Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next



in the government of the Canadian provinces. If we are to believe what the friends of that company wrote of Selkirk, he was actuated solely by motives of self-aggrandizement ; if we take the eulogies

of his friends, he was a leader among philanthropists. Motives apart, his schemes of colonization were vigorously executed, and resulted in the introduction of a large number of hardy settlers, whose influence for good upon the communities where they were located has been most marked. Selkirk's first design was to take his colonists to the Hudson Bay country ; but the British government insisted that the vacant lands of the older provinces should first be taken up. Selkirk's earliest settlement (1803) was, therefore, upon Prince Edward Island. About

eight hundred was the number of this first company, and their prosperity was immediate. Their descendants form to-day a large element in the population of the central portion of the island.

Selkirk in Upper Canada.—Selkirk also owned much land in the western district of Upper Canada, and in this same year (1803) his Baldoon settlement on Lake St. Clair was founded. The land was low lying, malaria thinned the ranks, and the colony was not a success. In Upper Canada, indeed, Selkirk appears to have met with but scant encouragement. The litigation which afterwards arose between him and the North-West Company was largely conducted in Canada, and Selkirk complained bitterly of the partiality shown to his opponents by the authorities in both of the Canadian provinces. It was not, however, until 1811-1812 that Selkirk, having secured a controlling interest in the Hudson's Bay Company, sent out the first settlers to his lands upon the Red River. The events connected with that settlement fall, therefore, within the next period of Canadian history.

Talbot Settlements.—The same perhaps may be said of the Talbot settlements in the townships in rear of the Lake Erie



Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next