Paterson's Account

Steele Collection  MS 2008.

Sketch of NWMP barracks by R. Pocock

The earliest drafts of the memoir, written in Steele’s distinctive hand, contain no information regarding the capture of Constable Marmaduke Graburn’s murderer. It is only later drafts that include the scene of capture. While not word for word, the scene in the manuscript is very similar in terms of the phrasing to David Paterson’s account.

While Paterson signs his letter D. Paterson, Steele spells his name as Patterson. Also Steele referred to him as Sergeant Patterson, though other accounts referred to him as Corporal Paterson.[1] To simplify things, I will use Paterson throughout as this spelling is the one the majority of other sources use, though I have maintained Steele’s own use of Patterson in manuscript C and in Forty Years where he is mentioned by name. According to the NWMP Personnel files, David Paterson was a Special Constable who was based for most of his service in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, where he retired and from where he wrote the following letters to Steele.[2] Steele also spells Graburn, Grayburn in the manuscripts and Forty Years in Canada. The NWMP Personnel files list Marmaduke Graburn, so while I have maintained Steele’s original spelling in the manuscript transcriptions, everywhere else I have used Graburn.[3]


The Paterson letters include transcriptions.


[1] Fetherstonhaugh, R. C. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. New York: Carrick & Evans, 1938. 44.

[2] Paterson, David. North West Mounted Police (NWMP) – Personnel Records, 1873-1904. RG 18 50803. Library and Archives Canada. Web. 18 May 2016.

[3] Graburn, Marmaduke. North West Mounted Police (NWMP) – Personnel Records, 1873-1904. RG 18 33037. Library and Archives Canada. Web. 19 May 2016.