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On Canada's Frontier Sketches of History, Sport, and Adventure and of the Indians, Missionaries, Fur-traders, and Newer Settlers of Western Canada   By:

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First Page:

ON CANADA'S FRONTIER

Sketches

OF HISTORY, SPORT, AND ADVENTURE AND OF THE INDIANS, MISSIONARIES FUR TRADERS, AND NEWER SETTLERS OF WESTERN CANADA

BY

JULIAN RALPH

ILLUSTRATED

[Illustration]

NEW YORK

HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE

1892

Copyright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers.

All rights reserved .

TO

THE PEOPLE OF CANADA

THIS BOOK IS GRATEFULLY DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR WHO, DURING MANY LONG JOURNEYS IN THE CANADIAN WEST WAS ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE TREATED WITH AN EXTREME FRIENDLINESS TO WHICH HE HERE TESTIFIES BUT WHICH HE CANNOT EASILY RETURN IN EQUAL MEASURE

PREFACE

If all those into whose hands this book may fall were as well informed upon the Dominion of Canada as are the people of the United States, there would not be needed a word of explanation of the title of this volume. Yet to those who might otherwise infer that what is here related applies equally to all parts of Canada, it is necessary to explain that the work deals solely with scenes and phases of life in the newer, and mainly the western, parts of that country. The great English colony which stirs the pages of more than two centuries of history has for its capitals such proud and notable cities as Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Halifax, and many others, to distinguish the progressive civilization of the region east of Lake Huron the older provinces. But the Canada of the geographies of to day is a land of greater area than the United States; it is, in fact, the "British America" of old. A great trans Canadian railway has joined the ambitious province of the Pacific slope to the provinces of old Canada with stitches of steel across the Plains. There the same mixed surplusage of Europe that settled our own West is elbowing the fur trader and the Indian out of the way, and is laying out farms far north, in the smiling Peace River district, where it was only a little while ago supposed that there were but two seasons, winter and late spring. It is with that new part of Canada, between the ancient and well populated provinces and the sturdy new cities of the Pacific Coast, that this book deals. Some references to the North are added in those chapters that treat of hunting and fishing and fur trading.

The chapters that compose this book originally formed a series of papers which recorded journeys and studies made in Canada during the past three years. The first one to be published was that which describes a settler's colony in which a few titled foreigners took the lead; the others were written so recently that they should possess the same interest and value as if they here first met the public eye. What that interest and value amount to is for the reader to judge, the author's position being such that he may only call attention to the fact that he had access to private papers and documents when he prepared the sketches of the Hudson Bay Company, and that, in pursuing information about the great province of British Columbia, he was not able to learn that a serious and extended study of its resources had ever been made. The principal studies and sketches were prepared for and published in Harper's Magazine. The spirit in which they were written was solely that of one who loves the open air and his fellow men of every condition and color, and who has had the good fortune to witness in newer Canada something of the old and almost departed life of the plainsmen and woodsmen, and of the newer forces of nation building on our continent.

CONTENTS

PAGE

I. Titled Pioneers 1

II. Chartering a Nation 11

III. A Famous Missionary 53

IV. Antoine's Moose yard 66

V. Big Fishing 115

VI. "A Skin for a Skin" 134

VII. "Talking Musquash" 190

VIII. Canada's El Dorado 214

IX. Dan Dunn's Outfit 290

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

The Romantic Adventure of Old Sun's Wife Frontispiece

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