Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Eyewitness to a Rebellion

The journey was a long monotonous one, over a level, treeless prairie, with no habitations, until we reached the small frontier village of Pembina, at the boundary between the two countries. After crossing the boundary line we came to the Hudson's Bay post of Pembina, and a few miles further we reached what appeared to be an old settled country. The changed aspect of things was very marked, and one could not help being impressed by it, in coming upon a comparatively well-cultivated settlement in the heart of an immense region which for two centuries had so little communication with the outer world.
These words - published in 1886 - are part of the diaries of a Major Boulton, who was a soldier during the Northwest Rebellion (1869-1885). An descendent of Boulton has transcribed his ancestor's experiences on a thoroughly fascnating website, nothing flashy. Just words...and what words! They take you back to the man on the march, in the middle of the land we grew up in, but nothing like we remember it...a land that was little touched by man, native or immigrant...