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( - 5 - Ottawa: "Beyond the Province of Manitoba westward, there is no kind of government at all, and no security of life and property beyond what people can do for themselves. Serious crimes have been allowed to go unpunished. During the present year, in Edmonton, a man by the name of Charles Gaudin brutally murdered his wife. This same man had previously and most wantonly and cruelly mutilated an old Indian woman by severing the sinews of her arms.... When at Rocky Mountain House I was informed that a party of American smugglers and traders had established a trading post at the junction of the Bow and Belly Rivers, about 30 miles due east of the Porcupine Hills and 60 miles on the Dom¬ inion side of the boundary. This trading post they have named Fort Hamilton, after the mercantile firm of Hamilton, Healy and Conpany, of Fort Benton, Montana, from whom they obtain their supplies. It is believed that they number about 20 men, under command of John Healy, a notorious character....It is stated on good authority that in I87I 88 of the Blackfeet were murdered in drunken brawls." The Hudson's Bay Company and the various missionaries scattered through¬ out the west were making vigorous complaints about the whiskey trade in the south. Father Lacombe wrote: "Since last autumn the process of demoralization has, alas!, made very considerable progress; the disorders of all kinds which have taken place among the savages and these miserable traders of rum are frightful. We have done our best to inform the American Government of these unhappy infringements of its laws; while on the other side the government of the Red River has made a very severe law prohibiting intoxicating liquors throughout these territories. But while we await the coming of some impressive force to corrpel the fulfilment of this wise law, we suffer unceasingly," There would have been a further outcry had the Canadian authorities been able to see the permit under which Healy and Hamilton entered British territory. It was found a few years ago by Hugh Dempsey, Technical Director, Glenbow Foundation, as he searched military records in Washington, D. C. Dated "December 6th, 186? and signed by General Alfred Sully, then acting as Superintendant of Indian Affairs in Montana, the permit read: "Permit to Messrs. Hamilton and Healy to travel through the Blackfoot Country Ifessrs^ A, Bo Hamilton and J. J. Healy of Montana Territory having placed in rry hands bonds and security to the amount of $10,000 that they will not trade with any person, neither white man, Negroes, or Indians in this territory after they leave Sun River Settlement and I being satisfied that said persons have no intention to infringe the laws regulating trade and intercourse with the Indians are by direction of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington permitted to pass through the Blackfoot Country and cross the Northern Boundary of the United States of America at a point within about 30 miles of St. Mary's Lake. They are also privileged to take with them a party of from 20 to 30 men and six wagons loaded with supplies provided there is no spirituous liquors in the wagons except a small quantity which may be taken safely for medicinal purposes. Not to Exceed," The reason for the permit, of course, was the fact that all of northern Montana was Indian Reservation at the time and the regulations against tratlLng in alcohol were being enforced. Healy and Hamilton looked beyond Montaaia and saw their opportunity in the wide-open British territory.
|Title||Southern Alberta's Whiskey Trade|
Whiskey -- Alberta -- History
Lethbridge (Alta.) -- History
Lethbridge Historical Society -- Monographs
|Description||A publication created by Alex Johnston on the Southern Alberta's Whiskey Trade.|
|Publisher||Research Station, Canada Department of Agriculture|
|Source||Lethbridge Historical Society|
|Relation||University of Lethbridge Library Digital Collections|
|Rights||Copyright - Lethbridge Historical Society|