Edmonton House 1795-96 complete
From a letter from Wm Tomison at Edmonton to George Sutherland at Cumberland House
Dec. 20 1795
" Edmonton House is about 100 miles to the westward of Buckingham it is 60 feet long 24 wide and 17 high, but have been only able to Stockade the front and one side - all the wood has been rafted down by water there being no wood where the House is erected - we have also built another House 32 ft long 18 wide & 16 high and a Smiths shop"...
Edmonton House 1796-97 complete
Edmonton House 1797-98 complete
Sept 22, 1806 James Bird at Edmonton House
"Had the pleasure to find Mr [James Peter] Whitford and Men well but the mortification to hear of fresh massacres among the Indians, and Even that an attack on Acton House is threatened. Four tents of South'rd Indians who were returning from the Muddy River Indian Country quite ignorant of the late Quarrel were on a sudden attacked about 100 miles from this, by 2 or 3 hundred blackfeet. two men made their escape but the rest, men women and children were either butchered or taken Slaves."
Excerpt of a letter from James Bird at Edmonton Dec.23 1806
..."a Quarrel took place in the latter end of July last between the Blackfoot supported by the Blood Indians and the Southward Indians afsisted by the Stone Indians, each party consisting of about four hundred Men. A Battle was fought in which twenty-eight of the former and three of the latter, are said to have fallen, the Southward Indians were ultimately forced to a precipitate retreat with the lofs of a part of their Horses and Baggage and dispersing in all Quarters to conceal themselves in the Woods leaving their Enemies Masters of the plains from south Branch to Acton house."...
..."One alarm we met with by the way occasion'd by the Men of a French Canoe which had ventured to precede us several days, Near the Elbow of the river we met these returning with the utmost hurry & dismay. they told us that they had met about three hundred Indians (Blackfoot of course) who had killed one of their Companions as he was riding along shore and given long chase to them"..."In a few Days we had the satisfaction of arriving at eighty tents of Stone Indians"..."and discovered that these had unwillingly been the cause of the flight of the Canadians. Their abandoned Companion we found[alive] a few days after."...
..."At Edmonton I found an Indian lately arrived from whom I had the Mortification to learn that his with three other families amounting in all to twenty-five souls were a few days since surprized by the Blackfeet and totally destroy'd about an hundred Miles from this as they were returning from the plains ignorant of the late Quarrel"...
Edmonton Journal James Bird
Feb. 21 1808
" A Band of Blood Indians arrived in which are twenty Chiefs, all they have brought amounts to no more than 100 Wolves, and they say the want of Snow in the plains is the Cause of their making such poor Hunts, the Ground being too slippery to admit of their running Wolves - The only Method they take to kill them."
Nov. 6 1808 James Bird on his HBC tobacco in Edmonton
"it resembles in Appearance a Bar of rusty Iron and it's Consistance may be compared to a Decayed Cabbage Stalk"
May 13, 1811 James Bird at Edmonton House
"The Muddy river Indian Chiefs have promised not to Molest Mr [Joseph] Howse on his return from the flat head Country: but declared that if they again meet with a White Man going to supply their enemies, they would not only plunder and kill him but that they would make dry meat of his body. This threat they are sufficiently brutal to fufill in its utmost extent for according to the concurring testimony of their own and several other tribes, the Blood Indians, in course of Last summer after Destroying three American settlements in the Mifsifsoury and killing most of the Men, horrid to relate, roasted the body of the principal American and eat it with the most savage Exultation."
Edmonton House Journal James Bird comments about a trip to the Columbia River area.
Feb. 28 1814
..." The principle obstacle in all Enterprizes in that Country is a scarcity of Food which cannot be procured with such facility or in such Quantity as an extensive Trade would require. This, however, is an Inconvenience that the Canadians feel lefs, perhaps, than any other People, they can feast with pleasure on Horses Dogs or any Substance whatever that can yield Nourishment to a human Being, and even support a Deprivation of all Food a greater length of time and with lefs concern than any other Men on the Face of the Earth."...
Edmonton House James Bird?
Nov. 11 1814
" The Men of this Settlement are at present employed as follows, James Folster is tenting with three tents of Southward Indians to take care of what Skins they may kill as they are tenting in the area of several free Canadians, Peter Flett and John McIntyre are living with the Hunters to collect Meat. Robert Rowland & Peter Corrigal are fishing at the Gods Lake, James Whiteway and George Spence are at the Summer Berry River waiting till they receive the fall Hunts of a few Indians who are in that Quarter. Hugh Gibson is taking care of our Horses at a distance from the House to prevent their being stolen. John Moar is making a Boat. Gilbert Budge making small pine Kegs for the Indian Trade. James Dickson making occaisional iron work for boat builder, Indian Awls, Steels and repairing Hatchets, David Johnston with a Horse hawling fire wood. Angus McKay and John Foubister Sawing Wood for Boats. James Rofs, Murdock Rofsie, John Morrwick, William Gibson cutting fire wood and Mr. Wm. Flett cooking."
Written by James Bird at Edmonton House
May 13 1816
"The men whom I sent with Horses from Edmonton to Convey Pemmican to Beaver River arrived at this place a few days ago. They give the following extraordinary Account (which they received from Mr McVicars Men that came from the lake to fetch the Pemmican and from an Indian who accompanied them) of the murder of an Indian at Green Lake by Mr [Peter] Ogden and other Servants of the NWC. "Two Canadians had been sent by Ogden a little distance from his House at Green Lake on some business. These Men saw an Indian called the Buffalo going towards the houses of the HBC and the NWC which are situated at a short distance from each other and they insisted on conducting him to the house of the latter. But the Indian refused to be controlled by them saying that he had been a slave long enough, that he was old enough to think for himself and that, in short, he was now determined to go where he chose. The Canadians, still persisted in their attempts to control him, he at length fired his gun at them but (perhaps intentionally) mifsed them, upon which they ran off and informed Ogden what had happened. Ogden immediately armed six or seven of his men and went on Quest of the Indian whom they found still continuing his way towards the Houses. Ogden made the Indian go before him and returned homewards, but when they were opposite Mr. McVicars House(which they must necefsarily pafs on their way to the NWC's House) the Indian who had still pofsefsion of his arms jumped to one side and ran off and succeeded in gaining Mr McVicar's House where he expected to find protection. Ogden and his Men followed the Indian and demanded of Mr McVicar that he should be given up to him, to which Mr McVicar, after some hesitation consented and the Indian was turned out of the house unarmed to the mercy of Ogden and his worthy companions. Ogden and his men, who were principally Half Breeds, dragged the Indian out in the Lee of the Lake and there butchered him in a most Cruel Manner. They first fired two Balls into his body, then a Canadian Half-Breed stabbed him in the belly with a bayonet and his Bowels fell out. The Indian then requested a Gun that he might have a chance of revenging himself before he died, to which Ogden replied by ordering a Canadian to knock him down with an Axe. Still the Indian continued in his Quest till Ogden, enraged, tripped him and when he was down he stabbed him with his Dirk after which a half breed literally cut him to pieces in revenge for the difficulty they had in killing him."
Edmonton House James Bird
May 30 1816
" Embarked for York Factory in eleven Boats and one Canoe manned by fifty-four Men and conveying the Furs etc. procured in the Saskatchewan and at Cumberland District. Mefs Kennedy and Heron with William Tate, James Fisk and the following Men remain at Cumberland till all the NWC Canoes pafs this place (as I am of opinion that under the present state of affairs in Red River the Canadians might attempt, if they saw the House in a weak state, to destroy the Pemican it contains and thereby crush entirely every undertaking to the Northward) William Ballenden, Peter Randall, George Innis, Patrick Cunningham, Robert Twatt, William McKinlay and George Gibson. Mr. Kennedy and the first four named Men intend going to England by the next Ship"...
Edmonton House Journal James Bird
still on the way to York Factory.
July 8 1816
..." from Red River who bring us the distrefsing intelligence of the Death of Govenor Semple, Mr. Williamson, Mr. Rogers, Holt, white and Mr? Lean and of the total destruction of the Colony by Half Breeds and Canadians employed for the purpose by the North West Company"
" Thus has this infant Settlement in which I and many other parents in this Country had hoped to find an Asylum, where our wretched offspring would be instructed in the knowledge and duties of civilized Life, again fallen to the selfish views of a set of unprincipled unfeeling? commercial Despots"...