Steele Collection MS 2008.


Steele Collection MS 2008.


Letter from Irving to Steele, includes marked up copy of Ross' account of the CPR riot (23 January 1911)


Bruce Peel Special Collections


Transcription of the letter and one of the additional pages about the CPR scene. The additional notes about Fury and Kerr that do not relate to the CPR are not transcribed. The Ross document is also not transcribed as it is typed.

My good old friend

I have to apologize for not having been able to attend to your request before but not expecting any letters of importance had not told the P.O. to forward mine to above [Toronto] where I have been staying since Xmas. However I went up Saturday I found upon reading the statement sent by you and the letters, the proper and most speedy way was to go straight to see Fury which I did this Monday morning, from Newmarket & getting off at Richmond Hill walking about a mile to his place.

I read him each paragraph separately and heard what he had to say to each making a tick in pencil which was to mean “that's so” if he agreed with what was stated. His mind seems quite clear upon what did occur about any-thing which he saw himself & all the notes in pencil are his words.

Engineer A___________[illegible name] joined in and with Louis Lukes paymaster went forward with Fury and some of your men to pay the men which pay was principally Back [double underlined] pay and the with-holding of which was the cause of the commotion.

I was myself present at our camp with 5 men and about 50 horses the rest of the outfit having gone on with our James Ross to the _______[illegible word] to start work there, therefore leaving out Beaver crk camp empty and which the strikers intended to take possession of until matters were settled.

I told some of them I would be “delighted” to have them which pleased them very much but they never came or molested us.

Fury tells me that all the assistance James Ross gave was order Engine and Caboose to take Hugh Behan up to Palliser where he was fined $ 100. I will be glad to hear from you that this has been of some service.

H Erskine Irving

Note included with the letter:

I have looked up Pete Kerr your orderly and got him to go carefully over the James Ross statement. He corroborates Fury in every instance. I have also marked in red ink in your letter to me as not correct what your friend stated. Neither of these men remember [sic] any thing of that.

Original Format

Letter and marked up typed document


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“Steele Collection MS 2008.,” Bruce Peel Special Collections Library Online Exhibits, accessed September 26, 2023,

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