This is a virtually complete transcription of the Brandon House Journal from 1801-1802 by Alex Nicol
"A Journal of Occurrences Weather &c &c at Brandon House commencing May 23rd 1801 by Mr Tho. Bunn in Charge."
May 23 1801
" Saturday Wind Ely Weather fine. Mr Goodwin, Mr Sutherland with 5 Batteaux & 25 Men set off for Martins Fall, leaving myself in charge with Ja. Inkster, Ja. Slater, Ja. Yorston, Jn. Easter, Mag. Tait & Peiry Sutherland."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as Yesterday kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before. last night some Mandan Ind. kill'd 6 of our best horses & stole 1 Foal. Cooper & Jn. Easter turn'g Sled heads, the rest domestically employed."
" Tuesday Wind Wly Cloudy with some rain men as before."
" Wednesday Wind as before Weather fine men as before."
" Thursday Wind Weather & Men as before."
" Friday Wind & Weather as before.Cooper & J. Easter jointing the Floor'g for the new house. rest as before."
" Saturday Wind S weather fine men as before."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before Spent the day holy."
June 1 1801
" Monday Wind as before Weather very hot. Ja. Slater & Peiry Sutherland set off hunt'g. Cooper & J.Easter floor'g the new house. J. Yorston & M. Tait taking care of the rest of the horses & sowing seeds in the Garden."
" Tuesday Wind variable Weather hot Men as before. hunters came home with the flesh of 1 Bull. a Severe Storm at night."
" Wednesday Wind Ely Weather fine Ja. Slater & Peiry domestically employed the rest as before. The South Companys Canoes 7 in Number set off this day for the Grand Portage. the North West 10 in number set off the 25th Ult."
" Thursday fine Weather Cooper & J. Easter at the House, the rest domestically employed."
" Friday Wind W Weather fine, Men as before."
" Saturday Wind, Weather & men as before."
" Sunday Wind Sly Weather cloudy Kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind & Weather as yesterday. Cooper & J. Easter at the House, rest domestically."
" Tuesday Wind Ely fine Weather J. Slater & J. Easter set off hunt'g. rest as before."
" Wednesday Wind & Weather as before. hunters came home with 1 bull. rest as before."
" Thursday Wind as before Weather Cloudy men as before."
" Friday Wind W very hot Weather men as before."
" Saturday Wind W Sultry Weather with Thunder men as before."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before, a Storm in the afternoon. perform'd divine Service."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before Cooper & Easter at the House rest variously employed."
" Tuesday Wind W Sultry Weather Slater & Peery went off hunt'g. rest as before."
" Wednesday Wind, Weather & men as before."
" Thursday Wind W Cloudy with rain. hunters return'd no luck. rest as before."
" Friday Wind W rain all day men employ'd in doors."
" Saturday Wind W rain at times. haul'd the Seine without succefs."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind Sly Weather fine Peery & Ja. Slater set off hunt'g. rest variously employed."
" Tuesday Wind as before sultry Weather men as before."
" Wednesday Wind, Weather & men as before at night a violent storm of Thunder Lightning & rain."
" Thursday Wind W rain at times, men employ'd in doors."
" Friday Wind Ely Stormy the whole day men as before."
" Saturday Wind S Weather fine Ja. Slater & Peery came home with 1 Bull almost spoil'd by the Thunder"
" Sunday Wind & Weather as yesterday. Kept the day Holy."
" Monday Wind Ely Rain & Thunder all day Men at work at the House & variously."
" Tuesday Wind, Weather & men as before."
July 1 1801
" Wednesday Do. Do."
" Thursday Wind Sly fine Weather at last. 2 Men at work at the house, the rest hoeing potatoes."
" Friday Wind, Weather & men as before."
" Saturday Wind & Weather as before. Ja. Slater & Peery set off hunt'g. rest as before."
" Sunday Wind SE a Violent Storm of Thunder &c. Kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before, men employ'd in doors."
" Tuesday Wind S very sultry Weather men as before."
" Wednesday Wind Sly fine Weather. hunters came home 1 Bull entirely spoil'd. rest as before."
" Thursday Wind & Weather as before. 2 Men at Work at the House. rest in the Garden."
" Friday Wind Sly Cloudy Weather 2 Men at the House rest in the Garden."
" Saturday Wind S very hot Weather men as before."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before. the Hawk sent in for men to go to his tent."
" Monday Wind SE Cloudy Weather Peery & Mag. Tait set off for the Hawks tent. Cooper making alterations in the House, rest build'g a Chimney in the new house."
" Tuesday Wind & Weather as yesterday. Peery & Mag. Tait came back with 9 Parch't & 1 Beaver. rest as before."
" Wednesday Wind W a Storm of Thunder & rain the whole day. Men employed in doors."
" Thursday Wind SW fine Weather. 2 Men at the alterations, rest at the Chimneys."
" Friday Wind & Weather & Men as before."
" Saturday Wind W with Thunder & rain. J. Easter & Peery set off hunt'g. rest as before."
" Sunday Wind Ely fine Weather. Hunters came home with 1 Bull."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before. 2 Men at the Alterations rest at the Chimneys."
" Tuesday Wind Weather & men as before."
" Wednesday Wind Weather & men as before."
" Thursday Wind SE Cloudy Weather. finished the Chimneys."
" Friday Wind & Weather as before Men domestically employ'd."
" Saturday Wind Sly fine Weather men domestically employ'd."
" Sunday Wind Sly rain at times kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind SW fine Weather Cooper & Easter at work at the House, rest cutt'g Grafs for the Roof."
" Tuesday Wind & Weather. Peery & J. Easter hunt'g, rest as before."
" Wednesday Wind Weather & men as before."
" Thursday Wind Weather & men as before."
" Friday Wind SE fine Weather hunters came home with 1 Bull, rest as before."
Aug. 1 1801
" Saturday Wind & Weather as before. all hands putt'g Grafs & loom on the house."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before. the Hawk came with his family brought 15 MB."
" Monday Wind Wly with rain at times. Cooper & 3 Men falling Oak for Kegs. rest domestically."
" Tuesday Wind SE fine Weather. Cooper & Easter splitting Staves rest cutt'g & making hay."
" Wednesday Wind Weather & men as before. the Hawk went away to make rice, lent him a Canoe."
" Thursday Wind Weather & men as before. An Indian arrived from above with the disagreable intelligence that 11 Women & Children had been kill'd & others wounded at River qui Appelle by a party of Big Bellies. among the dead are the Wife of Grants Brother in Law & the Daughter of the Hawk. two of our greatest Chiefs here."
" Friday Wind Sly fine Weather. Cooper at Staves rest at the Hay. The Hawk sent to us to fetch back the Canoe, being so afflicted with the lofs of his daughter, he could think of nothing else."
" Saturday Wind & Weather as before. J Easter & Peery hunt'g. M Tait fetching the Canoe rest as before."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before Kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before. Cooper at Staves rest at the Hay hunters came back with 1 Bull."
" Tuesday Wind SW fine Weather Cooper as before rest at the Hay."
" Wednesday Wind Weather & Men as before."
" Thursday Wind, Weather & Men as before. at Night the Tinpot came in with his Wife, who was Ill having been wounded & otherwise illtreated by the Big Bellies. they were in great distrefs for provisions."
" Friday Wind Nly fine Weather men as before finished the Haymaking."
" Saturday Wind & weather as before. Cooper & 2 others getting Willows for hoops, rest domestically. the Creek & Corn sent in to fetch men to their tents."
" Sunday Wind NE Cloudy with rain. J Slater & Peery went off to the Ind. tents. Tinpot & family went away to hunt Cattle."
" Monday Wind E fine Weather. M Tait & J Easter preparing to set off in a large Canoe tomorrow to meet the boats. Cooper drefsing hoops, rest domestically employ'd."
" Tuesday Wind & Weather as before M Tait & J Easter set off. rest as before."
" Wednesday Wind, Weather & Men as before. J Slater & Peery came home with 4 horse loads of meat."
" Thursday Wind NE fine Weather men as before."
" Friday Wind Weather & men as before. The Hawk & family came in to wait the arrival of the Boats."
" Saturday Wind Wly Cloudy with rain. J Slater & Peery hunt'g. rest as before."
" Sunday Wind SW fine Weather several tents of Indians came in to wait the arrival of the Craft of the different Companies."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before. Cooper at making Kegs, rest domestically. hunters came home with 1 Bull."
" Tuesday Wind W fine Weather. Cooper as before, rest taking care of the House & horses."
" Wednesday Wind Weather & men as before. the Creek came in for payment of his meat."
" Thursday Wind NW fine Weather. men as before, the Creek went away."
" Friday Wind SW Weather fine. Cooper making kegs, rest domestically employ'd."
" Saturday Wind & Weather as before. Slater & Peery set off hunt'g. rest as before. Hawk went away."
" Sunday Wind Ely fine Weather Kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind & Weather as yesterday Cooper making Kegs. rest domestically."
Sept. 1 1801
" Tuesday Wind & Weather as before. Hunters came home with 2 Cows. rest as before."
" Wednesday Wind, Weather & men as before. the North West Canoes arrived."
" Thursday Wind Sly Cloudy Weather men as before."
" Friday Wind variable a Storm of Thunder &c all day."
" Saturday Wind Nly fine Weather men as before."
" Sunday Wind NW with rain & Thunder Kept the day holy."
" Monday Wind W fine Weather Cooper making Kegs rest domestically employ'd."
" Tuesday Wind SE hard rain the whole day & night men as before."
" Wednesday Wind S fine Weather men as before."
" Thursday Wind Weather & men as before. H Lena & J Lyons arrived from the boats which they left at the Fork. they brought me a letter from Mr Jn McKay inform'g me that the boats were in want of provisions. at night 2 Ind. arrived from the Corn &c to fetch men to their tents."
" Friday Wind & Weather as before. J Slater & Peery set off to the Ind. but happening to kill an Elk at the Sourie, they return'd with it."
" Saturday Wind Wly fine Weather. J Slater & Peery set off to the Indian Tent likewise H Lena & Jn Lyons with 4 Horses loaded with meat to the boats."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before. 2 Canoes arrived belonging to the South Company."
" Monday Wind & Weather as before. Cooper at Kegs rest domestically."
" Tuesday Wind SW fine Weather J Slater & Peery came home with meat."
" Wednesday Wind & Weather as before. Ind. about the House drunk & troublesome. An Indian came for men to go to the Hawk & Tinpots tents."
" Thursday Wind & Weather as before. J Slater & Peery went off to the Ind. Tents."
" Friday Wind S fine Weather men came back from the Ind. tents with Meat."
" Saturday Wind E Cloudy Weather. Sent the Carriole to meet Mr McKay at the Crofsing place."
" Sunday Wind & Weather as before. Mr McKay arrived at Brandon House & took charge of the place."
" A Journal of Occurrences &c commencing August 4th 1801 by Mr John McKay"
Aug. 4 1801
" Tuesday At 4 PM started from Osnaburgh & slept a little above Sandy Point."
" Wednesday Wind W blowing a perfect Storm we? got no farther than the last narrows about 12 Miles from OH."
" Thursday Weather very warm & calm. slept a little below Mr Best's Rocks. Set nets."
" Friday At 5 AM took up our nets & started, no luck. 9 AM met Capt. Sulky going to OH. we crofsed the long carrying place & slept at the burnt carrying place. I find all the spirit Rundlets very leaky especially in hot Weather. Several of the men very bad with the bloody flux & have been ever since they left MF. I have had my share of it & God Knows it is bad enough to pull down the strongest man."
" Saturday Started this morn'g about 5 AM. sent off 4 men to dam up the Creek, water being very low. Camp'd a little above the Lively fall."
" Sunday Started at 5 AM put up at 3 PM on account of heavy rain."
" Monday Rain most part of the day with a head wind. Slept in Lake Saul."
" Tuesday Head wind all day. in the Evening we met Cockaangy he had nothing but a few Huckle berries for which I gave him a little Brandy. Self & family set 2 nets after we put up."
" Wednesday Took up the nets not a single fish Wind still a head. 9 AM we fell in with a number of Ind. they gave us some Venison for Brandy, they wanted a Trader from us but I believe it will be out of Mr Bests power to supply them with one, for 2 good reasons (namely) want of men & goods, more is the pity."
" Thursday Wind fair, hoisted sail at 4 AM. 10 AM we fell in with 6 Ind. men got about 100 lb Venison & some fat. we slept at the first Red Lake Fall. all over."
" Friday Cloudy weather. started at 5 AM got over all the falls by 9 oclock. in the Even'g we met with Jn Wright & camp'd with him, he gave us some dried meat for which I paid him well."
" Saturday Early this morn'g we came to the Long carrying place. camp'd at the other side with all over, a very hard days work."
" Sunday Early this morn'g started from the long C P at 8 AM, fell in with 10 Canoes of Ind I gave them brandy altho' they had nothing to give me. Tho. Norn has been sick ever since he left MF & he is now so bad that I think he will not live."
" Monday Early this morn'g we? started from the first of the 3 Falls, never saw the water so high in my Life. T Norn not fit to steer gave him a paper of Dr James powders. in the Even'g we met with a Canadian trader & camp'd together."
" Tuesday Early this morn'g we parted with Mr Pommesvile? at 5 PM fell in with a Canadian trader & Mr Munroe. I camp'd a little below them."
" Wednesday Camp'd in Mr Goodwins narrows."
" Thursday Camp'd at the middle Kettle fall heavy rain all day & at night dreadfull thunder & lightning. most of the wet owing to very bad coverings. never saw such bad brandy Kegs one in my boat has lost 4 G? Spirits. the lofs in Brandy must be very great with me this Year which might pay the wages of two good Coopers."
" Friday Cloudy weather all day. Camp'd above the Deer Fall."
" Saturday Weather fine camp'd above Portage de Lisle."
" Sunday Early this morn'g a Mr Furguson?, a Mr Henry & a Mr LeRocque, with 5 Canoes pafs'd us bound for Swan River & the Mans Elbow. Camp'd about 6 PM."
" Monday started at daylight. 11 AM a Mr McDonald & a Mr Pritchard & 3 other Gentlemen came to us with 6 Canoes bound to Red River, from what they call the little Company. these people are most compleatly fitted out with everything. their goods are mark'd XY. the quantity of goods going to Red River is amazing this year. Mr Jn McDonell has 28 Canoes already in Red River some time ago."
" Tuesday Kept company most of the day with XY McDonald. I slept in the Pinawa?, water being too high to go by the white River."
" Wednesday Early this morn'g some of Wm McKays Canoes came to us."
" Thursday Early this morn'g Mr Wm McKay came to us he kept Company with us all the day. he has 9 Canoes & 4 left behind."
" Friday Started early nothing extraordinary but Mr McKay leaving us. I suppose he will be at the bottom of the River to night."
" Saturday Started this morn'g very early Camp'd over the 2 Silver falls."
" Sunday 12 oClock we arrived at the bottom of the River found Wm McKay very busy making outfits for Lake Winepeg. likewise Mr Vincents house burnt. we camp'd about 4 Miles below it, opposite XY McDonald, rain'd very hard."
" Monday Wind hard a head which detain'd us all day."
Sept. 1 1801
" Tuesday Started early this morn'g in Company with XY McDonald - Camp'd at Hunters point."
" Wednesday A Violent storm a head stop'd all day."
" Thursday Started at daylight & sail'd to the mouth of RR. met Mag. Tait & Jn Easter who came from Brandon House in a large Canoe with not one mouthfull of Victuals in it. I wonder of what use she can be to me, we are 30 Men at present without provisions except a little flour. Mr Goodwin told me that I would meet plenty of provisions at the mouth of the river 2 bags of Pimetigon at the Bonnet & 2 at Point a Foutre. I got but one bag in all which is now done. in short it lasted but one day - here we met Mr McDonald with a few Ind. I strove all in my power to take them with me but they would not. I staid about 2 hours with them & slept a little above the Rivers mouth."
" Friday Started very early this morn'g slept far below the forks but sent Mr Miller & 4 men off for the forks in case there should be any Ind. there."
" Saturday At 8 AM arrived at the fork, found Mr Millar with a tent of Ind., the men were out hunting. here I made Millars outfit for Red River."
" Sunday Started early this morn'g I parted with Mr Millar about 2 hours afterwards. Camp'd about 6 PM in the Afsinaboil River. left Mr McDonald at the Fork he sends 2 Canoes up the Red River, it is very hard for our men to work without Victuals, which is now the case, flour & water is not great things. sent Lena & Lyons off to Brandon House."
" Monday Started early this Morn'g Mag. Tait shot 2 Bulls in the Course of this day thank God for all his mercies - camp'd early."
" Tuesday Went on cheerly self walking in the plains fell in with Mr McDonald he slept with me, his canoes are behind."
" Wednesday nothing extraordinary water very good in the River."
" Thursday Early this morn'g met an Ind. & family from whom I got a Moose Deer - good meat. he informs me that Mr McDonell & Chabouillez has taken all the Ind. acrofs land to Manatoba & that I need not expect to meet any between this & Brandon House, unlefs Afsinaboils - if this is the case RR will be of very little use."
" Friday Started early this morn'g slept in? company with XY McDonald."
" Saturday Met 3 Ind. in the plains hunt'g for Chabouillez."
" Sunday XY McDonald & Canoes pafse'd us, we slept below the carrying place where Chabouillez is settled."
" Monday Started very early, self went to the house by land met XY McDonald there. I stopp'd about 5 hours with Chabouillez till the boats came up. camp'd about 3 miles above the house. here I exchanged some goods for vermillion & rings articles I have very little of. our men have not a mouthful of provisions."
" Tuesday Men hungry. Lena & Lyons not yet return'd from Brandon house with a supply."
" Wednesday In the Even'g Lena & Lyons return'd with 4 horses a few potatoes & some piece meat. am fearful I shall not have meat to bring up the boats. I started immediately by land for Brandon House left the boats in charge of Tho. Norn. camp'd n the woods."
" Thursday Camp'd in the plains met a Mr Campbell on horseback."
" Friday XY McDonald & Campbell overtook us camp'd together."
" Saturday Started early this morn'g camp'd below Brandon house."
" Sunday Arrived at Brandon house found all well but very few Ind."
" Monday sent 6 horses to meet the boats with piece meat & potatoes. I find that one Delorm has left here some days ago with a number of horses with goods & has taken most of the Ind. off with him, it is yet unknown where he is gone to - however I cannot oppose him as I have neither horses nor men sufficient to follow him."
" Tuesday Nothing to do as I have no goods. there is some Ind. waiting the arrival of the boats."
" Wednesday The Hawk & a numerous band arrived with a little meat & some Moose parchment. he thinks very long for want of Brandy. in the Even'g the horses arrived from the boats, several Afsinaboils came in with meat. I gave among them 40 G. Brandy."
" Thursday Ind. drunk all day most of them belonging to the Canadian house."
" Friday sent 2 horses with the Coach to meet the boats. sent 4 horses to Afsinaboil tents for meat. Ind. at the house nigh sober. Cooper & Lena planeing boards for partitions for the new house not nigh finished."
" Saturday Slater return'd with several Afsinaboils whom he met on their way to the house. Peery Sutherland went on to their tents in case they had left any meat behind - previous to Slaters arrival I sent Lena & Lyons to meet him, luckily they arrived in time or the little Company would have taken all the meat from Slater. they had already taken some of our horses & were lead'g them away when Lena arrived - it is with the greatest difficulty that anything can be made here this year, as what they call the little Company is very formidable. there is no lefs than 3 houses against, 2 belong to the NW Company & 1 to the little Company. Trade since I was here is spoil'd in every respect. the natives will now ask for their meat Cloth & Blankets a thing in RR never heard of before, nor will they trade Brandy or Ammunition if they can avoid it."
" Sunday Ind. drink'g this day Mr Geo. McKay stabb'd one of his ablest men in the belly cut his cheek intirely open & gave him a large cut in the back. the boats arrived."
" Monday Ind. still drunk."
" Tuesday Ind. went off in the Even'g. Capt. Hawk & some others came in, brought very little, notwithstanding I cloathed him according to Mr Goodwins promise."
" Wednesday Ind. drunk. we made up Mr Bunns outfit for the Elbow but I doubt much he will be able to reach that place as the Season is so far advanced."
Oct. 1 1801
" Thursday Early this morn'g Mr Bunn with 2 batteaux & 10 Men started for the mans Elbow, they have taken off most of the Victuals that was in the house. XY McDonald started yesterday with 5 Canoes & 1 Boat for above. all hands taking up potatoes, hard frost last night."
" Friday Men as yesterday Ind. all sober & went away after taking debt."
" Saturday frosty Weather, all hands at the potaotes which are the most productive I ever saw several of them weigh above a pound."
" Sunday Men employ'd as yesterday got the potatoes up & in the Cellar."
" Monday Men doing nothing as they worked yesterday. self made out the Mandan equipment, all the Ind. threaten to stop my men from going to the Mandans on account of the murders committed by them last Summer. I am however determined to send them as I see very plainly there is nothing to be done here."
" Tuesday a great fall of snow. Taylor making cloaths for the Mandan men. Favell & Lyons out hunt'g ducks - we have not a mouthful of meat in the house."
" Wednesday men living on potatoes & fat."
" Thursday Sent Jn Anderson & Ja Corston off for meat with a Mare & 2 foals, they return'd at night with Elk meat."
" Friday at One this morning old Ja. Slater, young Ja. Slater, Wm Louttit, Ja. Moar & Wm Yorston started for the Mandans with 5 horses loaded. they had need to take every precaution to avoid seeing Ind. as the Afsinaboils are determined to Rob them."
" Saturday Yesterday the Chimney & roof of the new house caught fire & was nigh consuming the whole fabrick."
" Sunday Geo. Budge & Jn. Easter arrived from RR for horses & dogs. of the former I have none to give them, which he is in much need of. there is really a shameful trade carried on here, the two Oppositions stand at nothing with the natives, which swells the latter with their own importance while the others are ruining themselves out of spite to each other."
" Monday Two Afsinaboils came in with 15 Wolves & 57 pieces of meat they are now drunk."
" Tuesday The Ind. of yesterday went off with nigh 20 G Ind. Brandy, besides ammunition & Tobacco. men plaistering the house."
" Wednesday Early this morn'g Geo. Budge & Jn. Easter started for Mr Millars with 8 of my best dogs - horses I have none to send."
" Thursday Men still plaistering the house except the Cooper who is making Kegs."
" Friday The Musquitoe came in with an old horse lent him by Mr Goodwin, he tells me that most of the Ind. are in or near the Lakes above River qui Appelle."
" Saturday Men finished plaistering the house."
" Sunday We have lost the only horse we had. I have had men out all day look'g for him to no purpose."
" Monday Sent all hands out to look for the mare Phillis, they came home in the Even'g saw nothing of her. I have the greatest reason to believe the a Canadian has stole her - there is a rascal of a Canadian that lives in the plains like another buffaloe & has hunted this place the whole Summer. he ran away from Mr McLeod last spring & is now waiting for the Mandan men - late in the Even'g the Black man & gang arrived at the NW house, 4 of them came to me, 1 to Auge & all the rest to Geo. McKay, they are at present roaring drunk."
" Tuesday Ind. drunk."
" Wednesday Indians still drunk."
" Thursday Sent all hands to the pines for a flag staff. the one at the house fell down last Sunday - Indians still drunk, they have finished upwards of 6-9 Gn Kegs of Brandy & I am certain they have not given for the whole the value of one bladder of fat."
" Friday Men brought home the flag staff. Ind. still drunk. I gave them 10 G of Brandy. one Ind. took debt of me to day he would take nothing in debt but Guns Cloth & Blankets. the other articles he wanted for nothing which I was obliged to give. Brandy formerly was the chief article of trade in this River, now it is of no use, any more than needles & awls, this is owing intirely to the XY Comp'y who to get Ind. give their all."
" Saturday Ind. still drunk. today hoisted the flag Staff but not before I got all the XY Companys men to our Afsistance. G. McKay & Mr Munroe were also here."
" Sunday at Noon all the Ind. went off as drunk as pofsible. I really believe their horses & dogs were drunk also. I am very certain between the 3 houses there was fired away in saluting them above 5 Pint of powder, exclusive of what the Ind. fired in return. At 3 PM the fire that has been in the plains this 3 weeks past reach'd this place & had it not been for the vigilence of G. McKay Men his new building on the other side of the river would have been consum'd to ashes. one of his men a blacksmith burnt both his legs in extinguishing the fire round the house. I never saw any thing have such a grand appearance, the fire roll'd along the plain like the waves of the Sea in a Storm, until it came nigh G M K's house, then the smoke almost suffocated me & my men for near half an hour when the fire took another rout & left us in clear daylight. it carried on towards the XY house. I saw my self out of danger & sent all the men over to their afsistance, they soon extinguish'd the fire that threated'd them when once they got to the Windward where the smoke could not annoy them. I cannot help going to the afsistance of a Fellow creature in danger, altho sometimes I wish the XY Company at the Devil, for its them & none other that spoils the trade in this Country."
" Monday fire still continues. men bring'g home clay."
" Tuesday 3 Afsinaboils came in with piece meat & fat, the fire still continues in sight."
" Wednesday Early this morn'g the Ind. of yesterday went away after being paid & more than paid for what they brought."
" Thursday fire still continues. 2 Ind. arrived at the XY house. An Afsinaboil came in to me & exchanged a horse & I gave him 5 G Brandy to boot."
" Friday Nothing Extraordinary."
" Saturday Sent Favell & Lyons off to watch the arrival of an Ind. who generally trades here, they met him 8 Miles from the house with one of G. McKays men who had arrived before them, the Ind. however gave all his property to my men. Favell return'd for some brandy & more men. Lyons staid by the property. I sent Norn, Lena & Anderson off with him, before they arrived at the Ind., 4 men from the XY Company were already there, doubting (without knowing) that such a thing might happen I sent 2 men more to their afsistance, which made 7 in all, 3 of them well armed, they arrived after dark without being molested."
Nov. 1 1801
" Sunday Early this morn'g the Ind. went off I gave him 10 G Brandy, Powder, Shot & a little of every article in the Shop. in the Even'g G McKay sent off 2 men to some Ind. who are expected tomorrow."
" Monday Early this morn'g I sent Favell & Lyons to meet the Expected Ind., at noon self & Corston went to meet them but mistook the road, but finding our error we crofsed the plains & met them about 2 miles from the house accompanied by G McKay, 7 of his men & 3 of the XY men. they had 13 horses, I got 3, XY 2 & G McKay the rest. I got 4 B. Skins & 2 Wolf Skins, McKay 2 B. Skins & the XY none. the loads of the horses were piece meat. this is the fine trade that people are breaking their necks & cutting each others throats about."
" Tuesday Early this morn'g the Ind. went away."
" Wednesday a dreadful day of snow."
" Thursday same as yesterday."
" Friday Men mend'g their cloaths. river froze over."
" Saturday In the morn'g Mr McKay came down & inform'd me that my Mare was safe in the hands of Mr Munro. soon after Mr Munro arrived from the Rapid River & inform'd me that he left the mare there. I instantly sent off Jn. Lyons to fetch her."
" Sunday In the Even'g Jn. Lyons arrived from the Rapid River with the mare. her back is intirely spoil'd by hard riding. I am much obliged to the Gent. of the NW Company for interpring. it was a Mr LeRocque in Company with Mr Munro that met the rascal that stole her, they knew her & took her from him & sent her to the Rapid River."
" Monday All hands cutt'g fire wood."
Nov. 10 to 12
" as before"
" Friday Auge started for the Hairy Mountain in Opposition to Delorm. Mr Pritchard is left in charge here."
" Saturday People variously employ'd."
" Sunday In the Even'g Mr DeLorm arrived for a reinforcement? of Goods & men - I know not how we shall live here this winter as the plains are all burnt & there is no Ind. coming in with provisions. the two houses at the Hairy Mountain have cut off all the Ind. from this place & I have no horses to follow them. the NW Company thought themselves very wise in cutting off all the Ind. from this place, but in my opinion they were much mistaken for they were no sooner settled than the XY follow'd them & as I understand have every advantage over them. I only wait the arrival of the Mandan men with horses, I think they will both be oblig'd to move their quarters."
" Monday XY McDonald arrived from above, I understand Mr Bunn got no higher than Shell River. Sent all hands to the Sourie to make a Sawpit & carry in logs. in the Even'g the Round Hill came in with 20 pieces Meat."
" Tuesday Early this morn'g the Round Hill went off with 10 G. Brandy, Powder & Shot & Tobacco, we had a great fall of snow last night."
" Wednesday Men came from the Sourie after carry'g in 30 Logs & making a Pit."
" Thursday Sent Lena, Favell & Lyons in quest of DeLorm's house & to hunt at the Same time."
" Friday XY McDonald started for above I solicited him to carry a letter to Mr Bunn but he set off privately. Mr Pritchard started for Auge's."
" Saturday late at night Lena, Favell & Lyons came home without finding DeLorm's house. it seems Pritchard & they have mifs'd one another, the Sawyers came home shortly after, (that is) Ja. Inkster & Jn. Anderson they have cut 14 planks of 3 Inches by 12 feet long."
" Sunday Nothing extraordinary."
" Monday Men making ready to start for the Turtle Mountain. I mean to have a settlement there as I ? plainly every Ind. is cut off from this place. Mr McKay would wish to lull me asleep, but I do not chuse to sleep always."
" Tuesday I appointed H Lena to be master at the Turtle Mountain. I have 9 men in all 7 of which I mean to send with him, only 2 will remain with me."
" Wednesday Early this morn'g Lena & men started for their wintering ground. At noon an Afsinaboil came in with some meat & 30 Wolves for which he got a Gun, 2 yds Cloth, a Large Camp Kettle, 2 Yds Tobacco & 10 G. Brandy. this is the cheapest trade I have had from an Ind. since my arrival for I have given as much to an Ind. for nothing. Let any man of sense say this was a good trade, give the best of my goods for the worst of Furs."
" Thursday early this morn'g the Ind. went off. Ja. Anderson hauling firewood Ja. Short domestically employ'd."
" Friday Ja. Anderson working for the men that are away. Ja. Short hauling firewood."
" Saturday Men as before."
" Monday Taylor at work Ja. Short hauling firewood gave them Mefs bottles in the Even'g."
Dec. 1 1801
" Tuesday Men as before. no sign of Ind. from any quarter & we have scarce any Victuals in the house except potatoes. if Lena has no luck at his new settlement, will not only make no furs, but be obliged to live intirely on potatoes."
" Wednesday Men as usual."
" Thursday At 4 PM T Norn & Ja Inkster arrived from Lena they brought a few furs but no meat, the Ind. there are all starving, by the quantity of Brandy they receive from the opposition & myself (each striving to outdo the other.) I fear nothing will be done this year."
" Friday Men resting themselves."
" Saturday Cooper making kegs. Norn hauling firewood. Taylor at work. short domestically employ'd."
" Sunday Not a bit of meat in the house, nor do we know where to get any."
" Monday Norn hauling firewood Taylor as usual Cooper making Kegs Short domestically employ'd."
" Tuesday early this morn'g G McKay sent off a number of men & horses well loaded. I imagine they are intended for the Turtle Mountain in opposition to Lena. Men as usual."
" Wednesday Men as before. one of Auge's clerks sent me a little fresh meat."
" Thursday Ja. Short shot 9 Pheasants which made a good meal to us all. no sign of an Ind. from any quarter."
" Friday nothing extraordinary."
" Saturday Favell & Jn Anderson arrived they met G McKay & men about 10 Miles from their house, they are come for Shot, Guns & beads."
" Sunday Self & men making ready to start for the Turtle Mountain tomorrow."
" Monday At daylight this morn'g self & 4 men set off for the Turtle mountain, we slept at the River LaSourie above 20 Miles from Brandon House."
" Tuesday Started 4 hours before daylight arrived at Lena's a little after Sunset. Weather extreem cold the whole day. we found 4 Canadians build'g a house about 20 yards? from Lena's, 3 others were off with some Ind. that came in to us? the Ind. in all quarters doing nothing on account of the quantity of small outfits in every part of the Country."
" Wednesday pafs'd the day here saw 2 Afsinaboils in the Even'g both starving, they left 13 tents of Ind. much in the same condition. I fear that all the Goods I have will scarcely make us live & carry us all out in the Spring. as for furs there will not much be made in the whole river."
" Thursday long before daylight Self, Jn Lyons & Ja. Anderson set off for BH, at the same time Tho. Favell & Ja. Corston started for Ind. tents. in the Even'g we reach'd the Sourie. the plain we crofs'd is upwards of 30 Miles & no more grafs upon it than upon my hand."
" Friday 3 PM we arrived at BH found all well."
" Saturday In the Even'g 2 Ind. arrived from Millars, they inform me that he is doing nothing, the opposition is as strong there as here & he has no horses, without which there is no carrying in the businefs of this Country."
" Sunday Early this morn'g I sent off Tho. Norn & Ja. Inkster with 3 horses to Lena, late at night Wafsa arrived for men to go to his tent, he is now drunk with the Ind. from RR."
" Monday Indians drunk all day. At 3 PM W Yorston, Ja Slater Jun., W Louttit & Ja Moar arrived from the Mandans with about 300 B. in Wolves. they inform me that the Ind. cannot hunt on account of their wars. while our men were there they brought 150 horses & 8 Slaves from the Snake Ind. they destroy'd 18 Tents of them in a battle close to the Mandan Village, 38 Sooses fell by the arms of the former. Ja. Slater went to the spot where the battle was fought & counted 19 heads the rest were taken away by the Wolves. the day before our men started the Mandans kill'd 11 Afsinaboils within a half a mile of their Village, the heads were brought in & eat by the dogs with several other parts of their bodies. Old Ja. Slater has remain'd at the Mandans having a quantity of goods remain'g. I am almost afraid to send men to him, the interest of his masters has detain'd him there, of course it would be the height of ingratitude to abandon him through fear. the men brought 8 horses."
" Tuesday this morn'g Wafsa & another went away. sent Jn Lyons & Ja Anderson with them."
" Wednesday the 2 Ind. from RR started for above. I need not expect to see them anymore notwithstand'g the quantity of Brandy I gave them. Men out all day look'g for the Red mare, could not find her."
" Thursday early this Morn'g a Canadian of the XY Comp. arrived. I understand by him that Miller has plenty of provisions but is making no furs, there is no lefs than 9 Settlements in that small place, Miller has 2, Henry 4 & the XY 3. the man tells me there is a house for every 2 Ind. & those Ind. doing nothing. I mean to Risk a letter by this man to Miller, if he receives it, 'twill be of great Service, if not I shall only be as I am. Sent 3 men to look for the mare. they came in the Even'g could not find her. at 3 PM Capt. Hawk came in with his Wife & 15 B. his whole hunt he says since last fall. this is one of the greatest Chiefs at this house & has had above 60 MB from me in presents of different articles since the fall. he says that very few of the Ind. are doing anything. Late at night J Lyons & Ja Anderson came home with 30 B. the XY people got 70 & the NW 20 from the same tents."
" Friday about 12 oClock last night the floor that supports the Chimney in the upper house got on fire, we were oblig'd to break up all the hearth & part of the Chimney before we could get at it, which we happily extinguished. late this Even'g Mr Pritchard & LeRocque paid me a visit from the Rapid River, they inform me that XY McDonald has sent a trader & 7 Men a Lena?, their other news is that all the people of the upper posts are starving. I am sorry that I resemble them so much."
" Saturday Early this morn'g I sent all the men to look for the mare, they found her about 3 Miles from the house. at 11 AM Tho. Norn & Ja. Inkster return'd from Lena with some bulls Meat. Geo. McKay is still there doing nothing."
" Sunday I understand by Pritchard who started this morn'g for Auge's that his men had a letter for me from Mr Bunn, he says they have lost it, I rather believe they have destroy'd it."
" Monday the men mend'g the Chimney of the upper house."
" Tuesday early this morn'g I sent T Norn, Wm Yorston & Jn Lyons off to Lena's with 5 horses. the Cooper very bad with the bloody flux & has been ever since he arrived from the Mountain. in the Even'g Nayocheek? came in with 13 B., his debt was 28, he tells me that delorm is robbing the Ind. in every quarter. he is now drunk."
" Wednesday Mandan men hauling firewood. Cooper no better. Ind. still drunk."
" Thursday Ind. sober, day being so bad he cannot go off."
Jan. 1 1802
" Friday 2 Afsinaboils came in they brought nothing with them. they say they came for men to go to their tents for 32 Wolves & some meat. the are now drunk with the Ind. that remains here."
" Saturday early this morn'g sent Wm Louttit, Ja Slater & Ja Anderson off with the 2 Afsinaboils. Nuyocheek? went away at the same time."
" Sunday Cooper very bad still. I cannot think whats detain'g Tho. Norn & the other men, for the Journey to the Mountain & back again may be perform'd in 5 Days."
" Monday Late in the Even'g Norn, Yorston, Lyons, Corston & Short return'd from the Mountain with 140 B. of sorts & 80 lb Beat meat. Most of these furs is the debts of this house. poor prospects from an afsortment of 100 G. Brandy sent to the Mountain, except a few Bear Skins the furs are of the worst quality."
" Tuesday I understand from our men the XY have nigh built their house about a mile from Lena - I will be obliged to send a tent against them as they are right in the road of the Afsinaboils, should any come in."
" Wednesday early this morn'g sent Corston & Short to the Mountain with orders to Lena to send a tent against the XY, if Geo. McKay chuses he may send there also to reinforce mine & save his own debts."
" Thursday Early this morn'g G McKay 4 men & 2 horses started for the Mountain. I would have accompanied him but must wait the return of my men. at noon the XY house got on fire which we saw from our window, I went with 3 Men & Kettles to their help & we soon extinguished it by taking off the roof. not a bit of Victuals in the house but potatoes."
" Friday Extreem cold weather."
" Saturday At 10 AM Wm Louttit, Ja Slater & Ja Anderson return'd from the Afsinaboils with 64 B. in wolves & parch't & 19 pieces of meat. the Brandy powder & Shot the men took with them they gave away for nothing not being able to keep it from the Ind."
" Sunday Men reading their books."
" Monday 2 Men hauling firewood. Cooper a little better."
" Tuesday Men as yesterday."
" Wednesday nothing extraordinary."
" Thursday This day the letter that the Canadians had lost I received, but am apprehensive it was open'd. Mr Bunn informs me that he was obliged to stop at Shell River, the water being so low he could not proceed further, with boats, when this letter was written, (which was Dec. 15) Mr Bunn had not more than 70 B. which will appear by his letter at the end of the Journal."
" Friday Men as before."
" Saturday late at night the Bear & the Creeks brother came in for men to go to their tents. they are now drunk. I have been after our men to return to the Mandans these 3 days past at last they consented (I must own the Journey is dangerous as the natives of this place & them are at war) but would it not be ashame to leave old Slater by himself. I gave each man a Serge Jacket & a flannel Slip & every thing necefsary for the Journey."
" Sunday Bear still drunk. late at night Jn Easter & G Henderson arrived from Millars, the news from that quarter is full as bad from every other place."
" Monday Early this morn'g Ja Slater, Wm Yorston & Wm Louttit started for the Mandans, at the same time Tho Norn, Ja Moar & Ja Inkster set off for the Mountain, the weather proving very bad they all return'd. in the Even'g Wm Yorston refused to go to the Mandans & the other 2 would not go by themselves. this has put a stop to the Mandan trade this year. Old Slater must come back with the Canadians that are there."
" Tuesday Early this morn'g Ja. Slater, Wm Louttit & Wm Yorston started for the mountain. Tho Norn & Ja Moar hauling firewood."
" Wednesday this morn'g Ja Inkster & Jn Anderson went to the sawpit to saw boards. Jn Easter & Jn Lyons out hunt'g Tho Norn & Ja Moar hauling wood today 4 puppies died for want of food, it seems that dogs cannot live on potatoes as well as men."
" Thursday Mr Millars men preparing to start tomorrow. in the Even'g Ja Corston with 13 Canadians arrived from the Mountain. Corston brought 15 pieces meat from Lena. the want of men at the Mountain has hurt us much the XY having a number."
" Friday a little before day G Henderson & Jn Easter set off for Mr Millars."
" Saturday Early this Morn'g Ja Moar, Ja Corston & Jn Lyons set off for the Mountain, in the Even'g Wm Louttit, Wm Yorston & Ja Short arrived from the Mountain. Jn Lyons return'd with them in place of Ja Slater, they brought 53 pieces of meat & 4 parchment Skins."
" Sunday Several starving Ind. came in they brought nothing, but plagueing me for Victuals."
" Monday Before daylight Tho Norn, Jn Lyons, Wm Yorston & Wm Louttit started for the Mountin. Ja Anderson looking after the horses. Ja Short domestically employ'd. Ind. as troublesome as yesterday."
" Tuesday Sent Ja Anderson to the sawyers with Victuals, he return'd in the Even'g with 3 3 inch planks."
" Wednesday Sent the Taylor for more planks. at 3 PM Robt Robertson, G Flett & Tho Stanger arrived from Shell River. Mr Bunn & his men are intirely starving as well as his neighbours, he informs me, if he cannot procure provisions soon he will be under the necefsity of send'g 3 more men down, the like of this year was never heard of in Red River & I fear that I shall not make provisions enough to carry the? to? OH. I intended to send these men to the mountain but the weather is so bad that I cannot which I believe detains Tho Norn & J Lyons from return'g."
" Thursday Men doing nothing. Ind. begging potatoes."
" Friday Roberston not well Taylor at work for the Shell River men."
" Saturday Mr Bucher who is the XY master at this place sent me a Shoulder of Elk. I sent him potatoes in return."
" Sunday Mefs Chaboullez, Henry, Munro & LeRoque paid me a visit, the news from them respecting furs is much the same as here but provisions they have in abundance. at 10 AM T Norn, J Corston, Wm Louttit, Wm Yorston & Jn Lyons arrived from the Mountain they brought 50 Pieces meat & 5 parchment Skins."
Feb. 1 1802
" Monday 6 men started for the mountain. Cooper making Kegs. Tho Norn & Jn Anderson hauling firewood Taylor working for the men. Ja Short domestically emloy'd."
Feb. 2 to 13
" men as before."
" Sunday Several Canadians arrived from the Mountain, they say that all our men are out with the Ind. which detains them from coming home."
" Monday Cooper & Taylor at work. Jn Anderson hauling wood. T Norn making Soap. Ja Short domestically - late at night an Ind. came in for men to go to his tent but I have no dogs, they are all at the mountain."
" Tuesday At daylight 7 men came from the Mountain well loaded with meat. Lena informs me there is no Cattle within 2 days Journey of him & that he pays 10 prices? for every bit of meat he gets. tomorrow I will send him a Keg of Spirits which will make 8 he has received from me at different times."
" Wednesday before daylight Jn Lyons & Jn Anderson started for the Tents. a little before sunrise Ja Corston, Wm Louttit, Wm Yorston & Ja Slater set off for the Mountain with Brandy, Tobacco & powder."
" Thursday Robertson & G Flett went to the Sourie for boards. Tho Stanger not well. Tradesmen as before. at 10 AM a starving Ind. came in with nothing."
" Friday Men as yesterday. weather very bad. several starving Ind. came in they brought nothing - they may thank Mr Goodwin for planting so many potatoes or some of them would have surely starved & ourselves very bad off indeed. thay are now drunk."
" Saturday At 3 PM Jn Lyons & Jn Anderson arrived from the Ind. with 18 B. real trash. the brandy & tobacco I sent to them would pay for double the quantity. one of them owed me 58 MB & another 16. I see plainly that nothing will be made in this river while the 3 oppositions stand - for the Ind. will always turn carelefs when they get their wants for nothing, which is the case this year."
" Sunday. - "
" Monday Ja Inkster & Jn Anderson gone to the Saw. Robinson & G Flat hauling home boards Taylor at work."
" Tuesday long before daylight Norn, Roberson & Flatt started for the mountain."
Feb. 24 & 25
" as usual"
" Friday At 3 PM Wafsa came in he brought nothing with him. I sold him a Mare & foal for 30 B. he is now drunk with the Ind. laying about the house."
" Saturday At 2 AM Norn, Robinson & Flatt arrived from the Mountain loaded with green meat & fat. Ind. still drunk. I mean to set off for the Mountain to see how things go on there."
" Sunday "
Mar. 1 1802
" Monday Sent 5 Men to the Sourie for planks. Ind. of Friday still drunk. at 9 AM 2 Canadians started for Wafsa's tent. I immediately sent Lyon & Taylor after them to secure my debt. one of the XY men went also."
" Tuesday Early this morn'g sent 5 Men to the mountain. at 9 AM the NW & XY men return'd from the tent. the XY got nothing the others got 11 B. my men remain'd at the tent."
" Wednesday At 10 AM J Lyons & Ja Anderson return'd from the tents with 33 B. of Sorts. Ind. still drunk."
" Thursday as usual"
" Friday at 3 PM J Scarth & G Henderson arrived from Mr Millars, the news from there is no more favorable than usual - as to provisions they have plenty, since J Easter was here last he has Kill'd 22 Cows."
" Saturday T Norn look'g after the horses. Jn Lyons hunt'g. Taylor at work. Tho Stanger a little better."
" Sunday Served out the last bit of meat to the men. at 5 PM 5 Men arrived from the Mountain with beat meat & fat."
" Monday long before day 5 Men set off for the Mountain the rest of the men filling the Ice house."
" Tuesday Men as yesterday."
" Wednesday Jn Scarth gone to the Sugar ground to look for his dishes, the other variously employ'd."
" Thursday 4 Men arrived at the Mountain with furs."
" Friday men variously employ'd. several Ind. came in to day but brought nothing."
" Saturday As usual."
" Sunday "
" Monday Sent all hands to the Sourie for planks."
" Tuesday Sent 4 men to the Mountain, the rest clean'g the Sawpit. At noon 2 Ind. came in for men to go to their tents which is 3 days march from here. they are now drunk."
" Wednesday Early this morn'g T Norn, Jn Lyons & G Flatt went off with the Ind. of yesterday. I was obliged to borrow dogs from the NW as I had none to haul the Sleds."
" Thursday Cooper & Anderson at the Saw. Taylor at work. Ja Short domestically."
" Friday 5 Men arrived from the Mountain with fresh meat & 5 parchment Skins. In the Even'g NW McDonell arrived from above, he went over to XY house with all his men to take a woman from one of his clerks. NW McDonell caught hold of XY McDonalds pistol & open'd the pan but the Clerk Presenting his gun to him he desisted."
" Saturday Men preparing to go to the Mountian. NW McDonell paid me a visit, he has receiv'd a letter from the Siscatchawan River (or River of swift current) wherein he is inform'd that one LaMothe, a trader of the XY has shot a Mr King of the NW in an Ind. tent."
" Sunday Another visit from NW McDonell."
" Monday Early both the McDonalds set off for above, at 1 PM T Norn return'd from the Ind. tent with 60 B."
" Tuesday Men of yesterday rest'g themselves. Jn Scarth look'g for bark to make dishes to hold Maple water. Cooper & Anderson look'g for Oak to make Sleds. Taylor & Short as usual."
" Wednesday Sent all hands to haul the Sled logs out to the River, late at night Grants brother in law came in for men."
" Thursday Ind. still drunk all hands hauling Logs."
" Friday T Norn & G Flatt went off with Grant. in the Even'g several Ind. came in they brought nothing but a little meat, they are now all drunk."
" Saturday Ind. still drunk. early this morn'g sent Jn Lyons to look for Wafsa as I understand there is one of the XY men living with him."
" Sunday At 11 AM T Norn & G Flatt return'd from the Ind. with better than 50 B. in the Even'g 9 men arrived from the mountain loaded with meat. Mr McKay came with them & all his men."
" Monday Men rest'g themselves. several of them snowblind. Sawyers at work."
" Tuesday 8 Men set off for the Mountain to bring home the furs & Lena Ind. at the house drunk & very troublesome."
" Wednesday Ind. still drunk. men as usual."
Apr. 1 1802
" Thursday Favell & Lyons out hunt'g Pheasants the former Kill'd a Cat."
" Friday Men as usual."
" Saturday Early this morn'g all the Ind. went off hunting."
" Sunday Lena & men arrived from the Mountain with 105 B. travelling very bad."
" Monday Early this Morn'g sent 3 men to make Sugar. sent the rest to look after the horses, one of our Mares foal'd I believe yesterday. the men brought the mare & foal home."
" Tuesday the Beggar & his family came in. they brought about 50 B. in all sorts of trash & a little meat. - they are now all drunk."
" Wednesday Early this morn'g T Norn & Jn Anderson went to the Sourie for 2 Sleds that Lena left there. 6 men making ready to go to Millars for his Remains."
" Thursday Men return'd from the Sourie. Ja Short very ill. I bought a horse from the Ind. this day which cost 10 G. Ind. Brandy & some tobacco."
" Friday Early this morn'g sent Lena with 2 men to Ind. tents for meat."
" Saturday Early this morn'g 6 men & 8 horses started for Millars. in the Even'g Grants brother in Law & his whole family came in."
" Sunday Lena & men return'd from the Ind. with very little, Ind. at the place drunk."
" Monday Men variously employ'd, this morn'g the dogs kill'd the young foal."
" Tuesday Men as usual."
" Wednesday Favell shot 6 ducks. at 3 PM the Round Hill & a number of Ind. came in from the Mountain. I gave them the last of the Brandy in the house."
" Thursday Ind. drunk & troublesome."
" Friday a great band of Ind. came in they brought nothing."
" Saturday Ind. still at the place."
" Most of the Ind. went off."
" Monday Men making the few furs we have into packs. a great number of starving Ind. came in, one of them brot? 30 B. which he divided between the 3 houses."
" Tuesday Men as usual."
" Wednesday Men as usual. at 10 AM Wafsa came in with 8 B."
" Thursday Men as usual. Several Ind. came in they brought nothing with them but expences."
" Friday Men doing nothing, but firing at the Target."
" Saturday Jn Anderson & Favell gone for setting poles with 2 horses. Roberson clean'g the stable. Norn & Lena making thouls for the boats. the Ice on the River gave way yesterday & is now nearly clear opposite the house. Cooper making a box. at 12 Noon old Ja Slater in Comp'y with 3 Canadians arrived from the Mandans with 150 B. & 3 fine horses. the Canadians brought 10 horses well loaded."
" Sunday Several of the Ind. went off the rest hang'g about till the brandy arrives. they are all starving as well as ourselves. we have not had 3 days provisions since my arrival but what has been doubly paid for."
" Monday Some Ind. came in with 3 B., 1 Otter & a little meat. last night one of our boats broke loose & drove down the River. I sent all hands after her this morn'g they came back about noon, saw nothing of her. I then sent Roberson & Scarth in a small Canoe to look for her, they have not yet return'd."
" Tuesday Early this morn'g Roberson came home after finding the boat. Wm Yorston gelded 3 of the horses that came from the Mandans. Sent all hands with the Coach Wheels to fetch home the boat."
" Wednesday All the Crees went off. at Noon several starving Afsinaboils came in & camp'd at the house. Sent Favell & Jn Scarth to seine fish - they lost the Seine. Cooper & Taylor at work. the rest packing in the big prefs."
" Thursday Packers as before. Sent Favell in a small boat to look for the Seine, in the Evening he return'd with her, the 3 Sugar men came home no luck in making Sugar."
" Friday At 11 AM 8 men came from Mr Millars with all his remains. he would not come himself to take charge of this place, he says he gave his promise to the Chief last Summer not to stay in RR. I dont know who to leave in charge here, as Mr Bunn is going out. if pofsible the Elbow should be settled this summer, as I have a sufficient quantity of goods remain'g, but the want of a Master & men I fear will put a stop to all.
Capt. Hawk, the Bear & several others came in they brought very little with them. I gave them Brandy when they went away. At 5 PM Maskepot & another Ind. came in with nothing. sent Wm Yorston & J Anderson to an Ind. tent for 3 parchment moose Skins. Sent T Norn with 4 Men in a Batteau to the Sourie to fetch the remainder of Millers Goods. Sent Favell & 3 Men off fishing they got 100 small fish."
May 1 1802
" Saturday Some cleaning the yard, others seining fish. Several Afsinaboils came in starving."
" Sunday 13 Tents of Starving Afsinaboils came in, they are all running away from above for fear of the Mandans."
" Monday 5 Men packing furs, 4 Seining the rest digging in the Garden."
" Tuesday Last night dreadful thunder & rain. we cover'd the Furs with boat Coverings, all the goods got wet except the powder. there was not the breath of a Crow in all these houses dry last night. Men cutting potatoes as they can do nothing else."
" Wednesday Sent 2 of our men & 2 Ind. seining, the rest mending stockades."
" Thursday Snow all day men doing nothing."
" Friday early this Morn'g several Ind. arrived with a few Wolves & some drefsed leather. they have been drunk all day. Fishermen got 1 Sturgeon & a few Suckers. the rest of the men drying the Goods."
" Saturday Rain all day. fishermen got 1 large Sturgeon the rest of the men cutting staves - Ind. still drunk."
" Sunday Some of the Ind. still drunk - sent 2 of them Seining - traded a horse from one of them, a fine Runner. this one makes 8 horses I have bought since my arrival but I have sold one of them to one of my Ind."
" Monday Bought a 2 year old horse for 30 B. in Brandy - there is 17 horses in all which is enough if they can all be kept."
" Tuesday Fishermen sent home 7 large Sturgeon. Rain & snow most part of the day. Men at the house doing nothing; in the Evening 5 Ind. arrived with meat, they are now drunk."
" Wednesday Ind. still drunk. early in the Morn'g sent Ja Corston to bring home Jn Lyons from the fishing to go to these Ind. tents for a little debt of mine. at Noon he arrived but the Ind. would not go away. At 3 PM Mr Bunn & men arrived from Shell River, he has brought about 550 MB & has pafs'd a very bad winter for want of provisons - this is surely the worst year that ever was seen in Red River."
" Thursday All hands employ'd in digging & plant'g the further Garden except 2 who had care of the horses."
" Friday Men as yesterday in the nearer Garden. a number of starving Afsinaboils arrived, brought nothing begging all they can get. Fishermen sent home 16 Sturgeon."
" Saturday 2 Sturgeon from the fishermen."
" Sunday "
" Monday Pack'g Mr Bunns furs & taking? the overhaul."
" Tuesday Last night the Ind. or Canadians we suspect the latter ? all our boats a drift, in consequence of which I was obliged to send all hands in search of them. they found ? a considerable distance below the Sourie, the other 2 below the Crofsing place. the first they brought back but the others as it would have taken too much time to bring them up we left there. the above circumstance will prevent me from starting tomorrow as I intended."
" Wednesday Sent Peery Sutherland & J Easter to stay at the Crofsing place with the boats. the rest preparing to start tomorrow."
" Thursday Started this mornin'g from Brandon House with 3 Batteaux & the follow'g men. Mr Bunn, Tho Norn, Hen Lena, Jn Lyons, Tho Favell, M Yorston, Ja Corston, Wm Louttit, Ja Moar, M Tait, Ja Slater Jun., Jn Efson, Louis Jolly Coeur, R Robertson, Tho Stanger, Ja Short & T Harvey.
I have left behind Ja Inkster in charge, Ja Slater Sen,. J Scarth, Jn Easter, Wm Yorston, Ja Anderson, Jn Anderson, Geo Henderson, Tho Spence, Mag Mowat, P Sutherland & Geo Flatt. the 6 latter I have order'd to set off as soon as the Canadians are gone out, with a Batteau to settle the Ind. Elbow, as the latenefs of the Season & shoalnefs of the Water last fall prevented Mr Bunn getting there. the importance of which post induced me to engage Jn Anderson at 26 £ for one year as summer Master likewise Mag Mowat at 22 £ & Tho Spence at 18 £ each for one Year. Upon calculating the whole of my trade, I find it does not amout to 4000 MB. a very poor trade indeed & only to be accounted for by the strength of the opposition who are both of them very formidable & striving which shall throw away most goods, in short to such a pitch do they carry their extravagance that every Kind of Fur is more than double the old price. Mr Millar was obliged to give 12 B. Comp'y Standard, for 1 prime Bear Skin or else let the opposition have it & all other Kind of Skins in proportion.
I have left behind me 17 horses, 9 of which I have purchased this Winter which will enable if necefsity requires to make any settle't I may find convenient next fall acrofs Land. The whole of the provisions that we have expended this winter has been purchased at a very high rate as no Cattle being near we could not hunt a single Mouthful for ourselves & at Shell River notwithstanding Mr Bunn was at a very heavy expence for provisions. he would certainly have starved if he had not borrowed 400 lb of provisions from the NW which I was obliged to repay in the Spring - I have not been able to leave a single pound to carry the Craft in & had it not been for the exertion of Mr Millar, who made the meat at home & collected 21 bags of Pemetigon I should have been much distrefs'd to have come out, having left Brandon House with only 2 bags."
" Friday Slept 6 miles below the narrow River, saw a few Ind. got a few Skins & gave them the last of the Brandy."
" Saturday Saw 3 great bands of starv'g Ind. never saw so bad a Year even the Ind. themselves starving."
" Sunday drove? all last night, pafs'd the portage about 7 oCk. after breakfast it came on rain which obliged us to put in."
" Monday Rain all day notwithstand'g which we started at noon but was obliged to camp at 5 oCk."
" Tuesday Started early, kill'd an Old Bull & went on till near 7 oCk."
" Wednesday Pafs'd the fork about 11 oCk met with the NW & XY traders who had come down from the Red River. heavy gale of wind, could make no Endway."
" Thursday Arrived at Netley Creek met Mr Millar with a few Ind. from whom he got the best part of his trade. laid the Cargo but was prevented from start'g by the wind."
" Friday Storm of wind all day could not start."
" Saturday left our encampment about noon & got down to the Rivers mouth where we were obliged to put up."
" Sunday Got off early & with hard labour reach'd PaF where we found Mr Vincent with 2 boats & men waiting for us."
" Monday lotted? the Cargo, supplied Mr Vincent with 540 lb of Meat & fat, as much in proportion as we Kept for ourselves. Set off about 3 oCk & slept a D McKays fall."
June 1 1802
" Tuesday Set off early Mr Vincent in Company & Slept at the Guttery fall."
" Wednesday Pafs'd the Bonnet & the Lake."
" Thursday Slept at Eunsons Rocks."
" Friday Slept below Slave fall."
" Saturday Slept at the upper Cockyame."
" Sunday Slept above Portage de L'Isle fall, saw Pommeville who was starving & want'g provisions from us, who had none for ourselves."
" Monday Slept 4 Miles below the Kettle falls, on the Road saw the Bad Governors band, they had a few furs which they bro't? to Mr Vincent."
" Tuesday Got over the Middle Kettle fall but obliged to put up at noon for wind & Rain."
" Wednesday Got a sailwind & reach'd Wepinaban House saw an Ind. who gave us some meat."
" Thursday had another sail wind which brought us about 4 Miles below the 3 falls."
" Friday Pull'd hard all day & Slept at Purquash. half over met with T McNab &? Crear, who was look'g for Mr Vincent."
" Saturday Slept at the upper Red Lake Fall nothing over being 1/2 past 7 when we put up. stop'd some time with some Ind. at the 3 Rivers where we left Mr Vincent rep'g his boats."
" Sunday fine sail Wind. put up about 60 Miles in Lake Saul."
" Monday Sail'd again to day, overtook Mr Sutherland about 6 oCk who came on with us. Slept at the first Ripple in the Creek."
" Tuesday Slept at Cat fall."
" Wednesday Got to the Pidgeon Carry'g Place to breakfast & obliged to stop on Account of the Rain."
" Thursday Breakfasted at the Long Carry'g place & slept about 10 Miles in Osnaburgh Lake."
" Friday Started early & obliged to put in for wind at the point below the Grand traverse."
" Saturday Could not get off till 10 oCk & arrived at Osnaburgh about 4 oClock."
" I conclude this Journal?
Wishing succefs to your
Hounours? affairs? & remain
Honble Sirs your most
" Correspondence RR 1802"
" To Mr Jn McKay"
" Red River Oct. 3 1802
I arrived at this place my 8th day from you where I found Mr Henry NW but very few Ind. they being all sent away. the XY People staid 10 days behind us & then ? & built here? I find there will be very poor trade here this year if you are not able to send 2 horses & add a Man to those now sent to carry goods acrofs land to where the Canad. are settled. Excuse this short letter.
Tho. Miller "
" From Mr Jn McKay
Brandon House Oct. 13th 1801
I am sorry I cannot supply you with horses as I afsure you I have but one that is fit for work which is far too little having to do with a Set of Robbers who have plenty. I was surprized to hear the XY had settled against you but since it is so carry on against them & strive to cultivate a good understand'g with Mr Henry. I am sorry to find how trade has been spoild in this River since I was here last, indeed it is not worth our while to continue it any longer.
I have sent Mr Bunn & 10 Men & 2 Batteaux up the river as far as he can go & likewise 5 Men & 5 Horses to the Mandans. I remain here with 9 Men in my Opinion not too many for this place.
To Tho. Miller Red River"
" To Mr Jn McKay
Shell River Dec. 15th 1801
I arrived here the 18th Oct. & to my great disappointment found the water so low & falling every day that it was impofsible to proceed any farther. the River was totally fast here the 4th of Nov. As yet we have seen but few Ind. & I cannot boast at present of more than 70 MB which I think is about the quantity of my neighbours. The Crees & Afsinaboils from the Elbow & McLeods have sent down here for Ammunition & Powder which you may be afsured I sent with pleasure to entice them in. we expect 40 tents of them every day & are Keep'g a constant look out for them. I have now 5 Men gone to some Ind. tents with the NW. the goods we put in equal & are to divide the furs, they had not enough men to send without me or ? say they would. they are all Creditors of the XY. Had I had horses in the Fall I should certainly have sent against the XY at a Lake about 2 days Journey behind this place where a number of the Fort Dauphin Ind. are but not having any could not do it. I should have sent down to you before but waited to see if I could find an opportunity of making an outpost from this place, should that not be the case shall send down directly after Christmas.
Peery with the greatest exertions has hitherto kept us in Elk flesh but it is now done. Having given you an Account of this post
Your Obed. Serv't
" To Mr Jn McKay
Red River Jan. 9 1802
I re'd yours of 13 Oct. & was sorry you was not able to send any horses. After the men arrived from you I sent 6 Men & built a house about 18 Miles from the old house in the way of the Ind. that got debt from me in the fall; but they all deceived me but one. I have only 80 MB as yet & poor prospects of any more.
The NW carry all before, being so well supplied with men & horses. It is impofsible to get anything here this year the best? is over. I have expended 2 1/2 Kegs of Spirits & other goods in proportion in giving debt to the Ind. which I shall never get in. I leave it to your superior Judgement how you will have the remainder of the Goods brought up by land or water, let me know by the return of these men, as I see plainly I shall get nothing for it here. Please to send me a Skain of Sturgeon twine to make Seine for the Spring.
I remain &c
"From Mr Jn McKay
Brandon house Jan. 20th 1802
Your men arrived here after a Journey of 9 Days. I am sorry to find your prospects are so poor. You will strive all in your power to get provisions for our going out, for be afsured there is nothing to be expected from this place - Jack Easter & his family will come here by water in the Spring. I mean to send 10 Horses to you in the month of April to bring your remains here but if you have any prospects of trade keep a little we can deposit at point a Foutre. The two oppositions stand at no price to procure Bear Skins. Should they lower in price in England they will not so eafsly? lower the price with the Ind.
Dear Tho. look sharp & do for the best, no one can do better. I am
To Mr Miller Red River"
" To Mr Jn McKay
I reced yours by Henderson, wherein you recommend me to get all the dry meat I can, Easter has kill'd 22 Cattle & I have employ'd Ind. Women to dry it. I have got but 50 MB since I write last & no prospects of more. I cannot say what quantity of Meat I shall have but will let you Know when the Horses come. I have sent a list of the Goods that you may Know how many horses to send.
" From Mr Jn McKay
Brandon House April 10th 1802
I now send you 6 Men & 8 horses to bring your rem's to this place, you will send Jn Easter with them when they return. I would be glad if you would come with them, as I think you the most proper person to take charge of Brandon House. if you should come leave the Charge to C Harvey or Geo Spence.
To Mr Millar Red River."
" To Mr Jn McKay
Red River April 22nd 1802
I reced yours by your men but could not dispatch them so soon as I wish by reason of the Snow & Water upon the Plains. I have sent as much goods as the men think the Horses can carry likewise a Canoe to convey the Goods over the River they have to crofs. It is very trifling what goods I have left here & I am ashamed of my expences for nothing. I have made 21 bags of Pemetigon of 90 lb each.
Relating my coming up to pafs the Summer at Brandon House it is what I cannot do without breaking my word to the Gov. which perhaps I might be blamed for.