This is a virtually complete transcription of the Carlton House (Assiniboine) Journal 1796-97 by Alex Nicol

" Wednesday the 24th Aug. 1796"

" Left the Factory for Carlton House with two English men and two Indians in a Birch Rind Canoe loaded with Trading Goods and Stores. As the track has been carefully examined by Mefs Stayner & Charles I shall take no Notice of it. We had pretty warm but very windy W. Also our Canoe being very tender which impeded our way very much. during the pafsage we killed a Moose and Several Grey Deer. Nothing Extraordinary happened. On the 6th of October we Arrived at Carlton all well where I found a Mr John McGillivray (a Canadian trader) had Built in opposition to this House. and fifteen Families of Indians on the Plantation."

Oct. 7 Friday
Oct. 8 Saturday
" Fitted out the greatest number of the above Indians for their Winter hunt."

Oct. 9 Sunday
Oct 15 Saturday
" During this Week the Indians went to their different departments. Sent Men to Build a small House about 30 Miles here from at a Notted fishing place as I fear the Canadians will be there in the Winter and Intercept the Indians they having a house there already."

Oct. 16 Sunday
Oct 22 Saturday
" After six days stay the Men returned from Building the rest employed at different jobs."

Oct. 23 Sunday
Oct. 29 Saturday
" Employed making fishing Nets Cutting fire Wood and mudding our Houses."

Oct. 30 Sunday
Oct. 31
" Monday set a Net and caught one Pike"

Nov. 1 1796 Tuesday
Nov. 5 Saturday
" Wednesday set a Net during this Week Caught 3 Pike and a Guiniad"

Nov. 6 Sunday
Nov. 12 Saturday
" Frosty W. set two Nets under the Ice and Caught 4 Pike and 2 Guiniad."

Nov. 13 Sunday
Nov. 19 Saturday
" Mild W. very few fish caught Thursday set our Nets in a little Lake where we caught plenty of Guiniads and some Sturgeon last Winter."

"Nov. 25 Sunday"
"Nov. 26 Saturday"
" Out of 400 Yards of Net can scarcely procure so much fish as be one meal a day."

"Nov. 27 Sunday"
"Nov. 30 Wednesday"
" Monday an Indian Arrived from who I traded 30 MB Tuesday he returned to his tent. fish as formerly."

Dec. 1 Thursday
Dec. 7 Wednesday
" This Week Shifted our Nets. still very few fish. sent Thomas Linklater to stay at the Mista-he-lalachecameg Lake where some Canadians are already Stationed."

Dec. 8 Thursday
Dec. 14 Wednesday
" An Indian Arrived who brought 6 Skins and the flesh of six Beaver. by the above Indian I hear'd that several of those who Contracted Debts here in Sept. and October last were going to the Wee pis cow Lake to trade their Skins at which place are People from York and Canadians Stationed. Sunday the 11th I set off for the above Lake in hopes of seeing some of the Indians or at least that John Harper who is Master of the York Post there might be made acquainted with those Indians Names as also the amount of their Debts. Very severe W. was? the 13th before we Arrived at the York House where I saw two of my Debtors both of whom promised to pay. that during the winter they would leave the amount of what I trusted them with in furrs to the care of John Harper. and he as readily promised to see payment made me. very bad weather prevented my leaving the Wee pis cow Lake till the 16th."

Dec. 18
" Sunday. Arrived at Carlton. very inclement Weather, my face all froze. Nothing particular happened during my Absence. No fish to be caught."

Dec. 19 Monday
Dec. 24 Saturday
" Employed with our net as usual with the like Succefs."

Dec. 25 Sunday
Dec. 31 Saturday
" The most part of the time Snowy Weather. An Indian Arrived who brought 30 MB and the flesh of six Beaver and a Cat. After staying two nights the above Indian returned to his tent."

Jan. 1 1797 Sunday
Jan. 7 Saturday
" This Week caught 8 Days fish in our Nets."

Jan. 8 Sunday
Jan. 14 Saturday
" during this Week caught 24 Guinads each day in our Nets."

Jan. 15 Sunday
Jan. 21 Saturday
" Monday Indians Arrived who informed me that some of their tribe who were here in the fall intend paying Mr William Sinclair from York a Visit, who is said to be five days walk herefrom. The Canadians getting the like Intelligence intend going there with some Trading goods with whom I sent the following Letter.

Carlton House 16th Jan. 1797
Mr William Sinclair
As I understand that several Indians who have contracted debts here last fall are going to pay you a Visit I take it upon me to Inclose a list of their Names with the Amount of what they were Credited, which I hope will come so soon into your hands as to prevent their getting any Debt from you till they shall have paid all, or the most part of their Respective Debts due this House.
If you have any apprehension of Indians quitting your district who may strole this way, you have only to transmit me a List of their Names with their Debts, and the like precaution shall be Observed on your behoof. If this plan was carefully Observed it would be a mean of making the Indians more honest, as well as a great saving to our Honble Employers.
I remain with regard
Your humble Servant
William Linklater."

Jan. 22 Sunday
Jan. 28 Saturday
" This Week the fish falling off very fast and as the Canadians have already made several attempts to find out the Indians hunting ground I am prevented from sending my Men to the Mista-he lalachecameg fishing place to live But must carefully watch their motion and endeavour as much as pofsible to Answer the end sent here upon."

Jan. 29 Sunday
Jan. 31 Tuesday
" Three Indian men with their families Arrived here from whom I traded 20 MB. After giving them some Necefsaries they went to their departments."

Feb. 1 1797
" Wednesday the Canadians taking the advantage of the night set off to Intercept some Indians on their way here. Early this morning with three Men I set out after them Thursday at night met the Indians where I received 60 skins in part of some Debts also traded 50."

Feb. 6
" Monday Arrived at Carlton with the above furrs."

Feb. 7 Tuesday
Feb. 11 Saturday
" Wednesday & Thursday shifted our Nets Caught 7 Pike and 3 Guiniad."

Feb. 12
" Sunday This day two Canadian men from the Ke sis sin now Lake Arrived here at the Canadian House.
As the latenefs of my Arrival here last fall prevented my getting men with Goods there by Water Agreeable to my Instructions I mean to take the advantage of the above mens track and Erect an habitation at that Lake for two men with trading Goods."

Feb. 13 Monday
Feb. 14 Tuesday
" Set off Early on Tuesday morning with Robert Pearson having Necefsary Implements for Building a Wood tent. Friday late in the evening we Arrived at the Canadian House in the Ke sis sin now Lake where we were kindly received by the Master of that Post, and Accommadated with good lodgings which was a favor so very Necefsary for our fatigued limbs that it will ever be remembered by me with gratitude. the Saturd and Sunday following we finished the tent. And Arrived at Carlton House Thursday the 23rd.
The distance from this place to the Ke sis sin now River I Judge to be 20 Miles. the length of the River including a small Lake which lays in half its distance is about 50 Miles the upper end of which are a great many Shoal Rapids. as are also just below the above little Lake. the River is very Crooked running in every direction from SE to NW By Canadians Account this River is Navigable for large Canoes."

Feb. 24 Friday
Feb. 28 Tuesday
" The Men employed at the Nets cutting firewood &c."

Mar. 1 Wednesday
Mar. 4 Saturday
" Sent Joseph Spence to the Mista he latat-che ca meg Lake to say there in place of Thomas Linklater who I design to send to the Ke sis sin now Lake with some trading goods, Thursday Thomas Arrived. the rest of the Men mending Sleds and Snow shoes as also making other preparations for our intended Journey."

Mar. 5
" Sunday Sent four men and a Dog loaded with Trading Goods and Provisions to the Ke sis sin now Lake Thomas Linklater and Robert Pearson to stay there, John Sebaston and James Oman to return as fast as pofsible."

Mar. 6 Monday
Mar. 11 Saturday
" Wednesday two Indians Arrived from whom I traded 17 skins. Friday Joseph Spence Arrived with news of some Indians being on their way to the Mistahelatchecameg Lake. Saturday Morning set off with Joseph Spence having some Trading Goods on two Sleds. at night came to the Indians where they were trading with the Canadians. Sunday Early we all set off to another party and Arrived at their tents on Wednesday where I traded about 100 MB. After four days of very heavy hauling we Arrived at Carlton House. John Sebaston and James Oman Arrived from the Ke sis sin now Lake on Thursday."

Mar. 19 Sunday
Mar. 25 Saturday
" Sent David Knarston to the Mista he latchecameg for some furrs left there. and as the Canadians are taking every opportunity of sending Spirits to the Indians who are due Debts to this House Obliges me to send Joseph Spence with a party to seccure their furrs. Tuesday David Knarston returned with the furrs."

Mar. 26 Sunday
Mar. 31 Friday
" These six days caught 10 Pike and 7 Guiniad."

April 1 1797
" Saturday An Indian Lad arrived with an Account of Furrs and Moose flesh being at their tent, set off Imediately and came to the Indians at night where I traded 40 skins and 300 lbs Green Meat."

Apr. 2 Sunday
Apr. 8 Saturday
" returned with the furrs and Moose flesh. two Indians Arrived, one of whom promised to build a large Canoe. After giving them Necefsary encouragement, sent David Knarston with the above Indians to get Bark for a large Canoe. Tuesday Received a Letter from Mr William Sinclair the contents of which are as follows.

Hulse House 8th March 1797
Mr William Linklater
I have not seen any of the Indians you mention pr List nor Received any Information of them being so low down as this. should any of them make their Appearance after this you may rest asured I shall stop their furrs for the Account of Churchill Debts.
If such regulations as what you mention was but put in force for a Year or two it would bring the Indians to a proper standard and make them to exert themselves better and be more punctual to discharge their Credits. at present they do nothing but connive together to cheat us out of our Honble Employers property. Wishing Succefs to the Companys affairs under your Comand
I remain
Dear Sir
Your humble Servant
(signed) Wm Sinclair"

Apr. 9
" Sunday Robert Pearson Arrived from the Ke sis sinnow Lake. No Indians there. Received 23 Skins in part of a Debt due this House."

Apr. 10 Monday
Apr. 15 Saturday
" Pearson returned to the above Lake. Joseph Spence Arrived from the Indians with 30 skins. also brought news of some Indians being near to us. Saturday set off and at night Arrived at their tents. they had very few Skins."

Apr. 16 Sunday
Apr. 22 Saturday
" Returned to Carlton in company with some Indians who wanted some Necefsaries. After a Nights stay they went to their departments with whom I sent Joseph Spence."

Apr. 23 Sunday
Apr. 30 Sunday
" This Week cold Northerly W. Joseph Spence and David Knarston returned from the Indians tent."

May 1 1797 Monday
May 6 Saturday
" Monday. This Week some Indians Arrived from whom I traded a few Skins."

May 7 Sunday
May 13 Saturday
" Still very cold W. the River Ice as firm as in January. and a great quantity of Snow on the ground. every appearance of a late Spring."

May 14 Sunday
May 20 Saturday
" Monday morning Joseph Lewies from the Wee pis cow Lake Arrived here. Sent by John Harper Master of a Post from from York in the said Lake. Requesting 4 yds of red Corded Cloth. 20 lbs Bristol Shot and 12 large Roach Knives to be taken on account at York. all of which I complied with in consideration of the Canadian Opposition there. Friday Thomas Linklater & Robert Pearson Arrived from the Ke sis sin now Lake with actually nothing. Only three Indians there who have been Starving all this Winter."

May 21 Sunday
May 27 Saturday
" Mild W. the Indians getting Bark for building. with whom I sent three men to afsist in getting some for a large Canoe."

May 28 Sunday
May 31 Wednesday
" Could not get our Nets kept in the Water the Ice floating down the River very fast."

June 1 1797 Thursday
June 3 Saturday
" Two Canadians set off from this place for Vermilion River Where Mefs Rofs and Thompson from York Wintered. the Ice still continuing to float down the River."

June 4 Sunday
June 17 Saturday
" During these two last Weeks caught plenty of Pike. no Indians about."

June 18 Sunday
June 24 Saturday
" The Indians came to the House with two middle size Canoes which I traded Also Packed our furrs and made other preparations and on Saturday morning left this place for the Factory With five Men in two Canoes loaded with 18 Packs of Furrs. two Indian Canoes in company."

June 25 Sunday
June 26 Monday
" Windy W. obliged us to lay by."

June 27
" Tuesday. Paddled to the Pis a pa the pane cous where were several Indians from whom I traded 90 MB. along with those Indians were two Canadian Men who wanted to come in Our Service, they being qualified Steersmen I consented to their accompanying me to the Bay."

June 28 Wednesday
June 30 Friday
" These three days a Strong Gale Paddled about 40 Miles. Rec'd 3 Swans and 2 Geese."

July 1 1797
" Saturday left the paint River and Paddled to the Indian Lake where we stayed two day waiting for the Indians who went a hunting."

July 3
" Monday Paddled about 12 Miles and were obliged to put up could get no pafsage through the Ice, set our nets and caught plenty of fish."

July 4 Tuesday
July 8 Saturday
" Wednesday Paddled 15 Miles amongst Ice. Also Paddled 30 Miles on Saturday."

July 9 Sunday
July 10 Monday
" Seeing no likely-hood of the Ice going away set to work and Carried about 1 1/2 Miles along shore to where we saw a little open Water. we also had two other Carrying places before we got out of the Indian Lake."

July 11
" Tuesday. Paddled to the Pock a hat a one where I found Letters from the Factory with orders to lay Rolers on the Carrying places for the Boats. Sorry that I have it not in my power to comply, only one Hatchet belonging both our Canoes."

July 12
" Wednesday. Paddled to the Mani toe Fall in Running of which one of our Canoes Swamped. David Knarston and John Sebeston were unfortunately Drowned and never more seen. the Canadian Steersman saved himself by keeping hold of the Canoe till it drove a Shore."

July 13
" Thursday. Early this morning made search for the bodies of those unfortunate men but without succefs. the day Proving drizzly could not get the furrs dryed the whole of which was saved I thought it most proper to proceed for the Factory till we were favoured with a dry day. Necefsity Obliged me to hier an Indian to go in one of the large Canoes. this day Run down Several Strong Rapids."

July 14
" Friday. Started Early and Paddled till 8 AM. the day proving favourable we put ashore and dryed the furrs."

July 15
" Saturday. Carried past 10 Falls and Run down several Rapids."

July 16
" Sunday. Paddled to the head of the limestone fall where we Slept."

July 17
" Monday. Had two Carrying places and run the rest of the fall. at the lower end of which we met the Governor and Mr Charles with four large Boats loaded for Inland."

July 18 Tuesday
July 20 Thursday
" Proceeded to the Factory with some Indians in company. bad weather prevented our Arrival there till Thursday."

1M30 B.29/a/2