History: West to the Setting Sun – Part 2

Reprinted from the February 1951 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Before the coming of the railroads, Red River cart brigades conveyed freight 900 miles from Fort Garry (Winnipeg) over the Great Trail to Edmonton.

West to the Setting Sun – Part 2
By Philip H. Godsell, F.R.G.S., Lethbridge, Alta.

‘In August wandering hunters brought word of the disaster to the Tonquin and the Astorians bestirred themselves to strengthen their stockades and bastions, and mount their four-pounders. Following the old Nor-Wester policy, McDougall proceeded to enter into a policy of conciliation with red men which culminated in his marrying the daughter of Chief Concomly. Still not satisfied with his defences, and distrusting his adopted people, he showed them a glass a bottle and warned them that, at the first sign of treachery, he would pull the cork and loosen amongst them the dread red death – the scourge of smallpox. The warning was enough!’

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