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PREFACE

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FREQUENT demands upon my time and patience for information regarding the North-West have compelled me to put in book form the gleanings of the past ten years.

In the volume now offered to the public I have attempted to give a truthful description of the greater part of the country suitable for the habitation of civilized man. Several chapters are devoted to its Natural History and Botany. These may be considered a compendium of our present knowledge.

In the chapters on the capabilities of the soil, stock-raising, climate, &c., I have spoken from my own knowledge and on my own authority. Where my own knowledge of any matter was considered insufficient, I have quoted from other writers of known ability and truthfulness.

Statements from actual settlers are in their own words, and as their addresses are given these can be verified. Nearly every matter pertaining to the country has been touched upon, and where thought worthy elaborated. To give the work that completeness to which it aspires appendices have been added by other writers on matters for which their knowledge specially fitted them.

As qualifications for writing the work I may mention a twenty years study, theoretical and practical, of Botany, Natural History, and Physical Geography

After ten years study of these subjects I accompanied, as botanist, Mr. Sandford Fleming, and the author of “Ocean to Ocean," on their celebrated expedition across the continent. In the year 1875 I was appointed botanist to the expedition, which, under the leadership of the Director of the Geological Survey, explored the Peace River and Rocky Mountains Two

years later I was asked by the Dominion Government to write a report on the North-West Territories, and availed myself of all reliable information regarding the country. The summers of 1879-80-81 have been spent in traversing the least known parts and investigating the forma, flora, meteorology and physical phenomena of the country. It will thus be seen that my opportunities have been ample.

Of the imperfections of the book I need not speak. The critics will point out these. In writing I have had the delight of revisiting in imagination many a cheery camp-fire, and many a scene of vast and lonely beauty, on which memory loves to dwell, and of feeling that I was endeavoring to describe to my fellow-countrymen, with simplicity and truthfulness, a portion of that magnificent heritage of which as yet they know so little.

JOHN MACOUN.

CONTENTS.

Manitoba

Porcupine Mountain-Country on Red Deer River-Soil very Rich–Exhaustless Fertility

of the Carrot River Country-Prince Albert Settlement-Its Early History-Wonderful

Progress in a few Years—Description of the Settlement-Many Houses in Course of

Erection-Fall Sowed Wheat a Success—No injury from Frost-Duck Lake Settlement

-Fort Carlton and its Vicinity-Country between the Rivers Eagle Creek—The Bear

and Eagle Hills—Land South of Them-Description of Battleford and Vicinity-Its

Future Sketched Out-Land in the Neighborhood-Character of Soil— Police Farm at
wan and Athabasca Rivers

Extensive District South of North Saskatchewan-One Solid Block of 13,000,000 Acres

-Large Area of Fertile Land North of River-Star Mission, its Success-Multitudes

of Whitefish-Lac La Biche Mission-Farming at the Lake-Wheat, Barley, &c.-

- Victoria Mission-Small-pox Ravages-Rev. George McDougall his Death, the

Edmonton Pioneer—Former Lawlessness at Edmonton-Change Caused by the Police

-Edmonton, its Mills, Churches, Stores—Coal and Iron at Edmonton-Review

of the Country-Ninty-six per Cent. Good Soil over a Vast Area – Lands for the

Irish without Rent-St. Albert Mission, its History and Success—Catholic Mis-

sionaries, their Work and Success—Rocky Mountain House, Fine Timber-Gold

Washing—Beaver River, very Rich Land-Green Lake, Abundance of Fish-

Chipweyan Indians-Athabasca River and Country-Size of the River and its Tribu-

taries-- Little Slave River-Pembina River, Coal in its Banks—The McLeod --

Baptiste's River-Jasper House and Valley-Climate of the Valley, Snow Fall very

Light, Warm Winds, Dry Climate, Spring Weather-Horses Living out all Winter

-Source of Warm Winds—Fertile Belt-Richness of It-Where Located— Prairie

still Better-Wet Lands-Summer Frosts—Late Sowing-Fall Sowing, its Success.

CHAPTER

VIII.

Peace River.

Position of the Lands Described-Area of the Region in Question-Character of Rocks

and Soil-Its Composition and Disposition--- Peace River Prairie-Location of

Prairie-Sandy Soils along Athabasca-Origin of Peace River Prairie-Wonderful

Vegetation-Climate of Peace River-Summer of 1879—All Sorts of Grain and Vege-

tables Mature-Ripening of Grain at Dunvegan and other Points-Depth of Snow-

Setting in of Winter-Opening of Spring Breaking up of the Ice-Difference in

Climate of Valley and Plateau-Occurrence of Frost-Comparison of Temperatures-

Peace River Spring as Early as in Manitoba—Cause of Exceptional Climate-

Chinook Winds—Length of Day and Increased Sunlight give Warm Summers

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