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were profusely adorned with beads and gay embroidery, with porcupine quills, and other ornaments. Whilst I was saluting them, some kissed me; others, after shaking me by the hand, passed both hands over part of my dress, uttering at the same time a kind of prayer; and others gave me their left hand, because nearest the heart.
* 24th.-A large party of Blackfeet and Piegans arrived, and their entrance into the Fort presented a very novel appearance. The first that came were the Piegans, and the ceremony commenced with singing some rude and barbarous sounds. They then marched in order to the Fort, the chief leading the van, bringing with him a horse, (the head of which was striped with red ochre,) as an intended present for Mr. Harriott. After the firing of mutual salutes, and the horse being given to Mr. Harriott, the chief entered the Fort, followed by his party. The Blackfeet approached much in the same way, excepting that singing formed no part of the ceremony. Some of the chiefs' dresses looked very fine, and the needle-work on them would reflect no discredit on members of civilized communities.
* 25th.-To-day a rumour spread among the Indians that I came down from Heaven in a piece of paper, and that the paper was opened by a gentleman belonging to the Forts, and so I made my first appearance upon earth!
• 26th.—I met, in the evening, about a hundred and fifty or two hundred Indians, including women and some children.
27th March.-I discoursed to the Indians twice on the Decalogue, which, I believe, produced great effect amongst them. I also addressed them on the subjects of baptism and marriage.
* 28th.— I preached in the morning on the morals and duties of Christianity, and solemnized two marriages. The Indians were present to witness the ceremony, and, through an interpreter, I was enabled to convey to them lessons of instruction.
* 29th. --The Indians left the Fort, and I engaged to visit them on my way to the Blackfeet camp.
* April 1st.-I left the Fort this morning, on horseback, for my intended visit to the plains. My kind friend, J. H. Harriott, Esq., accompanied me some distance from the Fort, and I was
then compelled to bid him adieu for a season. The personal kindnesses received from that gentleman, during my stay with him, and also the assistances he afforded me in facilitating the objects of my mission, deserve my warmest commendations. I trust my visit to his fort will be made a blessing to many. Great attention was generally manifested by the officers and others; and, independent of the services on the Sunday, I was accustomed to preach once during the week to them, and also to hold regular family worship, which most in the fort attended.'
One of the Wesleyan Ministers thus speaks of the Hudson's Bay Company's chief officer at Norway House, who, he says,
has been' at great pains in civilizing the Indians.'
• 13th.–To-day I bade a sorrowful adieu to Mr. Ross, the Company's Officer at this fort, who left for York Factory, and according to all probability, will not return before my departure for the Saskatchawan. The kind and gentlemanly conduct manifested by him to me, since my residence at Norway House, deserves my warmest thanks. He has been my guide, counsellor, and friend.'
Of Mr. James Keith, the Company's Chief Officer at La Chine, the Mission reports that every preparation was made by him for the comfort and accommodation of the Missionaries on board the canoes, when proceeding from Canada to Rupert's Land, and nothing could exceed the respect and kindness with which they were treated.'
The Rev. Mr. Mason, in a letter dated 20th August, 1844, from Ross Ville, Hudson's Bay, to the Wesleyan Society, says, • The gentlemen who visited our neat little village, expressed their surprise at the great change and improvement of the natives. Mr. Mactavish, from the Columbia, said, there was nothing equal to it on the other side of the Rocky Mountains. You will be much pleased to hear that Donald Ross, Esq., is again stationed at Norway House ; he is, indeed, a friend to the red man's temporal and spiritual interests. His kindness and attention are uninterrupted. From the Company's servants receive every assistance which they have in their power to afford us in carrying on the great work in which we are engaged.
The Church, we trust, will be finished in a few months. The Company's men are constantly working at it. We need it much, as the school-room is far too small for the congregation.' -(Wesleyan Notices, Feb. 1845, p. 29.)
Language of a similar tendency pervades all the Reports examined, and they sufficiently demonstrate the attention paid to Christian ordinances and duties by the Hudson's Bay Company, and their officers and servants in North America.
The Wesleyan Mission in North-West America, consists of eight stations and four chapels, at Ross Ville, and Norway House, Lake Winipeg, Moose Factory, Lac la Pluie, and Forts Alexander and Edmonton, and Rocky Mountains. There are also in addition five preaching places. There are five Missionaries and assistants, one catechist, two day school teachers, two local preachers, 204 church members, 96 day scholars, and 2000 members attending public worship, of whom 174 members are full or accredited church members.
Commodore Wilkes, at p 314 of his work, says, the American Missionaries are daily receiving the kindest attentions and hospitality from the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company.'
Any further evidence of the Christian conduct and benevolent policy of the Company, would be a work of supererogation.
It is not, however, solely in a collective capacity that a humane system has been pursued; as individuals, the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company have manifested an anxious desire for the temporal welfare and spiritual improvement of the people around them, and are most undeserving of the opprobrium endeavoured to be cast on them, that they are for the most part men of very limited information, doubtful exemplars to a people arriving so slowly at a social state,—wholly imbued with the mere spirit of trade,-few of them possessed of those generous sympathies and more enlarged views which are necessary for undertaking and carrying out any scheme of social amelioration. Their Deity is gold, to obtain which they trample down Christianity and benevolence.'-Memorial of A. K. and J. Isbister and three others to the Secretary of State, page 6.
SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS, AND QUALIFICATIONS OF THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY FOR THE
COLONIZATION OF VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.
The several statements adduced in the previous pages, clearly show the means by which the Hudson's Bay Company have preserved a traffic in furs for nearly 200 years without any monopoly of the home market, thereby enriching England to the extent of at least twenty millions sterling; and now, although hemmed in by the enterprising spirit of the Americans on the South, and by the untiring industry of the Russians on the North, if upheld in their rights, supported by the Crown, and encouraged by enlightened public opinion, the Company, by the exercise of the means hitherto found successful, may long continue a valuable trade, which is nearly extinct in every other part of the globe.
Strong doubts have been expressed of the fitness of the Hudson's Bay Company for the settlement of Vancouver's Island, inasmuch (it is asserted) as they have heretofore pursued the fur trade to the neglect of colonization, but it has been overlooked that the position of the Company in the region west of the Rocky Mountains, and in the Oregon country, was similar to that of a person leasing a grouse moor in Scotland for twenty-one years. It was not in the power of the Company to invite settlers to the banks of the Columbia River or to Vancouver's Island; they could make no grant of
nd, having themselves no better title than that of a hunting licence from the Crown, which, in 1838, reserved to itself the power of forming Colonies when and where it might be deemed necessary.
Moreover the Crown could not give the requisite title to the land, since Vancouver's Island, and the adjacent region was, until 1846, disputed territory. At the 'Red River,' the land being actually the property of the Company, it has been granted in leases for the full term of a thousand years, subject to a single payment of 78. 6d. per acre; to residence thereon, to the cultivation within five years of one-tenth part of the demised land, and to a compliance with certain regulations, and local enactments framed by the late Earl of Selkirk, to
whom the Hudson's Bay Company made a large and liberal grant of territory in order to promote colonization.
The Company have not therefore failed in promoting colonization where they possessed the power of doing so; but where, for the above-mentioned reasons, they had not the right of leasing the land, they have themselves cultivated it to the utmost practicable extent, as exemplified at Fort Vancouver, on the banks of the Columbia River; and they have also aided their retired servants in the formation of agricultural stations at Puget's Sound, (Fort Nasquilly,) and on the banks of the Cowlitz River.
In addition, therefore, to the previously-recited evidence at pp. 21, 65, 72, and 104, of the agricultural proceedings of the Company, it may be useful to examine the report made by Commodore Wilkes to his Government, respecting the principal establishments of the Hudson's Bay Company, west of the Rocky Mountains, namely, Fort Vancouver, situated about 80 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River.
Approaching the station, the Commodore says,—'We came in at the back part of the village, which consists of about fifty comfortable log houses, placed in regular order on each side of the road. They are inhabited by the Company's servants, and were swarming with children, whites, half-breeds, and pure Indians. The Fort stands at some distance beyond the village, and to the eye appears like an upright wall of pickets, twenty-five feet high; this encloses the houses, shops, and magazines of the Company. The enclosure contains about four acres, which appear to be under full cultivation. Beyond the Fort large granaries were to be seen. At one end is Dr. M'Laughlin's house, built after the model of a French Canadian, of one story, weather-boarded, and painted white. It has a piazza and small flower-beds, with grape and other vines in front. Between the steps are two old cannons on sea carriages, with a few shot, to speak defiance to the natives, who no doubt look upon them as very formidable weapons of destruction. I mention these, as they are the only warlike instruments to my knowledge that are within the pickets of Vancouver, which differs from all the other forts in having no bastions, galleries, or loop-holes. Near by are the rooms for the clerks and visitors, with the blacksmiths' and coopers' shops.