Honorary Grand Chief of Huron Tribe
( Originally Published 1907 )
To G. M. Fairchild, Jr., Esq., the Worshipful and Sporting Mayor of Cap Rouge,
I am much gratified at reading, in one of our city papers, that in the list of attractions for the coming week your name appears next to that of an exalted personage as likely to receive an honor not of infrequent occurrence in the past in our sport-loving community: in fact that the Lorette Redskins had, at a recent pow-wow, decided to initiate you, to the title, dignity and prerogative of a full fledged Honorary Huron Chief.
Of course, I concluded that after smoking so many pipes of peace, you were to be decked with the traditional wampum belt—the sable or brown tight-fitting coat—the gorgeous plumed head dress, crowned with feathers, the fringed leggins (mitases), moccassins studed with the quills of the fretful porcupine, flourishing a truculent tomahawk, and sporting a stunning medal, ranging in size from that of a tea cup to that of a soup plate.
Such no doubt, I pictured to myself, must have been the tenue de ceremonie of the sons of the forest,who served under de Beaujeuat Ticonderaga, or bore a hand in scalping Murray's Highlanders, after the second battle of the Plains. Recollecting your past camp life, your innumerable encounters with the bear, caribou and carcajou, etc., in Laurentian forests, it occurred to me that our dusky brethren of Lorette had selected the right man to be transferred into a big Indian Chief.
I, in consequence, hurried to my museum to consult a picture of the grand presentation to His Majesty George IV., on 14th Dec., 1825, in London, of the famous Indian Chief, Tahunrenche, of Lorette, and found I had correctly described the toilette of this great warrior.
Allow me now to contribute this picture to your gallery of worthies, and believe me as ever.
J. M. LEMOINE.
The Council of the Chiefs of the Huron Nation will confer an Honorary Grand Chieftainship upon G. M. Fairchild, jr., Esq., Mayor of Cap Rouge, in addition to that which has been tendered to His Excellency Lord Minto, and accepted by the latter. The ceremony of installation in both cases will take place on Feb. 5th on the Duf ferin Terrace at 2.30 p.m. The Honorary Chiefs will each be presented with a birch bark document handsomely worked in porcupine quills, attesting their election into the tribe as chiefs. The acceptance of His Excellency was published in our issue of the 27th instant. That of Mr. Fairchild is as follows:
Dear Sir:—I beg to acknowledge your favor of the 23rd instant, which conveys the announcement that it is the desire of the Huron Nation to confer upon me the distinguished favor of Honorary Grand Chief of their tribe. I am very deeply sensible of this signal mark of consideration, and I accept it with pleasure and with feelings of the heartiest interest in a people for whom I have ever entertained the sincerest regard. For upwards of thirty years I have been intimately associated with various members of the tribe, who have shared my camp-fires, and lived with me the life of the trapper and hunter for long months at a time. I love to bear testimony to the warm feeling of regard that ever existed between us. Many of these old companions have gone to the happy hunting grounds of the hereafter, but in their sons and successors I continue to find those traits that distinguish their fathers, and which have conferred upon the tribe the reputation it so will merits of mighty hunters, keen trappers and faithful friends.
During the past thirty years I have dwelt on the borders of that great wilderness wherein you and your forefathers have hunted and trapped and in the many weeks or months spent by me in the chase it has ever been my good fortune to be accompanied by one or more members of your tribe, and my camp-fires have been the brighter for the association of those old comrades whose memory I love to recall, for those traits of endurance, faithfulness, keenness in hunt, knowledge of bush lore, and good comradeship. Many of those old friends, for friends they were, have passed to the silent majority, but among you present I recognize some who have also shared my camp-fires. My children love to recall the fact that it was their great, great, grand-father, the Hon. John Neilson, who accompanied a delegation of your tribe to England in 1825, and it was he who presented them at court to His Majesty King George the Fourth, where they were received with every consideration. I am especially proud that on this day selected by you to honor the representative of His Majesty King Edward in Canada, our Governor-General Lord Minto, by an honorary chieftainship, that I too should receive the same signal mark of your esteem.
Kindly convey to the Council of the Chiefs of the Hurons the expression of my unswerving loyalty to the interests of the tribe, and my sense of appreciation of the very signal honor which it is their intention to confer upon me on February 5th next.
Yours very truly,
G. M. FAIRCHILD, Jr.
The ceremony of conferring upon His Excellency the Governor-General, and His Honor the Lieut-Governor, as well as Mr. G. M. Fairchild, jr., the title of honorary chief, took place on the Dufferin Terrace. Some fifty Huron Indians, of both sexes, came in from Lorette for the occasion, accompanied by Mr. Henry O'Sullivan, Mr. Maurice Bastien, Indian agent, and others. The squaws were fully fifteen in number, and both they and the braves wore the full Indian regalia of the brightest colors imaginable, feather head-dresses, moccasins, and other Indian incidentals. Their brass band of about fifteen pieces was also present and played at intervals. The Indians, prior to the ceremony marched up and down the Terrace and then formed a ring, in which they received His Excellency, His Honor, and Mr. G. M. Fairchild, jr., and presented to them their certificates of chieftainship, written upon birch bark.
The Indian title of Lord Minto is "Hochegathe", which signifies "He Defends His Country" : that of Sir Louis A. Jette is "Hondionoagoste," meaning "Le Bel Esprit." while Mr. G. M. Fairchild, jr., "On-we-as-ta-rien," (Man of Thoughts).