~~-;"J~ a~- x~
Woodburyprint. Waterlow & Sons Limited. #
e by Fradelle & Young, 283, Regent t., W.
From a Negative by Fradelle & Young, 283, Regent St., W.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN
CREE AND SALTEAUX INDIANS.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
MARK GUY PEARSE.
"Out of the darkness of night
The world rolls into the light;
It is daybreak everywhere."-LONGFELLOW.
CHARLES II. KELLY, 2, CASTLE STREET, CITY ROAD, E.C0
AND 26, PATERNOSTER Row, E.G.
EAZELL, WATSON, AND VINEY, LD.,
LONDON AND AYLESBURY.
FAITHFUL AND LOVING WIFE
WHO SO CHEERFULLY AND UNCOMPLAININGLY FOR YEAR
SHARED THE HARDSHIPS AND TOILS
OF SOME OF THE MOST TRYING MISSION FIELDS
WHOSE COURAGE NEVER FALTERED,
WHOSE ZEAL ABATED NOT, EVEN WHEN IN PERILS OFT,
FROM HUNGER, BITTER COLD, AND SAVAGE MEN:
THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED,
BY HER AFFECTIONATE
Indian Evangelisation-New Records of Work done-Heroic Efforts-
The Puritans-Brainerd-President Grant's Humane Policy 5
Work in Canada-William Case-James Evans and his Co-labourers in
the Great Lone Land, with Sketches of Revs. Peter Jones, John
Sunday, and Henry Steinheur 9
The Summons to the Indian Work-The Decision-The Valelictory
Services-Dr. Punshon-The Departure-Leaving Hamilton-St.
Catherine's Milwaukee Custom-House Delays-Mississippi-St.
Paul's-On the Prairies-Frontier Settlers-Narrow Escape from
Shooting One of our School Teachers-Sioux Indians and their
Wars-Saved by our Flag-Varied Experiences 27
Still on the Route-Fort Carry-Breaking up of our Party of Mission-
aries-Lower Fort-Hospitable Hudson's Bay Officials-Peculiari-
ties-Fourteen Days in a Little Open Boat on Stormy Lake
Winnipeg-Strange Experiences-Happy Christian Indian Boat-
men-" In Perils by Waters .. 41
Arrival at Norway House-Our New Home-Rev. Charles Stringfellow
-Thunderstorm-Rev. James Evans-Syllabic Characters invented
-Difficulties Overcome-Help from English Wesleyan Missionary
Society-Extensive Use of the Syllabic Characters-Our People,
Christian and Pagan-Learning Lessons by dear Experience-The
Hungry Woman-The Man with the Two Ducks-Our First Sabbath
in our New Field-Sunday School and Sabbath Services-Family
Constant Progress-Woman's sad Condition in Paganism-Illustrations
-Wondrous Changes produced by Christianity-Illustrations-
New Year's Day Christian Festival-The Aged and Feeble Ones
first remembered-Closing Thanksgiving Services 63
Oxford House Mission-Visited by Canoe-Description of this Useful
Craft-Indian Skill-Oxford Lake-Dr. Taylor-Edward Papanekis
-Still on the Trail by Birch Canoe--Narrow Escape from being
Crushed by the Ice-On Stormy Lake Winnipeg-Pioneering
farther North-Successes-" Show us the Father, and it sufficeth
us "-Christ accepted in the Place of Idols .. 71
The Wild North Land-The Two Methods of Travel, by Canoe and Dog-
Train-The Native Dogs-St. Bernard and Newfoundland Dogs-
The Dog Sleds-The Guide-The Dog Drivers-The Long Journeys
-Night Travelling-Wondrous Visions of the Night 89
On the Trail with the Dogs to Fields Ripe for the Reaper-The Place-
The Trip-The Winter Camp-The bitter Cold-Enduring Hardness
-Death Shaking Hands with us-Many Days on the Trail 101
Nelson River-A Demonstrative Welcome-First Religious Service-A
Four Hours' Sermon-The Chief's eloquent Reply-The Old Man
with Grandchildren in his Wigwam-" Our Father "-" Then
we are Brothers "-" Yes"-" Then why is the White Brother so
long Time in coming with the Gospel to his Red Brother "-
Glorious Successes 116
A Welcome Accession-The Rev. John Semmens-A devoted Young
Missionary-First to reside at Nelson River-In Labours and in
Perils Oft-In Journeyings Oft by Dog-Trains together-The Cen-
tenarian Old Christian-William Papanekis-His Godly Life and
wondrous Translation 125
Rev. James Evans, the peerless Missionary-His Journeys by Canoe
and Dog-Train-The Cree Syllabic Characters, his Invention-Lord
Dufferin's Words concerning him-His Successes-His Trials-
Accidental Shooting of his Interpreter-Surrendering himself to
the Avengers-Adopted into a Pagan Family-Visit to England-
Sudden Death 137
Sowing and Reaping-Beautiful Incident-" Help me to be a Chris-
tian 1"-Thirty Years between the Sowing and the Reaping-
Sorrowing, yet Stubborn, Indians induced to yield by the Expres-
sion, I know where your Children are I" 151
On the Trail to Sandy Bar-Sleeping on the Ice-Thievish Esquimaux
Dogs-Narrow Escape of Jack-Joyous Welcome-Society formed
-Benjamin Cameron, once a Cannibal, now a Lay Helper-Plum-
pudding-A striking Instance of Honesty 163
An Indian Lovefeast-Many Witnesses-Sweet Songs of Zion-The
Lord's Supper-Memoir of William Memotas, the devoted Christian 172
Varied Duties-Christianity must precede Civilisation-Illustrations-
Experimental Farming-Ploughing with Dogs-Abundance of Fish
-Visits from far-off Indians-Some come to disturb-Many
sincere Inquirers after the Truth-" Where is the Missionary? "-
Beren's River Mission begun-Timothy Bear-Perils on the Ice 184
Small-pox Pestilence-Heroic Conduct of Christian Indians-Whites
supplied with Provisions by Bed Men-The Guide, Samuel
Papanekis-His triumphant Death-Nancy, the happy Widow-In
Poverty, yet rejoicing 197
A Race for Life in a Blizzard Storm-Saved by the marvellous Intelli-
gence of Jack-" Where is the old Man, whose Head was like the
Work Outside the Pulpit-Polygamy and its Evils-Family Re-arrange-
ments-Dangerous Work at Times-Practical Pastoral Duties-A
Fish Sermon-Five Men won to Christ 223
Exploring New Fields-The Gospel before Treaties-Big Tom's noble
Spirit of Self-sacrifice . 239
The Mission among the Salteaux established-Nelly's Death-Mis-
sionary Anniversaries attended-Rev. Thomas Crosby-Travelling
Adventures-More Working with Dogs-Our New Home-Visit
from a Chieftainess Closing Words 252
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR onhisiece
DOG-TRAIN AT FULL SPEED. Xii
REV. PETER JONES. 12
REV. JOHN SUNDAY .. 18
REV. HENRY STEINHEUR 22
JONAS, SAMSON, PAKAN .25
PORTRAIT OF MRS. YOUNG 28
REV. WILLIAM YOUNG 31
A PRAIRIE SCENE 35
ROVING INDIANS AND HALF-BREEDS. 43
AN INDIAN CANOE BRIGADE 51
FAT DUCKS 59
"MANY A DUCK WAS SHOT BY THESE YOUNG INDIAN MAIDENS" 67
TAKING THE BARK FROM THE TREES FOR CANOE-MAKING 73
"AS THE DOCTOR WAS AN ENTHUSIASTIC FISHERMAN" 79
"WITH HIS LIGHT CANOE HE CAN GO ALMOST EVERYWHERE" 91
"HERE THE BLACK BEARS ARE VERY NUMEROUS" .113
"WE EXCHANGED OUR BLACK CLOTHES FOR OUR LEATHER SUITS". 127
"WE HAVE LOOKED DEATH IN THE FACE TOGETHER MANY TIMES" 133
"NO RIVER SEEMED TOO RAPID, AND NO LAKE TOO STORMY". 139
CREE SYLLABIC ALPHABET 148
x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE LORD'S PRAYER 149
"SOME CAME IN THEIR SMALL CANOES" .187
I.-NOTHING BUT THE HIND QUARTER OF A WILD CAT FOR BREAK-
FAST. OFF LOOKING FOR GAME 192
II.-sIX HUNDRED YARDS IS A LONG SHOT, BUT WILD CAT IS POOR
FOOD, AND SO WE WILL TRY FOR SOMETHING BETTER 193
III.-COME, SHARE WITH ME OUR SAVOURY VENISON 195
DOG-TRAIN WITH MAIL .199
REV. EDWARD PAPANEKIS AND FAMILY 201
FISHING THROUGH THE ICE .207
CHRISTIAN INDIAN'S BARN, SCUGOG MISSION 209
PAGAN INDIAN CEREMONIES AT A DOG FEAST 213
SEA RIVER FALLS, NEAR NORWAY HOUSE . 237
INDIAN COUNCIL .. 241
A YOUNG INDIAN WITH HIS CANOE AT TIE FOOT OF THE RUDE
WATER SLIDE 247
TOILING ALONG ON SNOW-SHOES THROUGH THE WOODS 259
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN
CREE AND SALTEAUX INDIANS.
DOG-TRAIN AT FULL SPEED. (pp. 95, 96).
__ _________ ,-.,.,,^.^-^~d~ "~
MY friend, Mr. Egerton R. Young, has asked me to
write a few words of preface to his book. Although
he needs no words of mine to introduce him to the people
"at home," as the Canadians call the Motherland, I very
gladly comply with his request.
It was on a sunny day in the early part of May, 1887,
that I met Mr. Young away at Meaford on the shores
of Georgian Bay. We passed the river,-crowded with
boys and men snatching with leaded hooks at the mullet
that were swarming in shoals from Lake Huron,-along
by the wharves to the water's edge, and there on the
pebble ridge we sat and talked. A simple, honest, straight-
forward Methodist preacher, one felt at home with him
at once. I found that he had been a Missionary for many
years amongst the Cree and Salteaux Indians away in
"the Lone Land." I had but to ask a question here and
there and sat entranced; the people, the country, the
INTR OD AUCTION.
cold, the dogs, the bears, the whole surroundings of the
life began to live before me, and with many a wild scene
of adventure, and many a wonderful story of conversion,
that afternoon sped away,--for me, much too quickly,-
and ever since it has hung up in "the chambers of my
imagery," amongst its most vivid and most treasured
I went with him to his house and made the acquaint-
ance of Mrs. Young, his brave and devoted wife, and the
children. I stood on a mat of some fur which interested
me. What is this ?" I asked. My host laughed-" A
silver-grey wolf: a mad fellow that wanted to make a
meal of my boy Eddie, and but for God's mercy would
And then began another story-how that as with
elephants and buffaloes and all creatures that are gregarious
there is often one that for some reason-or want of it-
lives alone, and is of all its kind the most mischievous and
most dangerous-often, perhaps generally, mad; in this
case it was a wolf. The Indians were in the forest cutting
wood for the winter, and the little lad with his train of dogs
enjoyed the drive in the sledge to and fro, bringing home the
load of wood, or racing back in the empty sledge. It was as
the boy was returning that out of the forest rushed the fierce
beast, and raced beside him, trying to reach him on the
pile, whilst the frightened dogs galloped furiously onward
to the Mission House. A moment's delay, an upset, and
TNTR OD UCoTION.
the wolf must have had the lad, but in God's providence
he reached home in safety. A little afterward the wolf
was killed, and here was its silver fur resting in front of
the fireplace. Everything suggested some new question,
and that led to some new story. At last I had to leave
for my service, and then home by a long row across the
lake. But before we parted I got a promise that Mr.
Young would come to England and tell the people "at
home" the story of his Mission.
I felt that he could do for us a work that needed to be
done, and that few could do, in renewing the popular interest
in foreign missionary enterprise. I had hoped that the
Missionary Society might have utilised him for deputation
work, and have sent him through the country on this
errand. This hope, however, has not been fulfilled. But
not the less service has been rendered by Mr. and Mrs.
Young, as they have gone from place to place interesting
and thrilling tens of thousands by the records of their
great success and of God's blessing amongst the Indians.
It is said that "men who make history do not write it."
Years amongst the dog-trains and birch canoes do not
afford much room for practising the art of writing,
especially when six months had to intervene before re-
ceiving any communication from the "world of letters."
If Mr. Young's written narrative has not the force and
charm of his spoken addresses, is it not true of every-
thing that is worth hearing when it loses the voice of
SINTRB OD AUCTION.
the speaker ? But in spite of this we are quite sure that
thousands will be thankful to have in a permanent form
that which Mr. Young has given them here; and that very
many others will be glad to read what they could not
hear. My earnest wish is that the book may have the
circulation it deserves; my prayer is that it may be made
the blessing which its author desires.
MARK GUY PEARSE.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
INDIAN EVANGELISATION-FEW RECORDS OF WORK DONE-HEROIC
EFFORTS THE PURITANS BRAINERD PRESIDENT GRANT'S
Gather the harvest in:
The fields are white, and long ago ye heard,
Ringing across the world, the Master's word :
'Leave no such fruitage to the lord of sin;
Gather the harvest in.' "
THE question of evangelising the Indian tribes of North
America is one that has been more or less prominent before
the Christian Churches for many years. In the prosecution of
this work some of the noblest of God's heroes have been engaged,
some of the greatest hardships and sufferings have been endured,
and some of the grandest trophies have been won.
It is to be regretted that Indian missionary biography is so
limited. But few are the "abiding records," in book form, of
those men of heroic mould, who have devoted themselves to this
department of missionary toil.
While we rejoice that we have the biographies of Eliot,
Brainerd, and a few others of the early missionaries, who so
nobly toiled, and not in vain, among the swarthy red men of the
forest, we cannot but regret that so little has been published of
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
such Indian missionaries as Evans, Rundle, McDougall, Steinheur,
and others, whose daring, patience, endurance, and successful
toil would make their biographies as thrillingly interesting and
as valuable to the Church as those of Carey, Judson, Hunt, or
These missionaries to the aborigines of the American con-
tinent deserve all the more credit from the fact that their lives
and energies were devoted to the benefit of what is generally
considered a vanishing people, a dying race. For the Indian,
in too many instances, the gospel of bullets has been preached
more loudly than the Gospel of love. More laws have been
enacted to legislate him out of existence, than to lift him up into
the condition of a loyal citizenship, and the enjoyment of a
consistent Christianity. Very humiliating is the fact, that there
are in these so-called Christian lands many who, forgetting the
doctrine of the universal brotherhood of humanity, and also that
of the universality of the Atonement, have become so dwarfed
and prejudiced in their minds concerning the red man as to leave
him completely outside the pale of humanity, and utterly beyond
the reach of God's mercy, and, with dogmatic assurance, have
declared that the only good Indian is the dead Indian; or, as it
was once brutally expressed to me by a military officer: Indians
are vermin fit only for extermination."
It is a cause of thankfulness, that while ignorance, or terror,
or ambition, or greed, has caused too many to have such views,
many others have differed, and have gone to work to do the
Indians good; and their lives have not been complete failures.
Apart from the efforts made by the priests who accompanied
Cortez, Pizarro, and other military adventurers, very early in the
sixteenth century, priests were labouring in Florida, and in the
Rio Grande country, for the conversion of the natives, and they
counted their converts by thousands long before any considerable
settlement of English-speaking people had been formed on the
Continent. Then, in the following century, the story of the
labours and hardships of the Jesuits, and other organizations of
the Church of Rome, among the Hurons of Canada, the Iroquois
of New York, the Abenakis of Maine, and various other tribes,
RECORDS OF WORK DON-SY.
as narrated in the eloquent pages of Parkman's fascinating
histories, reads more like a thrilling romance than as the sober
recital of actual facts.
In the first settlements in Maryland, the conversion of the
Indians was a subject that at once attracted attention; and the
labourers did not toil in vain. In the Charter given to the band
of adventurers, who, in the year 1607, fixed upon Virginia as
their home, these words occur. They were ordered to use all
proper means to draw the savage and heathen people to the true
knowledge and service of God."
Within a year after the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers at
Plymouth Rock, one of the elders, a Mr. Cushman, in writing
back to his friends in England, referred to "the tractable dis-
position of the Indian youths, and the possibility of doing them
much good." Those grand and sturdy people, who for conscience'
sake had come out into the wilderness, had themselves declared
that they had come to America for weighty and solid reasons,
among which was this-that they might be used for the propa-
gation and advancing of the Gospel and kingdom of Christ." In
their conscientious way they set about the fulfilment of these
designs. Of the wonderful revivals among the Indians, under
the labours of the Revs. David and John Brainerd, a good deal
has been written. Their consecrated zeal and great successes
fired anew the hearts of such glorious men as the Wesleys,
Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards. An eminent writer has
declared that "the work of God among the Indians at that period
was perhaps without parallel in heathen Missions since the days
of the apostles." David Brainerd, in writing of the wondrous
work, said: "The power of God seemed to descend upon the
Indians like mighty rushing wind, and with astonishing energy
bore down all before it. Marvellous were the results. Old men
and women were in deep distress for their souls, and the most
stubborn hearts were compelled to bow, and thousands were
happily converted to God."
So deeply impressed was John Wesley with Brainerd's work
among the Indians, that we find in the fifth volume of his Works
the following question and answer:
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
QUESTION.-What can be done in order to revive the work
of God where it is decayed ?"
ANSWER.-Let every preacher read carefully over the 'Life
of David Brainerd,' etc."
To follow and record, with any degree of completeness, the
work carried on by the Churches among these wards of the
nations," would be interesting and a labour of love, but it would
occupy volumes. Suffice it to say, ere we begin to make fuller
mention of the Canada work, of which we have some personal
knowledge, that the Churches of the United States are carrying
on a grand enterprise with increasing vigour and encouraging
success. Excellent schools, like those at Carlisle, in Pennsylvania,
and Hampton Institute, in Virginia, are developing noble Chris-
tian men and women, who are giving fresh impetus to the blessed
work of lifting up these remnants of once mighty tribes to the
enjoyment of true religion and to a higher plane of civilisation.
It is also an encouraging sign of the times, that the Government
of the mightiest republic the world ever saw is waking up to its
responsibility, and, as if to atone for the misdeeds of its agents
and the sad blunders of the past, is entering on a new career,
resolved that justice, although long delayed, shall yet be meted
out to its Indian subjects.
The "blood-and-iron" policy was a disgrace to American
civilisation and to our common Christianity. The effort to make
the Indian decent by force" has been a complete failure. The
force of honest, straightforward example will do vastly more.
By right-thinking people General Grant deserves ever to be held
in kindly remembrance for his "peace policy." When so-called
friends urged him to make a change in it, his reply was charac-
teristic of the man, and worthy to be remembered: "If the
present policy towards Indians can be improved in any way, I
will always be ready to receive suggestions on the subject. I do
not believe our Creator ever placed different races of men on this
earth with a view to having the stronger exert all his energies
in the extermination of the weaker. If any change takes place
in the Indian policy of the Government while I hold my present
office, it will be on the humanitarian side of the question."
WORK IN CANADA-WILLIAM CASE-JAMES EVANS AND HIS CO-LABOURERS
IN THE GREAT LONE LAND, WITH SKETCHES OF REVS. PETER JONES,
JOHN SUNDAY, AND HENRY STEINHEUR.
FOR many years the Methodist Church of Canada has taken
a deep interest in the spiritual welfare of the Indian tribes
of the Great Dominion. For a long time its efforts were but
feeble, and the results proportionally small. In the year 1823
an impetus was given to the work by the conversion of an Indian
lad, who afterwards became the Rev. Peter Jones, a devoted and
successful Missionary to his own people. When this Indian lad
first stood up in a fellowship meeting, and told the simple story
of his conversion, the presiding elder, the Rev. William Case,
shouted out, Glory to God Now is the door opened for the
work of-conversion in his nation."
The report of what was going on in the Old Province of Upper
Canada fired the hearts of the parent Wesleyan Missionary
Society in England; and in the year 1840 they sent out, to what
was then known as the Hudson's Bay Territories, the Rev. Messrs.
Barnley, Rundle, and others, to be under the superintendence of
the Rev. James Evans, who had been labouring in Upper Canada,
but who left his successful work, and hurried away to assume, as
desired, the leadership of that heroic band which, with apostolic
zeal, was about to enter into the very heart of this then unknown
Mr. Evans, with his family, travelled all the way from Thunder
Bay, on Lake Superior, to Norway House in a birch-bark canoe,
a distance of many hundreds of miles. His library and household
effects had to be shipped to London, England, and then re-shipped
BY CANOE AND DOG-T~RAIN.
on the Hudson's Bay Company's vessel to York Factory, on the
western side of Hudson's Bay. From this port they were carried
in open boats up a dangerous, toilsome route of over five hundred
miles. Scores of times they had to be unshipped and carried on
men's shoulders round the falls, or rapids, of treacherous, dangerous
rivers, until finally they reached their owner, after having crossed
the Atlantic twice, and travelled altogether a distance of some
twelve thousand miles; many months having been taken to
perform a journey which now, by the aid of rail and steamer,
can be made in five days.
Grandly and well did Evans and Rundle and Barnley toil.
Their names, in that great land, are still fragrant as the breath
of heaven. Their heroic deeds live on, their faithful words are
not forgotten; and to this day there still remain many Indians
who were rescued from paganism by their faithful labours; and
the "Church triumphant" holds a goodly company who have
finished their course with joy.
In 1854, the Indian Missions in the North-West Territories
were transferred from the English Wesleyan to the Canadian
Methodist Church. The appointments for that year were as
NoRwAY HOUSE, LAKE WINNIPEG,-Thomas Hurlburt.
OXFORD HousE,-Robert Brooking.
LAc LA PLUIE,-Allen Salt.
EDMONTON AND ROCKY MOUNTAINS,-Henry Steinheur.
Thomas Hurlburt was of a family that gave five sons to the
Methodist ministry. He entered the ministry in 1829, and
devoted the greater part of his long ministerial life to the evan-
gelisation and civilisation of the Indians-a work in which he
was very successful.
Robert Brooking also deserves honourable mention. Before
coming to America, Mr. Brooking was a missionary of the
English Wesleyan Church. For years he lived and laboured in
Ashantee, on the West Coast of Africa. His health failing in
the excessive heat of that field of labour, he returned home, and,
after his restoration, came to Canada, and devoted himself to the
Indian work. Strange to say, he was now sent to the coldest
TOILERS IN THE GREAT LONE LAND.
field in the world. He has given more than thirty years of
faithful service to the Indian work, and now, after long years
of self-denying toil, is enjoying a happy and contented old age,
patiently waiting until the summons shall be heard to come up
Allen Salt, the third name on the 1854 list of appointments
for the Great Lone Land, is a pure Indian, one of the first converts
of missionary toil. He is a man of commanding appearance and
pleasing address. He has proved himself to be a most trust-
worthy and useful brother, respected by the whites, and a blessing
to his own people.
Henry Steinheur, the last of the four, was also a pure-blooded
Indian. His name has been a household word for many years
in and beyond Canadian Methodism.
A poor neglected Indian boy, he was found out by one of the
missionaries, and induced to attend a mission school. His pro-
gress in his studies was rapid, and his life became pure and
consistent. A fuller record of him will be found farther on.
He now rests from his labours. Two noble sons have taken up
his mantle, and are giving promise of doing valiant service for
Time and space would fail us, if we should attempt to enumerate
the long list of good men and true, who have given their lives to
this blessed work.
Dr. Egerton Ryerson stated, when "in age and feebleness
extreme," at the Brampton Conference, in 1883, that the happiest
year in his life was that of 1826, when he was stationed at the
Credit as a missionary, and preached and toiled a good deal
among the Indians.
Who, that ever knew, can forget Sha-wun-dais, the Rev. John
Sunday, the Indian orator and the Christian gentleman ? How
fresh and spontaneous his wit how gentle his spirit how over-
whelming, at times, his appeals for Missions Then there was
Solomon Waldron, who cheerfully gave the best years of his life
to the Indian work; and scores of others, whose record is on
high, and whom any Church might feel honoured to claim as her
BY CANOE AND DOG-T~AIN.
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
Through peril, toil, and pain.
0 God, to us may grace be given
To follow in their train I "
Before beginning my own personal narrative, I will here give
brief sketches of three successful native Indian missionaries-
Peter Jones, John Sunday, and Henry Steinheur.
THE REV. PETER JONES.
PETER JONES was born on the heights of Burlington Bay, Canada
West, January 1st, 1802. He was brought up by his Indian
mother in the customs and superstitions of her people. For
fourteen years he lived and wandered about the woods with the
wild Indians in Canada and the United States.
He suffered many hardships incident to wild pagan Indian
life. His name was Kah-ke-wa-quon-a-by, which means Sacred
waving feathers." Like all other Indian lads, he was taught to
use the bow and arrows, and afterwards became expert with the
gun, and was a capital canoeman and fisherman.
In 1816 he had the advantages of ah English school, and was
taught to read and write. After this he settled among the
Mohawk Indians. In 1820 he began to attend church, and to
think favourably about the Christian religion. But when he
saw the whites get drunk, quarrel, fight, cheat the poor Indians,
he thought the Indian's religion was the best. Though a wild
Indian youth, he never fell into the vice of drunkenness. In
1823 he became acquainted with Seth Crawford, an earnest
Christian worker, and one who had taken a deep interest in the
spiritual welfare of the Indians. His piety and sympathy for
them made a deep impression on the mind of Peter Jones.
Soon after, a camp-meeting was held in the township of
Ancaster by the early Methodists of those days. Many were
drawn by curiosity to visit this gathering. Among the rest this
young Indian and his sister Mary came, to see how the Methodists
worshipped the Great Spirit in the wilderness.
William Case, who was afterwards justly called The Apostle
~.: -]-; -"
REY. PETER JONES.
of the Indian work in Canada," had the general oversight of
the camp-meeting. With him were associated a number of
ministers, who alternately delivered pointed and powerful dis-
courses from the preacher's stand to the large multitudes who
gathered in from many miles around. Generally three sermons
were preached each day, after which prayer and inquiry meetings
were held, at which the unconverted were exhorted to a personal
acceptance of Christ. Peter Jones's own description of the scene
is as follows:-
On arriving at the encampment I was immediately struck
with the solemnity of the people, several of whom were engaged
in singing and prayer. Some strange feeling came over my mind,
and I was led to believe that the Supreme Being was in the
midst of His people, who were now engaged in worshipping Him.
"We pitched our tent upon the ground allotted to us; it was
made of coarse linen cloth. The encampment contained about
two acres, enclosed by a brush fence. The tents were pitched
within this circle; all the under-brush was taken away, whilst
the larger trees were left standing, forming a most beautiful
shade. There were three gates leading into the encampment.
During each night the whole place was illuminated with fire-
stands, which had a very imposing appearance among the trees
and leaves. The people came from different parts of the country,
some ten, some twenty, and some even fifty miles, in their waggons,
with their sons and daughters, for the purpose of presenting them
to the Lord for conversion. I should judge there were about a
thousand persons on the ground.
"At the sound of the horn we went and took our seats in
front of the stand, from which a sermon was delivered. After
this there was a prayer-meeting, in which all who felt disposed
took part in exhorting and praying for penitents. The next
day, Saturday, 2nd of June, several sermons were preached, and
prayer-meetings were held during the intervals.
By this time I began to feel very sick in my heart, but did
not make my feelings known. On Sabbath, there was a great
concourse of people who came from the adjoining settlements,
and many discourses were delivered, some of which deeply im-
BY CANOB AND DOG-TRAIN.
pressed my mind, as I could understand most of what was said.
I thought the black-coats' knew all that was in my heart, and
that I was the person addressed. The burden of my soul began
still to increase, and my heart said, What must I do to be
saved ?' for I saw myself to be in the gall of bitterness and in
the bond of iniquity. The more I understood the plan of salva-
tion by our Lord Jesus Christ, the more I was convinced of the
truth of the Christian religion and of my need of salvation. In
spite of my old Indian heart, tears flowed down my cheeks at the
remembrance of my sins. I saw many of the white people power-
fully awakened, and heard them crying aloud for mercy, while
others stood and gazed, and some even laughed and mocked.
The meeting continued all Monday, and several discourses were
delivered from the stand. My convictions at this time were deep
and powerful. During the preaching I wept much. This, how-
ever, I endeavoured to conceal by holding down my head behind
the shoulders of the people. I felt anxious that no one might
see me weeping like an old woman, as all my countrymen consider
this beneath the dignity of an Indian brave. In the afternoon
of this day my sorrow and anguish of soul greatly increased, and
I felt as if I should sink down to hell for my sins, which I saw
to be very great, and exceedingly offensive to the Great Spirit.
I was fully convinced that if I did not find mercy from the Lord
Jesus, of Whom I heard much, I certainly should be lost for ever.
I thought, if I could only get the good people to pray for me at
their prayer-meetings, I should soon find relief to my mind, but
had not sufficient courage to make my desires known. 0, what
a mercy that Christ did not forsake me when my heart was so
slow to acknowledge Him as my Lord and Saviour Towards
evening I retired into the solitary wilderness to try to pray to
the Great Spirit. I knelt down by the side of a fallen tree.
The rattling of the leaves over my head with the wind made me
uneasy. I retired further back into the woods, and then wrestled
with God in prayer, Who helped me to resolve that I would go
back to the camp and get the people of God to pray for me. I
went, but when I arrived at the meeting, my fearful heart again
began to hesitate. I stood by the side of a tree, considering
REV. PETER JONES.
what I must do, whether I should give up seeking the Lord
altogether, or not.
"It was now about dusk. Whilst I was thus hesitating as to
what to do, a good old man, named Reynolds, came to me and
said, Do you wish to obtain religion and serve the Lord?' I
replied, 'Yes.' He then said, Do you desire the people of God
to pray for you?' I told him I did, and that was what I had
desired. He then led me into the prayer-meeting. I fell upon
my knees, and began as well as I could to call upon the name
of the Lord. The old man prayed for me, and exhorted me to
believe on our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, he said, had died for
Indians as well as for white people. Several of the preachers
prayed for me. When I first began to pray, my heart was soft
and tender, and I shed many tears; but, strange to say, some
time after my heart got as hard as a stone. I tried to look up,
but the heavens seemed like brass. I then began to say to myself,
There is no mercy for poor Indian.' I felt myself an outcast,
a sinner bound for hell. About midnight I got so fatigued and
discouraged, that I retired from our prayer-meeting and went
to our tent, where I immediately fell asleep. I know not how
long I had slept when I was awakened by the Rev. E. Stoney
and G. Ferguson, who had missed me at the prayer-meeting, and
had come with a light to search for me. Mr. Stoney said to me,
Arise, Peter, and go with us to the prayer-meeting, and get your
soul converted. Your sister Mary has already obtained the
Spirit of adoption, and you must also seek the same blessing.'
When I heard that my sister was converted and had found
peace (not knowing before that she was even so much as seeking
the Lord), I sprang up and went with the two good men, deter-
mining that if there was still mercy left for me, I would seek
until I found it. On arriving at the prayer-meeting, I found my
sister apparently as happy as she could be. She came to me and
began to weep over me and to exhort me to give my heart to God,
telling me how she had found the Lord. These words came with
power to my poor sinking heart, and I fell upon my knees and
cried to God for mercy. My sister prayed for me, as well as
other good people, and especially Mr. Stoney, whose zeal for my
BY CANODE AND DOG-TRAIN.
salvation I shall never forget. At the dawn of day I was
enabled to cast myself wholly upon the Lord, and to claim the
atoning blood of Jesus, as my all-sufficient Saviour, Who had
borne all my sins in His own body on the Cross. That very
instant my burden was removed, joy unspeakable filled my heart,
and I could say, 'Abba, Father.'
"The love of God being now shed abroad in my heart, I loved
Him intensely, and praised Him in the midst of the people.
Everything now appeared in a new light, and all the works of
God seemed to unite with me in uttering the praises of the Lord.
The people, the trees of the woods, the gentle winds, the warbling
notes of the birds, and the approaching sun, all declared the
power and goodness of the Great Spirit. And what was I that
I should not raise my voice in giving glory to God, Who had done
such great things for me !
My heart was now drawn out in love and compassion for all
people, especially for my parents, brothers, sisters, and country-
men, for whose conversion I prayed, that they might also find
this great salvation. I now believed with all my heart in God
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and gladly renounced the
world, the flesh, and the devil. I cannot describe my feelings
at this time. I was a wonder to myself. 0, the goodness of
God in giving His only-begotten Son to die for me, and thus to
make me His child by the Spirit of adoption! May I never
forget the great things He has done for me on the glorious
morning of the 5th of June, 1823 !
Before the meeting closed on this Tuesday a fellowship-
meeting was held. The Rev. W. Case requested all those who
had experienced the blessing of justification to stand up, and a
goodly number rose, amongst whom were my sister Mary and
myself. When Elder Case recognized me, he exclaimed, Glory to
God there stands a son of Augustus Jones, of the Grand River,
amongst the converts. Now is the door opened for the work of
conversion amongst his nation '
The meeting being closed, we returned home, and with tears
told our parents what the Lord had done for us. Our simple
story affected them much; they wept, and said they were glad
REV. JOHVt SUNDAY.
that we had given our hearts to God, and exhorted us to persevere
in the good way.
"A few days after this the evil spirit tempted me to doubt the
reality of the change wrought in my soul by the Holy Spirit, but
this seemed only to urge me to seek the Lord with greater
diligence. I searched the Scriptures, prayed much, and waited
for a clearer manifestation of His work on my heart. One day
I retired to a grove to pray, and whilst thus engaged, all my
doubts and fears were dispersed, and I was enabled to receive
the witness of the Spirit bearing witness with my spirit that I
was a child of God, that I had passed from death unto life, and
that of a truth a good work was begun in my heart."
THE REV. JOHN SUNDAY.
One of the most remarkable conversions among the Indians of
Canada was that of JOHN SUNDAY, who afterwards was so well
known and justly beloved in Canada and England. For many
years after his conversion he was employed as a missionary
among his own people, and hundreds were converted through
his instrumentality. He was very much sought after to attend
Missionary Anniversaries. Immense crowds gathered wherever
he was announced to speak. There was at times a marvellous
pathos in his addresses, and his audiences were often moved to
tears as well as charmed with his quaint humour. He lived a
consistent and godly life, and afforded a glorious testimony of
the Gospel's power to lift up and save a poor ignorant, drunken,
The account of John Sunday's conversion, which he himself
wrote after he had gone to school and acquired a partial know-
ledge of the English tongue, is so intensely interesting that we
give it here in his own quaint broken English, which will give a
fair idea of his way of expressing himself in his inimitable
"Brother Scott want me that I shall write my conviction
about nine years ago. First is, we had camped at Mr. James
Howard's place one morning. T go to Mr. Howard to get some
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
whisky; so I did get it some. After I took it, that fire-water,
I feel very happy. By-and-bye, James Farmer he says to me,
'Do you want go see them Indians at Belleville 7 They want
R J N N
see all Indians.' I say to him, Why they want see Indians for 1
He says to me, Them are preachers talk about God.' So I went
home to my wigwam to tell others: and we took some our
blankets. We hire with them, Mr. Howard with his team, to
REV. JOHN SUNDAY.
take us at Belleville. We got there about nine o'clock. We
have no chance to go in the meeting-house: so we went to the
wood pile; so we sit there all day in the wood pile, until about
five o'clock in the evening. By-and-bye them came out from
meeting-house; so we went to them, and shake hands with
them. About seven o'clock in the evening went to meeting; I
want to hear them very much, what they will say to us. By-
and-bye one of them rose up talk to us; he begin talk about God,
and soul, and body; he says this: 'All mankind is only two
ways we have got to go when we come to die; one is broad way,
and other is narrow way. All the wicked white men, and wicked
Indians, and drunkards go there; but the good white people shall
go in the narrow way; but if the Indians also become good, and
serve the Lord, they can go in that narrow way.' Then now I
begin think myself; I begin feel bad in my heart. This is, I
think, I am one to go in that broad way, because I had hard
drink last night. My father and my mother had taught me this
ever since when I was little boy, 'All the Indians shall go
where sun set, but the white people go in the Ish-peming.' That
I had trouble in my heart. Next morning again they had talk
to us; so they went off from us. As soon as they went off, some
them Indian says, Let us get some more whisky to drink it.
What them men say unto us, we shall not do so; we must do
our own way.' So they went to get more whisky. So I take
it little with them; and immediately after I had drunk it, I
went home, me and Moses. Is about seven miles to our house.
All way along the road I thinking about these two ways. Four
nights I do not sleep much. On Saturday we all went to Belle-
ville again. There I saw Brother Case. He says to me, How
you like Peter Jones' talk ?' I say unto him, Four nights I do
not sleep much.' And he began to talk about religion of Jesus
Christ. O, I feel very bad again; I thought this, I am one of
devil his men, because I so wicked.'
"On next Monday we all went home again. That night I
thought I would try pray: this is first I ever did intend to pray.
I do not know how to pray-my heart is too hard-I cannot say
but few words; I say this: '0 Lord, I am wicked, I am wicked
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIX:
man, take me out from that everlasting fire and dark place.'
Next morning I went in the woods to pray; no peace in my
heart yet. By-and-bye I went to other Indians to tell them
about what them men had said unto us at Belleville; so I went
home again. By-and-bye we went to cross the Bay on Sahgegwin
Island. So Indians come there on Island. By-and-bye we begin
have prayer-meeting in the evening, and in the morning. I talk
with them all time. I had boy about six years old; by-and-bye
he got sick, and died. I felt very bad. I thought this, I better
not stop to pray to God;' I went to Belleville to all them
Methodist men to come on Sahgegwin Island to pray for us. I
asked one of them Methodist men for glass of beer to comfort in
my heart. That man say to me, 'Beer is not good for you;
better for you to have Good Spirit in your heart.' None them
they do not want to come on our wigewaum. So I went home
without glass of beer. So we have prayer-meeting. None of us
had religion yet. By-and-bye I went to quarterly meeting at
Mr. Ketcheson. I saw one man and one woman shouting; I
thought they were drunk. I thought this, 'They cannot be
drunk, because is them Christian: must be something in them.'
Brother Belton he preached that day: he says this, If any man
be great sinner, Lord will forgive him, if only believe in Him.'
I thought this, If I do well, maybe God will forgive me.' About
one week after this, another quarterly meeting at Seventown, Mr.
Dinge's barn. In the morning they had lovefeast; they give
each other little bread and water; they give us some too, that
piece and bread and water. I do not know what they do it for.
When I took it, the bread had stop in my throat, and choke me.
O how I feel in my heart I feel very sick in my heart. I
think this, 'Surely I belong to devil, because the Lord bread
choke me: I know how that Great Spirit is angry with me.' I
think this again, I do not know what must I do to be save my
soul from that everlasting fire.' I thought, 'I will try again.'
Take another piece and bread not that the Lord bread, but some
1 got at a house. I did swallow it down. I feel worse again,
because I swallowed down that bread. 0 how I feel in my
heart 1 I feel like this-if I in under the water.
REV. HENRY STEINHEUR.
In afternoon we went to prayer-meeting in the Old House,
about five o'clock, and Peter Jones says to us, 'Let us lift up
our hearts to God.' I look at him; I do not understand him.
I think this, If I do this-take my heart out of my body, I
shall be died.' However, I kneel down to pray to God. I do not
know what to say to ask for religion; I only say this: '0,
Keshamunedo, shahnanemeshim !' '0 Lord, have mercy on me,
poor sinner !' By-and-bye, the good Lord He pour His Spirit
upon my poor wretched heart; then I shout and happy in my
heart. I feel very light, and after prayer-meeting I went to tell
Peter Jones how I feel in my heart. I say to him this, I feel
something in my heart.' Peter says to me, 'Lord bless you now.
0 how glad in my heart I I look around, and look over other
side a Bay, and look up, and look in the woods; the same is
everything NEW to me. I hope I got religion that day. I thank
the Great Spirit what He done for me. I want to be like the
man which built his house upon a rock. Amen."
Mr. Sunday lived for many years a godly, consistent life
beloved by all who knew him, either in England or Canada, and
then died at a good old age. His end was joyous and triumphant.
His body rests in the beautiful little cemetery at Alnwick, near
Rice Lake, close by all that is mortal of the Rev. William Case,
his beloved spiritual father.
THE REV. HENRY STEINHEUO.
One of the most devoted and successful of our native Indian
missionaries was the Rev. HENRY STEINHEUR.
When a poor little pagan child, wretched andl neglected, he
was picked up by the Rev. William Case, who patiently cared
for the lad, and not only taught him the simple truths of Chris-
tianity, but also laid the foundation of an English education,
which afterwards became so extensive that many a white man
might honestly have envied him.
As the boy was observed to be the possessor of a very musical
voice, Mr. Case selected him to be one of a little company of
native children with whom he travelled extensively through
BY CANOE AND DOG-TAIVN.
various parts of the Northern States, where, before large audiences,
they sang their sweet Indian hymns and gave addresses, and
thus showed to the people what could be done by the Indians,
REV. HENRY STEINHEUI.
who, by too many, were only considered as unmitigated evils, as
quickly as possible to be legislated out of existence.
In one of the cities visited by Mr. Case and his Indian boys,
a gentleman named Henry Steinheur became so interested in one
RETV. HENRA Y SIEINHL'UR.
of the right, clever little Indian lads that he made an offer to
Mr. Case that if the little fellow, who was as yet only known
by his native name, would take his name, he would pay all the
expense incurred in his securing a first-class education. Such an
offer was not to be despised, and so, from that time forward, our
Indian lad was known as Henry Steinheur.
When the lecturing tour was ended, after some preparatory
work in the Mission school, Henry was sent to Victoria College in
the town of Cobourg, Canada. Here he remained for some years.
He was not only a first-class student, but also a consistent, devoted
Christian. Such was his progress in his studies that he showed
that the Indian mind is as capable as any other to receive and
retain a first-class education.
With great pleasure, many years after his college days were
over, I heard him preach a capital sermon before a large congre-
gation containing many ministers. Before reading his text in
English Mr. Steinheur read it in Greek, in a way that pleased
the most learned Greek scholars present, although even then he
had just come in from a far-off Indian Mission, where for years
lie had only heard the native dialect spoken.
After his college life was ended, he devoted himself most
thoroughly to missionary work among his own people, and for
over forty years was the same modest, unassuming, useful, godly
missionary. When I went to Norway House I found that,
although he had been away for years, his name was "like
ointment poured forth." Many were the loving inquiries made
of me concerning him, and many assured me that he had been
the instrument in God's hand of leading them out of the dense
darkness of their old sinful lives into the blessed light of the
He spent the last years of his useful life among the Cree and
Stoney Indians at White Fish Lake and other Missions in the
great Saskatchewan country of the Canadian North-West. He
triumphantly passed from labour to reward, realising in his
closing hours the sustaining power of that Gospel which he had
faithfully and lovingly preached to others. Two sons have
followed in his footsteps.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
The following incident, which I had from the lips of Mr.
Steinheur, will give some idea of the steadfastness of some of
the Indian converts. At one of the Missions in the Saskatchewan
country the Rev. William Rundle was very much owned of God
in the conversion of a band of Indians. Circumstances made
it necessary for Mr. Rundle to return to England, where, at
Wolverhampton, in a happy old age, he, at the time of my
writing, still lives. For several years the Indians at that place
were never once visited by a missionary or teacher. After many
days of weary travelling over the prairies, Mr. Steinheur reached
that lonely western Indian village. He told me that the hour
for camping overtook him several miles from the village, but so
anxious was he to be with the people among whom he had come
to labour, and to end his journey of ten weeks, that he could not
bear the idea of camping so near them; so he pushed on in the
evening twilight, ahead of his party, to the spot where he saw
the wigwam village on the prairies. When he drew near to the
outermost wigwam, which was a large one, he heard singing, and
great indeed was his surprise to find that instead of its being the
monotonous droning of the pagan medicine-man or conjurer, it
was a good Christian tune, and one with which he was very
Soon the singing ceased, and then, after a little pause, a clear
manly voice began to pray. For a time the prayer seemed to be
all thanksgiving; and then there went up an urgent request
from the earnest suppliant: Lord, send us another missionary
like Rundle. Lord, send us a missionary to teach us out of Thy
word more about Thyself and Thy Son Jesus." Mr. Steinheur
said he was thrilled and delighted, and so he lifted up the hang-
ing tanned leather skin door and quietly entered in and bowed
down with them in prayer. When they arose he told them who
he was, and that he had come to dwell among them as their
missionary. Great indeed was their joy and excitement. They
crowded around him, and some of them kissed him, and all
welcomed him with shouts, and tears of gladness, as though he
had just come down from heaven to dwell among them.
Anxious to know as to the people's steadfastness and integrity
i- ~-. g-Pk~ej~,~~~~
BY CANOE AND IDOG-TBAIN.
through all those years of neglect, when the Church had left them
alone, surrounded by pagan tribes, without a missionary or reli-
gious teacher, I said to Mr. Steinheur, Tell me, my brother, in
what state did you find them as regards their religious life, the
observance of the Sabbath, and their religious services "
Brother Young," said he, "it was just like a Conference
change of ministers. It seemed to me as though my predecessor
had only been gone two or three weeks. They had remembered
the Sabbath days and had kept them. They had not neglected
any of their religious services, and they were living as consistent
lives as God's dear children anywhere."
The accompanying portraits (p. 25) are of three of the Christian
Indians from those Western Missions. Jonas is a Mountain
Stoney, Samson and Pakan are Crees. Pakan is the chief, a
worthy successor of Maskepetoon, who was so foully murdered by
Nah-doos, the Blackfoot chief, and the story of whose marvellous
conversion has thrilled so many hearts. At a camp fire on the
western prairies, Maskepetoon heard read the beautiful chapter
which contains the Saviour's prayer for His murderers: Father,
forgive them; for they know not what they do." By the faithful
missionary this was held up as the example which must be
followed by all those who would be real Christians. The warlike
chief listened in amazement to these requirements, so opposite to
the revengeful spirit of the wild Indian. But, after he had
pondered them over, he decided to accept them, and showed the
genuineness of his conversion a few days after by forgiving the
murderer of his only son.
THE SUMMONS TO THE INDIAN WORK-TIIE DECISION-THE VALEDICTORY
SERVICES-DR. PUNSHON-THE DEPARTURE-LEAVING HAMILTON-
ST. CATHERINE'S-MILWAUKEE CUSTOM-HOUSE DELAYS-MISSISSIPPI
-ST. PAUL'S-ON THE PRAIRIES-FRONTIER SETTLERS-NARROW
ESCAPE FROM SHOOTING ONE OF OUR SCHOOL TEACHERS-SIOUX
INDIANS AND THEIR WARS-SAVED BY OUR FLAG-VARIED
SEVERAL letters were handed into my study, where I sat at
work among my books.
I was then pastor of a Church in the city of Hamilton.
Showers of blessing had been descending upon us, and over a
hundred and forty new members had but recently been received
into the Church. I had availed myself of the Christmas holidays
by getting married, and now was back again with my beloved,
when these letters were handed in. With only one of them
have we at present anything to do. As near as I can remember.
it read as follows:-
MISSION ROOMS, TORONTO, 1868.
"REV. EGERTON R. YOUNG.
DEAR BROTHER,-At a large and influential meeting of the
Missionary Committee, held yesterday, it was unanimously
decided to ask you to go as a missionary to the Indian tribes at
Norway House, and in the North-West Territories north of Lake
Winnipeg. An early answer signifying your acceptance of this
will much oblige,
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
I read the letter, and then handed it, without comment, across
the table to Mrs. Young-the bride of but a few days-for her
perusal. She read it over carefully, and then, after a quiet
moment, as was quite natural, asked, What does this mean ? "
" I can hardly tell," I replied; but it is evident that it means
a good deal."
"Have you volunteered to go as a missionary to that far-off
land l" she asked.
Why, no. Much as I love, and deeply interested as I have
ever been in the missionary work of our Church, I have not
made the first move in this direction. Years ago I used to think
I would love to go to a foreign field, but lately, as the Lord has
been so blessing us here in the home work, and has given us such
a glorious revival, I should have thought it like running away
from duty to have volunteered for any other field."
"'Well, here is this letter; what are you going to do about it ?"
That is just what I would like to know," was my answer.
"There is one thing we can do," she said quietly; and we
bowed ourselves in prayer, and spread the letter before the
Lord," and asked for wisdom to guide us aright in this important
matter which had so suddenly come upon us, and which, if carried
out, would completely change all the plans and purposes which
we, the young married couple, in all the joyousness of our honey-
moon, had just been marking out. We earnestly prayed for Divine
light and guidance to be so clearly revealed that we could not
be mistaken as to our duty.
As we arose from our knees, I quietly said to Mrs. Young,
"Have you any impression on your mind as to our duty in this
Her eyes were suffused in tears, but the voice, though low, was
firm, as she replied, The call has come very unexpectedly, but
I think it is from God, and we will go."
My Church and its kind officials strongly opposed my leaving
them, especially at such a time as this, when, they said, so many
new converts, through my instrumentality, had been brought into
I consulted my beloved ministerial brethren in the city, and
Waterlow & Sons Limited,
THE SUMMONS TO THE WORK. 29
with but one exception the reply was, Remain at your present
station, where God has so abundantly blessed your labours." The
answer of the one brother who did not join in with the others
has never been forgotten. As it may do good, I will put it on
record. When I showed him the letter, and asked what I should
do in reference to it, he, much to my surprise, became deeply
agitated, and wept like a child. When he could control his
emotions, he said, "For my answer let me give you a little of
Years ago, I was very happily situated in the ministry in the
Old Land. I loved my work, my home, and my wife passionately.
I had the confidence and esteem of my people, and thought I
was as happy as I could be this side heaven. One day there
came a letter from the Wesleyan Mission Rooms in London,
asking if I would go out as a missionary to the West Indies.
Without consideration, and without making it a matter of prayer,
I at once sent back a positive refusal.
From that day," he continued, everything went wrong with
me. Heaven's smile seemed to have left me. I lost my grip
upon my people. My influence for good over them left me, I
could not tell how. My once happy home was blasted, and in
all my trouble I got no sympathy from my Church or in the
community. I had to resign my position, and leave the place.
I fell into darkness, and lost my hold upon God. A few years
ago I came out to this country. God has restored me to the
light of His countenance. The Church has been very sympathetic
and indulgent. For years I have been permitted to labour in
her fold, and for this I rejoice. But," he added, with emphasis,
I long ago came to the resolve that if ever the Church asked
me to go to the West Indies, or to any other Mission field, I
would be careful about sending back an abrupt refusal."
I pondered over his words and his experience, and talked about
them with my good wife, and we decided to go. Our loving
friends were startled at our resolve, but soon gave us their
benedictions, united to tangible evidences of their regard. A
blessed peace filled our souls, and we longed to be away and at
work in the new field which had so suddenly opened before us.
30 BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
Yes, we will go. We may no longer doubt
To give up friends, and home, and every tie,
That binds our heart to thee, our country.
It matters not if storms or sunshine be
Our earthly lot, bitter or sweet our cup.
We only pray, God fit us for the work,
God make us holy, and our spirits nerve
For the stern hour of strife. Let us but know
There is an Arm unseen that holds us up,
An Eye that kindly watches all our path,
Till we our weary pilgrimage have done.
Let us but know we have a Friend that waits
To welcome us to glory, and we joy
To tread that drear and northern wilderness."
The grand valedictory services were held in the old Richmond
Street Church, Toronto, Thursday, May 7th, 1868. The church
was crowded, and the enthusiasm was very great. The honoured
President of the Conference for that year, the Rev. James Elliott,
who presided, was the one who had ordained me a few months
before. Many were the speakers. Among them was the Rev.
George McDougall, who already had had a varied experience of
missionary life. He had something to talk about, to which it
was worth listening. The Rev. George Young, also, had much
that was interesting to say, as he was there bidding farewell to-
his own Church and to the people, of whom he had long been
the beloved pastor. Dr. Punshon, who had just arrived from
England, was present, and gave one of his inimitable magnetic
addresses. The memory of his loving, cheering words abode with
us for many a day.
It was also a great joy to us that my honoured father, the
Rev. William Young, was with us on the platform at this
impressive farewell service. For many years he had been one
of that heroic band of pioneer ministers in Canada who had laid
so grandly and well the foundations of the Church which, with
others, had contributed so much to the spiritual development of
the country. His benedictions and blessings were among the
prized favours in these eventful hours in our new career.
My father had been intimately acquainted with William Case
RET~V, WILLIAM YOUNG.
and James Evans, and at times had been partially associated
with them in Indian evangelisation. He had faith in the power
of the Gospel to save even Indians, and now rejoiced that he had
a son and daughter who had consecrated themselves to this work.
REv. WILLIAM YOUNG.
As a long jourroy of many hundreds of miles would have to
be made by us aft r getting beyond cars or steamboats in the
Western States, it was decided that we should take our own
horses and canvas-covered waggons from Ontario with us. We
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
arranged to make Hamilton our starting-point; and on Monday,
the llth of May, 1868, our little company filed out of that city
towards St. Catherine's, where we were to take passage in a
"propeller" for Milwaukee. Thus our adventurous journey was
The following was our party. First, the Rev. George McDougall,
who for years had been successfully doing the work of a faithful
missionary among the Indians in the distant Saskatchewan
country, a thousand miles north-west of the Red River country.
He had come down to Canada for reinforcements for the work,
and had-not failed in his efforts to secure them. As he was an
old, experienced Western traveller, he was the guide of the party.
Next was the Rev. George Young, with his wife and son. Dr.
Young had consented to go and begin the work in the Red River
Settlement, a place where Methodism had never before had a
footing. Grandly and well did he succeed in his efforts.
Next came the genial Rev. Peter Campbell, who, with his
brave wife and two little girls, relinquished a pleasant Circuit
to go to the distant Mission field among the Indians of the North-
West prairies. We had also with us two Messrs. Snyders, brothers
of Mrs. Campbell, who had consecrated themselves to the work
as teachers among the distant Indian tribes. Several other
young men were in our party, and in Dacota we were joined by
"Joe" and "Job," a couple of young Indians.
These, with the writer and his wife, constituted our party of
fifteen or twenty. At St. Catherine's on the Welland Canal we
shipped our outfit, and took passage on board the steamer Empire
The vessel was very much crowded, and there was a good deal
of discomfort. In passing through Lake Michigan we encountered
rough weather, and, as a natural result, sea-sickness assailed the
great majority of our party.
We reached Milwaukee on. Sabbath, the 17th of May. We
found it then a lively, wide-awake Americo-German city. There
did not seem to be, on the part of the multitudes whom we met,
much respect for the Sabbath. Business was in full blast in
many of the streets, and there were but few evidences that it was
MAP OF PART OF
THE DOMINION OF CANADA
SHOWING THE MISSION FIELD TRAVERSED BY CANOE
AND DOG TRAIN BY
EGERTON R. YOUNG
SThe red line shows the route from Hamilton to Norway House
and Nelson River District
ON THE WAY TO OUR FIELD.
the day of rest. Doubtless there were many who had not defiled
their garments and had not profaned the day, but we weary
travellers had not then time to find them out.
SAlthough we had taken the precaution to bond everything
through to the North-West, and had the American Consular
certificate to the effect that every regulation had been complied
with, we were subjected to many vexatious delays and expenses
by the Custom House officials. So delayed were we that we had
to telegraph to head-quarters at Washington about the matter;
and soon there came the orders to the over-officious officials to at
once allow us to proceed. Two valuable days, however, had been
lost by their obstructiveness. Why cannot Canada and the
United States, lying side by side, from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
devise some mutually advantageous scheme of reciprocity, by
which the vexatious delays and annoyances and expense of these
Custom Houses can be done away with ?
We left Milwaukee for La Crosse on the Mississippi on Tuesday
evening at eight o'clock. At La Crosse we embarked on the
S steamer Milwaukee for St. Paul's. These large flat-bottomed
steamers are quite an institution on these western rivers. Draw-
ing but a few inches of water, they glide over sandbars where
the water is very shallow, and, swinging in against the shore,
land and receive passengers and freight where wharves are
unknown, or where, if they existed, they would be liable to be
swept away in the great spring freshets.
The scenery in many places along the upper Mississippi is very
fine. High bold bluffs rise up in wondrous variety and picturesque
beauty. In some places they are composed of naked rock. Others
are covered to their very summit with the richest green. Here,
a few years ago, the war-whoop of the Indians sounded, and the
buffalo swarmed around these Buttes, and quenched their thirst
in these waters. Now the shrill whistle of the steamer disturbs
the solitudes, and echoes and re-echoes with wondrous distinctness
among the high bluffs and fertile vales.
; Westward the Star of Empire takes its way."
We arrived at St. Paul's on Thursday forenoon, and found if
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
to be a stirring city, beautifully situated on the eastern side of
the Mississippi. We had several hours of good hard work in
getting our caravan in order, purchasing supplies, and making all
final arrangements for the long journey that was before us. For
beyond this the iron horse had not yet penetrated, and the great
surging waves of immigration, which soon after rolled over into
those fertile territories, had as yet been only little ripples.
Our splendid horses, which had been cooped up in the holds of
vessels, or cramped up in uncomfortable freight cars, were now
to have an opportunity for exercising their limbs, and showing of
what mettle they were made. At 4 p.m. we filed out of the city.
The recollection of that first ride on the prairie will live on as
long as memory holds her throne. The day was one of those
gloriously perfect ones that are but rarely given us, as if to show
what earth must have been before the Fall. The sky, the air, the
landscape-everything seemed in such harmony and so perfect,
that involuntarily I exclaimed, If God's footstool is so glorious,
what will the throne be ? "
We journeyed a few miles, then encamped for the night. Wc
were all in the best of spirits, and seemed to rejoice that we were
getting away from civilisation, and more and more out into the
wilderness, although for days we were in the vicinity of frontier
villages and settlements, which, however, as we journeyed on,
were rapidly diminishing in number.
After several days' travelling we encamped on the western
side of the Mississippi, near where the thriving town of Clear
Water now stands. As some of our carts and travelling equipage
had begun to show signs of weakness, it was thought prudent to
give everything a thorough overhauling ere we pushed out from
this point, as beyond this there was no place where assistance
could be obtained. We had in our encampment eight tents,
fourteen horses, and from fifteen to twenty persons, counting big
and little, whites and Indians. Whenever we camped our horses
were turned loose in the luxuriant prairie grass, the only pre-
caution taken being to "hobble" them, as the work of tying their
forefeet together is called. It seemed a little cruel at first, and
some of our spirited horses resented it, and struggled a good deal
INCIDENTS BY THE WAY.
against it as an infringement on their liberties. But they soon
became used to it, and it served the good purpose we had in view-
namely, that of keeping them from straying far away from the
camp during the night.
At one place, where we were obliged to stop for a few days to
repair broken axle-trees, I passed through an adventure that will
iot socn be forgotten. Some friendly settlers came to our camp,
'I i~. r~~ .''~
-~1---.~-~ i c_~.~- :<
A PRAIRIE SCENE.
and gave us the unpleasant information, that a number of notori-
ous horse-thieves were prowling around, and it would be advisable
for us to keep a sharp look-out on our splendid Canadian horses.
As there was an isolated barn about half a mile or so from the
camp, that had been put up by a settler who would not require
it until harvest, we obtained permission to use it as a place in
which to keep our horses during the nights while we were
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
detained in the settlement. Two of our party were detailed each
night to act as a guard. One evening, as Dr. Young's son George
and I, who had been selected for this duty, were about start-
ing from the camp for our post, I overheard our old veteran
guide, the Rev. George McDougall, say, in a bantering sort of
way, "Pretty guards they are! Why, some of my Indian boys
could go and steal every horse from them without the slightest
Stung to the quick by the remark, I replied, Mr. McDougall,
I think I have the best horse in the company; but if you or any
of your Indians can steal him out of that barn between sundown
and sunrise, you may keep him !"
We tethered the horses in a line, and fastened securely all the
doors but the large front one. We arranged our seats where we
were partially concealed, but where we could see our horses, and
could command every door with our rifles. In quiet tones we
chatted about various things, until about one o'clock, when all
became hushed and still. The novelty of the situation impressed
me, and, sitting there in the darkness, I could not help contrast-
ing my present position with the one I had occupied a few weeks
before. Then the pastor of a city Church, in the midst of a
blessed revival, surrounded by all the comforts of civilisation;
now out here in Minnesota, in this barn, sitting on a bundle of
prairie grass through the long hours of night with a breech-
loading rifle in hand, guarding a number of horses from a band
Hush what is that I"
A hand is surely on the door feeling for the wooden latch.
We mentally say, "You have made too much noise, Mr. Thief,
for your purpose, and you are discovered." Soon the door opened
a little. As it was a beautiful starlight night, the form of a tall
man was plainly visible in the opening. Covering him with my
rifle, and about to fire, quick as a flash came the thought, Better
be sure that that man is a horse-thief, or one intent on evil, ere
you fire; for it is at any time a serious thing to send a soul so
suddenly into eternity." So keeping my rifle to my shoulder, I
shouted out, Who's there "
CA USES OF INDIAN WARS.
Why, it's only your friend Matthew," said our tall friend, as
he came stumbling along in the darkness; "queer if you don't
know me by this time."
As the thought came to me of how near I had been to sending
him into the other world, a strange feeling of faintness came over
me, and, flinging my rifle from me, I sank back trembling like
Meanwhile the good-natured fellow, little knowing the risk he
had run, and not seeing the effect his thoughtless action had
produced on me, talked on, saying that as it was so hot and close
over at the tents that he could not.sleep there, he thought he
would come over and stop with us in the barn.
There was considerable excitement, and some strong words
were uttered at the camp next morning at his breach of orders
and narrow escape, since instructions had been given to all that
none should, under any consideration, go near the barn while it
was being guarded.
At another place in Minnesota we came across a party who
were restoring their homes, and "building up their waste places"
desolated by the terrible Sioux wars of but a short time before.
As they had nearly all of- them suffered by that fearful struggle,
they were very bitter in their feelings towards the Indians, com-
pletely ignoring the fact that the whites were to blame for that
last sanguinary outbreak, in which nine hundred lives were lost,
and a section of country larger than some of the New England
States was laid desolate. It is now an undisputed fact that the
greed and dishonesty of the Indian agents of the United States
caused that terrible war of 1863. The principal agent received
$600,000 in gold from the Government, which belonged to the
Indians, and was to be paid to Little Crow and the other chiefs
and -members of the tribe. The agent tcok advantage of the
premium on gold, which in these days was very high, and
exchanged the gold for greenbacks, and with these paid the
Indians, putting the enormous difference in his own pocket.
When the payments began, Little Crow, who knew what he had
a right to according to the Treaty, said, "Gold dollars worth
more than paper dollars. You pay us gold." The agent refused,
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIX.
and the war followed. This is only one instance out of scores, in
which the greed and selfishness of a few have plunged the country
into war, causing the loss of hundreds of lives and millions of
In addition to this, these same unprincipled agents, with their
hired accomplices and subsidized press, in order to hide the
enormity of their crimes, and to divert attention from themselves
and their crookedness, systematically and incessantly misrepresent
and vilify the Indian character.
Stay and be our minister," said some of these settlers to me
in one place. "We'll secure for you a good location, and will
help you get in some crops, aud will do the best we can to make
When they saw we were all proof against their appeals, they
changed their tactics, and one exclaimed, "You'll never get
through the Indian country north with those fine horses and all
that fine truck you have."
0 yes, we will," said Mr. McDougall; "we have a little flag
that will carry us in safety through any Indian tribe in
They doubted the assertion very much, but we found it to be
literally true, at all events as regarded the Sioux; for when, a
few days later, we met them, our Union Jack fluttering from the
whip-stalk caused them to fling their guns in the grass, and
come crowding round us with extended hands, saying, through
those who understood their language, that they were glad to see
and shake hands with the subjects of the Great Mother across
When we, in our journey north, reached their country, and
saw them coming down upon us, at Mr. McDougall's orders
we stowed away our rifles and revolvers inside of our waggons,
and met them as friends, unarmed and fearless. They smoked
the pipe of peace with hose of our party who could use the
weed, and others drank tea with the rest of us. As we were
in profound ignorance of their language, and they of ours,
some of us had not much conversation with them beyond
what could be carried on by a few signs. But, through Mr.
SAVED BY ~07UR 1-G.
Mrf.Dougall and our own Indians, they assured us of their
We pitched our tents, hobbled our horses and turned them
loose, as usual. We cooked our evening meals, said our prayers,
unrolled our camp-beds, and lay down to rest without earthly
sentinels or guards around us, although the camp-fires of those
so-called treacherous and bloodthirsty Sioux could be seen in
the distance, and we knew their sharp eyes were upon us. Yet
we lay down and slept in peace, and arose in safety. Nothing
was disturbed or stolen.
So much for a clean record of honourable dealing with a people
who, while quick to resent when provoked, are mindful of kind-
nesses received, and are as faithful to their promises and treaty
obligations, as are any other of the races of the world.
We were thirty days in making the trip from St. Paul's to the
Red River settlement. We had to ford a large number of
bridgeless streams. Some of them took us three or four days
to get our whole party across. We not unfrequently had some
of our waggons stuck in the quicksands, or so sunk in the
quagmires that the combined strength of all the men of our
party was required to get them out. Often the ladies of our
company, with shoes and stockings off, would be seen bravely
wading across wide streams, where now in luxurious comfort, in
parlour cars, travellers are whirled along at the rate of forty
miles an hour. They were a cheerful, brave band of pioneers.
The weather, on the whole, was pleasant, but we had some
drenching rain-storms; and then the spirits of some of the party
went down, and they wondered whatever possessed them to leave
their happy homes for such exile and wretchedness as this. There
was one fearful, tornado-like storm that assailed us when we were
encamped for the night on the western bank of Red River.
Tents were instantly blown down. Heavy waggons were driven
before it, and for a time confusion reigned supreme. Fortunately
nobody was hurt, and most of the things blown away were
recovered the next day.
Our Sabbaths were days of quiet rest and delightful communion
with God. Together we worshipped Him Who dwelleth not in
40 BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAI.
temples made with hands. Many were the precious communions
we had with Him Who had. been our Comforter and our Refuge
under other circumstances, and Who, having now called us to
this new work and novel life, was sweetly fulfilling in us the
blessed promise: Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end
of the world."
~=-~-=~;~=~-=-~~----~T-~-~ ~i~- i--
STILL ON THE ROUTE-FORT GARRY-BREAKING UP OF OUR PARTY OF
MISSIONARIES-LOWER FORT-HOSPITABLE HUDSON'S BAY OFFICIALS
-PECULIARITIES-FOURTEEN DAYS IN A LITTLE OPEN BOAT ON
STORMY LAKE WINNIPEG-STRANGE EXPERIENCES-HAPPY CHRISTIAN
INDIAN BOATMEN-" IN PERILS BY WATERS."
AT Fort Garry in the Red River settlement, now the flourishing
city of Winnipeg, our party, which had so long travelled
together, broke up with mutual regrets. The Rev. George
Young and his family remained to commence the first Methodist
Mission in that place. -Many were his discouragements and
difficulties, but glorious have been his successes. More to him
than to any other man is due the prominent position which the
Methodist Church now occupies in the North-West. His station
was one calling for rare tact and ability. The Riel Rebellion,
and the disaffection of the Half-breed population, made his
position at times one of danger and insecurity; but he proved
himself to be equal to every emergency. In addition to the
many duties devolving upon him in the establishment of the
Church amidst so many discordant elements, a great many extra
cares were imposed upon him by the isolated missionaries in
the interior, who looked to him for the purchasing and sending
out to them, as best he could, of their much-needed supplies.
His kindly laborious efforts for their comfort can never be
The Revs. George McDougall and Peter Campbell, with the
teachers and other members of the party, pushed on, with their
horses, waggons, and carts, for the still farther North-West, the
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRATN.
great North Saskatchewan River, twelve hundred miles farther
into the interior.
During the first part of their journey over the fertile but then
unbroken prairies, the only inhabitants they met were the
roving Indians and Half-breeds, whose rude wigwams and un-
couth noisy carts have long since disappeared, and have been
replaced by the comfortable habitations of energetic settlers, and
the swiftly moving trains of the railroads.
From Fort Garry Mrs. Young and myself performed the rest
of our journey by water, going down the Red River to its mouth,
and then along the whole length of the stormy Lake Winnipeg,
and beyond, to our own far-off riorthern home. The trip was
made in what is called the Hudson's Bay inland boat." These
boats are constructed like large skiffs, only each end is sharp.
They have neither deck nor cabin. They are furnished with a
mast and a large square sail, both of which are stowed away
when the wind is not favourable for sailing. They are manned
by six or eight oarsmen, and are supposed to carry about four
tons of merchandise. They can stand a rough sea, and weather
very severe gales, as we found out during our years of adven-
turous trips in them. When there is no favourable wind for
sailing, the stalwart boatmen push out their heavy oars, and,
bending their sturdy backs to the work, and keeping the most
perfect time, are often able to make their sixtymiles a day. But
this toiling at the oar is slavish work, and the favouring gale,
even if it develops into a fierce storm, is always preferable to a
dead calm. These northern Indians make capital sailors, and in
the sudden squalls and fierce gales to which these great lakes
are subject, they display much courage and judgment.
Our place in the boat was in the hinder part near the steers-
man, a pure Indian, whose name was Thomas Maminowatum,
familiarly known as Big Tom," on account of his almost
gigantic size. He was one of Nature's noblemen, a grand, true
man, and of him we shall have more to say hereafter. Honoured
indeed was the missionary who led such a man from Paganism
We journeyed on pleasantly for twenty miles down tiP Rded
ROVING INDIANS AND HALF-BRUEDS.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
River to Lower Fort Garry, where we found that we should have
to wait for several days ere the outfit for the boats would be
ready. We were, however, very courteously entertained by the
Hudson's Bay officials, who showed us no little kindness.
This Lower Fort Garry, or the Stone Fort," as it is called in
the country, is an extensive affair, having a massive stone wall
all around it, with the Company's buildings in the centre. It
was built in stormy times, when rival trading parties existed,
and hostile bands were ever on the war path. It is capable of
resisting almost any force that could be brought against it,
unaided by artillery. We were a little amused and very much
pleased with the old-time and almost courtly etiquette which
abounded at this and the other establishments of this flourishing
Company. In those days the law of precedents was in full force.
When the bell rang, no clerk of fourteen years' standing would
think of entering before one who had been fifteen years in the
service, or of sitting above him at the table. Such a thing would
have brought down upon him the severe reproof of the senior
officer in charge. Irksome and even frivolous as some of these
laws seemed, doubtless they served a good purpose, and prevented
many misunderstandings which might have occurred.
Another singular custom, which we did not like, was the fact
that there were two dining-rooms in these establishments, one
for the ladies, and the other for the gentlemen of the service.
It appeared to us very odd to see the gentlemen with the greatest
politeness escort the ladies into the hall which ran between the
two dining-rooms, and then gravely turn to the left, while the
ladies all filed off into the rooni on the right. As the arrange-
ment was so contrary to all our ideas and education on the
subject, we presumed to question it; but the only satisfaction we
could get in reference to it was, that it was one of their old
customs, and had worked well. One old crusty bachelor official
said, We do not want the women around us when we are dis-
cussing our business matters, which we wish to keep to ourselves.
If they were present, all our schemes and plans would soon be
known to all, and our trade might be much injured."
Throughout this vast country, until very lately, the adventurous
LOWER FORT GABBY MISSION.
traveller, whose courage or curiosity was sufficient to enable him
to brave the hardships or run the risks of exploring these enor-
mous territories, was entirely dependent upon the goodwill and
hospitality of the officials of the Hudson's Bay Company. They
were uniformly treated with courtesy and hospitably entertained.
Very isolated are some of these inland posts, and quite expa-
triated are the inmates for years at a time. These lonely esta-
blishments are to be found scattered all over the upper half of
this great American Continent. They have each a population of
from five to sixty human beings. These are, if possible, placed
in favourable localities for fish or game, but often from one to
five hundred miles apart. The only object of their erection and
occupancy is to exchange the products of civilisation for the rich
and valuable furs which are to be obtained here as nowhere else
in the world. In many instances the inmates hear from the
outside world but twice, and at times but once, in twelve months.
Then the arrival of the packet is the great event of the year.
We spent a very pleasant Sabbath at Lower Fort Garry, and
I preached in the largest dining-room to a very attentive con-
gregation, composed of the officials and servants of the Company,
with several visitors, and also some Half-breeds and Indians who
happened to be at the fort at that time.
The next day two boats were ready, and we embarked on our
adventurous journey for our far-off, isolated home beyond the
northern end of Lake Winnipeg. The trip down Red River was
very pleasant. We passed through the flourishing Indian Settle-
ment, where the Church of England has a successful Mission
among the Indians. We admired their substantial church and
comfortable homes, and saw in them, and in the farms, tangible
evidence of the power of Christian Missions to elevate and bless
those who come under their ennobling influences. The cosy
residence of the Venerable Archdeacon Cowley was pointed out
to us, beautifully embowered among the trees. He was a man
beloved of all; a life-long friend of the Indians, and one who
was as an angel of mercy to us in after years, when our Nellie
died, while Mrs. Young was making an adventurous journey in
an open boat on the stormy, treacherous Lake Winnipeg.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
This sad event occurred when, after five years' residence among
the Crees at Norway House, we had instructions from our mis-
sionary authorities to go and open up a new Indian Mission among
the then pagan Salteaux. I had orders to remain at Norway
House until my successor arrived; and as but one opportunity
was offered for Mrs. Young and the children to travel in those
days of limited opportunities, they started on several weeks ahead
in an open skiff manned by a few Indians, leaving me to follow
in a birch canoe. So terrible was the heat that hot July, in
that open boat with no deck or awning, that the beautiful child
sickened and died of brain-fever. Mrs. Young found herself with
her dying child on the banks of Red River, all alone among her
sorrowing Indian boatmen, a stranger in a strange land; no
home to which to go; no friends to sympathise with her. For-
tunately for her, the Hudson's Bay officials at Lower Fort Garry
were made aware of her sorrows, and received her into one of
their homes ere the child died. The Rev. Mr. Cowley also came
and prayed for her, and sympathised with her on the loss of her
As I was far away when Nellie died, Mrs. Young knew not
what to do with our precious dead. A temporary grave was
made, and in it the body was laid until I could be communicated
with, and arrangements could be made for its permanent inter-
ment. I wrote at once by an Indian to the Venerable Archdeacon
Cowley, asking permission to bury our dead in his graveyard;
and there came promptly back, by the canoe, a very brotherly,
sympathetic letter, ending up with, Our graveyards are open
before you; 'in the choicest of our sepulchres bury thy dead.'"
A few weeks after, when I had handed over my Mission to
Brother Ruttan, I hurried on to the settlement, and with a few
sympathising friends, mostly Indians, we took up the little body
from its temporary resting-place, and buried it in the St. Peter's
Church graveyard, the dear archdeacon himself being present,
and reading the beautiful Burial Service of his Church. That
land to us has been doubly precious since it has become the
repository of our darling child.
As we floated down the current, or were propelled along by the
DANGERS ON LAIE WINNIPEG.
oars of our Indian boatmen, on that first journey, little did we
imagine that this sad episode in our lives would happen in that
very spot a few years after. When we were near the end of the
Indian Settlement, as it is called, we saw several Indians on the
bank, holding on to a couple of oxen. Our boats were imme-
diately turned in to the shore near them, and, to our great
astonishment, we found out that each boat was to have an
addition to its passenger list in the shape of one of these big
fellows. The getting of these animals shipped was no easy
matter, as there was no wharf or gangway; but after a good
deal of pulling and pushing, and lifting up of one leg, and then
another, the patient brutes were embarked on the frail crafts,
to be our companions during the voyage to Norway House. The
position assigned to the one in our boat was just in front of us,
"broadside on," as the sailors would say; his head often hanging
over one side of the boat, and his tail over the other side. The
only partition there was between him and us was a single board
a few inches wide. Such close proximity to this animal for four-
teen days was not very agreeable; but as it could not be helped
it had to be endured.
At times, during the first few days, the ox made some desperate
efforts to break loose; and it seemed as though he would either
smash our boat to pieces or upset it; but, finding his efforts
unsuccessful, he gracefully accepted the situation, and behaved
himself admirably. When storms arose he quietly lay down, and
served as so much ballast to steady the boat. Tom," the guide,
kept him well supplied with food from the rich nutritious grasses
which grew abundantly along the shore at our different camping-
Winnipeg is considered one of the stormiest lakes on the
American Continent. It is about three hundred miles long,
and varies from eighty to but a few miles in width. It is
indented with innumerable bays, and is dangerous to navigators,
on account of its many shoals and hidden rocks. i ..... '.*. or
Wedipack, as some Indians pronounce it, means "the sea," and
Kech e JJenipr52k means the ocean."
The trip across Lake Winnipeg was one that at the present
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
day would be considered a great hardship, taking into considera-
tion the style of the boat and the way we travelled.
Our method of procedure was about as follows. We were
aroused very early in the morning by the guide's cry of Koos koos
kwa Wake up !" Everybody was expected to obey promptly,
as there was always a good deal of rivalry between the boats as
to which could get away first. A hasty breakfast was prepared
on the rocks; after which a morning hymn was sung, and an
earnest prayer was offered up to Him Who holds the winds and
waves under His control,
Then "All aboard" was the cry, and soon tents, kettles, axes,
and all the other things were hurriedly gathered up and placed
on board. If the wind was favourable, the mast was put up, the
sail hoisted, and we were soon rapidly speeding on our way. If
the oars had to be used, there was not half the alacrity displayed
by the poor fellows, who well knew how wearisome their task
would be. When we had a favourable wind, we generally dined
as well as we could in the boat, to save time, as the rowers well
knew how much more pleasant it was to glide along with the
favouring breeze than to be obliged to work at the heavy oars.
Often during whole nights we sailed on, although at considerable
risks in that treacherous lake, rather than lose the fair wind.
For, if there ever was, in this world of uncertainties, one route
of more uncertainty than another, the palm must be conceded to
the voyages on Lake Winnipeg in those Hudson's Bay Company's
inland boats. You might make the trip in four days, or even
a few hours less; and you might be thirty days, and a few
Once, in after years, I was detained for six days on a little
rocky islot by a fierce northern gale, which at times blew with
such force that we could not keep up a tent or even stand upright
against its fury; and as there was not sufficient soil in which to
drive a tent pin, we, with all our bedding and supplies, were
drenched by the pitiless sleet and rain. Often in these later
years, when I have heard people, sitting in the comfortable
waiting-room of a railway station, bitterly complaining because
a train was an hour or two late, memory has carried me back
PICTURESQUE ENCAMPMENTS. 49
to some of those long detentions amidst the most disagreeable
surroundings, and I have wondered at the trifles which can upset
the equanimity of some or cause them to show such fretfulness.
When the weather was fine, the camping on the shore was very
enjoyable. Our tent was quickly erected by willing hands; the
camp fire was kindled, and glowed with increasing brightness as
the shadows of night fell around us. The evening meal was soon
prepared, and an hour or two would sometimes be spent in
pleasant converse with our dusky friends, who were most delightful
travelling companions. Our days always began and closed with
a religious service. All of our Indian companions in the two
boats on this first trip were Christians, in the best and truest
sense of the word. They were the converts of the earlier mis-
sionaries of our Church. At first they were a little reserved, and
acted as though they imagined we expected them to be very
sedate and dignified. For, like some white folks, they imagined
the black-coat" and his wife did not believe in laughter or
pleasantry. However, we soon disabused their minds of those
erroneous ideas, and before we reached Norway House we were
on the best of terms with each other. We knew but little of
their language, but some of them had a good idea of English,
and, using these as our interpreters, we got along finely.
They were well furnished with Testaments and hymn-books,
printed in the beautiful syllabic characters; and they used them
well. This worshipping with a people who used to us an unknown
tongue was at first rather novel; but it attracted and charmed
us at once. We were forcibly struck with the reverential manner
in which they conducted their devotions. No levity or indif-
ference marred the solemnity of their religious services. They
listened very attentively while one of their number read to them
from the sacred Word, and gave the closest attention to what I
had to say, through an interpreter.
Very sweetly and soothingly sounded the hymns of praise and
adoration that welled up from their musical voices; and though
we understood them not, yet in their earnest prayers there
seemed to be so much that was real and genuine, as in pathetic
tones they offered up their petitions, that we felt it to be a great
BY CANTOR AATO DOG-Tint TN.
privilege and a source of much blessing, when with them we
bowed at the mercy-seat of our great loving Father, to Whom all
languages of earth are known, and before Whom all hearts are
Very helpful at times to devout worship were our surroundings.
As in the ancient days, when the vast multitudes gathered
around Him on the seaside and were comforted and cheered by
His presence, so we felt on these quiet shores of the lake that
we were worshipping Him Who is always the same. At times
delightful and suggestive were our environments. With Winni-
peg's sunlit waves before us, the blue sky above us, the dark,
deep, primeval forest as our background, and the massive granite
rocks beneath us, we often felt a nearness of access to Him, the
Sovereign of the universe, Who "dwelleth not in temples made
with hands," but "Who covereth Himself with light as with a
garment; Who stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain; Who
layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters; Who maketh
the clouds His chariot; Who walketh upon the wings of the
wind; Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not
be removed for ever."
Our Sabbaths were days of rest. The Christian Indians had
been taught by their faithful missionaries the fourth command-
ment, and they kept it well. Although far from their homes and
their beloved sanctuary, they respected the day. When they
camped on Saturday night, all the necessary preparations were
made for a quiet, restful Sabbath. All the wood that would be
needed to cook the day's supplies was secured, and the food that
required cooking was prepared. Guns were stowed away, and
although sometimes ducks or other game would come near, they
were not disturbed. Generally two religious services were held
and enjoyed. The Testaments and hymn-books were well used
throughout the day, and an atmosphere of Paradise Regained"
seemed to pervade the place.
At first, long years ago, the Hudson's Bay Company's officials
bitterly opposed the observance of the Sabbath by their boatmen
nnd tripmen; but the missionaries were true and firm, and although
persecution for a time abounded, eventually right and truth pre-
AN INDIAN CANOE BRIGADE.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
vailed, and our Christian Indians were left to keep the day
without molestation. And, as has always been found to be the
case in such instances, there-was no loss, but rather gain. Our
Christian Indians, who rested the Sabbath day, were never
behindhand. On the long trips into the interior or down to
York Factory or Hudson Bay, these Indian canoe brigades
used to make better time, have better health, and bring up
their boats and cargoes in better shape, than the Catholic Half-
breeds or pagan Indians, who pushed on without any day of rest.
Years of studying this question, judging from the standpoint of
the work accomplished and its effects on men's physical consti-
tution, apart altogether from its moral and religious aspect,
most conclusively taught me that the institution of the one day
in seven as a day of rest is for man's highest good.
Thus we journeyed on, meeting with various adventures by
the way. One evening, rather than lose the advantage of a good
wind, our party resolved to sail on throughout the night. We
had no compass or chart, no moon or fickle Auroras lit up the
watery waste. Clouds, dark and heavy, flitted by, obscuring the
dim starlight, and adding to the risk and danger of our proceed-
ing. On account of the gloom part of the crew were kept on the
watch continually. The bowsman, with a long pole in his hands,
sat in the prow of the boat, alert and watchful. For a long
time I sat with the steersman in the stern of our little craft,
enjoying this weird way of travelling. Out of the darkness
behind us into the vague blackness before us we plunged. Some-
times through the darkness came the sullen roar and dash of
waves against the rocky isles or dangerous shore near at hand,
reminding us of the risks we were running, and what need there
was of the greatest care.
Our camp bed had been spread on some boards in the hinder
part of our little boat; and here Mrs. Young, who for a time
had enjoyed the exciting voyage, was now fast asleep. I remained
up with Big Tom" until after midnight; and then, having
exhausted my stock of Indian words in conversation with him,
and becoming weary, I wrapped a blanket around myself and
lay down to rest. Hardly had I reached the land of dreams,
ALMOST A SIHIPTRECK. 53
when I was suddenly awakened by being most unceremoniously
thrown, with wife, bedding, bales, boxes, and some drowsy
Indians, on one side of the boat. We scrambled up as well as
we could, and endeavoured to take in our situation. The dark-
ness was intense, but we could easily make out the fact that our
boat was stuck fast. The wind whistled around us, and bore
with such power upon our big sail that the wonder was that it
did not snap the mast or ropes. The sail was quickly lowered,
a lantern was lit, but its flickering light showed no land in view.
We had run upon a submerged rock, and there we were held
fast. In vain the Indians, using their big cars as poles, en-
deavoured to push the boat back into deep water. Finding
this impossible, some of them sprang out into the water which
threatened to engulf them; but, with the precarious footing the
submerged rock gave them, they pushed and shouted, when,
being aided by a giant wave, the boat at last was pushed over
into the deep water beyond. At considerable risk and thoroughly
drenched, the brave fellows scrambled on board the sail was
again hoisted, and away we sped through the gloom and darkness.
ARRIVAL AT NORWAY HOUSE-OUR NEW HOME-REV. CHARLES STRING-
FELLOW-THUNDERSTORM-REV. JAMES EVANS-SYLLABIC CHA-
RACTERS INVENTED-DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME-HELP FROM ENGLISH
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOOIETY-EXTENSIVE USE OF THE SYLLABIC
CHARACTERS-OUR PEOPLE, CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN-LEARNING
LESSONS BY DEAR EXPERIENCE-THE HUNGRY WOMAN-THE MAN
WITH THE TWO DUCKS-OUR FIRST SABBATH IN OUR NEW FIELD-
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND SABBATH SERVICES-FAMILY ALTARS.
W E reached Norway House on the afternoon of the 29th of
July, 1868, and received a very cordial welcome from
James Stewart, Esq., the gentleman in charge of this Hudson's
Bay post. This is one of the most important establishments of
this wealthy fur-trading Company. For many years it was the
capital, at which the different officers and other officials from
the different districts of this vast country were in the habit of
meeting annually for the purpose of arranging the various
matters in connection with their prosecution of the fur trade.
Here Sir George Simpson, for many years the energetic and
despotic Governor, used to come to meet these officials, travelling
by birch canoe, manned by his matchless crew of Iroquois Indians,
all the way from Montreal, a distance of several thousand miles.
Here immense quantities of furs were collected from the different
trading posts, and then shipped to England by way of Hudson's
The sight of this well-kept establishment, and the courtesy and
cordial welcome extended to us, were very pleasing after our long
toilsome voyage up Lake Winnipeg. But still \e were two
IN OURIt! ISION ILLIA
miles and a half from our Indian Mission, and so we were full of
anxiety to reach the end of our journey. Mr. Stewart, however,
insisted on our remaining to tea with him, and then took us over
to the Indian village in his own row-boat, manned by four sturdy
Highlanders. Ere we reached the shore, sweet sounds of melody
fell upon our ears. The Wednesday evening service was being
held, and songs of praise were being sung by the Indian congrega-
tion, the notes of which reached us as we neared the margin and
landed upon the rocky beach. We welcomed this as a pleasing
omen, and rejoiced at it as one of the grand evidences of the
Gospel's power to change. Not many years ago the horrid yells
of the conjurer, and the whoops of the savage Indians, were here
the only familiar sounds. Now the sweet songs of Zion are
heard, and God's praises are sung by a people whose lives attest
the genuineness of the work accomplished.
We were cordially welcomed by Mrs. Strnngfellow in the
Mission house, and were soon afterwards joined by her husband,
who had been conducting the religious services in the church.
Very thankful were we that after our long and adventurous
journeyings for two months and eighteen days, by land and
water, through the good providence of God we had reached our
field of toil among the Cree Indians, where for years we were to
be permitted to labour.
Mr. and Mrs. Stringfellow remained with us for a few days
ere they set out on their return trip to the province of Ontario.
We took sweet counsel together, and I received a great deal of
valuable information in reference to the prosecution of our work
among these Red men. For eleven years the missionary and
his wife had toiled and suffered in this northern land. A good
degree of success had attended their efforts, and we were much
pleased with the state in which we found everything connected
with the Mission.
While we were at family prayers the first evening after our
arrival, there came up one of the most terrific thunderstorms we
ever experienced. The heavy Mission house, although built of
logs, and well mudded and clap-boarded, shook so much while we
were on our knees that several large pictures fell from the walls;
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
one of which, tumbling on Brother Stringfellow's head, put a
very sudden termination to his evening devotions.
Rossville Mission, Norway House, was commenced by the Rev.
James Evans in the year 1840. It has been, and still is, one of
the most successful Indian Missions in America. Here Mr.
Evans invented the syllabic characters, by which an intelligent
Indian can learn to read the Word of God in ten days or two
weeks. Earnestly desirous to devise some method by which the
wandering Indians could acquire the art of reading in a more
expeditious manner than by the use of the English alphabet, he
invented these characters, each of which stands for a syllable.
He carved his first type with his pocket-knife, and procured the
lead for the purpose from the tea-chests of the Hudson's Bay
Company's post. His first ink he made out of the soot from the
chimney, and his first paper was birch bark. Great was the
excitement among the Indians when he had perfected his inven-
tion, and had begun printing in their own language. The con-
jurers, and other pagan Indians, were very much alarmed, when,
as they expressed it, they found the bark of the tree was
beginning to talk."
The English Wesleyan Missionary Society was early impressed
with the advantage of this wonderful invention, and the great
help it would be in carrying on the blessed work. At great
expense they sent out a printing press, with a large quantity
of type, which they had had specially cast. Abundance of
paper, and everything else essential, were furnished. For years
portions of the Word of God, and a goodly number of hymns
translated into the Cree language, were printed, and incalculable
Other missionary organizations at work in the country quickly
saw the advantage of using these syllabic characters, and were
not slow to avail themselves of them. While all lovers of
Missions rejoice at this, it is to be regretted that some, from
whom better things might have been expected, were anxious to
take the credit of the invention, instead of giving it to its
rightful claimant, the Rev. James Evans. It is a remarkable
fact, that so perfectly did Mr. Evans do his work, that no
OUR FIRST SABBATH.
improvement has been made as regards the use of these characters
among the Cree Indians.
Other missionaries have introduced them among other tribes,
with additions to meet the sounds used in those tribes which are
not found among the Crees. They have even been successfully
utilised by the Moravians among the Esquimaux.
On our arrival at Rossville the Indians crowded in to see the
new missionary and his wife, and were very cordial in their
greetings. Even some pagan Indians, dressed up in their wild
picturesque costumes, came to see us, and were very friendly.
As quickly as possible we settled down to our work, and tried
to grasp its possibilities. We saw many pleasing evidences of
what had been accomplished by faithful predecessors, and were
soon convinced of the greatness of the work yet to be done. For,
while from our church, and the houses of our Christian people,
the songs of Zion were heard, our ears were saluted by the shouts
and yells of old Indian conjurers and medicine-men, added to the
monotonous sounds of their drums, which came to us nightly from
almost every point in the compass, from islands and headlands
not far away.
Our first Sabbath was naturally a very interesting day. Our
own curiosity to see our people was doubtless equalled by that of
the people to see their new missionary. Pagans flocked in with
Christians, until the church was crowded. We were very much
pleased with their respectful demeanour in the house of God.
There was no laughing or frivolity in the sanctuary. With their
moccasined feet and cat-like tread, several hundred Indians
did not make one quarter the noise often heard in Christian
lands, made by audiences one-tenth the size. We were much
delighted with their singing. There is a peculiar plaintive
sweetness about Indian singing that has for me a special
attractiveness. Scores of them brought their Bibles to the
church. When I announced the lessons for the day, the quick-
ness with which they found the places showed their familiarity
with the sacred volume. During prayers they were old-fashioned
Methodists enough to kneel down while the Sovereign of the
universe was being addressed. They sincerely and literally
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
entered into the spirit of the Psalmist when he said: 0 come,
let us worship and bow down : let us kneel before the Lord our
I was fortunate in securing for my interpreter a thoroughly
good Indian by the name of Timothy Bear. He was of an
emotional nature, and rendered good service to the cause of
Christ. Sometimes, when interpreting for me the blessed truths
of the Gospel, his heart would get fired up, and he would become
so absorbed in his theme that he would in a most eloquent way
beseech and plead with the people to accept this wonderful
As the days rolled by, and we went in and out among them,
and contrasted the pagan with the Christian Indian, we saw
many evidences that the Gospel is still the power of God unto
salvation, and that, whenever accepted in its fulness, it brings
not only peace and joy to the heart, but is attended by the
secondary blessings of civilisation. The Christian Indians could
easily be picked out by the improved appearance of their homes,
as well as by the marvellous change in their lives and actions.
We found out, before we had been there many days, that we
had much to learn about Indian customs and habits and modes
of thought. For example: the day after Mr. and Mrs. String-
fellow had left us, a poor woman came in, and by the sign language
let Mrs. Young know that she was very hungry. On the table
were a large loaf of bread, a large piece of corned beef, and a dish
of vegetables, left over from our boat supplies. My good wife's
sympathies were aroused at the poor woman's story, and, cutting
off a generous supply of meat and bread, and adding thereto a
large quantity of the vegetables and a quart of tea, she seated
the woman at the table before the hearty meal. Without any
trouble the guest disposed of the whole, and then, to our amaze-
ment, began pulling up the skirt of her dress at the side till she
had formed a capacious pocket. Reaching over, she seized the
meat, and put it in this large receptacle, the loaf of bread quickly
followed, and lastly, the dish of vegetables. Then, getting up
from her chair, she turned towards us, saying, Na-nas-koo-moo-
wi-nah," which is the Cree for thanksgiving. She gracefully
backed out of the dining-room, holding carefully on to her supplies.
Mrs. Young and I looked in astonishment, but said nothing till
she had gone out. We could not help laughing at the queer sight,
although the food which had disappeared in this unexpected way
was what was to have been our principal support for two or three
days, until our supplies should have arrived. Afterwards, when
----- --- -- ---_
-:t*'*1 i l -|I|V' -I"'j j ..... r l. hh ,rt at
ti i.. t...k j Ilb: I'.t iu I Lit
,.;| 1 t l U Ik -lv%:, h l t 1 .t
Sj the ha ld ,Only culmplijd vwith thle abriat, ti-
quette of her tribe. It seems it is their
habit, when they make a feast for anybody,
or give them a dinner, if fortunate enough to have abundance
of food, to put a large quantity before them. The invited guest
is expected to eat all he can, and then to carry the rest away.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
This was exactly what the poor woman did. From this lesson
of experience we learnt just to place before them what we felt
our limited abilities enabled us to give at the time.
One day a fine-looking Indian came in with a couple of fat
ducks. As our supplies were low, we were glad to see them; and
in taking them I asked him what I should give him for them.
His answer was, O, nothing; they are a present for the mis-
sionary and his wife." Of course I was delighted at this
exhibition of generosity on the part of this entire stranger to us
so soon after our arrival in this wild land. The Indian at once
made himself at home with us, and kept us busy answering
questions and explaining to him everything that excited his
curiosity. Mrs. Young had to leave her work to play for his
edification on the little melodeon. He remained to dinner, and
ate one of the ducks, while Mrs. Young and I had the other.
He hung around all the afternoon, and did ample justice to a
supper out of our supplies. He tarried with us until near the
hour for retiring, when I gently hinted to him that I thought
it was about time he went to see if his wigwam was where he
O," he exclaimed, "I am only waiting."
"Waiting ?" I said; for what are you waiting ?"
"I am waiting for the present you are going to give me for the
present I gave you."
I at once took in the situation, and went off and got him some-
thing worth half-a-dozen times as much as his ducks, and he went
off very happy.
When he was gone, my good wife and I sat down, and we said,
"Here is lesson number two. Perhaps, after we have been here
a while, we shall know something about the Indians."
After that we accepted of no presents from them, but insisted
on paying a reasonable price for everything we needed which
they had to sell.
Our Sunday's work began with the Sunday School at nine
o'clock. All the boys and girls attended, and often there were
present many of the adults. The children were attentive and
respectful, and many of them were able to repeat large portions
of Scripture from memory. A goodly number studied the Cate-
chism translated into their own language. They sang the hymns
sweetly, and joined with us in repeating the Lord's Prayer.
The public service followed at half-past ten o'clock. This
morning service was always in English, although the hymns,
lessons, and text would be announced in the two languages. The
Hudson's Bay officials who might be at the Fort two miles away,
and all their employes, regularly attended this morning service.
Then, as many of the Indians understood English, and our object
was ever to get them all to know more and more about it, this
service usually was largely attended by the people. The great
Indian service was held in the afternoon. It was all their own,
and was very much prized by them. At the morning service
they were very dignified and reserved; at the afternoon they
sang with an enthusiasm that was delightful, and were not
afraid, if their hearts prompted them to it, to come out with a
glad "Amen !"
They bring with them to the sanctuary their Bibles, and very
sweet to my ears was the rustle of many leaves as they rapidly
turned to the Lessons of the day in the Old or New Testament.
Sermons were never considered too long. Very quietly and
reverently did the people come into the house of God, and with
equal respect for the place, and for Him Whom there they had
worshipped, did they depart. Dr. Taylor, one of our missionary
secretaries, when visiting us, said at the close of one of these
hallowed afternoon services, Mr. Young, if the good people who
help us to support Missions and missionaries could see what
my eyes have beheld to-day, they would most cheerfully and
gladly give us ten thousand dollars a year more for our Indian
Every Sunday evening I went over to the Fort, by canoe in
summer, and dog-train in winter, and held service there. A
little chapel had been specially fitted up for these evening services.
Another service was also held in the church at the Mission by
the Indians themselves. There were among them several who
could preach very acceptable sermons, and others who, with a
burning eloquence, could tell, like Paul, the story of their own
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
conversion, and beseech others to be likewise reconciled to
We were surprised at times by seeing companies of pagan
Indians stalk into the church during the services, not always
acting in a way becoming to the house or day. At first it was
a matter of surprise to me that our Christian Indians put up
with some of these irregularities. I was very much astounded
one day by the entrance of an old Indian called Tapastanum,
who, rattling his ornaments, and crying, Ho Ho came into
the church in a sort of trot, and gravely kissed several of the
men and women. As my Christian Indians seemed to stand
the interruption, I felt that I could. Soon he sat down, at the
invitation of Big Tom, and listened to me. He was grotesquely
dressed, and had a good-sized looking-glass hanging on his breast,
kept in its place by a string hung around his neck. To aid
himself in listening, he lit his big pipe and smoked through the
rest of the service. When I spoke to the people afterwards
about the conduct of this man, so opposite to their quiet, respect-
ful demeanour in the house of God, their expressive, charitable
answer was: Such were we once, as ignorant as Tapastanum
is now. Let us have patience with him, and perhaps he, too,
will soon decide to give his heart to God. Let him come; he
will get quiet when he gets the light."
The week evenings were nearly all filled up with services of
one kind or another, and were well attended, or otherwise, accord-
ing as the Indians might be present at the village, or away
hunting, or fishing, or "tripping" for the Hudson's Bay Company.
What pleased us very much was the fact that in the homes
of the people there were so many family altars. It was very
delightful to take a quiet walk in the gloaming through the
village, and hear from so many little homes the voice of the
head of the family reading the precious volume, or the sounds of
prayer and praise. Those were times when in every professed
Christian home in the village there was a family altar.
CONSTANT PROGRESS-WOMAN'S SAD CONDITION IN PAGANISM-ILLUS-
TRATIONS-WONDROUS CHANGES PRODUCED BY CHRISTIANITY-
ILLUSTRATIONS-NEW YEAR'S DAY CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL-THE AGEU
AND FEEBLE ONES FIRST REMEMBERED-CLOSING THANKSGIVING
W E found ourselves in a Christian village surrounded by
paganism. The contrast between the two classes was very
Our Christians, as fast as they were able to build, were living
in comfortable houses, and earnestly endeavouring to lift them-
selves up in the social circle. Their personal appearance was
better, and cleanliness was accepted as next to godliness. On the
Sabbaths they were well dressed, and presented such a respectable
and devout appearance in the sanctuary as to win the admiration
of all who visited us. The great majority of those who made
a profession of faith lived honest, sober, and consistent lives, and
thus showed the genuineness of the change wrought in them by
the glorious Gospel of the Son of God.
One of the most delightful and tangible evidences of the
thoroughness and genuineness of the change was seen in the
improvement in the family life. Such a thing as genuine home
life, with mutual love and sympathy existing among the different
members of the family, was unknown in their pagan state. The
men, and even boys, considered it a sign of courage and manliness
to despise and shamefully treat their mothers, wives, or sisters.
Christianity changed all this; and we were constant witnesses of
the genuineness of the change wrought in the hearts and lives of
BY CANOE AND DOG-T1ATN.
this people by the preaching of the Gospel, by seeing how woman
was uplifted from her degraded position to her true place in the
My heart was often pained at what I saw among some of the
wild savage bands around us. When, by canoe in summer, or
dog-train in winter, I have visited these wild men, I have seen
the proud, lazy hunter come stalking into the camp with his gun
on his shoulder, and in loud, imperative tones shout out to his
poor wife, who was busily engaged in cutting wood, Get up
there, you dog, my squaw, and go back on my tracks in the woods,
and bring in the deer I have shot; and hurry, for I want my
food!" To quicken her steps, although she was hurrying as
rapidly as possible, a stick was thrown at her, which fortunately
she was able to dodge.
Seizing the long carrying strap, which is a piece of leather
several feet in length, and wide at the middle, where it rests
against the forehead when in use, she rapidly glides away on the
trail made by her husband's snow-shoes, it may be for miles, to
the spot where lies the deer he has shot. Fastening one end of
the strap to the haunches of the deer, and the other around its
neck, after a good deal of effort and ingenuity, she succeeds at
length in getting the animal, which may weigh from a hundred-
and fifty to two hundred pounds, upon her back, supported by
the strap across her forehead. Panting with fatigue, she comes
in with her heavy burden, and as she throws it down she is met
with a sharp stern command from the lips of the despot called
her husband, who has thought it beneath his dignity to carry in
the deer himself, but who imagines it to be a sign of his being a
great brave thus to treat his wife. The gun was enough for him
to carry. Without giving the poor tired creature a moment's
rest, he shouts out again for her to hurry up and be quick; he
is hungry, and wants his dinner.
The poor woman, although almost exhausted, knows full well,
by the bitter experiences of the past, that to delay an instant
would bring upon herself severe punishment, and so she quickly
seizes the scalping knife and deftly skins the animal, and fills
a pot with the savoury venison, which is soon boiled and placed
SURROUNDED BY PAGANISM.
before his highness. While he, and the men and boys whom he
may choose to invite to eat with him, are rapidly devouring the
venison, the poor woman has her first moments of rest. She goes
and seats herself down where women and girls and dogs are con-
gregated, and there women and dogs struggle for the half-picked
bones which the men, with derisive laughter, throw among them!
This was one of the sad aspects of paganism which I often had
to witness as I travelled among those bands that had not, up to
that time, accepted the Gospel. When these poor women get old
and feeble, very sad and deplorable is their condition. When
able to toil and slave, they are tolerated as necessary evils.
When aged and weak, they are shamefully neglected, and, often,
put out of existence.
One of the missionaries, on visiting a pagan band, preached from
those blessed words of the Saviour: Come unto Me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In his
sermon he spoke about life's toils and burdens, and how all men
had to work and labour. The men of the congregation were
very angry at him; and at an indignation meeting which they
held, they said, "Let him go to the squaws with that kind of
talk. They have to carry all the heavy burdens, and do the
hard work. Such stuff as that is not for us men, but for the
women." So they were offended at him.
At a small Indian settlement on the north-eastern shores of
Lake Winnipeg lived a chief by the name of Moo-koo-woo-soo,
who deliberately strangled his mother, and then burnt her body
to ashes. When questioned about the horrid deed, he coolly and
heartlessly said that as she had become too old to snare rabbits
or catch fish, he was not going to be bothered with keeping her,
and so he deliberately put her to death. Such instances could
be multiplied many times. Truly "the tender mercies of the
wicked are cruel."
In delightful contrast to these sad sights among the degraded
savages around us, were the kindly ways and happy homes of
our converted Indians. Among them a woman occupied her
true position, and was well and lovingly treated. The aged and
infirm, who but for the Gospel would have been dealt with as
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
Moo-koo-woo-soo dealt with his mother, had the warmest place
in the little home and the daintiest morsel on the table. I have
seen the sexton of the church throw wide open the door of the
sanctuary, that two stalwart young men might easily enter,
carrying in their arms their invalid mother, who had expressed
a desire to come to the house of God. Tenderly they supported
her until the service ended, and then they lovingly carried her
home again. But for the Gospel's blessed influences on their
haughty natures they would have died ere doing such a thing
for a woman, even though she were their own mother.
Life for the women was not now all slavery. They had their
happy hours, and knew well how to enjoy them. Nothing, how-
ever, seemed so to delight them as to be gliding about in the
glorious summer time in their light canoes. And sometimes,
combining pleasure with profit, many a duck was shot by these
young Indian maidens.
This changed feeling towards the aged and afflicted ones we
have seen manifested in a very expressive and blessed way at
the great annual New Year's Feast. It was customary for the
Indians, long before they became Christians, to have a great
feast at the beginning of the New Year. In the old times, the
principal article of food at these horrid feasts was dogs, the eating
of which was accompanied by many revolting ceremonies. The mis-
sionaries, instead of abolishing the feast, turned it into a religious
festival. I carried out the methods of my worthy predecessors at
Norway House, and so we had a feast every New Year's Day.
The Crees call this day "Ooche-me-gou Kesigow," which
literally means "the kissing day," as on this day the men claim
the right to kiss every woman they meet; and, strange to say,
every woman expects to be kissed. It used to amuse me very
much to see thirty or forty Indians, dressed up in their finest
apparel, come quietly marching into the Mission House, and
gravely kiss Mrs. Young on her cheek. When I used to rally
her over this strange phase of unexpected missionary experience,
she would laughingly retort, 0, you need not laugh at me. See
that crowd of women out there in the yard, expecting you to go
our and kiss them 1" It was surprising how much work that
'4 '. -
' -MAXY A DUCK WAS SHOT BY THESE YOUNG INDIAN MAIDENS" (1. 66).
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
day kept me shut in my study; or if that expedient would not
avail, I used to select a dear old sweet-faced, white-haired
grandma, the mother of the chief, and say, Now I am going to
kiss grandma; and as I kiss her you must all consider yourselves
kissed." This institution is more ancient among them than
shaking hands, about which they knew nothing until it was
introduced by the whites.
For weeks before New Year's Day great preparations were
made for the feast. A council would be called, and the men
would have recorded what they were willing to give towards it.
Some, who were good deer-hunters, promised venison. Others
promised so many beavers. Perhaps there were those who knew
where bears had made their winter dens, and they agreed to go
and kill them for the feast. Others, who were good fur-hunters,
stated their willingness to exchange some of the furs they would
catch for flour and tea and sugar at the trading post.
Thus the business went on, until enough was promised, with
the liberal supplies given by the Hudson's Bay Company's officials
and the missionary, to make the affair a great success. An out-
building of the Mission, called "the fish house," was the place
where all these various things, as they were obtained, were stored.
Months were sometimes consumed in collecting the meat. But
Jack Frost is a good preservative, and so nothing spoiled. A
few days before the feast, Mrs. Young would select several of the
Indian women, and under her superintendency the various supplies
would be cooked. Very clever were these willing helpers; and in
a short time a quantity of food would be piled up, sufficient for
atll, although it is well known that Indians have good appetites.
When the great day arrived, the men quickly removed the
seats out of the church, and there put up long tables. Great
boilers of tea were made ready, and every preparation was com-
pleted for a good time. But, before a mouthful was eaten by
any of the eight hundred or thousand persons present, the chief
used to ask me for a pencil and a piece of writing paper; and
then, standing up on a box or bench, he would shout out, "How
many of our people are aged, or sick, or afflicted, and cannot be
'with us to-day? As one name after another was mentioned,
THE NEW YEAR'S FEAST.
he rapidly wrote them down. Then he read over the list, and
said, Let us not forget any one." Somebody shouted out,
" There is an old woman ten miles up the river towards the old
Fort." Somebody else said, Have you the name of that boy
who was accidentally shot in the leg? Their names were both
put down. Then somebody says, "There are two or three left
behind in the tent of the pagans, while the rest have come to the
feast." "Let us feed those who have come, and send something
with our kind greetings to the others," is the unanimous response.
When it was certain that none had been overlooked, a request
was made to me for all the old newspapers and packing paper
I could give them, and soon loving hands were busily engaged in
cutting off large pieces of different kinds of meat and arranging
them with the large flat cakes in generous bundles. To these
were added little packages of tea and sugar. In this way as
many large bundles-each containing an assortment of every-
thing at the feast-would be made up as there were names on
the paper. Then the chief would call in, from where the young
men were busily engaged in playing football, as many of the
fleet runners as there were bundles, and giving each his load,
would indicate the person to whom he was to give it, and also
would add, Give them our New Year's greetings and sympathy,
and tell them we are sorry they cannot be with us to-day."
Very delightful were these sights to us. Such things paid us
a thousandfold for our hardships and sufferings. Here, before
a mouthful was eaten by the healthy and vigorous ones, large
generous bundles, that would last for days, were sent off to the
aged and infirm or wounded ones, who in all probability, but for
the blessed influences of the Gospel, if not quickly and cruelly
putout of existence, would have been allowed to linger on in
neglect and wretchedness.
Even the young runners seemed to consider that it was an
honour to be permitted to carry these bundles, with the loving
messages, to the distant homes or wigwams where the afflicted
ones were. It was quite amusing to watch them tighten up
their belts and dash off like deer. Some of them had several
miles to go but what cared they on this glad day ?
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN
According to seniority the tables were filled, and the feast
began as soon as the Grace before Meat had been sung. Mrs.
Young had her own long table, and to it she invited not only the
IIudson's Bay Company's people, but as many of the aged and
worthy from among the poor Indians as we wished specially to
honour. Sometimes we filled one table with wild pagans who
had come in from some distant forest home, attracted by the
reports of the coming great feast. Through their stomachs we
sometimes reached their hearts, and won them to Christ.
Thus for hours the feast continued, until all had been supplied.
None were neglected, and everybody was happy. Then with a
glad heart they sang :
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow."
When all the guests were satisfied, what was left was carried
off by the needy ones, among whom it was generously divided; the
tables were quicldy taken down by the men, and the church was
speedily swept clean by some active women. The seats and pews
were replaced, and every arrangement was made for the great
annual New Year's Meeting. The church was lit up; and when
the audience had gathered, a chairman was appointed, and, after
singing and prayer, speeches were made by several of the
Many pleasant and. many sensible things were said. Some of
the sober-minded ones reviewed the year just gone, with all its
blessings and mercies, and expressed the hope that the one on
which they had entered would be crowned with blessings. Some
of the speeches referred to Treaty matters with the Government,
and others were in reference to their hunting and fisheries.
Some were bright and witty, and were received with laughter
and applause. Others were of a serious, religious character, and
were equally welcome, and touched responsive hearts. With
pleasure I noticed that in them all the most frequent word was
" Na-nas-koomoo-win-ah," which means Thanksgiving," and for
this my heart rejoiced. Thus ended, with the Doxology and
Benediction, these happy days, in which we saw so many evidences
that the preaching of the Gospel had not been in vain.
OXFORD HOUSE MISSIOX-VISITED BY CANOE-DESCRIPTION OF THIS
USEFUL CRAFT-INDIAN SKILL-OXFORD LAKE-DR. TAYLOR-
EDWARD PAPANEKIS-STILL ON THE TRAIL BY BIRCH CANOE-
NARROW ESCAPE FROM BEING CRUSHED BY THE ICE-ON STORMY
LAKE WINNIPEG -PIONEERING FARTHER NORTH- SUCCESSES-
SHOW US THE FATHER, AND IT SUFFICETH US"-CHRIST ACCEPTED
IN THE PLACE OF IDOLS.
I HAD received instructions from the Missionary Secretaries to
visit Oxford Mission as soon as possible, and to do all I could
for its upbuilding. This Mission had had a good measure of
success in years gone by. A church and Mission house had been
built at Jackson's Bay, and many of the Indians had been con-
verted. But the village was too far from the Hudson's Bay
Company's Post, where the Indians traded, and where naturally
they gathered. For several years the work had been left in
charge of a native teacher. The people regretted the absence
of an ordained Missionary, and the place suffered accordingly,
Making all the arrangements I could for the successful prosecution
of the work in my absence, I left Norway House in a small canoe,
manned by two of my Christian Indians, one of whom was my
interpreter. With this wonderful little boat I was now to make
my first intimate acquaintance. For this wild land of broad
lakes and rapid rivers and winding creeks, the birch-bark canob
is the boat of all others most admirably fitted. It is to the
Indian denizen here what the horse is to his more warlike red
brother on the great prairies, or what the camel is to those who
live and wander amidst Arabian deserts. The canoe is absolutely~
essential to these natives in this land, where there are no other
72 BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
roads than the intricate devious water routes. It is the frailest
of all boats, yet it can be loaded down to the water's edge, and,
under the skilful guidance of these Indians, who are unquestion-
ably the finest canoe men in the world, it can be made to respond
to the sweep of their paddles, so that it seems almost instinct
with life and reason. What they can do in it, and with it,
appeared to me at times perfectly marvellous. Yet when we
remember that for about five months of every year some of the
hunters almost live in it, this may not seem so very wonderful.
It carries them by day, and in it, or under it, they often sleep
by night. At the many portages which have to be made in this
land, where the rivers are so full of falls and rapids, one man
can easily carry it on his head to the smooth water beyond. In
it we have travelled thousands of miles, while going from place
to place with the blessed tidings of salvation to these wandering
bands scattered over my immense Circuit. Down the wild rapids
we. have rushed for miles together, and then out into great
Winnipeg, or other lakes, so far from shore that the distant
headlands were scarce visible. Foam-crested waves have often
seemed as though about to overwhelm us, and treacherous gales
to swamp us, yet my faithful, well-trained canoe men were
always equal to every emergency, and by the accuracy of their
judgment, and the quickness of their movements, appeared ever
to do exactly the right thing at the right, moment. As the result.
I came at length to feel as much at home in a canoe as any-
where else, and with God's blessing was permitted to make many
long trips to those who could not be reached in any other way,
except by dog-trains in winter.
Good canoe-makers are not many, and so really good canoes
are always in demand.
Frail and light as this Indian craft may be, there is a great
deal of skill and ingenuity required in its construction.
Great care is requisite in taking the bark from the tree. A
long incision is first made longitudinally in the trunk of the tree.
Then, from this cut, the Indian begins, and with his keen knife
gradually peels off the whole of the bark, as high up as his
incision went, in one large piece or sheet. And even now that
+~ ~ +++- --+ 1- '+
: -- :--+-
TXN THE B FR
TAKING THE BAR+K FROMd TEE TREES FORt C4NOE-MIAKING
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
he has safely got it off the tree, the greatest care is necessary in
handling it, as it will split or crack very easily. Cedar is pre-
ferred for the woodwork, and when it can possibly be obtained,
is always used. But in the section of the country where I lived,
as we were north of the cedar limit, the canoe-makers used pieces
of the spruce tree, split very thin, as the best substitute for
cedar that our country afforded.
All the sewing of the pieces of birch bark together, and the
fastening of the whole to the outer frame, is done with the long
slender roots of the balsam or larch trees, which are soaked and
rubbed until they are as flexible as narrow strips of leather.
When all the sewing is done, the many narrow limber pieces
of spruce are crowded into their places, giving the whole canoe
its requisite proportions and strength. Then the seams and weak
spots are well covered over with melted pitch, which the Indians
obtain from the spruce and balsam trees.
Great care is taken to make the canoe watertight. To accom-
plish this, the boat is often swung between trees and filled with
water. Every place where the slightest leak is discovered is
marked, and, when the canoe is emptied, is carefully attended to.
Canoes vary in style and size. Each tribe using them has its
own patterns, and it was to me an ever interesting sight, to
observe how admirably suited to the character of the lakes and
rivers were the canoes of each tribe or district.
The finest and largest canoes were those formerly made by the
Lake Superior Indians. Living on the shores of that great inland
sea, they required canoes of great size and strength. These
great north canoes," as they were called, could easily carry from
a dozen to a score of paddlers, with a cargo of a couple of tons
of goods. In the old days of the rival fur-traders, these great
canoes played a very prominent part. Before steam or even
large sailing vessels had penetrated into those northern lakes,
these canoes were extensively used. Loaded with the rich furs
of those wild forests, they used to come down into the Ottawa,
and thence on down that great stream, often even as far as to
Sir George Simpson, the energetic but despotic and unprincipled
CANOES AND CANO.E-MAKERS.
governor of the Hudson's Bay Company for many years, used to
travel in one of these birch canoes all the way from Montreal up
the Ottawa on through Lake Nipissing into Georgian Bay; from
thence into Lake Superior, on to Thunder Bay. From this place,
with indomitable pluck, he pushed on back into the interior,
through the Lake of the Woods, down the tortuous river Winni-
peg into the lake of the same name. Along the whole length of
this lake he annually travelled, in spite of its treacherous storms
and annoying head winds, to preside over the Council and attend
to the business of the wealthiest fur-trading company that ever
existed, over which he watched with eagle eye, and in every
department of which his distinct personality was felt. His
famous Iroquois crew are still talked about, and marvellous are
the stories in circulation about many a northern camp fire of
their endurance and skill.
How rapid the changes which are taking place in this world of
ours It seems almost incredible, in these days of mighty steam-
ships going almost everywhere on our great waters, to think that
there are hundreds of people still living who distinctly remember
when the annual trips of a great governor were made from
Montreal to Winnipeg in a birch-bark canoe, manned by Indians.
Of this light Indian craft Longfellow wrote:-
"Give me of your bark, 0 Birch tree I
Of your yellow bark, 0 Birch tree I
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley I
I a light canoe will build me,
Build a swift canoe for sailing.
Thus the Birch canoe was builded
In the valley, by the river,
In the bosom of the forest;
All its mystery and its magic,
All the brightness of the birch tree
All the toughness of the cedar,
All the larch tree's supple sinews;
And it floated on the river
Like a yellow leaf in autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily."
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
We left for Oxford Mission on the 8th of September. The
distance is over two hundred miles, through the wildest country
imaginable. We did not see a house-with the exception of
those built by the beavers-from the time we left our Mission
home until we reached our destination. We paddled through
a bewildering variety of picturesque lakes, rivers, and creeks.
When no storms or fierce head-winds impeded us, we were able to
make fifty or sixty miles a day. When night overtook us, we
camped on the shore. Sometimes it was very pleasant and
romantic. At other times, when storms raged and we were
drenched with the rain so thoroughly that for days we had not
a dry stitch upon us, it was not quite so agreeable.
We generally began our day's journey very early in the
morning, if the weather was at all favourable, and paddled on
as rapidly as possible, since we knew not when head-winds might
arise and stop our progress. The Oxford route is a very diversi-
fied one. There are lakes, large and small, across which we had
to paddle. In some of them, when the wind was favourable, our
Indians improvised a sail out of one of our blankets. Lashing
it to a couple of oars, they lifted it up in the favouring wind,
and thus very rapidly did we speed on our way.
At times we were in broad beautiful rivers, and then paddling
along in little narrow creeks amidst the reeds and rushes. We
passed over, or, as they say in that country, "made" nine
portages around picturesque falls or rapids. In these portages
one of the Indians carried the canoe on his head. The other
made a great load of the bedding and provisions, all of which he
carried on his back. My load consisted of the two guns, ammuni-
tion, two kettles, the bag containing my changes of raiment, and
a package of books for the Indians we were to visit. How the
Indians could run so quickly through the portages was to me a
marvel. Often the path was but a narrow ledge of rock against
the side of the great granite cliff. At other times it was through
the quaking bog or treacherous muskeg. To them it seemed to
make no difference. On they went with their heavy loads at that
swinging Indian stride which soon left me far behind. On some
of my canoe trips the portages were several miles long, and
TRIP TO OXFORD LAKE.
through regions so wild that there was nothing to indicate to
me the right direction. When we were making them, I used
to follow on as long as I knew I was in the right way. When
I lost the trail, I at once stopped and patiently waited until one
of my faithful men, having carried his load safely to the end,
would come back for me. Quickly picking up my load, he would
hurry off, and even then, unencumbered as I was, it was often
as much as I could do to keep up with him.
Oxford Lake is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes
I ever saw. It is between twenty and thirty miles long and
several miles wide. It is studded with islands of every imagin-
able variety. Its waters are almost as transparent as the clear,
fresh air above it. When no breath ripples its surface, one can
look down into its crystal depths and see, many feet below, the
great fish quietly moving about.
To visit the Indians who fish in its waters, and hunt upon
its shores, I once brought one of our Missionary Secretaries, the
eloquent Rev. Lachlin Taylor, D.D. The trip down had not
been one of the most pleasant. The rains had drenched him,
and the mosquitoes had plagued him with such persistency, that
he loudly bemoaned his lot in being found in a country that was
cursed with such abominable animals.
One night I heard him muttering between his efforts to get
them out of his tent, where he declared they were attacking
him in battalions:-
They throng the air, and darken heaven,
And curse this Western land."
However, when we reached Oxford Lake, the mosquitoes left
us for a time. The sun came out in splendour, and we had some
days of rarest beauty. The good doctor regained his spirits, and
laughed when I rallied him on some of his strong expressions
about the country, and told him that I hoped, as the result of
his experience, he, as all Missionary Secretaries ought, would have
a good deal of sympathy for the Missionaries who live in such
regions for years together.
We camped for the night on one of the most picturesque points.
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN
We had two canoes, and to man them four Indians from our
Norway House Mission. As the doctor was an enthusiastic
fisherman, he decided that we must stop there during the forenoon,
while he tried his hand. His first haul was a splendid pike over
two feet long. Great was his excitement as his success was
assured. Eloquence poured from him; we were flooded with it.
The Indians looked on in amazement while he talked of the
beauties of the lake and islands, of the water and the sky.
"Wait a moment, doctor," I said. "I can add to the wild
beauty of the place something that will please your artistic eye."
I requested two fine-looking Indians to launch one of the
canoes, and to quietly paddle out to the edge of an island which
abruptly rose from the deep, clear waters before us, the top of
which had on it a number of splendid spruce and balsams, massed
together.in natural beauty. I directed the men to drop over the
side of the canoe a long fishing line, and then, posing them in
striking attitudes in harmony with the place, I asked them to
keep perfectly still until every ripple made by their canoe had
I confess I was entranced by the loveliness of the sight. The
reflections of the canoe and men, and of the islands and rocks,
were as vivid as the actual realities. So clear and transparent
was the water, that where it and the air met there seemed but a
narrow thread between the two elements. Not a breath of air
stirred, not a ripple moved. It was one of those sights which
come to us but seldom in a lifetime, where everything is in
perfect unison, and God gives us glimpses of what this world, His
footstool, must have been before sin entered.
Doctor," I said quietly, for my heart was full of the Doxology,
" tell me what you think of that vision."
Standing up, with a great rock beneath his feet, in a voice of
suppressed emotion he began. Quietly at first he spoke, but soon
lie was carried away with his own eloquence:-
"I know well the lochs of my own beloved Scotland, for in
many of them I have rowed and fished. I have visited all the
famed lakes of Ireland, and have rowed on those in the Lake
counties of England. I have travelled far and oft on our great
W." nt. r *-- ... ,,
'^--i -- '- -s -
"AS THE DOCTOR WAS AN ETHSIASTIC IS"-HERMAN 78).
"A& S TiE DOCTOR WAS AS ESTHUBIbSTIC FISHERMIN (p. 78).
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
American lakes, and have seen Tahoe, in all its crystal beauty.
I have rowed on the Bosphorus, and travelled in a felucca on
the Nile. I have lingered in the gondola on the canals of Venice,
and have traced Rob Roy's canoe in the Sea of Galilee, and on
the old historic Jordan. I have seen, in my wanderings in many
lands, places of rarest beauty, but the equal of this mine eyes
have never gazed upon."
Never after did I see the lake as we saw it that day.
On it we have had to battle against fierce storms, where the
angry waves seemed determined to engulf us. Once, in speeding
along as well as we could from island to island, keeping in the
lee as much as possible, we ran upon a sharp rock and stove a
hole in our canoe. We had to use our paddles desperately to
reach the shore, and when we had done so, we found our canoe
half-full of water, in which our bedding and food were soaked
We hurriedly built a fire, melted some pitch, and mended our
canoe, and hurried on.
On this lake, which can give us such pictures of wondrous
beauty, I have encountered some of the greatest gales and
tempests against which I have ever had to contend, even in this
land of storms and blizzards. Then in winter, upon its frozen
surface it used to seem to me that the Frost King held high
carnival. Terrible were the sufferings of both dogs and men on
some of those trips. One winter, in spite of all the wraps I could
put around me, making it possible for me to run-for riding was
out of the question, so intense was the cold--every part of my
face exposed to the pitiless blast was frozen. My nose, cheeks,
eyebrows, and even lips, were badly frozen, and for days after I
suffered. Cuffy, the best of my Newfoundland dogs, had all of
her feet frozen, and even Jack's were sore for many a day after.
My loyal Indians suffered also, and we all declared Oxford Lake
to be a cold place in winter,, and its storms worse than the
The Indians of Oxford Lake were among the finest in all the
great North-West. It was ever a joy to meet them as I used to
do once in summer by canoe trip, and then again in winter by
dog-train. God blessed my visits to them. The old members were
DANGERS FROM3 MOVING ICE-FIELDS.
cheered and comforted as the Gospel was preached to them, and
the Sacraments administered. Some pagans were induced to
renounce their old lives, and the cause of religion was more and
more established. The Rev. Mr. Brooking, and, later, the studious
and devoted Rev. Orrin German, did blessed service in that lonely
Mission. At the present time the Rev. Edward Papanekis is the
acceptable Missionary there.
Long years ago I found Edward a careless, sinful young man.
Once he rushed into the Mission house under the influence of
liquor, and threatened to strike me. But the blessed truth
reached his heart, and it was my joy to see him a humble sup-
pliant at the Cross. His heart's desire was realized. God has
blessedly led him on, and now he is faithfully preaching that
same blessed Gospel to his countrymen at Oxford Mission.
In responding to the many Macedonian cries my Circuit kept so
enlarging that I had to be "in journeyings often." My canoes
were sometimes launched in spring, ere the great floating ice-fields
had disappeared, and through tortuous open channels we carefully
paddled our way, often exposed to great danger.
On one of these early trips we came to a place where for many
miles the moving ice fields stretched out before us. One narrow
channel of open water only was before us. Anxious to get on,
we dashed into it, and rapidly paddled ourselves along. I had two
experienced Indians, and 'so had no fear, but expected some novel
adventures-and had them with interest.
Our hopes were that the wind would widen the channel, and
thus let us into open water. But, to our disappointment, when
we had got along a mile or so in this narrow open space, we found
the ice was quietly but surely closing in upon us. As it was from
four to six feet thick, and of vast extent, there was power enough
in it to crush a good-sized ship; so it seemed that our frail birch-
bark canoe would have but a poor chance.
I saw there was a reasonable possibility that when the crash
came we could spring on to the floating ice. But what should we
do then ? was the question, with canoe destroyed and us on floating
ice far from land.
However, as my Indians kept perfectly cool, I said nothing, but
BY CANOE AND DOG-TRAIN.
paddled away and watched for the development of events. Nearer
and nearer came the ice; soon our channel was not fifty feet
wide. Already behind us the floes had met, and we could hear the
ice grinding and breaking as the enormous masses met in opposite
directions. Now it was only about twenty feet from side to side.
Still the men paddled on, and I kept paddling in unison with
them. When the ice was so close that we could easily touch it on
either side with our paddles, one of the Indians quietly said,
"Missionary, will you please give me your paddle?" I quickly
handed it to him, when he immediately thrust it with his own
into the water, holding down the ends of them so low horizontally
under the canoe that the blade end was out of water on the
other side of the boat. The other Indian held his paddle in
the same position, although from the other side of the canoe.
Almost immediately after the ice crowded in upon us. But as
the points of the paddles were higher than the ice, of course they
rested upon it for an instant. This was what my cool-headed,
clever men wanted. They had a fulcrum for their paddles, and
so they pulled carefully on the handle ends of them, and, the
canoe sliding up as the ice closed in and met with a crash under
us, we found ourselves seated in it on the top of the ice. The
craft, although only a frail ,irch-bark canoe, was not in the least
As we quickly sprang out of our canoe, and carried it away
from where the ice had met and was being ground into pieces by
the momentum with which it met, I could not but express my
admiration to my men at the clever feat.
After some exciting work we reached the shore, and there
patiently waited until the wind and sun cleared away the ice,
and we could venture on. My plan was to spend at least a week
in each Indian village or encampment, preaching three times a
day, and either holding school with the children, or by personal
entreaty beseeching men and women to be reconciled to God.
When returning from the visit, which was a very successful one,
we had to experience some of the inconveniences of travelling
in such a frail bark as a birch canoe on .sch a stormy'lake as