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Report of a journey of survey, from Victoria to Fort Alexander, viâ North Bentinck Arm Palmer, H. Spencer (Henry Spencer), 1838-1893 1863

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No.l—A map of the route from North Bentinck Arm to the Fraser, on a scale of 10
statute miles to one inch; comprising a sketch of the head of North Bentinck
Arm, on a scale of half a mile to one inch.
No. 2—A Skeleton Map of part of British Columbia, from the General map of the
Colony.   Scale, 50 statute miles to one inch.
No, 3—A" map, on a scale of two miles to one inch of that portion of the N. B. A. route
lying between the coast and the Precipice.
No. 4—A plan of the head of North Bentinck Arm. Scale six inches to one statute mile.
N.B. The two first only have been lithographed.
I.—Table of the [approximate astronomical positions of some places on the N. B. A
II.—Table of the approximate altitudes of some places on the N. B. A. route.
UL—Table of the estimated distances on the N. B. A. route.
Page 5, line 12, for "1200" read "120."
Page 20, line 16, "for Homaltho" read "Homathco."
Table I, line 5, for 1 129°" read "126°" Royal Engineer Camp,
New Westminster, British Columbia.
24th November, 1862.
Sir, /
I have the honour to enclose herewith for your information a report, with maps,*of my recent journey of survey
over the route from North Bentinck Arm to the Fraser.
During a reconnaissance extending over four months, from
which I returned to Head Quarters on the 22nd ultimo, the
Cariboo and other districts of British Columbia were subsequently visited, and will form the subjects of a future paper as
soon as time will admit of the astronomical and barometrical observations being computed and the necessary maps prepared.
The reasons for my submitting the report of this portion of my
work in a detached shape are given at the end of the paper.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient Servant, I
Henry Spencer Palmer,
Lieut. Royal Engineers.
Colonel R. C. Moody, R. E.
Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works. i|-
&c., &c, &c. REPORT.

The voyage from Victoria to North Bentinck Arm, in length
about 440 miles, affords those who perform it an opportunity
of witnessing some of the most intricate, and perhaps the most
wonderful inland navigation in the world. The steamer course
winds through an archipelago of surpassing beauty—islands of
almost every size and shape, presenting an ever-recurring succession of mountain and valley, headland and bay, and embracing all the beauties of alternate prairie and woodland scenery.
North of Jervis Inlet the mountains which cluster round it
and the other Inlets to the south of it, and which, from .their
detached position, have been spoken of as a distinct Coast range,
become blended by continuous chains with the superior crest of
the Cascade Mountains which, from this point northward, may
be said to run in a general northwesterly direction, parallel, or
nearly so, to the coast, and distant from it about 50 miles. This
chain, which appears to increase in altitude with the increase
of latitude, is here and there partially pierced by the numerous
deep-water arms of the sea which form the principal characteristic feature of the whole western coast-line of British North
America, and, extending inland to distances of from 20 to 100
miles, have received severally the names of Arms, Inlets, Sounds
and Canals.'
By the few who, for trading and other purposes, have penetrated these arms of the sea strange stories are told of the grand
and gloomy character of the neighbouring scenery. Glaciers,
rarely met with elsewhere in the country, are here of frequent occurrence, and, near Knight's Canal, we hear of a river which
flows for 15 miles through a magnificent glacier tunnel 100 feet
in height and from 100 to 150 yards in breadth. ;||
In the Seymour Narrows, through which the steamer track
passes, occurs the tidal junction of the waters which separate
Vancouver Island from the mainland. Here the flood tides from
the Pacific, flowing respectively to the southeast through Queen
Charlotte Sound and to the northwest through the Gulf of
Georgia, meet and form violent, cross, jumping seas, which, especially when aggravated by high winds, cause danger of no
small moment to light craft. Tides are said to be of excessive
strength throughout nearly the whole of this inland navigation,
the winds usually extremely variable and anchorages unfre-
quent, and hence it is reasonable to infer that the passage to
to the north by the Gulf of Georgia, although peculiarly favourable to steam navigation, should never be attempted by any
large vessels without the assistance of steam power.
Passing the north end of Vancouver Island, the course crosses Queen Charlotte Sound and runs to the east of Calvert Island.
The Sound thus crossed, about 30 miles broad, is open to the
North Pacific, and subject therefore to heavy ocean swells, whose
magnitude and consequent danger are heightened by the meeting of the ebb tides which, running along the mainland in northwesterly and southwesterly directions, rush to the ocean through
this Sound. Violent gales are at all seasons of frequent occurrence here, and, until reaching Smith's Inlet, no harbour or anchorage interrupts the bold, bluff front of the mainland.
North Bentinck Arm, a mere water-filled indentation in the
mountains, some 25 miles in length and from 1J to 2i miles in
breadth, may be taken as a fair type of the other inlets on the
coast.    Piles of mountains broken up towards the seaboard in
ttmmmm In
singularly tumbled though rounded masses, but increasing in
altitude and compactness as they approach the centre of the
Cascade range, snowy peaks, pine-clad slopes, rugged cliffs and
precipices, naked, shapeless masses of trappean and granitic rocks
projecting upwards to vast heights, gloomy valleys and picturesque waterfalls; these, in constant succession, form an aggregate of sublime and wild, though strangely desolate and unattractive scenery.
Like North   Bentinck Arm, we are told, in these general
characteristics, though perhaps even more wild and bleak as
the latitude increases, are the other inlets on the northwest
coast. In all the mariner meets with water of vast depth and
rarely encounters obstacles to navigation in the shape of rocks
or shoals, though all are alike subject to violent winds and powerful tides and therefore unfavourable to navigation by sailing
vessels of large size.
North Bentinck Arm receives at its head the waters of the
Bella Coola or Nookhalk river, a rapid mountain stream probably 80 miles in length, which, rising beyond the principal
crest of the Cascade Mountains, flows through and drains a portion of that range and, subsequently, the chasm or valley formed by the continuation of the mountain walls of North Bentinck
Arm. Another stream of smaller dimensions, called bv the na-
fives Taantsnee, flows through a gap in the range to the north
of the arm and discharges itself into its northeastern corner.
On the 2nd of July 1862, at 1 p.m., the thermometer in the
shade standing at 56° Fahrenheit, the temperature of the Nookhalk river was ascertained to be 49°7 Fahrenheit, and the same
result was obtained with regard to the water of the head of the
arm, which, owing to the volume of the Nookhalk, is fresh for
some distance outwards. WM*
The valley of the Nookhalk for 40 miles from its mouth is
undoubtedly of estuary formation, low and, in many places,
swampy throughout, and to the same process by which, for ages
past, the lanl has been gradually forcing back the waters of
the ocean, viz: the deposit of the vast quantities of alluvium and
drift which have been brought down by the Nookhalk, is to be
attributed the existence of the large, flat mud-shoal which extends aoross the head of the arm. This shoal, composed of
black, fetid mud, supports a rank vegetation of long swamp-
grass for about half its distance outwards; it is bare at low
water spring tides for about 700 yards from high water mark,
and covered at high tide with from 1 to 8 feet of water, and at
a distance of 800 yards from shore terminates abruptly in a
steep, shelving bank on which soundings rapidly increase to
40 and soon to 70 fathoms. On this shelving bank, where
it approaches the south shore of the arm, exists the only available and partially sheltered anchorage in the neighbourhood, .,
and, as instancing the extreme narrowness of the belt of water
in which it is practicable to anchor, I may mention that, when
here, I was assured by Captain Swanson of the Steamer Labou-
chere, then lying in 16 fathoms water, that nothing but the out- f. I
ward flow from the Nookhalk river prevented his vessel from
swinging to the westerly winds which were blowing at the time,
in which case, had she remained at anchor, she must inevitably
have tailed on the shoal.
Another small anchorage is said to exist at the mouth of the
Nomaamis river, about 3 miles down the north shore of the
arm, but, as this point is too far removed to be of any impor- -
tance with reference to the future establishment of a route, I
did not lose time in examining it.
From the present anchorage upwards steep, rocky cliffs run if
at a high angle into the .water of the arm, and, further west,
into the low, swampy land, intersected by small sleughs from
the Nookhalk river and from the sea, whichf extends for
some distance within actual high water mark. To build
wharves and perhaps a few sheds on the rocky shores of the
anchorage, and thence a road along the mountain sides to the
spot indicated in the accompanying plan as suitable for
a town site is the only method I can arrive at by which to meet
the requirements of any future traffic that may occur on this
route. The site I have selected is, in fact, the only available
ground in the neighbourhood, a sloping tract of land of about
1200 acres in extent, covered with a profuse wild vegetation of
clover, vetches or pea-vine, grass, and berry-bushes of various
descriptions, timbered in places and generally dry, but breaking
up towards the river and the head of the arm in low swamps
and ponds, and damp, grassy hillocks and ridges.
On the north side of the river much of the land is heavily
timbered within the line of high water mark with cedar, cotton-
wood and some species of fir, but is so singularly dotted with
low marshes and damp, steaming ground which encourages a
dense growth of the penax horrida as to be unadapted to white
settlement, though the natives, who dwell in confined areas
and derive many of their necessaries from the products of swamp
lands, would probably value it highly, and, retaining this, be
content to abandon to the whites the drier land on the south
side of the river.
Half a mile from the mouth and on opposite sides of the
Nookhalk are situated two Indian villages, forming a settlement
named Ko-om-ko-otz, and presided over by the chief Pootlas.
Two miles further up on the south bank is another large village named Soonochlim, ruled by Annokeetsum, and the whole mjww
population numbered, when I was there, about 1200 souls. The
villages are similar in their general character to those met with
in the southern part of British Columbia, but remain in their
purely savage originality, unmodified by the touch of civilization.
They consist of rude clusters of dwellings built of posts and
huge, rough slabs of cedar, and some of the lodges, more especially those of the chiefs and medicine-men, are gaudily painted
with strange devices, prominent among which is the red hand,
the Indian symbol of power. The natives themselves are physically a fine race, tall, robust and active. They, as is usual
with the Indian tribes west of the Cascade mountains, subsist
chiefly upon salmon and berries eaten fresh in summer and dry
in winter, and also on the flesh of the wild animals hunted for
the sake of their furs during the winter months; but they possess the usual native characteristic of improvidence, and, in the*
spring, are frequently reduced fey want of food almost to skeletons. The salmon are caught in large quantities during the
months of July and August, partly in nets, but by far the greater number in ingenious but rudely constructed weirs, which are
built across the river and admit of the escape of few only of the fish.
The arm is navigated by large canoes of the southern pattern,
but those used on the Nookhalk are of a different description,
and admirably adapted for the dangerous and difficult character
of the navigation. The largest kinds of these are about 25 feet
in length and 2 J feet in breadth, built of cotton-wood, that wood
being more easily worked than the cedar, with flat floors, and
sides nearly straight from stem to stern, a form which facilitates
the work of poling. On raised platforms in the bow and stern
stand the two natives on whom principally depends the guidance
of the canoe, and the unerring skill and nerve with which
heavily laden canoes are propelled through dangers of no trifling
description is worthy of admiration. Hndson's Bay blankets and shirts are the usual articles of native attire, and they adorn themselves with nose-rings, ear-rings
and fantastic head-dresses of wampum. They have not yet come
within the influence of Protestant or Roman Catholic Missions
and adhere pertinaciously to the old Indian superstitions and
customs, maintaining, as regards their religious and other ceremonies, a jealous secrecy which defies the scrutiny of the white
•man.    The language is the most. guttural and difficult on the
Tn moral character the Bella Coolas are degraded specimens
of the red Indian. Prostitution, polygamy, and other worse vices at
which civilized men shudder are of frequent occurence amongst
them. Thieving is an art that all attain to perfection, and, in
intercourse with them, I had unpleasant opportunities of becom-
*ing acquainted with the incredulity, falsehood and-avarice which
form prominent traits of their character. Sir Alexander Mackenzie christened Ko-om-ko-otz Sj Rascals' Village," and I willingly
contribute my testimony to the justice of the title.
To their immoral habits of life, and partly also to wars with
the Hydahs, the bloodhounds of the northwest coast, may be attributed the gradually progressing extinction of the race, clear
evidence of which is afforded by the sight, at different points further up the river, of the ruins of deserted lodges, once the habitations of large families of Indians that have gradually dwindled
away by death until the few survivors have incorporated themselves with the larger bands.
Smallpox has this year contributed a sad quota of death.
During my stay there this disease, which had only just broken out when I arrived, spread so rapidly that, in a week, nearly all the healthy had scattered from the lodges and gone to encamp by families in the woods, only, it is to be feared, to carry
away the seeds of infection and death in the blankets and other mmm&mmm
articles they took with them. Numbers were dying each day;
sick men and women were taken out into the woods and left
with a blanket and two or three salmon to die by themselves
and rot unburied; sick children were tied to trees, and naked,
gray-haired medicine-men, hideously painted, howled and gesticulated night and day in front of the lodges in mad efforts to
stay the progress of the disease.
On the 9th of July we commenced our journey up the valley,
the party consisting of Lieutenant Colonel Foster, M.P. P., Sappers Edwards and Breakenridge of the Royal Engineers, a packer and myself, with eight horses. It would be tedious to describe at length the various obstacles that opposed our progress,
and the sundry shifts to which we were put in prosecuting our
difficult journey. In this report I propose simply to divide the
country travelled over into sections in which the leading natural features are sufficiently uniform to admit of one general description for each, and commence, accordingly, by speaking of
the first section, some-43 miles in length, extending from
North Bentinck Arm to Shtooiht the head of canoe navigation
on the Nookhalk.
The Nookhalk river, with its rapids and rocks, its numberless
islands, bars and sviags, whitish clay-charged water and densely
wooded banks, bears a striking resemblance to the Lillooet river
well known to yourself and to most travellers in British Columbia.
Owing to the generally level character of the valley, the main
stream and its sleughs water a larger area than the Lillooet, though
its volume is probably not more than two-thirds as great. The
banks, which for some distance back are usually low and flat,
and liable in many places to inundation, support a thick growth
of cotton-wood (a species of poplar), willow and other trees
peculiar to damp soils, and an underbrush of the densest nature -    -"""■
fj consisting of cranberry, dogwood, crab-apple and many other
similar bushes. The river, as is usual with streams flowing
through alluvial soils, is excessively tortuous, alternating with
great regularity from side to side of the valley, but very rarely
approaching the mountains so closely as to render the task of
road-making a difficult one. It is almost superfluous to add that
I || the stream is impassable for steamers, but canoe navigation as far
as Shtooiht is, I believe, practicable at most seasons.
Countless tributaries, of every size from tiny cascades to impetuous mountain torrents, feed the Nookhalk on its passage through
the hills. Prominent among the latter are the Skomahl, the Snoot-
chlee, the Noosatsum and the Tcheetsmeeltanie from the south,
the Tsalloomt, the Tsatleanootz and the Kahylkst from the
north, all streams of some size which drain large longitudinal
valleys of the mountain system.
The Nookhalk vallev, which averages from one-half to one
and a half miles in width, opening out considerably at the confluences of the principal tributaries, is walled in by giant mountains
of from two thousand to six thousand feet in height, presenting
the usual varieties of scenery met with in mountain travels in
this country. Some of the slopes, particularly those between
Soonochlim and Nookeetz, are perfectly devoid of soil, timber,
or covering of any kind, and rise very abruptly from the valley,
massive, unbroken walls of granite and trap standing in stupendous
contrast to the forest scenery on the river banks and islands.
The line of the most elevated crest of the Cascade range crosses
if i
the Nookhalk near Nooskultst, 22 miles from its mouth, maintaining apparently a direction parallel to the general coast-line. But
although a principal crest, this is by no means a principal watershed, for, in these latitudes, the rains and snows which fall on
either slope of the range are quickly conducted to the Nookhalk **m<m»iiwurii mmm     wmm&mmmmmw**'|iltU1'*■■■'••-~vr-.-.
and the other similar arterial streams near the coast, and restored
by the most direct path to the sea. Two peaks of this range,
Mounts Pope and Deluge, standing on opposite sides of the river
and respectively about 5000 and 6000 feet in height, attract attention by their massiveness and their superior altitude. The latter,
crowned by a cluster of jagged, picturesque peaks, is the subject
of tradition among the Bella Coola Indians, for they believe its
summit to have been the abode of an ancient chief of their tribe
and his squaw, who climbed there at the time of the Deluge and
were saved to perpetuate their race.
Other magnificent mountains and clusters of mountains are
met with on the journey, embracing most of the elements of
grandeur that can be imagined in scenery of this description,
and the numberless waterfalls which are seen in many parts,
though more particularly towards the upper end of the valley,
and which, on the melting of the snow, precipitate themselves
in considerable volume down the crannies and crevices of the
mountain sides, are worthy of notice, as adding much to the
sublimity of the scenery. . -;
The valley abounds with the natural features usually met
with at low altitudes in this country; tracts of heavy forest
and dense underbrush, such as we see in the valley of the
Lower Fraser, succeeded here and there by groves of alder,
willow and swamp woods; occasional open patches of low berry-
bushes, forests of smaller timber with a comparative absence of
brushwood, large alluvial flats, abrupt mountain sides, poor
gravelly soil, patches of swamp land, innumerable brooks and
sleughs, and large quantities of fallen and, occasionally, burnt
timber; these are the prominent characteristics of the Nookhalk
valley, and will at once be recognized as incidental to the valleys of most of the mountain streams on the coast. 

An Indian trail of the rudest description winds up the valley,
usually following the river in all its sinuosities, and also offering great impediments to travel. It was found to be impracticable to pack the horses over this section on account of the extreme narrowness and frequently miry nature of the trail, the
fallen timber, the absence of bridges, &c; and the baggage was
transported as far as Shtooiht in a canoe. At three deserted
Indian village-sites we found sufficient grass growing to afford
temporary subsistence for the animals. These deserted sites
are named Nookeetz, Asananny and Nooskultst, distant respectively ten, sixteen and twenty-two miles from Ko-om-ko-otz,
and, at the latter, the trail crosses from the left to the right
bank of the river at a spot apparently as well suited for that
purpose as any that could be found. Another large village, at
present inhabited, exists at Nootkleia, thirty-four miles from
Ko-om-ko-otz, at the confluence of the Kahyklst and the Nookhalk, and here also we found fair feed for a day or two for our
small band of horses: 
Although the present trail passes through a great deal of
swampy land, there is nothing to prevent a good bridle-path or
waggon-road being carried the whole way to Shtooiht, care
being taken to hug the mountain sides where it is necessary to
avoid low, soft ground, a measure which would also shorten the
distance materially. If a road of any kind be made, I think it
cannot do better than follow the left bank to the Indian crossing at Nooskultst, thus avoiding two bluffs on the right bank
at Soonochlim and Asananny respectively, then cross and continue as far as Shtooiht on the right bank.
Happily in this valley there is a comparative absence of rocky
bluffs running sheer into the river, which necessitate the task of
blasting, for the stream rarely approaches the actual bases of the mountains, and "canons" or "passes" nowhere occur.
There is an unavoidable slide of fragmentary rock, half a mile
in length, at 27 miles from Ko-om-ko-otz, and rock in situ would
be met with at a point about 2 miles above Nootkleia, but neither difficulty is likely to prove of a serious nature. A good mule-
trail from North Bentinck Arm to Shtooiht should not exceed
35 miles in length and £1400 in cost.
At Shtooiht, a small Indian village situated in the heart of
piles of majestic but strikingly bleak and forbidding mountains,
the trail leaves the Nookhalk and travels up the Atnarko, a
large, clear-water tributary, here nearly equal in size to the
Nookhalk. The latter river, which from this point upwards
receives the Indian name Talchako, runs in a south-southeasterly direction, its course being traceable for about ten miles, and
the Atnarko takes a general east-northeasterly direction as far
as Cokelin or the Great Slide, fourteen miles distant, at which
point will terminate the second section of the journey^;
Although the Atnarko valley is similar in many general characteristics to that of the Nookhalk, as its stream is ascended
so do the difficulties of progress increase. The valley, which
near its mouth is about one mile in width, gradually contracts,
and the mountains, although diminishing sensibly in apparent
altitude, become more and more rugged, and frequently jut out
in low, broken masses into the stream. The Atnarko receives
two tributaries of some size from the north, viz; the Snookhalk
at six miles, and the Cheddeakulk at ten miles from its mouth;
it gradually contracts in volume, soon losing the proportions of
a river and dwindling, beyond the Cheddeakulk, to a mere
brawling torrent with a very rapid fall and hemmed in by
steep and continuous cliffs. -."■■■
Here the first serious obstacles to road making are met with. 1 §
lr. i
From the crossing of the Cheddeakulk to the foot of the Great
Slide mountains crowd closely in upon both sides of the stream;
frequent extensive slides of fragmentary trap rocks of all sizes
run either directly into the river, orinto the low, swampy lands
bordering it, which are liable to inundation at the freshets, and
the Indian trail which winds along their faces is difficult and
almost dangerous for travel. These slides vary from 300 to 600
feet in height, and are capped by rugged cliffs extending to an
average altitude of 1500 feet above the river, and, since they are
unavoidable, the labour of trail-making between Shtooiht and
the Great Slide will be considerable and entail a probable expense of £1000.
Thus far the journey of 57 miles from North Bentinck Arm,
owing to bad weather, trouble with the natives (which on one
occasion nearly cost us our lives) and the difficulties of advancing, had occupied eighteen days. From Shtooiht to Taparn-
towoot, a distance of eight miles, the baggage had been packed
on the horses, the difficulties having been such as our small
party were able to overcome in six hours, but an inspection of
the trail beyond the latter point convinced me that it was desirable to push on without the animals, and to prosecute the remainder of the journey to the Fraser on foot. This was done;
Indians, who did me the honour to accept gold instead of blankets in payment, were with much difficulty procured to pack
the baggage, the horses were left in charge of the packer, and at
noon on the 27th of July we commenced the third section of
the journey, 16 miles in length, extending from Cokelin to the
summit of the Precipice.
At Cokelin, 1110 feet above the level of the sea, famous
among the natives for its raspberries, which grow in great profusion, the trail leaves the Atnarko running about southeast,
and strikes to the northward, directly up the face of the Great
Slide, at a high angle of elevation. The slide, similar in character to those frequently met with in the mountains, though
perhaps the stones composing it are smaller than is usual, is
simply a mountain side of disintegrated trap rock about one
mile in length, forming the northern slope of the valley of the
Atnarko, and only separated from the slides lately passed by
the glen of a mountain torrent. The height of the actual loose
rock, as indicated by barometric measurement, is about 1120
feet, the trail barely even winding up this portion, but wriggling
almost directly up the face in would-be zigzags bitterly trying
to pedestrians. Above this it is lost among cliffs and hollows
dotted with small timber, and rises more gradually until, 5 miles
from Cokelin, an altitude of 1780 feet (2890 feet above the sea)
is attained.
Corresponding to this increased elevation is the change in the
character of the vegetation and the scenery. The trail now
emerges on an elevated, rolling district, where the mountains,
with' whose summits we are nearly on a level, seem of inconsiderable height and lose much of their rugged appearance.
Small, stunted firs take the place of the large pines and cedars
of the valleys, the trail, though here and there rocky, improves,
the soil becomes sandy and light but firm, brush less plentiful?
and grass, though of poor quality, appears in patches. Down
by a gradual descent of 500 feet to the brook Hotharko, a tributary of the Atnarko, and up its valley 7 miles in an east-northeasterly direction to its forks, meeting with no serious obstructions but fallen timber and occasional small rocky slides. The
space between the forks of the Hotharko, which run in southeasterly and west-northwesterly directions, is occupied by a peculiar mountain mass of basaltic rock, 1350 feet in height, which stt>
»•< I
has received the name I The Precipice."    The ascent of this
mountain is excessively steep, the trail at first running up the
backbone of a singular spur, further up winding among crumbling fragments of rock, and, finally, reaching by a dizzy path
the summit of the perpendicular wall of rock, 100 feet high,
which crowns the mass, and from which it derives its name.
. The cliff is composed of blocks ©f columnar basalt in the shape
of multangular prisms averaging, in their perfect state, about
two cubic feet in size, usually stained of a dull red colour and
somewhat vescicular.    The blocks are fitted together as perfectly as if by human agency, and the layers are horizontal; thus,
on the summit, which is perfectly level, patches are met with
in which, the scant soil having been washed away, the jointing
of these singular stones, almost resembling Mosaic pavement,
is clearly visible; and, towards the edges of the cliff, large portions of the rock have crumbled away, leaving standing in
many places abrupt, columnar masses of as much as fifty feet
in height, which, viewed from a short distance, almost assume
the appearance of massive artificial and battlemented structures.
If a trail be made over the North Bentinck Arm route, the
two serious obstacles spoken of in this section, viz: the Slide
and the Precipice, may be easily avoided,—the former by not
leaving the Atnarko until reaching the mouth of the Hotharko,
the latter by following the south fork of the Hotharko and attaining the level of the Precipice at an easy inclination.
The actual lines to be followed in such cases as these will be
decided on when the trail, if any, is made. I had neither the
time nor the means to perform minor explorations of this character, and did not think it necessary on this occasion to delay
for such details. Possibly, if settlement take place in the Nookhalk valley, it will be discovered that available passes to the 16
high land exist by the valleys of the northern tributaries of that
or of the Atnarko river, among which I would mention, as likely
to afford such, the Kahylkst, the Snookhalk and the Cheddea-
kulk. Thus the bad road from the Cheddeakulk to Cokelin
would be avoided, and the level mountain plateaux be sooner reached,—obvious advantages. The experience of this country has shewn that the first road through an uninhabited
forest district is rarely on the best line, and that it is only when
settlement affords opportunity for detailed exploration that the
most favourable route in detail can be discovered. I do not,
therefore, speak positively on these points, but confine myself
to making suggestions where it appears reasonable to do so.
The fourth descriptive section embraces sixty miles of the
route, viz; from the Precipice to the Summit Lake. Arriving at
the top of the Precipice, 3840 feet above the level of the sea, the
traveller enters on the level of the great elevated plateau which
intervenes between the Cascade mountains and the Fraser.
Looking eastward the plateau presents but few objects to attract
attention, and the eye grows weary in wandering over a vast
expanse of waving forest, unbroken save by the lakes and marshes which are invisible from the general level. To the west
the towering peaks of the Cascade range come clearly into view;
its limits, which we have now reached, being indicated by isolated
clusters of hills to the south of us, here and there soaring up
into great, massive, lonely peaks, but preserving no distinct
Again with the increased altitude is noticed a characteristic
change in the vegetation, and the verdure of the plateau seems
to grow thinner and inferior as we travel eastward. Shallow,
meagre soil, consisting chiefly of decomposed granitie and
trappean rocks, supports a dense forest growth of stunted firs Mf
1   i
m i
rarely exceeding fifteen inches in diameter, and an inferior grass,
which becomes poorer and poorer after passing Sutleth Lake;
kinni-kinnik or uva ursi, the native tobacco, is almost universal ; here and there wild strawberry plants and, occasionally, a
scant underbrush of wild roses appear, and a thin growth of
cotton-wood fringes the banks of the running streams!
The altitude of the trail to the east varies slightly with the
undulations of the country, and the summit ridge, near which
water flows respectively to the sea and to the Fraser, is crossed at
a distance of about fifty-five miles from the Precipice, and a
height of 4360 feet above the sea. The extreme elevations of
the rolling plateau are very inconsiderable, seldom more than
800 feet above the general level. ' ' '      X'
Embosomed in the low, extensive hollows formed by the gentle
swells of the country are numberless lakes, ponds and marshes
fed fey the frequent showers which fall at these high altitudes,
and forming the homes of vast quantities of beaver, to whose
industrious labour is in a great measure to be attributed the
extensive nature of the swamps. '   :M
The drainage of these lakes and marshes, often forming long
continuous chains, is usually, owing to the generally level charac-
ter of the district, very slow, sometimes scarcely perceptible,
for the water often oozes from lake to lake through swamps of
loose, porous soil forming the necks of land which divide on6
from another. I J
The lakes are of every area from ten square miles downwards, their shores in some few instances dry and rocky, but usually marshy, particularly at the ends, and abounding with coarse-
bladed swamp grass of inferior nutritive properties. The swamps
give rise to the existence of myriads of mosquitoes, the traveller's most inveterate enemy.   They, with the small black blood- .JLII   WW    HUB HWW—WPjPi
-  .        M
sucking fly, prevail in greater or less abundance during the sum-
mer months the whole way from the Slide to Alexander, the cold- I
ness of the nights in no way appearing to hinder their existence, I
and, in the Worst places, they can only be described as forming
a dense living cloud which covers the country to a height of
twenty feet from the ground.    All the waters of the plateau
abound in fish, particularly salmon-trout and suckers, and are
frequented by varieties of water-fowl, as loons, wild duck,teal,&c.
But one ©fthe most singular characteristics of this part of the ..
country is the comparative absence of land-birds and animals, an
absence which heightens the generally desolate nature of these
extensive wilds.    Three descriptions of grouse, viz: the stone- *
grouse peculiar to high altitudes, the ordinary willow-grouse
of the forest and the prairie-fowl of the grass plains, a few gray
jays and wood-pigeons and an occasional hawk or eagle or sandhill crane were, with the exception of wild-fowl, the only birds j
we saw in a journey of 200 miles; animals were even more
scarce, two varieties of squirrel, some water-rats, musk-rats and
field-mice being the only animals encountered. But it is understood that the plateau is the resort in the winter months of
some larger descriptions of wild animals, such as the marten, the
bear and the deer, and, in the grassy districts near Chilcotin
river, the silver fox highly prized for its fur. Of reptiles, frogs
and toads abound in the swamps, and harmless snakes are met
with in the rocky parts of the forest.
: Small migratoryjbands of Indians, named after their chiefs or
^classified by the Indian names of the districts they inhabit, but
all known as "Atnayos," make the plateau their home, roaming
at successive seasons of the year to the various hunting and fishing grounds from which they can best procure their food, and
trading their furs with the Bella Coolas, who prohibit their
in •
1  i
passing to the coast and preserve a strict monopoly of the trade
with the whites.
Our journey lay along a narrow Indian trail of varied character, sometimes passing over smooth, level tracts excellent for
. travel, sometimes traversing rocky districts and boulder beds,
winding a great deal to avoid as far as possible the swamps, and
crossing them, when obliged to do so, almost invariably at the
narrowest part. In the woods a great deal of fallen timber was
met with, and our path frequently lay for miles through dreary
tracts of naked trunks, scorched and blackened by the passage
of the forest fires, which are frequently started by lightning or
the negligence of the natives, and sweep over immense areas.
In travelling over a portion of this section the Indian guides,
desirous of visiting the village "Sussotah," took us by rather a
long detour, but, as regards the object of this paper, the deviation is an immaterial one. This is the only occasion during
the entire journey on which a deviation from the main trail was
The belt of country lying between the Summit Lake and the
Chilcotin river, and forming the fifth section of our journey,,
presents more attractive features than any other portion 01 the
route. Ranges of rolling hills of as much as 1000 feet in height
enclose broad, open valleys, watered by gentle streams, and embellished with chains of picturesque lakes. Although considerable
tracts of dense forest are met with on the heights and on the
mountain slopes, this gives way in the lowlands to an open-timbered, grassy country, such as is met with in the Similkameen
and other well-known districts of British Columbia, and the
valleys also embrace numerous comparatively level, open prairies of various extent, which afford bunch-grass pasturage in fair abundance and will probably be found to be convenient
| wintering posts for some of the animals of the upper country.
| But the soil cannot be said to possess properties favourable to
agriculture; it is cracked and sandy and excessively dry, and
I the bunch-grass, nowhere growing thickly, is mixed with large
quantities of artemisia peculiar to poor, unproductive lands.
I At Puntzee, signifying in Carrier language "Small Lake/'thirty-..
I nine miles from the Summit Lake, my Indians left me, and I was
I detained six days in efforts to procure other means of transport
for the remainder of the journey.    From an elevated point in
its neighbourhood a fine view was obtained of the surrounding
country.    Looking back to the west the cloudy outlines of the
Cascade range, distant from 60 to 100 miles, and bounding half j§'*
the circle of the horizon, presented an almost unbroken front, a f
solitary gap in the southeast disclosing the probable entrance to .
the valley of the Homaltho river flowing to Bute Inlet.    In the
northeast and east the view was limited by the high mountain- .
ous districts of the Quesnel and Swift rivers, and the terraced
ranges bordering the valley of the Fraser, the intervening districts
on all sides being occupied by & great, waving forest plateau, embracing high, dry ridges, swamps, lakes, valleys and prairies, such
such as have formed the subjects of foregoing descriptions.       :
•|L As regards routes from the coast, the impression conveyed by
this glimpse at a very large tract of country is that, on emerging
I from the Cascade range, the principal difficulties of travel are
gill passed, and that, thence, there is no impracticability in making
a road across the plateau to strike the Fraser valley at almost any
§ point south of the fifty-third parallel.    The determination of
the best line through so extensive a district would necessarily
be a labour involving weeks or even months of exploration, the
main object of course being to avoid as far as possible the lakes 21
I    ;|
and swamps, and, guided by the relative geographical positions
of the termini, to lay out as straight a road as the natural features of the country admit of.
At Puntzee the Indian trail from Bute Inlet, said by the nar
tives to be distant ^.Ye good days' travel, (probably 125 miles)
joins that from North Bentinck Arm. .. |||
Fortunately we were here within reach of the favourite fishing
and hunting grounds of the Indians, and, as Sapper Breaken-
ridge, R.E., who travelled 37 miles to their encampment at the
site of old Fort Chilcotin, was successful in procuring horses
and a guide, we resumed our journey towards Alexander on the
9th of August. Eleven miles travelling brought us to the ford
of the Chilcotin river, 10 miles below the lake of that name, the
valley preserving at this part a general south-southeasterly direction. The stream here is about fifty yards wide, clear, shallow
and, in places, swift. In wading it the water reached our middles,
and it is therefore a question whether the ford would be practicable for laden animals at the highest stages of the river. ■
Leaving the Chilcotin and mounting a steep, grassy hill, about
300 feet high, which forms the eastern slope of the valley, we
again attained the general level of the plateau and entered on
the sixth and last section of the journey, extending to Fort
Alexander, a distance of about eighty-seven miles,    :  .
To describe this in detail would be merely to recapitulate what has been said of the fourth section. The general featuresof each are almost identical in character, though,
perhaps, in this section the country is more tumbled, the swamps
more numerous and extensive, and the route, if possible, a
shade more dreary and monotonous than hitherto. Frequent immense tracts of burnt forest were passed, some of which had been
completely devastated by the fires, leaving the trail much en-
i: 22
cumbered with fallen timber and plantations of young green firs of
small size, and it was noticed that, over some large districts,
nearly the whole of the standing timber was perfectly rotten,
and would therefore be useless for any future requirements of
road-making.     . .   : M
It was a relief to emerge from this bleak succession of forest and
swamp and, twenty miles from Alexander, to welcome once more
the sight of a brawling stream, the * Sananorringlee, skirted by
forests of large timber and terraced hills of bunch grass. Twelve
miles down its valley, noticing at each stage of our progress indications of a gradually decreasing altitude, after which a walk of
eight miles over the basaltic range bordering the valley of the
Fraser led us to Fort Alexander. J     .|.:
We reached the Fort on the evening of the 13th of August
with one meal left. The trip from the Slide had thus occupied.
17J days, but 6 of these were spent at Puntzee waiting for horses,
leaving 11 \ days as the actual travelling time.
A reference to the figures of the report itself, or of the table
at the end, shews the estimated distance from the Slide to Alexander to be 213 miles, but it must be remembered that the estimate
applies simply to the present Indian trail and has no reference
whatever to air-lfiies or possible improvements. Undoubtedly
modifications, not only of minor details but frequently of large
portions of the present fine, would be desirable and necessary in
the event of a trail or road being established, and it is reasonable
to infer that an improved route from Cokelin to Alexander
would not exceed 180 miles in length. *
Attempts were made in Cariboo to disguise the real distance by
the present trail, and to throw discredit on my statements, but I
* The main branch of the river Narcoslee, which empties itself into the Fraser about twenty
miles above Fort Alexander. 23
may remark that astronomical observations admit of no comment,
and that the foregoing figures are the results of careful estimates
based on almost daily astronomical data.
, Fort Alexander, a half ruined cluster of log dwellings roofed
with mud, stands on the right bank of the Fraser, on a bench
about fifty feet above the river and 1470 feet above the level of
the sea.   The river in the neighbourhood is, at its half stage,
from 250 to 300 yards in width, and the velocity of its current
5J statute miles an hour, the extreme depth of the channel is 20
feet at low water, and the rise at the freshets from 18 to 20 feet.
At 11 a.m. on the 16 th of August, the temperature oftheairinthe
shade being 70°5 Fahrenheit, that of the Fraser water was 58°
Fahrenheit, and at 10 a.m. on the 29th of September, the temperatures of air and water were respectively 58° and 46° Fahrenheit.
The valley of the Fraser, running south-southeast for a considerable distance below the Fort and varying from two to three
miles in width, is enclosed by basaltic ranges of hills about 1000
feet in height, timbered with yellow pines and dotted with small
prairies. The level intervals of the valley are usually occupied
by terraced, grassy benches of various heights, but the pasturage
at Alexander cannot be pronounced good. It is also to be regretted that, just at this part, the soil affords but meagre qualities
of productiveness, for, though tracts of well-irrigated, rich land
are met with further up the valley, the benches round the Fort
are strangely sterile and parched.
August is the hottest, January the coldest month of the year
at Alexander. In the former the thermometer in the shade
averages 70° Fahrenheit, and countless grasshoppers and other insects swarm in the valley. In the latter the river is closed with
ice, and quicksilver freezes frequently.   Snow falls to a depth
14V, of about eighteen inches, usually appearing at the end of
November and lying on the ground four months, but the duration of winter is extremely variable. There is no regular wet
season, though June is usually the rainiest, August, September
and October the driest months of the year, and, as the night
frosts prevail far into the summer, the crops are invariably late.
The natives residing at Alexander and in its neighbourhood
are portions of the Carriers, a large, scattered tribe who, in small
bands, occupy an extensive district, of which Mud Lake may
be called the southern, Stuart's Lake the northern boundary.
As a race they are the best Indians I have met in British Columbia, intelligent, obliging and comparatively honest, and
many of them anxious, apparently, to avail themselves of the
advantages of intercourse and trade with civilized men which
are yearly becoming and more more within their reach. The
Carriers are seen in various stages of life, those round the forts
speaking Canadian French fluently, and being well versed in
the customs of the whites; others who dwell in the mountains,
such as the Chilcotins who occupy the country traversed by
the fifth and sixth sections of our journey, are seen in a purely
savage state of existence, clothed in furs, armed with bows and
arrows, in the use of which they are singularly expert, and devoid of all resources but those which the lakes, rivers, prairies
and woods supply. . _        4
The Fort is named by them "Stellaryeh," signifying "the end
of navigation," the title orginating in its having been in former
days the southern limit of the Carrier district.
Recurring once more to the route across the plateau, I must
notice, as one of its most prominent features, the almost entire
absence of hills between the Precipice and Alexander, the valleys of the Puntzeako and the Chilcotin, and the final descent to m9m
1H L
the Fraser being the only points where hills worth mention occur,
\   ', ff As will be gleaned from previous descriptions, swamps are very
general, so much so that, after leaving the summit of the Precipice, we never encamped with dry feet. Probably, in all, the
actual extent of swamps traversed, in pieces of from 20 to 400
yards in length, does not exceed ten miles, but, to ensure this
immunity, frequent long detours were made in gaining the narrowest crossing points of the marshes. I estimate that the construction of a good bridle-road from the foot of the Slide to Fort
Alexander would involve an outlay of ,=66000.
Of the climate of the plateau I can not give any reliable data,
|   : though it is probable that, owing to its great altitude, which
from the Slide eastwards nearly everywhere exceeds 2000 feet,
and reaches to more than 4000 feet above the level of the sea,
the snow lies on the greater part of it for at least seven months
of the year, viz; from November to May inclusive; and it is not
likely that it will in this respect compare favourably with the
||| ; elevated districts traversed by the routes lying east of the Fra
ser, where the open nature of large tracts of the country favours
the early disappearance of snow to an extent not likely to obtain in the dense forests of the Atnayo and Chilcotin plateaux.
Another route, branching from the main trail to the west of
the Precipice and reuniting with it near the Alexis Lakes, 67
miles from Alexander, runs to the north of it, passing through
II the Nacoontloon district, a chain of lakes and swamps whose
waters flow into Dean's Canal at Kemsquit, live miles from its
head.    White men have travelled by this route from Alexander
to the Nookhalk, and pronounce it forty miles shorter than
| that traversed by myself and party, though they admit that
swamps are more numerous, and Indian information ascribes to 26
it a higher level. If, on the future development of this colony
mining or agricultural settlement should extend to the neighbourhood of Fraser Lake, it will yet have to be ascertained
whether the unknown districts lying between it and the head
of Dean's Canal afford facilities for a communication which, from
a glance at the map, seems likely to be highly advantageous.
I have only to add that the trail from Taparntowoot to Alexander has, since I passed, received slight improvements at the
hands of a Mr. Hood and his party, who brought a train of laden animals through from the coast to the Fraser. These animals, as well as my own, landed at North Bentinck Arm on
the 2nd July, and reached Fort Alexander on the 31st August.
From the above descriptions I trust you will be able to form
your own opinions on the feasibility of a route from North
Bentinck.Arm to the Fraser. It but remains for me briefly to
sum up the various advantages and disadvantages which the
report is intended to illustrate, and to submit them respectfully
for your consideration.
Apart from the questions of sea or river transport, the actual
amount of land travel from North Bentinck Arm to the mouth
of Quesnel river compares favourably with that by the other
routes which at present conduct the trade to Cariboo. Quesnel
is undoubtedly the point to which a line of road from the Slide
would be directed, inasmuch as, at a cost of about 10 miles
more land travel, a point forty miles nearer to the mines than
Alexander is would be reached,* and since, it is highly probable
* An impression has hitherto been prevalent that the valley of Swift river presents a favourable
communication from the Fraser to the present Cariboo mines, and that, therefore, a road from
the coast should be directed to its mouth; I have ascertained that the mouth of Quesnel river
deserves the preference with regard both to its geographical position and to the character of the
of the country to be subsequently traversed. 1 eBSffVfORf^*
that an improved road from North Bentinck Arm to Quesnel
would not exceed 240 miles in length, it and Lillooet may be
considered as approximately equidistant ftom Cariboo. The
country under discussion also presents many features favourable
to road-making, such as the generally easy gradients, small
timber, scarcity of brushwood and comparative absence of rock
in situ.
On the other hand, the formidable slides in the valley of the
Atnarko, the number and extent of the swamps on the plateau
and the small size of the limber (which, though favourable in
one respect, is a serious drawback where much corduroying and
bridging are required) are obstacles deserving attention.
But, in discussing the practicability of a projected highway
of commerce to an extensive and populous gold region, the graver questions of soil and pasturage claim attentive consideration,
and in these two highly important respects it is impossible to
speak favourably of the Bentinck Arm route.
You will have gleaned from a perusal of the report that the
country traversed after leaving the Bella Coola valley is excessively sterile and unproductive, and usually destitute of interesting and attractive features. I cannot say that I passed on the
entire journey a single tract of land likely to afford encouragement to settlers, though perhaps, as a desperate resource, it might
be possible to reclaim at considerable outlay portions of the
swamp lands which, it can scarcely be doubted, possess properties of productiveness.
Again, you will have noticed that the fifth section of the journey, 50 miles in extent, is the only portion that affords good
bunch-grass pasturage. On the remainder there is either no feed
at alitor merely the poor innutritive grass that prevails in ele- 28
vated, thickly-wooded lands. Indian horses can and do subsist,
and even work and keep fat on this food, but practical men will
bear me out in the assertion that it is not sufficiently nourishing
for mules and horses foreign to the country.
It may be urged that natural feed along a route is a comparatively unimportant item, for already we learn that the magnificent pasturage which skirts the roads from Lillooet and
Lytton northward is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements
of the rapidly increasing Cariboo traffic, and can no longer be
depended on as the sole subsistence for the animals. But these
roads pass through favoured and highly productive districts,
where civilization is steadily on the increase, and where active
steps are now being taken to grow barley and other cereals in
quantities sufficient to meet the increasing demand; it is found
that, in the sheltered valleys east of the Fraser, the soil which
yields an abundance of rich, luxuriant grass can be turned to
improved account by the growth of more substantial and nutritive descriptions of forage.
After what has been written of the country traversed on my
journey, it is scarcely necessary to add that the soil of the sterile plateau between the Cascades and the Fraser admits of no
resources such as this.    -
It is the province of the navigator to discuss at length the
merits of North Bentinck Arm as a harbour, and to weigh the
relative advantages as ports for foreign commerce afforded by it
and by Victoria or New Westminster respectively; and the latter question has, in all probability, received ere this the attention of officers of Her Majesty's Navy. Apart from these considerations, as well as from the questions of climate and road-
making, my own impression is that, viewed simply withj*efer- mmmmmm—=^	
ence to land travel, the Bentinck Arm route is, from its high
continuous elevation, and from the general absence of good soil
and pasturage in the districts which it traverses, unlikely, for
the present at least, to acquire importance as an arterial highway to the established gold mines of this country.
Bute Inlet appears to possess far greater advantages of geographical position, and we learn from the Admiralty survey that
there is a passable anchorage at its head; but, without pausing
to consider this question in detail, I will simply observe that
the same grave objections of altitude, soil and pasturage which
obtain in the case of the North Bentinck Arm route will, in all
probability, apply to that from Bute Inlet, since similar and, for a
large portion, identical tracts of country are in each case traversed.
Glowing accounts of both have from time to time been received;
many men emerge from the obstructive forests of the valleys in the
Cascade region and hail with pleasure the sight of open country
and grass of any kind, but do not stop to consider the quality of the
pasture or to study the reproductive powers of the soil that yields
it. Similarly, the tides and winds of the ocean are matters which
do not occupy general attention; the casual traveller arrives at
North Bentinck Arm, and pronounces it a splendid land-locked
harbour, easy of access, without, perhaps, bestowing a thought
upon the difficulties of his recent voyage, or inquiring the depth
of the water which surrounds him. .     |
Partly to causes such as these, and, in a great measure, to the
forgetfulness and, perhaps, the careless remarks of men who have
travelled without pausing to make notes of their journey may be
attributed the highly favourable impressions of the coast route
prevalent last summer in Cariboo and industriously kept afloat
by interested people,- and, since the general idea in the upper 30
country seems to be that but one highway to the mines can ever
prove remunerative to those settled on it, there have been engendered a wavering and unsettled state of the public mind, and
a general disinclination to settle or to invest property on the routes
already in full operation that have had any but a beneficial effect
on the country. - ;ii
Hence it is inferred that a truthful report on the North Bentinck Arm trail will have some effect in settling a public question of importance, and I therefore hasten to submit this paper
a^* likely to throw light on the matter.
At an early date I trust to have the honour of forwarding a
report of my subsequent reconnaissances of the Cariboo and other
districts of British Columbia.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,   :   •
Your most obedient servant,
Henry Spencer Palmer,
Lieut. Royal Engineers, APPENDIX
Encampment half-a-mile west of Ko-om-ko-otz,
do.        at Nookeetz (ruined village),'	
at Asananny (ruined village),   	
at Nootkleia (inhabited village),   ...
at Shtooiht (Spring's)	
at Taparntowoot,	
at Cokelin (foot of Great Slide),	
two miles east of the Precipice,	
at Nimpoh,     • »	
half way along shore of Lake Tow-
one mile west of the Summit,	
at the head of Lake  Chant-hopeen,
at the crossing of the brook Puntzeako,
at Puntzee,	
at crossing of first stream east of the
near east end of Lake Tahartee,	
at western   crossing  of  the  brook
at Fort Alexander,	
Latitude. •
52 23 21 ..
52 24 40 ..
52 25 37 ..
52 21 36 ..
52 24 27 ..
52 22 41 ..
52 26 01 ..
*52 22 51 ..
52 16 53 ..
52 09 29 ..
52 08 53 ..
52 12 52 ..
52 12 10 ..
52 14 44 ..
*52 24 32 ..
52 29 34 ..
*>&   6
3 40
47' 34"
06 29
40 52
02 49
46 54
26 56
NOTE,   The results marked with an asterisk are derived from estimates, not from observations
By observations taken at North Bentinck Arm on the 7th of
July, 1862, the variation of the compass was found to be..
At Lake Towteestsan, on the 30th of July, it was	
At Fort Alexander, on the 15th of August, it was. !
26°   7'
26° 45
27° 41
ITABLE H. . .'
%i 107     '
j              i
Atnarko river at Taparntowoot.                     *              ••*••»•••
NOTE.   An accident to the barometer prevented any observations for altitude being taken between Lake
Chant-hopeen and Fort Alexander.
H. S. P.
If* wmm
II £
^^^^^■- T°'     •   Jh
Asananny,              ...
Nooskultst, (crossing of Nook
halk)                          #
Nooskultst,            ...            ...
Nootkleia,             ..t
Shtooiht,...             ...
Cokelin, (foot of Great Slide),
Cokelin, (foot of Great Slide)
Top of the Precipice,
Top of the Precipice,
Sutleth,                  *••
Sutleth,                   ...            ...
Summit Lake,
Summit Lake,
■fteaipfef Lake Chant-hopeen,
Lake Chant-hopeen,
F6&*i%f Chilcotin River
Chilcotin River,
Alexis Lake,
Alexis Lake,
Lake Tahartee       ...             ...
Lake Tahartee, „    ...             ...
Western  crossing of Sananor-
Sananorringlee,.    ...            ...,
^prtilpxander,    ...
SKSe> ■.-.£**[["_3   Total.
Fort Alexander bears m 864^^^:. Ko-om-ko-otz, and is distant from it
about 183 miles in a single air-lii^^ie value due to a degree of longitude on the
parallel 52o 28' N. being adoptediraa mean in the computation. Similarly the
mouth of Quesnel river bears N. 3g° E. from Ko-om-ko-otz, and is distant about
188 miles. The aggregate of the absolute distances between the various astronomical stations (twenty in number)^^$heroute is about 197miles; the estimated distance by the trail, as seen above, is 270 miles, the proportion being very
nearly that of 3 to 4 ; that is to sayiS|^ the Indian trail, between points which
are three direct miles apart, traversel^according to the estimate, about four miles
of ground.
H. S. P.      


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