The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
The Frontiersman

John W. Dafoe, editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, is the greatest Canadian of his time. The mark of it is on the outside of the man -- the huge, roughcast figure, the shaggy head of reddish hair, the carved-stone face. It is in his slow quiet speech, his power of writing, his prodigious memory, his uncanny grasp of men and events, his refusal to accept office, honor, or rewards. It is in the record of his life. That record, because it is so largely the record of his time, must be examined by everyone who wants to understand Canada, where it came from and where it is going in the world.

For nearly fifty years Mr. Dafoe has been doing a large part of Canada's thinking. Day in, day out, he has sat down in his littered office and slowly, with the stub of a pencil, has scrawled his closely reasoned and documented editorials. These, for their accumulative effect on Canadian politics, might almost have been the commandments written on tablets of stone and brought daily out of the wilderness. What Mr. Dafoe said today will be said all over Canada tomorrow, echoed in other newspapers, stolen by scores of journalists, voiced in Parliament, often denied by the government and quietly incorporated in government policy. In his own field of Canada, Mr. Dafoe has been more influential than any corresponding journalist in the British Commonwealth -- a last rugged relic of the days of personal journalism, when men like Greeley, Dana, and Watterson flourished in the United States.

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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