,Beath, Bannerman and Gunn.

Archives for the purpose of relieving Irish distress and Highland misery, a col- ony 0n Red River. It was not till 1811 that Lord Selkirk succeeded in obtaining, by purchase from the Hudsoifs Bay Com- pany, of which in the meantime he had become a member, the district of Assini- boia on Red River, comprising 116,000 square miles. By way of Hudson Bay was the route chosen; and in the letters of the founder occur the words-words of still unfulfilled, but no doubt true pro- phecy : “To a colony in these territories the channel of trade must be the river of Port Nelson.” THE HIGHLANDERS.

At this time(l811) there were sad times in the Highlands of Scotland. Cottars and crofters were being driven from their small holdings by the Duchess of Suther- land and others, to make way for large sheep farms. Strong men stood sullenly by, women wept and wrung their hands, and children clung to their distressed parents as they saw their cab- ins burnt before their eyes. The “High- land clearances” have left a stain on the escutcheons of more than one nobleman. Lord Selkirk, whose estates were in the south of Scotland,and who had no special connection with the Celts, nevertheless took pity on the helpless Highland ex- iles. Ships were prepared, and the fol- lowing are the numbers of highland colo- nists sent out in the respective years:

In 1811, reaching Red River in 1812. there

were . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 In 1812, reaching Red River in 1813, there were (a part Highland) . . . . . . . . . . . . ..15 or 20 1n 1813, reaching Bed River in 1811, there were.................... 93 In 1815, reaching Red River the sa 1e year, there were . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 100

Total Selkirk Highlandcolonists. about... ‘.270

_ The names of these settlers were those well known amongst us, as Sutherland, McKay, McLeod, McPherson, Matheson, Macdonald, Livingstone, Polson, Mc- There are other names found among those early comers which have disappeared, and to which we shall afterwards refer. It will be noticed that at the end of 1814 the colony amounted to 180 or 200 per- sons. These were under Governor Miles Macdonell, late a captain of the Queens Rangers, who was also Hudson’s Bay Company Governor. The connection of the Selkirk colonists with the Hudson’s Bay Company was regarded as a menace by the RIVAL FUR TRADERS.

the Northwest Company. The two com- panies had their rival posts side by side at many points throughout the Territor-



ies The Nor’wester fort standing imme- diately at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers was called Fort Gibraltar. The fort occupied by the colony was at the foot of Common street in this city, and was called Fort Douglas. It is of no consequence to our present object to determine who opened hostili- ties or who was to blame in the contest of the companies. Strife prevailed, and through this the colonists suffered. In 1814 arrived on the scene a jauntily dressed oflicer of the N or’west Company brandishing a sword and signing himself captain-one Duncan Cameron. This man was a clever, diplomatic, and rather unscrupulous instrument of his company, and coming to command Fort Gibraltar, cultivated the colonists, spoke Gaelic to and entertained them with much hospi- tality, and ended by inducing about one hundred and fifty of the two hundred of them to desert Red River and go with him to Upper Canada. Among those who Went were not only persons bearing the names already mentioned, but others named McKinnon, Cooper, Smith, Mc- Lean. McEachern and Campbell, who have left no representatives on Red River. By a long and wearisome journey to Fort William, and then in small boats along Lakes Superior and Huron, they reached Penetanguishene and found new homes near Toronto, London and elsewhere. To the faithful half hundred who remained

true to their pledges all honor is due. Of those early colonists one name especially occurs to me— that

of Donald Gunn, a native of Caithnes- shire. He came out with the party of 1813 in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and after spending several years on the bay married and settled down in the parish 0f St. Andrews He was a school master for a time, was a great reader, took much interest in the collections for the Smithsonian Institu- tion-—a society te which this society is largelv indebted-was a collector of sta- tistics and meteorological data. During last summer a professor in Boston who was on the astronomical expedition to the Saskatchewan between 1860 and 70, asked me with much interest of “old Donald Gunn,” so familiar a figure in former days in Little Britain. His‘ large family still remain among us.


To many it is known that the Lord Selkirk colonists were chiefly Highland- ers; few are acquaint-ed with the fact that there was among them a fair sprinkl- ing of Irish people. In the first ship load