In Darkest Canada

There is no need that adventurous travelers should sail for Africa or even for South America in order to find regions yet unexplored, if, as the director of the geological survey of Canada asserts in his last report, practically nothing is known of one third of the Dominion of Canada.

He says, as quoted in The Scientific American Supplement, that there are more than 1,520,000 square miles of unexplored lands in Canada out of a total area computed at 3,450,257 square miles. Even exclusively of the inhospitable detached arctic portions, 954,000 square miles are for all practical purposes entirely unknown. The writer goes on to say:—

"A careful estimate is made of the unexplored regions. Beginning at the extreme northwest of the Dominion, the first of these areas is between the eastern boundary of Alaska, the Porcupine River, and the Arctic coast, about 9,500 square miles in extent, or somewhat smaller than Belgium, and lying entirely within the Arctic circle. The next is west of the Lewes and Yukon Rivers and extends to the boundary of Alaska. Until last year, 32,000 square miles in this area was unexplored, but a part has since been traveled. A third area of 27,000 square miles—nearly twice as large as Scotland—lies between the Lewes, Pelly, and Stikine Rivers. Between the Pelly and Mackenzie Rivers is another large tract of 100,000 square miles, or about double the size of England. It includes nearly 600 miles of the main Rocky Mountain range. An unexplored area of 50,000 square miles is found between Great Bear Lake and the Arctic coast, being nearly all to the North of the Arctic circle. Nearly as large as Portugal is another tract between Great Bear Lake, the Mackenzie River, and the western part of Great Slave Lake, in all 35,000 square miles. Lying between Stikine and Laird Rivers to the north and the Skeena and Peach Rivers to the south is an area of 81,000 square miles, which, except for a recent visit by a field party, is quite unexplored. Of the 35,000 square miles southeast of Athabasca Lake, little is known, except that it has been crossed by field party en route to Fort Churchill. East of the Coppermine River and west of Bathurst Inlet lies 7,500 miles of unexplored land, which may be compared to half the size of Switzerland. Eastward from this, lying between the Arctic coast and Black's River, is an area of 31,000 square miles, or about equal to Ireland. Much larger than Great Britain and Ireland, and embracing 178,000 square miles, is the region bounded by Black's River, Great Slave Lake, Athabasca Lake, Hatchet and Reindeer Lakes, Churchill River, and the west coast of Hudson Bay. This country includes the barren grounds of the continent. Mr. J. B. Tyrell recently struck through this country on his trip to Fort Churchill, on the Churchill River, but could only make a preliminary exploration. On the south coast of Hudson Bay, between the Severn and Attawapishkat Rivers, is an area 22,000 square miles in extent, or larger than Nova Scotia; and lying between Trout Lake, Lac Seul, and the Albany River is another 15,000 square miles of unexplored land.

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How far Guns can be Heard
June 20, 1901

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