William Henry Jackson (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) 1861-1952

December 4, 2009


Honoré Jaxon

Honouring Honoré Jaxon (1861-1952) ocean.flynn (2009-12-03) Layered Images: PhotoShop CC 3.5

The life story of Honoré Joseph Jaxon born William Henry Jackson (1861-1952) is inextricably linked to the history of Canada, to the story of missing archives, to the history of the early North American Baha’is, the history of early social justice movements. Fragments of the “missing” archives have been partially restored through the work of countless historians, artists, social scientists, cultural workers and journalists. Jaxon adopted the cause of the Métis and worked tirelessly to build an archives that literally weighed three tons when he was evicted from his New York apartment in 1951 at the age of 90. His archives were almost completely destroyed and he died with a broken spirit three weeks later.

A timeline of selected events in the contextualized life of Honoré Joseph Jaxon born William Henry Jackson (1861-1952)

10,000 years ago or more The hunter-gatherer ancestors of Manitoba’s First Nations were already in the area at least 10,000 years ago. Even then the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers (where Winnipeg now stands) provided a natural major gathering place of different First Nations. All of Manitoba’s rivers—the Nelson, Churchill and Hayes—flow directly into Hudson Bay. The Saskatchewan River flows into Lake Winnipeg from the west, the Winnipeg River from the east, and the Red River from the south. The Assiniboine, joins the Red River at the Forks in Winnipeg.

1612 The first European reached present-day Manitoba.

1690 Henry Kelsey, traveled the northern part of the Manitoba. He was the first non-aboriginal to do so.

In 1738, Fort Rouge was built at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The Forks, as the junction was called, became the centre of a the fur trade.

In 1811, Lord Selkirk, from Scotland established the Red River Settlement with plans to increase agricultural production at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

1817 Quebec Catholic missionaries arrived on the east side of the Red River.

1837 The Upper Canada Rebellion was led by William Lyon Mackenzie against the ruling oligarchy in York (now Toronto), Upper Canada.

1844 Louis Riel was born near modern Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the Red River Settlement, a community in Rupert’s Land nominally administered by the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), and largely inhabited by First Nations tribes and the Métis, an ethnic group of mixed Cree, Ojibwa, Saulteaux, French Canadian, Scottish, and English descent.

1861 William Henry Jackson was born to a devoted Methodist family and raised in the village of Wingham, Ontario (van den Hoonaard 1996:18).

1869 The fur trade began its decline. The Canadian government acquired the territory that would become Western Canada.

1869 William Henry Jackson at the age of eight had already read his first history of Greece and Rome. His mother educated her children in a spirit of independence, nurturing love for literature, history and politics. William Henry Jackson had a a “strong aversion to the ruling Canadian political and economic elite (Smith 1981:12) and a tremendous admiration for William Lyon Mackenzie who led the uprising in 1837 against the ruling oligarchy in Upper Canada (van den Hoonaard 1996:18).

1869-10 “But Canada blunders catastrophically in seeking to take over the west without the consent of its inhabitants, especially the Metis of Red River and their leader, the charismatic, troubled Louis Riel. The resistance of 1869-70 lays the groundwork for Manitoba to join Canada, but it also sets the stage for decades of conflict over the rights of French and English, Catholic and Protestant in the new territories (CBC 2000).”

In 1870, Manitoba became Canada’s fifth province. Louis Riel, as leader of the Métis had drafted the Bill of Rights under which the people of the Red River Settlement agreed to become part of the new country.

c.1880 William Henry Jackson studied Classics at the University of Toronto for three years.

1881 William Henry Jackson’s family went bankrupt and his father moved the family to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (then part of the Northwest Territories).

1883 “By the 1880s, it had become clear that westward migration was no panacea for the troubles of the Métis and the plains Indians. The rapid collapse of the buffalo herd was causing near starvation among the Plains Cree and Blackfoot First Nations. This was exacerbated by a reduction in government assistance in 1883, and by a general failure of Ottawa to live up to its treaty obligations. The Métis were likewise obliged to give up the hunt and take up agriculture—but this transition was accompanied by complex issues surrounding land claims similar to those that had previously arisen in Manitoba. Moreover, settlers from Europe and the eastern provinces were also moving into the Saskatchewan territories, and they too had complaints related to the administration of the territories.” (wiki) William Henry Jackson sympathized with the Métis and their struggle against the Canadian government. Jackson became personal secretary to Louis Riel and it was Jackson who wrote Riel’s famous petition by hand.

1884-5 “After the Red River Resistance failed, many of the Métis left that area. Though they were given legal status and their lands, they were not able to preserve their culture. Many more protestant English settlers moved into the area. Then land speculators moved in and bought the Métis lands for far less than they were worth. Many Métis chose to move further west rather than become farmers. Open hunting lands were becoming much harder to find. Saskatchewan, known as the Northwest Territory at that time, was their destination. The Métis were hunters rather than farmers. Their main source of meat was bison  (Bushong, Mary Lynn. 2009).”

Mid-1880′s “The Hudson’s Bay Company—along with other hunters—had decimated the numbers of animals. Instead of vast herds, there remained only a few thousand animals. It was not only the Métis who starved, but also the First Nations. Since Canada owned the land, the people asked the government for help. They got very little response (Bushong, Mary Lynn. 2009).”

1884 William Henry Jackson at twenty-three years old was following Louis Riel’s movement with a great deal of interest [9]. (van den Hoonaard 1996:18).

1884-03-14 The Métis of the Red River area were forced to give up buffalo hunting and take up agriculture. But land claims along the Red River Valley were complex with competing interests including settlers from Europe and the eastern provinces who had moved into the Saskatchewan territories. All parties involved in the land claims had grievances, and by 1884 English settlers, Anglo-Métis and Métis communities were holding meetings and petitioning a largely unresponsive government for redress. In the electoral district of Lorne, a meeting of the south branch Métis was held in the village of Batoche on 24 March, and thirty representatives voted to ask Riel to return and represent their cause. On 6 May a joint “Settler’s Union” meeting was attended by both the Métis and English-speaking representatives from Prince Albert, including William Henry Jackson,[45] an Ontario settler sympathetic to the Métis and known to them as Honoré Jackson, and James Isbister of the Anglo-Métis.[46] It was here resolved to send a delegation to ask Riel’s assistance in presenting their grievances to the Canadian government. Gabriel Dumont, a respected buffalo hunter and leader of the Saint-Laurent Métis who had known Riel in Manitoba, headed a delegation to ask Louis Riel’s assistance in presenting their grievances to the Canadian government. wiki

1885 William Henry Jackson converted to Catholicism to the confusion of his Methodist family (van den Hoonaard 1996:19).

1885-05-09 to 1885-05-15 William Henry Jackson was at the Battle of Batoche when Louis Riel was forced to surrender to Canadian forces.

1885 Finch claimed William Henry Jackson (Honoré Jaxon) was captured by the Canadian militia during the 1885 Resistance, and was convicted of treason-felony, acquitted by reason of insanity [see Griffin and Greenland 1977] and sentenced to an asylum in Selkirk, Manitoba near Winnipeg. He escaped and fled to the United States (Flanagan 1976; Smith 1981a cited in van den Hoonaard 1996:19).

1885 Louis Riel was tried for treason and hanged on September 18, 1885.

1885-11-29 The New York Times published this article about W. H. Jackson.

1885 William Henry Jackson fled to the United States.

1889 William Henry Jackson changed his name to Honoré Joseph Jaxon to honour his conversion to the Catholic religion  (van den Hoonaard 1996:19).

In Chicago had a lively career as a politically radical public figure. There he befriended, among others, the revolutionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Honoré Jaxon had straight raven-black hair which lent credibility to his claim that as a Métis he could speak on behalf of aboriginals.

1892 A professional photo was taken of Honore Jaxon, aka William Henry Jackson, holding a cane in his left hand and a hat in his right (Carter 1920:142). Jaxon was Riel’s secretary leading up to the Northwest Resistance and his only white Protestant follower. Prior to this he had been secretary of the Prince Albert Settler’s Union. After the resistance he escaped to the United States where he was active in the Labour Movement and the Baha’i faith. See Morton Manuscripts Collection. University of Saskatchewan Libraries Special Collections. Keywords: Treaty 6, Plains, Jackson, William Henry (Honore Jaxon), 1861-1952; Northwest Resistance, Metis History, 1890-1899.

1893 The Palace of Fine Arts, now part of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry’s current building, was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition, which opened the same year. The original, Greek-inspired structure includes three pavilions and Ionic order columns.

1893 Chicago hosted the World Columbian Exposition which became the site for many congresses were held in conjunction with the exposition, including those dealing with anthropology, labor, medicine, temperance, commerce and finance, literature, history, art, philosophy, science and religion.

1893-09-11 to 1893-09-27 The World Parliament of Religions, the largest of the congresses held in conjunction with the World Columbian Exposition, was the first formal formal interreligious dialogue worldwide of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. The conference included new religious movements of the time, such as Spiritualism and Christian Science. The latter was represented by its founder Mary Baker Eddy. Rev. Henry Jessup addressing the World Parliament of Religions was the first to mention the Bahá’í Faith in the United States (it had previously been known in Europe. A number of Canadians who attended sessions at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Illinois in 1893 became Bahá’ís (van den Hoonaard ). Since then Bahá’ís have become active participants in the World Parliament of Religions.

mid-1890s Settlers continued to pour into Manitoba and agriculture of the Red River Settlement was the major economic activity. In the years that followed, Manitoba in general and Winnipeg in particular became a hub of agricultural, commercial and manufacturing activity.

1894-06 Honoré Jaxon marched to Washington, DC to demand an eight-hour workday as part of Jacob Coxey’s army of the unemployed (Bryk 2005).

1897 As a result of the efforts of Bahá’ís, newly arrived from Egypt, more Canadians enrolled in the new religion in 1897 (van den Hoonaard ).

1897-06 Honore Jaxon, former secretary of Louis Riel became a Bahai in Chicago. His wife, Aimee Montfort Jaxon, a francophone teacher became a Baha’i on October 5, 1897, four months later. Honore Jaxon espoused many social causes in which he was active including the Baha’i Faith (van den Hoonaard 1996:149).

In 1897, when he turned thirty-three, [Honore Jaxon], the ‘socialist activist (Flanagan 1976:175-6)’ grew weary of his activities, married for the first time in his life, and discovered the Baha’i Faith. He had followed Kheiralla’s classes in Chicago for several weeks when he enrolled in June (Stockman 1985:92), as the 107th person to do so (BEL). As a “man of keen wit . . . consumed with a love of his people” (the Pittsburgh Post, quoted in D. Smith, 1981b:91), Jaxon began once again to pursue many interests including the design of a tunnelling machine and a device that would decrease the effects of earthquakes on buildings. He also tried to convince the city of Chicago to build a speaker’s corner, and remained active in the Chicago Federation of Labor[12]. It seems quite certain that Jaxon did not discriminate among his various causes, including Baha’i. Jaxon was familiar with the works of Marx and Prince Kropotkin and easily blended their ideas into his own personal synthesis (ibid.: 93)[13]. (van den Hoonaard 1996:19).”

1897-10 Aimée Montfort Jaxon, the “French-Canadian [14] spouse of Honoré Jaxon, a “stylish and well-educated” woman, Montfort was a descendant of Simon de Montfort (Charlesbois 1975:130). An early Baha’i described Aimee Montfort Jaxon as a “very plain lady, but she had charm” (Loeding 1985). She became a devoted Baha’i on October 5, 1897, four months after Honoré Jaxon [15]. Aimee Montfort Jaxon was elected president of the Women’s Assembly of Teaching [16]. She taught the Baha’i Faith in small groups and before large audiences. Both Aimée Montfort Jaxon and Honoré Jaxon offered liberal hospitality to Baha’i functions in the community [18] (van den Hoonaard 1996:20).

1906-1907 King Edward VII pardoned Honoré Jaxon in 1907. He then he toured the Canadian West, documenting the history of Riel’s rebellions. He travelled to his native Saskatchewan accompanied by his wife, Aimée Montfort Jaxon. He addressed the annual convention of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada  (van den Hoonaard 1996:19), he may well have had both socialism and the Baha’i Faith in mind (van den Hoonaard 1996:20).”

1907-9 Aimee Montfort Jaxon and Honoré Jaxon returned briefly to Canada to visit Montfort’s niece, Cicely Plaxton in Saskatchewan (Smith 1992 cited in van den Hoonaard 1996:20). Honoré Jaxon visited Calgary and spent two years in the West helping the downtrodden.

1907 Morton, Arthur Silver. “The historic figure Honore J. Jaxon.” The West. 11 December 1907. MSS C555/2/13.6d. “The article refers to Jaxon as “the only man who is capable of being a historian of repute in connection with the North West rebellion” of 1885.”

1910 Few Canadians understood Jaxon’s “call for greater social and economic justice for the working class, and respect for the history and culture of the Aboriginal Peoples. Disillusioned, Honoré returned to Chicago shortly after his Edmonton visit. Throughout the 1910s he continued to support progressive causes in the United States’ second-largest city (Smith 2008).”

1910 Honore Jaxton’s loyalty to the Baha’i Faith did not likely measure up to his political loyalties. [. . .] Nevertheless he was untrammelled in his energy for the Baha’i cause and was responsible for negotiating the title for the site of the future, first Baha’i House of Worship in the West, situated in a northern Chicago suburb (Star of the West 1910-05 p.19 cited in van den Hoonaard 1996:20).

1910-04-25 and 1910-04-25 At the Second Annual Convention of Bahai Temple Unity, held in Corinthian Hall, 17th Floor Masonic Temple, State and Randolph Streets, Honore Jaxton “Mr. Honore Jaxon presented a full report of negotiations had and pending for the change of Sheridan Road and the vacation of certain streets and alleys in the Temple site. This he illustrated by plats and surveys showing the exact situation and boundaries of the site, its exact dimensions and center, together with the direction line from its center to Acca. His report showed most courteous and just treatment from the several public officials with whom the negotiations had been conducted. Many apparent difficulties had been removed by happy coincidences and a spirit of sweet reasonableness guiding and controlling all–manifest confirmations of divine favor. He also reported the steps taken to insure perfect title to Bahai Temple Unity of the portions of the site embraced within all such vacated streets and alleys, also proposed construction of sidewalks. Mr. Jaxon had not concluded his most interesting report when the Convention, having reached the closing hour, adjourned to meet at the same place Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock. [. . .] At the next session April 26, 1910 “Mr. Jaxon concluded his report respecting the site. . . . On motion of Mr. Hoar, seconded by Mr. Hannen and unanimously carried, the action taken by the Board, regarding the negotiations of Mr. Jaxon and his engagements so entered into with the Drainage Board and with the Village of Wilmette, were approved by this Convention, and the Executive Board was authorized to conclude the engagements and to make the conveyances that have been reported in those matters. . . . Mr. Wilhelm suggested that Mr. Brooker being an expert in cement, our Executive Board, in arranging for sidewalks, should confer with him as well as with Mr. Jaxon. . . . Upon suggestion of the Chairman, Mr. Hall, a rising vote of thanks was given to Mr. Honore Jaxon. This was unanimous. . . . Photographs of scenes and incidents connected with the Temple site may be obtained from Mrs. True, or from Mr. Jaxon, at 1751 West Lake St., Chicago.” (Star of the West 1910-05). On April 26, 1910, Mr. Honore Jaxon on request of Secretary Jacobsen also contributed this brief report on site negotiations: “Pending the erection of the Temple itself the interest of the Bahai friends is very naturally enlisted to no small degree in the development of the Temple site; and the writer has been asked to prepare a statement recounting the steps which have been taken, and the results which have been achieved, in this connection. Partly because we are not yet officially “out of the woods,” but mainly because of the limited space which can be given to this subject in the present issue of the NEWS, this statement must necessarily be both brief and incomplete. Suffice it to say by way of preliminary description that the negotiations, as so far completed, for the consolidating of our land holdings have furnished us with repeated and wonderful confirmations of our faith and with warmest encouragement to cling like trustful children to the robe of evanescence and non-resistance. Taking their inception in a discovery which was the direct result of a desire to see our Temple work performed by loving volunteer service rather than by hireling labor, these negotiations have been blessed with a divine support and guidance which has manifested itself not only in the constant providing of happy solutions for difficulties which could not be foreseen by the human intellect–and which therefore had to be dealt with moment by moment as they presented themselves in our path–but also in the uniform and extraordinary kindness which we experienced, all along the trail, from the officials and representatives of outside interests with whom these negotiations had to effect adjustments of one kind or other. It became abundantly proven as we went along that in the case of these friends, no less than in our own experience, the head was inspired, the hand was directed and strengthened, and the heart set aglow with the warmest good will at every point and moment of contact with this blessed and delightful Temple service. Certainly we could not ask for any stronger or more convincing fulfilment of the divine promises which have been uttered for the comfort and encouragement of all those who in any way shall find themselves privileged to bear a helping hand in this glorious spiritual exercise. As the matter is now agreed upon, by all the parties in interest, our holdings are so consolidated that on our own land we can draw a circle of nearly five hundred feet diameter, while for purposes of lawn and garden an additional territory–aggregating perhaps a 20% increase –has been freely placed at our disposal, to be so beautified as we please (Star of the West 1910-05).”

1910-04-28? On the Thursday evening next following the close of the Convention the delegates and Chicago Bahais celebrated the 19-day Feast at the “den” of brothers Jaxon and Sprague at 1751 West Lake St. Seats and friends were just evenly balanced, and a delightful Spiritual Feast kept pace with the cakes and tea (Star of the West 1910-05).

1912-05-17 Honoré  Jaxon. “Dedication of the Mashrak-el-Azkar site.” Star of the West. 3:4:27-29. In 1912 Honore Jaxton “wrote engaging pieces about the dedication of the site for the Baha’i House of Worship  (Jaxon 1912a cited in van den Hoonaard 1996:20). and ‘Abdul-Baha’s visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago” (Jaxon 1912b cited in van den Hoonaard 1996:20). Van den Hoonaard suggested that the reference in the dedication referred to Jaxon’s presence there, not to any actual First Nations.

1912-05-17 Honoré  Jaxon. “A Stroll with Abdul-Baha Culminating in a Typical Bahai Meeting Under the Trees of Lincoln Park, Chicago.” Star of the West. 3:4:5-7.

1918 Aimee Montfort Jaxon left Honoré Jaxon after WWI, “possibly with his encouragement, for like many anarchists, he saw ‘marriage’ as far as the woman’s interests were concerned, as a ‘man-made scheme for the annexing of female slaves’” (Smith 1992 cited in van den Hoonaard 1996:21).”

1919 Honoré Jaxon moved to New York City where he remained for the rest of his life. He became a real estate developer. “In 1919, Jaxon moved to New York City. He loved the city with its museums and its libraries. His life mission became the establishment of a library for the Aboriginal People of Saskatchewan. To this end he bought old books and pamphlets and saved old newspapers, and stored them in his basement apartment. If he could take this library to Western Canada, the Aboriginal Peoples could use it to educate themselves, and “they’d get a better deal in this generation than they had in the past (Smith 2008-02).”

1920 W.J. Carter, a carpenter in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (NWT) published his memoirs on life in the early Canadian North-west which includes a wealth of material on First Nations, the Northwest Resistance, Metis (French and English), and on early European settlement in Saskatchewan and Alberta. It also includes a remarkable photo and description of Jaxon Honore (Carter 1920).

1922 Honoré Jaxon lived in the Bronx, on a granite outcropping overlooking the Bronx River, where he built a “palace” of scrap wood and corrugated tin.

1932-06-25. Morton, Arthur Silver. 1932-06-25. “Notes on interview with Mrs. Amos Plaxton of Prince Albert.” MSS C555/2/13.5. “Plaxton notes that many of Riel’s papers were scattered after his surrender. Most of the interview pertains to Plaxton’s recollection of Louis Riel’s discussions with Big Bear and William Henry Jackson about the grievances of the Cree, the Métis, and the white settlers in the Prince Albert district prior to the outbreak of the 1885 Resistance.” Morton Manuscript Collection, Special Collections, University of Saskatchewan Libraries. Subject: Plaxton, Cicely (Mrs. Amos) – Recollections Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Papers Northwest Rebellion, 1885 Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear) Plains Cree Chief Riel, Louis Métis – Grievances.

1940s Honoré  Jaxon attended meetings of the Caravan in New York (Smith 1981b:96). The Caravans were a group of former Baha’is who disputed the authority of Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Baha’i Faith at that time (van den Hoonaard 1996:20).

1942-02 Health inspectors alleged that Jaxon’s home was a rat-infested firetrap without running water. The Times reported that Jaxon, supposedly a “soldier of fortune” with service in three wars, told the magistrate his palace was really a fort “to protect the Bronx against enemy submarines that might travel up the Bronx River.” After the city forced him out, he went to East 34th Street.

1951-12 “His dream died on Dec. 12, 1951, when his landlord evicted the 90-year-old on the grounds that his mountain of paper constituted a Grade A fire hazard for the other tenants. His library, three tons of it, went first onto the street, then much of it to the New York City dump (Smith 2008).” [Donald Smith teaches Canadian history at the University of Calgary and is an authority on Honoré Jaxon].

On December 12, 1951 Honoré Jaxon was evicted from his basement apartment at the age of ninety. His entire collection of 60 boxes of archival material was dispersed, most of it to the New York City garbage dump, the remainder sold. “The story of Jaxon’s death is a heart-wrenching one. Some half-dozen American newspapers told the story of a janitor and furnace man who had been evicted from his apartment building on [157 E. Bryk 2005] 34th Street, sitting with a mound of papers and cartons. The furnace man was Jaxon, and the tons of cartons contained a precious collection on native American history. Too sick to perform his janitorial and furnace duties, Jaxon fell behind in his rent and was evicted onto the sidewalk. It took three men six hours to remove all of Jaxon’s belongings, books, papers and manuscripts. Broken-hearted, Jaxon sat on the sidewalk guarding his papers and seeing snow fall on them. Most of the collection was taken to a local garbage dump, and Jaxon died a few weeks later, in January, 1952 (van den Hoonaard 1996:20).” [Donald Smith teaches Canadian history at the University of Calgary and is an authority on Honoré Jaxon).

1952-01-10 "In poor health and broken in spirit, Honoré Jaxon died in New York's Bellevue Hospital one month later, on Jan. 10, 1952  (Smith 2008)."  1952-01-14. "Honoré Joseph Jaxon's Obituary." New York Times.

1952-01-15. "Riel follower dies in New York, left library." Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

1992-03-10 "Joe Clark, President of the Privy Council and Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs in the Mulroney government introduced a resolution, which was adopted, whereby the House recognized, "The unique and historic role of Louis Riel as a founder of Manitoba and his contribution in the development of Confederation'' and agreed to "support by its actions the true attainment, both in principle and practice, of the constitutional rights of the Metis people.'' (Louis Riel Act Bill C-257)

1995 Contemporary Canadian visual artist Landon Mackenzie painted an enormous and powerful acrylic on canvas entitled “Gabriel’s Crossing to Humbolt,” referring to the ferry which Gabriel Dumont operated on the Red River. His everyday life on the Red River was interrupted by the arrival of settlers, the railway and the land claims fiasco that led to the Métis Rebellion led by Louis David Riel (1844 – 1885)

1996 Van den Hoonaard (1996) includes three pages on the lives of Honore Jaxon and Aimee Montfort Jaxon and excellent photos of them (van den Hoonaard 1996:plate 2, plate 4 on page 134). These photos are courtesy of the Glenbow Archives.

2008-02Manitoba marked the first-ever Louis Riel Day, a new provincial holiday to be observed annually on the third Monday in February. Manitoba's recognition of its founder, who also led the 1885 resistance in Saskatchewan, brings to mind the fascinating life story of his English Canadian secretary in 1885: William Henry Jackson, later known as Honoré Jaxon, who died in New York City at the age of 90, on Jan. 10, 1952, a month after his eviction from his basement apartment" where he hoarded three tons of archival material which he hoped would become a library for the study of the Métis people of Saskatchewan  (Smith 2008)

Webliography and Bibliography

1952-01-15. "Riel follower dies in New York. left library," Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

1952-01-14. "Honoré Joseph Jaxon's Obituary." New York Times.

Barron, F. Laurie; Waldram, James B. Eds. 1986. 1885 and After: Native Society in Transition. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre.

Bryk, William. 2005-06-01. "The Rebel: Past & Present." New York Sun.

Carter, W. J. 1920. Forty Years in the North-West. p. 142.

"W.J. Carter was a carpenter in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (NWT). Reminiscences of W.J. Carter on life in the early Canadian North-west. Includes a wealth of material on First Nations, the Northwest Resistance, Metis (French and English), and early European settlement in Saskatchewan and Alberta." This manuscript is on-line courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Libraries Special Collections. It includes a high resolution large photo professional photo taken in 1892 of Honoré Jaxon, aka William Henry Jackson, holding a cane in his left hand and a hat in his right.

CBC. 2000. "From Sea to Sea." Part 9 of the series "Canada, A People's History series.
"Confederation is barely accomplished when the new dominion must face an enormous challenge: extending its reach into the vast prairies and beyond, to the Pacific Ocean. But Canada blunders catastrophically in seeking to take over the west without the consent of its inhabitants, especially the Metis of Red River and their leader, the charismatic, troubled Louis Riel. The resistance of 1869-70 lays the groundwork for Manitoba to join Canada, but it also sets the stage for decades of conflict over the rights of French and English, Catholic and Protestant in the new territories. Thanks to an audacious promise of a transcontinental railway in 10 years, the settlers of British Columbia are more easily convinced of the merits of union; by 1873 Prince Edward Island has joined as well, and Canada can boast a dominion that extends from sea to sea."

Finch, David. 2007-10-21. "Spirit of the West Lives on in Prairie Characters." Calgary Herald.

Flanagan, Thomas. 1976. Riel and the Rebellion. pp. 175-6.

Flanagan, Thomas. 1983. Riel and the Rebellion. Western Producer Prairie Books, Saskatoon. ISBN

Flanagan, Thomas. 1992. Louis Riel. Canadian Historical Association, Ottawa.

Frémont, Donatien. 1953. Les secrétaires de Riel: Louis Schmidt, Henry Jackson, Philippe Garnot. Les Éditions Chantecler ltée, Montréal.

Jackson, William Henry - Riel's Secretary

PAHS (Prince Albert Historical Society). 1908, 1970s, 1980s, 2001. PAHS Archives collection. 1 folder; 1.5 mm; Database ID: 31932

"This file contains materials relating to William Henry Jackson, also known as Honore Jaxon. Included are numerous original and photocopied newspaper articles about the life of Jackson and his brother, Thomas Eastwood Jackson. It includes correspondence between Douglas R. Weston, biographer of Thomas and numerous individuals in the Prince Albert, Saskatchewan area who shared their information about the Jackson brothers. Also included is a photocopy of the 29 October 1908 issue of the Fair Play and Free Play newspaper, originally established in Prince Albert in 1883 as The Voice of the People. This issue contains a song titled A Song of the Citizen and articles relating to the working class who “produce and distribute the real wealth of the world,” and the “plundering class, who produce and operate only schemes to get title to wealth.” Also included are articles written by Donald B. Smith; a typed manuscript of an article titled William Henry Jackson; Riel’s Disciple {1980]; a reprint of the article William Henry Jackson: Riel’s Secretary (1980); Rip Van Jaxon: The Return of Riel’s Secretary in 1884-1885 to the Canadian West, 1907-1909 [1983]; and Right Dream, Wrong Time (2001).”

NYT. 1885-11-29 Riel’s Private Secretary: W. H. Jackson Lecturing in Fargo, Dakoda.”

Donald B. Smith. 1980. “William Henry Jackson; Riel’s Disciple.”

Donald B. Smith. 1980. William Henry Jackson: Riel’s Secretary.”

Smith, Donald B. 1981b. “William Henry Jackson: Riel’s secretary.” Winnipeg. The Beaver. 311:4: Spring .

“Another biographical account of Jackson’s involvement in the 1885 Rebellion as Louis Riel’s secretary. Smith examines Jackson’s political and religious beliefs, his trial and charge of treason felony and the question of his sanity.” Keywords: Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Biography, Northwest Rebellion, 1885.”

Donald B. Smith. 1983. “Rip Van Jaxon: The Return of Riel’s Secretary in 1884-1885 to the Canadian West, 1907-1909.”

Donald B. Smith. 1986. “Rip Van Jaxon: The Return of Riel’s Secretary in 1884-1885 to the Canadian West, 1907-1909.” in Barron, F. Laurie; Waldram, James B. Eds. 1986. 1885 and After: Native Society in Transition. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre. 211-23.

Smith, Donald B. 1981b. “Honoré Joseph Jaxon: A Man Who Lived for Others.” Saskatchewan History. 34:3:81-101.

Smith, Donald B. 1996.

Donald B. Smith. 2001. “Right Dream, Wrong Time.”

Smith, Donald B. 2007-09. Honoré Jaxon: Prairie Visionary. Coteau Books.
“The first definitive biography of this complex political man, who served as Louis Riel’s secretary in 1885, and went on to be a labour leader in Chicago and a “capitalist” in New York City. Born in Toronto to a Methodist family and raised in Wingham, Ontario, William Henry Jackson attended the University of Toronto before moving to Prince Albert, where he began to sympathize with the Métis and their struggle against the Canadian government. Jackson became personal secretary to Louis Riel, was captured by the Canadian militia during the 1885 Resistance, and was convicted of treason and sentenced to an insane asylum near Winnipeg. When he escaped to the United States, joining the labour union movement, he told everyone that he was Métis and modified his name to the Métis-sounding Honoré Jaxon. After a lively career as a politically radical public figure in Chicago – where he befriended, among others, the revolutionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright – Jaxon eventually moved to New York City to attempt life as a real estate developer. His ongoing project was to collect as many books, newspapers and pamphlets relating to the Métis people as possible, in an attempt to establish a library for their use. However, he was evicted from his basement apartment at the age of ninety. His entire collection was dispersed, most of it to the New York City garbage dump, the remainder sold. He died a month later, in early 1952. Honoré Jaxon: Prairie Visionary completes Donald Smith’s “Prairie Imposters” popular history trilogy concerning three prominent figures who all pretended a native ancestry they did not, in fact, possess – Honoré Jaxon, Grey Owl, and Long Lance.”

Smith, Donald B. 2008-02-16. Riel rebel died in New York squalor Edmonton Journal. (Smith 2008)

Stockman, Robert. 1985. Baha’i Faith in America. vol. 1 1892-1900, p. 90-92:

“…Born William Heny Jackson to parents of Englizsh ancestry in Toronto, Ontario, on 13 May 1861, Jackson attended University College (now the UNiv. of Toronto) where he majored in the classics. After 3 years of study he was forced to leave school for lack of money. In 1879 he moved with his brother, sister, and parents to the frontier town of Prince Albert, in central SK., He quiclky became the spokesman for the farmers settling there, who had many grievances with the Cdn. govt. Soon, gowever, Jackson came to believe that the arlier inhabitants of the area, the Metis — half-Indian and half-french people who lived through a mixture of farming, hunting, and trapping — had even greater grievances. In 1884 Louis Riel, the charsimatic leader of the Metis, returned from his exile in the US. Jackson persuaded the farmers to support Riel, which they did until Riel rejected Roman catholicism, declared himself a prophet, and formented a revolt against the Cdn. govt. Jackson broke with his people and beacme Riel’s secretary. He converted from Methodism to Catholicism, was baptized “Joseph,” and then joined Riel’s religion. The govt. sent in troops, who caught Riel unprepared and crushed his rebellion in a few weeks; Riel was hanged. Jackson was put on trial and found insane; no sane Protestant, after all ,would covert to Catholicism. He was confined in the provincial lunatic asylum, where he relieved his boredom by reading Hery George’s Progress and Poverty – the book that launched the Single Tax movement. After a few months he escaped…”

Van den Hoonaard, Will C. 1996. The Origins of the Baha’i Community of Canada: 1898-1948. Waterloo, ON, CA. Wilfred Laurier University Press.
Van den Hoonaard (1996) includes three pages on the lives of Honore Jaxon and Aimee Montfort Jaxon and excellent photos of them (van den Hoonaard 1996:plate 2, plate 4 on page 134). These photos are courtesy of the Glenbow Archives.
Van den Hoonaard, Will C. 1991. “Social Activism Among Some Early Twentieth-Century Baha’is.” in Huddleston, Johnn. Ed. The Search for a Just Society. George Ronald: Oxford, 1991.
McCallum, Pamela; Radtke, Lorraine. 2001/2. “The Impact of Gender Studies Across the Disciplines.” Annual Index: Resources for Feminist Research. 29:1/2. Winter. 14-15.
Bushong, Mary Lynn. 2009. The Northwest Rebellion.
Subject: Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Papers
Morton, Arthur Silver. 1907. “The historic figure Honore J. Jaxon.” The West. 11 December 1907. MSS C555/2/13.6d.
“The article refers to Jaxon as “the only man who is capable of being a historian of repute in connection with the North West rebellion” of 1885.” Morton Manuscript Collection, Special Collections, University of Saskatchewan Libraries. Northwest Rebellion, 1885; Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Papers; Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Addresses.
Morton, Arthur Silver. 1932-06-25. “Notes on interview with Mrs. Amos Plaxton of Prince Albert.” MSS C555/2/13.5.
“Plaxton notes that many of Riel’s papers were scattered after his surrender. Most of the interview pertains to Plaxton’s recollection of Louis Riel’s discussions with Big Bear and William Henry Jackson about the grievances of the Cree, the Métis, and the white settlers in the Prince Albert district prior to the outbreak of the 1885 Resistance.” Morton Manuscript Collection, Special Collections, University of Saskatchewan Libraries. Subject: Plaxton, Cicely (Mrs. Amos) – Recollections Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Papers Northwest Rebellion, 1885 Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear) Plains Cree Chief Riel, Louis Métis – Grievances.”
Morton, Arthur Silver. “Riel follower dies in New York, left library,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 15 January 1952.
” This is a typed copy of Jaxon’s obituary which appeared in the “New York Times” on 14 January 1952. Morton Manuscript Collection, Special Collections, University of Saskatchewan Libraries. MSS C555/2/13.6e. Subject: Northwest Rebellion, 1885; Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Papers; Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Obituary.”
Griffin, John D.; Greenland, Cyril. 1977-09-28 to 1977-09-30. “William Henry Jackson (1861 – 1952) Riel’s secretary. Another case of involuntary commitment?”  Paper Presented to the Canadian Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 30 pp.
“Although there have been many studies of the trial of Louis Riel, following the 1885 rebellion, much less attention has been paid to the fate of his secretary William Henry Jackson, who was charged with “treason-felony” and found not guilty, reason of insanity. In an effort to throw some new light on this neglected aspect of medico-legal history, this paper describes the intense political and religious relationship between Riel and his secretary which culminated in the onset of Jackson’s mental illness. After a trial lasting less than half an hour, Jackson was committed to the “Selkirk Asylum” under a warrant of the then Lieutenant-Governor. Two weeks before Riel was executed, Jackson escaped from hospital and made his way into the U.S.A. No attempt was made to capture him. Jackson, having changed his name to Honoré Jaxon, became a labour organizer. He died in the psychopathic ward of Bellevue Hospital in New York on 10th January, 1952 at the age of ninety.” A paper presented to the Canadian Psychiatric Association annual meeting, Saskatoon, 28-30 September 1977. Its main purpose is to provide a complete account of Jackson’s state of mind before and after his trial for treason-felony in the North-West Resistance of 1885.” Morton Manuscript Collection, Special Collections, University of Saskatchewan Libraries. Subject: Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Papers; Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Trial Northwest Rebellion, 1885 – Leaders – Trials Jackson, William Henry (Honoré Joseph Jaxon) – Mental health;”

McCallum, Pamela; Radtke, Lorraine. 2001/2. “The Impact of Gender Studies Across the Disciplines.” Annual Index: Resources for Feminist Research. 29:1/2. Winter.

Mackenzie, Landon. 1995 “Gabriel’s Crossing to Humbolt.” Acrylic on canvas. “The Saskatchewan Paintings.”

Contemporary Canadian visual artist Landon Mackenzie contributed to the conceptualization of knowledge in her series entitled “The Saskatchewan Paintings. Her work crosses disciplinary boundaries: geography, history, knowledge and painting to give voice to the hidden stories that are buried in the wake of dominant narratives and ‘official’ histories” (Laing, p. 18). As a province, Saskatchewan is a particularly apt subject for Mackenzie: its boundaries are not marked by nature (rivers or mountains), but simply by human imposition, by the grid of latitude and longitude; it is the province of vast open spaces, low horizons and huge skies, deceptively empty; it is a place she visits, sitting in small town coffee shops to write, or gazing down at old documents in the provincial archives. “Gabriel’s Crossing to Humbolt” (1995) confronts the viewer with an expansive canvas, more than seven feet high and ten feet long. Working with canvases this size is undoubtedly reminiscent of the vast spaces of Saskatchewan, but it is also Mackenzie’s claim to situate herself within the generally masculine tradition of large oil paintings. Outlines of a rigid grid cover the painting’s surface, foregrounded as intensely bright yellow squares near the centre, faintly visible in some places, painted over into obscurity in others. A column of neat handwriting extends through the centre of the picture plane; the words, however, are difficult to read, layered over each other, so that only fragments are legible: “It seems a chance meeting…” or “beyond real space.” In looking at the painting, therefore, the viewer is challenged just as much to reflect on what is not decipherable, on what is not there. As Mackenzie puts it, “The words hidden over. Secrets kept forever in casing of water and polymer. Retrievable only perhaps by archival X-Ray” (Mackenzie, p. 8). The paradox of a “present absence” is especially striking in two black clover or quatrefoil shapes that seem to open up on each side of the grid lines. The disappearance of the painting’s colour and patternings into such intense blackness figures all that vanishes into landscape, into history, into memory. The title of the painting, “Gabriel’s Crossing to Humbolt,” refers to the ferry which Gabriel Dumont operated; that is, it suggests the daily work and routines of his life that have subsequently been displaced by his association with Louis Riel and the Métis Rebellion, which now positions him in the official knowledges of Canadian history. Similar questions and issues are raised in the fictional territories of Mackenzie’s 1996 acrylic on linen painting, “Interior Lowlands (Still the Restless Whispers Never Leave Me).” Here, netlike lines create a less obvious but no less insistent grid, whose straight lines and angles contrast with the meandering lines of what appears to be the mapping of a river. Unlike the clarity and directional orientation of a map, however, “Interior Lowlands” offers some points of reference—“Saskatoon,” “Battle Plain”—only to dissolve into the obscurity of layered and shadowed, ultimately indecipherable, script. Alongside writing and discourse are traces of the human body: the round womb-like dark shape, the bright red paint which resembles nothing quite so much as dripping blood. The thick, layered palimpsest of the painting’s surface suggests the complexities and difficulties in interpreting the past and retrieving history, in understanding landscape and the markings of space on human bodies, in apprehending and recognizing a self or selves (McCallum and Radtke 2001/2: 14-15).”

Mackenzie, Landon. 1995 “Blue Night Voices.” Acrylic on canvas, 229 x 320.3 x 3.2 cm, Purchased 1998, National Gallery of Canada (no. 39619). “The Saskatchewan Paintings.”

“a richly layered painting of land and psyche. Layers of text, maps, diagrams, symbols and coloured space create a cumulative sense of an ornate but open land, specifically the Canadian Prairies. This place bears the traces of past events and current memories. The deep blue space of “Blue Night Voices” hovers between suggesting night-darkened land, a starry sky, and reflections on water.” From the series “The Saskatchewan Paintings.” The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC. See also Mackenzie, Landon. 1997. “Accounting for an imaginary prairie life”, Performance Script (artist’s book) 36 pages, pull-out map. http://cybermuse.gallery.ca/cybermuse/search/artwork_zoom_e.jsp?mkey=48406″

Kheiralla’s classes in Chicago
(BEL)
Riel, Louis; Stanley, George F. G. Ed. The Collected Writings of Louis Riel/Les Ecrits Complets De Louis Riel.

Greenland, Cyril. “William Henry Jackson” in Riel, Louis; Stanley, George F. G. Ed. The Collected Writings of Louis Riel/Les Ecrits Complets De Louis Riel. p. 100

Griffin, John D. “William Henry Jackson” in Riel, Louis; Stanley, George F. G. Ed. The Collected Writings of Louis Riel/Les Ecrits Complets De Louis Riel. p. 99.

William Henry Jackson had a brother Thomas Eastwood Jackson and a younger sister Cecily Jackson (born 1863 – died 1949).

Christy, Jim. 2007-12-09. “He wanted to die with Riel: Raised a white Toronto Methodist named Will Jackson, he invented a new life
and rich native past
.” The Star.

Haig-Brown, Celia. Nock, David A.
With Good Intentions: Euro-Canadian and Aboriginal Relations in Colonial Canada
.

Includes detailed bibliographic references of archival materials related to William Henry Jackson.

Dr. Hall, President of the Central Park Museum

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