Chapter VIII. First Developments (1868-1869)
"WANTED a man who will passionately enter into the growth and progress of the Church here," wrote the Bishop early in 1868 to the Secretaries of the S.P.G. From one cause or another several of the missionaries, including Mr. Taylor, his Chaplain, the Incumbent of St. James's, had left Rupert's Land, and their places had not been filled; it was not easy to get men; by and by St. John's College supplied, to some extent at least, a ministry trained in the Diocese and possessed of a knowledge of its requirements, but that time had not yet come. With his eyes fixed on the tide of settlement ever rising higher and higher in the south, now that a line of railway connected St. Paul in Minnesota with New York--when the Bishop went to the North-West in 1865 he had had to travel part of the way to St. Paul by river-steamer foresaw more and more clearly the coming growth and progress of the country, and he cried for men to be sent out to him from England who would be equal to the great opportunity thus presented--men who, in his strong phrase, would passionately enter into the corresponding growth and progress of the Church. He appealed again for a man for Winnipeg, "which begins to grow and get shops," and in which a church was to be built in the spring. The winter passed, however, without news of a clergyman being sent for this mission, and he wondered why.
It occurred to him that, as he was hardly known in England outside of Cambridge, his personal influence was insufficient to obtain what the Diocese needed; if that were the case, he felt that he was not the Bishop Rupert's Land required at this crisis in its history. In May, in a further appeal to the S.P.G., he wrote: "Sometimes, when I feel a deep sense of all that might be done here by one who could bring to the Diocese some extraneous help, I feel inclined to resign." But he found comfort and fresh strength and confidence in his College, with its forty students and boys; in a letter to the C.M.S., also appealing for men, written at this time, he spoke of it as "the bright spot" in the Diocese, and its "hope."
In the meantime he had been maturing his plans. After much care and consideration--for he was a man who always "hastened slowly"--he had drawn up a Constitution of the Synod of Rupert's Land, which he submitted, first of all, to the C.M.S. and the other Societies that subsidised the Diocese, for friendly criticism, as he thought it was essential to secure their sympathy and approval, not only because they supplied the funds, but because at this period Synods were rather looked on with suspicion by the Evangelical party in England. He also proposed to hold a third Visitation--on this occasion of the missions on the shores of that part of Hudson's Bay which is known as James Bay, entailing a long and arduous journey of many hundreds of miles of difficult and fatiguing travel in the interior.
But before he set out on it, the Settlement was again ravaged and well-nigh overwhelmed by grass hoppers, which devoured every green thing, and the people were threatened with famine, as the young growing crops were utterly destroyed. The calamity deeply tried the tender heart of their Bishop, but he looked forward hopefully to the time when the plague would for ever disappear from the land, and entreated the settlers not to lose courage. He issued a form of prayer to be used in the churches beseeching Almighty God that the plague might be lifted from the country. He would have remained in Red River through this anxious time, but arrangements had already been made by letter with the missionaries on James Bay, and the Visitation could not be cancelled or deferred without putting them to serious inconvenience. Years had passed since Bishop Anderson had visited these missions, and Bishop Machray knew that a postponement now would cause great disappointment.
The enormous development of which Canada has been the gigantic theatre during the last twenty years has left Moose Factory and the other mission stations on James Bay untouched, so that to-day they are almost as isolated as they were half a century ago; the easiest and best way still of reaching them is by ship from England. The Bishop, in 1868, had to get at them by a very roundabout route from Red River. Leaving St. John's on May 16, he went by steamer down the Red River to a place called Georgetown, from which he drove "by team," which, in this case, was in a waggon drawn by two mules, to Fort Abercrombie, and thence by stage to St. Cloud, which was reached in three days after leaving the Fort. From St. Cloud he proceeded by rail to St. Paul. All along river and road he noted the upspringing of settlements in farms and villages, and saw how much the country had developed in population since he had travelled through it scarcely three years previously; he felt once more that it could not be long before the advancing tide of humanity would send its first waves into Rupert's Land, and his soul was filled with solicitude and deep-brooding thought.
From St. Paul he diverged to Faribault, where the Bishop of Minnesota, Dr. Whipple, known throughout the United States as the "Apostle of the Indians," had his Cathedral and residence. He spent some delightful days with Bishop Whipple, who showed him the beautiful Cathedral, the College, and other institutions that had been brought into existence very recently at Faribault through the generosity of American Church men; he had the natural wish that his own diocesan work might meet with similar support from England. Much he talked with Bishop Whipple of the expected immigration into Rupert's Land, and of the best methods of coping with it in the interests of the settlers themselves and of the Church. He heard how the "American Church," as they termed the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, had in each diocese of the West established a strong missionary collegiate centre, from which clergy were despatched wherever and whenever opportunity offered, and he remembered and applied in after years what he heard. Bishop Whipple, with the accents of profound regret, said that their organisation had come somewhat late into the field, and as a consequence much ground had been lost and could hardly be recovered. Bishop Machray resolved that, if possible, his organisation should be ready in advance, and that, if it rested with him, not an inch of ground should be lost in Rupert's Land. Before quitting Faribault he gave the American Bishop a warm invitation to pay him a visit in Red River Settlement, and Bishop Whipple promised that he would. Returning to St. Paul in the beginning of June, he went on by rail to Milwaukee on Lake Michigan, where he called on Dr. Atkinson, Bishop of Michigan, by whom he was shown over Racine College, a flourishing Church institution with over 200 students. Next day he resumed his journey northwards, halting at Nashotah to see Bishop Kemper of Wisconsin, and Nashotah House, the missionary College of the American Church in the West. By way of Escanaba and Marquette he reached Sault Ste. Marie on Lake Superior on June 6, where he held Services on both the British and American sides of the frontier. At this place, popularly known as the "Soo," he had to remain for a week, at the end of which the Algoma steamer arrived and took him on to Michipicoton Harbour, on the north shore of the lake, where there was a post of the Hudson's Bay Company, and from which he was to travel to Moose Factory. Parenthetically it may be remarked that the journey from Winnipeg to Michipicoton can now be accomplished in a day by the Canadian Pacific Railway route. At Michipicoton he embarked in a canoe, with a crew of six men, for Moose Factory; his arrival there on June 26 was greeted with the firing of cannon by the officers of the Company and the flying of flags from every available point. While at Moose he was the guest of the Company's senior officer. Here, as every where in Rupert's Land, the officers of the Company were most kind and hospitable, and eager to do anything for him that lay in their power.
The mission at Moose was under the charge of the Rev. John Horden (afterwards Bishop) of the C.M.S., an able and in many respects remarkable man, full of energy and of tireless industry which manifested itself in all directions. [A short Life of Dr. Horden, by A. R. Auckland, has been published by the S.P.C.K., under the title, John Horden, Missionary Bishop, which, apart from its religious side, is full of quite extraordinary "human" interest.] Fertile in resource, he could turn his hand to anything; with equal pluck and skill he built house and church, set up a printing-press which he had had sent out from England by the Company's ship, and learned how to print with it, and taught himself how to play an organ which had been presented to his mission by some Irish ladies. His labours among the Indians, which had commenced in 1851, were abundant and singularly successful. He won whole bands and even tribes from heathenism, so that scarcely a pagan was to be found in the district. He had completely mastered their languages and dialects; he translated many parts of the Bible and of other books into their tongues, and he printed his translations in the "syllabic" characters on his printing-press with his own capable hands. Small wonder that the Bishop, after witnessing Horden's work, wrote with enthusiasm to the C.M.S.: "He is a man and a missionary after my own heart." The Bishop observed with pleasure that at Moose the Indians were not only Christianised, but had attained to some degree of civilisation; their tents were clean and well kept, and they themselves were well dressed--"like European labourers."
After spending some time at Moose in holding Confirmation and other Services, and in speaking to such of the Indians as were able to converse in English, the Bishop, accompanied by Horden, went by canoe on James Bay to Rupert's House, where was a post of the Company, with a large and flourishing mission about it, and also under Horden's care. The distance from Moose to Rupert's House is 120 miles over a sea that is apt to be dangerous from fogs and sudden storms, but wind and weather being propitious, so that sail could be made as well as paddle plied, the trip was effected in forty-eight hours.
The Bishop passed a busy and pleasant week at Rupert's House, holding daily Confirmation classes amongst the Indians, while Horden acted as interpreter; he was surprised and delighted to find all the candidates well prepared and ready with their answers to the questions he put to them. At the Confirmation Service he read his special part of it in Indian, Horden having translated the words and taught him how to pronounce them. This was probably the only time in his life when he used in his episcopal work any language other than English, as he never attempted, nor had sufficient inducement, to acquire any of the native tongues. From Rupert's House the little party went by canoe to Albany, another post of the Company, with a mission of the C.M.S. gathered around it, the Rev. T. Vincent (afterwards Archdeacon) being the Minister in charge. From Rupert's House to Albany is a distance of 200 miles, and the voyage took much longer in proportion, and was less agreeable than that from Moose to Rupert's House, but the Bishop had the satisfaction of seeing on his arrival that all was well with this mission; as at the other two posts on James Bay, the evangelisation of the Indians had been successfully accomplished, and he was greatly pleased with all he observed. After holding Confirmations he passed on to New Brunswick, another mission station on the bay. Returning by the same route, he was in Michipicoton on Lake Superior by the middle of August, after having travelled some 1300 miles by canoe without serious misadventure on river or sea.
The chief result of this Visitation to the missions on James Bay, taken in connection with the Visitation to York Factory on Hudson's Bay, higher up on the shores of the same sea, though it has different names, was a conviction in Bishop Machray's mind that they required a Bishop of their own. He foresaw that he would not be able to attend to them in that quickly coming epoch when all his time and care would have to be devoted to meeting the expected rush of settlers into Red River. He had discussed the question with Horden, who first suggested the formation of these missions into an Archdeaconry, but the Bishop thought that was not what was needed in the circumstances, and Horden in the end agreed with him. Before leaving Moose he told Horden that he would move in this matter as soon as possible, and bring the subject under the notice of the C.M.S. with a view to the speedy appointment of a Bishop for Hudson's Bay. In September of this year Horden himself wrote to the Society, urging the Consecration of a Bishop for these missions, to which he gave the general name of Moosonee, the appellation finally selected for the designation of the See that was eventually formed. By this time Bishop Machray, in consideration of what was about to happen in the Settlement, had come to the conclusion that, as it was impossible for him to visit the missions on the far north--west and north of Rupert's Land, that portion of his Diocese must also have its own Bishop.
From Michipicoton he went across the great lakes into "Canada," partly to be present at the meeting of the Provincial Synod of Canada in Montreal, which was to be held in the second week of September, and partly to raise funds for Rupert's Land and to interest Canadian Churchmen in his efforts. On the way he stopped here and there--at Niagara, London, where, at the request of the Dean of Huron, he laid the foundation-stone of Helimuth Ladies' College, Toronto and Ottawa. At the last-named city, just made the capital of the newly created Dominion, he had inter views with leading Canadian statesmen then in power, who were debating what steps should be taken for obtaining the cession of Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company in order that the whole North West might become part of the Confederation. The Bishop told them of the state of the country, assured them of his personal good-will, and proffered his good offices, if they saw fit to make use of them, in arranging a harmonious settlement with the people of Red River; for himself, he said that he was most anxious that Rupert's Land should join the Dominion. He was received courteously, but all that passed at these interviews has not transpired; those who took part in them are dead; the important point is that, after describing the position of affairs in Red River Settlement, he placed himself at the disposal of the Canadian Government, who, in the end, did not take advantage either of the information or of his offer, but followed a course of their own which led to disastrous results, as will appear in the next chapter, "The Red River Rebellion."
From Ottawa the Bishop proceeded to Montreal, where on September 9 he preached the sermon at the opening of the Provincial Synod of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada. [The first Provincial Synod of "Canada" was held in 1861.] Hardly had the Synod begun its deliberations when the meeting was darkened by a tragic occurrence--the sudden and totally unexpected death of the President, Dr. Fulford, the Bishop of Montreal and Metropolitan of the Province. This melancholy event naturally threw the Synod into some confusion, which, however, soon disappeared, and the question arose of a successor to the vacant See. As the Bishop of Montreal was Metropolitan, his election by the Diocese of Montreal had to be ratified by the Provincial Synod, in accordance with the Constitution of the Province; if the Synod did not accept the nomination there had to be a fresh election. Amongst other names that of the Bishop of Rupert's Land was submitted to the Lower House, which was composed of clerical and lay delegates from the Dioceses of the Province, most of whom were Evangelicals; and as he was definitely selected by a considerable majority, his name was sent up to the Upper House, or House of Bishops. The number of Bishops present had been reduced from five to four by the death of Bishop Fulford; by three votes to one the Bishops declined to assent to the nomination of Bishop Machray because of his being an Evangelical, though no reason was assigned, and asked for another name to be submitted. The Lower House, however, sent his name back again to the Upper House; but as the Bishops persisted in their opposition, it was eventually with drawn, and after a time Dr. Oxenden was elected Bishop of Montreal and Metropolitan of the Province. When news reached Red River that their Bishop might become Bishop of Montreal there was a good deal of excitement, which found expression in the local newspaper, the Nor'-Wester, in the statement: "The Bishop of Montreal is Metropolitan of Canada. Should his Lordship, Bishop Machray, be elevated to that See, his advancement will afford pleasure to his many friends in this Colony, while at the same time all will regret that we shall be deprived of his valuable services and counsel amongst us. Bishop Machray has thousands of sincere friends in this country."
While the struggle between the two Houses of the Synod continued, Bishop Machray moved on from Montreal to New York, where the Triennial Convention of the American Church was in session. At a great opening service held in Trinity, the historic church of New York, he was requested by the Bishop of Kentucky, the presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church at the time, to act as celebrant of the Holy Communion--a token of fraternal good-feeling and fellowship which he said reminded him of the occasion when, in the second century, Anicetus, Bishop of Rome, asked Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who was on a visit to the former, to consecrate and dispense the sacred elements. From New York he went by rail to St. Paul, Minnesota, thence to St. Cloud, and on over the now familiar ground to Red River, reaching Bishop's Court on October 31. Next day he preached in his Cathedral, and gave an account of what he had been doing during his five months' absence from the Settlement. In addition to some of the particulars set forth above, he mentioned that he had received £70 at Moose from officers of the Hudson's Bay Company for Church purposes, and had raised £500 in Canada for the endowment of the Warden's Chair of Theology in St. John's College.
It was to a gloomy and disheartened Settlement, however, that the Bishop had returned--a Settlement in the cruel grip of famine and disaster. The ravages of the grasshoppers in the spring had been so complete that scarce a vestige of vegetation was left; what grew up after they had gone was worth comparatively little. The settlers had for many years supplied them selves with grain from their own fields, raising no more than was sufficient for their needs from season to season; there was no great store of wheat or flour in the district, and to bring provisions, dear in any case, from St. Cloud, more than four hundred miles across the prairies, was an exceedingly expensive business. Food had to be obtained, or the people would have starved, but few of them were possessed of means. The prospects of the Settlement were dark indeed; as the summer wore on, the outlook had become blacker and blacker, until it might have seemed that the land lay under a curse. The "buffalo hunts," to which some of the settlers looked for their subsistence, proved a failure; the great herds which had once roamed the plains in their thousands had ceased to exist, though as late as 1865 the animals were still fairly numerous; in 1868 the buffalo was not far from extermination. The fisheries, too, on Lake Winnipeg failed for the first time in their history. To crown the story of distress and disaster, all game disappeared; the rabbit and the prairie chicken vanished from the woods.
The local Government did what it could. On August 10 the Council of Assiniboia met and voted £1600 in aid, but this was far from sufficient. An organisation, called the "Red River Co-operative Relief Committee," was formed, including the Bishop of Rupert's Land and the Bishop of St. Boniface, the Roman Catholic Bishop, to deal with the situation. But it was evident that unless help came from the outside world the Settlement was doomed. Appeals for assistance were made to England, Canada, and the United States in the Nor'-Wester and by private individuals; fortunately, the response was quick and generous. The Earl of Kimberley, then Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, made known to the British public the necessities of the starving community in the Times, and subscription lists were opened. England sent £3000 in all, to which the Company had contributed handsomely; in one way or another the Company gave £2000 for the relief of the people. Canada and the United States sent considerable sums. The total received from all sources was about £9000, a large amount considering how little Red River was known. Even in Canada there was a very imperfect knowledge of the country. Dr. Grant, the Principal of Kingston University, Ontario, who was active in getting subscriptions for the settlers, wrote of this time and occasion: "I could have collected the money quite as easily, and the givers would have given it quite as intelligently, had the sufferers been in Central Abyssinia."
The funds thus provided were spent in buying and bringing in food-stuffs and in the purchase of seed for the following year. At one time 2500 were receiving free rations, out of a total population of not more than 12,000; in the Church parishes the clergy had charge of the distribution under the direction of the Bishop. As if to make up somewhat to the settlers for their sufferings, the winter proved exceptionally mild; the poor had to endure less from the cold than usual, and the "freighting" of the provisions across the prairies was accomplished under favourable conditions, while the winter fisheries turned out to be surprisingly successful. Grasshoppers intermittently plagued the Settlement for several years afterwards, and once--in 1871--nearly overwhelmed it again; but the majority of the people never lost their faith in the country, and it is interesting and inspiring to remember that Manitoba, of which Red River Settlement was the nucleus, now annually produces millions upon millions of bushels of the finest wheat in the world.
In the Bishop's more particular sphere he had the pleasure of finding that a church, called Holy Trinity, had been completed and opened in Winnipeg--its first church--by Archdeacon M'Lean, who, in addition to this and other work, had acted as his Commissary during his absence. The building was small, but it had not been erected without discouragements; while it was being constructed, the fabric was blown to pieces by a great hurricane that swept the land in July and damaged several churches, notably that of St. Andrew's parish. No clergyman had yet come from England for Winnipeg, but the S.P.G. had sent the Rev. W. Cyprian Pinkham (now Bishop of Calgary, another of the Dioceses carved out of Rupert's Land) to replace Mr. Taylor in St. James's parish. Mr. Pinkham, a Newfoundlandler by birth, had been a student of St. Augustine's College, Canterbury; he was ordained to the diaconate, while passing through Canada, where Bishop Machray had met him, to Red River, in London, Ontario, by Dr. Hellmuth, the Bishop of Huron, and he was "priested" by Bishop Machray in 1869. In the autumn St. John's College and College School began their third year, the attendance of students and boys having gone up to forty-two; the necessity for increased accommodation was more obvious than ever, but in the depressed state of the Settlement the Bishop felt compelled to defer the prosecution of his scheme for the erection of large temporary premises. Having secured the approval of the C.M.S. and of the other Societies to his proposed Constitution of the Synod of Rupert's Land, he submitted the draft to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was his Metropolitan, and also to Bishop Anderson. Dr. Longley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, died in October 1868, and though he had expressed his satisfaction with it the Bishop thought it was necessary to place the Constitution before Dr. Tait, when the latter was translated from London to Canterbury. The new Archbishop signified his complete and cordial approval.
Dr. Tait always took a good deal of interest in Rupert's Land, not only because he knew Bishop Machray, but also because he was intimately acquainted with Bishop Anderson--they had been schoolboys together at Edinburgh Academy. In the published Report of the first Synod of Rupert's Land the Archbishop appeared as a Patron of the Diocesan Endowment Fund. In the course of the winter of 1868-69 the Bishop held Confirmations in all the parishes of Red River. Of a Confirmation belonging to this time the Rev. J. Carrie, missionary of the C.C.C.S. at Headingley on the Assiniboine, wrote to the Society in London:
On 3 January last the Lord Bishop held a Confirmation here, eleven persons being confirmed. This was the occasion of so much good being done that I only wish he could find time to repeat his visit often. He is a general favourite among the people, and they often inquire when he is coming again. Indeed, his visit among us seemed to put a new spirit into us all, and made decided Churchmen of many who were wavering. His address to the candidates was indeed "in season"; they are all seeking eternal life, and one of them is a decided Christian, having made up her mind, on the Bishop's advice, "to live for Christ." Other members of the congregation also have received benefit to their souls; one of them said to me, "Yes, there was something in his advice I cannot forget."
The first Synod of the Diocese met on February 24, 1869, at St. John's. As at the Conferences, there was a full Service in the Cathedral in the morning, luncheon at Bishop's Court, and the meeting of the clergy and lay delegates in the schoolhouse in the after noon. Instead of a sermon in the morning, the Bishop read his Address, which was also his Primary Charge.
The Address was long, being over 20,000 words in length, but must have been very interesting; it still is so, for it presents a picture of the Diocese and of the Settlement to be obtained nowhere else, as well as a statement of the views of the Bishop on points of doctrine in general and on questions arising from the special position of the missionaries, as, for instance, the attitude to be taken by them with respect to polygamy and the mixed marriages of Christians and heathen among the Indians. After referring to his Visitation to Moose and his trip to Canada, he spoke of the famine and distress in the Settlement, and the efforts made to relieve the people. He bade them not to be cast down. "Nothing is wanting to make this a great and prosperous country," he reminded them, "but a sufficient population and easy access to the outer world." There was little crime in Red River, and the spiritual and moral condition of its people was encouraging, though "a Churchman would like to see" some improvements, such as better responses in the services, kneeling at prayers, and the introduction more often of music. He was pleased to hear that some Churchwomen of Toronto were to give a melodeon to St. John's, and some Montreal Churchwomen to present another to the new Church in Winnipeg.
He spoke of the beginnings of endowment funds for various objects, and of St. John's College and its progress, mentioning that the chief sources of the income of the College were annual grants of £200 from the C.M.S., £100 from the Council of Rupert's Land (the Hudson's Bay Company), and £100 from the New England Company, though the last sum was not fully available; a start had been made with the endowment of the Warden's Professorship of Divinity, $2700 (£540) having been raised, and a scholarship was being founded in memory of the Rev. John Macallum.
At the moment the College and College School had only two small class-rooms, which were quite insufficient; the Bishop expressed the hope that the day would come when the College would possess a fine hail in which might be held a suitable Commemoration of its benefactors. But it was difficult to excite the attention of people outside the Diocese: "I have found my heaviest occupation in endeavouring to arouse the Societies and the friends of the Church to a lively sense of our wants." He thanked the Societies for what they were doing; the gratitude of the Diocese was chiefly due to the C.M.S.; "Our debt to that beloved Society cannot be expressed in words." He spoke of the vastness of the Diocese, and the necessity there existed for a Bishop for Moose and the missions on Hudson's Bay, and for another in the Athabasca or Mackenzie River area.
The Synod met in the afternoon, when there were present the Bishop, fourteen clergy, including the two Archdeacons, and twenty lay delegates. Of the clergy, nine came from the parishes of the Settlement, and five from the missions in the interior. The Bishop mentioned that he now held $9000 (£1800) of endowment funds, divided as follows:--Church Endowment Fund, $3900; Native Pastorate Fund, $630; Clergy Widows and Orphans' Fund, $380; and for St. John's College, $4090. The whole sum had been invested in the best Canadian securities, and was producing a good rate of interest. The Synod then passed to its chief business, which was the consideration of the proposed Constitution submitted by the Bishop, and endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the great Societies. It is scarcely necessary to say that, with such recommendations, it was passed with very little discussion and no alteration.
The Constitution provided that the Synod was to consist of the Bishop, the licensed clergy, and lay dele gates who had to be male communicants of a year's standing, elected during Easter week at a public meeting, the voters being male communicants of six months' standing. Each congregation recognised by the Bishop, duly organised by the election of churchwardens and vestrymen, and having at least six registered communicants, was entitled to send one delegate, two delegates where there were forty communicants, and three where there were more than one hundred, but no congregation was to have more than three representatives. The Synod was to be called annually or otherwise by the Bishop and adjourned as he saw fit, and none of its resolutions was to pass into law without the concurrence of the Bishop and a majority of the clergy and laity present; the votes of the clergy and laity were to be taken collectively, unless a vote by Orders was demanded before the question was put by the Chair, when a majority of each Order was necessary. An Executive Committee, with considerable powers, was to be appointed for the conduct of the general affairs of the Diocese the supreme direction remaining with the Bishop, who was to be perpetual chairman of the Committee. Finally, it was provided that no change could be made in the Constitution unless the alteration had been considered by the Executive Committee, approved at a meeting of the Synod by the Bishop and a two-thirds majority of each Order voting separately, and afterwards confirmed by the Bishop and a like majority of each Order at the following meeting of Synod.
After the Constitution had been passed, the Synod appointed an Executive Committee, transacted some further business, and was adjourned by the Bishop. The Bishop wrote to a friend that it had been a very pleasant meeting, and that everything had been done "in the best spirit." With the report of the Synod were published statements of accounts and of contributions to the endowments, and amongst the latter appears a contribution to the Warden's Chair of Systematic Divinity in St. John's College of £100 from the Bishop's old parish of Newton, and various sums from Lady King, Miss Cotton, Miss King and the people of Madingley, in Cambridgeshire, personal tributes to the Bishop which gave him great pleasure.
The negotiations which had been proceeding during the winter between the Dominion and the Imperial Government on the one hand, and the Imperial Government and the Hudson's Bay Company on the other, had resulted in a bargain being struck, whereby the Company agreed to surrender their rights in Rupert's Land for a payment of £300,000 ($1,500,000) and certain specified concessions in lands in their old territory. The surrender was to be made to the Imperial Government, who, in their turn, were to hand over Rupert's Land to the Dominion, to be incorporated with it on the carrying out of the terms of the bargain. The matter was all arranged, but the money was not paid till 1870, an unfortunate delay which was partly responsible for what happened in Red River Settlement in the winter of 1869-70.
Writing to the S.P.G. in May 1869, the Bishop remarked: "The country is about to be transferred to Canada, and Rupert's Land will be opened up. The future is all to come." The great question to him, he said, was how was the Church to prepare for this momentous change; in preparing for it, what help was he to look for from the "outside"? The only chance lay in having a strong missionary centre, organised on the same system as that which was in operation in the western Dioceses of the American Church, and the germ of such a centre already existed in St. John's College, for which he asked the generous support of the Societies and of English Churchmen generally. The Church in Rupert's Land must be strongly sup ported, unless it was to lose ground; already there was denominational opposition, which was bound to in crease. The Presbyterians and Wesleyans in Canada were fully alive to the future possibilities of Rupert's Land; the former now had three ministers in Red River and another was coming, while the latter had six ministers with a seventh on the way, and were building a church in Winnipeg, an example which the Presbyterians would soon follow. Writing to the S.P.C.K. the Bishop made similar representations.
"This land," he said, "deserves politically and ecclesiastically a very thoughtful treatment." He asked this Society to. assist the College with a grant, an appeal which was backed up by the appearance at one of the meetings of the Committee of the S.P.C.K. in London of his Commissary in England, Mr. Perowne, the result being that a vote of £500, to meet £2000 from other sources, was given to St. John's College. Upon the C.M.S., ever fully apprised of all he was doing and attempting, he continued to impress the necessity there was for the formation of the two missionary Bishoprics of Moosonee and Athabasca out of those portions of his Diocese. After discussing the advantages to the Church that would accrue from the establishment of these Sees, he went on to reply to an argument some times advanced against any increase of the episcopate on the ground that it conduced to "Prelacy":
I think it to be deeply regretted that the number of Bishops in England is so small. Some object to the increase of the number as tending to advance hierarchical or prelatical notions or authority. I believe the exact contrary, and I hope the exact contrary would be the result. In fact, I do not conceal the opinion that I am in favour of a very large increase in the Episcopal Order, and that I consider the condition of the Church of England, practically though not in principle, nearly as far removed from the state of the Primitive Church as Presbyterianism. I believe the system now rapidly extending in the American Church of the division of Bishoprics so that the Bishop can visit and attend each year every parish and be come acquainted, if not with his flock, yet with the leading persons in every parish, to be correct in theory and serviceable in practice. Confirmations and other episcopal acts become then less of the opus operatum character.
With the opening of summer the Bishop made a Visitation of the C.M.S. missions on the Saskatchewan and on English River, a journey which occupied two months and necessitated a voyage of 2000 miles by boat--not by steamboat, but in an open boat rowed with oars. Leaving the Settlement early in June he crossed Lake Winnipeg, and arrived at the Grand Rapids of the Saskatchewan, on the north-west side of the lake, after sixteen days of hard travel. There had been an Indian village at the Grand Rapids, but he found that it had been broken up on account of the failure of the sturgeon fishery in i868. Moving slowly up the Saskatchewan, against the stream, he arrived at the mission of Devon on July 1, where he held services and confirmed 79 Indian candidates; thence he went on to Cumberland, where he confirmed a considerable number,--this was a mission he had visited in 1866.
From the Saskatchewan he proceeded to the mission of Stanley on English River, then in charge of the Rev. J. A. Mackay, afterwards Archdeacon of the Diocese of Saskatchewan. At Stanley the Bishop saw a church which he described as a "perfect gem," and he was much pleased with the behaviour and religious condition of the Indians. After holding Confirmations he returned to the Saskatchewan, and set his face home wards. The trip down-stream was quickly made, and he arrived back in Red River in the beginning of August. The Settlement now rejoiced in the prospect of a good harvest, and in that season the grasshoppers did not scourge the land, but events had occurred which before the close of the year led to that rising known as the Red River Rebellion.