Walter B. Cheadle’s diary tells his incredible story of travelling with Lord Milton, as they journeyed along the uncharted Yellowhead route in 1862–63. A miraculously successful expedition, the men traversed the continent, making their way from Quebec, through Saskatchewan, Alberta, up the Athabasca River, risking their lives opening the trails through the Canadian Rockies, and eventually arriving in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1863. Cheadle’s candid and gritty but also humorous account tells, in intimate detail, what life and travel was like in the Northwest and BC during the latter days of the fur-trade era. He acknowledges the heavy debt owed by all the early explorers to the Plains Indians, who passed on to the first white men their sophistication in the ways of the wilderness. He also records the gradual demoralization of the Native people under the impact of European culture.
A welcome addition to the Classics West series, Cheadle’s Journal is a rare and important document of a remarkable life and time.