Red River or St. Lawrence. In that memorable departure, in which it is said the other settlers were willing, like the Egyptians of old, to give their choicest possessions in order that they might be rid of those removing, there were two hundred and forty-three De Meurons, Swiss and others who journeyed south- ward. “oLn TIME ROOMS."

Before giving an account of the native elements of the population which sprang out of the fur trade it may be well to re- fer to certain movements growing out of the coming of the old world immigrants. It was not in 1881 for the first time that a “boom” was seen on the Red River. The Hudson's Bay Company has been much blamed for not opening up the country and encouraging enterprise. We shall see this to have been an opinion un- just to them. Immediately after the union of the two fur companies in 1821 a company to manufacture cloth from butfalo wool was started. This, of course, was a mad scheme. but there was a clamor that work should befoundfor the hungry immi- grants. The Company began operations and every one was to have become rich. $10,000 of money raised in shares was deposited in the Hudson’s Bay Company hands as the bankers of the “Buffalo Wool Company”, machinery was obtain- ed, and the people largely gave up agri- culture to engage in killing buffalo and collecting buffalo skins. Trade was to be the philosophers stone. In 1822 the bubble burst. It cost $12.50 to manu- facture a. yard of buffalo wool cloth on Red River.’ and the cloth only sold for $1.10 a yard in London. The Hudson’s Bay Company advanced $12,500 beyond the amount deposited, and a few years after was under the necessity of forgiving the debt. The Hudson’s Bay Company had thus its first lesson in encouraging the settlers. The money distributed to the settlers through the bankrupt com- pany bought cattle for the settlers how- ever, several hundred cattle having been driven through from Illinois that year. Lord Selkirk next undertook a Model Farm for the benefit of the settlers. Buildings, implements. and also a man- sion, to cost $3,000, for the manager, were provided. A few years of misman- agement and extravagance brought this experiment to an end also. and the noble founder was $10,000 out of pocket. Such was another scheme to encourage the settlers. Driven to another experiment by the discontent of the people, Governor Simpson tried another Model Farm. At


a fine spot on the Assiniboine, farm dwel- lings, barns, yards, and stables Were

_erecti-<l and fields enclosed, well bred cattle were imported, also horses. The farm was well stocked with implements. lllisnianzigenient, however, again brought its usual result, and after six years the trial was given up. there having been a a loss to the Company of $17,500. Nothing daunted the Red River settlers started the Assiniboine Wool Com- pany,” but as it fell through upon the first demand for payment on the stock, it hurt nobody, and ended according to the proverb with “much cry and little wool.” Another enterprise was next begun by Governor Simpson, “The Flax 8.: Hemp Company,” but though the farmers grew a plentiful quantity of these, the under- taking failed and the crop rotted on the fields. A more likely scheme for the en- couragement of the settlers was now set on foot by the Governor,viz.:a new sheep speculation. Sheep were purchased in Missouri, and after a journey of nearly fifteen hundred miles, only two hundred and fifty sheep out of the original four- teen hundred survived the hardships of the way. A tallow company is said to have swallowed up from $3,000 to $5,000 for the Hudson’s Bay Company, and a good deal of money was spent in opening up a road to Hudson’s Bay. Thus was enterprise after enterprise undertaken by the company, largely for the good of the settlers. If ever an honest effort was made to boom an isolated and difficult colony it was by the Hudson’s Bay Com- pany here. I have not been slow else- where to point out the part taken by the company in the later years of the colony to keep the country closed, but it is fair to say that having spent so much fruit- lessly for the colony, it was not strange that the conclusion should have been reached that the conditions were against the colony.


During these early days some names deserve notice. Sir George Simpson, the Governor, was a potentate in Rupert’s Land. From 1821 to 1860 he kept his position with a strong hand. He was the soul of energy. He made. for some forty times, the canoe journey from Mon- treal to Red River, traveled in 1841 2 overland across America and through Si- beria, and returned by way of Britain to Canada, having begirt the earth. His book was published five years after, but the work of another hand than his own is evident in its arrangement and prepa- ration. Sir George scems to have been