Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of North America from Canada to Vancouver's Island and Oregon… Kane, Paul, 1810-1871 1925

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0305645.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0305645-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0305645-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0305645-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0305645-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0305645-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0305645-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Edition de Luxe
Editor of 'Canadian Poets'
Editor of 'Canadian Poems of the Great War'
Editor of 'Collected Poems of Isabella Valancy Crawford'
Etc., Etc.
Two portraits in sepia of Paul Kane, and twenty-one reproductions
of his famous paintings and drawings.
mk tabacona Æbttton Be Huxe
Limited to twenty-six Sets
This Set is number..
Copyright, Canada,    1925
Printed in Canada
%mmmmmmmæm:x^mm waæsM  
Reproduced from an oil painting loaned by A. H. O'Brien, M.A.,
barrister-at-law, Toronto, Canada. The original is unsigned, but it is
believed to have been painted by Verner.
mYmrnmwm? L
■■piwii.mi lim)\ma.\JA"lWA"A'.«.l"AimgwnrlJLWAJn
1925 TO
designed to illustrate the hanners and customs of the
Indian Tribes of British America
Toronto:   July 9, 1858. ■■wii.^' umiJjL—.u.Lwim.'J. »"AUAJ'HX »Xg
Before I read Mr Burpee's Introduction, and
visited Mr J. Addison Reid in person, I was convinced
that Paul Kane was a native of Toronto, Canada. But
the proof is conclusive that he was born and baptized
and spent his early years in the village of Mallow, Cork
County, Ireland.
Mr Marshall Spring Bancroft, a son of the artist's
sister, showed Mr Reid a prayer-book, presented to bis
mother in the Parish Church of Mallow, July 27th, 1816,
and permitted him to photograph the presentation plate.
The family name was spelled 'Keane' in Ireland.
This is shown by the 'presentation plate,' and by the
Parish Register at Mallow. Why and when it was
changed to 'Kane' is not known.
Wanderings of an Artist is a valuable book historically and ethnologically, and as basic native literature.
With the keen eye and alert mind of a trained observer,
everything of interest and value was noted, and simply
and vividly recorded; and this while he was busy sketching hundreds of pictures and often suffering prolonged
and intense hardships. Indeed, his drawings and diary
and subsequent paintings were a great achievement, for
which increasing honour and distinction should be
accorded him.
The volume was published in 1859 by Longman,
Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts. It is not known
who was responsible for the proof-reading, but it was
carelessly done. A number of names have two spellings
each: 'Sascatchawan, Saskatchewan'; 'Winnipeg, Wen-
nipeg'; 'Ki-use, Kye-use'; 'La Row's Prairie, La Rouge's
Prairie'; 'Grand Batteur, Grand Batture'; 'the Pau, WTraTSFS
the Paw'; 'Saulteaux, Salteaux'; andpimmi-kon, pemmi-
kon.' Mackinaw is spelled 'Mackenaw' and Kamin-
istiquia, 'Kaministaqueah"... In a few instances present-day official spellings have been substituted... (See
Mr Burpee's 'Notes')... Numerous words that we
now spell with V, such as 'civilize', 'organize', authorize'
&c, were invariably spelled by Kane with V. It is
thought advisable to substitute the more recent spelling.
Apart from the two signatures reproduced, no
specimen of Kane's handwriting has been discovered.
The Appendix of the original volume is not reprinted. It gives the names and the numbers of the
several tribes of Indians inhabiting the Pacific slope and
islands in 1846, and enumerates their possessions. The
total population was 56,262; of this number, 1955 were
slaves. The information was given apparently for the
benefit of British Traders.
Longmans, Green & Co., in reply to an enquiry,
wrote me in February, 1923, "that the copper plate made
for this book" (the original volume) "was destroyed in
February, 1878; and the blocks were destroyed in 1907."
Note—Since the above was typed, Mr Bancroft has been located
in Guelph, Ontario. In a letter to the Editor he says, " Am
an old Toronto boy, that being my birth-place nearly 88 years
ago." In a second letter he states that the proof in his
possession of Paul Kane's birth in Mallow, County Cork, Ireland,
was accepted by the 'Historical Society of Toronto,' when Hon.
Mortimer Clark was President and Mrs. Fitzgibbon was
rmrsæ m.->. Wil u—,, ii,-ini niillll j^m x Il'AA»lf')
Chapter Page
Editor's Foreword  v
Illustrations  ix
Introduction  xi
Catalogue of Paul Kane's Paintings  xxxviii
Preface (to original volume)  lii
I—From Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie         1
II—Mackinaw... Green Bay...Return to Toronto     18
III—Sir  George  Simpson... Sault  Ste.   Marie...
Winnipeg River       29
IV—Lake of a Thousand Isles The Great
Medicine-Man       88
V—Fort Alexander.. .Fort Garry.. .Hunting the
Buffalo       46
VI—Making Pemmican... The Scalp Dance... The
Grand Chase       52
VII—Wholesale Slaughter... Death of the Guide...
Paternal Government       61
VIII—Killing Portraits... Norway House... Buffalo
Pounds       67
IX—Beautiful Valley... Love of Indian Mothers...
A Spirited Cow       84
X—An Obstinate Bear.. .The Blazing Prairie...
Fort Edmonton       90
XI—Sir George's Highland Piper.. .Jasper's House
... A Narrow Escape       97
XII—Fort Vancouver.. .The Flatheads.. .Revolting
Habits     117
XIII—The Magic Bullet.. .A Jesuit Mission.. .Dead
Men's Canoes     181
XIV—Fort   Victoria...A   Chief's   Inauguration...
Medicine Caps     144
vii I Jill 11 pill
XV—Indian Curiosity... A Warm Siege... Beautiful
Big-lips     155
XVI—Legend  of  the  Rock.... Stealing  a  Skull...
Punishing Deserters     171
XVII—Fort Walla-Walla... Splendid Falls... Burning
Sands     189
XVIII—American Presbyterian Mission... Taken for a
Scoocoom     194
XIX—The Horrors of Thirst...The Grand Clouet...    205
XX—Fort Colville...The Kettle Falls.. .A Widow's
Consolation     212
XXI—^Horrible Tragedy... Starving the Dogs... Fort
Assiniboine     222
XXII—Fort   Edmonton... Cun-ne-wa-bum... Fighting to the Death     254
XXIII—A  Pleasant  Wedding.. .Indian  Etiquette...
Eating a Warrior's Heart     270
XXIV—Departure from Edmonton.. .Honest Thieves
... Avenging a Slight     286
XXV—Fort Carlton to Sault Ste. Marie... Conclusion " 303
Notes     825  *MWW'lf'^ww'lfftt^'^l&\£^)/^,Jyl+'',
! Mill Jin 11 mi
Reproduced from an oil painting loaned by A. H. O'Brien, M.A.,
barrister-at-law, Toronto, Canada. The original is unsigned, but it is
believed to have been painted by the artist himself, in his young
^mmmwwmwvmrrirmmmmmmv^^ wi—in.-> iii^ i.-ra.-A i. I'm** JtJMJi'Jll
The Numbers and Titles are as printed in the Original Volume
Portrait of Paul Kane,—by Verner Frontispiece
Portrait of Paul Kane in young manhood,—by himself probably	
1—Encampment amongst the Islands of Lake Huron.. 5
2—Portrait of Aw-bon-waish-kum  9
3—Indian Pipe  10
4—Spearing by Torch-light on Fox River  21
5—View at Red River Settlement  50
6—Group of Buffaloes  98
7—Jasper's. House—Rocky Mountains  105
8—Portrait of Ca-sa-nov  119
9—Burial-place on the Cowlitz River  189
10—Flathead Woman and Child  141
11—Portrait of Cul-chil-lum, with Medicine Cap  153
12—Portrait of Man-ce-muckt  183
13—Chimney Rock  186
Cun-ne-wa-bum (Frontispiece of the Original Volume) 264
14—Winter travelling in Dog-sleds  271
15—Portrait of Kee-a-kee-ka-saa-ka-wow with Pipe-stem. 282
16—Horse Race  295
17—Group of Six Indian Chiefs  299
18—Medicine Pipe-stem Dance  301
19—Portrait of an Esquimaux  308
20—White Mud Portage  315
i     Mm f
Hi *?3
III   !_■'■# |J
1 S3S
attT^TT/i 'f7% fWfityf&fiT3»
a**^*raM£grø^ it««itjumi.MUJ!A^'JAMlijU>."A|Jl. w&l'H A AM^AJ&i
Lawrence J. Burpee
It has been one of our cherished ideas as Canadians
that Paul Kane, pioneer in Canadian art, was one of
our native born. That idea has been supported by
everyone who has hitherto attempted to sketch his life.
It has been repeated time and again that he was born
in York, now Toronto, in 1810, his father having come
out to Canada with Simcoe in 1791.
Unfortunately the only fact that can be relied upon
in this statement is that Paul Kane was born in 1810vFor
the true particulars of his birth we are indebted to Mr
J. Addison Reid, of Toronto, who has been as indefatigable in running down meagre clues as he has been
generous in putting the results of his researches at the
disposal of others interested in the same subject.
Michael Kane, Paul's father, according to the
records of the British War Office, was born at Preston,
Lancashire, in 1775; enlisted in the Royal Artillery on
February 2nd, 1793; served in the Royal Horse
Artillery in Ireland during 1798; and was discharged
on September 80th, 1801, with the rank of Corporal.
He was married, before his discharge, and settled at
Mallow, County Cork, where he engaged in business.
He came to Canada in 1818 or 1819, made his home
in York, and had his place of business as a wine and
spirit merchant on the west side of Yonge Street,
between King and Adelaide. Dr Scadding says that
Michael Kane's spirit vaults were near Newgate Street,
opposite the Sheldon and Dutcher foundry.     He died
é& m
July 18th, 1851, aged 78 years, according to the
inscription on the stone over his grave in St James
Cemetery, Toronto. This statement as to his age
does not quite agree with the facts recorded in the War
Michael Kane had five children, James, Fred,
Oliver, Paul and Mary, the last three being born at
Mallow, in 1807, 1808 and 1810 respectively. James
died in Bellevue Hospital, New York, in 1829; Fred
was fatally burnt in a fire at Warren, N. Y., about 1847;
Oliver died in Ireland before the family came out to
Canada. Mary married Daniel Bancroft in 1831;
and their son, Marshall Spring Bancroft, was living in
Toronto in 1916, when he called on Mr J. Addison Reid
and gave him certain facts of family history with proofs.
The inscription on Paul Kane's gravestone in St
James Cemetery gives the date of his birth as September
3rd, 1810. The Baptismal Register of Mallow Rectory
shows thathe was baptized September 16th, 1810. The
artist was therefore a native of Mallow, Cork County,
Ireland, and was about eight or nine years of age when
his father settled in York. Apart from the mere fact
of birth, however, Paul Kane was a Canadian. His
years of boyhood were spent in York, those impressionable years upon which the man's character and personality are so largely based, and, looking back upon them
in after years, one is not surprised to find Paul Kane
referring to York as "my native village".
Particulars as to the early life of Paul Kane are
extremely meagre. He himself gives us just a glimpse,
in the Preface to his Wanderings of an Artist. Referring
to the one outstanding achievement of his life, he says
that the subject of the North American Indian "was
one in which I felt a deep interest in my boyhood.     I I
had been accustomed to see hundreds of Indians about
my native village, then Little York, muddy and dirty,
just struggling into existence. To me the wild woods
were not altogether unknown, and the Indians but
recalled old friends with whom I had associated in my
One finds confirmation of this in Scadding's account
of the early years of the District Grammar School at
York, where Paul Kane got such training of the mind
and character as was obtainable at that time in the little
capital of Upper Canada. "During the time of the
early settlements in this country" says Scadding, "the
sons of even the most respectable families were brought
in contact with semi-barbarous characters. A sporting ramble through the woods, a fishing excursion on
the waters, could not be undertaken without communication with Indians and half-breeds and bad specimens of
the French voyageurs. It was from such sources that
a certain idea was derived which, as we remember, was
in great vogue among the more fractious of the lads at
York. The proposition circulated about, when anything ever went counter to their notions, always was to
run away to the Nor'-Westl What that process really
involved, or what the Nor'-West precisely was, were
things vaguely realized. A sort of savage land of
Cocagne, a region of perfect freedom, among the
Indians, was imagined, and to reach it Lakes Huron
and Superior were to be traversed."
The Indians whom Paul Kane fraternized with in
bis boyhood at York were the Mississaugas, who had
occupied the country along the north shore of Lake
Ontario. Dr Scadding mentions that in August,
1805, the Mississaugas had sold to the Government
250,880 acres of land, including the site of the future
Mm «w*BjMM_-«5*
capital of the Province, and extending eastward to
Scarborough Heights—for ten shillings. This was
known as the "Toronto Purchase", and is worth bearing in mind when we Canadians are inclined to remind
our American cousins how outrageously they exploited
the poor Indians.
There is no reason to suppose that Paul Kane was
one of the fractious lads of the District Grammar
School, but it is clear that his young imagination was
fired with what he saw of the Indians and what he understood, or thought he understood, of their wild life.
With the soul of an artist, his mind seized upon all that
was picturesque in that life, and no doubt contrasted
it with all that was prosaic and uninteresting in muddy
and dirty little York. Then and there, one may conjecture, was born the dream, not to be realized for a
quarter of a century, of a glorious adventure into the
Indian country, into that measureless region of the
west, the home of the buffalo, a land of lakes and rivers
and forests, of immense plains and towering, snowcapped mountains, a land inhabited by men of another
race, tribe upon tribe of them, untamed, untrammelled,
self-reliant, wise in the ways of nature, intensely
Paul Kane, it appears, was not a brilliant pupil, nor
one that, in the eyes of its masters, did credit to the
Grammar School. Like many another destined to
leave his mark upon the pages of history, he revealed
a strong distaste for the dreary round of instruction.
One may picture him in the school room, his eyes drawn
like a magnet to the window and its glimpses of that
out-of-doors life that he loved, his mind drifting far
away from the rules of grammar and the laws of
mathematics to lands of pure romance.     One only in
»a ■ '■ini-ni,"«. ,1'*'M.^'ji.'n'.iCTr'ggm j^m j> ti1.
the Grammar School had any attraction for the embryo
artist, an eccentric drawing master named Drury, from
whom he obtained the rudiments of his craft.
The times and the place were not propitious to a
young artist. York was nothing more than the
unkempt capital of a pioneer settlement, where the
struggle for mere existence, the strenuous and never-
ceasing battle with the wilderness, left little opportunity
or desire for higher things. Francis Hall, an English
officer who visited York in 1816, has left us an unflattering picture of the town. "Being the seat of government" he says "it is a place of considerable importance
in the eyes of its inhabitants; to a stranger, however, it
presents little more than about 100 wooden houses,
several of them conveniently, and even elegantly built,
and I think one, or perhaps two, of brick." The public
buildings, such as they were, had been destroyed by the
Americans in 1813. It will be remembered that' at
this* time, and for some years later, Kingston was the
only town of any importance in Upper Canada. York
had perhaps a couple of thousand inhabitants in 1820,
Hamilton was a mere village, Ottawa was not yet born.
In York, at any rate, Paul Kane grew from boyhood into early manhood, sheltering as well as he could
the seed of genius that lay within him. Schooldays
ended early in pioneer Ontario, and Paul was put to
work with a Mr Conger, a manufacturer of household
furniture, and afterwards sheriff of Peterborough.
Some little outlet for artistic feeling was found in
ornamenting the more ambitious pieces of furniture,
but what Paul was now striving for was money to take
him abroad to study art, and money was a rare
commodity in York.
Information is lacking as to Paul's relations with
his family, as to his father's circumstances and his ability
to help his son realize his artistic ambitions, or indeed
how he reacted to those ambitions. We are told, however, that he promised to help him, but that financial or
other difficulties subsequently made this impossible.
Paul at any rate left York, or Toronto as it was now
called, for Cobourg, where he painted the portraits of
Sheriff and Mrs Conger, her sister Mrs Percy, Sheriff
Ruttan, and other local notabilities, and managed to
scrape together enough money to take him to the United
States. Here he wandered from city to city, from
Detroit to New Orleans, doing such odd jobs in art
as came to bis hand. Dr Morgan, in the biographical
sketch in his Celebrated Canadians, says that while in
the United States the young artist had to endure many
hardships, and "fell into many scrapes consequent upon
his pecuniary distress. On one occasion on board a
steamboat, he had to take the skipper's portrait to pay
his fare."
He was in his twenty-sixth year when he left
Canada, and he spent the next five years in the United
States. One can readily imagine that this was a period
of trial to the young artist. Conscious of a capacity to do
something worth while; conscious also, no doubt, of his
own shortcomings, bis lack of training, lack of artistic
experience and background and atmosphere, lack of
knowledge of the miracles of drawing and colour
produced by the great masters of his art; he longed to
be where all things were possible to the man who had the
spark of genius and the capacity for hard work that
would blow the spark into flame. No one who has read
Dickens' American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit, making all reasonable allowance for exaggeration, can help
M_»m_ r-«.
MF ■ ■»' 11 "I  II   11
sympathizing with Paul Kane. The United States,
in the Thirties or Forties of the last century, was no
place for an artist who respected his art. By hook or
by crook, however, by using his pencil and brush in
such ways as were possible, he gradually saved enough
to pay his way to Europe and keep him there for a few
In June, 1841, he sailed from New Orleans for
Marseilles. It may be noted here that practically our
only authority on this early period in the life of Paul
Kane is the biographical sketch in the Canadian Journal,
2nd Series, Vol. 13, (1871) by Dr (afterward Sir)
Daniel Wilson. Dr Wilson came to Canada in 1853
as Professor of history and English literature in the
University of Toronto, of which he afterwards became
President. He was a personal friend of the artist, and
undoubtedly obtained at first hand the biographical
particulars, meagre enough it is true, which he incorporated in bis sketch. All subsequent attempts at
biographies of Paul Kane, such as those in Nicholas
Flood Davin's Irishman in Canada, Castell Hopkins'
Canada: An Encyclopaedia, and Henry J. Morgan's
Celebrated Canadians, are based almost entirely on
Daniel Wilson's article. Much the best of many
recent attempts to describe the life and achievements of
Paul Kane is J. Addison Reid's series of articles in the
Toronto Sunday World, November-December, 1916.
From this article, and a note or two from Morgan,
we learn that Paul Kane kept a journal during the
years he spent in Europe, but unfortunately it was lost,
and with it the details of his experiences. It appears,
however, that he spent more or less time at Paris, Genoa,
Milan, Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and
Naples, "living in humble lodgings and content with
humble fare." As Morgan says, he "travelled over a
great part of the continent of Europe, without one
friend to help him, his only resource being in his own
talents." One can imagine how the young Canadian artist, whose life hitherto had been spent in towns
and villages where art was almost unknown, and where
even educated men and women were too preoccupied
with other matters to give much serious thought to anything so unpractical, must have revelled in the great
galleries of France and Italy, with their almost bewildering wealth of masterpieces, the finest works of all the
great masters of painting that the world had known.
While in Naples, he took advantage of the offer of
a passage in a Levantine cruiser, to see a corner of Asia
and get a glimpse of Africa. Joining a party of Syrian
explorers, he was on his way to Jerusalem when they
were deserted by their Arab guides and were compelled
to hurry back to the coast. It was on the return from
this voyage that he landed somewhere on the African
As the result of bis European tour, Kane brought
back with him not only a more secure grasp of the
technique of his art and a broader and more enlightened
vision, but also a number of copies of famous paintings
in the galleries of Venice, Florence and Rome. These
included Raphael's Madonna in the Pitti Palace, and
his portraits of the Popes, Paul II and Julius II;
Leonardo da Vinci's and Rembrandt's portraits of
themselves, in the Florentine gallery; Murfllo's
Madonna, in the Corsini Palace at Rome; and Busato's
portrait of Pope Gregory XVI.
Kane seems to have spent some time in London,
after bis return from Italy. Stewart Watson, a well
known Scottish artist, who had been one of his com-
fmmmmmsmmmmwsm r-nr.-*.' jro v%! m-jjita vivin**. *M?JU&{\
panions in Italy, returned with him to London, where
they shared for a time the same lodgings and studio,
at Mr Martin's, Russell Street. Another of his artist
friends, Hope James Stewart, writes him from Edinburgh, "After London, this place looks like a dead city,
and reminds me much of the way you and I felt the
quietness of Rome after our trip to that noisy and
favourite place Naples."
After nearly four years in Europe, Paul Kane
returned to Canada, determined, as he says, to "devote
whatever talents and proficiency I possessed to the
painting of a series of pictures illustrative of the North
American Indians and scenery." With the same fine
courage and determination that had carried him to
Europe, he now set forth to spend the better part of
three years in travelling through that vast region that
we know as Western Canada. To-day the journey
from Toronto to Vancouver is made, in a luxurious
sleeping car, in eighty-seven hours. In 1845 it meant
as many days' strenuous travel in a canoe, accompanied
by dangers and hardships, but also by dramatic
adventures that are alien to this more prosaic age.
As Paul Kane says, at the commencement of his
travels he possessed neither influence nor means for
such an undertaking. Yet he set forth with a resolute
spirit and a light heart, equipped with a portfolio and
box of paints, to sketch the native life and scenery of
the great west. Fortunately before he had gone
farther than Sault Ste Marie he made the acquaintance
of a man thoroughly familiar with the difficulties of
travel in the Indian country, and was persuaded to seek
the assistance of Sir George Simpson, Governor of the
Hudson's Bay Company, who could in many ways
smooth the way for him. XX
He returned to Toronto, and in the spring of 1846
saw Sir George Simpson at Lachine, showed him his
sketches, explained his plans, and obtained from him
an order for a passage in the Company's spring brigade
of canoes. Incidentally the Governor commissioned
him to paint, it is not clear for himself or the Company,
a series of twelve paintings of Indian life.
It might be supposed that the artist's course was
now comparatively clear, but after all Paul Kane was
merely an unknown painter, and Sir George Simpson,
though interested and sympathetic, was the head of a
great business organization. He was willing to help
Kane, but only so far as it did not interfere in any way
with his own plans or those of the Company. Had it
not been for Kane's indomitable pluck and perseverance he would not have got farther west than Mackinaw. Nothing could throw a clearer light upon the
character of this pioneer artist and adventurer than his
account of how he forced his way from Mackinaw to
Sault Ste Marie, despite all predictions of failure.
He overtook the Governor at Sault Ste Marie, much
to the astonishment of the latter, who by this time had,
one is inclined to think, grown rather tired of the pertinacity of the young artist. That same pertinacity, it is
abundantly clear, alone carried him forward. The
spring brigade had gone ahead, the Governor's own
canoes were too heavily laden to afford Kane a passage,
and the only alternative was to wait for the Company's
schooner and trust to her intercepting the brigade at
Fort William. Altogether it does not seem necessary
to stress too much the generosity of Sir George Simpson
in helping the father of Canadian Art to carry out bis
most notable achievement. J-AlkA EJS5TSIX 4lkAA4
It would serve no useful purpose to follow the
narrative of Paul Kane's travels and adventures—
surely one of the most fascinating accounts of Western
Canada as it was in the days of the fur trade—farther
than to describe bis route, and touch upon any points
that seem to call for comment. This comment as a
matter of convenience, has been added in the form of
notes at the end of the text.
The story really covers two distinct journeys, that
of 1845 and the much longer and more ambitious
expedition of 1846-48. In the former, Kane left
Toronto on the 17th of June, 1845, travelling by Way
of Orilliato Sturgeon Bay on Lake Huron, by canoe
to Penetanguishene, thence by steam packet to Owen
Sound, on foot to Saugeen where he remained ten days
making sketches of the Ojibways, then back to Owen
Sound where he purchased a canoe and with a companion set out for Manitoiilin Island. Here he spent
a fortnight among the Indians, making sketches and
studying their customs, and then left for Sault Ste
Marie by steamer. The same form of conveyance
took him to Mackinaw, where he remained three weeks.
He then visited Green Bay, and by canoe to Fox river
and the Monomanee tribe. From there he returned by
way of Fond du Lac and Sheboygan to Buffalo and
On the second journey, he left Toronto on the 9th
of May, 1846, for Mackinaw and Sault Ste Marie,
thence by schooner to Fort William. The spring
brigade had gone forward, but by means of a light canoe
Kane managed to overtake it at one of the portages.
They followed what is known as the Kaministikwia
route, first discovered by the French, subsequently
abandoned in favour of the Grand Portage route, and
i swwwwf»
re-discovered and re-established by the North-West
Company when Grand Portage became territory of
the United States.
Their way lay up the Kaministikwia river, thence
by a series of small lakes and streams over the height
of land and down to Rainy Lake. After a brief rest
at Fort Frances, they descended Rainy river to the
Lake of the Woods, and Winnipeg river to Fort
Alexander near its mouth. All along the route Kane
took advantage of every opportunity to make sketches
of the Indians and their camps, the portages, and bits
of characteristic scenery.
At Fort Alexander he left the brigade with which
he had travelled and engaged a party of Indians to take
him up Red River to Fort Garry, now Winnipeg. Here
he availed himself of the opportunity to accompany a
number of half-breeds on a Buffalo hunt, of which he
gives a spirited account in his narrative, and of which he
secured a number of sketches. Learning that a small
sloop was about to sail from Lower Fort Garry to the
north end of Lake Winnipeg, he rode down and embarked on her for Norway House, where he remained
until the middle of August waiting for the brigade on its
way inland from York Factory.
Leaving Norway House, they crossed the foot of
Lake Winnipeg, portaged round Grand Rapids, and
ascended the Saskatchewan to Carlton House, where
they left the boats and proceeded on horseback to Fort
Edmonton, witnessing by the way the ancient Indian
method of trapping buffalo by means of a pound, and
sketching some of the chiefs of the Cree Indians.
From Fort Edmonton, they started on horseback
for the Athabaska and entered what is to-day known
as   Jasper   Park.      It   was   now   the   beginning   of
rasas« wææ&rays wmæmm* ikwgmvs i^nim-u« Jl ■X^'Jfc.Tf 0.'A «. VAJl^tlvJtfk'/VA1.
November, they had to travel up to Athabaska Pass
through heavy snow, and the horses were abandoned in
favour of snowshoes. A difficult journey carried
them over the summit and down the Pacific slope to
Boat Encampment on the Columbia. Here they again
took boats and descended the river to Fort Vancouver,
where they arrived December 8th.
Kane remained at Vancouver for about a month,
studying the manners and customs of the Chinook and
other neighbouring tribes, and making numerous
sketches. He then ascended the Willamette to Oregon
City, and returning to Vancouver, remained, there
until the 25th of March, when he started for Vancouver
Island in a wooden canoe with a couple of Indians. He
travelled by way of the Cowlitz river and Puget
Sound, reaching Fort Victoria, April 9th.
From Fort Victoria, Kane made excursions up the
east side of Vancouver Island and over to the main
shore, visited Indian villages and made sketches of their
inhabitants. June 10th he started back to Fort Vancouver, taking with him the despatches that had just
arrived on the Company's vessel from London.
On the first of the following month he started on his
long journey home, travelling with the east-bound
brigade up the Columbia, and by way of Athabasca
Pass to Fort Edmonton, where he arrived December
5th. Here he spent Christmas and the New Year,
moving down to Fort Pitt on January 7th, 1848, with
a wedding party. At Fort Pitt he lingered for a
month, studying the habits and manners of the Crees,
and making sketches of ceremonial pipes and medicine
Returning to Edmonton, he remained there until
the 12th of April, when he left for Rocky Mountain
<*/sVWT'*{.T7$> ■
House, 180 miles farther up the Saskatchewan, to study
the Blackfeet, a large party of whom were expected on
a trading expedition. Once more returning to Edmonton, Kane started down the river May 25th with the
York Factory brigade, passing the Mackenzie River
brigade at Grand Rapids and reaching Norway House
on June 18th. It may be noted in passing that at Fort
Carlton he met Sir John Richardson and Dr Rae on
their way to the Arctic in search of Sir John Franklin
and his ill-fated expedition. Here he also got word of
the flight of Louis Philippe from Paris, and other
momentous news from far-off Europe. He was
detained at Norway House for more than a month, waiting for the annual meeting of chief factors, and then
continued his journey by way of Lake Winnipeg and
the Lake of the Woods route to Fort William and
Toronto, where he arrived early in October.
It has been mentioned that Sir George Simpson
commissioned a dozen paintings of Indian life. The
request was for "buffalo hunts, Indian camps, councils,
feasts, conjuring matches, dances, warlike exhibitions,
or any other pieces of savage life you may consider to
be most attractive or interesting." No doubt Paul
Kane carried out the commission, but these paintings
like most of his earlier work seem to have dropped out
of sight. In a letter from F. A. Verner, the Canadian
artist who painted Kane's portrait, to J. Addison Reid,
it is said that twelve of Kane's pictures were in Buckingham Palace in 1858, for inspection by the Royal Family.
It is just possible these were the twelve painted for Sir
George Simpson.
The artist had, however, a much more liberal patron
in George William Allan, of Toronto, to whom he
dedicated his book.   Indeed it would not be too much
eg^^w^y^^m^MJM m^mmmm: nl^l« ■!'
r^Tg.'T.1 A"%! -XIU. l'li'Al
to say that it was largely because of Mr. Allan's generous and large-minded support that the artist found
it possible to carry out his memorable expedition to the !*p
Pacific coast.   Mr. Allan commissioned a hundred oil
paintings of  Indian life and  character and  western ly*
scenes, and also asked Kane to make a collection for him 3&l
of Indian head-dresses and clothing, pipes and other
Indian material. Some of this Indian material is still
in the possession of the Allan family, but much of it
disappeared, having been loaned from time to time for
exhibition purposes and not returned. ti£j
1 iÉå&
The artist had one other patron, the Legislature of
Canada. An examination of the Journals of the Legislative Assembly reveals the following interesting facts:
On July 26th, 1850, a petition was read from Paul
Kane, representing that he had spent several years in
Western America and had obtained more than five
hundred sketches of the country, inhabitants, Indian ^£j|
chiefs, costumes, curiosities, etc; that he had made notes
of bis travels, and praying for aid to enable him to
complete and publish in suitable style bis notes and the
accompanying pictures.
In June, 1851, the same or a similar petition was
brought before the Assembly, and referred to the
Standing Committee on Contingencies. In August of
that year, the Committee presented its report to the
Assembly, recommending that "the sum of five hundred
pounds be expended for the purchase of twelve of such
of Mr Kane's best finished oil paintings as shall be
selected by the Library Committee, for the purpose of
being preserved in the Library of the Legislature, and
that one half of the amount (two hundred and fifty
pounds) be paid to him as soon as the selection shall have m
been made, specifications furnished of the several pieces
selected, and pledges given by Mr Kane that at a time
certain to be agreed upon they will be delivered by him
to their intended destination; and the remaining two
hundred and fifty pounds upon his return from
England, (whither it is his intention to proceed, in order
to cause his sketches to be engraved or lithographed for
sale), and delivery of the paintings that shall have been
so selected, to the Clerk of your Honorable House, to be
deposited in the Library, pursuant to the present
"Your Committee", continues the report, "think it
proper to observe that Mr Kane is a native of the City
of Toronto, of whom his native city may be proud, as an
artist of the first merit. They deemed it their duty to
visit bis studio, and were highly gratified by the inspection of the splendid paintings and collection of
curiosities shown them by that gentleman, illustrative
of the remote and interesting parts of our Continent,
which he visited during his peregrinations." It is not
much to be wondered at that the impression that Kane
was a native of York or Toronto became so widespread,
when one finds it in a public document and in his own
The Assembly accepted the recommendation of the
Standing Committee on Contingencies, with the amendment that the amount of five hundred pounds was to be
paid in one sum when the pictures were selected.
In the Journals of the Assembly for May 12th, 1856,
the Standing Committee on Contingencies is asked to
enquire and report to the House whether the conditions
under which the grant of five hundred pounds to Paul
Kane was made had been complied with.
The Committee reported that it had examined the
receipt of Paul Kane for the five hundred pounds, in
which he engaged to deliver, when called upon, twelve
pictures mentioned in a list signed by Lord Mark Kerr,
S. Derbyshire and A. T. Hamilton, Esquires, and
offered as bis guarantee for so doing the Honorable
M. Cameron, and recommended that Kane be called
upon to execute his agreement.
In reply to a communication from the Clerk of the
Assembly, Kane replied:
"Mr Paul Kane begs leave to bring under the notice
of the Contingent Committee the following circumstances connected with his agreement to furnish the
House of Assembly with twelve Paintings, in consideration of receiving £500, which was paid to him in 1851:—
"In the first place, Mr Kane begs to state that the
understanding arrived at between Mr Hincks, Mr
Malcolm Cameron, and the other Gentlemen with whom
he was in communication when the grant referred to was
made, was that the Paintings should only be supplied
to the House after Mr Kane had finished bis complete
series, which he has now been exclusively engaged at for
eleven years and has not yet accomplished. The object
of his application to the House was for a gratuity to
enable him to devote himself entirely to that work with
a view to the publication of his Pictures, in illustration
of a narrative of his travels and adventures in the North-
West, which he intended, and still intends giving to the
Press. It will be obvious to the Committee, and this
view was at once admitted to be reasonable by the Committee in 1851, that out of a series of Paintings intended
for publication under copyright, to make twelve choice"
selections and expose them in an apartment, public as
the Library of the Legislature, would effectually destroy
his right, and in fact the necessity of securing such copyright, as nothing could prevent the public from obtain- 3P*^4E$&;
!E2B UJLIi!',lJ.irMkcU
ing access to them for any purpose they might desire.
The arrangement, therefore, was that these Paintings
should be presented to the House as soon as it could be
done without any such danger.
"In explanation of the period elapsed since the
arrangement was effected, Mr Kane begs the Members
of the Committee to consider that he has been many
years engaged at the work in question in bis own interest, and that no delay that was not absolutely indispensable in so voluminous a work can reasonably be supposed to have been voluntarily incurred.
"These remarks Mr Kane offers in justification of
himself and of the time transpired since he undertook
that engagement; he has now, however, to inform the
Committee that, anticipating that the return of the
Government to Toronto would be immediately followed
by a demand of the nature now made upon him, he
waived the consideration above set forth, and has now
been for some months occupied in preparing the series
intended for the House, which he hopes to complete by
the close of the Summer. He, therefore, requests that
the Committee will be good enough to withdraw their
Report, which was prepared and presented without his
being called upon to offer any explanations, and suspend
action in the matter until the opening of the next Session, when Mr Kane will be prepared to place the twelve
Paintings in the hands of the proper Officer of the
House, on the understanding that such precautions as
he may suggest will be adopted to prevent his prospective copyright being infringed, in furtherance of the
understanding on which was based as well Mr Kane's
original application, as the liberal action of the Com-
►mittee upon it.   Toronto, 21st May, 1856."
As a result of this communication, the Assembly,
on the recommendation of the Standing Committee on
Contingencies, suspended any further action until the
following session.    In the interval the   pictures   were
completed and handed over to the Legislative Library.
A list of these twelve paintings was published in the
first printed Catalogue of the Library, and it appears
that they hung for a time in the hall of the Legislative
Council. It has been said that some of them were
destroyed by fire during the time Parliament sat in
Quebec, but this, if true at all, could only apply to one
picture, as eleven out of the original twelve are in
Ottawa at the present time. Five hang in the National
Gallery, and the remainder in the Speaker's Chambers
in the House of Commons. The Allan collection was
purchased some years ago by Sir Edmund Osier, of
Toronto, and presented to the University of Toronto.
The pictures are preserved in the Royal Ontario
Museum of Archaeology for the benefit of those interested in Canadian art and ethnology.
All these finished paintings, it may be noted, were
done after Paul Kane returned from his long journey
through the west, and were based on his field sketches,
of which he is said to have brought nearly four hundred
back with him. Many of these sketches were in oils or
water colour, and were themselves works of art. They
were, it is said, turned over to Mr. Allan with the finished paintings, but subsequently got into other hands.
Some two hundred of the original sketches were exhibited
at the Art Gallery in Winnipeg in 1922.
In 1853, Paul Kane married Miss Harriet Clench,
of Cobourg, a lady who, among other attractions, had,
according to Dr Wilson, a skill with her pencil and
brush akin to his own. Having completed the manuscript of his book, Kane revisited London in 1858, to
make arrangements for its publication and to superintend the execution of the chromolithographic reproduction of such of his paintings as were used to illustrate it.
1 • -»jr-w '*f*$e '*','y.,*'^?.' ■
One little side-light on this visit to London is
afforded by the records of Hudson Bay House. Under
date of February 25th, 1858, Sir George Simpson sends
Paul Kane a letter of introduction to the officials of the
Hudson's Bay Company in London. "Introduces Mr
Paul Kane an Artist of Toronto who a few years ago
travelled through the Company's territories for the purpose of delineating the life and customs of the Aborigines. He is about to publish an account of his travels
and has already done the Company good service."
In the covering letter, Sir George Simpson says,
"It occurs to me that the mode in which I can best promote the object of your visit to England, is to make you
known to the Board of the Hudson's Bay Company, so
that you may be in a position to refer to them when
necessary (as a well known and influential organization)
in your negotiations with publishers and others.—The
enclosed letter to Mr Smith, the Secretary, will serve
as a general introduction to the individual members of
the Board.—I shall also write to Mr Smith privately,
requesting him to introduce you personally to the Governor, Deputy Governor & Committee.
"Wishing you every success in your undertaking."
Under date of March, 1858, the minutes of the
Board of the Hudson's Bay Company read, "That Mr.
Paul Kane of Toronto be cordially received and encouraged."
In the letter, already referred to, from F. A. Verner
to J. Addison Reid, the following additional particulars
are given in connection with this visit to London:
"When Kane came to England" he says "he took his
manuscript, with a list of a number of Canadian subscribers for his book when published, to Longmans and
Company, who received the manuscript to look over it.
wvcm>$zw^i!^^ L.\U^!X'm.>A!%ilV,X,J^'%!K'IflXå<'^å,AffA^
Kane called frequently to know what they intended
doing, but could not get a definite answer. After remaining in London over six months, he called (as he
thought) for the last time. Longman on this occasion
opened the door of a large room with shelves filled with
manuscripts, and said 'How is it that you expect me to
look over yours when none in this collection is looked
at yet?' Kane's reply was, 'I am independent of the
world. Give me my manuscript. I am returning to
It appears, however, that Longman had heard in
the meantime of the fact that twelve of Kane's pictures
had been sent to Buckingham Palace, and was favourably impressed. He told Kane that if he would call
again to-morrow he would arrange with him to have the
book published.
In reviewing Wanderings of an Artist in the Canadian Journal, 1859, Dr. Wilson draws particular attention to the frontispiece, representing a Cree half-breed.
"The original painting" he says "presents an exceedingly
interesting illustration of the blending of the white and
Indian features in the female half-breed. But the
London chromo-lithographer has sacrificed every trace
of Indian features in his desire to produce bis own ideal
of. a pretty face, such as might equally well have been
copied from an ordinary wax doll." Anyone who will
compare the original, now in the Royal Ontario Museum
at Toronto, with the frontispiece in the original edition,
will appreciate the justness of Dr Wilson's criticism.
On his return to Toronto Kane had hoped to carry
out the idea forecasted in the Preface to his book, that
he might be enabled to publish a much more extensive
series of illustrations of the characteristics, habits, and
scenery of the country and its occupants, but unfortu-
dm m^æmMMmMmi
nately his eyesight began to fail, and before long he
was compelled to abandon entirely work with either
brush or pencil, a situation which must have been extremely trying to one so enthusiastically devoted to his
He had, says Dr Wilson, at least in his later years,
"somewhat of the quiet, uriimpressible manner of the
Indians, among whom he had spent some of the most
eventful years of his life. His memory was singularly
retentive; and, in spite of his reserved manner, his descriptive powers were great, when he could be induced
to give them free scope. In the company of those who
did not sympathize with his favourite pursuits, his words
were few and abrupt; but he was a man of acute observation, and, when questioned by an intelligent enquirer,
abounded with curious information in reference to the
native tribes among whom he had sojourned."
"When I was a boy of about fourteen or fifteen"
says F. A. Verner, "I called at Paul Kane's studio,
which was on King Street near Toronto Street. Rapping at his door, which he opened about two inches, saying 'What do you want?', I replied that I wished to
know if he would give me instruction in painting. The
door was quickly closed and no answer from him.
"I did not see anything more of him for some years
until I returned from Europe. He had given up painting owing to failing eyesight. He told me that bis eyes
were affected by the glare of the sun on the snow during
his long tramps from station to station in the northwest territories."
It has been said elsewhere that the injury to Kane's
eyesight dated back to his student days in Europe, when
he had done a good deal of sketching in the Alps with
the aid of a mirror.
!TOWE«rav»Brarara i - ■ i ■ ii ui-m.^ Mm iL-A! li. ■JlJli.'X1 *■ x"A A*»l A A ***AT| With'' *
Paul Kane died in Toronto, February 20th, 1871,
leaving bis widow with two sons and two daughters.
I think one can agree unhesitatingly with Dr
Wilson's conclusion that Paul Kane's narrative "is a
modest, but interesting and vivid description of novel
scenes and incidents of travel; and bis career is a creditable instance of the pursuit of a favourite art, by a self-
taught artist, in spite of the most discouraging impediments to success."
As to the value of bis paintings as art, one prefers
to rely upon the opinion of such an acknowledged authority as the well-known Canadian artist, Charles W.
Jefferys of Toronto, who in the course of a lecture on
Canadian art said that Kane's pictures "possess considerable artistic merit, and are extremely valuable as
records of the vanished life of the North-West. It is
inevitable" he continues "that a country with such
strongly marked physical characteristics as Canada possesses, should impress itself forcefully upon our artists.
One can see in the works of our earliest painters,
whether native born or adopted sons of the country, the
fascination of Canadian landscape. The artist got his
technical training abroad but, satiated with the endless
repetitions of European landscape motifs, he found in
the new land new and interesting features, a wealth of
raw material that presented new problems' and new
subjects. But though the subjects chosen were Canadian, they were, quite naturally, at first seen through
European eyes, and executed in European style and
with European technique.
"Paul Kane is a good example. Trained abroad,
he naturally adopted the European art traditions of bis
time. Consequently we see in his pictures of the North-
West not the brilliant sunlight of the high prairie coun- WANDERINGS OF AN ARTIST
try and the foot-hills, nor the pure, intense colour of
the north; we see instead the dull, brown tone of the
studio and gallery picture of the Middle Europe of his
day. The topography may be North American, but
the atmosphere both physical and mental, which bathes
the scene is essentially European. His Indians, though
authentic and convincing in details of physiognomy
and costume, are incongruously conventional in their
action and gestures, and in this respect resemble the
poses of the models and the antique classical statues of
the academic studios in which he had learned his craft.
"His buffalo is the lineal descendant of the woolly
quadruped imagined and depicted by the earliest discoverers on the reports of the shore-dwelling Indians
whom they first met. His western horses in build and
action are the ideal Arab steeds of the painters of the
Romantic School, and recall those of Delacroix and
"But with all these conventions and limitations, he
possesses an original and personal quality, he has much
genuine poetry, he reveals an accurate observation of
facial type, of details of costume, of geological structure
and natural growth; and the technical excellence of his
pictures elevates these authentic records to the rank of
wor,ks of art. Compared with his paintings, those of
Catlin are merely diagrams and inventories, equally
valuable perhaps for their ethnographic and historical
data, but greatly inferior in artistic quality."
As long ago as 1877, Nicholas Flood Davin, in his
Irishman in Canada, noticed the same characteristics in
the art of Paul Kane, and particularly the influence of
the conventions of the Romantic School, picked up in
European studios, and too deeply planted to be got rid
axraraas^gsag^g^^ m., ■ -il wia^iA X'^i uak! JVX'-HlTå. *. x"A *-* A 4 A.P*A'%
of. "Though he studied our scenery and Indian customs at first hand," says Davin, "he did not wholly
give himself up to nature. The Indian horses are Greek
horses; the bills have much of the colour and form of
those of Ruysdael and the early European landscape
painters; the foregrounds have more of the characteristics of old pictures than of our out-of-doors. All this
is more particularly true of bis later work, when, instead
of going to nature, he remained in bis studio, and painted
and repainted his early sketches." For that reason,
those early sketches, hurriedly drawn or painted, under
conditions that must sometimes have been exceedingly
trying, have nevertheless in some respects a higher value
as art, are indeed truer interpretations of the wild western life they represented, than the finished paintings of
the studio.
No complete list exists of the paintings and sketches
of Paul Kane. Of the largest collection of finished
paintings, those done for George W. Allan, and now in
the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology at Toronto,
a catalogue was printed, and is now reproduced at the
end of this Introduction, together with the list of twelve
painted for the Legislative Council. The series commissioned by Sir George Simpson, if it still exists, has
been lost sight of. No trace of the pictures can be found
in Hudson Bay House, nor is there any record of what
became of them. A number of the original sketches
are, it is understood, now in the possession of members of
the artist's family. In addition to Indian pictures, bis
daughter, Mrs. Frances S. Donaldson, possesses one of
Verner's two portraits of Paul Kane, the other being in
the Royal Ontario Museum; also another of the artist in
early life, said to have been painted by himself, and an
Italian scene, "Three Musicians at a Shrine." MiØMeiUiÉ^I
Mr. Arthur V. White, of Toronto, has several of the
artist's paintings in his collection,—a portrait of Chief
Mauza-pau-Kan, or the "Brave Soldier," the Winnebago chief, referred to on page 40 of Wanderings of an
Artist; a portrait of Peter Jacobs, the Wesleyan Indian
missionary, who, as Paul Kane says, on page 72 of his
book, accompanied him on horseback to the Upper Fort
on Red River; also a painting of Us-koos-koosish, or
"Young Grass," a Cree brave of whom the artist says,
page 115, that "he was very proud of showing his many
wounds, and expressed himself rather disappointed with
my picture, as I had not delineated all the scars, no
matter what was their locality." Two or three
of the paintings in the Royal Ontario Museum were
reproduced in* 1909 in the "Guide to the Anthropological Collection in the Provincial Museum"
of British Columbia, which, incidentally, is a tribute to
the scientific value of Paul Kane's work.
The Wanderings of an Artist was published by
Longmans in 1859. This first and only English edition
was followed by a French translation, published at
Paris by Amyot in 1861. Two years later appeared a
Danish edition, published at Copenhagen. The English edition, though now rare, is found in most of the
larger libraries. The French edition is also in most of
the great collections. The Copenhagen edition is, apparently, extremely rare. It is not in the British
Museum or the Library of Congress or the Library of
Parliament at Ottawa, neither is it in that great collection of Aemricana, the New York Public Library. The
only copy I have seen is in the possession of Judge F. W.
Ho way, of New Westminster, B.C. The title-page
reads as follows: "En Kunftners Vandringer/blandt/
Indianerne i Nordamerika/fra Canada til Vancouvers
**mz*&&mz. -asaiaroB^fwwwfl i—uiiu'vm.^' x^ifxni.1-x-JL'-JX'A r'V-WlX Ml
O og/Oregon, gjennem Hudsons-Bai-/Kompagniets
Territorium og tilbage/igjen,/Af/Paul Kane ;/Overfat
fra Engelst/ ved/I. K./Kjobenhavn/F. H. Eibes
Forlag-Louis Kleins Bogtrykferi/1863."
Before the publication of the first edition of Wanderings of an Artist, Kane had contributed certain portions
of the work to the Canadian Journal, Toronto. Two of
these articles appeared in Vol. I of the New Series,
1856. "Notes of Sojourn among the Half-Breeds,
Hudson's Bay Company's Territory, Red River," and
"Notes of Travel among the Walla Walla Indians";
and in Vol. 2 of the same Series, 1857, "The Chinook
Indians." The latter had also been published in Vol.
Ill of the Old Series, 1855.
The following bibliographical particulars may also
be of interest. Wanderings of an Artist was reviewed,
among other places, in the Canadian Journal, 1859, by
Daniel Wilson, and in the Athenaeum, July 2, 1859.
Biographical sketches and comments on the book are
also found in the Canadian Journal, 1871; History of
Toronto and York, Vol. 2; Henry Scadding, Toronto
of Old; Henry J. Morgan, Celebrated Canadians, 1862;
N. F. Davin, The Irishman in Canada, 1877; J. W. L.
Forster, A.R.C.A., "Arts and Artists in Ontario," in
Canada: An Encyclopaedia, Vol. 4; Howay and Schole-
field, British Columbia, Vol. I; H. H. Bancroft, History
of British Columbia, pp. 131-2; Marshall, Acquisition of
Oregon, Vol. 2, pp. 250-53; W. H. Pearson, Records
and Recollections of Old, Briggs; Kane (P.)—Wan-
derungen eines Kunstlers unter den Indianern Nordamerikas von Canada nach der Vancouvers Insel und nach
Oregon. Deutsch von L. Hauthal. Mit 4 color. Tafeln
und 62 Holzschnitten. Leipzig 1862. (Catalogue No.
46—Otto Lange, Florence, Italy).
mm 'f^-lWWft^i
(Kane's method of spelling proper names is followed. This
Catalogue is reprinted here by permission of the Director
of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology.)
1— Wah-pus
2' l'xl'8'
'The Rabbit,' residing at Owen Sound, a celebrated
warrior, all of whose hair had been pulled out except
the scalp lock.
2—French River Rapids
3—Ojibbeway Camp on Spider Islands
Near Bay of Manetouawning, La Cloche Mts. in the
A—Ojibbeway Chief
%' 3" xl' 8M"
With frontlet and nose ring.
Second Chief of Ojibbeways at Manetouawning.
'One with his Pace to the West,' formerly a great war
chief but afterwards a great Medicine Man at Manetouawning in Manitoulin Island.
7—The Daughter of Asabonish
2'l"xl'10"      Oval 2'xl'8*
'The Racoon,'Chief of Ahtawwah Indians at Wequime-
cong near Manetouwaning.
RteWWFB9EK»^ MJM*-r<i.   »   ■ « Uift LL-1 U.« «  HU 1 11 1  X*»JtX^|T71
8—Encampment Among the Islands of Lake Huron
Wigwams of birch bark and poles.
9—Sault Ste. Marie
i 7"x2' 6"
From American side.
10—Spearing Salmon by Torchlight
l'6"x2'5"       '
Manomanee Indians at Fox River.
11— Kitchie-ogi-maw
The Great Chief of the Manomanee Indians at Fox
<&' l'xl'8'
A Manomanee Indian, one of the most ill-favoured of
any who had been a subject of Kane's pencil.
2'1'xl' 8"
'The White Dog,' a Manomanee Indian at Fox River in
mourning for his wife.
%' l'xl'8'
'The Hog,'a Pottowattomie blackleg who gambled with
the Manomanee Indians at Fox River.
15—Sioux Scalp Dance
Great gathering of Sioux at Fort Snelling in Hennepin
+V<m XCT
2' 6"x2' 1"
'I hear the noise of the Deer,' Head Chief of the Ojibbeway s at Michipicoton, with his red coat and medals.
17—The Kakkabakka Falls
l'9K"x 2' 5Y2"
18—The Mountain Portage
19—Encampment on River Winnipeg
V 7"x2' 6"
A couple of miles below the 'Terre Blanche' Rapid.
20—The Slave Falls
V 6x2' 5"
The highest of all the Falls of the Winnipeg River.
21-X-White Mud Portage
On Winnipeg River.
22—Hunting Ducks
V 6"x2'5"
At Lake of the Thousand Islands—Ducks attracted by
motions of a dog running forwards and backwards
along the shore under orders of an ambushed Indian.
23—Red River Settlement
V 6"x2' 5"
Fort Garry at Junction of Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
24—Half-Breeds Travelling
1 6"x2'5"
An expedition to hunt Buffalo near Fort Garry.
25—Half-Breed Encampment
While on such expedition.
jas»9ii WW HIAiHAl X'XA'HH
26—Half-Breeds Running Buffalo
27—Wounded Buffalo Bulls
28—Buffalo Bulls Fighting
29—A Sioux Indian
%' l'xl'8*      Oval 2'xl'7"
In full war paint.
2'l"x2'6"    *
'The Constant Sky.'    A Saulteaux woman and scenery
near the mouth of Behring's River, Lake Winnipeg.
31—Brigade of Boats
l'6"x2' 5"
On the Saskatchewan with a fair breeze, crowding on
all sail to escape a thunder storm rolling fast after them.
'The Spirit Chief,' an Esquimaux from Hudson's Bay,
supposed to be 110 years old, living at Norway House.
33—A Buffalo Pound
Near Fort Carlton.
34—A Valley in the Plains
1' 6"x2' 5"
On the way from Fort Carlton to Edmonton—showing
the cabree or prairie antelopes in a valley with sloping
banks 200 feet high.
35—The War Cap of Otiskun
%' 6"x2' 1"
Or The Horn, a Cree Chief living between Fort Carlton
and Pitt.
11 ;smmåmmmmåååmMåMåååiM
V 6"x2' 1"
36—Cree Pipe-stem Bearer
At Fort Pitt.
37—Indian Summer
l'6"x^' 5"
Evening scene on the Saskatchewan, buffalos grazing.
38—Fort Edmonton
1' 6*x«'5*
39—A Prairie on Fire
Near Fort Edmonton.
40—Francois Lucie
2'6"x2' iyi'
A half-breed Cree from Edmonton and celebrated guide,
of whose bravery a story is told.
2'l"xl'8"      Oval 2' x 1' 7"
'One that looks at the Stars.'    A half-breed Cree beauty
at Fort Edmonton.
2'6"x2' 1"
'The man that gives the War Whoop.'    Head Chief of
the Crees with his pipe-stem.
43— Cree Indian Chief from Edmonton
2' 6"x2' 1"
44—The Man that Always Rides
Dexterous Indian rider.    'A Perfect Centaur.'
45—Catching Wild Horses
V 6"x2'5"
At Edmonton.
46—Two Assiniboine Indians Running a Buffalo
One armed with a spear, the other with a bow.
47—Group of Buffaloes
l'7H"x2'5'      Oval 1' Bli'x&'Sli'
At Sturgeon Creek, 16 miles from Edmonton.
«gSt:g«CTMW.>»^ ■ ■■■! ■■ iuh-hj^a' .ai%*,jjL'A',a.".ilJi.lximiX«i
IA «»'1A"A,
48—Winter Travelling in Dog Sleds
The wedding journey to Fort Pitt from Edmonton.
49—Cree Indians Travelling
50—Six Indian Chiefs
2' l"x2'6"
Group showing in full war costume the celebrated
Blackfoot Chief Big Snake called 'Little Horn;' Wah-
nistow the 'White Buffalo,' principal chief of the Sarcee
tribe; Mis-ke-me-kin 'The Iron Collar,'a Blood Indian
and two inferior chiefs.
51—Indian Horse Race
Blackfoot Indians, Blood Indians, Sarcees, Gros-ventres
and Paygans.
52—Big Snake
2' l'xl'8'
Omoxesisixany, a very celebrated Blackfoot Chief.
53—The Death of Big Snake
Omoxesisixany, the great Blackfoot Chief, killed by one
of the Cree War Chiefs in single combat.
54—Big Snake's Brother
Blackfoot Indian.
2'6'x2' 1'
55—Blackfoot Pipe-stem Carrier
1'8'xl' 2"
56—Medicine Pipe-stem Dance
4' 7'x2'5'
Blackfoot Indians, Blood Indians, Sarcees, Gros-ventres
and Paygans.
57—Rocky Mountain Fort
V 6"x2' 5"
And Camp of Assiniboine Lodges. m*
2'6"x2' 1"
'The Feather,' Head Chief of the Assiniboines at Rocky
Mountain Fort.
59— Wah-he-jo-tass-e-neen
'The Half White Man,'Second Chief of the Assiniboines
at Rocky Mountain Fort.
60—-Boat Encampment
At Northern bend of Columbia River, foot of Rockies.
61—Dalle des Morts
I 6"x2' 5"
On Columbia River about 70 miles below Boat Encampment.
62—Indian Camp Colville
Lodges of Chualpays near Fort Colville, formed of mats
on poles with space in which to hang salmon to dry.
'The Salmon Chief or 'Chief of the Waters,' at the Indian
Village of Colville.
64—Falls at Colville
| 7//x2'5"
The Sometknu, Chaudiere, or Kettle Falls below the old
Hudson's Bay Company's Fort at Colville.    Modes of
Catching Salmon.
65—Game of Al-kol-lock
Played by the Chualpay Indians, Fort Colville.
mmmmm^^^^s^^^^^ts^mmmmmmmmmmmmmm -■■*■*. «^ i * <a.m. fuu 1*11 ■*J. a*'XJ
66—Scalp Danes
Of Chualpay Indians at Fort Colville.
67—Chimney Rocks
The extraordinary 'Rocks of the Kye-use Girls,' where
the Walla-Walla debouches into the Columbia River.
68—Scene near Walla-Walla
The Rock of the Nezperee Girl.
2'l'xl'8"     -
'The Yellow Serpent,' Chief of the Walla-Walla Indians.
70—Pelouse Fall
One sheet 600 feet high from between rocks 400 feet
above summit of the fall.
71—A Sketch on the Pélouse
1' 73^'x 2'6*
72—Nezperee Indian
2' l'xl'8"
With bone through nostrils, on the Columbia River
near the Nezperees River.
73— To-ma-kus
l'2'xl'8'     Oval 2' x 1' 7*
Murderer of Dr Whitman—Kye-use Indian from banks
of Walla-Walla.
74— Til-au-kite
2' l'xl'8'
Who assisted in the murder of Dr Whitman—Kye-use
Indian from banks of the Walla-Walla.
2' l'xl'8'      QvalS'OK'xl'TH*
Chief of the Indians of the Dalles of the Columbia
2'6'x2' 1"
The Great Chief of the Chinooks and Klickataats at
Fort Vancouver on the Columba River.
77—Coffin Rock
1'6" x2'5"
Place where Indians deposit their dead on the Columbia
78—Mount St. Helen's
re* x2'5'
Volcano distant about 30 or 40 miles from Fort Vancouver, taken from mouth of Kattlepoutal River, a
tributary of the Columbia.
79—Indian Burying-place on the Cowlitz River
80— Caw-wacham
2'6'x2' 1'
Flathead woman and child of the Indians residing on the
Cowlitz, a tributary of the Columbia River.
81—The Walhamette River from a Mountain
82—Oregon City
V 6"x2'5'
Near Falls of Walhamette, "contains about ninety-four
houses and two or three hundred inhabitants."
83—Prairie de Butte
I 6"x2'5'
About 22 miles long.    Remarkable for having innumerable round elevations touching each other like so many
hemispheres of 10 or 12 yards in circumference and 4 or
5 feet in height, near the Nasqually River.
84—A Battle
Between Clal-lums and Macaws at I-eh-nus, a Clal-lum
fort situated on the Straits of San Juan de Fuca.
rWrSCT^MB*^^ ■'"""HIM.UA'M.mUJ%!ULTXJU*. X. X"A JH»X 4 AMA"
85—A Flathead Woman
2' l'xl'8"
Wife of the Second Chief at the Village of Toanichum
in Whitby's Island.
86— Chaw-u-wit
A Clal-lum Girl, daughter of Chief at Indian Village of
87—Babine Chief
2'6"x2' 1'
Chief of the Chimpseyan or  Babine  Indians.     Given
as Frontispiece in Sir Daniel Wilson's 'Prehistoric Man.'
88—A Babine or Big-lip Woman
2' 6"x2' 1"
The size of the underlip constitutes the standard of
female beauty, and it is enlarged by a flat piece of wood
three inches long and an inch and a half wide.
Head Chief of the Clal-lums at Esquimalt (Fort Victoria).
90—The Esquimalt
Fort   Victoria   on   Vancouver's   Island,   showing   the
Village of the Chal-lums.
91—Return of a War Party
With scalps, in the war canoes.    Fort Victoria appears
on the right; part of Indian Village on the left.
92—Medicine Mask Dance
Clal-lum Indians at Esquimalt.
93—Clal-lum Women Weaving a Blanket
At Esquimalt.    Another woman spinning, etc. m
2' l'xl'8"
Head Chief of the Cowitchins from the Gulf of Georgia
on Vancouver's Island.
2' 6"x2' 1'
Son of Saw-se-a with medicine cap made of human hair
and ornamented with feathers.
96—Lodges on Vancouver's Island
97—Interior of a Lodge
Of Clallums at Esquimalt, the largest buildings of any
description among Indians, divided in the interior into
compartments to accommodate 8 or 10 families.
An Indian with conical shaped head, Chief of New-a-tee
Indians at north end of Vancouver's Island.  'Prehistoric
Man,' ii. p. 817.
99— Chinook Lodge
Near Vancouver, Mount Hood in the distance, Indians
weaving net, etc.
100— Brant
101—Portrait of Paul Kane
By F. A. vehner.
li^SKErø*^^ iww.aril.UV^X'lklX-X'MaiqjL.lX'MJ'A J. '* x -4 FT/F/3
Twelve Oil Paintings, by Paul Kane, from Sketches made
by himself in the North-West Territories.
*1—Big Snake
A Blackfoot Chief recounting his war exploits to five of
his subordinate chiefs.
2—Boat Encampment
Situate at the head of the North Branch of the navigable
waters of the Columbia River.
3—Mount Hood
A mountain about 7000 ft. high, situate near the south
bank of the Columbia River. The figures in the foreground are Chinooks a branch of the Flathead tribes
of the northwest coast.
4—Buffaloes at Sunset
Taken near Edmonton at a small lake near the Saskatchewan River.
*5—Scalp Dance
By a party of Spokan Indians;   taken on the Upper
6—A ssiniboines
Hunting or Running Buffaloes on Horseback.
Taken on the plains in the vicinity of the Rocky Mountains.
7—Fishing Lodges of the Clallums
Vancouver Island. These Lodges are constructed of a
coarse description of matting, which is taken down and
carried in canoes when travelling.
*8—Interior of a Winter Lodge of Clallums
These Lodges are constructed of split cedar, and are
consequently not portable and are frequently large
enough to accommodate 100 individuals.
*9— Part of Red River Settlement
With a view of Fort Garry on the right and the Roman
Catholic Church on the left of the River.
,*10— The White Mud Portage
Situate on Winnipeg River. The picture represents
Saulteaux Indians carrying their canoes and baggage,
otherwise called Making the Portage.
11—A Horse Race
Among the Blackfeet Indians on the Prairies; an
amusement of very frequent occurrence and consisting
generally of a four-mile race, viz: two miles to and from
a given point. The riders were invariably in a state
of nudity.
*12—Two Indians Playing at Alcoloh
This sketch was taken among the Shualpees near the
Falls of the Columbia. The game consists in rolling
a ring of iron, three inches in diameter, with six beads
of different colours bound by strings to the inner edge
of the circle. The ring is rolled along the ground until
it strikes against a stick intercepting it. The two
competitors who follow it throw each a dart under it
at the moment of its rebound the object being that the
ring should, in falling, rest upon the darts, when the
beads in closest proximity to the latter count towards
the game according to their colour. This game is
played by all the Indians on the Columbia River.
*Those starred are now in the National Gallery at Ottawa.
The remainder, with the exception of No. 2, which is missing,
are in the Speaker's Chambers, House of Commons, Ottawa.
m^mmm!*m&*xx*z*m&mwmm:%. yg^s^amm^^im^A m mm > »a *-u.u»«m jw-X' JWJ. JX'WIX'UmJL.'X' 'JL X"A X** X
m $
N my return to Canada from the continent of
Europe, where I had passed nearly four years
in studying my profession as a painter, I
determined to devote whatever talents and proficiency
I possessed to the painting of a series of pictures illustrative of the North American Indians and scenery.
The subject was one in which I felt a deep interest in
my boyhood. I had been accustomed to see hundreds
of Indians about my native village, then Little York,
muddy and dirty, just struggling into existence, now
the City of Toronto, bursting forth in all its energy
and commercial strength. But the face of the red
man is now no longer seen. All traces of his footsteps
are fast being obliterated from his once favourite
haunts, and those who would see the aborigines of
this country in their original state, or seek to study
their native manners and customs, must travel far
through the pathless forest to find them. To me the
wild woods were not altogether unknown, and the
Indians but recalled old friends with whom I had
associated in my childhood, and though at the commencement of my travels I possessed neither influence nor means for such an undertaking, yet it was
with a determined spirit and a light heart that I had
made the few preparations which were in my power for
my future proceedings.
The principal object in my undertaking was to
sketch pictures of the principal chiefs, and their original costumes, to  illustrate  their  manners   and   cus-
^^^^mwfwm hm miMw.uBLm.ui.
5C 3C5I EC9E9ES!
toms, and to represent the scenery of an almost unknown country. These paintings, however, would
necessarily require explanations and notes, and I
accordingly kept a diary of my journey, as being the
most easy and familiar form in which I could put
such information as I might collect. The following
pages are the notes of my daily journey, with little
alteration from the original wording, as I jotted them
down in pencil at the time; and although without any
claim to public approbation as a literary production,
still I trust they will possess not only an interest for
the curious, but also an intrinsic value to the historian, as they relate not only to that vast tract of country bordering on the great chain of American lakes,
the Red River Settlement, the valley of Saskatchewan,
and its boundless prairies, through which it is proposed to lay the great railway connecting the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans, through the British possessions;
but also across the Rocky Mountains down the Columbia River to Oregon, Puget's Sound, and Vancouver's Island, where the recent gold discoveries in
the vicinity have drawn thousands of hardy adventurers to those wild scenes amongst which I strayed
almost alone, and scarcely meeting a white man or
hearing the sound of my own language.
The illustrations—executed from my sketches, or
finished paintings, for the purpose of illustrating the
present work—constitute only a few specimens of
the different classes of subjects which engaged my
pencil during a sojourn of nearly four years among the
Indians of the North-West. In that period I executed
numerous portraits of chiefs, warriors, and medicinemen of the different tribes among whom I sojourned,
II ^ysf
#. <-¥m%
and also of their wives and daughters. The Indian
fishing and hunting scenes, games, dances, and other
characteristic customs, also occupied my pencil;
while I was not forgetful of the interest which justly
attaches to the scenery of a new and unexplored
country, and especially to such parts of it as were
either intimately associated with native legends and
traditions, or otherwise specially connected with the
native tribes—as their favourite fishing or hunting
grounds, the locations of their villages, or the bury-
ing-places of the tribes. The whole of these sketches
are now in my possession, and I have already been
honoured by a commission to execute a series of
paintings from them for the Legislature of the Province of Canada, which now have a place in the
Library of the Provincial Parliament. A much more
extensive series of oil paintings had been executed by
me, from my sketches, for George W. Allan, Esq., of
Moss Park, the liberal patron of Canadian art; and
I would gladly indulge the hope that the present work
will not prove the sole published fruits of my travels
among the Indian tribes of North America, but that
it will rather be a mere illustration of the novelty and
interest which attach to those rarely explored regions,
and enable me to publish a much more extensive series
of illustrations of the characteristics, habits, and
scenery of the country and its occupants.
Paul Kane
te«tarerera*:»stg*sgjg»« »rasg^ggseK :««»^ra«wf»OT^<,il UWES
Chapter I
Departure from Toronto—An Indian Village—The "Big Pike's" Likeness—
The Chiefs of Saugeen—An Island Labyrinth—The Encampment—An
Indian Kettle of Fish—The Household Drudge—Manetouawning—
Anecdote of the Chief Sigennok—The Egyptian Sphynx on Indian
Pipes—A Serenade—The Conjuror—The Power of Love—The Escape
—Heraldic  Devices—Departure for the Sault Ste. Marie.
I left Toronto on the 17th of June 1845, with no
companions but my portfolio and box of paints, my gun,
and a stock of ammunition, taking the most direct route
to Lake Simcoe. Thence I took the steamboat for
Orillia; and crossed over to Sturgeon Bay on Lake
Huron, where I had to hire an Indian with a canoe, the
packet having left for Penetanguishene a few hours
before I reached "Cold Water." After paddling all
night, we overtook her the next morning at Penetanguishene, or the "Rolling Sand Bank," which is seated in
a deep bay, forming a secure harbour for vessels of any
amount of tonnage: it has been so named by the Indians
from a high bank of rolling sand at the entrance of the
bay. There is a small naval depot here, and a steamer
is employed in making trips of inspection round the
lake and its shores. A larger one has been for some
years laid up in ordinary, and is no doubt now unfit for
use. Besides this depot, there is a village inhabited by a
few whites and half-breeds.
We left Penetanguishene on the 20th, and arrived
at Owen's Sound the same evening. I here met with
three men bound for Saugeen, about thirty-five or forty
miles west of this place, where a council of chiefs was
to meet for the purpose of negotiating the sale of a
tract of land to the Provincial Government. After
engaging an Indian to carry my pack and act as guide,
I started in company with them on foot. Our journey
was a disagreeable one, through woods and swamps,
the rain all the time coming down in torrents. We had
to encamp at night supperless, and without shelter of
any kind, in our wet clothes, as we had omitted to bring
blankets or provisions under the expectation of reaching Saugeen the same evening. We made an early
start the next morning, and arrived there about noon,
where we found a large assemblage of Indians holding
a camp meeting, with its usual accompaniments of
boisterous singing and praying, under the superintendence of six or seven Methodist preachers.
The Indian village of Saugeen, meaning "the Mouth
of a River," contains about 200 inhabitants (Ojibbe-
ways). It is the site of a former battleground between
the Ojibbeways, as usually pronounced, or Chippawas,
and the Mohawks. Of this, the mounds erected over
the slain afford abundant evidence in the protrusion of
the bones through the surface of the ground. The land
hereabouts is excellent, but only a small part is cultivated, as the inhabitants subsist principally on fish,
which are taken in great abundance at the entrance of
the river. They also kill hundreds of deer by erecting
a fence of brushwood many miles in extent, behind
which the Indians conceal themselves; and as the deer,
in their annual migrations, are seeking an opening
through this fence, they fall a prey to the unerring aim
of the red man. I sketched the principal chief, named
Maticwaub, or "the Bow." The band of which he is
the head chief forms a part of the great nation of the
Ojibbeways, which still inhabits the shores of Lakes
Huron, Michigan, and Superior. There is also another
large band of them on the upper Mississippi, 90 or 100
miles above the falls of Saint Anthony; they speak the
same language; their medicine dances, called Matayway,
and their feasts are in every respect the same, identifying them as one and the same people, although scattered
so widely apart. Another branch of them, called the
Pilleurs, is found some 200 or 300 miles farther north.
They derive their name from their thievish propensities,
and richly deserve it, as I unfortunately experienced
some few years afterwards on visiting their country.
I also took a sketch of a chief named Maskuh-
noonjee, or the "Big Pike." This man was very proud
of having his likeness taken, and put on his chief's
medal presented by the Government to those they
acknowledge as qhiefs. I have never known a chief
to barter away one of these marks of distinction, which
they seldom wear on unimportant occasions. An interesting girl, the daughter of a chief from Lake St. Clair,
gave me much trouble in prevailing on her to sit for her
likeness, although her father insisted upon it; her
repugnance proceeded from a superstitious belief that
by so doing she would place herself in the power of the
possessor of what is regarded by an Indian as a second
self. Wah-pus, "the Rabbit," also permitted me to
take his portrait. He resides at Owen's Sound, and
was formerly as much renowned for his unconquerable
fierceness and intemperance as he is now for his temperance and wisdom. This change in his character is
attributable to the influence of the Methodist missionaries, whose church he has joined. He was the first
Indian I had seen whose hair had been pulled out, all
except the scalp-lock; this custom is common among
many tribes of Indians, though not universal amongst
I remained at Saugeen about ten days, residing in
the family of an Indian who had been educated as a
Wesleyan missionary. I then returned to Owen's
Sound, accompanied by a young man named Dillon,
who was extremely desirous of joining in my excursion.
On arriving at the Sound I bought a canoe and a stock
of provisions, and embarked with my new companion
for Penetanguishene in our route for the Manitoulin
Islands. On the fourth day we passed Christian Island,
on which are still standing the ruins of a fort, said to
have been built by two Jesuit priests who took refuge
on the island with a large band of Hurons, after they
had been defeated by the Iroquoisin. They defended
the fort until they were nearly all destroyed by hunger
and disease, when the missionaries led the survivors to
Quebec. The day after passing this island we again
reached Penetanguishene, where we obtained a fresh
supply of provisions, after which we threaded a labyrinth of islands of every size and form, amounting, as
is said, to upwards of 80,000; and both being strangers
to the navigation, we continually lost ourselves in its
picturesque mazes, enchanted with the beauty of the
ever-varying scenery, as we glided along in our light
canoe. We fished and hunted for fourteen days, almost
unconscious of the lapse of time so agreeably spent.
We saw only two or three Indians, the greater part of
them having preceded us to Manetouawning to receive
their presents.
Sketch No. 1 represents an Indian encampment
amongst the islands of Lake Huron; the wigwams are
made of birch-bark, stripped from the trees in large
pieces and sewed together with long fibrous roots;
when the birch tree cannot be conveniently had, they
weave rushes into mats, called Apuckway, for covering, which are stretched round in the same manner as
the bark, upon eight or ten poles tied together at the
.^'^^^^^C^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^fiWl ■ ■ ■»' n* i. b.-> x* 'XX VJi X'X M"A* *A 4fJAf
top, and stuck in the ground at the required circle of
the tent, a hole being left at the top to permit the smoke
to go out. The fire is made in the centre of the lodge,
and the inmates sleep all round with their feet towards
No. 1—Encampment amongst the Islands of Lake Huron.
it. These lodges are much more comfortable than one
would at first suppose from their loose appearance—
that is, as far as warmth is considered. The filth,
stench, and vermin make them almost intolerable to a
white man; but Indians are invariably dirty, and it must
be something very terrible indeed which will induce them
to take half an hour's trouble in moving their lodge. As
to removing the filth, that is never done. Their canoes
are also made of birch-bark stretched over a very light
frame of split cedar laths; the greatest attention being
paid to symmetry and form. They travel a great deal
and are often exposed to rough weather in these boats,
which, being extremely light, are carried across "port-
ages" with ease. They make their mohcocks, or kettles,
of birch-bark, in which they cook fish and game. This
is done by putting red hot stones into the water, and it
is astonishing how quickly an Indian woman will boil
a fish in this way. The Indians round Lake Huron
raise a good deal of corn, which is dried and then
pounded in a sort of mortar, made out of a hollow log,
as represented in the sketch.
The Indians in this neighbourhood having a direct
communication with the whites, use guns and other
weapons of civilized manufacture, bows and arrows
being seldom seen except with the children. As amongst
all other tribes of North American Indians, the women
do all the household work, carrying wood, putting up
lodges, and cooking. I here noticed a custom amongst
the women bearing a curious resemblance to the ancient
usages of the Jews. At certain stated periods they are
not allowed the slightest intercourse with the rest of
the tribe, but are obliged to build a little hut for themselves a short distance from the camp, where they live
entirely secluded until their return to health.
Previous to entering the bay of Manetouawning,
we put ashore on one of the Spider Islands, to escape
from a heavy shower, where we found a single lodge.
A woman and her two children were there, but the men
were off in the distance fishing, which is the principal
occupation of the Indians hereabouts in summer, there
being very little game, except occasionally a bear or
deer, and, at particular seasons, ducks. The afternoon
being clear, I had a fine view of the La Cloche Mountains, and spent the remainder of the evening in sketching.
Manetouawning is situated at the extremity of a bay
six miles long, in the great ManitouHn Island, and is
S^y^^s.^*:*S:*»,^^ [■»■ wu'M'ui x v x-x vx VAJl^'A J ^t^ AKAéA
200 miles distant from Penetanguishene by the route
we took.
The word Manetouawning signifies "the Spirit
Hole." The village consists of forty or fifty log-houses
built by the Provincial Government for the Indians.
There is a mission, with a church and pastor, an Indian
agent, a doctor, and a blacksmith, all paid by the Government. I found nearly 2000 Indians here, waiting
the arrival of the vessel that was freighted with their
annual presents, comprising guns, ammunition, axes,
kettles, and other implements useful to the Indian.
The principal chief here is Sigennok; he is an acute
and intelligent Indian; he is appointed to distribute to
his tribe their due share of the presents annually consigned to them. He receives a salary from the British
Government as interpreter. This is paid him from
policy, for although useless as an interpreter, from not
speaking the English language, his natural eloquence
is such that he possesses great influence over his tribe;
indeed, it is to the untiring volubility of his tongue that
he owes his name, which signifies "the Blackbird." The
following anecdote, illustrative of character, was related
to me by Captain Anderson, now superintendent of
Indian affairs:—Sigennok was, in his younger days,
in the continual habit of drinking to excess, and when
under the influence of his potations was a perfect maniac,
and only to be controlled by main force; but as the
attempt to place him under due restraint was attended
with no small personal danger, on account of his Herculean strength, it was the custom of his attendants to
increase the amount of stimulus, and ply him with it
until he became insensible, rather than expose themselves to danger from his ungovernable violence. One
day, when in this  state of  drunken  stupor, Captain ^>^MUMM
* '"A'X&YW.'YZi
Anderson—who at that time filled the post of Indian
agent,—saw him lying in front of his lodge in one of
these fits of oblivion, and bound him hand and foot with
strong cords, placing a sickly decrepit boy to watch over
him, with instructions to hasten to him (Captain Anderson) the moment the sleeper should awake, and by no
means to let him know who it was that bound him.
After some hours he revived, and angrily demanded of
the boy, who had dared to treat him with such indignity.
The little fellow, without replying to the inquiry,
hobbled away to the captain: he at once hastened to his
prisoner, who put the same interrogatory to him as he
had before done to the boy, and furiously demanded
his instant liberation. The captain replied that the boy
had bound him by his own orders, and that he had lain
for hours exposed to the derision of the whole camp.
He took the opportunity also of commenting forcibly
on the disgrace to which so great a warrior had thus
subjected himself, merely to gratify a vile and disgusting propensity, which reduced him manifestly beneath
the level of the brute beast, which never sacrificed its
reason, or the power to protect itself from annoyance
or insult from its fellows.
Sigennok, his pride humbled, and greatly mortified
at the degraded position in which he had placed himself—in the power, as it were, of the most helpless of
his tribe—formed the prompt resolution of at once and
for ever abandoning his favourite habit, and promised
Captain Anderson that if he would release him from his
bonds, he would never again taste ardent spirits. The
captain took him at his word, and unbound him.
Twenty-three years had elapsed since the occurrence,
during which Sigennok had never been known to violate
the promise then made.
ancfrara^s^w^ mjk X-* 'X'X'^'X ^ 'A XH<A*>AkAHA+ i *
Sketch No. 2 represents Awbonwaishkum. This
head possesses the characteristics of the Indian to a
striking degree: the small piercing eyes, high cheekbones, large mouth, protuberant and hanging lips, are
iS^ J
No. 2—Portrait of Aw-bon-waish-kum.      .
strongly indicative of the race. This chief is a man of
great ingenuity and judgment. The sketch No. 3 is
that of a pipe carved by Awbonwaishkum out of a dark-
coloured stone, his only tools being an old knife and
broken file. I leave it to antiquaries to explain how
the bowl of this pipe happens to bear so striking a
resemblance to the head of the Egyptian sphynx. I
questioned Ambonwaishkum as to whether he knew of
any tradition connected with the design, but the only
explanation he could offer was, that his forefathers had
made similar pipes with the same shaped head for the
li I
bowl, and that he therefore supposed the model had
always existed among the Indians.
Strolling one evening in the vicinity of the camp,
I heard the sound of some musical instrument, and upon
approaching the performer, who was lying under a
No. 3—Indian Pipe.
tree, I found that he was playing on an instrument
resembling a flageolet in construction, but much softer
in tone. This instrument is principally used by lovers,
who play for hours in the vicinity of their mistress's
lodge. I have often listened with pleasure to this music,
as its simple and plaintive notes stole through the stillness of the forest. The lover made no secret of his
object, but conversed with me freely upon the subject
of his love.
The Indians assemble annually at Manetouawning
from all parts of the shores of Lakes Huron, Nipissing,
and Superior, as well as from all the neighbouring islands. On the arrival of the presents, the Indians, male
and female, accompanied by their children, immediately
seated themselves in rows on the grass, each chief heading his own little band, and giving in their number and
names to Sigennok, who here appears in his proper
element, dividing the goods among them with great
impartiality.   He is really a very useful man.   His voice
fSTOTOrøsroqrøw^ Lut-a^xiu-X'A'^iX'X^V'^k'A'^'iJ'A^tt^AJkA^
:- 1
is heard everywhere above the universal din of tongues,
his native eloquence is unceasing, and seems to have
the effect of allaying every envious and unpleasant
feeling, and keeping all in good humour and proper
order. i
Among the numerous Indians assembled here, was
one that particularly attracted my attention from his
venerable and dignified appearance. In reply to my
inquiry, as to who he was, I learned that he was called
Shawwanossoway, or "One with his Face towards the
West," and that he was a great medicine-man, skilled
in the past, present and future. As I happened to lose,
some days previously, some articles from my tent, I
resolved for the sake of an introduction, and the gratification of my curiosity, to apply to the seer. On laying
my case before him, he told me that his power was of
no avail wherever the pale faces were concerned, and,
notwithstanding my offer of a very liberal remuneration, I could not prevail upon him to put his incantations
into practice. He had been, I was told, a celebrated
warrior in his youth, but that owing to a romantic incident, he had abandoned the tomahawk and scalping-
knife for the peaceable profession of the medicine-man,
or, in common parlance, the necromancer or conjuror, in
which he has obtained great repute among his people.
There dwelt many years before, on the shores of
one of the great lakes, a band of Ojibbeways. Among
them was a family consisting of a father and mother,
with a grown-up son and daughter, the latter named
Awh-mid-way, or, "There is music in her footsteps:"
she exceeded in beauty the rest of the tribe, and was
eagerly sought in marriage by all the young warriors of
her nation. It was not long before Muck-e-tick-enow,
or "Black Eagle," renowned for his prowess in battle
r    mi   i
■ ■■■ ■ i
and the chase, had, by his assiduities, won her undivided
affections; nor did she conceal from him this favourable
state of her feelings, but, in accordance with the customs of her people, she had unhesitatingly extinguished
the blazing bark which he had sent floating down the
stream that glided past her lodge, and thus acknowledged him as her accepted lover. Confident of possessing her heart, he directed all his endeavours to the propitiation of her parents, and eagerly sought how to
compensate them for the loss they would undergo in
relinquishing a daughter so dearly loved. For this
purpose he departed on a long and distant hunt, and
while straining every faculty of his mind and body in
collecting trophies and presents wherewith to conciliate
them, and show his entire devotion to the object of his
adoration, their evil destiny brought Shawwanossoway,
then a great war chief, in all the pride of manly
strength and vigour, to their camp, on his return from
a war excursion, in which he had greatly distinguished
himself, and spread his fame far and wide, as the terror
of his enemies and the boast of his friends.
Having heard of the transcendent charms of Awh-
mid-way, he presented himself before her, girded with
the scalps of his enemies, and loaded with other trophies
of victory. No sooner did he behold her, than, overcome
by her charms, he devoted himself to her service and
endeavoured by every art that the most passionate love
could dictate, to win her regard. He recounted the
numerous battles he had won, the enemies he had slain:
he displayed the reeking scalps he had torn from the
defeated enemy,—warriors who had been the terror of
his nation: he named the many chiefs who had sued to
him for peace, and at the same time plied every artifice
to win the good-will of her parents, who, proud of what
■aHTOra^R»»s»-gss^^ Helmut xixilux'XW»x X'T"VK^i*!4VAl*lMMMA
they considered their daughter's superb conquest, listened to him with delight, and urged her, by every
persuasive argument, to accept so distinguished a chief
as her husband, expatiating on the honour such an
alliance would confer on their family. Constant, however, to her first love, she turned a deaf ear to all the
protestations of his rival, whose tales of conquest and
bloody trophies only excited her abhorrence.
But, nothing daunted, and determined to win her,
either by fair means or by foul, Shawwanossoway persevered in his suit, trusting to time and accident to attain
his object. The poor girl, now made truly wretched by
his undeviating persecution, accompanied by the menaces of her parents, who were determined to conquer
what they regarded as the rebellious obstinacy of their
child, at length came to the resolution of appealing to
the generosity and honour of her persecutor, and, in the
hope of propitiating his forbearance, in an evil hour she
confessed her long-cherished affection for Muck-e-tick-
enow. He no sooner discovered the cause of her rejection of his suit, than rage and jealousy took full
possession of his heart, and plans of vengeance rapidly
succeeded each other, until he decided on the assassination of his rival. Having learned from his unsuspecting charmer the route her lover had taken, he tracked
him, and came up with his camp, and, concealing himself from observation, crawled towards the fire, where
his victim sat alone preparing his evening repast, and
shot him from behind a tree. Hiding the body among
some brushwood, he took possession of the game of his
murdered rival as a means of accounting for his own
absence, and hastened back to the village, where he
renewed his suit more ardently than before, to the utter
disappointment and distress of Awh-mid-way who still WANDERINGS OF AN ARTIST
rejected all his overtures with indignation, until, urged
by the positive commands and threats of her parents,
she at last, hoping by some artifice still to put off the
evil day, consented to name a time when she would
receive him as her husband, trusting that her lover
would in the meantime return and rescue her from the
impending sacrifice, and concealing, as well as she could,
her increasing aversion to her persecutor.
The dreaded day at last, however, arrived, but no
lover of course returned. Little did she think that his
mangled remains had fallen a prey to the ravenous beasts
of the forest—for still hope fondly directed her gaze
in the direction she had seen him take at his departure,
when all was sunshine and prospective happiness. With
aching eyes and a bursting heart she saw the evening
approach that was to bind her irrevocably to one she
The bridal canoe which, according to the Indian
custom, had been prepared with all the necessary stores
to convey the betrothed pair on a month's excursion
together, which is, in fact, the only marriage ceremony,
was already lying upon the beach. Night had come—
the nuptial feast was prepared—the last she was to partake of in her father's lodge—when lo! the bride was
missing, and consternation usurped the place of gaiety
in the bridal throng. Eagerly did they seek her with
torches and shouts through the neighbouring forests,
but no answering sound met their ears, although the
search was continued with untiring eagerness till daylight. Then, for the first time, it was discovered that
the bridal canoe was gone, and, concluding that the
bride had availed herself of it to aid her escape, Shaw-
wanossoway, accompanied by her brother, started in
pursuit on foot, following the direction of the shore.
J      ,1    . at *"K WHMia,l % WWAt 4 ålAé.'
After proceeding for several hours, they caught sight
of the canoe and its fair occupant in the distance. Increasing their speed, they reached a point which the
canoe must necessarily pass round. Here the lover
swam out, hoping to intercept it. In vain did he
endeavour, by every means he could devise, to induce
her to stop and take him on board. Defeated by her
resolute refusal and the vigour and skill with which she
plied her paddle, he was obliged to reliquish the pursuit
and return to the shore. He had scarcely landed, when
a violent storm, accompanied with thunder, lightning,
and heavy rain, compelled the pair to encamp for the
night. Notwithstanding the tempest, she continued
her efforts until the shades of night hid her from their
view. The clouds dispersed with the dawning day, and
they continued their pursuit until they at length espied
the canoe lying on the shore. Thinking they had at
last attained their object, they quickened their steps;
but, on coming up to it, they encountered a troop of
wolves, and their horror may well be conceived on discovering the remains of the being they loved almost
wholly devoured, and only to be recognized by her torn
and scattered garments. With aching hearts, they carefully gathered the cherished remains, and, placing them
in the canoe, returned to the camp, where she was wept
and mourned over for many weeks by her disconsolate
relatives and friends, and buried with all the ceremonies
of her tribe.
It was evident that the heavy storm had driven the
canoe ashore, and it is probable that her materials for
kindling a fire having become soaked with water, she
had been debarred the only means of protecting herself
from these ravenous animals.
Shawwanossoway was so much grieved at the misery
which his ungovernable passions had brought upon the
object of his warmest love, that he formed the resolution of abandoning his warlike pursuits; and, throwing
up the tomahawk to the Great Spirit, that it might be
employed only as an instrument of justice, he took
in its stead the rattle of the medicine-man; nor did he
ever after act inconsistently with his altered character.
Six miles from Manetouawning is another village
called Wequimecong, comprising fifty or sixty houses,
and a Catholic mission with a church. I made a sketch
of the principal chief, named Asabonish, "the Racoon,"
and his daughter. He belongs to the tribe of Ahtawwah
Indians. This tribe is now scarcely distinct from the
Ojibbeways, with whom they have numerously intermarried, and speak the same language. The Indians
of this village subsist chiefly on salmon and white fish,
which they take in such quantities as to be able to barter
away a surplus beyond their own wants for other necessaries. The inhabitants also make abundance of maple
sugar, which they sell to the traders; nor are they so
very deficient in agricultural skill and industry, having,
under the able and kind guidance of the missionary,
cultivated many patches of wheat, corn, and potatoes, as
well as erected a neat little church.
While I was at Manetouawning, the successor of
Mr. Anderson, Captain Ironsides, arrived there; and
as he was a half-breed and chief of the Wvandots, I
have introduced him among my Indian sketches. His
name signifies, "walk in the water:" he is a descendant
of Tecumseh, and uses the same to-tem, a turtle, each
Indian family having a sort of heraldic device, which
they use as a signature on important occasions. Sometimes a family passing through the woods will cut a
chip out of a tree, and mark their to-tem on the fresh
:re^ra:-*s-*s*i^stt^^^^ ■■■- ■ aiwix-xmx x'T 'WKXW* *'W4#*tå> 3KA4
surface, so that the next may know who passed; or
should a chief wish to send to a post for any articles,
he draws the articles on a piece of birch-bark, and puts
his to-tem, a fox, a dog, a bear, or whatever it may be,
at the bottom; these are perfectly well understood, and
answer every purpose of a written order.
I remained at the Manitoulin Island for a fortnight,
parting with Mr. Dillon, who returned in the schooner
that brought the presents. I left for the Sault Ste.
Marie on board the steamer "Experiment," a Government vessel; Captain Harper, who commanded, kindly
taking my canoe on board, and giving me a passage.
At the Sault Ste. Marie I made the acquaintance of Mr.
Ballantyne, the gentleman in charge of the Hudson's
Bay Company's Post, who was exceedingly kind. He
strongly advised me against attempting to penetrate
into the interior, except under the auspices of the Company, representing it as almost impossible and certainly
very dangerous; but urged me to apply to Sir George
Simpson, the Governor of the Company at Lachine,
who, he thought, when aware of the object I had in view,
would send me forward with the spring brigade of
canoes next year. Hoping that, by following this
advice, I should be able to travel further, and see more
of the wilder tribes, I determined upon confining my
travels for the present to a mere summer campaign.
I wæsmt
Chapter II
i ■
Mackinaw, the "Turtle Island"—Famished Dogs—The Chief He-Devil—
Green Bay, a Commercial Port—Consolation in Sorrow—An Indian
Council—Gambling Habits—Illicit Traffic in Spirits—Anecdote of
Revenge—A Young Assassin—Day of Reckoning—Scenes of Drunkenness.
As it is my intention to speak of the Sault Ste. Marie
in my next trip, I will pass over any mention of it here.
After remaining a few days, I embarked on board a
steamer for Mackinaw, a distance of ninety miles,
There I found a large band of Indians to the number
of 2600, who had come from all quarters to receive their
pay of $25,000 for land ceded to the United' States;
these Indians were also Ojibbeways and Ottawas. On
arriving among them, I at once pitched my tent in their
midst, and commenced to sketch their most remarkable
personages. I soon had to remove my tent, from the
circumstance that their famishing dogs, which they
kept for the purpose of hunting and drawing their sleds
in winter, contrived to carry off all my provisions, and
seemed likely to serve me in the. same way. This will
appear by no means improbable, when I state that,
while I was one evening finishing a sketch, sitting on
the ground alone in my tent, with my candle stuck in
the earth at my side, one of these audacious brutes unceremoniously dashed in through the entrance, seized the
burning candle in his jaws and bolted off with it, leaving me in total darkness.
The next day, as I approached my tent, I saw a dog
running away from it, and thinking it probably the
same rascal that had stolen my candle, I thought to
inflict summary justice upon the marauder, and fired
the contents of my pistol into his carcase.   Beyond my
W»T^^X^**^ k_
expectations, which had only been to wound, I saw that
I had killed him, and was immediately assailed with a
demand, from the owner of the dog and his wife, for
payment for the loss of his services, which I agreed to
liquidate on their paying me for the losses I had sustained in hams and other provisions which their dog
had stolen from me. Hereupon they balanced accounts,
and considered that we were about even, giving me an
invitation to join them at supper, and partake with them
of the slaughtered animal, in which operation I afterwards saw them happily engaged.
The Indian name of the island is Mitchi-mac-inum,
or "the Big Turtle," to which animal it bears a strong
resemblance in form when seen from a certain point.
It is situated in the straits between Lakes Huron
and Michigan; it contains some picturesque spots, one
in particular, a natural bridge, which all strangers visit.
There is a garrison on the island, consisting of a company of soldiers. The inhabitants support themselves
chiefly by fishing, the straits here yielding an immense
supply of large salmon and white fish. Many traders
assemble at Mackinaw, at the periods of payment,
bringing with them large quantities of spirituous liquors,
which they sell clandestinely to these poor creatures, it
being prohibited by Government; and many an Indian
who travels thither from a long distance returns to his
wigwam poorer than he left it, his sole satisfaction being
that he and his family have enjoyed a glorious bout of
I took the likeness of a chief named Mani-tow-wah-
bay, or "He-Devil." He anxiously inquired what I
wanted the likeness for. In order to induce him to sit,
I told him that they were going home to his great
mother, the Queen.   He said that he had often heard of
i f^A.   (,'A ^W.'YZ*
her, and was very desirous of seeing her, and that had
he the time and means, he would pay her a visit. It
pleased him much that his second self would have an
opportunity of seeing her. He told me, with much pride
that he had been a successful warrior, and had taken
nine scalps in his warfare. He was very fond of liquor,
and, when under its influence, was one of the most
violent and unmanageable among them.
Having remained at Mackinaw for three weeks, I
left for Green Bay, which is well situated for a commercial port, and must eventually become a place of importance, from the rich farming country in its vicinity; but
owing to over speculation in every way in the years
1836 and 1837, it has been paralysed, and houses might
now be obtained for the keeping them in repair. Here
I amused myself with shooting snipe, which are met
with in abundance. In about a week I left in company
with three gentlemen going to Fox River to see the
Manomanee Indians, who were now assembling to
receive their payment for lands sold to the United States
Government in the vicinity of Lake Winebago. We
embarked in my little canoe, and proceeded up stream,
arriving on the second night about 11 o'clock at an
Indian log-house on the shore of Lake Winebago, or,
"Muddy Lake." Two Indian girls, sisters, reside here
alone. I remained with them the next day, and took
their likenesses; the elder was named Iwa-toke, or,
"the Serpent," the younger was called Ke-wah-ten,
"the North Wjnd." We then proceeded up the lake to
Fox River, entering which we found an Indian trading-
house, round about which a number of idlers were
pledging everything they possessed for liquor, under
the influence of which dozens were lying about in a state
of beastly intoxication.
^TOarøawwarare^ k! x-x VM mX K.*' W* AAK44"!J
An Indian called Wah-bannim, or, "the White
Dog," sat to me for his likeness. He was in mourning
for his wife, who had died some three months before;
the mourning suit consisting of a coat of black paint
with which he had smeared his face. He apologized for
not appearing in full mourning costume to have his
likeness taken, lamenting that a part of the paint had
worn off; he was eagerly seeking to obtain whisky to
console him for his loss. We gladly quitted this disgusting scene of dissipation, and continued our course
No. 4—Spearing by torch-light on Fox River.
up the monotonous stream.    After paddling for two
days, we reached the Monomanee camp.
The evening previous to our arrival, we saw some
Indians spearing salmon; by night, this has always a
very picturesque appearance, the strong red glare of
the blazing pine knots and roots in the iron frame, or
light-jack, at the bow of the canoe throwing the naked
j— SI
figures of the Indians into wild relief upon the dark
water and sombre woods. Great numbers of fish are
killed in this manner. As the light is intense, and being
above the head of the spearsman, it enables him to see
the fish distinctly at a great depth, and at the same time
it apparently either dazzles or attracts the fish. In my
boyish days I have seen as many as a hundred light-
jacks gliding about the Bay of Toronto, and have often
joined in the sport. This, I suppose, gave me additional
interest in the scene; and although very tired with my
long day's paddling, I sat down by the fire, and while
my companion was cooking some fish in a moh-cock,
Indian fashion (for we had lost our kettle), I made the
sketch No. 4.
Here we found about 3000 Indians assembled anxiously awaiting the arrival of the agent with their money;
there was also a large number of traders collected, all
busily occupied in the erection of booths for the display
of their finery. In about a week the bank of the river
wore the aspect of a little town; the booths, placed in
rows, presented a scene of bustle and animation: the
finery was, of course, all displayed to the best advantage
on the outsides of the booths. On the arrival of the
Indian agent a council was immediately called in a place
erected for the occasion, in which thirty chiefs assembled.
I attended in compliance with an invitation I had received from the head chief, Oscosh, or, "the Bravest of
the Brave."
He opened the council by lighting a pipe, and handing it to all present, each person taking a whiff or two,
and passing it to the next. The mingling clouds of
smoke raised by each are supposed to ascend to the Great
Spirit, in token of the harmony that pervades the
assembly, and to attest the purity of their intentions.
:WflrearerawMras«^ rap^yamuaPVA * x."a a»* A 4 x,' *^
After this ceremony the main business of the council
began: it almost exclusively consisted of complaints to
be forwarded to the Government. After several of the
minor chiefs had delivered their sentiments, Oscosh
himself rose, and spoke for about an hour, and a finer
flow of native eloquence—seasoned with good sense—
I never heard, than proceeded from the lips of this untutored savage. Although a small man, his appearance,
while speaking, possessed dignity; his attitude was
graceful, and free from uncouth gesticulation. He
complained of numerous acts of injustice which he supposed their great father, the President, could not possibly know, and which he desired might be represented
to him, through the agent, accompanied with a pipe-
stem of peace richly ornamented.
One of the grievances he specified was, that their
money passed through too many hands before it reached
them, and that a great part of it was thus lost to them.
He wound up his long harangue by descanting upon the
narrow limits in which they were pent up, which did not
allow them sufficient hunting grounds without encroaching upon the rights of other tribes. He said that, like
the deer chased by the dogs, they would have to take to
the water.
When Oscosh aspired to the dignity of head chief,
his election was opposed in the council by another chief,
who insisted on contesting the post of honour with him.
Oscosh replied, that as there could be only one head
chief, he was quite willing on the instant to settle the
dispute with their knives by the destruction of one or
the other. This proposal was declined, and his claim
has never since been disputed. This tribe is remarkably
partial to gaudy decorations, and ornament themselves
with great quantities of beads,  silver ornaments,  and
n-riTii»i ^^^^am^m^je^a^Mm^A
feathers.    This passion for display is confined chiefly
to the men.
They are much addicted to gambling, and I have
seen them commence playing, covered with highly-
prized decorations, which have gradually changed
hands, as the game proceeded, until its close has left the
original possessor without a blanket to cover him. The
principal despoilers of the Manomanees are the Potto-
wattomies, some of whom make it their business to visit
the Manomanee camp on a regular black-leg expedition
at the time the latter receive their Government pay, in
order to fleece them of whatever they can, and they
generally return home laden with booty. Liquor, whenever they can obtain it, is their chief bane, and lays them
more open to the fraudulent schemes of their despoilers.
I made a sketch of Coe-coosh, "the Hog," one of
these Pottowattomie black-legs, whom I saw intently
engaged in gambling. The introduction of spirits
among the Indians is, as before mentioned, prohibited
under severe penalties by the laws of the United States,
and with the greatest propriety, as an Indian, when
under its influence, is one of the most dangerous animals
in existence, and there being so few whites to control
them at the period of payment, we should have been in
no small danger of losing our lives had it been readily
I was myself, on this occasion, called up in the dead
of the night by the United States' marshal, who had
been commissioned to prevent its introduction among
them; he required my assistance, in common with all the
other whites on the spot, in order to make a search
throughout the camp to detect the person who was selling liquor, as some of the Indians were already drunk.
Having a suspicion that a half-breed was engaged in the
fSSTOWl^gywr^^ KM *>.«■ 'X'iXl'l>T A!* 'XrXi-lXJiA^'&lliM* '*A«lKH^j
illicit traffic, we all proceeded to his tent. Although we
plainly smelt the liquor in his tin pots, not a single keg
was to be found in spite of the most vigilant search,
carried even to the extent of digging up the earth in his
tent. When I was leaving the neighbourhood, I got him
to confess that he had sunk several kegs, with buoys
attached to them, in the middle of the river. By keeping
watch by turns through the night, it fortunately passed
over without mischief.
Among other Indians whose likeness I took, is that
of Kitchie-ogi-maw, or, "the Great Chief," a Manomanee, who was celebrated among his tribe for many
acts of daring, one of which was narrated to me by his
half brother: it occurred eight or ten years previously.
His maternal uncle, who was then at Mackinaw,
chanced to be present in a grocery store, where ardent
spirits were sold, when two soldiers entered, one of
whom treated him with so much indignity, that, seizing
him in his powerful grasp, and being the stronger and
more active man, he threw the soldier down with great
violence on the ground upon his back, and planting his
knee upon his breast, assured him that he would do him 55*
no further injury, if he would behave himself properly.
This assurance given in his own language, was, unfortunately, not understood by either of the soldiers; jSj
the second of whom, seeing his comrade in the power of
a savage, and his life, as he thought, in peril, instantly
drew his side-arms and stabbed the ill-fated Indian to
the heart.   No punishment of any importance followed Cw
the commission of this crime; the offender was merely
sent away from Mackinaw to escape the vengeance of
the relatives of the murdered man.
A year or two subsequently to this unhappy occurrence, as two white men, a Mr. dayman and a Mr.
1 $
1 1
yU^X+ååtu^mm»—-— i _____mmm__m__mM
i 'itWMJ
Burnett, were coming down the Fox River in a canoe,
they chanced to pass the lodge of Kitchie-ogi-maw's
father, the brother-in-law of the deceased Indian, who,
with his family, was camped on the banks of the river.
They were noticed by the squaw, the dead man's sister,
who called to her husband that now had arrived the
opportunity of revenging her brother's death, and that
it was his duty, as a man, not to let so good a chance
escape him; but her husband, unwilling to risk so
hazardous an encounter without other aid than that of
his son, Kitchie-ogi-maw, then a stripling of only fourteen years, hesitated to comply with her request. On
which, in order to show her contempt of what she considered his pusillanimity, she hastily divested herself of
the breech cloth usually worn by Indian women, and,
throwing it insultingly in his face, told him to wear it,
for that he was no man. The husband, stung by the
opprobrious imputation, caught up his gun, and commanded his son to follow him. The boy declined having any concern in killing the white men, but consented
to accompany him for his protection.
The two Americans had now landed and were preparing their camp for the night; one of them was upon
his knees engaged in kindling a fire, the other approaching at a distance with an armful of wood; the father
raised his gun, but dropped it again to his side in evident agitation, the boy thereupon turned to him, saying, "Father, you tremble too much; give me the gun,
and let me do it," and, taking the weapon from his
father's hands, he approached the kneeling man from
behind, and shot him dead; the other one, hearing the
report and catching sight of the Indians, threw down
the wood he had collected and ran for his life; the boy
seeing a double-barrelled gun lying on the ground near
IMWMMMMMMJWBjtt- jMJMMMMUHH l|||Jlj,,,||H^gM^^M^g|^J^^^^^||] L.iiiiii^n ay Kxvx%y±**lA&AF
the man he had killed, seized it and followed the fugitive,
telling his father to assist in the pursuit, as if this man
escaped they might be punished through his evidence
for killing the other.
The father was unable to keep up with the boy, who
gained on the white man, and, when within twenty or
thirty yards of him, took aim and endeavoured to fire;
but being unused to the double trigger, and not having
cocked both locks, he pulled the wrong one: determined
to make sure of his next aim, he cocked both and pulled
the two triggers together; part of the charge entered the
victim's shoulder, but the recoil of the two barrels going
off at once, knocked the boy backwards on the ground.
He was, however, only stunned for the moment, and
soon recovered his feet; drawing his scalping knife, the
young assassin continued his pursuit of the now almost
exhausted man, who, in endeavouring to leap over a log
lying on the ground, stumbled and fell.
The bloody young wretch now made sure of his
victim, and before the latter could recover his feet, had
come up within a few yards of him. The white man
seeing that the youngster was alone, and the father not
within sight, faced his pursuer, armed likewise with a
knife, and resolved to grapple with him. But the boy
dexterously kept out of his reach, dodging him round
the fallen log, until his father should come up when
they could unitedly overpower him. The wounded
fugitive having now recovered breath, and noticing the
father in the distance, took to flight once more, dogged
by his indefatigable tormentor, and continued his speed
till the morning dawned, when he fell in with some
friendly Indians, who protected him and dressed his
wounds, none of which were mortal; they supplied all
his wants, until he was strong enough to return to his
1 It
home. Kitchie-ogi-maw now deemed it the safest plan
to keep away from any of the White Settlements, and he
continues still to observe the same precaution.
I found some Indians of the Winebago tribe at the
camp on a visit. The word Winebago signifies "dirty
water;" and they are so called from living on the margin
of a lake of that name. They are easily distinguished
from other tribes, as they have the custom of pulling
out their eyebrows.
I took the likeness of their chief, Mauza-pau-Kan,
or the "Brave Soldier." I remained here for three
weeks, and received much kindness and attention from
the Manomanees. Hearing that I was taking sketches
of the most noted Indians in the camp, a fellow named
Muck-a-ta paid me a visit. He was one of the most
ill favoured of any that had been the subjects of my
pencil, and by all accounts his physiognomy did not
belie his character.
The Indians had no sooner received their money
than a scene ensued that baffles description. Large
quantities of liquor immediately found their way into
the camp from some unknown quarter, and the sad
effect was almost instantaneous. There was scarcely
a man, woman, or child, old enough to lift the vessel to
its mouth, that was not wallowing in beastly drunkenness; and we gladly availed ourselves of the arrival of
a small steamer that plies on Lake Winebago and the
Fox River to make our escape from the disgusting and
dangerous scene of singing and dancing and fighting
going on around us. We disembarked at a place called
"Fond du Lac," where we hired a waggon, and crossed
over to the Sheboygan on Lake Michigan, and embarked
on board another steamer for Buffalo, which I left again
on the 30th of November and arrived the day following
at Toronto.
flf»:ææ^^wagrara^sL«3^^ iw>ui±^L^^^urxi4^^AK'li\AA-^iiAKAév
Chapter III
Sir George Simpson—My Start—Difficulties of the Route—The Sault Ste.
Marie—The "White Fish" and "Thunder Point"—A Day behind the
Fair—Pulling against Stream—Mangeurs du Lard—The Lost Man's
Portage—The Blanket of the Dead—A Compliment from Sir George—
Running from a Bear.
In the ensuing March I repaired to Lachine to seek
an interview with Sir George Simpson. Having exhibited to him the sketches which I had made, and
explained the nature of the objects which I had in view,
Sir George entered cordially into my plans; and, in
order to facilitate them, ordered a passage in the spring
brigade of canoes.
Accordingly on the 9th of May, 1846,1 left Toronto
in company with Governor Simpson for the Sault Ste.
Marie, in order to embark in the brigade of canoes
which had left Lachine some time previously, taking
the route of the Ottawa and Lake Huron.
On my arrival at Mackinaw in the evening, I was
informed by the master of the steamboat that he would
not leave until 9 o'clock next morning. Trusting to
this assurance, I went on shore for the night; but on
coming down to the wharf on the following day, I found
that the vessel with Sir George Simpson had departed
about twenty minutes previously. This was indeed a
damper of no ordinary magnitude, as, should I fail in
seeing Sir George before he left the Sault, I should not
be able to accompany the canoes. I was aware, likewise,
that the governor would not remain longer than a few
hours; but how to overtake him was the difficulty, as
no boat would leave for four days.
Determined, however, not to be disappointed in my
proposed expedition, I used every exertion to procure
a mode of conveyance. Walking along the beach, I saw
a small skiff lying, and having found the owner, inquired
if I could hire it, and whether there was any chance of
procuring a crew. The man strongly advised me not
to attempt such a perilous voyage, as it was blowing
hard, and that it was not in mortal power to reach the
Sault by daylight next morning. Resolved, however,
to make the attempt, I at length succeeded in chartering
the skiff and engaging a crew, consisting of three boys,
the eldest being under nineteen years of age. It must be
added that they were all well acquainted with boating.
The striplings held'out no hopes of being able to accomplish the undertaking within the given time, and were
only induced to make the attempt by the offer of a high
reward. Thus, in a tiny skiff, with a blanket for a sail,
and a single loaf of bread along with a little tea and
sugar for stores, we launched out in the lake to make
a traverse of forty-five miles.
The wind being favourable, the boat shot ahead with
tremendous rapidity, but the danger was imminent and
continuous from the moment we left the shore until we
reached the mouth of the river of Ste. Marie, which we
did at sunset.
Here we remained about twenty minutes, and discussed our tea and bread with appetites sharpened to
intensity. But now commenced another difficulty, the
navigation of forty-five miles of a river with which we
were totally unacquainted, in a dark night against the
current and through a channel dotted with numerous
islands. All this was to be accomplished by daylight, or
the toil and anxiety would be of no avail.
We however set forth unflinchingly; and after a
night of the most violent exertion, after running into all
sorts of wrong places and backing out again, after giving
j^rostsæ^x.^^^ JV-A'-U.,A*tX"4A«A>
up half a dozen times in despair, and as often renewing
the struggle, our exertions were crowned with success.
When morning dawned, there lay the eagerly looked-for
steamer not two miles from us.
On getting up in the morning, Sir George Simpson
was astonished at seeing me; and his amazement was not
lessened when he learned the mode of my conveyance
The voyage on no former occasion had been performed
in so short a time under corresponding circumstances,
and to this day the undertaking is still talked of as a
rather notable adventure in Mackinaw and the Sault.
The Sault Ste. Marie is situated at the lower extremity of Lake Superior, where it debouches into the
river Ste. Marie, in its course to Lake Huron: having
in this part of the river a considerable fall, for about a
mile and a half in length, it soon becomes a foaming
torrent, down which, however, canoes, steered by practised guides, ordinarily descend safely, although with
terrific violence. Sometimes, indeed, the venture is fatal
to the bark and its occupants. A short time before our
arrival on the present occasion, a canoe, in running down
the rapid, had struck upon a sunken rock that made
a hole through her bottom. She instantly filled, but,
owing to the extreme buoyancy of the birch-bark these
canoes are made of, the men, by balancing themselves
adroitly in her, and squatting up to their necks in the
water, thereby lessening their weight materially, were
enabled to steer her with safety down the foaming billows, and run her on the shore in an eddy at the foot of
the rapids.
I took a sketch of the rapids alluded to, from the
American side. There is a small town called the Sault
Ste. Marie, on the American side, containing 700 or 800
inhabitants, with a well-built garrison, prettily situated
ri  Tur	 ps*7
;&yw&& '-'irmtm*.
on the river's bank. On the Canadian side, about half
a mile direct across, the Hudson's Bay Company have
a trading establishment, and the Customs House officer,
Mr. Wilson, a tolerably handsome house. With these
two exceptions, the British side presents to the traveller
a collection of poor miserable hovels, occupied solely
by half-breeds and Indians. In strolling among these
hovels, I made a sketch of a good-looking half-breed
girl, whose sudden appearance, emerging from such a
wretched neighbourhood, took me by surprise.
As the brigade of canoes had passed up two days
before my arrival at the Sault, and Sir George's canoes
were too heavily laden, he was unable to give me a
passage. My only alternative was to wait until the
"White Fish," a small schooner belonging to the Company, and lying at the upper end of the portage, was
unloaded, and trust to the chance of her intercepting
the canoes at Fort William. This was very doubtful,
depending, as it entirely did, upon the wind; but I had
no alternative. Sir George had embarked on the 14th
in his canoe, leaving me to follow in the way above
named. It took four days to unload the schooner, so
that she was not ready to leave before the 20th of May,
We had a fair wind at starting, which continued until
the night of the 23rd, when it came to blow a gale off
"Thunder Point." The night being very dark, we were
apprehensive of driving on the rocks at the base of this
formidable mountain—Thunder Point, as it is called,
being in fact, a perpendicular rock of twelve to fifteen
hundred feet high. Seeing it, as I then did, for the
first time, by the glare of the almost incessant flashes of
lightning, it presented one of the grandest and most
terrific spectacles I had ever witnessed. As our crew
consisted of only two men, I was under the necessity of
æg»xgæsa&^g^^ mim.-»x^^^^jc^a^JV^4i>,'AkKJJIA*^JkAfa^^
assisting to work the vessel, so that all hope of a comfortable sleep in my warm hammock had to be abandoned, and I was obliged to remain the whole night on
At daybreak we succeeded in rounding this dangerous point, and soon passed El Royal, which island
is supposed to contain valuable mineral wealth, and cast
anchor near the mouth of the Kaministiquia River,
which we ascended about two miles to Fort William in
a small boat. This fort, during the existence of the
North-west Company, was one of considerable importance as a depot for all the trade carried on in furs, &c.
This importance it has lost, in consequence of the goods
which formerly passed by the route of Lake Superior
now passing by Hudson's Bay since the two rival companies have merged into one; but as it possesses the best
land in the vicinity of Lake Superior, it might still be
made a place of much consideration in an agricultural
point of view.
On delivering my letter of introduction to Mr. Mackenzie, the gentleman in charge of the fort, I learned,
to my great disappointment, that the brigade had passed
up the river the day before. I was compelled, in this
dilemma, to trespass on the kindness of this gentleman
for the supply of a light canoe and three men, in order
to overtake them if possible before they reached the
mountain portage, forty miles in advance. In the course
of half an hour, thanks to Mr. Mackenzie's kindness, we
were straining at the paddles, and, ten hours afterwards,
had the satisfaction of coming up with the brigade about
thirty-five miles from our starting point.
I found a gentleman named Lane in charge of the
brigade, which consisted of three canoes with eight men
in each.   We all camped immediately, and at 3 o'clock
next morning were again en route in our canoes. These
are constructed of the bark of the birch tree, and are
about twenty-eight feet long and four to five feet beam,
strong, and capable of carrying, besides their crew of
eight men, twenty-five pieces; but at the same time so
light as to be easily carried on the shoulders of two men.
All goods taken into the interior, and all peltries
brought out, are made into packs of 90 lbs. each, for the
purpose of easy handling at the frequent portages and
discharges; these packs are called pieces.
After pulling our canoes up a rapid current, we
arrived about 8 o'clock at the mountain portage, whose
falls surpass even those of Niagara in picturesque
beauty; for, although far inferior in volume of water,
their height is nearly equal, and the scenery surrounding
them infinitely more wild and romantic. Whilst the
men were engaged in making the portage, I took advantage of the delay to make a sketch.
I have since been informed that the large flat rock
which divided the torrent in the centre has fallen in.
The interruption thus caused by the falls is about two
miles of very steep ascent, up which the men have to
carry the canoes and baggage, the former on their
shoulders, the latter on their backs, by means of what
is technically named a portage-strap, both ends of which
are attached to the load of two pieces, while the middle
of the strap goes round the forehead, which thus supports the principal part of the burden. The men who
usually work this brigade of canoes are hired at Lachine,
and are called by the uncouth names of Mangeurs du
Lard, or pork-eaters, among the old hands in the interior, to whom they are unequal in encountering the difficulties incident to a voyage from Lachine to the mouth
of the Columbia, whither some of them are sent, and
■ ■^li'.vai ^zk^u'AAf^'A^^iA^'AKiSlAÆ^^AåiA^i
become almost skeletons by the time they reach their
destination, through the unavoidable privations and
hardships they have to undergo.
Launching our canoes again, we proceeded for about
a mile, and made another portage called "The Lost
Men's Portage," owing to three men having lost themselves in the woods in crossing it. I very nearly met with
the same fate myself; for, having gone up to the rapids
to take a sketch, I endeavoured, when I had finished, to
find my way back, and spent two hours in an unsuccessful attempt to gain the path. I then fortunately thought
of discharging my fowling-piece as a signal, and had
the pleasure of immediately hearing an answering shot,
which guided my steps to the party who were anxiously
awaiting my return to embark.
Proceeding a few miles up the .stream, we reached
the "Pin Portage," so called from the rocks over which
we had to carry the canoes being so sharp as actually to
cut the feet of the men, who usually go barefooted or
only wearing light mocassins. We made, in all, six
portages in one day, viz., "Ecarté," "Rose Decharge,"
and "De l'lsle," and the three before named, travelling
a distance of forty-three miles: the current was so impetuous, even where we could avail ourselves of our
canoes, that the men found the greatest difficulty in
forcing up against it with poles.
On the 26th of May we journeyed tweny-six miles,
making the following portages and discharges, viz.:—
"Recousi Portage," "Couteau Portage," "Belanger
Decharge," "Mauvais Decharge," "Tremble Decharge,"
"Penet Decharge," "Maitre Portage," "Little Dog
Portage," "Dog Portage," and the "Big Dog Portage;" the latter affords a splendid view from its summit of the Kaministaqueah River, meandering in the
mtmmmåmm ''jLi'AP'Æ'
m  I
distance, as far as the eye can reach, through one
of the loveliest valleys in nature. This view I
wished much to have sketched but time is of so
much importance in the movement of these brigades,
that I did not consider myself justified in waiting.
The "Big Dog Portage" derives its name from an
Indian tradition that a big dog once slept on the summit,
and left the impression of his form on the highest point
of land, which remains to this present time. The length
of this portage is two miles; we camped at the upper
end; and while here I made a sketch of the fall, during
one of the heaviest showers of rain I ever experienced.
One of our Mangeurs du Lard presenting himself
at the camp fire in a handsome rabbit-skin blanket, was
asked by Mr. Lane where he had obtained it. He replied
that he had found it among the bushes. Mr. Lane,
knowing that it is customary among the Indians to
place offerings of all descriptions upon the graves of
their deceased relatives, first rendering them unserviceable to any evil disposed persons in this world, under
the idea that the Great Spirit will repair them on the
arrival of the deceased in the next, and that they hold
in the greatest abhorrence, and never fail to punish, any
one who sacrilegiously disturbs them, ordered him immediately to return to the place whence he took it, and
replace it exactly as he had found it, unless he wished
to have us all murdered. When the man understood
what he had done, he replaced the blanket immediately.
On the 27th, Sir George Simpson passed us with
bis two canoes, accompanied by his secretary Mr. Hopkins. Sir George only stopped a few minutes to congratulate me on my having overcome the difficulties of
my starting: he seemed to think that the perseverance
and determination I had shown augured well for my
^blgWaBg^SBfttSSBfla^ IML'MSWA A SK 'X"V-iiK'Ji^'AK'i!'A*,fAås,Aålåté-!i
future success, and as his canoes were much lighter and
better manned than ours, he passed on rapidly in
advance. As there were no more currents to overcome, the men this day threw away their poles as useless,
and started on a race with their paddles for about fifteen
miles through "Dog Lake" and entered "Dog River."
We now had to make a long portage of three miles over
a high mountain into a small lake. At the upper end
of this portage we again overtook Sir George, and were
invited to dine with him at the next, some four or five
miles further on, but we unluckily could not again come
up with him.
On inquiring the cause of some loud shouting that
I heard in the woods, I was told that some of our men
had surrounded a bear which had given them battle, but
that, unarmed as they were, they had deemed discretion the better part of valour, and sounded a retreat.
We camped on the banks of a small river. We had
hitherto stemmed against the stream of waters that
emptied itself into the Atlantic; but we had now reached
streams that flowed at a much more rapid rate, and
coursed on to Hudson's Bay. At the close of this day
we had accomplished a distance of thirty-three miles,
having made the following portages, viz.:—"Barriere
Portage," "Joudain Portage," and "Prairie Portage." Chapter IV
Four Miles of Swamp—Lake of a Thousand Isles—Virtue of a Silver Bullet—
A Wild Tale—Living One upon Another—The Great Medicine-Man—
A Timid "Little Rat"—A Caterpillar Plague—Butter in the Wilderness—
A Leap into the Grave—Going Down the Winnipeg—A Novel^Viameter.
May 28th—To-day we passed over one of the largest and most difficult portages in the whole route; it is
called the "Savan Portage;" it passes through about
four miles of swamp. It formerly had logs laid lengthwise, for the convenience of the men carrying the loads;
but they are now for the most part decayed, so that the
poor fellows had sometimes to wade up to the middle in
mud and water. In all, we made to-day about thirty
miles, including the following portages, viz.:—"Milieu
Portage" and "Savan Portage," from whence we went
twenty miles down the Savan River, and camped near
its mouth, where it empties into "Mille Lacs."
On the 29th, we passed through #ie Lake of the
Thousand Islands, thirty-six miles long, a name it well
deserves. The scenery surrounding us was truly beautiful; the innumerable rocky islands varying from
several miles in length to the smallest proportions, all
covered with trees, chiefly pine. This lake is filled with
innumerable ducks, which the Indians entice in the
following curious manner:—A young dog is trained by
dragging a piece of meat attached to a string up and
down the edge of the shore several times, and putting
the dog on the scent, who follows it rapidly, wagging
his tail. After the dog has followed it for some time, he
is given the meat; this is done repeatedly until the dog
will do so whenever he is ordered, and his motions attract the ducks  swimming  in the distance  to  within
Mlll^y^iK^^ BS« J!K BSK WAJK'ål % 'åi'WAk A
reach of the Indian, who lies concealed on the banks.
The flock of ducks is so crowded and numerous, that I
have known an Indian kill forty ducks by firing at them
whilst in the water, and rapidly loading and firing again
whilst the same flock was circling above his head. Our
first portage after leaving this lovely lake was "Portage
de Pente." We camped at the end of the next portage,
called "Little Discharge," having made a distance
altogether of fifty-six miles.
May SOth—We made an early start, reaching the
'Trench Portage" by breakfast-time. Here we lightened the canoes of the principal part of the baggage,
and carried it across the portage, a distance of three
miles, in order that we might be able to send the canoes
round by the river, which had now become very shallow,
to meet us at the further end of the portage. We camped
this evening at a small lake called Sturgeon Lake,
having come a distance of forty-eight miles, passing
"French Portage"" and "Portage de Morts."
May 31st—We passed down the "Riviére Maligne"
until we came to what are termed the First, Second, and
Third portages, and, making the portage "De l'lsle"
and "Du Lac," camped near "Lac la Croix Traverse,"
accomplishing a distance of only twenty-seven miles.
June 1st—We passed down the river "Macau,"
where there are some beautiful rapids and falls. Here
we fell in with the first Indians we had met since leaving
the Lake of the Thousand Islands; they are called
"Saulteaux," being a branch of the Ojibbeways, whose
language they speak with very slight variation. We
purchased from an Indian man and woman some dried
sturgeon. The female wore a rabbit-skin dress: they
were, as I afterwards learned, considered to be cannibals, the Indian term for which is Weendigo, or "One
=sÉH jJUi JJWtf'lUW
mu 11 iuiii imiii 111
who eats Human Flesh." There is a superstitious belief
among Indians that the Weendigo cannot be killed by
anything short of a silver bullet. I was informed, on
good authority, that a case had occurred here in which
a father and daughter had killed and eaten six of their
own family from absolute want. The story went on to
state, that they then some distance off in
the vicinity of an old Indian woman, who happened to
be alone in her lodge, her relations having gone out hunting. Seeing the father and daughter arrive unaccompanied by any other members of the family, all of whom
she knew, she began to suspect that some foul play had
taken place, and to feel apprehensive for her own safety.
By way of precaution, she resolved to make the entrance
to her lodge very slippery, and as it was winter, and the
frost severe, she poured water repeatedly over the
ground as fast as it froze, until it was covered with a
mass of smooth ice; and instead of going to bed, she
remained sittting up in her lodge, washing with an axe
in her hand. When near midnight, she heard steps
advancing cautiously over the crackling snow, and looking through the crevices of the lodge, caught sight of the
girl in the attitude of listening, as if to ascertain whether
the inmate was asleep; this the old woman feigned by
snoring aloud. The welcome sound no sooner reached the
ears of the wretched girl, than she rushed forward, but,
slipping on the ice, fell down at the entrance of the lodge,
whereupon the intended victim sprang upon the murderess and buried the axe in her brains: and not doubting but that the villainous father was near at hand, she
fled with all her speed to a distance, to escape his
vengeance. In the meantime, the Weendigo father,
who was impatiently watching for the expected signal
to his horrid repast, crept up to the lodge, and called to
&itt&&&3!i^XMm^M&VVlW\*VW ^»»^^■ti^^^^^>jtf«a^wa^!i:«'Jk"AlJlltA,-*Jk'>Mt(''j
his daughter; hearing no reply, he went on, and, in
place of the dead body of the old woman, he saw his own
daughter, and hunger overcoming every other feeling,
he saved his own life by devouring her remains.
The Weendigoes are looked upon with superstitious
dread and horror by all Indians, and any one known to
have eaten human flesh is shunned by the rest; as it is
supposed that, having once tasted it, they would do so
again had they an opportunity. They are obliged,
therefore, to make their lodges at some distance from
the rest of the tribe and the children are particularly
kept out of their way; however, they are not molested
or injured in any way, but seem rather to be pitied for
the misery they must have endured before they could
be brought to this state. I do not think that any Indian,
at least none that I have ever seen, would eat his fellow-
creature, except under the influence of starvation; nor
do I think that there is any tribe of Indians on the
North American continent to whom the word "cannibal" can be properly applied.
We traversed to-day a distance of forty-one miles,
passing four portages before entering Lake Meican,
which is nine miles long, to "Portage Neuf," entering
the "Lac la Pluie," where we camped; its name did not
seem inappropriate, for we were detained here two days
by the incessant torrents of rain that poured down. It
took us until the evening of the 4th to reach Fort
Frances, at the lower end of the lake, a distance of fifty
miles, where I found a letter from Sir George Simpson,
enclosing a circular.
There is a beautiful fall of water here within sight of
the fort, at the commencement of the river which runs
from Lac la Pluie to the Lake of the Woods. Vast
quantities of white fish and sturgeon are taken at the
foot of the rapids, with which our mess-table at the fort
was abundantly supplied; indeed, the chief food here
consists of fish and wild rice, with a little grain grown
in the vicinity of the fort, this being the first land I had
seen fit for agricultural purposes since I left Fort
William. We continued at the fort until the morning
of the 5th. There was a large camp of Saulteaux Indians
in the immediate vicinity: a considerable party of them
came to the estabhshment in the morning to see the
"great medicine-man" who made Indians, Mr. Lane
having given them to understand that my object in
travelling through the country was to paint their likenesses.
I applied to the head chief, Waw-gas-kontz, "the
Little Rat," to take his likeness, but was refused, on the
grounds that he feared something bad would result to
him; but after Iacaway, "the Loud Speaker," had sat
for his, Waw-gas-kontz seemed ashamed of his cowardice, and became very anxious to have it done, following
me down to the canoe. I had not time, however, to do
so; but I could not get rid of him until I promised to
take his likeness on my return.
June 5th—We left the fort at 10 this morning; the
rain continued all day, and obliged us to camp at 4 in
the afternoon, the distance we went being about thirty
June 6th—It was a remarkable fact that the trees
on each side of the river, and part of the Lake of the
Woods, for full 150 miles of our route, were literally
stripped of foliage by myriads of green caterpillars,
which had left nothing but the bare branches; and I was
informed that the scourge extended to more than twice
the distance I have named, the whole country wearing
&ms9Møæ&næ**3^ ■ ■■ ■.ijja.ux'in^ a.1 X'T' 'X'X'^XVU.'X JL X"A * '1 A A f?A{?
the dreary aspect of winter at the commencement of
As it was impossible to take our breakfast on land,
unless we made up our minds to eat them dropping incessantly as they did from the trees among our food,
and the ground everywhere covered with them en masse,
we were compelled to take it in our canoes. We met
some Indians, from whom we purchased seven fine
sturgeons, each weighing perhaps forty or fifty pounds.
We paid for the whole one cotton shirt. We next
entered the Lake of the Woods, and camped on a beautiful rocky island, having made fifty-three miles in one
June 7th—We passed through the above lake, sixty-
eight miles long. When passing a small island about
the middle of it, the steersman of my canoe put ashore
on this island, and running to a clump of bushes returned
with a small keg of butter, which he told us he had left
hidden, or, as they call it, en cache, the year before: it
proved an acquisition to our larder, although its age had
not improved its flavour. We next made the "Rat
Portage," at the foot of which is the fort, a small establishment where they were so badly supplied with provisions as to be able to afford us only two white fish. We
consequently thought it advisable to leave the place,
although late in the evening, and camped a few miles
lower down the Winnipeg River; having travelled
to-day a distance of seventy-two miles.
June 8th—We continued our course down the river
Winnipeg, which is broken by numerous beautiful
rapids and falls, being indeed one of the most picturesque
rivers we had passed in the whole route. Our bowsman
caught a pike, which in appearance had two tails, one at
each end; but we found on examination that the tail and i&>ri&*ar~-rVKri;,
% {..mrwyz*
part of the body of another fish or sucker, nearly as
large as himself, which he had tried to swallow, was
protruding from his mouth, evidencing the extreme
voracity of this species. We passed to-day a Catholic
missionary station called "Wabassemmung" (or White
Dog)» which, on my return, two years and a half afterwards, I found deserted, from the circumstance that the
Indians of this quarter did not prove very willing converts. We camped for the night a few miles below this
station, and still found the caterpillars before alluded
to extremely annoying, covering as they did completely
our blankets and clothing. We had passed the following places, viz.: "the Dalles," "Grand Decharge,"
"Terre Jaune Portage," "the Charrette Portage,"
"Terre Blanche Portage," "Cave Portage," and
Wabassemmung, a distance of seventy-one miles.
June 9th—We passed the "Chute de Jaques," so
called from a man thus named, who, being dared by one
of his companions to run his canoe over a fall of fifteen
or twenty feet, an exploit never attempted before or
since, unhesitatingly essayed the bold feat, and pushing
off his frail bark, jumped into it, and on rounding a
small island darted down the main sheet, his companions
meanwhile anxiously watching for his safety from the
shore. As might have been expected, he was dashed to
pieces and no more seen. We camped this evening,
after completing a distance of sixty miles, and making
the following portages, viz.: "Portage de l'lsle," "Chute
de Jaques," "Point des Bois" (the Indian name of this
fall is Ka-mash-aw-aw-sing, or "the Two Carrying-
Places") ; "Rochers Boules," "the Slave Falls," which
is the highest of all the falls of the Winnipeg River; I
never heard the reason of its bearing this name. At
"Barriere Portage" we found the black flies and mos-
rey<^^sg^^ ■ ■■*■■. mim^mi. iiiu A A'*1 'X'X WA.a )L X"A *'% A. .1
quitoes so annoying all night, as to deprive us entirely
of sleep.
June 10th—We ran three or four beautiful rapids
to-day in our canoes, the men showing great expertness
in their management, although so much risk attends
it that several canoes have been lost in the attempt. We
made about sixty miles to-day down the Winnipeg
passing the following places, viz.: the "Grand Rapid,"
six portages, all within sight of each other, and about
five miles in length inclusively: they are known collectively by the name of "The Six Portages"—the first and
second portage of the "Bonnet," "the Grand Bonnet,"
"Petits Rochers," and "Terre Blanche." We encamped
about a couple of miles below the rapids at 5 o'clock—
earlier than usual, as our canoes had received some little
injury and required repairs. It is usual to start every
morning between 3 and 4 o'clock and proceed till 8 for
breakfast, then continue steadily on until an hour before
dark, just so as to give the men time to prepare for the
night. The only rest allowed being at intervals of about
an hour, when all hands stop two or three minutes to fill
their pipes. It is quite a common way of expressing
the distance of one place to another to say that it is so
many pipes; and this, amongst those who have travelled
in the interior gives a very good idea of the distance.
The evening was very beautiful, and soon after we had
pitched our tents and lighted our fires, we were visited
by some Saulteaux Indians. As I had plenty of time,
I sketched the encampment. Our visitors, the clear
stream reflecting the brilliant sky so peculiar to North
America, the granite rocks backed by the rich foliage
of the woods with Indians and voyageurs moving about,
made a most pleasing subject.
- — ■- — - Chapter V
Fort Alexander—Mr. Lane—A Western Careejf—Value of Bark to the
Indian—The Medicine Lodge—A Double Shot—Fort Garry—The
Nearest Market Town—Red River Settlement—White Horse Plain—
Hunting the Buffalo.
June llih—We made an early start with a fine
breeze, filling our sail, and arrived at Fort Alexander
to breakfast, a distance of seventeen or eighteen miles
including three portages: "First Eau Qui Merit,"
"Second Eau Qui Merit," "Third Eau Qui Merit."
Fort Alexander is situated on Winnipeg River, about
three miles above where it disembogues into Lake Winnipeg, and has some good farming land in its vicinity.
I here took my farewell of Mr. Lane with great regret,
and left the brigade of canoes, which proceeded with
him to Norway House, on his route to Mackenzie River.
Mr. Lane had entered the Hudson's Bay Company's
service when very young, and having served for twenty-
six years, he became dissatisfied with the slowness of his
promotion, and determined to resign and return to
Ireland, his native land. However, on his return home,
he found himself lost in civilized life, and quite' unable
to occupy himself with any business pursuits there; and
when I met him, he was again in the employment of the
Company, at a lower salary than he had before received,
and was going to Mackenzie River, one of the most
remote and bleak posts in the whole region, accompanied
by his wife, a half-breed. The last that I heard of him
was that he had arrived at his post almost starved to
death, after travelling about 700 miles on snow-shoes
through the depth of winter.
Hearing that a camp of Indians lay within a few
^g-rf. w&v v 'R'.yt' <*%. i. mi' i. .x>ix su-x nu waum,1 Ml *"4 *m A 4 ^ Aé
miles, I requested a Mr. Setler, in charge of the establishment, to procure me a guide to them. I found it
indispensably necessary to wear a veil all the way, as
a protection from the mosquitoes, which I had never
before seen so numerous. I found a very large camp
of Saulteaux Indians assembled. They had a medicine
lodge erected in the centre of their encampment, to which
I at once directed my steps. It was rather an oblong
structure, composed of poles bent in the form of an
arch, and both ends forced into the ground, so as to
form, when completed, a long arched chamber, protected
from the weather by a covering of birch bark. This
bark is one of the most valuable materials that nature
supplies to the Red-man, as by its friendly aid he is
enabled to brave the inclemency of the weather on land,
and float lightly and safely over the vast inland seas
that so abound in his wild domain; and when any transient impediments present themselves to his using it on
water, so light is its weight, that he easily carries it on
his shoulder. Such also is its compactness and closeness
of texture, that he forms his culinary and other utensils
of it, and, as it is quite impervious to water, he is able,
by the aid of heated stones, to boil his fish in them. It
also serves for a material or papyrus on which to transmit his hieroglyphic correspondence.
On my first entrance into the medicine lodge (the
reader is already apprised of the mysterious meaning
the Indian attaches to the term "medicine") I found
four men, who appeared to be chiefs, sitting upon mats
spread upon the ground gesticulating with great violence, and keeping time to the beating of a drum. Something, apparently of a sacred nature was covered up in
the centre of the group, which I was not allowed to see.
They almost instantly   ceased   their   "pow-wow,"   or
■*•■ -■■-
music, and seemed rather displeased at my intrusion,
although they approached, and inquiringly felt the legs
of my fustian pantaloons, pronouncing me a chief on
account of their fineness.
On looking around me, which I now ventured to do,
I saw that the interior of their lodge or sanctuary was
hung round with mats constructed with rushes, to which
were attached various offerings consisting principally
of bits of red and blue cloth, calico, &c, strings of beads,
scalps of enemies, and sundry other articles beyond my
comprehension. Finding they did not proceed with
their "pow-wow," I began to think I was intruding,
and retired. But no sooner had I emerged from the
lodge, than I was surrounded by crowds of women and
children, whom nothing would satisfy short of examining
me from head to foot, following me in swarms through
the camp, not apparently with any hostile intentions,
but for the mere gratification of their curiosity. I
passed a grave surmounted with a scalp hung on a pole,
torn, doubtless, from an enemy by the warrior buried
beneath. I now returned to the fort, first engaging six
of the Indians to proceed with me to Red River. We
left at four o'clock in the afternoon in a small boat,
accompanied by Mr. Setler, and camped on the shore of
Lake Winnipeg.
June 12th—I wrote this part of my journal by the
light of a blazing fire in the above encampment, surrounded by my six painted warriors sleeping in the
front of the tent, their hideous faces gleaming in the
fire-light: a head wind all day had prevented our making
any great progress.
June 13th—We entered the mouth of the Red River
about 10 this morning. The banks of this river, which
here enters the lake, are for five or six miles low and
:roresyrawji^*«a^ LW.Hi.'UAUaUI»UJLj SHR 'ATX-IWAWA 3CT5
marshy. After proceeding up stream for about twenty
miles, we arrived at the Stone Fort, belonging to the
Company, where I found Sir George Simpson and
several of the gentlemen of the Company, who assemble
here annually for the purpose of holding a council for
the transaction of business. I remained here until the
15th, and left for the Upper Fort, about twenty miles
higher up. We rode on horseback, accompanied by Mr.
Peter Jacobs, Wesleyan Indian missionary, and arrived
there in about four hours, after a pleasant ride of eighteen or twenty miles through a considerable part of
Red River Settlement. Here there are a judge and a
court house. A Salteaux Indian was hung here last year
for shooting a Sioux Indian and another of his own
tribe at one shot, the ball having passed through the
Sioux and entered the Saulteaux's body: his intention
was to kill the Sioux only, with whom his tribe then was,
and had been from time immemorial, at war, so that
the killing of the Saulteaux was accidental. The country here is not very beautiful; a dead level plain with
very little timber, the landscape wearing more the
appearance of the cultivated farms of the old country
with scarcely a stick or stump upon it.
This settlement is the chief provision depot of the
Hudson's Bay Company, and it is also here that large
quantities of pemmican are procured from the half-
breeds, a race who, keeping themselves distinct from
both Indians and whites, form a tribe of themselves; and,
although they have adopted some of the customs and
manners of the French voyageurs, are much more
attached to the wild and savage manners of -the Redman. Fort Garry, one of the most important establishments of the Company, is erected on the forks of the
Red River and the Assiniboine, in long. 97° W., and in
,**>4m m
lat. 50° 6' 20" N., as will be seen in sketch No. 5. On
the opposite side of the river is situated the Roman
Catholic church, and two or three miles further down
there is a Protestant church. The settlement is formed
along the banks of the river for about fifty miles, and
extends back from the water, according to the original
grant from the Indians, as far as a person can distinguish
a man from a horse on a clear day.
No. 5—View at Red River Settlement.
Lord Selkirk first attempted to form a settlement
here in 1811, but it was speedily abandoned. A few
years afterwards several Scotch families, including some
from the Orkney Islands, emigrated under the auspices
of the Hudson's Bay Company, and now number about
3000, who live as farmers, in great plenty so far as mere
food and clothing are concerned. As for the luxuries
of life, they are almost unattainable, as they have no
market nearer than St. Paul's, on the Mississippi River,
a distance of nearly 700 miles over a trackless prairie.
attrearerawsregs^^ WtfJMJMk'A KW'AA"M*. AtVAé AX
The half-breeds are more numerous than the whites, and
now amount to 6000. These are the descendants of the
white men in the Hudson's Bay Company's employment
and the native Indian women. They all speak the Cree
language and the Lower Canadian patois; they are
governed by a chief named Grant, much after the manner of the Indian tribes. He has presided over them
now for a long period, and was implicated in the disturbances which occurred between the Hudson's Bay and
North-West Companies. He was brought to Canada
charged with the murder of Governor Semple, but no
sufficient evidence could be produced against him.
The half-breeds are a very hardy race of men, capable
of enduring the greatest hardships and fatigues: but
their Indian propensities predominate, and consequently
they make poor farmers, neglecting their land for the
more excitjng pleasures of the chase. Their buffalo hunts
are conducted by the whole tribe, and take place twice
a year, about the middle of June and October, at which
periods notice is sent round to all the families to meet
at a certain day on the White Horse Plain, about twenty
miles from Fort Garry. Here the tribe is divided into
three bands, each taking a separate route for the purpose of falling in with the herds of buffaloes. These
bands are each accompanied by about 500 carts, drawn
by either an ox or a horse. Their cart is a curious-looking vehicle, made by themselves with their own axes,
and fastened together with wooden pins and leather
strings, nails not being procurable. The tire of the
wheel is made of buffalo hide, and put on wet; when it
becomes dry, it shrinks, and is so tight, that it never falls
off, and lasts as long as the cart holds together.
II i
iTr IT — ''	 Chapter VI
Plain of Roses—A Desert Filter—Making Pemmican—Canine Camp-
followers—Dry Dance Mountain—Vigils of the Braves—Death at the
Feast—Successful Ambush—The Scalp Dance—A Hunter's Appetite—
The Grand Chase—Marking the Game-r-Head over Heels—Sketching
under Difficulties—A Troublesome Tenant.
I arrived at Fort Garry about three days after the
half-breeds had departed; but as I was very anxious to
witness buffalo hunting, I procured a guide, a cart for
my tent, &c., and a saddle horse for myself, and started
after one of the bands. We travelled that day about
thirty miles, and encamped in the evening on a beautiful
plain covered with innumerable small roses. The next
day was anything but pleasant, as our route lay through
a marshy tract of country, in which we were obliged to
strain through a piece of cloth all the water we drank, on
account of the numerous insects, some of which were
accounted highly dangerous, and are said to have the
power of eating through the coats of the stomach, and
causing death even to horses.
The next day I arrived at the Pambinaw River, and
found the band cutting poles, which they are obliged to
carry with them to dry the meat on, as, after leaving
this, no more timbered land is met with until the three
bands meet together again at the Turtle Mountain,
where the meat they have taken and dried on the route
is made into pemmican. This process is as follows:—
The thin slices of dried meat are pounded between two
stones until the fibres separate; about 50 lbs. of this are
put into a bag of buffalo skin, with about 40 lbs. of
melted fat, and mixed together while hot, and sewed
up, forming a hard and compact mass; hence its name in
the Cree language, pimmi signifying meat, and kon, fat.
:S^ra»y*s.W3g^ ■ "<iKurAA>WAt3ii*!,AW!Am>J}>A Alt Jy 'A WAéM
Each cart brings home ten of these bags, and all that
the half-breeds do not require for themselves is eagerly
bought by the Company, for the purpose of sending to
the more distant posts, where food is scarce. One pound
of this is considered equal to four pounds of ordinary
meat, and the pemmican keeps for years perfectly good
exposed to any weather.
I was received by the band with the greatest cordiality. They numbered about two hundred hunters,
besides women and children. They live, during these
hunting excursions, in lodges formed of dressed buffalo
skins. They are always accompanied by an immense
number of dogs, which follow them from the settlements
for the purpose of feeding on the offal and remains of
the slain buffaloes. These dogs are very like wolves,
both in appearance and disposition, and, no doubt, a
cross breed between the wolf and dog. A great many
of them acknowledge no particular master, and are
sometimes dangerous in times of scarcity. I have myself known them to attack the horses and eat them.
Our camp broke up on the following morning, and
proceeded on their route to the open plains. The carts
containing the women and children, and each decorated
with some flag, or other conspicuous emblem, on a pole,
so that the hunters might recognise their own from a
distance, wound off in one continuous fine, extending for
miles, accompanied by the hunters on horseback.
During the forenoon, whilst the line of mounted hunters
and carts was winding round the margin of a small lake,
I took the opportunity of making a sketch of the singular cavalcade.
The following day we passed the Dry Dance Mountain, where the Indians, before going on a war party,
have a custom of dancing and fasting for three days and »mkmmimM&Æmmmå
nights. This practice is always observed by young warriors going to battle for the first time, to accustom them
to the privations and fatigues which they must expect
to undergo, and to prove their strength and endurance.
Should any sink under the fatigue and fasting of this
ceremony, they are invariably sent back to the camp
where the women and children remain.
After leaving this mountain, we proceeded on our
route without meeting any buffalo, although we saw
plenty of indications of their having been in the neighbourhood a short time previously. On the evening of
the second day we were visited by twelve Sioux chiefs,
with whom the half-breeds had been at war for several
years. They came for the purpose of negotiating a
permanent peace, but, whilst smoking the pipe of peace
in the council lodge, the dead body of a half-breed, who
had gone to a short distance from the camp, was brought
in newly scalped, and his death was at once attributed
to the Sioux. The half-breeds, not being at war with
any other nation, a general feeling of rage at once
sprang up in the young men, and they would have taken
instant vengeance, for the supposed act of treachery,
upon the twelve chiefs in their power, but for the interference of the old and more temperate of the body, who,
deprecating so flagrant a breach of the laws of hospitality, escorted them out of danger, but, at the same
time, told them that no peace could be concluded until
satisfaction was had for the murder of their friend.
Exposed, as the half-breeds thus are, to all the
vicissitudes of wild Indian life, their camps, while on
the move, are always preceded by scouts, for the purpose
of reconnoitring either for enemies or buffaloes. If they
see the latter, they give signal of such being the case, by
■'« xi*x^ A-**;** *A.*» > «*>«"iHU"AA>*l>AmAiKmJ&krA %. tflAAWA A, A*IAj^j
throwing up handfuls of dust, and, if the former, by
running their horses to and fro.
Three days after the departure of the Sioux chiefs,
our scouts were observed by their companions to make
the signal of enemies being in sight. Immediately a
hundred of the best mounted hastened to the spot, and,
concealing themselves behind the shelter of the bank of
a small stream, sent out two as decoys, who exposed
themselves to the view of the Sioux. The latter, supposing them to be alone, rushed upon them, whereupon
the concealed half-breeds sprang up, and poured in a
volley amongst them, which brought down eight. The
others escaped, although several must have been
wounded, as much blood was afterwards discovered on
their track. Though differing in very few respects from
the pure Indians, they do not adopt the practice of
scalping; and, in this case, being satisfied with their
revenge, they abandoned the dead bodies to the malice
of a small party of Saulteaux who accompanied them.
The Saulteaux are a band of the great Ojibbeway
nation, both words signifying "the Jumpers," and
derive the name from their expertness in leaping their
canoes over the numerous rapids which occur in the
rivers of their vicinity.
I took a sketch of one of them, Peccothis, "the Man
with a Lump on his Navel." He appeared delighted
with it at first; but the others laughed so much at the
likeness, and made so many jokes about it, that he
became quite irritated, and insisted that I should destroy
it, or, at least, not show it as long as I remained with the
The Saulteaux, although numerous, are not a warlike tribe, and the Sioux, who are noted for their daring
and courage, have long waged a savage war on them, in -^/^im^^ka éémmMmM
I     \
consequence of which the Saulteaux do not venture to
hunt in the plains except in company with the half-
breeds. Immediately on their getting possession of the
bodies, they commenced a scalp dance, during which
they mutilated the bodies in a most horrible manner.
One old woman, who had lost several relations by the
Sioux, rendered herself particularly conspicuous by
digging out their eyes and otherwise dismembering
The following afternoon, we arrived at the margin
of a small lake, where we encamped rather earlier than
usual, for the sake of the water. Next day I was gratified with the sight of a band of about forty buffalo cows
in the distance, and our hunters in full chase; they were
the first I had seen, but were too far off for me to join
in the sport. They succeeded in killing twenty-five,
which were distributed through the camp, and proved
most welcome to all of us, as our provisions were getting
rather short, and I was abundantly tired of pemmican
and dried meat. The fires being lighted with the wood
we had brought with us in the carts, the whole party
commenced feasting with a voracity which appeared
perfectly astonishing to me, until I tried myself, and
found by experience how much hunting on the plains
stimulates the appetite.
The upper part of the hunch of the buffalo, weighing four or five pounds, is called by the Indians the
little hunch. This is of a harder and more compact
nature than the rest, though very tender, and is usually
put aside for keeping. The lower and larger part is
streaked with fat and is very juicy and delicious. These,
with the tongues, are considered the delicacies of the
buffalo. After the party had gorged themselves with
as much as they could devour, they passed the evening
i i -nanti -i-TTiti-Ti-iinrr lfinnrm
2^1 ^~«—ata
WS>V9ffW9*L u mm»mm *AM.-aiu. IwraiAWAItUfJl-VSA K'Xn±AmitM9i[AM
in roasting the marrow bones and regaling themselves
with their contents.
For the next two or three days we fell in with only
a single buffalo, or small herds of them; but as we proceeded they became more frequent. At last our scouts
brought in word of an immense herd of buffalo bulls
about two miles in advance of us. They are known in
the distance from the cows, by their feeding singly, and
being scattered wider over the plain, whereas the cows
keep together for the protection of the calves, which are
always kept in the centre of the herd. A half-breed,
of the name of Hallett, who was exceedingly attentive
to me, woke me in the morning, to accompany him in
advance of the party, that I might have the opportunity
of examining the buffalo whilst feeding, before the commencement of the hunt. Six hours' hard riding brought
us within a quarter of a mile of the nearest of the herd.
The main body stretched over the plains as far as the
eye could reach. Fortunately the wind blew in our
faces: had it blown towards the buffaloes, they would
have scented us miles off. I wished to have attacked
them at once, but my companion would not allow me
until.the rest of the party came up, as it was contrary
to the law of the tribe. We, therefore, sheltered ourselves from the observation of the herd behind a mound,
relieving our horses of their saddles to cool them. In
about an hour the hunters came up to us, numbering
about one hundred and thirty, and immediate preparations were made for the chase. Every man loaded his
gun, looked to his priming, and examined the efficiency
of his saddle-girths.
The elder men strongly cautioned the less experienced not to shoot each other; a caution by no means
unnecessary, as such accidents frequently occur.   Each
fCV rass
hunter then filled his mouth with balls, which he drops
into the gun without wadding; by this means loading
much quicker and being enabled to do so whilst his horse
is at full speed. It is true, that the gun is more liable
to burst, but that they do not seem to mind. Nor does
the gun carry so far, or so true; but that is of less consequence, as they always fire quite close to the animal.
Everything being adjusted, we all walked our horses
towards the herd. By the time we had gone about two
hundred yards, the herd perceived us, and started off in
the opposite direction at the top of their speed. We now
put our horses to the full gallop, and in twenty minutes
were in their midst. There could not have been less than
four or five thousand in our immediate vicinity, all bulls,
not a single cow amongst them.
The scene now became one of intense excitement;
the huge bulls thundering over the plain in headlong
confusion, whilst the fearless hunters rode recklessly in
their midst, keeping up an incessant fire at but a few
yards' distance from their victims. Upon the fall of
each buffalo, the successful hunter merely threw some
article of his apparel—often carried by him solely for
that purpose—to denote his own prey, and then rushed
on to another. These marks are scarcely ever disputed, but should a doubt arise as to the ownership, the
carcase is equally divided among the claimants.
The chase continued only about one hour, and extended over an area of from five to six square miles,
where might be seen the dead and dying buffaloes, to the
number of five hundred. In the meantime my horse,
which had started at a good run, was suddenly confronted by a large bull that made his appearance from
behind a knoll, within a few yards of him, and being thus
taken by surprise, he sprung to one side, and getting
arafetTOwE««^^ WiMHiMJUX'*!..uaUAOHWA >A A"A X»* X A KA^*AJV
his foot into one of the innumerable badger holes, with
which the plains abound, he fell at once, and I was
thrown over his head with such violence, that I was
completely stunned, but soon recovered my recollection.
Some of the men caught my horse, and I was speedily
remounted, and soon saw reason to congratulate myself
on my good fortune, for I found a man who had been
thrown in a similar way, lying a short distance from me
quite senseless, in which state he was carried back to the
I again joined in the pursuit; and coming up with
a large bull, I had the satisfaction of bringing him down
at the first fire. Excited by my success, I threw down
my cap and galloping on, soon put a bullet through
another enormous animal. He did not, however, fall, but
stopped and faced me, pawing the earth, bellowing and
glaring savagely at me. The blood was streaming profusely from his mouth, and I thought he would soon
drop. The position in which he stood was so fine that
I could not resist the desire of making a sketch. I
accordingly dismounted, and had just commenced, when
he suddenly made a dash at me. I had hardly time to
spring on my horse and get away from him, leaving my
gun and everything else behind.
When he came up to where I had been standing, he
turned over the articles I had dropped, pawing fiercely
as he tossed them about, and then retreated towards the
herd. I immediately recovered my gun, and having
reloaded, again pursued him, and soon planted another
shot in him; and this time he remained on his legs long
enough for me to make a sketch. This done I returned
with it to the camp, carrying the tongues of the animals
I had killed, according to custom, as trophies of my
success as a hunter.
m m
I have often witnessed an Indian buffalo hunt since,
but never one on so large a scale. In returning to the
camp, I fell in with one of the hunters coolly driving a
wounded buffalo before him. In answer to my inquiry
why he did not shoot him, he said he would not do so
until he got him close to the lodges, as it would save the
trouble of bringing a cart for the meat. He had already
driven him seven miles, and afterwards killed him within
two hundred yards of the tents. That evening, while
the hunters were still absent, a buffalo, bewildered by
the hunt, got amongst the tents, and at last got into one,
after having terrified all the women and children, who
precipitately took to flight. When the men returned
they found him there still, and being unable to dislodge
him, they shot him down from the opening in the top.
ammi ni'ATX-lJfJMk'A%!<*?>&AtAA 4**41
Chapter VII
Camping amongst the Slain—Wholesale Slaughter—A Sick Guide—Parting
from the Half-breeds—A False Alarm—Dismal Night's Lodging—
Dreadful Position—Stinking River—Death of the Guide—Paternal
Government—The Fire-water Curse.
Our camp was now moved to the field of slaughter,
for the greater convenience of collecting the meat. However lightly I wished to think of my fall, I found myself
the next day suffering considerably from the effects of
it, and the fatigue I had undergone. The man whom
I had brought with me as a guide was also suffering
much from an attack of the measles. Next day our
hunters sighted and chased another large band of bulls
with good success. At night we were annoyed by the
incessant howling and fighting of innumerable dogs and
wolves that had followed us to the hunt, seemingly as
well aware of the feast that was preparing for them as
we could be ourselves. The plain now resembled one vast
shambles: the women, whose business it is, being all
busily employed in cutting the flesh into slices, and
hanging them in the sun on racks, made of poles tied
together. In reference to the immense number of
buffaloes killed, I may mention that it is calculated that
the half-breeds alone destroy thirty thousand annually.
Having satisfied myself with buffalo hunting
amongst the half-breeds, I was anxious to return to the
settlement, in order to prosecute my journey. On proposing to set out I found my guide so unwell, that I
feared he would not be able to travel. I tried to procure
one of the hunters to take his place and return with
me, but none of them would consent to travel alone over
so large a tract of country, from fear of the Sioux, in
"- ■--■— —
r»Twnr a*r    f
I  M
whose territory we then were; and who, they dreaded
from the late occurrence, would be watching to cut off
any stragglers. Being unable to procure a fresh man,
I was about to start alone, when my guide, who thought
himself better, proposed to accompany me, on condition
that he should ride in the cart, and not be expected to
attend to the horses or cooking. This I readily agreed
to, as his services as guide were of the utmost importance.
We started next morning for the settlement, a distance which I supposed to be somewhat over two hundred miles. A party of twenty of the hunters escorted
us for eight or ten miles, to see that there were no Sioux
in the immediate vicinity. We then parted, after taking
the customary smoke on separating from friends. I
could not avoid a strong feeling of regret at leaving
them, having experienced many acts of kindness at
their hands, hardly to be expected from so wild and
uncultivated a people. We found a great scarcity of
water on our return, most of the swamps that had supplied us on our way out being now dried up by the heat
of the season.
We fell in with a great many stray dogs and wolves,
which appeared to be led on by the scent of the dead
carcasses. After hobbling the horses, putting up my
tent, and cooking the supper, I then turned in for the
night, not without some apprehensions of a hostile visit
from the Sioux, as we were still on their hunting
grounds, and in the territory of the United States,
being still a few miles south of the boundary line. During
the night my guide, who was very ill and feverish, cried
out that the Sioux were upon us. I started up with my
gun in my hand, for I slept with it by my side, and rushing out in the dark, was near shooting my own horse,
gfS&SfeSttfrCæ* *SLttSSy **»■* «»»»^ya»*A ±^*^*mv*:*w*vw.r3m6Sii* nm. *i«. ix'ix vut. 11 'X'X JXUUl'A M. JJM A * A. A*VAA
which, by stumbling over one of the tent pins, had
alarmed my companion.
We travelled on the next day with as great rapidity
as the ill health of my guide would permit, and on the
evening of the 30th of June, we encamped on the bank
of the Pambinaw. I lost considerable time next morning in catching the horses, as they are able from habit to
run a considerable distance, and pretty fast, in spite of
their hobbles. In the afternoon we arrived at the
Swampy Lake, about fourteen miles across. A little
before sunset we reached about the middle of it, but
my guide complained so much that I could not proceed
I succeeded in finding a small dry spot above water
large enough for me to sit on, but not affording room
for my legs, which had to remain in the water, there
being no more room in the small cart than was necessary
for the sick man. Having no means for cooking, I was
compelled to eat my dried meat raw. I tried to compose myself to sleep, but found it impossible, from the
myriads of mosquitoes which appeared determined to
extract the last drop of blood from my body. After
battling with them until 4 o'clock next morning, my
eyes almost blinded by their stings, I went in search of
the horses, which had strayed away to some distance into
deeper water, tempted by some sort of flags growing
there. I had to wade up to my middle in pursuit of
them, and it was not until 9 o'clock that we were able to
After leaving this dismal swamp we were within a
day's march of the settlement; and my guide, believing
himself to be much better, insisted upon my leaving him
to drive the cart, whilst I proceeded at a more rapid
rate on horseback.   This, however, I would not do until
"■ ■"-— - ■-■
_*£& "/',#• -wrrn
I had seen him safe across Stinking River, which the
horses had almost to swim in crossing. Having got him
over safely, I left him, and proceeded onwards in the
direction of the fort. But I had not gone far before I
encountered one of the numerous swampy lakes that
abound in this region, and render travelling extremely
difficult. I had no doubt got on a wrong track, for in
endeavouring to cross, my horse quickly sank up to his
neck in mud and water. Seeing that I could neither
advance nor recede, I dismounted, and found myself in
the same predicament, scarcely able to keep my head
above the surface. I managed, however, to reach the
dry land; and, with the lasso, or long line, which every
voyageur in these parts invariably has attached to his
horse's neck, succeeded in getting the animal out. I
remounted, and endeavoured to cross in another direction, but with no better success. I now found myself
surrounded on all sides, as far as I could see, with
nothing but swamp. My horse refused to be ridden any
further. I had therefore, to dismount, and drag him
along as best I could, wading up to my very middle in
mud and water abounding with reptiles.
That I had lost my way was now certain; and as it
was raining hard, I could not see the sun, nor had I a
compass. I, however, determined to fix upon one
certain course, and keep that at all hazards, in hopes
that I might reach the Assiniboine River, by following
which I could not fail to reach the settlement. After
travelling in uncertainty for ten or twelve miles, I had
at length the satisfaction of reaching the river, and in
two hours afterwards I arrived safe at Fort Garry. The
next morning I learned that my guide had been brought
in by two men who were looking for stray horses. The
poor fellow had got rapidly worse after my leaving, and
mmskt ma *.>.*. 'inivu^1 AVK'A XJXX-U.XM A."4 JlH A, iMIk'A^,1
had only proceeded a short distance when he was compelled to stop. He only survived two days after his
Fort Garry is one of the best built forts in the
Hudson's Bay territory. It has a stone wall, with
bastions mounted with cannon, inclosing large storehouses and handsome residences for the gentlemen of
the establishment. Its strength is such that it has
nothing to fear from the surrounding half-breeds or
Indians. The gentleman in charge was Mr. Christie,
whose many acts of kindness and attention I must ever
remember with feelings of grateful respect.
The office of Governor of the Red River Settlement
is one of great responsibility and trouble, as the happiness and comfort of the whole settlement depend to a
great extent upon the manner in which he carries out his
instructions. The half-breeds are much inclined to
grumbling, and although the Company treat them with
great liberality, they still ask almost for impossibilities;
indeed, as far as the Company is concerned, I cannot
conceive a more just and strict course than that which
they pursue in the conduct of the whole of their immense
traffic. In times of scarcity they help all around them,
in sickness they furnish them with medicines, and even
try to act as mediators between hostile bands of Indians.
No drunkenness or debauchery is seen around their
posts, and so strict is their prohibition of liquor, that
even their officers can only procure a small allowance,
which is given as part of their annual outfit on voyages.
Without entering into the general question of the
policy of giving a monopoly of the fur trade to one company, I cannot but record, as the firm conviction which
I formed from a comparison between the Indians in the
Hudson's Bay Company territories and those in the
KdQOa&aeaH jjJPfrflfl^MMftd^^
United States, that opening up the trade with the
Indians to all who wish inoliscriminately to engage in it,
must lead to their annihilation. For while it is the
interest of such a body as the Hudson's Bay Company
to improve the Indians and encourage them to industry,
according to their own native habits in hunting and the
chase, even with a view to their own profit, it is as obviously the interest of the small companies and private
adventurers to draw as much wealth as they possibly can
from the country hi the shortest possible time, although
in doing so the very source from which the wealth springs
should be destroyed. The unfortunate craving for
intoxicating liquor which characterizes all the tribes of
Indians, and the terrible effects thereby produced upon
them, render it a deadly instrument in the hands of
designing men.
It is well known that, although the laws of the
United States strictly prohibit the sale of liquor to the
Indians, it is impossible to enforce them, and whilst many
traders are making rapid fortunes in their territories,
the Indians are fast declining in character, numbers,
and wealth, whilst those in contact with the Hudson's
Bay Company maintain their numbers, retain native
characteristics unimpaired, and in some degree share in
the advantages which civilization places within their
1 *
ffigirewrafe^g«*«^ s^arararcnsrsCTrøcx
Chapter VIII
Catching the Boat—Queer Fish—Fatal Thunder-bolt—Killing Portraits—
Raising the Wind—An Island with Wings—Norway House—Playgreen
Lake—Bound to the Rock—A Model Athlete—Shooting a Buck Moose—
Luxury of a Clean Shirt—Life for Life—A Violent Puss—Buffalo Pounds—
A Perfect Centaur.
Hearing that two small sloops belonging to the
Company which ply between the Red River and Norway House would leave the Lower, or Stone Fort,
immediately, I rode down on the 5th of July, in company with Mr. W. Simpson, a brother-in-law of Sir
George's, and reached our destination in about three
hours. This establishment is larger than the Upper
Fort, and built with still greater strength, but not so
neatly arranged in the interior. We rested about an
hour, and then embarked on one of the sloops; two
Catholic missionaries, Mr. Le Fleck and Mr. Taché,
who were bound for Isle La Croix, occupying the other.
We dropped down the river a few miles, and cast
anchor in front of the residence of Mr. Smithers, the
Episcopalian missionary, and his larder and cellar being
well supplied, we passed a most agreeable evening, notwithstanding the mosquitoes, which were very troublesome. Early next morning we went round his very extensive farm, which seemed to be in a high state of
cultivation. He works it principally by Indians, who
receive a share of the produce according to their labour.
After a hearty breakfast, we bid a reluctant farewell
to our kind host, and drifted down the current, there not
being enough wind to fill our sails. When night had set
in, I distinctly heard the noise made by the Red River
sun-fish, which I have only noticed in this river. The
fish resemble our Canadian black bass, weighing from
IP I m
two to three pounds, and during the night they make
a singular noise, resembling a person groaning; how
they produce these sounds, I was unable to ascertain.
We proceeded only a short distance to-day, the current
running very slow. After casting anchor for the night,
the mosquitoes became so troublesome on board, that
Mr. Simpson and I took our blankets on shore and went
to an Indian lodge within a short distance of the river,
the smoke which pervades these places generally keeping
them free from the nuisance. There were three or four
families of women and children in the lodge, but the
men were all absent hunting. They cleared a corner for
us to sleep in, but one of the most awful thunder storms,
accompanied by heavy rain, that I have ever witnessed,
set in, and effectually prevented our repose. Such tempests are here of frequent occurrence; so vivid was the
lightning, and so near the rattling and crashing of the
thunder, that I fancied several times during the night
that I heard our vessels dashed to pieces by it. The
missionaries on board were much terrified, and spent, I
believe, the whole night in prayer. A short time previously, a lodge containing seven persons was struck by
the electric fluid; four of them were immediately killed,
the other three were much injured, but recovered. These
accidents are of very frequent occurrence about Red
July 7th—We embarked in the morning, and proceeded at a slow rate. On arriving at the mouth of the
river we were obliged to cast anchor, as it still remained
a dead calm.
July 8th—This morning we had a strong head wind,
putting a stop to our further progress for the present.
Mr. Simpson and I took a small boat, and returned up
the river to an Indian camp of Saulteaux which we had
a«M»TO»««>are^ ***Awms'HU>^\urLA!^U^JKmJ&k:A X X."4 AjttX, At
passed the day before. The Indians crowded round the
boat on our arrival, inquiring what we wanted. Our
interpreter told them that I had come to take their
likenesses. One of them, a huge ugly-looking fellow,
entirely naked, stepped up telling me to take his, as he
was just as the Great Spirit had made him. I declined,
however, as I wanted to sketch one of the females, but
she refused, as she could not dress herself suitably for
such an occasion, being in mourning for some friends
she had lost, and therefore only wearing her oldest and
dirtiest clothes.
After some difficulty, I succeeded in getting a
young girl to sit in the costume of this tribe, although her
mother was very much afraid it might shorten her life.
But on my assuring her that it was more likely to prolong it, she seemed quite satisfied. After finishing my
sketch, which they all looked at with great astonishment, a medicine-man stepped up and told us that he
would give us three days' fair wind for a pound of
tobacco. As the demand was so enormous for so small
a supply of wind, we declined the bargain, whereupon
he hesitatingly reduced his price, offering a greater
quantity of wind for a smaller amount of tobacco, till
at length, having reduced his price to a small plug for
six days, we closed the bargain, declining his invitation
to stay and partake of a large roasted dog, which we
had seen slaughtered on our arrival. We returned to our
vessel to pass another uncomfortable night, tormented
by the mosquitoes, which all our efforts at smoking
failed to drive out of our hot little cabin.
July 9th—Hauled up our anchor and left the mouth
bf the river with a fair wind, and proceeded up Lake
July 10th—To-day we were wind-bound under the
•' !&,V^'^-^^^^
lee of a low rocky island, and although the surf ran very
high on the beach, we determined to explore it as a
relief to the monotony of our voyage. The attempt
furnished us with plenty of excitement, as the boat filled
before we reached the shore. We, however, arrived safe,
and walked across the island about half a mile. It was
literally covered with gulls and pelicans, which were
hatching, and all rose in one body on our approach in
such a dense mass as to give the appearance of the
island itself taking wings. The rocks were so covered
with eggs and young birds, that it was difficult to tread
without crushing them. Wearied with the discordant
screeching of the birds over our heads, and the smell
from their dung being very offensive, we soon returned
to our vessels. Large quantities of eggs are collected on
this island by the voyageurs and Indians, gulls' eggs
being considered a great delicacy at certain seasons.
There did not appear to be any considerable collection
of guano here, as probably the island is washed almost
clean by the high water and heavy rains in the spring of
the year.
July 11th—We entered the Straits between Lake
Winnipeg and Playgreen Lake. The lake derives its
name from a green plain which the Indians frequent to
play their great game of ball. We cast anchor here,
and having a small net on board, we set it, and caught
a great number of jack-fish or pike, which we found
excellent eating.
July 12th—Sailed on through Playgreen Lake, a
distance of twenty-five miles, the channel lying between
numerous small rocky islands, some of them so near that
we could easily have sprung on shore from the vessel;
from Playgreen Lake we entered Jack-fish River, and
the current soon carried us to Norway House, a dist-
&E retsåre« w*» ***^ — ^ItflJif 1«"« * fcy*^««wr »re
£&3V-rf uaw^n^SA A'T W*iiVJ!JU2K*!ii jlUt ARAé?m.
ance of nine miles, where we arrived in the afternoon.
Mr. Ross, the gentleman in charge, received us with
great kindness and hospitality. Notwithstanding the
barrenness of the soil and the severity of the cold in this
region, which prevents all hope of deriving any advantage from agricultural pursuits, a Wesleyan Methodist
mission is established within a few miles of the fort. It
is under the superintendence of the Reverend Mr.
Mason, and consists of about thirty small log houses,
with a church and dwelling-house for the minister. It
is supported by the Company with the hope of improve-
ing the Indians; but, to judge from appearances, with
but small success, as they are decidedly the dirtiest
Indians I have met with, and the less that is said about
their morality the better.
The Indians belong to the Mas-ka-gau tribe, or
"Swamp Indians," so called from their inhabiting the
low swampy land which extends the whole way from
Norway House to Hudson's Bay. This race is rather
diminutive in comparison with those who inhabit the
plains, probably from their suffering often for want of
food; and instances of their being compelled by hunger
to eat one another are not uncommon. Their language
somewhat resembles the Cree, but is not so agreeable in
sound. I made a sketch of one of them, called the
I-ac-a-way, "the Man who is gone on a Hunt without
raising his Camp."
I remained at Norway House until the 14th of
August, waiting for the brigade of boats which had
gone down in the Spring to York Factory, in Hudson's
Bay, with the furs, and was now expected back on their
return with the outfit of goods for the interior trade.
Our time passed very monotonously until the 13th,
when Mr. Rowand, chief factor, arrived with six boats:
'■ — --
^Mk 'ÆmtfJmMmmVj
one of the boats under the charge of a clerk, Mr. Lane,
was entirely devoted to the carriage of the furs paid
annually by the Hudson's Bay Company to the Russian Government, for the privilege of trading in their
territory. These consisted of seventy pieces or packs,
each containing seventy-five otter skins of the very best
description. They are principally collected on the
Mackenzie River, from whence they are carried to York
Factory, where they are culled and packed with the
greatest care; they have then to be carried up the Saskatchewan, across the Rocky Mountains, down the
Columbia River, to Vancouver's Island, and then shipped to Sitka. I mention these furs particularly here, as
they were the source of much trouble to us in our future
On the morning of the 14th we left Norway House,
in the boats, for Playgreen Lake. These boats are
about twenty-eight feet long, and strongly built, so as
to be able to stand a heavy press of sail and rough
weather, which they often encounter in the lakes: they
carry about eighty or ninety packs of 90 lbs. each, and
have a crew of seven men, a steersman and six rowers.
Mr. Lane was accompanied by his wife, a half-breed,
who travelled with us all the way to Fort Vancouver, on
the Columbia. We had scarcely got into Playgreen
Lake when a heavy gale separated the boats and drove
ours on to a rock in the lake. Here we were compelled
to remain two nights and a day, without a stick to make
a fire, and exposed to the incessant rain, as it was not
possible to raise our tents. In the distance we could
perceive our more fortunate companions, who had succeeded in gaining the mainland, comfortably under
canvas, with blazing fires; but so terrific was the gale that
we dared not venture to leave the shelter of the rock.
la«M»glr»CT*»s«ragr -»fry »**»-y|^».j2**A .^«^««»«>.«™ uM*A«.'«.m*^tA' X'T K9lHrjUk!%! Mi'JJ'A J>*1 A 4fk'Aév
On the 16th, the wind having somewhat abated, we
were enabled to join the rest of the party, when the
blazing fires and comfortably cooked food soon restored
our spirits. Being sufficiently recruited, and the wind
being fair, we again embarked, although the lake was
still very rough.
This lake is about 300 miles long, but so shallow,
that in high winds the mud at the bottom is stirred up,
from which it derives the name of Winnipeg, or Muddy
Lake. On the present occasion the waves rose so high
that some of the men became sick, and we were obliged
to put into a lee shore, not being able to find a landing-
place. On nearing the shore some of the men jumped
into the water and held the boats off, whilst the others
unloaded them and carried the goods on their heads
through the dashing surf. When the boats were emptied,
they were then enabled to drag them up on the beach.
Here we were compelled to remain until the 18th,
occupying ourselves in shooting ducks and gulls, which
we found in great abundance, and which proved capital
The waves having abated on the morning of the 18th,
we made an early start, and arrived in the afternoon at
the mouth of the Saskatchewan River. The navigation
is here interrupted by what is called the Grand Rapid,
which is about three miles long, one mile of which runs
with great rapidity, and presents a continual foamy
appearance, down which boats are able to descend, but
in going up are obliged to make a portage.
I was told a story of one of the steersmen of our
brigade, named Paulet Paul, who in steering his boat
down by an oar passed through a ring in the stern of the
boat, fell overboard, from the oar, on which he was
leaning with his whole force, suddenly breaking.   His
^é* &tø
great bodily strength enabled him to gain a footing, and
to stand against the rapid until the boat following came
past, into which he sprang, and urging the men to pull,
he eventually succeeded in jumping into his own boat
and guiding her safely down, thereby saving the valuable
cargo which might have otherwise been lost. He was a
half-breed, and certainly one of the finest formed men I
ever saw, and when naked, no painter could desire a
finer model. We encamped on the shore, and were
obliged to remain here till the third day, for the purpose
of getting the goods across, as it required the crews of
all the boats to haul each over in succession. There are
usually Indians to be met at this portage, who assist the
men for a small consideration, but on this occasion they
were unfortunately absent.
August 21st—Embarked in the afternoon, and on the
22nd passed through Cedar Lake, and again entered the
Saskatchewan River; the land in the neighbourhood of
which is very flat and marshy, innumerable small lakes
being scattered over the whole region. We met with
nothing worth recording till the 25th, when we arrived
at the "Pau," a Church of England missionary station,
occupied by the Rev. Mr. Hunter. He resides in a neat
house most brilliantly decorated inside with blue and red
paint, much to the admiration of his flock, which consists of only a small band of the same tribe of Indians
as are met with about Norway House. Mr. Hunter and
his amiable lady invited us to their table, where we found
some bread made from wheat df their own raising,
ground in a hand-mill, and they spared no exertions to
make us as comfortable as possible.
Mr. Hunter accompanied me to a medicine-man's
lodge, a short distance from his own residence. Seeing
a very handsomely worked otter-skin bag, apparently
}mKwnfiB&Big^9™^ n«.1*ia.qua.'VU»'il.A'a.M
well filled, hanging up in the lodge, I inquired as to its
purpose, when the Indian informed me it was his medicine-bag, but would not let me examine its contents
until he had seen some of my sketches, and was informed
that I was a great medicine-man myself, upon which
he opened it for my inspection. The contents consisted
of bits of bones, shells, minerals, red earth, and other
heterogeneous accumulations, perfectly incomprehensible to my uninitiated capacity.
August 26th—We left the hospitable mansion of
Mr. Hunter with many kind wishes for our safety and
success, and continued our journey along the low and
swampy banks of the river. On the 28th, we passed the
mouth of the Cumberland River. Here the men had to
harness themselves to the boats with their portage straps
and drag the boats up the river for several days. We
passed a large quantity of the bones of buffaloes which
had been drowned in the preceding winter in attempting
to cross the ice.   The wolves had picked them all clean.
On the 29th I fired both barrels loaded with ball at
a large buck moose, which was swimming across the
river. He, however, arrived at the other side and trotted
up the bank. Thinking I had missed him, I went on, but
on my return the following year, two Indians, who had
been attracted by the shots, told me that he had dropped
200 yards from the river.
August 30th—We this day fell in with a small band
of Crees, from whom we procured some buffalo meat,
tongues, and beaver tails; the last is considered a great
delicacy. It is a fat, gristly substance, but to me by no
means palatable; the rest of our party, however, seemed
to enjoy it much. The tongues were decidedly delicious;
they are cured by drying them in the smoke of the lodges.
The river as we ascended presented a more inviting
■Si &?
i i
appearance, the banks becoming bolder and covered
principally with pine and poplar, the latter trees springing up wherever the former are burned off. The men
suffered severely from the heat, which was very oppressive.
September 6th—We were within about eighteen or
twenty miles of Carlton, when about dark in the evening we heard a tremendous splashing in the water, but
so far off that we could not see the cause. Mr. Rowand
at once conjectured it to be a large party of Blackfeet
swimming their horses across the river, which they do
by driving the horse into the water till he loses bis
footing, when the rider slips off and seizes the tail of the
animal, and is thus towed to the opposite shore. We were
somewhat alarmed, and immediately loaded our guns,
the Blackfeet being the most hostile tribe on the continent; but on coming up to the spot, we found it was
the horsekeeper at Fort Carlton, who was swimming his
horses across to an island in the middle of the river to
save them from the wolves, which had killed several of
them, owing to the scarcity of buffaloes. As we had but
a short distance to travel next day we encamped for
the night.
September 7th—When we arrived within a couple
of miles of Carlton, we halted for the purpose of arranging our toilets previous to presenting ourselves at the
establishment. This consisted chiefly of a thorough
washing; some, indeed, put on clean shirts, but few,
however, could boast of such a luxury. This compliment
to the inhabitants was by no means unnecessary, as we
were in a most ragged and dirty condition.
The country in the vicinity of Carlton, which is
situated between the wooded country and the other
plains, varies much from that through which we had
Stl^^.l»<v^.>t.%iat^'tt^-r^-^-^^ *v ****>*** W.»XHX 'i.^^1 Al VLTM!'VJUkTA X X"A A'^t A A*VA£
been travelling. Instead of dense masses of unbroken
forest, it presents more the appearance of a park; the
gently undulating plains being dotted here and there
with clumps of small trees. The banks of the river rise
to the height of 150 or 200 feet in smooth rolling hills
covered with verdure. The fort, which is situated about
a quarter of a mile back from the river, is enclosed with
wooden pickets, and is fortified with blunderbusses on
swivels mounted in the bastion. This fort is in greater
danger from the Blackfeet than any of the Company's
establishments, being feebly manned and not capable
of offering much resistance to an attack. Their horses
have frequently been driven off without the inmates of
the fort daring to leave it for their rescue. The buffaloes
are here abundant, as is evident from the immense accumulation of their bones which strew the plains in every
The whole of the boats not having yet arrived, we
remained here for several days. On the second evening
after our arrival we were rather alarmed by the rapid
approach of fire, which had originated far off to the
west on the prairies. Fortunately, when within about
half a mile of the fort, the wind changed, and it turned
to the south. We, however, remained up nearly all night
for fear of accidents. There were some Cree Indians
about the fort, which is one of the trading ports of that
nation who extend along the Saskatchewan to the Rocky
Mountains, and is one of the largest tribes of Indians in
the Hudson's Bay Company's dominions. This tribe
has been from time immemorial at war with the Blackfeet, whom they at one time conquered and . held in
subjection: even now the Crees call the Blackfeet slaves,
although they have gained their independence, and are
a fierce and warlike tribe.   These wars are kept up with
"*•< — -- ryJ^SEYi'jk.
i    18
unremitting perseverance from year to year; and were
they as destructive in proportion to the numbers engaged as the wars of civilized nations, the continent
would soon be depopulated of the whole Indian race;
but, luckily, Indians are satisfied with small victories,
and a few scalps and horses taken from the enemy are
quite sufficient to entitle the warriors to return to their
friends in triumph and glory.
I made a sketch of Us-koos-koosish, "Young Grass,"
a Cree brave. He was very proud of showing his many
wounds, and expressed himself rather dissatisfied with
my picture, as I had not delineated all the scars, no
matter what was their locality. He had a younger
brother killed by one of his own tribe in a quarrel; this
he considered incumbent on him to avenge, and tracked
the offender for upwards of six months before he found
an opportunity of killing him, which he however effected
at last.
This custom of taking life for life is universal
amongst all Indians; and the first death often leads to
many, until the feud is stayed either by the intervention
of powerful friends, or by one party paying the other
a satisfaction in horses or other Indian valuables. An
Indian, however, in taking revenge for the death of a
relative does not in all cases seek the actual offender; as
should the party be one of his own tribe any relative will
do, however distant. Should he be a white man, the
Indian would most probably Mil the first white man he
could find.
Mr. Rundell, a missionary, whose station was at
Edmonton, was at Carlton awaiting our arrival, for the
purpose of returning in company with us. He had with
him a favourite cat which he had brought with him in the
ra^CT^fewj^ HVJPIk'A X X*'A A1'« A 4 KAM
eanoes from Edmonton, being afraid to leave her behind
him, as there was some danger of her being eaten during
his absence. This cat was the object of a good deal of
amusement amongst the party, of great curiosity
amongst the Indians, and of a good deal of anxiety and
trouble to its kind master.
Mr. Rowand, myself, and Mr. Rundell, having
determined to proceed to Edmonton on horseback, as
being the shortest and most agreeable route, we procured horses and a guide, and, on the morning of the
12th September, we arose early for our start. The
Indians had collected in numbers round the fort to see
us off, and shake hands with us, a practice which they
seem to have taken a particular fancy for. No sooner
had we mounted our rather skittish animals than the
Indians crowded around, and Mr. Rundell, who was
rather a favourite amongst them, came in for a large
share of their attentions, which seemed to be rather
annoying to his horse. His cat he had tied to the pummel of his saddle by a string, about four feet long, round
her neck, and had her safely, as he thought, concealed in
the breast of his capote. She, however, did not relish
the plunging of the horse, and made a spring out,
utterly astonishing the Indians, who could not conceive
where she had come from. The string brought her up
against the horse's legs, which she immediately attacked.
The horse now became furious, kicking violently, and
at last threw Mr. Rundell over his head, but fortunately
without much injury. All present were convulsed with
laughter, to which the Indians added screeching and
yelling as an accompaniment, rendering the whole scene
indescribably ludicrous. Puss's life was saved by the
string breaking; but we left her behind for the men to
bring in the boats, evidently to the regret of her master,
é# aasa^a^^
notwithstanding the hearty laugh which we had had at
his expense.
We were accompanied by a party of hunters proceeding to a buffalo pound about six miles off. These
pounds can only be made in the vicinity of forests, as
they are composed of logs piled up roughly, five feet
high, and enclose about two acres. At one side an
entrance is left, about ten feet wide, and from each side
of this, to the distance of half a mile, a row of posts of
short stumps, called dead men, are planted, at the
distance of twenty feet each, gradually widening out
into the plain from the entrance. When we arrived at
the pound we found a party there anxiously awaiting
the arrival of the buffaloes, which their companions
were driving in. This is accomplished as follows:—A
man, mounted on a fleet horse, usually rides forward
till he sees a band of buffaloes. This may be sixteen or
eighteen miles distant from the pound, but of course
the nearer to it the better. The hunter immediately
strikes a light with a flint and steel, and places the lighted
spunk in a handful of dried grass, the smoke arising
from which the buffaloes soon smell and start away
from it at the top of their speed. The man now rides
up alongside of the herd, which, from some unaccountable propensity, invariably endeavou to cross in front
of bis horse. I have had them folio ' me for miles in
order to do so. The hunter thus possesses an unfailing
means, wherever the pound may be situated of conducting them to it by the dexterous management of his
horse. Indians are stationed at intervals behind the posts,
or dead men, provided with buffalo robes, who, when the
herd are once in the avenue, rise up and shake the robes,
yelling and urging them on until they get into the enclosure, the spot usually selected for which is one with
fcMSttargra w»«> «ja|jp gjg «~ ->■ -- * fr^gg* ^«y««*"f « «■» »»« u-m'm.<>UL'%.Km.'U.^^U^A^^AViKrXVrAXmy^\r^A'AK'Aé^^
a tree in the centre. On this they hang offerings to
propitiate the Great Spirit to direct the herd towards
it. A man is also placed in the tree with a medicine
pipe-stem in his hand, which he waves continually,
chaunting a sort of prayer to the Great Spirit, the burden of which is that the buffaloes may be numerous
and fat.
As soon as all the herd are within the pound, the
entrance is immediately closed with logs, the buffaloes
running round and round one after another, and very
rarely attempting to break out, which would not be
difficult, from the insufficiency of the structure. Should
one succeed in doing so the whole herd immediately
follow. When once in the enclosure the Indians soon
despatch them with their arrows and spears.
Whilst the buffaloes were being driven in, the scene
was certainly exciting and picturesque; but the slaughter
in the enclosure was more painful than pleasing. This
had been the third herd that had been driven into this
pound within the last ten or twelve days, and the
putrefying carcasses tainted the air all round. The
Indians in this manner destroy innumerable buffaloes,
apparently for the mere pleasure of the thing. I have
myself seen a pound so filled up with their dead carcasses
that I could scarcelv imagine how the enclosure could
have contained them while living. It is not unusual to
drive in so many that their aggregate bulk forces down
the barriers. There are thousands of them annually
killed in this manner.; but not one in twenty is used in
any way by the Indians, so that thousands are left to
rot where they fall. I heard of a pound, too far out of
my direct road to visit, formed entirely of the bones of
dead buffaloes that had been killed in a former pound
on the same spot, piled up in a circle similarly to the logs mm$^*
above described. This improvidence, in not saving the
meat, often exposes them to great hardships during the
seasons of the year in which the buffalo migrates to the
As is frequently the case on buffalo hunts, a large
band of wolves hovered round us in expectation of a
feast, and a young Indian, for the purpose of showing
his dexterity, galloped off towards them mounted on
a small Indian horse. He succeeded in separating one
from the pack, and notwithstanding all the dodging of
the wolf, managed to drive him quite close to us. As he
approached he entirely abandoned his bridle, and to
look at them, one would imagine, from the rapid turnings of the horse without the apparent direction of the
rider, that he was as eager in pursuit as his master.
When he had succeeded in getting the wolf close to us,
he transfixed him with an arrow at the first shot. We
selected a comfortable place on the banks of the river,
and, on the boats coming up, we formed our encampment for the night.
September 13th—In the morning we passed a small
island on which we saw a herd of eighteen deer. Our
hunter went round to the other side, the water being
shallow enough to wade across, and, getting behind the
bushes, fired twice at them before they could escape,
and brought down two. The rest crossed over to our
side of the river, and, as a noble buck was ascending the
bank, we all fired at him. He escaped, notwithstanding, into the woods, and I hobbled my horse and pursued
him on foot, tracking him readily by the blood which
flowed from his wounds. I soon saw him lying down,
apparently so exhausted that I forbore to fire again.
This forbearance cost me the deer, for on my coming
up, he made a sudden  plunge  into  the thicket   and
*®x3fc$S^^ •*'A»!^M«!4A"AM!liy,4 JLW*. -t*!/*^'
escaped. I followed his track a long distance, but could
not come up to him. On my return I found two wolves
making a dead set at my poor horse, who was trembling
with fear. One of them was in the act of springing at
him. It was impossible for him to get away, as his fore
feet were tied together. I instantly levelled my
double-barrelled gun and killed both, one after the other.
*•■ ••	 »ti ttmæå^MtrÆmSiW
m i kW
Chapter IX
Beautiful Valley—Crossing the Water—The Curious Cabree—A Shouting
Aide-de-Camp—Strange Memento Mori—The Love of Indian Mothers-
No Coat, no Fire—The "Little Slave"—A Voyageur's Trust—Surrounded
by Beef—A Spirited Cow.
On my coming back to the party, I found them
hanging up the two deer for the use of the crews of the
boats, having taken what they wanted for themselves.
This they did by forming a triangle with poles about
twelve feet high in a conspicuous place on the bank, so
that the wolves could not reach the meat, and fastening a
red handkerchief above it to keep off the crows. Towards evening, as we were approaching the place where
we were to cross the river, I saw some buffaloes idly
grazing in a valley, and as I wished to give a general
idea of the beauty of the scenery which lies all along
the banks of the Saskatchewan from this point to
Edmonton, I sat down to make a sketch, the rest of the
party promising to wait for me at the crossing place.
It was the commencement of Indian summer; the evening was very fine, and threw that peculiar soft, warm
haziness over the landscape, which is supposed to proceed from the burning of the immense prairies. The
sleepy buffaloes grazing upon the undulating hills, here
and there relieved by clumps of small trees, the unbroken
stillness, and the approaching evening, rendered it
altogether a scene of most enchanting repose.
On coming up to Mr. Rowand, we prepared to cross
for the purpose of avoiding a strong bend in the river.
Our ammunition, and other things that required to be
kept dry, were put into a sort of basket made of a few
willow twigs, with a buffalo skin drawn by a running
a^^^^reiraysi.^^ KW^\U-AA'WA^UTJ^A[XA*>AAmå<AKAAV
string over them, something in the form of large bowls.
This basket was floated in the water, and dragged by a
string held in the teeth. The horse was then driven in,
and the traveller, holding on by his tail, was safely ferried to the other side with his baggage.
September léth—Saw an immense number of
cabrees, or prairie antelopes. These are the smallest
of the deer tribe, amazingly fleet, and very shy, but,
strange to say, possessed of great curiosity, apparently
determined to look at everything they do not understand, so long as they do not scent it. Our hunter set off
into the valley, to show me the manner of shooting them,
while I made a sketch. A small stream wound its way
through this most beautiful and picturesque valley in
a course unusually tortuous, and was fringed on each
side by a border of small, dense, and intensely green
and purple bushes, contrasting beautifully with the
rich yellow grass of the gradually sloping banks, about
200 feet in height, and the golden hues of the few poplars
which had just begun to assume the autumnal tints.
The hunter stole forward and hid himself behind a
small bush, so as to have the wind blowing from them,
and gently waved a piece of rag tied to his ramrod; as
soon as the cabrees perceived this, they gradually came
up to him, until within shot, when he knocked one Over;
this was of course all he could expect, as the rest were
off in an instant.
In the evening we saw smoke in the distance, which
we supposed to proceed from a camp of Indians; we
waited, therefore, till the boats arrived, with a view to
our mutual protection, should they prove to be a hostile tribe. The boats arrived after a short time, and we
remained with them all night without molestation.
September 15th—About an hour after leaving our
If aæ-i'^aiaBBaati^^
encampment, we crossed the river again in our boat, and
found a large camp of Cree Indians. They came down
to us in great numbers. Mr. Rowand, being acquainted
with their chiefs, they were very friendly with us, and
we bought a large quantity of dried meat from them.
About a year and a half after this, on my return, I met
the head chief, Kee-a-kee-ka-sa-coo-way, or the "Man
who gives the War-whoop," and learned something of
his history, which will be introduced in the latter part
of my journal. When I was in his company for some
time at Fort Pitt, in January 1848, the second chief,
Muck-e-too, or "Powder," acted as a sort of aide-decamp to the other, the head chief issuing his commands
in a low tone, while the other mounted bis horse and
delivered them to the rest of the camp in a loud commanding manner. Muck-e-too is a great warrior and
horse thief, the two most important qualifications for a
chief, skill in stealing horses being regarded with as
much respect as taking scalps. We had much difficulty
in getting away from them, as they wished to have a
long talk, but our time not permitting, we resumed our
journey. They, however, adroitly detained a boat that
had not yet come up, and the persons in charge had to
give them some tobacco before they would allow them
to proceed.
September 16th—We rode on till the middle of the
day through a most delightful country, covered with
luxuriant herbage, the plains being enamelled with
flowers of various kinds, presenting more the aspect of
a garden than of uncultivated land. While roasting
some meat before the fire for our breakfast, and allowing our horses to feed, we espied a party of Indians on
the opposite side of the river, who were evidently making signals to another party in our rear whom we did
srara* s_s ffiifrf * «*x»j
mm- MMf™*** * 'X-X^'Xtl'A X X"A A9lt\ **MA 'AJL
not see. Upon this, eight of their young men came
down to reconnoitre, and finding we were friends, kindly
conducted us to their camp. We bartered with them
for some horses.
I made a sketch of one of their chiefs, Otisskun, or
"the Horn," or rather I made a sketch of his back. I
did this for the purpose of showing his war-cap, and also
to delineate the bag which he carries at his back. These
bags are constantly worn, and contain some of the bones
or hair of their deceased relatives. These relics they
regard with the greatest veneration, and make them
their constant companions, whether riding, walking, or
sleeping. They are generally worn for a period of three
years. Not only amongst this tribe, but also amongst
others, the affection for their relatives is very remarkable, though of course sometimes exhibited in a strange
manner, as appears to us. As an instance of this, I may
mention the universal custom of Indian mothers eagerly
seeking another child, although it may be of an enemy,
to replace one of her own, whom she may have lost, no
matter how many other children she may have. This
child is always treated with as great, if not greater, kindness than the rest; but all the mother's care evidently
arises from, and has reference to, the love which she bore
to the departed.
I had an unexpected trouble to catch my horse, which
had got loose, in consequence of the hungry Indian dogs
having eaten the lasso of raw hide with which I had
fastened him.
September 17th—We were aroused in the night by
our hunter, who told us that the horses were stolen, and
as he would not leave the fire unless we accompanied
him, we all started in pursuit. After a run of about a
mile, we came up with the horses pursued by a band of
wolves; the billets of wood attached to their lassoes
having retarded their further escape; the wolves were
loth to leave their expected prey, but after a shot or two
they took to flight. The horses were evidently much
terrified, as they showed by remaining close to the camp-
fires all night afterwards.
In the course of our ride to-day we killed a cabree,
which was fortunate, as Mr. and Mrs. Lane arrived at
our camp fire in the evening in a state of severe exhaustion, having left the boats in the morning and walked the
whole day without tasting food. The boats had reached
the other side of the river, and, for want of a channel,
had been unable to cross over and take them in. It was
unfortunately a very cold night, and very little wood
could be procured; besides which, we were unprovided
with either tents or blankets, having dispensed with
these luxuries since we left Carlton, where we began our
journey on horseback. The greatest sufferer probably
from the cold of the night was a young clerk who had
walked with them, and left his coat and waistcoat in the
September 19th—The boats this morning found a
channel and crossed over to take in the party, who had
left them the morning before. We reached Fort Pitt
in the evening. It is a neat and compact little fort, and
is, like all the rest of the forts except those at Red River,
constructed of wood. The country here abounds in
buffalo; grain and other produce might be raised plentifully here if cultivated. We remained till the 23rd, and
I took a sketch of Chimaza, "the Little Slave," a Chip-
pewayeen Indian. He was the only one of that tribe
I ever saw, as they live far north of Fort Pitt, on the
Athabasca Lake; his prowess and dexterity in hunting
won him a degree of notoriety amongst the traders.   He
^^re^^ n ■■»' ml m a^a'sn i«, a X'*.1 'X 'X VX^'A *. A1 'A Am A * A'<My
had, when I saw him, upwards of a hundred moose skins,
besides furs to a considerable amount, which he had
brought to the fort to trade with.
September 23rd—I left the fort on horseback, accompanied by Mr. Rowand, Mr. Rundell, an Indian
boy, and a fresh hunter; on reaching the river we crossed
in a boat, and swam our horses by the bridle. We left
this establishment in true voyageur style, unburthened
with food of any kind, and, although contemplating a
journey of 200 miles, trusting solely to our guns, having
not even a grain of salt. After leaving the boat, we
saddled our horses, and had not proceeded more than ten
miles, when we fell in with immense numbers of
During the whole of the three days that it took us
to reach Edmonton House, we saw nothing else but
these animals covering the plains as far as the eye could
reach, and so numerous were they, that at times they
impeded our progress, filling the air with dust almost
to suffocation. We killed one whenever we required a
supply of food, selecting the fattest of the cows, taking
only the tongues and boss, or hump, for our present
meal, and not burdening ourselves unnecessarily with
more. Mr. Rowand fired and wounded a cow, which
made immediately for a clump of bushes; he followed it,
when the animal turned upon him, and bore him and his
horse to the ground, leaping over them, and escaping
among the rest. Fortunately, he received no hurt beyond
the mortification of being thrown down and run over by
an animal which he felt assured he should see roasting
at our evening camp fire. l^S-TtkfÆ.
Chapter X
Long Grass Prairie—An Obstinate Bear—Abandoning a Tired Horse—
Dried-up Lakes—Shooting Wild Geese—A Dangerous Swim—Boatbuilding—The Blazing Prairie—Setting Fire to fight Fire—A Cool
Confession—Indian want of Gallantry—An Indian Strongbow.
September 2Hh—We passed through what is called
the Long Grass Prairie. The bones of a whole camp of
Indians, who were carried off by that fatal scourge of
their race, the small-pox, were here bleaching on the
plains, having fallen from the platforms and trees on
which it is their custom to suspend their dead, covered
with skins,—which latter, as well as the supports, time
had destroyed. An immense grisly bear was drinking
out of a pond, and our hunter went ahead of the party to
try and get a shot at him. The bear quietly awaited his
attack, and the Indian, seeing him so cool, rather hesitated to advance, not deeming it prudent or safe to
depend on the fleetness of his horse unless he had a good
start of the bear. He fired, therefore, at too great a
distance for his shot to tell. The bear rose up very composedly on his hind legs, and regarding the hunter for
a moment, turned about and walked away. I then determined to try my luck. As I was very well mounted,
I rode up to within forty or fifty yards of him, and as
he turned to look at me, I discharged both barrels; one
wounded him in the shoulder, and, with a savage growl,
he turned and pursued me. I set off at full gallop
towards Mr. Rowand, who waited till he came within
shot, when he put another ball into him,—but still the
bear advanced.
In the meantime, the Indian and I had both managed
to reload, and, as the bear came forward, the Indian
'\WSmimems**™ ■ 'i."X"i.>iX'^<va.lX'^'X,^^X-XJ^'Xlm.lX^AAl'*A 4A'X^
fired, and must have hit, as the bear again rose on his
hind legs; when, taking deliberate aim, I lodged a ball
in his heart, and the huge monster fell to the ground.
The Indian now skinned him and cut off his paws, which
we found most delicious picking when roasted in the
evening. The claws, which I preserved, measured four
and a half inches. There is no animal on the whole continent that the Indians hold in so much dread as the
grisly bear, and few will attack one of them alone, unless
with a very fleet horse under him.
We had much difficulty that evening in finding a
place to encamp away from the immense number of
buffaloes that surrounded us, and we found it necessary
to fire off our guns during the night to keep them away.
We passed through a spot covered with great quantities
of shed antlers of the deer. We had ridden so fast as to
knock up Mr. Rowand's horse, but, having driven several loose horses with us, to provide against such
emergencies, we were not inconvenienced, leaving the
poor brute a prey to the wolves, which were constantly
hovering about us.
We encamped this evening on the borders of a very
beautiful fresh water lake. We had passed in our route
daily many dried-up lakes, principally small, the basins
covered with an incrustation of sub-carbonate of soda.
Many of these are bordered with a dense growth of
plants resembling in structure the well-known marine
production called samphire, but of a rich purple colour.
So unbroken is the incrustation of soda, as to give the
spots the appearance of being covered with snow.
September 26th—Mr. Rundell remained at the encampment this morning with the Indian boy, being
completely knocked up by the hard riding of the preceding days.   We were reluctant to leave him, but were -*«
iuro^^^^ b' 'MW*
under the necessity of going on as fast as possible, as I
had still a long journey before me, and the season was
drawing to a close. Mr. Rowand and myself, therefore,
left the camp at half-past 3 a.m., and pursued our journey almost at a gallop the whole way, having stopped
only once for about an hour, for breakfast and to
breathe our horses.
About 5 o'clock in the afternoon, when about eight
or ten miles from Fort Edmonton, we were met by a
party of gentlemen from the fort, who were out shooting
wild geese, in which they had been very successful, and
on seeing the jaded condition of our horses, they were
kind enough to exchange with us, so that we started off
for the remaining distance at a round gallop.
On getting to the edge of the river, which it was
necessary to cross to reach the fort, Mr. Rowand, having a fine large horse under him, plunged in. Though
my horse was very small, I did not hesitate in following him. Mr. Rowand's horse carried him over in fine
style, but mine, not being equal to the task, sank under
me; still, however, I held firmly on to him, till, drifting
into the rapid, he struck a sunken rock in striving to
obtain a footing, on which he nearly brought me under
him; but, on drifting a little further down, he fortunately found footing in a more shallow part, and was
able to ford across, Mr. Rowand appearing greatly to
enjoy the scene from his safe position on the shore. We
were greeted by the occupants of the fort in their gayest
attire, the day being Sunday.
Edmonton is a large establishment: as it has to
furnish many other districts with provisions, a large
supply is always kept on hand, consisting entirely of
dried meat, tongues, and pemmican. There are usually
here a chief factor and a clerk, with forty or fifty men
k^^^y^ n m.1.1—.law-iAiH >l»MHA1kSUA Jni'AnH*TJ!SIICA KVTWl
with their wives and children, amounting altogether to
about 130, who all live within the pickets of the fort.
Their employment consists chiefly in building boats for
the trade, sawing timber, most of which they raft down
the river from ninety miles higher up, cutting up the
small poplar which abounds on the margin of the river
for fire-wood, 800 cords of which are consumed every
winter, to supply the numerous fires in the establishment. The employment of the women, who are all,
without a single exception, either squaws or half-breeds,
consists in making moccasins and clothing for the men,
and converting the dried meat into pemmican.
On the night of our arrival at Edmonton, the wind
increased to a perfect hurricane, and we had reason to
be thankful to Providence for our timely escape from
the awful scene we now witnessed from our present place
of safety, for, had we been one day later, we might have
been involved in its fiery embrace. The scene on which
our attention was now riveted, was the conflagration of
the prairie through which we had passed but a few hours
before. The scene was terrific in the extreme; the night
being intensely dark gave increased effect to the brilliancy of the flames. We were apprehensive at one
time of its crossing the river to the side on which the
fort is situated, which must in that case have been
destroyed. Our fears, too, for Mr. Rundell, whom we
had left behind with the boys, were only relieved three
days afterwards, when he arrived in safety. It appeared
that he had noticed the fire at a long distance off, and
immediately started for the nearest bend in the river,
which with great exertions he reached in time, and succeeded in crossing. The mode resorted to by the Indians,
when in the immediate vicinity of a prairie on fire, is to
set fire to a long patch in front of them, which they
■ds* ^fcr
follow up, and thus depriving the fire in the rear of fuel,
escape all but the smoke, which, however, nearly suffocates them.
As we had to remain here until the arrival of the
boat with Mr. Lane and the Russian packs of otters,
I took å sketch of the fort, and having leisure, I went a
good deal amongst the Indians, who are constantly about
the fort for the purpose of trading; they were principally Crees and Assiniboines: Potika-poo-tis, "the Little
Round Man," an Assiniboine chief, sat for me. He was
well known about the fort, and was commonly called the
Duke of Wellington, I suppose from his small person
and his warlike feats. He was on one occasion set upon
by a party of Blackfeet, and, while in the act of discharging his gun, received a wound, which he showed
me, of rather a remarkable nature. The ball entering his
wrist, passed through the arm, entered the neck, and
came out near the upper part of the spine. He had
received several wounds, but none that seemed seriously
to endanger bis life, as at the time I saw him he was in
good health.
After relating various stories of his war and hunting exploits, he, to my great astonishment, told me that
he had killed his own mother. It appears that, while
travelling, she told him that she felt too old and feeble
to sustain the hardships of life, and too lame to travel
any further, and asked him to take pity on her, and end
her misery, on which he unhesitatingly shot her on the
spot. I asked him whereabouts he had directed his ball.
His reply was, "Do you think I would shoot her in a
bad place? I hit her there;" pointing his finger to the
region of the heart. "She died instantly, and I cried at
first; but after I had buried her, the impression wore
»nyy*^ irv- •vnyiA.'V.un: X'%!-*» JXTJMkTA Vif'l T7X X * 1
It must not be supposed that Indians look on the
softer sex with feelings at all resembling those entertained towards them in civilized life; in fact, they regard
them more in the light of slaves than as companionable
beings. As might be expected, this is most evident in
their treatment of aged women, whom they consider as
scarcely fit to live.
Some of the Company's servants were going up the
Saskatchewan river on the ice in the winter, with a
sledge of dogs drawing a load, comprising, amongst
other things, an eight-gallon keg of spirits; and in
crossing over a piece of bad ice, the dogs went through
sledge and all, and were instantly carried under by the
force of the current. In the following summer, some
Indians, while bathing near the shore, picked up the
cask safe and sound; and finding, on examination, that
it was full of rum, made up their minds to have a booze.
One of them, however, suggested the possibility that the
white men had put poison in it, to be revenged on them
for having fired on the inland brigade of canoes while
going up the river the year before. This deterred them
from drinking any until they had tested its quality. For
this purpose they selected eight of the oldest women in
the camp to try the experiment on. The women fell into
the snare; and, becoming intoxicated, commenced singing
with great glee. But an old chief soon put a stop to their
potations, saying there could be no poison in it, and that
it was far too good to be thrown away upon old women.
The whole tribe then set to, and were not long in draining the cask.
One day, whilst wandering some distance to the
south of the fort, I saw two Assiniboine Indians hunting
buffaloes. One was armed with a spear, formed of an
ashpole about ten feet long, ornamented with tufts of
JB? ri^M^f^^^^^S^S^^k^MtmmmMm^
hair, and having an iron head, which is procured from
the trading posts; the other with a bow formed of ash,
with the sinews of a buffalo gummed to the back of it.
These they use with great dexterity and force; I have
known an instance of the arrows passing through the
body of the animal, and sticking in the ground at the
opposite side.
^^*™mwffr *^ <"* rT|*fl <"X^mA%r>A**AisAVA£mAkip'k' ^
Chapter XI
Leaving Fort Edmonton—The Last of the Buffaloes—Sir George's Highland
Piper—An Indian Delicacy—Freak of an Evil Spirit—Singular Cradle—
Jasper's House—The Snow and the Cold—First Steps in Snow-shoes—
Nearly Roasted Alive—Going down Hill—Wading an Icy Torrent—
Making up for Lost Time—Shooting the Dalle de Mort—A Narrow
Escape—A Wet Voyage.
Wé remained at Edmonton till the morning of the
6th, preparing for the arduous journey which now lay
before us. On that morning we started at daybreak.
Our party consisted of Mr. Lane and his wife, a young
man named Charles, a clerk, who was going to a post
on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, a person of
the name of M'Giflveray, and sixteen men. We had
with us sixty-five horses to carry our baggage and provisions. This seems a large supply of horses for so
small a party; but it must be taken into consideration
that Edmonton is the last post at which we could get a
supply of provisions on this side of the mountains; so
that we were necessarily obliged to carry a large quantity
with us, owing to the difficulty which always arises in
getting the men away from comfortable quarters to
commence a long and difficult journey, coupled with
the wildness of the horses on the first day's march. We
only succeeded in reaching Sturgeon Creek, a distance
of about sixteen miles, on the first day. Seeing a group
of buffaloes reposing near a small lake, I took a sketch
(No. 6). They were the last that I should see for some
time; and it was easy for me to keep up with the party
at the slow rate at which they proceeded.
October 7th—The prairies were now fast receding
behind us, our course lying to the northward. The track
became almost impassable, being wet and swampy; and
m ^^S^§SSS^TF^7
the horses often stuck fast, and threw off their loads in
their struggles to extricate themselves from the mire.
We were lucky enough to vary our provisions by killing
a great many geese of the kind called "wavy."   Could
No. 6—Group of Buffaloes.
we have procured a little salt, I should have found them
more palatable.
October 8th—The tremendous hurricane above alluded to had torn up immense trees by the roots, and
scattered them in piles one on another in all directions,
detaining us sometimes for hours, while the men cut a
path through them for the horses. Our progress through
the thick woods, which we had now fairly entered, was
necessarily very slow and fatiguing.
October 9th—The track still continued bad, and we
saw no game; so that our time passed very monotonously, as we had to keep pace with the loaded horses. A
Highlander of the name of Colin Frazer had joined our
FM Wac:*W^*v *^t ^gg^. ■-.-■■ .|~*
«jEjf *-?»"^ K A'*W9*iU!J®krAXWAlk'*A A 411^
party. He was on his way to a small post, of which he
had the charge, at the head of the Athabasca River, in
the Rocky Mountains, where he had resided for the last
eleven years. He had been brought to the country by
Sir George Simpson, in the capacity of his piper, at the
time when he explored Frazer's River, and made an
extensive voyage through a country hitherto little
known, and among Indians who had seen few or no
white men. He carried the pipes with him, dressed in
his Highland costume; and when stopping at forts, or
wherever he found Indians, the bagpipes were put in
requisition, much to the astonishment of the natives, who
supposed him to be a relation of the Great Spirit, having, of course, never beheld so extraordinary a looking
man, or such a musical instrument, which astonished
them as much as the sound produced. One of the
Indians asked him to intercede with the Great Spirit
for him; but Frazer remarked, the petitioner little
thought how limited his influence was in that quarter.
October 10th—I left the party this morning and proceeded on, and at two o'clock in the afternoon, after a
smart ride, I arrived at Fort Assiniboine, on the
Athabasca River. This establishment, although honoured with the name of a fort, is a mere post used for
taking care of horses, a common man or horsekeeper
being in charge of it. The rest of the party arrived late
the same evning.
October 11th—We found two boats here, which our
men immediately overhauled and set to work to repair
and pitch. At 2 o'clock p.m., we embarked, and continued travelling slowly on, against a very strong current, for five days. The water was very low, which
added greatly to our difficulties.   We saw no game nor
*0M jj^5 ^ "*^*s jgy seg « ^taaxæKmmimmimmM^
Indians to break the monotony of our labour, and the
nights and mornings were becoming very cold.
October 15th—When we stopped to take breakfast
it was very cold and snowing. We held a council, and
it was determined that, as the weather had set in so bad,
five men and one boat, with the clerk Charles, should
return back to Fort Assiniboine with the Russian packs
of otter skins. We were now all obliged to crowd into
one boat, the others having gone back; and were frequently obliged to disembark and lighten the boat,
owing to the unusual lowness of the river. We had
almost continually to drag the boat onwards with a line,
the men waist deep in the water. One of them slipped
off a log into deep water, and it was with no small difficulty we saved him from being drowned. We had not
extricated him from the river five minutes before his
clothes were stiff with ice. I asked him if he was not
cold, and his reply was characteristic of the hardihood
of the Iroquois, of which tribe our party principally
consisted, "My clothes are cold, but I am not."
October 16th—The weather had now set in so cold
that we began to doubt the possibility of crossing the
mountains this season. The line by which the men dragged the boat broke twice to-day in the rapids, and our
boat was nearly dashed to pieces among the rocks. Had
this misfortune happened, we should have lost all our
provisions, and had a great chance of perishing with
October 17th and 18th—Weather fine. This is the
most monotonous river that ever I have met with in my
travels. Nothing but point after point appearing, all
thickly covered with pine, any extensive view being
entirely out of the question. The course of the river,
although tortuous, is rapid, but unbroken by falls, run-
tm&ew*B^ ■KTt XI  !■■» -^T XI tWI^I. »*
ning at the rate of six or seven miles an hour on an
October 19th—We fell in with an Indian hunter and
his family. He had two bark canoes; he sold one of them
to Colin Frazer, in which he embarked with four men,
for the purpose of'lightening our boat, and proceeded
on in advance of us. We traded with them for some
beaver meat and moose noses; the latter is the most delicate eating I ever met with, and is valued amongst the
Indians beyond all other food.
October 20th and -1 vt—The weather was fine, and
we made good progress.
October 22nd—The men were in extraordinarily
good spirits. I measured a tree lying on the ground,
which had been cut down by the beaver; it was seven
feet in circumference. We found three bears left en
cache by Colin Frazer, an old one and two cubs. He
told me afterwards that he had killed the two cubs at
one shot, while one was climbing over the back of the
other to ascend a bank. The cubs proved fine eating,
and were much relished, as our fresh provisions had been
long exhausted.
October 29rd—We passed a camp fire still burning
that had been left by Frazer the night previously.
October 2éth—We passed the Rapids de Mort. The
men had great difficulty in getting the boat up; we, of
course, had all to walk. All the ponds and still water
were frozen hard enough to bear. The rapidity of the
current, however, prevented ice forming in the river.
A small bag of pemmican made in the usual way,
except that it contained Sasketome berries, was stolen,
and a search being made for its recovery, a part of it
was found in one of the men's bags. The only temptation to the theft could have been that it was more palat- 'figJASM 'Al !^WM ieWWIUMt
able than his own. M'Gillveray, being one of the most
powerful men of the party, was called upon to administer the punishment, which he did by repeatedly knocking the delinquent down. This severity of punishment
was called for by the fact, that the most disastrous consequences might arise on a journey through these
desolate regions, if the most rigid care were not taken
of the provisions.
October 25th to 27th—There was no change in the
general aspect of the country; the same monotonous
scenery still surrounded us.
October 28th—We passed the mouth of the Old
Man's River. The Indians say that an evil spirit once
came down this river—which is so rapid that no canoe
can ascend it—and that having reached its mouth, where
it enters the Athabasca, he made five steps down, leaving
a rapid at every step. These rapids are a mile apart.
After which he returned and went up his own river, and
has not since been heard of. The river now became so
shallow, that we were obliged to make two discharges.
October 29th—The bank of the river being very high,
I ascended it, and saw for the first time the sublime and
apparently endless chain of the Rocky Mountains. The
outline was scarcely perceptible in the distance through
the intervening smoky atmosphere, which is caused by
the almost invariable conflagration of the woods at this
season of the year. M'Gillveray wounded a moose while
out with his gun. The deer took to the water, and swam
across to the opposite side. I took the boat and followed
him, and brought him down at the first shot. He was
a fine large buck. It being nearly night, we encamped
on the spot, and supped heartily off him, carrying his
remains with us next morning. iMx-r^^'M.1 jra.^xTk'-!vx'-u.'X' x x"X X'U x * i
October 30th—We had a fine view of the mountains
from the boat for the first time; the men greeted them
with a hearty cheer.
October 31st—The atmosphere clear but very cold.
I made a sketch of the river and the mountains in the
November 1st—We entered Jasper's Lake in the
morning. This lake is about twelve miles long, and
from three to four miles wide, but at this season of the
year very shallow, on account of its sources in the
mountains being frozen. We had to land three men on
the south shore for the purpose of decreasing the draft
of our boat; but even then we proceeded with great
difficulty. Shortly after we had put them on shore, it
began to blow a perfect hurricane, which drove us to
the north side, and a snow storm coming on, we were
compelled to encamp. This was unfortunate, as it was
impossible to communicate with the men whom we had
left at the other side, and who were without either provisions or blankets, and we knew from the intense cold
that they must be suffering severely.
November 2nd—We were now close upon the mountains, and it is scarcely possible to conceive the intense
force with which the wind howled through a gap formed
by the perpendicular rock called "Miette's Rock," 1500
feet high, on the one side, and a lofty mountain on the
other. The former derives its appellation from a French
voyageur, who climbed its summit and sat smoking his
pipe with his legs hanging over the fearful abyss.
M'Gillveray and the guide went on to Colin Frazer's,
distant about fourteen or fifteen miles, to procure horses,
as we found that further progress in the boat was impossible, both on account of the shallowness of the water
and the violence of the wind.
i   liiliiiiirn ÆXM^'fl'^1*1^4'^
II *———-
i    MMM—MI
November 3rd—The hurricane still continued, accompanied by very heavy snow; indeed, from what I
heard, I believe it is always blowing at this place. The
forest is composed entirely of very high pine trees, small
in circumference, and growing thickly together; these
had a very curious appearance in the storm, as they
waved in the wind like a field of grain. The immense
long roots seemed to be especially provided them by
nature to prevent their being blown over; and, as the
soil is very light, and upon a rocky foundation, these
roots formed a net work near the surface, which was in
constant motion, and rocked us to sleep as we lay round
our camp fires.
Meanwhile, our guide returned from Jasper's House
with several horses. We found our boat blown out of
the water, and lying fifteen feet distant from it on the
shore although its weight was so great, that the strength
of our remaining nine men could not return it to its
I selected a horse, and, taking the guide with me,
started for the establishment in advance of the rest of
the party. After a severe ride of four hours, and having forded the river four times, dangerously crowded
with drift ice borne down by a rapid current, sometimes
coming over the saddle, I arrived at Jasper's House
cold, wet and famished. But I was soon cheered by a
blazing fire and five or six pounds of mountain sheep,
which I certainly then thought far more delicious than
any domestic animal of the same species. About 10
o'clock that evening, to our great joy, the three men
whom we had left on the south shore, came in. Their
sufferings had been very great, as they had been wandering through the woods for three days without food,
endeavouring to find the house which none of them had v m*y 9 •jlhåTJAUTA A 5J iMH-iXaWA S A"4 JET
been at before. One of them had not even taken his coat
with him, and it was only by lying huddled together at
night that they escaped being frozen. Another suffered
dreadfully from the swelled state of his legs, caused by
the strings usually tied round their leggings being too
tight, and which, owing to his benumbed condition, he
did not perceive. We had some difficulty in cutting
them off, as they were buried in the swollen flesh.
No. 7—Jasper's House—Rocky Mountains.
November 4>th—Mr. Lane and party arrived safe in
the evening with the loaded horses. Jasper's House
consists of only three miserable log huts. The dwelling-
house is composed of two rooms, of about fourteen or
fifteen feet square each. One of them is used by all
comers and goers: Indians, voyageurs, and traders, men,
women, and children being huddled together indiscriminately; the other room being devoted to the exclusive
occupation of Colin and his family, consisting of a Cree
i l itnli Hi
_^£i i^jgjftrøfli^^'^^
itSULK'Æ '■?ty,>'^£
squaw, and nine interesting half-breed children. One
of the other huts is used for storing provisions in, when
they can get any, and the other I should have thought a
dog-kennel had I seen many of the canine species about.
This post is only kept up for the purpose of supplying
horses to parties crossing the mountains. I made a
sketch of the establishment (No. 7).
November 5th—We started with a cavalcade of
thirteen loaded horses, but as we did not expect to be
able to get the horses across the mountains, I got an
Indian to make me a pair of snow-shoes. The Indians
about here do not number above fifteen or twenty; they
are the Shoo-Schawp tribe, and their chief, of whom I
made a sketch, is called "Capote Blanc" by the voyageurs
—in their own language it is Assannitchay, but means
the same. His proper location is a long distance to the
north-east; but he had been treacherously entrapped,
whilst travelling with thirty-seven of his people, by a
hostile tribe, which met him and invited him to sit down
and smoke the pipe of peace. They unsuspectingly laid
down their arms, but before they had time to smoke,
their treacherous hosts seized their arms and murdered
them all except eleven who managed to escape, and fled
to Jasper's House, where they remained; never dønng
to return to their own country through the hostile tribe.
Capote Blanc was a very simple, kind-hearted old man,
with whom I became very friendly.
We left this inhospitable spot about noon, and
crossed the river in a small canoe, to where the men were
waiting for us, with the horses, which they had swum
across the river in the morning. We rode on till 4
o'clock, and encamped in a small prairie, of which I
made a sketch.
ro^«w»«ffiflyjffl «^iiaiiiiiww-1
3mmmmt »jwejmisp
November 6th—We made hut few miles of progress
to-day, being obliged to encamp at La Row's Prairie in
order to pasture our horses, our next stopping place
being too distant to reach that evening.
November 7th—We made a long day; our route lay
sometimes over almost inaccessible crags, and at others
through gloomy and tangled forest; as we ascended, the
snow increased in depth, and we began to feel the
effects of the increasing cold and rarefaction of the
November 8th—We saw two mountain goats looking
down on us from a lofty and precipitous ledge of rock,
not exceeding, to all appearance, a few inches in width.
One of the Indians who accompanied us from Jasper's
House to take back the horses, started to attain a crag
above them, as these animals cannot be approached near
enough to shoot them from below, their gaze being always directed downwards. They chanced, however, to
see him going up, and immediately escaped to an inaccessible height.
November 9th—Finding the snow so deep, and
knowing, not only that we were late, but that our further
progress must be slow, we became apprehensive that the
party who should be waiting for us with boats and provisions from Fort Vancouver, at the other side of the
mountains, would give up all hopes of meeting us and
might leave. This would have entailed the most fearful
hardships upon us, if it did not produce actual destruction, as we should have had to recross the mountains with
scarcely any or no provisions. We, therefore despatched the guide and M'Gillveray, to hasten on to
Boat Encampment. We encamped at the "Grand
Batteur," where we found some snow-shoes, which had
been hidden by the party that had come out in the
November 10th—We had not proceeded far before
the horses stuck fast in the snow, and we were obliged
to encamp on the spot to give those men who were unprovided, time to make snow-shoes, without which they
could not proceed. We remained here all day, and sent
the horses back with everything we could dispense with,
our provisions and blankets being quite as much as the
men could carry; and some of the new hands, who had
only come into the country that year, were now so
knocked up by their long and fatiguing voyage from
Montreal, which they had left in the spring, as to be
quite useless.
November 11th—We sent two experienced men in
advance to beat the track for the new beginners, and
made our first essay on snow-shoes. Some of our men
succeeded but indifferently in the attempt, having never
used them before; and the shoes, which we made the day
before not being of the best description, materially impeded our progress. The shoes which the Indian had
made for me at Jasper House were particularly good
ones, and I found little difficulty in their use. Mrs. Lane
had also taken the precaution to bring a pair with her,
and as she had been accustomed to them from her childhood at Red River, where they are a great deal used, she
proved one of our best pedestrians. We encamped early,
making for the first time what is called a regular winter
encampment. This is only made where the snow is so
deep that it cannot be removed so as to reach the ground.
The depth to which the snow attains can be calculated
by the stumps of the trees cut off at its former level for
previous camp fires; some of these were twelve or fifteen
feet above us at the present time, and the snow was
Mmv9**m&t*^* <"**»:
I j^ffi •«*>-»» «^ l^»^>».l».^^^ta'VVf^'afcX'l^a,'?k'-tA!iA4AaL'M.''A'''A
nine or ten feet deep under us. Some of the old voy-
ageurs amused themselves by telling the new hands or
Mangeurs du Lard, that the Indians in those parts were
giants from thirty to forty feet high, and that accounted
for the trees being cut off at such an unusual height.
It is necessary to walk repeatedly with snow-shoes
over the place chosen for the encampment until it is
sufficiently beaten down to bear a man without sinking
on its furface. Five or six logs of green timber, from
eighteen to twenty feet long, are laid down close together, in parallel lines, so as to form a platform. The
fire of dry wood is then kindled on it, and pine branches
are spread on each side, on which the party, wrapped in
their blankets, lie down with their feet towards the fire.
The parallel logs rarely burn through in one night, but
the dropping coal and heat form a deep chasm immediately under the fire, into which the logs are prevented
from falling by their length. Into this hole an Iroquois,
who had placed himself too near the fire, rolled a depth
of at least six or seven feet, the snow having melted from
under him while asleep. His cries awoke me, and after
a hearty laugh at his fiery entombment, we succeeded
in dragging him out.
November 12th—To-day we attained what is called
the Height of Land. There is a small lake at this
eminence called the Committee's Punch-bowl; this forms
the head waters of one branch of the Columbia River on
the west side of the mountains, and of the Athabasca
on the east side. It is about three quarters of a mile in
circumference, and is remarkable as giving rise to two
such mighty rivers; the waters of the one emptying into
the Pacific Ocean, and of the other into the Arctic Sea.
We encamped on its margin, with difficulty protecting
ourselves from the intense cold.
ill Pi
■#€'< ^fejaafei ^ 'V^' M J4LgBfekl ^^^VA^'Jfe A^LAMJLy4^!,
November 18th—The lake being frozen over to some
depth, we walked across it, and shortly after commenced
the descent of the grand cdte, having been seven days
continually ascending. The descent was so steep, that
it took us only one day to get down to nearly the same
level as that of Jasper's House. The descent was a work
of great difficulty on snow-shoes, particularly for those
carrying loads; their feet frequently slipped from under
them, and the loads rolled down the hill. Some of the
men, indeed, adopted the mode of rolling such loads as
would not be injured down before them. On reaching
the bottom, we found eight men waiting, whom M'Gillveray and the guide had sent on to assist us to Boat
Encampment, and we all encamped together.
November låth—I remained at the camp fire finishing one of my sketches, the men having made a very
early start in order to reach Boat Encampment, where
they would get a fresh supply of provisions, ours being
nearly exhausted. As soon as I had finished my sketch
I followed them, and soon arrived at a river about
seventy yards across, and with a very rapid current.
Having followed their tracks in the snow to the edge
of the river, and seeing the strength of the current, I
began to look for other tracks, under the impression
that they might possibly have discovered a way to get
round it. But I was soon undeceived by seeing it in
the snow on the other side of the path they had beaten
down on the opposite bank; nothing, therefore, remained
but for me to take off my snow-shoes, and make the
traverse. The water was up to my middle, running very
rapidly, and filled with drift ice, some pieces of which
struck me, and nearly forced me down the stream. I
found on coming out of the water my capote and leggings frozen stiff.   My difficulties, however, were only
|ffifc^^*<^ffi **^y»-TT»-.T.aaMiT -i.Ti.n .T.imnwini isjga'jxxi'x-'x^
beginning, as I was soon obliged to cross again four
times, when, my legs becoming completely benumbed,
I dared not venture on the fifth, until I had restored the
circulation by running up and down the beach. I had to
cross twelve others in a similar manner, being seventeen
in all, before I overtook the rest of the party at the
encampment. The reason of these frequent crossings
is, that the only pass across the mountains is the gorge
formed by the Athabasca at one side, and the Columbia
at the other; and the beds of these torrents can only be
crossed in the spring before the thaws commence, or in
the fall after the severe weather has set in. During the
summer the melting of the mountain snow and ice renders them utterly impracticable.
November 15th—It will be easily imagined with
what regret we left a warm fire and comfortable encampment, to plunge at once into one of the deepest
crossings we had yet encountered, covered hike the preceding with running ice. Here, as in many other of the
crossings, our only means of withstanding the force of
the current was for all to go abreast shoulder to shoulder,
in a line parallel with it, each man being supported by
all below him. Mrs. Lane, although it was necesssary
to carry her in the arms of two powerful men across the
river, acquitted herself in other respects as well as any
of us. One of the greatest annoyances accompanying
the use of snow-shoes, is that of having to take them off
on entering a river, and replacing them over the wet
and frozen moccasins on coming out of it.
Before stopping to breakfast this morning, we
crossed the river twenty-five times, and twelve times more
before camping; having waded it thirty-seven times in
all during the day. iiwiKuiffémMJumkJ^i^Åiuu^^JUMiMM
The Columbia here makes long reaches, to and fro,
through a valley, in some parts three miles wide, and
backed with stupendous mountains, rearing their snowy
tops above the clouds, and forming here and there immense glaciers, reflecting the rays of the sun with
extreme brilliancy and prismatic beauty. The last part
of the route lay through a slimy lake or swamp, frozen
over, but not with sufficient solidity to bear us, so that
we had to wade above our knees in a dense mass of snow,
ice, and mud, there being no such thing as a dry spot to
afford a moment's respite from the scarcely endurable
severity of the cold, under which I thought I must have
sunk exhausted.
At length, however, we arrived at Boat Encampment, about 5 p.m.., almost perishing with cold and
hunger, having tasted nothing since what I have already
termed breakfast, which consisted only of a small supply of soup made of pemmican, this being the mode of
making the most of a small quantity of it. On our
arrival we found a good fire blazing, and some soup
made from pork and corn, brought from Fort Vancouver, boiling in the pot, which I attacked with so much
avidity, that one of the men, fearing I might take too
much in my present exhausted state, politely walked off
with the bowl and its contents.
The men had been here waiting our arrival for thirtv-
nine days, and would have returned to Fort Vancouver
the next day, had not the guide and M'Gillveray opportunely arrived in time to prevent them, as they thought
we had either been cut off by the Indians, or that we had
found it impossible to cross the mountains. In fact,
they were clearing the snow out of the boats preparatory
to starting. Had our messengers not arrived in time,
it would most likely have proved fatal to us all, as we
f^T^^^ifffi^ HHL'HU
MA. ■Xia.'*aj%M*,!^4«i4'A! A^iA4A WM.M4 JM1*.
could not have re-crossed the mountains without provisions.
On leaving Boat Encampment, I did not take any
sketches, although the scenery was exceedingly grand;
the rapidity with which we now travelled, and the necessity for doing so owing to the lateness of the season, prevented me; and as I was determined to return by the
same route, I knew that I should then have plenty of
time and opportunity. I shall therefore give a mere
outline of my rapid journey to Fort Vancouver, a distance of 1200 miles down the Columbia River, which we
accomplished in fifteen days, and which afterwards took
me four months to ascend.
November 16th—Our two boats were by this time
ready; they were formed canoe fashion, with round
bottoms of boards, clinker built. On leaving Boat Encampment the scene is exceedingly grand; immense
mountains receding further and further in the distance
on every side. Few who read this journal, surrounded
by the comforts of civilized life, will be able to imagine
the heartfelt satisfaction with which we exchanged the
wearisome snow-shoe for the comfortable boats, and the
painful anxiety of half-satisfied appetites for a well-
stocked larder. True it was, that the innumerable
rapids of the Columbia were filled with dangers of no
ordinary character, and that it required the constant
exercise of all our energy and skill to escape their perils,
but we now had health and high spirits to help us. We
no longer had to toil on in clothes frozen stiff from
wading across torrents, half-famished, and with the consciousness ever before us, that whatever were our hardships and fatigue, rest was sure destruction in the cold
solitudes of those dreary mountains.
rig« UaM^^vgWJK'^^
About three hours after our departure, we shot the
celebrated "Dalle de Mort." It is about three miles
long and is the most dangerous of all the rapids on the
November 17th and 18th—We passed through the
two lakes, and were obliged to work night and day to
avail ourselves of the calm weather, although the snow
fell without ceasing.
November 19th—We again entered the current of
the river, where the men were enabled to rest for a few
November 20th-rAbout noon we ran through the
Little Dalle, which, though short, is a series of dangerous
whirlpools, which can only be passed with the greatest
precaution, and arrived safe at Colville at 6 o'clock in
the evening. Colville is beautifully situated about a
mile above the fall of the Chaudiére or Kettle Falls; it
exceeds in height any other fall on the Columbia, and
derives its name from the round holes that the water has
hollowed out in the rocks, resembling cauldrons of various sizes. Here we were most hospitably entertained by
Mr. Lewis, who was in charge. To avoid this fall we
had to carry our boats a distance of two miles over a
hill two or three hundred feet high. We remained here
three days, during which time the men did little else but
eat and sleep. The rapidity with which they changed
their appearance was astonishing. Some of them
became so much improved in looks, that it was with
difficulty we could recognize our voyageurs.
November 23rd—We encamped in the evening a
few miles below the falls. During the night some
Indians, who had been prowling about, crept into the
boats and stole some wearing apparel, which proved
MUfa H'jXlVX"X'lA!^(%'JAA,^lA>'>!^l!A-Vl'J>lM.J>.ll4A'4A
very annoying to us,  as our  wardrobes  were  rather
November 2éth—We arrived at the Grand Rapid,
which the boats were obliged to run. I, however, preferred getting out to walk, with the object of making
some sketches. I had proceeded nearly three miles along
the shore, and felt somewhat astonished at not seeing
the boats following, when I observed something in the
water, which I at first took to be the head of an Indian
swimming across. I accordingly prepared my gun in
case of an attack, as the Indians about here are considered some of the worst on the Columbia. On close
observation, however, I made out the object to be
the hood which I had noticed Mrs. Lane to wear in the
morning, and soon afterwards I perceived the paddles
and oars of one of the boats. I now began to feel
alarmed for the safety of some of the party, and immediately returned to the rapid as fast as possible. There
I saw one of the boats, in which Mr. and Mrs. Lane
were, in a most dangerous situation, having struck in the
midst of the rapids upon a rock, which had stove in her
side. The conduct of the men evinced great presence
of mind. The instant she struck, they had sprung on the
gunwale next the rock, and by their united weight kept
her lying upon it. The water foamed and raged around
them with fearful violence. Had she slipped off, they
must all have been dashed to pieces amongst the rocks
and rapids below; as it was, they managed to maintain
their position, until the crew of the other boat, which
had run the rapids safely, had unloaded and dragged the
empty boat up the rapids again. They then succeeded in
throwing a line to their hapless companions. But there
was still considerable danger, lest in hauling the empty
boat towards them they might pull themselves off the 'Æ&£
!Må&'M '*'*}^^ iaf^xxuntmmm&^uimmimim^^
rock; they at length, however, succeeded by cautious
management in getting the boat alongside, and in embarking in safety. In a moment afterwards their own
boat slipped from the rock, and was dashed to pieces.
Everything that floated we picked up afterwards, but
still we lost a great many useful and necessary articles.
We had, in consequence of this mishap, to send back
overland to Colville for another boat. This detained us
until the morning of the 26th. We now continued our
journey rapidly and safely, and arrived at Okanagan
on the evening of the 28th November. Our provisions
had run short, and we were compelled to shoot one of the
horses of the establishment, which we roasted, and
found very palatable. In our emergency the men partook of it so voraciously that some of them were unable
to work the next day.
November 29th—We continued our course, and in
four days arrived at Fort Walla-Walla. Here we remained till December 4th, when we entered that part of
the country which is annually visited by an almost continuous rain for five months of the year, and during the
remainder of our voyage to Fort Vancouver, which we
reached on the 8th December, we were exposed in our
open boats to an incessant shower. Mr. Douglas and
Mr. Ogden, the two chief factors in charge of the fort,
came down to the landing, a distance of about half a
mile, to welcome us on our arrival, all hopes of which
they had given up, and conducted us up to the fort,
where we were entertained with the most liberal hospitality.
&^g&:*», ,* <* ■* ^^l^^ém^-f-^kmUm^jajMMmmmmmm
•**. 3
Chapter XII
Fort \ ancouver—The Flatheads—Hereditary Names—Ravages of Fever
The Evil Genius—How to Flatten the Head—The Sign of a Slave—Am
Impracticable  Tongue—"Clark,   how   are  you?"—Revolting  Habits—
Chinook Costume—Baskets Water-tight—How they cook the Camas— £*&l
Chinook Olives—Chinook Lodges—Good-tempered Gamblers.
Fort Vancouver, the Indian name of which is
Katchutequa, or "the Plain," is the largest post in the
Hudson's Bay Company's dominions, and has usually
two chief factors, with eight or ten clerks and 200 voy-
ageurs, residing there.   Our society was also enlivened <S^i
by the addition of the officers of Her Majesty's ship of
war the "Modeste," which had been on this station for
two years, and lay in the river opposite the establishment.
The buildings are enclosed by strong pickets about sixteen feet high, with bastions for cannon at the corners.
The men, with their Indian wives, live in log huts near
the margin of the river, fonning a little village—quite
a Babel of languages, as the inhabitants are a mixture
of English, French, Iroquois, Sandwich Islanders, Crees
and Chinooks.
The Columbia is here, ninety miles from its mouth, a
mile and a quarter wide; the surrounding country is
well wooded and fertile, the oak and pine being of the
finest description. A large farm is cultivated about
eight miles up the river, producing more grain than the
fort consumes; the surplus being sent to the Sandwich
Islands and the Russian dominions. They have immense herds of domestic horned cattle, which run wild in
unknown numbers; and sheep and horses are equally
numerous. When first introduced from California, Dr.
M'Laughlin, the gentleman then in charge, would not
allow any of the horned cattle to be killed for the use of æ^aes:
* the establishment until their numbers had reached 600,
by which means they have multiplied beyond calculation.
During the five months' autumn and winter, it rains
almost continuously, with very little frost or snow. The
river, however, was frozen over for a short time during
the winter I spent there, but it was remarked as the
coldest season ever experienced; during the other seven
months the weather is dry and sultry.
The Flathead Indians are met with on the banks
of the Columbia River, from its mouth eastward to the
Cascades, a distance of about 150 miles; they extend up
the Walhamette River's mouth, about thirty or forty
miles, and through the district between the Walhamette
and Fort Astoria, now called Fort George. To the
north they extend along the Cowlitz River, and the tract
of land lying between that and Puget's Sound. About
two-thirds of Vancouver's Island is also occupied by
them, and they are found along the coasts of Puget's
Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The Flatheads
are divided into numerous tribes, each having its own
peculiar locality, and differing more or less from the
others in language, customs, and manners. Those in
the immediate vicinity of the fort are principally Chi-
nooks and Klickataats, and are governed by a chief
called Casanov. This name has no translation, the
Indians on the west side of the Rocky Mountains differing from those on the east in having hereditary names,
to which no particular meaning appears to be attached,
and the origin of which is in many instances forgotten.
Casanov is a man of advanced age, and resides principally at Fort Vancouver. I made a sketch (No. 8)
of him while staying at the fort. Previously in 1829
Casanov was considered a powerful chief, and could lead
into the field 1000 men, but in that vear the Hudson's
[w'¥^*^^.^y^^^^gg^«*x.«A^y« j™^--» ^--Tjfljy-	 »RMiwj»."xt ax"x"A a? x nw^uJtÆHM,'
Bay Company and emigrants from the United States
introduced the plough for the first time into Oregon; and
the locality, hitherto considered one of the most healthy,
was almost depopulated by the fever and ague. His
own immediate family, consisting of ten wives, four
No. 8—Portrait of Ca-sa-nov.
children, and eighteen slaves, were reduced in one year
to one wife, one child, and two slaves. Casanov is a
man of more than ordinary talent for an Indian, and he
has maintained his great influence over his tribe chiefly
by means of the superstitious dread in which they have
held him. For many years, in the early period of his
fife, he kept a hired assassin to remove any obnoxious
individual against whom he entertained personal enmity.
This bravo, whose occupation was no secret, went by
the name of Casanov's scoocoom, or "the Evil
Genius."   He finally fell in love with one of Casanov's ^MMjgd^^
wives, who eloped with him. Casanov vowed vengeance,
but the pair for a long time eluded his search; until one
day he met his wife in a canoe near the mouth of the
Cowlitz River, and shot her on the spot, and at last procured also the assassination of the lover.
A few years before my arrival at Fort Vancouver,
Mr. Douglass, who was then in charge, heard from his
office the report of a gun inside the gates. This being a
breach of discipline he hurried out to inquire the cause
of so unusual a circumstance, and found one of Casanov's slaves standing over the body of an Indian whom
he had just killed, and in the act of reloading his gun
with apparent indifference, Casanov himself standing
by. On Mr. Douglass arriving at the spot, he was told
by Casanov, with an apology, that the man deserved
death according to the laws of the tribe, who as well as
the white man inflicted punishment proportionate to the
nature of the offence. In this case the crime was one of
the greatest an Indian could be guilty of, namely, the
robbing the sepulchre canoes. Mr. Douglass, after
severely reprimanding him, allowed him to depart with
the dead body.
Sacred as the Indians hold their burial places, Casanov himself, a short time after the latter occurrence, had
his only son buried in the cemetery of the Fort. He died
of consumption—a disease very common amongst all
Indians—proceeding no doubt from their constant exposure to the sudden vicissitudes of the climate. The
coffin was made sufficiently large to contain all the necessaries supposed to be required for his comfort and convenience in the world of spirits. The chaplain of the
Fort read the usual service at the grave, and after the
conclusion of the ceremony, Casanov returned to his
lodge, and the same evening attempted, as narrated
n ifUMinnriUfi nn VKVK'AH*. AWHV AT >A A JX.V VA *A"A A HA A*A£
1 W
I   1
below, the fife of the bereaved mother, who was the
daughter of the great chief generally known as King
Comcomly, so beautifully alluded to in Washington
living's "Astoria." She was formerly the wife of a Mr.
McDougall, who bought her from her father for, as it
was supposed, the enormous price of ten articles of each
description, guns, blankets, knives, hatchets, etc., then
in Fort Astoria. Concomly, however, acted with unexpected liberality on the occasion by carpeting her path
from the canoe to the Fort with sea otter skins, at that
time numerous and valuable, but now scarce, and presenting them as a dowry, in reality far exceeding in
value the articles at which she had been estimated. On
Mr. McDougall's leaving the Indian country she became
the wife of Casanov.
It is the prevailing opinion of the chiefs that they
and their sons are too important to die in a natural way,
and whenever the event takes place, they attribute it to
the malevolent influence of some other person, whom
they fix upon, often in the most unaccountable manner,
frequently selecting those the most dear to themselves
and the deceased. The person so selected is sacrificed
without hesitation. On this occasion Casanov selected
the afflicted mother, notwithstanding she had during the
sickness of her son been one of the most assiduous and
devoted of his attendants, and of his several wives she
was the one he most loved; but it is the general belief of
the Indians on the west side of the mountains that the
greater the privation they inflict on themselves the
greater would be the manifestation of their grief, and
the more pleasing to the departed spirit. Casanov
assigned to me an additional motive for his wish to kill
his wife, namely, that as he knew she had been so useful
to her son and so necessary to his happiness and comfort fcw
"•■ —•-■•- --
^m ^^'^'■'^.^^^
.-•si W.Yil'
in this world, he wished to send her with him as his companion on his long journey. She, however, escaped into
the woods, and next morning reached the Fort imploring protection; she was accordingly secreted for several
days until her own relations took her home to Chinook
Point. In the meantime a woman was found murdered
in the woods, and the act was universally attributed to
Casanov or one of his emissaries.
I may here mention a painful occurrence which took
place on Thompson's River, in New Caledonia, as illustrative of this peculiar superstition.
A chief dying, his widow considered a sacrifice as
indispensable, but having selected a victim of rather too
much importance, she was unable for some time to
accomplish her object; at length the nephew of the chief,
no longer able to bear the continual taunts of cowardice
which she unceasingly heaped upon him, seized his gun
and started for the Company's Fort on the river, about
twenty miles distant. On arriving he was courteously
received by Mr. Black, the gentleman in charge of the
Fort, who expressed great regret at the death of his old
friend the chief. After presenting the Indian with
something to eat and giving him some tobacco, Mr. Black
turned to leave the room, and while opening the door
was shot from behind by his treacherous guest and immediately expired. The murderer succeeded in escaping
from the Fort, but the tribe, who were warmly attached
to Mr. Black, took his revenge upon themselves and
hunted him down. This was done more to evince their
high esteem for Mr. Black than from any sense of impropriety in the customary sacrifice.
Amongst the Chinooks I have never heard any traditions as to their former origin, although such traditions
are common amongst those on the east side of the Rocky
■ttMMø-esnnmmi llf
Mountains. They do not believe in any future state of
punishment, although in this world they suppose themselves exposed to the malicious designs of the scoocoom,
or evil genius, to whom they attribute all their misfortunes and ill luck. The Good Spirit is called the Hias
Soch-a-li-Ti-yah, that is, the Great High Chief, from
whom they obtain all that is good in this life, and to
whose happy and peaceful hunting grounds they will all
eventually go, to reside for ever in comfort and abundance.
The Chinooks and Cowlitz Indians carry the custom
of flattening the head to a greater extent than any other
of the Flathead tribes. The process is as follows:—
The Indian mothers all carry their infants strapped to
a piece of board covered with moss or loose fibres of
cedar bark, and in order to flatten the head they place a
pad on the infant's forehead, on the top of which is laid
a piece of smooth bark, bound on by a leathern band
passing through holes in the board on either side, and
kept tightly pressed across the front of the head,—a
sort of pillow of grass or cedar fibres being placed under
the back of the neck to support it. This process commences with the birth of the infant, and is continued for
a period of from eight to twelve months, by which time
the head has lost its natural shape, and acquired that of
a wedge: the front of the skull flat and higher at the
crown, giving it a most unnatural appearance.
It might be supposed, from the extent to which this
is carried, that the operation would be attended with
great suffering to the infant, but I have never heard the
infants crying or moaning, although I have seen the
eyes seemingly starting out of the sockets from the great
pressure. But, on the contrary, when the lashings were
removed, I   have  noticed  them cry until  they were
ja^hjgaj  »   i   '
replaced. From the apparent dulness of the children
whilst under the pressure, I should imagine that a state
of torpor or insensibility is induced, and that the return
to consciousness occasioned by its removal must be
naturally followed by the sense of pain.
This unnatural operation does not, however, seem to
injure the health, the mortality amongst the Flathead
children not being perceptibly greater than amongst
other Indian tribes; nor does it seem to injure their intellect. On the contrary, the Flatheads are generally considered fully as intelligent as the surrounding tribes,
who allow their heads to preserve their natural shape,
and it is from amongst the round heads that the Flat-
heads take their slaves, looking with contempt even upon
the white for having round heads, the flat head being
considered as the (fistmguishing mark of freedom.
The Chinooks, like all other Indians, pluck out the
beard at its first appearance. Slavery is carried on to a
great extent among them, and, considering how much
they have themselves been reduced, they still retain a
large number of slaves. These are usually procured
from the Chastay tribe, who live near the Umqua, a river
south of the Columbia, emptying near the Pacific. They
are sometimes seized by war parties, but the children are
often bought from their own people. They do not flatten
the head, nor is the child of one of them (although by a
Chinook father) allowed this privilege. Their slavery is
of the most abject description. The Chinook men and
women treat them with great severity, and exercise the
power of fife and death at pleasure. ,1 took a sketch of a
Chastay female slave, the lower part of whose face, from
the corners of the mouth to the ears and downwards, was
tattooed of a blueish colour. The men of this tribe do
not tattoo, but paint their faces like other Indians.
daJA^uaww«. frwa'waau
roiii-i'.'A vvaav æas yyaywakA'y
'    'il
I would willingly give a specimen of the barbarous
language of this people were it possible to represent by
any combination of our alphabet the horrible, harsh,
spluttering sounds which proceed from their throats,
apparently unguided either by the tongue or lip. It is so
difficult to acquire a mastery of their language that none
have been able to attain it, except those who have been
born amongst them. They have, however, by their intercourse with the English and French traders, succeeded
in amalgamating, after a fashion, some words of each of
these tongues with their own, and forming a sort of
patois, barbarous enough certainly, but still sufficient to
enable them to communicate with the traders. This
patois I was enabled after some short time to acquire,
and could converse with most of the chiefs with tolerable
ease; their common salutation is Clak-hoh-ah-yah, originating, as I believe, in their having heard in the early
days of the fur trade, a gentleman named Clark frequently addressed by his friends, "Clark, how are you?"
This salutation is now applied to every white man, their
own language affording no appropriate expression.
Their language is also peculiar in containing no oaths,
©r any words conveying gratitude or thanks.
Their habits are extremely filthy, their persons
abounding with vermin, and one of their chief amusements consists in picking these disgusting insects from
each other's heads and eating them. On my asking an
Indian one day why he ate them, he replied that they bit
him and he gratified his revenge by biting them in
return. It might naturally be supposed that they are
thus beset from want of combs, or other means of displacing the intruders; but this is not the case, as they
pride themselves on carrying such companions about
' a XCBiBl -   	 &s$&^'?J>£'*>H'^* US»^^V^^UL^J!^^
them, and giving their friends the opportunity of amusing themselves by hunting and eating them.
The costume of the men consists of a musk-rat skin
robe, the size of our ordinary blanket, thrown over the
shoulder, without any breech-cloth, moccasins, or leggings. The dress which Casanov is represented as wearing, in the picture, being one that was presented to him
by a friend from Walla-Walla. Painting the face is
not much practiced amongst them, except on extraordinary occasions, such as the death of a relative, some
solemn feast, or going on a war party. The female
dress consists of a girdle of cedar-bark round the waist,
with a dense mass of strings of the same material hanging from it all round, and reaching almost to the knees.
This is their sole summer habiliment. They, however, in
very severe weather, add the musk-rat blanket. They
also make another sort of blanket from the skin of the
wild goose, which is here taken in great abundance. The
skin is stripped from the bird with the feathers on and
cut in strips, which they twist so as to have the feathers
outward. This makes a feathered cord, and is then
netted together so as to form a blanket, the feathers filling up the meshes, rendering it a light and very warm
covering. In the summer these are entirely thrown aside,
not being in any case worn from feelings of delicacy.
The men go quite naked, though the women always wear
the cedar petticoat.
The country which the Chinooks inhabit, being
almost destitute of furs, they have little to trade in with
the whites. This, coupled with their laziness, probably
induced by the ease with which they procure fish, which
is their chief subsistence, prevents their obtaining orna-
mmmmmmmmmå* B Vi. S! A H-X'AIAWl+AAW
ments of European manufacture, consequently anything
of the kind is seldom seen amongst them.
The Chinooks evince very little taste, in comparison
with some of the tribes on the eastern side of the Rocky
Mountains, in ornamenting either their persons or their
warlike or domestic implements.    The only utensils I
saw at all creditable to their decorative skill were carved
bowls and spoons of horn, and baskets made of roots and
grass, woven so closely as to serve all the purposes of a
pail in holding and carrying water.   In these they even
boil their fish.   This is done by immersing the fish in one
of the baskets filled with water, into which they throw
red-hot stones until the fish is cooked; and I have seen
fish dressed as expeditiously by them in this way, as if
done in a kettle over the fire by our own people.   The
only vegetables in use among them are the camas and
wappatoo.   The camas is a bulbous root, much resembling the onion in outward appearance, but is more like
the potato when cooked, and is very good eating.   The
wappatoo is somewhat similar, but larger, and not so
dry or delicate in its flavour.   They are found in immense quantities in the plains in the vicinity of Fort
Vancouver, and in the spring of the year present a most
curious and beautiful appearance, the whole surface
presenting   an uninterrupted sheet   of bright   ultramarine blue, from the innumerable blossoms of these
plants.    They are  cooked  by digging  a hole  in the
ground, then putting down a layer of hot stones, covering them with dry grass, on which the roots are placed,
they are then covered with a layer of grass, and on the
top of this they place earth with a small hole perforated
through the earth and grass down to the vegetables.
Into this water is poured, which, reaching the hot stones,
forms sufficient steam to completely cook the roots in a
tta^JHBH—jB aaajBBBBBBH|^gMsyaBRgF^^e^^^j imwmmm&misBM&u^^
short time, the hole being immediately stopped up on
the introduction of the water. They often adopt the
same ingenious process for cooking their fish and game.
There is another article of food made use of amongst
them, which, from its disgusting nature, I should have
been tempted to omit, werei it not a peculiarly characteristic trait of the Chinook Indians, both from its
extraordinary character and its use, being confined
solely to this tribe. The Whites have given it the name
of Chinook olives, and it is prepared as follows:—
About a bushel of acorns are placed in a hole dug for
the purpose close to the entrance of the lodge or hut,
covered over with a thin layer of grass, on the top of
which is laid about half a foot of earth. Every member
of the family henceforth regards this hole as the special
place of deposit for his urine, which is on no occasion
to be diverted from its legitimate receptacle. In this
hole the acorns are allowed to remain four or five months
before they are considered fit for use. However disgusting such an odoriferous preparation would be to
people in civilized life, the product is regarded by them
as the greatest of all delicacies.
During the season the Chinooks are engaged in
gathering camas and fishing, they five in lodges constructed by means of a few poles covered with mats
made of rushes, which can be easily moved from place
to place, but in the villages they build permanent huts
of split cedar boards. Having selected a dry place for
the hut, a hole is dug about three feet deep, and about
twenty feet square. Round the sides square cedar
boards are sunk and fastened together with cords and
twisted roots, rising about four feet above the outer
level; two posts are sunk at the middle of each end with
a crotch at the top, on which the ridge pole is laid, and
L'jri r —--■-- w.„—  .. rsa
l nRran R KBB W* A'T* WKrøBHN
boards are laid from thence to the top of the upright
boards fastened in the same manner. Round the interior are erected sleeping places, one above another,
something like the berths in a vessel, but larger. In the
centre of this lodge the fire is made, and the smoke
escapes through a hole left in the roof for that purpose.
The fire is obtained by means of a small flat piece
of dry cedar, in which a small hollow is cut, with a
channel for the ignited charcoal to run over; this piece
the Indian sits on to hold it steady, while he rapidly
twirls a round stick of the same wood between the palms
of his hands, with the point pressed into the hollow of
the flat piece. In a very short time sparks begin to
fall through the channel upon finely frayed cedar bark
placed underneath, which they soon ignite. There is
a great deal of knack in doing this, but those who are
used to it will light a fire in a very short time. The men
usually carry these sticks about with them, as after they
have been once used they produce the fire more quickly.
The only native warlike instruments I have seen
amongst them were bows and arrows; these they use
with great precision. Their canoes are hollowed out of
the cedar by fire, and smoothed off with stone axes.
Some of them are very large, as the cedar grows to an
enormous size in this neighbourhood. They are made
very light, and from their formation, are capable of
withstanding very heavy seas.
The principal amusement of the Chinooks is gambling, which is carried to great excess amongst them. You
never visit the camp but you hear the eternal gambling
song of he hah ha, accompanied by the beating- of small
sticks on some hollow substance. Their games are few.
The one most generally played amongst them consists in
holding in each hand a small stick, the thickness of a
'*. r.<r. *.*,*.*, >r vj ■« w ~.^<*.s, * ~^*r » ^g^ry «,, »»pg«, ^.nf v.fffrfl ifåtøAjitLijiiy^^
goose quill, and about an inch and a half in length, one
plain, and the other distinguished by a little thread
wound round it, the opposite party being required to
guess in which hand the marked stick is to be found. A
Chinook will play at this simple game for days and
nights together, until he has gambled away everything
he possesses, even to his wife. They play, however, with
much equanimity, and I never knew any ill feeling
evinced by the loser against his successful opponent.
They will cheat if they can, and pride themselves on its
success; if detected, no unpleasant consequence follows,
the offending party being merely laughed at, and
allowed to amend his game. They also take great delight
in a game with a ball, which is played by them in the
same manner as by the Cree, Chippewa, and Sioux
Indians. Two poles are erected about a mile apart, and
the company is divided into two bands, armed with
sticks, having a small ring or hoop at the end, with which
the ball is picked up and thrown to a great distance;
each party then strives to get the ball past their own
goal. There are sometimes a hundred on a side, and
the play is kept up with great noise and excitement. At
this game they bet heavily, as it is generally played
between tribes or villages. The Chinooks have tolerably
good horses, and are fond of racing, at which they also
bet considerably. They are expert jockeys, and ride
flwciiwiiiriiin Chapter XIII
Leaving Fort Vancouver—Seven Degrees below Zero—The Magic Bullet—
A Match for the Indians—A Jesuit Mission—Harmonious Gamesters—
A Wild Calf Chase—The Swallow-tailed Coat—The Haunted Volcano—
The Cocked Hat—Dead Men's Canoes—Filching a Good Name—The
Prairie de Bute.
I continued at Fort Vancouver for about a month,
and left on the 10th of January 1847, with Mr. Macken-
lie, a chief trader, for Oregon City, where the company
has an establishment. After going down the Columbia
about five miles, we entered the mouth of the Walhamette River, and ascended it twenty-five miles to Oregon
City, passing two cities that are to be. One of them
contained but two houses, and the other was not much
more advanced. Oregon City contains about ninety-
four houses, and two or three hundred inhabitants.
There are a Methodist and a Roman Catholic church,
two hotels, two grist mills, three saw mills, four stores,
two watchmakers, one gunsmith, one lawyer, and doctors ad libitum. The city stands near the Falls of the
Walhamette which is here about thirty-two feet high.
The water privileges are of the most powerful and
convenient description. Dr. M'Laughlin, formerly a
chief factor in the Hudson's Bay Company, first obtained a location of the place, and now owns the principal mills. A great drawback, however, to its prosperity,
is, that vessels cannot ascend the river nearer to it than
fifteen miles, on account of the rapids. At the head of
the navigation a city is building, which must eventually
rival, if not eclipse Oregon in commercial prosperity.
The morning after our arrival the thermometer stood at
7° below zero.   Such intense cold had not been felt by
»>ivJv.wt,v#v.vv.»^y..VT,!»y,* %jfv.» ifflr if| ?f T "* *=-
*£__$ s 5ss y jtfy ass «at jtf^^j&»auMiMHMJi!!A! ■ mim j^uukiua
the oldest inhabitants of these regions. It had the
effect of killing nearly all the cattle that had become
acclimated, as they are never housed. The Columbia, too,
was frozen over, an unprecedented circumstance, so that
my travels were for a time interrupted. I was, however, very comfortably quartered at Mr. Mackenlie's
residence, who amused me in the long winter evenings
over a good fire by his interesting tales of Indian life,
with which he was well conversant. I will relate a
couple of his anecdotes.
While he was in charge of a fort in New Caledonia,
which is situated south of the Columbia River, he had
a carat of tobacco, or three pounds, stolen from him.
It was all that he had at that time, and of course was a
serious loss. Supposing it to have been taken by some
of the Indians, who were trading in large numbers
about the establishment at that time, he requested the
chief to call a council of all the tribe, as he had something to say to them. On this they all assembled and
squatted down, leaving an open space in the centre, into
which he walked with his fowling piece; this he loaded
with two balls in the presence of the assembly, after
which he related the circumstance of his loss, and stated
his belief that some one of the Indians then present had
taken it. He then told them that he wished that every
one present would place his mouth to the muzzle of the
gun, and blow into it, assuring them that it would injure
no one innocent of the theft; but, on the other hand, if
the guilty party should attempt to do so, it would inevitably kill him. He himself set the example of blowing into the piece, standing muzzle upwards on the
ground; the chief followed, as well as the whole tribe,
with the exception of one man, who sat hanging down
his head, and when called upon by the chief to follow the **mzm
example of the rest refused, saying, that he would not
tempt the Great Spirit, for that he had taken the tobacco,
and would return it, which he accordingly did.
Whilst Mr. Mackenlie was in charge of Walla-Walla
he exhibited an instance of great presence of mind under
very trying circumstances. His clerk had a quarrel and
fight with the son of the chief, whom he beat. The Indian
thereupon collected a large party of the tribe, and rushed
with them into the yard of the fort, and attempted to
seize the offender for the purpose of taking his life. Mr.
Mackenlie kept them off for some time, but finding he
could do so no longer, he ordered one of the men to bring
him out a keg of powder, the head of which he knocked
in, and taking a flint and steel from his pocket, he stood
over it as if about to ignite it, telling the Indians that
if they did not immediately depart he would show them
how a white chief could die and destroy his enemies.
The Indians took the alarm, and fled through the gates,
which he immediately barred against them, secretly
sending the clerk the next day to another post out of
their reach.
After remaining at Mr. Mackenlie's house for about
three weeks, I ascended the Walhamette River, in company with Father Acolti, a Jesuit missionary, for about
thirty miles. We then disembarked and proceeded on
horseback about eight miles to the Roman Catholic
mission, where there is a large establishment of religieuses
for the purposes of education, as well as a good brick
church, situated in a beautiful prairie, surrounded with
woods. It has also a nunnery occupied by six Sisters
of Charity, who employ themselves in teaching the
children, both white and red, amounting to forty-two
Father Acolti's residence is three miles from here,
m&T**.mt'*fMmfr.*r. >»■ t. »«/».» ^ ~-- w-» —- —■ ~■-' w .-*■■ -" *■».■■»• v>Jr IEjfratl^w/^yj« %, i *fi)f*,-tfGK WF
<xiv>.ww ^■^«^i3jy.-|i---!iwgÆWii »55 aiw'^iMi'.'x'-.m'ii^!.
the Jesuit mission being distinct from the Roman
Catholic; at least they are under separate authorities.
Besides this one under Father Acolti, there are three
Jesuit missions near the Rocky Mountains, and one in
New Caledonia. This part of the country contains the
largest tract of good land that is to be met with in
Oregon. I enjoyed the hospitality of Pére Acolti's
establishment for three or four days, when I again
returned to the Walhamette; and previously to embarking in the canoe, I ascended a high mountain, and made
a sketch of the windings of the river, with the Umqua
Mountains, where it takes it rise, in the distance.
After visiting Mr. Mackinlie at Oregon City for a
few days, I once more started for Fort Vancouver.
About four miles below Oregon the Klackamuss enters
the Walhamette; and, seated on the banks at its mouth,
I saw a party of Indians of the Klackamuss tribe, and
I put ashore for the purpose of taking a sketch of them.
They were busy gambling at one of their favourite
games. Two were seated together on skins, and immediately opposite to them sat two others, several trinkets
and ornaments being placed between them, for which
they played. The game consists in one of them having
his hands covered with a small round mat resting on the
ground. He has four small sticks in his hand, which he
disposes under the mat in certain positions, requiring the
opposite party to guess how he has placed them. If he
guesses right, the mat is handed round to the next, and
a stick is stuck up as a counter in his favour. If wrong,
a stick is stuck up on the opposite side as a mark against
him. This, like almost all the Indian games, was accompanied with singing; but in this case the singing
was peculiarly sweet and wild, possessing a harmony I
never heard before or since amongst Indians.
■""--T- -T.ja.cj.Jaa 1TB
This tribe was once very numerous; but owing to
their close vicinity to Oregon City, and the ease with
which they can procure spirits, they have dwindled
down to six or eight lodges.
We arrived late that evening at Fort Vancouver,
having paddled on all day through heavy rain and cold.
This, however, is thought little of in the Columbia during the rainy seasons, as no one troubles himself with
making vain attempts to avoid wet at these periods. I
remained here until the 25th of March; and although
the weather was very wet, I found plenty of amusement
with the officers of the "Modeste," who had built stables,
and selected some very good horses. With these we ran
races, and chased the wild calves; the object of which
latter exercise consisted principally in showing the dexterity of the rider, in stooping from his saddle and
throwing the calf heels-over-head by the tail.
These sports we occasionally varied by shooting and
fishing, ducks and geese and seal being in great quantities in the neighbourhood of the fort. One day, a tall,
large-boned Indian came on board the "Modeste" while
I was sitting below with some of the officers. The
Indian was dressed, as usual, in full costume, as they
would call it in California (where, it is said, a shirt collar
and spurs are considered the only clothing indispensably necessary); that is to say, he had his paddle in his
hand, and walked about the deck with great gravity,
examining the cannon, and other things equally incomprehensible to him, much to the amusement of the idle
sailors. The purser, no doubt from a feeling of delicacy,
took the Indian below, and gave him an old swallow-
tailed coat of his, which was adorned with numerous
brass buttons. The Indian, highly delighted, struggled
kito the garment with the greatest difficulty, as it was
I        £&>   É yywuiU!i)fi*WA\,*-A\
8RPK UBaUam^mfm^^iLAVÅ^JL^M
infinitely too small for him, the cuffs reaching but little
below the elbow, and the front not meeting within a
foot. Having, however, succeeded in getting into it,
he perambulated the deck with tenfold dignity, and the
whole ship's crew yelled with laughter. The extraordinary noise brought us all on deck, and, amongst
others, the captain came up. Even his dignity could not
withstand the absurdity of the figure, to which he immediately added, by sending his steward down for an
old cocked hat of his, which was given to the Indian.
When this was mounted the figure was complete; and
seldom has the deck of one of Her Majesty's ships been
the scene of such uproarious and violent laughter. I
made several efforts to make a sketch of the Indian before I could succeed; and though I at length did so,
yet I fear that the picture would give but a faint idea of
the cause of all our merriment.
March 25th—I started from the Fort for Vancouver's Island in a small wooden canoe, with a couple of
Indians, and encamped at the mouth of the Walhamette.
March 26th—When we arrived at the mouth of the
Kattlepoutal River, twenty-six miles from Fort Vancouver, I stopped to make a sketch of the volcano,
Mount St. Helen's, distant, I suppose, about thirty or
forty miles. This mountain has never been visited by
either Whites or Indians; the latter assert that it is
inhabited by a race of beings of a different species, who
are cannibals, and whom they hold in great dread; they
also say that there is a lake at its base with a very extraordinary kind of fish in it, with a head more resembling
that of a bear than any other animal. These superstitions are taken from the statement of a man who, they
say, went to the mountain with another, and escaped the
fate of his companion, who was eaten by the "Skoo-
|y').Vr,T..^  ..■--T...T.
AAU1UM1M~«> tmufM'i
cooms," or evil genii. I offered a considerable bribe to
any Indian who would accompany me in its exploration,
but could not find one hardy enough to venture. It is
of very great height, and being eternally covered with
snow, is seen at a great distance. There was not a cloud
visible in the sky at the time I commenced my sketch,
and not a breath of air was perceptible; suddenly a
stream of white smoke shot up from the crater of the
mountain, and hovered a short time over its summit; it
then settled down like a cap. This shape it retained for
about an hour and a half, and then gradually disappeared.
About three years before this the mountain was in
a violent state of eruption for three or four days, and
threw up burning stones and lava to an immense height,
which ran in burning torrents down its snow-clad sides.
About ten miles lower down we encamped for the night
near Coffin Rock, much against the inclination of my
men, whose superstition would have led them to avoid
such a place. This rock gets its name from its being
the place in which the Indians deposit their dead. I
took a sketch of the rock before the night set in.
There is another rock lower down, on which were
deposited two or three hundred of their burial canoes;
but Commodore Wilkes having made a fire near the
spot, it communicated to the bodies, and nearly the
whole of them were consumed. The Indians showed
much indignation at the violation of a place which was
held so sacred by them, and would no doubt have sought
revenge had they felt themselves strong enough to do so.
March 27th—As usual, the rain came down in torrents. As we neared one of the points on the river, we
perceived a naked Indian watching us; as we came up
he ran away to his lodge, and, to my astonishment, re-
my.W.a^ w. :tj« w,»«j.«....».t "rgjit' ■~r *'" "*' **>^mml(u_YJ" *• ■* "Ti iT Yl
■ittfiC'fr^ffi 'M x 'j-iAimiw w»w* uiv&BLÆmWM ssaaasz «iu
appeared in the cocked hat and purser's coat aforesaid.
He received me with great friendship, having recognized me, before landing, as one of the party he had seen
on board the "Modeste." He took me to his lodge and
gave me some boiled salmon. He seemed to take great
care of his uniform; but, unfortunately, the coat would
not stretch, and it now burst wide open all the way up
the back, which, I have no doubt, added considerably to
his comfort. After leaving him we entered the Cowlitz
River, and proceeded up about eight miles and encamped
on its banks. We saw a family of immigrants winding
their toilsome way in quest of a spot to make their home.
Their condition appeared miserable in the extreme.
March 28th—One of my Indians falling si