I should probably post this as a proper article, but as the Galt Historic Railway Park has already done this today, I’ll just provide the link. Thanks, Jason, for digging it up.
May 9, 2011
The Northwest Rebellion of 1885 was a turning point in relations between Canada’s First Nations and white settlers, particularly in the cattle country of southern Alberta.
In anticipation, the Rocky Mountain Rangers were formed: a volunteer militia composed of 114 ex-Mounties, ex-cons, retired military officials and working, militarily inexperienced ranch-hands.
Gordon Tolton’s book tells the story of a motley group of displaced soldiers and misfit cowboys who would become cavalrymen, intent on preserving their place in the Canadian West. The Cowboy Cavalry tells a gritty tale, where frontier mentality mixes with gunpowder, fear, corruption and gross media sensationalizing and brings to life an often overlooked part of Canadian history.
Hello, Good Day, Welcome and Howdy!
“Ranger Gord” is Gordon E. Tolton: historian, historical interpreter, author, and general all-around goofball – making the history of western Canada accessible to all.
I am a free lance author living in Coaldale, Alberta, a small town in western Canada, not far from the Montana-US border.
My specialties are the history of settlement: the fur trade, early farming, ranching and the organized farm movement, the North West and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the North West Rebellion of 1885, and the political and military history of Canada and the United States. Naturally, I’m a bit western in my scope, and somewhat in my lifestyle. Blame genetics. I was born this way.
Religiously, after a long hard think about the role of faith, and a walk in the wilderness, I follow the basic tenets of the United Church of Canada. I believe the world works the way it does for a reason BUT I have a long hard policy of sympathy for those who wish to follow their own path of belief or non-belief. Freedom of worship, or freedom from worship is a freedom that is not only mandated constitutionally, it’s also a right hard won by our ancestors. You don’t make yourself taller by stepping on someone else.
I am noted as the official problem with Alberta. Politically, I am pragmatic. If it works, I’ll be for it, If it doesn’t I’m against it. The building of a civil society depends on consensus, and hitting someone over the head is rarely a good policy in building alliances or good legislation. A good settlement is better than a bad judgement.
I care nothing for the color of one’s political underwear. If you want my vote, or my support, just don’t piss me off, represent me well, and we won’t have a problem.
Represent me badly, make bad policy and I promise you, I will be Very Hard to Get Along With. Emphasis intended. Politicians are temporary servants of the public trust. They can and will be replaced — and I tend to vote for the Least Undesirable candidate.
“Always keep yourself in a position to be able to tell any one to go to hell.”
– George Lane, Alberta rancher
“I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” – John Wayne in “The Shootist”.
Having said all that, I’m really not all that hard to get along with. I might even be likable. That depends on you. Be good to me, I’m your pal. If you treat me wrong – put on your rain slicker. It’s about to get stormy.
My brain grows younger as my feet and knees age, but as it does, I write books, I like hot chili, cold snowy days, loud guns, quiet people, new computers, old trucks, slow horses, and fast tequila. In upcoming blogs, I hope to display the books I’ve written and published, and share some of my experiences and my adventures in documenting history.