W-MCP7-1.089 TO MR. JAMES COWAN from the Bridge Commission
Apr 24 1946
To: James Cowan, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Mr. James W. Cowan,
Niagara Falls Evening Review,
Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Dear Mr. Cowan:
I have your letter of April 18th.
I have not before me the main inscription on the Arch1, but it will appear that it is dedicated to the common man. Ontario was peculiarly his abode.
In it[,] attention is directed to his completed achievement in the establishment of the Nation under a system of democratic government within a world Empire, and it is a tribute to the ordinary, little, common or forgotten man, however he may be described.
The imagery in your words quoted "And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it but I found none", has to do with the defence of the small and the weak, the hedge, the hedge tree not the mighty oak or forest tree. The reference is to the faithful ordering of units small in individual power and to the outstanding quality of man as God made him. The appropriate reference of another prophet to the same thought is "a man shall be of more value than gold".
The verses preceding that to which you have referred describe the failure of the "prophets", the "priests" and the "princes". That is, the great ones of the nation, all fell by the way but the disaster was the absence from his place in the ranks of Man. The same obscure little fellow to whom I have referred above but who has done mighty services to this province.
And to this warning in this short verse goes for our nation too.
I have reflected on the curious contrast between our nation and the nation to the south. Our people arrived, cleared the land, established their homes and settlements, and the British way of life. They then fought a war, later instituted a rebellion for democrative government, won it, and finally established the nation within its territories under a system of democratic government within a world Empire and may it be said by the way, the British North America Act is a great instrument of government. It is the model for the World Government that is coming.
This was the achievement of 75 years in time of a poor people barely settled on their land without any large proportion of men of means or wealth or education.
Contrast this with the United States. The achievement of their people was undoubtedly a great system of democratic government within National rather than Imperial limits. To do this they had nearly 200 years in time, a territory far greater in wealth, and resources and a cosmopolitan society with leisure and wealth and great numbers of people of education and what are usually called refinements of life.
It would appear we have every reason to admire and place a lasting memorial in memory of the contribution of our forefathers, humbler, cruder, and fewer in numbers though they may have been.
1 W-MCP7-1.087 and W-MCP7-1.088 request an explanation of scripture passages engraved on the Clifton Memorial Arch in Niagara Falls which was later demolished.