This is a virtually complete transcription of the Brandon House Journal from 1797-1798 by Alex Nicol
" Red River Journal of transactions &c for part the year 1797 and 98 by John McKay Master.
Includes? the Journey from Osnaburgh House to Brandon House and back again, with the Brandon House Summer Journal by Thomas Millar then in Charge."
Aug. 4 1797
" Friday Wind West blowing a storm in the forenoon 5 PM the wind abating and the water running smoother, I set off from Osnaburgh House with 5 Boats and the following men for Red River. Tho. Norn, Nowchuzick?, Will. Banks, William Tullouch, George Groundwater, George Sabbiston, Mag. Knight, James Carston, Tho. Favill, Jn Fidlar, Jn. Richards, Tho. Richards, Jn Easter, James Anderson, James Anderson Taylor, Hugh Flette, Will. Johnston, James Inkster, James Sinclair, Mag. Flaws, Will. Tait, Jn. Lyons, Lewis Jolly Couer, Jn. Christian and James Short. we put up at a sandy point about two miles from the House. the Boats is not nigh loaded, I could have taken 20 parcels more of Trading Goods."
"Saturday Wind NW blowing hard a head. we Camped half through Osnaburgh Lake."
" Sunday Wind SW blowing a storm at times. we Camped at the Creek with all over the first Carrying Place."
" Monday Wind North blowing an hurrican? with rain all last night and most part of this Day. the wind does us no harm in this small Creek but the rain is more against us here then in a larger place."
" Tuesday Wind North with rain at times, we Campd nigh Lake Saul."
" Thursday Wind South blowing a gentle breeze. I omitted mentioning Mr Racette?. I sent him before me to Lake Saul to set nets, I met him at the Devils Stone where we Campd."
" Saturday Wind West blowing hard at times. early this morning after taking up the nets we set off from the narrows of Lake Saul and Campd at the last Red Lake Fall with all the goods over and the Battouxs."
" Sunday Wind North with rain in the morning but fine weather after 9 oclock. at 11 AM we arrived at the long Carrying Place and Campd at the other side with all the Cargo over."
" Wednesday Wind East with rain all day. 12 Oclock we arrived at Iscabezewen? House found Mag. Birsay and the two men with him well. he is destitute of almost every kind of Trading Goods. I brought him a keg of Gun Powder from Osnaburgh, he has a little shot, which will be enough of that article untill he receives? his outfit. Jn. Richards in the hurry at one of the Falls yesterday forgot a shotbag belonging to his Boat, I sent him and Tom Favill back in a small Canoe to look for it."
" Thursday Wind NE cloudy weather, at 9 AM we set off from the House after Baking Bread. last night Jn. Richards and Tho. Favill returned with the shotbag."
" Saturday Wind West cloudy weather. after carrying and launching over the second kittle Fall we were obliged to role? an Indian path where we carried the goods and launched the Boats to avoid comming nigh the lower one as the highnefs of the water makes it very dangerous."
" Sunday Wind West blowing a strong breeze in the evening a head. we camped below the first Portage du Lisle at dark; I mit several Indians this day and Traded a quantity of fresh vinison from them."
" Monday Wind West blowing hard. at daylight 6 Canoes of Canadians came to us, they must have Carried over the Portage du Lisle on the night as it was Dark when we left it and did not sleep half a mile below it. we keepd company with them about two hours when one of their Canoes got stove on a rock which obliged them to put a shore to mend her. A Mr Todd is the masters Name. they are bound for a place called the Fork above Cumberland House. 12 Oclock they pafsed us again and Camped below the 3 Cockaammies. we Camped at the first with nothing but the Goods over. the distance between these 3 great Falls is not half a mile, and I am sure where the Canadians is Camped is a quarter of a mile perpendicular lower down then where we are. I see them plain pitching their Tents and Cooking their Indian Corn and I really believe was it not for the noise of the Falls I would hear them speaking. Just as we were Camped Mefs Jn. McDonell and George McKay arrived in two Canoes. notwithstanding the Darknefs of the night they carried over their Canoes and cargoes. they both took supper with me. I understand all the Canoes for beyond Lake Wenipigon is already pas'd. the above Gentlemen is for Red River."
" Tuesday Wind NW fine clear weather. about 3 AM Mr McDonell set off, 5 Oclock we began work. 12 Oclock we arrived at the slave fall after pafsing over the 3 Cockaammies, 11 Canoes of Canadians all for Red River came to us here where they sleept. we Camped at a place called David Browns Fall beyond it."
" Wednesday Wind South if any fine clear weather. we set off from our Campment a little before day. about an hour afterwards we found Mefs McDonell and McKay Campd on a point, they were still in Bed. 11 AM 15 Canoes all for Red River pafsed us which I understand is the whole. 3 PM we overtook 2 of them and at 8 oclock Camped with them all."
" Thursday Wind NE fine weather. the Canadians left their Campment before daylight in the greatest silence, we followed shortly after and overtook 2 of their Canoes at the first Carrying place, here we found some Indians drunk. at the second Carrying Place we came up with one of their Canoes but they soon left us again. the 3d Carrying Called the Cap, we came up with 8 Canoes two of which we Campd with at the other? side, but the Battouxs were not over. it is a pity the Boats holds us so long in the Carrying Places for our men Carries the Cargoe full as well and as fast as the Canadians."
" Friday Wind South with a little rain in the evening. early this morning the Canadians started and at the same time our men went for the Boats. we have seen nothing of the Canadians this day, we Camped at the second Silver Fall with nothing over."
" Saturday Wind West blowing hard right a head. 4 PM we arrived at Point Au Foutre found all the Red River people Camped. they were 28 Tents of them which had much the appearence of a Regiment of Soldiers. I Traded a few skins from som Indians that belongs to this place for Brandy."
" Sunday Wind East fine Day. long before day all the Red River Canoes and 2 large Boats set off. we set of about 8 AM and at 1 PM we overtook them? at a place in Lake Winipeg called the Sandy Bar. McDonell set off in a light Canoe a little before we arrived with 9 men to gain the Red Rivers Mouth if pofsible before us, as there is a number of Indians there. I found George McKay here with the grand Band, they were busy pitching their Canoes. here we was obliged to carry all the goods and launch the Boats over the Sand. which was no sooner don then we set off in pursuit of McDonell, towards the evening the wind increasing hard a head McDonell? was obliged to put up, and better to conceal himself he and men carried their Canoe and what little goods they had into the woods, but the Canadians no greater Witches then other people keept so good a lookout for us untill they were discovered by us. we however pafsed on without taking the least notice and Campd about 4 miles above them?. they will however pafs me on the night I am sure. I took from Point au Foutre 8 Bags of beat meat and Fat one keg of Tongues and a keg of Tallow? which was all the provisions I found. there was several people there who wanted to engage in your Honors Service. one Defon? in particular who is known both by the Canadians and us to be as Clever a Trader as is in the North but my having engaged Mr Racitte? which did not altogether meet with the Governors approbation. I gave them no encouragement."
" Monday Wind South blowing a perfect hurrican which caused us to lie by all day."
" Tuesday Wind South blowing still very hard. at daylight we set off and reached the Mouth of the Red River by 11 AM. here we found nigh twenty Indians all of them Drunk and Mr McDonell Camped a little above them, the short time I took to Trade some Beat Meat and Fat from these people McDonell had raised his Camp and was off. in the evening we pafsed a man of his who was left in care of the provisions he had Traded untill the arrival of his Canoes."
" Wednesday Wind South blowing hard with rain all last night. 6 PM all the Red River Canoes overtook us we Camped together. this is the last time we will see one another this side Brandon House as they go much faster in this River then we can do."
" Thursday Wind SW with rain all day. I took the opportunity of this rain to pafs the Canadians as I well know they have an aversion to go in rainy weather, I likewise expected to overtake McDonell before he reached the Fork of the Afsiniboil River, as I heard there was Indians there. in all this I was however in a manner mistaken for George McKay came up to us and pafsed about 3 PM with one Canoe, he Camped at the Fork finding McDonell had Traded all the Indians had and off again. I camped a little above him. as I pafsed the Fork of Red River I could not help reflecting on the 36 Packs of prime Beaver Mr Chabaullier made there last winter, when I compared the Beaver with the Wolves of Brandon House I soon came to a determination to send a Boat up it. particularly as I found there was no outfit in McDonell Band for the Red River and of course I would be the first in. we was not long Camped when most of the Indians from the Fork came to us, soliciting me to send men and goods up the Red River. I made many difficulties and gave them a hundred reasons for my not sending on their lands, before I promised, to lay them under the greater obligation, as I know the Indians generally wish for opposition merely to raise the price of their Furrs."
Sept. 1 1797
" Friday Wind West blowing a fresh gale. early this morning the Indians came to us with Catfish and Sturgeon. a little after 12 Oclock all the Red River Band of Canoes pafsed me, George McKay stoped and asked the reason of our stoping so long, I told him we was in great want of provisions, and McDonells going before prevented me from getting any from the Natives. I was intended to send some of my men out hunting or if I could prevail on some of these? Indians to send them, that I was glad to buy fish this morning for want of better. when he was off. I appointed Mr Ricette and the following men to go with him up the Red River with the Afsortment of one Battouxes. Jn. Richards, James Sinclair, Jn. Easter, Mag. Tait, Mag. Murray, Will. Yorston. they all refused to go except Jn. Richards. I asked them their reasons for refusing, they said that they did not know him, neither did they understand French, I told them Jn. Richards understood Mr Ricette very well and as he was going as his afsistant would be the man from whom they got their orders. they said that did not signify they would not go with him, but any other man that I would appoint they should not object. I then called all hands and asked them (for ordering them is out of the question) if there was not 5 men amongst them all that would go, they all refused, except Tom Richards. I asked Tho. Norn if he would take Charge as Master which he refused. I then appointed Jn. Richards and added Mag. Knight to the number? of them already ordered. I fell to work immediately to make the outfit but before that was don Mr Ricette came to me and said he would leave the service. I understood the reason, and told him to have patience, not to mind what happened today, that things would turn out to his favour in this service, for men that refused to go with him without afsigning or having any reason for so doing, would afsign reasons for every trifle and when they pleased. that he saw plainly it was impofsible for him to earn his wages unlefs he was actually employ'd which he found was not the case, and he was above taking his wages on any other condition. I found he was determined and told him to do as he pleased, but I must say I was heartly sorry for him. this may shew your Honours how much your Inland Masters is respected by the men. I finished the outfit by Dark, but what surprises me is I could not out of 5 Battouxes afsort 4 ? for Jn. Richard."
" Saturday Wind South fine clear weather. 8 AM Jn. Richards and men set off. shortly after I set off up the Afsiniboil River, after giving some provisions with a little Powder and Shot to Mr Recette, he offered to give up a gun he had taken at Osnaburgh not being able to pay for it, I would not take it as that was the only Dependance he had left for a livelyhood this winter. he thinks of pafsing the winter up the Red River somewhere nigh Jn. Richards or his opponant."
" Wednesday fine clear weather. nothing extraordinary Since Saturday, we make very slow way on account of the shoalnefs of the water, early this morning I sent a young Indian who follows us out hunting with Tom Richards and Tom Favill and Nowchuzick they Shot 3 Bulls one of which the men went for in the evening."
" Friday Wind South blowing hard, clear weather. late this evening a Mr Thorburn overtook us in a light Canoe, it seems him and Cuthbert Grant are the Directors for Red River. we camped together."
" Saturday Wind South fine weather. we took up two kegs of Beat Meat and Fat Deposited by the men going out in the spring. we make but poor way. some Days not above 6 miles on a strate line. we have every day once or twice to carry the cargoes from one Boat to a nother and oftenest to launch the boats over the shoal places, and as for the crookednefs of the River it is one of the wonders of Nature. I walked one day in 4 hours, farther then the Boats got to in two Days."
" Monday Wind South fine weather at times. 7 AM we fell in with about 200 Ochippiways men women and Children, I Traded between 60 & 70 Winter Beaver from them, they wanted me to send another Boat up the Red River, as they are all going there to hunt this winter, but I have no aportment? for these people. they seldom winter two years in one place, which gives them many an opportunity of cheating those from whom they take debt, but whoever has the luck to get their Trade generally gets a good one as they hunt nothing but Beaver. they belonged originally to Red Lake, opposit Lake la Pluis, but left their land some time ago for that of Elk River. it seems this is the second year they have been seen in Red River. they wanted debt from me promising to pay it to Jn. Richards but I would give them non. we left them a little after 12 Oclock and Campd about 2 Miles on a strate line above them at dark."
" Saturday fogy morning. we met several Indians since the 11th. those belonging to Brandon House I give a little debt to. early this morning I Dispatched Louis Jolly Cour and Jn. Lyons by land to Brandon House with a few lines to Tho. Millar as follows.
The shoalnefs of the water and the stoppages occasioned by the Natives, has prevented me from travelling as fast as the Canadians, but I hope my slownefs will have no material effect on the businefs in general. you will send by the return of these men, two men more and all the Horses you have to afsist in lightening the Battouxes. I will expect to meet the Horses on Tuesday next at farthest. be smart and let them stay no time with you. I suppose Thorburn and the great McDonell is carrying the world before them. the lefs intercourse you have with them the better. I shall say nothing of McDonell but by what I saw and heard from Thorburn he is no great things, wishing you all manner of good luck
I remain yours &c Jn. McKay."
" Monday Wind North blowing hard. 10 AM James Slater, Louis Jolly Cour and Jn. Lyons came to us with 4 Horses, they met Slater and William Louttit at the Pine Fort. but the latter being not well they remaind there untill my men came to them. I sent them back immediately with 40 gallons of English Brandy and 160 lb of Tobacco. they are to meet me again at the Pine Fort."
" Friday Wind North with very hard frost this morning. at 2 PM as I was walking in the plains I met? 3 men and Horses, they were looking for the Boats, but the Boats being far behind and the road to the river so bad for Horses, I sent them to the Pine Fort (which I found not to be a mile from me) and told them to stop there untill the Boats arrived, which was not before 9 Oclock at night. here I found William Taylor and Robert Robertson with 3 mare Horses."
" Saturday Wind South fine warm weather. 8 AM I went off from the Pine Fort with 5 men and 6 Horses well loaded, and at 3 PM arrived at Brandon House where I found all well. there was at the House when I arrived triffling articles of Trading goods to the Amount of 40? Beaver. and in Different species of skins 136 B., 1500 lb piece meat, 800 lb Fat, and 30 Bags of Beat meat and Fat eaqual to 2700 lb, 6 Horses, and Several Stors?. I paid for 470 lb of the above piece meat, 70 lb Fat and 5 Tongues. there was 8 Horses here last spring but two of them got lost in the course of the summer through some neglect of the men when out Hunting. in the evening a gang of Afsiniboils came in with Fat, meat, and Wolf skins."
"Summer Journal by Tho. Miller."
May 20 1797
" Saturday Wind NW fine weather. early this morning I dispatched 3 Battauxes and the following men for Martins Fall. James Brown, James Yorston, Jn. Easter, David Brown, Mag. Yorston, Robt. Gun, Mag. Johnston, Alex. Towrs, Joseph Johnston, Louis Jolly Cour, James Sinclair and Jn. Lyons. the men remaining above are Mr Jn. Sutherland, Hugh Linklater, Robt. Robertson and Jn. Merryman. the men at Brandon House are James Slater, William Louttit, Wm. Taylor and Self. one of the Mares foaled last night in the woods, the dogs kild the foal immediately after. we are all employd cleaning up the House and taking care of the Horses."
" Sunday Wind North fine clear weather. the men Looking for the Horses. self Cooking and taking care of the House. 10 AM Mefs Grant and Thorburn arrived from above with 2 Canoes and 10 Men. some Indians arrived at the same time from whom I Traded 10 Beaver, and had I cloth and Brandy would have traded a great deal more. looking for and attending the Horses is a constant work here in the Summer season, for were they to slip one day unnoticed we would perhaps never see them again, as the Natives is always on the lookout to steal them."
" Monday Wind North blowing a storm. self and one man diging the Garden the other two attending the Horses. 9 AM 14 Canoes and 4 Boats arrived from above. the Indians here all drunk."
" Thursday Wind South fine weather. Slater out hunting to day burst his gun but luckely got no harm. yesterday all the Canadians excepting those who remain here all summer set off for the Grand Portage."
" Tuesday Wind NE weather cloudy at times. on the evening 3 of the Mackinac Indians came in with about 100 prime Beaver skins, they paid twenty Beaver of their debt and Traded 12. the Canadians will get all the rest as I have no Brandy. sent Slater and Taylor out hunting, they returned late this evening no luck."
June 2 1797
" Friday Wind NW fine weather. the people employed as usual. at 2 PM some Indians arrived with a few Beaver skins, they went to my neighbours with them and would not pay the debt they owed here on account of my having no Brandy. I got but 3 Beaver from them of 17? their debt."
" Saturday Wind variable fine weather. the Mackinac Indians finished two Leather Canoes to carry them to Point au Foutre. it is surprising they will not trade their Furrs with my neighbour they having goods in great plenty. they say they will carry their furrs to the Grand Portage but I doubt it much if our people has the least Brandy at Point au Foutre. they mean to set off tomorrow. one of them a young man remains here called Wafso by name."
" Tuesday Wind North fine weather. Slater and Taylor looking for wood to make a Canoe with. they returned in the evening without finding any fit for the purpose. 10 AM some Indians came in brought nothing, their errand is to Steal Horses if pofsible."
" Thursday Wind NW cloudy weather, the Hunters out all Day yesterday, saw no Cattle. Wafso got one large Beaver from his Traps amd two small ones."
" Wednesday Wind North fine clear weather. nothing extraordinary since the 8th. sent Wm Taylor, Wm Louttit and James Slater to make a Canoe about 12 miles from here there being no wood to be got nigh for that purpose. in the evening Slater returned as I sent him merely to afsist the other two to carry their provisions. Wafso gon out hunting, I lent him two Horses and give him 14 Beaver in debt."
" Saturday Wind West fine weather. in the evening Slater and Taylor returned, Louttit I should say. they tell the Canoe is nigh finished. Self overhauling and Drying the piece meat, but as fast as I dry it, it wets again for the least rain the House being so very leaky."
" Friday Wind West blowing a storm. the men brought the Canoe home on Tuesday. Wednesday two Canadians arrived from hunting, I got 5 Beaver from them. Slater and Taylor out hunting with 2 Horses. last night we Discovered some runaway Canadians lying in ambush to Steal our Horses we imagin, they took out Canoe and crofsed the River and stole 4 fathom of hair? line that served as a head line to make her fast with."
" Saturday Wind and weather as yesterday. 12 oclock the Hunters returned with the flesh of one Cow. in the evening Wafso and Wife came in with meat and furrs."
" Wednesday Wind South blowing hard. Wafso and his Wife went of again with two Horses hunting after paying his debt."
July 2 1797
" Sunday Wind NW with rain at times. yesterday sent Slater and Taylor out hunting, they returned to day at 10 AM with an old Bull. Slater fell from his Horse and hurt himself much. scarcely any Cattle to be seen."
" Wednesday Wind West with thunder and rain almost every day since the 6th. yesterday the Hunters went off hunting and returned to day with a Cow, good meat. the wind blew so strong on Thursday last that it blew down the West Gate and give the flagstaff a lean. we have put them up since. Wafso came in last week brought nothing with him. the musquitoes is almost insufferable and the Bull dogs [horseflies?] nigh sets the Horses mad. we are obliged to Keep fires every day for the Horses to stand by. they never leave the House till after sunset, and is sure to be home at Sunrise or shortly after. the people burning wood for Ashes to make Soap with."
Aug. 3 1797
" Thursday Wind West blowing a storm with rain. Slater not well keeps his Bed. we have had amazing trouble with the Horses since the 12th July. they broke their tethers as fast as we put them on and would go sometimes 40 or 50 miles before we found them, which was generally nigh a week. several afsiniboils and Crees were in since the 12 July and off again, they brought very little of any thing with them."
" Friday Wind as yesterday. one man taken care of the Horses, two men working in the woods, and self taken care of the house. on the evening two Indians arrived and informed us that the Mandles, Cristinaux and Afsiniboils have combined together and engag'd in war with the Ponies, who is neighbours to the former, and fought a Battle this summer which proved desitive? where in 30 of the Ponies were killed."
" Friday Wind West cloudy weather with rain most part of the forenoon. Slater and Taylor went out hunting on Wednesday with 4 horses and returned last night at 11 Oclock without the Horses. they say they lost them on Wednesday night. this is a great lofs and a great neglect in the men as they had good tethers of my own making and might have made them fast when they knew they could not be trusted one minute loose by themselves."
" Saturday Wind West fine weather. sent Taylor and Louttit in search of the Horses. Slater lying sick in bed by two falls he got from the Horses. he spits blood at times. some Indians that were Tenting here went of to day, I promised to pay them well if they should find the Horses."
" Monday Wind South blowing a strong gale. in the evening Taylor and Louttit returned, could see nothing of the Horses. the Old Wolverine and Family came in in a distrefsed condition, some of them Sick others lame and all starving, they paid 6 1/2 Beaver of their Debt."
" Thursday Wind variable round the compafs fine weather. 10 AM Capt. Chipowmehifs, the little Capt. and 6 other men with their Families came in starving. they solicited me for two days victuals to carry them where the Buffaloe was. I give them 80 lb of molded piece meat. in the evening they went off. the little Capt. paid 6 Beaver of his debt."
" Friday Wind Westerly fine weather. the people making a launch. 12 Oclock 9 Tents of Indians came in, all of them in a manner starving. this war they have all been at, I imagin, is the reason. for the like was never known in this Country at this season of the year. they asked me for victuals, I give them a bag of Beat meat and Fat that our Dogs refused to eat, they however made no complaint. in the evening they danced the war Dance at both Houses. My Neighbour give them a Gun, Powder and Vermillion with 3 Fathom of Tobacco. I give them a Bag of beat meat & Fat, having nothing nothing else to give, which was very acceptable."
" Saturday Wind and weather as yesterday. the Canadians when out hunting found two of our Horses and brought them home, they other two they saw nothing of. after Sunset 8 Afsiniboils came from the Southward they say they saw a number of Boils or Soues, not far from here, who are their enemies. this news has put a devil of a fright in some of the Indians and will I am sure prevent them from hunting to the Southward."
" Saturday Wind South fine weather. 2 PM 9 Tents of Indians came in, two of them give me 28 pieces of meat 2 Tongues and 70 lb Fat. I am to pay him when the Boats arrives. the men was out hunting, no luck. the Indians going mad for knives, I was obliged to give them Bayonets."
" Wednesday Wind West blows a gale. early this morning Wafso went off hunting. Capt. Chipowmehifs Sons came in for men and Horses to go to their Fathers Tent for meat, I sent Slater and Louttit with a fathom of Tobacco for the Old Man. last Sunday 4 Canadians with Horses arrived from above to wait the arrival of the Canoes."
Sept. 1 1797
" Friday Wind Westerly blowing a gale. yesterday Slater and Louttit returned with 90 lb of piece meat one Bear Skin and some drefsed leather to be paid for when the Boats arrives. this evening the little Captains Brother came in with 50 lb of piece meat. Slater and Louttit out hunting."
" Monday Wind variable fine weather. Will. Louttit sick in Bed. Wafso came home with some meat and Beaver Skins. the Wolverines Son brought 50 lb of piece meat. and the Beggar 36 lb. Self and Slater mending the Chimneys, Will. Taylor taking care of the Horses."
" Tuesday Wind North fine clear weather. last night a Canadian arrived frome the Carrying Place of the Plains. he says he saw Mr Jn. McKay at the Fork. where he was Camped. he cannot tell what could be Mr McKays reason for camping there so late on the day as they pafsed. I imagin he means to send up the Red River. if he does he will distrefs the upper settlements as 5 Batteauxs is not sufficient for Brandon House and Mares Elbow alone. I cannot send Horses to meet the Boats having no person acquainted with the Road."
" Friday Wind Northerly fine weather. sent Slater and Louttit (the latter not well) to the Pine Fort with 4 Horses and two bags of Beat meat and Fat to wait the Boats, and bring Mr McKay by land if he should think proper so to do. as the Indians here wants to see him much. 11 AM Robt. Robertson and Jn. Merriman arrived from above with letters from Mr Jn. Sutherland. in the evening Mr Thorburn and all his Clerks arived from the Pine Fort by land."
" Saturday Wind and weather as yesterday. in the evening Louttit returned from the Pine Fort will all our letters, European and of this Country. it seems Mr McKay had men at the Pine Fort as soon as I had, who Brought these letters, they returned with Slater and the Horses to the Boats."
" Sunday Wind NW fine clear weather. early this morning Sent 2 men more with Horses to the Pine Fort, agreeable to Mr McKays orders to afsist in lightening the Boats. it seems the shoalnefs of the water prevents our people from making any way."
" Tuesday Wind North blows a gale. at 1 PM all Mr Thorburns Canoes arrived. in the evening our men arrived from the Boats with 20 gal of Spirits and two Roles of Tobacco. the Indians drunk."
" Thursday Wind South fine clear weather. sent 3 men and Horses yesterday to the Pine Fort. Thorburn and all his Canoes set off this day. the Indians all sober and threatening to take debt from the Canadians if our Boats does not arrive soon."
" Friday Wind North blowing a cold breeze with frost, no sign of the people returning with the Horses. I hear from an Indian that the men is waiting the arrival of the Battauxes at the Pine Fort, as the road a little below it is very bad for the Horses. here ends the Summer Journal by Tho. Miller. in the rough Journal every day is taken notice of, but they bring a repetition of the same mostly. I left them out."
" Journal by Jn. McKay Continued"
Sept. 24 1797
" Sunday Wind South fine clear weather. sent 4 men and Horses to the Boats for more goods. the Afsiniboils is still drunk. some of the Crees went off this day after taking debt. 4 PM the men returned with 9 parcels of trading goods. I expect the Battauxes tomorrow if good weather."
" Monday fine clear weather. 10 AM the Boats arrived. some of the Indians taking debt and others Drinking. I have got from the Afsiniboils nigh 150 Beaver, all in Wolf skins. if these Wolf skins sells well, I would advise all those who keep dogs to kill them and sell the skins, for I am sure any dogs skin is as good as that of a wolf. and now since the Tax on Dogs would be a double saving to the seller."
" Tuesday Wind West fine clear weather. last night a young man came from a gang of Afsiniboils for Brandy, Powder. Shot and Tobacco. I give him his wants and he returned. we have been busy all day making ready Mr Jn. Sutherlands outfit. I expect to get the men of tomorrow if pofsible."
" Wednesday Wind North fine clear weather. 9 AM the following Men with two Battauxes lightly loaded Set off for the Mares Elbow. Tho. Norn, Wm. Taylor, Wm. Tullouch, Jn. Fidler, George Groundwater, Mag. Flaws, Wm Johnston, James Short, James Corston and James Anderson. I give them lb 300 of piece meat and lb 540 of Beat meat and Fat with 4 gal. of Brandy for their Journey."
" Thursday Wind and weather as yesterday. the people employed pulling down the Chimney of their House. the Taylor making two Chiefs Coats for Mr Jn. Sutherland. in the evening a few Afsiniboils came in with 26 pieces of meat."
" Saturday Wind SE cloudy weather. the men finished their Chimney. early this morning I sent off Robt. Robertson and Jn. Merriman with two Horses for the Mares Elbo. with Mr Sutherlands Invoice and Letters, two Chiefs Coats and 6 others cuttout. with the following lines.
Yours of the 15th Inst. I received when at the Pine Fort, and am happy to find you and men had an agreeable Summer. enclosed you will find your Invoice, the goods sent in care of Tho. Norn, who if wanted will make an able and Honest afsistant to you. I detained the two men sent down untill the Taylor maid two Capts. Coats and cuttout 6 common ones according to your desire. these men will bring you two Horses and the above Coats with your Invoice and all yor? Letters. you will send the Horses down immediately after you receive all your Goods and all the Men you do not intend to keep, let James Short be one of them. I have told the men what flour they are to get, Hugh Linklater will get the same. I have inspected into the packing of your goods myself. you might have been sure I would have employed no other person, no not the great Thorburn himself. your Men is supplied with 40 days provisions from this place agreeable to your desire, you might have saved yourself the trouble of warning me to send provisions with the men as it is well known they cannot or? will not go without, and it is better known that you cannot supply them had you all the provisions in the world. I left Martins Fall in such a hurry that I forgot the remains of your place, if any please send a Copy down by the return of the men. the shoalnefs of the water prevented me from sending the Iron Pot according to your request but there is one going up with a little pitch which will supply its place. the Chief as well as myself expected you would be at Brandon House so soon as you heard of the death of the late Mr Sutherland. then you might have inspected into the packing of your goods yourself. you being the person next to the late Mr Sutherland in Red River, the Company will perhaps expect the same. you say you will not enter your letter of the 15th Inst. untill you hear from me, your letters must be of more consequence then other peoples that you require advice, where the Companies businefs dictates your letters I see no use of any advice. for my part you may enter it where ever you please provided you do not enter it among the Canadians. be however sparing with paper as it is very scarce. any Article of Trading goods that I have if wanted by you, shall be sent you on demand. but ask for nothing that you cannot get traded before summer for it will be better to have no remains at your place as you and Men must all come down to afsist out with the Boats. had you and Men come down to Martins Fall last spring, Red River might have had one Battaux more, or at least some other settlement would have been better supplyd. I have enclosed the 9th Part? of the Companys general Letter as a guid for you how to use your Brandy. if the Mackinac Chief is with you, tell him I have brought his Trunk from Point au Foutre, and that I owe him the payment of some Beaver. wishing you
a good Trade and a safe
Sight of you next spring
I remain yours &c&c
Oct. 2 1797
" Monday Wind East with rain at times. all the Afsiniboils went off this day. the Cooper putting up a Partition in the new room. High Flett Cooking for the Men. George Sabbiston waiting on self. the rest of the Men cutting their winters wood."
" Sunday Wind West blowing a perfect storm. at 2 PM a great band of Afsiniboils came in, most of them went to the Canadians. the few that came to me brought but 3 wolf skins and one half Beaver, with some piece meat and Fat. I understand the whole band did not bring 10 B., a little before their arrival an Afsiniboil came in with 10 wolves. I paid him and he returned immediately. I had Tom Richards Tom Favill and Jn. Lyons out hunting last week, they shot 2 Bulls but brought very little home. Tho. Miller, Hugh Flette and George Sabbiston took up the Potatoes and Indian Corn. the former is of the worst quality I ever saw. yesterday two Afsiniboils came in with 56 pieces of meat."
" Tuesday Wind NW clear warm weather. all the Afsiniboils went off. the people employed as usual. in the evening I Auctioned the late Mr Sutherlands privat property to the amount of £ 15... odd."
" Thursday Wind East cloudy weather. late last night a Cree Indian came in with meat. the Indians called Crees by us, is Cristinauxes."
" Saturday Wind SE fine clear weather. Tom Richards, Tom Favill and Jn. Lyons out hunting with 3 Horses. having cutt their weeks wood in 5 days they have Saturday to themselves. Blefsed Country where the labourer when his vocation will permit of lasure, can partake of pleasure in all its vanities, where he never knows the want of the best of provisions, nor feel the frowns of Misfortune crushing him to beggary. nor need he care whether France has a King or not."
" Tuesday Wind North sharp weather, with hard frost this morning. I understand by some Indians that arrived at my neighbours that the Afsiniboils has our two Horses that was lost last summer. I sent James Slater and Tom Richards off with them early this morning to take them from them if pofsible. several Cree Indians arrived at my Neighbours House this day with furrs. in short there is some Indians going there every day and non coming to me, those that took debt on my arrival I have not seen since, but they are very few in comparison to what goes to my Neighbour. Tom Miller tells me that McDonell has 10 Indians for every one I have, this surprises me, as in almost every other place we have the preference. on my arrival last Fall I refused to give the Indians Powder and Shot for nothing as it is an article (except the Afsiniboils) they cannot do without. this is perhaps bad policy in me as I have since found out that our people always gave it for nothing, as for the Canadians I am almost sure they never did."
" Wednesday Wind NE with snow all day. late last night an Afsiniboil called the Squirrel came in with 31 Wolves and some piece meat. early this morning he returned to his Tent. 12 Oclock James Slater and Tom Richards returned with the two Horses and the two Indians that found them. I give the Indians 3 gallons of Brandy for finding them. in the evening 4 Afsiniboils came in, they brought one wolf skin."
" Monday Wind West sharp weather. yesterday Tom Richards, Tom Favill and Jn. Lyons returned from hunting with some Bulls meat. early this morning sent James Slater and Tom Richards out hunting. James Inkster making window Shutters, the rest of the people Carrying loome to plaster the Houses with. Wm. Louttit getting better and begining to work a little."
" Wednesday Wind West cloudy weather. late this evening Slater and Richards returned from hunting with two Horse Load of Cows meat and 3 wolf skins. I give them a quart of Brandy for their good luck."
" Thursday Wind West blowing a storm. late last night two young men came in with 40 Beaver and a little meat. they went of this morning. in the evening an Afsiniboil came in with 11 wolves for a gun. I wanted him to give 15 for the gun but he would not hear of it. I do not believe 11 wolves is worth a gun in this part of the Country."
" Friday Wind West still blowing a storm, and so cold that the river is nigh froze over. early on the morning an Afsiniboil came in with 6 wolves and some Fat, when Traded he returned to his Tent."
" Saturday Wind East with snow. early this morning sent 6 Men and Horses out hunting. the rest of the people variously employed about the House."
" Sunday Wind South mild weather. the snow before noon all of the ground and the River opening fast."
" Monday Wind SW blowing a cold breeze weather clear. James Inkster and Louis Jolly Cour cutting oak to make Staves for kegs. Hugh Flett, George Sabbiston and James Anderson cutting hay for the Horses. Wm. Louttit mending sleds. Tho. Miller with Self employed in the House."
" Tuesday Wind North cold weather. last night Christian and Nowchuzick came with the meat of one Bull. the latter fell twice from his Horse and is very bad in Bead. in the evening Slater, Richards, Favill and Lyons returned with the meat of 4 Cows and 2 wolf skins. the people at home employed as yesterday."
Nov. 2 1797
" Thursday Wind North cold weather. 3 Oclock this morning two young men knocked us up. they come from McDonell and wants two men to go with and get 20 Beaver their Father means to give me. I sent Richards and Favill immediately off with them, with a gun some Cloth and 2 gal. of Brandy. Jolly Cour not well."
" Friday Wind East with snow last night, cloudy weather all day. James Slater, Wm. Louttit, Jn. Christian and Nowchuzick making ready to go to the Mandles. the Taylor busy these two days working for them. I hope this year to get the cream of the Trade from the Mandles as the Canadians going there is not yet come from above and our men will be at least a week before them."
" Saturday Wind West cloudy weather. the people for the Mandles were all ready to start this night, when Mag. Tait and two Indians arrived from the Red River with the disagreeable news of Jn. Richards running away to the Canadians, after drinking nigh half the Brandy and giving as much of the good out in debt. this is such an odd affair to me (a man to run away from his Charge) that I do not know what to say about it. it seems he has don wors then running away, for he has told the Indians to whome he give debt not to pay it. this would not have been the case with Mr Ricitte had he been Master, who was shamefully drove from the service by a combined set of rascals who does as they please, minily to shew their disrespect to all subordination, and is paid for the same, while an honest Man well qualified for this businefs is obliged for this year to search his livelihood in the wildernefs. I understand Mr Ricitte parted with Jn. Richards the day after I left him, and has left what little things he had in his care. there arrived at the same time with Mag. Tait two other Indians from some of my debtors who wants men to fetch my Debts. I find I must stop the Mandle Journey, as all the Men I have will be little, to secure my debts, and supply the settlement below. I do not expect any men from above before the 25 of this month, and by that time I will, as before, require more men then I can get to go to the Indian Tents, and haul home victuals perhaps above 10 Miles from the House."
" Sunday Wind West fine clear weather, but very hard frost last night. early this morning I sent of Tho. Miller and 5 men with 5 Horses. Tho. Miller is to call at the Indian Tents and to get all the Debt he can and send it home by Slater, Louttit and Jolly Cour with 3 Horses. he is then to proceed with Nowchuzick, Tait and Jn. Lyons to Red River where he is to take Charge.
I have got the remains of the place taken by the Canadian Master after Jn. Richards run away. by the remains and what debt is given out, and the Furs in the House, I cannot say Jn. Richards has made away with much of the dry goods, and even the Brandy if the Natives had got it, would not have been extraordinary against so formidable an opposition. I received 3 Letters from the Men which I will insert here in their own words.
Letter the 1th
The French Master is got 25 Men and is running on all quarters where ever they can get skins. there is out in Debt 460 1/2 B. we shall say no more at present but remains your Faithful Servants. Signed Mag. Tait, Mag. Knight, Mag. Murray, James Sinclair, Jn. Easter.
Letter the 2d
Dear Sir, this is to acquaint you of our hard luck at this place, and is been so ever since the French men came to this place, for our Master is gon to the French and left us all. and some of the Goods that he is not got expended. he left in the 25th October. and 3 Indians at this place they came in the 24th and he along with. and we told him soberly that it did not look well of a Master to get drunk when Indians was at the House. and he told us that he should drink in spite of Mr McKay or Mr McNab and said that he could Drink 3 quarts of English Brandy and walk, and give any of us good Thrashing. but Sir, that was not the only time he was so, but every day was all alike. and he told us that his dependance was not in the Honble Hudsons Bay Company for he could be better in the other Service then ever he was in ours. and he said before us all that was not fit to be Master of a place, and he would no, as he had don the thing that he could not hold his Face for. and Save we laid him in Irons we should not keep him.
Dear Sir. this comes with our good wishes to you and to let you know of our misfortune, for we are very bad of for want of a head. in this is the overhaul of the Goods that Jn. Richards left. I need not say any thing more concerning him, for he is known before. and the Men that is gon along with this, can tell you better about it then we can write. also this Indian owes 27 B. paid 13 B. and he is got 2 gallon keg of Brandy for to get him to go to you. we have got 20 B. of Debt and Traded 18. a kettle ? and Brandy for the remainder. there is no paper left here only 8 sheets and some of the Indians Debts that cannot be understood. the Fox 42 B. that will not be paid for he is gon to Point au Foutre. Jn. Richards is told what Indians is come in not to come again, and not to pay their Debts, and he is gon of with the Invoice of the goods that you gave him. an Indian Debt Book but we would not let him take it. 28th October.
NB. the French Master came down and overhauled the Remains and the above is his write.
these two last Letters was signed by no person but wrote by Mag. Murray. when they say the above is his writing they mean the Inventory of the goods remaining which I have not inserted. Chabaullier did not take an account of the Goods remaining only, but an account of the whole state of the House. this may appear very good in him in the eyes of them not acquainted with the Canadians but I know the officious Rascal had a view in so doing, and I blame our people much for letting him when they knew how to write themselves."
" Monday Wind East with plenty snow. Tom Richards and Tom Favill making Sleds. Inkster drefsing staves for kegs. Christian and Flett sawing fire wood. George Sabbiston plastering the inside of the Houses. the Taylor Making leather Trowsers for the men."
" Tuesday Wind NE cloudy weather. the people making paths to the Cordwood for the Horses to haul in."
" Wednesday Wind West blowing a perfect storm and amazing cold. Inkster and Christian sawing a wooding Sled. Tom Richards and Favill out hunting on foot. Flett and Sabbiston crofs cutting fire wood. the Taylor as before."
" Thursday Wind South clear day but very cold. last night 2 Ochippiway Indians came in with 12 Beaver. they took debt this morning and went off. the Hunters came home saw nothing."
" Friday Wind North very cold weather. late this evening Slater, Louttit and Jolly Cour returned from the Indians Tents with upwards of 100 Beaver. they brought but 2 Horses back as Millar took 3 with him."
" Saturday Wind East fine day. in the evening Wm. Tullouch, James Corston, James Short and Wm. Johnston arrived from the Mares Elbow with the two Horses that went up last Fall and a few lines from Jn. Sutherland. as he enters all Letters he sends and receives, I omit them in my Journal as I think one entry is plenty."
" Sunday Wind West very cold with a great deal of snow last night. Slater, Louttit and Christian making ready to set off for the Mandles some time this night. I understand McDonell has sent one Cadian? to the Mandles in company with a number of Afsiniboils to learn if the Spaniards is there. I do not hear of any more Canadians being off. nor do I believe any will go until he returns. no one is sure whether that part of the Misoures where the Mandles are belongs to the Spaniards. Mr Evans last year acknowledged that the little Soures River was out of the line? of the Spaniards, the head of which is but one days Journey from the Big Bellies. there my men will deposite the goods they have untill they see how affairs stands in the villages. there is a Mr Thompson in the Canadian Service who is expected here every day to go to the Mandles and take the Latitude and Longtitude of the place. I hope James Slaters reckoning will run to 300? at least. Thompson must stand at 90."
" Monday Wind SW extreem cold weather. at half past 4 this morning Slater, Louttit and Christian set off for the Mandles with one Horse and 5 dogs. the weather being so cloudy all last night they could see to go of sooner. Tom Richards out hunting. the rest of the people variously employd at home."
" Tuesday Wind North very cold weather. sent 2 men for an Elk Deer Tom Richards shot yesterday. sent Tom Favill and James Corston to an Indian Tent. Wm. Tullouch and Wm. Johnston making ready for above."
" Wednesday Wind East with plenty snow. early this morning Wm. Tullouch and Wm. Johnston went off for the Mans Elbow [sigh. could be Mares Elbow] with Cloth, powder, Hatchets and Files. I was obliged to send a Horse with them as they had no dogs, and to haul themselves would have been too tedious and laborious. the Cooper making a harnefs for the Horse to haul wood. James Short not well. the rest of the people employd getting fire wood."
" Thursday Wind South mild weather. early this morning I sent Tom Richards off to Tent in the plains, as the Cattle is so far from the House that no man can reach them in one day. I sent James Short with him to afsist in skining and hauling the meat to the Tent."
" Friday Wind East with snow most part of the day. last night two Cree Men came in. one of them went to my Neighbour with nigh 40 wolves, the other brought me as many. this morning they went off to their Tents. late on the night Favill and Corston returned with 18 Beaver."
" Monday Wind East with snow all day. sent Favill, Jolly Cour and Anderson to Tom Richards Tent for meat."
" Tuesday Wind West cloudy weather with snow at times. 12 Oclock an Afsiniboil and Wife came in with 20 wolves and some meat which they Traded immediately and went off. in the evening the Men returned with the meat of 2 Cows."
" Thursday Wind South clear sharp weather. 10 AM an Afsiniboil called the Beggar came in with nigh 80 wolves and som beat meat. 2 PM Nowchuzick and Jn. Lyons arrived from Red River with the following Letter from Tho. Miller.
Red River 15th November 1797
I arrived here at this miserable habitation my 8th day from you, and to my sorrow found the people in a starving situation hardly any provisions of any kind. I brought an Indian with me that owes Richards nighly 40 Beaver, but owns only 20 and says he never received any more. I used him well neverthelefs, but could not please him with discention? by reason of the bad habit Richards has given them all, who could not be pleased with the mischief he has don here, but had likewise gon with the Canadians and Traded all your debts that you gave the Indians last Fall at Brandon House and is threatening to hurt the Honble Hudsons Bay Company Trade all he can. he is up the River at present with that Diabolical rascal Chaboiller building a nother House to keep all the Indians from this place. they have likewise a House below so that this place is guarded on every side, and I have reason to think there will very few Indians visit me here. Sir you need not doubt but I shall endeavour to get all I can but the Men is few as 3 of them must go and Tent about 30 Miles distance for Cattle. I sent Murray and Sinclair? to Indians Tents for a few skins of debts with liquor and other articles. Sir it is not in my powr to state the articles wanted here as I have no expectation of any Trade. 15 gal. of Spirits,15 lb Gun Powder, 10 lb Ball and 4 pieces of your prettiest gartering, if it can be spared. any thing els, I leave to your superior Judgment. Blankets of 3 point and 2 1/2 I believe is much wanted and a Capt. Coat of red cloth. if you can spare it. please send the liquor in one 5 gallon keg, the remainder in one gallon kegs. put the Powder Gartering and Ball in 6 quart kegs, as they are much wanted.
Sir, be pleased to give Jn. Lyons 10 Inches of Duffle and charge it to Mag. Knight. the fat left by Jn. Richards a great deal of it is guts and trash, good for nothing. I kept an old Buffaloe Robe that was on the Horses Back for Caps to the Men. they are all naked for want of leather. Jn. Richards has taken his Nephew along with him to the Devil I hope. please excuse errors and freedom?
while I remain your faithful Servant
In Millers list of goods remaining at Red River when he arrived, he makes the following remarks
'Sir, You thought there was no wast in any article at this place but liquor. but I think Sir that you are mistaken. as a great number of Indians denies that they had so much cloth as is charged to them, which I understand was given to the French Mens Wives, as well as many other articles of property.' in another place he says 'the goods was charged and given away likewise. as will appear very plain when this paper is compared with the Invoice of Goods given to that rascal'
By Miller Account I find that the goods remaining with the debts out, and what furrs is in the House, amounts to 1345 Beaver. the Goods I gave Jn. Richards last Fall amounted to 1536. the difference is but 191 Beaver. which proves that my opinion will stand good that Jn. Richards has not wasted the goods as is reprisentd? by his rascally Men. it is not to be supposed that he got his meat and that bad Fat for nothing from the Natives, besides we must give a little Brandy, knives, vermillion, Combs, gun worms, Flints, Steels, Needles and awls to every Indian that takes debt. and in most places Powder and Shot. these articles tho' trifling will soon amount to 191 Beaver. I am afraid if the truth was known, that his Men was the cause of his leaving his Post. I hope your Honours will read his Letter when you come to this part of my Journal, as I mean to send it home."
" Friday Wind South very bad weather. early this morning the Beggar went off. last night a Mr Thompson arrived at my neighbours House from above."
" Saturday SW cloudy weather. 3 AM I sent Nowekuzick, James Corston and James Short off to two Indians Tents about 4 days Journey from here. the former saw them on his return from Red River and says they have above 60 Beaver in Furrs. they belong to the other House and has taken debt there. 2 PM Tom Richards came from his Tent for men to bring meat home. on his way he shot a young Bull. I sent 2 men for the meat."
" Sunday Wind East with snow. early this morning Tom Richards returned to his Tent with Jn. Lyons. 2 PM 3 Afsiniboils came in with 20 wolves and 40 pieces of dried meat."
" Monday Wind East with plenty snow, this morning the Indians of yesterday went off. I have but 4 men at the House and two of them has been all day looking for the Horses."
" Tuesday Wind North very cold weather. sent Jollicoeur to Tom Richards Tent for meat. 8 AM Thompson and 7 Canadians went off for the Mandles. I got an invitation from him and McDonell to pafs the evening yesterday at their House, but I did myself the honour to stay at home. if that Astronomer wished to see me, I know no place he could find me sooner, then in my own House."
Dec. 1 1797
" Friday Wind NW extreem cold weather. yesterday 4 Afsiniboils came in with 30 wolves and a great quantity of piece meat and fat. this evening another came in with better then 30 wolves and some piece meat. Tom Favil returned from the hunting Tent, shot a Cow on the way."
" Saturday Wind West weather colder then yesterday. this morning all the Indians went off. at 6 PM Died a young Boy about 12 years old. he was the Son of a Canadian given to Louis Jollicoeur to bring up."
" Sunday Wind West not so cold as yesterday. 12 oclock we Inter'd the Corpse. in the evening Nowekuzick, James Corston and James Short returned with 67 Beaver. sent Jolly Cour and Inkster for a Cow that George Sabbiston Shot on his way from the hunting Tent."
" Monday Wind SW mild weather. sent Jolly Cour, Hugh Flett and Tom Favill to the hunters Tent for meat, in the evening the two former returned, the latter staid to haul meat from the plains to the Tent. James Anderson sick in Bed of the Cold. self not well. Inkster not well. all of the same disorder. in the evening a young Cree came in with word from one of my debtors to send a man for the debt."
" Tuesday Wind South mild weather. early this morning sent Tom Favill, Jolly Cour and Corston off for meat. at the same time I sent James Inkster with the Indian of yesterday, he is to call at the hunters Tent and take Tom Richards with him. self shot a Bull, got the meat hauled home for the dogs."
" Wednesday Wind West with snow and rain at times. sent 5 Men for meat. in the evening an Afsiniboil called the Squirrel came in with 10 wolves and a number of tongues."
" Thursday Wind SW cloudy weather. sent 5 Men for meat. in the evening 4 returned, Tom Favill remain'd at the Tent on account of a swell'd knee."
" Friday Wind West clear sharp weather. sent 6 Men for meat. Hugh Flett and Sabbiston hauling firewood. in the evening Tom Richards and James Inkster returned from the Indians Tents with 60 Beaver. it seems they was accompanied by 4 Canadians who brought upwards of 200 Beaver. a great difference indeed."
" Saturday Wind W clear sharp weather. the Cattle comming nigher. I got the men to haul the hunting Tent home and all the meat at, home."
" Monday Wind East mild weather. sent Tom Richards and Nowekuzick out hunting. the former shot 2 Cows the latter one. Tom Favill bad with a swelling in his knee."
" Tuesday Wind East mild weather. sent Tom Richards, James Corstan and James Short off with two young Men that came in last night to their Tents for my debts, sent the rest of the men for the meat kild yesterday."
" Thursday Wind NW sharp weather. Nowekuzick shot 2 Cows Jn. Lyons shot one. in the evening Wafso came in."
" Friday Wind NW very cold weather. sent all the men in for meat excepting Tom Favill who went for Wafsos furrs."
" Saturday Wind SW blowing hard but not so cold as yesterday. Nowekuzick burst his Gun today firing at the Buffaloe, it was very lucky it did not blow his hand off as the burst between his left hand and the breech. Jn. Lyons shot 2 Cows and Jolly Cour one and a Calf."
" Sunday Wind SW extreme cold weather. 9 PM Jn. Merriman and Robt. Robertson arrived from the Mans? Elbow, or is its called by our people the Indian Elbow, with the Black Hogs? in pritty good condition."
" Monday Wind SW blowing a storm but not so cold as yesterday. Nowekuzick shot 2 Cows Jn. Lyons 2 and Tom Favill one. Wafso gon off hunting."
" Tuesday Wind West blowing hard and very cold sent all the Men except the 4 Hunters for meat. Nowekuzick shot 4 Cows. Tom Richards 2. Jn. Lyons 2 and Tom Favill a young Bull."
" Wednesday Wind SW very cold weather. the Men and Horses got all the meat of yesterday home except Tom Favills Bull. Nowekuzick shot 2 Cows and 2 Calves. Tom Richards and Jn. Lyons found the weather so excefsive cold that they were oblig'd to return without seeing the Cattle."
" Thursday Wind SW clear sharp weather. sent 6 Men for the Meat of yesterday. self shot a very fat Cow. she had need?, for it is the first. Tom Richards shot 2 Cows. Nowekuzick one."
" Friday Wind SW sharp weather. yesterday arrived at my Neighbours house the late Grand Chief of Lac la Pluis Brother, from Swan River, with 3 other Indians. this morning he visited me. after taking a dram and smoking a pipe of Tobacco, the old Man said My Friend, the account I heard of you from the Canadians made me believe you was a perfect devil. notwithstanding yesterday I wanted to see you but the Big English Man (meaning McDonell) would not let me. this morning determined to see you I came against his will, and since I find you to be quite the contrary to what I heard, I will bring you 10 Beaver should I be obliged to return some of the goods I have Traded, as a mark that I have been here. he accordingly went off and in lefs than an hour returned with 20 prime Beaver Skins. In return made him a present of 2 guns and a small keg of Brandy."
" Saturday Wind South fine clear weather. the Grand Chief Weecatout.tagan? visited me several times today, it seems McDonell and him has been quarreling the whole day about the 20 skins I got yesterday. if their quarrel lasts I mean to send Tom Favill and Jn. Lyons off to live some time with the Chief. Tom Richards and Jolly Cour shot each of them a Cow."
" Sunday Wind NE mild weather. early this morning sent Tom Favill and Jn Lyons off with the Grand Chief. sent 5 men for the meat of yesterday."
" Monday Wind NW blowing a storm and very cold. 10 AM a band of Afsiniboils came in half of them brought nothing. served the people Brandy as I used to do on Christmas day."
" Tuesday Wind West clear mild weather. early on the morning the Indians of yesterday went off. the Men employ'd at Football."
" Wednesday Wind SE blowing hard the people as usual."
" Thursday Wind West clear mild weather.sent Tom Richards and Nowekuzick out hunting. the former shot 1 Cow the latter 2. in the evening a Band of Afsiniboils came in, they brought about 40 wolves and some piece meat."
" Saturday Wind South if any. clear warm weather. sent 4 men for the meat of yesterday. Inkster and Short sawing boards for sleds. the Taylor making Trowsers for the Men. Hugh Flett hauling firewood. Sabbiston Cooking. Self tying up loose skins. Nowekuzick and Tom Richards out hunting. the former shot 4 Cows 3 of them only skind and cutt up being too late. the latter got nothing."
" Saturday Wind North cloudy drifting weather. yesterday Nowekuzick shot 3 Cows and today one and a Calf. Tom Richards shot 2 Cows."
" Sunday Wind SW cloudy weather. in the evening 2 Afsiniboils came in they brought better then 20 B. in wolves and Foxes. one of them is drunk."
Jan. 1 1798
" Monday Wind SW cloudy weather. give the Men Brandy as on Christmas day, that is to say, two drams in the morning and as much Grog in the evening as they can drink. this is the time I expect Slater from the Mandles, he said if he was not back on or nigh Newyears day it would not be well with him."
" Wednesday Wind West cloudy weather. last night two Indians came in from the Grand Chiefs Tent. they saw Tom Favill and Jn Lyons 4 days ago, they brought better then 30 Beaver skins which is not yet Traded. they say the Canadians from Swan River was at their Tents fetching their debt. had Tom Favill arrived at them 3 days sooner I would have got upwards of 150 prime Beaver Skins all Canadian Debts. what a pity, I always look upon a skin taken from a Canadian worth two others, for then I stand a chance of getting the Indian to myself. the Canadians is needly? posted in this part of the Country when? the men from this place meets with those from Swan River in the same Tents, a sure method for securing their debts. the people employ'd making sleds for Red River."
" Thursday Wind North cloudy weather. 3 PM an Afsiniboil came in with 14 B. in wolves and Foxes. Wafso returned from Hunting, not much luck. only 1 Otter and half a Beaver."
" Monday Wind North cloudy weather. early this morning sent off Nowekuzick, Lowis Jolly Cour, James Anderson and Robt Robertson for Red River with 3 sled loads of goods and the following Letter to Tho Miller.
Yours of the 15th Nov. I received with the 3 Horses in good condition. I am glad to hear you was so expeditious on your Journey to Red River. I hope by your foresight and vigilence you have given a quick turn to affairs at your place. and that, that idea of starving is don away. no person in my opinion is better qualified for R.R. then yourself, or fiter to hold head with that young Fellow, Chaboiller. but you went there under many well known disadvantages that cannot be remedied this year, which lefsens my expectations greatly but I still have some hopes in your abilities.
All the goods you requested is complyed with and sent, except the Blankets, I have none. a list of which is enclosed. shortly after Slater returned from you, I sent him, Jn Christian and Will Louttit off to the Mandles. waiting their return was the reason I delayed sending to you, but their stay is too long for me to expect a supply of men from that quarter so soone, besides I was afraid your Brandy and Powder would turn done before you got a supply. the Latter I fear will be soone out with me.
Most of the Afsiniboils has paid their debts, the Beggar in particular brought 80 B. in wolves, the Hawk sent in all his Furrs but did not come in himself. since your departure 4 Men arrived from above but Jn Sutherland wanting more goods I was obliged to send two of them up again almost immediately. I can give you no news from above as I got none myself, I have solicited Jn Sutherland twice to send down the state of his affairs but he as often refused it. the pregnant Spring will however bring forth all.
I cannot tell who those Indians are when you say Jn Richards has Traded all the debts I give out at Brandon House last Fall. I know of no Indian belonging to this place that visited R.R. but one of the Hawks Sons. him as well as all the Family he belongs to, sent in their debt and more. I have reason to think you must have been misinformed. you say the goods was charged? and given away as will appear very plainly when this paper is compeared with the Invoice of goods given to that Rascal. I have compeared your account of goods remaining with his Invoice and find but one 3 1/2 foot Gun exchanged for a 4 foot Gun. if the 4 foot Gun is tradable Jn Richards gained on B. by the exchange. and at the same time was afsorting? his shop? as he had no 4 foot guns. but observe, I do not mean to say by this that I approve of his having any dealings with the Canadians. no, I scorn the very idea, which you know to be true. but this thing is done we can not help it, and I think it of too little magnitude to be spoke of publicly. in another place you say Jn Richards is threatening to hurt the Honble Companys Trade all he can. every fool knows, those that is not for us is against us, while we know this, Jn Richards is no more to be dreaded then any other Canadian. besides he will not do his duty to his New employers (if employed he is) unlefs he maks his word good. and I have not the least doubt but you will strain every Sinew to counteract them in every thing tending to hurt your Trade, which must ultimately hurt theirs. we should always fish for the truth of a story before we relate it publicly. a Rogue will hurt himself more then we can, the truth will stand for itself.
In Mr Chaboillers Inventory of the goods remaining when Jn Richards went away, I find the following silver Trinkets on remains which you say nothing of. 1 pr Wrist bands, 2 Crofses, 3 Earwhals?, 2 Moons? and 18 Broaches for Shalls?. those articles tho' not sent out by the Company is still their property which it seems Jn Richards knew, or he would have taken them with him. I am not such a Chiken in this Trade as not to know how he got them, and I will tell you in a few words. he got them in the same manner as the late Mr Sutherland got those you put on remains last Spring.
You may detain the Taylor and Nowekuzick one week after their arrival, the former to cutt out Cloathes to the Men. Jolly Cour and Robertson you may detain till spring, but they must be here then to afsist out with the Boats. you will send me an explicit answer whether you mean to pafs the summer at Brandon House or not. you may send your Boat and men to Point au Futre in the spring with the Furrs and what goods you may have remaining. how, or in what manner you are to get here, I leave intirely to yourself."
" Tuesday Wind West blowing hard, last night 4 Indians came in, 3 of them belongs to my neighbour. they brot very little of any thing with them. they say they have kiled nigh 300 B. amongst them all but will not let me or the Canadians send people back with them."
" Thursday Wind West blowing a storm. last night a gang of Afsiniboils came in. they brought nigh 50 B. in wolves and Foxes and a great quantity of piece meat. this morning they went off after drinking all night."
" Friday Wind SW blowing hard. Tom Richards and Jn Merriman making Snow Shoe Frames. I do not know what to say or think about the Mandle Men, they delay too long, I hope all is well with them."
" Tuesday Wind North blowing a storm. 3 PM Robt Gun and Will Halcrow arrived from Manitoo ba, with the following Letter from Mr Jn Cobb.
You will no doubt be a little surprised to receive this unexpectedly. being informed that some of the York Fort Gentlemen may be near your upper Settlement, I have therefore dispatched these two Men with the enclosed Packit for Mr Donald McKay which I hope you will please to forward as quick as pofsible.
We are settled at a place called Manitooba by the Natives, close alongside of a Mr Resam? who had been long before I arrived, it being the 7th Oct. before we reached this place. I find all the Indians of this place is much attached to my neighbour who has been a Trader many years among them, so that I have little hopes of much Trade this year. I hope you have better prospects. I received yours at Osnaburg and was sorry to find that your bale? was not sent from Martin Fall, if it had been at Osnaburgh I should have taken it with pleasure. wishing you a happy
New year and a large Trade
I remain dear Sir
Your Most Obed. Humble Servant
" Thursday Wind SW extreme cold weather. early this morning I sent Tom Richards, James Corston and Jn Merriman off in search of those Indians of the 9th Inst. with 6 g. of Brandy and other goods."
" Friday Wind West blowing a storm and very cold."
" Sunday Wind west not so cold as yesterday. last night the Wolverines Son came in, this morning I sent George Sabbiston, James Inkster and Jas Short of with him. Mr Cobbs Men were ready to start this morning but having no Men at the House but Old Hugh Flett I was obliged to detain them until some of my Men returnes from the Indian Tents. 2 PM the Bear came in with 2 wolves and 1 Fox and 30 pieces of Piece Meat. this piece Meat and beat meat is the greatest enemy the Brandy has, as every piece goes as a wolf skin."
" Monday Wind West blowing a perfect storm and the coldest day I have seen this winter. the Indians of yesterday still drunk."
" Wednesday Wind West fine day. in the evening George Sabbiston and the other two Men returned from the Wolverines Tent, they brought nigh 80 B."
" Thursday Wind South fine clear weather. 2 PM Tom Richards, James Corston and Jn Merriman returned from Indians Tents. they brought 113 prime Beaver Skins. 88 of which is not yet Traded."
" Friday Wind NE cloudy weather. last night the Beggar came in with 20 wolves and a quantity of Meat and Fat. early this morning he went off. 9 AM sent Robt Gun and Will Halcrow back to Manitoobaw. I forgot to mention in Thursdays days work that Tom Richards burst a new Gun that he had taken with him for Trade, the firs Shot that was fired out of her. these little accidences and the quantity of New Guns given to the Men for hunting, will be very ready to swell my expences as they are all charged to me."
" Saturday Wind East cloudy weather. 3 PM Slater, Christian and Louttit returned from the Mandles. thank God for all his mercies. I thought them dead some time ago. they brought better then 300 MB and has left behind them 3 Packs which they could not take."
" Tuesday Wind SW clear mild weather. last night Tom Favill, Jn Lyons and two of the Grand Chiefs Sons came in, they brought 100 prime Beaver Skins. the Indians drunk. and if I would say some of the English Men, I would not be far wrong."
Feb. 1 1798
" Thursday Wind SW clear weather. early this morning I sent Tom Favill and Wm Loutttit off with the Grand Chiefs Sons, with upwards of 50 B. in Goods."
" Saturday Wind SW clear weather. early this morning sent Slater, Christian, Corston and Short off to the Mandles. 10 PM 10 Canadians arrived from the Mandles with two Natives of that place and two slave women. I thought there was but 8 Canadians went to the Mandles, I now find I was mistaken. 2 PM two Afsiniboils came in with 6 wolves and 4 Buffaloe Robes."
" Sunday Wind variable mild weather. 8 AM five Canadians with 11 Sledges set off for the Mandles. their intention is to pafs my men on the night and arrive there before them."
" Monday Wind West fine clear weather. the two young Mandle Men paid me a visit today. A Mr Jefsome, their Interpreter, accompanied them. I made each of them a present of a Swordblade and two fathoms of Tobacco with other small trinkets. they seemed astonished at every thing they saw, and I shewed them every thing I had. Mr Jefsome wished to make their visit as short as pofsible, but they would not return untill their curiosity was satisfied."
" Tuesday Wind North blowing a storm. 10 AM Nowekuzick, Lowis Jolly Cour, Robt Robertson and James Anderson returned from Red River with the following lines from Tho Miller. a number of Afsiniboils arrived at the same time they brought 15 wolves with some beat meat & Fat.
Red River 28th Jan. 1798
Yours of the 8th Jan. came safe and all the articles of goods you sent. I am sorry that I have put you to so much trouble, as my opinion of this place has turned out contrary to my expectations by reason of my Neighbour having so many men staying with the Indians and pillaging them on all quarters. if they had their liberty to go where they pleased, most of what was here would been done by this time. Sir, it is impofsible for me to hold any hand with my neighbour with the few men I have, if I had but half his number I could hurt him as much as he hurts me. there is very few Indian debts that I have got since my arrival, and has been as expencive as if I had Traded them, there is only 400 Beaver in the House this day. I am glad to hear that the Hawk and Sons has paid their debts, but it is not all their hunt, if I have been misinformed of what I related to you is more then I know, one story is always good till another is told. Sir I know very well a rogue will hurt himself more then we can but a rogue will hurt us more then an Honest Man will. the Silver works was only a forget of mine, and I know very well that they are the Companies as everything else is, that is purchased with their property. Sir, relating to my staying at Brandon House all summer I have no objections, if it be your pleasure, and if I can get a Canoe to trade shall meet you as soon as affairs will permit. I have sent you 16 1/2 yds of Baize and the Silverworks, as I see no use of them here, and perhaps you may get them Traded. I intended to keep Jolly Cour and Robertson here till spring but they say they will not know the way back, which was the reason I sent them back. Nowekuzick was nigh Lac du Bois since he arrived here and saw most of the Lac la Pluies Indians, he tells me that they mean all to be in if you send for them.
Chaboiller took 7 Beaver from my Men that an Indian gave them at his Tent to bring to me and would not allow them to trade a Skin.
Sir, I have given you a particular Account of all thats concerning this place and has enclosed an account of all the Goods remaining at it. I am glad to find you are getting a little Trade, but must say this place will hurt you greatly in that? part of the question this year. the Mackinac Capt. who is above, has 20 Beaver hid below the pine Fort, Jolly Cour knows where they are hid. his Sister here? desires you will send for them with all the other articles there hid. I conclude sincerely wishing
you all manner of Succefs and
remains your most obedient Servant
" Wednesday Wind NW cloudy weather. last night a little before 12 I sent Tom Richards and Jn Lyons to Wabeshays Tent. the Canadians keeps such a close eye on me, that I must carry on all the businefs I have with their Indians on the the night. they play'd me a trick shortly ago concerning this same Wabeshay in such a compleate manner, that I cannot help admiring their Sagacity. they did not gain much by their good scent?, but they saved upwards of 100 Beaver Skins which 10 minutes hesitation would have lost."
" Thursday Wind SW cloudy weather. early this morning I sent Nowekuzick and Jn Merriman to Red River with the following lines to Tho Miller, last night Tom Richards and Jn Lyons returned from Wabeshays Tent with 23 Beaver.
The bad news from your place has the effect of scalding water running down my back, I expected by this time matters would have turned out better, but it seems we ar no match for our opponants, however keep a good heart and dont make such long faces, the errors of Red River will never be laid to you. I hope to be as much superior to my Neighbour as Chaboiller is to you, and if things goes on in future as it has hitherto don, I expect to surmount all the lofses of Red River. I am glad to hear that Nowekuzick found out some of my friends the Lake la Pluies Indians. on the other hand I am sorry to find them so scattered on my account. I hope Mag. Birsay will profit a little by the occasion. as for you I am almost sure you will. I have sent by Nowekuzick a Capt. Coat for an Indian called Andoat?, which you will give him when he brings his furrs to you, I have sent by the same, 10 ga. of Indian Brandy in spirits and two fathom of Tobacco. you will supply Nowekuzick with an empty 10 ga. keg as mixing the Brandy at your house will be too heavy for him to haul to the Indians. I have enclosed the manner of trading with the Lac la Pluies Indians which method you must adhere to. you may detain Nowekuzick and Jn Merriman 12 days after their arrival to you, but should you find it necefsary to detain them longer you may as the Men knows every thing concerning this place that should be known. I refer? you to them for news, while I remain your friend and well
" Friday Wind East cloudy weather, late this night Slubbers Son, the little Capt. Brother, and another Maskaygon came in for Men to fetch their furrs. they are now all Drunk."
" Saturday Wind NW cloudy weather. the Indians of yesterday still here. I got several empty visits from the Afsiniboils this day."
" Sunday Wind West cloudy weather. early this morning I sent Tom Richards, Lowis Jolly Cour and Robt Robertson off with the Indians of Friday. 12 Oclock the Bear and IronSides came in with 30 Beaver. 3 PM another Afsiniboil came in with 7 wolves and 5 Buffaloe Robes and some piece meat. 5 PM 11 Crees came in, they brought nothing with them, I understand they are come to see the two young Mandles, they are all drunk together."
" Wednesday Wind West clear mild weather. 12 Oclock Tom Richards returned from Capt Slubbers Tent with 150 Beaver. in the evening Wafso and two others came in, they brought 32 Beaver."
" Friday Wind North very cold with a little snow. in the evening the Bear and 10 Tents of Indians came in. they brought 12 wolves amongst them. I got but 4."
" Monday Wind East cloudy weather. in the evening Capt Slubber and gang came in. I give him his Cloathing and 10 ga. of mixed Brandy."
" Thursday Tom Favill and Wm Louttit returned from the Grand Chiefs Tent with 71 Beaver Skins."
" Wednesday Wind NE cloudy weather. this evening Capt Slubber and Son went off."
Mar. 1 1798
" Thursday Wind West cloudy weather. early this morning I sent Robt Robertson and Lowis Jolly Cour off to the Mans Elbow with Mr Donald McKays Letters. at the same time I sent Tom Favill and Wm Louttit off to the Grand Chiefs Tent with 74 Beaver in goods for trade."
" Friday Wind West blowing a storm. 8 PM sent Tom Richards, Jn Lyons and James Inkster off to Wabecanetoes Tent."
" Saturday Wind and weather as yesterday. early this morning the little Capt came in, his furrs was in some time before. I gave him his Cloathing with 10 ga. of Indian Brandy. he traded with me 70 B. the last of my Cloth is don this day, and had I not often traded it back again from the Natives for Brandy it would have been out some time ago."
" Sunday Wind West clear mild weather. in the evening two young Men came in, one of them went to my Neighbours, the other owes me 26 B.. while the young Man that came to me was visiting my Neighbour I sent George Sabbiston and an old Indian woman off to their Tents to trade if pofsible what furrs they have before the Canadians arrives."
" Monday Wind South blowing hard in the forenoon. early this morning the two Indians of yesterday went off with two Canadians. they little dream that there is any one before them. they seemed pleas'd when they heard that none of my Men was going with them."
" Tuesday Wind North sharp weather. one of my Indians shot two Otters today. Wafsos Brother in law came in for a little debt which he no sooner got but returned to his Tent. 7 PM George Sabbiston returned with 53 B. the old woman that accompanied him will not reach the House this night. the two Canadians that went after him, arrived two hours before him, so they might for they returned lighter then they went. These? young Fellows it seems visited Red River in the first of the winter, whence arises Millers suspicions when he says Jn Richards has Traded all the debts you gave out at Brandon House last Fall."
" Thursday Wind East with snow. 3 PM Tom Richards and the two other Men returned from Wabecanetoes Tent with 46 Beaver Skins. in the evening Wafso came in, he took 10 B. in debt brought nothing, he says I will send Men to him in 30 days time."
" Friday Wind East with the greatest fall of snow I saw this year. Wafso remains still here the weather being so bad."
" Saturday Wind NE clear cold weather. Wafso went off this morning. in the evening the Hawks youngest Son came in."
" Sunday Wind West fine clear weather. sent Tom Richards and James Inkster to the Hawks Tent. sent George Sabbiston and two old women for a Cow an Indian shot yesterday."
" Monday Wind South fine clear weather. 3 PM Tho Richards and James Inkster returned from the Hawks Tent with all the Beaver they had."
" Tuesday Wind South blowing strong but not cold. one of the Hawks Sons came in, he paid 28 B. of 40 his debt. his Father the Capt is expected in tomorrow. he sent word by his Son to hoist the Flag and fire the Musquitoons when he arrives. in the evening Capt Slubber came in with some Beat meat. it seems its low water with the Old Fellow for its by no means a customary thing for Maskaygons to bring beat meat in this part of the world."
" Wednesday Wind SW blowing hard. 3 PM Capt. Hawk came in. I Honored him on his arrival agreeable to his request, gave him his Clothing and 10 Gallons of Indian Brandy. the old Man loves? the House and seems very well pleas'd. an Indian Called the Seal arrived at the same time who it seems has owed Mr McDonell a debt this two years. on his arrival McDonell and Augge came to my House and demanded him for the debt. the Indian denied having any debt from them unpaid. they insisted he had and told him to pay immediately or they'd do so and so, which so irritated the Indians that he Jumped up and drew his Bayonet and made for Augge to stab him. Augge finding himself in danger seased on a Gun which stood in the Roome to knock the Indian down with. him I interfered and took the Gun from him which put an end to the quarrel. McDonell and Augge did not stay long afterward. the latter told the Seal he would keep his wife prisoner untill he paid his debt. he did however not do it."
" Friday Wind West clear mild weather. nothing extraordinary but most of the Indians sober."
" Tuesday Wind South fine clear weather. the Seal and several other Indians went off since Friday last. 10 AM Tom Favill and Wm Louttit returned from the Grand Chiefs Tent with 109 Prime Beaver skins. the Men sold their Guns, Hatchets and several other small Articles of their own to procure some of these skins as the goods they had for Trade was don some time ago. long may the Old Fellow live and be a Chief for he is the best Hunter I ever saw. he is now going to Fort Dauphin to pay his debt there, and says I may expect to see him at Brandon House next Fall. Mascaybait? came in and paid his debt. the Indians here all drunk."
" Thursday Wind East with heavy snow for about two hours this morning. 8 AM sent George Sabbiston and James Anderson off to the Wolverine Tent for Beat meat and furrs if they have any. 4 PM Lowis Jolly Cour, James Anderson and Mag Flaws arrived from the Mans Elbow with a few lines from Jn Sutherland.
Your letter dated Brandon House 1st March I duly received with the enclosed packet for Mr Donald McKay, I forwarded it to Mr Longmoore immediately after receiving it agreeable to your orders, accompanied by his Cane and Umbrella. I recollect having heard the late Mr Sutherland say the Cane and Umbrella was the property of Mr Donald McKay.
I have agreeable to your request sent down 3 Men (I could spare no more), my Gen'l Charge and remains of last Summer. the remains is enclosed in the Gen'l Charge. if any mistakes or errors apears please point them out, we will settle them at Brandon House when I come down in the spring. wishing the
Honble Companies affairs may prosper
under your scrutinizing eye
I remain your most Obedient
" Friday Wind NW warm weather. 3 PM George Sabbiston and James Anderson returned from the Old Wolverines Tent with 16 Beaver and a quantity of Meat. the 3 Men that arrived from above are all of them snowblind."
" Saturday Wind variable from West to East. 3 PM Capt Wolverine and gang came in, I give the old Man Capt. clothing and 10 ga. of Indian Brandy."
" Monday Wind SW clear weather. last night I bought a fine young Horse. the Indians all sober."
" Tuesday Wind South warm weather. the Men hauling home Oak logs to be sleds for next winter. in the evening the Beggar came in with 20 B. in wolves and Foxes a great quantity of lines and Beat meat."
" Friday Wind NW very bad weather. early this morning the Beggar and family went off."
" Saturday Wind West clear weather at times. 4 AM sent Tom Richards, James Anderson, Wm Louttit and Jn Lyons off in search of Wabecanetoes Tent, with 7 ga. of Brandy and a few other articles for trade. the last of my Powder is done this day. I do not know what the people will do that pafses the summer here for want of that necefsary article. several families of Crees went of this day."
Apr. 1 1798
" Sunday Wind SE clear mild weather. 8 PM James Slater, Jn Christian, James Corston and James Short returned from the Big Bellies with 280 B. in wolves and Foxes. 11 PM the Little Capt. came in with 12 Wolves."
" Wednesday Wind South fine clear weather. Inkster and Short sawing boards for Sleds, the rest of the people variously employ'd. Saw Swans and ducks to day."
" Friday Wind South clear weather. 1 PM Tom Richards returned from Wabencanitos Tent with 100 B. Skins. they left behind upwards of 200 for want of Goods to buy them. I have no Goods of any kind in the house at present but Brandy and Tobacco. there is in the House at present nigh 100 B. not paid for. yesterday the people begun to Pack the Furrs in the handprefs."
" Saturday Wind West clear mild weather. 3 PM Some Indians came in with a few Skins for Brandy."
" Monday Wind West fine clear weather. 10 AM Wabecanitoo his two Sons and Tobie came in. these is the people to whome belongs the Furrs unpaid for. they were scarcely seated when McDonell and Auggie entered the roome, one with his Book the other with his pipe in their hands, they demanded their debt from the Indians which Tobie refused to pay unlefs they restored to him his Horse which they stole last Fall. McDonell on hearing that took his Gun from him. Wabecanitoo consented to pay his debt, but when I counted out Beaver Skins to the amount of his debt, he asked me if I had no bad Half Skins, I answered in the affirmative, he says I will exchange Skin for Skin with you, Half Skins is good enough for them, I Jumped at the offer, the old Man taking a whole armful presented them to McDonell, he saw the trick in its true light and then began reprobating me, saying I was one of the most unfair Traders in Hudsons Bay, and that he would soon be up with me. I asked him if he thought I was sent here to Trade for him or study his interest, if he thought I ever wished him a skin that he was mistaken, that I was sent here to Trade with the Natives and not with him, that it was my duty to study my Masters interest, and to prevent all opposition by fair dealing with the Natives, from getting a skin if pofsible. he then went out of the House leaving the Wolf Skins and me in peace. the Indians Drunk. I do not know which way I will get their Furrs for want of Goods. I sent Tom Favill and Jn Lyons off to Wafsos Tent for Furrs."
" Tuesday Wind SW cloudy weather. 3 PM Tom Favill and Jn Lyons returned with 44 B."
" Wednesday Wind NW cloudy weather with a little snow in the Morning. 3 PM Wafso came in. this day I paid Wabecanitoo 92 Beaver, notwithstanding I had not the value of one B. in the House of Cloth or Blankets. I paid him with the Cloaths of my Wife. not that she had so much Cloths, but it was sufficient they belonged to her. he paid any price I asked of him. I am almost ashamed to say (tho' true) that I asked 10 Beaver for one of her Shirts [Skirts?] and he actuly gave it. he made great lament for want of Powder, knowing that I had in a manner robed him of his Furrs. I offered him 10 Beaver Skins and told him to Trade them with McDonell by some other head?, but he refused to do it saying he would rather burn them then give them to him."
" Thursday Wind West cloudy weather. early this morning Wabecanitoo his two Sons and Tobie went off. I understand that McDonell with 4 of his men a Horsback went after them."
" Saturday Wind North blowing very hard and very cold. Wednesday last an Indian stole one of our Horses, yesterday evening I heard who had him and this morning sent 5 Men on Horseback after him. this day the people finished Packing in the handprefs the last Furrs in the House which amounts to 70 Packs of 90 lb each Cont'g 3726 MB."
" Sunday Wind SE clear but cold weather. late last night the Men returned that went in search of the Horse, they came up with the man that stole him a bout 12 oclock, but he had concealed the Horse so as to baffle all their inquiries."
" Monday Wind SE cloudy weather. the people Turning Sledheads for Next winter."
" Thursday Wind East cloudy weather. last night Capt Slubber came in with 20 B. the people making Bags to hold Beatmeat."
" Friday Wind East with rain all day. I prevailed on Mr McDonell to day to let me have a gal.? of Gun Powder for 8 Buffaloe Skins. this will be a little help to the people that pafses the Summer. he sadly wanted Beaver Skins in exchange."
" Tuesday Wind South with rain at times. the people made 26 Bags of Beatmeat and Fat Cont'g 90 lb each in all lb 2340."
" Wednesday Wind North cloudy weather with a little snow in the morning. the people made 4 Bags of Beat meat and Fat, and Packed 12 Bundles of Furrs in the big Prefs. I have as much Beat meat as would make 6 Bags more but has no Fat."
" Thursday Wind SW clear weather. the people Packed 21 Bundles of Furrs, yesterday I heard the Canadians that went to the Mandles with several of the Natives from that place were expected in to day, in consequence of which, last night after dark I sent James Slater, Tom Favill, Jn Lyons and Louis Jolly Cour, off to meet them. there is a Menor, an old residentir a mongst them who promised me his Furrs, provided I would send to meet him. this morning the Men returned and acquainted me that Menor had given all his Furrs to the Canadians. notwithstanding Menors Duplicity, he paid me a visit this day with some of the Mandles. he offered to sell me 3 fine Horses and a Slave Girl, to be paid next Fall. I told him to sell his Horses and Slaves when he sold his Furrs, that Birds of a Feather should all go to geather. the Old Fellow pricked at what I said, says, Sir, you are a stranger to me but I perceve by what you say you mean to pafs an affront on me and all my Countrymen. I told him if all his Countrymen were like him, they deserved to be affronted every where, and that if he did not find the door quickly I would let him know what a Man deserved that broke his word. he soon found the door, and I do not believe he will visit me in a hurry again."
" Friday Wind SW clear mild weather. the people packed 37 Bundles of Furrs. I have nigh another Bundle but it wants 18 lb of the weight, which when maid out will make 71 Bundles Cont'g MB 3880 nearly."
May 1 1798
" Tuesday Wind NE with snow all last night. the people hauling home Timber to rebuild their House. in the evening Wafso came in with 14 B."
" Thursday Wind NE if any. the people cleaning the Boats. last night about 10 Oclock, I sent Tom Richards and Jn Lyons off in a small Canoe with 10 gal. of Brandy, in search of Wabecanitoo and others of my Indians."
" Friday Wind South blowing hard. the Mandles went off to day accompanied by Wafso and several of our Indians."
" Sunday Wind West clear warm weather. early this morning I sent Tom Favill and an Indian off to meet the little Capt., in the evening they returned with 20 B. I give and threw away the meat of more then 10 Cows, the weather being so warm it will not keep."
" Monday Wind none clear warm weather. the People Diging the Garden."
" Friday Wind East blowing hard. the Men began to dig the Garden a second tie. James very sick."
" Sunday Wind East with rain. 7 AM 4 large Boats and 3 Canoes of Canadians arrived from the Mans Elbow and Cappell. it is a shame for our people to let the Canadians set off first from their wintering Ground in Red River: knowing well the little way we make in the Carrying places and how late it is before we can get Goods to the Elbow. it is not two nor three Hundred Beaver that can compensate the lofs of one week in the Spring. had I arrived 3 days later last fall at Brandon House I would have lost upwards of 400 B. immediate Trade, besides running the risque of loosing as many Indians as 80? perhaps has brought 1000 B."
" Monday early this morning the Canadians of yesterday set off. no sign of our Boats."
" Friday Wind South fine clear weather. the Men making a Launch. no sign of the Battauxes from above."
" Monday Wind West blowing a storm. 7 AM Mr Jn Sutherland arrived with nigh 1800 MB."
" Tuesday the people laying the Cargoes and laden the Boats, its impofsible for me to take out one pound of provisions for to serve? the Boats from Point au Foutre next Fall, as the Boats is so over laden we can pul [put?] but two Oars on each."
" Wednesday set off from Brandon House with 113 Pack of Furrs, 90 lb each. 3 kegs of Castor, 21 Bags of beat meat and fat, 90 lb each. and some? bales of piece meat. - I left 40 Bags of Beat Meat, a great quantity of piece meat and Buffaloe robes with some Parchment and drefsed Leather. I left in Charge of Brandon House the Following Men. James Slater, James Inkster, George Groundwater and James Anderson Taylor, when Tho. Miller arrives he will take charge. I left with the above Men insructions for Miller how to employ them during the summer and the manner in which he is to supply the Red River Master with provisions next Fall."
" Thursday early this morning we met Tho Miller, Tho Richards, Jn Lyons and Nowekuzick on their way to Brandon House. Miller sent his Boat and Furrs to Point au Foutre as I had ordered him, I expect his Men soon to afsist in lightening my Boats so as to enable me to crofs the Lake. we camped together. 30th May we met Millers Boat at Nettle Creek where they took share of our cargoe. the 31th we arrived at Point au Foutre found Mr Vincent and all his Men well. 1th June we packed Millers Furrs which Amounted to nigh 1000 B. the 2d we turned up an old Boat and mended her to afsist in carrying out the Furrs, in the evening Mr Jn Cobb arrived. the 3d the people lotting? or sharing the Cargoe. the 4th set of with 6 Boats and 31 Men exclusive of self, Mr Jn Sutherland and Mr Vincent. at the first Carrying place Nowekuzick run away from me, when I mifsed him, I maned a Boat and went to Point in search of him as I knew he must have run there, but he had maid his escape in the woods a little time before I arrived. I can give no reason for his leaving me but his connections at Lake la Pluies, which were strong ones. the 16 we arrived at Mag. Birsays station, found him and one Man taken care of 5 Packs which his large Canoe could not take out. Mr Cobb in company with me? took? him and all his Furrs. we arrived at Osnaburgh the 28th, with better then 6,800 MB from Red River. I hope your Honors will aprove of my conduct in Red River, and think as I do, that I have made a good Trade, I sincerely wish succefs to your Honors affairs
While I remain
your Honors Most Obedient
& Most Humble Servant