It has fallen to m y lot to h ave seen and trave rsed, al l the s u m m er and win ter roads. fro m the m ou th of th e K aminist i q

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2 Ladies and Gentl emen. crossing The Old Cro w W ing Trail. Mr. President It has fallen to m y lot to h ave seen and trave rsed w ith the exception of part of on e al l the s u m m er and win ter roads which m any years ago. connected th e Red Ri ver o r Selki rk settlement with the oute r world and they m ay be e nu me rat ed as fol lows 1. The old North W est Co m pany s route fro m the m ou th of th e K aminist i q uia through Shebandowan Lac des Mille Lacs the beautiful lakes and streams of th e height of land be tween Su perior and Lake Winni peg to Rainy Lake river w hich d rains it into th e Lake of the W oods the lovely that l ake and the river which bears its waters to Lak e Winni peg which with its ra p ids ch utes and falls is I th ink unsu rpassed in beauty by any ri ver of Laurentian Canada. The Hudson s Bay "ork Factory route too well known 2. t need any descri ption and of which o I h ave onl y seen a p art. 3. The Breckenridge Flats route skirting the west bank of th e Red Ri ver to near w h ere it re cei v es the name at the j uncti on of th e Sioux W ood and O ttertai l ri vers and crossing the Red Ri v er at Geor g etow n or Abe rcromloie t traverse to o the O ttertai l Ford the flats which gave th e route i ts na m e and enter the rolling dotted country which lay betwe n lake- e i t and Cloud on the Mi ssissi ppi 80miles abo St. v e Pau St. l. The winter m onthly m ai l carriers d og train rou te of 4. the old day s which. th e Red Ri ver at F0 t Pe m bina sou h t for shel ter and nigh t enca m p m ent the skirting of g Min ne sot woods at the sources of the eastern a affl u e nt of the s R e d Ri ver as far as R e d Lake crossing which on t h e ice it tra v ersed m any of the s m all lakes w hich for m the extre m e head waters of the great Mississippi down to Leech Lak e and th ence south ward passing through m azes of s m all lakes and through th e h untin g -grounds of th e Pil lagers to the j unc tion oi' th e Cro w Wing with the Mississi ppi Ri ve r and t h en

3 w h ich connected St. Paul with Fort G arrv in th and Anne sident d own t he eas t bank of that s t re am t o Fo rt Ri pl e y Sank R a pi ds an d St. Anth ony to St. Paul. 5. Th e m i li tary stage and early Red Ri ver stea m er route h e Dawson rou te (3. T whic h cut off the laboriou s nav i g a tion of the K aminist i q u ia Ri v er b v a road to Lak e Sh eban dawan u sing th ence the old water route o f t h e North West wi th da m s on several strea m s bette r landings and im prov ed po rta g es to t h e Lake of th e \V oods an d th e Nort h W e st Angle f ro m which a road had been cut to St. an d St. Boni face th us savin g t h e broken navigation of th e W innipeg Ri ve r the cross ing of th e he ad of Lak e W i nni peg and th e ascen t of the Red Ri ver. 7. The old Crow \V ing Trai l opened in b y a f e w a dventu rous Spiri ts u nd er direction of W il liam Hallett who havin g been attacked by th e Sioux on thei r way to St. Paul by Lac T rav e l s an d St. Peter sough t safe ty i n returning by th is rou te m any mi les of which had to be cut th rough t h e woods. O f t h ese se ven routes of travel I have Mr. Pre ladies and gen tle m en chosen the la st-menti oned becaus e nu lik e m est of the others it m ay not h e traversed to-day. T h e ploug h s h are of th e Minnesota settler has obliterated its once deeply m a rked tri pl e track ev en w here l ike th e old bu ffalo paths of Sout h western Manitoba th ese m ay in so m e places be di stinguished e fence of t h e old and the new settler bars the way Another reason m ay be fou nd in the fact that over it I m ade m y fi rst prai rie j ou rney that fro m one of i ts enca m p m ents 1 saw th e last h erd of buffal o ever seen east of the Red Ri ver and that th ough I a m abou t to descri be i t as seen by m e in a peace fu l j ou rney late in th e fall of 1860 I was to traverse i t agai n whe n co m parati vely d isused d uring the year of th e Siou x m assac re in Minnesota as the only hope of reac h ing Fo rt Garry fro m St. Paul where I then was w hen a ca m p fire w as out o f the q u estion each ri v er-ford and blu ff

4 of ti m ber to be avoided and a steal thy Indi an tread t o h e fancied in the rustle of every leaf. Co m ing up fro m Kingston in th e spring of 1860by w ay of the lak es to Chicago one rail way only was th en i n e xis tence in the d irection I wish ed to travel its ter m ination being Prairie - du - Chien on the Mississi ppi" Fro m this point th e onl y connection to St. Paul then a large frontier town and trad ing post was by stea m ers buil t for the navigati on of th e u pper Mississippi and w ell do I re m e m ber m y first look at ' these extraordi nary boats accusto m ed as I w as to seei ng the vessels used on the great lak es where strength and solidity i s re q uired the y see m ed frai l to absu rdity in contrast. Th e sup p orts o f the upper d ecks scarcely heav ier than the trel lis work of g rape v ines were called stanchions " and I discovered that two inch oak was considered heavy planking for these extraordinary craft. The boiler was on deck the fou r feet of h old not of course having roo m for it and t h e power was con v e y e d to an i m m ense W heel at t h e stern whi ch extraordinary as it looked to one accusto m ed to the heavy side wheels and screws of the stea m craft on other waters was yet found to serve an ad m irable pu rpose when approaching the shallows and sand bars in th e u pper part of the riv er. No ordinary rule of navigation see m ed to be followed in th e ru nning of th ese stea m ers " a nd watching ev erything with th e curiosi ty and interest of nineteen I especially m arked the m e thod in which the heaving of the lead which w as ord er ed fro m t h e w he e Lh o u se as we approach ed so m e shallow navigati on w as carried out by th e m ate on the fore-deck. That functionary first seated h i m self near th e bo w with his legs hanging over th e u nbulw arke d deck and i n this positi on with a ten - foot pole th e lower four feet of which were paint ed al ternately red and wh ite he plunged i t i nto the water. announcing as he dre w i t up th ree feet full g plunged again h e announced three feet scan t another effort brough t two and - a - h al f feet then th e bell rang and th e stea m er s speed was decreased and when only t w o feet was announced the

5 6 order was gi ven to hack her. 3 H e r how was then turned towards another part of the bar and when two feet ful l was announced as the result of the nex t e ffort the hel l was rung go ahead and th e stea m er North Star wriggled wi th an e e l - li ke m otion wh ich set the glasses j ingling in the cabin. and m ade one feel as thou g h riding an hi ppopota m us over th e deepest part of the bar wh en t wo - and - a - hal f fee t three feet three - and - a - h al f feet were announced in q uick succes si on foll o wed by another dip of th e pole which passing be yond th e four foot m ark brough t the announce m ent fro m the mate who rose at that m o m ent to put away h is pine l ead - l ine" no botto m. Fine weather and th e beautifu l scenery al ong the banks o f the upper m ade th e trip a pleasant one and Mississippi brough t us safely to Pau l " Mi nnehaha visited and the was St. Fal l of Anthony as wel l as the beau tifu l and historic s St. pro m ontory then crowned by Fort Snelling "then ca m e th e q uestion of the re ma inde r p f the j ourney over 650m i les which lay between that city and Fort Garry. The first stage line had j us t been given the contract for the carriage of t he m ails to th e the n re mote m ili tary outpost of Fort Abercro m bie with a bon us large enough to i nd uce th e contractors to agree to t h e sti p ulation de m anded by t h e g o v e rnme nt that the m ails shou ld be carried in overland coach es wi th fou r h o rses "and these m il itary cond i tions faci li t at e d m y traversing that part of th e j ou rney. Shortly before this An son Northrup a wel l k nown "pper ri ver stea mboat m an had brought a s m al l stea m er na m ed after h i m sel f d u r i ng th e spring flood u p to near th e head of the Mississi ppi Ri ver and fro m there had porta g ed the m achinery and th e b o at i n sections ov er to the head waters of t h e Red Ri ver and th e boat which had been rebuilt and ch ristened t h e Anson N or t h rup was then lying at Georgetown t h e Hudson s Bay Co m pany s te m porary tran sportation post 45 m i les north of Ab e rcro m bi e. The j ourney o n this stage w as a pleasant one the beau ti ful Minne sota la kes and ri vers on w h ich te m porary sta g e

6 station s h ad been built lent a great char m to i t which al l have fel t who hav e i n su m m er traversed this route. At Georgetown so na m ed after Sir George Si m pson I inspected the craft w h i ch w as to take us by the ri ver about 500m iles to Fort Garry. It w as a m iniatu re edition of t h e Mississippi stea m er but there w as an o m inous look about the wheel- house how ever which was ou all sides h eavily protected by four inch oak planks which the captain did not al lay by saying O f course you have your gun al ong with you. Further in vesti g at i on she wed an arrange m en t by wh ich cord wood for fuel could be so piled wh ile th e vessel w as stea m ing on her course as to protect the lower d eck fro m bullets. The good - natured engineer also sh ewed m e a contri vance by which at a m o m ent s notice he cou ld turn a strea m of hot water and scal d ing stea m upon any body of Ind ian s wh o m ight s trive to take possession of th e boat i n case it should accide nt all v strik e th e bank or land for addi tional All th is w very new v ery as fuel. strange and very attracti ve to a you ng fel low who had only heard of such m atters fro m incidental r e ading of Indi an wars and and when fu rther it appeared t hat the forays explained Red Lake Indians afte further thought had beco m e r dissat is ne d with th e cond itions o f th e treat y m ade wi th the m by Governor Ra m say of the then T of Minnesota and e rrit orv proposed to prevent whi tes passing throu h or occupying g t hei r country till a ne w arrange m ent had been m ade. Near A bercro m bie I m et the noted frontiers m an George Northrup in w h ose log cabin were a few books which show ed superior cul ture. H e had m ad e hi m self fa m iliar wi th th e ()j i bwa y tongue and h is ho m e w as secured by the presence of the forces at Fort Abercro m bie he had run the g au ntl et of the forays between the Sioux and the Oj ibwa y s and yet re t ained th e scalp which poor fellow was a he f terwards to lose when actin as a scout for the General co m m anding th e g colu m n w hich after th e Sioux m a sacr of s e 1862 fol lowed th e Siou x to crossin of the t he g H e w to be one of as Missouri. the defenders of the boat "and his knowledge of thei r lang

7 up the Assini boine to land w h ere Mai n Street bridge now is blowi ng al m ost continuou sly for th e previou s hal f h ou r where the stea m er land ed. Ascendin g this bank Fo rt Garry with artiller y to mak e a rus h on t h e gateway. This gate w u a g e was to be b rough t i nto play i n case of a parley with t h e i rate Indians. A detention of two weeks at Georgetown wai ting for so m e s m al l portions of m achinery however saved u s fro m difficulty with the Indians none of wh o m we saw on our guarded pas sage down the ri ver they having probably gone back to thei r h unting g rounds near Red Lake. Pe mbi na was reached then only half a d ozen houses th e boundary l ine was crossed the n For t Pe mbina (the Hudson s Bay Co m pany s wooden stockade ) ca m e i n view. Thirty m iles below w e reach ed th e fi rst of th e Red Riv er settle m ents th e i nh abitants con g regating on the banks to see t h e stran g e st e ame ' passing " and i t was with intense i nterest that w e reach ed at last th e bend of th e ri ver whi ch di sclosed t he twi n towered cath ed ral of St. Boniface " another be nd and Fort Garry ca m e i n vi ew a straigh t ru n along th e present cou rse of the Winni peg Rowing Clu b w as traversed h en turnin g the groves church and tower of S t. J oh n s could be seen across t h e al m o st blank intervening space " and t he stea m wh istle once belonging to a very m uch l arger Stea m er wh ich had been brought I t h ink what m ust h ave. been v e ry nearly e very l ivi ng h u m an being for t w o m i les around to the sloping bank so o ften h eard of w as inspected " and ev en th en ti m e and an i m perfect foun datio n had l eft cracks in th e stone wal l s. It see m ed. o weve r a place which a ve ry few m en could h e ld h again st a nu m ber u nprovided w i th artillery for t h e basti ons were pierce d on al l sid es. not only for s m all ar m s bu t c arron a - le s were m ounted at each e mbrasure. The fron t gate was m assi ve like th e fron t wal l which faced t o wai ds th e Assini boine and w as enti rely fl ank ed and protected by bas tion p ro j e c t io ns so that there w as no ch ance for any force unprovid e d h owever w as only o p en on special occa si ons th e bu siness gate of the Fort bein on i ts eastern side and was si m pl y a sally ( I t 5

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10 Passing down this side of the Fort was the King s high way h eight above the pews the plain evidence on its pai nt work 1 1 port where m ore than two m en could not enter abreast. which le d off in a northerly direction and was continued to Lower Fort Garry or the Stone Fort an d thence to the Pe g u is Reserve and the two Sugar Points. No bu i l ding what ever was built upon this road "the houses of Willia m Drever the two of Andrew McDe rmot t s A. G. B. Bannat y n e s that of the Ros Logan Bou s s vette Brown and l nkster being wh ere th e lan d ad m itted of i t on t h e banks of the river so m e distance to the east. I have said that the Cathedral of St. Boniface then possessed two towers which have been m ade fa m i liar to the whole of this continent by the beauti fu l description of the poet W h ittier in the Red Riv er V oyageu r. The Cathedral Church of St. Joh n also possessed its tower (a square and very m assi ve one ) and m y first Sunday in the settle m ent found m e one of it s occupants d u ring the m orni ng service "and I noticed on th e bordered wainscoting W hich extended up so m e of th e extre m e h eight and of the grad ually decreasing of th e waters of th e flood of Fro m n ear its gate coul d be seen the residence of the Right Reverend Dr. An derson th en Bish op of Rupert s Land " a building very little changed except outwardly bui lt solid ly of logs and now th e residence of His Grace th e Pri m ate of al l Canad a "and bet ween the C h u rch and this house stood the then closed College of St. John. During m y su m m er s stay I had visited the Pe g ui s Reserve th e King s High way which l ed to th e Sugar Points of Mapleton its southern border crossing th en as now th e I m age Plain "had seen the Kildonan Chu rch the Mid dl e Church and that of St. Andrew s and v isited the Stone Fort" had seen St. Ja m es and Headingley Chu rch es crossed th e W hite Horse Pl ains W here I saw its fine church "traversed Le Grand Marais to Poplar Point with its church High Bl uff and its place of worship and that of the Portage all

11 l 12 m onu m ents of th e e arnest zeal and tireless efforts of Arch deacon Cochrane. I had seen the Tepe e s of far off tribes who h ad co m e to Fort Garry to trad e had laughed wit h our own Crees and Oj ibways wh o stood on the ban k at th e unsuccessful atte m pt of two Plain Crees to c ro ss the Red Ri ver in a bark canoe these chi l d ren of the prairie w h ose ho m e is on horseback hav ing no use for nor acq uaintance wi th the padd l e "had seen the Plain hunters co m e back with th eir load s of pe m m ican d ried m eat an d the flesh of th e buffaloes last seen by the returning brigades " h ad eaten of t h e Mat row f at and Berry pe m m ican and oh greater gustatory j o y than al l else had partaken of the deliciou s h um p th e od or and taste of w hich are stil l fresh in i nv m e m ory after three and thirty v e ars. Th e falling leaves and autu m n tints of October 1860re m inded m e howe ver that I m ust leav e for t he winter th is land of plenty and p ro m ise " and as th e stea m ers had long since ceased to run I began preparing for t h e trip which I a m about to d escri be. This road or trai l cal l ed by th ose at this end of i t The Crow Wing Trai l. and at th e oth er The Old Red Ri v er Trail was one w hich had been used for m any years " and while our M etis and Crees were at war with t h e Siou x i t was Considered bot h safer and s h orter than th e one on th e west sid e of the Ri v e r un ti l Fort A berc ro m bi e w as bui l t " and ev en then was often as being less open to prairie with used fires better w ood for enca m p m ents and high gravel ly ridges to ren der part of i t at least al m ost as good as a turnpik e road Its drawbacks were th e m any strea m s eastern afiiu e nt of th e s Red Ri ver wh ich had to be forded so m e of th e m ike the Red Lak e Ri ver being after heavy rai ns very for m idabl e obstacl es to loaded or even light carts. It was a favorite l and rou te with Sir George Si m pson wh o d ied the year I first traversed it "and Ja m es McKa y his tru sty and trusted vov a g e u r known to t h e Engl ish and French settlers as J e emi e and to the Siou x as J imichi who was to beco m e a m e m ber of th e Legis lati ve Counci l of M anitoba on the reco m m endation

12 1 3 of Governor Archibald was proud of the fact that al wa y s on the tenth d ay of their start fro m Crow W ing at the strok e of noon fro m th e Fort Garry bel l he landed Sir George at the steps of the Ch ief Factor s House. Relays of horses enabled hi m to do thi s rain or shine and the slig h test stoppage i n m uskeg or s t rea m found McK a y wading in to b ring Si r George on h is broad shoulders to dry l and. Fortunately fo r m e a m ore experienced head th an m ine had chosen th e horses selected th e cart and saddle and su g w gested th e outfit for the j ourney " and th ough I found soon after starting that there were wrink les in ca m p and trav el that experience only can teach stil l I ack nowledge m y in debt e dne ss to m y friend and proceed to enu m erate the outfit w hich be dee m ed sufficient to land m e and the Canad ian friend who was t o acco m pany m e safely at Crow Wing " and I gi ve these in the order of their i m portance. Two Red Ri ver ponies wh o disdained oats and had never eaten of aught save prairie grass dry or green Blackie and Bichon both good types of th ei r h ardy class sh ort barrels stu rdy l egs long m anes and tai ls w hich touched thei r fet locks differing in disposition h owever Blacki e having a bad eye and uncertain te m per wi th a disposition to s m ash th ings with h is hind legs which would h ave been fatal to a buggy but was energy th rown away on a cart when one knew h ow helpless h e was with a clove h itch around the root of h is tai l with one end of a sh ort piece of shaganappi the ot her end of w hich was tied to the front cross bar of the cart the eight or ten inches distance between the attach ed ends affording bu t little scope for the exercise of powers such as Bl ackie u h doubtedly possessed. This peculiarit y was not the only one of Blackie s w hich woul d have placed hi m second to Bichon in this narrative had h e not so m e qualities usefu l indeed in ti m e of troub l e. He had a practice of trying to bolt when his har ness was loosed to escape the in ev itable bobble without which Blacki e wh ose leadershi p Bichon. th e tractable and gentl e al ways followed would h ave left us on th e prairie to ou r own

13 1 4 d evices m ore than once and even with these shaganappi oh st ru c t io ns to h is rapid l oco m otion he m ade ti m e fast enough to m ak e his capture ti ll his sto m ach was ful l a very d i fficul t m atter. Though bad in th ese respects h e was good in others " for the swa m p m ust be deep that h e could not pul l a cart through "and th e bank of a strea m j ust forded m ust have been steep and slippery indeed th at Black ie s unshod feet could not scra m bl e u p. th e patient would d o his best Bichon and failing wou ld lie down i n the one or sl ide back to the botto m of the other. So that as w e are apt after m any yea rs to re m e m ber th e good and forget the bad I have gi ven th e first place in th is I fear ra m bling narrati ve t o Black ie " th ough I acknowledge gratefu lly that it was on Bichon the o be die nt s back that I explored the bog or essayed the ri ver crossing when the one was likely to be bad or the other deep. So m uch for th e Th e sadd le was si m ply a tree strap horses. ped on over a blanket which easi er on the horses than was the Ind ian saddle "and the cart harness the d ressed bu ffalo sk in one of the ti m e with the collar and ha m es i n one piece short traces to i ron pins in th e shafts to which also were attached the hold backs wh ich were the broadest and h eav iest part of the harne ss. Shaganappi reins and a brid le with no blink ers co m pleted th is si m ple but efficient equip m ent. Ite m s Nos. 2 3 and I being ne w d escribed I co m e to an i m portant one N 5 o. th e cart t h e pop ular i m pression of which now is that i t was a ra m shack l e sq ueaky affair w ith wheels fiv e feet high each one of w hich dish ed outward ly so that the fel loes look ed as i f abou t to part co m pany with the spokes and h ub " and those who have seen the m as cu riosi ties at an Ex hibit io n wonder if the wood h ad sh runk which left a loose opening where felloe j oined felloe i n the q ueerl y dished wh ee l or whether indeed th e fellow w ho ma de th ese J omt s had been qu ite hi m self w hen he co m pleted t h is wooden m onstrosity wh ich had not a scra p of i ron on or abou t it. "ueer looking th ey undoubtedly we re as co m pared wi th the presen t tri m buggy though th e sq ueak is a l ibel as a pplied to a lightly loaded trave l l ing cart. which has been t'airlv t i e at e d by the

14 wi th ease and pl easure and that is seated in fron t on its floor 15 application of th e scrapings of the frying pan to its axl e ve t no vehicle I verily believe which has been used before or since so suited for the traversing of a country wh ere in was one i t m ight have to travel over with its t h inch wide day ue e - - wooden ti re a shaking bog a m iry creek a sandy shore or a bou lder strewn path up steep hills. At a cost of two pounds sterling in the old days one beca m e the possessor of a v eh i cle th e hi gh wheel s of which m ad e it easy to draw the great dish o f the wheels m ade it hard to u pset while t he lo ose j oint ed fel loes saved th e whee l fro m wreck by closing and yield ing when a rock was struck in a deep ri ver crossi ng o r the hidden stu m p in a newly cu t trail was encou ntered. A v e rv haven of rest wert thou O cart on the prairie when the long day of trav el ended a large squa re of can vas th row n o ver you m ad e a tent before a ca m p fire better than any o ther and an ark of safety wh en th e swollen ri ver w as too d eep to ford thy wh eels off and under t h e box with t h e sa m e square of canvas abou all thou wast a boat m ad e i n t t e n m inutes i n w hich two travellers wi th thei r belongings m ight paddle 01 pole fro m shore to shore in safety leading the swi m m ing horses beh ind. My excuse for th us apostrophising m y Red Ri ver cart as sentient being is t h at l ike Blackie i t h ad tricks of its own a which puzzled the uninitiated. te m pt to rid e in i t i n any At way that one i s wont to d o in a ' civ ilize d vehicle and i t soon rattled (if I m ay use a m odern expression ) it s occupan t wh o found hi m self to a m usical acco m pani m ent of frying pan and tin k ettles trying alternately to preserve hi m self fro m being pitched onto the pony having h is right or left ribs cracked against t h e side rail or tu rning a so m ersaul t ov er the tai l board of the cart. N o t here i s on l y one way to rid e in a cart with your legs h anging down ne ar the horse s tail. I f you are l uxurious tie a broad piece of shaganappi fro m rai l to rai l to support your back pu t an extra folded blank et under you trot sway your body slightly with Bl ackie or Bichon s j og and you need not en vy the occu p ants of a coach and

15 this better j ol ts along til l its l ong handle reach es far over the tail board four. N. -V. 16 k nown as Co m m odore Kit t so n a p p re ciat e d this fact and never wou l d in any of his later prai rie trips rid e i n an y other way or in any o ther v ehicle. As there is only one w ay to ride in a car t so there is only one way of sto wing its accessori es "th e m o st i m portant of whic h is y o u r hal f sized axe. Pu t i nto the cart by a green h and useful i m pl e m ent beco m es an engin e of d estructi on " cuts into your packages of tea e t c ruins you r blankets and and an ex tra j u m p tu m bles i t on to the t rail to delight the heart of the first Indian wh o passes but to cause you to be extre m ely sorrowful wh en you h av e to m ake ca m p with a jack - kni fe or repl ace an ol d axle. No t h e axe sh ou ld tak e no risks and m u st have a leat h er socket for its head and a strap for its h andle and both ou tside th e cart on one of th e side boards. Th e gun is the next i n i m portance "and for that too th ere is on ly one w a y if you are not to risk sh ooting you rsel f or you r co m panion. Th e butt m ust rest near your s e at on the left sid e the barre ls i n a loop to the top rai l at an angle of 45 d egrees th is arrange m ent w hil e m aking it s carriage q ui te safe enabling you to seize it quick ly whi le V e t th e prai ri e chicken or duck i s passing. Not so dangerous as the two fo rm er bu t infinitely m o re difficul t to m anage are t he frying- pan wi th i ts l ong handle and t h e copper and tin k ettl es to put th e one l oose into th e cart was to blacken and s m ear al l i ts contents " w hi l e th e kettles af ter a pre l i mina ry ro w -de- do w. w ould speedily part wit h th ei r bal e s and lids batter the m sel ves into u selessness against th e sid es and th en j u m p ou t bodi ly on to th e t rack. No having trie d m any ways wi th k ettles I have co m e to the conclu sion that o nly w hen inside one another and lashed secu rely below t h e centre of th e axle w h ere the y may j in g l e i n peace are t he to be circu mvented. As for the frying- pan having been so often enti re l y beaten in atte m pts to m uzzl e o ne. I have long a g o gi ven up any t l' io u g h t of rendering innocuous that j ing l ing bangin g crook ed n ) prai rie travel. perverse but i nd ispensable adj unct to

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17 bulky appearance wh en Indians had to be break fasted or dined a 18 The cart cover I have incidental ly m entioned this m ust be large and ligh t so as to co m pletely en vel ope the cart ei ther as a ten t or boat and is preferable to a tent for l ight travel l ing as it saves the carriage of pins and poles m ay be use d by th e tire d tra vell er m uch sooner at nigh t and m ay be folded i n the grey dawn by the sti ll hal f-asl eep voyageur withou t tri pping ove r pegs or ropes. As prai ri e ch ick en and d uck were abundant th e s u bst an t ials for the trip were as fol l o ws Pe m m ican ( m arrow f'at if possi b l e ) 20pounds hard biscuit 30pounds tea sugar bu t ter and salt a little flou r to m ake the R ubbiboo assu m e a thei r m id - day ente rtain m ent being g e ne rall v av oided by gi ving the m a biscu it each and keeping on ou rsel ves wi th a l unch of pe m m ican au naturel a pair of bl a nk ets each couple of bu ffal o robes then costing sh illings sterli ng e ach our cl othes in a cou ple of waterproof bags and Lo "the expediti on was co m pl ete. The voy a g e proper di d not co m m ence ti ll Pe m bina was reached for th e travel ler who brough t th e latest news and cou l d speak a li ttle French w as al ways su re of the best they h ad i n the w av of bed and board at any of th e houses of the Metis w hose settl e m ent extended then hal f way to Pe m bina. ()ne s horses too were al ways i ncluded i n th e generous ho spi t alit y and Blacki e and Bichon ate of th e s weetest o f th e re Ce nt l v m own p rairie grass. The second nigh t was in va riabl y p assed at Pe m bina post w h ere the H. r in charge ( a B. oflice predecessor of an estee m ed m e m ber of ou r Society Chief Fac tor Clark ) extended si m il ar h ospitali ty on a better scal e and saw you safe on to the ferr y in th e m ornin g. We had ar ri ved at Pe m bina had eaten buffal o steak for su pper h ad slept i n a ci vilized be d had steak s agai n porridge f o r breakfast foll o wed by bu ffalo th e fi rst helpings of which were taken fro m th e botto m of th e liberal pi le to g i ve point to the wo rth y m aster s standing explanation that th e Co m pany s cooks al ways pu t th e best at th e botto m I su ppose for their own delectati on after th eir m aster s m eal was over. Our w o rt h v host s close

18

19 let t h e long way fro m th e Snak e Hil l to th e Sand Hi l l River safe 2 O prai rie travel al ways to enca m p at t he fu rther side of the strea m that the m orning's start m ay be m a de wi th d ry clothes and fresh h o rses "and wh i l e Blackie and Bichon are recrui t i ug r thei r energies on the ri ch gra s s of ungrazed savannah l and m e g i ve a b rief accou nt of t he character of this old trai l fro m Pe m bina to Crow W in g. T h e low savannah coun t ry d otted wi th wil low bl u ff s such as I have m e ntioned and w h ich is d rained by th e two ri vers extends fro m Pe m bina to t h e Ta m arac Ri ver crossing about thi rty- fiv e m i l es fro m Pe m bina " and th e travel ler after ford ing this the Middle and Snak e Hill ri v ers all branches of one strea m enters u pon a Country o f fine gravel ridges running in the m ai n north and south with a growth of as pen wil low and bal a m poplar " flank ing the m the delicate bud and leaves of wh ich in catkins s the e arlv s pring m ake the m look like a long avenue where th e lan dscape gardener has been at work. This extend s nearly al l where th e old g ravel ridges of for m er lak es trend off too m uch to the east and th e trail crosses a h igh dry prai rie which is fairly good for travel bu t yet is unlike th e voyageu r s p ara dise I hav e j ust d escribed and I m ay as well expl ain why. Th e three essentials of prairie travel are wood water and grass and th e swa m fl p- anke tree- d. bo rdered ridges I hav e de scribed furnished th ese in thei r p erfection. Duck s and prai rie ch ick en constantly flyin g u p g oo d enca m p m ents an y where to righ t or l e ft of track ty fro m prai rie fires which can not ru n i n such a co u nt rv and t he best of pasturage til l th e snow falls for th e poni es " w h ile on the other h and th e drv level prai rie affo rds no saf e t v i ts now d ried herbage fro m t h e m ad ru sh of th e fierce fires save the ob j ecti onable one of starting anoth er to you r leeward " t h ere are long st re tches between wate ring places w ood only on ri v er banks and no shelter f rbm any preli m inar y cante r which old Boreas may choose to tak e before he settles down to h is win ter s pace "and as it w as the 18t h o f' October before w e st arted on ou r j ou rney the beautifu l Indian su m m er m ig h t or m igh t not last us th rough our trip.

20 2 l Lev el high treeless prairie w as to be traversed th e nce to the Red Lake Ri v e r and far beyond i t ti l l t h e Wild Rice was reached and there t h e country ch anged wi th h e avy bou lde rs on the h il ls and m ultitudes o f s m all lakes fringed with s m all oak s " this Continued to Detroit Lake a beauti fu l sh eet of water now I believe a pleasure and health resort so m e of i ts gravel hi lls being then distinguishable for m iles by the high stages bearing th e bodies of th e dead fro m which fl ut t e re d pieces of red and blue cloth and near the m the re m ai n s of food placed for the spi rit s earl y j ourney to h unting grounds which th e O j ibways m ust hav e though t good indeed i f better than near this v ery spot which affo rded the best an Indian could desire of al l the deer and f owl of that beautifu l lake di strict "where every stream tee m ed wi th fi sh and bu ffal o once were plentiful low down on th e ri ver which bears their na m e only th ree days j ourney away. The trai l fol lowed at the edge o f th e water th is beau tiful lake for nearly two m i les and th e poni es ch ose to wal k in th e shallow water to cool their unshod feet sorely ti red by ou r hasty crossing of m any leagues of burnt prairie to reach where grass could again be We had reached this lake late at night and had. already B l ackie and Bich on were eating as i f for a wager of th e rushes and rich grass above th e sand line on its sh ore "when a kettl e of tea a few biscu its and so m e dried m eat being disposed of weary l i m bs sought W here sh oul d we rest. sleep W h what Cou ld be better than a bed on this clean y wh ite sand which the last high wind h as piled u p as if fo r that special pu rpose " Hurriedly th e cart w d rawn over as th e high est finest and softest ridge and th en a bl anket and to How easi ly and softly t h e sand yield ed ti ll it m ade sleep. a bed like a plaster cast " no downy couch equal led i t " and yet wh n m orning dawned i t e w a s another case of e x p e rie nt ia do ce t. " No I hav e since that nigh t sl ep t on the axe- hewn planks of a frontiers- m an s floor on th e prairi e in a canoe on s m ooth Lau rentian rock s an d I gi ve each and all the prefer ence to soft white sand no bed m ore unyie lding when i t has you in its e m brace " and no wonder m y friend and I w ok e

21 2 2 with a feeling as th ough w e h ad b e e n kicked al l over l W Bl acki e and resol ved to sleep any wh ere o r to si t u p al l night rather than sleep i n sand again. Leaving th is lak e the country changes again wi th f re q uently dense woods of s m all oaks basswood and el m " this Continues t h rough the low-lying coun try th e Leaf M ountains being wel l to our left til l w e reach Rush Lak e the Ottertail Ri ver and Ottertai l Lak e fro m there down to the c rossing of th e Crow W ing Ri ver the trail follows the Leaf Ri ver which firs t a strea m that one cou ld j u m p across carries wate rs which reach the ocean at th e G u lf of M exico a s the Ottertai l car ri es waters w hich reach Hudson s Bav. To cal l th e apex a h eight of land is a m isno m er for it is one of the softest and a p p a re nt l y m o st low - lying p arts of the route and m any a worn out axle and brok en wheel attest th e power of its stu m ps and coulees to m ake th e spring and fall brigades of loaded carts look wel l to thei r gearing befo re entering upon this m ost difficu lt part of th e T h e crossing of the Crow Wing the effected trail. trai l l e d down its eastern bank h wooded with Nor e av ilv a and \V hit Pine interspersed with m arac swa m Where you e ta ps. passed throu g h th e first of these the road was al l that could be desired the straight ste m s of these north ern pal m s looking l ike stately colonnades through and between which your horses h oofs were m uffled in the l eaves c f last year but w here the ta m arac grows look ou t for trou ble fo r w here u nco rdu ro y e d i t is treacherous indeed. Newly cord uroyed h owever with the bark sti l l on the ta m arac pol es and these laid straight and cl o se i t is thoug h bu m py a su re road f o r unsh od hoofs and safe enough for the cart bu t when h undreds o f h orse and o x - carts th e for m er wi th eigh t hu nd red th e l atter with one t h ousand have passed o ver it for so m e then years pounds this ta m arac high way sh ews what it can real ly d o i n the w av of m ashing whee l s tripping up beasts of bu rd en wheth er wit h c lov en or soli d hoofs and causing m uc h q uestionab l e l anguage to be used by the d ri vers t h ereof. Replacing a broken pol e wou ld be any where easy bu t the d ri v er of t h e fi rs t cart trusts that this will be done b y t h e next an dt h e nex t by the nex t

22 Cro w Wing a frontier trading vil lage was reached at l ast and that tri be whose h unting grounds extended far to the east 2 3 til l al l hav e passed. and then all j oin in th e ho p e that t he ne xt brigade will really take the m atter i n hand. It was about at its worst when we passed with m y co m panion but and m ysel f on opposite sides to brace up Blackie wh en h e slipped sideways l eaving the su refooted Bich on to pick his own way at a snai s l pace on th e outer ri m of this wretched causeway we reach ed th e further end of the long cord u roy a t the m idd le of whose three m i les so m e wag hai l nai l ed a barrel stave to a tree o n which was a notice written with a red lead pencil N o rid ing or dri ving over this bridge faster than a walk. fifteen days j ou rney for the four hundred m iles " and we fared su m ptuously on fri ed bacon and m any triangular cuts of apple pie. Th e re m ainder of th e road bein g over bridged strea m s and ferri es needs no special m ention bu t Crow Wing warran ts so m e slig h t notice fo r near i t w as th e Chi ppewa In dian a g ency h ard b v th e new residence of H ol e in th e Day then a noted O j ibway chi ef. Thi s man who was the son of a chief possessed gre at influence over the various bands of west and nort h and i t had been hard to convince h i m that these bands w e re righ t in d isposing of thei r rich lacustrine re gion where th e wild rice grew every wh ere fi sh t h ronged every lak e and strea m and of wi ld bird and beast there was no stint " but when we re I ndian treaties fair to both contract ing parties " Hole in t h e Day m u st be caj oled " and accord in g l y he had been a yea r or two before t aken to Washi ngton to see his G reat Fath er. T h e Great Father pro m ptly after th e first interview turned hi m over to the Indian Depart m ent who m ade hi s straig h t athletic figure look ridicu lous in a black broad cl ot h suit and tal l black sil k hat and thus array ed showed h i m th e the theatre th e di m e and oth er circus m u eu m s th e Navy s "ard and finally seated hi m in the gal l e i ȳ of the Tal king Tepee where no doubt h e contrasted the orator who was not heard and th e asse m bled wisd o m who did not listen Council. wi t h the stately dignity and d ecoru m of an Indian hal f - Indian m en engaged by the Govern Educated

23 ' 2 4 m ent incessantl y u rged the ad vantage of a ci v i l ized occupa tion of his cou ntry bought for h i m every thing that caugh t his fancy heaped u p presents for his wives pro m ised that a white m a n s h ouse shou l d be bui lt fo r him and furnish ed ex act l y as he liked h inted darkly at th e war power of t h e Great W hi te Chief. and said that whi le h e li ved th e Great Father woul d gi ve to hi m m any bags of Mexi can d ollars yearly " Hole in the Day gave i n sh oo k hands with the President and ca m e back to persu ade his bands that th e wh i te chief and h e were brothers and that Red and W hite were to be one i n heart Poor Hole in the D a y the resi dence sti u lation was p carried out h is wi v es li v ing in the ki tchen and he the brother of the Great W h ite Chief recei ved V isi tors in th e large parlor t he walls of w hich were nearly covered by m irrors the fl oo r fu rniture consisting principal ly i t is said of m any rocking ch airs. A fe w m onths later he was shot by an Indian of one of th e treaty bands on who m the truth had dawned that hi s t ribe had sold their heritage for less th an they could ha\ e obtained bv the trapping of its furs. Crow W i ng was th e p omt to which fro m St. Pau l the m as te ns o f brigades freq uently tea m ed wi th wagons a portion of thei r cartload s to sav e the h eavy sand road d own the eastern bank of the M ississippi. At Crow Wing th e carts were finally l oaded it being a work of thou g h t and care to so apporti on the loads that one s houl d not carry al l th e cart- he av v good s and anoth er al l th e li ht g " wh ere also the cart covers of raw beef or bu ffalo hide secu ly fastened on and th e l ong re s low j ou rney co m m enced th e m oney not spent at Paul St. general ly got was ri dof here in necessa ries for the trip of over a m onth and i n p resents for th e loved ones at ho m e. One part of t h e equi p m ent of a nu m ber of carts in a brigade was a l ong and strong rope for riv e r c rossin g s and soft pl aces wh ich a light trav el lin g cart traversed safel y with an extra spu rt on Blackie or Bich on s p art but wh ich were for midable obstacles for loaded carts especially at the steep bank of a sl i ppery and m uddy river crossi ng. In such pl aces

24 2 5 the ox strange to say was better in the m iry botto m and the horse the better for the steep bank for the ele v e n hoof parted in th e m ire gi ving a better footing to aid his patient and great strength whil e t horse he s hoofs gave h i m a better hold on th e slippery bank " both needed aid however wh en a deep slough was reached or strea m s of the kind I hav e m en t ione d had to be crossed " at such places if not very bad th e rope was attached to each cart as it ca m e up and five or six of the m en at the further end aided the struggling ox or h orse j ust at the right m o m ent " but wh en the bog or slough was very had i ndeed their own way over th en th e ani m als were tak en out to find while th e wh ol e force of brigade me n pulled the loaded cart th rough. Many a thousand tons of freight have been carried over this road and a brigade freq uently m eant hu ndreds of carts " on th e fal l tri p they general ly went down ligh t the buffalo robe catch having been carried i n closely co m pressed bales of ten robes each by the spring brigades the arri val of whi ch in St. Paul was an event not on ly to the fu buyers r- but to the people of the place w ho lined the si de - walks as the long train of squeaki ng fur - laden carts passed th rough and English half - crowns and sovereigns were to be had at al m ost any of the shops all of which eagerly sought th e Red Ri ver trade. It is ti m e h owever that I ca m e back to ou r own e x p e r ience s of travel so m e of which were a m using afterwards but very puzzling and annoying at the ti m e. One of these was th e crossing of the Red Lake the lar g est ri ver on the route. A winding track th rough large el m trees had brough t u s dow n t o its brink and h ere we cou ld see th e deep tracks of loaded carts straigh t over the gravel sh ore and into th e water " directly opposite were si m i lar tracks on the other side. It see m ed al l right th ough the ford was at a place where the water ran v ery swi ftly indeed. Pu rsui ng our usual plan Bichon with the saddle tried the ford bu t the water was soon above his breast. He was brought back and the tracks going in and co m ing out closely inspected again to see if it was str a i g h t a c ross. Tried on foot with a lon g p keep

25 add ress of David Anderson Bishop of the Chu rch of England 26 fro m being s wept off m y fee t in th e rapid the water was soon breast high. W hat could be the m atter Surely w here l oaded carts could go so sh ortly a g o we m igh t easi ly p ass " and there had been no l ate rains to s well the ri ver. Search ing back to the top of th e bank we could fi nd no d i verging track to another part of the ri v er and yet i t was clearly a case of sw i m to cross it h ere. Ti red with the effort th e h orses were al lowed to graze and tea w as m ade after w hich th e essay was m ad e to cross th e ri ver on foot at a point furth er 11 p wh ere b roken water see m ed to sh ow s h allowness and i t was wh il e essay ing this that I found t he secret of th e ford. The carts had indeed en tered straight in to th e water at t he foot of the sl oping bank w e h ad descende d but once in they had tu rned u p strea m to make th e crossing in a h orse sh oe fashi on which brough t th e m ou t di rectly on th e Opposite. side w here again a sloping ban k for m ed the best path for ascent and descen t. Man v m i nor difficul ties at other places were the rewards of ine x p e rie nce and ple asant as the tri p had been it was a relief wh en it w as o ver t he poni es p l aced in careful hands for t h e winter th e cart and h arness stowed away and St P au l w as re ach ed early in N ov e m ber long after D r. Anderson. Bishop of Ru pert s Land had reached the City by the last Red Ri ver boat and sta g e and h ad m et w hil e there Governor t h en Senator Seward an interesti ng accou nt of which m eet ing w as afterwards gi ven by Honorabl e Tayl J. W. or to the St. Pau l Press as foll ows " Al low m e to presen t to t h e readers of th e Press a relic of Seward s v isit to St. Pau l in Sept 1860 wh ich I have fyled with th e archi ves of th e Historical Society. It i s an Rupert s Land to W m. H. Seward then Senator and no w Secretary of State. The m eeting of the two m en had been arranged by m utual friends i t o cc u re d at 1 2 o clock m. of Septe m ber in t he roo m of th e M innesota Historical Society. The Bishop adopted th e English custo m on such occasions and read his re m arks fro m a m anuscri pt "Seward s

26

27 28 Le g islatu re and I w ould in return assu re you that any such efforts would m eet wit h the earnest and hearty operation co - of those over who m th e Provi dence of G od has placed m e. I n conclusion I would on ly ray that th e spirit of har p m ony and pe ace m ay e ver exist between Britain and th e United States and with the continuance of such peace I would anticipate a bright and blessed spread of th e Gospel of Peace a m ong th e nations of th e earth. W ith the last sentence uttered in th e excel lent prel ate s m ost i m pressi ve manner all eyes turned u pon th e states m an of New "ork. His first words of response startled the ex p e c t ant circle. Bishop h e said two hund red years ago there was an i rrepressible conflict in England. One party contended f or a Church without a Bish op and a State witho ut a King " anoth er party was certain that th ere could be no Church with out a Bishop and no wel l ordered State without a King. A pause. The Bish op of Rupert s Land was not co m fort able. An uneasy suspense of breath ran around th e roo m. So d id th e grey eye of the speaker. He was e vidently in the hu m or which His Grace of b e wcastle afterwards failed so sig nally to appreciate. We were soon relieved howe ver. The Senator resu m ed This conflict of opini on with its i m m ediate issues of ci vil war largely contributed to th e e m igrati on of English m en to th is continen t and th e organizatio n of di verse co m m unities. With successi ve generations the bi tterness of the seventeenth centu ry has been succeed ed by new relations b y peace and good will u nti l we have on this occasion an interesting proof that th e re m ote settl e m ents of Selki rk and Rupert s Land res pond to the spirit of h ar m ony which i s al i ke the cau se and eff ect of m odern ci v ilization. His Lordships m uscles relaxed. A half s m ile succeeded a m ong the aud itors the speaker alone retaining an im p e rtu rb abl e expression of gravi ty. In a few words fitly ch osen but u nlucki ly not preserve d by a reporter t he Senator cordially reci procated the senti m ents of Dr. Anderson closi ng the for

28 29 malit ie s of th e interview by the Angl o - Saxon cere m ony of sh ak ing hands. The proceedings were of ad m irable length certainly not exceeding fifteen m inutes "and ye t as I recal l th e m I have seldo m witnessed a m ore stri king tableau vi vant. Two hours later fro m th e steps of the Capi tol Seward ad dressed th e citizens of M innesota in a speech wh ich to th is day attracts m ore attention on both continents than any single discourse of his l ife. How const antly in the Lond on press d o we hear the changes r ung on th ese m e m orabl e senti m ents I can stand h ere and look far into the North - West and see the Russian as h e busily occupies hi m sel f in establishing sea - ports and towns and fortifications as outposts of th e E m pi re of St. Petersburg and I can say go on "build up your out - posts to the Arcti c Ocean "they will yet beco m e the out posts of m y own country to extend t he civ ilization of m y own country to extend the ci vilization of the United States i n the North - V V e st. So I look upon Prince Rupert s Land and Canada and see how an ingenious people and a capable and enl ightened govern m ent are occupied with bridging ri vers and building railroads to develope organize cre ate and pre serve th e British Provinces of th e North by the G reat Lak es the St. Lawrence and around the shores of Hudson s Bay " and I a m abl e to say it is v e rv wel l y ou are buildi ng excel lent states to be hereafter ad m itted into t h e A m erican Union. I was in Wash ington between th e date of thi s and another speech of his to w hich I shall presentl y refer and while yet Mr. Seward th en Secretary of State believed in his pre diction of 1860 great states m an and was h onored by an introd uction to th e wh o was th en busy with his sche m e for the purchase of Alask a T h e angry looking scar of a dirk wound h e had recei ved in the ne ck fro m a would - be assassin was stil l fresh " but he had m any questions to ask about this country and after shewing m e an Alaskan kyack spear bone i m ple m ents and manv curiosities recently sent to hi m he stood with m e b efore a large m ap of the continent and said

29 3O pointi ng to Alaska.V e are to m ak e this part of th e Uni ted States " and no w don t you think m y dear si r that it would be for th e interest of al l i f that which i nterven es sh ou ld co m e in too He see m ed disappointed at m y answer " for al ready th e resources of our great North - W est were beginning to be known to th e states m en at Washington " and wh en du ring the sa m e visit I was asked to giv e so m e facts regarding i t before the standing Co m m ittee on Rail ways then d iscussing the charter asked for t he Northern Pacific line I fou nd a full appreciation of the possible benefits to accrue fro m a trad e fro m here to different parts of the proj ected l ine. Seward was no friend t o England or to Canada "but h e w as truth ful enough to declare his error in th e forecast h e had m ade of our political futu re fro m th e Capitol steps at St. Pau l i n 1860 in a m e m orabl e speech he afterwards m ade. He had indeed obtained Alaska by purch ase ti m e to reflect on th e bitter lessons of th e w ar but h e h ad had for the Uni on of North and South the failu re of which m eant th e d isruption of East and W est as wel l and he frankly ack nowledged his early p ro p h e tic error in these words Hitherto i n co m m on with m ost of m y country m en he said I hav e though t Canada a m ere stri p lyi ng north of th e Uni ted States easily d etachable fro m the parent state but me capable of sustaining itself and therefore ul ti m ately nay ri g ht soon to be tak en by t he Federal Uni on without m ateri ally changing o r affecting its own cond ition or develop m ent. I have dropped the Opi nion as a national conceit. I see in Bri tish North A m erica stre tching as it does across th e conti nent fro m the sho res of Labrad or and Newfound land to th e Pacific and occupyi ng a considerable belt of the te m perate zone traversed equally with th e United State s bv the Lakes and enj oying th e m agnificent sh ores of the St. Lawrence with i ts thousands of island s in the ri ver and gulf a region grand enough for the seat of an E m pire in i ts wh eat fields in the west it s broad ranges of c h ase at the north its inexhaustible l u m ber lands the m ost extensi v e now re m aining on the globe

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