William Bleasdell Cameron

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William Bleasdell Cameron
Born(1862-07-26)July 26, 1862
DiedMarch 4, 1951(1951-03-04) (aged 88)
Other namesWillie
Known forSurvivor of the Frog Lake Massacre, writer, journalist
ChildrenJean Baptiste (JB) Cameron
  • John Cameron (father)
  • Agnes Emma Bleasdale (mother)
William Bleasdell Cameron, dressed in his outfit as guide and scout with the Alberta Field Force, with Horse Child, 12-year-old son of Big Bear. Horse Child was dressed up in Cameron's collection of Indian regalia for the photo. They were photographed together in Regina in 1885 during the trial of Big Bear. Cameron testified in Big Bear's defence.

William Bleasdell Cameron was born July 26, 1862, in Trenton, Canada West. He is best known as being one of the survivors of the Frog Lake Massacre, and his book The War Trail of Big Bear that recounts his experiences of the massacre and his captivity.[1]

In 1885 he was working as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company store at Frog Lake in the District of Saskatchewan, North-West Territories. He survived the Frog Lake Massacre of the North-West Rebellion on April 2, 1885, and was held captive for two months by Big Bear's band of Cree.[2][3]

After being freed he was attached to Major General Thomas Bland Strange's column and later was awarded the North West Canada Medal for his role as a scout and guide.(pages 51–52)[4][5][6]

Cameron was in Regina in 1885 during the trial of Big Bear, where he testified in Big Bear's defence. He testified he had heard Big Bear try to stop the massacre at Frog Lake.[7]

Cameron founded and edited the newspaper Vermilion Signal, served on the town council of Vermilion, Alberta, and was briefly editor of the magazine Field and Stream, New York.[8]

He died in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, on March 4, 1951, of double pneumonia at age 88. The inscription on his headstone reads "G. Scout, William B. Cameron, Northwest Field Force, 4th March, 1951—Rest In Peace."(p. 155)[4]



  1. ^ William Bleasdell Cameron (1888), The war trail of Big Bear (The Frog Lake Massacre), Toronto: Ryerson Press (published 1926)
  2. ^ W. B. Cameron, "Massacre at Frog Lake" Archived 2005-12-15 at the Wayback Machine, University of Alberta Libraries, response by W. B. Cameron to "Massacre at Frog Lake", Edmonton Journal, 4 Apr 1939, accessed 2 Aug 2009
  3. ^ Dempsey, Hugh A. (1957). The Early West. Edmonton: Historical Society of Alberta. p. 6. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  4. ^ a b Robert W. Hendriks (2008), William Bleasdell Cameron: A Life of Writing and adventure, Athabasca, Alberta: Athabasca University, ISBN 1897425325, 2008.008
  5. ^ Robert W. Hendriks (2008). William Bleasdell Cameron: A Life of Writing and Adventure. Athabasca University Press. ISBN 978-1-897425-32-9.
  6. ^ "Library and Archives Canada (Medals, Honours and Awards)". Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  7. ^ "William Bleasdell Cameron and Horse Child (2)". Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  8. ^ William Bleasdell Cameron fonds [ca 1927-1950], National Archives of Canada, CAIN No. 275226
  9. ^ William Bleasdell Cameron (1977). Blood Red the Sun. Hurtig. ISBN 978-0-88830-128-4.
  10. ^ William Bleasdell Cameron (1 June 2008). The War Trail of Big Bear. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4366-7958-9.

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