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The Story of Manitoba
Chapter XXXVIII Annals

The cession of the vast North-West Territory to Canada in 186!) and the rapidity with which many parts of the country were settled in the years which followed made it important that the whole of the boundary between it and the United States should be accurately defined and plainly marked, and so Great Britain and the United States appointed commissioners to determine the exact position of the international boundary from the Northwest Angle of the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. Major Cameron represented Great Britain, and he was assisted by an able staff of astronomers, surveyors, geologists, and topographers, fourteen of whom were Canadians. The commissioners met at Pembina m September, 1872, decided on the plans to be followed, and commenced the work assigned to them.

Having located their starting point at the Northwest Angle, they ran a line south to the 49th parallel of north latitude and then followed this parallel due west. In the following summer the boundary was determined for a distance of 408 miles. Between the 96th and 99th meridians of west longitude it was marked by iron posts set at intervals of one mile. Surveys were made for a distance of six miles both north and south of the boundary, the British and Canadian surveyors doing the work on the north, and the United States' party doing it on the south. West of the 99th meridian mounds of stones or of earth, placed at intervals of three miles, were used as monuments to indicate the boundary. The work was resumed early in 1874, and by October the survey of the boundary line had been completed, although the work of placing monuments to mark it was not finished until the next year. During 1874 the lateral surveys were made over a strip of country only three miles north and south of the 49th parallel.

During his term as lieutenant-governor of Manitoba Hon Alexander Morris did valuable service to the country by his efforts to conclude treaties with the Indian tribes living in districts adjacent to the province. It will be remembered that Mr. Wemyss Mi Simpson, assisted by Lieutenant-Governor Archibald and others, had negotiated two treaties, known as Treaties No. 1 and No. 2, with the Indians living in the province. This was done in 1871. Earlier in the same year they had attempted, to make a treaty with the tribes living between the Lake of the Woods and Lake Superior ; but the demands of the Indians in that district were so unreasonable that the matter was postponed. When it became probable that the Dawson Route would be followed by settlers making their way to Manitoba, the great importance of having a treaty with the Indian bands along the route was recognized, and in 1873 negotiations with them were renewed. The demands of the aborigines were still exorbitant, but after some

delay the treaty was signed m October. It is known as, the Northwest Angle Treat\ or No 3 Lieutenant-Governor Morris, Mr. J. A. N. Provencher, and Mr S J Dawson were the commissioners for the Dominion in negotiating this treatv. In June of the following year, Mr. R. J. N. Pither. Indian agent, secured the adhesion of bands of natives living around Lac Seul to this treaty

[n September, 1874, Governor Morris. Hon. David Laird, then minister of the interior and Indian commissioner, and William J. Christie, Esq., concluded the treaty with the Indian tribes living in the territory which was then west and northwest of Manitoba, but much of which is now included in the province. This is known as Qu'Appelle Treaty or No. 4. During the autumn of that year and the following summer several other tribes of Crees, Saulteaux, and Assiniboines came under the terms of this treaty.

At Norway House on September 5, 1875, Lieutenant-Governor Morris and Hon. James McKay concluded Treaty No. 5, or the Lake Winnipeg Treaty, with the Saulteaux and Swampy Crees living in the district drained by streams flowing into the northern part of Lake Winnipeg and into Lake Winnipegosis. This lay beyond the area affected by earlier treaties. Three, days later several bands of Indians living along the lower Saskatchewan gave their adhesion to this treaty. Thus in less than five years after Manitoba was organized as a province the Indian title to all land within her boundaries and to all land adjoining those boundaries for some hundreds of miles east, north, and west had been extinguished, and the lasting friendship of the native tribes had been secured. The feeling of security which these treaties gave to new settlers and their influence on the prosperity of the province can hardly be overestimated. Moreover the treaties were beneficial to the Indians themselves. By keeping the various bands on the reserves selected for them, providing them with schools, encouraging them to adopt agriculture and other civilized occupations, and giving them a small yearly payment in money, the government has put many of them in the way of making some advance in civilization.

In the years which followed the organization of the province of MapitoftaJ the population and the prosperity of its capital increased very rapidly. The population was only about 250 in 1870; but in 1872 it had increased to 1,467,j and in 1875 it was estimated at 5,000. In 1871 the government authorized Mr. Elhvood to make a survey of Main street, which up to that time had been little more than a variable prairie trail, and soon after a part of the street was graded. At that time the town seemed to have four nuclei—Port Garry, which bad been the seat of government and the centre of business for the Hudson's Bay Company; Winnipeg village, which was the centre of the "Canadians'' and most of the other newcomers; Point Douglas, the old centre of the Selkirk settlers; and St. John's, which might be called the ecclesiastical centre. The residents applied for incorporation as a city in 1873. The desired bill passed the legislative assembly, but it was thrown out by the legislative council. Many people blamed the speaker of that body, Hon. Dr. Bird, for the rejection of the bill; and soon after he was enticed from his bed one night and badly maltreated by a mob. The government offered a reward for information which would lead to the arrest of those who perpetrated the outrage, but nothing came of it. In the autumn of the year the demand for incorporation was renewed, and several public meetings were held in connection with the matter, Messrs. Ashdown,

ALEXANDER MORRIS Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, the> Kortliwest Territories and Keewatin. Died in 1889.

Luxton, and others taking an active interest in it. In November of that year the bill incorporating the city became law, and on -January 1, 1874, Winnipeg's history as an incorporated city began. The corner stone of its first city hall was laid on August 17, the day being made a civic holiday.

"Up to 1874 the city had telegraph communication to the south only, but in that year the line was extended to Lower Port Garry, and two years later there was a telegraph line between Winnipeg and Battleford. In 1877 the Prince Rupert inaugurated a steamboat service on the Assiniboine river, and the venture proved so successful that a company was formed and several boats were soon plying on that stream. In seasons of high water these boats could go as far as Port Ellice. The story of the efforts to connect the city with the outside world by rail will be told in another chapter, also the determined efforts of the people to secure a bridge across the Red River. A bill to incorporate Winnipeg's first street railway was passed in 1882.

The population of the surrounding country was increasing year by year in spite of various drawbacks. The absence of railways was one of the most serious; but the lack of good roads and bridges was also severely felt. In 1874 grasshoppers did a great deal of damage to the crops; they renewed their depredations in the following year; and in 1876 many farmers were well-nigh ruined by them. The extent of the damage done may be estimated by the fact that by June, 1876. 45,945 barrels of flour had been imported to meet the needs of the people of Manitoba. Generous aid came to the suffering settlers from private sources, and the Dominion government advanced them about $60,000 for the purchase of provisions and seed grain. The terms on which these advances were to be repaid afterwards formed the subject of somewhat prolonged discussion between the provincial and Dominion governments. Through the kind efforts of the United States consul at Winnipeg, Mr. J. W. Taylor, the Washington government relaxed many of its customs regulations in favor of supplies brought through the United States for the use of the unfortunate settlers in Manitoba. In spite of the ravages of the grasshoppers, there was wheat to sell in the autumn of 1876, for in October Messrs. Higgins & Young sent a small consignment to Toronto—Manitoba's first export of wheat to eastern Canada. Tn October of 1877 R. Gerrie sent to a Glasgow firm the first consignment of Manitoba wheat shipped to Europe, and in the following year 35,000 bushels were exported. The province was blessed with splendid crops in 1879, and in the autumn an agricultural exhibit was sent from the province to the Dominion Exhibition at Ottawa. Mr Alexander Begg had charge of it, and it aroused a great interest in the agricultural possibilities of the prairie province.

In the autumn of 1877 Lord Dufferin, the governor-general of Canada, visited Manitoba. The vice-regal party came by rail via Chicago and St. Paul to Fisher's Landing on the Red River, and thence by steamer to Winnipeg. His excellency received a western welcome from the people of the prairie capital, and wherever he went in his many excursions through the province, he was loyally received. His acts, as well as his addresses, showed his lordship's genuine interest in the welfare of the new province and his confidence in her future.

The people of the west never lost sight of the importance of the two original routes of access to the Red River, and they cherished the hope that these routes might be so improved that they would continue to be great channels of communication with the outside world. Of the efforts to make the fur traders' route from Lake Superior to the prairies available for general traffic some account will be given in a later chapter; in this brief allusion will be made to attempts to do the same for the northern route of the Hudson's Bay Company.

In the summer of 1875 Dr. Bell of the Geological Survey of Canada carefully explored a part of the shore of James Bay, and continued the work during the season of 1877. In 1878 the northern shore of Lake Winnipeg was surveyed, also the upper and lower stretches of the Nelson and Hayes Rivers; and in the following year the middle parts of the courses of these streams were carefully examined, and a map of the entire course of the Nelson was prepared. This work had been done for the purpose of ascertaining how far the river could be improved and utilized for heavy lx>at traffic between Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Hay. The expense of constructing the necessary canals and locks seemed to preclude the possibility of using the rivers in that way for many years, but the possibilities of railways from the prairies to the bay were clearly foreseen, provided the bay and straits were navigable for several months of the year. The Churchill River was carefully surveyed during the summer of 1880, and in the autumn of that year Dr. Bell took passage on the Hudson's Bay Company's ship Neptune at Churchill and made the voyage to England. The voyage was a long one and he had good opportunities to observe the difficulties in the way of navigating Hudson Strait late in the season. Much interest was taken in these explorations, and a mass of information regarding the country between the prairies and the bay and concerning the bay itself was collected from many sources. Several railway companies were formed to construct lines to Hudson Bay, and as the success of such roads would depend on the navigability of its waters, the Dominion government was induced to send several expeditions to the bay and strait, to collect all the data possible in regard to them. The Neptune under Lieutenant Gordon was sent out in 1884 and again in 1885-6, and the staff of scientists on board made valuable additions to the world's knowledge of the waters and coasts explored.

During the summer of 1881, the Marquis of Lome, Canada's new governor general, paid a visit to Manitoba and the North West. His party came by steamer to Port Arthur, took an extemporized train from that point to Wabigoon, and was carried thence in canoes to a point on the Lake of the Woods. Chaging to York boats, the members of the party reached a point on the new railway, and were conveyed by train to Winnipeg. Here they spent a week, and then visited many other parts of the province. Everywhere the vice-regal visitors were accorded an enthusiastic reception. Nearly two months were spent in the far west, and it was October before the party returned to Winnipeg.

In 1884 Lord Wolseley was chosen to command the expedition which was to be sent to Khartoum for the relief of General Gordon. A part of the supplies for his force were to be sent up the Nile in boats, and the commander, who had not forgotten how well the Canadians served him as boatmen in the Red River Expedition, asked that a number of them might be sent to aid him in making the ascent of the Nile. Volunteers from all parts of the Dominion were ready to respond to this appeal, and the west contributed its share. Tn September about a hundred men, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel W. N. Kennedy, left Winnipeg for service in Egypt. Business men and members of the professions, as well as boatmen, had joined the party, but all did their hard work so well that they received the commendation of those in command of the expedition. Most of the men returned in the following spring.

Many of the Canadian boatmen were anxious to return home to aid their country in the restoration of peace within her own territory, for the discontent of the Metis of the Saskatchewan valley had culminated in open rebellion. There was a small half-breed settlement in the district when the country was ceded to Canada, and it was increased by numbers of people who had moved thither from Manitoba in the years which followed the Red River rebellion. There these people exhibited the same unrest and discontent which hail caused so much trouble in the older settlement; there too the Dominion government showed the same inability to realize facts and to deal promptly and justly with a critical situation, which had characterized it in dealing with the Manitoba trouble in 1869-70.

As early as 1875 a number of the Metis on the Saskatchewan, led by Gabriel Dumont, had attempted to establish a government of their own; but as soon as the mounted police reached the spot Dumont's embryonic republic collapsed, and he was glad to release the prisoners he had made and restore the goods he had seized. In 1877 a petition signed by about 150 half-breeds was sent to Ottawa, asking that the established boundaries of their farms, which had been laid out after the Red River plan, be recognized by the Dominion in the sectional surveys being made by its surveyors. For seven or eight years similar petitions were sent to Ottawa from time to time. On several occasions they were supplemented by requests for grants of land to half-breed children, such as had been made in Manitoba. The government seems to have turned a deaf ear to these petitions until 1884, when the claims of some of the settlers on the North Saskatchewan were investigated and settled. On March 30, 1885, the government appointed a commission, consisting of Messrs. W. P. R-. Street, A. E. Forget, and Roger Goulet, to investigate and settle the claims of other half-breeds living outside of Manitoba; but the appointment was made too late to avert the threatened storm.

Indignant at the government's delay in investigating their grievances, the Metis of the Saskatchewan sent a deputation to Montana in June, 1884, asking Louis Riel to come to their assistance. He accompanied the delegates on their return, and in September he formulated a "Bill of Rights" for the half-breeds, and it was forwarded to Ottawa. It appears that the government sent a tardy reply, promising the appointment of such a commission as that mentioned above, but there was a long delay before the answer reached the petitioners. In the meantime Riel had organized a government, and of course he was at the head of it. At his instigation the Metis took up arms in March, 1885, and secured the active co-operation of several bands of Indians. For two weeks events moved with startling rapidity. Riel plundered the stores at St. Laurent and took a number of prisoners on March 18; the fight at Duck Lake, which resulted in the loss of twenty lives, occurred on the 24th; and eight days later Riel's allies, the Indians, committed the massacre at Frog Lake.

When the news of the actual outbreak of armed rebellion reached Ottawa, the government awakened to the danger which threatened the country. Gen eral Middleton, the officer in command of the Canadian militia, was sent west

Vol. 1-21 immediately to take effective measures for suppressing the insurrection. He reached Winnipeg on March 27, and before night the 90th Battalion, Winnpeg Rifles, comprising 316 officers and privates under command of Major McKeand, was on its way to the seat of the rebellion. Its colonel, Colonel Kennedy, was with Wolseley far up the Nile, but as soon as news of the outbreak reached him. he hurried away to take command of his battalion. Fate had decreed, however, that this patriotic officer should render no more service to his country, for he died of smallpox in London on his way home. The 90th Battalion was sent to Qu'Appelle and thence north to Clarke's Crossing. It took part in the battles at Fish Creek and at Batoche and in the subsequent pursuit of Big Bear and his Indians. No battalion suffered more heavily m killed and wounded than did the 90th. On March 28 the Winnipeg Field Battery. numbering 49 officers and men under command of Major .Jarvis, was dispatched to the Saskatchewan and the Winnipeg Troop of Cavalry, numbering 35, soon followed. The battery accompanied the 90th and took its full share- in all the fighting.

The members of military organizations already in existence were not the only men to respond to their country's call. On March 31 Major Boulton, who was then living at Russell, received authority from the minister of militia to raise and equip two companies of Mounted lnfantry; and by April 6 he was at Moosomin with 82 men, enlisted in his own neighborhood, horses, arms, and transport teams. These companies took part in the fighting at Fish Creek and Batoche and in the long pursuit of Big Bear. Lieut. Colonel Osborne Smith was commissioned to raise a battalion in Winnipeg and the vicinity, which was called the 92d Winnipeg Light Infantry. This battalion, some 300 strong, was sent, to Calgary to form a part of the column under General Strange which marched to Edmonton and thence to Fort Pitt and took part in the fight with Big Bear's braves at Frenchman's Butte. Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Scott organized a third battalion of Manitohan Volunteers, known as the 91st Battalion. It included 429 men of all ranks, its majors being I). II. McMillan (now S.r Daniel), and the late Stewart Mulvey. It did not have a chance to take part m the actual fighting, but it did good work at Troy and Fort Qu'Appelle in protecting the transport service. Local companies were formed in several towns of the province ready to lend their aid, if the country needed it. These facts furnish striking proofs of the loyalty of Manitoba to the Dominion. Before the rebellion was quelled, the province had paid heavy toll to the cause of peace, for fourteen of her sons had been killed or mortally wounded in action, and many others had been maimed for life.

The details of the campaign need not be related here, for they belong to the history of the North-West Territories. By the middle of May the rebel Metis had been defeated and Riel was a prisoner; before the end of June the insurgent Indians had been effectually cowed, and many of their chiefs, as well as the braves guilty of murder at Frog Lake and elsewhere, were lodged in jail; and by the middle of July nearly all the volunteer troops had returned to their homes. Riel had been committed to prison in Regina, charged with treason. The trial began on July 20, and although the prisoner was defended by several of the ablest lawyers m Canada, he was found guilty and was sentenced to he hanged on September 18. A respite was granted to allow an appeal to the supreme court of Manitoba and a subsequent appeal to the Privy Council on certain questions raised at the trial; but the finding of the Regina court was sustained, and Riel was executed on November 16, 1885.


Riel's body was sent to his old home in St. Vital for burial, and the interment took place in the churchyard of St. Boniface a few days later. The events of the rebellion on the Saskatchewan, Riel's trial, and his death had naturally fanned into a brief flame the few embers of the old animosity between the English and French people of Manitoba, and there was talk of a possible clash at the funeral and of the necessity of appointing special constables to keep the peace. But there was no need of such precautions. If there was any lingering animosity in the hearts of the English people, it must have died out, could they have seen the little funeral procession of Riel's relatives and friends come down the St. Vital road in the bitter cold, bearing to the old cathedral of St. Boniface the remains of the man, who, whatever his faults, had been the hero of the Metis. No more pathetic funeral has ever been witnessed in Manitoba. And if there was a sense of injury in the hearts of the Metis, it must have died out before the genuine sympathy of many of their English neighbors. Much of the old ill feeling between the two sections of Manitoba's population lies buried in Riel's grave beside the cathedral.

It is difficult to form a just estimate of Riel and his aims, and his occasional letters and the journal which he kept during the time he spent on the Saskatchewan mystify rather than help the student of history. In the journal prayers, hymns, and soliloquies on moral questions are mingled with notes about the acts of his council and with military orders; some of the entries are in English, some m French, some in Latin; parts are in prose form, others are written as poetry. The whole gives few clews to the real character of the man who wrote it. He seems to have had unusual ability in some directions, but to have lacked the mental balance essential to a good leader. Under other conditions he might have done much good for his own people and the country at large; as it was, much trouble and suffering were mingled with whatever good he accomplished.

As soon as the plans for holding a World's Exposition in Chicago in 1893 had been made, the government of Manitoba decided that the fair would afford the best opportunity of advertising the resources of the province. It immediately applied for space for an adequate exhibit of the products of the country; and when this could not be secured near the Canadian exhibit within the fair grounds, the provincial government rented a site close to the main entrance, but outside the grounds, put up a building, and tilled a part of it with a very interesting exhibit representative of the products and life of Manitoba. Public opinion in the province was divided in regard to the wisdom of making the exhibit in this way; but results seemed to justify it, for it appears to have helped in a marked way to increase immigration into the province, from distant countries as well as from the United States.

Hon James C. Aikiris was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba in 1882, and when his term expired in 1887, Sir John Schultz, who had occupied a seat in the Canadian senate for many years, was made lieutenant-governor of the province. When his term expired, there was delay in appointing his successor, and he retained the office until 1895. Then it was given to Hon. James Colebrooke Patterson, who like all his predecessors, except Sir John Schultz,

had been a minister in the Dominion cabinet. Sir Daniel McMillan followed Mr. Patterson in 1900, and when his term of office expired in 1905, there was general satisfaction with his appointment for a second term as lieutenant-governor. He retired in 1911 and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Governor D. C. Cameron.

The Boer War, which broke out in the autumn of 1899, afforded an opportunity for Canada to show her loyalty to the empire of which she forms a part. Three contingents of volunteers were sent from Canada to South Africa, and each of them contained a number of men from Manitoba, officers as well as privates. The first left for the seat of war in October; the second, which contained about fifty men from the province, was dispatched just at the end of the year; and the third was sent early in 1900. The men from Manitoba acquitted themselves well on the field.

Perhaps this practical exhibition of Canada's loyalty to the Motherland hastened the visit of the heir apparent to the British crown to Canada. Soon after King Edward VII ascended the throne the Duke and the Duchess of York, now King George Y and Queen Mary, made a tour of Canada. Manitoba was included in the journey, and the royal party spent some time in the province, where the members received a reception whose warmth was a tribute to the personal worth of the noble guests as well as a mark of the loyalty of Manitoba's people.

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