Manitoba Historical Society
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Manitoba Historical Society:
Annual Report for the Year 1887

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1886 | All years | 1888

The Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba consists of the following classes of members and subscribers:

Honorary Members
Life Members $25.00
Corresponding Members
Active Members $5.00 per annum
Library Subscribers $2.00 per annum

Members of the Council of Manitoba University and Undergraduates have access to the Isbister Library in custody of the Society.

Officers for 1888:

President - Judge Ardagh
1st Vice-President - C. N. Bell, F.R.G.S.
2nd Vice-President - Hon. Gilbert McMicken
Corresponding Sec'y - A. Bowerman, M.A.
Treasurer - Stephen Nairn
Recording Secretary - D. S. Curry

Executive Council, consisting of the above Officers and the following gentlemen:

Rev. Prof. Bryce, L.L.D.
Rev. Prof. Hart, M.A., B.D.
Rev. A. B. Baird, M.A., B.D.
Archibald McNee
N. Agnew, M.D.
F. C. Wade, B.A.
Alderman A. McDonald
F. F. Wesbrook, B.A.
R. E. W. Goodridge

Standing Committees for 1888

Archaeological and Natural History Committee

C. N. Bell, Chairman
F. F. Wesbrook
Dr. Agnew
A. Bowerman
Rev. A. B. Baird

Library and Publication Committee

Rev. Dr. Bryce, Chairman
Judge Ardagh
Rev. Prof. Hart
F. C. Wade
Archibald McNee

Finance and Property Committee

Alderman A. McDonald, Chairman
D. S. Curry
Stephen Nairn
Hon. G. McMicken
R. E. W. Goodridge

Joint Library Committee of City Council and Historical Society

Rev. Dr. Bryce, Chairman
Alderman Baker
Alderman Riley
Alderman Grundy
Rev. Prof. Hart
Archibald McNee

Honorary Members

Lord Dufferin
F. Parkman
Col. Palliser
General Lord Wolseley
Sir George Stephen
Archdeacon McDonald
U.S. Consul Taylor
Principal Dawson
Dr. John Rae
General Lefroy
Marquis of Lorne
Rev. John McDougall
Sir John Rose
Dr. Wilson, Toronto
Principal Grant
Sir Donald A. Smith
Lord Landsdowne
Rev. Pere Lacombe
Sandford Fleming
Sir John A. Macdonald

Corresponding Members

Prof. H. Y. Hind
Dr. Tache, Ottawa
Joseph Fortescue, Isle a la Crosse, via Prince Albert
Archibald MacDonald, Fort Qu'Appelle
Richard Hardisty, Edmonton
S. K. Parsons, Montreal
James MacDougall, Edmonton
Horace Belanger, Fort Cumberland
Robert Campbell, Merchistown, Man.
Professor Bell, Montreal
George Dawson
C. Mair, Prince Albert
Roderick Ross, Fort Chippewyan, Athabasca
Alexander Matheson, Rat Portage
Lawrence Clarke, Saskatchewan
Roderick Ross Macfarlane, Fort Chippewyan
Dr. W. MacKay, Peace River
Peter H. Bell, Michipicoton, Lake Superior
Prof. Macoun, Belleville
Ernest E. Thompson, Toronto
Walter Dixon, Lake Francis
Henry J. Morgan, Ottawa
W. H. Cowdry, Regina
R. J. N. Pither, Fort Francis
Professor J. H. Panton, Guelph, Ont.
Rev. Mr. Burman, Griswold, Man.
Rev. John McLean
Mr. Spencer, Churchill, N.W.T.
Hon. Sam. A. Green, Boston, U.S.A.
James W. R. Swann, U.S.A. Acting Consul-General, St. Petersburg

Life Members

William Martin, of Hope Farm, Morris
J. H. Ashdown
Rev. A. E. Cowley
C. J. Brydges
Capt. L. M. Lewis
Wm. Cowan, M.D., Ex-President
Alexander McArthur, Ex-President
Rev. Dr. Bryce, Ex-President
Lieutenant Governor Aikins
Archbishop Taché
Chief Commissioner Wrigley
F. W. Stobart
Angus McCharles

Annual Meeting of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba

The annual meeting of the members of the Historical and Scientific Society was held in the city hall building on Tuesday, February 14th, 1888. There were present:

Rev. Prof. Hart, president, in the chair, Rev. Dr. Bryce, Judge Ardagh, F. F. Wesbrook, Thomas Clouston, George Fraser, Ald. A. McDonald, W. H. Hughan, Walter Chesterton, R. E. W. Goodridge, F. H. Turnock, Rev. A. B. Baird, Dr. Agnew, J. W. Harris, Archibald McNee, A. Bowerman, C. N. Bell, Stephen Nairn, S. A. Rowbotham and D. S. Curry.

The following is the report of the Historical and Scientific Society for the year 1887-1888.

Your council in placing before you the report of another year in the proceedings of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba, feel obliged to express their regret that the hopes deducible from the report of the last year in reference to the prospects and future success of the society have not been realized, and would draw attention to the fact that very many of the difficulties with which they have had to contend have arisen and accumulated from the effort to carry on a circulating library, which did not originally form part of the work the society had set itself to do; but being so greatly relieved in this matter, by the city council, the Society is in a far better condition to prosecute its legitimate work than has been the case hitherto.

Your executive desire, before entering upon a more particular description of the events of the last twelve months, to express their hearty thankfulness to His Worship the Mayor, and Council, for the substantial assistance which they have afforded the society.


Unfortunately there has been a great falling off in the accession of new members, since we have had but one new life member, seven new active, and forty-seven associate members. In regard to the active and associate members your council have reason to believe that the reduction in their number is to be partially accounted for by the admission of the university students, whose families, it is feared, take advantage of this circumstance to procure books, which to obtain in the ordinary way would necessitate their becoming at least associate members and paying the usual fee; it is true that the society receives fifty dollars a year from the university for the care of the Isbister library, but your council does not feel this to be an equal recompense considering the privileges granted to so large a number and the responsibility of the charge of the hooks which is cast upon the society.

Another reason is that the society, being in straightened circumstances, had not the power to purchase anything like an adequate number of new books, which are absolutely necessary to keep up the attractiveness of the library.

It is the sad duty of the council to announce the death of Mr. Alexander McArthur, an ex-president of the society and one of its founders, who took very great interest in its welfare and gave us from time to time the benefit of his own research.

Mr. David Young, a corresponding member, has also passed away; to him we are indebted for the loan of an extensive collection of minerals, shells corals, sea plants, and other tropical products.

Ex-Judge Ryan, who was a member of the society and took a prominent place in politics, has also gone, and Mr. A. S. Dewar, associate member, who was a constant attendant at the reading rooms.

Your council would note with much regret the demise of Professor Spencer Baird, hon. member of the society, and secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, a good friend to the society and conversant with its work.


It is very gratifying to your executive to be able to announce that the visitors’ list far exceeds that of any previous year. There are on the register as many as four hundred and ninety-six names representing persons from many different lands; your council are of opinion that it would be desirable to have a small pamphlet prepared setting forth the aims of this society for distribution to such visitors, with a view to enlisting their interest and possibly obtaining from them contributions of scientific or historic value.

Library, Reading-Room and Museum

Early in the year it became evident to your council that the society was not in as flourishing a condition as they would desire, but being determined to face the difficulty, they succeeded in making arrangements with the city council for accommodation in the city hall at a rental of three hundred and fifty dollars per annum, including light and heat, as against six hundred and twenty-five dollars in the old rooms.

The statement ably prepared by the chairman of the finance committee shows more particularly how large a saving was thus effected.

But in spite of the efforts put forward by your executive, the aspect of affairs was still far from clear; the society had to provide, besides rent, for insurance, printing, stationery, books, magazines, and other expenses, the largest item being the salary of the secretary; the revenue was found insufficient to meet these demands. Your council therefore felt that such a state of things could not continue; either material assistance must be obtained or the library abandoned, and the society confine itself within the limits of the original intention. A committee was appointed to wait upon the city council with a view to their taking over the circulating library on behalf of the city, the result of which was that joint committees met and discussed the situation, and after considerable effort on both sides a basis of arrangement was arrived at by means of which the city agreed to take over the circulating library, yet leaving the charge of it in the hands of the Historical and Scientific Society.


The accommodation for the museum is by no means adequate, and much inconvenience is experienced in providing room for some of the cases, but your council hope that in the near future additional space may be procured.


Your council, being impressed with the necessity of revising the constitution have given the subject considerable attention, which has resulted in the adoption of an amended constitution at the general meeting held Feby. 7th.


The society has held eight meetings during the year, and the executive council twenty-eight. Your council have to deplore the lack of interest manifested by many of their own body as shown by their absence from the council and committee meetings; some, indeed, have not appeared at all. It is needless to say that unless the executive make a practical expression of their interest by attending the meetings and working in their different capacities no success can be anticipated.

A paper was read on the 24th of March by the Rev. C. T. Weatherly. Subject—Numismatics. Not published.

A paper was read on the 28th of April by Mr. C. N. Bell. Subject—“Some Red River Settlement History.” Published.

On the 13th of August, Professor Goldwin Smith gave a resume of the critical changes in English history. Not published.

On the 5th of September, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s factors accepted the invitation of the council to the rooms of the society. This notable gathering it is hoped will have a beneficial effect, particularly as the chief commissioner and other gentlemen promised to assist the society in any way in their power; it is therefore to be anticipated that these gentlemen, many of whom are descended from the original fur traders, whose names are historical, have opportunities of affording information as to the early history of the country and of sending us objects of interest in the various branches of science which our museum includes. It is therefore recommended that copies of this report be sent to them, together with a request for their co-operation.

In handing over the affairs of the society to their successors the members of the council express the hope that as many difficulties have been removed the new year may be marked by special advancement.

The Books Lent

The report further included a return of books lent during November, December and January, as follows: Fiction, 627; science, 27; history, 105; travels, 17; biography, 21; magazines, 295; official, 3; philosophy, 5; poetry, 49; art, 7; education, 15; classics, 32; languages, 8; general literature, 24; mathematics, 29; total, 1,255.

Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer, Mr. R. E. W. Goodridge, submitted an abstract of receipts and expenditures for the year ending January, 1888, as follows:


Members’ fees, life


Members’ fees, active


Members’ fees, associate


Quarterly subscribers to library


Members of Teachers’ Association


Normal School students




Rent of rooms to physicians and surgeons


University of Manitoba for care of Isbister library


University of Manitoba refund of insurance on Isbister library


City Council grant


Provincial Government grant, first half-year only


Money received for lost books


Money received fines for detention of books


Sale of Society publications


Sale of library catalogues


Refund of carriage of books


Refund of bank commission






Balance overpaid last year


Secretary’s salary till Sept. 30


Secretary’s salary on account of Oct.


Rent of rooms in Stobart block till Jan. 15


Heating rooms in full (including arrears)


Expense of removing to city hall


Expense of removing to city hall, carpentering


Gas and lamps


Magazines and periodicals










Post office drawer




Carriage of books


Carriage of chairs for meetings






Ice and water


Bank commission


Advertising annual meeting




Rev. Dr. Bryce presented a special report of the library committee, as follows:

Report of the Library Committee

At the request of the council the library committee begs leave to give the following account of the library for the information of the Society. The Society divides the library into three branches: I. Reference; II. Isbister; III. Circulating.

Reference Library

The reference library contains about 2,000 bound volumes and books in paper covers and many pamphlets. It includes what is called the “Northwest Library,” consisting of some 324 volumes, dealing in the main with the history of the Canadian Northwest. These are found very useful to those studying the history and resources of our own country. It also includes some 189 volumes presented by the Smithsonian Institution. The American Government has placed our society on its exchange list as well as the Dominion Government, and from these two sources the chief part of the reference library is drawn. A number of books purchased by the Society from time to time are here included, while learned societies have sent many of their best contributions.

Isbister Library

This library contains 4679 volumes, belonging to the University of Manitoba, which are kept under an agreement with the University. The books of this library are made up as follows: History and Biography, 401; Natural Science and Mathematics, 813; Ancient and Modern classical works, 2,032; Educational, 646; others, 805; total, 4,697.

In a number of departments the Isbister library acts as a reference library for members of the society, and is especially useful to teachers and students.

The Circulating Library

This library consists of 3000 bound books. These have, with the exception of a few bequests and donations, been purchased by the society and under the new arrangement with the city council, $400 annually will be spent; thus the library will be furnished with many needed additions. Some sets of the more commonly read standard works, such as Dickens, have been worn out and need replacement. The circulating library is to be newly catalogued and kept separate in order that, with the new books to be purchased, it may form the nucleus for a public library for the city.

Joint Library Committee

The joint library committee appointed under the arrangement with the city has held four meetings and has taken steps for re-organizing the library. Tenders were called for, for the supply of magazines and newspapers for the year and the contract awarded to Mr. Alexander Taylor for $177.70. Tenders were also received for supplying the books for the library. The contract was awarded to Mr. W. D. Russell at rates exceedingly favorable for the society. The committee gave its first order for books to the amount of $60 or $70 at its last meeting. The engagement of the librarian having been terminated by the society, in order that the committee might be unhampered in its action, the committee appointed Mr. W. H. Hughan librarian from February 14th to May 1st at a salary of $50 per month, and decided to obtain the services of a female assistant librarian at $20 per month. It is hoped that the work of re-organization and cataloguing may be hastened on apace, and that by the 1st of May, the working of the new system may be tested, and such regulations adopted as may be for the more efficient working of the library. The committee has reason to believe that the new arrangement with the city council will be advantageous to the society. The above reports were all adopted as read.

The Elections

The election of fifteen members to constitute the executive council was then proceeded with, Messrs. Bell, McNee, Goodridge and Turnock, being appointed to act as scrutineers. They reported the result to be that the following were chosen: Rev. Dr. Bryce, C. N. Bell, Rev. Prof. Hart, Stephen Nairn, Archibald McNee, Dr. Agnew, Judge Ardagh, Rev. A. B. Baird, A. Bowerman, Ald. A. McDonald, F. F. Wesbrook, R. E. W Goodridge, F. C. Wade, D. S. Curry and Hon. G. McMicken.

The election of officers resulted as follows: President, Judge Ardagh; 1st vice-president, C. N. Bell; 2nd vice-president, Hon. G. McMicken; corresponding secretary, A. Bowerman; recording secretary, D. S. Curry; treasurer, Stephen Nairn; auditor, W. J. Akin.

On motion of Rev. Mr. Baird, seconded by Mr. Bell, a vote of thanks was tendered Mr. Akin for his past services as auditor.

On motion of Judge Ardagh, seconded by Mr. Bell, the hearty thanks of the society were given Mr. Goodridge for his very efficient services as treasurer for a number of years.

Meeting of Council

After the adjournment of the society meeting, the newly elected council met, Judge Ardagh, president, taking the chair, and the following standing committees were appointed:

Archaeology and natural history—C. N. Bell, (chairman), F. F. Wesbrook. Dr. Agnew, A. Bowerman and Rev. A. B. Baird.

Library and publication—Rev. Dr. Bryce (chairman), Judge Ardagh, Rev. Prof. Hart, F. C. Wade and A. McNee.

Out of the library committee—Revs. Dr. Bryce and Prof. Hart, and Mr. A. Mc-Nee were appointed to act upon the joint committee of the society and the city council for the management of the public library.

Finance and property—Ald. A. McDonald (chairman), D. S. Curry, Stephen Nairn, Hon. G. McMicken, and R. E. W. Goodridge.

The meeting then adjourned.

Exchange List

The Recording Secretary reports Donations to the Library and Museum for 1887 from seventy-one private Individuals, exchanges from one hundred and twenty Institutions, and fifty-three from Local Newspaper Publishers and others.

Canadian Entomologist.
American Museum of Natural History.
United States Geol. Survey.
Society of Arts, England.
New England Historical and Genealogical Society.
United States Department of Agriculture.
Harvard University.
Toronto Public Library.
American Institute of Mining Engineers.
Imperial Federation, England.
Wisconsin State Historical Society.
U.S.A. Commissioner of Agriculture.
Statistical Department of Agriculture, Ottawa.
Archives Department of Agriculture, Ottawa.
Public Library, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
U.S.A. War Department, Bureau of Military Justice.
The Sanitary Institute of Great Britain.
Massachusetts Historical Society.
Guelph Scientific Society.
Library, House of Commons, Ottawa.
New York Academy of Sciences.
Society of Chemical Industry.
U.S.A. Treasury.
Royal Geographical Society.
Minnesota Historical Society.
Societe de Geographic Commerciale du Havre.
Liverpool (England) Microscopical Society.
Distribution Office, House of Commons, Ottawa.
Cincinnati Society of Natural History.
Association of Engineering Societies.
New York Microscopical Society.
Wien Annalen des KK Natur-historis-chen Hof Museums.
U.S.A. Bureau of Education.
Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia.
Long Island Society.
Province of Nova Scotia.
Boston Public Library.
The Smithsonian Institution.
Royal Society of New South Wales.
Royal Physical Society, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Numismatic and Antiquarian Society, Philadelphia.
Canadian Institute, Toronto.
Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada.
The Manitoba University.
American Historical Association.
Nova Scotia Institute of Natural Science.
Mittheilungen des Veriens Fur Erdkunde zer Leipzic.
The Local Provincial Government.
Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club.
Royal Society of Canada.
Essex Institute.
Victoria Institute, London, Eng.
Quekett Microscopical Club.
Canadian Natural History Society.
Peabody Academy of Science.
U.S. Bureau of Ethnology.
Sedalia Natural History Society.
Geologists’ Association, England.
U.S.A. Secretary of the Interior.
Natural History Society of Glasgow, Scotland.
The Worcester Society of Antiquity.
British Association for the Advancement of Science.
St. Louis Academy of Science.
Entomological Society of Ontario.
Department of Agriculture, Ottawa.
Annario de la Oficina Central Meteorologica de Chili.
Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Royal Colonial Institute, England.
The Cornell University.
American Philosophical Society.
Academia Nacional de Biencias Cordova.
Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences.
Colorado Scientific Society.
Ohio Archivological & Historical Society.
University State Library, Albany.
Oneida Historical Society, Utica, N.Y.
New Jersey Historical Society.
Ohio Mechanics Institute.
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.
British and American Archaeological Society of Rome.
Hamilton Association.
Leeds (England) Philosophical and Literary Society.
Montreal Celtic Society.
Nova Scotia Historical Society.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
The Episcopal Synod of Rupert’s Land.
Winnipeg Board of Trade.
Societe de Geographic de France.
Societe Americaine de France.
Societe Ethnographic, Paris.
Philosophical Society of Glasgow, Eng.
Natural History Society of Montreal.
Meteorological Service, Dominion of Canada.
Chicago Academy of Sciences.
Missouri Historical Society.
Zoological Society of London, England.
Quebec Geographical Society.
Public Museum, Milwaukee.
American Museum of Natural History.
United States National Museum.
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.
American Swedenborg Publication Society.
Ontario Agricultural College.
Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal.
Financial Relbrm Association, England.
Boston American Congregational Association.
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Library Company of Philadelphia.
King’s College Science Society, England.
Ornithological Union, New York.
State Library of Massachusetts.
Department of the Interior, Ottawa.
Provincial Government of Ontario.
The National Association for the Promotion of Social Science.
The Departmental Divisions of the Government of the United States.

City and Provincial Newspapers, &c.

Winnipeg Daily Free Press.
Winnipeg Weekly Free Press.
St. Boniface Le Manitoba.
Emerson International.
Minnedosa Tribune.
Selkirk Record.
Fort McLeod Gazette.
Regina Leader.
Morden Monitor.
Weekly Tribune Review, Portage la Prairie.
The Commercial.
Virden Advance.
Qu’Appelle Vidette.
Gladstone Age.
Manitou Mercury.
Rapid City Standard.
Prince Albert Times.
Neepawa Register.
Winnipeg Morning Call.
Winnipeg Weekly Call.
Winnipeg Sun (two copies).
North-West Farmer.
Northwest Review.
Manitoba Gazette.
Portage la Prairie Liberal.
Brandon Sun.
Brandon Times.
Edmonton Bulletin.
Saskatchewan Herald.
Stonewall News.
Lethbridge News.
Regina Journal.
Winnipeg Siftings.
Rapid City Spectator.
The Emigrant.
Birtle Observer.
Medicine Hat Times.
Moosomin Courier.
Qu’Appelle Progress.
Machinery Market.
Machinery Exporter.
Tit Bits.
Montana Stock Growers’ Journal.
Waghorn’s Guide.
Henderson’s Gazetteer.
St. John’s College Magazine.
Weather Review, Toronto.
Manitoba College Journal.
Dominion Mechanical and Milling News.
Manitoba Crop Bulletin.
Bibliotheca Americana, Cincinnati.
Canadian Mining Review.
The Lancet.
The Scandinavian Canadian.
Gun’s Unclaimed Money Index.
Post Office Guide, Winnipeg.

Act of Incorporation

Click here for the original 1879 Act of Incorporation of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba.

Constitution & Bylaws

Click here for the 1887 Constitution and Bylaws of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba.

Page revised: 13 January 2013

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