Academic journal article Alberta History

William Pearce Manuscript

Academic journal article Alberta History

William Pearce Manuscript

Article excerpt

William Pearce Manuscript

edited by Douglas Pearce.. Privately printed. 228 pp., illus, soft cover, $50.00. For information regarding availability contact pearcew@telus.net

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

William Pearce was one of the giants of western Canadian history. A surveyor, engineer, and government employee, he came west as a Dominion land surveyor in 1874 and became responsible for Dominion lands policies on the prairies. He investigated land claims of settlers and Metis in 1883 and later made an enquiry into the causes of the Riel Rebellion of 1885. He was appointed superintendent of mines for the federal government in 1884 and because of his power he was called the "Czar of the West." He helped establish Banff National Park and emphasized the management of water resources and the use of irrigation. In 1904 joined the CPR in designing an irrigation scheme on the Bow River.

A longtime resident of Calgary, he spent many long hours in studying and recording the history of the West, particularly from an official government viewpoint. Pearce retired in 1926 and died four years later.

Over the years, and particularly during the latter years of his life, he spent countless hours amassing information on the West. This he brought together in a single manuscript which in 1925 was turned over to Provincial Librarian J. …

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