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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part III - Scots in the Settlement and Development of Canada and Newfoundland
Scots in the Settlement and Development of Canada by Sir Alexander Grant, M.D.


"In days of yore, from Britain’s shore,
Wolfe, the dauntless hero came,
And planted firm Britannia’s flag
On Canada’s fair domain.
Here may it wave, our boast, our pride;
And joined in love together,
The Thistle, Shamrock, Rose entwine
The Maple Leaf forever."

CANADA is a large country and from the beginning its history is closely associated with Scotsmen. French and Scottish fishermen were making rich hauls off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador as early as 1506; and these fishermen, together with adventurers and fur traders pushed their way up the St. Lawrence to Quebec and Montreal. The ships that sailed from Gravesend for the Company of Adventurers Trading into Hudson Bay invariably selected their crews from Scotland. Not only was General James Murray, the first British Governor of Quebec, a Scot, but he bravely received the keys of the city gates from the last French Commandant, Major de Ramezay, a Franco-Scot whose Château is one of the landmarks of Quebec. In fact, in those old days, the Scot played an important part, on both the French and the British side, in the history of the "Old Rock." The exploits of the Fraser Highlanders under General Wolfe, at Quebec in 1759, are known to all; and when General Wolfe came to Quebec, he found it garrisoned not oniy by many Franco-Scots, like de Ramezay, but as well by many Jacobites who had come over from Scotland after The Forty-five, to seek new fortune in Canada and to fight against the English further south.

Major de Ramezay was one of many descendants of those Scottish soldiers who crossed the Channel to fight in the French armies, and one of many of these hardy men of Norman and Scottish blood who came out to make a way for France in the new world; and who, with their descendants, were among the first to explore Canada and the Central West. Abraham Martin, of Scottish-French descent, was the first registered pilot of the St. Lawrence, in 1621. For him the Heights and Plains of Abraham were named. His daughter married Medard Chouart, who set out with Pierre Radisson in 1658 and with him was the first to reach the shores of Hudson Bay. Radisson, who was one of the founders of the Company of Adventurers Trading into Hudson Bay (May 2, 1670), married a daughter of his associate, Sir John Kirke, a son of Sir David Kirke. Sir David Kirke was the son of a Scot married to a French woman. His father came as a Huguenot exile to England and was associated with Sir William Alexander in his project to colonise Nova Scotia. With the consent of King Charles I, he fitted out a fleet for his son, Sir David, who in 1628 captured seventeen of the eighteen ships sent out by Richelieu to dispute the English claim, seized the French post at Tadousac, and July 22, 1629, received the surrender of Champlain at Quebec. Sir David was afterward Governor of Newfoundland.

"The Mississippi Bubble," the great French colonization scheme, financed and exploited in Paris (1717-1720), by John Law of Lauriston, an Edinburgh jeweller, with its tragical collapse, sent many Scots into French Canada, exiles of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. These Scots settled chiefly in the St. Lawrence valley, intermarried with the French settlers and left a lasting impress upon the language and people of French Canada. We find a Charles Joseph Douglas, Comte et Seigneur de Montreal, a prisoner after Culloden; and Chevalier Johnstone, also a refugee after Culloden, mentions a French post at Sillery in command of another Douglas. Johnstone was the son of an Edinburgh merchant, a captain in the army of Prince Charles Edward Stewart, who escaped to Holland. entered the service of France, and sailed from Rochefort in 1748 with other Scottish exiles as French troops for Cape Breton Island. His diaries of the sieges of Louisbourg and Quebec are most interesting and valuable. How thoroughly these early Seots were absorbed, and yet how native traditions persisted is cited by John Murray Gibbon, who remarks that French Canadian villages, where little or no English is spoken, on gala occasions have been known to turn out in kilts led by bagpipes; he also refers to the astonishment of the early Highland soldiers and settlers at being addressed with Gaelic words by the Canadian French.

Simon Fraser raised the 78th Highlanders who distinguished themselves at the siege and capture of Louisbourg (June-July, 1758), at the battle of Montgomery (July 31, 1759), and at St. Foy, or Sillery (April 28, 1760). In the celebrated battle of the Plains, their loss in officers and men was serious. It was they who sealed the heights of Abraham and showed the path to victory, guided in this famous exploit by one Major Stobo, who in 1754 had been a war-prisoner in Quebec and with two other Scots made a daring escape to Louisbourg. During nearly six years of service in North America, Fraser’s Highlanders wore the kilt winter and summer—a health-producing garb constituting warm clothing, and as to influence, it is really remarkable the stimulus for good, for law and order, imparted by the costume of a real Highlander. One writer tells of how the winter following the fall of the city, when a number of the. Frasers were quartered at the Ursuline Convent, the kind-hearted nuns were so moved to pity by the bare legs of the Highlanders that they begged General Murray to be allowed to provide the poor fellows with raiment.

After 1763, Fraser’s Highlanders were disbanded and many settled in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. Notable among these settlements was that of Malcolm Fraser and Major Nairn at Murray Bay. It was from these soldier settlements that Colonel Allan Maclean, in 1775, raised his Royal Highland Emigrants, who garrisoned Quebec against invasion during the American War of the Revolution. However, all of these were not from disbanded British troops—Cameron, the Jacobite, for instance, who when offered pay for his services refused to accept it, saying: ‘‘I will help to defend the country from invaders, but I will not take service under the House of Hanover.’’ Quebec also received many Scots who came to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during and after the war with the American colonies.

The struggle between Britain and France for the Maritime Provinces. "Acadia’’, was a long one, and the hardships were not all on the part of the French settlers, as Longfellow’s beautiful poem Evangeline might lead us to believe. King James I of England and VI of Scotland in 1621 entered into a scheme with Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, a learned Scot, the tutor of his son Henry, for the settlement of Nova Scotia; and to encourage emigration of the better sort, his successor, Charles I, created a new Order of the Baronets of Nova Scotia, the title to be earned by the purchase of 6,000 acres in the new country and the contribution of £150 to the Privy Purse. He also granted ensigns armorial to Nova Scotia, which constitute the ancient and royal arms of the Province. Sir William divided the country into Caledonia (roughly the present Nova Scotia) and Alexandria (the present New Brunswick), and renamed the river St. John, The Clyde, and the river St. Croix, The Tweed. But Charles, in 1632, only three years after Sir David Kirke had defeated Richelieu, who disputed the British possession, handed the province back to France. The settlers, most of whom were from Scotland, returned or joined the colonies further south, or were absorbed by their Norman neighbours. Cromwell’s ships captured it again in 1654; but it was again restored to France by Charles II, in 1667. In 1713, most of it was ceded again to England by the Treaty of Utrecht.

After the fall of Louisbourg, in 1758, emigration began anew, chiefly from the New England colonies, many settlers coming in between the years 1760 and 1770. Six families arrived in the neighbourhood of Pictou under the grant of the Philadelphia Company, two of whom were Scots: Robert Patterson, Renfrew, wife and five children; and John Rogers, Glasgow, wife and four children. Rogers brought from Maryland seeds of apple-trees that stood at Pictou for more than a century. Soon afterward, James Davidson started, at Lyons Brook, the first Sunday School in Canada.

John Pagan, a Greenock merchant, who had purchased shares in the grant of this Philadelphia Company, and his agent, John Ross, brought out in July, 1773, in the brig Hector, 189 Highlanders, who were given free passage, a farm lot, and a year ‘s provisions. These Highlanders brought their piper, and Dr. Patterson, the historian of Pictou, vividly describes their dramatic landing: "The Highland dress was then proscribed, but was carefully preserved and fondly cherished by the Highlanders, and in honour of the occasion the young men had arrayed themselves in their kilts, with skein dhu, and some with broadswords. As she dropped anchor the piper blew his pipes to their utmost power; its thrilling sounds then first startling the echoes among the silent, solitudes of our forests." The young men leapt into the water and the piper played them ashore.

The colony at Pictou prospered and three years later was augmented by several Dumfries Scots from Prince Edward Island. "They had brought a few religious books from Scotland, some of which were lost in Prince Edward Island, but the rest were carefully read. In the year 1779 John Patterson brought a supply of books from Scotland, among which was a plentiful supply of the New England Primer, which was distributed among the young, and the contents of which they soon learned" —an interesting comment in the light of the high place that Pictou has held in the intellectual life of Canada.

In 1783 and 1784, the colony received its quota of disbanded soldiers of the Highland Regiments and United Empire Loyalists, and families continued to arrive from Scotland. Many relatives of the first settlers came to join them and the Highland clearances brought many shiploads, from 1801 to 1803 as many as 1300 in a single season. Shipbuilding was introduced in Pictou by Captain Lowden, a Lowland Scot, and became one of its chief industries. In connection with this, it is interesting that the grants to settlers in Cape Breton demanded the planting of one rood of every thousand acres with hemp each year for use of the British Navy.

The first serious attempt at British settlement in Prince Edward Island was in 1771, when Judge Stewart, with his family and other Scots, came from Cantyre, Argyllshire. In 1772, other colonists arrived under Captain Macdonald, of Glenallendale, and in 1774 a large number of Lowlanders from Dumfries, under Wellwood Waugh, of Lockerbie. In 1803, four years after the island had been renamed Prince Edward Island, a large settlement was promoted by Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, eight hundred in all, brought out on three ships, which arrived on the 7th, 9th and 27th of August.

"Of these settlers," says Lord. Selkirk, "the greatest proportion were from the Island of Skye, a district which had so decided a connection with North Carolina that no emigrants had ever gone from it to any other quarter. There were a few from Ross-shire, from the northern part of Argyllshire, and from the interior districts of Inverness-shire, all of whose connections lay in the United States. There were some also from a part of the Island of Uist, where the emigration had not taken a decided direction."

Lord Selkirk was delayed and did not reach the spot until after the arrival of the first ship, and as he had intended to precede them and prepare for their arrival, hastened forward; his narrative is most interesting: "I found that the people had already lodged themselves in temporary wigwams, constructed after the fashion of the Indians, by setting up a number of poles in a conical form, tied together at top, and covered with boughs of trees. Those of the spruce fir were preferred, and, when disposed in regular layers of sufficient thickness, formed a very substantial thatch, giving shelter not inferior to that of a tent.

"The settlers had spread themselves along the shore for the distance of about half a mile, upon the site of an old French village, which had been destroyed and abandoned after the capture of the island by the British forces in 1758. The land, which had formerly been cleared of wood, was overgrown again with thickets of young trees, interspersed with grassy glades.

"I arrived at the place late in the evening, and it had then a very striking appearance. Each family had kindled a large fire near their wigwams, and around these were assembled groups of figures, whose special national dress added to the singularity of the surrounding scene. Confused heaps of baggage were everywhere piled together beside their wild habitations; and by the number of fires the whole woods were illuminated. At the end of this line of encampment I pitched my own tent, and was surrounded in the morning by a numerous assemblage of people whose behaviour indicated that they looked to nothing less than a restoration of the happy days of Clanship. . .

"Provisions, adequate to the whole demand, were purchased by an agent. . . . To obviate the terrors which the woods were calculated to inspire, the settlement was not dispersed, as those of the Americans usually are, over a large tract of country, but concentrated within a moderate space. The lots were laid out in such a manner that there were generally four or five families, and sometimes more, who built their houses in a little knot together; the distance between the adjacent hamlets seldom exceeded a mile. Each of them was inhabited by persons nearly related, who sometimes carried on their work in common, or, at least, were always at hand to come to each other ‘s assistance. .

"The settlers had every inducement to vigorous exertion from the nature of their tenures. They were allowed to purchase in fee simple, and to a certain extent on credit; from fifty to one hundred acres were allotted to each family at a very moderate price, but none was given gratuitously. To accomcommodate those who had no superfluity of capital, they were not required to pay the price in full till the third or fourth year of this possession.

"I left the island in September, 1803; and after an extensive tour on the Continent, returned in the end of the same month the following year. It was with the utmost satisfaction I then found my plans had been followed up with attention and judgment.

"I found the settlers engaged in securing the harvest which their industry had produced. They had a small proportion of grain of various kinds, but potatoes were the principal crop; these were of excellent quality, and would have been alone sufficient for the entire support of the settlement. . . . The extent of land in cultivation at the different hamlets I found to be in the general in a proportion of two acres or thereabouts to each able working hand:

in many cases from three to four. Several boats had also been built, by means of which a considerable supply of fish had been obtained, and forming no trifling addition to the stock of provisions. Thus, in little more than a year, one year from the date of their landing on the island, had these people made themselves independent of any supply that did not arise from their own labour."

British settlement of New Brunswick began in 1762, chiefly by New England colonists and soldiers from disbanded regiments who had fought in the war with France. William Davidson, a native of Inverness, came to Miramichi in 1765 and was the pioneer of the great lumber industry. He also did much to develop fisheries and other trade, and in 1769 contracted to deliver masts for the British Navy. New Brunswick was created a separate province in 1784. In 1783 came nearly 12,000 United Empire Loyalists from the United States, chiefly Scots, and to these were added thousands of emigrants from the Highland clearances.

The Maritime Provinces produced a highly intellectual class of men, who made their mark in the political and economic life of Canada, and, as elsewhere, these were largely of Scottish descent. When the first settlers came, the land was not cleared and agriculture was necessarily rude, but during the administration of Lord Dalhousie a remarkable series of letters on the intelligent cultivation of the soil, signed "Agricola," was written by John Young, a native of Glasgow. The immediate result was the formation of a Provincial Board of Agriculture and the Scottish system of husbandry. Hon. John Young, by his effort and example, left a noble record in the annals of Nova Scotia. The Hon. William Annand, born in 1808, of Scottish parentage, in 1837 joined the Hon. Joseph Howe in the Nova Scotia Assembly. The Hon. Stanley Brown, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, born in 1801, was a warm personal friend of Annand. In 1856, Mr. Brown became Receiver-General in the Conservative administration of Hon. James William Johnston, and held this office until 1860. Hon. Daniel MacDonald, born at Antigonish, in 1817, was a celebrated Scotsman, a lawyer by profession, and active in political life. Another Scot, Hon. Hugh MacDonald, descended from the Macdonalds of Keppoch, in the Scottish Highlands, born at Antigonish in 1826, was a man of remarkable ability. Hon. James MacDonald, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, of Highland family, born 1828, was a well-known leader in political life and an honour to the bar. Hon. James William Johnston, statesman, lawyer and judge, son of Dr. Johnston, of Edinburgh, formed a Government with Sir Charles Tupper, one of the first to propose confederation. The famous Dawsons, of Pictou, were the son and grandson of a Highlander who fought at Culloden: Sir J. W. Dawson, greatest of Canadian geologists, and George N. Dawson, director of the Canadian Geological Survey. Other noted men were Hon. Alexander Keith, of "Keith Hall," the family homestead; Hon. Alexander Stewart, Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court at Halifax, son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister in Nova Scotia, born January, 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel Charles James Campbell, a Scot from Skye, Inverness-shire, born November 6, 1819—Conservative; and Alexander McKay, an able Scot in the year of Confederation, parents from Sutherland-shire, who merited the title of "Honest Scotchman," with emphasis. The list might be continued indefinitely.

Ontario was almost exclusively a Scottish colony, settled by Highland families who came over from New York State during and after the American Revolution and disbanded soldiers from the frontier regiments organized by Sir John Johnson. Most numerous of these were Macdonells, from Glengarry, Inverness, with Camerons, Chisholms, Fergusons, Grants, Maclntyres, and others, who cleared the fertile wilderness represented now by the present counties of Glengarry, Stormont and Dundas.

In 1785, more than 500, almost the entire parish of Knoydart, Glengarry, emigrated direct from Scotland and settled in a body. In 1791, Upper Canada was separated from French or Lower Canada and given its own government. The thrifty Scots soon made it one of the garden spots of the Dominion. In 1793, forty Highland families from Glenelg were settled at Kirkhill and in 1799 many Camerons at Lochiel. In 1803 came more Macdonnells and a large emigration from Glenelg and Kintail.

The exploration and settlement of western and northwestern Canada was almost entirely the work of the two great fur-trading companies— the North-West Company and The Governor and Company of Adventurers Trading into Hudson Bay, generally known as The Hudson’s Bay Company. It is needless here to go into the details of the bitter struggle for supremacy that for years went on between them; it is interesting, however, to note how large a proportion of the personel of both companies was Scottish.

The rich fur trade early attracted adventurous Scots of the St. Lawrence valley and it seemed to be easy for them to gain the confidence and to cooperate with the French voyageurs, who were the pioneers in the business. The early connection of Sir John Kirke and others with Radisson has already been mentioned. Later, many of the Glengarry settlers, such as Duncan Cameron and Simon Fraser, embarked in the business, and after the French War many of the "Virginia merchants" of Glasgow, who had already grown rich from the tobacco trade of the southern colonies, removed permanently to Canada. One of the first of these was Alexander Henry, a native of the Cameron colony in New Jersey, who obtained the monopoly of the fur trade of Lake Superior in 1765, later joining with the Frobishers and Cadotte. Thomas Curry was another Scot, who in a single trading expedition to Fort Bourbon brought back such a profitable cargo that he retired from business. James Finlay, and his son James, Simon McTavish, Alexander and Roderick Mackenzie, William McGillivray and others united in 1787 in the North-West Company, which in another decade was doing a business of three-quarters of a million yearly, employed fifty clerks, seventy interpreters, thirty-five guides and 1,120 canoemen. Other Scottish names that appear in the early rosters of the company are: John Finlay, Simon Fraser, James Mackenzie, Duncan Livingston, John Stewart, James Porter, John Thompson, James MacDougall, Angus Shaw, Donald MacTavish, Alexander MacKay, Alexander Fraser, John MacGillivray, Robert Henry, A. N. McLeod, Daniel MacKenzie, John MacDonald (2), and William MacKay; the principal employees were all Scots or French Canadians.

Setting out in June, 1789, Alexander Mackenzie (1755-1820), a native of Inverness, made his historic voyage to the Arctic Sea, from his post at Athabasca down the river named for him; and May 9, 1793, accompanied by Alexander Mackay, another Scot, set out from the Peace River, crossed the watershed of the Rocky Mountains, and on the 22nd of July reached the Pacific Ocean, the dream of every adventurer from the days of Champlain and La Salle.

David Thompson, a young Scot, a former employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in 1795 and in 1805 made extensive surveys for the North-West Company through the Rockies to the Pacific and the valley of the Columbia River; in 1807, Simon Fraser, who explored large sections of the Rockies, naming the Peace River district New Caledonia, made his perilous descent of the river which bears his name, completing another trade route to the Pacific.

Lord Selkirk, who had for years taken a deep interest in assisting emigration to the American colonies, in 1810 bought from the Hudson’s Bay Company, who claimed ownership of all the land watered by the rivers flowing into Hudson Bay, a strip of land 200,000 square miles in extent, four times the size of Scotland, and in 1811 began to send out shiploads of settlers, chiefly Highlanders, victims of the evictions in Kildonan, Sutherlandshire. This land bordered the Red River, and extended down through the present province of Manitoba into Minnesota. Miles Macdonell, from Glengarry in Ontario, was the leader of the new colony, and his high-handed methods soon incensed the North-West Company, who disputed claim to the land, and the innocent settlers were caught in the struggle between the two great monopolies. The North-West Company sent out Duncan Cameron to look after the interests of the unfortunate settlers. He talked Gaelic to them, cheering and comforting them, and in June, 1815, returned with a large number of them to Ontario, after sending Macdonell under arrest to Montreal. The remnant, reinforced by new arrivals from Kildonan, made a successful stand under Governor Semple and John Macleod, at Fort Douglas, but later Governor Semple and more than thirty of his men were killed by Cuthbert Grant and his half-breeds at Seven Oaks. In June, 1817, Lord Selkirk reached his scattered colony on the Red River, and through a Government Commission a truce was agreed upon. After Lord Selkirk’s death, in 1820, the two old companies joined forces under the name of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and a young Scot, afterward Sir George Simpson, was made the first Governor of the new company. John Macleod, the heroic blacksmith of the fight at Fort Douglas, was the first officer of the old company to be sent across the Rockies to the Pacific.

In 1828, Sir George Simpson made a tour of the various posts from Hudson Bay to the Pacific, and his daily record, now in my possession, is most interesting and instructive. Archibald Macdonald, another Scot, accompanied him on the eventful journey.

Sir James Douglas, the son of Scottish parents, a North-Wester from his youth, after heroic service in New Caledonia and at old Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, was made the first Governor of British Columbia in 1848, with headquarters at Victoria, which was established in 1830 when old Fort Vancouver had to be abandoned. In the gold-rush of 1856 and the following years, he proved himself an efficient administrator, building roads and bridges and bringing law and order to the rapidly growing community.

After its first years of hardships, the Red River Settlement grew and prospered, and its fertile tranquility was not disturbed until the "Mad Cap," Louis Riel, made his appearance in 1885, and was suppressed largely through the efficiency of the Royal North-West Mounted Police, created by Sir John A. Macdonald for the protection of the interests of the vast western territory. This fine body of men has always numbered its quota of Scots, such as Col. Macleod, who in 1874 completed the pacification of the Indians, largely through the implicit personal confidence they had in him. The Police were also a great factor in keeping law and order in the camps during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and in the Klondike gold-rush in the years following 1897.

The Scottish emigration into Canada, which had followed the American and Napoleonic wars, the Highland clearances and the old religious troubles of the mother country, continued in large numbers throughout the nineteenth century. Many settled with relatives and friends in Canada, and a great many over the boundaries in the fertile middle western United States. Of 350,000 emigrants who came out from Great Britain in the ten years from

1840 to 1850, about half found their destination there. Rupert ‘s Land, as the vast Hudson’s Bay Company’s territory was known, embracing all west of the Great Lakes northward to the Arctic, had reached the time when it could not be governed by a private monopoly. The old order had broken down. The prosperous, growing population demanded union, and a railway connecting Nova Scotia and the eastern Provinces with far Vancouver; and such farsighted politicians as Sir John A. Macdonald and the Hon. William MacDougall realized the vision of a great united Dominion of Canada, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Three hundred thousand pounds was the price paid the Hudson’s Bay Company for its title.

In 1849-1850, I entered McGill University as a student of medicine and was the guest of Allan Macdonald, ex-Chief Factor, Hudson’s Bay Company, during my college term. At his hospitable home, Sir George Simpson and several ex-Chief Factors resident in Montreal frequently assembled. The chief subject of discussion was the North-West and the Hudson’s Bay Company, and in my spare hours I gained an insight into the interesting developments of that vast and attractive territory, then chiefly a hunting-ground for fur in all varieties. In 1862, I gave an address for the Mechanics’ Institute of Bytown, now Ottawa City, subject, "The Union of the Provinces of Canada with the North-West, Strengthened by An Iron Splint, the Pacific Railway." Sir John A. Macdonald invited me to Stadacona Hall and asked where I got all the information in my address. I replied, from Sir George Simpson and ex-Chief Factors of the Hudson’s Bay Company." He at once said, "You must come into Parliament," which I did for the County of Russell, at Confederation, 1867. In 1872 Sir John Rose came to my seat in Parliament, stating that Sir John Macdonald wished me to take charge of the bill for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in my own name and to make the speech for the Government; all of which I carried out, amidst very considerable opposition and criticism as to the madness of such an undertaking.

Later in the same year, I was called to Sir John’s residence, and was invited into his study, where he was confined by a cold. He was seated in a large arm chair reading a book containing a yellow marker, which he handed me to read—a cable from Grenfell, London, England, that arrangements were completed for construction of "The C. P. R." "After such a cable, last evening," he said feelingly, "I thought my best effort this morning was to read my Bible and thank God for what He had done for Canada."

Sir John Macdonald was a truly unique character in the life-history of our country, and devoted for many years his entire energy to forwarding the best possible interests of our people, which he accomplished with marked success. He was a native of Glasgow, born in 1815. He was possessed of a charming personality, which captivated the masses and united all nationalities and religious persuasions in co-operation for the promotion of British law and British power in this section of the Northern Continent; and in departing this life, in 1891, left our Dominion an Empire, whose sons by their heroism on the battlefields of Europe have achieved a niche in the Temple of Fame, truly imperishable.

The history of the Canadian Pacific Railway is replete with picturesque and memorable incidents. Its success was secured in England by Sir George Cartier and Hon. William MacDougall, two leaders of the Commons of Canada. Sir John Macdonald, Lord Strathcona, Lord Mounfstephen, Sir Charles Tupper, Hon. Alexander McKenzie, Hon. George Brown, Sir George Cartier, Sir Leonard Tilley, and other leaders carried the work to completion. The whole stupendous. undertaking reflects Scottish grit and character. The route first intended, through Edmonton and the Yellow Head Pass (which has recently been developed), was abandoned for the Southern route, first surveyed by David Thompson for the North-West Company, the old route of the Scots fur merchants of Montreal, and its outlet to the Pacific coast was the discovery of the intrepid Simon Fraser. Sir Sanford Fleming, a Kirkcaldy Scot, surveyed the route, no small undertaking in those days of the wilderness, and had as his secretary on his first expedition in 1872 the Rev. George M. Grant, the historian. Sir Sanford emigrated to Canada in 1845 as a surveyor and railway engineer. He resided in Toronto for a time, and having achieved a high reputation as an engineer, was appointed chief of the Intercolonial Railway and subsequently of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In addition to the preliminary surveys, he constructed the first 700 miles of track. He was elected Chancellor of Queen’s College in 1880, which position he held until his death in 1915, contributing in no small degree to advance the literary and scientific standing of that institution, now one of the first in our country. He wrote an interesting account of his expeditions to the Pacific, also papers on the uniform standard of time and other subjects of importance. He was Fellow and President of the Royal Society of Canada and was connected with many other noted institutions. In 1886, he was awarded the Confederation Medal by the Governor-General for eminent services as an engineer and was a member of the Council of the British Empire League.

When the two lines of rails from East and West met at Craigellachi in 1885, the last spike was driven home by Donald A. Smith, afterward Lord Strathcona, a native of Forres, Banffshire, born in 1820, who at eighteen had come out in the service of the Hudson ‘s Bay Company. He was a nephew of that John Stewart who with Simon Fraser first dared the rapids of the Fraser River. In 1837, he was serving under John MacLean, who had been sent by the Company to open up Northern Labrador; and later we find him at the head of the great monopoly, to which he had risen by sheer ability, the leader of the West in the new Dominion Parliament, and one of the foremost among the business men of the Empire. Beckles Wilson, in his Life History of Lord Strathcona, describes a many-sided personality, who from boyhood to old age made Canada the subject of his devotion; and in passing from this world ‘s scenes of diversified activities, could well say of his country, "Magna pars fui."

Sir Sanford Fleming has described graphically his greatest triumph:

"Early on the morning of November 7th, 1885, the hundreds of busy workmen gradually brought the two tracks nearer and nearer, and at nine o’clock the last rail was laid in its place to complete the railway connection from ocean to ocean. All that remained to finish the work was to drive home the last spike. This duty devolved on one of the four directors present, the senior in years and influence, he who is known the world over, as Lord Strathcona. No one could on such an occasion more worthily represent the company by taking hold of the spike hammer and giving the finishing blows.

"It was, indeed, no ordinary occasion. The scene was in every respect noteworthy from the groups which composed it and the circumstances which had brought together so many human beings in this spot in the heart of the mountains, until recently an untracked solitude. The engineers, the workmen, everyone present, appeared deeply impressed by what was taking place. It was felt by all to be the moment of triumph. The central figure—the only one in action at the moment—was more than the representative of the railway company. His presence recalled memories of the Mackenzies, Frasers, Finlaysons, Thompsons, MacTavish, MacLeods, MacGillivrays, Stewarts and MacLoughlins, who in past generations had penetrated the surrounding mountains.

"The spike driven home, the silence for a moment or two remained unbroken. It seemed as if the act now performed had worked a spell on all present. Each was absorbed in his own thoughts. The silence was, however, of short duration. The pent-up feelings found a vent in a spontaneous cheer, the echoes of which will long be remembered in association with Craigellachie."

There seems to be no doubt about the truth of the statement that education and oatmeal have contributed greatly to establish the mental and physical power of the Scot as a nationality, which has achieved such a name and reputation in almost every part of the globe. To live well and prosper, you must live as Abernethy says, "on sixpence a day and earn it yourself." It is remarkable how many young and vigorous men left Scotland for new fields in Canada, with little more than passage money, in sailing vessels sixty years ago, the only means of crossing the Atlantic at that time, and carved out international reputations for themselves. A noted character was William Lyon Mackenzie, who by breaking up the "Family Compact," in 1837, was the pioneer of a free and enlightened Canada. He was elected first Mayor of the city of Toronto in 1834. In 1837, Mackenzie and Papineau came to grief on a constitutional problem, which time and common sense adjusted amicably. His grandson, Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, C.M.G., M.A., Ph.D., LL.B., ex-M.P., and ex-Minister of Labour, was born in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario, 1874. He was educated in the University of Chicago, where he was Harvard fellow in political economy, and was representative of the Canadian Government to England for the purpose of conferring with the British authorities on the subject of immigration to Canada, and from India in particular. He assuredly inherits the mental activity and acuteness of observation of his notable grandfather, and for some years was a member of Sir Wilfrid Laurier ‘s Government as Minister of Labour. Few public men have risen more rapidly in estimation than Mackenzie King, owing to his wide and diversified knowledge of the labour problems of the world. At present he occupies an honourable position with the Rockefeller Trust Corporation and is writing a book on labour in its diversified aspects.

The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, ex-Prime Minister of Canada, emigrated here in 1842, and carved out an honest living in the quarry as a stonemason. He erected public buildings at Kingston, Ontario, and during his quiet hours mastered the political history of Canada, and in 1862 was returned as Member of Parliament for Lambton, Ontario. He was a most remarkable man: and Sir John Macdonald told me one day in the House of Assembly that he was "the Hugh Miller of Canada," and predicted that he was certain some day to be Prime Minister. He was a forcible debater, clear, concise and logical; but after a few years in power, was obliged to step down and accord to Sir John Macdonald, through his advocacy of the National Policy, a return to the leadership of the great Conservative Party.

The Hon. George Brown, Toronto, editor and proprietor of the Toronto Globe, was for many years a leading reform light, and exercised an influence for good in his varied spheres of duty, greatly to his credit and much to the advancement of the interests of Canada.

The Rev. George Grant, D.D., late Principal of Queen’s College, Kingston, began life as a farmer, and owing to the loss of an arm by accident took to college life and made himself a most remarkable and interesting record. He nursed Queen’s University in its infancy, and left it with more than 1,200 students and splendid buildings for educational purposes, a credit to the city of Kingston. As a writer, he was the author of the remarkable Pictorial History of Canada, and History of the Canadian Pacific Railway, from Ocean to Ocean, and other volumes of deep and abiding interest on varied subjects. His son, W. L. Grant, is now professor of history in Queen ‘s, a man of marked ability and an honour to his country, like his father, loved, cherished and respected by all classes alike.

William Ogilvie, appointed in July, 1898, the first Commissioner of the Yukon, is a remarkable figure in modern Canadian history. In 1887, he began the survey of the international boundary line between the Yukon and Alaska. In 1896, he surveyed the site of Dawson City, and when the gold-seekers swept into the new country he won the respect of all by his strict integrity and fairness as referee in the many disputes regarding claims and boundaries. He might have been a millionaire, but possessing a Scottish devotion to duty he would not stake a claim for himself while in government employ and returned from the gold-country as poor as when he entered it.

Lord Mountstephen, a remarkable Scot, began life in the dry goods trade in Montreal, built up a vast trade in cloth manufacturing, took a leading part in banking affairs, and finally joined Lord Stratheona in the vast undertaking of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, in which he was undoubtedly a leading spirit. He contributed greatly to the success of that corporation, now known as the greatest in the world, embracing land and sea in its vast interests.

Richard B. Angus, born Bathgate, Scotland, 1830, sailed to Canada in 1857 and joined the staff of the Bank of Montreal. A few years afterward he was appointed to the charge of that institution in Chicago and later in New York, in both of which centers he achieved remarkable success. Subsequently, he was chosen Chief Manager of the Bank of Montreal, in that city, and held the position for many years, discharging the duties and responsibilities with great skill and judgment. In addition, he has been for many years an active spirit in all that pertains to the welfare and prosperity not alone of the great city of Montreal but as well of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which honoured him by giving his name to the great railway shops of that city. His collection of paintings is a most striking one, and represents many of the ancient and modern masters of the world. He is still active and energetic, the pride and admiration of the city of Montreal, which trusts that before he ends this life he will touch the hundred year mark.

Lord Strathcona and Sir Sanford Fleming I have already mentioned and their great services in connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway. In more recent years, Sir William Mackenzie and Sir Donald Mann, residents of Toronto, began life in a small way as builders and railway contractors and by energy and perseverance have forged ahead and gained the confidence of Parliaments, bankers and the press to such an extent that the Canadian Northern, to which they have devoted their careers, is now in operation from Quebec to Vancouver, through many new sections of country, supplying the increased demand for transportation and rapidly developing many newly-settled districts. Their success has been phenomenal in every sense of the term, and they live in the hearts of the people, cherished and respected by all classes, who appreciate what genuine grit and unflinching determination can accomplish.

These and many others, if space were permitted, arrived in Canada with only a few shillings in their pockets, and by honest industry earned a worthy name and reputation, a credit to Canada and to their nationality, characteristic of the host of Scotsmen who have contributed manfully and nobly to forge Canada to the front, now recognized as a leading jewel in the Colonial Coronet of the Empire.

The Viceroys of Canada always have been men chosen for intellectual ability and varied practical experience and have included their proportion of notable Scots, such as Governor James Murray, who succeeded the fallen General Wolfe at Quebec, the Duke of Argyll and Lord Aberdeen, all of whom reflected honour upon their country and their nationality.

We are to-day in a new world, made up of various nationalities, and in the rush of Empire it is truly remarkable how in every section of our Dominion the sons and daughters of Scotland have left their impress on colonial development and continue well at the front in the struggle for life and advancement. Year by year more of the sturdy race have come to swell our population, spreading out over the western prairies and advancing the agricultural interests of the country, where such immigration was most welcome, rarely failing to develop our vast resources and adding materially to the ethical fibre of the country. They comprise to-day about one-eighth of the population. Each Province has its Scottish nucleus, radiating honest industry and frugality. The prosperity of the Scot has been greatly advanced by his ready adaptability, his co-operation from the beginning with the French Canadian, and later with colonists from Britain and Europe and Loyalists from New England; all united as one people under the British flag, guarding and protecting the best interests of the State.

JAMES ALEXANDER GRANT.

Ottawa, Ontario.


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