A History of Canadian Wealth/Chapter IX

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Chapter IX. Passing of the Hudson's Bay Company Sovereignty

Preface | Chapter I | Chapter II | Chapter III | Chapter IV | Chapter V | Chapter VI | Chapter VI | Chapter VII | Chapter IX | Chapter X | Chapter XI | Chapter XII | Chapter XIII | Chapter XIV | Chapter XV | Chapter XVI | Chapter XVII

At this point the essential question incisively thrusts itself : What were the definite results, in concrete currency form, of these long-continued methods ? In plain, understandable commercial language, what were the profits of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was directed from London by a sovereign quintet of merchants and aristocrats ?

The answer to this question offers no difficulty. Doctor Sir John Rae, who, for 20 years, had been in the Company’s service as medical officer at Moose Factory and in the Arctic region, asserted in his testimony that the Company’s employes were forced to pay, on goods for their own use, 50 per cent. more than the London price. As for the Indians, they were charged (in furs) more than 200 per cent. in excess of the price that the Company paid in London for the goods which it sold them. The Indians, he said, possibly were forced to pay 300 per cent., but it was clearly established that they had to pay more than 200 per cent.1

David Gunn, writing March 6, 1857, from the Red River Settlement to Philip Vanhoughnet, President of the Executive Council, at Toronto, stated that the price of goods sold at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s stores there varied from 100 to 400 per cent. on the prime cost. Gunn further described how decreeing prices for produce, the Company had the helpless agriculturalist, who had no other market, at its mercy ; if the farmer was suspected of infringing any of the Company’s many privileges, he was cut off from selling to the Company, and there was no market whatever for him.2

Company’s Large Profits

But what of the Company’s annual profits ? Ellice testified, in 1857, that the average annual profits for-the previous 17 years had been, £65,573, of which £39,343 had been appropriated to the profit of the Company in England, and £26,229 had been annually appropriated to the Factors and Traders in the interior of Canada ; the general profits of the Company during that period had averaged 12 per cent. upon the capital.3

These profits, however, were simply those extracted from the fur traffic. They did not include the profits from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s asserted ownership of stupendous areas of land, and from its grain, cattle, horse, sheep, produce, fishery and timber lines of business. Immense quantities of timber in British Columbia and Oregon were cut and sawed and exported by the Company. It had at this time 156 establishments or posts, of which 12 were in Washington Territory and Oregon, in which territory it claimed proprietary or rather possessory rights ; and, indeed, it subsequently was able to get $450,000 in gold from the United States, in 1870, as payment for the surrender of those asserted rights, under treaty executed in 1864.4

From Newfoundland, thousands of miles to the Pacific Coast, the Company had its chain of trading posts, and it even had a trading post in distant Honolulu.5 Some of its trading posts were forts, surrounded by grim, high palisades, flanked by bastions, and armed with cannon and with blunder-busses on swivels, with round shot and cannister handy, always ready for instant action. Strong gates guarded the forts ; and in the bastions, which were usually three-storied, were ports and loopholes near which abutted stands containing muskets, bayonets and ammunition ready for use. The most rigid discipline, almost military in character, prevailed for even the most menial employes.6

Hosts Killed Off or Turned Into Vagrants

The fate of vast numbers of Indians was graphically described in a memorial dated May 18, 1857, from the Committee of the Aborigines Protection Society to Henry Labouchere, Chairman of the British Parliamentary Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company.

The Committee of that Society stated that the Indians were the real producers of the huge wealth from the fur trade, estimated on competent authority at £20,000,000, which had already gone to England. The aborigines were rapidly wasting away, said the memorial, and it cited the statement of Dr. McLaughlin, superintendent of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s affairs west of the Rocky Mountains, that he believed that nine-tenths of the entire Indian population there had been swept away by disease, principally fever and ague.

“ The malignancy of these diseases,” the memorial said, “ may have increased by predisposing causes, such as intemperance and the general spread of venereal [diseases] since their intercourse with the Europeans, but a more direct cause of mortality was their mode of treatment.”

Then describing how immense numbers of animals had been killed, and the increased difficulty of the Indians getting furs, the Committee of the Aborigines Protection Society stated that necessarily the Indians had a harder time getting the necessities of life ; and when they did get supplies from the Hudson’s Bay Company it was under a credit system so devised as to keep them in debt to the Company.

It was a fact, said the Committee further, that although under the system in force “ we have given unlimited scope to the cupidity of a Company of traders, placing no stint upon their profits, or limits to their power, the unhappy race we have consigned to their keeping, and from whose toil their profits are wrung, are perishing miserably by famine, while not a vestige of an attempt has been made on the part of their rulers to imbue them with the commonest arts of civilized life, or to induce them to change the precarious livelihood obtained by the chase for a certain subsistence derived from cultivation of the soil.”

The Hudson’s Bay Company — so concluded the memorial of the Committee of the Aborigines Society — had been in rigid, exclusive, supreme control for two centuries with every opportunity to uplift the Indian. “ And yet what has been the result ? The system which has made the Company prosperous and powerful, has made the Indian a slave and his country a desert. He is at this day wandering about his native land, without home or covering, as much a stranger to the blessings of civilization as when the white man first landed on his shores. . . .”7

Of the great numbers of Indians that had once inhabited Canada, few remained in many Hudson’s Bay Company sections in 1857, compared to the original population. The Esquimaux were reduced to 4,000 ; in the older parts of Canada there were but 3,000 Indians frequenting the establishments of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The whole of the tribes on the plains numbered only 25,000. On the east side of the Rocky Mountains the Thickwood Indians, preserving themselves in their mountain recesses, were much more numerous, totaling 35,000 ; and in British Columbia and on the North West Coast, where exploitation was but comparatively recently begun, there were 80,000 Indians. This made a total of 147,000 Indians in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territory. Adding 11,000 whites and half breeds, the full total of the Company’s “ subjects ” was 158,000.8

Enrichment of British Shareholders

The £20,000,000 sterling that the fur trade had yielded to British capitalists was distributed among a noted array of titled aristocrats, church prelates and clergymen, politicians, merchants and others. On the list of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s stockholders in or about 1856, appeared the names of the Earl of Selkirk, Countess Lydia Cavan, Baron Wynford, Viscount Folkestone, Sir George Sinclair, Sir Edmund Antrobus, Bishop John Banks Jenkinson, Rev. Oswald Littleton Chambers, the Ellice family and scores of other notables.9

Considering that the £20,000,000 from the fur trade were profits flowing in during a long period, it is easy to see that by a multiplying series of investments and reinvestments compounding continually, that sum really represented a far larger sum ; and it may be said, too, that with the extraordinarily large purchasing power of money then — far greater than now — £20,000,000 was a prodigious amount, much greater intrinsically than even such a large sum would be in these present days. It has been estimated that at least one-half of the revenues of the stockholders of the Hudson’s Bay Company have come back to Canada for investment.

What the Company’s profits were from land and its various other lines of business it is not possible to say. We have seen in an earlier chapter of this work by what means the Hudson’s Bay Company, through the Earl of Selkirk, was alleged to have obtained the far-reaching and valuable lands of the Salteau Indians near Winnipeg. Vast areas of the finest agricultural lands were secured — fraudulently, as the Salteau tribe asserted — by the payment of some scraps of tobacco and some grains of ammunition.

For this very land, it would seem, the Hudson’s Bay Company charged settlers five shillings sterling per acre ; and later — in 1829 — more than doubled the price. But the settlers threatened armed trouble, and the Company considered it expedient to reduce the price to seven shillings six pence, at which price it remained for 30 years or morel.10 This was the identical land, some 20 or 24 miles in extent, of which Chief Peguis complained that his tribe had been defrauded.

If any settler was in arrears for land, the Company (to which, perforce, he was compelled to sell all of his produce), deducted one-fifth for payment for the land, at the same time selling the same produce to the Indians for ruinously exorbitant sums, and charging the settler (as we have seen) from 100 to 400 per cent. advance on the prime cost of all goods that he bought. Every employe of the Company, in fact, was forced to pay for 50 acres of land before he could come to the Red River Settlement ; if he could not pay cash, he had to go to Europe or remain in the Company’s service until he had saved money enough to pay for the land.11

Petition of 575 Settlers

In 1849 the settlers rose in armed revolt against the Company which, insistently proclaiming its rights under the Charter granted by Charles II, had “ruled with a hard and heavy hand.” The Company mollified its extortions, yet nevertheless, despite the Company’s persistent claims that it was treating the settlers fairly, the settlers still bitterly complained that extortion in various ways was continuing.

In 1857 a petition signed by 575 settlers at the Red River Settlement was sent to the British Parliamentary Select Committee. The petitioners told how the flattering promises of the Earl of Selkirk had induced emigrants to settle there.

“ We have paid large sums of money to the Hudson’s Bay Company for land,” the petition read, “yet we cannot obtain deeds for the same. The Company’s agents have made several attempts to force upon us deeds which would reduce ourselves and our posterity to the most abject slavery under that body....

Penalties Against Freedom of Trade

“ Under what we believe to be a fictitious Charter, but which the Company’s Agents maintained to be the fundamental law of Rupert’s Land [the whole of the West and North West Territory], we have been prevented the receiving in exchange the peltries of our Country for any of the products of our labor, and have been forbidden giving peltries in exchange for any of the imported necessaries of life, under the penalty of being imprisoned, and of having our property confiscated ; we have been forbidden to take peltries in exchange for food supplied to famishing Indians.

“ The Hudson’s Bay Company’s clerks, with an armed police, have entered into settlers’ houses in quest of furs, and confiscated all they found. One poor settler, after having his goods seized, had his house burnt to the ground, and afterwards was conveyed prisoner to York Factory.

“ The Company’s first legal adviser in this Colony has declared our navigating the lakes and rivers between this colony and Hudson’s Bay with any articles of produce, to be illegal. The same authority has declared our selling of English goods in this colony to be illegal.

“ On our annual commercial journeys into Minnesota we have been pursued like felons by armed constables, who searched our property, even by breaking open our trunks ; all furs found were confiscated.”

Payments of 100 to 400 Per Cent. Advance

The petition went on to say that, “ Thus, we, the inhabitants of this land, have been and are constrained to behold the valuable commercial productions of our country exported for the exclusive profit of a company of traders who are strangers to ourselves and to our country. We are by necessity compelled to use many articles of their importation for which we pay from 100 to 400 per cent. on prime cost, while we are prohibited exporting those productions of our country and industry which we could exchange for the necessaries of life.”

Then the petition proceeded to describe how the governors, legislators, judges and other authorities were all Hudson’s Bay Company functionaries — governors, chief traders and chief factors —; how they were appointed by the Company, and arbitrarily imposed and enforced such taxes and prices and decreed such offenses and punishments as suited the Company’s interests. They made the laws, judged the laws, and executed their own sentences.12

Individual Freedom of Trade Demanded.

In an age when steam machinery and factories had already been established in Canada, when railroads were being built, when the owners of the thousands of lumber, grist and other mills in Eastern Canada were looking for the widest outlet for their products, and when ambitious traders were demanding the free right to trade, it was a logical development that nascent capitalism should indignantly complain of such feudal and arbitrary restrictions upon the freedom of trade, as their interests conceived and demanded it.

The Toronto Board of Trade vehemently protested against what it termed this assumed, usurped power of a single corporation — and “ foreign ” at that — to enact tariffs, collect customs’ dues and levy taxes. It derided what it styled the pretended rights by which the Hudson’s Bay Company, under a charter granted by Charles II, nearly l00 years before Canada had passed from French control, assumed sovereignty over the North West Territory and arbitrarily exercised the power to grant away and sell lands belonging to the Government.13 The Toronto Board of Trade’s petition dwelt with emphasis on this point.

When testifying before the Canadian Legislative Select Committee, in 1857, Allan MacDonell gave a long list of facts tending to prove the illegality of the Company’s charter. “ The very foundation for the Charter is a grant of territory presumed to have been made in the year 1670. Now as Charles II could not grant away what the Crown of England did not possess, much less could grant away the possessions of another power, the very words of the charter itself excludes from the operation of the grant those identical territories which the Hudson’s Bay Company now claim.”

These further representations were brought out in the Parliamentary Investigation :—The Hudson’s Bay Company did not enter the valley of the Saskatchewan until about the year 1793, and did not plant its establishments in the valley of the Assiniboine until about 1805, more than a hundred years after the date of its charter. It did not set up exclusive rights until 1814.14 William Mac D. Dawson, head of the Woods and Forests Branch of the Crown Land Department at Toronto, testified that his investigations had disclosed that the Hudson’s Bay Company had no real title in the Red River and the Saskatchewan country ; that “ it was a monstrous imposition and was first assumed under Lord Selkirk.” Dawson also testified that when the Company carried their trade into the interior, “ they also gave out that it was their country (a fiction which the license of exclusive trade helped them to maintain) ; and they industriously published and circulated maps of it as such, which being copied into other maps and geographical works, the delusion became very general, indeed.”15

Promises to Reform

The disclosures laid bare by this accumulation of testimony, letters, petitions, memorials and other evidence produced before the Parliamentary Select Committee, made the deepest kind of a public sensation.16 For nearly two centuries the Hudson’s Bay Company had represented itself in England as the grand evangel of religion, colonization, and civilization among the Indians ; for nearly two centuries it had assidiously spread abroad its pretended reputation ; and by insisting long enough upon its assumed virtues had been credited with them by the large mass of unknowing. Now the truth was revealed, and bad as it was, yet it was regarded as undoubtedly only part of the whole.

Imminently threatened, as the Hudson’s Bay Company now was, with judicial and legislative extinction, it had to adopt some hurried expedient to save itself. Thereupon, with the most solemn assurances and the most plausible address, it announced that such “ abuses ” would be no longer countenanced, and it pledged “ its faith ” to the British Parliament, in 1857, that it would at once institute certain definite reforms in its territory in Canada. What these promises came to we shall soon see.

With its powerful ramifications of interest among merchants, clergy, bankers, politicians and titled aristocrats in England, the Hudson’s Bay Company was even able to get, on the whole, by no means unfavorable recommendations from the Select Parliamentary Committee. This Committee recommended that Vancouver Island be given up by the Hudson’s Bay Company ; that its privileges west of the Rocky Mountains should cease, and that just as soon as Canada could make arrangements to take over the Government of that immense northwestern area of land called Indian Territory, that territory should be ceded. But, “ to avoid the demoralization of Indians by rival traders ” that country was meanwhile to be left in control of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Waters Its Stock

To narrate the immediate sequel we shall now turn to the communication of Sir George E. Cartier and William Macdougall, Commissioners in London for Canada, to Sir F. Rogers — a document dated February 8, 1869. This communication showed how the Hudson’s Bay Company, in exchange for the proposed relinquishment of its antiquated title, tried to get from Canada the sum of £2,000,000 sterling ($10,000,000) and one half of all of the territory that it was to surrender. This communication further revealed that the Company was subjected to a peremptory refusal, but that it did succeed in getting £300,000 sterling ($1,500,000) and one-twentieth of all of the extraordinary fertile expanse from the Red River to the Rocky Mountains. In addition, it was allowed to retain the land around its trading posts — an incalculably rich present, as we shall see, of itself.

Commissioners Cartier and Macdougall reported that Ellice was for many years “ the ruling spirit of the Company,” and that the Company had avowed its belief “ that colonization and the fur trade could not exist together.” It was not astonishing “ that the Company had always cherished the latter, which was profitable, and discouraged, and as far as possible, prevented the former.”

The Company, the Commissioners went on, was reconstructed in 1863 with loud promises of a new policy ; grey assurances were held out by it that it would reform its practices. “ The stock of the old Company, worth in the market about £1,000,000, was bought up and by some process which we are unable to describe, became £2,000,000. A show of anxiety to open postal and telegraphic communication was made, and `heads of proposals’ were submitted to the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, which on examination were found to embrace a line of telegraph only, with the modest suggestion that the two Governments should guarantee the Company a profit of not less than 4 per cent. on their expenditure ! A proposal so absurd could only have been made to be rejected, and it was rejected accordingly. The Commissioners continued :

Promises Never Carried Out

“ The surplus capital of the reconstructed Company, which was called up for the avowed purpose of opening their territories to `European colonization, under a liberal and systematic scheme of land settlement’ has never been applied to that purpose. Five and a half years have passed since the grand scheme was announced to the world, but no European emigrants have been sent out, no attempts to colonize have been made.” The Commissioners added that by a formal vote of the Company’s shareholders in November, 1866, the policy of colonization was absolutely and definitely condemned.

When the matter of the relinquishment of its territory by the Hudson’s Bay Company came up definitely, this, according to the report of Canada’s Commissioners, is what happened : —

Terms Demanded by the Company

The Company wanted, in 1863, “ in fee simple, half of the land proposed to be surrendered with various conditions, including a guarantee by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia of an annual profit on the Company’s expenditures for improvements on their own property !

“ In 1864,” the Report went on, “ these conditions took the form of a demand, first, to be paid £1,000,000 sterling from sales of lands and mines, with large reservations ‘to be selected by them,’ etc. ; and secondly, to be paid £1,000,000 sterling in cash with other terms and restrictions favorable to the Company.

“ In 1868, these conditions for the surrender of territorial and governing rights over the whole territory, remained at £1,000,000, as in the first proposition of 1864, with large reservations of land at ` selected points,’ specially exempted from taxation, with full liberty to carry on their trade free from the export and import duties, to which all other subjects of Her Majesty in that country would be exposed.” Commissioners Cartier and Macdougall described the grave doubts existing as to the legality of the Company’s charter.17

Gets £300,000 and Vast Areas of Land

After the foregoing proposals had been rejected, an arrangement was finally made in 1868-1869. The Hudson’s Bay Company received £300,000 ($1,500,000) in cash. It also was allowed to retain the land — an area of 50,000 acres — around the various trading posts, and, in addition, two sections in every township, making a reservation of one-twentieth of the entire region in the fertile belt from the Red River to the Rocky Mountains.

For this cash payment and land grant the Company consented to surrender to the Government its trade monopoly and all its claims. In 1870 Manitoba, Rupert’s Land and the North West Territories were formally declared part of the Dominion of Canada.

Meanwhile, however, the rebellion of Half Breeds and Indians had begun. There were those who openly charged that furious at not being consulted on the terms of settlement, certain officers and factors of the Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada (who were, in a sense, partners and who were opposed to the settlement as it meant considerable loss to them), were secret abettors of this rebellion in 1869-1870. This rebellion, led by Louis Riel, centered about Winnipeg. Thither Sir Donald A. Smith — he was now a Sir — the head officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company, was sent by the Canadian Government as Special Commissioner. Although there were distinct economic causes behind this rebellion, it may be added here that Smith later had to face serious taunts in the Dominion House of Commons when he was a member of that body.

It was during the debates in the Dominion House of Commons, in 1875 and 1876, that Smith, then a member of the House, felt called upon to answer certain charges. In a published statement, W.B. O’Donohue, one of the leaders of the insurrection, in effect charged that while employed on a confidential mission for the Canadian Government, Smith had betrayed his trust. O’Donohue further specifically charged that “ the insurrection was advised by Governor William MacTavish, who, with other officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company, also aided and abetted it from its inception to the very hour it ceased to exist,” and that Donald A. Smith had recognized the Rebel Government. Smith, on April 2, 1875, gave a long explanation denying these allegations.

Charged with Aiding Riel’s Rebellion

John Christian Schultz who had been on the Council for the North West Territories, who was now a member of Parliament and who later became Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, engaged in a very bitter and personal debate with Smith. It was, said Schultz, the general belief that the papers of the Provisional or Rebel Government had been destroyed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, and he (Schultz) believed the statement to be correct. Smith then gave his explanation, in which he denied that these papers were valuable.18 The next year — on March 23, 1876, Schultz returned to the attack, and submitted an affidavit of John Bruce, the first President of the Provisional Government of the North West, in which document Bruce stated that he had been frequently accustomed to go to Governor MacTavish of the Hudson’s Bay Company for advice, and that MacTavish had told him that it would be well to resist the Canadian Governor, and “ that it was an injustice to the people the Canadians taking possession of the country, and an injustice to the officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company, because the Government had given them no part of the £300,000 paid for their country.”19 Smith again denied that he helped the insurrection.

It was during this day’s debate that Schultz said : “ The House must be aware that this Company had made a large claim against the Government for compensation for losses during the rebellion. If the Hudson’s Bay Company were not guilty of complicity during the rebellion they were entitled to compensation for their losses the same as anyone else, but it seemed that their guilt was now confessed in the fact that they did not now dare to push their claim ; and that even his hon. friend from Selkirk [Donald A. Smith], brazen as was in other respects, did not dare say a word about it.”20

Not until this so-termed rebellion was put down and the transfer completely made, did the Canadian Government pay the $1,500,000 cash to the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Company’s officials in Canada, thanks greatly to Smith’s efforts,21 succeeded in getting their part of the payment ; the English stockholders wanted to monopolize the whole sum, but the Company’s officials in Canada carried their point. A sum of £107,060 was divided among them in consideration of the relinquishment of their claims.

Company’s Immense Land Possessions

By this final settlement the Hudson’s Bay Company was left in possession — or at least with a title to — immense areas of land in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and elsewher — one-twentieth of that entire region of rich, and valuable agricultural land. Its land possessions also comprised great and valuable tracts in what are now large cities ; the Company’s landed estate in Winnipeg, Edmonton and other cities is of enormous value ; and it has already derived vast revenues from the sale of only a part of those landed properties.

Leaving aside its revenues from the sale of its farming lands before 1893, its returns since that date to 1912, from the sale of 1,953,567 acres of agricultural lands, were $15,627,944.22 The Company’s annual report of March 31, 1912, showed that the Company still owned 4,032,860 acres of unsold land, and that it was getting an average of $19.01 an acre for its agricultural lands.23 It distributes annually among its stockholders the rich sum of an average of $2,000,000, constituting the revenues from its fur land and operations ; for although the Hudson’s Bay Company has gradually evolved into a modern storekeeping corporation to supply the needs of settlers from its department stores in a dozen or more cities, it still is pursuing the fur trade as it did more than two centuries ago. Only recently — in November, 1913 — it added $1,000,000 to its capital stock.

Such is a summary of the operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company, still a powerful, aggressive institution, still obtaining wealth from Canada, still ruled from England by a small Council at the head of which is Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, formerly plain Mr. Donald A. Smith.

The surrender of its sovereignty in 1869 left most of the vast territory over which it had long dictated open to settlement and to unhindered development and exploitation. How, when the ink had hardly dried on the surrender papers, railroad and other capitalists, chief among whom was Donald A. Smith, hastened to reach out and get immense land grants, great coal mines, timber and other resources, we shall presently note in detail.


1. Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Co., etc., British Parliament, 1857, pp. 34 and 500 of Report and Testimony. The story has long been current that the Hudson’s Bay Company in exchange for old, long obsolete muskets compelled the Indians to pile the most valuable furs as high as the musket. This fact, however, does not appear in the evidence.

2. Ibid., Appendix No. VII, p. 383.

3. Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Co., etc., British Parliament, 1857, p. 326. From these annual profits each Chief Factor received about £617 yearly, and each Chief Trader about £308. It may be said that never has there existed a concern which made economy such a science as did the Hudson’s Bay Company. Agnes Laut tells in her Conquest of the Northwest (Vol. II, p. 392) ; how it saved nails when it could use wooden pegs.

4. See U.S. Ex. Doc. No. 220 Forty-first Congress, Second Session, pp. 1-3. The Commissioner for Great Britain was John Rose, a banker and Canadian politician, to whom frequent reference will be made hereafter.

5. See enumeration of trading posts in British Parl. Report of 1857. Appendix No. 2, pp. 365-367.

6. All officers and employes had to get up with the ringing of the Fort bell at 5:30 A.M.; at 6 A.M. instructions for the work of the day, for the various employes were given by the officer in charge ; at 8-10 A.M. breakfast was served, etc., etc. Every Sunday morning, “all hands” had to attend “divine service,” clergymen of different denominations alternating.—See descriptive reminiscences in British Columbia Year Book for 1897.

7. Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Co., etc., British Parl., 1857, Appendix No. XVI, pp. 441-444.

8. Ibid., Appendix No. II, pp. 365-367. These were the estimated figures as nearly as was compatible with the difficulty of getting accurate returns.

9. The full list is given in Ibid., Appendix No. XVII.

10. David Gunn of the Red River Settlement, March 6, 1857, to Vanhoughnet, President of the Executive Council at Toronto, Ibid., Appendix No. VII, p 383. “ Fear,” wrote Gunn, “ made the rulers of the land pause on the brink of the precipice to which they had been hastening.”

11. Ibid., p. 383.

12. This petition appears in full in Appendix No. XV, Report front the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Co., etc., British Parl., 1857, pp. 437-438.

13. Appendix No. XII, Ibid., p. 435. Petition of Board of Trade of Toronto to the Legislative Council of Canada, April 20, 1857.

14. Ibid., Appendix No. VIII, p. 387.

15. Ibid., p. 394.

16. By “ public sensation ” is meant merely among that part of the people having no direct pecuniary interest in trade and commerce. The trading class, with all its aristocratic auxiliaries, sought to minimize the horrors, and to justify the “exigencies of trade” on the score of their “addig to the wealth of England.” While one branch of the English trading class was benefiting from the exploitation in Canada, other branches were pocketing profits from that in India and elsewhere, from the opium traffic in China and from the horrors of the factory system in England itself.

17. The full communication of Commissioners Cartier and Macdmigall was published in Sessional Papers, No. 25, Sessional Papers, Dom. Parl., Vol. II, No. 5, 1869.

18. Debates in the House of Commons, Dom. Part., 1875, pp. 1060-1069.

19. Debates in the House of Commons, etc., 1876, pp. 811-812.

20. Ibid., p. 813.

21. Begg’s History of the North West, Vol. II, p. 402.

22. Annual Report, Dept. of the Interior, March 31, 1912, p. xxiv.

23. Appendix to Canadian Annual Financial Review, Nov. 1912, p. 130.

Preface | Chapter I | Chapter II | Chapter III | Chapter IV | Chapter V | Chapter VI | Chapter VI | Chapter VII | Chapter IX | Chapter X | Chapter XI | Chapter XII | Chapter XIII | Chapter XIV | Chapter XV | Chapter XVI | Chapter XVII

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