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  • Horses! Horses! Horses!

    Sir Samuel Benfield Steele was a skilled horseman who had enormous respect for these animals and the valuable role they played in his career with the N.W.M.P., his subsequent military experiences in South Africa, and with the South African Constabulary after the Boer War of 1900. In his early years with the Mounted Police, Steele trained recruits in both […] ... read full post
  • Young Volunteers!

    Before moving on from the Boer War, I want to share a letter that Sam Steele received from two young boys interested in joining him in fighting the Boers in South Africa. The letter is dated February 10, 1900 so sent about five weeks prior to Steele and the Lord Strathcona Horse contingent departing from […] ... read full post
  • A Proposed Scheme for the Boer War

     The attached letter sent to Sam Steele on January 2nd, 1900 is one I found particularly interesting. It is written by a D. McKay Murray of High River, Alberta and details a ‘scheme’ he has for the British to employ in their war with the Boers in South Africa. He writes to Sam in his capacity […] ... read full post
  • Sam Steele Returns From the Boer War

    After departing from Liverpool, England aboard the S.S. “Numidian” on the 23rd of February, 1901, Sam Steele and members of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment arrived home to Halifax Harbour on Friday, March 8th, 1901. The ship got into port in the night, and the returning soldiers were received by a guard of honor on […] ... read full post
  • An Artistic Connection

    In the Sam Steele correspondence is a letter written in 1913 to Sam from James T. Stanford, a Vice-President and Manager of the Conrad Banking Co. of Great Falls, Montana. Stanford and Sam first met when serving with the North-West Mounted Police in the very early years from 1875 to 1878. In his letter, Stanford […] ... read full post
  • Influential Friends!

    It is always interesting to be reading through the Steele correspondence, and come across a signature on a letter that causes the ‘wow’ reaction. The following letter is one such letter for me. It is written in 1890 to Robert Harwood, Sam Steele’s (at this time) fairly recent father-in-law. The letter is from John A. Macdonald, […] ... read full post
  • Happy New Year

    Greetings and all the best for the new year. There are some very nice cards and small published items in the Sam Steele papers, including the card scanned below, and because we are still in the month of January, I thought I would share it on this site.    Happy New Year everyone! ... read full post
  • Merry Christmas

    With Christmas rapidly approaching, I wanted to include one of the Christmas cards from the Sam Steele papers on this site. The card, blank on the inside, includes a lovely view of Lake Louise, and is entitled “A Canadian Glacier”. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season! ... read full post
  • Thomas Bland Strange

    Sam Steele’s papers are filled with correspondence with a number of really interesting people, and included among these is a decades-long  ‘pen pal’ friendship with Thomas Bland Strange. The two men connected when Major-General Strange was charged with commanding the Alberta Field Force during the North-West Rebellion, and Steele joined the Force to command a […] ... read full post
  • An Interview with Charlotte Gray

      In an earlier post, I discussed an article written by Charlotte Gray on the life of Sam Steele published in Walrus magazine.  Award-winning Canadian author Charlotte Gray made excellent use of the Sam Steele Collection when conducting research for this article as well as for her recently published book on the Klondike, Gold Diggers.  There has been considerable interest […] ... read full post