John Macoun.

Manitoba and the great North-west: the field for investment; the home of the emigrant, being a full and complete history of the country .. online

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see the emigrants on board the ocean steamers in pondition to
ensure their comfort and safety during the passage to America
He will render them any advice and assistance in his power.

The name and address of this officer is —
John Dyke,

15, Water Street, Liverpool.


This officer may be written to for any desired information
respecting removal to Canada.

Intending settlers in the Canadian North-west will be
met on their arrival, either at Quebec or Halifax, by a re-
gular authorized officer of the Dominion Government, who
will at once take them in charge, have their luggage properly
looked after, and will see them safely on board the railway
train for the West.

Settlers effects, in use, will be passed free through the
Custom House, and any necessary bonding arrangements
will be made which will thus prevent any delay, inconve-
nience, or loss occurring. Each passenger, before his de-
parture from the port in Great Britain, should be provided
with address cards as follows : —


of England,

Passenger to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

In Bond

and he should see that one is pasted on each of his packages
of luggage.

As soon as the passenger gets on board he should read the
rules he is expected to obey whilst at sea. He will find
them hung up in the steerage, and should do his best to
carry them out, and to be well-behaved and keep himself
clean, as this will add much to his own comfort and health,
as also to the comfort and health of others.

If he have any grievance or real cause of complaint during
the passage, he should go and make it known at once to the
Captain. The arrangements, are, however, now so perfect
for securing comfort and speed on the great ocean steam
lines, that complaints are seldom or never heard.

All boxes and luggage should be plainly marked with the

passenger's name and the place he is going to. They will

be stowed away in the hold of the vessel, so whatever is

wanted on the voyage should be put into a trunk, carpet



bag, or small box, which the passenger will take with him
into his berth.

Emigrants are often induced to make a clean sweep and
part with everything they have before leaving the Old
Country, because it is said the charge;.; for extra luggage
are so large that they woiild come to more than the things
are worth. Now there are many little household necessaries
Avhich when sold would not bring much, but these same
things if kept would be exceedingly valuable in the new
country or the bush, and prove a great comfort to the family
as well. It is not, therefore, always advisable to leave them
behind ; they would not take up much room, and the cost of
freight would be little compared to the comfort they will
bring. The personal effects of emigrants are not liable to
custom duty in Canada. Extra luggage (unless very bulky)
is seldom charged for on the Canadian railways.

Lay in as good a stock of clothes before leaving home as you
possibly can. Woollen clothing and other kinds of wearing
apparel, blankets, household linen, etc., are cheaper in the
United Kingdom than in Canada. The emigrant's bedding,
if it is good, should be brought ; and if he has an old pea
jacket or great coat he should keei3 it by him, for he will
find it most useful on board ship.

Agricultural laborers need not bring their tools with
them, as these can be easily got in Canada, of the best des-
cription, and suited to the needs of the country.

Mechanics are advised to bring such tools as they have,
particularly if specially adapted to their trades.

Both classes must, however, bear in mind that there is no
difficulty in bujing any ordinary tools in the principal
towns at reasonable prices, and that it is better to have the
means of purchasing what they want after reaching their
destinations, than to be hampered with a heavy lot of lug-
gage on their journey through the countrj-. It must also
be borne in mind that the tools bought in Canada will likely
be specially adapted to the use of the country.


Farmers and others with means, going out as saloon pas-
sengers, sometimes take with them the greater portion of
their household furniture, bedsteads, tables, pianos, and other
heavy and cumbersome articles. Nothing could be more
absurd than this. The cost is very great, the articles are
liable to be damaged on the voyage ; and even should they
reach Canada uninjured, many of them will be found to be
out of place and next to useless. All heavy household
furniture should be sold off; it is much better to make a
clean sweep of it and to go out, so to speak, " in high march-
ing order." Furniture of all kinds can be bought in Canada
as cheaply as in England. The pianos made in Canada are
second to none. Everything in the way of house furnishing
is to be had at reasonable prices, and much better suited to
the country than the English-made articles.

By following out the advice given above, one may go to
Canada with ease and comfort. The voyage is a short one,
from eight to ten days 5 the steamships are of the very best
class, and the wants and welfare of the passengers are care-
fully and constantly looked after. In fact it is little else
than a pleasure trip on a large scale.

It may be mentioned that there are two routes by which
an intending settler can reach Manitoba from Quebec, or
any other Canadian port, namely : the " all rail route,"
via Detroit, Chicago, and St. Paul to Winnipeg, or by what
is called the Lake Route, that is by railway to Sarnia or
Collingwood on Lake Huron, thence by steamer to Duluth
on Lake Superior, and by rail from Duluth to Winnipeg.
The journey by the former route is quicker by about a day,
but the latter is more economical. By either of these routes
the settler will be met by the agents of American land and
railway companies, who will endeavor to persuade settle-
ment in the United States as preferable to Canada ; but the
settler is advised to proceed direct to his intended destina-
tion, and decide upon his location after personal inspection.


In 1882, a line of railway will be completed from Thun-
der Bay (Lake Superior) to Winnipeg, and westward. It
will pass entirely through Canadian Territory, and its
benefits both to new and old settlers will be very great.
It may be added that most of the rivers and lakes in Man-
itoba and the North-west are navigable, and that steamers
now ply during the season on the River Saskatchewan, be-
tween Winnipeg and Edmonton, a distance by water of
about 1,200 miles, with passengers and freight, calling at
Prince Albert, Carlton, Battleford, and other places on the
way. Steamers also run regularly between Winnipeg,
St. Vincent, and other places on the Red River. There is
also steam communication on the river Assiniboine, between
Fort Ellice and Winnipeg.

At Duluth, during the season of navigation, a special
agent is placed, Mr. W. C. B. Grahame. He will be in at-
tendance on the arrival of all steamers, to assist emigrants
in the bonding of their baggage, and otherwise to give
them information. All emigrants should be implicitly
guided by his disinterested official advice, in preference to
listening to persons whom they do not know, who may
have interest to deceive them.

Agents in Manitoba.

Emerson J. E. Tetu

Winnipeg W. Hespeler.

These agents will give emigrants all possible information
and advice.

The emigrant, or second class fare, in 1880, from Quebec
to Winnipeg via Duluth was $25.50, and by the rail route
via Chicago and St. Paul, $30.50. Pirst-class tickets are from
152.00 to $59.25. Children under thirteen are taken at
half price, and 150 pounds of luggage is allowed to each
adult. There will probably be very little, if any, differ-
ence in the above rates, in 1882. In the case of a colony
going together, the settlers might hire a railway car for the


carriage of their eflfects, other than their luggage, to the
point of the steamboat port, or continuously, and by this
means, get a cheaper rate of freight. Many of the settlers
from the older parts of Canada do this.

It is not recommended to the settler who is travelling to
Manitoba, to burden himself with heavy furniture and lug-
gage, as the freight of these would probably cost him aS
much as they are worth. As a rule, the emigrants should
be advised not to take with them either furniture or agri-
cultural implements. The latter particularly, specially
adapted to the country, can be cheaply purchased at Emer-
son or Winnipeg ; but a plentiful supply of clothing and
bedding should be taken, together with such articles of
general use as can be conveniently and easily packed. Of
course, artizans who go will take their own special tools
with them ; but they must remember that this may be
expensive if they are heavy.

The emigrants will be met at Winnipeg by Mr. Hespeler,
the Government Agent, who will give them every possible
information and assistance, and give them directions how to
proceed to their lands ; or if they take Emerson, as the
point in the Province from which they start, they will find
a shed at the Railway Station, and buildings at Dufferin
at which they can rest, while Mr. Tetu, the Government
agent, will give them information.

Dominion Lands Offices.

The following is a list of the official names of the Loca
Districts, together with the Post-Office address of the Local
Agent :

Wiimipeg Winnipeg.

Gladstone Gladstone.

Birtle Birtle.

Dufferin Nelsonville.

Turtle Mountain Turtle Mountain.

Souris Souris-Mouth.

Little Saskatchewan Odanah.

Prince Albert Prince Albert, N. W. T.


The Head-Offices of the Dominion Lands is at "Winnipeg,
being a branch of the Department of the Interior.

Correspondence with Officials.

Observance of the following hints for conducting cor-
respondence with officers connected with the Department of
the Interior, will save time and trouble to the official staflf,
facilitate the submission of applications for decision, and,
consequently, tend to diminish the period in which replies
may be looked for : —

I. Address no letters on official business by name to the Minister, or any one else
connected with the department, .e letters to person illy addressed may be deemed private
coiTespcndence, and, in the poss.ble absence of the person to whom they are directed,
remain unopened till his return.

II. All letters to the Authorities at Ottawa on land matters should be addressed, in
a plain hand, to

The Hon. the Minister,

Department of the Interior,
Dominion Land Branch.
No stamp is required for letters directed to the official head of the Department, such
communications being " free."

III. In correspondence with any of the local Officers, a letter should be addressed

as follows


The Locai. Agent, Stamp.

Dominion Lands Office,

In this case the ordinary postage rules apply.

IV. Write in a concise and courteous manner, upon foolscap paper, on one side of
the paper only, leaving a margin of at least an inch on left-hand side.

V. In the right-hand top corner of the first page write distinctly the official name
of the post office to which a reply is to be addressed, together with the date of your
letter. If the matter occupies more than one page, see that the pages are numbered ;
and be sure that your signature is legible.

VI. Never deal with more than one subject in a single communication ; but write
a separate letter for each.

VII. On receiving a reply, if you respond to it, do not fail to quote the reference
number of the official file, which you will observe on the left-hand top comer of the
first page (i. c, at the head of your letter put In reply to No )

VIII. Keep copies of all your correspondence with the Department or Local

IX. All remittances to pay for Dominion Lands should be made in lawful money
of Canada, by registered letter. A Local Agent is not bound to accept any person's


Useful Hints to Emigrants.

Strangers going to the North-west, should be extremely
cautious in purchasing the abandonment of any one's home-
stead claim, as all assignments and transfers of the home-
stead right (until recommended for patent) are absolutely
invalid, though, so far as the party assigning is concerned,
such assignment may be deemed by the Dominion Lands
Authorities as evidence of voluntary abandonments.

Any person, however, whose homestead has been recom-
mended by the local Agent for letters patent (proofs of
fulfilment of conditions having, of course, been filed with '
him) may legally convey, assign, and transfer his right
and title therein. There is a book kept in the Department
of the Interior for the registration, at the option of the
parties interested, on payment of a fee of $2.50, of any such
assignment of legally assignable rights (proof of which must
accompany the application to register), and the law holds
every assignment so registered as valid against any other
assignment unregistered or subsequently registered, even if
previously made. Every assignment must, for the purpose
of registration, be entirely unconditional.

Bounty Land Warrants, whether issued to men who have
served in the North-west Mounted Police or the Militia
force formerly performing duty in Manitoba, are accepted
in payment of all lands for the amount they represent, viz ;
160 acres ; but purchasers of warrants should be careful to
see that the assignment to themselves, as well as all pre-
vious assignments, are duly registered at Ottawa. It is
essential to its validity that the first assignment of a war-
rant should be endorsed on the document itself.

Land scrip, whether that issued to Half-breed heads of
families or of the kind granted to " old settlers " in the
Settlement Belts, to extinguish certain claims, is of the
same value as cash, to the hearer, in any purchase of Dom-
inion Lands, for the amount represented on its face.


Settlers who take up homesteads are required to become
actual residents and improvers of their claims, within six
months from date of entry. In the case, however, of im-
migrants applying to the Minister of the Interior for leave '
to settle in a community, and showing good cause, the
Governor General in Council has power to extend the
period to twelve months.

It is important, in every case, to make a homestead entry
as soon as possible, because no patent can issue (as a free
grant) until three years from the date of entry have ex-
pired ; and it is essential to reside on the homestead and
cultivate the same continuously, in order that no delay may
be occasioned at the expiration of the above period. Fur-
ther, it is important, because, should circumstances require
the settler to reside elsewhere, a continuous fulfilment of
the homestead conditions for twelve months would give
him the right, ander a special clause of the Act, to purchase
such homestead at the current price of the adjacent Govern-
ment lands. The Department holds residence to have been
" continuous " in the legal sense, notwithstanding the
settler may have been absent from his homestead for a
period not exceeding six months altogether in any one year
of his occupation ; cultivation must, however, have been
carried on each season by himself or his representatives.

In the case, however, when a certain number of home-
stead settlers, embracing not less than twenty families,
with a view to greater convenience in the establishment of
schools, churches, &c., ask to be allowed to settle together
in a hamlet or village, the Minister may vary the require-
ment as to residence on, but not as to the cultivation of,
each separate quarter-section.

Immigrants will act wisely in making sure that the land
for which they propose to enter is not already claimed in any
way by a prior occupant. As a general rule, it will be found
safer to take up land to which no legal or equitable claim is


likely to be asserted, than to go into disputed possession of
a superior location. In the one case, the settler can con-
fidently proceed with his improvements ; in the other, he
will be hindered by the delay and uncertainty involved in
obtaining a decision.

Purchasers of land in Manitoba and the North-west Ter-
ritories that has been already patented from the Crown,
should never pay any portion of the price agreed upon,
without first satisfying themselves, by obtaining an abstract
of title from the Registry Ofiice for the Registration Dis-
trict in which the lands are situated, that no agreements,
mortgages, judgments, or other incumbrances are recorded
against it; also, that no arrears of taxes are due upon such
property. It should also be remembered that, as the law
attaches the greatest possib.e importance to priority of
registration, no delay should be allowed to in. ervene be-
tween the signing of the deed and seeing that it is duly
registered. A Registrar's fee, in Manitoba, for registering
an ordinary conveyance is $2.20 ; he charges fifty cents for
a search, and for an abstract, according to the number of
the entries of documents affecting the property.

Persons travelling in the North-west are required to be
particularly careful to extinguish their camp-fires before
leaving them, so that the destructive consequences of a
prairie fire may be prevented. Both in Manitoba and the
Territories, legislation has provided adequate penalties for
the punishment of criminal negligence in this respect.
Should it happen, however, that a party of immigrants are
threatened by a prairie-fire approaching them, and no other
means of escape are available, the danger may be efiectually
overcome by setting fire to the prairie to leeward of the
party, and moving the travellers, with their outfit, into the
ground so burnt over.

When one or more persons have reached a district where
they purpose looking for land, the better plan is to go at


once to the Agent and ask for the numbers of vacant sections
in the various townships. Attached to each agency is a
" Land Guide," whose duty is to take charge of strangers and
show them where the vacant lands are, and give them infor-
mation as to the quality of the soil, the presence of water,
and any other matter about which he may be questioned.

As most people prefer to select lands for themselves^
advice on this point may seem out of place, still a few hints
may benefit some. The first requisite is a dry level or
gently rolling surface free from brush on at least two-thirds
of the lot. The next necessity is permanent and pure water.
Should there ue ponds on the lot an examination is abso-
lutely necessary, to see whether the water is pure or saline.
The best and simplest test is to wash with soap in the
water. If it forms a suds the water is good, if curds in the
dry season, the water is bad. I speak of ponds in this con-
nection, as brooks and rivers contain hard water in nearly
every case. Another test is the grass. Should grass in the
middle of a pond be green at the latter part of September
the water is permanently good, if rotted the water is unfit
for use at that time.

Wood and hay lands are really secondary objects, as it is
much better for a farmer to have a good wheat farm which he
can at once break up and from which he can begin to make
money, than to clear the land of brush and young wood, and
waste time in draining. As is shown in another place any
party taking a prairie lot is entitled to twenty acres of wood
land. Few lots are without hay lands, as all hollows con-
tain more or less hay.

Now, when railways are extending into the country, it is
much better to come out in early spring if a crop is desired
the first year. Any party reaching their land by the middle
of May can have potatoes, wheat, and garden vegetables that
same season. All that is necessary is to procure the laud,
pitch a tent, and set to work.


Recently it has been discovered by successful experiments,
that seeds sown on the prairie grass and then ploughed
lightly, will yield good crops the same season. This is a
most important discovery, as it shows that an immigrant
arriving on his claim in the spring can begin to realize a
return from his labors almost as quickly as if the land had
already been cultivated and improved. The following is an
account of the experiments made in this respect, and they
will be found worthy the consideration of every farmer con-
templating the "breaking" of new lands.

An experiment in raising grain on fresh sod has been
tried in the vicinity of Big Stone Lake for the past two sea-
sons with such marked success, that it is worthy of exten-
sive trials. We are not informed who the first experimenter
was, but at any rate, in the vicinity of Big Stone City,
there are farmers so confident of success that they have put
in considerable quantities of small grain in the ficesh sod dur-
ing the past season, and in every case, so far as we could learn,
with the most beneficial result. The novelty of the operation
is that the grain is first sown on the prairie grass, and then
the "breaking" is done. A rather light sod is turned, and
the buried grain quickly finds its way through. In a few
weeks the sod is as rotten as need be, and can be kicked to
pieces easily with the foot. Now for an illustration : A
Mr. Daly, near Big Stone City, in the vicinity of Big Stone
Lake, sowed ten acres of oats this last year. He put two
bushels and a peck to the acre, and broke his land. Last
fall, from ten acres he harvested 420 bushels of oats which
were worth sufficient to pay for the breaking, and leave him
some seventy -five dollars besides. This year he sowed forty-
five acres in this way with equally good success, the yield,
according to estimate, as he had not threshed when we got
there, not being less than 1,000 bushels on the piece. An-
other gentleman near him sowed buckwheat in the latter
part of May in the same way, and he has every promise of


a magnificent crop. Another tried corn, dropping a few ker-
nels in every fourth furrow. Wheat has not been tried, but
will be another year. It has been found that grain can be
sowed on the prairie early and the sod rotted as readily as
if sowed in June, as the growing crop shades it and but little
grass starts. This is a valuable discovery and will be worth
much to new beginners who, thus far, with the exception of
potatoes, have not expected anything before the second
year. It will be of value also to larger farmers who are
obliged to go to a heavy outlay each year for breaking, for
the oat crop not only pays for the labor, but leaves a good
margin besides. It is an experiment certainly worth a trial.

The immigrant settling in a new country will understand
the value of this discovery which will enable him to realize
sufficient for his expenses the first year, and perhaps will
enable him to place a sum of money aside for future use.
The new settler when he arrives in the country ought to
locate his farm with as little delay as possible, and then set
to work to break as much land as he can for the ensuing
year's seeding. If he should be in time to sow on the sod
as already described, by all means let him do so, but if not
he should break as much as possible for cultivation the
following year. He and his family can very well camp out
in tents during the summer, and in the fall there will be
plenty of time to erect a warm house and stables for the

It is of the greatest importance that old countrymen
should fall into the methods of old settlers on the prairie
Too often they allow their prejudices to lead them into
practices which the experience of practical men show to be
altogether unsuitable to a prairie country.

For instance, with respect to ploughing, or as it is called,
"breaking" the prairie, the method, in Manitoba, is quite
difierent from that in an old country. The prairie is cov-
ered with a rank vegetable growth, and the question is how


to subdue this, and so make the land available for farming
purposes. Experience has proved that the best way is to
plough not deeper than two inches, and turn over a furrow
from twelve to sixteen inches wide. This is well done
during the months of June and July. It is found that the
sod is effectually killed when turned over during these two

Online LibraryJohn MacounManitoba and the great North-west: the field for investment; the home of the emigrant, being a full and complete history of the country .. → online text (page 50 of 55)