This is a virtually complete transcription of the Brandon House Journal from 1796-1797 by Alex Nicol
" A Journal of the Transactions at Brandon House Red River and a minute Relation of the Occurrances on the Journy to and from Osnaburgh House by James Sutherland Trader for the Honourable Hudsons Bay Company."
" The following is the Summer Journal of Mr Thomas Millar left Locum Tenens by Mr Robert Goodwin."
May 10 1796
" Tuesday Wind W fine weather. At 8 AM Started to proceed for Osnaburgh. Mr Robt. Goodwin and Sutherland with five Boats and 29 men. The men left here with me is James Slater, Ja. Moar, Wm Louttit, Mag. Johnston and Jacob Henderson."
" Wednesday Wind S fine weather, people variously employd."
" Thursday Wind Nly weather as before. men getting wood to burn for Ashes to make Soap of, there being none at the place."
" Friday Wind Nly Cloudy weather, early this morning Mefs Thoburn and McDonell arrived from above in a light Canoe. At 5 PM the above gentlemen accompanied by Mr Peter Grant and several other Traders paid me a visit, the men as yesterday self employed in the Gardens."
" Saturday Wind and weather as before. Early this morning an Afsinipoles came in for Tobacco to smoak, he went away soon after, men as before."
" Sunday Spent the day holy."
" Monday Wind and Weather as before. the men preparing for making Soap. Mr Peter Grant went for the Grand Portage with 4 Canoes and at 2 PM arrived 12 Canoes and 3 Boats belonging to Mr Thoburn."
" Tuesday Wind Weather and men the same as yesterday."
" Wednesday A few Indians arrived brot 20 B. in sundry Furs and 40 lbs of Piece meat. men as before."
" Thursday Wind and weather as before. Mr Thoburn Started with all his Canoes for the grand Portage and one of the Cordance? Indians who carried 19 Beaverskins with him, one of them stays behind."
" Friday Wind and weather as before. the men with the Canadians barring up the River for a Basket to Catch Sturgeon."
" Saturday got 2 Sturgeon from the Basket, currant too strong."
" Sunday Wind Wly blows a gale, 6 Afsinipoles and 3 Crees arrived brot nothing and wanted Tobacco to smoak, and ammunition."
" Monday Early this morning a band of Afsinipoles arrived brot Nine drest Buffalo skins and one Beaver 60 lb of piece meat and 32 lb of beat meat, 24 lb of fat. The plains has been on fire these 8 days & is now aproaching the House, a gale of wind at South."
" Tuesday The fire very near the House, makes us watch night & day."
" Wednesday the Woods in fire all round the House with difficulty we could save the House. a large band of Stone Indians arrived brot 10 B. in furs and 16 lb of fat and was very troublesom in asking for Brandy, Cloth and Blankets which was not to give them. they went away in the evening. - The Cortories? arrived nine in number in 2 Buffalo skin Canoes, brot plenty of furs which they intend to Carry to Mountreal with them, there being neither liquor or goods here to Trade it with, I have given them a House to stay in during their stay here while they build 2 Canoes to go out? in? and use? every means to get them to stay here and carry their furs away which is Expensive on me - The Afsinipoles stole our Watch Dog this evening before they set off."
" Thursday Wind NW rainy weather. At 8 AM eight Indians arrived with a dead Child to be buried here, made a Coffin for it and inter'd it in the evening gave the Indians Tobacco away with them."
" Friday it froze very hard last night which has blasted all the Indian corn in the garden. Slatter and Moar who went yesterday to the Indian Tents in pursout of out Dog returned without finding him. the rest barring up the River to catch Sturgeon. a family of Indians all starving arrived, no cattle being near."
" Saturday Wind N with heavy rain. Cordonees building Canoes. got 2 Sturgeon from the Basket."
" Sunday Wind Nly blows a gale. Cordonees traded Cloth from the Canadians to cloath themselves before they go away. cannot pursuade? the Captains to stay and the Canadians are entising them to go that they may get their furs I having no goods."
" Monday Wind W a gale with rain. the men variously employ'd, got 4 Sturgeon from the basket, no Indians yet gone."
" Tuesday Wind Nly fine weather men at work in the garden, Indians building Canoes, got 3 Sturgeon."
June 1 1796
" Wednesday fine weather Cordonees getting ready to go away. Sent Slatter with Mr Neal Makay to hunt Beaver brot one."
" Thursday Wind N fine warm weather. Cordonees went away to join the Crees and Afsniboles going to War, gave them some Tobacco with? them?"
" Friday Wind W with Showrs of rain, men collecting firewood got 2 Sturgeon from the Basket Self taking care of the House."
" Saturday Wind Nly with rain. one man in the gardens the rest variously employed. 2 Sturgeon."
" Sunday Wind & weather as before, spent the day religiously."
" Monday Wind and weather as before, The Canadians for this week past unknown to us preparing to build a House in the way and on the direct path to this House, I have sent men to fall wood there also. Demonnes? and Thompson demanded my reason for so doing I answer'd because it was in our path, they said they would set fire to it, I answer'd if they did I would set fire to theirs."
" Tuesday Wind as yesterday rainy weather with Thunder and lightning; the men variously -"
" Wednesday Wind Nly a gale. men falling wood, got one Sturgeon and 6 Burbot. 14 Indian women and Children lying at the place belonging to the Indians gone to War. the mantaining of which is heavy on the Provisions as few fish can be got."
" Thursday A hard frost this morning, men as before, 1 Sturgeon."
" Friday Wind Sly a gale, 2 of the Cordonee women went away in a large Canoe. the men mending the Dam acrofs the River, 2 Sturgeon."
" Saturday Wind W blows a gale. At 2 PM the rain and hail fell in torrents which in lefs than an hour laid a foot deep of water on the ground, so that a Canoe might sweem? in the yard, the hail broke the glafs in the windows; and the earth in the gardens carried out through the Pallisades, it continued for 2 hours attended with dreadfull claps of Thunder - one Sturgeon and 6 Burbot."
" Sunday Wind W fine weather, 2 Indians arrived with Provisions for the familys left here brot 10 MB in furs and 40 lb of P. meat, they went away in the evening."
" Monday fine weather, men collecting firewood, 2 Sturgeon."
" Tuesday a gale of wind which prevents the men from working out doors."
" Wednesday heay rain all day and a gale of wind, men fell some wood."
" Thursday Wind W blows a Storm, with heavy rain, men indoors."
" Friday Clear sharp weather, men in the woods falling firewood."
" Saturday Thunder and rain in the evening, men as before."
" Sunday fine weather, spent the day religiously."
" Monday The men can do but little in the woods for want of hatchets."
June 21 to 26
" Tuesday The men during this time employed much the same as before without any thing materialy happening worth notice."
" Monday Wind W blows a storm, 4 men in the woods 1 Cooking."
" Tuesday the same as before."
" Wednesday A gale of wind Eastly with rain Thunder & lightening."
" Thursday Wind as before, better weather. men as on Monday."
July 1 1796
" Friday Wind Wly fine weather. 5 men arrived from the Mandals belonging to the NW Company, brot 6 Horses, and 6 Bundles of Buffalo robes, the men at work in the woods."
" Saturday Wind and rain all day. men variously employed indoors."
" Sunday fine weather. 18 Afsnipoles arrived from the wars, Six of them sleept here all night, gave them Tobacco to smoak."
" Monday Wind W fine weather; the men crofscutting and spliting stuff for Kegs against a Coopers arrival, Indians went away."
" Tuesday Wind weather and men the same as yesterday."
" Wednesday Wind W blows a storm. Slatter and Moar hunting Cattle, Louttit and Henderson getting wood for kegs, Johnston cooking. self in the gardens. 10 Stone Indians arrived brot 20 lb of dry meat. they went away in the evening."
" Thursday fine weather as before. Slatter and Moar arrived with about 50 lb of green Buffalo flesh being all they were able to bring it being very far aff, self taking care of the House &c."
" Friday The men as before: fine weather."
" Saturday fine weather, men as before."
" Sunday Wind W with rain in the evening, spent the day holy."
" Monday Wind W cloudy weather, Slettar and Johnston gone a hunting, the others in the woods, 20 Afsnipoles came in but brought nothing, gave them a little Tobacco & they went away."
" Tuesday Wind as before, The Canadians laid the foundation of a large House, right on the Indian path to this House and among our logs; as they wer in pofsesion first I cannot stop them especily as they are two men to our one, nor has any orders for so doing. Slettar and Johnston arrived, no Cattle to be seen. they sleept in an Indian Tent and brot 100 lb of green flesh to be paid for by & by."
" Wednesday Wind Sly fine weather, men Collecting firewood."
" Thursday Wind Wly men as before. NB. from 8 o'clock to 11 AM it was so dark that one could not discern a letter on a Book in the House, at 2 PM 6 Crees came in and brot 10 B. in furs with them and went away in the evening. I had nothing to Trade this furs with but triffles which with reluctance they took."
" Friday Blows a gale NW with rain. Slettar went with the Canadians to hunt who returned in the evening with half a Buffalo on one of the Canadian Horse, the rest of the men getting staves for kegs."
" Saturday Wind Nly fine weather, men as before, 3 Indians brought 400 lb of green meat, the 4 Cordonees arrived from the war, the other 3 went away again; In the evening heavy rain with Thunder."
" Sunday fine weather. keept the day holy."
" Monday a Gale of wind at W. men as before, the Cordonees waiting for their women which is very heavy on our provisions, the Cattle being 2 days Journey off and have no Horse, and it is too far for Dogs."
" Tuesday Wind W with rain in the morning. the men carrying in logs out of the way of the Canadians, Slettar and Moar went with 6 dogs in Search of Cattle."
" Wednesday Wind W fine weather: 2 Indian lads came in with 2 Horses brot 120 lb of piece meat to be paid for on the arrival of the Boats. Sent him 3 lb of Tobacco, Slettar and Moar came home with part of an old Bull, the flesh as tough as a horses hide."
" Thursday Wind and Weather as before, men variously employed. The Cordonees lying here still, a lazy sett will not hunt and says we have a right to mantain them."
" Friday Wind variable fine weather. Sent Slettar and Moar hunting with a Horse I borrowed from Demuner: the rest Collecting firewood."
" Saturday Wind NW blows a gale Slettar and Moar brot some flesh."
" Sunday keept the day Holy."
" Monday Cloudy weather the men gathering firewood. The Cordonee Capt. set off for River Kepel with his Traps to hunt Beaver and to get them mended by the Canadian Black smith there and the Canadians has given him a Horse to ride on, using every means to entice them. Some Crees who came to the other House brought me a little flesh."
" Tuesday A gale of wind at W with rain, men as before."
" Wednesday fine weather. Slettar and Johnston with 6 dogs gone to Hunt the others as before and in the garden."
" Thursday hot sultry weather. Slettar and Johnston returnd with a little Buffalo flesh, the weather being so hot they could not bring more as two of the best Dogs died for want of water in the plains. the rest narrowly sav'd the life till they cam to the River."
" Friday Wind Westly fine weather, At 9 AM a great many Crees and Afsiniboles arrived brot 20 Beaver in furs, 350 lb of Piece meat 210 lb of fat and 50 lb of beat meat, also Seven drest Elk skins, I Traded the furs 123 lb of Piece meat, 10 lb of fat and and 50 lb of beat meat, and the remainder they gave me in credit till the Boats arrive as I have nothing at present to pay for it - I am Sorry to see the furs carried out of the House for want of goods which makes us only a laughing stock to Indians when our neighbours has plenty of everything Liquor excepted. Men taking care of the House &c."
" Saturday fine weather, an Afsnipoles came in with meat and fat to be paid for when the Boats comes, gave him a little Tobacco he went away. Men as before."
" Sunday Fifteen Afsnipoles arrived who wanted only to know if I had liquor, when I told them there was none they would hardly credit me, however they went away in the evening after giving them a little Tobacco: The men watching the House."
Aug. 1 1796
" Monday The men collecting firewood, self taking care of the House."
" Tuesday Wind, Weather and people as before."
" Wednesday The men repairing the launch."
" Thursday a Gale of wind at S The Cordonee Captain return'd the Canadians having left him in going to River Kepel, he could not proceed further not knowing the road, mending his Traps."
" Friday Indians pitching their Canoes in order to go a hunting, no Cattle to be seen or fish to be got. A Number of Crees and Afsnipoles set of for the Mandals to steal Horses &c."
" Saturday Wind, weather, and men as before. The Canadian new House caught fire by a spark from the rubbish and before Sunset it was redus't to ashes, the walls was up and roof on and beginning to build the Chimneys, the House 90 feet long by 22 ?. The Cordonees went away to Hunt."
" Sunday Kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind variable hot sultry weather, Henderson Sick, one Cooking, the rest collecting firewood. an Indian came in with 280 lb of meat to be paid for on the arrival of the Craft."
" Tuesday The Indians went away gave them a little Tobacco and amunition being the last in the House, men drying Piecemeat."
" Wednesday fine weather, men as before. 5 Indians arrived with 3 Wolve skins and 2 parch't skins, stay'd all night."
" Thursday Sultry hot weather, Indians went away. The men working in the woods. Self taking care of the House."
" Friday Weather and men as before; nothing remarkable."
" Saturday Wind W with rain, Men making Pometigan with the beat meat Mr Goodwin left with the Fat I have traded since his departure, The Pometigan Mr Sutherland brot down with him is not good being the refuse of what he made his of. "
" Sunday About noon 12 Indians arrived from the war, they brot nothing, gave them a little Tobacco and they went away."
" Monday Men collecting firewood, Slettar Sick and in Bed it rain'd hard in the evening."
" Tuesday rain most part of the day; men variously indoor."
" Wednesday fine weather; 5 Indians arrived from the N?, brot little or nothing they have gone to the Sou'd to hunt Cattle."
" Thursday Wind Sly blows a gale, 7 Indians arrived brot 200 lb of meat to be paid for when the Craft arrives, they are mad for liquor. these Indians had the loan of 2 Horses and as they are as poor as when They got them I have now taken them back as we are much in want of them at the House, Indians went away in the evening."
" Friday Wind W blows a gale, men washing and drying some of the Piece meat that is getting mouldy; there is much trouble in preserving it."
" Saturday Slettar and Moar hunting with the Horses rest as before."
" Sunday Wind W a cold breeze. Hunters return'd with flesh, plenty of Cattle but the Indians are driving them away."
" Monday Wind weather and men as usual, Thunder and rain."
" Tuesday Wind NW cold cloudy weather; men as before."
" Wednesday A band of Afsnipoles and Crees came in with meat and fat to be paid for on the arrival of the Craft - Capt. Ichopomishuts? Son came in for men and Horses to bring flesh from his Tent. Sent Moar and Johnston with 2 Horses. Indians went away in the evening."
" Thursday at noon 16 Tents of Crees and Afsnipoles came in to Tent and wait the arrival of the Traders. Traded some meat from them."
" Friday Wind NW fine weather, sent Slettar and Moar to hunt, one man drefsing piece meat, got from diff't Indians 290 lb of P. Meat and 90 lb of fatt, 65 lb of beat meat to be paid for on the arrival of the Boats."
" Saturday Wind variable with Thunder and rain most part of the? day. Slettar and Moar arrived but brot nothing, the others attending P. Meat."
" Sunday Wind W blows a gale. Some Indians went a hunting and left their familys here; they are almost mad for liquor."
" Monday Wind W fine weather; repaird the roof of the Stone house."
" Tuesday a gale of wind Sly men variously employed."
" Wednesday Wind variable cloudy weather, cannot get ourselves turn'd round for numbers of Indians, 30 Tents here at present."
Sept. 1 1796
" Thursday Wind Nly fine weather. Indians came from hunting & has put in 190 lb of meat to be paid for by and by. 25 Afsnipoles came in asking for liquor and Tobacco, told me there was 180 Tents within 30 miles of the place, gave them a little Tobacco which is now mostly expended, in the evening they went away, an Indian Child died last night, had it burried here this day."
" Friday fine weather, got more meat and fat from the Indians on trust. one man taking care of the Horses, the rest the House."
" Saturday men as before, more meat and fat brought in to be paid for hereafter. A Canadian arrived from the Portage with news of the Canadians arrival, but no news of our people."
" Sunday Wind Sly fine weather Self and men taking care of the House."
" Monday Wind Sly, blows a gale men variously employed. Mefs Grant, Thobourn? and all their Clerks arrived here. at night Indians came in here with furs and meat, I Traded part of the furs with them for my own Coat the remainder and the meat they carried to the Canadians, I lent these Indians a Horse which they have now brought so poor, scarcly able to walk."
" Tuesday Wind Sly Cloudy weather, blows a storm with rain in the evening, Slettar out with the Indians a hunting, the others taking care of the House, a great many Indians arrived this day, I have lost above 60 Beaver for want of goods this day, we are only a sport to the Indians and shamefull to the Service that our Craft is not as soon here as the Canadians, they have told the Indians that our Boats will not be this year, which the Indians believing, wants to take out the meat they have put in as there is nothing in the House to pay them for it hardly a pipe of Tobacco, and I have had nothing this whole summer but what was mouldy and rotten. they are enough to put one mad with their tants and jeers, as the Canadians have arrived first."
" Wednesday Wind and Weather as before, men variously employed."
" Thursday Wind Easterly blows a gale with rain, Early this morning I dispatched Jacob Henderson and Wm Louttit with two Horses to go to the burnt Carrying place to enquire after our Craft because the Canadians have told the Indians they will not be this year.
In the evening 20 large Canoes belonging to the NW Company arrived, the Indians immediately mov'd their Tents to the Canadian House and abusing us because we are poor in comparison of them."
" Friday Rain for most part of the day, a great many Indians comming from all quarters to the other House. Mefs Grant and Thoburn paid me a visit, it may be judged if I was in ability to entertain them."
" Saturday The men taking care of the House, a great many Indians going about got 200 lb of P. Meat as many pounds of fat in credit as they are still expecting our Craft, got a few skins also."
" Sunday Wind Westly fine weather, Indians all drunk plaguing me to Trade furs from them, Traded 40 Skins from them with my own private propperty rather than see the furs go out of the House, being my own wearing apparel, and many triffling things besides, and sincerly wish the Hon. Company will make me some acknowledgment for this, if not I care not, nor shall I relax in my endavour to deprive the Canadians of every thing in my power as I ever did and will despise them."
" Monday Wind Sly fine weather, Self and men clearing the warehouse &c, In the Evening Wm Louttit arrived with news of Mr Sutherland being arrived at Fort du Pinet, the Indians gone away to hunt till the Craft arrives."
" Tuesday Wind W blows a Storm. at 1 PM Mefs James and John Sutherland arrived here accompanied by Rob. Gun and the 2 men I sent to meet them, Deliver'd up your Honours Settlement to Mr Sutherland and as in duty bound doth and ever will Remain,
Your very Obedient and
"By Mr. J. Sutherland commencing from Osnaburgh"
Aug. 1 1796
" Monday Stormy weather with showers of rain. left Osnaburgh House this morning at 8 o'clock AM with 21 men self and Jn Sutherland and 4 Battauxs, got only 5 miles up the Lake weather being bad."
" Tuesday Wind W stormy weather, got under way early but was soon stopt on an Island by a storm of wind where we cookt our provisions for the day, then set out and traveld till night."
" Wednesday Wind W stormy till noon afterwards moderate, came to Capt. She we quenaps Tent about noon, got about a Mefs? of Provisions from them, put up at 6 o'clock when we met 2 Canoes of Indians."
" Thursday Clear fine weather, Indians drunk all night left them early, but they follow'd us, got as much venison from them as serv'd the men a day, past the first long carrying place and put up at the 2d in the Creek, water low here, sent 8 men to make dams."
" Friday Clear plesant weather, the dam made last night did us great service, sent 4 men to make another, the Boat I was in got nearly swampt in lowring down Nowtenwes? fall, unloaded half the Cargo, got the Boat beal'd and soon set out again, encamped at the Cat fall, people grumbled for going too late while the Sun was yet high."
" Saturday Clear warm weather, encamped near Lake Saul. NB. the 3d Rundlet of Spirits broacht this day. leakage in the kegs enormous, one 8 Gallon Keg in particular run only 5 1/2 Gall."
" Sunday Clear hot weather, come slowly on this day encampt at Yorstons River."
" Monday Clear hot weather almost calm, came to Indians in the evening who had all Traded with me in the Spring was pleasd to see 4 large Canoes with them nearly finished, for the use of Osnaburgh. I had bespoke these but only expected one, Traded a few parchment skins from them, but had no provisions, they expect the Canadians every day; they say they'l not go to OH next spring."
" Tuesday Clear hot weather, Traded a few more skins from the Indians this morning for amunition, encamped at ManetoUba"
" Wednesday Wind SW a gentle breeze put up at the further end of Lake Saul, As we are now entering the Country where we may every hour expect to meet with very bad Indians shall mount our Six Musquetoons and load our Musquets to be ready to act in our oun defence if atacted, for I am Sorry to say that a Spirit of Roberry murder and plunder has got among the Indians ouing to such numbers of Traders comming among them, Shall use all well houever who behaves well."
" Thursday hot sultry weather got the Boats and Cargo over both carrying places by 12 o'clock, arrived at the long carrying place at Ra,quash,ma,taw,a where we put up, water too high to go by the 5 falls which makes them very dangerous."
" Friday launched the 4 Boats first in the morning while the dew was on the rollers, which took till 11, Then carried the Cargos dividing the men in two divisions reliving each other in the middle of this long carrying place (1860 yd long) got all over at 1/2 past 5 oclock when we put up for the day - NB. the kegs running the Brandy out by drops at a time turn'd one of them over in a empty one used on the Journey, leakage Seven qu'ts of high rec't Spirits equal to 3 1/2 Gall. of common English Brandy - enormous."
" Saturday Cloudy, hot weather, started early and got over the 2d Fall about 2 miles distance about 9 o'clock. angled some fish here while the Boats was getting over, put up at Pime,te,camitch,c,wan on a small Island with a raging fall on each side."
" Sunday warm weather, got over the 3 falls about 10 o'clock, came to Seabitchiwan at 12, got a help of the sail, past 4 Canoes of Indians only 2 men in them, put up within 3 miles of Wibenaban my old House."
" Monday Got under way early this morning, left what Furs &c I have Traded at Wibenaban with Mag. Birsays stores having found the place. had a help of the Sail, put up about 6 miles from Makay Fall a good days Journey, Rain, Thunder and lightning in the evening."
" Tuesday Cloudy weather with heavy rain all night, got over Makay, three falls, a good days work, at ? in our way."
" Wednesday plesant weather, put up at the fall next Portage delisle calld by the natives Tick,ewe,wa,puck,u wa. no Indians to be seen."
" Thursday clear hot weather. had a little help of the Sail past Portage delisle (propper) at 10 oclock being an Island with a fierce? fall on each side; we have now entered the grand River which leads us to the Winnepeg, the Country still barran and rockey put up pretty late at Merrimans Island."
" Friday fine weather, put up rather to soon I wanted the people to work to take advantage of the good weather; for which reason they got 3 pints of groag per man. they will only work however as they please. what a hairey crew these Red River men are."
" Saturday plesant weather, got over the 3d fall by 8 o'clock from whence 9 miles to Slave fall, where we lost a fine young Cat which I was taking with me for Brandon House, about 4 miles further we came to another fall calld by the Canadians the grand fource but only short. encampt? at Taylor Lake; no Indians or Canadian to be seen."
" Sunday Clear hot weather, heavy rain Thunder and lightning in the afternoon and at night. Enter'd the white River at 10 AM past over 5 Carrying places and put up at the 6th, being as I am told the last in what is calld White River, dangerous falls indeed.
NB. had the couriosity to go and see a Crofs I saw erected on a poul?. saw the following inscription wrote with Red Ink (Viz)
" Joseph Jackins dit dapin?, was drowned here July 8th 1796 in debarking he slipt under the Canoe and was carried off by the current in presance of a numerous band of Canadians who was too cowardly to give him any afsistance" - Self sleept at the further end of the Carrying place, the man who sleeps in my Tent was grumbled at by the rest for carrying over a parcele with him when came to sleep.
NB. I only insert this to shew how these men are bound together in a knot, to study only their oun intrest and to opose command. I never had ocasion to observe the like before."
" Monday Rain in the morning which stopt us some time. got under way at 8 came to Lake de bonna at 12 in which we had a help of the Sail, came to 3 Indian Tents, Traded 113 B. from them and 112 lb of venison which affoarded 2 days to the men very acceptable at this time, hoisted our sails and left them and past one carrying place and put up at the next, where 3 Canoes of the same Indians follow'd us with more venison for Brandy. Set a watch, this being the place where the Canadian Traders was fir'd at last fall by the natives, and where one man was wounded and an Indian Shot by the Canadians."
" Tuesday drizzling rain in the morning which stopt us some time. came to the bonnet or hat carrying place at 9 o'clock. it took the men 4 hours in getting the boats over this place. measurd the carrying place and found it to be 1256 yards which 600 yd short of the one at Raquashmatawa although I had formerly heard this was a three mile carrying place, had another carrying place about 3 miles further where we put up for the day."
" Wednesday Clear plesant weather, carried over one carrying place, got the boats down by water, carried and launched over two more very bad ones indeed called the Silver falls from some quick silver being spilt here by former travelers some of which is still to be seen. Turn'd over a leaky Rundlet of Brandy into an empty one, found the leakage to be 2 Gallons of the high spirits, equal to 4 Gall common E. Brandy."
" Thursday Clear plesant weather, got under way early, run down two dangerous ripples, arrived at Point U Futer (alias) Point Pometigan at 12 oclock, and to my great disapointment found that out of 10 bags of Pometigan left here last spring by Mr. Goodwin on purpose to carry the men to Brandon House, 4 had been taken by Mr. Best, 2 lent to Canadians 3 eaten by the men there, and I had only 1 to receive to carry me to Brandon House; Traded as much venison from Indians lying here as was one day, I have only got 5 days in all since I left Osnaburgh and had no more provisions packt then was computed to carry us to this place."
" Friday Wind variable. The Flux and reflux of this place is wonderfull, the water having left our Boats dry on the shoar above 100 yards this morning which delayed us till near 12 oclock before the water flow'd up to them, then set off; Enter'd the grand Winnipeg at One? This great fountain of water, had a launching place acrofs an Isthmus of dry land which made a nearer cutt by many miles. Turn'd up the Boats here par'd of the ? and put up for the day.
NB. I cannot help observing that the track from Severn to this great Lake must be much nearer and shorter than from Albany, as all the road from Portage deLise to here is traveling directly North, but as the road from Severn is hithertoo unexplor'd, I shall leave this consideration to future travelers."
" Saturday heavy wind and rain in the morning afterwards fine weather. had a good Sail wind to the mouth of Red River which we reacht very late in the evening. In Sailing through the Winnepeg we could discern no land from W to NE. This Lake houever cannot admit of large craft being very shoal, our Boats tuching ground for miles from the Rivers mouth. The people grumbled very much this morning for starting while it yet rain'd a little, and some of them gave loose to very impertinant language."
" Sunday Clear weather wind at W gave the men till noon to dry and air the Cargo, sails, cloaths, &c &c. This famous River is very narrow, the Woods for above 12 miles very deminitive, but further up are to be seen large Oak, Ash, Elm, Maple, & in abundance, and I have already seen the Hops grow; got about 18 miles up."
" Monday Clear weather but a very thick fogg in the morning. rowed the Boats in general but had to sett up several pieces of strong currant, put up within 5 miles of the fork as I am told."
" Tuesday Clear fine weather arrived at the Fork at 8 oclock, found only one Indian and his family here who had nothing but a few small fish to give us, was surprised to see so few English and Craft, told us that the Canadians with 20 large Canoes past this place 8 days ago. 3 went up the South branch or River de Pabino, and wisht me to send a small outfit there also. The track we take here is propperly called the Afsnipoles River being the smaller as I am told though longest by extending much further through the plains, found the water low in the River. self in company with Mr. John Sutherland traveld by land through beautifull and extencive plains the grafs in many places striking our middle in other places short but thick. men leading the Boats for most part of the day: put up 3 miles below Mr Grants plain."
" Wednesday Cloudy weather proceeded up the River was overtaken by a Canadian and his wife in a Canoe who followed us from Point U futer in expectation of being engaged in this Service and was robbed of part of his propperty in pafsing the Indian of yesterday who he met drunk. Self etc. traveld all day through beautifull plains which only wants the hand of industry to make this one of the finest countries in the Universe, no clearing of ground wanted but the Plow to till and the Scyth to cut the finest Hay; the woods along the River is still large and thick, but no Pine Stick to be seen, sleept below the Bank in a Bay, the very earth alive here with Snakes & frogs."
Sept. 1 1796
" Thursday Clear hot weather. The boats sett with the Poles all day in one place all hands leading over Sandy beeches; Stove our boat on a stick Just before we put in to camp."
" Friday hot sultry weather sett all day, put up late; rain."
" Saturday Clear hot weather, the working as before as the places in this River is not generaly known, cannot say at what place we put up at, and our distance very doubtfull. Sleept on a Sandy beech almost in the middle of the River."
" Sunday Clear weather, sett the boats all day, put up at a Creek where Mr Goodwin had deposited 3 bags of Pometigan, but when taken up the better half was rotten and uselefs which will make us short of Provisions before we reach Brandon House."
" Monday Clear hot weather sent 2 men through the plains to look for Buffalo as we will be short of Provisions, but they returned in the evening without seeing anything. put up about 10 miles below Portage de prairie; for 5 days past I have not seen as much stone as would whit my knife, only mud & Sand. "
" Tuesday a gale of wind SE. setting and leading all day, past Portage de Prairie, here are 6 Canadian and Englis houses a Jn Linklater winter'd here 2 years also; wretched habitation indeed. put up about 10 miles above this station, the Canadian still in company."
" Wednesday Rain in the forenoon which stopt us so long. Set off at 11, had much leading often all hands about one boat. I did intend to knock of one pint of groag of the mens allowance as the Brandy is fast going and the leakage so great, the last keg running short one gallon of spirits, but to see the men work so hard in leading and setting through this shoal River, I cannot discontinue their usual allowance which has been given them by my predecefsors, and more especialy as I have no orders to do it. [plus his hairey crew might have shot him] Self walking along shoar all day; Snakes numerous killd 6."
" Thursday leading almost all day hard work, water low makes the Journey very disagreeable and men unhappy; put up at 6 o'clock."
" Friday rainey weather all day; men leading the Boats almost all day, people discontented and unhappy on such a long and tedious Journey, Self so wet I cannot write this Journal as being obliged to put up in the face of a steep muddy bank as here we can get scarce as much wood as make a fire and dry our wet cloaths."
" Saturday Cloudy weather, traveling the same as yesterday, dried all our baggage at noon; put up at the Half way bank from which I am told a path leads to Fort du Pinet. Self, Jn Sutherland and Rob Gun purpose to take that road and to proceed to Brandon house on purpose to send down Provisions to meet the Boats having only 3 days more Provisions owing to our disapointment at Point U futer and also Mr. Goodwins 3 bags of Pometigan half of which was unfit for use."
" Kept the following remarks in my Pocket Book"
" Monday Clear plesant weather, Left the Boats and men this morning at 7 oclock. Mr. Jn Sutherland and Rob Gun in Company Traveld through small shrubs and plains, about noon we past a few deminitive Pines rare to be seen in this Country, sleept under the Canopy of Heaven with a Blanket each and a few dry willows for firewood beside a small lake on account of water so rare to be got."
" Monday Clear plesant weather which made the Journey very plesant and agreeable; arrived at Fort Pinet at 12 oclock where we fortunatly met Wm Louttit and Jacob Henderson with two Horses looking out for us and to carry news to the Indians, who are in numbers impatiently waiting for us as the Canadians had told them we would not be this year on account of the war in Europe and also gave us the agreeable news of all being well at Brandon House and that Mr Millar was not in want of Provisions - dispatched Louttit on Horseback with the news to the Indians, as we could not reach the House this day nor put up between for want of water we put up in the Fort - This has been a capital place formerly with two tier of Palisades within 6 feet of each other with Bastions and propper places made for defence if atacked by an enemy but has now gone to decay ever since Mr. Makay settled Brandon House and which I am told stood 28 years being the principal residence of Mr. Robert Grant."
" Tuesday fine weather, left Fort du Pinet this morning at 7 oclock, was met by Loutit with two Horses halfway to escort us to the place. Arrived at Brandon House a little before 2 o'clock, found all well under Millers good mannagment and learnt he has 2000 lb of Piece meat in the House to be paid for on the Boats arrival. The distance from Fort du Pinet to Brandon House may be about 18 miles, one third woods and Pines, the middle barran sandy mountains and the last part a plesant lavel plain.
Here ends my Journey from Osnaburgh
being exactly 44 day."
" Wednesday Wind W a storm, sent 3 men and 2 Horses to Fort du Pinet with Provisions to meet the Boats, sent for James Watson to make kegs for distributing brandy among the Indians. Mefs Grant and Thoburn with all their Clarks set off this morning for their different posts up the River, their canoes having gone off 2 days ago, Spent last evening in their Company, when I had ocasion to observe insinewations throun out on our poor efforts in opposition to them, by bringing only 4 Craft, The Indians who belongs to the House is also much offended at seeing so few craft comming which makes me ashamed of comming here to be ridiculd by the natives and laught at by the Canadians; and the early getting in of the Canadians is still an addition to the advantages they have over us, having made 12 packs of Furs and traded up all the Provisions since their arrival, which had not been the case had our supplies come from Osnaburgh, if it was only but 2 Craft to start from that place to get in before the Canadians while the outfit for Brandon House alone might be deffer'd for a fortnight longer without any injury to the Trade, I say therefore it is a pitty that better atention is not paid to the affairs of this place."
" Thursday Cloudy weather; the 3 men at home variously employed in arranging the House and Warehouse to receive the Cargo, got 148 lb of green Buffalo flesh from an Indian to be paid for when the boat arrives."
" Friday A storm of wind at W all day, the men and Horses from Fort du Pinet with James Watson arrived and the Boats a half day Journey above it on their way up; but I cannot expect them to travel with such a storm of wind. Mr Jn McDonell arrived from River Kepel with the things he left there last summer he being appointed Master here in opposition to me. they have nearly finished a very large House within near a quarter a mile of this House in the direct road of all the Soutie? and Cree Indians which I conjecture will hurt this House something, as an Indian never likes to pafs a door without steping in and of consiquence putting? in something. was very genteely entertaind by Mr Macdonell this day."
" Saturday Clear plesant weather, several Indians hourly comming in expecting the arrival of the Boats to be paid for the Provisions they had put in during the Summer to Millar and are still bringing more got 160 lb from an Afsnipoles this day."
" Sunday Clear hot weather, spent part of the day in Company with Mr McDonell a sensible young gentleman; got more Provisions from the Indians to be paid for when the Boats arrives."
" Monday Clear hot weather: about noon the 4 Battauxs arrived several of the men lame particularly about the thigh and ? ouing to so much wading in the water, gave them a Bottle a mefs as they had been 4 days without. Had a vast number of Indians to give Brandy to in payment for Provisions - I am sorry to have ocasion to make so many remarks on the leakage of the Brandy the following houever will answer for the whole. This day 4 eight Gallon Rundlets was drawn off to serve Indians and instead of runing 32 Gall. as charged, the whole four run only 23 1/2 Gall. equall to 17 Gallons of Common Englis Brandy in Leakage - this is what many of the men are witnefs to and all the rest hithertoo used has a leakage in proportion; for 4 years past I have not seen above a half Pint Leakage in each keg; a defficency not worth notice, but then the Kegs was made by a Cooper who knew his businefs."
" Tuesday Cloudy weather with rain in the evening. The Boat men resting themselves. Self, Sutherland and Miller unpacking goods and putting by an afsortment to go above; Indians all drunk."
" Wednesday clear weather, Self and Jn Sutherland as on yesterday. not an Awl or worm in the whole Cargo nor half knives enough, debted several Indians, find them bad to please. late in the evening Capt. Quinquahanke with two of his young men and women with 4 Horses arrived with 180 lb of Piece meat, 20 lb beat meat, 6 Bladers of fat and 70 Beaver in Furs, they went to drink acrofs the River."
" Thursday A troublesom day with debting Indians and Englishmen the latter for their cloathing and the former powring in from all quarters with Furs and Provisions, impofsible to attend on all as they ought to be, having only Millar to afsist me Jn Sutherland attending to his oun affairs going above: This place I can plainly see would get both Furs and Provisions if it was propperly supplied in a regular manner by them that understood the businefs; Had 10 1/2 Gall. leakage of Brandy on two kegs run off this day. shall take no more notice of the Leakage as it greeves me when ever I mention it."
" Friday Clear plesant weather got Mr Sutherlands Cargoe ready for him to set off tomorrow up the River. more Afsnipoles came in with Piece meat and fat of which there is now great plenty in the House. nothing can be done here I see without a Cooper as no Indian will take his Brandy without being in a keg which he never returns for those with wooden hoops they make pitchers of carrying them for many miles through the plains where water is so scarce, and those with Iron hoops they destroy for the hoops for arowheads. I was obliged to borrow five kegs this day from Mr McDonell as Watson cannot get them made so fast as wanted - The NW company keeps a Cooper here all summer and winter who supplies all their Settlements as he always travels between; besides a Blacksmith which repairs their Hatchets and makes many other article, A Smith would be very useful at this place."
" Saturday Mr John Sutherland set off this morning for his Post up the River with 2 Boats and the following men (Viz) Ja. Brown Robt. Gun (steerers) David Brown, Rob Robison, Louis Jolley couer, Ja. Sinclair, Jn Merriman, Hugh Linklater, Wm Louttit, Mag. Johnson and Alex. Towrs. Gave them 1000 lb of Pometigan & 600 lb of Piece meat for their Provisions as they will be 30 days on the Journey if not more - Traded this week from the Indians 530 lb of P. Meat and about 120 B. in Furs chiefly Wolfe? skins.
The men remaining here cleaning their appartments and fitting up their Bedplaces, helving Hatchets &c, finished selling them cloth &c &c for their clothing, It may be Judged what 28 men will require to cloath them, scarcely having a Blanket to their Bed, shirt, or Jacket to their backs but what has been taken out of this outfit, which has left me only 4 Pieces of Cloth and 5 Blankets in the House to Trade with Indians. Had the men got their necefsaries at Martens Fall as they ought to have done, the outfit could been keept whole for the Trade and come here not as Cargoe but in their oun lumber bags, but I have mentiond this so many years back, that it is in vain any longer to point out the impropriety of it."
" Sunday fine weather, the people rested. a family of Afsnipoles came in with more meat and fat and about 20 Wolf skins."
" Monday fine weather, Sent Tom Richards and James Slettar out a hunting, 2 men domestically employed, the rest in the woods hewing logs on purpose to build a room to winter in, the House being so open and cold it is impofsible to live upstairs during winter, Logs bad to be got as the Canadians have cut them all down in building their great House so that a dearth of firewood will be here in a very few years. 2 Indians came in with 90 Ducks to Trade for Brandy who went away again."
" Tuesday fine weather troubled with the Indians of yesterday who returned on the night for more Brandy and with a fine young Mare which I got on reasonable terms much cheaper than they can be bought at the Mandals. I am sorry I cannot send to the Mandals this year for want of goods. Took up the Potatoes a fine crop indeed and which Miller says is the produce of 12 sets only, got from the Canadians last spring, they are about 3 bushels and the largest I ever saw in Hudsons Bay. it is a known fact that anything will grow in this Country, the Indian corn is in full perfection, but cannot be keept from the Indians pilfering it.
Richards and Slettar returned with part of 2 Buffalo."
" Wednesday People as before, Indians came in with more provisions, which they Traded for Brandy."
" Thursday fine weather laid the foundation of a room of 18 feet square on the end of the old House, Capt. Ichepomashish and two of his Sons came in with Furs and Provisions which he Traded for 10 Gall of Brandy and went away again, and in the evening more Indians came in with Provisions and a few furs; took up the Turnips."
" Friday hot sultry weather, James Watson making kegs 3 men with the Horses hunting Buffalo, one man who acts as Taylor makes a shift to make the men their Jackets though badly done. one man Sick, 2 Cooking &c. Miller afsisting me the others getting in logs for building, debted the Indians of yesterday."
Oct. 1 1796
" Saturday Men as before; the hunters returned with the flesh of nearly 3 Cattle, another Indian came in."
" Sunday took a walk up the River, could see no place whereon to rebuild this House on for want of wood as this place will be soon out of firewood the Canadians cutting down all round us. the Hunters brot home more flesh."
" Monday A gale of wind at W. James Watsons constant work is keg making which goes away as fast as he makes them. 2 men at the Pit Saw splecting? sticks for the roof of the new room building. Mr McDonell lent us 2 Horses and men to haul in logs in exchang for the logs our men had fallen at his House in Summer and too far from this place; more Indians came in."
" Tuesday The men the same as before; a numerous band of Afsnipoons came in with Provisions and Furs distrabuted 30 Gall of Brandy among them, and it was all little."
" Wednesday fine weather, a troublesom night with Indians another band came in as did also the Cordonees or Notaw Indians of Michilenimacanac who has furs here which they will not Trade but on an advanced Standard which I am loath to give, got 17 Beaver from them on moderate terms the rest they want to keep to carry out with them."
" Thursday Clear plesant weather, Traded 40 Beaver in all from the Cordonees, they are bad to please, got the last of this numerous gang of Afsnipoles dispatched away. I see they are very great beggars and greater thives, they have now but two oppositions, the NW Company having drove out and broke all the petty adventerars, for which they are to be much commended as these Traders did nothing but spoil the Trade, debaucht the Indians and in the end rouind themselves."
" Friday Clear fine weather: the men building, got the Cordonees cleard off, 2 men weighing the Provisions Traded from this great gang of Afsnipoles, found they had brot 240 B in furs mostly in Wolves, 1360 lb of P. meat and 800 lb of fat in 126 bladders, ?, 400 lb of beat meat, we have now plenty of Provisions thank God."
" Saturday fine weather, 2 men cutting grafs for House top, 2 drying Piece meat, the others as before."
" Sunday Cloudy weather, Richards killed a Buffalo."
" Monday Cloudy weather, an Indian came in with 18 Beaver. The men building &c &c."
" Tuesday plesant weather but cold in the morning, 4 men began the Chimney in the new House, 2 went a hunting."
" Wednesday Men as before, no variation, an Indian came in with about 40 Beaver which was Traded for Brandy."
" Thursday People as before, finished the Chimney without a single stone only straw, wood, and loam."
" Friday Cloudy weather people much the same as before."
" Saturday Cloudy cold weather for the season with a hard frost in the morning, 2 men hunting with the Horses returnd without anything, the others hauling in asp logs for the Sawpit."
" Sunday Cold cloudy weather, the Canadians having removed to their new House yesterday, I had a good Dinner with Mr McDonell this day, they can afford a genteeler Table than I Can."
" Monday Cloudy weather, Watson making Kegs, 2 men at the PitSaw, one making cloaths for the men, Easter at window frames, 2 Cooking, the others covering the House top &c."
" Tuesday Richards & Slettar a hunting rest as before."
" Wednesday Cold cloudy weather people as before."
" Thursday Cold weather; people finished loaming the outside of the House, got a Cellar almost dug, the 2 hunters returnd without anything. they had killd a Buffalo but their Horses straying on the night took them almost next day to find them and before they returnd the Wolves had eaten the flesh."
" Friday Cloudy weather, a little rain on the night, men as before."
" Saturday Cloudy weather with a light fall of snow, 6 men digging a Cellar in the new House, the others as before. hunters brot a Bull they had killd."
" Sunday a heavy fall of snow all day, it fell a foot deep. keept the day holy but cannt perform Divine Service on account of such a concourse of Indians hourly comming in and if not Indians, the Canadians who are nearly the same."
" Monday Cloudy cold weather. The River full of snow and Ice, hauld our Boats up. the Mare I Traded the 27th ult. cast? her fole last night ouing as I supose to the very bad weather. what a pitey there is not a Stable and Hay for these poor animals with bad weather. Mr Augie belonging to the other House lost himself last night a hunting. sent 2 men to afsist the Canadians in search of him; More Canadians arrived from arrived from River Kepell, One of the Canadians found Augie."
" Tuesday Cloud raw disagreeable weather; the men getting a few Asp logs for the Saw Pit. Mr Demurier and more Canadians arrived from above as did also Mr Neel McKay from the Mandals, one of his men deserted from him; Rec'd the following decleration from Mr McDonell, Just come from the Mandals.
To All British Subjects Trading to the interior parts of N. America, and all other persons of what ever discription who may frequent the said Country.
His Catholic Majesty having granted to his subjects (the Mifsurie Company) that part of his dominions sitewated on both sides of the Mifsurie to its Westermost source and from its source to the coast of the Pacific Ocean and North to the hight of land that divides the waters that empties into the Mifsurie from those that fall into Hudsons Bay.
I am therefor commanded to forbid and prevent all forigenrs whatever (especilly all British subjects) who are or may be in the neighbourhood of his Majestys dominions to enter any part of the said Chartered dominions on pain of confiscation of all such offenders propperty and such punishment as the law of the land may inflict on the conveyors of such propperty.
Given under my hand at Fort Charles this Twenty seventh day of May Anno Domini One thousand Seven hundred and ninty six.
To all who it may concern."
" Wednesday Snowy weather the men variously. Stept over to the other House to hear more news from the Mandals. Mr McKay says the above Mr J. Makay has not yet arrived at the Mifsurie, only a party under a Mr Evans a Welsh Gentleman, who has come to explore the source of the River as far as the stoney mountains if not to the Pacific ocean in search of mines, some of which is already found, Mr Evans permitted him to return for this time without confiscation of his propperty, but on promise of not returning again with any more goods."
" Thursday Cloudy weather, much snow on the ground which is like to lie this season, got the seams of the store room loam'd and the floor of the new room laid."
" Friday Clear weather, men as before, Easter, Slettar and Richards went a hunting."
" Saturday Clear weather with a hard frost in the morning, men as before, hunters returnd having killd a Buffalo."
" Sunday Clear plesant weather, keept the day holy."
" Monday Clear weather some snow meltd, Cooper as usual, Yorston making Sleds, one sewing for the men, 2 setting up petitions on the new room, 2 at the PitSaw; others at firewood."
Nov. 1 1796
" Tuesday Weather and men the same as yesterday."
" Wednesday The same as before."
" Thursday Cloudy weather, a great many Buffalo seen acrofs the River, sent 3 men to hunt them who returnd succeslefs, the Hunters came home for men to haul hom Buffalo flesh."
" Friday Cloudy weather much of the snow gone, the hunters came home with part of the flesh of 3 Buffalo, Easter and Richards killd 2 more to be sent for tomorrow, Indians came in with more P. meat."
" Saturday The men return'd at night with part of the Buffalo."
" Sunday Cloudy weather; Spent the day Religiously."
" Monday Cloudy raw weather: 3 men went a hunting, Cooper, Taylor, sawyers, Cooks, as before."
" Tuesday Men as before, sent Angus Macdonel the Canadian out a hunting and to Tent with another Canadian who hunts for himself and who has some furs at his Tent, and sent Easter and J. Johnson with them to bring it or at least my debt having credited him with some articles, The hunters returnd brot nothing."
" Wednesday a heavy fall of snow this morning, men as usual an Indian on Horseback arrived brot only 4 Beaver in furs."
" Thursday Cold weather with much snow on the ground, the Indian went away sent Brandy and Tobacco to the Tents with him; The men cutting a new path through the woods for Indians, the old one being interupted by the Canadians having built on it and interceps every Indian that pafsed. no other path can be cut to the plains for bogs & swamps and the one now making can only answer the purpos in winter."
" Friday Cloudy cold weather, the men the same as yesterday. Path very bad to make acrofs the swamp, cannot get it made pafsable for Horses untill it freezes: A family of Afsnipoles came in with Provisions and a few wolve skins, had much trouble in getting them over in the Boat, the River being full of Ice."
" Saturday had to crofs the River on the night with the Boat and bring over more Indians; The River set fast. Jacob Henderson denied to get his watch wood when I ordered him and when I told him of his lazy disposition, he dam'd me as he refus'd. I ordered 2 other men Tho. Mainland and Ja. Moar to get it."
" Sunday Cloudy cold weather; more Indians came in with Provisions and 50 MB in furs."
" Monday cold cloudy weather Cooper making kegs, 2 men at the Pit Saw, 2 at firewood, 2 Cooking &c. did not desire Henderson to go to work as he still persists in his obstenacy."
" Tuesday Cloudy weather, the men as yesterday."
" Wednesday dark cloudy weather, 2 men making a pair of Gates to be erected in the West front for a more comodious getting in firewood. the rest clearing snow out of the yard and getting firewood, Henderson on being ordered to work denied doing any more duty about this House. I have forwarn'd the canadians to have nothing to say to him being a contracted servant of the Company."
" Thursday Stormy weather, the people much the same as yesterday. Henderson deserted to the Canadians, Sent the following letter to Mr McDonell by Miller.
Jacob Henderson has deserted to you. I have before acquainted you and again request that you may not harbour him in your House, his intentions as I can learn is to get to the American states by your Canoes next spring. I learn that Peltie under pretence of being independant of your Company is to harbour him in his House, this will not be admitted as an excuse as I look upon every individual under your roof to be dependant on the Company. it is true you may do? as you please on this head as being independant of us, but I should be sorry that such a worthlefs being as the subject of this should be the means of laying the foundation of any misunderstanding between us more especiely as the harbouring of a discontented servant may be retaliated in future as we have had many opportunitys of, I Remain
Your Obt. Hble. Servant
In the evening I Rec'd the following answer from Mr McDonell
I have received your favour by Mr Millar, and am sorry to learn that Henderson therein mentioned is actualy lodged in Peltries House, He came here last night and inform'd me of the whole dispute between you and him, upon which I expostulated with him and advised him to return to his duty, but he flatly said he would as soon suffer death. he then asked me as a favour that I would Suffer him to accept of a place in Peltries House which it seems he had been offerd previously, I told him if he and the men agreed I did not care, that it was a very small object what provisions he eat. I'll leave it to the man himself that I gave him no other encouragment than herein mentiond. Mr Sutherland must think it a hard tack? for me to turn any person out of doors, as we even shew hospitality to the Savage whom we never saw before and perhaps never see after, you may be very sure we have no use at all for the man, if we wanted more men we would have had as many as required before we left the G Portage.
You can come and take the man from hence any time you please and depend upon it that I or any person here shall not meddle in his behalf. if you do not chuse to go to riggor with him, let him remain till such time as your Boats are ready to start in the spring and then bind him hand and foot it he does not consent to go otherwise. Dear Sir you may recolect a simelar affair of one of La,Tours men deserting to you and remaining in your House part of the winter, but the care seems to be differant for La,Tours man runaway through excefs of ill usage which I am far from thinking to be the case at present. To end the matter at once for Gods sake come and fetch your man away. pray excuse me for not turning him out of doors as he has thrown himself into my protection, it would be using him cruely. Dear Sir belive me to be with esteem your very Humble Servant
All I have to observe of this letter, is that none of Mr La,Tours men was ever entertaind or lodged a night in my House, it is true two of his men offerd me their service and actualy run away from their Master through excefs of ill usage as Mr Macdonell observes, but never received any encouragment from me as from the instructions I always received I did not think it Justifyable in me to entertain another mans servant till now that I see examples to the contrary. it is not through ill usage this man has deserted but on the contrary too lenient treatment of the men in general and him in particular as being a poor Soldier who I thought deserved more pitey than chastisement as being unable to work in the station he is engaged in."
" Friday A Storm of Wind Sly with snow, the men getting gate posts and preparing the W Gates. Coopers and others as before. Tho. Richards elop't in the dusk of the evening and went to the Canadians unknown to any about this House and Carried his baggage and a Child about 4 years old along with him, he had been hunting yesterday but got nothing, did not desire him to work this day he visited the Canadians this day who I supose with Henderson infus'd their Poisonous talk in to the ears of the ignorant and causd him desert. I am almost afraid to order some of these men to do the ordinary domestic duties of the House for fear of their abandoning themselves and deserting to the Canadians who is using every means to Debauch our men, but particularly the Ignorant who can't see an Inch before their nose."
" Saturday Wind W cold and sharp. Slettar out in hunting, the rest as before. Easter and Joseph Johnson with a Canadian in company they wer 6 days in going and as many in comming although the Canadian they went with told them they could travel it in 3 days. Traded a small bundle of furs from this Canadian; I am deprest on every hand by the discontents of the people, Jn Easter although a Exqumaux and the Company Slave, hearing of the desertion of Henderson and Richards is muttering of following their example. Says he has no wages, can get nothing of his wants and necefsaries is proffer'd great wages from the Canadians - I have flatterd him and given as much as is my power with propriety to supply his wants and given him a quart of Brandy yet it avails nothing, to go to riggor with him I am loath, his Ignorance gets the better of his reason. I have been obliged therefor to lock the gates which has been only barr'd for some time, that he may not desert on the night."
" Sunday very cold weather, the people had much trouble in keeping Easter from eloping on the night. This day I went to the Canadian House backt with 4 men and before he was aware? seized Richards and forced him down to the House and lockt the gates on him, had I not taken him suddenly the canadians was determin'd to afsist him. in this adventure I run a risque as he graspt his Cutlafs and had he but warning was determined to run me through before he was taken.
On comming to his sences I expostulated with him and askt him in a quiet manner his reason for such behaviour, he told me he did not know that he had any wages nor ever signd a Contract; when he askt the Chief at Martens Fall what footing he stood on he never received a direct but evasive answer, nor could get the necefsaries he wanted, but was put by from time to time and place to place and no notice taken of him and that the Canadians had offer'd him great encouragment.
I told him to return to his duty and all these things should be settled to his satisfaction on his next meeting the Chief at the Fall. he then agreed to give me no further trouble and gave me his hand he would not desert anymore which has also put Easter of the thought of deserting - I must oun these men are badly fitted out in their wants notwithstanding I have given them almost half my outfit to Cloath them &c, as they could not worth? get a knife at the fall and all my powr cannot keep them from trading Jackets Trowsers &c from the Canadians in a clandestine manner."
" Monday Wind W cold weather. Cooper and 2 men getting wood for staves for Rundlets, 2 making gates, one man Sick, the others variously. Tom Richards brot his bedding &c from the other House, brot every thing in the evening and a few lines from Henderson expresing a desire to return to his duty it I would forgive what was past and permit him to go out a Tenting with Tom Richards. I agreed to this on condition of his future good behaviour and accordingly for my part forgive him, notwithstanding I leave the whole affair upon record that the Honourable Propriters may see what trouble is with their Servants now besides what it was formerly.
He accordingly return'd in the evening with all his things and did not hesitate to tell me that he despis'd the customs and manners of the Canadians whos ways more resembled savages than Christians - Self remov'd down stairs into the new room gave the men a pint of groag and they salooted me with 3 Cheers."
" Tuesday Severe cold weather. Set up the New Gates which is very comodious for getting in firewood, the front gate being in a steep bank which gives much trouble in hauling any thing in. 2 men hunting killd 3 Bulls."
" Wednesday Cold sharp weather. 2 men brot home the Provisions of yesterday. 6 men preparing to go out a tenting, the others as before. As Canadians are going from the other House to the Mandals I sent the following Letter to Mr Evans, barly out of couriouty?.
Your written decleration dated Fort Charles 27th of May last has come to our hands, forbiding all British Subjects from Trading at the Mifsurie, this may effect the Traders from Canada, but very little those from Hudsons Bay. I should be glad houever to know if we may be permitted on any future ocasion to visit the Mandals and Trade Horses, Indian corn and Buffalo robes which articles we supose to be unconected with the Fur Trade and consiquently expect you will have no objections to. with wishing to hear of your health and Succefs I Remain
Your Obedient Humble Servant
" Thursday Stormy weather. Millar, Slettar, Easter and Ja. Yorston went to bring my Debt from the Indian Tents. also Tho. Richards, Jacob Henderson and Joseph Johnson went with the Canadian of Saturday last for some time a Tenting as I hear these two Canadians are good Beaver hunters and they promise to bring their hunt here being for themselves - A band of Canadians with Horses and dogs went for the Mandals."
" Friday Clear cold weather. Wm Taylor sick (bled him) the rest of them at home as useual."
" Saturday warm weather. men cutting firewood; men returnd from the Indian Tents with 4 Sleds of Furs; to be opened herafter when the Indians come in. 3 Afsnipoles came in with meat and a few wolves."
" Sunday Cloudy weather. Sent 2 men to the Afsnipoles Tents to bring furs, carried some Brandy with them. It is actualy impofsible to keep this day Holy in this Country for scarce an hour night or day but Indians is expected and coming in."
" Monday fine warm weather. Cooper at his businefs, 2 men at the Pit Saw cutting stuff for Sleds, 2 cutting firewood, one cooking. Millar at odd Jobs which is all at home, 2 Indians came in brot 10 B."
" Tuesday Snowy weather, 2 men looking for the Horses the rest as before. Alex Towers, Rob Robison and Mag Johnson with the 2 Horses arrived from above and brot the following letter from Mr John Sutherland.
Indian Elbow 14th Nov. 1796
This is to inform you that we have had a long and tedious Journey above Brandon House, we have not got within five days Journey with the Battauxs that we did last year ouing to the latenefs of the Season and shallownefs of the water notwithstanding we have got the goods all safe up to my station last year by hiring Horses from the natives with your two which has been of great Service indeed.
I am sorry to inform you that the Indians was all traded and taken Debt before my arrival, which has created expences without getting any Trade, Indians comming in on ones arrival expects to get something whether they have anything or not to give for it and it will always be the case if the present plan is not altred with regard to carrying on the Honble Companys affairs in the interror country. It is surprising that some Battauxs was sett off from Martens Fall to go to their wintering grownd before those that had Six times the distance to go. it is as surprising for Six Battauxs to be sent to places of 3 or 4000 Beaver while all Red River gets only 4 Battauxs for 4000 B besides the former having a dale of Rum and their men fishes and hunts a dale of their living while those with me procure but very little which shews as if partiality was shewn more to one Trader than another without having regard to Trade.
The Governor told me last year that I would be supplied & indulged in proportion to the return of Furs from the place under my direction therefor I was in hopes that my succefs and penetration in the interior Countrie to oppose the Canadians would have been sufficent motive to induce him to have given me the same indulgance that he gives to those in a similar station, for he may be asured that we that undergoes the hardships and fatigues of penetrating so far Inland must refresh his weared mind with the contemplation of its reward.
Mr Longmoor from York Fort has paid me a visit who tells me he has collected 800 Beaver before my arrival. the above gentleman sent a man and 2 Horses for a trip of our goods, and I had the satisfaction of his company till the men and Horses returned.
Mr George Sutherland writes me that they have given orders to Mr Isham to withdraw from this quarter.
I have collected about 3 or 400 B which has gone away with all my goods very nigh I had but little, therefor plese to send up all the Cloth and Bristol Shot that you can spare as I will be in great want of it as well as many other articles I know you cannot supply me with - Please to send the men off as soon as Christmafs is over, I sincearly wish succefs to the Honourable Companys affairs and you health and every other felicity that the season and nature can give. I Remain
Your Obedient Hble Servant
Mr Longmoors Compl. to you."
" Wednesday cloudy weather. the men variously employed. the 2 men of Sunday last returnd from the Indian Tents with 40 B."
Dec. 1 1796
" Thursday dark cloudy weather. men as before. a gang of Afsnipoles came in with Piece meat and fat and 40 B in Wolves & Kits. must send 2 more men tomorrow to the Tents for my Debt."
" Friday warm cloudy weather; Sent Watson and Easter to the Indian Tents for my Debt. Indians of yesterday went away. a small gang of Crees belonging to the other House calld as they past from whom I got 20 Beaver for which I paid them in the evening. they appear to be disconted with my neighbours as they Trade very hard with them this year looking on us scarcely as any oposition to them ouing to our having so little which I am very sorry for."
" Saturday warm cloudy weather. Watson and Easter returnd from the Indian Tents with only 20 Beaver being obliged to set off on the night as the Indians became drunk and quarrelsom. presented a gun to Watson and snapt it which if it had gone off would have Shot him, having afterwards wrested the gun from him by the afsistance of the women fir'd it off, a Ball being in it."
" Sunday Snowy weather all the Indians went away. The man who made rash attempt on Watson came in and appolagized for his conduct to the Englishmen by saying he was drunk. It may be observ'd here, that it is the custom of all Indians to excuse themselves from the greatest crimes, even murder itself by saying he was drunk; and among themselves this appolegy is admitted and they think they ought not to be punished for the Crimes they commit when intoxicated in liquor."
" Monday Snowy weather. Cooper making kegs, Yorston Sleds, 2 at the Pit Saw, 3 getting firewood, 2 looking for the Horses who had strayed above 12 miles as the men did not return till dark. It is much trouble in keeping the Horses for want of a stable & a little Hay which might been easily? got if we had a cythe to cut it with and a bit of a House made to lodge them in bad weather."
" Tuesday cold cloudy weather. Easter and one man a hunting The green meat being done and Peice meat dearly bought. I wanted to be as frugal of it as pofsible by adopting the York Fort Inland allowance which is 10 lb pr Mefs, but this they refused all following the example of Ja. Work, R. Robison and Ja. Yorston. as I could not dispence with their work I was obliged to submit and continue letting them have it at no allowance as before, in which there is great abuce and much waste. what a pitey that a stated allowance was not adopted here as well as at York settlements as well as many other regulations which does credit that establishment."
" Wednesday Clear sharp weather with two flaming Sun Dogs brighter and larger than any I ever saw down country with the frigid Spicula floating in the air remarkably thick. Sent Seven men to haul home Buffalo flesh 5 returnd 2 stay'd a tenting."
" Thursday Snowy weather. the 2 men returnd from the tent with part of the carcas of a Buffalo - Late in the evening Joseph Johnston and Angus Macdonell arrived with 2 Sled load of Furs from the Indians they by chance fell in with who was my debtor: bad walking, snow being very deep."
" Friday Clear sharp weather. 3 men hunting got nothing no Cattle to be seen, 4 Indians came in with part of my debt, about 40 Beaver and some meat: Tradded the latter in Brandy."
" Saturday A Storm of wind all day. men hauling firewood Traded 40 B from the Indians of yesterday."
" Sunday 2 men seeking the Horses (found them) Mag Johnston Sick."
" Monday Clear plesant weather. Cooper making kegs. 2 men making Sleds, 2 Cooking, one making Indian coats, the rest cutting firewood. Indians of Saturday went away, another gang came in."
" Tuesday Traded 20 Beaver from the Indians afterwards went away. Sent Slettar, Easter and Mag. Yorston out a Tenting and? to hunt Cattle as we have no green Victuals, the others as before."
" Wednesday fine weather: men as before: 2 Indians came in for men to bring my Debt from their Tents."
" Thursday Wind NW sharp weather: Sent Millar, Yorston Taylor and R Robison to the Indian Tents for my Debt.
I had an unexpected Debt to pay this Day to Mr McDonell which was a Horse price contracted by Tho. Millar last winter at the Mandals and which was unpaid till now (Viz) 8 yd of Calico in room of a gun which I had not to give, 4 yd Cloth, 4 lb of Tobacco, 4 lb of Beads, 440? Ball lb 18, 18 lb of Powder, 1 3p Blanket, 1 lb of Vermillion - in all 45 B and 4/13.
This extravagant price comes heavy on my small outfit and which should have been paid last year when ther was more goods to have paid it with, the man Millar bought this Horse from took the advantage of him being in distrefs at the time as his Horses all died in going to the Mandals through the severity of the weather and therefor could not bring back his furs without buying Horses one of which he was obliged to pay so dear for being on Trust."
" Friday Cold weather, the men at home as usual."
" Saturday very sharp weather. An Indian came in who sent in his furs the 26th ulto. by Millar, Traded 50 B from him; Millar and men returned from the Indian Tents with 3 Sleds loaded with Furs; all Wolve skin."
" Sunday Stormy severe cold weather. Sent Watson, Fowls, Towrs and Tho. Mainland with the Indian of yesterday to Bring Buffalo flesh from his Tent. Mag. Yorston came home with a Sled load of flesh and wants men with him tomorrow to bring more. 4 more Afsnipoles came in but brot very little."
" Monday Severe sharp weather. Sharper and colder than ever I saw it down Country. I supose on account of the heavy gale of wind. the 4 men sent yesterday for flesh returned but was much froze Watson in particular. James Work and Mag. Johnston refusing to go sent Ja. Yorston and James Moar in their room with Mag. Yorston to Slettars Tent with 3 Horses to bring home flesh, all the Dogs being employed otherwise - A large band of Afsnipoles came in and divided themselves between both Houses. Cloath'd the Chief.
They bring me news of an English man being pickt up in the plain almost in a parishing state having his hands and feet froze. I cannot learn whither he be any of my men or a Canadian but from the discriptions of him given by these Indians I rather think the former, and every circumstance considered conjecture it to be the unhappy Henderson who has given me such trouble this year.
Strange, that the Indian who brot this unwelcome news came in here 3 days ago, told the story, but could not make himself to be understood for want of an Interpreter untill now that Indians have arrived who speaks both languages."
" Tuesday Severe sharp weather all day, had a troublesom night with Indians. Traded above 180 B this day which has almost finished my goods, was sorry to see furs carried to the other House to Trade articles I had not and, to stand the taunts of Indians for bringing so little goods with me, is far from being agreeable as those Indians who would favour us with their Trade are disapointed and are apt to be laught at by the Canadians when they come to them for things we cannot give them - The severe cold weather has drove the Cattle all rownd the House for shelter in the woods, got the Indians to kill me 3 this day for which I paid them Brandy.
Easter and Slettar with the men sent to them came home with the flesh of 3 Buffalo; am Sorry for the poor Horses with such severe weather to see them turn'd out of doors."
" Wednesday Still very cold weather. Easter and Slettar killd 3 Buffalo which serv'd men and Dogs all day hauling home. I am plagued with such a numerous band of Afsnipoles in the House not being able to pitch a Tent with this bad weather."
" Thursday more favourable in the morning, Sent Tho. Millar, Ja. Yorston and Robt. Robison away with Dogs and Sleds to the Indians Tent to enquire about the unfortunate lost man mention'd by the Indians Monday last and to bring him hom if he belongs to me. part of the Indians went away. these thives stole 1 1/2 yd Cloth belonging to the men and which hung in the roof of the House just while they went out to haul in a little firewood. the want of locks to the doors here is a great lofs."
" Friday more moderate weather. men hauling home home Buffalo flesh, Easter killd 2 more and Slettar one, all the Afsnipoles went away this morning, all my endeavours could not find out the thief who stole the Cloth although I have proferd one Gallon of Brandy as a reward to any who might inform on the thief. got 220 Beaver in Furs from this gang of Afsnipoles mostly in Wolves & Kits."
" Saturday Moderate weather: men hauling home flesh. Cleand the yard in the afternoon; The Cordorees came in and paid me a visit from the other House they having securd their furs this winter being much in Debt to the Canadians. 2 more Cree Indians came in and paid their Debt; bought some Provisions from them."
" Sunday fine clear weather. Had dinner with Mr McDonell was treated with good Madera Wine and had a grand Dinner.
Millar, Yorston and Robison came home with the unfortunate Henderson haul'd upon Sleds, and am happy to see his case not so desperate as was reported, his hands and one of his feet being safe. the left heel severly froze and which must keep him a cripple for a long time, especiely as I have no Salve to lay too it but what I must borrow from the Canadians so badly are we fitted out in these material articles. I Shall abridge Hendersons narrative in as consise a manner as is consistant with giving satisfaction to all concern'd in it.
Being out a tenting with Tho. Richards, Joseph Johnston and Angus Macdonell with the 2 Canadians as before inserted, the very day Johnston and McDonell set of for this place with the Furs before mentioned, he with the 2 Canadians went out hunting. the first night they all put up together and the next day kill'd a Bull, Henderson having 2 Dogs and a Sled with him, set of for the Tent with as much of the flesh as he could conveniently take, the others to stay and hunt more and the weather becoming thick he lost his way, he wanderd about not knowing what to do or where to go, having neither Gun, Blanket, Hatchet or Skippertogin? in his company: to lighten himself and the Dogs he threw away most part of the flesh keeping only a little piece in case of necefsity. He wanderd about all night without taking any rest. he came to a place of very long grafs the next day in which he lay down and got a little slumbering. The next day he directed his cours Southward, thinking to find the Tent, traveling all day by the Sun and all night by the Stars, he continued 2 days and as many nights traveling this way but could neither find Tent or Indian. he became now extreamly faint and his Cloaths and Shoes so froze about him that he could not get them off - On the 5th day the cravings of hunger becam unsuportable, and having both dogs still in company he determined to kill the smallest, fearfull to make the atempt on the largest, with much adoo he perform'd this by tying the two forefeet and cutting its Throat, he lapt up the blood as it fell in the snow and thought it sweet, eat the liver and kidneys raw, cut off the skin which he wrapt rownd his feet as he felt them freezing. On the strength of this morsel he wanderd about for two days more, till he came to a Sled track which directed him to a small fire which a Canadian left on his way to River Kepell, here he made a shift to thaw his cloaths and shoes but was so extreamly wake that he could not take them off and dry them. Here fortunately he saw some Afsnipoles on their hunting excursions, and so eager was he to get to them that he mustered all the strength he was Master of and set off a running with his bare feet and wav'd his Hat which brougt them to him. the natives was very kind to him, took of his cloaths and dried them, gave him new Shoes and fresh rigged him; The Buffalo flesh he had with him was so hard froze that he could not eat it and broke his knife in the atempt. The Indians broil'd some of this on the fire to him, but his throat was so parched that with the stem? A? pain? he could swallow it. He says the raw flesh which he thaw'd in his breast had a far better relish with him and could swallow it with ease. The Indians afsisted him to their Tent where they took great care of him, after being lost Seven nights without eating or drinking, fire or waters and scarcely sleeping except the last night he was out he got a little slumber when he says he dream'd he saw Six young people in the Indian drefs who encouragd him greatly, providence happily fulfild this to him before next? night."
" Monday Clear fine weather, 4 Indians arrived with a few furs and some Piece meat, Traded one of the hunting guns to prevent Furs from being carried out of the House, have nothing but a few Nails to give the Indians as a substitute for Awls none being in the outfit."
" Tuesday fine weather Indians went away in the morning; Men diverting themselves, Hendersons foot very bad being froze to the bone."
" Wednesday Clear weather, more Indians arrived and among them was those who pickt up Henderson in the plains, and although I sent Brandy, Powder and Shot to pay them and which they received from Miller they still make heavy demands on me for the service they rendered one of my men which is Expensive on me as I was obliged to give them more Brandy on that account. Run off a Keg of Brandy, found the Leakage to be Seven quarts of the high rectifyd Spirits equal to 3 1/2 Gall Com. English Brandy."
" Thursday Traded with the Indians about 30 B and a good dale of meat and fat; the bad weather prevented their going away. Sent Slettar and 2 men to the Cordorees Tent for my Debt. Henderson bad with his froze heel."
" Friday Snowy weather. 3 Indians came in without any ? ; the men sent to the Cordoree's Tent not yet returned."
" Saturday Clear sharp weather, the three men return'd with only 10 Beaver skins, the Canadians having been there before them."
Jan. 1 1797
" Sunday Stormy weather. a troublesom day, In the morning the Canadians made the House and yard Ring with salooting, the House then filld with them when they all got a dram each, after they wer gone the House filld a second time with Ladys the wives of the Canadians with the Complimentary Kifs of the new year according to their Custom and drest in their wedding garments and had a dram to give each of them also."
" Monday Cold sharp weather. 4 men getting ready to travel up the River, 2 Cooking, 2 Sick, one hunting, one Sewing Jackets for the men going up the River; the rest hauling firewood. The Cordorees came in got 4 Beaver from them."
" Tuesday Clear sharp weather. 3 men hauling home victuals, 2 men more hunting kill'd 5 Cattle, Indians drunk all day got a few skins from the Cordorees."
" Tuesday Cold sharp weather; men hauling home Buffalo flesh. Sent Allex Towrs, Rob Robison, Mag Johnston and Wm Taylor up the River and the following letter for Mr Jn Sutherland
I Rec'd yours dated Indian Elbow 14th Nov. on the 29th by your 3 men, I am sorry you had such a troublesom Journey in the fall ouing to the shoalnefs of the River, she filled with Ice here the 24th of Oct. but was not totaly set fast before the 12th of November since which time we have had much snow and very severe weather.
Your getting in so late will certainly be hurt full to your Trade, but as it is a thing you could not help, what need you fret on that account, there is not the least doubt but you will make good returns for the little goods you had as you have always hitherto done. Your observations on the present mode of supplying Red River I am sorry to say is but too Just, and the oftener I think on it, the more it greeves me as plenty of Trade might be procured here if the businefs was methodically carried on, and at a much cheaper rate than in the Nipegon notwithstanding the heavy Expences for Provisions, which chiefly consists of Brandy. There is more cloth given away at Osnaburgh along in cloathing to Indians than all Red River outfit of that article, as but few of these Indians is Expensive on Cloth, although I must oun they are heavy on Brandy, but I might had plenty of the latter had it not been for the carelefsnefs of Coopers in making such bad kegs, what think you of 17 1/2 Gall. of the High rectify'd Spirits Leakage in 8 Rundlets us'd on the Journey last summer, and every other keg has a Leakage in proportion and some much more as I dare say you are witnefs to.
I would willingly have adopted your plan of men staying at both Posts during the summer as I know it would be attended with advantages to the Service, but as the Rem'r of goods will be so little and men few, I think you will agree with me in collecting the little that may remain in one place where it may get something which makes me think it better for you to some down as soon as your Trade is over in the Spring, leaving it to yourself what goods to bring down or leave behind and to summer here. this will appear to be the best method especiely when you consider that 8 men cannot be found to stay that has not their times out in the Service.
While affairs continues so much emberrased in Albany River as it is at present, for want of men from Europe and propper regulations it will be highly detrimental to the Companys Trade for York Fort to withdraw from this quarter untill such time as we are able to supply their place. You will therefor communicate to Mr George Sutherland and the gentlemen from York to continue for two years or one at least untill affairs wears a better aspect in this River then it does at present when I make no doubt but the Company will be enabled to launch out to advantage in this quarter. Tis a strange contrast when the Canadians thinks it worth their while to send 20 Canoes up this River while we bring only four.
I am sorry I cannot comply with your request in sending you either Cloth or Shot having only one piece of the former in the House and half a bagg of the Latter, and although the Indians have sent in their Debts it remains unopend, and a good dale untraded. I shall soon be a spectator in seeing the Indians carry out their furs and pafs by my door to the Canadians for want of goods to Trade, but while I do my duty in getting what I can, the fault will not lie at my door.
You may send down as many men with Wm Taylor as you can spare from bringing down your Craft in the Spring, therefor with wishing to hear good news from you and as early as pofsible health and Succefs I Remain
Your Obedient Humble Servant
PS. I have sent you 24 Rundlets of 6 qu't each and 40 fish Hooks.
Comp. to Mr Longmoor."
" Thursday Clear weather. hunters repairing their guns which is very bad and I have none to repace them and the best of these fouling pieces is not fit to kill Buffalo with being to small in the Caliber which requires the Ball to be par'd very much before they can load which causes many a waste Shot and is very expencive on the Powder which is so presious in this Country and which makes me wish the Company would send a few Guns out of a larger bore with suitable Ball on purpose for their oun Servants to hunt the Buffalo and which would save Expences in hiring Indians for that purpose and that a small reward was allow'd them as an encouragement to hunt such as a half Pint of Brandy or something adequate for every Beast a Man kild. this would raise a emulation in the men and be much more profitable in the end than hiring Indians, but this remark I submit to wiser and more penetrating Judges."
" Friday Clear plesant weather. men hauling in firewood, 2 men brot home a Buffalo killd yesterday, 2 Afsnipoles came in with some Piece meat but very little furs."
" Saturday Men bringing home flesh killd by Easter & Slettar. Indians of yesterday went away."
" Sunday Snowy weather: no Indians this day, which is a wonder."
" Monday Clear weather. Watson prepairing staves for kegs. 3 men getting more. 2 men brot hom flesh killd yesterday by Easter. one man Sick; a gang of troublesom Afsnipoles came in, have no goods left to Trade with them, carried some of their Furs to the other House to Trade things I had not, but not getting what please'd them they carried some back again and took triffles from me for it."
" Tuesday Warm weather. 4 men brot 2 Cattle killd by Easter yesterday. Traded 80 B from the Indians, another family? came in."
" Wednesday warm weather, got 2 more Buffalo hauld home by 4 men, The others domestically. Indians of yesterday went away. they stole the dram glafs and a large Pewter dish."
" Thursday Cloudy weather, filld the Ice House with Snow."
" Friday Clear plesant weather. men hauling in firewood."
" Saturday 4 men brot home 3 Cattle killd yesterday. 3 different gangs of Indians came in, I was sorry to see but could not help it their carrying furs to the Canadians. I have nothing now left but some Brandy which is laid by for particular Indians. I repent now that ever Red River saw me with so little goods and so few craft."
" Sunday a troublesom day with different tribes of Indians, Crees, Soutees, Maskegoes and Afsnipoles with whom there is nothing but uproar and confusion, as the goods are now finishing they are pouring in in shoals from all quarters to have their share before all is gone which makes it a fine chance for the Canadians who has plenty of every kind of goods and continualy hauling from one place to another."
" Monday Snowy weather. 2 men bringing home flesh. Watson making kegs who can scarcely keep the Indians carrying away. 2 men cleaning out the yard, Self afsisted by Millar attending on Indians. Traded a good dale of Furs from them, they went away on the night. Canadians arrived from the Mandals. Rec'd the following letter from Mr Evans in answer to mine of the 23d of Nov. last.
Fort Makay Dec. 20th 1796
Yours of the 23d of Nov. came to hand and I thank you, The Trade from the N to this place being prohibited I believe cannot effect neither the Hudsons Bay nor the NW Company as they never met with anything but lofs from this quarter.-
As to your request concerning admifsion to Trade Horses, Indian corn and Buffalo Robes it is not in my power to answer you on that head, But I have reason to believe the latter will not be permitted as it is the staple Trade of this Countrie, but houever you will be propperly inform'd after the arrival of the Agent General and Lieut. Mooroch at this Post. having no entertaining news of any kind to transfer to you,
Your Obt. Servt.
J. T. Evans."
" Tuesday Wind W a Storm. men hauling home Buffalo flesh. The others as before. The Canadians from the Mandals lost 5 Horses by straying away obliged to leave all their furs and Indian Corn wheich they had Traded."
" Wednesday fine clear weather. men hauld home more Buffalo flesh killd yesterday; Mens Chimney caught fire, got it repaired."
" Thursday fine clear weather: men hauling firewood."
" Friday Cloudy weather. Several Afsnipoles came in to Tent at the other House, Yorston and Slettar preparing to go to the Mandals, it being a voluntary proposal of their oun. I have no Objections and shall let them have some Powder and Ball to Trade there but have nothing else to send."
" Saturday fine weather; James Yorston and James Slettar set off for the Mandals. men at home cutting firewood &c."
" Sunday Cloudy weather, was plagued with drunken Indians all day belonging to the other House. Traded a few articles from them for Brandy."
" Monday fine weather, Cooper, Taylor and Cooks as usual, the rest filling the Ice House with snow and carrying watter to pack it with. Hendersons heel still very bad but on the mending order but must take some time before it is whole having no Salve but what I borrow."
" Tuesday Cloudy weather. learn't that the Canadians have sent men with goods to the Northward among the Crees, I could have been there before them if I had goods to send, as it is they who kills the best of Furs."
" Wednesday Thawey weather, Sent 3 men to look for the Horses one of which has been mifsing this several days and had been often lookt for, the poor animal was found drowned in a Beaver dam in a Creek not far from the House and was the same Horse I paid so extravagantly for to the Canadians the 15th of Dec. last - Horses are very serviceable in this country in Summer especiely in carrying Provisions &c through the plains and going erands at such times as Sleds cannot be used. at the same time they are very troublesom to keep and during the Summer if not duely attended are liable to be stole by the Indians."
" Thursday plesant weather: men variously employed."
" Friday Clear weather men hauling in firewood. The stout Afsnipoles came in and with what I had got from him before Traded 49 Beaver in prime furs. Tom Richards and Angus McDonell came in from Tenting with a small Bundle of furs which they got from the Indians to carry home, The Canadians had been at their Tent with Liquor and all kind of goods and Traded most part of the Indians furs except the small Bundle which Richards took home with him and what I had before received the 8th of Dec. last, what a vexation it is the want of goods."
" Saturday Men hauling in firewod, a numerous band of Afsnipoles came in 15 men and many more women chiefly with Provisions, but I have nothing to give but a little Brandy which is fast going and a little Powder and Ball. Oh! that I had goods."
" Sunday fine clear weather, another band of Indians came in to Tent, as these Indians belongs to the House I had the leader to Cloath and gave him a big keg, had a troublesom night with all this gang."
" Monday Men hauling in firewood; more Indians came in to Tent."
" Tuesday A troublesom day with Indians, Capt. Keenetnecapo and gang came in a troublesom set and with reluctance paid their debt cloath'd the Chief and gave him a big keg, got 125 B from this gang including what was sent in before."
Feb. 1 1797
" Wednesday Plesant weather. Indians drunk all day, the men watching night and day; Capt. Ichopamashish came in to see what was going forward and I supose was pleas'd to see Indians drunk, he went away on the night, sent 3 men with him to bring what furs he had, having rec'd the principle of his hunt on the 26th of November last by Miller and men; I compute to be in the House this day 6000 lb of Piece meat, 3000 lb of fatt, and 2000 lb of Beat meat or Ruahegan."
" Thursday Men watching. The 3 men returned in the morning with the Capt. Furs, he arrived soon after with all his gang and pitched their Tents at some distance from the House, 5 in number, Cloath'd the Chief after paying their debts and gave him a bigg keg. he invited all the Indians to drink with him, 12 Tents being here and as many at the other House of Afsnipoles, Crees, Souties and Maskagoes a mixed breed as numerous as the locusts in Egypt."
" Friday Men as before Indians all drunk and very troublesom."
" Saturday pleasant weather with thaw, men hauling in firewood Indians mostly sober, no accident happned."
" Sunday fine weather, nothing ocurred worth remarking."
" Monday Millar, Richards, M. Yorston, and Ja. Work went to an Indian Tent to enquire after my debt and carried a little Brandy with them, Watson at Kegs, one making Cloaths for the men, the rest atending Indians."
" Tuesday Men as before. more Indians came in to tent at the other house, got a few debts from them."
" Wednesday Men attending the House, a very drunken day with the Indians who are selling the very cloaths of their back for Brandy. Miller and men returned but could not find the Tent, brot all back."
" Thursday a heavy fall of snow last night. Indians distracted for Brandy, gave them Brandy for 2 good guns, and also got a cheap bargan of 2 Horses only 20 B. each."
" Snowy weather. men hauling out snow and cleaning the yard. Traded another Horse from the Indians for Brandy which being so cheap I could not refuse the offer as at any other time they might cost 3 times the price. Easter killd 2 Cattle."
" Saturday Cold sharp weather and a deep fall of snow last night. 4 men brot home the 2 Cattle killd yesterday by Easter. an Indian came in with 8 Beaver which he Traded for Brandy."
" Sunday House full of Indians all day, 8 Canadians arrived from River Kepel for goods from Mr Macdonell."
" Monday Snowy weather; men cleaning the Yard &c &c."
" Tuesday Men hauling home firewood. Capt. Pepintuke came in on the night, and Capt. Corn? in the morning with a few Wolves &c."
" Wednesday Clear weather. Easter and Richards hunting, killd 2 Buffalo, got 3 more from an Indian, 8 Canadians went up the River with goods from the other House."
" Thursday Snowy weather all day. 4 men brot home 2 Buffalo killd yesterday, the House never emptys of Indians."
" Friday Clear sharp weather, 3 men clearing snow out of the Yard. Watson still making kegs, one man sewing for the men, One Cooking, 2 cleaning armes, Henderson still unable to do duty. The Indians of Tuesday went away this morning, an Indian woman died suddenly at the other House ocasion'd by a blood vesal bursting inwardly."
" Saturday Clear weather: men crofs cutting firewood."
" Sunday cold cloudy weather, Spent the day religiously."
" Monday Wind SW with a gale, cold cloudy weather. Cooper as before, one looking after the Horses who is almost starv'd to death with this cold weather and snow so deep they can scarcely pick up a scanty livlehood, the rest of the men cutting firewood, an Indian and famiely came in with more Provisions which he wanted Brandy for, but my last keg being a broach he got none as I want to keep it to pick up a few skins with in the Spring."
" Tuesday Cloudy weather, the men as before, Indians of yesterday went away, one of the Mares I bought a few days ago, cast her fole ouing as I supose to the severety of the weather. what a pity there was not a Stable and Hay to have hous'd these fine animals with bad weather. The Snow is remarkably deep at present, the Canadians have made two atempts without succefs in going to River de Pabino, and both times been obliged to return, snow being so deep."
" Wednesday Cold sharp weather, the men as before."
" Thursday Severe cold weather with a Storm of wind at NW the men crofs cutting wood pr? fine?"
" Friday Wind W a Storm all day Easter and Richards hunting killd 3 Buffalo, the rest as before."
" Saturday Cloudy cold weather, the men hauld home the Cattle killd yesterday. About 3 PM Slettar and Yorston arrived from the Mandals with 4 Sleds well loaded with Furs. Mr Evans was as cival to them as his wretched sitewation would admit, but would not permit them them to Trade with the natives, he Traded all the goods they had and gave them furs for it, but would have bought it much cheaper had they dealt with the natives who was highly displeased with Evans on that account and some thinks will endanger his situation. On their arrival there they wer met by above 300 Indians who carried their Sleds on their Shoulders into the vilage, so fond wer they of the English. Mr Evans hoisted his Spanish flagg."
" Sunday Wind W sharp weather. Early this morning 5 Canadians set off for the Mandals, and at 9 PM Wm Taylor and James Sinclair arrived from Indian Elbow, brot the following letter from Mr Jn Sutherland.
Indian Elbow Feb. 13th 1797
Yours of the 3d of Jan. I duly received the 18th with the small rundlets and fish hooks by your men. it gives me great satisfaction to be inform'd of your succefs in Red River this year, you have been very fortunate undeed that the NW Company have drove out the petty adventurers from Red River. Neverthelefs had you not been a Capital Trader and a great Occonomist you could but little counteract the affairs of your oponents, they having no lefs than 20 large Canoes with Trading goods and you only 4 Crafts loading.
The NW Company has built a house about 5 or 6 miles to the Northward of me and another to the Westward right in the road of the Indians to cut off my Trade if they could notwithstanding I am collecting a little, and in expectation of making a midling return of Furs for my consignment of goods, for all their maneavouring and stratagems, I wish I had goods, I have nothing remaining already But a little Brandy, Tobacco, Powder, and about 30 lb of Ball and Shot. I expect to make out 1000 B before I leave here, besides Provisions so that I do not expect to have a single article remaining before the Battauxs leaves this place, Notwithstanding it would be attended with advantage to the Service if 2 or 3 men wer staying here during the Summer if it was but to take care of Provisions, which would save the trouble of bringing that article in this shallow River in the fall of the year, which is not done without a dale of trouble and expences. The Indians would be expecting our comming in the fall so that they would be putting in something in expectation to get a drink when the Battauxs arrived which certainly would save expences, besides I was going to look out for a place better sitewated for Trade, wood &c to build a House on than where I am, and to build a Store house this summer where Craft could get to, which would secure the Companys propperty till it was carried where wanted, and not to have it left exposed in the open plains to everything as it was last fall untill it was brought up here. There are 6 men here with me now whose times is not out in the Service which could serve both places, as I do not think that any Trading goods will be remaining.
I have communicated your sentiments to Mr Longmoor with regard to the York Fort people withdrawing from this quarter and shall write to Mr George Sutherland the first opportunity as we are not hurting one another yet, but afsisting each other with such articles as the other had none of, at the same time I do not immagin that it would curtail the Hon. Companys Trade. their withdrawing as they come past places that they could collect more Trade at and better Furs, but not so good for Provisions.
Whether you send up men to stay here all the summer or not, please to send 2 or 3 men to stay with me while the others are bringing up the Battauxs, which we could not get up in the fall ouing to the shallownefs of the water and the early setting in of the River which she did here on the 25th of October as it would be too lonley for me to stay by myself as I expect Indians in about that time - The cause that the Packet was detained here so long was for want of shoe leather to give the men.
As my time is out in the Service please do not depend upon my staying all summer at Brandon House.
Leakage in Brandy indeed is incrediable. I will have no lefs than 20 Gallons of spirits on the whole. With wishing Succefs to the Hon. Companys affairs, you health and every happinefs I Remain
Your Obedient Humble Servant
" Monday Severe cold weather, Travelers resting themselves, 4 men geting wood for kegs, one Cooking, Miller and Richards went for an Indian Tent a small errand, discounted? with the 2 men from the Mandals who I found had brot 160 B in Wolves and Kits 32 of which having Traded with their oun propperty cannot be replaced till I get? ? the Fall as I have no goods left to pay them at present."
" Tuesday More moderate weather, men variously."
March 1 1797
" Wednesday Clear weather, men crofs cutting firewood, Millar and Richards returnd, found the Indians had removed from where they wer."
" Thursday Cloudy weather, Cooper making kegs; rest hauling firewood."
" Friday Snowy weather all day; men employed indoors."
" Saturday Clear weather, men cleaning the yard of snow and cutting firewood, the tall Afsnipoles? came in with meat and fat, but had no Brandy to give him for it, gave him Powder & Shot."
" Sunday Clear weather, Indians of yesterday went away a Canadian belonging to the other House eloped last night with a girl in company with an intent to go for the Mandals, was pursoud this day and brought back with a great dale of stolen goods in his pofsesion and was put in Irons."
" Monday Clear weather, 3 men getting ready to go up the River. Cooper as before, 2 men getting hoops for the Cooper, rest at firewood."
" Tuesday Cloudy weather, men as before and domestically."
" Wednesday Clear plesant weather. Slettar, Easter and Richards hunting killd 4 Buffalo, dispatched James Yorston, M. Yorston and James Sinclair up the River for Mr Jn Sutherlands Post and Sent him the following Letter.
I Rec'd your letter dated Indian Elbow the 13th Ult. on the 26th and was glad to hear of your wellfare. I now send 2 men back with your men accoarding to your request; to bring up the Boats which you had froze in last fall and as much Ball &c as I can spare you, a list of which is enclosed, besides Nine Rundlets of the size you wanted.
The advantages you mention arising from two or 3 men staying at your Post all summer is so clear and reasonable that I cannot help acquiesing, especialy as you are so willing to stay yourself, notwithstanding the men are so few that I much fear their Service will be much wanted next Summer, houever you may detain two or three men to stay with you, if you could do with 2 so much the better, as this House cannot have lefs than 5 or 4 at least, on account of keeping the Horses from being stolen by the Indians, having purchased four more since my last, on account of the great Service they wer to you last fall, I wish you had 2 or 3 of them as I hear they are not so liable to be stole where you are.
You will send down your Trade as early as pofsible that we may not be detained here on that account as you will know the consequence of getting early out, and send an Indent of Trading goods for your oun Post and another at Shell River as I shall have a outfit for that place if all goes well below, you may depend upon it you shall not want for any thing in my power to supply you with as such exertions deserves encouragment. I hear you are a good Stewart of your Brandy in particular as well as every other thing commited to your care.
I cannot inform you with certainty what Furs is in the House but I guefs it to be about 1500 B or so and now expects no more as my last keg of Brandy is a broach, I have been much deceived in that article on account of the almost incredible leakage. with wishing you a Happy Summer and health I Remain Dear Sir your Obedient humble Servant - James Sutherland."
" Thursday very Stormy weather which prevented the men from bringing the cattle kild yesterday; men crofs cutting wood."
" Friday clear weather, 6 men went with dogs and Sleds to bring the cattle killd on Wednesday but found the Wolves had not left a bit uneaten except one thigh, the men says they saw above 600 Wolves."
" Saturday Thawy weather, men crofs cutting firewood."
" Sunday much snow gone these 2 days, spent the day religiously."
" Monday Thawy weather, 4 men hauling home Flesh from the Indians which they had killd in the plains and gave me."
" Tuesday Cloudy cold weather, The Canadians having begun to fall wood near our House, sent 6 men to fall and cut down all before them otherwise will not have a stick near the House that we can call our oun and in two years more there will be no firewood near this House as the Canadians are So numerous they will cut down all the wood for building houses and for firewood having no lefs than 6 Chimnees daily burning wood. Several Indians Tenting at the House pitched away this day."
" Wednesday Cloudy weather, men the same as yesterday."
" Thursday Warm cloudy weather, 6 men working in the woods, the others as before. All the Indians Tenting at the House went away."
" Friday Snowy weather all day, men crofs cutting firewood."
" Saturday Cloudy warm weather, men hauling firewood."
" Sunday Clear, Stormey weather, Spent the day Holy."
" Monday Clear plesant weather, took advantage of the frostey morning to haul in the last of the firewood. Watson making Rundlets Henderson still lame, Richards lame by a fall from his Horse (bled him)"
" Tuesday Clear weather men as yesterday and crofs cutting firewood."
" Wednesday Weather and people the same as yesterday."
" Thursday Stormy weather with Snow and Sleet, men employed within doors, Slettar Sick, 3 Indians came in for men to bring Furs from their Tents."
" Friday Clear Sharp weather, Sent Millar and 2 men to one Tent of Indians, Easter and 2 with him to another Tent, the former three returned at night with 50 B in prime furs, some of which is still unpaid for, not having Brandy enough to purchas the whole."
" Saturday dark cloudy weather, the 3 men sent to the Tents Yesterday returned at noon with more furs than I am able to purchafs having no goods left and what is worse hardly any Brandy."
" Sunday Clear cold weather, more Indians arrived who Traded the last of the furs Millar brought; the other Indians have not yet arrived."
" Monday Clear weather, Men getting logs for the Sawpit for Ceiling and false keels for the Battaux, paid the Indians of last night and they went away this morning, the others who sent in their Furs Saturday last came in, Cloath'd one of them and let them have the last drop of Brandy in the House, and no other goods left, so that it is impofsible for me to prevent the Indians from carrying the Furs out of the House to the Canadians, who has still plenty of every article. Three foreign Indians from River de Pabino came in but seeing I had nothing left they went to the other House. I supose they have furs. - Now is plainly seen the effects of that abominable custom of serving so much Brandy out on the Journey in Summer to the men and the severe lofs I have this year in leakage, every quart of this extraordinary expences and lofs is a full made Beaver out of the Companys warehouse, as this is the season for the Souties in hunting Beaver, which they will now all carry to the Canadians. This disadvantage I plainly saw on my first appointment to Red River with such a small outfit, but I did not expect such a Leakage in the Brandy by reason of such ill made kegs."
" Tuesday Mild thawey weather, people in the Woods, Indians drunk, they carried about 20 Beaver out of the House to Trade with the Canadians for Brandy for which the Indians wer sorry for declaring they would have taken lefs from me rather than carry their Furs to the French, but their propencity for liquor is so great that no other goods would satisfy them for it if I had it."
" Wednesday Cold weather, 2 men at the Pit Saw, 4 getting wood for Mallets, Streachers and Wedges for the Beaver Prefs, all the Indians at both Houses preparing to go away."
" Thursday fine clear weather, 3 men getting wood for Staves for Kegs for the Cooper one keeping the Horses, Millar, Cooper and Cooks as usual, almost all the Indians pitch'd away."
" Friday fine clear weather and a general thaw; people as before."
Apr. 1 1797
" Saturday Snowy weather all day, men employed indoors."
" Sunday Clear weather with Snow at intervals, spent the day holy."
" Monday Clear sharp weather, 6 men falling and crofs cutting firewood. Millar looking after the Horses, Two cooking, Watson preparing staves for more kegs, Two at the Pit Saw cutting boards."
" Tuesday Clear sharp weather. men the same as yesterday. Sent Richards and Easter to the Indian Tents for kegs but they wer removed."
" Wednesday Cold sharp weather: men as before."
" Thursday Cloudy disagreeable weather. men as before an Indian boy came in for Tobacco to? his Father (one of our Chiefs)"
" Friday Wind weather and people as before, Last night in the dusk of the evening the Canadian who eloped on the 5th ulto with so much stolen goods in his pofsesion and who has been ever since close confind in Irons made a shift to brake loose and set off with himself for the Mandals as is supposed, Search was made after him in vain. Two Indians was hird this morning for a big Keg of Brandy to pursue him and either bring himself or his Scalp. The Indians traced him through the Snow found him fast asleep in a bush wrapt in a Buffalo skin and not Six miles off although he had the whole night to make his escape. He was Chain'd to the wall of the House in Heavy Horse Chains and the Indians is now drunk on their hire, it is difficult to say whither this unhappy man be more a Rogue than a Fool."
" Saturday Clear weather and cold, the men in the woods, Miller seeking the Horses, there is much trouble with them."
" Sunday Clear weather, spent the day Religiously."
" Monday Clear fine weather, 2 men hauld home a wooden Canoe built by Richards and Easter, the others making Pometigan made 23 Bags."
" Tuesday Clear weather: men crofs cutting firewood."
" Wednesday Cloudy weather, men made 25 bags of Pometigan, 48 in all. River swelling very much, Canadians arrived from the Mifsurie."
" Thursday clear plesant weather, made 14 bags of Pometigan 62. hauld up the Boats, Water rising fast in the River."
" Friday (Good Friday) Snow all day. Watson and Easter making a bed place for the Master upstairs, 2 making a door for the flesh House the door of which has been stolen either by the Indians or Canadians.
News from the Mandals, Mr Evans and the Canadians was almost at fisticuffs in atempting to prevent them from Trading with the natives, and not having goods himself set all the Indians out against him, he was obliged to set off with himself and all his men down the River for Fort Charles, the Indians threatning to kill them if they refused being greatly exasperated against them for preventing the Subjects of G. Britain from comming to Trade with them. The Indians has plenty of Furs still among them particularly the Grovanders (or bigg bellys) and are determined to visit this place next fall or at least to meet Traders halfway, what a pity there is not men and goods to encourage this Trade."
" Saturday As bad a day as ever was seen in this or any other Country. the men could scarce get as much firewood as serve the fires although already crofscut in the yard, it fell more than a foot snow."
" Sunday (Easter Sunday) heavy snow till noon, snow 18 Inches deep in the yard, spent the day Religiously."
" Monday Men hauling snow out of the yard and at firewood."
" Tuesday More snow in the afternoon, cold disagreeable weather, the earth loaded with snow, no sign of the River braking. Made 7 bags of Pometigan the last for this year. in all 69, each bag 90 lb, in all 6210 lb of Pometigan which being half fat is 3105 lb of each sort."
" Wednesday Cold weather with snow and sleet, it fell a good dale last night. Easter and Watson turning over the warehouse and making it more comodious for Trading with the Indians, made 2 hand barrows."
" Thursday weather more clear but still cold, people as before. An Indian came in with 10 Beaver skins which he expected Brandy for but ther being none he Traded it for such articles as remain'd.
Easter denied going to work this morning, Said he was not paid for working, had no wages, was not paid for his hunting as last year, was usd lik a Slave &c. The People together with the Canadians is Poisoning the morals of this simple fellow, and too mild treatment is spoiling him, as I do not like to use him rough for fear of his deserting to the Canadians who are gaping with open mouth to receive any of our discontented Servants can scarcely get the domestic duties of the place done by the people in general all casting up that the Canadian Service now is become preferable should any desert, I should be distrest in getting out with the Craft."
" Friday Rainey weather all day: The Indian could not get away. the men employed indoors at various Jobs."
" Saturday heavy rain all day, cannot keep the Furs dry, Watson (a good Servant) fitting up the Warehouse, fearful of Easters deserting I was indust to make him a present to get him to return to his duty. What is this service now redust to!"
" Sunday Very cold weather with snow last night, scarcely thaw'd on the Light? of the day, Perform'd Divine Service I believe for the first time at Brandon House with one of Tillotsons Sermons, (which houever is not fit for this Country) - I am of opinion that a due observance of the Sabath, and religion inculcated both by precipt and example, has a great influence on the morals of the common people; and I may say in particular the Servants in this country. But am sorry to observe that it cannot be attended to at this place which I think is one principle cause of the discontents and disobedience which at present reigns among the people in this River in particular as well on the establishment in general, for it is almost a certainty that a pious religious man is sure to make a good Servant, but instead of men of this discription, with concern? I say it, I never have seen since I have been in the Country a set of more irreligious, Ignorant men than those at present in the Service, which must be ouing to their Ignorant way of bringing up, and scarcely ever hearing the word of God mentioned in this country except in a blasphemous manner."
" Monday Wind NW cloudy cold weather. Watson making kegs, Easter doing small Jobs in the Warehous, 2 Cooking, one seeking the Horses, the others getting firewood &c."
" Transcribed pr? J McNab."
" Tuesday Clear Weather. Richards and Fowels went after the Indian that stole the Horses. two others Searching through the woods with self. the others domestically."
" Wednesday Cloudy weather. Richards and Fowels brought the Horses having come up with them at A? small river where the Ind. had drove them acrofs and deserted himself they had much trouble in getting the Horses - Saw nothing of the Ind. the other men packing furs packed 11 Bundles."
" Thursday Clear fine weather. water rising fast in the River and the Ice breaking away in small pieces. Am taking Care of the Horses the others packing furs. packed 11 Bundles - 22 in All each 90 lb. - Self very Sick. -"
"These seem the last words he wrote being imperfect in his Original Jourl. JM."
" By Thomas Miller after the decease of Mr James Sutherland."
" Friday Wind Wly blows a gale. the men packing furrs. Mr Sutherland very Sick, but is walking about after Consulting Dr Burhans? Domes'k Missive? he sent James Moore to Mr McDonell for a Vomit and brought two papers of Vomits and 2 of purges and a little Rhubarb. at 4 pm he made one of the papers ready and drank it and walked through the room drinking warm water at times for nearly 4 hours and then drank some tea after but the vomit had no effect, he then bathed his feet in warm water and went to bed. I stayed in the room till 10 OClock and went to the Bed room with a Pot of warm tea to him and told him that I will stay up with you all night Sir, no go to bed and set the people to work in the Morng till I get up and if I want any thing I will ring the Bell for Moore, I then went to bed and Slept a little the Bell rang and Moore went up in haste, the Master told him to light a Candle and said I wish I never had taken that vomit - Moore Came directly down stairs and told me the Master is very weak, I went up in the bed room and James Moore. I caught him by the hand and said Dear Sir you are very weak he looked stedfastly and his lips moved but said nothing. I told Moore to call all hands which he did. James Watson came first to where I was sitting at his back in my Arms and never breathed after. in him the Honble Company has lost an able and worthy officer whom I greatly regret - Sent for Mr McDonald to see the Cooper who seemed very sorrowfull. all hands staid up till day light."
" Saturday Wind Variable fine weather. Ja. Watson & Easter making a Coffin - Self with the other men putting by the Cos. property and the property of the deceased untill examined. the River nighly open. I am greatly at a stand how to do, I would send two men for Mr John Sutherland, but as there is so much water in the river they have to crofs it it is impofsible for them to proceed, and also be very hurtfull to next years trade as the season would be far advanced before they could arrive. But that I leave to your Honors Superior judgement. the men with Mr McDonald and self sitting up with the Corpse all night."
" Sunday Wind Sly fine weather the river open water very high spent the day holy in the eveng put the Corpse in the Coffin and watched as before."
May 1 1797
" Monday Wind Wly fine weather. in the morning 4 men with me taking an overhaul of all the Companys goods, and also of the effects of the late Ja. Sutherland - 3 men digging the Grave One Cooking One taking care of the Horses. at 3 PM interred the Corpse of the deceased - All the Honble Companys Servants Mr McDonald and some of his men accompanied the Corpse to the Grave who all seemed very sorrowfull."
" Tuesday Wind Nly fine weather Richards and Easter repairing the Boats one taking care of the Horses one Cooking the others with me packing furs - packed 12 Bundles. in the eveng some Ind. came to the other House who was in debt here - 8 B - Self and Tho. Richards went and demanded the debt which the Indian paid."
" Wednesday Wind & Weather as before packed 12 bundles of furs."
" Thursday Wind Weather as men as yesterday. packed 11 Bundles of furs - 34 B Over? which is equal to 57 Bundles besides what was traded on Mr Sutherlands journey from OH. all the Bundles packed here is 90 lb each."
" Friday Wind Wly blows a Storm 3 men drying Piece meat which is almost Rotten and will be obliged to throw it on this River. One man herding the Horses. Ja. Wirk and Self Sick the others variously employed."
" Saturday Wind Weather & men as before."
" Sunday Wind variable fine Weather Spent the day holy, the water is higher in the River than ever any man of the oldest time here has seen. it is in Reason? 10 feet perpendicular where there was not one drop last year. Self and Wirk Still sick."
" Monday Wind E blows a Gale all hands bringing Wood home to set about Mr Sutherlands Grave. Self still very sick."
" Tuesday Wind & Weather as before 4 men putting Stockades Round Mr Sutherlands Grave the others differently employed Self and Wirk sick."
" Wednesday Wind & Weather as before men variously employed - self as before."
" Thursday Wind Wly Cold sharp weather 3 men hunting brought 3 Calves the others variously employed."
" Friday Wind Wly blows a gale men preparing for going down Self sick."
" Saturday Wind NW with snow and frost Cold Sharp weather 4 men hunting the others variously employed - 4 Calves."
" Sunday Wind and Weather as before - kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind as before a little milder 8 men getting themselves ready for Starting to morrow or the day after to point au futre."
" Tuesday Wind Variable fine weather hard frost in the Morng 4 men hunting the others burning Rubbish about the place and packing a few furs come in short ago."
" Wednesday Wind SWly blows a gale at 8 am dispatched two Boats down with 38 Bundles of furs and 20 bags of Pometica, 260 lb of piece meat for their journey and the follg men, James Wirk, Jacob Henderson, Angus McDonald, Wm Fowles, James Moore and Tho. Mainland. at 10 AM arrived two Boats from Mr JohnSutherland with 23 bundles of furs and a Rundlet Car'g 40 lb Castorum? which I have filled up - also 7 bags of Pometica 5 of them old, Mouldy and good for Nothing."
" Thursday Wind Ely rainy weather all day, Cannot get the Boats repaired and all the houses filling with water."
" Friday Blows a Storm. Easter, Brown & Yorston Repairing the Boats. to morrow is to set off 3 boats? and the foll'g men, Ja. Brown, Ja. Yorston, Jn. Easter, Mag. Yorston, Dav'd Brown, Mag. Johnston, Jos. Johnston, James Sinclair, Robt. Gun, Alex Towers, Louis Jolly Couer & an Ind. Youth.
I Conclude wishing prosperity to your Honors trade & Remain
Your very Obedt. & Hubl. Servt.
" To Mefs Clouston & Cobb
As there is no officer in Company with these Boats by Reason of the unfortunate event that has happened I therefore Recommend it to your Consideration to forward them to Martins fall as fast as pofsible and likewise help them to get all the furs down as at is impofsible for them to take it out in 4 Boats for the Honor of the Service and duty to our employers every man in his Respective Station ought to exert himself in behalf of his employers, and more especially when necefsity requires it.
I Remain Gentlemen
Your Most Obt. Hube. Sert.
" In this Journal there are many sensible Remarks positing Clearly what might be done if we had men and goods. Several intimations seem pointedly to imply an ignorance and irregularity in conducting the general businefs. the events of our operations must answer for this - the omifsions Complained of in Several Articles of Trading Goods not being sent I the lefs expected as the Apartment was selected and packed by Mr Don'd McKays direction and under his eye - Mr Sutherland had the Invoice for examination Several days at Mfall after McKays known abdecation? and several articles were then added, if he had requested or could have taken more they would have been sent. the discontents and disobedience? among the men I am the more vexed to find as when these grievances in general are inquired into in presence of their Masters they seem equally to aquiesce? that the Causes proceed from both - Expending so much Liquor on the journey is a great evil indeed; this year the quantity will be diminished. I Collected the several parties previous to their leaving the fall in their Masters presence and told them not to expect Grog as usual on the journey - they departed without Complaints but if this regulation is not observed at the other factories in the Bay the event will give disatisfaction, and Albany a bad name for I believe the men from thence go further therefrom and their Labour more severe than any servants from Any of your Honors factories in Hudsons Bay.