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Full text of "Bowdoin boys in Labrador. An account of the Bowdoin college scientific expedition to Labrador led by Prof. Leslie A. Lee of the Biological department"

CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Cornell University Library 
Q 115.C57 

Bowdoin boys in Labrador.An account of t 



3 1924 012 212 258 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924012212258 



BOA^^DOIN BOYS 

IN 

LABRADOR 



AN ACCOUNT OF THE 
BOWDOIN COLLEGE'.!* .at 
SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION 
TO LABRADOR LED BY 
PROF- LESLIE A. LEE 
OF THE BIOLOGICAL 
DEPARTMENT J. J. s^ 



JONATHAN PRINCE CILLEY, Jr. 



Rockland, Maine : 
Rockland Publishing Company 



PREFACE. 



This letter from the President of Bowdoin College is 
printed as an appropriate preface to the pages which follow. 

I thank you for the advanced sheets of the "Bowdoin 
Boys in Labrador." As Sallust says, "In primis arduutn videtur 
res gestas scribere ; quod facta dictis sunt exaequanda." 

In this case, the diction is equal to the deed : the clear 
and vivacious style of the writer is fully up to the level of the 
brilliant achievements he narrates. 

The intrinsic interest of the story, and its connection with 
the State and the College ought to secure for it a wide reading. 
Very truly yours, 

William DeW. Hyde. 



BowDoiN Boys in Labrador. 



On Board the "Julia A. Decker," ) 

Port Hawkesbury, Gut of Canso, > 

July 6th, 1 89 1. ) 

Here the staunch Julia lies at anchor waiting for a change 
in the wind and a break in the fog. To-day will be memora- 
ble in the annals of the "Micmac" Indians, for Prof. Lee has 
spent his enforced leisure in putting in anthropometric work 
ampng them, inducing braves, squaws and papooses of both 
sexes to mount the trunk that served as a measuring block and 
go through the ordeal of having their height, standing and sit- 
ting, stretch of arms, various diameters of head and peculiari- 
ties of the physiognomy taken down. While he with two as- 
sistants was thus employed, two of our photographic corps 
were busily engaged in preserving as many of their odd faces 
and costumes as possible, rnaking pictures of thejr picturesque 
camp on the side of a hill sloping toward an. arm of the Gut, 
with its round tent covered with birch and fir bark, dogs and 
children, and stacks ot logs or wood — from which they make 
the strips for their chief products, baskets — cows, baggage and 
all the other accompaniments of a comparatively permanent 
camp. They go into the woods and make log huts for winter, 
but such miserable quarters as these pijove to be on closer in- 
spection, with stoves, dirt and chip floor, bedding and food in 
close proximity to the six or eight inhabitants of each hut, 
suffice them during warm weather. We found that they elect 
a chief, who holds the office for life. The present incumbent 
lives near by St. Peter's Island, and is about forty years old. 



2 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR 

They hold a grand festival in a few weeks somewhere on the 
shore of Brasd'Or Lake, at which nearly every Indian on the 
Island is expected, some two thousand in all, we are informed, 
and after experiencing our good-fellowship at their camp and 
on board they invited us one and all to come down, only cau- 
tioning us to bring along a present of whiskey for the chief. 

The Gut, in this part at least, is beautiful sailing ground, 
with bold, wooded shores, varied by slight coves and valleys 
with little hamlets at the shore and fishermen's boats lying off 
the beach. The lower part we passed in a fog, so we are ig- 
norant of its appearance as though the Julia had not carried us 
within a hundred miles of it, instead of having knowingly 
brought us past rock and shoal to this quiet cove, under the 
red rays of the light on Hawkesbury Point, and opposite Port 
Mulgrave, with which Hawkesbury is connected by a little two- 
sailed, double-ended ferry-boat built on a somewhat famous 
model. It seems that a boat builder of this place, who, by the 
way, launched a pretty little yacht to-day, sent a fishing boat, 
whose model and rig was the product of many years' experi- 
ence as a fisherman, to the London Fisheries' Exhibit of a few 
years past, and received first medal from among seven thou- 
sand five hundred competitors. The Prince of Wales was so 
pleased with the boat, which was exhibited under full sail with 
a wax fisherman at the helm, that he purchased it and has 
since used it. Later, when the United States fish commission 
schooner Grampus was here with the present assistant com- 
missioner, Capt. Collins, in command, the plans were pur- 
chased by our government on the condition that no copies 
were to be made without Mr. Embree's consent. A little later 
yet, a commissioner from Holland and Sweden came over 
bought the plans and built a perfect copy of the original, the 
seaworthy qualities of which has caused its type to entirely 
displace the old style of small fishing boats in those countries- 
The boat's abilities in heavy waters have been tested many 
times, and have never failed to equal her reputation. 

But, meanwhile, the Julia lies quietly at anchor, as if it were 



THE REAL START 3 

mutely reproaching your correspondent with singing another's 
praises when she has brought us safely and easily thus far, in 
spite of gales, fog, and headwind, calm, and treacherous tide, 
and even now is eagerly waiting for the opportunity to carry 
us straight and swiftly to Battle Harbor in the straits of Belle 
Isle, where letters and papers from home await us, and then 
up through the ice fields to Cape Chudleigh. 

Our real start was made from Southwest Harbor, Mt. Desert, 
the Monday after leaving Rockland. Saturday night, after a 
short sail in the dark and a few tacks up the Thoroughfare to 
North Haven village, we anchored and rested from the confu- 
sion and worry of getting started and trying to forget nothing 
that would be needed in our two and one-half months' trip. 
Sunday morning was nearly spent before things were well 
enough stowed to allow us to get under weigh in safety, and 
then our bow was turned eastward and, as we thought, pointed 
for Cape Sable. Going by the hospital on Widow's Island 
and the new light on Goose Rock nearly opposite it, out into 
Isle au Haut bay, we found a fresh northeaster, which warned 
us not to go across the Bay of Fundy if we had no desire for 
an awful shaking up. In view of all the facts, such as green 
men, half-stowed supplies and threatening weather, we decided 
that we must not put our little vessel through her paces that 
night, and chose the more ignominious, but also more com- 
fortable course of putting into a harbor. Consequently after 
plunging through the rips off Bass Head, and cutting inside 
the big bell buoy off its entrance, we ran into Southwest Har- 
bor and came to anchor. In the evening many of the party 
thought it wise to improve the last opportunity for several 
months, as we then supposed, to attend church, and to one 
who knew the chapel-cutting proclivities of many of our party 
while at Bowdoin, it would have been amusing to see them 
solemnly tramp into church, rubber boots and all. It is a fact, 
however, that every member of our party, with a possible ex- 
ception, went to church in this place yesterday largely for the 
same reason. 



4 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABKADOR 

Our little Julia rewarded our action of the night previous by 
taking us out by Mt Desert Rock at a rattling pace Monday 
morning, bowing very sharply and very often to the spindle- 
like tower on the rock, as she met the Bay of Fundy chop, 
and at the same time administered a very effective emetic to 
all but five or six of the Bowdoin boys aboard. She is wise as 
well as bold and strong, and so after nightfall waited under 
easy canvas for light to reveal Seal Island to our watchful eyes. 
Shortly after daylight the low coast was made out, the dan- 
gerous rocks passed, and Cape Sable well on our quarter. But 
there it stayed. We made but little progress for two days, and 
employed the time in laying in a supply of cod, haddock and 
pollock, till our bait was exhausted. Then we shot at birds, 
seals and porpoises whenever they were in sight, and from the 
success, apparently, at many when they were not in sight; put 
the finishing touches on our stowage, and kept three of the 
party constantly employed with our long bamboo-handled dip- 
net, in fishing up specimens for the professor and his assist- 
ants. As the result of this we have a large number of fish 
eggs which we are watching in the process of hatching, many 
specimens of Crustacea and of seaweed. The photographers, 
in the meanwhile, got themselves into readiness for real work 
by practicing incessantly upon us. 

Thursday, we made Sambro light; soon pilot boat number 
one hailed us and put a man aboard, whom we neither needed 
nor wanted, and we were anchored off the market steps at 
Halifax. The run up the harbor was verj- pleasant. Bright 
skies, a fresh breeze off the land, and vessels all about us made 
many lively marine pictures. The rather unformidable appear- 
ing fortification, on account of which Halifax boasts h°rself the 
most strongly fortified city of America, together with the flag- 
ship Bellerophon and two other vessels of the Atlantic squad- 
ron, the Canada and the Thrush, the latter vessel until lately 
having been commanded by Prince George, gave the harbor 
and town a martial tone that was heightened upon our going 
ashore and seeing the red coats that throng the streets in the 



WARD BOOM OP THE JULIA DECKER O 

evening. Halifax, with its squat, smoky, irregular streets is 
well known, and its numerous public buildings, drill barracks, 
and well kept public gardens, all backed by the frowning cita- 
del, probably need no description from me. After receiving 
the letters for which we came in, and sending the courteous 
United States Consul General, Mr. Frye, and his vice-consul, 
Mr. King, Colby '89, ashore with a series of college yells that 
rather startled the sleepy old town, we laid a course down the 
harbor, exchanged salutes with the steamship Caspian, and 
were soon ploughing along, before a fine south-west breeze 
for Cape Canso. 

While our little vessel is driving ahead with wind well over 
the quarter, groaning, as it were, at the even greater confusion 
in the wardroom than when we left Rockland, owing to the ad- 
ditional supplies purcha,sed at Halifax, it may be well to briefly 
describe her appearance, when fitted to carry seventeen Bow- 
doin men in her hold in place of the lime and coal to which 
she has been accustomed. Descending, then, the forward 
hatch, protected by a pldin hatch house, the visitor turns 
around and facing aft, looks down the two sides of the immense 
centreboard box that occupies the centre of our wardroom 
from floor to deck. Fastened to it are the mess tables, nearly 
always lighted by some four or five great lamps, which serve 
to warm as well, as the pile of stuff around and beneath the 
after-hatch house cuts off most of the light that would Other- 
wise come down there. On the port side of the table runs the 
whole length of the box ; two v/ooden settles serve for dining 
chairs and leave about four feet clear space next the "deacon's 
seat" that runs along in front of the five double-tiered berths. 
These are canvas-bottomed, fitted with racks, shelves, and the 
upper ones with slats overhead, in which to stow our overflow- 
ing traps. 

At the after end, on both sides of the wardroom, are large 
lockers coming nearly to the edge of the hatch, in which most 
of the provisions are stowed. At the forward end, next to the 
bulkhead that separates us from the galley, are, on the port 



6 fiOtSrt)Ortr BOYS IK LABBAlJOit 

side, a completely equipped dark room in which many excel- 
lent pictures have already been brought to light, and on the 
starboard side a large rack holding our canned goods, ketchup, 
lime-juice, etc. Along the bulkhead are the fancy cracker 
boxes, tempting a man to take one every time he goes below, 
and under the racks are our kerosene and molasses barrels. 
Between the line of four double-tier berths on the starboard 
side and the rack just described is a handy locker for oil 
clothes and heavy overcoats. Lockers run along under the 
lower berths, and trunks with a thousand other articles are 
stowed under the tables. A square hole cut in the bulkhead, 
just over the galley head, lets heat into the wardroom and as- 
sists the lamps in keeping us warm. As yet, in spite ot some 
quite cold weather, we have been perfectly comfortable. 
Sometimes, however, odors come in as well as heat from the 
galley, and do not prove so agreeable. If to this description, 
clothes of various kinds, guns, game bags, boots, fishing tackle 
and books, should, by the imagination of the reader, to be 
scattered about, promiscuously hung, or laid in every con- 
ceivable nook and corner, a fair idea of our floating house could 
be obtained. On deck we are nearly as badly littered, though 
in more orderly fashion. Two nests of dories, a row boat, five 
water tanks, a gunning float, and an exploring boat, partly 
well fill the Julia's spacious decks. The other exploring boat 
hangs inside the schooner's yawl at the stern. Add to these 
two hatch houses, a small pile of lumber, and considerable fire 
wood snugly stowed between the casks, and you have a fair 
idea of our anything but clear decks. A yellow painted bust, 
presumably of our namesake Julia, at the end of figure-head, 
peers through the fog and leads us in the darkness ; a white 
stripe relieves the blackness of our sides; a green rail sur- 
mounts all; and, backed by the forms of nineteen variously at- 
tired Bowdoin men, from professor, their tutor, alumnus, to 
freshmen, complete our description. 

Meanwhile the night, clear but windless, has come on, and 
we drift along the Novia Scotia coast, lying low and blue on 



our northern board. The Fourth dawns rather foggy, but it 
soon yields to the sun's rays and a good breeze which bowls 
us along toward the Cape. An elaborate celebration of the 
day is planned, but only the poem is finally rendered, due 
probably to increased sea which the brisk breeze raises inca- 
pacitating several of the actors for their assigned parts. The 
poem, by the late editor of '91's "BuGLE," is worthy of preser- 
vation, but would hardly be understood unless our whole 
crowd were present to indicate by their roars the good points 
in it. 

At night our constant follower, the fog, shuts in, and the 
captain steering off the Cape, we lay by, jumping and rolling 
in a northeast sea, waiting for daylight to assist us to Cape 
Canso Harbor and the Little Ant. About six next morning 
we form one of a fleet of five or six sail passing the striped 
lighthouse on Cranberry Island, and with a rush go through 
the narrow passage lined with rocks and crowded with fisher- 
men. Out into the fog of Chedebucto Bay we soon pass and 
in the fog we remain, getting but a glimpse of the shore now 
and then, till we reach Port Hawkesbury. 

JONA. P. CiLLEY, Jr. 



BoWDOiN BOYS IN Labrador. 

On Board the " Julia A. Decker," ) 
Off St. John's Bay, Newfoundland. ) 

We are bowling along with a fine southwest wind, winged out, 
mainsail reefed and foresail two-reefed, and shall be in the straits in 
about two hours. The Julia is a flyer. Between 12 and 4 this 
morning we logged just 46 knots, namely, 13.5 miles per hour for 
four hours. I doubt if I ever went much faster in a sailing vessel. 
It is now about 10 o'clock, and we have made over 75 miles since 4. 

All hands are on watch for a first glimpse of the Labrador coast, 
which will probably be Cape Armours with the light on it. 

I wrote last time from Hawkesbury in the Gut of Canso. We laid 
there all day Monday, July 6th, as the wind, southeast in the 
harbor, was judged by everybody to be northeast out in George's 
Bay, and consequently dead ahead for us. Monday evening, at the 
invitation of the purser, we all went down aboard the " State of 
Indiana," the regular steamer of the "State Line" between Char- 
lottetown, P. E. I., and Boston, touching at Halifax, and in the 
Gut. 

After going ashore we stayed on the wharf till she left, singing 
college songs, giving an impromptu athletic exhibition, etc., to the 
intense delight of about fifty small boys (I can't conceive where 
they all came from) , and the two or three hundred servant girls 
going home to P. E. I. for a summer vacation. 

I would put in here parenthetically, that since writing the above 
I have been on deck helping jibe the mainsail, as we have changed 
our course to about east by north, having rounded a couple of small 
low, sandy islands off the Bay of St. John, and now point straight 
into the strait of Belle Isle. 

In the afternoon we examined some of the old red sandstone 
which underlies all that part of Cape Breton Island, found some 
good specimens, and some very plain and deep glacial scratches. 
There is also some coal and a good deal of shale in with the sand- 
stone. 

We had a good opportunity to see this, since the railroad connect- 
ing-Port Hawkesbury with Sidney is new, having started running 



iO feoWnom BOlfS tSf LABRAtOft 

only last March, and hence the cuts furnished admirable fields in 
which to examine the geology., The road is surveyed and bed made 
along the Cape Breton shore of the Gut nearly to the northern end, 
and when completed will be a delightful ride. I think the Gut for 
IO miles north of Port Hawkesbury resembles the Hudson just by 
the Palisades. It is grander than Eggemoggin Reach and on a far 
larger scale than Somes' Sound. At the northern end it broadens 
and becomes just a magnificent watej-way, without the grand 
scenery. We were becalmed nearly all day in George's Bay, at one 
time getting pretty near Antigonish, but got a breeze towards even- 
ing. We tried fishing several times but could not get a bite though 
several fishermen were in sight and trawls innumerable. We passed 
one fisherman, a fine three-master, just as we were coming out of 
the Gut from Frenchman's Bay, going home, but with very little fish. 
I got the captain to call me about 4, Wednesday morning, to fish, 
but got none. We were then off North Cape, having had a good 
breeze all night. The wind was light all day, but towards the latter 
part of the afternoon commenced to blow from the southeast, kick- 
ing up a nasty sea very soon. We double reefed the mainsail 
reefed the foresail and hauled the flying jib down. About 8 P. M. 
we laid to with the jib hauled down, on the starboard tack. The 
wind had backed to the east about four points and was blowing a 
gale. About 12 M. it suddenly dropped, a flat calm, leaving a 
. tremendous sea running from the southeast, combined with a smaller 
one from the east. Our motions, jumps, rolls and pitches, can be 
better imagined than described. It seemed at times that our bow 
and our stern were where the mastheads usually are, and our rails 
were frequently rolled under. 

Rice and Hunt stood one watch, Gary and I the second, and here 
Rice, though a good sailor and an experienced yachtsman, finally 
succumbed. We hauled everything down with infinite difficulty, 
owing to the violent motion, and made it fast, then let her roll and 
pitch to her heart's content. A sorrier looking place than our ward- 
room, and a sicker set of fellows it would be hard to find. The 
dishes had some play in the racks, and kept up an infernal racket 
that I tried in every way to stop and could not. To cap all, the 
wind came off a gale northwest about 4 A. M., and made yet 
another sea. As soon as possible we set a double-reefed foresail, 
and then I turned in. When I turned out at noon we had made 
Newfoundland and set a whole foresail, jib and one reef out of the 
mainsail. We were becalmed, but found excellent fishing, so did 



kEMB^RS OP ft*eB EXPEDITIOit ll 

not care. The sea had gone 3own and we began to enjoy the Nor- 
way-like rugged coast of Newfoundland. The mountains come 
right down to the water, and are about 1,400 feet high, by our 
measurement, using angular altitude by sextant and base line, our 
distance off shore as shown by our observation for latitude and 
longitude. 

There are many deep, narrow^-mouthed coves and harbors, a good 
number of islands and points making a most magnificent coast line. 
In many cases 50 or 75 fathoms are found right under the shore. 
Great patches of snow, miles in extent, cover the mountain sides. 
Great brown patches, which the professor thinks are washings from 
the fine examples of erosion, but w^hich look to me like patches of 
brown grass as we see in Penobscot Bay on the islands, vary w^ith 
what is apparently a scrubby evergreen growth and bald, bare rocks. 
As w^e are about 18 miles off, the blue haze over all makes an en- 
larged, roughened and much more deeply indented Camden moun- 
tain coast line. The bays are in some cases so deep that we can 
look into narrow^ entrances and see between great cliffs, only a few^ 
miles apart, a water horizon on the other side. We wished very 
much to get in towards the shore, but the calm and very strong 
westerly current, about ij^ knots, prevented. 

While enjoying the calm irupleasant contrast to our late shaking 
up, it will be well to introduce the members of the party whom 
Bowdoin has thought worthy to bear her name into regions seldom 
vexed by a college yell, and to whom she has entrusted the high 
duties of scientific investigation, in which, since the days of Professor 
Cleaveland, she has kept a worthy place. 

In command is Prof. Leslie A. Lee, of the Biological Depart- 
ment of Bowdoin. With a life-long experience in all branches of 
natural history, the experience virhich a year in charge of the scien- 
tific staff of the U. S. Fish Commission Steamer "Albatross" in a 
voyage from Washington around Cape Horn to Alaska, and an in- 
timate connection with the Commission of many year's standing, 
and the training that scholarly habits, platform lecturing and collegic 
instruction have given him, you see a man still young, for he was 
graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1872, and equal to all 
the fatigues that out-of-door, raw-material, scientific work demands. 

The rest of the party have yet to prove their mettle, and of them 
but little can now be said. Dr. Parker, who, with the Professor, 
captain and mate, occupies the cabin proper, is an '86 man, cut out 
for a physician and thoroughly prepared to fulfil all the fiinctions of 



12 BOWDOIN BOYS 1^ LABRADOR 

a medical staff, from administering quinine to repairing broken 
limbs. 

Cary of '87, who is even now planning for his struggle with the 
difficulties on the way to the Grand Falls, has had the most experi- 
ence in work of the sort the expedition hopes to do, save the Pro- 
fessor and Cole. Logging and hunting in the Maine forests in the 
vicinity of his home in Machias, and fishing on the Georges from 
Cape Ann smacks, have fitted him physically, as taking the highest 
honors for scholarship at Bowdoin, teaching and university work in 
his chosen branch, have prepared him mentally, for the great task in 
which he leads. 

Cole who accompanies him up Grand River, was Prof. Lee's 
assistant on the "Albatross," and is well fitted by experience and by 
a vigorous participation in athletics at college before his graduation 
in '88. 

From the expedition's actual starting place, Rockland, there are 
four members : Rice, the yachtsman, Simonton, Spear and the 
writer, all fair specimens of college boys, and eager to get some re- 
flection from the credit which they hope to help the expedition to 
win. 

Portland has two representatives : Rich, '92, and Baxter, 93, the 
latter our only freshman ; while Bangor sends three : Hunt, '90, 
Hunt, '91, who has charge ol the dredging, and Hastings the taxi- 
dermist. 

W. R. Smith, another salutatorian of his class, is one of the 
many Maine boys whom Massachusetts has called in to help train 
the youth of our mother Commonwealth, and has been at the head " 
of the High School at Leicester for the past year. He, too, is 
thought to equal in physical vigor his mental qualities, and lias 
been selected to brave the hardships of the Grand River. 

To, complete the detail for this exploration. Young of Brunswick 
and of '92, has been selected, another athlete of the college, who 
has had, in addition to his training at Bowdoin, a year or more of 
instruction in the schools and gymnasiums of Germany. 

Porter, Andrews, and Newbegin, the latter, the onTiy man not 
from Maine, coming from Ohio, and only to be accounted for as a 
member of the expedition by the fact that his initials P. C. stand 
for Parker Cleaveland, finish the list, with but one exception and 
that is Lincoln. The merry-maker and star on deck and below — 
except'when the weather is too rough — he keeps the crowd good- 
natured when fogs, rain, head winds and general discomfort tend to 



BED BAY 13 

discontent: and on shore he sees that the doctor is not too hard 
worked in making th^ botanical collections. 

■For two days we lazily drifted, the elements seeming to be mak- 
ing up for their late riot ; but the weather was clear and bright, the 
scenery way off to our starboard was grand, and no one was troubled 
bv the delay, except as the thoughts of the Grand River men turned 
to the great distance and the short time of their trip. At last, how- 
ever, the breeze came, with which I opened this letter, and which 
we then hoped would continue till we reached Battle Harbor. 

We just flew up the straits, saw many fishermen at anchor with 
their dories off at the trawls, schooners and dories both jumping in 
great shape ; also a school of whales and an ' 'ovea" or wliale-killer, 
with a fin over three feet long sticking straight up. He also broke 
rio-ht alongside and blew. Considerable excitement attended our 
first sight of an iceberg ; it was a rotten white one, but soon we 
saw a lot, some very dark and deep-colored. 

Our first sight of the long-desired coast was between Belle 
Armours Point and the cliffs near Red Bay, the thick haze making 
the outlines very indistinct. Just two weeks out from Rockland 
we made our first harbor on the Labrador coast. Red Bay is a 
beautiful little place, and with the added features of two magnifi- 
cent icebergs close by which we passed in entering, the towering 
red cliffs on the left from which it takes its name, and the snug little 
island in the middle, and the odd houses we saw dotting the shores of 
the summer settlement of the natives, it seemed a sample fully equal 
to our expectations of what we should find in Labrador. 

There is an inner harbor into which we could have gone, with 
seven fathoms of water and in which vessels sometimes winter as it 
is so secure, but we did not enter it because the captain was doubt- 
ful which of the two entrances to take and the chart seemed indefi- 
nite on the point. There are about one hundred and seventy-five 
people in the settlement, some of them staying there the year round, 
fishing in the summer and hunting the rest of the time. They have 
another settlement of winter houses at the head of the inner harbor, 
buf, for convenience in getting at their cod traps, live on the island in 
the middle, and on the sides of the outer harbor in the summer. 
Their houses are made of logs about the size of small railroad ties, 
w^hich are stood on end and clapboarded. The winter houses are 
built in a similar way with earth packed around and over them. 

The party for Grand River — Cary, Cole, W. R. Smith and 
Young — have decided to dispense with a guide ; very wisely, I think, 



14 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR 

from what I have seen of native Labradoreans. While the journey 
they undertake is one in which the skill of Indians or half-breeds, 
familiar with Labrador wildernesses would be of great value and 
would add to the comfort of our party, it is very doubtful if any 
living person has ever been to the falls or knows any more about 
the last, and probably the hardest part of the trip, than Gary. 
And, further, the travel is so difficult that about all a man can carry 
is supplies for himself; and the Indians cannot stand the pace that 
our men intend to strike ; nor, if it should come to the last extremity, 
and a forlorn hope was needed to make a last desperate push for 
discovery or relief, could the Indian guides, so far as w^e have any 
knowledge of them, be relied on. That the boldest measures 
are often the surest, will probably again be demonstrated by our 
Grand River party. 

We tried the exploring boats very thoroughly at Chateau Bay, 
three of us getting caught about six miles from the vessel in quite 
a blow, ahd the well-laden boat proved herself very seaworthy. 
When loaded, she still draws but little water, and is good in every 
way for the trip. 

This letter was begun in the fine breeze off Newfoundland, but 
could not be mailed till the port of entry and post-ofiice of Labrador, 
Battle Harbor, was reached. A week was consumed in getting from 
our first anchorage in Labrador to this harbor, as the captain was un- 
accustomed to icebergs, and properly decided to take no risks with 
them in the strong shifting currents and thick weather of the eastern 
end of the straits. The wind was ahead for several days, and the 
heavy squalls coming off the land in quick succession made us fear 
the wind would drop and leave us banging around in the fog that 
usually accompanies a calm spell, so we kept close to harbors and 
dodged in on the first provocation. 

The season is three weeks late this year ; the first mail boat has 
not yet arrived, though last year at this time she was on her second 
trip. The last report from the North — down the coast they call 
it — that went to Newfoundland and St. Johns was "that it was 
impassable ice this side Hamilton Inlet." A vessel — a steam seal- 
ing bark — though, that was here yesterday and has gone to Sidney, 
C. B. I., reports now that the coast is clear to Hopedale. Beyond 
we know nothing about it. 

On Henley and Castle Islands, at the mouth of Chateau Bay, are 
basaltic table-lands about half a mile across, pe'rfectiy flat on top 
and about two hundred feet high. We walked around one, went 



BATTLE HABBOK 15 

to its top and secured specimens from the columns. The famous 
" natural images " of men, are, to my eye, not nearly so good as 
the descriptions lead one to expect. The history of the place could 
hardly be guessed from its present barren, desolate, poverty-stricken 
appearance ; but the remains of quite a fort on Barrier Point show 
some signs of former and now departed glory. It seems that it has 
been under the dominion of England, France and the United States, 
all of whom took forceful possession of it, and England and France 
have governed it. An American privateer once sacked the place, 
carrying away, I believe, about 3,500 pounds worth of property. 
Now, a very small population eke out a wretched existence by fish- 
ing, only a few remaining, living at the heads of the bays, in the 
winter, and most of them going home to Newfoundland. 

The icebergs are in great plenty. I counted eighty from the 
basaltic table-land at one time, and the professor saw even more at 
once. Belle Isle is in plain sight from this place, looking like 
Monhegan from tile Georges Islands, though possibly somewhat 
longer. 

Finally, as the wind showed no signs of changing, the captain, 
to our ir\tense delight, decided to beat around to'Battle Harbor and 
we anchored here at about 5:50 P. M., July 17th. Many of 
the icebergs we passed were glorious, and the scene was truly 
arctic. It was bitterly cold, and heavy coats were the order of the 
day. We passed Cape St. Charles, the proposed terminus of the 
Labrador Railroad to reduce the time of crossing the Atlantic to 
four days, saw the famous table-land, and soon opened Battle 
Harbor which we had to beat up, way round to the northward, to 
enter. It was slow business with a strong head current, but the 
fishermen say a vessel never came around more quickly. We found 
the harbor very small, with rocks not shown in chart or coast pilot, 
and had barely room to come to without going ashore. We went 
in under bare poles, and then had too much way on. 

The agent for the Bayne, Johnston Co., which runs this place, 
keeping nearly all its three hundred inhabitants in debt to it, is a 
Mr. Smith, who has taken the professor and seven or eight of the 
boys on his little steamer to the other side of the St. Lewis Sound. 
The doctor has gone with them to look after some grip patients, and 
the professor expects to measure some half-breed Eskimo living 
there. The boys are expecting to get some fine trout. The grip 
was brought to this region by the steamer bringing the first summer 
fishing colonies, and has spread to all and killed a great many. 



16 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR 

There is an Episcopal rector here, Mr. Bull, who says everybody 
had it. I believe it is owring to his care and slight medical skill 
that none have died here. It is hard for this people to have such a 
sickness just as the fishing season is best. The doctor has oppor- 
tunity to use all and far more than the amount of medicine he 
brought, much to Professor Lee's amusement. He is reaping a 
small harshest of fiirs, gi-ateful tokens of his services, that many of 
his patients send him, and some of his presents have also improved 
our menu. 

This place is named Battle Harbor from the conflict that took 
place here between the Indians and English settlers, aided by a 
man-of-war. The remains of the fight are now in a swamp covered 
with fishflakes. There are also some strange epitaphs in the village 
graveyard, with its painted wooden head-boards, and high fence to 
keep the dogs out. These latter are really dangerous, making it 
necessary to cany a stick if walking alone. Men have been killed 
by them, but last year the worst (5f the lot were exported across the 
bay, owing to a bold steal of a child by them and its being nearly 
eaten up. They are a mixture of Eskimo, Indian and w^olf, with 
great white shaggy coats. 

The steamer with mail and passengers from St. Johns, Newfound- 
land, is expected every day, and as our rivals for the honor of re- 
discovering Grand Falls are probably on board, there is a race in 
store for us to see who will get to Rigolette first, and which party 
will start ahead on the perilous journey up the Grand River. As 
they have refused our offer of co-operation, we now feel no sym- 
pathy with their task, and will have but little for them till we see 
them, as we hope, starting up the river several days behind our 
hardy crew. 

Jonathan P. Cilley, Jr. 



BowDoiN Boys in Labrador. 

On Board the Julia A. Decker, i 

Off Bird Rocks, > 

Gulf of St. Lawrence, Sept. lo, 1891. 3 

While our little vessel is rushing through the blue waters of 
the gulf, apparently scorning the efforts of the swift little Halifax 
trader who promised to keep us company from the Straits to 
the Gut, and who, by dint of good luck and constant attention 
to sails has thus far kept her word, but is now steadily falling 
astern and to leeward, I will tell you about the snug little har- 
bors, the bold headlands, barren slopes, and bird-covered rocks, 
and also the odorous fishing villages and the kind-hearted 
people with whom she has made us acquainted. 

The Bowdoin scientific expedition to Labrador is now familiar 
with six of the seven wonders in this truly wonderful region. 
It has visited Grand Falls and " Bowdoin Canyon;" has been 
bitten by black flies and mosquitoes which only Labrador can 
produce, both in point of quality and quantity; has wandered 
through the carriage roads ( ! ) and gardens of Northwest River 
and Hopedale ; has dug over, mapped and photographed the 
prehistoric Eskimo settlements that line the shores, to the north 
of Hamilton Inlet ; has made itself thoroughly conversant with 
the great fishing industry that has made Labrador so valuable, 
to Newfoundland in particular, and to the codfish consuming 
world in general ; and finally is itself the sixth wonder, in that 
it has accomplished all it set out to do, though of course not all 
that would have been done had longer time, better weather 
and several other advantages been granted it. 

It is almost another wonder, too, in the eyes of the Labradore- 
ans, that we have, without pilot and yet without accident or 
trouble of any sort, made such a trip along their rocky coast, 
entered their most difficult harbors, and outsailed their fastest 
vessels, revenue cutters, traders and fishermen. 



18 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

It will be a good many years before the visit of the " Yankee 
college boys," the speed of the Yankee schooner and the skill 
and seamanship of the Yankee captain are forgotten " on the 
Labrador." 

The day after we left, July 19th, the mail steamer reached Battle 
Harbor with the first mail of the season. On board were Messrs. 
Bryant and Kenaston, anxiously looking for the Bowdoin party and 
estimating tlieir chances of getting to the mouth of Grand River. 
They brought with them an Adirondack boat, of canoe model, 
relying on the country to furnish another boat to carry the bulk 
of their provisions and a crew to man the same. 

When the news was received that we were a day ahead, the 
race began in earnest, the captain of the " Curlew " entering 
heartily into the sport and doing his best to overhaul the speedy 
Yankee schooner. When about half way up to Rigolette, on the 
third day from Battle Harbor, as we were drifting slowly out of 
" Seal Bight," into which we had gone the previous night to 
escape the numerous icebergs that went grinding by, the black 
smoke, and later the spars of the mail steamer were seen over 
one of the numerous rocky little islets that block the entrance 
to the bight. The steamer's flag assured us that it was certainly 
the mail steamer, and many and anxious were the surmises as to 
whether our rivals were on board, and earnest were the prayers 
for a strong and favoring wind. It soon came, and we bowled 
along at a rattling pace, our spirits rising as we could see the 
steamer, in shore, gradually dropping astern. Towards night 
we neared Domino Run, and losing sight of the steamer, which 
turned out to make a stop at some wretched little hamlet that 
had been shut out from the outer world for nine months, at 
about the same time lost our breeze also. But the wind might 
rise again, and time was precious, so a bright lookout was kept 
for bergs, and we drifted on through the night. The next 
morning a fringe of islands shut our competitor from sight, but 
after an aggravating calm in the mouth of the inlet, we felt a 
breeze and rushed up towards Rigolette, only to meet the steamer 
coming out while we were yet several hours from that place. 



EIGOLETTB. 19 

Here we had our first experience with the immense deer-flies 
of Labrador. Off Mt. Gnat they came in swarms and for self- 
protection each man armed himself with a small wooden paddle 
and slapped at them right and left, on the deck, the rail, another 
fellow's back or head, in fact, wherever one was seen to alight. 
The man at the wheel was doubly busy, protecting himself, with 
the assistance of ready volunteers, from their lance-like bites, 
and steering the quickly moving vessel. 

At last the white buildings and flag-staff which mark all the 
Hudson Bay Co.'s posts in Labrador, came in sight, snugly nestled 
in a little cove, beneath a high ridge lying just to the north-west 
of it, and soon we were at anchor. Our intention was to get 
into the cove, but the six knot current swept us by the mouth 
before the failing breeze enabled us to get in. 

After supper the necessary formal call was made on the factor, 
Mr. Bell, by the professor, armed with a letter of introduction 
from the head of the company in London, and escorted by three 
or four of the party. A rather gruff reception, at first met with, 
became quite genial, when it appeared that we wanted no assist- 
ance save a pilot, and called only to cultivate the acquaintance 
of the most important official in Labrador. 

With a promise to renew the acquaintance upon our return, 
we left, and after a hard pull and an exciting moment in getting 
the boat fast alongside, on account of the terrific current, we 
reached the deck and reported. 

Our rivals were there, and had hired the only available boat 
and crew to transport them to North West River. This threw 
us back on our second plan, viz : to take our party right to the 
mouth of the Grand River ourselves, which involved a trip 
inland of one hundred miles to the head of Lake Melville. 
This it was decided to do, and after some delay in securing a 
pilot, owing to the transfer at the last moment of the affections 
of the first man we secured to the other party, John Blake came 
aboard and we started on our new experience in inland naviga- 
tion. Just as we entered the narrows, after a stop at John's 
house to tell his wife where we were taking him, and to give her 
some medicine and advice from the doctor, we saw our rivals 



20 BOWDOrN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

Starting in the boat they had secured. That was the last we 
saw of them, till they reached North West River, two days after 
our party had started up the Grand River. 

North West River is the name of the Hudson Bay Co.'s post at 
the mouth of the river of the same name, flowing into the western 
extremity of Lake Melville, about fifteen miles north of the 
mouth of Grand River. Hamilton Inlet proper extends about 
forty miles in from the Atlantic to the " Narrows," a few miles 
beyond Rigolette, where Lake Melville begins. A narrow arm 
of the lake extends some unexplored distance east of the 
Narrows, south of and parallel to the southern shore of the 
inlet. The lake varies from five to forty miles in width and is 
ninety miles long, allowing room for an extended voyage in its 
capacious bosom. The water is fresh enough to drink at the 
upper end of the lake, and at the time of our visit was far 
pleasanter and less arctic for bathing than the water off any 
point of the Maine coast. About twenty miles from the Nar- 
rows a string of islands, rugged and barren, but beautiful for 
their very desolation, as is true of so much of Labrador, nearly 
block the way, but we found the channels deep and clear, and 
St. John's towering peak makes an excellent guide to the most 
direct passage. 

One night was spent under way, floating quietly on the lake, 
so delightfully motionless after the restless movements of Atlan- 
tic seas. A calm and bright day following, during which the 
one pleasant swim in Labrador waters was taken by two of us, 
was varied by thunder squalls and ended in fog and drizzle, 
causing us to anchor off" the abrupt break in the continuous 
ridge along the northern shore, made by the Muligatawney 
River. Although in an insecure and exposed anchorage, yet 
the fact that we were in an inclosed lake gave a sense of security 
to the less experienced, that the snug and rocky harbors to 
which we had become accustomed, usually failed to give on 
account of the roaring of the surf a few hundred yards away, 
on the other side of the narrow barrier that protected the rocky 
basin. 



MONTAGNAIS INDIANS. 21 

The following day was bright and showery by turns, but the 
heart's wish of our Grand River men was granted, and while the 
schooner lay off the shoals at the mouth of the river they were 
to make famous, they started as will be described, and the rest 
of the expedition turned towards North West River, hoping 
they, too, could now get down to their real work. 

The noble little vessel was reluctant to leave any of her freight 
in so desolate a place,, in such frail boats as the Rushtons 
seemed, and in the calm between the thunder squalls, several 
times turned towards them, as they energetically pushed up the 
river's mouth, and seemed to call them back as she heavily 
flapped her white sails. They kept steadily on, however, while 
the Julia, bowing to a power stronger than herself, and to a 
fresh puff from the rapidly rising thunder heads, speedily 
reached North West River. 

North West River is a sportsman's paradise. Here we found 
the only real summer weather of the trip, the thermometer 
reaching "jQ ° F. on two days in succession, and thunder storms 
occurring regularly every afternoon. Our gunners and fisher- 
men were tempted off on a long trip. One party planning to 
be away two or three days, but returning the following morning, 
reported tracks and sounds of large animals. They said the 
rain induced them to return so soon. 

Here we found a camp of Montagnais Indians, bringing the 
winter's spoils of furs to trade at the post for flour and powder, 
and the other articles of civilization that they are slowly learning 
to use. They loaf on their supplies during the summer, hunting 
only enough to furnish themselves with meat, and then starve 
during the winter if game happens to be scarce. Measurements 
were made of some twenty-five of this branch of the Kree tribe, 
hitherto unknown to anthropometric science, and a full collection 
of household utensils peculiar to their tribe was procured. 
Several of the Nascopee tribe were with them, the two inter- 
marrying freely, and were also measured. The latter are not 
such magnificent specimens of physical development as the 
Montagnais, but their tribe is more numerous and seems, if 
anything, better adapted to thrive in Labrador than their more 
attractive brothers. 



22 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOB. 

The only remains of their picturesque national costume that 
we saw, was the cap. The women wore a curious knot of hair, 
about the size of a small egg, over each ear, while the men wore 
their hair cut off straight around, a few inches above the 
shoulders. 

In point of personal cleanliness, these people equal any abo- 
rigines we have seen, though their camp exhibited that supreme 
contempt for sanitation that characterizes every village except 
the Hudson Bay Co.'s posts on the Labrador coast, whether of 
Indians, Esquimaux or " planters,'' as the white and half-breed 
settlers are called. 

Some curious scenes were enacted while the professor was 
trading for his desired ethnological material. With inexhaust- 
ible patience and imperturbable countenance, he sat on a log, 
surrounded by yelping dogs, and by children and papooses of 
more or less tender ages and scanty raiment, playing on ten cent 
harmonicas that had for a time served as a staple of trade, 
struggling with the dogs and with their equally excited mothers 
and sisters for a sight of the wonderful basket from whose 
apparently inexhaustible depths came forth yet more harmonicas, 
sets of celluloid jewelry, knives, combs, fish-hooks, needles, etc., 
ad infinitum. The men, whose gravity equalled the delight of 
the women and children, held themselves somewhat aloof, seldom 
deigning to enter the circle about the magic basket, and making 
their trades in a very dignified and careless fashion. 

That these people are capable of civilization there can be no 
doubt. Missing the interpreter, without whom nothing could 
be done, the professor inquired for him and learned that he had 
returned to his wigwam. Upon being summoned he said he was 
tired of talking. Thereupon the professor bethought himself 
and asked him if he wanted more pay. The interpreter, no 
longer tired, was willing to talk all night. 

The camp was in a bend of the river and at the head of rapids 
about four miles from the mouth, up which we had to track, that 
is, one man had to haul the boat along by the bank with a small 
rope called a tracking line, while another kept her off the rocks 
by pushing against her with an oar. At that point the river 



A CAEEIAGE EOAD. 23 

opened out into a beautiful lake from one to two miles in width, 
whose further end we could not see. As this river never has 
been explored to its head, we were surprised that Messrs. Bryant 
and Kenaston, who were ready for their inland trip about a 
week after our party had started up the Grand River, had not 
chosen it as a field for their work rather than follow in the foot- 
steps of our expedition. 

Of all Labrador north of the Straits, North West River alone 
boasts a carriage road. To be sure, there are neither horses 
nor carriages at that post, but when Sir Donald A. Smith, at 
present at the head of the Hudson Bay Co.'s interests in Canada, 
but then plain Mr. Smith, factor, was in charge of that post his 
energy made the place a garden in the wilderness, and in addi- 
tion to luxuries of an edible sort, he added drives in a carriage 
through forest and by shore, for about two miles, on a well made 
road. Now, we are informed there is not a horse or cow north 
of Belle Isle. The present factor, Mr. McLaren, is a shrewd 
Scotchman, genial and warm-hearted beneath a rather forbidding 
exterior, as all of our party who experienced his hospitality can 
testify. 

In spite of all its attractions we could not stay at North West 
River. In five weeks we were to meet our river detail at Rigo- 
lette, and during that time a trip north of 400 miles was to be 
made and the bulk of the expedition's scientific work to be done. 

Our day's sail, with fresh breezes and favoring squalls, took 
us the whole length of the delightful lake, whose waters had 
seldom been vexed by a keel as long as the Julia's, and brought 
us to an anchor off Eskimo Island. Here we had one of our 
regular fights with the mosquitoes, the engagement perhaps being 
a trifle hotter than usual, for they swarmed down the companion 
way every time the " mosquito door," of netting on a light 
frame hinged to the hatch house, was opened, in brigades and 
divisions and finally by whole army corps, till we were forced to 
retreat to our bunks, drive out the intruding hosts, which paid 
no respect whatever to our limited 6x3x3 private apartments, by 
energetically waving and slapping a towel around, then quickly 
shutting the door of netting, also on a tightly fitting frame, and 



24 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABKADOE. 

devoting an hour or two at our leisure to demolishing the few 
stragglers that remained within ; or possibly the whole night, if 
an unknown breach had been found by the wily mosquito some- 
where in our carefully made defenses. A few bones were taken 
from the Eskimo graves that abound on the island, but the mos- 
quitoes seriously interfered with such work and the party soon 
returned to the vessel. The absolutely calm night allowed the 
mosquitoes to reach us and stay ; and in spite of its brevity and 
the utter stillness of the vast solitude about us, broken only now 
and then by a noise from the little Halifax trader whose acquaint- 
ance we here made for the first time, and of whom we saw so 
much on our return voyage across the gulf, or by the howling of 
wolves and Eskimo dogs in the distance, we were glad when it 
was over and a morning breeze chased from our decks the invad- 
ing hosts. 

A short stop at Rigolette, to send about fifty letters ashore, a 
two days' delay in a cold, easterly storm at Turner Cove, on the 
south side of the inlet, when the icy winds, in contrast to the 
warm weather we had lately enjoyed, made us put on our heavy 
clothes and, even then, shiver — a delay, however, that we did 
not grudge, for we were in a land of fish, game and labradorite — 
this of a poor quality, as we afterward learned — and where the 
doctor had more patients than he could easily attend to. At 
last a pleasant Sunday's run to Indian Harbor .got us clear of 
Hamilton Inlet. There we found the usual complement of fish 
and fishing apparatus, but with the addition of a few Yankee 
vessels and a church service. 

The latter we were quite surprised to find, and several went, 
out of curiosity, and had the satisfaction of finding a small room, 
packed with about fifty human beings, with no ventilation what- 
ever, and of sitting on seats about four inches wide with no 
backs. The people were earnest and respectful, but did not 
seem to understand all that was said, as, perhaps, is not to be 
wondered at, since they are the poorest class of Newfoundlanders. 

Indian Harbor is like so many others on the coast, merely a 
" tickle " with three ticklish entrances full of sunken rocks and 
treacherous currents. The small islands that make the harbor 



STOBM AND FOG. 25 

are simply bare ledges, very rough and irregular in outline. The 
fishing village, also, like all others, consists of little earthen-cov- 
ered hovels, stuck down wherever a decently level spot fifteen 
feet square can be found, and of fishing stages running out from 
every little point and cove, in which the catch is placed to be 
taken care of, and alongside of which the heavy boats can lie 
without danger of being smashed by the undertow that is con- 
tinually heaving against the shore. 

A two days' run brought us up to Cape Harrigan, rounding 
which we went into Webeck Harbor, little thinking that in that 
dreary place storm and fog would hold us prisoners for five days. 
That was our fate, and even now we wonder how we lived 
through that dismal time. 

One day served to make us familiar with the flora, fauna, geog- 
raphy and geology of the region, for it was not an interesting 
place from a scientific point of view, however the fishermen may 
regard it, and after the departure of the mail steamer, leaving 
us all disappointed in regard to mail, time dragged on us terribly. 

Two or three of the more venturesome ones could get a little 
sport by pulling a long four miles down to the extremity of Cape 
Harrigan, where sea pigeon had a home in the face of a mag- 
nificent cliff, against the bottom of which the gunners had to 
risk being thrown by the heavy swell rolling against it, as they 
shot from a boat bobbing like a cork, at " guillemots " flying 
like bullets from a gun out of the face of the cliff. One evening 
a relief party was sent off for two who had gone off to land on 
a bad lee shore and were some hours overdue. To be sure the 
missing ones arrived very soon, all right, while the search party 
got back considerably later, drenched with spray and with their 
boat half full of water, but the incident gave some relief from 
the monotony. 

Another evening several visiting captains and a few friends 
from ashore were treated to a concert by the Bowdoin Glee and 
Minstrel Club. All the old favorites of from ten years ago and 
less were served up in a sort of composite hash, greatly to the 
delight of both audience and singers. 



26 BOWBOIK BOYS IN LABRADOK. 

At Webeck Harbor, which we came to pronounce " Wajback," 
probabh- because it seemed such a long way back to anything 
worthy of human interest, we saw the business of catching cod 
at its best. -They had just ■ struck a spurt," the fishermen said, 
and day after day simply went to their traps, filled their boats 
and bags, took the catch home, where the boys and " ship girls " 
took charge of it, and returned to the traps to repeat the process. 
An idea of the amount of fish taken may be given by the figures 
of the catch of five men from one schooner, who took one thou- 
sand quintals of codfish in thirteen days. \\'e obtained a better 
idea of the vast catch by the experience of one of our parties 
who spent part of a da\- at the traps, as the arrangement of nets 
along the shore is called, into which the cod swim and out of 
which they are too foolish to go. They are on much tlie same 
plan as salmon weirs, onh" larger, opening both waj-s, and being 
placed usually in over ten fathoms of water and kept in place by 
anchors, shore lines, and floats and sinkers. Once dowTi they 
are usually kept in place a whole season. The part}" were in a 
boat, inside the line of floats, so interested in watching the fish- 
ermen making the " haul," as the process of overhauling the net 
and passing it under the boat is called, by which the fish are 
crowded up into one comer where they can be scooped out by 
the dozen, that they did not notice that the enormous catch was 
being brought to the surface directly under them till their own 
boat began to rise out of the water, actudh- being grounded on 
the immense shoal of codfish. 

It was a strange sensation and makes a strange story. All 
the time that we were storm-stayed at Webeck the " spurt " con- 
tinued, and the trap owners were tired but jubilcuit. The " hand- 
lining " crews were correspondingly depressed, for, though so 
plenty, not a cod would bite a hook. It is this reason, that is, 
because an abundance of food brings tlie cod to the shores in 
great numbers and at the same time prevents them from being 
hungry, that led to the abandonment of trawling and the uni\-er- 
sal adoption of the trap method. We did not see a single trawl 
on the coast, and it is doubtful if there was one tliere in use. 



ABUNDANCE OF CODFISH. 27 

During these spurts, the day's work just begins, in fact, after 
the hard labor of rowing the heavy boats out, perhaps two miles, 
to the trap, hauling, mending the net, loading and unloading the 
fish — always a hard task and sometimes a very difficult one on 
account of the heavy sea — has been repeated three or four times ; 
for the number of fish is so great that the stage becomes over- 
loaded by night, and the boat crews then have to turn to and 
help take care of the catch and clear the stage for the next 
day's operations. Till long after midnight the work goes mer- 
rily on in the huts or shelters over the stages, for the hard work 
then means no starvation next winter in the Newfoundland 
homes, and the fish are split, cleaned, headed, salted and packed 
with incredible rapidity. 

The tired crews get an hour or two of sleep just as they are ; 
then, after a pot of black tea and a handful of bread, start out 
to begin the next day's work, resting and eating during the hour 
between, the trips, and then going out again, and repeating the 
some monotonous round over and over till we wondered how 
they lived through it, and what was to be done with all the fish. 
When there is a good breeze the boats are rigged and a large 
part of the weary labor of rowing is escaped. How tired the 
crews would look as the big twenty-four feet boats went dashing 
by our vessel in the fog and rain, on the outward trip, and how 
happy, though if possible more tired, as they came back three 
or four hours later, loaded to the gunwale with cod, and think- 
ing, perhaps, of the bags full that they had left buoyed near the 
trap because the boat would not carry the whole catch. It is a 
hard life, and no wonder the men are not much more than ani- 
mals ; but they work with dogged persistence, for in a little 
more than two months enough must be earned to support their 
families for the year. When the " spurt " ends the crews get a 
much needed rest, and attend to getting a supply of salt ashore 
from the salt vessel from Cadiz, Spain, one of which we found 
lying in nearly every fishing harbor, serving as a storehouse for 
that article so necessary to the fishermen. 

As to the magnitude of the industry, it is estimated that there 
are about 3,000 vessels and 20,000 men employed in it during 



28 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABEADOE. 

the season. Some of the vessels are employed in merely bring- 
ing salt and taking away the fish, notably the great iron tramp 
steamers of from 1,500 to 2,000 tons, which seem so much out 
of place moored to the sides of some of the little rocky harbors. 
The average catch in a good year is, we were informed, from 
four to six hundred quintals in a vessel of perhaps forty tons, 
by a crew of from four to eight men. The trap outfit costs 
about $500 and is furnished by the large fish firms in Newfound- 
land, to be paid for with fish. As the market price, to the fish- 
ermen, is from five dollars to six dollars a quintal, the value of 
the industry is at once apparent. 

The great bulk of the fish go to Mediterranean ports direct, 
to Catholic countries, chiefly, and also to Brazil. The small 
size and imperfect curing which the Labrador summer allows 
make the fish almost unsalable in English and American mar- 
kets. Many of the cod are of the black, Greenland variety, 
which are far less palatable, and are usually thrown away or 
cured separately for the cheaper market. 

All storms come to an end finally, and at last the sun shone, 
the windlass clanked and we were underway. The long delay 
seemed to have broken our little schooner's spirits, for after 
being out three or four hours we had gone but as many miles, 
and those in the wrong direction. 

At length the gentle breeze seemed to revive her and we 
gently slipped by the Ragged Islands and Cape Mokkavik. 
That Sunday evening will long be remembered by us, for in 
addition to the delight we felt at again moving northward, and 
the charm of a bright evening with a gentle, fair wind and 
smooth water, allowing us to glide by hundreds of fulmar and 
shearwater sitting on the water, scarcely disturbed by our pas- 
sage, the moon was paled by the brightest exhibition of the 
aurora we saw while in northern waters. Its sudden darts into 
new quarters of the heavens, its tumultuous waves and gentle 
undulations, now looking like a fleecy cloud, now like a gigantic 
curtain shaken by still more gigantic hands into ponderous folds 
— all were reflected in the quiet water and from the numerous 
bergs, great and small, that dotted the surface, till the beholder 



HOPEDALB. 29 

was at times awe-struck and silent, utterly unable to find words 
with which to express himself. 

The next day we rounded Gull Island, which we identified 
with some difficulty, owing to the absence of the flagstaff by 
which the coast pilot says it can be distinguished, and, after a 
delightful sail up the clear sound leading through the fringe of 
islands to Hopedale, we spied the red-roofed houses and earth- 
covered huts, the mission houses and Eskimo village, of which 
the settlement consists, snugly hidden behind little " Anatokavit," 
or little Snow Hill Island, at the foot of a steep and lofty hill 
surmounted by the mission flagstaff. Here we were destined to 
pass five days as pleasant as the five at Webeck had been tedious. 

The harbor at Hopedale is the best one we visited on the 
coast. The twelve miles of sound, fringed and studded with 
islands, completely broke the undertow which had kept our ves- 
sel constantly rolling, when at anchor, in every harbor except 
those up Hamilton Inlet and Lake Melville. 

About two miles south of us a vast, unexplored bay ran for a 
long distance inland, while to the north, looking from Flagstaff 
Peak, we could see Cape Harrigan and the shoals about it, the 
numberless inlets, coves and bays which fill in the sij^ty miles to 
Nain. We were very much disappointed at our inability to go 
north to that place, but before our start from the United States 
Hopedale had been named as the point with which we would be 
content if ice and winds allowed us to reach it, and that point 
proved the northern limit of our voyage. 

About half a mile across the point of land on which the mis- 
sionary settlement lies, is the site of the pre-historic village of 
" Avatoke," which means " may-we-have-seals." It consisted 
of three approximately circular houses, in line parallel with the 
shore, at the head of a slight cove, backed to the west by a 
high hill, and with a fine beach in front, now raised considerably 
from the sea level. Along the front of the row of houses were 
immense shell heaps, from which we dug ivory, that is, walrus 
teeth; carvings, stone lamps, spear heads, portions of kyaks, 
whips, komatiks, as the sleds are called, etc., etc., and bones 
innumerable of all the varieties of birds, fish and game on which 



30 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABKADOE. 

the early Eskimo dined ; as well as remnants of all the imple- 
ments which Eskimos used in the household generations ago, 
and which can nearly all now be recognized by the almost iden- 
tically shaped and made implements in the houses of Eskimos 
there in Hopedale, so little do they change in the course of 
centuries. The village has been completely deserted for over 
one hundred years, and was in its prime centuries before that, 
so the tales of its greatness are only dim Eskimo traditions. 

The houses were found to average about thirty-five feet across 
on the inside ; are separated by a space of about fifteen feet, 
and each had a long, narrow doorway or entrance, being almost 
exactly in line. The walls are about fifteen feet thick and now 
about five feet high, of earth, with the gravel beach for a foun- 
dation. The inside of the wall was apparently lined with some- 
thing resembling a wooden bench. When, in one of the houses, 
the remains of the dirt and stone roof that had long since crushed 
down the rotten poles and seal skins that made the framework 
and first covering, had been carefully removed, the floor was 
found to be laid with flagstones, many three or four feet across, 
closely fitted at the edges and well laid in the gravel so as to 
make a smooth, even floor. This extended to the remains of 
the bench at the sides, and made a dwelling which for Eskimo 
land must have been palatial. The evidences of fire showed the 
hearth to have been near the center of the floor, a little towards 
the entrance, in order to get the most from its heat. The Hope- 
dale Eskimo were themselves surprised at the stone floor, but 
one old man remembered that he had been told that such floors 
were used long ago, in the palmier days of Eskimo history, if 
such an expression is fitting for an arctic people. 

A village arranged on a similar plan, except that the houses 
were joined together, was found to constitute the supposed 
remains of a settlement on Eskimo Island in Lake Melville. 

In both cases the front of the row is towards the east, and the 
houses are dug down to sand on the inside, making their floors 
somewhat below the level of the ground. 

A more thorough investigation than we were able to make of 
the remains at Eskimo Island would undoubtedly yield much of 



ESKIMOS. 31 

interest and value, for they were if anything even older than 
those at Hopedale, probably having been abandoned after the 
battle between Eskimo and Indians, fought on the same island, 
which has now become a tradition among the people. 

Five days were spent in this most interesting ethnological 
work, and hard days they were, too, as well as interesting, for 
the mosquitoes, black flies and midges were always with us ; 
but on the other hand, the Eskimo interpreter was continually 
describing some national custom which some find would suggest 
to him, and very ingenious he proved to be in naming finds 
which we were entirely ignorant of or unable to identify. 

The race as a whole is exceedingly ingenious, quick to learn, 
handy with tools, and also ready at mastering musical instru- 
ments. One of the best carpenters on the Labrador is an 
Eskimo at Aillik, from whom we bought a kyak ; and at Hope- 
dale in the winter they have a very fair brass band. The art of 
fine carving, however, seems to be dying out among them, and 
now there is but one family, at Nain, who do anything of the 
sort worthy the name of carving. Prof. Lee obtained several 
very fine specimens for the Bowdoin cabinets, but as a rule it is 
very high priced and rare. Most of it is taken to London by 
the Moravian mission ship, and has found its way into English 
and Continental museums. The figures of dogs, of Eskimos 
themselves, as well as of kyaks and komatiks, seals, walrus, 
arctic birds and the like are most exquisitely done. 

The mission itself deserves a brief description. It was 
founded in 1782 and has been steadily maintained by the Mora- 
vian society for the furtherance of the Gospel, and is now nearly 
self-supporting. There are three missions of the society in 
Labrador, the one at Nain being the chief and the residence of 
the director, but Hopedale is very important as it is the place 
where the debasing influence of the traders and fishermen is 
most felt by the Eskimo, and the work of the missionaries con- 
sequently made least welcome to them. However, they have 
persevered, in the German fashion, and seem to have a firm hold 
on the childlike people which the seductions of the traders 
cannot shake off. 



32 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABBABOR. 

There are five missionaries now stationed at Hopedale : Mr. 
Townly, an Englishman, whose work is among the " planters " 
and fishermen ; Mr. Hansen, the pastor of the Eskimo church ; 
and Mr. Kaestner, the head of the mission, and in special charge 
of the store and trading, by which the mission is made nearly 
self-supporting; Mrs. Kaestner and Mrs. Hansen complete the 
number, and the five make up a community almost entirely iso- 
lated from white people during nine months of every year. 

The fact that the two ladies spoke very little English was 
somewhat of a drawback, but detracted very slightly from our 
enjoyment of Mrs. Hanson's delightful singing and none at all 
from our appreciation of her playing on the piano and organ. 
To get such a musical treat in the Labrador wilds was most 
unexpected and for that reason all the more thoroughly enjoyed. 

The mission house is a yellow, barn-like building, heavily 
built to prevent its being blown away, snugly stowed beneath a 
hill, and seeming like a mother round . which the huts of the 
Eskimo cluster. The rooms in whieh we were so pleasantly 
entertained were very comfortably and tastily furnished, a grand 
piano in one of them seeming out of place in a village of Lab- 
rador, but so entirely in harmony with its immediate surround- 
ings that we hardly thought of the strangeness of it, within a 
few yards of a village of pure Eskimo, living in all their primi- 
tive customs and in their own land. 

A few rods behind the mission are the gardens, cut up into 
small squares by strong board fences to prevent the soil from 
blowing away, each with a tarpaulin near by to spread over it at 
night. In this laborious way potatoes, cabbages and turnips are 
raised. In a large hothouse the missionaries raise tomatoes, 
lettuce, and also flowers, but for everything else, except fish, 
game and ice, they have to depend on the yearly visit of the 
Moravian mission ship. She left for Nain just the day before 
we reached Hopedale, and after unloading supplies, etc., there, 
she proceeds north, collecting furs and fish until loaded, and 
then goes to London. 

About fifty Eskimos were measured and collections made of 
their clothing, implements of war and chase and household 



TICKLES. 33 

utensils, which are the best of our collections, for the World's 
Fair and the Bowdoin museums. 

After spending these five pleasant and profitable days at 
Hopedale, and regretfully looking out by Cape Harrigan, to 
Nain, whose gardens are the seventh wonder of Labrador, 
through which, reports say, one can walk for two miles, and 
whose missionaries, warned of our coming, were making ready 
to give us a warm reception ; and near it Paul's Island, on which 
was so much of interest to our party; all this we thought of 
mournfully as our vessel's head was pointed southward and we 
sped along, reluctant on this account, and yet eager to hear of 
the success of our boldest undertaking, the Grand River explor- 
ation party. 

At Aillik, where there is an abandoned Hudson Bay Co.'s 
post, we measured a few more Eskimo, obtained a kyak, which 
a day or two later nearly became a coffin to one of our party, 
and tried a trout stream that proved the best we found in Lab- 
rador. In about an hour, three of our party caught over eighty 
magnificent trout, and, naturally, returned much elated. 

The next day we poked the Julia's inquisitive nose into one 
or two so-called but misnamed harbors that afforded very little 
shelter, and had a threatening and deserted look which, although 
the characteristic of the Labrador shore in general, has never 
been noticeable in the harbors we have visited. Many of them 
are very small, and in some it is necessary to lay quite close to 
the rocks, but yet we have had no trouble from the extremely 
deep water that we were told we should have to anchor in, nor 
yet from getting into harbors so small that it was hard to get 
out of them. 

As a matter of fact, experience has taught the fishermen to 
use " tickles," as narrow passages are called, for harbors, that 
there may always be a windward and a leeward entrance. In a 
few cases where the harbor is too small to beat out of, and has 
no leeward entrance, we have found heavy ring bolts fastened 
into proper places in the cliffs, to which vessels can make their 
lines fast, and warp themselves into weatherly position from 
which a course can be laid out of the harbor. 



34 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOK. 

Meanwhile we are again approaching the Ragged Islands, 
which we passed just as we were beginning that memorable 
Sunday evening sail, about fifteen miles from the place we so 
much dread, Webeck Harbor. 

On them we found the only gravel bed we saw in Labrador, 
and yet their name is due to the rough piled basaltic appearing 
rock, that proved on close examination to be much weathered 
sienite and granite. The harbor is an open place amidst a 
cluster of rocky islets, and we found it literally packed with 
fishing vessels. Here an afternoon was spent making pictures 
and examining the geology of these interesting islands, and here 
the adventure of the kyak, before referred to, took place. 

Our fur trader thought he would take a paddle, but had not 
gone three lengths before he found that he was more expert in 
dealing with Eskimo furs than in handling Eskimo boats. He 
rolled over, was soon pulled alongside, and clearing himself 
from the kyak climbed aboard, just as our gallant mate, his res- 
cuer, rolled out of his dory into the water and took a swim on 
his own account. All hands were nearly exploded with laughter 
as he rolled himself neatly into the dory again and climbed 
aboard, remarking, "That's the way to climb into a dory without 
capsizing her," as he ruefully shook himself. We wanted to ask 
him if that was the only way to get out of a dory without turn- 
ing her over, but we forebore. 

The next morning as we got clear of the harbor, a trim look- 
ing schooner of our size was sighted just off Cape Harrigan, 
about ten miles ahead. The breeze freshening we gradually 
overhauled her, and finally, while beating into Holton harbor, 
one of the most dangerous entrances on the coast, by the way, 
we passed her, and noticing her neat rig and appearance guessed 
rightly we had beaten the representatives of the Newfoundland 
law and the collector of her revenues from this coast. 

Mr. Burgess, who combines in one unassuming personage the 
tax and customs collector, the magistrate and the commissioner 
of poor relief from Labrador, afterward told us that the "Rose" 
had been on the coast for thirteen years and had been outsailed 
for the first time. The next morning we again beat her badly, 



PUPPIiSrS AND AUKS. 35 

in working up to Indian Harbor, and only then would he acknowl- 
edge himself fairly beaten. 

Saturday, the 22d of August, having yet three days before 
we were due at Rigolette to meet our Grand River party, we 
made memorable in the annals of the puffins and auks of the 
Heron Islands by spending three or four hours there and taking 
aboard three hundred and seventy-eight of them. Many more 
of them were killed but dropped into inaccessible places or into 
the water and could not be saved. 

The sound of the fusilade from over twenty gunners must 
have resembled a small battle, but it did not drive the birds 
away, and as we left they seemed thicker than ever. Not only 
was the air alive with them, but as one walked along the cliffs 
they would dart swiftly out of holes in the rocks or crevices, so 
the earth, too, seemed full of them. It was great sport for a 
time, but soon seemed too much like slaughter, and we would 
let the awkard puffins, with their foolish eyes and Roman 
noses, come blundering along within a few feet of our muzzles, 
and chose rather the graceful, swift motioned auks and guillemots, 
whose rapid flight made them far more sportsmanlike game. 

The next day, though Sunday, had to be spent in taking 
care of the best specimens, and the game was not fully disposed 
of for several days. Our bill of fare was correspondingly im- 
proved for a few days. 

Three days were consumed in beating up to Rigolette. At 
Indian Harbor we had heard rumors of the return of some 
party from Grand River on account of injuries received by one 
of the men, but the description applied best to the second 
party, and we decided it must refer to Bryant or Kenaston. 
Near Turner's Cove we found more rumors, but nothing 
definite enough to satisfy our growing anxiety, and at last, 
unable to bear the suspense any longer, three of the party took 
a boat and started to row the fifteen miles between us and 
Rigolette, while the vessel waited for a change of tide and 
a breeze. 

Alternate hope and fear lent strength to our arms as we 
drove the light boat along, and soon we came in sight of the 



36 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABEADOE. 

wharf. There we saw a ragged looking individual, smoking a 
very short and black clay pipe, with one arm in a sling, who 
seemed to recognize us, and waved his hat vigorously with his 
well arm. Soon we recognized Young and were pumping away 
at his well hand in our dehght at finding his injuries no worse, 
and that Gary and Cole were yet pushing on, determined to 
accomplish their object. 

Young's hand had been in a critical state; the slight injury 
first received unconsciously, from exposure and lack of atten- 
tion had caused a swelling of his hand and arm that was both 
extremely painful and dangerous, and which, the doctor said, 
would have caused the loss of the thumb, or possibly of the 
whole hand, had it gone uncared for much longer. Of course 
it was impossible to leave a man in such a condition, or to send 
him back alone. So Smith very regretfully volunteered to 
turn back — at a point where a few days more were expected to 
give a sight of the Falls, and when all thought the hardest 
work of the Grand River party had been accomplished — and 
accompany Young back to Rigolette. 

It was a great sacrifice of Smith's personal desires, to be one 
of the re-discoverers of the falls, to the interests of the expedi- 
tion, and it involved a great deal of hard work, for, after pad- 
dling and rowing all day, he had to build and break camp 
every night and morning, as Young's hand grew steadily worse 
and was all he conld attend to. At the mouth of the river, 
which was reached in shorter time than was expected, and 
without accident, Young obtained some relief from applica- 
tions of spruce gum to his hand by Joe Michelini, a trapper and 
hunter, famous for his skill in all Labrador. Northwest River 
was reached the following day, and after a few days of rest for 
Smith, during which time Young's injury began to mend also 
under the influences of rest and shelter, they hired a small 
schooner boat to take them to Rigolette. On the passage they 
were struck by a squall in the night, nearly swamped, and com- 
pelled to cut the Rushton boat adrift in order to save themselves. 
The next day they searched the leeward shore of the lake in 
vain, and had to go on without her, arriving at Rigolette with- 



ANXIOCrS "WAITING. 37 

out further accident, and had been there about a week when we 
arrived. The boat was picked up later in a badly damaged 
condition, and given to the finder. 

While Young outlined his experience we hunted up Smith, 
who had been making himself useful as a clerk to the factor at 
the Post, Mr. Bell, and all went on board the Julia as soon as 
she arrived, to report and relieve in a measure the anxiety of 
the professor and the boys. 

The day appointed for meeting the river party was the day 
on which we reached Rigolette, August 25th, and so a sharp 
lookout was kept for the two remaining members of the party, 
on whom, now, the failure or success of that part of the ex- 
pedition rested. As they did not appear, we moved up to 
a cove near Eskimo Island, at the eastern end of Lake Mel- 
ville, the following day, and there spent four days of anxious 
waiting. Some dredging and geological work was done, and 
an attempt was made to examine more carefully the re- 
mains of the Eskimo village before referred to on Eskimo 
Island, which some investigators had thought the remains of 
a Norse settlement. The turf was too tough to break through 
without a plow, and we had to give it up, doing just enough 
to satisfy ourselves that the remains were purely Eskimo. 

All the work attempted was done in a half-hearted man- 
ner, for our thoughts were with Gary and Cole, and as the 
days went by and they did not appear, but were more and 
more overdue, our suspense became almost unbearable. 
Added to this was the thought that we could wait but a 
few days more at the longest, without running the danger 
of being imprisoned all winter, and for that we were poorly 
prepared. 

The first day of September we moved back to Rigolette to 
get supplies and make preparations for our voyage home, as it 
was positively unsafe to remain any longer. The Gulf of St. 
Lawrence is an ugly place to cross at any time in September, 
for in that month the chances are rather against a small vessel's 
getting across safely. 

It was decided that the expedition must start home on Wed- 
nesday, the 2nd, and that a relief party should be left for Gary 



38 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABEADOE. 

and Cole. With heavy hearts the final preparations were made, 
and many were the looks cast at the narrows where they would 
be seen, were they to heave in sight. 

At last, about 3.30 p. m. Tuesday, the lookout yelled, " Sail 
ho ! in the narrows," and we all jumped for the rigging. They 
had come, almost at the last hour of our waiting, and with a 
feeling of relief such as we shall seldom again experience we 
welcomed them aboard and heard their story. 



&30C •*- 



BowDoiN Boys in Labrador. 



On Board the Julia A. Decker, 
Gut of Canso. 

Bowdoin pluck has overcome Bowdoin luck, and though they 
literally had to pass through fire and water, the Bowdoin men, 
from the Bowdoin College Scientific Expedition to Labrador 
have done what Oxford failed to do, and what was declared well 
nigh impossible by those best acquainted with the circumstan- 
ces and presumably best judges of the matter. Austin Gary 
and Dennis Cole, Bowdoin '87 and '88, respectively, have pro- 
ven themselves worthy to be ranked as explorers, and have 
demonstrated anew that energy and endurance are not wanting 
in college graduates of this generation. 

A trip up a large and swift river, totally unknown to maps 
in its upper portions, for three hundred miles, equal to the distance 
from Brunswick, Me., to New York City, in open fifteen feet boats, 
is of itself an achievement worthy of remark. But when to this 
is added the discovery of Bowdoin Canon, one of the most re- 
markable features of North America, the settlement of the 
mystery of the Grand Falls, and the bringing to light of a navig- 
able waterway extending for an unbroken ninety miles, and 
three hundred miles in the interior of an hitherto unknown 
country, something more than remark is merited. 

July 26th the schooner hove to about four miles from the mouth 
of the Grand River, the shoals rendering a nearer approach dan- 
gerous, and the boats of the river detachment were sent over 
the side, taken in tow by the yawl, and the start made on what 
proved the most eventful part of the Labrador expedition. 
Cheers and good wishes followed the three boats till out of 
hearing, and then the Julia gathered way and headed for North 
West River, while the party in the yawl with the hvo Rushtons 



40 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABBADOE. 

in tow put forth their best efforts to reach the mouth of the 
river and alee before the approaching squall should strike them. 

The squall came first, and as it blew heavily directly out of 
the river, we could simply lay to and wait for it to blow over. 
Then a calm followed and by the time the next squall struck 
we were in a comparative lee. After the heaviest of it had 
passed, the Grand River boys clambered into their boats and 
with a hearty "good by'' pulled away for the opening closest 
hand. The yawl meantime had grounded on one of the shoals, 
but pushing off and carefully dodging the boulders that dbt 
those shallow waters, she squared away for North West Riv^r, 
following around the shore, and with the aid of a fresh breeze 
reached the schooner shortly after loo'clock P. M. 

The river party was made up of Austin Gary in charge, and, 
W. R. Smith, '90, occupying one boat, and Dennis Gole and E. 
B. Young, '92, with the other, all strong, rugged fellows, more', 
or less acquainted with boating in rapid water,and well equipped 
for all emergencies. Their outfit included provisions for five 
weeks, flour, meal, buckwheat flour, rice, coffee, tea, sugar, beef 
extract, tins of pea soup, beef tongue, and preserves. They 
were provided with revolvers, a shot gun and a rifle,and suffi- 
cient ammunition, intending to eke out the stores with what- 
ever game came in their way, although the amount of time 
given them would not allow much hunting. All the sup- 
plies, including the surveying, measuring and meteorological 
instruments, were either in tins or in water-tight wrappings,while 
the bedding and clothing were protected by rubber blankets. 
The boats, made by Rushton, the Adirondack boat-builder, 
were of cedar, fifteen feet long, five feet wide, double-ended, and 
weighed eighty pounds apiece. A short deck at each end of the 
boats covered copper air-tanks, which made life-boats of them 
and added much to their safety. Each boat was equipped with 
a pair of oars, a paddle and about one hundred feet of small line 
for tracking purposes. Proceeding about three miles the first 
camp was made on the south shore of Goose Bay, amid an 
abundance of mosquitoes. The next day twenty-five miles were 
made through shoals that nearly close the river's mouth, leaving 



GRAND EIVER. 41 

but one good channel through which the water flows very swiftly, 
by the house of Joe Michelin, the trapper, at which six weeks 
later two very gaunt and much used up men were most hospita- 
bly received. Here another night was spent almost without 
sleep, owing to the mosquitoes. 

Tuesday a large Indian camp was passed, the big " pool," at 
the foot of the first falls and some three miles long, rowed 
across, and at noon the carry was begun. It was necessary to 
make seventeen trips and four and one half hours were used in the 
task. When the last load had been deposited at the upper end of 
the carry, the men threw themselves down on the bank utterly 
weary, and owing to the loss of sleep the two previous nights, 
were soon all sound asleep. In consequence camp was made 
here, and the first comfortable night of the trip passed. In- 
cluding the carry eight miles was the day's advance. 

The twenty-five miles of the next day were made rowing and 
tracking up the Porcupine rapids through a series of small lakes, 
one with a little island in the centre deceiving our boys for 
awhile into thinking they had reached Gull Island Lake, and 
then up another short rapid at the head of which the party en- 
camped. 

Sixteen miles were made next day by alternate rowing and 
tracking, the foot of Gull Island Lake was reached, and after 
dinner it was crossed in one and a half hours. Then the heav- 
iest work of the trip thus far was struck and camp was made, 
about half way up Gull Lake rapid. Supper was made off a 
goose shot the previous day. It was necessary to double the 
crews in getting up the latter part of Gull Island rapids, and 
finally a short carry was made just at noon to get clear of them. 
From the fact that the light, beautifully modelled boats required 
four men to take them up the rapids we may get some idea of 
the swiftness of the river as well as the difficulties attending the 
mode of travelling. As the river in its swiftest parts is never 
less than half a mile wide, and averages a mile, it can readily be 
seen that it is a grand waterway, well deserving its name. 

Nine miles were made this day and camp was reached at the 
beginning of rough water on the Horse Shoe Rapid. Here the 



42 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABEADOE. 

first evidence of shoes giving out was seen. Constant use over 
rough rocks while wet proved too much for even the strongest 
shoes, and when Gary and Cole returned there was not leather 
enough between them to make one decent shoe. Rain made 
the night uncomfortable, as the light shelter tent let the water 
through very easily and was then of little use. At other times 
the tents were very comfortable. Upon arriving at the spot 
selected two men would at once set about preparing the brush 
for beds, pitching the tent, etc., while the other provided wood 
for the camp and for the cook, in which capacity Cary offici- 
ated. I cannot do better than use Cary's own words in refer- 
ence to his "humble but essential ministrations." -'Camp cook- 
ing at best is rather a wearing process, but the agonies of a 
man whose hands are tangled up in dough and whom the flies 
becloud, competing for standing room on every exposed portion 
of his body, can be imagined only by the experienced." 

The party believed that a good night's rest was indispensible 
where the day was filled with the hardest kind of labor, and 
spared no pains to secure them. Even on the return Cary and 
Cole, when half starved, stuck to their practice of making com- 
fortable camps, and it is probable that the wonderful way they 
held out under their privations was largely due to this. While 
many in their predicament would have thrown away their blank- 
ets, they kept them, and on every cold and stormy night con- 
gratulated themselves that they had done so. 

On Saturday, Aug. 1st, the first accident happened. Track- 
ing on the Horse Shoe Rapids was extremely difficult and 
dangerous. Shortly after dinner a carry was made, taking three 
and a half hours to track out a path up and along a terrace 
about fifty feet high. Shortly after this the boat used by Cary 
and Smith capsized, emptying its load into the river. The 
party were "tracking" at the time, Cole being nearly the length 
of the tow line ahead, tugging on it, while Cary was doing his 
best to keep the boat ofi" the rocks. At the margin of the swift 
unbroken current there were strong eddies, and in hauling the 
boat around a bend her bow was pushed into one, her slight 
keel momentarily preventing her from heading up stream again. 



LOSS OF BOAT. 43 

and the rush of the water bore her under. At the same time 
Gary was carried from his footing and just managed to grasp 
the line as he came up and escape being borne down the 
stream. When things were collected and an inventory taken of 
the loss, it was found to include about one-fourth of the pro- 
visions, the barometer and chronometer rendered useless and 
practically lost, measuring chain, cooking utensils, rifles with 
much of the ammunition, axe and small stores, such as salt, 
sugar, coffee, etc. The loss was a severe one, and arose from 
failure to fasten the stores into the boats before starting, as had 
been ordered. The time given the party for the trip was so 
short, the distance so uncertain, and the things they desired to 
have an opportunity to do on the return that would require 
comparative leisure were so many, that they begrudged the 
few minutes necessary to properly lash the loads into the 
boats, each time they broke camp ; and delay and disaster were 
the results. As the day was nearly spent, camp was made but 
about a mile from the last, and time used in repairing damages. 
A very ingenious baker for bread was contrived by Cole from 
an empty flour tin, a new paddle made to replace the one lost, 
and a redistribution of the baggage remaining effected. 

In the following five days sixty-six miles were made with a 
few short carries, some rowing and a good deal of hard tracking. 
Having passed the Mininipi river and rapids, the latter being 
the worst on the river, the bank furnishing almost no foothold 
for tracking the Mauni rapids were reached and finally at 5 
P. M., Aug. 6th, the party emerged into Lake Waminikapo. As 
Cary's journal puts it, here the party "firstindulged in hilarity." 
The hardest part of the work was over and had been done in 
much less time than had been expected. According to all ac- 
counts the falls should be found only thirty miles beyond the head 
of the lake, which is forty miles long and good rowing water, and 
about three weeks time yet remained before they were due at 
Rigolette. Added to this a perfect summer afternoon, com- 
paratively smooth water, running around the base of a magnifi- 
cent cliff and opening out through a gorge with precipitous 
sides, showing a beautiful vista of lake and mountain, with the 



44 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

knowledge of rapids behind and the object of the trip but a 
short way ahead and easy travelling most of that way, and we 
may readily understand why these tired and travel worn voy 
agers felt hilarious. Gary says of the scene : "As we gradu- 
ally worked out of the swift water the terraces of sand and 
stones were seen to give way and the ridges beyond to approach 
one another and to erect themselves, until at the lake's mouth 
we entered a grand portal between cliffs on either hand tower- 
ing for hundreds of feet straight into the air. And looking be- 
yond and between the reaches of the lake was seen a ribbon 
of water lying between steep sided ridges, over the face of 
which, as we pulled along, mountain streams came pouring." 

One day was used in making the length of the lake, and at 
the camp at its head Young and Smith turned back. A very 
badly swelled hand and arm caused by jamming his thumb had 
prevented Young from getting any sleep and threatened speedily 
to become worse. This in connection with the loss of provis- 
ions in the upset made it expedient to send the two men back. 
The returning party was given the best boat, the best of the 
outfit and provisions for six days, in which time they could 
easily reach the mouth of the river. Meantime Gary and Gole 
pushed on into what was to prove the most eventful part of 
their journey. 

The lake is simply the river valley with the terraces cleaned 
out, and was probably made when the river was much higher, 
at a time not far removed from the glacial period. The head 
of the lake is full of sand bars and shoals, much resembling 
the mouth of the river as it opens out into Goose bay. On 
both sides of the lake mountains rise steeply for one thousand 
or twelve hundred feet. Its average width is from two to three 
miles and it has three long bends or curves. Only one deep 
valley breaks the precipitous sides, but many streams flow in 
over the ridge, making beautiful waterfalls. 

The river as it enters the lake is about half a mile wide, but 
soon increases to a mile. Twenty miles were made by the ad- 
vance the day the parties separated, and at night, almost 
at the place where the falls were reported, nothing but smooth 



MOUNT HYDE. 45 

water could be seen for a long stretch ahead. Sunday, the 9th, 
twenty-five miles were made, the good rowing continuing, by burnt 
lands, and banks over which many cascades tumbled. Monday, 
the last day's advance in the boats was made, the water becom- 
ing too swift to be stemmed. This day Gary got the second 
ducking of the trip — a very good record in view of the rough- 
ness of the work and the smallness of the boats. During this 
and the day previous an otter, a crow and a robin were seen. 
As a rule the river was almost entirely deserted by animal life. 
The next day the boat and the provisions, excepting a six 
days supply carried in the packs, were carefully cached, and at 
10:45 camp was left and the memorable tramp begun. Each 
man carried about twenty-five pounds. The stream was followed 
a short distance, then the abrupt ascent to the plateau climbed, 
old river beaches being found all the way up. Ascending a 
birch knoll,the river was in view for quite a long distance and a 
large branch seen making in from the west. To the north the 
highest mountain, in fact the only peak in the vicinity, was seen 
towering up above the level plateau. Towards this peak, chris- 
tened Mt. Hyde, the party tramped, and arriving at the top saw 
the country around spread out like a map. Way off" towards 
the northwest a large lake was seen from which Grand River 
probably flows, and nearer was a chain of small, shallow and 
rocky ponds. The country is rocky, covered with deep moss 
and fairly well wooded, with little underbrush. The wood is 
all spruce save in the river valleys where considerable birch is 
mixed in. The black flies were present in clouds, even in the 
strong wind blowing at the top of Mt. Hyde, and made halt for 
rest or any stop whatever intolerable. Leaving the mountain, 
after taking bearings of all the points to be seen, the party 
struck for the river and camped on the bank between the two 
branches coming in from the westward, several miles apart. 
The following day, with faces much swollen from fly bites of 
the day before, the line of march was along the banks till 2 p. 
M. when the upper fork was reached. 

The course of the river is southeast. This branch course is 
from the northwest. The main stream turns off" sharply to the 



46 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABKADOB. 

northeast and after a few miles passes into a deep canon, chris- 
tened "Bowdoin Canon," between precipitous walls of archeac 
rock from six hundred to eight hundrd feet high. This canon was 
afterward found to be about twenty-five miles long and winding 
in its course. In but few places is the slope such as to permit a 
descent to the river bank proper, and the canon is so narrow, 
and the walls of such perpendicular character, as to make the river 
invisible from a short distance. It might truly be said that the dis- 
covery of this canon, infinitely grander on account of its age than 
any other known to geology, and surpassed by few in size, is the 
most important result of the expedition. Several photographs 
of it were made, which were not injured by the exposure to 
wet and rough usage that the camera had to receive during the 
return journey, and alone convey an adequate idea of this most 
wonderful of nature's wonders. 

At night the first camp away from the river was made, on 
the plateau. The two men felt that the next day must be their 
last of advance, so weakened were they by the terrible tramp- 
ing over deep moss and the persistent bleeding by black flies. 
The stock of provisions, too, was running low, and with their 
diminishing strength was a warning to turn back that could not 
be neglected. A half dozen grouse, three Canada and three 
rough, had been added to their supplies, but even with full 
meals they could not long stand the double drain upon their 
strength. 

In the morning a high hill was seen, for which they started, 
drawing slightly away from the river. Soon a roar from the 
direction of the river was noticed, which differed from the ordi- 
nary roar of the rapids. Altering their course it was found the 
roar " kept away," indicating an unusually heavy sound. Push- 
ing forward, thinking it must be the desired falls, they soon 
came out upon the river bank, with the water at their level. 
This proved the falls to be below them, and looking down they 
could be seen "smoking" about a mile distant. A distinct 
pounding had also been felt for some time previous, which further 
assured them that the falls were at hand. The roar that had 
attracted their attention was of the river running at the plateau 



THE MARKED BOWDOIN SPBTJCE. 47 

level. At the point they came out upon it, it was nearly two hun- 
dred yards wide, a heavy boiling rapid. Walking down the great 
blocks of rock which form the shore, the river appeared to nar- 
row and at 1 1 .45 A. M., the Grand Falls were first seen. 

After making pictures of the Falls a feeling of reaction man- 
ifested itself in Gary's physical condition, and he remarked, " I 
do not wish to go farther, I need sleep." Cole, as assistant, 
had avoided the wear and anxiety of leadership. His athletic 
work at Bowdoin, in throwing the shot and hammer and run- 
ning on the Topsham track, had given him stored energy of 
arm and leg. This reserve strength prompted him to press 
forward and see more of a region new to human eyes. Leav- 
ing his hatchet with Gary, now rolled up in his blanket, with 
the hope and expectation that on waking he would use the 
same in preparing fuel and cooking supper, Gole pressed for- 
ward into the strange and unknown country three or four miles, 
and then, for a final view of the location, climbed the highest 
tree he could find and from its top surveyed the waste of land 
and river. He stood thus exalted near the center of the vast 
peninsula of Labrador. Four hundred and fifty miles to the 
east lay the wide expanse of Hamilton Inlet. Four hundred 
and fifty miles to the north lay Gape Chudleigh, towards which 
he could imagine the Julia A. Decker, vainly as it proved, point- 
ing her figure head through fog and ice. Only six hundred 
miles due south the granite chapel of Bowdoin Gollege points 
heavenward both its uplifted hands. Four hundred and fifty 
miles to the west rolled the waves of that great inland ocean, 
Hudson's Bay, into whose depths, Henry Hudson, after his 
penetrations to northern waters above Spitzbergen, after 
his pushing along the eastern coast of Greenland, after his 
magnificent and successful exploration of the American coast 
from Maine to Virginia, penetrating Delaware bay and river 
and sailing up that river crowned by the Palisades and the 
hights of the Gatskills, honored with his name and whose waters 
bear the largest portion of the commercial wealth of our own 
country ; still fascinated by the vision of a northwest passage 
that intrepid explorer penetrated into the waters of the un- 



48 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

known sea whose waves unseen dash along the coasts of Lab- 
rador from its westward to its northern shores and Cape Chud- 
leigh. All these explorations he accomplished in a sailing ves- 
sel about the size of the Julia A. Decker, the ship "Discoverie" 
of seventy tons. He had wintered at the southern extremity 
of Hudson's Bay surrounded by a mutinous crew. In the 
hardships and suffering of the next season, after he had divided 
his last bread with his men, in the summer of 1611, while near 
the western coast of Labrabor, half way back to the Straits, 
by an ungrateful crew he was thrust into a sail boat with his 
son John and five sailors sick and blind with scurvy, and was 
left to perish in the great waste of waters, which, bearing his 
name, is " his tomb and his monument." Cole, with his mind and 
imagination filled with these facts, involuntarily took his knife 
and carved his name and the expedition on the upper part of 
the tree which formed his outlook. It might be his monument 
as the Inland Sea was that of Hudson. Then to have the tree 
marked and observable to other eyes, in case other eyes should 
see that country, he commenced to cut the branches from near 
the top of the tall spruce. He regretted much the leaving df 
the hatchet with Cary as he was obliged to do the work with 
his knife. It was a slow and laborious job. His imagination, 
as it roamed over the wide land, and his interest in his present 
efforts, had consumed time faster than he knew, and the slanting 
rays of the western sun started him with thoughts of Cary and 
supper. It was dark when he reached Cary and he was still 
asleep. The hatchet was idle, and he wished more than ever 
that his efforts on the branches of the marked Bowdoin Spruce 
had been rendered less laborious and more expeditious by the 
aid of this, to be hereafter his constant companion and source 
of safety along with another and more diminutive friend, a 
pocket pistol. 

The falls proper are three hundred and sixteen feet high, 
and just above the river narrows from two hundred and 
fifty to fifty yards, the water shooting over a somewhat 
gradual downward course and then plunging straight down 
with terrific force the distance mentioned, and with an immense 



GRAND FALLS. 49 

volume. The river is much higher at times and the fall must 
be even grander, for while the party was there the ground 
quaked with the shock of the descending stream, and the river 
was nearly at its lowest point. At the bottom is a large pool 
made by the change of direction of the river from south at and 
above the falls to nearly east below. The canon begins at the 
pool and extends as has been described, with many turns and 
windings, for twenty-five miles through archaic rock. Above 
the falls in the wide rapids, the bed was of the same rock, which 
seems to underlie thewhole plateau. In 1839, the falls were first 
seen by a white man, John McLean, an officer of the Hudson 
Bay Co., while on an exploring expedition in that "great and 
terrible wilderness" known as Labrador. His description is very 
general, but he was greatly impressed with the stupendous 
height of the falls, and terms it one of the grandest spectacles 
of the world. Twenty years later, one Kennedy, also an em- 
ploye of the Hudson Bay Co., persuaded an Iroquois Indian, 
who did not share the superstitious dread of them common 
among the Labrador Indians, to guide him to the thundering 
fall and misty chasm. He left no account of his visit, however, 
and in fact, though one other man reached them, and Mr. 
Holmes, an Englishman, made the attempt and failed, no full 
account of the falls has been given to the world, until Cary 
and Cole made their report. Above the falls as far as could be 
seen, all was white water, indicating a fall of about one hundred 
feet per mile. In the course of twenty-five or thirty miles there 
is a descent of twelve hundred feet, nearly equal to the altitude 
of the "Height of Land," as the interior plateau of Labrador 
is called, which has probably been previously overestimated. 
The next forenoon was spent in surveying and making what 
measurements could be made in the absence of the instruments 
lost in ihe upset. At noon, after having spent just twenty- 
four hours at Grand Falls, the party turned back. The very fact 
of having succeeded, made distance shorter and fatigue more 
easily borne, so they travelled along at a rattling pace, survey- 
ing at times and little thinking of the disaster that had befallen 
them. Camp was made on the river bank, beneath one of the 
terraces which lined both sides. 



50 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABKADOK. 

Saturday Aug. ijth, the march back to the boat cache was 
resumed. Towards night, as they approached the place, smoke 
was seen rising from the ground, and fearing evil, the men broke 
into a run during the last two miles. As Gary's journal puts it: 
"We arrived at our camp to find boat and stores burnt and 
the fire still smoking and spreading. Cole arrives first, and as 
I come thrashing through the bushes he sits on a rock munch- 
ing some burnt flour. He announces with an unsteady voice : 
'Well, she's gone.' We say not much, nothing that indicates 
poor courage, but go about to find what we can in the wreck, 
and pack up for a tramp down river. In an hour we have 
picked out everything useful, including my money, nails, thread 
and damaged provisions, and are on the way down rivei' hoping 
to pass the rapids before dark, starting at 5." 

Their position was certainly disheartening. They were one 
hundred and fifty miles from their nearest cache, and nearly 
three hundred from the nearest settlement, already greatly 
used up, needing rest and plenty of food ; in a country that for- 
bade any extended tramping inland to cut off corners, on a 
river in most places either too rough for a raft or with too slug- 
gish a current to make rafting pay ; and above all, left with 
a stock of food comprising one quart of good rice, brought 
back with them, three quarts of mixed meal, burnt flour and 
burnt rice, a little tea, one can of badly dried tongue, and one 
can of baked beans that were really improved by the fire. Add 
to this some three dozen matches and twenty-five cartridges, 
blankets and what things they had on the tramp to the falls, 
and the list of their outfit, with which to cover the three hun- 
dred miles, is complete. There was no time to be wasted, and 
that same night six miles were made before camping. The 
next day the battle for life began. It was decided that any 
game or other supplies found on the way should be used 
liberally, while those with which they started were husbanded. 
This day several trout were caught, line and hooks being part 
of each man's outfit, and two square meals enjoyed, which 
proved the last for a week. A raft was made that would not 
float the men and baggage, and being somewhat discouraged 



SQTTIEBEL AND CEAKBEKKIBS. 61 

on the subject of rafting by the failure, another was not then 
attempted, and the men continued tramping. Following the 
river, they found its general course between the rapids and 
Lake Wanimikapo, S. S. E. During part of that day and all 
the next, they followed in the track of a large panther, but did 
not get in sight of him. Acting on the principle that they 
should save their strength as much as possible, camps were 
gone into fairly early and were well made ; and this night, in 
spite of the desperate straits they were in, both men enjoyed a 
most delightful sleep. 

After this some time every morning was usually occupied in 
mending shoes. All sorts of devices were resorted to to get 
the last bit of wear out of them, even to shifting from right to 
left, but finally Cole had to make a pair of the nondescripts 
from the leather lining of his pack, which lasted him to the 
vessel. Cranberries were found during the day and at inter- 
vals during the tramp, and were always drawn upon for a meal. 
About two quarts were added to the stock of provision, and 
many a supper was made off a red squirrel and a pint of stewed 
cranberries. 

Wednesday, the 19th, another raft was made, which took the 
party into the lake. This was more comfortable than tracking, 
yet they were in the water for several hours while on the raft, 
which was made by lashing two cross-pieces about four feet 
long on the ends of five or six logs laid beside each other and 
from twenty to thirty feet long, all fastened with roots, and hav- 
ing a small pile of brush to keep the bagga-ge dry. The still 
water of the lake made the raft useless, even in a fresh, fair 
breeze, and so this one was abandoned two miles down, and the 
weary tramping again resumed. Fortunately the water was so 
low that advantage could be taken of the closely overgrown 
shore by walking on the lake bed, and far better progress was 
made owing to the firmer footing. Three days were used in get- 
ting down the lake, during which time but one fish, a pickerel, 
was caught, where they had expected to find an abundance. 

At the foot of the lake, tracks were seen, which it was thought 
might be those of hunters. It was learned later that they were 



52 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

more probably tracks of Bryant's and Kenaston's party, who 
were following them up and probably had been passed on the 
opposite side of the l,ake, unnoticed in the heavy rain of the 
preceeding day. Some bits of meat that had been thrown away 
were picked up and helped to fill the gap, now becoming quite 
long, between square meals. Supper on this day is noted in 
Gary's journal because they " feasted on three squirrels." Hav- 
ing gotten out of the lake into rapid water, trout was once more 
caught, and as on the following day, Sunday, the 23d, a bear's 
heart, liver, etc., was found, and later several fish caught. The 
starvation period was over. 

In the afternoon another raft was built and the next day car- 
ried them five miles down to the last cache. Though so terribly 
used up that the odd jobs connected with making and breaking 
camp dragged fearfully, and each day's advance had to be made 
by pure force of will, the men felt that the worst was over and 
their final getting out of the woods was a matter of time merely. 
At this cache, also, a note from Young and Smith was found an- 
nouncing their passage to that point all right and in less time 
than expected, so they had drawn no supplies from the stock 
there. 

Tuesday, the 25th. — The day, by the way, that the Julia 
Decker and party arrived at Rigolette according to plans, ex- 
pecting to find the whole Grand River party, and instead found 
only Young and Smith, who had been waiting there about a 
week. Rafting was continued in a heavy rain down to the 
Mininipi Rapids over which the raft was nearly carried against 
the will of the occupants. At the foot of these rapids a thirty 
mile tramp was begun, the raft that had carried them so well for 
forty-five miles being abandoned, which took them past the 
Horse Shoe and Gull Island Rapids and occupied most of the 
two following days. The tracking was fair, and as starvation 
was over pretty good time was made. 

Thursday, the 27th. — A raft was made early in the morning 
that took them by the Porcupine Rapids and landed them 
safely, though well soaked, at the head of the first falls. Camp 
was made that night at the first cache below the falls, forty 
miles having been covered during the day. 



THE LAST PISTOL SHOT. 53 

Friday, they fully expected to reach Joe Michelin's house 
and get the relief that was sadly needed, but as the necessity 
for keeping up became less imperative, their weakness began 
to tell on them more. Gary's shoes became so bad that 
going barefoot was preferable, except over the sharpest rocks, 
and Cole's feet had become so sore that as a last resort his coat 
sleeves were cut off and served as a cross between stockings 
and boots. They were doomed to disappointment, however, 
and compelled to camp at nightfall with four or five miles bad 
travelling and the wide river between them and the house. 
Fires were made in hopes of attracting the trapper's attention 
and inducing him to cross the river in his boat, but as they learned 
the next day, though they were seen, the dark rainy night pre- 
vented his going over to find out what they meant. The last 
shot cartridge was used that night on a partridge, and the red 
squirrels went unmolested thereafter. This last shot deserves 
more than a passing notice. In one sense these shot cartridges 
for Cole's pistol were their salvation. Just before the expedi- 
tion started from Rockland it was remarked in conversation 
that the boat crew under DeLong, in the ill-fated expedition of 
the "Jeanette", met their death by starvation in the delta of 
the Lena, with the exception of two, Naros and Nindermann, 
simply because their hunter, Naros, had only a rifle with ball 
cartridges, the shot guns having been left on board the "Jea- 
nette;" that on the delta there was quite an abundance of 
small birds which it was almost impossible to kill by a bullet 
and even when killed by a lucky shot, little was left of the bird. 
Cole was impressed by these facts and upon inquiring ascer- 
tained that the pistol shot cartridges ordered by the expedition 
had been overlooked. He energetically set about supplying the 
lack, and after persistent search, almost at the last hour, suc- 
ceeded in finding a small stock in the city, which he bought out. 
To the remnant of this stock which escaped the fire at Burnt 
Cache camp, as has been said, is the escape of Cary and Cole 
from starvation largely due. 

The value of these cartridges had day by day, on the weary 
return from Grand Falls, become more and more apparent to 



54 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOE. 

the owner. At the discharge of the last one, the partridge 
fell not to the ground, but flew to another and remote cluster 
of spruces. To this thicket Cole hastened and stood watching 
to discover his bird. Gary came up and after waiting a little 
while, said, " It is no use to delay longer, time is too precious." 
The value of this last cartridge forced Cole to linger. He was 
reluctant to admit it was wasted. In a few minutes he heard 
something fall to the ground, he knew not what it was, but 
with eager steps pressed towards the place, and when near it a 
slight flutter and rustling of wings led him to discover the par- 
tridge, uninjured except that one leg was broken ; that by faint- 
ness or inability to hold its perch with one foot it had fallen to 
the ground. The darkness and rain of that night then closing 
around them were rendered less dark and disagreeable by the 
assurance that kind Providence showed its hand when the help 
of an unseen power was needed to deliver them from the perils 
of the unknown river. It rained hard all the next forenoon, 
and as the river was rough, the men stayed in camp, hoping 
Joe would come across, until noon, when a start was made for 
the house. A crazy raft took them across the river, the waves 
at times nearly washing over them, and landing on the other 
side, they started on the last tramp of the trip, which the rain 
and thick underbrush, together with their weakened condition, 
made the worst of the trip. About 3 P. M., they struck a 
path, and in a few minutes were once more under a roof and 
their perilous journey was practically done. 

Seventeen days had been used in making the three hundred 
miles, all but about seventy-five of which were covered afoot. 
When they came in, besides the blankets, cooking tins and in- 
struments, nothing remained of the outfit with which they 
started on the return except three matches and one ball cart- 
ridge for the revolver, which, in Cole's hands, had proved their 
main stay from absolute starvation. The following day, Sun- 
day, after having had a night's rest in dry clothes and two civi- 
lized meals, Joe took them to Northwest River, where Mr. 
McLaren, the factor of the Hudson Bay Company's posts 
showed them every kindness till a boat was procured to take 



ON BOAED THE JULIA A. DBCKEE,. 55 

them to Rigolette. A storm and rain, catching. them on a lee 
shore and giving the already exhausted men one more tussle 
with fortune to get their small vessel into a position of safety, 
made a fitting end to their experiences. 

Tuesday at 4 P. M., they reached the schooner and their jour- 
ney was done. Amid the banging of guns and rifles, yells of 
delight and echoes of B-0-W-D-O-I-N flying over the hills, 
they clambered over the rail from the boat that had been sent 
to meet them and nearly had their arms wrung off in congratu- 
lations upon their success, about which the very first questions 
had been asked as soon as they came within hearing. They 
were nearly deafened with exclamations that their appearance 
called out, and by the questions that were showered on them. 
At last some order was restored, and after pictures had been 
made of them just as they came aboard, dressed in sealskin 
tassock, sealskin and deerskin boots and moccasins, with which 
they had provided themselves at Northwest River, ragged rem- 
nants of trousers and shirts, and the barest apologies for hats, 
they were given an opportunity to make themselves comfort- 
able and eat supper, and then the professor took them into the 
cabin to give an account of themselves. It was many days be- 
fore their haggard appearance, with sunken eyes and dark rings 
beneath them, and their extreme weakness disappeared. 

The return trip of Young and Smith from Lake Waminikapo, 
who reached Rigolette Aug. 1 8th, was made in five days to North- 
west River, and after resting two days, in two more to Rigolette. 
Their trip was comparatively uneventful. At the foot of Gull 
Island Lake they met Bryant and Kenaston, who with their 
party of Indians were proceeding very leisurely and apparently 
doing very little work themselves. At their rate of progress it 
seemed to our party very doubtful if they ever reached the 
falls. They had picked up, in the pool at the foot of the first 
falls, one of the cans of flour lost in the upset, some fifty or six- 
ty miles up the river, with its contents all right, and strange to say 
not a dent in it, and returned it to Smith and Young when they 
met them. That night, with the assistance of the officers and 
passengers of the mail steamer, which lay alongside of us, a 



56 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOK. 

jollification was held. Our return race to Battle Harbor, the 
last concert of the Glee Club in Labrador waters, the exciting 
race over the gulf with the little Halifax trader, the tussle with 
the elements getting into Canso, the sensation of a return to 
civilization and hearty reception at Halifax, and greeting at 
Rockland, must remain for another letter. 



BowDoiN Boys in Labrador. 

On Board the Julia A. Decker, ^ 

Rockland Harbor, Me., > 

September 23, 1891. ) 

The staunch little schooner has once more picked a safe path 
through the dangers of fog, rocks and passing vessels, and her 
party are safely landed at the home port, before quite two weeks 
of the college term and two weeks of making up had piled up 
against its members. 

The crew that weighed anchor at Rigolette on the morning of 
September 2nd, when the wind came and the tide had turned, 
was a happy one, for from Professor to " cookee " we all felt 
that we were truly homeward bound, and that we had accom- 
plished our undertaking without any cause for lasting regret. 
The mail steamer, whose passengers had joined in the jollifica- 
tion of the night preceding, being independent of the wind, had 
started ahead of us. Another race was on with the " Curlew," 
this time a merely friendly contest, without the former anxiety 
as to some other party's getting the lead of ours in the trip up 
the Grand River. But the result was not different this time. A 
fine breeze kept us going all day and the following night. But 
the next day the fog came. It was no different from the cold, 
damp, land-mark obscuring mist of the Maine coast in its facility 
in hiding from view everything we most wanted to see in order 
to safely find the harbor that we knew must be near at hand, 
though we could not tell just where. A headland, looming up 
to twice its real height in the fog about it, was rounded, and the 
lead followed in the hope that it would take us to the desired 
haven. Soon a fishing boat hailed, and a voice, quickly followed 
by a man, emerged from the fog and shouted that if we went 
farther on that course we would be among the shoals. We 
were told we had passed the mouth of the harbor, and so turn- 
ing back, tried to follow our guide, but he soon disappeared. 



68 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABEADOB. 

Just at this moment when it seemed impossible for us to find 
any opening, the fog lifted and we saw a schooner's sail over 
one of the small islets that lay about us. Taking our cue from 
that we poked into the next narrow channel we came to, and 
getting some sailing directions from a passing boat, and from 
the signal man stationed on a bluff to give assistance to stran- 
gers, we glided into an almost circular basin, hardly large 
enough for the vessel to swing in, set among steep rising sides, 
nto which many ring bolts were seen to be fastened, and per- 
fectly sheltered from every wind. The use for the ring bolts we 
found later. The fog kept rolling over, and the little fishing 
vessels kept shooting in, till it seemed the harbor would not 
hold another. As all sail had to be hauled down before the 
vessels came in sight of the interior, the vessels seemed literally 
to scoot into the basin. A few of the vessels were anchored 
and kept from swinging by lines to the bolts, and the rest of 
the fleet made fast to them. In all the number of vessels 
crowded into the space where we hardly thought we could lie 
was about twenty. How they would ever get out seemed a 
puzzle, but the next morning it was accomplished, with a light 
fair wind, by all at once without accident or delay. Had the 
wind been ahead, the ring bolts would have aided in warping to 
a weatherly position. 

During the evening the mail steamer caught us, and after 
putting a little freight ashore, left us behind again. Here were 
some strange epitaphs painted on the wooden slabs, also people 
ready to exchange or sell at a far higher rate than we had hith- 
erto paid, anything they possessed for the cash which was all 
we had left to bargain with, the available old clothes having 
been already disposed of 

It was hard to disabuse the minds of the people at Square 
Island Harbor of the idea that we had come to seek gold or 
other valuable mines, the reason being that several years before 
a party from the States had spent considerable time prospecting 
in that vicinity and partly opened one or two worthless mica 
quarries. 



A BOLD SKIPPER. 69 

It was a glorious sight to see the fleet get under way the next 
morning. Many a close shave and more bumps but no serious 
collisions were caused by the twenty or more vessels crowding 
out together through the narrow opening, each eager to get the 
first puff from the fair breeze outside the lee of the cliffs. The 
whole fleet was bound up the coast, but before many of the 
schooners had drifted far enough out to catch the breeze it had 
failed, and only after ah hour or more of annoying experience 
with puffs from every quarter, did the strong sea breeze set in. 
Sheets were trimmed flat aft, and all settled down to beating 
up the coast. The Julia soon left the mass of the fleet and 
before reaching Battle Harbor, where a long desired mail was 
awaiting, had nearly overtaken the lucky ones who had drifted 
far enough off shore to make a leading wind of the afternoon 
breeze. During the calm a school of whales disported them- 
selves in the midst of the fleet, chasing one another, blowing 
and churning the water to foam about us, apparently as though 
it was rare fun. 

Late in the afternoon we approached the entrance to Battle 
Harbor, but with the wind blowing directly out of the narrow, 
rocky and winding entrance we wondered how we should get in. 
Our captain was equal to the problem, however, and undeterred 
by the crowded state of the harbor, within whose narrow limits 
were two large steamers, one or two barks and several fishermen, 
performed a feat of seamanship the equal of which, we were 
told, preserved in the traditions of the port, and only half 
believed, as having been done once, thirty years before. 

Getting about ten knots way on the vessel, and heading her 
straight for the steamer nearest the mouth, we just brushed by 
the rocks of the entrance, sheered a bit and shot past the 
steamer before her astonished officers could utter a word of 
warning, and were traveling up the harbor at a steamboat pace, 
the sails meanwhile rattling down, and some of us on board 
wondering if we should not keep right on out the other entrance 
to the harbor, while boats scurried out of our way, two men in 
one fishing boat looking reproachfully at us as we missed them 
by about two feet just after our fellow on lookout had reported 



60 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

" nothing but a schooner in the way, sir ; " and people rushed 
to their doors and to the decks to see what was exciting such a 
commotion, just as the anchor was let go with a roar and we 
quietly swung to and ran our mooring line, as though we had 
done that thing all our lives. 

Here about one hundred letters were brought aboard amid 
much rejoicing, for many had not heard from home at all during 
the trip. 

By the time we were ready to make what we hoped would 
prove the last departure from a Labrador harbor, the next 
morning, the wind, which had changed in the night and was 
blowing in exactly the opposite direction, had become so strong 
that the little steam launch of Bayne & Co., which had been 
tendered us to tow us out of the harbor, was not powerful 
enough to pull the schooner against it. The other entrance, 
for like all the rest this Labrador harbor was merely a " tickle " 
and had its two entrances, was narrow, shoal, and had such 
short turns that it seemed impossible to run so large a vessel as 
the Julia through it. However, our impatience would not 
brook the uncertain delay of waiting for the wind to change, so 
taking on board the best pilot that town of pilots could afford, 
we made the attempt. Three times we held our breaths, almost, 
as we anxiously watched the great green spots in the water, 
indicating sunken rocks, glide under our counter or along our 
side, while the steady voice of the weatherbeaten old man at 
the fore rigging sounded " port," then in quick, sharp, seem- 
ingly anxious tones, " now starboard — hard ! " and again " port 
~ lively now," and the graceful vessel turned to the right or 
left, just grazing the rock or ledge, as though she too could see 
just how near to them it was safe to go and yet pass through 
without a scrape. It was a decided relief to all, and the silence 
on board, that had been broken only by the rush of wind and 
water, the pilot's voice and the creaking of the wheel as it was 
whirled around by the skillful hands of the captain, suddenly 
ceased, when the pilot left his place and walked slowly aft, 
praising the admirable way in which the vessel behaved at the 
critical points, and apparently unconscious that in the eyes of 
twenty college boys he had performed an almost impossible feat. 



LAST HAEBOE IN LABEADOE. 6l 

After a hard pull to windward for two of us, to set the pilot 
ashore, and a wet and rough time getting aboard again, and . 
after our laugh at the expense of the mate, who had cast off 
our shore warp, as we started out of the harbor, and then had 
been unable to catch the schooner, which was equally unable to 
wait for him in the narrow passage, and who had, therefore, to 
row all the way after us at the top of his speed, and only caught 
us when we lay to to send off the pilot; we made everything 
snug and started down the straits, hoping to reach Canso with- 
out further delay. 

That was not our fortune, however, for soon the wind hauled 
ahead, and with a strong current against us it was impossible to 
make any progress, so after jumping in a most lively manner all 
day, in the chops of Belle Isle, we made a harbor for the night 
at Chateau Bay, in almost the same spot where we had waited 
two dreary days two months before. The next day we worked 
along the coast, but at night again put in to what proved our 
last, as well as our first harbor on the Labrador — Red Bay. 
Here we found a mail steamer and were allowed irregularly to 
open the bag to Battle Harbor and take out that which belonged 
to us, much to our delight, of course, for it gave us news com- 
paratively fresh, that is, not over a month old, from home. 

Here, also, we laid in a supply of the only fruit that Labrador 
produces, called " bake apple." It is a berry of a beautiful 
waxen color when ripe, otherwise looking much like a large 
raspberry, and having a most peculiar flavor, which we learned 
to like, and grew very fond of, when the berries were served, 
stewed with sugar. We had been deprived of fresh fruit so 
long that we should probably have learned to like anything, 
however odd its flavor, that had its general characteristics. 

Here, too, we again fell in with our little Halifax trader, which 
gave us so hot a race to Halifax in the coming week, both ves- 
sels arriving at Halifax within an hour of each other, after start- 
ing at the same time from Red Bay and keeping within sight 
nearly all the time. At length the wind came to the south, and 
we started, laying our course west, along the Labrador shore, so 
as to get a windward position and be able to " fetch " Canso 



62 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

when the wind came around to the west, as it is certain to do at 
that season of the year, compelling us to " tack ship " and stand 
right out against the stormy Gulf of St. Lawrence. These 
southwesterly winds had been our dread, for they blow so 
strongly and in September make the Gulf so rough that getting 
to windward against them is impossible. Hence our satisfaction 
can be imagined as we sped along the Labrador coast that day, 
the wind becoming a trifle easterly, so as to allow us to " start 
our sheets " and at the same time steadily increase our ofiing, 
getting such a weatherly position for Canso that the moment 
the expected change of direction began we promptly " tacked 
ship " and at the worst had a leading wind across. 

For three days we hobnobbed with the little " Minnie Mac " 
across the Gulf The first thing we did in the morning was to 
hunt her up with the glasses from aloft, if not in sight from the 
deck, and the last thing in order at night were speculations as 
to where we should next see her. The difference in the build 
of the two vessels, the one being shoal and centerboard, the 
other deep and heavily laden, made the race a zigzag. When 
the wind favored a little and the sheets could be " eased " then 
the shoal model would push ahead, but when the wind came 
more nearly ahead, aud we had to plunge squarely into a head 
sea, then the deeper draught and heavier lading told to advan- 
tage. 

During this time we were not idle on board. The Grand 
River men were beginning to feel vigorous again, and their notes 
and data had to be worked up. The collections, too, though 
largely packed away securely for the rough voyage, yet gave 
plenty of occupation to those not otherwise employed, while 
the few really industriously inclined used their superfluous 
energy in seeing to it that the lazy were given no opportunity 
to enjoy their idleness. 

The morning of the fourth day the coasts of Cape Breton 
were in sight, but the wind came straight out of the Gut of 
Canso in half a gale, and then our rival, owing to her greater 
weight, forged ahead, and it seemed that we were to be beaten. 
However, much to our amusement, when we got a few miles off 



SOLID SHOT AT HALIFAX. 63 

the mouth of the Gut, we found a calm, into which the " Minnie 
Mac" had run and where she stayed till we came up. With 
us also came a breeze, and we forged ahead of her into the 
anchorage at Port Hawksbury just as we had said we would do 
when we left Red Bay. Here we spent the rest of the day, lay- 
ing in a stock of much needed fresh provisions, and sending 
nine of our college base-ballists, at the invitation of the Port 
Hawkesbury nine, to give them some points on the game. 
About the fifth inning the game closed on account of darkness, 
with score in Bowdoin's favor something about 30-0. 

A short run brought us into Little Canso, where we had to 
turn to the west to go along the Nova Scotia coast to Halifax, 
but fog shut down so we spent a day inspecting the plant of the 
Mackay-Bennett cable, which has its terminus at Hazel Hill, 
about two miles from Canso, finding some very agreeable 
acquaintances in the persons of Mr. Dickinson, the manager, 
and Mr. Upham, his first assistant electrical expert, who proved 
to be a Castine man and was deligted to meet some Yankees 
from his old cruising grounds, Penobscot Bay, and getting some 
interesting knowledge concerning ocean telegraphy. It seemed 
strange, to say the least, to be in communication, as we were, 
with a ship out in mid-Atlantic, repairing a cable, and to have 
an answer from Ireland to our message in less than a minute 
after it was sent. 

With one stop on account of fog and threatening storm, we 
reached Halifax in two more days. The introduction to it, 
though, was not so pleasant, for as we were running up the har- 
bor solid shot from one of the shore batteries came dropping 
around us and skipping by us, altogether too near for comfort. 
However, no damage was done beyond the injury threatened to 
Her Majesty's property in the proposition for a while considered 
to call away boarders, land and take the battery. We found 
later that it was merely target practice and nothing disrespect- 
fully intended towards the flag flying from our peak, so were 
satisfied that we had not made any hostile response. 

Once ashore the hospitable Haligonians began by inviting the 
Professor and others to a dinner at the Halifax Club. The next 



64 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR. 

day we enjoyed an official reception, and accompanied by Pre- 
mier Fielding and members of his Cabinet, Consul General 
Frye and other gentlemen, were taken on an excursion about 
the beautiful harbor in the steam yacht of one of our enter- 
tainers, given a dinner and right royally toasted at one of the 
public buildings, and were finally taken to the Yacht Club 
House for a final reception. 

At Halifax some of our party fearing more delay in reaching 
Rockland, left us, so with diminished numbers but plenty of 
enthusiasm we made ready for the last stage of the voyage. 
After some rather amusing experiences with our assistant stew- 
ard or " cookee," who seemed to reason that because he had 
been so long deprived of the luxuries of modern civilization he 
should employ the first opportunity he had to enjoy them in 
making himself incapable of doing so, and who was brought 
aboard the morning we sailed only after a somewhat prolonged 
search, we " squared away " for Cape Sable. The fine fair wind 
ran us nearly down there, but just as we thought to escape the 
provoking calms that delayed us in this vicinity on the outward 
trip, we found the wind drawing ahead and failing. A day was 
spent in slowly working around the cape, drifting back much of 
the time, and then we struck one of the southerly fog winds 
that are too well known on the Maine coast. We were in waters 
on which our captain had been bred, and so we pushed on into 
the night, looking eagerly or listening intently as the darkness 
closed over us for some sign of approaching land. At length, 
just about eleven, when it seemed we could not stand the suspense 
of knowing that thousands of rocks were just ahead but not 
just where they were, and yet equally unwilling to stop then, 
when so near home, we heard the sound of the breakers, and 
standing cautiously in on finding the water very deep, soon 
made Mt. Desert rock light. It was a welcome sight, and from 
there an easy matter to shape our course for home. At day- 
break we could still see nothing, but towards noon, the wind 
being light and our progress slow, we passed the desolate house 
of refuge on the Wooden Ball Island, and soon the lifting fog 
showed us the mouth of Penobscot's beautiful bay, and shortly 
after we dropped our anchor in the long wished for Rockland 
harbor, and the cruise of the Julia Decker and her crew of 
Bowdoin boys was ended. 



THE ROYAL WELCOME 65 

The account would be incomplete, though, were reference 
omitted to the royal welcome that awaited us at Rockland. 
Upon landing we found the church bells ringing, and the city's 
busihess for the moment stopped, while the city fathers as well 
as a goodly number of her sons and daughters greeted us at 
the wharf In the evening there was another reception, and 
there the expedition as such appeared for the last time, and as 
the most fitting way in which we could express our gratitude 
at the interest shown in our work and safe return, as well as to 
contribute our share towards the evening's entertainment, the 
Bowdoin College Labrador Expedition Glee Club rendered, as 
its last selection, a popular college song, of which the burden 
was, as also the title, "The wild man of Borneo has just come 
to town." 

Jonathan P. Cilley, Jr. 




BowDoiN Boys in Labrador. 



Since the Bowdoin College Labrador Expedition much in- 
terest has been taken by charitable women in the missionaries 
who are laboring in that bleak country. As often as possible 
barrels of clothing and other useful articles have been sent to 
them. In return the missionaries have sent interesting letters 
describing their work and acknowledging the gifts. One of 
these, written to Mrs. James P. Baxter, of Portland, gives a de- 
scription that will be of general interest : 

"HoPEDALE, Labrador, 
October 3, 1893. 

Dear Madam : 

For your very kind letter and for the very useful articles for 
our people, accept my best and kindest thanks. We have al- 
ready made some of the people glad with cloth, and we will 
but be so glad for them in the winter time. 

Happily the codfishery has been much better this year than 
last, thus we can more confidently look forward to the coming 
winter time than we could last year ; because our people were 
so poor and we finished the many kind gifts long before the 
spring came on, when they were able to earn their own bread. 

We have had a very cold and dreary summer, the few warm 
days could easily be Counted, and now the winter is at the 
door. 

On last Christmas day we had a nice Christmas celebration 



MI88IOKABY IN LABRADOR 61 

with our school children in the chapel. For this purpose we 
had placed two nice Christmas trees and two illuminated trans- 
parents in the chapel. My dear husband translated some 
lovely Christmas songs into Eskimo, and I taught the children 
to sing them. Between the hymns they recited songs and 
texts from the Bible. Sometimes one by one and then again 
altogether. The children made it very nicely. The choir, 
which sang some nice pieces, helped to make the whole to 
SQund better. Finally every child got a large biscuit and a 
cup of tea, which seemed to make greater impression than the 
whole celebration. The congregation were also invited and 
they were very much interested in it. 

In the midst of February I accompanied my dear husband 
on his journey around to the settlers belonging to our congre- 
gation, which, live scattered far away from here towards the 
South. 

We left Hopedale one morning, having 30 degrees Cen. of 
cold, of course by "kamatik" (dog sledge). I was well wrap- 
ped up so that I did not freeze so very much, but the worst is 
always ojj such a trip that we cannot eat anything. Before we 
started I ma,de some meat balls for the purpose to use them 
during the nine hours driving, but it was impossible to make 
use of^ them because they were like stones without fearing to 
lo^en. our teeth. Happily I had some biscuits and to become 
more strengthened I used a little chocolate. We were nearly 
three weeks away from hopie and in that time we were nearly 
every day on the kamatik. Never less than five hours at a 
time, but generally from seven to nine hours, and twice from 
eleven to twelve hours. It was indeed sometimes very ex- 
hausting especially one time when we came to very poor peo- 
ple where we had for two days nothing to eat and the next 
day we had to travel for about eleven hours having nothing 
but dry biscuits. I did not feel so very well that time. 

Many of these settlers have only the opportunity once a 
ye^ to hear the gospel of God preached to them, that is when 
the missionary is visiting them. Many are too far away from. 



68 BOWDOIN BoYS IN LABRADOK 

Hopedale to come and visit us, and some are too poor ; or at 
least the dogs' food is too expensive. My dear husband made 
this journey last winter for the fifth time, that is only towards 
the south. To the north he has also been different times. In 
such a journey the Sacraments are spent, marriage performed, 
and meetings are kept as many as possible. The poor children 
who grow up without having any school are examined as to 
how much they have improved since the last year. We felt 
this year very much again the need of having a station among 
them. There are children among them from i6 to 17 years 
of age who cannot read at all. We have now asked our society 
in London and Berthelsdorf, if possible, to build a station foT 
them that they may have their own minister and teacher. We 
hope it may be done, then we would not have to travel any 
longer only in cases of need. Every one who has to travel 
ruins his health if he has to do' it for a long time. The set- 
tlers could then easily reach the Mission Station- or the mis- 
sionary could in one day get to the place where he is wanted. 
May I, dear madam, give you some instances? First about a 
family having ten children of ages ranging from two to eighteen 
years. We came to that place in the afternoon about 5 o'clock 
accompanied by four other persons belonging to their rela- 
tionship who joined when we left their homes. As soon as we 
opened the door of the house we were in the dwelling room. 
At the first sight we saw that great poverty gpverned here, 
even the children looked consumed and clothed in rags. The 
house was so bad that the wind made its way through the 
many gaps. After I had wrapped myself in a large shawl and 
placed myself beside the big stove I was still freezing. Some 
windows were broken, the opening filled with rags. My dear 
husband asked why they had not nailed a board on the place 
instead of rags ; they answered, "We have got none." But my 
husband said "You could easily have made a nail of wood," 
which they promised to do. We could only get a very little 
bread, because they had only one small piece. I gave the tea. 
My dear husband spent the Sacrament, communion and bap- 



tism in the evening in the hope we would be able to go further 
the next day, for we could not stay any longer here if we 
would not starve. We had a poor resting place. It was not 
possible to undress ourselves. The whole time we felt the 
snow on our faces and the wind through the many gaps. We 
froze very much although the fire was kept on during the 
night. Not very far from us Mr. and Mrs. Tacque were rest- 
ing, and we heard how the one said to the other, "I hope Mr. 
and Mrs.Hansen can go further to-morrow,for we have nothing 
to eat." That was indeed a very sad prospect, for we heard too 
well the snow storm was howling outside,and there was no hope 
for us to go on. And so it was. The next day I gave from 
our provisions as much as I could, but we had not very much, 
and I could not give everything away because we might after- 
wards be caught out in a snowstorm, which often happens, 
where we then have to live in a snow house until the storm is 
over. I gave now coffee for 19 persons, bread we had none, 
for it always freezes so hard that it is useless. The poor 
woman collected all the bread she had and we took as little as 
possible. During the day time my dear husband kept different 
meetings, talked and prayed with them. For dinner I asked 
for a large pot and put it on the stove. I had happily taken 
some preserved soups and cooked now for all the people in 
the house, put all our meat balls and broken biscuits into the 
same pot, and gave now from this dish a plateful to every per- 
son in the house. I had also put some "Liebig" in my box, 
before I left my home, and was now able to make the best use 
of it. It was something touching to see the many hungry 
children, how they devoured their portion. Anything like 
that they have perhaps never tasted before, and would gladly 
have takemsdme more, but it was already gone. In the after- 
noon my dear husband kept school for the children, told nice 
stories and instructed them about different things, and the 
children would have gone on for a long time. The smell in 
the house was not so very pleasant, 19 persons in one room, 
beside this the men smoked their pipes nearly the whole time. 



70 BOWDOIN BOYS IN LABRADOR 

The, children were crying and would not obey their parents* 
and the parents are so very weak in this way. 

In the evening I gave once more what I possibly could spare, 
and for the nejjt morning too. But we reajly did hunger. 

The Lord heard our prayers that we were able to go on the 
nexit morning to the next place, but because of the deep snow 
we could, only move on very slowly. First after 1 1 hour's 
trav^slling we came in th^ evening to our next station. We did 
hunger more in these three days than we have done in our 
whole lives. The next place was a nice clean house, where we 
restored ourselves again. 

In one place we visited ^n Eskimo. When we entered the 
room, what did we see? A seal living in the midst of their 
room. The people had heard of our coming and thus put the 
monster i,n the room to thaw it up to feed our dogs with. The 
aninial was soon taken away. The house was clean, but small. 
In this place we had ' to sleep on the floor, and we used our 
blankets to make a couch as well as we could. A sailcloth 
was used as a curtain, so that we had something like a separa- 
ted place for us. Our two drivers were also in the same room, 
and they cared for music during the night, for they snored 
like a, saw mill, and when they woke up they smoked their 
pipes and gave the air in the room such an odor, which I shall 
not try to describe. Nevertheless, for all that, we were happy 
together, and I did not repent one minute to have accompanied 
my dear good husband, in order to be a faithful partner to 
him. We remembered also it was not a pleasant, but a mis- 
sion trip we made.where we may expect many things like that. 
What is that little we can do for our Lord and Saviour? It is 
like a drop of water in the bottomless sea of his love. If our 
journey has but been a blessing to some, and if here and there 
one corn of gospel's seed may grow up we are more than paid 
for. 

We had four nice places where the good people did all they 
could to make it comfortable for us. Everywhere they were 
very thankful for my coming, and expressed their gratitude in 



EASTEK 71 

many ways. At Easter time we had more visitors than usual 
and they seemed to be more happy than else. 

Will you kindly excuse this short description, dear madam ; 
it would take me too long to describe the whole journey. I 
used some of your kind gifts for the people whom we visited, 
and I hope you will, dear madam, and the kind ladies who 
contributed to your large and rich sending accept our and the 
people's warmest and best thanks. 

With kindest regards from my dear husband and me, I am, 
dear madam, believe me, 

Your affectionately, 

Annie Hansen.