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Bill to Annex Canada into the US (1866)

Below is a copy of the bill proposed by The United States to Annex Canada into the US.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and directed, whenever notice shall be deposited in the Department of State that the governments of Great Britain and the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver’s Island have accepted the proposition hereinafter made by the United States, to publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, with limits and rights as by the act defined, are constituted and admitted as States and Territories of the United States of America.

SEC. 2 And be it further enacted, That the following articles are hereby proposed, and from the date of the proclamation of the President of the United States shall take effect, as irrevocable conditions of the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the future States of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, to wit:

ARTICLE I.

All public lands not sold or granted; canals, public harbors, light-houses, and piers; river and lake improvements; railway stocks, mortgages, and other debts due by railway companies to the provinces; custom-houses and post offices, shall vest in the United States; but all other public works and property shall belong to the State governments respectively, hereby constituted, together with all sums due from purchasers or lessees of lands, mines, or minerals at the time of the union.

ARTICLE II.

In consideration of the public lands, works, and property vested as aforesaid in the United States, the United States will assume and discharge the funded debt and contingent liabilities of the late provinces, at rates of interest not exceeding five per centum, to the amount of eighty-five million seven hundred thousand dollars, apportioned as follows: To Canada West, thirty-six million five hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, twenty-nine million dollars; to Nova Scotia, eight million dollars; to New Brunswick, seven million dollars; to Newfoundland, three million two hundred thousand dollars; and to Prince Edward Island, two million dollars; and in further consideration of the transfer by said provinces to the United States of the power to levy import and export duties, the United States will make an annual grant of one million six hundred and forty-six thousand dollars in aid of local expenditures, to be apportioned as follows: To Canada West, seven hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, five hundred and fifty thousand dollars; to Nova Scotia, one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars; to New Brunswick, one hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars; to Newfoundland, sixty-five thousand dollars; to Prince Edward Island, forty thousand dollars.

ARTICLE III.

For all purposes of State organization and representation in the Congress of the United States, Newfoundland shall be part of Canada East, and Prince Edward Island shall be part of Nova Scotia, except that each shall always be a separate representative district, and entitled to elect at least one member of the House of Representatives, and except, also, that the municipal authorities of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island shall receive the indemnities agreed to be paid by the United States in Article II.

ARTICLE IV.

Territorial divisions are established as follows: (1) New Brunswick, with its present limits; (2) Nova Scotia, with the addition of Prince Edward Island; (3) Canada East, with the addition of Newfoundland and all territory east of longitude eighty degrees and south of Hudson’s strait; (4) Canada West, with the addition of territory south of Hudson’s bay and between longitude eighty degrees longitude ninety degrees; (5) Selkirk Territory, bounded east by longitude ninety degrees, south by the late boundary of the United States, west by longitude one hundred and five degrees, and north by the Arctic circle; (6) Saskatchewan Territory, bounded east by longitude one hundred and five degrees, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, west by the Rocky mountains, and north by latitude seventy degrees; (7) Columbia Territory, including Vancouver’s Island, and Queen Charlotte’s island, and bounded east and north by the Rocky mountains, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, and west by the Pacific ocean and Russian America. But Congress reserves the right of changing the limits and subdividing the areas of the western territories at discretion.

ARTICLE V.

Until the next decennial revision, representation in the House of Representatives shall be as follows: Canada West, twelve members; Canada East, including Newfoundland, eleven members; New Brunswick, two members; Nova Scotia, including Prince Edward Island, four members.

ARTICLE VI.

The Congress of the United States shall enact, in favor of the proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, all the provisions of the act organizing the Territory of Montana, so far as they can be made applicable.

ARTICLE VII.

The United States, by the construction of new canals, or the enlargement of existing canals, and by the improvement of shoals, will so aid the navigation of the Saint Lawrence river and the great lakes that vessels of fifteen hundred tons burden shall pass from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Lakes Superior and Michigan: Provided, That the expenditure under this article shall not exceed fifty millions of dollars.

ARTICLE VIII.

The United States will appropriate and pay to “The European and North American Railway Company of Maine” the sum of two millions of dollars upon the construction of a continuous line of railroad from Bangor, in Maine, to Saint John’s, in New Brunswick: Provided, That said “The European and North American Railway Company of Maine” shall release the government of the United States from all claims held by it as assignee of the States of Maine and Massachusetts.

ARTICLE IX.

To aid the construction of a railway from Truro, in Nova Scotia, to Riviere du Loup, in Canada East, and a railway from the city of Ottawa, by way of Sault Ste. Marie, Bayfield, and Superior, in Wisconsin, Pembina, and Fort Garry, on the Red River of the North, and the valley of the North Saskatchewan river to some point on the Pacific ocean north of latitude forty-nine degrees, the United States will grant lands along the lines of said roads to the amount of twenty sections, or twelve thousand eight hundred acres, per mile, to be selected and sold in the manner prescribed in the act to aid the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad, approved July two, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and acts amendatory thereof; and in addition to said grants of lands, the United States will further guarantee dividends of five per centum upon the stock of the company or companies which may be authorized by Congress to undertake the construction of said railways: Provided, That such guarantee of stock shall not exceed the sum of thirty thousand dollars per mile, and Congress shall regulate the securities for advances on account thereof.

ARTICLE X.

The public lands in the late provinces, as far as practicable, shall be surveyed according to the rectangular system of the General Land office of the United States; and in the Territories west of longitude ninety degrees, or the western boundary of Canada West, sections sixteen and thirty-six shall be granted for the encouragement of schools, and after the organization of the Territories into States, five per centum of the net proceeds of sales of public lands shall be paid into their treasuries as a fund for the improvement of roads and rivers.

ARTICLE XI.

The United States will pay ten millions of dollars to the Hudson Bay Company in full discharge of all claims to territory or jurisdiction in North America, whether founded on the charter of the company or any treaty, law, or usage.

ARTICLE XII.

It shall be devolved upon the legislatures of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada East, and Canada West, to conform the tenure of office and the local institutions of said States to the Constitution and laws of the United States, subject to revision by Congress.

SEC 3. And be it further enacted, That if Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, or either of those provinces, shall decline union with the United States, and the remaining provinces, with the consent of Great Britain, shall accept the proposition of the United States, the foregoing stipulations in favor of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, or either of them, will be omitted; but in all other respects the United States will give full effect to the plan of union. If Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall decline the proposition, but Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver island shall, with the consent of Great Britain, accept the same, the construction of a railway from Truro to Riviere du Loup, with all stipulations relating to the maritime provinces, will form no part of the proposed plan of union, but the same will be consummated in all other respects. If Canada shall decline the proposition, then the stipulations in regard to the Saint Lawrence canals and a railway from Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie, with the Canadian clause of debt and revenue indemnity, will be relinquished. If the plan of union shall only be accepted in regard to the northwestern territory and the Pacific provinces, the United States will aid the construction, on the terms named, of a railway from the western extremity of Lake Superior, in the State of Minnesota, by way of Pembina, Fort Garry, and the valley of the Saskatchewan, to the Pacific coast, north of latitude forty-nine degrees, besides securing all the rights and privileges of an American territory to the proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia.

Cariboo Gold Rush – Camels?

The Cariboo Gold Rush started when, miners working sand bars in the rivers of British Columbia, found several creeks extremely rich with gold.  Many towns were sprung up near the gold.  Barkerville was the most notable. The Cariboo Gold Rush attracted world wide attention creating the Overlanders Expedition of 1862.

Prospectors started arriving in the Cariboo region in April of 1858.  The Steam Ship Commodore landed at Victoria with 450 men.  There were 60 British and the rest Americans, Germans, Italians, Chinese and many other nationalities.

About 30,000 prospectors headed north in the summer of 1858.  Most of them landed in Victoria to get a Mining License, which was required to look for gold. The population of Victoria grew overnight to 20,000 miners.  They camped out while waiting to get a mining license.  They purchased their equipment and food they would need for their journey to the gold-fields. The sand bars of the Fraser River did not yield much gold for many miners.  Many of them returned home busted, but many continued on to the Cariboo Region in the southern interior.

 

In 1862 Billy Barker Struck gold on Williams Creek.  A year later Barkerville, which had grown around Barker’s claim, had a population of 10,000 people.  By 1964 the Cariboo Wagon Road reached Barkerville, which allowed a steady stream of supplies to flow into the bustling gold town.

One of the lesser told stories of the Cariboo Gold Rush was about Frank Laumeister and his Camels.  If I told you that there were Camels in Canada in the mid 1800’s would you believe me? In the 1860’s Frank Laumeister was probably the most threatened freight outfitter in British Columbia. During the Cariboo gold rush Frank decided to use ” the ship of the desert ‘ to help move the huge amounts of cargo to the remote outposts. These two hump camels could out walk and out carry any animal known in North America. But to Laumeister’s dismay these bad-tempered animals would eat anything from a pair of pants to a bar of soap, if given the chance.

Horses from competing freight outfitters would stampede at the sight of a camel.  This caused large losses for those companies. The biggest drawback to making a profit was the loss of camels. These animals are sure footed on a sandy desert, but on the rocky trails of B.C. it was a different story. Most trails at the time were cut into steep rock canyon walls.

After a few years Laumeister sold the remaining camels to curious ranchers throughout the province. Thus ended a unique chapter in Canadian entrepreneurship.

Camel contribution by Jack Harley.

On September 16, 1868, Barkerville was destroyed by fire.  The fire spread through all the wooden buildings within two and a half hours.  Only a handful of buildings were left.  They had to rebuild quickly, as Winter was only a couple months away. About 90 percent of the town was rebuilt within six weeks.

Barkerville continued to be a thriving town until the turn of the century.  In 1930’s it was eclipsed by the new mining town of Wells.

Where is Oak Island

Since the launch of the hit TV show “The Curse of Oak Island” on The History Channel, one of the most asked questions is “Where is Oak Island”?

The Island is located off the coast of Nova Scotia near Halifax.  Even though it is and island, it is connected to the main land by a bridge.  It is the focus of a very long mystery related to hidden treasure.  I have always been interested in treasure hunting and have been watching the History Channel’s series for the last couple of years.  We have also written a couple of articles about the island and the mystery surrounding it, you can read them here:

Oak Island Treasure Pit / Money Pit

Oak Island Money Pit: Latest Developments

The Curse of Oak Island: The History Channel

Where is Oak Island Map

Where is Oak Island Map

When the show first started 3 years ago I was full of anticipation, however it has started to fade.  I’m starting to think the treasure is the TV Show.  Every week the teasers would lead you to believe that there is some big event that is going to lead to the big find, but as always every week ends with a dead end or a bigger mystery.  I’m starting to lose hope that there is really any hidden treasure, and in my opinion the only thing they are finding is the left over pieces of previous failed attempts to find something.  Last week they found a piece of a large wooden stake buried in the ground that was on a map of a former treasure hunter.  It was obviously left there from a previous search, but the show would lead you to believe it may have been there from the actual people that hid the treasure.  The theories about what might be hidden are vast and all over the place, so many that I have lost track.

Then again on the optimistic side, the show would be over if they find the hidden treasure.  But it does lead all newbies to the same question, Where is Oak Island.  So now you know, and it would probably be a cool place to visit on a summer vacation.

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Fritz Peters – Old Wood Rusty Iron Peters

Here’s the deal…  a Mediterranean cruise to Algeria, all expenses paid, in your very own converted US Coast Guard cutter.  Everybody aboard will salute and say “aye aye sir” to you.  You don’t even have to bring the ship back!  Interested?  That was the situation for Frederick Fritz Peters as he headed for the North African port of Oran in November 1942.

16 year old Frederick Thornton Peters joined the Royal Navy in Esquimalt in 1905.  The Canadian Navy was still a colonial dream.  In those days, Canada was still under the wing of the RN, which had small Squadrons of ships at Esquimalt and Halifax to protect trade and keep some order in the Dominion of Canada.

The British clung to the idea of “one Commonwealth, one Navy” and took the position that the Colonies should send men and money to support Royal Navy operations.  The idea had support in Canada, both from politicians looking to avoid the tax burden of setting up a new Navy, and from ex-pats reluctant to follow the American example and sever the ties.  On the other hand, there were some visionaries who saw the need for a Canadian naval arm as an obvious need for a country with three huge coastlines.

Canada’s hand (and the Admiralty’s) was forced, when the British Naval budget constraints in 1904 led to a massive fleet re-shuffle, and the elimination of Regional squadrons and bases.  The RN was engaged in a construction race with Germany, and needed to focus its resources on the new “Dreadnought” style battleships.  These ships would make all older types obsolete.

The Pacific Squadron cleared harbor at Esquimalt for the last time in March 1905.  This left Canada pretty much on its own in a very unstable world.  The Russian Navy had just been wiped out by the Japanese during the Battle of Tsushima.  Germany had strong colonial interests in the Pacific, even to the extent of a secret mapping expedition on the west coast looking for potential hiding spots and coaling bases.  Teddy Roosevelt had just threatened to send in the Marines if the Alaska Boundary dispute wasn’t resolved in his favor.

With lightning speed, the Canadian government took action and by 1910, Canada had the beginnings of a Navy.

When young Mr. Peters arrived at Esquimalt in 1905, the Royal Navy was his only choice.  He signed on as a cadet and began a long and interesting career.  Including time as destroyer Captain and Commander of a secret agent training school, culminating with his one way trip to Africa in 1942.

His task was to capture the French-held port of Oran so that it could be used in the Allied invasion of North Africa (Operation Torch).  This led to the famous series of battles between Rommel and Montgomery.  Rommel’s eventual defeat was the first major setback in the German war campaign.  It helped set the stage for Allied landings in Italy in September 1943, and then in France in June of 1944.

Oran was critical to the success of operation Torch, and Captain Peters knew the odds were not in his favor. The port was well defended by shore batteries and by 14 French warships ranging from cruisers to submarines, sent there after the German invasion of France.

The Vichy French garrison was not well-disposed to the Allies, or the British in particular. Just the year before, in July of 1940, Royal Navy units including the battle cruiser Hood had shelled heavy ships of the French Navy at Mers-el-Kebir and Dakar to prevent their transfer to the German side. The British Squadron sent an ultimatum to the French Admiral, asking that he turn his ships over to British control toute suite, or face the consequences. When no clear reply was given by the deadline, Hood’s 15 inch guns opened fire, the first time the old battlecruiser’s guns had been fired in anger. Unfortunately for Captain Peters, not all the French units were put out of action.  A number of destroyers, cruisers and submarines remained in North Africa firmly in place.

Peters’ main assets were two former US Coast Guard Cutters, HM Ships Walney and Hartland. Built in 1930 as the Lake class cutters Sebago and Ponchartrain, these 1700 ton ships were powered by a turbine-electric steam plant giving about 17 knots.  Ten of these ships had been transferred to the Royal Navy in 1941 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s lend-lease program.  This allowed the Americans to support Britain without getting directly involved.

Peters led his force into the harbor at daybreak on November 8, 1942. Packed with US 6th Armoured Infantry. The plan was to lay the ships alongside the main jetty and disembark the troops, with covering fire from two other forces landed on each side of the main harbor. As they approached, both ships came under intense fire.  The Walney was hit several times, killing all bridge personnel except Captain Peters.  Blinded in one eye, Fritz Peters still managed to lay his ship alongside the pier, where she quickly sank. Hartland was sunk in the approaches, killing almost all of the crew and infantry force. Of the 393 Americans, 189 were killed and 157 wounded. British numbers were, 113 killed and 86 wounded.

The survivors were captured by the Vichy French garrison.  They were held for two days until Allied forces landed on the beaches were able to overwhelm them.  Captain Peters was put aboard an Australian Sunderland flying boat, to be returned to England for medical attention. The Sunderland crashed off the Plymouth coast and Peters’ body was never found. It was his 53rd birthday.

Fritz Peters was awarded both the Victoria Cross and the US Distinguished Service Cross.

Bibliography
Great Canadian War Heroes, Tom Douglas, Altitude
Publishing, 2005
Veterans Affairs Canada, online archive

Return to Capt Peters’ story

George Fraser Kerr

Lieutenant George Fraser Kerr VC, MC, MM

Lt Kerr was born in Deseronto, Ontario, 8 June 1894. Already awarded the Military Medal (MM) as a Private and then the Military Cross (MC) and Bar after he was commissioned, Lt Kerr was awarded the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous bravery during the Bourlon Woods Operations on 27 September 1918. The citation reads in part”… Lead his company with great skill, outflanked an impending machine-gun position, rushed the strong-point and single-handed, captured four machine-guns and 31 prisoners…” Captain Kerr died in a freak household accident at his home in Lawrence Park Toronto, 8 December 1929.

Tylosaurus

The Tylosaurus, the key to Turtle Lake Monster and Cadborosaurous?

In 1938, in the Chalumna River in South Africa, a fish was discovered.  The Coelacanth (pictured below), lesser known as Latimeria chalumnae, was thought to have been extinct for almost 300 million years but there it was, swimming happily.  The find was not an isolated one.  Over the years, specimens have been found in  other parts of Africa as far north as Tanzania.  A “sister” species of Latimeria was found in Indonesia in 1999.

I bring the Coelacanth to your attention because of a fossil find in Saskatchewan.  The Royal Saskatchewan Museum announced in 1995 that a huge 73 million year old Tylosaur was excavated near Herbert Ferry on Lake Diefenbaker.

A Tylosaurus was a lizard-like reptile that swam in shallow seas in the late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 – 80 million years ago. They had small flippers but large jaws, teeth and vertebrae. They were found in large numbers all through out North America.

At the time of the Tylosaur, the Bearpaw Sea, an inland waterway that stretched from western Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, was a combination of fresh and salt water.  That is one of the reasons that there are so many salt flats and deposits in western Canada.  The Tylosaur flourished in great numbers, feeding on fish, other reptiles and even on other Tylosaur.  They ranged up to 15 metres long and could weigh many tons.  Their heads included long snouts that they used to ram their prey to render it
easier to catch?

Take a look at the Tylosaur in its stretched configuration, as seen below.  Does that not strike you as being somewhat the same configuration as what has been described as many sea monsters in Canada?  It is not exact, but then most of the sightings of Cadborosaurous, Turtle Lake Monster and other sea creatures have been sketchy at best.  Anyway, what changes could be possible through evolution over an 80 million year period?

I am not saying that sea monsters exist in Canada.  I am also not saying the Tylosauraus has escaped extinction.

What I am saying is that you cannot dismiss the “eyewitness” reports of sightings, out of hand.  The experience of the Coelacanth is evidence that, in science, the words always and never are dangerous ones to use.

 

Canadian sea monsters include:

Cadborosaurous,
Turtle Lake Monster,
Ogopogo,
Igopogo,
Memphre and even more.

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Treaty 7 Text

Articles of a Treaty made and concluded
this twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord, one thousand
eight hundred and seventy-seven, between HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY THE
QUEEN of Great Britain and Ireland, by Her Commissioners, the Honorable
DAVID LAIRD, Lieutenant-Governor and Indian Superintendent of the
North-West Territories, and JAMES FARQUHARSON MACLEOD, C.M.G.,
Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police, of the one part, and the
Blackfeet, Blood, Peigan, Sarcee, Stoney and other Indians, inhabitants of
the Territory north of the United States Boundary Line, east of the
central range of the Rocky Mountains, and south and west of Treaties
numbers six and four, by their Head Chiefs and Minor Chiefs or Councillors,
chosen as hereinafter mentioned, of the other part.

Whereas
the Indians inhabiting the said Territory have, pursuant to an
appointment made by the said Commissioners, been convened at a meeting at
the “Blackfoot Crossing’ of the Bow River, to deliberate upon certain
matters of interest to Her Most Gracious Majesty of the one part,
and the said Indians of the other;

And Whereas the said Indians have been informed by Her
Majesty’s
Commissioners that it is the desire of Her Majesty to
open up for settlement, and such other purposes as to Her Majesty
may seem meet, a tract of country, bounded and described as hereinafter
mentioned, and to obtain the consent thereto of Her Indian subjects
inhabiting the said tract, and to make a Treaty, and arrange with them, so
that there may be peace and good will between them and Her Majesty
and between them and Her Majesty’s other subjects; and that Her
Indian people may know and feel assured of what allowance they are to
count upon and receive from Her Majesty’s bounty and benevolence;

And Whereas the Indians of the said tract, duly convened
in Council, and being requested by Her Majesty’s Commissioners to
present their Head Chiefs and Minor Chiefs, or Councillors, who shall be
authorized, on their behalf, to conduct such negotiations and sign any
Treaty to be founded thereon, and to become responsible to Her Majesty
for the faithful performance, by their respective Bands of such
obligations as should be assumed by them, the Blackfeet, Blood, Peigan and
Sarcee Indians have therefore acknowledged for the purpose, the several
Head and Minor Chiefs, and the said Stoney Indians, the Chiefs and
Councillors who have subscribed hereto; that thereupon, in open Council,
the said Commissioners received and acknowledged the Head and Minor Chiefs
and the Chiefs and Councillors presented for the purpose aforesaid;

And Whereas the said Commissioners have proceeded to
negotiate a Treaty with the said Indians; and the same has been finally
agreed upon and concluded as follows, that is to say: the Blackfeet,
Blood, Peigan, Sarcee, Stoney and other Indians inhabiting the District
hereinafter more fully described and defined, do hereby cede, release,
surrender, and yield up to the Government of Canada for Her Majesty
the Queen and her successors for ever, all their rights, titles and
privileges whatsoever to the lands included within the following limits,
that is to say:

Commencing at a point on the International Boundary due south of the
western extremity of the Cypress Hills, thence west along the said
boundary to the central range of the Rocky Mountains, or to the boundary
of the Province of British Columbia, thence north-westerly along the said
boundary to a point due west of the source of the main branch of the Red
deer River, thence south-westerly and southerly following on the
boundaries of the Tracts ceded by the Treaties numbered six and four to
the place of commencement;

And also all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever, to all
other lands wherever situated in the North-west Territories, or in any
other portion of the Dominion of Canada:

To have and to hold the same to Her Majesty the Queen and Her
successors forever:

And Her Majesty the Queen hereby agrees with Her said Indians,
that they shall have right to pursue their vocations of hunting throughout
the Tract surrendered as heretofore described, subject to such regulations
as may, from time to time, be made by the Government of the country,
acting under the authority of Her Majesty, and saving and excepting such
Tracts as may be required or taken up from time to time for settlement,
mining, trading or other purposes by Her Government of Canada; or by any
of Her Majesty’s subjects duly authorized therefore by the said
Government.

It is also agreed between Her Majesty and Her said Indians that
Reserves shall be assigned them of sufficient area to allow one square
mile for each family of five persons, or in that proportion for larger and
smaller families, and that said Reserves shall be located as follows, that
is to say:

FIRST – The Reserves of the Blackfeet, Blood and Sarcee Bands of
Indians, shall consist of a belt of land on the north side of the Bow and
South Saskatchewan Rivers, of an average width of four miles along said
rivers, downstream, commencing at a point on the Bow River, River twenty
miles north-westerly of the Blackfoot Crossing thereof, and extending to
the Red Deer River at its junction with the South Saskatchewan; also for
the term of ten years, and no longer, from the date of the concluding of
this Treaty, when it shall cease to be a portion of said Indian reserves,
as fully to all intents and purposes as if it had not at any time been
included therein, and without any compensation to individual Indians for
improvements, of a similar belt of land on the south side of the Bow and
Saskatchewan Rivers of an average width of one mile along said rivers,
down stream; commencing at the aforesaid point on the Bow River, and
extending to a point one mile west of the coal seam on said river, about
five miles below the said Blackfoot Crossing; beginning again one mile
east of the said coal seam and extending to the mouth of Maple creek at
its junction with the South Saskatchewan; and beginning again at the
junction of the Bow River with the latter river, and extending on both
sides of the South Saskatchewan in an average width on each side thereof
of one mile, along said river against the stream, to the junction of the
Little Bow River with the latter river, reserving to Her Majesty as
may now or hereafter be required by Her for the use of Her Indian and
other subjects, from all the reserves hereinbefore described, that right
to navigate the above mentioned rivers, to land and receive fuel and
cargoes on the shores and banks thereof, to build bridges and establish
ferries thereon, to use the fords thereof and all the trails leading
thereto, and to open such other roads through the said Reserves as may
appear to Her Majesty’s Government of Canada, necessary for the
ordinary travel of Her Indian and other subjects, due compensation being
paid to individual Indians for improvements , when the same may be in any
manner encroached upon by such roads.

SECONDLY – That the Reserves of the Peigan Band of Indians shall
be on the Old Man’s River, near the foot of the Porcupine Hills at a place
called “Crow’s Creek.”

AND THIRDLY – The Reserve of the Stoney Band of Indians shall be
in the vicinity of Morleyville.

In view of the satisfaction of Her Majesty with the recent
general good conduct of her said Indians, and in extinguishment of all
their past claims, she hereby, through Her Commissioners, agrees to make
them a present payment of twelve dollars each in cash to each man, woman
and child of the families here represented.

Her Majesty also agrees that next ear, and annually afterwards
forever, she will cause to be paid to the said Indians, in cash, at
suitable places and dates, of which the said Indians shall be duly
notified, to each Chief, twenty-five dollars, each minor Chief or
Councillors (not exceeding fifteen minor Chiefs to the Blackfeet and Blood
Indians, and four to the Peigan and Sarcee Bands, and five councillors to
the Stoney Indian Bands), fifteen dollars, and to every other Indian of
whatever age, five dollars; the same, unless there be some exceptional
reason, to be paid to the heads of families for those belonging thereto.

Further Her Majesty agrees that the sum of two
thousand dollars shall hereafter every year be expended in the purchase of
ammunition for distribution among the said Indians PROVIDED, that if at
any future time ammunition become comparately unnecessary for said
Indians, Her Government, with the consent of said Indians, or any of the
Bands thereof, may expend the proportion due to each Band otherwise for
their benefit.

Further Her Majesty agrees that each Head Chief
and Minor Chief, and each Chief and Councillor duly recognized as such,
shall, once in every three years, during the term of their office, receive
a suitable suit of clothing, and each Head Chief and Stoney Chief, in
recognition of the closing of the Treaty, a suitable medal and flag, and
next year, or as soon as convenient, each head Chief, and Minor Chief, and
Stoney Chief shall receive a Winchester rifle.

Further Her Majesty agrees to pay the salary of
such teachers to instruct the children of said Indians as to Her
Government of Canada may seem advisable, when said Indians are settled on
their Reserves and shall desire teachers.

Further Her Majesty agrees to supply each Head and
Minor Chief, and each Stoney Chief, for the use of their Bands, ten axes,
five handsaws, five augers, one grindstone, and the necessary files and
whetstones.

And Further, Her Majesty agrees that the said
Indians shall be supplied as soon as convenient, after any Band shall make
due application therefore, with the following cattle for raising stock,
that is to say: for every family of five persons, and under, two cows; for
every family of more than five persons, and less than ten persons, three
cows, for every family of over ten persons, four cows; and every Head and
Minor Chief, and every Stoney Chief, for the use of their Bands, one bull;
but if any Band desire to cultivate the soil as well as raise stock, each
family of such Band shall receive one cow less than the above-mentioned
number, and in lieu thereof, when settled on their Reserves and prepared
to break up the soil, two hoes, one spade, one scythe, and two hay forks,
and for every three families, one plough and one harrow, and for each
Band, enough potatoes, barley, oats and wheat (if such seeds be suited for
the locality of their reserves) to plant the land actually broken up. All
the aforesaid articles to be given, once for all, for the encouragement of
the practice of justice and punishment any India offending against the
stipulations of this Treaty, or infringing the laws in force in the
country so ceded.

And the undersigned Blackfeet, Blood, Peigan and Sarcee Head Chiefs and
Minor Chiefs, and Stoney Chiefs and Councillors, on their own behalf and
on behalf of all other Indians inhabiting the Tract within ceded, do
hereby solemnly promise and engage to strictly observe this Treaty, and
also to conduct and behave themselves as good and loyal subjects of Her
Majesty the Queen.
They promise and engage that they will, in all
respects, obey and abide by the Law; that they will maintain peace and
good order between each other and between themselves and other tribes of
Indians, and between themselves and others of Her Majesty’s
subjects, whether Indians, Half-Breeds or Whites, now inhabiting, or
hereafter to inhabit, any part of the said ceded tract; and that they will
not molest the person or property of any inhabitant of such ceded tract,
or the property of Her Majesty the Queen or interfere with or
trouble any person, passing or travelling through the said tract or any
art thereof, and that they will assist the officers of Her Majesty
in bringing to justice and punishment any Indian offending against the
stipulations of this Treaty, or infringing the laws in force in the
country so ceded.

In Witness Whereof, Her Majesty’s said
Commissioners, and the said Indian Head and Minor chiefs and Stoney Chiefs
and Councillors, have hereunto subscribed and set their hands, at the
“Blackfoot Crossing” of the Bow River, the day and year herein first above
written.

Signed by the Chiefs and Councillors within named in presence of the
following witnesses, the same having been first explained by JAMES BIRD,
Interpreter:

A.G. IRVINE, Assistant Com. N.W.M.P.

J. MacDOUGALL, Missionary.

JEAN L’HEUREUX.

W. WINDER, Inspector.

T.N.F. CROZIER, Inspector.

E. DALRYMPLE CLARK, Lieutenant and Adjutant N.W.M.P.

A. SHURTLIFF, Sub-Inspector.

C.E. DENING, Sub-Inspector.

W.D. AUTROBUS, Sub-Inspector.

FRANK NORMAN, Staff Constable.

MARY J. MacLEOD.

JULIA WINDER.

JULIA SHURTLIFF.

E. HARDISTY.

A. MacDOUGALL.

E.A. BARRETT.

CONSTANTINE SCOLLEN, Priest, witness to signatures of Stonixosak and those
following.

CHARLES E. CONRAD.

THOMAS J. BOGG.

DAVID LAIRD, Lieutenant-Governor of NorthWest Territories, and Special
Indian Commissioner.

JAMES F. MacLEOD, Lieut.-Colonel, Com. N.W.M.P., and Special Indian
Commissioner

CHAPO-MEXICO, or Crowfoot, Head Chief of the South Blackfeet.

MATOSE-APIW, or Old Sun, Head Chief of the North Blackfeet.

STAMISCOTOCAR, or Bull Head, Head Chief of the Sarcees.

MEKASTO, or Red Crow, Head Chief of the South Bloods.

NATOSE-ONISTORS, or Medicine Calf.

POKAPIW-OTOIAN, or Bad Head.

SOTENAH, or Rainy Chief, Head Chief of the North Bloods.

TOKOYE-STAMIX, or Fiend Bull.

AKKA-KITCIPIMIW-OTAS, or Many Spotted Horses.

ATTISTAH-MACAN, or Runing Rabbit.

PITAH-PEKIS, or Eagle Rib.

SAKOYE-AOTAN, or Heavy Shield, Head Chief of the Middle Blackfeet.

ZOATZE-TAPITAPIW, or Setting on an Eagle Tail, Head Chief of the North
Peigans.

AKKA-MAKKOYE, or Many Swans.

APENAKO-SAPOP, or Morning Plume.

MAS-GWA-AH-SID, or Bear’s Paw.

CHE-ME-KA, or John.

KI-CHI-PWOT, or Jacob.

STAMIX-OSOK, or Bull Bacfat.

EMITAH-APISKINNE, or White Striped Dog.

MATAPI-KOMOFZIW, or the Captive or Stolen Person.

APAWAWAKOSOW, or White Antilope.

MAKOYE-KIN, or Wolf Collar.

AYE-STIPIS-SIMAT, or Heavily Whipped.

KISSOUM, or Day Ligth.

PITAH-OTOCAN, or Eagle Head.

APAW-STAMIX, or Weasel Bull.

ONISTAH-POKAH, or White Calf.

NETAH-KITEI-PIMEW, or Only Spot.

AKAK-OTOS, or Many Horses.

STOKIMATIS, or The Drum.

PITAH-ANNES, or Eagle Robe.

PITAH-OTSIKIN, or Eagle Shoe.

STAMIXO-TA-KA-PIW, or Bull Turn Round.

MASTE-PITAH, or Crow Eagle.

JAMES DIXON.

ABRAHAM KECHEPWOT.

PATRICK KECHEPWOT.

GEORGE MOY-ANY-MEN.

GEORGE CRAWLOR.

EKAS-KINE, or Low Horn.

KAKO-OKOSIS, or Bear Shield.

PONOKAH-STAMIX, or Bull Elk.

OMAKSI SAPOP, or Big Plume.

ONISTAH, or Calf Robe.

PITAH-SIKSINUM, or White Eagle.

APAW-ONISTAW, or Weasel Calf.

ATTISTA-HAES, or Rabit Carrier.

PITAH, or Eagle.

PITAH-ONISTAH, or Eagle White Calf.

KAYE-TAPO, or Going to Bear.

* All names and spellings taken from the original treaty document.

the members of the Blackfoot tribe of Indians having had explained to
us the terms of the Treaty made and concluded at the Blackfoot Crossing of
the Bow River, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven;

Between Her Majesty the Queen by Her Commissioners duly
appointed to negotiate the said Treaty and the Blackfeet, Blood, Peigan,
Sarcee, Stony and other Indian inhabitants of the country within the
limits defined in the said Treaty, but not having been present at the
Councils at which the articles of the said Treaty were agreed upon, do now
hereby, for ourselves and the Bands which we represent, in consideration
of the provisions of the said Trety being extended to us and the Bands
which we represent, transfer, surrender and relinquish to Her Majesty
the Queen
Her heirs and successors, to and for the use of Her
Government of the Dominion of Canada, all our right, title and interest
whatsoever which we and the said Bands which we represent have held or
enjoyed of in and to the territory described and fully set out in the said
Treaty; also, all our right, title and interest whatsoever to all other
lands wherever situated whether within the limits of any other Treaty
heretofore made or hereafter to be made with Indians, or elsewhere in
Her Majesty’s
Territories, to have and to hold the same unto and for
the use of Her Majesty the Queen Her heirs and successors forever;

And we hereby agree to accept the several benefits, payments, and
Reserves promised to the Indians under the Chiefs adhering to the said
Treaty at the Blackfoot Crossing of the Bow River, and we solemnly engage
to abide by, carry out and fulfill all the stipulations, obligations and
conditions therein contained on the part of the Chiefs and Indians therein
named, to be observed and performed and in all things to conform to the
articles of the said Treaty, as if we ourselves and the Bands which we
represent had been originally contracting parties thereto and had been
present at the Councils held at the Blackfoot Crossing of the Bow River,
and had there attached our signatures to the said Treaty.

In Witness Whereof , JAMES FARQUHARSON MacLEOD, C.M.G.,
one of Her Majesty’s Commissioners appointed to negotiate the said
Treaty and the Chief of the Band, hereby giving their adhesion to the said
Treaty, have hereunto subscribed and set their hands at FORT MacLEOD, this
FOURTH DAY of DECEMBER, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and seventy-seven.

SIGNED by the parties hereto in the presence of the undersigned
witnesses, the same having been explained to the Indians by the said JAMES
FARQUHARSON MacLEOD, one of the Commissioners appointed to negotiate the
said Treaty, through the interpreter, JERRY POTTS, in the presence of:

A.G. IRVINE, Assistant
Commissioner
.

E. DALRYMPLE CLARK, Lieutenant and Adjutant, N.W.M.P.

CHARLES E. CONRAD

W. WINDER, Inspector .

JAMES F. MacLEOD, LIEUT.-Col., Special Indian Commissioner .

MEANXKISTOMACH, or THREE BULLS.

Return to Treaty 7

Cypress Hills Massacre

In 1873, a bloody “battle” known as the Cypress Hills Massacre took place when American wolfers, including Thomas Hardwick and John Evens, who were stopped at one of the posts, lost some horses. They believed the horses had been stolen by a group of Nakoda (Assiniboine) camped nearby, and after much drinking set out to take revenge.  In the 1870s, a number of fur trading posts were established along Battle Creek, which runs through Cypress Hills.

As the authority of the Hudson’s Bay Company slowly eroded across the West in the late-1860s, the region around Cypress Hill, close to the international border, became a haven for American desperadoes seeking their fortune in an illegal whiskey trade. All too frequently, whiskey trading touched off terrible scenes of violence. “In this traffic very many Indians were killed,” reported one contemporary account, “and also quite a number of white men

 

These “wolfers” were known to authorities in Canada. A gang of 100-300 Americans had stolen a couple of US military cannons and set up a stronghold just across the border at Fort Hamilton in the Territories. Fort Hamilton was a former Hudson’s Bay fort, one of many the HBC-abandoned as they pulled out of of the territories. From this base, some 50 miles north of the US border, the wolfers smuggled whisky in from Montana to sell to the Indians and hunted the fast-dwindling buffalo on the prairie.  The wolfers got their name from their practice of poisoning the carcasses of buffalo left behind by robe traders, and then harvesting the furs from the dead wolves and
coyotes that ate the tainted meat.  Indian dogs, and sometimes the people, too, were also killed this way.

 

In the ensuing one-sided battle between the Nakoda and the the wolfers, between 16 and 22 Nakoda, including women and children  One Nakoda named Little Soldier had been singled out as the horse thief.  He was killed and decapitated.  His head was displayed on a tall stick.  (The 1870s were very different from today where you may find immediate annuity in a murder situation.)  One wolfer was also killed. Although it took several months for the news to filter back to the eastern press, when the story did break, the country became enraged. The slaughter was seen as a clear indication that the Canadian West was at risk of emulating the wild frontier which existed south of the border. American involvement in the incident was particularly disturbing. The free movement of Montana traders across the international border was seen both as an infringement of Canadian sovereignty, and as a blatant disregard for Canada’s desire to have a peaceful frontier under British law.

 

The Cypress Hills Massacre convinced Sir John A. McDonald to pass a bill establishing a force known as the North West Mounted Police — a force that would later become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the Mounties. Fort Walsh was established near the trading posts and served the North West Mounted Police until 1883.  The duties of the NWMP was to:  suppress the whiskey trade; bring law and order to Canada’s North West Territories; establish a Canadian presence; and peacefully encourage the First Nations to sign treaties and settle on reserves.

Although several of the murderers were later arrested and tried in Canada, none was ever convicted, and the case was officially closed in 1882.

Fort Walsh stills exists as a tourist site.  The site of the massacre is marked nearby.

Editor’s note:  It has recently been brought to our attention that a colorful individual with the name of John Liver Eating Johnston was one of the many Americans who sold whisky to the Indians in Cypress Hill.  You can read more about his at:
http://www.johnlivereatingjohnston.com

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Treaty 7

Treaty Seven was a peace treaty made between two nations – the tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy, and the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.  By Her Commissioners, the honorable David Laird, Lieutenant Governor and Indian Superintendent of the North-West Territories, and James Farquharson Macleod, C.M.G., Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police. When Treaty Seven was made in 1877, it became the last in a series of agreements concluded between the Government of Canada and the Indians of the North-West during the decade of the 1870’s. Upon it’s conclusion, more than twenty years would pass before another treaty was made. Treaty Seven completed the task which the government had set out to accomplish after it acquired control of Rupert’s Land in 1870.

From the government’s perspective, the need for Treaty Seven was immediate and simple. As part of the terms of bringing British Columbia into Confederation in 1871, the Canadian governments had promised to build a transcontinental railway within ten years. Such a line would have to traverse the newly-acquired land still nominally in control of Indian tribes. Huge land concessions would need to be offered to the company building the railway and later, the existence of the line would encourage large scale immigration to the western prairies.

When the British North America Act was passed in 1867, the responsibility for Indians and Indian lands had been vested in the federal government. Further, the government was bound by the terms of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which recognized Indians as rightful, occupiers of their hunting grounds until such a time as these were ceded to a government authority. This meant that the railway could not be built until the rights of the Indians along it’s route had been settled. Therefore, during the period from 1871 to 1876, the government of Canada had systematically concluded treaties with all tribes in the arable regions of the North-West Territories, with the exception of those inhabiting some 50,000 square miles of land south of the Red Deer River and adjacent to the Rocky Mountains. These lands were occupied by the Treaty Seven First Nations. The Articles of Treaty 7 outlined the areas where the present day Reserves now exist. The making of Treaty 7 occurred at “Blackfoot Crossing” which is located on the Siksika Reserve east of Calgary.

In summary, the Treaty made provisions for one square mile for each Indian family, plus a limited supply of cattle, some farm equipment (one plow for each band) and a small amount of treaty and ammunition money. The treaty also made limited commitments on the part of the Queen to provide education for children and in some cases, medical services.

Click here to see the text of Treaty 7.

Flanders Fields – Veterans Tribute

In Flanders Fields was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918).  The poem was inspired by the following story.  During the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on May 2nd, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. A German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as McCrae, a friend of his.

As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain was not available that day. Later that night, after the funeral, John McCrae began the draft for his now famous poem In Flanders Fields.

 

Each November 11th should be one year long.

We owe our freedom to our Veterans.

This is our way of saying Thank you!

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

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