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party will forget the past and cordially unite in his support for the sake of our common country, whose best interests would be seriously imperilled by the election of a repealer.
Let us then, regardless of all personal considerations, still preserve the patriotic attitude we have hitherto maintained, and we will enjoy the proud satisfaction of witnessing the triumph of our principles and the prosperity of our country.--Yours faithfully,
CHARLES TUPPER. BENJAMIN SMITH, Esq.
Mr. Howe was duly elected by a good majority.
A CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NORTH-WEST
I was, by force of circumstance, brought closely into contact with the North-West at the time of Louis Riel's rebellion, and was driven to make a visit to Fort Garry after Riel had forbidden any Canadian to enter the North-West Territory on pain of death.
My only daughter, Emma, married Captain D. R. Cameron (now Major-General, C.M.G.), of the Royal Artillery, in July, 1869, and when the Hon. William Macdougall, M.P., was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, Captain Cameron was seconded by the Imperial Government as a member of Mr. Macdougall's Council. Captain and Mrs. Cameron, therefore, accompanied Mr. Macdougall and the other members of the Council and party to Pembina, preparatory to taking over the government, when the North-West Territories were handed over to Canada on December 1, 1869, the date arranged.
Before Mr. Macdougall and his party reached Pembina, Louis Riel had placed himself at the head of the disaffected French half-breeds, seized Fort Garry, where Mr. McTavish, the Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, was dying of consumption, and organised a Government.
The Government at Ottawa appointed the
Grand Vicar Thibeault, a resident of Fort Garry, Colonel de Salaberry, and Donald A. Smith (afterwards Lord Strathcona), the Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Company at Montreal, Commissioners to deal with the insurrection as best they could. At that time there were no means of reaching Fort Garry except via St. Paul, and not a man or a musket could be sent through the United States. Mr. Macdougalls instructions were to go to Fort Garry as a private citizen, until notified that the transfer of the territory to Canada had taken place, when he was to assume office as Lieutenant-Governor.
When, however, Macdougall reached the Hudson's Bay post, two miles north of the United States boundary at Pembina, he was met by a force of twenty-five armed half-breeds, with an order from Riel, forbidding him to remain in the territory on pain of death.
He and his party returned to Pembina, with the exception of Captain Cameron, who proceeded on the way to Fort Garry. Hearing that there was a large armed force on the road, he left Mrs. Cameron and her maid at Scratching River and drove on with his man-servant. At St. Norbert, nine miles south of Fort Garry, he met some three hundred half-breeds under arms, who took him prisoner and sent him back to Pembina, his wife rejoining him on the way.
Their horses, wagon, and baggage were all seized by Riel's forces. Pembina, then, was mostly a log and mud village, and the only house the Camerons could obtain was a log hut, three-quarters of a mile away from any other house. Mrs. Le May, their nearest neighbour, told my daughter that a few months
previous a party of Cree Indians came to their house in the afternoon and asked for bread. They returned at sundown, and proved their gratitude by saying, “You very good. These fellows will not trouble you any more,” when they opened a shawl and showed her the scalps of every man, woman and child of an encampment of Sioux Indians on the Canadian border, which they had just wiped out.
The feeling against the Canadians in Pembina was very strong, owing to the fact becoming known that Colonel Dennis, acting for Mr. Macdougall, was endeavouring to raise the Indians against Riel, and nothing was so dreaded as an Indian rising Soon after Captain and Mrs. Cameron had taken up their quarters the maid became alarmed, and went to Fort Garry. The manservant had been sent there to endeavour to recover their baggage. Mr. Macdougall sent for Captain Cameron, and thus my daughter was left alone. In stalked a strapping Indian, all warpaint and feathers. She thought the best thing she could do was to feed him. She cooked everything in the house-potatoes, meat and bread. When all was consumed—and these Indians will eat at a meal enough to last for three weeks—he had grown to a very large size. As he could not speak a word of English or French, he evinced his gratitude by patting his protuberant stomach with a guttural “Ha! ha! ha!” and left.
My poor wife was much alarmed when she learned the position of our only daughter. She told me I must go and bring her home. I left Halifax immediately for Ottawa (December 3rd,
in the City of Antwerp, via New York), where I met D. A. Smith, who was just preparing to leave for Fort Garry. The Vicar Thibeault and Col. de Salaberry had preceded him some ten days previously. In saying good-bye to Sir J. A. Macdonald at Ottawa, he said to me: “I hope you will be able to get into Fort Garry, as no letter can now reach us from there, and we are absolutely ignorant of what is taking place.”
Mr. Smith, Mr. Hardisty, his wife's brother, and I left Ottawa on December 13th. The temperature was 30 degrees below zero. We reached Chicago, via Toronto, on the 14th, at 10 o'clock p.m., and St. Paul at 9 p.m.; on the 16th we reached St. Cloud, and the terminus of the railway at i p.m. on the 17th. A long stage drive to Fort Abercrombie (the end of the stage line) ended at 6 p.m. on the 19th. Thence we took a sled covered with canvas and drawn by a pair of horses, under the guidance of a local driver. We reached Georgetown at 6 p.m. on the 20th. This was a Hudson's Bay fort, the only house left standing when the Sioux Indians rose in rebellion in 1862, and massacred all the men and carried off all the women and children. They burned every house to the ground except this one. The men and women living at this post put up a British flag, and the Indians said : That is the Queen,” and left the house unmolested.
We heard from the mail courier that Mr. Macdougall, with his family and most of his party, had left Pembina on his return the Saturday before. We left Georgetown at 6 a.m. on December 21st, and met Mr. Macdougall and his party