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The Scot in British North America
Chapter V The Canadian Pacific Railway


"Happy is the nation that has no history," is an aphorism that has lost much of its force by the adoption of more rational and instructive historical methods. It was strictly true in the days when popular history was a mere record of battles and sieges, treaties made and violated, the pomp and parade of courts and the intrigues of diplomatists. But in an age when historical research and contemporary observation are brought to bear upon the life of the people, upon institutions and manners and industries, upon progress in the arts and sciences, and intellectual and religious advancement, the eras of peaceful development offer the widest scope and entail the most arduous labours upon the historian. The interest of the narrative is no longer centred upon a comparatively small group of leading figures—upon a few salient actions of overshadowing importance. It is diffused over a wider theatre where many diverse movements are in progress. There is no great crisis—no pivotal point of national destiny towards which all energies are bent and all eyes directed. But the minor events and influences which make up the sum of national life are so scattered as to area and so involved in their relations to each other, that the field-glass of the chronicler of the times of storm and pressure needs to be exchanged for an instrument at once telescopic in range and microscopic in closeness of vision. The recent annals of North-Western progress are a record of peaceful and rapid advancement, in which, among the active and energetic spirits who have been the directing forces of settlement, there are many whose names are worthy of honourable mention—few who loom up so largely as to throw the rest into shadow. The preservation of the due historical perspective is therefore a matter of difficulty.

Canadians have been backward in realizing the grandeur and value of their national heritage. Accustomed for generations to the contrast between the narrow limits of Old Canada, and the vast expanse of half a continent to the South, the possession of which has done so much to form the American character, both as regards its faults and its virtues, it is not surprising that, for some time after the annexation of the North-West territory, public opinion failed to appreciate the new acquisition at anything like its true value. This was, no doubt, owing fully as much to the lack of anything like reliable information concerning the real character of the country and its fitness for settlement, as to the Canadian habit of self-depreciation—which, by the way, is a habit of thought rather than of speech. The empire, upon the possession of which Canada had entered, was literally a terra incognita.

Great spaces yet untravelled, great lakes whose mystic shores
The Saxon rifle never heard, nor dip of Saxon oars;
Great herds that wander all unwatched, wild steeds that none have tamed,
Strange fish in unknown streams, and birds the Saxon never named,
Deep mines, dark mountain crucibles where Nature’s chemic powers
Work out the great Designer’s will—all these ye say are ours!

It was not until the observations of travellers and the researches of men of science, corroborated by the actual experience of the pioneers of settlement, established beyond a doubt the existence of large areas of fertile arable land, that public sentiment rose in some measure to a due estimation of the resources and possibilities of the North-West. Prominent among those whose keen perception and graphic descriptive powers have contributed to bring about this result is the Rev. George M. Grant, to whose book, "Ocean to Ocean," reference has already been made. In 1872, Mr. Sandford Fleming, chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, determined to undertake a journey across the continent in order to familiarize himself with the general features of the route laid down by the preliminary surveys of the previous year. He was accompanied by Rev. Mr. Grant in the capacity of secretary; and Dr. Arthur Moren, of Halifax, Prof. John Macoun, of Belleville, and Mr. Charles Horetzky, an ex-Hudson Bay Company official, were also of the party. "Ocean to Ocean" was the outcome of this expedition. The party left Toronto on the 16th of July, reached Prince Arthur’s Landing by steamer from Collingwood, and travelled to Winnipeg over the Dawson road. The writer bears frequent testimony to the prevalence of the Scottish element in the few and far between stopping-places and settlements along this route. The first halt after leaving Thunder Bay was made at "fifteen mile shanty," in charge of Robert Bowie, an Alloa man, of whom it is gratefully recorded that he gave the party the best dinner they had enjoyed since leaving Toronto. The station at the Matawan was in care of Mr. Aitken from Glengarry, who in two months had converted a fire-swept desert into a comfortable and prosperous home. A Scot who accompanied the party on one stage of their journey as teamster from the North-West Angle, was earning $30 per month and board, and saving four-fifths of his wages with the intention in a few months of buying a farm on the Red River. At White Birch River they found the keeper of the station, a Scotsman "like the rest," and a very intelligent man, also to furnish much information about the country. After the usual vicissitudes of canoe and waggon travel, over this picturesque but rough and desolate region, Winnepeg was reached. The writer notes the prosperity of the Selkirk settlement, owing to the thrifty habits of the High-landers and their descendants. At "Silver Heights," six miles up the Assiniboine, the residence of Mr. Donald A. Smith, the travellers received a veritable Highland welcome, and met, among others, Mr. Christie, a short time before chief factor at Edmonton, Mr. Hamilton, of Norway House, and Mr. McTavish.

The party commenced the journey across the prairies with a full equipment of Red River carts, saddle horses and buck-boards. Shortly after leaving Winnipeg they fell in with Rev. George McDougall, the intrepid Methodist missionary, whose lamented death a few years later left such a gap in the ranks of missionary enterprise. Mr. McDougall accompanied the party to Edmonton, where he was at that time stationed. They found a little village on the site of what is now the thriving town of Portage la Prairie, and at Rat Creek, ten miles further west, the houses of several settlers. The names of Grant and Mackenzie sufficiently indicate the origin of the two prosperous farmers, recently from Ontario, at whose houses the travellers dined. From this point onwards Mr. Grant was impressed with the wonderful richness and fertility of the prairie land, and puts on record his amazement that so little should have been done to open up these vast and productive areas for settlement. Crossing the Assiniboine at Fort Ellice, the party turned their course towards the North Saskatchewan, by way of the Touchwood Hills, passing through a region of rolling prairie, the beauty and luxuriance of which delighted them. From Carlton they proceeded along the valley of the Saskatchewan, by the trail on the north bank of the river. At Victoria they visited the mission established by Mr. McDougall among the Crees and half-breeds. He had been assigned to another post at Edmonton, and his successor was Mr. Campbell. The teacher of the Sunday-school was Mr. McKenzie, and the interpreter Mr. Tait. The observations made during this portion of the journey as to the general character of the country, and its fitness for settlement, are the most valuable part of the work—as a vindication of the soil and climate of the North-West from the prejudices of unreasoning ignorance and the malignant aspersions of American railroad and land agents. Summing up his experiences of the route traversed as far as Edmonton, the writer says :—

"Speaking generally of Manitoba and our North-West, along the line we travelled, it is impossible to doubt that it is one of the finest pasture countries in the world, and that a great part of it is well adapted for cereals. The climatological conditions are favourable for both stock-raising and grain-producing. The spring is nearly as early as in Ontario, the summer is more humid and therefore the grains, grasses, and root crops grow better; the autumn bright and cloudless, the very weather for harvesting; and the winter has less snow and fewer snow-storms, and though in many parts colder, it is healthy and pleasant because of the still dry air, the cloudless sky and the bright sun. The soil is almost everywhere a peaty or sandy loam resting on clay, its only fault is that it is too rich—crop after crop is raised without fallow or manure." After considering fairly the objections raised as to the scarcity of fuel and water in some parts, otherwise adapted to settlement, and the summer frosts which occasionally nip the grain in the higher latitudes—though, as he takes care to explain, the thermometer is by no means a guide as to the effects of cold in this region—"it is impossible" he continues "to avoid the conclusion that we have a great and fertile North-West, a thousand miles long and from one to four hundred miles broad, capable of containing a population of millions."

The revelations of yesterday are the commonplaces of today. These passages seem now but the merest truisms—the presentation of a story which has grown stale, and hackneyed by the reiterations of the tourist and the newspaper correspondent, the lecturer and the politician. But they were far from being truisms when first published, or for some time later. The researches of Prof. Macoun, who with Mr. Horetzky; separated from Mr. Fleming’s party at Edmonton, and proceeded to the Peace River; did much to dispel popu1ar prejudice as to the climate. But misconceptions of this sort die slowly. His report published in 1874, showing from the flora of that region, that the summer climate of Peace River in 56 degree north latitude is equal to, if not better than, that of Belleville in latitude 44°, was much criticized and his statements ridiculed as extravagant. Even in 1877, when surveys had been pushed in all directions, the Minister of Public Works, in asking the professor to present a report on the country, thought it necessary to caution him not to draw on his imagination, and the latter knowing the incredulity which existed as to the productive capacity of the North-West, dared not present the conclusion he arrived at, from careful estimates that the country comprised fully 200,000,000 acres of agricultural land— fearing that the figures would appear altogether incredible—"As a salve to my conscience," he writes, "I kept to the large number of 200,000,000 acres, but said that there were 79,920,000 of arable land, and 120,400,000 acres of pasture, swamps and lakes." [Macoun’s Manitoba and the great North-West, p. 609.]

The Fleming party continued their expedition to British Columbia, by way of the Yellow Head Pass, reaching Victoria on the 9th of October, after a journey of nearly three months. Mr. Grant on his return home by way of the Union Pacific, was struck with the contrast between the arid alkaline plateaus of Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Eastern Nebraska, the parched earth for hundreds of miles barely yielding support to a scanty growth of sage-brush, and the rich, warm soil of the Canadian prairies clothed everywhere with a luxuriant vegetation. Yet while population had been attracted to the great American desert and enterprise had carried thither the railroad and the telegraph, the fertile belt remained unpeopled and unproductive. The great essential precursor of civilization in its westward march, the railway, was yet in the future.

The tendency of public opinion during the early phases of the Canadian Pacific Railway enterprise, was to regard this undertaking rather in the light of a political necessity than a factor of prime exigency in the work of populating the North-West. The scheme was urged as essential to the maintenance of British institutions in regions to which a large influx of population from the southward, was likely to be attracted; it was accepted as a corollary of Confederation; but not generally recognised as an undertaking likely to be materially remunerative. To the spirit of patriotic emulation excited by the giant strides of railway development in the United States, and to the tenacity with which the British Columbians in framing the terms of union insisted upon this material link as a sine qua non, more than to any general conviction of the practical commercial utility of the enterprise was its inception due. The engineering difficulties in the way were regarded by many as insuperable. Capt. Palliser who in 1857 had explored the country, as the head of an expedition sent out by the imperial government had decisively declared communication between Canada and the Pacific slope through British territory impracticable. "The time" he said "has forever gone by for effecting such an object, and the unfortunate device of an astronomical boundary line has completely isolated the central American possessions of Great Britain from Canada, in the East, and also almost debarred them from any eligible access from the Pacific coast on the west." With this official condemnation of the scheme on record it is not surprising that when the conditions of the bargain with British Columbia were announced the opinion widely prevailed that the stipulation for the construction of the road within ten years, was likely to remain a dead letter. It was reserved for the consummate scientific ability, the tireless energy, the thorough-going assiduity and indomitable resolution of a Scot to demonstrate the falsity of Capt. Palliser’s conclusions, as it has since been for the enterprise, commercial sagacity and executive capacity of a company of Scotsmen to crown the work.

When the preliminary work of survey was undertaken in 1871 the position of chief engineer was assigned to Mr. Sandford Fleming, a name that will always be closely associated with the greatest public undertakings of the Dominion. Mr. Fleming was born at Kirkcaldy in Fifeshire, Scotland, on the 7th of January, 1827, his father being a mechanic named Andrew Greig Fleming. The maiden name of his mother was Elizabeth Arnot. During his school days his mind exhibited a decided bent in the direction of mathematics and at an early age he was placed under articles with an engineer and surveyor. Having acquired a practical knowledge of the profession he emigrated to Canada at the age of eighteen. His progress in his adopted country was slow at first as he was for some years unable to obtain any position which would afford him the opportunity of gaining recognition for his abilities. During a portion of this period of weary waiting for professional advancement he resided in Toronto, where he was one of the first to take an interest in the Canadian Institute. In 1852 he was appointed one of the engineering staff on the Northern Railway, at that time known as the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway. His attainments quickly won him promotion and in a few years he became chief engineer of the line. During his connection with this company his services were also sought in the promotion of other public works. He subsequently visited the Red River Settlement to ascertain whether it would be practicable to build a railroad connecting it with old Canada. In 1863 the inhabitants of the settlement addressed a memorial to the Imperial government praying for railway communication with Canada through British territory, and Mr. Fleming was entrusted with the mission of urging the construction of the line. He had several interviews on the subject with the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, but the project did not at that time assume any definite shape. On Mr. Fleming’s return from England he was entrusted with the task of making a preliminary survey of a line of railway to connect the maritime provinces with Canada. The scheme was not pushed until the accomplishment of Confederation in 1867 rendered the construction of the Intercolonial Railway imperative upon the Canadian Government—when the work was carried to a successful issue under the direction of Mr. Fleming as Chief Engineer—and formally opened on the 1st of July, 1876. The triumph thus achieved over physical obstacles of no ordinary character placed him in the front of his profession and singled him out as pre-eminently fitted for the yet more important and responsible charge of opening up a highway for commerce between the East and West over swamp and prairie, river and muskeg, across the towering barrier of the Rockies, winding among British Columbia’s "sea of mountains," through passes deemed impassable, bridging chasms that yawn destruction and tunnelling cliffs that frown defiance, onward, slowly, toilsomely but resistlessly onward to where the Pacific portal invites the commerce of the East and the perpetual westward surge of humanity culminates in paradox as the pioneer confronts the Mongolian.

Mr. Fleming’s connection with the Canadian Pacific continued until 1880 when he resigned his position on finding himself unable to agree with the Government as to the location of the railway. His great public services have been fitly recognised by his receiving from Her Majesty the honour of being created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. In 1880 he was elected Chancellor of Queen’s University, Kingston. He is an able and voluminous writer on topics connected with his profession. In addition to the valuable official reports of the various enterprises with which he has been connected he has published a history of the Intercolonial Railway and has furnished many instructive contributions to the Canadian Journal and other scientific publications. In 1855 he was united in marriage to Miss Ann Jean Hall, daughter of the late Sheriff Hall, of the County of Peterborough.

When British Columbia entered the union the practicability of the Pacific Railway was still an unsolved problem. No time was lost in setting on foot the work of survey in the summer of 1871. On July 20th, the day on which the union was formally consummated, a party left Victoria for the mountains, operations having been begun in the East some weeks before. The quarter to which attention was specially directed was the Yellow Head Pass in the Rocky Mountains which it was supposed might offer an available route. On examination it was found that no insuperable obstacle existed to the construction of a road through this pass to Kamloops in the interior of the Province. The main question was settled. The Canadian Pacific was a practicable scheme and henceforward it was merely a choice between longer and shorter, easier or more difficult routes. The immensity of the enterprise, which had hardly been fully considered in the anxiety to make terms with the British Columbians, began to be more fully realized during the toilsome and tedious years of exploratory survey that followed. The difficulties encountered, the fatigues and perils endured by those engaged in this work are deserving of more recognition than they have received or are ever likely to receive at the hands of the country in whose service these brave soldiers on the skirmish line of the advancing forces of civilization toiled and suffered and not unfrequently died—for if "peace hath her victories not less renowned than war," she has also her tragedies,—her killed whose names find place in no bulletins and to whose memories no lofty monuments are reared, and her wounded who go unpensioned and undecorated. The total list of lives lost in connection with the survey up to the year 1878, by various "moving accidents of flood and field" numbered thirty-eight. The names of Sinclair, Matheson, Spence, Hamilton, McMillan, Scott and others which appear on the death-roll indicate that Scotland can claim as her sons a very large proportion of the men to whose faithful and arduous service in the face of the dangers and hard-ships of the wilderness, Canada owes so heavy a debt of gratitude. The vast amount of information concerning the physical features of a region of which nothing was accurately known excepting along the routes followed by the few travellers who had left their observations on record, gained by the exhaustive and elaborate system of surveys carried out under Mr. Fleming’s direction is indicated by the statement made by him in a paper read before the Colonial Institute on the 16th of April, 1878, that the total length of explorations made during the preceding seven years exceeded 47,000 miles, no less than 12,000 miles having been measured by chain and spirit-level, yard by yard. [Report of Canadian Pacific Railway, 1878, p. 88.] The expense of these surveys amounted to about three and a half million dollars, and the engineering force employed numbered about a thousand men of all grades.

Meanwhile the chances and changes of political conflict had resulted in material alterations in the character of the scheme. As we have seen, the Conservative policy was to secure the construction of the road by private enterprise, stimulated by lavish subsidies of money and land. Mr. Mackenzie’s administration undertook to build and operate it as a government work. There is much to be said on either side of the argument as between these two systems. It must be admitted that there is a growing public opinion in favour of the resumption by the state of the control of the public lines of traffic and communication, implied in the old phrase the "king’s highway." This feeling has been intensified by the oppressive and arbitrary conduct of the American railway magnates, whose position has aptly been compared to that of the robber-barons of the Rhine in feudal times. In a country where the great food-producing districts are separated by long distances both from the mass of home consumers and the nearest points of shipment to the foreign market, the railway king holds industry and commerce by the throat. It is not surprising that the unscrupulous use of this power in regulating tolls according to the rule of "what the traffic will bear," and the frequent contemptuous disregard of the public interest, have given rise to a strong agitation in favour of state interference. Many consider that the history of railroad construction and management in the United States was well calculated to serve as a warning rather than an example for imitation, in the matter of entrusting large corporations with monopoly privileges. On the other hand, the danger of leaving a gigantic enterprise like the Canadian Pacific to be owned and worked by a government which would always be under the temptation to use it as a political machine, was calculated to impress Canadians more forcibly than an evil of which their own experiences had been comparatively slight. Moreover, the success of the Mackenzie administration in the work of construction had not been such as to influence public sentiment in favour of government railways The progress made had been slow. True, the painstaking and elaborate system of preliminary surveys, so indispensable to the success of the undertaking, had been pushed forward with creditable thoroughness and energy; but the public are apt to judge by tangible results, visible on the surface, ponderable by scales or steelyard, measurable by tape-line or yard-stick, computable in current coin of the realm. The actual mileage of railway completed during the Mackenzie regime was but 227 miles, comprising sections from Selkirk to Rat Portage and from Fort William to English River. The rich prairie region, to the value of which the country was now thoroughly aroused, had not been opened up. Sir John Macdonald, on his return to power, adopted for the time being the policy of his predecessor, with the object of securing the settlement of the country as speedily as possible. The work of construction was hastened. Additional contracts were let, including that for the connecting link between English River and Rat Portage, so as to complete the summer route to Winnipeg by way of Lake Superior, and the Pembina branch was finished, effecting a connection with the American railway system. The route west of Winnipeg, which, as originally laid down, took a north-westerly direction, crossing the narrows of Lake Manitoba, and traversing the low-lying lands at the base of Duck Mountain, was deflected considerably to the southward, in order to open up a country better fitted for settlement. On the Pacific slope the road was put under contract from Yale to Kamloops, a distance of 127 miles, the Burrard Inlet route, via the Yellow Head pass and Tête Jaune Cache, of which Mr. Fleming was a strong upholder, being adopted. In 1880, the number of miles under construction was 722.

Such was the position of matters when the Syndicate contract was entered into in pursuance of the original policy which the Conservative administration had all along kept steadily in view. That at length, after repeated attempts to interest capitalists in this great work a successful issue was reached, the completion of the line assured, the government relieved from its vast responsibilities, and the country from the risk of continuous and indefinite losses in the subsequent working of the road, is due to the foresight, shrewdness and enterprise of the association of Scotsmen, who, when others hesitated or shrunk back appalled at the magnitude of the venture, realized the immense possibilities held out by the offer of the government, and grasped the opportunity let slip by less energetic or more timorous competitors. And here brief biographical notices of the leading members of the Syndicate may be given.

Mr. George Stephen, of Montreal, the leading spirit of the enterprise, is a native of Ecclefechan, Dumfries-shire, noted as being also the birthplace of Thomas Carlyle,—a locality of which he evidently entertained the same opinion as Daniel Webster did of his native New Hampshire, that it was "a good place to emigrate from," as at an early age he left it for the British metropolis. There he entered the employ of the extensive mercantile house of J. M. Pawson & Co., St. Pau1’s Churchyard, and in this practical training school soon acquired a thorough knowledge of commercial life. Dissatisfied with the prospect of rising in the world afforded by the business outlook of the Old Country, he emigrated to Canada about the year 1853, on the advice of his relative, the late William Stephen, senior member of the firm of W. Stephen & Co., Montreal. He entered the warehouse of the firm, and in a few years obtained a junior partnership, having by his assiduity and fidelity to their interests made himself indispensable. Mr. Wm. Stephen died in 1862, and his interest was purchased by the subject of this sketch, who, on obtaining an ascendency in the business, engaged extensively in the cloth manufacturing industry. This new departure proved a highly profitable one—so much so, that he soon withdrew from the wholesale business and devoted his attention exclusively to manufacturing. He was chosen a director of the Bank of Montreal, in which he was a large shareholder, and when the presidency was resigned by Mr. King, was elected to fill the position. Mr. Stephen’s first connection with railway enterprise was his joining a syndicate for the purchase of the interest of the Dutch holders of the bonds of the St. Paul and Pacific Railway, which gave them control of the partially constructed line. Realizing the importance of this road as a link in the chain of railway communication with the North-West via the Pembina branch of the Canadian Pacific, they carried the work of construction rapidly forward, and soon found themselves in possession of an exceedingly profitable line. They were in a position to control not merely the entire traffic of the Canadian North-West, but to render tributary a large area of Minnesota and Dakota. The income of this monopoly they devoted to widening the sphere of their operations by constructing connecting lines in various directions, making St. Paul the focal point for their system. They re-named their line the St. Paul and Manitoba Railway, as until the section of the Pacific along the north shore of Lake Superior is completed, it will, for half the year, remain the only outlet for the now vastly increased trade of the Canadian North-West. Mr. Stephen is a cousin of Hon. Donald A. Smith, associated with him in the St. Paul and Manitoba and Canadian Pacific railway companies. His adopted daughter was united in marriage to the son of Sir Stafford Northcote, during the sittings of the Joint High Commission which negotiated the Washington Treaty, young Northcote serving as an attache at the time. Mr. Stephen exercises a lavish hospitality, but is pre-eminently a man of affairs, and more at home in the office or at a directors’ meeting than in social festivities.

Mr. Duncan McIntyre, as the name indicates, is of Celtic origin, and was born in the Highlands of Scotland not far north of Aberdeen. He came to Canada in the year 1849, settling in Montreal, where he obtained employment as a clerk with the well-known mercantile firm of Stuart & McIntyre, in whose service he remained for many years. His duties necessitated his travelling a good deal in the Ottawa Valley, and his observations of the locality impressed him strongly with its great natural advantages. During his intervals of leisure, he frequently joined hunting parties, and in this way travelled through the wilder and less accessible portions of the Ottawa district. He thus acquired a minute topographical knowledge of the country, which afterwards stood him in good stead in connection with railway matters. Mr. McIntyre had a prosperous business career. He acquired a partnership in the firm of Stuart & McIntyre, and as the other members retired, found the concern in his own hands. His thoughts were, however, turned in other directions, by his interest in the development of the Ottawa Valley. From the first he believed in the future of the Canada Central Railroad, of which he became one of the directors. He embarked with Mr. Foster, President of the road, in the Canada Central Extension scheme, taking a share in the contract for construction—and by a succession of transactions, into the details of which it is not necessary to enter, became president and virtual owner of the Canada Central. Mr. McIntyre’s foresight as to the important character of this road, is amply justified by its natural position as a link in the great inter-oceanic chain.

Mr. Robert B. Angus, like his colleagues, is a Scot by birth as well as by blood—Bathgate, near Edinburgh, being his native place. He was one of four brothers, all remarkable for the early developed brilliancy of their talents. His scholastic education was received at Edinburgh, and his business training in a bank at Manchester, for he left his native country when quite a youth. When he arrived in Canada in 1852, he looked for similar employment. From the position of junior clerk in the Bank of Montreal, he speedily rose to more responsible trusts. He was for a time in charge of the Chicago branch, and after Mr. King had attained the position of general manager, Mr. Angus became assistant manager. He succeeded his chief in the managerial post, which after a time he quitted to take a share in the St. Paul and Manitoba syndicate. Mr. Angus is regarded as a shrewd man of business and strict in his dealings. He is, however, none the less popular, as he has many amiable qualities, being a typical instance of that dual nature which is not uncommon especially among Scotsmen, combining rigid adherence to the letter of a bargain and close calculation of expenditure in business matters with openhanded generosity in social intercourse.

Mr. Donald Alexander Smith was born in Scotland in the year 1821 and early in life came to the North-West in the service of the Hudson Bay Company. Few men have been as closely identified with the progress of civilization in the North-West as Mr. Smith, who has held many important and responsible positions and been connected with various enterprises for the development of the country. He rose to the post of resident governor and Chief commissioner of the Hudson Bay Company, and in 1870 was appointed a member of the Executive Council for the North-West territories. He was a special commissioner to enquire into the causes, nature, and extent of the Riel rebellion. For three years he represented Winnipeg and St. John in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, resigning his seat in 1874. When Manitoba was admitted into the Union in 1871 Mr. Smith was returned as a member of the House of Commons for the constituency of Selkirk and was re-elected on severa1 occasions. In politics he is a Conservative. The estimation in which he is held by the people of Manitoba has been testified by his election as president of the Provincial Agricultura1 Association, of the Selkirk St. Andrew’s Society, and vice-president of the Dominion Rifle Association. He is a director of several banks and commercial companies and a member of the Board of Management of the Manitoba College (Presbyterian). He married Isabella, daughter of the late Mr. Richard Hardisty, at one time, of the British army but subsequently like himself an official of the Hudson Bay Company.

It would obviously be out of place in a work of this character to enter into any detailed account of the progress of the Canadian Pacific since it was handed over to the Syndicate. It is sufficient to say that under their energetic management the entire prairie section of the road has been completed so that to-day Canada is in possession of a line of communication reaching from Thunder Bay to the Rocky Mountains. The remaining sections of the road are being vigorously pushed forward. The link to the North shore of Lake Superior connecting Thunder Bay with Callender, the former terminus of the line as originally laid out, is under construction and the work is being carried on as fast as the physical obstacles in the way will permit. The Company having acquired the Canada Central and amalgamated it with the Pacific, Montreal will be the Eastern terminus of the line and the outlet for the great volume of North-Western traffic. The route through the Rocky Mountains to Kamloops is as yet undetermined. This is the piece de resistance of the undertaking and further surveys of the region are yet in progress to ascertain the most available line. It cannot be doubted that the same energy, decision, and administrative capacity which have already accomplished so much in grappling with the difficulties of this immense enterprise, will be equal to the yet more formidable difficulties to be encountered, and that in a very few years the debt which Canada owes to Scottish resolution and force of character will be still further augmented by the successful completion of the great trans-continental railway.


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