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From N.A. [Nathan Albert]3 York.  Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.

Manitoba Letter.  Miami, Sept. 25

Editor Monitor - Doubtless you have heard through the press of the terrible destitution and starvation of the people of this province and the Northwest, occasioned by the continued drouth of the past summer months.  I shall endeavor to show you from what I have had an opportunity of seeing personally, and from what I have gained from many reliable sources, how far such statements are correct.

The harvest is over and for some time past the hum and whistle of the steam thresher has been heard in the land, and thousands of bushels on No. 1 hard pouring into the farmers' graneries, but owing to the low price offered (65c.) at the elevators, very little has been marketed.

Speaking of the drouth, I feel safe in saying that it has lowered the yield of this province to a degree that it never reached heretofore, that is, 15 bus. per acre, but there are many in different parts of the province who will thresh 25, 35 and 40 bushels per acre.  We have a number of such instances in our immediate neighborhood.

Early in the season I had a pleasant trip through the Western part of the province, and with few exceptions I found settlers' grain thrifty and strong.  There are, however, some who will have little more wheat than sufficient to support them and provide seed for next season's crop.  These are the exceptions, and in the Western limits of the province where the land is much higher and more undulating than in this part.

Although we have had several dry summers, we do not despair, for our beautiful and abundant harvest has always more than repaid us for our labor; and even this season, though we have not the amount of grain to the acreage as in former years, our wheat is all no. 1 hard, a sample which we feel proud in saying has been the best ever offered in foreign markets.

While in different cities of the east last winter I interviewed a number of millers re Manitoba No. [1] hard, and their verdict was everywhere unanimous in its favor.

It is needless to say that a great change has taken place in this district since the year 1878 when my father and his large family (of which I am the youngest) travelled over land through mud and water with a team and covered wagon, and "pitched his tent" in this the garden of Manitoba, which then had very few traces of civilization to be seen.

Now the scene has changed.  That which was once a trackless plain covered with long prairie grass waving in the southern breezes, is now dotted with comfortable houses, and the prairie now waves with golden grain.

We have three different branches of railways, one of them the Great Northern Pacific which is almost at our door.  It is pleasant to see the trains, which pass several times each day.  They are visible as they approach for almost 30 miles from the west and until they disappear in the slopes and valleys of the Pembina mountains.

In conclusion I might say that this country has been the means of good homes to many who had nothing with which to start elsewhere.  While traveling through this province I have met a great number of men who would say, "I arrived in this country with 50c," and others would say they had one dollar and others 75c.  They are now settled on good farms and have their families around them, all prosperous.

I might say that they had more than 25c worth of energy and perseverance - a quality essential to everyone starting life in a new western country.

I was pleased to hear of the beautiful harvest which Ontario farmers have reaped this season.  It will greatly lighten the financial depression which has existed for several years past.


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