5 Frontiersmen of the Canadian Wild West
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1. Jerry Potts
When the sun-burnt, mosquito-bitten officers of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) rode into Writing-on-Stone in the fall of 1874, they were disheartened, saddle-weary, and lost. The previous winter, they had first come together as a unit in Fort Dufferin, Manitoba. That summer, after months of training, they rode out west bound for the notorious Fort Whoop-Up, determined to bring law and order to the Canadian Wild West. Unfortunately, some of the Metis guides they hired had a less than complete knowledge of the western territory's geography.
Five Frontiersmen of the Canadian Wild West
Thanks to Hollywood Westerns, the world will not forget icons of the American frontier any time soon. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) immortalized Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Cochise County Cowboys. John Wayne's starring role in The Alamo (1960) made Davy Crockett a household name. And after Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in The Revenant (2015), the name Hugh Glass will long survive in posterity.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the heroes and villains of Canada's slightly-less-Old, slightly-less-Wild West. Today, few Canucks, if pressed, would be able to list off any of the prospectors, whisky traders, wolfers,
The Battle of Batoche lasted for four days in May of 1885. It ended the insurrection of the Métis on the Canadian prairies. The uprising was trying to keep the rights and culture of the Métis who had mixed ancestry of First Nations People and Europeans.
The Métis under the political and spiritual leadership of Louis Riel formed a Provisional Government of Saskatchewan at Batoche in March of 1885. In May the forces of the Canadian Government were sent to put down the North-West Rebellion. They overwhelmed the defenders of Batoche and captured Riel. He was executed for high treason.
Benedict Arnold in Saint John, New Brunswick
America’s most notorious traitor, Benedict Arnold, was a merchant in New Haven, Connecticut. In his youth he volunteered to serve in the British colonial militia but after the revolt of the Americans following the Boston Tea Party he joined the Continental Army and distinguished himself as a true revolutionary.
Benedict Arnold rose to the rank general in the Continental Army. In 1780 he was appointed commander of the fort at West Point. He betrayed the cause of the American War of Independence by plotting to hand over the fort to the British. His treachery was
Launched in 1851 in Saint John, New Brunswick, the Marco Polo was a 3-masted clipper ship. As she slid into the sea at James Smith shipyard on Courtney Bay, her keel stuck in a mudflat and her hull fell over on its side. Six days later with much effort and the help of a good high tide she was refloated upright. Her birth was further complicated as she very soon grounded again in the shallow waters of Marsh Creek. After two weeks stuck in the mud she was floated free and fitted with rigging.
As was common with ships built in