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either east or west of it, but many groves were scattered through it.

“ In the northwestern part of it the land is very good, but the timber is not of large size, being nearly all second growth, as the old timber had been burnt down some years before. The whole section may be classed as level plain, or gently rolling land, no hill being seen higher than fifty feet, except in the vicinity of the Mission. The land generally is a rich loam, with a small percentage of gravel, which indeed is the prevailing character of the soil for many miles. Spring wheat at the Mission, the best I have seen, was fit to harvest August 20th, 1879."

Two hundred and fifty miles northwest of the Star Mission is Lac la Biche, where a Roman Catholic Mission has been established for many years. Long before railways were talked of, the Fathers at this Mission had brought in a grist mill, worked by horse power, and here in Lat. 55° wheat was being grown and ground, into flour long before the value of the Red River Valley became apparent to Canadians.

Marcus Smith, C.E., thus speaks of the Mission : “Lac la Biche is 304 miles from Carlton. Mr. Trail, Hudson's Bay Company's officer at this post, stated that there were about forty families settled on this lake, principally Half-breeds and French Canadians. The Catholic Mission is on the lake shore, about nine miles northwest of the Post; here I met Bishop Farand, from whom much valuable information was obtained concerning the country to the north and west.

“ Barley and wheat thrive well here, and also vegetables. There is a grist mill near the Mission. Abundance of whitefish are in this and the neighboring lakes. The timber of the country is spruce, poplar, and tamarac, all of good size. The divide between Beaver River and the Athabasca watershed is not more than three miles from Lake la Biche.”

The Victoria and Whitefish Lake Missions are under the

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control of the Canada Methodists, and around each quite a settlement has been formed. In 1871 these Missions were in a very flourishing state, but an outbreak of small-pox devastated the settlement, and when the writer visited the country in 1872, only the chimneys of the houses remained standing. Their occupants were either dead or scattered to the four winds.

The Rev. George McDougall, the pioneer Missionary to these parts, lost a daughter at this time, and he told me that the Blackfeet lay around for days waiting a chance to kill him or his wife, because they thought he had brought the calamity upon the country. God mercifully preserved him at that time, but in the winter of 1875 he perished miserably while visiting the Mission at Morleyville then in charge of his son John. On this Mission he had set his heart, and when the writer first saw him in 1872 he told of the wonders of the Bow River country, and prophesied its future greatness. In 1872 his house was the only one outside the Fort at Edmonton, and lawlessness was so common, even amongst the semi-civilized Indians around the fort, that murders were of frequent occurrence.

A month or two before my visit an Indian, from some unexplained cause, became angry with his wife and attempted to kill her with a knife, but she fled from him. He pursued and overtook her, and stabbed her to death a short distance from the fort. A relative of the woman when pointing out the spot where she died, asked with great earnestness when would law reach them, and I replied that it was then on its way in the person of Col. Robertson Ross, the AdjutantGeneral, who would set everything right. He came and the Mounted Police were sent out, and the murders then so frequent ceased.

This is Edmonton society as it was in 1872. The state of farming was very little better. Fully one-half of the ripened wheat was smut, and doubt prevailed whether the

climate was at all suited for that grain. In 1881 Edmonton appears as a town and settlement of great importance. It has its regular agricultural shows, its balls, and its public exhibitions, where the inhabitants vie with each other in such matters as their exhibits, their agility, their personal attractions and refinement. Lawlessness has passed away, and although the stockade is still around the fort, the guns still in the bastions, and the great gate and wicket closed at night, the fear of Indians, like the buffalo, has passed away, and only the Hudson's Bay Company's officials recall the time, scarcely ten years since, when the Blackfeet and Sarcees made night hideous with their fearful yells and threatenings, on account of the cruel murder of two of their number under the very guns of the fort.

Edmonton is a general term applied to a district, but still there is a concentration of houses and places of business called by that name. The village is some distance below the fort on the north side of the river. The Church of England and Canada Methodists have each a church, and a Presbyterian Mission having been established, a church will soon follow. There are several stores well stocked with goods suitable to the country, the chief being owned by J. H. McDougall, John Brown, and P. Heinwick, each carrying a stock of goods worth from $25,000 to $30,000, including freight, which swells the cost of goods in this distant part of the country. Three grist and saw-mills grind all the flour and saw all boards necessary for the settlement, and nothing is wanting now except railway communication, or better steamboat service upon the river.

Abundance of coal can be dug out of the river bank, and less than a mile above the fort there is a deposit of bog iron ore, prove valuable when properly examined.

We are now 890 miles by cart trail northwest from Winnipeg, and over this immense distance pits, four feet deep and twenty miles apart, have been dug, and a careful

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examination of the soils shows that only about five per cent. of the whole distance is unfit for agriculture and classed as third class soils, when compared with those of Prince Edward County which is one of the most productive districts of Ontario. The extent of these fertile lands cannot be realized by any person reading the accounts published in newspapers or blue books, nor even in passing over the trails as these are only particular lines. But having traversed the country in every direction I am enabled to grasp their immensity, without realising in any appreciable degree their influence upon the future of the civilized world. Seeing millions of acres of arable lands lying without inhabitants in one part of the British Dominions, and learning that in another part people on the brink of starvation are murdering each other for the privilege of renting a potato garden, causes one to exclaim against the shortsightedness of Governments, in not assisting emigration, and on the other hand against the foolishness of people remaining where their normal state for generations has been and will be one of poverty.

Nine zniles west of Edmonton is St. Albert Mission, the largest and most prosperous Mission settlement in the NorthWest. It is the seat of a Bishopric, having Bishop's palace, cathedral church, nunnery, and various other buildings, all of large size and well furnished. The Bishop's palace, as described by a lato writer, is a magnificent building. “This is a handsome frame structure, eighty by thirty-two feet, three stories high, including a large attic, lighted by rows of dormer windows, besides a large and well-lighted basement." Père la Comb established the mission in 1858, when this was only an Indian and Half-breed camping ground. Nine years later he was succeeded by Père la Duc, who gave place to Bishop Grandın in 1871, and from that to the present time St. Albert has been the seat of a Bishopric, from which many eminent men have gone out to preach the glad

tidings to the benighted Indian women, that, in the sight of the “Great Spirit,” the woman is equal to the man, and by this means to stamp out polygamy and make marriage more respected. Throughout the whole North-West there have been no men, of any Church, superior in any sense to the Fathers with whom the writer has met in his numerous journeys both east and west of the Rocky Mountains. He looks upon their labors as having produced due respect for the marriage relationship, a proper regard for the Sabbath, and an earnest for peaceable conduct and upright dealings one with another, in every part of the country he has visited.

Lake St. Ann's may be said to be the present limit of available land on the old line of the C. P. R. Little farming is carried on. The whitefish fisheries constitute the most

. noteworthy industry. These were more highly valued in years gone by when people and dogs depended almost entirely on meat, but at present they receive little attention

The Rocky Mountain House was formerly the frontier trading post on the borders of the Blackfeet country, and here the plain Indians came in all the splendor of their untutored savagary, and in days when Rum was king held their wild orgies in front of the fort. Since the advent of the police, and peace with the Crees, the Blackfeet roam and trade at will, and this fort has lost much of its importance as a trading post. This post is about 150 miles southwest of Edmonton, within sight of the Rockies and on the margin of the Saskatchewan. It is 3,195 feet above the and the neighborhood is of very little value as a farming country. Splendid groves of spruce and even forests of the same tree are on the upper Saskatchewan and its tributaries, and here in future will probably be the headquarters of the Rocky Mountain lumbering companies.

Gold washing has been practised for many years in the vicinity of Edmonton, but in no case has success been


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