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derived any real benefit from their intercourse with the whites until the fur trade became exercised under the existing licence. In proof of this, the population of some of the tribes, previous to that time sensibly diminishing, is now increasing; and from my experience of the times of opposition, I can further say, that if the trade were again thrown open to competition, all the horrors of the late contest would break out afresh; drunkenness and demoralization would have their former sway, not only among the natives, but among the whites, whom we are now enabled to keep under proper subordination, which was never the case during the excitement occasioned by the rivalship in trade; the fur-bearing animals would in the course of a very few years become nearly extinct; and the inevitable consequences would be the desertion of the natives by the traders, the latter having no longer any inducement to remain among them; that unfortunate population, thus left to their own resources, must inevitably perish from cold and hunger,--the use of the bow and arrow, and other rude inplements, formerly affording them the means of feeding and clothing themselves, being now unknown, and our guns, ammunition, fishing-tackle, iron works, cloth, blankets, and other manufactures having become absolutely necessary to their very existence. [For confirmation, see p. 84.]
* Previous to 1821 the business of the Columbia department was very limited; but it has since been very greatly extended at much expense, and, I am sorry to add, at a considerable sacrifice of life among the Company's officers and servants, owing to the fierce, treacherous, and bloodthirsty character of its population, and the dangers of the navigation.
· The fur trade is the principal branch of business at present in the country situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. On the banks of the Columbia River, however, where the soil and climate are favourable to cultivation, we are directing our attention to agriculture on a large scale, and there is every prospect that we shall soon be able to establish important branches of export trade from thence in the articles of wool, tallow, hides, tobacco, and grain of various kinds.
'I have also the satisfaction to say, that the native population are beginning to profit by our example, as many, formerly dependent on hunting and fishing, now maintain themselves by the produce of the soil.'
The Rev. S. Parker gives a most pleasing picture of Fort Vancouver on the Columbia, and thus writes to his friends :- I am very agreeably situated in this place. Half of a new house is assigned me, well furnished, and all the attendance which I could wish, with access to a valuable library. I have ample opportunities of riding out for exercise, or to see the adjoining country; and, in addition to all these advantages, and what is still more valuable, I enjoy the society of gentlemen, enlightened, polished, and sociable. These comforts were not anticipated, and are, therefore, the more grateful.
There is a school connected with this establishment, for the benefit of the children of the traders and common labourers, some of whom are orphans, whose parents were attached to the Company; and also some Indian children, who are provided for by the generosity of the resident gentlemen. They are instructed in the common branches of an English education, such as reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, and geography; and, together with these, in religion and morality. The exercises of the school are closed with singing a hymn ; after which, they are taken by their teacher to a garden assigned them, in which they labour. Finding them deficient in sacred music, I undertook to instruct them in singing, in which they make good progress, and develop excellent voices. Among them is one Indian boy, who has the most flexible and melodious voice I ever heard.
'It is worthy of notice, how little of the Indian complexion is seen in the half-breed children. Generally they have fair skin, often flaxen hair, and blue eyes. The children of the school were punctual in their attendance on the three services of the Sabbath, and formed our choir.'—(Journey beyond the Rocky Mountains, p. 39.)
In the 'Narrative' before referred to, Mr. T. Simpson thus records his impressions of the state of the Indians at the Red River Settlement:
'It may be remarked that, while not a few of the children, by native women, of the Company's retired European servants, who are chiefly Orkneymen, inherit the plodding careful disposition of their fathers, the half-breed descendants of the French Canadians are, with rare exceptions, characterized by the paternal levity and extravagance, superadded to the uncontrollable passions of the Indian blood. Many of the industrious Scotch, who first planted the Colony in 1811, under the auspices of the late Earl of Selkirk, have saved handsome sums of money, besides rearing large families in rustic plenty. A considerable portion of this valuable class, however, dreading the predominance and violence of the half-breeds, with whom they have avoided intermarrying, have converted their property into money, and removed to the United States.
' Besides extensive purchases of grain and provisions, for their transport and other service, the Company annually expends large sums at Red River, in works of public utility, such as experimental farming, erecting churches and other buildings, endowing schools, affording medical aid gratis to the poor, encouraging domestic manufactures, maintaining an armed police, dispensing justice, and in contributing to the support of two Protestant clergymen, of a Roman Catholic bishop, and three priests from Canada. These self-denying men are exemplary in their lives, zealous and indefatigable in their benevolent labours, among the fruits of which may be reckoned the conversion and location of a great number of Indians, of the Cree and Salteaux, or Chippeway nations. To compensate this heavy outlay, the Company has hitherto derived no return, for the occasional sale of lands does not even defray the cost of the survey, they being in most instances bestowed gratis, though regularly purchased from the Indians, and the fur trade of the surrounding country has been long ago ruined by the Colony; but under the Company's fostering care, a population of five thousand souls has been nurtured, and a comfortable retreat has been provided for such of its retired officers and servants as prefer spending the evening of life, with their native families, in this oasis of the desert, to returning to the countries of their nativity. I
cannot pass over, without particular notice, the admirable boardingschools established by the Rev. Mr. Jones, where about sixty youth of both sexes, the intelligent and interesting offspring of the Company's officers, are trained up in European accomplishments, and in the strictest principles of religion. Nor should I omit mentioning the Indian Settlements, founded by the Rev. Mr. Cockran at the lower extremity of the Colony. He has provided schoolmasters for the native children, and built places of worship, where he regularly officiates. He has constructed a windmill for the Indians, assists them in erecting their wooden houses, and with his own hands sets them the example of industry. At the other extremity of the Colony, M. Belcour, one of the Roman Catholic priests, with untiring zeal, conducts a location of Salteaux Indians on a smaller scale. I wish I could add that the improvement of the aborigines is commensurate to those beneficent cares. But, unhappily, the experience of Canada, of the United States, of California, in short, of all parts of North America, where the experiment of ameliorating the character of the Indian tribes by civilization has been tried, is renewed at Red River. Nothing can overcome their insatiable desire for intoxicating liquors; and though they are here excluded from the use of spirits, and the settlers are fined when detected in supplying them with ale, yet, from the great extent of the Colony, they too often contrive to gratify that debasing inclination, to which they are ready to sacrifice everything they possess. They feel no gratitude to their benefactors, or spiritual teachers; and, while they lose the haughty independence of savage life, they acquire at once all the bad qualities of the white man, but are slow, indeed, of imitating his industry and his virtues*.
Indian lads, educated in the Church Missionary Society's School at Red River, have been sent to instruct their countrymen in various parts of the Company's territory. In the countries of the Columbia
• " Yet among the native tribes there exist marked distinctions.
The Swampy Crees, who have long been employed in the Company's service at York Factory and other places, adopt steady habits with far greater facility than the proud Salteaux, who contemptuously term the settlers gardeners and diggers of the ground.'
and New Caledonia, to the westward of the great Rocky Mountain chain, the missionary labours promise considerable success. There the climate is softened by the influences of the Pacific ; food is abundant; the numerous natives do not lead the same solitary wandering lives as the Eastern tribes, but dwell together in villages. They are endowed with a greater capacity and quickness of apprehension; are more pliant and tractable in temper; are fond of imitating the customs of white men ; and now receive, with eagerness, the truths of Christianity, from those upon whom but a few years ago they perpetrated the most barbarous murders; but the fever and ague, to which the country is very subject, has of late thinned their numbers. The Company's principal chaplain resides at their depôt of Fort Vancouver, on the north side of the Columbia River, where agriculture, rearing of stock, and other commercial operations, are prosecuted on a great scale. The same enlightened body has, of late years, liberally assisted American missionaries employed in instructing the dissolute maritime tribes, and in founding an American colony on the Willamette, a southern tributary of the Columbia; and has since conveyed across the mountains several Canadian priests, who, under the authority of the Bishop at Red River, are gone to form another British settlement on the shores of Puget Sound, the nucleus of a future empire in the Far West. The case is widely different in the frozen regions of the North, there the Indian hunters are scattered through interminable forests, into which civilization can never penetrate. Since the coalition of the rival companies, however, and the discharge of the noxious swarm of adventurers, who, encouraged by the licence of a hot opposition, overran and well nigh ruined the country, the precepts of morality and order have been instilled into the minds of the aborigines by many officers of the Company. No stronger proof of the salutary effect of their injunctions can be adduced than that, while peace and decorum mark the general conduct of the Northern tribes, bloodshed, rapine, and unbridled lust are the characteristics of the fierce hordes of Assiniboines, Piegans, Blackfeet, Circees, Fall and Blood Indians, who inhabit the plains between the Saskatchewan and Missouri,