Thursday, 28 August 2014
Below is an introductory section from 'Gods Who Were Men' by Ruth Verrill, written and distributed by mimeograph in 1950. In this large work, which can be found in four sections and in entirety on our PDF site,
Ruth Verrill examines a number of relics from the 'New World' which may link back to the 'Old World'. The editor acknowledges no knowledge of archaeology or Biblical studies, but cannot find anywhere any disproof of Ruth Verrill's critical researches.
This editor encourages useful comments and emails on Ruth Verrill's work. Note that it appears that only about two of these 'books' remained until our digital republishing. A copy of the book may be obtained here.
There are hundreds of images in the book. I will try and add a few in the future, The images do appear also in the PDF format of this work.
Gods Who Were Men
From copy 7 - Dr. Junius Bird, American Museum of Natural History
Being the Second Edition of 'When Gods Were Men'
I. Instituto National de Antropologie e Historia, Mexico.
II. Dr.Charles E. Elvers, Baltimore, Maryland.
III. (my own copy)
IV. Rabbi Clifton H. Levy, New York.
V. Dr. Earnest Hooton, Dept. Anthropology, Harvard U.
VI. Dr. Robert von Heine-Geldern, Vienna.
VII. Dr. Junius Bird, American Museum of Natural History.
VIII. Dr. Julius Tello, Peru.
The purpose of this book is primarily to identify the many deified personages of the ancient people of the Old World, to trace their genealogies, to give their various aliases, to describe their various attributes and their supposed powers and in as far as possible to explain their identifying symbols and the origins of these symbols.
The fact that the names and attributes of the man-gods were identical or very similar both in the Old World and in America centuries before the Christian era would indicate that the deities of the ancient pre-Incans, the Toltecs, Aztecs and Mayas and the deities of the ancient Old World people had a common origin and that there was direct and frequent contact between the inhabitants of the two hemispheres.
The question of whether or not the early American cultures were introduced by colonizers from
Asia and the
Near East is a most controversial matter. On the other hand we have a number of
scientists who declare positively that all the pre-Columbian races in America
were descendants of migrants who crossed from Asia via the Behring Straits and
who insist that all ancient American cultures were wholly of American origin
and that there was not and never had been any contact with the Old World prior
to the Spanish Conquest.
Who are or were the "pure-blooded American Indians"? If there were no indigenous human beings in
prior to the migration from northeastern Asia,
then the "pure-blooded American Indians" were really pure-blooded
Asiatics. If this is the case, and they did come to America
in prehistoric times when they were in a lower cultural state, why could not
those who yet remained in Asia have followed
them as readily as had the earlier people and why could they not have done so
with increased ease as their cultural knowledge advanced? Is it reasonable to
believe that a migration of culturally undeveloped people could have negotiated
the passage to
and this became impossible for better equipped and more developed descendants
in later times? America
Certain scientists maintain that only a few centuries had elapsed between the time of the beginnings of these cultures and the arrival of the Europeans. But they fail to explain how it was possible for nomadic primitive Asiatics to have spread and increased until they occupied the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego and from the
to the Pacific, and to have developed totally distinct languages,
characteristics, arts and religions all in the space of time allotted to them.
Neither do they explain how, in far less time than would be required today,
these people evolved highly complex and advanced civilizations, erected
thousands of magnificent temples and other structures—and all by most primitive
methods and with stone tools only. But these scientists go even further in
their all American ardor. When a Mayan date glyph is deciphered that puts the
period of its carving back farther than the scientists consider permissible,
they boldly announce that the ancient Mayan sculptor made a mistake of several
centuries when varying the glyphs.
Can anyone with a modicum of common sense imagine anything of this sort? Even if the actual artisan made such an error it would at once have been noticed by the priests and would have been corrected. But no, our hard-headed "pure American" archaeologists set themselves up as knowing more about Mayan dates and glyphs than did the Mayas themselves, yet, as a matter of fact, no one can be absolutely certain of the correlation of Mayan dates with our own, and as far as I know, no two scientists agree on this matter.
As an example of the extreme lengths to which a certain school of our scientists have gone in order to hoodwink the public and maintain their claims, they have insisted that the pre-Columbian Americans did not know the wheel. But wheeled toys and carts had been found in
(1887, 1940) and all of
these scientists were well aware of the fact. Mexico
The Associate Curator of Anthropology,
Museum of Natural History, New ,
in his splendid article "IS AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURE ASIATIC?" is as
far as I know, the first to mention the wheeled toys in an official publication
produced by a museum or other scientific foundation and we both hope this will
dispel the wide spread fallacy that the pre-Columbian American aborigine had no
knowledge of the wheel. York City
There is a strong and increasing reactionary group who now admit that all indications point to ancient contacts between the Old World and America many centuries before the Christian era, some even admitting that there are abundant proof that many of the arts, the beliefs, the mathematics, the religions and the deities were brought to America from Asia and were developed into the civilizations of Peru, Mexico and Yucatan, and scarcely a month goes by that some new discovery linking the American with the Old World cultures is not made.
The material presented in this book merely points out by means of incontrovertible proofs long established by history, inscriptions, and sculptures supported by traditions that many, if not most of the Old World god-men had their exact counterparts at the same period in America. So frequently does this occur that it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be relegated to the realm of coincidence.
A coincidence might occur once in a great while but coincidences do not and cannot occur over and over again not only in a name but in symbols, attributes, lineage and other details.
Finally quite apart from any light my work may shed upon the question of the Old World origin of early America’s higher civilizations, I feel that the material I have compiled is of both scientific and popular interest, especially as nothing of the sort has ever been previously attempted. The material holds a great deal of real human interest pointing out, as it does, how important a part symbolism has played in the deification of personages in the dim and obscure past and the origins of these symbols.
Route 1, Chiefland, FL
When Gods Were Men
This manuscript is being written with the idea of preserving the findings I have made during my fifteen years’ research into dim and most obscure backgrounds of the higher cultures of the Early Americas. That any shred of knowledge is to be found at all is most amazing. It is a subject that cannot be found in any libraries’ reference rooms for there is no work covering the subject. Source material has to be culled from many, many sources; works written by many scientists and historians, etymologists and theologists, curators of museums and others.
Material selected for this work has been culled from the works of reputable persons and most of the data has appeared in various publications. This compilation is my own original effort. My only collaborator was my husband. He helped me with the South American material and made many helpful suggestions. The endeavor has been most tedious but thoroughly enjoyable.
Those who have seen the work we are doing, as well as that which has been completed say we have more than proved our contention that the higher cultures of the Americas were introduced by the Sumerians, Phoenicians, Goths, Aryans or Asiatics, depending on the name preferred. I use the coined name "Sumerian" throughout this compilation or monograph, though I am aware of the fact that it was originally a geographical term. It is merely a matter of convenience.
I do not contend that this race carried out vast projects of colonization or that they came from one area or even any particular era. They seem to have originally occupied Pachacamac, Peru in very remote times, though I doubt if they originated in that area.
The god-king Pachacamac and his wife left
, according to tradition but
seem to have left a handful of their race to carry on the government, religion
and commerce. The founder of the Phoenician dynasty, king Nuna or Haryashwa or
his sons, probably came to one or both of the Peru and his descendant, Tizama,
seems to have been the god-king and culture bringer Itzama, of the Early Mayan
race. Sargon of Agade or King Sagara and his son, and grandson are most
certainly on the list of arrivals and the remarkable prime minister and
arch-priest, An-Nannatu, of the last dynasty of Ur, who held office under
several kings of Ur, the last being King Ibil-Sin. There will be more about these
personages later. Americas
There are those who believe that this remarkable race had its origin on some lost continent or island that sank and left but a remnant of their race and culture intact. Some are positive that the race originated in the table-lands of Eastern Asia, but it would not surprise me if some one finds proof of their having originated in
After considerable cogitation I have decided to begin the first chapter with the most ancient cultures of the Central Andean regions, particularly those discovered in the Department of Ancash, Peru. Though these findings and comparisons have been lauded by curators of two institutions whose professions are archaeology and ethnology, several scientists and a few serious students of ancient history, one principal of a school, several teachers, one newspaper man and an editor of a University press among others, there are those who think my efforts quite a waste of time and energy and all I have achieved, according to the views of this group, is a rather unusual compilation of nothing more than mere coincidences. If you, as a reader of this work, feel as the latter group say they do, please, just to disprove our contentions, read this compilation of monographs through and prove we are in error. We are quite willing to have you try.
It is our belief, substantiated by history, tradition and other evidence, that the progenitors of the Huailas of Peru were the ancient Haihayes of the vicinity of the City of Umma, in an area then known as Southern
In the following pages we offer some of the evidences that have led us to this
First, however, in order to explain who the Haihayas were, a brief outline of their history is essential.
The priest-king Lugel-Aggisi or Zaggisi, a son of Ukush, (both Haihaya chieftains) was the ruler of the City of Umma at the time he began the conquest of his kinsman, Sargon of Agade or King Sagara, as he should be called. In one of the inscriptions King Aggisi had made is the following: "...(I have)...conquered the land from the Rising of the Sun to its Setting, and made straight the path from the
Lower Sea (Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean) over the
Euphrates and Tigris into the
(Mediterranean)." After his successful war of conquest he had his capital
at the city of Upper
Sea . Erech
King Uruka Gina died shortly after losing his realm and one of his wives was about to throw herself upon his funeral pyre when the great and very noble prophet and priest Aurva begged her to not do so for she was to be the mother of a mighty emperor and to commit self immolation was unthinkable for she must preserve the life of her unborn prince.
Priest Aurva being of the same race as King Uruka Gina and a very learned man and an excellent teacher, took upon himself the task of teaching the young prince when of suitable age. The priest taught him religious and civil law, execution of ceremonials and literature and various sciences, including that of planned warfare.
When Prince Sagara or Guni came of age he waged a terrible crushing defeat over his Haihaya kinsmen, King Lugal Aggisi, and would have wiped him and his tribe off the face of the earth along with several other tribes who had acted in the revolt against his father, but for the plea made by the prince's family priest.
This would seem to be so, for many years later another king had trouble with the Haihayas whom it would seem, were predestined to attract trouble. About 2300 B.C., Haihaya princes, sons of King Arjuna Kartevirya, killed King Jama-Dagni in a personal feud. This king was succeeded by his son, Purash-Sin, or Bur-Sin 1, who was also known as Parashu-Ram, the traditional founder of the hereditary Brahman caste system, which is still the most outstanding feature of East Indian sociology.
King Parashu-Ram in his wrath over the murder of his father waged a war of extermination against the Haihaya princes and Sun-cultists and even had his mother put to death as she also served as a devotee of the Sun-cult. (She was a granddaughter of the priest-king of Lagash, pateai Cudea.) See next page—
In the area we now know as
are remains of two archaic town-sites, Aija and Haiyan that perhaps existed
prior to the reign of King Sagara but I must explain this later. Palestine
image 3- The Gudea of the old World and the New—Compare these two.
A full figure statue carved in stone representing Gudea, the priest-king of the port city of Lagash is shown above at the left. He lived about 2373-2368 B.C.
The carved head at the right is tilted backward somewhat, causing the features to appear longer than they actually are. Notice the identical carving of the eyes, indication of the headdress being a wound or wrapped turban and traces of it once having been ornamental like that worn by Gudea, showing just above the space between the brows. This head was discovered by Dr. Matthew Stirling in Mexico in 1940. (From "National Geographic Magazine")
The likeness is most amazing and it is doubtful if it is just a coincidence.
A little earlier then the reign of King Sagara, King Shubad’s (King of
Ur) son, Tizama was reigning in India,
according to Pali records. The latter also bore the following names (among
others), Somaka, Sambhuta, and Tez-car. Tizama’s worship seems to have been
much like that followed by the Haihayas but just what his relationship to the Haihayas
may have been is not stated but the following theory based on historical facts
may offer a reasonable supposition:
If Tizama and his father, Shubad are synonymous with the two supreme deities of the Mayas, Hunab-ku and his son Itzama it is not at all improbable that the Haihayas, also called Huhunuri, were Itzama's or Tizama's people (compare Huhunuri with the name Junin). (J in this case has the sound of H.)
It is not impossible that King Lugal Aggisi sent to
India for Tizama, at the time of his conquest of
Sagara’s father and asked Tizama to return to Babylon
or or Erech
and prepare to take charge of the newly acquired West Lands. This supposition
would account for the indications that people from the land we now know as
Palestine, emigrated to South America and became established there, for King
Tizama, if we continue with this supposition—would have undoubtedly gone to
Phoenicia and employed a fleet of ships, crew, artisans, priests and at least a
few troops. If this is the case, it would explain why Tizama, if we follow the
belief that he was the same personage as Itzama, never seems to have returned
to his native land . He was quite well along in age at this time and after
Sagara's conquest of the Haihayas, and his land remained under the rule of his
enemy, or his peoples' enemy, King Sagara, there would have been no opportunity
for him to have returned before his demise. Lagash
However, there seems to have been a very close connection between the Hualias of Peru and the Haihayas of the
Now to resume the subject pertaining to Aija and Haiyan in Palestine. Both of these archaeological sites are of an archaic type and are not very far apart. Aija, Ai or Aiath as it is variously called, is east of
and near Bethaven and north of Mishmash.
Biblical Joshua unsuccessfully attacked Aija but the city was later taken by strategy.
Due to various vicissitudes the town never recovered its former prestige and
very little remains of its earlier culture today. Bethel
. . .
In the Department of Ancash, Peru, in South
very archaic remains. These are described by Dr. Julio Tello in his article
"Andean Civilization: Some Problems of Peruvian Archaeology" ,
printed in the "XXIII International Congress of Americanists", held
The cultures are arranged in the following manner: Callejon de Huaylas, Chavin, Chongoyape and Paracas with cultural influence extending from the coast to the Central Andean region. Dr.Tello states that the archaic, megalithic cultural type seems to extend from San Augustine in
to Tiahuanaco, Bolivia and there appears to have been a widespread influence in
historically remote times.
In the Department of Ancash, Peru are several village sites bearing Old World names, one spelled exactly the same, two spelled almost the same and several others that are recognizably similar. The Peruvian town of Aija has its name in counterpart, the town in Palestine called Aija , previously mentioned and when interpreted meant almost the same thing, 'ruined' or 'destroyed'. The little town of Recuey in the Department of Ancash has its
Land counterpart in Recah, a place
occupied by a tribe of Judah,
which undoubtedly was in the vicinity of Aija in , Other towns in the Department of
Ancash bearing a closely similar name to the archaic town-site of Haiyan of the
Bible, are Huascan, Hualcan, Huaylas and Huarmay, Palestine
In the neighboring Department of Junin is a town called Caina; another town with a Biblical namesake,
"Place of the Reeds". (see later) Also, in this same Department is
the town of Tarmar, a name closely resembling
Tamyras,.the name of a river between Sidon and Beirut, in Phoenicia, also between and Elath, is a town called Tamara. Hebron
A town in the Department of Ancash named Huari, has a Biblical counterpart in the name of a man, Huari, interpreted as "Linen weaver". This may be of sufficient importance to warrant several quotations from a Quechua Dictionary that the reader may see some of the words in that language pertaining to weaving. "A weaver" in the Cuzco, Peru Dialect (one of those forming the (Quechua language) is AHUAY-Camayok. In the Ayacucho Dialect it is AKUAC (See page 57,65) (compare with A-NAHUA-AC of the Aztecs) and in the Junin it is AHUA. In the Junin Dialect a 'weaver' of stockings is Medias (a Spanish word) HAHUA, in Ancash; "—shuag." In the Cuzco Dialect a weaver of ponchos is called AHUAK. "To weave—" in the Cuzco, Ayacucho, Junin and Ancash Dialects is AHUAY. Compare this word with Huari, mentioned above, and the town of
with the name of Huari. Ancash
The naming of places in a new land after those in the old is a well known trait and from the evidence given here it would seem that there was no exception to this trait among these people in
In and near the Department of Ancash are archaeological remains showing highly distinctive depictions of religious and ceremonial matters along with carvings of men and women of such an obviously superior type that they must have been carved to represent actual personages.
Various features of these ancient works of art furnish clues to the identity of these people and their origin and also serve in tracing their apparent migrations through several centuries and quite a few countries.
Another, and very important matter pertaining to this subject is that of the worship of Indar (a son or grandson of the East Indian Lawgiver, Manu) deified as Mishi, Ishi, Tas, Tashia etc. Some claim this deified personage was Indar himself, others claim him to have been a son of Indar). The Haihayas or Hunuhuris worshipped this deified personage, Indar, as he seems to have been one of their ancient progenitors. The pre-Incas, worshipped him as Enki (similar to Ea, the Semetic name for deified In-Dur (Indar) and as the “Cat-god" Mishi. Ishi of the Bible was but another name for Jehovah and superseded the synonymous name, Baali, "My Master". Ishi has at least two interpretations, "My Husband" and "Saving".
The various stone carvings representing the "Cat-god" Mishi, found in the Department of Ancash, Peru are still to be seen and I include several depictions of this deity with his felines from several parts of the Old World and for comparison, include several from Ancash.
(image 4) Huarmay, Department of Ancash, Peru.
(image 5) Phrygia's "Tasia" or "Mishi".
This scene is from a carved ivory handle of a stone knife ,found in
and of predynastic age, now in the Louvre. (See L.Benedite "MONS. ACADEME
des INSCRIPTS" XII.l.) "Tasia" or "Mishi" etc., of
very early era. Egypt
(image 7) From Marka-Kunka, Aija, Huaraz, Department of Ancash.
A pre-Christian depiction of Tasia, from a cross at
(image 9) Old World
(image 10 page)
I have other depictions of this "Cat-god" from the
Old World and from the New, but this may suffice, and
carry sufficient weight to indicate the probability of his having been
transplanted from the Old World to the New. If
this evidence is accepted, it will put this particular Asiatic immigration into
South America in pre-historic times.
A seemingly irrelevant subject leads to additional substantiation of this subject. It is the horse-shoe-like symbol known as the "earth bowl". This object is found archaeologically in many forms and in a fairly large number of places, including areas inhabited by the Mayas, Aztecs and their kindred tribes. The origin of the "earth bowl" symbol must be explained in order that a clear idea of its relationship to the present subject may be understood. Several races, including the Chaldeans, Chino-Turks, Hindoos and Early Aryans had a tradition that their people came from an area known to us as the Tarim Basin, a locality north of
This land is so formed geographically, that it roughly resembles a huge ’bowl’ or basin. The race with whom this symbol originated preserved the memory of its form and it is known to us in several forms. One is the so-called 'yoke’ found archaeologically in areas influenced by the early higher cultures of
and farther south. These 'bowls’ may be seen on stela, in codices and in other
forms of art. The people who retained the symbol undoubtedly knew its meaning as
well. For the benefit of the reader a few depictions of these 'bowls' are
submitted. (See page 12) Mexico
The carved stone statue of a personage at Rurek, Aija and the other from Aija Huaraz, shows these earth-bowls in inverted position, perhaps to indicate that the race no longer inhabited the locality. The first mentioned carries a shield or plaque on which is depicted
1- "Earth Bowl" from headdress of figure from Aija, Peru. (See photograph given below.)
2- A so-called ’yoke' from Vera Cruz, Mexico. A highly conventionalized "Earth Bowl"
3- An Aztecan "Earth Bowl".
4- An Aztecan "Earth Bowl" as a water symbol.
5- The Mayan symbol, EK-AHAU, an "Earth Bowl".
6- Conventionalized "Earth Bowls" on a Toltec pillar from
7- Mexican "Earth Bowl".
8- "Earth Bowl" from the figure's costume on a stela at Cerra De Mesa , Mexic. (very ancient.)
9- An ancient representation of the “Earth Bowl" formed by the
(From Maspero, See photo below.) Tarim Basin
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
This is perhaps the most authoritative review of the Blue Pete series. I apologize that some of the formatting of the original document has been lost./drf
Blue Pete and Canadian Nationalism: Vision and Experience in the Western Novels of William Lacey Amy
Journal of Canadian Studies 1989 24(2)
Popular novelist William Lacey Amy (Luke Allan) began writing his series of Blue Pete novels trying to say something serious about western development. His perceptions derived from a common English-Canadian expectation of Edenic transformation as well as firsthand knowledge of life in southern
Alberta. Vision and
experience did not mesh. Unwilling to question his nationalist assumptions. Amy
abandoned any hope of commenting on real western society and moved Blue Pete
much closer to the realm of myth.
For over three decades after the First World War, William Lacey Amy published a score of novels about the Mounted Police in the Canadian West, most of them centering on a half-breed named Blue Pete who worked with the scarlet riders. These ‘‘interminable” works, written under the pseudonym Luke Allan, are so bad in Professor Dick Harrison’s view that he refused to inflict on readers even a small sample in his recent anthology of Mountie stories. Though Amy had some talent at building suspense, it would be absurd to claim he was a good novelist. His books, for the most part, were contrived, convoluted and conventional. Few readers took them seriously. Librarians did not make a point of collecting them. Critics have given them short shrift.
Harrison astutely pointed out in his analysis of the
evolution of prairie fiction, English-speaking settlers often drew on a culture
that was ill-adapted to the life and landscape of the West. Imported
expectations and applied values isolated and confined them, making it difficult
to adjust to prairie realities.
This was certainly true of Amy, a classic illustration of the argument. Yet, it
may be that just as inappropriate structures and assumptions were imposed on
the land, inappropriate critical judgments have been imposed on literature,
making its reality difficult to appreciate. What seems to bother Harrison most
is his assessment that Amy simply imported the American frontier formula to Canada. Blue
Pete, like the typical American western hero, worked outside the law using
violence as a surgical tool to impose order. Canadian heroes, by contrast,
supposedly resolved conflict by denying violence. Their authority came not from
themselves but from an “ideal of civilized order” perceived to be much more
important than any individual’s existence.3
Clearly, Amy was influenced by the American view of the West. The first Blue Pete novel contains not one, but two explicit allusions to the Virginian’s famous line, “When you call me that, smile."* It was hard not to be affected by materials which had tremendous international appeal and circulation. An insistence on sharp distinctions between popular Canadian and American frontier fiction is highly problematic. Amy was no different from thousands of other Canadians. He was, in fact, a typical central Canadian Protestant, and the values of that society, including nationalism, permeate his writing. It was not a slavish adherence to American forms that made his work boringly repetitive but a refusal to reconsider nationalist assumptions about the West that did not hold up under first-hand scrutiny.
When Amy began writing the Blue Pete stories, he wanted to say something serious about the development of the West. Like innumerable authors before and after who dealt with frontier areas, he was interested in the difficulty of reconciling an existing order with the imperatives of encroaching civilization. He brought to this question two sets of perceptions. The first, and most important, was the English-Canadian Protestant vision of western development. The second was his own experience of living in the West. The two were not quite compatible. After his simplistic expectations of Edenic transformation corroded, Amy backed away from romance toward myth, abandoning any possibility of commenting seriously on western society. That retreat is worth a closer look.
One reason why Amy’s work seems American at first glance is that unlike most Canadian prairie novelists, who wrote about the agricultural frontier, he wrote about the ranching frontier. This was logical: it was the West he had encountered, though for how long is hard to say. Despite his prolificness, not much is known about Amy’s life. Born to a Methodist minister and his wife in Sydenham, north of
Kingston, probably in the mid-1870s, he emerged two
decades later as a freshman at Victoria
University in Toronto. According to class lists he spent
three, possibly four years there studying arts, though he seems to have
completed only the equivalent of about two academic sessions. Shortly after the
turn of the century, he began publishing a newspaper in .
About three years later, he left. The migratory habits of a Methodist
background seemed to be deeply imbued for thereafter he travelled a great deal.
Alumni records indicate he lived in England in the early 1920s, Florida in the
early 1930s, Toronto in the early 1940s, and California in the 1950s.5 Wherever
he called home, when he wrote about the West he drew from his own experience in
one of the most important centres of the ranching business in southern
Alberta.6 He knew about cows, not wheat. Medicine Hat, Alberta
The initial novel in the series, Blue Pete: Half-breed, published in 1921, may have been written much earlier since one segment appeared well before the war as a short story in Canadian Magazine.1 It is the most ambitious and most interesting of the works. The story has two intertwined threads. The first is a conventional romance. Constable, eventually Sergeant, Mahon, product of a respectable English middle-class family, must choose between prairie- bred Mira Stanton, physically beautiful but “a wild creature of untamed instincts and untrained mind,” and her equally attractive cousin, Helen Parsons, unaffected but possessed of a culture and intellect “incongruous with the untamed life in which they lived.”8 The decision is never really in doubt;
Mahon selects the girl appropriate to his
class, background and station.
The other thread, much more twisted, involves Blue Pete’s relationship with the police.
Mahon discovers the half-breed just as Pete has crossed
to break loose from his old associates in the rustling business. “I’m too
gor-swizzled chicken-hearted fer Montany,” he tells Mahon, “an’ dead- sick o' th' everlastin’
game.”1’ Impressed by the young constable’s generosity and determination to
prevent disorder, Pete goes along on a mission to recapture an escaped
horse-thief, one of the gang he has just left behind. Dutch Henry, cornered in
a shack, shoots Sergeant Denton who in true Mountie fashion had approached with
gun holstered to make the arrest. Pete refuses to intervene at this point but
swears that if the Sergeant dies he will come after Dutchy.
Denton’s life hangs in
the balance, Pete becomes an undercover police agent, drifting from job to job
at surrounding ranches, disrupting the rustlers. It is work he enjoys,
especially since he has become very attached to Mahon, whom he calls Boy. With this help
police are able to stop much of the movement of stolen stock, though the
culprits themselves remain at large. The situation is disrupted by four events.
Pete’s connection with the force is discovered, making him persona non grata
among both ranchers and rustlers. Sergeant Denton finally dies, obliging Pete
to act on his promise to get Dutchy. Mira Stanton’s brothers, owners of the
3-bar-Y ranch, commit suicide when they are caught with pilfered cattle.
Finally, Pete is discredited at a trial by an incompetent judge and the police
are forced to relinquish his services. The effect of all this is to isolate the
half-breed, and Mira as well, from the rest of society. Mira, who had been
infatuated with Mahon,
now realizes they are not suited. To free him emotionally, she allows herself
to be caught with some stolen horses and is sent to prison for six months. As
Pete waits for her release Dutchy’s gang returns. Mahon goes after them, and so does the
half-breed who finally kills Henry to protect his friend and fulfill his oath.
Badly wounded, he disappears into the bush. A police search turns up only a
note from Mira, just liberated, who says they will never find his body.
For all its complications, Amy’s message was not hard to decipher.
Mahon and Helen represented the future of the
West. Boy, prevented from going to university by his father’s untimely death,
had come to make his fortune in Canada.
Opportunities proved scarce so he joined the Mounted Police, a force which, Amy
made clear, was bringing more than law enforcement to the plains. “Men of
birth, many of them, and all of them overflowing with the tastes that grow from
education, their clean souled sense of duty and the ease with which they
retained their wider interest in life and learning” were an inspiration to
people like Helen Parsons. She in turn, educated in the East, was “no product
of the prairie.” Her father, a prominent Calgary
lawyer, came to Medicine Hat
for his health. When he died she stayed on with her aunt; the ranges offered
“more of the relief of outside interest.” Once committed to the West she began
to master its arts, like shooting and riding. If this muted the impression that
alien values were being imposed, it was clear nonetheless that she and her
husband-to-be embodied the culture, refinement, civilization, and order that
would transform the empty flatlands into a prosperous garden. This was made
explicit by wise Inspector Parker who congratulated Mahon for making the right decision about a
mate. “The West isn’t going to be always the wild thing it is even today - and
you’ll want to grow up with it.” Mira, a picture “you couldn’t hang in the
parlour and wouldn’t insult by putting in the kitchen, 10 would have
marginalized him in western society. It is interesting that Amy reversed the
usual convention by requiring a male to choose between two female suitors. This
reinforced the impression that on this frontier order and domesticity would be
established mainly through the actions of the Mounted Police.
Mahon indicated the
future. Blue Pete confirmed the rightness of this inevitability and pronounced
the superiority of Canadian over American values. He was the outsider who
substantiated the traditional view that our society is more peaceful, more
ordered, more just than that to the south. To some extent Amy used Blue Pete
the way Thomas Chandler Haliburton used Sam Slick, as an embodiment of the
excesses of the neighbouring Republic. Some of the half-breed’s actions - when
he plugged a hole through Mahon’s
hat to avoid being taken into custody, for example" - illustrated typical
American behaviour, at once impressive and objectionable. Slick is a more
compelling character, of course, because Haliburton was a more talented writer.
His creation remained ambivalent about Nova Scotian society; Sam’s bombast
pilloried Yankees and Bluenoses simultaneously. For the most part, Pete
accepted Canadian values so completely that he had little power to prod us with
His judgment of the Dominion’s superiority was demonstrated in his decision to stay and work with the agents of order and in a willingness to curtail his violent habits. He continued to use a gun but did so sparingly and usually to protect the Mounties or affirm their purposes. When he killed Dutchy he acted primarily to save
Mahon, not to exercise
vengeance. In later novels, Amy stressed repeatedly how Pete tried to evaluate
his conduct according to police codes of behaviour. Unlike the supposedly
typical American frontier hero, he was very much controlled by the law. Though
often he acted beyond its reach, society defined his goals, not himself.
Blue Pete was more than a vehicle for national self-congratulation. He was also a natural man, unencumbered by artificial social constraints, totally in tune with his environment. More than just at home with the land, he was almost a part of it, a fact underlined when he virtually disappeared into the prairie before
Mahon’s very eyes.12 In
many respects Pete was clearly superior to the police. His understanding of the
cattle business, his ability with a gun, his mastery of horses, as well as his
extraordinary knowledge of the land far exceeded their capabilities. He was not
alone here; the other rustlers, especially Dutchy, shared these abilities
though not to the same extent. Pete’s co-operation with the police symbolized
the assent given by the more intelligent elements of the old order to the
process of development. He could not block the goals of the force; it would
triumph in the end. He got an inkling of this when he tried to free Mira on her
way to prison: pursuit was organized so quickly after she escaped that he
accepted the futility of trying to keep her at large. Still, he could have made
things exceptionally difficult for the police had he opposed them. That he did
not was an instinctive recognition of the value of true civilization.
As a natural man Pete was concerned with justice, not law. He was offended by the shooting of Sergeant Denton, not because a policeman was wounded but because the violence was unnecessary. Dutchy could have escaped without hurting anyone. When Pete went to work for the Mounties he made no effort to put the criminals behind bars; he simply tried to right the wrongs they committed. His willingness to be a police agent, therefore, demonstrated that in the Canadian West law and justice were essentially the same. If Amy sometimes emphasized in later novels that Pete’s methods were frowned on by the police, it was not because he sanctioned rootin’, tootin’ American cowboy behaviour. Rather, he wanted to remind readers that the half-breed was still a natural, instinctive man and that the equation between law and justice still held. This correspondence was confirmed by his readiness to teach the Mounties some of his tricks so they could do a better job. He trusted them to use the knowledge wisely. This was not a melding of values, though, only a transfer of skills. While it hinted that some valuable things from the old existence might be perpetuated, it mostly suggested that the new order would become stronger and more adept at getting its way.
As her ultimate match with Blue Pete indicated, Mira was another symbol of the wild, untamed spirit of the West. Her relationship with
Mahon cast more light on the linkage between
old and new forces. In disillusioning the Corporal by getting arrested, she
indicated her acceptance of an inferior social role. “I ain’t in your class,”
she acknowledged. There would be no fruitful union between them with offspring
combining the strengths of both.13 Her success in the new environment would
depend on how well she imbibed the lessons in literacy, dress and conduct which
Mahon and Helen
taught. Since Helen remarked on Mira’s facility in learning to read and
write,14 there was some indication that the original spirits of place could
adapt but they were likely to have a much diminished stature. Again, there was
no blending of values here, just an exchange of skills which facilitated the
grip of ordered society.
The turbulence of the old West would disappear; any regrettable loss would be compensated by the advantages of civilization. The prairie would become a prosperous, well regulated, attractive habitation. This was an optimistic projection Amy shared with thousands of other Canadians and many Britons too.15 He had likely grown up with this vision and brought it with him to the West. There was another dimension to his view of the area, however, one which came from his own experience. An undertone to the major key, it introduced nevertheless a curious chord of aesthetic and moral ambivalence which jarred with the imperialist dream of progress.
There are many indications in the novel that Amy was describing an environment he knew. For one thing, there are touches of modernity, like the telephone used to warn of Dutch Henry’s escape and the car used to transport wounded Sergeant Denton, which seem out of place in an ordinary cowboy novel but not in twentieth-century
For another, there are characters which closely resemble well-known Alberta personalities of
the time. Paddy Norton, the lawyer from Calgary who helped discredit Pete as a
police agent is clearly based on Patty Nolan, the real Calgary frontier lawyer
who actually was counsel for the Western Stock Growers’ Association in the
period when the novel is set.16 Inspector Parker is almost certainly drawn from
the real Inspector William Parker who commanded the “Hat’s” police detachment
since explicit reference is made to one of his actual cases.17 Not
surprisingly, by the second novel the name had been changed to Barker.
More impressively, Blue Pete: Half-breed contains brief flashes of almost sociological discernment which punctuate the adventure narrative. Consider, for example, the description of
Hat “in the early throes of industrial ambition”:
Its natural gas was spreading its fame throughout
and pioneers looking for factory sites were the town’s guests from the moment
of their arrival. Its unearned reputation across the border as “the breeder of
weather” was being fought by a systematic propaganda that was justifying its
cost. The moving spirits of the city decided to go in for sports. Professional
baseball was discussed, the result being the formation of the Western Canada
Baseball League, more commonly known as “The Twilight League,” because in the
long evenings of the prairie the games were started at seven-thirty. Medicine Hat was out for
anything that promised publicity.18 There is a ring of authenticity here, as
well as traces of insight that invite speculation about what Amy might have
produced had he stayed in one place.
Perhaps it was not writing skill that he lacked but frontier fortitude, for embedded in these realistic touches are clues that Amy was less than enthralled with prairie existence. Formulaic praise for the beauty and freedom of the plains was contradicted by references to “shrubless waste” and “mile after mile of the dead grass of years” on the flat landscape. The Parson’s house in town was “rather gaudily painted as an offset to the drabness of the prairie.” Moreover, the land's “bare ugliness,” as he put it in a later novel, was matched by something monotonous and stifling in prairie society.19 Mahon, he emphasized, craved “a little of the variety of [the] outside world”:
Day after day of his duties threw him among men who thought in cattle and horses, whose conversation was round-up and brands and the prospect of encroaching homesteaders, whose sports were bronco-busting and wild riding and an occasional visit to town, whose sleep was mental vacuum and whose work entailed little more. He had never been able to satisfy himself with that....20
It was a feeling Amy probably shared. Whatever the future of the West, its present was less than completely satisfying, and the novel reflected an undercurrent of tension between booster expectations and constrictive realities.
Among the things Amy seemed to be genuinely knowledgeable about was the cattle business, including its shady aspects. Beneath the routine antics of the rustlers was a firm sense of how they operated—taking large herds into the hills, breaking them up into smaller groups, building semi-permanent corrals at regular intervals to speed up the drives. Blue Pete, in his courtroom testimony, listed a dozen-and-a-half ways to change the look of a horse. Such expertise might have come from other cowboy books, but it may be that newspaper work brought Amy face to face with these practices.
The most striking aspect of his depiction of rustling was the assertion that everyone involved in the cattle business, respectable and otherwise, participated. The point was frequently reaffirmed in the story. Blue Pete was abruptly tired from Grantham’s ranch after being exposed as a police agent. He explained in court how brands routinely were overlayed to confuse ownership. Mira’s locally esteemed brothers committed suicide when their involvement in the game was discovered. All this was something more than a plot device. Amy was insistent that rustling was part and parcel of raising cows, and he reiterated the point at length in some of his later novels. In a representative example from The Vengeance of Blue Pete, the Inspector lashed out at local worthies who complained about police inefficiency:
You come blatting to me, you the biggest ranchers in the country, about justice and the prevention of crime, and the duty of the Mounted Police, when you know that if we did our duty, if we considered nothing but justice and strict law enforcement, every one of you would be in Lethbridge jail right now... I don't say you rustle in person, but you know your cowboys do. And you accept what they help themselves to in the way of unidentified stock, and often in identifiable that can safely be taken.21
The ranchers were not the only characters in the novel with suspect morals. It also featured a railway contractor who knowingly bought stolen horses, and a newly appointed judge “whose previous record in criminal cases had frequently brought him into conflict with the police.”22 Together they highlighted the honesty of the Mounties, who were not corrupt, but, as with Amy’s view of prairie life and landscape, they introduced a note of ambivalence that conflicted with the expectation of Edenic transformation. The effect of the whole book, then, was a typically Canadian evocation of an emerging pastoral utopia,23 undercut by an ongoing contest between good and evil, likely to be permanent because ordinary people lacked moral consistency. The evolution to perfection of his romantic vision was challenged by a pessimistic interpretation of human nature. His dream of the future did not mesh with the real situation of prairie life.
Insights into western society in Blue Pete: Half-breed were scattered and brief, submerged in the adventure narrative. But if only to a limited extent, Amy was drawing on his experience of the area, trying to translate what he had known into imaginative literature. The fact is, especially if the novel was written before the First World War, this work contains some interesting seeds of prairie realism. The dichotomy between sentimental romances and realistic depictions of prairie life may not be quite as rigid as some critics have thought.24
At the end of the first novel it was not clear if Blue Pete was alive or dead, but all the important questions had been answered.
and Helen, harbingers of the future, were about to be married. The spirits of
place had been defeated or had aligned themselves with the forces of the new.
Some disorder existed but it could be controlled by the police. There was
perhaps a little regret at the passing of old ways, but no conflict over
values. The choices of western society had been decided. This made for a
satisfying conclusion but it did not leave much to explore.
Amy was not ready to give up trying to say something serious about the region’s fate. He had one powerful arrow left in his quiver — racism. In The Return of Blue Pete he addressed the “problem” of the alien worker. The book is chiefly remarkable for being one of the most vitriolic attacks on Canadian immigrants and radical labour ever to reach print. The plot revolved around efforts to prevent the sinister International Workers of the World from blowing up a newly built railway trestle out of spite for not being allowed to boss themselves. Its adventure was a thin coating for hate.
The navvies, “wild Continental scum” according to Amy, were “a filthy, low-down gang of [creatures] dressed up like men and walking on their hind legs.” They were violent, duplicitous, cowardly, and completely expendable.
Torrance, the contractor, chided his
assistant for failing to kill any in the course of construction. One aide, he
noted approvingly, “did for five in his last season.”25 Blue Pete, as natural
man, confirmed the judgment that foreigners were disgusting and radical labour
a dangerous fount of anarchy.
Amy made a concerted effort to explain what made the “Dago Bohunk” so objectionable. Speaking through Ignace Koppowski, leader of the International Workers, he outlined the anguish that resulted from “over-sudden civilization.” “From the crude half-lights of my own country,” wailed Koppy, “I leaped at one bound into the brilliance of civilization’s beam.... And I couldn’t stand it — few of us can”:
... not finding the milk and honey flow out to lave our ships, we start depressed and resentful. We land in a strange country with only a word of its language. No one greets us, no one holds our fumbling hands. By dirty ways we slink to dirty tenement houses to hide ourselves—where disloyalty is the air we breathe, discomfort our bed, and robbery our experience—robbed by the friends who preceded us. Half-cowed, lonely, cursing in silence the drudgery that faces us, we learn to live for ourselves alone. Helpless, we drift into the hands of our own kind, who wax rich on the sale of us in herds to work no one else would undertake. Sullen, keen to the injustice of things, but ignorant of the simplicity of redress, we fall victims to our own morbid hatreds, to anything that promises to feed our fury....26
This kind of sympathy merely diverted venom to those who had successfully adjusted. Regardless of how they fared, Amy found reasons to damn the newcomers. He offered no solution other than complete exclusion.
This was the dark side of the Protestant vision—the fear that Anglo-Saxon superiority would be polluted by the off-scourings of
The depth of Amy’s prejudice was unusual, but not its premise. Just as the
ranchers’ moral lapses undermined assurances about the coming elysium, so too
did the immigrants. While the trestle’s completion symbolized the West’s
evolutionary advance, the continued presence of the workers at the end of the
novel represented a source of evil that would not soon go away. Again, Amy’s
optimistic expectations ran up against the sordid facts of western life.
Having unleashed this invective, he did not have much more to say about the evolving reality of the prairie. He was in a rather tight conceptual bind. Either he could admit that the simplistic Canadian dream of the future was wrong, and explore the ramifications of this, or he could go on repeating his old message and his established pattern of action with good defeating evil in the progressive establishment of
knowing the chances of this happening were ever more remote. He chose the latter.
However, when he returned to Blue Pete after writing several conventional
police novels without the halfbreed, the essence of his creation had shifted.
According to Northrop Frye, the extremes of literary design are bounded by realism and myth, with romance in between. The characters of romance, though clearly superior to ordinary mortals, retain some resemblance to human reality. The world they inhabit, though missing many of the frustrations, ambiguities and embarrassments of everyday life, is still recognizable as the world of normal people. The more fabulous the depiction of romantic characters, the more dissociated they are from regular society, geographically and emotionally, the more they begin to show a mythic colouring.27 Even if not formally invested with divine qualities, they may become so distant and unbelievable that the connection with familiar existence becomes exceedingly tenuous. What Amy did when he returned to his creation was to move Blue Pete significantly closer to myth. There were still occasional flashes of insight into prairie sociology, still occasional warnings about vile immigrants, but now Pete worked alone, performing implausible feats at the fringes of society with little to say about what transpired within.
One indication of the change is the disappearance of any love interest in the plots. Mira, as Pete’s wife, continued to drift in and out of the action, especially to rescue her husband from danger, but she became part of the adventure machinery. Helen put in a brief appearance in The Return of Blue Pete, then vanished. With her went much of Amy’s opportunity to discuss domestic and community developments. To compensate for the elimination of romantic involvements, he increased the suspense in his plots. Once embarked on a case, Pete would lose his gun or his horse, get captured by Indians or become lost in a blizzard. Each of these circumstances complicated and delayed the completion of his mission. With this improbable mastering of trial after trial, Pete began to assume mythic proportions while the novels took on the episodic structure common to quest adventures.
As love and domesticity faded, so did the Mounted Police. By no means were they banished completely. Pete’s actions remained firmly tied to Mountie causes but almost always now he worked alone while members of the force became additional obstacles to overcome. Sometimes police had to be avoided because they suspected him of a crime; sometimes they had to be protected. Either way, they were used not so much to comment on what the West was or would become, but just to build tension.
When Pete left the police behind, action increasingly occurred in a world clearly divorced from the normal realm. Whether the Cypress Hills, the Rockies or
Montana, normal rules of
civilization did not apply. The danger in these places changed somewhat as
well. Now the threat was more likely to be an Indian rather than a rustler or a
foreigner. Amy was no more charitable toward native peoples than he was toward
immigrants. His analysis of their situation was identical. Both groups were
composed of backward misfits, resentful of those who should control them. He
drew a few favourable portraits of individual Indians, but made clear these
were exceptions.28 Whatever the reasons for the advent of these new villains —
it may have had a lot to do with reader expectations—the effect was to direct
attention to a group that was perceived to be at the margin of real society.
Changes in the setting were accompanied by changes in the treatment of Blue Pete. For one thing, a much greater emphasis was put on the specialness of his gun and horse. The pistol, unremarkable in the first novels, became almost an extension of the half-breed—so important that it alone enabled him to complete his tasks. If lost or stolen, before anything else it had to be found; no other weapon would do. Whiskers, his horse, a remarkable beast from the start, became even more unusual. She seldom required direction and appeared to know every thought in her rider’s mind. Though exceptionally small, she had greater strength and speed than any other mount. Inanimate objects that had special powers, strange and wonderful little animals capable of amazing feats—these belonged to a fairy-tale universe, not a real one.
In addition, Pete became ever more deformed and grotesque. When first introduced he was a bit cross-eyed, unkempt, had a bluish tinge to his skin, and wore outlandish clothing. As a character he was exaggerated but not unbelievable. To
Mahon he resembled a London
stage cowboy.29 By the late 1920s, after a succession of broken limbs and
gunshot wounds, his appearance was distinctly peculiar: “His head hung forward,
as if clearing the way, and one of his great rounded shoulders slouched
perceptibly lower than the other. He covered the ground with amazing speed,
with a noiselessness even more amazing. His crossed eyes darted from side to
side, his blue-black face was still expressionless.” Later, his nose got badly
smashed; later still, he was attacked by a cougar and told he would carry the
scars in his head for the rest of his life.30 Despite the injuries, none of his
skill or speed was diminished. From a colourful, unusual cowboy Pete became a
shambling, misshapen, good-natured giant. Perhaps his progressive deformities
were meant to parallel changes in the landscape as the work of civilization
unfolded, but symbol or not he left the edge of reality and became a mythic
archetype. The West itself, plagued by an unceasing supply of villains,
remained stuck in the process of becoming a pastoral garden. The tension
between the expectation of evolution and the permanent struggle between good
and evil remained, though the triumph of progress seemed ever more remote.
Why did Amy move toward myth? Why did he give up trying to say anything substantial about the prairie situation? Dissatisfaction with western existence must have been a factor. After all, he left. Once gone, his perceptions, frozen in an era long since passed, became increasingly anachronistic. To compensate for the absence of authentic insight he drifted more completely into fantasy. Indeed, the later Blue Pete books should not be thought of as regional novels. The decision to leave, in turn, may have been conditioned by concurrent realizations of his limitations as a serious writer and of the ease of earning a living by grinding out pulp fiction. His British publishers and international audience were largely indifferent to the real character and future of the Canadian West. They did not care if situations were improbable as long as they got adventure.
Still, this does not fully explain why Amy abandoned a more realistic romance formula. Even with an unwillingness to probe the distance between inherited vision and actual experience, he could have maintained his original vision. Other authors managed to produce adventure without moving so fundamentally into make-believe.31 Like many of them, Amy could have centered on the Mounted Police, keeping more of an attachment to real society. Instead, his imagination gravitated to myth.
Why? Was there something in Amy’s outlook that made even romance unsatisfying? Since little about him is known, the question is impossible to answer, yet his contradictory view of the West — evolving towards pastoral harmony but infected at its very core with seemingly permanent imperfections is intriguing. Amy was writing at a time when cosmological thinking was profoundly unsettled. In the aftermath of
Darwin, the paradigm of
evolutionary advance was inordinately compelling, yet the anticipation of progress
which it reinforced was undercut by deeply rooted conceptions of nature,
including human nature, as a fixed commodity. Many people may have been
troubled, for example, by an inability to mesh notions of inevitable progress
with traditional understandings of evil as an inescapable presence in the
world. Coming, presumably, from a rigorous Methodist background, this may have
been Amy’s dilemma.
Since it is situated close to the world but not mixed in it completely, romance allowed him to bridge the difference between what he wanted life to be and what he knew it was. He could say something about the actual situation of the West without having to square completely dream and reality. It is possible that as Amy began to realize how difficult it would be to transform the prairie into the garden he expected, how difficult to produce order, justice and freedom in an unstable world, the assurances of romance seemed more fragile. To sustain his optimism he gravitated toward myth, looking for comfort in something well beyond ordinary humanity.32
When romance would not hold Amy retreated toward myth. It was an appealing destination, arrived at by many others travelling a variety of paths. The resurgence of myth has been a distinguishing characteristic of the present century. Ironically, by withdrawing into timeless, archetypic formulas, Amy demonstrated his fundamental modernity. It did not make him a good novelist, to be sure, but it may suggest he should not be dismissed out of hand as an uninspired hack who merely grafted American motifs onto a Canadian setting. Though Blue Pete ossified into a predictable adventure hero, he began as something more: a conscious affirmation of the inevitable, necessary and beneficial transformation of the West. Canadian nationalism was the force that conceived him and an unwillingness to disturb nationalist assumptions trapped him in an archetypal netherworld.
 Dick Harrison, ed.. Best Mounted Police Stories (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1978), 16.
2 Dick Harrison, Unnamed Country: The Struggle for a Canadian Prairie Fiction (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1977), X and passim.
Harrison, Unnamed Country, 160, 161.
4. William Lacey Amy [Luke Allan], Blue Pete: Half-breed (New York: McCann, 1921), 91, 140.
Archives, Class and Prize Lists,
P78-OI58-2, 1888-1899 and Department of Graduate Records, A73-026-007-32. See
also Vernon B. Rhodenizer, Canadian Literature in English (Montreal: n.p..
1965), 721. University of Toronto
6. Sec David H. Breen, The Canadian Prairie West and the Ranching Frontier, 1874-1924 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983).
7. William Lacey Amy, “Blue Pete: The Sentimental Half-breed,” Canadian Magazine, Jan. 1911, 269-74.
8. Amy, Blue Pete: Half-breed, 152, 50.
9. Ibid., 16.
10. Ibid., 52, 51, 213, 210.
11. Ibid., 68.
12. Ibid., 21.
13. Ibid. , 204. Though she remains a character in later novels as Pete's wife, there is no mention of children. The older spirits of place are ultimately sterile.
14. Ibid., 127.
15. See Doug Owram, Promise of
The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of West, 1856-1900 (Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1980). Eden
16. See Henry J. Morgan, The Canadian Men and Women of the Time (Toronto: Briggs, 1912), 854-55. Amy's portrait of Nolan may have come from a 1903 trial in Medicine Hat involving a round-up captain for the Stock Growers' Association who was charged with theft as part of a prolonged dispute between large and small ranchers. See D.H. Breen, “The Mounted Police and the Ranching Frontier,” in Hugh A. Dempsey, ed.. Men in Scarlet (
Historical Society of Alberta/McClelland and Stewart West, n.d.), 129. Calgary
17. See Hugh A. Dempsey, ed., William Parker, Mounted Policeman (Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Institute. 1973); and Amy, Blue Pete: Half-breed, 211.
18. Amy, Blue Pete: Half-breed, 85-86.
19. Ibid., 22, 11, 54; William Lacey Amy [Luke Allan], The Tenderfoot (London: Jenkins, 1939), 126.
20. Amy, Blue Pete: Half-breed, 178.
21. William Lacey Amy [Luke Allan), The Vengeance of Blue Pete (London: Jenkins. 1939), 65.
22. Amy, Blue Pete: Half-breed, 178.
23. See Northrop Frye, The
1971), 238-39. Bush
24. See, for example,
Harrison, Unnamed Country, 100.
25. William Lacey Amy [Luke Allan], The Return of Blue Pete (New York: Doran 1922) 108 64, 39-40.
26. Amy, Return of Blue Pete, 360, 362.
27. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton:
Press Princeton University
28. See, for example, William Lacey Amy [Luke Allan], Blue Pete’s Dilemma (London: Jenkins, 1945), 9; and Amy. Blue Pete: Indian Scout (London: Jenkins, 1950), 140.
29. Amy, Blue Pete: Half-breed, 14.
30. William Lacey Amy |Luke Allan], Blue Pete: Detective (London: Jenkins, 1928), 14: Amy, Blue Pete: Rebel (London: Jenkins, 1940), 68-69; Amy, Blue Pete’s Dilemma, 140.
31. See Keith Walden, Visions of Order: The Canadian Moimties in Symbol and Myth (Toronto: Butterworths, 1982).
32. William Lyon Mackenzie King also had difficulty reconciling a belief in the possibility of spiritual and material evolution with traditional religious conceptions of sin. He, too, had a highly romantic outlook, evident in such things as his idealization of women and predilection for chivalric heroes like Sir Galahad. When King's responsibilities increased, romantic optimism no longer seemed enough to sustain his confidence. He turned to spiritualism, asking the forces controlling destiny, or at least aware of its direction, to help make sound decisions in matters where lines between good or evil were not easily drawn. Like Amy, he sought comfort in something beyond ordinary humanity. This tension between evolutionary and dualistic cosmological conceptions as a key to understanding the progressive mentality may be worth more thought. On King, see Joy Esberey, Knight of the Holy Spirit (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980), 43-58, 161-62; Ramsay Cook, The Regenerators: Social Criticism in Late Victorian English Canada (Toronto- University of Toronto Press, 1985), 198-200: Reginald Whitaker, “Liberal Corporalist Ideas of Mackenzie King,” Labourite Travail 2 (1977), 137-69; and Whitaker. “Political Thought and Action in Mackenzie King," Journal of Canadian Studies 13 (Winter 1978-79), 40-60.
Keith Walden is a member of the History Department at
. Trent University
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- As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.