et tous ses enfants, hormis deux, 
un garçon et une fille. De Peticoudiac à Ristigouche, où il arriva dans les premiers jours 
du printemps, on aurait pu suivre sa marche à la trace des tombes qu'il avait laissées der- 
rière lui. 

Dans son désespoir, il ne pouvait entendre prononcer le nom d'un Yankee sans êtie 
saisi d'une espèce de frénésie. Il confia les deux enfants qui lui restaient à sa sœur Mar- 
guerite d'Eutremont, qui elle-même avait perdu tous les siens, et il se remit à son 
ancien métier de chasseur ; mais cette fois, ce n'était pas pour faire la chasse aux 
animaux des bois, c'était pour faire la chasse à l'homme, la chasse à tout ce qui portait le 
nom d'Yankee ou d'Anglais. A la tête de quelques partisans habiles au tir comme lui, et 
comme lui exaspérés par l'excès du malheur ; il n'épargna rien pour faire à ses ennemis 
tout le mal qu'il en avait souffert. Pendant les cinq années qui suivirent, il se mit à la 
disposition des officiers français, qui l'employèrent à soulever les tribus sauvages, et à les 
accompagner dans leurs sanglantes expéditions. Chaque fois qu'il abattait un ennemi, il 
faisait une entaille sur la crosse de sou fusil. Ce fusil a été conservé par ses descendants, 
et l'on n'y compte pas moins de vingt-huit marques. 

Au printemps de 1760, Noël Brassard était de retour à Ristigouche. Quand le mar- 
quis de Danjac vint s'y réfugier avec ses quatre vaisseaux, il réclama le privilège de 
servir un des canons qui furent débarqiiés sur la pointe à la Batterie pour défendre l'em- 
bouchure de la rivière. Les artilleurs se firent tuer sur leurs pièces, et Noël Brassard, qui 
s'était battu comme un lion, xwiutait le dernier canon resté sur son affût, quand il fut 
coupé "en deux par un boiilet. 

Pendant que nous côtoyons le Peticoudiac, le P. Lefebvre m'intéresse vivement en 
me rapportant quelqi\es-unes des traditions qu'il a recueillies de la bouche des Acadiens. 

— Avez- vous remarqué, me dit-il, le calice dont A'ous vous êtes servi ce matin, lors- 
que vous êtes allé dire la messe à l'église ? C'est un calice en argent à coupe dorée, d'un 
travail fort simple, mais d'un prix inestimable pour nous, car il est aussi ancien que l'A- 
cadie, et il a échappé au désastre du siècle dernier. 

Avant de se réfugier dans les bois, les marguilliers qui avaient la charge de l'église en 
l'absence du missionnaire, l'enfouirent sous terre avec cjuelques autres pièces d'argenterie. 
Afin de le retrouver, ils firent une excavation au milieu du cimetière, à la rencontre d'une 
croix qu'ils tracèrent au moyen de deux cordes tendues d'un angle à l'autre. Dans une 
requête adressée en 1805, à Mgr Deuault, évéque de Québec, par les habitants de la baie 
Sainte-Marie, on trouve quelques détails précis sur la manière dont furent conservés les 
vases sacrés et les ornements de plusieurs églises. " Au temps de l'enlèvement des Aca- 
" diens, y est-il dit, les ornements et les vases sacrés des églises de nos cantons furent en 
" grande partie séquestrés par plusieurs habitants et cachés dans le bois, et ainsi préservés 
" du pillage ; ensuite ramassés et remis à feu M. Maillard, missionnaire. Après la mort 


" de ce vénérable prêtre, tous ces effets se trouvèrent entre les mains de Louis Petit- 
" pas qui avait pris soin de lui durant sa dernière maladie ; mais d'après des ordres précis 
" de Mgr l'évêque de Québec, tout fut livré à M. Bailly, missionnaire dans notre province 
" Plusieurs de nos habitants ici et à Sainte-Anne d'Argyle ont pleine connaissance de cela. 
" M. Bailly en se retirant laissa quelques ornements, entre autres deux anciennes chasubles 
" c£ue nous avons ici et deux calices d'entre ceux qui lui a^ aient été remis ; il emporta le 
" reste. Ces deux calices furent laissés à un M. Wealling, chez qui M. Bailly se retirait à 
" Halifax. Ce missionnaire ayant cessé de venir en cette province, le dépositaire est de- 
" meure comme investi de ces calices, mais s'en trouvant embarrassé, il les a remis à un 
" Acadien nommé Charles-Amand Surette, après les avoir offerts à plusieurs antres, parce 
" que apparemment il croyait que les Français y avaient plus de droit que les Irlandais. 

" Les choses étaient en cet état, lorsque nous avons eu pour missionnaire M. LeDru, 
" français d'origine et religieux dominicain. Ce prêtre étant au Cap-Sable, entendit parler 
" de ces calices, et pour les avoir il s'adressa par une requête, dont il existe encore une 
" copie, au gouverneur qui autorisa l'envoyé à prendre les calices demandés chez le parti- 
" culier qui les avait en dépôt. Muni de la permission de Mgr le gouverneur, le porteur 
" s'adressa à Charles-Amand Surette, qui lui remit deux calices avec une petite custode, 
" qui furent apportés à M. LeDru, au Cap-Sable. Un de ces calices a été enlevé et laissé à 
" Halifax ; Votre Grandeur a eu la bouté d'en ordonner la restitutitiou." ' 

n existait jadis, à l'entrée de la rivière Peticoudiac, un village abéuaquis assez bien 
peuplé, mais il en reste aujourd'hui peu de familles, qui vivent la plus grande partie de 
l'année dans les forêts. Quelques-uns des pères du collège viennent de temps en temps 
faire l'office et donner des instructions dans leur petite chapelle qui paraît assez bien con- 
servée. Elle est entourée de quelques pauvres chaumières dont plusieurs sont abandon- 
nées. Il n'y a d'apparence de vie que devant une de ces maisons où un groupe de femmes 
et d'enfants, aux types sauvages fortement accentués, s'occupent à préparer les éclisses de 
bois dont elles font leurs paniers. Elles suspendent leur travail en nous voyant passer, 
et nous accueillent du regard avec cette expression de figure et ce maintien qui indiquent 
le respect traditionnel des sauvages pour les robes noires. 

L'embouchure du Memramcook et celle du Peticoudiac sont séparées par un promon- 
toire assez élevé où différentes compagnies américaines ont ouvert des carrières de pierre 
très facile à travailler et d'une belle couleur gris perle. Une grande partie de cette pierre 
est transportée aux Etats-Unis et a servi à la construction de plusieurs belles rues de New- 
York. Je m'explique maintenant le rapprochement qui m'est venu à l'idée, au premier 
coup d'œil que j'ai jeté sur le portail de l'église et sur le collège de Memramcook. 

Nous traversons le promontoire en suivant le chemin de la carrière dont nous côtoyons 
les immenses fossés, et nous redescendons dans la vallée du Memramcook. Lorsque nous 
l'avons quittée à notre départ, ses eaux boueuses étaient toutes basses et laissaient à décou- 
vert les pentes luisantes et roussâtres de ses rivages. Maintenant la rivière coule à pleins 
bords et inonderait la campagne si elle n'était pas retenue entre ses deux puissantes jetées. 

Dans cette partie de la baie de Fundy, la marée monte avec une extrême rapidité, et 
s'élève jusqu'à une hauteur perpendiculaire de soixante et quinze pieds. Elle arrive en 
roulant une vague énorme qui enlève du fond de la baie une épaisse couche de vase ou 

' Archives de l'archevêché de Québec. 


limon qu'elle dépose en se retirant. C'est ainsi que se sont formés de siècle en siècle ces 
vastes estuaires qui sont devenus une des grandes richesses du pays. Le sel marin qui 
s'y trouve mêlé leur donne une telle fertilité qu'il dispense de tout aiitre engrais. Il suffit 
d'y arrêter le cours de la marée et do laisser la pluie laA'er la surface du sol, qui se couvre 
bientôt d'une luxuriante végétation. Ces prés naturels n'ont besoin d'autre culture que 
d'un labour tous les sept ou huit aus. Les récoltes de foin et les pâturages qu'on y fait 
ont le double avantage d'être abondants et d'une qualité supérieure. Les Acadiens qui 
en firent les premiers essais ne s'y trompèrent pas. Ils y établirent leurs principales 
colonies qui, dès la fin du dix-septième siècle, s'étendaient sur tout le littoral de la baie, 
depuis le bassin des Mines jusqu'à Chipoudy. 

La journée était avancée lorsque nous fûmes de retour de notre agréable promenade. 
Je dis adieu à regret aux professeurs du collège qui, pendant le court séjour que je venais 
de faire au milieu d'eux, m'avaient autant édifié par leur régularité que charmé par leur 
politesse. Je crois voir encore la bonne figure réjouie du P Lefebvre me disant en me 
donnant dernière poignée de mains : "Ah ! ça, ne l'oubliez pas ; il faut nous revenir 

De la gare de Memramcook à celle d' Amherst, une heure. A mi-chemin, on aperçoit 
sur la droite, à une petite distance, les ruines de l'ancien fort Beauséjour, aujourd'hui fort 
Cumberland, assis sur un coteau qui se projette vers l'est et qui domine la magnifique 
baie, si bien appelée par les Français Eeaubassin. Comme l'après-midi était belle, et que 
le soleil était encore assez haut sur l'horizon, je résolus d'en profiter, et je commandai une 
voiture au maître de l'hôtel, M. Ward, brave Irlandais catholique, qui m'offrit de me con- 
duire dans la sienne. Chemin faisant, je l'interrogeai sur Amherst et ses environs. 

— Nous sommes, me dit-il, dans un pays tout à fait protestant, qui garde encore 
presque tous les anciens préjugés contre notre religion. 11 n'y a ici qu'une poignée de 
catholiques irlandais et une pauvre petite église desservie par un jeune prêtre irlandais. 

De la belle paroisse de Beaubassin, il ne reste pas de vestige. Le fer et le feu y ont 
été promenés pendant des années; tout ce qui portait le nom d'Acadien a été traqué 
comme une bête fauve. Pour eu retrouver des débris dans ces parages, il faut aller jusque 
dans les îles et sur les bords du golfe, ou à l'extrémité méridionale de la Nouvelle-Ecosse. 

Au sortir du village d'Amherst, ou remarque l'emplacement encore visible du fort 
Lawrence bâti par les Anglais sur les ruines de celui de Beaubassin. Les remparts qui 
étaient en terre en ont été abattus et jetés dans les fossés que l'on distingue encore à des 
plis de terrain où la charrue peut passer. Cet emplacement fait partie d'une ferme dont 
le propriétaire a bâti sa demeure sur un des bastions. U Intercolonial passe au pied du 
talus, et coupe la terre où se trouvait le cimetière. Ou a mis à découvert plusieurs corps, 
lorsque ce chemin de fer a été construit. 

Du fort Lawrence la plaine descend en pente douce jusqu'à la petite rivière Messa- 
gouetche, qui servait au siècle dernier et C[ui sert encore aujouid'hui de frontière à la 
Nouvelle-Ecosse. De là la plaine remonte graduellement pour former l'éminence sur 
laquelle repose le fort Cumberland. Avec les projectiles modernes les deux forts pour- 
raient se canonner facilement, car ils ne sont pas distants d'une lieue. Le Messagouetche, 


avec ses eaux terues et faugevises, avec ses écores roiTssâtres et ses dig'ues, est une minia- 
ture du Peticoudiac. Quaud la marée s'est retirée, il n'est plus qu'un ruisseau encaissé 
qui traîne sans bruit ses eaux limoneixses sur une pente insensible. Ou le traverserait 
sans y faire attention, s'il n'évoquait le souvenir des scènes sanglantes dont il a été le 
théâtre. C'est ici que venaient se rencontrer les partis de guerre stationnés aux devix forts, 
pour s'en disputer le passage après avoir ravagé les terres et brûlé les moissons des 
pauvres Acadiens. C'est derrière cette digue, et couchés dans ces grandes herbes, que se 
tenaient les espions micmacs qui commirent contre l'infortuné Howe ce meurtre qui sou- 
leva tant d'indignation dans les deux camps. ' 

Le soleil était près de l'horizon quand je descendis de A^oiture au pied du fort Cum- 
berland. Lorsqu'on jette un coap d'oeil sur le paysage dont on jouit du haut des remparts, 
on comprend pourquoi les Français donnèrent à ce lieu le nom de Beauséjour. Au reste, 
ils ont laissé en bien d'autres endroits l'empreinte de l'admiration que leur inspirait ce 
pays, ce qui atteste en même temps jusqu'à quel point était développé chez eux le senti- 
ment de la nature. Cette belle nappe d'eau qui s'étend aii pied du fort Beauséjour c'était 
pour eux la baie de Beaubassin avec son fort auquel ils s'étaient plu de donner le même 
nom. Plus loin, au delà de ces montagnes c'était le Fori Royal. 

Si les conquérants ont fait acte de bonne politique en bannissant ces souvenirs 
français, ils n'ont guère fait preuve de bon goût. Que rappellent en effet les noms de 
Lawrence, d' Annapolis, de Cumberland, sinon des personnages d'une valeur médiocre, 
tandis que les premières désignations exprimaient la beauté des lieux. 

Il y a deux siècles, Mgr de Saint- Vallier parlait ainsi de Beaubassin : " Sa situation 
" est charmante. Cet établissement est au fond d'une baie de six lieues de tour où se 
" jettent sept belles rivières, et qui communique avec la baie française par un passage qui 
" n'a qii'une demi-lieue de large, et sans danger." ^ 

De son côté l'intendant De Meules écrivait en 1685 : " Il y a tout autour de Beaubassin 
" une si grande quantité de prairies qu'on y pourrait nourrir cent mille bêtes à cornes ; 
" l'herbe qui y vient s'appelle miselie, très propre pour engraisser toutes sortes de bestiaux. 
" Aux deux côtés des dites prairies, ce sont de douces côtes toutes couvertes de bons bois 
" francs ; on y a déjà fait plus, de vingt-deux habitations sur de petites eminences que les 
" habitants y ont choisies pour avoir communication dans les prairies et dans les bois.... 
" Il n'y a aucun de ces habitants qui n'ait trois ou quatre corps de logis assez raisonnables 
" pour la campagne. Ce lieu de Beaubassin est si heureusement situé pour faire des 
" nourritures considérables de bestiaux, (jue si l'on établit à Port-Eoyal des relations 
" régulières avec nos iles de l'Amériqiie, il s'y trouverait assez de bestiaux pour le 

' L'abbé Maillard a raconté très au long les détails de cet incident qui a servi de prétexte à des attaques contre 
les missionnaires, surtout contre l'abbé Leloutre. — {Lcltrcs de Vabhé Maillard •?«)• les Missions mlcmaques ■■■. Soirées 
canadiennes, année 1863. 

Si l'on veut se former un jugement impartial .sur cette époque, il faut tenir compte, en étudiant les documents 
français, de l'esprit anti-religieux que Voltaire et les pbilosophes avaient mis alors en vogue. Les préjugés contre 
le catholicisme et le clergé n'étaient pas moins intenses parmi les Français que parmi les Anglais. 

L'auteur de l'Histoire de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, Beamish Murdoch, quoique protestant, fait la même remarque en 
parlant du jugement qu'il porte sur l'abbé Leloutre. " Il faut cependant sa rappeler, dit-il, que nous avons pris nos 
informations sur ce personnage, de sources qui n'étaient pas amies des prêtres de son église ; les Français de cette 
époque étant entarhps de la philosophie de Voltaire." 

^ Histoire du séminaire de Québec. 

Sec. 1,1886. — 5. 


" commerce des îles, et leur fournir leur provision de bœuf, que l'on tire des pays 
" étrangers." ' 

Le fort Cumberland est un vaste pentagone dont les remparts assez élevés et bien 
conservés sont en terre recouverte d'une épaisse couche de gazon. Les courtines sont 
percées de casemates dont la construction solide a résisté à l'action du temps. On distin- 
gue encore parfaitement sur les remparts les embrasures des canons, qui ont tous été 
enlevés avec le matériel de guerre. La poudrière, placée dans les fossés sous la protection 
d'ouvrages avancés, est complètement eu ruines. Il n'existe à l'intérieur de la forteresse 
qu'un édifice à toiture défoncée, ouvert à tous les vents, ciu'on dit avoir été la caserne des 

Autour de cette masure déserte paissait un troupeau de bétail qui s'enfuit à mon 
approche jusqu'au bord des bastions, d'où il me regarda d'un air efïarouché, comme s'il 
n'eût jamais été troublé dans cette solitude. Tel est l'état d'abandon et d'oubli dans lequel 
est tombée cette position stratégique disputée autrefois avec acharnement par les deux 
puissances rivales. Elles en avaient tout d'abord compris l'importance. Par sa situation 
à l'endroit le plus rétréci de l'isthme, Beauséjour était la clef de l'Acadie. Il communi- 
quait sur l'océan d'un côté par la baie Française, dont les eaux venaient battre à ses pieds, 
de l'autre par le golfe Saint-Laurent au moyen du fort Gaspareaux, bâti tout exprès au 
fond de la baie Verte. * 

Par malheur, au moment du danger, la garde de ce poste avait été confiée à l'un des 
mauvais génies de la Nouvelle-France, Vergor, l'ami de Bigot, le même qui jjIus tard, par 
lâcheté ou par trahison, devait livrer à Wolfe l'accès des plaines d'Abraham. 

Au mois de juin 1755, un fort détachement de troupes anglo-américaines, commandé 
par Moukton, Aint mettre le siège devant Beauséjour. Vergor n'avait à leur opposer que 
cent-cinquante hommes de troupes régulières ; mais il eût pu le repousser avec l'aide des 
quinze cents Acadieus et sauvages réfugiés autour du fort, s'il ne les eût d'avance indis- 
posés contre lui par d'indignes traitements, et en leur refusant le nécessaire, tandis que 
les magasins étaient remplis. " 

Pendant que la voiture m'emportait du côté d'Amherst, au moment où le soleil cou- 
chant jetait ses derniers rayons sur les grands prés et sur la baie de Beaubassin, je ne pus 
me défendre d'un sentiment de tristesse en songeant à la perte irréparable que la France 
a faite de cette admirable contrée et du vaillant peuple qui l'avait colonisée. La cour de 
Versailles a eu bien des torts vis-à-vis de la Nouvelle-France ; mais nulle part l'ingrati- 
tude et l'impéritie de cette cour ne sont plus sensibles que sur cette terre acadienne, tou- 
jours fidèle et toiijours sacrifiée. Si ou y eût dépensé seulement la moitié de ce qu'a coûté 
le château de Versailles, on pourrait compter aujourd'hui un million d'Acadiens richement 
établis autour de la baie, qui n'aurait pas perdu le nom de baie Française. 

' Arcldres de la marine à Paris. 

'' C'est à Vergor que l'intendant Bigot écrivait : " Profitez, mon clier Vergor, de votre place ( de Beauséjour ) ; 
taillez, rognez, vous avez tout pouvoir, afin que vous puissiez bientôt me venir joindre en France, et acheter un 
bien à portée de moi." 

Le fait suivant peint l'administration de Vergor. Afin d'arracher aux Acadiens le peu d'argent qui leur 
restait, il leur défendait d'aller s'approvisionner chez les Anglais, et il leur vendait les eflels que le gouvernement 
français envoyait pour leur propre soutien. 



D'Amlierst à Truro, au fond de la baie de Cobeqiùd, soixaute-treize milles. Cette 
petite A'ille anglaise a pris la place de la paroisse acadienne de Cobequid, anéantie en même 
temps que les Mines. Il eu a été de même de Pisiquid, aujourd'hui Windsor, qui rivalisait 
de prospérité avec Cobequid où il y avait deux églises, l'une pour les blancs, l'autre pour 
les sauvages sur la rive opposée. Le même missionnaire pou.vait ainsi desservir les deux 
églises et partager également ses soins entre les chrétiens des deux races. On saisit ici sur 
le fait la supériorité de la colonisation française sur celle de nos voisins, sous le rapport de 
l'humanité et de la civilisation. Le voisinage de ces deux églises, dans une mission 
composée de blancs et de peaux rouges, vivant côte à côte dans une constante amitié, 
indique l'esprit qui chez nous animait l'Eglise et l'Etat. La colonisation française a été 
un bienfait pour les indigènes, tandis que celle de l'Angleterre a été pour eux une 
calamité. Leiar instinct ne se trompait pas quand il leur faisait voir dans les Français des 
frères et des amis, et dans les Anglais des indifférents ou des ennemis. Ceux-ci ont eu à 
souffrir davantage de leur barbarie, précisément parce qu'ils n'ont cherché à se les con- 
cilier que lorsqu'ils y ont été poussés par leur propre intérêt. Conçoit-on après cela c^u'on 
nous fasse un reproche de ne pus avoir mieux réussi à humaniser les sauvages, tout en 
avouant que leur génie était réfractaire à la civilisation ? Nos pionniers et nos mission- 
naires u'ont-ils pas poussé l'héroïsme et la persévérance jusc^u'à levirs limites? S'il y a res- 
ponsabilité quelque part, ne retombe-t-elle pas de tout son poids sur ceux c[ui, au lieu de 
seconder leurs efforts, ont plutôt cherché à les entraver ? 

De Truro à Windsor le trajet en voiture le long de la baie de Fu.ndy peut se faire en 
quelques heures ; mais il n'y a de communication par voie ferrée c|u'eu passant par 


8 octobre. — Kentville, à sept milles de Grand-Pré, anniversaire du premier embarque- 
ment des Acadiens. Kentville est un village agréablement situé sur les bords de la 
rivière Cornwallis qui se jette dans le bassin des Mines. Hier au soir, eu descendant à la 
gare, j'ai fait l'heureuse rencontre de M. Lyon, irlandais d'origine, qui a vé.'U longtemps 
tout auprès de Grand-Pré, dans la ville naissante de Wolfe ville. Il est familier avec tous 
les souvenirs qui se rattachent à Grand-Pré. 

Je commande une voiture et je profite de l'offre qu'il me fait de m'accompagner. 

Le soleil levant commençait à dissiper une brume épaisse qui s'était levée pendant la 
nïiit de la baie de Fundy, et faisait présager une journée claire et agréable. 

L'aspect général du pays est bien différent de celui que présente le fond de la baie. 
Les hauteurs qui lui servent ici de contreforts sont très bien accentuées et sont rayées de 
ravins au fond desquels coulent plusieurs rivières qui se jettent dans le bassin des Mines : 
la rivière aux Canards, celle des Habitants et celle de Gaspareaux gardent encore leurs 
noms acadiens. 

On a dit avec raison que ce littoral qui comprend les trois comtés d'Annapolis, Kings 
et Hauts, est le jardin des Provinces Maritimes. On peut en effet traverser ces trois 
comtés presque sans sortir des vergers. Outre les cerisiers, les pruniers et les poiriers, les 


plus belles variétés de pommes y réussissent admirablement. De chaque côté du chemin 
que nous suivons, d'innombrables pommiers sont chargés à se rompre de fruits superbes. 
Certaines variétés, telles que la pomme Béliveau, portent encore le nom des Acadieus qui, 
les premiers, les ont cultivées. Dès la fin du dix-septième siècle, les arbres fruitiers étaient 
une des grandes ressources du pays. 

" Il y a des endroits, écrivait Dièreville en 1100, aussi bien plantés de pommiers qu'en 
Normandie. " 

Comme nous descendions la déclivité au bas de laquelle s'élevaient l'église et le vil- 
lage de Grrand-Pré, le soleil achevait de disperser les brumes à l'horizon, et diamantait les 
eaux du bassin. A notre gauche le cap Bloraedon, l'ancien cap Doré des Français, dont la 
falaise roussâtre, à demi déboisée, s'allonge pour former l'anse des Mines, se dégageait len- 
tement des buées blanches qui flottaient à son sommet et à l'embouchure des rivières aux 
Canards et des Habitants, tandis qu'à une demi-lieue vers la droite la rivière Gaspareaux 
étalait en serpentant dans la plaine, sous un ciel éclatant, la surface argentée de ses eaux, 
qu'elle dégorgeait avec la marée baissante dans l'entrée du bassin. Au-dessus du vaste 
plateau qui a donné son nom à G-rand-Pré, et qui n'a pas moins de deux ou trois milles de 
longueur sur une largeur de plus d'un mille, erraient de petits nuages isolés, semblables à 
un troupeau de brebis paissant dans l'azur du ciel. 

Quand on est descendu au bas de la colline sur laquelle est groupé le village de 
Wolfeville, on a devant soi une campagne tranquille et solitaire comme aux jours des 
Acadiens. La G-rand'Prée, entourée de ses puissantes digues est toujours une commune qui 
sert de pâturage aux bestiaux, dont on aperçoit des groupes disséminés çà et là dans le 

Le chemin c[ui conduisait au village est marqué par une rangée de saules très anciens. 
Une autre rangée plus ancienne encore traverse le terrain qui appartenait à l'église. Un 
de ces saules que j'ai eu la curiosité de mesurer n'a pas moins de vingt pieds de circonfé- 
rence. Quoique la croissance de cette espèce d'arbres soit rapide, il n'y a cependant pas de 
doute que ceux-ci n'aient été témoins des scènes de l'expulsion. 

Le site qu'occupaient l'église et ses dépendances est redevenu un champ désert. Le sol 
a été nivelé et l'herbe pousse drue autour des pierres c[ue la charrue a arrachées aux 

Le seul ouvrage de main d'homme qui ait été respecté est un puits, d'où l'on tire une 
eau excellente, et cjui servait à l'usage de la mission. 

Quoique le site soit charmant, aucvin des nouveaux occupants n'a voulu s'y bâtir, soit 
que ce lieu rappelât trop vivement des souvenirs qu'on n'aimait pas à réveiller, soit que 
l'on craignit que ce séjour ne portât point bonheur. Au dire de mon guide, les gens de 
l'endroit ne parlent pas volontiers de ceux qui les ont précédés, et j'ai trouvé moi-même 
fort peu communicatifs ceux que j'ai interrogés. 


Pour bien connaître quelle était la position des Acadiens dans la Nouvelle-Ecosse, à la 
date de leur expulsion, il est nécessaire de remonter jusqu'au traité d'Utrecht (1713). 
D'après ce traité, l'Acadie était cédée par la France à l'Angleterre, et les colons français de 


cette province, qtii reçut alors le nom de Nouvelle-Ecosse, passaient sous la couronne 
d'Angleterre. Mais par une clause spéciale du traité, le libre exercice de la religion catho- 
lique était garanti aux Acadieus, et une année de délai était accordée à ceux d'entre eux qui 
préféreraient se retirer de la province.' Peu de jours après la signature du traité ( 11 avril 
1713), la reine Anne enleva cette restriction et prolongea le délai indéfiniment. - 

Le serment d'allégeance que leur fit prêter l'un des premiers gouverneurs d'Anuapolis, 
le général Richard Philipps, contenait la condition expresse c[u'ils ne porteraient pas les 
armes contre les Français ni contre les sauvages. Cette condition lui parut nécessaire 
pour engager les Acadiens à rester attachés à la province, dont ils étaient les seuls habi- 
tants. De là le nom de neutres ( French neutrals) qui leur fut donné depuis. 

Il était facile de prévoir qir'un pareil régime ne pouvait aboutir qu'à des résultats 
funestes pour le petit peuple naissant, qui se trouvait ainsi placé entre deux puissances 
rivales, toujours prêtes à en venir aux mains, et qui ne manqueraient pas de se disputer sa 
neutralité. Il était fatalement destiné à être victime ; mais son infortune a dépassé toute 
prévision. ° 

Quoique, en général, le joug des gouverneurs anglais ne fût pas sévère, cependant 
cjuelques-uus d'entre eux molestèrent les Acadiens et les mécontentèrent par des actes 
arbitraires, principalement en entravant leurs missionnaires dans l'exercice légitime de leur 
ministère. Ainsi on voulut les forcer à rejeter l'autorité de l'évêque de Québec, de qui ils 
relevaient, et à violer par là les règles les plus élémentaires de la hiérarchie catholique * Ou 
alla jusqu'à vou^ir disposer des cures, à déplacer des curés et à les remplacer par d'autres. 
Ainsi le P. Félix Pain, curé des Mines, s'étant attiré la disgrâce du gouverneur Armstrong, 
espèce de maniaque qui finit par se suicider, celui-ci prit sur lui de l'enlever de sa cure et 
de nommer à sa place le F. Isidore, moine réeollet frappé d'interdiction, qu'il aurait main- 
tenu dans ce poste, si les paroissiens des Mines ne s'étaient révoltés et n'avaient chassé cet 

On avait aussi empêché les Acadiens de bâtir de nouvelles églises et de réparer les 
anciennes. On en avait même démoli quelques-unes : à la Pré '-Ronde de Port-Royal 
entre autres. Certains gouverneurs voulurent même imposer des lois aux missionnaires 
jusque dans l'administration des sacrements de l'église. " Ainsi, par exemple, le gouver- 
neur Mascarèue écrivit des lettres de menaces à l'abbè Désenclaves, parce qu'il avait 
refusé l'absolution à des individus qui refusaient de faire les restitutions auxquelles ils 
étaient obligés. 

' Archives de la Nuuvdk-Ecogse, p. 12. '' Jdan, p. 1.5. 

^ Le second gouverneur anglais à Port-Eoyal, le colonel Vetch, évaluait en 171o la population acadienne à 
deux mille cinq cents âmes. " Les Français, écrivait-il aux lords du commeico, sont, avec les sauvages, les 
seuls habitants de ce pays ; et, comme ils ont compacté des mariages avec les sauvages qui t-ont de même religion, 
ils ont sur eux une puissante influence. Cent Français, nés dans le pays, parfaitement accoutumés comme ils lo 
sont aux forêts, habiles à marcher en raquettes et à conduire des canots d'écorce, sont de plus grande valeur et d'un 
plus grand service que cinq cents hommes nouvellement arrivés d'Euiope. Il faut eu dire autant de leur habileté 
à la pêche et à la culture du sol. " — Archives de la JS'oîiveUe-Ecosse, p. 6. 

■' Archives de l'arcluvéché de Qvêhec. — Toutes ces archives ont été compulsées, et celles du séminaire de Québec, 
qui l'ont déjà été en partie, le seront entièrement avant la publication définitive de ce travail. 

■* Documents, twles et traditions sur t'Acadie recueillis par 51. Sasseville, curé de Sainte-Foye. — Je suis redevable 
à M. l'abbé Sasseville, qui s'occupe depuis de longues années de l'histoire du Cauada, d'une foule de précieux rensei- 
gnemenls sur l'Acadie. — ArcJdvts de la Nouvelle- Ecosse — passim. 

" Histoire de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, par B. Murdoch, v. I, p. 409. 


Ces procédés vexatoires firent naître des défiances dont profitèrent les émissaires fran- 
çais pour engager une partie des Acadieus à AMoler la neutralité qu'ils avaient promise. 
Ce fut là le commencement des interminables querelles au sujet du serment, qui allèrent 
toujours en s'en venimant jusqu'à la catastrophe de 1755. 

Le gouverneur Cornwallis et ses successeurs mirent en œuvre toutes les mesures de 
persuasion et de menaces pour arrac'her aux Acadiens un serment sans réserve. 

Il faut bien se rappeler quelles étaient les lois delà G-rande-Bretagne contre les catho- 
liques à cette date, et sous quel joug étaient alors courbés les Irlandais, pour saisir toutes 
les conséquences que pouvait entraîner un tel serment. Les missionnaires des Acadiens, 
gardiens de leur foi, n'étaient-ils pas justifiables de manifester leurs craintes à ce sujet? 
Pouvaient-ils même, en conscience, ne pas leur en faire A'oir les dangers ? ' 

Ce fut pour mettre un terme à toutes ces A'exations, et aiassi poiir obéir aux sollicita- 
tions qui leur étaient faites de Avenir s'établir au Canada que, au printemps de 1750, les 
Acadiens adressèrent au gouverneur Cornwallis une requête pour demander l'autorisa- 
tion de quitter la province. 

C'était le seul parti raisonnable cju'ils avaient à suivre, puisque d'une part ils ne 
voulaient pas prendre plus d'engagements vis-à-vis du gouvernement anglais que n'eu 
avaient pris leurs pères, et que de l'autre ou exigeait d'eux des formules de serment de plus 
en plus sévères. 

Le gouverneur répondit qu'ils n'avaient c|u'à se conformer aux règlements établis 
dans la province pour les personnes désirant en sortir, c'est-à-dire qu'à se munir de passe- 
ports ; et " Cjue rien ne l'empêcherait d'accorder de tels passeports à tous ceux qui lui 
en demanderaient." Ce consi^ntement, qui était un aveu éclatant de la justice de leur 
demande, n'était au fond cju'un leurre destiné à dissimuler un refus réel, que le gouver- 
neur n'osait affirmer tout haut de crainte de voir les Acadiens lui échapper. 

Il ajoutait dans sa réponse que, povir le moment, il ne pouvait pas accorder de passe- 
ports, qu'il fallait attendre que la paix fut rétablie dans la province. Mais, continuait-il, 
vous pouvez vous en reposer sur ma parole {you can reli/ vpon my ivord): aussitôt que la 
tranquillité sera rétablie, nous donnerons des passeports à tous ceux qui en demanderont." 

Dans le reste de sa réponse, il employait tour à tour la persuasion et les menaces pour 
les retenir. " Mes amis, leur disait-il entre autres choses, du moment que vous avez 
déclaré votre désir de partir et de vous soumettre à un autre gouvernement, notre détermi- 
nation a été de n'empêcher personne de suivre ce qu'il s'imagine être son intérêt.... Mais 
nous A'ous avouons franchement f[ue votre détermination de partir nous fait de la jjeine. 
Nous connaissons bien A'otre industrie et votre tempérance, et nous savons que vous n'êtes 
adonnés à aucun vice, ni à aucune débauche.... Vous possédez les seules terres cultivées 
de la province; elles produisent assez de grain et nourrissent assez d'animaux pour suffire 
à toute la colonie.... Cette province est votre pays ; vous et vos pères l'avez cultivée ; natii- 
rellement voiis devriez jouir des fruits de votre travail." " 

Le gouverneur concluait en leur rappelant l'obligation de prêter serment, mais sans 
oser l'exiger de fait, de crainte de les voir partir ; puis il leur défendait de faire des 

' Le serment du Test ne fut aboli dans la Nouvelle-Ecosse qu'en 1827. Ce fut Haliburton, élu par les Acadiens 
du comté de Clare ( baie Sainte-Marie ) qui le fit abolir. 11 faut lire le beau portrait qu'il fit des Acadieus et de leur 
missionnaire, l'abbé Sigogne, dans lo discours qu'il prononça à cette occasion. 

' Archives de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, p. 139 et suivantes. 


assemblées sans uue permission spéciale. Enfin il leur déclarait que ceux qui s'éloigne- 
raient ne pourraient emporter aucun de leurs etTets avec eux, et que tous leurs biens 
seraient confisqués. 

En d'autres termes, c'était les déclarer prisonniers. C'était aussi violer ouvertement 
la claiise XIV du traité d'Utrecht, où il était " expressément pourvu à ce que les sujets du 
roi de I<"rauce auraient la liberté de se retirer en aucun lieu qu'ils jugeraient convenables, 
avec tous leurs effets mobiliers." Ou a y\\ que le terme d'un an, d'abord fixé, avait été 
prolongé indéfiniment par la reine Anne. 

La réponse du gouverneur Coruwallis contenait cependant deux aveux qu'il est très 
important de noter, parce qu'ils sont une confirmation du traité. D'abord il reconnaissait 
pleinement le droit Cj[u'avaient les Acadiens de quitter la province ; ensuite il engageait sa 
parole de les laisser partir dès le premier moment favorable. 

Les Acadiens ne se faisaient guère illusion sur cette dernière condition. Ils voyaient 
clairement que le gouverneur ne cherchait qu'à gagner du temps. Aussi poursuivirent- 
ils leurs démarches. Frustrés de ce côté, ils s'adressèrent à la cour de France, où ils firent 
parvenir leurs requêtes. Le roi et ses ministres finirent par s'en émouvoir, et l'ambas- 
sadeur de France à Londres fut chargé au mois de mai 1755 de proposer au roi d'Angle- 
terre d'accorder trois ans aux habitants français de la péninsule, pour s'en éloigner avec 
leurs effets, et de leur donner tous les moyens nécessaires pour faciliter ce transport. 

Le roi d'Angleterre ne crut pas devoir accéder à cette demande, donnant pour raison 
que ce serait priver la Grande-Bretagne dun très grand nombre de svjets utiles. 

Il faut rendre cette justice au cabinet de Londres que, en communiqirant au goiiver- 
ueur de la Nouvelle-Ecosse ce refus de laisser émigrer les Acadiens, il lui enjoignait 
" d'user de la plus grande précaution et de la plus grande prudence, de peur, ajoutait la 
" dépêche, que, par leur départ, le roi de France ne profitât d'un si grand nombre de sujets 
" utiles." 

Ou verra par ce qui va suivre de quelle manière le gouverneur Lawrence, second suc- 
cesseur de Cornwallis, exécuta les ordres du cabinet de Londres. 


Quelques historiens ont a^ouIu nier que la convoitise des colons anglo-américains ait 
été une des causes de l'expulsion des Acadiens ; mais il n'y a qu'à ouvrir la collection des 
documents officiels de la Nouvelle-Ecosse pour en trouver la preuve : 

" Ils possèdent les meilleures et les plus grandes terres de cette province, écrivait en 
1754 le gouverneur Lawrence ^ aux lords du commerce, et je ne puis m'empêcher de 
penser qu'il serait beaucoup mieux, s'ils refusent de prêter serment, qu'ils en fussent 
chassés." ' 

D'autre part, les lords du commerce lui répondaient le 20 octobre suivant : 

' Lawreuce avait été nommé lieutenant-gouverneur de la Nouvelle-Ecosse en 1754. 

- They possess the best and largest tracts of land in Ihe Province. . . I cannot help being of opinion that it 
vi'ould be much better, if they refuse the oaths, that they were away. — Extract from a letter of Governor Laurence 
to Lords of trade, August 1st, 1754. — Selections from the Publie Documents of the Province of Nora Scotia, p. 213. 


"Si le juge eu chef est d'opiuion qu'eu refusant de prêter serment sans réserve, ou en 
désertant leurs établissements pour se joindre aux Français, ils ont forfait à leur litre de 
propriété, nous désirerions que des mesures efficaces fussent prises pour mettre à exécution 
par un procédé légal une telle forfaiture, afiii de vous mettre en moyen de concéder leurs 
terres à toutes personnes désirant se fixer en cet endroit, où nous croyons qvi'un établisse- 
ment serait d'une grande utilité, s'il pouvait être effectué dans l'état actuel des choses ; 
et comme M. Shirley ' a insinué dans une lettre à Lord Halifax qu'il est probable qu'on 
pourrait se procurer un nombre considérable d'habitants de la Nouvelle-Angleterre pour s'y établir, 
vous feriez bien de le consulter sur ce sujet." - 

Si les colons américains ne sont pas venus s'emparer des terres des Acadiens immé- 
diatement après leu.r expulsion, c'est qu'il était trop dangereux de s'y fixer à cause du 
voisinage de ceux des habitants c[ui s'étaient réfugiés dans les bois avec les sauvages. ^ 

La chute du fort Beauséjour, qui mit presque toute la presquïle aux mains des 
Anglais, décida du sort des Acadiens. Quoiqu'on en ait dit, la prestation du serment 
qu'on avait cessé de leur demander ne les aurait pas sauvés ; car elle ne leur eût arraché 
du cœur ni leur attachement à leur religion, ni leurs sympathies pour les Français. Au 
fond ce fut là leur grand crime, c[ualifié par les uns de fanatisme, par les autres d'héroïsme, 
selon le point de vue où chacun se place. La preuve, c'est que ceux d'entre eux qui 
avaient prêté serment ne furent pas plus épargnés cjue les autres ; ils furent comme eux 
condamnés à la déportation. 

Détestés par les Anglais, contre lesquels un certain nombre d'entre eux étaient tou- 
jours plus ou moins prêts à se ligner malgré leurs intérêts, délaissés par les Français du 
moment que ceux-ci ne pouvaient plus se servir d'eux comme d'instruments, ils n'avaient 
de véritables amis que les missionnaires, dont les cpnseils leur paraissaient les plus désin- 
téressés. Peut-on leur reprocher d'avoir eu complètement tort en écoutant leurs avis ? 

Les missionnaires n'ont-ils pas été les seuls qvxi leur soient restés fidèles dans leur 
malheur ? Jj'abbô Maillard, par exemple, l'un des plus remarquables, n'a-t-il pas continué 
à servir ceux qui s'étaient réfugiés dans les parages du golfe ? N'est-il pas mort au milieu 
d'eux, usé de fatigues et de privations ? * 

L'abbé DesenclaA'es n'a-t-il pas vécu dans les bois avec ceux qui avaient cru trouver 

' Gouverneur du Massachusetts. 

- .... If the Chief Justice should be of opinion that, by refusing to take the oaths without a reserve, or by- 
deserting their settlements to join the French, tliey have forfeited their Title to their Lands, we could wish that 
uroper measures were persued for carrying such forfeiture into execution by legal process, to the end that you 
might be enabled to grant them to any person desirous of settling there, were we apprehend a settlement would be 
so great utility, if it could, as Mr. Shirley has hinted in a letter to the Earl of Halifax, that there is a probaljility of 
getting a considerable number of People from Kew-England to settle there, you would do well to consult him 
upon it. — Extract from, a Idler of Lords of Trade and Plantations to Goeernor iaicrajcc, Whitehall, October 29th, 
1754, p. 237. 

" Ce n'était pas le désir qui faisait défaut. Joshua Winslow écrivait du fort Lawrence au colonel Winslow en 
date du 23 septembre 1755 : "You have a fine Parcel of Stock. ( C'est ainsi qu'il désignait les captifs acaJ ens ). 
I wish they were Equally Distributed among a number of Good Faaiilys tmrf (/it; Lands well Settled." — Journal 
du colonel Winslow; extraits pohlUs par la Société Historiejuc de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, v. Ill, p. 139- 

Cette convoitise datait d'un demi-siècle ; elle avait été l'un des motifs qui avaient engagé, en 1710, les provin- 
ciaux de la Nouvelle-Angleterre à s'enrôler dans l'expédition de Nicholson contre Port-Royal. — Collections of Nova 
Scotia Historical Society, v. IV, p. 22. 

* A Halifax, oiî il mourut en 1768, il fut assisté à ses derniers moments par des Acadiens et des sauvages. 


une retraite du côté du Cap-Sable, jvisqvi'à ce que, traqué par les Anglais, il eût été fait pri- 
sonnier avec les siens et jeté sur les côtes de la Nouvelle- Angleterre ? 

Et l'abbé Leloutre lui-même, dont la conduite fut inexcusable à certains égards, et 
qui s'attira les justes reproches de son évêque, u'eut-il pas, du moins, le mérite de payer 
de sa personne, d'exposer sa vie bien des fois pour ses ouailles ? ' Si les Acadieus l'a- 
vaient écouté lorsqu'il les pressait d'émigrer, lorsqu'il leur disait qu'ils étaient sur un 
volcan, qu'ils n'avaient pas de pires ennemis que ceux qui les entretenaient dans une 
fausse sécurité, n'auraient-ils pas échappé à la déportation ? Et, au moment de la crise, si 
sa bravoure et son infatigable énergie eussent été secondés par Vergor, u'aurait-il pas pu 
rallier les Acadiens et les sauvages des environs de Beauséjour, empêcher la chute de ce 
fort, et par là même rendre impraticable l'attentat des Mines? A son retour en France, 
après sa captivité en Angleterre, n'a-til pas passé le reste de ses jours à réunir les Acadieus 
dispersés dans les ports d'Agleterre et à les former en paroisse à Belle-Ile en mer? 

Il est risible de lire les attaques dirigées dans le temps et aujourd'hui même contre 
les missionnaires des Acadiens. Ou leur a fait un crime impardonnable de leur attache- 
ment à la France, et d'y avoir exhorté les Acadiens. Quelques-uns ont sans doute manqué 
de prudence et ont poussé trop loin leur zèle patriotique : leur devoir leur imposait une 
certaine réserve ; mais n'était-ce pas une intolérable tyrannie que d'exiger d'eux davantage ? 
Les Prussiens de nos jours tiennent une main de fer sur le clergé de l'Alsace-Lorraiue ; 
mais qui songe à faire un crime à celui-ci de rester fidèle à la France, et d'entretenir le 
peuple dans ce sentiment ? 

Il faut lire les documents relatifs à l'Acadie pour se faire une idée des tracasseries et 
des in.sultes auxquelles étaient soumis les missionnaires. Outre viu serment sévère qu'on 
exigeait d'eux, ils étaient soumis à un espionnage continuel, et ils n'avaient pas même la 
liberté de sortir de la province sans un permis spécial. 

C'étaient des hommes modérés, " écrivait d'eux en ItOl un des agents les plus actifs 
de la déportation, l'honorable Brook Watson. Et cependant, sur une vingtaine de mis- 
sionnaires qu'eurent les Acadiens de ITl-S à 1Y55, huit furent bannis et plusieurs autres 
jetés en prison. 

L'évêque de Québec, dont le clergé était peu nombreux, avait toutes les peines du 
monde à envoyer des prêtres dans ces ergastules de la Nouvelle-Ecosse. Le clergé qui 
trouvait un ministère pastoral beaucoup plus facile au Canada, refusait de s'y rendre ; et 
l'évêque avait fini par déclarer qu'il n'enverrait plus de missionnaires chez les Acadiens. 
Ce ne fut qir'à force de supplications de leur part qu'il consentit à s'occuper d'eux plus 


Lorsque, après la prise de Beauséjour, Mouckton communiqua au colonel Winslow^ les 
instructions secrètes qu'il avait reçues du gouverneur Lawrence pour l'expulsicm des 
Acadiens, les Anglo- Américains étaient sous l'impression toute vive de l'humiliante défaite 

' Le gouverneur Cornwallis avait offert cent livres sterling pour sa tête. 
^ Collections of the Nova Hcotia Historical ibodetij, v. II, p- 150. 

Sec. I, 1886. — 6. 


de Braddock à Mouoiigahela. Les alarmes et le surcroît d'animosité qu'avait excités ce 
désastre expliquent en partie la manière barbare dont cet ordre fut préparé et exécuté. 

Mais il faut bien aA'ouer aussi qu'il était dilRcile de trouver un groupe d'hommes 
mieux faits pour tramer et accomplir une telle entreprise: chefs et soldats étaient animés 
du même esprit. Lawrence, qui en fut le principal organisateur, s'est peint lui-même dans 
une proclamation signée de sa main en 1756. Par cette proclamation, il promettait une 
récompense de trente livres sterling pour chaque prisonnier sauvage, du sexe masculin, 
au-dessus de seize ans, amené vivant ; A^ngt-cinq livres pour chaque scalpe de guerrier 
sauvage et la même somme pour chaque sauvagesse ou enfant amené vivant.' C'était le 
même Lawrence qui reprochait aux Acadiens de lui enlever l'amitié des sauvages. 

Murray, dont on connaîtra le caractère par la suite de ce récit, écrivait à "VVinslow en 
lui parlant des troupes : " Vous savez que nos soldats détestent les Acadiens, et que, s'ils 
peuvent seulement trouver un prétexte pour les tuer, ils les tueront." ^ 

Embarqué le 14 août, à Beauséjour, avec un détachement de trois cent treize miliciens 
de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, "Wiuslow descendit la baie de Chignectou, et, profitant de la 
marée, pénétra dans le bassin des Mines, où il vint jeter l'ancre en face de Grand-Pré. 

Le vétéran américain, qui avait accepté cette mission indigne d'un soldat, n'avait pas 
l'âme tranquille, car il avait la conscience du rôle odieux qu'on lui faisait jouer, et de la 
flétrissure qu'il allait attacher à son nom. Plusieurs passages de son journal laissent 

^ Histoire de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, par B. Murdoch, v. I, p. 308. 

^ Journal de Winslou', p. 107. 

Beamish Murdoch dans son Histoire de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, v. II, p. 47, cite le jugement de l'amiral Knowles 
sur les soldats anglo-américains qui composaient la srarnison de Louisbourg où il commandait: He calls the New- 
England soldiers lazy, dirty and obstinate: "Every one I found, here, from the generals down to the corporals, 
were sellers of rum." 

L'extrait suivant d'une lettre du rév. Hugh Graham au rév. Dr Brown, d'Halifax, datée de 1791, achèvera de 
faire connaître le caractère des soldats américains : 

" A party of rangers of a regiment chiefly employed in scouring the country of the deluded French who had 
unfortunately fallen under ihe bann of British policy, came upon four Frenchmen who had all possible caution, 
ventured out rom their skulking retreats to pick some of the stragtrling cattle or hidden treasure. The solitary 
few, the pitiable four, had just sat down weary and faint on the banks of the desert stream in order to refresh 
themselves with some food and rest, when the party of Rangers surprised and apprehended them, and as there 
was a bounty on Indian scalps, a blot, too, on England's escutclieon, tlie soldiers soon made the supplicatint; signal 
the officer'a turned their backs, and the French were instantly shot and scalped. A party of the Rangers brought 
in one day 25 scalps, pretending that they were Indian's, and the commanding offi<'er at the fort, then Col. Wilmot, 
afterwords Governor Wilmot ( a poor tool ) gave orders that the bounty should be paid them. Capt. Huston who had 
at that time the charge of the military clie&t, objected such proceedings both in the letter and spirit of them. The 
Colonel told him, that according to law the French were all out of the French, that the bounty on Indian scalps 
was according to : " Law, and that tho' the law might in some instances be strained a little, yet there was a neces- 
" sity for winkin; at such things." Upon account, Huston, in obedience to orders, paid down £250, telling that 
the " curse of God should ever attend such guilty deeds." A considerable large liody of the French were one time 
surprised by a party of the Rangers on Peticoudiac River; upon the first alarm mcst of them threw themselves 
into the river and swam across, and by way the greater part of them made out to elude the clutches of these 
bloody hounds, tho' some of them were shot by tlie mercdcss soldiery in tlie river. It was observed that these 
Rangers, almost without exception, closed their days in wretchedness, and particularly a Capt- Danks who even 
rode to the extreme of his comm ssion in every barbarous proceeding. In the Cumberland insurrection (late war) 
he was suspected of being " Jack on both sides of the bush," left that place, Cumberland, in a small jigger bound 
for Windsor, was taken ill on the passage, thrown down into the hold among the ballast, was taken out at 
Windsor, is half dead, and had little better than the burial of the dog. He lived under a general dislike and 
died without any to regret his death." 


entrevoir les remords qui l'agitaieut. Au reste, il aurait fallu avoir dépouillé tout senti- 
ment humain pour n'être pas émvi à la pensée de tant de malheurs dont il allait être un 
des premiers auteurs. Sans doute, à ses yeux, les Acadiens étaient de grands criminels ; 
ils avaient résisté aux promesses aussi bien qu'aux menaces qu'on leur avait faites ; ils 
étaient un perpétuel danger pour son pays. Mais il se disait aussi que leur entêtement, 
qu'il qualifiait de stupide, avait pour mobile un sentiment que les hommes ont toujours 
respecté : celui de la religion et du patriotisme. Il ne pouvait se dissimuler qu'il y avait 
de la sincérité dans leur croyance, quelque superstitieuse qu'elle lui parût, et dans leur 
patriotisme puisqu'ils y sacrifiaient leurs intérêts ; et il pressentait que l'avenir serait plus 
sévère pour sa conduite que pour celle de ses victimes. 

" J'en ai pesant sur le cœur et sur les mains, écrivait-il.... J'ai hâte d'en avoir fini 
avec cette besogne, la plus pénible dans laquelle j'aie jamais été employé." ' 

Autour de lui se déroulait une nature riante, où tout respirait le calme et le bonheur 
de la vie champêtre. L'horizon bleuâtre des montagnes qui ferment au nord le bassin 
des Mines, et les âpres falaises, couronnées de forêts, du cap Blomedon qui en protège 
l'entrée, étaient noyés dans l'atmosphère chaude et vaporeuse du soleil d'août. Les eaux 
du bassin, gonflées par le flux, s'épanouissaient comme une nappe de lumière, en empilis- 
sant les digues et les rivières avix Canards, des Habitants, de Gaspareaux, dont les rivages 
étaient animés par des groupes de jeunes gens et d'enfants attirés par la curiosité. 

Au bord de l'eau s'étendait à perte de vue la Grand'Prée, toute jaunissante de mois- 
sons, ou animée par les troupeaux qui paissaient le riche gazon ; et au-delà, sur les pentes 
verdoyantes des coteaux qui entourent le bassin, étaient disséminées les maisons simples 
et rustiques des Acadiens, avec les villages de Grand-Pré et de la rivière aux Canards, 
surmontés des clochers de leiirs églises, qui se dessinaient sur l'arrière plan des hauteurs 
boisées qui encadrent l'horizon. 

Les habitants, dispersés dans leurs champs, interrompaient par intervalle leurs 
travaux pour se demander ce que signifiait l'arrivée de ces nouvelles troupes. Malgré les 
vagues rumeurs qui leur étaient venues de divers côtés, ils ne soupçonnaient évidemment 
pas l'épouvantable catastrophe qui était sur le point de fondre sur eux. Dans quelques 
jours cependant, ce vallon si paisible et qui abritait tant de familles heureuses, allait 
devenir le coin le plus désolé du monde. 

Winslow ne fit d'abord que jeter l'ancre devant Grand-Pré ; il remonta la rivière 
Pisiqnid (aujourd'hui l'Avon ), et débarqua ses troupes au village de Pisiquid où avait été 
bâti un fort en palissades nommé fort Edward, d'où le capitaine Murray avait l'œil sur la 
population environnante. Winslow fit dresser les tentes de ses soldats autour du fort, et 
passa quelques temps auprès de Murray pour concerter avec lui les moyens de préparer le 
piège qu'ils avaient à tendre, sans éveiller les souppons des Acadiens ; puis il redescendit 
à Grand-Pré. 

En l'absence du missionnaire, il fit venir quelques-uns des principaux paroissiens, 

1 Things are now very heavy on my heart and hands.... 1 impatiently wait.. . that once at length we may get 
over this troublesome aft'air, which is more grevions to me than any service I was ever employed in. — Journal 
of \Vin$lou\ p. 97, 134. 

Le commandant de Port-Royal, .John Handfield, à qui Winslow écrivait ces dernières parole", était poursuivi 
par le même sentiment de honte tt lui répondait: " I Heartily join with you in wishing that we were both of us 
got over this most disagreable and troublesome part of che service. — Journal r1i< \Vinsloii', p. 142. 


et leur enjoignit d'enlever les vases sacrés de l'église, car il voulait s'en servir pour faire 
son quartier général.' Cette profanation par laquelle Winslow inaugurait sou arrivée 
était de sa part une imprudence de nature à trahir ses intentions hostiles, et qui aurait 
dû, ce semble, éveiller la méfiance des habitants. Ceux-ci cependant n'en furent guère 
émus, ce qui prouve bien ce que valait le régime de douceur dont se vantaient les auto- 
rités officielles en reprochant aux Acadiens de s'y être montrés ingrats. 

Mais les Acadiens avaient fini par s'endurcir aux A'^exations et à s'endormir au bord 
de l'abîme. Ils avaient cru donner des preuves suffisantes de leur neutralité en livrant 
leurs armes. Ce fut leur dernière faute et la plus grande ; car elle les laissait à la merci 
de leurs ennemis. Ceux-ci n'eurent plus qu'à attendre une occasion favorable pour tendre 
leurs pièges et les y faire tomber. Elle était venue. 

"Winslow transforma l'église en arsenal et eu salles d'armes, dressa les tentes de ses 
soldats sur la place publique, et s'établit lui-même dans le presbytère. Pour prévenir 
toute surprise, il fortifia son camp d'une enceinte de palissades, et il écrivit au gouver- 
neur Lawrence, qui lui avait exprimé la crainte que les habitants en fussent alarmés : 
" Ces travaux ne leur ont pas causé la moindre inquiétude, car ils y ont vu la preuve qu.e 
le détachement doit passer l'hiver au milieu d'eux."- Et Winslow concluait en disant 
que, les récoltes n'étant pas encore terminées, il était convenu avec Murray d'attendre 
jusqu'au vendredi suivant pour publier l'ordre du gouverneur. 

Le 30 du mois, Murray, venu du fort Edward à Grand-Pré, s'enferma dans le pres- 
bytère avec Winslow pour conclure les derniers préparatifs. Il fut convenu que Winslow 
sommerait toute la population mâle des environs de Grand- Pré de venir le rencontrer à 
l'église pour entendre l'ordonnance du roi, et que Murray ferait de même à Pisiquid. 
Winslow fit alors entrer les officiers qu'il avait sous ses ordres, leur fit prêter serment de 
garder le secret, et leur communiqua ses instructions et ses plans. Aucun d'eux ne fit 
d'objection, et Murray reprit le chemin du fort Edward. 


Dans la journée du dimanche, le dernier que les pauvres Acadiens avaient à passer 
en paix au sein de leurs familles, Winslow eut la satisfaction d'observer qu'il n'y avait 

' Afin de priver les Acadiens de leurs conseillers les plus éclairés, et par là de mieux assurer le succès du 
complot, Lawrence avait donné ordre de s'emparer d'avance des missionnaires soit par la ruse, soit par la force 
ouverte. Les trois desservants de cette partie de la baie, MM. Chauvreulx, Daudin et Lemaire, avaient été arrêtés 
dès le milieu de juillet précédent, conduits à Halifa.x et détenus séparément sur la flotte de l'amiral Boscawen. Ils 
furent ensuite envoyés en Angleterre d'oii ils passèrent en France. 

Ces actes de violence n'avaient pas trop surpris leurs paroissiens, car ceux-ci étaient habitués â voir leurs 
prêtres en butte aux persécutions. Il faut bien avouer aussi que les Acadiens, aveuglés par tant d'intérêts qui les 
attachaient à leur pays, refusaient obstinément d'ouvrir les yeux à l'évidence. Ils avaient été inutilement avertis 
depuis longtemps. Le plus clairvoyant de leurs missionnaires surtout, l'abbé Leloutre, avait en vain accumulé sur 
sa tête toutes les colères et toutes les haines de leurs ennemis, en démasquant sans relâche leurs projets ; les pré- 
dictions de cette autre Cassandre n'avaient pas été plus écoutées que celles de la fatidique Troyenne. Simples et 
droits, les Acadiens étaient faciles à tromper ; leurs oppresseurs, plus perfides que les Grecs, le savaient, et ils ne 
reculaient devant aucune trahison pour y arriver. On verra par certaines citations qui vont suivre, dans quel 
réseau de mensonges les malheureuses victimes avaient été enveloppées. 

' Journal de Winslow, p. 85. 


aucun mouvement inusité dans le village. La seule contrariété qu'il éprouvât fut de voir 
que les moissons n'étaient pas encore toutes rentrées, et qu'ui.e partie allait peut-être 
échapper à la destruction. Il avait pu le constater durant une tournée qu'il venait de 
faire dans le voisinage avec une cinquantaine de ses hommes. 

• iJes croisées ouvertes du presbytère il était témoin ce jour-là d'une scène qui ne 
pouvait manquer de se graver dans sa mémoire, et qui lui revenait sans doute lorsqu'il 
traçait certains passages de son journal, où l'on devine les pensées troublantes qui l'obsé- 
daient, comme ce qui suit, par exemple : " Nous aurons bientôt les mains pleines de l'af- 
faire désagréable qui nous oblige à chasser un peuple de ses anciennes habitations, les- 
quelles dans cette partie du pays, ont une très grande valei;r." ^ 

C'est que, malgré lui, il établissait un contraste terrible entre la douce pastorale qu'il 
avait sous les yeux et les scènes de désespoir cj^u'il allait provoquer dans quelques jours. 
Ce contraste lui apparaissait d'autant plus violent qu'on était précisément à l'époque de 
l'année où le bassin des Mines offrait le coup d'œil le plus séduisant, et que, du point de 
vue où il était, il embrassait tout l'ensemble et les détails de ce charmant paysage avec le 
mouvement rural qui l'animait. 

On se sentait au milieu d'une atmosphère de quiétude et de sérénité, dans cette soli- 
tude lointaine et ignorée du monde, autour de cette nappe d'eau, à peine moirée par la 
brise, abritée comme un lac, là-bas, par des hauteurs bleuissantes, plus près par le pro- 
montoire abrupt du cap Doré, ici par un cercle de pentes douces terminées par la G-rand' 
Prée. On y entendait beugler les vaches qui remontaient vers les étables où les atten- 
daient les laitières. Il n'y avait pas jusqu'au chant du grillon, caché dans l'herbe, qui ne 
rappelât le bonheur domestique. 

Ce bonheur, il est vrai, n'avait pas atteint ce degré de perfection, cet idéal qu'ont 
voulu y voir certains auteurs qui en ont fait des tableaux de fantaisie : VAcadie n'a jamaiis 
été VArcadie. Les Acadieus avaient leur part des misères et des défauts qui sont l'apanage 
de l'humanité. Un bon nombre d'entre eux étaient processifs comme les Normands leurs 
pères, jaloux les uns des autres, comme les Canadiens leurs frères. Ils n'étaient pas tou- 
jours dociles, obéissants à leurs missionnaires, comme l'ont supposé quelques auteurs 
aussi loin en cela de la vérité que les idéalistes qui les ont représentés comme des hommes 
parfaits ; mais, eu général, ils étaient bons, affables et serviables. L'esprit français, tou- 
jours gai, toujours \iï, prompt aux reparties, s'était conservé parmi eux, bien qu'ils 
n'eussent d'autre instruction que les solides principes du christianisme. Modérés dans 
leurs goûts, simples dans leurs habitudes, ils avaient peu de besoins, et ils étaient contents 
de leur sort. L'incomparable fertilité de leurs terres, moins difficiles à ouvrir et à cultiver 
que celles du Canada, leur donnait en peu d'années assez d'aisance pour établir leurs 
enfants autour d'eux, et pour jouir d'une vieillesse heureuse. Quant à leur moralité, elle 
n'a pas besoin d'autre preuve que l'étonnante fécondité des familles, qui n'a été égalée 
que par celle des pasteurs boers du Transvaal. " 

' Sh 11 soon have our bands full of désagréable business to remove people from their ancient habitations 
which, in this part of the country, are very valuable. — /oMr»aZ de Winslow, p. 72. 

'' Voici un témoignage non suspect de la pureté des mœurs et du caractère des Acadiens, écrit en 1791, par 
l'honorable Brook Watson, qui avait commandé le détachement envoyé à la baie Verte pour en enlever les habi- 
tants et brûler les maisons. 

" C'était un peuple honnête, industrieux, sobre et vertueux ; rarement des querelles s'élevaient parmi eux. 
En été les hommes étaient constamment occupés à leurs fermes, en hiver ils coupaient du bois pour leur chauffage 


La population de Grand-Pré était répandue par essaims dans le village, ou apparais- 
sait aux fenêtres ouvertes et devant les portes des maisons. Çà et là s'élevaient des cris 
joyeux d'enfants attroupés sous les arbres des vergers chargés de fruits, ou des voix de 
femmes qui chantaient pour endormir leurs nouveaux-nés. Quelques Adeillards, assis sur 
les clôtures, fumaient tranquillement leurs pipes en devisant du lendemain. Des groupes 
de garçons et de jeunes tilles, vêtus de leurs habits du dimanche, passaient, en cairsaut, 
aiix abords de l'église : les jeunes gens habillés d'étoffe tissée à la maison ; les jeirnes filles 
portant jupon et mantelet, coiffées de chapeaux de paille tressée de leurs mains. Bien des 
couples qui, en ce moment, se faisaient des aveux et formaient des projets d'union, étaient 
loin de se douter qu'ils étaient à la veille d'être séparés pour ne plus jamais se revoir. 


Dans la journée du mardi, Winslow prétexta une excursion en chaloupe du côté de 
Pisiquid, pour s'assurer aiaprès de Murray que rien n'y avait transpiré de leur guet-apens ; 
et ils s'entendirent pour faire aux deux endroits l'assemblée à trois heures de l'après-midi, 
le vendredi suivant. Ils rédigèrent ensuite la sommation aux habitants qu'ils firent tra- 
duire par un marchand de l'endroit nommé Beauchamp. 

La voici : 

" John "Winslow, écuyer, lieutenant-colonel et commandant des troupes de Sa Majesté, 
à Grand- Pré, les Mines, la rivière aux Canards et les lieux adjacents. 

" Aux habitants des districts sus-nommés, aussi bien aux anciens qu'aux jeunes gens 
et aux petits garçons. 

" Comme Son Excellence le goiTverneur nous a instruit de sa dernière résolution, con- 
cernant les matières proposées récemment aux habitants en général, eu personne, Sou 
Excellence désirant que chacun d'eux fût parfaitement informé des intentions de Sa Majesté 
qu'il nous a aussi ordonné de a'ous communiquer, telles qu'elles nous ont été données ; 

et leurs dôtures, et faisaient la chasse; les femmes sVccu paient à carder, filer et tisser la laine, le lin et le chanvre 
que ce pays fournissait en abondance. Ces objets, avec les fourrures d'ours, de castor, de renard, de loutre et de 
martre, leur donnait non seulement le confort, mais l)ien souvent de jolis vêtements. Ils leur procuraient aussi 
les autres choses néi/essaires ou utiles au moyen du commerce d'échange qu'ils entretenaient avec les Anglais et 
les Français. 11 y avait peu de maisons oii l'on ne trouvât pas une barrique de vin de France. Ils n'avaient d'au- 
tres teintures que le noir et le vert; mais afin d'obtenir du rouge dont ils étaient remarquablement épris, ils se 
procuraient des étoffes rouges an^^laises qu'ils coupaient, ec.7i(/jfa!t';U, cardaient, filaient et tissaient en bandes dont 
étaient ornés les vêtements des femmes. Leur pays était tellement abondant en provisions que j'ai entendu dire 
qu'on achetait un bœuf pour cinquante chelins, un mouton pour cinq, et un minot'de blé pour dix-huit deniers. On 
n'encourageait pas les jeunes ^ens à se marier à moins que la jeune fille ne pût tisser uue mesure de drap, et que le 
jeune homme ne pût faire une paire de roues. Ces qualités étaient ju^.;ées esseitielles pour leur établissameiit, et 
ils n'avaient guère besoin de plus, car chaque fois qu'il se faisait un mariage, tout le village s'employait à établir 
les nouveaux mariés. On leur bâtissait une maison, défrichait un morceau de terre suffisant pour leur entretien 
immédiat; on leur fournissait des animaux et des volailles; et la nature, soutenue par leur propre industrie, les 
mettait bientôt en moyen d'aider les autres. Je n'ai jamais entendu parler d'infidélité dans le mariage parmi 
eux. Leurs lungs et froids hivers se passaient dans les plaisirs d'une joyeuse hospitalité. Coionie ils avaient du 
bois en abundance, leurs maisons étaient toujours Confortables. Les chansons rustiques et la danse étaient leur 
principal amusement."' — ColU étions of Nova Scotia Historical Society, v. II, p. 132. 

Voilà ce qu'avaient fait des Acadiens les prêtres dont on a cherché, de nos jours comme de leui-s temps, à 
flétrir la mémoire. On juge de l'arbre par ses fruits. 


" Nous ordonnons donc et enjoignons strictement par ces présentes à tous les habi- 
tants, aussi bien des districts sus-nommés que de tous les autres, aux vieillards de même 
qu'aux jeunes gens, et aussi à tous les garçons de dix ans, de venir à l'église de G-rand-Pré 
vendredi, le cinq courant, à trois heures de l'après-midi, afin que nous leur fassions part 
de ce que nous avons reçu ordre de leur communiquer; déclarant qu'aucune excuse ne 
sera admise sous aucun prétexte que ce soit, sous peine de confiscation de leurs biens 
meubles et immeubles. 

" Donné à Grrand-Pré, le deux septembre en la vingt-neuvième année du règne de 
Sa Ma,jesté, A. D. 1755." ' 

Une proclamation semblable fut rédigée au nom de Murray pour les habitants du 
district de Pisiquid. 

La veille de l'assemblée, les deux commandants dépêchèrent leurs officiers A^ers les 
principaux centres pour afficher cette proclamation. Ils trouvèrent partout les habitants 
sans défiance, occupés dans les champs à acheA'^er leurs récoltes. 

Le lendemain, dès l'heure de midi, tout le détachement américain était sous les armes 
devant le portail de l'église de Grand-Pré, les fusils chargés, prêts à faire feu. Dans la 
matinée, une distribution de poudre et de balles avait été faite aux soldats. 

Winslow, en grand uniforme, entouré de sou état-major, stationnait devant le presby- 
tère. Ses regards inquiets se tournaient souvent A'ers les différents chemins qui condui- 
saient à Grand-Pré, et il ne put réprimer sur ses traits l'expression de la joie secrète qu'il 
éprouva lorsqu'il les vit se peupler de longues files d'habitants, les uns à pied, venant des 
environs, les autres en voiture, arrivant des Mines, de Gaspareaux, de la rivière aux 
Canards et de l'intérieur des terres. 

Winslow, dont le portrait a été conservé, n'avait pas la tournure d'un colon américain ; 
puissant de taille, il paraissait plutôt un gros Anglais, joufilu, rubicond, avec des yeux à 
fleur de tête, vrai type qui convenait à une pareille exécution. 

A trois heures précises, quatre cent dix-huit Acadiens de toiit âge étaient réunis dans 
l'église. Quand les derniers furent entrés, et les portes fermées et gardées, le commandant, 
accompagné de quelques officiers, vint se placer debout, dans le chœur, devant une table 
sur laquelle il posa ses instructions et l'adresse qu'il avait à lire. 

Il promena un instant ses regards sur cette foule de figures hâlées par le soleil, qui le 
fixaient dans un anxieux silence ; puis il leur lut l'adresse suivante que traduisait à mesure 
un interprète : 

" Messieurs, j'ai reçu de Son Excellence le gouverneur Lavrrence les instructions du 
roi, que j'ai entre les mains. C'est par ses ordres que vous êtes assemblés, pour entendre 
la résolution finale de Sa Majesté concernant les habitants français de cette sienne province 
de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, où depuis près d'un demi-siècle vous avez été traités avec plus 
d'indulgence qu'aucuns autres de ses sujets dans aucune partie de ses Etats. Vous savez 
mieux que tout autre quel usage vous en avez fait. 

" Le devoir que j'ai à remplir, quoique nécessaire, m'est très désagréable et contraire 
à ma nature et à mou caractère, car je sais qu'il doit vous être pénible étant de même 
sentiment que moi. Mais il ne m'appartient pas de m'élever contre les ordres que j'ai 
reçus ; je dois y obéir. Ainsi, sans autre hésitation, je vais vous faire connaitre les instrtrc- 

' Journal de Winsloio, p. 90. 


tions et les ordres de Sa Majesté, qui sont que vos terres et vos maisons, et votre bétail et 
vos troupeaux de toutes sortes sont confisqués par la couronne, avec tous vos autres effets, 
excepté votre argent et vos objets de ménage, et que vous-mêmes vous devez être trans- 
portés hors de cette province. 

" Les ordres péremptoires de Sa Majesté sont que tous les habitants français de ces 
districts soient déportés ; et, grâce à la bonté de Sa Majesté, j'ai reçu l'ordre de vous 
accorder la liberté de prendre avec vous votre argent et autant de vos effets que vous 
pourrez emporter sans surcharger les navires qui doivent vous recevoir. Je ferai tout en 
mon pouvoir pour ciue ces effets soient laissés en votre possession et que vous ne soyez pas 
molestés en les emportant, et avissi que chaque fiimille soit réunie dans le même navire ; 
afin que cette déj)ortation, qui, je le comprends, doit vous occasionner de grands ennuis, 
vous soit rendue aussi facile que le service de Sa Majesté peut le permettre ; j'espère que 
dans quelque partie du monde où le sort va vous jeter, vous serez des sujets fidèles, et un 
peuple paisible et heurenx. 

" Je dois aussi vous informer que c'est le plaisir de Sa Majesté que vous soyez retenus 
sous la garde et la direction des troupes qvie j'ai l'honneur de commander." ' 

Winslow termina son discours en les déclarant tous prisonniers du roi. 

Il est plus facile d imaginer que de peindre l'étonnement et la consternation des 
Acadiens en écoutant cette sentence. Ils comprirent alors que les vagues soupçons qu'ils 
avaient refusé d'entretenir étaient trop fondés ; et que cette assemblée n'avait été qu'un in- 
fâme piège où ils s'étaient laissé prendre. Cependant ils ne réalisèrent pas du premier coup, 
toute l'horreur de leur situation : ils se persuadèrent que l'on n'avait pas réellement 
l'intention de les déporter. Ils ne pouvaient se figurer qu'il eut pu se trouver un ministre 
anglais à Londres pour conseiller au roi d'Angleterre de tendre un tel piège et de signer 
un pareil arrêt. Et ils avaient raison : c'était un audacieux mensonge. Jamais pareil 
ordre n'était parti d'Angleterre. L'initiative en était due à Lawrence, poussé par ses 
subalternes anglo-américains, c[ui voulaient à tout prix assouvir leur haine contre les 

La révélation de ce fait prendra par surprise bien des lecteurs accoutumés à croire le 
contraire ; cependant elle est appuyée sur les documents officiels les plus authentiques, sur 
les dépêches mêmes du ministre de Londres au gouverneur Lawrence en personne. 

Après la prise de Beauséjour, celui-ci s'était empressé d'en annoncer la nouvelle en 
Angleterre, et, dans sa dépêche, il insinuait en termes assez vagues son projet de déporter 
les Acadiens en masse. 

Le secrétaire d'Etat, sir Thomas Robinson, ne comprit pas toute la portée de ses 
paroles, mais il en fut alarmé, et il se hâta de lui répondre : " On ne voit pas clairement 
si vous avez intention d'enlever tous les habitants français de la péninsule... ou bien si 
vous entendez parler seulement de ceux des habitants trouvés à Beauséjour, quand ce fort 
a été évacïié par la garnison.... Quelle que soit votre intention, il n'y a pas de doute... que 
vous avez considéré les conséquences pernicieuses qui pourraient résulter d'une alarme 
qui aurait pu être donnée à tout le corps des Français neutres, qu'une insurrection soudaine 
pourrait être le résultat du désespoir, et aussi quel nombre additionnel de sujets utiles 
pourrait être donné, par leur fuite, au roi de France. Par conséquent il ne peut trop vous 

' Journal de Windmv, p. 94. 


être recommandé d'user de la plus grande précaution et de la plus grande prudence dans 
votre conduite vis-à-vis ces neutres, et d'assurer ceux d'entre eux en qui vous pouvez avoir 
confiance, particulièrement lorsc[u'ils prêteront serment à Sa Majesté et à son gouverne- 
ment, qu'ils peuvent demeurer dans la tranquille possession de leurs terres, sous 
une législation convenable." " 

Cette réponse est en date du 13 août l'ISS, c'est-à-dire précisément au moment où 
Lawrence mettait à exécution son complot et déchaînait ses limiers américains. 

On voit maintenant sur cjui retombe la responsibilité de la déportation des Acadiens. 
Le cabinet de Londres y lut complètement étranger ; il recommandait à ce moment-là 
même, aA'ec la plus vive instance, les mesures de paix et de couciliation. Cette déporta- 
tion l'ut due au zèle indiscret de ses représentants en Américfue Cjui, obsédés sans cesse par 
leurs entourages, fléchirent devant leur fanatisme, et, disons-le aussi, devant leur frayeur. 

Il n'y a pas un mot dans cette dépèche qui ne soit uue contradiction de la conduite 
de Lawrence. Ce fait est si remarquable que nous croyons devoir nous arrêter un instant 
à étudier cette dépêche pour mieux faire ressortir cette contradiction. 

Et d'abord, elle dévoile que Lawrence avait dissimulé sou projet de bannissement 
général : "Il parait, dit-elle, par votre lettre du 28 juin, c^ue vous avez donné des ordres 
au colonel Moackton de chasser en tous cas, hors du pays, les habitants français désertés (de leurs 
terres ). On ne A^oit pas clairement, ajoute la dépêche, si vous avez intention d'enlever tous 
les habitants français de la péninsule, dont le nombre s'élève à plusieurs mille... ou bien 
si vous entendez parler seulement de ceux des habitants trouvés à Beauséjour, quand ce 
fort a été évacué par la garnison ; ce dernier projet parait plutôt avoir été votre intention, 
puisque vous ajoutez, que si M. Moncklon désire l'assistance des habitants français désertés, pour 
mettre les troupes à fubri, vu que les casernes du fort français ont été démolies, il pourrait leur faire 
faire tout le service en leur pouvoir." 

N'est-il pas manifeste, d'après ce passage, que Lawrence avait dissimulé son plan dans 
sa lettre ? 

Ensuite quelle ligne de conduite hxi trace le secrétaire d'Etat? Sont-ce les mesures 
d'intimidation et de rigueur qu'il lui conseille ? Tout au contraire, il lui impose le plus 
strict devoir {il cannot be too much recommended to you) d'agir avec la plus grande précaution 
et une extrême prudence, non seulement pour ne pas alarmer les Acadiens et exposer 
l'Angleterre à perdre, par leur fuite, ces sujets utiles ; mais de plus il lui enjoint de les 
rassurer, particulièrement ceux qui viendront prêter serment d'allégeance, et de leur 
garantir la tranc[uille possession de leurs terres. " Ce qui m'a engagé à attirer A'otre atten- 
tion toute particulière sur cette partie de A'otre lettre, a,joutait sir Thomas Eolîinson, qui 
évidemment redoutait les violences de Lawrence, c'est la proposition qui m'a été faite, pas 
plus tard qu'au mois de mai dernier, par l'ambassadeur de France, savoir : " Qu'il soit 
" accordé trois ans aux habitants français de la péninsule pour s'en retirer avec leurs effets, 
" et que tous les moyens de faciliter ce transport leur soient aussi accordés. Les Anglais, 
" ajoutait l'ambassadeur, devraient regarder .sans nul doute cette proposition comme très 
" avantageuse pour eux." A quoi il a plu à Sa Majesté de faire la réponse suivante que je 
vous envoie pour votre particulière information, savoir : " Qa'en ce qui regarde laproposi- 
" tion d'accorder trois ans aux habitants français de la péninsule pour émigrer, ce serait 

^ Archives de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, p. 279. 

Sec. I, 1886. — 7. 


" priver la Grande-Bretagne d'un nombre très considérable de sujets utiles, si une telle 
" émigration s'étendait aux Français qui habitaient cette province au temps du traité 
" d'Utrecht et à leurs descendants." 

Voilà quelles étaient les instructions émanées du cabinet de Londres. Il n'y a pas à 
Sf méprendre sur l'esprit qui les avait dictées : c'était un esprit d'apaisement et de paci- 

On reste épouvanté quand on les compare avec la conduite tenue par Lawrence. Où 
étaient, de sa part, les mesures de précaution et d'extrême prudence pour ne pas alarmer 
ces sujels viiks ? 

N'avait-il pas, au contraire, fait tout en son pouvoir pour les pousser à ce désespoir 
dont le secrétaire d'Etat lui marquait les perui<-ieuses conséquences? Toutes leurs armes 
leur avaient été confisquées et jusqu'à leurs canots de pêche et toutes leurs autres embarca- 
tions. Quand leurs députés étaient venvis à Halifax, dans le cours de l'été, pour supplier 
Lawrence de leur restituer ces objets, ils les avait accablés de reproches et de menaces en 
refusant de les leur rendre. ' E&t-il étonnant qu'après de pareils traitements, ils aient été 
effrayés de prêter le serment sans réserve qu'il exigeait d'eux avec la rigueur d'un pro- 
consul romain ? Et ce qu'il y a de plus incroyable, c'est qu'après toutes ces intimidations, 
lorsque ceux d'entre eux qui se décidèrent enfin à prêter ce serment si redoutable à leurs 
yeux, se présentèrent devant Lawrence, celui-ci, au lieu de les accueillir avec une extrême 
précaution et prudence, et de leur assurer la tranquille possession de leurs terres, les repoussa avec 
hauteur en leur disant "qu'il était trop tard ; et que désormais ils seraient traités comme 
des réélisants pajMstes " et il les fît mettre en prison.- 

Nous le demandons : qu'y a-t-il de commun entre cette conduite barbare et les instruc- 
tions du cabinet de Londres ? N'est-il pas évident qu'il y avait chez Lawrence une déter- 
mination bien arrêtée de se débarrasser à tout prix des Acadiens, ces ennemis invétérés de 
notre religion, comme écrivait le même Lawrence dans la dépêche où il annonçait leur 

' Arcltives de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, p. 247 et suivantes. ^ Idem, p. 256. ^ Idem, p. 281. 

Lawrence savait très bien qu'il n'avait pas le droit de présumer de la volonté du gouverneinent anglais. Il 
n'avait qu'à ouvrir les déi êches adiessées depuis longtemps à ses prédécesseurs pour lire les ordres les plus formels 
à cet égal d, ci nmje celui-ci par exemple : 

" .... You aie not to atttmjit tlieir removal without His Majesty's positive order." — Archhes de la Kourdle- 
Eeosse, p. £8. Et cette retimniandation à lord Ccrnvallis : " ....We doubt not but that you will continue using 
all possible means that may jnevent the French inhabitants retiring from the province." — Id., p. 611. 

Le cabinet de Londres n'avait pas osé signer l'ordre d'expulsion, parce qu'il se rappelait que la position fausse 
faite aux Acadiens était due à son attitude et à celle de ses agents vis-à-vis d'eux, surtout au serment de neutralité 
que des gouverneurs leur avaient permis de prêter. L'honneur de l'Angleterre était engagé dans ce dilemme: ou 
protéger les Acadiens, ou les laisser partir librement. 

Ceux qui veulent étudier cette question au point de vue légal peuvent consulter une savante dissertation 
publiée sur ce sujet par un historiograpbe américain. 11 démontre que les Acadiens furent bannis, non pas pour 
délit jiolitique, mais à cause de leur religion, et qu'on ne prit pas la peine d'observer les formalités les plus élémen- 
taires de la loi. 

Nous en extraj'ons le passage suivant : 

" Supposing, now, that the Englisli laws against Popish Recusants applied to the inhabitants of the British 
Colonies— a point which is surely not very certain and though maintained by a Xew England Winslow in 1755, 
would liave been gravely questioned by a New England Adams in 1775— we come to consider what recusancy was, 
and what the penalties for recusancy were. 

" The recusancy bad to be established by indictment and trial. A person could be convicted only " upon 


Ah ! s'il y avait eu à Halifax un vrai représentant du cabinet de Londres, les Acadiens 
n'auraient pas été bannis, et cette tache n'aurait pas été infligée à la civilisation. 

Les événements de la guerre, qui se précipitèrent durant les années suivantes, détour- 
nèrent l'attention des ministres anglais, et leur firent accepter les faits accomplis/ 


Quand, après la fameuse assemblée du 5 septembre, les prisonniers acadiens virent 
Wiuslow sortir de l'église, quelques-uns des plus âgés le suivirent au prosbytèi'e et le con- 
jurèrent de leur permettre d'aller avertir leurs familles de ce qui venait de se passer, de 
crainte qu'elles ne prissent trop d'iuqviiétude. Après s'être consulté avec ses officiers, il 
consentit à laisser sortir chaque jour vingt des prisonniers, mais à la condition que les 
autres répondraient de leur retour. Chaque famille devait être enjointe d'apporter des 
vivres pour ceux des siens qui étaient détenus. 

Murray écrivit le même jour à Winslovv qu'il avait réussi à s'emparer de cent quatre- 
vingt trois hommes ; et tous deux se félicitèrent de leur succès. Mais leur joie fut tem- 
pérée par les nouvelles qu'ils reçurent de Port-Royal et de Chipoudy. 

" in'lictment at tlie King's suit or a regular action or information on tlie statute of 23 Eliz. I, or an action of debt 
" at the King's suit alone, according to the statute of 35 Eliz. I." * Fines were imposed for recusancy, and if tliese 
were not paid Uie crown «as empowered, " by process out of the excliequer, to take, saize and enjoy all the goods, 
" and two parts as well of all tlie lands, tenements and hereilitaments, leasas and farms, of such offender- . . leaving 
" the third part only of the same Iannis, tenements and hereditaments, leases and farms, to and for the maintain- 
" ance and relief of the same ofiender, his wife, children and family." 

The severe acts of even Queen Kliziheth wnntni furtlier. Tliere was no provision by which the wife and 
children were punished for the otfence of the father, nor was he deprived of all liis lands. And even on conviction 
of recusancy, new proceedings were required before the crown could occupy the lands. " But as to lands and 
" tenements," says Cowdey, " there must first be an office found for the kind; for regularly bef ire the finding of 
" such oflice, lands or tenements cannot be seized into tlie King's hands." t 'ihe recusant was regarded as a 
tenant f t life, even of tlie two-thirds, winch went to the heir in remainder. The laws did not confiscate llie lands 
absolutely ; and these laws gave no authority whatever to any olHcer to seize the récusant and his whole family 
and carry them off. 

" There was no warrant whatever in English law for proceeding against Popish Recusants in the manner in 
which Lawrence and his Council did. And if there were individuals who were guilty of over acts of treason, they 
had power to punish them, but no law of Enland anthorizei the seizure of property of a whole coinuiuuity and the 
removal of their persons." — Tlie American Catholic Quarterly Review, October, 1884. The Acadian Confessors of 
the Faith, 1755, p. 596. 

* Couley's laivs as concerninç/ Jesuits, Seminary Priest, Becusants, etc., and concerning the oaths of supremacy and 
allegiance, p. 252. 

t Cowley's Laws, p. 104. 

' Certains historiens ont avancé qu'on n'avait eu recours à la déportation qu'après avoir. épuisé tous les moyens 
de douceur. Le cabinet anglais était loin, comme le prouve la dépêche de sir Thomas Robinson, d'être de ce 

Au reste, la persécution religieuse plus ou moins sourde qu'avaient eue à subir les Acadiens, et dont nous avons 
cité quelques exemples, miiige singulièrement ce prétendu régime de douceur. Nous pouirions au besoin multi- 
plier ces exemples. 


Les habitants de Port-Eoyal avaient eu vent de la conspiration, et s'étaient enfuis 
dans les bois ; ixu petit nombre seulement avaient été saisis. ' 

On a vu ce qui s'était passé à Chipoudy. Le major Frye en était encore tout cons- 
terné, le jour où il fit son rapport à Winslow. Et l'un de ses officiers ajoutait en le confir- 
mant : " Tout notre monde ici est dans la crainte c^ue vous, qui êtes au cœur de cette nom- 
breuse engeance démoniaque, n'éprouviez le même sort, ce dont je prie Dieu qu'il vous 
préserve." ^ 

Ces fâcheuses nouvelles firent craindre un soulèvement parmi les prisonniers. Il est 
probable qu'ils eu cherchèrent l'occasion, et qu'ils s'y seraient déterminés, s'ils n'avaient 
pas conservé quelque illusion sur le sort qu'on leur réservait. C'est ce que firent plus 
tard une bande d'entre eux à bord d'un des vaisseaux, dont ils s'emparèrent. 

Les jours qui suivirent l'assemblée, des patrouilles furent envoyées dans les différentes 
directions pour saisir ceux cjui avaient échappé à la première arrestation. Les soldats 
tiraient sans pitié sur tous ceux qui cherchaient à fuir. Un habitant du nom de Melançon, 
paraît-il, ayant aperçu une des patrouilles dans le voisinage de sa maison, s'était élancé sur 
un de ses chevaux pour gagner le bois ; mais une balle était venue l'atteindre et le jeter 
mort sur la route. Plusieurs autres eurent le même sort. Bientôt l'église de Grand-Pré, 
qui avait été convertie en prison, fut encombrée de près de cinq cents des malheureux 

L'enceinte palissadée servait de préau, où, durant le jour, un certain nombre avaient 
la permission d'errer à tour de rôle, sous l'œil des sentinelles, qui avaient ordre de tirer 
svir quiconque ferait mine de vouloir s'évader. 

On ne peut lire sans attendrissement la requête que les Acadiens présentèrent à Wins- 
low, peu de jours après leur détention. 

Il est de mode parmi leurs adversaires de les qualifier d'ignorants, d'hommes inférieurs, 
dénués de sentiments élevés. On va voir par cette requête admirable dans sa simplicité, 
quelle distance il y avait entre eux et leurs bourreaux. 

" A la vue, disaient-ils, des maux qui semblent nous menacer de tous côtés, nous 
sommes obligés de ré 'lamer votre protection et de vous prier d'intercéder auprès de Sa 
Majesté, afin qu'elle ait égard à ceux d'entre nous qui ont inviolablement gardé la fidélité 
et la soumission promises à Sa Majesté ; et, comme vous nous avez donné à entendre que 
le roi a ordonné de nous transporter hors de cette province, nous supplions que, s'il nous 
faut abandonner nos propriétés, il nous soit au moins permis d'aller dans les endroits où 
nous trouverons des compatriotes, le tout à nos propres frais ; et qu'il nous soit accordé 

'■ Le passage suivant d'une lettre de M. l'abbé LeGuerne, qui, comme on le sait, était mi'-sionnaire de Mem- 
ramcook, Peticoudiao et Chipoudy, révèle quelque chose des moyens perfides qu'on avait employés pour attirer les 

...." Il n'est point de trahisons dont l'Anglais ne se soit servi contre l'habitant, soit pour l'emmener, soit 

pour sonder ses intentions C'étaient des espérances des plus flatteuses... la paix ramènerait un chacun sur 

son ancienne habitation 

.... Le commandant anglais par ses promesses séduisantes, des offres captieuses, et par des présents même... 
avait cru me mettre dans ses intérêts. Se croyant donc assuré de moi, il me manda qu'il souhaitait de me voir 
incess.imment. Je me gardai bien des embûches qu'il me tendait ; à une lettre où il me pressait encore de bannir 
toute defiance et de me rendre au fort (Beauséjour), je répondis que je me souvenais que M. Maillard avait été 
embarqué malgié une assurance positive d'un gouverneur anglais, et que j'estimais mieux me retirer que de m'ox- 
poser en aucune manière." — 10 mars, 1756. 

^ Journal de Winslow, p. 102. 


un temps convenable pour cela, d'autant plus que par ce moyen nous pourrons conserver 
notre religion que nous avons profondément à cœur, et pour laquelle nous sommes con- 
tents de sacrifier nos biens." ' 

"Winslow, qui a couché cette requête dans son journal, n'a pas même soupçonné la su- 
blimité des sentiments qu'elle exprimait. Après l'avoir transcrite, il passe à l'ordre du jour 
sans ajouter un mot. 

Winslow était également resté sourd à toutes les supplications des femmes et des en- 
fants. Voyant les plus hardis s'indigner ouvertement et se concerter ensemble, il craignit 
qu'ils ne vinssent à se porter à quelque acte âe désespoir, et, sur l'avis de ses officiers, il 
résolut de profiter de l'arrivée de cinq vaisseaux de Boston qui venaient d'ancrer à l'em- 
bouchure de la rivière Gaspareaux, pour faire monter sur chacun d'eux cinciuante des 

Dans la matinée du 10 septembre, la garnison fut appelée sous les armes, et placée 
derrière le presbytère en colonnes adossées à l'un des longs pans de l'église qui faisait face 
aux deux portes de l'enceinte palissadée. Winslow fit alors venir celui des anciens, connu 
sous le nom de père Landry, qui, sachant le mieux l'anglais, servait ordinairement d'inter- 
prète, et il lui dit d'avertir les siens que deux cent cinquante d'entre eux seraient embar- 
qués immédiatement, et qu'on commencerait par les jeunes gens, qu'ils n'avaient qu'une 
heiire de délai pour se préparer, parce que la marée était sur le point de baisser. " Landry 
fut extrêmement surpris, ajoute Winslow ; mais je lui dis qu'il fallait que la chose fût 
faite, et que j'allais donner mes ordres." ^ 

Les prisonniers furent amenés devant la garnison, et rais en lignes, six hommes de 
front. Alors les officiers firent sortir des rangs tous les jeunes gens non mariés au nombre 
de cent quarante et un, et, après les avoir mis par ordre, ils les firent envelopper par quatre- 
vingts soldats détachés de la garnison sous le commandement du capitaine Adams. 

Jusqu.'à ce moment tous ces malheureux s'étaient soumis sans résistance ; mais, quand 
on voulut leur ordonner de marcher vers le rivage pour y être embarqués, ils se récrièrent 
et refusèrent d'obéir. On eut beau les commander et les menacer, tous s'obstinèrent dans 
leur révolte avec des cris et une agitation extrêmes, disant avec raison que, par ce procédé 
barbare, on séparait le fils du père, le frère du frère. Ce fut là le commencement de cette 
dislocation des familles, qui n'a pas d'excuse, et qui a marqué d'une tache inefiaçable le 
nom de ses aviteurs. 

Quand ou sait qu'i;ne partie de ces jeunes gens n'étaient que des enfants de dix à 
douze ans, et par conséquent bien moins redoutables que des hommes mariés dans la force 
de l'âge et qui avaient de plus grands intérêts à sauvegarder, on ne peut comprendre ce 
raffinement de cruauté. 

Il faut laisser Winslow lui-même raconter cet incident : " J'ordonnai aux prisonniers 
de marcher. Tous répondirent q.u'ils ne partiraient pas sans leurs pères. Je leur dis que 
c'était une parole que je ne comprenais pas, car le commandement du roi était pour moi 
absolu et devait être obéi absolument, et que je n'aimais pas les mesures de rigueur, mais 

' Joiirnal de Viinxhtr, p. 112. 

On ne dira pas que c'étaient les prêtres qui avaient dicté cette requête aux Acadiens ; il n'y en avait pas dATia 
les environs. MM. Chauvreulx, Dau lin, Le.Maire et Maillard avaient été faits prisonniers; LeGuerneétait fugitif, 
avec la plupart de ses paroissiens, vers le fond de la baie ; et Utsenclaves, avec les siens, du côté du Cap-Sable. 

^ Ju'urnal de Winslow, p. 109. 


que le temps n'admettait pas de pourparlers ou de délais, alors j'ordonnai à toutes les 
troupes de charger à la baïonnette et de s'avancer sur les Français. Je comman- 
dai moi-même aux quatre rangées de droite des prisonniers, composées de vingt- 
quatre hommes, de se séparer du reste ; je saisis l'un d'entre eux qui empêchait les autres 
d'avancer, et je lui ordonnai de marcher. Il obéit." ' Le reste des jeunes gens se rési- 
gnèrent à suivre, mais non sans résistance, et avec des lamentations qui firent mal à 
Winslow lui-même. Une foule de femmes et d'enfants, parmi lesquels se trouvaient les 
mères, les sœurs, les fiancées de ces infortunés, étaient témoins de cette scène déchirante et 
en augmentaient la confusion par leurs gémissements et leurs supplications. 

De l'église au lieu de l'embarquement la distance n'est pas moins d'un mille et demi. 
Elles s'attachèrent à leurs pas pendant tout ce trajet, en priant, pleurant, s'agenouillant, 
leur faisant des adieux, essayant de les saisir par leurs vêtements pour les embrasser une 
dernière fois. 

Une autre escouade, composée de cent hommes mariés, fut embarquée aussitôt après 
la première, au milieu des mêmes scènes. Des pères s'informaient de leurs femmes restées 
sur le rivage où étaient leurs fils, des frères, où étaient leurs frères, qui venaient d'être 
conduits dans les navires ; et ils suppliaient les officiers de les réunir. Pour toute réponse, 
les soldats pointaient leurs baïonnettes et les poussaient dans les chaloupes. 

Chaque famille eut ordre de nourrir les siens à bord, comme elle avait fait à l'église. 


En lisant les instructions de Lawrence, on est naturellement porté à croire qu'il ait 
au moins recommandé de ne pas séparer les membres d'une même famille en les dépor- 
tant ; mais il n'en nullement question, pas plus cjue dans les rapports Cjue lui adressait 
Winslow. ' 

Lawrence avait d'autres préoccupations : une de celles qu'il avait le plus à cœur, 
était de se faire choisir les plus beaux chevaux dans les écuries des Acadiens. Il avait 

^ " Order ye prisoners to march. They all answered they would not go without their fathers. I told 

them that was a word I did not understand, for that the King's command was to me absolute and should be 
absolutely obeyed and that I did not love to use harsh means, but tliat the time did not admit of parlies or delays, 
and tlien ordered the whole troops to fix their bayonets and advance towards the French, and bid the 4 right-hand 
files of the prisoners consisting of 24 men, which I told of myself to devied from the rest, one of whom I took hold 
(two opposed the marching ) and bid march : he obeyed and the rest followed, though slowly, and went of praying, 
singing, and crying, being met by the women and children all the way ( which is U mile ) with great lamentations 
upon their knees, praying, &c. — Journal de Window, p. 109. On a conservé l'orthographe de l'auteur. 

- Dans le mémoire secret adressé par Lawrence à Murray, on lit le passage suivant qui n'a pas besoin de com- 
mentaires : 

" Take an opportunity of acquainting the inhabitants that if any attempt by Indians or others to Destroye or 
otherwise ^lolest his Majestys Troops, you have my orders to take an Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth and in 
Shone Life for Life from the nearest >>'ighbours where such Mischiefe is Performed." 

"Choisissez une occasion pour prévenir les habitants que s'il se ftiit aucune tentative de la part des sauvages 
ou autres pour détruire ou molester de quelque manière les troupes de Sa Majesté, vous avez mes ordres de 
prendre œil pour œil, dent pour dent, en uu mot vie pour vie sur les plus proches voisins du lieu où s'accomplira 
tel méfait." 


donné tout exprès, pour cela, un sauf-conduit à un nommé Moïse LesDerniers qui fit une 
levée dans les différentes paroisses. ' 

Murray, que Lawrence avait chargé de lui rendre le même service, écrivait à "Wins- 
low : " J'ai vu plusieurs chevaux, mais je n'en ai trouvé aucun qui, je pense, puisse lui 
plaire, je suis informé aujourd'hui qu'il y a un cheval noir appartenant à un nommé 
Amand Gros, de Graud-Pré, qui, me dit-on, sera un cheval de selle qui conviendra à son 
goût. Je désire donc que vous soyez assez bon C[ue d'ordonner à René Leblanc, fils, ou à 
qiielques autres Français, de s'en emparer et de me l'amener. " 

^Yinslow espérait que les transports destinés à recevoir toute la population ne tarde- 
raient pas à arriver ; mais il fut trompé dans son attente. Sept de ces transports, expédiés 
de Port-Royal, n'entrèrent dans le bassin des Mines qu'aux premiers jours d'octobre. 

Quelle que fût la dureté de Winslow pour les habitants de Grrand-Pré, elle n'était 
rien comparée à celle que Murray montra à Pisicjuid. Elle n'était rien surtout comparée 
à la brutalité des soldats anglo-américains qu'inspiraient une haine invétérée et des luttes 
sanglantes contre les Acadiens. Winslow finit par eu être indigné, et ces désordres allèrent 
si loin qu'il dût publier uu ordre du jour défendant, sous peine de châtiment sommaire, à 
tous soldats et matelots de f[uitter leurs quartiers, afin, disait-il, de mettre fin aux dé- 
tresses d'un peuple eu détresse. ^ 

Trois des transports furent détachés du convoi et envoyés à Pisiquid, où, depuis des 
semaines, Murray les attendait avec impatience. Dans la lettre qu'il écrivait à Winslow pour 
lui annoncer leur arrivée, se trouve un passage où d'un trait il se peint lui-même : 
" Aussitôt que j'aurai dépêché mes vauriens (mi/ rascals) je descendrai pour arranger nos 
affaires et me reposer un peu avec vous." * 

Il écrivait quelques jours auparavant : " J'ai hâte de voir embarquer ces pauvres 
misérables.... Alors je me donnerai le plaisir de vous rencontrer et de boire à leur bon 
voyage. ' 

Dès que torat fut préparé pour le départ, le commandant fit une proclamation ordon- 
nant aux habitants de se tenir prêts pour le huit octobre. Winslow avait annoncé dans 
l'assemblée du cinq septembre que les familles ne seraient pas divisées et que les habi- 
tants de chac[ue village seraient, autant que possible, embarqués sur les mêmes navires. 
On a vu, par ce qui s'était passé lors du premier embarquement, ce cjne valaient ces pro- 
messes. Au reste, nous avons sous la main une masse de faits, recueillis parmi les descen- 
dants des Acadiens, c|ui prouvent que le nombre des familles démembrées fut considé- 

Tel était l'attachement de ces pauvres gens pour leur pays, que, malgré les déclara- 

' Permit the Bearer Moseis LesDerniers to go to Grand-Pré, to the River-i Cannard and Habitant to look for 
some horses for the use of the lieutenant governor and bring tlie same to this Fort. 

Fort Edward 3rd September 1755. A Murray, to all concerned. 

The number of horses mentioned above are six, A. M. 

Autre sauf-conduit au même par Winslow, 4 septembre. — Journal de Window, p. 91-93. 

Cette date du 4 septembre est à remarquer : c'était la veille de l'assemblée où tous les biens des Acadiens 
allaient être confisqués au profit de la couronne. Lawrence n'avait pas voulu perdre l'occasion d'être le premier 
à mettre la main impunément sur ce qu'il y trouvait de plus précieux. On saisit ici sur le fait l'esprit qui animait 
l'organisateur de l'expédition : on connaît celui des subalternes. 

'' Journal de Winslow, p. 108. ^ Idem, p. 113. 

* Idem, p. 171. ^ Idem, p. 108. 


tions les plus formelles, réitérées durant tout un mois, ils s'obstinaient encore à se faire 
illusion, et gardaient quelque espoir de n'être pas déportés. Ce ne fut qu'au dernier 
moment qu'ils ouvrirent les yeux. 

Il fiiut renoncer à décrire les scènes de cette lamentable journée du 8 octobre. On 
a peine à entendre même les récits imparfaits qu'en font aujourd'hui les petits-fils des 
exilés. C'est cette journée du 8 octobre qui leur est restte dans l'esprit, quand ils parlent 
parlent de Vannée du grand dérangement. 

Dès le matin de ce jour, des foules de femmes et d'enfants, venues de toutes les direc- 
tions, depuis la rivière Graspareaux jusqu'à Grand- Pré, des vieillards décrépits, dos malades, 
des infirmes, traînés dans des charrettes encombrées d'effets de ménage, des mères por- 
tant leurs nouveaux-nés dans leurs bras, étaient poussés vers la Grrand'Prée par des 
escouades de soldats sans pitié. Le chemin qui conduisait à travers cette grande plaine 
jusqu'au bord de la digue où se faisait l'embarquement, fut bientôt tout grouillant de 
cette masse d'êtres faibles et désespérés qui avaient peine à se mouvoir au milieu du 
tumulte et de la confusion générale. Des invalides, de faibles femmes chargées de far- 
deaux, tombaient de fatigue le long de la route, et ne se relevaient que sovts les menaces 
ou devant les baïonnettes. Les uns s'avançaient mornes et silencieux, comme frappés de 
stupeur, les autres en pleurant et en gémissant ; quelques-uns eu proférant des malédic- 
tions ; d'autres enfin, pris d'une exaltation pieuse, murmuraient des cantiques, à l'exemple 
des martyrs. ' Les cris des enfants effrayés C]u'ou entendait de tous côtés se mêlaient aux 
aboiements d'une multitude de chiens qui rôdaient autour de cette foule en cherchant leurs 

' Voici quelques fragments de cantiques que chantaient alors les Acadiens, et qu'on a retrouvés écrits sur des 
feuilles volantes, qu'ils emportaient parmi leurs objets les plus précieux. Une de ces feuilles se conserve au British 
Museum de Londres : 


Faux plaisirs, va'ns honneurs, biens frivoles, 
Ecoutez aujourd'hui nos adieux. 
Trop longtemps vous fûtes nos idoles ; 
Trop longtemps vous charmâies nos yeux. 
Loin de nous la futile espérance 
De trouver en vous notre bonheur ! 
Avec vous heureux en apparence, 
Kous portons le chagrin dans le cœur. 


Vive Jésus I 

Vive Jésus! 
Avec la croix, son cher partage. 

Vive Jésus, 
Dans les cœurs de tous les élus ! 
Portons la croix. 

Sans choix, sans ennui, sans murmure 

Portons la croix ! 
Quoique très amère et très dure, 
INIalgré les sens et la nature 

Portons la croix ! 


Mais ce fut au bord de la grève, à l'heure de l'embarquement, que la confusion fut 
extrême et que se passèrent les scènes les plus désolantes. Tous ces malheureux furent 
entassés pêle-mêle dans les chaloupes, malgré leurs plaintes, que la plupart des équipages 
ne comprenaient même pas, ne sachant pas leur langue ; et l'on ne prit pas plus de soin 
pour faire monter les membres de chaque famille dans les mêmes transports qu'on en avait 
mis lors de rembarc[uement des jeunes gens. Aussi est-ce en ce moment, d'après la tra- 
dition, qu'eut lieu le plus grand nombre de séparations. ^ 

Pour comble de malheur, Winslow se trouva ce jour-là dans une disposition d'esprit 
qui fit taire en lui le peu de sentiment hïimain qu'il avait pu montrer jusque-là. La 
veille de l'embarquement, vingt-quatre des prisonniers, profitant de l'obscurité de la nuit 
augmentée par la pluie, s'étaient échappés d'un des transports sans que les huit sentinelles 
de garde, ni les hommes de l'équipage, eussent pu lui en rendre compte. 

En apprenant cette nouvelle le matin même de l'embarquement, Winslow tomba 
dans un état d'exaspération dont lui-même donne la mesure dans le passage suivant de 
son journal : " Je fis faire l'enquête la plus stricte cju'il me fut possible pour savoir com- 
ment ces jeunes gens s'étaient échappés hier, et d'après toutes les circonstances, je recon- 
nus C[ue c'était un nommé François Hébert qui se trouvait à bord du navire et y embar- 
quait ce jour-là ses effets, qui en avait été l'auteur oii l'instigateur. Je le fis venir à terre, 
le conduisis devant sa propre maison, et alors, en sa présence, je fis brûler sa maison et sa 
grange, et je donnai avis à tous les Français que, dans le cas où ces hommes ne se ren- 
draient pas d'ici à deux jours, je servirais tous leurs amis de la même manière ; et non 
seulement cela, mais que je confisquerais tous leurs biens de ménage, et que si jamais ces 
hommes tombaient entre les mains des Anglais, il ne leur serait accordé aucun quartier." ^ 

Quand le soleil jeta ses derniers rayons sur le bassin des Mines une partie de la popu- 
lation était rendue à bord des navires. Cinq autres transports, arrivés les jours suivants, 
enlevèrent le reste. Cette chasse à l'homme s'était poursuivie avec une atroce activité sur 
tout le littoral de la baie de Fuudy. Dans les environs de Beauséjour, Monktou en avait 
capturé et expédié au-delà d'un mille ; Murray, onze cents à Pisiquid ; Winslow, deux 
mille cinq cent dix, dans des vaisseaux effroyablement chargés ; ^ enfin Handfield, seize 
cent soixante-quatre dans la baie de Port-Royal. 

Les débris de la population qui avaient échappé aux recherches, avaient pris la fuite 
dans les bois. Le nombre total des déportés acadiens dépassait le chiffre de six mille, * sur 
une population entière d'environ quatorze mille habitants. 

' De l'autre côté de la baie, dans les seules missions de Memramcook, de Peticoudiac et de Chipoudy, soixante 
femmes avaient été séparées de leurs maris, jetées de force dans les navires. — Ldlre de l'abbé LeGuerne à M. Pré- 
vost, 10 mars 1756. Plusieurs de ces mères avaient des garçons qui leur avaient aussi été enlevés. 

Il était souvent arrivé que des prisonniers avaient fait dire à leur famille de ne pas venir se rendre, dans 
l'espérance où ils étaient d'être rapatriés après la guerrs. 

2 Made the strictest enquiry I could how thrse young men made their escape yesterday, and by every 

circumstance found one Francis Uebert was either the contriver or abetter who was on Board Church and this day 
hiseflects shipt, who I ordered a shore, carryd to his own house and then in his presence burnt both liis house 
and barne, and gave notice to all the French that in case these men did not surrender themselves in two days, I 
should serve all their friends m the same manner and notonly so would confiscate their household goods and when 
ever those men should fall into the english hands, they would not be admitted to quarter. — Journal de Winslow, 
p. 166. 

^ I put in more than two to a tun, and the people greatly crowded. — Journal de Winslow, p. 179. 

* Haliburton porte ce chiffre à 7 ou 8,000. 

Sec. I,_18S6. — 8. 


Dans le Bassin des Mines, les transports, chargés de leur cargaison humaine, n'at- 
tendirent qu'un bon A'eut pour 1 ver leiirs ancres et cingler hors de la rade. Winslow eut 
un moment d'orgueilleuse satisfaction quand il les vit déployer leurs voiles et doubler, 
l'un après l'autre, le cap Blomedon. Il avait réussi au-delà de ses espérances. Toute 
cette vaste baie, où travaillait, comme un essaim d'abeilles, un peuple industrieux, était 
maintenant déserte. Dans les villages silencieux, où les portes et les fenêtres des maisons 
battaient au vent, on n'entendait plus que les pas de ses soldats et les mugissements des 
troupeaux qui erraient inquiets autour des étables, comme pour chercher leurs maîtres. 

D'après les ordres qu'il avait reçus du gouverneur Lawrence, toutes les constructions 
devaient être détruites, afin que les habitants échai^pés aux poursuites, privés d'asiles, 
fussent forcés de se rendre. 

Les derniers navires qui emportaient les exilés n'avaient pas encore franchi l'entrée 
du bassin des Mines, quand ces infortunés, qui jetaient un regard d'adieu sur leur cher 
pays, aperçurent des nuages de fumée qui montait du toit des maisons. En quelques ins- 
tants, toute la côte, depuis Gaspareaux jusqu'à Grand- Pré, fut en flamme, car les granges 
et les étables, toutes pleines de foin et de gerbt-s, ' prirent feu comme des traînées de 
poudre. Un cri de douleur s'échappa de toutes les poitrines. 

Mais ce fut surtout lorsque les Acadiens virent brûler la jolie église de la rivière aux 
Canards, dont l'incendie leur faisait voir clairement le sort qui attendait celle de Grand- 
Pré, c{ue leur désespoir fut inexprimable. " 

Ces deux temples surmontés de leurs gracieux clochers, et dont les boiseries inté- 
rieures, sculptées avec goût, étaient toutes en bois de chêne, leur avaient coûté tant de 
sacrifices ! Qu'étaient devenus les vases sacrés, les ornements d'église, dont plusieurs, fort 
riches, leur avaient été envoyés eu présent par le roi Louis XIV ? ^ C'était à la garde de 
leurs églises qu'ils aA'aient confié leurs morts abandonnés dans les cimetières. Ils avaient 
encore dans l'oreille les sons joyeux des cloches qui les appelaient aux ofiices des diman- 
ches et qui leur annonçaient l'angelus de l'aurore et du soir. Hélas ! ils savaient qu'ils 

^ Il n'y eut guère d'éparpné que les blé.s mis en farine pour la nourriture des troupes et des déportés. 

' Bâtisses brûlées par Winslow dans le district des Mines : 

Nov. Maisons. Granges, bâtisses. 

2 A la rivière Gaspareaux , 49 39 19 

5 A la rivière aux Canards, des Habitants, Perreault. 76 81 33 

6 A la rivière aux Canards et des Habitants 85 100 75 

7 A la rivière aux Canards et des Habitants 45 56 28 

255 276 155 


Moulins en différents endroits 11 

Eglise 1 

Total 698 

Le capitaine Osgood, resté quelques jours après le départ de Winslow, brûla l'église de Grand-Pré, qui avait 
servi de caserne, et ce qui restait de maisons. 

^ Le roi avait donné en 1705 un calice, un ciboire, un ostensoir en argent massif, et un ornement complet. 


allaient être jetés dans des contrées où ils ne verraient plus ces beaux offices, ni la robe 
noire de leurs prêtres ! 

Quand les habitants de Port-B,oyal réfugiés dans les bois avaient vu, comme eux, 
leurs maisons incendiées, ils n'avaient pas osé sortir de leur retraite ; mais quand ils 
avaient vu mettre le feu à leur église, ils s'étaient élancés furieux sur les im-endiaires, eu 
avaient tué ou blessé vingt-neuf et mis les autres en fuite ; puis ils s'étaient rejetés dans 
les bois. 

Décembre était avancé quand Winslow eut fini son œuvre de destruction. Il ne 
s'était pas hâté de prendre la mer, afin d'emmener ceux des fugitifs que la faim et la 
misère forçaient de sortir des bois. Les derniers embarqirés mirent à la voile, dans l'après- 
midi du 20 décembre, au nombre de deux cent trente-deux sur deux goélettes : l'une à 
destination de Boston, l'autre de Virginie. 

Il semble que Longfellow, qui a si bien chanté les malheiirs des Acadiens, et qui, 
paraît-il, n'a jamais vu Grrand-Pré, ait été assis en face du cap Blomedon, lorsqu'il écrivit 
ce beau passage par où s'ouvre sou poème d'Evangeliue : 

This is tlie forest primeval. The murmuring pines ami the liemloclcs, 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twiliglit, 
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic, 
Stand lilie harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 
Loud from its rocky caverns, tlie deep-voiced neiglibouring ocean 
SpealvS, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest. 

Th's is the forest primeval ; but where are the hearts that beneath it 

Leaped like the roe, when he liears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman ? 

Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers, — 

Men whose lives glided on like rivers tiuit water the woodhmds, 

Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflacting an image of heaven? 

Waste are those plwasant farms, and the farmers for ever departed ! 

Scattered like dust and leaves, wlien the mighty blasts of October 

Seize tliem, and wliirl tliem aloft, and sprinkle them far over tlie ocean ! 

Nought but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré. 

" C'est la forêt primitive. Les pins murmurants et les mélèzes vêtus de leur barbe de 
mousse et de leur robe de feuillage, se dressent, vagues et confus dans le crépuscule, 
comme les druides d'autrefois, et font entendre des voix tristes et prophétiques. L'océan 
voisin jette sa grande voix dans les cavernes sonores des rochers, et ses accents inconso- 
lables répondent aux soupirs de la forêt. 

" C'est la forêt primitive ; mais où sont les cœurs qui battaient comme celui du che- 
vreuil, quand il entend dans la bruyère la voix du chasseur ? Où sont les toits de chaume 
du village, la demeure de l'habitant acadien, dont la vie voilée par les ombres de la terre, 
mais reflétant l'image des cieux, s'écoulait comme les ruisseaux qui arrosent les terres 
vierges ? Les chaumières dévastées ont disparu, et leurs habitants sont partis pour tou- 
jours, dispersés comme la poussière et les feuilles, quand les violentes rafales d'octobre les 
saisissent et les font tourbillonner dans l'air et pleuvoir au loin sur l'océan ! Du joli 
village de Grand-Pré, il ne reste plus rien que la tradition." 



L'abbé LeGuerne a raconté quelques-uues des scènes navrantes dont il avait été 
témoin : ' 

" La plupart des malheureuses femmes ( des environs de Beauséjour ) séduites par de 
fausses nouvelles... emportées par l'attachement excessif pour des maris qu'elles avaient 
eu permission de voir trop souvent, fermant l'oreille à la voix de la relij^ion, de leur mis- 
sionnaire et à toute considération raisonnable, se jetèrent aveuglément et comme par 
désespoir dans les vaisseaux anglais. On a vu dans cette occasion le plus triste des 
spectacles ; plusieurs de ces femmes n'ont pas voulu embarquer avec leurs grandes filles 
et leurs grands garçons par le seul motif de la religion. ' 

L'expédition dirigée contre Cobequid troiiva le village abandonné, et ne put qu'incen- 
dier les maisons. Les Cubequites, (c'est ainsi qu'on les appelait ), traversèrent dans l'ile 
Saint-Jean, ( ile du Prince Edouard), où ils espéraient se mettre à l'abri de nouvelles atta- 
ques ; mais ils n'étaient qu'au commencement de leurs malheurs. 

Ils fiirent rejoints par cinq cents autres fugitifs des environs de Beauséjour et de 
Tintamarre qu'y fit passer l'abbé LeGruerne. 

La destination des déportés avait été préviie d'aA'ance par le gouverneur Lawrence 
qui, d'Halifax, avait dirigé toutes les opérations. Ils devaient être débarqués dans les 
principaux ports de mer du littoral américain, depuis la Nouvelle-Angleterre jusqu'à la 
Géorgie, c'est-à-dire sur une étendue de plusieurs centaines de milles. Cet ordre, dont 
peut-être Lawrence n'aperçut pas toutes les conséquences, fut le plus barbare et le plus 
fatal aux Acadieus, car il mettait un grand nombre de familles séparées dans l'impossibi- 
lité de se retrouver. 

Aucune raison ne peut justifier un pareil acte ; il eût été au contraire de bonne 
politique d'établir les Acadiens ensemble dans quelqu'une des provinces éloignées, où 
leur présence n'aurait offert aircun danger, où ils se seraient multipliés aA'ec la rapidité 
qu'on leur connaissait, et où ils auraient fini par devenir les citoyens fidèles de la grande 

Pendant que les transports cinglaient sur la baie de Fundy, un Acadien de Port- 
Royal, du nom de Beaulieu, ancien navigateur au long lours, ayant demandé au capitaine 
du navire où il était détenu aA^ec deux cent vingt-quatre autres exilés, en c|uel lieu du 
monde il allait les conduire : 

— Dans la première ile déserte que je rencontrerai, répondit-il insolemment. C'est 
tout ce que méritent des papistes français comme a^ous autres. 

Hors de lui-même, Beaulieu, qui était d'une force peu ordinaire, lui asséna un coup 
de poing qui l'étendit sur le pont. Ce fut le signal pour les autres captifs, qui probable- 
ment s'étaient concertés d'a^-ance. Quoique sans armes, ils se précipitèrent sur leurs 
gardes, en tuèrent quelques-VTUs et mirent les autres hors de combat. 

Beaulieu prit ensuite le commandement du transport, et alla l'échouer dans la riA'ière 
Saint-Jean, près de la mission que dirigeait alors les PP. Germain et De la Brosse. 

' L'abbé LeGuerne, qui a laissé une relation des événements de 1755, était natif de Bretagne. Homme de 

science, poète même à ses heures, il devint, après son retour des missions, professeur de pliilosophie au séminaire 
de Québec, à qui il légua sa bibliothèque et ses manuscrits. Il mourut en 17S9, curé de Saint-François de l'Ile 

^ Lettre de M. l'abbé LeGuerne, 10 mars, 1756. 


Durant les cinq années de guerre qui suivirent l'automne de 1755, toute la Nouvelle- 
Ecosse fut sillonnée de partis d'éclaireurs qui firent une chasse implacable aux fugitifs 
acadiens. Ceux-ci s'étaient divisés en deux courants : l'un qui remontait par étapes vers 
les frontières du Canada ; l'autre qui inclinait vers l'extrémité de la presqu'île, espérant 
trouver quelque asile inaccessible et des moyens de vivre au bord de la mer. L'abbé 
Desenclaves, qui avait accompagné une partie de ces derniers dans leur fuite de Port- 
Koyal, se trouvait encore au milieu d'eux en 1756, dans les environs du Cap-Sable. On 
voie quel était leur sort par l'extrait suivant d'une lettre qu'il écriA'ait à Québec en date 
du 22 juin : " Nous sommes en prières, disait-il, pour obtenir sur nous les miséricordes du 
Seigneur, mais il est à craindre que nos paroles ne manquent de la force d'une foi vive. 
Tout le Cap de Sable avait été à couvert de toute insulte jusqu'au 23 avril, qu'un village 
fut investi et enlevé ; tout fut brûlé, et les animaux tués ou pris, et une maison à quatre 
lieues de là eut le même sort, le même jour. Le dimanche après la Passion, on pillait une 
maison et on prit les bestiaux appartenant à M. Joseph Dentremont qui avait été pris à la 
pêche avec un fils à lui, un à sa femme et un garçon du Port-Royal. Il y avait à une 
petite lieue de la maison, mon presbytère et une modeste chapelle ; ils n'y ont pas encore 
été, ils n'ont pas même brûlé un petit oratoire que j'avais où ils ont été, le lundi de la 
Pentecôte. Ils forcèrent sans doute M. Joseph Dentremont de les conduire chez ses enfants 
dont ils en tuèrent un, lui enlevèrent la chevelure, pillèrent leur cabane, c^u'ils brûlèrent ; 
ils emmenèrent quelques animaux. Les autres enfants ont pris la fuite, tout 1*^ reste s'est 
retiré dans les bois faisant garde en cas de surprise. Je compte qu'ils auront de la peine 
à me trouver avec une vingtaine d'âmes qui sont avec moi ; nous n'avons rien laissé dans 
nos maisons, pas plus que dans l'église ; nous attendons ici la miséricorde du Seigneur. 
Si les choses ne s'accomodent pas, nous ferons notre possible pour gagner la rivière Saint- 
Jean au printemps ; si elles s'accomodent et que Mgr le veuille, j'irai finir mes jours dans 
quelque coin de communauté en Canada. Sinon, il faudra que je passe eu France d'où 
j'ai reçu des lettres d'instances tout fraîchement. Plaise à la miséricorde de Dieu de me 
faire connaître sa sainte volonté. Souvenez-vous de nous dans vos saints sacrifices." ' 

Cette lettre laissait assez prévoir ce qui devait arriver : l'abbé Desenclaves et son petit 
troupeau furent cernés, embarqués sur un navire et envoyés à Boston. 

Malgré ces dragonnades, un certain nombre de familles, entre autre celles du bassin 
des Mines et de Port-Royal, qui passèrent l'hiver de 1756 dans le voisinage de la baie de 
Fundy, parvinrent à se tenir cachées jusqu'à la conclusion de la paix, grâce surtout à l'ami- 
tié des sauvages. Ralliées ensuite par les missionnaires, leurs seuls et inséimrables amis, 
et rejointes par d'autres familles acadieunes, revenvies de l'exil, elles ont été l'origine des 
florissantes paroisses qu'on voit aujourd'hui autour de la baie Sainte-Marie. 


Du site aujourd'hui désert qu'occupait G-rand-Pré, on aperçoit un bon nombre d'habi- 
tations disséminées sur les hauteurs qui s'arrondissent autour du bassin des Mines ; mais, 
hélas! pas une de ces maisons n'est habitée par des Acadiens Elles ont été bâties sur 
les cendres de leurs foyers, x'ar des hommes étrangers à leur race, qui vivent en paix 
et richement sur ces domaines que d'autres mains avaient ouverts à la culture. Cette 

^ Archives de l'archevêché de Québec. 


pensée me donnait un serrement de cœur, chaque fois qu'en traversant la Grand'Prée, je 
jetais un coup d'œil sur le paysage environnant. 

Avant de m'éloigner, je voulus suivre le chemin qu'avaient parcouru les exilés jus- 
qii'au lieu de l'embarquement. Là, assis sur le talus de la grande digue au pied de 
laquelle venait battre l'océan, je restai longtemps à écouter le bruit mélancolique de ces 
mêmes flots qui avaient mêlé leurs gémissements à ceux des infortunés bannis. J'ouvris 
Evangeline et j'en lus les principaux passages. On conçoit ce que peut avoir de charmes 
une telle lecture faite sur le théâtre même des événements. J'invite ceux qui ont pris 
quelque intérêt à ce qui précède à relire le poème à.' Evangeline; ils se convaincront, malgré 
ce qu'ils ont pu voir de contraire dans des publications récentes, cjue la touchante élégie 
de Longfellow est en tout point l'écho fidèle et poétiqu.e de la tradition. 

9 octobre. — Au lever du soleil, promenade à pied sur les montagnes q\ii dominent 
Kentville. On y jouit d'iine vue à vol d'oiseau de la vallée par où coule la rivière Gaspa 
reaux, et du bassin des Mines, dont on est éloigné d'environ sept milles ; c'est un des plus 
gracieux panoramas de l'Amérique du Nord. 

Départ de Kentville par le train du matin. Le long de la route, comme en plusieurs 
endroits de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, je suis choqué des cris que poussent des attroupements 
d'enfants à l'arrivée du train aux gares ; on dirait des hurlements de loups furieux. Quelle 
différence avec l'excellente tenu.e de la foule qu'on rencontre dans les gares de chemin de 
fer de la province de Québec. Si de pareilles inconvenances se commettaient dans nos 
campagnes, les réprimandes sévères des curés y auraient bien vite mis un terme. On 
qualifie nos habitants de priest ridden. Je ne sais jusqu'à quel point les Néo-Ecossais 
écoutant leiirs ministres ; mais je puis assurer cju'ils n'y perdraient pas sous le rapport de 
la politesse, s'ils apprenaient à vivre sous la houlette de nos pasteurs. 

Le chemin de fer côtoie la rivière Annapolis ( autrefois rivière Dauphin ) depuis sa 
source jusqu'à son embouchure. Voici la Prée-Ronde, où florissait jadis une paroisse aca- 
dienne. Il n'en reste aucune trace, pas plus que de celle de Port-Royal, petite ville toute 
anglaise qui ne répond plus qu'au nom d'Aunapolis. Elle n'a d'autre intérêt que les 
ruines de son fort, aujourd'hui abandonné comme celui de Beauséjour. C'est le même 
système de fortification en terre, sur une plus grande échelle. La poudrière placée à l'abri 
d'une des courtines est très bien conservée et remarquable par la force de ses voûtes en 
plein cintre, dont les larges et épaisses briques ont la blancheur et la dureté du marbre. 

J'ai pour cicerone M. le juge Cowling, antiquaire du lieu, à c[ui m'a présenté en 
arrivant un excellent avocat d' Annapolis, M. Chesley, dont j'ai fait l'heureuse rencontre 
dans le train. 

Le juge, dont la conversation est très intéressante, me dit avec regret que le même 
esprit de mercantilisme ignare qui a failli faire perdre à Québec son cachet d'anticjuite 
en lui enlevant ses fortifications, règne à Annapolis. Des spéculateurs ont fait des tenta- 
tives auprès du gouvernement fédéral pour faire mettre en vente les terrains qu'occupe le 

— Ne serait-ce pas un crime de lèse-antiquité? ajoute le juge Cowling. Si l'attention 
du ministre était attirée sur ce sujet, nul doute qu'il ne prendrait des mesures pour faire 
veiller à la conservation de ces monuments du passé auxquels se rattachent tant de sou- 
venirs et qui sont si rares sur notre continent. 

Dans l'après-midi, excursion en voiture vers le haut de la rivière, au petit village 


d'Eqriille situé à deux milles de Port-Eoyal. Sur la falaise très escarpée au pied de 
laquelle coule la rivière, se voit encore des restes de fortifications d'une assez grande 
étendue. Au milieu d'un verger voisin une excavation indique l'endroit où existait, 
paraît-il, ime chapelle bâtie par les Français ; on y a découvert c|vielques petits ustensiles en 
or, qui ont dû servir à la mission. J'ai vu dans le salon du propriétaire de ce verger, M. 
Hoyt, deux de ces objets et plusieurs pointes de flèches et de lances en pierre taillées par 
les sauvages, et qvii ont été trouvées dans les alentours. 

10 octobre. — Départ d'Annapolis pour Saint-Jean, Nouveau-Brunswick. Ou comprend 
pourquoi les Français ont donné au bassin que nous traversons le nom de Port-Royal, 
quand on le parcourt par iine journée resplendissante comme celle dont nous jouissons. 
Cette vaste nappe d'eau c^ui ressemble à un lac, et qui ne communique avec la mer que 
par un étroit passage, est encaissée entre des hauteurs cultivées couronnées d'une guir- 
lande de forêts toujours vertes. Toutes les flottes du monde pourraient y ancrer à la fois 
et y manœuvrer à l'aise. 

Du gut de Digby à Saint- Jean, traversée très agréable par un beau clair de lune et un 
calme parfait. 

Deux jours après, je rentrais à Québec par l'Intercolonial, emportant avec moi des 
impressions et des souvenirs dont ces notes de voyage ne sont c^u'un A^ague reflet. 

Section I, 1886. [ 6S ] Mémoires Soc. Eoy. Canada. 

IV — Oscar Dimn, 

Par M. A. D. DeCelles. 

( Ln le 25 mai 1886.) 

Parmi les tombes qvie nous avons vues se creuser en si grand nombre, des deux côtés 
de notre route, depuis dix-huit mois, et que peut-être nous avons, hélas ! presque toutes 
oubliées, tellement ces deuils multipliés finissent par ne laisser que des impressions fugi- 
tives, îï s'en trovive une portant un nom que nous ne pouvons encore aujourd'hui prononcer 
sans éprouver un serrement de cœur. Ce nom éveille sans doute, chez vous comme chez 
moi, des regrets aussi vifs, si j'en juge par ce que je ressens, que le jour où la fatale nou- 
velle nous arrivait que sa main venait soudain de se glacer dans celles de l'ami qui le 
voyait passer, sans transition, de la vie active aux torpeurs de la mort. Vous ne l'avez pas 
oublié, en dépit des événements de tous genres qui sont venus nous impressionner si 
fortement pendant ces derniers mois ; vous ne l'avez pas oublié parce que DuNN appartenait 
à cette catégorie peu nombreuse d'hommes dont la perte est un véritable deuil, et qui 
laissent dans la mémoire de ceux qui les ont aimés de longs et durables souvenirs. C'était 
une physionomie d'élite qui ne pouvait rester dans l'ombre ; c'était une nature originale 
qui se détachait en un vif relief sur l'uniformité de la foule ; par-dessus tout, c'était un 
ami qui ne tenait pas à cetix qui l'affectionnaient par ces attaches banales d'un jour, 
nouées trop facilement, et rompues sans peine et sans secousse. Aussi quels regrets dans 
les milieiTX où il avait été répandu, lorsque l'on ai^prit sa fin foudroyante ! Ai-je besoin 
de peindre la poignante émotion que a'ous avez ressentie comme moi ? Ai-je besoin de rap- 
peler ces exclamations de douleur qui éclataient à Québec et qui trouvaient d'unanimes 
échos parmi ses amis de Montréal et d'Ottawa ? Notis qui n'avions pas été témoins du 
coup de foudre qui l'a enlevé, nous ne pouvions plus nous revoir sans donner cours à nos 
tristes pensées. Je n'ai jamais vu l'amitié survivre à la séparation suprême avec des sou- 
venirs plus persistants mêlés à des regrets plus affectueux. 

Si, le 15 avril 1885, nous étions frappés dans nos aftections les plus vives, ce jour-là, 
les lettres canadiennes et la Société Royale se sentaient, elles aussi, atteintes dans leurs 
plus chères espérances. Elles voyaient disparaître à 40 ans — âge où dans les autres pays, 
l'on commence généralement à se faire jour au sein de la foule — un homme à qui nous 
devons tant de travaux intellectuels, un publiciste qui a éparpillé dans ixne demi-dou- 
zaine de journaux, à Paris, à Québec, à Montréal, tant d'écrits fortement pensés, d'une 
forme si j)ersouuelle, d'une spontanéité si prime-sautière. 

Dunn était une de ces rares individualités qui, par la force de leur caractère, la nature 
de leur esprit, arrivent forcément aux premiers rangs. Marquées en quelque sorte du 
sceau du génie, emportées par une puissance extraordinaire, elles s'imi^osent à leur entou- 
rage, font accepter leur empire dans le domaine de l'intelligence. Il s'était révélé ce 

Sec. 1, 1886.— 9. 

66 M. A. D. DeCELLES 

qïi'il serait, de bonne hetire. "Dès ses premières années au collège de Saint-Hyacinthe, 
me disait un de ses anciens condisciples, Oscar Dunn était itu élève hors de pair ; noiis 
sentions une supériorité chez lui ; déjà s'ébauchait dans sa personne et ses manières la 
figure si caractéristique que nous avons connue. Aussi ses précepteurs le surveillaient-ils 
d'une façon toute spéciale comme un élève appelé à de belles destinées." A cette consi- 
dération que lui valait sa natvire d'élite, s'ajoutait un sentiment d'intérêt tout particulier 
qu'avaient fait naître les contestations judiciaires dont il avait été l'objet dans son enfance. 
On savait que, né d'un père protestant et d'une mère catholique, il était resté orphelin fort 
jeune, et qvie les deux familles, représentant son père d'une part et sa mère de l'autre, 
s'étaient disputées devant les tribunaux pour savoir s'il serait écossais et protestant, ou 
canadien-français et catholique. Cette contestation, qui avait fait dépendre de la parole 
d'un seul homme toute sa destinée, avait beaucoup impressionné Dunn, et elle ne fut pas 
sans influence sur ses idées. Est-ce à cet épisode si singulier de sa vie qu'il devait cette 
aversion si prononcée pour tout ce qui peut proA^oc[uer, dans notre état social, des ani- 
mosités religieuses ou nationales ? N'est-ce pas ce sentiment qui plaçait sur ses 'lèvres, 
quelques minutes avant sa mort, le vœu que les tristes événements du Nord-Ouest se 
dénoueraient sans catastrophe de nature à amener un choc entre les différentes nationa- 
lités de notre pays ? 

Pour un bon nombre des étudiants que nos collèges versent chacune année dans notre 
société, la vie publique se présente sous les dehors les plus fascinateurs ; c'est la terre pro- 
mise, l'Edeu que leurs lectures, leurs études littéraires et historiques leur ont fait rêver ; 
c'est l'avenue large et facile où l'on s'élance pour devenir Richelieu, Pitt, Cavour, G-lad- 
stone ou d'israéli. Hélas ! ces pauvres inexpérimentés, éblouis de loin par de rares succès 
que dissimulent à peine bien des revers de médailles, se doutent peu que cette avenue, 
qui, dans leur imagination, mène à tout, ne conduit le plus souvent, dans la réalité, qu'aux 
dégoûts, aux déceptions et parfois à la ruine ; ils ne se doutent pas de combien de misères, 
de sacrifices sont tressées les plus belles couronnes que nous oflre la décevante politique ; 
ils ne se doutent pas cruelle chaîne de désillusions portent eu même temps ses rares élus ! 
Oscar Dvmn, aA'ec sa nature généreuse, ses nobles instincts, ses grands rêves d'avenir, 
subit à un haut degré la fascination de la politique. Mais son ambition avait un but 
élevé, et il était trop fier, avait une trop haute idée de ce qu'il A'oulait entreprendre pour 
ne pas se préparer de la manière la plus sévère à la carrière qui l'attirait, et oii il devait 
éprouver tant de déceptions ! 

Il lui semblait que la meilleure préparation à la vie publique était le journalisme, 
qui, dans les conditions où il pouvait y entrer, le mettrait d'emblée en rapports avec les 
hommes marquants du pays, hii x^ermettrait d'étudier toutes les questions qui devraient 
être familières à quiconque aspire aiTx premiers rôles du théâtre parlementaire. A peine 
sorti du collège, il passa sans transition du banc de l'écolier au fauteuil de rédacteur du 
Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe. Il fit son apprentissage à rude école. Dès ses débuts, tout 
d'abord très remarqués, il eut pour adversaire un homme qui a été regardé comme un de 
nos plus forts polémistes ; la lutte s'engagea à la fois sur la politique et sur des questions 
de religion. Dunn, armé comme on peut l'être au sortir d'une classe de philosophie, eut 
toutes les audaces de la jeunesse qui l'empêchaient de se rendre compte de la force de son 
adversaire et de douter de la sienne ; il ne poussa pas cependant l'assurance jusqu'à négli- 
ger de fourbir ses armes par des études sérieiises et soutenues. Cette polémique politico- 


religieuse, qu'il meua plusieurs années durant contre M. Dessaulles, attira les yeux sur le 
jeune écrivain. Il eut bientôt son petit cercle d'admirateurs qui ne lui ménagèrent pas les 
applaudissements. Cette gloriole des premiers succès dont se gorgent et se contentent trop 
d'aspirants à la renommée, et qui en perd un grand nombre, ne l'éblouit point. Il n'y vit 
qu'un coup d'aiguillon, un encouragement à faire mieux, ayant trop de valeur, trop le sen- 
timent de la perfection pour ne pas sentir qu'il était loin d'avoir ville gagnée. Aussi saisit- 
il avec empressement l'occasion qui se présenta d'aller étudier à Paris. Il voulait eu quel- 
que sorte l'efondre, sous la surveillance de maîtres expérimentés, l'instrument si riche 
qu'il possédait, le couler dans un nouveau moule, afin d'être certain qu'il rendrait un son 
bien français. Il ne fut ni étonné, ni froissé lorsque ses aînés au Journal de Paris lui firent 
comprendre, en lui rendant ses essais chargés de corrections, qu'il lui restait — ce dont 
il se doutait — beaucoup à apprendre dans l'art si difficile d'écrire la langue de Racine et 
de Victor Hugo. 

Vous voyez. Messieurs, quelle idée Dunn s'était faite du journalisme et des études 
qu'il exige chez ceux c[ui le regardent comme une carrière ingrate, si vous A''oulez, mais 
après toiit très honorable. Il serait à souhaiter que ses opinions fussent partagées par 
un plus grand nombre de ses successeurs cjui croient n'avoir plus rien à apprendre dès 
qu'ils ont agencé quelques phrases boiteuses dans un journal, et cjui se posent en écri- 
vains parce cju'ils sont lus, la passion politique faisant tout accepter, jusqu'aux choses les 
plus incroyables. Ce n'est pas ainsi que Dunn entendait le journalisme, qui, à son sens, 
était une profession, tandis que pour d'autres il n'est qii'un de ces métiers faciles qui se 
peuvent exercer sans apprentissage. 

A son retour au Canada, Dunu fit partie de la rédaction de la Minerve, et c'est dans 
les colonnes de ce journal qu'il mena avec tant de verve et de vigueur, cette brillante série 
de campagnes dont se souviennent encore les dilettanti de la x^olitique. Il arriva bientôt 
à exercer une véritable influence non seulement à Montréal, mais dans une grande partie 
de notre province. Pour ne citer qu'un effet de l'autorité de sa parole, qu'il me soit permis de 
rappeler que personne ne contribua plus que lui à former l'opinion publique, lorsque ce 
que l'on appelle Vaffaire Guibord vint mettre en émoi le district de Montréal. La population 
ne paraissait pas d'abord saisir toute la portée de cette cause célèbre ; elle ne s'en rendait 
pas un compte bien exact, et, tout en s'inclinant devant l'autorité diocésaine, elle réclamait 
des explications. Une série d'articles d'une force de logique peu ordinaire, écrits avec 
cette chaleur et cette clarté qui étaient la caractéristique de sa manière, portèrent la con- 
viction dans les esprits ; et l'accord de la raison avec la foi aux décisions de l'évêque cou- 
ronnèrent cette démonstration, qui n'aurait pas déparé l'œutre d'un casuiste. 

Ce sera peut-être une révélation pour plusieurs d'entre nous, d'entendre dire que 
Dunn s'était nourri pendant plusieurs années de saint Thomas d'Aquin, et qu'il faisait 
alterner l'étude de l'Ange de l'Ecole avec celle de l'histoire, du droit et de l'économie poli- 
tique. Il faisait peu de cas de la littérature légère, lisait peu ou point de romans, et avait 
en horreur tout ce qui sentait l'imitation de la chronique parisienne. Son genre d'étude 
déteignait sur son style. Rarement, il laissait carrière à son imagination. Il allait droit 
au but, visait à la concision, avec une affection particulière pour le trait, le mot qui 
frappe juste. Il excellait à trouver la note exacte, pleine d'actualité, à réduire ses idées 
en formules qui se gravent dans l'esprit, qui peignent une situation ; il était arrivé à 
donner à ses pensées une intensité souvent remarquable. Personne n'enlevait comme lui 

68 M. A. D. DeCBLLES 

l'article d'actualité sur l'événemeut encore tout chaud ; personne ne s'entendait comme lui 
à arriver bon premier, pour créer au plus tôt cette impression qui reste soiiveut sur un fait 
tombé dans le domaine de la notoriété publique. Il avait en horreur les longs articles 
qui se traînent d'une colonne à l'autre. Parler haut et peu de temps, telle semblait être 
pour lui la devise du journaliste qui veut diriger l'oijinion publique. 

Je ne voudrais pas m'attarder à parler de son bon labeur à la Minerve, mais je ne puis 
m'empêcher de signaler une longue discussion à laquelle il prit une part active : c'est 
celle qui s'engagea dans la presse au sujet de l'université Laval. Je n'ai pas besoin de 
dire que, mettant de côté tout esprit de clocher, toute rivalité de ville, qui parait mesquine 
lorsqu'il s'agit de l'œuvre nationale et religieuse la plus en vue en Amérique, il embrassa 
la cause de cette grande institution. Il était convaincu, — permettez-moi de dire nous 
étions convainciis, puisque je combattais à ses côtés, — que la cause de Laval était intime- 
ment liée aux plus chers intérêts de notre famille française, et que, si cette institution, 
dont chacjue pierre coûtait un sacrifice, ou représentait un élan de dévouement à la patrie, 
à l'éducation, était perdue, la cause nationale elle-même en recevrait une terrible atteinte. 
Qui voudrait à l'avenir se sacrifier pour le pays, si des sacrifices qui se chiffraient par des 
milliers de dollars, si des actes de dévouement qui s'enchaînaient les uns aux autres 
depuis vingt-cinq ans, étaient tenus en si mince estime par ceux qui étaient appelés à eu 
profiter le phis ? 

C'est vers 18*72 que je devins son collaborateur à la Minerve, et, s'il m'était permis de 
mêler quelques souvenirs personnels à ces pages, je dirais que les années que j'ai passé 
avec Kri compteront parmi les plus heureuses de ma vie. Il était impossible de se donner 
un meilleur ami et un phis agréable camarade. Quel heureux temps si tôt envolé ! Com- 
bien il a fui trop vite en emportant dans son cours toiit ce qui compose le trésor des illu- 
sions et des bonheurs rêvés, mais pas même entrevus ! Sans souci de la fortune, un peu 
blasés sur les invites du monde, nous allions gaîment notre chemin, plus heureux que les 
millionnaires les plus enviés de la ville. Tout entier au journal, nous y traitions les ques- 
tions du jour avec entrain, avec plaisir même ; nous nous amusions parfois à y dévelof)per 
des théories sur les finances, c^ue nous ne pouvions pas, dans la pratique, soumettre à 
l'épreuve de l'application, à risquer des opinions politiques qui effarouchaient les amis du 
journal, et que l'on mettait sur le compte des écarts de la jeiinpsse. De délicieuses pro- 
menades à travers la ville venaient interrompre agréablement nos travaux, que nous 
reprenions à notre retour quand nos bureaux n'étaient pas encombrés de personnes venues 
de tous les points de la province. L'heure du lunch était la pkrs de la journée. 
Autour de la table du restaurant que nous honorions de notre confiance, sinon de nos 
folles dépenses, se trouvaient toujorrrs avec nous une foule d'amis prêts à commenter, à 
critiquer nos articles du matin. C'était l'heure de la conversation lancée à grand orchestre. 
Elle prenait une tournure absolument orageuse, quand Dunn, pour amuser les convives, 
amenait la discussion sur un terrain où ses idées se heurtaient à celles d'Achintre, un 
des convives habituels, qui apportait là toute l'exubérance du Midi, toute la fougue de 
la Provence. Les badauds, attirés par le bruit, croyaient qu'on allait s'égorger. Vous 
voyez leur naïve surprise lorsque, quelques minutes plus tard, après le café, ils aper- 
cevaient les bruyants convives sortir bras dessus bras dessous pour reprendre d'une fiiçon 
aussi prosaïque que pacifique le chemin du bureau. Pardon, Messieurs, de m'être laissé 
aller à ces souvenirs. J'ai a'ouIu marquer comment on faisait du journalisme à Montréal, 
en l'an de grâce 18'72. 


Comme je le disais tantôt, le jourualisme ne pouvait être ponr lui qu'une étape. Ce 
n'est pas ici une carrière où l'on puisse s'établir d'une façon permanente. Excellente école, 
le journalisme finit par amener la lassitude, et souvent l'homme de valeur qui s'y trouve 
■ attaché, s'aperçoit qu'après avoir poussé la fortune de tant d'autres, il n'a pas avancé la 
sienne. Dunn tenta d'entrer au parlement, à deux reprises, en 1872 et en 1875, aux élec- 
tions g-énérales qui eurent lieu à ces époques. Il ne put conquérir assez de suffrages pour 
obtenir un mandat. On dit que le plaideur malheureux a vingt-quatre heures pour mau- 
dire son juge ; le candidat déconfit jouit d'un privilège analogue : celui de prouver à qui 
veut l'entendre que s'il a été battu il n'y est pour rien, et qu'au contraire, si ses amis 
avaient suivi ses instructions, ou que s'il n'avait pas été trahi à la dernière heure, il aurait 
certainement été élu à iine majorité fabuleuse. Notre ami ne versa jamais dans cette fai- 
blesse. Il aurait pourtant eu le droit de déplorer sa défaite et d'en éprouver de profonds 
dégoûts ; mais, s'il en éprouva, jamais candidat battu ne dissimula mieux son amour 
propre froissé, et ne supporta mieux un revers. 

Dunn, entrant dans la vie publicj[ue, aurait voulu y faire aussi bonne figure que dans 
le journalisme. Le parlement était à ses yeux une illustre assemblée, dont nul ne dcA^ait 
faire partie s'il ne se sentait de force à ajouter à son prestige. Mais avait-il choisi le 
meilleur moyen de réussir ? Le peuple ne demande pas autant de sacrifices à ses éhrs ; il 
les veut plus près de lui, placés moins haut, plus accessibles. Comme tous les hommes 
d'étude, Dunn ne connaissait pas le peui)le, et négligeait trop les habiletés nécessaires au 
candidat qui veut faire la chasse aux électeurs. Ceux-ci, très indifférents à ces études qui 
avaient tant de prix aux yeux de Dunn, sont plus sensibles aux petites ruses, aux bons 
offices c[ui vont droit au cœur. C'est pourquoi nous voyons toujours au parlement beau- 
coup plus de candidats élus que de candidats véritablement dignes de l'être. 

Après son insuccès de 1875, il entra au ministère de l'Instruction pirblique à Québec, 
torit en caressant l'espoir, comme il m'en a souvent fait la confidence, que les événements 
lui permettraient un jour de réaliser ses espérances. Dans cette nouvelle sphère, il eut 
bientôt donné des aliments à son activité et à son besoin d'action. Il ne se laissa pas 
envahir par cette somnolence intellectuelle qui vient trop souvent surprendre le fonc- 
tionnaire piiblic condamné, par état, à une besogne routinière, ne laissant aucun élan à 
l'initiative individuelle, et fatale à bien des esprits d'élite. On le vit s'occuper de projets 
qui avaient pour bu.t de faA'oriser les intérêts matériels de la littérature canadienne, tout 
en contribuant à répandre davantage l'instruction populaire. Ils ont été jugés diverse- 
ment, mais, quel qu'en fût le mérite, ils n'en témoignent pas moins d'un désir sincère de 
travailler à la chose piiblique. 

Il continuait ses études, et pour y faire diversion, en même temps que pour répondre 
à ceux c|ui nous accusaient, nous Canadiens-français, de parler un patois incompréhen- 
sible hors de la province de Québec, il publia son Glossaire franco-canadien, remarquable 
travail, qui, malgré c[uelc[ues erreurs, n'eu reste pas moins un des titres les plus sérieux 
à la considération qui s'attache à son nom. Bien accueilli au Canada, apprécié de la façon 
la plus flatteuse en France, le Glossaire aurait eu, peu de temps après sa publication, les 
honneurs d'une seconde édition, si la mort lui avait laissé le temps de la préparer. 

A Québec, cette Aàlle si française par l'esprit et le cœur, Dunn conquit l'amitié de 
ceux cjui furent à même de le connaître. Il se fit remarquer dans un cercle qui comptait 
pour membres les esprits les plus cultivés de cette ville si attic^ue. Tous l'aimaient 


comme nous Tavioiis aimé à Montréal. C'était un ami comme il s'en rencontre rarement, 
le cœur et la bourse toujours ouverts, n'ayant que le regret de n'avoir pas la bourse aussi 
grande que le cœur. Que d'amis dans la détresse l'ont trouvé secourable ? C'était vers 
les amis dans l'adversité — chose assez rare — qu'il se sentait le plus fortement attiré. 

Brillant causeur, aimant la société des intimes, il apportait dans les rénnions la vie et 
la g-aieté II avait une façon à lui de raisonner ; il entrait brusquement en matière, d'un 
ton qui paraissait cassant, et qui pour nous n'était que l'éclat de sa franchise. D'une 
grande fermeté de caractère, plein d'égards pour ceux qui ne partageaient pas ses opi- 
nions, il est resté du commencement à la fin de sa carrière solidement ancré dans ses 
croyances. Catholique avant tout, il se disait heureux d'avoir conservé la foi de son jeune 
âge dans son intégrité. Eu passant à Rome, lors de sou voyage en Europe, il avait été 
présenté au Saint Père comme journaliste catholique, et il aimait à rappeler les incidents, 
de cette audience. Lorsque, après sa sortie de la presse, il réunit eu volume ses principaux 
articles, il donna pour épigraphe à ce recueil ces paroles que Pie IX lui avaient adressées : 
" Vous êtes bon catholique ; soyez droit d'intention, et Dieu vous sauvera de toute erreur." 
Lorsque, pendant les derniers temps de sa vie, quelques ennemis personnels firent planer 
des doutes sur son orthodoxie, il en ressentit de vives angoisses. Dédaignant de répondre 
à ses détracteurs, auxquels il n'aurait eu qu'à montrer ses états de service pour les écraser, 
il écrivit à l'autorité religieuse, de cette plume qu'il avait souvent et si utilement em- 
ployée à la défense de l'Eglise, une énergique protestation pour revendiquer l'honneur de 
sa foi indignement mise en suspicion. 

Hier, eu jetant les yeux sur les pages éloquentes qu'il écrivait à la mémoire de Lucien 
Turcotte, enlevé comme lui au milieu de la vie, en pleine maturité de talent, je me suis 
arrêté sur ce passage que je vais vous lire : " Hélas ! que nous reste-il de ce grand cœur, 
de cette belle intelligence ? LTn simple souvenir. C'est beaucoup pour l'exemple qu'il 
nous retrace ; qu'est-ce pour notre amitié ? qu'est-ce pour la patrie, qui ioudait tant 
d'espérances sur son enfant ? Ou dirait qu'une fatalité pèse sur les jeunes gens doués de 
o-énie. Les irns sont annihilés par les circonstances ou par les persécutions, les autres 
s'anéantissent eux-mêmes par la paresse ou les habitudes, et la mort enlève les plus irré- 
prochables. Eemontez seulement à vingt années en arrière ; comptez tous les jeunes 
o-ens marquants et même célèbres qui sont disparus de la scène pour des causes diverses, 
et dites si notre nationalité n'est pas bien inalheureuse de perdre ainsi tant de nobles 
défenseurs, sans avoir obtenu d'eux les services qu'ils pouvaient rendre ? 

Le ciel de ces élus devient-il envieux, 

Ou faut-il croire, hélas ! ce que disaient nos pères, 

Que lorsqu'on meurt si jeune on est aimé des dieux ? 

" Qui méritait plus que Lucien Turcotte une longue vie ? On serait tenté de croire 
à l'injustice du sort c^ui ue lui a pas permis de travailler longtemps pour son pays, si l'on 
ue savait que Dieu veille sur les peuples et les individus avec une infinie miséricorde." 

Ne dirait-on pas. Messieurs, que ces lignes ont été écrites pour Dunn lui-même, et ne 
vous semble-t-il pas quejenepuis mieux terminer, qu'en les lui appliquant, ce travail 
consacré à sa chère mémoire ? 

Section I, 1886. [ 71 ] Mémoires S. E. Canada. 

V — Les 'pages sombres de l'Histoire, 

Par J. M. LeMoine. 

( Lu le 2G mai 1SS6. ) 

La dispersion projetée des habitants de la Nouvelle -Yor/c, 1689. — Le massacre de Glencoe, 1692. — 

La dispersion des Acadiens, l'155. 

Messieurs, — J'aime à me figurer l'Hi.stoire comme un drame prolongé, varié, plein 
de my.stère, où le sombre l'emporte sur le gai, les ombres sur les rayons. Elle a, n'en 
doutons pas, plusieurs phases. 

Il en est une, selon moi, fort intéressante — utile, dirai-je — à étudier : celle où elle se 
réA'èle au point de vue de la morale, comme règle des actions humaines.. 

Dépouiller les principaux acteurs, si sympathiques, si séduisants qu'ils soient, de 
leurs paillettes, de leurs oripeaux, de leurs toges, de leur sceptre même ; les réduire à la 
taille, à la condition de simples mortels, sujets comme nous aux lois inexorables de la jus- 
tice et de l'humanité ; leur distribuer éloge ou blâme selon la dictée d'une froide équité, 
n'est-ce pas introduire un changement complet dans la mise en scène, et, pour bien des 
personnages, substituer la vérité aux mirages trompeurs du passé qui les entouraient ? 

Appliquer l'histoire à la politique, c'est-à-dire juger à ce point de vue les actions des 
hommes, est un principe vieux comme le monde. 

Il arrachait, il y a deux mille ans, à un illustre Komain, l'exclamation connue : Discite 
jusiitiam et non temnere Divos. Soyez justes et respectez la divinité. 

Ce cri de la conscience humaine revendiquant ses droits, souvent poussé, si souvent 
méconnu pendant le long crépuscule du paganisme, ne l'a-t-il pas été également pendant 
l'ère vantée de la civilisation moderne? 

Bien des cœurs généreux parmi les historiens se sont cependant insurgés contre l'idée 
de l'injustice triomphante. Plusieurs n'ont pas craint de marc[uer au fer rouge les turpi- 
tudes du crime en haut lieu. 

Jamais je n'oublierai l'impression profonde que me fit, lorsque j'étais bien jeune encore, 
la lecture du volume du savant académicien Etienne Jouy, " La morale appliquée à la poli- 
tique" aussi bien que les éloquentes dénonciations du grand historien Archibald Alison, 
stigmatisant les monstres de cruauté qui souillèrent le sol français pendant la révolution 
de 1Y89. 

La dispersion projetée des habitants de la Nouvelle- York, 1689. 

On était en 1689 ; l'astre de Louis XIV avait atteint son apogée ; une aurore radieuse 
lui avait assuré des jours sereins ; mais le crépuscule menaçait de se faire — lui apportant 
ses ombres. 

72 J.- M. LeMOINE 

Le prince d'Orange, sou implacable ennemi, venait de gravir les marches du trône 
de la Grande-Bretagne. 

Versailles, il est vrai, n'avait pas cessé d'éblouir le monde par l'éclat de ses fêtes, de ses 
richesses artistiques. Trois fois par semaine, dans des soirées d'un éclat sans pareil, Louis 
le Grand, s'étalait magnifiquement au milieu de sa cour, dans son féerique palais, dans ses 
salons fastueux, dits salles de V Abondance, de Vénus, de Diane, de Mars, de Minerve, à! Apollon ; 
mais, il semblait moins enjoué, quelquefois même préoccupé, se mêlait moins aux bril- 
lants groupes de grands seigneurs, aux essaims de jolies femmes, aux cercles d'hommes 
de lettres ; son front était soucieux ; il consacrait plus d'heures à son cabinet de travail et 
à ses ministres. 

Il y avait un coin de ses Etats oi\ son astre n'avait pas le même éclat. Cette contrée, 
c'était la France nouvelle d'au-delà des mers, pour laquelle il avait tant fait. De ce loin- 
tain pays, il ne lui Amenait c[ue bruits sinistres, rumeurs de guerre avec les indigènes, avec 
les colonies anglaises voisines. Ses forts étaient saccagés, sa colonie chérie ravagée par 
le féroce, l'insaisissable Iroquois. 

Les dépêches de Denonville devenaient de jour en jour plus sombres, alarnuiutes 
même, bien que la nouvelle du terrible massacre, à Lachiue, près de Montréal, le 4 août 
1689, n'eût pas encore traversé l'océan. 

Pour rétablir son prestige, il lui fallait frapper un grand coup. Le chevalier de 
Callières, qui commandait en second sous le marquis de Denonville, lui prépara un plan 
de campagne à la fois neuf et audacieux. Le roi l'adopta aA'ec des modifications. ' 

Il ne s'agissait de rien moins que de la conquête et de la dispersion de la colonie 
anglaise avoisinante : Manhatte, sur l'Hudson, la Nouvelle- York, comme elle fut nommée 
plus tard. 

Au dire de Callières, la chose était facile : la force militaire au Canada suffisait, avec 
l'aide de deux vaisseaux de guerre, pour coopérer sur les rives de l'Atlantique, c'est-à-dire 
1,600 hommes, dont 1,000 de troupes régulières et 600 miliciens. 

L'armée traverserait en pirogues et en bateaux le lac Champlain et le lac George, 
s'emparerait d'abord d' Albany, piiis descendrait le cours de l'Hudson, et tomberait à l'impro- 
viste sur la Nouvelle- York, bourgade d'à peu près 200 hommes en état de porter les armes. 

' Empruntons à un document otfieiel le texte même des instructions envoj'ées par le roi de France à son 
brave lieutenant, le comte de Frontenac, en juin 1689 : " Si parmy les habitans de la Nouvelle York, il se trouve 
des Catholiques de la fidélité desquels il croj'e se pouvoir assenrer, il [pourra les laisser dans leurs habitations après 

leur avoir fait prester serment de fidélité à Sa Majesté Il pourra aussi garder, s'il le juge à propos, des artisans 

et autres gens de service nécessaires pour la culture des terres ou pour travailler aux fortifications en qualité de 
prisonniers.... Il faut retenir en prison les officiers et les principaux habitans desquels on pourra retirer des 
rançons. A l'esgard de tous les autres estrangers {ccu.v qui ne sont jicik Français), hommes, femmes et enfans, sa 
Majesté trouve à propos qu'ils soient mis hors de la Colonie et envoyez à la Nouvelle Angleterre, à la Pennsylvanie, 
ou en d'autres endroits qu'il jugera à propos, par mer ou par terre, ensemble ou séparément, le tout suivant qu'il 
trouvera plus seur pour les dissiper et empêscher qu'en se se réunissant ils ne puissent donner occasion à des entre- 
prises de la part des ennemis contre cette Colonie. Il envoyera en France les Français fugitifs qu'il y pourra 
trouver, et, particulièrement ceux de la Religion Prétendue Réformée." Mémoire pour scrrir d'Instruction à Monsieur 
te Comte de Frontenac sur l'Entreprise de la Nouvelle York, 7 juin, 1689. 

Pour les détails de l'attaque sur New- York, consulter les dépêches : Le Roy à Benonrille, 7 juin 1689 ; Le 
Ministre à Denonville, même date; Le Ministre à Frontenac, même àaie ; Ordre du Boy à T'a«<?î-fHi7, même date; Le 
Roy au Sieur de la Caffinièrc, même date; Champigny au Ministre, 16 novembre, 1689, etc. 


Les vaisseatix de guerre en croisière à l'entrée du port attendraient l'arrivée des troupes 
de terre et leur prêteraient main forte. 

La campagne ne durerait au plus qu'un mois ; elle promettait d'importants résultats. 
D'abord les Anglais seraient écrasés et ne seraient plus à même de fournir, comme par le 
passé, des armes aux implacables ennemis des Canadiens, aux Iroquois ; ensuite, New- 
York avix mains des Français, on aurait accès par eau en toutes saisons, et une entrée au 
Canada plus commode que le Saint-Laurent ; finalement, la chute de la Nouvelle-York, 
n'entraînerait-elle pas plus tard celle des colonies anglaises de la Nouvelle-Angleterre ? On 

Aux A^elléités de conquête de Louis XIV se mêlaient des sentiments qui font peu 
d'honneur à ce grand prince : la cruauté envers les vaincus et l'intolérance en matière de 
croyance religieuse. 

Il y avait, en 1689, en France, un homme de guerre capable de se charger de l'exécu- 
tion de cet étrange projet : l'ancien vice-roi du Canada, le brave vieux comte de Frontenac. 
Louis XIV s'adressa à lui. 

L'énergique septuagénaire fit voile en août pour le Canada, avec deux frégates ; c'était 
deux mois trop tard. 

Le roi lui-même prépara les instructions que Frontenac devait suivre, après la prise 
de la Nouvelle-York. 

On ]ui enjoignit de disperser aux quatre vents la colonie anglaise ; de la détruire de 
fond en comble ; de séparer, s'il le fallait, et déporter les familles ; d'emprisonner et ran- 
çonner ceux qui refuseraient de renier leur foi ; de confisquer leurs biens au profit de la 
couronne ; de réduire les ouvriers et gens de métier à la condition de forçats, et les obliger 
de travailler aux fortifications, si le commandant de l'expédition le jugeait à propos ; de 
saccager le territoire de la Nouvelle- Angleterre, voisin du Canada, et de prélever des con- 
tributions sur les territoires plus éloignés. 

Plusieurs causes contribuèrent à faire échouer l'entreprise des Français contre la 
Nouvelle- York. 

D'abord d'interminables retards dans l'équipement des deux frégates armées pour cette 
expédition ; puis, des tempêtes et des vents contraires sur l'océan, qui prolongèrent telle- 
ment la durée de la traversée, que la saison fut jugée trop avancée, à l'arrivée des vais- 
seaux, pour songer à mettre en marche l'armée de terre. 

L'affreux massacre de Lachine, la présence des Iroquois sur la frontière, la nécessité 
de protéger la colonie contre une nouvelle irruption de ces barbares, ainsi que d'autres 
causes firent ajourner à d'autres temps le projet criminel du grand monarque. New- York 
fut laissé à sa destinée. 

Le massacre de G-lencoe, 1692. 

Le mode sommaire prescrit par Louis XIV pour se débarrasser de voisins incommodes, 
en 1689, produisit ses fruits quelques années plus tard, en 1692. Un souverain voisin sut 
même renchérir sur sou procédé. 

Gruillatime d'Orange, appelé en 1688 au trône des Stuart, avait lui aussi de mauvais 
voisins, des sujets incommodes. D'abord les Irlandais : son armée les eût bientôt mis à 
la raison. 

Sec 1,1886. — 10. 

74 J.- M. LeMOINE 

Il avait encore dans son royaume d'antres voisins — des sujets encore plus incommodes 
et tout aussi impraticables : les montagnards d'Ecosse. 

Au sein des ravins et des sombres vallées de la Calédonie, vivait depuis plusieurs 
siècles un peuple qui n'avait rien de commun avec les populations environnantes. Pau- 
vres, illettrés, vindicatifs, mais athlétiques et endurcis à la fatigue et au combat, les mon- 
tagnards d'Ecosse, impatients de toiit frein, avaient en partage un sol ingrat, presque 
stérile. Ils ensemençaient d'avoine quelques rares arpents de terre, vivaient de chasse, 
de pêche, etc. De petits chevaux nommés shelties, maigres brebis, de grands 
bœufs encore plus sauvages que leurs maîtres, tel était le patrimoine, les ressources que 
les clans d'Ecosse ou tribus se transmettaient de génération eu génération. Une noble 
qualité sociale, cependant, était encore vivace parmi ces farouches habitants des bruyères : 
une hospitalité large et afiectueuse. 

Le fier liighlander ne ressemblait nullement au paisible habitant des plaines, immiscé 
dans le commerce et l'agriculture. 

Il en résultait des rixes fréquentes entre les deux classes qui habitaient ce pittoresque 
pays, — un état de guerre presque chronique. 

Il y avait de plus entre les divers clans des rancunes inextinguibles. Ainsi les 
Campbell et les MacDonald étaient d'ordinaire à coviteaux tirés, avec le grand MacCallum 
More (le duc d'Argyle ). Les MacLeod, les MacPherson, les MacNeil, les MacG-regor avaient 
aussi chacun leur sujet de gvierre ; des vendetta de famille digues de la Corse se transmet- 
taient religieusement parmi ces farouches populations qui ne connaissaient d'autre loi que 
celle du plus fort, d'autre arbitre que la claymore. 

Les Ecossais des plaines — Jowlanders — étaient presque tous presbytériens, tandis 
que leurs fiers voisins des montagnes, s'ils professaient un culte quelconque, se disaient 
catholiques romains. 

Les belliqueux "fils du brouillard" ou children nf (he mist, comme on les nommait, se 
distinguaient aussi des loivlanders, ou habitants des plaines, par leurs habitudes de dépré- 

Sur le chapitre du bien d'autrui, leurs idées étaient passablement communistes : les 
troupeaux, les récoltes, les denrées même des lowlanders et des sassenachs oii Anglais d'au- 
delà de la Tweed, voilà sur quoi ils comptaient pour suppléer à ce qu'une avare nature 
avait refusé à leur sol comme moyen de subsistance. 

Eob Eoy, un montagnard type immortalisé par Walter Scott, résumait en deux lignes 

leur credo social : 

" They should take who have the power, 
" And they should keep who can." 

Eien d'étonnant si l'on se plaignait d'eux comme voisins. 

G-uillaume de Hollande, tout grand capitaine qu'il était, voyant qn.'il lui était pres- 
que impossible d'atteindre les repaires de ces intraitables poi^ulations, conçut l'idée de se 
prévaloir de leur misère et d'acheter leur fidélité avec de l'or britannique. Douze à 
quinze mille louis eussent suffi. Ce projet échoua. Macaulay ajoute : " Avec un peu 
d'or on eût pu épargner des flots de sang." 

Trois grands seigneurs se disputaient la préséance en Ecosse, le duc d'Argyle ( Mac- 
Callum More ), le comte de Breadalbane, son cousin, et sir John Dalrymple, mieux connu 
sous le nom de Master of Stair. 


C'est surtout la sinistre influence de cet habile homme d'Etat qui est responsable de 
l'affreuse boucherie que nous allons décrire. 

Dans le but de pacifier les highlands, le roi d'Angleterre lança d'Edimbourg, une pro- 
clamation dans laquelle il ordonnait à ses sujets écossais de se soumettre, promettant 
amnistie entière aux rebelles qui prêteraient serment de fidélité jusqu'au 31 décembre 1691 
inclusivement, et dans laquelle il dénonçait à la vindicte des lois comme traîtres et rebelles 
ceux qui refuseraient ou négligeraient de se soumettre à cette injonction. 

Les préparatifs militaires qui accompagnaient cette proclamation alarmèrent les clans ; 
tous oil presque tous se hâtèrent de donner leur adhésion avant le terme fixé ; tous, 
excepté le clan des MacDonald de Grlencoe. La fierté du chef de ce clan, Maclan, lui fit 
ajovirner à la dernière heiTre ce qu'il eût dû faire tout d'abord. 

Maclan remit donc au 31 décembre 1691, son voyage ]pour se faire assermenter, lui et 
ses vassaux. Quand il se présenta au fort William et demanda qu'on lui fit prêter le 
serment requis, il découvrit à sa surprise que l'ofiicier de ce poste, le major Hill, n'était 
pas magistrat, et qu'il lui faudrait aller à Inverary pour être assermenté. 

Ou était en plein hiver ; les routes étaient encombrées de neige ; le trajet dura six 
jours. Muni d'une lettre de recommandation du major Hill, il se présenta devant le 
shérif d'Argylshire, le 6 janvier, 1692. Le shérif hésita longtemps, alléguant que ses pou- 
voirs étaient limités par les termes de la proclamation royale, qu'il n'osait assermenter un 
rebelle qui n'avait jugé à propos de se soumettre qu'après l'expiration du terme fixé par la 
proclamation. Enfin, le shérif se rendit aux vives instances de Maclan, et l'assermenta. 
Il lui remit, pour présentation au conseil d'Edimbourg, un certificat spécial expliquant le 

Le bruit que Maclan ne s'était pas soumis dans le temps voulu parvint bientôt aux 
oreilles des trois grands seigneurs d'Ecosse, alors à la cour du roi Gruillaume : Argyle, 
Breadalbane et Stair, tous trois hostiles aux MacDonald. 

Ils eu ressentirent une secrète et sinistre joie. Enfin, ils avaient donc une excellente 
occasion de se venger de leurs mortels ennemis, les MacDonald de Glencoe ! 

En anéantissant ce repaire de brigands. Stair aurait en sus la satisfaction et la gloire 
d'inaugurer toute une révolution sociale en Ecosse. Macaulay, l'habile panégyriste de 
Gruillaume III, a soin de mettre tout l'odieux de ce complot à la charge de ses ministres 
et de ses conseillers ; puis, il en prend occasion pour rappeler une série d'atrocités com. 
mises par les MacDonald. Il en est qui semblent à peine croyables. 

L'histoire du clan, ajoute-t-il, malgré des exagérations et des légendes, était un tissu 
de massacres et d'assassinats. Ou répétait que les MacDonald, de G-lengary, pour quel- 
que affront qu'ils avaient subi du peuple de CuUoden, eu cernèrent l'église un dimanche, 
et, après en avoir fermé les portes, brûlèrent vifs tous les paroissiens qui s'y trouvaient 
assemblés. Pendant l'incendie, le musicien attitré de ces meurtriers imitait par dérision, 
sur sa cornemuse, les cris de désespoir des victimes. IJn parti de MacG-regor, ayant 
coupé la tête à un ennemi, lui remplirent la bouche de pain et de fromage, déposèrent 
cette tête sanglante, sur une table en face de la sœur de la victime, et eurent la joie sau- 
vage de voir cette pauvre femme perdre l'esprit, par l'horreur cj[ue lui causa ce sanglant 

On porta ensuite ce hideux trophée en triomphe au chef. Le clan se réunit dans une 
ancienne église ; chacun porta la main sur le crâne de la personne assassinée, et jiira de 

76 J.- M. LeMOINE 

protéger les assassins. Les habitants d'Eigg auraient capturé quelques MacLeod, puis, 
après les avoir liés pieds et poings, les auraient lâchés à la dérive dans une pirogue, pour 
devenir le jouet des flots ou périr de faim. 

Les MacLeod se seraient Avenges en renfermant la population d'Eigg en une caverne, 
et en allumant à l'entrée un brasier qui consuma hommes, femmes et enfants. 

Pour avoir divulgué les auteurs d'un crime, un homme fut lié à un arbre, puis poi- 
gnardé ; le vieux chef du clan lui aurait donné le premier coup de poignard. La foule 
aurait ensuite suivi l'exemple du chef, chacun lui enfonçant son poignard dans le corps. 

Le Blaster of Stair en était arrivé à la conclusion qu'il fallait traiter comme des bêtes 
fauves ce ramas de bandits. Homme de lettres, homme d'Etat, profond jurisconsulte, il 
ne fut pas embarrassé de pu.iser dans l'histoire des précédents pour justifier ses actes. 

Stair haïssait les clans, moins parce qu'ils étaient partisans de la dynastie déçue — 
les Stuart — que parce qu'il les considérait comme les ennemis irréconciliables de la loi, 
du commerce, de l'industrie. 

La destruction, non seulement des MacDonald, mais de bien d'autres clans qui ne 
valaient pas mieux, signifiait la perte d'au-delà de 6,000 personnes. 

On a de Stair une lettre contenant ses instructions aux troupes chargées de la triste 
mission dont il sera question plus tard ; cette lettre est d'un calme et d'une concision 
terribles : " Vos troupes, y est-il dit, ru.iueront en entier le pays de Lochaber, les terres de 
Lochiel, de Keppoch, de Glengarry, de Glencoe. Vous serez rcA^êtus de pouvoirs suffisam- 
ment étendus. J'espère que les soldats n'embarrasseront pas le gouvernement de pri- 

A peine cette sanguinaire missive eut-elle été expédiée, que la nouvelle se répandit 
à Londres que tous les clans, hors celui de MacDonald de Grlencoe, avaient fait leur sou- 
mission au roi ; désappointement pour Stair. 

Restait encore néanmoins un clan en révolte ; mais un obstacle s'opposait à la froide 
vengeance de Stair. Maclau, le chef des MacDonald, avait réellement prêté le serment 
voulu, bien que subséquemment au terme fixé par la proclamation royale. 

Par une ténébreuse intrigue ourdie probablement par Stair, le certificat du shérif 
d'Argyle constatant la prestation du serment fut supprimé ; s'il fut communiqué privé- 
ment au père du Master of Stair, président du conseil d'Edimbourg, il ne fut jamais soumis 
officiellement au conseil. 

Stair, Breadalbane, Argyle ayant, dit Macaulay, comploté la perte des MacDonald, 
ils n'avaient plus qu'à remplir la formalité de s'abriter derrière la sanction royale. 

Il fallait donc avoir un ordre signé dii roi Gruillaume. On avait fait au roi des pein- 
tures si sombres de ces montagnards, que le prince anglais, déjà prévenu contre eux, se 
persuada facilement — s'il y réfléchit du tout — que c'était une bonne occasion de mettre 
un terme aux déprédations dont tant de personnes se plaignaient. 

Guillaume signa le fatal warrant. " Il signa, dit Burnet, mais sans lire l'ordre qu'on 
lui présenta." Il était conçu comme suit : " Quant à Maclan de Glencoe et cette tribu, 
si l'on peut la séparer clairement des autres montagnards, il serait convenable, dans l'inté- 
rêt de la loi, d'extirper ce ramassis de bandits ? 

Je vous ferai grâce des nombreux motifs invoqués pour atténuer cette atroce sentence, 
que Macaulay prête à son héros Guillaume III, afin de le laver de ce crime odieux. 


Macaulay, comme d'ordinaire, abonde eu raisons spécieuses sinon convaiucantes, et 
fournit un plaidoyer fort brillant, plein d'éloqiience. 

Mais hâtons-nous d'en venir à la catastrophe. 

Si l'on eût agi ouvertement et employé la main armée pour détruire les MacDonald, 
le mode eût au moins trouvé des apologistes ; l'histoire avait des précédents tout prêts. 
Mais c'est précisément ce qu'il n'eût pas été sage d'entreprendre. La force était impuis- 
sante contre ces rapaces renards des highlands blottis dans leurs inaccessibles tanières. 
On eut donc recours à la ruse, à la trahison. 

Le 1er février 1692, cent vingt troupiers du régiment d'Argyle, commandés par un 
capitaine Campbell et un lieutenant Lindsay, se dirigèrent sur Glencoe. 

Lindsay était bien dans son rôle : un front d'airain, une hypocrisie consommée, un 
cœur inaccessible à la pitié, l'avaient désigné à l'aiitorité. 

Ses relations de famille avec Maclau lui avaient donné de rares facilités pour s'intro- 
duire parmi les MacDonald : sa nièce avait épousé Alexandre, le fils du grand chef. 

L'arrivée des habits rouges avait d'abord inspiré de l'alarme, que le lieutenant Lindsay 
dissipa en affirmant c^ue les troupes n'étaient stationnées dans les environs que pour y 
prendre leurs quartiers d'hiver. On les reçut à bras ouverts ; ou l'hébergea lui et sa troupe 
dans le hameau. 

Les MacDonald, avec cette hospitalité proverbiale qui distingue les clans d'Ecosse, 
mirent leurs chaumières aussi bien que leurs provisions de bouche à la disposition des 
troupes anglaises ; les officiers étaient cordialement reçus comme hôtes, admis sous le toit 
domestique des chefs, partageant avec eux les joies, la vie intime de famille. Les longues 
soirées d'hiver s'écoulaient agréablement au coin du feu de tourbe. On s'y livrait aux 
amusements dvi temps. La partie de cartes même n'était pas oubliée, dit Macaulay. 

La perfidie poursuivait sa course tortueuse. Le capitaine Campbell montrait une 
affection particulière pour la nièce du chef, ainsi que pour son mari. Chaque matin il 
allait chez eux réclamer le traditionnel coup d'appétit — ■ un A^erre d'eau-de-vie de 
France — don peut-être du dernier des Stuart. Ses relations lui fournirent les moyens 
de tout voir, de bien épier les sentiers de la forêt qui pourraient faciliter la fuite des vic- 
times, lorsque le signal du massacre serait donné. 

Il faisait rapport de jour en jour à sou chef, le lieutenant-colonel Hamilton, qui devait 
plus tard le rejoindre et lui prêter main forte à la tête d'un détachement de 400 soldats, 
choisis à dessein dans le clan Campbell, les ennemis mortels des MacDonald. 

Hamilton avait fixé la date de la boucherie au 13 février, à cinq heures avant le jour. 
A cinq heures précises, ce 13 février, le capitaine Campbell avec ses 120 séides devait 
égorger tous les Macdonald de Glencoe âgés de moins de soixante-dix ans, hommes, 
femmes et enfants. 

La veille, Campbell et Lindsay avaient soupe et joxxé une i^artie de cartes chez ceux 
qu'ils avaient mission de massacrer quelcjues heures plus tard. 

L'histoire raconte que pendant cette nuit d'horreur les soldats se lamentaient et 
murmuraient. "Rencontrer les MacDonald sur le champ de bataille, c'est bien ! s'écrie un 
soldat, mais les surprendre et les égorger dans leurs lits, cela me répugne." " Notre 
devoir est d'obéir, lui répond un camarade ; s'il y a mal en ceci, c'est ànos chefs à en 
porter la responsabilité." 

78 J.- M. LeMOINB 

A cinq heures du matin, Hamilton, retardé par l'état des routes, n'était pas encore 
arrivé ; les ordres de Campbell étaient péremptoires, et la boucherie commença. 

Inverrigen, qui hébergeait Campbell, et uetif autres MacDonald furent pris à l'impro- 
Tiste, liés et assassinés. Un enfant de douze ans, enlaçant de ses bras les genoux de Camp- 
bell, demanda eu sanglotant qti'on l'épargnât Campbell allait fléchir, mais une brute 
ayant nom Drummoud brûla la cervelle à l'enfant. 

Un chef du nom d'Auehintriater, qui s'était levé de bonne heure ce matin-là, et qiii 
était assis avec sa famille composée de huit personnes autour de son feu, essuya une 
décharge de mousqueterie qui l'abattit avec sept de ses enfants ; son frère s'évada et se 
cacha dans la forêt. 

Lindsay étant allé frapper amicalement à la porte du grand chef Maclan, ce dernier, 
sans rien soupçonner, lui ouvrit la porte et reçut une balle dans la tête. Ses deux servi- 
teurs furent égorgés, et sa vieille épouse, alors vêtue avec la rude magnificence due à son 
rang, se A'it dépouillée et assaillie par la soldatesque effrénée. Un troupier, tenté par une 
bague qu'elle avait au doigt, et ne pouvant la lui enlever, lui déchira la chair avec ses 
dents. Elle expira le lendemain. 

Bien que le guet-apens eût été préparé avec une habileté consommée, l'arrivée tardive 
du lieutenant-colonel Hamilton et de ses 400 soldats, et surtout l'erreur capitale des égor- 
geurs, qui s'en remirent à leurs armes à feu, au lieii d'employer le poignard, ciui fait son 
œuvre sans bruit, firent manquer en grande partie le sanguinaire complot. 

Les habitants de cinquante chaumières, alarmés par les décharges de mousqueterie, 
avaient pris les sentiers glacés des montagnes. Le fils du chef Maclan, éveillé par ses 
fidèles serviteurs, au moment même où vingt soldats allaient le cerner, s'évada. 

On compta à peu près trente cadavres, y compris ceux de deux femmes. Ce qui fit 
frissonner d'horreur les bouchers mêmes, ce fut la main d'un petit enfant que l'on ramassa, 
tranchée sans doute dans le tumulte. 

Un seul MacDonald aA'ait survécu ; mais, comme il était âgé de plus de soixante-dix 
ans, on avait cru que son grand âge le protégerait ; Hamilton le massacra froidement. 

On mit le feu au hameau ; puis les troupes se mirent en marche, conduisant avec elles 
des tro^^peaux de moutons, des chèvres, neuf cents bœufs et vaches, et deux cents petits 
chevaux ou ponies écossais. 

Combien de fuyards trouvèrent la mort dans les neiges des montagnes ? 

Combien de pauvres mères avec leurs enfants à la mamelle blanchirent la plaine de 
leurs os ou servirent de f)âture aux oiseaiix de proie ? Qui le saura ? 

Après le départ des soldats, jslusieurs des survivants revinrent contempler les cendres 
et les décombres de leurs demeures, et donner la sépulture aux cadavres de leurs proches. 

La tradition raconte que le barde du clan escalada un rocher voisin du lieu du sinistre, 
et de ce point élevé, exhala ses poignantes lamentations sur ses frères égorgés et sur leurs 
demeures incendiées. 

Quatre-vingts ans plus tard, le peuple de cette morne vallée de G-lencoe, répétait 
encore ce lai funèbre. 

Voilà une des pages les plus sombres des annales de la Grande-Bretagne ; et, si l'o- 
dieux de cette hécatombe doit retomber sirrtout sur le 3Taster of Stair, le comte de Brea- 
dalbane et le duc d'Argyle, est-ce que la mémoire du souverain anglais Guillaume HI, tout 
illustre capitaine qu'il a été, est exempte de souillure ? 


Avant de signer l'ordre fatal, n'eût-il pas dû se renseigner et dvi mode que l'on pren- 
drait poiir " extirper les bandits " dont on avait à se plaindre, et du nombre des coupables ? 

La dispersion des Acadiens — 1755. 

Voilà un problème d'histoire bien digne assurément de fixer l'attention de cette 
Société, mais dont la solution finale, selon nous, devra être a,jouruée jusqu'au moment où 
nos archives pourront s'enrichir des documents que l'historien Parkman a eu l'iuapjjré- 
ciable avantage de consulter à l'étranger, et qui forment la base de son brillant récit. ' 

Le travail sérieux le plus récent sur cette question est celui de M. Parkman. Nous 
tâcherons de l'analyser, eu y mêlant nos propres commentaires, et sans nous croire tenu 
d'accepter toutes ses conclusions. 

Il en est peu parmi nous qui ignorent les détails de la dispersion des Acadiens. Ce 
qui, selon moi, est moins connu, ce sont les circonstances qui la précédèrent. 

La proscription par voies de fait, ou la supi)ressiou des faibles nationalités par la dis- 
persion, n'était pas, comme je viens de le faire voir, un fait inouï dans les annales de la 
France et de l'Angleterre. Le dïiel à mort pour la possession de la partie nord de ce con- 
tinent, qui se continua près d'un siècle entre ces deux puissances, faisait pressentir que 
l'extermination des premiers habitants du sol, d'abord, puis l'anéantissement de colonies 
entières, deviendraient aux yeux des souverains des deux pays des éventualités fort 
possibles, désirables même. Point important à constater. 

Ce sont donc les causes et les circonstances qui insi^irèreut ce lugubre coup de 
théâtre, que je me propose d'exposer succinctement en ce travail. Je laisse à dessein de 
nombreuses lacunes à combler, un champ A-^aste que mon savant collègue, M. Casgrain" 
saura exploiter avec son habileté bien connue. 

" Le conflit eu Acadie, dit Parkman, possède un sombre intérêt, puisqu'il se termina 
par une catastrophe que la prose et la poésie ont commémorée, mais dont les causes ont 
été incomprises." 

L' Acadie, c'est-à-dire, la péninsule de la Nouvelle-Ecosse avec l'addition, selon la pré- 
tention des Anglais, de ce que constitue présentement le Nouveau-Brunswick, fut conquise 
par le général Nicholson, en 1710, et formellement cédée par la France à la couronne 
anglaise, trois années plus tard, par le traité d'Utrecht. 

Par ce traité " il fut expressément .stipulé, que ceux des habitants français, qui dé- 
sirent y demeurer et d'être sujets du royaume de la G-rande-Bretague, devront avoir la 
libre jouissance de leur religion, selon le rite de l'Eglise romaine, en autant que les lois 
de la Grande-Bretagne le permettent," mais que ceux qui désireraient émigrer, pourraient 
le faire avec leurs effets, pourvu qu'ils émigrassent dans l'année. On prétend même que 
la reine Aune aurait étendu indéfiniment cette période. 

Peu de colons se prévalurent de ce droit d'émigrer dans l'année, et, ce terme exjDiré, 
ceux qui restaient furent reqiiis de prêter serment d'allégeance au roi George II. Il n'est 
pas douteux, ajoute Parkman, qu'avec un peu de temps, ils se fussent soumis, si on ne les 

^ Montcalm and Wulfe. Boston, 1884. 

■■' M. l'abbé H. E. Casgrain devait traiter un autre côté du sujet, à la même séauce, dans son intéressante étude 
intitulée : Un pilerinage au pays d' Evangeline. 

80 J.- M. LeMOINE 

eût pas troublés ; mais les autorités françaises du Canada et du Cap-Breton firent de leur 
mieux pour les en empêcher, et employèrent des agents pour entretenir leurs sentiments 
d'hostilité coiitre l'Angleterre. 

Les commandants anglais, à Annapolis, eurent plus d'une fois raison de soupçonner 
que les attaques dirigées contre eux par les sauvages, étaient inspirées par les Français. 
Ce ne fut que dix-sept ans après le traité que les Acadiens se déterminèrent à prêter le ser- 
ment, sous des réserves qui le rendaient presque illusoire. Enfin, vers 1130, la plupart 
des habitants, ne sachant écrire, apposaient leur croix à un serment ' qui reconnaissait 
George II, souverain de l'Acadie, lui promettant fidélité et obéissance. La tranquillité 
régna jusc^u'en 1745. La guerre éclata cette année-là. Une partie des Acadiens restèrent 
neutres, tandis que d'autres prirent les armes contre les Anglais, et que plusieurs four- 
nirent aux ennemis de ces derniers des renseignements et des provisions. La puissance 
de l'Angleterre en Acadie, défendue seulement jusc[ue alors par mie faible garnison à 
Annapolis et un détachement encore plus faible à Canceau, s'accrut vers ce temps d'une 
manière notable. Louisbourg, pris par les Anglais pendant la guerre, avait été restitué 
par un traité. Les Français se préparèrent de suite à convertir cette ville en une redou- 
table station navale et militaire. 

Le cabinet anglais, pour contrecarrer cette mesure, se mit à l'œuvre et créa une autre 

On choisit le havre de Chibouctou, sur la plage sud de l'Acadie. 

En jïiin 1*749, une flotte de transports anglais, y jeta l'ancre, chargée d'au moins 
2,500 immigrants, des ouvriers, des gens de métier, des laboureurs, des soldats, des matelots, 
des officiers licenciés à la clôture de la guerre et séduits j)ar les offres de terres que leur 
faisait le gouA^ernement anglais dans le nouveau monde. C'était iine colonie créée par le 
roi lui-même. Edward Cornwallis, oncle de lord Cornwallis, qui servit plus tard en 
Américjue, ft^t nommé gouverneur et commandant en chef de la colonie. On assigna aux 
colons des lots de terre; on traça des rues ; on bâtit ; puis, on entoura le tout de palissades, 
et avant l'hiver on eût pu voir la ci-devant garnison anglaise de Louisbourg monter la 
garde aiitour de ces remparts improvisés en bois. En 1*752, la nouvelle colonie avait 
atteint le chiffre de 4,000 âmes et plus. Ainsi naquit la florissante capitale de la Nou- 
velle-Ecosse — Halifax. En comptant la faible garnison d'Anuapolis et les détachements 
des petits forts, pour surveiller les Acadiens et les sauA^ages, Halifax représentait la puis- 
sance entière de l'Angleterre dans la péninsule acadienne. 

Les Français, toujours chagrins de la perte de l'Acadie, étaient décidés à la recon- 
quérir soit par la force, soit par la diplomatie. La fondation d'Halifax indiquait que ce 
ne serait pas chose facile, et leur faisait craindre également pour Louisbourg. Il y avait 
pour la France un point c^ui ne souffrait pas de contestation. Bien c^u'un grand nombre 
d' Acadiens fussent nés sous le pavillon anglais, depuis 1*710, il fallait tâcher de les retenir 
français dans leurs aflections, et leur mettre dans l'esprit qu'ils étaient encore sujets 

En lir48, on en fixait le chiffre à 8,850 communiants, soit de 12,000 à 13,000 âmes. 

^ Voici la formule du serment : " Je promets et jure sincèrement, en Foi de Chrétien, que je serai entièrement 
fidèle et obéirai vraiement à Sa Majesté le roy George Second, que je reconnais pour le souverain seigneur de 
l'Acadie ou Nouvelle-Ecosse ; ainsi Dieu me soit en aide." 


L'émigratiou eu 1*752 les avait réduits à 9,000 environ. L'Acadie était divisée en six 
paroisses : d'abord Annapolis, la plus considérable ; les autres centres étaient Grand-Pré, 
sur le bassin des Mines ; Pisicjuid, maintenant Windsor, et Cobequid, maintenant Truro. 
Leurs prêtres étaient des missionnaires dépendant du diocèse de Québec. C'étaient aussi 
leurs magistrats. Ainsi régis au spirituel et au temporel par des sujets français, et fran- 
çais par le cœur, ils représentaient dans cette province anglaise une organisation cons- 
tamment en désaccord avec elle. 

Bien que, par le douzième article du traité d'Utrecht, la B'rance eût solennellement 
déclaré les Acadiens sujets anglais, le gouvernement français intriguait constamment pour 
les convertir en ennemis de la puissance anglaise. 

L'historien Parkman trouve la preuve de tout cela dans la masse de documents 
officiels qu'il est allé consulter en France, eu Angleterre et dans la Nouvelle-Esosse ; mal- 
heureusement ces documents n'existent pas aiT Canada. 

Ce n'est pas que les Acadiens eussent à se plaindre du traitement qu'ils avaient à 
subir des Anglais. Bien au contraire, la foi des traités avait été respectée. Il est vrai 
que, de temps à autres, ou arrêtait leurs missionnaires, quand ils s'oubliaient jusqu'au 
point de soulever les populations contre le gouvernement britannique, et c[u'on les forçait 
sous peine de l'exil, de ne rien faire pour nuire aux intérêts du souverain anglais ; le 
conseil d'Halifax les admonestait et les congédiait. 

On était en 1749 ; une seconde génération avait vu le jour ; Halifax venait d'être fondée. 

Le gouverneur Cornwallis ne se contenta pas de la formule de l'ancien serment de 
fidélité et d'obéissance ; car les Acadiens répétaient c^ue l'ancien gouverneur de la province 
— Phillips — leur avait donné l'assurance que l'on ne les forcerait pas à prendre les armes 
contre les Français ou les sauvages. 

n est vrai qu'on n'exigea pas d'eux ce service militaire ; que virtuellement ils seraient 
demeurés neutres, si plusieurs d'entre eux, oublieux de leur serment, ne se fussent joints 
aux partis de guerre des Français. Ceci induisit Cornwallis à exiger iine formule de ser- 
ment aussi complète que celle que signaient les autres sujets anglais, 

De là, grande consternation parmi les Acadiens, qui envoyèrent des délégués à Hali- 
fax, mais sans résultat satisfaisant ; ils s'inspiraient en ceci de conseils qui leur venaient 
de l'étranger. 

Boishébert, par l'entremise des missionnaires, les exhorta fortement à refuser de prêter 
aucun serment d'allégeance formelle au roi de la Grrande-Bretagne, les engageant à émi- 
grer à l'île Saint- Jean et autres îles françaises voisines. Louis XV était tenu au courant 
de tout ce qui se passait, et encourageait eu sorts main les Acadiens à molester les An- 
glais, afin de dégoûter ces derniers de leur nouvelle fondation — Halifax. 

L'abbé LeLoutre se distingua par ses efforts contre le gouvernement britannique : il 
prêchait aux Acadiens fidélité à la France, et, au cas de refus, il menaçait les colons de 
lâcher su.r eux ses féroces néophytes, les Micmacs. Tout cependant, à son dire, devait se 
faire dans l'ombre, afin de ne pas compromettre le gouvernement français. 

Cornwallis, ' irrité de ces menées, écrivit à l'évêque de Québec, se plaignant amère- 
ment de la conduite de ses missionnaires. H l'informa de plus, c[ue, si cet ordre de choses 
continuait, les missionnaires en défaut seraient jugés et punis sévèrement. 

' Cornwallis to the Bishop of Quebec, 1 December, 1749. 

Sec. 1, 1886. — 11. 

82 J.-M. LeMOINE 

Les choses coutinuaut d'aller de mal en pis ; un malheureux incident vint encore 
aigrir les esprits : ce fut l'assassinat, par les Micmacs, alliés des Français, d'un ofhcier 
anglais de distinction, le capitaine Edward Howe, au moment où, sous la protection d'un 
drapeau blanc, il s'avançait vers les Français comme parlementaire. 

Puis, vint la discussion, à Paris, de la question des limites du Canada, entre le roi de 
France et le roi d'Angleterre. Après trois années de débats, les commissaires nommés par 
les deux couronnes ne purent en venir à aucune solution satisfaisante. 

Le traité d'Utrecht donnait, il est vrai, l'Acadie à l'Angleterre ; mais en quoi consis- 
tait l'Acadie ? 

Un grand nombre d'Acadiens, dociles aux conseils des Français, s'étaient retirés au 
fort Beauséjour, où flottait le drapeau de la France ; d'autres avaient émigré aux posses- 
sions françaises avoisinautes : le Cap-Breton, l'île Saint- Jean, à proximité suffisante pour 
prendre part à un moment donné, à l'invasion de l'Acadie anglaise. Leurs compatriotes 
qui étaient demeurés sous le pavillon britannique, en comptant les Acadiens des Mines et 
de la vallée de la rivière Annapolis et de quelques autres établissements moindres, pou- 
vaient fournir un total excédant tant soit peu 9,000 âmes. Ils n'avaient pas à se plaindre 
de leurs maîtres, qrii ne les maltraitaient pas dans leurs possessions ; pour ne pas avoir 
émigré, ils n'étaient pas davantage des loyaux sujets du roi Greorge IL 

La nouvelle interprétation du traité d'Utrecht, par la France, lui accordant plus de la 
moitié de la péninsule acadienne et la presque totalité de la population française, hâta la 
marche des événements, bien que ce territoire eût été en la possession de l'Angleterre 
depuis plus de quarante ans. 

La France, selon les idées du temps, pouvait en entreprendre la conquête par la voie 
des armes. 

L'Angleterre, de son côté, réclamait beaucoup plus de territoire qu'elle n'eu occupait 

Du côté de la France, une invasion de l'Acadie était probable. 

Le roi de France, qui avait encouragé les pauvres Acadiens à résister à l'Angleterre, 
était, en honneur, tenu de leur prêter main forte dans leur soulèvement projeté. 

La perte de l'Acadie nuisait beaucoup à la puissance et au prestige de la France au 
Canada. L'Acadie était un trait d'union entre le Canada et la forteresse de Louisbourg ; 
son sol fertile, sa colonie de laboureurs industrieux, fourniraient en temps de guerre des 
provisions de bouche aux garnisons et aux troupes françaises ; ses havres serviraient de 
stations navales pour menacer les colonies anglaises avoisinautes. Chez le militaire 
anglais, ou disait qu'une escadre française chargée de troupes dans la baie de Fundy, 
serait le signal d'un soulèvement général des Acadiens du bassin des Mines et de la vallée 
d' Annapolis, aussi bien que des autres populations françaises. 

Les chances de réussite d'une telle invasion étaient bonnes. Québec et Louisbourg 
enverraient des secours aux Acadiens, lesquels avec leurs sauvages alliés seraient en 
moyen d'opposer une armée supérieure en nombre à celle que Halifax et le petit fort 
délabré d' Annapolis pourraient réunir pour aider l'Angleterre. Le fort français Beausé- 
jour était une menace perpétuelle pour les Anglais, qui avaient raison de s'alarmer, comme 
il est facile de s'en convaincre en référant aux lettres échangées entre le gouverneur du 
Canada, le marquis de Duquesne et le commandant du fort Beauséjour. 

Lawrence, le gouverneur de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, "était désireux de chasser les colons 


français établis en cette province. La France se servait de ces pauvres Acadiens comme 
de dociles instruments pour pousser ses projets ambitieux, comme des jouets de ses 
caprices et de sa politic[ue vacillante, sans toutefois leur accorder même un seul régiment 
comme renforts. Impuissants à servir activement leur ancienne patrie, les Acadiens 
étaient devenus un embarras permanent pour l'Angleterre. 

La prise par Lawrence et Sherley, aidés des milices de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, du fort 
Beauséjour où commandait de Vergor, et du fort Graspereau où commandait de Villerai, 
par "Winslow, préludait à l'expulsion complète des Français hors de la péninsule ; néan- 
moins les forces à la disposition de l'Angleterre étaient si faibles, qu'il leur serait impos- 
sible de tenir tête aux Acadiens, s'ils se réunissaient tous aux détachements français et 
aiix sauvages ; comme ils refusaient de prêter le serment de fidélité, le gouA'erneur de la 
Nouvelle-Ecosse refusait de compter sur eux. 

Les Acadiens, bien qu'ils eussent pour habitude de se dire " neutres ", n'étaient en 
réalité que des ennemis campés au cœur d'une province conquise par l'Angleterre. 

Le gouA'ernevir Lawrence, enhardi par les succès récents des armes anglaises, à Beau- 
séjour et à Gaspereau, crut le moment favorable pour exiger des Acadiens, sans distinc- 
tion, un serment de fidélité sans réserve aucune. 

Ils refusèrent formellement de le prêter. Le général anglais parait avoir agi de la 
sorte sur sa propre responsabilité et quant à ce qui s'en suivit, sans les ordres de son 

L'armée, de suite, organisa dans le plus parfait secret, son terrible projet de pros- 

Vendredi, le 5 septembre 1*755, se consomma le lugubre drame, sinon avec toutes les 
circonstances atroces que la poésie et la légende ont trouvé utile d'inventer, du moins 
dans des conditions lamentables à l'extrême. 

Un peu plus de 6,000 hommes, femmes et enfants, perfidement parqviés à Gi-rand-Pré 
et ailleurs, furent déposés sur des vaisseaux, déportés et dispersés dans les colonies an- 
glaises, depuis le Massachusetts jusqu'à à la Gréorgie. La proscription dans le nouveau 
monde, rêvée par Louis XIV, se réalisait sous son petit-fils Louis XV. 

Il en est qui cherchèrent refuge jusque sous le paAàllon français à Québec, et ce ne 
furent pas les moins malheureux. Des détachements furent dirigés de la Virginie en 
Angleterre, en France même. 

La Nouvelle-Angleterre avait trouvé le moyen d'assouvir sa haine contre le nom 

Les cruelles formalités "que Louis XIV, en 1689, avait prescrites pour disperser et 
anéantir la colonie anglaise de la Nouvelle- York, qu'il n'avait pu subjuguer, George II les 
exécuta sur ses sujets acadiens de la Nouvelle-Ecosse ; les pauvres Acadiens avaient com- 
mencé par être les instruments de Louis XV, ils finirent par en être les victimes. 

Pour les bons et industrieux habitants de Grand-Pré, coupables d'avoir trop aimé 
une patrie ingrate, il y aiira. Messieurs, comme pour bien d'autres nationalités, une renais- 
sance, une réhabilitation devant le tribunal d'une impartiale postérité. 

Messieurs, en vous soumettant ce résumé de trois incidents historicj^ues fort connus, 
je me suis borné à vous signaler les motifs et les circonstances qui les ont inspirés. A vous 
de les juger. 

Vous aurez, ou je me trompe fort, une note de censure à apposer à chacun. Louis 


XIV, inspiré par l'intolérance religieuse autant que par la politique, n'échai^pera pas à la 
sentence de votre tribunal, bien que les circonstances l'aient empêché de donner suite au 
projet atroce qu'il avait formé contre la colonie anglaise et hollandaise de la Nouvelle- 

Vous aurez également à décider du degré de culpabilité dii roi Greorge II pour avoir 
laissé disperser d'une manière si cruelle, en 1*755, la colonie française en Acadie, conquise 
en 1710, — du degré de culpabilité du colonel Lawrence, — et du rôle de la Nouvelle-Angle- 
terre dans ce triste di'ame. 

Mais surtout vous jugerez sévèrement, j'espère, malgré ses éloquents apologistes, le 
grand prince anglais, Guillaume d'Orange, pour avoir autorisé le hideux massacre de 
G-lencoe, et cela avec une perfidie peu ordinaire. 

Puis A'ous avouerez avec moi, n'est-ce pas ? que les peuples ont dans leurs annales, 
chacun, des pages sombres qu'ils aimeraient à désavouer. 

N.B. • — Le lecteur curieux d'approfondir la question de la dispersion des Acadiens, 
telle que l'a traitée l'historien Frs Parkman, est invité à lire les deux chapitres IV et VIII 
dans Montcalm et Wolfe, vol. I, pp. 90-122 et 234-284. 





Section II., 1886. [ 1 ] Trans. Koy. Soc. Canada. 

I. — 77(6 Rigid Hand and Left-handedness , 

By Daniel Wilson, LL.D., F.R.S.E., President of University College, Toronto. 

(Read May 25, 1886.) 

The hand of man is one of his most distinctive characteristics. Withoiit it he would 
be, for all practical purposes, inferior to many other animals. It is the executive portion 
of the upper limb whereby the limits of his capacity as " the tool-user " are determined. 
As such, it is the essential seat of the primary sense of touch, the organ of the will, the 
instrument which works harmoniously with brain and heart, and by means of which 
imagination and idealism are translated into fact. "Without it, man's intellectual superi- 
ority would be to a large extent unavailable. In its combination of strength with deli- 
cacy, it is an index of character in all its variations in man and woman from childhood to 
old age. It marks the refinement of high civilisation, no less than the dexterity and force 
of the skilled inventor and mechanician. In the art of the true portrait painter, as in 
works of Titian and Vandyke, the hand is no less replete with individuality than the face. 
The unpremeditated action of the orator harmonizes with his utterance ; and at times the 
movements of his hands are scarcely less expressive than his tongue. 

It is not necessary to discuss the purely anatomical relations of the human hand to 
to the fore-limb of other animals; for, if the conclusions here set forth are correct, the 
special attribute now under discussion is not necessarily limited to man. But the practi- 
cal distinction lies in the fact that the most highly developed anthropoid, while in a sense 
four-handed, has no such delicate instrument of manipulation as that which distinguishes 
man from all other animals. In most monkeys there is a separate and movable thumb 
in all the four limbs. The characteristic whereby their hallux, or great toe, instead of 
being parallel with the others, and so adapted for standing and walking errect, has the 
power of action of a thumb, gives the prehensile character of a hand to the hind limb. 
This is not confined to the arboreal apes. It is found in the baboons and others that are 
mainly terrestrial in their habits, and employ the four limbs ordinarily in moving on the 

Ouvier's determination of a separate order for man as bimanous has been challenged. 
Man is, indeed, still admitted to form a single geniis. Homo ; but, in the levelling process 
of scientific revolution he has been relegated to a place in the same order with the 
monkeys and, possibly, the lemurs, which in the development of the thumb are more 
man-like than the apes. In reality, looking simply to man as thus compared with the 
highest anthropoid apes, the order of Quadrumana is more open to challenge than that of 
the Bimana. The hind-limb of the ape approaches anatomically much more to the human 
foot than the hand ; while the fore-limb is a true, though inferior, hand. The ape's hind- 
limb is indeed prehensile, as is the" foot of man in some small degree ; but alike anatomi- 

Sec. II., 1886. 1. 


cally and physiologically the fore-limb of the ape, like the hand of man, is the prehensile 
organ par excellence ; while the primary fiiuction of the hind-limb is locomotion. 

There are, nnqnestiouably, traces of prehensile capacity in the human foot ; and even 
of remarkable adaptability to certain functions of the hand. Well-known cases have 
occurred, of persons born without hands, or early deprived of them, learning to use their 
feet in many delicate operations, including not only the employment of pen and pencil, 
but the use of scissors, with a facility which still more strikingly indicates the separate 
action of the great toe, and its thumb-like apposition to the others. In 1882 I witnessed, 
in the Museum at Antwerp, an artist without arms, who skilfully used his brushes with 
his right foot. He employed it with great ease, arranging his materials, ojiening his box 
of colours, and " handling " his brush, seemingly with a dexterity fully equal to that of 
his more favoured rivals. At an earlier date, during a visit to Boston, I had an opportunity 
of observing a woman, labouring under similar disadvantages, execute elaborate pieces 
of scissor-work, and write not only with neatness, but with great rapidity. Nevertheless 
the human foot, in its perfect natural development, is not a hand. The small size of the 
toes, as compared with the fingers, and the position and movements of the great toe, alike 
point to diverse functions and a greatly more limited range of action. But the latent 
capacity of the system of muscles of the foot — scarcely less elaborate than that of the hand, 
— is obscured to us by the rigid restraints of the modern shoe. The power of voluntary 
action in the toes manifests itself not only in cases where early mutilation, or malforma- 
tion at birth, compels the substitution of the foot for the hand; but among savages, where 
the unshackled foot is in constant use in climbing, and feeling its way through brake 
and jungle, the free use of the toes, and the power of separating the great toe from the 
others, are retained, in the same way as may be seen in the involuntary movements of 
a healthy child. A brief experience of the soft, yielding deerskin moccasin of the Red 
Indian, in place of the rigid shoe, restores even to the unpractised foot of the white man a 
freedom of action in the toes, a discriminating sense of touch, and a capacity for grasping 
rock or tree in walking or climbing, of which he has had no previous conception. The 
Australian picks up his spear with the naked foot ; and the moccasin of the American 
Indian scarcely diminishes the like capacity to take hold of a stick or stone. The Hindu 
tailor, in like manner, sits on the ground holding the cloth tightly stretched with his 
toes, while both hands are engaged in the work of the needle. 

Sixch facts justify the biologist in regarding this element of structural difference 
between man and the apes as inadequate for the determination of a specific zoological classi- 
fication. Nevertheless man still stands apart as the tool-maker, the tool-user, the manipu- 
lator. A comparison between the fore and hind limbs of the Chimpanzee, or other ape, 
leaves the observer in doubt whether to name both alike hands or feet, both being loco- 
motive as well as prehensile organs ; whereas the difference between the hand and foot 
of man is obvious, and points to essentially diverse functions. The short, weak thumb, 
the long, nearly uniform fingers, and the inferior play of the wrist, in the monkey, are in 
no degree to be regarded as defects. They are advantageous to the tree-climber, and 
pertain to its hand as an organ of locomotion ; whereas the absence of such qualities in 
the human hand secures its permanent delicacy of touch, and its general adaptation for 
all manipulative purposes. 

The human hand is thus eminently adapted to be the instrument for carrying out the 


purposes of intelligent volition. It is the necessary concomitant of man's intellectual 
development, not only enabling him to fashion all needful tools, and to contend success- 
fully M'ith the fiercest and most powerful animals, provided by nature v\dth formidable 
weapons of assault, but also to respond to every mental prompting in the most delicate 
artistic creations. The very arts of the ingenious nest-makers, the instinctive weavers or 
builders, the spider, the bee, the ant, or the beaver, place them in striking contrast to 
man in relation to his handiwork. He alone, in the strict sense of the term, is a manufac- 
turer. The Quadrumana, though next to man in the approximation of their fore-limbs to 
hands, claim no place among the instinctive architects, weavers, or spinners. The human 
hand, as an instrument of constructive design, or artistic skill, ranks wholly apart from 
all the organs employed in the production of analogous work among the lower animals. 
The hand of the ape accomplishes nothing akin to the masonry of the swallow, or the 
damming and building of the beaver. But, imperfect though it seems, it suffices for all 
requirements of the forest-dweller. In climbing trees, in gathering and shelling nuts or 
pods, opening shell-fish, tearing ofl' the rind of fruit, or pulling up roots, in picking out 
thorns or burs from its own fur, or in the favourite occupation of hunting for each other's 
parasites, the monkey uses the finger and thumb ; and in many other operations, performs 
with the hand what is executed by the quadruped or bird less effectually by means of the 
mouth or bill. At first sight, we might be tempted to assume that the quadrumanous 
mammal had the advantage of us ; as there are, certainly, many occasions when an extra 
hand could be turned to useful account. But not only do man's two hands prove greatly 
more serviceable for all higher purposes of manipulation than the four hands of the ape ; 
but as he rises in the scale of intellectual superiority, he seems as it were to widen still 
further this difference in proportionate manipulative appliance, by converting one hand 
into the special organ and servant of his will ; while the other is relegated to a subordi- 
nate place, as its mere aider and supplement. 

There is thus a progressive scale, from the imperfect to the more perfectly developed, 
and then to the perfectly educated hand — all steps in its adaptation to the higher purposes 
of the manipulator. The hand of the rude savage, of the sailor, the miner, or blacksmith, 
while well fitted for the work to which it is applied, is a very different instrument from 
that of the chacer, engraver, or cameo-cutter ; of the musician, painter or sculptor. This 
difference is unquestionably a result of development, whatever the other may be ; for, as 
we have in the ascending scale the civilised and educated man, so also we have the edu- 
cated hand as one of the most characteristic features of civilisation. But here attention 
is at once called to the distinctive preference of the right hand, whether as the natural 
use of this more perfect organ of manipulation, or as an acquired result of civilisation. 
The phenomenon to be explained is not merely why each individual uses one hand rather 
than another. Experience abundantly accounts for this. But if, as seems to be the 
case, all nations, civilised and savage, appear from remotest times to have used the same 
hand, it is vain to look for the origin of this as an acquired habit. Only by referring it 
to some anatomical cause can its general prevalence, among all races, and in every age, 
be satisfactorily accounted for. Nevertheless this simple phenomenon, cognisant to 
the experience of all, and brought under constant notice in our daily intercourse 
with others, seems to baffle the physiologist in his search for any entirely satisfactory 


To the quaint speculative fancy of Sir Thomas Browne, with his strong bent towards 
Platonic mysticism, this question, like other and higher speculations with which he 
dallied, presented itself in relation to what may well be called, "first principles," as an 
undetermined problem. " Whether," says he in his " Eeligio Medici," " Eve was framed 
out of the left side of Adam, I dispute not, because I stand not yet assured which is the 
right side of a man, or whether there be any such distinction in nature." That there is a 
right side in man is a postulate not likely to be seriously disputed ; but whether there is 
such a distinction in nature remains still unsettled, two centuries and a half after he thus 
started the question. The proofs, nevertheless, are varied, and at least on this broad aspect 
of the question, as it seems to me, conclusive. The evidence which language supplies 
leaves no room to doubt the prevalence of the habit of using one specific hand for all 
actions requiring either unusual force or special delicacy ; and will be found to coincide 
with still older proofs furnished by the implements and the drawings of prehistoric 
times. Even among races in the rudest condition of savage life, such as the Australians, 
and the Pacific Islanders, terms for " right ", the " right hand ", or approximate expres- 
sions, show that the distinction is no product of civilisation. In the Kamilarai dialect 
of the Australians bordering on Hunter's Eiver and Lake Maquarie, matara signifies 
" hand", but they have the terms turovn, right, on the right hand, and ngorangbn, on the 
left hand. In the Wiraturai dialect of the Wellington Valley, the same ideas are expressed 
by the words bumalgâl and miraga, dextrorsum and sinistrorsum. 

The idea lying at the root of our own decimal notation, which has long since been 
noted by Lepsius, Donaldson and other philologists, as the source of names of G-reek and 
Latin numerals, is no less discernible in the rudest savage tongues. Among the So^^th 
Australians the simple names for numerals are limited to two, viz., ri/up, one, and polili, 
two; the two together express "three"; poIUi-poUli, four; and then " five " is indicated 
by the term ryup-murnangin, i. e., one hand ; ten by politi-murnangin, i. e., two hands. The 
same idea is apparent in the dialects of Hawaii, Raratonga, Viti, and New Zealand, in the 
use of the one term : lima, rima, linga, ringa, etc., for hand and for the number 5. Fulu, 
and its equivalents, stand for " ten", apparently from the root/«, whole, altogether ; while 
the word tau, which in the Hawaian signifies " ready ", in the Tahitian " right, proper, " 
and in the New Zealand, " expert, dextrous, " is the common Polynesian term for the right 
hand. In the Vitiau language, as spoken in various dialects throughout the Viti or Fiji 
Islands, the distinction is still more explicitly indicated. There is first the common term 
lin°-a, the hand, or arm ; then the ceremonial term daka, employed exclusively in speaking 
of that of a chief, but which, it may be presumed, also expresses the right hand ; as, 
while there is no other word for it, a distinct term sema is the left hand. The root se is 
found not only in the Viti, but also in the Samoa, Tonga, Mangariva, and New Zealand 
dialects, signifying " to err, to mistake, to wander ; " semo, unstable, unfixed ; while there 
is the word matau, right, dexter, clearly proving the recognition of the distinction. In the 
case of the Viti, or Fijian, this is the more noticeable, as there appears to be some reason 
for believing that left-haudeduess is unusually prevalent among the native of the Fiji 
Islands. In ISTB a correspondent of "the Times " communicated a series of letters to that 
journal, in which he embodied anthropological notes on the Fijians, obtained both from 
his own observations during repeated visits to the Islands, and from conversation with 
English, American, and German settlers, at the port of call, and on the route between 


San Francisco and the Australian Colonies. " The Fijiaus," he says, " are quite equal 
in stature to white men ; they are better developed relatively in the chest and arms 
than in the lower limbs ; they are excellent swimmers, and, if trained, are good rowers. 
Left-handed men are more common among them than among white people ; three were 
pointed out in one little village near the anchorage." Yet here, as elsewhere, it is 

The evidence of the recognition of native right-handedness i-eappears in widely 
separated islands of the Pacific. The Samoan word lima, hand, also signifying " five " ; and 
the terms lima maira, right hand, and lima woat, left-hand, are used as the equivalents of our 
own mode of expression. Bvit also the left-hand is lima tau-angu-vale, literally, the hand 
that takes hold foolishly. In the case of the Samoans, it may be added, as well as among 
the natives of New Britain, and other of the Pacific Islands, the favoured hand corres- 
ponds with our right hand. My informant, the Rev. Greorge Brown, for fourteen years a 
missionary in Polynesia, states that the distinction of right and left hand is as marked as 
among Europeans ; and left-handedness is altogether exceptional. In the Terawan lan- 
guage, which is sjioken throughout the group of islands on the equator called the 
Kingsmill Archipelago, the terms alai or edai, right, dexter, (entirely distinct from rapa, 
good, right,) and maan, left, sinister, are applied to bai, or pai, the hand, to denote the 
difference, e. g., ie bai maan, the left hand, literally, the "dirty hand," that which is not used 
in eating. The languages of our American continent furnish similar evidence of the 
recognition of the distinction among its hunter-tribes. In the Chippeway the word for 
my " right-hand " is ne-keche-neenj, ne being the prenominal prefix, literally " my great 
hand." " My left-hand " is ne-nuh-munje-neenj-ne. NumunJ is the same root as appears in 
nuh-munj-e-doon, " I do not know " ; and the idea obviously is " the uncertain, or unreliable 
hand." Again, in the Mohawk language, " the right-hand " is expressed by the term 
ji-ke-we-i/en-den-dah-kon, from ke-ioe-ijen-deh, literally, " I know how. " Ji is a particle 
conveying the idea of side, and the termination dah-kon has the meaning of " being accus- 
tomed to." It is, therefore, the limb accustomed to act promptly, the dextrous organ. 
Ske-ne-kwa-dih the left-hand, literally means " the other side." 

Analogous terms are found alike in the languages of civilised and barbarous races, 
expressive of the inferiority of one hand in relation to the other, which is indicated in 
the classical sinistra as the siibordinate of the dexlra manus. The honorable significance of 
the right hand receives special prominence in the most sacred allusions of the Hebrew 
scriptures ; and in medieval art the right hand in benediction is a frequent symbol of the 
First Person of the Trinity. In the Anglo-Saxon version of the New Testament the 
equivalent terms appear as swythre and loynstre, as in Matthew vi. 3 : " Sothlice thonne thu 
thinne aelmessan do, nyte thin wyustre hwaet do thin swythre ; " " "When thou doest alms, 
let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." Again the distinction appears in 
a subsecjuent passage thus : " And he geset tha seep on hys swithran healfe, and tha tycceuu 
on hys wynstran healfe." (Matt. xxv. 34.) Here the derivation of simjlhre from sivytli, 
strong, powerful, swylhra, a strong one, a dextrous man, sivythre, the stronger, the right- 
hand, is obvious enough. It is also used as an adjective, as in Matthew x. 30 : " And gif 
thin swy/rhe hand the aswice, aceorf hig of; " " And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off." 
The derivation of ivynstre is less apparent, and can only be referred to its direct significance, 
se wynstra, the left. In the G-reek we find the isolated àpiffrepôs:, à/jiarepâ, left, // àpiarepâ, 


the left hand. WhateA'er etymology we adopt for this word, the depreciatory comparison 
between the left and the more favoured décria, or right-hand, is obvions enough in the 
ffjcair.?, the left, the ill-omened, the unlucky; ouaioT?/^, left-handedness, awkwardness; 
like the French gauche, awkward, clumsy, uncouth. The Greek had also the term derived 
from the left arm as the shield-bearer ; hence fV' àaniôiy, on the left, or shield side. 

The Gaelic has supplied to Lowland Scotland the term leer, or carry-handed, in com- 
mon use, derived from lamh-cliearr, the left hand. In the secondary meanings attached to 
ker, or carry, it signifies awkward, devious ; and in a moral sense is equivalent to the 
English use of the word " sinister." To " gang the kar gate " is to go the left-road, i. e., the 
wrong road, or the road to ruin. There is no separate word in the Gaelic for " right 
hand," but it is called lamh dheas aud lamh cearl. Both words imply " proper, becoming, 
or right." Ceart is the common term to express what is right, correct, or fitting, whereas 
dheas primarily signifies the " south ", aud is explained by the supposed practice of the 
Druid augur following the sun in his divinations. In this it will be seen to agree with 
the secondary meaning of the Hebrew i/amin, and to present a common analogy with the 
corresponding Greek aud Latin terms, hereafter referred to. Deisal, a compound of dheas, 
south, and ml, a guide, a course, is commonly used as an adjective, to express a Ivicky or 
favorable occvirrence. The " left hand " is variously styled lamh chli, the wily or cunning 
hand, aud lamh cearr, or ciotach. Cearr is wrong, uuhicky, aud ciotach is the equivalent of 
sinister, formed from the specific name for the left-hand, ciotag, Welsh chtvifhig. According 
to Pliny,' " The Gauls, in their religious rites, contrary to the practice of the Romans, 
turned to the left." An ancient Scottish tradition traces the surname of Kerr to the fact 
that the Dalriadic king, Kynach-Ker or Counchad Cearr, as he is called in the " Duan 
Albanach," was left-handed ; though the name is strongly suggestive of a term of reproach 
like that of the Saxon Ethelred, the Unready. 

Milton, in one of his Sonnets, plays in sportive satire with the name of another left- 
handed Scot, " Oolkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp." The person referred to under the first 
name was the Earl of Antrim's deputy, by whom the invasion of Scotland was attempted 
in 1644, on behalf of the Stuarts. The name is scarcely less strange in its genuine form 
of Alastair MacCholla-Chiotach ; that is, Alexander, son of Coll, the left-handed. This was 
the elder Macdonnel, of Colonsay, who was noted for his ability to wield his claymore 
with equal dexterity iu the left hand or the right ; or, as one tradition affirms, for his skill 
as a left-handed swordsman after the loss of his right hand: aud -hence his soubriquet of 
Colkittock, or Coll, the Left-handed. The term "carry" is frequently used iu Scotland as 
one implying reproach, or contempt. In some parts of the country, aud especially in 
Lanarkshire, it is even regarded as an evil omen to meet a carry-handed person when 
setting out on a journey. Jamieson notes the interjectional phrase car-shami/e (Gaelic 
sgeamh-aim, to reproach) as in use in Kiurosshire, in the favourite Scottish game of shintie, 
when an antagonist takes what is regarded as an undue advantage by using his club, or 
shintie in the left hand. All this, while indicating the exceptional character of left-hand- 
ness, clearly points to a habit of such frequent occurrence as to be familiarily present to 
every mind. But the exceptional skill, or dexterity, as it may be fitly called, which usually 
pertains to the left-handed operator, is generally sulficient to redeem him from slight. The 

' Hist. Nat., lib. xxviii. c. 2. 


ancient Scottish game of golf, which is only a more refined and strictly regulated form of 
the rustic shintie, is one in which the implements are of necessity right-handed, and so 
subject the left-handed player to great disadvantage, unless he provides his own special 
clubs. The links at Leith have long been famous as an arena for Scottish golfers. King 
Charles I was engaged in a game of golf there, when, in November, 1641, a letter was 
delivered into his hands which gave him the first account of the Irish Rebellion. The 
same links were a favorite resort of his younger son, James II, while still Duke of York, 
and some curious traditions preserve the memory of his relish for the game. There, accord- 
ingly, golf is still played with keenest zest ; and among its present practisers is a left-handed 
golfer, who, as usual with left-handed persons, is practically ambidextrous. He has 
accordingly provided himself with a double set of right and left drivers and irons ; so that 
he can use either hand at pleasure according to the character of the ground or the position 
of the ball, to the general diseomiiture of his one-handed rivals. The Scotchmen of 
Montreal and Quebec have transplanted the old national game to Canadian soil ; and the 
latter city has a beautiful course on the historical battle-field, the scene of Wolfe's victory 
and death. There experience induced the Quebec Grolf Club, when ordering spare sets of 
implements for the use of occasional guests from Great Britain, to consider the propriety 
of providing a left-handed set. In the discussion to which the proposal gave rise, it was 
urged to be unnecessary, as a left-handed player generally has his own clubs with him ; 
but finally the order was limited to two left-handed drivers, so that when a left-handed 
golfer joins them he has to put with his driver. The considerateness of the Quebec golfers 
was no doubt stimulated by the fact that there is a skilled golfer of the Montreal Club 
whose feats of dexterity as a left-handed player at times startle them. A Quebec golfer 
writes to me thus : "There is one left-handed fellow belonging to the Montreal Club who 
comes down occasionally to challenge us ; and I have watched his queer play with a 
good deal of interest and astonishment." 

To the left-handed man his right hand is the less ready, the less dexterous, and the 
weaker member. But in all ordinary experience the idea of weakness, uncertainty, unre- 
liability, attaches to the left hand, and so naturally leads to the tropical significance of 
" unreliable, untrustworthy," in a moral sense. Both ideas are found alike in barbarous 
and classic languages. An interesting example of the former occurs in Ovid's " Fasti " 
(iii. 869), where the poet speaks of the flight of Helle and her brother on the golden-fleeced 
ram, and describes her as grasping its horn, " with her feeble left hand, when she made 
of herself a name for the waters," i. e., by falling off and being drowned : — 

" Utque fugam capiant, aries nitidissimns auro 

Traditur. Ille vehit per fréta longa duos. 
Dicitur informa cornu tenuisse sinistra 

Femina, cum de se nomina fecit aquœ." 

In the depreciatory moral sense, Plautus, in the "Persa" (II. ii. 4-4) calls the leff hand 
furlifica, " thievish." " Estne hœc manus ? Ubi ilia altera est furtifica lœva ? " So in like 
manner the term in all its forms accjuires a depreciatory sig-nificance, and is even applied 
to sinister looks. So far, then, as the evidence of language goes, the distinction of the 
right from the left hand, as the more reliable member, appears to be coeval with the 
earliest known use of language. 


This preferential use of one hand as the more skilful, and hence the more honoured 
member, at an early stage in the use of weapons of war, or in the apt labours of the 
husbandman or craftsman, finds confirmation from another line of evidence. The pre- 
valence of a decimal system of numerals among widely severed nations, alike in ancient 
and modern times, has been universally ascribed to the simple process of counting with 
the aid of the fingers. Mr. Francis Gralton, in his " Narrative of an Exploration in Tropical 
Africa," when describing the efforts of the Damaras at computation, states that the mental 
effort fails them beyond 'hree. " "When they wish to express /owr, they take to their fingers, 
which are to them as formidable instruments of calculation as a sliding rule is to an 
English school-boy. They puzzle verji- much after five, because no spare hand remains to 
grasp and secure the fingers that are required for units." Turning to the line of evidence 
which this primitive method of computation suggests, some striking analogies reveal a 
recognition of ideas common to the savage and to the cultivated Greek and Roman. 
Donaldson, in his "New Cratylus," in seeking to trace the first ten numerals to their 
primitive roots in Sanskrit, Zend, Greek and Latin, derives seven of them from the three 
primitive prenominal elements. But five, nine and ten are referred directly to the same 
infantile source of decimal notation, suggested by the ten fingers, as that which has been 
recognised in similar operation among the Hawaians and the Maoris of New Zealand. 
" One would fanc}^ indeed, without any particular investigation of the subject, that the 
number five would have some connection with the word signifying ' a hand ', and the 
number ten with a word denoting the ' right hand ' ; for in coi".nting with our fingers we 
begin with the little finger of the left hand." Hence the familiar idea, as expressed in its 
simplest form, where Hesoid (Op. *740) calls the hand nlvroZov, the five-branch ; and 
hence also 7ta)_i7Tâ'ZGci, primarily to count on five fingers. 

Bopp, adopting the same idea, considers the Sanskrit pan'-cha as formed of the copula- 
tive conjunction added to the neuter form oîpa, one, and so signifying " and one." Benary 
explains it as an abbreviation of pun'-i-cha, "and the hand" — the conjunction being 
equally recognisable in pan'-cha, niv-n and quin-que. This, they assume, expressed the idea 
that the enumerator then began to count with the other hand ; but Donaldson ingeniously 
suggests the simpler meaning, that after counting four, the whole hand was opened and 
held up. To reckon by the hand was, accordingly, to make a rough computation, as in the 
" Wasps," of Aristophanes, where Bdelycleon bids his father, the dicast, " first of all calcu- 
late roughly, not by pebbles, but dno x^ipôs^, with the hand." 

The relation of ôcSià to âîu-a and dextra, Stu-a, decern, âsH-ffiôs-, decster, illustrates the 
same idea. Grimm, indeed, says, " In counting with the fingers, one naturally begins with 
the left hand, and so goes on to the right. This may explain why, in ditiereut languages, 
the words for the left refer to the root of five, those for the right to the root of ten." Hence also 
the derivation of finger, through the Gothic, and Old High German, from the stem for 
"five" and "left " ; while the Greek and Latin (îawri'Aosrand digitus, are directly traceable 
to StH'n and decent. The connexion between àpiffrupd and sinistra is also traced with little 
difficulty ; the sibilant of the latter being ascribed to an initial digamma, assumed in the 
archaic form of the parent vocabulary. Nor is the relationship of âsBiâ with digitus a 
far-fetched one. As the antique custom was to hand the wine from right to left, so it may 
be presumed that the ancients commenced counting with the left hand, in the use of that 
primitive abacus, finishing with the dexter or right hand at the tenth digit, and so 
completing the decimal numeration. 


The inferior relation of the left to the right hand was also indicated in the use of the 
former for lower, and the latter for higher numbers beyond ten. In reckoning with their 
fingers, both G-reeks and Romans counted on the left hand as far as a hundred, then on the 
right hand to two hundred, and so on alternately, the even numbers being always 
reckoned on the right hand. The poet Juvenal refers to this, in his tenth Satire, where, 
in dwelling on the attributes of age, he speaks of the centenarian, " who counts his years 
on his right hand : " — 

" Felix niminim, qui tot per secula mortem 
Distulit, atque suos jam dextra computat annos, 
Quique novum toties mustum bibit." 

A curious allusion, by Tacitus, in the first book of his History, serves to show that the 
German barbarians beyond the Alps no less clearly recognised the significance of the 
right hand, as that which was preferred, and accepted as the more honourable member. 
The Liugoues, a Belgian tribe, had sent presents to the legions, as he narrates ; and in 
accordance with ancient usage, gave as the symbolical emblem of friendship, two right 
hands clasped together. " Miserat civitas Lingonum A^etere instituto dona legionibus, 
dextras, hospitii insigne." The dextrœ are represented on a silver quinarius of Julius 
Caesar, thus described in Ackerman's "Catalogue of rare and unedited Roman Coins," 
" PAX. S. C. Female head. Rev. L. AEMILIVS. BVCA. IIII. VIR. Two hands joined." ' 

Other evidence of a different kind confirms the recognition and preferential use of the 
right hand among our Teutonic ancestors from the remotest period. Dr. Richard Lepsius, 
in following out an ingenious analysis of the primitive names for the numerals, and the 
sources of their origin, traces from the common Sanskrit root daça, G-reek âéua, through the 
Gothic taihun, the hunda, as in tva hunda, two hundred. He next points out the resem- 
blance between the Gothic hunda, and handus, i. e. "the hand," showing that this is no 
accidental agreement, but that the words are etymologically one and the same. The 
A. S. hund, a hundred, originally meant only "ten," and was prefixed to numerals above 
twenty, as hund eahtatig, eighty, etc. 

Thus far philological evidence clearly points to a very wide prevalence of the recog- 
nition of right-handedness ; and when we turn from this to the oldest sources of direct 
historical evidence, the references abundantly confirm the same conclusions. More than 
one allusion in the " Book of Judges " show that the skill of the left-handed among the 
tribe of Benjamin was specially noted ; while at the same time, the very form of the record 
marks the attribute as exceptional ; and all the more so as occurring in the tribe whose 
patronymic — ben yamin, the son of the right hand, — so specially indicates the idea of 
honour and dignity constantly associated with the right hand throughout the Hebrew 
Scriptures. When, as we read in the "Book of Judges," the Lord raised up a deliverer of 
Israel from the oppression of Eglou, King of Moab, Ehad, the son of Gera, was a Benja- 
mite, a man left-handed. He accordingly fashioned for himself a two-edged da-gger which 
he girt under his raiment upon his right thigh ; and thus armed, he presented himself as 
the bearer of a present from the childi-en of Israel to the King, and sought a private inter- 
view, saying : " I have a secret errand unto thee, O King." The special fitness of the left- 

' Ackerman i. 106. 

Sec. IL, 1886. 2. 


hauded messenger, in this case, was, it may be presumed, that as he put forth his left 
hand to take the dagger from his right side, the motion would not excite svispiciou. But 
also, as we learn from a later chapter, a body of seven hundred chosen marksmen, all 
left-handed, were selected from the same tribe for their preeminent skill. "Everyone 
could sling stones at a hair breadth and not miss." Nevertheless the relative numbers 
are not such as to suggest that left-handeduess was more common among the tribe of Ben- 
jamin than in others of the tribes Of twenty-six thousand Benjamites that drew the 
sword, there were the seven hundred left-handed slingers ; or barely 2.7 per cent. ; which 
does not greatly differ from the proportion noted at the present time. In the song of 
triumph for the avenging of Israel over the Canaanites, in the same " Book of Judges," 
the deed of vengeance by which Sisera, the Captain of the host of Jabin, King of Canaan, 
perished by the hand of a woman, is thus celebrated : — " She put her hand to the nail, and 
her right hand to the workman's hammer ; and with the hammer she smote Sisera." 
Here, as we see, while their deliverer from the oppression of the Moabites is noted as a 
Benjamite, a left-handed man ; Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, is blessed above women, 
who with her right hand smote the enemy of Q-od and her people. Along with those 
references may be noted one of a later date, recorded in the first " Book of Chronicles." 
When David was in hiding from Saul, at Ziklag, there came to him a company of Saul's 
bretheren of Benjamin, mighty men, armed with bows, who could use both the right 
hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow. These latter, it 
will be observed, are noted not as left-handed, but ambidextrous ; but this is characteristic 
of all left-handed persons ; though even amongst them the unwonted facility with both 
hands rarely, if ever, entirely svipersedes the greater dexterity of the left hand. Possibly 
the patronymic of the tribe gave significance to such deviations from normal usage ; but 
either for this, or some unnoted reason, the descendants of Benjamin, the Son of the Right 
Hand, appear to have obtained notoriety for exceptional aptitude in the use of either hand. 
So far it is manifest that the preferential use of one hand specially designated by a 
term that came to be associated with honour, dignity and trust, was common to many 
ancient people; and is perpetuated in the languages both of civilised and savage races. 
But this suggests another inquiry of important significance in the determiaation of the 
results. The application of the Latin dexter to " right-handedness " specifically, as well as 
to general dexterity in its more comprehensive sense, points, like the record of the old 
Benjamites, to the habitual use of one hand in preference to the other ; but does it neces- 
sarily imply that their " right hand " was the one on that side which we now concur in 
calling dexter or right ? In the exigencies of war or the chase, and still more in many of 
the daily requirements of civilised life, it is necessary that there should be no hesitation 
as to which hand shall be used. Promptness and dexterity depend on this, and no hesi- 
tation is felt, But, still further, in many cases of combined action, it is needful that the 
hand so used shall be the same ; and wherever such a conformity of practice is recognised 
the hand so used, whichever it be, is that on which dexterity depends, and becomes practi- 
cally the right hand. The term yamin, " the right hand," already noted as the root of the 
proper name, Benjamin, and of the tribe thus curiously distinguished for its left-handed 
warriors and skilled marksmen, is derived from the verb yâmàn, to be firm, to be faithful, 
as the right hand is given as a pledge of fidelity, e. g., " The Lord hath sworn by his right 
hand" (Isaiah, Ixii. 8). So in the Arabic form, bimin Allah, by the right hand of Allah. 


So also with the Hebrews and other ancient nations, as still among ourselves, the seat at 
the right hand of the host, or of any dignitary, was the place of honour ; as when Solomon 
" caused a seat to be set for the king's mother ; and she sat on his right hand " (1 Kings, 
ii. 19). Again, the term is frequently used in opposition to semal, left hand ; as when the 
children of Israel would pass through Edom ; " We will go by the king's highway ; we 
will not turn to the right hand or to the left " (Numbers, xx. 1^). 

But a further use and significance of the terms helps us to the fact that the Hebrew 
yamin and our right hand are the same. In its secondary meaning it signified the " south, " 
as in Ezekiel, xlvii. 1 : " The forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters 
came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar." 
The four points are accordingly expressed ihus in Hebrew : yamin, the right, the south ; 
kedem, the front, the east ; semol, the left, the north ; achor, behind, the west. To the old 
Hebrew, when looking to the east, the west was thus behind, the south on his right hand, 
and the north on his left. This determination of the right and left in relation to the east 
is not peculiar to the Hebrews. Many nations appear to have designated the south in the 
same manner, as being on the right hand when looking to the east. Its origin may be 
traced with little hesitation to the associations with the most ancient and dignified form 
of false worship, the paying divine honours to the Sun, as he rises in the east, as the Lord 
of Day. Thus we find in the Sanskrit dakshina, right hand, south ; puras, in front, east- 
ward ; apara, paçchinia, behind, west ; ultara^ northern, to the left. The old Irish has, in 
like manner, deas or ders, on the right, southward ; oirlhear, in front, east ; jav, behind, west ; 
tuath, north, from Ihuaidh, left. The analogous practise among the Esquimaux, though 
sugested by a different cause, illustrates a similar origiu for the terms " right " and " left." 
Dr. H. Fink, in a communication to the Anthropological Institute (June, 1885) remarks : — 
" To indicate the quai-ters of the globe, the G-reenlanders use at once two systems. 
Besides the ordinary one, they derive another from the Aaew of the open sea, distinguish- 
ing what is to the left and to the right hand. The latter appears to have been the origi- 
nal method of determining the bearings, but gradually the words for the left and the 
right side came to signify at the same time ' south ' and ' north '." 

A diverse idea is illustrated by the like secondary signifiance of the Greek ffuaios, left, 
or on the left hand ; but also used as " west ", or " westward ", as in the Iliad, iii. 149, (Xnaïaï 
TTvXcxi, the west gate of Troy. The G-reek augur, turning, as he did, his face to the north 
had the left — the sinister, ill-omened, unlucky side, — on the west. Hence the meta- 
phorical significance of àpiffrspn?, ominous, boding ill. But the GJ-reeks had also the 
other mode of expressing the right and left, derived from their mode of bearing arms. "When 
Carlyle, at the advanced age of seventy-five, lost the use of his right hand, which had for 
so many years wielded the pen with such marvellous effect on his age, among the 
reflections which this privation suggested to him, he asks. " Why that particular hand 
was chosen ? " and dubiously answers : " Probably arose in fighting ; most important to 
protect your heart and its adjacencies ; and to carry the shield on that hand." Archaic 
vases sufiice to illustrate the mode of carrying the shield among the Greeks and hence, the 
shield-hand became synonymous with the left. The right side was snï ôôpv, the spear 
side, while the left was, en àffTrlôa, the shield side. The familiar ai^plication of the terms 
in this sense is seen in Xenophon's "Anabasis " (IV. iii. 26) Kai napi'iyysiXe roîs Xoxnyoîs 
K«r' ivûûpiorias noujaaaBai htaGrov rov éavroù Xoxov, nap' aanldas napayayôvras rrjy 


éva)j.ioTiav Èn\ (liâXayyos, " He ordered to draw up his ceutury iu squads of twenty-five, 
and post them in line to the left." And again, Anabasis, IV. iii. 29 : Tols St ■nnp'' éavrà 
napi)yyfA\iv . . . ar^^oTpi'f'^''''^'-^ f^' f^"Pf^7 «•''•A., " He ordered his own division, turning 
to the right." The word ixpiatEpos has also been interpreted as " the shield-bearing arm." 
Among the Romans, we may trace some survival of the ancient practise of wor- 
shipping towards the east, as in Livy, i. 18, where the augurs are said to turn the right 
side to the south, and the left side to the north. But the original significance of turning 
to the east had then been sight of ; and the particular quarter of the heavens towards 
which the Eoman augur was to look appears to have been latterly very much at the will 
of the augur himself. It was, at any rate, variable. Livy indicates the east ; but Varro 
assigns the south, and Froutiuus the west. Probably part of the augur's professional 
skill consisted in selecting the aspect of the heavens suited to the occasion. But this done, 
the flight of birds and other appearances on the right or on the left, determined the will 
of the gods. " Why," asks Cicero, himself an augur, " Why should the raven on the right, 
and the crow on the Lift, make a confirmatory augury ?" " Cur a dextra corvus, a sinistra 
comix faciat ratum ?" (De Divin, i.) The left was the side on which the thunder was 
declared to be heard which confirmed the inauguration of a magistrate, and in other 
respects the augur regarded it with special awe. But still the right side was, iu all ordi- 
nary acceptance, the propitious one ; as in the address to Hercules [Mu. viii. 302) : — 

" Salve, vera Jovis proles, pecus addite divis ; 
Et nos et tua dexter adi pede sacra secundo." 

The traces of a term of common origin for right (south) iu so many of the Indo-Euro- 
pean languages is interesting and siiggestive ; though the ultimate word is still open to 
question. How the equivalent terms run through the whole system may be seen from 
the following illustrations : Sanskrit, dakshina (cf deccan) ; Zend, dashina ; Gothic, tailis-vo ; 
0. H. G-erman, zëso ; Lithuanian, desziné ; Gaelic, dhms ; Erse, dess (deas) ; Latin, dexter ; 
Greek, SeSw?, etc. The immediate Sanskrit stem daksh means " to be right, or fitting ; " 
secondarily " to be dexterous, clever," etc. This is evidently from a root, dek, as the western 
languages show. It was usual at an earlier period to trace the whole to the root, dik, to 
show, to point ; but this is now given up. Probably the Greek âEM-o/.iai (ôtxo/.iai) take, 
receive, preserves the original stem, with the idea primarily of " seizing, catching." This 
leads naturally to a comparison of ôâlir-v-Xosr, finger, and dig-i-tus, ôoK-à-vt), fork, etc. 
(see Curtius' " Outlines of Greek Etymology. ") 

Eight-handed usages, and the ideas which they suggest, largely influence the ceremo- 
nial observances of many nations, affect their religious observances, bear a significant 
part in the marriage rites, and are interwoven with the most familiar social usages. 
Among the ancient Greeks the rites of the social board required the passing of the wine 
from right to left — or, at any rate, in one invariable direction, — as indicated by Homer in 
his description of the feast of the gods, (Iliad, i. 597, BenU èvôtSia nàaiv nim^^nn,) where 
Hephœstus goes round and pours out the sweet nectar to the assembled gods. The direc- 
tion pursued by the cup-bearer would be determined by his bearing the flagon in his right 
hand, and so walking with his right side towards the guests. This is, indeed, a point of 
dispute among scholars. But it is not questioned that a uniform practice prevailed. 


dependent on the recognition of right and left-handedness ; and this is no less apparent 
among the Eomans than the Greeks. It is set forth in the most unmusical of Horace's 
hexameters : " Ille sinistrorsum, hie dextrorsum abit ;" and finds its precise elucidation 
from many independent soiirces, in the allusions of the poets, in the works of sculp- 
tors, and in decorations of fictile ware. The determination of the actual right and left 
of the Grreeks and Romans, as of other nations, is of importance, in order to ascertain if 
they were the same as oiir own. But the true direction of the Hebrew right and left has 
a special significance, in view of the fact that whilst the great class of Aryan languages, 
including the ancient Sanskrit, G-reek and Latin, appear to have been written from left to 
right, and the same characteristic is common to the whole alphabets and writings of India : 
all the Semitic languages, except the Ethiopie, are written from right to left. Habit 
has so largely affected our current handwriting, and modified its forms into those best 
adapted for rapid and continuous execution in the one direction, that its reversal at once 
suggests the idea of a left-handed people. But there is no true ground for this. So long 
as each character was separately di'awn, and when, moreover, they were pictorial or ideo- 
graphic, it was, in reality, more natural to begin at the right, or nearer side, of the papyrus 
or tablet, than to pass over to the left. The forms of all written characters are largely 
affected by their mode of use, as is abundantlj^ illustrated in the transformation of the 
Egyptian ideographs in the later demotic writing. The forms of the old Semitic alphabet, 
like the Egyptian hieroglyphics, are specially adapted to cutting on stone. The square 
Hebrew characters are of much later date ; but they also, like the uncials of early 
Christian manuscripts, were executed singly, and therefore could be written as easily 
from right to left as in a reverse order. The oldest alphabets indicate a special adapta- 
tion for monumental inscriptions. The Eunic characters of northern Europe owe their 
peculiar form apparently to them being primarily cut on wood. When papyrus leaves 
were sirbstituted for stone, a change was inevitable ; but the direction of the writing 
only becomes significant in reference to a current hand. The Greek fashion of 
bouslrophedon, or alternating like the course of oxen in ploughing, illustrates the 
natural process of beginning at the side nearest to the hand ; nor did either this, or the 
still earlier mode of writing in columns, as wnth the ancient Egyptians, or the Chinese, 
present any impediment, so long as it was executed in detached characters. But so soon as 
the reed or cjuill, with the coloured pigment, began to supersede the chisel, the hieratic 
writing assumed a modified form ; and when it passed into the later demotic hand- 
writing, with its seemingly arbitrary script, the same influences were brought into 
play which control the modern penman in the slope, direction, and force of his stroke. 
One important exception, however, still remained. Although, as in writing Greek, the 
tendency towards the adoption of tied letters was inevitable, yet to the last the enchorial 
or demotic writing was mainly executed in detached characters, and does not, therefore, 
constitute a true current hand-writing, such as in our ow^n continuous penmanship 
leaves no room for doubt as to the hand by which it was executed. Any sufficiently 
ambidextrous penman, attempting to copy a piece of modern current writing with either 
hand, would determine beyond all question its right-handed execution. But no such 
certain result is found on applying the same test to the Egyptian demotic. I have tried 
it on two of the Louvre demotic MSS. and a portion of a Turin papyrus, and find that 
they can be copied with nearly equal dexterity with either hand. Some of the characters 


are more easily and naturally executed, without lifting the pen, with the left hand than 
the right. Others again, in the slope and the direction of the thickening of the stroke, 
suggest a right-handed execution, but habit iu the forming of the characters, as in 
writing Grreek or Arabic, would speedil}^ overcome any such difficulty either way. I 
feel assured that no habitually left-handed writer would find any difficulty in acquiring 
the unmodified demotic hand ; whereas no amount of dexterity of the penman compelled 
to resort to his left hand in executing ordinary current writing suffices to prevent such a 
modification in the slope, the stroke, and the formation of the characters, as clearly indi- 
cates the change. 

So soon as the habitual use of the papyrus, with the reed pen and coloured pigments, 
had developed any uniformity of usage, the customary method of writing by the Egyptian 
app ^ars to have accorded with that iu use among the Hebrew and other Semitic races ; 
though examples do occur of true hieroglyphic papyri written from left to right. But the 
pictorial character of such writings furnishes another test. It is easier for a right-handed 
draftsman to draw a profile with the face looking towards the left ; and the same influence 
might be anticipated to aff'ect the direction of the characters incised on the walls of temples 
and palaces. This has accordingly suggested an available clue to Egyptian right or left- 
handedness. But the evidence adduced from Egyptian monuments is liable to mislead. A 
writer in " Nature " (J. S., April 14th, ISTO), states as the result of a careful survey of the 
examples in the British Museum, that the hieroglyphic profiles there generally look to the 
right, and so suggest the work of a left-handed people. Other and more suggestive 
evidence from the monuments of Egypt points to the same conclusion, but it is deceptive. 
The hieroglyphic sculptures of the Egyptians, like the cufic inscriptions in Arabian 
architecture, are mainly decorative ; and are arranged symmetrically for architectural 
effect. The same principle regulated their introduction on sarcophagi. Of this, examples 
in the British Museum furnish abundant illustration. On the great sarcophagus of 
Sebaksi, priest of Phtha, the profiles on the right and left column look towards the centre 
line ; and hence the element of right-handedness is subordinated to decorative require- 
ments. If this is overlooked, the left-haudedness ascribed above to the ancient Egyptians 
may seem to be settled beyond dispute, by numerous representations both of gods and 
men, engaged in the actual process of writing. Among the incidents introduced in the 
oft-repeated judgment scene of Osiris — as on the Adytum of the Temple of Dayr el Medi- 
neh, of which I have a photograph, — Thoth, the Egyptian God of Letters, stands with the 
stylus in his left hand, and a papyrus or tablet in his right, and records concerning the 
deceased, in the presence of the divine judge, the results of the literal weighing in the 
balance of the deeds done in the body. In other smaller representations of the same 
scene, Thoth is similarly introduced holding the stylus in his left hand. So also, iu the 
decorations on the wall of the great chamber in the rock-temple of Abou Simbel, Rameses 
is represented slaying his enemies with a club, which is held iu his left hand ; and in the 
sculptures of Pasht, she is decapitating her prisoners with a scimiter, held iu the left 
hand. This evidence seems so direct and indisputable as to settle the question ; yet 
further research leaves no doubt that it is illusory. Ample evidence to the contrary is to 
be found in ChampoUion's " Monuments de l'Egypte et de la Nubie " ; and is fully con- 
firmed by Maxime Du Camp's " Photographie Pictures of Egypt, Nubia, etc.," by Sir 
J. Gardner "Wilkinson's " Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians," and by other 


photographic and pictorial evidence. In a group, for example, photographed by Du 
Camp, from the exterior of the sanctuary of the palace of Karnak, where the Pharaoh is 
represented crowned by the ibis and hawk-headed deities, Thoth and Horus, the hierogly- 
phics are cut on either side so as to look towards the central figure. The same arrange- 
ment is repeated in another group at Ipsamboul, engraved by Champollion " Monuments 
de l'Egypte," (Vol. I. PI. 5.) Still more, where figures are intermingled, looking in 
opposite directions — as shown in a photograph of the elaborately sculptured posterior 
façade of the Great Temple of Denderah, — the accompanying hieroglyphics, graven in 
column, vary in direction in accordance with that of the figure to which they refer. 
Columns of hieroglyphics repeatedly occur, separating the seated deity and a worshipper 
standing before him, and only divided by a perpendicular line, where the characters are 
turned in opposite directions corresponding to those of the immediately adjacent figures. 

When, as in the Judgment scene at El Medineh and elsewhere, Osiris is seated looking 
to the right, Thoth faces him holding in the off-hand — as more extended, by reason of 
the simple perspective, — the papyrus or tablet ; while the pen or style is held in the near 
or left hand. To have placed the pen and tablet in the opposite hands, would have required 
a complex perspective and foreshortening, or would have left the whole action obscure 
and unsuited for monumental eflect. Nevertheless, the difficulty is overcome in repeated 
examples : as in a repetition of the same scene engraved in Sir J. GJ-ardner Wilkinson's 
" Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians " (PI. 88), and on a beautifully executed 
papyrus, part of " The Book of the Dead," now in the Louvre, and reproduced in facsimile 
in Sylvestre's " Universal Paheography " (Vol. I. PI. 46), in both of which Thoth holds 
the pen or style in the right hand. The latter also includes a shearer holding the sickle 
in his right hand, and a female sower, with the seed-basket on her left arm, scattering 
the seed with her right hand. Examples of scribes, stewards, and others engaged in 
writing, are no less common in the scenes of ordinary life ; and though when looking to 
the left, they are, at times, represented holding the style or pen in the left hand, yet the 
preponderance of evidence suffices to refer this to the exigencies of primitive perspective. 
The steward in a sculpture^ scene from a tomb at Elethya (Monuments de I'Egypt, 
PI. 142), receives and writes down a report of the cattle from the field servants, holding 
the style in his right hand, and the tablet in his left. So is it with the registrar and the 
scribes (Wilkinson, figs. 85, 86), the steward who takes account of the grain delivered 
(fig. 387), and the notary and scribes (figs. 73, 78) — all from Thebes, where they superin- 
tend the weighing at the public scales, and enumerate a group of negro slaves. 

In the colossal sculptures on the façades of the great temples, where complex 
perspective and foreshortening would interfere with the architectixral eftect, the hand in 
which the mace or weapon is held appears to be mainly determined by the direction to 
which the figure looks. At Ipsamboul, as shown in " Monuments de I'Egypt," PI 11, 
Rameses grasps with his right hand, by the hair of the head, a group of captives of Avarions 
races, negroes included, while he smites them with a scimiter or pole-axe, wielded in his 
left hand ; but an onlooker, turned in the opposite direction, holds the sword in his right 
hand. This transposition is more markedly shown in two scenes from the same temple 
(PI. 28). In the one Rameses, looking to the right, wields the pole-axe in the near or 
right hand, as he smites a kneeling Asiatic ; in the other, where he looks to the left, he 
holds his weapon again in the near, but now the left hand, as he smites a kneeling negro. 


On the same temple soldiers are represented holding spears in the near hand, right or 
left, according to the direction they are looking (PI. 22) ; and swords and shields are 
transposed in like manner (PI. 28). The same is seen in the siege scenes and military 
reviews* of Rameses the G-reat, on the walls of Thebes and elsewhere. The evidence is 
misleading if the primary aim of architectural decoration is not kept in view. In an 
example from Karnac — appealed to in proof that the Egyptians were a left-handed 
people, — where Thotmes III holds, his offering in the extended left hand, his right 
side is stated to be towards the observer. Nor are similar examples rare. Thoth and 
other deities, sculptured in colossal proportions, on the G-rand Temple of Isis, at Philœ, 
as shown by Du Camp, in like manner have their right sides towards the observer, 
and hold each the mace or sceptre in the extended left hand. But on turning to the 
photographs of the Q-reat Temple of Denderah, where another colossal series of deities is 
represented in precisely the same attitude, but looking in the opposite direction, the 
official symbols are reversed, and each holds the sceptre in the extended right hand. 
Numerous similar instances are given by Wilkinson ; as in the dedication of the pylon of 
a temple to Amun by Rameses III, Thebes (No. 4*70) ; the Goddesses of the West and East, 
looking in corresponding directions (No. 461), etc. 

Examples, however, occvir where the conventional formulte of Egyptian sculpture 
have been abandoned, and the artist has overcome the difficulties of perspective ; as in a 
remarkable scene in the Memuonium, at Thebes, where Atmoo, Thoth, and a female 
(styled by A¥ilkinson the Goddess of Letters), are all engaged in writing the name of 
Rameses on the fruit of the Persea tree. Though looking in opposite directions, each 
holds the pen in the right hand (Wilkinson, PI. 54 a). So also at Beui Hassan, two artists 
kneeling in front of a board, face each other, and each paint an animal, holding the brush 
in the right hand. At Medinet Habou, Thebes, more than one scene of draught-players 
occurs, where the players, facing each other, each hold the piece in the right hand. Simi- 
lar illustrations repeatedly occur. 

Among another people, of kindred artistic skill, whose records have been brought anew 
to light in recent years, their monumental evidence appears to furnish more definite 
results ; while proof of a wholly different kind leaves no room to doubt that among them a 
specific hand was recognised as that which every child learned to prefer as soon as reason 
assumed its sway. When the prophet had proclaimed the destruction of Nineveh, and 
resented the Divine mercy to its repentant people which seemed to falsify his message, 
the lesson taught him by the withering of his gourd is thus set forth : " And should not 
I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that 
cannot discern between their right hand and their left ? " That the Niuevites and the 
ancient dwellers on the Euphrates and the Tigris were a right-handed people appears to 
be borne out by their elaborate sculpture, recovered at Kourjuujik, Khorsabad, Nimroud, 
and other buried cities of the great plain. The sculptures are in relief, and frequently of 
a less conventional character than those of the Egyptian monuments, and are consequently 
less affected by the aspect and position of the figures. The gigantic figure of the Assyrian 
Hercules — or, as supposed, of the mighty hunter, Nimrod — found between the winged 
bulls, in the great court of the Palace of Khorsabad, is represented strangling a young 
lion, which he presses against his chest with his left arm, while he holds in his right 
hand a weapon of the chase, supposed to be analogous to the Australian boomerang. On 


the walls of the same palace the great king appears with his staff in his right hand, while 
his left hand rests on the pommel of his sword. Behind him a ennuch holds in his right 
hand, over the king's head, a fan or fly-flapper ; and so with other officers in attendance. 
Soldiers bear their swords and axes in the right hand, and their shields on the left arm. 
A prisoner is being flayed aliA^e by an operator who holds the knife in the right hand. 
The king himself puts out the eyes of another captive, holding the spear in his right 
hand, while he retains in his left the end of a cord attached to his victim. Similar evi- 
dence abounds throughout the elaborate series of sculptures in the British Museum and in 
the Louvre. Everywhere gods and men are represented as " discerning between their 
right hand and their left," and giving the preference to the former. 

It has been already shown that in languages of the American continent, as in 
those of the Algonquins and the Iroquois, the recognition of the distinction between the 
right and left hand is apparent ; and on turning to the monuments of a native American 
civilisation, evidence similar to that deri^^ed from the sculptures of Egypt and Assyria 
serves to show that the same hand had the preference in the New World as in the Old. 
In the Palenque hieroglyphics of Central America, for example, in which human and 
animal heads frequently occur among the sculptured characters, it is noticeable that they 
invariably look towards the left, indicating, as it appears to me, that they are the graven 
inscriptions of a lettered people, who were accustomed to write the same characters from 
left to right on paper or skins. Indeed, the pictorial groups on the Copan statues seem to 
be the true hieroglyphic characters ; while the Palenque inscriptions correspond to the 
abbreviated hieratic writing. The direction of the profile was a matter of no moment to 
the sculptor, but if the scribe held his pen or style in his right hand, like the modern 
clerk, he would as naturally draw the left profile as the penman slopes his current hand 
to the right. In the pictorial hieroglyphics, reproduced in Lord Kiugsborough's "Mexican 
Antiquities," as in other illustrations of the arts of Mexico and Central America, it is also 
apparent that the battle-axe and other M^eapons and implements are most frec[uently held 
in the right hand. But to this exceptions occur ; and it is obvious that there, also, the 
crude perspective of the artist influenced the disposition of the tools, or weapons, 
according to the action designed to be rex^resented, and the direction in which the actor 

Such are some of the indications which seem to point to a uniform usage, in so far as 
we can recover evidence of the practice among ancient nations. But far behind their most 
venerable records lie the chronicles of Palœolithic ages : of the men of the drift and of 
the caves of Europe's prehistoric dawn. " I wonder," says Carlyle, when the deprivation 
of the use of his right hand forced this enquiry on his special notice, " I wonder if there 
is any people barbarous enough not to have this distinction of hands ; no human Cosmos 
possible to be even begun without it." It need not, therefore, surprise us that evidence 
is now addiiced which seems to prove that the draftsmen of European's Palœolithic Era 
gave the preference to the right hand ; and that the flint implements of the drift reveal, 
by the direction of the grooves produced on their surface in the process of flaking, that 
their manufacturers were also, with rare exceptions, right-handed. 

The troglodyte of Europe's Palœolithic dawn has transmitted to us his ingenious 
works as a draftsman ; and in the graphic representations of the mammoth, the reindeer, 
the fossil horse, and others of the contemporary fauna, which have been preserved through 

Sec. IL, 1886. 3. 


all the intermediate ages, securely sealed up in the cave breccia, we have illustrations of 
the hand-usage of primitive times of profouuder significance than any that the monuments 
of Assyria or Egypt supply. Among those there are undoubted left-handed drawings ; 
and above all a remarkably skilful and spirited sketch of a reindeer grazing, recovered 
from a cave at Thayngen, in the Kesserloch, Schaffhausen. The examples of the art of 
the Palajolithic draftsmen thus far recovered are too few in number to admit of any 
general conchision as to the relative use of the right or left hand among the primitive 
cave men. There is, indeed, among them a larger percentage of left-handed draftsmen 
than would ordinarily be looked for as exceptional deviations from the normal practise 
among a right-handed people. But, without attempting to deduce any statistical results 
of general application from such narrow premises, the evidence is distinctly in favour of 
primitive right-handedness. 

So far, then, it seems to be proved that not only among cultured and civilised races, 
but among the barbarous tribes of both hemispheres — in Australia, Polynesia, among the 
Arctic tribes of our northern hemisphere at the present day, and among the Palaeolithic 
men of Europe's Post-Pliocene times, — not only has a habitual preference been manifested 
for the use of one hand rather than the other, but among all alike the same hand has 
been preferred. Yet, also, it is no less noteworthy that this prevailing uniformity of prac- 
tice has always been accompanied by some very pronounced exceptions. Not only are 
cases of exceptional facility in the use of both hands of frequent occurrence ; but while 
right-handedness everywhere predominates, left-handeduess is nowhere unknown. The 
skill of the combatant in hitting with ' both hands is indeed a favourite topic of poetic 
laudation, though this is characteristic of every well-trained boxer. In the combat 
between Entellus and Dares {Mn. v. 456), the passionate Entellus strikes, now with his 
right hand, and again with his left : — 


" Prsecipitemque Daren ardens agit œquore toto, 
Nunc dextra ingeminans ictus, nunc ille sinistra." 

But the more general duty of the left hand is as the guard, or the shield-bearer, as where 
^neas gives the signal to his comrades, in sight of the Trojans (Mn. x. 261) — 

" Stans celsa in puppi ; clipeum cum deinde sinistra 
Extulit ardentem." 

The right hand may be said to express all active volition and all beneficent action, as 
in Mn. vi. 370, " Da dextram misero," " Give thy right hand to the wretched," i. e., give him 
aid ; and so in many other examples, all indicative of right-handedness as the rule. The 
only exception I have been able to discover occurs in a curious passage in the " Eclogues " 
of Stobseus Uepl ^'t'l'')?, in a dialogue between Horus and Isis, where, after describing a 
variety of races of men, and their peculiarities, it thus proceeds : " An indication of this 
is found in the circumstance that southern races, that is those who dwell on the earth's 
summit, haA^e fine heads and good hair ; eastern races are prompt to battle, and skilled in 
archery for the right hand is the seat of these qualities. Western races are cautious, and 
for the most part left-handed ; and whilst the activity which other men display belongs 
to their right side, these races favour the left." Stobeeus, the Macedonian, belongs, at 


earliest, to the end of the fifth century of onr era, but he collected diligently from niimer- 
ous ancient authors, some of whom would otherwise be unknown ; and here he gives us 
the only indication of a belief, however vague, in the existence of a left-handed people. 

Of the occurrence of individual examples of left-handedness, the proofs are ample, from 
the earliest times to the present. Professor Hyrtl, of Vienna, afhrms its prevalence among 
the civilised races of Europe in the ratio of only two per cent. ; and the number of the 
old Benjamite left-handed slingers, as distinguished from other members of the band of 
twenty-six thousand warriors, did not greatly exceed this. In the ruder conditions of 
society, where combined action is rare, and social habits are less binding, a larger number 
of exceptions to the prevailing usage may be looked for ; as the tendency of a high civilis- 
ation must be to diminish its manifestation. But education is powerless to eradicate it 
where it is strongly manifested in early life. My attention has been long familiarly 
directed to it from being myself naturally left-handed ; and the experience of considerably 
more than half a centiiry enables me to controvert the common belief, on which Dr. Hum- 
phry founds the deduction that the superiority of the right hand is not congenital, but 
acquired, viz., that " the left hand may be trained to as great expertness and strength as 
the right." On the contrary, my experience accords with that of others in whom invet- 
erate left-handedness exists, in showing the education of a lifetime contending with only 
partial success to overcome an instinctive natural preference. The result has been, as in 
all similar cases, to make me ambidextrous, yet not strictly speaking ambidexterous. 

The importance of this in reference to the question of the source of right-handedness 
is obvious. Mr. James Shaw, by whom the subject has been brought under the notice of 
the British Association, and the Anthropological lustitiTte, remarks in a communication 
to the latter : " Left-handedness is very mysterioiis. It seems to set itself quite against 
physiological deductions, and the whole tendency of art and fashion." Dr. John Evans, 
when commenting on this, and on another paper on " Left-handedness" by Dr. Muirhead, 
expressed his belief that " the habit of using the left hand in preference to the right, though 
possibly to some extent connected with the greater supply of blood to one side than the 
other, is more often the result of the manner in which the individual has been carried in 
infancy." This reason has been frequently suggested ; but if there were any force in it, 
the results to be looked for would rather be an alternation of hands from generation to 
generation. The nurse naturally carries the child on the left arm, with its right side 
toward her breast. All objects presented to it are thus offered to the free left hand ; and 
it is accordingly no uncommon remark that all children are at first left-handed. If their 
training while in the nurse's arms could determine the habit, such is its undoubted 
tendency ; but if so, the left-handed nurses of the next generation would reverse the 
process. Nevertheless the bias towards a preferential use of either hand varies greatly in 
degi-ee. The conclusion I am led to, as the result of long observation is that the pre- 
ferential use of the right hand is natural and instinctive with some persons ; that with a 
smaller number an ec[ually strong impulse is felt prompting to the use of the left hand ; 
but that with the great majority right-handedness is mainly the result of education. If 
children are watched in the nursery, it will be found that the left hand is offered little 
less freely than the right. The nurse or mother is constantly transferring the spoon from 
the left to the right hand, correcting the defective courtesy of the proffered left hand, and 
in all ways superinducing right-handedness as a habit. As soon as the child is old enough 


to be affected by such inlluences, the fastening of its clothes, the handling of knife and 
spoon, and of many other objects in daily use, help to confirm the habit, until the art of 
penmanship is mastered, and with this crowning accomplishment — except in cases of 
strongly marked bias in an opposite direction, — the left hand is relegated to its very 
subordinate place as a mere supplementary organ, to be called into use where the 
privileged member finds occasion for its aid. 

But on the other hand, an exaggerated estimate is formed of the difficulties experi- 
enced by a left-handed person in many of the ordinary actions of life. It is noted by Mr. 
James Shaw that the buttons of our dress, and the hooks and eyes of all female attire, are 
expressly adapted to the right hand. Again, Sir Charles Bell remarks : "We think we 
may conckide, that everything being adapted, in the conveniences of life, to the right 
hand, as for example the direction of the worm of the screw, or of the cutting end of the 
augur, is not arbitrary, but is related to a natural endowment of the body. He who is 
left-handed is most sensible to the advantages of this adaptation, from the opening of the 
parlour door to the opening of a penknife." This idea, though widely entertained, is to a 
large extent founded on misapprehension. It is undoubtedly true that the habitual use 
of the right hand has controlled the form of many implements, and influenced the arran- 
gements of dress, as well as the social customs of society. The musket is fitted for a 
habitually right-handed people. So, in like manner, the adze, the plane, the gimlet, the 
screw and other mechanical tools, must be adapted to one or the other hand. Scissors, 
snuffers, shears, and other implements specially requiring the action of the thumb and 
fingers, are all made for the right hand. So also is it with the scythe of the reaper. Not 
only the lock of the gun, or rifle, but the bayonet and the cartridge-pouch, are made or 
fitted on the assumption of the right hand being used ; and even many arrangements of 
the fastenings of the dress are adapted to this habitual preference of the one hand over 
the other ; so that the reversing of button and buttonhole, or hook and eye, is attended 
with marked inconvenience. Yet even in this, much of what is due to habit is ascribed 
to nature. A Canadian friend, familiar in his own earlier years, at an English public 
school and university, with the game of cricket, tells me that when it was introduced for 
the first time into Canada within the last thirty-five years, left-handed batters were 
common in every field ; but the immigration of English cricketers has since led, for the 
most part, to the prevailing usage of the mother country. It was not that the batters 
were, as a rule, left-handed ; but that the habit of using the bat on one side or other was 
in the majority of cases so little influenced by any predisposing bias, that it was readily 
acquired in either way. But, giving full weight to all that has been stated here 
as to right-handed implements, what are the legitimate conclusions which it teaches ? 
No doubt an habitually left-handed people would have reversed all this. But if with 
adze, plane, gimlet, and screw, scythe, reaping hook, scissors and snuffers, rifle, bayonet, 
and all else — even to the handle of the parlour door, and the hooks and buttons of his 
dress — daily enforcing on the left-handed man a preference for the right hand, he 
nevertheless persistently adheres to the left hand, the cause of this must lie deeper than 
a mere habit indirced in the nursery. 

It is a misapprehension, howeA^er, to suppose that the left-handed man labours under 
any conscious disadvantage from the impediments thus created by the usage of the 
majority. With rare exceptions, habit so entirely accustoms him to the requisite action, 


that he would be no less put out by the sudden reversal of the door-handle, knife-blade, 
or screw, or the transposition of the buttons on his dress, than the right-handed man. 
Habit is constantly mistaken for nature. The laws of the road, for example, so univer- 
sally recognised in England, have become to all as it were a second nature ; and, as the 
old rhyme says : — 

" If you go to the left, you are sure to go right ; 
If you go to the right, you go wrong." 

But throughout Canada and the United States, the reverse is the law ; and the new im- 
migrant, adhering to the usage of the mother country, is sorely perplexed by the persis- 
tent wrong-headedness, as it seems, of everyone but himself. 

Yet the predominant practice does impress itself on some few implements in a way 
sufficiently marked to remind the left-handed operator that he is transgressing normal 
usage. The candle, " our peculiar and household planet ! " as Charles Lamb designates it, 
has well nigh become a thing of the past ; but in the old days of candle-light the snuffers 
were among the most unmanageable of domestic implements to a left-handed man. They 
are so peculiarly adapted to the right hand that the impediment can only be overcome by 
the dextrous shift of inserting the left thumb aud finger below instead of above. As to 
the right-handed adaptation of scissors, it is admitted by others, but I am unconscious of 
any difficulty that their alteration would remove. " He that has seen three mowers at 
work," says Carlyle, " one of whom is left-handed, trying to work together, and how im- 
possible it is, has witnessed the simplest form of an impossibility, which but for the dis- 
tinction of a ' right hand,' would have pervaded all human things." But, although the 
mower's scythe must be used in a direction in which the left hand is placed at some dis- 
advantage — aud a left-handed race of mowers would undoubtedly reverse the scythe — 
yet even in this the chief impediment is to cooperation. The difficulty to himself is soon 
overcome. It is his fellow workers who are troubled by his operations. Like the 
handling of the oar or still more the paddle of a canoe, or the use of the musket or rifle, — 
so obviously designed for a right-handed marksman, — the difficulty is soon overcome. It 
is not uncommon to find a left-handed soldier placed on the left of his company when 
firing. The writer's own experience in drilling as a volunteer was that, after a little prac- 
tice, he had no diificulty in firing from the right shoulder ; bu.t he never could acquire an 
equal facility with his companions in unfixing the bayonet and returning it to its sheath. 

But, as certain weapons and implements, like the rifle and the scythe, are specially 
adapted for the prevailing right hand, and some ancient implements have been recovered 
in confirmation of the antiquity of the bias ; so the inveterate left-handed manipulator 
at times reinstates himself on an ec][uality with rival workmen who have thus placed him 
at a disadvantage. Probably the most ancient example of an implement expressly adapt- 
ed for the right hand is the handle of a bronze sickle, found in 18*73 at the lake-dwelling 
of Moringen, on the Lake of Brienne, Switzerland. Bronze sickles have long been famil- 
iar to the archaeologist, among the relics of the prehistoric era, known as the Bronze Age ; 
and their forms are included among the illustrations of Dr. Ferdinand Keller's " Lake 
Dwellings." But the one now referred to is the first example that has been recovered 
showing the complete hafted implement. The handle is of yew, and is ingeniously carved 
so as to lie obliquely to the blade, and allow of its use close to the ground. It is a right- 


handed implement, carefully fashioned so as to adapt it to the grasp of a very small hand, 
and is far more incapable of use by a left-handed shearer than a mower's scythe. Its 
peculiar form is shown in an illustration which accompanies Dr. Keller's account ; and, 
in noting that the handle is designed for a right-handed person, he adds : " Even in the 
Stone Age, it has already been noticed that the implements in use at that time were fitted 
for the right hand only." But, if so, the same adaptability wai available for the left- 
handed workman, wherever no necessity for cooperation required him to conform to the 
usage of the majority. Instances of left-handed carpenters who have provided themselves 
with benches adapted to their special use have come under my notice. I am also told of a 
scythe fitted to the rec[uiremeuts of a left-handed mower, who must have been content to 
work alone ; and reference has already been made to sets of golfing drivers and clubs 
for the convenience of left-handed golfers. 

The truly left-handed, ec^ually with the larger percentage of those who may be 
designated truly right-handed, are exceptionally dextrous ; and to the former the idea that 
the instinctive impulse which influences their preference is a mere acqrrired habit, trace- 
able mainly to some such bias as the mode of carrying in the nurse's arms in infancy, is 
utterly untenable. The value of personal experience in determining some of the special 
points inA'olved in this inc[uiry is obvioirs, and will excuse a reference to my own obser- 
vations, as confirmed by a comparison with those of others equally affected, such as 
Professor Edward S. Morse, Dr. R. A. Reeve, a former pupil of my own, and my friend. Dr. 
John Rae, the Arctic explorer. The last remarked in a letter to me, confirming the idea 
of hereditary transmission : "Your case as to left-handedness seems very like my own. 
My mother was left-handed, and very neat-handed also. My father had a crooked little 
finger on the left-hand. So have I." Referring to personal experience, I may note as 
common to myself with other thoroughly left-handed persons, that, with an instinctive 
preference for the left-hand, which equally resisted remonstrance, proffered rewards, and 
coercion, I nevertheless learned to use the pen in the right-hand, apparently with no 
greater effort than other boys who pass through the preliminary stages of the art of pen- 
manship. In this way the right hand was thoroughly educated, but the preferential 
instinct remained. The slate-pencil, the chalk, and pen-knife, were still invariably used 
in the left hand, in spite of much opposition on the part of teachers ; and in later 
years, when a taste for drawing has been cultivated with some degree of success, the 
pencil and brush are nearly always used in the left hand. At a comparatively early age 
the awkwardness of using the spoon and knife at table, in the left hand, was perceived 
and overcome. Yet even now, when much fatigued, or on occasion of any unusual diffi- 
culty in carving a joint, the knife is instinctively transferred to the left hand. Alike in 
every case where unusual force is required, as in driving a large nail, wielding a heavy 
tool, or striking a blow with the fist, and in any operation demanding unusual delicacy, 
the left hand is employed. Thus, for example, though the pen is invariably used in the 
right hand in penmanship, the crow-quill and etching needle are no less uniformly em- 
ployed in the left hand. Hence, accordingly, on proceeding to apply the test of the hand 
to the demotic writing of the Egytians, by copying rapidly the Turin enchorial papyrus 
already referred to, first with the right hand and then with the left, while some of the 
characters were more accurately rendered as to slope, thickening of lines, and curve, with 
the one hand, and some with the other, I found it difficult to decide on the whole which 


hand executed the trauscriptiou with greatest ease. In proof of the general facility thus 
acquired, I may add that I find no difficulty in drawing at the same time, with a pencil 
in each hand, profiles of men or animals facing each other. The attempt to draw diffe- 
rent objects, as a dog's head with the one hand and a human profile with the other, is 
unsuccessful, owing to the complex mental operation iuA^olved ; and in this case the 
cooperation is apt to be between the mind and the more facile hand. In the simultaneous 
drawing of reverse profiles, there is what, to an ordinary observer, would apf)ear to be 
thorough ambidexterity. Nevertheless, while there is in such cases of ambidexterity, 
characteristic of most left-handed persons, little less command of the right hand than in 
those exclusively right-handed, it is wholly acquired ; nor, in mj^ own experience, has the 
habit of considerably more than half a century overcome the preferential use of the other 

When attending the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science held at Buffalo in 186*7, my attention was attracted by the facility with which 
Professor Edward S. Morse- used his left hand when illustrating his communications by 
crayon drawings on the blackboard. His abilitj'- in thus appealing to the eye is well 
known. The Boston "Evening Transcript," in commenting on a course of lectures 
delÏA'ered there, thus proceeds : " We must not omit to mention the wonderful skill 
displayed by Professor Morse in his blackboard drawings of illustrations, using either 
hand with facility, but working chiefly with the left hand. The rapidity, simplicity, 
and remarkable finish of these drawings elicited the heartiest applause of his audience." 
Eeferring to the narrative of my own experience as a naturally left-handed person 
subjected to the usual right-hand training- with pen, pencil, knife, etc.. Professor Morse 
remarks in a letter to me : " I was particularly struck by the description of your experiences 
in the matter, for they so closely accord with my own : my teachers having in vain endea- 
voured to break off the use of the left hand, which only resulted in teaching me to use my 
right hand also. At a short distance, I can toss or throw with the right hand quite as accu- 
rately as I can with my left. But when it comes to flinging a stone or other object a long 
distance, I always use the left hand as coming the most natural. There are two things 
which I cannot possibly do with my right hand, and that is to drive a nail, or to carve, 
cut, or whittle. For several years I followed the occixpation of mechanical draughtsman, 
and I may say that there was absolutely no preference in the use of either hand ; and in 
marking labels, or lettering a plan, one hand was just as correct as the other." I may 
add here, that in my own case, though habitually using the pen in my right hand, yet 
when correcting a proof, or engaged in other disconnected writing, especially if using a 
pencil, I am apt to resort to the left hand without being conscious of the change. In 
drawing, I rarely use the right hand, and for any specially delicate piece of work, should 
find it inadequate to the task. 

The same facility is illustrated in the varying caligraphy of a letter of Professor 
Morse in which he furnished me with the best practical illustration of the ambidextrous 
skill so frequently acquired by the left handed. He thus writes : " You will observe that 
the first page is written with the right hand, the upper third of this page with the left 
hand, the usvial way [but with reversed slope], the middle third of the page with the left 
hand, reversed [i.e. from right to left], and now I am again writing with the right hand. 
As I have habitually used the right hand in writing, I write more rapidly than with 


the other." In the case of Professor Morse, I may add, the indications of the hereditary 
transmission of left-handedness nearly correspond with my own. His maternal uncle, 
and also a cousin, are left-handed. In my case, the same habit appeared in a paternal 
uncle and a niece ; and my grandson, manifested at an early age, a decided preference 
for the left hand. Even in the absence of such habitual use of both hands as Professor 
Morse practises, the command of the left hand in the case of a left-handed person is such 
that veiy slight eflbrt is necessary to enable him to use the pen freely with it. An apt 
illustration of this has been communicated to me by the manager of one of the Canadian 
banks. He had occasion to complain of the letters of one of his local agents as at times 
troublesome to decipher, and instructed him in certain cases to dictate to a junior clerk 
who wrote a clear, legible hand. The letters subsequently sent to the manager, though 
transmitted to him by the same agent, presented in signature, as in all else, a totally 
different caligraphy. The change of signature led to inquiry ; when it turned out that 
his correspondent was left-handed, and by merely shifting the pen to the more dextrous 
hand, he was able, with a very little practice, to substitute for the old cramped pen- 
manship, an upright, roviuded, neat, and very legible handwriting. 

In reference to the question of hereditary transmission, the evidence, as in the case of 
Dr. Kae, is undoubted. Dr. R. A. Reeve, in whom also the original left-handedness has 
given place to a nearly equal facility with both hands, informs me that his father was 
left-handed. Again Dr. Pye-Smith quotes from the "Lancet" of October, 18*70, the case of 
Mr. R. A. Lithgow, who writes to say, that he himself, his father and his grandfather, 
have all been left-handed. This accords with the statement of M. Ribot in his "Here- 
dity." " There are," he says, " families in which the special use of the left hand is here- 
ditary. Girou mentions a family in which the father, the children, and most of the 
grandchildren were left-handed. One of the latter betrayed its left-handedness from 
earliest infancy, nor could it be broken of the habit, though the left hand was bound 
and swathed." Such persistent left-handedness is not, indeed, rare. In an instance com 
muuicated to me, both of the parents of a gentleman in Shropshire were left-handed. His 
mother, accordingly watched his early manifestations of the same tendency, and 
employed every available means to counteract it. His left hand was bound up, or tied 
behind him ; and this was persevered in until it was feared that the left arm had been 
permanently injured. Yet all proved vain. The boy resumed the use of the left hand 
as soon as the restraint was removed ; and, though learning like others, to use his right 
hand with facility in the use of the pen, and in other cases in which custom enforces 
compliance with the practise of the majority, he remained inveterately left-handed. 
Affain a Canadian friend, whose sister-in-law is left-handed, thus writes to me : "I never 
heard of any of the rest of the family who were so ; but one of her brothers had much 
more than the usual facility in using both hands, and in paddling, chopping, etc., used 
to shift about the implement from one hand to the other in a way which I envied. As 
to my sister-in-law, she had great advantages from her left-handedness. She was a 
very good performer on the piano, and her bass was magnificent. If there was a part 
to be taken only with one hand, she used to take the left as often as the right. But it 
was at needle-work that I watched her with the greatest interest. If she was cutting out, 
she used to shift the scissors from one hand to the other ; and would have employed the 
left hand more, were it not that all scissors, as she complained, are made right-handed. 


and she wished, if possible, to procure a left-handed pair. So also with the needle, she 
used the right hand generally; but in many delicate little operations, her habit was to 
shift it to the left hand." 

In these and similar cases, the fact is illustrated that the left-handed person is neces- 
sarily ambidextrous. He has the exceptional " dexterity " resulting from the special 
organic aptitude of the left hand, which is only paralleled in those cases of true right- 
handedness where a corresponding organic aptitude is innate. Education, enforced by 
the usage of the majority, begets for him the training of the other and less facile hand ; 
while by an unwise neglect the majority of mankind are content to leave the left hand as 
an untrained and merely supplementary organ. From the days of the seven hamdred 
chosen men of the tribe of Benjamin, the left-handed have been noted for their skill ; and 
this has been repeatedly manifested by artists. Foremost among such stands Leonardo 
da Vinci, skilled as musician, painter, and mathematician, and accomplished in all the 
manly sports of his age. Hans Holbein, Mozzo of Antwerp, Amico Aspertiuo, and Ludo- 
vico Cangiago, were all left-handed, though the two latter are described as working 
equally well with both hands. In all the fine arts the mastery of both hands is advanta- 
geous ; and accordingly the left-handed artist, with his congenital skill and his cultivated 
dexterity, has the advantage of his right-handed rival, instead of — as is frequ.ently assumed 
— starting at a disadvantage. 

It now remains to consider the source to which right-handedness is to be ascribed. 
Its universal predominance, alike among civilised and savage races, from the earliest 
prehistoric dawn, altogether precludes the idea that it is a mere habit begot by custom and 
usage, and developed into a system by education. The bias in which this predominant 
law of dexterity originated must be traceable to organic structure ; but, while the results 
are so manifest, the source seems thus far to elude research. One anatomical feature in 
the arrangement of the bodily organs does, indeed, suggest a cause for the preference 
of the limbs on one side of the body over the other, which would seem to satisfy the 
requirements in this direction, if accompanied by exceptional deviations from the normal 
condition corresponding to the occurrence of left-handedness ; and in this direction a 
solution has been mainly sought. The bilateral symmetry of structure, so general in 
animal life, seems at first sight opposed to any inequality of action in symmetrical organs. 
But anatomical research reveals the deviation of internal organic structure from such 
seemingly balanced symmetry. Moreover, right or left-handedness is not limited to the 
hand, but partially affects the lower limbs, as may be seen in football, skating, in the 
training of the opera-dancer, etc. ; and eminent anatomists and physiologists have affirmed 
the existence of a greater development throughout the whole right side of the body. Sir 
Charles Bell says : " The left side is not only the weaker, in regard to muscular strength, 
but also in its vital or constitutional properties. The development of the organs of action 
and motion is greatest upon the right side, as may at any time be ascertained by measure- 
ment, or the testimony of the tailor or shoemaker." He adds, indeed, " Certainly, this 
superiority may be said to result from the more frequent exertion of the right hand ; but 
the peculiarity extends to the constitution also, and disease attacks the left extremities 
more frequently than the right." 

With the left-handed, the general vigour and immunity from disease appear to be 
transferred to that side ; and this has naturally suggested the theory of a transposition of 

Sec. II., 1886. 4. 


the viscera, and the consequent increase of circulation thereby transferred from the one 
side to the other. But the relative position of the heart is so easily determined in the 
living subject, that it is surprising how much force has been attached to this untenable 
theory by eminent anatomists and physiologists. Another, and more generally favoured 
idea, traces to the reverse development of the great arteries of the upper limbs a greater 
flow of blood to the left side ; while a third ascribes the greater muscular A'igour directly 
to the supply of nervous force dependent on the early development of the brain on one 
side or the other. 

So far as either line of argument prevails, it inevitably leads to the result that the 
preference of the right hand is no mere perpetuation of convenient usage, matured into an 
acquired, or possibly an hereditary habit ; but that it is, from the first, traceable to innate 
physical causes. This, as Sir Charles Bell conceives, receives confirmation from the fact 
already referred to, that right or left-handedness is not restricted to the hand, but affects 
the corresponding lower limb, and, as he believes, the whole side ; and so he concludes 
thus : " On the whole, the preference of the right hand is not the effect of habit, but is a 
natural provision ; and is bestowed for a very obvious purpose." Nevertheless, the argu- 
ment of Sir Charles Bell is, as a whole, vague, and scarcely consistent. He speaks 
indeed of right-handedness as " a natviral endowment of the body," and his reasoning 
is based on this assumption. But much of it would be equally explicable as the result of 
adaptations following on an acquired habit. Its full force will come under consideration 
at a later stage. Meanwhile it is desirable to review the various and conflicting opinions 
adA'anced by other inquirers. 

The theory of Dr. Barclay, the celebrated anatomist, is thus set forth by Dr. Buchanan, 
from notes taken by him when a student : " The veins of the left side of the trunk, and of 
the left inferior extremity, cross the aorta to arrive at the vena cava ; and some obstruc- 
tion to the flow of blood must be produced by the pulsation of that artery." To this Dr. 
Barclay traced indirectly the preferential use of the right side of the body, and especially 
of the right hand and foot. " All motions," he stated, " produce obstruction of the circu- 
lation ; and obstruction from this cause must be more frequently produced in the right 
side than the left, owing to its being more frequently used. But the venous circulation 
on the left side is retarded by the pulsation of the aorta, and therefore the more frequent 
motions of the right side were intended to render the circulation of the two sides uniform." 
The idea, if correctly reported, is a curious one, as it traces right-handedness to the excess 
of a compensating force for an assumed inferior circulation pertaining naturally to the 
right side ; and incidentally takes into consideration an abnormal modification aflecting 
the development or relative disposition of organs. Both points have been the subject of 
more extended consideration by subsequent observers. It is curious, indeed, to notice 
how physiologists and anatomists have shifted their ground, from time to time, in their 
attempts at a solution of what has been very summarily dismissed by others as a very 
simple problem ; until, as Dr. Struthers remarks, it " has ceased to attract the notice of 
physiologists only because it has baffled satisfactory explanation." 

The eminent anatomist. Professor Gratiolet, turned from the organs in immediate 
contact with the arm and hand, and sought for the source of right-handedness in another, 
and as I incline to think, truer direction ; though he only presented a partial view of this 
aspect of the case. According to Professor Gratiolet, in the early stages of fœtal develop- 


meut, the anterior aud middle lobes of the brain on the left side are in a more advanced 
condition than those on the right side, the balance being maintained by an opposite 
condition of the posterior lobes. Hence, in consequence of the well-knowu decussation of 
the nerve-roots, the right side of the body — so far as it is influenced by brain-force, — 
will, in early fœtal life, be better supplied vpith nervous force than the left side ; aud 
thereby movements of the right arm vv^ould precede and be more perfect than those of the 
left. But the premises of Gratiolet are disputed ; and even if proved, they must raise 
further questions, not merely as to the origin, but also as to the influence of such an 
unequal development of the brain on the action of the limbs. 

Dr. Andrew Buchanan, Professor of Physiology in the University of Grlasgow, in a 
paper communicated by him to the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, in 1862, entitled 
" Mechanical Theory of the predominance of the right hand over the left ; or more generally, 
of the limbs of the right side over those of the left side of the body, " aimed at a solution 
of the question in a new way. According to him, "The preferential use of the right hand 
is not a congenital, but an acquired attribute of man. It does not exist in the earliest 
periods of life." Nevertheless, " no training could ever render the left hand of ordinary 
men equal in strength to the right ;" for " it depends upon mechanical laws arising out 
of the structure of the human body." This theory is thus explained : In infancy and 
early childhood, there is no difference in power between the two sides of the body ; but 
so soon as the child becomes capable of bringing the whole muscular force of the body into 
play, " he becomes conscious of the superior power of his right side, a power not prima- 
rily due to any superior force or development of the muscles of that side, but to a purely 
mechanical cause. He cannot put forth the full strength of his body without first making 
a deep inspiration ; and by making a deep inspiration, and maintaining afterwards the 
chest in an expanded state, which is essential to the continuance of his muscular effort, 
he so alters the mechanical relations of the two sides of his bodj'', that the muscles of his 
right side act with a superior efficacy ; and, to render the inequality still greater, the 
muscles of the left side act with a mechanical disadvantage." Hence the preference for 
the right side whenever tmusual muscular powder is required ; and, with the greater 
exercise of the muscles of the right side, their consequent development follows, until the 
full predominance of the right side is the result. 

This theory is based, not merely on the preponderance of the liver and lungs on the 
right side, but on these further facts : that the right lung is more capacious than the left, 
having three lobes, while the left has only two ; that the liver, the heaviest organ of the 
body, is on the same side ; and that the common centre of gravity of the body shifts, more or 
less, towards the right, according to the greater or less inspiration of the lungs, aud the 
consequent inclination of the liver resulting from the greater expansion of the right side 
of the chest. Herein may possibly lie one predisposing cause leading to a preferential 
use of the right side. But the evidence adduced fails to account for what, on such a 
theory, become abnormal deviations from the natural action of the body. The position 
of the liver, and the influence of a full inspiration, combine, according to Dr. Buchanan, 
to bring the centre of gravity of the body nearly over the right foot. Hence in actively 
overcoming a resistance from above, as when the carter bears up the shaft of his cart on 
his shoulder, the muscular action originates mainly with the lower limb of the same side, 
which partakes of the same muscular power and development as the corresponding upper 


limb. Ou all such occasions, where the muscular action is brought directly into play in 
overcoming the weight or resistance, Dr. Buchanan affirms that the right shoulder is much 
more powerful than the left ; but in the passive bearing of weights it is otherwise. The 
very fact that the centre of gravity lies on the right side, gives a mechanical advantage in 
the use of the left side in sustaining and carrying burdens ; and this assigned preeminence 
of the left side and shoulder, as the bearer of burdens, is accordingly illustrated by means 
of an engraving, representing " a burden borne on the left shoulder as the summit of the 
mechanical axis passing along the right lower limb." 

In the year following the publication of Dr. Buchanan's " Mechanical Theory," Dr. John 
Struthers communicated to the Edinburgh " Medical Journal," a paper, " On the relative 
weight of the viscera on the two sides of the body ; and on the consequent position of 
the centre of gravity to the right side." In this he shows that the viscera situated on the 
right side of the medial line are on on average 22'75 oz. av. heavier than those on the left 
side. The right lung, in the male, weighs 24 oz., the left 21, giving a prepoudance of 3 oz., 
in favour of the right. The average weight of the heart, in the male, is 11 oz. But the 
left side is not only the larger, but the thicker, and as the result of careful experiments 
by Dr. Struthers, he assigns to the right side a full third of the weight of the heart, or 3 J 
oz. for the right, and Vi for the left side. Other viscera are estimated in like manner, 
with the result from the whole that the centre of gravity of the body, so far as it depends 
on their weight and position, is nearly three-tenths of an inch distant from the medial 
plane towards the right side. As a physical agent constantly in operation in the erect 
posture, Dr. Struthers states that this cannot but exert an influence on the attitudes and 
movements of the body and limbs ; and he accordingly indicates his belief that this 
deviation of the centre of gravity furnishes the most probable solution of the causes " of 
the preference of the right hand by all nations of mankind." 

The value of Dr. Struthers' determination of the exact weight and relative eccentri- 
city of the viscera on the two sides of the body was fully recognised by Dr. Buchanan ; 
and in a communication to the Philosophical Society of Glasgow in 1877, he stated that he 
had been led to greatly modify his earlier opinions. He had, as shown above, ascribed 
the predominance of the right hand over the left to the mechanical advantage which 
the right side has in consequence of the centre of gravity inclining to it. But he says, in 
his later treatise, "I judged hastily when I inferred that this is the ground of preference 
which prompts the great ma,jority of mankind to use their right limbs rather than their 
left. The position of the centre of gravity on the right side is common to all men of normal 
conformation, and furnishes to all of them alike an adequate motive, when they are about to 
put forth their full strength in the performance of certain actions, to use the limbs of the 
right side in preference to those of the left. But such actions are of comparatively rare 
occurrence, and the theory fails to explain why the right limbs, and more especially the 
right hand, are preferred on so many occasions where no great muscular effort is required ; 
and fails still more signally to explain why some men give a preference to the limbs of 
the left side, and others manifest no predilection for either." Dr. Buchanan accordingly 
proceeds to show, that there is not only the element of the position of the centre of graAÙty 
as the pivot on which all the mechanical relations of the two sides of the body turn ; but 
there is, as he conceives, this other and no less important element. " The centre of gravity 
situated on the right side, is variously placed upwards or downwards, according to the 


original make or framework of the body." In the great majority of cases this lies above 
the transverse axis of the body, vi^ith a consequent facility for balancing best, and turning 
most easily and securely, on the left foot, with the impulsive power effected by the mvxscles 
of the right lower limb. Man is thus, as a rule, right-footed ; and, according to Dr. Buchanan, 
by a necessary consequence becomes right-handed. By a series of diagrams he accordingly 
shows the assumed variations : (1) the centre of gravity above the tranverse axis, with 
its accompanying right-handedness ; (2) the centre of gravity corresponding with the 
transverse axis, which he assigns to the ambidextrous ; and (3) the centre of gravity 
below the transverse axis begetting left-handedness. The whole phenomena are thus 
ascribed to the instinctive sense of equilibrium, which constitutes a nearly infallible guide 
in all the movements of the human body. The greater development of the organs of 
motion of the right side is therefore, as he conceives, not congenital, but arises solely from 
the greater use that is made of them. The relative position of the centre of gravity 
depends accordingly on the original conformation of the body. Broad shoulders, muscu- 
lar arms, a large head and a long neck, all tend to elevate the centre point ; while the 
contrary result follows from width at the haunches and a great development of the lower 

The intermediate condition, in which the centre of gravity falls upon the transverse 
axis, with no instinctive tendency to call into action the muscles of the one side of the 
body in preference to those of the other, constitutes, according to Dr. Buchanan, the most 
happy conformation of the body. " It belongs," he says, " more especially to the female 
sex. It is this that so often renders a young girl a perfect model of grace and agility. 
It is the same conformation that enables the ballet-dancer to whirl round on her one foot 
till the spectators are giddy with looking at her, when she completes her triumph by 
revolving with the same ease and grace on her other foot also." He further adds : " If 
accurate statistics could be obtained, I believe it would be found that while a very great 
majority of males are right-handed, the proportion of females is less ; and that, on the 
contrary, a larger proportion of females than of males are ambidextrous or left-handed." 

Consistently with the ideas thus set forth, both Dr. Buchanan and Dr. Struthers 
regard right-handness as an acquired habit, though under the influence and control of the 
mechanical forces indicated by them. " As the ciuestion," says the latter, " in so far as it 
can bear on the cause of the preference of the right hand, must turn on the weight and 
position of the viscera in the child at the period when the predominance of the right hand 
is being gradually developed, in the second and third years and afterwards, it is necessary 
to make the calculation from the facts as presented in children." In a letter to myself he 
thus writes : " I have again and again verified the fact in my own children, that in early 
childhood there is no preference for one hand more than the other." But this, as has been 
already shown, may be partly due to modes of nursing and other temporary causes 
affecting the child in its first infantile stage ; and though it may undoubtedly be affirmed 
of many, if not indeed of the majority, of children at that stage, a certain number will be 
found to manifest a distinct preference, at a very early age, for one or the other hand. In 
the case of a niece of my own, the left-handedness showed itself very soon ; a;nd in my 
grandson, it was independently observed by its mother and nurse, and brought under my 
notice, that so soon as he was able to grasp an object and transfer it from one hand to the 
other, he gave the preference to the left hand. A like decided preference for the right 


hand, thongli doubtless also comparatively rare, is more frequent ; and the further research 
is carried, the more manifest does it appear that — whatever be the originating cause, — the 
preferential use of what we designate the right hand is instinctive with a sufhciently large 
number to determine the prevalent usage ; while with a smaller number an equally strong 
impulse is felt prompting to the use of the left hand, in defiance of all restraining influences. 
It is indeed always necessary to give full weight to the influences of education, the whole 
tendency of which, from early childhood, operates in one direction. The extent to which 
this is systematically employed to develop the use of the one hand at the expense of the 
other, is illustrated by the conventional rules for the use of the knife and fork. It is not 
sufficient that the knife shall be invariably held in the right hand. The child is taught 
to hold his knife in the right hand and his fork in the left when cutting his food ; but 
when either the fork or spoon is used alone, it must forthwith be transferred to the right 
hand. All voluntary employment of the left hand in any independent action is discoun- 
tenanced as awkwardness or gaucherie ; and thus, with a large majority, especially among 
the more refined and artificial classes of society, it is rendered a comparatively useless 
member, employed at best merely to supplement the other. Yet I am not aware that left- 
handedness is greatly more prevalent among the rude and uncultured classes, or among 
saA'age than civilized races ; as would certainly be the case if right-handedness mainly 
depended on an acquired habit. The Eev. George Brown, who has spent upwards of 
fourteen years as a missionary among the Polynesians, informs me that left-handedness is 
as rare among the natives of the Pacific islands as with ourselves ; while in all their 
languages the distinction is clearly indicated. Dr. Eae, to whose own inveterate left- 
handedness I have alluded, thus writes to me in reference to its prevalence among the 
races of Arctic America : " Unfortunately, I did not take particular care to notice when 
among the Indians and Eskimos, whether any or many of them were left-handed. From 
what I haA'e noticed, some of them seem to be ambidextrous. But from a curious story 
told me about a bear throwing a large piece of ice at the head of a walrus, and the narrator 
telling me that he threw it with the left forepaw, as if it was something unusual, 
probably left-handedness is not very common among the Eskimos." 

Turning next to the idea set forth by Dr. Buchanan as to the greater preponderance of 
ambidexterity or left-handedness among females, the results of my own observation by no 
means tend to confirm this. I have already noted the case of a lady whose left-handedness 
is accompanied by great dexterity. I have repeatedly met with cases of ladies who use the 
needle skilfully with the left hand ; but the results of enquiries addressed to musicians 
and music teachers, indicate that in the great majority of cases the cultivation of the 
left, as the weaker or less skilful hand, has to be sedulously enforced in the training 
of the female organist and pianist. It is because left-handed pianists are rare that their 
exceptional dexterity is noted, as in the case of a Canadian lady referred to above : " She 
had great advantages from her left-handedness. She was a very good performer on the 
piano, and her bass was magnificent." 

Again as to the pirouetting of the trained ballet-dancer, I have been assured that much 
practise is required to obtain equal facility on either foot. Dr. Buchanan traces the deve- 
lopment of the limbs in their active use, from the first effort of the child to stand erect ; 
next, the learning to balance himself and turn round on a single foot, and so through a 
succession of stages, until at length " the child becomes right-footed. It is not till long 


after that the right arm acqiiires its prédominance." Bvat the coordination of the right or 
left hand and the corresponding foot is by no means so invariable as to justify any such 
theory. Hopping, pirouetting, and standing on one foot, are comparatively exceptional 
actions. The two lower limbs are most frequently employed in necessarily alternate 
locomotion. The use of the lower limbs, moreover, is much more independent of direct 
conscious volition than that of the hands, and the purposes to which their action is applied 
are rarely of a nature to invite special attention to them. There is, however, an instinctive 
tendency with many, if not indeed with the majority, to use one foot in preference to the 
other, but not necessarily the corresponding one to the dextrous hand, be it right or left. 
In skating, for example, where military training has not habituated to the use of the left 
foot in starting, most persons have an instinctive preference for one foot. So also in 
football, it is not with most players a matter of mere chance which foot will be used 
in starting the ball. Possibly the same reason may help to account for the invariable 
tendency of a blindfold M'alker to deviate to one side or the other. It is scarcely possible 
to walk in a straight line with the eyes shut. The one leg apparently tends to outwalk the 
other. Guided mainly by my own experience, I remarked, when first writing on this 
subject, that " the same influences appear to affect the whole left side, as shown in hopping, 
skating, football," etc. But this is partial and uncertain. Dr. Browu-Sequard affirms that 
right-sideduess affects the arms much more than the legs, and in proof of this he states that 
" it is exceedingly rare that the leg is affected in the same degree by paralysis as the arm." 
Dr. Joseph "Workman, for many years Medical Superientendent of the Provincial Lunatic 
Asylum at Toronto, thus writes to me : " When you say that left-footeduess is (only) as 
freqiient as left-haudedness, I am quite sure you are in error. I remember well, when I 
was a boy, observing the fact among labouring men engaged in what was called in Ireland 
' sodding ' potatoes, in ridges about five feet wide, instead of planting in drills, that in 
any given number of men, from four up to a dozen, right and left-footedness prevailed 
about equally. Each pair carrying up the work of a ridge required to be right and 
left-footed men. I am myself left-footed ; and of eight brothers, I believe about four were 
left and four right-footed. Sir Charles Bell, in asserting that ' no boy, unless he is 
left-handed, hops on the left foot,' asserts far more than the fact. I believe every boy will 
hop on his spade foot ; at least I do so, and I am not left-handed ; and I instinctively do 
so because I dig with this foot." 

Dr. Buchanan states that " in all adults who use the right hand in preference to the 
left — that is, in the great majority of mankind, — the muscles of the right side, as well as 
the bones and other organs of motion, are more highly developed than those on the left 
side;" and the predominance of the upper limb follows, as a rule, the previous develop- 
ment of the lower limb on the same side. The power of overcoming weight or resistance, 
and that of passively bearing weights, he assigns to opposite sides, — both uatvirally 
resulting from the centre of gravity lying on the right side. If such be the case, the 
great majority of mankind should instim-tively use the same side in bearing a burden. A 
favorable opportunity occiirred for testing this question. During a voyage of some days 
in one of the large steamboats on the Mississippi River, my attention was attracted by the 
deck-porters, who at every landing are employed in transporting the freight to and from 
the levee, and in supplying the vessel with cordwood. They constitute, as a class, the 
rudest representatives of unskilled labour, including both whites and negroes. For hours 


together they are to be seen going at a run to and from the lower deck of the vessel, 
carrying sacks of grain, bales, chests, or bundles of cordwood. Watching them closely, I 
observed that some gave the preference to the right and some to the left shoulder in bear- 
ing their burden ; and this whether, as with bale and sack, they had it placed on their 
shoulders by others, or, as with cordwood, they took the load up themseh'es. Noting 
in separate cohimns the use of the right and left shoulder, and in the case of loading 
with cordwood the employment of the right and left hand, I found the dift'erence did 
not amount to much more than sixty per cent. In one case I noted 13Y carry the 
burden on the left shoulder to 81 on the right ; in another case *76 to 45 ; and in the case 
of loading cordwood, where the natural action of the right hand is to place the burden on 
the left shoulder, so that the use of the right shovilder necessarily implies that of the left 
hand, the numbers were 65 using the left shoulder and 36 the right. Here, therefore, 
a practical test of a very simple yet reliable kind fails to confirm the idea of any such 
mechanical caiise inherent in the constitution of the human frame, tending to a uniform 
exertion of the right side and the passive employment of the left, in muscular action. 

"While thus questioning some of the assumptions and deductions set forth by Dr. 
Buchanan, it must be acknowledged that his later theory has this great advantage over 
other attemps to account for right-handedness that it eciually meets the cases of deviation 
from prevalent usage. No theory is worthy of serious consideration which deals with 
left-haudedness as an exceptional deviation from habitual action : as where, in his earlier 
treatise, Dr. Buchanan expressed the belief that many instances of left -handedness are 
" merely cases of ambidextrousness, when the habit of using the left side, in whatever 
way begun, has given to the muscles of that side such a degree of deA'elopment as enables 
them to compete with the muscles of the right side, in spite of the mechanical disadvan- 
tages under which they labour." " There is an awkwardness," he added, " in the muscular 
efforts of such men, which seems to indicate a struggle against nature." But for those 
indisputable cases of " men who unquestionably use their left limbs with all the facility 
and efficiency with which other men use their right," he felt compelled either to resort to 
the gratuitoïis assumption of " malformations and pathological lesions in early life, diseases 
of the right lung, contraction of the chest from pleurisy, enlargement of the spleen, dis- 
tortions of the spine," etc.; or to assume a complete reversal of the whole internal organic 

More recently. Dr. Humphry, of Cambridge, has discussed the cause of the prefer- 
ential use of the right hand, in his monograph on " The Human Foot and Human Hand," 
but with no very definite results. Many attempts, he says, have been made to answer 
the question. Why is man usually right-handed ? " but it has never been done quite satis- 
factorily ; and I do not think that a clear and distinct explanation of the fact can be given. 
There is no anatomical reason for it with which we are acquainted. The only peculiarity 
that we can discern, is a slight difference in the disposition, within the chest, between 
the blood-vessels which supply the right and left arms. This, however, is qtiite insuffi- 
cient to account for the disparity between the two limbs. Moreover, the same disposition 
is observed in left-handed persons and in some of the lower animals ; and in none of the 
latter is there that difference between the two limbs which is so general among men." 
Dr. Humphry accordingly inclines to the view that the superiority of the right hand is 
not natural, but acquired. " All men," he says, " are not right-handed ; some are left- 


handed ; some are ambidextrous ; and in all persons, I belieA'e, the left hand may be 
trained to as great expertness and strength as the right. It is so in those who have been 
deprived of their right hand in early life ; and most persons can do certain things with 
the left hand better than with the right." So, far, therefore, Dr. Humphry's decision 
would appear to be wholly in favour of the conclusion that the superiority of the right 
hand is an acquired habit. But after stating thus much, he adds : " Though I think the 
superiority of the right hand is acquired, and is a result of its more frequent use, the 
tendency to use it in preference to the left is so universal, that it would seem to be natural. 
I am driven, therefore, to the rather nice distinction, that, thotigh the superiority is 
acquired, the tendency to acquire the superiority is natural." 

This " nice distinction " amounts to something very like an evasion of the real diffi- 
culty, unless we assume Dr. Humphry to mean only what Dr. Buchanan states, that during 
the weakness of infancy and childhood the two hands are used indiscriminately ; and 
the preferential use of one side rather than the other does not manifest itself until the 
muscular system has acquired active development. All the processes by which dexterity 
in the manipulation and use of tools is manifested, are acquired, whether the right or the 
left hand be the one employed. Men are not born with carpentering, weaving, modelling 
and architectural instincts, requiring no apprenticeship or culture, like ants, bees, spiders, 
martins and beavers ; though the aptitude in mastering such arts is greater in some than 
in others. If the tendency in their practice to use the right hand is natural, that is to 
say innate or congenital, then there need be no nice distinctions in affirming it. But 
on any clearly defined physiological deductions of right-handedness from the disposition 
of the organs of motion or circulation, or any other uniform relation of the internal 
organs and the great arteries of the upper limbs, left-haudedness becomes mysterious, 
if not inexplicable, unless on the assumption of a corresponding reversal of organic 
structure ; for Dr. Humphry's assertion that " in all persons the left hand may be trained 
to as great expertness and strength as the right," is contradicted by the experience of left- 
handed persons in their etforts to apply the same training to the right hand. 

To the most superficial observer it is manifest that the anatomical disposition of the 
vital organs is not symmetrical. The heart lies obliquely, from above downwards, and 
from right to left ; the trachea is on the right side, and the right and left subclavian 
veins and arteries are diversely arranged. There are also three lobes of the right lung, 
and only two of the left ; and the liver is on the right side. Here, therefore, are sources 
of difference between the right and left sides of the body, which, if subject to variation, 
offer a possible explanation of the phenomenon that has so long baffled physiologists. To 
the variations in the disposition of those organs attention has accordingly been repeatedly 
directed ; as in the occasional origin of the left subclavian artery before the right, Avhich, 
as hereafter noted. Professor Hyrtl suggested as the cause of the transfer of dexterity to 
the left limb. But instances have repeatedly occurred of the entire transposition of the 
viscera. " The^i'e are men born," says Dr. Buchanan, " who may grow up and enjoy perfect 
health, in whom the position of all the thoracic and abdominal viscera is reversed. There 
are three lobes of the left lung and only two of the right, the liver is on the left side, and 
the heart is on the right ; and so forth." Those, and other malformations, as well as 
pathological lesions, especially if they occur in early life, may affect the relative power of 
the two sides ; and Dr. Buchanan, at a later date, reported a case that came under his own 

Sec. IL, 1SS6. 5. 


notice, in which, the entire transposition of the viscera coexisted with left-handeduess. 
But he had already adopted the mechanical theory, subsequently modified, as explained 
above ; and it is only in a closing remark in his paper of 1862 that he makes a passing- 
reference to this remarkable coincidence. 

Professor Hyrtl, of Vienna, the eminent anatomist already referred to, in discussing 
the cause of left-handedness in his " Handbuck der Topographischen Anatomic " (1860), 
afiBrms a correspondence between the ratio of left-handed persons and the occurrence of 
certain deviations from the normal arrangements of the blood-vessels. " It happens," he 
says, " in the proportion of about two in a hundred cases, that the left subclavian artery 
has its origin before the right, and in these cases left-handedness exists, as it also often 
actually does in the case of complete transposition of the internal organs ; and it is found 
that the proportion of left-handed to right-handed ])ersons is also about two to one 
hundred." Professor Hyrtl thinks that ordinarily 1 he blood is sent into the right subclavian 
under a greater pressure than into the left, on account of the relative position of these 
vessels ; that in consequence of the greater supply of blood, the muscles are better 
nourished and stronger ; and that therefore the right extremity is more used. In cases of 
anomalous origin of the left subclavian, etc., the reverse occurs, and therefore the left 
hand is employed in preference. The theory of Professor Hyrtl has this feature to recom- 
mend it, that it assigns a cause for the prevalent habit, which, if confirmed, would equally 
account for the exceptional left-handedness ; and no proffered solution of the question, 
founded on organic structure, is deserving of attention M^hich fails to do so. But the 
statistics of such internal organic structure are not, like those of the transposition of the 
heart and immediately related organs, accessible in the living subject, unless in very rare 
exceptions ; and the occurrence of one or two cases in which the deviation from the 
normal arrangement of the artery, or the entire transposition of the viscera, is found to 
coexist with left-handedness, may only be misleading. 

A correspondent of " Nature " (June 9, 18t0) refers to a case of transposition of 
the origin of the right subclavian artery, disclosed by the occurrence of aneurism, where 
the person was ascertained to have been undoiibtedly right-handed. In the following 
year an interesting article by Dr. Pye-Smith appeared in the " Gruy's Hospital Eeports," 
and was subsequently reprinted, with additions, under the title of " The connection of 
left-handedness with transposition of viscera and other supposed anatomical causes." In 
this the author states that he found the deviation from the normal arrangement of the 
primary branches of the aorta, in which the right subclavian arises from the third part of 
the aortic arch, to occur four times in 296 dissections. As this variation, he says, " cannot 
be recognised during life, its connection with left-handedness is not easy to investigate. 
But in one case, at least. Dr. Peacock ascertained for me that the subject of this abnor- 
mality, whose heart and arteries he had examined for another purpose, was right-handed 
during life." Any one can tell on which side his heart lies ; but the disposition of the 
subclavian artery is wholly beyond his cognizance ; and, indeed. Professor Hyrtl, while 
referring to this abnormal organisation as one probable cause of left-handedness, does not 
affirm more than that the one has been ascertained in some cases to be an accompaniment 
of the other. The evidence that in other cases it has been unaccompanied by left-handed- 
ness shows that it is no necessary source of deviation from normal action. 

The other theory, that left-handedness is an inevitable accompaniment of the trans- 


position of the viscera, is more easily tested. It is one that has been repeatedly suggested ; 
and has not only received the sanction of Professor Hyrtl, but is supported by some 
undoubted cases in which the two conditions coexisted. But, as Dr. Pye-Smith remarks, 
"a few such instances only prove that transposition of the viscera does not prevent the 
subject of the abnormality from being left-handed. Though attention has hitherto been 
little drawn to this point, there are enough cases already recorded to show that for a 
person with transposed viscera to be left-handed is a mere coincidence." In confirmation 
of this. Dr. Pye-Smith refers to four cases, one of which came under his own observation 
in Guy's Hospital, where the subjects of the abnormal disposition of the viscera had been 
right-handed. In the " Eochester (N.Y.) Express," of October, 18*7*7, a notice appeared of 
an autopsy on the body of Greorge Yail, of Whitby, Ontario, who had recently died in the 
Eochester Hospital. Dr. Stone, as there stated, " noticed upon the first examination, when 
the patient came for treatment, that there was what is technically called 'juxtaposition of 
the heart,' which is a A'ery rare condition. He was gratified at the autopsy to have his 
diagnosis confirmed, the heart being found on the right side of the body, instead of the 
left." I immediately wrote to Whitby, and in reply was informed that no one had eA^er 
noticed in Vail any indication of his being left-handed. A similar case of the transposition 
of the viscera, in which, nevertheless, the person was right-handed, recorded by M. Géry, 
is quoted in Cruveillier's " Anatomic," (I. 65.) Another is given by M. Gachet, in the 
" Gazette des Hospitaux," August 31, 1861 ; and a third in the Pathological Transactions, 
Vol. XIX. p. 44*7 (" Nature," April 28, 18*70). This evidence sufiices to prove that there is 
no true relation between the transposition of the viscera and left-handedness. Dr. 
Struthers has shown that " as far as the viscera alone are concerned, the right side is at 
least 22| oi\nces heavier than the left, and that this is reduced *7| ounces by the influence 
of the contents of the stomach, leaving a clear preponderance of at least 15 ounces in 
favour of the right side." The preponderance of the right side, he adds, is probably 
considerably greater than 15 ounces, and it is rendered still more so in the erect posture. 
The total weight of viscera on the right side he states at 50| ounces, while that of the left 
side is only 28 ounces, giving a visceral preponderance on the right side of 22|- ounces. 
But if this relative excess of weight on the right side be the true source of right-handed- 
ness, the transposition of the viscera ought to be invariably accompanied with a corres- 
ponding change. A single example of the preponderant cause, unaccompanied by the 
assumed effect, is sufficient to discredit the theory. 

There remains to be considered the source suggested by Professor Gratiolet, when he 
turned from the organs in immediate contact with the ai"m aud hand to the cerebral 
centre of nerve force. The statements advanced by him that the anterior convolutions of 
the left side of the brain are earlier developed than those of the right, when taken in 
connection with the well-known decussation of the nerve-roots, would account for the 
earlier development of the muscles and nerves of the right arm ; but his opinion has been 
controA'erted by competent observers. This, however, does not dispose of the question. 
A recent obserA^er definitely affirms that " the large proportion of cases of ataxic aphasia 
occur in association with right-sided hemiphlegia, although others are on record in which 
it has appeared in connection with left-sided hemiphlegia in left-handed persons." 
(Encyc. Britann, art. Aphasia) In those an intimate relation is thus established between 
right or left-handedness and the development of the opposite cerebral hemisphere. " The 


opinion, " says Dr. Pye-Smith, " that some difference between the two sides of the brain 
has to do with our preference for the right hand oyer the left may, perhaps, be supported 
by two very interesting cases of aphasia occurring in left-handed persons, recorded by 
Dr. Hughliugs Jackson and Dr. John Ogle. In both these patients there was paralysis of 
the left side ; so that it seems likely that in these two left-handed people the right half of 
the brain had the functions, if not the structure, which ordinarily belong to the left. To 
these cases may be added a very remarkable one published by Dr. Wadham (St. George's 
Hosp. Rep. 1869). An ambidextrous, or partially left-handed lad, was attacked with left 
hemiplegia and loss of speech ; he had partly recovered at the time of his death, twelve 
months later, and then the right insula, and adjacent parts, were found softened." 

The remarkable difference in the convohrtions of different brains, and the consequent 
extent of superficies of some brains over others apparently of the same size, have been a 
matter of special observation, with results lending confirmation to the idea that great 
development of the convolutions of the brain is the concomitant of a corresponding 
manifestation of intellectual activity. But the complexity in the arrangement of these 
convolutions, and the consec[uent extent of superficies, often differ considerably in the 
two hemispheres of the same brain ; and it seems not improbable that left-handedness 
may prove to be traceable to certain structural differences between the right and left 
hemispheres. The variations in shape and arrangement of the couA^olutious in either 
hemisphere may be no more than the accidental folds of the cerebral mass, in its later 
development in the chamber of the skull ; and within ordinary limits they probably 
exercise no appreciable influence on physical or mental activity. From long and 
careful observation, especially of children, I am satisfied that with the great majority, 
right-handedness is mainly the result of education, or a compliance with prevailing usage. 
Little effort would be needed with such to superinduce left-handedness. But there is a 
sufficient number of persons naturally and instinctively right-handed to determine the 
bias of the majority ; though they cannot influence another, and smaller number, who 
have an equally strong and ineradicable impulse to the use of the left hand. Where, 
therefore, opportunity is afforded for examination of the brain, it is desirable that in every 
case of marked inequality between the two hemispheres, inquiry should be instituted as 
to the concurrence of a strongly pronounced right or left-handedness. 

But it has also been affirmed as the result of repeated observations, that there is often 
a decided difference in the weight of the two hemispheres of the brain. M. Eroca stated 
that in forty brains he found the left frontal lobe heavier than the right ; and Dr. Boyd, 
when describing the results obtained by him from observations on upwards of 500 brains 
of patients in the St. Marylebone Hospital, says : " It is a singular fact, confirmed by the 
examination of nearly 200 cases at St. Marylebone, in which the hemispheres were weighed 
separately, that almost invariably the weight of the left exceeded that of the right by at 
least the eighth of an ounce." Dr. Brown-Sequard also, as hereafter noted, makes this 
apparent excess in weight of the left hemisphere of the brain the basis of very compre- 
hensive deductions. Again Dr. Bastian affirms, as the result of careful observation, 
that the specific gravity of the grey matter from the frontal, parietal, and occipital 
convolutions, respectively, is often slighly higher on the left than it is on the right 
hemisphere. Such deductions, however, have been questioned ; and Professor Wagner 
and Dr. Thurnam both state that their careful independent investigations failed to 


coufirra the results arrived at by M. Broca and Dr. Boyd. From the weighing of the two 
hemispheres of eighteen distinct brains, Professor Waguer found the right hemisphere 
the heavier in ten, and the left in six cases, while in the remaining two they were of 
eq^^al weight. Dr. Thurnam, without entering into details, states that the results of his 
weighings did not confirm Dr. Boyd's observations ; adding that " fresh careful observa- 
tions are certainly needed before we can admit the general preponderance of the left 
hemisphere over the right." Though the two hemispheres of the brain are sufficiently 
distinct, they are united at the base ; and even with the most careful experimenters, the 
section through the cerebral peduncles and the corpus callosum is so delicate an opera- 
tion that a very slight bias of the operator's hand may affect the results. That a differ- 
ence however is occasionally demonstrable in the weight of the two hemispheres is 
unquestionable, and encourages further observation with a yiew to ascertain definitely 
how far the evidence is in accordance with the hypothesis of left-handedness being- 
referable to an exceptionally greater action of the right side of the brain. It is in fitll 
accordance with what has already been affirmed as to the very partial prevalence of any 
strongly defined bias in the majority for the preferential use of either hand, that many 
brains should come under the notice of careful observers where little or no difference can 
be found between the two hemispheres. But weight is not the only element of variation. 
Dr. Bastian, in " The Brain as an Organ of Mind," draws attention to the unsymmetrical 
development of the two hemispheres as one of the most notable pecvtliarities of the human 
cerebrum. This is not only the case with reference to the number and arrangement of 
the convolutions, but it has been noted by various anatomists that the left hemisphere 
is very frequently slightly longer than its fellow. Nor are the distinct functions and 
the independent action of the two hemisiiheres of the brain by any means limited to the 
range of action now under review. 

Among the higher cerebral functions, the power of articulate speech has been assigned 
to the left hemisphere ; and Dr. Broca located it specifically in the third left convolittion. 
Commenting on this, Dr. Bastian remarks : " It has been thought that a certain more 
forward condition of development of the left hemisphere — as a result of hereditary right- 
handedness recurring through generation after generation, — might gradually become 
sufficient to caitse the left hemisphere to take the lead in the prodttction of speech- 
moA'ements. Some little evidence exists, though at present it is very small, to show that 
it is left-handed people more especially who may become aphasie by a lesion of the right 
third frontal gyrus." Dr. Bastian further assumes it to be indisputable that the greater 
preponderance of right-hand movements in ordinary individuals mirst tend to produce a 
more complex organization of the left than of the right hemisphere ; and this both in its 
sensory and motor regions. With the left-handed, however, so many motives are constantly 
at work tending to call the right hand into play, that the compensating influences mttst in 
their case tend to check any inequality in the development of the two hemispheres. As to 
the supposed greater liability of left-handed people to aphasia, I have failed to find any 
confirmation of this idea. But here it will be seen that, while Dr. Bastian recognises a 
correlation between the development of one or other cerebral hemisphere and the greater 
dexterity of the opposite hand, he is inclined to regard right or left-handedness as the 
cause, rather than the effect. 

Dr. Brown-Sequard, who strongly favours the idea of superiority, both in size and 


weight, of the left over the right cerebral hemisphere, also ascribes the source of this to 
the greater freqiieucy and energy of all right-hand movements. He reverts to an argument 
derived from left-haudeduess when discussing his theory that the two hemispheres practi- 
cally constitute two distinct brains, each sufhcient in itself for the full performance of 
nearly all mental operations, though each has also its own special functions, among 
which is the control over the movements and the organs of opposite sides of the body. 
" Every organ," he says, " which is put in use for a certain function gets developed, and 
more apt or ready to perform that function. Indeed, the brain shows this in point of mere 
size ; for the left side of the brain, which is used most, is larger than the right side. The 
left side of the brain also receives a great deal more blood than the right side, because 
its action preponderates ; and every organ that acts much receives more blood." He 
accordingly affirms that the growth of the brain up to forty years of age, if not indeed to a 
considerably later period of life, is sufficiently marked to require the continued enlargement 
of the hat. Speaking of himself, as having then passed his fifty-sixth year, he says : — 
" There is no period of six months that has passed that I have not found my hat, if 
neglected and put aside, has become too small. The head growing is very strong proof 
that the brain gi-ows also." The opinions advocated by the leading anatomists of Europe 
in the earlier years of the present century, differed widely from this. It was indeed 
maintained by Soemmering, the Wenzels, and Tiedemann, that the brain attained its 
greatest development not later than at seven or eight years of age. But, without going 
so far as Dr. Brown-Sequard is prepared to do, the old idea as to the complete develop- 
ment of the brain in youth is now abandoned, and the latest observers have produced 
evidence in proof of the brain increasing in weight, so that the greatest average weight 
occurs between thirt}' and forty years of age. They do not, however, indicate any such 
increase in actual bulk as Dr. Brown-Sequard implies. In the majority of cases, 
indeed, the comparatively early ossification of the sutures would alone suffice to 
preclude the possibility of such a growth of the head, as Dr. Brown-Sequard 
assumes to be demonstrable even beyond the age of fifty-six. Without due 
allowance for the stiffness of a new hat, and the shrinking of an old one when out of use, 
hat-measurements may prove very deceptive. On his assumption relative to the normal 
excess of the left hemisphere of the brain, there ought to be a greater equality between 
the two hemispheres in a left-hauded than a right-handed person, owing to the more 
equal employment of the two sides of the brain by the latter. But he fails to appreciate 
the bearings of his own argument in the case of a left-handed person conforming in many 
ways to the usage of the majority, yet instinctively giving the preference to the left hand. 
He dwells on the fact that very few left-handed persons have learned to write with the 
left hand, and that those who can do not write nearly so well with it as with the right 
hand. Even in persons who are left-handed naturally, so that the right side of the brain 
may be assumed to control the reasoning faculties and their expression, he argues that the 
left side of the brain " can be so educated that the right hand, which that side of the 
brain controls, produces a better handwriting than that by the left hand, though that is 
controlled by the better developed brain." But the reasoning is alike partial and mislead- 
ing. The left-handed person systematically submits to disabilities in his efforts to comply 
with the usage of the majority, not only in holding his pen in the right hand, but in the 
direction and slope of the writing. A left-handed race would naturally write from right 


to left, sloping the letters towards the left, and so would place the right-handed penman 
at a like disadvantage, wholly independent of any supposed change in the functions or 
preponderating energy of either hemisphere of the brain. But even in the absence of 
practice, the command of the left hand in the case of a truly left-handed person is so great 
that very slight effort is required to enable him to write with ease with that hand. 

In so far as right-handedness is a result of organic structure, and not a mere acquired 
habit; some trace of it should be found in the lower animals; though in a less degree. 
Dr. Buchanan, in discussing his " Mechanical Theory," notes that, " While the viscera of 
the quadruped have the same general lateralised position as in man, there is a reason why 
this shoiild be carried to a greater extent in man than in the quadruped, owing to the 
much greater lateral development of the chest and abdomen of the human figure, in order 
to adapt it to the erect posture, as contrasted with the great lateral flattening of the 
trunk in quadrupeds. The equipoise is therefore more disturbed in man than in the 
quadruped." In the case of the monkey, its necessities as a climber no doubt tend to 
bring all its limbs into constant use ; but, possibly, careful study of the habits and gestures 
of monkeys may disclose, along with their ambidextrous skill, some traces of a preference 
for the limbs on the one side. The elephant has been repeatedly affirmed to betray a 
strongly marked right-sidedness ; .and this is reiterated in a communication by Mr. James 
Shaw to the Anthropological section of the British Association, where he notes the 
" curious fact that elephants have been frequently known to use the right tusk more than 
the left in digging up roots, and in doing other things." But the statement is vague, and, 
even if confirmed by adequate proof, can scarcely be regarded as the equivalent of right- 
handedness. In dogs it may be noticed that they rarely move in the direct line of their 
own body, but incline to one side or the other, the right hind-foot stepping into the print 
of the left fore-foot, or vice versa. In the horse, as in other quadrupeds, a regular alternation 
in the pace is manifest, except when modified by education for the requirements of man. 
I experienced no difficulty in teaching a favourite dog to give the right paw ; and no child 
could more strongly manifest a sense of shame, than he did when reproved for the 
gaucherie of offering the wrong one. The saddle horse is trained to prefer the right foot 
to lead with in the canter; while the same animal is educated differently when destined 
for a lady's use ; but I have been informed by two experienced veterinary surgeons that, 
while some horses learn with very slight training to start with the right foot, others 
require long and persevering insistency before they acquire the habit. A curious relation 
between man and the lower animals in the manifestation of the organic influences here 
noted, is indicated by a writer in the " Cornhill Magazine," when referring to the well 
ascertained fact that aphasia is ordinarily accompanied with disease of the right side of the 
brain, says ; " Right-sidedness extends to the lower races. Birds, and especially parrots, 
show right-sidedness. Dr. "W. Ogle has found that few parrots perch on the left leg. Now, 
parrots have that part at least of the faculty of speech which depends on the memory of 
successive sounds, and of the method of reproducing such imitation of them as a parrot's 
powers permit ; and it is remarkable that their left brain receives more blood, and is better 
developed than the right brain." The same writer expresses his doubt as to monkeys 
showing any tendency to right-handedness ; but with the constant use and training of the 
hands by the quadrumana in their arboreal life, opportunities for the manifestation of any 


instinctive preference for either hand must be rare ; and is likely to elude all but the most 
watchful observers. 

A paper was coram uuicated by Dr. Delaunay to the Anthropological Society of France, 
on the si\bject of right-handedness. I only know of it by an imperfect notice, in which 
he is reported to look on the preferential use of the right hand as a differentiation arising 
from natural selection, while he regards ambidexterity as a mere " survival." But Dr. 
Pye-Smith long ago remarked that "it is clear that in the progress of civilisation one or 
other hand would come to be selected for the more characteristic human actions for which 
only one is necessary, such as wielding a pen or other w.eapon ; " but he recognises the 
insufficiency of the suggestion, and adds in a foot note : " The difficult point is to guess by 
what process the right rather than the left hand has been so uniA'ersally preferred." He 
then glances at possible guidance to be derived from the study of the habits of savage 
tribes ; though still the old difficulty recurs ; and he thus proceeds ; " In default of any 
better suggestion, might one suggest an hypothesis of the origin of right-handedness from 
modes of fighting, more by way of illustration than as at all adecjuate in itself? If a 
hundred of our ambidextrous ancestors made the step in civilisation of inventing a shield, 
we may suppose that half woirld carry it on the right arm and fight with the left, the 
other half on the left and fight with the right. The latter would certainly, in the long 
run, escape mortal wounds better than the former, and thus a race of men who fought 
with the right hand would gradually be developed by a process of natural selection." To 
this idea of right-handedness as one of the results of a survival of the fittest, Dr. Delaunay 
adds the statement, professedly based on facts which he has accumulated, that ambidex- 
terity is common among idiots. The results noted probably amount to no more than the 
negative condition of general imbecility, in which the so-called ambidexterity of the idiot 
involves, not an exceptional skill in the left hand equalising it with the right, but only a 
succession of feeble and often aimless actions manifesting an equal lack of dexterity in 
either hand. "Where left-handedness is strongly developed, it is, on the contrary, not 
only accompanied with more than average dexterity in the organ thus specialised ; but 
also with a command of the use of the right hand, acquired by education, which gives 
the individual an advantage over the great majority of right-handed men. The surprise 
occasionally manifested at any display of dexterity by left-handed performers, as though 
it were accomplished under unusual disadvantages, is altogether unjustified. In reality, a 
strongly developed left-handedness is, equally with a strongly developed right-handedness, 
an indication of exceptional dexterity. Such skill as that of the left-handed sliugers of 
the tribe of Benjamin is in no way exceptional. All truly left-handed, as well as all 
truly right-handed persons, are more likely to be dextrous than those who are unconscious 
of any strong impulse to the use of either hand. The bias, whether to the right or the 
left, is, I feel assured, the result of special organic aptitude. With the majority no well- 
defined bias betrays any unwonted power, and they merely follow in this, as in so much 
else, the practice of the greater number. But there is no such difference between the two 
hands as to justify the extent to which, with the great majority, one is allowed to become 
a passive and nearly useless member. The left hand ought to be educated from the first 
no less than the right, instead of leaving its training to be effected, imperfectly and with 
great effort, in later life, to meet some felt necessity. Wherever the early and persistent 
cultivation of the full irse of both hands has been accomplished, the result is greater 


efficiency without any counteracting^ awkwardness or defect. In certain arts and pro- 
fessions, both hands are necessarily called into play. The skilful surgeon finds an 
enormous advantage in being able to transfer his instrument from one hand to the other. 
The dentist has to multiply instruments to make up for the lack of such acquired power. 
The fencer who can transfer his weapon to the left hand, places his adversary at a 
disadvantage. The lumberer finds it indispensable in the operations of his woodcraft 
to learn to chop timber right and left-handed ; and the carpenter may be frequently seen 
using the saw and hammer in either hand, and thereby not only resting his arm, but 
greatly facilitating his work. In all the fine arts the mastery of both hands is advan- 
tageous. The sculptor, the carver, the draftsman, the engraver, and cameo-cutter, each 
has recourse at times to the left hand for special manipulative dexterity ; the pianist 
depends little less on the left hand than the right ; and as for the organist, with the 
numerous pedals and stops of the modern grand organ, a quadrumanous musician would 
still find reason to envy the ampler scope which a Briareus could command. On the other 
hand, it is no less true that, while the experience of every thoroughly left-handed person 
shows the possibility of training both hands to a capacity for responding to the mind 
with promptness and skill, at the same time it is none the less apparent that in cases of 
true left-handedness there is an organic specialization which no enforced habit can wholly 

The conclusion at which I finally arrive is that left-handedness is due to an excep- 
tional development of the right hemisphere of the brain. I have long delayed the printing 
of this monograph on the subject, in expectation of some response to appeals I have 
repeatedly made to medical friends, in the hope that the occurrence of some strongly 
marked case of left-handedness among hospital or other patients might afford an oppor- 
tunity of bringing it to the test. But in the passive condition of mortal disease there is 
little occasion to draw attention to the left-handed action of a patient ; and I must leuve 
the point to be determined hereafter under some favouring opportunity. My own brain 
has now been in use for more than the full allotted term of three score years and ten, and 
the time cannot be far distant when I shall be done with it. When that time comes, I 
should be glad if it were turned to account for the little further service of settling this 
physiological puzzle. If my ideas are correct, I anticipate as the result of its exam- 
ination, that the right hemisphere will not only be found to be heavier than the left, 
but that it will probably be marked by a noticable difference in the number and arrange- 
ments of the convolutions. 

Note. — The subject wliich is fully dealt with in the above paper has been previously considered by the writer 
in some of the aspects here reviewed. He has now embodied these, along with the results of more recent investi- 
gations. See " Right-handedness," Canadian Journal, N.S., 1871, Vol. xiii. p. 193 ; " Left-handedness," Ibid., 1872, 
Vol. xiv. p. 465 ; " Prim;eval Dexterity," Proceedings of the Canadian Institute, 1885, Vol. iii. p. 125 ; " Pateolithic 
Dexterity," Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 1886, Vol. iii. Sec. ii. p. 119. 

Sec. II., 1886. 6. 

Section IL, 1886. [ 43 ] Trans. Eoy. Soc. Canada. 

II. — Local Government in Canada : an Historical Study. 

By John George Bourinot. 

(Presented May 27, 1886.) 

" Local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Municipal institutions are 
to liberty what primary scliools are to science; they bring it within tlie people's reach; tliey teach men 
how to use and how to enjoy it. A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the 
spirit of municipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty." De Tocqubvillb, Democracy in 
America Vol. I. Ch. v. 

I. — Introductory. 

I propose to give in this paper an historical review of the origin and growth of the 
municipal system of Canada. Such a review suggested itself to me after a careful perusal 
of the valuable series of essays that are appearing from the press of the Johns Hopkins 
University in the state of Maryland.' These studies are remarkable for the information 
they give on a subject to which historians of the United States have hitherto devoted very 
little attention. The papers that have already been published with respect to the local 
institutions of Virginia, of Maryland, and of the New England States, enable lis to follow 
step by step the progress of the people in self-government. Under the conviction that a 
similar paper on local government in Canada may be of some value to students of political 
science in the absence of any work or treatise hitherto devoted to the subject, I shall 
endeavour to evolve out of a chaos of old documents, statu.tes, and histories such facts as 
may give a tolerably accurate idea of the gradual development of those local institutions 
on which must always rest, in a great measure, the whole fabric of popular liberty. 

Such a subject ought to be interesting to every Canadian, but especially to the historical 
student. The former may care to learn something of the history of those institutions 
which perform so important a part in the economy of his daily life. The latter must find 
a deeper attraction in tracing the origin of the municipal government of this country even 
to those ancient institutions, which, very many centuries ago, kept alive a spirit of liberty 
among our English forefathers and among the G-erman nations.^ 

' Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Herbert B. Adams, editor. Three 
series have already appeared. 

'"The origin of local government in England, lilie that of oiir civil liberty, must be sought in the primitive 

but well ordered communities of our Saxon forefathers The German nations, as described by Cœsar and 

Tacitus, were nothing but associations of self-governed villages, or larger districts, occupied by separate families, 
or clans, among whom there was not even the shadow of a common national allegiance, except for the purpose of 
war. Such was the organization of the Saxons, Jutes and Angles, when they first settled in England." Cobdeu 
Club Essays, 1875, Local Government in England, by Hon. G. C. Brodricli, p- 3. 


The Domiuiou of Canada uow extends over a territory between the Atlantic and 
Pacific oceans, even greater in area than that of the United States. Its organized divis- 
ions consist of the provinces of Prince Edw^ard Island, NoA'a Scotia, New Brunswick, 
Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia, each of which possesses a very liberal 
system of representative government. Every province has a lieutenant-governor, appointed 
by the government of the Dominion, and a legislature composed in Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick and Quebec, of a legislative council nominated by the crown, and of a 
leo-islative assembly elected by the people on a very liberal franchise. In Manitoba, 
British Columbia, and Ontario, there is no second chamber, while, in Prince Edward 
Island, that body is elected by the people. The'Northwest Territories which extend 
from Manitoba to the frontier of British Columbia — territories out of which may be formed 
many states as large and fertile as Minnesota — are as yet divided into mere territorial 
districts, over which preside a lieutenant-governor, appointed by the Ottawa government, 
and a council, partly nominated by the crown, and partly elected by the people. In all 
of the provinces, as well as in the principal settlements, A'illages and towns of the North- 
west, now exists a system of municipal institutions which are the growth of the expe- 
rience of the i^ast forty years, since the people of the old provinces of Canada have grown 
in population and wealth, and have fully recognized the necessity of managing their 
purely municipal and local affiiirs in councils elected by themselves. These municipal 
institiitions are the creation, and are under the jurisdiction, of the provincial legislatures, 
in accordance with the constitution, known as the British North America Act 1S61, which 
gives the control of all general national aiFairs to the federal government, and the 
administration of all local matters to the legislatures of the provinces. As the municipal 
institutions of Canada, in the first instance, owe their existence to statutory enactments 
of the legislatures of the provinces, so they can be amended only by the authority of the 
same superior bodies. 

The political history of Canada may be divided into three important epochs. First 
of all, there was the era of the French Regime which lasted for about a century and a 
half, from the 3rd of July, 1608, when Champlain established his seat of government on 
the picturesque heights of Qu.ebec, until 1760, when France gave up the contest with 
Eno-land, for the supremacy on the continent of America. Then came the period from 
1*760 to 1840, when the provinces slowly increased in population under British Rule, and 
gained valuable experience in the working of representative institutions. Then followed 
the important and interesting period from 1840 to 1867, when the political liberties of the 
people were enlarged, and they were given responsible government in the full sense of 
the term. Since 1867, the various provinces, united as the Dominion of Canada, have 
entered on a fourth era pregnant with promise. 

II.— The Feench Regime, 1608-1760. 

During the days of French domination in Canada, we look in vain for evidences of 
self-o-overnment in any form, such as we see in the town-meetings of Massachusetts and 
in the counties and parishes of Virginia, or in other local divisions of the old English 
Colonies in America, in all of which we can see the germs of liberty and free institutions 


from the earliest days of their history. The system of governmeut that was established 
on the banks of the St. Lawrence was the very opposite of that to which the people of 
New England always clung as their most valued heritage. While the townsfolk of 
Massachusetts were discussing affairs in town-meetings, the French inhabitants of Canada 
were never allowed to take part in public assemblies, but were taught to depend in the 
most trivial matters on a paternal government. Canada was governed as far as possible 
like a province of France. In the early days of the colony, when it was under the rule 
of mere trading companies chartered by the king, the governors practically exercised 
arbitrary power, with the assistance of a council chosen by themselves. Eventually, 
however, the King, by the advice of the great Colbert, took the government of the 
colony into his own hands, and appointed a governor, an intendant, and a supreme or 
sovereign council to administer under his own direction the affairs of the country. The 
governor, who was generally a soldier, was nominally at the head of affairs, and had the 
direction of the defences of the colony ; but to all intents and purposes, the intendant, 
who was a man of legal attainments, had the greatest influence in many ways. He had 
the power of issuing ordinances which had the effect of law, and in the words of his 
commission " to order everything as he shall see just and proper. " An examination of 
these ordinances proves conclusively the arbitrary and despotic nature of the government 
to which the people were subject, and the care that was taken by the authorities to give 
them as little liberty as possible in the management of those local matters over which 
the inhabitants of the British Colonies exercised the fullest control. These ordinances 
regulated inns and markets, the building and repairs of churches and presbyteries, the 
construction of bridges, the maintenance of roads, and all those matters which could 
affect the comfort, the convenience, and the security of the community. 

It is interesting to notice how every effort that was made during the continuance 
of the French rule, to assemble the people for public purposes, and give them an oppor- 
tunity of taking an interest in public questions, was systematically crushed by the orders 
of the government in accordance with the autocratic spirit of French monarchy. The 
first meeting of the inhabitants was called on the 18th of August, 1621, by Champlain, in 
Quebec, for the purpose of getting up a petition to the king on the affairs of Canada.' 
But this was a very exceptional event in the history of the colony. A public meeting of 
the parishioners to consider the cost of a new church could not be held without 
the special permission of the intendant. It was the custom in the early days of the 
colony to hold public meetings in Quebec under the chairmanship of members of the 
sovereign council for the purpose of discussing the price and quality of bread and the 
supply of firewood, " Such assemblies, so controlled," says Parkman, " could scarcely, 
one would think, wound the tenderest susceptibilities of authority ; yet there was an 
evident distrust of them, and after a few years this modest shred of self-government is 
seen no more." ' 

"We have a striking illustration of the arbitrary policy pursued towards the colony by 
the king and his ministers in the action they took with reference to an attempt made by 
Count de Frontenac in 16*72 to assemble the different orders of the colonv, the clergy, the 
noblesse or seigneurs, the judiciary, and the third estate, in imitation of the old institutions 

^Doutre et Lareau, Histoire Générale du Droit Canadien, i. 13, 14. 
"Parkraan's Old Régime in Canada, pp. 280, 281. 


of France. He compelled the estates of Canada, as he called them, to take the new oath 
of allegiance before a great assemblage of persons. The French king did not long leave 
the haughty governor in doubt as to his opinion of this innoA'ation on the policy laid 
down for the government of the colony. " The assembling and division that you have 
made," wrote Colbert, " of all the inhabitants of the country into three orders or estates 
with the object of administering to them the oath of allegiance might have some effect for 
the moment ; but it is well to consider that you should always observe in the administra- 
tion of public affairs those forms which are followed here, and that our kings have deemed 
it inexpedient for a long time past to assemble the states-general of their kingdom, with 
the view perhaps of insensibly destroying the ancient system. Under these circumstances 
you should very rarely, and in fact it Avould be better if you should never give this form 
to the people of the country. It will be advisable, even after a while, when the colony is 
more vigorous than at present, to suppress by degrees the syndic who presents petitions 
in the name of the inhabitants, as it seems better that everyone should speak for himself, 
and no one for all." ^ 

The history of the officer just named, the syndic, of itself gives us some striking 
evidence of the stern determination of the government to stamp out every vestige of 
popular institutions, however insignificant it might be. The syndics dliabitntmis are 
said to have been originally constituted by Colbert to act as municipal officers appointed 
by the peojple of the cities to preserve public rights. The references to these function- 
aries in the history of those times are very vague : they appear to have existed in Quebec, 
Montreal, and Three Rivers in 164t, but they ceased to exist by 1661. The government 
was determined to have no town-meetings or municipal officers in the province oi 
Quebec. In 1663, a meeting of the citizens of Quebec was called by the supreme council, 
on the requisition of the attorney-general, to elect a mayor and two aldermen for that 
town. The people accordingly chose Jean-Baptiste Legardeur, Sieur de Eepentigny, for 
mayor, and Jean Madry and Claude Charron for aldermen ; but these persons soon 
resigned in consequence, it is well understood, of the influence brought to bear upon 
them by the authorities. They declared that, having regard to the smallness of the 
population, it would be better to appoint a syndic. The first election held for this pur- 
pose was annulled, and another, called irregularly by the governor, made a nomination. 
It appears that the bishop. Monseigneur de Laval, a haughty, determined man, who 
proved himself d^^ring his memorable career in Canada a true descendant of the great 
house of Montmorency, was opposed to the action taken in this matter, and his friends in 
the council protested against the swearing in and installation of the syndic. The gover- 
nor, M. de Mezy, took upon himself to suspend the obstinate councillors, and consequently 
committed a violation of the royal instructions, for he had no power of appointing these 
functionaries without the consent of the bishop, or of dismissing or suspending them at 
his own discretion." Without dwelling further on these official squabbles, frequent enough 
in those times, it is only necessary to add that the sequel was that the country heard no 
more of attempts to establish even a semblance of popular representative government in 
the towns of Canada. The policy of the king and his advisers was determinately antago- 

' Doutre et Lareau, pp. 169, 170; Chauveau, Notice sur la publication des Registres du Conseil Souverain, 
etc., p. 34. 

■ Chauveau, pp. 24-30; Garneau, i. 179, ISO; Parknian's Old Régime, p. 281 ; Doutre et Lareau, p. 129. 


nistic to such institutions. " It is of great conseqvience," wrote Menles to the minister in 
1685, " not to give any liberty to the people to express their opinions." ' 

The administration of local affairs was exclusively under the control of the king's 
officers at Quebec. As I have already shown, the ordinances of the intendant and of the 
council were the law. The local or territorial divisions of the colony had no connection, 
as the townships, parishes, and counties of the English colonies in America, with the 
local affairs of the people. The country was subdivided into the following divisions for 
purposes of government, settlement and justice : " — 

1. Districts. 

2. Seiguiorie 

3. Parishes. 

The Districts were simply established for judicial and legal purposes, and each of 
them bore the name of the principal town within its limits ; viz., Quebec, also called the 
Prévôté de Québec, Montreal, and Three Rivers. In each of these districts there was a 
judge, appointed by the king, to adjudicate on all civil and criminal matters. An appeal 
was allowed in the most trivial cases to the supreme or superior council, which also 
exercised original jurisdiction. ^ 

The greater part of Canada was divided into large estates or seigniories, which were 
held under a modified system of feudal tenure, established by Richelieu in 162'7,* with 
the view of creating a colonial aristocracy or noblesse, and of stimulating settlement in 
a wilderness. By this system, which lasted until 1854,'' lands were as a rule held 
immediately from the king en fief or en roture. The seignior, on his accession to the 
estate, was required to pay homage to the king, or to his feudal superior in case the lands 
were granted by another than the king. " The seignior received his land gratuitously 
from the crown, and granted them to his vassals who were generally known as 
habitants or cultivators of the soil. The habitant or censitaire held his property by the tenure 
of en censive, on condition of making annual payments in money or produce known as 
cens et rente, which were ridiculously small in the early times of the colony.' He was 
obliged to grind his corn at the seignior's mill {moulin banal^), bake his bread in the 
seignior's oven, give his lord a tithe of the fish caught in his waters, and comply with 
other conditions at no time onerous or strictly enforced in the days of the French regime. 
The land of the censitaire went to his heirs, but in case he sold it during his life time, one 
twelfth of the purchase-money was given under the name of lods et ventes to the seignior. 
In case the latter at any time transferred, by sale or otherwise, his seigniory — except of 

1 Meules au Ministre, 1685. 

' Bouchette, A Topographical Description of the Province of Lower Canada, etc., pp. 86, 87. 

' Doutre et Lareau, p. 130. * Garneau, i. 171. 

* It was abolished after many j'ears of agitation by 18 Vict. c. 3. 
^ Parkman, p. 245. 

' Half a sou, and half a pint of wheat, or a few live capons, wheat and eggs, would represent the cens et 
rente for each arpent in early days. Parkman's Old Régime, p. 249. 

* The government appear to have rigidly enforced the seignior's rights in the case of the motdin banal. For 
instance, in 1701}, the intendant issued an ordinance forbi^lding the Dame de La Forêt from turning her mill in the 
county of St. Laurent while there was a moulin banal in that place. Doutre et Lareau, p. 237, 


course in the event of natural hereditary succession — he had to pay a quint or fifth part 
of the whole purchase mouey to his feudal superior, but he was allowed a reduction 
{rabat) of two thirds wheu the mouey was paid dowu immediately.' 

The system, irreconcilable as it is with our modern ideas of free settlement, had 
some advantages in a new country like Canada, where the government managed every- 
thing and colonization was not left to chance. The seignior was obliged to cultivate 
his estate at the risk of forfeiture — and many estates were from time to time resumed by 
the crown — and consequently it was absolutely necessary that he should exert himself 
to bring settlers upon his lauds. The conditions of the tenure were in early times so 
trivial as not to burden the settler. The obligation of the censitaire to grind his corn in 
the seignior's mill was an advantage, since it insured him the means of procuring bread 
which it would have been otherwise difficult to find in a country where there was neither 
money nor enterprise. The seigniories were practically so many territorial divisions 
where the seigneur was master and adviser to his censitaires. He had the right of dispens- 
ing justice in certain cases, though this was a right he very rarely exercised. " As 
respects civil affairs, however, both lord and vassal were to all intents and purposes on 
the same footing, for they were equally ignored in matters of government. 

In the days of the French regime, the only towns for many years were Quebec, 
Montreal and Three Rivers. Villages were but slow in growth, despite the efforts of the 
government to encourage them. In remote and exposed places — like those on the 
Richelieu, where officers and soldiers of the Cariguan regiment had been induced to 
settle — palisaded villages had been built ; but in the rural parts of the province generally, 
the people appear to have considered their own convenience. The principal settlements 
were, in the course of time, established on the banks of the St. Lawrence from Quebec to 
Montreal. The people chose the banks of the river, as affording them in those days the 
easiest means of intercommunication. As the lots of a grant en censive were limited in 
area — four arpents in front by forty in depth — the farms in the course of time assumed 
the appearance of a continuous settlement on the river. These various settlements 
became known in local phraseology as Côtes, apparently from their natural situation on 
the banks of the river. This is the derivation of Côte des Neiges, Côte St. Louis, Côte 
St. Paul, and of many picturesque villages in the neighborhood of Montreal and Quebec* 

The parishes were established for ecclesiastical purposes, aud were groviped on each 
side of the St. Lawrence and Richelieu. Their extent was exactly defined in September, 
1*721, by a regulation made by Messieurs de Vaudreuil and Begon, assisted by the Bishop 
of Quebec, and confirmed by an Arrêt du Conseil of the 2nd of March, 1'722.^ These parishes 
are constantly referred to in the ordinances of the superior council, in connection with 
the administration of local affairs. In the parishes, the influential men were the Curé, 
the seignior, and the captain of the militia."' The seignior, from his social position, 

' For a succinct description of tlie main features of the seigniorial tenure, see Parkman's Old Régime, eh. 15 ; 
Garneau, i. 171-174. 

^ The seigniors rarely exercised their judicial rights ; the Seminary of St. Sulpice was almost the only one 
to do so ; the council exercised superior jurisdiction in all cases. Doutre et Lareau, pp. 133, 305. 

' Parkman's Old Régime, p. 234. 

* Edits et Ordonnances, i. 443. Doutre et Lareau, pp. 259, 260. Bouchette's Canada, p. 86. 

^ " The most important persons in a parish were the curé, the seignior, and the militia captain. The seignior 
had his bench of honour in the church. Immediately behind it was the bench of the militia captain, whose 


exercised a considerable weight in the commuuity, but not to the degree that the 
representative of the church enjoyed. From the earliest time in the history of the colony, 
we find the Komau Catholic church exercising a dominant influence — an influence, it 
must be admitted, discreetly and wisely used for the welfare of the people committed to 
its sjiiritual care.' Next to the curé in importance was the captain of militia, who was 
exceedingly useful in the absence of civil authorities in carrying out the orders and 
instructions of the government in the parishes. The whole province was formed into 
a militia district so that, in times of war, the inhabitants might be obliged to perform 
military service under the French governor. In times of peace, these militia officers 
executed the orders of the governor and intendant in all matters affecting the king. A 
captain was appointed for each parish, and in some of the larger divisions there were 
two or three. ^ 

By reference to the numerous ordinances of the intendant, we can see pretty 
accurately how such local matters as the construction, maintenance, and repair of roads 
and bridges were managed in the seigniories and parishes. In case it was considered 
necessary to build a church or presbytery, the intendant authorized the habitants to 
assemble for the purpose of choosing from among themselves four persons to make, with 
the curé, the seignior, and the captain of the militia, an estimate of the expense of the 
structure. It was the special care of the captain of the militia to look after the work, 
and see that each parishioner did his full share.'' It was only in church matters, in fact, 
that the people of a parish had a voice, and even in these, as we see, they did not take 
the initiative. The Quebec authorities must in all such cases first issue an ordinance. 

All the roads and bridges of the colony were under the supervision of the grand 
voyei\ or superintendent of highways, appointed by the king. We find in the proceedings 
of the council on the 1st of February, 1*706, the regulations which governed this impor- 
tant otficer in the discharge of his duties. He was obliged to visit all the seigniories 
at certain times of the year and make provision for the highways wherever necessary. 
The roads and other local improvements were constructed after consultation with the 
proprietors of lands and the most responsible persons of the place, at the expense of the 
people immediately interested. All the work was performed under the direction of the 
captain of militia in the parish.^ 

The position of the people in French Canada for a century and a half has been tersely 
set forth by the writers to whom we have frequently referred : " Withou.t education, 
without an opportunity of taking part in public atfairs, without an interest in the public 
offices, all of which were filled up by persons sent out by the Government, the Canadian 
people were obliged to seek, in the clearing of the forest, in the cultivation of the field, 
in the chase, and in adventure, the means of livelihood, and hardly ever busied themselves 
with public matters. Sometimes they thought they were becoming 'a people' on this 

duty it was to drill the able-bodied men of the neighborhood Next in honor came the local judge, if any 

there was, and the churnh-wardens." Parkman's Old Régime, p. 387. Ihe precedence in church and processions 
was regulated by ordinance. See Doutre et Lareau, p. 242. 

' " Lower Canada had, when we received it at the conquest, two institutions which alone preserved the sem- 
blance of order and civilisation in the community — the Catholic Church and the militia, which was so constituted 
and used as partially to supply the want of better civil institutions." Lord Durham's Report, p. 31. 

^ Doutre et Lareau, p. 136. '^ Edits et ordonnances, ii. 295. 

* Edits et ordonnances, ii. 135, 

Sec. IL, 1886. 7. 


continent, and might acquire a larger degree of liberty, but all such aspirations were 
promptly checked by the governor, the intendant and the bishop, in obedience to the 
instructions of the king. No social union existed between the people, no guarantees for 
civil liberty were ever established. On cA'^ery occasion the people were taught to have 
no ambition for civil power, or for a share in public businesss. Reduced at last to a 
state of passive obedience, they accepted the orders and edicts of the king without a 
murmur." ' 

It is easy to understand that the result of this autocratic, illiberal system of govern- 
ment was complete social and political stagnation.^ It was not until the people of 
French Canada had been for many years under a British system of government, that they 
awoke to the full consciousness of their rights, and began to take that practical interest 
in public affairs which was the best evidence of their increased intelligence. 

III.— Lower Canada, 1Y60-1840. 

For three years after the conquest of Canada, the government was in the hands of 
military chiefs who had their headquarters at Quebec, Montreal and Three Eivers, the 
chefs lieux of the three departments into which General Amherst, the first English 
goA^ernor-general, divided the new province. During this military regime the people as 
a rule settled their difficulties among themselves, and did not resort to the military 
tribunals which were established to administer law throughout the conquered territory.'' 
In 1763, King George III established four new governments in America, viz., Quebec, 
East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada. For nearly thirty years, the people of the goA'ern- 
ment of Quebec were not represented in a legislature, but were governed up to 1'774 by 
a governor-general, and an executive council, composed in the first instance, of the two 
lieutenant-governors of Montreal and Three Rivers, of the surveyor-general of customs, 
and of eight others chosen from leading residents of the province.' In 1'7'74 the imperial 
parliament for the first time intervened in the affairs of the country, and passed the 
Quebec Act, by which the government was entrusted to a governor-general and a 
legislative council appointed by the crown, inasmuch as it was deemed "inexpedient to 
call an assembly." This irresponsible body was to contain not more than twenty-three and 
not less than seventeen members, and had power with the consent of the governor-general 
" to make ordinances for the peace, welfare, and good government of the province." It 
had no authority, however, to impose any taxes or duties, except such as the inhabitants 
of any town or district might be authorized to assess or levy within its precincts for the 

' Doutre et Lareau, p. 308. 

' " The institutions of France, during the period of the colonisation of Canada were, perhaps, more than those 
of any other European nation, calculated to repress the intelligence and freedom of the great mass of the people. 
These institutions followed the Canadian colonist across the Atlandc. The same central, ill-organized, unimprov- 
ing and repressive despotism extended over him. Not merely was he allowed no voice in the government of the 
province, or the choice of his rulers, but he was not even permitted to associate with his neighbours for the 
regulation of those municipal affairs which the central authority neglected under the pretext of managing." 
Lord Durham's Report, p. 9. 

' Attorney-general Thurlow's Report iu Christie's History of Lower Canada, i. 49, 50. 

* Christie, i. 49, 50. 


purpose of making roads, erecting and repairing public buildings, or for any otber purpose 
respecting the local conA'enieuce and economy of stich town or district.' 

During the military regime, the captains of militia dispensed justice and carried out 
the orders of the avithorities in the parishes.' The king, in 1'763, gave instructions to 
Groveruor Murray, who succeeded General Amherst, to lay out townships and provide 
town sites, with the view of encouraging the settlement of English-speaking people. 
Provision was also made for building a church, and for giving 400 acres of land to the 
support of a clergyman, and 200 acres for a schoolmaster. '* In ItGé the governor 
established courts of quarter sessions for the trial of petty causes. These courts were 
composed of justices of the peace who had to address their warrants to the captains and 
other officers of militia in the first instance. * The majority of the inhabitants dwelling 
in each parish were also permitted to elect, on the 24th of June in each year, six men to 
act as Baillis and Sous-Baillts. '' The names of these men were sent in to the deputy 
secretary of the province, and the governor-general, with the consent of the council, 
appointed the persons who were to act. These officers had for some years the inspection 
of the highways and bridges, and also acted as constables. In lt7t, it was deemed advis- 
able to pass an ordinance providing for the repair and maintenance of the roads and 
bridges in the province, under the direction of the grand voyer, whose office was reestab- 
lished in accordance with the desire of the imperial government to continue the old 
institutions of the country, to which the people were accustomed. The old French 
system was practically again in force. The proprietors and farmers were required to 
keep up the roads and bridges that passed by their respective properties. All repairs 
were performed by statute labour or at the cost of the parish. The judges of common 
pleas on circuit were to report on the state of the communications, as provided for in the 

In 1*791 a very important constitutional change took place in the political condition 
of Canada. At the close of the American War of Independence, a large number of people 
known as United Empire Loyalists, on account of their having remained faithful to the 
British Crown during that great struggle, came and settled in the provinces. Some ten 
thousand persons, at least, made their homes in Upper Canada, while a considerable num- 
ber found their way to the Eastern Townships which lie to the south of the St. Lawrence, 
between the Montreal district and the frontier of the United States. The Parliament of 
Great Britain then thought it advisable to separate the French and English nationalities 
by forming the two provinces on the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, known until 1867 
as Lower Canada and Upper Canada. To the people of both sections were granted repre- 
sentative institutions.'' By a proclamation of the governor-general, dated 7th of May, 
1792, Lower Canada was divided, for legislative purposes, into the following twenty-one 
counties : — Bedford, Buckingham, Cornwallis, Devon, Dorchester, Effingham, Gaspé, Hamp- 
shire, Hertford, Huntingdon, Kent, Leinster, Montreal, St. Maurice, Northumberland, 

' 14 Geo. III. c. 83 ; Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure, ch. i. on Parliamentary Institutions in Canada, 
pp. 9-12. 

^ Doutre et Lareau, p. 485. ^ lUd., p. 563. 

* Ihid., p. 589. 5 j;,j^_^ p, 590, 

^ Ordinances for the Province of Quebec (Brown and Gilmore), p. 86. 
' 31 Geo. III. c. 31 ; Bourinot, p. 14. 


Orleans, Quebec, Eichelieu, Surrey, "Warwick, and York. ' The names of some of these 
divisions recall well-known counties or shires in England. 

The system of government established in lt91 continued in force until the suspen- 
sion of the constitution of Lower Canada, as a consequence of the rebellion of 183*7-8, 
under the leadership of Papineau and other men whose names are familiar to all students 
of Canadian political history. During these years, the country was practically governed 
by the governor-general and the executive and legislative councils, both nominated by 
the former. The popular house, however, had little influence or power as long as the 
government was not responsible to the people's representatives, and was iudifierent to 
their approbation or support. The result was an irrepressible conflict between the 
assembly, and the legislative and executive councils supported by the governor-general. 
The fact was, the whole system of government was based on unsound principles. The 
representative system, granted to the people, did not go far enough, since it should have 
given the people full control over the public revenues and the administration of public 
affairs, in accordance with the principles of ministerial responsibility to parliament as 
understood in the parent state. More than that, it failed, because it had not been estab- 
lished at the outset on a basis of local self-government, as was the case in the United 
States, where the institutions of New England and other colonies had graduallj' prepared 
the people for a free system of government. Turning to the remarkable report on the 
affairs of Canada which bears the name of Lord Durham,' who was governor-general and 
high commissioner in 1839, we find the following clear appreciation of the weakness of 
the system in oiDeration for so many years in the old provinces of Canada: " If the wise 
example of those countries in which a free and representative government has alone 
worked well, had been in all respects followed in Lower Canada, care would have been 
taken that, at the same time that a parliamentary system, based on a very extended 
suffrage, was introduced into the country, the people should have been entrusted with a 
complete control over their own local affairs, and been trained for taking their part in 
the concerns of the province by their experience in the management of that local business 
which was most interesting and most easily intelligible to them. But the inhabitants of 
Lower Canada were unhappily initiated into self-government at exactly the wrong end, 
and those who were not trusted with the management of a parish were enabled by 
their votes to influence the destinies of a state." ^ 

The following divisions existed in Lower Canada, between 1792 and 1840, none of 
which, howeA^er, were constituted with a view to purposes of local government : — 

1. Districts. 

2. Counties. 

3. Parishes. 

4. Townships. 

' Bouchette's Topographical Description of Lower Canada, etc., p. 86. It appears that Nova Scotia was the first 
province in British North America to establish the old Norman division of " County," which is the equivalent of 
the Saxon "Shire." 

- This remarkable document, it is now well understood, was written by Mr. Charles Buller, who accompanied 
Lord Durham in the capacity of secretary. "In fact written by Mr. Cliarles Buller, and embodying the opinions of 
Mr. Gibbon Wakefield and Sir William Molesworth on Colonial policy." Note by Mr. Reeve to Greville's Memoirs 
(second part), i. 142. ^ Lord Durham's Report, p. 35. 


The four districts were Quebec, Three Rivers, Montreal, and St. Francis, which were 
established for purely judicial purposes. The courts therein had unlimited and supreme 
original jurisdiction. In addition to these superior districts there was the inferior division 
of Gaspé with a limited jurisdiction. 

The counties were, as I have already intimated, established for parliamentary objects ; 
for Lord Durham observed that he knew " of no purpose for which they were constituted, 
except for the election of members for the house of assembly." ' The parishes, into which 
the seigniories were divided, were the old divisions established in the days of the French 
regime. The limits of the parishes, as set forth in the ordinance of 1'721, were not strictly 
adhered to as the population spread, and settlements became more numerous. It was 
consequently found necessary from time to time to build many new churches, that the 
means and accommodation for religious worship might keep pace with the numerical 
increase of the congregations. For the support of these churches, portions of ancient 
parishes were, as the occasion arose, constituted into new ones.- The townships were 
established a few years after the Conquest, principally for surveying purposes, in order to 
meet the requirements of the considerable English population that in the course of time 
flowed into Upper and Lower Canada.'' 

The people that dwelt in the local divisions had no power to assess themselves for 
local improvements, but whenever a road or bridge was M'auted it was necessary to apply 
to the legislature. In consequence of this, the time of that body was constantly occupied 
with the consideration of measures, which should have been the work of such local 
councils as existed in different parts of the United States. The little schemes and intrigues 
into which the representatives of different localities entered in order to promote and carry 
some local work and make themselves popular with their constituents gave rise to a 
great deal of what is known, in American parlance, as "log-rolling." " When we want 
a bridge, we take a judge to build it" was the forcible way, according to Lord Durham's 
Eeport,^ in which a member of the provincial legislature described the tendency in those 
days to retrench on the most important departments of the public service in order to satisfy 
the pressing demands for local works. 

It would be supposed that the British-speaking people of the townships, whose early 
lives had been passed in the midst of the liberal local institutions of the old British 
Colonies, would have been desirous of introducing into their respective districts at least a 
semblance of municipal government. "We look in vain, however, for such an effort on 
their part. They appear to have quietly acquiesced in a state of things calculated to 
repress a spirit of local enterprise and diminish the influence of the people in the admin- 
istration of public affairs. Indeed, we have some evidence that the government itself 
was prepared for many years to discourage every attempt to introduce into Canada any- 
thing like the local system that had so long existed in New England. British statesmen 
probably ^membered the strong influence that the town-meetings of Boston had in 
encouraging a spirit of rebellion, and thought it advisable to stifle at the outset any 
aspirations that the Canadian colonists might have in the direction of such doubtful insti- 
tutions. " I understand," wrote Mr. Richards in a report to the secretary of state for the 

' Report, p. 35. -' Bouchette, p. 86. 

' Bouchette, p. 87 ; Lord Durham's Report, p. 36. ' Report, p. 29. 


colonies, ordered by the house of commons to be printed as late as March, 1832, " that 
the Vermonters had crossed the line and had partially occupied several townships, bring- 
ing with them their municijjal institutions ; and that when the impropriety of electing 
their own officers was pointed out to them, they had quietly given them up, and promised 
to conform to those of Canada." ' 

While the legislature was, to all intents and purposes, a large municipal council for 
the initiation and supervision of all local improvements, the affairs of the differ- 
ent parishes and townships were administered as far as consonant with the old 
French system. The grand voyer and militia captain continued to be important function- 
aries in the administration of local affairs. All the highways and bridges had to be 
repaired and maintained under the direction of the grand voyer or his deputy. Whenever 
it was necessary to open up a new road or to change an old one, it was the duty of 
these officials, on receiving a petition from the locality, to call a public meeting with 
reference to the matter, by a notice published at the parish church door after the morning 
service. The grand voyer or his deputy had the power of dividing every parish, seigniory, 
or township, into such sections as he should think proper, and allot to each an overseer of 
highways and bridges, to be chosen at a meeting of householders, called and presided 
over by the eldest captain or senior officer of militia. These meetings were held 
in the public room of the parsonage of the parish, or at such other place as the captain of 
militia might direct. The grand voyer had alone the power of appointing a surveyor of 
roads and of considering and deciding on reports made by such officers to him on the sub- 
ject of highways. It was the duty of the justices of the peace, assembled in quarter 
sessions, to hear and adjudicate on all questions that might arise under this law. The 
same regulations, however, did not apply to the cities and parishes of Quebec and Mon- 
treal. Here the justices of the peace in sessions had practically the regulation of high- 
ways, streets, and local improvements, and appointed all the officers necessary to carry 
out the same. They also fixed and determined the sums of money that had to be paid 
for such purposes." 

As a matter of fact, the grands voyers, who lived in Quebec, Montreal and Three Rivers, 
had no very onerous functions to discharge. The people of the parishes and townships 
learned to depend on the legislature and only performed the work imposed on them 
by the law regulating statute labour. The absence of effective municipal institutions 
was particularly conspicuous in the cities of Quebec and Montreal, where it would be 
expected that more public spirit would be shown. " These cities, " I again quote from 
Lord Durham's Report,^ " were incorporated a few years ago by a temporary provincial 
act of which the renewal was rejected in 1836. Since that time these cities have been 
without any municipal government and the disgraceful state of the streets and the utter 
absence of lighting are consequences which arrest the attention of all and seriously affect 
the comfort and security of the inhabitants." 

In every matter affecting the administration of civil and judicial affairs there appears 
to have been a remarkable absence of anything approaching a workable system by which 
the people might manage their affairs. More than that, there was actually an insufficiency 
of public officers for the administration of justice. Outside the cities, the machinery 

' Lord Durham's Report, p. 36. ^ See Lower Canada Statutes, 1796. ' Report, p. 36. 


of civil government was singularly defective. A sheriff was appointed only for each of 
the four judicial districts. Neither sheriffs nor constables nor parochial ofhcers could be 
found in the majority of the counties of the province. It is true there were a number of 
justices of the peace who assembled in quarter sessions in accordance with the system so 
long in vogue in England and her colonies, but these men were appointed without much 
regard to their qualifications for the position and even the permanent salaried chairmen, 
appointed by the crown, were in the course of time abolished by the legislature, and 
these inferior courts consequently deprived of the services of men generally of superior 
attainments. ' Practically, the affairs of each parish were regulated by the curé, the 
seignior and the captain of militia, as in the days of French government. Thanks to the 
influence of these men, peace and order prevailed. Indeed as we review the history of 
French Canada in all times, we cannot pay too high a tribute to the usefulness of the 
French Canadian clergy in the absence of the settled institutions of local government. 
In fact, it was only in ecclesiastical affairs that the people ever had an opportunity of 
exercising a certain influence. The old institution of the fabrique — which still exists " in 
all its vigour — enabled them to meet together whenever it was necessary to repair a 
church or presbytery. When the religious services were over, the people assembled at 
the church door and discussed their affairs. 

No doubt the influences of the old French Regime prevailed in Lower Canada for a 
long while after the conquest. A people whose ancestors had never learned the advan- 
tages of local self-government, would be naturally slow to awake to the necessity of 
adopting institutions under which the American colonists had flourished. It may be 
true, as Mr. Parkmau says, that the French colonists, when first brought to America, 
could not have suddenly adopted the political institutions to which the English-speaking 
colonists at once had recourse as the natural heritage of an English race. It is still more 
true, as the eminent American historian adds, that the mistake of the rulers of New 
France " was not thai they exercised authority, but that they exercised too much of it, 
and instead of weaning the child to go alone kept him in perpetual leading strings, mak- 
ing him, if possible, more and more dependent, and less and less fit for freedom." When 
the French Canadian became subject to the British Crown, he was, literally, a child who 
had never been taught to think for himself in public affairs. He was perfectly unskilled 
in matters appertaining to self-government, and had no comprehension whatever of that 
spirit of self-reliance and free action which characterizes the peoples brought up under 
Teutonic and English institutions. In the course of time, however, the best minds 
among them began to appreciate fully the advantages of free government, and to their 
struggles for the extension of representative government, the people of British North 
America owe a debt of gratitude. It took a long while, however, to educate the people of 

' Lord Durham's Report, p. 39. 

^ The law still makes special provision for the erection and division of parishes, the construction and repair of 
churches, parsonages, cemeteries and for the meeting of fahriques. Every decree for t!io canonical erection of a 
new parish, or for the subdivision, dismemberment or union of any parishes, or with regard to the boundaries 
of parishes, must be publicly read from the pulpit or chapel of the parish, and other formal steps taken to notify 
the inhabitants of the proposed measure, before commissioners appointed by the state can give civil recognition 
to the decree. On the procès verbal of these officers, the lieutenant-governor may issue a proclamation under the 
great seal of the province, erecting such parish for civil purposes. See Consol. Stat. Low. Can., c. 18, and amending 


French Canada lap to the necessity of establishing a liberal system of mixnicipal institu- 
tions. As we shall see, before the close of this paper, it was not until after the Union of 
1840 that the French Canadians could be brought to acknowledge the benefits of local 
taxation imposed by their own local representatives. In this respect, they made less 
progress than the people of Upper Canada, to whose history we shall now proceed to 

IV.— Upper Canada, 1192—1840. 

As I have already stated. Upper Canada was settled by United Empire Loyalists, who 
came into the country after the War of Independence. The majority of these people settled 
on the shores of Lake Ontario, in the vicinity of Kingston and the Bay of Quinte, in the 
Niagara district, and in other favoured localities by Lakes Ontario and Erie.^ On the 24th 
of July, 1788, the governor-general issued a proclamation - constituting the following 
districts in Western or Upper Canada, viz., Luueburg, Mecklenburg, Nassau, Hesse. 

Luneburg comprised the towns or tracts known by the names of Lancaster, Char- 
lotteuburg, Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburg, Matilda, Edwardsburg, Augusta and 
Elizabethtowu. Mecklenburg comprised Pittsburg, Kingston, Ernestown, Fredericksburg, 
Adolphustown, Marysburg, Sophiasburg, Ameliasburg, Sydney, Thurlow, Richmond, and 
Camden. Nassau comprised the extensive district which extends from Trent to Long 
Point on Lake Erie, and Hesse, the rest of the western part of Canada to Lake St. Clair.'' 
To each of these districts were appointed a judge and a sheritF. and justice was administered 
in courts of common pleas. The justices were taken from the best men the country offered 
in the absence of persons of legal attainments.^ The judges in those primitive times seem 
to have possessed almost absolute power. 

The first local divisions of Upper Canada appear to have been the townships. The 
British Grovernmeut was extremely liberal in its grants of land to the Loyalists and the 
officers and soldiers who settled in Upper Canada and the other provinces. The grants were 
made free of expense on the following scale : to a field officer, 5,000 acres ; to a captain, 3,000 ; 
to a subaltern, 2,000 ; to a private, 200. Siirveys were first made of the lands extending 
from Lake St. Francis, on the St. Lawrence, to beyond the Bay of Quinte. Townships were 
laid out and divided into concessions and lots of 200 acres. Each township generally 
extended nine miles in front and twelve in the rear, and varied from 80,000 to 40,000 acres. 
The townships were not named for many years, but were numbered in two divisions.'^ One 

' Ryerson's Loyalists in America, ii. 189. 

- See Proclamation in Collection of Acts and Ordinances relating to Upper Canada, York, 1818. Luneburg is 
correctly spelt in the Proclamation, Ijut in course of time it became, for some unexplained reason, " Lunenburg." 
The name still survives in the changed form in Nova Scotia. 

^ Canniif's History of the Settlement of LTpper Canada, p. 62 ; also foregoing Proclamation. 

* Judge Duncan of Luneburg was a storekeeper and a captain in the militia; he dealt out law, dry goods and 
groceries alternately. Ihid., p. 506. 

° Oannifl'; Ryerson, ii. 224-5. Dr. Scadding, Toronto of Old, p. 362, gives an amusing account of the frivolous 
way in which many of the old Townships of Upper Canada were named in the course of years. Flos, Tay and Tiny, 
which are names rf three now populous townships in the Penetanguishene district, are a commemoration of three 
of Lady Sarah Maitland's lapdogs. Some one wrote Jus et Norma, as a joke, across a plan of a newly surveyed region, 
and three townships were consequently known as "Jus", "Et", and "Norma" for years until they were changed 
to Barrie, Palmerston and Clarendon respectively. " Aye," " Yea," and " No " were also designations of local divisions. 


division embraced the townships below Kingston on the St. Lawrence, and the other the 
townships westward to the head of the Bay of Quinte. One of the first settlm-s of Upper 
Canada has given ns the following description of the mode in which the townships were 
granted by the government : — 

"At length the time came in July, for the townships to be given out. The governor 
came and having assembled the companies before him, called for Mr. Grass, and said, 
Now you were the first person to mention this fine country, and have been here formerly 
as a prisoner of war. You must have the first choice. The townships are numbered, 
first, second, third, fourth and fifth ; which do you choose ? ' ' The first township ' (Kings- 
ton). Then the governor says to Sir John Johnson, ' "Which do you choose ? ' He replies, 
' T.he second township ' (Ernestown). To Colonel Rogers, ' Which do you choose ? ' He 
says ' The third ' (Fredericksburg). To Major Vanalstiue, ' Which do you choose ? ' ' The 
fourth ' (Adolphustown). Then Colonel McDonell got the fifth township, (Marysburg). 
So, after this manner, the first settlement of Loyalists in Upper Canada was made." ' 

The districts which were constituted in 1788 were intended mainly for judicial 
purposes, and were named after great houses in G-ermauy, allied to the royal family of 
England. The same was the case with the first townships that were laid out. The first 
township was called Kingstown, after His Majesty G-eorge HI ; Ernestown after Ernest 
Augustus, eighth child of the King ; Adolphustown, after another son." Provision was 
made for future towns during the first surveys. A plot was generally reserved in some 
locality which seemed especially adapted for a town. This was the case in Adolphus- 
town, where a lot was granted to each of the settlers. But towns were of very slow 
growth, until some years after the establishment of a separate government in Upper 
Canada, when settlers 'began to flow steadily into a country whose fertility and produc- 
tiveness commenced at last to be understood. Not a few of the towns owe their establish 
ment to private enterprise and prescience in the first instance.^ 

In 1791 Upper Canada was separated from French Canada, and became a province 
with a legislature composed of a lieutenant -goA'ernor, a legislative council appointed by 
the Crown, and a legislative assembly elected by the people.* When lieutenant-governor 
Simcoe undertook the administration of the affairs of the new province, he issued a 
proclamation dividing it into nineteen counties, as follows : Glengary, Stormont, Duudas, 
Grenville, Leeds, Frontenac, Ontario, Addington, Lenox, Prince Edward, Hastings, 
Northumberland, Durham, York, Lincoln, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent." Some of 

^ Ryerson, ii. 209. 

^ " King George III. who died in 1820, aged 82, having reigned 60 years, liad a family of 15 cliildren, whose 
names were George, Fredericli, William Henry, Charlotte Augusta, Matilda, Edward, Sophia Augusta, Elizabeth, 
Ernest Augustus, Augustus Frederick, Adolphus Frederick, Mary Sophia, Octavius, Alfred, and Amelia. These 
royal names were appropriated to the townships, towns, and districts." Canniff, p. 439. 

" " Windsor (now Whitby; was so named about 1819 by its projector, Mr. John Scadding, the original grantee 
of a thousand acres in this locality. On a natural harbour of Lake Ontario, popularly known as Big Bay, Mr. 
Scadding laid out tlie town, built the first house, and named the streets, three of them after his three sons — John, 
Charles and Henry." Ryerson, ii. 260. One of tliese sons, here mentioned, is the well known antiquarian of 
Toronto, Rev. Dr. Scadding. 

* 31 Geo. Ill, c. 31. 

^ See Proclamation in Statutes of Upper Canada, i. 23. 

Sec. II., 18SG. 8. 


the well settled counties were divided into ridings/ each of which sent a representative 
to the legislature. In other cases one representative was elected for two or more 
counties. One of the first acts of the legislature was to change the names of the four 
divisions established in 1Ï88 to the Eastern, Midland, Home, and "Western Districts.^ In 
the course of years the number was increased by the addition of the Johnstown, New- 
castle, Niagara, London and Gore Districts.' These districts were intended mainly for 
legal and judicial purposes. But all these old names, so familiar in provincial history, 
have become obliterated by the county organisations. 

The Duke de la Eochefoucault-Liancourt, who visited the country in 1795, and had 
several interviews with Governor Simcoe, at Newark, now Niagara, the old capital of Upper 
Canada, informs us that the di^àsion of the four districts into counties was "purely mili- 
tary, and related merely to the enlisting, completing and assembling of the militia. The 
militia of each county is commanded by a lieutenant."* "Whilst the Duke was, no doubt, 
correct in the main, it must not be forgotten that the erection of counties was also 
necessary for purposes of representation. A section of the act establishing the Constitu- 
tion of Upper Canada expressly provided : His Majesty may authorise " the governor 
or lieutenant-governor of each of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada to issue a 
proclamation dividing such province into districts or counties or circles, towns and town- 
ships, and appointing the limits thereof, and declaring and appointing the number of 
representatives to be chosen by each of such districts, counties or circles, towns and 
townships respectiA^ely." '' Members for the legislature were then, and for many years 
afterwards, chosen by freeholders having real property to the yearly value of forty shil- 
lings in districts, counties or circles, and five pounds sterling in towns and townships, or 
who paid a rental in the latter at the rate of ten pounds sterling a' year.'' 

The legislature was composed of plain, practical men, who went energetically to 
work in the first sessions to provide for the wants of the few thousands of people scattered 
throughout the wide extent of country over which their jiirisdiction reached. For many 
years their principal duties were confined to measures for carrying on local improvements. 
It was considered "recjuisite, for the maintenance of good order and the rigid execution of 
the lews, that proper officers should be appointed to superintend the observance thereof."'' 
Accordingly, the people were authorised by statute to meet in any parish, township or 
reputed township or place on the warrant of the high-constable, who was to preside on 
such occasions. These assemblies were composed of the inhabitants who were hoiise- 
holders and ratepayers in the locality interested, and were held in the early times, for 
convenience sake, in the parish church or chapel. They had to elect a parish or town 
clerk, who was to make out annual lists of the inhabitants within a district, keep the 
records, and perform other business connected with such an office. The other officers 
appointed were as follows : assessors, to assess all such rates and taxes " as shall be 
imposed by any act or acts of the legislature ; " a collector, " to receive such taxes and 

'Trithings or Eidings Viere divisions peculiar to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, though Robertson (Scotland 
under he.r earlj' Khigs, iii. 433) is inclined to trace them in Kent and Surrey. Bishop Stubbs, however, (Constitu- 
tional Histor}', i. 100) considers the view " very interesting but very conjectural." 

2 Upp. Can. Stat. 32, Geo. III. c. 8. -' Bouchette, p. 590. Scadding's Toronto, p. 36 1. 

■' De la Eochefoucault-Liancourt, Voyage dans les Etats Unis et le Haut Canada, i. 434. 

5 31 Geo. III, c. 31. s. 14. « Imp. Stat. 31 Geo. Ill, c. 31. 

' Upp. Can. Stat, 33 Geo. Ill, c. 2. 


rates iu the manner authorised by the legislature ; " overseers of roads and highways, 
" to oversee and lîeribrm such things as shall be directed by any act passed touching or 
concerning the highways and roads in the province," and to act as fence-viewers "con- 
formable to any resolutions that may be agreed upon by the inhabitants at such 
meetings " ; a pound-keeper, to impound all stray cattle. The act also provided for two 
town-wardens. As soon as there should be any church built for the performance of 
divine service according to the use of the Church of England, then the parson or minister 
was to nominate one warden and the inhabitants the other. These wardens were a cor- 
poration to represent the whole inhabitants of the township or parish, with the right to 
let or sell property, to sue and be sued. The high-constable, who called and presided 
over the township meetings, was appointed by the ju.stices in quarter sessions. The pre- 
siding officer had to communicate a list of persons nominated at these meetings to a 
magistrate, who was to administer to them the oath of office. In case the persons 
appointed at the meeting refused to act, they were subject to a penalty, and the magis- 
trates in sessions called for that purpose proceeded to fill the vacancies. In case there 
were not thirty inhabitants in a township, then they were considered to form part of the 
adjacent township which should contain the smallest number of inhabitants.^ 

The following extract from the early records of the township of Sophiasburg, or the 
6th township lying on Picton and Quinte Bays, will be read with interest, because it 
shows that there was an attempt made to establish a parish system on the basis of that so 
long existent iu the parent state. No similar record can be fovmd iu the annals of the old 
townships of Upper Canada, although the references in the Constitutional Act of 1191, 
and iu several provincial statutes,^ go to show that the erection of parishes was in the 
minds of those who were engaged in developing local institixtions in the country : — 

" Passed at Sophiasburg, at a regular town meeting, 3rd March, 1800. And be it 
observed — That all well-regulated townships be divided into parishes. Be it enacted by 
the majority of votes, that this town shall be divided into parishes, and described as fol- 
lows : St. John's, St. Matthew's, St. G-iles, Mount Pleasant." ^ 

It does not appear, however, that parishes were established to any extent on the Eng- 
lish system throughout Upper Canada, although they were general for ecclesiastical 
purposes. The Church of England was the dominant religious body for many years, and 
there was an effort made to establish it by giving it large reserves of public lands. We 
shall see, however, later on, that parishes were established in the maritime provinces for 
civil purposes as in some of the old English colonies in America. 

In accordance with the British system of local .government in counties, the magis- 
trates in sessions performed an important part in the administration of local affairs. 

' One of the first recorded town meetings (CanniflF, p. 454) held in accordance with the act, was that of 
Adolphustown, which came off on the 6th of March, 1793. The following words are an exact transcript of the 
record: — "The following persons were chosen to officiate in their respective offices, the ensuing year, and also the 
regulations of the same: Eeuben Bedell, township clerk; Paul Huff and Philip Dorland, overseers of the poor; 
Joseph Allison and Garit Benson, constables; AVillet Casey, Paul Huff and John Huyck, pound-keepers; Abraham 
Maybee and Peter Rutland, fence-viewers. The height of fence to be 4 feet S inches; water fence voted to be no 
fence. Hoggs running at large to have yokes on IS by 24 inches. No piggs to run until three months old. No 
stallion to run. Any person putting fire to any bush or stable, that does not his endeavour to hinder it from doing 
damage, shall forfeit the sum of forty shillings." (Signed) Philip Borland, T. Clerk. 

^ See before, p. 58. ' Canniff, p. 472. 


These courts of quarter sessions have long existed in English counties, and their functions 
have been regulated by a scries of statutes commencing in the Tudor times and coming down 
to the present day. The English counties were subdivided into petty sessional divisions. 
At the head of this civil organisation in a county is the lord-lieutenant and the Custos 
Rotulorum. These two offices are usually held by one person, who holds office under 
a special commission from the Crown, and is generally a peer of the realm or large land- 
owner.' " His office," says Hallam, " may be considered as a revival of the ancient local 
earldom, and it certainly took away from the sheriff a great part of the dignity and impor- 
tance which he had acquired since the discontinuance of that office. Yet the lord-lieutenant 
has so peculiarly military an authority that it does not in any degree control the civil power 
of the sheriff as the executive minister of the law."' 

It would appear from the old records that there was a similar officer appointed in the 
early times of Canada. Speaking of Lower Canada, Lord Durham says : " The justices of 
the i^eace scattered over the whole of Lower Canada are named by the governor on no very 
accurate information, there being no lieutenants or similar officers of counties in this as in 
the upper province."^ The Duke de la Rochefoucault, writing in 1795, says: " Simcoe 
is by no means ambitious of investing all power and authority in his own hands, but 
consents that the lieutenants, whom he nominates for each county, should appoint the 
justices of the peace and officers of the militia."^ From these and other references to the 
duties of the officer, he appears to have discharged functions similar to those of the lord- 
lieutenant in England, since he appointed justices and commanded the militia. The 
title, however, appears to have fallen into disuse in the course of a few years, though 
there was a custos rotulorum or chairman of sessions in all of the provinces. The lieut- 
enancy in Upper Canada never assumed as much importance as did the same office in 
Virginia. " 

As I have already shown, the justices in sessions appointed as in England a high 
constable, and discharged certain functions now performed by municipal bodies in 
Canada. All moneys collected bj- assessors of taxes were to be paid into the hands of 
treasurers who were appointed by the justices in general quarter sessions. The justices 
so assembled directed how the moneys were to be disbursed in accordance with the law. 
The legislature, from time to time, regulated the time and place for holding these courts. 
The quarter sessions were held in 1793, at Adolphustown, Kingston, Michillimackinac 
Newark, New Johnstown, and Cornwall, then the principal towns of the province. The 
jurisdiction of the justices was very extensive in those times. They had the carrying out 
in a great measure of the acts of the legislature providing for the defraying of the expenses 
of building court houses and jails, of keeping- the same in repair, of the payment of jailers, of 
the support and maintenance of prisons, of the building and repairing of houses of correc- 
tion, of the construction and repairs of bridges, of the fees of coroners and other officers, 

' The English Citizen Series. Local Government in England, M. D. Chalmers, p. 93. 

^ Const. Hist., (Eng. ed. 1881) ii. 134. = Report, p. 41. < Vol. i. 416. 

'■> " One is struck by the prominence of the lieutenant, anciently the commander, who, besides being the chief 
of the militia in his county, was a member of the Council, and as such a judge of the highest tribunal in the county. 
With Commissioners of the Governor he held monthly courts for the settlement of suits, not exceeding in value 
one hundred pounds of tobacco, and from this court, appeal was allowed to the Governor and Council." Local 
Institutions of Virginia. By Ed. Ingle (Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science) p. S3. 


and of all other matters that were essentially of a local character. WheneA'er it was necessary 
to establish a market, the legislature had to pass a special act giving the requisite power 
to the court of sessions. For instance, we find an act authorising the justices in this 
court "to fix, open and establish some convenient place in the town of Kingston as a 
market, where butcher's meat, butter, eggs, poultry, fish and vegetables, shall be exposed 
to sale, and to appoint siich days and hours as shall be suitable for that purpose, and to 
make such other orders and regulations relative thereto as they shall deem expedient." ' 
The jvistices of the peace had also other important functions to discharge out of the ses- 
sions. For instance, it was on their certificate that the secretary of state granted licenses 
to public houses. These licenses were only granted after full inquiry and discussion at 
public meetings duly called for that purpose by the high constable or other public 
officer.- Thejustices in quarter sessions also appointed surveyors of highways to lay out, and 
regulate statute labour onthe'public roads. All persons were liable to work on the roads, 
in proportion to the assessment on their real and personal property.' 

For the first fifteen or twenty years of the history of the administration of civil affairs 
in Upper Canada, the burdens of the people were exceedingly small. A Canadian his- 
torian says on this point: "No civilised country in the world was less burdened with 
taxes than Canada West at this period. A small direct tax on property, levied by the 
district courts of sessions, and not amounting to i:;3,500 for the whole country, sufficed 
for all local expenses. There was no poor rate, no capitation tax. no tithes, no ecclesias- 
tical rates of any kind. Instead of a road tax, a few days of statute labour annually 

Under such circumstances we can easily understand why the condition of Kingston, 
for many years the most important town of Upper Canada, should have been so pitiable 
according to a writer of those early times : " The streets [in 1815] require very great 
repairs, as in the rainy seasons it is scarcely possible to move about without being in 
mud to the ankles. Lamps are required. . . . But first the legislature must form a code 
of laws, forming a complete police. To meet expense, government might lay a rate upon 
every inhabitant householder in proportion to value of property in house." ' Subse- 
quently, when Kingston became the seat of government, the municipal authorities were 
encouraged to make improvements in streets, drainage, sidewalks, and otherwise. When 
the town of York was incorporated as a city, in 1834, under the name of Toronto, it had 
not a single sidewalk within its limits, and the first mayor, Mr. W. Lyon Mackenzie, had 
to initiate a system of local improvements under great difficulties." 

As the country filled up, and the necessity arose for roads and bridges and other 
local improvements, the taxes increased ; although they never became heavy under the 
unsatisfactory system that prevailed, until after the reunion of the Canadas in 1841. The 
time of the legislature was constantly occupied in passing acts for the construction of public 
works necessary for the comfort, safety and convenience of particular localities. A laro-e 
amoimt of "parish" business was transacted in those days by the legislature which 
might as well have been done by local councils. As compared with Lower Canada, how- 

' Upp. Can Stat. 41 Geo. Ill, c. Z. -' Ibid., 34 Geo. Ill, c. 12 

'' Ibid., 48 Geo. Ill, c. 12. ' McMullen's History, p. 247. 

^ Caiiniff, p. 432. " Lindsey's Life of Mackenzie, i. 312. 


ever, the people had eventually a workable system of local government, which enabled 
them to make many improvements for themselves. The construction of canals and other 
important works of provincial importance, on an expensive scale, at last left so little funds 
in the treasury that the parliament of this province alone, among the North American 
colonies " was, fortunately for itself, compelled to establish a system of local assessment, 
and to leave local works in a great measure to the energy and means of the localities them- 
selves." ' Still the system, as the country became more populous and enterprising, proved 
ultimately quite iuadeq^^ate to meet the requirements of the people and to develop their 
latent energies. The legislature was constantly called upon to give power to local authori- 
ties to carry out measures of local necessity. Whatever taxation was necessary for local pur- 
poses had to be imposed through the inconvenient agency of courts of quarter sessions, 
over which the people exercised little or no control. If the people of a city or town 
wished to be incorporated, they were forced to apply to the' legislature for a special act. 
The powers granted to these corporations were by no means uniform, and great confusion 
resulted from the many statutes that existed with respect to these bodies. " No lawyer," 
says a writer on the subject, ■ " could give an opinion upon the rights of an individual in 
a single corporation without following the original act through the thousand sinuosities 
of parliamentary amendment, and no capitalist at a distance could credit a city or town 
without a'particular and definite acquaintance with its individual history." It was not, 
however, until after the reunion of the Canadian provinces, that steps were taken to estab- 
lish in Upper Canada a larger system of jpopular local government in accordance with 
the wise suggestions made by Lord Durham and other sagacious British statesmen. But 
before we can refer to this part of the subject, I must first review the early local history 
of the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. 

V. — The Maritime Provinces. 

When Nova Scotia became a possession of England '^by the treaty of Utrecht in l'IIS, 
the only place of any importance was Port Royal, originally founded by a French gentle- 
man-adventurer, Baron de Poutrincourt. The English renamed the place " Annapolis 
Eoyal," in honour ol Queen Anne, and for some years it was the seat of government. The 
proAànce in those days had a considerable French Acadian population, chiefly settled in the 
Annapolis valley, and in the fertile covmtry watered by the streams that flow into the Bay 
of Fundy. For some years there was a military government in Nova Scotia. In 1^719, the 
governor received instructions to choose a council for the management of civil affairs 
from the principal English inhabitants, until an assembly would be formed to regulate 
matters in accordance with the instructions given to the American colonies generally. 
This first council was composed exclusively of officers of the garrison and of officials 
of the public departments. The French inhabitants in their respective parishes were 
permitted, in the absence of duly appointed magistrates, to choose deputies from among 
themselves for the purpose of executing the orders of the government and acting as 

' Lord Durham's Report, p. 48. 

^ J. Sheridan Hogan, Prize Essay on Canada, 1885, p. 104. 


arbitrators in case of controversies in the French settlements. An appeal was allowed 
to the governor at Annapolis.' 

In 1749, the city of Halifax was founded by Governor Cornwallis on the shores of 
Chebucto Bay, on the Atlantic coast. The government of the province was vested in a 
governor and council, and one of their first acts was to establish a court of general 
sessions, similar in its nature and conformable in its practice to the courts of the same 
name in the parent state.- In 1*751 they passed an ordinance that the town and suburbs 
of Halifax be divided into eight wards, and the inhabitants empowered to choose annually 
the following officials " for managing such prudential aifairs of the town as shall be 
committed to their care by the governor and council : — eight town-overseers, one town- 
clerk, sixteen constables, eight scavengers.'* 

It was only after the establishment of the first legislature that Nova Scotia was 
divided into local divisions for legislative, judicial, and civil purposes. The first House of 
Assembly, elected in 1758, was composed of twenty-two representatives, of whom sixteen 
were chosen by the province at large, four by the township of Halifax, and two by the 
township of Lunenburg. It was at the same time provided that whenever fifty qixalified 
householders were settled at Pisiquid (now Windsor), Minas, Oobequid, or at any other 
township which might be thereafter erected, it should be entitled to send two representa- 
tives to the assembly.^ In 1*759, the governor and council divided the province into five 
counties: Annapolis, Kings, Cumberland, Lunenburg and Halifax." A few years later the 
whole island of Cape Breton was formed into a county." 

The legislature appears to have practically controlled the administration of local 
affairs throughout the province, except so far as it gave, from time to time, certain powers 
to the courts of quarter sessions to regulate taxation and carry out certain public works 
and im^irovements. In the first session of the legislature, a joint committee of the council 
and assembly choose the town officers for Halifax, viz., four overseers of the poor, two 
clerks of the market, four surveyors of the highways, two fence viewers, and two hog-reeves.' 
We have abundant evidence that at this time the authorities viewed with disfavour 
any attempt to establish a system of town government similar to that so long in operation 
in New England. On the 14th of April, 17*70, the governor and council passed a resolu- 
tion that " the proceedings of the people in calling town-meetings for discussing questions 
relative to law and government and such other purposes, are contrary to law, and if per- 
sisted in, it is ordered that the parties be prosecuted by the attorney-general." ** The 
government of Nova Scotia had before it, at this time, the example of the town-meetings 
of Boston, presided over by the famous Samuel Adams, and doubtless considered them as 
the very hotbeds of revolution." What the Tories thought of these popular bodies can be 

' Haliburton's History of Nova iScotia, i. 93, 9(5. ^ Ibid., p. Itj3. 

^ Murdoch's Hiftory, ii. 199. * Haliburton, i. 208. Murdoch, ii. 334, 351. 

' Murdoch, ii. 373,374. In the election for the Assembly that came off' in August of the same year, the coun- 
ties in question returned two members each ; the towns of Lunenburg, Annapolis, Horton, and Cumberland, two 
each, and the township of Halifax, four, or twenty-two representatives in all. 

« Ibid., p. 454. I Ibid., p. 361. ^ Haliburton, i. 248. 

" Bancroft very truly considers Samuel Adams more than any other man, " tlie type and representative of the 
New England town-meeting." History of the Constitution, ii. 260. For an interesting account of his career, see 
Samuel Adams, the Man of the Town Meeting, by J. K. Hosmer. Here the reader will be able to obtain a very 
accurate idea of the important influence that Adams and the town-meetings of Boston exercised over the destinies 
of America. No wonder was it that the governing class in Halifax frowned upon all manifestations of popular 
feeling in the province. 


understood from the following extract, which gives the opinion of a rabid writer of those 
revolutionary times. "This is the foulest, subtlest, and most enormous serpent ever issued 
from the egg of sedition. I saw the small seed when it was implanted ; it was a grain 
of mustard. I haA^e watched the plant until it has become a great tree.'" 

In the course of time the province was divided for legislative, judicial and civil pur- 
poses, as follows : — 

1. Divisions or circuits, generally consisting of one or more counties, for purposes 
connected with the courts. 

2. Districts, generally of one or more townships, established, as a rule, for the con- 
venience of the people, who had the privilege conferred upon them of having a court of 
sessions of the peace for the regulation of their internal affairs. 

3. Counties, generally established for legislative purposes. 

4. Townships, which were simply subdivisions of the county intended for purposes 
of local administration or of representation. 

In each county there was a sheriff and justice of the peace, whose jurisdiction 
extended throughout the same. Each district was generally provided with a court house 
which belonged to the county. The townships did not contain any definite quantity of 
land, as was generally the case in Upper Canada. The inhabitants appear, according to 
Judge Haliburton, "to have had no other power than that of holding an annual meeting 
for the purpose of voting money for the support of the poor."" Up to very recent times, 
the justices in sessions were practically the local governing bodies in the various divisions 
of the province. Even Halifax was not allowed a special act of incorporation as a city 
until 1841, although its people made freqiient applications to the legislature for power 
to manage their own affairs.'* The time of the legislature was taken up with making- 
provision for local wants. All the roads and bridges were built and maintained, and 
the public schools svipported by the legislature. The system that so long prevailed, by 
which members of the legislature controlled the expenditures for local works, was well 
calculated to demoralize public men and encourage speculation and jobbery. Large sums 
were frittered away by the appointment of road commissioners with reference only to 
political considerations.* It was one well adapted to stimvilate the energies of village 
politicians, and the spirit of party in the counties. 

As respects local affairs, the people had little or no voice. The grand jury, in the 
court of sessions of the peace, annually nominated such number of persons for town 
officers as the justices should direct, and out of them the latter made the appointments. 

' Daniel Leonard, cited by Hosmer, p. 45. ■ Haliburton's Hist., ii. 8, 9. 

■■' Murdoch, ii. 449. In 1850 Mr. Howe attempted to pass a bill dividing the county of Halifax into townships, 
and conferring certain municipal privileges upon the inhabitants. The people were to have the power to raise 
funds by assessment for the support of education and for other public purposes, and to elect their own township 
officers, including magistrates. Lord Grey, however, took exception to the measure, and the Queen's assent was 
withheld. Speeches and Public Letters of Hon. Joseph Howe, i. 642. 

* " According to a report presented to me by Major Head, an assistant commissioner of enquiry whom I sent to 
that colony [Nova Scotia], a sum of £10,000 was, during the last session, appropriated to local improvements ; this 
sum was divided into 830 portions, and as many commissioners were apjjointed to expend it, giving, on an aver- 
age, a commissioner for rather more than every £12, with a salary of 5s. a day, and a further remuneration of two 
and a half per cent, on the money expended, to be deducted out of each share." Lord Durham's Report, p- 29. 
This demoralising and wasteful system lasted until very recently in Nova Scotia. 


The grand jury had also the power to raise money for certain public purposes within a 
particular division. Of their own knowledge, or on the representation of three freeholders, 
they could make presentments for money for building or repairing jails, court-houses, 
poiinds, or for other necessary local purposes. In the event of their neglecting to act, in 
certain cases the justices in sessions could amerce the county. The officers appointed at 
the sessions were a county treasurer and assessors. The clerk of the peace, as in England, 
was appointed by the custos, as chairman of the sessions ; the office of sheriff' was a 
government appointment. Practically, in Nova Scotia, as in the other provinces, the 
English county system prevailed. 

If we now tu.rn to the province of New Brunswick, w^e find that a similar system 
existed until very recently. This province originally formed part of the extensive 
and ill-defined territory known in French times as " Acadie." For some years it was 
governed by the governor and council of Nova Scotia, until the settlement of a large 
number of Loyalists on the banks of the St. John River brought about a change in its 
political constitution. Then the imperial authorities thought it expedient to create a 
separate province, with a government consisting, in the first instance, of a governor 
and council of twelve members, exercising both executive and legislative powers, and, 
eventually, of an assembly of twenty-six members. 

On the 18th of May, 1*785, a charter was granted by Grovernor Carleton for the incor- 
poration of Parr Town, on the east side of the St. John River, and of Carleton, on the west 
side, as a city under the name of St. John. The inhabitants were given a mayor, recorder, 
six aldermen and six assistants, and the city was divided into six wards.' St. John, 
consequently, was the first city incorporated in British North America, and it remained so 
for many years, as Halifax and other towns were refused the same privileges for a long 

In 1786 the governor, council and assembly passed an act providing that the 
justices of the general sessions of the peace for the several counties of the province should 
annually appoint, out of every town or parish in the same, overseers, clerk, constables, 
clerks of markets, assessors, surveyors, weighers of hay, fence-viewers. It will be seen 
from this and other acts that the divisions for local purposes consisted of counties, 
townships and parishes. In 1786, an act was passed for the better ascertaining and 
confirming of the boundaries of the several counties within the province, and for 
subdividing them into towns or parishes " for the more convenient and orderly distribution 
of the respective inhabitants, to enable them, in their respective districts, to fulfil the 
several duties incumbent on them, and for the better administration of justice therein." 

Toivn and parish appear to have been always synonymous terms in this province. 
In the interpretation clause of a recent act, "parish" is defined as ''parish, incorporated 
town or city." ' This designation of one of the civil divisions of New Brunswick is, no 
doubt, so much evidence of the desire of the early settlers, many of whom were from 
Virginia and Maryland,^ to introduce the institutions of their old homes. In all of the 
British colonies, indeed, the town system had long been in use. In the first instance, the 

1 Murdoch, iii. 42, = N.B. Cons. Stat., c. 100, s. i. 

' Among the members of the first council of New Brunswick, 1784, were Chief Justice Ludlow, formerly a 
judge of the supreme court of New York ; Judge Israel Allen, of Pennsylvania ; Gabriel G. Ludlow, of Maryland ; 
Judge John Saunders, of Virginia. Not a few Virginia Loyalists settled in New Brunswick. Murdoch, iii. 42. 

Sec. II., 1886. 9. 


colonists introduced the local institutions of the parent state, with such modifications as 
were suitable to the conditions of their existence. But the " parish " of the colonies, as a 
rule, bore little resemblance to the historic " parish " of England. The latter was simply 
the old township of the Saxons in an ecclesiastical form : " the district assigned to a church 
or priest ; to whom its ecclesiastical dues and generally also its tithes are paid. The 
boundaries of the parish and the township or townships with which it coincides, are 
generally the same ; in small parishes the idea and even name of townshiji is frequently, 
at the present day, sunk in that of the parish ; and all the business that is not manorial is 
despatched in vestry meetings, which are however primarily meetings of the township 
for church purposes." ' 

Throughout New England the township was the political unit. It is true that 
the religious convictions of the people dominated in all their arrangements for the 
administration of civil affairs. An eminent authority has said of the people of Massa- 
chusetts : " They founded a civil state upon a basis which should support the worship of 
God according to their conscientious convictions of duty ; and an ecclesiastical state com- 
bined with it, which should sustain and be in harmony with the civil government, 
excluding what was antagonistic to the welfare of either." ^ In England the parish was 
invested with civil functions, and the old Saxon township became gradually absorbed in 
former. Eut in New England the parish and township had really distinct meanings. 
Whenever the word " parish " was there used, it was to denote the township from an ecclesi- 
astical point of view, as well as a portion of township not possessing town rights. Con- 
sequently the "parish of Massachusetts " was essentially a term used for religious purposes, 
and had no reference to civil matters which were all discharged in the township or political 
unit of the community.' In Virginia, however, the parish attained considerable promin- 
ence in the administration of local affairs. The early settlers of the old Dominion were 
men wedded to the ancient institutions of the parent state, and they set up the system 
long established in England, with such changes as were adapted to the circum- 
stances of the country. Parishes were originally coterminous with the old plantations or 
with the counties, and covered immense areas. In the course of time, when the country 
became more settled, counties were laid out and divided into parishes. Some of these 
parishes sent representatives to the house of burgesses in eai'ly times of the colony, and they 
were always important local ixnits in the civil organisation of the country. It does not, 
however, appear that they ever possessed powers entirely equal to those enjoyed in the 
parent state.^ No doubt the loyalists who settled in New Brunswick and other sections 
of British North America were so accustomed to this division that they naturally introduced 
it when they came to organise the new province. We have already seen, in our sketch of 
local government in Upper Canada, that there was an effort made to establish parishes in 
that section. It is only in New Brunswick, however, that the name has become perma- 
nently inscribed on the civil organisation of the covintry. I do not of course refer in this 
connection to French Canada, where the division was constituted purely for ecclesiastical 
purposes, and had no relation to the English parish which is the descendant of the 

' Stubbs, Const. Hist., i. 85. ^ Parker's Lowell Institute Lectures, p. 403. 

^ The English Parish in America ; Local Institutions in Virginia, by E. Ingle, p. 52. 
' Jjocal Institutions, etc., pp. 52, 53, 


township of early English times — itself developed from the mark communities of the 
Teutonic tribes.' 

The Island of Prince Edward, originally known as St. John's, formed part of the 
province of Nova Scotia until 1769, when it was created a separate province, with a 
lieutenant-governor, a combined executive and legislative council, and in 17*73 a legislative 
assembly of eighteen members.^ The history of this island is interesting from the fact that it 
gives an instance of a land system which kept the province in a state of agitation for many 
years, until it was finally settled soon after the union with the Dominion. The island was 
surveyed by Captain Holland in 1765, and in 1767 divided into sixty-seven townships, 
containing in the aggregate 1,360,600 acres.' This extensive tract was conveyed by ballot 
with some reservations, to officers and other individuals who had claims or supposed 
claims on the crown, and a landed monopoly was in this way established in the island. 
The grantees were to settle in the province or establish a certain number of settlers within 
ten years, but these proper conditions were practically laid aside and an absentee owner- 
ship allowed to grow up, to the great injury of the tenants who farmed the lands. In 
those days the crown availed itself lavishly of its prerogatives with very little regard to 
future settlement on the public lauds of the country over which it exercised dominion. 
Previous to the arrangement just mentioned, a British nobleman had applied to the king 
for a grant of the whole island. His proposition was to divide it into hundreds^ as in 
England, or baronies as in Ireland. These hundreds or baronies were to be divided into 
manors over which would preside a court baron, in accordance with the old English system. 
Townships were to be carved out of hundreds ; courts leet and courts baron were also 
to be established under the direction of the lord paramount. A local historian has clearly 
epitomised the whole proposition as follows : " There was to be a lord paramount of the 
whole island, forty capital lords of forty hundreds, four hundred lords of manors, and eight 
hundred freeholders. For assurance of the said tenures, eight hundred thousand acres 
were to be set apart for establishments for trade and commerce in the most suitable parts 
of the island, including one county town, forty market towns, and four hundred villages." 

' " Primarily the parish is merely the old townshijj in its ecclesiastical aspect. We can, therefore, trace the 
descent of the modern civil parish through the ecclesiastical parish, up to the old Saxon township. It may be safely 
said that the English parish is the legitimate descendant of the Teutonic murk, and that the English parish, the 
New England township, the French or Belgian commune, and the village community of Northern India, arj but 
variations of one common type which reproduces itself wherever the Aryan race is found. Whether the Teutonic 
mark system was ever introduced into England by our Saxon forefathers is an open question, but the Saxon town- 
ship owed many of its distinguishing characteristics to the mark system. The township was so called from the 
iun or hedge which surrounded the group of homesteads." Chalmers' Local Government in England, p. 36. 

'' Bourinot, p. 69. See also copy of commission of the first lieutenant-governor, Captain W. Paterson. Canada 
Sessional Papers, 1883, No. 70, p. 2. 

^ Campbell's History, pp. 3, 19. Colonial Office List, 1885, p. 38. 

* It does not appear that " hundreds " were ever established in Canada. The union of a number of townships 
for the purpose of judicial administration, peace and defence, formed what is known as the hundred or wapentake, 
in Anglo-Saxon times. " It is very probable," writes Stubbs (i. 96, 97) " that the colonists of Britain arranged 
themselves in hundreds of wari-iors ; it is not probable that the country was carved into equal districts. The only 
conclusion that seems reasonable is that, under the name of geographical hundreds, we have the variously sized 
pagi or districts in which the hundred warriors settled." The ûmt civil divisions of the infant settlement of Mary- 
land were called " hundreds," and the election district of " Bay Hundred " on the eastern shore of the state, is a 
memorial of those old times. Local Institutions of Maryland, by L. W. Wilhelm, p. 39. A similar division was 
also known in the early history of Virginia. Ingle, pp. 40-47. 


Eacli hundred or barony was to consist of somewhat less than eight square miles, and the 
lord of each was bound to erect and maintain forever a castle or blockhoiise as the capital 
seat of his property, and as a place of retreat and rendezvous for the settlers; and thus, on 
any alarm of sudden danger, every inhabitant might have a place of security within four 
miles of his habitation. A cannon fired at one of the castles would be heard at the next, 
and thus the firing would proceed in regular order from castle to castle, and be " the 
means," adds the noble memorialist, " of putting every inhabitant of the whole island 
under arms and in motion in the space of one quarter of an hour." ' 

But this proposition was not entertained by the king, who had had some experience 
of a similar plan which failed in Carolina.- The division, however, of the whole island, 
among a few proprietors, appears to have had consequences probably fully as disastrous 
as would have been the concession to a single nobleman, who might have taken a deep 
interest in its settlement, as was notably done by Lord Baltimore in Maryland. 

The island was originally laid out in counties,' parishes and townships. The county 
lines appear to have been nin from north to south across the island at two of its widest 
parts. Where the boundaries of townships or parishes touch the county lines, they are 
coterminous therewith. The same is true of the township and parish lines. The average 
area of the townships is 20,000 acres, though number 66, the last regular township 
surveyed, contains only 6,000, and number 6*7, an irregular block in the centre of the 
island, is somewhat lai'ger than the average. 

Each parish includes from three to six townships. In addition to the territorial 
divisions before mentioned, there was laid out in each county, at the time of the original 
survey, a site for a chef lieu, or county town. For Queen's County, a town plot was laid 
out on the site of the present city of Charlottetown, at the head of Hillsboro' Bay, where 
the North-West and Hillsboro' Rivers unite. The town of King's County was laid out at 
Greorgetown, on the south-east coast, on Cardigan Bay, and, for Prince County, a town site 
was surveyed on the east side of Richmond or Malpeque Bay, near its mouth. To each 
of these town sites there were attached distinct areas of land called "commons"^ and 
" royalties," ^ which covered about 6,000 acres each, and were not included in any of the 
townships. Instead of being reserved for their original purpose, the common and royalty 
attached to each town site were subsequently sold by the crown as farm lands, and are 

' Campbell's History, cli. i. p. 11. 

- Shaftesbury and Locke attempted to frame a constitution for Carolina, which would " connect political power 
with hereditary wealth." Bancroft's History of the United States, ii. 146. 

■' "In 1768 the Island was divided into three counties: — (1.) King's, containing 20 townships, 412,100 acres; 
county town, Georgetown, 4,000 acres (Les Trois Rivières). (2.) Queen's, 23 townships, 486,600 acres; county town, 
Charlottetown, 7,300 acres (Port la Joie). (3.) Prince County, 23 townships, 467,000 acres; county town, Princetown, 
4,000 acres (Malpeque)." Murdoch's History, ii. 474. The names in parentheses are those of the old French 

* These common lands were a memorial of Anglo-Saxon times. " The pleasant green commons or squares 
which occur in the midst of towns and cities in England and the United States most probably originated from the 
coalescence of adjacent mark-communities, whereby the border-land used in common by all was brought into the 
centre of the new aggregate. ... In old towns of New England. . . . the little park. . . . was once the common 
pasture of the town." Fiske's American Political Ideas, jjp. 39, 40. 

^ " In its primary and natural sense, 'royalties' is merely the English translation or equivalent of 
regalitaks, jtira regalia, jura rcgia." See an interesting definition of the term given by the judicial committee of 
the privy council, Legal News (Montreal), vi. 244 ; and Bourinot, p. 690. 


now occupied and cultivated as such, though the city of Charlottetowu extends beyond 
the old town site, and covers a portion of the common. The county town of Prince County 
was not established at Princetown, but at a point on the shores of Bedecjue Bay, on the south 
coast, now called " Summerside." 

As we have just seen, there was an attempt made in Prince Edward Island to 
establish parishes as in other parts of the old colonies, but, in the course of time, these 
local divisions became practically useless, and are seldom mentioned now, except in legal 
proceedings connected with old laud titles. It is only in Prince Edward Island, I may 
add, that we come across the term "royalties " as reservations of the crown, in the vicinity 
of the old settlements. In the other provinces, however, provision was made for the 
establishment of commons,' though, in the course of time, they, too, in the majority of 
cases, were leased for private purposes and ceased to become available for the general use 
of the community. The legislature of Nova Scotia, for instance, passed an act in 1816 to 
lease twenty-five acres of the Halifax common, in half acre lots, for 999 years." 

In this island, the several divisions to which we have referred appear to haA'e been 
established chiefly for representative and judicial purposes. No system of local govern- 
ment ever existed in the counties and parishes, as in other parts of America. The legis- 
lature has been always a municipal council for the whole island. 

VI. — The Establishment of Municipal Institutions in the Provinces of the 


We have now brought this review of local government up to the time when a 
new era in the history of political institutions commenced in all the provinces of British 
North America. The troubles which culminated in the Rebellion of 183*7-8 led to the 
reunion of the Canadas and the concession of a more liberal system of government to the 
people. The British authorities recognised the necessity of leaving the people free to 
control their own internal affairs, and of giving up that system of paternal government 
which had worked so tinsatisfactorily. Between 1840 and 1854 all the provinces were 
granted responsible government in the real sense of the term, and entered almost 
immediately on a career of political and national progress which was in remarkable 
contrast with the condition of things previous to 1840. The legislation of the province 
was distinguished by greater vigour as soon as the people obtained full control of their 
, own taxation and revenue. The result was the improvement of the communications of 
the country and the passage of measures in the direction of increasing the responsibilities 
of the people in the management of their local affairs. 

In the speech with which Lord Sydenham, then governor-general, opened the legisla- 
ture of 1841, he called attention to the fact that it was " highly desirable that the principles 
of local self-government, which already prevail to some extent throughout that part of the 
province which was formerly Upper Canada, should receive a more extended application 
and that the people shovild exercise a greater control over their own local affairs." ^ The 

' Nova Scotia Archives, Aikin.s, p. 700. ^ Murdoch, iii. 415. 

' Assembly Journals, 1841, p. 8. 


legislature accordingly went euergetically to work to provide for the internal government 
of the npper province. Some difficulties arose in dealing with this qviestion on account 
of the position taken by Lower Canada. During the suspension of the constitution in 
French Canada, an ordinance had been passed by the special council " to provide for the 
better internal government of this province by the establishment of local or municipal 
institutions therein." The province was divided into twenty-two districts, comprising 
certain seigniories, townships, and parishes. The governor and council fixed and deter- 
mined the number of councillors who were elected for every district. The warden was 
appointed by the governor-general, and his duties were regulated by instri;ctious from 
the same high functionary. The meetings of householders, at which the parish or town- 
ship officers as well as the district councillors were elected and other business was trans- 
acted, were convened on the authorisation of the warden by one of the justices of the 
peace for the district. The governor had the power to dissolve a district council under 
extraordinary circumstances. Instructions were issued by the governor and council to 
the chairmen of parish or township meetings, assessors, collectors, surveyors of highways 
and bridges, overseers of the poor, and other local officers. ' 

Consequently, the system in operation in Lower Canada was entirely controlled by 
the government. It was the desire of the Upper Canadians, who had been gradually edu- 
cated for more popular local institutions, to elect the warden and other officers. The 
measure which was presented in 1841, by Mr. Harrison, provincial secretary of the 
upi)er province, provided that the inhabitants of each district should be a body corporate 
within the limits prescribed by the act, and provision was made for the formation of 
municipal councils, to consist of a warden and a fixed number of councillors in each dis- 
trict. Power was given to these councils to assess and collect from the inhabitants such 
moneys as might be necessary for local purposes, and generally to adopt measures for the 
good government of the respective districts represented in these local bodies. The Upper 
Canadians naturally wished to elect their own warden, but it was argued that it was inex- 
pedient to concede to one province privileges not given to the other. The French 
members in the legislature were not only opposed to the measure passed by the special 
council, but believed that, if they sanctioned the passage of a liberal measure in Upper 
Canada, it would be followed by similar legislation for Lower Canada. The most influen- 
tial men in that province were opposed at that time to any system that might impose local 
direct taxation on the people. - 

Imperfect as was the act of 1841, it was the commencement of a new era in municipal 
government in Canada. In the course of a few years the act was amended, and the people 
at last obtained full control of the election of their own municipal officers. Statutes 
passed from time to time swept away those numerous corporate bodies which had 
been established by the legislature of the old province, and proAÙded by one general law 
" for the erection of municipal corporations and the establishment of police regulations in 
and for the several counties, cities, towns, townships and villages in Upper Canada." ^ 
Lower Canada was also brought into the general system, according as the people began 
to comprehend the advantages of controlling their local affairs. The ordinance of the 

' Canada Sessional Papers, 1841, App. X. ''■ Dent's Canada since the Union of 1841, i. 146. 

' Con. Stat. 12 Vict. c. SO, and 12 Vict. c. 81. 


special council was repealed in 1845 by an act, which provided that every township or 
parish should coustitiite a municipal corporation, represented by a council elected by the 
people, and presided over by a president or mayor, also elective. ' Tliis parish organisa- 
tion seemed peculiarly well adapted to the habits of the people of French Canada, where 
the parish is connected with their dearest and most interesting associations ; but for 
some reason or other it was soon changed to a county government, which lasted for a 
number of years.- Without, however, dwelling on the numerous acts which occupied 
considerable time in the legislature for years with the object of maturing and perfecting 
a general municipal system acceptable to the people and commensurate with their 
progress in self-government, it is sufficient to say that some time before 186*7, when the 
provinces were confederated. Upper and Lower Canada enjoyed at last local institutions 
resting on an essentially popular basis, and giving every possible facility for carrying out 
desirable public improvements in the municipal divisions. The tendency of legislation 
indeed for years took a dangerous direction. Acts were passed, in 1853 and subsequent 
years, enabling the municipalities to borrow money for the construction of railways on the 
guarantee of the province.' The result was mu^ch extravagance in the public expendi- 
tures and the increase of local taxation in many municipalities of Canada, which 
hampered the people for many years, notwithstanding the benefits derived from the 
construction of importaut public works, iiutil the government was forced to come to their 
assistance and relieve them of the burdens they had imj^osed upon themselves. 

At the present time, all the provinces of the Dominion of Canada enjoy a system ot 
local self-government which enables the people in every local division, whether it be a 
village, town, township, parish, city, or county, to manage their own internal affairs in 
accordance with the liberal provisions of the various statutory enactments which are the 
result of the wisdom of the various legislatures of the different provinces within half a 
century. It is in the great province of Ontario that we find the system in its complete 
form. While this system is quite symmetrical in its arrangement, it is also thoroughly 
practical, and rests upon the free action of the ratepayers in each municipality. The 
whole organisation comprises : — 

(1.) The minor municipal corporations, consisting of townships, being rural districts 
of an area of eight or ten square miles, with a population of from 3000 to 6000. 

(2.) Villages with a population of over *750. 

(3.) Towns with a population of over 2000. Such of these as are comprised within a 
larger district termed a " county," constitute 

(4.) The county municipality, which is under the government of a council composed 
of the heads of the different minor municipal divisions in such counties as have already 
been constituted in the province. 

(5.) Cities are established from the growth of towns when their population exceeds 
15,000, and their municipal jurisdiction is akiu to that of counties and towns combined. 
The functions of each municipality are commensurate with their respective localities.^ 

' Turcotte, Canada sous l'Union, ii. 24. 

'' In 1855 Mr. Drummond, then attorney-general, brought in a bill restoring the parish municipality, while 
preserving the county organization. Turcotte, ii. 260. 
' Turcotte, ii. 202. See Consol, Stat. 22 Vict. c. 83. 
* Canadian Economics; Montreal Meeting of the British Association, 1884, p. 317. 


The council of every county consists of the reeves and deputy reeves of the townships 
and viUages within the county, and one of the reeves or deputy reeve shall be the warden. 
The council of every city consists of the mayor, and three aldermen for every ward. The 
council of every town consists of the mayor and of three councillors for every ward where 
there are less than five wards, and of two for each ward where there are five or more 
wards. The council of every incorporated AÙliage and of every township consists of one 
reeve (who presides) and of four councillors. The persons elected must be natural-born 
or naturalised subjects of the Queen, reside within the municipality, and be possessed of a 
certain legal or equitable freehold or leasehold varying from $400 in townships to $1,500 in 
cities for freehold, and from $800 to $3,000 for leasehold. The electors must be ratepayers 
in the municipality. Every election must be held in the municipality to which the 
same relates. The election is by ballot, and complete provision is made for the trial of 
controverted elections and the prevention of corrupt practices. The municipal officers 
comprise a warden, mayor or reeve, clerk, treasurer, assessors, collectors, auditors, valuators. 
The mayors, reeves, aldermen and councillors are elected by the taxpayers, but the warden 
and all the other municipal officers are appointed by the councils. The powers of 
these bodies are exercised by by-law,'" when not otherwise authorised or provided for. 
Certain by-laws require the assent of the ratepayers. The councils have the power to 
pass such laws creating debts and levying rates under certain restrictions set forth in the 
statute : for the purchase of property ; for the appointment of municipal officers ; for the 
aid of agricultural and other societies, manufacturing establishments, road companies, 
indigent persons and charities ; for taking a census ; with respect to drainage, the purchase 
of wet lands, the planting of ornamental trees, driving on roads and bridges, the seizui-e 
of bread or other articles of light weight, or short measurement ; for the security of 
wharves and docks and the regulation of harbours ; for the laying out and improvement 
of cemeteries, the prevention of cruelty to animals ; for the purchase of property required 
for the erection of public schools thereon ; and providing for the establishment and sup- 
port of public schools according to law ; for the regulation of fences ; for the preservation 
of the piiblic peace and morals ; for the licensing of ferries ; for the establishment of 
markets, fire companies, sewerage and drainage ; for the aid of railways, by taking stock 
or granting a loan or bonus to the same." These municipal bodies can be restrained in 
Ontario, as indeed in other provinces, by the superior courts when their by-laws are in 
excess of their powers. The courts may also compel them to exercise their power in 
proper cases. The provincial legislature grants the municipal authorities certain powers, 
and at the same time commits the proper exercise of those powers to the controlling care 
of the courts.' 

The council of every municipal district in Ontario has now the power to make such 
material improvements as are necessary for the convenience and comfort of the people ; 
but, more than that, the whole municipal organisation has been satisfactorily adapted to 
the requirements of a national system of education. On the enterprise and liberality of 

' This legal terra is a historic link that binds our municipal system to the old English township. In the shires 
of England where the Danes acquired a iirm foothold the township was often called " by " ; it had the power of 
enacting its own " by-laws," or town laws, as municipal corporations have generally to-day. Fiske's American 
Political Ideas, p. 46. 

- Revised Statutes of Ontario, c. 174. ^ O'Sullivan's Manual of Government, p. 191. 


the municipalities depends the efficiency of the educational system of the province. The 
wealthy communities are able to erect school houses, which are so many evidences of 
their deep interest in public education and of the progress of architectural taste in the 
country. The legislature has also given power to any incorporated city, town or village 
to establish free libraries whenever a majority of the taxpayers express themselves in 
favour of such institutions.' In Ontario, as a rule, municipalities have taken advantage of 
the admirable opportunities which the law gives them of promoting the welfare and 
happiness of all classes, which are so intimately connected with the education and 
culture of the people. The city of Toronto, indeed, immediately availed itself of the law 
providing for free libraries, and has set an example which it is to be hoped will be followed 
by other communities in Canada. 

In all the other provinces the municipal system, if not quite so symmetrical as that 
of Ontario, is based on the same principles. In the province of Quebec the municipal 
divisions consist of villages, towns, parishes, or townships and counties. The parish is 
necessarily recognised in the general law provided for the municipal organisation of the 
province. When a canonical parish has been once formed by the proper ecclesiastical 
authority," it may at any time be erected into a municipality by civil authority. 
Although the law makes a general provision for the civil erection of a parish, it is also 
frequently found expedient to avoid the expense of the necessary-proceedings by obtaining 
special powers from the legislature for erecting and confirming a parish for all civil pur- 
poses.' The county council is composed of the mayors of the several local municipalities 
of the county in which those officials have been elected. The councillors elect one of 
their number to be mayor of the local municipality, while the warden is chosen by the 
county council. The principal officers are the secretary-treasurer, who receives and pays 
out taxes and other moneys in accordance with law, auditors, inspectors of roads and 
bridges, pound-keepers, and valuators. The cities and towns of the province are, 
however, incorporated by special acts, and their mayors as well as councils are elected by 
the people. 

In the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the people were more laggard 
in adopting a municipal system than in Upper Canada. Nova Scotia had for years a 
permissive act on its statute book, by which any county might be incorporated when the 
people made formal application to the governor-in-council in the manner provided. It 
was not, however, until 1879 that an act * was passed providing tor the incorporation of 
the whole province. The county councils now consist of a warden and councillors. 
The council elect a warden from among themselves, a clerk, treasurer, auditors, assessors, 
pound-keepers and overseers of highways. All the powers and authorities previously 
vested in the grand jury and sessions, in special sessions, or in justices of the peace, to 
make by-laws, impose rates or assessments, and appoint township or county officers, 
are now exercised by the various municipal councils in the province. The money 
annually voted for road and bridge service is now appropriated by the councils of the 
municipalities under the inspection of supervisors or commissioners.'' Cities and towns 
are incorporated by special acts, and the mayors and wardens are elected by the inhabit- 

• Ont. Stats., 45 Vict. c. 22. ^ See before, p. 55, note. 

■* For example, Quebec Stat, 45 Vict. c. 41. * Nova Scotia Stat, 42 Vict, c i. 

s N. S. Stat., 44 Vict c i., and by 45 Vict c. i. and 46 Vict. c. i. 

Sec. II., 1886. 10. 


ants duly qualified by law.' In New Brunswick a similar municipal system has been for 
years in operation." 

The little province of Prince Edward Island, however, has never established a 
complete municipal system ; the legislature is practically the governing body in all 
matters of local improvement. It passes acts establishing and regulating markets, and 
making provision for the relief of the poor, for court houses, jails, salaries, fire depart- 
ment, ferries, roads and bridges, and A'arious other services which, in the more advanced 
provinces, are under the control of local corporations. Every session the house resolves 
itself into a committee of the whole, to consider all matters relating to the public roads, 
and to pass resolutions appropriating moneys for this purpose, in conformity with a certain 
scale arranged for the difl'erent townships.- Charlottetown and Summerside have special 
acts of incorporation. Provision, however, was made some years ago for the establish- 
ment of certain mvinicipal authorities in towns and A'illages of the island. Wardens may 
be elected by the ratepayers of a town or village, to perform certain municipal duties of a 
very limited character.^ 

In British Columbia, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories very liberal provision 
exists for the establishment of muncipal corporations on the basis of those that exist in 

YII . — Conclusion. 

I have attempted in the preceding pages to trace, step by step, the various stages 
in the development of that system of local self-government which lies at the foundation 
of the political institutions of the provinces of the Dominion. We have seen that 
progress in this direction was very slow until the people increased in wealth and political 
knowledge, and were granted a larger measure of liberty in the administration of provin- 
cial affairs. We look in vain during the days of the French Regime for anything 
approaching those free institutions which are the natural heritage of an Anglo-Saxon 
people. Under the invigorating inspiration of those political representative institutions, 
which followed the supremacy of England in Canada, the French Canadians, like all other 
classes of the population, learned, at last, to appreciate the advantages of being permitted 
to manage their own local affairs. It is noteworthy, however, that we do not find 
anything approaching the town system of New England during the early times of British 
North America. Those primary assemblies of Massachusetts, which were so many repre- 
sentatives of the folkmoot of early English times," were never reproduced among the 

' See act incorporating town of Sydney, 48 Vict. c. 87. It is not easy to understand why the municipal heads 
of towns in this province should be called " wardens." A distinction should certainly be made between the warden 
of the county and the heads of the other municipalities. It is confusing, to say the least. 

^ Revised Statutes of New Brunswick, c. 99. ■' Assembly Journals, 1884, p. 222. 

* P. E. I. Stat., 33 Vict. c. 20. 

^ See Brit. Col. Stat, c.129 ; Man. Stat., 46 and 47 Vict. c. 1 ; Ordinances of N. W. T., No. 2, 1885. In the North - 
west Territory, the heads of the councils, outside of cities and towns, are designated " chairmen." Elsewhere these 
officers are known as "mayors." In Manitoba, the old titles of "reeve" and ''mayor" are preserved in the 

'"'A New England town meeting is essentially the same thing as the folk-mote." E. A, Freeman, American 
Institutional History, p. 16. 


people that settled the provinces. Indeed, the conditions under which those countries 
were peopled were antagonistic to the establishment of the town organisations of New 
England. The British government, after its experience of the old Thirteen Colonies, 
decided to guide the affairs of their remaining possessions with the hand of a gentle 
despotism, and did not permit the formation of institutions which might weaken the 
allegiance of the people to the crown. It was however a mistaken idea, as it was clearly- 
pointed out in Lord Durham's Report, to have discouraged the establishment, at an early 
period, of a municipal system in Canada, which would have educated the people in self- 
government, and made them more capable of grappling with the difficulties of the repre- 
sentative institutions granted them in 1791. However, the genius of an English race for 
managing- their own affairs rose superior to the inllvience of a paternal government many 
thousand miles distant, and won, at last, for the people of Canada, a complete municipal 
system, which may well be the envy of the British people, who are now endeavouring to 
extricate themselves from the chaos of local laws, which make local government in the 
parent state so unintelligible to the ordinary citizen.' All sections and peoples of the 
Dominion are ecj^ually favov^red in this respect. Throwing aside the traditions of a race 
unfamiliar in early times with the institutions of the Teutonic peoples, the French 
Canadians have also been brought into the van of municipal progress, and enabled to pro- 
mote many measures of local necessity, which, otherwise, they could not have accomplished. 
In a paper of a strictly historic s(3ope, it would be out of place to dwell at any length 
on the merits and demerits of the institutions which now prevail throughout the 
Dominion. It is only necessary to say that we should not conceal from ourselves the fact 
that there is always danger in a system which hands practically to the few the control of 
the affairs of the many — which, in a measure, encourages the tendency of the majority 
to shift responsibility on to others, and, consequently, gives constant opportunities to the 
corrupt and unscrupulous demagogue to manage the municipal affairs of a community in 
a manner most detrimental to the public interests. Indifference to municipal affairs on the 
part of those who should have the greatest stake in their careful, economical management, 
is an ever present peril under a system like ours. The abstention of the educated and 
wealthy classes from participation in local affairs, is a growing evil which, in some 
communities in the United States, has led to gross extravagance, corruption and misman- 
agement. No doubt, if it were possible to resort to the folkmoot of the old times of our 
ancestors, or to their best modern exemplar, the township meetings of New England, and 
permit the people to assemble and consult together on their local affairs, a public advan- 
vantage would be gained ; but, unfortunately, such assemblages seem only possible in 
primitive times, when population is sparsely diffused, and large cities and towns are the 
exception." The rapid increase of population, and the numerous demands of our complex 

' " English local government can only be called a system on the Iwv.i non lucmdu principle. There is neither 
coordination nor subordination among the numerical authorities which regulate our local affairs. Each authority 
appears to be unacquainted with the existence, or, at least, with the work of the others. ' There is no labyrinth so 
intricate,' sajs Mr. Goschen, ' as the chaos of our local laws.' Local government in this country may be fitly 
described as consisting of a chaos of areas, a chaos of authorities, and a chaos cf rates." Chalmers' Local Govern- 
ment in England, p. 15. No wonder then that English statesmen have at last awoke to the necessity of grappling 
with a problem which Canada herself has in a great measure solved. 

^ Since the remarks in the text were penned, I have had an opportunity of reading a paper on the Town and 
City Government of New Haven by C. H. Swetmore, Ph. D., in which the imijracticability of the old town system 


civilisation, have forced ou us a municipal system which must be representative in its 
character— which must entrust to a chosen few the management of the affairs of the 
whole community. The dangers of the system are obvious to all, and should be carefullv 
borne in mind by the intelligent and sagacious leaders and thinkers of every community. 
Happily, as the peril is apparent, so the remedy is always open to the majority. The 
security of our local institutions rests on the vigilance of an outspoken press, on the 
watchfulness of the superior legislative bodies, and on the frec[uency of elections, 
during which the people have abundant opportunity of criticising and investigating the 
administration of municipal alFairs. On the whole, then, it would be difficult to devise and 
mature a system better calculated to develop a spirit of self-reliance and enterprise in a 
community, or to educate the people in the administration of public affairs. It is not too 
much to say that the municipal bodies of this country are so many schools where men 
may gain a valuable experience, which will make them more useful, should they at any 
time win a place in that larger field of action which the legislature offers to the ambitious 

of New England under modern conditions is clearly proved. In New Haven, there is a dual system of town and 
city government. The annual town meeting, the ancient general court for the town (the folkmoot of all the voters 
resident in the Republic of New Haven), is still periodically held for the election of town's officers, authorising and 
estimating expenditures, and determining the annual town tax for 75,000 people. The author cited says (p. 69) : — 
"This most venerable institution in the community appears to-day in the guise of a gathering of a few citizens, 
who do the work of as many thousands. Only the few understand the subjects which are under discussion. But 
citizens of all parties and of all grades of respectability ignore the town-meeting and school-meeting alike. Not 
one-seventieth part of the citizens of the town has attended an annual town-meeting ; they hardly know when it 
is held." The proposal to abolish this dual system where it exists in New England, and substitute a simple 
administration, is now familiar to every one. The old system, in fact, has outlived its usefulness. 

Section IL, 1886. [ 77 ] Trans. Roy. Soc. Canada. 

III. — Historical Record of the St. Maurice Forges, the Oldest Active Blast- Furnace on 
the Continent of America. ByY. C. Wuktele, Librarian of the Quebec Literary 
and Historical Society. 

(Communicated by Dr. George Stewart, May 26, 1886.) 

The St. Maurice Forges are situated on the River St. Maurice, about nine miles north- 
west of the town of Three Rivers, in the county of St. Maurice, province of Quebec. The 
establishment of the post of Trois Rivières was made in the year 101*7, because it was 
found desirable by the French authorities at Quebec to have a central trading port on the 
St. Lawrence, midway between Quebec and Montreal. It is on record that in 1617 
Champlain and Father Joseph sailed for France, after sending Father Jean d'Olbeau and 
Brother Pacifique Duplessis to the post of Trois Rivières. " Metaberoutin " was the Indian 
name for the River St. Maurice, and when the French navigators arrived at its mouth 
they found three large channels formed by two extensive islands, and exclaimed, " Voilà, 
trois rivières; " thus, from that circumstance, the post was named "Trois Rivières," or 
" Three Rivers." 

Many narratives and historical facts are found in the " Relations des Jésuites," and in 
old French manuscripts, from which the following brief account is taken of a trip made 
in 1635 from Quebec to Trois Rivières, by Buteux and Paul le Jeune, Jesuit Fathers of the 
Mission de la Conception : — " On September 8th, 1635, we arrived at Trois Rivières. It is 
an agreeable place of residence ; the soil is sandy, and at certain seasons the fishiuo- is 
very lucrative. An Indian would occasionally bring back several sturgeons in his canoe, 
the smallest of which would be six feet in length. There is also a large quantity of other 
kinds of excellent fish. The French have called this place ' Trois Rivières,' because a very 
fine river here falls into the St. Lawrence by three different channels. This division is 
caused by several small islands, which stop the outlet of this river, M'hich is called by the 
Indians Metaberoutin. The country between Quebec and this new settlement, which I 
shall in future call ' La Résidence de la Conception,' appeared to me to be very pleas- 
antly situated ; it is drained by a number of rivers and small streams which flow at 
intervals of distance into the St. Lawrence, that king of rivers, which, even at thirty 
leagues from Quebec, is two to three thousand yards wide." 

Jacques Buteux and Jean de Quen resided at Trois Rivières, in 1641, when de 
Champfleur was governor of that place. 

Colbert, the prime minister of Louis XIV, sought to discover some new means of 
increasing the prosperity of New France, and was particularly anxious to discover iron 
ore, which, from information he had received, was very abundant. In August, 1666, he 
sent Sieur de la Tesserie to Bay St. Paul, where he discovered an iron mine which appeared 
to be rich. In 1665, de Courcelles was appointed governor, and Talon, the intendant of 
New France. The latter, in 1667, by Colbert's orders, caused some explorations to be 
made, and on his return to France in 1668, he succeeded in obtaining the sanction of 


Colbert for new mining explorations, and Sieur de la Potardière was sent to Canada 
for that purpose. On his arrival at Quebec he was shown specimens of iron ore brought 
from Champlain and Cap de la Madelaiue, by order of Daniel de Eemi, Seignieur do Cour- 
celles. One sample was mixed with sand and the other was massive. La Potardière 
visited the mines near Trois Eivières, and strange to say, reported that they offered 
nothing advantageous, either in quality or quantity. The result of this unfavorable 
report was that nothing was attempted towards their development for many years. 

Dr. Michel Sarrasin, in his " Mémoires," makes the following reference to these 
mines : — "The discovery of the mineral on the banks of the St. Maurice dated from IQQ^, 
but the establishment was not conducted with skill or judgment until 1^36." And in 
another paragraph says : " The establishment made about the year 1*733, by order of the 
King, for working the iron mines on the St. Maurice, about nine miles above Cap de la 
Madelaine, was always called ' Les Forges ' or ' Le Village des Forges.' " 

Baron Maseres, in a book published in London, in lt'72, says, that the first deed which 
appears in connection with the Forges, is the original concession of the seigniory of St. 
Maurice to Dame Jeanne Jalope (Jallaut, according to Abbé Tanguay), widow of Maurice 
Poulin, Sieur de la Fontaine, king's attorney for Trois Rivières. The seigniory was given 
to her and her children and their heirs in consideration of a letter from Talon, the intendant, 
that in which he promised, if Poulin would do certain things, he woiild give him a deed. 
The date of the concession is August 14th, 1676, and is signed at Trois Eivières, by 
Ducheneau, the lieutenant-governor. It states that she is to have the right to work all 
mines, etc., and it appears that she could not sign her name. 

Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, succeeded de Courcelles as governor of New 
France, in 16*72. In referring to the original manuscripts relating to his administration, 
some alkisiou to the St. Maurice iron mines is occasionally found, showing that they were 
then considered valuable. The following is an extract from a letter of Comte de Frontenac 
to the French government, dated November 2ud, 16*72 : — " The iron mine, of which I have 
already spoken, is of great consequence. I have visited it myself, in order that I may be 
enabled to give a more accurate account of its nature. I am gratified to learn that another 
mine has been discovered in Champlain, which is much richer than the Cap de la Madelaine 
mine, and the ore is in greater abundance. I apprehend that it will be next to impossible 
to exhaust this mine, as there is an extent of country of four leagues in length, from Cap 
de la Madelaine to Champlain, which is covered with iron ore ; all the streams indicate its 
existence. I had the curiosity to taste the water, and I found it all strongly impregnated 
with rust and iron ore, but the miners whom I sent there establish the fact beyond doubt. 
They are now working there, and if you have any intention of establishing forges and a 
foundry, you may be certain that the material will not be wanting. There are six piles 
of ore now lying at Cap de la Madelaine, which, according to the annexed report of the 
miner, would last for two castings a day for four months. The important question is the 
placing of the forges. For my part, I should prefer building them on Ruisseau Pepin, 
which is in Champlain, rather than at the Cape, where the Jesuit Fathers have a mill 
already in operation. By thus placing the forges, they would be between the two mines, 
and the material could be more easily conveyed from both to the central establishment. 
When you have decided upon establishing the said forges, as the workmen you will send 
out will be competent men, they, perhaps, can decide better whether there is enough water 


in the stream I have above mentioned, to work the wheels of the projected forges, and 
can also jvidge whether it would not be practicable to bring the other streams in the 
neighborhood, such as Euisseau d'Hertel, to increase the quantity of water. The chief 
miner, who is here, assures me that this can be easily and successfully done. It is 
certain that if these forges are once established, many advantages will result to the 
colony : excellent iron will be manufactured there, and the consumption of fuel will help 
materially in the clearing of the forest land. Moreover, many men will be employed at 
the works, and a market will thus be afforded for the surplus provisions which we have 
at our disposal " 

There appears to have been a deed of donation of the seigniory, on January 19th, 
1683, from Dame Jeanne Jalope to her son Michel Poulin, in which he also undertakes 
certain obligations towards his brothers and sisters. And on April 30th, 1683, there is a 
discharge from Jean Baptiste Poulin de Courval, one of the brothers. 

In 1681, the Marquis de Denonville thus writes to the French Government : — " I am 
convinced that there is a very fine iron mine in the vicinity of Trois Eivières, where a 
forge could be profitably worked. I wish I had a man here who could plan the construc- 
tion of an establishment of that kind ; it would be of great use to his Majesty the King and 
the whole colony. M. Vallon can inform you, my lord, how M. de Colbert has tested the 
quality of the ore, and with favorable results. I have sent a small quantity to M. Aruoul, 
who can give you an account of it. There is a large stream in the vicinity of the mine." 
The French Government were evidently unwilling to act on the suggestions of their ofE.- 
cials in Canada on the subject of iron mines ; for five years later de Denonville again sent 
a despatch, dated November 18th, 1686, as follows : — " I have this year again had the iron 
mine near Trois Rivières thoroughly examined. I am convinced that there is a much 
larger quantity of that metal than the colony requires. The great desideratum is the dis- 
covery of a stream or water-power which can be used in winter, and with a view to 
this, we require an able, experienced man who could see what could be done for the 
establishment. Last year I sent a sample of this iron to France, and the iron-workers, who 
found it of good quality and percentage, wish to have fifteen or twenty barrels to give it a 
thorough trial as to quality : it would be well to satisfy them on this point next year. If 
our Northern Company should succeed, there would be no difficulty in accomplishing this 
desirable object." On November 28th, 1690, there is a deed of discharge from François 
le Maistre de la Morille, who married Mdlle. Poulin, the sister. Pierre Poulin a son of 
Michel Poulin, on April 4th, 1725, made acte de foi et hommage, the feudal acknowledgment 
of his, to the governor at the Castle of St. Louis, in Quebec, for himself and his 
brothers, for the fief and seigniory of St. Maiirice. 

On April 5th, 1125, Vaveu et dénombrement, the acknowledgment and survey, or census, 
of the seigniory was made. The King does not seem to have granted the mining rights 
along with the land, for he gave a license to work the mines, to Francheville, on March 
22nd, 1730. 

A company was formed on January 16th, 1733, consisting of Francheville, Peter 
Poulin, Gamelin, and Cugnet, for working the mines, and forges seem to have been put 
up ; but Francheville died, and the enterprise having proved unsuccessful, his widow, 
with Poulin, Gamelin and Cugnet, on October 23rd, 1735, surrendered the forges and the 
rights of working the mines to the Crown. 


On October 15th, l'736, Peter Poulin, Louise de Boulanger, his wife, and his brother, 
Michel Pouliu, a priest, sold the fief and seigniory of St. Maurice, which was necessary for 
working the mines, to a new company, composed of François Etienne Cugnet, Pierre 
François Taschereau, Olivier de Vezain, Jacques Simonet and Ignace Qamelin, for 6,000 
livres, with no terms, so long as they paid them 300 livres a year. 

The King, by an order in council on April 22ud, 173Y, empowered the above partner- 
ship, called Cugnet and Company, or " La Compagnie des Forges," to work the forges, 
and advanced them the sum of 100,000 livres, claiming no rent or dues of any kind. As 
the original grant of laud to the widow Poulin, in 1670, viz., one league frontage on 
River St. Maurice by two leagues inland, was not now deemed sufScient, Hocc[uart, the 
intendant, on September 12th, 1737, conceded to Cugnet and Company the fief of St. 
Etienne, because they represented themselves as being in want of wood, and that if they 
were forced to buy it from the habitants, or farmers, they would have to pay ruinous 
prices for it. This is the first time that the forges were properly worked, and in 1739, a 
skilled artisan was brought from France, who possessed a knowledge of the different 
branches of manufacturing wrought and cast iron, combined with a competent skill in 
working mines. Some few years later, in 1740, Cugnet and Company, having exhausted 
their capital in erecting furnaces, smelting- houses, workshops and other buildings, were 
forced to return their charter to the "Gouvernement de Trois Rivières," and on May 
1st, 1743, the King ordered the forges to be reunited to the royal domain, and an attempt 
was made with some success to carry on the works on account of, and in the name of, the 
King. Skilled workmen came from France, who repaired the furnaces and built the 
Walloon hearth, which has been in use ever since and is still A'isible. 

Prof. Peter Kalm, in his travels through New France, stopped at Trois Rivières on 
August 3rd, 1749, and visited the Forges, fully describing them in his " Travels into North 
America," published in London, in 1771. He remarked that "there are here many officers 
and overseers, who have very good houses built on purpose for them. It is agreed on all 
hands, that the revenues of the iron works do not pay the expenses which the king must 
every year be at in maintaining them. They lay the fault on the bad state of population, 
and say that the few inhabitants in the country have enough to do with agriculture, and 
that it, therefore, costs great trouble and large sums to get a sufficient number of workmen. 
But however plausible this may appear, it is yet surprising that the king should be a loser 
in carrying on this work, for the ore is easily broken, very near the iron works and very 
fusible. The iron is good and can bo very conveniently dispersed over the country. These 
are, moreover, the only iron works in the country, from which everybody must sixpply him- 
self with iron tools, and what other iron he wants. But the officers and servants belonging 
to the iron works appear to be in very atfiuent circumstances." 

Bigot was appointed intendant at Quebec, in 1748. In 1752 he recommended 
Franquet, who had been sent from France as royal inspector of fortifications, to visit 
the St. Maurice Forges, which he did, and gave an interesting account in a manuscript, 
still extant, of his reception at the " big house," or " La Grande Maison des Forges," 
and of the working of the concern. The following is an extract : — " M. Bigot, intendant 
of New France, who resides at Quebec, had recommended me to visit the St. Maurice 
Forges, as the establishment was extensive, and as he had no doubt that I should be 
pleased to be in a position to give an account of it. By stopping at Trois Rivières, I 


could reach the forges in two hours ; so having settled upon that course, I roqixested 
M. Rigaud, who was then in charge of that post, to accompany me. We left Trois 
Rivières at 5 o'clock in the morning with M. de Tonnancour, and other friends, whom 
M. Rouville, director of the forges, had invited to accompany us. On leaving the town 
we ascended a hill covered with sand, crossed a plain and passed through a wood of 
stunted trees, on emerging from which, we stood on a hill overlooking the valley in 
which the said forges of the king are situated. We crossed a wooden bridge over a small 
stream, and disembarked from our conveyance at the door of the director's dwelling. 
After the first ceremony of reception by the director, his wife and the other employées, we 
proceeded to visit the works. The stream, which drives the machinery, is dammed up in 
three places ; the first dam drives the wheel for the furnace, the second and third, each a 
trip hammer. Each dam has a water pass to prevent overflow in high water; it is sup- 
posed that the stream or water-power is sutficiently strong to drive two more hammers. 
The buildings of the post are irregularly situated on the banks of the stream, and little 
or no taste seems to have been displayed in placing them. The principal building is 
the director's residence, a very large establishment, but scarcely large enough for the 
number of workmen who have to be accommodated.' On entering the smelting forge, 
I was received with a customary ceremony. The workmen moulded a pig of iron, about 
fifteen feet long, for my special benefit. The process is very simple : it is done by 
plunging a large ladle into the liquid, boiling ore, and emptying the material into a gutter 
made in the sand. After this ceremony, I was shown the process of stove moulding, 
which seems a simple though an intricate operation ; each stove is in six pieces, which are 
separately moulded ; they are fitted into each other, and form a stove about three feet high. 
I then visited the shed where the workmen were moulding pots, kettles and other hollow 
ware. On leaving this part of the forge, we were taken to the hammer forge where 
bar iron of every kind is hammered out. In each department of the forges, the workmen 
observed the old ceremony of brushing a stranger's boots ; in return they expect some 
money to buy liquor to drink to the visitor's health. This establishment is very extensive, 
employing upwards of 180 men. Nothing is consumed in the furnaces but charcoal, 
which is made in the immediate vicinity of the post. The ore is rich, good and tolerably 
clean ; formerly it was found on the spot, now the director has to send some distance for 
it. The management of these forges is economical. It must be readily understood, that, 
owing to the numerous branches in which expenditure must be incurred, unless a compe- 
tent man be at the head of affairs, many abuses would be the consequence. Among other 
employés, his Ma,]'esty the King supports a Recollet father at this establishment, with 
the title of aumônier. This iron is preferred to the Spanish iron, and is sold ofl' at the 
king's store, in Quebec, at the rate of from twenty-five to thirty castors (beaver skins) per 
hundredweight. In order to obtain a better knowledge of the position of these works, I 
would refer to the notes sent to the court of France, on this subject, wherein will be 
found all details of their management. I may say, however, in conclusion, that they are 
unprofitable to the King, and I am assured that if they were offered on lease at public 
sale, 100 pistoles per anniim might be procured for them. After a splendid dinner at 
M. de Rouville's mansion, we returned to Trois Rivières, highly pleased with our visit, 

' The " big house," or the " grande maison des forges," as it is called, was still inhabited in 1S63. 

Sec. II., 1886. 11. 


and took supper at M. de Tonnancour's. The distance from town to the forges is 
nine miles." 

The notes referred to by Franquet, addressed to the French court, contain little of 
sufficient interest to require translation. He dwells upon the nature of the management, 
the necessity of greater economy, the advisability of sending out competent operatives and 
furnace men from France, and lays down, in general terms, a plan for the successfiil work- 
ing of the mines. We have reason to believe that many oi his suggestions were acted 
upon by the French government, as a marked improvement was effected in the manufac- 
ture of iron work at the forges from Vj52 to 1759. 

These extracts are from the only reliable authorities on the subject in early Canadian 
history, and clearly establish the discovery of iron ore, and subsequent working of the 
St. Maurice Forges, until the year 1752, within a very short time of the conquest of French 
Canada by the English. 

On September 13th, 1759, the battle of the Plains of Abraham was won by General 
Wolfe, and Quebec subsequently capitulated. The war was carried on for a year longer 
before the whole of Canada was ceded to England. The articles of capitulation between 
Lord Amherst, commander-in-chief of his Majesty's troops in North America, and the 
Marquis de Vavidreuil, governor and lieutenant of the king of France in Canada, were 
signed at Montreal on September 8th, 1760. 

In Article 44 of these capitulations the following clause occurs : — " The papers of the 
intendancy, of the officers of the comptroller of the marine, of the ancient and new 
treasurers of the King's magazines, of the officers of revenues and Forges of St. Maurice, 
shall remain in the power of M. Bigot, the intendant, and they shall be embarked for 
France in the same vessel with him. These papers shall not be examined." 

Thus the St. Maurice Forges, and all pertaining thereto, became the property of 
George III, king of England. The employes were kept on, and the forges were worked 
under the direction of the military authorities for five years, when they were transferred 
to the civil government of Trois Rivières. The following letters narrate the management 
of the forges during what is termed the "Military reign" in Canada, and prove that 
General Amherst lost no time in getting the works in operation under the new regime. 

" Lettres et Placards afflichés dans la gouvernement des Trois Rivières, 1760 à 1764, 
durant la régne militaire. 

" Ordres à Monsieur Courval, inspecteur aux Forges, pour la régie des Forges, 1er 
Octobre, 1760. 

" Monsieur : — Son excellence, M. le Colonel Burton, m'a ordonné, de vous faire sçavoir, 
qu'en consequence des instructions qu'il à reçu de Monsieur le General Amherst, il juge 
à propos de faire exploiter a loisir la fonte qui est déjà tirée des mines, et pour cette effet 
voudroit retenir sur le même pied que ci-devant les ouvriers dont vous trouverez les noms 
à la suite de la présente. Le charbon étant un article indispensable, et dont les forges sont 
actuellement mal pourvues, et son excellence ayant appris qvi'il y en a plusieurs fourneaux 
déjà préparés ; il vous plaira d'engager en qualité de journaliers les charbonniers et autres 
que vous jugerez absolument nécessaires pour faire la cuisson et autre ouvrages dependants 
de cette partie là. Vous tiendrez, s'il vous plait, une compte exacte des gens que vouz em- 
ploirez, du temps que durera leurs travaux, et de quantité de charbon qu'ils feront. Vous 


prendrez sur vous les soin de faire graisser et releA'^er les soufflets des forges, en un mot, de 
faire les petites reparations qui sont absolument nécessaire pour mettre les forges eu état 
d'exploiter peu à peu la fonte dont il est parlé ci-dessus. 

" J'ai l'honneur d'être, Monsieur, &c., &c. 

" J. Bruyère." 

Bruyère was evidently acting as secretary to Colonel Burton. Colonel Haldimand was 
military governor of Trois Rivières, and also commandant of the troops on that station 
from April 25th, 1*762 to July 6th, 1*765, and all of his letters and documents are now in 
the Dominion Archives office at Ottawa, being called the " Haldimand collection " of 
manuscripts, from which the following extracts are taken. 

In 1*762, the lords of the board of trade and plantation in London, requiring informa- 
tion on the resources of Canada, forwarded a series of questions to General Murray, who 
returned the replies, dated May 31st, 1*763, called " Eeport of General Murray on 
Quebec." Question No. 16 (B. *7, page IS, in the Haldimand collection), "What number 
of forges in this Province, what iron made, in what form and quantity ? " was answered 
from Trois Rivières by Colonel R. Burton : — 

" The only forges in this government are those of St. Mavirice, seven or eight miles 
behind the town of Trois Rivières, up the river of that name. That establishment consists 
of one furnace and two forges, built upon a rivulet, M'^hose water never freezes ; it dis- 
charges itself into the River St. Maurice, from whence the iron may be easily conveyed in 
batleaiix to magazines at Trois Rivières, and from thence in vessels to Montreal, Quebec 
or Europe. There are besides a large stone house for the manager, and wooden houses 
for the people employed at the forges or other necessary works. The mine that has hith- 
erto supplied the forges, lies very near the surface of the earth, in a low, marshy ground, 
seven or eight miles from them. There has hitherto been no road made to it, as they used 
to fetch the ore in winter upon sledges, but a good one may be easily made. The iron made 
from this ore is so excellent in quality, that in a late trial made by order of his Excellency 
General Amherst, it was found greatly superior to any made in America, and even exceeds 
that imported from Sweden. The mine was opened in 1*732, and granted in 1*736 to a com- 
pany. They having no bottom, and wanting economy, were obliged to abandon it in 1Y41. 
The King, who had advanced them a sum of money, and could not be paid, took the grant 
back, and ever since 1*742 the forges have been worked for the benefit of the king under the 
direction of the intendants. The mine has produced ore in such plenty, that in the year 
1*746 the single furnace returned 1,011,000 lbs. of cast iron, which produced 500,000 lbs. net 
weight of iron bars,besides a great quantity of stoves, pots, etc. Notwithstanding which, the 
great number of iTseless people kept there, such as a director, a comptroller, a treasurer, 
a contractor for the forges and provisions, several overseers, a chaplain and others, at large 
salaries ; the little attention paid to the lands to procure oats and hay for the establishment, 
instead of buying it at a great distance and at a considerable price, with the connived 
fraud of those that passed the accounts, rendered that establishment rather burthensome 
than profitable to the crown, and the king was always proved debtor. From the begin- 
ning of the year 1*761 to the latter end of the year 1762, not to engage in too large repairs, 
the forges, by order of his Excellency, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, have been worked on a small 


scale, and have cost $11,325, for which they produced iron bars of different sizes to the 
weight of 285,400 lbs , besides 180 iron stoves. The ore, which has been run and worked, 
was already brought to the foot of the furnace. All the machinery, tools and buildings, 
that had been for some years past condemned by the French, as unfit for use or service, 
are now in a most ruinous condition, and cannot absolutely go on much longer without a 
thorough repair. But, however, the natural advantages still remain, viz., the mine itself, 
to which may be added another yet untouched, behind Cape Madelaine, lying about three 
miles from the forges on the other side of the River St. Maurice, the woods above the 
establishment, some clear lands to grow oats, lowlands . that may easily be turned into 
meadows for hay, not granted yet, a quarry of limestone, absolutely necessary for the 
melting of ore, rebuilding or repairing the furnace, etc., eight miles up the River St. 
Maurice, navigable with a small batleau. and lastly the rivulet upon which two more 
forges and a furnace may be built without any incumbrance to each other. All these, if 
thought proper, may certainly be greatly improved to the advantage of the crown by 
supplying his Majesty's navy with proper iron for shipbuilding. 
" At Trois Rivières, in Canada, the 31st day of May, 11 6S. 

" R. BUKTON." 

The forges were also utilized for converting unserviceable ordnance into bar iron. 
The returns in 1162 showed a profit of $3,314, and the works were always carried on to 
advantage, but it was a troublesome undertaking, and not congenial to military men. 
General G-age was of opinion that it would be best for the Crown to lease them to 
intelligent, responsible parties, who would soon make a fortune. 

The civil government of Canada was established August 12tli, 1*764, and General 
G-age wrote from New York on September l*7th, following, to Colonel Haldimaud, to 
settle the forgte accounts and transfer them to the civil governor, Cramahé. 

Under date of June 21st, 1*765, Colonel Burton wrote from Montreal to Colonel 
Haldimaud, as follows : — 

" I have received a letter from G-eneral Gage, dated June 5th, acquainting me that, as 
the forges are now in the hands of the civil government, a regular account should be 
stated from the time they began to be under my care until they were delivered up to the 
civil governor, that, whatever balance there may be, it must be paid into the hands of 
the deputy paymaster-general, to be credited by them to the Crown." 

The civil government did nothing with the forges, and they remained idle till 1*76*7, 
when an enterprising Quebec merchant, named Christophe Pellissier, formed a company to 
resuscitate the works. A petition was, therefore, addressed, through his Excellency Guy 
Carleton, governor-in-chief of the colony, to George III, asking for a lease of the St. 
Maixrice Forges to the comjiany at a moderate rental. The petition was acceded to, and 
on June 9th, 1*76*7, a proclamation was issued by the governor, granting the tract of land 
and works known as " Les Forges de St. Maurice," to Messrs. Christophe Pellissier, 
Alexandre Dumas, Thomas Dunn, Benjamin Price, Colin Drummond, Dumas St. Martin, 
George Allsop, James Johnston, and Brooke "Watson, for the term of sixteen years, 
commencing on June 9th, 1*76*7, and ending on the same day in the year 1*783. The rent 
was fixed by this proclamation at the annual sum of .£25, lawful money of the province 
of Quebec. 


The company made repairs and erected bnildiugs at a cost of £4,500, and turned out a 
great quantity of iron, strictly adhering to the French system of working in use before the 
Conquest ; beyond this there is no reliable information about Pellissier and Company's 
management until the invasion of Canada by the Americans in 1^7*75, when Trois Rivières 
seemed to be a sort of headquarters for the enemy, who were continually passing to and 
from Quebec, till their final overthrow at La Croix Migeon, near Pointe du Lac, by 
General Carleton, in 1^*76. 

The following interesting and reliable information about the forges under Pellissier's 
management is taken from the "Mémoires de Laterrière," written by a young French 
gentleman, Pierre de Sales Laterrière, who having come from France in 1766, and been 
appointed agent at Quebec for the St. Maiirice Forge Company in 1*771, sold their 
manufactures at their store, situated in front of the lower town market, facing Notre 
Dame Church. 

In February, 1775, he was appointed inspector of works, under the managing director, 
Christophe Pellissier, and resided at the forges, in the big house, with a competent salary 
and one-ninth interest in the company. His description of the works is as follows : — " On 
the banks of the Rivière Noir or St. Maurice, nine miles from Trois Rivières, one arrives at 
the forges, A^ery pleasantly situated in a seigniory of twelve square miles, called the Fief 
St. Maurice. The country is flat, of a yellow sandy soil, containing many swamps and 
brûlés, where the iron ore is found. This ore contains sulphur and earthy matter, and 
yields about thirty-three per cent, of pure iron. The only fuel used is charcoal, that for 
the furnaces is made from hard wood, and for the refinery, from soft wood. There are from 
400 to 800 persons employed in the woods, mines, quarries, workshops and ofRces of the 
Company, including the managing director, inspector, book-keeper, foreman, six furnace- 
men, two stokers, one caster, eight moulders, with as many assistants. At each forge there 
worked, besides six men, two stokers, four smiths, four carpenters, and sixteen laborers." 
The works employed eight boatmen, four prospectors of mines, forty carters, and others such 
as wood-cutters, charcoal burners, miners, road-makers, firemen, and eight men busied in 
the saw mills. For the convenience of the employés and their families, the company kept 
a store for the sale of provisions and other merchandise, and also did a considerable trade 
with the Tête de Boule Indians, who came down the River St. Maurice. Around the 
forges and big house, where the manager and his staff resided, quite a village of work- 
men's houses had sprung up, some 130 in number, neat and clean, with pretty gardens 
and parterres. The gross proceeds of the forges were from ,£10,000 to =£15,000 in the 
working season or campagne, as it was called, of seven months, being about i;50 per day 
each from the furnaces and foundry, and =£50 per week from each forge. The workino- 
expenses consumed about two-thirds, leaving one-third to be annually divided amono- those 
interested. The works were carried on with energy and success, and yielded a good profit." 

Owing to the incursions of the Americans mentioned before, Trois Rivières was a 
stirring: place, but rather dangerous than pleasant to live in. General Montgomery passed 
here with his army to his fatal and unsuccessful attack on Quebec. Pellissier's loyalty to 
King George was of a very frail nature, and, from his sympathy with the enemy, he 
passed freely through their lines, and had an interview with Montgomery at his head- 
({uarters at Holland House, near Qiiebec. He also materially assisted the Americans by 
furnishing them with stores, provisions, etc., to the extent of some =£2,000. By his 


orders shot aud shell were cast at the forges, to be used at the bombardment of Quebec. 
Affairs went on thus till the retreat of the Americans began, and Trois Eivières was not 
clear of them till their complete defeat by General Carletou at the battle of Pointe du Lac 
on June 8th, 1*776. 

The inspector narrates that when the English fleet with Carleton's army on board 
arrived at Trois Rivières, the Americans or " Bostonnais ", as they were called, retreated to 
Sorel ; but a force of some 4,000 of them returned to attack Trois Rivières, conducted by a 
habitant from Machiche, named Larose, as far as Pointe du Lac. The English general was 
informed of their designs and took up a position at La. Croix Migeon, on the heights 
commanding the town aud its environs, where he waited their attack and completely 
routed them, killing a great many. The next day his Excellency ordered the inspector of 
the forges to send out all his hands to beat the woods, which they did, taking some 
130 prisoners in a starving condition, fed them and turned them over to the English at 
Trois Rivières. 

The night before the battle the manager, Pellissier, received a warning note from his 
friend the grand vicaire, St. Onge, which caused him at once to make off in his canoe to 
his friends " Les Bostonnais " at Sorel, not forgetting to lake with him all the available 
funds of the forges, and also the bills or vouchers of the above mentioned advances, 
which he subsequently collected from the American Congress and sailed for France. 

These losses considerably hampered the operations of the forges, but by hard work 
and inspector Laterrière's indomitable energy they soon were in as flourishing a condition 
as ever, and reached under his management in 1*7*78 the zenith of success. An order now 
came from Pellissier to make up the accounts and close up his interest in the concern, 
which was completed in October, 17*78, when Alexandre Dumas, in whose favor the trans- 
fer was made, took charge of the works and conducted the affairs of the company to the 
expiration of the lease on June 9th, 1783. 

Governor Haldimand, by Royal proclamation, leased the forges and lands pertaining 
thereto to the Hon. B. Conrad A. Gugy, a member of the council, for a term of sixteen 
years, commencing on June 10th, 1783, on the same conditions as those imposed upon 
Pellissier and Company. The annual rental was fixed at the sum of <£18 15s. Od. sterling 
money of Great Britain. 

In the beginning of the year 1787 Gugy got into financial difficulties, and on March 
10th of that year his estate, together with the unexpired lease of the St. Maurice Forges, 
was sold by sheriff Gray of Montreal. The lease was adjudged to Messrs. Alexander 
Davison and John Lees, copartners, for the sum of ^£2,300 currency. Subsequently this 
partnership was dissolved, aud Mr. Davison became sole proprietor of the unexpired lease. 

On June 6th, 1793, Alexander Davison sold his rights and titles to the premises to 
Georo-e Davison, David Monro aud Matthew Bell, copartners, for the sum of jei,500 currency. 
On March 20th, 1799, at the recommendation of Governor Prescott, the lease was extended 
to April 1st, 1801, at a rental of i;i8 15s. sterling per annum, in favor of the same parties. 
At the expiration of this lease, the governor, Sir Robert Shore Milne, by proclamation, 
leased the property to Messrs. Monro and Bell for a term of five years, to end in 1806, at a 
rental of ilSSO per annum. At its expiration the lease was extended for one year, when 
it was advertised in the "Quebec Gazette" to be sold by public auction on June 11th, 
1806, the lease to count from April 1st, 1807. The necessary plans and surveys not being 


completed, the sale was postponed, and readvertised on the same conditions for October 
1st, when it took place, and was adjudged to Mr. Bell for =£60 per annum for a term 
of twenty years, because the auctioneer had no instructions to put on it an upset price. 
Consequently the execixtive council refused to ratify the sale, as the difference between 
the former lease, <£850, and £60 was too great. Therefore the same firm were permitted 
to hold the property in sufferance at the old rental, ,£850, till January 1st, 1810, when the 
governor. Sir James Henry Craig, leased the forges and lands attached thereto to the same 
firm of Monro and Bell for a term of twenty-one years, to end on March 31st, 1831, at an 
annual rental of iîSOO currency. It is said that the amount of profit realised from the 
date of their first occupation to 180IÎ, exceeded that on their subsequent operations even 
at the reduced rental of i;500 per annum. The cause is easily seen, when it is recorded 
that the governors of Canada revelled in the enjoyment of every luxury that the hospi- 
tality of Messrs. Monro and Bell could provide for them. The Tally-ho Hunt Club was 
an institution at the forges, and their shouts of "Tally-ho!" resounded through the hills 
and dales of the River St. Maurice, and the " brush " was competed for by well-mounted 
red-coated cavaliers, with as much energy and activity as in the mother land beyond the 
sea. These extravagances easily absorbed whatever profits the forges yielded, — and from 
their being the only manufacture of the kind in the country, the profits must have been 

The lease was extended from year to year by orders-in-council till 1834, when a ten 
years' lease was granted to the same firm. It then came to the knowledge of the gov- 
ernment that great dissatisfaction existed among the people of Thi-ee Hivers, and others, 
on account of the monopoly of such a great extent of land held by the lessees of the St. 
Maurice Forges in virtue of their lease. That the town of Three Rivers was shut in, and, 
moreover, the lands were required for settlement. Also, the trade of the town derived no 
advantages from the works, because the company imported all their supplies and sold all 
their manufactures through agents residing in the different cities of Canada. This was 
proved by a commission, appointed in 1836 by Government, to take evidence on certain 
things connected with the Jesuits' estates. Accordingly the Government ordered Mr. E. 
Parent to make a report on the forges. This was completed and sent in to the executive 
council, being dated September 15th, 1843, and approved by his Excellency the Governor- 
General on the 26th. It contained the recommendation "that Mr. Bell continue in 
occupation for one year beyond the present term, and then for reasons set forth, among 
others, that it would be more beneficial to the revenue, to the holders of the forges, to the 
people of Three Rivers, to the trade and manufactures of the province, that the forges be 
sold to the best advantage and to the highest bidder." Surveyor-General Thomas Parke 
was ordered to make a complete survey, and subdivide the tract into farm lots. 

By order of Lord Metcalfe, the governor-general of Canada, on November 20th, 1845, 
a report from D. B. Papineau, commissioner of crown lands, was made, pointing out the 
disadvantages resulting from the system hitherto pursued, of letting oiit the Forges of 
St. Maurice and the lands adjoining, and recommending the immediate sale of the forges, 
on certain conditions ; and the disposing of the lands after the tenure en franc aleu 
roturier, and d rente foncière, rachetable under certain conditions. An order-in-council, 
approving the recommendations contained in the above report was passed on November 
22nd, 1845, and on December 19th the forges were advertised to be sold by public 


auction on Tuesday, August 4th, 1846, at 11 o'clock, in the forenoon, at the court-house 
in Three Eivers. An order-in-council, of July 29th, fixed the upset price, at ^£3,000. 
The sale took place as ordered, and the forges were adjudged to Mr. Henry Stuart for 
■£5,5*75, thirty bids, in all, having been given by Messrs. T. Hart, Henry Stuart, Matthew 
Bell, and Judah. Mr. Stuart offering to purchase the fiefs St. Etienne and St. Maurice, 
a report was made by the commissioner of crown lands, dated September 19th, 1846, 
recommending their sale to him for ^4,500. But by order-in-council they were advertised 
to be sold by public auction on November 3rd, the upset price to be <£4,500. The sale 
took place and the fiefs were adjudged to Mr. Henry Stuart, for .£5,900 currency, according 
to the advertised conditions. Forty bids were given over the upset price, two by Mr. 
Hugh Cameron, and the rest by Messrs. Gi-eorge Pacaud and Henry Stuart, mostly of £25 
each. Mr. Stuart commenced operations A'igorously, and expended large sums of money in 
the latest improvements in machinery. He repaired the big house, increased the staff of 
workmen, and a French engineer induced him to invest more money on new works, 
which soon proved to be utterly useless. 

So Mr. Stuart leased the place for a term of four years, on certain conditions, to the Hon. 
James Ferrier, of Montreal, from 1847 to 1851, who carried on the works with great 
success, owing to a strict system of economy in every department, proving that profits 
could be realised. In November, 1851, his term expired, and Messrs. Andrew Stuart and 
John Porter, of Quebec, purchased the forges and fiefs St. Etienne and St. Maurice from 
Henry Stuart, by assuming the payment of the balance of the purchase money owing to 
the Government. 

Their occupation was not successful. The whole place seemed to have deteriorated. 
They tried to get concessions from the government on the terms of their purchase, but it 
seems without success. The forges fell into disuse, and the purchasers into arrears with 
the Government. The lands were nearly all squatted on by actual settlers, and in addition 
to this, the part of the lands bordering on the River St. Maurice was crossed by the booms 
of Mr. George Baptist. These gave rise to many difiiculties, and the Crown, in order to 
solve them, determined to bring the property to sale, and, under cover of its mortgage, 
bought in the whole, when having protected Mr. Baptist's rights, it settled with the settlers 
by disposing of the lands as follows. The following is taken from report of Crown 
Lands for 1861, headed "The Crown Domain " : — 

" The Forges of St. Maurice, together with a number of lots in the township of St. 
Maurice, for which titles had not been issued by the original purchasers to the settlers, 
were seized in virtue of a judgment obtained by the court for non-payment of the balance 
of the purchase price of the property, and sold on the 22nd October. The forges not 
bringing the xalwe set vipon them by the Crown, were acquired by the latter for •'17,200, 
and are now for sale. Nearly all the lauds, most of which were squatted upon and 
improved, were also bought by the Crown to be disposed of to the settlers." 

The following extract from the " Report of CroM'n Lands " for 1862, relates to the final 
disposal of the property by tender : — 

" The Forges of St. Maurice, purchased by the department in 1861, at sheriff's sale, 
in the case of Regina vs. Stuart et al., after due advertisement (by tender) were sold to Mr. 
Onesime Heroux, of St. Beruabé, for |7,000, of which he paid one-fourth cash, and the 
balance is exigible in three eqvial annual instalments with interest. The township of St. 


Maurice (contaiuiug the fiefs of St. Etienne and. St. Maurice), wliicli the Crown acquired at 
the same time as the forges, under cover of its mortgage of baille/ir de fonds, for the 
purpose of protecting the numerous squatters settled there, have since (with the exception 
of some half dozen of poor lots) been sold to the settlers at the price of 40 cents an acre, all 
of which has been received in cash, and the patents issued for the lots. The sale of these 
lots and that of the Forges was conducted by Mr. Judah, the officer in charge of the 
Domain branch of the Department, and not through the instrumentality of an agent, by 
which a saving of the usual commission to the latter, on the proceeds of sale, has been 

M. Heroux kept the farm attached to the forges, and sold to Messrs. John MacDougall 
and Sons, of Three Elvers, on April 27th, 1863, the forges proper, and water-powers, etc., 
for =£1,700 currency. At the time of this sale the property was considered to have been 
exhausted, but the Messrs. MacDougall proved it to be the contrary ; fuel and ore were 
procured as required, and the forges were worked by them for many years. The big 
house, built in the time of the French, was burnt down on the night of June 11th, 1863, 
after the MacDougalls' purchase, and was rebuilt by them on the original site. The old 
Walloon hearth is still preserved. 

The property was transferred to Mr. George MacDougall, on December, 18th 1876, and 
the forges were worked to the summer of 1883, when operations ceased; they have not 
been worked since, and are not likely to be put in blast again, because the ore and wood 
in the vicinity have been exhausted. 

Iron ore was first discovered on this continent in 1607, near Jamestown, Virginia, and 
on April 10th, 1608, a ship loaded with it sailed for England. In 1620, skilled workmen 
arrived and works were established on Falling Creek, a tributary of the James River, about 
sixty-six miles above Jamestown ; but misfortune seemed to follow the enterprise, for on 
March 22nd, 1622, the Indians made a raid on the settlement, massacred Mr. Berkeley, the 
manager, and all his men, and destroyed the iron works. No further attempt was made 
to make iron in Virginia for many years. Sixty years after iron ore was found in 
Virginia, the mines on the banks of the Eiver St. Maurice were discovered. Furnaces 
and forges were erected in 1733, and from that time for 150 years they have been in 
active operation. This can be said of no other works of the kind on the continent of 
America. Thus the St. Maurice Forges hold an important and prominent position in 
the history of Canada. 

Sec. II., 1886. 12. 

Section II., 1886. [ 91 ] Trans. Rot. Soc. Canada. 

IV. — Brief Outlines of the most famous Journeys in and ahout Ruperfs Land. 

By George Beyce, LL.D., Manitoba College, "Winnipeg. 
(Read May 27, 1886.) 


Different Limits Assigned to Rupert's Land. 

(1) Sir Greorge Simpson, in his evidence before the committee of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, claimed that Rupert's Land extended from Hudson Bay to the Rocky Mountains. 

(2) It was claimed by others that the western boundary of Rupert's Land was a line 
from Deer Lake south, about 102' 30' W. longitude. 

(3) Probably the most generally accepted definition of Rupert's Land, based upon the 
charter of the Hudson's Bay Company (1670), is the region whose waters flow into 
Hudson Bay, except so far as the old Province of Quebec entered this territory on its 
southern side. 

The country lying to the west and north of Rupert's Land was divided into 
sections : — 

(«) The territory drained by the rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean, including 
therein the region of the Athabasca, Mackenzie and Coppermine Rivers. 

(b) All the country lying on the west of the Rocky Mountains, between the Russian 
territory on the north and Columbia River on the south. 

The wide expanse of country lying west and north of Rupert's Land was technically 
known as the " Indian Territories," and over this an exclusive fur-trading license was 
given to the Hudson's Bay Company by the Imperial Parliament, in 1821, for twenty-one 
years. This license was again renewed in 1838. The country lying to the west of the 
Rocky Mountains, reached by the Peace River, was, at times, called New Caledonia. 


Configuration of Rupert's Land and Indian Territories Favorable for Voyaging. 

Two main arteries lead from Hudson Bay to the interior : — 

(1) The most northerly of these is by way of Churchill River, at the mouth of 
which stood, in early days, Prince of Wales Fort, with massive stone walls and fortifica- 
tions. Down this river, which was also called English River, the Hudson's Bay Company, 
for many years, received the trade of the interior without even leaving the coast, the 


Indian tribes bringing their furs to the month of the river on the bay. By canoe and 
portage Lake Athabasca was reached by this route, which gave immediate communica- 
tion with Mackenzie Eiver to the Arctic Sea ; with Great Slave Lake and G-reat Fish 
or Back River to the north-east; and with Peace River to the west. Thii hist river 
afforded a pass through the Rocky Mountains to New Caledonia, flowing as it does 
through the Rockies from their western side, and connecting there by portages with the 
Fraser and Columbia Rivers of the Pacific slope. 

(2) The second avenue to Rupert's Land was, by leaving Hudson Bay at York 
Factory, ascending Nelson River, and reaching Lake Winnipeg, which has three great 
tributaries : (1) "Winnipeg River, which bears toward the lake the waters of Lake of the 
"Woods, Rainy Lake and River, and other streams from a point within forty miles of Lake 
Superior ; (2) Red River, which runs from the very sources of the Mississippi northward 
and receives the Assiniboine, one of whose tributaries, the Souris, approaches the Missouri 
at its head waters, and whose main body comes hundreds of miles from the western 
prairies ; (3) the Saskatchewan, the " mighty rapid river" as its name implies, which 
drains, with its two branches, above the forks, a vast country, reaching to the Rocky 
Mountains. The wide region thus drained, consisting of the three geological areas — the 
Laurentian, the Prairie country, and the Rocky Mountain and Pacific slope— owing to its 
numberless lakes and interlacing rivers, aflTorded, even in its wild and unimproved condi- 
tion, wonderful means of communication for the explorer. 


The Fur-Trading Companies Promoted, sometimes for their oivn purposes, and at times for the 
advancement of geographical knowledge, the Exploration of this Domain. 

(1) The French fur-traders, to whom belongs the glory of exploring the Upper Lakes 
and the Mississippi, discovered, by way of Lake Svrperior, the "Winnipeg River branch of 
this communication, and to them belongs the honour of finding, by this route, the Red, 
Assiniboine, "Upper Missouri, and Saskatchewan Rivers, even to the Rocky Mountains. 

(2) The original Hudson's Bay Company, leaving the sea, by the northern route and 
also by Nelson River, in 17*74 established themselves on the Saskatchewan, and by the 
year 1800 held numerous points in Rupert's Land. 

(3) The North-"West Company of Montreal, which had, by its still independent 
traders, carried on trade from the Upper Lakes, even to Lake Athabasca, from the year 
1766, became, in the year 1787, a strong company, so that, in a generation, its posts 
stretched from Montreal to Columbia River on the Pacific, and the men in its employ 
numbered five thousand. 

(4) The X Y Company, or New North-"West Company, to which belonged Sir Alexander 
Mackenzie and the Hon. Edward Ellice, was an offshoot of the North-"West Company, 
and, beginning in 1796, it continued till 1804. It erected posts by the side of those of the 
North- "West Company, so that, about the year 1800, there were points where a Hudson's 
Bay, a North-"Wester, and an X Y Fort stood side by side. 

(Ô) The Astor Fur Company of New York, begun in 1810, only lasted a few years, 


bïit owing to the fort built by it, at the mouth of Columbia River, it did somethiug of 
itself, aud mu<.'h more by the opposition it stirred up among the other companies, to 
encourage exploration 

(6) In 1821, by the union effected, there was but one fur company in Canada — the 
United Hudson's Bay Company. While at times following the policy of erecting a 
Chinese wall around its territory, yet, by the work of its ofhcers, and by the facilities it 
afforded to great explorers, the Hudson's Bay Company has done much to increase the 
geographical knowledge of Eupert's Land and the regions beyond. 

Bibliography of the Noted Journeys. 

(1) La Verandrye. 

(«) Original documents in Archives in Department of Marine and Colonies, 

(b) Letter of Marquis de Beauharnois, 1*728. Parliamentary Library at Ottawa. 

(c) Revue Canadienne, Vol. X. Three articles by B. Suite, Montreal, 1873. 

(d) Paper originally published in " Moniteur," by P. Margry, found in a 

Report on Boundaries by the Ontario Government, 18*78. 

(2) La France (Joseph.) 

[a) Account of countries adjoining Hudson's Bay. By Arthur Dobbs. 4to. 

London, 1*744. 

[b) Report of Inquiry into Hudson's Bay, 1*749. 

(3) Hearne (Samuel.) 

A journey from Prince of Wales Fort to Coppermine, etc. By Samuel Hearne. 
4to. London, 1Y95. 

(4) Mackenzie (Alexander.) 

Voyages from Montreal, etc. By Sir Alexander Mackenzie. 4to. London, 

(5) Three Great American Expeditions : — 

L Lewis and Clark. 

(a) Journal of the expedition up the Missouri and over the Rocky Mountains. 

By Patrick Gass. 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1808. 
{b) Voyage depuis l'embouchure, etc. 8vo. Paris, 1810. 
(f) History of the expedition, etc. By Paul Allen. 8vo. Dublin, 181*7. 

II. Pike (Z. M.) 

Exploratory travels, etc. By Zebuloii M. Pike, Major U. S. Army. 4to. London, 


III. LoNCx (S. H.) 

Narrative of an expedition to source of St. Peter's, etc. By W. H. Keating, 
geologist and historiographer. "2 vols. 8vo. Philadelphia, 1824. 

(6) Franklin (Sir John.) 

Narrative of an Overland Journey to the Polar Sea, 1819-22. 4to. Loudon, 

(7) Franklin and Richardson. 

Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea, 1825-26-27. 
By Capt. John Franklin and Capt. John Richardson. 4to. London, 1828. 

(8) Back (Capt. George.) 

Arctic Land Expedition to the Mouth of Great Fish River, in 1833-35. By 
Capt. Back. 8vo. London, 1836. 

(9) Simpson (T.) 

{a} Narrative of the Discovery of the North-West Coast of America, 1836 39. 

8vo. Loudon, 1843. 
(b) Life and Travels of Thomas Simpson. By his brother, Alexander Simpson. 

8vo. London, 1845. 

(10) Rae (John.) 

Narrative of an expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea, 1846-47. By John 
Rae. 8vo. London, 1857. 

(11) Richardson (Sir John.) 

Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, through Rupert's Laud to the 
Arctic Sea. By Sir John Richardson, 1847-9. 8vo. New York, 1852. 

(12) Milton and Cheadle. 

The North- West Passage by Land. By Viscount Milton and Dr. Cheadle. 8vo. 
London, 1865. 

(13) Fleming (Sandford.) 

(a) Ocean to Ocean. By G. M. Grant. 8vo. Toronto, 1873. 

(b) do. do. do. (Revised edition.) 8vo. London, 1877. 

(c) Canadian Pacific. By Charles Horetzky. 8vo. Montreal, 1874. 


Outlines of Famous Journeys. 

(1) Pierre Gauthier de Varennes, Sieur de La Verandrye, was the son of the 
Governor of Three Rivers, iu Quebec, and was born in the year 1685. He went home to 
France, entered the army, fought at the battle of Malplaquet, and was severely wovxnded 


there. He returned to Canada invalided, with his rank of lieiitenant, but this was not 
recognized in Canada. In consequence, the young lieiitenant entered the fur trade, and 
found at Michilimackinac and in the Upper Lakes his field of labour. He was in charge 
of Fort Nepigon in 1*728. Here La Verandrye heard of the interior, from Ochagach, a 
savage, who drew a map on birch bark, which was sent to the Grovernor, Beauharnois. 
Authority was given to La Verandrye and a Jesuit missionary, Gonor, to penetrate these 
little known regions, where no white man had trod. The following are the main points 
of the exploration : — 

1731. — Aug. 26. — La Verandrye's party left Lake Superior, by way of Pigeon Eiver, for 
the interior. In the same year the explorers reached Eainy Lake and built at its 
foot Fort St. Pierre, whose ruins are still visible. 

1733. — The party discovered Rainy River and entered Lake of the "Woods {Lac des Bois, 
also Minitie), and on its south-west shore built Fort St. Charles. Here, on 
Massacre Island, La Verandrye's son, a priest, and a number of the party were 
murdered by the Sioux. 

1734. — By descending Winnipeg River, Lake Winnipeg (OMmj/^cwe, 'muddy water," 
Ojibway) was reached, and at the mouth of the river Fort Maurepas was built. 

1735.6. — Crossing Lake Winnipeg, and entering Red River {Miskouesipi, "blood-red 
river," Ojib.) at the mouth of the Assiniboine River, called by La Verandrye 
" St. Charles," was built Fort Rouge, on the site of the present city of Winnipeg. 

1738. — At some time before this year, at Pointe des Bois, some two hundred miles up 
Red River, above Fort Rouge, was built a fort. In this year, also. Fort de la 
Reine was erected on the site of the present town of Portage la Prairie. 

1743. — La Verandrye's sons ascended the Assiniboine, left it to explore one of the 
tributaries, the Souris River, called by them " Rivière de St. Pierre " by portage 
from its head-waters to the Missouri, and up this river to the foot of the Rocky 
Mountains {Montagnes de pierre). After this, in the same year, La Verandrye 
returned to Quebec. 

1743-8. — During these years were discovered Lakes Manitoba {Manitoivaban, " Spirit's 
Straits"), Winnipegoosis (" Little Winnipeg "), and Dauphin, and Forts Dauphin 
and Bourbon were erected. 

17'48. — La Verandrye's son ascended the Saskatchewan (" Rapid River.") 

1749. — La Verandrye was on the point of joining his sons to seek the sources of the 
Saskatchewan, when he died in Montreal, at the age of sixty-four. La Verandrye's 
sons now lost their license, and were succeeded by Legardeur de St. Pierre. 

1753. — Fort Jonquière was built near the site of the present town of Calgary, on Bow 
River, near the Rocky Mountains by direction of St. Pierre, 


175S. — Fort à la Corue was erected near the forks of the Saskatchewau. 
1755. — Eefore this date, Fort Poskoiac had been erected in the same region. 
1757. — Before this year, Fort des Prairies was built on the Saskatchewan. 

(2) Joseph La France. 

This adventurer was born at Michilimackinac, in 1*704, a French half-breed. He had 
traded furs on the Upper Lakes and had visited Fort Frontenac. In ITSS, La France, who 
was a species of free-booter, was seized by the governor and a party whom he chanced to 
meet on Nipissing Eiver. Escaping from his captors, with his gun and only five charges 
of powder, the forest ranger reached Sault Ste. Marie — through two hundred miles of 
trackless wilderness. Having now lost everything, La France determined " to go to the 
English on Hudson Bay." 

1740. — He followed La Verandrye's route down Eainy Lake and Eiver (du Pliiis) — then 
through Lake of the Woods {Lac des Bois, also des Iles), reached, by way of River 
Winnipeg, the Lake of the same name, and on its banks joined Cris or Chris- 
tinaux (Crée) Indians, and tells of a flat country full of meadows on its shores. 

1743. — Visited Lake Winnipegoosis with the Indians. Turned now towards the bay, 
and passing Lakes Du Siens and Cariboux, reached Pachegoia. This is the meet- 
ing place of the Indians who go down River Nelson to York Factory. April 4, 
one hundred canoes having been built from the birch trees which abound at 
Pachegoia, the furs were shipped and La France chosen captain of the expedi- 
tion, which, June 29, arrived at York Factory. La France was the first man 
certainly known to have followed the " watery way " through the country from 
Lake Siiperior to Hudson Bay. 

[Note. — It is well-known that the French Huguenot traders, G-roselliers and 
Radisson, claimed to have discovered Hudson Bay, crossing through the country from 
Lake Superior to Hudson Bay, before 16*70, the year in which the Hudson's Bay Company 
was formed. There is no certainty as to their expedition !] 

(3) Samuel Hearne. ("The Muugo Park of Canada.") 

The Hudson's Bay Company had for a hundred years clung to the coast. Their 
connections were with bands of Indians living in the interior, so far west as Athabasca 
and the Saskatchewan, who came with their furs every year to the sea coast. The North- 
West Company of Montreal was penetrating the country, whence their trade came, and 
they found it necessary to extend their explorations to the interior, and birilt posts at 
leading points. The man who took chief part in this inland enterprise was Samuel 
Hearne, an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

1769. — The explorer was provided with an escort, with astronomical and other instru- 
ments, and with instruments from Moses Norton, Governor of Prince of Wales 
Fort. His orders were, in passing through the country, to cultivate friendly rela- 


tious with the several tribes, and "to smoke your calumet of peace with their 
leaders, in order to establish a friendship with them." He was to seek the Copper- 
mine River. " If," say the instructions, " the said river be likely to be of any 
utility, take possession of it on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company," by cutting 
your name on some of the rocks, and also the date of the year, month, etc. 
Nov. G. — Hearne set out from the mouth of Churchill River, with a salute of seven 
guns from Prince of "Wales Fort, and, Dec. 11, after continual desertions of his 
men, and dastardly conduct ou the part of his guides, arrived at the fort, having 
gone inland some two hundred miles. 

1770. — Feb. 23, Hearne began a second voyage. On this expedition he reached a point 
five hundred miles inland, but his chief astronomical instrument was broken by 
an accident, and he returned to the coast in November. 
On Dec. 1 of this year, the third voyage was undertaken, but this time with no 
firing of cannon. Making slow progress in winter, a rendezvous was reached 
by the explorer and several hundred Indians, and a dash made across the barren 
lands, and the Coppermine River reached. 

1771. — July 18. — At this date, Hearne reached the mouth of the Coppermine, and looked 
out upon the Arctic Ocean — its discoverer. His scientific know^ledge was so 
defective that he fixed the mouth of the Coppermine at Tl" N. instead of 67" 48'. 

1774. — Hearne built Fort Cumberland on the Saskatchewan. 

(4) Sir Alexander Mackenzie. 

Mackenzie was a young Scotchman, who came to Canada as a boy, entered the fur 
trade, and became a trader among the Nor'-Westers. At this date he was in pursuit of 
furs at Fort Chippewyan, on Lake Athabasca. His Company being rivals of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, he was stimulated by Hearne's discoA-'ery. 

17SÎ>. — June. — He started with four canoes, manned by French Canadians and Indians. 
At the end of July, after stirring adventures wàth strange Indians, and annoy- 
ances from his own party, Mackenzie reached the Arctic Sea by way of the river 
bearing his name. 

1791. — Mackenzie spent this year in Great Britain, having found, on his first voyage, the 
necessity for greater mathematical knowledge. 

1792.— Oct.— Mackenzie left Fort Chippewyan, and started up Peace River to cross the 
Rocky Mountains, and reach the Western Sea. He wintered on Peace River, 
trading for furs, and experiencing the warm Chinook winds coming through the 
Peace River pass, thought the Western Sea very near. 

1793. — In early spring the explorer went on his way, ascending Peace River. Upon 
July 22, the daring traveller, after almost unimaginable hardships, reached the 
Pacific Ocean, and inscribed on the face of a rock : " Alexander Mackenzie, from 
Canada by land, 22nd July, 1793." This was the first crossing of North America, 
north of Mexico, by the white man. 

Sec. IL,18S6. 13. 


(5) Three Great American Expeditions. — The American Government, diiriug the first 
quarter of this century, sent out three important expeditions, all connected with the settle- 
ment of the boundary line between the newly-acquired territory of Louisiana and the 
British possessions. The undefined territory of Louisiana was annexed to the United 
States in 1803. 

I. Lewis and Clabk. 

The object of this expedition was to explore the Missouri country, and cross the 
Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. 

1804. — May 14. — Captains Lewis and Clarke, of the Army of the United States, with 
twenty or thirty soldiers and a dozen voyageurs, entered the mouth of the 
Missouri. By November, the expedition, having travelled some sixteen hundred 
miles, reached the country of the Maudaus, who are dwellers underground, cul- 
tivate the soil, and make pottery. [A remnant still survives. They have been 
called the " white-bearded Sioux."] The explorers were here visited by British 
traders from Souris River. 

1805. — Aug. 18. — The head waters of the Missouri, three thousand miles from the 
mouth, were reached. Horses were got, and after traversing for sixty miles 
through the mountains, a most difficult country, a navigable river, the Lewis, 
so called from the commander, "was descended by canoes and the Columbia 
gained. They thus reached, on Nov. 15, the Pacific Ocean, by way of the 
Columbia River. Here they spent the winter in Fort Clatsop. 

180C — March 23. — The retiirn journey was begun, one party ascending Clarke River. 
On Sept. 23, the reunited party arrived at St. Louis, fired a salute, and going on 
shore, received a most hearty and hospitable welcome from the " whole village." 

II. Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike. 

1805. — Aug. 9. — Lieut. Pike, of the U. S. Army, with twenty soldiers, left St. Louis to 
ascend the Mississippi to find its sources. Sept. 4, Prairie du Chien was reached. 
Oct. 1, the party left the Falls of St. Anthony. 

1806. — Feb. 1. — The expedition had arrived at Otter Tail, Red Cedar, Red Lake, etc. 
"The country," says Pike, has the appearance of " an impenetrable morass or 
boundless savannah." On the 13th, the latitude of the source of the Mississippi 
was found to be 4*7° 42' 40". David Thompson, the astronomer of the North- 
West Company, had, in 1*798, taken the same observation and made it 47° 38'. 
Lieut. Pike, having descended the Mississippi, arrived at St. Louis April 30. 

[Note. — Lieut. Pike took part in the war between Canada and the United States, as 
Major Pike. He was, unfortunately, killed by the blowing up of a magazine at York, 
being struck in the breast by"a heavy stone, April, 1813.] 


III. Major S. H. Long. 

1S33. — It was determined by the American Government to explore St. Peter River, and 
"the country situated on the northern boundary of the United States, between 
the Red River of Hudson's Bay and Lalœ Superior." 

On April 30 a party, under Major Long, with W. H. Keating, geologist and historio- 
grapher, left Philadelphia, passed throtigh the country to Ohio, and thence went 
to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi. 

On July 6 they arrived at St. Anthony Falls, leaving Lake Travers, which the Indians 
call Otter Tail; on the 26th. This lake is one of the sources of the Mississippi 
and of Red River. On Aug. 8, the flag of the United States was hoisted on 
an oak post at Pembina, on the boundary line, 49° N. On the north side of the 
post were letters, Gr. B., and on the south, U. S. 

The intention of the explorers had been to follow the boundary to Lake Superior, but 
dense swamps rendered this impossible. 

On the 9th, the expedition left Pembina to descend Red River. They reached Fort 
Douglas, the centre of Selkirk Colony, and site of present city of "Winnipeg, on 
the 11th, leaving on the iTth to descend Red River. On the 19th, Red River 
haA'iug been left behind, and Lake Winnipeg crossed, the party arrived at the 
mouth of "Winnipeg River. On the 25th they gained the head of "Winnipeg 
River. They crossed on the 28th the Lake of the Woods and entered the mouth 
• of Rainy River, gaining Fort William, on Lake Superior, by Sept. 13, thus 

making eight hundred and twenty miles in twenty-seven days. The party left 
Sault Ste. Marie, Oct. 3 ; descended Lakes Huron, St. Clair and Erie ; entered Erie 
Canal, and having reached Albany, proceeded homeward. The expedition 
reached Philadelphia on the 26th, having accomplished this marvellous voyage 
in less than six months. 

(6) Sir John Franklin. 

One of the first efforts to explore the country to the north of Rupert's Land was 
begun by Capt. John Franklin. He was accompanied by Dr. Richardson, surgeon of the 
Royal Navy, and Mr. George Back, both of whom afterwards commanded important 

1811). — May 23. — The party embarked in the Hudson's Bay Company ship " Prince of 
Wales " at Gravesend. Capt. Franklin, before leaving England, had conferred 
with Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the veteran explorer. 
Aug. 30. — " Prince of Wales " arrived at York Factory. 

1830. — Jan. 1*7. — Having come inland, the party reached Fort Cumberland, on the 
Saskatchewan, 690 miles from York. 
On March 26, Dr. Richardson having remained at Cumberland House, Capt. Franklin 
and Back arrived at Fort Chippewyan, 85*7 miles from Cumberland. Dr. Richard- 
son overtook the party here on July 13, and on the 18th the party left Fort 
Chippewyan for the Polar Sea. On Oct. 6 the party entered the winter quarters 
they had built, calling them " Fort Enterprise." 


1821. — The expedition left Fort Enterprise June 14 to go to the Coppermine, and thence 
to the Polar Sea. They reached the moiith of the Coppermine July 18, and found 
it to be GY° 4Y' 50", thus correcting Hearne's mistake. On the 21st, the expedition 
started to coast the Arctic or Polar Sea to the east ; and on Aug. 16, after a 
journey along a very indented coast of 555 geographical miles, for 6J°, reached 
Cape Turnagain. From this point, the expedition started back over barren 
grounds. They endured much suffering, living chiefly on "tripe de roche" 
{Cladonis rangiferina), and on Labrador tea {Ledum palustre), eating bits of burnt 
leather. Fort Enterprise vras reached, but desolate. Party wintered at 
Moose Deer Island. 

1.S22. — May 26. — They left their wintering place, where five mouths had been spent. 
On the return journey Fort Chippewyan was left behind on June 5. The party 
ai rived at Norway House July 4. Here the greater number of the men of the 
expedition were sent to Montreal, with orders on the Hudson's Bay Company for 
their payment. On the 14th, Capt. Franklin arrived at York Factory, and was 
received with much kindness by Governor Simpson and Mr. McTavish, repre- 
sentatives of the two companies — Hudson's Bay and North-West — which had 
united in the preceding year. 

(*7) Captains John Feanklin and John Eichakdson. {Second Overland Journey, 1%2?>-^.) 
This journey was undertaken by Capt. Franklin. In his party were Dr. Richardson 

and Lieut. Back, his former companions, and Mr. Kendall. The object of the expedition 

was to explore the coast of the Polar Sea. 

1S25. — July 25. — The party left Fort Chippewyan to descend the Mackenzie River. They 
went into winter quarters in September at the fort they had built, called " Fort 
Franklin," at the entrance to the Great Bear Lake. 

18âG. — July 4. — Tlie party divides. The western party, under Franklin, with Lieut. 
Back, left Point Separation in the " Lion " and " Release." They reached the 
mouth of the Mackenzie, and coasted up the western shore of the Polar Sea. 
Though desiring to reach the Icy Cape of Capt. Cook, in longitude 161° W., the 
party was not able to proceed further than " Return Reef," which it they gained 
on Aug. 1*7. On Sept. 21, they arrived at Fort Franklin. 
July 4. — Richardson took command of the eastern party in boats " Dolphin " and 
" Union." On the 10th, they arrived at mouth of Mackenzie River, and on Aug. 
8, by coasting the Polar Sea, they reached the mouth of the Coppermine. Having 
ascended the Coppermine River, or crossed Great Bear Lake, they arrived at Fort 
Franklin, before Franklin, on Sept. 1. 

1827. — April 12. — Party arrived at Fort Chippewyan. On Sept. 29, Franklin and 
Richardson reached London. 

(8) Capt. George Back. 

In the year 1829, the well-known navigator, Sir John Ross, had gone, by ship, to 
seek the North- West i^assage. His absence for three years caused alarm. The British 


Grovernment, City of Loudon, Eoyal Greographical Society, and many priA^ate snbscribers 
contributed to send an expedition for the rescue of the gallant captain. The command 
was given to Capt. Back, who had accompanied Franklin on his first and second expedi- 
tious, of 1819 and 1825. 

1,*^33. — The expedition left England iu February. The route taken was by Now York, 
overland to Montreal, thence by A'oyageur's route up the Ottawa and the Upper 
Lakes, from Fort William to Lake Winnipeg, Norway House. Here another start 
was made up the Saskatchewan, to Portage La Loche, aud the journey continued 
northward. On July 29, Fort Chippewyan, on Lake Athabasca, was reached. 
Here the real work of exploration began. The Indians discouraged the party 
greatly by their dismal account of the route. 
Aug. 11, Back, with five men in his canoe, started for the Arctic Sea. He was 
followed by A. R. McLeod, an enterprising officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
with his men. The route was by way of the Great Fish River, going out of the 
eastern extremity of the Great Stone Lake. 

1834. — The party spent this winter of 1833-4 iu buildings they had erected, called " Fort 
Reliance." After many adventures, the estuary of the Fish or Back River was 
reached about latitude 68° N. 

1835. — March 21. — Capt. Back began his return voyage and passed by way of Chippe- 
wyan homewards, reaching Norway House, June 24. He had, while in the far 
north, received letters telling him that Sir John Ross had returned safely iu 1833 
to Great Britain, having beeu rescued by the crew of a whaler. 

(9) Thomas Simpson. {Simpson and Dease's Explorations.) 

This expedition was undertaken by the Hudson's Bay Company, for the purpose of 
discovering the north-east coast of America. Dease was the senior officer, aud had accom- 
panied Franklin, though Thomas Simpson, a relative of Sir George Simpson, has received 
most notice. 

1837.^ — On Juue 1, Simpson aud Dease's party carried in two seaboats, named " Castor " 
aud "Pollux," and a bateau called "Goliath," left Fort Chippewyan to descend 
the Mackenzie River. On July 6, the Arctic Ocean burst on the A'iew of the 
expedition, and was saluted with joyous cheers. As they journeyed coasting 
the ocean. Return Reef was reached on the 23rd, and the party arrived at 
Boat Extreme on the 30th. Ou foot from Boat Extreme, Point Barron was visited 
Aug. 3, the western point which their instructions covered. They saw this 
point with emotiou, 21° west of the mouth of Mackenzie River. On the 17th, they 
reentered the mouth of the Mackenzie. By ascending the Mackenzie, and 
traversing Great Bear Lake, their winter quarters were gained Sept. 25. These 
they called " Fort Confidence." 

1838. — June 6. — They started for Coppermine River, reachiug its mouth July 2. On the 
P7th, they made a second sea voyage — -now eastward from 115° W. Ou Aug. 25, 
they discovered new land, erected a stone pillar and unfurled the Union Jack 


in the name of Great Britain. On Sept. 3, they reentered Coppermine River. 
On the 14th, they arrived at Fort Confidence for winter. 

1839. — June 15. — Descended the Coppermine, and in eighteen days emerged from its 
mouth. Aug. 20, reached furthest point east, Cape Britannia, 94° "W., having been 
vi'ithiu one hundred miles of the Magnetic Pole, on Boothia Felix. Simpson and 
Dease explored the Arctic Coast for 40° — a marvellous result. On Sept. 24, they 
arrived at Fort Confidence again. 

1S40. — Feb. 2. — The party reached Fort Gi-arry. June 30, Simpson desired to return to 
Arctic Sea, but, no instructions coming, started home, and on the 18th or 14th, 
was killed on prairies of Minnesota, either by half-breeds or by suicide. Body 
taken back to Red River settlement, and buried in St. John's Cemetery, 

(10) John Rae, M.D. 

This expedition was to follow up the discoverers of Simpson and Dease, but by 
exploring the coast of Hudson Bay and reaching, if possible, the Cape Britannia of the 
aforesaid explorers. 

1840. — June 18. — Dr. Rae, with ten men, started in two boats, the " North Pole " and 
" Magnet," from York Factory. 
July 5, party left Fort Churchill. On Sept. 2, expedition wintered in house they had 
built, which was called " Fort Hope." This was on Repulse Bay. 

1S47. — April 19. — Reached Lord Mayor Bay, on the north side of Rae Isthmus, and on 
Grulf of Boothia, and erected a monument. In May they reached Fort Hope, and 
again sallied forth to coast the west shore of Melville Peninsula. A point was 
reached within ten miles of the Straits of Fury and Hecla. June 9, arrived at 
Fort Hope again. Aug. 12, Fort Hope left for return to York Factory. Sept. 6, 
party arrived at York Factory. 

(11) Sir John Richardson. [Overland Search for Sir John Franklin.) 

In 1845, Sir John Franklin, in the ships " Erebus " and " Terror," with a party of 130, 
had sailed away to seek the North-West passage. Two of the expeditions to search for 
the lost navigator were overland, or along the coast of Rupert's Land. 

1848. — March 25. — Dr. Richardson, accompanied by Dr. Rae, left England. Not less than 
180 tons of pemmican, made from beef in England, was shipped to Rupert's 
Land, by way of Hudson Bay, for the use of the expedition. The expedition 
proceeded by New York, Montreal, the Ottawa Canal route, the Upper Lakes, 
River and Lake Winnipeg, etc. July 11, Fort Chippewyan was reached. By 
Aug. 3, the mouth of the Mackenzie River, on the Arctic Sea, was gained. 
During the autumn of this year, the party was not able to reach the mouth of the 
Coppermine, along the coast. Having gained Back's Inlet, the expedition made 
across the country for Coppermine River, reached it, and, ascending it, came to 
the house already erected, to which the name " Fort Confidence " had been given. 


184». — In the summer of this year, Dr. Eae descended the Coppermine, but found no 
traces of Franklin on the Arctic Coast. On Noa^ 6, Dr. Eichardsou arrived in 

[Note. — The Successful Search for Sir John Franklin was accomplished by two explorers. 
(1) On Aug. 15, 1853, Dr. Eae reached his old quarters, at Eepulse Bay. March 31, 1854, 
he went on a spring journey. April Vl, arrived at Felly Bay. This bay lies to the west 
of Simpson peninsula. Here he got from the Eskimos the story that, in 1850, forty white 
men had proceeded south, and that, afterwards, their corpses had been found on the shore. 
He obtained from the Eskimo, telescopes, guns, watches, compasses, silver spoons and 
forks, with crests engraved, silver-headed walking stick, engraven with "Sir John 
Franklin, K.C.B.," Sir John's Hanoverian Order of Knighthood. Dr. Eae purchased a 
number of these. They had been obtained by the Eskimo by trade from the south. Dr. 
Eae arrived in England, claimed the reward, and obtained a portion of it. (2) The Final 
Settlement of the Question of Sir John's fate took place in 1859. Capt. McClintock, found 
a record left by the party, at Point Victory to the north-west of King "William's Island. 
Sir John Franklin had died June 11, 184Y. The ships, the "Terror " and "Erebus" were 
deserted April 22, 1848, having been beset since 1846.] 

(12) Viscount Milton and Dr. Cheadle. 

This journey is usually called " The North-West Passage by Land." The book by 
Milton and Cheadle is charming in style. 

1S6S. — July 18. — The explorers reached the Hudson's Bay Company port, G-eorgetown, 
in Minnesota, some 200 miles of the boundary, a memorial of the Company's 
original claim. From Georgetown, the party took canoes and descended Eed 
Eiver to Fort Garry. Aug. 23, much interested in the Eed Eiver settlement, they 
went west, over the prairies, with a brigade of carts. This was the typical mode 
of prairie travel. Sept. 26, the travellers determined to winter 550 miles 
north-west of Fort G-arry. They built a winter camp, which they called " La 
Belle Prairie." 

1863. — April 3. — The party left camp to proceed westward. Forts Pitt and Edmonton 
were passed. June 29, Jasper House was gained in the foothills of the Eocky 
Mountains. The party passed on through the Yellow Head {Tête Jaune) Pass. 
July IS, the explorers here ferried across the head-waters of Fraser Eiver, near 
Tête Jaune Cache. Passing southward, Thompson Eiver was reached. The road 
was here lost, and hardships, almost incredible, were endured, after which they 
arrived at Kamloops on the Thompson. After resting, the journey was, 
the Fraser was reached, and Yale, and New Westminster and Victoria visited. 
Again ascending the Fraser, far up its course, the mines at Cariboo were explored. 
On Dec. 24, the party left Victoria, B.C., for Britain. 

(13) Sandford Fleming. 

This journey belongs to the period of Confederation, rather than to that of Eupert's 
Laud, and yet, in 18*72, when it took place, Eupert's Land had hardly changed in any 


respect. Principal Grant, as secretary of the expedition, well describes its progress. It 
differed in ronte from that of Milton and Cheadle, only in that it was conducted iiom 
" ocean to ocean " throvigh Canadian Territory. 

It may be said really to have begun at the mouth of the Karainistic|uia, on Lake 
Superior. It followed the old canoe route by Kainy Lake and River, but left Lake of the 
Woods, not by Winnipeg River, but at the North- West angle, and thence i^roceeded to 
Fort Garry by the Dawson Road. The writer met the party at Fort Garry early in 
August, U12. 

The route from Fort Garry westward was that of Milton and Cheadle. On their 
returns journey the party left Esquimalt, in Vancouver Island, Oct. 14, to travel by way 
of the Pacific Coast steamer and Union Pacific Railway. This journey may be looked upon 
as the precvirsor of our Canadian Pacific Railway, though a more southerly route, and 
another pass has been followed by that great national line. 

Results Achieved. 

1. La Verandrye and his immediate successors discovered and explored all the great 
rivers of the fertile portion of the Canadian Northwest. 

2. La France first led the way from Lake Superior to Hudson Bay. 

3. Hearne discovered the Coppermine River, the Arctic Sea, and was the Hudson's 
Bay Company's pathfinder to the interior. 

4. Mackenzie discovered Mackenzie RiA'er, the Arctic Sea, and first crossed the Rocky 
Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, north of Mexico. 

5. Pike discoA^ered the sources of the Mississippi. Lewis and Clark gave ground for 
claims of country on Columbia River by the United States, explored the Missouri, and 
discovered rivers on the Pacific slope. Long established the boundary of 49' N., and made 
a remarkably rapid journey. 

6. Franklin, Richardson, Back, Simpson, Dease and Rae may be said to have explored, 
oiitlined and named the whole coast of the Arctic ocean from Point Barron to Hudson Bay. 
Their names are all attached to rivers, straits or capes discovered by them. Their voyages 
are marvels of endurance and skill. Richardson and Rae were celebrated for their search 
for Franklin. 

1. Milton and Cheadle accomplished their voyage with great tact, and their delightful 
book has been the thesaurus from which many of their successors have drawn. 

8. Mr. Sandford Fleming's journey was the preliminary exploration for the Canadian 
Pacific Railway. 

Section IL, 1886. [ 105 ] Tkans. lioy. Soc. Canada. 

Y.— TJie Lost Atlantic. 

By Daniel Wilson, LL.D., F.R.S.E., President of University College, Toronto. 

(Read May 28, 1886.) 

The legend of Atlantis, an island-continent lying in the Atlantic Ocean over against 
the pillars of Hercules, which, after long being the seat of a powerful empire, was 
engulphed in the sea, has been made the basis of many extravagant speculations. The 
story is recorded in the "Timœus " and, with many fanciful amplifications, in the " Critias" 
of Plato. According to the dialogues, as reproduced there, Critias repeats to Socrates a 
story told him by his grandfather, then an old man of ninety, when he himself was not more 
than ten years of age. According to this narrative, Solon visited the city of Sais, at the 
head of the Egyptian delta, and there learned from the priests of the ancient empire of 
Atlantis, and of its overthrow by a convulsion of nature. " No one," says Professor Jowett, 
in his critical edition of "The Dialogues of Plato," "knew better than Plato how to 
invent ' a noble lie '; " and he, unhesitatingly, pronounces the whole narrative a fabrication. 
The world, like a child, has readily, and for the most part, unhesitatingly accepted the 
tale of the Island of Atlantis." But to the critical editor, this reception furnishes only an 
illustration of popular credulity, showing how the chance word of a poet or philosopher 
may give rise to endless historical or religious speculation. In the " Critias," the legendary 
tale is unquestionably expanded into details of no possible historical significance or genuine 
antiquity. But it is not without reason, that men like Humboldt have recognised in the 
original legend the possible vestige of a widely spread tradition of earliest times. In this 
respect, at any rate, I purpose here to review it. 

It is to be noted that even in the time of Socrates, and indeed of the elder Critias, this 
Atlantis was referred to as the vague and inconsistent tradition of a remote past ; though 
not more inconsistent than much else which the cultured Greeks were accustomed to 
receive. Mr. Hyde Clarke, in an " Examination of the Legend," printed in the Transac- 
tions of the Royal Historical Society, arrives at the conclusion that Atlantis was the name 
of the King, rather than of the Dominion. But king and kingdom have ever been liable 
to be referred to under a common designation. According to the account in the " Timœus," 
Atlantis was a continent lying over against the pillars of Hei'cules, greater in extent than 
Libya and Asia combined ; the highway to other islands, and to a great ocean, of which 
the Mediterranean Sea was a mere harbour. But in the vagueness of all geographical 
knowledge in the days of Socrates and of Plato, this Atlantic domain is confused with 
some Iberian or western African power, which is stated to have been arrayed against 
Egypt, Hellas, and all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. The knowledge 
even of the western Mediterranean was then very imperfect; and, to the ancient Greek, 
the West was a region of vague mystery which sufficed for the localisation of all his 

Sec. II., 1886. 14. 


fondest imaginings. There, ou the far horizon, Homer pictured the Elysiau plain, where, 
under a serene sky, the favourites of Zeus enjoyed eternal felicity ; Hesiod assigned the 
abode of departed heroes to the Happy Isles beyond the western waters that engirdled 
Europe ; and Seneca foretold that that mysterious ocean would yet disclose an unknown 
world which it then kept concealed. To the ancients, Elysium ever lay beyond the 
s.etting sun ; and the Hesperia of the Greeks, as their geographical knowledge increased, 
continued to recede before them into the unexplored west. 

In the youth of all nations, the poet and historian are one ; and, according to the tale 
of the elder Critias, the legend of Atlantis was derived from a poetic chronicle of Solon, 
whom he pronounced to haA'e been one of the best of poets, as well as the wisest of men. 
The elements of oral tradition are aptly set forth in the dialogue which Plato puts into the 
mouth of Timseus of Locris, a Pythagorean philosopher. Solon is affirmed to haA^e told the 
tale to his personal friend, Dropidas, the great grandfather of Critias, who repeated it to his 
son ; and he, eighty years thereafter, in extreme old age, told it to his grandson, a boy of 
ten, whose narrative, reproduced in mature years, we are supposed to read in the dialogue 
of the "Timseus." Even these are but the later links in the traditionary catena. Solon 
himself visited Sais, a city of the Egyptian Delta, under the protection of the goddess, Neith 
or Athene. There, when in converse with the Egyptian priests, he learned, for the first 
time, rightly to appreciate how ignorant of antiquity he and his countrymen were. " O 
Solon, Solon," said an aged priest to him, " you Hellenes are ever young, and there is no 
old man who is a Hellene ; there is no opinion or tradition of knowledge among you 
which is white with age." Solon had told them the mythical tales of Phoroueus and 
Niobe; and of Deucalion and Pyrrha, and had attempted to reckon the interval by genera- 
tions since the great deluge. But the priest of Sais replied to this that such Hellenic 
annals were children's stories. Their memory went back but a little way, and recalled 
only the latest of the great convulsions of nature, by which revolutions in past ages 
had been wrought : " the memory of them is lost, because there was no written voice 
among you." And so the venerable priest undertook to tell him of the social life and 
condition of the primitive Athenians nine thousand years before. It is among the events 
of this older era that the overthrow of Atlantis is told — a story already " white with 
age " in. the time of Socrates, three thousand four hundred years ago. The warriors of 
Athens, in that elder time, were a distinct caste ; and when the vast power of Atlautis 
was marshalled against the Mediterranean nations, Athens bravely repelled the invader, 
and gave liberty to the nations whose safety had been imperilled ; but in the convulsion 
that followed, in which the island-continent was engulphed in the ocean, the warrior race 
of Athens also perished. 

The story, as it thus reaches us, is one of the vaguest of popular legends, and has been 
transmitted to modern times in the most obscure of all the writings of Plato. Nevertheless, 
there is nothing improbable in the idea that it rests on some historic basis, in which the 
tradition of the fall of an Iberian, or other aggressive power in the western Mediterranean, 
is mingled with other, and equally vague traditions of intercourse with a vast continent 
lying beyond the pillars of Hercules. Mr. Hyde Clarke, in his " Khita and Khita-Peruvian 
Epoch," draws attention to the ancient system of geography, alluded to by A^arious early 
writers, and notably mentioned by. Crates of Pergamos, B.C. 160, which treated of the 
Four "Worlds. This, he connects with the statement, by Mr. Greorge Smith, derived from 


the cuneiform interpretations, that Agu, an ancient king of Babylonia, called himself 
" King of the Four Eaces." He also, assigns to it a relation with others, including its Inca 
equivalent of Tavintinsuzu, the Empire of the Four Quarters of the World. But the extrava- 
gance of regal titles has been the same in widely diverse ages ; so that much caution is 
necessary before they can be made a safe basis for comprehensive generalisations. Four 
kings made war against five, in the vale of Siddim ; and when Lot was despoiled and taken 
captive by Chederlaomer, King of Elam, Tidal, King of Nations, and other regal allies, 
Abraham, with no further aid than that of his trained servants, born in his house, three 
hundred and eighteen in all, smote their combined hosts, and recovered the captives and 
the spoil. Here, at least, it is obvious that " the King of Nations " was somewhat on a par 
with one of the six vassal kings who rowed King Edgar on the River Dee. Certainly, 
within any early period of authentic history, the conceptions of the known world were 
reduced within narrow bounds ; and it would be a very comprehensive deduction from 
such slight premises as the legend supplies, to refer it to an age of accurate geographical 
knowledge in which the western hemisphere was known as one of four worlds, or con- 
tinents. When the Scottish poet, Dunbar, wrote of America, twenty years after the voyage 
of Columbus, he only knew of it as " the new-found isle." 

The opinion, universally favoured in the infancy of physical science, of the recurrence 
of convulsions of nature, whereby nations were revolutionised, and vast empires destroyed 
by fire, or engulphed in the ocean, revived with the theories of cataclysmic phenomena in 
the earlier speculations of modern geology ; and has even now its advocates among writers 
who have given little heed to the concurrent opinion of later scientific authorities. Among 
the most zealous advocates of the idea of a submerged Atlantic continent, the seat of a 
civilisation older than that of Europe, or of the old East, was the late Abbé Brasseur de 
Bourbourg. As an indefatigable and enthusiastic investigator, he occupies a place in the 
history of American archseology somewhat akin to that of his fellow-countryman, M 
Boucher de Perthes, in relation to the palfeoutological disclosures of Europe. He had the 
undoubted merit of first drawing the attention of the learned w^orld to the native tran- 
scripts of Maya records, the full value of which is only now being adequately recognised. 
His "Histoire des Nations Civilisées" aims at demonstrating from their religious myths 
and historical traditions the existence of a self-originated civilisation. In his subsequent 
" Quatre Letters sur le Mexique," the Abbé adopted, in the most literal form, the venerable 
legend of Atlantis, giving free rein to his imagination in some very fanciful speculations. 
He calls into being, " from the vasty deep," a submerged continent, or, rather, extension 
of the present America, stretching eastward, and including, as he deems probable, the 
Canary Islands, and other insular survivals of the imaginary Atlantis. Such speculations 
of unregulated zeal are unworthy of serious consideration. But it is not to be wondered at 
that the vague legend, so temptingly set forth in the " Timœus," should have kindled the 
imaginations of a class of theorists, who, like the enthusiastic Abbé, are restrained by 
no doubts suggested by scientific indications. So far from geology lending the slightest 
confirmation to the idea of an engulphed Atlantis, Professor Wyville Thomson has shown, 
in his " Depths of the Sea," that w^hile oscillations of the land have considerably modified 
the boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean, the geological age of its basin dates as far back, at least, 
as the later Secondary period. The study of its animal life, as revealed in dredging, 
strongly confirms this, disclosing an unbroken continuity of life on the Atlantic sea-bed 


from the Cretaceous period to the present time ; and, as Sir Charles Lyell has pointed out, 
in his " Principles of Greology," the entire evidence is adverse to the idea that the Canaries, 
the Madeiras, and the Azores, are surviving fragments of a A^ast submerged island, or 
continuous area of the adjacent continent. There are, indeed, undoubted indications of 
volcanic action ; but they furnish evidence of local upheaval, not of the submergence of 
extensive continental areas. 

But it is an easy, as well as a pleasant pastime, to evolve either a camel or a continent 
out of the depths of one's own inner consciousness. To such fanciful speculators, the lost 
Atlantis will ever offer a tempting- basis on which to found their unsubstantial creations. 
Mr. H. H. Bancroft, when alluding to the subject in his " Native Eaces of the Pacific 
States," refers to forty-two different works for notices and speculations concerning Atlantis. 
The latest advocacy of the idea of an actual island-coutineut of the mid- Atlantic, literally 
eugulphed in the ocean, within a period authentically embraced by historical tradition, is 
to be found in its most popular form in Mr. Ignatius Donnelly's "Atlantis, the Antedilu- 
vian World." By him, as by Abbé Brasseïir, the concurrent opinions of the highest 
authorities in science, that the main features of the Atlantic basin have undergone no 
change within any recent geological period, are wholly ignored. To those, therefore, who 
attach any value to scientific evidence, such speculations present no serious claims on 
their study. There is, indeed, an idea favoured by certain students of science, who carry the 
spirit of nationality into regions ordinarily regarded as lying outside of any sectional pride, 
that, geologically speaking, America is the older continent. It may at least be accepted as 
beyond dispute, that this continent and the great Atlantic basin intervening between it 
and Europe are alike of a geological antiquity which places the age of either entirely 
apart from all speculations affecting human history. But, such fancies are wholly super- 
fluous. The idea of intercourse between the Old and the New World prior to the fifteenth 
century, passed from the region of speculation to the domain of historical fact, when the 
publication of the " Antiquitates Americanœ" and the " G-ronland's Historiske Mindes- 
mœrker," by the antiquaries of Copenhagen, adduced contemporary authorities, and 
indisputably genuine runic inscriptions, in proof of the visits of the Northmen to Grreen- 
land and the mainland of North America, before the close of the tenth century. 

The idea of pre-Columbian intercourse between Europe and America, is thus no 
novelty. What we have anew to consider is, whether, in its wider aspect, it is more con- 
sistent with probability than the revived notion of a continent engulphed in the Atlantic 
Ocean ? The earliest students of American antiquities turned to Phœnicia, Egypt, or other 
old-world centres of early civilisation, for the source of Mexican, Peruvian, and Central 
American art or letters ; and, indeed, so long as the unity of the human race remained 
unquestioned, some theory of a common source for the races of the Old and the New World 
was inevitable. The idea, therefore, that the new world which Columbus revealed, 
was none other than the long lost Atlantis, is one that has probably suggested itself 
independently to many minds. Other references to America have been sought for in 
obscure allusions of Herodotus, Seneca, Pliny, and other classical writers, to islands or con- 
tinents in the ocean which extended beyond the western verge of the world as known to 
them. That such allusions should be vague, was inevitable. If they had any foundation 
in a knowledge by elder, generation s of this western hemisphere, the tradition had come 
down to them by the oral transmissions of centuries ; while their knowledge of their own 


eastern hemisphere was limited aud very imperfect. " The Cassiterides, from which tin is 
brought " — assumed to be the British Isles, — were kuown to Herodotus only as uncertainly 
located islands of the Atlantic of which he had no direct information. When Assur- 
yuchurabal, the ibuuder of the palace at Nimrud, conquered the people who lived on the 
banks of the Orontes from the confines of Hamath to the sea, the spoils obtained from them 
included one hundred talents of anna, or tin ; aud the same prized metal is repeatedly 
named in cuneiform inscriptions. The people trading in tiu, supposed to be identical 
with the Shirutana, were the merchants of the world before Tyre assumed her place as 
chief among the merchant princes of the sea. Yet already, in the time of Joshua, she was 
known as " the strong city, Tyre." "Great Zidon " also is so named, along with her, when 
Joshua defines the bounds of the tribe of Asher, extending to the sea coast ; and is celebrated 
by Homer for its works of art. The Seleucia, or Cilicia, of the G-reeks, was an attempted 
restoration of the ancient seaport of the Shirutana, which may have been an emporium of 
Khita merchandise ; as it was, undoubtedly, an important place of shipment for the 
Phœnicians in their overland trade from the valley of the Euphrates. One favoured 
etymology of Britain, as the name of the islands whence tin was brought, is barat-anna, 
assumed to have been applied to them by that ancient race of merchant princes — the 
Cassiterides being the later Aryan equivalent, G-r. naffffÎTfpn.^, Sansk. kastira. 

In primitive centuries, when ancient maritime races thus held supremacy in the 
Mediterranean Sea, A'oyages were undoubtedly made far into the Atlantic Ocean. The 
Phœnicians, who of all the nations settled on its shores, lay among the remotest from 
the outlying ocean, habitually traded with settlements on the Atlantic. They colonised 
the western shores of the Mediterranean at a remote period ; occupied numerous favour- 
able trading posts on the bays and headlands of the Euxine, and of Sicily and others of 
the largest islands ; and passing beyond the straits, eftected settlements along the coasts 
of Europe and Africa. According to Strabo (i. 48), they had factories beyond the pillars 
of Hercules in the period immediately succeeding the Trojan war, an era which yearly 
becomes for us less mythical, aud to which may be assigned the great development of 
the commercial prosperity of Tyre. The Phœnicians were then widening their tradin"- 
enterprise, and extending explorations so as to command the remotest available sources of 
wealth. The trade of Tarshish was for Phœnicia what that of the East has been to 
England in modern centuries. The Tartessiis, on which the Arabs of Spain subsequently 
conferred the name of the Guadalquivir, afforded ready access to a rich mining district ; 
and also formed the centre of valuable fisheries of tunny and murœna. By means of its 
navigable waters, along with those of the Guadina, Phœnician traders were able to 
penetrate far inland ; and the colonies established at their mouths furnished fresh starting 
points for adventurous exploration along the Atlantic seaboard. They derived much at 
least of the tiu, which was an important object of traffic, from the mines of north-west 
Spain, and from Cornwall ; though, doubtless, both the tin of the Cassiterides and amber 
from the Baltic were also transported by overland routes to the Adriatic and the mouth of 
the Rhone. It was a Phœnician expedition which, in the reign of Pharaoh Necho, B.C. 
611-605, after the decline of that great maritime power, accomplished the feat of circumnavi- 
gating Africa, by way of the Eed Sea. Hanuo, a Carthaginian, not only guided the Punic 
fleet round the parts of Libya which border on the Atlantic, but has been credited with 
reaching the Indian Ocean by the same route as that which Vasco de G-ama successfully 


followed in 149*7. The object of Hanno's expedition, as stated in the "Periplus," was to 
found Liby-Phœuician cities beyond the pillars of Hercules. How far south his voyage 
actually extended along the African coast is matter of conjecture, or of disputed interpre- 
tation, for the original work is lost. It is sufficient for our purpose to know that he did 
pursue the same route which led in a later century to the discovery of Brazil. Aristotle 
applies the name of " Antilla " to a Carthaginian discovery ; and Diodorus Siculus assigns 
to the Carthaginians the knowledge of an island in the ocean, the secret of which they 
reserved to themselves, as a refuge to which they could withdraw, should fate ever 
compell them to desert their African homes. It is far -from improbable, that we may 
identify this obscure island with one of the Azores, which lie 800 miles from the coast 
of Portugal. Neither Greek nor Roman writers make other reference to them ; but the 
discovery of numerous Carthaginian coins at Corvo, the extreme north-westerly island of 
the group, leaves little room to doubt that they were visited by Punic voyagers. So that 
there would be nothing extravagant in the assumption that we have here the "Antilla" 
mentioned by Aristotle. While the Carthaginian oligarchy ruled, naval adventure was 
still encouraged ; but the maritime era of the Mediterranean belongs to more ancient 
centuries. The Greeks were inferior in entei'prise to the Phceuiciaus; while the Romans 
were essentially unmaritime ; and the revival of the old adventurous spirit with the rise 
of the Venetian and Genoese republics, was due to the infusion of fresh blood from the 
great northern home of the sea-kings of the Baltic. 

The history of the ancient world is, for us, to a large extent, the history of civilisation 
among the nations around the Mediterranean Sea. Its name perpetuates the recognition 
of it from remote times as the great inland sea which kept apart, and yet united, in inter- 
course and exchange of experience and culture, the diverse branches of the human family 
settled on its shores. Of the history of those nations, we only know some later chapters. 
Disclosures of recent years have startled us with recovered glimpses of the Khita, or Hittites, 
as a great power centred between the Euphrates and the Orontes, but extending into Asia 
Minor, and about B.C. 1200 reaching westward to the Mgtia.n Sea. All but their name 
seemed to have perished ; and they were known only as one among diverse Canaanitish 
tribes, believed to have been displaced by the Hebrew inheritors of Palestine. Yet now, 
as Professor Curtius has pointed out, we begin to recognise that " one of the paths by which 
the art and civilisation of Babylonia and Assyria made their way to Greece, was along the 
great highroad which runs across Asia Minor ; " and which the projected railway route 
through the A'alley of the Euphrates seeks to reviA'e. For, as compared with Egypt, and 
the earliest nations of Eastern Asia, the Greeks were, indeed, children. It was to the 
Phoenicians that the ancients assigned the origin of navigation. Their skill as seamen was 
the subject of admiration even by the later Greeks, who owned themselves to be their 
pupils in seamanship, and called the pole-star, the Phœuician Star. Their naval commerce 
is set forth in glowing rhetoric by the prophet Ezekiel. " Tyrus, thou that art situate at 
the entry of the sea, a merchant of the people of many isles. Thy borders are in the 
midst of the seas. The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners. Thy wise men, 
O Tyrus, were thy pilots. All the ships of the sea, with their mariners, were in thee to 
occupy thy merchandise." But this was spoken in the last days of Tyre's supremacy. 

Looking back then into the dim dawn of actual history, with whatever fresh light 
recent discoveries have thrown upon it, this, at least, seems to claim recognition from us, 


that in that remote era the eastern Mediterraueau was a centre of maritime enterprise, such 
as had no equal among the nations of antiquity. Even in the decadence of Phoenicia, 
her maritime skill remained unmatched. Egypt and Palestine, vinder their greatest rulers, 
recognised her as mistress of the sea; and, as has been already noted, the circumnaviga- 
tion of Africa — which, when it was repeated in the fifteenth century, was considered an 
achievement fully equalling that of Columbus, —was accomplished by Phoenician mariners. 
Carthage inherited the enterprise of the mother country, but never equalled her achieve- 
ments. With the fall of Carthage, the Mediterranean became a mere Roman lake, over 
which the gallies of Rome sailed reluctantly with her armed hosts ; or coasting along 
shore, they " committed themselves to the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted 
up the mainsail to the winds ; " or again, " strake sail, and so were driven," after the 
blundering fashion described in the voyage of St. Paul. To such a people, the memories 
of Punic exploration or Phoenician enterprise, or the vague legends of an Atlantis beyond 
the engirdling ocean, were ecjually unavailing. The narrow sea between Gaul and Britain 
was barrier enough to daunt the boldest of them from willingly encountering the dangers 
of an expedition to what seemed to them literally another world. 

Seeing then, that the first steps in navigation were taken in an age lying beyond all 
memory, and that the oldest traditions assign its origin to the remarkable people who 
figure alike in early sacred and profane history — in Joshua and Ezekiel, in Dius and 
Menander of Ephesus, in the Homeric poems and in later Greek writings — as unequalled 
in their enterprise on the sea, what impediments existed in B.C. 1400 or any earlier 
century, that did not still exist in A.D. 1400, to render intercourse between the eastern 
and the western hemisphere impossible ? America was no further off from Tarshish in 
the golden age of Tyre, than in that of Henry the Navigator. With the aid of literary 
memorials of the race of sea-rovers who carved out ior themselves the Duchy of Nor- 
mandy from the domain of Charlemagne's heir, and spoiled the Angles and Saxons in 
their island home, we glean sufficient evidence to place the fact beyond all doubt that, 
after discovering and colonising Iceland and Greenland, they made their way southward 
to Labrador, and so, some way along the American coast. How far south they actixally 
explored the New England shores is matter for dispute, but that does not, in any degree, 
affect the present question. Certain it is that, about A.D. 1000, when St. Olaf was intro- 
ducing Christianity by a sitfficiently high-handed process into the Norse fatherland, 
Leif, the sou of Eric, the founder of the first Greenland colony, sailed from Ericsfiord, or 
other Greenland port, in quest of southern lands already reported as seen by Bjarni Herjulf- 
son, and did land on various parts of the North American coast. We know what the ships 
of those Norse rovers were : mere oared galleys, not larger than a good fishing smack, and 
far inferior to it in deck and rigging. For compass they had only the same old " Phoenician 
star," which, from the birth of navigation, had guided the mariners of the ancient world 
over the pathless deep. The track pursued by the Northmen, from Norway to Iceland, and 
so to Greenland and the Labrador coast, was, doubtless, then as now, beset by fogs, so that 
" neither sun nor stars in many days appeared :" and they stood much more in need of 
compass than the sailors of the " Santa Maria," the " Pinta " and the " Nina," the little fleet 
with which Cokrmbus sailed from the Andalusiau port of Palos, to his first discovered land 
of "Gnanahani," A'ariously identified among the islands of the American Archipelago. 
Yet, notwithstanding all the advantages of a southern latittide, with its clearer skies, we 


have to remember that the " Sauta Maria," the ouly decked vessel of the expedition, was 

stranded ; and the " Piuta" and " Nina," on which Columbus aud his party had to depend 

for their homeward voyage, were mere coasting craft, the one witli a crew of thirty, aud 

the other with tweuty-four men, with only latine sails. As to ihe compass, we perceive 

how little that availed, on recalling the fact that the Portugese admiral, Pedro Alvares de 

Cabrai, only eight years later, when following on the route of Vasco de Gama, was carried 

by the equatorial current so far out of his intended course that he found himself in sight 

of a strange land, in 10' S. lat., aud so accidentally discovered Brazil. It is thus obvious 

that the discovery of America would have followed as a result of the voyage of Vasco de 

Gama round the Cape, wholly independent of that of Columbus ; but so far from the 

compass furnishing any help, it could only have been influential to prevent it. What 

befell the Portuguese admiral of King Manoel, in A.D. 1500, was an experience that might 

just as readily have fallen to the lot of the Phoenician admiral of Pharaoh Necho in B. C. 

600, to the Punic Hanno, or other early navigators ; and may have repeatedly occurred to 

Mediterranean adventurers on the Atlantic in older centuries. On the news of de Cabral's 

discovery reaching Portugal, the King despatched the Florentine, Amerigo Vespucci, who 

ex^îlored the coast of South America, prepared a map of the uew-found world, and thereby 

wrested from Columbus the honour of giving his name to the continent which he discovered. 

When we turn from the myths and traditions of the Old World to those of the New, 

we find there traces that seem not unfairly interprétable into the American counterpart of 

the legend of Atlantis. The chief seat of the highest native American civilisation, is 

neither Mexico nor Peru, but Central America. The nations of the Maya stock, who 

inhabit Yucatan, Guatemala, and the neighbouring region, were peculiarly favourably 

situated ; and they appear to have achieved the greatest progress among the communities 

of Central America. They may not unfitly compare with the ancient dwellers in the valley 

of the Euphrates, from the grave mounds of whose buried cities we are now recovering 

the history of ages that had passed into obliAion before the Father of History assumed 

the pen. In actual centuries their monuments are not, indeed, so venerable ; but, for 

America's chroniclings, they are more prehistoric than the disclosures of Assyrian mounds. 

The cities of Central America were large and populous, and adorned with edifices, even 

now magnificent in their ruins. Still more, the Mayas were a lettered people, who, like 

the Egyptians, recorded in elaborate sculptured hieroglyphics the formula^ of history aud 

creed. Like them, too, they wrote and cyphered ; aud appear, indeed, to have employed a 

comprehensive system of computing time and recording dates, which, it cannot be doubted, 

will be sufficiently mastered to admit of the decypherment of their ancient records. The 

Mayas appear, soon after the Spanish Conquest, to have adopted the Roman alphabet, and 

employed it in recording their own historical traditions and religious myths, as well as in 

rendering into such written characters some of the ancient national documents. These 

versions of native myth and history survive, and attention is now being directed to them. 

The most recent contribution from this source is "The Annals of the Cakchiquels," by 

Dr. D. G. Briuton, a carefully edited and annotated translation of a native legal document 

or tUulo, in which, soon after the Conquest, the heir of an ancient Maya family set forth 

the evidence of his claim to the inheritance. Along with this may be noted another 

work of the same class : " Titre Généalogique des Seigneurs de Totonicapan. Traduit de 

l'Espagnol par M. de Charencey." These two works independently illustrate the same 


great national event. In one, a prince of the Cakchiqtiel nation, tells of the overthrow of 
the Quiche power by his people ; and in the other a Quiche seignior, one of the " Lords 
of Totonicapan," describes it from his own point of view. Both were of the same Maya 
stock, in what is now the State of Guatemala. Each nation had a capital adorned with 
temples and palaces, the splendour of which excited the wonder of the Spaniards; and 
both preserved traditions of the migration of their ancestors from Tula, a mythical land 
from which they came across the water. 

Such traditions of migration meet us on many sides. Captain Cook found among the 
mythological traditions of Tahiti, a vague legend of a ship that came out of the ocean, 
and seemed to be the dim record of ancestral intercourse with the outer world. So also, 
the Aztecs had the tradition of the golden age of Anahuac ; and of Quetzalcoatl, their 
instructor in agriculture, metallurgy and the arts of government. He was of fair com- 
plexion, with long dark hair, and flowing beard — all, characteristics foreign to their race. 
When his mission was completed, he set sail for the mysterious shores of Tlapallan ; and 
on the appearance of the ships of Cortes, the Spaniards were believed to have returned, 
with the divine instructor of their forefathers, from' the source of the rising sun. 

"What tradition hints at, physiology confirms. The races of America differ less in 
physical character from those of Asia, than do the races either of Africa or Europe. The 
American Indian is a Mongol ; and though marked diversities are traceable throughout 
the American continent, the range of variation is much less than in the eastern hemisphere. 
The western continent appears to have been peopled by repeated migrations and diverse 
routes ; but when we attempt to estimate any probable date for its primeA^al settlement, 
evidence wholly fails. Language proves elsewhere a safe guide. It has established 
beyond c^uestiou some long-forgotten relationship between the Aryans of India and Persia 
and those of Europe ; it connects the Finn and Lapp with their Asiatic forefathers ; it 
marks the independent origin of the Basques and their priority to the oldest Aryan 
intruders ; it links together widely diverse branches of the great Semitic family. Can 
language tell us of any such American affinities, or of traces of Old World congeners, in 
relation to either civilised Mayas and Peruvians, or to the forest and prairie races of the 
northern continent ? 

With the millions of America's coloured population of African blood and yet speaking 
Aryan languages, the American comparative philologist can scarcely miss the significance 
of the warning that linguistic and ethnical classifications by no means necessarily imply 
the same thing. Nevertheless, without overlooking this distinction, the ethnical signifi- 
cance of the evidence which comparative philology supplies cannot be slighted in any 
question relative to prehistoric relations between the Old World and the New. What 
then can philology tell us ? There is one answer, at the least, which the languages of 
America give, that fully accords with the legend, " white with age," that told of an island- 
continent in the Atlantic ocean with which the nations around the Mediterranean once 
held intercourse. None of them indicates any trace of immigration within the period 
of earliest authentic history. Those who attach significance to the references in the 
" Timseus " to political relations common to Atlantis and parts of Libya and Europe ; or 
who, on other grounds, look with favour on the idea of early intercourse between the 
Mediterranean and the western continent, have naturally turned to the Eskuara of the 
Basques. It is invariably recognised as the surviving representative of languages spoken 

Sec. II., 1876. 15. 


by the Allophyliœ of Europe before the intrusion of Aryans. The forms of its grammar 
differ widely from those of any Semitic, or Indo-European tongue, placing it in the same 
class with Mongol, East African, and American languages. Here, therefore, is a tempting 
glimpse of possible affinities ; and Professor Whitney, accordingly, remarks in his " Life 
and G-rowth of Languages," that the Basc^ue " forms a suitable stepping-stone from which 
to enter the peculiar linguistic domain of the New "World, since there is no other dialect 
of the Old World which so much resembles in structure the American languages." But 
this glimpse of possible relationship has proved, thus far, illusory. In their morphological 
character, certain American and Asiatic languages have a common agglutinative structure, 
which in the former is developed into their characteristic polysynthetic attribute. With 
this, the Eskuarian system of affixes corresponds. But beyond the general structure, there 
is no such evidence of affinity, either in the vocabularies or grammar, as direct affiliation 
might be expected to show. Elements common to the Anglo-American of the nineteenth 
century and the Sanskrit-speaking race beyond the Indus, in the era of Alexander of 
Macedon, are suggested at once by the grammatical structure of their languages ; whereas 
there is nothing in the resemblance between the Basque and any of the Norlh American 
languages that is not compatible with a " stepping-stone " from Asia to America by the 
islands of the Pacific. The most important of all the native American languages in their 
bearing on this interesting enquiry — those of Central America — are only now receiving 
adequate attention. Startling evidence may yet reward the diligence of students ; but, so 
far as language furnishes any clue to affinity of race, no American language thus far 
discloses such a relationship, as, for example, enabled Dr. Pritchard to suggest that the 
western people of Europe, to whom the Greeks gave the collective name of KiXrcu, and 
whose languages has been assumed by all previous ethnologists as furnishing evidence 
that they were precursors of the Aryan immigrants, in reality justified their classification 
in the same stock. 

But while thus far, the evidence of language is, at best, vague and indefinite in its 
response to the enquiry for proofs of relationship of the races of America to those of the 
Old World ; physiological comparisons lend no confirmation to the idea of an indigenous 
native race, with special affinities and adaptation to its peculiar environment, and with 
languages all of one class, the ramifications from a single native stem. So far as physical 
affinities can be relied upon, the man of America, in all his most characteristic racial 
diversities, is of Asiatic origin. His near approximation to the Asiatic Mongol is so 
manifest as to have led observers of widely different opinions in all other respects, to 
concur in classing both under the same great division : the Mongolian of Pickering, the 
American Mongolidte of Latham, the Mongoloid of Huxley. Professor Flower, in an able 
discussion of the varieties of the human species, addressed to the Anthropological Institute 
of Great Britain in 1885, unhesitatingly classes the Eskimo as the typical North Asiatic 
Mongol. In other American races he notes as distinctive features the characteristic form 
of the nasal bones, the well-developed superciliary ridge, and retreating forehead ; but 
the resemblance is so obvious in many other respects, that he finally includes them all 
among the members of the Mongolian type. If then, the American Mongol came 
originally from Asia, or sprung from the common stock of which the Asiatic Mongol is the 
typical representative, within any sixch period as even earliest Phoenician history would 
embrace, much more definite traces of affinity^are to be looked for in his language than 


mere correspoudeuce iu the agglutination characteristic of a very widely diffused class 
of speech. But we, thus far, look in vain for traces of a common genealogy such as those 
which, on the one hand, correlate the Semitic aud Aryan families of Asia and Europe 
with parent stocks of times anterior to history, and on the other, with ramifications of 
modern centuries. We have, moreover, to deal mainly with the languages of uncivilised 
races. To the continent north of the Gulf of Mexico, the grand civilising art of the 
metallurgist remained to the last unknown ; and in Mexico, it appears as a gift of recent 
origin, derived from Central America. The Asiatic origin of the art of Tubalcain has, 
indeed, been pretty generally assumed, both for Central and Southern America ; but by 
mere inference. In doing so, we are carried back to some mythic Quetzalcoatl : for neither 
the metallurgist, nor his art was introduced in recent centuries. Assuming, for the sake 
of argument, the dispersion of a common population of Asia and America, already familiar 
with the working of metals, aud with architecture, sculpture and other kind redarts, at a 
date coeval with the founding of Tyre, "the daughter of Sidon," what help does ' inguage 
give us in favour of such a postulate ? We have great language groups, such as the Huron- 
Iroquois, extending of old from the St. Lawrence to North Carolina; the Algonkin, from 
Hudson Bay to South Carolina ; the Dakotan from the Mississippi to the Rocky Moun- 
tains ; the Athabascan, from the Eskimo frontier, within the Arctic circle, to New Mexico ; 
and the Tinné family of languages west of the Eocky Mountains, from the Youkon and 
Mackenzie Rivers, far south on the Pacific slope. With those, as with the more cultured 
languages, or rather languages of the more cultured races, of Central and Southern 
America, elaborate comparisons have been made with vocabularies of Asiatic languages; 
but the results are, at best, vague. Curious points of agreement have, indeed, been 
demonstrated, inviting to further research ; but as yet the evidence of relationship mainly 
rests on correspondence in structure. The agglutinative suffixes are common to the 
Eskimo and many American Indian tongues. Dr. H. Rink describes the polysynthetic 
process in the Eskimo language as founded on radical words, to which additional or im- 
perfect words, or affixes, are attached ; aud on the inflexion, which, for transitive verbs, 
indicates subject as well as object, likewise by addition. But, while Professor Flower 
unhesitatingly characterises the Eskimo as belonging to the typical North Asiatic Mongols ; 
he, at the same time, speaks of them as almost as perfectly isolated iu their Arctic home 
" as an island population." Nevertheless, the same structure is common to their language 
and to those of the great North American families already named. All alike present, in an 
exaggerated form, the characteristic structure of the Ural-Altaic or Turanian group of 
Asiatic languages. 

Race-type corresi^onds iu the Old and New World. A comparison of languages by 
means of the vocabularies of the two continents, yields no such correspondence. All the 
more, therefore, is the American student of comparative philology stimulated to Investigate 
the significance of the polysynthetic characteristic found to pertain to so many — though by 
no meaus to all,— of the languages of this continent. The relationship which it suggests to 
the agglutinative languages of Asia, furnishes a subject of investigation not less interesting 
to American students, alike of the science of language, and of the whole comprehensive 
questions which anthropology embraces, than the relations of the Romance languages of 
Europe to the parent Latin ; or of Latin itself, and all the Aryan languages, ancient and 
modern, not only to Sanskrit and Zend, but to the indeterminate stock which furnished 


the parent roots, the grammatical forms, and that whole class of words still recognisable 
as the common property of the whole Aryan family. Sanskrit was a dead language three 
thousand years ago ; the English language, as such, cannot claim to have endured much 
more than foiirteen centuries, yet both partake of the same common property of numerals 
and familiar terms existing under certain modifications in Sanskrit, Grreek, Latin, Slavonic, 
Celtic, German, Anglo-Saxon, and in all the Romance languages. Thus far the American 
philologist has been unable to show any such genealogical relationship pervading the 
native languages ; or to recoA'er specific evidence of affinities to languages, and so to races 
of other continents. There are, indeed, linguistic families, such as some already referred 
to, indicating a common descent among widely dispersed tribes ; but this has its chief 
interest in relation to another aspect of the question. 

Professor Max Miiller has drawn attention to the tendency of the languages of America 
towards an endless mirltiplication of distinct dialects. Those again have been grouped by 
the synthetic process of Hervas into eleven families — seven for the northern continent, 
and four for South America. But we are as yet only on the threshold of this important 
branch of research. In two papers contributed by M. Lucien Adam to the " Congrès Inter- 
national des Americanistes," he gives the results of a careful examination of sixteen 
languages of North and Soiith America ; and arrives at the conclusion that they belong to 
a number of independent families as essentially distinct as they would have been " had 
there been primitively several human pairs." Dr. Brinton, one of the highest authorities 
on any question connected with native American languages, contributed a paper to the 
"American Antiquarian" (Jan. 1886), "On the study of the Nahuatl language." This 
language, which is popularly known as Aztec, he strongly commends to the study of 
American philologists. It is one of the most completely organised of Indian languages, 
has a literature of considerable extent and variety, and is still in use by upwards of half 
a million of people. It is from this area, southward through Central America, and in the 
great seat of native South American civilisation, that we can alone hope to recover direct 
evidence of ancient intercourse between the Old and the New World. But, here again, 
the complexities of language seem to grow apace. In Dr. Brinton's " Notes on the Mangue, 
an extinct language formerly spoken in Nicaragua," he states, as a result of his later 
studies, that the belief which he once entertained of some possible connection between 
this dialect and the Amyaraof Peru, has not been confirmed on further examination. This, 
therefore, tends to sustain the prevailing opinion of scholars that there is no direct affilia- 
tion between the languages of North and South America. All this is suggestive either of 
an idea, such as that which Agassiz favoured in his system of natural provinces of the 
animal world, in relation to different types of man, on which he based the conclusion that 
the diverse varieties of American man originated in various centres, and had been distribu- 
ted from them over the entire continent ; or we must assume immigration from different 
foreign centres. Accepting the latter as the more tenable proposition, I long ago sketched 
a scheme of immigration such as seemed to harmonise with the suggestive, though imper- 
fect evidence. This assumed the earliest current of population, in its progress from a sup- 
posed Asiatic cradle-land, to have spread through the islands of the Pacific, and reached 
the South American continent before any excess of population had diffused itself into the 
inhospitable northern steppes of Asia. By an Atlantic oceanic migration, another wave 
of population occupied the Canaries, Madeiras, and the Azores, and so passed to the Antilles, 


Central America, and probably by the Cape Yerdes, or, gtiided by the more southern equa- 
torial current, to Brazil. Latest of all, Behring Strait and the North Pacific islands may 
have become the highway for a migration by which certain striking diversities among 
nations of the northern continent, including the conquerors of the Mexican plateau, are 
most easily accounted for. 

It is not necessary to include in the question here discussed, the more comprehensive 
one of the existence of man in America contemporary with the great extinct animals of 
the Quaternary Period ; though the acknowledged affinities of Asiatic and American anthro- 
pology, taken in connection with the remoteness of any assignable period for migration 
from Asia to the American continent, renders it far from improbable that the latest oscilla- 
tions of land may here also have exercised an influence. The present soundings of 
Behring Strait, and the bed of the sea extending southward to the Aleutian Islands, 
entirely accord with the idea of a former continuity of land between Asia and America. 
The idea to which the speculations of Darwin, founded on his observations during the 
voyage of the " Beagle," gave rise, of a continuous subsidence of the Pacific Ocean, also 
favoured the probability of greater insular facilities for trans-oceanic migration at the sup- 
posed period of the peopling of America from Asia. But more recent explorations, and 
especially those connected with the " Challenger" expedition, fail to confirm the old theory 
of the origin of the coral islands of the Pacific; and in any view of the case, we must be 
content to study the history of existing races, alike of Europe and America, apart from 
questions relating to palœocosmic man. If the vague legend of the lost Atlantis embodies 
any trace of remotest historical tradition, it belongs to a modern era compared with the 
men eitln r of the European drift, or of the post-glacial deposits of New Jersey and the auri- 
ferous gravels of California. "When resort is had to comparative philology, it is manifest 
that we must be content to deal with a more recent era than contemporaries of the 
Mastodon, and their congeners of Europe's Mammoth and Reindeer Periods, notwith- 
standing the fact that the modern representatives of the later have been sought within 
our own Arctic circle. 

Such evidence as a comparison of languages thus far supplies, lends more countenance 
to the idea of migration through the islands of the Pacific, than to such a route from the 
Mediterranean as is implied in any significance attached to the legend of Atlantis. As to 
the Behring Strait route, present ethnology and philology point rather to an overflow 
of Arctic American population into Asia. Grallatin was the first to draw attention to 
certain analogies in the structure of Polynesian and American languages, as deserving of 
investigation ; and pointed out the peculiar mode of expressing the tense, mood, and voice 
of the verb, by affixed particles, and the value given to place over time, as indicated in the 
predominant locative verbal form. Such are to be looked for with greater probability 
among the languages of South America ; but the substitution of affixed particles for inflec- 
tions, esi^ecially in expressing the direction of action in relation to the speaker, is common 
to the Polynesian and the Oregon languages, and has analogies in the Cherokee. The dis- 
tinction between the inclusive and exclusive pronoun v;e, according as it means " you 
and I," or " they and I," etc., is as characteristic of the Maori as of the Ojibway. Other 
observations of more recent date have still further tended to countenance the recognition 
of elements common to the languages of Polynesia and America ; and so to point to 
migration by the Pacific to the western continent. 


But this idea of a migration through the islands of the Pacific receives curious confir- 
^mation from another source. In an ingenious paper on " the Origin of Primitive Money," ^ 
originally read at the meeting of the British Association ai Montreal in 1884, Mr. Horatio 
Hale shovFs that there is good reason for believing that the most ancient currency 
in China, consisted of disks and slips of tortoise shell. The fact is stated in the great 
Chinese encyclopaedia of the Emperor Kang-he, who reigned in the early years of the 
eighteenth century ; and the Chinese annalists assert that metal coins have been in use 
from the time of Fuh-he, about B.C. 2950. "Without attempting to determine the specific 
accuracy of Chinese chronology, it is sufiicient to note here that the most ancient form of 
Chinese copper cash is the disk, perforated veith a square hole, so as to admit of the coins 
being strung together. This, which corresponds with the large perforated shell-disks, or 
native currency of the Indians of California, and with many specimens recovered from 
ancient mounds, Mr. Hale regards as the later imitation iu metal of the original Chinese 
shell money. A similar shell-currency, as he shows, is iu use among many islanders of the 
Pacific ; and he traces it from the Loo-Choo islands, across the vast archipelago, through 
many island groups, to California ; and then overland, with the aid of numerous disclosures 
from ancient mounds, to the Atlantic coast, where the Indians of Long Island were long- 
noted for its manu.facture in the later form of wampum. "The natives of Micronesia," 
says Mr. Hale, who, it will be remembered, records the results of personal observation, 
"in character, usages, and language, resemble to a certain extent the nations of the 
southern and eastern Pacific groups, which are included in the designation of Polynesia, 
but with some striking difiereuces, which careful observers have ascribed, with great 
probability, to influences from north-eastern Asia. They are noted for their skill in 
navigation. They have well-rigged vessels, exceeding sixty feet in length. They sail by 
the stars, and are accustomed to take long voyages." To such voyagers, the Pacific presents 
no more formidable impediments to oceanic enterprise than did the Atlantic to the North- 
men of the tenth century. 

Throughout the same archipelago, modern exploration is rendering us familiar with 
examples of remarkable stone structures and colossal sculptured figures, such as those 
from Easter Island now iu the British Museitm. Rixde as they undoubtedly are, they are 
hio'hly suggestive of an affinity to the megalithic sculptures and cyclopean masonry of 
Peru. Monuments of this class were noted long ago by Captain Beechy, on some of the 
islands nearest the coasts of Chili and Peru. Since then the megalithic area has been 
extended by their discovery in other island groups lying towards the continent of Asia. 

Another subsidiary class of evidence of a different kind, long since noted by me, gives 
additional confirmation to this recovered trail of ancient migration through the islands of the 
Pacific to the American continent. The practice to which the Flathead Indians of Oregon 
and British Columbia owe their name, the compressed skulls from Peruvian cemeteries 
and the widely-difiused evidence of the prevalence of artificial malformation among many 
native American tribes, combine to indicate it as one of the most characteristic American 
customs. Yet the evidence is abundant which shows not only that it was a practice 
among rude Asiatic Mongol tribes of primitive centuries ; but that it was still in use 
amonc: the Huns and Avars, who contended with the Barbarians from the Baltic for the 

Popular Science Monthly, xxviii. 296. 


spoils of the decaying Roman empire. Nor was it merely common to tribes of both con- 
tinents. It fvirnishes another link in the chain of evidence of ancient migration from 
Asia to America ; as is proved by its practice in some of the islands of the Pacific, as 
described by Dr. Pickering, and since abundantly confirmed by the forms of Kanaka 
skulls. By following up the traces of this strange custom, perpetuated among the tribes 
on the Pacific coasts both of Northern and Southern America to our own day, we thus once 
more retrace the steps of ancient wanderers and are carried back to centuries, when the 
Macrocephali of the Euxine attracted the observant eye of Hippocrates, and became 
familiar to Strabo, Pliny, and Pomponius Mela. 

But the wanderings among the insular races of the Pacific are not limited to such 
remote eras. Later changes are also recorded by other evidence. The direct relationship 
of existing Polynesian languages is not Mongol but Malay ; but this is the intrusive 
element of a time long subsequent to the growth of characteristic features which still 
perpetuate traces of Polynesian and American affinities. The number and diversity of the 
languages of this continent, and their essentially native vocabularies, prove that the latter 
have been in process of development from a remote period, free from contact with 
languages which appear to have been still modelling themselves according to the same 
plan of thought in many scattered islands of the Pacific. 

Attention has been given in previous papers to the remarkable amount of culture in 
the languages of some of the barbarous nations of North America, traceable, as I conceive, 
to the important part which the orator played in their deliberative assemblies ; but in 
any attempt to recover the history of the new world by the aid of philology we must 
deal with the langiaages of its civilised races. Among those, the Nahuatl or Aztec has 
been already referred to ; and the Mayas have been noted as a lettered people whose 
hieroglyphic records, and later transcripts of writen documents, are now the object of 
intelligent investigation both by European and American philologists. The Maya language 
strikingly contrasts, in its soft, A'ocalic forms, with the languages of nations immediately 
to the north of its native area. It is that which, according to Stephens, was affirmed to 
be still spoken by a living race in a region beyond the Great Sierra, extending to Yucatan 
and the Mexican Gulf Others among the cultured native languages which seem to 
invite special study are the Aymara, and the Quichua. Of these, the latter was the 
classical language of South America, wherein, according to its native historians, the 
Peruvian chroniclers and poets incorporated the national legends. It may be described as 
having occupied a place under Inca rule analogous to that of the Norman French in 
England from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. To those ancient, cultured languages 
of the seats of an indigenous civilisation on this continent, and with a literature of their 
own, attention is now happily directed. The students of American ethnology begin to 
realise that the buried mounds of Assyria are not richer in discoveries relative to the 
ancient history of Asia, than are the monuments, the hieroglyphic records, and the 
languages of Central America and Pern, in relation to a native social life which long 
flourished as an indigenous product of their own West. To this occidental Assyria we 
have to look for an answer to many incjuiries, especially interesting to ourselves as 
occupants of the western continent. If its architecture and sculpture, and the hiero- 
glyphic records with which they are enriched, are modifications of a prehistoric Asiatic 
civilisation, it is here that the evidence is to be looked for ; and if the arts of the sculptor 


and architect were brought to this continent by wanderers frona an Asiatic fatherland, 
then those of the potter and of the metallnrgist will also prove to be an inheritance from 
the old Asiatic hive of the nations. 

From the evidence thus far adduced it appears that ethnically the American is 
Mongol, and by the agglutinative element his language may be classed as Turanian. The 
Finnic hypothesis of Rask, and the melanochroic Metis of Huxley, alike pertain to a prehis- 
toric era of Europe of which the Finns and the Basques are assumed to be survivals ; and 
to that elder era, rather than to any date within the remotest limits of authentic history, 
the languages of America seem to refer us in any search for a common origin with those 
of the eastern hemisj^here. But a zealous comparative philologist, already referred to, 
has sought for linguistic traces of relationship between the Old and the New World 
which, if confirmed, would better harmonise with the traditions of intercourse between 
the maritime nations of the eastern Mediterranean and a continent lying outside of the 
pillars of Hercules. In these investigations he aims at determining the relations of the 
Aztec or Nahuatl culture and language to those of Asia. Humboldt long ago claimed for 
much of the former an old world derivation. It seems premature to attempt to deduce any 
comprehensive results from the meagre data thus far gathered. But the author of the "The 
Khita and Khita-Peruvian Epoch," in tracing the progress of his Sumerian race, assigns 
an interval of four thousand years since their settlement in Babylonia and India. In like 
manner, on the assumption of their migration from a common Asiatic centre, which the 
division of Western and Eastern Sumerian in pronouns and other details is thought to 
indicate, Peru it is conceived, may have been reached by a migratory wave of earlier 
movement, from four to five thousand years ago. Mr. Hyde Clarke indead conceives that 
it is quite within compass that the same great wave of migration which passed over 
India and Babylonia, continued to propagate its centrifugal force, and that by its means 
Peru was reached within the last three thousand years. But, whatever intercourse may 
possibly have been carried on, at such early dates, between the Old and the New World, 
it must be obvious, on mature reflection, that so recent a date for the peopling of South 
America from Asia is as little reconcilable with the very remote traces of linguistic aifinity 
thus far adduced, as it is with any fancied relationship with a lost Atlantis of the elder 
world. The enduring affinities of long-parted languages of the Old World tell a very 
different tale. .With the comparative philologist, as with the archœologist, time is more 
and more coming to be recognised as an all-important factor. 

But, leaving the estimate of centuries out of consideration, in the researches into the 
origin of the peculiar native civilisation oi America here referred to, the recently 
deciphered Akkad is accepted as the typical language of the Sumerian class. This is 
assumed to have started from High Asia, and to have passed on to Babylonia; while 
another branch diffused itself by India and ludo-China, and thence, by way of the 
islands of the Pacific, reached America. Hence, in an illustrative table of Sumerian words 
arranged under four heads, as Western, Indo-Chinese, Peruvian, and Mexican, etc., it is 
noted that " while in some cases a root may be traced throughout, it will be seen that more 
commonly the Western and American roots, or types, cross in the Indo-Chinese region." 
But another and older influence, related to the Agaw of the Nile region, is also traced in 
the G-uaraui, Omagua, and other languages of South America, indicating evidences of more 
remote relations with the Old World, and with the African continent. This is supposed 


to have been displaced by a Sumerian migration by which the Ayraara domination was 
established in Peru, and the Maya element introdviced into Yucatan. Those movements 
are assumed to belong to an era of civilisation, during which the maritime enterprise 
of the Pacific may have been carried on upon a scale unknown to the most adventurous of 
modern Malay navigators, notwithstanding the essentially maritime character by which 
the race is still distingiiished. All this implies that the highway to the Pacific was 
familiar to both continents ; and hence a second migration is recognised, in certain 
linguistic relations, between the Siamese and other languages of Indo-China, and the 
Quichua and Aztec of Peru and Mexico. But the problem of the origin of the races of 
this continent, and of the soiirces of its native civilisation, is still in that preliminary 
stage in which the accumulation of materials on which future induction may be based is 
of more value than the most comprehensive generalisations. 

The vastness of the American twin continents, with their Atlantic and Pacific seaboard 
reaching from the Arctic well nigh to the Antartic circle, furnishes a tempting stimulus to 
theories of migration ou the gi'andest scale, and to the assumption of comprehensive 
schemes of international relations in prehistoric centuries. But they are not more sub- 
stantial than the old legend of Atlantis. The best that can be said of them is that here, at 
any rate, are lines of research in the prosecution of which American ethnologists may 
employ their learning and acumen encouraged by the hope of yet revealing a past not less 
marvellous, and possessing a more personal interest, than all which geology has recovered 
from the testimony of the rocks. But before such can be more than dimly guessed at, the 
patient diligence of many students will be needed to accumulate the needful materials. 
Nor can we afford to delay the task. The Narraganset Bible, the work of Eliot, the 
apostle of the Indians, is the memorial of a race that has perished ; and other nations and 
languages have disappeared since his day, with no such invaluable record of their 
character. Mr. Horatio Hale published in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical 
Society, in 1883, a paper on the " Tutelo Tribe and Language," derived from Nikonha, the 
last survivor of a once powerful tribe of North Carolina. To Dr. Brinton, we owe the 
recent valuable notes on the Mangue, another extinct language. On our own North- 
western prairies the buffalo has disappeared, and the Indian must follow. On all hands, 
we are called upon to work diligently while it is yet time, in order to accumulate the 
materials oiit of which the history of this western hemisphere is to be evolved. 

It accords with the idea of Polynesian genealogy, that indications suggestive of 
grammatical affinity have been noted in languages of South America, in their mode of 
expi'essing the tense of the verb ; in the formation of causative, reciprocal, potential and 
locative verbs by affixes ; and in the general system of compound word structure. The 
incorporation of the particle with the verbal root, appears to embody the germ of the more 
comprehensive American holophrasms. Such affinities point to others more markedly 
Asiatic ; for analogies recognised between the languages of the Deccan and those of the 
Polynesian group in relation to the determinative significance of the formative particles 
on the verbal root, reappear in some of the characteristic peculiarities of American 
languages. On this subject, the Hev. Richard Q-arnett remarked, in a communication to the 
Philological Society, that most of the native American languages of which we have definite 
information, bear a general analogy alike to the Polynesian family and to the languages 
of the Deccan, in their methods of distinguishing the various modifications of time ; and 

Sec. II., 1886. 16. 


h.e adds : " We may venture to afBrm, in general terms, that a South American verb is 
constructed precisely as those in the Tamul and other languages of Southern India ; con- 
sisting, like them, of a verbal root, a second element defining the time of the action, and 
a third denoting the subject or person." 

So far it becomes apparent that the evidence, derived alike from language and from 
other sources, points to the isolation of the American continent through imnumbered 
ages. The legend of the lost Atlantis is true in this, if in nothing else, that it relegates 
the knowledge of the world beyond the Atlantic, by the early maritime races of the Medi- 
terranean, to a time of hoar antiquity in the age of Socrates, or even of Solon. But at a 
greatly later date the Caribbean Sea was scarcely more a mystery to the dwellers on the 
shores of the ^gean, than was the Baltic or the North Sea. Herodotus, indeed, expressly 
affirms his disbelief in " a river, called by the barbarians, Eridanus, which flows into a 
northern sea, and from which there is a report that amber is wont to come." Never- 
theless, we learn from him of Greek traders exchanging personal ornaments and woven 
stuffs for the furs and amber of the North. They ascended the Dneiper as far as Gerrhos, 
a trading post, forty da,js' journey inland ; and the tokens of their presence there have 
been recovered in modern times. Not only hoards of Greek coins, minted in the fifth 
century B.C., but older, golden gryphons of Assyrian workmanship have been recovered 
during the present century, near Bromberg in Posen, and at Kiev on the Dneiper. As 
also, far out in the Atlantic, on the most northern island of the Azores, hoards of Cartha- 
ginian coins have revealed the traces of the old Punic A^oyager there ; similar evidence 
may yet be recovered in Central America, if more ancient voyagers from Sidon, Tyre, or 
Seleucia, did find their way in some old forgotten century to lands that lay beyond the 
waste of waters, which seemed to engirdle their world. 

But also the carving of names and dates, and other graphic memorials of the passing 
wayfarer, is no mere modern custom. When the sites of the Greenland settlements of the 
Northmen of the tenth century were discovered in our own day, the runic inscriptions left 
no room for doubt as to their former presence there. By like evidence we learn of them 
in southern lauds, from their runes still legible on the marble lion of the Piraeus, since 
transported to its later site in the arsenal of Venice. At Maes How in Orkney, in St. 
Molio's Cave on the Clyde, at Kirk Michael in the Isle of Man ; and on many a rock and 
stone by the Baltic, the sea-rovers from the north have left enduring evidence of their 
wanderings. So was it with the Roman. From the Moray Frith to the Libyan desert, 
and from the Iberian shore to the Syrian valleys, sepulchral, legionary, and mythological 
inscriptions, as well as coins, medals, pottery and works of art, mark the footprints of 
the masters of the world. In Italy itself Perusinian, Eugubine, Etruscan, and Greek 
inscriptions tell the story of a succession of races in that beautiful peninsula. It was 
the same, through all the centuries of Hellenic intellectual rule, back to the unrivalled 
inscription at Abbu Simbel. This was cut, says Dr. Isaac Taylor,' " when what we 
call Greek history can hardly be said to have commenced : two hundred years before 
Herodotus, the Father of History, had composed his work ; a century before Athens began 
to rise to power. More ancient even than the epoch assigned to Solon, Thaïes, and the 
seven wise men of Greece : it must be placed in the half-legendary period at which the laws 

1 The Alphabet, ii. 10. 


of Dracon are said to have beeu enacted" — the period, in fact, from which the legend 
of Atlantis was professedly derived. Yet there the graven characters are, with their 
authentic bit of history, legible to this day, of the son of Theokles, sailing with his 
company "up the Nile, when King Psamatichos came to Elephantina." So it is with 
Egyptians, Assyrians, Phœuiciaus, and with the strange . forgotten Hittites, whose vast 
empire has vanished out of the world's memory. The lion of the Pirœus, with its graven 
runes, is a thing of yesterday, compared with the inscribed lion from Marash, covered 
with Hittite hieroglyphs, now in the museum at Constantinople ; for the Hittite capital, 
Ketesh, was captured by the Egyptian Sethos, B.C. 1340. All but the name of this once 
powerful people seemed to have perished. Yet the inscribed stones, by which they 
were to be restored to their place in history, remained, awaiting the interpretation of an 
enlightened age. 

If then, traces of the lost Atlantis are ever to be recovered in the New World, it must 
be by some indubitable memorial of a like kind. Old as the legend may be, it is seen that 
literal graphic memorials — Assyrian, Phœnician, Khita, Egyptian and G-reek — still remain 
to tell of times even beyond the epoch assigned to Solon. The antiquaries of New England 
have sought in vain for runic memorials of the Northmen of the tenth century ; and the 
diligence of less trustworthy explorers for traces of ancient records has been stimulated 
to excess, throughout the northern continent, with results little more creditable to their 
honesty than their judgment. What some chance disclosure may yet reveal, who can 
presume to guess ? But thus far it appears to be improbable that within the continental 
area north of the Grulf of Mexico, evidences of the presence of Phœnician, Greek, or 
other ancient historic race will now be found. Certain it is that, whatever transient 
visits may have beeu paid to North America by representatives of Old World progress, no 
long-matured civilisation, whether of native or foreign origin, has existed here. Through 
all the centiiries of which definite history has anything to tell, it has remained a world 
apart, secure in its isolation, with languages, arts, and customs essentially native in 
character. The nations of the Maya stock appear to have made the gratest progress 
in civilisation of all the communities of Central America. They dwelt in cities adorned 
with costly structures dedicated to the purposes of religion and the state ; and had 
political government, and forms of social organisation, to all appearance, the slow growth 
of many generations. They had, also, a well-matured system of chronology ; and have left 
behind them graven and written records, analogous to those of ancient Egypt, which still 
await decypherment. Whether this culture was purely of native growth, or had its origin 
from the germs of an Old World civilisation, can only be determined when its secrets have 
been fully mastered. The region is even now very partially explored. The students of 
American ethnology and archteology are only awakening to some adequate sense of its 
importance. But here appears to have been the centre of a native American civilisation 
whence light was slowly radiating on either hand, before the vandals of the Spanish 
Conquest quenched it in blood. The civilisation of Mexico was but a borrowed reflex of 
that of Central America ; and its picture- writing is a very inferior effort imitation of the 
ideography of the Maya hieroglyphics. 

A tendency manifests itself anew to trace the metallurgy, the letters, the astronomical 
science, and whatever else marks the quickening into intellectual life of this American 
leading race, to an Asiatic or other Old World origin. The point, however, is by no means 


established ; uor can any reason be shown why the human intellect might not be started 
on the same course in Central America, as in Mesopotamia or the valley of the Nile. If we 
assume the primary settlement of Central America by expeditions systematically carried 
on under the auspices of some ancient maritime power of the Mediterranean, or of an early 
seat of Iberian or Libyan ci^àlisation, then they would, undoubtedly, transplant the arts 
of their old home to the New World. But, on the more probable supposition of wanderers, 
either by the Atlantic or the Pacific, being landed on its shores, and becoming the unde- 
signed settlers of the continent, it is otherwise ; and the probabilities are still further dim- 
inished, if we conceive of ocean wanderers, from island to island of the Pacific, at length 
reaching the shores of the remote continent after intervening generations had lost the 
traditions of their Asiatic fatherland. The condition of metallurgy as practised by the 
Mexicans and Peruvians exhibited none of the matured phases of an inheritance from remote 
generations, but partook rather of the tentative characteristics of immature native art. 

We are prone to overestimate the facilities by which the arts of civilisation may be 
transplanted to remote regions. It is not greatly more difficult to conceive of the redis- 
covery of some of the essential elements of human progress than to believe in the trans- 
ference of them from the eastern to the western hemisphere by wanderers from either 
Europe or Asia. Take the average type of emigrants, such as are annually landed by 
thousands at New York. They come from the most civilised countries of Europe. Yet, 
how few among them all could be relied upon for any such intelligent comprehension 
of metallurgy, if left entirly to their own resources, as to be found able to turn the 
mineral wealth of their new home to practical account ; or for astronomical science, such 
as would enable them to construct a calendar, and start afresh a systematic chronology. 
As to letters, the picture-writing of the Aztecs was the same iu principle as the rude art of 
the northern Indians ; and I cannot conceive of any reason for rejecting the assumption of 
its native origin as an intellectual triumph achieved by the labours of many generations. 
Every step is still traceable, from the rude picturings on the Indian's grave-post or rock- 
inscription, to the systematic ideographs of Palenque or Copan. Hieroglyphics, as the 
natural outgrowth of pictorial representation, must always have a general family likeness ; 
but all attempts to connect the civilisation of Central and Southern Amarica with that of 
Egypt fail, so soon as a comparison is instituted between the Egyptian calendar and any 
of the native American systems of recording dates and computing time. The vague year 
of 365 days, and the corrected solar year, with the great Sothic Cycle of 1460 years, so inti- 
mately interwoven with the religious system and historical chronology of the Egyptians, 
abundantly prove the correction of the Egyptian calender by accumulated experience, at a 
date long anterior to the resort of the Greek astronomer, Thaïes, to Egypt. At the close of 
the fifteenth century, the Aztecs had learned to correct their calendar to solar time ; but their 
cycle was one of only fifty-two years. The Peruvians also had their recurrent religious 
festivals, connected with the adjustment of their sacred calendar to solar time ; but the 
geographical position of Peru, with Quito, its holy city, lying immediately under the 
equator, greatly simplified the process by which they regulated their religious festivals 
by the solstices and equinoxes. The facilities which their equatorial position afforded for 
determining the few indispensable periods in their calendar were, indeed, a doubtful 
advantage, for they remoA'ed all stimulus to progress. The Mexican calendar is the most 
remarkable evidence of the civilisation attained by that people. Humboldt unhesitatingly 


connected it with the ancient science of south-eastern Asia. Bnt instead of its exhibiting- 
any such inevitable accumulation of error as that which gave so peculiar a character to 
the historical chronology of the Egyptians, its computation differed less from true solar 
time than the vxnreformed Julian calendar which the Spaniards had inherited from pagan 
Eome. But though this suiBces to show that the civilisation of Mexico was of no great 
antiquity, it only accords with other eA'idence of its borrowed character. The Mexicans 
stood in the same relation to Central America as the Northern Barbarians of the third and 
fourth century did to Italy ; and the intruding Spaniard nipped their germ of borrowed civi- 
lisation in the bud. So long as the search for evidences either of a native or intruded 
civilisation is limited to the northern continent of America, it is equivalent to an attempt 
to recover the traces of Greek and Eoman civilisation in transalpine Europe. The Mexican 
calendar stone is no more than the counterpart of some stray Greek or Eoman tablet 
beyond the Alps ; or rather, perhaps, of some Maesogothic product of borrowed art. 

We must await then, the intelligent exploration of Central America, before any 
certain conclusion can be arrived at relative to the story of the New World's unknown 
past. On the sculptured tablets of Palenque, Quiriqua, Chichenitza, and Uxmal, and 
on the collossal statues at Copan and other ancient sites, are numerous inscriptions 
awaiting the decypherment of the future Young or Champolion of American paleo- 
graphy. The whole region was once in occupation by a lettered race, having the 
same written characters and a common civilisation. If they learned of some apostle 
from the Mediterranean the grand invention of letters, which, as Bacon says, " as 
ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make ages so distant to participate of 
the wisdom, illuminations and inventions, the one of the other ; " then, we may confidently 
anticipate the recovery of some graphic memorial of the messenger, confirming the 
oft-recurring traditions of bearded white men who came from beyond the sea, intro- 
duced the arts of civilisation, and were reverenced as divine benefactors. It cannot be that 
Egyptian, Assyrian, Hittite, Phœnician, and other most ancient races, are still perpetuated 
by so many traces of their wanderings in the Old World ; that the Northmen's graphic 
runes have placed beyond all question their pre-Columbian explorations ; and yet that not 
a single trace of Mediterr.aneau wanderers to the lost Atlantis survives. In Humboldt's 
" Eesearches," a fragment of a reputed Phoenician inscription is eugraA'ed. It was copied 
by Eanson Bueno, a Franciscan monk, from a block of granite which he discovered in a 
caA'ern in the mountain chain, between the Orinoco and the Amazon. Humboldt recog- 
nised in it some resemblance to the Phœnician alphabet. We must remember, however, 
what rudely traced Phoenician characters are ; and as to their transcriber, it may be pre- 
sumed that he had no knowledge of Phoenician. Humboldt, says of him : " The good 
monk seemed to be but little interested about this pretended inscription," though, he 
adds, he had copied it very carefully. 

The lost Atlantis, then, lies still in the future. The earlier studies of the monuments 
and prehistoric remains of the American continent seemed to point conclusively, to a native 
source for its civilisation. From quipu and wampum, pictured grave-post and bufTalo 
robe, to the most finished hieroglyphs of Copan or Palenque, continuous steps appear to 
be traceable whereby American man deA^eloped for himself the same wondrous invention 
of letters which ancient legend ascribed to Thoth or Mercury ; or, in less mythic form, to 


the Phœnician Cadmus. Nor has the generally accepted assumption of a foreign origin 
for American metallurgy been placed as yet on any substantial basis. Gold, as I believe, 
was everywhen» the first metal wrought. The bright nugget tempted the savage, with 
whom personal ornaments precede dress. It was readily fashioned into any desired shape. 
The same is true, though in a less degree, of copper ; and wherever, as on the American 
continent, native copper abounds, the next step in metallurgy is to be anticipated. With 
the discovery of the economic use of the metals, an all-important step had been achieved, 
leading to the fashioning of useful tools, to architecture, sculpture, pictorial ornamentation, 
and so to ideography. The facilities for all this were, at least, as abundant in Central 
and Southern America as in Egypt. The progress was, doubtless, slow ; but when the 
neolithic age began to yield to that of the metallurgist, the all-important step had been 
taken. The history of this first step is embodied in myths of the New World, no less than 
of the Old. Tubalcain, Daedalus, Hephaestus, Vulcan, Vcelund, Galant, and Wayland the 
Saxon smith-god, are all mere legendary variations of the first mastery of the use of the 
metals ; and so, too, the new world has Quetzalcoatl, its divine instructor in the same 
priceless art. 

It forms one of the indisputable facts of ancient history that, long before Greece 
became the world's intellectual leader, the eastern Mediterranean was settled by maritime 
races, whose adventurous enterprise led them to navigate the Atlantic. There was no 
greater impediment to such adventurous mariners crossing the Atlantic in earliest centuries 
before Christ, than at any subsequent date prior to the reAÙA'al of navigation in the fifteenth 
century. It would not, therefore, in any degree, surprise me to learn of the discovery 
of a genuine Phœnician, or other inscription ; or, of some hoard of Assyrian gryphons, 
or shekels of the merchant i^rinces of Tyre "that had knowledge of the sea," being- 
recovered among the still unexplored treasures of the buried empire of Montezuma, or 
the long deserted ruins of central America. Such a discovery would scarcely be more 
surprising than that of the Piinic hoards found at Corvo, the most westerly island of 
the Azores. Yet it would furnish a substantial basis for the legend of Atlantis, akin to 
that which the runic monuments of Kingiktorsoak and Igalikko supplied in confirmation 
of the fabled charms of a Hesperian region lying within the Arctic circle ; and of the first, 
actual glimpses of the American mainland by Norse voyagers of the tenth century, as 
told in more than one of their old Sagas. But until such evidence is forthcoming, the 
legendary Atlantis must remain a myth, and pre-Columbian America be still credited 
with a self-achieved progress. 






Section III., 1886. [ 1 ] Tbans. Roy. Soc. Canada. 

I. — Presidential Address, 

By Charles Carpmael, M.A. 

(Read May 25, 1886.) 

Last year, wheu I was elected President of this Section, I hoped to be able to find 
ample time for the preparation of my Address. Various imforeseen circumstances have, 
however, combined to prevent me from devoting to this purpose as much time as I had 
desired, and I have been consequently obliged to confine myself to the few hastily pre- 
pared and meagre remarks which I am now about to address to you. 

Four years ago, this Society was organized by His Excellency the Marquis of Lome, 
and as I was one of those who had the honour of being appointed by His Excellency an 
officer in this Section, it seems to me that it will not be out of place for me now, to refer 
to some of the objects which were aimed at, and to the hopes which were entertained, 
at the time of the organization of the Society, at least so far as they directly affect this 
Section. These objects were, first, to establish a bond of union between the scattered 
workers in different parts of the Dominion, by bringing them together once a year for 
interchange of ideas, and discussion of papers. Next, it was hoped that means would be 
found to pixblish valuable scientific papers in Canada, which otherwise woixld either be 
published in very inferior style or in a curtailed form, or at best appear in the transac- 
tions of foreign societies and be little known in Canada. The knowledge that a really 
valuable paper once prepared would find publication in Canada free of cost, would also, 
it was expected, act as a great stimulus to Canadian workers in Science. Another object 
of the Society was to provide a body, whom the G-overnment might refer to when requir- 
ing information on scientific points, and who might call the attention of the Government, 
to the desirability of aiding in scientific researches which were likely to be of national 

With regard to the first of these objects, viz., the bringing together from time to 
time of some of the most eminent scientific workers in the Dominion, it is one of the 
utmost importance in every country. The solitary worker in Science is but too apt to get 
into one groove of thinking and working, biit let him meet with others who are interested 
in the same kind of work, let him talk with them of the work he is engaged in, or listen 
to what they have to say of what they are doing, and the chances are that he will get 
some idea which will be of use to him. It may be, that he will be asked a question the 
answer to which requires a more detailed reasoning out of some point than he has yet 
given to it, and this will lead him to a more thorough grasp of his own idea ; or it may 
possibly turn out, on his attempting to elaborate his proof, that his former reasoning has 
been fallacious, even if his conclusions have not been false. In such a case, if he has not 
yet written a paper on the subject, the paper when written will be free from errors which 

Sec III., 1886. 1. 


might otherwise have occurred in it, and if the paper has been already written, it will 
give the author an opportunity of removing the blemishes before publication ; or if the 
error which is detected should seem to require it, he may withdraw the paper altogether. 

Dr. Wilson, the President of this Society for the present year, recently said to me that, 
when he first came to Canada many years ago from Edinburgh, there were two things that 
he missed above all others ; the first was the want of a good library to which he could 
refer (for there was then no library worthy of the name in Toronto), and the second was 
the absence of all opportunity of discussing with others, interested in such work as he 
might be engaged in, the various points to which his attention might be tiirned during 
the progress of his investigations. So many points would be discussed, he added, at 
meetings of the Royal Society of P^dinburgh and in other learned societies, that the 
author of any literary or scientific work would generally have his views so modified 
and enlarged before its completion, that he would find it impossible to say, how much was 
really due to his own researches, and how much had been suggested in these discussions. 

It must not be forgotten that what we, as scientific workers, should aim at, is not so 
much the production of a large number of papers, as that such as we may produce shall 
contain new scientific truths, new scientific deductions from old principales, or new and 
improved methods of deducing facts already known, and that they may be as far as pos- 
sible free from error. When once a paper is printed, in which dediictions are drawn from 
erroneous premises, or erroneous deductions from true premises, this paper may be read 
by many who will be unable to detect the errors and who may copy them and so spread 
not truth but error. When once widely spread, it is often the work of a very long time 
before the erroneous ideas thus promulgated become eradicated. 

A good instance of this difficulty is the erroneous impression very generally held by 
mathematicians as to specific gravity and density. The specific gravity of a substance is 
commonly taken by them as the weight of a iiuit of volume of that substance, thus making 
the specific gravity vary from place to place, and introducing unneccessary complication 
into all calculations inA'olviug this quantity. The density of the substance is on the 
other hand taken as the viass of a unit of volume of the substance. Every practical physic- 
ist must know that specific gravity, like density, is determined by a comparison of the 
masses of equal volumes of the given and a standard substance ; yet in all our elementary 
text books on hydrostatics, at least in the English language, the above way of defining 
specific gravity is still retained, although in the elementary text books on mechanics it is 
clearly pointed out that what are ordinarily called standards of weight are, in the mathe- 
matician's way of defining weight and mass, in reality standards of mass. 

In France also, at least a few years ago, both terms were used ; and there, according to 
Millar, in tables of specific gravity the unit was usually water at zero cent., while in tables 
of density the unit was water at 4°c. 

If in these countries errors or unnecessary complications, once introduced, are so per- 
sistent, in Canada, or at any rate in Ontario, they are likely to be still more so. We are 
here having introduced into our schools a uniform series of text books, so that if any errors 
creep into them, not the pupils in one school only, but in a whole generation, will be 
brought up in the same errors, which will not therefore stand so good a chance of being 
corrected by the after mixing together of pupils from different schools. 

Although then, whatever precautions we may take, as Science advances, we shall 


find that we haye much to unlearn as well as to learn, it is a matter of no little importance, 
that we should do all we can to prevent errors coming in at the fountain head, that is in 
the original papers in which new ideas are promulgated ; and we should therefore not only- 
endeavour to make the papers which we ourselves write as free as possible from errors, 
but, by discussing- those which are brought before us, endeavour, if we can, to detect and 
have corrected, before publication, the defects in such papers as may have been written 
by others. 

Some of the papers which have been laid before us at the meetings during the past 
four years have been fairly well discussed; it would, however, it seems to me, be a great 
benefit to the Society were the discussions still more frequent and more freely participated 
in. Perhaps the ignorance which has generally prevailed heretofore, as to the nature of 
the papers to be read, by preventing the members present from giving any prior consi- 
deration to the subject matter of the paper, may have greatly hindered discussion. An 
effort has been made this year to overcome this difficulty, by printing a short account of 
the contents of some of the papers, and it is to be hoped that, in fviture, members will 
always endeavour to prepare, when possible, such a short abstract of their papers as will 
give a fair idea of their contents. There is also another way in which members may aid 
in this matter. It is to be assumed that any criticism of a paper is made with the object 
of bringing out the truth, aud of preA^enting errors from appearing in our printed volume ; 
and that any questions that may be asked, are either for the purpose of further elucidating 
some point which is obscure in the paper, or from the desire of the member asking the 
question to obtain further information on a point on which he happens to be ignorant. 
In either case, the member presenting the paper should do his best to elucidate the point ; 
if he has been in error, it is for his own credit that the paper should not be printed with 
errors in it, and if there is no error, the question or criticism may show that some point 
has not been very plainly brought out, and the author may see that, by a slight verbal 
alteration, his meaning may be made clearer. But even if there is no error and no real 
want of clearness in the paper, but the criticism has been made through false reasoning 
of a member who has started or taken part in the discussion, the m.ember presenting the 
paper having presumably the subject at his fingers' ends, should be able to point out at 
what point the criticism fails, and the consideration due from one member of this Society 
to another should make him willing to do this, and to do it courteously, even though his 
superior knowledge of the subject shews him that the objections which are raised are 
frivolous or absurd. I cannot but hope that the discussions will, in the future, prove to 
be perhaps the most instructive and interesting feature in our meetings, as I have found 
them at meetings of some other societies. 

Let us turn now to the next point which I mentioned as among the principal objects 
in the foundation of the Society, viz., the publication in Canada of valuable scientific 
papers. On this point we have reason to congratulate ourselves on success. We have 
had presented to us and published in our Transactions, iDapers on a variety of subjects, 
mathemical, chemical and engineering, in numbers satisfactory, considering the small 
number of members, and of quality decidedly high. Most of these papers have been con- 
tributed by members of the Society. It is to be regretted that a larger number of papers 
have not been contributed by outsiders, and we should all endeavour to get scientific 
workers with whom we may be acquainted to occasionally present papers, as we should 


thus add to the interest of these meetings and to the value of our Transactions. We should 
also gain this future advantage, that should a vacancy arise in our Section we should be 
able to judge by the value of the papers, which had been contributed to us, whom it was 
desirable to elect to fill the vacancy. 

"With regard to the next function of the Society, namely, that of advising the Govern- 
ment on scientific points, we have had, as the President has already informed you, for the 
last two years, a committee to cooperate with a committee of the British Association, in 
urging on the Government the advisability of providing for continuous tidal observations 
in Canada. In January last, these committees, with some members of the Board of Trade 
of Montreal, waited on the Government, and urged that provision be made in the estimates 
for this purpose. The defecit this year has, however, made it difficult to get any matter 
taken up that requires expenditure, and although all the members of the Government 
seem to acknowledge the necessity of accurate observations, the cost of obtaining them 
prevents them for the present from taking the matter up. 

Having made these few remarks and suggestions on the work of the Society, I should 
like to take this opportunity, the best that will perhaps ever occur to me, to point out to 
you how you could aid the particular branch of scientific work with which I am more 
particularly connected as Superintendent of the Meteorological Service of the Dominion 
of Canada. Yovi are probably all of you aware that the Dominion Government has for 
many years past made annually an appropriation for the maintenance of this service. In 
doing this, they have principally in view the providing for storm warnings for the use of 
mariners, and for daily weather predictions for the benefit of farmers and others to whom 
a fairly accurate knowledge for a short time in advance of what weather may be expected 
is of commercial value ; and although the obtaining statistics of climate has not been 
entirely neglected, the vast bulk of the annual grant is absorbed for the two purposes 
which I have named. 

The observations which can be immediately made use of for these two purposes are 
not sufficient for the purpose of tracing out local peculiarities in climate, or for tracing 
these peculiarities to their causes in the local surroundings. To do this we must have 
the statistics which are collected by the Dominion Government supplemented by others 
which are not being collected by them, and the greater portion of which they cannot be 
expected to go to any considerable expense in obtaining. In Europe and also in the United 
States there are meteorological societies which collect much valuable information. These 
societies collect and print statistics, and also publish many papers on Meteorology, and 
are supported solely by the subscriptions of the members. In the United States, in addition 
to the work now performed by the Signal Service, which includes that which was for- 
merly undertaken by the Smithsonian Institute, many of the individual States have 
weather bureaus of their own. 

In Canada we have not many men of means and leisure who are sufficiently inter- 
ested in scientific researches to make them willing not only to devote their time to the 
systematic taking of observations, but to purchase instruments and pay for the printing 
of results. To meet in some measure this difficulty, the Meteorological Service, in the case 
of individuals who reside in districts from which sufficient observations are not already 
received, and who are willing to take observations gratis, furnishes the necessary instru- 
ments and provides for the publication of the observations. Notwithstanding this, there 


are large portions, eyen of the Provinces which have long been settled, for which our 
climatological statistics are either very meagre or are altogether wanting. The observa- 
tions of which we have most need are those of precipitation. Ontario and Manitoba are 
the only two of our Provinces in which we have any approach to adequate observations 
of rainfall. In the other Provinces we know the rainfall at a few isolated stations, but 
not at nearly enough to form any idea as to the amount at intermediate points. The 
amount of precipitation depends so much on the configuration of the laud, that a very 
much larger number of observing stations is required for this than for the other elements 
which together make the climate of a district. To meet this want, the Departments of 
Agriculture of Ontario and Manitoba have got agents all over these Provinces to report 
the rain and snowfall. The reports are forwarded to the Meteorological Office at Toronto, 
and abstracts of the results are furnished monthly by that ofiice to the Local Governments. 
By this means, an amount of information has been collected which has enabled me to 
prepare maps showing the precipitation with a fair degree of accuracy over the greater 
portion of these two Provinces. These maps show that the precipitation in some parts of 
Ontario is about double what it is in others, and in Manitoba the differences are relatively 
about the same. If we had attempted a few years ago, before we were receiving these 
additional reports, to draw any conclusions as to the distribution of rainfall over these 
Provinces from such as we did receive, our results would have been altogether erroneous, 
and in the other Provinces we are still unable to give any information, except at a few 
isolated points. 

The same may be said to a great extent in regard to the daily range of temperature, 
which also varies a good deal from place to place, although not to the same extent as the 

Now, it occurred to me that if I could interest the members of this Society in this 
subject, they might in turn interest friends living in some of the less thickly populated 
portions of their respective Provinces, and get them to volunteer as observers ; or they 
might, perhaps, by bringing the matter to the notice of the Local Governments, induce 
them to do in other Provinces, something like what is now being done in Ontario and 
Manitoba. By this means, great service would be rendered to the Science of Meteorology, 
while the information would at the same time be of immediate practical importance. I 
hope, therefore, that you will bear this want in mind, and endeavour, as opportunity may 
occur, to aid me in a matter of importance to Science, and to the advancement of the 
Dominion and of the individual Provinces. 

Section III., 1886. [ 7 J Trans. Roy. Soc. Canada. 

II. — The Genetic History of Crystalline Rochs} 
By T. Sterky Hunt, M.A., LL.D. (Cautab.) 

(Read in abstract, May 25, 1886.) 

§ 1. lu a iirecediug essay ou the the Origin of Crystalline Rocks,^ we have considered 
at length the different views hitherto maintained as to the mode of their production, and 
have set forth what we have called the " crenitic hypothesis." It is proposed in the follow^- 
iug pages to examine still farther the new hypothesis in some of its aspects, to show how 
far the conception of a single consolidated igneous mass under the combined action of 
water and heat may be made to explain satisfactorily the various facts in the history of 
the earth's crystalline crust, and thus to reconcile many of the contradictions which still 
divide the geological world as to the relations of stratified and massive crystalline rocks. 
Hence the title of the present essay. 

Of the great divisions adopted by the "Wernerian school in geology, those of Primary 
and Secondary correspond respectively to Original and Derived rocks, and were supposed 
to represent earlier and later periods in geologic time ; the name of " Transition " being 
applied to the rocks of an intermediate period, believed to mark the passage from the 
conditions of the Primary to those of the Secondary age. The name of " Tertiary " given 
to the rocks of a still later age, and marking a subsequent period in the process of deriva- 
tion, needs no explanation. By the geologists of the Huttonian school the rocks, called 
" Primary " or " Original " by the Wernerians, were imagined to be in many, if not in all 
cases. Secondary or Derived rocks, the materials of which, got from the disintegration of 
preexisting masses, had been arranged by water, and subsequently transformed by combined 
mechanical and chemical agencies into their present crystalline condition ; in accordance 
with which hypothesis they have been called " Metamorphic " rocks. By rejecting, as their 
master Hutton had done, all "inquiry into the first origin of things," or "the commence- 
ment or termination of the present order," and by teaching that the rocks, called by Wer- 
nerians " Primary " and " Transition," were for the most part, if not wholly, metamorphosed 
portions of derived rocks, which themselves, in their prolongation into other regions, 
could be recognized as Secondary or as Tertiary strata, the Huttonians have sought to des- 
troy the chronological value of the Wernerian terminology. With the abandonment of the 
Huttonian or so-called " metamorphic " doctrine, now shown to be false, so far at least as 

' A paper was presented to this Society by tlie writer, in May, 1885, with the title of "Tlie Geognosy of Crystal- 
line Rocks," and was accepted for publication in the Transactions, but subsecjuently withdrawn. In the abstract 
of the paper then read, and afterwards published in the Canadian Record of Science, the phenoTjena of stratification, 
alike in endogenous veinstones and in eruptive rocks, were discussed with reference both to the crenitic process and 
to the hypothesis of eliquation. The present paper is, under a new title, an extension and development of that of 
last year. 

- Trans. Roy. Soc. Can., Vol. ii. Sec. iii. pp. 1-67. 


regards the Secondary or Tertiary age of crystalline stratified rocks, we are naturally led 
back to the nomenclature of "Werner and his school, which should be equally acceptable 
to endoplutouists and to neptunists, whether the latter adopt the Chaotic hypothesis set 
forth by De la Beche and Daubrée, or the Crenitic hypothesis more recently maintained by 
the present writer in the essay just cited. 

§ 2. The term " crystalline rocks " is conveniently used in geology to designate those 
original aggregates of which crystalline silicates make an essential part. Such silicates 
may, however, be associated in these aggregates with quartz, or with oxyds like magne- 
tite, with carbonates, as in limestones and dolomite, and even with phosphates, as apatite, 
or with sulphates, as karstenite and gypsum. By a certain license the term may also be 
extended to masses of definite hydrous silicates, such as serpentine and pinite, which 
are in great part amorphous and colloidal, and also to uncrystalline silicates, often 
hydrated, and of indefinite composition, such as palagonite, tachylite, pitchstoue, and 
obsidian. The silicates having the composition of serpentine and of pinite assume, in 
some cases, proper crystalline forms ; palagonite is by heat readily changed in large part 
into a crystalline zeolite ; while glassy silicates, such as obsidian, by devitrification, are in 
like manner resolved more or less completely into crystalline species. Hence rock-masses, 
including or even made up of these various uncrystalline materials, may all be regarded 
as inchoately crystalline, and for geognostical purposes may be conveniently classed with 
the crystalline rocks into which they graduate. 

§ 3. "When stratified masses of quartz, calcite, dolomite, and karstenite are found 
among contemporaneous crystalline silicated rocks, they generally enclose indigenoi^s 
crystalline silicates, which give them a title to be regarded as parts of the accompanying 
crystalline series. The mineral species just named have, however, in other cases become 
aggregated in crystalline rock-masses in times and under conditions which did not permit 
the genesis of such species as feldspars, micas, amphibole, and pyroxene, which are the 
most characteristic silicates of the crystalline rocks. Hence we find beds of crystalline 
quartz, limestone, dolomite, karstenite, and gypsum interstratified with uncrystalline 
rocks of detrital origin, and of Secondary or Tertiary age. It is worthy of note, however, 
that the conditions for the production of certain mineral silicates have continued in later 
ages, as is shown by the frequent formation of zeolitic, pectolitic, and other crystalline 
silicates in younger and uncrystalline rocks, and even down to oiir own time, and, more- 
over, by the occurrence among uncrystalline sediments of later geological periods, of de- 
posits of serpentine, sepiolite, and glauconite. The history of both zeolitic and pectolitic 
silicates (as formed by secretions in basic rocks, and as generated in deep-sea ooze, and in 
the channels of thermal waters,) has been discussed at some length in the preceding essay, 
but there are facts in relation to the other silicates just mentioned which are of such im- 
portance in connection with the origin of crystalline rocks as to merit consideration in this 

§ 4. Two examples of crystalline silicates related to zeolites in composition, which 
are found injecting organic remains remains in palseozoic limestones, have been observed 
by Sir J. W. Dawson, and were farther described and analyzed by the present writer in 
ISTl. The first of these is from a Silurian limestone which is found near "Woodstock, in 
the province of New Brunswick, and consists almost wholly of comminuted organic re- 
mains, including fragments of trilobites, gasteropods, brachiopods, and joints and plates of 


small encrinites, the whole cemented by calcite. The pores of the crinoidal remains are 
filled by a peculiar silicate, which is well seen in sections or on surfaces etched by an 
acid. Surfaces thus treated show a congeries of curved, branching, and anastomosing 
cylindrical rods of the injecting mineral, sometimes forming a complete network, and ex- 
hibiting under a microscope coralloidal forms, with a white, frost-like, crystalline aspect 
resembling the variety of aragonite known as ftox ferri. The same crystalline mineral, as 
observed by Dawson, occasionally fills the interstices between the larger fragments of 
organic forms in the limestone, and, as he observes, " was evidently deposited before the 
calcite which cements the whole mass." 

§ 5. The limestone in question is nearly piire, containing very little magnesia or iron- 
oxyd, and leaves, after the action of cold dilute chlorhydric acid, five or six-hundredths of 
insoluble residue, which is the mineral in c[uestion mixed with about one-fourth its 
weight of siliceous sand. The silicate is of a pale grayish-green color when seen in mass, 
and, losing water, becomes bright reddish-l)rown by calcination. It is partially decom- 
posed by strong heated chlorhydric acid, and completely by hot sulphuric acid, which dis- 
solves alumina, ferrous oxyd, magnesia, and small portions of alkalies, leaving flocculent 
silica, which is readily separated by a solution of carbonate of soda from the accompanying 
quartz-grains. Thus analyzed, the mineral, which under a lens appeared wholly crystal- 
line and homogeneous, save the accompanying quartz, yielded silica 38.03, alumina 28.88, 
ferrous oxyd 18.86, magnesia 4.25, 1.69, soda 0.48, water 6.91. The atomic ratio of 
this for protoxyds, alumina, silica and water is very nearly 1:2:3:1, which, abstracting 
the water, is that of zoisite ; the hydrous silicate jollyte being 1:2:3:2. I have given to 
this crystalline silicate, which is of curious interest alike for its composition and the mode 
of its occurrence, the name of hamelite for the Rev. Dr. Hamel, Rector of Laval University, 
Q^^ebec. ' 

§ 6. The second silicate above referred to is not unlike hamelite in its characters and 
manner of occurrence, though differing somewhat in atomic ratios. It was found in a 
mass of fossiliferous limestone said to be from a locality in the island of Anglesea, and in- 
cluding, "besides a small coral-like body referred to the genus Vertici/lojiora, joints and 
plates of crinoids, small spiral gasteropod shells, with fragments of brachiopods, and a 
sponge-like organism with square meshes." All of these organic forms are more or less 
penetrated with a greenish silicate, which fills the cavities of the gasteropods, the central 
canal of the crinoids, and the pores of the Verticillopora. It has also replaced, or filled, 
the spongy fibres, and injected the minute cells of some of the crinoidal fragments, thouo-h 
many of these are solid throughout, in which respect the specimen differs from that from 
New Brunswick described above, where the infiltration of the crinoidal remains is much 
more complete and perfect. Sir J. "W. Dawson, to whom we owe these observations, sup- 
poses that in both cases the infiltration took place while the remains were still recent 

§ T. Decalcified surfaces of this limestone from Anglesea show similar appearances to 
those presented by the New Brunswick specimen, and the casts of the gasteropodous 
shells, two millimetres in length, are in some cases perfect. The limestone is nearly pure, 
with the exception of a little fine yellow ochreous matter which is insoluble in dilute 

' Amer. Jour. Science, 1871, i. 379; also J. W. Dawson, The Dawn of Life, pp. 120-123, witli figure of a portion 
of infiltrated crinoid on p. 103. 

Sec. III., 1886. 2. 


chlorhydric acid, and remains suspended in the solution, but is easily separated by wash- 
ing Irom the pale grayish-green silicate. This equals about three-hundredths of the 
weight of the limestone. When ignited in the air it assumes a bright fawn color, and 
under a lens contrasts strongly with the colorless grains of quartz with which it is mixed. 
Its chemical characters were like those of hamelite, and analyzed in the same manner it 
gave, after deducting 21.0 per cent, of insoluble sand, the following composition : Silica, 
35.12, alumina 22,26, ferrous oxyd 21.42, magnesia 6.'J8, potash 1.49, soda 0.6*7, water 
11.46 = 100.00. ■ This gives for protoxyds, alumina, silica, and water very nearly the 
atomic ratios 3 : 4 : Y : 4 ; but we are not sure of its homogeneous character. A silicate 
very like this in aspect and mode of occurrence has been found in a band of fossiliferous 
limestone near the base of the coal-measures in southern Ohio, but has not yet been 
chemically examined. 

§ 8. In connection with these minerals should be noticed a greenish fibrous asbesti- 
form silicate, elsewhere described by the writer, which occurs in veins traversing the 
anthracite and the carbonaceous shales of the coal-measures at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 
either without admixture or mingled with pyrites, or penetrating white quartz, and also 
coating the fragments of the crumbling disintegrated anthracite. It is a hydrous silicate 
of alumina, ferrous oxyd, magnesia, and alkalies, more basic than those above described, 
yielding the atomic ratios of 4 : 4 : 6 : 3, and, though difl'ering in structure, is near to pro- 
chlorite or voigtite in composition. - 

§ 9. "We have elsewhere explained how solutions which would otherwise have 
yielded zeolitic minerals or epidote may, by exchanging their lime aud alkalies for mag- 
nesia and ferrous oxyd, have given rise to aluminous double silicates like those just des- 
cribed. In like manner, non-aluminous solutions which might have yielded pectolite, 
apophyllite, or related silicates, by exchange with magnesian or ferrous solutions, may 
give origin to silicates like serpentine, sepiolite, aud probably to glaucouite. The mag- 
nesian silicates just named occur, as is well known, in aqueous deposits, by themselves or 
mingled with carbonate of lime, in strata of palaeozoic or even of cenozoic age, while ser- 
pentine fills the Eozoon of more ancient times. 

§ 10. The probable relations between the protoxyd-silicates and glauconite are worthy 
of notice. By the latter name is designated a soft greenish amorphous mineral sometimes 
found in the cavities in basic amygdaloidal rocks, but more abundantly in sandstones and 
marls, among which it often forms beds, with but little admixture, and is commonly called 
" green-sand." It is well known that glauconite is met with filling the shells of foraminifera 
and other marine organisms, from early geological times, and even occurs in the same 
manner in recent foraminifera in various seas. The mode of its occurrence in these cases 
is similar to that of the aluminous double silicates in organic forms from limestones, as 
described above. The composition of glauconite is very variable ; and, while essentially 
a hydrous silicate of potash and iron-oxyd, it may contain of alumina from one or two up to 
twelve hundredths or more, aud of magnesia from traces up to six hundredths. Indeed, 
a so-called green-sand from the calcaire grossier, according to Berthier, is rather a highly 
ferrous serpentine, containing, silica 40.0, ferrous oxyd 24.0Y, magnesia 16.6, lime 3.3, 
alumina l.*7, water 12.6 = 98.9.* 

' Amer. Jour. Science, 1871, ii. 57. -' Trans. Roy. Soc Can., Vol. iii. Sec. iii. p. 70. 

= Beudant, Traité de Minéralogie, ii. 178. See also Report Geol. Survey of Canada, 1866, p. 231. 


§ 11. Their variations show that the material in question is a mixture, and render it 
difiicult to fix its real constitution. According to the multiplied analyses of Haushofer, 
the iron present in glauconite is for the most part in the ferric condition, the ferrous oxyd 
in various examples ranging fi-om three to seven hundredths. The formula proposed by 
him represents glauconite as containing 6.3 of ferrous oxyd, 8.3 of potash, and 9,6 of water, 
with 22.7 of ferric oxyd and 3.6 of alumina, giving for the atomic ratios of protoxyds, ses- 
quioxids, silica, and water, 1 : 3 : 9 : 3.' The very variable quantity of alumina found in 
glaucouites may, however, well be owing to a zeolitic admixture ; and if we hazard the 
Conjecture that the large proportion of ferric oxyd therein is due to a partial oxydation of 
what was originally a ferro-potassic silicate, we should have for its composition before 
peroxydation (deducting the alumina as a zeolite with the above atomic ratios, like faujas- 
ite) a silicate with the ratios for protoxyds, silica, and water, of 3 : 9 : 3, corresponding 
to sepiolite and to an unknown pectolitic silicate intermediate between pectolite and 
apophyllite, which may be supposed to have given rise alike to talc, to sepiolite, and 
to glauconite. The variable amounts of magnesia in glauconite itself would thus be due 
to an admixture of sepiolite. The reaction of such a soluble pectolitic compound, having 
a lime-potash base like apophyllite, with the dissolved magnesian salts in sea-water 
would generate a magnesian silicate having the ratio of talc and sepiolite (which latter 
forms beds in Tertiary sediments), and with ferrous solutions, by a similar double decompo- 
sition, might yield a ferro-potassic silicate like glauconite. It is well known that, under 
proper conditions, decaying organic matters acting upon sediments containing ferric oxyd 
reduce this and give rise to such solutions, in which ferrous carbonate is often associated 
with a proportion of an organic acid. Such a process of solution and redeposition in forms 
of siderite and pyrites goes on in sedimentary deposits through this agency. This would 
permit the conditions necessary to produce glauconite with the pectolitic silicate, which in 
the absence of the iron-solution would generate sepiolite by reaction with magnesian salts. 

§ 12. The variations in the composition of glauconite-like minerals, and the existence 

in silicates similar to it in their mode of occurrence, of more or less alumina and magnesia, 

probably corresponding, as suggested above, to admixtures of zeolite and sepiolite, are 

farther illustrated by the following analyses by the writer. I is a typical glauconite from 

the green-sand beds of the cretaceous series in New Jersey ; II, a glauconite, remarkable for 

its fine green colour, which forms layers in the Cambrian (Potsdam) sandstone at Red Bird, 

Minnesota; III, a similar material found in a Cambrian sandstone on the island of Orleans, 

near Quebec. The results, after deducting siliceous sand, are calculated for one hundred 

parts, and the whole of the iron is represented as ferrous.^ 

I. II. III. 

Silica 50.70 46.58 m.7 

Ferrous oxyd 22..50 20.61 8.6 

Magnesia 2.1(1 1.27 3.7 

Lime ].ll 2.49 — 

Alumina S.03 11.45 19.8 

Potash 5.80 6.96 8.2 

Soda 0.75 . 0.98 0.5 

Water 8.95 9.66 8.5 

100.00 100 00 100.00 

' Cited in Dana's System of Mineralogy, 5th éd., p. 462. 

- Geology of Canada in 1863, p. 486 : also Rep. Geol. Surv. of Canada 1863-69, p. 232. 


§ 13. The crenitic hypothesis advanced bythepresent writer in the essay already cited, 
to explain the aqneous origin of the mineral species which make np alike the granites and 
the crystalline stratified rocks, supposes that from an early period watery solntions analo- 
gous to those which, in later times, have given rise to zeolitic and pectolitic minerals, played 
an important part in the chemistry of the earth. The double silicates of alumina and lime 
or alkalies, then dissolved, are conceived to have been the source not only of the feldspars 
and the zeolites, but of prehnite, epidote, garnet, muscovitic micas, and tourmalines, and, by 
their reactions with magnesian and ferrous solutions, of the chlorites and the highly proto- 
basic micas. At the same time the dissolved protoxyd-silicates not only gave rise to species 
like pectolite and apophyllite, but by similar reactions, to pyroxene, amphibole, chrysolite, 
serpentine, talc, sepiolite, and glauconite, and, by decomposition through carbonic dioxyd, 
to carbonate of lime. In both cases the solutions, like those in later zeolite-bearing rocks, 
carried free silica and iron-oxyd, which were deposited as quartz and magnetite and hema- 
tite. These silicated solutions, according to this hypothesis, resulted primarily from the 
action of permeating waters at high temperatures, under pressure, upon the universal 
stratum of basic plutonic rock, and secondarily from their action upon the displaced por- 
tions of the stratum, which, in a more or less modified form, have appeared in all geological 
periods as erupted basic rocks. These, in their secreted minerals, show us in later times, 
and on a smaller scale, the process which, in previous ages, built up great masses of indige- 
nous and endogenous crystalline rocks. To what extent these deposits, more or less con- 
cretionary in their origin and their arrangement, were laid down horizontally, and to what 
extent in inclined or vertical layers, as in many veinstones, is a question which will be 
discussed farther on in this essay. 

§ 14. Having thus briefly restated the crenitic hypothesis so far as it is related to the 
classes of rocks already noticed, we have to consider in the next place the question of 
exoplutonic or eruptive rocks. It will be remembered that the existence of such rocks, 
having an igneous origin, was not admitted by the Wernerians, who conceived not only 
all endogenous rocks, but also all exotic masses, except modern lavas, to be of aqueous 
origin. By the earlier Huttonians, who understood better the geological importance of 
the eruptive i"ocks, these M'ere looked upon as results of the fusion of deeply buried 
detrital materials, themselves derived from similar rocks of higher antiquity. The hypo- 
thesis of great chemical changes to explain the genesis of many crystalline rocks from 
such material, by what was comprehensively designated as " metamorphism," and generally 
involved a supposed metasoraatic process, was devised at a later day by the disciples of 
Huttou. Haidinger and Bischof may be looked upon as the originators of that view of 
metasomatic changes in rock-masses by aqueous action which, from its supposed analogy 
with the phenomena giving rise to what are called " pseudomorphous shapes " or " pseudo- 
crystals," has been infelicitously described as " pseudomorphism on a broad scale." 

§ 15. The stratiform arrangement, which extends to the intimate str^^cture of crystal- 
line masses such as gneisses and mica-schists, is by endoplutonists supposed to be due to 
movements in an imperfectly homogeneous semi-fluid material, dependent on unequal 
cooling and the rotation of the globe, and to be analogoiis to the banded structure apparent 
in lavas and furnace-slags. In the exoplutonic hypothesis, on the contrary, it is maintained 
that the internal moA-ements in such material, when forced outwards and upwards through 
the earth's superficial crust, have given to the masses that laminated structure and that 


arrau2;ement of the constituent elements which, alike by Wernerians and Hnttonians, are 
regarded as evidences of deposition from water. This latter or explutonic view was clearly 
expressed by Ponlett Scrope, sixty years since, in his " New Theory of the Earth," published 
in 1825, wherein he imagines the granite to have formed the original surface of the globe, and 
supposes that movements in extruded portions of the mass compressed beneath overlying 
sediments gave to it the gneissic structure. He insists upon the friction of its elements 
" as they were urged forward in the direction of their plane surfaces towards the orifice of 
protrusion, along the expanding granite beneath, the laminte being elongated and the 
crystals forced to arrange themselves in the direction of the movement " This view was 
adopted, though without acknowledgment, by J. D. Dana in 1843, when he argued that 
the schistose structure of gneiss and mica-schist is not a satisfactory evidence of sedimen- 
tary origin, since erupted rocks may assume a laminated srrangement.' 

§ 16. The same notion has continued to find favor among geologists of the plutouist 
school up to the present time. Poulett Scrope himself, in rewriting his famous treatise on 
Volcanoes, after a lapse of thirty-seven years, restates his argument with great precision. 
He therein supposes that the primitive material of the globe, so far as known, was an 
aggregate consisting essentially of feldspar, quartz and mica, in a crystalline or granular 
condition. This material, which was impregnated with water and highly heated, possessed 
a certain plasticity, and when extruded by pressure took upon itself a stratiform structure, 
being " bodily forced up the axial fissure of dislocation in crumpled zigzag folds or upright 
walls of vertical laminated rock." To show to what extent this view had met the approval 
of other geologists, Scrope farther observed, "The late Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Darwin, as is 
well known, concurred in the opinion here given, that at least as respects the oldest or 
fundamental gneiss, its foliated structure is due not to original sedimentary deposition, 
but to the movement of the particles under great pressure, while the mass was in a con- 
dition of imperfect igneous fluidity. Prof Naumann has still more recently advocated, the 
same view, which is, however, resisted by Lyell, Murchison, Greikie, and others." - 

§ 1*7. The same view has very recently been brought forward by Joh. Lehmann, who 
maintains, with Scrope, that the schistose structure in crystalline rocks is no evidence of 
aqueous deposition, but is imposed upon them by the process of extrusion. The Saxon 
granulites, according to Lehmann, were intrusive masses, which consolidated among sedi- 
mentary strata far below the surface, and being afterwards forced up by great pressure, took 
upon themselves a banded schistose arrangement, the adjacent strata, more or less impreg- 
nated by the granulitic material, appearing as micaceous gneisses and mica-schists.^ The 
whole granulitic series of Saxony may be described as made up of fine-grained binary 
gneisses and mica-schists, and has been by the present writer elsewhere referred to the 
younger gneissic or Montalban series of crystalline rocks. ^ 

§ 18. An example of the resuscitation of the views of Poulett Scrope in North America 

' Scrope, Considerations on Volcanoes, etc.. 1825, p. 22. See also J. D. Dana, On the Analogies Between Modern 
Igneous Rocks and the so-called Primary I'ormations, 1843 ; Amer. Jour. Science, 1843, xlv. 104-129, and Trans. Roy. 
Soc. Can., Vol. lii. Sec. iii. p. 13. 

2 Scrope on Volcanoes, 2nd éd., 1862, as revi.sed in 1872, pp. 300-365. 

^ Joh. Lehmann : Untersuchungen tiber die Enstehung der Altkrystallinen Schiefergesteine, 1884. Not hav- 
ing been able to consult this work, I am indebted for a notice of its argument to a review in the Amer. Jour. Science, 
sxxiii. p. 39. ' Trans. Eoy. Soc. Can., Vol. i. Sec. iv. p. 194. 


is found iu a recent note by Prof. H. Carvill Lewis on the crystalline schists of eastern 
Pennsylvania. A belt of these which crosses the Schuylkill near Philadelphia, long ago 
described by H. D. Rogers, and since by the present writer,' includes a band of granitoid 
gneiss succeeded by micaceous gneisses and micaceous schists, often garnetiferous, compris- 
ing a layer of serpentine with steatite and dioritic rocks, the whole representing both the 
older and the younger gneissic series so well known in eastern North America as Lauren- 
tian and Moutalban. The rocks in this belt, notwithstanding their stratiform character, are, 
in the opinion of Lewis, " of i^urely eruptive origin, consisting of syenites, acid gabbros, 
trap-granulites, and other igneous rocks, often highly metamorphosed. It is the outer peri- 
pheral portions of this zone to which attention is here directed. While the rocks are massive 
on the centre, this outer portion has been enormously compressed, folded and faulted, with 
the result of producing a tough banded porphyritic liuxion-gneiss." Lewis supposes " a 
recrystallization of the old material under the influence of pressure-fluxion," by which he 
conceives the feldspar to have been recrystallized. " In similar manner the biotite has 
been made out of the old hornblende, garnets have been developed, and the quartz has 
been granulated and optically distorted by the pressure." In another example mentioned 
by him, a belt of sphene-bearing amphibolite schist, described as included unconformably 
in the mica-schists of Philadelphia, is supposed by Lewis to be " a highly metamorphosed 
intrusive dyke of Lower Silurian age. The original augite or diallage has been completely 
converted into fibrous hornblende, and the influence of pressure is shown in the perfectly 
laminated character of the schist, in the close foldings produced, and in the minute struc- 
ture of the rock." "The chemical changes and interchanges of elements which might 
result from a loosening of molecular combinations under extreme pressure," and their sub- 
sequent rearrangement to form new compounds, suggest to Lewis great possibilities in the 
so-called "mechanical metamorphism," now advocated by some to I'eplace the discredited 
dogma of chemical metamorphism, which has hitherto played such an important part 
among a school of geologists." 

§ 19. Thus, while the ancient Wernerians maintained the direct deposition of granite 
from aqueous solution iu a chaotic ocean, the plutonists, from Poulett Scrope in 1825 to 
Darwin, Naumann, Lehmann, and Lewis, assert the igneous origin not only of granites, 
but of gneisses and micaceous and amphibolic schists, and the followers of the Huttouian 
or metamorphic school hold an untenable and an illogical position between the two, — 
deriving the materials of both these rocks from a primary granitic mass, whose origin is 
unaccounted for, and whose supposed transformations chemistry cannot explain. 

§ 20. It remains to notice, iu connection with the neptunian, the plutonic, and the 
metamorphic hypotheses regarding the sources and the geognostic relations of the crystal- 
line rocks, a view that has been proposed to explain the attitude of certain apparently exotic 
masses : which is that their present position is due neither to deposition from solution, 
nor to intrusion in a fluid or plastic condition, birt to local movements which have per- 
mitted portions of rigid rock to displace and even penetrate softer and more yielding 
materials in their vicinity. Examples of this are described by Staptf as seen in the 
St. Gothard tunnel in the Alps, where great masses of serpentine have been caused to 

' See Hunt, Azoic Kocks, pp. 10-15 and 200; also Trans. Roy. Soc. Can., Vol. i. Sec. iv. p. 171. 
^ H. C. Lewis, Proc. British Association, in Nature, Oct. 8, 1885, p. 560. 


traverse adjacent schistose strata ; tlie solid condition of the introducing rock being made 
evident by the accompanying breccia, consisting of its fragments.' There is reason to 
believe that such instances are not uncommon, and that in many cases the phenomenon of 
intrusion is due to the sviperior hardness of the intruding rock, broken beds or masses of 
which are forced through softer strata ; the conditions being the reverse of those v^^hich 
attend plutonic or volcanic injections. The notion that rocks when in a solid condition may 
be intriided among others, is found in the pages of more than one writer on geological 
questions, but so far as the writer is aware, is for the first time clearly and satisfactorily 
defined in the description of Stapffj which is an important conception gained for the 
student of geognosy. 

§ 21. The endoplutonists, as we have seen, have sought to explain the laminated 
structure of certain crystalline rocks, not, like the exoplutonists, by the pressure attend- 
ant on extrusion, but by movements in an imperfectly fluid material in which, during 
refrigeration, a separation of solid matters and a process of eliquation were going on. 
The possible production in this manner alike of unstratified and stratiform crystalline 
rocks from an igneous mass is ingeniously set forth by Thomas Macfarlane in his studies 
of the geology of Lake Superior. " He notes first, the occurrence of fragments of denser 
and more basic hornblendic aggregates enclosed in lighter and less basic granitoid 
masses, and from these facts, and the composition and specific gravity of granitic A'eins 
penetrating the masses, conjectures that these various products rejDresent different stages 
in crystallization from a primitive magma, the first-separated portions from which were 
more basic, and the later more siliceous. 

If this took place when the mass was undistiirbed, a granitoid rock would be formed ; 
but if while it was in motion, " hornblendic and micaceous schists and gneisses were most 
probably the results of this process, and the strike of these would indicate the direction 
of the current at the time of their formation." The material thus separated, notwithstand- 
ing its greater specific gravity, is supposed to have formed at the surface of the molten 
mass, as a result of cooling ; but in Macfarlane's view " there arrived a time when, from 
some cause or other, these first rocks were rent or broken up, and the crevices or inter- 
stices became filled with the still fluid and more siliceous material which existed beneath 
them. This gradually solidified in the cracks, or in the spaces surrounding the fragments, 
and the whole became again a consolidated crust above a fluid mass of still more siliceous 
material," which by subsequent movements would again be intruded in the form of veins 
in the broken crust. This restatement of the hypothesis of the solidification of a molten 
globe from above downwards, already taught by Naumann, ' serves to show how the 
eudoplutonist school explains the origin alike of massive and of stratiform crystalline 
rocks, and may be compared with the detailed statement of the exoplutonist view as set 
forth by Poulett Scrope. 

^ 22. The broad distinction sometimes drawn between stratified crystalline rocks, as 
of indigenous and acjueous origin, and unstratified rocks, as intruded or exotic masses of 
igneous origin, thus finds no place in the hypotheses of the plutonic schools, according to 

' See Trans. Roy. Soc, Can., Sec. i. Vol. iv. pp. 112-4, where details and references are given. 
- Geological Features of Lake Superior, Canadian Naturalist, May, 1867. 
■' Trans. Ro}. Soc. Can., Vol. ii, Sec. iii. p. 10. 


both of which these two classes of rocks have come directly from a primitive fused mass, 
which was either simple or had become complex throng-h differentiation. The Hnttoniau 
school also, which teaches that eruptive rocks, in many if not in all cases, were originally 
sediments, which, as a result of profound alteration, have lost their bedded structure, 
arrives, by a different route, at a conclusion not imlike that of the plutouists ; namely, 
that the differences between stratified and unstratified rocks are due solely to superin- 
duced structure and geognostic relations. Those who, for the most part imfamiliar with 
any other view, acc[uiesce in the metamorphic hypothesis of Hutton and his followers, 
now so popular with a school of writers on geology, are scarcely prepared, without far- 
ther studjr, to criticise intelligently either the plutonic or the crenitic hypothesis of the 
origin of crystalline rocks. The latter, as set forth in a previous easy, and concisely 
resumed in § 13 of the present, supposes that the source of all crystalline rocks is to be 
sought in a previously solidified primary plutonic material. The elements of these rocks 
haA'e been derived, in part indirectly, by aqueous solution, and in part directly from this 
original mass, more or less profoundly altered alike by previous aqueous action, and by 
differentiation through crystallization and elic[uation. By this hypothesis, as we have 
elsewhere attempted to show, we may hope to lay the foundation of a rational geogeny 
and geognosy. 

§ 23. We have already, in the preceding essay, considered at some length the A'iews 
of those who, noting the existence of predominant tj^pes of crystalline rocks, have sought 
to explain their origin by supposing the presence beneath the earth's solid crust of two 
distinct layers of molten rock : an upper, lighter, and more viscous siliceous or so-called 
acidic stratum, the material of trachytes, granites, and gneiss ; and a lower, heavier, and 
more fluid basic layer, the source of doleritic and basaltic rocks, — a A^ew which was put 
forth by John Phillips, ' defended by Bunsen, and elaborated and more definitely formu- 
lated by Durocher. To this are opposed the modified view, by Von Waltershausen, of a 
gradual passage downward in a liquid mass from a more acidic to a more basic portion, 
and the entirely distinct view held and defended by the present writer as the basis of the 
crenitic hypothesis. According to this, the plutonic underworld, so far as it intervenes 
directly in geologic phenomena, is an essentially homogeneous basic rock, not in a state 
of simple and original igneous fusion, but solidified, and subsequently impregnated with 
water, which communicates a certain plasticity to the highly heated mass, and, moreover, 
dissolves and removes therefrom the materials of the trachytic annd granitic rocks, — which 
are thus primarily of aqueous origin. 

§ 24. This process implies secular changes in the composition of the plutonic stra- 
tum, which are moreover local, since the conditions of solution and upward percolation 

' John Phillips, Manual of Geology (1855), p. 556, after distinguishing between rocks like granite and trachyte, 
containing quartz and trisilicates (orthoclase and albite), and rocks with more basic silicates, such as labradorite, 
pyroxene and chrysolite, suggests " the probability that granite appears among tlie oldest of the igneous family 
because of the gradual cooling of the internal fluid mass, which, bringing into action the unequal relation to heat 
of the silicates and trisilicates, separated these groups in zones. The former (usually more complicated) mixture 
might remain liquid, while the latter (usually les.s complicated) separated themselves in a solid state. On this 
supposition the trisilicated zone, being of less specific gravity, would be uppermost. It would be first consolidated, 
and might receive a coating of strata, while the silicated mass remained liquid below." On this hypothesis, he 
adds : " The trachytic lava of one active volcano, and the doleritic lava of another, would seem to indicate the 
stage to which, in those places respectively, the volcanic process had arrived." 


will vary in different areas, and during different periods in the same area. It involves 
also a corresponding change in the nature of the materials dissolved, so that differences 
greater or less are to be looked for in the composition alike of eruptive plutouic and of 
crenitic rocks, when those of different areas and different ages are compared. The eAà- 
dence of some such changes, even independent of aqueous action, in the composition of the 
plutonic mass, did not escape the acute observation of Durocher, and was in 1857 discussed 
by him in his remarkable essay on Comparative Petrology. ' To this I called attention in 
1858, stating that in Durocher's view the two strata of molten mineral matter imagined 
by him, "occasionally more or less modified by a partial crystallization and eliquation, or 
by refusion," give rise to the principal varieties of acidic and basic crystalline rocks. " 

§ 25. This view was stated with great clearness by Durocher, who declared : " The 
magmas which have produced the igneous rocks are to be compared to metallic baths which, 
holding many metals in a state of fusion, separate in solidifying into different alloys, accord- 
ing to the circumstances of their solidification," — these circumstances being " conditions of 
an exterior rather than of an interior order." Subsequently, in comparing a basic and 
highly aluminous phonolite with a trachytic porphyry, more siliceous and less aluminous, 
he remarks that an admixture of these in equal proportions would give the composition 
of a normal trachyte, and expresses the opinion that the rocks thus compared are probably 
'' the two opposite products of an elic^uation which took place in the midst of the liquid 
mass, as in the formation of two opposite alloys into which a metallic bath is so often 
seen to separate." These phenomena of eliquation he conceived to be very general in 
nature : "They must have taken place beneath the surface of the earth, and in its caverns 
and crevices, as well as at the surface." 

§ 26. The probability of this view is apparent to all chemists who have studied the 
phenomena due to the crystallization and the different melting and solidifying points of 
metallic alloys, as, for example, the separation of lead from its silver-bearing alloy in the 
Pattinson process, and the eliquation of this metal from its alloy with copper. It was 
adopted by Macfarlane in 1867, in explanation of the relations of more or less basic horn- 
bleudic and granitic rocks, already cited in § 21, and finds a striking illustration in the 
late experiments of Fouqué and Michel Levy on the artificial production of crystalline 
mineral species from fused vitreous mixtures. From such a mixture, containing the ele- 
ments of six parts of chrysolite, two of pyroxene, and six of labradorite, kept at a heat 
near whiteness for forty-eight hours, there separated crystals of chrysolite, 0.5 millimetre 
in diameter, together with magnetite and spinel (picotite) ; a vitreous magma still remain- 
ing, from which crystallized, at a lower temperature, macled crystals of labradorite, with 
pyroxene, magnetite, and spinel, as before. It is apparent that with a greater lapse of 
time, and the formation of larger crystals of chrysolite, which has a si^ecific gravity of 
about 3.4, these would, under the influence of gravity, subside, together with magnetite 
and spinel, from a fused glass holding the elements of pyroxene and feldspar, the more so 
as the density of fused doleritic and basaltic material is less than 2.8. From such a slowly 
cooling mixture the process of eliquation would, under favorable conditions, give rise to 
a highly chrysolitic aggregate, on the one hand, and to a dolerite with little or no chrys- 

^ Annales des Mines, xi. 217. A translation of this into English by Haughton was separately pubhshed in 
Dublin, in 1859. ^ Chemical and Geological Essays, p. 3. 

Sec. III., 1886. 3. 


olite, ou the other. Moreover, if, as is probable, there are conditions under which pyr- 
oxene may be separated in a similar manner from the feldspathic element, we should 
have a farther differentiation, giving rise to heavier and highly pyroxenic portions on the 
one hand, and to lighter and more feldspathic portions on the other. 

§ 21. The careful student of crystalline rocks will have noticed in ntaure many 
examples of variations in different portions of eruptive masses, which find a ready explana- 
tion in a process of partial solidification and eliquation, as suggested by Durocher and 
illustrated by the experiments of Fouqué and Michel Levy. This is well displayed in 
certain rocks intruded among the Ordovician strata of the St. Lawrence valley, near Mon- 
treal, and forming the hills known as Rougemont, Moutarville, and Mount Royal. These, 
as I have long since described them, are essentially doleritic, but present very great dif- 
ferences in the proportions of their mineralogical elements in contiguous parts. Thus in 
some portions of these masses we have a pyroxene and labradorite rock, in which these 
two elements are pretty equally distributed ; while in other portions the rock is almost 
wholly a black, coarsely crystalline pyroxene, Avith but an insignificant proportion of the 
feldspathic element. Elsewhere the arrangement of these two species gives rise to strati- 
form structure. 

§ 28. As described by me in 1863, ' for Mount Royal, " mixtures of augite and feld- 
spar are met with, constituting a granitoid dolerite, in parts of which the feldspar pre- 
dominates, giving rise to a light grayish rock. Portions of this character are sometimes 
found limited on either side by bands of nearly pure black pyroxenite, giving at first 
sight the aspect of stratification. The bauds of these two varieties are found curiously 
contorted, and . . . seem to have resulted from movements in a heterogeneous pasty mass, 
which have effected a partial blending of an augitic magma with one more feldspathic in 
nature." In the doleritic mass of Montarville, the alternation of a coarse-grained variety 
of dolerite, porphyritic from the presence of large crystals of pyroxene, with a finer-grained 
and whiter variety, is noticed, the two "being arranged in bands whose varying thick- 
ness and curving lines sttggest the notion that they have been produced by the flow and 
the partial commingling of two fluid masses." Of this stratiform structure, it was then 
said, it seems to be due to " the arrangement of crystals during the movement of the half- 
liquid crystalline mass, but it may in some instances arise from the subsequent formation 
of crystals, arranged in parallel planes." - 

§ 29. The feldspars mentioned, as shown in the published analyses by the writer, ' 
are near in composition to labradorite. The composite rocks described also contain, be- 
sides pyroxene, more or less magnetite and menaccanite, with chrysolite. This last spe- 
cies is for the most part distributed sparsely through these rocks, but occasionally, like 

^ Geology of Canada, 1863, pp. 665, 667, and Amer. Jour. Science, 1864, xxxviii. 175-178. 

- Farther illustrations of this were given by the autlior in a communication to the Boston Society of Natural 
History, January 7, 1874 : " Among these was a specimen sliowu from Groton, Connecticut, in wliich a large angular 
fragment of strongly banded micaceous gneiss is enclosed in a fine-grained eruptive granite, the mica plates in 
which are so arranged as to show a beautiful and even stratification in contact with the broken edges of the gneiss, 
but at right angles to the strata of the latter. Another example is afforded by the eruptive diabase from the meso- 
zoio sandstone of Lambertville, New Jersey, which is conspicuously marked by light and dark bands, due to the 
alternate predominance of one or the other of the constituent minerals ; and still another is a tine-grained dark 
micaceous dolerite dike from the Trenton limestone at Montreal, in which the abundant laminse of mica (probably 
biotite) are arranged parallel to the walls of the dike." Chem. and Geol. Essays, p. 186. 


the pyroxenic element, occurs in predominant quantity. Au example of this is seen in a 
coarsely granitoid chrysolitic aggregate, exposed with the same characters, over an area 
of many hundred square feet, on Montarville. The chrysolite in this rock is in irregular 
crystalline masses from five to ten millimetres in diameter, and was separately analyzed, 
as was the black pyroxene, found in still larger and well defined crystals in the mass, and 
also the feldspathic element, selected as carefully as possible. For an analysis of the rock 
as a whole, it was attacked in fine powder successively by dilute sulphuric acid and by 
a weak solution of soda, the portions thus dissolved being analyzed separately, as well as 
the insoluble residue. The relative proportions of these being 55.0 per cent of the former 
and 45.0 of the latter, it became possible to calciilate the composition of the rock as a 

§ 30. In the following table, I is the composition of the feldspar ; II, the pyroxene ; 
III, the chrysolite ; IV, the soluble portion (55.0 per cent), chiefly chrysolite ; V, the 
insoluble portion (45.0 per cent) ; VI, the rock as a whole, including an undetermined 
amount of titanic oxyd with the iron-oxyd. For the purposes of comparison we give 
under VII the composition of the supposed basic magma of the earth's interior, as deduced 
by Bunsen from the mean of several analyses of basic eruptive rocks, and under VIII the 
composition of the same, as calculated by Durocher, who, however, admits a range in pro- 
portions through geologic time which includes the figures adopted by Bunsen. The last 
five analyses are necessarily calculated for one hundred parts, and the whole of the iron is 
represented as ferrous oxyd, although an unknown proportion exists in a higher state of 

I. II. III. IV. 

Silica .53.10 49.40 37.17 37.3 

Alumina 26.80 G.70 — 3.0 

Liaie 11.48 21.88 — — 

Magnesia 0.72 13.06 39.68 33.5 

Ferrous oxyd 1.35 7.03 22.54 26.2 

Soda 4.24 0.74 — _ 

Patash 0.71 — — — 

Volatile O.CO 0..50 — — 

99.00 100.11 99.39 100.0 


Silica 49.35 42.70 48.47 51.5 

Alumina 18.92 10.16 14.78 16.0 

Lime 18.36 8.27 11.87 8.0 

Magnesia 6.36 21.29 6. 89 6.0 

Ferrous oxyd 4.51 16.45 15..38 13.0 

Alkalies 2. .50 1.13 2.61 4.0 

100.00 100.00 100.00 98.5 

§ 31. The process which has thus given rise in parts of a mountain mass of dolerite 
to considerable areas of a rock containing over 21.0 of magnesia, and more than one half 
its weight of chrysolite, and in other parts of the same mass to an aggregate of pyroxene 
and labradorite, almost, and in some cases wholly, destitute of chrysolite, is readily ex- 
plained if we admit a separation from a still fluid mass of the previously crystallized and 


heavier chrysolite by a process like that imagined by Durocher. It will be noticed that 
the insoluble and non-chrysolitic portion separated from the Montarville rock (V) is near 
in composition to an ordinary dolerite, or to the normal basic types of Bunsen and Duro- 
cher. We may conjecture that dolerites of average composition are, perhaps, themselves 
products separated by eliquation from a more chrysolitic aggregate. 

§ 32. The segregation of groups of crystals which takes place in the devitrification of 
glasses shows, within narrow limits, the process of differentiation through crystallization 
in a homogeneous mass. The operation of this process on a larger scale, giving rise to 
remarkable mineralogical differences, is well shown in the careful studies by Fouqué, in 
18Y3, on the recent eruptive rocks from Santorin. The ordinary type of these lavas 
examined by him was a vitreous mass enclosing crystals of feldspars, with pjn'oxene, 
chrysolite, and magnetite. The feldspar was chiefly labradorite, but its association with 
crystals of albite, and with some anorthite, was established. Druses in this same rock 
were, however, filled with anorthite, associated with a pyroxene and a chrysolite, both 
differing from those contained in the paste in being less dense, and in containing less 
ferrous oxyd. In an obsidian-like rock from the same region were I'ounded masses, some- 
times a metre in diameter, gray in color, and made up of crystalline anorthite, with 
pyroxene, chrysolite, titanite, and magnetite, with very little paste. The small portions 
of alumina found in the analjnses of these pyroxenes were apparently, according to Fouqué, 
derived from adherent anorthite, but another variety of pyroxene, seemingly very pure, 
and freed from anorthite, contained 12.4 per cent of alumina, which he regards as an 
integral part of the mineral, — a true aluminous pyroxene. Fouqué made use, in these 
investigations, of concentrated fluorhydric acid which readily attacks the coarsely powdered 
rock, dissolving alike the vitreous paste, albite, labradorite, and anorthite, but leaving 
behind the pyroxene and chrysolite, which, like amphibole, are but slightly attacked by 
the acid,' or, like staurolite and zircon, resist its action. 

§ 33. Durocher, in his statement of the hypothesis of eliquation as applied to eruptive 
rocks, of which this process of segregation just noticed is but an illustration, raises, in 
connection with the question of differentiation, another not less important. He concludes 
from his comparative studies" that, " in the long course of the ages which divide the 
Primary and the Tertiary periods from each other," there have been changes " in the 
composition of the fluid mass which nourished the eruptions " ; and, moreover, that in 
the case of the acidic layer — the source of the granitic and trachytic rocks — "there was a 
diminution of eight or nine hundredths in the proportion of silica, and of one-fifth in the 
potash, while the proportions of lime and iron-oxyd were almost doubled, and that of the 
soda tripled. Similar changes, according to him, have taken place in the basic layer, 
represented by dolerites, basalts, melaphyres, from the comparative study of which he 

' Fouqué, Nouveau procédé pour l'analyse médiate, et son application aux laves de la dernière eruption de 
Santorin ; in abstract, Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, June, 1873, Isxvi. 1181. Also, m extenso, Mem. 
des Savants Étrangers, de l'Acad. des Sciencies, xxii. no. 11. For farther details of this use of fluorhydric acid, see 
Fouqué and Michel Levy, Minéralogie Micrographique, p. 116. Crystals of zircon from different localities, accord- 
ing to the late observations of Ed. Linnemann, when exposed for ten days to the vapors of fluorhydric acid, crumble 
to a white powder, which is not attacked by fluorhydric acid nor by aqua regia, and is pure silicate of zirconia, 
equal to 93 and 9-1 per cent, of the crystals. The matters attacked are silicates of various bases, including alkalies, 
hme, magnesia, iron, zinc, and alumina. (Sitz. Berichte Kais. Acad. Wissenschaft, 11, 1885, in Chem. News, 
Nov. 6,1885.) 


concludes that " in the ferro-calciferous layer from the Primary to the Tertiary period. . . . 
there was a sensible diminiition of silica and potash, and a notable augmentation of soda 
and lime. " Of these changes, "the diminution of silica and potash in the modern rocks, 
both of the acidic and basic groups," was by Durocher explained by supposing that while 
these imaginary igneous layers remain distinct from each other, there is, nevertheless, 
in each a partial separation of these elements, by gravity, resulting in an accumulation of 
silica and potash in their upper portions, and of lime in their lower portions. The 
augmentation in the proportion of soda was by him referred to a special and independent 
cause, the supposed "intervention of sea-water in the formation of igneous products 
during the latter geological periods," which, as he writes, would explain "the considerable 
increase of soda in the more modern of the igneous rocks, whether they be derived from 
the acidic or the basic layer." 

§ 34. "While Durocher included in the category of eruptive rocks certain masses, 
such as those of magnetite, serpentine, and various amphibolic rocks, for which an igneous 
origin is not admissible (so that some of his data may be questioned), the correctness of 
his important generalizations, which suggest a vast geogenic problem, cannot be con- 
tested. As regards his proposed explanation, it is easy to conceive that a separation by 
specific gravity might possibly cause such variations, alike in the acidic and the basic 
layer, that the ejections in the course of ages from successively lower portions of each oi 
these would show the gradual diminution observed in the proportions of silica and po- 
tash, as well as the augmentation of lime. To this ingenious explanation, however, it is 
to be objected that it is based upon the unproved and, in the opinion of many modern 
philosophers, the untenable hypothesis of a molten substratum, and, moreover, one divided 
into two distinct zones. The whole of the phenomena in question, moreover, admit of a 
simpler and, it is believed, a more probable explanation, by the creuitic hypothesis. This, 
as we have seen, supposes a constant and progressive differentiation of an original basic 
plutonic mass through the action of water, which removes therefrom, in the elements of 
orthoclase and quartz — the chief constilu.euts of granitic rocks, — preponderant proportions 
of silica and potash : an action which would result at last in the partial exhaustion of the 
lixiviated portion of the basic rock, which, with the diminution of the amount of available 
silica and potash, would finally yield to the solvent action of the waters only the elements 
of the more basic feldspars. As a result of this continued process, the crenitic products 
themselves will naturally show a diminution in the proportions of silica and potash, by 
reason of the progressive exhaustion of the source of these, while this residual portion of 
basic rock will not only exhibit a reduction in the proportions of silica and potash, but a 
relative increase in the proportion of lime. Moreover, the sodium and magnesium-chlorids 
which, from the results of subaerial decay, find their way into the surface-waters, which 
subsequently pass downwards in the process of lixiviation, may, by double exchange, 
effect the displacement of potash and the fixation of soda and magnesia in the basic mass, 
as explained farther on. 

§ 35. This hypothesis thus explains at the same time the origin of the highly silicic 
and potassic rocks, represented by the granites, and the conversion of the original plutonic 
stratum into a more and more basic material, progressively richer in alumina, soda, lime, 
and magnesia. It moreover requires that the long-continued lixiviation of a given area 
of plutonic rock should at length reach a point at which water could no longer remove 


from it the elements of orthoclase and quartz. "With the disappearance of the latter would 
come the elements of the more basic feldspars, such as andésite and labradorite, as well as 
protoxyd-silicates, which together predominate in the norites and the diorites, charac- 
teristic crenitic rocks of the later crystalline series, such as the Norian and Huronian, which 
succeed the granites and the granitoid gneisses of the earlier periods. 

The crenitic hypothesis, as we have elsewhere seen, involves the conception that all 
trachytic and granitic rocks are primarily of crenitic origin, and that penetrating granitic 
masses, when not, as is the case with most granitic veins, directly crenitic or endogenous 
masses, are displaced portions of older crenitic deposits. The first-formed granitic layer 
itself, it is held, may become softened under the combined influences of water and internal 
heat, and being then displaced, may appear in an eruptive form. 

§ 36. The cjuestion here arises as to the respective parts which crenitic action, on the 
one hand, and crystallization and eliquation, on the other, may play in the genesis of 
various types of crystalline rocks. It is apparent, from the illustrations which we have 
given, that by the latter process aggregates could, in palœozoic times, be formed in which 
chrysolite makes more than one half the weight of the mass, and others in which either 
pyroxene or labradorite may largely predominate. The texture and the general facies of 
these different mineral aggregates, not less than their geognostic relations, however, suffice 
to distinguish them from crenitic deposits of somewhat similar composition. It was from 
a failure to recognize these differences that the original Weruerians denied or minimized 
the significance of igneous rocks, on the one hand, and that the later plutonists of both 
schools on the other hand, have argued the igneous origin of rocks of manifestly crenitic 
origin. The Wernerians, from the stratiform strircture of gneiss, which they ascribed to 
its aqueous origin, argued for a similar origin for the granite into which it appears to gra- 
duate, while the plutonists from an analogous structure in undoubtedly igneous rocks 
conclude the igneous origin of gneiss. We have already noticed this laminated or stra- 
tiform character in plutonic rocks, the true significance of which, as evidences of igneous 
flow, should not be lost sight of. 

§ 3*7. It must be kept in mind that the crenetic process, unlike eliquation, modifies 
the primary mass not only by abstraction, but by addition, since the surface-water which, 
by the hypothesis, is the dissolving agent, will bring with it in solution, in varying pro- 
portions, salts of calcium and magnesium, of potassium and of sodium, the action of all 
which upon the heated plutonic mass will effect certain intei"changes, resulting in the 
fixation of bases like magnesia, whose silicated compounds are comparatively insoluble 
in the circulating waters, and perhaps in a substitution of soda for lime. It is not impro- 
bable that potassic solutions from some local source ' could thus be introduced, and give 
rise by their action upon a doleritic mass, either integral or partially differentiated by eli- 
quation, to a material so rich in potash as to furnish the elements of leucite, which has 
the oxygen-ratios of an andésite. 

' While in ordinary spring-waters tlie proportion of potassium to sodium salts is small, seldom exceeding two 
or three hundredths of these bases, calculated as chlorids, I have shown that in an alkaline spring-water from 
palœozoic shales at St. Ours, Quebec, containing in a litre about 0.3 gramme of alkalies, chiefly as carbonates and 
chlorids, the potassium thus calculated equalled 25 per cent. In the case of the water of the St. Lawrence River it 
equals 16 per cent, and of the Ottawa River 32 per cent. See for a discussion of tlie question of potassium in natural 
waters, the writer's Chem. and Geol. Essays, pp. 13,5-137. 


§ 38. The genesis of rocks like phonolite, which are essentially made up of a feld- 
spar having the orthoclase-ratios, with an admixture of a more ba.sic silicate, as nephelite 
or a zeolite, can, however, hardly be explained save as an educt of crenitic action, like tra- 
chyte and granite. It represents, however, a period in the history of the plutonic mass 
when, from a diminution of silica, the production of quartz ceases, and more basic feld- 
spathic or zeolitic com]3ounds begin to replace the orthoclase. "When, from compounds 
like these, in which the proportion of protoxyds to alumina falls below the normal 
oxygen-ratio of 1 : 3, we pass to those, like the muscovitic micas, most tourmalines, and 
the pinite-like minerals, with a diminished proportion of protoxyds, we have probably in 
all cases to do either with crenitic products or with the direct results of subaerial decay. 

§ 39. Fouqué and Michel Levy, in their recent experiments, have shown us how to 
form artificially, from mixtures in igneous fusion, in which the proportions of elements 
were prearranged, crystalline aggregates containing leucite with labradorite, pyroxene, 
magnetite, and spinel, and others holding chrysolite in similar associations. The problem 
which lies behind this discovery is to determine how the materials are so grouped in 
nature's laboratory as to yield the mixtures necessary, in the one case, for the production 
of a leucitophyre, and in the other for a chrysolitic dolerite. The research of the natural 
processes by which these combinations are reached has been the object of the preceding 
inquiry into the results of elicjuatiou, on the one hand, and of the solvent and replacing 
action of percolating waters, on the other. 

§ 40. It is farther to be noted that the experiments of Fouqué and Michel Levy were 
made by the slow cooling of mixtures from simple igneous fusion, and the question must 
here be raised how far these reactions would be affected by the intervention of water ; in 
other words, whether, as maintained by Poulett Scrope, Scheerer, Elie de Beaumont, and 
many others, water is not always present in the mass of igneous rocks. So far as experi- 
ments go, the process of cooling from simple igneous fusion would seem to be inadequate 
to account for the origin of many of the minerals of eruptive rocks. Fouc[ué and Michel 
Levy inform us that they " have vainly sought to produce, by igneous fusion, rocks Avith 
quartz, orthoclase, albite, white or black mica, or amphibole," ' although the occasional 
accidental production of orthoclase as a furnace-product has been noticed. The presence 
of albite in the recent lavas of Santorin, in association with labradorite, pyroxene, and 
chrysolite, has been shown by Fouqué (§ 32), and its probable occurrence in a diabase has 
been pointed out by Hawes. - Both orthoclase and albite have, however, been formed in 
the wet way, at elevated temperatures, under pressure ; and pyroxene, while readily 
generated from the products of igneous fusion, was got by Daubrée by the action of super- 
heated water on glass, at the same time with crystallized quartz and magnetite or spinel. ^ 
The frequent occurrence of pyroxene in veinstones, in intimate association with ortho- 
clase, quartz, apatite, and calcite, suffices to show its aqueous origin, in common with all 
of these species. lu like manner, magnetite, which is readily formed in fused basic mix- 
tures, is found crystallized with orthoclase and C[uartz, with apatite and pyrite, in granitic 
veinstones. Moreover, the fact of its association with garnet, and with zeolitic minerals, 
in the secretions of basic rocks suffices to prove that magnetite, as well as hematite, may 

Synthèse des Minéraux et des Koche^, p. 75. - Trans. Roy. Soc. Canada, Vol. ii. Sec. iii. p. 39. 

lUd., p. 44. 


be formed by aqueous action. Chrysolite also, is produced by igneous fusion, but its 
presence in crystalline limestone in the form of forsterite, and in massive magnetite as 
hortonolite, shows that, like the related and similarly associated choudrodite, it may be 
formed in the presence of water. ' 

§ 41. The evidences of the intervention of water in eruptiA'e rocks have, since the 
time of Scrope, been too often j^ointed out to need repetition here. Its elements may even 
be retained in fused compounds at the temperature of ignition, under the ordinary atmos- 
pheric pressure, as seen not only in the hydrate and the acid sulphate of potassium, but 
incertain vitreous borates of sodium and potassium, long since described by Laurent, 
which at a red heat and in tranquil fusion hold an amount of hydrogen equal to 1.2 and 
1.3 hundredths of water, and are, under these conditions, slowly decomposed by metallic 
iron, with abundant disengagement of hydrogen gas, which burns with a green flame 
from the presence of combined boron. " That, under greater pressure, water may be held 
by other compounds, such as silicates, is undoubted. Hydrous glasses like pitchstone and 
perlite are examples of these, and differ from obsidian in containing three or four hun- 
dredths of water. 

§ 42. The late researches of Tilden and Shenstoue on " The Solubility of Salts in 
Water at High Temperatures " throw much light on the geological relations of water. 
While the^solvent power of this liquid rapidly increases, when under pressure, at tempe- 
ratures above 100' C, they have shown that '' the increase of solubility follows the order 
of the fusing-point of the solid." Thus, of potassium-iodid, which melts at 634°, 100 parts 
of water at 180° dissolve 32*7 parts, while of barium-chlorate, melting at 400°, 100 parts of 
water at 180° dissolve 526 parts. Of potassium-nitrate, melting at 339°, 100 parts of water 
at 120° dissolve 495 parts, or nearly five times its weight ; while of silver-nitrate, whose 
fusing-point is 217°, 100 parts of water at 125° dissolve 1622.5 parts, and at 133° 1941.4 
parts, or nearly twenty times its own weight. Of certain substances it can be said that 
they are infinitely soluble at certain temperatures. This is true of the decahydrated 
sodium-sulphate, which melts at 34°, and nearly true for benzoic acid. This substance, 
which melts at 120°, requires for its solution 600 parts of water at 0° and 25 parts at 100°; 
bat when heated in a sealed tube to a few degrees above its fusing-point it is miscible 
with water in all proportions. These heated solutions, in the case at least of barium- 
chlorate and potassium-nitrate, are described as notably viscous, a condition which perhaps 
indicates that they are colloidal. ^ 

§ 43. From these results it is easy to conceive what might be expected at elevated 
temperatures with materials as insoluble, at ordinary temperatures, as quartz or the 
natural silicates. A few hundredths of water at several hundred degrees Centigrade would 
probably convert these into a viscid fluid, from which, as from an anhydrous magma, by 
rest or by partial cooling, definite compounds might successively crystallize, — the mixture 
becoming, to use the simile of Poulett Scrope in speaking of lavas, like a syrup holding 
grains of sugar. From such mixtures partially cooled, or from a heterogeneous plutonic 

' Trans. Roy. Soc. Canada, Vol. ii. Sec. iii. p. 01. 

^ The potass iuni-borate in question, apart from combined water, contained boric oxyd 5S.6, potasli 16.3, 
giving the oxygen-ratio 72 : 5 ; and tlie sodium-borate had tlie same atomic ratios. Aug. Laurent, Compte Rendu 
des Travaux de Chimie, 1850, pp. 30-12. 

3 Philos. Trans., 1884, Part i, pp. 23-30. 


mass impregnated with water and not yet raised to the full temperature of solution, or 
what has been apilj termed " igneo-aqueous fusion," the more soluble portions, removed 
by percolation or by diffusion, we conceive to have constituted the lic[uids which in 
earlier times produced the various crenitic rocks. The fact that, as shown by Sorby, ' 
pressure augments the solvent power of water, irrespective of temperature, should not be 
lost sight of in this connection. The remarkable observations of Tilden and Shenstone 
serve to explain and to justify the view of the intervention of water in giving liquidity 
to various eruptive rocks, originally put forward by Poulett Scrope, and afterwards ably 
maintained, among others, by Scheerer and Elie de Beaumont. ■ 

The conversion of colloidal magmas, whether hydrous as just described, or an- 
hydrous, as noticed in § 26, into denser crystalline species, not only involves the disengage- 
ment of heat, but as Becker has shown, its disengagement at a maximum rate, thus 
maintaining, with the temperature, the liquidity of the crystallizing magma. ' The pas- 
sage of certain dense species, as epidote, zoisite, garnet, beryl and quartz, when fused per 
se, into vitreous or crystalline forms of less specific gravity * is no exception to this law of 
condensation, since the chemical and physical conditions of the fused mass are unlike those 
of the more complex magma. When such a magma, holding combined a portion of water, 
is changed into anhydrous crystalline species, this will be liberated, as is shown in the 
often observed disengagement from solidifying lavas, of acj[ueous A^apor, sometimes with 
boric oxyd, lluorhydric and chlorhydric acids, and various chlorids. Hence crystalline 
silicates like epidote, tourmaline, and micas, which contain these volatile elements, will 
only be generated under such conditions as prevent their liberation. 

§ 44. We have already noticed the banded structure (§ 28) which often results from 
movement in the extrusion of more or less differentiated masses of eruptive rocks, simulat- 
ing that produced by the separation from water either of mechanical sediments or of crys- 
talline deposits. It is important in this connection to distinguish between, the latter two 
processes, and to insist iipon the more or less concretionary character of the matters separ- 
ated from solution, often shown in the lenticular shape of beds of this character, and well 
displayed in the crystalline schists. The conditions under which these were laid dowu 
from water were less like those of ordinary sediments than of the accumulations of crys- 
talline matter in géodes and in veins. Many facts with regard to the banded character 
of mineral veins are familiar to geologists, and the stratiform character of such deposits 
has often been remarked in smaller vein-like masses. I have elsewhere called attention to 
the fact that crystalline masses having the relations of veinstones may assume great pro- 
portions, and that much granitic rock often regarded as eruptive is in fact of concretionary 
and endogenous origin, discussing the qiiestion at some length in 1871. ^ Veins of this 
kind were then described sixty feet in breadth, traversing the gneisses and mica-schists 
of the younger gneissic or Montalban series, in New England, often coarsely crystalline 

' Proc. Roy. Soc. London, xii. 538. 

'' Scrope, Jour. Geol. Soc. London, xii., 326; Scheerer, Bull. Soc. Geol. de France, 1845, iv. 468; and Elie de 
Beaumont, Ibid., 1240 et seq. See farther the author's Chem. and Geol. Essays, 188-191, and also 5, 6, for farther 
references to the literature of the subject. 

^ Becker, Amer. Jour. Science, 1886, xxxi. 120. 

' A Natural System of Mineralogy, etc. Trans. Roj-. Soc. Can. Vol. iii. Sec. iii. p. 36. 

'^ Granites and Granitic Veinstones, Amer. Jour. Science, 1871. Chem. and Geol. Essays, pp. 191-202. 

Sec. Ill, 1886. 4. 


aud banded, and evidently concretionary, but sometimes so finely granular and homoge- 
neous in portions as to be quarried for architectural purposes, like the indigenous gneisses 
of the series, which they often closely resemble. Remarkable examples of the same phe- 
nomenon are to be met with in the older gneissic or Laurentiau series, some of which are 
conspicuous in the sections of these rocks visible in the canon of the Arkansas River, 
and elsewhere in Colorado. Still more striking examples are met with in the similar 
gneisses in parts of Canada, and are well displayed in Ottawa county, in the province of 
Quebec, where, in the township of Buckingham, veins eighty feet in breadth, and made 
up almost wholly of orthoclase and crystalline cleavable magnetite, traverse for consider- 
able distances the stratified gneiss of the region. ' 

§ 45. In the same county, and near the Rivière aux Lièvres, are the great veins 
which have lately been exteusiA'ely mined for apatite in what is known as the Lièvres 
district. Yery similar veins also occur a short distance to the southwest, along the Rideau 
canal, in the province of Ontario, in what may be called the Rideau district. The veins 
in this latter area were first described by the writer as early as 1848, and s\Tbsec|uently 
in 1863, in 1866, and in 1884. - The history of these apatite deposits in the two districts, 
which may be considered together, will serve to illustrate some imp)ortaut facts in the 
theory of crystalline rocks. The principal associates of the apatite in these districts are 
pyroxene, phlogopite, orthoclase, quartz, calcite, and pyrite. It was said of the localities 
in the Rideau district, in 1863, that a careful examination in each case shows that " the 
deposit occurs in a fissure in the stratification, and has well-defined walls," while " a 
banded arrangement of the mineral contents is often very well marked ; " — the various 
minerals named sometimes occurring in alternate layers, of which the calcite, often with 
included apatite crystals, has " the aspect of a coarsely crystalline lamellar limestone." 
Farther examples were then given, showing the bilateral symmetry in many of the veins, 
and the occasional presence in them of drusy cavities. Moreover, although small portions 
of apatite were observed in what were regarded as the limestone beds of the enclosing- 
gneiss, it was said that " the workable deposits of apatite, with few if any exceptions, are 
confined to the veinstones." Such were the conclusions announced by the writer as late 
as 1866. Subsequently, in 1884, after farther studies of the Rideau district, he was led to 
write that although the deposits of apatite are in gi-eat part in true veins cutting the 
strata, aud sometimes iuckrdiug angular fragments of the wall-rock, — which is the char- 
acteristic red or gray gneiss of the country, — they are " in part bedded or interstratified 
in the pyroxene-rock of the region." With regard to certain apparently bedded deposits 
of apatite it was farther said, " I am disposed to look upon [them] as true beds, deposited 
at the same time with the enclosing rocks," which were described as " chiefly beds of 
pyroxene-rock, generally pale green or grayish-green in color, with mixtures containing 
quartz and orthoclase, and distinctly gneissoid in structure." 

§ 46. I am careful to emphasize this apparent contradiction between the assertion 
of the truly endogenous character of the deposits in which apatite occurs with pyroxene, 

1 Geol. Eeport of Canada, 1863-66, pp. 20, 215. 

- Geol. Survey of Canada, Eeport for 1848, p. 132, and for 1863-66, pp. 224-229 ; also Geology of Canada, 1863, 
pp. 461, 592, 761, and Trans. Amer. Inst. Mining Engineers, 1884, vol. sii, pp. 459-468. See farther, B. J. Harring- 
ton, Eeport Geol. Survey of Canada, 1877-78, G., pp 1-36, and J. Fraser Torrance, Ibid., 1882-83-84, J., pp. 3-30, for 
valuable contributions to our knowledge of the Canadian apatite deposits. 


phlogophite, orthoclase, quartz, and calcite, and that of the interstratification of the same 
apatite, in contemporaneous layers with a gneissoid pyroxenic roc:k, for the reason that 
both statements are strictly true, and that in their reconciliation light will be thrown on 
the great problem of the genesis of these crystalline aggregates. The mining operations 
on a large scale in these apatite deposits in the Lièvres district, especially in the years 
1883-1885, have in fact shown that the stratiform pyroxenic masses are, like the associated 
orthoclase-rock, the apatite, and the calcite, subordinate parts of veins, which assume in 
many cases vast proportions, and at the same time have in parts of their mass a banded 
structure much resembling that of the enclosing gneiss. Illustrations of this condition 
of things abound at the great open cutting.s for exploration and for mining which have 
been made at the High Rock, the Union, and the Emerald mines, in Portland and Buck- 
ingham townships, on the Lièvres Eiver. ' At the first-named locality the nearly ver- 
tical gray hornblendic gneiss, running northeast and southwest, is traversed by venous 
masses, sometimes with the strike, but at other times oblique or even at a right angle. 

§ 4*7. A study of some of the smaller veins of the region (which are not mined) will 
help to an understanding of the nature and relations of those which are exploited for 
apatite. As seen at the High Rock mine, these lesser veins are from a few inches to 
several feet in width, and are chiefly of a binary granite or pegmatite, often including 
portions of the wall-rock, and sometimes, near their borders, presenting, for a breadth of 
two or three feet, a veritable breccia of angular fragments of gneiss from one to six inches 
in diameter. The granitic veinstone includes two feldspars, one weathering white and 
the other reddish, the latter forming considerable cleavable masses. A little white mica 
is also sometimes met with in these A'^eins, which, in parts of their extension, hold portions 
of green cleavable pyroxene, sometimes in slender strings running with the strike, but in 
other cases filling the greater part of the vein, and including little seams of white felds- 
par, and small masses of greenish apatite, — fine and large crystals of which, and others 
of pyroxene, are, moreover, occasionally found directly imbedded in the granitic vein- 

§ 48. Veins of vitreous quartz a foot or more in breadth are met with in the imme- 
diate vicinity, and also sometimes enclose crystals of apatite, or portions of feldspar, by an 
admixture of which they graduate into the binary granite or pegmatite. There is thus 
apparent a transition from pure quartz to a gi-anitic rock, and to one essentially 
pyroxenic, each occasionally bearing apatite, which of itself also forms rock-masses. All 
of these are associated in the larger veins, in alternating bands or irregular lenticular 
masses sometimes a few inches in thickness, but at other times attaining breadths of many 
feet each. A frequent intermediate type of rock in these veinstones consists of a granular 
or coarsely cleavable green pyroxene with an admixture of quartz, and a feldspar, gene- 
rally white in color, but occasionally bluish, and with cleavage-planes an inch in breadth. 
The quartz and feldspar in this aggi-egate sometimes predominate, off'ering a transition 
into the granitic rock already noticed, which frequently includes crystals of pyroxene, 

' The workings at each of the three mines named liave yielded five thousand tons or more of commercial 
apatite annually for three or four year.s, and consist for the part of open cuttinjrs, in some cases to depths of 
over one hundred feet, causing the uncovering or displacement of great portions of the accompanying rock-masses. 
In other mines in this region, also very i^roductive, shafts have been sunk on apatite bands in these veins to 
depths of one hundref] and fifty and two hundred feet. 


apple-green or grass-green in color, and then sometimes holds clove-brown titanite, brown 
tourmaline, and, more rarely, zircon. 

§ 49. These rocks, essentially made vip of feldspar, quartz, and pyroxene, were long 
since noticed by the Avriter as occurring among the Laureutiau gneisses in the Rideau 
district, and at various points in the province of Quebec, and were described in 1866 as 
generally " granitoid or gueissoid in structure, sometimes fine-grained, and at other times 
made up of crystalline elements from two tenths to five tenths of an inch in diameter. . . . 
They are often interstratified with beds of granitoid orthoclase gneiss, into which the 
quart zo-feldspathic pyroxenites pass by a gradual disappearance of the pyroxene." The 
occasional presence in them not only of titanite, but of mica, amphibole, epidote, magnetite, 
and graphite, was then noticed, and attention was called to the fact that these mineral 
species are common to the pyroxene rocks and to associated crystalline limestones. 
The feldspar of these intermediate rocks was described as having generally the characters 
of orthoclase, as was shown by the analysis of a specimen from Chatham, Quebec, but as, 
in some cases, triclinic and resembling oligoclase. ' Dr. Harrington has since found for 
one of these the composition of albite. 

As will appear from the language just cited, these aggregates were then regarded as 
portions of the country-rock. The pyroxenite seen in North Burgess, in the Rideau 
district, was described as sometimes granitoid, and at other times micaceous and schistose, 
interstratified with what was then called a binary granitoid gneiss, and also with layers 
of crystalline limestone, some of them holding serpentine, and others including pyroxene, 
mica, and crystals of apatite. Both varieties of the pyroxenic rock were then said to 
contain small grains and masses of apatite, in one case forming an interrupted bed, which 
was traced two hundred and fifty feet with the strike, and was in parts two feet in thick- 

§ 50. While apatite was thus found in crystals, in lenticular masses, and in layers, 
alike in the calcareous and the pyroxenic stratiform rocks, these same rocks were described 
as traversed at right angles by veins, the banded and symmetrical character of which was 
insisted upon, carrying not only apatite but calcite, quartz, orthoclase, scapolite, pyroxene, 
amphibole, and wollastonite. "While the A'enous character of these secondary deposits 
(which also intersect the red and gray gneissic country-rock) was thus recognized, it was 
not until a later period that it became apparent that the same view was to be extended 
to the greater stratiform masses in which these veins were enclosed ; in fact that the 
process of depositing these mineral species had been repeated in these localities, and that 
the pyroxenic and granitic rocks, not less than the interstratified limestone masses, were 
portions of great endogenous masses or lodes." 

§ 51. At this stage of the inquiry the writer found himself face to face with the 
exoplutonists. Emmons, who, in 1842, first described the geological characters of the 
similar crystalline rocks in northern New York, regarded the whole of them — gneisses, 
granites, iron-ores, and crystalline limestones included — as of plutonic origin, a view 
which was supported by the evident geognostic relations of the calcareous veins. This 
was in accordance with the views of Von Leonhard, Savi, and others in Europe, who 

1 Geology of Canada, 1863, p. 475 ; also Report Geol. Survey of Canada, 1863-66, pp. 185 and 224-228. 
^ For an analysis of the argument, and many references, see Amer. Jour. Science, 1872, iii. 125, and Chem. 
and Geol. Essays, p. 208. 


taught the igneous origin of certain limestones — an opinion afterwards adopted by J. D. 
Dana, who supposed that some of the so-called primary limestones "were of igneous 
origin, like granite." The aqueous origin of similar calcareous masses in Scandinavia had, 
however, been recognized by Scheerer and by Daubrée, and in Germany by Bischof ; 
while the vein-like character of certain aggregates of this kind, in which Avarions silicates 
and other mineral species are associated with carbonate of lime in the ancient gneisses of 
North America, had been noticed by C. U. Shepard, H. D. Eogers, and "W. P. Blake, among 
others, as was shown by the writer in some detail, in 1866. In a paper then read before 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, it was said that deposits of 
carbonate of lime, sometimes of great dimensions, and holding the characteristic minerals 
of the crystalline limestones, are found tilling fissures and veins in the Laurentian gneisses. 
These were then designated endogenous rocks, regarded as of aqueous origin, and to be 
carefull}' distinguished from intrusive or exotic rocks.' 

The subject was discussed in the same year in an account of the mineralogy of the 
Laurentian rocks, when it was said, in commenting upon the view of Emmons that such 
masses, and in fact all of the crystalline limestones of the series, are eruptive : — "' The 
greater part of the calcareous rocks in the Laurentian system in North America are 
stratified, and the so-called eruptive limestones are really calcareous veinstones or endogen- 
ous rocks, generally including foreign minerals, such as pyroxene, scapolite, orthoclase, 
quartz, etc. " " I had not at that time as yet discovered that these same endogenous 
masses may include, besides calcareous bands, others essentially quartzose, pyroxenic, 
and feldspathic, resembling more or less the strata of the enclosing gneissic series, nor con- 
sidered that these same calcareous bands might sometimes be found in fissures coincident 
with the bedding of the latter. 

§ 52. In 1869 I visited with the late L. S. Burbank a locality at Chelmsford, Massa- 
chusetts, where limestone has been quarried from interrupted masses, sometimes two 
hundred feet in length, enclosed in gneisses of the ordinary Laurentian type, to which I 
then referred them. ' I failed to recognize in the quarries then examined the endogenous 
character which doubtless belongs to some of the limestone-masses of this region, where 
they have been traced, at intervals, for twenty-five miles, through Chelmsford, Boxbor- 
ough, and Bolton ; but at the same time I called the attention of Mr. Burbank to the 
question of these vein-like masses, placing in his hands my publications of 1866. He, as a 
result of farther observations, had, in 18*71, persuaded himself that all of the limestones of 
the region were newer than the enclosing rocks, not eruptive, but " of a vein-like char- 
acter," occupying fissures in the gneiss, of which character his descriptions, in certain 
cases, give evidence. ^ He noted the banded structure visible in the arrangement of the 
various enclosed minerals, as I had described them in 1866 in the similar limestone- 
masses in Canada, and envimerated in the region ixnder consideration : amphibole, pyr- 
oxene, chrysolite (forsterite or so-called boltonite), phlogopite, scapolite, and garnet, 
besides serpentine, in grains or in irregular bands or layers, sometimes traversed by veins 
of chrysotile. To this list may be added spinel, chondrodite, petalite, and titanite. 

' Proc. Amer. Assoc. Adv. Science, 1866, p. 54 ; also Can. Naturalist (II.) iii. 12,". 

'' Report Geo]. Survey of Canada, 1863-66. p. 194. See also the facts resumed in Chem. and Geol. Essays, p. 218. 

' Amer. Jour. Science, 1870, xlix. 75. 

* Burbank. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Adv. Science, 1871, pp. 263-266. 


§ 53. The late J. B. Perry at the same time and place ' announced a similar conclu- 
sion, to which he had arrived, namely, that these limestones in eastern Massachusetts, as 
well as others elsewhere in New England and in northern New York, though possessing 
" the form of dikes," " have a vein-like structure, and should be regarded as true vein- 
stones." He farther says of these deposits : " The foliated structure, with its accompany- 
ing series of mineral substances, each occurring in a determinate order, evinces that the 
process of deposition was gradual and probably long continued." Thus these observers, 
in 187^1, had, although without acknowledgment, confirmed my observations and adopted 
my conclusions of 1866 as to these endogenous calcareous masses of the ancient gneissic 
series. J. W. Dawson had in 1869 recognized Eozoon Canadense in a serpentinic lime- 
stone from Chelmsford, and both Burbauk and Perry maintained that all of the limestone 
masses of the region were vein-stones, as an argument against the organic nature of 

k 54. The mineralogy of these endogenous, more or less calcareous, masses has been 
the subject of much study. While sometimes having the aspect of a coarsely crystalline 
limestone, and nearly pure, they may include apatite, fliiorite, chondrodite, woUastonite, 
amphibole, pyroxene, danburite, serpentine, phlogopite, gieseckite, orthoclase, scapolites, 
brown tourmaline, idocrase, prehnite, epidote, allanite, garnet (sometimes chromiferous), 
titanite, zircon, rutile, spinel, volcknerite, corundum, menaccanite, magnetite, hematite, 
pyrite, and, more rarely, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, molybdenite, and galenite. 
To these must be added stilbite, chabazite, and barite. All of these species have been 
met with in the deposits studied in Canada and New York, while in the similar cal- 
careous masses in eastern Massachusetts chrysolite and petalite occur. Exceptionally, as 
in Franklin and Stirling, New Jersey, there are found in this connection zinciferous and 
mauganiferous minerals, as willemite, tephroite, sjiartalite and frankliuite. ■ 

The various associations of apatite in these aggregates are worthy of notice. Crystals 
of this species have been observed by the writer directly imbedded in the quartzo-felds- 
pathic vein-stone, in vitreous quartz, in calcite and dolomite, in pyroxene, in crystals of 
phlogopite, in pyrite, in magnetite, in spinel, and in foliated graphite, as well as in a 
massive granular apatite, which sometimes surrounds large and well defined crystals of 
the same species. Dr. Harrington has farther noted its inclusion in amphibole, in ortho- 
clase, in scapolite, in steatite, and in fluorite. On the other hand, apatite crystals have 
been found to enclose quartz, calcite, fluorite, phlogopite, pyroxene, zircon, titanite, and 
pyrite. The apatite of these deposits, so far as known, is essentially a fluor-apatite, con- 
taining in one case, by the writer's analysis, 0.5 hundredths of chlorine. From these 
facts it is evident that the succession of species in these veins is by no means invariable. 
Mention should here be made of the apatite occurring in disseminated grains in the great 
deposit of magnetite so extensively mined at Mount Moriah, near Port Henry, New York. 
The banded arrangement of the crystalline apatite, generally reddish in color, and in thin 

' Perry. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Adv. Science, 1S71, pp. 270-27G. 

- For farther and more detailed accounts of the occurrence of the mineral species already mentioned, and 
many others which are found with the calcarous masses of the Laurentian rocks, see Report Geol. Survey of Canada, 
1863-66, pp. 181-229, which were reprinted, with the exception of the last six pages, in the Report of the Regents of 
the University of New York, for 1867, Appendix E. See also, in abstract, Chem. and Geol. Es.says, pp. 208-217, and 
farther the reports of Dr. Harrington and Mr. ,T. Fraser Torrance, cited in the note § 45. 


layers, occasionally predominating, gives a stratified aspect to the iron ore. A similar