The Story of Manitoba
Chapter XLV Immigration


In spite of Manitoba's isolation for two centuries after white men first reached her broad prairies, her history was influenced in many ways by the policies of the nations of Europe. The early exploration of the country was accelerated by the old enmity between Britain and France, and the competition between the Hudson's Bay Company and the French fur companies was made keener by the desire for national aggrandizement. The hostility of centuries often showed itself in open war, and on more than one occasion the war was transferred to the shores of Hudson Bay, where forts were captured and recaptured by the belligerent powers. Even after the French had surrendered the whole country to the English, some of the old hostility survived to add bitterness to the struggle between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North-West Company and to form an obscure element in the causes of the Metis rebellion. The Selkirk settlers might never have come to Manitoba, if Britain had not taken a part in the Napoleonic wars; and many subsequent migrations of settlers from European countries have been prompted by a desire to escape adverse conditions at home as much as by a desire to profit by the fertility of Manitoba's plains and the riches of her woods and waters. The internal policies of Russia and Austria, economic conditions in Germany and Scandinavia, and disasters wrought by the forces of nature in Iceland have all helped in bringing settlers to Manitoba.

Up to the time of the transfer of the Red River Settlement to Canada the increase in its population had been steady but somewhat slow. The Riel insurrection, which appeared such a disaster in itself, seems to have given an impetus to immigration by drawing attention to Manitoba and its resources; and the volunteers in Wolseley's Red River Expedition were the best immigration agents the province could have had. Many of them decided to make their homes in the country when their term of service expired, and their reports about its advantages brought many settlers from eastern Canada to share in the develop ment and progress of the new province.

The movement of settlers from eastern Canada to Manitoba was imped for many years by lack of transportation facilities. Two routes were open to them, but both presented serious difficulties. One took them across the Great Lakes and over the Dawson Route; the other took them through the United States to the farthest point in Minnesota reached by rail and then down the Red River in flatboats or steamers. The movement of settlers from Ontario to Manitoba began in 1871. In April of that year an advance party of eight left their homes, travelled by rail to St. Cloud, Minnesota, went thence by wagons to Fort Abercrombie on the Red River, built a flatboat there, and when the stream was clear of ice, made their way to Winnipeg. Large numbers of Ontario people followed as soon as summer came, and by August the hotels of the little town of Winnipeg could not accommodate half the new arrivals. It became necessary to tit up a shed in the rear of Bannatyne & Begg's store as an immigration hall, and there the wives and children were sheltered while husbands and fathers were selecting their farms. In October Mr. J. A. N.-Provencher came to Winnipeg as immigration agent, and the information and advice, which he was able to give, were very helpful to the new settlers. Through the efforts of Premier Clarke and Consul Taylor, the government of the United States relaxed some of its customs regulations, making it easier for settlers to bring their effects through that country. The movement of people from Ontario continued in 1872, many of them taking up land west of Portage la Prairie.

A few years later several thousands of settlers found their way to southern Manitoba as a result of a change in the policy of the Russian government towards certain classes of its subjects. In 1786 Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, invited members of the religious sect known as Mennonites to leave their homes in Prussia and settle along the lower course of the Dnieper River, offering them free transportation, free lands, freedom of religion, and exemption from military service. Many accepted the offer, and several hundred families had settled in the district before the empress died in 17!)6. Fearing a loss of their privileges, these people induced her successor, Paul I, to confirm them by a charter, still preserved at Chortitz. The concessions thus secured encouraged more of the Mennonite brethren to migrate to southern Russia, and a new settlement was formed along the Molotchna River near the Sea of Azov, and about 1860 a third settlement was established in the Crimea. Other German people followed the Mennonites, and by 1870 Germans formed a large element in the population of southern Russia. Nearly all these people were farmers, and their industry and thrift had made them the most prosperous people in the country.

Their success roused the envy of other people living in that part of the Russian empire and led to a demand for the cancellation of the special privileges enjoyed by the Mennonites; and about 1870 a treaty was made between Russia and Germany, by which the latter renounced her guardianship over the German inhabitants of southern Russia. The Russian government then required the Mennonites to become full Russian citizens, allowing those who were unwilling to do so ten years in which to dispose of their property and find homes elsewhere. The order spread consternation among the Mennonites. If they remained, they were liable for service in the army—a thing forbidden by the rules of their religion—their children would be educated in the Russian schools, and certain valuable privileges would be withdrawn; and if they went elsewhere, they could hardly hope to dispose of their property except at a great loss. Appeals to St. Petersburg failed to move the government, and while some of the Mennonites decided to conform to the w order of things, the more conservative among them felt that they must migrate to some country where they could live in conformity with the tenets of their religion. They therefore sent delegates to various parts of the world, looking for a country in which soil and climate were somewhat similar to those of southern Russia and where military service would not be compulsory.

As the Mennonites seemed to be people almost certain to succeed as new settlers on the prairies of the west, both the United States and Canada made efforts to secure them. In 1872 a delegate from one of the Mennonite settlements in Russia visited Manitoba in company with Mr. Jacob Y. Shantz, a prominent member of one of the Mennonite churches of Ontario; and a year later, when Hon. 'William Hespeler visited the Mennonite colonies in Russia as an agent of the Dominion government, this delegate was able to confirm his accounts of the soil and climate of Manitoba. Mr. Hespeler's most effective work appears to have been done in the villages along the Molotchna, where the Mennonite people were rather more conservative than in other districts. One result of his visit, was the appointment of a deputation of twelve men, some representing the Mennonite settlements in Russia and others communities in West Prussia, to visit America and select localities best suited for the people who had decided to emigrate. The names of the delegates were Jacob Buller, Leonard Suderman, William Ewert, Andreas Schrag, Tobias Unruh, Jacob Peters, Heinrich Wiebe, Cornelius Ruhr. Cornelius Toews, David Classen, Paul Tschetter, and Lawrence Tschetter; and one of thein, Mr. Suderman. has written an account of their trip. These men left their homes early in the spring of 1873 anil journeyed, via Berlin. Hamburg, and Liverpool, to New York. There they separated, some to inspect one part of the country, some another. Messrs. Buller, Unruh. and Suderman, accompanied by Mr. Hespeler, went to Ontario. Mr. Shantz joined them, and the party then went west to Manitoba by way of Chicago, St. Paul, and Pargo, being joined at Fargo by the other members of the deputation. They spent about three weeks in examining different parts of Manitoba and then went south to examine various districts of the United States.

On their return to Russia the delegates reported that the district about half way between Winnipeg and the international boundary was well adapted for a Mennonite colony, and early in 1874 many people in the settlements along the Molotchna and the Dnieper sold their property and applied for passports to America. Alarmed at the number of people who wished to emigrate, the Russian government offered some concessions in regard to military service to the Mennonites; but while these offers checked the exodus, they did not stop it. In some cases whole villages went away together.

A large percentage of these people came to Manitoba in large or small parties. One party, which had made Toronto their rendezvous, numbered 504 persons when it embarked on the train there. The movement continued all the year, the ships of the Allan line alone bringing 230 families across the sea. The Dominion government had reserved twenty-five townships in Manitoba for the Mennonites, eight being or. the east side of the Red River some twenty-five miles south of Winnipeg, the others being on the west side of the river and nearer to the international line. The influx of Mennonite settlers during 1875 was much greater than that of the previous year, but in 1876 the tide slackened, and by the end of that year it had practically ceased. In 1874 the Mennonites coming to Manitoba numbered 1,368, in the next year 4,637 arrived, but in 1876 1he number fell to 1,141. In August, 1879, the total Mennonite population of Manitoba was estimated at 7,383.

The Mennonites of Manitoba settled in villages, containing from five to thirty families each. Their houses were built close together along both sides of a wide street, with gable ends facing this street. Most of them had flower and vegetable gardens attached to the lots on which the houses stood. The farms were located about the village, and were so laid out that the owners shared equally in the poor land as well as the good. A certain amount of land was set apart as a common pasture for the cattle belonging to the inhabitants. Each village had a school, and in the smaller villages it also served as a church: but in the larger villages there was a special building for religious services. Nearly every village had a blacksmith's shop, and the larger villages had mills and stores. The Mennonites were to be exempt from military service, they were given absolute freedom in religious matters, and they were left practically free to carry out their own system of village government.

Many of the Mennonites who came to Canada were very poor, and it was necessary to advance them money to enable them to begin farming on the unbroken prairie. Their co-religionists in Ontario formed a committee, with Mr. J. Y. Shantz at its head, to raise money to be lent to their brethren in Manitoba, and they also gave security for a loan of $96,000 made by the Dominion government. It is estimated that the total amount of money advanced to the new Mennonite settlers in Manitoba was not less than $175,000, and it speaks well for the thrift and honesty of these settlers that all those loans were repaid before twenty years had passed. Some of those who settled on the east side of the Red River did not secure very good land, and a few became discouraged and moved away; but practically all of those who remained on their lands prospered, and some of them grew rich.

While the Mennonites of southern Russia were migrating to countries where they would be free to live in conformity with the rules of their religious creed, the inhabitants of the northwestern outpost of European civilization, Iceland, were seeking other lands because nature continued to devastate their own. More than eighty per cent, of the people of the island were raisers of cattle and sheep; but frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions had destroyed so much of the pasturage that it became more and more difficult for many of the inhabitants to make a living, and they began to look toward countries where opportunities might be better.

Emigration from Iceland to America began about 1870; but during the next two or three years very few people left the island, and most of these found homes in Wisconsin, although one or two made their way to Ontario. The letters written by these wanderers to their friends and the newspapers of their native land roused a great interest there; and when a meeting of people who had made up their minds to emigrate was held at Akureyri in July, 1872, the majority decided that they would go to Ontario. There were 180 people in the party, and while a few went to Wisconsin, the most of them went to the Muskoka District and took up farms in the bush country. Another party, numbering 365, left Iceland during the summer of 1874, It appears that many of these people had paid their passage money to a Norwegian shipping firm, which failed just before the party left home. After paying for their passage a second time, these people; had little money with which to make a start in a new and strange country. Some of them located in Nova Scotia, but the majority went to Ontario and were sent to the neighborhood of Kinmount, where they might obtain employment in building a new line of railway. The contractors suspended work before spring came, however, and the Icelanders found themselves in a very difficult position. Rev. John Taylor, a clergyman living near them, interested himself in these worthy people and went to Ottawa, hoping to induce the government to adopt a scheme for settling them in Manitoba. Lord Dufferin. the governor-general, seems to have approved of the plan, and finally the government adopted it.

On May'30, 1875, the Icelanders held a meeting at Kinmount and selected delegates to go to Manitoba and find, if possible, suitable home for them. The delegates were Captain S. Jonasson, Mr. Skafti Arason, Mr. Christian Johnson, and Mr. Einar Jonasson. These men left for the west on July 2, and on the way they were joined by Mr. S. Christopherson, a delegate from the Icelanders living in Wisconsin. They went to Moorhead by rail and thence to Winnipeg by steamer, arriving on July 16. After a careful examination of the country the delegates decided that a district on the west side of Lake Winnipeg would suit their countrymen. Many of them had been cattle-raisers and fishermen at borne, and the country immediately west of the lake seemed well adapted for cattle-raising, while the lake itself furnished abundance of fish. The lake and the Red River afforded water communication with Winnipeg, and the site of the settlement would not be far from the proposed Canadian Pacific Railway, which was to cross the river at Selkirk and run northwesterly to the Narrows of Lake Manitoba. Moreover, the district selected had not been occupied by settlers of other nationalities.

Three of the delegates went east to make their report, and the others remained in Manitoba to make preparations for the coming of the new settlers. Late as it was, 250 of the Icelanders in the vicinity of Kinmount decided to move to the shore of Lake Winnipeg before winter set in. They were joined by others on the journey, and when the International landed the party in Winnipeg on October 11, it comprised 85 families, numbering 285 souls. Flatboats were secured in Winnipeg, and having loaded their supplies upon them, the immigrants embarked and started for their destination on the 17th. They floated slowly down the Red River, reaching its mouth on the morning of the 21st, and then the Hudson's Bay Company's steamer, the Colville, towed them across the lake and landed them near the site of the present town of Gimli just as the sun went down. They had been thirty-two days on the journey from Kinmount. On the wav some of them had occupied themselves in making nets, and before darkness fell these nets were set in the lake which was to furnish the people a large part of their living for several years. A long and severe winter set in almost immediately, yet the Icelanders managed to build log houses in which they found shelter; and in a short time the colony became self-supporting. A few of the Icelanders in this first party remained in Winnipeg, the pioneers of several thousands of their countrymen now residing in the city and taking a high place in all departments of its life.

A second party of Icelanders reached Winnipeg on August 11, 1876. having come directly from their native land. Mr. John Dyke, an immigration commissioner of the Canadian government, had aided them in making sailing arrangements ; and as many of them were poor, the government had to assist them in making the passage. It also advanced them supplies for a month after their arrival. Most of the members of this party settled among their friends beside Lake Winnipeg.

Before the end of 1876 misfortune overtook the Icelandic colony. Smallpox broke out at Gimli and spread rapidly through the settlement. At that time Gimli lay in the District of Keewatin and north of the Manitobau boundary, and the Dominion government had not appointed a council for the district. As soon as the report of the outbreak of the epidemic reached Ottawa, a council was appointed, and this council and the government of Manitoba took concerted measures to check the spread of the disease. The settlement was quarantined, and a company of soldiers was sent from Winnipeg to points east and west of the mouth of the Red River to enforce the quarantine. Dr. Lynch and others volunteered for service among the afflicted people, and by the end of the year they seemed to have the epidemic, well under control. It broke out again, however, and carried off many of the settlers before it was completely stamped out.

The smallpox epidemic does not seem to have retarded Icelandic immigration to any extent. A third party came out in 1878 and settled at Gimli, and each succeeding year added to the Icelandic population of the province. By 1885 they had extended their settlement from the shore of Lake Winnipeg to that of Lake Manitoba, and five years later they reached the Narrows. The movement in a northwesterly direction continued, and in another decade there were Icelandic settlements beside Lakes Dauphin and Winnipegosis and in the valley of the Swan River. All the Icelandic immigrants, however, did not settle in districts where woodland and meadow alternate and where lakes and streams are abundant. Many of 1hein took up land in districts suited for grain-growing and mixed farming. A large number settled in the municipality of Argyle in 1881 and the following years, others located in the municipality of Stanley, and still others near the western boundary of the province. .Many found occupation in the towns, especially Winnipeg, Selkirk, Brandon, Baldur, and Glenboro. By the end of the century the total Icelandic population of Manitoba was estimated at 10,000, and natural increase and continued immigration have probably doubled it since. Speaking to the Icelanders during his tour of Manitoba in the summer of 1877, Lord Dufferin said, "I have pledged my official honor to my Canadian brethren that you will succeed;'' and they have fully redeemed the governor-general's pledge.

The act, which embodied the policy of the Mackenzie government in regard to the Canadian Pacific Railway, was passed by the house of commons in the spring of 1874. According to it, the main line might be built as a government work or it might be given to contractors. In the latter case, the contractors would receive twenty thousand acres of land per mile as part payment for their work. As a result large areas of public land in Manitoba were held as railway reserves and were not open to immigrants seeking farms. This greatly impeded the progress of the country, but in spite of the protests of the people and their representatives in parliament the Ottawa government did not modify its policy until 1877. Then a change in the law opened railway reserves to actual settlers, although the man who bought these railway lands., as well as the man who had squatted on- them previous to their reservation, was left in much uncertainty as to the amount which must ultimately be paid for them.

But in spite of the uncertainty about the location of the national railroad, the restrictions in regard to Dominion lands, and the occasional ravages of grasshoppers, the population of Manitoba grew rapidly. There was a steady influx

of settlers from the older provinces of Canada as well as from the countries of Europe. Many large parties arrived during 1878, the tirst reaching "Winnipeg by steamer on April 17 In the sixth large party, which arrived in October, there were 480 families. Individual settlers and small groups of immigrants continued to come to the country throughout the summer, and the number of new arrivals in Winnipeg was so far in excess of the accommodation provided for tliem that it was necessary to use the barracks at Fort Osborne as an annex to the immigration hall. The great demand for land induced several business men of Winnipeg to open real estate offices.

When the conservative party returned to power at Ottawa, the policy of the Dominion government in regard to lands set apart to aid in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was changed once more. By regulations adopted on August 1, 1879, settlers were debarred from taking homesteads and pre-emptions in the belt of country extending for five miles on each side of the main line, although they were allowed to purchase lands in this belt at $6 per acre. In the more distant belts of the railway reserve, homesteads and pre-emptions might be taken, and the land might be bought outright at much lower rates than were charged for it in the inner belt. There was so much opposition to these rules that they were cancelled in October and replaced by others which permitted settlers to take homesteads and pre-emptions in all parts of the railway reserve; but even after this change, the policy of the government was not conducive to the rapid settlement of the vacant lands of the province.

The completion of the railway from St. Vincent to Winnipeg in the autumn of 1878 tended to offset the somewhat illiberal land policy of the government, and the next year brought a large influx of settlers to Manitoba. The movement from Ontario was larger than ever before, many of the best farmers of the counties of Huron, Bruce, Grey, and Wellington selling their holdings there in order to take up land on the western prairies. Parties arrived at St. Boniface almost daily, and many of their members brought considerable capital. Some of these men took up land in the district east of Winnipeg, others selected farms ai southern Manitoba, while many went west to locate somewhere near the main line of the railway. The Hudson's Bay Company placed some of its land in the market on very favorable terms, and yet the number of homesteads and preemptions taken during 1879 exceeded that for the two preceding years. Settlement made rapid progress in the two succeeding years, and we are told that in 1881 the total area of the occupied lands of the province was 2,384,337 acres, of which 250,416 acres were cultivated and 230,264 acres were under crop.

In March, 1882, the Dominion government withdrew all even-numbered sections of land within one mile on each side of the Canadian Pacific Railway from pre-emption and homestead entry, and in July all the lands south of the twenty-four mile belt were withdrawn. It was alleged that this was done to prevent speculators from securing large quantities of land along the branch lines which would soon be built; but 111 the following year legislation was enacted to accomplish this purpose, and then the even-numbered sections south of the railway belt were once more opened to entry for homesteads and pre-emptions. As the railway and its branch lines were extended through the province, the railway company came into possession of great areas of land, much of which it wished to have settled as soon as possible; and so the company became an active immigration agent and helped to increase the tide of immigration setting toward Manitoba.

The rapid increase in the population of the province, and the consequent increase in its capital and the amount of business transacted throughout the country resulted in prosperity unknown before; prosperity led to speculation; and speculation culminated in "the boom" of 1882. A mania for buying and sell in sr real estate seized the people. The prices of lots in the city of Winnipeg were forced up to many times their real value, the prices of lots in the smaller towns were similarly inflated, and farms were subdivided into lots where towns could never be expected to grow. In many eases lots were sold in towns which never existed save on paper. A similar unwarranted inflation pervaded all departments of business. It could not last, and after a few months the crash came. Many men, who dreamed that they had become rich, woke to find themselves ruined. During 1883 and a few of the succeeding years business in Manitoba was at low ebb, and it was a long time before the country recovered from the disastrous effects of "the boom".

About this time the west received from Russia another addition to its population. The Jews in that country were placed under many restrictions, not because of their race but on account of their religion. If a Jew forsook his religion and united with the orthodox national church, all the privileges of full Russian citizenship were open to him; but as long as he adhered to the faith of his forefathers, he was subject to many disabilities. He was obliged to pay taxes, but he could not own land; he was compelled to serve in the army, but he could not obtain an officer's commission in it; lie could not hold any government office; he could not enter any of the professions, except that of medicine; he could not reside outside of certain restricted districts. Under such conditions it was difficult for most of the Jews to live in comfort, impossible for them to live in content.

Anxious as they were to move to some country where they would not be so heavily handicapped in the race of life, poverty kept most of the Russian Jews from emigrating. The time came, however, when they received assistance from other countries. Aided with money from the Mansion House Fund, to which Baron Hirsch was a generous contributor, and directed by the London (Eng. J Board of Guardians, quite a large party of Russian Jews came to western Canada in 1882. Most of them were mechanics; and while some of them remained in Winnipeg to enter such callings as were open to men with such limited capital, many went further west and formed an agricultural colony in the neighborhood of Wliitewood, Sask. The majority of the people who came in this first large party, those who located in the city as well as those who became farmers, met with success; and since 1882 a steady stream of Jewish people has flowed into the west. The majority of them have come from Russia, all parts of that country being represented, although in recent years the disturbances in the southern provinces have increased the proportion from that part of the empire.

These people receive direction and help from the Jewish Colonization Society, and this organization lends money to those who prove themselves worthy of assistance in that way. As far as possible they are sent to the agricultural colonies, of which there are seven or eight in Saskatchewan and Alberta; but a number of them remain in the cities and towns of Manitoba. The Jewish population of Winnipeg received a considerable addition in 1896 because of the persecution of these people in Koumania, and the disturbances in Russia which followed the Russo-Japanese war caused an increased influx from that country. The Jewish population of Winnipeg alone is estimated at more than 12,000, and it has many able representatives in business, the professions, and public life.

It must not be supposed, however, that all of Manitoba's Jewish settlers have located in the cities and towns. There is an agricultural settlement north of Shoal Lake, founded in 1906 and known as Bender Hamlet, in which the houses form a little village while the farms are scattered around it. The people in this colony brought with them the communal system with which they were familiar in Russia. Another colony was established near Pine Ridge, about eighteen miles northeast of Winnipeg, in 1910. Most of the people in it are market-gardeners and dairymen, each man owning his little farm. New Hirsch is another settlement of Jewish farmers, established in the district east of Lake Manitoba during 1910.

Hoping to relieve the distress among the Crofters in some parts of the western highlands of Scotland, Lady Cathcart and other benevolent persons devised a plan for settling them on farms in southern Manitoba and other parts of western Canada. The first party was sent out in 1883, and another followed in 1884. Substantial aid in cash, stock, and implements was given to them; but the conditions in a newly settled prairie country were so strange to these people that they made little progress for a long time. Some of them ultimately attained success, but many failed utterly.

It is probable that the success of Scandinavian settlers in Minnesota and Dakota led some of their friends at home to emigrate to Manitoba. As a rule the Swedish people have not come to the province in large parties, nor have they settled in colonies, although there are a few exceptions. About 1884 quite a large party of Swedes arrived in Winnipeg, and soon after, acting on the advice of some of their fellow-countrymen, they formed an agricultural colony about twenty miles north of Minnedosa. A similar colony was established on Swan River thirty years later; but most of the Swedish farmers settle in districts inhabited by people of other nationalities.

The collapse of the land "boom" of 1882 and the succession of poor crops which followed seriously retarded immigration to Manitoba for some time, but in 1886 conditions began to improve. The Dominion government made another modification in its land regulations during the year, allowing more freedom in making entries for homesteads, giving more time in which to commence cultivation and erect a dwelling, and facilitating the issue of patents. The privilege of taking second homesteads was withdrawn, and pre-emptions were to be discontinued after 1890. On July 1, 1886, the completion of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway from Montreal to Vancouver was marked by the arrival of the first transcontinental train in Winnipeg. The completion of the road north of the Great Lakes made it much easier for both Canadian and European settlers to reach the west. The census of 1886 gave Manitoba a population of 108,640. The area of land occupied was 4,171,224 acres, 751,571 acres being under cultivation.

On September 15th 1898, two Russian families arrived in Winnipeg and reported themselves to the immigration commissioner, Mr. W F. McCreary.

They proved to be the scouts of an army of immigrants, the precursors of a movement without parallel in the history of the Canadian west. They belonged to the religious sect called Dounhobors, and had come to Manitoba, seeking suitable districts for colonies of their co-religionists, whose peculiar tenets had brought them into such serious and long-continued conflict with the authorities of the Russian government that they bad decided to migrate to some other country. The two Russian families were accompanied by Mr. Aylmer Maude and Prince Ililkoft", and the immigration officers had been instructed to give them all possible assistance in securing information about Manitoba and the Territories. They made a thorough examination of the parts of the country in which considerable areas of land were open for homesteading, and finally selected two districts in which to establish Doukhobor settlements. One lay entirely in the present province of Saskatchewan; the other was in the Thunder Hills district near the upper affluents of the Assiniboine and Swan Rivers, partly in Saskatchewan and partly in Manitoba.

In a few weeks a remarkable migration began. The Doukhobors came by thousands, apparently without regard to the season of the year, the possibility of getting on their reserves, or the chance of obtaining employment or even shelter. The first party, which reached Winnipeg on January 27, 1899, included 2,076 persons. They were housed in the immigration hall, an old building which had once been a school, and other available places. Although there seemed to be no more shelter for these people, 1,973 arrived in February, 1,036 came in May, and 2,335 in the early part of July. The first two parties had come via Hamburg, but the third took ship at the Island of Cyprus and sailed directly to Canada. The people in it brought tents with them, and the government was not required to find shelter for them; but for the members of the last party no place could be found in Winnipeg, and they had to be sheltered in the old round-house of the Canadian Pacific Railway at East Selkirk. The total number of Doukhobors who came to Winnipeg during the year was 7,427.

The Doukhobors were an agricultural people, but as soon as they arrived in Manitoba both men and women accepted any employment which could be secured. Some of the men were sent forward to their reserves, and. under the direction of experienced axemen provided by the government, they erected houses for the rest of the immigrants. These houses were built of logs and roofed with sods, while the walls were plastered with clay both inside and outside. Most of them were heated with the Russian stove. As fast as the cabins were completed the people were moved to their reserves, and the earlier arrivals had time to dig up and plant small patches of their farms. Practically ail of the Doukhobors who took up land settled in villages, and while some applied for individual homesteads, the great majority adopted the communal system which they had known in Russia. In the settlement near the Thunder Hills, which was known as the "North Colony," there were 13 villages, containing 151 houses and an aggregate population of about 1500. A few hundreds of Doukhobois located in other parts of Manitoba.

From a material standpoint most of these peculiar people, were successful, but few of them proved desirable settlers. The strange religious pilgrimages in which the more fanatical sometimes indulged, their intractability, their unwillingness to become Canadian citizens and to fulfill all their homestead duties,


THE SAME TASK, AS ACCOMPLISHED WITH MOTOR TRACTORS

and their determination not to conform to some Canadian laws gave constant trouble to the authorities and made the Doukhobors a menace to good order in the community. Many of them left their lands and went elsewhere, but they have proved troublesome settlers wherever they have located. The experiment of transplanting thousands of a peculiar religious sect and placing them in isolated colonies in a new country is interesting to the student of sociology and history, but it is safe to say that the government will not repeat it.

The last decade of the nineteenth century saw the beginning of another migration of Slavonic people to Manitoba. These immigrants came from the provinces of Galicia and Bukowina, which lie beyond the Carpathian Mountains and form the northeast corner of the Austrian Empire. Most of them were peasant farmers, who wished to improve their circumstances by moving to a country where they could secure cheap land. Many of them brought a little money with them, and these usually took up land at once; the others found employment for a time in the towns, on railways under construction, or in the woods, but m most cases their ultimate purpose was to become owners of farms. These people began to come to Manitoba about 1896, some obtaining land at once, others accepting any employment offered to them. In the next year a small colony was established in the neighborhood of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, and in

1898 another party arrived and settled in Manitoba. The success of these pioneers of Ruthenian emigration so encouraged their friends at home that in 1899 about 3,500 of them came out and settled in the province. They arrived rather late in the season, but most of them who took up land were able to raise some potatoes and other roots, and very few of them required assistance from the government. About 3,000 of these people came to Manitoba in 1900, and each year since has brought a larger or smaller addition to the Ruthenian population.

As the Ruthenians reached Manitoba after all the government land on the open prairie had been taken up, they were obliged to look in the less desirable districts for homesteads and land which could be bought at a low price. For this reason most of them are living in the rougher, wooded areas bordering on the open prairie. They are found along the eastern side of the province in the districts drained by the Brokenhead and Whitemouth Rivers; they live in the district lying north of the older Icelandic settlements between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba; they have settled around Lake Dauphin and on the slopes of the Riding Mountains; they have farms in the neighborhood of Shoal Lake and Russell; and they have several settlements near Sifton, Ethelbert, and other places in the country lying west of Lake Winnipegosis.

Coming during the same period as the Galicians, other Slavonic immigrants have helped to swell the population of Manitoba. Quite a large number of Bohemians, who migrated from their own country to Galicia years ago, have moved from it to this province. Several thousand Polish people, seeking a country where their energy would have a wider field, have settled in Manitoba. The majority of both Bohemian and Polish immigrants are anxious to become landowners, and they have naturally located in the districts settled by their race-relatives, the Galicians. While the majority of these Slavic people have gone on the land, a considerable number live in the cities and towns, and the Slavic population of Winnipeg must number several thousands.

Many German people have settled in Manitoba, but they have seldom come from their native country in large parties. Some of them locate in the towns, but most of them become farmers, and many have taken up land in the districts occupied by Ruthenians. The number of immigrants coming from France has not been so large as might be expected. For the most part they have settled in parts of the country previously occupied by French-speaking people, although a few new districts have been largely settled by them. Considering the very dense population of Belgium, Manitoba has received few settlers from that country. The Belgians generally settle among the French people of the province. The population of Manitoba includes several thousand Italians, although few of them have become agriculturists. They seldom have the means to begin farming when they reach the country, but they are very industrious and economical and soon achieve success in other occupations.

It must not be inferred that these foreign immigrants were the only settlers who came to Manitoba during the past twenty-five years. The number of English-speaking settlers has generally exceeded that of the foreign immigrants. Each succeeding year has brought thousands of them from Ontario. Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces, from Great Britain and Ireland, and from the United States. They have changed the unfilled prairies to well-kept, fruitful farms, built the towns of the province, developed her industries, moulded her institutions, and guided her progress; and her future destiny is in their hands.


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