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Canada and the States   By: (1819-1901)

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" If the Maritime Provinces [of Britain] would join us, spontaneously, to day sterile as they may be in the soil under a sky of steel still with their hardy population, their harbours, fisheries, and seamen, they would greatly strengthen and improve our position , and aid us in our struggle for equality upon the ocean. If we would succeed upon the deep, we must either maintain our fisheries or ABSORB THE PROVINCES."

E. H. DERBY, Esq, Report to the Revenue Commissioners of the United States, 1866.

[Illustration: The Duke of Newcastle, K.G.]

In the absence of any formal Dedication, I feel that to no one could the following pages be more appropriately inscribed than to

Lady Watkin.

On her have fallen the anxieties of our home life during my many long absences away on the American Continent which Continent she once, in 1862, visited with me. My business, in relation to Canada, has, from time to time, been undertaken with her knowledge, and under her good advice; and no one has been animated with a stronger hope for Canada, as a great integral part of the Empire of the Queen, than herself.



The following pages have been written at the request of many old friends, some of them co workers in the cause of permanent British rule over the larger part of the Great Northern Continent of America.

In 1851 I visited Canada and the United States as a mere tourist, in search of health. In 1861 I went there on an anxious mission of business; and for some years afterwards I frequently crossed the Atlantic, not only during the great Civil War between the North and South, but, also, subsequent to its close. In 1875 I had to undertake another mission of responsibility to the United States. And, last year, I traversed the Dominion of Canada from Belle Isle to the Pacific. I returned home by San Francisco and the Union Pacific Railways to Chicago; and by Montreal to New York. Thence to Liverpool, in that unsurpassed steamer, the "Etruria," of the grand old Cunard line. I ended my visits to America, as I began them, as a tourist. This passage was my thirtieth crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Within the period from 1851 to 1886, history on the North American Continent has been a wonderful romance. Never in the older stories of the world's growth, have momentous changes been effected, and, apparently, consolidated, in so short a time, or in such rapid succession.

Regarding the United States, the slavery of four millions of the negro race is abolished for ever, and the black men vote for Presidents. A great struggle for empire fought on gigantic measure has been won for liberty and union. Turning to Canada, the British half of the Continent has been moulded into one great unity, and faggotted together, without the shedding of one drop of brothers' blood and in so tame and quiet a way, that the great silent forces of Nature have to be cited, to find a parallel.

In this period, the American Continent has been spanned by three main routes of iron road, uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: and one of these main routes passes exclusively through British territory the Dominion of Canada. The problem of a "North west Passage" has been solved in a new and better way. It is no longer a question of threading dark and dismal seas within the limits of Arctic ice and snow, doubtful to find, and impossible, if found, to navigate. Now, the two oceans are reached by land, and a fortnight suffices for the conveyance of our people from London or Liverpool to or from the great Pacific, on the way to the great East.

Anyone who reads what follows will learn that I am an Imperialist that I hate little Englandism. That, so far as my puny forces would go, I struggled for the union of the Canadian Provinces, in order that they might be retained under the sway of the best form of government a limited monarchy, and under the best government of that form the beneficent rule of our Queen Victoria... Continue reading book >>

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