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Adventures in the West

Adventures in the West: Henry Ross Halpin, Fur Trader and Indian Agent

Adventures in the West: Henry Ross Halpin, Fur Trader and Indian Agent by David R. Elliott (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, 2008).

Henry Ross Halpin joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1872 and worked in the fur trade throughout Western Canada. In 1885 he was taken prisoner by rebel Cree during the Riel Rebellion. Later that year he joined the Department of Indian Affairs and worked as an Indian agent in Saskatchewan until 1901. He then returned to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company until 1909. After that he was a Justice of the Peace in Manitoba. His memoirs present new information on Chief Big Bear during the Rebellion. This study is possibly the first to explore the life of Indian agents.

This book is based on two manuscripts which Halpin wrote, as well as documents from the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Department of Indian Affairs and newspaper accounts of his adventures.

Reviewers' comments:

"The story is well told by Elliott, but it is Halpin's own account that are the highlights of the book. His descriptions, personal accounts, and captivating stories make this a good read. Books like this, dealing with the personal side of the fur trade and Indian Affairs do not come by very often. This one is certainly worth having."
  ---Hugh A. Dempsey, editor, Alberta History (Autumn 2008), p.26

"Elliott, the editor, has annotated Halpin's original manuscripts which are set in a Roman Font for distinction. The Editor's own comments, quotes and opinions from other documented sources are in Script Font…having the two types of documentation together provides a very interesting comparison, added accuracy and balance to Halpin's story. The result is a great read and a good methodology."
 : :---Gwen Patterson, Families 48:4 (Nov. 2009), p.37

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