Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Silver Chief: Lord Selkirk and the Scottish Pioneers of Belfast, Baldoon and Red River

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Silver Chief: Lord Selkirk and the Scottish Pioneers of Belfast, Baldoon and Red River

Article excerpt

Lucille H. Campey, The Silver Chief: Lord Selkirk and the Scottish Pioneers of Belfast, Baldoon and Red River (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books 2003), xiv + 241pp. Paper. $24.95. ISBN 1-896219-88-8.

It is gratifying to read about a landowner in the early nineteenth century who treated his tenants with compassion. This excellent book gives the reader an insight into the life and legacy of Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk. While travelling extensively in the Scottish Highlands, Selkirk witnessed the desperate living conditions of the people, and persuaded numbers of them to emigrate by offering the assistance that made it possible. This in turn helped him to fulfil his dream of establishing organised settlements in Canada. The author paints a vivid picture of Lord Selkirk as a man prepared to risk life and limb for his settlements but prepared also to take responsibility for the welfare of the settlers. For example, after hearing of the death of one emigrant he made it possible for the youngest son, Peter, to attend a school in York. 'Selkirk had almost certainly arranged this and he probably paid Peter's schooling costs for a number of years' (p. 75).

The author gives the background to Selkirk's early life. Of particular significance were the skills he acquired when working a farm bought from his father, which proved invaluable for his future schemes in Canada. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.