Will to Power: The Missionary Career of Father Morice

By David Mulhall | Go to book overview

6
"KING OF THE COUNTRY"

Father Morice spent a busy and fruitful year in France. Although his Carrier-French dictionary was not published, Au pays de l'ours noir was. Apart from seeing this work through the press, he travelled to the Juniorate at Sion and the college at Nancy, where he seems to have taught English for a while. 1 But he could not live at ease in the France of the Third Republic or, indeed, in any essentially European community. Morice was never more than a sojourner among whites, and he was always happy to return to what he called his "element Indian life and environment" 2 on the shores of Stuart Lake.

On 26 June 1897, Morice arrived back at Fort St. James -- just in time for the 1 July horse races and tug-of-war contests. The white participants were no match for the Indians, who made a clean sweep of the prizes. Among the white merrymakers was a party of prospectors down from the Omineca mines to collect provisions, and at least three other groups had passed through in June. Since Morice's departure in the spring of 1896, there had been a revival of interest in these mines. Consequently, the number of whites and Chinese in the area had increased, and Indians began to work for them as miners, guides, and packers. Most of these Indian workers were Gitksan, since the miners tended to come in via the Skeena. Some ten whites and sixteen Chinese wintered at Hazelton between the 1896 and 1897 mining season. Few, if any, stayed in the Fort St. James area, though a number did pass through. 3 But when the 1898 Klondike rush began, this transient trickle was to become a torrent which threatened to wash away

-114-

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Will to Power: The Missionary Career of Father Morice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Making of an Oblate Missionary 1
  • 2 - Tenderfoot Missionary Among the Chilcotin 18
  • 3 - With the Carrier: The Missionary Foundation, 1885-1895 35
  • 4 - The Acquisition of Paramount Power, 1885-1896 74
  • 5 - Savant of the Woods, 1885-1896 95
  • 6 - King of the Country"" 114
  • 7 - Back to Business: Exploration and Itinerant Preaching in 1899 138
  • 8 - A Kingdom Lost, 1900-1903 148
  • Epilogue 175
  • Abbreviations 182
  • Notes 183
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 217
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