Forty Years in Canada

Forty Years in Canada

Reminiscences of the Great North-West With Some Account of His Service in South Africa

Book - 1972
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Publisher: Toronto ; New York : McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1972.
ISBN: 9780070774803
0070774803
Characteristics: xix, 428 p., [8] leaves of plates :,ill. ;,22 cm.

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rb3221
Mar 20, 2017

This biography is the first hand comments and diary of Sam Steele over a 40 year period when the West just being settled, when the railroad was being built, and when the Klondike gold rush was in full swing. Throughout the entire West, there was lots of interaction and problem solving with both the settlers and the 'Indians'. Shortly after the RCMP arrived the mutual distrust between the two parties disappeared, largely due to the heroic efforts of Steele himself. The RCMP enforced the law with limited men across a vast land, an almost impossible task but they were able to do this because they were very well trained, highly motivated and efficient with a leader that was strong, courageous, honest and devoted to duty. Sam Steele himself worked very hard to develop a rapport with both the settlers and the 'Indians' and was highly respected by both parties. Sam Steele may well be Canada's first hero and played a vital part in the building of western Canada as he was part of the Red River rebellion, the Last Spike, the North West rebellion, the Klondike Gold rush and more.
Included in the book are many very interesting observations of the Canada of 1870 - 1890, the beginnings of our nationhood, through Steele's eyes. Here are just a few examples. 1. The Winnipeg of 1874 consisted of nine stores including one saddlery, one hardware store and several saloons. 2. The RCMP was formed in 1874 to deal with the lawlessness that was clearly evident. The wars between the Blackfeet and the Cree ceased very quickly once the RCMP arrived. 3. Men often joined because of the spirit of adventure and needed to be 'of sound constitution, active and able bodied, able to ride, of good character... and between the ages of 18 - 40 years. 4. Custer's last stand is vividly described by Spotted Eagle who was with Sitting Bull at that famous battle. 5. The smuggling of liquor into the territories was a huge problem and techniques like empty egg shells and tin imitations of the Bible were used. 6. During the gold rush boom, Steele refused to allow anyone into the area without an adequate amount of money and food, thereby saving many lives. 7. The events of the North West Rebellion and the Duck Lake battle is vividly described. 8. A clear portrait covering over 10 pages of the Klondike Gold rush is included.
Some great insights into early Canadian history in the making and well worth reading.

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