1865 Nor’-Wester Mentions

Featured image: frontispiece, Alb. Lacombe, Dictionnaire de la Langue des Cris (Montreal: C.O. Beauchemin & Valois, 1874).

From the St. Paul Press, “Notice to the Fort Garry Buffalo Hunters,” Nor’-Wester (26 April 1865), 1:

“Messrs. Jean Crapeau, Johannes Taurus and other commercial gentlemen living under the protection of the Union Jack, at Fort Garry, and supplying the hostile Sioux of the adjacent American territory, with powder and ball wherewith to shoot American Citizens, will please take note of the following


By the President of the United States of America

Washington, March, 18, 1865.

Whereas, Reliable information has been received that hostile [illegible] within the limits of the United States, have been furnished with arms and munitions of war by persons dwelling in a foreign territory, and are thereby enabled to prosecute their savage warfare upon the exposed and sparse settlements of the frontier. Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim and direct that all persons engaged in the nefarious traffic shall be arrested and tried by court martial at the nearest military post, and, if convicted, shall receive the punishment due to their deserts.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done in the city of Washington this 17th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1865, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty ninth,

Abraham Lincoln.

By the President,

W.H. Seward,

Secretary of State

Messers. Crapeau and Taurus will observe from the above delicate and insinuating missive, that if they should happen, by any unfortunate accident, to get caught on American soil, while engaged in the lucrative commercial pursuits there indicated, they will be likely to get unusually quick returns on their investments of ammunition.

The powder and ball they sell to American Indians, will, it is greatly intimated, be returned to them with a velocity and momentum which they may not consider quite agreeable. We believe tat the British authorities of the Red River settlement, and the very large majority of Her Majesty’s subjects in that distant region would revolt with as much horror as any one at the thought of supplying these red rascals with the means of prosecuting their murderous war upon the American frontier. But as there are renegade Americans base enough to engage in this contraband traffic, so there are occasionally halfbreeds and others from the adjacent British Territory whose avarice leads them to run the blockade across the line with arms and ammunition, which they know will be employed in murdering American citizens.

The President’s proclamation is intended for their benefit, and they will now know what to expect if caught at this unneighborly and rascally business,–St. Paul Press.”

“The Annual Migration,” Nor’-Wester (5 June 1865) 2:

“A large proportion of the able-bodied male population of the Settlement has left it within the last couple of weeks, and it will be nearly two months before we can chronicle their return. Surely we are a nomadic race! Hundreds, men, women and children, are off to the summer buffalo hunt—scores of tripmen are away to the interior on lengthened voyages in the Hudson’s Bay Company service and that of private freighters—one brigade of 150 carts is, we believe, soon to start for Georgetown—and again hundreds of carts are off to St. Paul, to bring back the spring and summer fineries and necessities which go to make up our traders’ stocks. There is always at this season a general hurrying and making ready for these long journeys through the wilderness—journeys which are taken twice a year by many of our people, and any one of which would be of a character so novel and adventurous to most of our city-bred readers as to be deemed among the most memorable incidents of their lives. For the benefit of those at a distance, it may be necessary to explain that very few persons in these brigades are leaving the Settlement permanently. We are merely recording the annual ‘flitting’ of the inhabitants—some of whom are off to market the little distance of 500 miles, in the most primitive fashion conceivable in this ;fast’ age, to wit, with oxen and carts—others have gone to the limitless prairies of the North-West to hunt the buffalo—and they go a-hunting on the grandest scale, for their game is often found in such immense bands as to blacken the plains as far as the eye can reach.

By the brigades, of carts going to St. Paul. this year, the two Archdeacons of the diocese of Rupert’s Land, following in the steps of the Bishop, have left not to return—thus leaving vacant here the three principal offices in the church. Archdeacon Hunter, we believe, goes to England, and Archdeacon Cochrane will probably spend some time with his son in the States and Canada before crossing the Atlantic. Rev. Mr. Stagg, of Fairford Mission, also left for England, with the train.”

Notices, Nor’-Wester (3 August), 1:

“Trade of Red River,” Nor’-Wester (21 September), 2:

“White Captive Among the Sioux,” Nor’-Wester (21 September 1865), 2:

[On this trope see also Sarah Carter, Capturing White Women: The Manipulation of Cultural Imagery in Canada’s Prairie West (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997).]

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