UK, Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company (1857)

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Date: 1857-07-31
By: UK (House of Commons)
Citation: UK, Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company (London: 1857).
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Ordmd, by The House of Commons, to he Printed,
31 July and 1 1 August 1857.

324 . 260 — Sess. 2.

0.109— 1 85tt.

Jovis, 5° die Februarii, 1857.

Ordered, That a Select (.’onimittcc be nppointed “to consider the State of those British
Possessions in North America which are under the Aclniinistration of the Hudson’s Bay
Company, or over which they possess a License to Trade.”

Veneris, 13″ die Fcbruani, 1857.
Ordered, That sucli Cominittce do consist of Nineteen Members.

Committee nominated accordingly, as follows ; —

Mr. Laboucliere.
Sir John Pakington.
Lord John Busscll.
Mr. Gladstone.
Lord Stanley.
Mr. Roebuck.
Mr. Edward Ellice.
Mr. Adderley.
Mr. Lowe.
Viscount Sandon.

Ordered, Tuat the Comraittee have power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Ordered, Tuat Five be the Quorum of the Committee.

Mr.^ Grogan.

Mr. Kinnaird.

Mr. Gregson.

Mr. Blackburn.

Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.

Mr. Gordon.

Mr. Gurney.

Mr. Percy Herbert.

Mr. Bell.

Lunce, 9° die Martii, 1857.

Ordered, That the Comraittee have power to Report the Minutes of Evidence taken
before them to The House.

Veneris, 8° die Maii, 1857.

Ordered, That a Select Committee be appointed ” to.considcr the State of those Britisli
Possessions in North America which are under the Administration of the Hudson’s Bay
Company, or over which they possess a License to Trade.”

Martis, 12° die Maii, 1857-

Ordered, That the Committee do consist of Nineteen Members.
Committee nominated accordingly : —

Mr. Secretary Labouchure. Sir John Pakington.

Lord John Russell.

Lord Stanley.

Mr. E Monday, at Twelve.

Lunoi, 23″ die Februarii, 1857.

members present :
Mr. Labouchere in the Chair.

Colonel Herbert.
Mr. Bell.
Sir John Pakington.
Lord trtanley.
Lord John llussell.
Mr. E. Eliice.
Mr. Gregson.

Viscount Sandon.
Mr. Guriicy.
Mr. Lowe.
Mr. Adderley.
Mr. Gordon.
Mr. Fitzwilliam.
Mr. Kinnaird.

The Committee examined Colonel Lefroy, Dr. Eae.

[Adjourned to Thursday, at Twelve.
884. 260— Sess. 2. 33



Jovis, 26* die Februarii, 1897.



Mr. Labouohere in tho Chair.

Mr. Gumejr.
Mr. Kinnaird.
Mr. Adderley.
Mr. Bell.
Mr. Grouan.
Colonel Herbert.
Mr. E. P:ilioe.
Mr. Gurney.

The Committee examined Sir George Simpson.

Mr. GrcMon.
Mr. Goraon.
Vigcoiint Sandon.
Mr. Fitzwilliam.
Mr. Lowe.
Mr. Gladstone.
Mr. Blackburn.
Mr, Itoebuck.

[Adjourned to Monday, at Twelve.

Luna, 2° die Martii, 1867.


Mr. Labocchbre in the Chair.

Mr. Bell.
Mr. Gropan.
Mr. liocbuck.
Mr. Gurney.
Mr. Gordon.
Colonel Herbert.
Mr. GrefTson.
Mr. E. EUice.
Sir John Pakington.

Mr. Kinnaird.
Lord Stanley.
Lord John Russell
Mr. Adilerley.
Mr. Bliickburu.
Mr. Lowe.
Lord Sandon.
Mr. Fitzwilliam.
Mr. Gladstone.

Tlie Committee continued the examination of Sir George Simpson, and examined Mr.

[Adjourned to Thursday, at Twelve.

Jovis, 5* die Martii, 1857.

Mr. E. Ellice.
Mr. Gre<;son. Colonel Herbert. Mr. Gordon. Lord Sundoa. Sir John Pakington. Mr. Kinnaird. Mr. Grogan. members present: Mr. Laboucbere in the Chair. Mr. BelL Mr. Adderley. Mr. Fitzwilham. Mr. Lowe. Lord John RusselL Lord Stanley. Mr. Roebuck. The Committen examined Mr. Kernaghun ; Mr. Fitzwilliam, a Member of the Committee ; Mr. [shifter, and the Rev. (J. O. Corbett. [Adjourned to Monday, at Twelve, ON THE HUDSON'S BAV COMPANY. vii Luna, 0" die Mar Hi, 1857, MSMBBBB FBIBENT : Mr. Labouciikre in the Cluur. llr. BeU. Mr. Grogan. Mr. Fitzwilliam. Mr. Kinnaird. Mr. Ellice. Colonel Percy Herbert. Mr. Blaokbum. Mr. Gordon. Lord Sandon. Lord John Busa«ll. The Committee deliberated on their course of proceeding, and, Retoloed, " That the Chairmun do report tu The House the Evidence taken up to this day, inclusive." The Committee examined the Rev. O. O. Corbett and Sir John Richardson, To report. SECOND SESSION, 1857. Veneris, 15« die Maii, 1867. MEMBERS PBE8ENT: Mr. Lab{..

■eceate’y that the condition of. the whole of the vast regions which are under the adminis-
tratiun of the Company tthoiiU be carefully conoidered ; but there are other cireumataaoes
which, in the opinion of Ycwir Committee, would have rendered such a course the duty
of the Parlianieni and Government of this country.

” Among these. Your Committee would specially enumerate, — the growing desire of our
Canadian tellow-8u^jccts that the means of extension and regular settlement should be
aftbrdcd to them over a portion of this territory ; the necessity of providing suitably for the
admhuitraiion of the affitirs of VaiKu>uver’8 Island, and the present condition of the settle-
ment which lian been fonnc-j on the Red River.

•’ Your Committee have received much valuable evidence on these and other subjects
connected with the inquiry which has been entrusted to them, and especiany have had the
advantage of hearing the statements of Chief Justice Draper, who was commissioned by the
Province of Car “.da to attend the Committee on behalf of that important colony, whose
interests and feelings are entitled to the greatest weight on this occasion.

” Your Committee have also had the opinion of the law officers of the Crown communi-
cated to the n on various points connectca witli the charter of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

” The territory over which the Company now exercise righto ia of three descriptions : —

1st. The land held by charter, or Rupert’s Land.
2d. The land held by license, or the Indian Territory.
3d. Vancouver’s Island.

” For the nature of the tenure by which these countries are severally connected with the
Company, Your Committee would refer to the evidence they have received and the docu-
ments api>ended to their Report

” With rcgai’d to Rupert’s Land, which is held by charter, it might be very desirable to
ascertain precisely what is the force of the powers claimed and exercised under it, and of
the extent of the country over which those powers exist. But irom the experience of a
long series of years, during which there has been, from time to time, much controversy on
these questions, as well a« from the tenor of the opinions which they have received from
the law oiKccrs of the Crown, y^ur Committee aro apprehensive that there may be great
difficulty and delay in arriving bv the ordinary forms of law, at any certain conclusions
upon them.

“On the other hand, prompt measures are very dcbirable; and Your Committee hope
that it may be found practicable to effect such arrangements as are required for the satisfao
tiou and benefit of those concerned, without waiting for the result of proceedings of so
doubtful and dilatory a character as may appertain to the complete investigation of this
ancient charter.

“The law officers, however, suggest a course by which, with the united consent of
Canada and the Com|)uny, the question of the actual boundary, which appears at present
to be in a state of uncertainty in some respects, may be determined throtigh the inrti-u-
mentality of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; and Your Committee have
been assured by the Hudson’s Bay Company, in a letter which is ap|)ended tc this Report,
that they are willing to accede to this ]iro]iosal. In the event of this course being adopted,
it is impossible for Your Committee now to form an opinion how far the award given b}^
the Judicial Committee may modify the recommendations which it will subsequently be
the duty of Your Committee to make, by circumscribing the extent of country to which
those recommendations may apply.

” Your Committee entertain the strongest conviction that the Crown and peoiilc of this
country can have no t)ther interest in the territory now administered by the Company,
except that it should be dealt with in whatever manner is most conducive to the prosperity
and contentment of our North American iellow-subjects ; and especially in the mode
which is best calculated to add to the strength of the great colony of Canada. It is on
these principles alone tliat the recommendations of Your Committee will be founded, so far
as is consistent with ettny, over that North-Western portion of
British America which goes by the name of the Indian Territory, must expire, would alone
make it necessary that the condition of the whole of the vast regions which are under the
administration of the Company should je carefully considered ; but thcn^ are other circum-
stances which, in the opinion of Your Committee, would have rendered such a course tho
duty of the Parliament and Government of this country.

” 2. Among these. Your Committee would especially enumerate the growing denire of
our Canadian fellow- subjects, that the means of extension and regular settlement should be
afforded to them over a portion of this territory ; t’.c necessity ofprovidlug suitably for the
adminir ation of the affairs of Vancouver’s Island, and the present condition of tlie
settlement which has been formed on the Red River.

” 3. Your Committee have obtained much valuable evidence on these and other subjects
connected with the inquiry which has been entrusted to them ; and have had the advan-
tage of hearing tlie stattiinents of Chief Justice Drai)er, who was commissioned by the
Government of Canada to watch tliis inquiry. In addition to this. Your Committee have
received the evidence taken before a Committee of the Legislative Assembly appointed to
inveetigate this subject, containing much valuable information in reference tr> the interests
nnd feelings of that important colony, which are entitled to the greatest weight on this

” 4. Your Committee have also had the opinion of the law officers of the Crown com-
municated to them on various [lointA connected with the charter of the Hudson’s Bay

“3. The



” 5. Tho territory over which the Company now exercise rights is of three descrip-
tions, —

Ist. The land held by charter, or Rupert’s Land.

2d. The land held by license, or the Indian Territory.

.3d. Vancouver’s Island.

“■ 6. For the nature of the tenure by which these countries are severally connected with
the Company, ”our Committee would refer to the evidence they have received, and the
documen’, ded to their Report.

” 7. Witir r’gard to Rupert’s Land, which is held by charter, it appears to Your Com-
mittee very decirable to ascertain precisely the character and legality of the powers claimed
and exercised under it, and the extent of the country over which these powers are in force.

“8. Numerous allegations and much controversy on these questions have created a
serious evil, arising from the impression, both in Canada and in the countries subject to the
jurisdiction of the charter itself, that many of its provisions, if not altogether contrary to
the laws of England, are of doubtful authority.

” 9. The prevalence of such impressions, whether well founded or otherwise, cannot but
be prejudicial not only to the authority of the Company, but to the peaceable and orderly
frovernmcnt of those living under them ; and it appears to Your Committee necessary for
tne Hatisfaction and benefit of those concerned, that the question of the validity of powers
so anomalous and extensive, should be set at rest by the instrumentality of a competent
legal tribunal.

” 10. It has, however, been strongly urged upon Your Committee, in the course of their
inquiry, that the question of the Imunclaries between Canada and the Hudson’s Bay
territories is of the must pressing importance at this moment, and one that should be
determined as speedily as iMissible ; but it is obvious that in bringing this to a practical
decision, the question of the validity of the charter presents itself as the first to be .”wcer-
taincd. The definition of the limits of Canada must necessarily follow on the determina-
tion of what is, or is not, within the jurisdiction of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

“11. Fending such an investigation, which Your Committee consider to be the first and
indispensable step to any final arrangement, they forbear to express any opinion as to the
course which should be ultimately pursued ; but, adverting to the willingness expressed by
the Company to meet the desire oi the Canadian people to obtain land fit for cultivation,
and the establishment of agricultural settlers. Your Committee think it right to express
their opinion that, in any event, the country capable of settlement should be withdrawn
from the jurisdiction ot the Hudson’s Bay Company, whose objects and interests are
admitted to be opposed to colonisation.

” 12. Your Committee believe that the districts on the Red River, Saskatchewan, and
the Mackenzie, hold out inducements to enterprising individuals, from Canada and from
this country, for their early occupation, which ought, by every legitimate means, to be
encouraged. The n\pid extension of settlement which had been going on in so remarkable
a manner to the south of the American boundary line, renders it a matter of great import-
ance to establish within our own territory a counterfwise favourable to British interests,
and modeled upon British institutions.

” 13. Your Committee would suggest that it be referred to Her Majesty’s Government
to consider, after conference with Canada and the Company, the ‘oest means for drawing
the line between those portions of the country which are or are not adapted for settlement ;
and how the teiTitory susceptible of colonisation, and detached accordingly from the
Company’s jurisdiction, shimld be settled and governed under free institutions. Vi’p
believethat some simple and inexpensive machinery co’.dd be devised, by the aid of which
those district^*, whether ceded to Canada or erected into a separate colony, could be effec-
tively administered.

” 14. Your Committee think it best to content themselves with indicating the outlines of
such a scheme, leaving it to the Government to consider its details more maturely, before
the Bill is prepared which will be necessary to carry it into efl’ect.

” 15. Your Coiumittoe are of opinion, that it will be proper to terminate the connexion
of the Company witli Vancouver’s Island, as soon as it can conveniently be done, as the
best means of favouring the development of the great natural advantages of that inqwrtant

” 16. Means should also be provided for the extension of the colony over every portion
of the adjoining continent on which permanent settlement may be fouuil i)ractical)le, to the
west of the Rocky Mountains.

” 17. As to these extensive regions, whether in Rupert’s Land or in the Indian Terri-
tory, in which, for the present at least, there can be no prosjioct of i>ermanent settlement
by the European race for any purpose except that of the fur-trade, the Connnittce would
recommend that the i)rivilege of exclusive trade should be continued to the Hudson’s Bay
Company, and that such arrangement should henceforth rest on the basis of statute.


324. 260— Sess. 2.


” 18. Power



” 1€. Power, however, should be raMrvad to Her Majesty’s Govemaoent to nutke grants
within such territory for the purpose of mines or fisheries, but with due regard to the
immunities and trade of the Company.

” 19. Your Committee liave now specified the principal objects which thoy tliink it would
be desirable to attain.

” 20. How far the chai’tored rights clwmed by the HudiH>n’s Bay Company may nrove
an obstacle to so doing, tliey are not able with any certainty to say. If this difficulty
could be solved, not by adverse litigation, but b^- amicable adjustment, such will be beat
promoted by the Government alter communication with the Company, as well as
with the Government of Canada, rather than by detailed suggestionH emanatiag from this

” 21. Your Committee cannot doubt but that, when such grave interests are at stake, all
the parties concerned will api)roach the subject in a spirit of conciliation and juetioe, and
they therefore indulge a confident hope that the Gk>vemment will be enabled in the next
Session of Parliament to present a Bill which shall lay the foundation of an equitable and
satisfactory arrangement in the event, which we consider probable, of legiswtkui being
found necessary for tliat purpose.”

Resolutions proposed by Mr. Gladitone read 1°, as follows : —

” 1. That the country capable of colonisation should be withdrawn from the juriBdlction
of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

” 2. That the country incapable of colonisation should remain within their jurisdiction.

” 3. That power sliould be reserved to Her Majesty’s Government to make grants
within the said territory for the purposes of mines or fisheries, but with due regard to the
immunities and trade of the Com])any.

” 4. That such jurisdiction should rest henceforward upon the basis of statute.

” 5. That the Committee have to refer to the following paragraph in the letter of
the Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company, dated \2 July : ‘ Assuming, however,
•**••* the Comimny.’ And the Commtttee

consider this as aii expression of the willingness of the Company to accept in principle
the arrangements above described.

” 6. That it would accordingly, in the opinion of the Committee, be advisable that
Her Majesty’s Government should, after conference with Canada and the Company, fix
upon the best means for drawing the line between the two descriptions of country above-

” 7. Tliat it be referred to Her Majesty “^ Government to consider how the land capable
of colonisation, and detached accordingly from the jurisdiction of the Company, should
be settled and governed under free institutions.

” 8. Tluit the Conunittee see no objection in principle to an an’angement under which
the actual surrender by the Company of the lands fit for colonisation might take place,
only in proportion as it might be required for the purposes of early settlement.

” 9. That the foregoing Resolutions are intended to a]>ply to the whole country, from
east to west, now under the Hudson’s Bay Coin]iany, whether held by charter, statute,
or the Vancouver grtuit.

” 10. That inasmuch as tlie Company has tendered concessions which may prove sui-
ficient to meet the necessities of the case, the Committee lias come to no decision upon
the question how far it may be, as some think, just and even necessary, or on the other
hanro{)osed by Mr. Oladstonr be now read 2°, instead
thereof” :— Question jiut, ” That the words proposed to be left out stand part of tlxc ques-
tion.” The Committee divided:

Ayes, 7

Mr. Matheson.
Mr. Oregson.
Lord Saudon.
Mr. Gurney.
Lord John Russell.
Sir J. Pakington.
Mr. liowe.

Noes, 7.
Mr. Christy.
Mr. Gladstone.
Mr. Roebuck.
Mr. Fitz William.
Colonel Herbert.
Mr. Kimiaird.
Lord Goderich.

WhereniKin the Chairman declared himself with the Ayes.
Main question put, and agreed to.



Bmft Report propowd hj th« Chaimua read 8°, and considered psmgmpb by p«ragr«ih.
Paragnqiha 1 and 2 read, and agreed to. , -J.

Paragraph 3 read ; amendments were proposed and agreed to (Mr. Cliritty) ; paragrapfi,
as amended, agreed to.

Paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 read, and agreed to. . i ,-

Paragraphs 7 and 8 read, and negatived.

Paragraph 9 read. Question put, «* That thb paragraph stand part of Ae proposed
Report” The Committee divided:

Ayes, 5.
Mr. Lowe.
Lord John Russell.
Mr. Gurney.
Mr. G reason.
Mr. Mathesun.

Paragraph 10 read, and negatived’.


Noes, 9.
Mr. Kinnaiid.
Colonel Herbert.
Mr. Fitzwilliam.
Sir J. Ptekington.
Mr. Roebuck.
Mr. Gladstone.
Lord SaAdoui
Mr. Chriety.
Lord’ Goderich.

Farafraph 11 read.

[Adjonmed’to Monday next, at Ohe c(%Itoal.

Lima, 27* dk Jkiii, JtNPT.


Mr. Labouchebe in the Chair.


Mr. Gregson.
Mr. Gurney.
Mr. Christy.
Mr. Lowe.
Lord Sandon.
Mr. Matheson.

Mr. Blackburn.
Colonel Herbert
Mr. Kinnairdi
Sir J. Pakington.
Mr. Fitzwilliam.

Paragraph 1 1 farther considered, and amended.

Paragraph 12 amended, incorporated with paragraph 11, and agreed to.

Paragraph 13 read, and agreed to.

Paragraphs 14 and 15 read, amended, and agreed to.

Paragraph 16 read ; amendments made. Amendment proposed, line 7, to leave out the
words, ” 2*. The fatal effecta which they believe would infallibly result to the Indian popula-
tion from a system of open competition in the fur trade, and the consequent intro-
duction of spirits in a far greater degree tlian is the case at present” (Mr. Fitzwilliam) : —
Question put, ” That the words proiwsed to be left out stand part of the paragraph.”
The Committee divided :


Ayesj 9.
Sir J. Pdkington.
Mr. Lowe.
Lord Sandon.
Mr. Kinnaird.
Mr. Gregson.
Mr. Blackburn.
Mr. Matheson.
Mr. Gurney.
Mr. Herbert.

3a<|. 260 — Scss. 2. Noes, 2. Mr. Christy. Mr. Fitzwilliam. b4 Another XTI PROCEEDINGS OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE Another unendment proposed, line 11, to leave out the words, " and 3°. The probability of the indiscriminate destruction of the fir-bearing animals in the course of a few years " (Mr. CArii^) :— Question put, " That the words proposed to bo left out stand part of the paragraph.' The Committee divided : Noes, 2. Mr. Christv. Mr. Fitzwilliain. Ayes, 9. Sir J. Pakington. Mr. Lowe. Lord Sandon. Mr. Kinnaird. Mr. Gregson. Mr. Blackburn. Mr. Mixthesou. Mr. C 'y Mr. HtJi . lert Paragraph, as auienied, agreed to. Paragraph 17 reivd, and agreed to. Paragragh 18 read. Amendments made. Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word " attain," I. 2, to the end of the paragraph, in order to iidd the words : " But it appear!* to Your Committee that unless the Hudson's Bay Company are willing to accept an <$ffer upon equitable arrangement, it is obvious that in bringing this to a practical decision, the question of the validity of the charter will then necessarify present itself to be forthwith accertained. " Pending the possibility of such an investigation, which Your Committee consider may be rendered indispensable to any final arrangement, they forbear to express any opinion as to the course which should be ultimately pursued. But, adverting to the willingness ex- pressed by the Hudson's Bay Company to meet the desire of the Canadian people to obtain land fit for cultivation, and the establishment of agricultural setUers, Your Committee think it right to express their opinion, that in any event, the country capable of settlement should be withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the Hudson's Bay Company, whose objects and interests are admitted to be opposed to colonisation " (Mr. Christy), instead thereof. Question put, " That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the paragraph." The Committee divided : Ayes, 8. Mr. Matheson. Mr. Gregson. Mr. Gumey. Mr. Kinnaird. Mr. Lowe. Sir John Pakington. Lord Sandon. Mr. BLuskbum. Paragraph 19 read, and agreed to. Noes, 2. Mr. Christv. Mr. Fitzwilliam. [Adjourned to Friday, at One. I ii! Veneris, 31* die JuRi, 1867. HBMBBBS present: Mr. Labouchebe in the Chair. Mr. Matheson. Mr. Christy. Mr. Gladstone. Mr. Roebuck. Lord John BusselL Mr. Lowe. Sir John Pakington. Lord Sandon. Colonel Herbert. Lord Goderich. Mr. Fitzwilliam. Mr. Qirittij produced a document purporting to be resolutions passed at a meeting held at the house of Mr. Philip Kennedy, in the R«d River Settlewent, on the 26th May 1857, and the same was read to the Committee. The Committee resumed the consideration of the Draft Report. Motion ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. XVII Motion made, and question propoeed, "That thio be the Beport to The House-" Question put. The Committee aivided : Ayes, 6. Colonel Herbert. Mr. Mnthcson. Lord John Riueell. Mr. Lowe. Sir John Pakington. Lord Sandon. Noes, 5. Lord Goderich. Mr. Christy. Mr. Gladstone. Mr. Roebuck. Mr. Fitzwilliam. Ordered, To Beport, together with the Minutes of Evidence. EXPENSES OF WITNESSES, Committees of 1st and Sd Sessions, 1867. Number of Expenses Allowanoe TOTAL NAME PROFESSION From Days 0* during Expenses of or Abwot from Home^ Joumoj to Absence AUowed WITNESS. CONDITION. whence Sommoned. under Orders of Committee. London ud back. from Home. to Witnea. £.,. d. £. f. d. £. .. 262

Luna, 15° die Junii, 1857.

Richard Blanshard, Esq. – – p- 285

Lieut.-colonel William Caldwell – p. 298

Richard King, Esq., m.d. – – P- 312

Martis, 23° die Junii, 1857.

James Tennant, Esq. – – – p. 320

Right Hon. Edward Ellice, m.p. – p. 322

Mr. Alexander Isbister – – – p- 353

[ ‘ ]


Venerii, 20° die Februarii, 1857.


B. –

p. 310


B, –

p. 231

D. –

p. 231


Mr. Adderley.

Mr. Bell.

Mr. Blackburn.

Mr. Edward Ellice.

Mr. Charles Fitzwillinm.

Mr, Gladstone.

Mr. Gordon.

Mr. Groijan,

Mr. Ourney.

Mr. Percy Herbert.
Mr. Kinnaird.
Mr. Labouchere.
Mr. Lowe.
Sir Jolin Pakingtoii.
Mr. Roebuck.
Lord John Hussell.
Viscount Sundon.
Lord Stanley.

The Right Hon. HENRY LABOUCHERE, in the Chair.

John Ross, Esq., called in ; and Examined.

Chairman.’] I believe you are a Member of the Canadian Parliament ? — j. Pou, Eiq.
How long have you belonged to that body ? — Since 1848. no February 1857,



3. You were also, I think, a member of the Canadian Government for several
years? -From 1851 until 18j6.

4. What situations did you hold ? — I was first Solicitor-general, subsequently
Attorney-general, and afterwards Speaker of the Legislative (‘ouncil.

<;. You are aware of the objects for which this Committee has been appointed ? — Yes. 6. Has your attention ever been directed to the question of the atfairs of the Hudson's Bay Company, in so far as they aifect the interests of Canada? — Yes. I have thought very much upon the subject for several years. I do not profess to be intimately acquainted with the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Compnuy, but upon that branch of the subject with reference to how far it may affect Canada, I have thought a great deal. 7. You have never yourself, I believe, been in the territory of the Hudson's Bay Company ? — Only upon the borders of their territories. I have never been further westward than Lake Superior. 8. 1 think you are connected with a railway in Canada ? — Yes ; I am at the head of the trunk railway of Canada. 9. You have probably often considered the subject with reference to the importance of extending communications in British North America ? — I have thought very much of it. 1 0. Will you have tlie kindness to state to the Committee any views which you may have been led to entertain upon this subject? — The first subject, as it appears to me, which has been very much discussed (at all events it is now being dis- cussed in Canada), is the occupation of tiiat part of the North American Continent now under the control of the Hudson's Bay Company. It is very much discussed whether it is desirable that their privileges and control there should entirely cease. I have considered that subject very much, and the opinion that I express to the Committee of course I only give for wliat it is worth, and as my own opinion. I believe that when the subject is well discussed and presented to the 0.25. A Canadian ! 1 lii it I 8 MLNUTEh OF EVIDENCi: TAKEN BEIOUE THE ./. AuiA, Eiq. Cunadian public, it will then be considered somewhat in tlie li^^ht in which I view it. It is complnincd that the Hudson's Hay Company occupy that territory to F< bruary i8£7. and prevent the extension of settlement and civilisation in that part of the continent of America. I do not think they ought to be permitted to do that, but I think it would be a very great calamity if their control and power in that juut of America were entin-ly to cease. My ri'ason for forming tliiit opinion is tliis : During all the time that I have been able to observe their proceedings there, thirc has been peace within ihc whole territory. The operations of the Company seem to have been carried on at all events in such away as to prevent the Indian tribes within their borders from niolestinjir tlu ( anadian frontier; wiiile, on the other liand, those who have turned their attention to that quarter of the world must have seen that from Oregon to Florida, for these lu»t 30 years or more, there lias been a constant. Indian Mar going on between the natives of the American territory on the one side and the Indian tribes on the other. Now, I fear very much, that if the occupation of the Hudson's Bay Company, in what is called the Hudson's Hay Territory, were to cease, our fate in Canada might be just as it is with the Americans in the border settle- ments of their territtlng the spread of settlement
in such territory as is adapted for settlement, and yet maintaining the authority
of the Hudson’s Bay Company in any portion of tiieir present dominions ? — I
think the most desirable course, and the most convenient one, would be this:
So fust as the Canadian Governtnent might wish to open up any part of the
country for settlement, which they might upon exploration find it would be
advantageous to open ; say that they desired to open ten, twenty, or fifty town-
ships of land, I think the convenient course would lie to give notice to the
Hudson’s Hay Ct summer that the discussion tirst commenced upon the subject. The
question of the opening; up of the territory has often for years been incidentally
mooted, but a regular disi ussion of the question has never arisen until the course
of the last summer, that I urn aware of.

17. Do you think that it some arrangement could be made, audi as that
whicli you have desiribed, by which the Ked River Settlement, for instance,
was tuken out of the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company, it could bu con-
veniently governed and administered from Canada, or that it would be neces-
sary to have some form of local government?— I do not think that, Jit present,
it could be conveniently governed or administered by the Citnadian (iovernment.
There should either be a railway constructed from the west end of Lake
Superior to the Red River Settlement, or a good broad open road cut out and
made ; and land, such as might be fit for cultivation, laid oif on each »ide of it
for settlers to occupy, and as the occupation took place, and settlers went in, it
could be extended ; and in that way the Red River Siettlement could be connected
with our present line^i of communication.

18. M ith regard to the country tnore to the north and north-east, do yon
imagine that there is any extent of country now belonging to the Mudson’s
Bay Company on the frontier of Canada, which it is probable would be occu-
pied lor settlement within a few yeiirs? — 1 think not; I do not think tliut in
that direction there is any territory which could be occupiefl, or that it is |)ro-
bable will be occupied. J know that the Hudson’s Bay Company held within
the Canadian boundary a section of country which was called the King’s Posts.
They lay up towards the Labrador border, along the gulf of the St. Lawrence,
from below the Saguaney River. They surrendered those posts to the Canadian
Government, and during the time that I was acting as Attorney-general in
Canada they were again leased to the Hudson’s Bay Company, it is not a
country which can be occupied with any advantage, because I believe that the
natives, and the people »ho are there connected with the Hudson’s Bay posts,
if the Hudson’s Bay Company were not there to absist them during severe
winters, would starve.

19. Mr. Roebuck.] Do you know anything about the territory round the
Saguaney River?–! have been along the whole of the Saguaney River, navi-
gated by steamers.

20. is not all the land at the Saguaney River very fertile ? — No ; I do not
consider it is.

21. Do you remember M. La Terriere being there?— Yes, I know him very

22 It was his opinion, I believe, that it was a very fertile territory ? — I may
state for the information of the Committee what I know to be the fact. I have
first of all been along tlie whole of the Saguaney River, during weather when
I had an opportunity of obsi.Tving the shores on both sides. I iiave been at the
leading milling establishments on the river. It very often liappens that when
grain is sown there in the spring of the year, it does not ripen in the fall.
That hag very often happened during these last few years ; almost every two
years. The inhabitants living along the «-~”°”°-‘ i>;.”^r i.ave suHered from that
cause ; and Dr. La Terriere has himself been at the head of deputations making
applications for assistance from the Government to keep the people from starving.
I believe that there are now quite as many people along the banks of the
Saguaney River as can be maintained. I am aware that the opinion which I
am expressing here may, perhaps, hurt the feelings of some of the gentlemen
who live in that part of the country, who would desire to have a large settlement
near them ; but I must say, that I ilo not think it would be advantageous to the
settlers, or for any other purpose, that an inci«ase in the number of inhabitants
should take place there.

23. C/iairwan.] Has any inconvenience ever arisen from the circumstance of
the hmits of Canada not being actually defined ?— No ; I think not. It is
desirable that they should be ; but up to this moment, I do not know that there
has been any inconvenience from that cause.

24. In point of fact, are they ascertained and defined very accurately to your
0.25. A 2 mind ?

/. Most, Euj.
90 February liiT,


i ‘i



J. Hun, R«q. mind ? — They nrv not ko iicciinitely deHnptl to my mind aa it deoirublo. I have

• — never lu-cn aide to discover the diHtinct buimdariei.

to Kibruiry 1857. 05. Doen that ohxervatioii apply only to the country to the west, or doet it
apply to the whole circuit of the boundary of Canada r — It uppliea more to the
country to the west.

2t}. The water-Hhed line in the recognised boundary to the north and north-
east, iit it not r— That is taken to be the boundary. There Ih very often u dispute
as to wlure that ii*.

27. Mr. Kinnuird.\ Are you not apprehensive that in that part of the terri-
tory which comes in i.’ontact with the United States, there will be settleinei’its
made by tlie Americiuis, and that there will be difficulty hereafter, unless the
boundary is defined • — The Americans are extending; their settlements very
rapidly towards the Red River, and it is very important that thai boundary
should be distinctly marked, and ns soon as possible. 1’hat is my opLiuun with
regard 10 that point.

■jS. Are any of them alreaily, do you think, coming over and settling on our
territory ? — It is staled that numbers have crossed the boundary ; of course that
can only be ascertained by drawing the lino.

•ii). Lord Stanley.^ .At present the Red River Settlement is not open to traffic
in any direction, except that traffic which comes by canoes.’ — It is not.

30. Is there, in your judgment, any probability of a line of communication
fit for traffic being established between the American settlements and the Red
River?- 1 think it is tending to it very rapidly.

3 1 . Do you know what the distance \* from the nenrcMt inhabited point within
the Unitetl’ States ?— 1 should think it about 400 or 500 miles.

32. .Mr. Charles Fitznilliam.] Do not the lied River half-breeds contiuuaUy
come down from the Red River Settlement to St. Paul’s ?— Certainly they do.

3.’^. I think every summer tiiey come down ? — They do ; but thej have to
cross a very large extent of territory on horseliack to do so.

34. Do they not come down in their carts ? — Yea, so I have been told ; but
a gentleman with whom I am very well accjuainted, who recently crossed the
country from St. Paul’s to the Red River, and who was born there, informed me,
I think, that it took him IG days to cross from the last settlement to the north
of St. Paul’s, to the first settlement as he approached the Red River.

S,”). .Mr. Edward Ellice-‘] You have never lieen there yourself, have you ? — No.

36. Chuiniian.] If a man wanted to go from this country to the Red River,
what route would he take as the easiest r — By St. Paul’s.

37. Lord Utaniev.] Through i’ United States ? — Yes,

58. Mr. RwlwcH.] But if y.ur scheme of a railroad were carried into effect,
he would go by that, woulr’ ‘le not ? — Must unquestionably ; I should be very
glad to sec a railway made.

39. Mr. Edward Ellice.’] In what direction do you propose to run that rail-
way from Canada to the Red River ; you alluded to the railways contemplated
by Mr. Whitney and others ; do you know that that scheme of railways is in
connexion with the Mine^ota scheme of railways runnini; up from St. Paul’s ? —
I do ; the railway that I should desire to see carried out would be one to connect
with our own scheme of railways in Canada.

40. Are you at all aware of the practicability of a railway, except at a most
enormous expense, from the head of Lake Superior, from the Canada frontier,
to the Red River r — During the last 18 months an exp’oi-ation has taken place
along the north shores of Lake Huron and a part of L…^. ? .irii /, and inland
from the borders of both lakes al,. jg the valley runnin” v.e!>;< . •■ »• d. the repi •■ of the gentlemen who were instructed to make the s' v e; ,?► »aed the land to be very good, bearing verj* fine timber, and to be weu iiited for settlement; so that if we accomplished a connexion between the Canadian system of railways and the Red River country, it would be through the valley to the north of Lake ^ Juron and Lake Superior until we got round I^ke Superior. it. The v-ountry of which I am speaking lies to the west of what I under- si:. ' lo be the Canadian boimfiarj', taking the water-shed as the boundary; it s.JBi' 'lOut 5O1. or 600 aiiles Irom the extreme west end of Lake Superior, from the '!St cr.c wt>t I oundery of Canada to the Red River ; 1 suppose your atten-
tion iias not been diricttx. to that country ?— The extension of a railway over
that country is just that of which 1 have been speaking; you would only have
to make a curve if you could find a valley and get out of it at the west end of
Lake Superior upon this country which I have been mentioning.

42. Your


45. How far have you ({ot i\.
do io ? — We hnve an Act of tli
tion of a branch from a tuwit
Quinty, an arm of Lake Ontai
point to which the branch i>oeH

43. Voiir durveyoni hH%c not been throntth that country ?— No. /• iU««, E«|.
4j. Mr. Jioehuck.] W”(ie does your railway end? — It ia now very nearly – — – — ■

carried to liske Huron ; ihci’e in another railway connectln)( with it which ulao northerly I” I^ke Huron; that is the furthest

, liv extending t lUt line you could get into the

valley to the north of Laki* Huron, of which 1 have been speaking, and over

which an extension to the Red Hlver might u, made.

46. You conlcniolate the extension of that railway to the north of Lake Huron
and to the north ol Lake Superior? — Yes, when we can get s. ttlements and get
it carried out.

47. The extension of the railway, I suppose, is dependent upon the settle-
ment of the country ? — Very much, I think.

S. Do you believe that a country can be settled which is retained f’u- hunting
i’fOi’iid ” — I do not.

. > Then the hunting ground is incompatible with the settlement of the
cou itry? — That is my own impression, merely speaking from my own notion
of the matter, without being a practical hunter; we find, as n matter of fact,
that the wild animals recede from the settlemeats.

50. Then the exclusive power of the Hudson’s Bay Company over the country,
as a fur- hunting company, is upposed to colonization ?— 1 think if the Hudson’s
liay Company asserted their power over any part of the country that is fit for
cultivation, it would be an obstacle if they resisted the settlement of it.

51. In fact, then, the contemplated extension of the railway by vou is incom-
patible with retaining the power now possessed by the Hudson’s h .y Company ?
— It would be so most certainly, if they resisted the giving up of any of the
territory fit for the purposes of settlement.

52. That is to say, that so long as they retain their power over Uie country
which can be settled, it will not be settled ? — 1 do not say that, 1 cause I do
not know what they are willing to do ; I have had no conference with them, and
I am not able to say whether they are willing to give up the count rv which is
fit for settlement.

53. Uut it is 10 be supposed that a fur company promote the inti rests of a
fur company ? — It would be reasonable to suppose so.

,54. Then those interests which are contemplated by the extensiu ] of the
railway are opposed to the interests of that Company ? — As I tell you, tnat must
depend entirely upon whether lliey would resist our carrying a railway hrough
their country ; they might give up their rights there ; it may be that ttiere are
not furs there now, or that they might think it more advantageous tn liave
settlements which would atford them supplies, where they could get corn, grain,
beef and pork more cheaply than they could bring them from abroad ; 1 ilo not
know what their views are, for I have not conversed with any of the mernbers
of the Company upon the subject.

55. Havcyou ever contemplated a scheme of colonization by t lie Can dian
Government like to tiiat which is now pursued by the American Govurnmer. ? —
I have never contemplated it in any other way than I indicated, 1 tiiink, i. my
second or third answer to Mr. Labouehere; which is, that so fast as any pa;t of
the country adjacent to the settled parts of Canada is required for purpost s of
settlement, 1 think we ought to have the power of settling it, and I think tliat
the H udson’s Day Coinpairy ought to be required to give it to us.

56. I suppose you are perfectly familiar with the system of colonization on the
part of the Unittd States under the Ordinance ot 1783?— Yes, 1 think I kn )w
the whole of th»? system as it is pursued.

.57. Haeyou ever contemplated the propriety of giving that power to the
colo ml (iovernruent to make territories after the fashion of the American
Government.” — It was at one time spoken of in Canada, and it was considered
that there would be very great difficulties connected with it ; I may mention a
fact which probably will be within your recollection ; I think it was in the year

0.25- A 3 1849.








i *S



J. Rtai, ttq. 1849. The Canadian r-overnment had previously ^’ranted licences to certain

companies for mining purposes on Lake Superior ; one company, I think it was

10 Febniiry 1857. called the Quebec Company, took possession of an island, Michipicotnn Island
in Lake Superior, and estal)Uslied works there. Certain Indians, the Garden
River Indians, known as the Garden River Tribe, and certain half-breeds,
assei ted that they had a right over those lands for which a licence had been
granted, and they went by force and took possess! in of the Island of .Michipi-
coton and of the works of tlie mining company. The Canadian (Jovernment 1 *”
course arrested the parties, and so far as the Indians were concerned, upon the
expression of thiir cuntrition for doing wrong, they were forgiven, and in the
end a compensation was given to them to surrender their rights ; but that cost
tlie Canadian Government so much money, thit I think whatever they mii’ht
have considered as regards colonization, they have felt very much alarmed at
the idea of getting into contact with Indians since.

58. Then I understand your ol)jection to be, that money should be paid by
the Canadian Government. If it were paid by the Imperial Government
I suppose you would see no objection to that compensation being made r — The
question of compensation as regards the Imperial Government I have not raised
at all. I think if the Canadian Government required for purposes of settlement
any portion of the territory which is not now within their borders, such com-
pensation as might be considered fair they might fairly be called upon to pay.

59. You did not perceive the force of my first question. When ti)ey acquired
land beyond their borders, I propounded to you the inquiry whether you
thought it better that the acquired territory should be made a territory, or
aggregated to Canada r – I do not think that under the system of government
which exists in Canada now, such a course of acquiring new territory, and
governing it by means of territorial government, would be convenient or
conducive to the iniere.sts of Canada. I think they had better take what land
they may require for puiposes of actual settlement, say to the extent of 10, 20,
30, or 50 townships of land, and so fast as they want more, obtain it in the
way I have sucgcsted, by notice to the Hudson’s Bay Company, than that they
should get a large extent of country with tribes of Indians, perhaps, occupying
it, and perhaps a border dithculty, or war to deal with; I think that would not
be advisable.

fio. Would not the difficulty arise just as much whether ycm acquired 20
settlements or townships or 30? — It might in that proportion of 20 and 30 ;
but if notice were given to the Hudson’s Hay Company that within 12 months
or two years the Camidian Government desired to occupy such part of the
country as might be fitted for settlement, the Indians whom the Hudson’s Bay
Company employ and deal with, finding that settlements were to be established,
it might become a question of compensation to the Indians to leave their
hunting ground, which I think the Canadian Government should pay, and they
would remove ofl’that part of the territory, or not continue to occupy it. The
thing, I hope, would he fairly and equitably done as regards the Indians, and
in that way I think difficulties perhaps would not ensue. But if vou take a
very large extent ot territory, and by so doing take away the employment
which the Hudson’s^ Bay Company at present give to tribes of Indians, and leave
them in want, they may jjcrhaps find means of helping themselves, and they may
come down upon the bonier settlements.

(ii. Mr. Kinmird.] You rather think that the fact of the occupation given to
the Indians by the Hudson’s Bay (;ompany has been a protection to the border
country ? — I am clearlv of that opinion.

(I’i. .Mr. Adderlcy.’] To what degree do you think the Canadian Government
could extend its system of administration fioni head quarters ? — At present lam
not sure that it would be convenient to extend it at all.

113. Talking of the extension of the colony of Canada, do you consider that it
could, by degrees, take in the whole of the habitable part of the Hudson’s Bay
territory: — I think so.

f»4. Under the (; ■vernment of Canada, without any local or subordinate
system?— Yes, I think so, in case they could lay oflfthe townships; hut the fact
is, that it would not be desirable to settle them any faster than that.

6.’). Tlie compen.sation which you suggest, I suppose would be from the
Canadian territory, both 10 the Hudson’s Bay Company and to the Indians ? —
I have not suggested any compensation at all. I only say that if the giving of





compensation be equitable and fair, if the Canadian Government require the
teriitory for purposes of settlement, whatever that compensation may be, I think
it fair that they should meet it.

66. Compensation to both parties, the Company and the Indians ? — To both
parties, if any compensation should be paid. If the Hudson’s Bay Company
surrender a territory fit for settlement, which of course should only be where the
Canadian territory approaches it, I am not sure that for that any compensation
should be given. I only suggest that if they are called upon to give up posts,
they should be allowed to retain a certain portion of the land for their employes
about them, and hold it as ii part of their own property.

67. When you speak of the possibility of carrying out a railway depending
upon settlement, might it not he possible that the more distant parts might be
settled first, and that the r.iilway mi>>ht pay as the means of thoroughfare to
the furthest point? — ^The usual way of beginning such a settlement is l)y cutting
a good broad road through the territory which you intend to open up, and then
laying off your allotments of land on each side for actual settlers. That would,
I suppose, be usually the first process before the railway was attempted to be
miide. You would carry on the thing in that way by degrees.

tJ8. Talking of a great co itinent like, supposing Vancouver’s Island and
the western side of the Rocky Mountains settled, although the part between that
and Ciuiada was still wild, ml^^’ht not ;i railway be a very feasible plan as a means
of thoroughfare to that part which was settled?— I think it might, but I think
that more of an imperial question than a colonial one.

69. Do you think that too large an experiment tor Canada to make ? — Yes,
with her present resources.

70. If the whole of the Hudson’s Bay territory were settled, do you not think
that Vancouver’s Island would be most attractive to settlers? — ^Yes.

71. Long before the intervening portion of tlie territory between that and the
western side of Canada could come into settlement? — So far as my information
goes, that is the best for settlement, and would be the first settled.

72. The idea of a railroad, ultimately, is not so much for the benefit of the
interior of the country, as for a means of thoroughfare and access to harbours
on the western coast of America, is it ? — That is so, and for the through trade
from Chiaa and India. The construction of that railway is a most important
subject ; apart entirely from the opening of the country through which it would

73. Mr. Gordon.] Are you aware that a society has been established, at
Toronto, for the purpose of forming a colonization to the west of Lake Superior,
between that and the Lake of the Woods ? — I believe there are certain gentlemen
at Toronto very anxious to get up a second North-west Company, and I dare say
it would result in something like the same difficulties which the last North-west
Company created ; I should be very sorry to see them succeed. 1 think it would
do a great deal of harm, creating further difficulties lor Canada, which I do not
de-ire to see created.

74. You do not know anything ol the nature of the society or association,
recently formed, and what weight deserves to be attached to it? — I do know
several of the gentlemen who are moving in it ; I know that at least one of
them was very instrumental in making the difficulty which was made with the
Garden River Indians, and the half-breeds in 1849, of which I have been
speaking. I believe he was at their head at the time that they seized upon
and took possession of the Quebec Company’s works upon the island of

7,5. Then you do not apprelienci that there is any general wish, on the part
of the people of Canada, to have that portion of the country added to what they
now have ? — I believe there is a general wish that so fast as the territory can
be occupied, tor purposes of settlement, means should be taken that it should be
80 occujiied-

76. Do you believe ihat those portions of the territory, capable of being
colonized, are such as to afford sufficient attractiveness to bring colonists to that
distance, in preference to more attainable points of settlement, much nearer the
settled parts of Canada r — I should say not at present ; 1 should say they much
prefer the nearer lands to more distant ones.

77. .Mr. Roebuck.] Dc you say that from your eXf,>erience of colonization in
the United States f — I say it from my knowledge of public affairs in Canada

0.25. A 4 solely ;

J, Ro$$,. Efq.
ao February 1857.



J Rott, Esq.

JO February 1157,




I speak of wliat I think desirable tor the Canadian Government and

by the

solely ;

78. Ho you know the extent to which new territories are created
United States ? — I know the usual process.

79. I refer to the extent of territory over which they pass ; take Iowa, for
instance? — Iowa has been settling for these last 20 years; I believe the first
settlements in Iowa were made in 1834 or ISSf).

80. When Iowa was begun to be settled there were very large masses of
unsettled land, but still people went to Iowa?— There were, but they were not
very good lands, poor lands.

81 . Chaxrman^ Iowa, I believe, is a country of remarkable fertility ? — It is.
8j. Mr. Roehuck.’\ But on the Gennessees there were very large quantities of

very fertile land unoccupied \ — If there were, they were held at so high a price
that it was not within the means of the class of settlers to occupy them ; they
were held, for instance, at the rate of 100 dollars, or about that ; they could not
be l)ought for twice that now.

83. Before Iowa was settled, did they not create a new territory west of Iowa ?
— My impression is that they did not ; I think the territory of SVisconsin was a
little before that time lentleman who went
across the country, and I believe there is no settlement at all. Mr. Oliphant
has written u work c.illed ” Minesota and the Far West,” giving an account of
a trip which he made from the head of Lake Superior across the country to
the river ;ibove St. Paul’s, and he came down that river, and so homeward.
I believe there are no settlements between the most southerly point of the Red
River Settlement, and the most northerly point of the St. Paul’s Settlement.
I believe there is a space of from 400 to 500 miles without settlers ; there is
a long extent of country where there u not even a squatter.

90. Mr. liuehuc/,-.] Have you any notion whether any attempt has been
made to number the Indians ii|)on the territories of the Hudson’s Bay Com-
pany ? — There is a work of Sir George Simpson’s which I remember to have
read. I tliink it is called •’ A Voyane round the World,” or some such title
as that, in which, I think, he gives some account of the numbers of the
Indians approximately. That is the only authority that I have seen upon the

100. You have no knowledge of whut the numbers of the Indians are upon
that territory, which you suppose may eventually become inhabited from Canada ?
— No ; the Canadian Government has no information upon the subject.

101. Then you have no grounds for an opinion as to the danger arising
from the opposition on the part of those Indians ? — I know that there are large
numbers of Indians within the territory, from the statement of Sir George
Siiiijjson, for instance ; I know it from others who were born on the territory,
and have grown up in it, and who have come to this country to be educated,
who say that there are large numbers ; but I would not attempt to give to the
Committee a statement of anything like the exact numbers, for I am not sutii-
ciently informed.

102. Chairman.] Is it not the case that that part of the territory of the Hud-
son’s Bay Company which is valuable for the fur trade is not the part which is
properly adapted for settlement, but is rather a more nortliern and a colder
part? — That is our impression in Canada, but in that we may be wrong.

103. Mr. Blackburn.’] I think you say that you know no parties in Canada
wishing to settle the Hudson’s Bay territories r — There are parties who wish to
get up another North-West Company.

104. An opposition company ?— Some company who will lead to profitable
speculation. I do not think any person seriously desires to settle any of the
Hudson’s Bay territory at present.

105. .Mr. Gordon.] The association of which I spoke is not a fur company at
present, is it? — It might be converted into anything.

I o(i. Lord Stanley^ Can you state to what extent occupation has gone on
up the Ottawa River ? — 1 could send, I think, from papers which I have in my
possession, the last census returns on the Ottawa.

IC7. Mr. Edicard Eliice.] Are you aware that the Government has offered
4,000,000 of acres on the Ottawa to any company who will undertake a railway
there ? — I am.

108. Mr. Rotbuck.] How near do the head waters of the Ottawa approach to
the territories of the Hudson’s Bay Company ? — You go north to the watershed,
I suppose, towards Hudson’s Bay.

109. Have the boundaries between Canada and Hudson’s Bay ever been
settled ? — I think not on the west.

1 10. That is on the north ? — That would be north-west.

lit. yir. Lowe.] Has the valley of the Ottawa ever been completely sur-
veyed ‘(■ — The greater part of it.

I I J. Are there not some of the tributaries not yet surveyed, or traced ? — Yes ;
a great deal of the valley has been surveyed, however.

0.25. B 113. Is



J. Rum, Esq. 1 13. Is the valley at all completely settled ? — It is not.

” 114. A very small portion of it ?– A considerable jiortion of it ; it is merely

20 Pcbrunry 1857. ^ narrow strip of settlement so far as the north shore of the Ottawa is con-

1 15. Do you think that persuns will be likely to go on, and settle on the Red
River, till the good land on tlie shores of tiie Ottawa is taken up? — 1 think not,
from my own experience.

J 16. Mr. Roebuck.] Docs that arise from experience of the United States”: —
I speak from what I think are the dispositions of the Canadian people.

117. I am speakinable i–, I think, incorrect. I have been told bv thosi;
who have travelled across the country thai there is a great deal of swamp there ;
1 believe there i> more broken and bad land than good lying in that country
between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement.

148. But you think it possible to run a railway there ?— Quite.

149. Mr. Edward Eilite.] What is the distance, do you think, in miles, from
0.25- B 2 the

J, Hon, Eaq.

to February 1B57.



J. Rou, E»q. the western portion of the Otiawa to the head of Lake Superior, near the country

that you have been talking of, where ii railway may be run; is it 1,000 miles ? —

•20 I’ebruory 1857. It is about 800 I should think.

i,5<.. Mr. Belt.] What is the distance from the most distant point of Lake Superior to the Ked River Setilemiut? — In round numbers, 1,000 miles from the Sault St. Mary. 1,51. Mr. J^ochuck.] What is the extent of your contemplated railway, from the point to which you have now obtained an Act of Parliament, to the point i*hich yon contemplate eventually? — We disire to have it carried across the continent, believinir that it will be for the interests both of the Imperial and of the Canadian (iovemment ; and we think that the trade with China and India might be drawn over that line of communication. Perhaps it is taking rather a Ions flio'it. i.'iL'. Vou contemplate, then, going across the Rocky Mountains to Van- couver's Island ? — Yes, we hope to see it extended there in time. 1.53. Mow far is it from the head of your present railway concession, if I may use that term, to the Red River?— It is upwards of 1,200 miles, I should think. 154. Then the railway to get to the Red River would pass to the north of Lake Hurhn and the north of Lake Superior ? — Yes. 155. And you think it perfectly feasible.' — As at present informed, I do. I, "it). Mr. Gordon.] Is it not the fact that the banks of the Saguenay are extiemely precipitous and inaccessible, and that that is one of the ditiiculties in the way of having a prosperous settlement there ? — The banks are very pre- cipitous ; but I was S|)eakiiig of those parts which arc cultivated. 157. Thevpiie^s? — The valleys. Lutue, 23" die Februarii, 1857 • MEMBERS PRESENT. Mr. Adderley. Mr. Bell. Mr. Edwi""} Ellice. Mr. Charity Fitzwilliam. Mr- Gordon. Mr. Gregson. Mr. Grogan. Mr. Gurney. Mr. Pircy Herbert. Mr. Kinnaird. Mr. Labouchere. Mr. Lowe. Sir John Pakington. Mr. Roebuck. Lord John Russell. Viscount Sandon. Lord Stanley. The Right Hon. HENRY LABOUCHERE, in the Chair. Lieutenant-Colonel John Henrtf Lvfroy, Royal Artillery, called in ; and Examined. :|!i: r'li i l.ieut.-Colonel 158. Chairman^ I believe you are connected with the War Department? — ,T. lI.LeJroy, r.a. I am ; I am Inspector-general of Army Schools. ' i^iQ. Have you had occasion to become acquainted with British North •J3 librtiarviSj;. America r--I resided 11 years in North America, and passed nearly two years in the territories of the Hudson's Bay Company. •(io. In «hat capacity did you visit tiie territories of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany ? — I was employed under the general direction of the Royal Society to make magnetical observations over the whole of the accessible portion of their territorj'. 161. In the performance of that task did you travel very much over the ter- ritories of the Hudson's Bay Company? — I visited almost the e ♦ire region; every place of any consequence on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. i ; I think it was a’lout ihe year 1838 ; the rest of the
population is made up of half-breeds and French Canadians, who have straggled
there from all directio is. The purely English element is not very large. The
Hudson’s Bay C’ompany make little use of English labour ; they make use of
Scotch and Orkney labour, and there are a good many Scotch and Orkney men

l()-2. Is


192. Is there any part of the territory that you are acquainted with to which Litiut;ion of prairie is indic;ited by a green tint;
north and east of that region there are woods.

21,-,. Ail to the north of Lake Superior is woody country ? — Until you get to
a very considerable distance north ; but I beg to »ay that the wood in that
country, the pine, which is the most prevalent wood, will grow in any crevice
in which tliere is any moisture, and I have seen pines of large size growing on
a granite rock as hard as this t ible, simply by the moisiture which was found
in the crevices. You cannot infer that that is a soil fitted for agricultural purposes
from the fact of there being wood.

216. Not from the fact of there being pine-wood, but if otiier hard wood
grows you may do so? — Yes; those woods having a tap-ruot, but a great num-
ber have not.

217. Is not that the mode by which people who explore a country for auri-
cultunil purposes determine the capability of the country for agricultun”, namely,
from the wood upon it ; in America, I mean? — It is one of the niodes ; it is a
superfieiiil one.

218. Where you find large quantities of trees of five feet in iliameter, and
large beech trees, would yon not at once sav that that is a cultivable soil ?—
Unquestionably ; but there is not a tree of any desiription five fent in diameter
in the Hudson’s Bay territory on the east side of the Kocky Mountains ; the
largest pines, which are the largest trees there, seldom exceed three feet in

21 p. Supposinjf there were trees of three feet in diameter, would you not say
the soil was good ? — Yes. I have seen that in islands possessing a depth of
alluvial soil brought down by floods. The island on which Fort Simpson, on
the Mackenzie River, is built, is of that descriptic : and very fine timber is to
be found there.

220. You say that you have not seen any evidence that the climate has
ameliorated? — I have seen none.

321. Are you at all aware historically of the state of Europe in centuries
past? — Yes; I am aware that there is reason to suppose that the climate of
Europe in former times, before cultivation was so general, was colder than it is
now; the winters were colder. Having given considerable attention to that
subject, i may state generally that the result of my inquiries leads me to this
conclusion, that the efiect of cultivation anywhere in America is to diminish
the extremes of temperature both in summer and in winter, but to leave the
mean annua] temperature not much affected by it. Meteorological observa-
tions were commenced at Toronto, in Canada, in 1840. I was mysL’lf engaged
with them about 11 years; and I of course had experience of a groat variety of
hot winters and cold winters, and summers also. Since I left it, which was in
the year 1853, they have had extremes in both directions that fall far without
the limits of my observation ; they have had three winters of such severity as
I never encountered in all that period, and they have had hotter summers; it
therefore shows that conclusions based on data not derived from observations
over a long series of years, comparable and accurate ones, are very likely to
deceive us.

222. The sensations of a man are very misleading; but supposing, for example,
that formerly the territory bore reindeer, and that the rivers of that territory
were annually frozen, and that now reindeer will not live there and the rivers
are never annually frozen, would you not say from those data that the country
had ameliorated in climate ?— I should say so, if I was acquainted with no other
facts ; but I am acquainted with a fact with regard to the habits of the reindeer



\’ ii«ii

■ si’ i( of

UMirlHer (it
lin thpm ;

wliirh would render such n roncluHion insecure ; until the yr r |H;iU

were in the hiibit of niiKratin^ in enormous numherH iiloiu the \

IIuflson’M Hay, pasHing York Fnetory to the Month ; in thiit year tl.

were greater timn uhubI, and a most extraordinary and wanton

them took place by the Indians ; the Company were unable to n

from that day to this, accordinfi; to the best of my information, inf reindeer

have never been Meen in that region, although there is no reason to suppose

that there m any chan^’c in the climate or its capacity for furnishing them with


•j’i:]. Ah you say you have paid attention to the atate of tlie (climate in Europe,
I suppose you are perfectly aware that reindeer used to live ujmn the banks of
the l)anMbe and on the Rliine ? — I was not aware «)f the fart ; I had fors^otten
it if I had ever seen it.

■224. That fact is adduced by Gibbon as a proof that the climate has very much
ameliorated by time ? — Yes.

‘2J,’). The freezing of rivers, for example, is another evidence ; I suppose there
is notiiing that could contradict that? — I should think not.

2J(). Taking the name circumstances, namely, that Gaul and Germany were
in times past, very shortly after the Christian era, in the mme state that Canada
is now ; having paid attention to the climate of different cduntries, would you
not conelutle that the same circumstances occurring in Canada as have occurred
in Europe, namely, the clearing of woods, and the draining of morasses, would
lead to a gnat amelioration of the climate ? — There are some circumstances
whieli make an essential difference in the two problems. In the first place, the
actual coil of Western Europe is deeper, and better suited to the growth of
grains of every description than the soil of the Hudson’s Bay territory, from my
knowledge of it.

•2-2-. Is that the case with Prussia? — The district of Prussia, I believe, is
generally sandy, but I have not travelled there ; I speak of the country in a
general way. Then there is this cause ameliorating the climate of Western
Europe, which we feel in our own islands particularly, namely, the influence of
the Gulf Stream. Our condition is abnormal ; but if you refer on the map to
the lines of equal temperature, passing through both continents, through America
and through Europe, you will tind that the lines descend, that is to say, you will
find the line of equal temperature, of 50″ we will say, which is the limit of the
profitable cultivation of barley, in much lower latitudes in the Hudson’s Bay
territory than you will in Western Europe.

2 J 8. I suppose the southern point of Lake Winnipeg is about the latitude of
some of the finest countries in Europe ? — I believe it is.

229. Do you know anything of the actual physical condition of the northern
shore of Lake Superior r — Merely from having coasted it before the explorations
which have subsequently taken place, — I mean those connected with mining
speculi^tions ; therefore I had only ocular inspection from passing along it.

:2.3o. .’ou have not travelled on the land there r — No, except for a very few

23 1 . Have you any evidence that there are large morasses there which render
it impassable? — Immediately adjoining the shores there cannot be large
morasses, because the land rises rapidly ; there are two terraces indicating
changes of level at former periods, iind the land rises rapidly, and in fact the
north-west shore is mountainous.

232. There is a litke called Lake Nipigon ? — Yes.

233. Does not that fall into Lake Superior r — It drains, I believe, into Lake
Superior ; I never was there.

234. Therefore, may we conclude that it is higher than Lake Superior and
the land through which it runs ? — Of course.

235. If on the shore of Lake Superior there are not morasses, we may con-
clude that there are not morasses between those two points ? — Hardly that.
Morasses are to be met with at the highest points. In fact, it will be found,
as a general rule, I believe, that the districts which furnish the sources of
rivers are always districts ot morass. I could point to three or four instances
of that on the map. Probably, Honourable Members can find on their maps
the River Savan ; the Dog Lake will be found on the map not far above Lake
Superior. If you follow the line of boundary between Lake Superior and the
Rainy Lake, about midway between the two you come to a very elevated

0.25. C district

I’cbniarjr ityj.



LieuL-C4>lonvl (Uhlrift, which fiiniitthcH the souror of rivt-rn fiillinK in iM)th (lin’otinns into
J. U. L^Ttip, h. A. HiuIsciii’k IJhv and into i.ukf Su|M’ri(»r and tlie Atluntic. That rfition is out’ of

ininu’iiM; phyitical ditticidty, in ronHn|Ui’ni*r ol morasHrx, and vvvrv tradir Ivudwh

■i3 February 1837. ^\^^, jsHvnnnuh n>()ra»8, tin* Hrairi*’ portag*-, and the ^rcat ititcrriiptionN wliicli l>e
huH to patiH, witli i-xtriuu- ditficuUy, in conxt-qufnce of tiicrc hf-ing Hwainpn at
what iit the hci^ht of hind of tliat rt-Kion.

j;j(). An- you awar«’ tiiat tlieiv \» a m’hmw now in coniiinMUHMiifnt, rather
ttian aiiytldnK elm-, of carryinK u railway alonf< tin; northern nhore of Lake Snptrior, ami tivi-ritually arrosn tlie Rocky Mountains to the Pacitic Ocean.' — I have Hccn pr()]i(isuis to tliat effect. aj". Do tiiuse plans c-onteinplate any ini|>UHsaliU> barrier on the northern shore
of I^ke Superior- — Tliose ]>lans iiave always seemed to me to l)e drawn on the
eiiKinicrinu |irinciple of laying down an air hue, and tuen assuming that capital
will cany you aloii;; it ; hut the physical diiticrultiett of doing it would be
enormously great, and 1 catmot persuade myself that 8uch an undertaking would
be conducted with any commercial tulvantage.

a,{8. Mr. Ctrofidii.] You spoke of the population on the lied River Setthunent
not I’cing very large, owing to the difficidty of access. If there were a railway
in that direction capable of being constructed, would not that difficulty be
obviated? — It would undoubtedly ; but it always appears to me, on studying the
map. that the natural affinities t)f the Red River Setth-meut are with the valley
of the Missouri, and that we shall be going against nature if we try to force it
into the valley of the St. Lawrence.

.2;{q. You consider that the natural direction is to go into the United States.’
— 1 think ^’o ; I do not think that the route by the 8t. Lawrence can ever compete
commercially witli the route to the sou’h.

-’40. You have illustrated your local experience for a period of 12 or 14 years ;

you have said that your general observations in the (country were lnsuffi(;ient to

enable you to form correct data ? – They were insufficient to obtain tlu- fact of

the highest or the lowest tem]>erature, furnish a mean which was not liable

« to be disturbed l)y the observations of another year.

241 . l)o any reconls exist at the different stations of tlie Hudson’s Bay
Com|)any whereby the increase or decreasi; of temperature can be ascertained ?
— 1 am sorry to say that the records of tliat region are exceedingly slender,
almost valueless in a scientific jwint of view. Sir John Richardson has (H)llected
in his last work of travels the best ud’oriuation he couUl get, but the data are
most scanty.

■242. In jwint of fact, does the impression exist in the country that the climate
of that district is ameliorating ? – I never heard of it.

243. With regard to limestone, is the district where the limestone prevails of
any extent ? — The westirn shore of Lake Winnipeg is entirely limestone, but
there is no soil on it ; it has literally no soil in many places ; it is as bare as your

244. The rock is on the surface ? — Yes.

24′,. The soil does not cover the surface com])letely : — 1 did not explore with
sufficient accuracy to give an opinion upon those points. I must bej, that my
o^jservations may be considered as relating principally to the routes that I
travelled over. I did not explore the interiors : 1 went over the great routes of
communication only.

24*). Are you able to speak of vegetation, whether it exists in detached portions
of that district ! — I can speak more positively of that, because I made inquiries
about it, the subject having engaged my attention. Tlie points where cultivation
was more carried on were these : there was the Red River Settlement, where there
was very considerable cultivation, and Fort Cumberland, and the Basquiau River,
in the Saskatchewan district, and Lake La Crosse ; at Fort C’umberland tiiere
were about 10 acres of ground under cultivation ; at Lake La Crosse, a little to
the north of Cumberland House, there were iUso about 10 acres of ground under
cultivation, yielding barley ; at Lake Athabasca, where I passed a winter, which
is further north again, potatoes of a small size could be grown, but there had
been no success in growing barley or any cereal at all. At Fort Simpson, ou
Mackenzie’s River, where it turns to the northward, just at the angle, on a large
island of deep alluvial soil, farming was unusually suci^essful ; there were regular
crops of barley, regular cattle, and a very good garden. That is in about latitude
62° i think ; barley grew there very well indeed.

247. Sir


347. B\r John Pakinfilnn ] Were you there yourself? — I pnMRed alionf tour LiMi.Colunel
months tluTe ; hnrlcy was even k^owu witli xucpesH; that in to Hfty, siiffiricntly J- H. Ufroj/, n. a,
M) to l)f worth the labour he^^towcd upon it by the trader, and to furnish K’*ain
to add greatly to the nu’anH of subHistciice of the Muiali fimily oceupviu^ ii “■* t*«’nru«ry 1857.
tradiiiK po!*t at that station ; they were aUW to pick the very l)est pieees of
ground to be found. AlHoat Fort Norman, in hit. «4* ‘M\ barh’y watt i^rowu, and
that iiH the uiont northern s|H>t ju Anieriea wliere any strain lias been !2. I am talking of a mnttcr of fact, not of the number of months ; I mean
when the rarth is so frozen that }ou cannot plough it ; can jou nay that the
winter on the Saskatchewan is shorter thun the winter at St. Petersburgh, or
longer, giving you that as a datum’ — I cannot answer that question.

2(13. If it is not longer, and St. Petersburgh is habitable, and covered with a
vast population, this territory might be covered also? — St. Petersburgh has a
seaport to supjjly it, and it has productions of various kinds which have a com-
mercial value ; this region not only has no seaport, but it is about 700 or 800
miles from one, to be reached by a very difficult navigation, leading not into
the Baltic, which has its outlet to the south, but into Hudson’s Bay, which bos
its outlet lo tlie north, and which is only navigable for about three months in
the year ; those are essential differences in both the physical and commercial
comlitioiis of the two regions.

264. Is the Baltic at St. Petersburji[h navigable for more than three months
in the year • — I apprehend that it is navigable for seven or eight months ; I
speak under correction.

2()’>. Sir John Palciiigtoii.] You mentioned the difference in cHmate on the
western sids of this great district as it approaches the Pacific ; can you give the
Committee any iilea of the extent of that difference, either the extent geogra-
phically to which it prevails, or the degree to which it prevails? — I should be
unwilling to speak from memory upon such a subject, because it is one which
must be brought to figures ; I could easily ascertain the facts as far as data
exist for doing so, l)ut I would not venture to speak from memory.

•266. Is the difference a marked and decided one ? — Unquestionably so ; it
meets you everywhere in America, that the further you go to the westward along
the same parallel of latitude, you come to a milder climate.

2C7. Mr. Jiocbuck.] Is that the case on the east of the Rocky Mountains ? —
It is so in the southern latitudes.

2(iiS. Sir Jo/in Paldngloii.] To what cause do you attribute the difference in
climate? — It is difficult to give an answer 10 tiiat question directly. The pre-
valent winds in the region beyond the tropics have a great influence upon the
climate of the countries wliich they pass over. You find that the prevalent
winds in the extra tropical region being from the westward, those winds bring
from th(! Pacific Ocean a large quantity of moisture, which moisture has a
tendency to amehorate the climate of the regions which receive its first
benefit. As they proceed further to the eastward they lose a portion of that
moisture, and pass over regions, frozen or covered with snow through a large
part of the year; they come down to Canada more severe, of course, and
charged with less moisture, and actually colder by having given up latent heat
to the regions they have ])assed over, than nearer to the west.

269. What are the prevailing winds on the ea.«tern side of this part of
America ? — I should b(! glad to reserve my answer to that question because I
should wish to speak with accuracy. The prevaling winds, on the whole, are
westerly ; they are rather from the western semicircle than from the eastern.
I believe they are north-westerly.

270. How far to the westward have you penetrated ?— Nearly as far as the
Rocky .Mountains, but not over them. My limits westward were Dunvegan, on
the Peace River, and Edmonton on the Saskatchewan.

271. Do you attribute the power of producing barley so far north as Fort
Simpson to that comparative neighbourhood to the Pacific to which you have
referred ? — In a very great degree 1 do.

272. Can you state what is the general difference in cUmate between Fort
Simpson and these other settlements in the neighbourhood of Lake Winnipeg ?
— The difiference of mean summer temperature between those two regions I
believe to be but little; but I am reluctant to speak with precision upon
these points, because if they have value at all, it is as scientific facts, and
I confess that I am not sufficiently armed with them at this moment to be able
to be positive.

273. Fort Simpson has, of course, a much severer (tlimate, I presume? —
Very much severer, taking the year round.

274. You spoke in the early part of your examination of the district which
you were then speaking as being permanently frozen, so that the crops could
not be grown ; to what part of this district did you apply that expression, of

” permanently


” permanently frozen ” ?^I am unable to state very extensive facts u|)on that Lieut.-CnUmcl
subject ; the soil at York Factory, on Hudson’s Bay, is permanently frozen. ^- ^’- ^■’J’oy^ “••*•

•J75. Mr. Jioehuck.] How far north is that ? — It is about 57 degrees, I think, not ^^ February if-,?,
so far north as Fort Simpson ; the soil there does not thaw in the summer more
than about three feet deep, and it is frozen to ahout 20 feet permanently.

27ti. Sir Jo/in Pakinff/on.] I a])])rehend that you did not mean to apply that
expression, ” permanently frozen ” in the sense in which 1 think you used it,
naint’ly, as applying generally to this district, but only to particular parts ? —
Of course ; it is a very large region ; the district is as large as Europe, and has
great differences of climate.

277. You applied the term generally. I presume there is nothing to which
you could apply the term ” permanently frozen ” in the nature of the climate
about the Ked River Settlement, or even at Fort Cumberland Station ? — Fort
Cumberland, I believe, is near the limit of the region where the ground is per-
manently frozen ; more accurately speaking, I think Lake La Crosse is about
that limit.

•278. There is cultivation at Fort Cumberland, is there not? — I do not mean
to say there is not cultivation where the ground is permanently frozen ; at the
most northerly point I have spoken to, namely. Fort Norman, on Mackenzie’s
River, the ground is permanently frozen to the 1 epth of 4;* feet, yet there is

27(). What do you mean by ” permanently frozen ” ? — I mean that it never
thaws except at the surface. I had a remarkable opportunity of ascertaining
that fa(!t by a great landslip on the banks of the Mackenzie River, exposing
a completely permanent frozen soil to the depih of 45 feet. The surface thaws
to the extent of a foot or two. In the more open situations, it thaws of course
to a greater depth.

280. Under those circumstances, with a depth of permanently frozen ground
of many feet, and only thawed very superticially, does the ground admit of
cultivation?— Not, 1 think, with any profit; indeed, a white population accus-
tomed to civilised life cannot find subsistence.

281. The ripening of the crops under those circumstances must be preca-
rious ?— Yes. There is a difference between absolute cultivation yielding small
returns for the support, or the assistance of other means of support, of a very
small community, such as is to be found at all these forts, and one on which
a large conmiunity can permanently depend. All over that country, although
they have a crop in many places, they depend principally upon fish, and the
dried meat of the buffalo.

282. What is the population of the Red River Settlement? — In 1843 or 1844
it was about 5,000, according to the information given me.

283. What population is there at the northern settlement of Fort Cumber-
land, or Norway House ? — It does not in any one instance, I imagine, amount
to 20 persons permanently resident. At some seasons of the year there are
others coming and going, and the Indians occasionally frequent them. Not, of
course, including the Indians inhabiting the districts supplying those stations
with their furs ; but taking the residents, you will find 10, 20, or 30, according
to the means of subsistence.

284. Are there any European inhabitants in the district between the Red
River and Cumberland Fort and Norway House ?— None but the traders in the
Hudson’s Bay Company’s employment.

285. Is Lake Winnipeg open for navigation for any length of time in the
summer?— Not for long; 1 should suppose that Lake Winnipeg is open for
navigation from iviay till about the end of October.

28(J. The whole lake would then be open ?— Yis.

287. Mr. Roebucfc.j Do you know how long the St. Lawrence is open at
Quebec r — It varies extremely in different seasons ; but the St. Lawrence at
Uuebec is generally open early in April.

288. I beg your pardon? — In April.

28;). Not till May. Do you not know that after the month of November ‘
begins, the insurance upon ships doubles?— I am quite aware of that; but
I am equally aware that the last vessels leave tiuebcc very late in November,
and I have known them leave in December.

290. You say that you attribute the possibility of growing barley at Fort
o 25. c 3 Simpson



-I attribute it in a great degree to


LIcui.-Colonel Simj)son to its proximity to the Pacific ?-
J.H. Lefrog,},. A. that fact.

‘ 2()i. Does not Fort Simpson lie vorv near the Rocky Mountains, to the east

«3 February 1857. of the Rocky Mountains ?— Yes.

‘it)’.’. Do not the Rocky Mountains continue frozen tlirougliout the year upon

their summits ? — The Rocky Mountains there are very much lower tlian they

are in lower latitudes. I have seen snow over the whole region of the Rocky

Moimtains within view in June ; therefore, I presume that they tare covered

• • with snow almost all the year round.

‘ip.5. llie i)roximity of Fort Simi)son to the Rocky Mountains would h’al to
the chilling of the atmosphere, would it not? — It depends a little upon the
distance ; the actual distance is rather considerable. The Rocky Mountains
approach the Mackenzie’s River at a much lower latitude ; at tiie limit of the
Arctic region the chain comes nearest, but at Fort Simi)son it recedes to some
distance. I have in many instances observed that a sudden change of the wind
from the eastward to the westward would almcst immediately raise the tem-
l)erature of the air ten degrees at Fort Simpson.
294. South-west? — Ves, south-west.

29-). Sir Jo/in Pakhiffton.] Has the altitude of the Rocky Mountains in
the British dominions ever been asctrtaiiud .’ — No; the altitude of the great
passes between the Saskatchewan and t’le Columbia has been ascertained with
tolerable precision, but not further to the north.

■j(j6. What is it there? — I do not like to speak from memory.

297. .Mr. Edward Ellicf..’] On oidinary maps the highest range is marked
at about 15.000 or 10,000 f(‘et, is it not? — Bur the pass is much lower than

l’qS. Mr. Groff(in.~\ You spoke of the barley, for instance, having been
ripened at Fort Simpson ; do you attribute that to any greater quantity of rain
that may fall there than down at Fort Cumberland ? — No.

299. Mr. Loive.’] Have you had occasion to observe the effect of summer
frosts in these territories upon crops? — No, not personally; but I have made
inquiries concerning them.

;^oo. Will you state what is the fact in that respect ? — Summer frosts come
at night in all months of tlie year, frequently with very great severity, and the
ground will be frozen in June ; of course that cuts off all delicate cultivation.

30 1 . Does that interfere with the certainty of crops at the Red River ? —
I believe very much.

302. And of course further north ? — Further nortli still more so.

;50;3. Have you observed tlie Indians on the Saskatchewan River ? — Yes.

304. What is the nature of the Indians there ; are they very fiercer— Some
of the tribes on the Upper Saskatchewan are very warlike and untameable.

30/5. What are they principally ; the Blackfeet .’ ~ I he Blackfeet ; there are
five or six tribes which go under the general name of Blackfeet ; the Crees, who
inhabit the lower portion of the region, seem to have less savage tendencies.

306. Is it sfife to travel there, one or two people together? — Under the pro-
tection of the Hudson’s Bay Company it could be done with perfect safety.

307. Do you tliink that a railway could be made with faciUty from any point
in Minesota to the Red River ? — Yes.

30>i. From what place? — I tiiink almost anywhere.

309. From St. Paul’s? — Yes, I should think it might.

310. Mr. Percy Herbert.] You spoke of the district between the Rainy Lake
and the Lake of the Woods a* being not much inferior to Lower Canada ; is
that district of which you spoke of considerable extent ? — I do not think it is of
great extent, but it must be to the extent of several townships, as they are laid
out in Canada.

311. VVouhl the district between that and Lake Superior admit of a commu-
nication with Lake Superior? — It would admit of a communication by going
to a very great expense ; the distance is not very great, but you have to pass
over a region of swamp and morass, and a river which is not navigable ; there
is a line of detached lakes, communicating by streams and rivers, which are not

312. Mr. Grtyson.] Upon the whole, what inducements are there to attract
emigration to these regions ?— I do not n)yself think that emigration can be



judiciously directed to those regions. Undoubtedly there are the attractions
of ft wild, romantic mode of life. ‘1 here is an abundance of the necessaries of
life at the Red River Settlement, hut there is no trade, or next to none, because
its interior position and its wan* )f communication with the ocean add so much
to the freight upon all articles hat they cannot be exported at a profit. But
persons who will be content with sufficient for the passing hour, and who have
a turn for wild semi-civilised life, will enjoy tliemselves there very much.

3 1 3. Cliaijinan.’] It is a pretty healthy country, is it not ? — Very healthy.

3 1 4. During your residence in that country had you any opportunities of
forming an opinion of the general character of the government of the Hudson’s
Bav (‘ompany, so far as relates to their conduct towards the Indians and their
mode of preserving the peace of the country .’ — The best preservative for the
peace of the country was taken by the Hudson’s Bay Company about the year
1832, when they entirely discontinued sending spirits into it, or, I believe, not
entirely, but almost entirely. Since that time blood feuds and quarrels among
the Indians have diminished very much indeed. The white population is so
very small that there is very little crime necessarily. What crime does occur
there, is, I believe, treated at the Heil River Settlement by a recordei”, the law
officer there, and he told me that tli.’ gaol was generally empty. I believe there
is veiy little crime there.

31,5. Is there security of traveUinsr there ? — Perfect security, except at the
head of the Saskatchewan, and among the warlike tribes, who are sometimes no
rcfpecters of persons, and who will pilluge their best friends.

316. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] What do you call the warlike tribes? — The
Blackfeet, mostly.

317. Mr. Edward FJlirc] Those which are nearest tlie frontiers? — Yes.
■^18. Chairman.’] Do you apprehend that there has been a very effectual

check to the use of ardent spirits among the Indians, by the measures taken by
the Hudson’s Bay Company – — I am confident that there has, over the whole
region except the Saskatchewan, where the necessity of meeting the Americans
in some degree with their own weapons had obliged a very limited use of spirits;
but the rule, if I am not mi>iinformed, wiis, that for one gallon of rum they put
seven gallons of water ; the spirit issued was so much diluted that it had not
much tffect.

319 Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] Is it not true that Americans trading in liquor
are subject to a very severe fine ? – I believe there h that law in the United
States, but it is evaded constantly.

320. Have you not het’rd of a trader i)eing sent down in chains from the
post to the United States : — No ; I know that Americans do trade largely in
liquor on the Missouri.

321. Mr. Roebuck.] You know nothing, you say, of Minesota ? – Not per-

322. I suppose you know, from its position on the map, that there are no
further means fur going to Minesota than to Lake Winnipeg? — Minesota has a
dense, industrious, enterprising population to the south and east of it, con-
stantly pressing in that direction, l)ut the Hudson’s Bay territory is not quite
in that condition ; you come down to the lower parts of the Missouri, where
you get into a comparatively dense population.

323. Iowa comes between ?- -I include all that. There is no physical reason
why the people there should not press onwards ; and they are perpetually
pressing onwards into Minesota.

324. Is there any physical reason why they should not press across the
border, and come from Minesota to I^vke Winnipeg? — None at all. They do
not do so from the United States, wliich fact I think shows that the inducements
are not very great.

3’2,’5. Would not the fact of its being British territory be a reason why they
should not come across the border ? — I do not think that that wuuld have any
influence ; if they found it advantivgeous I think they would do it.

326. Sir John PakiiKjlon.] Is the Indian i)opulation supposed to be decreasing
in those regicms ? — 1 fear there is no doubt that it is decreasing very rapidly.

327. From natural causes, not from the effect of European encroachment ? —
I apprehend that European encroachment lias had a gl’^•lt deal to do with it,
but it has been rather more from moral influences than fro.n any direct physical

0.25. c 4 influences,

J. H’ Lffrey, r.a.

33 February 1807.



Lieut. -ColutMil
J. H. Lcfroy, R.A.

23 February 1857



influences. I do not think, for example, that the traffic in liquor has been
chargeable with it, which undoubtedly has been chargeable with it in other
countries, or more to the south.

32S. Chairman,’] When you say that the Indians have diminished, are you
speaking of the Hudson’s Bay territory, as a whole, or are you referring to par-
ticular districts only ; arc you prepared to say that you believe that the number
of Indians within the limits of the Hudson’s Bay territory, taken as a whole, has
diminished ? — When I was able to compare the estimate of the number, which I
procured in 1844, with Sir John Franklin’s of about 20 years previously, I
found a diminution of number ; and the aggregate number which I was able to
establish by the best statistics that I could get was so very small that I cannot
but believe they must have been more numerous, from tiie accounts which we
read of a century ago.

329. Did their physical condition appear 10 you to be bad? — Miserable in
many cases.

330. Mr Roebuck.] Is it not a known fact that the brown race disappears in
proportion to the coming on of the white race ? — I think it is.

331. And the mere fact of a settlement, even at the Red River, would of
itself tend to diminish the red population?— It would undoubtedly lead in that
direction ; but the Red River Settlement is peculiarly situated ; the Indians in
that part of the country are not diminishing so fast, because the buffalo is not
decreasing, which is their great means of subsistence. As I mentioned before,
the buffalo swarms to the south of the Saskatchewan, and even to the north of
it ; the Indians there are the finest, and I do not think they ari’ diminishing
so much as elsewhere.

332. Chairman.’] Did you think that the physical condition of the Indian was
worse as you got to the north? — Unquestionably, and also worse to the south ;
the physical condition of the Indians about the Lake of the Woods and the
Rainy Lake is very much worse, and all round Lake Superior, within our own
region, than it is on the Saskatchewan, because the i-esouices of subsistence are
so much less ; the Indians there are again and again in the most abject misery
by the failure oC the preoiirious means of subsistence which they have.

3,53. Had you any opportunity of seeing the condition of the Indians within
the Canadian territory r — I have seen a good many of thtin from time to time.

334. What is their condition ? — I’hey are comparatively comfortable ; if not,
it is their own fault.

335. They have property ? — Yes.

336. Even money in the funds ? — Some of tiiem have.

337. Sir John Pakington.] Looking to this vast di>trict bet\yeen Canada and
the Pacific, there is a great portion ol” it, I apprehend, in which the white race
can hardly be said to be advancing as yet ? —Yes.

3,58. And over a great portion of that tract I presume there is no reason to
suppose that the Indian population is deteriorating or diminishing ? — It is so,
I think, from causes which may appear rather remote. I believe there is a con-
stant depressing moral influence, which is caused by association with classes in
a superior condition of comfort to themselves ; tlien they become reckless and
improvident ; they barter what is necessary to their own subsistence, or to that
of their wives and children, which is equally important, for finery, things which
are of no real good to them ; their good furs, which they had better wear them-
selves, they trade away for beads, and they go half clothed, and they contract
pulmonary complaints, and their children are born with weakened constitutions,
and their families are diminished in number ; the result is, that it is hard to
find an Indian family of more than three or four children. I remember an
instance of one man who, 1 think, had nine children, who was quite a pheno-
menon of paternity.

339. But surely your last answer applies to those cases in which the Indian
has been brought into contact with the European ?— They are all brought into
contact with the Europeans by constantly trading with them and depending
upon the European trade for their means of subsistence.

340. Is that answer correct as affects the whole of the great district to which
I have referred?— With the exception of a very small district to the north, on
what are called the barren grounds, where there are bands of Chipewyan Indians
subsisting on the flesh of the reindeer, and where the skin of the reindeer is



their clothing, who rarely come to any forts for trade, l)ecause their country has Lieut.-Colonel
nothing valuable. •>• K-W^’y ^ ^■^^

341. Do all the tribes between Canada and the Pacific occasionally visit the ~
forts for trade and communication ? — I can only speak of the west side from “‘ “biuary 1857.
hearsay ; the Indians there have a great resource in the salmon, which abounds,

and, 1 believe, do not all come to the forts ; on the east they all come to tl;e

342. Mr. Gurney.’] With reference to the river between the Lak« of the
Woods and the Ruiny Lake, does the river at that part form the boundary
between the United States territory and the British territory ?— I think it does ;
the boundary starts at the parallel of forty-nine degrees, I think, to the north-
ward of that river.

343. Then one bank of the river is American and the other bank British r
— Yes.

344. Is there any marked difference as to the degree of settlement on the
two banks r — There is none on either.

34.5. Altliough both are sufficiently fertile to allow of some settlement there ?
— 1 think there might ‘e some settlement there.

346. Mr. J3(7/.] Are you iovare of ahy settlement in the Hudson’s Bay terri-
tory besides the Hed Kiver where any attempt has been made to civilize the
Indians ?— Such an attempt was made near Norway House, at the head of Lake
Winnipeg, where there was a village of C’ree Indians in a tolerable state of
civilization when I visited it.

347. Do you think they were diminishing or increasing? — The experiment
had been so recently tried that I think it was impossible to say.

348. That is the only case you know of? — That is the only case I know, of
an attempt to collect the Indians and to settle them in a village. Since that
time a small settlement has been formed at the Pas, at the Basquiau River. It
was occasioned by the bequest of a private benevolent person, who left a sum
of money to be laid out for that purpose, and it has been so done.

349. You have visited most of the estabUshments of the Hudson’s Bay
Company ? — Yes.

350. And that is the only instance?— That is the only one that I can think
of at this moment.

351. Mr. Roebucl{.’\ Speaking generally, have not all attempts to civilize the
Indians in North America failed r — They die out in the process : some progress
has been made.

352. They disappear r — Y’es.

353. Mr. Addtrley.] You stated the population of the Red River Settlement
at ‘>,000 ?— Yes.

354. What time were you speaking of? — Of 1843 and 1844.

355. Do you know at all what the population now is r — I do not.

356. In your opinion, how have the Company genei lly treated the Indians ?
— It is necessary, in answering that question, to draw a listinction between the
Company in its corporate capacity as a body of non-re lent shareholders, and
the Company as a body of resident traders, its sen’ants. The traders, almost
without exception, as far as my observation went, treatrd the Indians with
signal kindness and humanity. Many instances of their reUeving them in their
distress, and taking great pains to do so, came to my knowledge. But then
their means of doing so are in some degree contingent upon the financial
arrangements of the Company at large, over which they have no control, or
but little.

357. Drawing that distinction, wiiat do you think is the effect upon the
Indians of such arrangements made by the absentee proprietors?— I think the
Indians sometimes suffer, because I think that the supplies of goods sent by
the Company are sometimes inadequate. The traders can only do the best
with the goods which they have; they have nothing to do with what are
sent in.

358. Is the want of supplies the only arrangement which you think defective?
— The principal one.

35y. Chairman.] What is the general character of the agents of the Hudson’s
Bay Company; as far as you could observe, were they respectable men- —
Very generally so ; I never mingled with a body of men whose general qualities
seen ed to me more entitled to respect. They are men of simple primitive

0.25. D habits,



93 February 1857.


Lieut.-Colone) habits, leading the most Imnly lives ; generally speaking, contented, doing
J. H. Lefroy, n.A. \)^c\r duty faithfully to tlieir employers, and in many instances taking sincere
interest in the welfare of the Indians around them, and doing all they can
to benefit them, but the Indian is a very difficult subject.

360. You think, upon the whole, that their conduct was that of men who
were doing their duty, and acting in a considerate manner towards the Indians ?
— I think so, most eminently.

3(1 1 . Mr. Clwrlea FUziciiliatn.] You say that the buffalo exists over this territory
on the bank ; can domestic cattle live there also : — The buffalo exists over it ;
there are domestic cattle at most of the forts now ; a cow or two ; even low
down on the Mackenzie’s River they have domestic cattle. I was a fellow –
passenger with a bull in a small boat on that river.

362. They can exist in the winter ? — They have to be housed ; but horses
exhibit extraordinary hardihood there ; the horses I have known to pass the
winter in the open air at Edmonton, subsisting tliemselves by what herbage
they could find under the snow.

363. The buffaloes are generally fatter in winter than in summer, are they
not ? — I believe so.

364. As spring comes, the cows, which are the fattest, I believe, immediately
waste almost to skeletons? — I cannot speak with much authority upon that
point, but the annoyance of flies in summer is so great, that I know it frets the
animals almost to death, and they lose flesh verj’ much.


I ;i

I” ‘in


John Rae, l:’.sq., m.d., called in ; and Examined.

J. ifae, Esq, M.D. 365. Chairman.] I BELiEVB you are very conversant with the territory now

in the occupation and management of the Hudson’s Bay Company ? — VV ith the

large portion east of the Rocky Moimtains. I have never been across to the

36C. Will you have the goodness to state under what circumstances you have
become acquainted with that country? — I entered the service of the (Company
in 1833, and was stationed at Aloose Factory, in latitude 51°, on Hudson’s Bay,
as medical man, 10 years ; during that time I saw a good deal of the natives of
that part of the country. After that, for the hvst eight or 10 years, I was
employed in arctic service, and spent some short time in Mackenzie’s River.
I then, in a winter journey, passed from Mackenzie’s River by the usual route
to the Red River, and down to St. Paul’s across the frontier through the States.
Those are the only two districts in the country that I have been engaged in ;
at Moose Factory ten years, in the Mackenzie River one year, and at York
Factory for one season ; all the rest of the time I have been employed in arctic

367. How long have you been employed in arctic service r — Eight years
altogether ; eight summers and four winters.

368. Speaking generally, what is your opinion of the capacity of this ter-
rit<»y for the purposes of settlement and cultivation r — I have never been in Saskatchewan, but I know the character of the country from others ; it is all capable of cultivation, I believe. The difficulty is the same as Colonel Lefroy mentioned, the difficulty of carrying out the produce by Hudson's Bay, or by communication by the States, because in the States of course there is the same sort of produce nearer at, hand, and of course the expense of carrying this produce from the Saskatchewan to market would do away with any profits that could be derived from it. 369. But J ou believe that, as far as soil and cUmate are concerned, there is in that part of the Hud&on's Bay territory a considerable district of country suitable for cultivation and for settlement ? — Quite so ; it will be capable of production as soon as the country grows up to it ; the country must grow up to it, the same as it does in the States. I passed through the States from the Red River, and the country has gradually been settled up ; there was still about 400 miles of quite uncultivated country lying between Pembina and the farthest part settled liy the Americans, when I passed down in 1852. 370. As far as you can form a conjecture, supposing that country was entirely open for purposes of settlement, do you think that there woitld be a disposition on the part of emigranti> to go there ? — Never, until the country is settled ‘^p
near to it from the States, because as soon as settle”^ attempted to settle tL^re




because I have -3 February 1857.

‘8 Bay, the
the Hudson’s Bay

tlie Indians would attack them : it is a huffah)-huiiting country. The
jjortion of the Indians are warHke in that jmrt- — I should believe that that
would be the conse(juen(;e ; I only speak from supposition,
never been in the Saskatchewan ; but I know that the habits of the Indians are
rather warlike.

;]7i. Your opinion seems to be, that if there was nothing to prevent it,
settlement in that district of the country would not be immediate, but would
be gradual, and would be certain .’ — Quite so ; when the country gradually
settles up to it ; the produce cannot be carried out to Hudson’
ditficulty of road is so great ; that is my impression.

37 J. You have stated that vou were in the service of
Company ? — For ’23 years.

373. .Are you still in their scrnce? — No ; 1 left their service last year.

;37..(. You are now quite independent of them ?— Yes.

J7.’;. What is your opinion of the system pursued by that Company, so far
as relates to the Indian population ■— The system pursued is as fair, 1 think,
towards the Indian as jwssible ; the Company’s tariff with the Indians is one
of tlie |>rincipal things I wish to mention ; the tariff is formed in a peculiar way,
and necessarily so ; the sums given for furs do not coincide with the value of
thi^ furs traded for with them, because the musk-rat, or the less valuable furs,
are i)aid for at a hiu;her rate ; were the Company to pay for the finer furs at the
same rate, tlie Indians would hunt up the hiier funs and destroy them off, as
has been done all along t\: frontier, and we should then require to reduce the
pri{!e for the musk-rat anu the inferior furs, and the Indians would not hunt
them Jit all ■ the Indians would never understand our varjing the prices of the
furs according to the prices here; the consequence woidd be that the Indian
would not be a bit better oft”, and he would kill up all the finer animals and
leave the tnusk-rat and ordinary furs unafft-cted.

376. You hav.’ stated that, in your opinion there is a jwrtion of the territory
now belonging to the Huds(m’s Bay Company to the south, which may be at
no distant period availal)le for the puq)oses of settlement ; what is your opinion,
in that respect, with regard to that vast district of country which lies to the
north of the region which you hav,^ referred to ? — As far as I can answer, we
could not grow wheat. At Moose Factory, in latitude .■> 1 °, barley would not
ripen ; you could not depend upon it. Potatoes were verj’ variable ; sometimes
they would give five or six fold ; that was the highest I saw, I think, during 10
years ; sometimes t he crop yielded scarcely the seed.

377. Do you beUeve that, under any circumstances, there would be the
slightest probability of settlenrent taking place in that great district of country
within the next 20 years, for instance? — I think decidedly not; it must be
pushed up from the south ; I mean, not to pay ; people might settle. No person
would go there to settle unless he was paid for it, and paid well. I apply my
answer to the wooded country.

378. You think there would be no inducement for persons to go there except
for the purposes of fur trading ? — Only that ; and then they would require to
have the exclusive right to trade ; any opposition would do away with any profits
or advantages from it to a great extent.

379. What, in your opinion, would be the consequences of throwing open the
present exclusive system of fur trading to the public generally, and letting any-
body who chose go and trade for furs there, and kill the fur-bearing animals ? —
The effect would be, the introduction of spirits among the Indians again, and the
demoralization of the Indians.

380. bo you think that the effect would be the extirpation of the fur-bearing
animal ? — In a great measure ; it would lead to that, because trappers would be
sent in. People would come up and kill the animals themselves instead of
leaving the Indians to hunt over the grounds ; they would kill them at all
seasons, whereas the Hudson’s Bay Company discourage the killing them in the
summer time ; they discourage the Indians from killing them in the breeding

381. Do you consider the fur trade in its very nature to be necessarily and
essentially a monopoly ?— I think that to continue it regularly it requires to be a
monopoly in some hands something similar to what it is now.

382. Would not the effect of throwing it open be that it would give a great
stimulus to it for the next few years, and absolutely destroy it afterwards ? —

0.25. D 2 Yes,

./. Rae, Esq., m.d.











1 ‘?

J. Kae, Esq., m.d. Yes, and wiien the fur-bearin; nninialH were hunted up, the country would be
left n wreck.

33 February 1857. 383. What wouUl be the effect of such a process upon the Indian tribes ? —
Most injurious, I should fancy.

;384. You say because spirits would be intr(jduce(l ? — That would be a great
injury. They woidd get much better paid for their furs for a time, but tiie
effect after, say eight, or 10, or 12 years, or I will not say what number of
years ; but after a lapse of years, not n very long period, would be to demoralize
the Indians ; they would kill up the principal finer furs, and it would do no
good to any person, because the parties coming in, if there was opposition, could
not make a protit.

385. Do you think that it would be possible to i)rovide, by some arrangement
with the Hudson’s Bay Company, for the retention of the fur trade in their
hands in those regions which are fit for nothing but the fur trade, and can be
only fit for the fur trade for some time to ccme, and at the same time to open
up, for the purposes of colonization, all such parts of the country as it is at all
reasonable to suppose within the next 20 years, for instance, could be settled
and colonized: — I should be rather at a loss to give an opinion upon that
subject, as I have not studied the circumstances ; it would be very difficult to
make the arrangement ; it would be an excellent one, I believe, if it could be

386. You think that if it could be done it would be a desirable arrangement
to make ? — A very desirable one indeed.

387. M’hy do you think that it could not be done? — I do not say that it
could not be done, but it would be difficult ; I could not give a reason why it
should not be done. 1 have not studied the subject

388. I believe the Rus.sians have a fur-trading establishment on the extreme
north-west point of North America ? — Yes ; it comes in contact with Mackenzie’s
River, the district of which I was in charge for one season.

380. Are you aware of any arrangement which the Russian Company have
made with the Hudson’s Bay Company, by which the most valuable portion of
their fur-trading territory is leased to the Hudson’s Bay Company on certain
conditions ? — There was an arrangement of that sort some years ago ? — I cannot
say whether it is still in force ; it was a Ictase not of the whole, but of the strip
of land whi(!h you will see in the charts running along the shore.

300. Do you know what were the motives of the Russian Company for coming
to that arrangement ? — I do not.

391. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.’] You say that you were in charge of the dis-
trict on Mackenzie’s River ; can you state to the Committee the climate and the
capabiliti ‘s of the land there .’ — The climate is a severe one ; but we grew
barley at Fort Simi)son, in latitude 62o or 63″, I think ; we grew barley at Fort
Liard ; we grew barley at the Yukon, which is close to the Russian territory ;
that is a post which was established some time ago ; we could grow wheat at
no place in the district ; barley is grown at all the posts except three. Fort
Norman. Peel’s River, and Fort Goodhope, which ^re far down the river.

392. Mr. Adderley.] In what year were you on Mackenzie’s River ? — In

393. Have you been at long intervals of time on the same spot? — I have been
four years there at different times ; I was twj years wintered there in the
expedition, but I was only one year in charge 0/ the district.

394. Did you see anything of the Red River settlement at long intervals of
No ; I was only there part of a winter on two occasions, and once in

time ?■


You cannot speak to any alteration of climate in spots which have been
— No, I cannot ; but I can say with regard to the tract of country of
which we are speaking, namely, the woody country, that there is an iniluencc
against its being affected by clearance, which does not exist in other parts of
thi world. There is the large Hudson’s Bay opening up to the north, whei*e
theic is a continual flow of ice during the whole summer ; it is frozen up seven
or eight months in the winter, and in the summer season there is a constant
influx of ice which keeps the climate colder than it otherwise would be for per-
haps 100 or 200 miles inland in all directions ; that is an influence which does
not exist elsewhere, and which would affect the climate, I think.

396. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] While you were at Mackenzie’s River, you, I



dare say, visited Hanks’ or Barinp; Island r— I visited WoUaston and Victoria 7. iiff?, E«q, m, d.
Lands, I surveyed ail the southern coasts there.

397. You were not on Banks’ Island : — No. I was not so far north. a;? Februnry 1857.

398. Then you cannot speak to the natural productions of that land ? — No ;
there is nothing to he found on tiie neighbouring lands, the WoUaston and
Victoria Lands, except limestone ; a little trap and sandstone rock are seen.

399. I thought that coal was to be found on Banks’ Island ?— -They have found
that there, l)ut on the land that I was over there is no symptom of coal ; tlie
whole coast is bare limestone.

400. Is it a coal or an ignite r — I am not quite sure. I have seen none of the
f.])fcimen8. I think it is a coal ; there are no great (|uantities of it found.

401. Are animals found on it? – ”^s; reindeer and musk ox.

402. Does the musk ox require a very cold climate r — GeneroUy ; it is seldom
seen south of the Arctic Circle.

4(»3. Mr. Lozve.’\ You heard Colonel Lefroy express some doubt whetixor the
Company did all they could for the Indians in the matter of goods being sent out ;
what do you think on that subject ? — I have never met with that myself.

.]04. What do you understand by it? — What Colonel Lefroy, I think, alluded
to, was the deficiency of ammunition for a year or two at the Athabasca and the
Mackenzie Rivers.

^105. Ammunition to be supplied to the Indians : — Yes; I have heard a different
reason for that, from that given by Colonel Lefroy. The gentleman iu charge
of those districts appeared to be very close and anxious to make a very large
traffic at a very little expense ; and goods were actually forced upon him from
the depot at York Factory ; I have authority for saving so ; and more goods
were actually sent up than the gentleman asked on his requisition.

406. Was that the only defect r — That was the principal one.

407. Do you think that it would be a good plan if the Company were to furnish
goods in great abundance, and with great facility to the Indians r — Clearly, and
they do so generally ; it ‘3 their object both to clothe the Indians well and to
give them plenty of ammunition, because the better they are fed, and the better
they are clothed, the better they will hunt.

408. Do you give them those things, or do they trade for them? — They get
them in advance ; they get their goods all upon credit ; not to keep them under
subjection to the Company ; but the Indian is so improvident tliat if he were
paid in the spring he would waste everything before winter. Several attempts
have been made to do it. and their debts have been cancelled to them ; but it
could never be done except at two or three of the forts, where we gave them
employment in the summer, when they sometimes earned from 12/. to 25 L
worth of goods in a season.

409. Mr. (‘harks Fitzwilliam.’] Does that mean 2a I. worth of goods at the
price of the country, or in tlie market in London? — At fifty per cent, on the
prime cost here, which we put on for charges of freight, loss, damage, and loss
of interest. Let me add, to show that this per centage is not exorbitant, that
our servants buy goods, and take them up from the Bay to the United States,
at St. Mary’s, and sell their clothes to the Americans, a profit being thus
made. •

4 1 o. Lord Hlanley.] You say that 50 per cent, upon the prime cost in England
is the rent-charge to tne Indians ? — That is the tariff to the servants ; and in
supplying the Indians at that price the Indians can gain by their labour at that
rate, goods to the value of 12 /. to 25 1, in the summer season.

411. Are the prices of goods sold to the Indians uniform thoughout the
district, or is there any increase consequent upon the greater distance in the
case, for instance, of forts upon the Mackenzie ? — The tariff is increased there ;
it is higher ; but to show that it is not exorbitant, compared with other traders,
we sell our goods at Mackenzie’s. River, at Fort Simpson, upwards of 100 per
cent, cheaper than they are sold in the Russian settlements over in the
Russian territory, and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s goods have much further
to go.

412. Do you know whether the Russian Company has any monopoly or not?
— It is a government thing ; of course it is a monopoly.

413. Then you are merely comparing one monopoly with another monopoly ?
— Yes ; at Fort Simpson we have no opposition, and we sell the goods at that



414. Is




J. Rue, Eiq., M. b.
93 February 1857.







414. Is it not u fact tliat in tliosr pnrts of the territory which l)(>rcl(*r ui>oti
Canmhi and tlic I’nitcd Siatt.s there hu« l)een a good deid of troul)le witli
interlopers r — Yes ; and there lii^her jiriees are given for the furs, eonse(niently
all tile finer furs have been killed »>p ; the oppohition does not pay ; tlure are
no profits.

41 ‘). in tho»e districts has not the Company, on various oaravions, paid large
sums to traders to take themselves out of the country r— Never that 1 heard of.
I have heard of the. Company buying their furs, and taking the traders into the
service fretpiently, which I tiiink a very had plan.

41 1). Buyu^g oflF their opposition r — 1 never knew anything of that kind, hut
I think it a bad plan to buj- up their furs at any time ; if they are admitted into
the service and make a little money, they use it against the company afterwards ;
they frequently have done so.

4 1 7. Mr. Ucll.^ Do you think that the settlement of the Indians is advantageous
or disadvantngeous to the fur trade ? — I should think it is not disadvantageous,
because the winter is the time at which they hunt ; consequently they can
employ the whole summer seacon to cultivate the pround, and it would make
them better off; I believe that the settlement of Indians at Norway House hunt
as well as they did before.

41 5. Do you know why attempts have not been made to settle them at other
forts ? — There have been nttempts, that is to say, it was attempted at Moose
Fuctory when I was there.

419. Which Moose Factory do you mean?— T*ie one at James’s Bay; I have
known seed potatoes given, which is the only crop that can be grown there
with (“ertainty ; tools have been given, and ground that had been cultivated, and
food for a few days ; they would plant their potatoes and never come back to
attend to them ; I have known that done two seasons while I was at the Moose

42Q. Have the missionaries who have been anxious to civilise them been
encouraged to do so ■ — They have, wherever it is pnwiticable, but I cannot speak
of other parts of the country except at Moose, where the climate is not very
suitable for growing,

42). Mr. Gro^aH.\ You stated that at Moose Factory an attempt had been
made to settle the Indians by giving them seed and ground for potatoes r —

422. Were the Indians that you referred to the ordinary residents of that
place .’ — Yes ; they cam’? in to trade, to barter there.

423. Did they return to the factory after they had 80′-»»’ the potatoes ? — They
returned frequently, and they left them to get destroye3 ; they never looked at
them again ; they never thought it worth while to (fig them out or hoe them

4J4. Did they know the potato practically f— Perfectly well ; they used to
be supplied at the forts with potatoes when they came in, and they knew the
use ot them. *

425. Mr. Bel^ Then do you attribute that circumstance to the particular
character of those Indians, because I have read that on the western side of the
Rocky Mountains the Indians sow potatoes in large quantities for their subsist-
ence ? — Yes ; they are a different race ; we have found that although the Indian
works well in the Company’s service be will not settle down generally ; there
are many exceptions. I cannot speak of the west side of the mountains ; i know
from hearsay that what you have stated is correct.

42G. Do you know what is the cause of the failure of the experiment in the
place to which you allude, for it has answered in some places ; at the Red River
Settlement, for instance, and Norway House, if not in other parts ? — It has not
answered fully in either place ; they never become great farmers, and I believe
it arises from a fondness for the chase ; they, object to settle down anywhere for
a length of time.

427. Have the half-breeds the same objection to settle down as the pure
Indians ? — The French half-breeds have, but the English half-breeds have not so
much so.

428. Is there much union of the English and the Indian races going on? —
There is ; it arcise from the Company’s servants and people marrying Indian
women ; there is not so much of it now as there was originally, because many
of the half-breeds are growing up, and they intermarry with them instead.

429. Have


430. Have you h«!iird tho Htateraunt, tluit south of the Saskntchewnu River J. Jia*, Eiq., u.d.

the Knj. I low far north have you travelled ‘« .. .1 <'vir lit \\w Ke5- When you pn.s8ed tlirouifli Ued Uiver and afterwards through .Minesota.
did you sec any great difference between the uppearant e of tliat eoinitry roumJ
the ReaneM, are Hold ^3 I’tibruary 1837.
to the Indian at a oouiparatively chea|) rate ; there iH no fixed iMT-<;entaKe u|>on


478. tio that in fact there is no tariff at all to the Indian? — I never made
out the tariff, hut thlM in the way in which we did it. Supposing there wqh a
valuable Hkin, we could not ])ay the Indian for that in the name proportion nn
its valiu’.

479. I am not asking that quetttion ; I am asking you whether you do not
put your own price upon the goods you hcU to the Indian, withotit regard to
any tariff” whatever?– Exactly ho, but there is a fixed price that the Indian
perfectly understands; there is no regular p»T-centage put on.

480. You lived some time at York ? — At Moose, in James’s Bay.

481. Do you know what the tariff was there to tlie Indian r— Yes ; as far as
I remember, it was from ‘i#. Gd. to 3 s. for what we called u made beaver.

48^. What was the tariff upon goods taken from England and Hold to the
Indian there ? — I do not know that ; I did not makt? out the tariff.

483. Were you there 10 years without ever learning that fact? — Yes; it is
difficult to learn.

484. Why difficult to learn ? — Because I find that they have no fixed tariff
made out upon the plan you have spoken of, wherever it is. There is no fixed
per-centage put on the goods anywhere, wherever we have traded with them,
or wherever any person else has traded with them.

48.5. Mr. Lowe,’] Do you ask the Indians different prices for goods at differ-
ent times ‘.’ — Never ; we cannot vary the price.

486. A beaver skin will always command the same amount of European
goods ? — At the same place.

487. Mr. Roebuck.] Are there not varieties of beaver skins ? — Yes ; but the
beaver skin is the standard ; a large beaver making one skin.

488. Do you give the same price for every beaver skin ? — Certainly
not ; two small ones go for a large beaver ; two martens go for a large

489. Who determines whether it is a small or a large beaver?— The Indians
themselves determine it ; they know it perfectly well, and so does any man
who is acquainted with it ; any man who looks at it can tell the age of a

490. Lord Stanley.] When you say that a beaver skin commands a fixed
price, yo’i mean, of course, a skin of the average size ?— A skin of the average
size ; a gouu large skin killed iu inter or in spring.

491. Mr. Cfiarlta FUt’ i tarn.] When you talk of a -hing costing so many
beavers, you mean that they may give a beaver skin and five or six racoon
skins, or marten skin, m the same way that in the buffalo country they talk of
a thing being worth «io manj’ robes r —Yes.

492. If you boi;osing that a British colony was founded, and thai the Government
of ( anada was to be extended to the Red River, and no railway was to be made,
how could communication be kept up b«;tweeti the seat of government in
Canada and the colony of the Red River in winter ? — There is no regular
communication without going through the States ; there could be no regular
and quick communication.

588. If any one now wanted to go, say from Toronto to the Red River, in
wintiT, how would iie go ? — Through the States, by railway as far as it went,
and he would tlien cross over the prairie country, which is unsettled, with
horses or dogs.

.589. Mr. Kiithiiird] Was the 400 miles that you travelled to St. Paul’s with
horses ? — Dogs ; horses coull not travel ; the snow was too deep ; it was in
February or March.

,590. ( “ould you have done it with horses in the summer .’ — Yes, it is practicable
in summer both with horses and with waggons ; light waggons go regulftrly
across the prairie plains.

591. Mr. Eduard Eilicc] Do you know the jS’ipissing at the head of the
Ottawa ? — I have never been there, but 1 know where it is.

502. Takiiiir that to be the end of the raihv • concession, liow far is it in a
straight line from the Red River ‘. — It is difficu o say, but I think it is some-
where about from 1,000 to 1,200 miles ; it is on the charts.

593. I understand you to say that you have been through the district ex-
tending fron^. there, and arc able personally to speak to the sort of country
which it is ?~I have traversed that country once, and I have passed through
Lake Superior several times by water ; the whole of the shores of Lake Supe-
rior are perfectly impracticabie ; there is a little cultivable ground at the mouth
of each river, but otherwise it is an immense rocky tract.

,”,94. Mr. lioelmc/t.] Supposing you were going from Lake Erie up to Lake
Superior, could not you go in a steamer up Lake Erie, and from Lake
Erie into Lake Huron, and from Lake Hui’oii into Lake Superior r— Yes, in

595- Mr.

t to Lake
rth of the
naik’£, and
leave our

; was the

re were a

1 to Long

waters of

§oo(ls is it
to travel
for boats

1 swampy
e are some


ni Canadu
ter of the

out that
table, but

of Lake

n the air,
; physical
far as the
ate of the

> be made,
■nment in
ID regular

lo regular

. River, in
IS it went,
ttled, with

‘aul’s with
it was in


ud of the

■ is it in a
t is some-

listrict ex-
)f country
h. Roelmch.} So that if the country were peoplrj at Lake Nipigon,
there would be a regular communication by sleighs ? — I cannot say ; the route
that I jiassed by is inii)racticable to sleighs.

602. Are you at all aware of tlie richness of the northern shore of Lake
Superior in metal r — I have understood that there are mines ; at least that there
is copper ore there.

G03. Is that no attraction, do you think? — I understood tnat the geologists,
who visited them, said that the}- would scarcely pay for working them ; they are
not equal to the mines on the south sliore. I have not examined them myself;
1 only speak from hearsay oti that point.

O04. Therefore j’ou cannot say whether that county has inducements to
settlement or not ? — I car^ say that it has not the least inducement of having
fine agricultural land to settle upon along the north shore ; it is a perfectly
barren, rock}- coast, perfectly iron bound, except at the mouths of some of
the little streams where there is a little alluvial deposit of land, where little
l)atciies may be cultivated ; generally speaking, it is a rocky, barren coast with

605. Do you know the northern shore of Lake Huron? — I never came along
that side.

606. Ha\ J you passed over from Lake Huron to Lake Nipissing ? — I never
was there.

607. Then the questions put to you about Lake Nipissing you cannot
answer?— No. I said that 1 could not answer them. I never passed that

608. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Will jou describe upon the map the line of
country that 30U have been through, starting from Fort WilHam ; where did
} ou go to, going up towards Nipigon r— I passed directly from Fort William
up to Lake Nipigon ; I then struck east to a place called Long Lake, about
100 miles.

60Q. What sort of a country was it between Lake Nipigon and Long Lake ?
—It was low and s»vampy. I jjassed through a number of little lakes and
rivers, and swamps, apj)arentlv ; they were all covered up with ice at the time.
Then from Long Lake I went to the Pice lliver, a difficult tract of country ;
that is on Lake Superior.

610. What sort of a country was it between Long Lake and Pice River?—
\ ery rough and rugged ; our dogs got knocked up ; we could scarcely use
theiii ; we were oljliged to carry our clothes on our backs.

621. Which way did the rivers run there? — Nearly north and south

612. Mr. Roebuck.] The Pice River falls into Lake Superior ?— Yes.

613. Mr. Edward Ellice.] And the water the other way ran to the north, to
Hudson’s Bay ? — I did not go so far up, I was only at the watershed at the
head waters.

614. Did there appear to be no valley in that direction, or no part eligible
for settlement? — I saw nothing, excepting that the country which I went over
was low ; It looked swampy, like most of the watersheds there.

t’i5- Where did you goto from Pice River? — To Michipicoton.
0’«5- E4 616. There


* -jvl



! 1;



J. i?ac, Ksq., M.D. 6 10. Tht’ie you oiime down into Lake Superior r — Yes. From that I came

to St. Mary’s ; we were oblii^ed to Ivavv our dof^s behind.

S3 February 1857. 617. Sir Jofm Pakhir/ton.] How did you get on ? — We walked on foot, and
carried our baggage and provisions on the backs of rnvn. It is one of the
roughest countries I ever passed through.

618. .Mr. Edward Ellicc] With respect to the mines on Lake Superior, are
you aware of the number of them, or the avaihible state of the work at those
mines ;— I am not.

G19. But a great many companies liave attempted to work them? — Several.
t520. Both on the American and on the Canadian side r — On both sides,
ijji. The general result has been not very profitable ? — Not on the north
side, because thiy have given them all up, or most of them.. There are only
a few of the American mines paying where they get large masses of copper.

622. I believe that the great difficulty with the copper there is from its
extreme purity, and the great masses that it is in, so that they cannot easily
break it ? — ( )n the south side ; but they have found nothii’g of that kind ott
the north side that I am aware of.

623. But all the coppvr is actually in large solid masses, requiring great
force to break it ? — I have seen pieces of one or two tons, and pieces are found
much heavier than that.

624. Sir John Pakingioti.] What was the length of time occupied in your
journey from the Red River to Toronto ? — To St. Mary’s, two months ; about
60 days.

C25. It is a journey rarely made I suppose?— Not by the same person; there
are generally relays of men at each post ; each eight or ten days.

626. The journey is made from post to post? — Yes; by different relays of

627. In that way is the journey often made during the winter months? —
Only once or twice when the express comes down ; the winter express used to
come that way communicating with all the posts bringing information down to

625. What is the distance between the posts .’—Generally 100 or 200 miles;
by the route followed it is more.

629. Mr. Grogan.l You said that the express went by Lake Nipigon and
by Long Lake; did the express travel that route because there were posts
there / — Partly, and partly because they cannot travel along the lake on account
of the ice breaking away sometimes with a gale of wind, which renders it \ery
dangerous ; the shore is so precipitous that the ice is apt to break away and
prevent travelHng.

630. Are there no posts lietween Lake Nipigon and tb” north shore? — No.
(731. It is the only route that is practicable? — It is the only route that the

Company’s people go generally ; Ihey make a rush sometimes across the Bay,
but they do not do so generally, it being so unsafe.

6^2. Mr. IMl.l Are there any whales in Hudson’s Bay ? — I saw a few up to
the north.

6y^. You do not know whether the Hudson’s Bay abounds with them ? — No,
not the southern part ; I saw a few in the northern part, towards Repidoc Bay.

634. Are there any s€>als? — There were plenty of white* porpoises, and many
seals, and some walruses the last time I was there.

63.5. Do they afford a large quantity of 01! ? — Yes ; the Esquimaux kill them.

(136. Tiiere are no British fisheries ? — N:^ ; none are e tablished there.

(137. They are not allowed, I suppose ‘.’- No one ever attempted it that I am
aware of.

O3S. Do you know whether that is part of the Hudson’s Bay monopoly? — It
is part of the Hudsim’s Bay lerritor}-.

630. So that no ships can come into the Hudso”‘”) Straits to fish for whales ?
— I suppose so ; there sire not many whales.

640. Do you sujipose there would be a sufficient quantity of fish of that kind
to support a settlement? — I think not; when I went in 184(5-7 I saw a good
many whales; when 1 went in 18.’)3 and 1834 I saw only one or two small

641. At what part of Hudson’s Bay ? — Inside Southampton Island.

642. Mr. Edward Ellice.] How long is the water so free from ice that vessels
could hunt the whales ? — About two months ; it is very dangerous ; it is full of

currents ;


currents; it nearly wrecked Sir Georjje Back’s vessel, and prevented another J. Rae, E»<\., m.u. gentleman, Captain Lyon, twice from getting up there, whose vessel got nearly destroyed ; the currents are very strong and it is very dangerous ; 1 got on ^3 February 1857 because I had boats and got inside the ice in shoal water. 643. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] Do you know of any coal being discovered anywhere on the shores of Hudson's Bay? — I am not aware of any. 644. Mr. Grogan ] Along the journey which you have dtcf^ribed to us as having taken, were there any houses or any people ? — None, except the posts that I have mentioned. 045. The whole of the rest of the country is unoccupied and desolate ? — Quite, except b .idiana. 646. Mr. K'l -ird.] From your evidence 1 gather that you entirely approve of the rule of the Company, in not selling spirits to the Indians ? — Perfectly ; it is the best rule that was ever made. 647. Have you compared tliem with those who have access to spirits?— Yes, I have seen the effect ; the Indians are much easier to deal with, more attentive, and better in e\ cry way. 648. You also, I gather, approve of settling and attempting to civilise them ; you think that it may be done with success ? —I think it is a good thing ; if it could be possibly done it would be beneficial in every way ; it i-* not even opposed to tlie Company's trade, because tlie time when they would be employed jn the settlement is not the time when they hunt. 6^19. 'J he scheme has been partially successful in the Red River? — Yes, but very partially, because most of them hunt in the winter, and they do not depend upon the farms. ti50. The settling and the civilising have never been opposed by the Company in any way ? — Noi that I am aware of. 6,5 1 , Chairman.'] Still, do you thi.ik that the constitution of the Company is such as to make it very well fitted for the management of settlements except upo.^ -i very small scale ? — I speak of the Indians settling down, not of others settling ; not of colonising, not of strangers coming in. os-t. When you use the word " settlements," you mean mere Indian villages? — Indian villages and settlements ; local trading places. t)53. Mr. Riielmc/'.] But surely a fur company is opposed to colonisation, is it not? — 1 should fancy so, geneniUy. 6.S4. 'Iherefore, insomuch as the Hudson's Bay Company is a capital fur Comj)any, it is a very bad coloniser ? — I should fancy so ; it never professed to be a colonising Comi)any. 65,'). Mr. Lowe.] With regard to the half-breeds, do you consider them a material from which an afirieultural population can be formed ?— I believe that the EngUsh half-breeds may be so ; they a' very excellent race generally, but careless and improvi(ieiit. 6,,G. Will they settle down and cultivate the ground? — There will be a difficulty about it, because they generally prefer the hunting. 6[)-]. Have they settled in any great numbers? — In the Red River to a con- siderable extent. 6^6. Have they given up hunting altogether ? — Not so far as I know. They generally hunt as long as tluy are able ; they go as voyageurs in the summer, and hunt in the autunm and winter. ()5(). And iliey do not really cultivate the ground much? — Many of them do, but the generality of them prefer the sort of wild life of huuting. (i(')0. Are they troublesome people to govern ? — Not so far as I am aware. 661. The Comi)any has no difficulty in ruhng them, and keeping them in order ?— I think not ; I speak particularly of the English half-breeds. I have generally hail them with me on my expeditions, and found them good practi- eable men 1162. Chairman.] Is the number of the half-breeds much shuuld think it is; where tliey are colonised, they are increasing largely. 663. Mr. Charles Filzwilliam.] You spoke of the settlement at the Red River just now, as if it was a settleiixent of Indians ; there are very few Indians there, J believe ? — There are a good many at both ends. fiti^. I mean full-blooded Indians ? — A good many Crecs are settled there, and others. o,2j. F 665. They increasing ? — I 4fl MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE J, Rae, Eiq.i m. n. 66 'y. 666. They do not farm, do they ?— Thtiy do to a small extent. Are they not the only iiistntices ol Indians, except those that liave l)(>en





by experience that thf; red man is opposed to
civilised life r — Exactly so ; there is no doubt

93 February 1857. surrounded by the jiopulatioi) of Canada, that you know of, who have settled
down as farmers / — There is one instance in the States that I have heard of.

667. Where ?— I forget the name of the trib»’.

C6S. The Cherokees ? — Yes ; they have settled down, and have really become
civilised ; tliey have their own Member going to the Legislature, and they have

6(19. The Cherokees are not now inhabiting the ground where they were
originally found ? — No ; they have changed their ground, and also so have some
of the othfrs ; some iiave immigrated from their own lands to the Red River.

670. Air. Roebuck.’] In the whole history of America has there been one
instance of a half-breed settlement continuing up to the present time ? — I am
not able to ansv .• that question.

671. Has it uot been found
that kind of life which we call
about it.

672. And wherever the civilised man comes the red man disappears ? — Yes,
that is the result, generally speaking.

673. Mr. Gordon.] In a letter from Sir George Simpson, which is to be
found in some papers laid before Parliament in 1842, he says : ” Our diflferent
trading establishments are the resort or refuge of many of the natives who, from
age, infirmity, or other causes, are unable to follow the chase ; they have the
benefit of the care and attention, free of expense, of our medical men, of whom
about 1!^ are usually employed in the seivice; every trading establishment being
in fact an Indian hospital.” How far does your experience as a medical man
in the service of the Company bear that out r — Wherever we act as medical men
our services are given gratuitously. We go to a distance if an Indian is at a
distance, and have him taken to a fort, and he is fed and clothed there. And
it is no uncommon thing to hear the old Indians, when unfit for hunting, say,
” We are unfit for work ; we will go and reside at a fort.” That is the ordinary
feeling which prevailed in the country. AUhough there are no medical men
up at the different posts (theYe may be the number Sir Cieorge has mentioned
scattered over the country), yet medicines are sent up to all the posts in regular

674. If that attendance were abkcd it would always be afforded ? — Yes.

675. Was it frequentlj afforded? — Frequently so ; but those places on the
coast are liable to much mo. ‘ disease than ]Aace& inland.

()7(i. Then, in ,hort, you think that if a statement were made, that tlie
Directors of the Hudson’s Bay Company considered that it was their business
to attend to the Company’s own servants, but njt to any other class of the
population, it would be a false charge ? — Perfectly erroneous ; in fact the Indian
is more rejidily attended to generally than the others.

677. And as a rule the medical men ajjpointed by the Company would not
consider it their sole duty to attend to the Company’s servants?— Certainly
not ; they are there for the Indians as much as for the Company’s people.

678. Mr. Roebuck.] How long did you say that you dwelt at Moose Factory?
— ^Ten years.

67J). During that time what was tlie average number of tiie worn-out hunters
who lived there upon your charity r — I cannot exactly tell that. The popu-
lation of the place was. I think, about 1 80 altogether ; few Indians came there ;
but there were generally two or three or four old families, or six sometimes,
pensioners at the place. They called at the Fort ; they were there regularly
every week ; they had their encampment at the jjlace, and they went and
hunted at hitervals as they were al)lc, and if they were not able to get food
enough, they had it given to them.

(180. How niciny people would those families number?— Perhaps 12; perhaps
13 or 14 altogether.

(iSi. Then I understand you tliat at the Moose Factory there was an average
of about 12 old Indians ?—SVs, women and men

6S-2. That was the sum of the great advantage that the Indians round about
Moose Faetory derived, namely, 10 or 12, or, say, 14 or 1(5?— The whole popu-
lation there is about 180, and if any of them came in and were imfit to hunt,



they were received at the 1’ ort ; we never forced them into the Fort ; but if J. Hat, Eii|,, m.d.
they came and asked asHistnnce and wished to stay, tliey did so.

683. Mr. Labouchere wishes to know whether anything is done with respect ‘3 Jeb’uwy >857.
to vaccination ? — Yes ; vaccine matter is sent to all the posts. I may mention

n curious fact, which is, that in the year J 8;jr> the sm lU-pox was brought up by
a stiamboat from the States. A gentleman at the Sa.»katchewan vaccinated all
the Cree Indians that came in ; and there was scarcely a single case occurred
among the tribe ; we supposed it was because they had all been vaccinated ;
whereas deaths took place amongst the more distant tribes, near the Missouri.
The small-pox was brought by steamboat up the Missouri, and was brought
over to the Saskatchewan by a quantity of horse-stealers, who heard that the
disease was at the Missouri, and went to steal horses there. They found the
Indians dying by hundreds ; they took the disease with them, and most of them
died upon the road.

684. Taking you from Moose Factory to the mouth of the Mackenzie River,
where you lived ; how long did you live there ? — About nine months at Fort
Simpson, and two years at Bear Lake, which is in the Mackenzie district.

C85. How many worn-out hunters lived there, deriv’ng charity from you ? —
I do not remember ; I think there were about two or three families whilst I
was there ; at the one post.

680. Sav six people ? — Yes, about that at that time ; but it Viiries according
to the ,)rivations which the Indians have suffered.

687. Mr. Gurney.] Did I understand you rightly, that in addition to the
worn-out hunters who were resident, there was also gratuitous medical advice
given to the other Indians as they happened to require it ? — To every one that
came, or that we heard of.

fiSS. Sir John Pa/cingtuti.’j How far south do the Esquimaux come? — Along
the shore of Hudson’s Bf^y ; they come to Churchill, in latitude 59°.

689. Do they come down as fr.r south as the C reat Slave Lake ? — They do
not go inland at all ; the furthest inland that they go is up the Back River,
that we know of now.

690. ‘1 hey always keep to the rivers or the sea r — Yes, it is generally
found .so.

fig). Is tliere in the intervfil a large tract of land between the North
American Indians and the Esquirraux ? — Certainly ; a sort of debatable land ;
and between each tribe of the Esquimaux themselves there is a debatable
land ; for instance, the tribe of Esquimaux about the Copper Mine River do
not seem to mv to associate or mix with those to tlie W^est or East ; when any
one has gone there, they have found that they have no tools, either RuRsian
or Hudson’s Hay, among them ; nothing that could be traced either to the
Russians or to the Hudson’s Bay Company.

692. The Esquimaux, I presume, from what you say, are different tribes, but
not different races ? — Not different races, I think.

693. What is the extent of the debatable land between the Indians and the ‘”
Esquimaux?— It varies according to the circumstances; the Chipewyans and
the Esquimaux frequently meet at Churchill ; then the Louchoux and the
Esquimaux meet again on the Iilackenzie, but on the Copper Mine River the
interval between them is j’buut CO or 100 miles.

604. Mr. Groaaii.] How long at any time did you reside at the Red River
Settlement ?— About two months at one time ; that was the longest period I
was there.

695. Do you know the regulations of the American companies with regard to
hunting ; do they give a larger price relatively to their value for the inferior
skins, as the Hudson’s Bay Company does ? — They sell ..neir goods nearly at the
same price as the Hudson’s Bay Company, only the goods are inferior ; Indians,
frequently from the Americjin side, come over to the Hudson’s Bay ( ompnny to
get good guns or a good article, and they get them .’is cheaply as in the Spates ;
that 1 have heard from hunters who have been among the Americans. Another
point I may mention, namely, the proportion of spirits which is acquired on
the American frontier; when I travelled down from the Red River to Crow
Wing to the Minesota territory, nearly every American Indian that 1 found
tr.ivi’lling, had bottles of spirits with him.

o..’j. K 2 696. Mr.



/. Ba0, Em|., m.d. 696. Mr. Charles Filtwilliam.] That country which you travelled throug;h
— — — — from Ret! River down to (‘row Win^ w«w a Ho-cnlled HCttled country, whs it
33 February 1857. not ? — No.

697. It formed what is onlled in the States, Indian ten itory r— Perfectly so,
OS much us in nti) of the Hudson’8 Bay Company’s ferritory, wliere I paHHe(l
through ; we came to little posts between Pembina and Crow VVin^.
rt()8. I moan within the boundary of the Minesota territory ? — Yes.

699. Consequently these people who tradetl in this liquor were not the
licensed Indian traders, nu>n who had paid money to obtain a licence to trade
with the Indians, but they were the free settlers I — Yes, I think free settlers.

700. Over whom no company had any power whatever; an American
tradmg company has no power over the free settler of Minesoia ? — The Govern-
ment have ; they made it a rule that no spirits should be sohl to the Indians on
or near the frontier ; that was what I understood ; whereas there they had
abundance ; it was against the ruN’s of the (ioveinuient for them to get it, but
the Government could not prevent it.

701. C/iairman.\ Do you imagine that the American I’lir Trading Company
does put any effectual clieck upon the sale of spirits to the Indians in their
country ? — 1 cannot tell, because I have never been among tlicm.

Jovis, 26′ die Februarii, 1867.

MEMBERS present:

Mr. Adflrrley.

Mr. Hell.

Mr. BlHckbiiri).

Mr. Edward Ellice.

Mr. Clmiiet Fiizwiliiann.

Mr. GliidRtdiie.

Mr. Gordon.

Mr. Greg’on.

Mr. Giouan.
Mr. Guriiev.
Mr. I’eicy Herl)ert.
Mr. Kiiinaird.
Mr. Lahotichere.
Mr. Lowf .
Mr. Roi buck.
Viscount S.iiidoii.

The Right Hon. HENRY LABOUCHERE, in the Chair.

Sir (ieorge Simpson, called in ; and Examined.

Sir G. Simpton. 7^2. Chairman.’] I BELIEVE you hold an important situation in the adminis-

tration of the territories of the Hudson’s Bay Company i — I do.

f6 February 1857. 703. What is it ? — I have been Governor of their territories for many years,

704. How long have you held that situation r — Thirty-seven years I have
been their principal representative.

705. Mr. Edward Ellice.] As governor the whole time ? — Yes ; I have held
the situation of governor the whole time.

706. Chairman.] What is the nature of your authority in that capacity? —
The supervision of the Company’s affairs ; the presiding at their councils in the
country, and the principal direction of the whole interior management.

707. Where do you generally reside ? — 1 have resided for several years at the
Red River Settlement ; 1 have resided in Oregon ; I have resided in Athabasca,
and latterly I have resided in Canada.

708. Is there any fixed seat of Government within the territories of the
Hudson’s Bay Company? — There is no fixed seat of government, but there is a
seat of council for the northern and the southern departments ; one at Norway
House, at the northern end of Lake Winnipeg, and the other at Michipicoton,
or Moose I’actory, for the southern department.

700. Your authority extends, I imagine, as well over Rupert’s Land as over
the territory which tlie Company holds by licence ? — Over the whole of the
Company’s affairs in North .America.

710. What


710. What is the nature of the rouncil which you have mentioned ?— The Sir 0. fliwpww.

firincipnl officers of tlie (lomjMUiy, tht; ehief factors, are in«’mbcrH of council.

f there is not a sufficient nuntluT of chief factors the number is made up by ”^ Februwy 1857.
clilef trajler», who are the second class of partners, and all matters connectetl
with the trade are discussed and determined at this council.

711. What is the nature of the authority of the council as distinguished from
your own ; are they merely advisers r —They are advisers, and they give their
opinions and vote njKi any q\iestion tiiat may be under discussion.

71^. Does the ultimate authority and decision reside in you solely, or is it
with you in conjunction with tlie council ? — With me in conjunction with the

713. Do you mean that they could outiote you and prevent your doing any-
thing which you thought proper r — ^They could outvote me, but it has never
been so ; in the al)sence of the council my authority is supreme ; in tnivelliug
through the country, or giving any direction connected with the management of
the business, my authority must be acted upon until it be annulled or disallowed
by the council or the Company.

714. Of course, having admi< istered the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany during so long a period, you are well acquainted with every part of their territories r — I have travelled through the greater part of the country ; I have not visited what are usually known as the Barren Grounds. 7 1 ,5. You are well acquainted with the western portion, as well as the eastern ? --Yes; I have not been in Mackenzie's River, but I have been in nearly all the other parts of the country ; my usual route in going up the country is from Montreal by Rainy Lake and Lake Winnipeg to Red River ; I have crossed the Uucky Mountains at three diiferent points to Ore;;on. 7 1 ti. Will you have the goodness to give to the Committee an account of your impressions of the character of the territory of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany in point of soil and climate, particularly with reference to its adaptatiun for the pur])oses of cultivation and colonisation "' — I do not think that any part of the Hudson's Bay Company's territories is well adapted for settlement; the crops are very uncertain. 717. Do you mean that observation to apply only to Rupert's Land or to the entire of the territory now administere y the Hudson's Bay Company?— 1 mean it to apply to Rupert's Land. 715. How would you describe the limits of Rupert's Land to the west? — The Rocky Mountains to the west. 719. Would you apply that observation to the district of the Red River ? — I And the country immediately behind it ■ — Yes. Is it not actually settled ?— I do not consider it well adapted for settle- Yes. 720. 7:1. meat. 722. Why so ? — On account of the poverty of the soil, except on the banks of the river. The banks of the river are alluvial, and produce very fair crops of wheat ; but these crops are frequentlj' destroyed by early frosts ; there is no certainty of the crops. We have been under the necessity of importing grain within these last ten years from the United States and from Canada, for the support of the establishment. 723. Have you an equally unfavourable opinion of the country on the Sas- katcliewan River ? — Yes ; the climate is more rigorous, and the crops are even less certain on that river ; the scarcity of timber also is a great bar ; there is little or no wood in the country. The present population of Red River have great difficulty in providir>.j^- wood for their immediate wants.

724. Is there any part of the territory of Rupert’s Land towards Lake
Superior that you think adapted for cultivation ? — Immediately upon the right
bank of the Rainy Lake River cultivation might be carried on to advantage ;
but there is merely a slip of land adapted for cultivation ; immediately behind
arc deep morasses which never thaw.

7-.’5. Mr. aiatktotie.] Is that right bank of the Rainy Lake River in the
Hudson’s Bay Territory ? — Yes.

726. Mr. Edward Ellice.’] Do you i uan by “never thaw” that in the
summer, when the surface is thawed, it a person was to walk through that
moraps his foot would get to the ice below ? — No, not immediately so ; but by
digging deeper you would come to ice.


727. Chairman.’]







Sir n. Simptnn. “27. Chairman. | You have statetl that in UuiH’rt’s liOnd you do not tliink

then* is any t-xtcnf le.

7’j8. L)o yon apply the same observation to the land to the westward of the
Rocky Mountains ? — In the Dritish territory I do, north of parallel” Wf ; it i8 a
rugged, precipitous, mountainous country.

7 jy. Is the whole of it of that character – — Principally of that character.
731). Do y»)u know Vancouver’s Island? — I have passed Vancouver’s Island
previously to its being British territory ; I cannot speak to it.

731. Do you considi^r Vancouver’s Ishuul u-* being within the territory of the
Hudson’s Bay Company ? — No.

732. You do not mean your observations to api)Iy to that ? — No, not to
Vancouver’s Island.

733. Are you acquainted with the coast near Vancoiiver’s Island and above
it? — Yes, I iiave pone along the coast from Puget’s Sound to the Hussion
principal establishment at Sitka.

734. Do you believe that coast to be altogether unfavourabl’^ for the puq)08e8
of colonisation r — I believe it to be quite unfit for colonisation.

73,5. Do you know Queen Charlotte’s Island? — I have not been on Queen
Charlotte’s Island.

73^1. Mr. Edward Ellice.] You confine your observation to the main land ?

737. Mr. CHadsluiic] I think you have spoken of Rupert’s Land as including,
from west to east, the whole country, beginning from the Rocky Mountains
and moving eastwards ? — Yes, to the shores of the Bay.

738. Do you understand that to have been the original signification of the
temi Ruijcrt’s Laud, dating from the period of the charter? — Yes, that it
includes the land on all waters fulling into Hudson’s Bay ; they form the bounda-
ries of the territory.

739. There is a reference in the charter to the fall of the water, is there r —
1 cannot call that positively to mind ; that is the impression upon my mind,
and I believe it is the general impression.

740. It is difficult, 1 suppose, for you to state what you would take as the
northern boundary? — The northern boundary of Rupert’s Land I call the
Methy Portage and Luke, dividiiig the waters that fall into the Bay from
those that fall into the Arctic Sea ; there is a height of land at the Methy

741. Taking the Methy Portiige as the northern boundary for that longi-
tude, as you come eastwards the territory trends very much to the north ? —

742. And goes up to the Melville Peninsula, which seems to be about the
northernmost part r — Yes.

743. Speaking of the whole of that country, as included in Rupert’s Land,
would you draw any material distinction between the climate of one part and
the chraate of another ? — Yes ; the climate of the southern part of the country
is not so rigorous as that of the northern ; the winters are not so long.

744. What wouM you sav was the length of the winter in the most favourably
situated parts of the territoiy ? — Five and a half months, I should say, at Red
River, which is the most favourable part of the country.

74,> Is there any part of the coast of Hudson’s Bay, or James’s Bay, which
partakes of a comparatively good climate r— Certainly not.

746. Is the softening influence of the sea not much felt in any portion of
it?— Not much; at York Factory, within about 18 inches or two feet of the
surface, we come to ice.

747. Mr. Edward Ellice.] At all times of the year? — At ail times of the

748. Mr. Gladstone.’] Would that observation apply to James’s Bay, even
down to the southernmost point, viz., Moose Fort ? — I should say the climate
is not niucii more favourable ; barley very seldom ripens there, and the pota-
toes are exceedingly small, and the crops unproduclive.

74^. Irrespectively of the (luestion of north and south, is not there a good



no allowance for the influences upon climate which are produced by settlement?
— No; I am not aware that settlement does produce any material influence
upon climate; 1 have not known it do so in C’anada; I have been in the
Canudas for a great many years, and I do not find the climat«! im])roved ; I
think the lost two winters have been the two most rigorous winters I hav’
exijcrienccd in C’anada.

758. I it is nik to be doubted that when n large district of countr)
becomes populous, there is then an influence upon climate i — I have not seen
it ; from my experience it is not so ; I think the climate of Canada is as severe
as it has been at any time during the 37 years for which I have knov n the

7-,9. And tliat is true even with respect to the most settled and the most
densely peopled parts of the country r — Yes.

7^)0. Taking the case of the country to the west of the Rocky Mountains, ]
iinilerstand you to have described Vancouver’s Island as upon the wholo favour-
ably circumstanced with respect to clii.iute ? — 1 (Id not speak to ^ la .iver’s
Island ; I have never been there, except touching the northern j; \rt (vf the
island in a steamer; the weather was unfavourable and I could not examine
the island,

7(11. Taking the coast opposite to Vancouver’s Island, is it h’ss favourably
situated than Vancouver’s Island ? — It is so ; it is rugged ; it is omy the southern
end of Vancouver’s Island that is favouraljlc for settlement ; the northern
jiart is exceedingly rugged, of tht; same character as the opposite mainland

7()2. Take the coast opposite tlie southern end of Vancouver’s Island ; it has
a south-western aspect, has it not ? — llie southern jjurt of the nminland has.

763. Is that as favourably circumstanced as Vancouver’s Island itself? —
I think not; it is not so favourable as the southern part of Vancouver’s

7(i4. AVhat is it that makes the portion of the mainlnnd opposite the southern
part of Vancouver’s Island less favourable for seltiemeii .an the island itself;
— That portion in IJritish territory is exceedingly rafiycd and mounUunous,
<;raggy, and there is a want of soil. 7(1,'). Is the mainland side of the channel there rugged, and the island side of the channel open and favourable, or are both .ides rugged ? — The island is less rugged than the niaiidnnd at the northern eiul of the island. 7()(). I am now speaking of the soutiiern viitl of the island and of the land • ward sid&of it ? — The Anurican side of the ehaimel is tlie same character of country. 707. Rugged ? — No, ojMin. 7('<8. What is tlie character of the maiidand o])posite tliat open country on Ihe landward side of tlie .southern end of tlie i.slaiid .' Tlie same character ; open. 7(>‘.). Mr. Edward Ellicc] That is not Hritish territory ? — No ; that is
Auierican ti-rritory ; that is south of 4!)”.

770. Mr. Gladst’ine.\ Take it north of 49″, between Fraser River and the water?
—North of 49″, north of Fraser River, the country is exceedingly rugged.

0.2 j. F4 771- I know





Sir G. Simptim. 771. I know that your own experience and authority are very great; but do

you think that the opinion which you have given of the climate of this territory

a6 February 1857. jg the general opinion? — I think so ; at least it is my opinion, and I believe it
is the general opinion.

772. Mr. Gordon.] If I understand you rightly, you think that no portion of
Rupert’s Land is favourable for settlement, but that some portions might be
settled ? — Yes.

773. In your very interesting work of a “Journey Round the World,” I find
at page 45 of the first volume this description of the country between the
Lake of the Woods and the Rainy Lake : ” From Fort I’rances downwards, a
stretch of nearly 100 miles, it is not interrupted by a single impediment, while
yet the current is not strong enough materially to retard an ascending traveller.
Nor are the banks le jS favourable to agriculture than the waters themselves to
navigation, resembling, in some measure, those of the Thames near Richmond.
From the very brink of the river there rises a gentle slope of greensward,
crowned in many places with a plentiful growth of birch, poplar, beech, elm,
and oak. Is it too much for the eye of philanthropy to discern through the
vista of futurity this noble stream, connecting, as it does, the fertile shores of
two spacious lakes, with crowded steamboats on its bo=oin and jjopulous towns
on its borders:” I suppose you consider that district favourable for population?
— The right bank of t\\s river is favourable, with good cultivation ; that is to say,
the soil is favourable ; the climate is not ; the back country is a deep morass,
r.nd never can bf drained, in my opinion.

774. Do you see any reason to alter the opinion which you have there
expressed ? —I do see that I bave overrated the importance of the country as
a country for settlement.

77). Chairman.’] It is too glowing a description, you think ?^ExactIy so ; it
is exceedingly beautiful; the bank js beautifully wooded, and the stream is
very beautiful.

77r>. Mr. GladntoiK.] What is the character of the Saskatchewan, or of any
of the principal branches of it as a stream, with regard to navigation ? —There
are several long rapids in the Saskatchewan, at various points. I think a
steamboat might, with the exception of those rapids, or by cutting canals round
those rapids, ascend to Edmonton.

777. Ihat is oil the northern Saskatchewan ? — It is.

778. What would you say of the southern Saskatchewan ? — On the southern
Saskatchewan there are fewer rapids.

77y. Are there long reaches which are wholly without rapids ?— Yes.

780. With a depth ample for navigation: — 1 here are chains of rapids below
the junction of the two rivers.

781, At Nepeeween? — Yes; there are two very long chains of rapids; lO
miles at one place, and seven or eight miles at another.

78J. Are there any long stretches of wator of navigable depth, without
rapids, upon the branches of the Saskatchewan ?— Yes.

7S3. What is the longest stretch that you can remember: — Perhaps 50 or
CO miles.

784. Mr. Grogai/.] Is it to be understood, then, that except for those rapids
the northern branch would be navigable for steamers, aa you describe, up to
Edmonton ? — Yes .; at the junction with Lake Winnipeg there is a very long
rapid called the orand Rapid.

78.”,. \\ hat may be the length of it ?— From two to three miles

78(1. Those three rapids which you have pointed out would be the three
obstacles to the navigation ? — There are several other smaller rapids ; there are
a great many rapids, but those are the priu’ipul rapids.

787. Those are the rapids which you think would require expense to obviate
them ? — Yes.

788. .Supposing that that expense should be incurred, and a canal, as you
have suggested, sh>;ul(l be formed, would any didiculties of a seiious character,
sufficient to impede navigation, exist between Lake Winnipeg and Edmonton :
— In the s;)ring of the year the water of the whole river is exceedingly low ;
I nave come down in a perfectly liijht boat, and we have been frequently under
the necessity of getting out of the boat to hand it over shoal water.

781). Before the snow has melted: — Before the mountain snuw has come



doVvn, namely, from about the 10th to the 15th of May ; then about the 1st of
June the mountain snows melt, and there is a freshet in the river.

790. From the 1st of June to what time would the navigation of the river
continue good? — Until the month of September tolerably good; the water
falling off about the middle of July.

791. On the southern branch of the Saskatchewan to what extent would it
be navigable, supposing those improvements were effected ? — I cannot apeak so
distinctly with regard to the southern branch; I have merely seen it in
parts ; I have not gone up the southern branch to any great distance. There
is no timber on the southern branch, and there is very little timber on the
northern branch.

792. There have been no attempts, I suppose, to eflfect those improvements?
—None at all ; there is no commerce to justify any outlay.

793. What is the distance from the southern part of Lake Winnipeg to Fort
William on Lake Superior ? — About 500 miles, I think ; from Lake Superior to
Lake Winnipeg is about 500 miles of bad canoe navigation with 66 portages,
varying in length from 100 yards to 3J miles,

794. Do you know a gentleman of the name of Captain Kennedy who made
a speech at a meeting of the Toronto Board of Trade ?— I do.

795. He states there that the distance would not exceed 200 miles 5 — Yes j
he does not know the country ; he never was in the country.

796. What may be the state of the river going through Rainy Lake and from
the Lake of the Woods down to Fort William ; is it navigable for boats, or rafts,
or anything? — Between the Rainy Lake and Fort William it is navigable only
by canoes ; I have passed through that country about forty times ; it is passed
only by canoes, and in many places with very great difficulty.

797. Is that from want of water r — From want of water and shoals in the
navigation, and the wretched character of ♦he country altogether ; many of the
rivers are embarrassed with timber constantly falling every year ; there is one
river which is one continuous mass of timber, requiring to be removed every

798. Mr. Edward EUice.] Is that what is called the Savanne portage ?— Yes ;
that is a river from the Savanne portage to Mille Lac.

799. Mr. Grogan.} Do you consider that obstruction so material as to impede
the navigation of that river f — Yes.

8no. Could not it be removed ? — It could not ; in the autumn of the year, or
rather in the month of August, I have been obliged to get out of a Ught canoe
and wade in the water, handing the canoe along this river.

80 1 . Has any attempt evev been made to remove those obstructions ? — ^The
obstructions are removed ei ery season, so as to enable the canoes to pass.

802. You mentioned, with regard to the Red River Settlement, that the
climate was so unfavourable for the growth of cuin, and that there wa.s so much
uncei-tainty as to the ripening of the corn, that at times you were obliged to
import corn for the supply of the residents there ? — We imported corn some
years ago ; there was a failure of the crops; I was apprehensive of famine^
and imported flour from St. Paul’s in the Minesota territory, and from

803. Is that an exceptional case, or does it occur every year ? — It does not
occur every year ; it is an exceptional case ; but the crops very frequently fail.
We have been obhged to send for seed grain ; we have not had sufficient grain
to sow the ground in the following seasun.

804. Can you say, during the 37 years that you have been Governor, how
often you have been under the necessity of importing corn for the supply of
the people at the Red River Settlement ? — We had never imported any large
quantity of grain for the support of the people until that season, in the year
1847, I think ; but the crops have been entirely destroyed, from the country
having been overflowed with water. The country was entirely overflowed with
water in the year 1 826 ; the habitations were swept away, and the people were
oblig’ed to remove to high grounds for the purpose of saving themselves.

805. Am I to understand that the occasion to which you refer was an entirely
exceptional one, and owing to the flooding of the water?— It did not arise on
that occasion from the flooding of the water, but from an apprehended scarcity
ovviiipr to the presence of troops. In 1836 the country was flooded and the

O’^.c Q crops

Sir 0. Simpten.
86 February 1857.

I 1-



II « «

Sir O. Si«npio». crops were destroyed. Several years previously to that the crops were

destroyed three years in succession by locusts ; myriads of locusts ate up every

86 February 1857. particle of grass.

806. In what year was that ?— In the years 1818, 1819, and 1820.

807. You have mentioned one instance in which corn was imported in some
quantities, you say not considerable f — Flour was imported.

808. For the supply of the inhabitants at the Red River Settlement ? — Yes.

809. Is that the only instance ? — That is the only instance where we have
imported ; it was especially for the garrison. We had a wing of a regiment
there, and were apprehensive that the crops would be insufficient for their

810. In other years has there been a sufficiency of com grown in that district
in general for the supply of the locality? — Certainly not; two- thirds or fully
half of the population live by hunting and fishing.

811. Are the settlers there encouraged in regard to hunting and fishing
pursuits generally, to follow those pursuits rather – than agriculture ? — No ; we
are very anxious that they should follow their agricultural pursuits.

8 1 2. Does the Company purchase their flour ?— Yes.

813. The Company purchase flour at the Red River Settlement, from the
farmers in the neighbourhood? — We purchase all their surplus agricultural

814. Do you mean that the farmers have no more to sell than what you, or do you only purchase what you want? -They have no more to
sell : they have only 8,000 acres of land under cultivation at the present time,
although the country has been settled upwards of 40 years.

81.5. I suppose it was during the time that you were Governor that a certain
Mr. John M’Lean, who has pubHshed *’ Notes of a Twenty-five Years’ Service
in the Hudson’s Bay Service,” was a servant of the Company ? — Yes, he was so
a part of ths time.

816. I will read you an extract as taken from his book, and you can say how
far it is correct. *’ A single Scotch farmer,” says Mr. M’Clean, ” could be
found in the colony able alone to supply the greater part of the produce the
Company require ; there is one in fact who offered to do it ; if a sure market
were secure*! to the colonists of Red River they would speedily become the
wealthiest yeomanry in the world ; their bams and granaries are always fuU to
overflowing ; ih.e Company purchase from six to eight bushels of wheat from
each farmer, at the rate of 3 s. per bushel, and the sum total of their yearly
purchases from the whole settlement amounts to 600 cwts. flour, first and
second qualities; 3’> bushels rough barley; 10 half-firki;)s butter, 28 lbs. each;
10 bushels Indian corn ; 200 cwts. best kiln-dried flour ; firkins butter, 56 lbs.
each ; 240 lbs. cheese ; 60 hams. Where he (the Red River farmer) finds a sure
market for the remainder of his produce. Heaven only knows, I do not ; this
much, however, I do know, that the incomparable advantages this delightful
country possesses are not only in a great measure lost to the inhabitants, but
also the world, so long as it remains under the dominion of its fur-trading
rulers.” Do you agree in the comment of Mr. M’Clean there ? — Certainly not.

817. In point of fact, do the Company purchase from the farmers settled in
the neighbourhood of the Red River Settlement, all the corn the farmers are
able to sell ? — We are not able to get the quantity of corn to he held in depot
that we requirf. I have written over and over again to the person in charge, to
get all the gra he could for tlie purpose of being held in depot, and we can
never get our ((uantity.

818. Mr. Gordon.’] Will you allov; me to remind you of one other sentence
in your interesting work. It is ut page 55 of volume 1; “The soil of Red
River Settlement is a black momd of considerable depth, which, when first
tilled, produces extraordinary crops, as much, on some occasions, as 40 returns
of wheat ; and even after 20 successive years of cultivation, without the relief
of manure or of fallow, or of green CDp, it still yields from 15 to 25 bushels an
acre. The wheat produced is plump and heavy ; there are also large quantities
of grain of all kinds, besides beef, mutton, pork, butter, cheese, and wool in
abundance.” Do you adhere to that statement ? — I do.

819. And yet yon think it unfavourable for cultivation? — Yes. I there
referred to merely a few small alluvial points occupied by the Scotch farmers.

820. Mr.


820. Mr. Adderlei/.li What is the nature of the wood growing in the woody Sir G. Simpson.
district r — There lias been elm at Red River. It is now quite denuded of wood

about the Red River Settlement by fire. “^ February 1857.

821. I refer to the higher part about James’s Bay ; what is the nature of the
wood there ?- Small stunted pines.

822. What is the highest latitude at which fine timber grows ? — I cannot
tell precisely ; there is very little timber on the shores of the Bay to the north,
100 miles north of Churchill. On tlie eastern side of the Bay there is very
little timber north of Big River, or Fort George on James’s Bay.

823. When you get to those fine elm forests, is it not very fine timber ? —
That is in the prairie country. There was some very good timber about Red
River at one time.

824. Is the natural wild growth of the prairie country good ? — In some

82,5. Is it very luxuriant r — In some ))arts ; in other parts the soil is exceed-
ingly thin, and there is very little herbage.

826. M hat should prevent cultivated produce growing equally luxuriantly
on the same spot ? — Immediately behind Red River, about a mile from the
banks of the river, there is merely a thin skin of soil.

827. Is there any luxuriant herbage, either grass, herbs, or fruit of any kind,
at a greater distance from the river than you have mentioned ? — I think not,
except in detached spots. There has never been any cultivation a mile from
the river.

828. Would not many of the impediments which you have alluded to be
got rid of by art and cultivation r — Certainly not.

829. It is impossible ? — It is impossible ; I have paddled over the roofs of
some of the houses in my canoe.

830. Do you say that you never knev.’ any wild country in which the climate
was softened by drainage ? — I have heard of the climate of countries being
improved by drainage, and settlement and cultivation, but I have not experienced
it myself.

83 1 . Are you aware that Europe was once as much frozen as Rupert’s Land
now is ? — I am. not aware that it was ; I have heard of some historical facts.

832. Can you state the present population of Red River, and the increase in
the last 10 years ; — The population of Red River is about 8.000.

833. In what time has it doubled ? — The settlement has been established 40

834. We had a statement from a former witness that, 10 years ago, the
population was 5,000 ; can you state whether that is correct r — It may have
been ; the population is now about 8,000. It is not from natural increase, but
from the migration of some Indians from other parts of the country.

83,5. Is there not always emigration in the shape of a .squatting population
from the United States r — Not from the United States.

836. Wiiere from r — The neighbouring districts ; Indian migration.

837. Should you say that there was much difference between the climate of
Minesota and that of the Red River ? — Decidedly, the further south you go the
better the climate is.

838. And do you state that there is no overflow of population from Minesota
to Red River?— 1 am not aware of any ; I believe two or three Americans
have gone from St. Paul’s, who have seated themselves down as small dealers
and opened shops.

839. Is there any barrier to their doing so from the nature of the Red River
Settknient regulation ? — None.

84(1. Mr. Kimitiird.] Are there not westward from the Red River colony
several hundred miles of level country towards the Rocky Mountains? — Yes, a
very fine country.

841. And comparatively speaking, a railway might easily be made along
there.”— Yes, from the Red River to the Rocky Mountains.

842. How far are the large livers from the Settlement of York navigable up
the int( rior?— ‘Ihey are navigalde by boats from York Factory to Lake Winnipeg;
boats carrying about three tons.

f<43- VNithout mueli portage r — There are a great many portages ; there are from 40 to 4.") portage^*, I think. !>44- C’ouUl they easily be removed r — No.
0.2,-,. G 2 845. Mr.




Sir G. Simpson. 845. Mr. Edward Ellice.’j I think that at those portages every thing is

literally carried on men’s backs ? — Yes,

a6 February 1857. 846. Mr. Kinnaird.] Did you not, after that interesting extract from your
book, recommend to the Company the establishment of a settlement somewhere
between the Lake of the Woods and the Rainy Lake ? — No ; I suggested that
a missionary establishment might be formed there.

847. Which would attract settlement ? — Merely for the improvement of the
Indian population.

848. You recommended it as a place adapted for a missionary station, which,
in other words, would be adapted for a setlleraent ? — A missionary settlement
would live by fishing in a great degree ; they could not only raise produce
but fish, and give their time and attention to hunting during the winter.

849. Are you not aware that the whole of the manure which is made in tlie
Red River Settlement is wasted, because it is not required for the improvement
of the land, it being so fertile ? — Some improvident, careless people, who know
very little about cultivation, rather than take tiie trouble of collecting their
manure, throw it over the side.

8,50. I believe it is not required? — In some parts it is required; in the low
alluvial points it is not required ; the low alluvial points which are improved
vear by year, or every second or third year, from the overflowing of the river,
require no manure.

”li. Mr. Bell.] What communication is there on the shores of the Saskatch-
ewaii t^^wards Edmonton ; what is the nature of the country r — The country is
level ; it is a rolling prairie.

852. It is a practicable country ? — Yes ; I have travelled on horseback through
the whole of that prairie country. I have travelled from the Red River to the
Columbia on horseback.

853. Mr. Gumey.} I understand you to have spoken of the right bank of the
river of the Rainy Lake ; by the right bank, do you mean the southern bank or
the northern bank ? — Going down the stream ; the north-eastern bank.

854. Going down the stream would be rather i’xe southern bank? — No,
north-east ; the opposite side is south-west, the American bank.

855. Does not that bank belong to the United States ? — No, the right bank
of the Rainy Lake River is British territory ; the river divides the territory ; the
riaht bank, going down the stream from the Rainy Lake to the Lake of the
Woods, is British territory.

856. The opposite bank is American ? — ^Yes.

857. Then the right bank is what would rather be the northern bank on this
map ? — The north-eastern.

858. Opposite the southern part of Vancouver’s Island there is a place on
the maps marked Fort Langley ? — ^That is at the mouth of Fraser River.

859. I believe you mentioned that there was no very good land between
Fraser River and the coast ; but how is the land immediately inland from Fort
Langley, between Fraser River and the iimerican boundary ?— The boundary is
Fraser Iliver, or very nearly so.

860. Mr. Charles Fitzmlluim.] Does nui Fraser River run north and south ?
— I think the boundary is very near Fiaser River, at the mouth of Fraser

8(ii. Mr. Crwrney.] My object was rather to inquire whether Fort Langley
was in any way the centre of a small district of good land ? — No, it is near the
souihern boundary of the British territory.

8()2. What is the character of that district ? — All the way down Fraser River
to within about 50 n^les of Fort Langley, it is an exceedingly rapid river.

863. What is the nature of the land eastward from Fort Langley, inland? —
A short distance to the eastward is level ; there is a mountainous country
higher up the stream.

864. Therefore there is a space of level land immediately inland from Fort
Langley ? — Yes.

865. Is the mouth of the Fraser River at all available as a port or outlet? —
No ; there is a bar at the mouth of the river ; vessels with a small draught of
water would take the ground.

8{)(i. That bar could not be easily removed?— It would fill up again imme-

807. Mr.



867. Mr. Charles FUzwilliam.] Do you know what the water on the bar is ? sir Q. Simpion.
— I think about eight or nine feet.

8fi8. Mr. Lowei] Which do you consider the best way to the Red River «6 February 1857.
Settlement from Europe ? — Through the United States, by Minesota.

869. By St. Paul’s?— By St. Paul’s.

870. From Canada, which do you consider the best way ? — By Lake Superior,
Fort William and Rainy Lake, into Lake Winnipeg, and then on the southern
side of Lake Winnipeg.

871. Is that the way you went yourself ? — Forty times I passed over that

872. Mr. Bell] Is there any other practicable route from Canada to the
Red River :— No other.

873. North of Lake Superior inlaiid? — T’lere is no other practicable route.

874. What has induced you to change your opinion since you wrote that
passage in your journey with regard to the nature of the climate and the soill,
and its applicabiUty for cultivation, because I observe that you had been 20
years in the country when you wrote that passage f — I had never given par-
ticular attention to the climate of the country, nor to the fact of the country
being one continued morass behind, until after my narrative was written ; the
Company have a farm at the outlet of the Rainy Lake at the commencement
of the river, and our crops very frequently fail.

875. Mr. Edward Eltice.] At Red River Settlement, owing to the great
uncertainty of the crops, do not the Company keep two years’ consumption of
grain on hand in case of accident f — Yes, that has been our object ; we never
can get up a stock of grain.

876. With regard to those floods which you have spoken of, are you not
aware th;;t they have happened repeatedly on former occasions ? — Yes ; there
was a flood upon one occasion, a few years previous to 1820, on my flrst
visiting the country. In 1826 the whole country was one continued sea.

877. And in 1848, 1 think f— Yes, about 1850 or 1851 there was another

878. To give the Committee an idea of those floods, what did the breadth of
the river increase to ? — There was no river ; it was a continued sea for han-
dreds and hundreds of square miles.

879. With regard to the farming at Red River, do you consider it the inte-
rest of the Company to promote agriculture there ‘! — It is very desirable, for
the purpose of furnishing ourselves with the means of living.

880. Have the Company been in the habit of giving encouragement to
agriculture at Red River ? — We have promoted agriculture by every means in
our power.

881. Have the Company established model farms ? — We did establish a model

8s 2. Have the Company taken out stock on purpose to promote and im-
prove the breeds ? — Yes ; the most improved breeds of cattle and horses and

883. You told us about the character of the territory in Rupert’s Land and
in Oregon, but you have said nothing of the character of the land in the part
of Canada occupied by your posts, and more especially the p;;rt between
Sault St. Mary and Fort William ; what is the character of the – imtry on the
north side of Lnke Superior between those points?— It is a very craggy, barreu,
rugged country ; a surface ot ro.ik.

884. Viscount Sandori.] You are well acquainted, I imagine, with the Assi-
niboine branch of the Red River r— \ es.

885. Will you state to the Committer V.ow far it is navigable ? — There are
shoals and rapids at the very coramencvunent of the stream.

886. For what distance ?— From the Forks where it mites with the Red
River, I think about three miles, there is the first rapid ; and 20 or 30 miles
higher up a further liipid, and above that there are very frequent rapids.

887. So that it is in fact unfitted for navigation ? — Qu’tc so.

888. What is the character of the land along the banks of that river ? — The
land is pretty good immediately along the banks.

889. I think the land is cultivable nearly to the sources of the Assiniboin&
River ; immediately upon the banks.

8f)o. That is for a distance of about 150 miles?— Yes.
w.a,’). 3 891. A former

\ -I






Sir O. K:iiifm. 89 1 . A former witness haj stated that the Americans are extending their
– settlements very rapidly towards the Red River, and that nnmbers have crossed

ao Februair/ i8j7 the boi..i’ ary ; do you imagine thnt fact to be correct? — I am not aware of
any Amorican settlers having crossed the boundary.

892. Would you have ‘he moans of knowing? — Yes, decidedly; I think the
nearest*: settlement nf tl. Americans is at the Crow Wing River, one of the
branches of the Mississipi/i.,

893. Chairman.] How fir is that oif? — I think perhaps 350 to 400 miles.

894. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] Does the Crow Wing run below St. Peter’s
River or above it ? — It falls into the Mississippi above St. Peter’s; above the
falls of St. Anthony ; the Crow Wing River is above St. Paul’s.

895. Mr Gladstone.] Is St. Paul’s near the junction of th’- St. Pef^s’s with
the Mississippi ? — Yes.

8g(i. Where is the Cro-v Wing? — The Crow Wing is about l(:i> ‘uiles rearev
Red River, I think ; it is not marked on this map,

897. Mr. Kinth’lrd.] Is there not a settlement ut Pembiii;’ ‘ — Yf>. I n;?’! thd
settlement of Pembina an uffshoot from Red Riv:. ; it is i.tiucipuily in!uLiited
by half-breeds from the settlement of Red Kiver.

8y8. It is in the United Sfates territJTV ” — It is ou the frofi.ier.

891). Therefore, in fact, th^n is au ;^ r rican setilciiient nearer than you
have stated ?— No ; I think tiuy are setth-d within the British territory. I am
not aware thai they are cvitside the line.

900. iJoea not Fort Pembina belong to thv Americans V — There is no for?, at
Pembina. Foit Prnbina is an oU trading establishment of the Hudson’s iky
Comp.’ ‘ .

gox. “v)i’. GroqaiT’.] But dots Fort Pembina belong to the Hudson’s Bay
C’^iropai ■ n* to ih»^ Americj.ns? — Fort Pembina did belong to us.
90?. To v.iixnu ;iueh it b;»)ong now ? — There is no Fort Pembina now.

903 1 ini -n the , t tilcment. or the station, or whatever you please to call it ?
— I think thi^ j.’tder.s ar ; upon both sides of the line.

904 Viscount Sand^)/:.] You in.agine that the neiirest American settlement is
on f.he Crow Wing River? — I consider that an American sittlement because there
ts an American population. I consider it the nearest Aaierican settlement.

905. If it was proved that there were American settlers com:ng in consider-
o’ile numbers to the British boundary you would think that a considerable
argument in favour of the goodness of that territory, would you not r — I do not
thii.k they would go to the Red River from the United States or anywhere else
for the purpose cf settlement.

906. I only asked you whether, supposing that was proved, you would not
regard it as a considerable argument in favour of the character of the territory ?
— Yes; but I should not agree in that fact.

907. Mr. Blackburn.] Provided that tliey settled for the purpose of agricul-
ture ?— Ves ; but I am i^itisSed tliat they svill not do so.

908. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] You say that the north shore of Lake
Superior is banen and rocky ? — It is, except at the outlets of the rivers ; the
general character is rugged and barren, and a surface of rock and water and

909. Is there any timber immediately on the shore of Lake Superior’s —
Very little ; scarcely any ; it is all burnt ; it is a burnt wood country.

910. Burnt by what? — By fires having overrun the country ; the greatei
part of the thick-wood country is^ overrun by fires.

911. Of what vood are those the remains ; is it a fir wood? — It is a small

M !

description jf fir.

912. What is the breadth of that belt of timber?
shores of Lake Superior to the shores of Hudson’s Bay.

913. Without any intermission ? — Y’es ; exoopt by laV.
larger surface of water than of land in the whole of th’

914. When y M et from Lake Superior, and ‘^’-ovel
to any country* ‘\ is timbered with majile j ■■’ •
River Kamenii,.- ,.. a falling into Lake Sui)ericr .
I think liiere is a good deal of maple, and per)’.ui»i
have not noticed oak.

-Tt extends from the

. i think there is a

.-wood country.

>., do not you come

soft wood ?- At the

\ViUiam, for 20 miles.

:aiall quantity of oak ; I

915. That


915. That wood grows on the valley of the Kamenistiquoia ?— Yes ; that is Si r O. Simpfo n.

0)6. 1 do not mean so far to the west as that ; there is a place called the ‘^^ ebruary 1 57.
Pic f_Yes, it is a perfectly barren post ; it is sand upon the beach and rock

017. It is a mineral country, though, is it not? — Yes; all along the eastern
shore of Lake Superior is a mineral country.

p 1 8. There is copper ? — Copper.

910. Andiron? — Yes.

qeo. And the vegetation is pine wood:— Yes.

02 1 . When you go tiirough a belt, say of two miles of that country from the
shores of the lake, do you not then come to a maple and oak vegetation ? —
Certainly not. There may be patches here and there on the banks of the
river of maple, but in a very small quantity.

922. The country rises from the bank of the shore of Lake Superior, does it
not? — Yes ; to the watershed.

923. You come into a country filled with small lakes and morasses ? — Yes.

924. How are those lakes formed ? — They have been lakes from the begin-
ning of time, I believe. These basins are formed by large quantities of snow,
and the morasses are very deep, and the season is not sufficiently long to dry

them up.

q2j. Are there not some artificial reasons for that, as there are on the south
shore of Lake Superior ? — No ; I am not aware of any.

926. Dams of difierent sorts ? — No.

927. Then it is not of the same nature as the shore on the southern side of
Lake Superior ?— I am not aware that the waters are dammed on the southern

928. With regard to Frase-. River, you said that the country on the main-
land was generally unfavourable for cultivation ? — Yes.

929. But there are farms at Fort Langley, I think ? — There is a farm at Fort

930. Mr. Edward EUice.] To what extent ; how many acres ? — Perhaps about
20 acres.

931. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.] But there is plenty of room for more? — ^Yes.

932. C/iahi)ian.] There is some extent of ground there fit for cultivation ? —
Yes, at Fort Langley.

933. Whiit extent should you say ?— Perhaps several hundred square miles.

934. What sort of cultivation ; would it grow wheat ? — It might grow wheat.

935. Is it as good as the southern portion of Vancouver’s Island ‘/—Not so
good, I should think ; it is a more moist climate.

936. It is not so good in point of climate ? — I should think not.

937. Mr- Charles Fitzwilliam.’] Is not the drought at the southern end of
Vancouver’s Island rather a drawback to cultivation in the summer time ? — I
am not able to speak to Vancouver’s Island.

938. Is the country round Fort Langley of the same character as that between
Nisqually and Fraser River?— No, it is a more thick-wood country; from
Nisqun’ly to vt.y nvai Fraser River is a prairie country, with patches of

939. Or rather a woody country with patches of prairie ? — Yes.

940. Is the country to the north of the British line like the country about
Nisqually ?— No ; it is a thick-wood country.

94′- Still, with small prairies? — No; I think the prairies are not so

042. Mr. Grogan.] You have described to us the countries as having been
visiti’d by t y b; ••n floons ;, was ‘ii.ire ai^y particular cause, such as an early
spring, 01 V, oUUdfu meicing of the mountain snows, which occasioned it? —
Yes : *1 was severe weu” .t until the season was far advanced, and the sun
burs .a with great power.

;N,i. And this gieal extent of flood was lie overflow of the rivers ?— \es.

944. lo which of the rivers do you jiiincipally attribute the flooding?— It
was -AX over, not only Red River, but ihe whole of ihe country.

945. Generally through the whole district? — Yes, the York River and Moose
River ; ‘:hey ,,ere obliged to get their goods out of the stores and put them on
stages, for the purpose of being saved Irora the liood.

0-25. G 4 946. Then




Sir 0. Sitnpiom,

|6 Fabrutrjr 18S7,






946. Then those particular floods were not local, in fact, in the neighbour-
hood of the Red River ? — No.

947. They were general through the country ? —Yes.

948. M’ith regard to the Red River Settlement, was that settlement
damaged or more exposed to flood than any other part ?— It was ; it was
exposed and more injured, because there was a larger population.

949. The Red River discharges itself into Lake Winnipeg ? — Yes.
9.50, Is there any obstruction to the river going into the lake ? — No.
951. Or to the waters o* tV lake finding their way into the sea f — No.

lake was overflowed, which rendered it necessary to remove our establishments
from the lower end of the lake.

953. Would the existence of those 47 portages which you described as on
York River, up to Lake Winnipeg, in any way conduce to damming up the
waters, and flooding the country ? — Lake Winnipeg empties itself into Nelson
River, a little way to the northward.

9.53. Are there any obstructions on that river which would tend to dam up
the waters of Lake Winnipeg?— None at all.

054. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Is it not the general flat nature of the country
wluch causes the flood ? — Yes.

g.’iS- There is not declivity enough to carry off the water ? — Just so.

Mr. Bell.] The same as in the neighbourhood of Lyons, in France?



Mr. Gordon.] When did the last great flood occur? — In 1851.
Mr. Jicll.’] Do you know the neighbourhood of Fort Alexander ? — I do.
What sort of country is it ? — The back country is thick wood country ;
the timber is pine, and there is a great deal of swamp ; it is a swampy country.
9f)0. Mr. Gladstone.] With respect to the wheat at the Red River Settle-
ment, at what period do they sow ? — They sow in ihe early part of May,
I think.

96 J . And when do they reap ? — In ^.ugust.

962. Is the harvest pretty good, or is it overtaken by the winter, without
having sufficient sun to ripen the com? — The crops are usually, or always,
secured before the winter sets ii..

963. From whence did the Hudson’s Bay Company bring the com and other
provisions for ils servants before the Red River settlement was founded ? — Very
little grain was used in the country previously to that time. The provisions
used in transport were pemican, a compound of buffalo meat and tallow ; the
buffalo meat dried upon stages, and ground down, tmd mixed up with the fat of
the animal.

964. Then it was almost entirely animal food ? — Animal food and fish.

965. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Is it not in a great measure so now ? — Yes, in
travelling to the northward.

966. Mr. Gladstone.] Was there no regular import of grain or other vegetable
produce into the Hudson’s Bay territory before the Red RiT*^r Settlement was
founded ? — Merely for the use of the establishments upon the coast, and for the
Indians near thcot «^8tablishment8.

967. From ivlience was that grain brought ? — From England.

968. By the Hudson’s Bay Coiiipany ?— Yes, through Hudson’s Bay.

969. You do not consider that the Hudson’s Bay route is the most economical
or convenient route, in a commercial sense, for connecting the Hudson’s Bay
country with England, do your — No great extent of traffic can be carried on
through Hudson’s Bay, inasmuch as the season is exceedingly short ; the Bay
is never free of ice.

970. How long is it open ? — About f vo months.

97 1 . With regard to the Saskatchewan River, are the banks of it tolerably
timbered ‘: — There is very little timber on the banks of the Saskatchewan.

972. Is there such a deficiency of timber both on the Upper and Lower
Saskatchewan that that of itself would, in your view, constitute a serious
impediment to settlement ? — Decidedly ; throughout the whole of that prairie
country, from parallel 49° northwards, I think the wnt of fuel would be a
great drawback to ittlement.

973. Is not th-. Red River country pretty well timbe r Tt was prett”
v^ell timbered, but people are now under the necessity of :■ U)^ further foi
timber j they go up the river and raft it down 40 or 50 or ao MiiLs.

974. Arc


[HI , .

974. Are the outfalls of Lake Winnipeg exclusively into Hudson’s Bay ?—

97’;. Are there several? — No; the lake empties itself by Nelson Uivc into
the sen.

Entirely .’—Yes.

Mr. Kinnoird.] You say that there is no timber on the Saskatchewan
River? — There is vury little timber.

978. Has any search been made for coal in that district? — Yes; an inferior
description of coal, a lignite, has been found near Edmonton.

97^. Mr. /W/.] You say there is very little timber in that country; I find
that in your Journal of a Journey from the Red River Settlement across the
Rocky .Mountains, you constantly describe the country in this way; “Picturesque
country, iak28 with gently slopin;!;- banks, the greensward crowned with thick
woods; then you say, ” Beautiful country, lofty hills, long valley, sylvan lakes,
briuht green, uninterruj)ted profusion of roses and blue-bells, softest vales,
paiionuna of Imnging coifses.-— Yes, there were a great many flowering

()So. Then you say tliat within a day’s march of Carlton, on the Saskatche-
wan, in lat ‘nde o.T, there were large gardens and fields, and an abundance of
potatoes and otn;’r vegetubles ? — Yes.

96 1. 1 understood you to say that there were no woods in that country? —
There is a very smai’ quantity of wood, insufficient for the purposes of a large

982. About Edmonton, as to the pasturage, your remark is that it is luxuriant,
and that the barley is very productive ? — Yt;s, it is very good.

983. Chalnnan.] Will you state to us the system under which the country is
managed, with regard to trade and government, with reference to the Indian
population ; in short, the machinery which is employed ; how many officers and
servants aitogetlier are emjiloyed by you in the manaf^fement ot the territory
of the Huflson’s Hay Company ? — There is the governor-in- chief, to begin with ;
there are 10 chief factors, who are the principal officers, members of our council ;
^9 chief traders, five surgeons, 87 clerks, and 67 postmasters ; the last rank
between the labouring mnn ani’) or three years previous to IHio tlu-re was
a Lireal mortality iu tlie nortiiern parts ol the romitry, m the tliickwood
country, from small-pox and mea-les; that was in IHk;. 1H17 and IHIH. After
tliat period we introduced vaccine inondation, and the small-pox lias been
unknown in the eoiintry since then.

()(!<)• Since that period, do you believe that the number of the Indians have increasid or decreased ■ -1 think the number of the Indians in the ihickwood country has increased. 1000. Take them ns a whole r -In the prairie country 1 think they have decreased owl n{>; to wars and small |)i)x.

1001. By wars yoi: i.w waii ‘vmon;; tlu-niselves ? — Yes.

1002. Mr. Kdwiirii ii.,/;, • “lioe are the Indians on the I’rontier ? — Yes, the
Blaeklieet tribes , they dve. priiuipally American Indians.

1003. (‘hainii,in.\ What do you mean by the thickwowl rountrv” — The
tliickwood c(iunt!V is a very extensive district of country lying 30 • or4(»() utiles
inland round llu agriculture.

1011. Have they to any extent adopted agriculture ‘-—Not to any material
extent; they Iiave adistate for field labours.

1012. You state that there a.e wars in some parts of the country between
different tribes of Indians .’ — Yes-

101 J. I believe you have managed to preserve peace as between the red man
and yourselves • -Decidedly.

1014. It has been almost enri”ely f eserved? — Yes; for 3′ years, during
which I iiave had the principal i. agement, there have bten very few cases of
crime, considering the cliarac I t’ ■ population and the extent of the


101,5. I b’lieve during the last ..w years there has been a warfare of the most
dreadful de>(‘ri])tion carried on i)etween the inlabitants of the United States in
Oregon and the Indian tribes in that neighbo’irhood .’ — There has been.

10 lb. It lias extended to your frontier, has it not r — Yes.

11117. But has never passed t’lat Irontier f — It has not gone bevond ; we have
sufficient intiuence with the Indians in the Bri’ish territory west of the mountains
to keep them out of it.

U18. Ill


iiiiS. In what way is justice luiniinistered in tli t country which is under Sit G. Simpmi.

your control • — As ticurly us possible according to ilie laws of England; we

liavc a very conij)etent legal officer, who tills the otiice of recorder at Red River ^^ February 1857,
Sett lenient.

1(11(1. Supposing uu outrattc takes place in a distant part of th( country,
wliat happens .’— The ease wouhl be tin probably at Hed Hiver or at Norwiiy

Kjjo. How can that l>e done ; when . murder, tor instance, takes place in a
very distant part of the country, what is men done ‘f — In one case three parties
«h() were concerned ir. n murder were removed to Canada for trial, all the way
Iroiii .Mackenzie’s River, at great dithculty and j;reat expense.

loji I suppose in very distant parts of the country yo’i administer justice as
best vou may .- — In many instances we have brought cases to Red Hiver, where
the parties have been regularly tried by jury.

K’jj. I’or miiiiir oti’ences what iiroeeedings do you adopt practically: —
‘J he ludiiin is reprimanded and held in disfavour for some time.

102.’,. \\r. Kdwaid Ellkc] Will you illustrate that answer by giving a case
which ociurred at Norway House recently .’ — Some Indian lads broke into one
of our stores and they were regularly tried, and two of them were transported
from their own district 300 miles off to another district; that was the entire
punishment ; it was in fuct, no punishment ; they were also severely repri-

1024. C’/i(iinn.ea ‘ — We have only rented the part between Fort Simpson
and Crocs Sound.

lojo. \ hat is the date of that arrimgeinent .’ — That arrangement,! think,
was entered into about 1839.

1031. What are the terms upon which it was m-xde ; do you pav a rent for
that land ? — The British territory runs along- inland from the coast about 30
miles; the Russian territory runs along the coast, we have the right of navi-
gation through the rivers to hunt the interior country. A misunderstanding
existed upon that point in the first instance ; we were about to S!>iabll — We have the entire care of it.

O’-^j- H 2 1035. Mr,

f >>’]




5! I’



i^’it O. Simpton. 1035. Mr. Kduuird Kllicc] That waH inniiuaincd tliroiij^li the last war, was

it not, in order tliot there tilioiild be no dititurbaiice ainon^; the Indiana l —

Hi February 1857. Yes.

1036. C/iainiitm.] Was any inconvenience sustained before this irmnp;emcnt
was made with regard to tlie nianageniciit of the Indians, inai^muc*’ us it V\’u8
found that spirits were introduced amoni; then) by |mrtieH coniprtriir witli one
anotiier for tiie fur trade: — Yes, tliere wa» a great abus. il s|u>’tuoiu

1037. Was that the main inducement to you and to the Russian Company
to make this arranj^ement •— It was not tlie principal inducement, but it was
one of the imhicenu-nts. A yearor1^V(» afterwards I entered into an arrangement
at Hitka witii the (iovtinor of Sitka that the use of spirituous licpiors siiouUl he
entirely prohibited. A murdemus scene took place under our own eyes at Sitka,
arising’ fiom a deliaucli aimmi; the Indians, and we came to an agreement then
tlint liquor should no longi r be introduced into the country.

io;;S. Mr. Kiiniaird.] litis tiiat agreement been rigidly kept on their part? —
It has been rigidly kept, I believe, by them as well as by us.

1031). Mr. Gordon.^ A\’ith regard to the administration of justice, is it not
the case that under tlie Acts by which the Company exercise jurisdiction, viz.,
the 43 Geo. ‘,), and the 1 & ‘1 (Jc o. 4. the Company are bound, under a penalty
of 5,000/., to transmit caves of felony for trial to ( anada .’ — The ex-recorder of
Rupert’s Land will be here in the course of a day or two, and I should rather
prefer that he should answer the question, and explain all matters connected
with the administration of the law.

1040. I suppose you would also wish to defer till the recorder is here, the
answer to the next cpiestion which I should put, viz., how ofttn that had been
done ? — There have only been two cases transmitted to Canada in my time ; one
is the case of those Indians in Mackenzie’s Hiver, a few years ago, of whom I

1041. How long has> there been a recorder established at the Red River? —
In 1839 the lirst recorder was appointed there.

104a. Mr. Grogaii.] What was the name of the recorder in 1839 ? — Adam

1043. Mr. dordvii.’] How was justice administered previously to a recorder
being apjiointed • — There was never a criminal case within my recollection
previously to \^IM), except the case to which I am alluding, in Mackenzie’s

1044. With regnrd to the introduction of spirits into the territory; arc spirits
allowed to those who are in the employment of the Company .’ — I may say that
the whole importation of spirits, from the year 1847 to the year 18.50, averaged
under 5,000 gallons into the whole country.

104.5. Are spirits habitually allowed to be used by the servants in the
employment of the Company ? — Certainly not.

1046. Not for their own use? — Not for their own use ; not. even the officers
in some parts of the country are allowed the use of spirits.

1047. I find it stated in a speech made by .Vlr. (iladstone, on the 10th of
August 1848, that in the year 1837, about 3,800 gallons of spirits had been
imported into the Hudson’s Bay territory ; and in the year l84.j. three years
before the date of his speech, !),0″r) galhms. From the statement which you
have just made, 1 suppose we must conclude that that proportion has diminished
a good deal ? — In 1845 the quantity was increased, in consequence of a wing of
the sixth regiment having been .^ent to Red River ; it was for the use of the

1048. Then we must not take that as reijr^senting an increase or decrease in
the consumption ? — No; the average since 1847 is 4,911 gallons, it is under
5 0(10. Of that quantity, two-thirds are used by the 8,000 inhabitants of Red
River; tlie icrr-::ining one-third, or 1,630 gallons, is all that is allotted for the
use of our own servants, for an occasional dram to Indians who are employed in
transport with our own servants, and for the purchase of provisions in parts of
the country where we cannot get thmn otherwi-e.

1049. I ^^^ ‘” ‘* re(»ort which wis made by a Committee of the House of
Commons, which was appointed to consider the condition of the aborigines in
tht liritish CJolonies, a statement that the Coppermine Indians had decreased



nne-liiilf : and unions other cauRcs whicli ure usHimni’d (or tlmt decrease, intern-
oernnci’ is tneniioncd. Ilavi; uiiy Ixit tin* Ci)mpimy’t» traders accuHS to that

Sir G. limpynt.

“ountry? — None, except the (.’uinpany’s truderH ; tjiat Htatoment is not true; no iG Februarj 1837*
li(|aur goes there.

10.50. Mr. Eduard KUirr ] Is it not tho fact tlmt tlint is* one of the districts
into which spirits do not go at all r — No spirituous li(piors havi; been sent north-
ward of Cmnherlund to my knowledge since 1H22.

lo,”;!. Kilher for the Company’s servants or for the Indians’!*— Not for any-
body; ncith«*r for officers, servants, nor Indinns.

lo.V^- Ml’- Ciordun.] Then you presume that the Ci)inmittee of the House of
Commons were misle(I by the evidence before tliL-in ? — Decidedly.

1033, It has been stated to mc by ollicers in the army who have travelled
in those parts of the country where the Company have stations on the Sagucnay
River, at (.’hicoutimi, for instance, that though licpior was not traded with the
Indians for furs, yet at the time the bargain was concluded a certain quantity ot
liijHor was always given to them as n present ; does it appear to you that that
dittcrs in anything but name from making spirits a portion of the trade r — I
1 think it very likely ihat on the St. Lawrence, wjiere we are surrounded by
opposition, that may have occurred. Where we have opposition, we must, in
order to ^! that.

1076. Mr. Gordon.] Was that in the case of a Mr. James Sinclair ? — Yes.

1077. Mr. Edward ICllice.] That was when it was in contemplation to inter-
fere with the fur trade ? — Yes.

1078. Mr. Loive.] Will you state what the case was with respect to .\Ir. James
Sinclair .’—There was some objection.

1 079. What did he want to do ? — We objected to bring out goods for him at
one time.

luSo. What goods did he want you to bring out r — British manufactures.
loSt. You objected on what ground ? — On the ground that he was to employ
thim in the fur trade.

1082. Mr. Kinuaird.] The Company does not oppose a passive hinderance to
the entrance of goods or of people necessLArily ? — Not at ail ; we take their goods
out on freight.

1083. If I wanted to bring a mechanic into the Red River, could I do so ? —
Decidedly ; we should afford him a passage.

1084. Ihen the Company would facilitate the entiance of free labourers of
good character who should present themselves, by giving them a passage; —
On paying.

1085. Allowing them to have the benefit of the Company’s stores upon the





are ?-
of En
of 3(i:
and at

of Ru





1 10

in the
1 10.



be ulk
1 10,

loo/, i



iiderance to

terrii’* of the (4)mpany’s servants ? — No, not on the terms of the Company’s Sir G. Smp$on.
servants ; the Company’s servants r’-neive very low wages.

1086. Yon have told us, I think no other ship would be allowed to trade s6 Febru«ry 1857.
at York? –Yes.

1087. Therefore if I wanted to import a mechanic, you would allow him to
come in your ship r — Decidedly.

,088. .NJight not he trade on the same terms as the Company’s servants ;
inisht not he buy his things in the same way?— He might buy his things as the
juier iniiabitants of Red Uiver do.

1089. And he might have the benefits of the Company’s stores? — Y’es ; our
shops are open to all parties.

luQO. He would have to pay for his passage? — Yes.

loyi. By a ti.\ed tariff r — There is a regular passage money charged, which
I cannot call to memory at this moment. Every facility is afforded ; a passage
has never been refused to any one that I am aware of.

100 2. There is an idea that the Company opposes the settlement of Indians as
agricultural labourers or as a Christian community ?– It is not the

iO()3. What IE the tenure of the land in the Company’s territory? — N’ .e
hundred find ninety-nine years.

1094. Is the right of the Indians to sufficient lands for their support recognised?
— Tliey occupy lands wherever they please. The Indian has never been required
to pay lor lands.

109,). Do you pay no chief for the occupation of land yourselves in the Indian
settlement ? — There is a very old respectable chief, a man who has been very
friendly to the whites ; we support him principally.

10(|6. Do you not recognise their holding their possession of land ? — No ; the
land was purchased of thorn, I think, in the time of Lord Selkirk by a regular
purchase ; a certain quantity of ammunition and tobacco, and various other
supplies being given f’r it.

1097. What provision is made, or can be made, for the settlement of such as
desire to become agricultural labourers, or to live as a community ; what would
be the facility given by the Company ?-~They would be permitted to take land-‘,
wherever vacant lands were found, at a price which might be considered nominal ;
the prices are never exacted.

1098. Is the Indian settlement at the Red River approved of and encouraaed
by the Company ? — Decidedly.

io<)9. In every way '—In every way. 1100. What provision is made for the instruction of these 'ndians ? — The Church Missionary .Society have a missionary in charge of the settlement 1 101. Mr. Edward Ellicc] Will you state what religious establishments tiiere are '! — In the Company's territory there are 19 missionary stations of the Church of England, 12 Roman-catholic, 4 Wesleyan, and 1 Presbyterian, making a total of 36. In Oregon theri is a Koman-catholic mission. On the (lulf of St. Lawrence, one. At Albany and Temiscaming, one. At the Pic there is a Wesleyan missionary. At Fort William there is a Uoman -catholic missionary : and at Vancouver's Island there is a Church of England missionary, making in all 42 missionary stations. 1 102. Mr. Ki/waird.] What provision is made for the chaplain ? — The Bishop of Rupert's Land has a salary of 300/. a year from the Company. In aid of schools he has 100/. a vear. The bishop's chaplain, at Red River, has 150/, a year. ,\t York, .'>0/ a year. At Moose, 50/. a year. At East Main, 50/. a
year. At Victoria and V^aucouver’s Island, 200 /. a year. The Roman-catholic
missitm at Red River has 100/. a year. At Oregon, 100/. a year. On the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, 105 /. a year.

1103. Mr. C/iarles Fitiwilliam.] What do you mean by Oregon, Oregon is
in the United States ? — We call it Oregon.

1104. Do you give rt’li::ious instruction to the inhabitants of the United States ?
— No ; fiiere is a bishop who was taken across by us a good
many years ago to Oregon, and he remains there on the promise that he should
be allowed 100/. a year.

iio.’j. Mr. iiiiehurk.] Do you pay him? — We pay him 100/. a year now.

not). And you maintain him in the United States territory f —We give him
1 00 /. a year.

1107. He being in the L’^nited States territory? — lie being in the United
States territory.

0.25- H 4 1108. Mr.




Sir G. Simpson. iioS. Mr. Erlivaid £llice.] You have possessory rights, I believe, under the

tivaty ?— Yes.

«6 February 1857- i,(,p ]\jr. Roebuck.] But has not Oregon been given up by treaty ?— By that
treaty our |)ossPSsory rights nre retained.

1110. What possessory rights have you? — We have various establishments;
pasture grounds ; hunting grounds. We claim very large possessory rights.

nil. .Mr. Edward EUice.] Have vou not also the free navigation of tiie river ?

1112. Mr. Roebuck.] What do yon mean by jiossessory rights ; do you mean
rights under the charter? — Riohts as British subjects previously to the treaty.

1113. Had you possession of land ? — We had possession of lantl.
1 1 “14. How did you acquire it? — Under the licence to trade.

1115. But that is not possession of land ? — Yes, under the licence to trade wt
had various possessions in the country.

in(). Do you understand that a licence to trade gives you possession of the
land ? — We understood so.

1117. That is the interpretation which you give to the words “ariglit to
trade,” tiiat it gives you a right to the land ? — We conceive so.

1118. In fee-simple r — I do not say under wliat tenure, but we consider that
it gives us a right to the land.

1119. So that when you received by charter from the Crown a monopoly to
trade over certain portions of territory, you believe that the whole of that
territory was ceded to you? — No, not the whole of the territory that we trade
over, but the territory that we bring into cultivation.

1120. How much land did you bring into cultivation in Oregon ? — I really
cannot tell.

1121. Did vou hrini’ 100 acres ?– Five thousand acres.
1 1 ■22. Into cultivation ? — 1 es.

1123. And those are all tlic possessory rights which you have?— We have
various establishments all over Oregon ; we have them in various parts of the
Columbia Iliver and I’nget .Sound.

1124. Mr. Edicard E/lice.] Arc you not aware that in addition there is the
Puget Sound Company, wlio also have tliosc rights reserved under tiie treaty ?
— Yes, that is an oti’shoot of the Hudson’s Bay Company ; an agricultural esta-
blislnneiit formed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, or parties connected «ith or
interested in the Hudson’s Bay Company, encouraged by the Government of
the day.

1 12.’). Mr. Kiniuiird.]l gather from your evidence, that in stating the number
of people whom you employ, you do not consider the Indians who hunt for you to
be your servants ; — We do not.

ii2(). Is not the Company pledged to them by payments in advance? —
Decidedly; tluit is to say, an Indian to make his hunt must be provided with
certain neces-^aries to enable him to live during ihe winter ; he requires a gun ;
he requires anununition ; he requires blanketting.

1 127. Are they not to all intents and purposes your own servants hunting for
you, for which you pay them iu advance ? — There is no contract ; there is an
understanding that they will pay us if they can. If the Indian is sick, we lojc
the outfit.

1128. You make him payments in advance ; then you settle with him after the
hunt, and in the event of any illness, or .’^iekness, or of old age, you undertikc
to provide for him ? — We consider that a dead loss.

1 120. What provision do you make for the instruction of these Indians .’ — In
the ditlerent parts of the country favourable for settlement we always encourage
missions; but in many parts of the country it would be impossible to collect any
body of Indians ; the nieans of subsistence are not sufficient to do so

‘130. As the missions extended would you grant assistance ?— Decidedly ;
we are anxious to improve the condition of the Indians.

11,51. What grants in aid are given for the education of the half-breeds and
the Indians ‘i” — We give no grants in aid. Tiie half-breeds are <)uite in a coiidi- tJoM to jiay for tliemselves ; the inhabitants of the country ; the heads ol families. 1 132. And the Indians ? — They are brought to the missions. 1133. In lact, you thin'' they are able to tuke care of themselves, and you make no grants in aid for .-icir education? — No. 1134, The bank bank : to any j)ay th 1 1/ Red and a at (iO ' 114: in teres their "4! your of it; excliisi '1.1 ".0: chief Comp; ".5. now K| the Re the go ur, II 50 mil 1151 fact is 0.2 r, n SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, (i.5 es a sun ; 1134. The barter of ardent spirits, you said, was never allowed under any Sir G. (:,
circuinstances ? — Never for furs. In the Saskatchewan it is necessary to give

a small ijuantity’ ot spirits to tiie Plain Indians, as an inducement to bring in «6 Febmaiy 1857.
provisions, otherwise they will not do so; these are principally American Indians.
A small ([uantity is likewise given to some of the Indians at the Rainy Lake,
who supply us with dried sturgeon and wild rice.

1 13.5. Have any ordinances or rules been passed by the Council on the sub-
ject of ardent spirits ! — Yes

1 136. Can you put in copies of your rules with respect to ardent spirits ? —
The most ettectual rule is not to introduce the article.

1137. Have you no written minute from the Council? — No, I think not.
There can be very little spirit used, inasmuch as the whole importation is under
5.000 i,’al!ons.

1135. What is the amount of ardent spirits imported in the ships? — Four
thousiuid nine hundred and some odd gallons.

1 131). How is it distributed in the territory? — Two-thirds of that quantity are
for sale to the inhabitants of Red River, who would otherwise distil. We have
had great ditiiculty in prevei/.ing them from establishing distilleries in the

1140. Are tlie Company’s regulations, to your knowledge, violated in that
respect ? — I think not.

1 141. Have any of tlie othcers of the Company been called to account for bar-
tering ardent spirits where it was not necessary ? — No, not that I am aware of.
We ure so decidedly opposed to the use of spirituous liquor in any of our esta-
bhshments that no officer would venture to act in opposition to our desire.

1 14J. I think you said that the government of the country was vested in a
coimoil ? — Yes.

1 143. Are the transactions secret? — Not at all.

1 144. Are minutes kept .’ — Yes.

iH.”). And is it open to the |)ublic ; may anybody have access ? — All criminal
and other legal cases are tried at Red River, and are open to the public. There
was a trial by jury last year at Norway House which was open to the public ;
but our own deliberations with reference to the management of the trade of the
country are not open to the public.

ii4(i. Is there any bank cut there for the use of the servants ; any savings
bank or any place where they can deposit their savings ? — VVe have no savings
bank ; but the Company allo^v the interest of the day, 1 think it is four percent,,
to any parti* s who niiiy choose to leave their money in their hands, or they will
pay their balances, as tliey accrue from year to year, as they may desire.

1147. Is every facility given in that respect at the different posts? — In the
Red River Settlement we have gold, silver, and copper as a circulating medium,
and a puper currency. That jjajjcr currency is redeemable by drafts on London
at 60 days.

1 145. If any of your servants at the different posts wanted to place money at
interest, you would allow them four per cent, upon it r— Iftliey choose to leave
their money in our hands they get four per cent, for it.

1149. Have you it in contemplation to form a savings bank in any part of
your territory?— No; it has never been contem’ lited ; we have never thought
of it; it has never been susigested.

1 i.’jo. Mr. Lowe.] In “horn does the executive power reside ; in the governor
exclusively ? — The governor and his council.

M.’ii. The Council of Factors ? — Yis.

11,52. Consisting of 16 ‘.’— Yes ; and where there is not a sufficient number of
chief factors, the number is made up by chief traders ; that is as regards the
Company’s affairs, the business of the country.

1 153. As regards the government of the territory, how is it governed ; I am
now speaking not of trade, but of the general government of the territory? — In
the Red River Settlement, in the district of A.ssiniboia, tlic present recorder is
the governor of the district.

1 154. He has the executive power as well as the judicial : — Yes.

1 1,”).’). What extent cf territory is that over ? — The district of Assiniboia takes
50 miles hy the compass round the Red River Settlement.

n.^^”. Has he any assistance in that, or does he do it entirely himself? — The
fact is there is very little to be done in that respect.

i’–!5. I 1157. What




ii’ lie



i [
and no
ment t
from b
are pai



vould not
t was not

I not take

t, entitled
ickir sent
Ion, as an
Lich larger
rer, ajjpli-
)oit tallow
uently the
Uinutes of
:er of the
-breeds to
of which
Bay Coni-
aw of the
the trans-
ticulars ; I

refused by
I Hudson’s

does to the

lorts which
to settlers

-No ; there

iOw far it is
ed, at their
iviloge, but
s not true,
i correct to
nd the only

arlic. • prohibited for export is fur ; with tiiose two exceptions. •'” may import iiirG.Simp.ioii.
or export anytliinn; that anybody requires.

1 239. Then how do you explain the circum.stance of these i/ui’ties not being “G February 1357.
allowed to export their tallow ? — I do not exactly call to mind that circumstance.

I was not in the country at the time : it led to a good deal of correspondence ;
the thing is not quite fresh in my memory.

1240. Did you know a retired servant of the Company, Mr. Dunn r — I did
not know him, but there was such a man.

1241. In what capacity was he employed by the Company? — I think he was
originally a Green years aaro. I think.

1246. Mr. Gr<)gon.'\ Was he in the Company's service during the time that vou wire there ? — No. I never saw him. 1247. You mentioned that 5,000 gallons of spirits are imported into the country. Do you mean that that is the quantity of all the spirits imported ? — That is the whole quantity imported from England. Some of the settlers at lied River smuggle spirits into the country. We are unable to prevent it. 1248. Did you ever hear that Mr. Dunn had published a journal, in reference to his experience in the Hudson's Bay Company? — Yes, but I do not think I tver saw it. I do not recollect having seen it Upon the north-west coast of Ai.ici'ica, 1 have not the least doubt that npirituous liquor has been very much i.rused ; that was during ihe ojiposition with the United Statt^. 124Q. In 1832?— Yes. 1 2j«o. Y^ou gave us the number of chaplains that were employed and paid by th.; Company. Are those chaplains required to keep school? — They are encouraged to keep school. 1 25 1 . Are ihey required ? — No. 1252. The salary that you piiy them has nothing to do with their necessarily keepii.j a sdiool ? — No. They are likewise paid by the societies to which they belong ; Jie Church Missionary Society, or the Wesleyan Society. At Norway House, and at several of the Wesleyan establishments, very large schools are kept. 12,53. Are they paid for their services as schoolmasters by you or by the Missionary Society r -They are paid by us in aid of the mission. A salary is given to those parties in aid of the mission, and they keep schools, according to the instructions which they may have from the society to which they belong. 12.")4. i)o they receive any payment /'rom the scholars who frequent the schools .' i think not. \2f)^. For what period of time do your servants that go from tliis country engage with you ? — Generally five years. t2,')6. On the average do they return at the expiration 0' the five years? — No, I think they generally remain; I should say that six out of eight remain; they renew their contract over and over again. There are many servants who have been in the service 25 or .'50 years. I2,';7. As a general average, do they remain, say 20 years with you? — Perhaps barely 20 years at present. 1 2.58. Mut they remain a long time ? — Yes, many of our sci"vants remain a long time. Many of our servants remain altogether in the country. They retire from the service, and become settlers at the Ued River. 12.59. What is the highest salary that the Company pay their servants? — The price of labour has increased very much. It was some years ago 17/. sterling, and now it is increased to men coming direct f. om England on their first engage- ment to 20/. ; and it is raised according to their position afterwards. A man from being a common labourer, takes either the stern or tlie head of a boat ; being called the bowsman or the steersman; in that case, he is paid higher according to his capabihty as ■'•. boatman. Fishermen nre paid higher ; they are paid 30 /., 35 /., and lb l. in many cases ; tradesmen also are paid higher. 0.25. 1 3 1260. The j II 70 MINUTES OF I'VIDENCE TAKF,^' BEFORE THE WW [Iv '.W/. ^'' U t i Sir 0. Simpion. I j("u). The class that vou dcscrilie as labourers are paid 20/. to 30/., and lio I. ^— Ves. a6 February i8g-. \2(>\. What may be the salary of the superior officers .—Tbe factors and
traders have an interest in the trade ; they are partners.

iJtij. Mr. Kiuntiird.] The 1(J factors ■• — The 10 factors and the 29 traders.

i^tij. Mr. Grogaii.] Tliey are, to a certain extent, partners in tlie adven-
ture : — Yes.

rj()4. A v»itness informed us on tlie day that, with rofjard to the barter
between tlie trader or factor and tlie Indians, it was aU done accordinj; to a
tariff?— Yes, there is a tariff.

i2fi,5. Is that tariff settled by the council, the governor, and factors; oris
it settled in this country? — There is a tariff of very old standing; the Indian
and the trader perfectly understand each other as regards the taritl’.

iJi’ti. I5y wliom was the tariff settled?— The tariff was settled originaltv by
the original traders. It has been modified from time to time according to cir-

1 2(>-j. ‘1 he existing tariff in its nioditiud form is ratified and carried out bv the
council ? — Yes. It varies in different parts of the country.

1268. In the event of a varince of that tariff, who si-ttles that variance ? —
The council do.

1269. A question was put to you relative to any compensation or pension
which might be given by the Company to old officers or servants, auf] those
who might have received injuries in the service, and you stated that many of
them were extremely comfortable ? — Yes, many of them have retired with means
saved in the country.

1 270. Do you confine your answer to the superior officers, the factors, and
truders, or do you ixtend it to the servants? — I speak of labourers. I have
known labourers retire with from 200 /. to 300/. ; Orkney iabou’-^rs, who are
cxtnmely economical in their habits. I speak of those who have been in the
country for a great length of time.

1271. They have saved that money out of the wages of from 20/. to .30 /. a
year, and the four per cent, which you allow them for money which they do not
draw ? — Yes.

i.’72. Mr. Gordon.’] I think there is no other settlement of any importance,
besides the Red River, of whites living under the government, but not in the
service ot the Company, in your territory ; of course I do not apeak of Van-
couver’s Island ? — There is a small suttlement at a distance of about GO miles
from Red River, at a place called Portage la Frairie.

127 J. How

Mr. Roilnuk.] AVhereubouts is it ? — ‘J’hat is up the Assiniboine.
That is close to the Ued River? — Yes.

Mr. Gordon.] Is it in your power to sanction suth an establishment,
or is it only in the power of the Governor and the Company at home ?— We were
opposed to this settlement in the first instance as being difficult of management.
It was at such a distance from the seat of government, that we had not the same
control. If offences were connnitted, there were no constables witliin reach.
There were no means of laying; hold of the offenders.

1277. What reason made it much more difficult to communicate with it ? —
The distance of 60 miles is considerable.

127S. Is it 60 miles of interrupted river ? — I think it is about 60 miles from
Portage la Prairie to the Forts (Fort Ciarry).

1279 And the river comimmication is not good ? — The river communication
is not good.

1280. Mr Charles FitzwUliam.\ Is there no communicalion by land.’ — There
is a communication by land.

1281. Mr. Gordon.’] Is it in your power to sanction such an establishment
as that, or must it he the Governor and Com])any at home who sanction its
foniiation?— I referred to the Governor and Committee, who thought it desirable
that the settlement should not be established ; but no step was taken to
prevent it.

.2H2. They permitted it, hut did not sanction it ? — Yes.
1283. If I went and chose to settle there, might I do so without any opposi-
tion ? — Yes ; in any part of the territory, so far as I am aware, it has never


long has that settlement been established ? — .Seven or eight

1 274.












k« ^’< SELECT COMMITTE , ON THE IIITD«: ^ "S BAY COMPANY. 71 been objected to. There has never been a case 'here application has been sir O. Himpvm. made. 1J84. Supposing such application were made, ould it be encmraged. or 56 Fflbruary 1857. discouraged as you have discouraged it in this hii er case ? — That would be a Tiiatter lor consideration. 1 have not prepared my; elf to answer that. ijSi. Do you consider that your right to sell land is the same in those terri- tories which you hold under your charter, and in those which you hold under your license to trade r — No ; Ave do not considur that we have any right to sell land under our license to trade. I jSlt. \.m I mistaken in supposing that you said that you considered your- selves justified by your license to trade, in selling land in the Oregon country ? — A special provision was made in the treaty for such sale, respecting our possessory vit^hts. 1JS7. Mr. Edward JSi.. v. ] That related tc property "hich the Comjiany actually created ?— Yes. 1288. Mr. G^'doii.] Which you could occupy, but not sell?— We were pro- prietors as well as occupiers. IJ89. What are the conditions now required of any settler takin»er is generally the first thing
introduced in an American colony ? — Yes.

1301. Has there never been a wish expresseci by the settlers of the Red River
colony to have a newspaper there ? — Not thai I am aware of. I suggested ,
some years ago, that they should get up a newspaper, but they could not get
anybody to take charge of it.

1302. Can you tell me what is the freight per ton on goods iinported from
London to the Red River? — £.5 a ton, and 1 ‘. for lighterage and storage, and
being warehoused ; that is 6 /.

1303. It was lately a good deal higher than that, was it not, 8 /. or 9 1.1 —
No ; i think it was lower. I believe there has bto.i very little change.

1304. I have hoard it repeatedly stated, that the cheapest way of receiving
goods in the Red River for traders there is to have them transmitted by New
Orlciins, and along the Mississippi ; that it is cheaper than tluir going by York
Factory ; do you believe that to be the case? — Ti’ • freight to ^’01 k is 5 ^. a ton.
The freight from St. Paul’s to Red River is 18 /. a ton, or 16*. the piece of
100 pounds.

iSOf,. What is the distance from Red River to York Tactoryr— About 600
miles, I think; and the freight from York Factory is 20/. a ton to the Red River.

1306. Mr. Edward Ellice.] With regard to that freight, any person can take
the goods as cheaply as they like? — Thev ‘•an take them any way they please;

0.2,5. ^4 ‘we




I , . I ■”■a








Hit G.Simpsnii. we pay that amount oursclvos. Wo do not do our own transport ; we usually

employ tlu’ tViMj;litt’r.s at the Red llivtT. Diliereut tradci do :lu; transport for

•36 Fi-l)rmirv 1857. US i’roin York Factory to the Red River.

1,307. Mr. (lordoii.] What is the di^ttance from Red itiver to Lake Superior r
— Six hundred miles.

1 308. You think that the distance from York Factory to Red River is not
greater than from Fort William to Red River? — It is about the name, perliaps :
but the freight from l^ake Superior to the Red River in the transport of the
flour whieli I havf I liore mentioned, was 40.«. a pieci’, or 45 /. a ton.

ijof). The route i- m \ork Factory to Red River is not a very good one, is
it r — It is very bad as lar ns Norway House.

j;)io. ‘ . it not I e case that there have been petitions iVc n ‘.hn settlers in the
Red River to have that route improved ? — We cannot n .klcwally improve it.
It is not susceptible of improveuierit without a prodigious outlay ; such an outlay
as { ar trafVto would not aft’oi’d.

1311. Mr. BflL] Has tliere been a petition? — lam not aware of a petition.
We are very an.\iou8 that the route should be improved for our own purposes;
but the outlay for improvement would be more than the trade could aflord.

131 J. Mr. Gordon.] You say that it is very bad ; do you think it worse, or not,
so bad as the route to Fort William ? -It is not so bad, inasmuch as we can use
boats, carrying about three tons, between York Factory and Red River, and the
only means of transj)ort between Lake Superior and Red River is a small canoe.

1313. I sup|)ose, if the route to Lake Superior could be improved, it would be
the shortest route from Enulanct for goods ; there would be water communication
up to Lake Superir)r ? — Yes.

1314. It would be easier than by Hudson’s Bay ? — I think the route caimot
be improved stifficiently for the transport of goods.

‘3i.^’ What are the great difHculties on that route which prevent its being
improved ? — The depth of water in the river, the interruption from rapids and
falls, and the swampy chaacter ot the country.

i3i(>. Is not that the way which the old North-West Company used to
carry all their supplies for the use of the interior? — It is.

1317. Then they must have carried along there nearly as much as you carry
from York Factory ? — No ; it was not one-tenth of the transport that we have
from York.

1318. If i ui)f erstood you rightly, you said that the copy of the resolutions,
dated 184.’), \tas not authentic; I have a copy of the resolution witli respect to
the dutii-‘i tu b( paid on all imports into the settlement? — That resolution, I
think, ‘.•. = :■. (Iiiiir G. simpiou.

tor insluiicc, u part of Miickciizies llivcr, it occupies seven yeuis ; that is, (roni

the time the ijoods are shipped iii London until tlie returns are brought to sale in *^ leoruory i^i7.

I ;}-‘.■)•

schools, has any obstacle
■r ihc instruction of the
^c!i, i\lr. .James I-eitli. F


Then seven yciirs would he the extreme ? — Yew.

I3j(i. And w!\iit would he the inininuun .’— Kroni three to four years.

l;}j!7. It ranjies from three to seven years r — V^es.

l;VJS. y\v. Klniiitird.] You have not told us anything about the Uiiture ot the
iKipulatiou iu Vancouver’s Ishuid ? — I know very little about Vancouver’s Island ;
I have not lieen there since it Wiis cst’.iblished.

ijj(). (an you tell me the state of tlie population on the west of the Rocky
Mountains ; of the Indians there ? — The Indiiins aro all in u state of warfare in
Oregon. In tlie Hritish territory they are more independent ; they have a better
position as re;;ards means of subsistence than on the east side of the mountains ;
Hsil i- vi’i V abundant ; salmon.

1 ■_},,,.. is tiiere no process ff settlement : — None. Thece are Indian villages
along the coast, and salmon are very abundant, and deer are very al)undant, and
on some of the islands they raise pot. toes.

I ;;}!. Mr. CIhuIiii l”itziiilli(i»i. ] With refe” to
ever been put in the way of schools being e^la. ‘<"' Indians? — Never. On the contrary, they have i (33 J. Did you know Mr. I.i ithii a chief ' knew him intimately. 1 333. lie died some years ago 'f — Yes, 1334. lie had amassed a considerable sum of 1335. Which on his death he bc(|ueathed to >auous puiposes ? — Yes.

1331). Can >ou tell the Committee what tiiose purposes were? — I think the
))roiuotion of religion in the Company’s territories; religion or religious instruc-
tion ; 1 for;:et the precise terms.

1337. ^lr. Edward Ellice.] The amount was 10,000 /., was not it?— Ye».

1338. Mr. C/iiir/cs Fitzrcilluim.] Are you sure that it was not for education,
and not religion? – I cannot speak to the will, but the e.\( cutors, I think, were
the Bishop of London, the Dean of Westminster, the (iovernor of the Hudson’s
Bay Company, and his own brother.

1339. How has that money been a|)plied ? — To the suppoit of this mission.

1340. Of what mission? — The Bishop of Rupert’s Land.

1341. But a little while ago yon informed us that the Company paid to the
Bishop of Rupert’s Land a salary of ‘100/. a year ? — Yes.

1342. What has become of the income of 300/. a year, which is the interest
on 10,000/., more or less? — I am not able to answer the question. I cannot
state distinctly how the application of this money has been made.

1343. .Mr. ZiOMf.] You say that it goes to tlie Bishop of Rupert’s Land ? —
I think it is under his direction.

1344. Mr. Grogaii.] You spoke of the Company possessing rights in Oregon,
which rights w ere recognised under the treaty vvith America r — Yes.

1 34,5. What were those rights ; a licence to trade r — They were our posses-
sory rights, whatever they were ; there is a difficulty as to the interpretation of
possessory rights.

1346. Lands which you have improved and cultivated?— Yes. There is a
question as to what the possessory rights may be considered ; different lawyers
give diti’erent opinions upon the subject. The late Daniel Webster considered
that wherever our trappers wrought, wherever our wood-cutters hewed timber,
wherever our Hocks and herds ranged, we had jiossessory rights. Other lawyers
have given a different interpretation

1347. Had you the exclusive right to trade in that district ? — The same licence
to trade as we had on the east side of the mountains.

1348. Do you consider that you have that right now: — Yes; our licence to
♦”•ade has not expired yet ; it will expire in 1859.

1349. If an Knglishman went to that district and attempted to trade in furs,
do you consider that you would have the power to prevent his doing so? —
I think so.

1350. If un American were to do it, do you think you vrould have the power
to prevent him ?— I think so.

0.25. K 1351. Do





LO if


^ m



“^ 1^ 12.0




1.4 1.6

•« 6″













WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580

(716) 872-4503



I n

Sir O.Simpton. 1351- Do you think he would be prevented by you ? — I do not know that he

— would.

96 February 1857. 13,52. Mr. Edward EUice.’\ With reference to the council at Norway House,
is it not one of the objects ot the council to assemble together once a year the
persons having chary;e of tlie posts in distant parts of the country? — Yes.

•3,53- ‘n order that they may compare notes, and consult together in the
aggregate as to what should be done r — Yes.

1354. That is the only time for bringing them together? — Yes.

1355. The country, I believe, is as large as Europe r — The country is of pro-
digious extent : I have an estimate of the mileage.

1356. Mr. JdderUji/.] Would it not be possible to govern the country by
delegated authority at different distances from the centre ; do you suppose that
in the general settlement of the whole of this territory, as big as Europe, it would
be absolutely necessary always to refer home, on every detail of management, to
Norway House? — No, 1 should conceive not.

1357. Is it the case that there is that reference between the Government of
Red River and Norway House • -No.

1358. Is there none whatever? — No.

1359. Did you not state that the Company opposed themselves to another
settlement on” the borders of Red River, as being too distant from the seat of
government ?— They did not decidedly oppose it, but they discouraged it.

I /i6o.

On that ground ?-


-As being more (iifficult of management.

1361. From its distance from Norway House ?— No, iiom Assiniboia.
gaol, and court-house and police, are all in the settlement.

1362. When you Sfjcak of the seat of government, what do you mean ? — The
seat of government of -Assiniboia, which forms a circuit of 30 miles by the com-
pass from the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

1363. Have the inhabitants of the Red River Settlement any influence what”-
soever over the decisions of the council which govern them ? — ^The principal
inhabitants of Red River are themselves the councillors of Assiniboia, with the

1364. When you say tliut the recorder is governor ol’ Red River, do you mean
that he is ex officio always so .’—No ; he w as considered a very tit man to hold

both offices. , , , 1 • • 11 1

1365. He was so appointed r—\ es ; he was the recorder ongujally, and on
the retirement of the former governor he had the commissio-i of governor like-

1366. Who appoints his council ?— They are appointed by tiie Company, at the
suggestion of the governor, or on the application of any of the inhabitants.

1 367 But is it an appointment by the governor, or an application by the
habitants r— Both. The Company is willing to appoint anybody who may be

He was


considered a fit person qualified for the office.

1368. What is the name of the present recorder ?— hrancis Johnson,
a Queen’s counsel in Canada. . , , r,,,

i3(i(). For what length of time are the members appointed?— I here is no

limitation of the time. * ., , ■ ^ a ■ t tu

,370. Are their appointments for life? -No; there is no hxed i)eriod ; they

are appointed councillors.

M71. During pleasure? -During pleasure. . , „, . »»

n72 Are the council at Norway House appomted m tlie same way .— At

Norway House the factors are councillors under their comnussioii.

,373 Are they appointed during pleasure ?-No; it is whde they hold the

commission of factor. , ,, .. ^ ^e ^o:„„

,374. For the whole length of the tenure ?-Ye8, the tenure of otbce.

1 37-;. Mr. Edward Ellice.] That is under the charter ?— It is.

1376. Mr. Adderley.-] Is your appointment an appointment for life r— No ;
my appointment is by the Governor and Committee.

1377 Mr. Roebuck.} I think it is a double government. You hav.; a govern-
menVin England and one in Hud.on’8 Bay, have you not?-The Governor and

Company are the superiors ; they have the supreme direction.

1378. The Governor and Company i” England appoint the Governor


Hudson’s Bay ?— They do

1379. According


Sir G. Simpsm.

1379. According to their will and pleasure, and his appointment is revoked at
tlieir will and pleasure? — It is so.

I ;8o. So that, in fact, the Goteriior out there is the downright servant of the “^ February 1857.
Governor and Company here ? — He is positively their servant.

i;^8i. And wiiat they desire him to do he is bound to do? — He is.

13S2. Where does he live usually when he gets to that country ? — I have been
the Governor for the last 37 years, and I have lived nearly all over North
Ameiica. I have lived in Oregon, I have lived in Hudson’s Bay, in Red River,
at York Factory, and in Athabasca. I have travelled the whole country over.

1 383. There are no head-quarters of the Government, then, and tlie talk about
the Governor and council is a mere idle statement ? — No. The Governor of
Assiniboia is resident upon the spot.

1384. I remark that you always allude to your Ked River Government at
Assiniboia ; did you not just now say that that simply occupied a circuit of 50
miles by the compass ?— Ves.

138,5. And the whole countrj’, you have told us, and the map tells us also, is
as large as Europe ? — Yes.

138(1. So that when you talk of that small territory, it is like talking of San
Marino, in Europe r — Criminals would be sent down to Assiniboia.

1387. If a murder were committed on the shores of the .-Arctic Sea, would the
mail be sent down to Assiniboia r— Yes, in the first instance.

138R. Have you ever known an instance of a murder on the shores of the
Arctic Sea : — Not on the shores of the Arctic Sea, but within the Arctic circle.

1380. Can you state that case to me? — I cannot give all the details from

1390. Mr. Edward Ellirc] Was that the case which you spoke of before
to-day ? — Y’es ; Creole le Oraisse was one ; there were three.

139 1 . Mr. Roebuck.] So that in your long life there of 30 odd years you have
known three cases?— That was one particular case; those three person? were
accomplices ; tiiey were sent to Canada for trial.

1392. Are those the only cases which you recollect r — ^The only cases in the
Arctic regions, that I recollect.

‘393- How many criminals do yon suppose are annually tried at Assiniboia ?
— I think the whole of the criminal cases within my recollection are but 19 in
the 37 years.

1394. And that you call administerinji; justice in that country ? — Yes.

139.5- We may take that as a specimen of the administration of justice in those
countries under the rule of the Hudson’s Bay Company ? — Of the absence of
crime, I should hope ; we claim to ourselves great credit.

1396. Do you mean to say that in your tenure of office there for 37 years there
has been only in fact 19 criminals in that country? — I think so.

1397. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Are those serious cases or minor ofieucea? —
Serious cases.

1398. Mr. Roebuck.] Take murders: do you mean to say that in all your term
of office of upwards of 30 years, there have been only 19 murders committed in
the whole of the Hudson’s Bay territory? — There were II people killed in this
particular case which I am referring to.

1399. Do you mean to say that in the 37 years of your gor-inment of that
country there have been only 19 murders committed? — Nineteen cases; I said
there were 1 1 murders in that first case which I spoke of.

1400. I want to ascertain what has been the administration of justice in Uiat
country ; I want to know how many persons have been brought to justice ; you
tell me 19? — Since 1821 there have been 19 cases of homicide in which the
Hudson’s Bay Company’s people were concerned ; in 1 1 punishment was inflicted ;
one prisoner was tried and acquitted ; one was a case of justifiable homicide ;
three accused parties died before being captured, and in three cases there was no
evidence to proceed against them ; those arc the 19 cases.

1401. Do vou say that that fairly represents the state of crime in that country ?
—I do.

1402. Do you mean to say that since 1821, the date that you have quoted,
there have been only those 19 cases of murder in that country? — In which the
Company’s people were concerned ; in the wars that take place in the plains
among the Blackfeet there are cases in which we cannot interfere.

0.25. K 2 1403. I refer




1 1



Sir 6 Jlimpson. 1403. I refer to cases over which the recorder has jurisdiction ? — Yes.
1404. That is your estimate of the crime in that country ?— Yes.
«6 February 1857. ,^(,^ jyj^ Edward Ellicc.’} In short, it is your knowledge ?— Yes, as far as
my knowledge goes.

1406. Mr. Roebuck.] I have a book in my hand published by you I think in
1847 ? — Very possibly.
• 1407. How long had you been then Governor of that country? — Twenty-seven


1408. And 1 suppose that in those 27 years you had acquired a good detil of
experience ? — Yes.

1 409. Arc we to take this book as the result of your experience of 27 years ?
— I think you may.

1410. And all that you stated then was your view after 27 years’ experience
of that country ? — I think so.

1411. So that if you had died at that moment, which I am very happy to see
that you did not, we might have taken this book as your view of that country ?
— Y’es.

1412. Has anything happened since that time to alter your views of tiiat
country r — No, I do not know that 1 have materially altered my views in regard
to it.

1413. I know that this passage has been read to you before, but its matter
has struck me very much, from its poetry as well as otherwise, and 1 will read
it again, and ask you why, if you have changed your opinion, you have changed it :
“The river which empties Lac la Pluie into the Lake of the Woods, is, in more
than one respect, decidedly the finest stream on the whole route. From Fort
Frances downwards, a stretch of nearly a hundred miles, it h not interrupted
by a single impediment, while yet the current is not strong enough materially to
retard au ascending tiaveller. Nor are the banks less favourable to agriculture
than the waters themselves to navigation, resembling in some measure those
of the Thames uear Richmond. From the very brink of the river there rises a
gentle slope of greensward, crowned in many places with a plentiful growth of
birch, poplar, beech, elm, and oak. Is it too much for the eye of philanthropy
to discern, through the vista of futurity, this noble stream, connecting as it
does the fertile shores of two spacious lakes, with crowded steamboats on its
bosom, and populous towns on its borders”? — I speak of tiie bank of the river

1414. I am going to direct your attention to the river itself; the river itself
was at that time capable of bearing steamboats r — Quite so.

1415. Is it not so now ? — It is.

1416. And the Land was very fertile then, you say ? — ^The right bank of the
river which I speak of, indeed both banks, the lip of the rive*

1417. You say, ” Nor are the banks less favourable ;” you ■> lO both*banks r
— Yes ; I confine myself to the banks ; the back country is o le deep morass,
extending for miles.

1418. So that anybody reading that passage would have very much mistaken
the nature of the country if he had thought that that was the description of it ?
— Not as regards the banks ; I confine myself to the banks.

1419. Does a traveller usually give such descriptions of a country as that? — ■
Yes, I, as a traveller, did so.

1420. Then we may take that to be a specimen of your view of the country?
— You may.

1421. I will now direct your attention to that portion of the country stretchiag
round the Red River Settlement. Supposing you took the compass as far as the
boundary line, and struck a circle roup 1, how far is the Red River Settlement
from the boundary ? — About 50 miles.

1422. That would be a diameter of 100 miles ? — Yes.

1423. Supposing you took a square, and you included Lake Winnipeg, up to
the north, and went to Cumberland House, and you then came down the parallel
of longitude 105°, making a very large square of 10 degrees of longitude and five
degrees of latitude, you would have a large territory, would not you r — It would
be a large territory.

1424. A good large colony ? — Yes.

1425. Supposing


142.5. Supposing that were done, and it were erected into a territory, say at
the end of the United States ; do yuu suppose that that country could be self-
supporting ?— I think not.

J42fi. Why ? — On account of the poverty of the soil ; along the banks of the
river I have no question that a settlement might be self-supporting ; a popu-
lation thinly scattered along the banks of the river might support themselves,
but a dense population could not live in that country ; the country would not
afford the means of subsistence.

1427. That is your view of the country ? — That is my view of the country.

1428. You are here to tell us that the country is very barren, and could not
support a population ? — It could not support a large population, and, moreover,
there is no fuel ; the fuel of the country would be exhausted iu the course of a
very few years.

i4.i9. Why is tliere no fuel ; are thers no woods ? — No woods ; all that prairie
country is bare of woods.

1430. And yet I see the country upon this map marked green, and they tell
me that that signifies the woody country ? — Yes, that is the woody country.

1431. Mr. Grogan.l You described the river at the Rainy Lake, in the passage
read by Mr. Roebuck, as capable of bearing steamboats at the time that book
was written ? — Yes.

1^32. For about GO miles of its distance.^ — Probably about 60 miles.

1433. Is it in the same condition now ? — Yes; from the outlet of Rainy Lake
to the Lake of the Woods, there are four rapids.

1 434. But those rapids you do not consider would be an impediment to steam
navigation r — Two of them would be, and a third rapid, at the establishment,
would be an impediment.

M3.5- What may be its extent r — It is a waterfall of about 40 or 50 feet.

1436. For a quarter of a mile, or less ?— The portage formed by this waterfall
is a quarter of a mile.

1437. You would then get into the Rainy Lake; that is navigable, of course r

1438. For a steamer ?— Yes.

1439. ^ hen I see a series of small lakes going down towards Whitewood ;
are they navigable r — No.

1440. Am I to understand you that, from the Lake of the Woods down to
Whitewood Lodge or House, it would be navigable for a steamboat also?— No,
but to the end of Lac la Pluie.

1441. What distance is that altogether; is it 60 m’es?— The Lake of the
Woods is about 60 miles.

1442. A second 60 miles ? — A second 60 miles.

1443. That would be 120 ?— Yes. The river ‘runs from the Rainy Lake down
to the Lake of the Woods, and from the Lake of the Woods the River Winnipeg
flows down to Lake Winnipeg.

1444. Is it navigable for that distance ?— Not the River Winnipeg. There
are a number of portages in it, and the river is not navigable except ^y boats.
The part of the navigation which is fit only for canoes is from the Ramy Lake
to Fort William, Lake Superior.

1445. What distance is that r— That is about 300 miles.

1446. Mr. Edward EUice.] Are reports of the conduct of each servant sent
in by the chief factors and traders every year?— No ; reports upon the character
of the whole establishment are sent in ; if there is any thing remarkable it is

1447. And each chief factor is responsible for the conduct ot the servants

under him ? — Decidedly.

Sir G. Simpioiu




i ‘■ ‘

afi February 1357.






LnncE, 2° die Martii, 1857.

MEMBERS present;

Ml. Adiierlcv.

Mr. Bell.

Mr. Bliickburn.

Mr. Edward Ellicf.

Mr. Charles Fitzwilliani.

Mr. Gladstone.

Mr. Gordon.

Mr. tiregAi)!).

Mr. Grogan.

Mr. Guriif V.

Mr. Percy Hi-.rberi.
Mr. Kinnaird.
Mr. Labouchere.
Mr. Lowe.
Sir John I’akington.
Mr. Rueback.
Lord Joliii Rusitelj.
ViscouiK Sandoii.
Lord Siaiilev.

The Rioht Hon. HENRY LABOUCHERE m the Ch.ur.

Sir George S’tnqysoii, called in ; and further Examined.

9\r G. Simptoti. 144^. Mr. Kdivard Ellice.] YOU were asked the other day to ham! in a copy

of tlie land deed by which tiio Company convey land to settlers at Red River ‘

a March 1857. — Yes ; here it is. The leading conditions are, not to deal in furs; not to distil
or import spirituous liquors ; to resist foreign invasion, and to promote religious
Vide Appendix, instruction. — ( T/ic same was delivered in.)

1440. With regard to the Indian Settlement at Cumberland, you were asked
sonic ([ucstions with reference to a sum of money of 10,000/. which was left by
the late »V(r. Leith, who had been in the Company’s service? — Yes.

1450. Will you have the goodness to explain that matter ? — The words of the
bequest are the following : The legacy by James Leith was ” for the purpose of
establishing, propagating and extending the Ciiristian Protestant religion in and
amongst tlie native aboriginal Indians of Rufiert’s Land.” The fund, with the
accuuiiiiutions of interest, now amounts to 13,345/.

1451 . Mr. Roebuck.] What are you quoting from ? — ^The words of the will.
14 ‘”,2. Is that the only statement in the will ; does the will say nothing of the

means by which religion is to be propagsUed .’ — No. These are the words :
” For the purpose of eetabUshing, propagating, and extending the Christian
Protestant religion in and amongst the native aboriginal Indians of Rupert’s

^A.’i’.i- Is that all ?— That is all that is said upon the subject.

1454. Mr. Ed’uxird Ellice. \ I think you stated the other day that the money
was left to certain trustees!- — Yes. The sum now amounts to 13,345/. Three
per Cent. Consols.

1 455. Mr. Boelmck.] That you do not quote from the will ? — No.

1456. Mr. Edward Ellke.’] That is lodged in Chancery, is it not? — Yes, it
is now in Chancery.

1457. By whom is it administered? — It was commilted to the Bishop of
Rupert’s Land by the Court of Chancery, upon the understanding that the
Hudson’ Bay Company would add to t^c Bishop’s income a salary of 300/. per
annum, and provide him with a residence.

1458. Which the Company did:— Yes. The executors are, I think, the
Bishop of London, the Dean of Westminster, the Governor and Deputy-Governor
of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and his own brother, Mr. William Leith.

1459. They are the trustees by whom the fund is administered? — Yes.

1460. VVith regard to the pensions of retired servants of the Company, have
you anythinj^ to add to your former statement? — Yes. I was asked whether
there was any pension for retired servants. There is a sum of 300/. a year
set aside from the profits uf tiie trade to pension old and deserving officers.
To servants and others not entitled to participate in that fund, special grants



are made on the ncommendation of the councils. When servants are incapa-
citated by age for active duty, they are superannuated, and kept at the posts as
supernumeraries, rendering such voluntary si rvice as they please in return for
their food and clothing.

1461. You were also asked to put in the census of the Red River population.
Have vou it ?–Yes.

1462. Will you put it in ‘^ — {The Witness delivered in the same.) The total
population shown is 6,500; add the population of Portage la Prairie, Manitobah,
and Pembina, l.oOO ; making a total of 8,000.

I4(i3. Mr. Roebuck.] Will you tell us where those places are, so that we
may know the area of country ? — They are parts of the Red and Assiniboine
Rivers. The settlement extends along those rivers, up and down, above and
below the fort.

I ^64. You stated a certain number of names. I want to know where those
names are upon that map ? — I am statinju; where the first is.

146,5. The first is the Red River Settlement? — Yes.

Mfiti- What is the next ? — The next is Portage la Prairie, about 60 miles
above Red River, upon the Assiniboine ; Manitobah is about 60 miles in a
northerly direction, upon a lake of that name.

i4t)7. Mr. Edivard RUiceJ] Will you point out Pembina? {The same was
pointed out.)

14(“)8. Mr. Roebuck.’] What is the number of the population in those places?
— Eight thousand.

14(19. Whites and altogether? — Yes.

1470. Mr. Edicard Etlice.] Have you put it in in detail ? — Yes.

1471. You were also asked to put in the census of the Indian population in
detail over tiie whole territory ? — Yes. Here is the census of the Indian popu-
lation. Tiiei e is a list of the Company’s trading posts, and the estimated number
of Indians frefjuenting those posts. [The Witness delivered in tliesame.)

1472. Mr. Roelmck.] Will you state the total? — The Indians, east of the
n.ountains, 55,000 ; west of the mountains, 80,000 ; Esquimaux, 4,000.

>473- What is the date of that census ? — Last year.

1474. Have you any census for 20 years back ? — We have no regular census.
It is a very ditHcult matter to get a census ; the tribes are so migratory that it is
impossible to fill up a correct census ; this is an estimation.

147,”,. Did the Company ever attempt to make a census in times past? — We
havo attempted it in various jjarts of the country.

1476. Have you that census ?— T have no census.

1477. Could you get it?— Not in less than two or three years; two years

1478. Why would it take you that time to get it? — On account of the dis-
tance ; sending off now, we could not get the census in the most remote part of
Mackenzie’s River before IS months or two years from this date.

1470 I asked you if the Company had made attempts to get a census some
years back, and you said they had ? — Yes, we have, from time to time, in different
parts of the country.

1480. Can you put the Committee in possession of those censuses? — I think

1481. Why not? — I do not know that they have been sent here. But our
estimate of the population has been confirmed by travellers ; for instance, Colonel
Lefroy took an estimate of the population.

1 482. You give the census now. I want to get the census 20 years back, to
know whether the population has increased or decreased? — I cannot supply

1483. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Colonel Lefroy’s estimate was made in 1843, I
think ; that is 13 years ago? — Yes.

1484. When was Major Warre’s made; in 1845, 1 think? — Yes.

1 485. With regard to the use *” spirituous liquors, you were asked the other
day whether there were any rules in the council, or any published regulations
regarding them ; have you got any such rules ? — Yes. I have first an extract
from the standing rules and regulations of the fur trade, dated 1843, prohibiting
the use of spirituous liquors. Likewise, a copy of the 42d minute of the
council for the southern department, dated 1851, prohibiting the importation
of spirituous liquors into that department. Thirdly, a copy of an agreement,

0.25. K 4 dated

Sir G. Simpiun.
3 March 1857.

Vide Appendix.

Vide Appendi.x.




iihi< !i; 'III ! } ■ l^ Hit c.Simpton. dated 13th May 1842, between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Rustiian- American Company, proliibiting tlie use of spirituous liquors on the north-west a March 1857. coast of America. yide Ap(>»nilii. 148(1. Will } ou hand those in r — {The Witness (Jelinred in the snuie.)

14S7. You were also asked with reference to the refusal of the Company to
export some goods belonging to a man named Sinclair, at Red River? — Ves.

1488. Have you any explanation to give of that circumstance? — In 1844, Mr.
Sinclair forwardrd to Y’ork a (juantity of tallow, for the purpose of shipment to
England in the Company’s vessel. The ship was so full, that a iar;;e quantity of
theCompaiiy’s property and Mr.Sinclair’s tallow were left out. As it was doubtful
Mhether room could be found in the following season, the Company took the
tallow off the hands of Mr. Sinclair, on his own terms, on the 25th of July 1845.
But although the property of the Company, it remained there for a year after-
wards, for want of room in our ships.

1489. Mr. lioehuck!] Was there any attempt to accumulate tallow by other
persons, besides Mr. Sinclair, the next year? — Mr. Sinclair, and, I think, Mr.
M’Dermot, collected tallow, and sent it down for shipment to York lactory.

1490. The next year? — In the year 1844.

1491. That was the first year ; I asked you with reference to the second year?
— The second year I am not aware that there was any tallow shipped.

1492. Was there an accumulation of tallow by other parties besides Mr. Sinclair
in that territory ? — I think not.

1493. There was none brought? — None that I am aware of; Mr. Sinclair and
Mr. M’Dermot were the only two parties that I have any recollection of as having
coI]( cted tallow for the purpose of shipment to F^ngland.

1494. I think you say the Company left the tallow there, and they did not
buy it until the next year ? — They could not ship it ; a large quantity of the
Company’s goods were likewise shut out.

1495. That is to say, the Company having the exclusive right of trading there,
did not provide shipping enough to carry it on r — Yes ; there was not shipping
enough that season.

1496. Mr. Edward Ellice.] But I think you stated the other day that there
was no objection on the part of the Company to any other person chartering a
freight if he liked ; to take away or to bring anything lie wanted ? — Not at all ; 1
have suggested to Mr. M’Dermot and Mr. Sinclair, and various other people, that
they had better charter a ship for themselves.

1497. Mr. Roebuck.] Do you mean to say that the Company would allow any-
body to send ships into Hudson’s Bay, to trade in that part of the world r — No,
not for the purpose of trade ; I said that the inhabitants of Red River are quite
at liberty to import their own supplies in their own ships.

1498. How much tallow was there ? — ^There may have been a few tons ; I do
not exactly recollect the number of packages.

1499. -^nd you suggested to the senders that they should get a large ship, to
carry 200 tons of tallow ? — No ; we take out about 10,000 /. worth of property for
them sometimes.

1500. You say that you oifefed to those gentlemen, Mr. Sinclair and Mr.,
IM’Dermot, the power to charter a .ship to carry that tallow to England? — Yes ;
at that time they were talking of forming a large association for the purpose of
breeding cattle for the export of tallow, and for growing hemp or flax ; I suggested
that they should charter a vessel for themselves for such puqioses.

1501 . Mr. Edward Ellice.’] Have the Company ever chartered vessels so small
as 200 tons to take out their property ? — Yes, several ; there was a ship called
the ” George,” and others.

1502. Mr. Roebuck.] There were 200 tons of tallow left behind that year? — 1
do not say there were 200 tons, but there was a quantity of tallow : I cannot fix
upon any specific amount.

1503. You say there was no increase of that quantity the next year? — No, I do
not think there was any.

1504. And you suggested to these parties that they might then charter a
vessel to carry home that tallow? — No, not then, but previously for many years
I had suggested it ; they talked of forming a large export trade of colonial
produce; I said, “Very well ; there can be no objection on the part of the


)r)05. We are now directin;; our attention to this portion of tallow, and you Sit O. Simpioii.

tell us I hat you suggested to tdeae parties that tliey might charter a ship ; did

yon suggest to them that they might charter a ship to carry home that tallow ? a March 18^7.

i,’>u6. What did they do with that tallow r — They sold it to the Company.

1507. They could do nothing else I suppose? — ^Th^y miglit have allowed it to
remain there till there was an opportunity of exporting it.

1.508. Till it pleased the Company to take it homer — No, not till it pleased
the Company to take it home, but till they had an opportunity.

1.509. What opportunity could they have?- Their own ships.

151U. That is to f>ay, if they chartered ships according to your suggestion ?
— The Company have certain ships; they generally send two ships a year to
York Factory, and if there was room in those shii>8, they would naturally take
tallow as a matter of course, or any other (iroduce they miglit have.

151 1. • Do you not think that a mode of proceeding uhiuh would put an end
to all trade i — No ; I think if the trade was sufficiently extended, the Company
would piovide shipping, or ihe settlers might provide shipping themselves.

1512. Was not there more produce than the Company’s ships could carry
home upon that occasion ? — Yes ; perhaps there were 30, 40, 50 or 60 tons.

1513. I understood you 200? — You said 200; I said there were a few
hundred weight, or possibly tons.

1514. It was for that that they were to charter a ohip ? — No.

I5)i.<). Mr. Greffson.] Did you not say that you had not sufficient tonnage that season for your own goods?— We had not sufticient tonnage that season for our own goods ; we were obliged to leave out some of our own goods. i5i(). Mr. Jioehuck.] That is to say, you did not charter vessels enough even for your own trade? — Yes. 1517. And yet you were traders? — Yes; it very frequently happens in the port of London, as in every other port, i believe, that goods are left out. 1518. With respect to the manufactured goods which you take out to that territory, have you any account of the amount of goods which you annually take out to that territory f — No. 1.519. Could you get it ? — I could ; I could obtain an estimate of it. 1.520. Possibly, not knowing the actual quai>tity, you can tell me tlie mode
in which the goods, whatever may he the quantity, are distributed ? — 1 think
the imports into the country by the Company are about 60,000 /. a year ; at
the York Factory, Moose and East Main ; that is to say, to the Bay.

1521. Can you give me any idea how that 60,000/. worth of goods is
distributed over that immeuse territory r — I think about two-thirds of that
quantity of goods is given to the Indians ; however, this is merely an approxi-
mation ; I have no ii>iures.

1522. What was the number of Indians which you just now stated ?- On the
east side of the Rocky Mountains, 55,000.

1523. 1 suppose that quantity is confined to the east side of the Ricky
Mountains ? — Yes.

1524. You distribute 40,000/. worth of g:oods among 65,000 Indians? — I
think that is about the estimate.

1 525. What are those goods usually composed of? — British manufactures ;
the staple articles are blankets, cloths, arms, ammunition, iron works, axes,
and various things.

1526. I will direct your attention to arms; in what way are they sold; are
they sold by bat ter or for money ? — They are sold by barter.

1537. For so many skins? — For so many skins.

1528. When you sell a gun to an Indian, do you ever take inferior skins for
that gun ? — We outfit the Indian.

1.529. Cannot you answer me that question? — We do not sell a gun for
skins ; we give «he gun to the Indian, as everything else, on credit, and he pays
for those supplies in the spring of the year.

1530. Supposing a gun is sold to an Indian, would you take in payment an
inferior kind of skins? — We lake in payment whatever he can give us.

1 53 1 • If an Indian had nothing but musk rat skins, you would take those ? —

0.35. L 1532. Do



‘ ‘(^






i 1″ f


Sir (y. Simpton.
3 March 1897.

Do you mean to tell me that?—
Indian whatever he could give

1 mean to say that we would take
us. The Indian must have certain

from an


i.’)3;}- My question is a very plain one; would you take musk rat skins in
payment for a gun from an Indian? — Certainly; we take whatever the Indian
can give us.

1534. And you nicun to state that to me, that fjuns are sold to Indians with
the full undtistiindinK that they may pay \ou i)ack in musk mt skins • — If an
Indian lias nothing but musk rat skins, we will take musk rat skins.

K’^’^5• Sujiposing that were to occur with an Indian once, would he lie likely
to get a second gun r — Yes, decidedly, if he required it.

i,’)3(i. Do you know the relative proportions between musk rat skins and
beavirs ? — We have a variety of tarilTn ; it depends upon the part of the
country where the goods are traded ; as, for insiimce, in Canada we pay in
a great degree money for our furs. On the American frontier we pay fre(|uently
in money ; in ihe interior if is principally a barter trade ; and on the frontier we
are regulated in ourpricts by the prices given by opposition.

i.-)37- Are ihe prices rather higher upon the frontier than they are in the
interior of the country ? — Yes.

1,538. Does not that arise from the competition ? — Yes.

1.530. So that the Indian, where there is competition, gets more than he does
where there is none .-—He does.

1540. Does not that rather improve the condition of the Indian ? — No, cer-
tainly not.

i,’)4i. So that getting more does not improve him? — No, it does not improve
his condition. 1 think that the condition of the Indian, in the absence of oppo-
sition, is better than where he is exposed to opposition.

1542. Chuiniiaii.] For what reasons’ — The absence of spirituous liquors.

1543. Mr. Rotbuck.] First of all let us understand this: in the interior of the
country you say \ou barter with the Indian ?— Yes

i.’;44. And on the frontier you give him money? That frequently happens

in some parts of the country.

• 545- On the frontier he gets a larger price for his
interior ? — Yes.

1546. And you say that notwithstanding that, he is better off in the interior
than he is on the frontier, becau.^e in the one case he gets spirituous liquors,
and in the other case he does not ? — .\nd in other respects. The Indian in the
interior depends upon us fur all his supplies ; whether he is able to pay for ihem
or not, he gets them ; he geii his blankets, he gets his gun, and he gets his am-
munition If from death in his family, or any other cause, he makes no hunt, it
cannot be helped.

1547. I suppose you recollect ihatyou distribute among the Indians less than
1 /. a head .’ — Very possibly we do.

i.”,4ii. I want you to tell me.the condition of the Indian in the interior : is he
ever starved to death in the winter ? — Very rarely.

1,5^9. Ho that if travellers tell us that story tiiey tellus a traveller’s story ? —
Indians do starve us v^hites do starve sometitiies.

1.550. lia\e you ever heard of Indians being reduced to cannibalism during
the winter ?— Yes. I think 1 have, and uf whiles likewise.

1.5′, 1. Because they have not en( agh to eat, I suppose? — Yes.

1.5.52. Upon what, in the hunlinu territory, does the Indian live? — lathe
prairie country he Vi^e^ principally upon buffalo meat.

1.5.53. Does the burtalo reach to where the fur country is ? — There are a few
furs in the buttalo country.

1.5.54. 1 8m talking ot the fur country, where the people pass their time in
hunting tor furs : how do they live in the winter’ — They live in a great degree
upon fish.

1.5.5,5. Are they from one year to another fully supplied with fish? — I think
generally speaking they are.

1 ,5.56. Vou still have instances in your recollection of cannibalism occurring? —
Cannibalism has occurred repeatedly.

‘557« When did it occur in your recollection?— I do not exactly recollect;

I think

goods than he does iti the


Bome cases of cannibulidra in tlie last few years in the sir O. Siwtpmm.

I think there were
Athabiiscii country.

IV, 8. I hav*! before me a letter of Mr. Kennedy: I suppose von have heard
of Mr. Kennedy? — Tliere are several Kennedys; which Korimdy do you
mean ?

i5-,t(. He is n person who has quarrelled with your Company, 1 believe; and
he wrote a letter to Lord Klgin ? — William Kennedy.

i.8.’i. Mr. lioihucA.] You distinctly said that Nascopie was a station belonging
to the Hudson’s Bay Company r — Ytn.

158(). This account xpiaks of Nascop’e ? — Yes.

1 ‘,>S7. Therefore it belongs to the tludson’s Hay Company? — It did belong; to
the Hudson’s Bay Company.

i/jSH. Mr Orogan.] Has it ever been abandoned? — I do not even know
whether it is at present occupied or not.

i.ijSc). Mr. Kdward Etlice.\ It is still occupied ? — Yes.

i.’ion. Mr. UotbiicA.] So that it still belongs to the Hudson’s Bay Company?
— It always has belonged to the Hudson’s Bay Company, when it hm been

i.5()i. It just now belonged to Labrador: — LTpon the coast of Labrador; we
have establishments upon the coast of Labrador.

i,59-.>. Mr. Biackhum,] Are these posts sometimes in Labrador, and some-
times in the Hudson’s Bay territory P — Tlicy are moved as circumstances may
render advisiible.

1.503. Mr. Roebuck.] But they are always under the command of the Hud-
son’s Bay Comp.iny ? — Yes.

1594. So that wherever they are moved to they belong to the Hudson’s Bay
Company t— Hudson’s Bay establishments are under the control of the Hudson’s
Bay Company, but there are other establishments in the immediate neighbour-

1595. Chairman.’] Is there any arrangement with the government of Labra-
dor, by which you use that territory for your purposes 7 — It is open for any-

1596. In truth it is practically unoccupied? — Yes.

1,597. Mr. Roebuck.] Will you allow me to read to you another passage:
” There are some extensive tracts xii country in which the means of subsist-
ence are scnnty in the extreme. In the region lying between Lake Superior
and Lake Winnipeg, the natives, during the winter, can with difficulty collect
enough of food to support life. In the country lying immediately north of
the Canadas, though fur bearing animals are still comparatively numerous, and
the trade consequently valuable, the poor Indians have at all times a hard
fight against famine. In this tract of country fish is at all seasons scarce, and
in winter the »ole dependence of the natives for subsistence is placed upon
rabbits (the most wretched food upon which to exist for any time that can pos-
sibly be conceived), and when these fail the most fri;>htful tragedies at times
take place. Parents have been known to lengthen out a miserable existence l)y
killing and devouring their own offspring ; ” do you believe that r — That is an
exaggerated statement.

1 598. Did you ever know a book called ” The Life of Thomas Simpson ” ? —
I did.

1599. By whom was it written? — It was written by Mr. Thomas Simpson,
I believe.

i6oo. And if that is an extract from Mr. Thomas Simpson’s book, you say it
is an exaggeration?— I do not know what part of the country he speaks of.

1601. Between Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg?— There is a very thin
population there.

ifioj. Who was Mr. Thomas Simpson?— Mr. Thomas Simpson was a distant
relative of mine.

I lioj. Was not he a long time in the Company’s service ?~ No.

1604. Was


1(104. Was not he n lon/^ time in that country r — No ; when I (ay not a long
tinu’, I Hpeak comparatively. 1 think lie may liuve lieeii six or seven } cart in the
country alto^lher, i>r seven or eight years with me.

i(io.<;. You Nay that that siatement made hy him (because you say tlie life is written by himselOi is an exaggeration r — Yes ; bet^veen Red Uiver and Lake Superior, which I b<'lieve is the tract of country he speaks of, tlie population is exceedingly thin, and never was numerous. I ()()(). Do you know a book called " Ballanlyne's Hudson's Day''?— Yes, I have read it. I (toy. In that book thrre ix this statement : "At these posts the Indians are frequently reduced to cannibalism, and the Comimny's people have on more than one occHsiott been obliged to eat their beaver skins; this was the case one winter in Peel's River, a post within the Arctic Circle in charge of Mr. U«ll, a chief tnider in the service ; and 1 remember well reading in one of his letters, that all the fresh provision tbey had been able to procure during the winter wan two squirrels and one ci-ow ; during this time they had existed on a quantity of dried nrieat which they foitunately had in store, and they were obliged to lock the gates ol the fort to prewrve the rrmain<(er from the wretched Indians, who were eating each other outside the ualls } the cause of till this misery was the entire failure of the iibhcries, together with great scarcity of wild animHls. Starvation is quite common anioni; the Indians of those distant regions ; and the scraped rucks, divested of their covering of tripe de roche, which lesembles dried sea- weed, have a sad meaning and melancholy appearance to the travellers who journey through the wilds and bolitudes of Rupert's Land"r — Yes; Mr. Ballan- tyne never was in that country ; he dues not know the country. The cases of cannibtilism are very rare indeed. 1 G08. I will read to you a ver]- short passage, and ask you whether it is a true description of Mr. 'I'hnmas Simpson: " No man in the Company's service had such opportunities as he enjoyed of becoming acquainted with their management, and none was better aide to appreciate its effects ;" is that an accurate description of Mr. Thomas Simpson? -No, I think not; he acted as my secretary for a short time, but I do not think his judgment was very sound upon many points. 1(109. If those words come from a report on the part of the Hudson's Bay Company, then they are incorrect r — Yes ; I do not conceive that his judgment was sound upon many points. It) 10. I ask you, if those words come from a report made by the Hudson's Bay Company, still, notwithstanding that, they are incorrect? — Yes; his judg- ment is landed a little higher than 1 think it should be. 161 1. Who made that report, do you know? — I really do not recollect. 1612. There was a letter written by sir J. H. Pelly, Bart., to Earl Grey, dated " Hudson's Ray House, 24th April 1847." There is, as an enclosure in Sir John Peily's letter to Lord Grey, a report on the memorial of Mr. A. K. Isbester and others, to the Secretary of State for the Colonies ; that report, I suppose, was a report of the Hudson's Bay Company. In that report is the description which I read to you of Mr. Thoinns Simpson ; in spite of this coming from the Hudson's Bay Company, you say that it is an incorrect description of Mr. Thomas Simpson ? — Mr. Thomas Simpson was a very active, energetic man, but not a man of sound judgment upon many points. 1613. Are you aware of a complaint made by the American Government about the sale of spirits by the Hudson's Bay Company? — No, I am not. 1614. You are not aware that the American Government applied to the English Government in consequence of certain complaints made to them, the American Government, of the sale of spirits by the Hudson's Bay Company ? — No, I do nut recollect any such complaint ; there may have been one. 1615. Are you at all aware whether the numbers of the Indians are diminishing now? — No; I think the Indiana of the thickwood country are increasing in numbers ; the population there, I think, is increasing. 1616. You say that in diti'erent parts of the territory different prices are charged by the Company for the goods they sell to the Indians: — Yes. 1617. At the mouth of tlie Red River what is the per-centage of the tariff added to the cost price of goods? — I cannot say at the Red River, because it 0.25. L 3 depends Sir O Simptva, 1 Maruh iVa?. i!i i I I 8i^ Ml m '^K 't^i ii'i k'm MINUiES OF KVroENCE TAKEN BEFOUE THE Sir e. Si'nipuMi. depends entirely upon the \mce given by the Americans and others upon the frontier. I March 1857. )(ii8. Is the mouth of the Red River near the frontier? — The roouth of the Red River is close to tlie frontier. 1619. I would say the mouth of Mackenzie's River r — I cannot tell tlie precise tariff"; I have no copy of the precise tarili'; they pay a hii;her price for their goods than those ne.irer the coast ; the returns do not C(jme to market uutil about from six to seven years after outfits are issued. it)20. Mr. Edward FJIice.] That is to say, that you give less for the furs ? — We give less for the furs. i()2i. You lake more furs, in fact, for an article ? — Yes; our system of dealing Is this: Indiana require certain necessary supplies to enable them to hunt, and these we provide them witli. ■' 1(122. Mr. Roebuck.] Do you know the quantity of heads which you have impurfed per annum ?— ! do not ; they are not an article of trade ; they are given as presents. I (123 You never give so many beads for so many skins r — Never; they are entirely gratuities; beads are never traded, to my knowledge; if they are, it is ^uite contrary to instructions. ifi24. Do you know the amount of marten skins imported last year? — I do hot; I cannot tell from recollection. Awls, gun flints, gun worms, hooks, needles, throad, beads, knives, gartering ribbons, &c., are given as gratuities ; about 20 per rent, of the outfit in those articles are given as gratuities. 16U.5. So that a good knife is not considered an xrticle of commerce at all? — No ; it is given as a giatuity. i62(). And that is the statement which you make of the way in which you deal with the Indians with knives? — That is the usual practice. if)27. So that if a knife were to cost 10*., you would make a present of it ? — We never give 10-shilling knives ; they are too expeusive an article ; we cannot aflx)rd to pay siicli prices. i(i28. Do you ever give 5s. for a knife ?— No, never. 1629. Half-a-crown ? — 1 cannot tell precisely what the cost price of a knife may be, but I should think the cost price of a knife is high at half-a-crown for the Indian trade. 1630. Was not there some a^reement or some bond entered into by the Hudson's Bay Company, that they would send the criminals to be tried in Canada f — There is a concurrent jurisdiction in Canada. lC)^i. Will you answer my question ? — I am not aware of any bond, but very likely there may have been ; I do not recollect. i()32. So that tliough you have been Governor for 37 year-, nf that territory, if such a thing has occuned, it does not now oecnr to your memory ? — I do not recollect : the cases are so very lew. I ()33. In your long experience of that country are you aware of any criminals ever having been sent to be tried in Canada ?— Yes. 1(534. rtow many times? — On one occiision ; there were three men sent for trial tor murder; and I think tliat case was noticed in the former investigation of the ( 'unimittee. ''';55- C'kairm'in.] Supposing an arrangement was made by which any por- tion of the territory now administered by the Hudson's Bay Company, which miuht be supposi d to be nt for the purposes of colonisation, was separated from that administration, such a district of country, for instance, as the Re'l River, and any land in the neighbourhood of the Red River, or of the frontier of Canada, or land on the extreme west coart in the neighbourhood of Vancou- ver's Island, would there be any difficulty in the Hudson's Bay Company con- tinuing to conduct their affairs after that separation had taken place ?- i think not, because I do not believe there would be any settlement for a great length of time ; I do not believe there would be any migration into the country for ages to come. 1636. Supiiose that was lefit to be tested by experience ; suppose any country, such as it could be thought would be available for the purposes of colonisation, was taken from the administration of the Hudstm's Bay Company under a suitable arrangetuent, would it interfere in any way with the management of the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company, or of such territory as was lel't r— I think i 1 SELECT COMMITTEE ON HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 8? think not, provided the incoming population were restricted from interfering with the fur trade. i(),S7. Do you mean in the same manner in which the inhabitants of Canada are now restricted from interfering? — No; they are not restricted from inter- fering with the fur trade uf Canada. i(>;jS. Hut with your fur trade? — Yes; provided they were so, I think there
would be no decided ohjef your Company, in yotir opinion, particularly
favourable to the management of colonists, or of any thickly settled districts ? —
I think the territory held by the Company is not favourable for settlement.

i()4(). I do not mean the physical nature of tiie territory ; but do you think it
advisable, for your own objects, tlmt you should have the administration or
management of anything which could be called a thickly peopled settlement ? —
No, I do not think it is important that we should.

1 04 1. It is rather d’tlerent from your u-iUal course, is it not? — Yea, I
think so.

if’42. For instance, do you think it would do you any harm if Vanccuver’i
Island was taken from you and made a British lolony ‘r — I think not.

i()43. Do you think tbit if there was any country on the mainland in that
cornel’ in the vicinity of Vancouver’s Island to which it was thought likely that
settlers would be attracted, it would interfere with your affairs as a trading Com-
pany, if an establishmeiit of that kind was formed there tmd separated from you ?
— 1 tliiiik it would not . So that the Americans do not accumulate furs at all: — In that part of
the country they do not.

i6( 3. Do they in any part of the country ?- No. 1 am not aware of it ; on the
sources of the Missouri a good many furs are collected.

1664. Is there not an American fur companv ? — No, I think not; there was
an American fur company ; it was broken up long ago.

it)6.v }Ar. Charles Fiizwilliam.] Within the last two months? — No, wiihia
the last few years.

1(166. Mr. Addtrtry.’] In reply to a question put by the Chairman, you stated
that the Company would not object to any settlement west .tf the Kocky Moun-
tains, provided such settlers were restrained from interfering with the rights of
the Company as to the fur trade ? — I think so.

1667. Will you describe the nature of the restraint which you «ould suggest?
— ^’I hat they should not be allowed to interfere in the fur trade, but confine them-
selves to agriculture or other pursuits.

i6t)8. Do you mean, then, that the settlers west of the Rocky Mountains
should be bound t<» maintain their own settlement in a fur-bearing condition ? — No; tlie country adapted lor settlement is not a fur-bearing country. 1669. Then what would be the nature of the restraint which you tliink the Comjiany would consider necessary ? — That the settlers should not go into the fur-bearmp countries 1670. The restraint would only apply to other portions of tiie district claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company ?— Ves. 1671. Do you consider that the Company v\oulu have a right or interest iu making any restrictions upon the settlement of the country itself west of the Rocky Mountains- — No, I think not. 1 672. The settlement of that part of the country might be effected with no injuiv to the Hudson's l!ay Company, without any restrictions as to the territory itself? — Provided they did not interfere «ith the iiir trade. 1673. Mr. Edward EUice.'] Would the restriction of dealing with the Indians be suHicient for your purpose ?— Yer it wouhl, 1 think. 1674. ^t. Adder ley. ~\ The country to be settled, west of the Rocky Moun- tains, might be settled free from any conditions relative to that country itself? — Except as regards the fur trade. 1675. Chairman.'] How do you manage to prevent the Canadian traders now from introducing spirits into the territories of thL- Hudson's Bay Company, along that great extent of frontier?— They cannot pass through thi; country without our assistance. 167*1. Is that difficulty of communication sufficient to enable you practically to prevent the trade in spirits ? — Yes, decidedly. 1677. 1 suppose there is some smuggling in the districts immediately in the neighbourhood of the settled countries? — I think there is no smuggling in the territory of the Hudson's Bay Company, in the district of country over which they claim an exclusive right of trade, except at Red River. 1678. When you say no smuggling, do you mean that there is none of any consequence, or none at all ? — I believe there is none. 1679. Lord Stanley.] You have posts beyond your own territory, have you not, in Canada ? — Yes ; we have establishments all the way down the St. Law- lence. 1680. Chairman.] SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 89 16S0. Chairman.] Have you gone on in harmony with the Canadians and tlie Canadian Governinent ? — Perfectly so. ifiSi. Mr. Itoebiick.] In that census which you have given in, is there an account otthe numbers of the half-breeds in the Red River Settlement? — Yes ; 8,000 is tlie whole population of Red River ; that is the Indian and half-breed population. KiS-i. Can you give ■ notion of how many of those are half-breeds? — About 4,000, I thinK. 1683. Can you tell ^ Committee whether those half-breeds are improving in their intelligence? — 1 think they are. 1684. Have not the Company established schools there? — Yes, there are schools. 16S5. Do not the half-breeds go to those schools? — Many of them do, especially the half-breeds of European parentage. i()8(i. Since they have gone to those schools have you found the half-breeds as submissive as they were before r— Yes, I think they are fully ; more so. i(i87. So that they do not give you any more trouble than they used to do ? — We iiave little or no trouble with them. 1688. They do not demand free trade in furs ; you never heard of such a tiling !* — 1 hey do not demand it, but they practise it ; many of them do. ifiSi). Have you found the free trade increase since the instruction of the people increased?— No, I do not find that since the encouragement to trade has increased they have been extending their operations in that way. i()00. Do you mean to say that the free-trading has not increased of late years ? — Not very materially ; they have been in the habit of trading, more or less, lor a great many years ; perhaps there may be more engaged in it recently than there were a few years ago. i6i)i. So that the increase of education at the present moment has not at all increased the desire of the people to have communication with Auierica ? — No, I am nut aware that it has ; I am not aware that there is any particular desire to connect themselves with America. I tip-.'. I mean to trade with America? — To trade in what? iGpj. In all commodities?— I believe there is very little trade at present going across the frontier. 16(14. ^^rs yoti at all aware of any increased desire on the part of those people to carry on trade with the Americans ? — No ; I am not aware that there is any increased desire, itio"). So that we may take it as your statement that there is no increased desire on the part of that j)opulation in that respect ? — ^They have more frequent communication with the United States than heretofore, inasmuch as they have larger dealmgs. u'h)6. Mr. Edward FMice.] That is not in furs? — Not in furs: principally in buffalo robes, and a very few furs. iO()7. Mr. Roelmck] What do they give to the Americans ? — They take cattle from Red River ; buttalo robes, and a small quantity of tallow and horses ; I think those are the principal articles. it)()8. Do the Indians of the Red River Settlement wish to trade with the Americans ' — \ think not. i6i)(). I mean the pure Indians? — The pure Indians, I think, principally deal witii us. on their part to conduct trade with the boundary line; they principally deal 1700. You have found no desire not across the their desire to have communication with respecting that? — I think not; there is Americans ? — No with us. 1701. Ikit I want to know about the Americans : have you any proof nothing- to prevent their having it if they have any desire. 170J. Mr. Kdunrd Ellice.] Do not ihey like to sell their furs to the best bidder •— Yes, tliey go to the best market. 1703. Chairman.'] And I suppose they would get spirits wherever they could find iheiu '. — Yes, I think they would. 1 704. Are the fur-beariug animals on the increase or otherwise, in the Hudson's Bay territory, speaking generally ? — 1 think towards the southern frontier they are on the decrease. o.^,";. M 1705. Take Sir G. Simpson, 3 March 1857. P ■'M ■f 1 ; il DO MINUTES OF EVIDENCE Ty\KEN BEFORE THE ■1] Hit !;'■ Sir O, Simpson. * March 1 857. 1 705. 'lake the whnle together ? — In the northern part of the country we nurse the country very mucli, and the country has improved and is much richer in fur-bearing animals than it was 20 years ago. I70<":. Taking it altogether, is the export of furs increasing or decreasing ■ — It is larger now than it was at any time within my recollection. 1707. It is the most valual)le fur trade in the world, is 't not: — I think so. 1708. A great deal larger than the Russian fur trader— Yes. 1709. Mr. Cirogaii] You stated that in the form of the lease of land, one of the clauses wa«, that the settler should endeavour to encoura;je the Christian ri'ligion ? — Yes. 1710. What is the meaning of that covenant? — I do not know; I do not recollect the covenant. Perhaps you will draw my attention to it. 1711. You read a passa.

1747. Mr. Groi/an.] What privileges or rights do the^native Indians possess
strictly applieable to themselves ” — They are perlectly at liberty to do what they
please : we never restrain Indians.

0.25. M 3 1748. Is

Sir C. Simptm.
2 March 1857.


I i




Sir O. Simpson. 1748. Is there any difference between their position and that of tlie half-

breeds ?— None at all. They hunt and fish, and live as they please. They look

3 March 1857. to us for their supplies, and we study their comfort and convenience as much as
possible ;■ we assist each other.

1749. Lord Statilei/.] You exercise no authority whatever over the Indian
tribes ?— ^None at all.

17.50. If any tribe were pleased now to live as the tribes did live before the
country was opened up to Europeans ; that is to say, not usinp^ any article of
European manufacture or trade, it would be in their power to do so t — Perfectly
so ; we exercise no control over them.

17.51. Mr. Jiell.l Do you mean that, possessing the right of soil over the
whole of llupert’t’ ‘ “nd, you do not consider that you possess any jurisHiction
over the inhabitant , A that soil ? — No, I am not awaie that we do. We exer-
cise none, whatever right we possess under our charter,

175:. Then is it the case that you do not consider that the Indians are under
your jurisdiction when any crimes are committed by the Indians upon the
Whites r — They are under our jurisdiction when crimes are committed upon the
Whites, but not when committed upon each other ; we do not meddle with their

‘ 753- What law do you consider in force in the case of the Indians commit-
ting any crime upon the Whites ; do you consider that the clause in your license
to trade, by which you are bound to transport criminals to Canada for trial,
refers to the Indians, or solely to the Whites ? — ^To the Whites, we conceive.

1 7.54. Mr. Grogan.’} Are the native Indians permitted to barter skins inter se
from one tribe to another? — Yes.

^755- There is no restriction at all in that respect ? — None at all.

17.56. Is there any restriction with regard to the half-breeds in that respect?
— -None, as regard dealings among themselves.

1757. Lord Jolin Ri(,ssell.] Supposing any person was to come from the
United States to trade with them, would you interfere ? — We should oppose it
by every meuns in our power, but not by violence.

17.58. By what means would you prevent itr— By giving higher prices, or
watching tlie Indians.

1759. But you would not drive away such a person ? — No.

1 760. Mr. Orogan.] Have you ever seized and confiscated the goods of parties
who were trading in that way with the Indians? — If it has been done, it has
been of very rare occurrence ; I do not recollect the circumstances.

17G1. It is stated in these papers that an instance occurred where the goods of
some of the settlers were seized and confiscated on the suspicion that they
were intended for the purpose of trade with the Indians ? — It has been of such
rare occurrence that I have not the least recollection of it.

1 762. You stated on Thursday that the price of land to a settler was 7 s. d d.
an acre r — From .5 s. to 7 s. 6 d. an acre.

1763. That is at the Red River Settlement? — Yes.
1 “04. Is that price ever exacted ? — Very rarely.

176,5. If you practically give the land free, why is it held out to the world
that you demand 7 s.G d. .’ — We consider ourselves proprietors of the soil.

1766. Has the 7 s. (id. ever been paid ? — It has been paid.

1767. Lord Staiilci/.] You claim the right to impose that price, but you do
not impose it in every case : — That is so.

I ~66, Mr. Edward EUke.} But inasmuch as it has been the interest of the
Company to settle the land as fast as possible, they have withdrawn from taking
til*’ price, because they thought it for the Company’s interest r — Yes.

1769. Mr, Grogan.] What amount raoy the Company ever have received
from settlers in that way by the sale of land ? — I think from the beginning of
time it does not exceed from 2,000 /. to 3,000 /.

1 770. Within your own government can you say « hat sum has been re-
ceived ?— I cannot tell from recollection, but I think under 3,000 /.

5771. In what way was that money applied? — It was the property of the

) 772. It was applied to the general funds of the Company ? — Yes ; part of
the time it went to the estate of Lord Selkirk ; Lord Selkirk was then the pro-
prietor of the soil.

1773. I asked


1773. I asked you, withia the time that you had been Governor, am I to
understand that the sum of 3,000/. has been received from settlers for the pur-
chase of land ? — Yes.

1774. Since your own government ? — Since my own government.

1775. Mr. Edward Ellice.’] Is that since the year 1834? — I think not so
much since the year 1834

17/6. Previously to 1834 the Red River Settlement belonged to Lord Selkirk,
did it not ?— Ves.

1777. It had been sold a long time previously by the Hudson’s Bay Company
to his Lordship for the purposes of colonisation ? — Yes.

1778. He re-transferred it to the Company in 1834? — Yes.
177(). And you paid his Lordship for that acquisition r — Yes.

1780. Mr. Groff an.] You stated that the sum of 3,000/. had been paid by
settlers for the jiurchase of land : — I think so.

1781. To whom was that money paid? — Partly to Lord Selkirk or the heirs
of Lord Selkirk, and partly to the Company.

1 78J. Can you say how much was paid to the Company ? — I cannot from

1783. Was there anything paid to the Company? — Yes.

1784. 100/.? — I think so; more than that.

178.5. 1,000/. r— Perhaps not 1,000/. ; or possibly it may be 1,000/.

1786. Did that go into the general funds of the Company, or was it applied
to any other purpose : — I think it went into the general funds of the Com-

1787. It was not applied in the construction of roads: — No; monies ‘vere
given from time to time for the construction of roads.

1788. From the funds of the Company ? — No ; from the general funds. There
is an import duty of 4 per cent, chargeable upon all goods imported into the
settlement of Red River. The Hudson’s Bay Company are the principal
importers, and they pay the largest jjortion of that duty.

1789. Ain I to understand that the amount of that duty is expended upon
roads? — It is expended for public purposes — roads, and bridges, and schools,
and in various other ways for public purposes.

1790. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Is it the fact that the Company pay 4 percent,
upon all their imports into the colony for that purpose? — That is the fact.

1791. Mr. Grtigan.] Then did the sum which you spoke of as having been
};fiven by the Company to the schools come from this source ? — It is without
reference to this sourcf.

1792. Then the money which you have now spoken of derived from the
customs of the country, and being given in aid of schools, is additional to the
sum you have already mentioned as having been paid by the Company in aid of
schools ? — Yes.

1 793. Can you give the Committee any estimate of what the amount of that
exjienditure on roads and public improvements would be ? — No, I cannot. Per-
haps GOO/, or 700/. a year.

1794. You described the country about the Ked River as being very pro-
ductive ? — Yes, upon the banks of the river.

17().> Hut you stilted tlmt your impression was that the land beyond a mile
from the river was not so g”od ?— It is not so good.

179O. On what is that opinion based? — Upon experiment ; trial. It has been
tried and found not good, and discontinued.

1 797. Mr. Gladstone] I did not ciuito clearly understand you whether the
price of 7 a. (if/, per acre or 5,*. per acre still purports to be the rule of the
Company ? — That is the rule of the (‘ompany. We sell very little land. Our
sales of land from the beginning of time, I believe, are only from 2,000/. to
3,000 /.

17Q8. But the settlements are very much more considerable than would be
indicated by such a price ?— Decidtuily.

1799. In point of fact, then, a very small portion of land has been sold? —
Very small.

1 8(10. lias a long time elapsed since any price was received for land at the
Red River r — I think there has been very little money received for land at the
Red liiver for several years.

o,’25. M3 1801. Have

Sir O. ISimpton.
t March 1857.









SirC. Simpum. iSoi. Have several years elapsed since, in any instance, a price was received
for land to the best of your remembrance I — If money has been received for lands

a March 1857. it is to a very small amount. If a person retiring from the service expresses a
desire to go to lied Rivor to settle, we say, “In that case you must become a
purchaser of land.” And he may purchase his .’iO acres, and pay down 25 per
cent, upon the amount.

1802. Supposing an application is made for land, what consideration governs
the authorities uf the Company in determining whether to sell or whether to
grant ? — The means of the parties generally.

1 803. If you think tliem able to buy then you sell : — Ves.

1804. If you do not think them able to buy then you grant? — They squat ;
we never disturb anybody.

1 805. Then you do not make grants of land f — We give them grants when
they apply for them, but they rarely apply.

1800. Then, do you encourage squatting? — We cannot prevent it.
iRo;. Do you endeavour or desire to prevent it? — No ; if the people cannot
aflbrd to pay for land, we cannot interfere with them.

1808. Lord John Jiussell.] How do you prevent disputes between two squat-
ters ! — We never have any disputes upon the subject ot lands.

1809. Mr. Gladstone.} Is that owing to the abundance of the land ? — Yes.

1810. Mr. Adderiey.] Are there many squatters? — They are nearly all

. 1 8 n . Out of how many ?— The population is 8,000.
i8r2. Are those H,000 squatters ? — No; some have paid.

1813. What proportion of the 8,000 do you suppose have paid?— The whole
receipts for land, from the beginning of time, are certainly under 3,000 /.

1814. Can you tell us at all, in round numbers, what proportion of the families
who have settled at the Red River Settlemenr, have paid for land ? —Nineteen
twentieths have not paid.

181/;. liow do you reconcile the statements you have just made as to the
mode of disposing of laud with your answer to Question 1217, in which you said
that land was granted at sums varying from 5^. to 7^. 6d. an acre, not in fee
simple, but under leases of 999 years ? — The parties frequently set themselves
down on land without consulting us ; we never disturb them.

i8«6. I asked you, in Question 1207, ” If I wanted to buy land in the Red
River Settlement, upon what terms could I buy it ?” Your answer was, ” Five
shillings an acre ?” — Yes.

1817. Am I to understand that if I applied for it for nothing I should get it,
equally? — If you were to squat, we should not, in all probability, disturb you.

1818. You said that free grants were given to those who applied for them ?
— Yes.

1819. Squatters do not apply for free grants, do they : — We point out the
situations where they may squat ; we do not give them titles unless they make
some arrangement for the payment.

1820. Are we to imderstand that squatters squat under terms of agreement
with the Company ? — Yes ; very frequently.

i8ai. Mr. Roebuck.] Then why are they called squatters? — A man without
means, coming into the country, says, ♦’ I should like to settle there, but I have
not the means of (laying ;” we say, ” There is no “objection to your settUng

nS2J. Mr. Adderiey.’] Are there settlers in the Red River Settlement who
squat without any agreement with the (.’ompany ? — Many.

1823. Am I to understand Ihat a great proportion of what you call squatters
have squatted under an agreement with the Company? — No.

1 824. May we understuml distinctly what you mean by the word •’ squatter “?
— A man who comes and sets himself down upon land without title.

1 8 25. Is it possible that a squatter should settle under distinct terms of under-
standing with the Company, even though he does not pay for his land ?— Yes ;
very likely a man without means would say, ” Where can 1 settle ?” We should
point out ascertain district of country which we thought desirable, and the best
situation for settlement.

1 826. Are there many squatters in the Red River Settlement who had their
location pointed out by the Company, and who paid nothing for their land P —

1827. Is


1827. Is thut the case with the majority of them? — I think the majority of
them have settled themselves down where they liked, and we could not pre-
vent it.

1828. ‘Vithout asking the Company r — Yes.

18,29. i . Bell.] Then you menn that the difference is, that, where they
settle wiihtiut paying for the land, they have no agreement ‘. — They have no

1 830. And they have no title ; when they apply for land and pay for it, then
they have a title? — Yes.

1831. Mr. Adderley.] When the Company assign a territory in tho nature of
a free grant, is there anything paid in the way of license duty r — No, nothing.

1832. Do any people settle in the Hudson’s Bay territory upon licenses,
without a payment per acre r — No, I am not aware that they do.

1S33. Mr. lioebuck.] Is that the form under which lands are granted {handing
an indenture to the rritnes.i) ‘: — Yes, I think this is it.

1 834. Mr. Edward FAlice.] Is that the Company’s grant or Lord Selkirk’s
grant ? — This is the Company’s grant.

183.5. What is the date of it r— March, 1844.

1836. Mr. Roebuck.] Is this indenture the title by which a person holds land
who buys it r — It is.

1837. Amongst the engagements of the buyer, is there one that he will not
part with any portion of the land ? — The conditions are there; I cannot call to
mind the precise conditions.

1 838. Then though you have been 37 years governor of that country, you
do not know the conditions upon which land is granted ? — I have been very
little resident during that time in Ued River; there has been usually an officer
in charge of Red River, who is styled Governor of Assiniboia.

1839. Are you aware that this is one of the engagements of the buyer, that
he “shall not nor will at any time during the said term,” which is 999 years,
” underlet or assign, or otherwise alienate, or dispose, or part with, the actual
possession of the said laud hereby demised, or any part thereof, for all or any
part of the said term, or any interest derived under the same, without the con-
sent in writing of the said Governor and Company for the time being first had
and obtained ‘” ? — Yes ; that is a clause in it.

1 840. Were you aware tliat that was in the indenture ? — Yes.

1841. So that when a party buys land of you he cannot sell one particle of
that land, or even let it r — Yes ; but we never object to it.

1 842. This is your indenture r —Yes ; that is our indenture.

• 843. Does that, in your view, tend to promote the settlement of the
country?- 1 do not think it can materially affect the settlement of the country.

1 844. Do you lancy that depriving a man of the power of alieniiting any part
of his land, or even underletting it, conduces to the settlement of the country ?
— I do not believe that the settlers of the Red River pay much attention to the
terms of their title-deeds.

184,5. Do you fancy that preventing a man from underletting, from selling or
parting with any portion of his interest in the land, contiuces to the settlement
of the country r — No ; I do not think it does.

1 846. Do you think it hinders the settlement ? — I think it does not hinder it
in the Red River, because there are no applicants for land.

1847. Mr. Edfvnrd Eftice.] With reference to the question which the Chair-
man put to you just now, with regard to the territory being colonised, I think
your answer was that you did not consider that the colonisation of any part of
the territory wliich the Government might think proper to reserve for that
purpose would be prejudical to the fur trade, if the exclusive right was pro-
perly protected r — Ves ; I think it would not be prejudicial.

1848. By the exclusive right being protected you mean the trade of the
Indians being protected ?— The fur trade with the Indians.

1849. With regard to the cases of starvation, I presume that the means of
the Company in supporting the people in the territory very much depend upon
the produce of the l)ufFalo hunt and upon tl)e crops raised at Red River r — Yes,
the produce of the chase and the products at Red lliver

1 850. Would it be impossible for the Company to umiertake to provide for
the general population throu;ihout the country in tiroes of scircity? — Quite

0.2,5. M 4 1851. Mr.

Sir C. Si npiun.
a March <8j7. m iff I)fi MINUTRS OF EVIDENTE TAKEN HEFOUE TMR Sir f>, Siniptoti.
« March iSa?.

,11 :


;i ;

1 a




iS,”)!. ‘Mr. Roehuvk.} Do the buffaloes extend to the Arctic circle* — Tlie
priiirie buffalo does not ; he is conrined to the prairies ; the musk ox is to be
iound in the Arctic circle.

185J. What proportion of the food of the iidiabitants is supplied by the musk
ox r — It is very small : it is ontirt’ly confined to that purt of the country.

1853. [n fact, you may put it out of consideration aitogetin’r f — Yes.

iS,’;4. Therefore, your answer that the food of the country chiefly depended
ujioii buffaloes was not correct? — The foixl of the prairie country is butialo ; the
food of the thickwood country is principally tisii.

1 8,1/). Mr. Kditanl El/ice.] Is not pemican almost the staff of life of the ser-
vants of the Company in all i)arts .’ — For transport.

iSM’. A’r. Jiovlmck.] What is pemican ? — Pemican is a compound of buffalo
meat and tallow ; it is a portable provision, principally used in travellinc;.

18,57. Have you formed any idea of the quantity of pemican which is manu-
faciurcd in that country per annum ? — Pcrhajts from 2,000 to 3,000 cwt. per
annum ; some years more ; sometimes less.

i8-,8. And you have told us that there are 5r),(K)0 inhalntants r — East of the
mountains there are about 55,000 ; of those about 25,000 are Indians living upon
buffalo meat principally, and 30,000 live principally upon fish ; that is to say,
fish and rabbits.

i8,5f). Mr. Edward Ellice.”} But the means of existence of the servants of the
Company depend upon provisions taken to the different posts from other parts .-
— Yes, and the fish they are able to collect ; they live very much upon fish
throughout the country.

i860. Has that deed which is before the Committee ever, practically speaking,
been made use of by the Company to restrain settlement at the Red Uiver r —

i86i. Mr. Roebuck.’] What is the use of the deefl, then • — It is so very little
used that it is of no value, in fact ; nineteen-twentieths of the people have no
title ; they squat and set themselves down.

1862. yupposin? a dozen people were to start from Canada determining to
settle in the Red River Settlement, would they be at all impeded by the Com-
pany? — I think not

1863. And if instances are biou;;ht forward of great impediments being
thrown in the way, you never ha”e heard of them ? — There has never been an
instance to my knowledge ; they srjuat and set themselves down wherever they

1864. Have the Company ever ejected anybody? — Never to my knowledge.
18(15. Mr. Groi/ati.] If an emigrant, as Mr. Roebuck describes, come from

Canada to the Red River Settlement, and be anxious to purchase a partly-
improved land which some squatter hnd been \i\mu, would your Company
interfere to prevent the transfer of the land ? — No.

iStit). VVould it be necessary to ask your permission r —We usually enter all
such transfers in a transfer book when the parties apply ; but if they do not
choose to apply to us we cannot ^lelp it.

1867. Is there any fee for that entry V — None.

1 Sti8. Then is not the practical effect of such a deed as has been read to pre-
vent any person taking such a deed from you ? — 1 think that it is not.

1869. If a man may squat on the land, and hold undisputed ])Ossession of the
part that he squats upon from you or from any one else, and if he may transfer
that land to another person without obstruction, why should he take a iked from
you ? — That other party would not be disposed to pay unless he could have
some title.

1 870. Mr. Gladxtotie.] Then the restriction is operative, if so, is it not ; if a
purchaser from a Red River settler will not be disposed to pay unless a title is
given, and if, in order to make a title, it is necessary, as it plainly must be, to
show the consent of the Company, then the clause requiring the consent of tin-
Company is an operative clause?— The cases of the purchase of land are so very
rare that there is scarcely a case in |)oint.

1871. Lord John RiLsselL] Is that deed ever made use of now, or is it dis-
use|ilicationK Imving Ix-cn made by thoHC who Sir O. Simptom.

lioUl without (Ih’U ?— No ; applications are not onually nindf for (U-cds j an ap-

|)li(‘ation for a dft-d is a very iinu»tual tiiiiif<. a March 1857. 1874. They an- gutisticd to hohl the land without a deed .' — Yes. 187.';. Mr. 6';y,(/(/«.] I understood you to explain t«) lis that there was n cer- tain annual sum received by the Company as duties of customs, vijs., four per (;ent. r — Paid by the Conipatiy. iS7(i. To whom t — To the treasury of the Red River. 1877. Is the treasury of the Red River part and parcel of the Company? — No. 187s. Is not the government of the Red River Settlement, and of course the treasury, as a part of that government, a part and parcel of the Hudson's Bay establishment ; — No ; it is in the hands of the settlers themselves. 1879. Am I to understand you, then, that the Company paj four per cent., as well as the ]mblic : — '1 hey do. 1880. They paid that amount on all goods imported into the Red River Settlement to the local municipality of the Red River Settlement ?— Yes, decidedly. 1881. Which money is employed in local imi)rovement8 ■ — Yes. 1882. Is there any establishment by the Company or by the Red River Settlement, whereby if a settler wished to send a letter, for instance, he couLd do it ? — Tliere is a postal communication through the United Slates. 1883. How is it to get there? — Ihe United States are close upon the border. 1884. How many miles is it? — About .')0 miles ; there is constant communi- cation with the frontier. 188,5. If therefore a letter written at A^siniboia finds its way to the frontier of the United States, the United States take care of that letter a-d \vill forward it to its destination as far as it goes through their territories ? — Yes. i88t). Mr. Edward Ellice.] 'Ihere is a regular post, is not there? — Yes, twice a month. 1887. Mr. Groffan.] Who maintains that regular mail ?— The United States Government. 1888. Is there any mail or jiost, or despatch of any kind, maintained by the- Hudson's Bay Company in their territories? — ^I'here are several expresses in the course of the season. i88g. Is there any mail or post or despatch maintained by the Hudson's Bay Company for the accommodation of the settlers or the public ? — Yes, there is. 1 8()o. Will you descrilie it ?— By canoe during the season of open water, and I think there are three or four expresses in the interior in the course of the winter. 1891. In the event of a settler wishing to send letters or anything of that sort by those des|)atches, can he do so ? — Decidedly. 1 8o'_>. Is he charged for it .’ — There is a very small charge : I forget what.

1893. But he is charged for it ? — There is s(miething, I think.

1804. Mr. Edward Ellici.] Is there a regular post maintained by the settlers
between Red Hiver and Pembina?— No, there is no regular jiost ; at least I am
not aware that there is.

189,5. ‘Sir. Jiocbuc/t.} I have a letter in »”y ‘■:.:.d which is to the following
effect: “My dear Sir,— As by tlu’ new regulation regarding the posting of
letters, it will be necessjiry that Mr. McLaughlin should send u]) his letters
open lor my perusal, a thing which cannot be jigrceable to him, will you have
the goodness to tell him thiit in his case I shall consider it quite sufficient his
sealing the letters in my jir« scnce without i:ny jieiusal on my part, and for that
])ur])ose I shall call in at your house to-morrow evening. HelieA’c me, &c.,
li. Lane.” ‘1 hat is dated ‘JUth December 1844 ? — It was quite unauthorised.

1 8()(). W’ho was Mr. Lane ? — Mr. Lane was u clerk then in the service of the

l^97. What does he mean by the new regulation ; he says, ” as by the new
regulation regarding the jjosting of letters”? — It was no regulation of the

0.25. N 1898. Do

MiNUiEs OF i:viin:NCE taken before the

Sir 0. .SiM/UM.
i March 1857.


i ‘






1 8i)S. Du you nicnn to any that tlicrc wtut no irgulntion f Then* wna no
re^ulatiofi witliiii my rcoolU-c-tioii ; there may liuvc Ihtii a local rt^ulation.

1 81)9. Do you mean to say that you, beiuK Koveriior of that territory, if that
was a n’gulatioii, you are iKiioraiit of it r — Yen ; there whh no regulation to that
effect that I recolhet. I whh governor of that coiintry, and superintendent of
the whole of tlie affairs of that country, but there waH u lu<;al governor, who conducted tlie atfairs of tlie district of Assiidhoia. 11(00. Mr. Edwunl FJlice.] 1 think we have hiul it before in evidence that the government of AttHiniboia eomptiites the ^ettlenii-nt of Red River ; that there is u s«'j)arate governor there, who ri'sidcs there, atid who governs all things within a riidiun of 50 miles: the colony being a Hettlement of itHelf, and there beiag a separate council .' — \ es. ipoi. Mr. HnehuckA Do you know a i)erson of the name of R. I^nef — Ws j he was a <'lerk in the (.'ompanv's service a good many years ago. ijioj. Where was he a clerk r — lie was at Red River. 1903. Do you know his writing; will you look at that {hamliiuj the Letter to the Witness)? — I think it is very Ukely tfiat this may be his writing; I cannot prove his writing. i()04. Did you know a p<'r«on of the name of Andrew M'Dermot ? — Yes. lOo,'}. So that there was a person of that name ?— There i» a person of that name now in the settlement. H) )(). 'Ilie letter there is written by a clerk of the Hudson's Bay Company to a person whom you know to have resided in that part of tlie world r — Yes. 1907. And that letter speaks of a set of new regulations, of which you know nothing?— Of which I am not aware unless my memory be refreshed upon the subject. 1908. Tlic letter speaks of new regulations, of which regulations ynii know nothing r — \er\- likely ; I do not know unless my memory be refreshed ujwn the subject ; 1 was very likely not in the settlement at the time. 1909. 'lliat is not on answer. 1 ask you, do you know anything of those regulations r- No. I do not ; at least I cannot call them to mind. 1910 Mr. CladAtoNc] This letter, purporting to be written by a person who was a clerk of the Com|)any, and resident in the country, and written to another person, with whose imme you are also acquainted as being that of a resident in the country, do you think it is likely that there were such regulations a« are alluded to in the letter r — I think it is very likely that there were such reguhttions, but they were not coutinu'l for any time; they were, very likely, disallowed. i()i I. Apart from this letter, did yon ever hear in the course of your expe- rience of any regulation in forci ivithin tiie Hudson's Bay Company's territories under which it was required, or under which the Company had the power to read the i)rivate letters of individuals ? — Never. I never knew an instance. 191 2. Supposing ihere was snch a regulation as is here mentioned by Mr. Lane, by whom woidd tbat regulation be nmde r -Very likely by the Council or the C/onipany'.s principal representative for the time being at Red River, but it would be disallowed forthwith. 1913. Could such a regulation, that is to say, a regulation to the eH'ect that the letters of residents must be perused by the authorities of the Company, be made by any local officer of tlie Company upon his own rcsjionsibility ? — 1 think not. 1914. Then are you at a loss t' -onceive how such n r.,V'''' '^"^ as this could have been luaile at all?— I am quite at a loss ; !■ , ■.'^i v.. of the regulation. 1915. Could such a regulation be made by the Governor and Council ? — Of Assiniboia it might ; but it is not likely to have been continued , it would not htve b'^en continued. 19) Would the Governor and Council of the colony have been competent to mafc"- 'h a regulation ? — Yes ; but I think it would have been disallowed by tiie C- V. -yduy fr-.'.iiwith. 10.7. i^^r /i'>‘. ■’MtA-.J Disallowed where?— At home.

19 (S, How bng would it ^.ake to send from there home ? — A very few

1919. Then

‘(> wiw no
ry, if that
on to timt
icn(U-nt of
Tiior, who

ciu’e that
ver ; that
overns nil
ititelf, and

le T — V”’» ;

,’ Letter to
: i cannot


un of that

nmpany to
you know
I upon t .1′

I yoii know
shed U|)on

^ of those

leraon who
to another
resident in
jns as are
were such
fery likely,

your expe-
power to


led by Mr.
Council or
River, but

effect that
iiipiiny, be
sibility ? —

1 as this
of the

uucil? — Of
would not


. very few
yig. Then

i()l(). Then that is different from your answer to n>e, that it would takf three Sir G Simpton.

vcarHr— No; I never nuide sue’ .11 answer.

i().>i». Mr. aiaditonr.] Do you consider that tiie Governor and Couneil of
|{fr would have btn-n lejfally competent to luake such a regulatit)!! if th«’y
had tliou^lit fit : – I think not.

\\)i\. .Mr. (iroijitn.] I think you fol’* us, that a letter which should find its
way to tlie fronti«’r, to l’enil)ina. could U ilesjmtched tlicnce through the United
States “r — Vcs.

\\Yi2. .\t the exjieitsc and cost of the United States Oovernnicnt ? — Yes.

ii).’,,- Is tliire any provision made li, fhe GoveriKJi Mnd Councd of Assinl-
hoia for the transmission of a letter from Assiniboia itself to the frontier ? — I
tliink not.

1924. The distance, you said, was abnuf fiO miles ‘—About 50 miles.

i()’2V Is it once a week, or once a month, or once in’a season . or how often
is it tluit the mail in the United States part of (he territory is despatched? —
Once a fortnif];ht.

lyjt). .And yet there is no provision by the (iovernor and Council of Assi-
niboia for transmitting a letter regularly to the frontier at all ‘. — No ; at least I
lun nr •>« .e that there is.

“” – In Ked you a general question, whether there was any post or despatch
by ‘.1 1′ .s could be sent through the Hudson’s Bay territury. maint«ined
l)y 111* (io\. rnment, and vou said that there were canoes and boats occaxion-
ill> ■ -Yes.

I ,,S. Do those expresses, or canoes, start periodically- — They do.

i()2i;. When ? — Two or three times in the course of the season of open water,
and I think once a month (at least it w^:: so when the ^roops were there) during
Ww winter ; not .so frequently now.

1930. VVhat do you call the period of open water ?— From the month ot .May
until the month of October.

ly.ji. That is four months? — Five months.

1932. Then there are opportunities of sending letters two or thre» times
durinjt the fine Hcason ? — Yes.

1933. And (mce a month during the bad season? — 1 am not sure that the
mail is continued so frequently as once a month during the winter.

1034. Do yon know how often it is sent; my object is to ascertain the
exact information as to what mean-* of communication, sending letters for
instance, exist in the Huds-on’s Bay territory: — Through the United States

193.’;. I do not ai^k as to the United Sti.tes? — The time occupied from Red
River to the Sanlt St. Mar}-, where there is the first regular communication, is
so long, that parties will not he disposed to send their letters in that way: for
instance, they would send them by the United States.

1936. Would that arise from the uncertainty in tlie means of .«ending tliem ■
— The uncertainty ami the length of time occupied in conveying the letters.

1937. I see in your evidence }ou state that you have travelled from Fort
William, at the head of I^ke Superior to Assiniboia. about 40 times r — Yes, I
think so.

1938. Of course yoi know that road remarkably well? — Yes, pntty well.

1939. -‘^”‘ thereMtfunlioats which now navigate to Fort William, on the ot the lake, from Canada?- No ; there is no regular steamboat commu-
nication. have passed round on pleasure excursions.

1940. Do they ijo periodically? — No.

194;. If it were stated that they went once a week regularly, would it be
correct? — It is imt tht case.

1942. Arc til. re •steamboats of any nation that traverse the lake periodically –
—On the south-west sitle of the lake, the American side of the lake, there are
steambi ats whith pass, 1 think, once or twice a week ; 011 the north-east side
of the lake there is no trartic; there is no communication.

i()43. With threfer the upper district of country ; for instance,
the Canadians prefer the upper part above the junction of the Assiniboine

1 975. Notwithstanding the floods r — Notwithstanding the floods, llie Orkney
half-caste population prefer the lower end of tlie stream.

1976. The chief part of the settlement is in a district of about 20 miles long,
is it not? — About .50 miles in length.

1977. Has it ever been wholly covered by floods: — Yes, I think so, except-
ing the higher spots, which form islands in seasons of flood.

1978. Has any attempt ever been made to improve the banks of the river to
prevent those floods • — Never.

1 979. Why not ?— Because the means of the country could not by possibility
admit of it.

1 980. The banks are not susceptilile of improvement ? — Not at all.

1981. The settlement is on both sides of tlie river, is it not .’ — It is.

1 982. lias any attempt ever lieen made to estabHsh a communication between
them by means of a briilge or otherwise? —No ; there is a ferry in use.

1983. What is the average width of the Red River: — The average width
below the forks is about (me-si\th of a mile perhaps.

1984. What is the width of the Mississippi at St. Paul’s? — Not quite so wide,
I tliiiik, or about the same width.

1985. You are aware, I sujipose, that at St. Paul’s there is a large susjiension
I am not aware that tliere is ; there was none when I jiassed there.

i((S(i. St. Paul’s is a settlement of much more recent date tlian the Red
River : — Yes.

1987. And they have now a large bridge ? — There was no bridge when I was
at St. Paid’s.

1988. \\ hy has no attemjit ever been made in the nature of a communication
by bridge at tiie lU’d Uivcr? — The cost would be too large ; there is no traffic
and no pojjuhition to justify such an outlay.

1 9S9. Have any of the smaller streams been bridged over by the Com])any ?
— Yes, many of the siuaUer streams, especially in the settlement ; they have
been bridged out of the funds of the settlement.

1990. Have the C^ompany done anything to make roads in the settlement ?
— Ihi^y have contributed their share of the duties of four per cent, upon all

0.25. N 3 1991. And

bridge :

:?!i ‘■ ‘!






pf u





9\t O. Bimptcm. ippi. And with that have they made roads themselvps? — With that the

settlers have made ronds.

a March 1857. uij)-‘. Ahout what number of miles of roads, should yon say, have been made

under the authority of tlie Company ? — The Company make no roads.

H)p3. Mr. Edirnrd F.llice.\ They pay for their beiria: made- — They eon-
tribute their share of the tax.

1994. Mr. Gordon.’^ You mentioned in your evidence on Thursday. “The
Company aUow the interest of the (la\ , ! tliink it is fo :r p;’r c nt , to any
parties wlio may choose to leave their money in their hands, or they will pay
their haliiuces as tliey accrue, from year to year, as ihey may desire.” Does
that aj)ply only to the servants of the Comjjany. or tloes it extend to any of the
settlers in the Red Kiver- — The servants of tiic (‘om|)ar>y

’99”). Is there anything in the nature of a bank otabiisiicd for the settlers:
— There is no bank.

1990. ‘Hien what do the settlers do with their money • — ! he settlers have
their own agents in England whom they emph)y ; a few of them. I think, leave
their money in the hands uf the ( ompany ; they are retired servants.

1997. Mv. KiiiimirJ,] In ijuestiou 1009, put by the Chairman, you were
asked, ” Do you ever encourage the Indians to resort to agriculture, under any
cifcumstances ?” and your ‘Mswer was, ” Always ; we have encouraged them by
every means in our jjower.” Will you kindly state to the Committee some of
the means which have been used “r— By (;iving them agricultural implements.
free of charge, and seed of various kinds ; seed wheat, seed j)otaloes.

109S. M ithont charge for the land? — Without charge for tite land.

199;). That has l)een done in the different Indian settlements? — Ycs; in
several parts of the country.

:2ooii. There is every facility given? — Every facility.

200 i. With reference to question 1102, with regard to the education and
Christian instruction of the Indians, are we to understand tliat the Comjjany
have adopted no means for the education ot’ the .”)5..”»7H Indians from whom
they receive their furs, and whose land they claim ; I do not refer to rhe iialf-
caste, but to the positively Indian population :— Over 25,000 of that Indian
population we have no control ; namely, the Plain tribes. They wander from
the Missouri to the banks of the Saskatchewan ; they are a bold, warlike people,
over whom we have no control.

•-‘ooj. That is a part of them ; with respect to those wiio hunt for you, you
use no means for their instruction : — There are religious missions in various
parts of the country.

•2003. \’ou coniri’tnite a very small sum, !;ut tiuit is for them to minister to
your own stations and factories, not as missionaries .’ — Yes.

2004. You give no specific help for the Indians? — Tiie country is so poor
that they cannot form settlements: tiie missions must be immediately in the
neighbourhood of thf establisliments.

■_>oii.5. Arc we to understand that the (.’onipauy give no aid specifically for
the instruction of tlie Indian chilcb-eu to the missionary scicieties who have
voluntarily undertaken it r — We are very anxious to give the Indian children
instruction ; but, the luiiians will not give up their children.

•iO(»(>. Then you would give assistance to schools and missionaries for that
purpose, although you have not done it at present ? — Yi’*.

ioi.’y. Have yon tidicn any means of getting books or’ ((huia’iion, either in
the Roman or syllabic character, for the population ?— ‘i he missionary societies
have sent otit books from time to time.

2008, Ai their own expense : -At tlnir own expense.

20011. With no assistance from yourselvo for that purpose ? — I am not
aware that there has been any.

2010. Can you tell me of any case where you have contributed for scrhool-
rooms for the benefit of the Indians? — We ar.’ ([uite to receive Indian
children at oui* own estahlishnieuts when ti’.ey can be obtained.

2i’i 1. I do not see any record of any coniributions out of the fuiuls of the
Company for the erection of these schools ? — ‘There is n.) iuunediate ouilay con-
nected with t’.ic erection of schools at any of our establishments. We have a
regular establishment of people who do all tiie work about the establishment;
they buibl houses and erect schools, and wliatever else may be necessary.

iiOi2. At York, liavi; }()ii i.u tveuing scliool, eondueted by one of the Com-


iiinister to

paiiy’s servants during tlie winter, for the benefit of the Indians and others
resident at tlie fort : — Ves.

JO I J. Was that formed under the direction of the Company? — Yes.

joIj. Is that earricd out at any other station? — I think ut Norway House,
and at all the ( stablishments wiiere there are missions.

j(ii.’). Do you assert that there are evening schools conducted at the expense
of tlie Company – — There is no expense connected with it. At the different
establishments where there are missionaries we promote education by every
means in our power.

20 1 (i. It would l)c very easy to enforce this at all the stations, would it not?
— Not to enforce it, but to encourage it.

JO 17. And you woilid do so ? — Yes, we would do so.

joi8. Mr. iioehiicl,-.} Is tliere a licence to freight goods granted by the Com-
pany ? Supposing tliat I, being a settler at the Ked River Settlement, wanted
to freight goods to London, is tlierc not a licence granted by tiie Hudson’s Bay
(‘omi)any to enable me to do so .’ — No, I am not aware that there is. We
freigijt all goods that eome to us if there is room in our shii)ping.

JO 10. 1 will read you a copy of a licence to freight goods. It is signed by
a Company’s officer: it is signed “Alexander Christie, chief factor of the

Honourable Hudson’s Bay Company.” *’ I hereby license , of Red

River Settlement, to car; y on the business of a freighter between Red River
Settlement aforesaid and York Factory. Provided, however, that this licence
shall be null and void for every legal jjurpose from this date if he traffic
in anything whatever beyond the limits of the said settlement, excepting
in so far as he may do so under any municipal regulation, or if he traffic
in furs within Rupert’s Land or without, or if he usurp aiiy privilege whatever
of the Hudson’s Bay Company, or if he become, or continue to be the employer,
or the agent, or the partner of any person who may traffic or usurj), or may
have tratiieked or usurj)! d as aforesaid, or of any such person’s debtor. Given
at Fort Garry this 29th day of July 1845, Alexander Christie, Chief Factor
of the Honourable Hudson’s Bay Comjjany.” Are you aware of any such
rto(‘U))ients as this {Ike same beiiiij shown to the Witness) ‘; — I am not aware of
them. I do not think this is Mr. Christie’s writing, and I never heard of the

joio. I think you are or have been governor of Rupert’s Land. In 1845,
were you at the Red IJiver Settlement? — It is very likely I was there in 1845;
1 do not exactly recollect.

joji. You had a council there, I suppose ? — Yes, in all probability.

J022. That council was held on the 10th of June ? — \ery likely.

J023. I see that you ))assed certain resoluiions at that time ; have those reso-
lutions been allowed or disallowed – — If you will allow me to see the resolutions
1 may have some recollection ot them. I catuiot exactly call them to mind.
A\ e pjiss resoluticms for our own operations.

J0J4. You do not bear in mind whether any of those resolutions were dis-
allowed or not .’ — 1 think the Company did disallow some of our resolutions,
but I forget exactly what they wire. ”

202.> Will you be kind enough to inform us why, amongst your resolutions,
you resolved this, ” That all other inii)orts from the United Kingdom for the
aforesaid settlement shall. l)efore delivery, pay at York Factory a duty of 20
per cent, on their prime cost, provided, however, that the governor of the
settlement be herel)y authorised to exempt from the same all such importers, or
any of them, from }ear to year, as can be reasonably beUeved by him to have
neither trafficked in furs themselves since the 8tli day of December 1844, nor
enabled others to tlo so by illegally or improperly supplyhig them with trading
articles of any description.” Do you recollect passing any such resolution as
that r — I do not recollect such a resolution ; it may have been so.

Joj(). In your jjrt sent view of the matter, do you think that that would con-
duce to the settlement of the country ? — 1 think it would not.

2027. iherefore, if passed at that time, it would have opposed the settlement
of the country ? — No ; I do not think it would have materially affected the
settlement of the countrj-.

2028. Not prohibiting the importation of goods, except upon a duty of 20
per cent., and that from the United Kingdom ? — I do not recollect that it was
ever enforced.

0.2.5. N 4 2029. Laws

Sir O, Simp$n.
3 March 1857.

.11 .




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■ ‘ t






; ■:

. -.


Sir G. Sinipton. 2020. are made to be enforced? — But I do not think that was.

2o^;{). ‘Sh’. Kdu’itril Kllin:’] Is it so now • — Certainly not.

a March 1857. •.ioji. Has it ever heen so in your re;;ollection?–Not in my recollection. I
ne\er recollect to have heard it.

2(1.5::. If such u rule had existed, would it not have been solely for the protec-
tion of the fur trade r — Decidedly.

2033. Mr. Gladstone. \ How can you be very certain that that regulation is
not in force now ; if it apjiears to have been in force at one time without your
knowledsre, how do you know that ic may not be in force without your know-
ledge still :— I do not think it ever was in force.

2034. Mr. Itocbuclx.] \’aw do not deny that it has been in force ? — I do not
deny it. I have no recollection of it. It was disallowed” if so.

203,5. Mr. Edmird Ellia.\ But you say that if passed, it has not been en-
forced as against the importers r — No.

2036. Lord Stanlei/.] You would have known if any action had been taken
upon it : — I should have known as a matter of course.

2037. Mr. Ciladstonc] On the subject of the import duty which is j)aid by the
Company, I think vou stated that it was paid to the Treasury of the Red River ?
—Yes. ‘

2035. Is it expended under the direction of the Governor, or of the Governor
and Council ? — The Governor and Council.

2031). To whom do they render an account of the expenditure ? —There is an
officer oiled the Head of the Board of Works ; he takes the entire management
of the fund, and an account is submitted to the Council at the close of each

2040. Who appoints the officer of the Board of Works? — The Council do.

2041 . Istlie money paid to the Council and by them handed to this officer, or
what is the course through which it goes ? —The officer draws upon the establish-
ment ; we are the bankers ; tlie funds are usually left in the Company’s hands ;
the proper oHicer draws upon the Company from time to time for such funds as
may be recpiired.

2042. Is the import duty paid to the Company or some officer of the Com-
pany for account of the Governor and Council of lied River r — For safe keeping,
it is paid into the t,omi)ai)y”s hands.

2043. It is ])aid into the Company’s hands, but merely by way of deposit ? —
ISIerelv bv way of deposit.

2044. Then if I understand rightly, the Company hold it, subject to be drawn
upon bv the officer of the Governor and Council of Red River ? — Yes.

204 V Does that officer, by authority of tlie Governor and Council, draw the
monev :^— Yes, at i)leasure.

20. (i. And he renders an account of the money and expenditure to the
Governor and Council :— Yes.

2047. Then the Hudson’s Bay Company hear nothing of the money, and
know nothing 01 the mode of its expenditure (—Not further than that they
have to pav their ([uota. .

■204^. But after payment they have no further concern with that money at

2041). it is disposed of by the Governor and Council of the Bed River
Settlenunt, or under their authority, just as much as it would be if the colony
were a free and ojjcn eolonv -—Decidedly.

2i!-,(‘ >Ii’- Roe/jiiri,-.] Ihe Governor of the Red River Settlement is appointed

bv the Hudson !> Bav Cumiiany, is not he r— Yes. ., , , . ,

‘ c)- 1 Mr. (llitd-‘iKiiu .] 1 believe the Governor and Counh would justify a large expenditure upon.
navigiition I- — None ; there is no trade which would justify an outlay.

20,4. Is there any trade at the present time whi«;h may not be effectually
and satisfiietorily carried ou in canoes .’—Between Canada and the interior the
trade that is conducted from Canada must be entirely l}y canoe; but the com-


munication with England is by boat from York Factory and Moose Factory, the Sir G. Simpson.
two depots upon the coast.

20,5.5. 1 was referring to the Ued River, and that part of the country.- — a March 1837.
With Canada the communication must be by canoe. With England by boat to
the coast.

2056. You have been asked questions with regard to the apjdiances of
education and civilization which yon have provided for the Indian tribes. Have
voii ever considered yourselves as a Company charged with the education or
civilization of those tribes r — No, we do not consider ourselves charged as a
Company, but wo contribute nevertheless.

20.57. If 1 understand your former evidence rightly, you have no control
over those tribes, except that of being able to exclude other traders from the
country ? — None.

2058. Are you well acquainted with the country to the west of the Rocky
Mountains”‘— Yes; 1 have travelled through that country repeatedly.

20,50. Are you able to form any opinion as to how much of it, or whether
any of it, is fit for colonization ; I speak of the nuiinlaiid ; not of Vancouver’s
Island ! -Very little of it I think is fit for settlement nnd colonization north of
49°, from the rugged character of tlie country ; it is an exceedingly rugged and
mountainous country.

2o(io. Do you mean by that, tliat the soil is unfit for culture, or that there
are no means of transport to the sea ? — There are patches of soil near tlic rivers
in certain localities where agriculture might be carried on upon a small scale ;
but generally speaking, the country is exceedingly wild and rugged and
mountainous north of 49″.

2ot)i. What are the winters there ; are they severe ? — The winters are not
so severe as east of tlie Rocky Mountains.

2062. Assuming the soil to be suitable, is it probable that wheat crops would
not ripen in that country? — I think they would not; there is too much
moisture ; it is exceedingly humid.

2063. ILive any experiments been made in the neighbourhood of the forts
there? — At Fort Langley there have been experiments made, and grain has
been raised upon a very small scale ; potatoes are very abundant ; and likewise
further north.

2064. In the event of colonization being attempted there, is it likely tliat any
difficulty would arise as regards the Indians r — The Indians are very warlike
and very numerous, and I tliink they might be troublesome to settlers in the
first instance, until they were sufficiently numerous to protect themselves.

2065. Tlie Company has had more trouble with them west of the mountains
than in the east ? — Much more trouble. They are difHcult of management.

20t)6. I think about two-thirds of the whole Indian population reside west of the
mountains? — T think about 80,000; the whole population being about 139,000.

2067. Therefore on account of those tribes, putting other di^’Rculties out of
the question, there are only some parts of the country where it would be
possible for settlers to establish themselves r — Yes.

2068. They could not do so in small numbers or at outlying posts?— They
could not.

2o6p. In the event of any part of that western territory being constituted a
colony apart from the Hudson’s Bay Company, would it be easy to mark
a boundary, so that the establishment of a colony there should not interfere
with the exclusive rights of the Company ? — I think there is no room for
a colony of any extent north of 49°, upon the west side of the mountains.
The character of the country is exceedingly rugged.

2070. In the event of any portion of the territories being set apart for
purposes of colonization hs a colony independent of the Company to the west
of the Rocky Mountains, would there be any difficulty in so defining the
boundary of such a colony as to prevent any disputes or difficulties with regard
to the point at which the rights of the Company terminated ?— You mean the
British territory I presume north of 49°.

2071. I mean, of course, the British territory? — I think there is no portion
of that country north of 49° adapted for settlement.

2072. Mr. Roebuck.] That is not the question; the question is, whether there
are any means of marking out the boundaries of the colony, supposing that a
colony should be determined upon; supposing it should be determined to make
a colony west of the Rocky ^lountains, taking the southern boundary to be

0.2.5.” O ” .’ the







J; ;’ ?

Sir G. Simpson.

a March 1857.

tlie boundarj’ bt-tween it and the United States and the eastern boundary,
the Rocky Nlountains, is there any possibility of finding a northern boundary ? —
I do not know of any other means of finding it than determining it by observation.
The country is not so marked in its cliaracter as to form any boundary.

2073. Tlieie is no river? — Tiiere is no river.

J074. With respect to the climate, you say that you have travelled in that
country ; is not the climate of America, on the west of the Rocky Mountains,
similar, in point of fact, to that of Europe, in the same latitude ? — I think
there is more moisture on the shores of the Pacific than upon ihe eastern side.

■2075. That is not my question ; my question is, whether taking latitude for
latitude in Europe, and on the west of the Rocky Mountains in America, the
climate in the same latitude is not the same: — I have been sucli a length of
time out of Kufiland, that I scarcely recollect what the climate is.

jo7ti. I am not talking of Kngland ; I am talking of Europe r — I cannot tell.

2077. We will 8|)eak of the climate of Vancouver’s Island ; do you know
that ?— Not well.

2078. Is not ir a finu chniate ? — It is a very good climate, I believe.

2oyi}. It will grow pretty nearly anything, will not it? — On the southern part
of the island.

J080. It will grow wheat r — Yes ; on the southern side of the island.

21181. And on the northern too- — The northern is a rugged, mountainous
country, wliere you can grow nothing.

2082. Rut it would not be prohibited by climate ? —There is a great deal of
moisture ; there arc torrents of rain.

2083. So there is in Etiglaud ‘! — I think there is more on the west side of the
mountains than in L”^^land.

2084. Lord John Russell.] Is the (juantity of moisture such as to prevent the
culture of wheat? — It is such as to prevent the ripening of grain, I think.

2o8j. Ml . Edward Ellue.] But at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia, in the
Oregon, are there very fair crops ? — Yes ; never productive crops ; we used to
look upon a return of ten or twelve, as very fair crops for Oregon.

2o8ti. With reference to Fort Laugley, which is near the southern boundary
of the British territory, and where there is a fort, I think you said the other day,
that there were about KM) scpiare .niles of level ground there r — Yes, I think so.

2087. Could not a colony be planted there ? — It might be.

2088. Is there any thing remarkable in the climate tiiere different from what
it is in Vancouver’s Island ? — 1 believe there is more moisture.

2089. Nearer the mountains ?— Yes.

2090. Mr. 6’roifa;i.] You are making a comparison between Fort Langley and
Vancouvers Island ? — Yes.

2091. You say that there is rather more moisture at Fort Langley? — Yes.

2092. Does the thermometer sliow any difference in the temperature? — The
further north we go, the degree of cold is greater.

2093. I am speaking of those two situations .’ — Yes ; the one is in 50°, and
the other is in 4(J]°. («)

2094. Practically, isthehealdiere very f;reat in summer: — In the Columbia it is.
209,”,. In the part called Caledonia, tiiere is the Columbia River; that is on

the west side of tiie Rocky Mountains? — V’es.

2096. I am not speaking now of the American territory, but of the British
above 49″. Is the heat in that jiart of the country very great in summer? —
Not very groat.

2097. 1 perceive that in the account of your travel, speaking of Fort Colvile,
you speak of its being an exceedingly productive, and well circumstanced place ?
— Yes.

2098. And that what you describe as a fine season is a damp season? — Yes.

2099. That is owing to the great heat which prevails below 4!)° ?— The great
drought, the great length of time they are without rains, they are weeks and
months together without rains.

2100. Docs the same ot)servation apply to the land immediately above 49° ?
— Upon the coast there is mort; moisture than inland.

2101. Is the quantity of moisture sufiicient to destroy the ripening of the

grain? — Yes, I think so; in some seasons I think it is likely.

a 10. But

(a) This answer )iad reference to Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia Uiver.


2102. But as a general rule? — As a general rule I think the great moisture
would niiit^Tially alli’ct tl-.e crops.

JIG,]. Wiiat miiy be the distance of Fort Colvilo SDUth of the 49th degree of
latitude, tlie boundary .’—I think Fort Colviji- is about 48 or 49 degrees.

2104. About one dei^^ree southward of the boundary .- — Yes.

210,’;. Do you consider that the ditierencc of one degree would make such a
dirt’erente in the temperature of the place r — There is more moisture on the
coast than inland

2ioti. Fort Colvile is not on the coast ?— No, it is inland.

2107. I want to draw a comj>arison between Fort Colvile and the same land
on the Britisli side of the boundary. What circumstances exist to make a dif-
ference in the climate and the adaptability for colonization of the two places : —
The climate «est of the mountains is warmer, 1 think, than in the same parallel

2108. Would not that part of the British dominions north of tlie 49th degree
of latitude, but in the same parallel of longitude with Fort Colvile, be equally
adapted fur colonization as Fort Colvile itself: — No; tiie climate of the west
side is warmer, there is nmch moie heat, but very little level land.

2 101). Supymsing a colony were pbinted on the 49!;h degree of latitude, quiu-
close to Fort Colvile, on the Columbia River, what circumstances exist which
would prevent thiit colony so planted lieing equally well favoured and well
circumstanced as Fort Colvile itself.- — I do not ?ee that it would be materially
prevented. I am not aware of any circumstances “hicii should cause it.

2 110. Then would this description in your judgment apply to it, “Cattle
thrive well, while the crops are abundant. The wheat, which weip:hs from G3
to Otjlbs. a bushel, yields liO or 30 returns. Maize also flourishes, but does not
rijien till the month of September. Potatoes, peas, oats, barley, turnips, melons,
and cucumbers, are ])lcntifiil.” That is the description which you give of
Fort Colvile • — Yes.

2 Ml. And you do not see any circumstances which would prevent a colony
on the iiritish territory opposite Fort Colvile being so well favoured? — No; the
climate is not so warm.

2112. Therefore it would, in your opinion, hold out equal inducements as
regards the ripening of grains and fruits as Fort Colvile itself? — No. 1 think
the climate of the Pacific is more favourable 10 cultivation than the same
parallel on the east side.

2113. Mr. Edward FMice.] I suppose if a population were found to want a
settlement of that kind, and chose to go there, they could raise crops very well
for their omu support ? — On either the one side or the other, I think ; on either
side of the mountains.

2114. Mr. Grogan.] Have any attempts ever been made to establish a
colony, or any settlement at all to the eastward of Fort Garry on the Assini-
boine, up Lake Winnipeg, Rainy Lake, or in that district? — No attempt has
been made to form a settlement at Rainy Lake.

2 11, 5. Or to the eastward of it ? — To the westward there may have been a few
settlers at Manitobah, within 40, 50, or 60 miles of Red River.

2116. In fact, there is not a sufficient population to render those localities,
which you have described as so beautiful, an object to settlers ? — That is the

2117. But if it should become an open colony, and settlers should go there,
there are no physical circumstances in the country in your judgment to prevent
their success ? — No ; I think not. The country is not favourable for settle-
ment, I think, about Red River.

2 11 8. Why ?— The crops are very uncertain.

2119. You have nothing to • adduce beyond what you have stated already ? —

2120. In the extent of lantl between the Rainy Lake and Fort VVilliara, on
the Kamenistiquoia, at the head of Lake Superior, what uuiy be the height to
which the land rises ; is it 800, 1,000, or 2,000 feet, or what r — I tiiink about
800 feet above the level of the lake.

2121. Do any serious practical difficulties or impediments exist in making
that navigation, which you have traversed with your canoes, a regular course of
navigation? — I think there are insuperable ditliculties, unless the ” Bank of
England were expended ” upon the improvement of the country. Near the

0.25. O 2 height

Sir G. Simp*oti.

2 March 1857.







Sir G. Siinpton. height of land there is no water ; tlie rivers are shoal, and the soil is bad.

I think the difHculties are w

a Mnrili i8-,7.

ry great.

2122. To how many miles ot country, in your judgment, would your present
remark apply ? — I think aliout 300 miles.

2123. .\s much SIS that? — I think so.

J 1 24. You have given the entire distance from Assiniboia to the head of
Lake Superior as about 500 miles-— Yes.

2i2,> And you think that in 300 of thosu 500 miles, there would be such
difficuhies.’ — Yes.







Mr. fnitiam Kernaghaii, called in; and Examined.

fAT.W.Kcrnashr.n. 21 j6. Lord John Russell.] WHERE do you reside ?— At Chicago.

2127. What is your business or occupation ?— I am a General Merchant

2128. Have you any statement to make with regard to the Hudson’s Bay
Company, or their territory, or their trade ? — The Chicago people arc runnin<; steam-boats now towards that part of the country. 2129. Where from, and where (0?— From Chicago to Superior City, Onto- ganan and Marquette ; steamers also ply from Detroit and Collingwood to those cities. 2 1 :iO. Mr. Edward Ellicc] Are you a Jiative of the States ? — I am an Irish- man. 2i;5i. Lord John Riisseli.] Have you any statement to make with regard to that matter? — I should like to see the trade opened u\) tliere in the Hudson's Bay country. 2132. That is to say, you uonld like to see an end put to any exclusive privi- leges ? — Yes, either in land or trade. 2133. Have you found any obstacles practically to exist to the trade which you wish to promote? — There is every opposition thrown by the Company in the way of our traders there. 2134. Of what kind? — Every oi>position. They are not allowed to trade
there. This last season 500 waggons started from Pembiuii, or the Red River
.Settlement, and sold their loa:ht; the American duty is very great.
I am not aware of any duties at Red River.

2153. I thought you spoke of the duties being paid on the goods goinii’ into
the American territory ? — What 1 mean to say is, that on the goods put at
St. Paul into the .”iOO waggons, the sellers of the goods had paid the American

21.54. Then it was the American duties which ma’le it disadvantageous, not
anything done by the Hudson’s Bay Company ?— That business was done
against the wishes of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

2I.5T. Did they impose the duties or the Americans? — The Americans.

21.5G. Mr. Gi-offan.] Am I to understand you that this caravan which crossed
from Pembina to St. Peter’s, or St. Anthony’s, purchased goods ?— They sold at
St. Anthony the productions of their own country, and they bought at St.
Anthony their groceries, wines, woollens, linens, &c.

21.57. Which had been British imports? — Some had been British imports
and some American manufactures.

21.58. And on all the British imports the American Government imposed a
duty .’—Yes.

2159. If fhey could have gone through the country under bond, the Red
River people would have saved that duty ? — Yes.
0.25. O 3 2160. Mr.





f-‘ ■

Mr. W. Krrnaghan.

3 March 11(57.

2l(5o. Mr. Kilward Ktlice.\ \% there an export duty in ilie States upon goods .’
— I do not know.

JKii. Then linw do yon mean that the Red River people would have saved
the (hity r— lliid tho j;oods beiii in bond. This is the first attempt of the Red
Kiver people to open 11 free trncU*.

2l(vj. Vou say tiiat the Ited River people are placed at the disiidvimtage of
this duty ; but as 1 understand yon the Rritish gonds pay going into St. Paul’s?
— Ves, nnless they go there in bond.

•JitVj. They do not pay coming from St. I’atd’s to Red River? — No; but
they had j)ai(i at New York, or at (.’hieago, before they went to St. I’uul, the
legular Anicriean duties.

•21(14. Lord John Jtits.ifil.] Vou mean, that if they were landed at Fond du
Lae. or at the head of Lake Su|>erior, tliey «ould go in bond, and not |)ay the
American duties? — If l.mded at Superior City, where there is an American
custom-house, they would iro in l>ond through our Ihitish territory without
paying duties.

21(1,5. Mr. Kdivtiid KlUcf.] If there were a road to Red River? — Yes; and
that will be done by Chicago and other people this season.

2166. If ihey could go in l)ond from Superior, and nass througii |)art nf the
territory and so escape the duty, why should noi they l»e in bond at New Vork ‘
— \u\i can pay duty at Chicago, Detrnit, New York, or at any place where
there is a custoni-Iiouse of the United States, or you can bond goods at all ports
of entry.

21(17. You said that goods could be carried to Red Uiver, goin^ througii
part of the American territory, giving bond ? — ‘Yes.

2108. Whv could not tliev go by New York in the same way, givins bond? —
They could. ”

2i()y. Tlierefore the Red River settler would not lie ))iejudic(d by (Ik duty
payable in the American territory- — He would not be if they went in bond,

21711. Mr. C/itiilis /■’itzifilliiim.] With leferenee to the 500 waggons yoa have
mentioneil, you mean that a person bought goods in the American territory
because he could get them cheaper there than from the stores of the Hudson’s
Bay (J(uiipany at Red River ? — Yes ; they have undersold.

JoiHs, 5<> die Mart Hi 1857










Mr. Adderley.

Mr. Bell.

Mr. Blackburn.

Mr. Ldwurd Ellice.

Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.

Mr. Gordon.

Mr. Gregson.

Mr. Grogan.

Mr. Percy Herbert.

Mr. Kinnaird.
Mr. Laboucherc.
Mr. Lowe,
i^ir John Pnkington.
Mr. Roebuck.
Lord .Tohn Russell.
Viscount Sandon.
Lord Stanley.

The Right Hon. HENRY LABOUCIIERE, in the Chair.

Mr. William Kcruaghan, called in ; and further Examined.

‘iXt.W.Kcnm’rhan. -‘T’- Mr. Groguti.] Y’OU have been for some time settled at Chicago, have

f, you not ? — Yes.

5 Marcii 1857. 2172. Are yon connected with mercantile pursuits there? — Yes.

2 173. Individually, or as a partner in associated companies ? — Individually.

2174. Has tlie course of your commercial business made you aequainted
with Lake 8ni>eiior, and its capabilities for transit and commerce- — Ves;
fricnils of mine there have a line of steamers that run from (Chicago to three
ports on Lake Superior.

217;-,. What is the most northern port, on Lake Superior, that they go to?
— They go to Ontoganan and Marquette; Onlagon is the copper, Marquette,
the iron disti ict ; and Superior City ; they go to the west.

2176. Do


217(1. Do they \io lii<>licr up tliiin Lake Superior ; do tliey go to Fo-‘t ^^ il’
in tlic Knijlisli tei ritory ‘. – No.

iiyy. Tlicy do not extend their courHe thi-a heyond the American buutidar^ ‘
— No; there are no settlements on the other side.

.•178. Do you know whether there arc English steamers which travcrit He
lakes to Fort Williiim ? – 1 do not think any regular line runs ; a line iti
junction with the Toronto and Collingwood railroad runs to Lake Superior, but
the steamers helong to an -American company.

2i~i). Do tliey go to Fort William, the English settlement? — I do not think.
they d.< ; tht^y i;<> to the American towns only.

J I So. (‘an you state what is the population ol’ the town of Superior? —
Superior City was founded a year and a half ago, and the population at the end
of tliifi year will exceed 10,(100 people.

2uSi. Are there any projected railways there? — The Pond du Lac railway
runs 120 miles from Chicago at present, and if. i.s to go to Superior City ; it is
tiiiislied 120 miles from Chicago. It is to go to iVIanjuette, to Ontoganan, and
to Superior City ; three hranches.

2182. Do you know of any projected connections or eommiiiiications, between
Fond du, and any of the British Scjttlements across the line ; lied River, or
the lakes there? — CJeneral Cass brought a Hill the other day into the Michigan
Legislature to render navigable all the rivers, as far as the American territory
went, lieiwcen Lake Winnipeg and Lake Superior, for steamboats and ships.

J 1 83. Mr. Edward KUice,] T^ake Winni[ieg is in Mritish territory? — As far
as the American territory goes towards Lake Winnipeg.

2184. ^Ir. Aihhrlvij.’] In the direction of Liike Winnipeg? — Yes.

■J 18,-,. Mr. Grngdii.’] Do you know what is the length of that projected canal ?
— 1 do not know.

Ji8ti. Or the expense? — I do not know.

21 S7. Has there been any action on that petition in the Legislature? — I do
not know. I only saw it in the Chica.;o paper.

2188. Was Chicago your place of residence ? — Yes.

2i8(). What is the age of that city ?– It is about LO or 20 years of age.

^Kju. What maybe the population of it? — lu December it was 110,000.
1 suppose this month it is about 114,000. It increases 1,800 a month.

2iyi. Was It not fr^’ui Chica’jo that the vessel was freighted which came the
other day to Liverpool with corn ?— Yes. She came liirect.

2192. Have you a personal knowiedue of the Vancouver country on the west
side by the Pacific ? — I have never been as fav north as Vancouver’s Island.
I h.ive been tradiniz; on the Mcst coast of .America for three years. I have been
as far north as San Francisco.

2iy;]. Mr. Edward Ellice.] AA’hat is popularly called California ? — Yes,

2194. Mr. Groijai}S\ Have you any knowledge of that district from reports ?
— 1 met several gentlemen who went to V ancouver’s Island to try to trade there
and they could ncl; trade ; they were refused.

219/;. They went to A’aneouver’s Island for the purposes of trader — Yes;
they tried to commence trade there, and they could not.

2196. AVhat obstruction was there in tlieir way? — The Company did not like
any people to interfere with them there ; that was the reply of those gentlemen
to me.

2197. Mr. Edward EllicA\] Where was that? — At \’ancouver’s Island.

2198. I thought yon said you had only been at San Francisco? — Yes ; I only
visited San Francisco.

2199. How do you know that fact ? — CJentlemen went to trade there from San
Francisco. I found them on their return at. San Francisco.

2200. But did they go to trade there ?— Certainly ; they brought up cargoes

2201. What sort of cargoes? — I suppose general cargo.

2202. Was it spirits r — I suppose everything.

2203. Who were they r— I do not recollect their names now, but I recollect
perfectly the parties.

2204. Mr. Grogan.] Have you reason to believe that the obstructions to
trade to which these gentlemen referred, arose from their desire to trade in
furs ? — No.

Ml ^.Umtntku”

It 7.

ir ‘



205. AVas








• i








•) i;

1 1:

MINITKS OF KVIDKNCi: TAKKN UKFOHK THE 2J0.’,. Wan it gi’iifial tiiuli’ that they vcn- uiixious tu tarry on f — Tliry did

not want to trade in lurs* ; tln’v wanted general trade.

5 Maroli i8v JJo(). Did those parties say tliat tliey were proliiliiteij, or tlint hiicIi obstrur-

tions were thrown in then- way hy the (iovernnicnl ot the iHJand, tliat they wire
unable to earry on IniHinesg ^— \e8 ; tiiey were willing to trade there, but would
not go back ai;ain.

3207. Mr. Kdirnrd /•Jlllcc] Was the obatruetion by means of underselling
them ? I do not know what the ohntruetion was, but they were willing to trade
there, and wouhl not ;;{) hack a;;ain until the Hudson’s May Company would be
ilonc away with.

JJ08. Mr. 6’m/«M. j Did those gentlemen inlbrm you whether their inability
to trade arose from any want of the prodiutions of the island, which eould be
excImuKed tor their imports ?- -No. ‘I’lie finest tunber in the world grows on
that eoast and in Vaneouver’s Islaiul, and the best market for timber is iSaii
Francisco. At that time there was a duty of ’20 per cent, on timber imi)orte(l
into the States, which is now done av\ ay with under the Reeiproeity Aet.

22(u). M’as there any duty on the export of tindier from Vancouver’s Island –
-\u; bi.t there was a duty then on the imporis into the I’nited Slates, wbicli
is done away with now.

2210. Mr. Kduaril Ellicc] What description of timber is it? — All kinds of
pine; Hr. Captain Grant shipped one caruo from Vancouver’s Island to a friend
of mine before I was in San Francisco.

a.’ii. Mr. Gioyiin.] Did gentli’men mention to you anything about coal,
or the mineral ])roduclions of the island .’ — Those gentlemen did not ; but I was
on board the United States steam frigate ” .Massachusetts.”

2212. In what year was this? — January ant! I’ebruary 18;’)! ; she coaled herself
ai Vancouver’s Island with the native coal of the island.

22 1 J. Did the officers give you any account of what it cost then), or the time
it took to coal her?- -The officers told me that they went very close to where the
coal is, on the strand, and that the Indians cpiarriei’ the coal, and that the men
of the shi[i shipped the coal in boats.

2214. Mr. Edu-ard FAlicc.^ How do you know all this? — The officers of the
United .States frigate ” Massacliusetts ” told me. I give the time, and the place,
and the officer who told me.

2215. Mr. GroganJ] Is there any other part of the North American territory
or coasts that you are personally acquainted with ? — I have been in Labrador.

2216. For what length of time were you in Labrador ?— Not very long. •

2217. Mr. Hell.] .’\re you acipiainted with the mining operations on the south
side of Lake Superior? — No. 1 know some of the companies, but I have no
interest in them myself.

2218. Are you acquainted with any facts as to the ])roducts ? — 1 know about
the quantity of the products.

2219. What quantity of copper is there?— There have been .3,000 tons of
copper shi|tped last year from the mines.

2220. How many mines are there? — Near Ontoganan, I suppose there arc
about half-a dozen public comjianies mining.

2221. How long is it since they commenced operations? — A good many
years ; but since the ship canal was opened from Lake Superior to the other
lakes a great many more companies have started. There are iron companies at

2-222. I sec that Lake Winnipeg is njcntioned in the passage wliicii you read
the other dav from the newspaper r — Yes.

2223. On the map there is a small Lake Winnipeg between the Uainy Lake
and the Mississip])i Kiver ; do you know whether that is meant? — I do not know

•J 2 24. Mr. Grotjtm.’] In that part of Lake Superior, where the mineral dis-
trict is located, on the American side, are there any limitations imposed by the
State of Michigan with regard to emigrants who desire to explore the minerals ?
— None whatever.

2225. Every facility is given? — A man may squat where he likes.

222(3. And with regard to raising the minerals, is he at liberty to do so ? — If
you buy the land, the minerals are yours afterwards.

2227. Is it within your knowledge whether the same facilities for emigrantJ4
exist in the British territories as on the American side? — There are no iacilitics



II the Hritish »i(l«> north of 19 (l^>^rpeB ; if there vrvrv, the* country would be Vlr.lV.Kernagkan.
UN thickly in’opled iis it m south.

J2a8, Mr. Kchvard Ellicc] How do you know that : whnt an- your nu’nns of 5 Mt-ch 1857.
int’ortnittion “r — Tlio talk of tlu’ nioplf ; thfre aro likely to he di-tturbiuict’s in thftt
country tlic miuiu’ iih in Kun/us if tlu; country U not ninde free \nidcr Kiinznti.

■liH). That w aUo th;- tidk of the pt’oplc ‘ Yes.

3330. Mr. /ir-//.] I”)o Mill know tiuy individuals who would go into that
country to settle if they were not prevented by the exclusive system of the
Hudson’s Hay ( oinpany – -I know a j^reat many ))eople in Chicago who talk of
settling iit the lied Uiver, provided it was under Canadian rule.

•jj;}i. Americans? Americans.

22\i. Mr. Gro^iiu.] Have you at Chicago ever had any commercial dealingn
with, or conu’ across ;iny of the parties who come from the Red Uiver and that
district with their goods —I myself have not had.

•j.’33. Mut do you, ol your own knowh-d^e, know whether any of the settlers
of the Iletl River seek a market for their goods in the American territory ? ~ I
know that last season 500 waggons left Pembina with their pork, their beef,
their lard, their wheat, and all their agricultural produce, and sold it at St.
Paul’s or St. Peter’s, and brought back the goods winch they required.

•J234. That is the cir(!umstanc:e a hich you mentioned to us on the last day ?

2J J,”)- Mr- Edward Etlice.’] They did so, as far as you know, without any
obstruction on the part of the Hudsim’s Bay C’ompany ? — ‘i’he Hudson’s Bay
Company were not powerful enough to stop them.

i23ti. Do you know whether they tried to stop thetn r — Tliat is the talk of
the country.

2237. Mr. Kinnaird.] The talk of the country is n very general sort of term ;
can you give us any fact showing the views of the Comjjany r — No, I can give
you no fact ; but 1 think the best proof is that north of 49 degrees there is no
settlement : south of 49 degrees, in Minesota, there are now 180,000 settlers.
That district had a population four years ogo of 6,000 people ; it has now
180,000. Red River had as large a population 20 yeiirs ago as it has now ; I
think that is a fact which is proof enough.

2238. Do you say that the land round Red River in that whole district is
equally well adapted for settlement as the Minesota district? — So it has been
stated to me.

2239. You do not know it ? — 1 do not know it personally.

2240. Mr. Gregson.] Vou have never been there r — Never. The chief
settlers in Minesota are Norwegians and Swedes, and those people would as
foon be under Canadian rule as under American, and they would cross the
border if allowed.

2241. Mr. Kiiinaird.’\ They would cross the border if encouragement was
given ? — Yes.

2242. Mr. Bdl.’] How near to the border bnve they settled ? —Very close up.

2243. St. Paul’s is 200 to 250 miles from the border ? — Every j’ear they are
closing further and further.

2244. Mr. Addcrle^ J] Do you know the country of Minesota ? — No, I have
not been further north than Dubuque, in Iowa.

2245. Mr. Gordon.^ How do you know that the settlemints are closing up

to the British boundary ? — I know tliat those people would as soon be under /

Canadian vule as under American.

224t). That is not my question. Y^ou said that you knew that the American
ettlers were settling up close to the British l)ound;iry ; how do you know that ?
— From common report. There was a lecture delivered in Chicago ; 1 will
enclose it to the Chairman ; it may give some information.


The Honourable Cliarks William Wcntworlh Fitzwilliain, a Member of the

Committee ; Examined.

2247. Chairman.] I believe you have recently passed some time in British Hon. C. W. IV.

North America? — It is three years since 1 came liaok from America. In the Fttzmlliam, m.p.

winter of 1852-3 i was in Oregon and \’ancouver’s Island.

0.25. P 2248. How






1 ‘- ‘J

‘ ,1

■i i








1 H




Hon. C. W. IF.
liiztoillinm, m.f.

5 March 1857.

2248. How long did you remain in Vancouver’s Island? — I was there two
months, the months of March and April.

Ji49. Wliat opinion did you form of the soil and climate of that island, and
of its capahilities for heoominfj a jjla^e of settlement for Europeans ? — The
climate appeared to me particularly adapted for settlement hy Englishmen. It
seemed to resemble very much the climate of Ena;land, though j)erhaps in
winter not so cold as it is here ; and in summer, from a letter which I have just
received, it must be considerably hotter. The soil is generally productive,
although in places rocky ; the country is divided into wood and prairie country ;
the prairies are parklike ; extensive grounds, stretc^hing into the wood.

22.50. Did you go much about the island? — I was up as far as Nanimo,
where there is n coul mine, about 80 miles to the north of Fort Vicitoria, on the
east side of the island ; and I was about ten miles on the coast to the west.

22.51. I^itl you hear much about the coal mines there, so as to form any
opinion as to their probaI)le productiveness ? — When 1 was there they xcere
working a six feet seam of coal, at a depth of about 40 feet ; it was close on the
shore ; within 20 yards of the shore.

22.52. It is c:i the eastern shore of Vancouver’s Island, I believe? — Yes.

22.53. ‘s there not an easy communication, by means of a valley that almost
cuts the island in two, from the place where tlie coal mines are to a good
harbour on the western side of Vancouver’s Island ? — I do not believe that that
country has ever been explored ; but I should imagine there was from Nanimo,
across to Nittinat Sound.

22.54. Sir John Pahington.’] Which part did you say had not been exjjlored ?
— Hardly any of the interior of the island has been explored.

225,5. I understood you to speak of the west coast not having been explored ?
— On the west coast, I believe, it has not been explored ; at least it had not been

2256. C/iairnitiu.] Was the timber fine in the part of tiie country that you
saw ? — The fir timber was magnificent.

2257. The harbours are excellent, are they not? — Yes; the Esquimault
harbour is the finest harbour I ever saw.

2258. Mr. Grogan.] Is that on the east side or the west ? — All tlie country
I am now speaking of is within the Straits of Fuco.

22,50. Chairman.] What opinion have you of that country with regard to
its resources, as to fisheries ? — .\obody who has not seen the enormous
quantity of fish can possibly credit the value and extent of the fisheries. I do
not know the number of barrels, but many thousand barrels of salt salmon
are sent annually from Victoria to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s depot at
the Sandwich Islands.

2260. Do the neighbouring seas abound with other fish, besides salmon ?—
Herrings are very numerous indeed. To give some idea of how numerous they
are, the method of catching herrings is, that two Indians go in a canoe, one
paddling in the stern, and the other standing in the bow. The Indian in the
bow has a lath of wood about eight or nine feet long, studded with nails. He
scoops down into the water and impales the fish on those nails. In two or
three hours they get a fair load in the canoe.

2261. In what condition did you find the settlement which is now there, as
far as you could judge ? — It was in a very primitive state. There were no
roads except those made immediately round the fort, and one from the head of
Esquimault Harbour to Captain Langford’s house. Captain Langford is the
bailiff, I believe, for the Puget Sound Farming Company.

22()2. Did much advance seem to have taken place in colonising or settling
the country ? — Comparatively speaking, very little. On the other side of Puget
Sound, on the mainland in Oregon, where I believe it had only bten settled
two or three years before the island was granted to the Company, there were
farms of considerable extent.

22(53. Are you speaking of the American country? — Yes; from what is
now Columbia City, or Fort Vancouver, all the way across to Olympia, at tlie
head of Puget Sound. Of course the farms were not continuous ; in a country
like that you do not find farms, as we do in England, one touching the other.

22()^. bid you travel through that country on tlie American side from Fort



Vancouver to Olympia r — I travelled I»y canoe from Fort Vancouver to the
Cowlets, and then across from there to Olymjjia and to Nisqually.

226,’). There are a good many Indians, I believe, in V^ancouver’s Island? — On
tlie coast of the island; there are none in the interior; they inhabit the coast
entirely ; they are fishing Indians, and live on fish and potatoes.

2266. Do they live in no degree upon hunting? — I believe not; they have
very few offensive weapons ; no bows or arrows, and I believe, generally speak-
ing, no guns.

2267. They are not a wariike race then at all ?— They are, to a certain extent,
warlike ; they make war in canoes, but I think they generally fight hand to
hand, und not with missiles.

2261^. Mr. Edward Kllice^ Do you know the Cowichan valley? — The
Cowichan valley is about 40 miles from Fort Victoria, on the east coast; the
Cowichan Bay is a deep bay with, at the extreme end of the bay, low land, and
on the north side are high mountains ; it must be a very productive valley
indeed, from thf great quantities of potatoes which I saw traded there by the
Com]tany and by other trades when I was there.

22(9. You were not in the valley? — No; when I was there it was almost
dangerous to land there ; it was just after the execution of two Indians for

2270. Chairman.] Do you know what was the number of the European
community settled in Vancouver’s Island when you were there.- — I do not
know exactly, but I should think that the numbirs of Kuropeans and half-
breeds, considering them all as white men, were about 300.

‘.^271. Did you hear any causes assigned for the number of settlers there
having increased so little ? — I think one principal cause is the distance at which
it is from the mother country.

2272. Did you hear the attractions of California, as a gold-producing country,
assigned at all as a reason for their not having increased more ? — I think all
those who got up as f.r north as Vancouver’s Island would not turn south and
go to San P”rancit>co, but they would he more likely to go over to the main
land, which they could do very easily in canoes, where they would get as much
tmi)loynient as they could want at very remunerative wages.

227*3. Would not settlers who are in doubt where to go, who might have
been induced to go to Vancouver’s Island, have gone to California on account of
the fiold ? — 1 do not think that a sufficient number crosses the equator in that
direction for me to form any opinion upon that subject.

2274. Did you travel about any other part of North America? — I was all
through the States on the Missouri river, as far as Port Pierre. I crossed the
Rocks Mountains twice, and was in California, and also in New Mexico.

227.). You were ntit in the territory miiuaged by the Hudson’s Bay Com-
pany ?— No ; not north of the Boundary Line.

227(‘).* Mr. Kinnaird.] You stated that the interior of Vancouver’s Island had
never been explored at all ; did you ascertain whether there was any systematic
attempt to arrive at a knowledge of the nature of the country by the Govern-
ment there ? — I do not think that there was any systematic attempt.

2277. Do you not consider it very desirable thr.t an island of that importance
should be, in a certain measure, survej ed : — Certaiidy 1 do ; for I think it is
the most valuable possession in the Pacific. If you take the map of the Pacific
you will see that the only safe harbours in the Paeific exist in Vancouver’s Island,
with 1 erliaps the exception of Aeapulco and San Francisco. The entrance to
the hailiour in the Columbia River is excessively dangerous, and ships are fre-
qiicntl} detained there c 22S2. There

Hon.C. If. If.
Fitxviilliam, m. r.

5 March 1857.




Hon. C. ly. W.
Fitzwiliiam, m. p,



11 ‘•


March 1857.

2282. There was a surveyor to the Company then ? — Yes.

2i83. Mr. Kiniiaird.] Yon stJited that tliere was a considerable difficulty in
landing at a certain point, owing to the excitement among the Indians ? — That
was in Cowichan Bay.

2284. Which is part of Vancouver’s Island r — Yes.

2285. What were the circumstances which rendered your landing dangerous r
— A short time before I arrived there, a Cowichan and a Nanimo Indian had
killed either one or two shepherds.

2286. Europeans? — Yes; I believe they were Europeans. Mr. Douglas, aided
by Captain Kuper, of the ” Thetis,” took these men, and they were tried and
hung for the murder; they were hung at Nanimo.

2.>87. That created great excitement among the other Indians?— Yes.

2288. And it was considered not safe at that time to land ?— I certainly did
not think it safe myself, because, if I had landed, I should have had to land
alone ; and as I could not speak Cowichan, and those Indians did not under-
stand signs, I did not wish to risk myself there.

2289. Have any attempts been made, as far as you know, for the civilization
or instruction of these natives ? — 1 think none.

2290. Have you heard of any missionary being on the island at all? —
Mr. Stains, the chaplain to the Company, was then on the island, and there
was a Roman Catholic bishop.

2291. You are not aware that any means were being used, or that any
schools were in existence ; there was no settlement of Indians there ? — The
Indians there live in permanent villages ; they are not a migratory tribe like
those on the main land, but they live in villages on the shore.

2292. You would, therefore, consider thcit it would be easier to provide
for their instruction than it would be in the case of the wandering Indians ? —
I think so.

2293. Chairman.] Are they employed on the coal mines at all? — No.

2294. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Vancouver’s Island is about as large as England,
is it not ? — I should think it is as long as England proper, but not so wide.

2295. Sir Join Pakiiigton.] Is Victoria the only European settlement there ?
— Yes. the only town.

2296. Do the 300 English and half-breeds, of whom you spoke, reside at
Victoria? — No, not- all; some of them reside on farms in the neighbourhood.

2297. Am I right in presuming that those farms are in the neighbourhood
of Victoria? — All within 12 miles of it.

22y8. Substantially, there is only one Enghsh settlement in Vancouver’s
Island?— Exactly so.

2299. Is that English settlement of Victoria situated upon the very fine
harbour of which you have spoken?— No, not exactly on it ; it is situated on
a small harbour which runs in a little to the east of Esquimault ; going by land
it is within a mile and a half of the harbour.

2300. To what extent did you yourself obtain any personal knowledge of
Vancouver’s Island? — 1 was at the coal mines at Nanimo.

2301 . How far are they from* Victoria r — They are about 80 miles, on the east

2302. I apprehend that those coal mines practically constitute a settlement,
do they not ? — Yes. I forgot tiie settlement at the coal mines.

2303. What is the number of Europeans who are settled a»- the coal mines ?
— I do not believe there were more than 10 when i was there.

2304. What was the aggregate population there? — I do not believe there
were more than 10 persons altogether at the mines.

2305. Do you mean that the coiil mines are worked by 10 persons ? — There
were only four men then working in the mine.

2306. Without the assistance of any Indians or half-breed ? — Yes, except one
or two just to wind up the coal.

23117. How far from the coast is the coal mine at Nanimo? — Twenty yards.

2308. Then the coals are all conveyed by sea, of course ? — Yes ; a .’)00 ton
ship can come within 10 yards of the shore ; within 40 yards of the mouth of
the pit.

2309. On which coast is Nanimo ? — On the east coast.

2310. Within the straits?— Yes; all the country I am speaking of is within
the Straitt^ of Fuco.

23 11. Arc


23H. Are those straits throughout easy of navis^ation; is it a pretty bold,
safe coast; say from Victoria to iVIaniiuo, is it a safe navigation? — It is rather
an intricate navigation, for it is tiirough a chister of islands tlie way I went, by
canoe and steam -boat.

2J12. You have spoken of a 500 ton ship ; is the water deep? — Yes.

23 1 3. Is there any difficulty in navigating a 500 ton ship from Victoria to
Nanimo ? — Not with propelling power.

2314. Do you know the total number of Indians in Vancouver’s Island?

2315. I understood you to state that they were peaceable, and for the most
part unarmed ? — I should say they are for the most part unarmed. 1 do not
lielieve in the peaceableness of any Indian.

2310. Will you explain that answer?—! believe thai any Indian will take any
and every advantage he possibly can.

2317. What I mean rather is, not whether as an uncivilised man he would
take advantage, but whether the Indians of Vancouver’s island have evinced
any disposition to be aggressive towards the European settlers, or whether they
have lived peaceably with the European settlers ? — I think, generally speaking,
they have lived peaceably with tliem, as far a^ I can understand.

23 1 8. They are not what you would comparatively speak of as a savage
tribe of Indians r — No ; they are not to be compared with the Blackfeet.

2319. Mr, Uelt.] From what you say, the (oal mines are not at all in active
operation ? — No ; they were not when I was there.

2320. Mr. Edward EUice.~\ Of what time do you speak with reference to that
coal?— 1853.

2321. Are you aware that very shortly after the coal was discovered there
was an intention shown to begin to work it ? — Yes.

2322. Are you not aware tliat there are now GO or 70 miners employed ? —
I am not sure; but when I was there I know that miners were expected out,
in the ” Otter,” I think.

2323. Mr. Gordon ~\ What class of persons were the settlers of whom you
iiave been talking ; were they persons who had come from Kiigliind, or persons
who had settled there from America ; had any come from the opposite coast ?
— ] think very few ; some American ; had come for job work.

‘-‘324. Where had the white population, such as it was, come from? — From
England, generally speaking.

232.5. What inducements had brought those Knglish settlers out there? —
Several had come out as servants of the Puget Sound Farming Company, and
were acting as bailiffs and servanij on that farm ; they had oeen brought out
in the Company’s sliips.

■iyiCi. Vou do not think, then, that any of the settlers there had come out
attracted by the advantages of the island itself ; they had come out, as it were,
Jiecidentally in some capacity, and then they remained there I — I think only
•me iiad come out to settle.

2327. Was any encouragement given to settlers to come ; was there any
effort made to induce other settlers to come ? — I think not.

2328. Mr. Edward Kllicc] Vou do not know that to be the fact?— No.

2329. Mr. Ciordun.] Do you happen to know at what price land was pro-
cured tlierc r— Land was sold at 1 /. an acre, according to the assignment of
the island to the Company by the Clovernment. ‘1 he Company received 10 per
cent, of that, and the remaining 90 per cent, was to be expended in the improve-
ment of the island.

^330. Do you know when that coal mine of which you have spoken was first
discovered r — At the end of 1852, I think.

2331. Have you often travelled with American fur traders r — Yes.

2332. Have you had any opportunity of observing whether they, in their
traffic with the Indians, make great use of spirituous liquors as a means of
barter?— I think, generally speaking, they do not use liquors.

2333. Is there any penalty in force if it is proved that they have made use
of them ? — A very heavy one.

‘334. Have you ever seen that heavy penalty practically enforced ? — I cannot
say thiit I have seen it ; but I have heard that a man whom I wished to employ
had been detected trading in liquor, and 1 ad been taken t’own from Fort
Liiramy on the Plat to the iStates.

0’2j. P 3 ^335- As

Hon. C. W. W.
FitxwUliam, n. p.

5 March 1857.

(•- :

‘■’ r




Hon. C. W. IV,
litxwilUam, ki. p.

K.r :, M.




5 March 1857.

233,5′ >^s a prisoner f — As a prisoner,

2336. Chained?—! believe so.

2337- Then do you believe that that regulation is practically carriwl out r —
I think it is, where they have tiie jjower to do so.

•J338. Mr. Pcrcij il’erbcrl.’] You spoke of the anchorage; that ships of 500
tons could lie off the coal mine ?— Ves.

2339. Is that a secure and extensive anchoraj^e ?— It is not an extensive
anchorage exactly opposite the coal mine ; it is perfectly secure, and within a
quarter of a mile of it there is anchorage for any number of ships that choose
to go there.

2340. Is the supply of coal supposed to he very large f — It had not been
explored very much when I was there, hut they were then working a six-feet
seam, which seemed to descend into the ground instead of rising to the

2341. Viscount Sandon.] I think there are some islands between Vancouver’s
Islaml and tl»e mainland ? — Yes.

2342. Have you been on them ?~I have camped on some of them.

2343. Are tiiey capable of cultivation f — Yes, I think so.

2344. They are just at the mouth of the harbour, 1 think, opposite Victoria?
—They are not at tlie mouth of the harbour.

2345. Just opposite r — Not opposite the moutli of the harbour ; they are to
the back of the harbour.

2346. .Mr. Edward EU’ue.~\ Are not those the islands now in dispute between
the American (iovcrnmeni and our own ? — Yes.

2347. Mr. Adikrhy.’] Can you tell us anything about the administration of
the island, tlie government, or the magistracy ? — Tlierc was a governor appointed
by the home Government, Mr. Douglas, and he had a council of five to aid
him in the government of the island.

2348. Is he at all under the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company ?— He is
a chief factor in the Company.

2349. Was he appointed by the Company ?— No; not by the Company, but
at the suggestion of the Company.

2350. What are the miigistracy, or how is the law enforced there “r- Mr.
Douglas appointed magistratis. I do not know exactly whether they enforced
the law as it would l)e enforced in Kngland, but they made some attempt to
do so.

23,5 ‘ • There are tribunals in X\\’.’ island in case of breaciies of the law ? —
The offenders are brought up before the magistrates whenever such a case

23 -,2. Have tlie Company done anything by way of settling the land? — I do
not think that the Hudson’s Bay Company itself actually has, but the Puget
Sound Fanning Company, wiiich is composted of members of the Hudson’s Bay
Comjjany, has taken out settlers there, and has cultivated a considerable quan-
tity of land.

2353. Is that Puget Sound Company entirely merged in the Hudson’s Bay
Company, or is it a separate Company ■ — It is a separate Company, 1 believe,
conij)osed altogether of members of the Hudson’s Bay Company ; that is how
it wiis explained to me.

2354. So that the whole of the I’uget Sound Company is merged in the
Hudson’s Bay Company r— Yes ; all tiie members of it are officers of the
Hudson’s Bay Company.

23,5.’). Mr. Edward Kllirc] You do not state that as a fact, do you ? — I was
informed so.

23.3(i. Mr. Addtrltij.] Do the Company occujjy lands as belonging to them-
selves besides the land which they have sold- — 1 think tliey had a few fields in
cultivation close to the fort for their own supplies.

23,’)7- Are the public buildint;s at the harbours, and the wharfs, and so on,
retained by the Conijiany as their ov.n property r — There are no public buildings,
and no wharfs, but those which belong to the Company.

23′)K. Do the Company claim a royalty ui)on the mines ? — Yes. I am speak-
ing of I H.’j.’j.

23,59. 1′” >'”” know whether they are taking any steps whatever to advertise
immi:;rauts ? — I hiive never seen any advertisement of the sort.

2^Go. You talked of a surveyor being iippoiuied : how did it come to pass



that that surveyor was appointed, and yet that no survey took place?— He Hon. C. IV-IK
sei’ined to me to be mostly engaged in determining the latitude and longitude Ftttvidliam, m. p.
at different ijoints of the island, which was most usuless for the beneht of the “‘ “^
colonists. 6 *•”‘•=” ‘^•■’7-

•J3()i. Was he paid by the Company ? — Yes.

23()2. From whiit quarter do you think that the settlement of that country
will naturally come ; from the sea side or from the land side ? Supposing
it wiis perfectly free for colonisation, and that there were no rights of the
Hudson’s Hay Company acting as any ol)stacle to emigration from any portion
of the world, do you think it likely tliat it would be. settUnl gradually from the
sea, or that a ])opulation woidd grow up from the United States to it r — 1 think
that in all jjrobability it would be settled from the sea ; that emigrants would
sail from here.

2.363. Do you know that ])ortion of the United States called Columbia ? —
I have been through the Wasliington and Oregon ttirritories ; there are very
few roads there, and most of the eouummication is l)y water.

23C4. Does the ])opulation at all increase in that (lirection :— Vastly.

236,’;. Towards the borders? — Yes, up along the shores of Puget Sound, by

2366. Is tliere any speculation in those fisheries of which you spoke, further
than the mere fishing in canoes ; is there any appesirance of comi)anies being
formed for the purjjose of speculating in those fisheries ? — None whatever. ‘J’he
Hudson’s Bay Company traded the fish from the Indians, and annually sent
down a great deal of salt fish to their depot at the Sandwich Islands.

2367. Uo the Company claim a monopoly of that fishery ; do they claim the
exclusive right of fishery upon the coasts of Vancouver’s Island ? — They do
not fish themselves ; the Indians are the fishermen, and they trade their fish
to the Company.

2368. Have the Com])any a monopoly in that trade? — No, I should not say
that they have a monopoly there, for when I was at Cowichan there was an
opi)osition going on at the time.

2 {(ig. From what quarter was it ? — A settler on the island, a Mr. Couj)er, was
trading then. I think he had got some goods up froui San FVaucisco, and he
was trading to San Francisco at the time.

2370. Mr. Grot/ail.] In fish ? — Mostly in lumber to San Francisco.

2371. Mr. Adilcrlc^.] Was Mr. Cooper a man who had purchased land from
the Company ? — Yes, he had a farm there ; he had about I’y acres in cultivation
then, and would, I dare say, before the year was out, double that.

•,i.’)72. Do you know Nootka Sound ? — No.

2373. I suppose that is a notoriously fine harbour? — I believe so.

2374. Can you state what is the nature of tiie coal which you have seen ; is
it a good coal : — It is an excellent coal, very like the West Hiding of Yorkshire

237,5. And that is a vein very near the surface r— Yes.

237(). Mr. Grogan.] What did you say were the production- hat the settlers
wen; raising when you were there ; you spoke of the Indian^ raising a great
quantity of potatoes ; was corn reared ? — Wheat was raised.

2377. Was it a safe crop: — Yes, I believe so.

2378. Were there any other cereal crops besides wheat ? — Oats and barley.
237y. Have you any doubt vvhatevc r that they would grow there just as well

as they do in these climates? — None whatever.

2380. Chairman.] In short, it is a very fine soil and climate, is it not? —

2381. Sir John P^kiiiytuii.’} At what time of the year were you there? — In
March and Apiil.

2382. Mr. Groffan.] Were there any number of settlers who had purchased
land from the Company, or was Mr. Cooper an isolated case? — I think Mr.
Cooper was an isolated case ; he was in partnership with a farmer, .Mr. Blenk-
horn, who was by far the most energetic settler on the island ; he was a man
who had been in Austrulia for several years, and afterwards came back to
England, and then went out with .\lr. Cooper to the island.

2383. In fact there are no number of settlers going there, or in the island
at present? — No, except those who are brought out by the Puget Sound

o.2j. P4 2384. The

y I

;ji -i




Hon. C. H’. IV.
Fitrwilliam, m. p.

5 March 1857.

‘2384. The settlers whom you have described to us, and those in and about
Fort Victoria, were all the ! Mnrch 1857.
Hudson’s Bay Company ?- In the district called the Mackenzie River district ;

the most northerly district.

2395. In what capacity ? — 1 was a clerk, or a postmaster, u junior officer in
the Hudson’s Bay Company’s service.

2396. In what year was that ? — In the years 1838, 1839, and 1840, I think ;
I am not quite sure of the date ; but it was about that time.

2307. What induced you to leave the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company r
— I wished to come to England to complete my education ; I was desirous of
obtaining a University education, and of (jualifying myself for a profession.

2398. You did not leave the service of the Company in consequence of any
dispute r — Not by any means ; I had no dispute at all with the Hudson’s Hay
Company, and have no personal complaint whatever against them.

2399. When did you return to that country i — I have not been back since.

2400. You were born there, and as a child you lived there r — Ves.

2401. What was your age when you left? — I was very young ; under 20.

2402. In what year did you leave ? — To the best of my recollection about
1841, I think ; I am not quite sure ; or 1842 ; it is many years since I left the

2403. During the whole of those three years for which you were in the
ser%’ice of the Company, you we: • at the Mackenzie River, were you not r —
During the three years that I wit. in the Company’s service. I had travelled
through portions of the territory before that ; but I was very young at the time.

2404. Have you any knowledge of the Red River Settlement, for instance ?
— Yes ; I was at school there as a boy, and I have a little property there, for-
merly belonging to my father, which c ) t

i i

Mr. i<. IiUtiiir. one who chose to enter into it r — I have thouglit over that question a great (leal, I'spccially in reference to the Indians. 1 may at onc(^ state that my chief 5 March 1857. object, in connectinfj; myself with thi« movement at all, was to improve the condition of the native and half-caste Indians in the Red River Settlement. I l)elieve, upon the whole, that if a monopoly of the fur trade could be estab- Ushi-d, and could be possibly made to consist with the enlightenment and pro- gress of the Indians, a monopoly would be best ; but I am afniiil that under the present circumstances a monopoly is impossible. I do not think that the Canadians would allow a monopoly to be csttiblished in that territory. You are quite aware that they have laid a claim to that territory, and I believe they have a legal right to it. '-'41 1. What territory are you speaking of? — The Hudson's Bay territory. 241 '2. Irre.spectively of that claim, and adverting merely to the advantage of the Indians, what do you think would be the effect of throwing open the fur trade indiscriminately to all comers? — In some respects the Indians would be benefited ; I see no objection but one : that is, that there might be a possibility of spirituous liquors being introduced into that ttrritory in greater quantities than they now are introduced. 2413. Do you believe that they are introduced in any considerable quantity? — I have very great reason to believe so. J414. Are you speaking of the entire territory, or only of those parts of the territory that adjoin the settled districts?— From the most correct information that 1 can procure, I believe that the Hudson's Bay Company have discontinued the sale of spirituous liquors in the northern portions of their territories, but that in the country south of the Saskalchawan, and down to the frontier, spirituous liquors are either given or bartered ; at any rate supplied to the Indians ; there are facts to prove it, which I have liere. •2415. With regard to the fur trade, merely looking at it as a trade, do you believe that if the trade was indiscriminately thrown open to everybody the consequence would be the destruction of the fur-bearing animals or not ? — I think not ; I think that is jjroved by the fact that even in the western states of the United States the fur trade is still carried on to a very great extent; I believe there is now a fur merchant in London, Mr. Lampson, who is the agent for the American Fur Company and for the American fur traders ; I believe his sales are quite as large as those of the Hudson's Bay Company ; but the furs are inferior in value; they are of a coarser description, as all furs in southern latitudes are. 2416. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Does that remark apply to all furs, or to a par- ticular sort of furs ?— The agiiregate of the sales, I belii^ve, is about the same as that of the Vludson's Bay Company. 2417. Do those sales include all sorts of furs, or are they specially confined to one or two descriptions of animals? — I believe they include all sorts of furs, as fur as I have been informed. 2418. Chairman.] Are you at all aware of what has been taking place during the last few years in the United States ; of the wars that have been going on between the white and the rfed man, and of the b'oodshed that has so been occasioned ? — Yes ; I have read many accounts of t'lese wars. ^ 2419. They have been very dreadful, I believe ?--They have. 2420. There has been absolute peace, has the' e not, in the Hudson's Bay territory between the white and the red man ? — -Tne numbers of Indians in the Hudson's Bay territories are so few that there could not have been any great wars. As stated by Sir George Simpson, the other day, I think the whole number of the Indians in the thickwood countries, as he called them, was only about 30,000 odd ; and when that is distributed over such ai. immense ai-ea, it is impossible t^at these Indians, so distributed, could get up a war. 2421. You believe the Indian tribes in the United States to be far njore numerous ? — Yes, and of a far more warlike character 2422. In fact, it is a country more fitted for the subsistence of human beings ? — Decidedly so. 2423. Should you have no apprehension that, in tliis vast territory now subject to the Hudson's Bay Company, if there was an uncontrolled admission of whites, to trade in I'urs in that territory, there would not spring up wars between the white and the red man of a very atrocious character?-- 1 do not see any probability of it, for the Hudson's Bay Company do not pretend to control SELKCrr COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. i^^ * lar luore control these Indians r and they do not pretend to exercise any influence over Mr. A. Ishitier. them so far as I am aware. 2d .». Do they not practically exercise a very great influence over the In- 5 March 1857. diaiis? — They may. 242,';. Do they ? — I do not know that they do. .'4j(). You do not believe that they do? — I do not believe that they do. f have never seen any instances in wliieli they have any practical influence of that kind which you speak of ; their influence is entirely connected with trade ; I do not believe that they have anything else to do with the Indians than pro- cure furs iit the cheapest rate they can, aiid deal with them. .?4'.27. You do not think that they exer-^ise their influence to keep order in the country, und t<> uphold justice, so .t.. as it is possible to uphold justice
tbrousih so great an extent of country, in tho circumstances in which they are
placed .’ — I believe it is a principle of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s administra-
tion not to interfere in the quarrels or disputes of tribes at all, or to interfere
as little as possible. If any aggressions are made upon the whites by the
Indians, then they punish them severely.

2428. In short, in your opinion, the interests of the red man would not suffer
if the whole territory was thrown open to white men, without any restriction or
control ? — I think they would not, if there was a guarantee that spirituous
liquors should not be introduced into the territory ; if there were proper means
for preventing it.

2429. Do you believe that it would be possible, it’ rival traders were comjiet-
ing with one another in the chase of these fur-bearing animals, through the
instrumentality of the Indians, to prevent or restrain those parties thus com-
peting with one another from having recourse to the s^upply of spirits to the
Indians, which is the most attractive means of influencing them ? — I believe it
would be difficult, but not impossible ; at least, to a very great extent. I be-
lieve the practice in the American Fur Company’s territories, if I may use the
term, that is, in those portions of the territories occupied by xVmericans, is to
allow no i)erson to trade in furs without a licence, which licence is forfeited upon
the finding of any spirituous liquors in the possession of the trader ; one trader
is set to watch the other ; they have each an interest in informing upon each
other ; and I believe, upon the whole, that spirituous liquors are not largely
used. 1 have here rather a remaikable paper ; a complaint by the American
Government against the Hudson’s Bay Company for supplying spirituous
liquors in large quantities to the Indians ; a complaint addressed to our CJovern-
mrnt, and jirinted here in the form of a Parliamentary Paper.

2430. Mr. Edward Eliict.] What is the date of it? — 1850. {T/ie l)V/«ew Tide Appemlut.
delivered in tht same.)

2431. Chairman.} You believe, then, speaking in the interest of the red man,
that it would be for his advantage that the monojioly of the Hudson’s Bay
Company in fur trading should be abolished, and that the country should be
thrown open to the unlimited competition of any persons who might wish to
engage in it? — I should not like to express a very decided opinion upon the
point. I should very much like to hear the evidence of the Bishop of Rupert’s
Land, and the clergymen who have been in that territory, before I would expresi^
any distinct opinion upon the matter.

2432. You have considered these questions for a great many years ; have
you not formed a decided opinion upon a point of that description? —I have

2433. It is a point on which a great deal turns, is it not? — It is a very
important point.

2434. You are, doubtless, conversant with the state of things which existed
in that country when there was competition in the fur trade between two great
companies, the North-VVest Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company ? — I have
read of the disputes that took place between them.

243/). \\ iiat was the state of things then?— There was a great deal of
disorder and violent? in the terrritory : I think that under present circumstances
these disorders would not arise again ; there was an absence of any controUing
power in the country in Xhose times ; there were no clergymen nor missionaries ;
there was no public opinion of any sort or kind.

2436. You think that theie could be an efficient system of control established
0.25. Q 2 which


1 t :



r-r ;i’






Mr. A. Uhuttr. which would prevent those evilH for the future ? — By extending the Canadian
Government over those territories, not otherwise.

S, Marcb iB,;;. 3437. Do you thinl< that tlie (iovernment of Canada could undertake to ki^ep peace nnd order, and to enforce a proper system of cheek and control over this vtist territory, which would jjrevent these evils? — If they did not I should not recommend the territories heing thrown open. •2438. Do you think that the Canadian Government could do it f — ! believe it is their wish to do it ; I believe they coidd undertake it, becaus«> that ter-
ritory is now practically governed from London : why should it not he governed
from Toronto much more easily •

2439. At present it is governed from Loudon by a compiiny who have a mono
poly of the trade, and have their servants scattered all over the country ? —

2440. it wouhl then be governed by an authority at Toronto which would
have no trading interest in the matter, but would have the duty of keeping
order through all this vast territory ; that would he the difference, would it not ?
— That would be the difference

2441. And you believe that the system would work equally well ? — A force
would be required in the Hed River Settlement, which force would keej) the
whole territory under control ; because access to any jiart of the northern dis-
tricts there, is by one outlet or one opening, the Saskatchawan River, wliieh
enters into Lake Winnipeg ; you cannot approach Mackenzie’s River, Athabasca,
or any of those territories in the north, except througii that one opening. A
custom-house or a little garrison established there would exercise an effectual
control and su|)ervi8ion over everything which entered the country.

2442. \Vhat you would propose would be to join the whole of this immense
territory on both sides of the Kocky Mountuins to the colony of Canada ? — I
am afraid that it will come to that ; I should hardly call it a plan, but I am
afraid there will be no other way of settling the difficulty.

2443. There would be a considerable expense incurred, 1 presume, in main-
taining order through so vast an extent of country ? — There would he the
expense of establishing a force at the Red River territory.

2444. There must be posts scattered all over the country, I presume .’ — I
believe order could be maintained without stationing those posts all over the

244.”,. How could the expense be defrayed, whatever it was, of governing
and administering the affairs of a country of this description r — The trade of
that country is consiilerable ; a tax could be laid ujion the trade to defray the
expense of controlling and conducting it.

2446. Do you think that it would not answer the i)urposes of Canada as a
colony better, to have joined to Canada any country in its vicinity over which it
is at all iirobabhi or jjossible that settlement should extend ? — I am not prepare*!
to speak upon that point ; I only judge of the sentiments of C’anada from the

• newspapers. Merely stating my own opinion, I sliould say that there might

perhaps be no objection to it, axid that the arrangement on the whole might
be a beneficial one, taking the territory gradually as, they required it.

2447. But do you think that it would be expedient or advisable to join Van
couver’s Island, for instance, to the colony of Canada ■ — Vancouver’s Island is
quite a different consideration ; I think there ought to be a separate colony

2448. With regard to the country on the mainland adjoining Vancouver’s
Island, which may be adapted for the purposes of settlement, would it not be
more convenient that that should be mwle a colony, and that its inhabitants
should manage their own affairs, rather than be obliged to go to Toronto for
that purpose ? — I think the whole of the territory west of the Rocky Mountains
must be administered from Vancouver’s Island, if it is thrown open. The
Canadians may, however, think differently.

2440. Then you are speaking merely of Rupert’s Land ? — Merely of Rupert’s
Land ; the territory to the north of Canada. I believe it is our interest to
people that country, because the United States are fast peopling the territory
along the frontier, and they will have that territory from us unless we do
people it.

24,50. You think that it v>rould not be enough, if such an arrangement could
be made, to take away from the Hudson’s Bay Company any such territory as



could be made use of for the ])urpoHe8 of settlement for n lonu; time to come ; Mr, A. Iibuitr.

but thiit it would be nlso de»iriible to take from tbeni that portion of their terri- —

iory which could only be applied for the purposes of the fur trade, and to throw 5 Mtrch 1857.

it open to unrestricted ••ompetition r — I am looking nt the inducements which

would lend emigrants into that territory ; I do not think they would go from

Canada to the lied River Settlement merely for the purpose of obtaining land ;

they could get land in abundance in Canada. If, therefore, our object is to

jM’ople that territory, we must hold out an inducement to tliem by throwing

open the fur trade to them. Hut eveii otherwise I do not think it is juHsible to

enforce n monopoly in tliat territory ; you cannot do it. If you tlirow open

Red River to the Canadians, you throw open the fur trade practical!}-. There

is no means t)f ])reventing those people going the/e ; you may just as well talk of

establishing a monopoly in the gold fields of Australia.

24,’) I. You think, whatever the difficulties are, that thos(! difficulties must be
coped with ? — 1 tiunk so ; there is the case of the Retl River Settlement ; they
have gone into the fur trade in s|)ite of all the endeavours of the Hudson’s Bay
Conjpany, and it is a very insignificant colony. I have now a statement of the
furs whicrh were sent out from tin; Red River district by way of the United States.
They are forcing a channel through there.

•J4.’).’. Am I rightly representing your opinions as amounting to this, that
you consider the thing inevitable, that, whether we wish it or not, the fur trade
will, by the i)rogr(!Ss of events, be thrown open to competition r — That is my

24,-53. But that you are doubtful, if it could be prevented, of the effects that
such a change would produce upon the interests of the Indians, as fiir as they
are concerned ? — Yes ; I wish to reserve my opinion upon that ])oint.

24.’54. You referred to a paper giving an account of the fur trade going on with
the Americans : — The trade going on between the Red River Territory and
the United States.

24,’)5. Mr. Edward Eilice.] What is that paper to which you refer ? — An
extract from a newsjjaper which has been put into my hands within the last
two days. If it is received as evidence, I .shall feel bound to give the date, and
the name of the paper. It is evidently an authentic document as far as a
newsjjaper state nent can be so : ” Here are a few interesting Minesota items.
The towns along the western bank of the Mississippi are rapidly im))roving in
trade and population. A new land offifie is soon to be opiined at Buchanai>,
near the head of Lake Superior. St. Lawrence is the name of a new town, 15
miles above Shakoj)ee, on the Minesota River. Trade between St. Paul and
Sujierior is (juite brisk. The total amount of peltries from the Pembina. Red
River region, exported from St. Paul, Minesota, for 1856, is as follows :• — G4,’292
rats; 8,276 minks; 1,428 martens ; 8/6 foxes; 3,600 coons; 1,045 fishers ; 10
wolverines; ,”}64 badgers; 2,032 wolves; 405 otter; 2,642 rit-foxes ; 610
deer” (skins jmjbably) ; ” 20 cross-fox ; 8 silver fox ; 50 lynx ; 7,500 buffalo
robes, and 586 pounds of beaver ; worth, in the aggregate, about 97,000

24;,6. You do not consider yourself responsible for that statement ? — No, it
is simply a newspaper statement.

2457. Mr. KinnaiidJ] Is it from an English or an American paper? — It has
only been sent to me within the last two days, and in that form. I have written
to ask where it is extracted frofi, and of course, if it is received as evidence, I
shall be able to state in a few days.

^4,58. Mr. Gordon.] Do you credit it, from the otiier sources of information
which are open to you : — 1 do.

■J4,5(). Mr.G’ro^Y^/.] I believe you had a long correspondence with the Colonial
Office relative to a petition to Her Majesty which was sent from the Red River
Settlement some years ago ? — Yes. I laid that petition before Lord Grey.
I was myself resident at the time in England ; but I am nut responsible fir the
statements of that petition in any way. I believe them to be true : and I pro-
duced evidence in the course of ihose papers to support the statemer/ts umde by
the petitioners as far as I c(mld.

24()o. Am I to understand that you were concerned in getting up the evidence
which is contained in these papers ? — Yes, but not in getting up the petition ;
I had no connexion with the petition.

0.25. Q 3 2461. I refer








1- I:’



Mr. A. ttktttr. ‘J4fil. I rrfrr to a vnrlrty ‘tf pupiTH tlint w«’rt’ iiiclcwrd wliich w«’r<' f(invanl«'(l to tin- Colonial Orticr in cupport of tliiit |iftition from H«'«l Uiv«'r< - Yrs. S March 1857. 2.^tv2. You not \ *lii» I'videiuT to biirk up tlu' stutniuuts of tin- petition ■ — Pr('ciii«'ly. •-'4113. You liavf no ([uestion or iloiiht of th»' nccurncy of tln'st- papfn* f— No, unh'Hs then' iire sonn- n>isi)rint.f ; there ure ^o^u• miHprintH in the t’ourse
of them.

•24<»4. In page 7H of the Pnrliitmentnry Paper entitled " Corresjumdenre relativ*' to Complaints of the Inhabitants of th<' Red Hiver Settlement," there are the names of five retired servants of tlie Iluilson's Hay ('omi»any, and some very strong statements are there contained • — Yes, I have seen them. .'4tt-,. Did you know any «)f those .servants yourself.' — The last two I kn«'w personally ; as to tlie other three, 1 know where they are just now, and know their friends, and know them to be respectable persons. 24t><). Have you any doubt whntsot ver of their being trustworthy and tmthful men?- None whatever. •J467. .\nd )ou place full confidence in their statements "■ — In the statements given here I do ; they agree with my own observations ami experience. 2^6^. Will you turn over to page HO: " ,\re there any schools for the instruction of the natives where you have been ?" appears to have been a {[uestion sent to these five servants ?— Yes. 24(io. They respectively answer, " I do not know of any." " None." '• There are no schools for the instruction of the natives." " None at the posts I have been at." " A school was lately established at Norway House." Does the state- ment there correspond with your knowledge of that Red River Settlement, and of the general management of the Hudson's Hay Comi)any with n-gard to the education of the people ? — It is perfectly true, I believe, to this day, as far as the Hudsim's Bay Company are concerned. That is making a distinction between the schools estidilished by the missionarie.-J and the schools estnblisheil by the Hudson's Hay Company, of which there are none that I know of, with the exception of one at the Red River Settlement, an academy established for the education of the childivn of the officers of the Hudson's Hay Company, and under the charge (•'" the bishop. ■2471). It is under the sujjervision of the bishop ; but who is at the expense of the school ?^ — Tlie Huiison's Bay Company contribute 100/. a yeartowanls the school ; l)ut it is a self-supporting school ; pupils pay, 1 think, about 'M I. a year to it ; it is a school of a superior class. 2471. Mr. Cfmrhs I'itzwiUiam.} Were you yourself educated there- — I was. 2472. Mr. G>(Mjan,] And you had to bear your shareof the contribution? — Yes.

2473. With the ex«;eption of the contribution of 100/. a year to that school
of a su|)erior class, is there, as far as your knowledge goes, any school in the
territory of the Hudson’s Hay Company assisted by them ?- I know of none.

2474. Mv. Edward F.lUce.j Are you speaking of the period when you were
there r — As far as my information extends down to the present time.

247.^). Mr. diogat/.] Are yoa now speaking of tlie state of things at the time
you were there.’ — Ves; and I believe the same state of things exists at the
present day.

247t). The evitlcnce you have just given us was, in the first instance, confined
to your own knowledge; it is some time since you left the settlement ? — It Is
some time.

” 2477. Have you been in close communication aixl correspondence with any
of the settlers in that locality since that time :— Ever since, down to the present
time ; continuously ; uninterruptedly.

2475. Do you conceive yourself in a position, by reason of that corres-
pondence, to speak of the state of the settlement at present ‘. — I do.

2470. You have uo doubt, whatever, that you represented the ojnnions of the
settlers in the correspondence with the Colonial Government in 1849? — No
doubt whatsoever. .\nd 1 may mention, that since that time, in the last three
or four years, a portion of my family who were resident at Red River have come
over, and arc now living with me, and they of coiiisehave given me more recent

24S0. Mr. Edwdiu KUictP\ I think you said, that with reference to those
c.)inplaints of which you were the organ, you were not responsible for the
statements contained in them — Not for the prtition.

2481. Mr.


J4S1. Mr. Itoiliiirft- .] Hut 1 su|»|i()>n’ yoii hold yourHclf n’H|)onMl)li’ for j-vcry Ut. A, Jibitttr.
part (if llif tvidciicc which you nrc now jri\iiij< as your own ojiinion ?- I do. ■J ,Sj. Mr. (hoijnii. 1 1 rt'frrn'd you to \\n)H' 80 iiiidorthc luad of th«M|U('Htion, 5 M»rch 1857. " Ari' i\wrv any m-IiooIh for tlu' iiistrnction of tlw nativcx where you have Ix'cn '." Tlu'rc ari' tiv«' aiiHWprs of these five itervants, whieh, down to 1849, you believe to he literally correct V • Yes, I do. ; .•4H3. Are you able to cay whether, at the prcBcnt dat*', you consider that answers would he applicable i* — 1 believe so; with tlu* exception which I have fornu'rly mentioned. • 24S4. Namely, that there ist one Mchool to which assistaiu'c is given of 100/. t 1 1 j 11 year '*. Yes, and none other. | ; ; | 34S,v The next (pu'stion is, " Are you nware of any attempts of any kind ! ' '! iiaving l)een made by the Company to civilise the natives und instnwit tliem in reliKionr" You have the answers befoii you. No. i. "They an' kept in igniranccatid darkness." No. 2- " No." No. 3. " None." No. 4. " Not aware of any." .\nd No. ."i. '• Not aware of any." Are you equally satisfied of the correctness of these replies in lHt!> as you were of the previous (mes? — ■
That is my opiniim at the present time, distinguishing between the attempts
inacU- by the Missionary Societies, and partially assisted by the Hudson’s Hay
Company, as we heard the other day, and the attempts made by the Hudson’s
Bay t’«mij)any themselves.

248(i. You say the uiissionaiies partially assisted by the Hudson’s Bay I om-
pnny (‘an you defini? it more accurately r — I heard it stated the other day, in
replv to a (juestion of this nature, that the (Company give ceitain sums of
money, varying from .”)»>/. to l.’iO/., to missionaries. I know that these are
•jiven to the missionaries individually ; that no account is exacted of the expen- ;

diture of these sums ; that rio returns are made to the Company of the way in
which education may be advanced by these sum.s ; that they arc given, in fact, j

10 the missionaries, and not to the nussions, and are, upon the whole, ratner j

an impediment to tliem than otherwise. j

-:487. CJifiii’Mdii.] How do you mean ” an impediment” to them .- — In this
way, tliat it makes them shut their eyes to many matters which occur.

•.’488. Mr. Edward Ellicc] I believe those missionaries are not appointed
by the Comiiany ■ — No, by no means; they are paid from other sources, and
these sums of money are given to them additionally. I an> loth to say so, but
they are, in effect, sops to the missionaries.

2480. Chairman.] In jwint of fact, do you believe that Christianity has made
any progress ai.:ong the Indian tribes? — I believe it has made very rapid ,

progress in tb”* last few years, since the bishop went out there. i

J4()o. Is that among the trib( ‘^ m ‘he immediate vicinity of the settled
country, or far back into the \\ •’ rness ? — Asfar as the Suska*’ .lawan. I believe
that, at the missionary stntion. near Cumberland-house, on the laskatchawan,
the Indians have made very great progress.

241)1 • I believe the si-ttlers at the Ked River are, upon the whole, a very
moral and wcll-orderetS community, are they not? — 1 believe so; especially the .

English race, and tin’.i descendants.

2402. Mr. Edward Ellicc,’] Your observation with regard to these sums of j

money being a sop to the missionaries, I presume, does not apply to the sum
of nu)ney that tin Company pay to the bishop ? — The suiu of money that is |’

paid to the 1)isliop by the Company is paid under nn arrangement sanctione those portions of the country which have a
permanently frozen soil

2642. Mr. Charles Fitzmlliam.] To what depth dees the soil thaw in the
summer time ? — At Fort Simpson, for example in latitude 62″, the thaw in Oc-
tober extended down to 1 1 feet. There was an experiment made in that place ;
that was the whole of the summer thaw. At York Factory, which is nearly in
the same latitude,, I believe, on the shores of Hudson’s Bay, the thaw had pene-
trated only three feet. At Spvern, which is further south, it had penetrated
about five feet. All these experiments are detailed in the Edinburgh New Philo-
sophical Journal for January 1841. A great variety of experiments were made
and compared with experimeni:; made in Siberia by Professor Baer, of St.

2643. In the country that you are now speaking of there are thick forests of
timber ; at Fort Simpson, at York Factory, and at Severn, it is a wooded coun-
try ? — It is a well-wooded country.

2644. In the event of the country being settled up, and the consequent dis-
appearance of the timber, would any material change be produced on the soil
in respect of thawing?— -If the woods were cut down, and a freer access
afforded to the sun’s rays, no doubt the thaw would be greater ; but I believe
that there would be a permanently frozen subsoil, though at a greater depth
from the surface.

2645. Would that ground ice interfere with agricultural operations ?— Not
at all. ‘

2646. Of no sort?— No. If the thaw is sufficiently deep, the frozen subsoil
does not appear to affect the processes of vegetation in the smallest degree.
In Siberia, which is in the same latitude as the northern parts of the Hudson’s
Bay Company’s territories, there are large crops of wheat every year.

2b47. Do


2647. Do you think tliat the country on Mackenzie’s River is at all adapted
to th(^ wants of civilised man ?- 1 he climate is very severe there ; but the soil,
so fur as I 1kiv(> an opportunity of judgin};;, is tolerably well adapted for cul-
tivation. Vou can raise barley and potatoes very w(!ll indeed.

J648. Mr. drogaii.] Without risk?— Without any risk what.soever. And on
the river Liard, which comes from the mountains, you c in raise large crops ;
the soil is better on that river, imd wheat has been occasionally raised.

J649. Mr. Bell.] You mean that if there was anything to induce people to
?ttle there, independent of agriculture, they might cultivate agriculture, but
would not be likely to go there for agricultural pursuits alone ? — No ; the yield
is not equiU of course to the yield of cirops in more southern countries.

26.’)0. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.’] Do you know the Saskatchawan River ? —
I was born upon the banks of that river.

2651. Where? — At Cumberland House.

2652. Do you know anything of the coal on it ? — I have collected all the
information upon that subject, in a memoir whicli has been published by
the Geological Society ; there are some specimens of the coal in this country
which have been examined by Mr. Bowerbank, the greatest authoilcy we have
upon these matters, and I believe the general opinion of geologists is, that it is
a tertiary coal.

2653. Mr. Roebuck.’] A lignite?— Yes; however, nothing more than the
surface coal bir, been examined; I have seen the coal in that portion of the
coalfield running across Mackenzie’s River near Great Bear Lake ; there is no
doubt that there is a great coalfield there all the way to the Rocky Mountains ;
the coal was tolerable, where I saw it.

26j4. If that country is granitic, how comts it that there is tertiary coal
there? — The country is not gra? “tic; the granitic tract lies east of the great
lakes, which are situated in the line of fracture between the primary and
secondary formations, their bf\ains being mostly e-;cavated in the latter. You
find the east side always granitic, and the west side air .ys limestone, or some
secondary formation.

265-). So that that portion of the territory lying west of the line which you
speak of is capable of cultivation because it is upon limestone f — Yes.

Mr. A. Itbitttr.

5 March 1857.



The Rev. Griffith Owen Curbett, called in ; and Examined.

2656. Mr. Lowe.] ARE you a CIerg}-man of the Church of England? — Yes. Rev. G. 0. Cor6e«.

2657. Have you been in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territory ? — Yes.

2658. During what period ? — 1 left England in 1851 and arrived at Quebec.
I then went to Montreal, stayed there till the navigation opened up, and thence
I went to BuHalo, across the territory to Chicago ; from Chicago to the iMis-
sissippi, and up the Mississippi 400 miles to St. Paul, and from St. Paul along
the St. Peter’s River, and thence up towards the Missouri to Pembina, and from
Pembina to Red River.

26.’i9. How long did you reside in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territories ?
— About three years. I left in 1855. I took charge of the Grand Rapids Dis-
trict, St. Andrew’s, as it is now called, the largest parish on the Red River.

2660. Whereabouts is that? — About 15 miles from the seat of govern-

2(161. What was your duty there? — I had sole charge of the parish, the
Grand Rapids District.

2662. Were you a chaplain of the Company ?— No.

2663. In wliat capacity were you there? — As a missionary of the Colonial
Church and School Society.

26C4. Did you receive any payment from the Company? — No.

2665. Were you under the Bishop ? — Yes.

2666. Mr. Ijordon.] Did you ever visit Portage-h.-Prairi’j ? — Yes.

2f)()’j. Was not there a desire to form a missionary settlement at that place .
— Yes.

2668. What led to that desire? — There were a number of settlers congregated
on the Assiniboine River, about 50 or 60 miles from the seat of government,
and these settlers petitioned for a missionary to be despatched to them for the
instruction of themselves and their children.

0.25. S 669. Was


•i ■ ■■’






Re». G. O. Cofi*«. ‘j6r)n. Was any objection made to the formation of a station there? — Yes.
– – — .2670. Mr. Adilerlei/.] What was the date of tiiat objection ? — About 1853,

5 March 1857. I think ; the people may have conptreijaled to petition for a missionary earlier
tliun that (late, i)ut I speak in reference to my own visit.

afiyi. Mr. dordon.] What objections were made to the formation of n scttle-
irient there, and by whom ? — 1 was given to understand that the Hudson’s Bay
Company wouhi not permit the formatient it in r*ther (juarti-rs also. Since the bishop’s arrival in
England I have asked his I^)rdship whether any change has taken place for the
better ; and he says that it is rather for the worse, because now the people
have to pay down 1 5 /. instead of 1 2 /. in my own immediate district. Tlierefore
perhaps hod not this Committee been sitting, I should have felt a desire, before
returning to the country, to have sought an interview with the Colonial Secre-
tar}|, for the purpose of having some change introduced ; because we have
appealed to the authorities in the country, and have had no change whatsoever
introduced iu my own district.

2686. That deposit which you have spoken of, you think acts as a quasi pro-
hibition to settlement ? — Yes ; the raising of the terms for the lands ; and it
also makes the people indignant, because many of them say, ” We were the
original proprietors of the soil, and now that we wish to settle down and form
a settlement (and here is a missionary who has come all the way from England),
the terms are raised so that yn’ cannot pay them ; we have not the means of
paying them.”

adSj. You have mentioned two cases in which obstructions were, as you
think, made by the Company to the fonnation of a settlement ; can you give
us any other instances within your own knowledge/ -I can mention other
instances ; and I can also, with reference to this subject, give an extract from
a letter which I received recently from a missionary at the Bed River Settle-
ment, who says : ” Sir Gc-rge Simpson c xpressed his displeasure at Archdeacon
Cochrane’s procc umgs at the Portage la- Prairie, and required that he with-
draw and the place be left vacant ; to which the archdeacon replied, ‘ I wonder
Sir George Simpson does not know me better ; he thought to send me from the
Grand Bapids, then to put me out of the Indian settlement ; and does he think
I am now going to quit the portage ? I am surprised that he has not learnt
better by this time.’ ” I have the original of this letter with me, if ihe Chair-
man should like to see it.

a688. Mr. Edward EUicc] Who is the writer of that letter ; is it Archdeacon
Cochrane ? — This was written to me by a missionary upon the Red Biver.

2689. From whom is the letter ; it is not from Archdeacon Cochrane ? — No.

2690. It is from a friend of yours r — It is from a missionary in the Reil River

2691. Mr. Roebuck.] Have you any objection to state his name? — I have
not ; he is the Rev. Mr. Taylor, the agent of the Propagation Society.

2C92. Mr. Gordon.’] Have you known any other case in which the mis-
sionaries either have been, or have thought they have been, desired by the Com-
pany’s officers to quit the post at which they were labouring? — There was Fort
Alexander, to which objections were raised in the very same manner.

2693. Where is Fort Alexander? — It is near Lake Winnipeg; concerning
that I can read an extract from the sanie gentleman, wlio has written to me as
follows : ” Sir George Simpson has given permission now to occupy Fort
Alexander ; to that place 1 suppose Mr. G. (a missionary), will eventually be
appointed ; but strange to stay, he was to confine himself to the fort, not to
civilise and evangelise the hcutlien ; not to form a locality or permanent
dwelling for the Indians.” There is, however, no missionary there, I believe, at
the present time.

2694. Have you ever heard that the authorities of the Company have
e::pre#sed their opinion that it would be better if the missionaries would give
up their efforts there ?— We have heard them state that if missionaries and
missionary settlements increase, chief factors and fur trading posts must

2695. Mr. Lowe.] Whom are you speaking of when you say “them’*? — The
agents of the Company.

2696. Wiiat agents, and where ?— In the neighbourhood of Red River,

2697. What are their names?— I should prefer not mentioning the names.
0.25. s 2 2698. Will

. f 1





R«r. O. 0. Cnrltll.

March 1 8^;.


1 * ;
I .-.
t /-



^ i

; 1




2Cmf. Will you trll u« under wimt cirrumRtuneeH it wjw mentioned ; wn8 it
an ofhrinl eoniniuninition, or liow wim it mmle ? — There lire severnl instances ;
it was* mentioned on one oeeasion when some of the iix*'”*** of th»’ Company and
Bome of the eh-rgymen were feathered together diseussing these things.

2(>0(). In the course of <'(mversation •— Yes. 3700. Lord Stanlei/.] It was a casual remark nam»'d bj' one person in a eon- versation?— Not a casual remark ; it was a discussiim as to how the system of the Mudson'it Bay ('om|mny acts in the country. 270 1. Mr. Luu'e.\ This i;entleman stated it as his opinion in conversation r —Yes. 2702. Mr. Bnebtiek.] And was the conduct of the Company in accordance with that opinion so given ■ — Tlu- conduct of ^he Company, or the system of the Company ns such, is exactly in accordance with it. 2703. Mr. Gro<;an.] You mention this as having been a conversation ai^iong some clergymen anil gentlemen assembled ; did they cimeur in the view whieli was so expressed to then) ; did they throw any doubt upon the statement at all r — Nut the slightest. 2704. Mr. Gordon.] Were you ever informeil by any missionary there that he had been desired to quit the country, and that on his request that the person so desiring him would put that desire into writing, the request had been declined? -I have heard Archdeacon (Cochrane state that. 2705. Mr. LoiveJ] Of himself?— Of himself; that when he was going on buihling the church at the (Jrand Uajjids, which is now the chief district in the R (1 River Settlement, so great was the excitement occasioned by the intimidations of Sir George Simpson that for eight months no settler or native seemed to ])ossess sufficient courage to lift an axe or hoc to proceed with the building, and that he was in the greatest possible trouble under the circum- stances ; that Sir George Simpson eventually went to him, aud told him that he had better leave the country than build that church ; that he then said, " Will you put it upon paper, and I v/ill go to England if you will r" and that Sir George declined jjutting it upon paper. 2700. Archdeacon Cochrane stated this to you, I understand? — He stated this to me upon the occasion of the raising of the terms of taking the land 10 obstruct my own district; he said, "I rarely do any good in this countr\ without having an opposition; but we have tried in the lower part of tiic settlement, therefore go forward." He stated this to me to encourage me. 2707. Where-— At my own station. 270S. When ?— Perhajjs in 18.i3or 18.")4. 2700. W'as any one else firesent ■ — I am not sure, but still his observation.^ were well understood in the settlement. 2710. Is the archdeacon in England ? — No. 2-11. Mr. Kduaril Kllice.] He is at Ued River, is not he ? — Yes. 2712. Mr. Gordon. What is the physical character of the country- — It is very good for agricultural operations. 2713. How far from the l)auk» of the river, in your o])inion, might agricultural operations be profitably extended .' — For a very great distance. 2714. More than a mile from tlie banks?— I have heard Mr. M'Dermott, who is, perhaps, the greatest merchant >e tliey say. ” If we raise it we cannot sell it.” Oonsennently ««• oumut
(Icpeiid upon tl’em f«ir our supplies; therefore it ii^ood deal of our time is
()l)lii!;ed to he directed to nuricultural jmrsuits, wideh tim<. miKht he (U'voted to educational ])ursuits if the people were suthoiently encouraf^ed in raising their ifrniii. ■2J2\. It is your opinion, that if tliere were a sufficient market, even with the present population, agricultural |)ursuits might he profitahly followed to a much larger extent ? — Yes, to an almost utdimited extent, up to u certain line of latitude in the n< ""Mi, and still further north I believe nH we advance to the western part of t\w »!ontinent. J7JJ. Mr. (rrafidn.] What latitude are you referring tor — Perhaps four degrees or five dcgr«;es north of tiie boundary line, beginning at HJ degrees west longitude, about two or three degrt < s north of the line, and widening up to five degrees in advancing us far as 127 degrees west longitude. •J7J3. Mr. Charlit FitzuilUam.\ Will you tell us what the nature of the soil is about lied Ilivcr ; yo\i say there is n large extent of country there which could be cultivated with advantage ; what sort of country is it.'— The .soil is alluvial ; they cultivate the soil without nmnuring it ; they sow it for I'i and 14 years together, and jiroduce for four (puirts, 12 bushels of wheat, G3 or 70 lbs. to the Imsliel, which I am told by tlu; farmers of England really exceeds the returns in many parts of Great iJritain. J724. You say that there is a large extent of country about Red River which is capable of cultivation ; is there water in that country i* — Yes. ■J~2;',. I here are streams running to the Ued Uiver? — Yes ; fine streams. .'7Jti. An; those streams timbered streams, or is there no wood: -There i; a fair quantity of wood along the rivers. ■i7.'7. What timber is it "- — There are oak, elm, biroh, jiin*', and white-wood. 27 jS. ^Vhat is white-wood ? — It is something like poplar. 27 jy. ^Vhat are the other natural vegetable ^ oduclions "f the country ; w.'^t is the nature of ihe grass .' —Timothy grass grows, I think, rid other kinds. 2730. Is it a country which will naturally support cattle r — Yes. 2731. May can be cut.- -Yes. 2732. Cattle can live there in the winter r -Yes. They have only to cut their hay; they have not to make it by turiuiig it over, and so on, ''ut have siuijily to cut it down and let it remain one or two days, and then go and collect it in. 2733. Is it m'cessary to house cattle in the winter: — No, not the whole of the time. They hou^o them at night, but not by day. 2734. We have heard something of the fit ids in that country, are they of fr<'(|uent occurrence ?— A flood hud occurred previously to my arrival ; but I believe they rarely take jilace. I think there have been only two or three flootls there since I have had any knowledge of the country. Since the for- mation of Red Uiver Settlement, there have been only one or two floods. :.'73--,. Of course the floods occur in the spring time ? — Yc; •J73O. Has there been any extraordinary fall of snow i; r! winter when then' has been a flood- — I believe that has not been generally noticed; they cannot attribute tlie cause solely to the larger quantity of snow ; sometimes it has been stated to be the case. 2737. Mr. Gordon.'^ Do not large numbers of the settlers and half-breeds go to St. Paul's for their suiijilies, instead of getting goods out, via Hudson's Bay, by th(! Company's ships ? — Yes. 2738. What is the cause of that?— The dissatisfaction which they feel at present with the Hudson's Bay C!ompany's system. 27 ;y. Hut why should that dissatisfaction make them seek their supplies at St. Paul's- -lU-causc they cannot get supplies at a reasonable rate by the lluiison's Bay route. 2740. Why r — They have again and again asked the Hudson's Bay Company, as far as 1 have been given tn understand by the settlors themselves, to improve the inland communication up to Y'ork Factory by Lake Winnipeg, The interruptions only cover a distance of about 400 miles ; the other 400 miles might be navigated by a little steamboat, over Lake Winnipeg, whicl! is t>-j. S3 a lake








i ■






5 March 1857.

Rev. G. O. Corbeti. a lake 300 miles in length. They have again and again told me that they
have asked the Hudson’s Bay to improve the inland communication.
They have c.xpre.ssed a willingness to pay a small tax to the Hudson’s Day
Company for so doing, but the Hudson’s Bay Company have not done so.
One attempt I believe was made by them at one time to some extent, because
the i)eo()le became so very clamorous upon the subject, but they failed in carry-
ing the thing out to completion ; and the people now say, ” We cannot ask for
any further improvement ; we will go down to the United States of America
and get up our things.” Hence, perhaps, 200 carts and men, and horses and
oxen, are united together, and formed into a large party ; they cross the plains
and they travel not much less than 1,400 miles backwards and forwards, and
expose themselves to great danger and peril, in order to get their supplies at a
reasonable rate in lied River Settlement. I came over with a party numbering
200 carts altogether.

2741. Mr. Edward Ellice.] That is, from St. Paul’s?— To St. Paul’s, from
Red River.

2742. Mr. Gordon.] You have stated that the settlers have made representa-
tions, and petitioned for an improvement in the communication between York
Factory and Red River : have they ever done so with reganl to Lake Superior ;
do they think it possible to improve that route ? — There is no interruption all
the way from Red Rivei to the north-western boundary on Lake Winnipeg ; it
is all clear open water ; so that the Hudson’s Bay Company might at this very
hour have steambcts, or better means of conveying supplies up from that lake
into the Red River, and the goods might be taken from York Factory to the
entrance of the lake.

2743. Have you travelled that country ? — No, I have not travelled on the lake.

2744. Surely there is evidence that that route is very much interrupted by
rapids and other obstructions ? — Not the whole route, only a part of it.

274.<). What makes you give so decided an opinion as that? — From constant intercourse with the people upon this very subject, because it has become a matter of iiublic debate in the country. 274r). What route would that follow ; not that, I suppose, from Lake Winnipeg down the rivers ; I am speaking of the route by Lake Superior : I understood you to say that there was no difficulty in that route, which rather surprised me ? — I meant the other route ; but as to the difficulties between Red River and Lake Superior, I am tcIJ that they are by no means insurmountable. I have recently had a letter from a gentleman on the banks of lied River, who has conversed with a retired chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company upon the subject. 2747. Do you obtain with ease supplies for the use of your station from the forts of the Company ? — Even if the Company were willing to furnish us with our supplies (and we are not sure cf that) we could not get a sufficient quantity. For example, in the article of tea there is not always a sufficient stock kept in the country. 1 have a letter in my hands, in which the gentleman says, " You will imagine the panic we ara all in at the probability of there not being a ship ; the rjal or isupposed straits we shall all be in ; and the plans proposed for a partial supply of tiie wants and necessities of this singularly situated people, dependent on one ship. Oh the casualty, the risk, the uncertainty ! — but so it is. Pray God for us, that we may not this year feel the sad experience of so serious a state of th'ngs consequent on such inadequate means of supply. But it looks gloomy at present ; everything is out ; all the stores are bare, and were it not for what the importers from the States brought in, there would now be little or nothing for the people's use." 2748. Mr. Edward Ellice.] What is the date of that letter?— September the 24th, 18.j5. 2749. ^^•'- /'«"'''-] !)'> you object to give the name of the gentleman who
wrote it?— The same gentleman.

2750. The Rev. Mr. Taylor ?— Yes.

275 1. Mr. Gordon.’] The Company sell goods to you, do they not ? —Yes, some

2 7.’;2 Is tiiere a regular tariff at their forts by which you know the fixed
piicc for good> eoiuitig from Europe– The agent at the fort tells us that he
has not a la\etl tarill himself, LlierLforc we cannot get it. There are certain



things which are fixed ; for example, for salt we have to pay 1 *. a quart ; Rev. O. 0. Corbett.

and for sugar, 1 *. a jjound ; and for rice, 1 *. a pound ; that is fixed.

jj/jj. Then there is a fixed tariff for some articles, but not for others? 6 March 1857.

2754. Mr. Edward Ellice.] But all those things are also brought in by the
community from the States ? — Not English salt, that comes from England.

2755. Is there any obstruction to their being brought in ? — Recently, since
the large caravans have come in from the States, they have imported all they
have required.

2756. Is there any obstruction on the part of the Company to the bringing
in of those things if the people choose to do so ? — I think there is none on the
])arl of the Company in bringing goods in from the United States, with the
exception of efforts recently to put on a very heavy import duty.

:^757. What import duty ? — I have been informed they proposed 10 or 20 per

2758. Do you mean the Hudson’s Bay Company r — Yes.

‘2759. For what purpose was that duty put on ‘! — I think ostensibly for the
improvement of the roads.

2760. As you say ostensibly, have you any reason to suppose that it is turned
to any other purpose, whatever the duty may be? — I will just state a circum-
stance, if you will allow me, which will illustrate the case.

•2761. Just answer ray question first ; you may state the circumstance after-
wards. Have you any reason to suppose that that money is appropriated to
any other purpose than that for which it is stated to be raised ? — I cannot
always say how money is approjjriated.

2762. Why do you say “ostensibly” ?— For this reason, because from Fort
Garry, the seat of government, in a southern direction down to the boundary
line, there is no improvement of the roads whatever

2763. Mr. Roebuck.^ Do they improve the roaas ? — By no means in that
direction ; because the settlers with whom I travelled held a council, and they
debated whether they would pay the import duty or not, and they said, ” Tlie
roads are not improved ; we are obliged to make our own bridges as we cross ;
we are obliged to wade across with our carts ; we will not pay the import duty.”
That was the resolution which was passed.

2764. Mr. Edward Ellice] Have you ever heard that the Hudson’s Bay
Company pay for their own goods to that same ostensible fund, the same duty
that is charged upon goods coming in from America? — I think the Hudson’s
Bay Company get their supplies chiefly from Hudson’s Bay.

276.5. 1 ask you whether the company pay upon their own imports by Hud-
son’s Bay the same duty that they ;’iiarge upon the imports from the American
frontier r— They may do so, but I have had no fact to show it.

2766. Have you ever heard the circumstance of their hpifing done so? — No;
they may do so ; I have no doubt but what they comply with those rules.

2767. You know that there are rules ? — There may be rules ; at least the party
with wi <)m I travelled said tiiat they would have to pay so much for importing their ovv 1 supplies. 2765. You said that the Company complied with the rule? — I have not said that they actually did ; but that I liad no doubt they did. 2769. Have you any reason to believe that the rule applies to the Company as well as to those parties with whom you travelled ; do you believe that that rule is a common one ? —I am nut aware how the Company act with reference to these rules at all. 2770. Do you know thfit those rules apply to the Company ; I am not talkinro is rlso a garrison there.

2707. Mr. Edward Ellicn.] That fort is not occupied in winter, is it? — It is
occupied all the year round ; i camped there myself; I slept there two or three

2798. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam.’] Is it a military post ?— There are a garrison
and a fur post, and a settlement of Indians and half-breeds there. I believe
some of them have gone over the frontier from Red River.

2791). Mr. Gordon.] How far is Pembina from Red River ? — Seventy or
eighty miles from the seat of Oovernment.

2800. But from the boundary line “^ — It is as close as possible to the boundary

2801. Do you know whether any facilities for settlement are afforded near
the frontier by the United States at the present time r — I believe they are giving
every facility. When I came down I found gentlemen from America up as far
as Otter-tnil Lake making claims, and thence as far up as Pembina.

2802. Where is that ?— I suppose it is 150 miles at least to the north of St.
Paul’s ; it is a lake well marked upon the map, I think.

2803. .Mr. Charles FitziviUiam.] Is it another St. Peter’s, or on the Mississippi ?
— It empties its waters into the Red River, I believe.

2S04. Mr. Lowe-] Is it or.*., of the head waters of the Red River r — Yes, one
of the sources.

280/5. Mr. Gordon.] Have you, during your stay at the Red River, known
parties of settlers, with whom you were personally acquainted, leave the Red
River for the United States or elsewhere, from dissatisfaction with the Govern-
ment r— I met with a gentleman at St. Paul, Mr. Doll, a stationer and bookseller
at St. Paul, who has a flourishing business, and he told me that, from the
inconveniences which he had found at the Red River Settlement, and the
discouragements thrown in his way, he had left ; but he is now doing well at
St. Paul ; other parties also have left.

2806. To your own knowledge ? — Yes.

2807. Mr. Edward Eliice.\ What had Mr. Doll been at the Red River r^
1 believe a portion of tiie time he had been in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s

2808. What was the discouragement which he met with? — The usual dis-
couragements experienced by people in the colony.

2809. Mr. Gordon.] What are they ? — The difficulties they have of getting
tlieir goods ; the difficulty of getting representations from the colony, &c. &c.

2810. Mr. Edward Ellice.] What do you call “representations from the
i'( ‘ ly”? — The pe()|)le think that they ought to have a voice in representing
lii> .; grievances ; that, in short, there should be a represen<^ative government in the colony. ! I "J. I I ! i "••;.•). l46 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE ■rv^ Lunm, 0* die Martii, 1867. MEMBERS PRE.9ENT. Mr. Bell. Mr. Blackburn. Mr. EdwMrd Bllice. Mr. Charles Fitzwilliam. Mr, Gordon. Mr. Oregson. Mr. Grogan. Mr. Percy Herbert. Mr. Kinnaird. Mr. Liabouchere. Sir John Pakington. Lord Jol'.n Rusieil. Viscount Sandon. Lord Stanley. Thb Right Hon. HENRY LABOUCKERE, in the Chair. ■i'l'' J ;5.i I. Vj MM Hi' • fHi The Rev. Griffith Owen Corbett, called in ; and further Examined. UcT. G. O. Cerbett. 28 1 1 . Mr. Gordon.] HAVE you ever travelled in company with the American fur traders ?— Yes. cj March 1857. 2812. For any considerable distance? — For upwards of 1,000 miles. 2813. Near the frontier? — Yes. 2814. Had you any opportunities of observing their manner of traJinj2r ^^ furs ? — I had opportunities obtained from tenting with tliem ni.;ht after night, and camping near their forts on the western route from Minesota up to lied River, and on the eastern route from Red River down to Crow Wing. 281,5. Mr. Edward Ellice.] That is in the American territory : — Y'es. 2816. Mr. Gordon.] Did you ever see tlicm engaged 11 trading for the furs • — Not a great deal. 2817. Did you ever see them make use of spirits as a means of barter for furs? — No ; I never saw any spirits among any of them. 2818. Have you reason then to believe that spirits are not used by them as a means of barter • — I ntver saw a drop of spirits in any of their camps or tents, but I have heard the Honourable N. \V. Kitson, the representative of Minesota, remonstrate against the use of spirits as used on the northern side of the boundary line. 2819. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Wliom did he remonstrate with ? — He lias remonstrated in the presence of the camp. 2820. But with whom r — I cannot say that he has remonstrated with any individual in particular ; but he has expressed himself in very indignant ti:rnis in my presence. 2821. Mr. Gordon.] Whom did he remonstrate against ?— Against the Hud- son's Bay Company's fur trailers. 2822. Mr. Edward Ellice.} How did the vemonstrance aiise ? -He spoke of the increasingly large quantity, as he represented it, of rum whieli was employed amongst the Indians, and he spoke of the demoralising effects. 2823. Where ?- -On the frontier. 2824. Mr. Gordon.] Has anything ever come under your own persional inspection of the demoralising effects of ardent spirits on the Indians ? — Yes. 282.'). Mr. Edward Ellice.] Who is that .Mr. Kitson that you spoke of?— He is, I believe, the representative for the Minesota territory. ■2ii2(). Is he not a trader on the frontier in ojjposition to the Hudson's Bay Company r — I cannot say that he is engaged in opposition to the Hudson's Hay Company. 2827. Do you know that he is not ?— I do not think that he is a fur trader in opposition to the Company. 2S28. I/O vou not know that Mr. Kitson is a trader in co'npi'tition with the Company ?— He is a trad r, I believe, in the Minesota territory, in connexio.i with the fur-trjvding Company in that country. 2Sj(). Is Mr. Kitson at lied River as well as in the American territory -—He does not reside at Re I River, I believe. •j^.^o. Do SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 147 2S30. Do you know whether he frequents Red River ?— He visits Red River Rev.G. O. Corb»i(. backward.s and forwards, I believe, as often as he accompaoies the mail up — from Minesota towards Red Uiver. g March 1857. ■-'831. Have you not reason to believe that Mr. Kitson is a trader in com- petition with the Hudson's Bay Company, not only in the American territory but in the territory as far north as Red River f — Not on the British side. I do not think it at all. 283'J. Do you know what his occupation at Red River is when he is there? — The most, I believe, that I have heard respecting his visits at Red River is i'833. Just answer the question; do you know what his business is when he goes so frcquf ntly to Red River ; why does he go there ? — I believe that he has relatives at Red River, and that he visits tht^e relatives; and he takes an interest in forwarding goods, and letters, and mails up to Red River^ and visits Red River ; and the people of Red River take an interest in all his visits as a consequence. •2834. Do not you know that he trades there r — He may privately enter into arrangements for that, but I have no fact before me to prove it. 2835. Mr. Gordon.] Do you believe that he trades in furs there ? — I do not believe that he trades in furs on the British territory. 2836 Have you seen any instances of the use or abuse of spirituous liquors in dealings for furs by the agents of the Company ? — I have seen Indians intoxi- cated within the gates of the Upper Fort Garry. 2837. What reason have you to suppose that that liquor came from the Company r — It must have come from the fort ; there is no other source for it within the immediate vicinity of the fort ; and I have seen Indians in their encampments, in the neighbourhood of the furt, in a state of intoxication, and so wild that I myself have ridden out of my way to be secure in travelling. 2S38. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Where ? — In the neighbourhood of Fort Garry. 2839. Were you encamped there ? — No ; I have passed by them. 2840. Mr. Gordon.] Could not they have procured those spirits from the settlers ? — They may have obtained a little from some of them ; and very likely some of the settlers use rum as well as the Company. 2841. Mr. Edward Ellice.] There are grog-shops there, are there not? — Not that I am aware of. 2842. Not in Red River?- Not in Red River. 2843. Do you know Mr. Fhilip Kennedy? — Yes. 2844. Does not he keep a grog-shop ?— He never did when I was at the Rapirts, and I resided close to his residence; there was no grog-shop there then, nor the slightes t appearance of grog. I have seen Indians "ntoxicated in my own district ; there was a case that happened in my own district. 'J845. Mr. Gordon.] Is it within your personal knowledge r — Yes. I had left my own station, and after returnmg to it, I found that a woman and children had left their cottage, and taken refuge underneath our own roof. I inquired •the reason of it, and they told me that it was hecause they had been excluded from their own dwelling. I then went to the husband, and inquired the cause of it, and he said the cause was this, that the Indians and half-breeds, on returning from the fort of the Company, at Fort Garry, after ': 'ing taken down their furs, sfught admii->ion into his warm room to warm diemselves ;
and after staying to warm them&eives a little they then began to hand round
the rum.

•JS46. Mr. Edward Ellue..] Who did? — The Indians and half-breeds inside
this cottage ; and after drinking the r\xv”. for some time they came to high
words, and from higli words they came to i/iows, and a regular fight took place ;
and so dreadful was this fight that the man said he did r”t ‘:.i s<'' more children to the school r — 1 referred 'o th'=^ effe( s of tin Lite wui in tilt Crimea ujion nocietics in depressing their fun;' >.

28,54. Mr. Charles FitzwilliaiH. J You have tnvfelled up the Rtu River, have
you not ? — Yes.

2855. Are there many small titresuns running into it on either side?— There
are a great many on the westt rn route ; on the westerr side of the lied If ‘v;,’,
niid numerous strennis on the eastern side.

,i856. You have trav> ‘led on both sides f — Yes.

•iS,’;?- 1-. ‘ nuaiiy sue!, .streams are there from the m’ulh i>f the river at ■. ‘;e
Winiiipv’ji; (0 ihr boundary line r — I should think thare .ire 2(» or 30.

28^1’-‘. Thi’^ isi in a diiu arc not prejjar’ l to substantiate that allegation will you withdraw
4t? — I ;j)ly express my nni.rc sion ti>)m what has been said in the country ;
tiiiil i- .11 that 1 can sjiy upon the subject. I repeal, the charge has not been
Ji(i(hiced by me.

288(1. Had you ever anv fear yours If of your letters being opened? — I


(«) t>ee Question l8y5 in Sir (ieorge S?ini.)son’s Evitlence.
0.25. T 3



Letter uf Mr. R. Lane.



n«v. 0. 0. Corftrt/. really have had BUi;h fear that i obtained a special stamp for my own


9 Murcli 1857. 2SS7. What do you eall ” a speciai stamp ” ?— One with my own initials, &c.

2S.S8. Chainnnn.] Has any case ever come to yonr knowledge iu which it
was clearly proved that a letter had been thus opened ? — No.

Sir ./. liicharition,
c. B.




Sir Jdhn Richtmkon, c.n., called in ; and Examined.

288;). Chairman.] WFIAT opportunities have you had of becoming ac-
quainted with that portion of British North America which is under the ad-
ministration of the Hudson’s Bay Company ? — I have made three several
journeys throutrh it, and have resided altogether in the country about seven
years during those journeys.

2890. Have you only known it in your capacity as a traveller ? — In no other

2891. Have vou never been connected with the Hudson’s Bay Company in
any manner i — In no manner as a servant, or paid in any way by the Hudson’s
Bay Company ; I had some share in the Hudson’s Bay stock at one time,
which is now transferred.

2892. You are not a proprietor at this moment? — lam not a proprietor,
although I have a life interest in a few shares.

2893. Under what circumstances were the journeys that you allude to under-
taken ? — I went out first in 1819 with Sir John Franklin, and we travelled from
York Factory to Lake Winnipeg, and from thence to (ireat Slave Lake, and
down the Copper Mine Hiver to the Arctic Sea, and then back again by nearly
the same route ; that was the first journey, which occupied three and a half

2894. What was the second journey ? — The second journey was in 1825 ; I
went out by the way of New York, and tiavelled by Montreal, Ljike Huron, Lake
Superior, Fort William, Winnipeg, Churchill River, Athabasca, Great Slave
Lake, and on to Great Bear Lake, upon the Mackenzie. Then I descended
the Mackenzie River and travelled to the eastward along the coast to the
Copper Mine River, which I ascended, /tnd came back to Cireat Bear Lake I
returned homewards by the snme route, except that I diverged at Isle k la
Cro>se over the prairies to Carlton House, and descended the Saskatchewan
frt n thence to Cumberland House.

2895. Mr. Kdtvard Ellice.] How long did that occupy.’ — I was two and a
half years in the country upon that occasion.

2896. Chainnan.] Will you describe your third journey ? — The third journey
was in 1848 and 1849 ; I went out to starch the coast for Sir John Franklin ;
I made very nearly the same journey that I did upon the second occasion, only
the route through the United States was different.

2897. Were you ever on the west side of the Rocky Mounti’ns ? — I have
never been on the west side qf the Rocky Mountains.

2898. Will you have the goodness to state to the Committee any general
opinion which you have formed ‘>f the capabilities of any considerable portion
of the country which you have travei.<»ed, for the purposes of settlement and colonisation ? — With regard to the production of cereals, wheat may be grown uj) to the 58th parallel of latitude, in favourable places, but oidy in parts. 2899. Mr. Edward Ellice] Probably you will tell us the general aspect of the territory, taking it as a whole. It has bof;n stated here that it is divided into three distinct (livisions .- — In giving a general ide.i of so extensive a country, I should take the Rocky Mountain chain as a iiu Icus of the description. Its peaks rise from 1 2,U00 to 1 5,()()() feet above the level of the sea ; on the eastward it has an inclined base of about 1 M) miles wide, composed of sandstone, and lying 8,000 feet above the sea ; then there is a sloping prairie land from GOO to 800 miles wide, cillcd rolling prairie, on which there are some bluffs b\it no peaks and no hills of any note ; thnt 's mostly grass land ; thea there is a tract of rocky country, extremely uneven, but n<>‘ rising very high,
aliout 200 miles wide, h.unding a chain of lakes which sep^irates it generally
I’ruiu the prairie luml, .dthough there is a little wooily coui; 1 tervening
between these lakes an I the prairie; ll-cii there is a very uneven c’.iiu ‘if equal
width descending to Hudson’s Bay, partly Hmestone ; all that 20an] Is that the district of the Great l^akesf — The district of
the Great Lakes’ iun^^ auout south-west from the mouth of the .St. Lawrenc , 9 “””■’■■n •*’67-
and does not interfere with it ; tlie district of which 1 have heen spcakiu)^ is
separated from that of the Great l,ak’?s hy an elevated rocky ridf^e, not nearly
80 high as the Rocky Motmtains, hut hy a ridge in which the jjass over which
the Hudson’s Bay Company travel to the nortli, and wliicli, I suppo-se to he
well chosen, is 820 feet nbnve the level iif Lake Superior, which itself is about
640 feet above the sea; the pass is i)robahly about 1,400 feet altogether above
the level of the sea. The summit of the vatershed at Thousand Islands Lak(!
is 40 or 50 miles from Lake Superior in a direct line, and the much longer and
circ’itous canoe route rises at least 800 feet within the 50 miles.

290 1. Mr. Edward Ellice.~\ [s that territory divided; we have had it in evi-
dence that it is divided into the barren grounds, the thickwood, and the prairie
country ? — The prairie country is grassy, and extends, as I have said, from the
inclined base of the Rocky Mountains for COO or 800 miles to the eastward ; nex;
comes the wooded limestone country in the middle pnrt of the Saskatchewan, a
very flat country, in which the stone is very near the surface, and there is very
little soil. In faci, »n some parts there is almost no soil ; in others there is a
considerable quantity ^f marshy alluvial soil collected upon the banks of the
river, flooded almost evt’^y spring ; indeed I have seen the whole country almost
under water for many miles on each side of the Saskatchewan. Then going on
northwards, and crossing a very slight elevation of land at the Frog Portage,
you enter upon the valley of the Mississippi or Chuichill River, which crosses
the country from west to ea^t, and flows into Hudson’s Bay, a narrow valley ;
but after crossing the Methy Portage, in about latitude 56 degrees, there is a
descent for about 1,200 miles to the Northern Ocean, down which the Mackenzie
flows on nearly a north-west course. From latitude 61 degrees, on Hudson’s
Bay, a little to the north of Chun-hill Tort, to the .north end of Great Bear
Lake, in latitude 67 degreps, there is a line beyond which the woods do not
extend; the nortli -‘.”stern corner of the continent contains no wood whatever,
and is totally barren; it will not produce grain uniler any circumstances, nor
any kind of vegetable food for man, except lichens.

u'()02. In those three districts, assuming them to be the barren ground, the
thickwood, and the prairir country, will you give us your opinion of the relative
capability for the settlement or abode of Europeans :— If, under the name -1
“settlement,” is meant the means of subsistence > i.ply, I think that a con-
siderable population might subsist as high as Peace River upon the alluvial
points and the skirts of the prairie land, but if it is to be a produti*;’? or pro-
gressive colony, I think that there are no means, and that there are not likely
to be any means of producing a flourishing colony without some market or
some conveyance for the grain ; they would only raise grain enough to support
theinse’.ves, but could not export grain withouf better roads than exist at
])resent ; a railroad from Canada, if such a thing could be constructed, might
offer an outlet, but until the settlement of Canada has advanced close to tho
Red River, I do not think that any wise settler would go beyond that place,
there being so much better land much nearer the market to be had at a very
moderate rate.

L’jjoj. We hear that the limestone prevails in a considerable part of that
prairie country and also to the northward of Lake Superior ; limestone is gen
rally a fertilizing agent ; in that country do you think it can be made «■> : • –
The limestone which jirevails all along the west bank of Lake Winnipeg, and
from thence up to Cumberland House and on to the Riviere Maligne at Beaver
Lake, is not a fertile limestone ; it contains a large quantity of magnesia, which
is generp’ly thought to be very injurious to agriculture ; the greater portion of
it is magnesian, and very near the su face, a great part of it being quite naked,
with no soil at all ; and cultivation at Cumberland House, which is a post which
has been estab’v ‘1 for a very loii’^ ,.eriod, has extended in a very small
de^M-ee ; ther^ a few fitlds roi lul that post which have been found


21)04. Have _,.ju evi z travelli,’d Ijy land on the northern shore of Lake
Superior between Saut :>l. Marie and Fort Wil’wui.’-l ha\»’ been four times
along that coast in passing to and tVuiu Cunada.

0.2,5. T ^ 290,5. What


•fil’S ■




Sir 7. Richardson,

9 March 1857.

2pov Whnt ii» the clmriictor of thi’ ((Mintry tlicr”?— It ia very hilly, very
rocky ; it is montly jjinmitivo rock ; that is to suy, >jranit«> and porpiiyry witli
some conglonitTalcs, jcthmss, and talcosi’ slat»’« ; it is a \cry hilly covintry, witii
deep valleys and very pn-cipitoiis elitt’s.

apoti. Ih there anythinn in that coimtn whieh you tliink temptintj or hene-
fieiai to a settler r — There are a few alitiviai |K)ints at the mouths of the rivers
whieh flow into Like Superior wliieii would Ite pmduetive, hut the fjreater part
of the country which one sees in passinu: aloiij? L-ike Superior is entirely desti-
tute of soil. 1 he tires have spread, and destroytd the trees, and hurnt up the
soil, so that the naked rock is the most prevailing tiling over a great portion of
that district. There are some parts which are still covered tliiekly with wood,
hut I think the i^eneral < haraeter of a very large jjortiou (if the north shore of L-ikc Superior is a naked ■• ' . nUh hut little soil, and very rugge l. 2907. Proceeding W( i ■ i >[ ‘” nn ‘.’ort VVilliani, what is tlui character of the
country hetvveen !i( ‘.v ‘st tud ./f Lake Superior and Ldve Winnipeg – — The
canoe route, whicn u< ah that 1 know, ascends the Dog Wive r, ahout 50 miles, to Dog I^ke; tLa' is n raj)i(l river, with rich woods on ei 'h side, and there is some eiipal)ility of producing grain on the hanks of the river ; hut at Dog Lake the land is elevated ; it is l,;i(i(» feet above the sea, and the season is very late ; the ice does not break up till the end of May generally. From that the canoe route leads over a rocky country, interpoe^ef' 'iv very numerous lak«'s and grassy swamps. •2;)oH. Is tiiere anything in thai (;ountry whicih has particular capabilities for a settler r - I saw no spots which would teiijjt a settler there. 2ni> ). Were you at Rainy Lake? — I jxissed through Rainy Lake.

2011′ Wiiat is the character of Rainy Laker — The banks of Rainy I-ake are
of a \ii I ter character ; there being more alluvial soil, and many jjoints on which
pvaiii might be ])roduced. I cannot speak to any great extent of country away
fiinri tlie canoe route ; I only saw it on each side for a few miles. 1 think that
many of the points might jjroduce grain.

2011. You say that you were various times in the Sa.skatchewan ; without
going to particular points, taking the general character of the banks of the
River Saskat, cwan, what are its capabilities as regards settlement ? — Of all the
lower part below Cumberland House, 1 think there are only two or three points
which would maintain a family of farm. rs; there is no place which I saw that
w«)uld maintain a colony of any size. 1 think three or four fartt rs might
occupv the whole of the points tluit are prodiu’tive. 1 lielieve that .^ir. Leitli,
\^ ho lilt a sum of money to foun.l a church for the benefit of the natives of that
district, and who wished to collect them into a village, found only one spot
whi(;h was available for that ])urpose.

2pi2. That was near For^ ”umberland, was it not?— It was at the Pas, some
distance below I’ort Cumberland ; but the whole of that country about the Pas
is intersected by lakes, and in t\a’ sjjring and a gieat part of the sununer it is
underwater; it is very level. Althiugh the limestone comes near the surface,
the country is easily fl.eaver Lake, ui latitude 55 degrees, and following the valley of the Mississippi

• Isle -k la Crosse in latitude 56 degrees ; but the mean limit may be consi-
dered as 55 degrees. There is j)ermanent ice at York Factory, a very thick
b((i of it, which is never thawed ; south of Fort Chipewayan it runs across to
the Koi ky Mountains ; then, upon the other side of the Rocky Mountains it
is deflected afuin to the south ; the lines ‘lo not run in parallels of latitude,
they run oblitjuely across.

:i<)23. Has there come under your observation at all the relative degree of frost in the same parallel in the open country and in the wooded country ?— In the immediate neighbourhood of trees, whtre one could observe the difference between an open plain and woods, the thaw always commenced over the roots of the trees first. 2924. But with regard to the frost itself, is the frost less severe wliere ft has the protection of wood or otherwise ?— The frost caused by the winter does not penetrate so deep in the woods as it does in the open country ; but that is a distinct kind of ice ; the permanent ice that I speak of is beyond the reach of the alternation of the seasons ; it is the result of the mean temperature, and the thickness to which the frost penetrates in the winter and is thawed in the summer is a distinct thing. 2925. It has been suggested here, that the clearance of wood would mitigate the severity of the climate in these countries. In ('anada, or in places which have been cultivated, is the winter frost less severe in the open country than in the wood country ?— My observations were not carried on with that view, so as to give a decided opinion with regard to what occurred in that country ; but observations elsewhere, in our own country, show that when the wood has been cleared away the climate has deteriorated. In the Orkneys, and in many parts where you cannot get u tree to grow now, there is evidence that at a 0.25. U previous Sir J. Riehtrdicm, c. B. ft March 1837. I ■ • 'i' 1 ^' i 1 ' V,' r. II' : ; ; j !;, ■\\\.', in' §|:i . ' t ' ■ '■ i h "i * , 1 ^iij: 1 ,i ! ; l^- ■'' i 154 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE T\KEN BEFORE THE SW J. niekardson. provious period trceH grew abundantly ; they an^ found in every bog ; the cli- <■•»• matr ha* drlcrioniti'd ; I will not \)v poMiiivi; an to tiie caustj. 2936. ^^hat waH the length of the winter at the ditt'erent poHta, say Fort 9 March 1867. Franklin, York, Fort Liard and Fort Simpson ?— I did not wintev at York Faetorj'. 2<)27. Take any Hpota whieh you know ? —At Fort Franklin, on the ( Vpiit Hear Lake, the wint«'r may be said to be ten months, counting from the ij' 1 1 n uw to the disanjM'arance of the ice and the snow again. •igaS. What itt the difference between the mean annual heats of summer and winter in the same degrees of latiliiile in EurojH! and in North America r— A* a general answer to that question, I should say that Europe has the advantage over the mean heat «)f America of nine degrees of latitude ; but that answer will not extend across the Ameriuan continent ; upon the west bide of the llocky Mountains, the temperature is greater than to the eastward, so that the mean temperature at Fort Vancouver exceeds the mean temperature at New York in the United States. •2929. That is to say if is milder ? — Ves. 2930. Chairman.] How is the mean tL-mperature of the western coast of North America, as compared witli the mean temperature of Europe in similar latitudes? — The mean temperatuie on the west coast of America is lower than that of Europe, but higher than that of the east coast of America. 2931. How much lower than that of Europe.' — Fort Vancouver probably would be equal to two degrees of latitude, that is to say, its mean temperattire. 2932. Mr. Edward Kllicr.] 1 believe it is a fact that in Europe the vine, for instance, grows in the parallel of .')! degrees • — I Iwlieve the northern limit for the profitnl)le cultivation of th<' vine in Europe is in the valley of the Rhine. 2933. And in America it is nt 4li degrees? — In America there is no vine growing naturally Ijcyond 43 degrees. 2934. In a great part of this territory of which you are speaking, the trees in winter are frozen to the heart, are they not ? — They are frozen throughout the whole country, more or less, in the middle of winter ; but upon the Mackenzie the largest trees are frozen to the heart. 293,1- Therefore in breaking wood for fuel, or anything else, you have to u«e particular instruments for the purpose ? —The hatchets require to be peculiarly tempered ; the European hatchet breaks immediately when it is attempted to be used for that purjiose. 2936. You having been in that country at diflferent periods, occupying a long series of years, I supj)<>se you have had some opportunity of judging
of the iiirtueiice of tlm Hudson’s Buy Company over the population of that
territory ; will you tell us what your opinion of it is ? — The best way,
1 think, of answering that ((uestion would be to describe what I saw when
I first went out. In 1819, when I accompanied Sir John Franklin out upon
his first expedition, the two companies, which were then opposed to each other,
the Hudson’s Hay Company and the Norl’.i-West Company, were at war.
Landing at York Kaetory we found several of the members of the North-
West Company prisoners in the fort ; they htid been captured shortly before
we arrived there. One of them, a Mr. Frobisher, escaped with some men and
perished ; he died for want of food in attempting to make his escape. There
had been a fight previously at Red River, in which 2 1 people and the governor
were killed ; and 1 think 14 or 15 wer.^ starved to death upon the Peace River
in consequence of the contest. was the state of the country when we
went in. U’e found both pfirties supplying the Indians liberally with spirits.
The Indians were spending days in dr:mkenness at the different posts, and a
contest altogether shocking to humanity was carried on. At that time it
scarcely appeared that the Indians had any capability t)f being civilised at all.
^Vhen we went out upon the second occasion, the Hudson’s Bay Company
having the sole trr>/’e of the country, and the sole management of the Indians,
there was an improvement ; spirits were no longer carried to the north, or they
were carried in small (juantities then. I think that at that time the tr.itlers
themselves were supplied with a little spirits for their own use ; but there was
a manifest improvement, although none of the natives of pure blood had become
Christians. The missionaries had been out for two or three years, but had
made no progress beyond converting one or two of the half-caste Indians, I
believe. Upon tiie last occasion in 1848 a generation of the Crees had passed




away, “i-‘i yearn having «’Iaps«’«l, niul tlin new generation wore mofltly nble to Sir J. Riekarj* <, rem! und write (all tliose tliat I eaine in contact with); many of them were *^-"- lubouring for wnp«'rt for the lIudson'K Hay ('oiiipany, and altogether the country — — — - waH peaceuhh' fnan one end to the other. I Haw no riot and nothing un- '^ Mtrch iljy. pleasant throughout the whole jniirney. Tlie IndiaiiH, in speaking of theCom- pnny, do not Hjjpak of lhen\ in the aliHtraiit ; tliey talk of the different gentle- men at the po.stM, and the individual character of the gentleman has a great deal to do with their opinions ; if he is liberal and kind to them they Hpeak highly of him. As far an I could judge they seemed well pleased with their condition. 1 heard no great complaints, except the complaint which Indians always make, that they are poor, for the purpose of receiving presents ; but a largt! number of their young men were then employed in .the Company's boats, and working for very good wages. We had to pay those whom we emi)Ioycd for the service of the expedition wages which would be thought very good ill this country, at tlie rate of .MO /. a year besides feeding them. •2();^7. i'/iairman.\ From what part of the country did those Indians come ? — I speak of the Crees and the Nortlicrn Indiana. •j()38. I refer to the jjarfy of Indians that you employed in your canoes on your journey r- The crews of the canoes were partly Iroquois and partly Crees or Chippeways ; we also employed the Northern Indians almost throughout the whole length of their country. 2o,](). Did you pay thenx all in money wages? — We paid the Northern Indians l>y orders iipon the (‘onii)any ; money did not pass.

2()40. Were they ultimately i)aid in money, do you suppose ? — I do not know
for certain ; 1 believe they ])ay in goods in tlie north ; I do not know that the
Indians know the value of money ])roperly there; they reckon by beavers; a
beaver has a certiun money value ; and they are paid by so many beavers.

2941. Do not the Indians nearer to the settled districts know the value of
money? — I think they know the value of money very well at Red River.
Those from Hed River that we saw were paid in money, and the Iroquois and
Chippeways that came from the south were j)aid in money.

294’i. Mr. Edward Kllice.] While you were there, did you hear any com-
plaints of the rule of the Comiiany being oppressive } — I heard no complaint
of that. . I had conversations with some of the half-castes from Red River that
we employed ; and they told me that they had a rij^ht to the country in virtue
of their i)arentnge, and wished, if they could, to get possession of it. They
look upon the exclusive fur trade much as our poachers do upon the game laws
in thi.s country, and they wish to have tlie fur trade to themselves.

2943. Do you think, from your ex])i’rience of the matter, that you could
suggest any other way of keeping that country (I will not call it governing it),
so well as by means of the traders ? — I have thought upon the subject : I think
that Canada could not do it, seeing how that government has failed already
with the Indians that came under its rule upon Lake Superior. The Chippeways
came down in a body the year after we passed down, and destroyed a mining
settlement at Mical Bay, without the Canadians being able to prevent it ; that
was upon the north side of Lake Superior.

2944. Chairman.] Wlien did that take place? — I think it was in 1849. A
regiment was sent up from Canada to 8U))press the foray ; but the Indians vvie
gone, and several soldiers died from the severity of tiie climate in going up.
1 was told by an officer who conducted a part of the force that the poor men
actually died of the cold in going up to suppress these Indians, who had retired
to a distance, and were never seen at all after they had unfortunately destroyed

the settlement. ‘j

•2945. Mr. Edward Ellice.] Is there any way which you can suggest of ‘ :

governing that country better than by means of the Company ? — I can suggest |

no way : the country I tliink is perfectly quiet under the government of the 1

Hudson’s Bay Company at present. I see several objections to annexing it to

Canada; in the first place, the Canadians will not pay any of the clergy on 1 v

either side ; and as there are both Roman-catholic and Protestant clergy to be !

supported, and they are partly supported by the Hudson’s Bay Company, and • t

patronised by them, I think that the reiigit is bodies would be in an inferior .

condition if the country were anjiexed to Canada, and that the missionary

service would suffer. If the Imperial Government were to take the country into ,! i,

its own hands-, I think there would be an immense staff of magistrates, and
0.2.5. u 2 people







a March 1857.





5 M

‘•!;■ -i
,f ■ ■ ” I –

‘ !■ ■ ‘


Sir J. Richardton, people to feed them, to he scattered over that very thinly peopled country,
otherwise they could neither subsist in it nor govern it. I look upon it that
the opening o^ the trade would bring in rival parties ; and from what I saw
formerly I cannot doubt but that the same scenes would recur which I witnessed
in 1819 and 1820.

2946. You have spoken of the means of living. I think you wintered for
two or three years in the country : can you give us an idea of how you lived
in any one of those winters ; of course you were kept in the best way that you
could be ? — We lived in different districts in the different winters : in the
winter of 1819-20, when I accompanied Sir John FrankUn, we lived at the
Hudson’s Bay Post, upon the Saskatchewan, at Cumberland, and were fed by
the Company, principally upon fish, and partly on meat ; but the next winter,
of 1820-1821, we lived upon the verge of the barren grounds, where there are
reindeer, and we fed upon the reindeer and upon such fish as the small lakes

2947. Sir./. Pakington.’] Where was that? — At Fort Enterprise, some dis-
tance north of the Great Slave Lake.

2948. Mr. Edwa7-d £ like.] Had you any farinaceous food or vegetables ? —
We had none whatever ; no vegetables of any description.

29^9. Nor flour ? — Nor flour; and we lived that year entirely in the same
precarious way that the Indians themselves did ; towards the spring frequently
passing two or three days without anything to eat at all.

2o,’;o. Mr. Bd/.] In what latitude was that r — It was in 64 degrees,

295 1 . Mr. Edward Ellice.’] You wintered one year up at Great Bear Lake,
did you not ! — ^’es.

2952. I think there was one winter that you were there when you had hardly
anything but fish to live upon ? — We passed an entire winter at Fort FrankUn,
almost wholly upon fish ; only in the spring we got a little animal food.

2953. In fact, there were six or seven months in which you tasted nothing
but fish r — More than that; 1 should say ve were eight months at least without
ta<5ting anything but fish, except a hare occasionally, and a little moose meat towards the beginning of summer. 2954. That may be the fate of any people I suppose who go up to live in that country ? — Any one wintering at the west end of Great Dear Lake would have to depend entirely upon fish. 205,5. Mr. Kiiinairtl.] Is that fish dried or fresh fish ?— It is frozen ; it keeps the whole winter. 2^^('i. Chnirman.'] When you talk c>f transferring the country, do you mean
the whole country- — The whole country.

2957. Do you think it would be desirable, if it could be done in an equitable
manner, to separate any portion of the country now administered by the Hud-
son’s Bay Company which would be available for the purposes of colonisation
and settlement, having the rest to be managed as mrre hunting ground by
the Hudson’s Hay Company ?— There is no doubt that the Red Uiver and
Vancouver’s Island might be separated, but I do not think that settlers would
go to the Red River until the j)rogress of settling in Canada had advanced
so far.

i!9->8. Would there be any harm in making such arrangements as would
enable settlers to go there if they wished to go there ?— 1 see no objection to it,
provided there is an arrangement made to govern the colony sufficiently.

2;),’;9. You mean that if the internal administration of such districts could
be sufficiently provided for, you see no difficulty, so far as he Hudson’s Bay
Company are concerned, in their surrendering the administration of such
districts, maintaining their administration over land which was calculated for
nothinq: but for the fur trade ? —1 can see no nossible objection to separating the
Red River if such is desired, provided a suffieieni number of troops are sent ;
there must be a military force, I think, otherw’se it would not be safe.

2960. Why would that be more necessary in the event of a separation than
it is now ? — At present the Hudson’s Bay Company’s influence over the Indians
is beneficial ; the natives are dependent upon the Hudson’s May Ctnnpany fir
supplies : but it they could get sujjplies elsewhere, and if spirits were brought
in (for there is nothing which will prevent the introduction of spirits but the
nssolution of the Company not to take them in), I think it would require a strong
military force to keep the Indians in suhjiction.

2061. You

ii ii


2961. You believe that it would be more difficult to govern that district
under something in the shape of an independent government than it is while
it forms a part of tlie Hudson’s Bay C n i lany’s territory ? — It would be more
difficult than it is at present, owing to thv. introduction of spirits and the advent
of designing people ; throughout Canada, when Indians receive the presentswhich
the Imperial Government gives them, they part with them within 24 hours for
spirits, contrary to the law, but still the Indian superintendents cannot prevent
the people crowding to the neighbourhood and supplying spirits for the blankets
and t’ ; other presents which the Indians receive from the Government.

29(12. Is it not the case that the settled population at Red River is, upon the
whole, a well ordered and moral population ? — I cannot speaking personally ; I
have had to do with a number of half castes from Red River who conducted
themselves very well in our service ; I believe that two-thirds of that colony
consist (if the descendants of Canadian settlers who are hunters ; and from all
that I have learnt by reading about it, the remaining third are the descendants
of Orkney men and other Europeans, and are the possessors of the property,
and the more resident cultivators of the soil, and are well conducted, but I
have heard of the half-castes taking the law into their own hands ; I do not
know how far it is true.

21)63. Mr. Kinnaird.] I think you have stated that during the last 20 years
you have seen a very marked improvement in the Indians ? — Yes ; during the
last 29 years a very great improvement,

2()()4. Would not some of those lands which you have described as not
suited for Europeans to colonise and settle upon, do for an Indian settlement ? —
The Indians do settle ujion the lands as far as they choose ; there is no prohi-
bition to that, and whenever they are inclined to form villages they clioose the
land where they please at present.

2965. If you have seen such a marked improvement within the last 20 years,
do you not think that a. kind of right in the Indian to get it? — 1 he ammunition is a present if the
Indian is in want. If he has provisions, they give it for provisions ; if he has
ii ciuantity of meat to dispose of, they give ammunition for meat, but if he is
destitute he receives it gratuitously.

2995. So that there is a distinction ; they will not sell ammunition for skins,
thougli they will for the other Indian products ?— I do not know as to their not
beiug willing to sell ; but the fact, I believe, is, that they do not ; as far as I
can learn, the Indian never parts with liis skins for ammunition,

2996. Have any instances come within your knowledge in which ammuni-
tion has been refused to the Indians for the furs ? — No ; as far as we were
concerned ourselves in the expedition, we have been compelled to refuse ammu-
nition from not having it to give ; but I think that when ammunition is abun-
dant in the trading forts it is never refused.

2997. It is given away gratuitously ? — Provided the Indian is in want and he
cannot subsist without it, the Company find themselves bound to support him
in some way or another, and give liim ammunition, but it very frequently hap-
pens that the ammunition at a post is exhausted.

2998. You have said, ” provided the Indian be in want of the ammunition ;”
how is the Indian’s want of ammunition ascertained ?— What I mean by his
being in want is, if he has no pro^isions to dispose of. An Indian, if he has a
sueeessfwl hunt, kills more ))rovision than he requires for his own use, and he
i)arters it for ammuuuiim. It is a common thing. We frequently purchased
geese and fowl and deer from the Indians, and gave them ammunition for

2999. I am speaking ixclusively of the establishments of the Hudson’s Bay
Com])any .’ — 1 am merely illustrating the practice. Not having resided at the
trading posts of the Hudson’s Bay Company for many seasons, I cannot tell
whether it is invariably the case or not ; but I was told –^ the country that they
never do purchase furs with annnunition. How far that was correct inforina-
uon, I cannot say.

3000. My c|uestion was, whether any instances had come within your know-
ledge in which ananuniticm had been refused to the Indijins ? — No ; nothing
has come under my knowledge as to the nfusal of ammunition.

3001. Lord Stanley.] But it might very well happen that ammunition should
be refused to a party of ln32. Was the iippointnient of governor of the south considered promotion,
or tlie contrary ? — It was divided between the two ; i do not know whether
Governor Williams chose the south in preference or not.

303?. If 1 understand you correctly, a part of your evidence is. that as
regards the Red River Settlement and districts about it, there is a considerable
trai t cajiable of being brought into colonisation, but the want of a ready com-
munication to export the produce is the great drawback ? — The want of co n-
niunication; and from what i observed in Canada no settlers will go a great
distr.nce from the settled posts ; they creep along more or less rapidly, but a
settler does not like to lto into a wilderness away from a neighbourhood ;
and there is a large district along the north side of Lake Superior which must
be settled before settlers will flock to the Red River.

3034. Mr. Bell.] Is that in Canada or in the Hudson’s I’ay territories? — It
is in Canada ; I i\o not know exactly the boundary.

3035. Sir J. Pukinglon.’] It is in both, is it not?— The Hudson’s Bay Com-
pany have posis there; but I suppose it is under the Government of Canada.

303(). Is not the country on the north of Lake Superior, both that part
which is in Canada ami that which is in the Hudson’s Bay territory, at present
wholly unsettled ? — It is not wholly unsettled ; 1 do not know what it is at tiie
present moment ; at the time that 1 passed there were five or six mining com-
panies located upon it.

3037. At what distance from Lake Superior? — Upon the borders of Lake

3038. But the district of country to the north of Lake Superior is wholly
unsettled, is it not ?— It is wholly unsettled, except by the Indian native tribes.

3039. The frontier between Lake Superior and the Red River is also unsettled,
is it not .’-The oidy tixed residences which intervene are the Hudson’s Bay

3040. What is the distance in miles from the nearest point of Lake Superior
to the Red River Settlement ? — I should say from 250 to 300 miles.

3041. Mr. Edward Ei/ice.] I think we have it in evidence that it is about
500 miles? — Yis ; that is following the canoe route.

3042. Mr. Gx.’gati] In your journeys to that country I believe you travelled
from Fort U illiam to Lake Winnipeg very much the same district: — Yes.

3043. Upon all occasions ? — Upon all occasions.
3044 ‘I’hat coveied a space of nearly 30 years r — Vcs, 20 years.
304.-,. When you first went there the dispute between the North-Westeni

Company and thf Hudson’s Bay Company existed ?— It did.

304I). The Noith-Western Company had a station at Fort W illiam, had they
not?— They had.

3047. Had they stations along this route which you have described to us
0.25, X towards







air. I. Hidtardion, towards Luke Winnipes; ?— The Hudson’s Bay (“ompany and the North.
e.B. We.^tern Company had [larallel stations In 1819 1 did “not travel up that

wav ; it was from 1825 that I travelled that route ; it onlv in two journeys

9 March 1857. to and fro that 1 travelled that route.

3048. \\ hen ihe i\oith-V\’estern Company were huntinjr for furs in Rupert’s
Lind, and that district, was it hy Fort William that they got their supplies into
that country ? — Yes.

3n4 th(! absolute sine (juu noii of the country,
namely, an improved communication with the settled pans of Canada? — If you
cou:d make a railroad ; but there is no route in which canoes are exclusively
employed which wdl ever make the carriage of grain profitable. I he expense
of a canoe for a single season (and a season is always implied in it) is never
less than 300/. ; it is from ;}U0/. to i300/. tor the wages of the men and their
maintenance. ( )ne of these large canoes will carry about r)() or GO pieces of goods
of 90 lbs. weight each; that, would make the grain excessively expensive; I
believe the expense was eiionnous in endeavouring to carry grain up to supply
the troops at Red Jliier. Thai ronie \(as chosen, and the grain was carried
up at a vast e\peiise. Such a canoe as I have spoken of is manned by seven
to tburieen men.

3ot)o. How far does a canoe, such as you have described, travel ? — Ihe large
north canoe goes oidy to I’ort William; there it is clianged for small canoes.
The same 14 men who man one of the large canoes to Fort William, man two
small canoes. But fhe expense of the two small north canoes would be the
same as the expense of one large canoe with 14 men, because there arc seven
ir.en to each small canoe.

3o(ii. Have yon travelled tlirough the parts of .Minesoia and the United States
which ad|oin our boundary th(-re ?— Yes, i have been through Lake Huron, and
have seen that part of iMichigan.

3ot).’. In tlie (oiiniry which you speak of about Lake Huron and Michigan,
are I here a variety of American settlements and resident establishments which
have grown vcrv fast indeed? -Very fast.

30(1}. Have they the facilities of roads, or is it ‘jy canoe work that they are
obli;red to derive their supplies? — They have railroads and steamboats; there
are some of tiie finest steamboats in the world running to those settlements




upon I ak Michigan; there is a succession of laree steamboatf Un. or four
running in a day to Michiliniackinnc on Lake Huron ; and there is a ,. aonJ from
New York to Chicago and Illinois.

30t>4. Mr. Btli.l There are steamboats on Lake Superior, are then- not? —
Now there are steamboats on Lake Superior.

30(1-). But they only uo to the American setilfments ; there are none to the
English si’ttleiiients ? — rhey were not running when 1 wa> there.

3oti(). Mr. GrO!>an.] You have desciibed these powerful steamboats and rail-
roads also to some of the new American settlements; were the settlements in
existence before these sieamers went there, or did the .steamers create the settle-
ments r — Micliilimaekin;ic has been in existence since the time of tlie conquest of

^06′. Have you ever been at a town culled Superior, on the American side
of the upper end of Luke Supeiior ? — No ; I have not been at Fond du Lac
at all.

30t>’< Have you been at Chicago? - No ; I have been at Michiliniackinac oidy. 3oti(i. We find settlements on the American territory which grow very rapidly indeed and steamers and railroads running into them ; why are there not settle- ments <'f the same description on tiie British side of the liner — That is the great thoroughlare for emigrants to the Mississippi Valley; tiiey go from New York by that route to the Mississippi ; tiiere is a constant passage of travellers. I have conversed lately with a farmer from Illinois ; he told me that in that very fertile cc'intry, where they could take 20 crops in succession without manuring the groiind, 'heir grain was of no value without a railway, and settlers were very scarcv" ; they ran a line of railway through a part of the country, and instantly vil- lages s,?rrng up on both sides, and bags of grair, were piled up on each side of the railwiy, ni(>re than they could curry away.

3070. Would not the ibrmer part of your doscrijition of Il’inois exactly
apply to the iieJ River Settlement, that the inhabitants there were few, and
that the Ian. I was fertile, hut that they wanted a mode of exporting tiieir
produce .’ — IF you oarricd a railway to the lied Rii’er, I think you would have

3071. PreviouEly to the estublishnient of a railway, hf.<"e any consideralile numbers of free settlers in the Red River? — 1 do not know. I am not able to speak as to the number of tree settlers. 3074. Is there any j)art of the river where it runs through into Lake Win- nipeg nuvigahle for steamers ?— I cannot tell; I never a-cended the Red River; I do not know what rapids there aie in it ; but I should suppose that steamers, with a shallow draught of water, mi^ht ascend it. 307-). ) on m very appivheusive of the introduction of spirits into the Hud- son s Bay Comjiuny's territory in the event of part of it being thrown open for colonisation ? -Yes. 307!). Would they he introduced, do you apprehend, by the British S( ttlcrs, or from the American side r — 1 think both ways. 3077. In point of fact, are ardent spirits used in the country now?— There are none in the interior. I do not know what is used upon the boundary line. 1 did not visit the Red River Settlement. 3078. .Mr. blarkhiirii.] Do you compare Illinois and the Red River Settlement at ail in j)omt of agri< ullural capabiliiy ? — Not at all. Illinois, I suppose, is the most fertile sod in America. 3079. So that there is uo chance of the Red River being settled so rapidly as Ilhnois? — I should s.iy not the least; but I speak of the Red River mostly from the information which I have gathered. 3050. Mr. B(ilL\ You dc not speak of tiie Red River from personal knowledge r —No. 3051. It has been stated in evidence, 1 think, that the Red River will afford crops twenty times in succession without manure? — The Red River is at least i.OOO feet above the level of the sea, and very much higher than Illinois ; that is a great element against cultivation. 0.25. X 2 3o.Sii. Mr. Sir./. liickardsvii, c. B. f) March 1857. r 111 r-' m i p?. 164 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN ""r.FORE THE Sir J. Richardton, ('. H, 9 March 1657, ||'IM lit ^ \'y m \4 \ II : lii;, 308.'. Mr. Gn'<:soti.] Are you of opinion that no settlement, either of Euro- peans or of Indians, could be formed without the protection of a miN' fi)rce ? — I am of that opinion. 30S3 Mr. IklL] What other productions of tlie country are thi.c whicli you are iicquiiinted with ; are there any other mineral productions at the settlcmi-nt of theMacitenzic River; I think in your journal you mention phmihago?-! have seen specimens of plumha^o found near Fort Chipewayun, ;}()N4. V\ as it ol good <|uality .' — I'he piece that 1 saw was cf very good quality. 308.';. Do you think it is found in considerable quantity ?— That I cannot say ; I was unable to visit the spot. .;()8(). ^ou spoke of the inuudatiuns on the Saskatchewan River ; do they leave a dep( sit ? — I hey do. 3()S7 What description of deposit? — They leave alluvial deposit, but it is swept away in >he sprinj,’ floods auain; there are large alluvial flats produced, and
they lire constantly changing their situation.

3088. So thiit they do not leave any great body of soil ? — It would not be safe
to build on many of them ; luit there are bluffs, such as that occupied by the
Indian’*, rai»ed four or live feet ab-^ve the level of the floods ; there are \ illages
located there.

3080. You were speaking of ground-ice; it has been mentioned in the
Committee that there are swamps, between Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg,
flu/en permanently throughout the year ; have you found that to be the case ■ – I
have fi>utid late in the summer, when «ading in lakes to collect water plants, ice
undi r my feet, but I cannot speak as to the extent. There is one lake called
Cold Water Lake, which has an exceedingly low temperature at all seasons of the
year ; upon the height of land there.

3000. I he subject of the influence of climate upon the cultivation of the
ground has been mentioned several times ; you say that clearing woods rather
deteriorates the climate ; what do you think is the effect of draining marshes and
swamps” — I should think that it would improve the climate.

30 )t. Should you imagine that any of this marshy country would, if settle-
ments were carricfl into that neighbourhooil, be capable of drainage, so as to
have that cfl^ect ? — Yes; 1 think that it would improve the climate if it were
thoroughly drained; but it must be a very remote thing ; the ccuntry must be
settled previously.

3092. Mr. Charles Filzirilliam .] Have any geological surveys been made of
that country? — No, unfortunately not ; the north shore of L^ke Superior has
heen thoroughly surveyi d by Mr. Logan and his assistants.

3093. What’ has been the result of that ?— They found some minerals, which
have been worked ; they found lead and copper.

3094. Any ii on ? — I dare say there is iron ; 1 saw plenty of iron ore in some
places ; but that has not been wt)rked, so far as I know ; there were four or iei .u.

3i’2J. You have n.e;it;.»ned Fort Liard in your book as the northern limit of
the tconoinic ‘•ii’tivati u of grain .’ — Yes.

‘^^•2]. F 111 not (jiiiti iindi r»tand what you nieiin liy ccononiic mltivatioii ? —
V\ here the return will be sutficient t 1 induce jnople to sow

3124. riii|iposini; it was found that there was any mineriil wealth in that dis-
trici up as far as F”irt Liard to iiiduee settlement, tiie eountrt, and the soil would
enable the cultivation nf grain to be carrieil out sufficiently 10 support a settle-
mint, thouiih it would nut be sutlii lent to induce people to 1,0 11s aiirieidturists ?
— I did n it visit Fort Liard, so that I cannot tell extent of ground is avail-
able ; I only know that it has been cultivatid tliire; but at Fort Simpson, which
is not fur from it, a little more northerly, they cultivate bailey and rear cattle
but th y bring tiieir hay 150 miles down the river to feed their stock dorini;
the v»intcr of nine months. 1 hey actually cut their hay ir)0 miles distant fro’n
the post.

3rj,) V\’ith regard to the banks of the Peace River; have you travelled up
the Peace River at all: — A little way ; it crosses through a prairie country,
much of it.

3i2(i. Does the river run (irincipally tiirough a prairie country, or are the
banks wooded r -The banks are wooded, but there is an elevated plateau of
prairie land.

.5 1 -‘7. Would you not consider that that would be a favourable agricultural
countrv, supposin<> it was more accessible; thnt is to say, that the prairies
might be used for sheep and for pasture, and the woodeil portions might be
cultivnied- — They could eultivate grain, so far as I understand, upon the allu-
vial points ot the Peace River ; but the existence of wolves over the whole
prairies compiele! precludes the depasturing of sheep. The wolves are too
numerous for ?. y .j.> ;ifstic cattle to bo turned out upon the prairiea.

3125. Lord Je/jv. /w.vji//.] With regar i to the prospects for the future, sup-
posing thift ill! t lia!i.;e was made by the Government or by Parliaineiil in the
authority wiiicli th. Hudson’s Bay Company have hitlidto had, do you think
that ‘hey would In’ able to preserve that authority as wll as they have hitherto— I think so. Judging from the past. I tiiink they wouhl be able to
preserve it in the future. The only disturbance of the [leaee which 1 exjiect
might arise would be from the Red River, from the half-iaste settlers tliere
wisiiing to interfere with the J’ur trade; I think they would be likely to give
some trouble.

3129. Would not persons from the United State.* or from Canada be likely
to wisii to s(ttle there, and settlinu there interfere with the fur trade? — I think
the fur trade is the only thing that would bring them there; I do not think
they would come as settlers for any other reason.

3130. .Supposing that tiny settled for the nason of interfering in tiie fur
trade, which seems very jiossible, would not tlnir attempts to get possession of
the fur trade or to inte fere in the fur trade, a good deal disturb the authority
of the lliid-on’s May Company? — \s long as tlie Hudson’s Bay Company retain
their influence over the Indians, I think they can prevent the peojile from
passing into the interior and disturbing them much, but if the trade were
openid, I think that a contest would arise.

3131. Do vou think that in the present state of that district, and of the
neighbouring country, the trade can bt kept closed? — I think so for some
time, until settling advances nearer to them; at present they are at such
a distance from any populous country, that they are secluded as it wt n; from
the world.

3132. Do you contemplate preventing settlement as far as possible, or
allowing settlement, endeavouring to prevent that setlletntnt being turned into


9 March ifl.’,;.


interfcitnce with flie fur trade ? — I do not see that settlements at tlie Red River Hirj. Rkhardton,
would interfere with it, but settlements I’urtlier north, I think, would interfere *^'”-

with ilw fur trade.

31 ;j,{. Therefore, you would not ohject to see wfttiement make pro^resB at the
Keil liiver ?- If I lie Red River were put under a sufficiently powerful government,
apart from the Company, I Hce no reason why it should n to bring ti»e lui
is profitable 1 cannot say.

;^i;5t) i)i) you see any objection to giving every .,
conmiunicaiion between Lake Su|)eriorand the Red l-ivi
roads and other means of intercourse? — I see noobjectio

niunicitions at all ; naturally it liie Government were to make a r1%







|50 ‘””^


■^ 1^ 11112

n: 1^


1.25 1.4


-^ 6″ —



<^ /a /a yS^ <9 / Photographic Sdences Corporation # # :\ \ ^9) \ <^ 23 WEST MAIN STREET WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 (716) 872-4503 r^ '^t^ % h o & 6^ l{ ■ j. J i' 'i I !i « k E I 1 mm m 168 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE C. B. 9 March 1857. Sir J. Kicharthon, from Lake Winnipeg, and send them to hunt a little further north, ro cut off the communication. 314.5. Mr. Bell.'\ Would you consider that there was any advantage in removing Indians who were settled and had become cultivators of the soil ? — I do not think they could remove them ; they would not move. 3146. It has been done in the United States, and also in Canada r — That was done by force. 3147. The Indians when they hud settled the country and brought it into cultivation objected very much to be removed ? — Exceedingly. 3148. Mr. Edward Ellice.'} Do you not think that if the Ked River Settlement were an open colony the Indians from all parts of the territory would flock towards it in the hopes of getting liquor? — Ihat I cannot say; if liquor were easily acquired I think that a great part of the furs would be carried in that direction to procure liquor. 314!). Mr. Grogan.] The great want in that country in the way of colonieation is the means of a ready communication for the transit of their (joods '.' — The means of exporting the produce ; the want of that would bar cultivation. 3 1 50. A project has been mentioned here as being contemplated for a canal somewhere from Fond du Lac to communicate with tiie lower end of the Rainy Lake in the British territory ; if such a navigable Ciinal were constructed, for instance, would that in your opinion answer the purpose : — It would not answer the purpose for Red River without passing through the American territory, and from Rainy Lake the route would be through a part of the American territory, unless they descended the difficult River Winnipeg. 3i.<)i- I should tell you that the project is American ; to construct it through American soil us far as it goes ? — If they could construct a canal there, it would make the communication with Red River easier ; but it would be through American territory. 315.2. But would it not have the efll'ect of opening up that country for settlers? — I think so. If it is worth while to make a canal, the projectors must see their way to the settling of people there ; but that would be in the American territory, as I say. 3i.'i.5. Is it within your knowledge that there is any communication by the Rat or Reed River, Lake Winnipeg, and Red River? — I have heard that there is a canoe route in that direction. 3154. But you have never traversed it? — I have never traversed it ; I have heard that there is a canoe route across there, and that the Americans travel in that direction. 3 1. -,5. .Mr. Edzrard Ellice.] For how many months in the year would the route be open by canul, by ordinary means r — Between lour and live months ; 1 suppose five months. 31. "id. And for the other seven months it would be closed .'—Yes. 3 1, '57. Mr. Blaekhurn.] How many feet did you say the level of Rainy Lake was above Lake Superior ? — I ^o not know without reference; I suppose that Rainy Lake would probably be 500 feet ; it is upon the other side of the water- shed, upon the descent to Lake Winnipeg. 3158. !So that there is no great probability of a canal being made 10 rise to a superior level of 500 feet r — No, I should think not ; there would be a great manv locks. ill ii-i '1 M \\\ III ^ SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 169 ■.)■ .. Session II. 1857. Martis, 19" die Maii, 1857. MEMBERS PRESENT. Mr. Blackburn. Mr. Christy. Mr. Edward El I ice. Mr. Cliarins Fitzwilliam. Mr. Greper Canada.

3192. Not more severe? — Perhaps less so.

3193. Than Quebec, for instance? — The thermometer sinks to 47° below
zero occasionally at Red River, as it does at Quebec ; but the open season is
somewhat longer at Red River, I think, than even in Upper Canada.

3194. Mr. Roebuck.^ Is the climate warmer than in Lower Canada, because
there is a diflference between Upper and Lower Canada? — I think it more
resembles U^pper Canada, although I have not spent a seas(m in Upper Canada.
I found it necessary to compare tlie two. I have a complete account of the
colony, its products, and its climate, which, if I were .”• ^d, I would lay before
the Committee.

319.’;. Chainuau.] Has it been prepared by youn^t,: .-— It was prepared by
mvself, and sent to the Horse Guards.

3196. A report?— A report. That report, I should think, there can be no
objection to my making public, because it is altogether of a descriptive nature.

3197. Mr. Roebuck.} Can you tell ri’. ■ when the spring or the summer there
begins ? — The season o|)ens about the lirst week in .’Vpril, and closes about the
middle of November ; that is to say, the rivers, lakes and swamps freeze in the
middle of November.

3198. That is about what occurs in Lower Canada ? — I thought it. was about
that of Upper (‘anada ; I may be wrong.

31P9. Does the summer season close as eFidy as the middle of November?
—The summer season may be said to close in August, but the finest weather
is what is called the Fall, which extends from August to the middle of

3200. When does the permanent snow tall?— It commences at the latter part
of November, and is not od’ the ground until the first week in April.

3201. Had you an opportunity of seeing any agriculture while you were
there? — A great deal.

3202. What sort of crops did they L^row ? — Oats, barley, and wheat, chiefly,
but ail sorts of vegetables.

3203. Did the wheat ripen ? — In 90 days from sowing.

3204. It


3JO4. It ripened very perfectly? — It was the tiiiest wheat I ever saw.

3-20!;. ^^’a3 the soil fertile? — Along the immediate banks of the rivers, and
extending for, {lerhaps, the breadth of two miles, no finer loamy soil could be
seen, with a limestone foundation.

j-20(l. Is it geologically limestone ?— All-

3207. And wherever limestone is, there is fertile land, is not theie? — I think
that is the consequence.

3208. Do you know how far the limestone extends; looking at that map? —
I have ascertained from servants of the Hudson’s Bay Company that it extends,
as a base of the whole prairie land, to the Rocky Mountains.

3209. So that, in fact, that part of the territory is tit for agriculture’- —
Quite so.

3210. And would make a good colony? — It might maintain millions.

3211. You talked about your forming a portion of the government there; did
you ever take part in the administration of justice • — In nothing, excepting in
those matters which affected ray troops. I entered into no municipal questions,
except respecting the sale of spirits.

3212. Could you form any opinion as to the efficiency of the administration
of justice there? — I think justice w>»s well administered, under the guidance of a
very able man, who advised the Company’s government.

3213. He was sole judge, I suppose; there was no jury? — Yes, there *vas a
jury always, in th(jse cases that were referred by the mugistraies from the
quarterly meeting, which were decided by the Governor in Council, with the
legal assistance of the recorder, Mr. ‘I’liom, and by a jury of the inliahitants.

3214. Supposing A. B. had been referred as you say, and was to be tried,
who sat as judge ; Mr. Thoin r — The magistrates sat as a session, and had a

321.5. Who was the chairman r — I think he was usually the Governor of the

3216. Not the recorder? — Not the recorder ; he was the legal adviser ; some-
thing like our own recorder here in London, who sits under an aldermen.

3217. You are rather mistaken there ; the recorder is the judge in London ?
— Then I am wrong. I am but a soldier. The seat in which the recorder sat
was not the ordinary judge’s place.

3218. The judge was in fact the Governor ? —The Governor sat, I think, in
the place that a judge would sit in Westminster Hall.

32 1 9. Wiio charged t! 2 jury ? — I never was present at a trial on which there
was a charge made.

3220. Then your opinion of the administration of justice is, I take it, formed
upon hearsay ? — It is so far from being hearsay that I was present at one
trial by the magistrates, but Mr. Thorn happened not to be present on that

3221. Was there a jury then ? — There was no jury.

3222. So that trials do take place there without a jury? — T ials by the

3223. What offence was that ? — I think it was a breach of a municipal law.
The case I know was for selling some rum, which had been given for a
marriage feast, to some of my soldiers, which was contrary to a municipal

3224. Did you ever hear of any trials taking place of people for selling peltries
to any other than the Company ? — I have heard of such, because there was a sol-
dier (if my own on one occasion, who bought some paltry fur or other, and he was
reported to me for having done it. I said that I did not see the offence distinctly,
but they pointed out to me that it was against the law of the place, and of course
I punisluid the soldier.

3225. Did you institute any inquiry into that matter?— I did ascertain from
a Serjeant and corporal who were present, as well as I now remember, but it is
10 years ago, that the man did purchase the article ; he gave some tobacco
for it.

3226. Are you at ail aware whether the person who sold it was tried and
punished also ? — No, I know that he was not ; he was an Indian ; I know that he
was not ])unished in any way.

0.24— Scss. 2. Y2 3227. Why

/. F. Cro/ion.

vj May 1857.

I’ I


;4: :)■!




ColoneJ S’^’^T- Why was not he punished ; was it because they could not catch him?

J, F. Crofion. — J think tiiey attributed it to ignorance, and that he wanted tobacco. I beUeve
they said tliat he did not know exactly tiiat he was doing wrong. I believe it is
19 May 1857. .J ygpy common thing to exchange furs for tobacco there.
3238. But it was contrary to law r — Quite so.

3229. And you punished your soldier for buying:— I punished him for it
because he knew that I had cautioned the men myself not to deal with the

3230. Besides that one particular case which you saw, did you ever see any
other administration of justice f — No, the crimes are so very few ; I think the
magistrates only sat once while I was there.

3231. Then the only time that you saw any administration of justice, it was
without a jury ? — Yes.

3232. When you were there, had you much communication with the half-
breeds? — A good deal.

3233. Did you ever hear any complaints from them of the state of things ?—
Yes ; they were always grumbling.

3234. About what ?— Chiefly that they were not allowed to import spirits.
323.’;. Did they ever tell you that ? — They used to tell me that ; that they

wished that, and to be allowed to distil them.

3236. Do you mean to say that the half-breeds told you that the chief fault
which they had to find with the Government was, that they would not allow
them to import spirits ? — Yes ; they said it was very hard that they could
not tak ” spirits from St. Peter’s, or distil tliem themselves, and therefore
they alleged that to me as a reason why they would not cultivate barley or

3237. Did not the same men suggest to you as a hardship, that they were not
allowed to sell peltries ?— Yes, they did indeed ; that was the case also ; but I
think that their chief objection was what I first stated.

3238. But did they say that their chief objection was that ? — Yes, certainly.
If you will allow me, I would state how it arose. Many of these men 1 took
upon .myself to reason with about leaving their lands utterly uncultivated, and
going out into the prairies to hunt buffaloes rather than looking after their crops,
which would support them in the winter. They said that there was no use in
growing corn, for they had no export for it. They also said that tiie little
which they would wish to raise beyond what would subsist them, they wished
to distil into spirits, which the Company would not allow. They thought that a
great hardship, and they said that the Company not only forbade them to do it
with their own corn, but that they would not let them import them. This made
them, they said, quite miserable in the winter : this was the thing which they all
harped upon.

3239. Was the non-export of their corn considered a grievance solely or
mainly because they could not buy spirits with it ? — No ; ihey said that tliey
did not cultivate their lands for two reasons ; one was, that they could not
export corn which they might raise beyond that required for their mere subsist-
ence, and that even it was better for them to purchase the means of subsistence
with the produce of the plains, the pemmican which they made, than to culti-
vate their lands, for if they grew corn they did not know what to do with it;
they could not export it, and they were not allowed to distil it. That is what
these poor humble men said to me; of course I do not speak of it as being a
reasonable statement.

3240. In your opinion is not ihat a reasonable statement r — No, but I think
that that is the cause of their noi cultivating their lands.

3241. If you were placed in the position of a man having 100 acres of land
there ? — They only had 50.

3242. And if you cultivated it and grew a good deal of corn, and you were not
allowed to export it, and were not allowed to use it as you pleased, should you
think that a grievance ? — It was not that they were not allowed to export it, but
that they could not export it ; there were no means of exporting it.

3243. Was not it the law that they should not have any trafec ? — The law was
that they should not have any traffic.

3244. Then you might say that the law did not permit it ? — They did not so
state it to me ; they siated that they could not export their corn.

3245. Was



icres of land

3245. Was not that the fact ?— It was the fact.

3246. Lord Stanley.] You say the law forbids them to have any tiaflBc ; with
whom ? — With the Americans, or Indians in furs.

.’5247. Do you know what is the nearest point to which their corn could be
sent? — Pembina is the nearest point on the American territory, which is GO
miles from Red River ; but thoy can prow as much as they want there themselves.
The only place where it could be sold would be at St. Peter’s, at Fort Smelling,
and that is a long distance ; 400 miles perhaps.

;;a48. Is it likely that corn {jrown at the Red River would bear the expense
of so long a journey, and be sold ut a profit afterwards? — Certainly not.

324<)- Even if the communications were improved? — Unless there was unin- terrupted water communication I do not think it could pay. * 3250. Mr. Roebuck.'] Have you ever travelled in Minnesota? — No. 3251. Or any portion of the wild parts of America? — Yes ; I have travelled some of the wild parts, for I went from Red River to Fort William, on Lake Superior. 3252. I mean in the United States? — No. 3253. You do not know then how the settlers of the new territories live? — Not at all. 32,')4. Do you suppose that persons at Red River would find any more dithculty than persons in Minnesota to live ? — I should think not. 32.55. And do you suppose that the same circumstances which attach to tho people in Minnesota, and increase civilisation and colonisation there, would attach to the persons livinji in Red River, and would there increase civilisation and colonisation if permitted ? — I believe the circumstances are different, for they have the Missouri River and the St. Peter's River in that direction, and a population has crept up close to them ; but at Red River the nearest point of steam navigation for the colonists is Fort William, on Lake Superior, and that is a very long distance, the itinerary of which I have here, if I am allowed to produce it. 32.56. W'here does your route begin r— My route begins from Red River itself, Fort Garrv, 26 miles from Lake Winnipeg. 3-',57. And it goes from thence to Lake Superior? — This itinerary of mine carries me to Sault Ste. Marie. 32,58. That is between Lake Huron and Lake Superior? — Exactly; just before the fall of 20 feet takes place. 3259. How many miles is it from that fort which you mentioned to Lake Superior? — The whole distance is about 1,126 miles to Sault Ste. Marie. 3260. That is right across the lake, but I am talking of the distance from the western border of the lake to the fort r — Then 354 miles will have to be deducted from the 1,126. 32(3 1. Do you mean to say that it is 700 miles from the Red River to Lake Superior ? — Yes. 32ti2. 'J he greater part of that I suppose could be travelled by water? — All by water, with the exception of the slight portages, no one of which exceeds three or four miles ; three miles I think is the longest. 3263. Mr. Edward ElHce.] What sort of boats are there r — There are two kinds used by the traders ; tliere is what they call a bateau, or a sort of barge, which is used from Fort Garry to Fort Frances; then from Fort Frances onward they have large canoes, which will hold 20 people easily. 3264. If you had had to take a gun from Fort William to Fort Garry, what sort of work would it have been? — I think very easy. T do not see any difficulty. 1 limit it to nine-pounders ; a man cannot carry above 180 lbs. 326,5. How much of that distance would men have had to carry that gun ? —I have not summed up the distances of the portages here, but in my military report they are given ; it is 10 years since I wrote that, and it only came into my possession last night. Colonel J. !•'. CroftoH. la May 1857. t, \ I •!^'»!? [The Witness delivered in the following Paper :] 0.24-- Sess. 2. Y3 Route* Mil W '■ , ' '* li 1 liii yL Colonel 19 May 1857. 174 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE IHK RouTK, by I.akca nnd niverii, from Red [liter Colony to Sault de St*. Marir, trBT»r»ed by Colonel Croflim,Ui\\ Foot, in lH-t7, the Portng'L's nnd cstimnted Distancen bi'tween unoh, nnd tin* Point* oB the whole Wuter Line. Red River Lake Winnipeg Winnipeg River Lake of the Woods • Lnc In Pliiio River - Luc la Pluie ]- Lac Macan Riviere Macan Luc la Croix - Riviere Maliprne Sturgeon Lake Lite Dore Lau dea Morts Lake Windego Millc Lac Riviere Savannc Height of Ltind Dos Itiver Miles. Upper Fort Garry (a Lower Fort Garry Indian Settlement Mouth of Red River I Point* (irand Msraia Fart Alexander, H. B. post I First Eiiii i|ui meat, portage \ mila Second - ditto Third - ditto Terre Hliinche Petit Raohe I \ mila ditto ditto \ ditto i „ - ditto 100 yards Hoclie dr Uonet, Ist portage, 1 mile Ditto - !id ditto ISO yardn Ditto • 3d ditto SO „ Lao de Ronct, short portages White River Grand Rapid Banii'ie Portuire, 50 yardu Sliivi! Fulls, J mile Roche Brule, -JOO yard» Poiate au.T CIiciioh, 160 yurdd Poiale dcK I'.ois, > mile

Chute \\ Jacho, -JOO yards

Portiige de \’\Ae, \ mile

Wahaxiniiins’, Riimnn-eatholie miaaion

CiiVc I’oitag-e, 4 mile –

Crete Portage, ‘JO yards

Tcrre Blanche Portage, 200 yardb –

Gruudu Di’charge

Dallas Rapid

Rat Portage, H. B. C. post
Little Portage, 50 yarda
Across tlu! Traverse

Sand^- KnoUa
Riviere aux Rapides
Long Sault – • ■
Manitou Rapid
The Forks –

Fort Frances, H. B. C. post
Little Creek

Portaufc Neul” «

Trois Portages

Traverse …

Portage de I’ Isle –
Ist portage to 2d portage
3d ditto to :)d ditto
nd ditto to 4th ditto

Portnare des deux Rivieres, 1 mile

Portage des Morts, } mile

Portage des Francois, 2 miles
Portage Pente, J mile –

Portage do Baril, \ mile

Suvnnne Portage …
Millieu Portage …

Prairie Portage . . . .

Prairie Portage, 200 yards –
Jourdain Portage, 200 yards
Barrivre Portage, 100 yards –






















• – From Fort Garry to
Fort Francai boati can
be employod, aa on the
York Factory routa. At
Fort Francos oanoea
must be used aa far as
Fort William ; barges
can then be eiiiployad
for passing throngh
Lake Superior to Sault
Ste. Marie,




























– – Here canoos must be


employed lor troops.


Pog Lnko


Fort William –
Lokc Superior

Sonlt Stp. Marie.

Dog Portage, it milM –
l.ittie Dog Portage, ^ mile –
Portage des Martrea, 20 yarda
Ditihargn d<>a Pineta’ ■

Uhto dea Tmnblaa

Ditto Mnuvaia

Ditto Bulanger
Portage de Couteau, 300 yarda

DHto llsoouai, 600 yarda •

Ditto de riale, 100 yarda –
D(-charge, 00 yardn
Eoartc- Portage, ^ mile
Mountain Portage, j mile

‘Hudaon’a Bay Port –

Tonnerre Point . . –
Lea Ecrita . – – .
TrBverae ….
Piv laland ….
Pio, H.B.C. Poat
Otter’s Head Eoora ….
Bear Berry Rirer
Groa Cap, lat •
Micliipicoton, H. B. C. Poat –
Gargantua ….
Montreal lalaud …
Mamaieuse . . . –
GroH Cap, 2d – – –
Point aux Pins to – –
S:iult SJtc. Marie.

JoT.u. Distance about –














* If atcamera aliall
be eatabliahed on Lake
Superior, the journey
from Red River, 1^
canoe or barge, will end
here, and aave 354 mileg
of dangerous navigation
for araall boata.

A’.£. — The distance marked opposite each place in this Itinerary is that between it and the place
next under it.
The journey can be performed in 36 days by this route.

3266. Mr. Roebuck.] I was asking you about the river ; does the river fell
into Lake Superior? — There is a heij^ht of land which divides the Waters; the
Kamenistiquoia River falls from the height of land, and it is about 36 miles
from the Kakabeka Fall to Fort William. The other rivers flow westward and
empty into Lake M inni[)eg, which ultimately empties itself by Hayes’ and other
Rivers into Hudson’s Bay.

3267. So that part of the way you go against stream and part of the way with
stream r— The main part of the way proceeding towards Canada is ■;)> stream.

3268. Could that stream, with a little difficulty, be renderfc> ‘. navigable
river for boats .’ — Of course, by damming it up in several places /ou might
avoid a great many small jjortages ; but practically, for the slight intercourse
which there is, it is less labour to carry over the portages.

326;). But if there were a great population to come there in time, and a great
traffic, could nut they veiy easily canal the river r — ‘Certainly.

3270. So that the country does not hold out any obstacles to colonisation ? —
Quite the contrary. All that tract is a lovely country by Lac la Pluie and the
Lake of the Woods.

3J71. Did you at all travel towards the Rocky Mountains during the 12
months you were there ? — I rode myself long distances on the plains to ascer-
tain what they were like.

3272. And what did you find them like? — If I may say so, a kind of land
sea, with undulations, but I could have driven the lightest spring gig over it all,
and 1 believe it extends 400 miles.

3273. Then there is no difficulty in communicating with that part of the
country? — I believe you may drive a waggon from Red River to the Rocky
Mountains. I have heard of those who have done it.

3274. Did you pay any attention to the circumstances which prevented that
country from being colonised while you were there ? — Yes, I did. .i

0.24— Sess. 2. Y 4 3275. Did

/. F. Cro/ton.

19 May 1857.




Colonel 3275. Did you come to any conclimions thereupon? — Ye?, I did.

J. F. Criifton. ;]a7t). What were they?— They were these; that it was remoteness and

utter insularity which prevented people from settling there.

13 May 1857. 3277. is it more remote than Oregon? — Orogon is close to the sen, and

therefore it may be said to he the ne.xt parish to England in that sense.

3J78. Is it more remote than Minnesota? — I do not know that country at
all; but I should suppose that the navigation of tho Missouri, and the Mississippi,
and the branch rivers, renders that country perfectly reachable, if I may so
express it, by everythintr

3279, I suppose you have heard of Utah ? — I have.

.'{280. That IS separated, I take it, by a desert from the rest of the world ? —
I believe it is ; but I know nothing of its communications with tiio other

,}j8i. 1 suppose you have heard that it has become a great settlement ? — It

3.282. Iking separated I’rom the rest of the world, it has become a great
settlement: — I am not at all ac(|uainted with the nature of its separation from
it. There may be circumstances which may ‘ender a great tract of countiv
desert, which yet may offer facilities of” approach ; for instance, you may run
a railway over a dead dry flat with great facility.

3283. Would there be any great difficulty in running a railway from Lake
Superior to the Red Ri”er ? — There are no insuperable difficulties in these days
of engineering ; probably the great difficulty would bo the swamps.

3284. Lord Stanley.~\ You spoke of the difficulties of communication between
the Sault Stc. Marie and the Red River; of what nature are those difficulties?
— The want of anything better than a mere foot-traek, in which you go in
Indian file, is the great dithculty over the portages, and having to carry every-
thing, and divide everything into weights of 1)0 lbs. each.

3285. Do you know what the number of the portages is between Red River
and Lake Superior ? — Yes, I could tell the exact number, if I were to count them
on this paper.

328ti, Mr. Edicard ElUce.’] How many breaks are there in the navigation?
— The whole distance from Sault Ste. Marie does not much exceed 1,100 miles ;
it can be done in 30 days. I am sorry to say that these papers only came
into my bands last night, and consequently 1 am not so well acquainted with
them as I was when I wrote them ; I must count the number of portages : some
of them are so exceedingly short as to be only 20 yards ; I do not know that I
should include them.

3287. You had bettr * put in all the interruptions to the navigation ? — They
are all enumerated here, above 60.

3288. Lord Stanley.] Are any of those portages of considerable length ? — The
longest, I think, is 2 i miles to three miles.

3289. Over a height of land ?-;;-Over the height of land.

3290. At a considerable elevation therefore above the river?— I took the
levels myself, 131 feet ; I remember that distinctly, for I took the level above
and below.

3291. Then at that point the navigation must necessarily be interrupted ? —
Yes ; it is the great Kakabeka Fall ; it is a little higher even than Niagara.

3292. Therefore no engineering skill and no reasonable amount of expen-
diture would produce an unbroken navigation between Red River and the
■waters of Lake Superior ? — Not from that point, but there may be in the United
States territory a means of doing it ; from the extreme western point of Lake
Superior, I believe the land slopes down there to the southward.

3293. But you are not aware of any such?— No J I have heard so; but the
great difficulties in that case are in the swamps; the upper land is com-
paratively dry.

3294. Do you know anything of the country to the north of Lake Superior,
from personal knowledge ? — Nothing whatever ; I merely coasted the northern
side ; it is full of minerals, for I knocked off” silver and copper myself with an
axe, cropping out.

3295. While you were at Red River, did you hear much desire expressed on
the part of the inhabitants for an improved communication with Canada?—
Yes, I did.

329(5. By

)tene8s and


3J()fi. By wlmt clans of pcraoiitt; the half-breeds or the whito settlerH-— I
tliink by the Scotch settlers chietiy ; I say the Scotch settlers, because 1 chiefly
communicated with them.

;ji()7. Was there upon their minds an impression that those communications
bad been neglected, and that more might htive been done by the Uovernmi-nt
of the country than had been done f — I dare say that was u very general

3’j(|8. You have spoken of a ])rohibition to trade as existing in the case of the
Red River settlers ; does that ])rohibition extend to all articles, or is it limited
to the trade in furs ? — I think furs and spirits.

3209. Is there any prohibition to a Red River settler to send his grain to any
place to which he can transport it ‘.’ — I think not ; I never heard of it.

3300. Mr. J. //. du/wi/.] You uienlioned that the colonists at the Red River
had only .”iO acres of land each ? — That is the limit.

3301 . That is to say, the Company will not grant them any larger amount? —
Since the settlement came into their possession, out of Lord Selkirk’s hands, I
think that has been the municipal rule ; but there may have been excejjtions,
though I am not aware of a single one, and I knew every man’s allotment.

3302. Did you meet with instances in which one person had sold his allotment
to another ? – Many instances of s\ibdivision.

3303- But not of agj^regation ? — None that 1 can at all charge my memory

3304. Mr. lioelmck.’] Do you know the state of the law, whether a person could
sell liis land without permission of the Company ? — 1 think there was a sort of
formal paper put in for permission to subdivide it.

330,5. I mean to sell it ? — Yes, he might sell the whole lot.

330(i. Without permission of the Company ? — I think so.

3307. That is your impression ? — That is my impression clearly ; I really
nev*r thought upon the point before ; but 1 know that in subdividing it they
liad to apply.

3308. Mr. Gregson^ Are those lots generally well cultivated ? — As far as
regards the Scotch settlers, admirably.

3309. Are you aware that they can sell the produce of the farms to the
Company ? — Yes.

3310. To any extent r — That is their market, and sole market.

33 11 . Mr. Edward El/ice.] Do you know any case where a settler, having a
lot of .50 acres, has been refused au additional lot when he has asked for it ? — I
do not remember a case.

3312. Your observations have chiefly, I think, applied to the territory
south of bO’ ; the parallel of .’)0° runs through the Red River Settlement ? — It

3313. I think your observations have generally been as to the territory south
of that? — Yes. I came down from Fort York, in Hudson’s Bay, and all that
line I have a map of, which was drawn by my own hand, with all the bearings
of every point on the river ; therefore I know the route accurately.

3314. But I am speaking of your observations with regard to the fertility of
the soil and the climate : your ‘>ijt.orvation8 have chiefly applied to the territory
south of 50° ? — Yes ; at actually the Red River colony itself, which is, if I may
80 describe it, the fork of the two rivers, the Assinniboyne and tlie Red River.
If yuu took a compass, with a radius of 50 miles, it would describe the whole of
the Red River colony.

33’ 5- That is the government of Assiniboia ? — It is.

33 1 6. What sort of a country is it to the north of that, on Lake Winnipeg, at
Norway House, and all that territory ; what sort of land is it ? — You might
grow corn there, but the season closes sooner.

3317. During the time you were in Red River, or in your progress down
between York and Red River, did you go at all into the interior ; did you see
much of the country ? — I went as far as a horse would take me occasionally.
I have never been a night out from the fort, with one exception.

3318. With regard to the complaints that were made by the half-breeds of
the restrictions on spirits, do you know their object in wanting to distil spirits
and possess spirits ? — I think they had two objects ; one was for their own
consumption, and another was, probably, to surreptitiously trade with them.

0.24— Sess. a. Z 3319. That

J. F. Crn/lon.


19 May 1847.


<:.': 178 MINUTKS OF EVIDENCK TAKEN IJEFDllE Till iii Coloni'l 33i<)' Thiit iH to Hay, to trade in furs with them ?— Td trnd<> in furH witli the

J. F. Cruftnn. .IndianH,

[]yio. From tli«’ (‘XiMTiciK’f which you hnv<' liml, is it your opinion thnt the ly Mijr 1837. trade in spirits would l)e very prejudicial to the Indians * — I am sun- tif it. .532 1 . You thiiilt tiiat it would he a very unwise tlunuj to remove the restriction upon tlie sale of spirits ? — I do. ;).j'2J What an* your reasons for tliinkin<;' so r — Because since the junction of the two companies, the North- West (!oni]mny and tiie Hudson's Hay (!(mipuiiy, the issue of s|>irits in liarter for furs )‘J*, but I believe b«’low that, betw«’»’n thot and U)*, thry wouM be very glad
if it WKH iiH well euitivuted and |ie()|il«-d iih in Canada; that itt tu say, the
Hudnon’B Bay Company iiave ulwayH exprcuHed that opinion to nie.

;jj4J. So that if we tak<' the lliidson'H Hay (!oinpiinv by their expresnions, thi y would be ^lad to Hee that part of the eountry pei)pli,3. Did you ever go from Montreal to Kingston ? — I never went from
Montreal to Kingston, liut I went from Kingston to Montreal.

33′)4. Then you descended the river ?— I did.

33,”,’,. In what? — I think it was in a steamer, or occasionally steaming.

33,i6. You did not know that river before steamers were upon it ? — No.

33;,7. Had you any opportunity of seeing the difHculties of the rapids of the
St. Lawrence : — I saw no difficulty ; I went down with great facility.

33”,8. Therefore you cannot give me an answer to this question, whether there
be not as many obstacles between Kingston and Montreal, by way of the river,
as between the western point of Lake Superior and Red River ? — The woters
are ([uite of a diflFerent character ; the one is exceedingly deep water, though
very mpid ; the Quebec River, in fact, is the great river that flows down ; but
the other is comparatively shallow, excepting in the lakes, and broken up
between rocks where you have to haul or pole the bouts and canoes, and these
obstacles are almost iimumerable.

33.’)<). Did you ever see a bateau taken \ip the St. Lawrence r — No. 33()o. Vou have seen a French bateau, 1 suppose ? — Many. 33(ti. You know that they do not draw above two inches of water whm they are not laden r — Very few. 3362. Those bateaux went up the River .St. Lawrence • — They did. 33(13. They were pushed up close by the shore over the rapids, where the water was very shallow ■ — Yes, but they were not interrupted by rocks ; there was a free navigation though it was a flow down of water. 33(14. Is that your statement to me that they were not interrupted by rocks ; because I have been up that river very often, and I know that there are rocks "- — I speak of what I encountered. 336,5. You did not encounter any rocks, because you went down the river? — 1 went down the river by steam, and therefore 1 cannot speak of the diffi- culties up that river : I am speaking of the difficulties of the rivers between Fort William and Lake Winnipeg. 33ti6. Would there be any difficulty in making roads over that portage ? — Not the slightest. 3367. If there were good roads and waggons over the portage there would be no great difficulty? — It would be hardly worth while hauling in wheel carriages for 20, 25, or 30 yards. The water is kept up till it comes to a narrow place, perhaps between two rocks, and there it pours down with a vast 0.24 — Sess. 2. z 2 force, ColonrI J. f. Crti/lom. 19 May 1857, iii^ ,|KI; i8o MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE Colonel force, and you must pole and haul, if ytu nan, or carry ; that is the nature of / /■■. Crofim. the navigation. —^ 33t)8. Do not some of the portages extend some miles ? — I think the longest 19 May 1857. is three miles. .3;39 The distance from Lake Winnipeg to Frrt William I ajjprehend is
greater than the distance from Fort Garry to Fort VViUiam, is it not r — No, the
distance from Fort Garry to Fort William is upwards of 8G miles more ; from
Lake Winnipeg to Fort \Villiam is 86 to 90 miles less than from Red River.

3410. Mr. Chrlstij.] I think you wereGovernor of tiie Red River Settlement •
— No ; I had nothing to do with the Government.

341 1. During the year that you were there: — No, I had nothing to say to
it while I commanded the troops ; 1 was merely a soldier ; I had notliing to do
with the civil government.

3412. On your return to England, you were called upon by the Secretary for
the Colonies to report upon certain complaints made by settlers in Hudson’s
Bay ? — Yes ; I rememlier that perfectly well ; I was (juartered at Fermoy, and
that (juestion was afterwards discussed in Parliament. As well as I remember,
it was Mr. Isbister’s memorial,

3413. You made nine or ten answers, I think, to certain questions? —
Yes ; 1 remember perfectly making replies to Sir Benjamin Hawes, then
Mr. Hawes.

3414. Do you adhere to the opinions which you then gave? — I am sure I
must, for I took great paius to be accurate then.

3415. Were you re-ident in any other pa. u of the country except in the Red
River ? — No, not resident.

3416. Do you consider that the period for which you were in the Red River
was sufficient to enaMe you to form a correct opinion of the country, in
reference to the points which you stated in your report to the Secretary of
State ? — It was limited to Red River, and to form it I think I was long enough
there ; of course I cannot say wlltit took |)lace in distant places.

3417. You could not sny what took place in other remote parts of the
country ? – Not except from hearsay.

34 iS. With reference to the condition of the Indians, your ol)servation,
I suppose, was directed to their condition in the Red River settlement ? — And
on the route ; I had occasionally communications witli tliem through an
interpreter, and they never made any complaints to me, or anything of that
nat ve; they chiefly l)egged tobacco from me.

3410. Di(l you take- any means to ascertain the condition of the Indians,
except in the settlement of the Red River? —At Fort York I did ; the Indians
in and abcmt Fort York I was interested in, and during the short time that
I was there I inquired a great deal about them.

3420. Did the condition of the Indians in the Red River, and that of the
Indians in the remote districts through which you travelled, strike you as being
very different ?— There was no difference ; they are all much alike, excepting
that they differ as to tril)es and language.

3421. You speak of tlie influence of the missionaries in reference to their
condition in the answers which you made to the Secretary of State ? — I do.
I knew the Rev. Mr. Smithers very well, who served an Indian settlement about
nine miles below the lower fort of Red River, and I used to hear a great deal
from him, and with great interest, and he always spoke in the highest terms
of the arrangements made for their benefit.

343a. Can


3422. Can you inform the Committee whether it is your opinion that the
condition of the natives in the Red River settlement is much superior, where
they are under the influence of the missionaries, to their condition in remote
and distant parts of the country through which you have travelled ? — Measuring
their condiMon by my own ideas of comfort anil happiness, I should say it was
much better in the f’n\ River settlement.

34’2.j. I think \) were nine questions put to you, and you gave answers to
all those in your r. -.tto the Secretary of State ? — I have no copy of them.
I lost or was robboti of most of my jjapers when I was in Ireland, and among the
rest a copj- of those answers relating to Mr. Isbister’s memorial, and therefore
I am depending up(m my memory entirely for it.

34J4. You know that they were furnished to the House of Commons? — I
heard so, but never saw tliem.

342,5. And that they have been printed ? — 1 never heard that. I never saw

342(). Does your memory serve you with reference to the queries which were
put to you : — I tind that to nine questions only one finswer r elated to the Red
River colony particularly ; there were nine complaints?— It is now nine or ten
years ago. If you ask me the questions which were then put to me, I will
answer them now as I did then, I hope.

3427. Then you cannot tell me upon what information the answers to the
other questions were based ? — I really do not now know the questions that were
put to me. I cannot remember what they were ; if you ask them over again
of me I will try and answer them, but I am entirely in the hands of the Com-
mittee upon that point, for 1 have no j)apers.

3428. I suppose the information which you derived, and from which you
gave the answers to the Secretary of State, was principally from servants of
the Company, and jjcrsons connected with the Company? — It was from my
jouruid ; it was from materials collected without any object except private
satisfaction, and which were in the form of !i journal, which I unfortunately lost
among my other papers.

34^:9. You cannot furnish the Committee with any proof of the evidence
which was given by the Bishop of Montreal, whom you quoted r — 1 do remember
quoting his little book.

3430. And various other ([uotations which you gave ? — I do not recollect
what quotations they were ; probably it was about the religious position of the
colonists. 1 have entered into that very fully in my report on the colony.

343 1 . You have mentioned that a census was taken by the Hudson’s Bay
Company of the native population periodically ? — Yes.

3432. Does the report which you have referred to contain a copy of that
census .’ — It does not of that, but it contains the census of Red River at three
or four different j)erio(ls.

3433. You have given information to the Committee with reference to a
census of the native population ; the increase or decrease of the Indians f —
Just so: that is done by the Hudson’s Bay Company, and no doubt a commu-
nication to them would obtain it.

3434. It is not contained In your report ‘. — No ; I had not access to the
figures exeejjting to look at them.

343.”). Did you ever visit any of the missionary stations which were not in
the Red River ? — One at .Norway House.

3436. In what state was that ? — When I saw it there were but few people
there, for they were out fishing and hunting at the open season, but I under-
stand that in tlie winter season they are numerous.

3437. Mr. Kiimaird.] But from your experience your impression was that
the missionaries weri very useful to the Indians ? — I believe exceedingly so.

3438. Vou visited Mr. Sujethers’s missionary station several times ? — Twice ;
1 went on Sundays there.

3439. ^”■’ Chrislif.] Do you know who pays the missionaries ; to whom they
are responsible f -I think to the Missionary Society, but the Company give
them an allowance of some kind also ; I camiot charge my memory with what
the Company do give them, but probably you will get evidence upon that point
from some of the clergyman, if they are in London.

J. F. CroftoH.

19 ^’ay 1857.

■i \

0.24— Sess. 2.







SirC. /?aeA, F. B.!<., D. c. L. K) May 1857. m ISfMi: f Mi ill ■ ; •■( 111 Pi j!:! 1 1 I Renr- Admiral Sir George Back, r. h. s., u. c. l., called in ; and Examined. 3440. Chairman.] ARE you acquainted with the Hudson's Bay territory ?— To a certain extent I am ; but I perhaps may be allowed to mention that I have not been there for 22 years. 3441. Will you state how you came to visit it, and to what part of it you went? — I first went with my friend Sir John FrankUn, on an expedition of discovery, in 1819 to 1822. I went secondly on another expedition with Sir John l-'ranklin, from 1 82r) to the autumn of 1 827 ; and, thirdly, on an expedi- tion which I commanded myself, in search of Sir John Ross and his cpm- panions, who were then supposed to have been lost, making idtogether, I believe, about nine years that I was engaged in those expeditions. 344J. Mr. Kinnuird.] What was the period of the last expedition ? — From 1833 to the end of 1835. 344,{. Sir John Pakington.'] 1835 was the last year that you were in that part of the world ? — Yes. 3444- Chairman.'] Will you tell us generally the routes of those three expe- ditions? — The first route was from York Factory to Lake Winnipeg, Cumber- land House, Fort (-hipewyan, Great Slave Lake, Fort Enterprise, Coppermine River, along the coast to Point Tumagain, thence to river Hood, across the barren lands to Fort Enterprise and Great Slave Lake. 3445. What is the most northerly point of that route?— The most northerly point is on the coast near Point Tumagain, I think, in latitude 68°, between Coppermine River and Point 'I'urnagain. Then we returned across the country, having no provision ; and it may be in the minrJ of the Committee that more than one-half of the unfortunate people perished from want of food. 3446. Where did you return to ? — To England, by York Factory. 3447. From Great Slave Lake ?— By the usual route ; exactly the same route. 3448. That was the first expedition ? — Yes. 3449. Sir John Pakington.] That was entirely a land expedition?— Yes; so were all these three expeditions ; I have been on two others, but they were by sea. 34.50. Chairmaji.] Will you describe the route of the second expedition ? — The second expedition was to Toronto, then called York, to Penetangushine, Sault Ste. Marie, Fort William (Lake Superior), the Rainy Lake, the Lake of the Woods, Fort Alexander (L-ake Winnipeg), to the Grand Rapid. Up again from the Grand Rapid to Great Slave Lake by the same 1 uute as before. From Great Slave Lake down the Mackenzie River Fort Simpson to Great Bear River; to Great Bear Lake, to Fort Franklin : thence to the western moiitli of the Mackenzie Rivtr along the coast to Ueturn Reef, being at tliat time but 140 miles from Her Majesty's ship " Blossom," tlien commanded by the late Admiral Beechy, the late President of the Geographical Society. I returned again to Norway House by the same route, and from Norway House to York Factory. 34.5 1 . And from thence to England ? —And from thence to England. 3452. Sir John Pakington.] The " Blossom" had entered by Behring's Straits? — Yes. 34,53. What time did that trip occupy ? — From 1825 to the end of 1827. 34,';4. How many months ?— Two years and three quarters altogether. Then the third expedition was from England to New York ; to .Montreal ; La Chine; Lake Nipissing ; Lake Huron, along the north shore of Lake Superior, and by exactly tlie same route as before to the Grand Rapid, that is to say, to the Sas- katchawan Uiver ; thence to Great Slave Lake as before. Then along the eastern part of Great Slave Lake, which is new, to its extremity, where I built a fort, called Fort Reliance, 'Jlience across a new country. Wit's the excep- tion of one or two points crossed by Hearne, I discovered the upper part of the Great Fish River ; the sources, in fact, of the (ireat Fish River, or the one named after myself, and I descended it to the sea. Unable to get further, I returned by the same route precisely to Canada. 34.55. You followed the Fish River to the sea? — Yes, I discovered it ; that expedition occupied about two years and seven months. 34.56. Chairman.] Then you have been pretty well all over the northern parts of the Hudson's Bay territory ? — By just simply the routes which I have mentioned to you. 3457. How III I SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 185 ion ? — From /ere in that 1 same route. ired it ; that 3457. How did you subsist during; these journiesJ-On each occasion the expedition was aided by the Hudson's Bay Company, and supplied by that Company with pemicati, and other articles for traffic with the Indians ; simply for food, to the extent that was required. 34,58. How did you travel ? — In canoes and boats, but chiefly in canoes, except along the coast. 3459. And there you walked, I suppose ? — No, we had built boats. 3460. Sir John Pakington.] In fact you travelled everywhere by water ? — All by water ; except in crossinj? the barren land^ and on detached services. 34()i. That applies to all three of those journies r — Yes. 3462. Chairman.] What did you do during the winter months ? — In the winter we were plentifully occupied in making observations, and working up surveys. 3463. Did you spend your time in the factories of the Company ? — No, not at all ; we built our own establishments, log-houses with stores and places for our men. 34(14. What number of men did you take with you generally ?— From '20 to 22 on the former expeditions, on the latter not so many. 3465. Sir John Pakington.'] Do you mean that that was the whole strength of your party ?— Twenty-two altogether. 3466. Chairman.] Were they Europeans or Indians ? — Chiefly Canadian vovageurs ; we had some three or four Europeans with us ; on the last occasion I had foiir artillerymen, and very excellent men they were, who volunteered from Montreal. 34()7. Were you much troubled by the Indians in these expeditions ? — Not in the least. 3468. During the whole time r — During the whole time. 3469. Sir John Pakington.] Did you see many ? — I saw the Indians who frequented our establishments for the purpose of barter, chiefly for providing us with provisions ; but they came in great numbers, that is to say, 300 or 400 at the utmost, and from that down to half-a-dozen. 3470. Did you always remain stationary during the winter months at those log-houses which you erected ? — Yes, for the purpose of making magnetical and other observations, which at that time were of great importance to science. 347 1 . Chainnan.] Can you give the Committee any account of the climate of these regions : — There is a great resemblance in the climate of those places. Great Bear Lake, Fort Franklin, Fort Enterprise, and Fort Beliance. The extreme temperatures at the two former places, as far as I remember (for really I have not referred to it), were 52 minus zero, and 57 minus zero ; but at Fort Reliance, a place which I built myself, the minimum of five thermometers was 70° below zero, or 102° below the freezing point of Fahrenheit. 3472. Sir John Pakington.] That was the maximum r — Yes. 3473. How long did that last r — Not quite a day. 3474. Chairman.] What degree of latitude was that in ? — 62„ 46'. 3475. Sir John Pakington.] At what season of the year was it that your ther- mometer reached that very low temperature ? — In January ; I do not exactly recollect the date ; but I believe it was the 1 7th. 3476. Mr. Christjf.] Was that the year when you wintered on the Fish River ? — We did not winter on the Great Fish River ; it is scarcely possible to do so. There is no wood on that river ; therefore you cannot winter there. 3477. Chairman.] What opinion did you form of the soil of this country; its power of producing ? — At the extreme north you get beyond the latitude of the woods.; but at Fort Reliance there was wood, more or less stunted, pine, and some others of considerable growth. The soil itself was gravelly, with a mossy surface, but sterile, certainly. 3478. Were you at the Red River Settlement? — I was never at Red River. 3479. Were you on the Saskatchawan?— On the Saskatchawan I passed a short time at Cumberland House and Pine Island I^ke in the autumn of 1819 with my friend Franklin ; at that time there was merely a garden for herbs, and a little barley was grown, but nothing beyond ; that was in 1819 and 1820. 0.34— Sess. 2. A A , 3480. With near>Ai1iniriil


19 May 1857.




T’ 1

• 86


i !

i: U

i’; i

Rear Admiral
Sir ti. Back, r. a.g,


ig May 1857-

34H0. With respect to communication between the Hudson’s Bay territory
, and Europe, you have been all the different ways, have you not (— I have been
merely the routes which i have mentioned.

348 ! . You have been from York Factory ? — Yeb.

348.’. From Fort William ? — Yes.

34”<3. And from Canada by Lake Nipissing f — Yes. 34 S4. What do you say of those three routes ; which is the best in order to get to the nei|;hbourho()d of Lake Winnijieg and the l!ed River? — Both routes are bad, but if I were to prefer the one mule to the other, that is to say, if 1 had anything to convey to Red Hiver, I should unquestionably prefer the route from York Faiilory. 3.j8.i. Rather tlian from Fort William ? — Rather than from Fort William by the Lake of the Woods. 34SU. S\r Jofiii l^akingfon.'] Why?— There is an easier access; there is less difficulty in portages, with the exception of one or two falls ; but 1 sliould say there is less difficulty, and there are fewer im]iediinents. 34S7. ( /iiiirman] W hat opinion did you form of the government of the Hudson's Bay Company from what you saw of its effects?— In the first place, when we went there, there were two companies; they were then in a very disturl)ed state, and it was impossilile for us to form any opinion ; we ourselves were not acquainted with the government of the C ompaiiy ; afterwards, as far as I saw of the conduct of the Hudson's Bay Company throughout the line of route which 1 travelled, and I frequently resided at tlie different establishments with the chief factors and other influential servants of that Con)pany, 1 saw nothinii but the utmost kindness to the Indians and fairness in dealing; I never knew an Indian in want turned away without his wants being- supjjlied, wliether he had furs to give in return or not; indeed, I have seen strong instances of great benevolence on the part of the Hudson's Bay officers. 3488. Can you form any opinion of the titnesis of that country for colonisa- tion ? — None whatever ; it never entered into one's imagination 22 years ago. 348(). Sir, /o/in Pahiiiyloii.] 1 presume that during the greater portion of these periods of between two and three )ears which each of tiiese excursions occupied you were stationary on account of weather, were you nut ? ^'es. 34()0. Can you give the Committee any aj)i)roximation to the prcjportion of time ill each of those trips that you were actually travelling r— Yes ; about from the middle of Ajjril to the end of Octolier. 3401. Each year? — Each year. 3402. The rest c '' the year you wen- stationary ? — Yes ; we were suflfitneutly occui)ied in maldiif. observations and procuring food, and that with difficulty. S4\):i. How did you procure food through those long winters ?— It was pre- cisely there wliere the aid of the Hudson's Bay Company came in to us so ojjportunely. The Indians known to them came to our establisliments, where, I ought to mention, that we had oue of the olhcers of the Hudson's Bay Company attaciud to tlic exjjedition. 3494. Always.' — Always; and this officer coiulucted the trade entirely, we ourselves not at all interfering in it. 34g",. Did you see much of the Indians during these various excursions ■ — From time to time. 34()ti, Should you say, considering the nature of your object, and the portion^ of country which you explored, that you had any good meansof judging wliether or not the government of the Hudson's Bay Coni])any was beneficial to those districts ! — l)ecid(dly so, inasmuch as the Indians must have starved without the aid of the Hudson's Hay Company. 3407. Did any instances come under your observation of great suffering or privation on the part of the Indians during the winter months? — I heard of their suffering. 34()8. Did you see anything of the sort ?— I saw none my.self, mixe and except the few Indians wlio resi^rted to Fort Reliance and to Fort Franklin, and indeed to l'"ort Enterprise, seeking: relief from our stores. 3jO(). Were you at all at F(n-t Rehance during the summer months ?— Only in the" spring and autumn; the intervening part was necessarily occupied in exploring the country to and from the coast. 3500. Did 1 9 May 1857. SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S HAY COMPANY. 187 3 lOO. Did you see enough of Fort Reliance to enable you to jud^e vehether RearAdmirnl or not that is a neighbourhood which would bear cultivation during the suiiimer HitO-Bmc*, *■».•., months ?— I should say decidedly not. n.«»L. 3501. On account of climato f - Chiefly on account of climate, but also on account of the conformation of the land, which is so interspersed with rocks ; it is granitic 3 1 2. What did you find as to the climate around Fort York ; would it do for cultivation ? —That is altogether different ; there is an alluvial soil around Fort York ; it is a low swampy eountry. I speak with diflidence upon this point, but I doubt whether it would do for cultivation, because the soil is generally frozen to some two or three feet below the surface. 3.503. Even during summer ? — In summer. I remember perfectly well seeing a trench dug and the soil was frozen, to the best of my memory, a considerable depth, two or three feet ; immediately at the surface it was not, but below that, it was. 3;,<'4. And probably never was otherwise than frozen ?— I should say not. 3,50 V On the whole, I apprehend from your answers that you do not think that even Fort York would be a favourable position for colonisation? — Unques- tionably not. 3,'i()t>. Mr. Kiniiaird.] Yon mentioned that you had 22 companions with
you ; did you bring them all back hving ? — In the last expedition, witli the
exception of one of the artillerymen, all returned. On the second expedition
we also lost one man ; that, was from sickness ; but on the first expedition,
which I dare say you may remember, in 1819 and 182’i, the greater part died
from starvation : they fell down in convulsions and actually died from want of

3 -,07. More from want of food than from the climate ? — Entirely from want
of f(io(l and clothing.

3.508. You got beyond the supplies of the Company:— It was a tissue of
misfortunes altogether; the Indians had not been successful in fulfilling our
measures ; they had not provided the meat, the reindeer, which we had every
reason to hope and to expect they would have provided, and our house. Fort
Enterprise, was left entirely desolate.

3.509. Have you reason to think that many Indians iu that same neighbourhood
also died in that year n” — They did, but they were somewhat superstitious, and
they heard strange tales ; sickness got amongst them, and they went from one
place to another in search of food themselves.

3510. Did yon find a gnat difference between the Indians that you met far
north away from the station, and those who were in the habit of coming imme-
diately near the station ? —Not so great one as one would imagine ; very little
indeed ; it was so shadowy as scarcely to be perceptible.

35 1 1. Then you did not see any effects of civilisation upon them r — Not upon
the Indians.

3,5 1 2. You said that they came in for aid ? — Yes.

35 1 3. Did the Indians seem to know and feel that they had a right to come
to the Company for aid in point of distress when they were starving ? — They
seemed always to feel that they could fall back upon tiie clemency and the
berevolence of the white man at any extremity ; that as long as he had anything
to sjjare in his store the Indian was certain to be relieved.

3 “) 1 4. From your experience, was the feeling of the Indian towards the officers
of the Company, the white men, very good r— Very good. I never knew an
instance to the contrary.

3′) 15. When you first made the expedition you said that there were some
differences with the North-West Company ; did you ever softer from that
causer— Never in the slightest degree, although I had to go and tuke a very
active part in it, being my friend Franklins first lieutenant at that time ; but
going from fort to fort we received ecpial aid from the one as from the other ;
indeed 1 remember with great gratitude many acts of kindness and of informa-
tion conveyed to my friend Franklin and myself by officers of the North-West

351 1). Mr. Roi’buck.l You say that the Indians derived great benefit from ihe
Company. How was that ?— I mean as far as regards the supplies which were
brought to them from England ; blankets, ammunition, clothing, &c., and the
luxury of tobacco.

0.24— Sess. 2. A A 2 3517′ Supposing





19 Muy 1857.


Hear.Admiral Sli 7- Supposing there were no Company there, and the Indians were allowed
Sir O, Batk, ».«.§., to dio as they liked, would they be worse off?— Unquestionably. I think if that
ever happened they would be almost decimated.

3,5 1 8. How then did they iret on when there was no Company ?-T-Then they
were accustomed to rely upon their own exertions; they used the bow and
arrow ; they knew nothing of fire-nrras, and consequently were self-dependent;
and being self-dependent, they maintained themselves at that time.

3/; 1 9. liefore the Hudson’s Hay Company had that territory I suppose the
country wa<« peopled ? - Certainly. 3.'")20. And they were as happy then as they are now i — In all probability. S.VJi. No that the incoming of the Company was really no benefit to the country • — That I will not pretend to answer ; but as regards the moral con- dition of the untutored Indian, in all probability he was as happy then as he is now. 3.';2J. Sir Jofin Pakington.'] Is it your opinion that the sufferings of the Indians, of which vve have heard, are really in fact caused by their having become dependent on the white man for ammunition, and for those new weapons which the white man has taught them to use? — In a great measure. 3,5 -3- before tlie white man was there they had the never failing bow and arrow, and plenty of food r — Certainly. 35^4. .Mr. Chiixty.] I think you have said sufficient to show that you believe in the famines which are stated to have taken place amongst the Indians ? — Yes ; from time to time. 3.'',-";. Do you think that they have been very numerous?— I can scarcely answer that (|uestion, having been ao long away from the country, but during the time that I was there they were not frequent ; in little districts occasionally there was a want of animals, and privation followed. 3')2''. You sustained privation yourself? — Very great. 3527. Did you hold any office in the Company at the time when you made these expeditions ? -On my last expedition the Company were kind enough to give me a commission in their service as a chief trader, for the obvious purpose of placing in my hands sufficient authority to make demands upon their posts whenever I might go to them. 3,528. For supplies?— For anything that I wanted; I have that commission now. 35^9. Mr. Edward KUice.] There is no emolument attached to it, I suppose? — I am afraid not. 3,')30. Mr. J. H. Gurney^ Did you, in the course of your travels, meet with anything that tlu"ew any light on the question as to whether the whale fishery could be carried on with any advantage in the Hudson's Bay ? — No, I did not. 3531. Sir JoAm Pakington.] How was the health of yourself and your party affected by that intense cold which you have described when the thermometer was 70° below zero ? — I cannot *say that our iiealth was affected differently to what it would be in any other extreme cold ; perhaps the appetite was con- siderably increased. 3'i32. But the iiealth was not injuriously affected by the mere degree of cold ? — Not at the time ; but probably that, with the other sufferings, con- tributed to produce sickness afterwards for a considerable period. " 3.5 'i.3- I presume that although the time for which the thermometer stood at 70° below zero was short, yet throughout all the winter you suffered constant and intense cold ? — Yes. 3.534- W hat was the mean range of the thermometer during the three or four winter montiis ? — I am not prepared to answer that question without reference, but I think it was 18° below. 3,53,5- It was always below zero ? — Yes ; I believe the lowest mean tempe- rature was 2H" below zero. 3536. Mr. Christy.'] Have you nny means of knowing whether the Indian tribes are decreasing in consequence of these famines ? — No, I have no means of ascertaininij- that, 3.537- Not from your own knowledge •— From my own knowledge, here and there, and amongst small tribes and detachments of tribes, I heard of a dimi- nution having taken jjlace from want of food ; but they were only detaclied parties, therefore I cannot form an estimate of the whole. 3.538. Did commission SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 189 3538. Did you take any pniiiH to ascertain whether that woh the fact? — Yes ; amongst those detached parties to which I refer. 3."; '1 And those, you say, were from six to 300 or 400? — Yes, those who (req- " dour fort; but they generally came in smaller parties from 15 to thret- tr four. 3540. Sir John I'tikingtoii.] U'hat was the temperature in summer in those northern regions ? — The temperature in summer varies very much. I have known it go ui» with a Fahrenheit thermometer as far as 102* plus. 3541. In the sun ?— Of course; but from 48* to 60", I should say, in the extreme of summer. 3742. In the nun? — In the shade; and in ver}' oppressive weather; during thunder storms, perhaps to 67. 3.i43. In the course of your journey from Fort Reliance down to the mouth of the Back River, what should you say would be the mean summer tem- perature there in the shade ; 50* r — I should say it would not exceed 60", if so much. 3544. And occasionally the sun was very powerful ?— Very powerful ; burn- ingly 80. 3 -,45. Did the snow disappear from those regions? — The snow disappears entirely from the land between Fort Reliance and the sea. 3546. All the way to the North Sea? — All the way to the Polar Sea. 3547. What was the depth of snow in the winter at Fort Reliance? — From 1 J foot to 3 i feet in some places ; but in sheltered places much more. 3,')48. With a hard surface ? — With a hard surface in spring. 3';4(). Mr. Chrixty.] With regard to blankets and various other articles of clothing, which you say were distributed, and some articles of luxury, such as tobacco, are the Committee to understand that they were given by the Com- pany except in barter r — Speaking of the Company, they were only on special occasions given as presents to the head men or chiefs, and others ; certain presents were liberally made after their having brought in good supplies of furs, beavers, &c. ; then certain presents were invariably made, and the rest was disposed of in barter. 3.550. Not in respect of the necessities of these persons who were in a des- titute condition from the state of the weather? — No, not from their being destitute, because thiy frequently came to the fort ; indeed, generally in the summer, in very good condition ; not badly off in clothing even, but still the presents were given. 3551. I understood you to say that in cases where there was great destitution the native population were in the habit of falling back on the clemency of the white man? — Yes. 3.552. And they received from the Company articles, such as blankets, and even the luxury of tobacco? — Yes. 3.553. But that is not the case except as barter ?- With certain exceptions. 3554. What are the exceptions r— if, for instance, an Indian with his family had been suffering considerably for some time, and had got, perhaps, behind with his furs, they frequently received gratuities, I believe, from every post in the country, and these were often given as presents. .15.5.5' Mr. Edward Eilice.] Have you ever heard of a ease where a star\'ing Indian was refused food r — Never in my life ; on the contrary, a starving Indian is invariably relieved, and sometimes to the detriment of those at the Fort ; indeed, in my own case it was so. 355G. air John Pakiiii/ton.] Did you yourself see much of the dealing between the Hudson's Bay Company's officials and the Indians for furs ? — No, 1 did not ; I was present on various occasions, hut I merely saw what passed. 3,j.57' You arc not able to give us any information as to the rate of prices ? — No, I did not conceive that was a matter in which I was concerned ; being there under Govcrunient, and on a scientific expedition, 1 telt that it did not become me to pry into the mode of conducting the irade of the Hudson's Bay Company, it was sufficient for me that I leceived every aid and kindness from them. Rra '•Admiral SirG.i^ocJl, r.B.i., D.C. L. igMay 1857. ■H: mm 0.24— Sess. 2. A A I ■ 90 MINLTES OF KVIDENCE TAKEN UEFORE THE Jovis, a I* die Maii, 1857. MRMBRRB PRB8ENT. Mr. ni.irkhurn. Mr. Chrinty. Ml. Hdwiiid ElliiT. Mr. Ciiurli'H Fitxwilliani. ViHt'oiint Goderii h. Mr. OrcgHoii. Mr. Gm)i>iiii.

Mr. J. H. Ournev.

Mr Percy lltrbrrt.
Ml. Kiiiniiird.
.Mr. Liiboiiclii’re.
Mr. Ldwr.
Mr. MMtlicHoii.
Ml. Uiiiliui’k.
ViKcoiiiit Sandoii.
Lord Staiilt’|.

The Right Hon. HENRY LABOUCHERE i.n the Chair.

Mr. Jumts Cooper, colled in ; and Examined.

Mr. J. Cooper. 35 ‘)8. Chairman.’] YOU are acquainted with Vancourer’s Island, I believe •—


ai M»y 1857. 35r|,) WiU you have the goodness to state to the Committee what opjjortuni-

ties you have had of becoming so acquainted with it? — I have Ix’en a resident
there for six years as a resident and culonist.

3,’i6o. What six yiars were those? — From the spring of 1851 until tlie spring
of 1857.

3561. Have yi)U still property there? — Yes.

3.562. Do you intend to return to the island? — Not at present, at all events.

3503. Were you in connexion with the goveniraent of the colony ?— 1 was a
Member of Council there for five years.

mdA. Are yt«u connected with the llud.son’s Bay Company in any manner?
— Not at all ; I was formerly in their service in command of their vt ssels ; but
I went out there decidtd’.y independent, on my own account.

3 ,r»5. Are there any statements with rej^aru to Vancouver’s Island which
you are desirous of making to this Committee? — I have some; but 1 am
not prepared to give them to-day ; I arrived in town only ,1 few hours ago.
On what particular questions are the Committee desirous of having informa-

35(‘6. That is forvou; we shall be glad to have any information upon the
state of Vancouver’s Island ?— I am prepared to answer any questions, to tiie
best of my ability, which are put in form.

3’;(‘7- Did yoti pursue tlie business of an agriculturist in Vancouver’s Island?
—Yes, I did.

3 ‘■,08. What extent of land did you occupy?— I had a farm of about 300

3,’i09. \\’as it your own property ? — It was decidedly my own property, but
thert’ are emliargues upon it at present, as the land it not paid for.

3.=,7o. ^’ou bought it of the Company, 1 i)resume? — Yes.

3)71. Where is it i-ituated ? — In the district called Metchosen, about seven
miles from the settlement.

3.-,;2. What is your opinion of the soil and climate of Vancouver’s Island, and
of its capabilities for a settlement on a large scale?— Its climate, in every
sense of the word, is superior to that of Great Britain, and its capabilities of
a;;riculture are of a considerable extent. Tlie land is partially wooded and
partially open with prairie. There is plenty of room there for a large i)opu-

3573. In point of fact, the population has increased very slowly, I believe ? —
It has decreased since ( have been there.

3,’)7.i. To what causes do you attribute that ? — The mal-administration of the
government of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

3575. To what particulars do you especially refer ? —There is no encourage-
ment for immigration into the country. Many people have come to Van-


ibout seven

couver s


couvt-r’H Inland, nnd Imvf left it ; they have approved «)f the soil, of the climnte,
and of tlie en|)iibilities of the ct)untr\’, but they have objected to beiii)? subject
to the Hudson’s Hiiy {‘omp my. If the British (toveriimeiif were established
there, that would be the otdy necressury step for tlie British (Jovernment to take.
There are thousands of people in tlie neighbourhood of San Franeiseo and
Califoroia who would gladly go to n BritiHli colony, provided it was und<'r a new administration. 3';7(). You mean if Vancouver's Island was administered ilirectly aa a British colony, and not inilirectly under the (!onirol of the Hudson'H Bay Company? — Pirt'ctly. , ,77. Do you believe that to be the general feeling of the inhabitants ?— I am sure of it. j/i/S. Will you ])oint out to the Committee in what manner the adminis- tration of the Hudson's Bay Company operates to check coh)ni8at,i(m ? — In the first place, with respect to their courts of justice, the p«ople have not eonfidence ill them; there are only a small nunilier, but nevertheless they are mmnimouH in their opinion, they have no eonfidence in the courts of justice; o\ir su])reme judf^e has not been educated to the bar ; I believe all the knowledge that he gains is from books ; for instance, before lie can d«'cide upon a ease, he has to refer to his books even in the most common case. {'■,71). I believe most judges are in the habit of referring to books before they dieide cases, are tliey not ? I dare say they are ; he has never been educated as a hiwyer ; that is the grand thing. .•^/jHo. I>o you not think that under any circumstances the poptdation of
Vancouver’s Island would have slowly increased, from California holding out
great attractions to settlers just now ? -That no doubt has been a great drawback
to Vancouver’s Island, but what we have felt as the greatest drawback is being
omitted in the ( aiiadiiin Beciprocity Treaty; therefore we lue cut out, we have
no market for our exports ; it would have been a great boon to the colony had
we been adnutted at the same time as Canada was admitted.

^/jSi. What American markets would you have supplied; do you mean
Californiii princii)ally ? —We should then be 011 the same terms as a .State of
the United States.

a^S.’. To what American markets do you anticipate that you would be able
e9|icci.dly to export your produce ?- San Francisco, in ])articular.

3/)H3. Have you had any opportunity of becoming acipiainted with the mineral
resources of Vancouver’s Isluiidr — To some extent I have. It abounds in coal,
and theie is a very large colliery belonging to the Company now at a place
about 7<* miles to the north, called Nanaimo, or Colville Town. 3,'iS4. That is coal, I believe, of very hue quality ?— Yes; it is good for all purposes of generating steam, 1 believe. 'M)^!}- Is there any exi)ort at all of jiroduce to the Californian market now from Vancouver's Island ? — ^o.le whatever. The competition is so great from the Fuget Sound, that it would be impossible, in fact, for us to compete with them, as on nearly all the commodities which we could e.\port there is a duty of 25 or 30 per cent. 3.5Ht). A differential duty?— Yes. 3587. You wouhl chiefly send bread-stutls and timber ? -And coal and salt fish. 3.-i8S. Is there a differential duly to that extent upon your coal ? — Twenty percent.; but it is merely the Hudson's Bay Comjiany at present who have a coal mine there. Nevertheless, if it were admitted free into >an I’rancisco, it
would be a great boon to the country ; it would create a trade.

3′)^[}. The rivers and waters of Vancouver’s Island abound in fish, I believe ?
— I hi y do ; there are no riveis in Vancouver’s Island of any extent ; but the
Straits of Juan dc Fuca and all the salt water inlets around Vancouver’s Island
abound in fish.

3,’)()0. Are there not salmon in the rivers ?— Salmon are caught in salt water,
and iilso in Fraser’s Riwr on .ne mainland, in resjiect i-f which the Hudson’s
Bay Company have the c:,clusive right of trade, very raucli to the drawback of
the settlers and colonists there.

3,91. Are there many Indians on the island? — I should presume there are
something like 18,000 or ‘20,000 on the ishmd.

3592. Do they give you any trouble, or is order preserved between them and
0.24 — Sess. 2. A A 4 the

Mr. J. Cocprr,
«i May it^y.







Mr.J.Cooptr. the white nu’Ji m-iH-rnlly ? — V\> have never hiul nuich trouble from them ; but

a geriouM trouble i» uiiticipntecl, unlcHM there ih u force there to k(C|) them in

•I M>y i«a7- check.

3.193 ^Vhy 80? — HecaUHe they nre excited by the warn now prevailing on
the continent close to their bordent ; ho much so, thiit the IiidiunM are (|uite
cogiiiHRnt of the fnctM which are taking place on the opposite side within u few
miles of them.

3’)<)4. I believe there bus been a very HcriouH and destructive war carried on on the American sicle of the frontier between tlie Indians and the white men ? — Yep, a very barborou!* war. :M}\)5- But hitherto there has been abHolute peace on the British mh of the frontier? — We have only had one or two little ciifliculties, yet they have alwiiyii ended comparatively quietly, and we have had very little trouble wil'i theni; we have occasionally had the assistance of a man-of-war up tliere, and we have checked it in its bud. 35()(i. Are you a^.are of any instances which have lately occurred in which individual outra^^es have been perpetrated by red men in Vancouver's Island, and where they have been brought to justice with the assent of the tribes, uiid without ony difficulty i — Yes, in two instances. 3')07. Do you think it very important to be able to maintain that influence over these tribes ?— It certainly would be ; but I am afraid it will not last nmch longer unless we have a force permanently settled on the island. At present we have only one constable ; we have no military force there at all, so much so that the settlers are squatted about the country, and we are liable to get <\ir throats cut at almost any moment's notice. 3,1598. You say that you have one coni-table only ; in what way wen ilnso Indians appre*>ended ? — By the assistance of the men-of-war ; it could not have
been done without. Her Majesty’s ship ” Trincomaleu ” was the vessel that
went up last, and on the former occasion Her Majesty’s ship ” Tlietis.”

3.’59Q. When you left the colony had the constitution been fully brought into
effect in the way it now is? — Nominally. There was a legislative assembly
constituted, but we could not muster a sufficient number of members to At at
it”; there were only six or seven members that were eligible for the position.

3600. What was the number of voters.- — 1 suppose every member was
returned by one or two voters.

3601. What was the number of white men altogether in the island?— Not
more than 250 or 300.

5f)0j. Do you know what ♦be qualitication for being an elector of Vancou-
ver’s Island is?— Yes ; that lie should hold 20 acres of land.

3r)03. What did the constituency, with that qualification, give in point of
numbers; do you remember?— There were not a great many holding that
quantity of land.

3604. And of those the greater number, I believe, are servants of the Hudson’s
Bay Company ? — Yes, most of them ; there are no free settlers at Vancouver’s
Island. The mechanics and tradespeople that have gone out there, under the
employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company, instead of returning to Great Britain
have bought land there, and remain. I, and a gentleman of the name of (jrant,
Captain Grant, were the only persons who complied with the prospectus of the
Company. I took out men from England with me.

3605. In short, the sum of your opinion is, that it ‘ ,\\u he desirable to con-
stitute Vancouver’s Island a ^^-itish colony, in the or Jnu.r’ ‘innner, an(‘ U
govern it with the institutions which usually belon^ Lj u >.’•») ‘■ colony i.i xx-
those circumstances r — Most assuredly.

3606. Do you think it would be desirable to comprehend in any stich colony
any part of the mainland adjoining Vancouver’s Island ? — Yes ; I consider
that Eraser’s River should be thrown open into Thompson’s River district.

‘lere is a large beautiful district called Thompson’s River, about 150 miles or
ao ‘ • «n) the mainland ; it lies in about the same latitude as Vancouver’s

l-ibo . Vi’i think that there is a considerable extent of country upon the
mair.lnad, adjoining s^’an-ouver’s Island, which is calculated for the purposes
of setlit H) ant ? — Yes ; one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

3608. Is it as good as Vancouver’s Island itself, do you think ? — I think it
is better; it is more open land. Vancouver’s Island is broken; it is very



land?— Not
of Vancou-

licavily tinibcieil, niid it w.iild rp<|uire gnut cxpeiino in clenriiig some portionH ^U. J. Cutptr. oi it before it could bo ma i available lor agricultural purpoijeit. ;)»top. In there any prairiu land in \ancouver'« Island? — Ycji, but not to uny " May 181,7. great extent. ;](ii(). You Ktatrd tlint you thoufrlit that the administration of the law wan not satisfactory to the colonistn at Mie present nmnient I — Decidedly not. 3(»ii. Will you inform u» whj. alteration in tiie system you think would 1)0 advantageous ?— I think that if a supreme judge were appointed from this country, a man in whom the British Oovtrnment had coiitidi'nce, it would give confidence to the people there, a I they would '>!■ satisfied ; at present it xi
happens that the gentleman holding; ilmt appointment i-^ the brutiurin-law of
the (iovernor (who is also a pud servant) ind pnid by tin- Hudson’s I!;iv
Company, and therefore many cas that come under his notice of couise must
clash with the inteiest)* of individuals.

;)bi2. Do you state that you think that these circumstances wL.rli vou have
mentioned cast a suspicion over the decisions of thf jodce, which you think
ohjt’ctionable ; arc there any of his decisions which you think there is any just
reason for complaining of? — Yes; there is the ca!(‘: —
Mr. Cameron.

36 It). Do you know by whom he was appointed? — He was noniinateil by
Mr. Douglas and appointed by the Queen, I believe, confirmed by the Queen.

36 1 7. The Colonial Office ? -The Colonial Office.

3618. Mr. Crogan.l You have stated that you do not consider that the geiule-
nian now holding the office of judge there is acquainted with law. On what
grounds do you base that opinion ? — Because he is not a lawyer.

3619. Has he been educated as a lawyer? — Never; he was educated as a
draper, I believe.

3620. How long has he been in this situation ? — He has been holding thai
office now for al> iut four years.

3621. C/iamyi(in.’\ Was he never called to the bar? — Never in any [)art or
the world. Ht was formerly a superintendent of an estate in the West Indies
iu Demerara. I am prepared to take my oath that he was not a lawyer.

3622. What is hi« salary? — He receives 150/. a year from the Hudson’s
Bay Company, as superintendent of their coal mines ; clerk to the coal mines.
He receives also another 100/. per annum from what is called the Licence Fund.
There arc heavy licences from the publicans ; they pay about 120 /. per annum.
I believe that gives an income to the colony of about 400/. or 500/. per annum,
and he recei\es 100/ out of it.

3623. Does be re»’eive nothing as judge? — Nothing except that salary.

3624. 1m sht.rt, ho is a magistrate rather than a judge ? — No; he holds his
commission as chief judge.

3625. Mr. Grogan.\ Does he adjudicate on all classes of questions thai may
arise in the island ?— Yes, he is the supreme authority.

0.24— Sess. 2. B B 3()2(3. Criminal



Mr. J. Cooper,

21 May 1857.


. ,1’ ‘”■


3(“)26. Criminal and civil ? — Civil only, as supreme ,judge.|

3(v27. Has he ever exercised that authority? — No, not in a criminal case.

3(>’28. To what extent has he gone in civil cases? — I believe that the reason
he has never acted is hecause all tnc cases now pending have been put back as
far as possible. My opinion is, that they are afraid that he should act, lor fear
of a collision.

3629. Viscount Goderich.’] Do you suppose that he has power to sentence
a man to death ? — No, I do not think that; I believe the c-^cutive authority
upon that rests with the Governor.

3t»3t). Mr. Grogan.] Was this gentleman judge of the island at the time of
some disturbance which occurred about 185.’3, when two Indians were hanged
for murder ? — No, it was the Governor who acted, Mr. Douglas.

363 1 . Was he at that time judge and governor I — He was the only authority
there. This Mr. Cameron is judge in civil cases, but he is one of the magis-
trates for all criminal

3632. In fact no criminal case has been adjudicated upon by the judge since
his appointment r — No.

^^i’.y ChairmanJ] Do you think, upon the whole, that the conduct of the
government of Vancouver’s Island towards the Indians is humane and judicious?
— Humane probably, but not judicious.

3634. In what respects injudicious ?–If an Indian commits any depredation
he is bribed ; there is no authority, no force, to punish him ; and therefore
rnther than he should show a disposition to be angry, he will perhaps get two
or three blankets given to him to make friends with them a^^ain.

jt’j.’j- You think that the policy pursued towards the Indians is of too gentle
a description ; thiit there is not sufficient firmness ? — It may be of a description
which would answer the Hudson’s iJay (Joni()any’s purposes sufficiently well in
the interior, or en the continent of America, but not among a settlement of
British subjects.

3636. But is not this fact patent and notorious, that on the American side of
the frontier there have been wars (jf the most barbarous and cruel kind between
the white and the red man ; and that on the British side of the frontier, upon
the whole, order has been preserved, and tiiere has not been, I believe, a drop
of blood shed in conflict between the white and the red man.’ — Yes; but will
you guarantee that that is going to remain ?

3637. Mr. GrogauJ] Do you speak of your own knowledge, when you say
that when an Indian commits an offence he is bribed to keep him in good
humour? — T do.

3638. Can you give an instance of the kind r — Many.

3639. Mention one within your own knowledge ? — I will give my own case.
I had some property stolen from me, and the man, instead of being punished
after an investigation, was told not to do it again, and therefore he was let off.

3640. Chairman.] That is what you mean by being bribed ; not sufficiently
punished:- But in many cases tlley are really bribed; they have property given
to them so that they may not create a disturbance ; there is no force or autho-
rity in the country to punish or check them.

3(‘>4i. You do not mean that if an Indian has committed an offence, he has
a reward given iiim for having committed that ofTencu ? — It appears so.

3642. .^lr. Grogaii.] In the instance that you refer to, of property stolen from
yourself, what redress did you get ? — None ; I lost the property.

3643. Chairman.’] Are the Indians thievish in their habits? — All of them.

3644. Viscount Sandon.] But without any military force, and with only one
constable, would it have been safe for tiie Company to punish the Indian r — No,
decidedly not ; that is the reason they do not punish the Indians, because they
are afraid of the Indians retaliating. The Governor (in his official capacity)
admitted, that his anxiety for the safety of the colony caused him many sleep-
less nights.

3645. Mr. Edwai’l Ellicc.’] Do you know any cases of Indians having been
punished by the Conifiany ? — Yes, one or two.

3646. Chairman. ] T think you stated a short time ago, that you were cogni-
sant of two cases where serious offences Imd been committed by Indians, where
those Indians had been apprehended and brought to justice ? — Yes; but that
has not been by the Hudson’s Bay Company, but by Her Majesty’s ships.

3647. It


3647. Tt was (lone doubtless through the instrumentality of Her Majesty’s
ship which happened to l)e on the station, hut it was done by the authority of
the local goveiiinient, was it not ? — In one instance, when the ” Thetis ” was
there, Captain Kuper, who was in command, had to write several letters before
he could prevail on Mr. Douglas to act.

3648. Mr. a rogtin.] Wiiat was the instance in question ; speak of your
own knowludije r — One man had been killed ; he had been shot ; he was a

3t)4(). Was that in 1853 r — It might have been 1852; the fail of 1852 or the
spring of 1853.

36.50. Chairman.’] M’hat was the recent instance whicii occurred the other
day .’ — A short time ago, probably a twelvemonth ago, there was a man fired
at: lie was wounded, but not mortally; the man recovered; in that case the
man who had fired at him was hung by the assistance of the force there of one
of Her Majesty’s ships, the ” Trincomalee.”

36.5 1. An Indiiin fired? — An Indian shot at a white man, evidently with an
intent to kill ; but it was, fortunately, not a mortal wound.

36.52. What occurred: — With the assistance ot the “Trincomalee” there
was a proper force sent up, and that man was apprehended.

36,’)3. What was done with him r — The Indian was hung.
36,54. Mr. Roebuck.’] How was he tried ?- By a jury, and the Governor acted
as judge; the Governor was the executive; he holds the execative autiioritv.
365.5. That is a judicial authority, the trying of him ? — Yes.
36.50. The hanging of him is executive: — Yes.

3657. C/imriii/in.] I think you stated that this punishment of the Indian
[.reduced no had effect upon the minds of the tribe generally : — No ; they
probably believed that it was all riglit ; tliey believed that it was correct; that
the man should die.

365S. They believed that justice was done ?— They believed that justice was
done ; but the Indian character is very susceptible, and they are just as liable
to retaliate, perhaps at a day’s notice ; a very little thinj^ perhaps will rouse the
Indian blood; and unless there are a number of white people there, there is no
force really to show an opposition to them. If 400 or 500 Indians come down,
w hat force have we ‘.’ There is a settlement here, and anotiier there, scattered
all over the country ; the only legitimate force in the place is one constable.

3659. Mr. Eduard EHice.] Do not you know that in the case which you
have mentioned, the man was hanged with the consent of the chief of his
tribe ? — Yes ; but I believe that the chief himself was bribed ; that he had a
number of blankets given to him after the man was hung, or before.

3660. Chairman.] Do you know that? — I could not swear it, but that is the
general belief by the people.

3661. Mr. Grogan.] Does your complaint of the management of the Hudson’s
Bay Company in this department arise from there beinii an insufficient force for
the protection of the inhabitants ? — Yes.

3662. Is that the sum and substance of the complaint ? — No ; the sum and
substance of our complaint is, that we are exposed to danger from the treachery
of the Indians ; that we have no proper constituted courts ; that the Government
and management of the Hudson’s Bay Company is substantially and radically
wrong, deterring (from their powerful monopoly) the advancetuent of the colony ;
that we were not admitted in the Canadian reciprocity treaty; and we have
found by practical experience the incompatibility of a powerful Company
attempting to colonise.

3663. Lord Stanley.] Your evidence comes to this, that the colony is weak ;
that the Indians are numerous, and that therefore a policy of conciliation has
been, of necessity, adopted towards them? — It has.

36(54. Mr. Rui’hnck.] But did you not also say that the person who was
appointed judge was incompetent : — 1 did.

3665. That is an addition to all the other things :— Of course.

3666. Mr. Uro^an.] On the occasion of the trial and execution of the man
whom you have just alluded to, did the chief judge of the country take any part
whatever in that trial ? — He was up there with the Governor.

361)7. Did he preside?- No.

3668. Did he take any part in the examination? — Not that I know of.
0.24— Sess. 2. ” B n 2 3669. Mr.

Mr. J. Cooper.

31 May 1857.



iiiM’< fN M Mi <\ lis m Mr. y. Cooper. 3tid(). Ml". Eikovd Ellicc] Were you there ?— No ; it is some "0 miles from tiie settlement. 21 -May 1857. 3(170- How then do you know that he did not take part ?— Because there were plenty of people there that 1 knew who told me. 3{")7i. Mr. Grogan.] What may be the salary of tiie one constable who is tiiere? — Probably some 35/. ])er annum, and his provisions found him. 3072. Vou spoke of a considerable income being derived from licences issued to public-houses; what is the annual licence of a public-house there r — £.120 for a retail dealer. 3073. Is that the amount of the licence in each case r— It is 120/. in each case for every house licensed. 3674. I Jo you mean that if I wanted to establish a public-house there I should have to pay a licence of 120 /. ? — I do. 307,5. Is there any land given with it ? — No. 3t)7t). Is there a house .'--No. 3677. I must build the house r — You must build the house and then pay 120/. for the privilege of selling liquor. 3078. And I must buy the land? — Vou must buy the land in addition. 3679. When I have bought the land and built the house and paid the licence, what position am 1 ilien in in regard to the exercise of my trade? — It is all chance. 3t)8o. Is there any interference with me whatever? — None at all. 3681. Am I allowed freely to import the spiriis or groceries or whatever else 1 may deal in, for the use of my shop? — Yes; there is no duty whatever on them. 3tiS2. Is there any restriction whatsoever given as to the quantity of spirits which I may sell, or to whom ? — No, there is no restriction. 3ttS3. May I sell them to the Indians?— No. 3(1^4. That is a restriction ? — Of course ; I am speaking of the inhabitants of the colony. 3685. Is there any other restriction whatsoever ? — I can confidently say not, neither in iniporting nor exporting ; but certain restrictions exist as to who shall be allowed to purciiase by the bottle, or gallon. 3686. In the carrying on of that business which I have alluded to, how should I lie paid; would it be in food, or fish, or peltry, or goods of any kindr — Vou would be paid in money ; the currency of the country is dollars and cents, and there is very little of that ; we have no English money there. 36S7. What is the regulation with regard to the sale of spirits to the Indians by such a trader as I have alluded to ; is he prohibited from dealintf with the Indians at all, or only in the case of spirits r — Only in the case of spirits. 368S. Viscount Goderich.] But the licence is simply a licence to sell spirits, is it not r — That is all. 3689. It docs not require a licence to sell other things ? — No. 3690. Mr. Edicard Ellicc] You were a Member of the Council, were not you? — Yes. 3691. Were you a Member of the Council when that licence was imposed? — I was; but I protested against it. I thought it too exorbitant for a new colony. 3O92. 3t^93- 36'.H- 3<>95.

3<'97- -Six years as a settler. Mr. lioebtie/i.] How long were you there ?- Then you know the climate ? — I do. Had you a farm r — I have had a farm. Have you paid attention to the climate of the country? — I have. Do you know the soil of that country? — Yes. Is the soil fit for farming .' — It is capable of producing all the crops that we can produce in this country, and some others which we cannot produce ; for instance, Indian corn ; but I do not think it would come quite to perfection on account of the nights being rather too cool. 3'.i(jS, \\'heat ripens there • — Wheat ripens there to perfection. 3009. Therefore if we heard any statement doubting that wheat ripens there, Your authority is contrary to it? — I am prepared to contradict it; it is one of the finest wheat-growing countries in the world. 3700. Have you been over the island : — 1 have been a considerable distance in the interior. 01. Have you been north r — Yes. 370a. How jr ihabitants of ire not vou r ible distance SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 197 370i. How far north r — To the nortliorn end of the island. 3703. At the northern end of liie island what is the climate r— A similar climate, but there is rather more rain, perhaps rather too much rain for agricul- tural purposes at the northern end. 3704. Have you ever been in Ireland? — No. 3705. You do not know whether there is more rain by the gauge in Van- couver's Island than in Ireland? — No ; I am not prepared to go into details, and give you the particulars. 3706. For agricultural purposes the whole island is fitted, you think? — Decidedly, bearing in mind the statement of my former evidence. 3707. In that northern part is it wooded? — The island is very thickly wooded all over, with the exception that it is interspersed with small prairies. 370S. Have you ever been in Canada? — Yes. 3709. Have you paid attention to the agriculture of that country?— No; 1 never remained in Canada any time. 3710. Do you know that all land in that country is covered with wood, which wood is obliged to be cut down before the land can be turned to agricultural purposes? — T do. 371 1 . And I suppose there is no more difficulty in Vancouver's Island than in Canada '< — Not a bit. 3712. Have you cut down timber, and converted the land to agricultural purposes immediately ? — Under the present state of the colony's infancy there is no necessity for that ; it would be too expensive. The open land is ‘ What authority have the Hudson’s Bay (Company over \”ancouver’s
Island ; — They have every authority ; they are the lords of the soil by grant of
the Crown, I believe

3736. And upon thom depends the jierniission to colonise that country ? — It

3737- Do yon know whether they have granted that permission freely ‘: — At
all events if they have, the prospectus is not favourable to colonisation.

3738. Was there any impediment thrown in your way as a colonist in that
country ? — Yes.

3739- ^Vhat? — I was esclusively confined to my operations on Vancouver’s
Island. 1 had the impression when I went there first, that the mainland also
was ope n for trade for settlers ; but I found afterwards that it was not.

3740. What sort of trade r — In fishing, for instance. There are large fisheries
in Fraser’s River, which exclusively belong to the Hudson’s Bay Companv.

3741 . And you are j)rohibited from using that fishery r — Yes.

3742. Was there any impediment thrown in your way to colonising Vancouver’s
Island ? — No, I imajiine there is no great impediment ; but still there are many
drawbacks which, if I could go into detail, 1 would mention.

3743- I’lay go into detail r — One is this : I will place myself there as an
independent settler, and the disadvantages that I am under are these. It would
have been much better lor me il’ I had gone out in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s
service us one of their bailitl’s or servants, for this reason, that they are furnished
with goods at a nominal price, and all their expenses are found them. I have tu
pay extortionate prices for my goods, and find all my exjienses besides. But
then I hey say, ” Vou have an ccjual right to find your goods ;” but it is not every
man going to a new colnny who has money to find his goods ; it is not every
man who is a millionaire.

3744. Supposing the colonv were thrown open to Her Majesty’s subjects
generally, the power of the Hudson’s Bay Company taken away, and a Governor
sent there by the British Government, do you suppose that that would advance
the colonisation of the island ? — I do ; I am fully of that opinion ; I think it
would be one of the only steps which the British Government need take, to alter
the administration of the Government, and that people would flock there from
San Francisco who have been out there now some years, and are perhaps tired
of the country themselves.

374.’)- You mean Enghsh people ? — ^English people. lam certain that there
are hundreds of people in California, who, if Vancouver’s Island were a British
colony to all intents and purposes, with a British Government, would gladly go
to Vancouver’s Island to open trade.

374(). So that the island, being under the dominion of the Hudson’s D.iv
Company, is not considered an English colony ? — No.

3747. The power and authority of the Hudson’s Bay Company is an incident
deterring the colonLsation of the country ? — Yes, it is.

3745. How far north have you travelled upon the mainland? — It is such a
country that there are no roads ; you cannot travel by land, you must go by
water. I have been up to the north end of Vancouver’s Island.

3749. Did you ever go to Queen Charlotte’s Island ? — Yes.

3750. What sort of island is it? — Something similar to Vancouver’s Island,
but nothing like so fertile ; it is a varied climate.

37,’)i . Is it wooded ? — Very thickly wooded ; it is rather mountainous.

37,”) 2. Do you know whether there has been any discovery of coal upon that
island ? — I am not aware of it.

37,-,3. Coal has been discovered upon Vancouver’s Island, I believe? — Yes,
they have a large mine there now in o|)eration.

37 ■;4. If that mine were worked I suppose it could supply the continent with
coal ? — I believe that the Nanaimo coal mine is capable of supplying the whole

37.’).’j- lo Mhat extent is that coal mine worked now? — When I left they
had something like 8,000 or 10,000 tons ready for sale, but there was no sale
for it.

375G. Why?—


loiintrv ? — It

iudson’s Duv

s an incident

37,56. Why ? — In the first place, they asked too high a price, and coal has
been discovered on different parts of the coast ; and there is also the great draw-
back which I mentioned, namely, the duty of 20 per cent, upon it.

37.’)7- I’po’i what part of the coast has coal been found r — In Bellingham Bay,
directly opposite Vancouver’s Island, at the south end.

37’i8. C/iairman.] On British or American territory ? — American, and also in
Goose Bay ; that is about 200 miles north of San Francisco ; but that is a very-
bad harbour, and will never be to any extent available.

^-‘)<). Mr. Roebudi.] You say that there is a duty of 20 per cent, upon the oxpoitation of coal ? — No ; there is a duty of '10 per cent, imposed in San Francisco, in American territory. 3760. Then there is no dithculty thrown in the way of anybody exporting coal by the Hudson's i5ay Company ? — No ; but they are the only persons who arc capable of working a mine even if it were found ; there are no colonists in \'iiiicouver's Island who, even if they could find coal, would be capable of work- ing: it, from the want of means. 37tH. C/iairmaii.] Are not the Indians employed in working coal? — Nominally they are, but not to any extent ; they are principally white people. 37t)2. Do you find that the Indians are willing to work for wages, and that they make useful labourers? — Yes, they are willing to work. 'jtij. Did you employ them yourself in agricultural labour .' — Yes, I used to employ a great many. 3764. Did you pay them in money wages?— No, principally in trade goods, such as blankets and baize. 3765. You gave them no money ? — No money ; they do not understand the value of money. 376tK Mr. Roebuck.] Did you ever try them r — A few knowing characters about the settlement understand the value of money, but as a general rule, the Indians do not know the value of money. 3767. Chairman.] Are the Indians intelligent ?— Some of them are very in- teUigent. 3768. Is there any education among them ? — No, not at all. 3769. Are there no clergymen or others who interest themselves in their education ? — None whatever. 3770- Is any attempt made to Christianise them : — None at all. 3771. Do you mean none whatever: — None at all, not the slightest. 3772. Mr. Grogan.] Is there any resident chaplain or clergyman in the island ? — There is one. 3774- 377.5. 3776. 3777. Cfiairnian.] What is he ? — He is the colonial chaplain. Mr. Roebuck.] Can he speak the Indian language? — No. Then he cannot address the Indians at all? — No. Mr. Grogan.] How Ions? has he been there ? — Probably two years. What may be his .salary ?— About 300/., I believe. 3778. Mr. Edward Ellice.] What difficulty would there be ill the way of clergymen spreading themselves among the Indians in the island? — The Roman- catholic priests do it, and I do not see that there would be more difficulty attend- ing the English clergy than there is with the Roman-catholic6. 3779. How many .«tations have the Company in the island? — Three. 3780. \\'hereabouts are they ? — One is at Victoria, where the settlement is ; one is at Nanaimo, at the coal mines ; and the other is at Fort Rupert, at the north end of the island. 3781. The fact is, that with the great body of Indians through the island the Company have very little communication ? — There are no interior Indians; there are coast Indians; and I suppose the Company have a communication either directly or indirectly with the whole of them. 3782. But none of the people employed by the Company reside among the Indians ? — No ; only one or two priests. 3783. Chairman.] Do the Indians get their subsistence chiefly by fishing ? — Yes; all the Indians on Vancouver's Island subsist by tish as the staple article. 3784. You have stated that there have been attempts made by Roman-catholic missionaries to Christianise the Indians ? — Yes ; there have been several on the island, and latterly it has been a bishopric. 3785. Do they live there permanently ? — Yes. 0.24— Sess. '2. B u 4 37 8G. Have Mr. J. Cooptr, 21 May 1857. !^ ' i '^n 20O MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE m^ ik i? 1 {< ill !1 .in : ii Mr. J. Cooper. 378f». Have tliey been successful in their efforts to Christianise the Indians .• — — Yea. 1 think in the first instance they have ; they seem to have some know. SI May 1857. ledge now of a Supreme Being, from the fact of the missionaries living with them. 3787. Have they any schools to endeavo'jr to teach them? — Yes. 3788, Mr. £dward IJl/icc] How many Protestant schoohnasters are there in the island supported by the Company ? — Two ; paid by the colonial fund, .3789. Mr. Charles FifzwiUiam.] Who are the two?— One is a gentleman named Uarr ; he has left now, and is coming home. 3790. Chairman^ Arc there any Protestant missionaries in the island r — None whatever. The only Protestant clergyman there is a gentleman of the name of Cridgc. 3791. Mr. Rochuch.'\ Are the Roman-catholic priests brought over thereby the Hudson's Bay Company, or do they come over there voluntarily ?— Voluntarily, 379J. So that the Hudson's Bay Company have nothing to do with Christian- ising the country as far as depends upon tiio priests ■ — No. 3793. Mr. Grogun.'] Do the priests receive any allowance or wages from tlic Hudson's Bay Company at all?— Not that I am aware of, 3794. Are tliLie any schools maintained in the island, cither Roman-catholic or Protestant, or of any other persuasion, at the expense of the Hudson's Bar Company ? — At the expense of the colony, not by the Hudson's Bay Company. The fund arising from the sale of land is termed the colonial fund, and that is all expended, I believe, just now, and the colony a bankrupt. 379,5. You stated, I think, that you had about 300 acres of land yourself, part of which »vas not paid for : — Yes. 3796. What is the price of land in the colony ? — £. 1 per acre. 3797. Invariably r — Invariably ; with the exception of that portion of tlie island which they have allotted off" for a town, where they charge 10/. for 120 feet by 60 feet, 3798. Viscount Godcric/i.'] Where is that ; at Victoria ? — At Victoria. 3799. Mr. Jiocbnck.] W'hy is it that colonists do not go to Vancouver's Island now, and why do you suppose that they would go if the government were changed ? — From the fact that most English people object to be under any government except the real true British Covernment. 3800. Excepting that sort of feeling or prejudice, or whatever you may call it, you do not know any objection ? — Only from instances which occur of that sort, 3801. What do you mean by those instances? — .lust before T left, in the beginning of January or the latter end of December, a gentleman came up from San Francisco, under a commission from some friends at that time in San Francisco, to look at the island, and make a report about it, and what he thought of the country ; and he left the country in disgust. He said that he approved of the colony and its capabilities, but that he objected to come and settle under the Hudson's Bay Company. . 3802. Did he give you any reason for his objection r — The monopoly of the Hudson's Bay Company. 3803. The monopoly of what? — The monopoly in trade ; that no individuals could compete with them. 3804. Mr. Edward Ellice.} In what trade? — General trade; they trade in everything, 3805. Mr. liocbuck] If persons came up from San Francisco with goods : for example, if those persons who deputed the gentlemen to whom yon have alluded go there, brought up goods any petition to the (iovernor, and by petitions
to the House of Commons ; whetlier those iietitions have ever reached or not
I am nut prepared to say,

38/’,{). Chairman^ When was the appointment made ? — In 1853, I think.

38.51. Mr. Christy.’] You know that the appointment of the present judge
was a sore subject in tiie colony ‘i* — Decidedly. I huve just one document which
I would like to read if the Committee would give me permission, relative to those
petitions ; it is not very long.

38.’) J. Have you known of any cases coming for decision before the court
which inv(>lved any considerable amount of property? — .\o ; there are no cases
in Vancouver’s Island at i)resent which are liable to such an occurrence, because
there is no person holding any amount of property there.

38 -,3. Was there any case, with regard to a vessel, of great importance?-

38,54. A ship and her cargo .’ — W here the master was confined three months
in ga I for barratry, the vessel lia\ ing railed at Valparaiso, and a large quantity
of cargo sold to defray expenses. From the evidence placed befoie the grand
jury, ii true bill was returned : the i)etit jury afterwards returned a verdict of
not guilty. Also a case of Webster ver,sus .Muir ; that was respecting a contract;
it was not exactly with regard to a vessel; that was before the a|,j.’ointmeut of
Mr. Crmeron as judge. There was one case where some 2,000 dollars damages
were levied.

3855. Are you aware of any cases of life and death which have come before
the Court r— No.

.S8.’,(). Mr. Grogau.] I wish to bring you back to a subject we were speaking
about before .Mr. Roebuck took up liie examination; it was with reference to
the licence duty of 120/. ; you stated that you were a member of the Council
at that time ?— I was.

38 ,7. Were you present at the Council when that tax or fee was imposed
upon every licence? — I “as.

38,58. Do the members of the Council meet at any periodical times? — It
depends entirely upon the «ill of the Clovernor.

3859. Wliat number of licences may there be in tiie island for that’
— Four.

3860. Four


liver’s Island

; come before

3860 Four public-houses? — Yes; one » iiolesale, belonging to the Hudson’s tit. J. Cooj^er,
Bay Company, and three rt-rail.

3S(ii. What becomes of the revenue received from the sale of those licences ? ai May 1857.
— £. 100 out of the licence fund goes to the judge every year, and the other
300 A iire expended in public purposes ; improvin<; roads, &c., &c. 38fi2. Fs that the entire income derived by the Company from the island ? — Unless land is sold. 38(13 What extent of land may be sold in the island ? — Probably not more than 10,000 or 12,000 acres. 3!<()4. Is there as much ns 8.000 acres sold to individuals r — I am nut pre|. <;d to state exactly, but I think it is about that. 386.1. Has it been paid for, do you know?— Most of it. 380(1. Wh:it has become uf that income? —It has been expended in making roads and bridges. 31S67. You stated that the roads were very bad ; what extent of roads are there in the island r — There are three or four roads leading from Victoria in the dif- ferent directions, not more than eight or ten miles lou;^ fro'u Victoria. 3SUS. The settlers who have purchased tliis land, I suppose, reside in the vicinity of these roads ? — They do. 38(19. And the roads were, probal>ly, nmde up to their settlements f — Yes.

3870 Viscount fr’orfenVA.] If I understand you rightly, the money derived
from these licences is expended for the benefit of Vancouver s Island, the colony,
and not for the general purposes of the Hudson’s Bay Company? — Not for the
purposes of the Hudson’s Biiy Company.

3H71. Mr. Groga/i.’] What quantity of your own farm have you under tillage?
—About (iO ncres.

3872. Have you a ready disposal of the produce of that ? — ‘No; it entirely
depends upon the will of the Hudson’s Bay Company what they will give a bushel
for wheat or produce ; they may either give us I ». a bushel, or they may give us
two dollars a bushel, as they please.

3873. Or they mav refuse to take it at all ‘. — They may refuse to take it
at all.”

3874. Has that fact ever occurred ?— It has.

387V In that case, what became of the produce so raised; wheat, for
instance ? -A great deal of it is in the .stacks to this day, there being no market
for it.

3^76. Is the fact of there being no market for it, and your being entirely
dependent upon the Hudson ‘h Bay Company for the purchase of the wheat, a
drav\l)ack to prevent the colonists from raising any greater quantity of it ? — I am
certiiin of it. If we had a market for it, three times the quantity, under the pre-
sent meanb, could be raised.

3877. Tiien, in fact, the Hudson’s Bay Company could draw any quantity of
supplies they pleas-ed from the island r — Not any quantity, but they could draw
a greater quantity than is already produced.

3878. If that import duly of 20 per cent., to which you alluded as being paid
on goods goinn into San Francisco, were abolished, have you any reason to think
that the cultivation of wheat and other agricultural produce would greatly
increase ? — It would certainly.

3S7U. You have no doubt of that? — I have no doubt of it.

38S0. You niontiimed something about the fishing; will you give a little infor-
mation on that subject ? — 1 here is no fishing of importance on Nancouver’s
Island, only on the rivers and coasts of the mainland ; and there the Hudson’s
Bay Company hold the exclusive right ol trade, according to their charter, of the

3581. In the Fuca Strait what is the case r — It is all open there.

3582. Any one may fish there ? — Yes; but in Fraser’s River, which is the only
inlet into the mainland, in fact, no one is allowed to fish.

3583. Is that where the salmon is principally taken r — It is.

3584. Cliairman.’\ That is a very valuable fishery, is it not ? — It is.

388,5. Mr. Grogan.] If any quantity of fish were taken by any of the emigrants
that chose to devote their attention to it, what would becon)e of it ; have they the
means of exporting and .’•elling it ? — Not very ainple means.

3886. Have tiiey means at all? — No; they would have probably to
0.24 — Sess. 2. c c J charter

■J}’< HI mm j ' 1 ' I i iii r?!!i 5!H .1 .ill u 311 i^!^ 'III ^ ^■ M4 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE Mr. /. Cocper. charter an American veaiel to take it to some port south, or to the Sandwich Islandfl. SI May 1857. 3S87. Havr the Company any vessels that trade in fish themselves? — Vei; but they very often refuse to take frei-^ht. 3888. Do you say that from your own knowledge ?-rYei», I do ; I say it is a fact ; no freile for the urxt few
miles for colonisation.

3914. With respect to Thompson’H River, what do they say about thatr —
That it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and that gold is
disciivired in that and the neighbouring dii>trict now. Wlien I left the miners
were getting from four to twenty dollars a day.

391/;. Who are the miners that you refer to? — Americans chiefly, men who
have gone there from the inducement of obtaining gold by digging for it, in the
same way as in California, and in the course uf time there will be a great
number of American people settled there.

39 It). Is there any settlement at all at Thompson’s Kiver belonging to the
Company?— Yes, a small farm and trading fort. They have lutely removed Fort
Colville; that is in Colville district, about 400 miles from the mainlund. When
it was built, it was 20 miles south of the line, namely, the 49th parallel, and
they have now built a fort on the north side of the line to dispense with the
necessity of paying duties upon English manufactured goods, which they would
otherwise if they sent them over to the old place.

3917. Is this fort for the purpose of the supplies of the Thompson’s River
district ? — It is to supply the jieople who go there to dig gold with goods ; that
is the ostensible reason for the establishment of that fort ; tiiey have got a large
quantity of goods there already.

3918. Viscount God rich.] But if it is near the parallel, must it not be a
considerable way from Thompson’s River?— No, it is not.

3919. \tr. Groanie, or
perhaps of a little better quality, from Vancouver’s Island into San i’laiK isco,
there is a duty of 20 per cent, upon it, whereas ships would load on the oppusile
side to IIS, and go in with the same cargo free.

3038. Mr. JiueLuck.] That 20 per cent is levied upon your goods liecause
they happen to come from British territory ? — Because, unfortunately, we
happen to be British subji cts.

31)39. ^o^ because you are under the Hudson’s Bay Company ? — It is because
it is a British turriiorv.

31140. So thai this 20 per cent, is in no way c(miiec(ed with the rule of the
Hudson’s Bay Company? — Not at all ; it “as formerly so in Canada, until the
reciprocity treaty was entered in’o.

39.ti. Mr. Kduuird F.lUce.] You said that nieichants would go there to trade;
with whom would they go there to trade r — I mentioned that they would go to
trade there if we were admitted in the Canadian reciprocity treaty.

3942. With whom ? — The American people; even now a great many prople
come over to X’ancouver’s Island from Washington territory to buy goods,
and, with enterprise, I liave no doubt myself that a great trade couhl he done
tliere, by taking a large .supply of British goods, and supplying the British
market ; the whalers may be induced to come there ; I know of my own
knowledge tiiat they only want asking to come, and tliey would winter

31)43. You say that the only impediment to it is the want of proper courts of
justice: — No. 1 do not say that at all; the only impediment is the rule of the
Hudson’s Bay Company ; even if th