Those Wild “Payment” Days at Old Fort Pitt
By WM. Bleasdell Cameron, Meadow Lake, Sask.
‘When Indian Agent Tom Quinn came down from his headquarters at Frog Lake to the old Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading post of Fort Pitt on the North Saskatchewan river to “pay treaty” to the members of Chief Big Bear’s turbulent Plains Cree following in the fall of 1884, although he was no stranger to the grumbling and attempts at intimidation from some of the most truculent of the leaders, he could hardly have suspected to be the target of such calculated hostility or to listen – as he did with apparently indifference – to the terrific bombardment of abuse to which he was subjected.
On this fine mid-October morning ha sat with his clerk at the end of the office in the Company’s “Big House,” with stacks of crisp new Canadian back notes beside him ready to begin payment.’
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