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Canada and the States By Sir E. W. Watkin Characters: 43519

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:04

Visits to Quebec and Portland, and Letters Home, 1861.

Leaving Montreal by the night boat, I arrived at the wharf at Quebec; and, after a visit to the hotel and a walk round the city, called on Mr. Cartier, the Chief Minister of Canada, at the small house he then inhabited.

My first relation with Quebec was in acting as Honorary Secretary to a Committee in Manchester, which raised 7,500_l_. by subscription, and sent it out in money and goods to relieve the people, houseless and ruined by the great Quebec fires of May and July, 1845, when 3,015 houses were burnt down, and thousands of people were made homeless, and were starving. I also visited the city in 1851. Later on, in the year 1866, I was Chairman of the City of London Committee, which raised 23,800_l_. to alleviate the suffering caused by the great Quebec fire of that year.

In my walk round the city (in 1861) I was struck with the absence of precautions against fire, and the persistence in building wooden houses, when the cost of brick or stone could not be greatly more than of wood.

I may say, however, in my right as an old helper in these fire disasters, that on inspecting the city last September (1886), I was much impressed by the new building regulations in rigid force, and especially by the admirable system adopted for the effective repression of fires. There are central and subordinary fire stations, all connected together by telegraph and telephone. A constant watch is kept, engines are always ready to start off, and a sufficient number of men available for duty night and day.

But to come back to Mr. Cartier. After I had waited in his salon for a few minutes, he entered: A man under middle height, hair turning a little grey, eyes grey blue, sparkling and kindly; face almost Grecian; figure spare but muscular; well proportioned; manner full of almost southern fire, and restlessness. We discussed our Grand Trunk affairs. I explained the objects of our draft Bill, which were few and simple- (A) To raise 500,000_l_. as an "equipment" mortgage, to provide the railway with, much needed, plant and material; (B) to set aside all revenue derived from postal and military services; and upon the security of this revenue to issue "Postal and Military" Bonds, wherewith to pay the debts due by the Company in Canada and England. These debts were pressing, and were large. (C) To alter the administration of the Company in such wise that while the executive work would be done in Canada, with Montreal as headquarters, the seat of government would be in London, the stock and bonds being mainly held in England. I think, at that time, there were not more than 20,000_l_. of the original issue of Ordinary Stock of the Grand Trunk held in Canada.

Mr. Cartier knew, of course, all the ins and outs of the Grand Trunk. His Government had in previous years placed the loan of 3,100,000_l_. from Canada, expended in construction, behind other securities, to enable an issue of second bonds with which to complete the Trunk lines. But, unfortunately, as a condition of this concession, profitless branches were undertaken, branches, no doubt, locally useful, perhaps politically needful, but profitless nevertheless.

Mr. Cartier's sole query was, "Have you arranged with the Government at home as to the Military Revenue?"-to which I replied, that there was no occasion: the Government made no objection, and regularly paid the moderate charges made for the conveyance of men and material over the Railway: and we could, of course, if the Canadian Parliament passed our draft Bill into an Act, appropriate these receipts in any way the Act directed. With the Canadian Government it was different. The Canadian Government had, so far, delayed any settlement of our accounts for the costly conveyance of mail matter, by special trains, over long distances, so timed as to suit the Province but not to suit the Grand Trunk passengers; and one of my objects in coming out was to endeavour to induce Mr. Cartier and his colleagues to close up this pending matter for the past and to accord a just and adequate amount for the service of the future, such amount to be effective over a period of years. We then went into general conversation. I told Mr. Cartier I had been in Canada in 1851: and had at that time seen Papinean, Mackenzie, and others, whose resistance had led to peace and union, and greater liberty for all. This remark fired his eye; and he said, "Ah! it is eight years that I am Prime Minister of Canada; when I was a rebel the country was different, very different."

Mr. Cartier often preceded his observations, I believe, by the words "When I was a rebel;" and old George Crawford, of the Upper Province, a magnificent specimen of a Scotch Upper Canadian, once said, "Cartier, my frind, ye'll be awa to England and see the Queen, and when ye come bock aw that aboot ye're being a robbell, as no doobt ye were, will never be hard again. Ye'll begin, mon, 'When I was at Windsor Castle talking to the Queen.'" Years before, on Cartier being presented to the Queen by Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, he told Her Majesty that a Lower Canadian was "an Englishman who speaks French."

But Mr. Cartier had been a rebel; and a gallant and brave one. One of the incidents was, that when Sir John Colborne's troops invested the Chateau of St. Eustache, Cartier, a young man of nineteen, was lowered from a window at night, crawled along to the Cache, then under range of fire, and brought back a bag of cartridges strapped round his waist, to replenish the exhausted ammunition of the defenders of the Chateau. And I believe that he was hauled up again amidst a rain of bullets, having been discovered,-which bullets, fortunately for Canada, missed the "rebel."

I may here mention that in the autumn of 1865 I had a long interview with President Andrew Johnson, at the White House at Washington, having been introduced by Mr. Rice, of St. Paul's, Minnesota, a man to whom the United States and Canada are each deeply indebted, for the completion of railways from St. Paul's to the Hudson's Bay post of Fort Garry, now the thriving town of Winnipeg. The President told me he had that morning received a letter from the wife of the ex-President of the just defeated Southern Confederacy, which he said was "the reverse of complimentary." He read a sentence or two; and smiled quietly at a reference to his, as assumed by the lady, early occupation of journeyman tailor. President Davis was at the moment in prison in the case-mates of Fort Hatteras. "It is, of course, difficult to know what to do with him." Well, I said, "Mr. President, I remember when you were a Senator you said to those who talked secession, that if they carried out their threats, and you had your way, you would 'hang them as high as Haman.'"

The President paused, and then lifted his head and replied, "So I did, Sir. But we must look at things all round; consider faults on both sides, and that we have to be fellow-citizens in future." I added, "Mr. President, I have just left Canada, and taken leave of Mr. Cartier, the Prime Minister of that country. The Queen has not a more loyal subject. Yet, in 1839, he was a rebel in arms against the Crown. He was a secessionist. For a while he was a refugee in the woods at Rouse's Point, on Lake Champlain. A reward of 500_l_. was offered for his apprehension. But our country removed grievances, recognized the equality of French and English Canadians, united the Provinces, and forgave the rebels. All that sad contest is now forgotten."

The President seemed much struck, and, after a pause, he said, "Sir, will you say that again?" I repeated the words, and he scribbled, as I spoke, some notes on the blotter of the portfolio before him. He then said, "A countryman of mine has been over to your side of the Atlantic to teach you to tame horses. This gentleman, Mr. Rarey, uses what he calls 'mild force.' Mild force will probably be useful with us." The Fenian demonstrations in the United States against England were named as a breach of comity. The President said, sharply, "Why don't your people remonstrate? We hear no complaint."

To return to my narrative, Mr. Cartier arranged an interview for me with the Governor-General, Sir Edmund Head, and I presented my letters from Mr. Baring, and was assured of all the help he could give me. "Your demands are very clear, and appear to me equally just. First you ask the Government of Canada to aid you in passing a Bill through Parliament, which clearly is for the benefit of Canada, because it proposes to increase the efficiency of the railway service by a further outlay of capital, and also to pay off debt, a considerable part of which is incurred in Canada; and secondly, you ask for an immediate and just settlement of the charge for the conveyance by you of the mails."

The Governor-General then sent for Mr. John A.

Macdonald, who came immediately, and the conversation which had taken place was repeated.

This was the first time I had seen either Cartier, Sir Edmund Head, or


Sir Edmund Head was a tall stately man, with thoughtful brow, and complexion a little purpled by cardiac derangement. As the don of a college he would have been great, and in his sphere: as the Governor of a Province with a self-asserting people, I doubt if he had found the true groove.

His despatches were scholastic essays. His simplest replies were grave and learned, sometimes too complex for ordinary comprehension. When he, subsequently, became Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, he tried to manage a profit-and-loss undertaking as if he were governing a province: just as when he governed a province he administered all things as if he were dealing with Russia in Europe. He was, however, a man of the kindest heart, and the strictest honor. But, after all, he was one of the round men put into the square holes of Provincial Government by the "authorities" at home. Still, on the whole, a noble character, and in very truth a gentleman. His chronic ailment led to some irritability of temper; and when, during the visit of the Prince of Wales, one of the Governor's aides-de-camp was pushed over from the steamer at Detroit by the press of the crowd, and fell into the water, Colonel Irving said:-"Ah! there was no danger whatever to --'s life. The Governor-General has blown him up so much that he could never sink." I was present at a farewell dinner to Sir Edmund Head at Mr. Cartier's, at Quebec, in the winter of 1861-2. In response to the toast of his health, he alluded to his infirmity of temper, admitted his suffering-before concealed from outside people-and expressed his apologies in a manner so feeling and so gentle that the tears came into everybody's eyes. I heard more than one sob from men whose rough exterior disguised the real tenderness of their hearts.

Mr. John A. Macdonald entered the Governor-General's presence with a manly deference. I was at once struck by an odd resemblance in some of his features and expressions to Disraeli-dark curly hair, piercing eyes, aquiline nose, mouth sometimes firm, almost stern in expression, sometimes so mild that he seemed especially fitted to play with little children. I soon learned that, in tact, fixed purpose, and resources, he was ahead of them all. And, after watching his career for a quarter of a century, I have seen no reason to alter that opinion. He is the statesman of Canada-one of the ablest men on the Continent. I wish he administered the Colonial relations of the whole Empire. Had he done so for the last ten years we should have escaped our mistakes in South Africa, and the everlasting disgrace of Majuba Hill. Why is it that such men are excluded from office at home? Sir John A. Macdonald (then Mr. Macdonald) was once taken by me under the gallery, by special order of Mr. Speaker, to hear a "great" speech of Mr. Gladstone, whom he had not before heard. When we went away, I said: "Well, what do you think of him?" He replied: "He is a great rhetorician, but-he is not an orator." Would that men would not be carried away in a torrent of happy words. One hour of the late Patrick Smyth was, to my mind, worth a week of all the great rhetoricians.

A day or two after these interviews, the Hon. John Ross took me down to Portland, to have an interview with the Hon. A. T. Galt, the Finance Minister of Canada. I at once recognized in Mr. Galt a reduced likeness of his father. Mr. Galt was about five feet eleven: his father, who I had seen when a boy, about six feet four, and "buirdly" and stout in proportion. The father wore spectacles-the son did not. The father was the author of the "Annals of the Parish," "Laurie Todd," and many works greatly read when I was young. He was, also, the founder of the town of "Guelph," and of other towns in Upper Canada. If anyone wants to see an admirable likeness of him, he had better consult "Fraser's Magazine," of one of the issues of 1830 to 1833, and he will there find a rough engraving of the hoisting of the Union Jack at Guelph. Mr. Galt, pere, was so very large a man that Mr. Archibald Prentice, of the "Manchester Times," used to tell a story about his pointing Mr. Galt out to a little humpbacked Scotchman in the High Street of Edinburgh: "Eh! Jamie, mon, there's the great Galt, author of the 'Annals of the Parish.'" "'Annals o' the Payrish,' Archie, hech, sirs, he's big eneuch to be the Payrish itself-let alone the annals o' it."

Mr. Galt, the Finance Minister, has done great services to Canada, and is doing them still, in developing the mineral resources of the West, and in other ways. Our conversation on Grand Trunk affairs was long and anxious. I could see that Mr. Galt would do everything in his power; but the public prejudice was strongly against the Grand Trunk. The Grand Trunk Arrangements Bill was passed, as herein stated, in May, 1862; but, alas, the question of postal payments by Canada stood over till the end of 1864.

In reference to my visit, of 1861, so far as my personal journeyings were concerned, I will merely transcribe a few letters sent home.


"(in the Gulf of St. Lawrence),

"Sunday noon.

"I have not had a pen in hand for a week-not since I wrote just as we were coming to Cork.

"Just now the weather is as like that of last Sunday as one pea is to another-rain and mist-mist and rain! Yet we have, on the whole, had wonderful weather-little sea-little wind-little of anything very unpleasant-nothing unbearable.

"Our church-service is just over: the Captain reads prayers and a sermon, and does it very well: the sailors are dressed in their best, and behave with great decorum, but show some sleepiness: the day is wet, and that, and the general devoutness, draws a large congregation, -indeed, the cabin is full.

"And now for a long letter:-

"When I left off, before, we were coming to Cork. It was blowing and raining, and the atmosphere was thick with mist. We went on till six. Captain looked anxious-the Cork pilot bothered, the passengers ill- tempered, and everything had a dismal dampness about it. At last we stopped, and the big boilers sent out their steam through the waste pipe with a loud roar. Around us was nothing but mist-the, to me, nastiest form of fog. We could not see more than three times the length of the ship. We tried the lead twice, and the second time got soundings. We then fired a gun-then another-then a third. Then we moved on-then stopped-then moved on. The Captain sent for his chart, and put on his eye-glasses. The pilot stared out into the fog, and pointed first in one direction, then in another. All no use. We knew we ought to be outside the Queenstown harbour-but we could see nothing. At last we heard a gun, and then in quick succession appeared a row boat and a steam tug with the passengers and mails; and, the mist breaking a little, we saw the land right a-head of us, about half-a- mile off. It was disagreeable, but it got over; and now came the transfer of bags, luggage, and passengers-only two or three of the latter. The tug came alongside and made fast, but there was a good deal of swell, and as she bobbed up and down it became highly amusing to see the crew and passengers scramble up the ladder, which sometimes was perpendicular, and at other times almost flat, as it followed the altering level of the tug. The ladder got broken-two or three ropes snapped-a deal of profane swearing took place-but it got over, too.

"The tug brought the news-the Confederates had defeated the Federal forces at Manasses Junction-three thousand killed and wounded- prisoners taken-artillery captured, &c., &c. I went up to one of the Misses Preston and hoped the news was happy-for she seemed delighted at what she had heard, and which then I had not. She said she 'did not quite know-it was for the South.' I replied that such news hardly could be happy for both sides, and, unless the news were peace, was unhappy for all the world. She did not quite agree-and then told me the tidings. But what a strange effect in such a little ship- confined community!

"The Southern people collected together in delight-the Northern in anger and disgust. The former predicted an early possession of Washington for the Palmetto flag; the latter talked of raising half-a- million of men, and 'crushing out' the South, right amain; while, as in any disaster, there is always someone to be blamed, many of the Northern men laid all the responsibility upon the 'lawyer-generals' and 'store-keeping-colonels,' who had assumed commands for which they were never fit. It is a sad, unhappy quarrel!

"But I must describe our circle to you. First, I should tell you that I

have the honor to sit at the Captain's table, and on his left hand-a

Miss Ewart sitting on his right. Our set consists of the Captain,

Judkins-the right and left-hand passengers as aforesaid-Col. Preston,

Mrs. Preston and the three Misses Preston.

Mr. Stone, Col. Stewart, Miss Warde, Mr. Still, and Mr. Hutton, of Sheffield, and his daughter. We have 134 passengers, only, on board-a slack muster, caused by the evil times in America-and all were at dinner on Saturday, the day we sailed, but the wind, rain, mist, and misery of the next three days sent many of them below, and for those days we had plenty of elbow-room. The weather, however, improved, the sun got now and then out, though it has, so far, been anything but warm, and out came the sick people again in renovated appetite-some epicurean and dainty, many others with a ravenous, all- devouring maw, reminding one of the 'worm that never dieth.'

"Now, Col. Preston is the late U.S. Ambassador to Madrid, where he has resided officially, and with his family, for the four years of the Buchanan Presidency. He is now replaced, I think, by a Mr. Falkner. He is a tall, stout, gentlemanly man, but, while a perfect gentleman in his conversation, and having less of the American accent than most Americans, his manner is somewhat ungainly-perhaps owing to his make, which is large and a little inclining to the unwieldy.

"Mrs. Preston has an Americo-Grecian face, and is a 'grand-dame.' She talks of the blessings of slavery, and of the vain and self-recoiling efforts of her mother, who liberated many slaves and educated more, to reduce the evil; and is full of the troubles and robberies of foreign house-keeping and of the gossip of the diplomatic circle.

"Her daughters are high-spirited, good-humoured, large-sized girls- fresh, natural and charming. One of them has a fine face with eyes of blue, just like those Bradley liked to paint-and the other two are good looking enough. They have, however, no conversation-lots of talk and gossip; much of it, too, amusing and quick witted, but it wants thought. They all come from Kentucky, where they are now going. Colonel Stewart is, I think, from Louisiana. He talks little, and does not interest me. Mr. Stone is a voluble high-spirited Northern man, with Southern tendencies. He says that the men who started this secession, and have made it what it is, ought (on both sides) to be hung, and he 'would go home on purpose.' It seems that a house in which he had a large sum has failed, and, to use a phrase I have heard both Mr. Preston and himself make use of, the civil war has 'shocked' his property above one half, i.e. has reduced its value above one half. They all agree, in fact, that the value of all property has gone down at least half, a loss, if the nation had to sell up-which it has not, but has only to 'liquidate'-of a sum greater than required to buy up all the slaves and set them free. Credit is gone-the faith of the people in their Government is weakened, and thousands are ruined in every city in the land. Sad civil war! Our passengers comprise all sorts of people-from all sorts of places, clothed in all sorts of dresses: anything will do at sea. We have, too, a good many old stagers of the Atlantic, who think nothing of 'going across.' This will console you-as you have to go 'across' next spring-to know that one man has been across 57 times, another 31, another 18, and another 13; and one lady has been 6-while the fat buxom stewardess has done a hundred, and is alive and well, and quite as ready to receive a half crown from a passenger, of any country, as ever!

"But I must give over writing for a little, till this breeze of wind is over.

"We have now only 1,000 miles to go, and shall be in New York on



"We had a bad night, and I could not sleep for the row and the motion. We have now got it over, and are going merrily along with a smart breeze, bright sun, and sparkling sea. It will be

late on Wednesday, however, when we get in.

"A rough night at sea has its features. On board these ships there are strict rules and strict discipline. We breakfast, lunch, dine, and tea at hours which are kept to a moment. The bell rings, and down we sit. Then the bar closes at 11, and all lights are put out at 12. The lights in the cabins are placed inside a partition, glazed with ground glass, so that there is no glare, and you cannot get at them. No loose lights are allowed, and a passenger who struck a light would be severely handled. These are proper precautions against fire, and should be obeyed. But at 12 we are in total darkness-the ship rolls and pitches -every now and then a sea strikes her, and burr-hush-swish-goes the water over her sides or bows, and along her decks.

Then the men above run about, ropes are pulled, sails set or taken in, and a general hullabaloo goes on-no doubt in the interest of the passengers-but very disagreeable. Then the boatswain's whistle-Pee- ee-ee ah! Pee-ee-ee ah-h-h!-every now and then wakes you up. Light is a comfort, and darkness at sea seems to aggravate the strange feeling which now and then affects you, as you think you are following a great road without track or guide-save that which the stars, if visible, and the previous day's observations afford.

"On Saturday morning (10 August) I was called up to see the Great Eastern: and certainly an immense steamer was making its way eastward, about 15 miles due north of us. You will see by the date of her arrival if she was the object we saw or not. Saturday was very cold. We had heard at Queenstown, from a note from Capt. Stone to Judkins, that icebergs had been seen on the homeward passage, and at 3 o'clock we saw ahead of us something which looked like the wreck of a steamer-but which was pronounced to be ice. It was about 10 miles off. As we approached it we found it was a little mountain of ice, covering perhaps a couple of acres in area, and about 50 or 60 feet high. It assumed all sorts of shapes as we caught sight of it at different points-it looked, once, like a great lion crouching on the water-then it took an appearance like part of the causeway at Staffa. As soon as we got abreast of it we saw pack ice around it, and the light, then shining upon the whole mass, gave a fairy-like whiteness-transparent, snowy whiteness-which was very beautiful to see. While we were observing it, a great mass broke away, toppled over into the sea, sending up an immense snowy spray, and disappeared. The remainder stayed in sight, with the evening sun-light upon it, for a couple of hours.

"Yesterday, Sunday, morning, we sighted Cape Race, the eastern extremity of Newfoundland, and ran close in shore along a most desolate, dismal, coast, for a couple of hours. Abreast of the lighthouse and telegraph station a boat came off, and we pitched over a packet, with a little red flag attached, containing the latest news, to be telegraphed from thence to New York and other places, so that our passing would be known that afternoon everywhere-and if the steamer had not left Halifax it might bring the news thence to England; thus you may know of our safe arrival, so far, by about the 18th or 19th. I hope you may, as it will relieve your mind from various fears about me. It is very seldom indeed that the steamers actually sight Cape Race, as we did. However, we saw that desolate coast and the poor hermits of the place. Rounding the Cape, we enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which broke in rain and storm upon us. We saw several fishing sloops 'lying to,' to wait for better weather. These little craft are often run over by larger vessels, as they swarm in what is the great east and west track for steamers and other large ships; and when the wind is south, or south west, there is always fog and mist in the Gulf, and on the banks of Newfoundland outside.

"I find it a great comfort having a cabin to myself. I am now writing in my 'drawing-room'-i.e., my upper berth, with my legs hanging down over my bed-room, or lower berth. All my property is stowed away and hung up, and the steward keeps all nice and clean-calls me in the morning, and at half-past seven brings me a foot-pan of fresh sea-water to bathe in. The rum is not very much diminished, as I have been very self-denying, being desirous of coming home in full vigour and hard health, if possible. It is very good, however, and when I finish this letter I shall reward good resolution by taking a little drop to drink your health-and God bless you!

"Taylor was excessively sick and ill, but is now all alive, and says he 'feels so light' he could run a race.

"I am pretty well. I have not been sick at all: I wish I had-but I ought to be thankful for a great deal of comfort in this long journey.

"I shall open this if anything worth recording takes place before we reach New York. If not, the receipt of this will tell you that we are 'safely landed.' I shall, however, write again from New York before I leave it for Boston-but I shall only remain a portion of a day and a night at New York."

"ST. LAWRENCE HALL, MONTREAL. "Sunday, August 18.

"From New York I went on, via Long Island Sound, to Boston, where I arrived at 7 a.m. on Friday. I stayed there all day, in conference with Mr. Baring's agent, Mr. Ward, and went on to Montreal, in the evening, via Lowel, Concord, and Rouse's Point. I engaged a double berth in a sleeping car, and slept pretty well and pretty comfortably from about 10 till 5-with sundry breaks, caused as hereafter stated. I got to Montreal at 10-washed, breakfasted, and then did a hard day's work, and dined at 7, with the internal satisfaction that I had done a good day's duty, and had a good appetite for both food and drink-the latter, however, moderate-only one pint and one cup of coffee and one cigar after-the first cigar which I have smoked since leaving England. The rum, thanks to similar moderation, holds out, and will last some time yet.

"New York is be-flagged and be-bannered to a wonderful extent. Every street is disfigured by huge streamers, some right across the street, others out of windows and from the tops of houses-while each occupant tries to vie with his neighbour in this sort of loyalty, till there seems almost to be hypocrisy in it. 'Stars and Stripes' everywhere, and on all occasions, opportune and inopportune. The main public place in New York is half filled by ugly wooden sheds, used as military store rooms and barracks, and, every now and then, with a frequency which is startling, are the head-quarters of all sorts of Volunteer regiments- American, Irish, German, Dutch, French, and Scotch. These rooms are adorned with flags, and transparencies showing the costume of the corps, or the portrait of the colonel, or general, shown generally on a big prancing horse, and sporting a savage-looking beard. All along the roads and routes-everywhere almost-are tents and wooden sheds, the encampments of companies and regiments; and every now and then bands and recruiting parties parade the street, and draw crowds of people after them. The mothers of America have taken up the question, too, and there are societies to make lint and bandages for the wounded, and to stitch together clothing for the new companies. Little Zouaves are plentiful-red vest, blue sash, and red fez and breeches.

"The day we arrived, the New York Firemen Zouaves (7th New York) returned from the defeat at Bull's Run-380 out of 1,000, who left two months ago under a young fellow named Ellsworth, as colonel. Ellsworth was shot by a public-house keeper, whose secession flag he hauled down -and the regiment was much cut up at Bull's Run. It has been very uproarious, and some of its men 'retreated' on the way from Bull's Run to New York, on the principle that, once ordered to retreat, they had better 'retreat right away home.' There can be no doubt, however, that the bulk of these men fought well-but were, like most of the regiments, badly officered-zealous men, but lawyers, store-keepers, and political partisans, who could do nothing in handling bodies of men.

"But to go back: about 60 miles from Boston, and just as I got into the bed-berth in the car, several companies of one of the Vermont regiments joined the train, having been discharged, on the expiration of their three months' term, the day before. These men had to be dropped in companies at various stations all along the road; and every hour or so I was wakened up by bell ringing, gun firing, and cheering, as each section got back home to their friends. In the morning I got amongst those who were left, and heard their adventures. They had been in nothing but skirmishing, however, and only had had three men wounded. They seemed a nice body of young fellows, many very young. All were voluble and in high spirits (coming home), and were very large about the hard biscuits they had eaten-some, as one 'boy' said-for they are all 'boys,' not 'men,' as with us-with the stamp of 1810 upon them,-of camping out-keeping sentry at night, &c., &c., &c. They had three young fellows, girlish-looking lads, with them, 'sick;' two-one certainly-sick under death; just get home to die! I went into the baggage car and saw them lying on the floor, covered up in tarpaulins and blankets, poor fellows!

"I have been to the Catholic Cathedral at Montreal to-day, and heard high mass. I visited it in 1851. Fine church, fine music, and a good sermon, in French; but I thought I should have preferred Mr. Woolnough and the little church at home.

"The matter of business I have in hand is surrounded with difficulty, and there are here, I fear, two classes in connection with the concern. Mr. Baring and Mr. Glyn have been, I can see already, deceived by over sanguine estimates-and they do not know all yet, but they shall, if I can find it out.

"Letters leave here to-morrow, and I shall open this before I post it should there be any new feature. As at present advised, I shall go to Quebec on Wednesday night, and spend four or five days in that district. Then I shall come back here, and then go to Toronto and the western portion of the line. After that, all will depend upon whether the Government will call a special session, or not. We shall see. I shall know, perhaps, in time for the following post."


"Sunday, I Septr. 1861.

"I left Toronto on Tuesday and went to Samia, stayed till Wednesday morning, and then went on to Detroit. Spent the day in Detroit, and then went on to Chicago; stayed Thursday in Chicago, and went on Friday into Illinois, over the Prairies as far as Urbano. Came back to Calumet-near to Chicago. Near Chicago I visited poor dear Ingram's drowning place. Alas! More about it hereafter-and came on thence to Detroit and this place, which I reached yesterday at 2-tired and irritated with tooth-ache, which has never left me for some days and sticks by me yet. I have travelled 1,300 miles since last Tuesday, and 3,070 in all since I landed at New York. This has necessitated travelling during eight nights out of the eighteen I have spent in this country. However, I have thereby cleared off some subsidiary work and have seen the extremes of the territory over which I have to work and plan, and by to-morrow I shall have looked at, and taken account of, most of the people I shall have to deal with. This will enable me now to go to work, and will, I hope, so much shorten my stay on 'this Continent,' as they call it. I have a hard and difficult job before me, but hope to scrape through it with credit, if not with much success. It is a very different country: and they are not only very different, but very difficult, people to manage. Socially, every one has been very civil and kind, and I have had no lack of company or advisers-the latter sometimes giving rather odd suggestions. Everyone is expecting to hear daily of a great battle near Washington, and it may be that the fate of one or other of the contending parties will be decided, for the time, at least, before I leave. At present there is great hatred and animosity, and every possible evil passion abroad. If it were not for the actual loss of dollars I believe they would cut each other's throats to all eternity: but the hope is that their rapacity may check their ferocity. As to any high purpose about the war-it is moonshine. It is a war for supremacy and to find out which brother shall rule the house and run away with the dying old man's goods. [Footnote: The following Resolution passed the United States House of Representatives, February 11, 1861, by a nearly unanimous vote:-

"Resolved-That neither the Federal Government, nor the people or Government of the non-slaveholding States, have a purpose or a constitutional right to legislate upon or interfere with slavery in any of the States of the Union.

"Resolved-That those persons in the North who do not subscribe to the foregoing proposition, are too insignificant in numbers and influence to excite the serious attention and alarm of any portion of the people of the Republic; and that the increase of their numbers and influence does not keep pace with the increase of the aggregate population of the Union." ] I am spending to-day with Reynolds, and dine to-night with Brydges. Reynolds has a good house, but he complains of his high rent, as his house was taken in the piping times of 1858. Now rents are down one-half, and he could get as good a house for 100_l_ a year, whereas he pays 200_l_ In 1857 it was-to use a vile Yankee phrase, the literal meaning of which no one can explain, but the illustrative meaning of which is inflation-"High Felluting"- or, as the Yankees write it, "Hi Falutin"-now everything is sobered, and in many places depressed: only one house now being built in all this town of 40,000 inhabitants."

"MONTREAL, "6 Sep. 1861.

"I spent Monday in Toronto and came on here on Monday night, reaching here on Tuesday afternoon. Since then I have been busy here. I have had a more satisfactory interview with the Finance Minister, and we go to Quebec together on Tuesday, after which I meet the Government, officially, and shall know before the end of next week whether they will help us, or not. I think they will do something. The management of this railway is an organized mess-I will not say, a sink of iniquity. I shall, however, know all about it before I have done with it.

"I feel tired, somehow-perhaps with travelling too hard-perhaps with too much anxiety to get on quickly with this Grand Trunk business; but, on the whole, I am very well, and have kept my spirits and nerve up to the mark, generally. I have a great task in hand, and I should like to come out of it creditably.

"There is a belief here that Jeff. Davis is dead, and, if so, it may alter the complexion of affairs in the United States. The U.S. Government have introduced passports-so one cannot leave their agitated soil without that badge of tyranny. It will not affect me, as I shall not stop long in their land-but get out of it as soon as I can.

"There is a doctor and another man to be hanged here to-morrow, for procuring abortion-the woman having died. The doctor is a Yankee, and the Finance Minister tells me that this is a common practice in the States, and carried on to an alarming extent, even amongst respectable people, and, that this, and similar, frightful practices are the cause of the degeneracy of much of the American race. He says the Canadian Government have determined to stop it in Canada, in the outset, by hanging this doctor and his employer, and so deterring the rest-and it seemed to me to be right. I thought once of going to see the two ruffians, expiate their crime-but I thought afterwards I would not. What a wicked world a mere money-making world becomes! true, we all require chastening by pain and misfortune and difficulty. The Americans have been spoiled by too great and sudden prosperity and too much license-not 'real liberty.' The very children, scorn obedience-in fact, there is none of the general fine 'honor of parents' we, still, find at home. As Mrs. Preston said, 'the Kentucky boys are fine generous fellows; but as to obeying anyone-even father or mother, after 15-that is out of the question.'"


"Sep. 18, 1861.

"I left Quebec last Thursday, and went by railway to Riviere de Loup. There I had a fall, and hurt my ribs. Next day I drove over the, new, Temiscouata road to the Lake, and thence took a birch bark canoe and two men and paddled down the Lake, and down the river Madawasca to Little Falls, where I arrived in a drenching storm of rain at one o'clock in the morning-having had 'perils by water.' Our canoe leaked, and we damaged its bottom in going through a rapid, and had to haul up for repairs and to bale out, for fear of sinking.

"Next day I drove to Grand Falls in a spring waggon, and then by Tobique to Woodstock, where I arrived on Sunday morning-having driven through the night.

"On Sunday drove to Canterbury, and then railed to St. Andrews, where I stayed with the able manager of the Railway.

"Monday railed and drove to Frederickton, where I had an interview with the Government of New Brunswick-then steamed down the St. John river to St. John; yesterday went by railway, St. John to Shediac, and then completed my journey, by hard travelling, driving through the night from Shediac (over the Cobequid Mountains) to Truro, where I joined the railway at 5 a.m., and came on to this place, reaching it at 12-three hours late-owing to our engine getting off the track. Here I have seen the Government, and also the Governor-General, and to-morrow I go by St. John's and Portland to Montreal, where I shall arrive on Saturday at 8 p.m., and go on to Toronto on Monday.

"I have only time to write a bare list of my doings, but will write fully by next mail. I hope to find heaps of letters at Montreal, and good news of your health and comfort."

"MONTREAL, "Sunday, Sept. 22, 1861.

"I have made the tour described in my note from Halifax, and I got back here yesterday at 2 p.m., having travelled about 1,780 miles since leaving Quebec, and nearly 2,000 since I left here last Thursday week. I have spent the best part of one day and night in a canoe-two late nights on the road in the spring waggon and stage-one night, and part of another, in steamers-and the remaining five nights in bed. I am all right to-day-except my ribs-having had a good sleep. I could not consult any one with any good while travelling, but as soon as I got here I sent for Dr. Campbell, and he prescribed for me, and I am now wearing, a belladonna and irritant plaster, and a flannel bandage. He says the pleura is badly bruised, and that there is some inflammation, but that if I keep quiet, and do not catch cold, I shall soon be right. I assure you it does not affect my appetite, which is a good one-very different from home-needing substantial carrion, and no put off of slop or shadows. I am, too, as hard as a horn, and believe I could travel for a week without any great personal grief. I went to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to see the Governments of the two Provinces, and I had favourable interviews at Frederickton and Halifax, at the latter place seeing Lord Mulgrave, who was very polite, and invited me to stay, and, if possible, also to come again. I go to Quebec on special summons, to see the Government on Tuesday.

"I am growing anxious to know what Government will do: and I do hope I shall be able to get them to propose something before I leave. Until they declare themselves, I cannot arrange to leave for home; cannot complete my plans, or do anything, in fact. It is annoying-but the negociation is serious, and I must have patience. I know, from painful experience, how, when the nerves and brain are excitable from over tension and exertion, and anxiety and constant worry and wear, little matters are magnified. But already I feel myself so much stronger in nerve and courage that I look now complacently upon much which in the last two years would have cut me to the quick.

"I have worked very hard here, and done much in a little time."


"Septr. 26, 1861.

"I am glad to tell, and you will be glad to learn, that I have to-day got my business with the Government into a good shape, and I shall have an official and, to a fair extent, favourable, answer to my application, on Saturday next. This will enable me, I hope, to come home sooner than otherwise-and I shall, at all events, be in the position of having, to a fair extent, succeeded. The Government agree to leave the amount they have to pay for postal service to arbitration, and to consider the question of capitalizing the amount as soon as Parliament meets, and on certain conditions, which I shall have to take home and consult my principals about. This will necessitate coming out next year. My side is better, but the plaster Dr. Campbell gave me has blistered me, with little hard pustules, over a piece of my side as big as a pancake; and I have suffered three days and nights of downright misery. To-day, however, I am almost all right, and go to dine with the Governor-General and Lady Head on Saturday. On that day the deputations, got together owing to my visit to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, come here to meet the Canadian Government about the Halifax and Quebec Railway. If this succeeds I shall have not been idle.

"I send some trees which I got on the Madawasca river, and which please plant at once. Also a box containing samples of Canadian woods, which keep till I come. They are very beautiful. I think we must give them to Mr. Glyn."

[Illustration: END]

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