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Voyages from Montreal, on the river St. Laurence, through the continent of North America, to the frozen… Mackenzie, Alexander, 1764-1820 1802

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Gift from the estate of
Henry Genie Ward /
M ■
^Continent of North America, etc. etc
m i
ft < ■•■/ ...      t;
I       "     '|§ FROM    " "-_   ;
m:\   ■ MONTREAL, 1'
In the Years 1789 and 179^/
With original Notes and an Appendix by Bougainville,
Member of the French Senate;
%   I   VOL. If.
nr^r „-.._   ,
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otu< ^» i t , Ai
OF   A
Leave Fort Chepewyan. Proceed to the Peace River.
State of the Lakes. Arrive at Peace Point. The
reafon affigned for its name. The weather cold. Arrive at the Falls. Defcription of the country. Land
at the Fort, called The Old Eflablijhment. The principal building deflroyed by fire. Courfe $f the river.
Arrive at another fort. Some account of the natives.
Depart from thence. Courfe of the river continued.
It divides into two branches* Proceed along the^ principal one. Land at the place of our winter's refidence.
Account of its circumfiances and inhabitants, &c. Preparations for erecling a fort, l£c. &c. Table of the
weather. Broke the thermometer. Frofll fets in. Dej-
cnotion  of birds.
1792. October.
(October 10.) j^ J^AVING made every neceflary pre-*
paration, I left Fort Chepewyan, to proceed up the Peace
River. I had refofved to go as far as our moft diftant
fettlement, which would occupy the remaining part of
the feafon, it being the route by which I propofed to
attempt my next difcovery, acrofs the mountains from
the fource of that river ; for whatever diftance I could
reach this fall, would he a proportionate advancement
of my voyage,  tm.    Gff
In confequence of this defign, I left the eftablifhment
of Fort Chepewyan, in charge of Mr. Roderic Mackenzie,
accompanied by two canoes laden with the neceflary articles for trade : we accordingly fleered Weft for one of
the branches that communicates with the Peace River,
called the Pine River ; at the entrance of which we fpted
for the other canoes, in order to take fome fupplies from
them, as I had reafon to apprehend they would no! be
able to keep up with us. We entered the Peace River
at feven in the morning of the 12th, taking a Wefterly
courfe. It is evident, that all the land between it anlthe
Lake of the Hills, as far as the Elk River, is formed by
the quantity of earth and mud, which is carried down
by the ftreams of thofe two great rivers. In this fpace
there are feveral lakes. The lake Clear Water, which
is the deepeft, Lake Vaflieu, and the Athabafca Lake,
which is the largeft of the three, and whofe denomination in the Kniftineaux language, implies, a flat, low,
fwampy country, fubjecl: to inundations. The two laft
lakes are now fo fhallow, that, from the caufe juft mentioned, there is every reafon to expect, that in a few
years, they will have exchanged their character and
become extenfive forefts.
This country is fo level, that, at. fome feafons, it is
entirely overflowed, which accounts for the periodical
influx and reflux of the waters between the Lake of the
Hills and the Peace River.
On the i-jth at noon we came to the Peace Point ;
from which, according to the report of my interpreter,
the river derives its name ; it was the fpot where the
Knifleneaux and Beaver Indians fettled their difpute;
the real name of the "river and point heing that of the
land which was the object of contention.
When this country was formerly invaded by the
Knifleneaux,. they found the Beaver Indians inhabiting
the land about Portage la Loche ; and the adjoiofhg
tribes wgre thofe whom they called flave&- They drove
bqjth thefe tribes before them; when the latter proceeded
down the river from the Lake of the Hills, in confe-
qnence of whick that part of it obtained the name of
the Slave River. The former proceeded up the river;
and when the Knifleneaux made peace with them,
this place was fettled to be the boundary.
We continued our voyage, and I did not find the
current fo ftrong in this river as I had been induced to
believe, though .this, perhaps, was not the period to
form a correct n^typp of that circumftance, as well as
of- the hreadth, the water being very low ; fo that the
ft ream has not apneared to me to be in any part that
I have feen 9i more than a quarter of a mile wide.
The weather was> cold and raw, fo as to rcfhder our
progrefs unpleafaflg; at the fame tyaae we did not relax
in our expedition, and, at three in the afternoon of
the 17th we arrrived at the falls. The river at this
place is about four hundred yards broad, and the fall
about twenty feeJj/high : the firft carrying place is eight
hundred paces in length, and the. laft,. which is about 8   VOYAGE THROUGH THE NORTH-
a mile onwards, is fomething more than two thirds of
that diftance. Here we found feveral fires, from which
circumftance we concluded, that the canoes dbftined for
this quarten, which left the fort fome days before us,
could not be far a-head. The weather continued to be
very cold, and the mow that fell during the night was
feveral inches deep.
On the morning of the 18th, as foon as we got out
of the draught of the fall, the wind being at North-
Eaft, and ftrong in our favour, we hoifted fail, which
carried us on at a confiderable rate againft the current,
and palled the Loon River before twelve o'clock ; from
thence we] foon came along the Grande Ifle, at the
upper [end of which we encamped for the night. It
now froze very hard : indeed, it had fo much the appearance of winter, that I began to entertain fome alarm
left we might be flopped by the ice : we therefore fet
off at three o'clpck in the morning of the 19th, and
about eight we landed at the Old Eftablifhment.
The pafTage to this place from Athabafca having been
furveyed by M. Vandrieu, formerly in the Company's
fervice, I did not think it neceflary to give any particular attention to it ; 1 fhall, however, juft obferve^
that the courfe in general from the Lake of the Hills
to the falls, is Wefterly, and as much to the North as
the South of it, from thence it is about Weft-South-
Weft to this fort.
The country in general is low from our entrance of
the river to the falls, and with the exception ot a few
open parts covered with grafs, it is clothed with wood.
Where the banks are very low the foil is good, being com-
pofed of the fediment of the river and putrefied leaves
and vegetables. Where they are more elevated, they
difplay a face of yellowifh clay, mixed with fmall
flones;. On a line with the falls, and on either fide of
the river, there are {aid to" be very extenfive plains, which
afford pafture to numerous herds of buffaloes. Our
people a -tiead ilept here laft night, and, from their
careleflhefs, the fire was communicated to, and burned
down, the large houfe, and was proceeding faft to the
fmaller buildings when we arrived to extinguifh it.
We continued our voyage, the courfe of the river
being South-Weft by Weft one mile and a quarter,
South by Eaft one mile, South-W^eft by South three
miles, Weft by-South one mile, South - South - Weft
two miles, Sojuth four miles, South-Weft feven miles
and an half, South by Weft one mile, North-North-
Weft two miies and an half, South five miles and a
quarte}^ South-Weft one mile and an half, North-Eaft
by Eaft three miles and an half, and South - Eaft by
Eaft one mile, ^
We overtook Mr. Finlay, with his canoes, who was
encamped near the fort of which he was going to take
the charge, during the enfuing winter, and made every
neceflary preparative for a becoming appearance on our
arrival the following morning. Although I had been
fince the year 1787 in the Athabafca country, I had
never yet feen a fingle native of that part of it which
we had now reached. f*|
At fix o'clock in the morning of the aoth, we landed
Vol. II. B before .—1   Y
before the houfe amidft the rejoicing and firing of the
people, who were animated with the profpe6t of again
indulging themfelves in the luxury of rum, of which
they had been deprived fince the beginning of May ; as
it is a practice throughout the North-Weft, neither to
fell or give arty rum to the natives during the fummerSj
There was at this time only one chief with his people,
the other two being hourly expected with their bands,
and on the 21ft and 2 2d they all arrived except the war
chief and fifteen men. As they very foon expreffed
their defire of the expected regale, I called them together, to the number of forty-two hunters, or men capable of bearing arms, t© offer fome advice, which would!
be equally advantageous to them and to us, and I ftrength-
ened my admonition with a nine gallon cafk of reduced rum and a quantity of tobacco. At the fame time
I obferved, that as I fhould not often vifit them, I had
inftanced a greater degree of liberality than they had
been accuftomed to. fp
The number of people belonging to this eftablifhment
amounts to about three hundred, of which,, fixty are
hunters. Although they appear from their language to
be of the fame ftock as the Chepewyans, they differ
from them in appearance, manners, and cuftoms, as they
have adopted thofe of their former enemies, the Knifleneaux : they fpeak their language, as well as cut their
hair, paint, and drefs like them, and poffefs their immoderate fondnefs for liquor and tobacco. This defcription, however, can be applied only to the men, as
the women are lefs adorned even than thofe of the Chepewyan tribes. We could not obferve, without fome
degree of furprize^ the contrail  between  the neat and
decent appearance of the men, and the naftinefs of the
women. I am difpofed, however, to think that this
circumftance is generally owing to the extreme fubmiflion
and abafement of the latter : for I obferved, that one
of the chiefs allowed two of his wives more liberty and
familiarity than were accorded to the others, as well as
a more becoming exterior, and their appearance was
proportionably pleafing. I fhall, however, take a future
opportunity to fpeak more at large on this fubje£t.
There were frequent changes of the  weather in the
courfe of the day, and it froze rather hard in the night.
The thicknefs of the ice in the morning was a fufficient
notice for me to proceed.    I accordingly gave the natives
fuch  good counfel as might influence their behaviour,
communicated  my directions to Mr. Finlay for his future conduct, and took my leave under feveral voliies of
mufketry, on the morning of the 23d.    I had already
difpatched my loaded canoes two  days before, with directions to continue their progrefs without waiting for
me.    Our  courfe was  South-South-Eaft one mile and
an half, South three quarters,  Eaft feven miles and an
half, veering gradually to the Weil four  miles and  an
half; South-Eaft by South three miles, South-Eaft three
miles and an half,  Eaft-South-Eaft to Long Point three
miles, South-Weft one mile and a quarter, Eaft by North
four miles and three quarters, Weft three miles and  an
half, Weft-South-Weft one  mile,   Eaft  by  South rive
miles and and an half, South three miles and three quarters, South-Eaft by South three miles,   Eail-South-Eaft
three miles, Eaft-North-Eaft one mile, when there was
a river that flowed in on the right; Eaft two miles and
an half,   Eaft-South-Eaft  half  a  mile,   South-Eaft by
B 2
acuta «,
South feven miles and an half, South two miles, Souths
South-Eaft three miles and an half; in the courfe of which
we paffed an ifland South by W7eft, where a rivulet flowed
in on the right, one mile; Eaft one mile and an half,
South five miles,   South-Eaft by South  four miles and!
an half, South-Weft one mile, South-Eaft by Eaft four
miles and an half, Weft-South-Weft half a mile, South-
Weft fix miles and three quarters, South-Eaft by South
one mile and an half, South one mile and an half, South-
Eaft by South two miles, South Weft three quarters of
a mile, South-Eaft by South two miles and an half, Eaft by
South one mile and three quarters,   South   two  miles,
South-Eaft one mile and an half, South-South-Eaft half
a mile, Eaft by South two miles and a half, North-Eaft
three miles,  South-Weft by Well fhort diftance to the
eftablifhment of laft year,   Eaft-North-Eaft four miles,
South-South-Eaft  one  mile   and three quarters,   South!
half   a   mile,    South-Eaft    by    South    three   quarters!
of a mile, North-Eaft  by  Eaft  one mile, South three
miles,   South-South-EaftN one mile and  three   quarters,!
South by Eaft four miles and an half, South-Weft three
miles, South by Eaft two miles, South by Weft one mile
and an half, South-Weft two miles, South by Weft fouj
miles and an half, South-Weft one mile and an half, and
South by Eail three miles.     Here  we arrived at the forks
of the river; the Eaftern branch appearing to be not
more than half the fize of the Weftern one. We purfued the latter, in a courfe South-Weft by Weft fix
miles, and landed on the firft of November at the place
which was defigned to be my winter residence : indeed,
the weather had been fo cold and difagreeable, that I was
more than once apprehenfive of our being flopped by
the ice, and, after all, it required the utmoft exertions
of which my men were capable to prevent it ; fo that on
their arrival they were quite exhaufted: nor were their
labours at an end, for there was not a fingle hut to receive us ; it was, however, now in my power to feed
and fuftain them in .a more confortable manner.
We found two men here who had been fent forward
laft fpring, for the purpofe of fquaring timber for the
erection of a houfe, and cutting pallifades, &c. to fur-
round it. With them was the principal chief of the
place, and about feventy men, who had been anxioufly
waiting for our arrival, and received us with every mark
of fatisfa&ion and regard which they could exprefs. If
we might judge from the quantity of powder that was
wafted on our arrival, they certainly had not been in
want of ammunition, at leaft during the fummer.
The banks of the river, from the falls, are in' general
lofty, except at low woody points, accidentally formed
in the manner I have already mentioned : they alfo dif-
played, in all their broken parts, a face of clay, intermixed with flone; in fome places there likewife appeared a black mould.
In the fummer of 1788, a fmall fpot was cleared at
the Old Eftablifhment, which is fituated on a bank
thirty feet above the level of the river, and was fown
with turnips, carrots, and parfnips. The firft grew to
a large fize, and the others thrived very well. An experiment was alfo made with potatoes and cabbages,
the former of which were fuccefsful ; but for want of
care the latter failed. The next winter the perfon who
had undertaken  this cultivation*  fuffered the   potatoes,
which b
which had been collected for feed, to catch the froft,
and none had been fince brought to this place. There
is not the leaft doubt but the foil would be very productive, if a proper attention were given to its preparation.
In the fall of the year 1787, when I firft arrived at
Athabafca, Mr. Pond was fettled on the banks of the
Elk River, where he remained for three years, and had
formed as fine a kitchen garden as I ever faw in  Canada.
In addition to the wood which flourifhed below the
fall, thefe banks produce the cyprefs tree, arrow-wood,
and the thorn. On either fide of the river, though,invi-
fible from it, are extenfive plains, which abound in buffaloes, elks, wolves, foxes, and bears. At a confiderable
diftance to the Weftward, is an immenfe ridge of high
land or mountains, which take an oblique direction from
below the falls, and are inhabited by great numbers of
deer, which are feldom difturbed, but when the Indians
go to hunt the beaver in thofe parts, and, being tired
of the flefh of the latter, vary their food with that of
the former. This ridge bears the name of the Deer
Mountain. Oppofite to our prefent fituation, are beautiful meadows, with various animals grazing: on them,
and groves of  poplars  irregularly fcattered over them.
My tent was no fooner pitched, than I fummoned
the Indians together, and gave each of them about four
inches of Brazil tobacco, a dram of fpirits, and lighted
the pipe. As they had been very troublefome to my
predecefTor, I informed them that I had heard of their
mifcondudt., and was come among them to inquire into
the truth of it. 1 added alfo that it would be an eftab-
lifhed   rule  with me to  treat them   with   kindnefs, if
their behaviour fhould be fuch as to deferve it ; but,
at the fame time, that I fhould be equally fevere if they
failed in thofe returns which I had a right to expe6l from
them. I then prefented them with a quantity of rum,
which I recommended to be ufed with difcretion, and
added fome tobacco, as a token of peace. They, in return, made me the faireft promifes ; and, having expreffed the pride they felt on beholding me in their
country, took their  leave.
I now proceeded to examine my fituation ; and it was
with great fatisfa6lion I obferved that the two men who had
been fent hither fome time before us, to cut and fquare
timber for our future operations, had employed the
intervening period with activity and (kill. They had
formed a fufficient quantity of pallifades of eighteea
feet long, and feven inches in diameter, to inclofe a
fquare fpot of a hundred and twenty feet ; they had
alfo dug a ditch of three feet deep to receive them; and
had prepared timber, planks, occ. fot the erection of a
I was, however, fo much occupied in fettling matters
with the Indians, and equipping them for their winter
hunting, that I could not give my attention to any other
object, till the 7th, when 1 fet all hands at work to
conftru£t the fort, build the houfe, and form ftore-houfes.
On the preceding day-the river began to run with ice,
which we call the laft of the navigation. On the nth
we had a South-Weft wind, with fnow. On the 16th
the ice flopped in the other fork, which was not above
a league from us, acrofs the intervening neck of land.
The water in this   branch   continued to   flow till  the
22d, when it was arretted alfo by the froft, fo that
we had a paffage acrofs the river, which would laft to the
latter end of the fucceeding April. This was a fortunate
circumftance, as we depended for our fupport upon what
the hunters could provide for us, and they had been
prevented by the running of the ice from crofling the
river. They now, however, very fhortly procured us as
much frefh meat as we required, though it was for fome
time a toilfome bufinefs to my people, for as there was
not yet a fufficient quantity of fnow to run fledges, they
were under the neceflity of loading themfelves with the
fpoils of the chafe.
On the 27 th the froft was fo fevere that the axes of
the workmen became almoft as brittle as giafs. The
weather Was very various until the oji of December,
when my Farenheit's thermometer was injured by an
accident, which rendered it altogether ufelefs. The
following table, therefore, from the 16th of November, to
this unfortunate circumftance, is the only correct account
of the weather which I can offer.
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Vol. II.
In this  fituation,  removed from all thofe  ready ai<
which add fo much  to  the  comfort,   and indeed is a
principal chara&eriftic of civilifed life, I was under the
neceflity of employing my judgment and experience in
acceflbry circumfiances,   by  no. means   connected  with
the habits of my life, or the enterprife in which I was immediately engaged.      I was now  among a people who
!had no knowledge whatever of remedial  application to
thofe disorders and accidents to which man is liable in
every part of the globe, in the diftant wildernefs, as in
the peopled city.    They had not the leaft acquaintance
with that primitive medicine which confifts in arB experience of the healing virtues of herbs and plants, and is
frequently found among uncivilifed and favage   nations.
This circumftance now obliged me to be their phyfician
and furgeon,  as a  woman with a fwelled breaft, which
had been lacerated with flint ftones for the cure of it,
prefented  herfelf to  my attention,   and  by cleafllinefs,
poultices, and healing falve,    I fucceeded in producing
a cure.  One of my people alfo, who was at work in
the woods,  was attacked with a fudden pain  near  the
tfirft joint of his thumb, which difabled him from holding an axe.    On examining his arm,  I was aftonifhed
to find a narrow red ftripe,  about half an inch  wide,
from his thumb to his fhoulder ;   the pain was violent,
and   accompanied   with   chillinefs   and   fhivering.     This
was a  cafe that appeared to be beyond my fkill, but it
was neceflary   to   do   fomething   towards relieving  the
mind of the patient, though I might be unfuccefsful in
removing his complaint.    I accordingly prepared a kind
of volatile liniment of rum and foap,   with with I ordered his arm to be rubbed, but with little or no effect*
He was in a raving ftate throughout the night, and the
::Jy  I      red
red ftripe not only increafed, but was alfo accompanied
with the appearance of feveral blotches on his body, and
pains in his ftomach : the propriety of taking fome blood
from him now occurred to me, and. I ventured, from
abfolute neceflity, to perform that operation for the firft:
time, and with an effec/r. that juftified the treatment, The
following night afforded him reft, and in a fhort time
he regained his former health and activity.
I was very much furprifed on walking in the woods
at fuch an inclement period of the year, to be faluted
with the finging of birds, while they feemed by their
vivacity to be actuated by the invigorating power of a
more genial feafon. Of thefe birds the male was fome-
thing lefs than the robin; part of his body is of a delicate
fawn colour, and his neck, breaft, and belly, of a deep
fcarlet ; the wings are black, edged with fawn colour,
and two white flripes running acrofs them ; the tail is
variegated, and the head crowned with a tuft. The female is fmaller than the male, and of a fawn colour
throughout, except on the neck, which is enlivened by
an hue of gloffy yellow. I have no doubt but they are
conftant inhabitants of this climate, as well as fome
other fmall birds which we faw^ of a grey coidur.
Removed from the tent to the houfe.    Build habitations for
the people.    The   hard/hips  they   fuffer.    Violent   hurricane.   1 Singular    circumfiances    attending it.    The  commencement   of  the   new year.    An   Indian  cured of a
dangerous  wound.    State of the  weather.    Curious  cuf i
toms   among   the  Indians,   on  the  death  of a relation*)
s Account of a   quarrel.    An   Indian's    reafoning   on   it.
Murder  of one of the Indians.    The caufe of it.   Some
account of the   Rocky  Mountain  Indians.    Curious  cir--1
cumflance relpeding a  woman  in   labour,   &c.    A dif-
pute    between   two   Indians,  which  arofe from gaming.
An  account of one of their games.    Indian fuperfl'tfion*
Mildnefs of the feafon.    The  Indians prepare Jnowfhoes* \
Singular cufloms.    Further account of their manners.    The
flavifh fate oftbe women.    Appearance of fpring.    Dif- I
patch canoes  with  the trade to Fort Chepewyan.    Make
preparations for the voyage of difcovery*
1794. December 23.
Jl THIS day removed from the tent into the houfe
which had been erected for me, and fet all the men toj
begin the buildings intended for their own habitation j
Materials fufficient to erecl: a range of five houfes for thenv
of about feventeen by twelve feet, were already collededj
i it
T would be confidered by the inhabitants of a milder climate as a great evil, to be expofed to the weather at
this rigorous feafon of the year, but thefe people are
inured to'it, and it is neceflary to defcribe in fome mea-
fure the hardships which they undergo without a murmur, in order to convey a general notion of them.
KThe men who were now with me, left this place in
the beginning of laft- May,  and went to the Rainy Lake
in canoes,  laden   with  packs of fur, which,  from the
immenfe length of the   voyage,   and other   concurring
circumfiances,  is a moft fevere trial of patience and per-
feverance : there they do   not remain a fufficient time
for ordinary repofe, when they take a load of goods in
exchange, and proceed on their return, in a great mea-
fure, day and night.    They had been arrived near two^
months, and, ail   that time,   had been continually engaged in very toilfome labour,  with nothing more than
a common   fhed  to   protect  them from  the froft and
fnow.    Such is the life which thefe people lead ; and is
continued with unremitting exertion, till their ftrengtli
is loft in premature old age.
The Canadians remarked, that the weather we had on
the 25th, 26th, and 27th of this month, denoted fuch
as we might ex peel: in the three fucceeding months.
On the 29th, the wind being at North-Eaft, and the
weather calm and cloudy, a rumbling noife was heard
in the air like diftant thunder, when the fky clearedJ
away in the South-Weft j from whence there blew a
j perfect hurricane, which lafted till eight. Soon after
it commenced, the atmofphere became fo warm that it
diffolved all the fnow on the ground j even the ice was
1j$M covered tt^£9KS3BSS9T
,   "!l,
covered with water, and had the fame appearance as
when it is breaking up in the fpring. From eight to
nine the weather became calm, but immediately after a
wind arofe from the North-Eaft with equal violence,
with clouds, rain, and hail, which continued throughout
the night and till the evening of the next day, when it
turned to fnow. One of the people who wintered at
Fort Dauphin in the year 1780, when the fmall-pox
firft appeared there, informed me, that the weather
there was of a fimilar defcription.
(January 1.) On the firft day of January, my people,
in conformity with the ufual cuflom, awoke me^JKthe
break of day with the difcharge of fire-arms, with which
they congratulated the appearance of the new year. In
return, they were treated with plenty of fpirits, and
when there is any flour, cakes are always added to their
regales, which was the cafe on the prefent occafion.
On my arrival here laft fall, I found that one of the
young Indians had loft the ufe of his right hand by the
burfting of a gun, and that his thumb had been maimed
in fuch a manner as to hang only bv a fmall ftrip of
flefh. Indeed, when he was brought to me, his wound
was in fuch an offenfive ftate, and emitted fuch a putrid
fmell, that it required all the refolution 1 poffeffed fe
examine it. His friends had done every thing in their
power to relieve him ; but as it confifted only in finging
about him, and blowing upon his hand, the wound, as
may be well imagined, had got into the deplorable ftate
in which I found it. I was rather alarmed at the difficulty of the cafe, but as the young man's life was in
a ftate of hazard,  I was determined to rifk my furgical
I  V
I i i West continent of America.     «3
reputation, and accordingly took him under my care,
I immediately formed a poultice of bark, flripped from
the roots of the fpruce fir, which I applied to the wound,
having firft wafhed it with the juice of the bark: this
proved a very painfuL drefling : in a few days, however,
the wound was clean, and the proud flefh around it
deftroyed. I wifhed very much in this ftate of the
bufinefs to have feparated the thumb from the hand,
which I well knew muft be effected before the cure
could be performed; but he would not confent to that
operation, till, by the application of vitriol, the flefh by
which the thumb was fufpended was fhrivelled almoft
to a thread. When I had fucceeded in this object, I
perceived that the wound was clofing rather fafter than
I defired. The falve I applied on the occafion was made
of the Canadian balfam, wax, and tallow dropped from
a burning candle into water. In fhort, I was fo fuccefsful, that about Chriftmas my patient engaged in a
hunting party, and brought me the tongue of an elk:
nor was he finally ungrateful. When he left me, I
received the warmeft acknowledgements, both from
himfelf and his relations, with whom he departed, for
my care of him. I certainly did not fpare my time or
attention on the occafion, as I regularly dreffed his
wound three times a day, during the courfe of a
On the 5th in the morning, the weather was calm,
clear, and very cold; the wind blew from the South-
Weft, and in the courfe of the "afternoon it began to
thaw.    I had already obferved at  Athabafca,   that this
*t *
wind never failed to bring us clear mild weather, whereas,
when it blew from the oppofite cmarter^  it produced
fnow. Here it is much more perceptible, for if it blows
hard South-Weft for four hours, a thaw is the con-
fequence, and if the wind is at North-Eaft, it brings
fleet and fnow. To this caufe it may be attributed, that
there is now fo little fnow in this part of the world.
Thefe warm winds come off the Pacific Ocean, which
cannot, in a direct line, be very far from us ; the
diftance being fo fhort, that though they pafs over
mountains covered with fnow, there is not time for
them to cool.
There being feveral of the natives at the houfe at
this time, one of them, who had received an account
of the death of his father, proceeded in filence to his
lodge, and began to fire off his gun. As it was night,
and fuch a noife being fo uncommon at fuch an hour,
efpecially when it was fo often repeated, I fent my
interpreter to inquire into the caufe of it, when he
was informed by the man himfelf,^ that this was a
common cuflom with them on the death of a near
relation, and was a warning to their friends not to
approach, or intrude upon them, as they were, in
confequence of their lofs, become carelefs of life. The
chief, to whom the deceafed perfon was alfo related,
appeared with his war-cap on his head, which is only
worn on thefe folemn occafions, or when preparing for
battle, and confirmed to me this lingular cuflom of
firing guns, in order to exprefs their grief for the, death
of relations and friends.*    The women alone indulge in
* When they are drinking together, they frequently prefent
their guns to each other, when any of the parties have not
other means of procuring rum.    On fuch an occafion they
|l always
tears on fuch occafions, the men confidering it as a mark
of pufillanimity and a want of fortitude to betray any
perfonal tokens of fenfibility or forrow.
The Indians informed me, that they had been to hunt
at a large  lake,  called  by the  Knifleneaux,  the Slave
Lake, which derived its name fiom that of its original
inhabitants, who were called Slaves.    They reprefented
it as a large  body of water, and that it lies about one
hundred and twenty miles due Eaft from this place.    It
is well known  to the Knifleneaux, who are among the
inhabitants of the plains pn the banks of the Safkatchiwine river;   for formerly,  when they ufed to come to
make war in this country, they came in theif^canoes to
that lake, and left them there; from thence there is a
beaten path all the way to the  Fork, or Eaft branch of
this river, which was their war-road.
(January 10.)   Among the  people who were now
here,   there  were two Rocky Mountain Indians,   who
declared,   that the people to whom we had given that*
denomination, are by no means entitled to it, and that-
their country has ever been in the viciaity of our prefertfe
fituation.    They faid, in fupport of their affertion,  that
thefe people were entirely ignorant of thofe parts which
are adjacent to the mountain,  as well as the navigation of
the river ;  that the Beaver Indians had greatly encroaehed
upon them,  and would foon force them to retire to the
foot of thefe  mountains.    They reprefented themfelves
as the only real natives of that country then with me;
always difcharge their pieces, as a proof, I imagine, of their
being in  good order, and to determine the quantity of liquor
Kiey may propofe to get in exchange forrthem.
-Vol. II. D and **
and added, that the country, and that part of the river
that intervenes between this place and the mountains,
bear much the fame appearance as that around us ; that
the former abounds with animals, but that the courfe of
the latter is interrupted, near and in the mountains, by
fucceflive rapids and confiderable falls. Thefe men alfo
informed me, that there is another great river towards
the mid-day fun, whofe current runs in that direction,
and that the diftance from it is not great acrofs the
The natives brought me plenty of furs. The fmall
quantity of fnow, at this time, was particularly favourable
for hunting the beaver, as from this circumftance, thofe
animals could, with the greater facility, be retraced from
their lodges to their lurking-places.
On the 12th our hunter arrived, having left his mother-in-law, who was lately become a widow with three
frnall children, and in a6lual labour of a fourth. Her
daughter related this circumftance to the women here,
without the leaft appearance of concern, mough fhe
reprefented her as in a ftate of great danger, which probably might proceed from her being abandoned in this"
unnafural manner; at the fame time without any apparent confcioufnefs of her own barbarous negligence :
if the poor abandoned woman fhould die, fhe would moft
probably lament her with great outcries, and, perhaps,
cut off one or two joints of her fingers as tokens of her
grief. The Indians, indeed, confider the ftate of a
woman in labour as among the moft trifling occurrences of corporal pain to which human nature is
fubject,  and  they  may be, in fome   meafure, juftified
M this apparent infenfibilitv from the circumfiances of
that fituation among themfelves. It is by no means
uncommon in the hafty removal of their camps from
one pofition to another, for a woman to be taken in
labour, to deliver herfelf in her way, without any afliflance
or notice from her aflbciates in the journey, and to
overtake them before they complete the arrangements
of their evening ftation, with her new-born babe on her
I was this morning threatened with a very unpleafant
event, which, however, I was fortunately enabled to
control. Two young Indians being engaged in one of
their games, a difpute enfued, which rofe to fuch an
height, that they drew their knives, and if I had not
happened to have appeared, they would, I doubt not,
have employed them to very bloody purpofes. So
violent was their rage, that after I had turned them
both out of the houfe, and feverely reprimanded them,
they flood in the fort for at leaft half an hour, looking
at each other with a moft vindictive afpe£r,, and in fuller!
The game which produced this ftate of bitter enmity,
is called that of the Platter, from a principal article of
it.    The Indians play at it in the following manner :
The inftruments of it confift of a platter, or difh,
made of wood or bark, and fix round, or fquare, but
flat pieces of metal, wood, or flone, whofe fides or
furfaces are of different colours. Thefe are put into
the difh, and after being for fome time fhaken together,
are thrown into the air,  and received again in the difh
D 2 with III!
with confiderable dexterity; when, by the number that
are turned  up  of the fame mark or colour,  the gamsjj
is regulated.     If there, fhould   be equal  numbers,  the
throws   is   not  reckoned;  if two or four,   the  platter
changes hands.        ||i
On the 13th, one of thefe people came to me, and j
prefented in himfelf a curious example of Indian fu-
perftition. He requefted me to furnifh him with a I
remedy that might be applied to the joints of his legs
and thighs, of which he had, in a great meafure, loft
.the ufe for five winters. This affliction he attributed
to his cruelty about that time, when having found a
wolf with two whelps in an old Beaver lodge, he fet
fire to it and con fumed them.
The winter had been fo mild, that the fwans had
but lately left us, and at this advanced period there was
very little fnow on the ground: it was, however, at
this time a foot and a half in depth, in the environs of
the eftablifhment below this, which is at the diftance of
about feventy leagues.
On the 28th the Indians were now employed in
making their fnow-fhoes, as the fnow had not hitherto
fallen in fufficient quantity to render them neceflary.
( February 2. ) The weather now became very cold,
and it froze fo hard in the night that my watch flopped ; a circumftance  that  had  never happened to   thia
watch fince my refidence in the country.
There! ,   WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.       29
There was a lodge of Indians here, who were abfo-
lutely ftarving with cold and hunger. They had lately
loft a near relation, and had, according to cuflom,
thrown away every thing belonging to them, and even
exchanged the few articles of raiment which they pol-
feffed, in order, as I prefume, to get rid of every thing
that may bring the deceafed to their remembrance. They
alfo deftroy every thing belonging to any deceafed perfon, except what they confign to the grave with the
late owner of them. We had fome difficulty to make
them comprehend that the debts of a man who dies
fhould be difcharged, if he left any furs behind him:
but thofe who underftand this principle of juftice, and
profefs to adhere to it, never fail to prevent the appearance of any fkins beyond fuch as may be neceflary
to fatisfy the debts of their dead relation.
On the 8th I had an obfervation for the longitude.
In the courfe of this day one of my men, who Lad
been fome time with the Indians, came to inform me
that one of them had threatened to ftab him; and on
his preferring a complaint to the man with whom he
now lived, and to whom I had given him in charge,
he replied, that he had been very imprudent to play
and quarrel with the young Indians out of his lodge,
where no one would dare to come and quarrel with
him; but that if he had loft his life where he had been,
it would have been the confequence of his own folly.
Thus, even among thefe children of nature, it appears
that a man's houfe is his caftle, where the protection of
hofpitality is rigidly maintained.
The hard froft which had prevailed from the beginning of February-continued to the 16th of March, when
the wind blowing from the South-Weft,  the weather
became mild.
On the 2 2d a wolf was fo bold as to venture among
the-Indian lodges, and was very near carrying off a
I had another obfervation of Jupiter and his fatellites
for the longitude. On the 13th fome geefe were feen,
and thefe birds are always confidered as the harbingers
of fpring. On the ill of April my hunters fhot five
of them. This was a much earlier period than I ever
remember to have obferved the vifits of wild fowl in
this part of the world. The weather had been mild
for the laft fortnight, and there was a promife of its
continuance. On the 5th the fnow had entirely difap-
At half paft four this morning, I was awakened to
be informed that an Indian had been killed. I accordingly haftened to the camp, where I found two women
employed in rolling up the dead body of a man, called
the White Partridge, in a beaver robe, which I had
lent him. He had received four mortal wounds from
a dagger, two within the collar-bone, one in the left
breaft, and another in the fmail of the back, with two
cuts acrofs his head. The murderer, who had been my
hunter throughout the winter, had fled; and it was
pretended that feveral relations of the deceafed were
gone in purfuit of him. The hiflory of this unfortunate event is as follows:—
Thefe two men had been comrades for four years;
the murderer had three wives, and the young man who
was 01
was killed, becoming enamoured of one of them, the
hufband confented to yield her to him, with the referved
power of claiming her as his property, when it fhould
be his pleafure. This- connection was uninterrupted for
near three years, when, whimfical as it may appear, the
hufband became jealous, and the public amour was
fufpended. The parties, however, made their private
affignations, which caufed the woman to be fo ill treated
by her hufband, that the-paramour was determined to
take her away by force ; and this project ended in his
death. This is a very common practice among the
Indians, and generally terminates in very ferious and fatal
quarrels. In confequence of this event, all the Indians
went away in great apparent hurry and confufion, and
in the evening not one of them was to be feen about
the fort.
The Beaver and Rocky Mountain Indians, who traded
with us in this river, did not exceed an hundred and fifty
men, capable of bearing arms, two thirds of whom call
themfelves Beaver Indians. The latter differ only from
the former, as they have more or lefs imbibed the cuftoms
and manners of the Knifleneaux. As I have already
obferved, they are paflionately fond of liquor, and in the
moments of their feftivity will barter any thing they have
in their poffeflion for it.
Though the Beaver Indians made their peace with the
Knifleneaux at Peace Point, as already mentioned, yet
they did not fecure a ftate of amity from others of the
fame nation, who had driven away the natives of the
Safkatchiwine and Miflinipy Rivers, and joined at the
headwater of the latter, called the Beaver River: from
thence Urn
' S
thence they proceeded Weft by the Slave Lake juft
defcribed* on their war excurfions, which they often
repeated, even till the Beaver Indians had procured arms,
which was in the year 1782. If it fo happened that they
miffed them, they proceeded Weftward till they were
certain of wreaking their vengeance on thofe of the
Rocky Mountain, who being without arms, became an
eafy prey to their blind and favage fury.. All the
European articles they poffeffed, previous to the year
1780, were obtained from the Knifleneaux and Chepewyans, who brought them from Fort Churchill, and
for which they were made to pay an extravagant
As late as the year 1786, when the firft traders from
Canada arrived on the banks of this river, the natives
employed bows and fhares, but at prefent very little ufe
is made of the former, and the latter are no longer
known. They ftill entertain a great dread of their
natural enemies, but they are fince become fo well
armed, that the others now call them their allies. The
men are in general of a comely appearance, and fond of
perfonal decoration. The women are of a contrary
difpofition, and the flaves of the men : in common with
all the. Indian -tribes, polygamy is allowed among them.
They are very fubjecl: to jealoufy, and fatal confequence^
frequently refult from the indulgence of that paflion.
But notwithstanding the vigilance and feverity which is
exercifed by the hufband, it feldom happens that a woman
is without her favourite, who, in the abfence of the
hufband, exacts the fame fubmiflion, and pradlifes the
fame tyranny. And fo premature is the tender paflion,'
that it is fometimes known to invigorate (§ early a period
1 l^s
$$ life as the age of eleven or twejve years. The women
are not very prolific; a circurnftance which may be
attributed, in a great meafure, to the |*ardfhips t^at they
fuffer, f$r except a few fmall d)ogs, they alone perform
that labour which is allotted to beafts of burthen in other
countries, Jt is np% uncommon, while the men, carry
nothing but a gun, that their wives and daughters follow
with fuch weighty burdens, that if they lay them down
they cannot replace them, and that is a kindnefs which
the men wiH nqt deign to p£f form ; fo that during their
journeys they are frequently obliged to lean againft a
trc$, for a fmall portion of temporary relief. When they
arrive at the place which their tyrants have chofen for
jheir encampment, they arrange the whole in a few
minutes, by /orbing a curve of poles, meeting at the
top, an<i expan4ing intq circles of twelve or fifteen feet
diameter at the bottom» covered with dreffed fkins of the
moofe fewed together. During thefe preparations, the
men fit down quietly to the enjoyment of thpr pipes,
if they happen to have any tobacco. But notwittyftanding
this abject ftate of flavery and fubmiflion, the women
have a considerable influence on the opinion of the men
in every thing, except their own domeftic fituation.
Thefe Indians are excellent hunters, and their exercife
in that capacity is fo violent as to reduce them in general
to a very meagre appearance. Their religion is of a
very contracted ngture, and I never witnefled any ceremony of devotion which they had not borrowed from
the Knifleneaux, their feafts and falls being in imitation
pf that people. They are more vicious and warlike than
the Chepewyans, from whence they fprang, though they
do not poffefs their felfifhnefc; for while they have the
Vol. II. E means r
means of purchafing their neceffaries, they are libera!
and generous, but when thofe are exhaufted they become
errant beggars: they are, however, remarkable for their
honefty,   for  in the whole  tribe there were only two
women and a man who had been known to have fwerved
from that virtue, and they were confidered as objects of
difregard and reprobation.     They are afflicted with but
few difeafes, and  their   only remedies confift in binding
the temples, procuring perfpiration, ringing, and blowing,
on the fick perfon, or affected part.    When death overtakes any  of them,   their property,   as  I have before
obferved, is facrificed and deftroyed;   nor is there any
failure of lamentation or mourning on fuch  occafion:
they who are more nearly related to the departed perfon,
black their faces, and fometimes cut off their hair;   they
alfo  pierce their arms with  knives and arrows.     The
grief of the females is carried to a ftill greater excefs;
they not only cut their hair, and cry and howl, but they!
will fometimes,   with the  utmoft deliberation,  employ
fome {harp  inftrument to  feparate the  nail from  the
"finger, and then force back the flefh beyond the firft
joint, which they immediately amputate.    But this extraordinary mark of affliction is only difplayed on the
death of a favourite fon, an hufband, or a father.    Many
of the old women have fo often repeated this ceremony,
th;it they have not a complete finger  remaining on either j
hand.     The women   renew their   lamentations   at  the |
graves of their departed relatives for a lone fucceflion of
years.    They appear,  in  common  with  all the  Indian
tribes, to>be very fond of their chddren,   but they are as
carelefs  in their mode of fwadling them  in their infant
flate, as they arc of their own  drefs: the child is  laid
down on a board, of about two feet long, covered with
a bed of mofs, to which im$ faftened by bandages, the
mofs being changed as often as the occafion requires.
The chief of ihe nation had no lefs than nine wives, and
children in proportion.
When traders firft appeared among thefe people, the
Canadians were treated with the utmoft hofpitality and
attention; but they have, by their fubfequent conduct
taught the natives to withdraw that refpe£fc from them,
and fometimes to treat them with indignity. They differ
very much from the Chepewyans and Knifleneaux, in
the abhorrence they profefs of any carnal communication
between their women and the white people. They carry
their love of gaming to excefs; they will purfue it for a
fucceflion of days and nights, and no apprehenfion df
ruin, nor influence of domeftic affection, will reftrain
them from the indulgence of it. They are a quick,
lively, aevtive people, with a keen, penetrating, dark
eye; and though they are very fufceptible of anger, are
as eafily appeafed. The males eradicate their beards, and
the females their hair in every part, except their heads,
where it is ftrong and black, and without a curl. There
are many old men among them, but they are, in general,
ignorant of the fpace in which they have been inhabitants
of the earth, though one of them told me that he recollected fixty winters.
An Indian in fome meafure explained his age to me,
by relating that he remembered the oppofite hills and
plains, now interfperfed with groves of poplars, when
they were covered with mofs, and without any animal
inhabitant but the rein-deer. By degrees, he faid, the
face of the country changed to its prefent appearance,
E a when
4 I
wherr the elk came from tW Eaft, and was followed by
the buffalo; the rein-deer then retired to the long range
of high lands that, at a considerable diftance, run parallel
with this river.
On the 20th of April, I had an obfervation of Jupiter
§md his fatellites, for the longitude, and we were now
.vifited by our fummer companions the gnats and mof-
quitoes. On the other fide of the river, which was yet
covered with ice, the plains were delightful; the trees
were budding, and many plants in bldfTodiEt. Mr. Mackay
brought me a bunch of flowers of a pirik colour, and a
yellow button, encircled with fix leaves of a light purple.
The change in the appearance of nature was as fudden
as it was pleafing, for a few days only were pafled away
fince the ground was covered with fnow. On the 25th
the river was cleared of the ice.
I now found that the death of me man called the
White Partridge, bin deranged all the plans which I
Tiad fettled with the Indians for the fpring hunting.
They had aflembled at fome diftance from the fort, and
fent an embaffy to me, to demand rum to drink, that
they might have an opportunity of crying for their deceafed brother. It would be confidered as an extreme
degradation in an Indian to weep when fober, but a ftate
of intoxication fandtions all irregularities. On my refufal,
they threatened to go to war, which, from motives of
intereft as well as humanity, we did our utmoft to dif-
courage ; and as a fecond menage was brought by perfons
of fome weight among thefe people, and on whom I
could depend, I thought it prudent to comply withNffiJi
demand, on an exprefs condition, that they would continue peaeeably at home.
The month of April being now paft, in the early
$art of whieh I was moft bufily employed in trading
with the Indians, I ordered our old canoes to be repaired
with bark, and added four new ones to them, when^
with the furs and provrfions I had purchafed, fix canoes
were loaded and difpatdhed oh the 8th of May for Fort
Chepewyan. I had, however, retained fix of the men,
who agreed to accompany me on my projected voyage
of difcoverkr. luifo engaged my hunters, andclofed the
bufinefs of the year for the Company, by writing my
public and private difpatches.
Having afcertained, by various obfervations, the latitude
of this place to be 56. 9. North, and longitude. 1,17.
35. 15. Weft; —on the ninth day of May, I found,
that my aerometer was one hour forty-fix minutes flow
to apparent time; the mean going of it I had found to
be twenty-two feconds flow in twenty-four hours.—
Having fettled this point, the canoe was put into the
water; herdimentions were twenty-five feet long within,
exclufive of the curves of ftem and ftern, twenty-fix
inches hold, and four feet nine inches beam. At the
fame time fhe was fo light, that two men could carry
her on a good road three or four miles without refting.
In this {lender veffel, we fhipped provifions, goods for
prefents, arms, ammunition, and baggage, to the weight
of three thoufand pounds, and an equipage of ten
people; viz. Alexander Mackay, Jofeph Landry, Charles
Ducette,* Francois Beaulieux, Baptift Biffon, Francois
Courtois, and Jacques Beauchamp, with two Indians as
* Jofeph Landry and Charles Ducette were with me in
my former voyage.
hunters and interpreters. One of them, when a boy,
was ufed to be fo idle, that 'he obtained the reputable
name of Cancre, which he ftill pofleffes. With thefe
perfons I embarked at feven in the evening. My winter
interpreter, with another perfon, whom I left here to
take care of the fort, and fupply the natives with ammunition during the fummer, fhed tears on the reflection
of thofe dangers which we might encounter in our
expedition, while my own people offered up their
prayers that we might return in fafety from it.
.'. J:'" '.' "     CHAPTER III. :.;    -  N:      M
Proceed on the voyage of difcovery* Beautiful fcenery.
\ The canoe too heavily laden. The country in a flate
of combuflion. Meet with -a hunting party. State of
the river* &c. Meet with Indians. See the tracks
€>f bears, and ofie of their dens. Sentiment of an Indian, fundion of the Bear River. Appearance of
the country. State of the river. Obferve a fall of
timber. Abundance of animals. See fome bears. Come
inflight of the rocky mountains. The canoe receives art
injury and is repaired? Navigation dangerous. Rapids
mnd falls.    Succeffion of difficulties and dangers*
#793. May.
(Thurfday 9.) VV E began our voyage with a courfe
South by Weft, againft a ftrong current one mile and
three quarters, South-Weft by South one mile, and
landed before eight on   an ifland for the night.
(Friday 10. ) The Weather was clear and pleafant,
though there was a keennefs in the air; and at a quarter
paft three in the morning we continued our voyage,
fleering South-Weft three quarters of a mile, South-
Weft by South, one mile and a quarter, §outh   three
& ¥A
quarters of a mile, South-W7eft by South one quarter
of a mile, South-Weft by Weft ope mile, South-Weft
by South three miles, South by Weft three quarters of a
mile, and South-Weft one mile. The canoe, being
flrained from its having been very heavily laden, became fo leaky, that we were obliged to land, unload,
and gum it. As thi§^circumftance toojc place about
twelve, I ha4 an opportunity of taking an altitude,
which made our latitude 55. 58. 48.
When the canoe was repaired we continued our
courfe, fleering South-Weft by Weft one mile and an
half, when I^had the misfortune to drop my pocfeet-
compafs into the water; Weft half a m}le, Weft-rSouth-
Weft four miles and an half, Here,Nthe banks are fleep
and hilly, and in fome parts undermined by the river.
Where the earth has given way, the face of the cliffs
difcovers numerous ftrata, confifting of reddifh earth
and fmall ftones, bitumen, and a greyifh earth, below
which, near the water edge, is a red flone. Water iflues
from moft of the banks, and the ground on which it
fpreads is covered with a thin white fcurf, or particles
of a faline fubftance : there are feveral of thefe faltfprings.
At half paft fix in the afternoon the young men landed,
when they killed an elk and wounded a buffalo. In
this fpot we formed  our encampment for the night.
From the place which we quitted this morning, the
Weft fide of the river displayed a fucee^on of the moft
beautiful fgenery I had ever beheld. The ground rifes
at Intervals to a confidera}>le height, and ftretching inwards to a corifiderable diftance: at every interval or
paufe in the rjfe, there is a, very gentlyr.afcending fpace
Or lawn, which is alternate with abrupt precipices to the
fummit of the whole, or, at leaft as far as the eye could
diftinguifh. This magnificent theatre of nature has all the
decorations which the trees and animals of the country can
afford it : groves of^ poplars in every fhape vary the
fcene; andt their intervals are enlivened with vail herds
of elks and buffaloes j the former choofing the fteeps
and uplands, and the latter preferring the plains. At
this time the buffaloes were attended with their young
ones, who were friflung about them; and it appeared
that the elks would foon exhibit the fame enlivening
circumftance. The whole country difplayed an exuberant verdure; the trees that bear a bloflbm were
advancing faft to that delightful appearance, and the
velvet rind of their branches, reflecting the oblique rays
of a rifing or fetting fun, added a fplendid gaiety to
the fcene, which no expreflions of mine are qualified
to defcribe. The Eaft fide of the river confifts of a
range of high land covered with the white fpruce and
the foft birch, while the banks abound with the alder
and the willow. The water continued to rife, and the
current being proportf^nably ftrong, we made a greater
ufe of fetting poles  thfen  paddles.
(Saturday n.) The weather was overcaft. With a
ftrong wind a head, we embarked at four in the morning, and left all the frefh meat behind us, but the portion
which had been afligned to the kettle ; the carioe being
already too heavily laden. Our courfe was Weft South*
Weft One mile, where a fmaJl river flowed in from the
Eaft, named ghifcatina Sepy, or River with the High Banks;
Weft half a mile, South half a mile, South-Weft by Weft
three quarter* of a mile,  Weft one mile and a quarter,
Vol. II. F South- 42     VOYAGfi THROUGH IKE NORTH-
South-Weft a quarter of a mile, South-South-Weft half
a mile, and Weft by South a mile and an half. Here
1 took a meridian altitude, which gave 55. 56. 3. North
latitude. We then proceeded Weft three miles anajj
an half, Weft-South-Weft, where the whole plain was
on fire, one mile, Weft one mile, and the wind fo ftrong
a-head, that it occafioned the canoe to take in water,
and otherwife impeded our progrefs. Here we landed to
take time, with the mean of three altitudes, which made
the watch flow, 1. 42. 10. apparent time.
We now proceeded Weft-South-Weft, one mile and
a quarter, where we found a chief of the Beaver Indians
on a hunting party. I remained, however, in my canoe, and though it was getting late, I did not choofe to
encamp with thefe people, left the friends of my hunters
might difcourage them from proceeding on the voyage.
We, therefore, continued our courfe, but feveral Indians
kept company with us, running along the bank and
converting with my people, who were fo attentive to
them, that they drove the canoe on a ftony flat, fo
that we were under the neceflity of landing to repair
the damages, and put up for the night, though very
contrary to my wifhes. My hunters obtained permif-
fion to proceed with fome of thefe people to their lodges
on the promife of being back by the break of day ;
though I was not without fome apprehenfion refpecTing
them. The chief, however, and another man, as well
as feveral people from the lodges, joined us before
we had completed the repair of the canoe; and they
made out a melancholyjl ftory, that they had neither
ammunition nor tobacco fufficient for their neceflary
fupply   during   the   fummer.   I   accordingly   referred
him to the Fort, where plenty of thofe articles were
left in the care of my interpreter, by whom they would
be abundantly furnifhed, if they Were active and in-
dullrious in purfuing their occupations. I did not fail,
on this occafion, to magnify the advantages of the prefent
expedition ; obferving, at the fame time, that its fuccefs
would depend on the fidelity and conducl: of the young
men who were retained by me to hunt. The chief alfo
propofed to borrow my canoe, in order to tranfport himfelf and family acrofs the river : feveral plaufible reafons,
it is true, fuggefted themfelves for refilling his propo-
fition ; but when I flated to him, that, as the canoe
was intended for a voyage of fuch confequence, no
woman could be permitted to be embarked in it, he
acquiefced in the refufal. It was near twelve at night
when he took his leave, after I had gratified him with
a prefent of tobacco.
( Sunday 12.) Some of the Indians pafled the night
with us, and I was informed by them, that, according
to our mode of proceeding, we fhould, in ten days,
get as &r as the rocky mountains. The young men
now returned, to my great fatisfacYion, and with the
appearance of contentment: though I was not pleafed
when they drefled themfelves in the clothes which I
had given them before we left the Fort, as it betrayed
fome latent defign.
At four in the morning we proceeded on our vovage,
fleering Weft three miles, including one of our courfe
yefterday, North-Weft by North four miles, Weft two
miles and an half, North-Weft by Weft a mile and
an half, North by Eaft two miles, North-Weft by Weft
F 2 one Ii
■i II
bne mile, and North-Nortfe-Weft three miles. After
a continuation of our courfe to the North for a mile
and an half, we landed for the night on an ifland, where
feveral of the Indians vifited Us, but unattended by their
women, who remained in their camp, which was at
fome diftance from us.
^1 The land on both fides of the river, during the two
laft days, is very much elevated, but pamriduferfy in the
latter part of it, and, on the Weftern jfide, prefents in
different places, white, fteep^and lofty cliffs. Our view
being confine'd by thefe circumfiances, we did not fee fo
many arfcials as on the ipth. Between thd% lofty
boundaries, the river becorhes? narrow, atod in a great
meafure free from iflands, for we had pafled only four :
the flream, indeed, W#s nvtmore than from two hundred
to three hundred yards broad; whereas before thelb cliffs
preffed upon it, its breadth was twice that extent and
befprinkled with iflands. We killed an elk, and fired
feveral fhots at animals from the canoe.
The greater part of this b§fnd being Rock Mountain
Indians, I endeavoured to obtain fome intelligence of
our intended route, but tltfey all pleaded ignorance, and
uniformly declared, that they knew nothing of the Country
beyond the firft mountain : at the fame time, they were
of opinion, that, from the ftrength of the current and
the rapids, we fhould not get there by water; though
they did not hefitate to exprefs their furprife at thoj
expedition we had already made.
I inquired, with fome anxiety, after an old man who
had already given me an account of the country beyond
the limits of his tribe, and was very much difappointed
at being informed, that he had not been feen for upwards
of a moon. This man had been at war on another
large river beyond the Rocky Mountain, and defcribed
to me a fork of it between the mountains, the Southern
branch of which he directed me to take: from thence,
he faid, there was a carrying - place of about a day's
march for a young man to get to the other riven. . To
prove the truth of his relation, he confented, that his
fon, who had been w&h him in thofe parts, fhould
accompany me; and he accordingly fent him to the
Fort fome days before my departure; but the preceding
night he deferted with another young man, whofe application to attend me as a hunter being refufed, he per-
fuadcd the other to leave me. I now thought it right
to repeat to them what I had faid to the chief of the
£rft band, refpedting the advantages which would be
derived from the voyage, that the young men might be
encouraged to remain with me; as without them I
fhould not have attempted to proceed.
^Monday 13.) The firft object that prefented itfelf
to me this morning was the young man whom IJaave
already mentioned, as having feduced away my intended
guide. At any other time or place I fhould have chaftifed
him for his paft conducl, but in my fituation it was
neceflary to pafs over his offence, left he fhould endeavour to exercife the fame influence over thofe who
were fo effenfial to my fervice. Of the deferter he
gave no fatisfa&ory account, but continued to exprefs
his wifh to attend me in his place, for which he did
not poflefs any neceflary qualifications, h   1 .. !%■•*■: ■ ■?
The weather was cloudy, with an appearance of rain;
and the Indians preffed me with great earneftefs to pafs
the day with them, and hoped to prolong my ftay among
.them by alluring me that the winter yet lingered in the
rocky mountains: but my object was to lofe no time,
and having given the chief fome tobacco for a fmall
quantity of meat, we embarked at four, when my young
men could not conceal their chagrin at parting with
their friends, for fo long a period as the voyage threatened to occupy. When I had aflured them that in
three moons we fhould return to them, we proceeded
on our courfe, Weft North-Weft half a mile, Weft-
South - Weft one mile and an half, Weft by North
three miles, North - Weft by Weft two miles and an
half, South-WeA by Weft half a mile, South-South-
Weft a mile and an half, and South-Weft a mile and
a half. Here I had a meridian altitude, which gave 56.
17. 44. North latitude.
The laft courfe continued a mile and an half, South
by Weft three quarters of a mile, South-Weft by South
three miles and an half, and Weft - South - Weft two
miles and an half. Here the land lowered on both fides,
with an increafe of wood, and difplayed great numbers
of animals. The river alfo widened from three to five
hundred yards, and was full of iflands and flats. Having
continued our courfe three miles, we made for the fhore
at feven, to pafs the night. ffij
At the place from whence we proceeded this morning, a river falls  in from  the   North;   there  are alfo
feveral iflands, and.many rivulets on either fide, which
are too fmall  to. deferve   particular  notice.     We  perceived
ceived along the river tracks of large bears, fome of
which were nine inches wide, and of a proportionate
length. We faw on* of their dens, or winter quarters,
called watee, in an ifland, which was ten feet deep, five
feet high, and fix feet wide; but we had not yet feen
one of thofe animals. The Indians entertain great appre-
henfion of this kind of bear, which is called the grifly
bear, and they never venture to attack it but in a party
of at leaft three or four. Our hunters, though they
had been much higher than this part of our voyage, by
land, knew nothing of the river. One of them mentioned, that having been engaged in a war expedition,
his party on their return made their canoes at fome
alliance below us. The wind was North throughout
the day,   and at times blew with confiderable violence.
The apprehenfions which I had felt refpedling the
young men were not altogether groundlefs, for the
eldeft of them told me that his uncle had laft night
addreffed him in the following manner— i My nephew,
your departure makes my heart painful. The white
people may be faid to rob us of you. They are about
to conducl: you into the midft of our enemies, and you
may never more return to us. Were you not with the
Chief*, I know not what I fhould do, but he requires
your attendance, and you muft follow him."
( Tuefday 14. ) The weather was clear, and the air
iharp, when we embarked at half paft four. Our courfe
was South by Weft one mile and an half, South-Weft
* Thefe people, as well as all the natives on this fide of
Lake Winipic, give the mercantile agent thaf: diftinguifhed
II 4!!
: 1
by South half a mile, South-Weft. We here found it
neceflary to unload, and gum the canoe, in which operation we loft an hour; when we proceeded On the laft
courfe one mile and an half. I now took a meridian
altitude, which gave 56. 11. 19. North latitude, and
continued to proceed Weft - South - Weft two miles
and an half. Here the Bear River, which is of a large
appearance, falls in from the Eaft; Weft three miles
and an half, South-South-Weft one mile and an half,
and South-Weft four miles and an half, when we end
camped upon an ifland about feven in the evening.
During the early part of the day, the current was not
fo ftrong as we had generally found it, hut towards the
evening it became very rapid, and was broken by numerous iflands.    We were gratified, as ufual,  with the *
fight of animals.    The land on the Weft fide is very
irregular, but has the appearance of being a good beaver
country;  indeed we faw fome Of thofe animals in the j
river.    Wood is  in great  plenty,   and ^feveral rivulets
added  their ftreams  to the  main  river.    A  goofe was ,
the only article of provifion which we procured to day.
Smoke was feen, but at a great diftance before us.
( Wednef. 15. ) The rain prevented us from continuing our route till paft fix in the mdrning, when*;
our courfe was South-Weft by Weft three quarters of
a mile; at which time we pafled a river on the left,
Weft by South two miles and an half. The bank was
fleep, and the current ftrong. The laft courfe continued
one mile and an h$lf, Weft- South - Weft two miles,
where a river flowed in from the right, Weft by South
one mile and an half. Weft-North-Weft one mile, and
Weft by North two miles. Here the land takes the
form of an high ridge, and cut our courfe, which was
Weft for three miles, at right angles. We now completed the voyage of this day.
mk f
In the preceding night the water rofe upwards of
two inches, and had rifen in this proportion fince our
departure. The wind, which was Weft-South-Weft,
blew very hard throughout the day, and with the ftrength
of the current, greatly impeded our progrefs. The river,
in this part of it, is full of iflands; and the land, on
the South or left fide, is thick with wood. Several rivulets alfo fall in from that quarter. At the entrance
of the laft river which we pafled, there was a quantity
of wood, which had been cut down by axes, and fome
by the beaver. This fail, however, was not made, in
the opinion of my people, by any of the Indians with
whom we were acquainted.
The land to the right is of a very irregular elevation
and appearance, compofed in fome places of clay and
rocky cliffs, and others exhibiting ftratas of red, green,
and yellow colours. Some parts, indeed, offer a beautiful fcenery, in fome degree fimilar to that which we
pafled on the fecond day of our voyage, and equally
enlivened with the elk and the buffalo, who were feeding
in great numbers, and unmolefted by the hunter. In
an ifland which we patted, there was a large quantity of
white birch, whofe bark might be employed in the con-
ftrudtiOn of canoes.
The weather being clear, we reimbarked at four -in
the morning, and proceeded Weft by North three miles.
Vol. II. G Here I
Here the land again appeared as if it run acrofs our
courfe, and a confiderable river difcharged itfelf by
various ftreams. According to the Rocky Mountain
Indian, it is called the Sinew River. This fpot would!
be an excellent fituation for a fort or factory, as there
is plenty of wood, and every reafon to believe that the
country abounds in beaver. As for the other animals,
they are in evident abundance, as in every direction the
elk and the buffalo are feen in pofleflion of the hi{Is and
the plains. Our courfe continued Weft-North^Weft
three miles and an half, North-Weft one mile and an
half, South-Weft by Weft two miles ; (the latitude was
by obfervation 56. 16. 54.) North-Weft by North half
a mile, Weft>North-Weft three quarters of a mile y a
fmall river appearing on the right, North-Weft one
mile and an half, Weft by North half a mile, Weft by
South one mile and an half, Weft one mile; and at feven
we formed our encampment.
Mr. Mackay, and one of the young men, killed twJ|
elks, and mortally wounded a buffalo, but we only took
a part of the flefh of the former. The land above the
fpot where we encamped, fpreads into an extenfive plain,
and ftretches on to a very high ridge, which, in fome
parts, prefents a face of rock, but is principally covered
with verdure, and varied with the poplar and white birch
tree. The country is io crowded with animals as to have
the appearance, in fome places, of a flail-yard, from the
ftate of the ground, and the quantity of dung which is
fcattered over ir. The foil is black and light. We thill
day faw two grifly and hideous bears.
(Friday, 17.) It froze during the night, and the air
Was fharp in the morning,  when we continued  our
■M     courfe WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.       $i
courfe Weft-North-Weft three miles and an half,
South-Weft by South two miles and an half, South-*
Weft by Weft one mile and an half, Weft three-quarters
of a mile, Weft-South-Weft one mile and a quarter,
and South-Weft-by South one mile and a half. At two
in the afternoon the Rocky Mountains appeared in fight,
with their fummits covered with fnow, bearing South-
Weft by South: they formed a very agreeable object to
every perfon in the canoe, as we attained the view of
them much fooner than we expected. A fmall river
was feen on our right, and we continued our progrefs
South-Weft by South fix miles, when we landed at
feven, which was our ufual hour of encampment.
Mr. Mackay, who was walking along the fide of the
river, difcharged his piece at a buffalo, when it burft
near the muzzle, but without any mifchievous con-
fequences. On the high grounds, which were on the
oppofite fide of the river, we faw a buffalo tearing up
and down with great fury, but could not difcern the
caufe of his impetuous motions; my hunters conjectured
that he had been wounded with an arrow by fome of
the natives. We afcended feveral rapids in the courfe
of the day, and faw one bear.
( Saturday 18. ) It again froze very hard during the
night, and at four in the morning we continued our voyage,
but we had not proceeded two hundred yards, before
an accident happened to the canoe, which did not,
however, employ more than three quarters of an hour
to complete the repair. We then fleered. South by
Weft one mile and thee quarters, South-Weft by South
three miles, South-Weft by Weft one mile and a quar-,
ter, Weft by South three quarters of a mile,. So#h*
Weft half a miie, Weft by South one mile, South by
Weft one mile and an half, South-South Weft, where
there is a fmall run of water from the right, three
miles and an half, when the canoe flruck on the flump
of a tree, and unfortunately where the banks were fo
fleep that there was no place to unload, except a fmall
fpot, on which we contrived to difpofe the lading in the
bow, which lightened the canoe fo as to raife the broken
part of it above the furface of the water; by which contrivance we reached a convenient fituation. It required,
however, two hours to complete the repair, when the
weather became dark and cloudy, with thunder, lightning,
and rain ; we, however, continued the laft courfe half a
mile, and at fix in the evening we were compelled by
the rain to land for the night.
About noon we had landed on an ifland where there
were eight lodges of laft year. The natives had pre--
pared bark here for five canoes, and there is a road
along the hills where they had pafled. Branches were
cut and broken along it; and they had alfo ftripped off
the bark of the trees, to get the interior rind, which
forms a part of their food.
The current was very ftrong through the whole of
the day, and the coming up along fome of the banks
was rendered very dangerous, from the continual falling
of large ftones from the upper parts of them. This
place appears to be a particular pafs for animals acrofs
the river, as there are paths leading to it on both fides,
every ten yards.
In   the courfe of the day we faw a ground hog, and
two  cormorants.     The  earth alfo  appeared in   feveral
places to have been turned up by the bears, in fearch
of roots.
( Sunday 19. ) It rained very hard in the early part
of the night, but the weather became clear towards the
morning, when we embarked at our ufual hour. As the
current threatened to be very ftrong, Mr. Mackay,
the two hunters, and myfelf, went on fhore, in order
to lighten the canoe, and afcendea1 the hills, which are
covered with cyprefs, and but little encumbered with
underwood. We found a beaten path, and before we had
walked a mile fell in with a herd of buffaloes, with
their young ones; but I would not fuffer the Indians
to fire on them, from an apprehenfion that the report
of their fowling pieces would alarm the natives that
might be in the neighbourhood; for we were at this
time fo near the mountains, as to ~juftify our expectation of feeing fome of them. We, however, fent our
dog after the herd, and a calf was foon fecured by him.
While the young men were fkinning the animal, we
heard two reports of fire-arms from the canoe, which
we anfwered, as it was a fignal for my return: w<e
then heard another, and immediately haftened down
the hill, with our veal, through a very clofe wood.
There we met one of the men, who informed us that
the canoe was at a fmall diftance below, at the foot of
a very ftrong rapid, and that, as feveral waterfalls appeared
up the river, we fhould be obliged to unload and carry.
I accordingly haftened to the canoe, and was greatly
difpleafed that fo much time had been loft, as I had
given previous directions that the river fhould be followed
as r/i
as long as it was practicable. The laft Indians whom we
faw had informed us that at the firft mountain there
was a confiderable fucceflion of rapids, cafcades, and falls,
which they never attempted to afcend, and where they
always pafled over land the length of a day's march. Mji
men imagined that the carrying place was at a fmall
diftance below us, as a path appeared to afcend a hill,
where there were feveral lodges of the laft year's con-
ftru6tion. The account which had been given me of
the rapids, was perfectly correct: though by crofling to
the other fide, I muft acknowledge with fome rifk, in
fuch a heavy-laden canoe, the river appeared to me to
be practicable, as far as we could fee: the traverfe, therefore, was attempted, and proved fuccefsful. We now
towed the canoe along an ifland, and proceeded without
any confiderable difficulty till we reached the extremity
of it, when the line could be no longer employed; and, in
endeavouring to clear the point of the ifland, the canoe
was driven with fuch violence on a ftony fhore, as to
receive confiderable injury. We now employed every
exertion in our power to repair the breach that had
been made, as well as to dry fuch articlesflf our loading
as more immediately required it: we then tranfported the
whole acrofs the point, when we reloaded, and continued
our courfe about three quarters of a mile. We could
now proceed no further on this fide of the water, and
the traverfe was rendered extremely dangerous, not only
from the ftrength of the current, but by the cafcades
juft below us, which, if we had got among them, would
have involved us and the canoe in one common def-
trudtion.. We had no Other alternative than to return
bv the fame courfe we came, or to hazard the traverfe.
the river on this fide being bounded by a range of fleep,
over - hanging rocks, beneath which the current was
driven on with refiftlefs impetuofity from the cafcades.
Here are feveral iflands of fohd rock, covered with a
fmall portion of verdure, which have been worn away
by the conftant force of the current, and occafionally,
as I pre fume, of ice, at the water's edge, fo as to be
reduced in that part to one fourth the extent of the
upper furface; prefenting, as it were, fo many large tables, each of which was fupported by a pedeftai of a
more circumfcribed projection. They are very elevated
for fuch a fituation, and afford an afylum for gee(e9
which were at this time breeding on them. By crofling
from one to the other of thefe iflands, we came at length
to the main traverfe, on which we ventured, and were
fuccefsful in our paffage. Mr. Mackay, and the Indians,
who obferved our manoeuvres from the top of a rock,
were in continual alarm for our fafety, with which their
own, indeed, may be faid to have been nearly connected:
however, the dangers that we encountered were very
much augmented by the heavy loading of the canoe.
When we had effected our paflage, the current on
the Weft fide was almoft equally violent with that from
whence we had juft efcaped, but the craggy bank being
fomewhat lower, we were enabled, with a line of fixty
fathoms, to tow the canoe, till we came to the foot
of the moft rapid cafcade we had hitherto feen. Here
we unloaded, and carried every thing over a rocky point
of a hundred and twenty paces. When the canoe was
reloaded, I, with thofe of my people who were not immediately employed, afcended the bank, which was
there, and indeed, as far as we could fee it, compofed
of V?
l ii;
of clay flone, and a yellow gravel. My prefent fituation
was fo elevated, that the men, who were coming up a
ftrong point could not hear me, though I called to them
with the utmoft ftrength of my voice, to lighten the
canoe of part of its lading. And here I could not but
reflect, with infinite anxiety, on the hazard of my enter-
prife: one falfe ftep of thofe who were attached to the
line, or the breaking of the line itfelf, would have at once
configned the canoe, and every thing it contained, to
inftant deftruclion: it, however, afcended the rapid in
perfect fecurity; but new dangers immediately prefented
themfelves, for ftones, both fmall and great, were continually rolling from the bank, fo as to render the fituation
of thofe who were dragging the canoe beneath it extremely perilous; befides, they were at every ftep in danger,
from the fleepnefs of the ground, of falling into the
water: nor was my folicitude diminifhed by my being
neceffarily removed at times from the fight of them.
In our paflage though the woods, we came to an in-3
clofure, which had been  formed by the natives for the!
purpofe of fetting fnares for the elk,  and of which we
could not difcover the extent.    After we had travelled for
fome hours through  the foreft,  which confifted of the
fpruce, birch, and the largeft poplars I had ever feen, we
funk down upon the river, where the bank is low,   and
near the foot of a mountain ; between which, and an high
ridge, the river flows in a channel of about one hundred
yards broad; though, at a fmall diftance below, it rufhes
On between perpendicular rocks, where it is not much
more than half that breadth.    Here I remained, in great
anxiety, expedling the arrival  of the canoe, and after
fome time I fent Mr. Mackay with one of the Indians
ssas 1%
the river in fearch of it, and with the other I went
up it to examine what we might expect in that quarter.
In about a mile and a half I came to a part where the
river wafhes the feet of lofty precipices, and prefented, in
the form of rapids and cafcades, a fucceflion of difficulties
to our navigation.    As the canoe did not tome in fight
we returned,  and from the place where I had feparated
with Mr. Mackay,  we  faw the men carrying it over a
fmall rocky point.    We met them at the entrance of
the narrow channel already mentioned; their difficulties
had been great indeed,  and the canoe had been broken,
but they had per fevered with fuccefs, and having pafled
the carrying-place, we proceeded with the line as far as
Thad already been, when we crofled over and encamped
on the oppofite beach ; but there was no wood on this
fide of the water, as the adjacent country had been entirely over-run by fire.    We faw feveral elks feeding on
the edge of the oppofite precipice, which was upwards of
three hundred feet in height.
Our courfe to-day was about South-South-Weft twU
miles and an half, South-Weft half a mile, So7#ffi-We{r,
by South one mile and an half, South by Weft half a
mile, South-Weft half a mile, and Weft one mile-and
an half. There was a fhoWer of hail, and fome rain
from flying clouds. I now difpatched a man with an
Indian to vifit the rapids above, when the latter foon
left him to purfue a beaver, which was feen in the
{hallow water on the infide of a ftony ifland; and though
Mr. Mackay, and the other Indian joined him, the animal
at length efcaped from their purfuit. Several others were
{eert id the courfe of the day, which I by no means
expe&ed, as the banks are almdtt every where fo much
Vol. II. H elevated »1
elevated above the channel of the river. Juft as the
obfcurity of the night drew on, the man returned with
an account that it would be impracticable to pafs feveral
points, as well as the fuper-impending promontories.
( Monday 20. ) The weather was clear with a fharj)
air, and we renewed our voyage at a quarter paft four,
on a courfe South-Weft by Weft three quarters of at
mile. We now, with infinite difficulty, pafled along the
foot of a rock, which, fortunately, was not an hard
J|one, fo that we were enabled to cut fteps in it foj
the diftance of twenty feet; from which, at the hazard
of my life, I leaped on fmall rock below, where I received thofe who followed me on my fhoulders. In this
manner four of us pafled and dragged up the canoe, in
which attempt we broke her. Very luckily, a dry tree
had fallen from the rock above us, without which we
could not have made a fire, as no wood was to be procured within a mile of the place. When the canoe wot
repaired, we continued towing it along the rocks to the
next point, when we embarked, as we could not at prefent make any further ufe of the line, but got along
the rocks of a round high ifland of flone, till we came
to a fmall fandy bay. As we had already damaged the
canoe, and had every reafon to think that fhe foon would
rifk much greater injury, it became neceflary for us to
fupply ourfelves with bark, as our provifion of that
rnateral article was almoft exhaufted; two men were
accordingly fent to procure it, who foon returned with
the neceflary ftore.
Mr. Mackay, and the Indians who had been on fhore,
fince we broke the canoe, were prevented from coming WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.       59
to us by the rugged and impafiable ftate of the ground.
We, therefore, again refumed our courfe with the
afliflance of poles, with which we pufhed onwards till
we came beneath a precipice, where we could not find
any bottom; fo that we were again obliged . to have
recourfc to the line, the management of which was
rendered not only difficult but dangerous, as the men
employed in towing were under the neceflity of paffing
on the outfide of trees that grew on the edge of the
precipice. We, however, furmounted this difficulty as
we had done many others, and the people who had been
walking over land now joined us. They alfo had met
with their obftacles in paffing the mountain.
It now became neceflary for us to make a traverfe,
where the water was fo rapid, that fome of the people
ftripped themfelves to their fhirts that they might be the
better prepared for fwimming, in cafe any accident happened to the canoe,  which they ferioufly apprehended;
but we fucceeded in our attempt without any other inconvenience,  except that of taking in water.    We now
came to a cafcade, when it was thought neceflary to take
out part of the lading.    At noon we flopped to take arr
altitude, oppofite to a fmall river that flowed in from
the left: while I was thus engaged, the men  went on
fhore to fallen the canoe, but as the current was not
very ftrong, they had been negligent in performing this
office;  it   proved,   however,    fufficiently   powerful   to
fheer her off, and if it had not  happened that one of
the men,  from abfolute fatigue had remained and held
the end of the line,   we fhould have been deprived  of
every means of profecuting our voyage? as well as of prefent fubfiftence.    But notwithftanding the ftate of my
H %
mind gVIIII
mind on fuch an alarming circumftance, and an intervening cloud that interrupted me, the altitude which I
took has been fince proved to be tolerably correct, and
gave 56. North latitude. Our laft courfe was South-
South-Weft two miles and a quarter.
We now continued our toilfome and perilous progrefs
with the line Weft by North, and as we proceeded the
rapidity of the current increafed, fo that in the diftance
of two miles we were obliged to unload four times, and
carry every thing but the canoe: indeed, in many places,
it was with the utmoft difficulty that we could prevent
her from being dafhed to pieces againft the rocks by the
violence of the eddies. At five we had proceeded to
where the river was one continued rapid. Here we
again took every thing out of the canoe, in order to
tow her up with the line, though the rocks were fo
ihelving as greatly to increafe the toil and hazard of that
operation. At length, however, the agitation of the
water was fo great, that a wave ftriking on the bow of
the canoe broke the line, and filled us with inexpreflible
difmay, as it appeared impoflible that the veffel could
efcape from being dafhed to pieces, and thofe who were
in her from perifhing. Another wave, however, more
propitious than the former, drove her out of the tumbling water, fo that the men were enabled to bring her
afhore, and though fhe had been carried over rocks by
thefe fwells, which left them naked a moment after, the
canoe had received no material injury. The men were,
however, in fuch a ftate from their late alarm, that it
would not only have been unavailing but imprudent to
have propofed any further progrefs at prefent, particularly as the river above us, as far as we could fee, was
one white flieet of foaming water. CHAP. WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.       6r
Continuation of difficulties and danger %. Difcontents among
the people. State of the rivers and its banks. Volcanic chafms in the earth. Difpatch various perfons ta
difcover ways acrofs the mountain. Obflacles prefent
themfelves on all fides. Preparations made to attempt
• the mountain. Account of the ajcent with the canoe and
baggage. The trees that are found there* Arrive at
the river. Extraordinary circumfiances of it. Curious
hollows in the rocks. Prepare the canoe. Renew our
progrefs up the river. The ftate of it. Leave fome
tokens of amity for the natives. The weather very
cold. Lofl a book of my obfervatims for feveral days*
Continue to proceed up the river. Send a letter down,
the current in a rum-keg. Come to the forks, and
proceed up the Eaftern branch.    Circumfiances of it*
1793. May.
% HAT the difcouragements, and dangers, which had
hitherto attended the progrefs of our enterprize, fhould
have excited a wifh in feveral of thofe who were engaged in it to difcontinue the purfuit, might be naturally expected; and indeed it began to be muttered on
all fides that there was no alternative but to return.
Inftead of paying any attention to thefe murmurs, I
defired thofe who had uttered them to exert themfelves^
in gaining an afcent of the hill, and encamp there for
the night. In the mean time I fet off with one of the
Indians, and though I continued my examination of the
river almoft as long as there was any light to aflift me,
I could fee no end of the rapids and cafcades: I was,
therefore, perfectly fatisfied, that it would be impracticable to proceed any further by water. We returned
from this reconnoitring excurfion very much fatigued,
with our fhoes worn out and wounded feet, when I
found that, by felling trees on the declivity of the firf|i
hill, my people had contrived to afcend it.
From the place where I had taken the altitude at
noon, to the place where we made our landing, the
river is not more than fifty yards wide, and flows between
flupendous rocks, from whence huge fragments fometimes tumble down, and falling from fuch an height,
dafh into fmall ftones, with fharp points, and form the
beach between the rocky projections. Along the face
of fome of thefe precipices, there appears a ftratum of
a bitumenous fubftance which refembles coal; though
while fome of the pieces of it appeared to We excellent
fuel, others refifted, for a confiderable time, the action
of fire, and did not emit the leaft flame. The whole of
this day's courfe would have been altogether impracticable, if the water had been higher, which muft be
the cafe at certain feafons. We faw alfo feveral encampments of the Knifleneaux along the river, which
muft have been formed by their war excurfions: a de-
cided proof of the favage, blood-thirfty difpofition of that
people; I     WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.       6%
people; as nothing lefs than fuch a fpirit could impel
them to encounter the difficulties of this almoft inac-
ceffible country, whofe natives are equally unoffending
and defencelefs.
Mr. Mackay informed me, that in pafling over the
mountains, he obferved feveral chafms in the earth that
emitted heat and fmoke, which diffufed a ftrong ful-
phureous flench. I fhould certainly have vifited this
phenomenon, if I had been fufficiently qualified as a
naturaiift, to have offered fcientific conjectures or ob^
fervations thereon.
( Tuefday ai. ) It rained in the morning, and did not
ceafe till about eight, and as the men had been very
fatigued and difheartened, I fuffered them to continue
their reft till that hour. Such was the ftate of the
river, as I have already obferved, that no alternative was
left us; nor did any means of proceeding prefent them-
felve,s to us, but the paflage of the mountain over which
We were to carry the canoe as well as the baggage.
As this was a very alarming enterprize, I difpatched
Mr. Mackay with three men and the two Indians to
proceed in a ftraight courfe from the top of the mountain, and to keep the line of the river till they fhould
find it navigable. If it fhould be their opinion, that
there was no practicable paffage in that direction, two
of them were inftru6ted to return in order to make
ther report; while the others were to go in fearch of
the Indian carrying-place. While they were engaged
in this excurfion, the people who remained with me
were employed in gumming the canoe, and making
fondles for the axes.   At noon I,got an altitude, which
made 64     VOYAGE THROUGH THE NORTH-      ■
made our latitude 56. o. 8.    At three o'clock had timei
when my watch was flow 1. 31. 32. apparent time.
At fun-fet, Mr. Mackay returned with one of the
men, and in about two hours was followed by the others.
They had penetrated thick woods, afcended hills, and
funk into vallies, till they got beyond the rapids, whicha
according to their calculation, was a diftance of three
leagues. The twoy parties returned by different routesJ
but they both agreed, that with all its difficulties, and
they were of a very alarming nature, the outward courfe
was that which muft be preferred. Unpromifing, however, as the account of their expedition appeared, it did
not fink them into a ftate of difcouragement; j and a
kettle of wild rice, fweetened with fugar, which had
been prepared for their return, with their ufual regale
of rum, foon renewed that courage which difdained all
obftacles that threatened our progrefs: and they went
fo reft, with a full determination to furmount them
on the morrow. I fat up in the hope of getting an4
obfervation of Jupiter and his firft fatellite, but the cloudy
weather prevented my obtaining it.
( Wednef. 22. ) At break of day we entered on the
the extraordinary journey which was to occupy the
remaining part of it. The men began, without delay,
to cut a road up the mountain, and as the trees were
but of fmall growth, I ordered them to fell thofe which
they found convenient, in fuch a manner, that they
might fall parallel with the road, but, at the fame time*
not feparate them entirely from the flumps, fo that
they might form a kind of railing on either fide. The
baggage was now brought from  the waterfide to our
encampment. 7*5l5?
encampment. This was likewife from the fleep Ihelving
of the rocks, a very perilous undertaking, as one faife
ftep of any of the people employed in it, would have
been inftantly followed by falling headlong ^ the
water. When this important objecl: was attained, the
whole of the party proceeded%rith no fmtll degree of
apprehenfion, to fetch the canoe, which, in a fhort time,
was alfo brought to the encampment; and, as foon as
we had recovered from our fatigue, we advanced with
it up the mountain, having the line doubled and faftened
fucceflively as we went on to the flumps; while a man
at the end of it, hauled it round a tree, holding it on
and fhifting it as we proceeded; fo that we may be faid,
with ftricl: truth, to have warped the canoe up the
mountain: indeed by a general and moft laborious exertion, we got every thing to ;'|j|e fummit by two in the
afternoon. At noon, the latitude was 56. o. 47. North,
At five, I fent the men to cut the road onwards, which
they effeded for about a mile, when they returned.
The weather was cloudy at intervals, with fhowers
and thunder. At about ten, I obferved an emerfion of
Jupiter's fecond fatellite; time by the achrometer 8. 32.
ao. by which I, found the longitude to be 120. 29. 30*
Weft from Greenwich.
( Thurfday 23. ) The wearier was clear at four thifc
morning, when the men began to carry. I joined
Mr. Mackay, and the two Indians in the labour of cutting
a road. The ground continued rifing gently till noon,
when it began to decline; but though on fuch an elevated fituation, we could fee but little, as mountains of
a ftill higher elevation and covered with |now were feen
Vol. II. I WmW' ■ i ■ ■!•
far above us in every direction. In the afternoon th£
ground became very uneven; hills and deep defiles alternately prefented themfelves to us. Our progrefs, however, exceeded my expectation, and it was not till four
in the afternoon that the carriers overtook us. At five,
in a ftate of fatigue that may be more readily conceived
than expreffed, we encamped near a rivulet or fpring
that iffued from beneath a large mafs of ice and fnow.
Our toilfome journey of this day I compute at about
three miles : along the firft of which the land is covered
with plenty of woodconfilling of large trees, encumbered
with little underwood, through which it was b^ no means
difficult to open a road, by following a well-beaten elk
path : for the two fucceeding miles we found the country
overfpread with the trunks of trees, laid low by fire fomB
years ago ; among which large copfes had fprung up of a
clofe growth, and intermixed with briars, fo as to render
the paflage through them painful and tedious. The foil
in the woods is light and of a dufky colour; that in the
burned country is a mixture of fand and clay with fmall
flones. The trees are fpruce, red-pine, cyprefs, poplajB
white birch, willow, alder, arrow-wood, red-wood, liard,
fervice-tree, bois-picant, &c. I never faw any of the laft
kind before. It rifes to about nine feet in height, grows in
joints without branches, and is tufted at the extremity.
The ftem is of an equal lize from the bottom to the top,
and does not exceed an inch in diameter; it is covered
with fmall prickles, which caught our trowfers, and working through them, fometimes found their way to the
flefh. The fhrubs are the goofebcrry, the currant, and
feveral kinds of briars.
(Friday 24.) We continued our very laborious journey, which led us down fome fleep hills, and through
a wood of tall pines. After much toil and trouble
in bearing the canoe through the difficult paffages which
we encountered, at four in'the afternoon we arrived
at the river, fome hundred yards above the rapids or
falls, with all our baggage. I compute the diftance
of this day's progrefs to be about four miles; indeed
I fhould have meafured the whole of the way, if I
had not been obliged to engage personally in the labour of making the road. But after all, the Indian
carrying way, whatever may be its length, and I think it
cannot exceed ten miles, will always be found more
fafe and expeditious than the paflage which our toil
and perfeverance formed and furmounted.
Thofe of my people who vifited this place on the
21 ft, were of opinion that the Water had rifen very
much fince that time. About two hundred yards below us the ftream rufhed with an aftonifhing but filent
velocity, between perpendicular rocks, which are not
more than thirty-five yaids afundcr : when the water
is high, it runs over thofe rocks, in a channel three
times that breadth, where it is bounded by far more
elevated precipices. In the former are deep round holes,
fome of which are full of water, while others are empty,
in whofe bottom are fmall round ftones, as fmooth as
marble. Some of thefe natural cylinders would contain
two hundred gallons. At a fmall diftance below the
firft of thefe rocks, the channel widens in a kind of
zig-zag progreflion; and it was really awful to behold
with what infinite force the water drives againft the
rocks on one fide,  and with what impetuous ftrength
I % it k
it is repelled to the other: it then falls back, as it were,
into a more flrait but rugged paflage, over which it is
toflfed in high, foaming, half-formed billows, as far as
the eye could follow it.
The young men informed me, that this was the place
where their relations had told me that I fhould meet with
a fall equal to that of Niagara : to exculpate them, however, from their apparent mifinformation, they declared that
their friends were not accuftomed to utter falfehoods, and
that the fall had probably been deftroyed by the force
of the water. It is, however, very evident that thofe
people had not been here, or did not adhere to the
truth. By the number of trees which appeared to have
been felled with axes, we difcovered that the Knifleneaux,
or fome tribes who are known to employ that inftrument,
had pafled this way. We pafled through a fnare in-
clofure, but faw no animals, though the country was
very much interfered by their tracks.
(Saturday 25.) It   rained   throughout  the night, and
till twelve this day ; while the bufinefs of preparing great
and fmall poles,  and putting the canoe in   order,   &cl
caufed  us to remain   here   till   five in   the  afternoon!
I now attached a knife,   with  a fteel, flint, beads,  and
other tricing articles to a pole, which  I   erecled,   and
left as a token of amity to the natives.    When  I was-
making this arrangement, one of my attendants, whom
I have already defcribed under the title of the Cancre,
added to my aflbrtment a  fmall  round  piece of green
wood, chewed   at  one  end  in   the   form of a brufh,
which the Indians ufe to pick the marrow out of bones.
This he informed me   was  an   emblem   of a country
abounding in animals. The water,had rifen during our
flay here one foot and an half perpendicular height.
We now embarked, and our courfe was North-Weft
one mile and three quarters. There were mountains
on all fides of us, which were covered with fnow: one
in particular, on the South fide of the river, rofe to a
great height. We continued to proceed Weft three
quarters of a mile, North-Weft one mile, and Weft-
South-Weft a quarter of a mile, when we encamped
for the night.    The Cancre  killed a fmall elk.
(Sunday 26.) The weather was clear and fharp, and
between three and four  in the   morning  we  renewed
our voyage, our firft courfe being Weft by South three
miles and an half,  when the  men complained   of  the
cold in their fingers, as they were obliged to pufh on the
canoe with the poles.    Here   a fmall river flowed in from
the North.    We now continued to fleer Weft-South-
Weft a quarter of a  mile,   Weft-North-Weft   a mile
and an half,  and Weft two miles, when we found ourfelves on a parallel with a chain of mountains on both
fides the river, running South and North.    The river,
both yefterday and the early part of to-day, was  from
four to eight  hundred  yards  wide,  and  full of iflands,
but was at this  time diminifhed to about two hundred
yards broad, and free from iflands, with a fmooth  but
ftrong current.    Our next courfe was South-Weft two
miles, when we encountered a rapid,  and faw   an  encampment of the Knifleneaux. We now proceeded North-
Weft  by Weft one   mile among iflands, South-Weft
by Weft three quarters of a mile,   South South-Eaft
one mile, veered to South-Weft  through iflands three
miles 1
i\  m
miles and an half, and South by Eaft half a mile. Here-a
river poured in on the left, which was the moft confiderable that we had feen fince we had pafled the
mountain. At feven in the evening we landed and
encamped. «
Though the fun had fhone upon us throughout thgl
day, the air was fo cold that the men, though actively
employed, could not refill it without the aid of their
blanket coats. This circumftance might in fome degree
be expecled from the furrounding mountains, which were
covered with ice and fnow ; but as they are not fo high
as to produce the extreme cold which we fuffered, it
muft be more particularly attributed to the high fituation
of the country itfelf, rather than to the local elevation of
the mountains, the greateft height of which does not
exceed fifteen hundred feet; though in general they do
not rife to half that altitude. But as I had not been able
to take an exact meafurement, 11 do not prefume upon
the ^accuracy of my conjecture. Towards the bottom
of thefe heights, which were clear of fnow, the trees
were putting forth their leaves, while thofe in their
middle region ftill retained all the chara&eriftics of winter,
and on  their upper parts there  was little or no wood.
( Monday  27. §1 The   weather   was   clear  and   we
* From this day to the 4th of June, the courfes of my
voyage are omitted, as I loft the book that contained them.
I was in the habit   of fometimes  indulging   myfelf with  a
fhort doze in   the canoe, and I imagine that the branches
of the trees bruihed  mv  book from me,   when I  was in
fuch a   fituation, which renders the  account of thefe few
days lefs diftinct, than ufual.
continued WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.       71
continued our voyage at the ufual hour when we
fuccefliveiy found feveral rapids and points to impede
our progrefs. At noon our latitude was 56. 5. 54. Norrji.
The Indians killed a flag; and one of the men who
went to fetch it was very much endangered by the rolling
down of a large flone from the heights above him.
(Tuefday 28. ) The day was very cloudy. .The mountains on both fides of the river feemed to have funk,
in their elevation, during the voyage of yefterday. To
day they refumed their former altitude, and ran fo clofe
on either fide of the channel, that all view was excluded
of every thing but themfelves. This part of the current
was not broken by iflands; but in the afternoon we
approached fome cafcades, which obliged us to carry
our canoe and its lading for feveral hundred yards. Here
we obferved <an encampment of the natives, though
fome time had elapfed fince it had been inhabited. The
greater part of the day was divided between heavy
fhowers and fmall rain; and we took our ftation on
the fhore about fix in the evening about three miles
above the laft rapid.
( Wednef. 29. ) The rain was fo violent throughout
the whole of this day, that we did not venture to proceed. As we had almoft expended the contents of a
rum keg, and this being a day which allowed of no
active employment, I amufed myfelf with the experiment
of inclofing a letter in it, and difpatching it down the
ftream, to take its fate. I accordingly introduced a
written account of all our hardfhips, Sec. carefully in-
clofed in bark, into the fmall barrel by the bung-hole,
which being carefully fecured, I configned this epifto-
l.ary cargo to the mercy of the current.
(Thurfday 1
( Thurfd. 30. ) We were alarmed this morning at-
break of day, by the continual barking of our dog, who
never ceafed from running backwards and forwards in
the rear of our fituation: when, however, the day advanced, we difcovered the caufe of our alarm to proceed from a wolf, who was parading a ridge a few
yards behind us, and had been moft probably allured by
the fcent of our fmall portion of frefh meat. Thel
weather was cloudy, but it did not prevent us from
renewing our progrefs at a very early hour. A confiderable river appeared from the left, and we continued
our courfe till feven in the evening, when we landed at
night where there was, an Indian encampment.
( Friday ^1. ) The morning was clear and cold, and
the current very powerful.    On crofting the  mouth of
a river that flowed in from the right of us, we   were
very much endangered; indeed  all the rivers  which 8
have lately feen,   appear to overflow their natufal lirnirjjH
as it may be fuppofed, from the melting of the mounjl
tain fnow.    The water is  almoft  white, the bed of tha
river being of lime-ftone.    The mountains are one folicfl
mafs of the fame materials, but without the leaft fhade
of trees,   or   decoration  of foliage.    At nine the merl
were fo cold that we landed, in order to kindle a firel
which   was confidered as a very uncommon circumftance
at this feafon;   a fmall quantity of rum, however, ferved
as an adequate fubftitute; and the current being fo fmootnl
as  to admit of the ufe of  paddles,   I encouraged them
to proceed without any further delay.    In a fhort time
an extenfive  view opened upon us, difplaying a beautiful
fheet of water, that was heightened by the calmnefs of
the weather,  and a fplendid fun.    Here the mountains,
which were covered with wood, opened on either fide,
fo, that we entertained the hope of foon leaving them
behind us.    When  we had got to  the termination  of
this profpect, the river was barred with rocks, forming
cafcades and fmall  iflands.   To proceed onwards,   we
were under the neceflity of clearing a narrow paffage of
the drift wood, on the left fhore.    Here the view convinced us that our late hopes were without foundation;
as there appeared a ridge or chain of mountains, run*
ning South and North as far as the eye could reach.
f§§ On advancing two or three miles, we arrived at the
fork, one branch running about Weft-North-Weft, and
the other South - South - Eaft.    If I had been governed
by my own judgment, I fhould have taken the former,
as it appeared to me to be the moft likely to bring us
neareft to the part where.I wifhed to fall on the Pacific
Ocean;  but the old man, whom I have alrea'dy mentioned as having been frequently on war expeditions in
this country,  had warned me not, on any account,  to
follow it, as it was foon loft in various branches among
the mountains, and that there was no   great river that
ran in any direction near it; but, by following the latter,
he faid, we fhould arrive at a carrying-place to another
large river,  that did not exceed a day's march,   where the
inhabitants build houfes, and live upon iflands.    There
was fo much apparent truth in the old man's narrative,
that I determined to be governed by it ;   for I did  not
entertain the leaft doubt, if I could get into the other
river, that I fhould reach the ocean.
I  accordingly ordered my   fteerfman   to   proceed at
once to the Eaft branch,   which appeared to  be more
rapid than the other, though it did not poffefs an equal
breadth. Thefe circumfiances difpofed my men and the
Indians, the latter in particular being very tired of the
voyage, to exprefs their wifhes that I {hould take the
Weftern branch, efpecially when they perceived tho
difficulty of flemming the current, in the direction on
which I had determined. Indeed the rufh of water was
fo powerful, that we were the greateft part of the
afternoon in getting two or three miles-—a very tardy
and mortifying progrefs, and which, with the voyage,
was openly execrated by many of thofe who were engaged in it: and the inexpreflible toil thefe people had
endured, as well as the dangers they had encountered,
required fome degree of confederation; I therefore employed thofe arguments which were the beft calculated
to calm their immediate difcontents, as well as to encourage their future hopes, though, at the fame time, I delivered my fentiments in fuch a manner as to convince
them that I was determined to proceed^
On the I ft of June we embarked at fun-rife, and
Cowards noon the current began to flacken ; we then
put to fhore, in order to gum the canoe, when a meridian altitude gave me 55. 42. 16. North latitude. We
then continued our courfe, and towards the evening the
current began to recover its former ftrength. Mr. Mackay
and the Indians had already difembarked, to walk and
lighten the boat. At fun-fet we encamped on a point,
being the firft dry land which had been found on this
fide the river, that was fit for our purpofe, fince our
people went on more. In the morning we pafled a
large rapid river, that flowed in from the right.
- In no part of the North - Weft did I fee fo much
beaver-work, within an equal diftance, as in the courfe
of this day. In fome places they had cut down feveral
acres of large poplars, ^and we faw alfo a great number of
thefe active and fagacious animals. The time which,
thefe wonderful creatures allot for their labours, whether
in erecting their curious habitations or providing food,
is the whole of the interval between the fetting and the
nig fun.
Towards the dufky part of the evening we heard feveral difcharges froth the fowling pieces of our people,
which we anfwered, to inform them of our fituation ;
and fome time after it was dark,   they arrived in an equal
Hate o£ fatigue and alarm: they were alfo obliged to fwim
acrofs a channel in order to get to us, as we were fituatecf
on an ifland,  though we were ignorant of the circumftance, till they came to inform us.    One of the Indians
was pofitive that he heard the difcharge of fire arms
above our encampment; and on comparing the number
of our difcharges with theirs,  there appeared to be fomer
foundation for his alarm, as we imagined that we had
heard two reports more than they acknowledged; and,
in their terror,  they declared that they had heard twice
the   number  of thofe  which   we  knew had  proceeded
from us.    The Indians were therefore certain,  that the
Knifleneaux  muft   be in our vicinity, on a war expedition, and confequently, if they  were numerous, we
fhould have had no reafon to expect the leaft mercy from
them in this diftant country.    Though I did not believe
that circumftance, or that any of the natives could" be
in poffeffipn of fire-arms, I thought it right, at all events,
we fhould be prepared.    Our fufees were,   therefore,,
K 2 primed ,
primed and loaded, and, having extinguifhed our fire,
each of us took his ftation at the foot of a tree, where
we palled an uneafy and reftlefs night.
The fucceeding morning being clear and pleafant, we
proceeded at an early hour againft a rapid current, in*
terfected by iflands. About eight we pafled two large
trees, whofe roots having been undermined by the current, had recently fallen into the river; and, in my
opinion, the crafh of their fall had occafioned the noife
which caufed our late alarm. In this manner the water
ravages the iflands in thefe, rivers, and by driving down
great quantities of wood, forms the foundations of
others. The men were fo oppreffed with fatigue, thai
it was neceflary they fhould encamp at fix in the after*
noon. We, therefore, landed on a fandy ifland, which is
a very uncommon object, as the greater part of the iflands
confift of a bottom of round ftones and gravel, covered
from three to ten feet with mud and old drift-wood.
Beaver-woork was as frequently feen as on the preceding
On the 3d of June we renewed our voyage with the
rifing fun. At noon I obtained a meridian altitude,
which gave 55. 11. 3. North latitude. I alfo took time*
and the watch was flow^i. 30. 14. apparent time. According to my calculation, this place is about twenty-five
miles South-Eaft of the fork.*
* I fhall now proceed with my ufual regularity, whic%
as I have already mentioned, has been, for fome days, fuA
pended, from the lofs of my book of obfervation.
Continue our voyage. Heavy fog. The water rifes. Succeffion of courfes. Progreffive account of this branch*
Leave the canoe to proceed, and afcend an hill to reconnoitre. Climb a tree to, extend my view of the country*
Return to the river. The canoe not arrived. Go in
fearch of it. Extreme heat, mufquitoes, Zsfc* Increaflng
anxiety refpecling the canoe. It at length appears.
Violent form. Circumfiances of our progrefs. Forced
to haule the canoe up the fir earn by the branches of trees*
Succeffion of courfes. Wild parfnips along the river*
ExpecJ to meet with natives. Courfes continued. Fall
in with fome natives* Our inter courfe with them. Account of their drejs, arms, utenfils* and manners, l£c*
New difcouragements   and difficulties prefent themfelves*
June, 1793.
(Tuefday 4. ) \y E embarked this morning at four
in a very heavy fog. The water had been continually
rifing, and, in many places, overflowed its banks. The
current alfo was fo ftrong, that our progrefs was very
tedious, and required the moft laborious exertions. Our
courfe was this day, South-South-Eaft one mile, South-
South-Weft half a mile, South-Eaft three quarters of
a mile, North-Eaft by Eaft three quarters of a mile,
South-Eaft half a mile, South-Eaft by South one mile,
South*South-Eaft one mile three quarters, South-Eaft by
South half a mile, Eaft by South a quarter of a mile,.
South-Eaft three quarters of a mile, North-Eaft by Eaft
half a mile, Eaft by North a quarter of a mile, South-
Eaft half a mile, South-Eaft by South a quarter of a mile,
South-Eaft by Eaft half a mile, North - Eaft by Eaft
Eaft half a mile, North-North-Eaft three quarters of a
mile, and South by Eaft one mile and an half. We
could not find a place fit for an encampment, till nine
at night, when we landed on a bank of gravel, of which
little more appeared above water than the fpot we
I Ml
(Wednefday 5.) This morning we found our canoe
and baggage m the water, which had continued rifing"
during the night. We then gummed the canoe, as
we arrived at too late an hour to perform that operation
on the preceding evening. Tins neceflary bufinefs being
completed, we traverfed to the North fhore, where I
difembaiked with Mr. Mackay and the hunters, in order
to afcend an adjacent mountain, with the hope of obtaining a view of the interior part of the country.. I
directed my people to proceed with all poifible diligence,
and that, *if they met with any accident, or found my
return neceflary, they fhould fire two guns. They alfo
underftood, that when they fhould hear the fame
fignal from me, they were to anfwer, and wait for me,
if I were behind them.
When we had afcended to the fummit of the hill, we
found that it extended onwards in an even, level country;
fo that, encumbered as we were with the thick wood,
no diftant view could be obtained : I therefore climbed a
very lofty tree, from whofe top I difcerned on the right
a ridge of mountains covered with fnow, bearing about
North-Weft; from thence another ridge of high land,
whereon no fnow was vifible, flretched towards the
South; between which and the fnowy hills on the Eaft;
fide, there appeared to be an opening, which we determined to be the courfe of the river.
Having obtained all the fatisfadtion that the nature of
the place would admit, we proceeded forward to overtake
the canoe, and, after a warm walk, came down upon
the river, when we difcharged our pieces twice, but
received no anfwering fignal. I was of opinion, that
the canoe was before us, while the Indians entertained
an oppofite notion. I, however, croflfed another point
of land, and came again to the waterfide about ten.
Here we had a long view of the river, which circumftance excited in my mind fome doubts of my former
, fentiments. We repeated our fignals, but without any
return; and as every moment now increafed my anxiety, I left Mr. Mackay and one of the Indians at this
fpot to make a large fire, and fend branches adrift down
the current as notices of our fituation, if the canoe was
behind us, and proceeded with the other Indian acrofs
a very long point, where the river makes a confiderable
bend, in order that I might be fatisfied if the canoe was
a head. Having been accuftomed for the laft fortnight
to very cold weather, I found the heat of this day almoft
infupportable, as our way lay over a dry fand, which
Was relieved by no fhade, but fuch as a few fcattered
cyprefles could afford us.    About twelve we arrived once
\ •■ Nil
more at the river, and the difcharge of our pieces was
as unfuccefsful as it had hitherto been. The water
rufhed before us with uncommon velocity, and we alfo
tried the experiment of fending frefh branches down it.
To add to the difagreeablenefs of our fituation, the gnats
and mufquitoes appeared in fwarms to torment us.
When we returned to our companions, we found that
they had not been contented with remaining in thl
pofition where I had left them, but had been three or
four miles down the river, and were come back to their
flation, without having made any difcovery of the people
on the water.
Various very unpleafing conjectures at once perplexed
and diftreffed us : the Indians, who are inclined to mags]
nify evils of any and every kind, had at once configned
the canoe and every one on board it to the bottom,  and
were already fettling a plan to return upon a raft, as well
as   calculating  the   number of  nights  that would  be
required to reach their home.    As for myfelf, it will' be
eafily believed, that my mind was in a ftate of extreme
agitation ; and the imprudence of my conduct in leaving
the people in fuch a fituation of danger and toilfome
exertion,  added a very painful mortification to the fevere
apprehenfions 1 already fuffered :  it was an act of indif-
cretion which might have put an end to the voyage that
I had fo much at heart, and compelled me at length to
fubmit to the  fcheme which my hunters had already
formed for our return.
At half paft fix in the evening, Mr. Mackay and the
Cancre fet off to proceed down the river, as far as they
could before the night came on, and to continue their
journey in the morning to the place where we had
encamped the preceding evening. I alfo propbfed to
make my excurfion upwards; and, if we both failed of
fuccefs in meeting the canoe, it was agreed that we
fhould return to the place where wc now feparated.
In this fituation we had wherewithal to drink in
plentv, but with folid food we were totally unprovided.
We had not feen even a" partridge throughbur^Ke day,
and the tracks of rein-deer that we had'difcovered • were
of an old date. We were, however, preparing to make
abed of the branches of trees, where" we /mould have
had no other canopy than that afforded us by the heavens,
when we heard a fhot, and foon after another, which
was the notice aoreed'upon, if Mr. Mackay. ahdT ihe
Indian fhould fee the canoe: Jtnat fortunate circumftance
was alfo qonfirmed by a return of the fignaj. ,frprn4tha
so      isiWTT'sift JL     »2e.IixS*   ''N'N   ^i&.^j.   *«■■*»   .'i»k!" rufjOS*
people.    I  was,  howyever,fa fatigued   from  the  heat
and  exercife of the day. as well as incommoded front
drinking  fo much cold .water, "trjatf I did.not wiflLto
remove   till   the following  morinng;    but  the^ Jndian
made  fuch  bitter complaints. of   the cold and hunger*
which he fuffered, thai I complied with his fond rations
to  depart, and it was almojLr dark..whenjjye reached the
canoe,   barefooted, and axenched with rairn,.  But  thefe;
inconveniences   affected me    very little,    when   I   faw
myfelf once more furrounded with my people. rThey
informed   me,   that ,the canoe had been  broken.^ and
that  they  had this day  experienced much  greater toil
and  hardfhips than on any former occafion.    I thought
it prudent to affect a belief of every repreferitation that
they made,   and even to comfort each of them/with a
confolatory   dram:   for,   however   difficult   the paflage
Vol. II. "    j!        L migbt NI
... Ill'
might have been, it was too fhort to have occupied tne
whole day, if they had not relaxed in their exertions.
The rain was accompanied with thunder and lightning,        ■  n .      . ' ■■   N|i'.'■'■.?,;■ 'n':-1
It appeared from the various encampments which we*
had feen, and from feveral paddles we had found, that
the natives frequent this part of the country at the
latter end of the fummer and the fall. The courfe
to-day was nearly Eaft-South-Eaft two miles and an
half, South by Weft one mile, South-South-Eaft one
mile and an half, Eaft two miles, and South-Eaft by
South one mile.
(Thurfday 6.) At half paft four this morning wei
continued our voyage, our courfes being South-Eaft by
South one mile, Eaft by South three quarters of a mile,;
South-Eaft by Eaft two miles. The whole of this
diftance we proceeded by hauling the canoe from branch
to branch. The current was fo ftrong, that it was impoflible to ftem it with the paddles; the depth was too
great to receive any afliflance from the poles, and the!
bank of the river was fo clofely lined wltht willows and!
©therfirees, that it was impoflible to employ the line.
As it was paft twelve before we could find a place
that would allow of our landing, I could not get a
meridian altitude. We occupied the reft of the day in
repairing the canoe, drying our cloaths., and making
paddles and poles to replace thofe which had been broken
or loft.
( Friday 7.)  The morning was clear and calm, and
fince we had been at this ftation the water had rifen two
inches; fo that the current became ftill ftronger, and its
velocity had already been fo great as to juftify our de-
fpair Jn getting up it, if we had not been fo long
accuftomed to furmount it. I laft night obferved an
emerfion of Jupiter's firft fatellite, but inadvertently
went to bed, without committing the exact time to
writing; if my memory is correct, it was 8. 18. 10.
by the time-pitfee. The canoe, which had been little
better than a wreck, being now repaired, we proceeded
Eaft two miles and a quarter, South-South-Eaft half a
mile, South-Eaft a quarter of a mile, where we landed
to take an altitude for time. We continued our route
at South-Eaft by Eaft three quarters of a mile, and
landed again to determine the latitude, which is 55. 2.
51. To this I add, 2. 45. Southing, which will make
the place of taking altitude for time 55. 5. 36. with
which I find that my time-piece was flow 1. 32. 23,
apparent time, and made the longitude obtained I22T.?
35. 50. Weft of Greenwich.
From this place we proceeded Eaft by South four
miles and an half, in which fpace there falls in a fmall
river from the Eaft;. Eaft half a mile, South-Eaft a
mile and an half, Eaft a quarter of a mile, and encamped
at feven o'clock. Mr. Mackay and the hunters walked
the greateft part of the day, and in the courfe of their
excurfion killed a porcupine.*   Here we found the bed
* We had been obliged to indulge our hunters wfth
fitting idle in the canoe, left their being compelled to fhare
in the labour of navigating it fhould difguft and drive them
from us. We, therefore, employed them as much as poflible on fhore, as well to procure provifions as to lighten
the canoe.
of a very large bear quite frjefh. During the day feveral
Indian encampments were feen, which were of a late
erection. The current had alfo loft fome of its impe-*
tuofity during the greater part of the day. -||
(Saturday 8.) It rained and thundered throughout the
night, and at four in the morning we again  encountered
the current.    Our courfe  was  Eaft a quarter of a mile,
round to South   by Eaft along a very high white  fand]i
bank on the fell: fhore three quarters of a mile,  South-
South-Eaft   a   quarter   of a  mile,   South-South Weft a
quarter   of a mile,   South-South-Eaft  one  mile and  a
quarter,   South-Eaft  two miles,   with a flack current;
South-Eaft by Eaft two miles and a quarter, Eaft a quarter
of a mrle, South South-Eaft a quarter of a mile, South-:
Eaft  by South four miles and an half,  South-Eaft one
mile and an half,  South-South-Weft half a mile, Eaft-
North-Eaft half a mile,  Eaft-South-Eaft a quarter of a
mile,   South-Eaft   by  South  one mile,   South-Eaft by
Eaft half a mile, Eaft by South three quarters of a mile,
when the mountains were in  full view, in this direction
and Eaftward.    For the three laid days we could only
fee them at fhort  intervals and long diftances;  but till
then, they were continually in fight em either fide, from
our entrance  into the foik.     Thofe to the  left were at
no great diftance from us.
For the laft two days we had been anxiouflv lookmor
out for the carrying-place, but could not difcover it,
and our only hope was in,,fuch information as we fhould
be able to procure from the natives, All that remained
for us to do, was  to pulli forwards  till the river Should
,v no longer  navigable : it had now, indeed, overflowed
its banks, fo that it was eight before we could difcover
a place to encamp. Having found plenty of wild parfneps,
we gathered the tops, and boiled them with pemmican
for our fup per.
(Sunday 9.) The rain of this morning terminated in
a heavy mift at half paft five, when we embarked and
fleered South-Eaft one mile and an half, when it veered
North-North-Eaft haif a mile, South-Eaft three quarters of
a mile, Eaft by South three quarters of a mile, Eaft-South-
Eaft a quarter of a mile, South-South-Eaft a quarter of a
mile, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile, North-Eaft by Eaft half
a mile, South-Eaft by Eaft half a mile, South-Eaft by South
three quarters of a mile, South-Eaft three quarters of a
mile, Eaft by South half a mile, South-Eaft by Eaft half a
>mile, Eaft North-Eaft three quarters of a mile, when it
veered to South-South-Eaft half a mile, then back to Eaft
( when a blue mountain, clear of fnow, appeared a head )
one mile and an half; North-Eaft by Eaft half a mile,
Eaft by North one mile, when it veered to South-Eaft
half a mile, then on to North-Weft three quarters of a
mile, and back to North-Eaft by Eaft half a mile, South
by Weft a quarter of a mile, North-Eaft by Eaft to
North -North- Eaft &half a mile, South South Eaft a
quarter of a mile, and Eaft by North half a mile: here
we perceived a fmell of fire, and in a fhort time heard
people in the woods, as if in a ftate of great confufion,
which was occafioned, as we afterwards underftood, by
their difcovery of us. At the fame time this unexpected,
circumftance produced fome little difcompofure among:
ourfelves, as our arms were not in a ftate of preparation,
and we were as yet unable to afcertain the number of the
party.    I confidered, that if there were but few it would
be }
be needlefs to purfue them, as it would not be profoabldj
that we fhould overtake them in thefe thick woods ; and
if they were numerous,  it would be an act  of great
imprudence to make the attempt,  at leaft during their
prefent alarm.    I therefore ordered my people to ftrike off
to the oppofite fide, that we might fee if any of them had
fufficient courage to remain; but, before we were half
over the river, which, in this part, is not more than
an hundred yards  wide,  two men appeared on a rifing
ground over againfl us, brandifhing their fpears, difplayin3
their bows and arrows,  and accompanying their hoftile
geftures   with   loud   vociferations.    My  interpreter did
not hefitate to affure them, that they might difpel their
apprehenfions,  as we  were white people,   who meditated no injury,   but were,  on  the  contrary, defirous
of demonftrating every mark of kindnefs and friendfhip.
They did not, however, feem difpofed to confide in our
declarations, and  actually  threatened,  if we came over
before they were more fully fatisfied of our peaceable
intentions, that they would difcharge their arrows at us.
This was   a decided kind of conduct which I did not
expect; at the fame time I readily complied with their
propofition, and after fome  time had pafled in hearing
and anfwering their  queftions,   they confented to our
landing,   though   not  without   betraying   very   evident
fymptoms of fear and   diftruft.     They,   however,  laid
afide their weapons, and,   when I ftepped forward and
took each of them by the hand, one of them, but with
a very tremulous action,  drew his knife from his fleeve,
and prefented it to me as a mark of his fubmiflion to
my will and pleafure.    On our firft hearing the noife
of thefe people in  the woods,  we difplayed our flag,-
which was now f he wn to them as a token of friend /hip.
They examined us, and every thing about us, with a
minute and fufpicious attention. They had heard, indeed, of white men, but this was the firft time that
they had ever feen an human being of a complexion different from their own. The party had been here but a
few hours, nor had they yet erected their fheds; and,
except the two men now with us, they had all fled,
leaving their little property behind them. To thofe
which had given us fuch a proof of their confidence, we
paid the moft conciliating attentions in our power. Onp
of them I fent to recal his people, and the other, for
very obvious reafons, we kept with us. In the mean
time the canoe was unloaded, the neceflary baggage carried up the hill, and the tents pitched.
Here I determined to remain till the Indians became
fo familiarized with us, as to give all the intelligence
which we imagined might be obtained from them. In
fact, it had been my intention to land where I might
moft probably difcover the carrying-place, which was our
more immediate object, and undertake marches of two or
three days, in different directions, in fearch of another
river. If unfuceefsful in this attempt, it was my purpofe to continue my progrefs up the prefent river, as
far as it was navigable, and if we did not meet with natives to inftruct us in our further progrefs, I had determined to return to the fork, and take the other branch,
with the hope of better fortune.
It was about three in the afternoon when we landed,
and at five the whole party of Indians were aflembled.
It confifted only of three men, three women, and feven
or  eight boys and girls.     With their fcratched legs,
bleeding i I
bleeding feet, and difhevelled hair, as in the hurry of
their flight they had left their fhoes and leggins behind
them, they difplayed a moft wretched appearance: they
were confoled, however, with beads, and other trifles,
which feemed to pieafe them; they had pemmican alfo
given them to eat, which was not unwelcome, and in
our opinion, at leaft, fuperior to their own provifion,
which confided entirely of dried fifh.
When I thought that they were fufficiently com*
pofed, I fent for the men to my tent, to gain fuch
information refpecting the country as I concluded it was
in their powe^t^afford me. But my expectations were
by no means fatisfied: they faid j that they were not
acquainted with any river to the Weftward, but that
there was one'from whence they were juft arrived, over
a carrying-place of eleven days march, which they re-
fentedas being a branch only of the river before us. Their
ironwork they obtained from the people who inhabit the
bank of that river, and an adjacent lake, iiviexehange
for beaver fkins, and dreffed moofe fkins. They reprefented the latter as travelling, during a moon, to
get to the country of other tribes, who/live in houfes,
with whom they traffic for the fame commodities; and
that thefe alfo extend their journies in the fame manner
to the fea coaft, or, to ufe their expfttflion, the Stinking
Lake, where they trade with people like us, who come
there in veflels as big as Mands. They added, that the
people to the Wreftward, as they have been told, are
very numerous. Thofe who inhabit the other brancjB
they flated as confining of about forty families, while
they themfelves did not amount to more than a fourth
of that number; and were almoft continually compelled
1 West continent of AMfiriicA^  $$
to remain in their ftrong holds, where they fometimes
perifhed witri] cold and hunger, to feeure themfelves
from tr&ir enemies, who never failed to attack them
whenever an opportunity prefented itfelf.
This account of the country, from a people who I
had every reafon to fuppofe were Well acquainted with
every part of it, threatened to difconcert the project on
which my heart was fet, and in which my whole mind
was occupied. It occurred to me, however, that from
fear, ofPbther motives, they might be tardy in their
communication; I therefore aflured them, that'if they
would direct me to the river which I defcribed to them,
I would come in large veflels,* like thofe that their
neighbours had defcribed, to the mouth of it, and bring
them arms and ammunition in exchange for the produce
of their country ; fo thatSSiey might be able to defend
themfelves agairffe their enemies, and no longer remain
in that abject, iSftrefled, an$ fugitive ftate in whipjphey;
theK lived. I added alfo, tn£t$ in the mean time, if they'
would, on my return, accompany me below the mountains, to a conhtry which was very abundant in animals, I
would furlufh them and their companions with every
thing they might want, and make peaces between them
and the Beaver Indians. But all thefe promifes did not
appear to advance the object of my inquiries, and they ftill
perfifted in their ignorance of any fuch rivdr as I had
mentioned, that difchargedl itfelf into the fea.
$%$': •' 'If7- W^-"-
In this ftate of perplexity and difappointment, various
projects prefented themfelves torttiy mind, which were
no fooner formed than they were difcovered to be im-
practicablej' and were ilpnfequently abandoned.    At one
Vo. II.. M time HI
time I thought of leaving the canoe, and myery^thing it
contained, to go over land, and purfue. that chain of
connexion by which thefe people obtain their iron-work;
but a very' brief courfe of reflection convinced me that it
would be impoflible for us to carry provifions for our
ftipport through any confiderable part of fuch a journey,
as well as prefents, to fecure us a kind reception among
the natives, and ammunition for the fervice of the hunters,
and to defend ourfelves againft any act of hoftility. Af
another time my folicitude for the fuccefs of the expedition incited a wifh to remain with the native^ and go to
the fea by the way they had defcribed; but the accom-
plifhment of fuch a journey, even if no accident fhould
interpofe, would have requ^ed a portion of tune which
it was not in my power to. beftow. In my prefent
flate of information, to proceed^ further up the river
was confidered as a fruitle%ffpfte of toilfome exertion;
a$d to return unfuccefsful, after all our labour, fufferings,
and da|igers, was an idea too painful to indulgey* ,Be§||es,
I could not yet abandon thf hopefe that j the Indians
might not yet be fufficiently compofed and confident, .tigg
difclofe their real knowledge of the country freely and
fully to me. Nor was J-altogether without my doubts
refpecting the fidelity of my interpreter, who, being very-
much tired of the voyage, might be induced to gfrithhold
thofe communications which would induce me to cort-:
tinue it. I therefore continued my attentions to the
natives, regaled them with fuch provifions a| I had,
indulged their children with a tafte of fugar, and determined to fufpend my converiation with them till the
following morning. -On my exprcfling a defire to partake of their fifh, they brought me a few dried trout,
$[ell cured, that had been taken in the river which they
lately left. One of the men alfo brought me fife beaver
Ikins, as a prefent.
(Monday 10.) The folic|tude that poflefled my mind
interrupted my repofe; when the dawn appeared I had
already quitted my bed, and was waiting with impatienco
for another conference with the natives. The fun, however, had rifen before they left their leafy bowers, whither
they had retired with their children* having moft hofpi-
tably refigned their beds, and the partners of them, to
the folicitations of my young men.
I now repeated my inquiries, but my perplexity war
not removed by any favourable variation in their anfwers.
About nine, htowever, one of them, ftifl remaining at
my fire, in converfation with the interpreters, I underftood
enough of his language to know that he mentioned
fomething about a great river, at the fame time pointing
fignificantly up that which was before us- On my
inquiring of the interpreter reipe&ing that expreffion,
I was informed that he knew of ft large river that run*
towards the mid~day fan, a branch of whfch flowed
rear the fource of that which we were now navigating;
and that there were only three fmall lakes, and as many
carrying-places, leading to a fmall river, which difcharges
itfelf into the great river, but that the latter did not
empty itfelf into the fea. The inhabitants, he faid,
built houfes, lived on iflands, and were a numerous
and warlike people. I defired him to defcribe the road
to the other river, by delineating it with a piece of coal
on a ftrip of bark, which he accomplifhed to my fatif-
faction. The opinion that the river did not difcharge
itfelf into the fea, I very confidently imputed to his
ignorance of the country*
M 2 My 92     VOYA(g^rHROT|GH THE^OfTH-
My hopes were now renewed,; arjd a^ object prc-
•dnted itfelf which awakened my utmoft impatience.
To facilitate its attainment, one of the Indians was induced, by prefents, ,fp accompany me as a guide to the
firft inhabitants, which we might expect to meet on
the fmall lakes in our way* I accordingly refolved to
depart with all expedition, and while my people were
making every neceflary preparation, I employed myfelf
in writing the following defcription-%f the natives
around meV
WWky are Jow Mftature, not exceeding five feet fix
or feven inches; and the^are of that meagre appearance
which might be expected in a people whofe life is one
fuccemon ofriffnculties, in procuring fubfiftence. Their
faces are round,^With hign cheek bones; and their eyes,
which are fmall, are of a darfo %rown colour; the carriage of their nofe is perorated, but without any ornaments^ fufpended from \t$fi thetr hair is of a dingy black,
hanging loofe and in diforder over theirifhoulders, but
irregularly cut in the front, fo as not to obftruct the
fight,^ifeir beards are eradicated, with the exception of
a few {haggling hairsr, and their complexion^ a fwai&hy
Their drefs confifts of robes made of the fkins of the
beaver, the ground hog, and the rein-deer, dreffed in the
hair, and of the moofe-fkin without it. All of them
are . ornamented with a fringe, while fome of them
have taffels hanging down the feams; thofe of the ground
hog are decorated on the fur fide with the tails of the
animal, which they do'not feparate from them. Their
garments they tie over the fhoulders, and fallen them
1 round
round the middle with a belt of green fkin, which is as
{tiff as horn. Their leggins are long* and, if they were
topped with a waiftband, might be called trowfers: they,
as well as their fhoes, are made of dreffed moofe, elk, or
rein-deer fkin\ flfhe organs of generation they leaver
The women, differ little in their drefs from the men,
except in the addition of an apron, which is faftened
round the waift, and hangs down to the knees: they are
in general of a more lufty make than the other fex, and
taller in proportion, but infinitely their inferiors in clean*
linefs. A black artificial ftripe cfofles fhe face beneath
the eye, from ear to ear, which I firft took for fcabs,
from the aocumulaSQn of dirt on ifc Their hair, which is
longer than that of the men, is divided from the forehead
to the crown, and drawn back in long plaits behind the
ears: they have alfo a few white beads, which they get
where they procuresihe'ir iron; they are from a line to
an inch in length, and are worn in their ears, but arc not
of European manufacture. Thefe, with bracelets made
of horn and bone, compofe alf the ornaments which
decorateitheir perfons. Necklaces of the grifly or white
bear's claws, are worn exclufively by the men.
Their arms confift of bows made of cedar, fix feet in
length with a fhort iron fpike at one end, and ferve
occafionally as a fpear. Their arrows are well made,
barbed, and pointed with iron, flint, flone, or hone; they
*re feathered, and from two to two feet and an half in
length. They have two kinds of fpears, but both are
double edged, and of well polifhed iron; one of them
is about twelve inches long, and two wide; the other
about half the width, and-two thirds of the length; thg
{hafts of the firft are eight feet in length, and the latter
fix. They have alfo fpears made of bone. Their knives
confift of pieces of iron, fhaped and handled by themfelves. Their axes are fomething like our adze, and
they ufe them in the fame manner as we employ that
inftrument. They were, indeed, furnifhed with iron inj
a manner that I could not have fuppofed, and plainly
proved to me. that their communication with tliofe, who
communicate with the inhabitants of the fea coaft, cannot
be very difficult; and, from their ample provifion of iron
weapons, the.-means of procuring it muft be of a more
diftant origin thatfcl had at firft conjectured.
They have fhares made of green il^$»which they cut
to the fize of flurgeon twine, and tlfcift a certain number
of them together,* and though whefiiidompleted they do
not exceed the thickhefs of a cod-line,  their ftrength is
fufficient to hold a moofe deer: they are from one and
an half to two fathoms in lengt^^ Their nets and fifhing
lines are made of willow-bark and nettles;  th@,fe made of'
the latter are finer and fmootherthan if made with hempen
thread.    Their hboks are fmall bones, nxed in pieces ©f^
wood fplit for that purpofe, and  tied round with Jjne
watape, which has been particularly defcribed in the formed
voyage.    Their kettles are  alfo made  of watape,  which
5s fo clofely woven that they never leak, and they heat
Water in them, by putting red-hot ftones into it.     There
is one kind of them, made of fpruce-bark, which they
hang over the fire, but at fuch a diftance as to receive
the heat without being within reach of the blaze ; a. very
tedious operation.    They have various  difhes of wood
and bark, fpoons of horn and wood, and buckets; bags
,     ■»       ■■       ■
t>{ leather and net-work, and bafkets of bark, fome of
which hold their fifhing-tackle, while others are contrived
to be carried on the back.    They have a brown kind o£
earth in great abundance,; with which   they  rub  their
clothes, not only for ornament but utility, as it presents
the leather from becoming hard after it has been wetted.
They have fpruce bark in great plenty, with which they
make their canoes, .an operation that does not require,
any great portion of fkill or ingenuity, and is managed in>
the following manner.—The bark is taken off the freej
the whole length of the intended canoer which is com*
monly about eighteen feet, and is fewed with watape at
both ends; two laths are then laid, and fixed along the
edge of the bark which forms the gunwale; in thefe ar$
fixed the bars, and- againft them bear the ribs or timbers,
that are cut to the length to which the bark can be
ftretched ; and, to give additional ftrength, ftrips of wood
are laid between them : to make the whole water-tight,
gum is abundantly employed.    Thefe veffels carry from
two to five people.    Canoes of a fimilar conftruction
wereufed by the Beaver Indians within thefe few years, but
they now very generally employ thofe made of the bark
of the birch tree, which are by far more durable.    Their
paddies are about fix feet  long, and about one foot is
occupied by the blade,   which  is in the fhape of an
heart. w
Previous to our departure, the natives had caught a
couple of trout, of about fix pounds weight, which they
brought me, and I paid them with beads. They likewife
gave me a net, made of nettles, the fkin of a moofe-dee™
dreffed, and a white horn in the fhape of a fpoon, which
refembles the horn of the buffalo of the Copper-Mine
ftS     fir' River 1 ,;,)!; I
River; but their defcription of the animal to which it belongs!
does not anfwer to that. My young men alfo got two
quivers of excellent arrows, a collar of white bear's clawsj
of a great length, horn bracelets, and other articles, fori
which they received an ample remuneration.
Continue   the   voyage.    State  of the   river.    Succeffion  of
courfes.    Sentiment of the guide.    Conical mountain.    Continuation of courfes.    Leave   the  main   branch.    Enter
another.    Defection of it.    Saw beaver.    Enter a lake*
Arrive   at the   upper 'floWce   of the   Unjigah, or Peace
River.    Land, and crofls to a fecond lake.    Local circumfiances.    Proceed to a  third   lake.    Enter  a river*
Encounter  various difficulties.    In danger  of  being lofll*
*£he   cpfiiumflance%    of that   fituation   defcribed.    Alarm
and diffatisfaclron among tbe people.    They are at length
compofed.    The canoe repaired.    Roads cut through woods.
Pafs moraffes*    The guide  deferts.    After a fucceflion of
difficulties, dangers, and toilfeme marches^ we arrive at
the great rtiv&*
*?93> Jun£. « \ ■  /."
(Monday 10.) £\f£ ten we were ready to embark \
I then took leave of the Indians, but encouraged them
to expect us in two moons, and expreffed an hope that
I fhould find them on the road, with any of their relations whom they might meet. I alfo returned the
beaver fkins to the man who had prefented them to
me, defiring him to take care of them till I came back,
when I would purchafe them of him. Our guide ex-
prefled much lefs concern about the undertaking, in
Vol. II. N which SIP
which   he   had  engaged,   than   his   companions,  wh
appeared to be affected with folicitude for his fafety.
We now pufhed off the canoe from the bank,  and
proceeded Eaft half a mile, when a river flowed in from
the left,   about   half as  large   as that  which we were
navigating.    We continued the fame coutfe three quarters  of a mile,   when  we  miffed two of our fowling
nieces,   which   had  been   forgotten,   and  I  fent their
owners back for them, who were abfent on this errand
upwards of an hour.    We now  proceeded North-Eatfl
fey-Eaft half a mile, North-Eaft by-North three quarters of a mile, when the current flackened: there was a
verdant fpot on the left,  where, from the remains  of
fome Indian timber-work,  it appeared  that the natives
have frequently encamped.    Our next courfe was Eaft
one mile, and we faw a ridge  of mountains covered
with fnow to the  South-Eaft.    The land on our right
was low and marfhy for three or four miles, when it
rofe into  a range   of heights   that   extended   to   the
mountains.    We proceeded Eaft-South-Eaft a mile and
an half, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile, Eaft by South
three quarters of a mile, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile,
Eaft by South half'a mile, North-Eaft by Eaft one mile,
South-Eaft half a mile, Eaft-North-Eaft  a  mile and a
quarter, South-South-Eaft half a mile, North-North-Eaft
a mile and an half: here a river flowed in from the left
which was about one-fourth part as large as that which
received its tributary ,waters.    We then continued Eaft
by South half a mile, to the foot of the mountain  on
the South  of the above river.    The courfe now veered
ihort,   South-Weft by Weft three quarters of a  mile,
Eaft   by South a   quarter   of  a   mile,   South  half a
mile, South-Eaft by South half a mile, South-Souths
Weft a quarter of a mile, Eaft by South a quarter
of a mile, veered to Weft-North-Weft a quarter of a
mile, South-Weft one eighth of a mile, Eaft-South-
Eaft one quarter of a mile, Eaft one fixth of a mile,
South-South-Weft one twelfth of a mile, Eaft South-
Eaft one eighth of a mile, North-Eaft by Eaft one
third of a mile, Eaft by North one twelfth of a mile,
North-Eaft by Eaft one third' of a mile, Eaft one
fixteenth of a mile, Southr-Eaft one twelfth of a mile,
North-Eaft by Eaft one twelfth of a mile, Eaft one*
eighth of a mile, and Eaft-South-Eaft half a milej
when we landed at feven o'clock, and encamped. During
the greateft part of the diftance we came to-day, the
river runs clofe under the mountains on the left.
(Tuefday n.) The morning was clear and cold. Or*
my interpreter's encouraging the guide to difpel alt
apprehenfion, to maintain his fidelity to me, and nofe
to defert in the night, fi How is it poflible for me," he
replied, " to leave the lodge of the Great Spirit I —»
*' When he tells me that he has no further occafion for
me, I will then return to my children." As we proceeded, however, he foon loft, and with good reafon, his
exalted notions of me.
At four we continued our voyage, fleering Eaft by
South a mile and an half, Eaft-South-Eaft half a mile;
A river appeared on the left, at the foot of a mountain j
which, from its conical form, my young Indian called
the Beaver Lodge Mountain. Having proceeded South-
South-Eaft half a mile, another river appeared from the
right. We now came in a fine with the beginning of
the mountains we faw yefterday: others of the fame
N 2   ' kin$ too VOYAGE TH1DUGH THE NORTH-
land ran parallel with them on the left fide of the river,
which was reduced to the breadth of fifteen jpxds* and,
with a moderate curre&t.
We now fleered Eaft-North Jiaft one eighth of a mile*
South-Eaft by South one eighth of a mile, Eaft-Souths
Eaft one fixth of a mile, South-Weft one eighth of a
mile, Eaft-South-Eaft one eighth dB a   mile,   South-
South-Eaft one fixth of a mile, Norffe-Eaft by Eaft one
twelfth of a mile, Eaft-South-Eaft Half a mile, South-
Weft by Weft one third of a mile, South-South-Eaft
one eighth of a mile, South-South-Weft one quarter of
of a mile, NoKth-Eaft one fixth of a mile, South  by
Weft one fourth of a mile, Eaft three  quarters of a
mile, and North-Eaft one quarter of a mile.    Here the
mountain on the   left  appeared to be  compofed of 1
fucceflion of round hills, covered with wood almoft to
their   fummits,   which  were   white   with   fnow,   and
crowned with withered trees.  We now fleered Eaft, in
a line with the high lands on the right five miles; North
one twelfth of a mile, North-Eaft by North one eighth
of a mile, South by Eaft one fixteenth of a mile, North-*
Eaft by North one  fourth  of a mile, where another
river fell  in from the right; North-Eaft by Eaft one
fixth of a mile, Eaft two miles and an half, South one
twelfth of a mile, North-Eaft half a mitef  South-Eaft
one third of a mile, Eaft one mile and a quarter, South-
South-Weft one  fixteenth of a mile, North-Eaft by
Eaft  half a mile, Eaft one mile and   three quarters,
South and South-Weft by Weft half a mile,  North-
Eaft half a mile,  South one third of a mile, North*
Eaft by North one fixth of a mile, Eaft by South on©
fourth of a mile, Soitffe one eighth of a mile, South*
1   I   f     H ' Eaft WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICAN     101
fH&ft tfafeee quarters of* a mile. The canoe had taken
in fo much water, that it was neceflary for us to land
here, in order to flop the leakage, which occafioned
the delay of an Iiour and a quarter; North-Eaft a
quarter of a mile, Eafl-North-Eaft a quarter of a mile,
South-Eaft fey South a fiacteer&h of a mile, Eaft by
South a twelfth *©f a n#le, N©«ih4Eaft one fixth of a
mile, Eaft-South Eaft one fixteenth of a mile, South-
Weft half a mile, Nortih-Eaft a quarter of a mile,
Eaft bv South half a mile, South-South-Eaft one
twelfth of a mile, Eaft half a mile, North Eaft by
/North a quarter of a mile, South-South-Eaft a quarter
of a mile, North-Eaft by North one twelfth of a mile,
where a fmall river flowed in from the left ; South-
Eaft by Eaft one twelfth of a mile, South by Eaft a
quarter of a nwle, South-Eaft one eighth of a mile, Eaft
one» twelfth of a mile, North-Eaft by North a quarter
of a mile, South half a mile, South-Eaft by South one
eighth of a mile, North-Eaft one fourth of a mile,
South-Eaft iby Eaft, and South-Eaft by South one third
of a mile, Eaft-South-Eaft, and North-North-Eaft one
third of a mile, and South by Weft, Eaft and Eaft-
North-Eaft one -eightih of a mile.
Hepre we quitted the main branch, which, according
to the information of our guide, terminates at a fhort
diftance, where it is fupplied by the fnow which covers
the mountains. In the fame direction is a valley which
appears to be of very great depth, and is full of fnow,
that rifes nearly to the height of the land, and forms a
refervoir of itfelf fufficient to furnifh a river, whenever
there is a moderate ' degree of heat. The branch which
we left was not3 at this time, more tfian ten yards broaU,
while il'!1
while that which  we   entered was ftill lefs.    Here  the
current was very trifling, and the channel fb meandering,, j
that we fometimes found it difficult   to work the canoe
forward.    The ftraight courfe from this to the entrance
of a fmall lake or pond, is about Eaft one mile.    Thi
entrance by the river into the lake was  almoft choken
up by a quantity of drift-wood, which appeared to me
to be an extraordinary circumftance; but I afterwards
found   that   it falls  down  from  the mountains.    Thi
water, however, was fo high, that the country was  en*,
tirely overflowed, and we paffed with the canoe among
the branches of trees.    The principal  wood   along the
banks is fpruce, intermixed   with   a^ few white bircrjl
growing on detached fpots, the intervening fpaces being
covered with willow and alder.    We advanced about a
mile in the lake, and  took up our ftation for the night
at an   old Indian encampment.    Here we  expected to;
meet   with   natives,   but   were   difappointed; but   our
guide encouraged us with the hope of feeing fome on
the morrow.    We   faw.  beaver in   the   courfe   of the
afternoon,   but did not  difcharge  our pieces, from the
fear of alarming the inhabitants;  there were alfo fwans,
in great numbers, with geefe and ducks, which we did
not difturb for the fame reafon.    We obferved alfo the
tracks   of moofe  deer that had  crofied   the   river;    and
wild parfneps grew here in abundance, which have been
already mentioned  as   a   grateful   vegetable.    Of birdsjj
we faw blue jays, yellow birds, and one beautiful hum-,
ming-bird :  of the firft and   laft,  I had  not  feen any
fince I had been in the Norrh-Weft.
The   weather   was   the   fame as yefterday, and we
proceeded between three and four in the morning.    We
took up the net which we had fet the preceding evening,
when it contained a trout, one white fifh, one carp,
and three jub. The lake is about two miles in length,
Eaft by South, and from three to five hundred yards,
wide. This I confider as the higheft and Southernmoft
fource of the Unjigah, or Peace River, latitude, 54.
24. North, longitude 221. Weft of Greenwich, which*
after a winding courfe through a vaft extent of country,
receiving many large rivers in its progrefs, and pafling
through the Slave Lake, empties itfelf into the Frozen
Ocean, in 70. North latitude, and about 135 Weft
We landed and unloaded, where we found a beaten
path leading over a low ridge of land of eight hundred
and feventeen paces in length to another fmall lake.
The diftance between the two mountains at this place
is about a quarter of a mile, rocky precipices prefenting
themfelves on both fides. A few large fpruce trees and
hards were fcattered over the carrying-place. There
were alfo willows along the fide of the water, with
plenty of grafs and weeds. The natives had left their
old canoes here, with bafkets hangings on the trees, which,
contained various articles. From the latter I took a
net, fome hooks, a goat's horn, and a kind of wooden
trap, in which, as our guide informed me, the ground
hog is taken. I left, however, in exchange, a knife,
'fome fire-fteels, beads, awls, &c. Here two ftreams
tumble down the rocks from the right, and lofe themfelves in the lake which we had left; while two others
fall from the oppofite heights, and glide into the lake
which we were approaching; this being the higheft
point of land dividing thefe waters,  and we  are now
going gtf I'
.'■ll.jl!    Ii
going with the ftream. This lake runs in the fame
courfe as the laft, but is rather narrower, and not
more than half the length. We were obliged to cleat
away fome floating drift-wood to get to the carryingl
place, over which is a beaten path of only an hun*
dred and feventy-five paces long. The lake empties
itfelf by a fmall river, wh^b| if the channel Were not
interrupted by large trees that had fallen acrofs it, would
have admitted of our canoe with all its Jading : the
impediment, indeed, might have been removed by two
axe-men in a few hours. On the edge of the j water,
we obferved a large quantity of thick, yellow, fcura
or  froth, of an acrid tafte and  finell.
We embarked on this lake, Which is in the fame
courfe, and about the fame fize as that which we had
juft left, and from* whence we pafled into a fmall ri$er$
tjjat was fo full of fallen wood* as to employ fome
time, and require fome exertion, to force a paffage*
At the entrance, it afforded no more water than was
juft fufficient to bear the canoe; but it was foon increafed by many fmall ftreams which came in broken
rills down the rugged fides of the mountains, and were
furnifhed, as I fuppofe, by the melting of the fnow.
Thefe acceflbry ftreamlets had all the coldnefs of ice*
Our courfe continued to be obftructed by banks of gravel,
as well as trees which had fallen acrofs the river. We
were obliged to force our way through the one, and
to cut through the other, at a great expence of time
and trouble* In many places the current was alfo very
rapid and meandering. At four in the afternoon, we
flopped to unload and carry, and at five we entered a fmall
round lake of about one third of a mile  hi diameter.
From the laft lake to this is, I think, in a ftraight line,
Eaft by South fix miles, though it is twice that diftance
by the winding of the river. We again entered the
river, which foon ran with great rapidity, and rufhed
hnpetuoufly over a bed of flat ftones. At half paft
fix we were flopped by two large trees that lay acrofs
the river, and it was with great difficulty that the canoe
was prevented from driving againft them. Here we
unloaded and formed our encampment.
The weather was cloudy and raw, and   as  the cir**!
cum fiances of this day's voyage had   compelled  us to
be frequently  in   the water, which   was   cold as ice,
we  were almoft in a benumbed  ftate.    Some   of the
people who had   gone   afhore to   lighten the  canoe,
experienced great difficulty  in reaching   us, from  the
rugged ftate  of the country;   it   was,   indeed,   almoft
dark when they arrived.    We had   no  fooner  landed
than I fent  two men down  the   river   to bring me
fome account of its  ctrcomftances, that I might form
a judgment of the dimctilties which might await us on
the morrow ;   and they brought  back a fearful detail
of rapid currents, fallen trees,   and   large   ftones.    At
this place our  guide   manifefted   evident   fymptoms  of
difcontent: he had been  very  much alarmed in going
down  fome of the rapids  with   U$y   and   expreffed an
anxiety to return.    He fheWed us a mountain,  at no
great diftance, which he reprefented as being on   the
other fide of a river, into which this Empties itfelf.
( Thurfday 13. ) At an early hour of this morning
the men began to cut a road, in order to carry the canoe
and lading beyond the rapid ; and by feven they were
Vol. IL P ready. n
/:     ii
ready.    That bufinefs was foon effected, and the canofc
reladen, to proceed with the current which ran witlji
great rapidity.    In order to lighten her, it was my intention   to   walk with fome of the people; but thofe
in the boat with great earneftnefs requefted me to embark, declaring, at the fame time, that, if they peri$hedt
X fhould perifh with them.    I "did not then imagine in
how fholt a .period their apprehenfion would be juflified.
We accordingly pufhed off, and had proceeded but a
very fhort way when   the canoe flruck, and notwith-
flanding all our exertions,  the violence of the current
was fo great as to drive her fideways down the river, and
break her by the firft bar, when I inftantly jumped into,
the water,   and the men followed   my  example; but
before we could fet her ftraight, or flop her,  we cams
to deeper water, fo that we were obliged to re-embark
with*the  utmoft precipitation.    One of the men who
was not fufficiently active, was left to get on fhore in
the beft manner in his power.    We had hardly regained
our fituations when we drove againft a rock which fhat-
tered the ftern of the canoe in fuch a manner, that it
held only by the gunwales, fo that the fteerfman could no
longer keep his place.    The violence of this ftroke drove
us to the oppofite fide of the river,  which is but narrow,
when the bow met with the fame fate as the ftern.   At
this moment the foreman feized on fome branches of a
fmall tree in the hope of bringing up the canoe,  but fuch
was their elafticity that, in a manner not eafily defcribed,
he was jerked on fhore in an inftant, and with a degree of
violence that threatened his deftrudtion.     But we had no
time to turn from our own fituation to inquire what
had befallen him;  for,  in  a few  moments,  we came
pcrofs a cafcade  which broke feveral large holes in the
'.«ll m bottom
bottom of the canoe, and flatted all the-bars, except one
behind the fcooping feat. If this accident, however, had
not happened, the veffel muft have been irretrievably
overfet. The wreck becoming flat on the water, we all
jumped out, while the fteerfman, who had been compelled to abandon his place, and had not recovered frora
his fright, called out to his companions to fave themfelves. My peremptory commands fuperfedecj the effects
of his fear, and they all held fall: to the wreck | to which
fortunate refolution we owed our fafety, as we fhould
©therwife have been dafhed againft the rocks by the fore©
of the water, or driven over the cafcades. In this con~r
dition we were forced feveral hundred yards, and every
yard on the verge of deftruSion ; but at length, wefiiioft
fortunately arrived in fhaHow water and a; fmall eddy,
where we were enabled to make a ftand, from the weight
of the canoe refting on the ftones, rather than from any
exertions of our exhaufted ftrength. For though our
efforts were fhort, they were pufhed to the utmoft, as life
or death depended on them. This alarming fcene, with
all its terrors and dangers, occupied only a few minutes;
and in the prefent fufpenfion of it, we called to tile
people on ihore to come to o\|fc afliftance, and they
immediately obeyed the fummons. The foreman, however, was the firft with us y. he had efcaped unhurt from
the extraordinary jerk with which he was thrown out of
the boat, and juft as we were beginning to take our
effects out of the water, he appeared to give his afliflance.
The Indians, when they faw our deplorable fituation,
inflead of making the leaft eflbrt to help us.,||fat down
and gave vent to their tears* I was on the outfide of
the canoe, where I remained till every thing was got on
.fhore, in a ftate of great pain from the extreme cold of
the weather; fo that at length, it was with difficulty I
could ftand, from the benumbed ftate of my limbs.
The lofs was confiderable and important, for it confifted of our whole ftock of balls, and fome of our furni-*
ture; but thefe confiderations were forgotten in the irn^
prefllons of -%ir miraculous efcape. Our firft inquiry
was after Ihe abfent man, whom in the firft moment
of danger, we had left to get on fhore, and in a fhort
time his appearance removed our anxiety. We had,
Jlbwevef, ^fuftained no perfonal injury of confequence,
and my bruifes feerhe*d to be in the greater proportion.
All the different articles were now fpread out to dry.
The powder had fortunately receivedSio damage, and
all my inftruments had efcaped. Indeed, when my
people began to recover from their alarm, and to enjoy
a fenfe of fafety, fome of them, if-not all, were by no
means forry for our late misfortune, from the hope that it
muft put a period to our voyage, particularly as we were
without a canoe, and all the bullets funk in the river. It
did not, flldeed, feem poflible to them that we could
proceed under thefe circumfiances. I liftened, howevell
W the obfervat&ns that were made on the occasion
Without%eplying io therfti till tweir panic was difpelled
and they had got themfelves warm and comfortable, with
an hearty meal, and rum enough to raife their fpirits.
I then addreffed them, by recommending them all to
be thankful for their lafe" ■' very narrow efcape. I alio
ftated, that the navigation was not impracticable in itfelf,
but from our ignorance of its courfe; and that*our late
experience would enable us to purfue our .voyage wiifl|
greater fecurity. I brought to their recollection, that
I did not deceive them, and that they were made acquainted with the difficulties and dangers they muft
expect to encounter, before they engaged to accompany
me. I alfo urged the honour of conquering difafters, and
the difgrace that would attend them on their return home,
without having attained the object of the expedition. Nor
did 1 fail to mention the courage and refolution which
was the peculiar boaft of the North men ; and that I depended on tfcem, at that moment, for the maintenance
of their character. I quieted their apprehenfion as to
thelofsof the bullets, by bringing to their recollection
that we ftill had {hot from which they might be manufactured. I at the fame time acknowledged the difficulty
of refloring the wreck of the canoe, but confided in our
(kill and exertion to put it in fuch a ftate as would carry us
on to where we might procure bark, and build a new
one. In fhort, my harangue produced the defired effect,
and a very general affent appeared to go wherever I
fhould lead the way*
Various opinions were offered in the prefent po&ure
of affairs, and it was rather a general wifti that the
wreck ftiould be abandoned, and ail the lading carried
to the river, which our guide informed us was at no
great diftance, and m the vicinity of woods where he
believed there was plenty of bark. This project feemed
not to promife that certainty to which I looked in my
prefent operations; befides, I had my doubts refpedting
the views of my guide, and confequently could- not
confide in the reprefentation he made to me. I therefore difpatched two of the men at nine in the morning, with one of the   young   Indians* for I did not
venture to truft the guide out of my fight, in fearch of
bark, and to endeavour, if it were poflible, in the
courfe of the day, to penetrate to the great river, into
which that before us difcharges itfelf in the direction
which the guide had communicated. I now joined my
people in order to repair, as well as circumfiances woulcj
admit, our wreck $f a canoe* and I began to fet them the
At noon I had an altitude, which gave 54. 23. Norti
latitude* At four in the afternoon I took time, with
the hope that in the night I might obtain an obfervatiori
of Jupiter, and his fatellites, bul I had* not a fufficient
horizon, from the propinquity of the mountains. The
refultof my calculation for time was 1. 38. 28. flow appa*
Tent time.
It now grew late, and the people who had been fent
on the excurfion already mentioned, were not yet
returned; about ten o'clock, however, I heard a man
halloo, and I very gladly returned the fignaf. In a
fhort time ou# young Indian arrived with a fmall roll" of
indifferent bark: he was opprefled with fatigue and
hunger, and his clothes torn to rags: he had parted
with the other two men at fun-fet, who had walked the
whole day, in a dreadful country, without procuring
any good barj:, o^;being able ,to, get to the large river.
His account of the river, on whofe banks we were,
Could not be more unfavourable o|| difcouraging; itjiad
appeared to him to be little more than a fucceflion of
falls and rapids, with occafional interruptions of fallen
Our guide became fo diffatisfied and troubled in mind,
that we could not obtain from him any regular account o§
the country before us. All we could collect from him
was, that the river into which this empties itfelf is but
a branch of a large river, the great fork being at tip
great diftance from the confluence of this; and that hs
jmew of no lake, or large body of ftill water, in th|
vicinity of thefe rivers. To this account of the country,
he added fome ftrange, fanciful, but terrifying defcrip-
tions of the natives, fimilar to thofe which were men*
tioned in the former voyage.
We had an efcape this day, which I muft add to the
many inftances of good fortune which I experienced in
this perilous expedition. The powder had been fpread
out, to the amount of eighty pounds weight, to receive
the air; and, in this fituation, one of the men care-*
lefsly and compofediy walked acrofs it with a lighted
pipe in his mouth, but without any ill confequence
refulting from fuch an act of criminal negligence. I
need not add that one fpark might have put a period to
all my anxiety and ambition.
I obferved feveral trees and  plants on the banks of
this river, which I had not feen to the North of the
latitude 52.  fuch   as  the  cedar,   maple, hemlock,   &c.
At this time the water rofe faft, and paffed on with the
-rapidity of an arrow fhot from a bow.
(Friday 14.) The weather was fine, clear, and warm,
and at an early hour of the morning we refumed our repair
of the canoe. At half paft (even our two men returned
hungry and cold, not having tailed food, or enjoyed the
leaft repofe for twenty-four hours,  with their clothes
torn III!
il r'
It'  I!
torn into tatters, and their fkin lacerated, in paffin|j
through the woods. Their account was the fame as that
brought by the Indian, with this exception, that they
had reafon to think they faw the river, or branch which
our guide had mentioned; but they were of opinion
that from the frequent obftrudtions in this river, we
fhould have to carry the whole way to it, through a
dreadful country, where much time and labour would be
required to open a paflage through it. n;      M
Difcouraging as thefe accounts were, they did not,
however, interrupt for a moment the tafk in which we
were engaged, of repairing the canoe; and this work
we contrived to complete by the conclufion of the day.
The bark which was brought by the Indian, with fome
pieces of oil-cloth, and plenty of gum, enabled us to
put our fhattered veffel in a condition to anfwer our
prefent purpofes. The guide, who has been mentioned
as manifefting continual figns of diffatisfadtion, now
affumed an air of contentment, which I attributed to
a fmoke that was vifible in the direction of the river;
as he naturally expected, if we {hould fall in with any
natives, which was now very probable, from fuch a
circumftance, that he fhould be releafed from a fervice
which he had found fo irkfome and full of danger.
I had an obfervation at noon, which made our latitude 54. 23. 43. North. I alfo took time, and found
it flow apparent time 1. 38. 44.
(Saturday 15.) The weather continued the fame as
the preceding day, and according to the directions which
I had previoufly given, my people began at a very early
hour to open a road, through which we might carry a
ill|! 1*?£ST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     113
part of our lading;   as I  was fearful   of   rifhing   the
whole of it in the canoe, in its prefent weak flate, and
in a part of the river which is full of fhoals and rapids.
Four men were employed to conduct her, lightened as
fhe was of twelve packages. They  pafled  feveral dangerous  places, and met with  various obftructions,  the
current of the river  being frequently flopped by rafts
of drift wood, and fallen  trees, fo that after fourteen
hours hard labour we had  not  made more than three
miles.  Our courfe was Sout,h-Eaft by Eaft,  and as we
had not met with any accident,  the men appeared  to
feel a renewed courage to continue their voyage.    In the
morning,   however, one of the crew,  whofe name was
Beauchamp,   peremptorily   refufed   to   embark   in    the
canoe.    This  being the firft   example of   abfoiute dif-
obedience which had yet appeared during the couife  of
our expedition, I fhould not have pafled it over without
taking fome very fevere means to prevent a repetition
of it; but as he had the general character of a fimple
fellow among his companions,  and had been frightened
out  of what little fenfe he poffefled by our late  dangers,  I rather preferred to confider him as unworthy of
accompanying   us, and  to reprefent  him  as  an  object
of ridicule and contempt for his pufillanimous behaviour;
though,   in   fact,   he was   a very  ufeful,  active,  and
laborious man.
At the clofe of the day we affembled round a blazing
fire, and the Whole party, being enlivened with the
ufual beverage which I fuppiied on thefe occafions, forgot
their fatigues and apprehenfions; nor did they fail to anticipate the pleafure they fhould enjoy in getting clear
of their prefent difficulties,  and gliding onwards  with
Vol. II.        .' '  f|§   P     ,     I    '        :    a ftrong r
a ftrong and fleady flream, which our guide had de*
fcribed as the characteriftic of the large river we foe*
expected to enter.
(Sunday 16.) The fine weather continued, and wp
began our work, as we had done the preceding day;
fome were occupied in opening a road, others were
carrying, and the reft employed in conducting the canoe.
I was of the firft party and foon difcovered that we
had encamped about half a mile above feveral falls,
over which we could not attempt to run «the canoe,
lightened even as flie was. This circumftance rendered
it neceflary that the road fhould be made fufficiently
wide to admit the canoe to pafs ; a tedious and toilfome
work. In running her down a rapid above the falls,
an hole was broken in her bottom, which occafioned
a confiderable delay, as we were deftitute of the materials neceflary for her effectual reparation. On my
being informed of this misfortune, I returned, and ordered Mr. Mackay, with two Indians, to quit their
occupation in making the road, and endeavour to penetrate to the great river, according to the direction
which the guide had . communicated, without paying
any attention  to the courfe of the river before  us.
When the people had repaired the canoe in the beft
manner they were able, we conducted her to the head
of the falls; fhe was then unloaded and taken out of
the water, when we carried her for a confiderable diftance through a low, fwampy country. I appointed
four men to this laborious office, which they executed
at the peril of their lives, for the canoe was now become fo heavy, from the  additional quantity of bark
*nd gum neceflary to patch her up, that two men-
could not carry her more than an hundred yards,
without being relieved ; and as their way lay through:
deep mud, which was-rendered more difficult by the
roots and proftrate trunks of trees, they were every
moment in danger of falling; and beneath fuch a
weight, one falfe ftep might have been attended with
fetal confequences. The other two men and myfelf
followed, as fail as we could, with the lading. Thus
did we toif till feven o'clock in the evening, to get to
the termination of the road that hacf been made in the.
morning. Here Mr. Mackay and the Indian joined us,
after having been at the river, which they reprefentecT
as rather large. They had alfo obferved, that the
river before us was fo full of fallen wood, that the
attempt to clear a paflage through it, would be an
unavailing labour. The country through which they
had pafled was morafs, and almoft impenetrable wood^
In palling over one of the embarras, our dog, which*
was following them, fell in, and it was with very great
difficulty that he was faved, as the current had carried
him under the drift. They brought with them two
geefe, which had been fhot in the courfe of their expedition. To add to our*perplexities and embarraffments^
we were perfecuted by mufquitoes and fand-flies through
the whole of the day.
The extent of our journey was not mote than two*
miles South-Eaft; and fo much fatigue and pain had
been fuffered in the courfe of it, that, my people,
as might be expected, looked forward to a continuance
of it with difcouragement and difmay. I was, indeed,
Informed that murmurs prevailed among them, of which,
howeve^r, I took no notice. When we were affembled
together for the night, I gave each of them a dram, and
in a fhort time they retired to the repofe which they fo
much required. We could difcover the termination of
the mountains at a confiderable diftance on either fide of
us, which, according to my conjecture, marked the courfe
of the great river. On the mountains to the Eaft there
were feveral fires, as their fmokes were very vifible to
us.    Exceffive heat prevailed throughout the day.
(Monday 17.) Haying fat up till twelve laft night,
which had been my conftant practice fince we had taken
our prefent guide, 1 awoke Mr. Mackay to watch him
in turn. I then laid down to reft, and at three I was
awakened to be informed that he had deferted. Mr,
Mackay, with whom I was difpleafed on this occafion,
and the Cancre, accompanied by the dog, went in fearch
of him, but he had made his efcape: a defign which he
had for fome time meditated, though I.had done every
thing in my power to induce him to remain with me.
This misfortune did not produce any relaxation in
our exertions. At an early hour of the morning we
were all employed in cutting a paflage of three quarters of a mile, through which we carried our canoe and
cargo, when we put her into the water with her lading, but
in a very fhort time were flopped by the drift-wood,
and were obliged to land and carry. In fhort, we purfued our a'ternate journies by land and water, till noon,
when we could proceed no further, from the various
fmall unnavigable channels into which the river branched
in every direction ; and no other mode of getting forward now remained for us. but by cutting a road acrofs a
y& neck
jseck of land. I accordingly difpatched two men to af-
certain the exact diftance, and we employed the interval
of their abfence in unloading and getting the canoe out
of the water. It was eight in the evening when we
arrived at the bank of the great river. This journey
was three quarters of a mile Eaft-North-Eaft, through
a continued fwamp, where, in many places, we waded up
to the. middle of our thighs. Our courfe in the fmall
river was about South-Eaft by Eaft three miles. At
length we enjoyed, after all our toil and anxiety, the
inexpreffible fatisfaction of finding ourfelves on the bank
of a navigable river, on the Weft fide of the firft great
range of mountains. n8   VOYAGE THROUGH THE NORTH-
Rainy night.    Proceed on the great river.    Circumfiances
of it.    Account of courfes.    Come  to   rapids.    Obferve
feveral fmokes.    See a flight of white ducks.    Pafs over
a carrying-place with the canoe, CSV.    The difficulties of
that paffage.    Abundance of wild onions.    Re-embark on.
the river.    See fome of the natives.    They defert their
camp and fly into   the woods.    Courfes continued^    Kill a
red deer, &c.    Circumfiances   of the  river.    Arrive at
an Indian habitation.    Defcription  of it.    Account of a
curious machine to catch fifh.    Land to procure bark for
the purpofe   of conflruding   a   new canoe.    Conceal M
quantity of pemmican for provifion on our return.    Suc^
ceffion of courfes.    Meet with fome of the natives.    Our
intercourfle with them.    Their information rejpecling the^
river,  and the country.    Defcription  of thofe people*
UNE,   1793.
(Tuefday 18.) \f£ rained thoughout the night and*
till feven in the morning; nor was I forry that the
weather gave me an excufe for indulging my people with
that additional reft, which their fatigues, during the laftV
three days, rendered fo comfortable to them. Before
eight, however, we were on the water, and driven on
by a ftrong current^ when we fleered Eaft-South-Eaft
kalf a mile, South-Weft by South half a mile, South-
South-Eaft half a mile, South-Weft half a mile, went
round to North-Weft half a mile, backed South-South-
Eaft three quarters of a mile, South-South-Weft half a
mile, South by Eaft .a quarter of a mile, and South-
Well by South three quarters of a mile. Here the water
liad fallen considerably, fo that feveral mud and fand-
banks were vifible. There was alfo an hill ahead, Weft-
The weather was fo hazy that we could not fee acrofs
the river, which is here about two hundred yards wide.
We now proceeded South by Weft one third of a mile,
when we faw a confiderable quantity of beaver work
along the banks; North-North-Weil: half a mile, South-
Weft by Weft one mile and an half, South-South-Weft
one third of a mile, Weft by South one third of a mile,
South by Eaft half a mile. Mountains rofe on the lefty
immediately above the river, whofe fummits were covered
with fnow ; South-Weft half a mile, South a quarter of a
mile, South-Eaft one third of a mile, South-South-Weft
half a mile. Here are feveral iflands; we then veered to
Weft by South a third of a mile, South-South-Eaft a
fixth of a mile. On the right, the land is high, rocky,
and covered with wood ; Weft South-Weft one mile, a
fmall river running in from the South-Eaft, South-Weft
half a mile, South three quarters of a mile, South-Weft
half a mile, South by Weft half a mile. Here a rocky
point protrudes from the left, and narrows the river to an
hundred yards; South-Eaft half a mile, Eaft by South one
eighth of a mile. The current now was very ftrong, but
perfectly fafe j South-Eaft by South an eighth of mile,
Weft by North one third of a mile, South by Weft a
twelfth w
twelfth of a mile, South-Weft one fourth of a mile*
Here the high land terminates on one fide of the
river, while rocks rife to a confiderable height immediately above the other, and the channel widens to
an hundred and fifty yards, Weft by South one mile.
The river now narrows again between rocks ofa moderate
height, North-North-Eaft an eighth of a mile, veered to
South-Weft an eighth of a mile, South and Sotfth-Wefl
half a mile. The country appeared to be low, as far as
I could judge of it from the canoe, as the view is confined
by woods at the diftance of about an hundred yards from
the banks. Our courfe continued Weft by North two
miles, North half a mile, North-Weft a quarter of a
mile, South-Weft two miles, North-Weft three quarters
of a mile; when a ridge of high land appeared in this
direction, Weft one mile. A fmall river flowed in from
the North, South a quarter of a mile, North-Weft half
a mile, South-South-Weft two miles and an half, South-Eaft three quarters of a mile ; a rivulet loft itfelf in
the main ftream, Weft-North-Weft half a mile. Here
the current flackened, and we proceeded South-South-
Weft three quarters of a mile, South-Weft three quarters of a mile, South by Eaft three quarters of a mile,
South-Eaft by Eaft one mile, when it veered gradually to
Weft-North-Weft half a mile: the river being full of
iflands. We proceeded«due North, with little currertrl
the river prefenting a beautiful fheet of water for a mile
and an half, South-Weft by 'Sfileft one mile, Weft-
North-Weft one mile, when it veered round to South-
Eaft one mile, Weft by North one mile, South-Eaft
one mile, Weft by North three quarters ofa mile, South
one eighth of a mile, when we came to an Indian cabin
of late erection.    Here was the great fork, of which ouli
1 guide
guide had informed us, and it appeared to be the largeft
branch from the South-Ea^.    It is about half a mile in
breadth, and aflumes the form of a lake.    The current
was very flack, and we got into the middle of the channel,
when we fleered Weft, and founded in fixteen feet water.
A ridge of high land now ftretched on, as it were, acrofs
our prefent direction: this courfe was three miles.    We
then proceeded Weft-South-Weft two miles, and founded
in twenty-four feet water.    Here the river narrowed and
the current increafed.    We then continued our courfe
North-North-Weft three quarters of a mile, a fmall river
felling in from the North-Eaft.   It now veered to South
by Weft one mile and a quarter,  Weft-South-Weft four
miles and an half, Weft by North one mile and a quarter,
North-Weft by Weft one mile, Weft a mile and a quarter ; the land was high on both fides, and the river narrowed to an hundred and. fifty, or two hundred yards ;
North-Weft three quarters of a mile, Souths Weft by
South two miles and an half: here its breadth again in-
ereafed;  South by Weft one mile,  Weft-South-Weft
half a mile, South-Weft by  South three miles,  South-
South-Eaft one mile, with a fmall river running in from
the leftj  South with a ftrong current one mile, then Eaft
three quarters of a mile,  South-Weft one mile, South-
South-Eaft a mile and an half;  the four laft diflances
being a continual rapid;  South-Weft by Weft one mile,
Eaft-Nortb*Eaft a mile and an half, Eaft-South-Eaft one
mile, where a fmall river flowed in on the right; South-
Weft by South two miles and an half, when another fmall
river appeared from the fame quarter;  South by Eaft half
a mile, and Soeth-Weft by Weft one mile and a quarter :
here we landed for the night. When we had pafled the laft
river we obferved fmoke rifing from it, as if produced by
Vol. II. # CL fires 11
fires that had been frefh lighted; I therefore concluded
that there were natives on its banks; but I was unwilling
to fatigue my people, fw pulling back againft the current
in order to go in fearch of them.
This river appeared, from its high water-mark, to have
fallen no more than one foot, while the fmaller branch,
from a fimilar meafurement, had funk two feet and an
half. On our entering it, we faw a flock of ducks which
Were entirely white, except the bill and part of the wings.
The weather was cold and raw thoughout the day, and
the wind South-Weft. We faw fmoke rifing in columns
from many parts of the woods, and I fhould have been
more anxious to fee the natives, if there had been any
perfon with me who could have introduced me to them j
but as that object could not be then attained without
confiderable lofs of time, I determined to purfue the
navigation while it continued to be fo favourable, and
to wait till my return, if no very convenient opportunity offered in the mean time, to engage in an inter-
courfe with them.
*| (Wednef. 19.) The morning was foggy, and at three
we were on the water. At half paft that hour, oxm
courfe was Eaft by South three quarters of a mile, a
fmall river flowing in from the right. We then proceeded South by Eaft half a mile, and South-South-
Weft a mile and an half. During the laft diftance,
clouds of thick fmoke rofe from the woods, that
darkened the atmofphere, accompanied with a ftrong
odour of the gum of cyprefs and the fpruce-fir. Omjf
courfes continued to be South-Weft a mile and a quarter,,. North-Weft by Weft three quarters of a mile,
South-South-Eaft a mile and a quarter, Eaft three quarters of a mile, South-Weft one mile, Weft by South
three quarters of a mile, South-Eaft by South three
quarters of a mile, South by Weft half a mile, Weft by
South three quarters of a mile, South by Weft two
miles and an half. In the. laft courfe there was an
ifland, and it appeared to me, that the main channel of
the river had formerly been on the other fide of it.
The banks were here compofed of high white cliffs,
crowned with pinnacles in very grotefque fhapes. We
continued to fleer South-Eaft by South a mile and an
half, South by Eaft half a mile, Eaft one mile and a
quarter, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile, South by Eaft
three quarters of a mile, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile,
South-South-Eaft half a mile, Eaft one mile and a
quarter, South by Eaft half a mile, Eaft a mile and an
half, South-South-Eaft three miles, and South-Weft
three quarters ofa mile. In the laft courfe the rocks
contracted in fuch a manner on both fides of the river,
as to afford the appearance of the upper part of a fall
or cataract. Under this apprehenfion we landed on
the left fhore, where we found a kind of foot-path,
imperfectly traced, through which we conjectured that
the natives occasionally pafled with their canoes and
baggage. On examining the courfe of the river,
however, there did not appear to be any fall as we
expected, but the rapids were of a confiderable length*
and impaflable for a light canoe. We had thereforq
no alternative but to widen the road fo as to admit
the paflage of our canoe, which was now carried with
great difficulty; aa from her frequent repairs, and not
always of the ufual materials, her weight was fuch, that
fhe cracked and broke on the fhoulders of the men
Q*2 W? who
1 Ii   i
who bore her. The labour and fatigue of th# undertaking, from eight till twelve, beggars all defcription,
when we at length conquered this afflicting paflage, of
about half a mile, over a rocky and moft rugged hill.
Our courfe was South-South-Weft. Here I took a
meridian altitude which gave me $3. 42. 20. North
latitude. We, however, loft fome time to piil our
canoe in a condition to carry us onwards. Our courfe
was South a quarter of a mile to the next catrfyiwg-
place, which was nothing more than a rocky point
about twice the length of the canoe. From the extremity of this point to the rocky and ajmoft perpendicular bank that rofe on the oppofite fhore, is not
more than forty or fifty yards. The great body of
water, at the fame time tumbling in fucceffive cafcades
along the firft carrying-place, rolls through this narrow
paflage in a very turbid current, and full of whirlpools.
On the banks 06 the rivet* there was great plenty of
wild onions, which when mixed up with our pemmican was a great improvement of it; though they
produced a phyfical effect on our appetites, which was
rather inconvenient to the ftafe of our provifions.
Here we embarked, and fleered South-Eaft by Eaft
three quarters of a mile. We now faw a fmoke on the
fhore; but before we could reach land the natives had
deferted their camp, which appeared to be erected for
no more than two families. My two Indians were
inftantly difpatched in fearch of them, and, by following
their tracks, they foon overtook them; but their language was mutually unintelligible, and all attempts to
produce a friendly communication were fruitlefs. They
no fooner perceived my young men than they prepared
their bows and arrows, and made figns for them not to
advance; and they thought it prudent to defift from
proceeding, though not before the natives had difcharged
five arrows at them, which, however, they avoided, by
means of the trees. When they returned with this
account, I very much regretted that I had not accompanied them; and as thefe people could not be at any
very great diftance, I took Mr. Mackay, and one of
the Indians with me in order to overtake them; but
they had got fo far that it would have been imprudent
in. me to have followed them. My Indians, who, I
believe, were terrified at the manner in which thefe
natives received them, informed me, that, befides their
bows, arrows, and fpears, they were armed with long
knives, and that they accompanied their ftrange antics
with menacing actions and loud fhoutings. On my
return, I found my people indulging their curiofity in
examining the bags and bafkets which the natives had
left behind them. Some of them contained their fiftiing
tackle, fuch as nets, lines, &c. others of a fmaller fize
were filled with a red earth, with which they paint
themfelves. In feveral of the bags there were alfo fundry.
articles of which we did not know the ufe. I prevented my men from taking any of them; and for a few
articles of mere curiofity, which I took myfelf, I left
fuch things in exchange as would be much more ufeful
to their owners.
At four we left this place, proceeding with the ftream
South-Eaft three quarters of a mile, Eaft-South-Eaft
one mile, South three quarters of a mile, South-South-
Weft one mile, South by Eaft three quarters of a mile,
South-South-Eaft   one   mile,   South-South-Weft   two
miles, Sou^h-South-Eaft three miles and a quarter, Eaft
by North one mile, South-South-Eaft one mile and a
quarter, with a rapid; South-South-Weft three quarters
of a mile, South one mile and an half, South-Eaft one
mile and a quarter, South three quarters of a mile, and
South-South-Eaft one mile and an half. At half paft
feven we landed for the night, where a fmall river flowed
in from the right. The weather was fhowery, accompanied with feveral loud claps of thunder. The banks
were oyerfhadowed by Lofty firs, and wide-fpreading
(Thurfday 20.) The morning was foggy, and at half
paft four we proceeded with a South wind, South-Eaft
by Eaft two miles, South-South-Eaft two miles andum
ha]£. and South-South-Weft two miles. The fog was fo
thick, that we could not fee the length of our canoe,
which rendered our progrefs dangerous, as we might
have come fuddenly upon a cafcade or violent rapid.
Our next courfe was Weft-North-Weft two miles
and an half, which comprehended a rapid. Being"
clofe in with the ^left bank of. the river, we perceived two red deer at the very edge of the water : vfm
killed one of them, and wounded the other, which was
very fmall. We now landed, and the Indians followed
the wounded animal, which they foon caught, and would
have fhot another in the woods, if our dog, who followed them, had not difturbed it. From the number
of their tracks it appeared that they abounded in this
country. They are not fo large as the elk of the Peace
River, but are the real red deer, which I never faw
in the North, though I have been told that they are
to be found in  great numbers in the plains along the
Red, or Affiniboin River.    The bark had been ftripped
off many of the  fpruce trees,   and   carried   away, as I ||
prenamed, by the natives, for the purpofe of covering
their cabins.    We no\v got the venifbn on board,  and
continued  our voyage-South-Weft one  mile, South a,
mile and an half, and Weft one mile.    Here the country
changed its appearance;   the  banks were but of a moderate height, from whence the ground continued gradually rifing to a confiderable diftance,   covered   with
poplars and cyprefles, but without any kind of underwood.    There are   alfo  feveral low   points   which  the
river,  that is here about three hundred yards in breadth,
fometimes overflows, and are fhaded with the liard, the
foft birch, the fpruce, and the willow.    For fome diftance before  we came  to  this part of the  river, our
view was confined within  very  rugged, irregular, and
lofty banks, which were  varied with the poplar,   different kinds of fpruce fir, fmall birch trees, cedars, alders,
and feveral fpecies   of the   willow.    Our  next  courfe
was South-Weft by Weft fix miles,  when   we  landed
at a deferted  houfe,  which was the only Indian habitation of this kind that I had feen on this fide of Me-
chilimakina.    It was about thirty feet long and twenty
wide, with three doors, three feet high by one foot and
an half in breadth.    From this and other circumfiances,
it appears to have been conftructed for  three families.
There were alfo three fire-places, at equal diftances from
each other; and the beds were on either fide of them.
Behind the beds was a narrow fpace, in the form of a
manger, and fomewhat elevated, which was appropriated
to the purpofe of keeping fifh.    The wall of the houfe
R which was five feet in height, was formed of very ftrait
fpruce  timbers, brought  clofe together,   and laid  into
each 1
each other at the corners. The roof was fupported by
a ridge pole, refting on two upright forks of about ten
feet high; that and the wall fupport a certain number
of fpars, which are covered with fpruce bark; and the
whole attached and fecured by the fibres of the cedar.
One of the gable ends is clofed with fplit boards; the
other with poles. Large rods are alfo fixed acrofs the
upper part of the building, where fifh may hang and
dry. To give the walls additional ftrength, upright
polls are fixed in the ground, at equal diftances, both
within and without, of the fame height as the wall,
and firmly attached with bark fibres. Openings appear
alfo between the logs in the wall, for the purpofe, as
I conjectured, of discharging their arrows at a befieging
enemy; they would be needlefs for the purpofe of giving
light, which is fufficiently afforded by the fiffures between
the logs of the building, fo that it appeared to be
conftructed merely for a fummer habitation. There
was nothing further to attract our attention in or about
the houfe, except a large machine, which muft |)ave
rendered the taking off the roof abfolutely neceflary,
ki order to have introduced it. It was of a cylindrical
form, fifteen feet long, and four feet and an half in
. diameter; one end was fquare, like the head of a cafk,
and a conical machine was fixed inwards to the other
end, of fimilar dimenfions ; at the extremity of whici
was an opening of about feven inches diameter.* This
machine was certainly contrived to fet in the river, to
catch large ^fifh, and very well adapted to that purpofe; as when they are once in, it muft be impoflible
for them to get out, unlefs they fhould have ftrength
fufficient to break through it. It was made of long
pieces of fplit wood, rounded  to   the  fize  of a fmall
finger. WEST CONfINlNf &F AMERICA.      n§
linger* and placed, at the diftance of an inch afunderV
on fix hoops; to this Was added a kind of boot of the
fame" materials, info which if may be fuppofed that the
nfh are driven, when jheV are to be taken out. The
houfe was left in fuch apparent order as to mark the
defign of its owners to return thither. It anfwered in
every particular the defcription given us by our late
^uide, except that it was not fituated on  an ifland.
We left  this place,   and fleered South by Eaft one
mile and a quarter, when we paffed where there had been
another houfe,   of which  the ridge-pole   and fupporters
alone remained : the ice had probably carried away the
body of it.    The bank was at thh time covered   with,
water, and a fmall river flowed in on the left.    On  a
point we obferved an erection that  had the appearance
of a tomb ;   it was in an oblong form, covered, and very1
neatly walled with bark.    A pole was fixed near it, to
Which at the height of ten or twelve feet, a   piece of
bark Was  attached, which was probably a memorial, or
fymbol of diftinction.    Our next courfe  was South by
Weft  two  miles and an half,   when We faw  a houfe
on  an  ifland, South-Eaft  by Eaft one mile   and  three
quarters,   in which we obferved another ifland, with  a
houfe   upon it.    A river alfo flowed from the right, and
the land  was   high   and rocky,  and  wooded with  the
Our canoe was now become fo crazy, that it was a
matter of abfolute neceffity to conftruct another; and
as from the appearance of the country there was reafon
to expect that bark Was to be found, we landed at eight,
with the hope of procuring it.    I accordingly difpatched
four men with that commiflion, and at twelve they re*
turned with a fufficient quantity to make the bottom
of a canoe of five fathom in length, and four feet and
an half in height. At noon I had an obfervation, which
gave me 53. 17.  28. North   latitude.
||| We now continued our voyage  South-Eaft by South
one mile and an half, Eaft-South-Eaft one mile,  Eaft-
North-Eaft half a mile,  South-Eaft two  miles, South-
Eaft by South one mile, South-Eaft fix miles, and Eaft-
North-Eaft.   Here the river narrows between fleep rocks
and a rapid fucceeded, which was   fo violent that we did
not venture to run it.    I therefore ordered the loading
to be taken out of the canoe, but fhe was now become
fo heavy that the men   preferred  running  the rapid to
the carrying her overland.    Though I did not altogether
approve of their propofition, I was unwilling to oppofe
it.    Four of them undertook this hazardous expedition,
and I haftened to the foot of the rapid with great anxiety,
to wait the event, which turned out as I expected.    The
water was fo ftrong, that although they kept clear of
the rocks, the canoe filled, and in this ftate they drove
half way down the  rapid,  but fortunately  fhe  did not
overfet; and having got her into an eddy, they emptied
her, and in an  half-drowned condition arrived  fafe on
fhore.    The carrying-place is about half a mile over, with
an Indian path acrofs it.    Mr. Mackay, and the hunters
few fome deer on  an ifland above the rapid; and had
that difcovery been  made  before   the  departure of the
canoe, there is little doubt but we fhould have added a
confiderable quantity of ventfon  to our  ftock of protons.    Our veffel was in fuch a wretched condition,
as I have already obferved, that it occafioned a delay of
three hours to put her in a condition to proceed.    At
length  we   continued our former  courfe, Eaft North-
Eaft a mile  and an half, when we pafled an extenfive
Indian encampment ; Eaft-South-Eaft one  mile, where
a fmall river appeared on the left; South-Eaft by South
one mile and three quarters, Eaft by South half a mile,.
Eaft by North one mile,  and faw another houfe on an
ifland;   South  half a mile,  Weft three quarters   of a
mile, South-Weft half a mile, where the cliffs of white
and red clay appeared like  the ruins of ancient caftles.
Our canoe  now veered gradually   to   Eaft-North-Eaft;
one mile  and an half,   when we landed in a ftorm of
rain and thunder, where we perceived the  remains  of
Indian houfes.    It was impoflible to determine the wind
in any part of the day,    as it came ahead in all  our
(Friday 21.) As, I was very fenfible of the difficulty
of procuring provifions in this country, I thought it
prudent to guard againft any poflibility of diftrefs of
that kind on our return; I therefore ordered ninety
pounds weight of pemmican to be buried in an hole,
fufficiently deep to admit of a fire over it without doing
any injury to our hidden treafure, and which would, af
the fame time, fecure it from the natives of the country,
or the wild animals of the woods.
The morning was very cloudy, and at four o'clock we
renewed our voyage, fleering South by Eaft one mile
and a quarter, Eaft-South-Eaft half a mile, South by
Eaft one mile and an half, Eaft half a mile, South-Eaft
two miles, where a large river flowed in from the
left,, and a finaller one from the right.    We then con-
R z turned m
ii i
tinued Sfautfj by Weft three quarters of a mile, Eaf|
by South a mile and an half, South three quarters ofa
mile, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile, South by Eaft half
a mile, South-Eaft three quarters of a mile; South-Eaft
by South half a mile, South-Eaft by Eaft half a mile, the
cliffs of blue and yellow clay difplaying the fame gro-
tefque ffiapes as thofe which we pafled yefterday^ Souths
South-Eaft a mile and an half, South hy Eaft two miles.'
The latitude by obfervation was 52. 47. 51. North.
Here we perceived a fmall new canoe, that Jrad been
drawn up to the edge of the wopds, and foon after another
appeared, with one man in it,  which came out of a fmall
river.    He no fooner Jaw us than he gave the whoop, tov
alarm his  friends,    who immediately appeared  on the
bank, armed with bows and arrows,  and fpears.    They
were thinly habited, and difplayed the moft outrageous
anfics.    Though they were certainly in a ftate of great
apprehenfion, they manifefted by their geftures that they
were refolved to attack us, if we fhould venture to land,
I therefore ordered the men to flop the way of the ca?
noe, and even to check her drifting with the current, as
it would  have been extreme folly to have approached
thefe favages before their fury had in fome degree fuh-
fided.    My interpreters, who underftood their language,
informed me that they threatened us with inftant death im
we drew nigh the fhore; and they followed the menace
by difcharging a volley of arrows,   fome of which  fell
fhort of the canoe, and others pafled over it, fo that the«|
fortunately did us no injury.     As we had been carried?
by the current below the fpot where the Indians were,
I ordered my people to paddle to the oppofite fide of the
river, without the Jea$ appearance of cojnfufion,  fo that
:mk thejjt
ihey brought me abreaft of them. My interpreters, whil$
we were within hearing, had done every thing in their
power to pacify them, but in vain, We alfo obferved
that they had fent off a canoe with two men, down the
tiver, as we concluded, to communicate their alarm, and
procure afliflance. This circumftance determined me to
leave no means untried that might engage us in a friendly
intercourfe with them, before they acquired additional
fecurity and confidence, by the arrival of their relations
and neighbours, to whom their fituation would be fhortly
I therefore formed the following adventurous project,
which was happily crowned with fuccefs. I left the
canoe, and waljked by myfelf along the beach, in order to
induce fome of the natives to come to me, which I imar
gined they might be difppfed to do, when they faw me
alone, without any apparent poffibility of receiving
afliflance from nay people, and would confequently imagine that a commun%rtion with me was not a fervice
of danger. At the fame tipe, in order to poffefs the
utmoft fecurity of which my fituation was fufceptible, J
directed one of the Indians to flip into the woods, with
my gun and his own, and to conceal himfelf from their
difcovery; he alfo had orders to keep as near me as poflible, without being feen ; and if any of the natives fhould
venture acrofs, and attempt to fhoot me from the water,
it was his inftrudtions to lay him low: at the fame time
fie was particularly enjoined not to fire till I had difcharged
one or both of the piftols that I carried in my belt.
If, however, any of them were to land, and approach my
perfon, he was immediately to join me. In the mean time
my other interpreter aflured them that we entertained the
M 1
moft  friendly  difpofition,   which  I  confirmed by  fuch
fignals as I conceived would be comprehended by them.
I had not, indeed, been long at my flation, and my Indian
in ambufh behind me, when two of the natives came off
in a canoe, but  flopped  when* they had  got  within  an
hundred yards of me.    I made figns for them to land, and
as an inducement,  difplayed looking glaffes, beads, andf
other alluring trinkets.    At length, but with every mark
of  extreme  apprehenfion,   they approached  the fhore,
flern foremoft, but would not venture to land.    I now
made them a prefent of fome beads, with which they
were pufh off, when I renewed my entreaties,
and, after fome time, prevailed on them to come afhore,
and fit down by me.    My hunter now thought it right
to join me, and created fome alarm in my new acquaint
tance.    It was, however, foon removed, and I had the
fatisfaction to   find that he   and thefe  people perfectly
underftood each   other.    I inftructed him to fay every
thing that might tend to footh their fears and win  their
confidence.    I expreffed my wifh to conduct them to oul
canoe, but they declined my offer; and when they obferved
fome of my people coming to wards us, they requefled
me to let them return; I was   fo   well   fatisfied   with
the progrefs I had made in my intercoufe with them,
that I did not hefitate a moment in complying with their
defire.    During their fhort flay,  they obferved  us,  and
every thing about us, with a mixture of admiration and.
aftonifhment.    We could plainly diftinguifh that their-
friends received them with great joy on their return , and
that the articles which they carried back with them were
examined with a general and eager curiofity; they alfo
appeared to  hold a  confultation, which lafted  about a
quarter of an hour, and the refuk was2 an invitation to
tome over to them, which was cheerfully accepted* Neverthelefs, on our landing, they betrayed evident figns of
confufion, which arofe probably from the quicknefs of
our movements, as the profpect ofa friendly communication had fo cheered the fpirits of my people, that they
paddled acrofs the river with the utmoft expedition. The
two men, however, who had been with us, appeared,
very naturally, to poffefs the greateft fhare of courage
on the occafion, and were ready to receive us on our
landing; but our demeanor foon difpelled all their appre-
henfions, and the moft familiar communication took
place between us. When I had fecured their confidence,
by the diftribution of trinkets among them, and treated
the children with fugar, I inftructed my interpreters to
collect every neceflary information in their power to afford
According to their account, this river, whofe courfe
is very extenfive, runs towards the mid-day fun ; and
that at its mouth, as they had been informed, white
people were building houfes. They ^reprefented its
current to be uniformly ftrong, and that in three places
it was altogether impaffable, from the falls and rapids,
which poured along between perpendicular rocks thafc
were much higher and more rugged than any we had
yet feen, and would not admit of any paflage over therm
But befides the dangers and difficulties of the navigation,
they added, that we fhould have to encounter the in-*
habitants of the country, who were very numerous,.
They alfo reprefented their immediate neighbours as a
very malignant race, who lived in large fubterraneous
rejceffes: and when they were made to;.Jinderftand that
it was our defign to proceed to the fea$ they d^fuaded us
from mi
* i  I ii I
^36 voyage Through ftfe NoRfiiif   I
from profecuting our intention, as we fliould certain!^
become a facrifice to the favage fpirit of the natives*
Thefe people they defcribed as pofleffing iroh, arms, and
titenfils, which they procured from their neighbours td
the Weftward, and were obtained by a commercial progrefs from people like ourfelves, Who brought them irt
great canoes.
Such afi account of our fituation, exaggerated as it
might be in fome points, and erroneous in Others, was
fufficiently alarming, and awakened very pamful reflections ; neverthelefs it did not operate on my mind mas
to produce any change in my original determination;
My firft object, therefore, was to perfuade two of thefe"
people to accompany me, that they might fecure for ti&
a favourable reception from their neighbours. To this
propofition they affented, but expreffed fome degree of
Hiflatisfaction at the immediate departure, for which we
were making preparation ; but when We Were ready to
to enter the canoe, a fmall one was feen doubling the
point below, With three men in it* We thought |B
prudent to wait for their arrival, and they proved to be
Jbme of their relations, Who had received the alarm front
Ifie meffengers, which I have already mentioned^ as
mving been fent down the river for that purpofe, and
who had pafled on, as we were afterwards informed, to
extend the notice of our arrival. Though thefe people
faw us in the fhidft of their friends, they difplayed the
moft menacing actions, and hoftile poflures. At lengthy
however, this wild, favage fpirit appeared to fubfide,
and they were perfuaded to land. One of them, who
was a middle aged perfon, whofe agitations had been left
frequent than thofe of his companions, and who was
treated with particular refpect by them all, inquired who
we were, whence we came, whither we were going,
and what was the motive of our coming into that
country. When his friends had fatisfied him as far
as they were^able refpecting us, he inftantly advifed us
to delay our departure for that night, as their relations
below, having been by this time alarmed by the meflengers,
who had been fent for that purpofe, would certainly
oppofe our paffage, notwithstanding I had two of their
own people with me. He added, that they would all
of them be here by fun-fet, when they would be con-*
vinced, as he was, that we were good people, and
meditated no ill defigns againft them.
Such were the reafons which this Indian urged in
favour of our remaining till the next morning; and
they were too well founded for me to hefitate in complying with them; befides, by prolonging my flay till
the next morning, it was probable that I might obtain
fome important intelligence refpecting the country
through which 1 was to pafs, and the people who
inhabited it. I accordingly ordered the canoe to be
unloaded, taken out of the water, and gummed. My tent;
was alfo pitched, and the natives were now become fo
familiar, that I was obliged to let them know my wifh
to be alone and undifturbed. m!l
My firft application to the native whom I have already
particularly mentioned, was to obtain from him fuch a
plan of the river as he fhould be enabled to give me; and
he complied with this requeft with a degree of readinefs
and intelligence that evidently proved it was by no
means a new bufinefs to him.    In order to acquire the
beft information he could communicate, I aflured him,
if I found his account correct, that I fhould either
return myfelf, or fend others to them, with fuch articles
as they appeared to want: particularly arms and ammunition, with which they would be ablejyto prevent
their enemies from invading them. I obtained, however,
no addition to what I already knew, but that the country
below us, as far as he was acquainted with it, abounded
in animals, and that the river produced plenty of fifh.
Our canoe was now become fo weak,1 leaky, and
unmanageable, that it became a matter of abfolute ne-
cefllty to conftruct a new one ; and I had been informed,
that if we delayed that important work till we got
further down the river, we fhould not be able to procure
bark. I therefore difpatched two of my people, with
an Indian, in fearch of that neceflary material. The
weather was fo cloudy that I could not get an obfervation. *
I pafled fhe reft of the day in converting with thefe
people: they confifted of feven families, containing
eighteen men ; they were clad in leather, and had fome
beaver and rabbit-fkin blankets. They had not been
long arrived in this part of the country, where they
propofed to pafs the fummer, to catch fifh for their
winter provifion : for this purpofe they were preparing
machines fimiliar to that which we found in the firft
Jndian houfe we faw and defcribed. The fifh which they
take in them are large, and only vifit this part of the river
at certain feafons. Thefe people differ very little, if at all,
either in their appearance, language, or manners, from
$ The obfervation, already mentioned, I got on my return.
•, • m the ^»
the Rocky-Mountain Indians. The men whom I fent
in fearch of bafk, returned with a certain quantity of
it, but of a very indifferent kind. We were not gratified with the arrival of any of the natives whom we
expected from a lower part of the river.
• -■■%,■■■■< ■■■----■ CHAPTER VIII.   ■■/■■■■■  'i§: -|
Renew our voyage, accompanied by two of the natives*
Account of courfes* State of the river. Arrive at a
fubterranean houfe* See feveral natives* Brief defcription of them. Account of our conference with them.
See other natives. Defcription of them. Their conducl, &c. The account which they gave of the country.
Tbe narrative of a female prifoner. The perplexities of
my fituation. Specimen of the language of two tribes.
Change the plan of my journey.^ Return up the river.
Succeflfion of dangers and difficulties. Land on an ifland
to build another canoe.
1793, June. '        %r
(Saturday 22.) t\T fix in the morning we proceeded
on our voyage, with two of the Indians, one of them
in a fmall pointed canoe, made after the fafhion of the
Efquimaux, and the other in our own. This precaution
was neceflary in a two-fold point of view, as the fmall
canoe could be fent ahead to fpeak to any of the natives
that might be feen down the river, and, thus divided,
would not be eafy for them both to make their efcape.
Mr. Mackay alfo embarked with the Indian, which feemed
to afford him great fatisfadtion, and he was thereby enabled to keep us company with diminution of labour.
Our < 13
Our courfes were South-South-Eaft a mile and an half,
South-Eaft half a mile, South by Eaft four miles and an
half, South-Eaft by South half a mile, South by Weft half
a mile, South-Eaft by Eaft one mile, South-South-Weft
a mile and an half, South by Eaft one mile and a quarter.
The country on the right prefented a very beautiful
appearance: it rofe at firft rather abruptly to the height of
twenty-five feet, when the precipice was fucceeded by an
inclined plain to the foot of another fleep, which was
followed by another extent of gently-rifing ground: thefe
objects, which were fhaded with groves of fir, prefenting
themfelves alternately to a confiderable diftance.
We now landed near an houfe, the roof of which alone
appeared above ground; but it was deferted by its inhabitants who had been alarmed at our approach. We obferved feveral men in the fecond fleep, who difplayed the
fame poftures and menacing actions as thofe which we
have fo lately defcribed. Our conductors went to them
immediately on an embafly of friendfhip, and, after a
very vociferous difcourfe, one of them was perfuaded to
come to us, but prefented a very ferocious afpect : the
reft, who were feven in number, foon followed his
example. They held their bows and arrows in their
hands, and appeared in their garments, which were
faftened round the neck, but left the right arm free
for action. A cord faftened a blanket or leather covering under the right armpit, fo that it hung upon
the left fhoulder, and might be occafionally employed
as a target, that would turn an arrow which was nearly
fpent. As foon as they had recovered from their appre-
henfions, ten women made their appearance, but without
any children,  whom,   I imagine, they  had fent to a
tlP ni
* I
greater diftance, to be out of the reach of all poflible
danger. I diftributed a few prefents among them, and
left my guides to explain to them the object of my
journey, and the friendlinefs of my defigns, with which
they had themfelves been made acquainted ; their fears
being at length removed, I gave them a <fpecimen of
the ufe to which we applied our fire-arms: at the fame
time, 1 calmed their aftonifhment, by the affurance,
that, though we could at once deftroy thofe who did
ns injury, we could equally protect thofe who fhewed
us kindnefs. Our ftav here did not exceed half an
hour, and we left thefe people with favorable impref-
fions of us.
From this place we fleered Eaft by North half a
mile, South by Eaft three quarters ofa mile, and South
by Weft a mile and an half, when we landed again on
feeing fome of the natives on the high ground, whofe
appearance was more wild and ferocious than any
whom we had yet feen. Indeed I was under fomef
apprehenfion that our guides, who went to conciliate
them to us, would have fallen a prey to their favage
fury. At length, however, they were perfuaded to
entertain a more favourable opinion of us, and they
approached us one after another, to the number of fixteen
men, and feveral women; I fhook hands with them
all, and defired my interpreters to explain that falutation
as a token of friendfhip. \ As this was not a place where!
we could remain with the neceflary convenience, I proposed to proceed further, in fearch of a more commodious fpot. They immediately invited us to pafs the{
night at their lodges, which were at no7 great diftance,
and promifed,  at the fame time, that they would   in
the morning fend two men to introduce us to the next
nation, who were very numerous, and ill-difpofed towards
ftrangers.     As we were  pufhing from  the fhore,   we
were very much furprifed at hearing a woman pronounce
feveral words in the Knifleneaux language.    She proved
to be a Rocky-Mountain native, fo that my interpreters
perfectly  underftood   her.     She informed us   that her
country is at the forks of this river, and that fhe had
been taken prifoner by the Knifleneaux, who had carried
her   acrofs   the  mountains.    After   having  paffed   the
greateil  part of the fummer with them,   fhe had contrived  to  efcape,   before  they had reached their own
country, and had re-croffed the mountains, when fhe
expected to meet her own friends:  but after fuffering
all the hardfhips incident to  fuch  a journey,  {he had
been taken by a war-party of the people with whom
{lie then was, who had driven her relations   from the
river into the mountains.    She had fince been detained
by her prefent hufband, of whom {he had no caufe to
complain;  neverthelefs flie expreffed a ftrong defire to
return to her own people,    I prefented her with feveral
ufeful articles,  and defired her to come to me at the
lodges, which  fhe readily engaged to do.    We arrived
thither before the Indians^ and landed, as we had pro-
mifed.  It was now near twelve at noon, but on attempting
to take an altitude I found the angle too great for my
The natives whom we had already feen, and feveral
others, fopn joined us, with a greater number of women
than I had yet feen; but I did not obferve the female
prifoner among them. There were thirty-five of them,
and my remaining flore of prefents was not fufficient
to ki
to enable me to be very liberal to fo many claimants.
Among the men I found four of the adjoining nation,
and a Rocky-Mountain  Indian,  who   had  been   with
them for fome time.    As he was underftood by my interpreters,   and  was himfelf well acquainted  with the
language   of   the   ftrangers,   I   poffeffed  the  means  of
obtaining   every   information   refpecting  the   country,
which might be in their power to afford me.    For this
purpofe I felected an  elderly man from the four ftrangers, whofe countenance had prepoffeffed me in his favour.    I flated to thefe people,   as I had already done
to thofe from whom I had hitherto derived information,
the objects of my voyage, and the very great advantages
which they would receive from my fuccefsful termination
of it.    They expreffed themfelves very ntftch fatisfied at
my communication,   and aflured   me  that they would
not  deceive  me refpecting the fubject of my inquiry.
An old man alfo, who appeared tq poffefs the charaoler
of a chief,  declared his   wifh to fee me return to4s
land, and.that his two young daughters fhould then be
at my difpofal.    1 now proceeded to requeft the native
whom I had particularly felected,  to commence  his information, by drawing a fketch of the country upon a
large piece of bark, and he immediately eritered on the
work, frequently appealing to, and fometimes alking the
advice of, thofe around him.    He defcribed the river as
running to the Eaft of South, receiving many rivers and
every fix or eight   leagues   encumbered with falls  and
rapids, fome of which were very dangerous, and fix of
them  impracticable.    The carrying-places he reprefented
as of great length, and paffing over %ills and mountains,
He depicted the lands of three other tribes, in fucceflion,
who fpoke different languages.    Beyond them he knew
nothing West continent of America
feothing either of the river or country, only that it was
J^}1 a long way to the fea ;  and that, as he had heard^
there was a lake before they reached the  water,  which
the natives did not drink.    As far as his knowledge of
the river extended, the country on either fide was level,
in  manv places without wood,  and  abounding in red
deer, and fome   of a   fmall fallow kind.    Few of the
natives, he faid,   would come   to the banks for  fome
time ; but that at a certain feafon they would arrive there
in great numbers, to fifh.    They   now  procured  iron,
brafs, copper, and trinkets* from  the   Weftward ;   but
formerly thefe articles were   obtained from   the   lower
parts of the river, though in fmall quantities.    A knife
was produced which had been brought from that quarter.
The blade was ten inches long, and an inch and an half
broad, but with a very blunted edge.    The  handle was
of  horn.    We  underftood   that   this   inftrument   had
been obtained from white men,  long before  they had
heard that anv came to the Weftward.    One very old
man obferved, that as long as  he  could remember,  he
was told of white people to the Southward \ and that
he had heard, though he did not vouch  for the truth
of the report, that one of them had made an attempt
to come up the river,  and was deftfoyed.
Thefe people defcribe the diftance acrofs the country
as very fhort to the Weftern ocean ; and, according to
my owrl idea, it cannot be above five or fix degrees. If
the affertion of Mr. Mears be correct, it cannot be fo
far, as the inland fea which he mentions within Nootka^
muft come as far Eaft as 126 Weft longitude. They
aflured us that the road was not difficult, as they avoided
the mountains, keeping  along the low lands between
Vol. II, T 1   therm J
(.Will Eiltlll
them, many parts of which are entirely free from woocfi
According  to their account,  this way is fo often tra*
veiled by them, that their path is vifible throughout the
whole journey, Which lies along final! lakes and rivers.
It occupied them, they faid, no  more than  fix nights,
to go to where they meet the people who barter iron,
brafs, copper, beads,  &e. with them, for dreffed leather,
and beaver, bear, lynx, fox, and marten fkins.    The iron
is about eighteen inches of two-inch bar.    To this they
give an edge at one end, and fix it to an handle at right
angles, which they employ as an axe.    When the iron
is worn down,  they  fabricate  it  into  points for their
arrows and fpikes.    Before they procured iron they employed bone and horn for thofe purpofes.    The copper
and brafs they convert into collars, armbands, bracelets,
and other ornaments.    They fometimes alfo point their
arrows with thofe metals.    They had been informed by
thofe whom they meet to trade with, that the white
people, from  whom  thefe  articles   are  obtained, were
building houfes at the diftance of three days,  or two
nights journey from the place where they met laft fall.
With this route they all appeared to be well acquainted.
I now requefted that they would fend for the female
prifoner whom I faw yefterday, but I received only vague
and evafive anfwers: they probably apprehended, that it
was our defign to take her from them. I was, however,
very much difappointed at being prevented from having
an interview with her, as fhe might have given me %
correct account of the country beyond the forks of the
river, as welj as of the pafs through the mountains from
'i«N .  .   ;-,.■„: ~      ■ N % WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA. '   147
. My people had liftened with great attention to the
relation which had been given me, and it feemed to be
their opinion, that it would be abfolute madnefs to
attempt a paffage through fo many favage and barbarous
nations. My fituation may, indeed, be more eafily
conceived than expreffed : I had no more than thirty
days provifion remaining, exclusive of fuch fupplies as
I might obtain from the natives, and the toil of our
hunters, which, however, was fo precarious as to be
matter of little dependence : befides, our ammunition
would foon be exhaufted, particularly our ball, of
which we had not more than an hundred and fifty,
and about thirty pounds weight of {hot, which, indeed, might be converted into bullets* though with
great wafte.
The more 1 heard of the river, the more I was convinced it could not empty itfelf into the ocean to the
North of what is called the River of the Weft, fo that
with its windings, the diftance muft be very great. Such
being the difcouraging circumfiances of my fituation,
which were now heightened by the difcontents of my
people, I could not but be alarmed at the idea of
attempting to get to the difcharge of fuch a rapid river,
efpecially when I reflected on the tardy progrefs of my
return up it, even if I fhould meet with no obftruc-
tion from the numbers of them which would then be
on the river; and whom I could have no opportunity
of conciliating in my paffage down, for the. reafons
whijh have been already mentioned. At alL events,
I muft give up every expectation of returning this feafon
to Athabafca. Such were my reflections at this period;
but inftead of continuing to indulge them, 1 determined to.
T z proceedk .?.*/■"
proceed with refolutipn, and fet future events at defiance,
At the fame tirne I fuffered myfelf to nourifh the hope
that I might be able to penetrate with more fafety, and
in a fhorter period, to the pcean by the inland weftern
To carry this proje<£t into execution, I muft have
Returned a confiderable diftance up the river, which,
would neceflarily be attended with a very ferious inconvenience, if I pafled over every other | as in a voyage
of this kind, a retrograde motion could not fail to cool
the ardour, flacken the zeal, and weaken the confidence
of thofe, who have, no greater inducement in the
undertaking, than to follow the conductor of it. Sucrj
was the ftate of my mind at this period, and fuch the
Circumfiances by which it was diftreffed and diffracted,
To the people who had given me the foregoing information, I prefented fome beads, which they preferred to any other articles in my poffeffion, and ]
recompenfed in the fame manner two of them who,
corrmiunicated to me the following vocabulary in th&
^hguages of the Nagaiier and Atnah tribes.
The Nagaiier,
The Atnah,
or Carrien-Indians.
or Chin-Indians*
Nah,     ,-
Thigah ^
'.,,: Thie,
The Nagaiier,
The Atnah,
s Carrien-Indians,
pr ChinJndiangi
Thli fitch,
Come here,
The Atnah language has no affinity to any with which
I am acquainted; but the Nagaiier differs very little
from that fpokerr by the Beaver Indians, and is almoft
the fame as that of the Chepewyans,
We had a thunder^florm with heavy rain ; and in the
evening when it had fubfided, the Indians amufed us with
finging and dancing, in which they were joined by the
young women. Four men now arrived whom we had
not yet feen; they had left their families at fome diftance in the country, and expreffed a 4efire that we
we flioul^ vi£t them there*
(Sunday ;
(Sunday 23.) After a reftlefs night, I called the Indiana
together, from whom I yefterday received the intelligence
which has been already mentioned, in the hope that I
might obtain fome additional information. Prom their
former account they did not make the leaft deviation;
but they informed me further, that where they left this
river, a fmall one from the Weftward falls into, it,
which was navigable for their canoes during four days,
and from thence they flept but two nights, to get to trie-
people with whom they trade, and who have wooden
canoes much larger than ours, in which they go down
a river to the fea. Thev continued to inform me, that
if I went that way we muft leave our own canoe behind
us: but they thought it probable that thofe people would
furnifh us with another. From thence they flated the
diftance to be only one day's voyage with the current to.
the lake whofe water is naufeous, and where they had
heard that great canoes came two winters ago, and that
the people belonging to them, brought great quantities
of goods and built houfes.
At the commencement of this converfation, I was very
much furprifed by the following queftion from one of
the Indians : " What, | demanded he, '* can be the
reafon that you are fo particular and anxious in your in^
quiries of us refpecting a knowledge of this country : do-
not you white men know every thing in the world ? '
This interrogatory was fo very unexpected, that it oc-
eafioned fome hefitation before I could anfwer it. At
length, however, I replied, that we certainly were acquainted with the principal circumfiances ©f every part
of the world; that I knew where the fea is, and where I
myfelf then was, but that I dj^ not exactly underftand
What obftacles might interrupt me in getting to it j with
which he and his relations muft be well acquainted, as
they had fo frequently furmounted them. Thus I fortunately preferved the imprefiion in their minds, of the*
fuperiority of white people over themfelves.
It was now, however, absolutely nereffary that I fhoulct
come to a final determination which route to take ; and
no long interval of reflection was employed, before I preferred to go over land: the comparative fhortnefs and
fecurity of fuch a journey, were alone fufficient to determine me. 1 accordingly propofed to two of the Indians to accompany me and one of them readily affented
to my propofition.
I now called thofe of my people about me, who had
not been prefent at my confultation with the natives; and
after paffing a Warm eulo£;ium  on  their fortitude,  patience, and perfeverance, I flated difficulties that threatened
our continuing to navigate the river, the length of time
it would require,  and the fcanty provifion we had for
fuch a voyage: I then proceeded for the foregoing rea-
fons to propofe a fhorter route, by trying the over-land
road to the fea.    At  the  fame  time, as I knew from
experience the difficulty of retaining guides, and as many
circumfiances might occur to prevent our progrefs in that
direction, I declared   my refolution not to  attempt it,
unlefs they would engage, if we could not after all proceed over  land, to return with me, and continue our
voyage to the difcharge of the waters, whatever the diftance might be.    At all events, I declared, in the moft
fojemn manner, that I would not abandon my defign of
reaching ii
reaching the fea, if I made the attempt alone, and that
I did not defpaif of returning in fafety to my  friends;
This proposition met with the moft zealous return^
and they uhanimoufly aflured me, that they were as
willing now as they had ever been, to abide by my resolutions, whatever they might be, and to follow me
Wherever I fhould go. I therefore fequefled them td
prepare for an immediate departure, and at the fame
time gave notice to the man who had engaged to be
our guide, to be in readinefs to accompany us. When
our determination to return up the river was made known,
feveral of the natives took a very abrupt departure ; but
to thofe who remained, I gave a few ufeful articles, explaining to them at the fame time, the advantages that
would refult to them, if their relations conducted me
to the fea along fuch a road as they had defcribed. I
had already given a moofe fkin to fome of the women
for the purpofe of making fhoes, which were now
brought us; they were well fewed but ill fhaped, and
a few beads were confidered as a fufficient renumeration
for the {kill employed on them. Mr. Mackay, by mj
defire, engraved my name, and the date of the year on
a tree.
When we were ready to depart, Our guide propofeoj
for the fake of expedition, to go Over land to his lodge,
that he might get there before us, to make fome neceflary preparation for his journey. I did not altogether
relifh his defign, but was obliged to confent: I though'
it prudent, however, to fend Mr. Mackay, and the twi
Indians along with him.    Our place of rendezvous wa
the fubterraneous houfe which we pafled yefterday.
At ten in the morning we embarked, and went up the
current much fafter than I expected with fuch a crazy
veffel as that which carried us. We met our people
at the houfe as had been appointed; but the Indian
ftill continued to prefer going on by land, and it would
have been needlefs for me to oppofe him. He proceeded, therefore, with his former companions, whom I
defired to keep him in good humour by every reafonable
gratification. They were alfo furnifhed with a few
articles that might be of ufe if they fhould meet with
In a fhort time after we had left the houfe, I faw
a wooden canoe coming down the river, with three natives in it, who, as foon as they perceived us, made for
the fhore, and hurried into the woods. On paffing
their veffel, we difcovered it to be one of thofe which
we had feen at the lodges. A fevere guft of wind, with
rain, Came from the South-South-Eaft. This we found
to be a very prevalent wind in thefe parts. We foon
pafled another wooden canoe drawn ftern foremoft on
the fhore; a circumftance which we had not hitherto
obferved. The men worked very hard, and though I
imagined we went ahead very fail:, we could not reach
the lodges, but landed for the night at nine, clofe to
the encampment of two families of the natives whom
we had formerly feen at the lodges. I immediately
went and fat down with them, when they gave me fome
roafted fifh; two of my men who followed me were
gratified alfo with fome of their provifions. The youngeft
of the two natives now quitted the fhed, and did
not return during the time I remained there. I endeavoured to explain to the other by   figns, the caufe of
Vol. II.
ii ibdj
my fudden return, which he appeared to underftani
In the mean time my tent was pitched, and on my
going to it, I was rather furprifed that he did not
follow me, as he had been conftantly with me during
the day and night I had paffed with his party on going
down. We, however, went to reft in a ftate of perfect
fecurity; nor had we the left apprehenfion for the
fafety of our people who were gone by land.
We were in our canoe by four this morning, and
pafled by the Indian hut, which appeared in a ftate of
perfect tranquillity. We foon came in fight of the
point where we firft faw the natives, and at eight were
much furprifed and difappointed at feeing Mr. Mackay
and our two Indians coming alone from the ruins of
an houfe that had been partly carried away by the ice
and water, at a fhort diftance below the place where we
had appointed to meet. Nor was our furprife and apprehenfion diminifhed by the alarm which was painted
in their countenances. When we had landed, they informed me that they had taken refuge in that place, with
the determination to fell their lives, which they confidered in the moft imminent danger, as dear as poflible.
In a very fhort time after they had left us, they met a
party of the Indians, whom we had known at this
place, and Were probably thofe whom we had feen to
land from their canoe. They appeared to be in a ftate
of extreme rage, and had their bows bent, with their
arrows acrofs them. The guide flopped to afk them
fome queftions, which my people did not underftand,
and then fet off with his utmoft fpeed. Mr. Mackay,
however, did not leave him till they were both exhaufted
with running.    When the young man came up, he then
faid, that fome treacherous defign was meditated againft
them, as he was induced to believe from the declaration of the natives, who told him that they were going
to do mifchief, but refufed to name the enemy. The
gu\de then conducted them through very bad ways, as
faft as they could run; and when he was defired to
flacken his pace, he anfwered that they might follow him
in any manner they pleafed, but that he was impatient
to get to his family, in order to prepare fhoes, and
other neceffaries, for his journey. They did not, however, think it prudent to quit him, and he would not
flop till ten at night. On paffing a track that was but
lately made, they began to be ferioufly alarmed, and on
inquiring of the guide where they were, he pretended
not to underftand them. They then all laid down, ex-
haufted with fatigue, and without any kind of covering :
they were cold, wet, and hungry, but dared not light a
fire from the apprehenfion of an enemy. This comfort-
lefs fpot they left at the dawn of day, and, on their arrival at the lodges, found them deferted, the property of
the Indians being fcattered about, as if abandoned for
ever. The guide then made two or three trips into the
woods, calling aloud, and bellowing like a madman. At
length he fet off in the fame direction as they came, and
had not fince appeared. To heighten their rnifery, as
they did not find us at the place appointed, they concluded that we were all deftroyed, and had already formed
their plan to take to the woods, and crofs in as direct
a line as they could proceed to the waters of the Peace
River; a fcheme which could only be fuggefted by de-
fpair. They intended to have waited for us till noon,
and if we did not appear by tint time, to have entered
without further delay on their defperate expedition.
This alarm among the natives was a very unexpected
as well as perilous event, and my powers of conjecture
were exhaufted in fearching for the caufe of it. A general panic feized all around me, and any further pro-
fecution of the vogage was now confidered by them as
altogether hopelefs and impracticable* But without
paying the leaft attention to their opinions or furmifes,
I ordered them to take every thing out of the canoe,
except fix packages : when that was done, I left four
men to take care of the lading, and returned with the
others to our camp of laft night, where I hoped to
find the two men, with their families, whom we had
feen there, and to be able to bring them to lodge with
us, when I fhould wait the iflues of this myflerious
bufinefs. This project, however, was difappointed, for
thefe people had quitted their fheds in the filence' of
the night, and had not taken a fingle article of their
little property with them.
Thefe perplexing circumfiances made a deep impreflion
on my mind, not as to our immediate fafety, for I entertained not the leaft apprehenfion of the Indians 1 had
hitherto feen, even if their whole force fhould have been
combined to attack us ; but thefe untoward events feemed
to threaten the profecution of my journey, and I could
not reflect on the pofiibility of fuch a difappointment
but with fenfations little fhort of agony. Whatever might
have been the wavering difpofition of the people on
former occafions, they were now decided in their opinions as to the neceflity of returning without delay;
and when we came back to them, their cry was —| Let
us reimbark, and be gone." This, however, was not
my defjgn, and in a more peremptory tone than I ufually
employed, WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.      157
employed, they were ordered lo unload the canoe, and
take her out of the water. On examining our property, feveral articles appeared to be miffing, which
the Indians muft have purloined j and among them were
an axe, two knives, and the young men's bag of medicines. We now took a pofition that was the beft
calculated for defence, got our arms in complete order,
filled each man's flafk of powder, and diftributed an
hundred bullets, which were all that remained, while
fome were employed in melting down fhot to make
more. The weather was fo cloudy that I had not an
opportunity of taking an obfervation.
While we were employed in making thefe preparations, we faw an Indian in a canoe come down the
river, and land at the huts, which he began to examine.
On perceiving us he flood ftill, as if in a ftate of fuf-
penfe, when I inftantly difpatched one of my Indians
towards him, but no perfuafions could induce him to
have confidence in us; he even threatened that he
would haften to join his friends, who would come and
kill us. At the conclufion of this menace he difap-
peared. On the return of my young man with this
account of the interview, I pretended to difcredit the
whole, and attributed it to his own apprehenfions and
alarms. This, however, he denied, and afked with a
loo|c and tone of refentment, whether he had ever told
me a lie? Though he was but a young man, fie faid,
he had been on war excurfions before he came with
me, and that he fhould no longer confider me as a wife
man, which he had hitherto done. 158   VOYAGE THROUGH THE NORTH-
To add to our diftreffes we had not an ounce of gum
for the reparation of the canoe, and not one of the
rnen had fufficient courage to ventute into the woods to
collect it. In this perplexing fituation I entertained
the hope that in the courfe of the night fome of the
natives would return, to take away a part at leaft of
the things which they had left behind them, as they
had gone away without the covering neceflary to defend
them from the weather and the flies. I therefore ordered the canoe to be loaded, and dropped to an old
houfe, one fide of which, with its roof, had been carried away by the water; but the three remaining angles
were fufficient to fhe Iter us from the woods. I then
ordered two ftrong piquets to be driven into the
ground, to which the canoe was faftened, fo that if
we were hard preffed we had only to ftep on board and
pufh off. We were under the neceflity of making a
fmoke to keep off the fwarms of flies, which would
have otherwife tormented us; but we did not venture
to excite a blaze, as it would have been a mark for
the arrows of the enemy. M. Mackay and myfelf,
with three men kept alternate wach, and allowed the
Indians to do as they fancied. I took the firft watch,
and the others laid down in their clothes by us. I
alfo placed a centinel at a fmall diftance, who was
relieved every hour. The weather was cloudy, with
fliowers of rain.
(Tuefday 25.) At one I called up the other watch,
and laid down to a fmall portion of broken reft. At
five I arofe, and as the fituation which we left yefterday
was preferable to that which we then occupied, I
determined to return to it.    On our arrival Mr. Mackay
Hi        informed WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     159
informed me that the men had expreffed their diffa-
tisfaction to him in a very unreferved manner, and
had in very ftrong terms declared their refolution to
follow me no further in my propofed enterprize. I
did not appear, however, to have received fuch communications from him, and continued to employ my
whole thoughts in contriving means to bring about a
reconciliation with the natives, which alone would
enable me to procure guides, without whofe afliftance
it would be impoflible for me to proceed, when my
darling  project would end in difappointment.
At twelve we faw a man coming with the ftream
upon a raft, and he muft have difcovered us before we
perceived him, as he was working very hard to get
to the oppofite fhore, where he foon landed, and in-
ftantly fled into the woods. I now had a meridional
altitude, which gave 60. 23. natural horizon, (the angle
being more than the fextant could meafure with the
artificial horizon,) one mile and an half diftant; and the
eye five feet above the level of the water, gave 52.
47. 51. North latitude.
While I was thus employed, the men loaded the canoe
without having received any orders from me, and as
this was the firft time they had venture to act in fuch
a decided manner, I naturally concluded, that they had
preconcerted a plan for their return. I thought it prudent, however, to take no notice of this tranfaction,
and to wait the iffue of future circumfiances. At this
moment our Indians perceived a perfon in the edge
of the woods above us, and they were immediately
difpatched to difcover who it was.    After a fhort abfence
they returned with a young woman whom we had
feen before: her language was not clearly comprehended
by us, fo that we could not learn from her, at leaft
with any degree of certainty, the caufe of this unfortunate alarm that had taken place among the natives.
She told us that her errand was to fetch fome things
which fhe had left behind her; and one of the dogs
whom we found here, appeared to acknowledge her
as miftrefs. We treated her with great kindnefs, gave
her fomething to eat, and added a prefent of fitch
articles as we thought might pleafe her. On her ex-
preffing a wifh to leave us, we readily confented to
her departure, and indulged the hope that her reception
would induce the natives to return in peace, and give
us an opportunity to convince them, that we had no
hoftile defigns whatever againft them. On leaving us,
fhe went up the river without taking a fingle article of
her own, and the dog followed. The wind was changeable throughout the day, and there were feveral fhowers
in the courfe of it.
Though a very apparent anxiety prevailed among the
people for their departure, I appeared to be wholly
inattentive to it, and at eight in the evening I ordered
four men to ftep into the canoe, which had been loaded
for feveral hours, and drop down to our guard-houfe,
and my command was immediately obeyed: the reft of
us proceeded there by land. When I was yet a confiderable diftance from the houfe, and thought it impoflible for an arrow to reach it, having a bow and
quiver in my hand, I very imprudently let fly an arrow,
when, to my aftonifhment and infinite alarm, I heard
it ftrike a los: of the houfe.    The men who had juft
landed, West continen^6f America,    m.
landed, imagined that they were attacked by an enemy
from the woods. Their cohfufion was in proportion to
their imaginary danger, and on my arrival I found that
the arrow had pafled within a foot of one of the men ;
though it had no pqint, the weapon, incredible as it
Huy appear, had entered an hard, dry log of wood
upwards of an inch. But this was not all; for the men
readily availed themfelves of this circumftance, to remark
Upon the danger of remaining in the power of a people
poffeffed of fuch means of deftruction. Mr. Mackay
having the firft watch, I laid myfelf down in my cloak.
(Wednefday. 26.) About midnight a rufiiihg hoife was
heard in the woods which created a general alarm, and
1 was awakened to be informed of the circumftance,
but heard nothing. At one I took my turn of the
watch, and our dog continued unceafingly to run
backwards and forwards along the fkirts of the wood in
C? Mir-
a ftate of reftlefs vigilance; At two in the morning the
centinei informed me, that he faw fometliing like an
human figure creeping along on all-fours about fifty
paces above us. After fome tittle had pafled in our
fearch, I at length difcovered that his information was
true, and it appeared to me that a bear had occafioned
the alarm; but when day appeared, it proved to be an
old, grey-haired, blind man, who had been compelled
to leave his hiding-place by extreme hunger, being too
infirm to join in the flight of the natives to whom he
belonged. When I put my. hand on this object of de-*
caying nature,- his alarm was fo great, that I expected it
would have thrown him into convulfions. I immediately led him to our fire which had been juft lighted*
and gave him fomething to eat, which he much wanted*
Vol. II. X as
as he had not tailed food for two days. When h&
hunger was fatisfied, and he had got warm and com-
pofed, 1 requefted him to acquaint me with the caufe
of that alarm which had taken place refpecting us among
his relations and friends, whofe regard we appeared to
have conciliated but a few days paft. He replied, that
that very foon after we had left them, fome natives
arrived from above, who informed them that we were
enemies; and our unexpected return, in direct contradiction to our own declarations, confirmed them in that
opinion. They were now, he faid, fo fcattered, that a
confiderable time would elapfe, before they could meet
again. We gave him the real hiftory of our return, as
well as of the defertion of our guide, and, at the fame
lime, ftated the impoflibility of our proceeding, unlefs
we procured a native to conduct us. He replied, that
if he had not loft his fight, he would with the greateft
readinefs have accompanied us on our journey. He alfo
confirmed the accounts which we had received of the
country, and the route to the Weftward. I did not
neglect to employ every argument in my power, that
he might be perfuaded of our friendly difpofitions to
the inhabitants wherefoever we might meet them.
At fun-rife we perceived a canoe with one man in it
Ion the oppofite fide of the river, and at our requeft,
the blind man called to him to come to us, but
he returned no anfwer, and continued his courfe as
fall: as he could paddle down the current. He was con-
' fidered as a fpy by my men, and I was confirmed in
that opinion, when I faw a wooden canoe drifting with
the ftream clofe in to the other fhore, where it was
aiore than probable that fome of the natives might be
concealed WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     16$
concealed,    It might,   therefore, have been an  ufelefs
enterprife, or perhaps fatal to the future fuccefs of our
undertaking,  if we had purfued   thefe people, as they
might, through fear, have employed their, arms againft:
us, and provoked us to retaliate..
The old man informed me, that fome of the natives
whom I had feen here were gone up the river, ancr
thofe whom I faw below had left their late flation to
gather a root in the plains, which, when dried, forms
a confiderable article in their winter ftock of provifions.
He had a woman, he faid, with him, who ufed to fee
.us walking along the fmall adjoining river, but when
he called her he received no anfwer, fo that fhe had
probably fled to join her people. He informed me, alfoj
that he expected a confiderable number of his tribe life
come on the upper part of the river to catch fifh for
their prefent fupport*, and. to cure them for their winter
{lore; among whom he had a fon and two brothers.
In confequence of thefe communications, I deemed it
altogether unneceflary to lofe any more time at this
place, and I informed the old man that he muft accompany me for the purpofe of introducing us to his
friends and- relations, and that if we met, with his fon
or brothers, I depended upon him to perfuade them, or
fome of their party, to attend us as guides in our
meditated expedition. He expreffed his wifhes to be
excufed from this fervice, and in other circumfiances
We fhould not have infifted on it, but, fituated as we
were, we could not yield to his requeft.
At feven in the morning we left this place, which I
named Peferjer's; River   or Creek.   Our blind guide
3L 2n wasv
lit 7
was however, fo averfe to continuing with us, that I wa$
under the very difagreable neceffity of ordering the men,
to carry him into the canoe; and this was the firft art
during nry voyage, that had the femblance of violent
dealing. He continued to fpeak in a very loud tone,
while he remained, according to his conjecture, near,
enough to> the camp to be heard, but in a language
that our interpreters did not underftand. On af^ing
him what he faid, and why he. did not fpeak in a
language known to us, he replied, that the woman underftood him better in that which he fpoke, and he
requefted her, if fhe heard him, to come for him to
the carrying-place, where he expected we fhould, leave
At length our canoe was become fo leaky, that \\
was abfolutely unfit for fervice ; and it was the unr
remitting employment of one perfon to keep her clear
of water: we, therefore, inquired of the old rhan where
we could conveniently obtain the articles neceflary to.
build a new one; and we underftood from him, that, at
fome diftance up the river, we fhould find plenty of
|>ark and cedar.
At ten, being at the foot of a rapid, we faw a fmall
canoe coming down with two men in it.    We thought
^t would be impoflible for them to efcape, and therefore
{truck  off from the fhore with a defign to intercept them,
directing the old man at the fame time to add.refs them;
but they no fooner perceived us, than they fleered into
the ftrength of the current, where I thought that they
muft inevitably perifh, ; but their attention appeared to,
be engroffed hy the fituation   of their canoe, and they
ffcape^ without making us the leaft reply^
About three in the afternoon we perceived a lodge
at the entrance of a confiderable river on the right, as
well as the tracks of people in the mud at the mouth
pf a fmall river on t the left. As they appeared to be
frefh, we landed, and endeavoured to trace them, but
without fuccefs. We then croffed over to the lodge,
which was deferted, but all the ufual furniture of fuch
buildings  remained untouched. H
Throughout the whole of this day the men had beert
\n a ftate of extreme ill humour, and as they did not
choofe openly to vent it upon me, they difputed and quarrelled among themfelves. About fun-fet the canoe ftruck
upon the flump of a tree, which brol^e a large hole
in her bottom ; a circumftance that gave them an opportunity to let loofe their difcontents without referve,
I left them as foon as we had landed, and afcended an
elevated bank, in a ftate of mind which I fcarce with
to recollect, and fhall not attempt to defcribe,. At this
place there was a fubterraneous houfe, where I determined to pafs the night. The water had rifen fince
We had paffed down, and it was with the utmoft exertion that we came up feveral points in the courfe of
the day.
(Thurfday 27.) We embarked at half paft four, with
very favourable weather, and at eight we landed, where
there was an appearance of our being able to procure
bark; we, however, obtained but a fmall quantity. At
twelve we went on fhore again, and collected as much
as was neceflary for our purpofe. It now remained for
us to fix on a proper place for building another canoe,
$s it was impoflible to proceed with our old one, which
I1 mM
was become an abfolute wreck. At five in the afternooij|
we came to a fpot well adapted to the bufinefs in which
we were about to engage. It was on a fmall ifland not
much encumbered with wood, though there was plenty
of the fpruce kind on the oppofite land,, which was only
divided from us by a fmall channel,. We now landed,
but before the canoe was unloaded, and the tent pitched,
a violent thunder-florm came on, accompanied with rain,
which did not fubfide till the night had clofed in upon usv
Two of our men who had been in the woods for axe-
handles, faw a deer, and one of them fhot at it, but uiv
luckily miffed his aim. A net was alfo prepared an(| fe£
in. the eddy at the end of the ifland.
Make preparations to build a canoe. Engage in that im*
portant work. It proceeds with great expedition* Thi
guide who had deferted arrives with another Indian.
He communicates agreeable intelligence. They take an
opportunity to quit the ifland. Complete the canoe. Leavt
fhe ifland, which was now named*the Canoe Ifland*,
Obliged to put the people on fhort allowance* Account
%fl the navigation. Difficult afcent of a rapid. Freflh
perplexities. Continue our voyage up the river* Meet
the guide and fome of his friends. Conceal fome pemmican and other articles. Make preparations for pro*
needing over land. Endeavour to fecure the canoe till
our return. Proceed on our journey. Various circum*
Jlances of it.
(Friday 28.) /\T a very early riour of the morning
every man was employed in making preparations for
building another canoe, and different parties went in
fearch of wood, watape, and gum. At two in the
afternoon they all returned fuccefsful, except the collectors of gum, and of that article it was feared
we (hould not obtain here a fufficient fupply for our
*793> JUNE-
immediate wants. After a neceflary portion of tiriKi
allotted for refrefhfflent, each began his refpe6tive worfcj
I had an altitude at noon, which made us in 53. 2. 32^
North latitude*
{Saturday 29.)   The weather   continued   to  be fine;
At five o'clock we renewed our labour, and the canoe
Was  got in   a  ftate  of confiderable   forwardnefs.    Thi
conductor of the work* though a  good  man,  Was remarkable for  the tardinefs  of his  operations, whatever
they might   be,   and  more  difpofed to eat than  to be
active;  I, therefore, took this opportunity of unfolding
my fentiments to him,   and  thereby  difcovering to ail
around   me  the  real  ftate  of my   mind, and the refo-
lutions I had formed   for   my  future    conduct.   After
reproaching   him  for his   general   inactivity,    but particularly on   the  prefent occafion* when  our time was
fo precious, I mentioned the apparent want of economy
both of himfelf and his companions, in the article of provifions.    I   informed  him  that  I  was  not altogether a
flranger to their late converfatioris,  from whence I dreW
the  conclufion   that they wifhed to put an end to the'
Voyage.    If that were fo,  I expreffed my wifh that they
Would be explicit,  and tell me at once of their determination to follow me no longer.    I concluded, however,   by   alluring  him,    that   whatever   plan   they  had
meditated  to  purfue,  it was   my  fixed  and   unalterable
determination   to   proceed,  in   fpite  of every difficulty
that might oppofe, or danger that fhould threaten fne.
The   man was very much mortified at my  addreffing
this remonftrance particularly to him; and  replied, that
he did not deferve my difpleafure more that the reft of
them.     My  object  being  anfwered,   the   converfation
dropped,  and the work went on.
About two in the afternoon one of the men perceived a canoe, with two natives in it, coming along
the infide of the ifland, but the water being fhaliow,
it turned back, and we imagined that- on perceiving us
they had taken the alarm jj but we were agreeably furprifed on feeing them come up the outfide of the|ifland,
when we recognifed our guide, and one of the natives,
whom we had already feen. The former began immediately to apologize for his conduct, and affured me
that fince he had left me, his wThole time had been
j^mployed in fearching after his family, who had,bee&
feized with the general panic, that had been occafioned
by the falfe reports of the people who had firft fled
from us. He faid it was generally apprehended by the
natives that we had been unfriendly to their relations
above, who were expected upon the river in great numbers at this time; and that many of the Anath, or Chin
nation, had come up the river to where we had been,
in the hope of feeing us, and were very much dijpleafed
with him and his friends for having neglected to give
them an early notice of our arrival there. He added,
that the two men whom we had feen yefterday, or the
day before, were juft returned from their rendezvous,
with the natives of the fea coaft, and had brought a
meffage from his brother-in-law, that he had a new
axe for him, and not to forget to bring a moofe fkin
dreffed in exchange, which he actually had in his canoe.
He expected to meet him, he faid, at the other end
of the carrying-place.
Vol. II. m Y ;       ' I:-../.'-   This
This was as pleafing intelligence as we had reafon
to expect, and it is almoft fuperfluous to obferve that
we flood in great need of it. I had a meridian altitude, which gave 53. 3. 7. North latitude I alfo
took time in the fore and afternoon, that gave a mean
of 1. 37. 42. Achrometer flow/apparent time, which,
with an obferved immerfion of Jupiter's firft fatellite,
made our  longitude   122.  48.   Weft of Greenwich.
The blind old man gave a very favourable account
of us to his friends, and they all three were very merry
together during the whole of the afternoon. That ouf
guide, however, might not efcape from us during the
night,  I determined to watch him.
(Sunday 30.) Our ftrangers conducted themfelves
with great good-humour throughout the day. According to their information we fhould find their friends
above and below the carrying-place. They mentioned,
alfo, that fome of them were not of their tribe, but are
allied to the people of the fea coaft, who trade with
the white men. I had a meridian altitude, that gave
S3' 3  lV North latitude.
1793   JULY-     '-. >    ' -   |e\   "; J'
(Monday 1. ) Laft night I had the firft watch, when
one of my Indians propofed to fit up with me, as he
underftood, from the old man's converfation, that he
intended, in the courfe of the night, to make his efcape*
Accordingly at eleven I extinguifhed my light, and fat
quietly in my tent, from whence I could obferve the
motions of the natives.     About  twelve,   though the
nirrht was rather dark,  I obferved the old man creeping
on his hands and knees towards  the water-fide.    We
accordingly   followed  him  very quietly to the   canoe,
and he would have gone away with it,  if he had not
been interrupted in his defign.    On upbraiding him for
his treacherous conduct, when he had been treated with
fo   much kindnefs by us,  he denied the intention of
which we accufed him, and declared that his fole object
was to affuage his  thirft.    At length,    however,   he
acknowledged the truth, and when we brought him to
the fire,   his  friends, who now awoke,  on being informed of  what had   pafled,   reprobated his conduct,
and afked him  how he could expect that  the white
people would return to this country, if they experienced
fuch ungrateful treatment.    The guide faid, for his part,
he was not a woman, and would never run away through
fear.    But notwithstanding this courageous declaration,
at one I awakened Mr. Mackay, related to him what
had paffed, and requefted him not to indulge himfelf
in fleep till I fhould rife.    It was feven before I awoke,
and on quitting my tent I was furprifed at not feeing
the guide and his companion, and my apprehenfions were
increafed when I obferved that the canoe was removed from
its late fituation.    To my inquiries after them, fome of
the men very compofedly anfwered that they were gone
up  the river, and had left the  old man  behind them.
Mr.  Mackay alfo told me,  that  while he was bufiiy
employed on  the canoe, they had goned to  the point
before he had obferved their departure.    The interpreter
now informed me,  that at the dawn of day*the guide
had expreffed his defign, as foon as the fun was up, to
go and wait for us, where he might find his friends.    I
hoped this might be true; but that my people fhould
Y 2 fuffer
§1 I f
■,||   :;
W 11
fuffer them to depart without giving me notice, was a
circumftance that awakened very  painful reflections in
my  breaft.    The  weather was clear in the forenoon.
My obfervation this day gave £3. 3. 32. North latitude.
At five in the afternoon our veffel was completed,
and ready for fervice. She proved a ftronger and better
boat than the old one, though had it not been tfbr the
gum obtained from the latter, it would have been a
matter of great difficulty to have procured a fufficiencv
of that article to have prevented her from leaking. The
remainder of the day was employed by the people in
cleaning and refreshing themfelves, as they had enjoyed
no relaxation from their labour fince we landed on this
The old man having manifefled for various and probably very fallacious reafons, a very great averfion to
accompany us any further, it did not appear that there
was any neceffity to force his inclination. We now put
our arms in order, which was foon accomplifhed, as
they were at all times a general object of attention.
(Tuefday 2.) In rained throughout the night, but at
half paft three we were ready to embark, when 1
offered to conduct the old man where he had fuppofed
we fhould meet his friends, but he declined the proportion. I therefore directed a few pounds of pemmican
to be left with him for his immediate fupport, and took
leave of him and the place, which I named Canoe Ifland.
During our flay there we had been moft cruelly tormented by flies, particularly the fand-fly, which I am
difpofed  to confider as the moft   tormenting infect of
its fize in nature. I was alfo compelled to put the
people upon fhort allowance, and confine them to two
meals a day; a regulation peculiarly offenfive to a Canadian voyager. One of thefe meals was compofed of
the dried rows of fifh,1 pounded, and boiled in water,
thickened with a fmall quantity of flour, and fattened
With a bit of grian. Thefe articles, being brought to
the confiftency of an hafty pudding, produced a fub-
(lantial and not unpleafant difh. The natives are very
careful of the rows of fifh, which they dry, and pre-
ferve in bafkets made of bark. Thofe we ufed were
found in the huts of the firft people who fled from us.
During our abode in Canoe Ifland, the water funk three
perpendicular feet. I now gave the men a dram each,
which could not but be confidered, at this time, as a
very comfortable treat. They were, indeed, in high
fpirits, when they perceived the fuperior excellence of
the new veffel, and reflected that it was the work of
their own hands.
At eleven we arrived at the rapids, and the foreman,
who had not forgotten the fright he fuffered on coming
down it, propofed that the canoe and lading fhould be
carried over the mountain. I threatened him with taking
the office of foreman on myfelf, and fuggefted the evident
change there was in the appearance of the water fince we
pafled it, which upon examination had funk four feet and
an half. As the water did not feem fo ftrono; on the
Weft fide, I determined to crofs over, having firft put
Mr. Mackay and our two hunters on fhore to try the
woods for game. . We accordingly traverfed, and got up
clofe along the rocks to a confiderable diftance with the
paddles, when we could proceed no further ■ without
afliftance from the line ; and to draw it acrofs a perpendicular rock, for the diftance of fifty fathoms, appeared to
be an infurmountable obflacle. The general opinion was
to return, and carry on the other fide; I defired, however,
two of the men to take the line, which was feventy
fathoms in length, with a fmall roll of bark, and endeavour to climb up the rocks, from whence they were to
defcend on the other fide of that which oppofed our progrefs ; they were then to faften the end of the line toAe
roll of bark, which the current would bring to us; this
being effected, they would be able to draw us up. This
was an enterprife of difficulty and danger, but it was
crowned with fuccefs; though to get to the water's edge
above, the men were obliged to let themfelves down with
the line, run round a tree, from the fummit of the rock,
By a repetition of the fame operation, we at length cleared
the rapid, with the additional trouble of carrying the
canoe, and unloading at two cafcades. We were not more
than two hours getting up this difficult part of the river,
including the time employed in repairing an hole which
had been broken in the canoe, by the negligence of the
Here we expected to meet with the natives, but there
was not the leaft appearance of them, except that the guide>
his companion, and two others, had apparently pafled the
carrying-place. We faw feveral filh leap out of the water,
which appeared to be of the falmon kind. The old man,
indeed, had informed us that this was the feafon when the
large fifh begin to come up the river. Our hunters returned, but had not feen the track of any animal. We now
continued our journey; the current was not flrong, but
we met with frequent impediments from the fallen trees,
which' /
which lay along the banks. We landed at eight in the
evening, and fuffered indefcribable inconveniences from
the flies.
( Wednefday 3.) It'had rained hard in the night, and
there was fome fmall rain in the morning. At four we
entered our canoe, and at ten we came to a fmall river,
which anfwered to the defcription of that, whofe courfe
the natives faid, they follow in their journies towards the
fea coaft; wc therefore put into it, and endeavoured to
difcover if our guide had landed here ; but there were no
traces of him or of any others. My former perplexities
were now renewed. If I paffed this river, it was probable
that I might mifs the natives; and I had reafon to fufpect
that my men would not confent to return thither. As
for attempting the woods without a guide, to introduce
us to the firft inhabitants, fuch a determination would be
little fhort of abfolute madnefs. At length, after much
painful refle&ion, I refolved to come at once to a full
explanation with my people, and I experienced a confiderable relief from this refolution. Accordingly, after
repeating the promife they had fo lately made me, on oar
putting back up the river, I reprefented to them that this
appeared to me to be the fpot from which the natives took
their departure for the fea coaft, and added, withal, that I
was determined to try it; for though our guide had left us,
h was poflible that, while we were making the neceffarf
preparations, he or fome others might appear, to relieve
us from our prefent difficulties. I now found, to my
great fatisfaction, that they had not come to any fixed
determination among themfelves, as fome of them immediately aflented to undertake the woods with me. Others,
kowever, fuggefted that it might be better to proceed a few
leagues further up the river, in expectation of finding our
guide, or procuring another, and that after all we might
return hither. This plan I very readily agreed to adopt,
but before I left this place, to which I gave the name of
the Weft-Road River, I fent fome of the men into the
woods, in different directions, and went fome diftance up
the river myfelf, which I found to be navigable only for
fmall canoes. Two of the men found a good beaten path,
leading up a hill juft behind us, which I imagined to be
the great road.
At four in the afternoon we left this place, proceeding
up the river ; and had not been upon the water more than
three  quarters of an hour,  when   we  faw   two canoes
coming with the ftream.    No fooner did the people in
them perceive us than they landed, and we went on fhore
at the fame place with them.    They proved to be our
guide, and fix of his relations.    He was covered with a
painted beaver robe, fo that we fcarcely knew him in his
tine habiliment.    He inftantly defired us to acknowledge
that he had not difappointed us, and declared, at the fame
time, that it was his conftant intention to keep his word,
I accordingly gave him a jacket, a pair of trowfers, and an
handkerchief, as a reward for his honourable conducl.
The ftrangers examined us with the moft minute attention, and two of them, as I was now informed, belonged
to the people whom we firft faw, and who fled with io
much alarm from us.   They told me, alfo, that they were
fo terrified on that occafion, as not to appa^ach their huts
for two days ; and that when they ventured thither, they
found the greater part of their property deflroyed, by the
fire running in the ground.    According to their account,
they were ofa different tribe, though I found no difference
in their language from that of the Nagailas or Carriers*
They are called Nafcud Denee. Their lodges were at
fome diftance^ on a fmall lake, where they take fifh, and if
our guide had not gone for them there, we fhould not
have feen an human being on the river. They informed
me that the road by their habitation is the fhortell, and
they propofed that we fhould take it.S
(Tuefday 4.) Att§p early hour tjjis morning, and at
the fuggeftion of our guide, we proceeded to the landing*
place that leads to the ftrangers lodges^ Our great difficulty here was to procure a temporary feparation from
our company, in order to hide fome articles we could not
carry with us, and which it would have been imprudent to
leave in the power of the natives. Accordingly Mr;
Mackay, and one of our Indians embarked with them,
and foon run out of our fight. At our firft hiding-place
we left a bag of pemmican, weighing ninety pounds, two
bags of wild rice, and a gallon keg of gunpowders-Previous to our putting thefe articles in the ground, we rolled
them up in oil cloth, and drefled leather* In the fecond
hiding-place^ and guarded with the fome rollers, we hid
two bags of Indian corn, or maize, and a bale of different
articles of merehandife; Wher|t. we had completed
this important object, we proceeded till half paft eighty
when we landed at the entrance ofa fmall rivulet, where
our friends were waiting for us.
Here it was neceflary that we ffiolild^ieave our canoe,
and whatever we could not carry on our backs. In the
firft place, therefore, we prepared a ftage, on which the
canoe was placed bottom .upwards, and fhaded by a
covering of fmall trees and branches, to keep her from
Vo1* Ji. z m ih% Y78   VOYAGE THROUGH THE NORf tithe fun.    We then built .an oblong hollow fquare, tfen
feet by five, of green logs, wherein we placed every article
it was neceflary for us to leaVe here, and covered the
whole with large pieces of timber.
While we were eagerly employed in this neceflary
bufinefs, our guide and his companions were fo impatient to be gone, that we could not perfuade the former
to wait till we were prepared for our departure; and we
had fome difficulty in perfuading another of the natives
to remain, who had undertook to conduct us where the
guide had promifed to wait our arrival.
At noon we were in a ftate of preparation to enter the
woods, an undertaking of which I fhall not here give
any preliminary opinion, but leave thofe who read it lo
judge for themfelves.
We carried on our backs four bags and an half of
pemmican, weighing from eighty-five to ninety pounds
each j a cafe with my inflruments, a parcel of goods
for prefents, weighing ninety pounds, and a parcel containing ammunition of the fame weight. Each of the
Canadians had a burden of about ninety pounds, with a
gun, and fome ammunition. The Indians had about forty-
five pounds weight of pemmican to carry, befides their
gun, &c. with which they were very much diffatisfied,
and if they had dared would have inftantly left us.
They had hitherto been very much indulged, but the
moment was now arrived when indulgence was no
longer practicable. My own load, and that of Mr. Mackay, confifted of twenty-two pounds of pemmican,
fome rice, a tittle fugar, &c. amounting in the whole to1
about feventy pounds each, befides our arms and ammunition. I had alfo the tube of my telefcope fwung acrofs.
my fhoulder, which was atroublefome addition to my
burthen. It was determined that we fhould content
ourfelves with two meals a day, which were regulated
without difficulty, as our provifions did not require the-
ceremony of cooking..
In this ftate of equipment we began our journey, as
I have already mentioned, about twelve at noon, the
commencement of which was a fleep afcent of about»
mile i it lay along a well-beaten path, but the country
through which it led was rugged and ridgy, and full of
wood. When we were in a ftate of extreme heat, from
the toil of our journey, the rain came on, and continued
till the evening, and even when it ceafed the underwood
continued its drippings upon us.
About half paft fix we arrived at an Indian camp of
three fires, where we found our guide, and on his recommendation we determined to remain there for the;
night. The computed diftance of this day's journey was
about twelve geographical miles; the courfe about.
At fun-fet an elderly man and three other natives
joined us from the Weftward. The former bore a
lance that very much refembled a ferjeant's halberd. He
had lately received it, by way of barter, from the natives,
of the Sea-Coaft, who procured? it fromthe white men*
We fhould meet, he faid, with many of his countrymen,
^hohad juft returned from thence. According to his,,
report, it did not require more than fix days journey*
2* % fot
1 !
[I i
for people who are not heavily laden, to reach the
country of thofe with whom they bartered their fkins,
for iron, &c. and from thence it is not quite two day's
march tor the fea. They propofed to fend two young,
men on before us, to notify to the different tribes that
we were approaching, that they might not be furprifed at
Our appearance, and be difpofed to afford us a friendly
reception. This was a meafure which I could not but
approve, and endeavoured by fome fmall prefents to
prepoffefs our couriers ifi our favour.
Thefe people live but poorly at this feafon, and I could
procure no provifion from them, but a few fmall
dried fifh, as I think, of the carp kind. They had
feveral European articles jj and one of them had a ftrip,
of fur, which appeared to me to be of the fea otter.
He obtained it from the natives of the coaft, and
exchanged it with me for fome beads and a  brafs crofs.
We retired to reft in as much fecurity as if we had
been long habituated to a confidence in our prefent
aflociates: indeed, we had no alternative; for fo great
were the fatigues of the day in ouf mode of travelling,
$hat we were in great need of reft at night,
(Friday 5.) We had no fooner laid ourfelves down,
to reft laft night, than the natives began to, in a,
manner very different from what I had been accuftomed
to hear among favages. It was not accompanied either
with dancing, drum, or rattle; but confifted of foft,
plaintive tones, and a modulation that was rather
agreeable : it had fomewhat the air of church muilc^
As the natives bad requeued me not to quit them, at a vcrj*
\ :<*&»* V..-.- '  wr
mmmm :
early hour in the morning, it was five before I defired
that the young men, who were to proceed with us,
fhould depart, when they prepared to fet off: but, on
calling to our guide to conduct us, he faid, that he did
not intend to accompany us any further, as the young
men would anfwer our purpofe as well as himfelf. 1 knew
it Would be in vain to remonftrate with him, and
therefore fubmitted to his caprice without a reply.
However, I thought proper to inform him, that one of
my people had loft his dag, or poignard, and requefted
his afliflance in the recovery of it. He afked me what
I would give him to conjure it back again, and a knife
was agreed to be the price of his necromantic exertions.
Accordingly, all the dags and knives in the place were
gathered together, and the natives formed a circle round
them ; the conjurer alfo remaining in the middle. When
this' part of the ceremony was arranged, he began to
fing, the reft joining in the chorus ; and after fome time
he produced the poignard which was ftuck in the ground,
and returned it to me.
At feven we were ready to depart ; when I was furprifed to hear our late guide propofe, without any fo-
licitation on our part, to refume his office ; and he
actually conducted us as far as a fmall lake, where we
found an encampment of three families. The young
men who had undertaken to conduct us were not well
underftood by my interpreters, who continued to be fo,
difpleafed with their journey, that they performed this
part of their duty With great reluctance. I endeavoured
to perfuade an elderly man of this encampment to accompany us to the next tribe, but no. inducement of
mine could prevail on him to. comply with my wifhes.
I '- mm 1    "I I
I was, therefore, obliged to content myfelf with th$
guides I had already engaged, for whom we were obliged
to wait fome time, till they had provided fhoes for their
journey. 1 exchanged two halfpence here, one of his
prefent Majefty, and the other of the State of Mafia-
chufet's Bay, coined in 1787. They hung as ornaments
}n children's ears.
My fituation here was rendered rather unpleafant by
the treatment which my hunters received from thefe
people. The former, it appeared, were confidered as
belonging to a tribe who inhabit the mountains, and
are the natural enemies of the latter. We had alfo
been told by one of the natives, of a very ftern afpect,
that he had been flabbed by a relation of theirs, |M
pointed to a fear as the proof of it. I was, therefore*
very glad to proceed on my journey.
Our guides conducted us along the lake through
thick woods and without any path, for about a mile
and an half, when we loft fight of it. This piece of
Water is about three miles long and one broad. We
then crofied a creek and entered upon a beaten track,
through an open country, fprinkled with cyprefs trees.
At twelve the fky became black, and an heavy guft
with rain fhortly followed, which continued for upwards
of an hour. When we perceived the approaching ftorm*
we fixed our thin, light oil-cloth to fcreen us from it.
On renewing our march, as the hufhes were very wet,
I defired our guides, they having no burdens, to walk
in front, and heat them as they went : this tafk they
chofe to decline, and accordingly I undertook it.
Our road  now lay along a lake, and acrofs a creek
%at ran into it. The guides informed me, that thi*
part of the country abounds in beaver: many traps were
feen along the road which had been fet for lynxes and
martens. About a quarter of a mile from the place
where we had been flopped by the rain, the ground was
covered with hail; and as we advanced, the hailftones
increafed in fize, fome of them being as big as mufket-
balls. In this manner was the ground whitened for upwards
of two miles. At five in the afternoon we arrived on
the banks of another lake, when it again threatened
rain; and we had already been fufficiently wetted in,
the courfe of the day, to look with complacency towards a repetition of it: we accordingly fixed our fhed,
the rain continuing with great violence through the
remainder of the day: it was, therefore, determined
that we fhould flop here for the night.
In the courfe of the day we paffed three winter
huts; they confifted of low walls, with a ridge-pole,
covered with the branches of the Canadian balfam-tree*
One of my men had a violent pain in his knee, and
I afked the guide to take a fhare of his burden, as
they had nothing to carry but their beaver robes, and
bows and arrows, but they could not be made to unk
derftand a word   of my  requeft.
(Saturday 6.) At four this morning I arofe from m%
bed, fuch as it was. As we muft have been in a moft
unfortunate predicament if our guides fhould have deferted us in the night, by way of fecurity, I propofed
to the youngeft of them to fleep with me, and he
readily confented. Thefe people have no covering but
tljeir beaver  garments, and that   of  my   companions
Was a neft of vermin* I, however, fpiead it under u$j
and having laid down upon it, we covered ourfelves
with my camblet cloak. My companion's hair being
greafed with fifh-oil, and his body frneared with red
earth, my fenfe of fmelling, as well as that of feelings
threatened to interrupt my reft ; but thefe inconveniences
yielded to my fatigue, and I pafled a night of found
I took the lead in our march, as I had done yefterday, in order to clear the branches of the wet which
continued to hang upon them. We proceeded with
all poflible expedition through a level country with
but little under-rjivood ; the larger trees Were of the fir
kind. At half paft eight We fell upon the road, whiqh
We firft intended to have taken from the Great River,
and mufl be fhorter than that which we had travelled^
The Weft-road river was alfo in fight, windjrjg through
a valley. We had not met with any water fince our
encampment of laft night, and though We were, afflicted
with violent thii ft, the river was at fuch a diftance
from us, and the defcent to it fo long and fteep, that
we were compelled to be fatisfied with calling ourjong-
ing looks towards it. There appeared to be more water
in the river here, than at its difcharge. The Irjpiari
account, that it is navigable for their canoes, is, 1 believe, perfectly  correct.
Our guides now told us, that as  the road was  ve$f
good and well  traced,   they  would proceed to inform
.the next tribe that we were coming.    This information
;.was of a very unpleafant nature;   as it   would have
been eafy for them to turn off the road at a hundred yards from us, and, when we had paffed them,
to return home. I propofed that one of them fhould
remain with us, while two of my people fhould leave
"their loads behind ana* accompany the other to the
lodges, But they would not flay to hear our perfua*
lions,  and were foon out of fight*
I  now defired the Cancre to leave his burden, take
a fmall quantity of provifion, with his arms and blanket, and follow me.    I alfo told my men to come on
as faft as they could,  and that I would wait for them
as foon as I had formed an acquaintance with the natives of the country before us.    We accordingly  followed our guides with all the expedition in our power,
but did not overtake them till we came to a family of
natives, confiding of one  man,  two women, and fix
children with  whom we found them,    Thefe  people
betrayed   no figns of fear at our  appearance, and the
man willingly converfed with my interpreter, to whom
he made   himfelf  more   intelligible   than   our guides
had been able to do.   They, however,   had   informed
him of the object of our journey.    He pointed out to
us one of his wives, who was a native of the fea coaft,
which was not a very   great diftance from   us.    This
woman was more inclined to corpulency than any  we
had yet feen, was of low ftature, with an oblong face,
grey eyes, and a flattifh nofe.    She was decorated with
ornaments of various kinds,"  fuch as   large blue beads,
either pendant from her ears,   encircling her neck, or
braided in her hair: fhe alfo wore bracelets of brafs,
copper, and horn.    Her garments confifted of a kind
of tunic,   which was covered with a robe   of matted
'   Vol. II. l A a bark 186 VOYAGE THROUGH THE NORTH-
bark, fringed round the bottom with fkin of. the fea
otter. None of the women whom I had feen fince
we crofled the mountain wore this kind 1 of tunic;
their blankets being merely girt round the waift. She
had learned the language of her hufband's tribe, and
confirmed his account, that We were at no great diftance
from the fea. They were on their way, fhe faid, to
the great river to fifh. Age feemed to be an object
of great veneration among thefe people, for they carried an old woman by turns on their backs who was
quite blind and infirm, from the very advanced period
of her life.
Our people having joined us and refted themfeves, I
requefted our guides to proceed, when the elder of them
told me that he fhould not go any further, but that
thefe people would fend a boy to accompany his brother,
and 1 began to think myfelf rather fortunate, that we
were not deferted by them all.
About noon we parted, and in two hours we came
«p with two men and their families: when we firft
faw them they were fitting down, as if to reft themfelves; but no fooner did they perceive Us than they
rofe up and and feized their arms. The boys who,
were behind us immediately ran forward and fppke to
them, when they laid by their arms and received us as
friends. They had been eating green berries and dried
fifh.    We had,   indeed,  fcarcely joined them,   when a
J *} 7
woman and a boy came from the river with water,
which they very hofpitably gave us to drink. The
people of this party had a very fickly appearance, which
might have been the confeauence of difeafe, or that
kS indolence WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.   - 187
indolence which is fo natural to them, or of both.
One of the women had a tattooed line along the chin,
of the fame length as her mouth.
The lads now informed me that they would go no
further, but that thefe men would take their places ;
and they parted from their families with as little apparent concern, as if they were entire ftrangers to each
other. One of them was very well underftood by my
interpreter, and had refided among the natives of the
fea coaft, whom he had left but a fhort time. According
to his information, we were approaching a river, which
was neither large nor long, but whofe banks are inhabited; and that in the bay which the fea forms at the
mouth of it, a great wooden canoe, with people, arrives
about the time when the leaves begin to grow: I pre*
fume in the early part of May..
After we parted with the laft people, we came to
an uneven, hilly, and fwampy country, though which
our way was impeded by a confiderable number of fallen
trees. , At five in the afternoon we were overtaken by
a heavy fhower of rain and hail; being at the fame time
very much fatigued, we encamped for the night near a
fmall creek. Our courfe, till we came to the river, was
about South-Weft ten miles, and then Weft twelve
or fourteen miles. I thought it prudent, by way of
fecurity, to fubmit to the fame inconveniences I have
already defcribed, and fhared the beaver robe of one
of my guides during the night.
(Sunday 5,) I was fb bufily employed in collecting
intelligence from our conductors, that I laft night forgot
to wind up my time-piece, and it was the only inflance
of fuch an act of negligence fince I left Fort Chepewyan,
on the nth of laft October. At five we quitted our
flation, and proceeded acrofs two mountains, covered
with fpruce, poplar, white birch, and others trees. We
then defcended into a level country, where we found a
good road through woods of cyprefs. We then came
to two fmall lakes, at the diftance of about fourteen
miles. Courfe about Weft. Through them the river
panes, and our road kept in a parallel line with ft on
a range of elevated ground. On obferving fome people
before us, our guides haftened to meet them, and, on their
approach, one of them ftepped forward with an axe in
his hand. This party confifted only ofa man two women, and the fame number of children. The eldeft of
the women, who probably was the man's mother, was
engaged, when we joined them, in clearing a circular
fpot, of about five feet in diameter, of the weeds that
infefted it; nor did our arrival interrupt her employment,
which was facred to the memory of the dead. The
fpot to which her pious care was devoted, contained the
grave of a hufband and a fon, and whenever fhe pafled
this way, fhe always flopped to pay this tribute of affection.
As foon as we had taken our morning allowance, we
fet forwards, and about three we perceived more people
before us. After fome alarm we came up with them.
They confifted of feven men, as many women, and feveral children. Here I was under the neceffity of procuring another guide, and we continued our route on
the fame fide of the river, till fix in the evening, when
we croffed it.    It was knee deep, and about an hundred
yards over. I wifhed now to flop for the night, as we
were all of us very much fatigued ; but our guide recommended us to proceed onwards to a family of his
friends, at a fmall diftance from thence, where we arrived
at half paft feven. tie had gone forward, and procured
us a welcome and quiet reception. There being a net
hanging to dry, I requefted the man to prepare and fet
it in the water, which he did with great expedition, and
then prefented me with a few fmall dried fifh. Our
courfe was South-Weft about twelve miles, part of which
was extenfive fwamp, that was feldom lefs than knee
deep. In the courfe of the afternoon we had feveral
fhowers of rain. I had attempted to take an altitude,
but it was paft meridian. The water of the river before
the lodge was quite ftill, and expanded itfelf into the
form of a fmall lake. In many other places, indeed, it
had affumed the fame form.
(Monday 8.) It rained throughout the night, and it
Was feven in t morning before the weather would
allow us to proceed. The guide brought me five fmall
boiled fifh, in a platter made of bark; fome of them
were of the carp kind, and the reft of a fpecies for
which I am not qualified to furnifh a name. Having
dried our clothes, we fet off on our march about eight*
and our guide very cheerfully continued to accompany
■us; but he was not altogether fo intelligible as his pre-
deceffors in our fervice. We learned from him, however, that this lake, through which the river paffes, extends to the foot of the mountain, and that he expected
to meet nine men, of a tribe which inhabits the North
fide of the river.
In this part of our journey we were furprifed wit!
the appeal ance of feveral regular bafons, fome of them
furnilhed with water, and the others empty; their Hope
from the edge to the bottom formed an angle of about
forty five degrees, and their perpendicular depth was
about twelve feet. Thofe that contained water, difcovered gravel near their edges, while the empty ones
were covered with grafs and herbs, among which we
difcovered muftard and mint. There were alfo feveral
places from whence the water appears to have retired,
which are covered with the fame foil and herbage.
We now proceeded along a very uneven country, the
upper parts of which were coveied with poplars, a jptle
under-wood, and plenty of grafs: the intervening vallies
were watered with rivulets. From thefe circumfiances,
and the general appearance of vegetation, I could not account for the apparent abfence of animals of every kind.
At two in the afternoon we arrived at the largeft river
that we had feen fince we left our canoe, and which
forced its way between and over the huge ftones thatop-
pofed its current. Our courfe was about South-South-Weft
fixteen miles along the river, which might here juftify
the title of a lake. The road was good, and our next
courfe, which was Weft by South, brought us onward ten
miles, where we encamped, fatigued and wet, it having
rained three parts of the day. This river abounds with
fifh, and muft fall into the great river, further down than
we had extended our voyage.
A heavy and continued rain fell throughout great part
of the night, and as we were in fome meafure expofed to it,
time was required to dry our clothes; fo that it was half
paft feven in the morning before we were ready to fet out.
As we found the country fo deftitute of game, and fore->
feeing the difficulty of prqcuring provifions for our return,
I thought it prudent to conceal half a bag of pemmican :
having fent off the Indians, and all my people except two,,
we buried it under the fire-place, as we had done on a
former occafion. We foon overtook our party, and continued our route along the river or lake. About twelve I
had an altitude, but it was inaccurate from the cloudinefs
of the weather. We continued our progrefs till five in
the afternoon, when the water began to narrow, and in
about half an hour we came to a ferry, where we found a
fmall raft. At this time it began to thunder, and torrents
of rain foon followed, which terminated our journey for
the day. Our courfe was about South, twenty-one miles
from the lake already mentioned. We now difcovered
the tops of mountains, covered with fnow, over very high
intermediate land. We killed a whitehead and a grey
eagle, and three grey partridges; we faw alfo two otters in
the river, and feveral beaver lodges along it. When the
rain ceafed, we caught a few fmall fifh, and repaired the
raft for the fervice of the enfuing day.
(Wcdnefday iq.) At an early hour of this morning we
prepared to crofs the water. The traverfe is about thirty
yards, and it required five trips to get us all over. At a t
fhort diftance below, a fmall river falls in, that comes fsom
the direction in which we were proceeding, It is a rapid
for about three hundred yards, when it expands into a
lake, along which our road conducted us, and beneath
a range of beautiful hills, covered with verdure.  At half
paft eight we came to the termination of the lake, where
there were two houfes that occupied a moft delightful
fituation, and as they contained their neceflary furniture,
it feemed probable that their owners intended fhortly to
return. Near them were feveral graves or tombs, to which
the natives are particularly attentive, and never fuffer any
herbage to grow upon them. In about half an hour we
reached a place where there were two temporary huts, that
contained thirteen men, with whom we found our guide,
who had preceded us in order to fecure a good reception.
The buildings were detached from each other, and conveniently placed for fifhing in the lake. Their inhabitants
called themfelves Sloua-cufs-Dinais, which denomination,
as far as my interpreter could explain it to me, I underftood to mean Red-fifh Men. They were much more
cleanly, healthy, and agreeable in their appearance, than
any of the natives whom we had pafled; neverthelefs, I have
no doubt that they are the fame people, from their name,
alone, which is of the Chepewyan language. My inter*
preters, however, underftood very little bf what they faid,
fo that I did not expect much information from them.
Some of them faid it was a journey of four days to the fea,
and others were of opinion that it was fix; and there were
among them who extended it to eight; but they all uniformly declared that they had been to the coaft. They
did not entertain the fmalleft apprehenfion of danger
from us, and, when we difcharged our pieces, expreffed
no fenfation but that of aftonifhment, which, as may be
fuppofed, was proportionably increafed when one of the
hunters fhot an eagle, at a confiderable diftance. At
twelve I obtained an altitude, which made our latitude
$Z* 4' 32* North, being not fo far South as I expected.
?' :    f ■ I
t now went, accompanied by one of my men, an interi.
preter, and the guide, to vifit fome huts at the diftance of
a mile. On our arrival the inhabitants prefented us with
a difh of boiled trout, of a fmall kind. The fifh would
have been excellent if Jt had not tailed of the kettle,
Which was made of the bark of the white fpruce, and of
the dried grafs with which it was boiled. Bffldes this kind
of trout, red and white carp and jub, are the only fifh
I faw as the pfpduce of thefe waters.     , j ...    .;1|| .     ;-     :,
Thefe people appeared to live in a ftate of comparative
comfort: they take a greater fhare in the labour of the
women, than is common among the favage tribes,, and
are, as I was informed, content with one wife. Though
this circumftance may proceed rather from the difficulty
of procuring fubfifterice, than any habitual averfion to
polygamy.     ;   '.    .;     . ; ,>:. .-•:'; ' v! ■ -.-• ■ :. ■'v|jp;    -||
Mv prefent guide now informed me, that he could not
proceed any further, and I accordingly engaged two of
thefe people to fucceed him in that office j but when they
defired us to proceed on the beaten path without them, as
they could not fet off till the following day, I determined
to flay that night, in order to accommodate myfelf to their
convenience. I diftributed fome trifles among the wives
and children of the men who were to be our future guides,.
and returned to my people. We came back by a different
way, and pafled by two buildings, erected between four
trees, and about fifteen feet from die ground, which appeared to me to be intended as magazines for winter provifions. At four in the afternoon we proceeded with
confiderable expedition, by the fide of the lake, till fix,
when we came to the end of it: we then ftruck off through
Vol. IT. #b a
a much lefs beaten track, and at half paft feven flopped
for the night.    Our courfe was about Weft-South-Weft
thirteen miles, and Weft fix miles.
( Thurfday 11.) I paffed a moft uncomfortable night $
the firft part of it I was tormented with flies, and in the
latter deluged witlfc rain. In the morning the weather
cleared, and as foon as our clothes Were dried, we proceeded
through a morafs. This part of the country had been
laid wafle by fire, and the fallen trees added to the paia
and perplexity of our way. An high, rocky ridge flretched
along our left. Though the rain returned, we continued
our progrefs till noon, when our guides took to fome trees
for fhelter. We then fpread our oil-cloth, and with fome
difficulty, made a fire. About two the rain ceafed, when
we continued our journey through the fame kind of
country which we had hitherto paffed. At half paft ftlree
we came in fight of a \ lake; the land, at the fame time
gradually rifing to a rang of mountains whofe tops were
covered with fnow. We foon after obferved two frefh
tracks, which feemed to furprife our guides, but they fup-
pofed them to have been made by the inhabitants of the
country who were come into this part of it to fifh. At
five in the afternoon we were fo wet and cold, (for it
had at intervals continued to rain) that we were compelled
to flop for the night. We paffed feven rivulets and a
creek in this day's journey. As I had hitherto regulated
our courfe by the fun, I could not form an accurate judgment of this route, as we had not been favoured with a
fight of it during the day ; but I imagine it to have been
nearly in the fame direction as that of yefterday. Our
diftance could not have been lefs than fifteen miles,
Our conductors now began tocqrnplain of our mode
of travelling, and mentioned their intention of leaving
us; and my interpreters, who were equally diftatisfied,
added to our perplexity by their conduct. Befides thefe
circumflsances, and the apprehenfion that the diftance
from the fea might be greater than I had imagined, it
became a matter of real necefllty that we fhould begin
to diminifh the confumption of our provifions, and to
fubfift upon .two-thirds of our allowance; a propofition
which was as unwelcome to my people, a%at was ne-*
ceflary to be put into immediate practice.
■j Mi ^ ,: <|f
(Friday 12.) At half paft five this morning we proceeded on our journey, with cloudy weather, and when*
we came to the end of the lake feveral tracks were
vifible thit led to the fide of the water;. from which, cir^
cumftancc I concluded, that fome of the natives were
fifhing along the banks of it. This lake is not more
than three miles long, and about one broad. We then
pafled four fmaller lakes, the two firft being on out
right, and thofe which preceeded on our left. A fmall
river alfo flawed acrofs our way from the right, and we
pafled it over a beaver-dam. A larger lake now appeared
on our right, and. the mountains on each fide of us*
were covered with fnow. We afterwards came to another
lake on our right, and foon reached a river, which our
guides informed us was the fame that we had paffed on.
a raft. They faid it was navigable for canoes from the
great river, except two rapids, one of which we had
feen. At this place it is upwards of twenty yards acrofs>_
and deep water. One of the guides fwaai over to fetch.
a raft which was on the oppofite fide; and having in--
KlI"?. I
St I
creafed its dimenfions, we crofled at  two trips, except
four of the men, who preferred fwimming.
Here our conductors renewed their menace of leaving
us, and I was obliged to give them  feveral  articles, and
promife more, in order to induce them to continue till
we could procure other natives to fucceed them.    At four
in the afternoon we forded the fame  river,  and being
With the guides at fome diftance before the reft of the
people, I fiff doWh to wait for them, and no fooner did
they arrive, than the former fet off with fo much fpeed,
that my attempt  to   follow them proved   unfuccefsfal,
Qne of my Indians, however, who had no load, overtook them,  when they excufed themfelves   to him by
declaring, that their fole motive for leaving us, was to
prevent the people, whom they  expected to find, from,
fhooting their arrows at us.    A* feven o'clock, however,
we were fo fatigued, that we encamped without them:
the mountains covered with fnow, now appeared to be
directly before us.    As we y/ere collecting wood for our
fire, we difcovered a crofs road, where it  appeared that
people had paffed wTithin feven or eight days.    In ijhort,
our fituation was fuch as to afford a juft caufe of alarm,
and that of the people with me was of a nature to defy,
immediate alleviation.    It was neceflary, however, for me
to attempt it; and I refted my principles of encouragement on a reprefentation  of our   paft   perplexities an<t
unexpected relief, and endeavoured to excite in them the.
hope of fimilar good fortune.    I ftated to them, that we
could not be at a great diftance from the fea, and that
there were but few natives to pafs, till we fhould arrive
among  thofe,   who  being  accuftomed  to  vifit  the fea
coaft, and, having feen white people, would be difpofed
to .       WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA      19 j
ft treat us with kindnefs. Such was the general tenor
of reafoning I employed on the occafion, and I was
happy to find that it was not offered in vain.
. The weather had beep cloudy till three in the afternoon,,
when the fun appeared; hut furrounded, as we were,,
with fnow-clad mountains, the air became fo cold, that
the violence of our exercife, was not fufficient to produce a comfortable degree of warmth. Our courfe today  was  from   Weft to South, and at leaft   thirty-fix
miles.    The land in general was very barren and ftony,
and lay in ridges, with cyprefs trees fcattered over them.
We pafled feveral  fwamps,  where  we  faw nothing to
cpnfole us but a few tracks of deer.
(Saturday 13.) The weather this morning was clear but
cold, and our fcanty covering was not fufficient to protect
us from the feverity of the night.    About five, after we
had warmed ourfelves at a large fire,  we proceeded on
our dubious journey.    In about an  hour we came  to
the   ei\ge  of  a wood,   when   we  perceived   a   houfe,
fituated on a green fpot,  aud   by the fide of a fmall
river.    The fmoke that iffued from it informed us that
^t was inhabited.    I  immediately pufhed forward toward
this manfion, while my people were in  fuch a ftate of
alarm, that they followed me with the utmoft reluctance.
On looking back I perceived that we were in an Indian
defile,  of fifty yards in length.    I, however, was clofe
upon the houfe before the inhabitants perceived us, when
the women and children uttered the moft horrid fhrieks,
and the only man who appeared to be with them, efcaped
out ofa back door, which I reached in order to prevent the
women and children from, following him.   The man fled
witfi all his fpeed into the wood, and I called in vah%
Qn my interpreters to fpeak to him, but they were fa
agitated with fear as to have loft the power of utterance^
It is impoflible to defcribe the diftrefs and alarm of thefe
poor people, who believing that they were attacked by
enemies, expected an immediate maffacre, which, among*
themfelves, never fails to follow fuch an eventv^i
Our prifoners confifted of three women, and fevers
children, which apparently! compofed three fami-,
lies. At length, however, by our demeanor, and our
prefents, we contrived to diffipate their apprehenfions..
One of the women then informed us, that their people,
with feveral others had left that place three nights,
before, on a trading journey to a tribe whom fhe called
Annah, which is the name the Chepewyans give to the
Knifleneaux, at the diftance of three days. She added
alfo, that from the mountains before us, which were
covered with fnow, the fea was vifible; and accompanied her information with a prefent of a couple of
of dried fifh. We now expreffed our defire that
the man might be induced to return, and conduct
tis in the road to the fea. Indeed, it was not long
before he difcovered himfelf in the wood, when he was
aflured, both by the women and our interpreters, that
we had no hoftile defign againft him; but thefe aK
furances had no effect in quieting his apprehenfions.
I then attempted to go to him alone, and fhewed him
a knife, beads, &c. to induce hinji to come to me, but.
he, in return, made an hoftile difplay of bis bow and.
arrows; and, having for a time exhibited a variety o£
flrange antics, again difappeared. However, he foon,
prefented himfelf in, another quarter,, and after a fuc-u
Ceffion of parleys between us, he engaged to come and
accompany us.
While thefe negotiations were proceeding, I propofed
to vifit the fifhing machines, to which the women readily
confented, and I found in them twenty fmall fifh, fuch
as trout, carp, and jub, for which I gave her a large
knife; a prefent that appeared to be equally unexpected
and gratifying to her. Another man now came towards
«s, from a hill, talking aloud from the time he appeared
till he reached us. The purport of hjs fpeech was, that
he threw himfelf upon our mercy, and we might kill
him, if it was our pleafure, but that from what he
had heard, he looked rather for our friendfhip than our
jtnmity. He was an elderly perfon, of a decent ap~
pearance, and I gave him fome articles to conciliate
him to us. The firft man now followed with a lad
along with him, both of whom were the fons of the
old man, and, on his arrival, he gave me feveral half-dried
fifh, which I confidered as a peace offering. After fome
converfation with thefe people, refpecting the country,
and our future progrefs through it, we retired to reft,
with fenfations very different from thofe with which we
had rifen in the morning. The weather had been generally cloudy throughout the day, and when the fun
was obfcured, extremely cold for the feafon. At noon
I obtained a meridian altitude, which gave 52. 58.
53. North latitude. 1 likewife took time in the after-
(Sunday 14.) This morning we had a bright fun,
with an Eaft wind. Thefe people examined their fiftiing:
machines, when, they found in thern a great number
of fmall fifh, and we  dreffed as many of them as we
could eat.    Thus was our departureretarded until feven$
when We  proceeded on  our journey,  accompanied by
the man and his  two  fons.    As I-*|did  not want  the
younger, and fhould be obliged to feed him, I requeued
of his father to leave him,  for  the  purpofe of fifhing
for the women.    He Replied,  that they were accuftomed
to fifh for theriifelves, and that I  need  not  be appre-
henfive   of  their  encroaching upon   my  provifions, as
they  were  iifed to fuftain themfelves  in  their journies
on herbi, and the inner tegument of tile bark of trees,
for the ftripping of wMch he had a thin piece of bone;
then hanging by his  fide.    The latter is of a glutinous
quality,   of  a   clammy,    fweet  tafte,   and  is   generally
confidered  by the more interior Indians  as a  delicacy,
rather than an   article of common   food.    Our guide
informed me that there is a fhort cut acrofs the mountains, but as there was no trace ofa road, and it would
fhorten our journey but one day, he fhould prefer the
beaten way.
We accordingly proceeded along- a lake, Weft five
miles. We then croffed a fmall river, and pafled through
a fwamp, about South-Weft, when We began gradually
to afcend for fome time till we gained the, fummit of
a iftli, where we had an extenfive view to fhe South-
Eaft, from which direction a confiderable river appeared
to flow, at the diftance of about three miles: it was
reprefented to me as being navigable for canoes. The
defcent of this hill was more fleep than its afeent, and
was fucceeded by another, whofe top, though not fo
elevated as the laft, afforded a view of the range of mountains, covered with fnow, which, according to the intelligence WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     201
licence of our guide, terminates in the ocean. We
now left a fmall lake on our left, then croffed a creek
running out of it, and at one in the afternoon came
to a houfe, of the fame conftruction and dimenfions
as have already been mentioned, but the materials were
much better prepared and finifhed. The timber was
fquared on two fides, and the bark taken off the two
others; the ridge pole was alfo fhaped in the fame
manner, extending about eight or ten feet beyond the
gable end, and fupporting a fhed over the door: the
end of it was carved into the fimilitude of a fnake's
head. Several hieroglyphics and figuies of a fimilar
workmanfhip, and painted with red earth, decorated the
interior of the building. The inhabitants had left the
houfe but a fhort time, and there were feveral bags or
bundles in it, which I did not fuffer to be difturbed.
Near it were two tombs, furrounded in a neat manner
with boards, and covered with bark. Befide them feveral poles had been erected, one of which was fquaredp
and all of them painted. From each of them were
fufpended feveral rolls or parcels of bark, and our guide
gave the following account of them; which, as far as
we could judge from our imperfect knowledge of the
language, and the incidental errors of interpretation,
appeared to involve two different modes of treating their
dead; or it might be one and the fame ceremony, which
we did not diftinctly comprehend : at all events, it is
the practice of thefe people to burn the bodies of their
dead, except the larger bones, which are rolled up in
bark and fufpended from poles, as I have already
defcribed. According to the other account, it appeared
that they actually bury their dead; and when another
of the family dies, the remains of tfie perfon who was
laft interred are taken from the grave and burned, as
has been already mentioned; fo that the members of a
family are thus fucceffively buried and burned, to make
-jpom for each other ; and one tomb proves fufficient for a
family through fucceedrng generations. There is no houfe
in this country without a tomb in its vicinity. Our
laft courfe extended about ten miles.
We continued our journey along the lake before the
houfe, and, croffing a river that flowed out of it, came
to a kind of bank, or weir, formed by the natives, for
the purpofe of placing their fifhing machines, many of
which, of different fizes, were lying on the fide of the
river. Our guide placed one of them, with the certain
expectation that on his return he fhould find plenty of
fifh in it. We proceeded nine rnile& further, on a good
road, Weft-South-Weft, when we came to a fmall
lake: we then crofted a river that ran out of it, and
our guides were in continual expectation of meeting
with fome of the natives. To this place our courfe was
a mile and an half, in the fame dire&ion as the laft. At
nine at night we croffed a river on rafts, our laft diftance
being about four miles South-Eaft, on a winding road,
through a fwampy country, and along a fucceflion of
fmall lakes. We were now quite exhaufled, and it was,
abfolutely neceflary for us to flop for the night. The
weather being clear throughout the day, we had ho
reafon to complain of the cold. Our guides encouraged
us with the hope, that in two days of fimilar exertion,
we fhould arrive among the people of the other nation.
( Monday 15. ) At five this morning we were again
in motion, and paffing along  a river,   we at length
forded it. This ftream was not more than knee deep,
about thirty yeards over, andvwith a ftony bottom.
The old man went onward by himfelf, in the hope
of falling in with the people, whom he expected to
meet in the courfe o{ the day. At eleven we came
up with him, and the natives whom he expected, con-
fifting of five men and part of their families. They
received us with great kindnefs, and examined us with
the moft minute attention. They muft, however, have
been told that We were white, as our faces no longer'
indicated that diftinguifiling complexion. They called
themfelves Neguia Dinais, and were come in a diffe-*
rent direction from us, but were now going the fame
way, to the Anah-yoe Teffe or River, and appeared
to be very much fatisfied with our having joined them.
They prefented us with fome fifh which they had juft
taken in the adjoining lake.
Here I expected that our guides, like their prede-
ceflbrs, would have quitted us, but, on the contrary,
they expreffed themfelves to be fo happy in our company, and that of their friends, that they voluntarily,
and with greeat cfieerfulnefs, proceeded to pafs another
night with us. Our new acquaintance were people of
a very pleafing afpect. Thd hair of the women was
tied in large loofe knots over the ears, and plaited with
great neatnefs from the divifion of the head, fo as to
be included in the knots. Some of them had adorned
their treffes with beads, with a very pretty effect. The
men were clothed in leather, their hair was nicely
combed, and their complexion was fairer, or perhaps it
may be faid, with more propriety, that they were more
deanly, than any of the natives whom we had yet feen^
Cc % Theit
ii iW wHrP
Their eyes, though keen and fharp, are not of that
dark colour, fo generally obfervable in the various tribes
of Indians ; they were, on the contrary, of a grey hue,
with a tinge of red. There was one man aroongft them
of at leaft fix feet four inches in height; his manners
were affable, and he had a more prepoffeffirig appearance than any Indian I had met with in my journey;
he was about twenty eight years of age, and was treated
with particular refpect by his party. Every man,
woman, and child, carried a proportionate burden, confiding of beaver coating and parchment, as well as
fkins of the the otter, the marten J? the bear, the lynx,
and dreffed moofe-fkins. The laft they procure from the
Rocky-Mountain Indians. According to their account,
the people of the fea coaft prefer them to any other
article. Several of their relations and friends, they faid,
were already gone, as well provided as themfelves, to
barter with the people of the coaft; who barter them in
*ttfeeir turn, except the drefied leather, with white people
who, as they had been informed, arrive there in large
Such an efcort was the moft fortunate circumftance
that could happen in our favour. They told us, that
as the women and children could not travel faft, we
fhould be three days in getting to the end of our journey ; which muft be fuppofed to have been very agreeable
ilrformarion to people in our exhaufted condition.
In about half an hour after we had joined our new
acquaintance, the fignal for moving onwards was given
by the leader of the party, who vociferated the words,
Huy, Huy, when his people joined him and, continued
ffilK a cla- -WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     205
mjjamorous converfation. We pafled along a winding
road over hills, and through fwampy vailies, from South
to Weft. We then croffed a deep, narrow river, which
difcharges itfelf into a lake; on whofe fide we flopped,
at five in the afternoon, for the night, though we had
repofed feveral times unee twelve at noon; fo that our
mode of travelling had undergone a very agreeable
change. I compute the diftance of this day's journey
at about twenty miles. In the middle of the day the
weather was clear and fultry.
We all fat down on a very pleafant green fpot,
and were no fooner feated than our guide and one of
the party prepared to engage in play. They had each
a bundle of about fifty fmall flicks, neatly polifhed, of
the fixe of a quill, and five inches long : a certain
number of thefe flicks had red lines round them ; and
as many of thefe as one of the players inight find
convenient were curioufly rolled up in dry grafs, and
according to the judgment of his antagonift refpecting
their number and marks, he loft or won. Our friend
was apparently the lofer, as he parted with his bow
and arrows, and feveral articles which I had given him.
(Tuefday 16.) The weather of this morning was
the fame as yefterday ; but our fellow-travellers were
in no hurry to proceed, and I was under the necef&t*
of prefling thent into greater expedition, by reprefenting
the almoft exhaufted ftate of our provifions. They,
however, aflured us, that after the next night's fleep,
we fhould arrive at the river where they were going,
and that we fhould there get fifh in great abundance.
My young men,, from an act Of imprudence, deprived
themfelves laft night of that reft which was fo necep
fary to them. One of the ft rangefs afking them feveral
queftions refpecting us, and 'concerning their own
country, one of them gave fuch anfwers as were not
credited by the audience; whereupon he demanded, in
a very angry tone, if they thought he was difpofed
to tell lies, like the Rocky-Mountain Indians; and one
of that tribe happening to be of the party, a quarrel
enfued, which might have been attended with the moil
ferious confequences, if it had not been fortunately prevented by the interference of thofe who were not inte-
relied in the cKfpute.
Though our flock of provifions was getting fo low,
I determined, neverthelefs, to hide about twenty pounds
of pemmican, by way of providing againft our return,
I therefore left two of the men behind, with directions to bury it, as ufual, under the place where we
had made our fire.
Our courfe was about Weft-South-Weft by the fide
of the lake, and in about two miles we came to the
end of it. Here was a general halt, when my men
overtook us. I was now informed, that fome people
of another tribe were fent for, who wifhed very much
to fee us, two of whom would accompany us ov«
the mountains ; that^ as for themfelves, they h0
changed their mind, and intended to follow a fmall river
wrhW iffued out of the lake, and went in a direction
very different from the line of our journey. This was
a difappointment, which, though not uncommon to us,
might have been followed by confiderable inconveniences.
It was my wifh to continue with them whatever way
§§•; M .     »■"■■' '-..'     # they WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA. .    207
they went; but neither my promifes or entreaties would
avail : thefe people were not to be turned from their
purpofe ; and when I reprefented the low ftate of our
provifions, onj of them anfwered, that if we would
flay with them all night, he would boil a kettle of
fifh-roes for us. Accordingly, without receiving any
anfwer, he began to make preparation to fulfil his engagement. He took the roes out of a bag, and having
bruifed them between two ftones, put them in water
to foak. His wife then took an handful of dry grafs
in her hand, with which fhe fqueezed them through
her fingers ; in the mean time her hufband was employed in fathering wood to make a fire, for the purpofe of heating ftones. When fhe had finifhed her
operation, fhe filled a watape kettle nearly full of water,
and poured the roes into it. When the ftones were
fufficiently heated, fome of them were put into the
kettle, and others were thrown in from time to time,
till the water was in a ftate of boiling; the woman
alfo continued ftirring the contents of the kettie, till
they were brought to a thick confiftency ; the ftones
were then taken out, and the whole was feafoned with
about a pint of ftrong rancid oil. The fmell of this
curious difh was fufficient to iicken me without tailing
it, but the hunger of my people furmounted the nau-
feous meal. When unadulterated by the flunking oil,
thefe boiled roes are not unpalatable food.
In the mean time four of the people who had been
expected arrived, and, according to the account given
of them, were of two tribes whom I had not yet know in
After fome converfation, they propofed, that I fhouid
tontinue my route by their houfes; but the old guide,
who was now preparing to leave us, informed me that it
would lengthen my journey; and by his advice I pro,
pofed to them to conduct us along the road which had
been already marked out to us. This they undertook
without the leaft hefitation; and, at the fame time,
pointed out to me the pafs in the mountain, bearing
South by Eaft by compafs. Here I had a meridian
altitude, and took time.
At four in the afternoon we parted with our late
fellow-travellers in a very friendly manner, and imme-
diateiy forded the river. The wild parfnep, which
luxuriates on the borders of the lakes and rivers, is a
favourite food of the natives : they roaft the tops of this
plant, in their-tender ftate, over the fire, and taking off
the outer rind, they are then a very palatable food.
We now entered the woods, and fome time after arrived
on the banks of another river that flowed from the
mountain, which we alfo forded. The country foon
after we left the river was fwampy; and the fire having paffed through it, the number of trees, which
had fallen, added to the toil of our journey. In a fhort
time we began to afcend, and continued afcending till
nine at night. We walked upwards of fourteen miles,
according to my computation, in the courfe of the day,
though the ftraight line of diftance might not be more
than ten. Notwithftanding that we were, furrounded
by mountains covered with ihow, we were very much
tormented with  mufquitoes.
(Wednefday 17.) Before the fun rofe, our guides fum-
moned us to proceed, whem we defcended into a beautiful
valley, watered by a fmall river. At eight we came
to the termination of it, where we faw a great number of moles, and began again to afcend. We novr
perceived many ground-hogs, and heard them whiffle
in every direction. The Indians went in purfuit of
them, and foon joined us with a female and her litter*
almoft groWn to their full fize. They ftripped off
their fkins, and gave the carcafes to my people. They
alfo pulled up a root, which appeared like a bunch of
white berries of the fize of a pea; its fhape was that
a fig, while it had the colour and tafte of a potatoe.
We now gained the fummit of the mountain, and
found ourfelves furrounded by fnow; But this circum-
Hance is caufed rather by the quantity of fnow drifted
in the pafs, than the real height of the fpot, as the
furrounding mountains rife to a much higher degree of
elevation. The fnow had become fo compact that our
feet hardly made a perceptible impreffion on it. We
obferved, however, the tracks of a herd of fmall deer
which muft have paffed a fhort time before us, and
the Indians and my hunters went immediately in purfuit of them. Our way was now nearly level, without
the leaft fnow, and not a tree to be feen in any part
of it. The grafs is very fhort, and the foil a reddifh
clay, intermixed with fmall ftones. The face of the hills,,
where they are not enlivened with verdure, appears
at a diftance as if fire had paffed over them. It now
began to hail, fnow, and rain, nor could we find anv
fhelter but the leeward fide of an huge rock. The wind
alfo rofe into a tempeft, and the weather was as diftref-
fing as any I had ever experienced. After an abfence
of an hour and an half, our hunters brought a fmall
Vol. II» D d doe
Li LllS 1
%m HSfl
doe of the rein-deer fpecies, which, was all they had
killed, though they fired twelve fhots at a large herd
of them. Their ill fuccefs they attributed to the weather. I propofed to leave half of the venifon in the
fnow, but the men preferred carrying it, though their
ftrength was very much exhaufted. We had been fo
long fhivering with cold in this fituation that we were
glad to renew our march.. Here and there were feat-
tered a few crowberry bufhes and ftinted willows; the
former, of which had not yet bloffomed.
Before us appeared a flupendous mountain, whofe
fnow-clad fummit was loft in the clouds; between it
and our immediate courfe flowed the river to which we
were going. The Indians informed us that it was at no
great diftance. As foon as we could gather a fufficient
quantity of wood, we flopped to drefs fome of our
venifon ; and it is almoft fuperfluous to add, that we
made a heartier meal than we had done for many a
day before. To the comfort which I have juft mentioned, I added that of taking off my beard, as well
as changing my linen, and my people followed the
humanifing example. We then fet forwards, and came
to a large pound, on whofe bank we found a tomb
but lately made, with a pole as ufual erected befide
it, on which two figures of birds were painted, and
by them the guides diftinguifried the tribe to which the
deceafed perfon belonged. One of them, very uncere-
rnonioufly, opened the bark and fhewed us the bones
which it contained, while the other threw down the
pole, and having ,poffeffed himfelf of the feathers that
were tied to it, fixed them on his own head. I therefore ■aw.
fore conjectured, that thefe funeral memorials belonged
to an individual of a tribe at enmity with them.
We continued our route with a confiderable degree
of expedition, and as we proceeded the mountains appeared to withdraw from us. The country between
them foon opened to our view, which apparently added
to their awful elevation. We continued to defcend till
we came to the brink of a precipice, from whence our
guides difcovered the river fo us, and a village on its-
banks. This precipice, or rather fucceflion of precipices, is covered with large timber, which confifts of
the pine, the fpruce, the hemlock, the birch, and other
trees. Our conductors informed us, that it abounded
in animals, which, from their defcription, muft be wild
goats. In about two hours we arrived at the bottom?1
where there is a conflux of two rivers, that iffue from
the mountains. We crofled the one which was to the
left. They are both very rapid, and continue fo till
they unite their currents, forming a ftream of about
twelve yards in breadth. Here the timber was alfo very
large ; but I could not learn from our conductors why
the moft confiderable hemlock trees were ftripped of
their bark to the tops of them. I concluded, indeed, at
that time that the inhabitants tanned their leather with
it. Here were alfo the largeft and loftieft elder and
cedar trees that I had ever feen. We were now fen-
fible of an entire change in the climate, and the berries
Were  quite ripe.
The fun was about to fet, when our conductors left
us to follow them as well as we could. We were
prevented, however, from going far aftray, for we were
Dd 2 hemmed
hemmed in on both fides and behind by fuch a barrier
as   nature   never   before  prefented  to  my view.    Our
guides had the precaution to mark the road for us, by
breaking the  branches  of trees as  they pafled.   This
fmall river muft, at certain  feafons, rife to an uncommon height and  ftrength of current  moft probably on
the melting of the fnow; as we faw a large quantity of
drift wood lying twelve feet above the immediate level
of the river.    This circumftance impeded our progrefs,
and   the  protruding rocks frequently forced us to pafs
through the water.    It was now dark, without the leaft
appearance of houfes, though it would be impoflible to
have feen them, if there had been any, at the diftance
of twenty yards, from the thicknefs of the woods.   My
men were   anxious   to   flop for  the night ; indeed the
fatigue they had fuffered juftified the propofal, and I left
them to their choice;  but as  the anxiety of mjfmind
impelled forwards,  they  continued to follow me, till I
found myfelf at the edge of the woods; and, notwith-
flanding the remonflrances that were made, I proceeded,
feeling   rather   that feeing my way,  till I arrived at a
houfe, and foon difcovered feveral fires and fmall huts,
with  people  bufily employed in cooking their fifh.   I
walked into one of them without the leaft ceremony,
threw   down   my   burden,   and,   after    fbaking   hands
with fome of the people,  fat down upon it.    They received me without the leaft appearance of furprize, but
foon made figns for me to go up to the large houfe,
which was erected, on upright pofts,  at fome diftance
from the ground.    A broad piece of timber  with  fteps
cut in it,  led to the fcaffolding even with the floor, and
by this  curious kind  of ladder I entered the houfe at
one end; and having paffed three fires, at equal diftances
in the middle of the building, I was received by feveral
people, fitting upon a very wide board, at the upper
end of it. I fhook hands with them, and feated myfelf
befide a man, the dignity of whofe countenance induced
me to give him that preference. I foon difcovered one
of my guides feated a little above me, with a neat mat
fpread before him, which I fuppofed to be the place of
honour, a$l appropriated to ftrangers. In a fhort time
my people arrived, and placed themfelves near me, when
the man by whom I fat immediately rofe, and fetched,
from behind a plank of about four feet wide, a quantity
of roafted falmon. He then directed a mat to be placed
before me and Mr. Mackay, who was now fitting by
roe. When this ceremony was performed, he brought
a falmon for each of us, and half an one to each of my
men. The fame plank ferved alfo as a fcreen for the
beds, whither the women and children were already retired ; but whether that circumftance took place on our
arrival, or was the natural confequence of the late hour
of the night, I did not difcover. The figns of our protector feemed to denote that we might fleep in the
houfe, but as we did not underftand him with a fufficient degree of certainty, I thought it prudent, from
the fear of giving offence, to order the men to make
a fire without, that we might fleep by it. When he
obferved our defign, he placed boards for us that we
might not take our repofe on the bare ground, and
ordered a fire to be prepared for us. We had not been
long feated round it, when we received a laro-e difh of
falmon roes, pounded fine and beat up with water fo
as to have the appearance of a cream. Nor was it
without fome kind of feafoning that gave it a bitter
tafte.    Another difh foon followed, the principal article
II i ;;M
of which was alfo faknon-roes, with a large proportion
of goofeberries, and an herb that appeared to be forrel.
Its acidity rendered it more agreeable to my tafte than
the former preparation. Having been regaled with thefe
delicacies, for fuch they were confidered by that hofpi-
table fpirit which provided them, we laid ourfelves down
to reft with no other canopy than the fky ; but I never
enjoyed a more found and refrefhing reft, thoughT had
a board for my bed,  and a billet for my pillow.
(Thurfday i8\) At five this morning I awoke^ and'
found that the natives had lighted a-fire for us, ancr
were fitting by it. My hofpitable friend immediately
brought me fome berries and roafted falmon, and his
companions foon followed his example. The former,
which confifted among many others of goofeberies,
whirtieberies and rafpberries, were the fineft I ever faw
or tailed, of their refpective kinds. They alfo brought
the dried roes  of fifh to eat with the berries.
Salmon is fo abundant in*this river, that thefe people
have a conftant and plentiful fupply of that excellent
fifh. To take them with more facility, they had, with
great labour, formed an embankment or weir acrofs*
the river for the purpofe of placing their fifhing machines, wrTich they difpofed both above and below it.
I exprefled my wifh to vifit this extraordinary work,
but thefe people are fo fuperftitious, that they would
not allow me a nearer examination than I could obtain
by viewing it from the bank. The river is about fifty
yards in breadth, and by observing a man fifh with a
dipping net, I judged it to be about ten feet deep at
the foot of the fall.    The weir is a work of great labour,.
and contrived with confiderable ingenuity. It was near
four feet above the level of the water, at the time I faw
it, and nearly the height of the bank on which I flood
to examine it. The ftream is flopped nearly two thirds
by it. It is conftructed by fixing fmall trees in the bed
of the river in a flanting pofition (which could be practicable only when the water is much lower than I faw
it) with the thick part downwards; over thefe is laid a
bed of gravel, on which is placed a range of leffer trees,
and fo on alternately till the work is brought to its
proper height. Beneath it the machines are placed, into
which the falmon fall when they attempt to leap over.
On either fide there is a large frame of timber-work fix
feet above the level of the upper water, in which paffages
are left for the falmon leading directly into the machines,
which are taken up at pleafure. At the foot of the
fall dipping nets are alfo fuccefsfully employed.
The water of this river is of the colour of affes milk,
which I attributed in part to the limeftone that in
many places forms the bed of the river, but principally
to the rivulets which fall from mountains of the fame
Thefe people indulge an extreme fuperftition refpecting their fifh, as it is apparently their only animal
food. Flefh they never tafte, and one of their dogs
having picked and fwallowed part of a bone which we
had left, was beaten by his mafter till he difgorged it.
One of my people alfo having thrown a bone of the
deer into the river, a native, who had obferved the
Circumftance, immediately dived and brought it up, and,
1 *»>
having configned it to the fire, inftantly proceeded te
wafh his polluted hands.
As   we were ftill  at fome diftance from the fea, I
made application to   my friend to procure us  a canoe
or two, with people to conduct us thither.    After he
had made  various  excufes, I   at   length  comprehended
that his only objection  was  to  the embarking venifon
in a canoe on their river,  as   the  fifh would inftantly
fmell it and abandon them; fo that he, his friends, and
relations^ muft ftarve.    I foon eafed  his apprehenfions
on that point,  and  defired   to know what  I   muft do
with the venifon that remained,  when  he told me to
give it to one of the ftrangers whom he pointed out
to me,   as being of a tribe that  eat flefh.    I now re*
quelled him to furnifh me with fome frefh falmon in
its raw ftate ; but, inftead of complying with my wifh,
he brought me a couple of them roafted, obferving at
.  the fame time, that the current  was  very  ftrong, and
would bring  us to the  next village, where our wants
Would be abundantly fupplied.    In   fhort, he  requeiled
that we would make hafte to depart.    This was rather
unexpected after fo  much kindnefs and hofpitality, but
our ignorance of the language prevented us from being
able to difcover the caufe.
At eight this morning, fifteen men armed, the friends
and relations of thefe people, arrived by land, in con-
fequence of notice fent them in the night, immediately
after the appearance of our guides. They are more
corpulent and of a better appearance than the inhabitants
of the interior. Their language is totally different from
any I had heard j the Atnah or Chin tribe, as far as
m 1P1
I can judge from the very little I faw of that people,
bear the neareft refemblance to them. They appear to
be of a quiet and peaceable character, and never make
any hoftile incurfions into the lands of their neighbours-
i      H& .
Their drefs confifts of  a fingle  robe tied  over the
moulders, falling down behind to   the heels, and before
a little below the knees, with a deep fringe round the
bottom.    It is generally made of the bark of the cedar
tree, which they prepare as fine as hemp; though fome
of   thefe   garments are interwoven with ftrips of the
fea-otter fkin, which   give them the appearance   of a
a fur on  one   fide.    Others  have ftripes   of red and
yellow threads fancifully introduced toward the borders,
which have a very agreeable effect.    The men have no
other covering than that which I have defcribed,   and
they  unceremonioufly lay  it afide   when they  find it
convenient.    In addition to this robe, the women wear
a clofe   fringe hanging down before them  about  two
feet in length, and half as wide.    When they fit down
they draw this between their thighs.    They wear their
hair   fo   fhort, that it requires little  care or combing*
The men have theirs in plaits, and being fmeared with
I oil and red earth, inftead of a comb they have a fmall
flick hanging from one of the locks, which they employ
to alleviate any itching or irritation in the head.    The
colour of the eye is grey with a tinge of red.    They
have ail  high cheek-bones, but the women are  more
remarkable for that feature than the men.    Their houfes,
arms, and utenfils, I fhall defcribe hereafter.
I prefented my friend with feveral articles, and alfo
, diftributed fome among others of the natives who had
Vol. II. Ee bee#
'.I'll! Hi
I ..KlnlSlC'i
fill If
been attentive to us. One of my guides had been very
ferviceable in piocuring canoes for us to proceed on
our expedition ; he appeared alfo to be very defirous
of giving thefe people a favourable impreffion of us;
and I was very much .concerned that he fhould leave
me as he did, without giving me the leaft notice of
his departure, or receiving the prefents which I had
prepared for him, and he fo well deferved. At noon
I had an obfervation which gave 52. 28. 11. North
Continue our journey* JLmbark on a river. Come to a
weir* Dexterity of the natives in paffing it. Arrive
at a village. Alarm occafioned among the natives. The
fubfequent favourable reception, accompanied with a banquet of ceremony. Circumfiances of it. Defcription of
a village, its houfes, and places of devotion. Account
of the cufloms, mode of living, and fuperflition of the
inhabitants. Defcription of the chiefs canoe. Leave
the place*, and proceed on our voyage.
1793, July.   '    -    '     '.. ' S|l "',''"' "\ ' -\ " "' ^0}
jl\.T one in the afternoon we embarked with our
fmail baggage, in two canoes, accompanied by feven
of the natives. The ftream was rapid, and ran upwards of fix miles an hour. We came to a weir, fuch
as 1 have already defcribed, where the natives*landed
us, and {hot over it without taking a drop of water.
They then received us on board again and we continued
our voyage, paffing many canoes on the river," feme
with people in them, and others empty. We proceeded
at a very great rate for about two hours and an half,
when we were informed that there we muft land, as
the village was only at a fhort diftance. I had imagined that the Canadians who accompanied me were
E e 2 iSthe
the moft expert canoe-men in the world, but they are
very inferior to thefe people, as they themfelves acknowledged, in conducting thofe veflels.
Some of the Indians ran before us, to announce out
approach, when we  took   our   bundles  and   followed.
We had walked  along a well-beaten   path, through a
kind of coppice, when we were informed of the arrival of our couriers at the   houfes,  by   the loud and
confufed talking of the inhabitants.    As we approached
the edge of the wood, and were almoft in fight of the
houfes, the  Indians  who  were before  me made figns
for me to take the lead, and that they   would follow.
The noife and confufion of the natives now feemed to
increafe, and when we  came in fight of the   village,
we faw   them  running   from  houfe   to   houfe,  fome
armed with   bows and  arrows,   others  with fpears, and
many with axes, as if in a ftate of great alarm.    This
very   unpleafant and   unexpected circumftance I attributed to our fudden arrival, and the  very fhort notice
«of it which had been given  them.    At   all  events, I
had but  one line of conduct to purfue, which1 was to
walk refolutely up  to them,  without   manifefting any
figns of apprehenfion at their hoftile appearance?   This
resolution produced the defired effect,   for   as  we approached  the houfes, the greater   part   of   the  people
laid down their weapons, and came forward to meet us.
I was, however, foon obliged to flop from the number
of them that furrounded me.    I fhook hands, as ufual
with fuch as were the neareft to me,  when an elderly
man broke through  the crowd, and took   me  in his
arms; andther then came, who turned him away without
the laff ceremony, and paid me the fame compliment.
The latter was followed by a young man, whom I underftood to be his fon. Thefe embraces, which at firft
rather furprifed me, I foon found to be marks of regard and friendfhip. The crowd preffed with fo much
violence and contention to get a view of us, that we could
not move in any direction. An opening was at length
made to allow a perfon to approach me, whom the old
man made me underftand was another of his fons. I
inftantly ftepped forward to meet him, and prefented my
hand; whereupon he broke the firing of a very hand-*
fome robe of fea-otter fkin, which he had on, and covered rhe with it. This was as flattering a reception
as I could poffibly receive, efpecially as I confidered
him to be the eldeft fon of the chief. Indeed it appeared to me that we had been detained here for the
purpofe of giving him time to bring the robe with
which he had" prefented me.
The chief now made figns for us to follow film,
and he conducted us through a narrow coppice, for
feveral' hundred yards, till we came to a houfe built
on the ground, which was of larger dimenfions, and
fermed of better materials than any I had hitherto feen ;
it was his refidence. We were no fooner arrived there
than he directed mats to be fpread before it, on which
we were told to take our feats, when the men of the
village, who came to indulge their curiofity, were ordered to keep behind us. In our front other mats were
placed, where the chief and his counfellors took their
feats. In the intervening fpace, mats, which were very
clean, and of a much neater workmanfhip than thofe on
which we fat were alfo fpread, and a fmall roafted
falmon placed before each of us*   When  we had fa-
Ii Ms
tisfied ourfelves with the fifh, one of the  people wjio
came with  us from   the  laft  village  approached,  with
a kind of ladle   hand,    contaJf|ing   oil,  and in
the other fomething that reffembled  the inner rind of
the cooa-nut, but of a lighter colour ;   this he dipped
in the oil, and having   eat it, indicated by  his geflures
how palatable  he thought  it.    He   then  prefented me
with a   fmall piece   of it,  which I   chofe   to tafte in
its dry flate, though the   oil  was   free   from any un-
pleafant fmell.    A fquare  cake  of this was   next (produced,  when a  man,took   it   to   the  water  near||he
houfe, and   having   thoroughly foaked. it,  he  returned,
and,  after  fie  had   pulled  it to pieces like oakum, put
it into a well made trough, about three feet long, nine
inches wide, and. five deep ; he thejp plentifully fpginkled
it with falmon oil,   and   manifefle^ by his own example
that we were  to eat of it.    1 iufk. tafted it, and found
the oil perfectly  fweet,   without   which   the  other ingredient would  have been very  infipid,    Che chief partook of it with great avidity,   after^kitr-ha^| received; an
additional   quantity, of oil.    This difh  is  confidered J}y
thefe  people as a great   delicacy; ^and on, examination,
I difcovered  it to  confift  of $ the   inner  rind  of   the
hemlock tree,   taken  off  early^in    fummer,  and   put
into  a  frame,   which   fhapes   it   into cakes   of fifteen
inches long,  ten   broad, and  half an   inch  thick ;   and
in   this form 1& fhould  fuppofe it may be preferved for
a   great length, of   time.    This   difcovery   fatis$e$  me>
refpecting the  many hemlock   trees   which I had oh*
ferved- ftripped of their bark.
In this fituation  we remained for  upwards  of three
hours,   and not one   of   the .curious   natives left us
during all that time, except a party of them, whom
the chief ordered to go and catch fifh, which they
did in great abundance, with dipping nets, at the foot
of the  Weir.
At length we were relieved from the gazing crowd,
and got a lodge erected, and covered in for our reception
during the night. I now prefented the young chief with
a blanket, in return for the robe with which he had
favoured me, and feveral other articles, that appeared to
be very gratifying to him. I alfo prefented fome to his
father, and amongft them was a pair of fciffars, whofe
ufe I explained to him, for clipping his beard, whiclji
was of great length ; and to that purpofe he immediately
applied them. My diftribution of fimilar articles was alfo
extended to others, who had been attentive to us. The
communication, however, between us was awkward and
inconvenient, for it was carried on entirely by figns, as
there was not a perfon with me who was qualified for
the office of an interpreter.
We were ail of us   very  defirous  to get fome  frefh
falmon, that we might drefs them in our own way, but
could not by any means obtain that gratification, though.
there were thoufands of that fifh ftrung on cords, which
were faftened to flakes in the river.    They were  even
averfe to our approaching the fpot where they clean and
prepare them  for their own eating.    They had,  indeed,
taken our kettle from us, left we fhould emplov it in
getting water from  the river; and they afligned as ttfl
reafon for this precaution, that  the falmon d;flike the
fmell of iron.    At the^fame time they fupplied us with
wooden   boxes,   which were capable  of  holding   any
■if IK
ii 11 nw
fluid. Two of the men that went to fifh, in a canoe
capable of containing ten people, returned with a full
lading of falmon, that weighed from fix to forty pounds,
though the far greater part of them were under twenty.
They immediately fining the whole of them as I have
already mentioned, in the river.
I now made the tour of the village, which confifted of
four elevated houfes, and feven built on the ground,
befides a confiderable number of other buildings or fheds,
which are ufed only as kitchens, and places for curing
their fifh. The former are conftructed by fixing a
certain number of pofts in the earth, on fome of which
are laid, and to others are faftened, the fupporters of
the floor, at about twelve feet above the furface of the
ground: their length is from an hundred to an hundred
and twenty feet, and they are about forty feet in breadth.
Along the centre are built three, four, or five hearths,
for the two-fold purpofe of giving warmth, and dreifing
their fifh. The whole length of the building on either
fide is divided by cedar planks, into partitions or apartments
of feven feet fquare, in the front of which there are
boards, about three feet wide, over which, though
they are not immovably fixed, the inmates of thefe
receffcs generally pafs, when they go to reft. The
greater part of them are intended for that purpofe, and
fuch are covered with boards, at the height of the wall
of the houfe, which is about feven or eight feet, and reft
upon beams that ftretch acrofs the building. On thofe
alfo are placed the chefts which contain their provifions,
utenfils, and whatever they poffefs. The intermediate
fpace is fufficient for domeftic purpofes. On poles that
run along the beams, hang roafted fifh, and the whole
building is well covered with boards and bark, except
within a few inches of the ridge pole; where open fpaces
are left on each fide to let in light and emit the fmoke.
At the end of the houfe that fronts the river, is a narrow
fcaffolding, which is alfo afcended by a piece of timber,
with fteps cut in it; and at each corner of this erection
there are openings, for the inhabitants to eafe nature.
As it does not appear to be a cuflom among them to
remove thefe heaps of excremental filth, it may be fup-
pofed that the effluvia does not annoy them.      |||
The houfes which reft on the ground are built of the
fame materials, and on the fame plan. A Hoping flage
that rifes to a crofs piece of timber, fupported by two
forks, joins alfo to the main building, for thofe purpofeS
which need not be repeated.
When we were furrounded by the natives ori bur
arrival, I counted fixty-five men, and feveral of them
may be fuppofed to have been abfent; I cannot, therefore, calculate   the inhabitants of this village at lefs than
two hundred fouls.
- PIIp
The people who accompanied us hither from the
other village, had given the chief a very particular account of every thing they knew concerning us: I was,
therefore, requefted to produce my aftronomical instruments ; nor could I have any objection to afford them
this fatisfaction^ as they would neceffariiy add to our importance in their opinion.
Near the houfe of the chief I obferved feveral oblong
fquares, of about twenty feet by eight.   They were made
Vol. II* Ff of
ill p
of thick cedar boards, which were joined with fo much
rieatnefs, that I at firft thought they were one pieces
They were painted with hieroglyphics* and figures of
different animals, and with a degree of correctnefs that
was not to be expected from fuch an uncultivated people.
I could not learn the ufe of them, but they appeared to
be calculated for occafional acts of devotion or facrifice,
which all thefe tribes perform at leaft twice in the year,
at the fpring and falL I was confirmed in this opinion
by a large building in the middle of the village, which
I at firft took for the half finifhed frame of a houfe.
The ground-plot of it was fifty feet by forty-five ; each
end is formed by four flout pofts, fixed perpendicularly
in the ground. The corner ones are plain, and fuppor«
a beam of the whole length, having three intermediate
props on each fide, but of a larger fize, and eight or nine
feet in height. The two centre pofts at each end are
two feet and an half in diameter, and carved into human
figures, fupporting two ridge poles on their heads, at
twelve feet from the ground. The figures at the upper
part of this fquare rep re fent two perfons, with their;
hands upon their knees, as if they fupported the weight
with pain and difficulty: the others oppofite to them
fland at their eafe, with their hands refting on their hips.
In the area of the building there were the remains of
feveral fires. The pofts, poles, and figures, were paintedj
red and black; but the fculpture of thefe people is fu-
perior to their painting.
(Friday 19.) Soon after I had retired to reft laft night,
the chief paid me a vifit to infift on my going to his
bed-companion, and taking my place himfelf; but not-:j
withftanding WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     aaj
withftanding his repeated entreaties, I refilled this offering of his hofpitality.
At an early hour this morning I was again vifited
by the chief, in company with his fon. The former
complained of a pain in his breaft; to relieve his fullering, I gave him a few drops of Turlington's Balfam
on a piece of fugar; and I was rather furprifed to
fee him take it without the leaft hefitation. ' When
he had taken my medicine, he requefted me to follow
him, and conducted me to a fried, where feveral people
were affembled round a fick man, who was another of
his fons. They immediately uncovered him, and fhewed
me a violent ulcer in the fmall of his back, in the
foulefl ftate that can be imagined. One of his knees
was alfo afflicted in the fame manner. This unhappy
man was reduced to a fkeleton, and, from his appearance, was drawing near to an end of his pains.
They requefted that I would touch him, and his father
was very urgent with me to adminifter medicine j but he
was in fuch a dangerous ftate, that I thought it prudent
to yield no further to the importunities than to give
the fick perfon a few drops of Turlington's balfam in
fome water. I therefore left them, but was foon called*
back by the loud lamentations of the women, and was
rather apprehenftve that fome inconvenience might refult
from my compliance with the chief's requeft.! On my
return I found the native phyficians bufy in practifing
their fkill and art on the patient. They blew on him,
and then whiflled; at times they preffed their extended
fingers with all their ftrength on his flomach; they alfo
put their forefingers doubled into his mouth, and fpouted
water from their own with great violence into his face*
Ff %.
To fupport thefe operations the wretched fuflerer was held
up in a fitting pofture; and when they were concluded, he
was laid down and covered With a new robe made of the
fkins of the lynx. I had obferved that his belly and breaft
were covered with fears, and I underftood that tfiev
were caufed by a cuflom prevalent among them, of
applying pieces of lighted touch-wood to their flefh,
in order to relieve pain or demon ft rate their courage.
He was now placed on a broad plank, and carried by
fix men into the woods, where I was invited to accompany them. I could not conjecture what would
be the end of this ceremony, particularly as I fawr
one man carry fire, another an axe, and a third dry
Wood. I was, indeed, difpofed to fufpedt that, as it
was their cuflom to burn the dead, they intended to
relieve the poor man from his pain, and perform the
(aft fad duty of furviving affection. When they had
advanced a fhort diftance into the wood, they laid
him upon a clear fpot, and kindled a fire againft his
back, when the phyfician began to fcarify the ulcer
with a very blunt inftrument, the cruel pain of which
operation the patient bore with incredible refolutioru
The fcene afflicted me and I left it.
On my return to our lodge, I obferved before the
door of the chief's refidence, four heaps of falmon, each
of which confifted of between   three and four hundred
Jv^ fs'-JSfT; .    syrs"jsg( 'vw> *»?.s**   "'i Fw! " '
fifh. Sixteen women were employed in cleaning and:
preparing them. They firft feparate the head from the.
body, the former of which they boil; they then cut
the latter down the back on each fide of the bone,
leaving one  third   of the  fifh   adhering: to it,  and af-
o    whs       Till**-tBI** o . '
terwards tajce out the  guts.    Tire  bone  is roafted for
J mm
immediate ufe, and the other parts are dreffed in the
fame manner, but with more attention, for future provifion. While they are before the fire, troughs are
placed under them to receive the oil. The roes are
alfo carefully preferved, and form a favourite article
pt their foodT
After I had obferved thefe culinary preparations, I
paid a vifit  to  the   chief,   who  prefented me  with  a
roafted  falmon; he then opened one of his  chefts, and
took out of it a garment of blue cloth, decorated with brafs
buttons; and another of a flowered cotton, which I fup-
pofed were  Spanifh; it had been trimmed with leather
fringe, after the fafhion of their own cloaks.   Copper and
brafs are in great efti-marion among them, and of the
former they have great plenty : they point their arrows
and fpears wjth  it, and woik it up into perfonal ornaments; fuch as collars, ear-rings, and bracelets, which
they wear on their wrifts, arms, and legs.    I prefume
they  find it the moft advantageous article of trade with
the more inland tribes.    They  alfo abound in iron :  I
faw fome  of their twilled collars of that metal which
weighed upwards  of   twelve  pounds.     It  is  generally
beat   in  bars   of  fourteen  inches   in  length,   and one
inch three quarters wide.    The brafs is in thin fquares;
their copper is  in  larger   pieces,  and   fome of it appeared to  be  old  flills   cut  up.    They    have   various
trinkets ; but their manufactured  iron confifts only of
poniards and daggers.    Some of the former have very
neat handles, with a fifver coin of a quarter or eighth of a
dollar fixed on the end of them,    The blades of the latter
are from ten to twelve inches in length, and about four
' ullra
inches broad at the   top,  from which" they   gradually
leffen into a point.
When I produced my in ft rumen ts to take an at*
titude, I was defired not to make ufe of them. I
could not then difcover the caufe of this requeft, but
I experienced the good effect of the apprehenfion which,
they occafioned, as it was very effectual in haftening
my departure. I had applied feveral times to the chief
to prepare canoes and people to take me and my party
to the fea, but very little attention had been paid to
my application till noon; when I was informed that
a canoe was properly equipped for my voyage, and
that the young chief would accompany me. I now
difcovered that they had entertained no perfonal fear
of the inltruments, but were apprehenfive that the ope-*
ration of them might frighten the falmon from mat
part of the river. The obfervation taken in this village
gave me 52. 25. 52.  North latitude.
In compliance with the chief's requeft I defired my
people to take their bundles, and lay them down on
the bank of the river. In the mean time I went to
take the dimenfions of his large canoe, in which, it was
fignified to me, that about ten winters ago he went a
confiderable diftance towards the mid-day fun, with
forty of his people, when he faw two large veflels full
of fuch men as myfelf, by whom he was kindly re*
ceived : they were, he faid, the firft white people he
had feen. They were probably the fhips commanded
by Captain Cook. This canoe was built of cedar,
forty - five, feet long, four feet wide, and three feet and
a half in depth.    It  was painted black and decorated
With white figures of fi(h of different kinds. The
gunwale, fore and aft, was inlaid with the teeth of the
When I returned to the river, the natives who were
to accompany us, and my people, were already in the
canoe. The latter, however, informed me, that one of
Our axes was miffing. I immediately applied to the
chief, and requefted its reftoration ; but he would riot
underfland me till I fat myfelf down on a flone, with
rny arms in a ftate of preparation, and made it appear
to him that I fhould not depart till the ftolen article
was reftored. The village Was immediately in a flate
of uproar, and fome danger was apprehended from the
confufion that prevailed in it. The axe, however, which
had been hidden under the chief's canoe, was foon returned. Though this inftrument was not in itfelf of
fufficient value to juftify a dilpute With thefe people, I
apprehended that the fuffering them to keep it, after
we had declared its lofs, might have occafioned the lofs
of every thing we carried with us, and of our lives
alfo. My people were diffatisfied with me at the moment ; but 1 thought myfelf right then, and I think
now, that the circumfiances in which we were involved,
juftified the meafure which I adopted.
* As Captain Cook has mentioned, that the people of
the fea-coaft adorned their canoes with human teeth, I was
more particular in my inquiries; the refult of which was,
the moft fatisfa&ory proof, that he was miftaken : but his
miftake arofe from the very great refemblance there is
between human teeth and thofe of the fea-otter.
ft;;., ;li
Renew our voyage. Circumfiances of the river* Land at
the houfe of a chief. Entertained by him. Carried down.
the river with great rapidity to another houfe. Received
with kindnefs. Occupations of the inhabitants on its banks.
Leave the canoe at a fall. Pafs over' land to another village. Some account of it. Obtain a view of an arm
of the fea. Lofle our dog. Procure another canoe. Arrive at the arm of the fea. Circumfiances of it. One
qf our guides returns home. Coafi along a bay. Some
defcription of it. Meet with Indians. Our communication with them. Their fufpicious conduft towards us.
Pafs onwards. Determine the latitude and longitude^
Return to the river. Dangerous encounter with the-
Indians.     Proceed on our journey.
1793, JULY-
(Saturday 18.) jM^T one in the afternoon we renewed
our voyage in a large canoe with four of the natives.
We found the river almoft one continued rapid, and
in haif an hour we came to a houfe, where, however,
we did not land, though invited by the inhabitants. In
about an hour we arrived at two houfes, where we were,
in fome degree, obliged to go on fhore, as we were
informed that the owner of them was a perfon of con-
fideration. He indeed received and regaled us in the
fame manner as at the laft village; and to increafe his
confequence, he produced many European articles, and
amongft them were at leaft forty pounds weight of old
copper ftills. We'made our ftay as fhort as poflible,
and Our hoft embarked with us. In a very fhort time
we were carried by the rapidity of the current to another
houfe of very large dimenfions, which was partitioned
into different apartments, and whofe doors were on the
fide. The inhabitants received us with great kindnefs;
but inftead of fifh, they placed a long, clean, and well
made trough before us full of berries. In addition to
thofe which we had already feen, there were fome black,
that were larger than the huckle berry, and of a richer
flavour; and others white, which refembled the blackberry in every ihMg but colour. Here we faw a woman
with two pieces of copper in her under lip, as defcribed
by Captain Cook. I continued my ufoal practice of
making thefe people prefents in return for their friendly
reception and entertainment.
The navigation of the river now became more difficult, from the numerous channels into which it was
divided, without any fenfible diminution in the velocity
of its current. We foon reached another houfe of the
common fize, where we were well received ; but whether
our guides had informed them that we were not in want
of any thing, or that they were deficient in inclination,
or perhaps the means, of being hofpitable to us, they
did not offer us any refrefhment. They were in a flate
of bufy preparation. Some of the women were employed in beating and preparing the inner rind of the
cedar bark, to which they gave the appearance of flax.
Vol. II. '" f Gg Others
/ KH;
Others were fpinning with a diftaff and fpindle. One
of them was weaving aerobe of it, intermixed with ftripes
of the fea-otter fkin, on a frame of adequate contrivance
that was placed againft the fide of the houfe. The
men were fiftiing on the river with drag-nets between
two canoes. Thefe nets are forced by poles to the
bottom, the current driving them before it; by which
means the falmon coming up the river are intercepted,
and give notice of their being taken by the ftruggles
they make in the bag or fleeve of the net. There are
no weirs in this part of the river, as I fuppofe, from
the numerous channels into which it is divided. The
machines, therefore, are placed along the banks, and
confequently thefe people are not fo well fupplied with
fifh as the village which has been already defcribed, nor
do they appear to poffefs the fame induflry. The inhabitants of the laft houfe accompanied us in a large
canoe. They recommended us to leave ours here, as
the next village was but at fmall diftance from us, and
the water more rapid than that which we had paffed.
They informed us alfo that we were approaching a
cafcade. I directed them to fhoot it, and proceeded myfelf
to the foot thereof, where I re-embarked, and we went
on with great velocity, till we came to a fall, where we
left our canoe, and carried our luggage alon^ a road
though a wood for fome hundred yards, when we came
to a village, confifting of fix very large houfes, erected
on palifades, rifing twenty-five feet from the ground,
which differed in no one circumftance from thofe already
defcribed, but the height of their elevation. They
contained only four men and their families. The reft
•f the inhabitants  were with us and in the fmall houfes
which we pafled higher up the river.* Thefe people
do not feem to enjoy the abundance of their neighbours',
as the men who returned from fiftiing had no-cftore
five falmon; they refufed to fell one of them, but gave
me one roafted, of a very indifferent kind. In the houfe
there were feveral chefts or boxes containing different
articles that belonged to the people whom we had. lately
paffed. If I were to judge by the heaps of filth beneath
thefe buildings, they muft have been erected at a more
diftant period than any which we had paffed. From
thefe houfes I could perceive the termination of the
river, and its difcharge into a narrow of the fea.
As it was now half paft fix in the evening, and the
weather cloudy, I determined to remain here for the night,
and for that purpofe we poffeffed ourfelves of one of the
unoccupied houfes. The remains of our laft meal,
which we brought with us, ferved for our f up per, as we
could not procure a fingle fifh from the natives. The
courfe of the river is about Weft, and the diftance from
the great village upwards of thirty-fix miles. There we
had loft our dog ; a circumftance of no fmall regret
to me.
(Saturday ao.) We rofe at a very early hour this morning, when I propofed to the Indians to run down our
canoe, or procure another at this place. To both thefe
propofals they turned a deaf ear, as they imagined that I
fhould be fatisfied with having come in fight of the fea.
Two of them peremptorily refufed to proceed;  but the
* Mr. Johnflone came to thefe houfes the firft day of
the preceding month.
G g  2 other
other two having confented to continue with us, we
obtained a larger canoe than our former one,: and though
it was in a leaky ftate we were glad to poffefs it*
At about eight we got out of the river, which difcharges
itfelf by various channels into an arm of the fea.    The
tide was out, and had left a large fpace covered with fea-
weed.    The furrounding hills were involved in fog.    The
Wind was at  Weft,  which was  ahead of us, and very
ftrong; the bay appearing to be from one to three miles
in breadth.    As we advanced along the land we faw a
great number of fea-otters.    We fired   feveral fhots at
them, but without any fuccefs,  from the rapidity  with
which they plunge under the water.    We alfo faw many
fmall   porpoifes    or   divers.    The   white-headed  eagle,
which is common in   the interior   parts ;   fome final!
gulls, a dark bird which is inferior in fize to the gull, and
a few fmall ducks, were all the birds which  prefented
themfelves to our view.
At two in the afternoon the fwell was fo high, and the
wind, which was again ft us, fo boifterous, that we could
not proceed with our leaky veflel; we therefore landed
in a fmall cove on the right fide of the bay. Oppofite
to us appeared another fmall bay, in the mouth of which
is an ifland, and where, according to the in formation of
the Indians, a river difcharges itfelf that abounds in
Our young Indians now difcovered a very evident difpofition td leave us; and, in the evening, one of them
made his efcape, Mr. Mackay, however, with, the other,
purfued WEST CONTINENT Of AMERICA.     237
purfued and brought him back; but as it was by no
means neceflary to detain him, particularly as provifions
did not abound with us, I gave him a fmall portion,
with a pair of fhoes, which were neceffafy for his
journey, and a filk handkerchief, telling him at the fame
time, that he might go and inform his friends, that
we fhould alfo return in three nights. He accordingly
left us, and his companion, the young chief, went with
When we landed, the tide was going out, and at a
quarter paft four it was ebb; the water having fallen in
that fhort period eleven feet and an half. Since we left
the river, not a quarter of an hour had paffed in which
we did not fee porpoifes and fea-otters. Soon after ten it
was high water, which rendered it neceflary that our
baggage fhould be fhifted feveral times, though not till
fome of the things had been wetted.
We were now redused to the neceffity of looking out
for frefh water, with which we were plentifully fupp^ied
by the rills that ran down from the mountains.
When it was dark the young chief returned to us,
bearing a large porcupine on his back. He fiift cut the
animal open, and having difencumbered it of the entrails,
threw them into the fea; he then ringed its fkin, and
boiled it in feparate pieces, as our kettle was not fuffi-
ciently capacious to contain the whole : nor did he go to
reft, till, with the afliflance of two of my people who
happened to be awake, every morfel of it was de-»
I had
1 III 1
ill ill
111 Mi;
I had flattered myfelf with the hope of getting a dif*
tance of the moon apd ftars, but the cloudy weather
continually difappointed me, and I began to fear that
I fhould fail in this important object; particularly as
our provifions were at a very low ebb,: and we had as
yet no reafon to expect any afliflance from the natives.
Our ftock was, at this time, reduced to twenty pounds
weight of pemmican, fifteen pounds of rice, and fix
pounds of flour, among ten half-ftarved men, in a
leaky veffel, and on a barbarous coaft. Our courfe from
the river was about Weft-South-Weft, diftance ten mpes.
(Sunday 21.) At forty minutes paft four this morning
it was low water, which made fifteen feet perpendicular
height below the high-water mark of laft nighr.
Mr. Mackay collected a quantity of fmall mufcles which
we boiled. Our people did not partake of this regale, as
they are wholly unacquainted with fea fhell-fifh. Our
young chief being miffing, we imagined that he ni§
taken his flight; but, as we were preparing to depart, he
fortunately made his appearance from the woods, where
he had been to take his reft after hisiffeaft of laft night.
At fix we were upon the water, wThen we cleared the
fmall bay, which we named Porcupine Cove, and fleered
Weft-South-Weft for feven miles; we then opened a
channel about two miles and an half wide at South-South-
Weft, and had a view of ten or twelve miles into it.
As I could not afcertain the diftance frona the open fea,
and being uncertain whether we were in a bay or among
inlets and channels of iflands, I confined my fearch to
a proper place for taking an obfervation. We fleered,
therefore, along the land on the left, Weft-North-Weft
a mile and an half; then North-Weft one fourth of a
mile, and North three miles to an ifland | the land continuing to run North-North-Weft, then along the ifland,
South-South-Weft half a mile, Weft a mile and an half,
and from thence directly acrofs to the land on the left,
(where I had an altitude,) South-Weft three miles. *
From this pofition a channel, of which the ifland we left
appeared to make a cheek, bears North by Eaft.        il
Under the land we met with three canoes, with fifteen
men in them, and laden with their moveables, as if proceeding to a new fituation, or returning to a former one.
They manifefted no kind of miftruft or fear of us, but
entered into converfation with our young man, as I fup-
pofed, to obtain fome information concerning us. It did
not appear that they were the fame people as thofe we
lately feen, as they fpoke the language of our young
chief, with a different accent. They then examined
every thing we had in our canoe, with an air of indifference and difdain. One of them in particular made
me underftand, with an air of infolence,, that a large
canoe had lately been in this bay, with people in her
like me, and that one them, whom he called Macubah*.
had fired on him and his friends, and that Benfins had
flruck him on the back, with the flat part of his fword.
He alfo mentioned another name, the articulation of
which I could not determine. At the fame time he
illuftrated thefe circumfiances by the afliflance of my
gun and fword; and I do not doubt but he well deferved
the treatment which he defcribed. He alfo produced
feveral European articles, which could not have been long
in his poffeffion.    From his conduct and appearance, I
* The Cape or Foint Menzies of Vancouver.
1 pi i;
1 iii
in E3
wifhed very much to be rid of him, and flattered myfelf
that he would profecute his voyage, which appeared to
be in an oppofite direction to our courfe. However,
when I prepared to part from them, they turned tjieir
canoes abcftit, and perfuaded my young man to leave me,
which I could not prevent.
We coafted along the land*  at about Weft-South-
Weft for fix miles, and met a canoe with two boys
in it, who were difpatched to fummon the people on
that part of the coaft to join them. g The troublefome
fellow now forced himfelf into my canoe, and pointed
out. a narrow channel on the oppofite fhore, that led
to his village, and requefted us to fleer towards it,
which I accordingly ordered. His importunities how
became very irkfome, and he wanted to fee every thing
We had, particularly my inftruments, concerning which
he muft have received information from my young man%
He afked for my hat, my handkerchief, and, in fhort,
every thing that he faw about me. At the fame time
he frequently repeated the unpleafant intelligence that
he had been fhot at by people of my colour. At fome
diftance from the land a channel opened to us, at
South-Weft by Weft, and pointing that way, he made
me uriderftand that Macubah came there with his large
canoe. When we were in mid-channel, I perceived
fome fheds, or the remains of old buildings, on the
fhore; and as,, from that circumftance, I thought it
probable that fome Europeans might have been there,
I directed my fteerfman to make for that fpot. The
traverfe is upwards of three miles North-Weft.
Named by Vancouver King's Ifland.
We ■hct
Vest continent of amEriCa.    44*
We landed, and found the ruins of a  village,   in  a
fituation calculated for defence.    The   place  itfelf was
ovAr grown with weeds, and in the centre of the houfes?
fhere was a temple, of the fame fotfm and conftruction
as   that which  1 defcribed at the  large village.     We
were foon followed by ten canoes, each of which contained from three lo fix men.    They informed us that
we were expected at the village, where  we fhould  fee
many  of them. % From their general deportment I was
very apprehenfive that  fome   hoftile defign  was meditated againft usi and for the firft time I acknowledged
my  apprehenfionirito my people. I accordingly defired
them to be  very  much upon their  guard,  and to be
prepared if  any violence was offered to defend them*
felves to the laft*
We had no foorter landed, than we took pofleflioa
of a rock, where there was not; fpace for more than
twice our number, and which admitted of our defending ourfelves with advantage, in cafe We fhould be
attacked. The people in the three firft canoes were
the moft troublefome, but, after doing their utmoft to
irritate us, they went away. They were, however, no
fooner gone, than a hat, a handkerchief, and feveral other articles, wdre mifiingj. The reft of our vifitors
continued their prefling invitations to accompany them
to their village, but finding our refolution to decline
them was not to be fhaken, they about fun-fet relieved
us from all further importunities, by their departure.
Another canoe, however, foon arrived, with feven
flout well-looking men. They brought a box, which
contained a very fine fea-otter fkin, and a goat fkin,
"   Vol. II. f H h that.
! *
it m
that was beautifully white. For the former they de*
mended my hanger, which, as may well be fuppofedj
could not be fpared in our prefent fituation, and they
actually refufed to take a yard and an half of common
broad cloth, with fome other articles, for the fkin, which
proves the unreflecting improvidence of our European
traders. The goat-fkin was fo bulky that I did not
offer to purchafe it. Thefe Jiaen alfo told me that
Macuhah had been there, and left his fhijfr behind a
point of land in the channel, South-Weft from us; froni
whence he had come to their village in boats, which
jhefe people repcefented by haatttating our manner of
rowing. When I offered ti|em what they did not choofe
to accept for the otter-fkin, tfeey ffiook tfeeir heads*
and very diftinctly anfwered % No, no.^ And to mark
their refufal of any thing we afked from them, they
emphatically employed the fame Britifh monofyllable.
In one of the canoes which had left us> there was a
feal, that I wifhed to purchafe, but coiild not perfuade
the natives to part with it. They had alfo a fifh>
which I now faw for the firft time. It was about
eighteen inches in length, of the feape and appearance
of a trout, With fkong, fhaflp teeth. We faw great
numbers of the animals whieh we had taken for fea
otters, but I was now difpofed to think that a great
part of them at leafik mui have been feals.
The natives having, left us, we made a fire to warn*
ourfelves, and as for fupper, there was but little of that*
for our whole daily alfowance did not amount to what
Was fufficient for a fingle meal. The weather was clear
throughout: the  day,   which was ftaaseeded by a  fine
Npl     moon-fi^rVt
* s
aril .  ' WEST CONTINENT OF AMSSft^A.     jj|
tnoon-light night.    I directed the people to keep watch
by two in turn,  and laid myfelf down in my  cloak.
(Monday 22.) This morning ths weather was ckar
and pleafant; nor 'had any thing occurred to difturb
us throughout 'the night. One folitary Indian, indeed,
came to us with about half a pound of boiled feal's
flefh, and the head of a fmall falmon, for which he
alked a handkerchief, but afterwards accepted a few
beads. As this man came alone, I concluded that no
general plan had been formed among the natives to
annoy us, 'but this opinion did not altogether cahjl
the apprehenfions of my people.
Soon after eight in the morning, I took five altitudes
for time, and the mean of them was 36. 48. at fix in
the afternoon, 58. 34. time, by the watch, which makes
the achrometer flow apparent time   1. 21.  44.
Two canoes now arrived from the fame quarter as
the reft, with feveral men, and our young Indian along
with them. They brought a very few fmall fea-otter
fk'was, out of feafon, with fome pieces of raw feal's
flefh. The former were of no value, but hunger compelled fome of my people to take the latter, at an extravagant price. Mr. Mackay lighted a bit of touch
wood with a'fcatfning-glafs, in the cover of his tabacco-
box, which fo furprifed the natives, that they exchanged
the beft of their otter fkins for it. Tiie young man
was now very anxious to perfuade our people to depart, as the natives, he faid, were as numerous as muf-
quitoes, and of very malignant character. This information   produced fome very earneft reroonftrances to
Hh a me;
me to haften our departure, but as I was determined
not to leave t^js  place, except I was abfolutely com-*
pelled to   it,  till I had  afcertained its fituation, thefe
folicitations were  not repeated.
While  I was taking a meridian, two  canoes,   of a,
larger fize, and  well manned, appeared  from the malik
South Weft   channel.     They   feemed  to  be the forerunners of others, who were coming:lo co-operate with
the people  of the village, in  confequence of the  me£?
Kjge'.fent   by the   two boys,   which has   been already
mentioned ;   and "our   young   Indian, wjjo underftood
them,  renewed his entreaties for our departure, as they
would foon come to fhoot their arrows, and hurl their
fpears at us.    In relating our danger, his, agitation was
fo  violent that he foamed   at the  mouth.    Though I
was  not altogether free from apprehenfions on the oc-r
cafion, it was neceflary for me to difguife them, as my
people were panic ftruck, and fome of them  afked if
it was my  determination to remain there to be  facri-
ficed.      My reply was the fame as their former im-y
portunities   had  received,   that  I would  not  ftir rill I
^iad accomplifhed my object; at the fame time, to huH>
rnour their fears, I confented that they fhould put every
tfiing into the canoe, that  we  might be in a ftate of
preparation to depart.    The two canoes now approached
the fhore, an$ in a, fhort time five men, with their families, landed very quietly from them.    My inftruments
being expofed, they examined them with much apparent
admiration and aftonifhment.    My altitude, by an artificial horizon,   gave g*\* ai. 33;   that  by the natural
horizon was 52. 20. 48. North latitude.*
* This I found to be the cheek of Vancouver's Cafeade
£&nal. Thefe. WEST^CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     245
Thefe Indians were of a different tribe from thofe
which I had already feen, as our guide did not underftand
their language. I now mixed up fome vermilion in
melted greafe, and inscribed, in large characters, on the
South-Eaft face of the rock on which we had flept laft
night, this brief memorial—■ Alexander Mackenzie,
from Canada, by land, the twenty-fecond of July, one
thoufand feven hundred and ninety-three,"
As I thought that we were too near the village, I
confented to leave this place, and accordingly proceeded
North-Eaft three miles, when we landed on a point, in
a fmall cove, where we fhould not be readily feen, and
could not be attackeed except in iront.
Among other articles that had been flolen from us,
at our laft flation, was a founding-line, which I intended
to have employed in this bay, though I fhould not
probably have found the bottom, at any diftance from
the fhore, as the appearance both of the water and
land indicated a great depth. The latter difplayed a
fqlid rock, rifing, as it appeared to me, from three
to feven hundred feet above high water mark. Where
any foil was fcattered about, there were cedars, fpruce-
firs, white birch, and other trees of large growth. From
its precipices iflued ftreams of fine water, as cold as
The two canoes, which we had left at our laft fta-
tion, followed us hither, and when they were preparing
to depart, our young chief embarked with them. I
was determined, however, to prevent his efcape, and
fonmelled him, by   actual force,  to come  on fhore s
for. Ul
for I thought it much better to inour his difpleaure,
than to fuffer him to expofe himfelf to any untoward
accident among ftrangers, or to return to his father
before us. The men in the canoe made figns for him
to go over the hijjjj, and that they would take him on
board at the other fide of it. As I was neceffarily engaged in other matters, I defired my people to take
care that he fhould not run away; but they peremptorily refufed to be employed in keeping him againfl
his will. I was, therefore, reduced to the neceflity of
watching h|m myfelf.
I took five altitudes, and the mean of them was 29. 23.48.
at 3. 5. 53. in the afternoon, by the watch, which makes it
flow apparent time im 22h 38s
In the forenoon it was    1     21   44 2 44 22
Mean of both
Difference nine hours going of the timepiece flow
I   22   II
I   22   19;
I obferved an emerfion of Jupiter's third fatellite,
which gave 8. 32. 21. difference of longitude. I then
.obferved an emerfion of Jupiter's firft fafeftrte, which
gave 8. 31. 48. The mean of thefe oblervationS is
8. 32. 2. which is equal to 128. 2,   Weft of Greenwich.
I had now determined my fituation, which is the
moft fortunate ci&uiriftance of my long, painful, and
perilous journey, as a few cloudy days would have
prevented me from afcertaining the final longitude of it. *!
■§Ft llJip :    Ii- At
* Mr. Meares was undoubtedly wrong in the idea, fo
earneltlvi WES* CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     447
L.&$jN; *
twelve it was high water, but the tide did not
C©me withth a foot and an half of the high water
iaark of laft night. As foon as I had completed my
Obfervations, we left this place : It was then ten o'clock
in the afternoon. We returried the fame way that we
€£me, and though the tide was running out very
ftrong, by keeping clofe in with the rocks, we proceeded at a confiderable rate, as my people were very
anxious to get out of the reach of the inhabitants of
this coaft.
During our courfe we faw feveral fires on the land
to the Southward, and after the day dawned, their
fmokes were vifible. At half paft four this morning
we arrived at our encampment of the night of the
2lit, which had been named Porcupine Cove. The
tide was out, and confiderably lower than we found
it when we were here before ; the high water mark
being above the place where we had made our fire.
This fluctuation muft be oecafioned by the action of
the  wind upon the  watetf,   in  thofe narrow channels.
carneftly in lifted on by him in his voyage, that there was
a North-Weft practicable paffage to the Southward of iixty-
fcine degrees and an half of latitude, as I flatter myfelf has
been proved   by my   former voyage.    Nor   can I refrain
from exprefling my furprife at his aflertion, ■ that there was
&n inland fea or archipelago of  great   extent   between the
iflands of Nootka and the main, about the latitude where
I   was at this time.    Indeed   I have   been   informed that
Captain Grey, ^ho ^f^araanded an American   veffel,  dndj
on whofe aurhor^y he ventured tru^fQpinJpn,   denies   that
he had given Mr. Meares any fuch information.    Befides,
the contrary is indubitably proved by Captain Vancouver's
iurvey, fronj^which no appeal can be made.
As we continued onwards, towards the river, we faw
a canoe, well manned, which at firft made from us
with great expedition, but afterwards waited, as if to
reconnoitre us ; however, it kept out of our way,
and allowed us to pafs. The tide being much lower
than when we were here before, we were under the
neceflity of landing a mile below the village. We
obferved that flakes were fixed in the ground along
the bay, and in fome places machines were faftened
to them, as I afterwards learned, to intercept the
feals and otters. Thefe works are very extenfive,
and muft have been erected with no common labour.
The only bird we ttw to-day was the white-headed
eagle. *
Our guide directed us to draw the canoe out of the
reach of the tide and to leave it. He would not wait,
however, till this operation was performed, and I did
not wifh to let him go alone. I therefore followed
him through a bad road encumbered with underwood.
When we had quitted the wood, arid were in fight
of the houfes, the young man being about fifteen or
twenty paces before me, I was furprifed to fee two
men running down towards me from one of the
houfes, with daggers in their hands and fury in their
afpect. From their hoftik appearance, 1 could not
doubt of their purpofe : I therefore flopped fhort, threw
down my cloak, and put myfelf in a pofture of de-»
fence, with my gun prefented towards them. Fortunately for me, they knew the effect of fire-arms, and
ihftantly   dropped  their daggers,   which   were faftened
This bay was now named Mackenzie's Outlet.
fey a firing to their wrifls, and had before been held
in a menacing attitude. I let my gun alfo fall into my
left hand, and drew my hanger. Several others foon
joined them, who Were armed in the fame mariner ;
and among them ,1 recognifed the man whom I have
already mentioned as being fo troublefome to us, and
who now repeated the names of Macubzh and Benfin^
fignifying at the fame time by his action, as on 1
'former occafion, that he had been fhot at by them*
tlntil I faw him my mind was undifturbed; but the
moment he appeared, conceiving that he was the caufe
of my prefent perilous fituation, my refentment predominated, and, if he had come within my reach, I
verily believe, that I fhould have terminated his info-
lence for ever*
The reft now approached fo near, that one of them
contrived to get behind me, and grafped me in his arms.
I foon difengaged myfelf from him ; and, why he did
not avail himfelf of the opportunity which he had of
plunging his dagger into me, I cannot conjecture. They
certainly might have overpowered me, and though I
fhould probably have killed one or two of them, I muft
fallen at laft.
One of my people now came out of the'wood. Ofi
his appearance they inftantly took to flight, and with
the utmoft fpeed fought fhelter in the houfes from
whence they had iffued. It was, however, upwards of
ten minutes before all my people joined me ; and as
they came one after the other, thefe people might have
fucceflivcly difpatched every one of us. IS they had
killed me in the firft inftance, trnVconfequence would
Vol. II. I i certainly m
certainly have followed, and not one of us would have r&*
turned home to tell the horrid fate of his companions*
After having flared the danger I had encountered, I
told my people that I was determined to make thefe
natives feel the impropriety of their conduct toward us,
and compel them to return my hat and cloak, which
they had taken in the fcuffle, as well as the articles pre-
vioufly purloined from us ; for moft of the irien who
were in the three canoes that we firft faw, were now
in the village. I therefore told rhy men to prime their
pieces afrefh, and prepare themfelves for an active ufe
of them, if the occafion fhould require it.
We now drew up before the houfe, and made figns
for fome one to come down to us. At length our young
chief appeared, and told us that the men belonging to
the canoes had not only informed his friends that we
had treated him very ill, but that we had killed four of
their companions whom we had met in the bay. When
1 had explained to themf as well as it Was in nry power*
the falfehood of fuch a flory, I infilled on the refto-
ration of every thing that had been taken from us, as
well as a neceflary fupply of fifh, as the conditions of
my departure -T accordingly the things were reftored, arid
a few dried fifh along with them. A reconciliation now
took place, but our guide or young chief Was fo much
terrified that he would remain no longer with us, and
requefted us to follow with his father's canoe, or mif-
chief would follow. I determined, however, before my
departure, to take an obfervation, and at noon got a
meridian altitude, making this place, which I named
Rafcal's Village, 52. 23, 43,. North latitude.
On my informing the natives that we wanted fomc-
thing more to eat, they brought us two falmons;
and when we fignified that we had no poles to fet the
canoe againft the current, they were furnilhed with equal
alacrity, fo anxious Were they for our departure. I paid*
however, for every thing which we had received,
did not forget the loan of the canoe.
I %
Return up the river. Slow progrefs of the canoe, from.
" the ftrength of the current. The hoftile party of the*
natives precede us. Impetuous conducl: of my people*
Continue our very tedious voyage. Come to fome houfes;
received with great kindnefs* Arrive at the principal*
or Salmon Village. Our prefent reception very different
from that we experienced on our former vifit. Continue,
our journey. Circumfiances of it. Find our dog. Ar*r
rive at the Upper, or Friendly Village. Meet with
a very kind reception. Some further account of the
manners and cufloms of its. inhabitants. Brief vocabulary of their language.
1793, July. |       •
j HE current of the river was fb ftrong, that I
fhould have complied with the wifhes of my people,
and gone by land, but one of my Indians was fo weak,
that it was impoflible for him to perform the journey^
He had been ill fome time ; and, indeed, we had been
all of us more or lefs afflicted with colds on the fea
coaft. Four of the people therefore fet off with the
canoe, and it employed them an hour to get half a
mile. In the mean time the native., who has been already WEST CONTINENT OF AMERICA.     253
ready mentioned as having treated ;us with fo much in-
folence, and four of his companions, went up the river
in a canoe, which they had above the rapid, with as
many boxes as men in her. This circumftance was
the caufe of frefh alarm, as, it was generally concluded
that they would produce the fame mifchief and danger
in the villages above, as they had in that below. Nor
was it forgotten that the young chief had left us in
a manner which would not be interpreted in our favour by his father and friends.
At length the canoe arrived, and the people declared in the moft unreferved terms, that they would
proceed no further in her; hut when they were made
acquainted with the circumfiances which have juft been
defcribed, their violence increafed, and the greater part
of the men announced their determination to attempt
the mountains, and endeavour, by paffing over them,
to gain the road by which we came to the firft village.
So refolved were they to purfue this plan* that they
threw, every thing which they had into the river,
except their blankets. I was all this time fitting patiently on a ftone, and indulging the hope that, when
their frantic terror had fubjided, their returning reafon
would have difpofed them to perceive the rafhnefs of
their project; but when I obferved that they perfifted
in it, I no longer remained a filent liftener to their
paflionate declarations, but proceeded to employ fuch
arguments as I trufted would turn them from their
fenfelefs and impracticable purpofe. After reproving
my young Indian in very fevere terms, for encouraging
the reft to follow their mad defign of paffing the
rnountairjkS^ I addreffed myfelf generally to them,  flaring
the difficulty of afcending  the mountains,   the eternaa
fnows with which they  were  covered, our fmall  flocks
of provifions, which two days  would exhauft, and the
confequent probability that we fhould  perifh with cold
and  hunger.    I urged the folly of being affected by the
alarm of danger   which  might not exift, and if it did,.
I   encouraged   them  with  the  means  we  pofleffed of'
furmounting it.      Nor   did I  forget to  urge   the   inhumanity  and injuftice of leaving the poor fick Indian'
to  languifh and die.    I alfo added, that as my particu-*
lat object had been accomplifhed,   I had now  no other
hut our common  fafety ;   that  the  fole  wifh  of  my
heart was   to  employ  the. beft  means in   my  power,
and to purfue  rhe beft  method which  my underftand-
ing  could  fuggeft, to  fecure   them   and    myfelf from,
every danger that might impede  our return.
My fteerfman, who had been with me for five yearsy
in that capacity, inftantly replied that he was ready
to follow me wherever I fhould go, but that he
would never again enter that canoe, as he had fo-»
lemnly fworn he would not, while he was in the rapid^
His example was followed by all the reft, except two,
who embarked with Mr. Mackay,* myfelf, and the
fick Indian. The current, however, was fo flrong,
that we dragged up the greateft part of the way, by
the branches of trees. Our progrefs., as may be imagined, was very tedious, and attended with uncommon;
labour; the party who went by land being continually
obliged to wait for us.    Mr. Mackay's gun was carried*
* It is but common juflice to him to mention in this place-
that J had every reafon to be fatisfied with his conduct.
out ***icr"
out of the canoe and loft, at a time when we appeared
fo Hand in very great need of it, as two canoes, with
fixteen or eighteenI men, were coming down th6
flrearh; arid the apprehenfions which they Occasioned
did ndt fubfide till  they  fhot by us with great rapidity.
f| At length we came in fight of the houfe, when we
faw our young Indian with fix others, in a canoe
coming to meet us. This was a very encouraging
circumftance, as it fatisfied us that the natives who
had preceded, and whofe malignant defigns we had
every reafon to fufpect, had not been able to prejudice
the people agairift us. We, therefore, landed at the
houfe, where we were received in a friendly manner^
and having procured fome fifh, We proceeded on our
It was almoft dark when we arrived at the next
noufe, and the firft perfons who prefented themfelves
to Our obfervation were the turbulent Indian and his
four companions. They were not very agreeable objects ; but we were neverthelefs well received by the
inhabitants, who prefented us with fifh and berries.
The Indians who had caufed us fo much alarm, we
now difcovered to be inhabitants of the iflands, arid
traders in various articles, fuch as Cedar-bark, prepared
to be wove into mats, fifhfpawn, copper, iron, arid
beads, the latter of which they get on their own coaft.
For thefe they receive in exchange roafted falmon, hemlock-bark cakes, and the other kind made of falmon
roes, forrel, and bitter berries. Having procured as
much fifh as would ferve tis for Our fupper, and the
meals of the next day, all my people went to reft
except one, with whom I kept the firft watch.
r ii
11 1
ii, :
i.i: iiir,'    lit i.. I
After twelve laft night, I called up Mr. Mackay,
and one of the men, to relieve us, but as a general
tranquillity appeared to prevail in the place, I recommended them to return to their reft. I was the firft
awake in the morning, and fent Mr. Mackay to fee if our
canoe remained where we left it; but he returned to
inform me that the Iflanders had loaded it with their
articles of traffic, and were ready to depart. On this
intelligence 1 huffied to the water fide, and feizirsg
the canoe by the ftem, I fhould certainly have overfet
it, and turned the three men that were in it, w8|j
all their merchandife, into the river, had not one of
the people of the houfe, who had been very kind to
us, informed rrie that this was tbteir own canoe, and
that my guide had gone off with ours; At the fame
moment the other two Indians who belonged to the
party, jumped nimbly into it, and pufhed off with all
the hafte and hurry that their fears may be fuppofed
to  dictate*
We now found ourfelves once more without a guide
or a canoe. We were, however, fo fortunate as to
engage, without much difficulty, two of thefe people
to accompany us ; as, from the ftrength of the current, it would not have been poflible for us to have
proceeded by water without their afliflance. As the
houfe was upon an ifland, we ferried over the pe-
deftrian party to the main bank of the river, and
continued our courfe till our conductors came to their
fifhing ground, when they propofed to land us, and
our fmall portion of baggage; but as our companions
were on the oppofite fhore, we could not acquiefce,
and after fome time perfuaded them to proceed further
with us. Soon after we met the chief, who had regaled us in our voyage down the river. He was feining
between two canoes, and had taken a confiderable
quantity of falmon. He took us on board with him,
and proceeded upwards with great expedition. Thefe
people are furprifingly fkiiful and active in fetting
againft a ftrong current. In the rougheft part they
almoft filled the canoe with water, by way of a fpor-
tive alarm to   us.
We landed at the houfe of the chief, and he immediately placed a fifh before me. Our people now
appeared on the oppofite bank, when a canoe was
fent for them. As foon as they had made their meal
of fifh, they proceeded on their route, and we followed
them, the chief and one of the natives having undertaken to conduct us.
At five in the afternoon we came to two houfes, which
We had not feen in going down. They were upon an
ifland, and I was obliged to fend for the walking party,
as our conductors, from the latenefs of the hour, refufed
to proceed any further with us till the next day. One
of our men, being at a fmall diftance before the others,
had been attacked by a female bear, with two cubs,
but another of them arrived to his refcue, and fhot her*
Their fears probably prevented them from killing the
two young ones. They brought a part of the meat, but
it was very indifferent. We were informed that our
guide, or young chief, had paffed this place, at a very
early hour of the momingvj>n foot.
Thefe people take plenty of another fifh, befides faU
mon, which weigh from fifteen to forty pounds.    This
Vol.IL "WW- 1 fifh
fifh is broader than the falmon, ofa greyifh colour, anrj
with a hunch on its back ; the flefh is white, but neither
rich nor well flavoured. Its jaw and teeth are like thofe
of a dog, and the latter are larger and ftronger than any
I had ever feen in a fifh of equal fize: thofe in front
bend inwards, like the claws of a bird of prey. It delights in fhallow water, and its native name is Dilly.
We received as many fifh and berries from thefe people
as completely fatisfied our appetites. The latter excelled
any of the kind that we had feen. I faw alfo three
kinds of goofeberries, which, as we paffed through the
woods,  we found in great abundance.
(Thurfday 25.) I arofe before the fun, and the weather
was very fine. The men who were to accompany
us went to vifit their machines, and brought back plenty
of fifh, which they ftrung on a rope, and left them in
the river. We now embarked thirteen in a canoe, and
landed my men on the South bank, as it would have
been impracticable to have flemmed the tide with fuch
a load. The under-wood was fo thick that it was with
great difficulty they could pafs through it. At nine we
were under the neceffity of waiting to ferry them over
a river from the South, which is not fordable. After
fome time we came to two deferted houfes, at the foot
of a rapid, beyond which our boatmen absolutely refufed to conduct us by water. Here was a road which
led oppofite to the village. We had, however, the
curiofity to vifit the houfes, which were erected
upon pofts; and we fuffered very feverely for the indulgence of it; for the floors were covered with fleas,
and we were immediately in the fame condition, for which
we' had no remedy but to take to the water. There
was not a fpot round the houfes, free from grafs, that
was  not alive, as it were, with this vermin.
Our guides propofed to conduct us on our way, and
we followed them on a well-beaten track. They, however, went fo faft, that we could not all of us keep
up with them, particularly our fick Indian, whofe
fituation was very embarraffing to us, and at length they
contrived to efcape. I very much wifhed for thefe men
to have accompanied us to the village, in order to do
away any ill impreflions which might have arifen from
the young chief's report to his father, which we were
naturally led to expect would not be in our favour.
This road conducted us through the fineft wood of
cedar trees that I had ever feen. I meafured feveral of
them that were twenty-four feet in the girth, and of
a proportionate height. The alder trees are alfo of an
uncommon fize ; feveral of them were feven feet and
an half in circumference, and rofe to forty feet without
a branch ; but my men declared that they had, in their
progrefs, feen much larger of both kinds. The other
wood was hemlock, white birch, two fpecies of fpruce-
firs, willows, occ. Many of the large cedars appeared
to have been examined, as I fuppofed, by the natives,
for the purpofe of making canoes, but finding them
hollow at heart, they were fuffered to ftand. There
was but little underwood, and the foil was a black rich
mould, which would well reward the trouble of cultivation. From the remains of bones on certain fpots,
it is probable that, the natives may have occafionally
burned their dead in this wood.
Kk a As
. As it was uncertain what our reception might be at
the village, I examined every man's arms and ammunition, and gave Mr. Mackay, who had unfortunately
loft his gun, one of my piftols. Our late conductors
had informed us that the man whom we left in a dying
flate, and to whom I had adminiftered fome Turlington's
balfam, was dead ; and it was by no means improbable,
that I might be fufpedted of haflening his end.
At one in  the afternoon we came to the bank of
the  river;  which   was   oppofite to the   village,  which
appeared to be in a  ftate of perfect tranquillity.    Se*
veral  of the   natives   were   fifhing above   and   below
the weir, and they  very readily took us over in their
canoes.    The people now hurried down to the water
fide, but I perceived none of the chief's family among
them.    They made figns  to me  to go to his houfe;
I fignified to  them  not  to crowd about  us,   and indeed drew  a   line,  beyond which   I made them un*
derftand they muft not pafs.   I now directed Mr. Mackay
and the men to remain there, with their arms in rea-
dinefs, and to keep the natives at a diftance, as I was
determined to   go alone  to the chief's houfe;  and   if
they fhould hear the report of my piftols, they were
ordered to make the beft of their way from thefe people,
as it would then be equally fruitlefs and  dangerous to
attempt the giving me any affiilance ;   as it   would be
only in the laft extremity, and when I was certain of
their intention to deftroy me, that I  fhould  difcharge
my piftols.    My gun I gave to Mr.   Mackay, when,
with my loaded piftols in  my belt,  and  a poniard in
my hand, I proceeded to the abode of the chief.    I had a
wood to pafs in my way thither, which was interfered
Ne ..      I br «Mff^
by various paths, and I took one that led to the back >
inftead of the front  of the houfe *  and as the whole
had been very  much altered fince   I was here before,
I concluded that J had loft my way.    But 1 continued
to proceed, and foon met with the chiefs wife, who
informed me, that he was at the next houfe.    On my
going round it, I perceived that they had thrown open
the gable ends, and added two  wings, nearly as long
as the body, both of which were hung round with falmon,
as clofe as they could be placed.    As  I could difcover
none of the men, I fat down upon a large flone near
forne women who were flipping   on falmon   roes ^nd
berries.    They invited me to partake of their fare, and
I was about to accept their invitation, when Mr. Mackay
joined me, as both himfelf and all my party were alarmed
at my being alone.     Nor was his alarm  leffened by
an old man whom he met in the wood, and who made
ufe of figns to perfuade him to return.    As he came
without his gun, I gave him one of my piftols.    When
I faw the women continue their employment without
paying the  leaft attention to us,  I could not imagine
that any hoftile defign was preparing againft us :  though
the non-appearance of the men awakened fome degree
of   fufpicion that I fhould   not be received with   the
fame  welcome as on my  former vifit.    At length the
chief appeared,  and his fon, who had been our guide,
following him : difpleafure was painted in the old man's
countenance, and he held in his hand a bead tobacco
pouch which belonged to Mr. Mackay, and which the
young chief had purloined  from him.    When he had
approached within three or four yards of me, he threw
it at me with great indignation,  and walked away.    I
followed him, however, until he had paffed his fon, whom
I took by the hand, but he did not make any very cordial
return to my falutation; at the fame time he made
figns for me to difcharge my piftol, and give him my
hanger which Mr. Mackay had brought me, but I did
not  pay the leaft attention to either of his demands.
We now joined the chief, who explained to me that
he was in a flate of deep diftrefs for the lofs of his fon,
and made me underftand that he had cut off his hair
and blackened his face on the melancholy occafion. He
alfo reprefented the alarm which he had fuffered refpecting his fon who had accompanied us; as he appre*
hended we had killed him, or had all of us penfhed
together. When he had finifhed his narrative, I took
him and his fon by their hands, and requefted them to
come with me to the place where I had left my people,
who were rejoiced to fee us return, having been in a
flate of great anxiety from our long abfence. I immediately remunerated the young chief for his company
and afliflance in our voyage to the fea, as well as his
father, for his former attentions. I gave them cloth and
knives, and, indeed, a portion of every thing which now
remained to us. The prefents had the defired effect of
reftoring us to their favour ; but thefe people are of fo
changeable a nature, that there is no fecurity with them
I procured three robes and two otter-fkins, and if I could
have given fuch articles in exchange as they preferred,
I fhould probably have obtained more. I now reprefented the length of the way which I had to go, and
requefted fome fifh to fupport us on our journey, when
he defired us to follow him to the houfe, where mats
were immediately arranged and a fifh placed before
each of us.
We were now informed, that our dog, whom we had
loft, had been howling about the village ever fince we
kk it, and that they had reafon to believe he left the
woods at night to eat the fifh he could find about the
houfes. I immediately difpatched Mr. Mackay and
a man in fearch of the animal, but they returned
without him.
When I manifefted my intention to proceed on my
journey, the chief voluntarily fent for ten roafted falmon,
and having attended us with his fon, and a great number
of his people, to the laft houfe in the village, we took
our leave.    It was then half paft three in the afternoon^
I directed Mr. Mackay to take the lead, and the others
to follow him in Indian files, at a long and fteady pace,
as I determined to bring up the rear. I adopted this
meafure from a confufion that was obfervable among the
natives which I did not comprehend. I was not without
my fufpicions that fome mifchief was in agitation, and
they were increafed from t^he confufed noife we heard
in the village. At the fame time a confiderable number
came running after us ; fome of them making figns for
us to flop, and others ruffling by me. I perceived alfo,
that thofe who followed us were the ftrangers who live
among thefe people, and are kept by them in a flate of
awe and fubjection; and one of them made figns to me
that we were taking a wrong road. I immediately called
out to Mr. Mackay to flop. This was naturally enough
taken for an alarm, and threw my people into great
diforder. When, however, I was underftood, and we
had muftered again, our Indian informed us, that the
noife we heard was occafioned by a debate among the
natives, whether they fhould ft op us or not. When,
therefore, we had got into the right road, I made fuch
arrangements as might be neceflary for our defence, if
we fhould have an experimental proof that our late and
fickle friends were converted into enemies.
Our way was through a foreft of flately cedars,
beneath a range of lofty hills, covered with rocks, and
without any view of the river. The path was well
beaten, but rendered incommodious by the large ftones
which lay along it.
As we were continuing our route, we all felt the
fenfation of having found a loft friend at the fight of
our dog; but he appeared, in a great degree, to have
loft his former fagacity. He ran in a wild way backwards and forwards; and though he kept our road, I could
not induce him to acknowledge his mafter. Sometimes
he feemed difpofed to approach as if he knew us; and
then, on a fudden, he would turn away, as if alarmed
at our appearance. The poor animal was reduced almoft
to a fkeleton, and we occafionally dropped fomething to
fupport him, until by degrees he recovered his former