Cuthbert Grant of Grantown

Cuthbert Grant of Grantown

Margaret Arnett MacLeod
W.L. Morton
assisted by Alice R. Brown
WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY W.L. MORTON
Copyright Date: 1974
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zt0h4
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  • Book Info
    Cuthbert Grant of Grantown
    Book Description:

    This book examines the Métis settlement of Grantown, the controversial "massacre" of Seven Oaks, the Siouan wars and the Red River settlement's fight for survival.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9156-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Introduction to the Carleton Library Edition
    (pp. None)
    W. L. MORTON

    Cuthbert Grant of Grantownwas published in 1963 by McClelland and Stewart aided by a grant from the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba, and that body distributed the edition, now exhausted. As there is still some interest in this study of one of the personalities of early western Canadian history, the surviving author, the present writer, and Mrs. A. E. Annetts, daughter of Margaret Arnett MacLeod, welcome a second edition of the original text in the Carleton Library. Such a re-issue will make the story of the first leader of the Metis people more accessible than it could be...

  3. PREFACE
    (pp. v-vi)
    W. L. MORTON
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. ix-x)

    Cuthbert Grant is best remembered in history as the leader of the bois–brolés in the massacre of Seven Oaks, and as such he has not been kindly remembered by the descendants of the Selkirk settlers, or by western Canadians generally.

    Yet the same Cuthbert Grant was the founder of Grantown, which became the mission and parish of Saint-François-Xavier on the Assiniboine. That settlement of his folk, the Métis buffalo hunters of the plains, some of whom had been the warriors of Seven Oaks, became the bulwark of the settlement against the Sioux. Its presence for almost fifty years gave...

  6. [Map]
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  7. CHAPTER 1 GRANT’S ANCESTRY AND UPBRINGING, 1793-1812
    (pp. 1-7)

    Young Cuthbert Grant came into the spotlight as a romantic and intriguing figure in 1816, during the last bitter struggle between the North West and Hudson’s Bay Companies for supremacy in the fur trade in the Canadian northwest. Later, from 1824 to the time of his death in 1854, as holder of the only seigniory in the west, on which he planted his outpost settlement of Grantown, and as Warden of the Plains, he made a notable contribution towards the establishment of the first permanent settlement in Western Canada, that of the Red River colony. Indeed the settlers at The...

  8. CHAPTER II THE RED RIVER COUNTRY IN 1812
    (pp. 8-16)

    In May of 1812 young Mr Grant rode out from Montreal along the shores of the St Lawrence to Lachine. He was to embark in the canoes for the Red River country. The brisk little city under the forested mountain, and its shipping on the broad river, were quickly left behind as the gentlemen trotted under the great elms of the island of Montreal. The river was busy with traffic, timber rafts bound for Quebec, and Durham boats coming down from Upper Canada. Trade was good, for Canadian timber and wheat were in demand in Britain, locked in the last...

  9. CHAPTER III A LEADER OF THE MÉTIS, 1813-1815
    (pp. 17-37)

    While Grant was learning his new duties on the Qu’Appelle, and tasting in buffalo-hunt and prairie-ride the life of the plains and the fur trade, Miles Macdonell was busy making preparation for the first band of settlers to pass the winter at Pembina. He had chosen The Forks as the site of the colony. On Point Douglas, a broad point of land in a loop of the Red a mile north of The Forks, he had placed the colonial establishment which consisted of stores of goods and houses for the labourers and colonists. Some ground had been broken on the...

  10. CHAPTER IV THE COLLISION AT SEVEN OAKS, 1816
    (pp. 38-52)

    The appointment of Cuthbert Grant as Captain-General of the Métis was obviously part of a plan by Macdonell and Cameron of the North West Company for dealing with the assembling of the Métis of the northwest at which Grant had been at work all winter. Grant had shown himself so superior at once in education and boldness and in his influence over the Métis, that he now emerged as first of the four chiefs of 1815. Thenceforward Grant was to be the chief of the Méis nation.

    If Grant’s appointment was part of a plan prepared during the winter by...

  11. CHAPTER V THE AFTERMATH OF SEVEN OAKS, 1817-1820
    (pp. 53-72)

    That the collision at Seven Oaks was an accident and the blood shed that followed the result of accident, so far as the bois-brolés themselves were concerned, was well understood on the morrow of the massacre. In after years it was also well understood that it was on those who had inspired the advance on the colony and dispatched Grant and his Métis from Qu’Appelle that the ultimate responsibility rested. In this knowledge lay the basis for reconciliation between bois-brolés and colonists. In it lay the possibility that Cuthbert Grant would in the long run be remembered, not as the...

  12. CHAPTER VI THE YEARS OF UNCERTAINTY, 1818-1823
    (pp. 73-89)

    By mid-summer 1818, Grant was once more back in the Red River country and on his way to Qu’Appelle. He came back, it may be supposed, older and graver. He had returned from the prisons and courts of Canada unharmed. The North West Company and its friends had stood by him in Canada, if they had left him to appear the man responsible for Seven Oaks in 1817. They had in effect cleared him of the charges laid by Selkirk. But the old exuberant loyalty to the company had been damped. Grant had seen that the cause of the Nor’Westers...

  13. CHAPTER VII THE FOUNDATION OF GRANTOWN, 1824-1830
    (pp. 90-107)

    The site of Grant’s settlement lay some eighteen miles westward from the Forks, up the Assiniboine River. Its western boundary was at an old Indian encampment in the lee of a slight, almost imperceptible ridge which made a dry camping-place in the surrounding plain. It was known as thecoteau des festins, because the local Indians from time immemorial had held dog feasts on the site. From the loop of the river-ridge, a wide view opened southward over the plains towards the lands of the Sioux. On the points and bays of the winding course of the Assiniboine were the...

  14. CHAPTER VIII GRANT’S SOLDIERS OF THE BUFFALO HUNT
    (pp. 108-121)

    If Grant was increasingly to be identified with Grantown, in no way was he more so identified than as leader of the summer buffalo hunt of the people of White Horse Plain. For although his people had settled with him along the tree-fringed banks of the Assiniboine, and although they had loyally followed his lead in taking up farming, they still continued to go out to the plains every June to hunt the buffalo. They did so partly because they loved the movement and excitement of the hunt; but they did so also because neither their crops nor their wages...

  15. CHAPTER IX THE SIOUX WARS AND FREE TRADE
    (pp. 122-138)

    By 1840 the career of Cuthbert Grant was at its apex. Still the “chief of the half-breeds” by right of their devotion to his person, he was by appointment of the company Warden of the Plains, Councillor of Assiniboia, Sheriff and Magistrate. For nine years more he was to enjoy these honours and fulfil the duties attached to them, then, after the Sayer trial his unchallenged position as leader of the Mdtis was lost to him and his importance in the Red River colony ended.

    Of this nothing was evident in 1840. Indeed, Grant was now about to render his.people...

  16. CHAPTER X THE LAST YEARS OF GRANTOWN
    (pp. 139-155)

    The changes wrought by the events of 1849 produced no change in Grant’s relations with his neighbours in Grantown or in the course of life there.

    An interesting event of the early fifties was the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth. It was not always easy in Rupert’s Land to find a suitable mate when young people were ready for marriage. Sometimes parents had to seek far afield, and such was the case with Cuthbert Grant’s daughter Elizabeth. Thus when Grant received a letter from York Factory acquainting him of the interest of young William McKay in his daughter, he and...

  17. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 156-156)

    As time went by the whole country became settled, and the needs which had given Grantown importance in the Red River economy passed away. There are still landmarks which speak of the early days, and names such as Grant’s Point and Sayer’s Creek which recall the men of those days. The village remains today – a little hamlet along the river – and its centre is still near the site of Grant’s big white house.¹

    After Grant’s death life at Grantown continued in the pattern which its seignior had established, but as the years passed the mother settlement’s two pressing needs for...

  18. NOTES
    (pp. 157-170)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 171-174)
  20. Suggestions For Further Reading
    (pp. 175-178)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 179-184)