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Full text of "Narrative of the Arctic land expedition to the mouth of the Great Fish River, and along the shores of the Arctic Ocean in the years 1833, 1834, and 1835"

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CVOYAQES ♦ OF • EXPLORATION 

Collected 

<1\(ewco/ab (Thompson LMontjomerv 

(1907-1966) 

Vhiladefyhia architect nephctf of 
Qhomas Oiarrison Montgomery (1S73-1912), 
<MBL investigator, and Vriscilla <3raislin 
{Montgomery (1874-1956\ MBL librarian. 

Gift of their sons jfugh Montgomery, MfD. 
and (fyumond f <3. Montgomery —1987. 




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NARRATIVE 



OF THE 



ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION 



TO THE MOUTH OF 



THE GREAT FISH RIVER, 



AND 



ALONG THE SHORES OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN, 



IN THE YEARS 1833, 1834, AND 1835 



BY 

CAPTAIN BACK, R.N. 

COMMANDER OF THE EXPEDITION. 



ILLUSTRATED BY A MAP AND PLATES. 



LONDON: 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET. 

MDCCCXXXVL 



LoNftoN : 
Printed by A. Spottiswoode, 

New. Street- Square. 



TO 



THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

THE EARL OF RIPON 



My Lord, 
Your Lordship was Secretary of State 
for the Colonies when the Expedition 
of which the following is the Narrative 
was organised : and to jour good Offices, 
and liberal Subscription in its favour, the 
success of the project was at that time 
mainly due. I have ventured, in conse- 
quence, to dedicate to you the Volume: 
and am most happy in being thus enabled 
to express some part of the sincere respect 
with which I have the honour to be, 

My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most obedient 

and very humble Servant, 

George Back. 



CONTENTS. 



Preliminary Chapter - - Page 1 

CHAPTER I. 

Departure from England. — Arrival at Montreal. — Pre- 
parations for the Expedition. — Fire at the Hotel. — De- 
parture from La Chine. — The St. Lawrence. — The 
Ottawa. — Lake Huron. — The Sault de Ste. Marie. — 
Arrival at Fort William. — Distribution of the Loadings. 
— The Mountain Fall. — Lac de la Pluie. — Arrival at 
Fort Alexander. — Magnetic Observations. — Arrival of 
Governor Simpson, and Arrangements made by him. — 
Arrival at Norway House. — Difficulty of procuring Men 
for the Service. — Departure from Norway House 27 

CHAP. II. 

Commencement of the Expedition. — Interview with Mr. 
Charles. — Wind-bound by a Land Gale. — A Receipt for 
the Cure of " Blue Devils." — Description of a Voyageur's 
Tent. — A Land Storm. — The Grand Rapid. — Advance 
of Cultivation. — Arrival at Cumberland House. — De- 
parture of the Bateaux under Mr. King. — Embark in a 
Canoe. — Working of the Boats in the Rapids. — Isle a la 
Crosse. — Buffalo Lake. — A Squall. — A Skunk. — Portage 
la Loche. — Effect of the Scenery. — Interview with Mr. 
Stuart and Mr. A. M c Leod. — The latter volunteers to 
accompany the Expedition. — Arrive at Fort Chipewyan. 
— Information as to the supposed Route by the Fond du 
Lac. — Journey resumed. — Salt River. — Sketch of a 
Party of Indians. — Description of the Salt Springs. — 



VI CONTENTS. 

Indian Encampment. — Information of the Natives as to 
the Rivers Thlew-ee-choh and Teh-Ion. — Arrival at Fort 
Resolution - - - Page 57 

CHAP. III. 

Inquiries and Embarrassments about the Route. — Prepar- 
ations for Departure Embark in search of the Thlew- 
ee-choh. — Indian Encampment and Indian Politeness. — 
Point of Honour among Indian Hunters. — Description of 
the Country through which the Route lay. — A small Ice- 
berg seen. — A Bear Hunt. — Indian Inconsistency. — 
Description of the Coast Line. — Point Keith and Chris- 
tie's Bay. — Eastern Extremity of Great Slave Lake. — 
Discovery of the River supposed to lead towards the 
Thlew-ee-choh. — Preparations to ascend it - 83 

CHAP. IV. 

Difficult and toilsome Ascent of Hoar Frost River. — Striking 

Scenery along its Course Illness of the Interpreter. — 

Encampment upon Cook's Lake. — Ascent of another small 
River full of Rapids. — Desertion of Two Indians. — Per- 
plexity of the Guide as to the proper Course, and Attempt 
to desert. — Succession of Streams and Lakes. — Indian 
Account of the The-lew or Teh-Ion. — Clinton-Colden, 
Aylmer, and Sussex Lakes. — Discovery of the Thlew- 
ee-choh - - - - 113 

CHAP. V. 

Digression concerning Hearne's Route - - 144 

CHAP. VI. 

Continue our Progress Rocks on the Thlew-ee-choh. — 

Island of singular Appearance. — Musk-Ox Lake. — Con- 
jectures on the Course of the Thlew-ee-choh. — Icy 



CONTENTS. VII 

River. — Appearance of two Indians. — Maufelly per- 
mitted to visit his Wife. — Consummate Skill of De Char- 
loit — Dwarf Pines. — Story of the Rat and the Beaver. 

— Unfitness of the Trees for Planks. — Artillery Lake. — 
Force of the Rapids. — Accident in our Passage. — Leave 
the Ah-hel-dessy. — A Bear killed. — Ridiculous Story. 

— March resumed. — Desolate Scenery. — A Deer shot. 

— Tormented by Sand-flies. — Anecdote of Sir John 
Franklin. — Meeting with Mr. M c Leod, by an unexpected 
Route - Page 156 

CHAP. VII. 

" Le grand jeune Homme." — Trade with the Indians. — 
Sunday. — Mr. King arrives, with two Bateaux. — Per- 
formed a Surgical Operation. — Discomforts of an Indian 
Canoe. — Conduct of the Party. — Erection of new Dwell- 
ing. _ Arrival of Indians. — Their Policy. — Aged In- 
dian Woman. — Starving Visitors. — Case of Revenge for 
Inhospitality. — The Thlew-ee-choh described. — Observ- 
atory. — Strange Appearance of the Aurora. — Pouring 
in of the Indians. — Superstitious Fancies. — Shortness of 
Food. — Domiciled in the new Building, named Fort Re- 
liance. — Supplies again fail. — Akaitcho. — Discharge of 
De Charloit and Two Iroquois; also, of La Charit£. — 
Gloom of the Indians. — Story of a young Hunter. — 
Breach of Indian Law. — Death of the old Woman. — 
Christmas-day.— -Short Allowance. —Experiments. —Ex- 
cessive Cold. — Arrival of Mr. M c Leod. — Barbarous 
Atrocity. — Revolting Story of an Indian - - 183 

CHAP. VIII. 

Exemplary Conduct of Akaitcho. — Mr. McLeod and his 
Family leave us. — Arrival of Maufelly. — Supply of Deer- 
flesh. — Misunderstanding between Akaitcho and the In- 
terpreter. — Preparation for building Two Boats. — Mr. 
M c Leod'sill Success. — Strange Conduct of Two Indians.— 



viii CONTENTS. 



Supply of Food. — Distressing Condition of Mr. M c Leod. 
— Return of Mr. King's Party. — News from York Fac- 
tory. Uncertain Fate of Augustus. — Presence of Two 

Ravens. — Ravens shot by an Iroquois. — News from 
England. — Discharge of Three Men. — Alteration of 
Plans. — Appearance of Birds. — Adventures by Mr. 
King. — Arrival of Mr. M c Leod. — Anxiety about Wil- 
liamson. — Sultry Weather. — Melancholy Fate of Au- 
gustus - Pa g e 231 



CHAP. IX. 

Reflections. — Halt for the Night. — March resumed. — 
Obstacles encountered. — The Boats finished. — Eastern 
Shore of Artillery Lake. — Pursue the Track of Mr. 
McLeod". — Two Deer shot. — Stunted Pines. — Encamp- 
ment. — Difficulty in tracing our Route. — News from Mr. 
M c Leod. — A Snow Storm. — Fires lighted on the Hills. 

Accident to Peter Taylor. — Deviate from our Course. 

Accident to James Spence. — Boisterous Weather. — 

Plunder of a Cache. — Find the runaway Guides. — The 
Ice unsafe. — Enter upon Lake Aylmer, — A dense Fog. 

Sand-hill Bay. — Judicial Investigation. — Animals. — 

Musk-ox Rapid. — Join Mr. McLeod. — Survey of the 
River. — Indians return with the Pemmican. — Stock of 
Provisions An Indian Belle. — A Reindeer Hunt 256 



CHAP. X. 

Instructions to Mr. M c Leod upon our Separation. — Meet 
with Akaitcho. — His Lodge. — Imminent Danger to the 
Boat. — Akaitcho's friendly Caution. — Embarkation. — 
Heavy Storms. — Our Crew. — Geological Features of the 
Country. — Obstructions from the Ice. — Perils from a 
Series of Rapids. — Plunder of a Bag of Pemmican. — 
Obstacles on our Passage. — Boisterous Weather. — Deer 
hunting. — Observations. — Deviation of the River. — 



CONTEXTS. JX 

Desolate Scenery. — Detained by the Ice Cascades. 

— Land-marks. — Contraction of the River. — Baillie's 
River. — Flocks of Geese. — Tact requisite in Command. 

— Precipitous Rocks. — A Fox. — Esquimaux Marks. — 
Bullen River. — A Storm. — Lake Pelly. — Conjectures 
of an Indian. — Encampment. — View of the Country. — ■ 
Further Obstructions. — Observations. — Lake Garry 

Page 309 

CHAP. XI. 

Gigantic Boulders. — Danger from the Rapids. — Course of 
the River. — Lake Macdougall. — Hazardous Passage. — 
Sinclair's Falls. — Northerly Bend of the River. — Mount 
Meadowbank. — Altitude of the Rocks. — The Trap Form- 
ation. — M c Kay's Peak. — Lake Franklin. — Extrica- 
tion from Peril. — Sluggishness of the Compass. — Esqui- 
maux. — Portrait of a Female. — Victoria Headland. — 
Mouth of the Thlew-ee-choh. — Cockburn Bay. — Point 
Backhouse. — Irby and Mangles' Bay. — Point Beaufort. 
Our Progress arrested. — Montreal Island. — A Musk Ox 
killed. — Birds on the Island. — Elliot Bay. — M c Kay, etc. 
sent along the Coast. — Esquimaux Encampment. — Cape 
Hay. — Point Ogle. — Progress obstructed by the Ice. — 
A Piece of Drift-wood found. — Ross Island. — Dis- 
coveries by Mr. King. — Magnetic Observations. — Point 
Richardson. — Point Hardy. — Conjectures as to a N. W. 
Passage and Channel to Regent's Inlet - - 353 

CHAP. XII. 

Exhilarating Influence of a Hunting Excursion. — Removal 
of the Esquimaux. — Leave them a Bag of Pemmican. — 

Accident to the Boat. — Inundation of the Country. 

Discovery of Esquimaux. — Wise Man of the Tribe. 
— Critical Position in the Rapids. — A Storm. — Ad- 
venture of a Lemming. — Encamp at Musk-ox Rapid. — 
Meeting with Mr. M<Leod. — Fate of Williamson. — The 

a 



X CONTENTS. 

Yellow Knives. — Encamp on Artillery Lake. — Reach 
the Ah-hel-dessy. — Depart for Montreal. — The Sau- 
teaux Indians. — Success of a Missionary at Sault Ste. 
Marie. — Return to England. — Conclusion - Page 4-28 

APPENDIX. 

No. I. — Zoological Remarks, by Dr. John Richardson 475 

II. — List of Plants collected by Mr. Richard King, 

during the Progress of the Expedition - 523 

III. — Articulata. Catalogue of Arachnida and Insects 

collected by Mr. King - - 532 

IV. — Geological Notice of the New Country passed over 

in Captain Back's Expedition, by Dr. W. K. 

Fitton - - 543 

V. — Meteorological Table, arranged from the Registers 

kept at Fort Reliance, by Captain Back and 

Mr. King - - - 563 

VI. — Table of the Temperature of Animals, Birds, Fish, 

Trees, and Earth, at different Times and Places* 

arranged by Mr. King - - 590 

VII. — On the Aurora Borealis - 595 

VIII Magnetical Observations - - 625 

IX. — Table of Latitudes, Longitudes, and Variations 634 

X. — Letter from W. Smith, Esq., Secretary to the 

Hudson's Bay Company, to Angus Bethune, Esq., 

Chief Factor at Sault St. Mary's - - 635 

List of Subscribers to the Arctic Land Expedition 
in search of Captain Ross - 638 



Directions for placing the Plates. 



Page 



Salt Plains - - - - - SO 
North Shore of Great Slave Lake - - 98 
Beverley's Falls, Mouth of Hoar Frost River - 112 
Portage in Hoar Frost River - - - 116 
Sussex Lake, Source of the Thlew-ee-choh-dezeth - 142 
Crossing Lake Aylmer - 292 
Interview with the Esquimaux of the Thlew-ee-choh- 
dezeth ... - 378 
Esquimaux of the Thlew-ee-choh-dezeth - - 384 
Victoria Headland, Mouth of the Thlew-ee-choh-dezeth 890 
Montreal Island, View to seaward - - 398 
Thunder Storm near Point Ogle - 408 
Western View from near Mount Barrow - - 422 
Anderson's Falls - 4-50 
Fish - - - - -518 

Map of the Route, &c. at the end, 



NARRATIVE 



OF A 



JOURNEY 



TO THE 



SHORES OF THE ARCTIC SEA 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

Early in the year 1832 the protracted absence 
of Captain (now Sir John) Ross, who had sailed 
in 1829 to the Polar regions, and had not after- 
wards been heard of, became the subject of 
general and anxious conversation. A report 
even reached Italy, where I happened to be, 
that he and his adventurous companions had 
perished ; but, having ascertained that there 
was no other ground for this rumour than the 
uncertainty of their fate, I shortly afterwards 
hastened to England, with the intention of offer- 
ing to Government my services to conduct an 
expedition in search of them. 

On my arrival, in June 1832, I was informed 

B 



2 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

that my friend and former companion, Doctor 
Richardson, had already made an application to 
the same effect ; but that his offer, for various 
reasons, not having been accepted, he had, 
in consequence, as I was given to under- 
stand, relinquished the idea. I was further in- 
formed, however, by Mr. Beverly, who had been 
the companion of Sir E. Parry in his perilous 
journey over the ice from Spitzbergen towards 
the Pole, that Mr. Ross (brother of Sir John, and 
father of Captain James Ross) was anxious to find 
an officer properly qualified to undertake the 
conduct of a party through America, on the 
plan proposed by Doctor Richardson ; which, 
not having been adopted by the Government, 
had been presented for consideration to other 
quarters. 

I proceeded, therefore, without loss of time 
to Mr. Ross, who read to me a petition which 
he was about to send to the King, praying his 
Majesty's gracious sanction to the immediate 
despatch of an expedition for rescuing, or at least 
ascertaining the fate of, his son and brother ; and 
my name being forthwith inserted as the proposed 
leader of the expedition, this petition was for- 
warded through Lord Goderich, then Secretary 
for the Colonies. The interval before an answer 
could be returned was employed in collecting 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 3 

information, and organising the necessary co- 
operation. In this I was warmly seconded and 
efficiently aided by many gentlemen whose 
opinions and assistance were most valuable, and 
more especially by Nicholas Garry, Esq., the 
Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, Captains Beaufort and Maconochie, Doc- 
tor Richardson, and George Baillie, Esq. I 
addressed, moreover, on the 21st of August, a 
letter to the Geographical Society, explaining my 
views, and requesting that they might be recom- 
mended to the favourable consideration of Mr. 
Hay, Under Secretary for the Colonies, and a 
member of that Societv. 

It is gratifying to add, that the support of 
Mr. Hay was zealously afforded ; and, shortly 
afterwards, the following letter was sent to Mr. 
Ross : — 

" Downing Street, 
30th August, 1832. 

" Sir, 
" I am directed by Viscount Goderich to ac- 
quaint you, that, his Majesty having been pleased 
to refer your petition to his Lordship's consi- 
deration, Lord Goderich has felt himself justified 
in recommending to the Lords Commissioners 
of the Treasury to grant the sum of 2000/. in 
aid of the expenses of the expedition, provided 

b C Z 



4 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

that it is commanded by Captain Back ; it being 
understood that the Hudson's Bay Company will 
furnish the supplies and canoes free of charge, 
and that the remainder of the expense, which is 
estimated at 3000/., will be contributed by Cap- 
tain Ross's friends. On receiving an answer 
from the Treasury, the result will be duly com- 
municated to you. 
" I am, Sir, 

" Your most obedient servant, 
" Geo. Boss, Esq." " Howick, 

This was announced to me as follows : — 

« No. 267. Strand, 
7th Sept. 1832. 

" Sir, 

" I have the pleasure to inclose you the copy 
of a letter which I have received from Lord 
Howick, by the directions of Lord Goderich, 
in reply to my application to his Majesty, on 
the subject of an expedition to the shores of the 
Polar Sea, with the view to ascertain, if possible, 
the fate of my brother, Captain Ross, and of my 
son, Captain James Clarke Ross. 

" I have only to add my earnest request, that 
you will, in compliance with what appears also 
to be the wish of Government, undertake the 
command and direction of this humane and dif- 
ficult enterprise, — certainly a most arduous task, 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 5 

but one, for the effectual accomplishment of 
which none is more eminently qualified. 
" I have the honour to be, Sir, 

" Your very obedient servant, 
" CapL Geo. Back" " Geo. Ross. 

My answer was, of course, a ready acceptance 
of the proposed trust. The interest and sym- 
pathy of the public began now to manifest them- 
selves more strongly. On November 1. 1832, a 
meeting was accordingly held at the rooms of 
the Horticultural Society (kindly lent for the 
occasion), in order to bring the humane object of 
the expedition formally before it ; and in Vice 
Admiral the Right Hon. Sir George Cockburn, 
who presided, the cause found so powerful an ad- 
vocate, that a subscription of 300/. was made on 
the spot. A standing Committee was also now 
formed for the management of the expedition, 
consisting of the following persons : — 

Sir G. Cockburn, G. C. B., Chairman. 
John Barrow, Esq., F. R. S. 
Robt. Hay, Esq. F. R. S. 
Vice Admiral Sir W. Hotham, K. C. B. 
Vice Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, Bart. 
Rear Admiral W. H. Gage. 
Felix Booth, Esq. 

The Hon. Capt. H. Duncan, R. N. 

b 3 



6 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

Capt. Bowles, R. N. 

Capt. Beaufort, R. N. F. R. S. 

J. H. Pelly, Esq. Governor H. B. Company. 

Nich. Garry, Esq. Dep. Gov. do. 

W. P. Craufurd, Esq. 

Capt. Beechey, R. N. F. R. S. 

Dr. Richardson, F. R. S. 

Capt. Hoppner, R. N. 

Capt. Macon ochie, R. N. 

C. Beverly, Esq. F. R. S. 

Robert M'Culloch, Esq. 

J. Spence, Esq. 

George Ross, Esq., Honorary Secretary. 

Of these, Mr. Booth, Captain Duncan, and 
Captain Bowles were appointed Trustees. The 
services and influence of Sir George Cockburn, 
which had been so beneficially employed in aid 
of the expedition, were soon lost to the Com- 
mittee, in consequence of his appointment to 
the command on the West India station. 
But his place was condescendingly supplied by 
his Royal Highness, the Duke of Sussex, who 
was pleased to become Vice Patron and Chair- 
man. Mr. George Ross also having resigned 
his situation as honorary secretary, and turned 
his attention to the object of getting up an 
expedition by sea for the same benevolent pur- 
pose, his place was taken by Robert M'Culloch, 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. J 

Esq., a cousin of Captain Ross, and thus not 
less interested in the success of the scheme than 
Mr. Ross himself. 

It was gratifying to observe, in the rapid ac- 
cumulation of our funds, the liveliness of the 
public sympathy in this disinterested project. 
No obstacle, therefore, was to be anticipated from 
want of means, and the preparations went on 
with increased confidence. In furtherance of 
the communications which were made by Dr. 
Richardson, the Governor and Directors of the 
Hudson's Bay Company had already despatched 
directions to their agents in America, apprising 
them that such an expedition might be expected 
in the following spring, and directing the neces- 
sary preparations to be made for it ; and now, 
besides generously placing at our disposal 120 
bags of pemmican, two boats and two canoes, 
these gentlemen suggested, with equal liberality 
and considerateness, the expediency of taking it 
under the especial protection of the Company, by 
issuing a commission under their seal to me as its 
Commander. Gladly, as may be supposed, did I 
avail myself of so important an offer, well know- 
ing, from past experience, that the co-operation 
of all parties throughout their extensive territory 
would by this means be effectually secured. 

The expedition was to consist of two officers 
and eighteen men ; part of whom, including two 

b 4 



8 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

good boat carpenters, were to be engaged in this 
country, — and part in Canada, — men who should 
be inured to fatigue, and well accustomed to the 
duties they would have to perform. From 
Montreal it was proposed that the ordinary 
route of the fur traders should be followed by 
the Ottawa, French River, the Great Lakes, 
Lake Winnipeg, &c. to Great Slave Lake ; from 
whence Indians were to be employed as guides 
and hunters to accompany the party to the 
banks of the Thlew-ee-choh-desseth, or Great 
Fish River, which, according to the testimony of 
the Indians, lay to the eastward of the Lake, and 
might be approached by an intervening chain of 
smaller lakes and portages. The winter resi- 
dence, for which, from a reference to Hearne's 
Journey, it seemed so well adapted, was to be 
there established ; and in the mean while a de- 
tachment of eight men, well armed, was to pro- 
ceed in advance with me, without loss of time, to 
explore the river in a light canoe. As it neces- 
sarily flowed through the barren lands which are 
of nearly equal elevation with the country north 
of Fort Enterprise, it was to be expected that its 
course, like the descent of the Coppermine river, 
would be interrupted by rapids or cascades ; 
and these the canoe excursion would enable me 
to survey, so that, on my return to the winter 
establishment, we might construct boats com- 
bining the qualities requisite for both the river 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 9 

and sea navigation. As far, also, as the season 
would permit, my visit to the sea might give 
me an opportunity of communicating with the 
Esquimaux, and obtaining, if not intelligence 
of Captain Ross, at least much information for 
the direction of my course the following sum- 
mer. Having passed the first winter, it was pro- 
posed that we should start for the sea the moment 
the ice broke up ; and, if an opinion should 
prove correct, which I had been led to entertain 
from an inspection of the maps traced by the 
Indians, that the mouth of the river lay between 
the 68th and 69th parallels of latitude, and the 
90th and 100th meridians of longitude, we should 
then be less than three hundred miles from the 
wreck of the Fury in Regent Inlet. It had formed 
part of Captain Ross's plan to visit the wreck 
of the Fury in the first instance, that he might 
supply himself with coals and such provisions 
and stores as were available ; and to return and 
winter beside it, if in the course of the summer 
he should be unable to penetrate to the westward. 
It was therefore in Regent Inlet that the search 
for him was most likely to be successful. If, 
contrary to our hope, no traces of Captain Ross 
should be discovered on arriving at the wreck 
of the Fury, and the season should be far ad- 
vanced, it would be necessary for us to retrace 
our way to winter quarters ; and, in so doing, 
we should embrace every opportunity of erecting 



10 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

land-marks and signal posts, to arrest the atten- 
tion of the wanderers to the notes deposited 
beneath, detailing the position of our abode, and 
the means adopted for their relief. 

On the disruption of the ice in the following 
spring, the expedition would again be on the 
shores of the Polar Sea, and its researches 
would be resumed in a different direction 
from that previously taken. Every Esquimaux 
hut would then be minutely inspected, in the 
hope of finding some token of the fate of our 
countrymen ; and the gratification which the 
promoters of the expedition would experience, 
should even a single British seaman be rescued 
from his melancholy fate by their means, every 
one felt would amply repay our utmost exertions. 
While, even if no such happy fortune should 
attend our researches, the geographical know- 
ledge that must be obtained, and the scientific 
information resulting from a course leading nearly 
over one of the Magnetic Poles, would, it was 
hoped, tend to console them. 

Such was the outline of the plan to be fol- 
lowed, as regarded the humane and principal 
object of our search ; and in the event of that 
being rendered nugatory by the almost un- 
looked for return of Captain Ross and his 
gallant companions, or by any obstacle pre- 
venting the progress of the expedition in the 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER, 11 

exact direction of its course to the wreck of 
the Fury, it was still thought, in our uncertainty 
of the precise place where the Thlew-ee-choh- 
desseth might fall into the sea, that the coast line 
between Point Turnagain and the known land 
to the eastward might be satisfactorily ascer- 
tained, and thus another step made towards the 
determination of that interesting problem — the 
northern limits of America. 

For all these purposes, I was provided 
with a variety of astronomical instruments, 
including a dipping needle by Dollond, and a 
diurnal variation instrument by Jones ; which 
latter was also to be used to obtain the 
effect produced on the needle by the aurora 
borealis. I had also one of Professor Han- 
steen's instruments, besides three chronometers 
lent by the Admiralty. Guns and other neces- 
sary materials were furnished by the Committee ; 
who, that nothing might be omitted which 
could at all contribute to our comfort, ordered 
also a plentiful provision of cocoa and macaroni, 
than which few things are better suited to such 
undertakings, and of which such was our eco- 
nomical expenditure, that some portion even 
returned with us to Montreal. 

His most gracious Majesty, the patron of the 
expedition, having commanded my attendance 
at Brighton, I had the honour to explain the 



12 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

plans and prospects of the service, with the 
means adopted to guard against privation, and 
to secure the party from those disasters to 
which they might otherwise be subject; and I 
had the high gratification of receiving the royal 
approbation of these plans, and a gracious ex- 
pression of sincere desire for the safety of my 
party. 

Their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Kent 
and Princess Victoria also received a deputa- 
tion, consisting of Vice Admiral Sir George 
Cockburn, Captains Beechey and Maconochie, 
with myself, for the purpose of pointing out on 
the chart the line of the proposed route, sub- 
mitting, at the same time, a sketch of the intended 
proceedings ; — on which occasion their Royal 
Highnesses evinced a truly benevolent interest 
in the expedition.* Nor was the Duke of Sussex 
less solicitous to forward the undertaking, as I 
had the honour to receive a letter from his Royal 

* Besides being liberal subscribers to the expedition, their 
Royal Highnesses sent me, some days afterwards, a pocket 
compass and a case of mathematical instruments, as a con- 
tribution to its scientific equipment ; and I shall not attempt 
to describe the enthusiasm which these tokens of the interest 
taken by them in our benevolent mission afterwards created, 
not only in British North America, but also in the United 
States. It will be seen in a future part of my Narrative, 
that this compass, from its extreme delicacy, became after- 
wards of essential service. 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 13 

Highness, recommending me to the attentions 
of Doctor Hossack, a scientific gentleman at 
New York. 

Finally, it was deemed expedient, on many 
accounts, but more especially to give me ad- 
ditional authority over the men whom I might 
engage for the service, that my mission should 
be taken under the direction of his Majesty's 
Government ; and accordingly I received from 
the Secretary of State for the Colonies the follow- 
ing instructions : — 

" Colonial Office, Downing Street, 
4th February, 1833. 

" Sir, 

" The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
having been pleased to lend your services to this 
office, that you may conduct an expedition now 
preparing to proceed to the Polar Sea in search 
of Captain Ross, you are hereby required and 
directed to undertake this service, placing your- 
self for the purpose at the disposition of the 
Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, who have undertaken to furnish you 
with the requisite resources and supplies. 

" You are to leave Liverpool early in the 
present month, and proceed with your party by 
way of New York to Montreal, and thence along 
the usual route pursued by the north-west 



14 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

traders to Great Slave Lake, which it is hoped 
you will reach by the 20th of July. You are 
then to strike off to the north-eastward, or in 
such other direction as you may ascertain to 
be most expedient, in order to gain the Thlew- 
ee-choh-desseth, or Great Fish River, which is be- 
lieved either to issue from Slave Lake, or to rise in 
its vicinity, and thence to flow with a navigable 
course to the northward, till it reaches the sea. 
On arriving on the banks of this river, you 
are to select a convenient situation for a winter 
residence, and immediately appoint a portion of 
your force to erect a house thereon ; but, if 
possible, you are to proceed yourself, with an 
adequate party, and explore the river to the 
coast the same season, erecting a conspicuous 
land-mark at its mouth, and leaving notice of 
your intention to return the ensuing spring, in 
case Captain Ross should be making progress 
along this part of the shore. 

" You are to take care, however, to return 
before the commencement of the winter, to 
avoid any undue exposure of your men. Dur- 
ing the winter you are to construct two boats, 
capable, in your opinion, of navigating the 
Polar Sea; and as early as possible in the en- 
suing spring you are to descend again to its 

shores. 

" Your proceedings afterwards must be much 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 15 

guided by your own judgment. The first ob- 
ject will be to reach Cape Garry, where his 
Majesty's late ship Fury was wrecked; on the 
remaining stores of which it is known that 
Captain Ross in some measure relied : but in 
making for this, whether by the east or west, 
you must be governed by the position of the 
mouth of the river, and other local circum- 
stances, as you progressively ascertain them. 

" While passing along the coast, you are to 
keep a vigilant look-out upon the shore for any 
signal or indication of the party of which you 
are in search (particularly at the entrance of 
the Hecla and Fury Strait, should you take the 
eastern passage) ; and in the event of your 
meeting them, previous to your arrival at Cape 
Garry, you are to offer to return immediately, 
and bring them with you to the Hudson's Bay 
settlements. Or should you find any indication 
of their having been on any part of the coast 
before your arrival, you are to search minutely 
for some memorial which may lead to the dis- 
covery of their intentions ; and to proceed, in 
the event of success, in whatever practicable 
direction may seem best calculated to lead you 
to them. 

11 Devoting the summer, then, to the interest- 
ing search in contemplation, it is unnecessary to 
recommend to you to make it as effectual as 



16 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

possible, consistently with a due regard for 
the health and preservation of your party. But, 
whatever may be its prospects or success, you 
are on no account to prolong it beyond such a 
period of the year (varying from the 12th to 
the 20th of August, according to the distance 
which you may have attained) as will insure 
your return to your winter quarters before the 
severe weather sets in. On your acting in this 
particular with due caution may depend the 
eventual success of the whole expedition. On 
your return to your temporary establishment, 
you are carefully to examine the state of your 
supplies ; if possible, also, communicating with 
Great Slave Lake, to ascertain whether additional 
stores are there collected for you. And if you 
find that you can, with reasonable prudence, 
devote a second summer to the service on which 
you are engaged, you are hereby required and 
directed to do so ; but if not, you are to return 
to England in the following spring. 

" Subordinate to your object of finding Captain 
Ross, or any survivors or survivor of his party, 
you are to direct your attention to mapping what 
yet remains unknown of the coasts which you 
will visit, and making such other scientific ob- 
servations as your leisure will admit ; for which 
purposes the requisite instruments will be supplied 
to you. But you are not for such objects to deviate 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 17 

from your principal pursuit, until you shall have 
either succeeded in its accomplishment, or satis- 
factorily ascertained that its success is impossible. 
" You are, during your absence, to embrace 
any opportunities that may offer of corresponding 
with this Office, and report your arrival here on 
your return. 

" I have the honour to be, Sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Goderich." 
" Captain George Back, R. N. 
21. Regent Street" 

Strengthened by this authority, as well as by 
the commission from the Hudson's Bay Company, 
which ordered every assistance to be rendered me 
by the different officers in their territories, there 
now wanted only an efficient medical man to take 
care of the health of the party. This was found 
in Mr. Richard King, who, having in the first 
instance volunteered his services, was subse- 
quently engaged, at a salary, as surgeon and 
naturalist to the expedition. Three men only 
(two of whom were carpenters and shipwrights) 
were taken from England : the remainder, as will 
hereafter be seen, were selected either from 
Montreal or from the Company's posts in the 
interior. 

To present at one view the objects, purpose, 

c 



18 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

and direction of the service, the execution of 
which is narrated in the following pages, it will 
be proper to mention here, that exactly one year 
after our departure from Canada, by a despatch 
which had been forwarded with the most praise- 
worthy diligence by the Hudson's Bay Company *, 
I received the happy intelligence of Captain 
Ross's providential return, communicated in 
the following letter from Sir Charles Ogle, Ba- 
ronet : — 

" Arctic Land Expedition. 

" 21. Regent Street, 
22d Oct. 1833. 

" Sir, 

" I have much pleasure in acquainting you, on 
the part of the Committee for managing your 
expedition, that Captain Ross and the survivors 
of his party returned to England a few days 
ago, in a whaler, which picked them up in 
Barrow Straits ; and that thus one object of 
your expedition is happily attained. 

" In concert, therefore, with his Majesty's 
Government (though the signature of the Se- 
cretary of State for the Colonies cannot be 

* The extraordinary expedition with which this despatch 
was transmitted is worthy of being recorded ; and I have, 
therefore, in the Appendix, given a few particulars which 
will be interesting to the reader. 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 1Q 

immediately procured, in consequence of his 
absence from town), you are hereby directed to 
turn your whole attention to your second object, 
viz. completing the coast line of the north- 
eastern extremity of America. You will observe, 
from the enclosed abstract of Captain Ross's pro- 
ceedings, that this, also, is become an object of 
comparatively easy acquisition. By proceeding 
first to Point Turnagain, and thence eastward to 
an obelisk in about C9° 37' N. and 98° 40'W., 
which marks the termination of Captain Ross's 
progress, — or, vice versa, by proceeding first to 
this obelisk, and thence westward, — it is believed 
that you may accomplish all that is now wanting 
in one season. But even should this prove im- 
possible, and you find that a second season on 
the coast is desirable, I believe that I may confi- 
dently assure you that the means will be ob- 
tained for that purpose. 

" Your choice of routes will of course depend 
on the point where the Thlew-ee-choh joins the 
sea ; on which head, therefore, the Committee 
has few or no observations to offer. If, as 
Governor Simpson imagines, it falls into Ba- 
thurst's Inlet, and is identical with Back's River 
there, you will of course proceed thence to the 
eastward; or if any branch of it, or any other 
river you may meet with, turn decidedly to the 
westward or eastward, the Committee would 

c c 2 



20 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

rather recommend your endeavouring in this 
case to start from one or other extremity. But 
beyond this it can offer no hints. 

" I cannot conclude, however, without ear- 
nestly recommending to you, in its name and that 
of all the subscribers to and promoters of your 
expedition, to be careful not to expose yourself 
and men to unnecessary hazard. The satisfaction 
which we all experience in receiving Captain 
Ross again is very great ; but it will be much 
impaired by any casualties in your expedition. 
" I have the honour to be, Sir, 

" Your obedient humble servant, 

" Charles Ogle, Chairman. 

" p. S. — As we are not yet quite certain of 
obtaining funds for a third year (although rea- 
sonably confident that his Majesty's Govern- 
ment will, if necessary, supply them), you will be 
entirely guided, with regard to it, by further in- 
structions which will be forwarded to you in the 
course of next season, and which you will receive 
on your return to your winter quarters. 

" C. O." 

« 

The instructions alluded to were never sent, 
and, had they been so, would have been unavail- 
able. For, first, the difficulties already encoun- 
tered had by that time proved, that any further 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. Q\ 

attempt by the Thlew-ee-choh would be as 
rash as its result would be fruitless ; secondly, 
the hope of crossing the country direct to 
Bathurst's Inlet, or in any other direction lead- 
ing towards Point Turnagain, had long been 
relinquished, in consequence of the unanimous 
testimony of the Indians, as to the insurmount- 
able obstacles that would oppose the transport 
of canoes, and even the requisite provision for so 
long and arduous a journey. The whole of the 
streams west of the Thlew-ee-choh, within the 
knowledge of the Indians, are its tributaries, and 
are too shallow and rapid, and too much inter- 
rupted with rocks and other dangerous obstruc- 
tions, to be navigable in any thing larger than a 
small canoe. There remained, therefore, but one 
way of penetrating to the sea, viz. by travers- 
ing the intervening mountains ; and this, with 
such boats or canoes as would carry even the 
very limited number of men that composed my 
party, was totally impracticable. Had I not 
been fully convinced of this, I should, in the 
hope of accomplishing one of the great objects 
* of my mission, have undoubtedly ventured to 
remain out another season, even though such an 
act had not received the sanction of the Com- 
mittee. 

The other points of my instructions were 
followed up to the best of my ability, as, it is 

c 3 



22 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

humbly hoped, will be demonstrated in the nar- 
rative which follows. 

I cannot, however, close this preliminary state- 
ment, without conveying the public expression 
of my thanks to Mr. Richard King, for his uni- 
form attention to the health of the party, and 
the readiness with which he assisted me in all 
cases where his services were required. To him 
the merit is due of whatever collections have 
been made in natural history, as well as of the 
preparation of a table of the temperatures of 
animals, &c. &c. 

To the invaluable services of Mr. R. M'Leod, 
the narrative itself bears ample testimony ; yet 
I must be permitted to indulge my own feel- 
ings, by offering to him here the tribute of my 
gratitude and esteem, for the zeal, courage, 
constancy, and ability which he displayed in 
emergencies and trials of no ordinary kind. 

The men, also, and particularly those who ac- 
companied me to the sea, were admirably quali- 
fied for the service they undertook, and are 
entitled to my warmest commendations for their 
general conduct. Nor can I withhold especial 
notice of the three artillery-men who accom- 
panied me from Montreal; their behaviour 
furnishing an instructive and useful example to 
the others, and fully according with the high 
and generous feeling which induced them first 
to engage in the expedition. 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 23 

Numerous, indeed, are the obligations which I 
am under to a multitude of excellent persons, both 
in England and America, who either gave or 
offered assistance at different stages of the enter- 
prise. A particular and circumstantial acknow r - 
ledgment of all these is impossible ; but my 
English friends, I am sure, will forgive me 
for making one exception. After the fire at 
Montreal, by which our hotel was consumed, a 
rumour having got abroad that all the instru- 
ments, &c. belonging to the expedition were de- 
stroyed, I received, not long afterwards, the 
following communication : — 

"Albany, April 29.1833. 

" My dear Sir, 

" We have just heard of the destruction of the 

British American Hotel, and it is reported you 

have suffered loss. Under these circumstances, 

permit one of your American friends to offer to 

do any thing for you in his power, by way of 

replacing any articles at his own expense. 

" Any thing I can do for you it will give me 

pleasure to do, on hearing from you. 

" With sincere regard, 

" Yours very truly, 

" (In haste,) 

" S. De Witt Bloodgood. 
" Capt. Back: 9 

c 4 



24 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

Any comment on a letter so honourable to 
the liberal and public-spirited writer would be 
superfluous. Such a generous act will be duly 
estimated by every English reader. 

To my friend Dr. Richardson I owe a large 
debt of gratitude for many most useful sug- 
gestions, and for his friendly aid in general. 
The public also is his debtor, not only for the 
valuable matter contained in the fourth Chapter, 
but also for the exposition of the Natural His- 
tory which is found in the Appendix. 

Nor are my obligations less to Professor Chris- 
tie, of Woolwich, for his valuable assistance in 
selecting some of the instruments, and for his 
examination and analysis of the results of the 
observations made with them. I am also indebted 
to Professor Hooker, J. G. Children, Esq., and 
Dr. Fitton, for their kind assistance in different 
departments of science. 

Of the great and unappreciable service afforded 
by the Governor, Deputy Governor, and Di- 
rectors of the Hudson's Bay Company, I have 
already spoken ; but I should be indeed ungrate- 
ful, if I were not to add that their benevolent 
intentions were zealously fulfilled, and their ju- 
dicious arrangements carried into complete effect 
by Mr. Simpson, the resident Governor, and the 
various officers in the service of the Company. 
Those who reflect how much, if not how en- 



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 25 

tirely, the success of an expedition like that 
which I had the honour to command must neces- 
sarily have depended on the aid and co-operation 
of these gentlemen, will feel how incumbent it 
is on me to acknowledge, as I now do, with sin- 
cere and fervent gratitude, the prompt attention, 
the ready assistance, and the provident care for 
our wants, manifested by all and each of them 
in their respective departments. Thus, for the 
complete and effective arrangements at Montreal 
I am indebted to Mr. James Keith, the agent 
of the Company at La Chine. At Norway 
House, chief factors Christie, Cameron, Rowand, 
and Lewis rendered me important service in the 
procuring of a crew, and suggested whatever 
useful information their experience and know- 
ledge of the country enabled them to supply. 
By Mr. Christie, indeed, the whole of the winter 
stock was forwarded to the establishment at Fort 
Reliance. Neither can I pass over in silence the 
efficient and valuable services of chief factors 
Charles, Smith, Stuart, and M'Kenzie, Sen.; of Mr. 
D. Ross at the depot of Norway House; Messrs. 
D. M'Intosh, Miles, Hargraves, and M 'Murray, 
chief traders ; and of Messrs. Hutchinson, Bris- 
lois, and Clouston, clerks. The frank and hos- 
pitable kindness which was shown by all to 
myself personally will never be forgotten by me, 
and is entitled to this public acknowledgment. 



26 PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 

The courtesy of His Excellency Lord Ayl- 
mer, and the gratifying attentions of the worthy 
citizens of Montreal and New York, are of 
course to be attributed rather to their benevo- 
lent sympathy with the main purpose of the 
expedition, than to any regard for the individual 
who had been selected to conduct it. So re- 
garded, their conduct is more honourable to 
them, and is at the same time not the less valued 
and held in remembrance by me. To express 
my thanks might savour of presumption; but I 
take the liberty of recording my feelings, in order 
that the tribute may be rendered by the British 
Public. 



27 



CHAPTER I. 

Departure from England. — Arrival at Montreal. — 
Preparations for the Expedition. — Fire at the Hotel. 

— Departure from La Chine. — The St. Lawrence. — 
The Ottawa. — Lake Huron. — The Saidt de Ste. Marie. 
— Arrival at Fort William. — Distribution of the 

Loadings. — The Mountain Fall. — Lac de la Pluie. 

— Arrival at Fort Alexander. — Magnetic Observations. 

— Arrival of Governor Simpson, and Arrangements 
made by him. — Arrival at Norway House. — Diffictdty 
of procuring Men for the Service. — Departure from 
Norway House. 

On Sunday, the 17th of February, 1833, ac- 
companied by Mr. Richard King and three men, 
two of whom had gained experience under Sir 
J. Franklin, I embarked in the packet ship 
Hibernia, Captain Maxwell, from Liverpool; 
and, after a somewhat boisterous passage of 
thirty-five days, during part of which the ship 
was entangled amongst ice on St. George's Bank, 
arrived at New York. We were received with 
every attention that politeness and hospitality 
could dictate. The usual forms at the Custom- 
house were dispensed with in our favour ; and 
all classes seemed anxious to facilitate an under- 
taking, in the success of which the warmest 



28 ARRIVAL AT MONTREAL. 

interest was manifested. The proprietors of the 
Ohio, steam-boat, offered that fine vessel for our 
conveyance to Albany; and, as we started from 
the wharf, upwards of a thousand well-dressed 
persons, with our friend Mr. Buchanan, the. 
British consul, at their head, gave us three 
hearty cheers. 

From Albany we travelled in coaches or 
waggons, according to the quality of the roads ; 
and reached Montreal on the 9th of April, a 
day earlier than I had promised six months 
before. Mr. Keith, the principal officer of the 
Hudson's Bay Company at La Chine, lost no 
time in acquainting me that preparations for the 
expedition were in a forward state, and would 
be ready by the appointed time. He entertained, 
however, some doubt whether he could himself 
obtain the required number of able voyageurs; 
and thought that they might be selected, with 
greater advantage to the service, from among 
the old "winterers" resorting to a depot of the 
Company in the interior, which I should neces- 
sarily have to pass. He also informed me that 
despatches, sent from England, had been for- 
warded to the resident governor, Mr. Simpson ; 
who, being thus apprised of our movements, 
would be enabled to co-operate accordingly. 

No sooner was it known in Montreal that 
our little party was in one of the hotels, 



PREPARATIONS. 

than the commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel Mac- 
dougall, of the 79th regiment, and the officers 
of the garrison, as well as the principal inha- 
bitants of the town, waited upon us, and vied 
with each other in administering to our comforts, 
and rendering as agreeable as possible the short 
time which remained to us for the enjoyment 
of civilised society. 

I availed myself of this interval to ascer- 
tain the rates of the chronometers with the 
nicest precision, and to make a set of observ- 
ations for the dip and magnetic intensity, with 
Dollond's and Hansteen's needles ; which oper- 
ations, with the numerous arrangements neces- 
sary for completing our outfit, fully occupied 
Mr. King and myself until our departure. 

Neither was I without a foretaste of the 
anxiety inseparable from the service on which I 
had embarked. A refractory spirit had of late 
been manifested by two of my three men, who 
even threatened to proceed no farther ; for 
no better reason than a sudden and wayward 
apprehension of a journey, which the strong 
expression of public sympathy had taught them 
to regard as beset with more than ordinary 
perils. However, by convincing them of the 
disgrace which would attend a desertion, and 
then despatching them at once, through the 
means of Mr. Keith, to a distant post of the 



30 FIRE AT THE HOTEL. 

Company, I was enabled to retain their services, 
which I was not without hope would, in the 
sequel, turn to good account. Still this incident 
taught me the little dependence that could be 
placed on men who shrank from dangers in pros- 
pect, and were ready to abandon an expedition in 
which, but two months before, they had engaged 
with the utmost alacrity and zeal : and as Cap- 
tain Anderson, of the 6th battalion of Royal 
Artillery, had intimated the eager desire of 
several of his best men to accompany me, I 
wrote to Lord Aylmer, the Governor-general, and 
His Excellency was pleased to sanction the dis- 
charge of four for that purpose. Colonel Godby 
was equally kind in affording me assistance ; and, 
strengthened by those volunteers, I felt that I 
had now a check on any that might hereafter 
prove refractory, as well as the comfortable 
assurance of having those with me on whom I 
could rely in the utmost need. 

On the evening of the 24th of April a fire broke 
out in our hotel, just as we were about to quit it. 
The performance of the Bohemian brothers had 
brought together a numerous assemblage, prin- 
cipally of ladies ; and such was the fury of the 
flames, that for many the upper windows afforded 
the only means of escape. Luckily, my bag- 
gage was, for the greater part, removed ; and 
thus, though most of the property in the house 



LA CHINE. 31 

was consumed, I had chiefly to regret the 
loss of my only available barometer. The two 
which I had brought from England had been 
damaged in the voyage, and could not be re- 
paired at Montreal ; and the one thus unfor- 
tunately lost had been most kindly obtained 
and presented by Mr. Walker, to whom we were 
under many other obligations. 

As I was compelled to hire a certain num- 
ber of voyageurs for the expedition, and they 
are generally an extremely superstitious race, 
there was reason to apprehend that I might find 
a difficulty in doing so, if, as was not unlikely, 
they chose to construe as an evil omen this 
untoward accident, marking the moment of our 
departure. I must own, therefore, that it was 
with some pleasure that, on arriving at La Chine 
the following morning (April 25th), accompanied 
by my friend Colonel Macdougall, I found them 
far too assiduous in their libations to Bacchus, to 
be subject to any less potent influences. 

Notwithstanding the alarm and confusion of 
the preceding night, a number of the officers of 
the garrison, and many of the respectable in- 
habitants, collected spontaneously together, to 
offer us a last tribute of kindness. We em- 
barked amidst the most enthusiastic cheers, and 
firing of musketry. The two canoes shot rapidly 
through the smooth waters of the canal, and 



32 ST. LAWRENCE. — OTTAWA. 

were followed by the dense crowd on the banks. 
A few minutes brought us to the St. Lawrence, 
and, as we turned the stems of our little vessels 
up that noble stream, one long loud huzza bade 
us farewell ! 

Both our maUre-candt*, and the other, which 
was of smaller dimensions, were rather lum- 
bered than loaded. Every package had been 
reduced or augmented to a "piece" of 90 lbs. 
weight ; and, as there were only about fifty of 
these altogether, we were what is termed " half- 
loaded," and in a condition, therefore, to make 
reasonable speed, with any thing like an efficient 
crew. In our case, however, there was an un- 
avoidable mixture of old hands and "mangeurs 
de lard" or green-horns; and there was scarcely 
one who had failed to take advantage of the last 
opportunity of getting drunk. At the head of 
them was Paul, an old Iroquois guide, who was, 
however, otherwise invaluable, as, I really be- 
lieve, he knew the situation of every dangerous 
rock in the whole line of rapids between Mon- 
treal and Hudson's Bay. 

Turning off to the right, we entered the 
Ottawa, which (like the Moselle after its conflu- 
ence with the Rhine), for some distance below 
the junction rolls on its brown waters unmixed 

* A large canoe used between Montreal and Fort Wil- 
liam, on the hanks of Lake Superior. 



THE OTTAWA. 33 

with the clear stream of the St. Lawrence. On 
coming abreast of a village, near which stood a 
large cross, a few paces from the church, the 
more devout of the voyageurs went on shore, 
and, standing in a musing posture, implored the 
protection of the patron saint in the perilous 
enterprise on which they were embarked ; while 
their companions, little affected by their piety, 
roared out to them to " s'embarquer" and 
paddled away to the merry tune of a lively 
canoe song. We soon reached the rapid of St. 
Anne ; and, having ascended it with a trifling 
injury to one of the canoes, we encamped on an 
island in the pretty Lake of the Two Mountains. 
As our route was precisely the same with that 
followed by the Company's people every season, 
which has been described by Sir A. M'Kenzie, 
as well as by more modern travellers # , a minute 
detail of our progress seems unnecessary ; and it 
will be sufficient merely to indicate a few of the 
principal places in the line of country from La 
Chine to the south-west end of Great Slave Lake, 
from which point the discovery properly begins. 
By the kindness of Colonel Duvernet, the canoes 
were permitted to go through the government 
canal, which cuts off the dangerous rapid of the 
long Sault. They were afterwards towed by 

* Herman, Ross, Cox, Sir J. Franklin, Major Long, &c. 

D 



34 THE OTTAWA. 

the steam-boat which plies between that place 
and By town, a village beautifully situated on 
the heights between the Rideau and the Chau- 
diere Falls ; in which latter, only the evening 
before several raftsmen had been unfortunately 
engulfed. Lieutenant Kains, who commanded the 
steam-boat, could not be prevailed on to accept 
any remuneration for the important service thus 
rendered to us. 

During the night, two of our young hands 
deserted; a casualty, however, which did not 
give me any uneasiness, and relieved me from 
any further apprehension on their account. In- 
deed, the probability of such an event is usually 
taken into account by those who are accustomed 
to this mode of travelling, and a few extra men 
are generally engaged as a reserve. 

April 28. — Having arrived at a portage — by 
which term, it is almost unnecessary to say, is 
understood a place where, by reason of some 
obstruction to the navigation, it is necessary to 
carry the baggage and canoes — we were kindly 
invited to breakfast at the house of an Indian fur 
trader of the name of Day. This old gentle- 
man declared, that his feelings were so warmly 
excited by the praiseworthy object of the expe- 
dition, that he could hardly refrain, even at his 
advanced age, from offering his services. At one 
of the Company's posts, called Fort des Chats, 



LAKE HURON. 35 

I found my three men who had been sent from 
Montreal ; and, having embarked them, with 
seventeen " pieces " out of nineteen which had 
been forwarded by the steam-boat, we proceeded 
along rapids, which more or less detained us 
until we got to Fort Coulonge. The houses 
above this were far apart, and the population 
comparatively thin ; but, on my return in 1835, 
I was agreeably surprised to see many com- 
fortable dwellings erected in the interval, sur- 
rounded by smiling corn fields, and animated 
by groups of both sexes, who looked from the 
windows or stood on the banks to see us pass. 

Leaving the Ottawa, we diverged to the left, 
up a deep and black stream, so overhung by 
sombre rocks and withered trees, and so bleak 
and lifeless, that it seemed the very home of 
melancholy and despair, and forced upon my 
recollection an admirable painting represent- 
ing Sadak in search of the waters of oblivion. 
It took us to Lake Nipising, whence we de- 
scended by the Riviere des Fra^ais into Lake 
Huron ; our progress through which was so im- 
peded by fogs and head winds, that it was not 
until May 11th that we reached the Sault de Ste. 
Marie, at the head of the lake, and the extreme 
point to which civilisation has yet extended. 

Some surprise was testified at our early arrival 
by my old acquaintance Mr. Bethune, who in- 

d 2 



86 THE SAULT DE STE. MARIE. 

formed me that the vast quantity of floating ice 
on Lake Superior had prevented his forwarding 
the despatches mentioned by Mr. Keith before 
the 1st of the month; so that, in reality, they 
were only eleven days in advance of me, though 
sent from England in December. My only re- 
gret at this circumstance was, the very limited 
time which would be thus afforded Mr. Simpson 
for aiding the expedition in the efficient man- 
ner to which, I was well assured, his zeal would 
prompt him. As yet, I had not one third of the 
necessary number of volunteers to go through 
the service ; and there were many other im- 
portant arrangements that could be satisfactorily 
made by the resident governor alone. 

Owing to the scarcity of provisions in the 
interior, it became advisable to take a supply for 
five weeks ; and a third canoe was purchased to 
assist in carrying it. Before leaving the Sault, 
I waited on the officers of the American garrison, 
accompanied by the gentlemen of the Company ; 
and it is almost superfluous to say, that we expe- 
rienced a reception in perfect keeping with the 
strong feeling of interest which had been mani- 
fested for us throughout the state of New York. 
But the commanding officer, Captain Baxly, not 
satisfied with the ordinary courtesies of polite 
attention, sent us a more substantial proof of his 
kindness, in the shape of prepared venison, 



ARRIVAL AT FORT WILLIAM. 3J 

tongues, sweet corn, and many other dainties ; 
which, though most welcome on their own ac- 
count, were, in my estimation, still more valuable 
for the feeling which had prompted the present. 

Nothing beyond the ordinary causes of de- 
tention occurred while crossing the northern 
extremity of Lake Superior. At a post called 
the Pic, we were liberally supplied with fresh 
butter and fish by my old friend Mr. M 'Murray, 
who would willingly have had us remain the 
night with him. The inviting appearance of 
the weather induced us to decline his hospitality ; 
and it was not a little mortifying, therefore, to 
find ourselves soon enveloped in a dense fog, 
which baffled the skill of the guide, and com- 
pelled us to land. 

On the 20th of May we arrived at Fort William, 
much to the astonishment of Mr. D. M'Intosh, 
the gentleman in charge, who assured us that the 
light canoes of the preceding season had been 
fully twelve days later. It was here that the 
large canoes were to be exchanged for smaller, 
better calculated to overcome the numerous 
impediments which obstruct the navigation of 
the inland rivers ; and I had every reason to be 
satisfied with the two beautiful ones which had 
been constructed for the purpose, by the direction 
of Governor Simpson, and under the superin- 
tendence of Mr. M'Intosh. 

d 3 



38 DISTRIBUTION OF THE LOADINGS. 

An entire day was now devoted to the exa- 
mining and repacking of our various stores and 
instruments. Our " North Canoe," brought from 
Montreal, was also repaired ; for, lumbered as we 
were with provisions, it was found impracticable 
to ascend the shallow waters of the Kamines- 
tiquoia without taking her, in addition to the 
two new ones ; and I did this the less reluc- 
tantly, as no extra expense was thus incurred, and 
there were hands enough to manage the three. 

The Canadian voyageur is, in all respects, 
a peculiar character ; and on no point is he 
more sensitive, or, rather, to use an expressive 
term, more touchy, than in the just distribution 
of "pieces" among the several canoes form- 
ing a party. It must be admitted, at the same 
time, that he has very substantial reasons for 
being particular in this matter, for he well knows 
that, supposing the canoes to be in other re- 
spects equally matched, a very small inequality 
of weight will make a considerable difference in 
their relative speed, and will occasion, moreover, 
a longer detention at the portages. The usual 
mode is for the guide to separate the pieces, 
and then to distribute or portion them out by 
lots, holding in his hand little sticks of different 
lengths, which the leading men draw. From 
the decision so made there is no appeal, and 
the parties go away laughing or grumbling 



THE MOUNTAIN FALL. 39 

at their different fortunes. These important 
preliminaries, therefore, being settled to the 
tolerable satisfaction of those concerned, we took 
leave of our friendly host, and encamped at the 
imposing fall of Kakabikka, by the voyageurs 
commonly called the Mountain Fall. This 
has been well and graphically described by 
Major Long* and Sir J. Franklin t ; in mag- 
nitude it is inferior only to the Niagara or the 
Falls of Wilberforce, whilst it far surpasses both 
in picturesque effect. 

On the 26th, the despatch canoe (a sort of 
mail) overtook us at the Savannah portage ; 
and I gladly seized the opportunity it afforded me 
of sending a letter to Mr. Simpson, with a requi- 
sition for men and stores, and a request that 
he would do me the favour to make certain in- 
quiries as to the most practicable route to the 
Thlew-ee-choh-dezeth. % 

While descending the narrow and encumbered 
stream of the Savannah, William Malley, one 
of my volunteer artillerymen, slipped off a float- 
ing tree, as he was attempting to open a pas- 
sage for the canoes, and narrowly escaped being 

* " Narrative of an Expedition to St. Peter's River, 
Lake Winnepeg," &c. 

f " Second Journey to the Polar Sea." 

X Dezeth, desseh, tessy, &c. being only the same word for 
river, will in future be omitted in the Narrative. 

D 4 



40 LAC DE LA PLUIE. 

drowned ; but he bore the accident with so much 
indifference and good humour as to call forth 
the admiration of Paul, who at once predicted 
that he would make a good voyageur. 

On the 31st, we crossed Lac de la Pluie, 
which well sustained its name and character, by 
receiving us with a pelting rain which drenched 
us to the skin. There was neither meat nor 
fish at the Company's establishment, and, owing 
to the failure of the crops, scarcely any rice, 
(wild rice, Folk amine, Zizania aquatica,) which 
is generally abundant at this solitary station, 
growing in the swampy ground round the lake. 
We encamped on a small island in the Lake 
of the Woods, which was literally covered with 
a dwarf species of prickly pear ( Cactus opuntia), 
much to the annoyance of the men, whose feet 
were soon stuck full of its irritating prickles. 

On the 6th of June we arrived at Fort Alex- 
ander, situated at the southern extremity of 
Lake Winnepeg. Here I had hoped to find the 
governor, and was not a little disappointed when 
informed by Mr. Clouston, the gentleman in 
charge, that it might be several days before he 
arrived ; though, as the despatch canoe had left 
the day before, there was every reason to suppose 
that he was by that time in possession of my 
letter, and, therefore, would naturally infer that I 
could not be far off. Important as every hour 



MAGNETIC OBSERVATIONS. 41 

was to the accomplishment of my plans, it was of 
still greater moment to me to see Mr. Simpson 
personally ; and, aware of the probability of our 
passing each other unobserved, if I attempted to 
hasten towards him in a canoe, I preferred the 
alternative of remaining quietly at the establish- 
ment, and so securing an interview which I so 
ardently desired. 

To beguile the time, the stores were ex- 
amined, and the few which the rain had damaged 
were exposed to the sun, dried, and carefully 
repacked. I also made a set of observations for 
the dip. The result was 79° 12' # , making a 
difference of 25 minutes from those taken on a 
former occasion. The vibrations and dip were 
ascertained alternately, according to the face of 
the instrument; and all were satisfactory enough, 
except needle No. 2. reversed, with the face of 
the instrument east, when a considerable alter- 
ation appeared both in the number of the vibra- 
tions and the point at which the needle finally 
rested. A second trial showed a similar discre- 
pancy. The reason of this peculiarity I could 
not divine until about an hour afterwards, when 
some gentlemen arrived from the westward, and 
acquainted us that they had just encountered a se- 
vere thunder shower, though the sky over the fort 

* The results are those given by the instrument, without 
any correction for temperature. 



42 ONE OF THE PARTY SOLICITS HIS DISCHARGE. 

underwent no visible change, and wore the same 
sultry aspect as it had done most of the forenoon. 
Amongst the people who had accompanied us 
from Montreal, was a tall fine-looking fellow of 
the name of Larke, who had volunteered, and, 
indeed, had taken a great deal of trouble to get 
entered, for the expedition. He had passed a part 
of his life in the woods, was particularly well qua- 
lified for such an undertaking, and had attracted 
universal admiration by his apparent determina- 
tion to brave all difficulties. This man now, how- 
ever, came to me, and in a humble tone solicited 
his discharge, as, to use his own phrase, "he 
was sure we should be all starved to death;" and 
so firmly was this unmanly resolution fixed in his 
mind, that he declared nothing should force him 
to go on. It is unnecessary to say that such 
pusillanimous weakness was utterly irreconcilable 
with an enterprise like that in which we were 
engaged, which demanded an entire sacrifice of 
home comforts, and an enthusiastic and unre- 
flecting ardour in the prosecution of its objects. 
I was not sorry, therefore, that the disease had 
shown itself so early ; for, had it broken out here- 
after, at a more critical period of the adventure, 
the infection might have spread in a manner too 
formidable for remedy. He had his wish, and 
with it a recommendation, at the same time, to 
the Company to oblige him to serve, in some 



ARRIVAL OF GOVERNOR SIMPSON. 43 

distant part, the full term of his three years' 
engagement. 

Mr. H. Berens, who was on his way to Canada 
from the Red River Colony, brought me the pleas- 
ing intelligence that Mr. Simpson would very 
shortly follow ; and as the latter gentleman was 
about to return to England, without proceeding 
to the depot at Norway House, it was fortunate 
that I had determined on remaining, though it 
was certain that nothing which prudence and ex- 
perience could suggest would have been omitted 
to promote my views. I learned from Mr. Berens 
that the colony at Red River was in a prosperous 
state ; and that notwithstanding the failure of 
the crops last season, meat was from three 
halfpence to two-pence a pound, and eggs three- 
pence a dozen. 

June 10th. — Governor Simpson arrived, and 
communicated to me the measures he had 
adopted, as well as the result of a council held 
by some of the principal officers of the Company, 
respecting the affairs of the expedition. 

Every aid, it seemed, was to be rendered to our 
operations ; the stores were to be thrown open 
for our use ; and the services and experience 
of several well-informed individuals were to be 
made available for preventing those accidents to 
which our remote situation, or other local cir- 
cumstances, might particularly expose us. Part 



44? ARRANGEMENTS MADE BY THE GOVERNOR. 

of the stores ordered last year were at Cum- 
berland House, and the remainder would be 
there before we reached that station. Of 
pemmican Mr. Simpson anticipated a less plen- 
tiful supply, on account of the migration of 
the buffalo from the plains in the neighbour- 
hood of Carlton and Edmonton, the two prin- 
cipal posts for collecting that useful, and, to 
us, indispensable provision. Yet, as orders had 
been transmitted along the whole line of route 
up to Great Slave Lake to hoard provision for 
the expedition, there was every reason to be- 
lieve that we should not be exposed to inconve- 
nience. 

Two additional men were engaged by the 
Governor ; and for the rest he recommended me 
to go as speedily as possible to Norway House ; 
where, by intercepting the different brigades of 
boats on their way to Hudson's Bay, I might 
have an opportunity of selecting a choice crew 
of old hands. 

Two letters, which about this time I received 
from Mr. Simpson, are so creditable to him, 
both as regards his capacity as Governor and 
his feelings as a man, that, though written 
with no such view, I cannot deny myself the 
gratification of making them public. If they 
excite in others only a small part of the ad- 
miration with which I regarded them, Mr. Simp- 



LETTER TO CAPTAIN BACK. 45 

son will have no reason to complain. My own 
feelings towards him may be understood, when 
it is seen that he thus literally identified himself 
with the expedition, and, what was scarcely 
of less value, impressed those around him with 
the same sentiments. 

66 To Captain Back, R.N., Commander of the 
Arctic Land Expedition. 

" Red River Settlement, 
7th June, 1832. •— 

" My dear Sir, 

" I am in possession of two very valuable 
communications from you, which came to hand 
yesterday ; one dated London, December 14th, 
1832 — the other at Gros Cap, Lake Superior, 
May 12th, 1833. 

" It is with unfeigned regret I have to state 
that imperious circumstances oblige me to fore- 
go the pleasure of a personal interview with you, 
on your route to the scene of your operations ; 
but the state of my health is so deranged as to 
render it absolutely necessary for me to proceed 
direct from hence to Canada, and thence to 
England, for the benefit of medical advice. 
Indeed, so completely invalided am I at present, 
that in this communication I am obliged to have 
recourse to dictation, being unequal to the 
fatigue of writing. 






46 governor Simpson's letter 

" Permit me, however, my dear Sir, to assure 
you that I have perused these favours, together 
with the printed plan of the expedition under 
your command, with impressions of the most 
lively interest. Indeed, such are the humane and 
philanthropic views of the enterprise altogether, 
that they cannot fail to excite and command the 
sympathies of all with whom you may come 
in contact. 

" For myself, allow me to say, that in my in- 
dividual as well as official capacity, I am exceed- 
ingly anxious to further your benevolent views ; 
and I cannot but rejoice that the conduct of the 
enterprise is intrusted to one whose experience, 
character, and abilities have been already so 
well appreciated by the British public in re- 
ference to former expeditions. 

" What may be the fate of those who are the 
objects of your humane exertions it is, in the pre- 
sent state of things, impossible to say. Should the 
worst forebodings be realised, still the expense 
and fatigue of the expedition will be compensated 
abundantly in the valuable acquisitions which 
discovery and science will acquire, collaterally, 
in its prosecution ; while the public in general, 
and your party in particular, will have the proud 
satisfaction of having done all within the reach 
of human exertion for the relief of fellow 



TO CAPTAIN BACK. 47 

creatures supposed to be in circumstances at 
which our nature shudders. 

" I fully concur in Mr. Keith's suggestions, 
respecting the necessity of getting experienced 
men who are inured to the fatigues of the coun- 
try. There will probably be some difficulty in 
procuring volunteers ; but I am happy to confide 
this part of the arrangement to Messrs. Chief- 
factors Cameron and Christie, gentlemen, who, 
from their experience in the country, and well 
known benevolence of character, are eminently 
calculated to assist in furthering the well-being 
and comfort of the party. Mr. Charles will 
meet you at Jack River, and is directed to give 
you the full benefit of his experience and local 
knowledge of the country about Slave Lake and 
its vicinity. 

" By the enclosed you will perceive that the 
Council have nominated four officers in the Com- 
pany's service, all men of courage and ability ; 
any one of whom will be fully adequate to the 
duties which may devolve upon him under your 
command. Hope of speedy promotion in the 
service is the reward held out to such person of 
that number as may embrace the opportunity of 
aiding and furthering your views and objects. 
In fine, I wish it to be perfectly understood 
that all our resources are available to you ; that 
our craft will be at your service, and our stores 



48 LETTER FROM GOVERNOR SIMPSON. 

at your command; and that this letter is to 
be considered as sufficient authority for you to 
call those resources into action as occasion may 
require. 

" Believe me, my dear Sir, 

" Yours most faithfully, 

" Geo. Simpson." 

" To Alexander JR. M'Leod or Simon M' Gil- 
livray, Esquires ; and to Mr. John M'Leod, 
or Mr. Murdoch M'Pherson. 

" Red River Settlement, 
5th June, 1833. 

" Gentlemen, 

" An expedition has been planned by the 
Governor and Committee and the Arctic So- 
ciety, in which his Majesty's Government and 
the British public take the deepest interest, 
having for its object the discovery of Captain 
Ross and his crew, and the relieving them from 
their supposed perilous situation, if still in exist- 
ence ; together with the survey of those un- 
known regions on the northern coast of America 
lying between Point Turnagain and the Straits 
of the Fury and Hecla. 

" The command of this expedition has been 
given to Captain Back, R.N. ; and the Governor 
and Committe have directed that every support, 
assistance, and facility be afforded that gen- 



LETTER FROM GOVERNOR SIMPSON. 49 

tleman towards carrying the important objects 
alluded to into effect, which we are most anxious 
should be met with the best feeling, in spirit and 
to the letter. 

" Captain Back will require the assistance of 
one of the Honorable Company's officers on this 
mission ; and we see none so likely to render him 
the assistance required as one of yourselves. 
We therefore call upon one of you, in the order 
in which your names stand at the head of this 
letter, to join Captain Back without delay, and 
to act under the command of that gentleman in 
the service in question ; and as an encourage- 
ment to enter on this dangerous service, we 
hereby assure to you Alexander Roderick 
M'Leod, Esquire, or to you Simon M'Gillivray, 
Esquire, our warmest support towards early pro- 
motion to a chief factorship, in the event of 
either embarking on this enterprise, and render- 
ing to Captain Back such valuable services as we 
consider you qualified to afford ; and to Mr. 
John M'Leod, or Mr. Murdoch M'Pherson, 
we hereby promise our warmest support towards 
early promotion to a chief tradership, in the 
event of either embarking on this enterprise, and 
rendering in like manner to Captain Back such 
valuable services as we consider you capable of 
affording, besides an increase of salary of 100/. 

E 



50 DEPARTURE FROM FORT ALEXANDER. 

per annum for the time you may be employed 
on this expedition. 

" I am, Gentlemen, 
" Your most obedient Servant, 

" Geo. Simpson." 

Flattering, as these arrangements were, and 
in the hurry of our affairs decidedly the best 
that could have been made, I felt nevertheless 
that the time necessary to collect my party and 
stores, and convey them into the interior against 
the obstacles and difficulties of an unknown route, 
would seriously obstruct, if it did not entirely 
prevent, my getting to the Polar Sea this autumn. 
Not that this would materially affect our ulterior 
object, as I believe the most sanguine never 
contemplated the idea of our being in a condition 
to afford succour to Captain Ross and his much- 
enduring party before the summer of 1834. Yet 
for many reasons it was desirable that the situation 
and nearest route to the river Thlew-ee-choh, 
and thence to the sea, should be discovered, 
if practicable, by the time the laden bateaux 
should get to Slave Lake ; more especially as 
it would tend to encourage the men, who, gene- 
rally speaking, are always more or less nervous 
on new ground. 

After the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, 
I prepared to leave Fort Alexander — to the 



MUSQUITOES. 51 

great delight of the voyageurs, who had been 
so tormented by the mosquitoes that they 
longed to get to the cool breezes of Lake Win- 
nipeg, and indulge in the luxury of an undis- 
turbed nap. My companion Mr. King, among 
others, was severely punished, to his no little 
disappointment, — as, being indifferent to the 
attacks of English insects of every description, 
he had fondly imagined he should be invulner- 
able to those of America. But a dipping in the 
Styx itself would not have saved him from the 
darts of the indefatigable searchers after blood 
to which he was now exposed ; and he rose in 
the morning with features so changed that it was 
difficult to recognise the friend of the preceding 
night. 

At 4 a. m. of the 1 1 th of June, we left the esta- 
blishment; but the wind blew so hard, that we 
had not proceeded more than three miles before 
the height of the waves, which broke freely over 
both sides of the canoes, obliged us to encamp. 
But few birds of any kind were seen ; and though 
I remembered that on a former occasion the wild 
pigeons were very numerous, yet none were now 
found near the fort, though the cleared land 
around the Red River colony, not more than a 
day's march off, was said to swarm with them. 
On the 12th and following day we made con- 
siderable progress. The weather afterwards 

e g 



52 NATURAL HISTORY. 

became unsettled and stormy. Geese, ducks, 
plover, gulls, and tern, were seen sparingly 
scattered along the east shore of the lake, which, 
unlike the mountains to the north, which are 
limestone *, is composed of smooth and rounded 
granitic rocks of little altitude, intervening 
between low banks, with sand, and skirted by a 
swampy country behind. From the different 
ridges of sand in the bays between the rocks, 
and the increase of vegetation on them, I con- 
cluded that the shore was gradually gaining on 
the water ; and this opinion seems confirmed 
by the fact that the Company has been obliged 
to change the situation of Old Norway House, 
on the opposite side, owing to the rapidly 
progressive advance of the water there. In 
fact, it has so undermined and washed away 
the banks, as to have arrived within a few feet 
of a building, the distance of which from the 
edge of the lake in 1819 was upwards of three 
hundred yards. Few pelicans were noticed ; 
and as these birds are faithful attendants at 
good fishing places, for which the lake is re- 
markable, the Canadians augured an indifferent 

season. 

On the 17th of June, having hoisted the Com- 
pany's flag, we arrived at the depot called 

* Richardson, Appendix to Franklin. 



ARRIVAL AT NORWAY HOUSE. ,53 

Norway House, situated on Jack River. Our 
reception was most cordial. Messrs. Christie, 
Rowand, Lewis, and Donald Ross, for most of 
whom I had letters from my excellent friend 
Mr. Garry, lost not a moment in tendering all 
the assistance in their power. But notwith- 
standing the good feeling on their part, some 
trouble was experienced from the exorbitant 
terms proposed by the men who seemed dis- 
posed to volunteer. The bulk of the people 
from the more remote stations had already passed 
the depot ; and those who remained, either re- 
luctant to expose themselves to the hazard of 
what was justly considered an enterprise of dan- 
ger, or influenced by the strong desire of gain, 
demanded the same privileges and emoluments 
which had been granted to the men emploved 
on the two Government expeditions under 
Sir J. Franklin, Unreasonable as this seemed 
to us, we had no choice but to yield in part to 
their demands ; and even then, it was not until 
I had taken infinite pains, by pointing out on 
the map the whole line of my operations, by 
lessening the danger and magnifying our re- 
sources, and, finally, by arousing the slumber- 
ing spirit of the Highlander, that James M 'Kay, 
to whom I first addressed myself, — a powerful 
fellow, and one of the best steersmen in the 

e 3 



54< DIFFICULTY OF PROCURING 

country, — at length consented to be my follower. 
The example once set was soon imitated, and 
others, more or less qualified, completed my list 
to within two of the complement. Two days 
sufficed to equip them ; and as a large supply of 
stores, together with sixty bags of pemmican 
and two new boats, or batteaux, were already at 
Cumberland House, I despatched Mr. King, 
with written instructions and fifteen men, to 
precede me to that post. I remained behind to 
secure, if possible, another steersman, and a mid- 
dleman for a canoe, with which it was my inten- 
tion to push on, by the Athabasca, to Great Slave 
Lake ; whence I hoped a route might be found to 
the Thlew-ee-choh, and where at all events an 
eligible place might be selected for our winter 
residence. About the same time Mr. Christie 
and several other gentlemen took their departure 
for York factory, with a promise to provide me, 
if possible, with an Esquimaux interpreter, either 
in the person of my old friend Augustus, who 
was expected from the Labrador coast, or in 
that of a lad of the name of Dunning, then at 
Churchill, and represented by Governor Simpson 
as equal to the task. 

Messrs. Cameron, Lewis, Ross, and myself, 
were now the only persons left at the depot ; and 
I may conscientiously say that I almost counted 
the hours, in my anxiety for the arrival of the 



MEN FOR THE SERVICE. 55 

parties, from either of which it was supposed I 
might get the men required. They came at 
last ; and two Canadians, former acquaintances 
of mine, presented themselves, almost breathless 
with haste, as candidates for the service. Their 
merits being known to me, I made no scruple 
about receiving them, and directed their agree- 
ments to be made out. In the meantime, how- 
ever, returning to the camp, they were met by 
their wives, who were no sooner made acquainted 
with the transaction than thev resorted to dif- 
ferent, though as it seems equally efficacious, 
methods of diverting them from their purpose. 
The one, a good strapping dame, cuffed her 
husband's ears with such dexterity and good 
will, that he was fain to cry peccavi, and seek 
shelter in a friendly tent ; the other, an in- 
teresting girl of seventeen, burst into tears, and 
with piteous sobs clung to the husband of her 
love, as if she would hold him prisoner in her 
arms. I had therefore to look elsewhere; and it 
was not until the 26th, that George Sinclair 
(born in the country, and an admirable steers- 
man) engaged on similar terms with M'Kay. 
There now wanted but one ; and this deficiency 
was with great kindness supplied by Mr. Came- 
ron's allowing me to take an Iroquois belonging 
to the Company, on condition that if he went 

e 4 



56 



DEPARTURE FROM NORWAY HOUSE. 



beyond Slave Lake, he should be entitled to the 
same advantages as the others.* 

All was now complete ; and, after writing 
despatches for His Majesty's Government and 
the Arctic Committee, letters, &c, I took leave 
of my worthy host Mr. Ross, and at 2 a. m., 
June 28th, left Norway House. 



*The men engaged for the expedition were the following: — 



James M'Kay 
George Sinclair 
Thomas Matthews 
William Matthews 
John Ross 
William Malley 
Hugh Canon 
David Williamson 
William Rowland 
Thomas Anderson 
Malcolm Smith. 
Donald MDonald. 
Morrison Morrison. 
James Spence 
Peter Taylor - 
Charles Boulanger. 
Pierre Kanaquasse. 
Thomas Hassel 



V Steersmen. 
Carpenters. 

Artillerymen. 

Fishermen. 



J- Engaged afterwards. 



Interpreter. 



Also the following, who were subsequently discharged : 

Pierre Ateasta. 
Two more Iroquois. 
Olivier Seguin. Francois Hoole. 



Antoine De Charloit. 
La Charite. 



57 



CHAP. II. 

Commencement of the Expedition. — Interview with Mr. 
Charles. — Wind-bound by a Land Gale. — A Receipt for 
the Cure of "Blue Devils"'- — Description of a Voyageur's 
Tent. — A Land Storm. — The Grand Rapid. — Ad- 
vance of Cultivation. — Arrival at Cumberland House. 

— Departure of the Bateaux under Mr. King. — Em- 
bark in a Canoe. — Working of the Boats in the Rapids. 

— Isle a la Crosse — Buffalo Lake. — A Squall. — A 
Skunk. — Portage la Loche. — Effect of the Scenery. — 
Interview with Mr, Stuart and Mr. A. M'Leod. — 
The latter volunteers to accompany the Expedition. — 
Arrive at Fort Chippewy an.— I? formation as to the 
supposed Route by the Fond du Lac. — Journey re- 
sumed. — Salt River. — Sketch of a Party of Indians. 

— Description of the Salt Springs. — Indian Encamp- 
ment, — Information of the Natives as to the Rivers 
Thlew-ee-choh and Teh-Ion. — Arrival at Fort Resolu- 
tion, 

June 28th. — This was a happy day for me ; 
and as the canoe pushed off from the bank, my 
heart swelled with hope and joy. Now, for the 
first time, I saw myself in a condition to verify 
the kind anticipations of my friends. The pre- 
liminary difficulties had been overcome : I was 
fairly on the way to the accomplishment of the 
benevolent errand on which I had been com- 
missioned ; and the contemplation of an object 



58 COMMENCEMENT OF THE EXPEDITION. 

so worthy of all exertion, in which I thought my- 
self at length free to indulge, raised my spirits 
to a more than ordinary pitch of excitement. 

We paddled along, with little respite, until 
5 p. m., when a small speck was seen under 
the steep sandy cliffs round Mossy Point, on the 
northern boundary of Lake Winnipeg. It was 
coming towards us, and was at first taken for an 
Indian canoe ; but as we approached, I had the 
satisfaction to find that it was the Company's 
light canoe from the Athabasca, with Messrs. 
Smith and Charles, two gentlemen whom I had 
long wished to see. From the latter I now 
learnt that he had made every endeavour to 
obtain, by inquiries from the Indians, a toler- 
ably correct notion of the situation of the river 
Thlew-ee-choh ; the result of which was an 
opinion that it ran somewhere to the north-east 
of Great Slave Lake, in a position not far from 
that which had been speculatively assigned to it 
by my friend Dr. Richardson and myself. Mr. 
Charles had further been informed by an Indian 
chief, called the " Grand Jeune Homme," whose 
hunting grounds were in the neighbourhood of 
Great Slave Lake, that the Thlew-ee-choh was so 
full of rapids as to make it doubtful if boats, or 
indeed large canoes, could descend it ; but that, 
by pursuing a different course to a large river, 
called Teh-Ion, such difficulties would be avoid- 



INTERVIEW WITH MR. CHARLES. 59 

ed ; whilst the distance between the mouths of 
the two rivers was so trifling, that the smoke of 
a fire made at one was distinctly visible at the 
other. The chief had drawn a rough outline of 
the track, some part of which I recognised as 
being on the borders of Slave Lake ; but the 
directions assigned to the rivers could not be 
explained by either of the gentlemen, nor was I 
able to bring myself to any satisfactory con- 
clusion about them. The waters, however, were 
described as abounding in fish, and the country 
in animals ; and, what was not less gratifying, 
the chief and some others were willing and 
desirous to accompany me. 

Mr. Charles was the officer in charge of the 
Athabasca district ; and having resided at Chip- 
pewyan Fort, he was well qualified to judge of 
the accuracy of an opinion expressed by Mr. A. 
Stewart, a gentleman whom I had seen at Mon- 
treal, that a practicable route might be found from 
the bottom or eastern extremity of that lake. He 
disclaimed, however, any knowledge of such a 
route, though he thought it desirable that I 
should ascertain the fact. He, as well as Mr. 
M c Kenzie, at Isle a la Crosse, had provision for 
us, if required ; and after some further arrange- 
ments respecting boats at the north end of Por- 
tage la Loche, and the procuring of dogs along 
the route, in all of which he cheerfully met my 



60 MOSSY TO NEW LIMESTONE POINT. 

wishes, we separated, both for the sea, though 
in directions very different. The evening was 
calm and clear, and, if the strength of the men 
had been equal to my impatience, we should 
have passed the night on the water ; but they 
had been nearly eighteen hours labouring at the 
paddles, and I could not refuse them a little 
rest : at 8 h 40 m p.m., therefore, we encamped 
on the beach, and were instantly beset by swarms 
of mosquitoes. 

The appearance of the cliffs or steep banks, from 
Mossy to New Limestone Point, is somewhat re- 
markable : they are composed of clay, with a su- 
perstratum of vegetable substances about six feet 
thick; the layers of which appear to be horizon- 
tally foliated, like the leaves of an outspread book. 
In colour they vary from a blackish brown to a 
light ochre, and they rest entirely on a substratum 
of calcareous sand, with small fragments of water- 
worn limestone, on which the lake is constantly 
encroaching, as may be distinctly seen by the 
numberless broken stems of trees, whose roots 
are yet green in the soil. 

We started at three o'clock on the following 
morning, and were soon relieved from the fatigue 
of the paddle by a favourable light breeze. To go 
on shore and trim a mast was the work of ten 
minutes ; but as, according to the old adage, "it 
never rains but it pours," so our light breeze was 



WIND-BOUND BY A LAND GALE. 6l 

soon converted into a gale. In an hour or two 
we were compelled to run the canoe into shoal 
water, to save her from being swamped in deep ; 
and each man, getting out, waded with the bag- 
gage to a place of shelter, where the canoe also 
was secured. 

Nothing is more annoying to a sailor than to 
be wind-bound on fresh water. " On the wide 
ocean ranging," he is more resigned to the 
imperious will of the elements ; but, to be 
stopped for an indefinite time, within sight of 
birds and animals gamboling in the gale, is a 
species of annoyance which quite overcomes his 
philosophy : at least, it was so with me ; so, to 
dispel the moody fit which was gathering, I drew 
on a pair of Esquimaux boots made of seal-skin, 
and, taking my gun, made the tour of a thickly 
wooded swamp, which was so interlaced with 
undergrowth, willows, and fallen trees, that, when 
once in, I found it no easy matter to get out 
again. In the exertion necessary for extricating 
myself my restlessness found a vent, and the 
exercise soon restored my mind to its usual tone, 
and prepared it for other occupations. I returned 
to the tent thoroughly tired; and, here reclining 
in the full ease of a voyageur, I amused myself with 
observing the odd assemblage of things around 
me. At myfeet was a rolled bundle in an oil-cloth, 
containing some three blankets, called a bed ; — 



62 a voyageur's tent. 

near it a piece of dried buffalo, fancifully orna- 
mented with long black hairs, which no art, alas ! 
can prevent from insinuating themselves between 
the teeth, as you laboriously masticate the tough, 
hard flesh ; — then a tolerably clean napkin spread, 
by way of table-cloth, on a red piece of canvass, 
and supporting a tea-pot, some biscuit, and a 
salt-cellar ; — near this a tin plate, close by 
a square kind of box or safe, of the same mate- 
rial, rich with a pale greasy ham, the produce of 
the colony at Red River ; — and, last, the far- 
renowned pemmican, unquestionably the best 
food of the country for expeditions such as ours. 
Behind me were two boxes, containing astrono- 
mical instruments, and a sextant lying on the 
ground \ — whilst the different corners of the tent 
were occupied by washing apparatus, a gun, 
Indian shot pouch, bags, basins, and an unhappy- 
looking japanned pot, whose melancholy bumps 
and hollows seemed to reproach me for many a 
bruise endured upon the rocks and portages 
betwixt Montreal and Lake Winnipeg. Nor 
was my crew less motley than the furniture of my 
tent. It consisted of an Englishman, — a man 
from Stornaway, — two Canadians, — two Metifs 
(or half-breeds), — and three Iroquois Indians. 
Babel could not have produced a worse confu- 
sion of unharmonious sounds than was the con- 
versation they kept up. 



LAND STORM GRAND RAPID. f)3 

Towards evening the wind abated, and I made 
sure of resuming the march in the night ; but 
the clouds soon grew heavier, and sent forth, at 
intervals, hollow-sounding gusts of wind, the 
harbingers of a strong gale, which the morning 
of the 30th ushered in. The lake resembled 
one rolling sheet of foam, which contrasted 
strongly with the dark slaty sky to windward : 
the mosquitoes had vanished ; six or eight gulls, 
unable any longer to sustain their flight in search 
of food, had huddled together on the lee side of 
a projecting sand-bank; and two crows, wearied 
with exertion, sat perched on the waving branches 
of a tall pine, unscared by the approach of in- 
truding feet. It was altogether an impressive 
scene of picturesque and melancholy wildness. 
I assembled the men in the tent, and read 
divine service. In the evening a fire-fly was seen. 

July 1st An opportune change in the wea- 
ther allowed us to get away ; and, having passed 
the limestone rocks bordering that part of the 
lake, we shortly arrived at the Grand Rapid, the 
interesting particulars of which are too well and 
too minutelv described in Sir John Franklin's 

a/ 

Narratives, to require or even justify a repetition 
here. 

Some " freemen " # , Indians, and other idlers, 

* Persons who, having been in the Company's employ, 
have obtained their discharge, and are living on their own 
exertions. 



64 ADVANCE OF CULTIVATION. 

had, according to their usual custom, congregated 
at either end of the rapid, with the view of inter- 
cepting the voyagers, as they passed to and from 
the interior, in order to barter their maple sugar, 
or, in consideration of a recompence, to assist the 
exhausted crews in carrying their heavy burdens 
across the portage. Many were sick, and all 
bitterly complained of the late scarcity of ani- 
mals. 

Having poled up several rapids, we got to 
Cedar Lake, the well-known " Lac Bourbon," 
where Indian barbarity, in its most hideous form, 
annihilated for ever the pious labours of the early 
missionaries. 

In the River Saskashawan, I was not more 
pleased than surprised to behold, on the right 
bank, a large farm house, with barns and fenced 
inclosures, amid which were grazing eight or 
ten fine cows, and three or four horses. It be- 
longed to a freeman, of the name of Turner, 
whom I regretted not having an opportunity of 
seeing. 

At length, on the 5th of July, we entered the 
Little River, and got to Pine Island Lake. 
The crew had dressed themselves out in all their 
finery, — silver bands, tassels, and feathers in their 
hats, — intending to approach the station with 
some effect; but, unhappily for the poor fellows, 
the rain fell in torrents, their feathers drooped, 



ARRIVAL AT CUMBERLAND HOUSE. 65 

and such was the accumulation of mud, that it 
was necessary to wade a full mile before we 
could land at Cumberland House. Owing to 
the same cause, a creek leading from the Saska- 
shawan had been rendered impassable ; and dry 
land extended so far from the house into the 
lake, that the fishery, as I afterwards found, was 
diminished almost to nothing. During the whole 
of my stay there, though no pains were spared, 
not a solitary fish was taken. I was received 
by Mr. Isbester, a clerk of the Company, my 
companion, Mr. King, who had arrived with- 
out accident, and another person, who had been 
accommodated with a passage in the boat. 

The boats, stores, and pemmican were in good 
order and quite ready ; and, having made some 
arrangements with Mr. Isbester for our mutual 
convenience, and a few changes as regarded the 
different crews, I had the satisfaction of getting 
my two bateaux away, under the orders of 
Mr. King, on the 6th of July. Each was laden 
with a cargo of 61 pieces of 90 lbs. each, making, 
for both, 10,980 lbs., exclusive of men, bedding, 
clothes, masts, sails, oars, and other spars. Yet, 
with such steersmen as M'Kay and Sinclair, I 
had not the slightest apprehension for their 
safety, and looked with confidence to their ar- 
riving at winter quarters before the setting in of 
the ice. 



6(5 . EMBARK IN A CANOE. 

It occupied the day to make some alterations 
in the canoe, and I availed myself of the interval 
to obtain observations on the dip, force, and lati- 
tude ; the latter of which agreed, within three 
seconds, with Sir J. Franklin's. I also wrote to 
the Company for a further supply of stores to be 
forwarded with the outfit of the following season. 
The hope of getting sights for time induced 
me to remain a little longer than I had in- 
tended ; but, as there was every appearance that 
the weather would continue overcast, I embarked 
about noon of the 7th of July, in the canoe, with 
eight hands ; and, being comparatively light, we 
made tolerable progress. 

On the following day we overtook Mr. King 
in the Sturgeon River, or, as it is more ex- 
pressively named in the country, the Riviere 
Maligne. It may with perfect propriety be 
described as one uninterrupted rapid ; and was 
at that period so low, that the boats had to 
treble their distance in going backwards and for- 
wards for the cargo. A glance at their manner 
of working was enough to satisfy me of their 
capability, and confirmed me in the expectation 
that they would arrive early at Great Slave Lake. 
Still the contrast between us was great ; and my 
skilful guide, De Charloit (a half-breed), did 
not fail to make the superiority of the canoe 
appear to the best advantage. The cumbrous 



WORKING OF THE BOATS IN THE RAPIDS. 6j 

bateaux were dragged laboriously, a few paces 
at a time, by the united exertions of those on 
board and those on shore. Sometimes, unable 
to resist the impetuous force of the current, they 
were swept back ; at others, suspended on the 
arched back of a descending wave, they struggled 
and laboured until they were again in the shelter 
of a friendly eddy. But the canoe, frail as she 
was, and too weak for the encounter of such rude 
shocks, was nevertheless threaded through the 
boiling rapids and sunken rocks with fearful 
elegance. The cool dexterity with which she 
was managed was truly admirable ; not a " set " * 
was missed ; and, as she glanced past the boats, 
she must have seemed to the envying crews as if 
endowed with preternatural powers. We were 
soon out of sight, and, by wading and poleing 
over shoals and rapids, at length reached the head 
of that dangerous and annoying river. The canoe 
was then examined ; and, besides several minor 
fractures, she was found to have been grooved by 
the sharp and cutting rocks from one extreme 
to the other. For many days there was heavy 
rain, with thunder and lightning. The woods 
were burning in all directions ; set on fire, ac- 
cording to the account of some Cree Indians, 

* A " set" is the firm fixing of the pole against the bottom 
of the river, and a false " set" has often occasioned the loss 
of a canoe. 

F 2 



68 ISLE A LA CROSSE. 

by their own hands, to scare the animals into 
the water, where they are more easily captured. 

July 17th. — We got to Isle a la Crosse, where 
I made the necessary arrangements for the boats 
receiving twenty bags of pemmican, some dogs, 
and whatever might be further requisite for ex- 
pediting their progress. Here, also, two new 
canoes were at my disposal, having been pur- 
posely made to prevent any disappointment in 
conveying the stores to the north of Portage la 
Loche, in case, as sometimes happens, there 
should be only sufficient boats to carry the 
trading supplies of the Company to their dif- 
ferent posts. However, as my arrangements 
with Mr. Charles had obviated every difficulty 
in that respect, I had only to admire, and to 
express my thanks for, such considerate fore- 
sight ; and, having made the accustomed ob- 
servations for the dip, force, &c, I left the 
fort, and pursued my way. 

Keeping to the left of Clear Lake, we entered 
Buffalo Lake, which, among a less rude and savage 
people, would certainly have formed the theme of 
many a legendary tale of " hair-breadth 'scapes," 
from the mischief-loving genius that haunts its 
shores. Few persons have ever completed the 
long traverse of this deceitful lake, without being 
favoured with a breeze that endangered their 
lives. I had been caught before ; yet, from the 



A SQUALL. 69 

unruffled smoothness of its wide surface, I began 
to fancy that we were now to be exempted from 
the usual compliment. The men sung and pad- 
dled with energy, the fitful cry of a slightly 
wounded bittern, which lay at the bottom of the 
canoe, serving for an accompaniment ; and we had 
gained the centre of the traverse, when suddenly 
a gentle air was felt coming from the well-known 
quarter of the Buffalo Mountain. The suspicious 
guide would now no longer permit even the cus- 
tomarv rest of a few minutes to recover strength, 
but urged the crew to exertion ; and they, ever 
and anon looking towards the blue summits of 
the mountain with something of a superstitious 
glance, made our light bark skim over the water 
like a thing impelled by wings. A dark cloud 
rose from behind the mountain, and began to 
expand towards the zenith ; little gusts of wind 
followed ; and in less than half an hour we were 
in the midst of a thunder-storm, that raised a sea 
from which there was no escape but by hoisting 
a shred of a sail, and running through breakers 
to the nearest lee land. 

The place was a swamp, concealed by long 
grass ; and, just as a spot had been found to pitch 
the tent, a man, in going to it, accidentally dis- 
turbed a skunk. The animal resented the intru- 
sion in the usual way. In a moment there was a 
general complaint against the rank offence ; every 

f 3 



70 PORTAGE LA LOCHE. 

one turned himself to windward, and the poor 
fellow who had unconsciously brought the evil 
upon us was half stifled with the noisome 
odour, and threw his capot into the lake, with 
deep imprecations on the unsavoury and ill- 
mannered brute. 

It was the 21st of July when we reached 
Portage la Loche, the high ridge of land which 
divides the waters running into Hudson's Bay 
from those which direct their course to the Arc- 
tic Sea. For about six or seven miles on this 
portage, the voyageurs are exposed to temporary 
but acute suffering, from the total absence of good 
water to quench the thirst, aggravated, in our case, 
by carrying loads of 200 lbs. in an atmosphere of 
68° of Fahrenheit. They are, at the same time, 
incessantly tormented by myriads of insatiable 
mosquitoes and horse-flies, significantly called 
" bull dogs," which, delighted with the rare 
treat of a human subject, banquet on their 
victims till, not unfrequently, the face streams 
with blood. Happy, therefore, is the moment 
when the bright surface of the Little Lake 
is descried, which cools and refreshes their 
wearied frames. In addition to these evils, 
which are common to all, two of my party were 
sadly foot-fallen, and almost groaned under their 
burdens, — a sight too painful to be witnessed 
without compassion. However, in services such as 



EFFECT OF THE SCENERY. 71 

that on which we were engaged, it often becomes 
even a duty to stifle our sensations ; or, rather, 
though we may and must feel, there are times 
when we must be careful not to express the 
feeling. 

After labouring, with frequent halts, through 
the thick woods, we came suddenly upon the 
spot from which the picturesque and beautiful 
view from Portage la Loche bursts upon the 
sight. A thousand feet below, the sylvan land- 
scape lay spread before us, to the extent of 
thirty-six miles, in all the wild luxuriance of its 
summer clothing. Even the most jaded of the 
party, as he broke from the gloom of the wood on 
this enchanting scene, seemed to forget his weari- 
ness, and halted involuntarily with his burden, to 
gaze for a moment, with a sort of wondering ad- 
miration, on a spectacle so novel and magnifi- 
cent. My own sensations, however, had not the 
keenness of those of a stranger to the sight ; and 
it was not without a sort of melancholy, such as 
results from satiety, that I contrasted my present 
feelings with the rapture which I had formerly 
experienced. It was, to me, Portage la Loche, 
and nothing more, — the same beautiful and 
romantic solitude through which I had passed 
and repassed on two former expeditions. There 
was nothing new to excite surprise, or quicken 
delight ; not a spot or latent beauty, not even 

f 4 



7^ EFFECT OF THE SCENERY. 

a gleam of light glancing across the valley, 
which had not been well noted before, and di- 
ligently treasured in the memory. I looked 
upon it as I should look upon an exquisite but 
familiar picture — with pleasure, but without 
emotion. 

There is something appalling in the vastness 
of a solitude like this. I had parted from my 
companions, and was apparently the only living 
being in the wilderness around me. Almost 
unconsciously I reloaded my gun ; and then, 
stepping cautiously along the narrow ridge of 
the descent, glided silently into the valley, as 
if afraid to disturb the genius of the place. It 
was a positive comfort to hear, now and then, the 
hollow tread of the men as they passed rapidly 
through the thicket which screened them from 
sight ; and when the white tent was pitched, and 
the curling smoke rose through the dense green 
of the forest, it seemed as if the spell of the de- 
sert was broken, and the whole landscape was 
suddenly animated into life and cheerfulness. 

July 23d. — The last loads were brought 
down to the water's edge, and, as soon as they 
were safely deposited, the men, exhausted with 
fatigue, threw themselves on the ground, and 
remained almost motionless for upwards of an 
hour. After this the canoe was gummed, and 
we embarked near some bateaux belonging to 



INTERVIEW WITH MESSRS. STUART AND M'LEOD. ?3 

the Company, which, Mr. Charles had informed 
me, might, if we pleased, be appropriated to our 
use. 

On arriving at the Pine Portage, I was agree- 
ably surprised by meeting Mr. J. Stuart, and 
Mr. A. R. M'Leod, who had got thus far 
on their way from M'Kenzie's River, with a 
large cargo of furs. I had looked forward with 
no little anxiety to the chance of seeing the latter 
gentleman, not only as he was the first person 
named in Governor Simpson's circular to accom- 
pany me, but as being an old acquaintance, and 
one whom I knew to be particularly well qualified 
for the performance of those duties which the 
nature of the service would require. Indeed, his 
refusal to accompany me would have placed me 
in a very awkward predicament ; for I had reck- 
oned on his assistance in many matters which 
could not, without great inconvenience, have de- 
volved on myself. It was therefore of importance 
to secure him ; and my friend Mr. Stuart, to 
whose kindness and love of enterprise I was 
no stranger, undertook at once to break the 
subject to him. But there was no necessity for 
mediation ; for, although Mr. M'Leod had long 
been indisposed, and was then on his way to 
Canada, with a view to the re-establishment of 
his health, no sooner did he see the circular 
from Mr. Simpson, and learn the humane 



74 MR. M'LEOD ACCOMPANIES THE EXPEDITION. 

object of my mission, than he removed every 
apprehension from my mind, by declaring his 
sympathy for our long absent countrymen, his 
satisfaction at seeing me, and his gallant de- 
termination to sacrifice his own plans to the 
pleasure of becoming my companion. I wrote, 
therefore, immediately to the Company, and, with 
his able assistance, made a requisition, in full, for 
the necessary supplies, to support the expedition 
during the year 1834. Mr. Stuart, I believe, was 
scarcely less delighted at his friend's decision than 
myself, and, besides many useful suggestions, of 
which I was glad to take advantage, generously 
offered every aid, public and private, within his 
power. 

July 25th. — There was so much difficulty in 
stowing the additional baggage, that my guide 
declared the canoe would not hold us : and when 
it is considered that he had to make places for six 
more persons, viz. Mr. M'Leod, his wife, three 
children, and a servant, whom I hired at the 
same rate as the others ; in other words, that 
fourteen were to be crammed into a space in- 
tended for eight or nine, it is not surprising 
that he should indulge in a growl. He foresaw 
that, with such extra weight, his " cher canot" 
would very possibly get broken ; and his ap- 
prehensions were soon verified by our striking 
against a sunken rock. 



ARRIVE AT FORT CHIPPEWYAN. J5 

After some detentions of an ordinary kind, 
we got to Fort Chippewyan on the 29th of July. 
We arrived so early, that we were not in the least 
expected; and the canoe was not seen until within 
a short distance of the land, — a circumstance 
by no means pleasing to the guide, who, besides 
his own decorations of many coloured feathers, 
&c, had taken more than ordinary pains to dis- 
play to the best advantage the crimson beauties 
of a large silk flag. The sleeping inmates were, 
however, at length roused ; and we were 
welcomed by Mr. Ross, who had been left by 
Mr. Charles in charge of the establishment. 

It was to be regretted that the whole of the 
Indians usually resorting to this station were, at 
the time of our visit, too much dispersed to allow 
of any one in particular being sent for ; so that 
we were obliged to rest satisfied with the meagre 
narrative of an infirm old Indian, who, in his 
youthful days, had passed by the Fond du Lac 
to the rivers I was in search of; and his account 
was too vague and uncertain to warrant any hopes 
of success in that direction. Mr. M'Leod, 
indeed, who had been at the Fond du Lac, 
confirmed the statement I had first heard, that 
there was a river there which was known to 
take its rise far to the north : but yet, when the 
old man concluded his description of the coun- 
try by remarking, that " he was old and of 



76 JOURNEY RESUMED. 

no importance in his tribe ; and he did not 
like to say too much," — a tone which, how- 
ever praiseworthy for its modesty, was very 
different from the bold expression with which 
an Indian, conscious that he is right, usually 
concludes his answers to similar inquiries, as, 
" It must be so, for my eyes have seen it," — I 
say, when I heard this, I abandoned at once all 
idea of going by the Fond du Lac. 

Besides the provisions required from this post, 
there were many other indispensable articles 
that could not be provided elsewhere ; but under 
the superintendence of Mr. M'Leod, the greater 
part, together with the necessary implements 
for building a new establishment, were ready 
in a couple of days. In that interval, I ob- 
tained observations for the dip, force, &c. ; and 
with an increased cargo of several bags of grease, 
iron-work, guns, and bales of leather, which 
were put into a second canoe, which I thought 
might be convenient in the event of finding any 
shoal rivers to the north, we quitted the fort 
late in the evening of the 1st of August ; 
further instructions being left for the guidance 
of Mr. King, on his arrival with the bateaux. 

The lake was unusually low this season, and, 
in consequence, we had more than ordinary 
trouble in crossing the flats to Stony River, 
where we encamped. The following night was 



SALT RIVER. 77 

remarkably calm, and we heard the sound of 
the Falls at a distance of twenty miles. Great 
matted rafts of drift wood were floating down 
the Slave River ; and on reaching the Rapids 
and Falls, the water line on the rocks showed a 
depression of six feet lower than I had ever seen 
it. Numerous sand and mud banks, of consider- 
able elevation, had been thrown up, and were 
already green with incipient vegetation. On 
the granitic rocks of the Mountain and Pelican 
Falls (which were bare and clean when Sir J. 
Franklin passed) was a deposition of at least 
fourteen inches of mud, a proof how great a 
quantity is annually carried down by the spring 
floods into Slave Lake. 

August 4. — The thermometer this morning 
was only 36° ; and a cold N.W. gale blew, which, 
being directly against us, counteracted the cur- 
rent, and almost prevented the canoes making 
head- way ; we were, consequently, five hours in 
accomplishing the twelve miles, which brought 
us to the Salt River. Here there had been a 
recent encampment of Indians. From the marks 
about the place, it was supposed that they had 
ascended the river to the plains, which are gene- 
rally well stocked with buffalo and other animals ; 
and, as it was material to have an interview, the 
lading was taken out of my canoe ; and with 
Mr. M'Leod for a companion, I went, quite 



78 SKETCH OF A PARTY OF INDIANS. 

light, in search of them. We had hardly rounded 
the second point, when the sight of a " cache*," 
suspended from the apex of a deserted lodge, 
convinced us that we should soon come up with 
the stragglers ; and, accordingly, about a quarter 
of a mile farther, two young Indians thrust their 
dark bodies through the branches of the trees, 
and called to us to stop. They formed part of the 
tribe of Slave Lake Indians, who were expected 
to be in this direction, and their friends were 
not far from them. They merely told us what 
we well knew, " that there was little water in 
the river, and they doubted if we could get 
up." Shortly afterwards, we met a whole fleet 
of canoes, whose approach was notified by loud 
and discordant sounds — a horrible concert of 
voices of all ages, utterly indescribable. Their 
chief was an intelligent looking old man, called 
by the traders, " le camarade de Mandeville ;" 
and from his extensive knowledge of the coun- 
try to the northward and eastward of Great Slave 
Lake, there was every reason to expect consi- 
derable information, if it could only be wormed 
out of him. To achieve this, Mr. M'Leod re- 
turned with the Indians to our encampment ; 
there with all befitting ceremony to open the 
preliminaries by the customary pipe : for a social 

* Secreted heap, or store of any thing. 



SKETCH OF A PARTY OF INDIANS. 79 

puff is to an Indian, what a bottle of wine is to 
an Englishman : " aperit praecordia," it unlocks 
the heart, and dissipates reserve. 

The tout ensemble of these " people," as they, 
with some vanity, style themselves, was wild and 
grotesque in the extreme. One canoe in parti- 
cular fixed my attention ; it was small even for 
a canoe ; and how eight men, women, and chil- 
dren contrived to stow away their legs, in a 
space not more than large enough for three Eu- 
ropeans, would have been a puzzling problem to 
one unacquainted with the suppleness of an In- 
dian's unbandaged limbs. There, however, they 
were, in a temperature of 66°, packed heads 
and tails like Yarmouth herrings — half naked — 
their hair in elf-locks, long and matted — filthy 
beyond description — and all squalling together. 
To complete the picture, their dogs, scarce one 
degree below them, formed a sort of body guard, 
on each side of the river ; and as the canoe 
glided away with the current, all the animals 
together, human and canine, set up a shrill and 
horrible yell. 

By sunset I got well up the stream ; but not 
having been there for thirteen years, and my crew 
being no better acquainted with the locality than 
myself, we took a wrong channel, and encamped. 
The following morning the route was regained ; 
and on arriving at the proper spot, we filled our 



80 DESCRIPTION OF THE SALT SPRINGS. 

five large bags with pure and white salt, in the 
short space of half an hour. There were no 
mounds like those seen in 1820; but just at 
the foot of the hill which bounds the prairie in 
that quarter, there were three springs, varying 
in diameter from four to twelve feet, and pro- 
ducing hillocks of salt, from fourteen to thirty 
inches in height. The streams were dry, but 
the surface of the clayey soil was covered, to 
the extent of a few hundred yards towards the 
plain, with a white crust of saline particles. 
The plain itself had been trodden into paths, by 
the footsteps of buffalo and other herbivorous 
animals. 

We returned the same way to the encamp- 
ment at the mouth of the river, and found the 
Indians seated in clusters round Mr. M'Leod, still 
busy in listening to and answering his interroga- 
tories. The information thus collected was made 
intelligible to me by means of an outline of 
the north-eastern country, drawn by the Cama- 
rade. In this sketch, the Thlew-ee-choh and 
the Teh-Ion were represented as maintaining a 
nearly parallel direction E.N. E. to the sea; 
though, where that sea was, whether in some of 
the deep inlets of Hudson's Bay, or, as I fer- 
vently hoped, more directly north, towards 
Point Turnagain, it was altogether beyond his 
knowledge to declare. 






INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE NATIVES. 81 

The relative bearings of several lakes, which 
many of their number had frequently visited, 
and of which, in fact, they knew every winding, 
were equally involved in doubt and obscurity. 
In one point alone were they positive and una- 
nimous ; and that was, the superiority and many 
advantages of the Teh-Ion over the Thlew-ee- 
choh. The former was described as being a 
broad and noble stream, decorated on either 
bank with tall pine and birch, and flowing in 
uninterrupted tranquillity to its journey's end. 
The latter was graphically pourtrayed, as ori- 
ginating in rapids — narrow, shoal, and dan- 
gerous — destitute of wood, even for fuel — full of 
dangerous cascades and falls — and after a course 
more tortuous than that of any river known to 
the oldest and most experienced of their tribe, 
tumbling over its northern barrier in a foaming 
cataract into the sea. 

They also affirmed — agreeing in this respect 
with the information which had previously been 
given me at Lake Winnipeg, that the distance be- 
tween the mouths of the rivers was inconsiderable ; 
and concluded by saying, that if the Great Chief 
was determined on going to the Thlew-ee-choh, 
it would be without an escort of Indians, who, 
inured as they were to privation, would not 
expose themselves to the suffering which, in a 
district so sterile, was inevitable. To say the 

G 



82 ARRIVAL AT FORT RESOLUTION. 

truth, they were tired of the repetitions and 
details of my questions ; and no wonder ; for 
before I began, they had sat up with Mr. 
M'Leod the whole night, telling their prolix 
stories with much cheerfulness. I could not 
help smiling at the Camarade, who, puzzled 
and distressed at the many positions in which I 
requested he would place himself, so as to give 
me an idea of the bearings of what he was 
describing, at last rather peevishly exclaimed, 
" that we did not place the world as it was ; 
whereas he kept steadily to the rising and 
setting sun." 

In our progress down Slave River, we halted 
for a short time at a cache of Mr. Stuart's, 
having his permission to take from it a stock of 
birch bark, sufficient for building a new canoe. 
On the Sth of August we reached Great Slave 
Lake, and were received at Fort Resolution by 
Mr. McDonnell, the gentleman in charge. 



S3 



CHAP. III. 

Inquiries and Embarrassments about the Route. — Pre- 
jparations for Departure. — Embark in search of the 
Thlew-ee-choh. — Indian Encampment and Indian 
Politeness. — Point of Honour among Indian Hunters. 
— Description of the Country through which the Route 
lay. — A small Ice-berg seen. — A Bear Hunt. — In- 
dian Inconsistency. — Description of the Coast Line. — 
Point Keith and Christie's Bay. — Eastern Extremity of 
Great Slave Lake. — Discovery of the River supposed 
to lead towards the Thlew-ee-choh. — Preparations to 
ascend it. 

Soon after my arrival, I was informed by Mr. 
M'Donnell that the chief, called "Le grand 
Jeune Homme," who had been mentioned to 
me by Mr. Charles, was somewhere near the 
Buffalo Creek, a day or two from the house, 
employed in making canoes, in the full con- 
viction that he was selected to accompany the 
expedition, and feeding his imagination with 
the thoughts of a boundless remuneration. 
Thinking it right to eradicate immediately so 
preposterous a notion, I despatched a couple 

g 2 



84* INQUIRIES AND EMBARRASSMENTS 

of lads in a canoe, to acquaint him of our 
arrival, and to require his attendance. In the 
mean time, there being many Indians at the 
Fort, and among them a half-breed, of the name 
of La Prise, whom I had seen on a previous 
occasion, and who had now become a kind of 
leader of a small party accustomed to hunt to 
the eastward, I thought it a good opportunity 
of gaining some information as to the bending 
of the Great Slave Lake, and the nature of the 
country at its eastern extremity. La Prise, 
who had been subjected to similar catechising 
by my friend Sir John Franklin, in 1820, at 
once understood me, and pointed to the com- 
pass, as an instrument with which he was ac- 
quainted. Having been placed right over it, he 
pointed his hand in the direction of the places 
required, while I carefully noted their magnetic 
bearings ; and it is but justice to state, that the 
whole of his description was subsequently found 
to be remarkably correct. He made the lake 
run nearly north, and estimated the distance at 
about five days' march, for a light canoe, well 
manned. A young hunter, however, who had 
just come from that part, with a message from 
one of his companions, offering to take me by a 
new cut to the Teh-Ion, differed from La Prise, 
and with a bit of charcoal drew a sketch, of 
which the following is an accurate copy. 



ABOUT THE ROUTE. 



85 



\\lh> Sun rises in 
August. 




Slave Lake. 



It was gratifying to observe that, according to 
this description, there was a water communica- 
tion the whole way, with the exception of three 
portages, probably near the height of land. 
With this local knowledge of, I may say, every 
inch of ground in those directions, it was not a 
little singular that he, as well as all the rest of 
his tribe, was utterly ignorant of the situation of 
the Thlew-ee-choh. Not so, however, of its evil 
qualities ; and, like the Camarade, they agreed, 

g 3 



86 INQUIRIES AND EMBARRASSMENTS 

one and all, in magnifying its dangers, and 
deprecating any rash attempt to launch a boat 
on its unnavigable waters. " And why," said 
they, " should the chief wish to go there, when 
the Teh-Ion is not only nearer, but offers him so 
many more advantages ? where he will find, 
musk ox, moose, and rein-deer, wood, fish, and 
animals wherewith to pass a comfortable winter. 
It is true," continued they, "that our fathers 
did go down the Thlew-ee-choh, when they 
made war on the Esquimaux, a long time ago ; 
but how few returned ? and who is there now 
to tell of what they did, and what befell them ? 
No one ; — they are in the land of spirits, and 
our old men only remember their names." 

Nor was this the only discouragement of my 
projected route by the Thlew-ee-choh, for at 
the same time a circumstance came to light, as 
unexpected as it was unwelcome. A Cana- 
dian, named Sanpere, had formerly, at Sir John 
Franklin's request, been sent by the gentleman 
at that time in charge of Fort Resolution, to 
ascertain the existence of the Thlew-ee-choh. 
The man accordingly set out, in company with 
the natives, and on his return gave a detailed 
account of his journey. But his guides, to some 
of whom I was speaking, now affirmed that on 
reaching the end of the lake next to Great Slave 
Lake, he became alarmed; and in spite of all 



ABOUT THE ROUTE. 87 

their efforts and remonstrances, refused to go 
farther, and returned back without having seen 
or even approached the river. They related 
minutely all particulars, and ended by remark- 
ing, that I was no stranger to Indians, and that 
when I passed the spot I should find that they 
had spoken the truth. 

The account given by Sanpere had been gene- 
rally credited ; and I confess I was of the number 
of those who had relied on his veracity. This, 
however, being now rendered doubtful, if not 
absolutely destroyed, I was left in a state of very 
uncomfortable uncertainty. Besides, though the 
sketch of the young hunter represented the 
Teh-Ion as running to the westward of north, 
and the position of the sun was in favour of 
its maintaining that course, still I could not 
reconcile to myself the notion of high woods, 
frequented by moose, on the banks of a river 
flowing through the barren grounds, except on 
the supposition that it trended far away to the 
south-east, in a line for Hudson's Bay. Ulti- 
mately, therefore, after much embarrassment and 
perplexity, I decided on following up the original 
plan, as laid down in the paper read before the 
Royal Geographical Society ; comforting my- 
self with the reflection, that the observations 
of Black Meat, an old Indian warrior, whom I 
had known in 1820, were as likely to be correct 

g 4 



88 PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 

in this instance, as they had proved to be in other 
particulars on the two former expeditions. 

My resolution being taken, I divided my crew 
into two parties. Five were to be left as an 
escort for Mr. M'Leod, and four were to accom- 
pany me in my search for the Thlew-ee-choh. 

It happened, fortunately, that there was at the 
Fort a half-sized canoe, which was both lighter 
to carry, and in other respects more convenient 
than the larger one, for getting up the shoal 
streams which we expected to find to the east- 
ward. This was immediately, therefore, put in 
repair; while Mr. M'Leod, who had the ser- 
vice as much at heart as myself, gave me the 
benefit of his assistance in arranging our future 
operations. 

He undertook to wait and appease the Grand 
Jeune Homme, under the disappointment which 
it was thought he would feel at being rejected : 
for, knowing from past experience the constant 
trouble and anxiety that a leader, spoiled and 
indulged as he had been, would probably have 
given us, I deemed it more prudent, as it was 
certainly more economical, to dismiss him alto- 
gether, with a douceur for lost time, than to 
rest my hopes, and possibly the safety of my whole 
party, on the exertions of the most fickle and 
wavering of his tribe. Such a step, moreover, 
was necessary, by way of example, to moderate 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 89 

the extravagant notions entertained by the In- 
dians of our liberality ; for, too dull to compre- 
hend the disinterested principle on which the 
present expedition was undertaken, and viewing 
it in the same light as the preceding ones, they 
expected the same measure of bounty; and sunk 
into a moody silence, when told that I had only 
brought goods enough to satisfy the demands of 
my hunters ; and that against them, as well as 
the others, a strict account would be kept. 

The interpreter I had brought with me was a 
pure Indian, — a Chipewyan, who, under the 
auspices of the Company, had received the 
rudiments of an education at the Red River 
Colony. But being unaccustomed to speak his 
native tongue, he was not altogether adapted 
for the first introduction of a party amongst 
Indians, many of whom but rarely visited the 
trading establishments : — and, as much depended 
on the information to be communicated, and per- 
haps not less on the impression made on the 
people by the manner of address, I requested Mr. 
M'Donnell to lend me his interpreter, Louison, 
who had travelled with me before, and who, from 
his intimate acquaintance with the surrounding 
tribes, was peculiarly well qualified for our pur- 
pose. The inconvenience to him was consider- 
able, yet, like the other gentlemen of the country, 
he cheerfully acceded to my request, and a tern- 



90 EMBARK IN SEARCH OF THE THLEW-EE-CHOH. 

porary exchange was effected, as agreeable, as 
I afterwards learnt, to Louison, as it was to 
myself. We were here also provided with extra 
clothing and shoes, in the event of being caught 
by the frost ; and the remainder of the time, I 
occupied in making observations on the dip, 
force, &c, by which it appeared that an increased 
difference of three degrees easterly had taken 
place since 1825, in the variation. 

While we were discussing our usual dinner 
of hard dried meat and pemmican, one of the 
hunters burst into the room, with the glad 
tidings of his having killed a moose deer, of 
which he had brought a small part with him. 
At the same moment, the servant entered with a 
bladder of fat in his hand, a sight which, from 
the great scarcity of that luxury, so surprised 
Mr. M'Donnell, that he exclaimed, " Good God ! 
from what part of the country did that come ? " 
Nor will this appear strange, when it is known, 
that he had not tasted any fresh meat since 
April -, nor had I seen any since leaving Fort 
William. 

Having written some letters of business, and 
left further instructions for Mr. King, I embark- 
ed the next morning, August 11th, at 6 a.m., 
in my old canoe, now manned by one English- 
man, (William Malley, R. A., my servant,) one 
Canadian, two half-breeds, and two Indians. 



INDIAN ENCAMPMENT. 91 

The weather was squally and threatening, and a 
heavy swell, which sometimes rose into crested 
waves, warned us to avoid the open lake, and 
seek the protection of the windward islands. 
The canoe shipped much water, but the men 
kept on their work, and, after crossing an exposed 
bay, we soon reached the muddy entrance of 
the Little Channel. This took us to the Slave 
River, which we traversed, and discovered, on 
the eastern bank, a large party of Indians, who 
proved to be the same we had seen at Salt 
River. They were assembled in little groups, 
thinking that, according to the general custom 
of the traders, we should land ; but perceiving 
that it was not our intention to do so, they called 
out, " What ! does the great chief go past, with- 
out even offering us a pipe of tobacco ? " How- 
ever, on we passed, and entered a very narrow 
channel, where I began the survey, and shortly 
after another, called Cha-bilka, which is said to 
come from some lakes not far distant. Near to 
this was an Indian encampment, the occupants 
of which were busily and noisily employed in 
drying the meat of three recently killed moose. 
The successful hunters, apparently not a little 
vain of their prowess, were either lying at full 
length on the grass, whiffing the cherished pipe, 
or lounging on their elbows, to watch the frizzling 
of a rich marrow bone, the customary perquisite 



92 INDIAN POLITENESS. 

of their labours. Women were lighting or tend- 
ing the fires, over which were suspended rows 
of thinly sliced meat, — some screaming to thiev- 
ish dogs making free with the hunt, and others 
with still louder screams endeavouring to drown 
the shrill cries of their children, who, swaddled, 
and unable to stir, were half suffocated with the 
smoke ; while, to complete the scene, eight or 
ten boys at play were twining their copper- 
coloured bodies over and under some white bark 
canoes, like so many land dolphins. Poor crea- 
tures, their happiness was at its full: at that 
moment they were without care, enjoying them- 
selves according to their nature and capacity. 
Is human happiness ever much more than this? 
A clump of trees had prevented me from 
observing another group, consisting of La Prise 
and his followers. He had undertaken to paddle 
my half-sized canoe to the other end of the lake ; 
but finding, as he said, that two persons were 
required to keep her free from water, he had 
wisely put on shore to repair her. After that 
operation, twelve of them, with several dogs, 
squeezed themselves into her, and yet managed 
so well, that we had hard work to keep way with 
them. On parting from the Indians, we were 
supplied with fresh meat. One of them, to show 
his respect, put on a surtout that he had pur- 
chased at the Fort. The coat was unbuttoned ; 



CROSS THE GRANDE RIVJERE A JEAN. 93 

and, as he was unprovided with inexpressibles, 
the effect was extremely comical. It is curi- 
ous, by the way, to observe that the notion 
of testifying respect by appearing in full dress, 
if in this case the term can be properly applied, 
is not confined to drawing-rooms and courts. 

Hemmed in by willows on either side, we 
occasionally got a glimpse of the lake through 
various little creeks and openings, and shortly 
crossed the Grande Riviere a Jean, to enter the 
Petite Riviere a Jean, where the stream was in our 
favour. Its course was uncommonly tortuous, the 
banks being bordered by low land, covered with 
pine, poplar, and willow. The sharp sight of 
the Indians had detected a moose some distance 
ahead of us, and La Prise, being expert at ap- 
proaching those quick eared animals, went in 
pursuit. Meanwhile we dropped silently down 
the stream along the opposite side, until a place 
was found dry enough for encamping. The 
night was clear and bright ; and the men were 
earnestly watching the boiling of a kettle of 
meat, when they were startled by a long shrill 
whoop, which Louison the interpreter imme- 
diately answered, announcing, at the same time, 
that it was the small canoe, and that La Prise 
had killed his game. The splash of paddles was 
now heard in the distance ; and in a few minutes 
the canoe, with its many inmates, glided against 



94< POINT OF HONOUR AMONG INDIAN HUNTERS. 

the long grass, on the bank of the encampment, 
under the broad shade of which nothing was 
visible but the dark heads of the Indians, as 
they appeared and vanished, with the motion of 
their canoe. When Louison inquired if he had 
been successful, La Prise, with the character- 
istic of a true Chipewyan, answered in the 
negative, Oolah. Oolah ! re-echoed the inter- 
preter, in a disappointed tone, oolah! " Mon- 
sieur, il a manque ; who ever heard of the whoop 
without its accompanying prey ?" Scarcely were 
the words out, when La Prise was at his side ; 
and as he handed him the gun, gave from 
the other hand the fine tongue and nose of a 
moose. " There," said he ; " I shot it through 
the heart, through an opening between the 
trees not wider than my hand : but it was with 
your gun and ammunition, which, according 
to our customs, you know, makes it your pro- 
perty. I thought the Chief would like to have 
the tongue and the nose*, and the rest lies at 
the bottom of the canoe for your disposal." This 
restraint on their appetite was the more remark- 
able, as they had scarcely eaten any thing for 
several days past; and the few scraps with 
which their friends had supplied them could 
not have sufficed for a single meal. But they 
never infringe this law among themselves ; and 

* Considered the choice parts. 



ENCAMP FOR THE NIGHT. Q5 



nothing but imminent starvation would excuse 
the Indian who should transgress it. Neverthe- 
less, such conscientious dealing merited a re- 
ward from me, which was easily bestowed by 
allowing La Prise and his party to retain the 
larger proportion of the animal. 

August 12th. — We continued our course 
down the Little River ; but the cold north-west 
wind, which bent the pines with its violence, too 
plainly indicated what was passing on the lake, 
which, accordingly, on our arriving at it, pre- 
sented so stormy an appearance, as to forbid our 
venturing farther, and compelled us reluctantly 
to encamp. The night was very boisterous, and 
the morning of the 13th wore a threatening 
aspect; but suddenly it fell calm, the wind 
changed to south, and by 6 a. m. we were en- 
abled to put out into the wide expanse of the 
lake. Keeping along the low swampy shore, 
thickly matted with drift wood, we made for 
a jutting elevation, called Rocky Point, and 
then striking off in a northerly direction, pad- 
dled with spirit for a cluster of distant islands, 
which, owing to the refraction of the atmo- 
sphere, appeared as if poised in the sky. This 
is the traverse so much dreaded by the Indians, 
who, having no stouter craft than their small 
canoes, are in great danger of perishing, if un- 
happily caught by a gale. A light breeze sprung 



96 DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY 

up to assist us, and, with the aid of the paddles, 
the islands were gained by 11 a. m. They were 
too numerous to be counted ; but most of them 
were marked by small clumps of dwarf pine, 
and the one on which we landed produced whor- 
tleberries and cranberries. The rocks were 
all granitic, being either grey with plates of 
mica, or red felspar with quartz. From this 
position I could see the Rein-deer Islands 
and M'Kenzie's cape to the westward, a re- 
markably high round rock with innumerable 
islands to the northward, a clear horizon and 
spots of land to the eastward, and the main 
shore to the southward. Sending La Prise for- 
ward, that I might more easily get my bearings 
by having him as a mark, I followed myself 
shortly afterwards, but in no very amiable mood, 
having just discovered that either the bow or 
steersman had left our only frying pan at the 
last encampment, for the benefit of whoever 
might find it. This was a matter of no small 
consequence to me, who, however ready to rough 
it on pemmican, had been enjoying prospectively, 
for some days past, the rich rein- deer steaks 
which the " barren grounds " were sure to 
afford ; nor did the assurance of the interpreter, 
who maintained that the "grillades" were just 
as good done in a kettle, afford me much con- 
solation. 



THROUGH WHICH THE ROUTE LAY. 97 

Following the small canoe through a labyrinth 
of islands, more or less wooded, some steep, 
round, and bare, others broken or shelving, co- 
vered with low pine and birch, we made a short 
turn to N. N. E., and opened into a fine long 
reach, bounded on each side by rocks, varying 
in height from two hundred to a thousand feet ; 
which resembled in some parts those to the 
westward, about the Gros Cap, and in others 
still more closely the red granite of Chipewyan. 
The necessity of despatch forbade my landing, 
to ascertain the difference in these respects. The 
character of the scenery, so different from that 
which we had quitted in the morning, together 
with the northerly trending of the land, was the 
more gratifying, as it coincided with the Indian 
accounts, and led me to expect a long extent of 
navigation. The drift wood, found in such piles 
from the Slave River to the M'Kenzie, and 
far alone; the east and west shores of the lake, 
had now disappeared, and the water, no longer 
turbid and yellow, was of a pellucid green. Its 
temperature was 52°, while that of the sur- 
rounding air was 58°, having increased 12° 
since the morning. The extensive islands as- 
sumed a more mountainous character as we ad- 
vanced ; and it was observable that the western 
ones were more thickly wooded than those to 
the eastward. Through occasional vistas, the 

H 



98 DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY 

distant blue land was seen faintly in the clear 
horizon to the right. At 8 p. m., the people 
being completely tired, I encamped for the 
night. 

August 14th. — The thermometer had sunk 
to 30° ; and when at 4 a. m, we resumed our 
course, the water was found to be slightly en- 
crusted with ice, which, together with the cold 
wind, so cracked and injured the bark of the 
canoe, as to make it necessary to repair her. 

The country to the left became gradually 
less rugged, subsiding into round-backed hills, 
whose sloping sides were covered with wood ; 
the uniformity being agreeably broken by two 
light columns of smoke issuing at separate points, 
most likely from the fires of some straggling hunt- 
ers. But the scenery to the right increased in 
grandeur and boldness ; and. never, either in Alp 
or Apennine, had I seen a picture of such rug- 
ged wildness. Rising to a perpendicular height of 
upwards of twelve hundred feet, the rocks were 
rent, as if by some violent convulsion, into deep 
chasms and ragged fissures, inaccessible to the 
nimblest animal. A few withered pines, grey 
with age, jutted their shrivelled arms from the 
extreme ridge of the abyss : on one of which a 
majestic fishing eagle was seated, and there, 
unscared by our cries, reigned in solitary 
state, the monarch of the rocky wilderness. 



*> 



THROUGH WHICH THE ROUTE LAY. 99 

Salvator alone could have done justice to the 

scene. 

As we proceeded, the view was obstructed 
in part by two conical hills, apparently uncon- 
nected with the shore on either side, and ex- 
ceedingly picturesque in their outline. They 
were not far from a point of the eastern main ; 
whence, taking a long sweep to the right, 
and then stretching south and west in a broad 
belt of fifteen or twenty miles, it ultimately joins 
Rocky Point, at a distance of about fifty miles, 
measured in a direct line. To the whole of the 
islands included in this range I gave the name 
of Simpson's Group, in token of my esteem 
for the Governor. The channel between the 
western islands and the main is, in some parts, 
not more than a quarter of a mile broad ; and 
this contraction is rendered the more apparent by 
the ripple of a rather strong southerly current, 
not observable elsewhere. It is favourable for 
fish, and subsequently a station was formed 
here. On opening round the northern end of 
the channel, a magnificent expanse of water was 
seen east and west, with clear horizons, dotted 
however with three islands, from the light mural 
cliffs of which the rays of the setting sun were 
softly reflected. The peninsula, dividing the 
waters of the south and north side of the east- 
ern main, has been called Point Keith, in com- 

h 2 



100 DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY 

pliment to Mr. J. Keith, the Company's agent 
at Montreal, whose name has already been men- 
tioned in terms of merited commendation. 

We next crossed a wide traverse towards some 
table hills, forming part of what the Indians 
called Rein-deer Island, the walled sides of which 
rose far above the sloping and wooded country at 
their base ; and here we landed, to examine more 
closely its diversified formation. Either from 
the grinding pressure of the immense masses of 
ice that are forced on this exposed coast, or 
from the continued action of breaking waves, 
the whole line of shore, for two or three miles, is 
composed of a kind of pudding stone ; contain- 
ing large and small stones, all more or less glo- 
bular, cemented by a yellowish clay, which has 
become as hard as rock. It varies in elevation 
from six to forty feet, and appears to run 
into the adjacent rocks, which attain an altitude 
of from fourteen hundred to two thousand feet, 
with an irregularity which contrasts strongly 
with the flowing outline of the western main, 
now discernible to the distance of twelve or fif- 
teen miles. Re-embarking, we made for the 
point of an island, resorted to by the Indians for 
a particular stone, used for the making of pipes, 
and generally of a greenish-grey colour. On this 
occasion it was visited for the purpose of allow- 
ing one of them to inspect a small deposit of 



THROUGH WHICH THE ROUTE LAY. 101 

tobacco, which in some season of affluence he 
had concealed among the rocks. His little 
treasure was in safety ; and, trusting to my sup- 
plying his wants, he allowed it to remain for 
a future emergency. 

The south-west face of the rock was smooth 
and almost perpendicular ; and as we bore up to 
the north-east, it became still more so, extend- 
ing to the extreme limit of sight, in one unin- 
terrupted mural precipice, along the base of 
which was a succession of trap hills, with similar 
faces, and rounded summits. I could not but re- 
mark the resemblance of these last to the form- 
ations around Point Lake, and on the coast to 
the eastward of the Copper-mine. Being unable 
to land on this side, we made for the north main 
shore, on the declivities of which some patches 
of last winter's snow were yet visible. Here we 
disembarked ; and, the tent having been pitched, 
La Prise set a net, which the following morning 
produced a few white fish, a trout, and, what 
surprised the Indians, an inconnu. * 

August 15. — A smart head wind with a 
pitching sea did not allow us to do much with 
the paddles ; and though we sought the lee of 
any thing that offered shelter, we were soon 
obliged to lie by. Presently intelligence was 

* Salmo Mackenzii. See Richardson's Appendix to 
Franklin. 

ii 3 



102 DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY. 

brought me that La Prise and an Indian in my 
canoe were quarrelling in a manner that fore- 
boded a disagreeable termination. My appear- 
ance rather separated than reconciled them ; 
since La Prise, in going apart, muttered out, 
"You may thank the Chief; but it is not finish- 
ed : we shall meet on the barren lands." The 
weather becoming more favourable, the journey 
was continued, and we got to a narrow passage 
called Tal-thel-leh, or the part that does not 
freeze, — a fact verified during two successive 
winters, but for which we could assign no cause. 
The right shore was particularly bold and impos- 
ing : it was a continuation of the trap formation 
from Pipe-stone Point, with this difference only, 
that here it had the glittering light brown ap- 
pearance of mica slate, and was piled, terrace 
upon terrace, to a height of eight hundred feet. 
The dip of the range was N.E. by E., with the 
face of the cliffs northerly. To the left, and not 
more than a mile from the trap, the rocks were 
principally gneiss, with here and there a jutting 
mound of red granite or porphyry. A southerly 
current was perceptible in the narrow ; though 
the Indian positively affirmed, that it was the 
reverse in winter, as the ice was invariably 
packed towards the north, and not towards the 
south of the strait. A few larch and pine were 
thinly scattered ; and the general appearance 
presented was that of rounded hills, intersected 



A SMALL ICE-BERG SEEN. 103 

on the one side by valleys, and on the other 
cut off in part by the mural precipices of 
the island already mentioned, which here rose 
into seven consecutive ranges, producing a sin- 
gular and striking effect. Another island be- 
tween this and the main, consisting of a single 
rock, the southern face of which was broken 
into columnar cliffs with large rhomboidal frac- 
tures, seemed to be basaltic. 

The wind had fallen ; but a heavy swell was 
running from the clear horizon before us, and 
dashed against the rocks with a violence suffi- 
cient to swamp a fleet of canoes. The smaller 
of the two canoes took in much water at every 
pitch ; and as she leaked besides, the Indians 
prudently made for a small bay, where they 
landed, with no other damage than that of 
getting wet. They immediately called out to 
me not to persevere, as the shore was inapproach- 
able for many miles, and added, that several of 
their friends had perished in the same place, 
from disregarding this counsel. And, indeed, 
we found as we proceeded a high surf lashing 
the beach ; and had a gale come on, which, how- 
ever was not indicated by the clouds, we might 
have had reason to repent our obstinacy. A 
large piece of ice was seen floating in the dis- 
tance, in the pride of a miniature berg ; a sight 
which so surprised the Canadian, who had been 

h 4 



104 A BEAR HUNT. 

long to the southward, near the Columbia, that 
he exclaimed, " Cela va bien, nous ne sommes 
pas mal avances au nord," and the poor fellow 
actually thought we could not be far from the sea. 
While rounding a projecting bluff or headland, 
near which I was told there was a river, our 
attention was attracted to the crest of a steep 
rock, where the keen eye of the Indian de- 
tected a poor bear, quietly regaling himself 
with a feast of berries. "Sass! sass!"* whis- 
pered he, and in a moment all were down to 
a level with the canoe, and remained motion- 
less, except the bowman, who persisted in mak- 
ing signs perfectly unintelligible ; until at last 
he said, in an under tone, " Dites-lui d'oter son 
bonnet rouge," meaning my servant, an honest 
Lancashire lad, who, not understanding a word 
of French, had never ceased to look at the bear, 
without once thinking of his flaming red cap. 
" What ! " exclaimed he, as he took it off, " will 
it frighten him ?" The interpreter and Indian 
waded on shore, and crawling silently through 
the bushes, were soon lost to our sight. In a 
few minutes a couple of shots, followed by a 
whoop, proclaimed the fate of bruin ; and we 
landed at a convenient spot to fetch the meat. 
While the men were absent on this errand, I 
strolled about and saw some gooseberries and 
currants on the bushes, still unripe ; there were 

* Sass, bear. 



LUDICROUS APPEARANCE OF THE BOWMAN. 105 

also a few roses yet in bud, the colour of which 
was a deeper red than that of the roses which 
grow more south. A brood of young ducks was 
likewise observed. 

The party at length returned : the animal 
being small was slung on the bowman's back ; 
and as he had placed a stick in its mouth to 
keep the jaws apart, and then tucked the head 
under his arm, his appearance, as he brushed 
through the wood, was ludicrous enough. 

The evening being far advanced, we took 
advantage of a snug bay that completely shel- 
tered the canoe from danger, and very soon after 
La Prise also arrived. He stated that after my 
departure he had discovered that the frost of 
the preceding night had split the canoe in 
several places, which at once accounted for its 
leaking ; and that having repaired it, he pre- 
ferred the risk of coming on to the chance of 
being left behind. The truth was, that having 
no provision of their own, his party regularly 
was supplied from our stock, and could ill brook, 
therefore, even a short separation. The aurora 
was brilliant, and in rapid motion until midnight, 
when the wind increased so much, that we could 
not move from the bay. The hunters were des- 
patched in every likely direction to find deer ; 
and, though unsuccessful, were much pleased at 
the many recent tracks they had seen. 



106 INDIAN INCONSISTENCY. 

By a set of observations made here, the 
latitude was found to be 68° 4£' 35" N., the lon- 
gitude bv chronometers was 111° 19' 52"*7 W., 
and the variation by Kater's compass 45° 31/ E. 
Thermometer at 3 p.m. 54°. 

August 17. — The nets having been set over 
night produced eight white fish and a trout, 
which were equally divided ; and at 4 a.m. we 
got away, and paddled against a cold north-east 
breeze. The main on one side, and a range of 
islands on the other, screened us, however, from 
its effects, so that by breakfast time we had 
accomplished a satisfactory distance, having 
passed on our way another small berg, and some 
patches of snow, which still lingered in the 
fissures and deep gullies of the hills. It is 
always difficult to get at the real meaning of an 
Indian, even on subjects with which he has been 
to a certain extent acquainted all his life, and on 
which one might reasonably expect something 
like a straightforward answer. Not only the 
others, but even the lad who had drawn the sketch, 
now began to hint that the Teh-Ion was far away 
to the south and east, and that the portages 
between the intervening lakes were long and bad 
for the transport of baggage, if not altogether 
impracticable. The Indians, it was observed, 
were never encumbered with any thing heavier 
than their guns, and perhaps a small canoe, 



1 



DESCRIPTION OF THE COAST LINE. 107 

which was often left, in case the carrier were 
unable or unwilling to take it on. From the 
direction, too, in which they pointed to it, I was 
the more confirmed in my former opinion, not 
only that it lay considerably to the eastward, but 
also that it inclined towards Hudson's Bay. 

On the other hand, one of the party confessed 
that he had been on the Thlew-ee-choh when 
he was a boy; and though, as he had gone 
by land, he had no exact knowledge of the 
route by water, still he knew that there was a 
river about a day's march off,leading to some lakes 
which would eventually conduct us to it. His 
only apprehension was, whether the canoe could 
be conveyed in any manner over the mountains 
and falls, in our way to the Barren Lands, 
where we should find the lakes to which he had 
alluded. "We Indians," said he, "should not 
think of attempting it, but the white men are 
strong." On such a subject it was scarcely 
prudent to hazard an assertion: but as much 
depends on first impressions, I did not hesitate 
to assure him, that I had the power to sur- 
mount all such obstacles as he had described, 
and only required an active hunter like himself 
to accompany me, for which, I added, he 
should be well remunerated ; though, to say the 
truth, the general appearance off the country, 
and the increasing altitude of the mountains, 



108 DESCRIPTION OF THE COAST LINE. 

rendered it evident that no common exertion 
would be required to get to either of the large 
rivers, and in the decision to which I now 
finally came, I considered myself as having 
merely chosen the lesser evil of the two. 

Still, coasting along the northern shore, and a 
continuous link of islands to the right, we came 
to a place distinguished, by the Chipewyan 
and Yellow Knife Indians, by the emphatic 
appellation of " The Mountain.'* Here it is 
their custom to leave their canoes when they 
go to hunt the rein-deer on the Barren Lands ; 
and few have much acquaintance with the coun- 
try beyond it. Three or four of La Prise's 
crew, influenced by their old habits, could not 
bring themselves to pass the rock at which they 
had always landed ; and separated from us here, 
under the plea of going to join their fami- 
lies. The Mountain rises gradually from the 
water's edge into round backed ridges of 
gneiss, with intervening valleys rather scantily 
wooded ; and its various summits, consisting of 
a succession of mounds or elevations of smooth 
and naked granite, in the form of obtuse cones, 
rarely attain a greater height than from ten to 
fourteen hundred feet. The Mountain River 
is seen near its base, and precipitates itself, in a 
picturesque fall, over a ledge of craggy rocks, 
into the lake. Opposite this is the termination 



POINT KEITH. 109 

of the islands beginning at Tal-thel-leh ; and a 
line drawn from thence due south cuts a huge 
bluff, forming the western angle of Gah-houn- 
tchella, or Rabbit Point. This indented isth- 
mus juts out in aW.N.W. direction from the 
eastern main, and, overlapping the immense 
island of Peth-the-nueh, or Owl Island, so as 
to make the land seem continuous, gives the ap- 
pearance of a deep bay, of which, together with 
the island, it seems to be the boundary. In 
truth, however, the effect so produced is an 
optical illusion, occasioned by the distance and 
refraction of the objects ; for although the blue 
outline appears perfectly unbroken, yet Gah- 
houn-tchella was subsequently discovered to be 
the northern opening to a narrow strait leading 
into a magnificent inner bay, at the south 
part of which we afterwards established a 
fishery. Still farther south than the fishery 
is another narrow passage, hemmed in on the 
west by the mural precipices of Peth-the- 
nueh, and on the east by lofty granitic moun- 
tains. This forms the outlet to a part of the 
lake which is bounded by the horizon, the 
whole space being one sheet of water as far 
as Point Keith. The southern shore I have 
ventured to lay down, according to the dotted 
lines in the chart, after a patient investigation 
of various Indian accounts, all of which make 



110 Christie's bay. 

its distance from Peth-the-nueh rather more 
than I have fixed upon. Peth-the-nueh, or 
Owl Island, is an accumulation of trap moun- 
tains, having their least altitude at Pipe-stone 
Point, opposite Rein-deer Island, and their 
greatest, at the narrow passage south of Gah- 
houn-tchella. Its whole length east and west is 
fifty-four geographical miles, and the breadth 
of the lake a little beyond Mountain River, in 
a line due south, may be fairly estimated at not 
less than thirty-nine miles. It lies between the 
two main shores, somewhat nearer to the north : 
the rivers to the southward and eastward are of 
some magnitude, and are continually resorted to 
by the Chipewyans ; yet, though acquainted 
with every rapid and turn in them, they were 
unable to point out or even afford a guess at 
their sources. The one, however, with the 
islands at its entrance, which is laid down as 
running into Christie's Bay, — so called after 
Mr. Chief Factor Christie, of the Company's 
service, whose prompt and courteous services 
I have pleasure in again alluding to, — is often 
visited by them in the spring, for the purpose of 
shooting swans, with which at that season it 
abounds. 

Continuing our course along the hard and 
rocky line of the northern shore, we passed a 
picturesque torrent; which, from a thread of 



EASTERN EXTREMITY OF GREAT SLAVE LAKE. Ill 

shining silver in the distance, came gamboling 
down the steep declivities, and then mingled 
gently with the broad waters of the lake. Near 
it was the Rocky Point River, just beyond 
which we encamped, at the close of a beautiful 
day, in which the thermometer had stood at 52°. 
August 18th. — We started at 4 a.m. under 
the impression that a couple of hours would 
certainly bring us to the river spoken of by the 
Indians; but at the spot where we hoped to find 
a river there was merely another torrent. " That 
is not it," said Maufelly, the Indian before 
spoken of, who was to be our guide ; so on we 
went, paddling along the lake, now contracted 
to a width of five or six miles, and apparently 
terminating near a blue point in the south-east, 
which, however, turned out to be the bend 
leading into a deep bay, forming the eastern 
portion of Great Slave Lake. As it seemed that 
a long circuit might be avoided, by making a 
portage in a favourable part, almost in a direct 
line before us, I was about to give directions ac- 
cordingly, when launching past some rocks, which 
had shut out the land in their direction, we 
opened suddenly on a small bay, at the bottom of 
which was seen a splendid fall, upwards of sixty 
feet high, rushing in two white and misty vo- 
lumes into the dark gulf below. It was the 
object of our search — the river which we 



112 LA PRISE LEFT IN CHARGE OF THE BAGGAGE. 

were to ascend ; so, without noticing the very 
significant gestures of my crew, indicating the 
impossibility of ascending it, I immediately 
landed, and set them about drying and tho- 
roughly repairing the small canoe. An addi- 
tional blanket or two, with some other requisites, 
having been set apart, all the other baggage, 
together with the large canoe, was placed under 
the charge of La Prise, who undertook to wait 
for and deliver them to Mr. M'Leod. 

The observations to-day gave the latitude 
62° 50' 15" N., longitude 109° 47' 54' W., and 
variation 36° 52 ' E. 




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113 



CHAP. IV, 

Difficult and toilsome Ascent of Hoar Frost River. — 
Strikiiig Scenery along its Course. — Illness of the 
Interpreter. — Encampment upon Cook's Lake. — As- 
cent of another small River full of Rapids. — Deser- 
tion of two Indians. — Perplexity of the Guide as to 
the proper Course, and Attempt to desert. — Succession 
of Streams and Lakes. — Indian Account of the 17ie-lew 
or Teh-Ion. — Clinton-Colden, Aylme?; and Sussex 
Lakes. — Discovery of the Thlew-ee-choh. 

A new scene now opened upon us. Instead of 
the gentle paddling across the level lake, by 
which we had been enabled to penetrate thus 
far, we had to toil up the steep and rocky bed 
of an unknown stream, on our way to the high 
lands, from which the waters take an opposite 
course. The labours which had been hitherto 
so cheerfully undergone were little more than 
those to which voyageurs are accustomed ; 
but in what was to come, it was evident that 
extraordinary efforts and patient perseverance 
would be required, to overcome the difficulties 
of our route. We now learned from the Indians 
that the fall, to which, after my enterprising 
friend Beverley, the companion of Sir E. Parry 



114 TOILSOME ASCENT 

in his attempt to reach the Pole, I have given 
the name of Beverley's Fall, was the com- 
mencement of a series of appalling cascades and 
rapids, which, according to their account, were 
the distinguishing characteristics of Hoar Frost 
River ; and, indeed, some fifteen or twenty 
small canoes, concealed in the bushes, belonging, 
as was conjectured, to my old friend Akaitcho 
and his party, who were hunting on the barren 
Lands, showed pretty clearly the obstacles we 
might expect to encounter. Maufelly, however, 
maintained that it was the only practicable route, 
and added, that by following its channel we 
should shorten the distance, and not improbably 
fall in with an old man who could give all the 
information I required about the Thlew-ee- 
choh. 

The greater part of our lading, consisting of 
three bags of pemmican, with a little ammunition 
tobacco, &c, had been carried up the ascent 
the evening before ; and on the morning of the 
lyth of August, after emptying a net which had 
been set, of a few blue and white fish, the re- 
mainder was taken. The principal difficulty con- 
sisted in bearing the canoe over a slippery and 
uneven acclivity, thickly beset with trees and 
underwood. The first ridge, where we rested, 
was formed of sand and debris from the sur- 
rounding rocks, mostly red felspar and quartz. 



OF HOAR FROST RIVER. H5 

Having crossed a swamp, and again ascended, 
we got to a point above a second fall, where a 
little smooth pool, on which the canoe was 
launched, afforded a short respite to the wearied 
men. Here I dismissed La Prise, who, with his 
two little boys, had assisted in conveying the 
things so far. He was intrusted with a letter 
for Mr. M c Leod, in which I directed him to 
begin building an establishment, as soon as he 
should reach the east end of the lake, which, as 
I calculated, could not be more than a day's 
march from the river ; informing him at the 
same time that I might be expected some time 
in September. 

A few hundred yards' paddling along the pool 
brought us in sight of fresh clouds of spray, 
rising from a third and a fourth fall, too danger- 
ous to approach ; and though the woods were 
extremely thick, and consisted, for the greater 
part, of stunted swamp fir, which gave us in- 
finite trouble to force through, still there was no 
alternative, and clambering over the fallen trees, 
through rivulets and across swamps, as well as 
our burthens would permit, we at length emerged 
into an open space. It was barren and desolate; 
crag was piled upon crag, to a height of two 
thousand feet from the base ; and the course of 
the contracted river, now far beneath, was 
marked by an uninterrupted line of foam. After 

i 2 



1 



116 STRIKING SCENERY. 

frequent halts to recover breath, the summit of 
the difficult pass was attained ; the blue lake 
which we had left, lay as if spread at our feet ; 
and such was the beauty of the varied outline, 
that we were captivated into a momentary for- 
getfulness of our fatigue. But severe toil will tell 
on the frame, however resolute the will; and the 
interpreter, who had for several days shown symp- 
toms of indisposition, became now so exhausted 
as to be barely able to proceed. The Indians aideid 
him by lightening his burthen, being themselves in 
high spirits, from having seen some fresh tracks of 
deer, which, according to their notions, indicated 
an early hunting season, as it proved that those 
ever shifting animals had begun to migrate from 
the north. The descent towards the river was 
at first gradual, for the path lay over the even 
though rounded surface of the rocks. But moss- 
covered swamps soon followed, and then a pre- 
cipice so abrupt and deep, that, with no other 
incumbrance than my cloak and gun, it re- 
quired all my vigilance and exertion to save 
myself from falling with the loose masses which 
slid away from my feet. 

The people with the canoe stood resolutely to 
their work, and after a slip or fall, recovered 
themselves with such adroitness, that, after an 
interval of protracted anxiety, I enjoyed the satis- 
faction of beholding her placed safe and sound in 




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Published ~by John Murray. London. 1836 . 



SAND-FLIES AND MOSQUITOS. 117 

the stream below. The course of the river could 
be traced N.N. E. about three miles, in which, 
though there was evidently a strong current, 
nothing appeared to break the glassiness of the 
surface. It was bounded on each side by steep 
shelving rocks, cheerful with vegetation, and 
thinly clad with birch, firs, and willows. The 
sun was too low, and the crew too wearied to 
move on ; and having paddled to the other side, 
for the convenience of a level spot on which to 
pitch the tent, we gladly halted for the night. 

The laborious duty which had been thus satis- 
factorily performed, was rendered doubly severe 
by the combined attack of myriads of sand-flies 
and mosquitos, which made our faces stream with 
blood. There is certainly no form of wretched- 
ness, among those to which the chequered life 
of a voyageur is exposed, at once so great and 
so humiliating, as the torture inflicted by these 
puny blood-suckers. To avoid them is im- 
possible : and as for defending himself, though 
for a time he may go on crushing by thousands, 
he cannot long maintain the unequal conflict ; so 
that at last, subdued by pain and fatigue, he throws 
himself in despair with his face to the earth, and, 
half suffocated in his blanket, groans away a 
few hours of sleepless rest. 

August 20. — The thermometer had fallen to 
36*, and at four a. m., as soon as the sunken 

1 3 



118 ILLNESS OF THE INTERPRETER. 

rocks, and other impediments to our progress, 
could be distinguished, we got away, and went 
on cheerily enough, until interrupted by a 
rapid, which was succeeded by so many more, 
that for the best part of the morning we did 
little else than lighten the canoe and drag it up 
with a line : at length a fall of twenty feet 
obliged us to carry both canoe and baggage. 
This passed, other rapids presented themselves ; 
until finally the canoe got so seriously damaged 
by the shocks, as to make us hasten on shore to 
avoid sinking. The unhappy interpreter had 
been unable to take any share in the work, and 
was evidently suffering severe pain, which he 
begged of me to assuage. I had only a box of 
common pills, and some brandy, neither of which 
could be prudently applied to a case which 
seemed to require the skill and attention of a 
professional man. The poor fellow, however, 
persisted in his belief that I could relieve him, 
not doubting that any thing under the name of 
medicine would answer the purpose. I yielded, 
therefore, to his importunity, and indulged him, 
first with the contents of the box, which made 
him worse ; and next with the contents of the 
bottle, which made him better. 

Scarcely was the canoe repaired, and our la- 
bour recommenced, when we were involved in 
fresh troubles, by a most intricate channel of 



WILD SCENERY. 119 

deep water, thickly studded with sharp angular 
rocks, sometimes so close together as barely to 
allow of a passage. The stream having at this 
part a considerable fall, rushed between or bub- 
bled over them, with a force that almost swept 
the hauling men off their legs ; and no sooner 
had they with great resolution surmounted this 
difficulty, than a fresh demand was made on their 
energy by the appearance of three distinct falls, 
rising like huge steps to the height of forty-five 
feet. Again, therefore, the whole materiel was 
to be carried, much to the annoyance of the 
crew, to whom, on such occasions, the sickness 
of any of their companions is a matter of serious 
importance. One or two more rapids, and a 
narrow fall of twenty feet, terminated the ascent 
of this turbulent and unfriendly river. No- 
thing, however, can be more romantically beau- 
tiful than the wild scenery of its course. High 
rocks beetling over the rapids like towers, or 
rent into the most diversified forms, gay with 
various coloured mosses, or shaded by over- 
hanging trees — now a tranquil pool, lying like 
a sheet of silver — now the dash and foam of a 
cataract, — these are a part only of its picturesque 
and striking features. 

The canoe having been completely repaired, 
we entered on a different scene. An amphi- 

i 4 



120 ENCAMPMENT UPON 

theatre of gently rising hills, interspersed with 
rounded and barren rocks, and a few clumps of 
gloomy-looking pines, rendered more conspicuous 
by the yellow sand on which they grew, em- 
braced a calm sheet of water, which, taking a 
northerly direction, kept gradually widening to 
a distance of three or four miles. Some old ice 
still adhered to its banks, and the snow shoes 
and bundles affixed to the poles of a recently 
deserted encampment^ showed that it was a 
resort of the Indians. 

It was too late to gain the pines, for the sun 
had set ; so we encamped on an island where 
we had observed that there were shrubs enough 
to cook the evening meal ; and had no sooner 
landed than we were assailed by swarms of sand- 
flies and mosquitos, which for a time irritated 
us almost to madness. I do not know that 
there is any thing very original in the idea, but 
as I contemplated the repose and stillness of the 
evening landscape, mellowed by the soft tints 
of the western sky, and contrasted it with the 
noise, the impetuosity, the intense animation 
and bustle of the morning, it seemed to me a 
type of that best period of the life of man, when 
to the turbulence and energy of youth succeeds 
the calm sobriety of ripened age. It brought 
to my mind far distant friends, — one especially 
long known and well esteemed; in rem em- 



cook's lake. 121 

brance of whom I gave to the sheet of water be- 
fore me the name of Cook's Lake. 

As the night drew on, something was perceived 
indistinctly on the lake ; it was neither a loon, nor a 
deer, but its cautious motions excited that sort of 
suspicion which made our invalid look about him. 
He and the three Indians with me determined 
that it must be either a Chipewyan thief, or the 
scout of a party of slave Indians, who were at war 
with the Yellow Knives. As it turned out, how- 
ever, neither of these conjectures was correct, 
for the object of apprehension proved to be one 
of those who had left us at the mountain, and who, 
having lost the only two charges of powder in his 
possession, had been driven to the necessity of 
performing this long journey, to obtain the means 
of sustaining his family until they could get to 
their friends. " Had there been only my wife 
with me," he said, in a faint voice, " I would not 
have troubled the chief, for we could have lived 
upon berries ; but when I looked on my child, and 
heard its cries, my heart failed me, and I sought 
for relief." There needed no other appeal; and 
having received a liberal supply of provision 
and ammunition, the poor fellow went away the 
happiest of his tribe. 

August 21. — Thin ice had been formed during 
the night ; though when we started, at 4 a.m., 
the thermometer stood at 38°. A few miles 



122 ASCENT OF ANOTHER SMALL RTVER. 

northerly brought us to a river, barred by fifteen 
rapids, varying in height from three to ten feet. 
In any other situation, such a succession of inter- 
ruptions would have seriously annoyed me ; but I 
now regarded them with complacency, as the 
ladder by which I was to mount to the dividing 
ridge of land, — the attainment of that goal 
being all which at that late season I could hope 
to accomplish. 

I had in De Charloit, the bowman, one of the 
most expert men in the country, and in no place 
had his astonishing strength and activity been 
called more into play than on this occasion. In 
the midst of dangers the most imminent from 
rapids or falls, he was cool, fearless, and col- 
lected ; and often, when the pole or paddle was 
no longer available, he would spring into the 
curling water, and, with a foot firmly planted, 
maintain his position, where others would have 
been swept away in an instant. But in spite of all 
his care and exertion, our frail vessel was sorely buf- 
feted, and the bark hung in shreds along its sides, 
ripped and broken in every quarter. We were, 
therefore, not a little glad, when, after a difficult 
portage, we found another free and open water. 

While the necessary patching and gumming 
of the canoe was going on, to render her tight, 
I climbed to the top of a short range of rocks 
about two hundred feet high, and dipping to the 



DESERTION OF TWO INDIANS. 123 

eastward. From this elevation Maufelly pointed 
to a lake, on which he said we were to go a long 
way ; adding, however, that, from the fact of his 
having been so snow-blind when he last passed 
as to be led with a string, he did not exactly 
remember the channel. He requested, therefore, 
permission to land at certain elevated places — one 
of which he recognised, and pointed out as the 
spot where he had formerly killed a deer. Still this 
did not enlighten him as to the precise part we 
should make for : and whether the two Indian 
boys in the canoe differed with or distrusted 
him, or whether it was the mere caprice and 
unsteadiness of their nature, we knew not ; but 
certain it was, that, on landing at a point of the 
shore, they began to prepare for a march, with 
the intention, as they said, of visiting their re- 
lations, who they thought might be somewhere 
to the north-west. As there w r as no indication 
of Indians within range of the telescope, we 
tried to dissuade them from their purpose, for 
their services, just then, were doubly requisite 
in order to carry the baggage over the portages ; 
and this the rogues well knew, but with invinci- 
ble stubbornness they rejected every offer that 
was made. Finding they were determined, I 
supplied them with a little ammunition, warn- 
ing them at the same time to keep away from 
my fort, unless they brought with them a heavy 
load of good meat. 



124 PERPLEXITY OF THE GUIDE. 

We then paddled among islands extending to 
a great distance, with an uninterrupted horizon 
to the westward. It was evident that Maufelly 
was puzzled; for though he knew the general 
direction, he was so little acquainted with the 
form of the lake, that we constantly found our- 
selves either in a bay, or pulling round an island. 
Not liking to be baffled in this way, I landed, and 
sent De Charloit and the Indian to reconnoitre ; 
and the result was, that they descried a lake in 
the line of our intended course. The mosquitos 
here tormented us dreadfully ; and the steersman, 
for whom they had a particular affection, was so 
swollen that he could scarcely see. 

At daybreak of the following day (the 22d of 
August) we went to an adjoining bay, whence 
the canoe and baggage were carried to two small 
lakes. Another portage took us to an extensive 
sheet of water, which, however, proved to be 
only a branch of the lake we had left. In 
this, as in the other part, were many islands, 
composed of low rocks with shelving sides, 
covered more or less with reindeer-moss and 
large stones. Streaks of old ice were still ad- 
hering to the shore ; and on some of the hills, al- 
ready of a brown tint, were patches of last year's 
snow. A few hours brought us to the end of 
the lake (which has been called after the Rev. 
Dr. Walmsley of Han well) ; and scouts were 



RETURN OF ONE OF THE DESERTERS. 125 

despatched in different quarters to find out the 
most favourable route to the large lake of which 
we were in search. 

A set of observations gave the latitude 63° 
23' 46" N., longitude 108° 8' 16" W., and vari- 
ation 36° 0' E. — a position a little to the north 
of the Cheesadawd Lake of Hearne ; though, 
from the concurrent testimony of the Indians, it 
would seem that the only one bearing the name 
is situated between the Athabasca and Great 
Slave Lakes. 

Towards evening the men returned ; and about 
the same time, one of the Indian lads, who for 
some trifling cause had separated from his com- 
panion, and was now willing to join us again. 
The former had succeeded in finding a chain of 
small lakes, inclining to the eastward, and had 
the good fortune to shoot a young deer : the 
latter was unceremoniously dismissed with di- 
rections to inform his tribe, that those who were 
desirous of profiting by the expedition must pur- 
sue a steady and honest course of conduct, and, 
according to their own phraseology, abstain from 
" speaking with two tongues ;" for by that means 
alone could . they entitle themselves to any 
benefit. He was refused even a particle of pro- 
vision, — a rigour which I felt assured would be 
made known, and produce a wholesome effect 
upon the whole tribe ; for, though fickle and un- 



126 SUCCESSION OF STREAMS AND LAKES. 

grateful, they are yet right-minded enough to 
know, and candid enough to acknowledge, their 
errors. In the present instance, the lad smiled 
as he went away, and observed, that " it was just, 
for he did not deserve better treatment." 

August 23. — The operation of carrying be- 
gan with the first dawn of day ; and, though 
tormented by the mosquitos from the time that 
the sun began to have any power, and drenched 
with hail and rain as soon as it declined, yet we 
managed to get over fifteen portages before 
night compelled us to encamp. 

August 24. — The thermometer fell to 32°, 
and a cold sheet of vapour rose from innumerable 
watercourses, which dispersing as the sun ap- 
peared above the grey cloud that walled the 
horizon in the east, allowed us to resume our 
tedious occupation. A succession of lakes and 
portages took us to a small stream, which I was 
glad to observe ran easterly ; and at its termin- 
ation, in an open space of water, I saw some 
sand hills about north-west, which led me to con- 
clude that we could not be far off the height of 
land. The bark of the canoe, however, had been 
split by the frost, and a short delay was necessary 
to repair it. This completed, we began to make 
a traverse to gain some hills, whose eastern sides, 
as Maufelly asserted, were washed by the large 
lake ; but a question now arose, as to the pro- 



THE INTERPRETER ATTEMPTS TO DESERT. 127 

bability of a passage along the base of the sand 
hills to the westward ; since, according to my 
sight, a wide opening seemed to stretch from 
thence far to the right, which, I cannot help 
still thinking, was connected with the other large 
sheet of water. Be this as it may, the Indian 
put his veto on the proposition ; and accordingly 
the blue hills were reached, a long portage 
made, and I had the satisfaction at last of look- 
ing on a wide clear expanse of water to the 
southward, bounded only by the horizon. — The 
latitude was 63° 23' 57" N. 

We now crossed to a jutting bluff point, ap- 
parently a continuation of the opposite shore, 
but which was stated to be the northern sweep 
of a bay, the receptacle of a rapid river, which 
Maufelly said we must ascend. It lay precisely 
in a straight line with a very distant column of 
smoke, to which our Indian wished to go, under 
the plausible pretence of procuring information ; 
declaring, at the same time, his entire ignorance 
of any water communication beyond the one we 
were in. This conduct I thought it right to 
resent, and with a seasonable severity of manner 
gave him to understand that artifice and du- 
plicity were not likely to succeed with me at 
any time, much less at the present moment, 
when, from his own admission, he had been at 
another lake, and stood convicted therefore of 



128 CHASE OF A REINDEER 

falsehood. I told him, that what he really 
wanted was to desert ; that if so, his lands were 
before him ; but that by so doing he would 
forfeit all claim to whatever benefits I might 
otherwise have conferred upon him. The ef- 
fect was instantaneous ; he confessed that he 
had done wrong, and promised fidelity for the 
future, begging that I would not be displeased, 
if, from want of memory on his part, we some- 
times missed our way ; for that it was a long 
time since he was a boy, and from that early 
period he had never been beyond the land be- 
fore us. The banks of the stream consisted 
mostly of sand, heaped here and there into 
mounds, the comfortable retreat of many siffleu, 
or ground squirrels, some of whose company 
were basking in the sun, or sitting up in cu- 
rious gaze at each other : on seeing us, they dis- 
appeared. 

Four rapids, having an aggregate fall of from 
sixteen to twenty feet, were the only obstacles 
to the navigation of the river, and by five o'clock 
we had got up them all, and opened on a mag- 
nificent lake. Close by, a reindeer appeared, 
running at full speed, chased by a long white 
wolf, which, though it seemed to have little 
chance in swiftness, was nevertheless resolute in 
the pursuit. The deer gradually made for a 
pass below the rapid, at the other side of which 



BY A WOLF. 129 

another wolf was now first perceived, crouching 
down, with his eyes fixed on the chase, and 
evidently ready to spring upon the poor animal, 
if it unhappily took the water. 

I have a strong antipathy to wolves, however 
speciously attired ; and though these fair-robed 
gentlemen were but following a natural instinct 
of appetite, I thought fit to interfere with voice 
and gesture. The panting deer bounded past 
me, as if conscious of safety and protection, 
while the wolf stood motionless for a moment, 
and then, scenting an enemy, slunk slowly away, 
under the shelter of some fragments of rocks. 

The country near the margin, and, indeed, for 
several miles from the lake, was very low and 
level, being only occasionally elevated into 
moderately-sized hills. By one of these, to the 
eastward, lay the route to the The-lew.* As 
we were certain to return by this place, I took 
advantage of a detached heap of stones, in the 
shape of an island, to make a cache of a bag 
of pemmican ; soon after which we encamped, 
where there was some good moss for cooking — 
a consideration of no trifling importance on the 
barren lands. 

The white partridges kept up a burring call 
until near midnight ; and when this had ceased, 

* Sometimes called Teh-Ion. 
K 



130 INDIAN ACCOUNT OF 

my rest was repeatedly interrupted by the start- 
ling and fiendish screams of a score of the largest 
sized loons ; so that I was not sorry when the 
morning of the 25th of August afforded light 
enough for escaping from their harsh and grating 
notes. 

As we proceeded, the land on each side swelled 
insensibly into a different character, attaining 
an elevation of one hundred and seventy or 
one hundred and ninety feet, with rounded 
summits, partially covered with rich lichens, 
and strewed with huge boulders, closely resem- 
bling those round Point Lake. The valleys af- 
forded a luxurious pasturage, and were tenanted 
by a few scattered deer. 

A weak current was found to oppose us ; and 
having passed through a narrow, which produced 
a ripple having something of the character of 
a rapid, we managed to get embayed. Maufelly 
was fairly lost ; and after trying ineffectually half 
a dozen openings, I returned to the current, which 
became imperceptible as the land fell off; but, 
taking the general direction of the last river and 
this stream as a guide, I directed the course to a 
distant northerly hill, which, luckily enough, hap- 
pened to be the western point of another narrow, 
well known to the Yellow Knives as a favourite 
deer-pass, and which was, in fact, the only 
passage for the water. A " band*" of deer was 

* Any number above six. 



THE THE-LEW, OR TEH-LON. 131 

swimming across at the moment. The face of 
the country was extremely barren and for- 
bidding. When afterwards we encamped, not 
a shrub could be found ; and the moss being 
wet, it required some ingenuity to make a 
fire : ultimately, however, it was effected, by 
building two parallel walls, within which the 
moss was placed, and fanned into flame by 
the draft rushing between. This simple no- 
tion was the means of saving us much trouble 
afterwards. The pass led us to an immense 
lake, from which land could be faintly dis- 
tinguished to the north, while east and west 
it was indented with deep inlets and bays. One 
of these, to the right, presenting a clear horizon, 
led, as Maufelly believed, to the The-lew. 

Subsequently, several Indians, who had been 
there, informed me that, by making a portage 
from the eastern extremity of a deep bay, they 
got to a small lake, and from thence by another 
portage to a larger one ; that this discharged it- 
self by a river into the north-east end of a very 
long but narrow lake, the southern termination of 
which was about half way between that point 
and Slave Lake. To the east, they said it was 
connected, by a short line of rapids, with a lake 
of singular shape, which, by means of a river 
seventeen miles long, communicated with the 
The-lew, at a mean distance from our position 

k 2 



132 INDIAN ACCOUNT OF 

of about eighty miles. As to the course of 
the principal river itself, little seemed to be 
accurately known ; for the Indians never pene- 
trated far, perhaps not more than twenty miles, 
beyond the part which has been just described. 
There it was said to maintain a uniform di- 
rection towards the north-east. 

Proceeding by the western shore of the lake 

which we had entered, we cut across from point 

to point, coasting by islands so extensive, that 

we not unfrequently mistook them for the main. 

The water was of a dark indigo colour, but very 

clear; and the occasional and almost noiseless 

rising of a fish at a water-fly was the only sound 

which broke the stillness and serenity around. 

Whether it were owing to continued calms, or to 

the limited time during which this lake is liberated 

from its icy fetters, I am not prepared to say ; 

but certain it is, that I no where observed those 

successive banks, or layers of sand, along the 

beach, so common in the lakes to the southward, 

— the joint effect of the action of the waves and of 

the rise and fall of the water. Neither were there 

any of those horizontal lines on the base of the 

rocks, which force themselves on the notice of 

the traveller in other parts of this country, and 

which indicate, with the nicest precision, the 

fluctuations of the level at different seasons. 

Being somewhat bewildered among the nu- 



THE THE-LEW, OR TEH-LON. 133 

merous bays and islands, our Indian, from time 
to time, ascended the elevated ground, with a 
view of guessing at the best route ; and on this 
occasion he considered that, to avoid making 
detours, equally unprofitable and vexatious, we 
ought to keep more to the northward. He be- 
gan now also to remark that many winters had 
glidedaway since he had visited the Thlew-ee- 
choh, as a boy, with his old father ; but that he 
remembered his saying that there were nu- 
merous sand-hills in its vicinity; and he felt 
some confidence now, that we should, sooner or 
later, find it. What most comforted him, how- 
ever, was a newly entertained idea that we 
should not (as he had hitherto dreaded) be 
caught by the setting in of winter, before the 
object was accomplished. 

For a considerable time past, a dazzling white- 
ness, which did not seem like the ordinary effect 
of the sunlight, had been visible on the western 
horizon ; and, as we nearedit, I had the mortifi- 
cation to behold a well-defined stream of ice, 
decayed, indeed, but compact enough to have 
brought up the largest ship in his Majesty's navy. 
There needed no stronger proof to convince me of 
the tardy disruption of this wintry barrier, and, 
by consequence, of the faint chance that existed 
of my being able to prosecute the journey by open 
water during the early part of summer. The 



K o 



134 TORMENTED BY SAND-FLIES AND MOSQU1TOS. 

intimation, however, was not without its use ; it 
prepared me to expect other obstacles, and oc- 
casioned the methodising of various plans, by 
which the execution of that part of the service 
was at last successfully completed. 

Having paddled along the edge of the stream 
of ice, we made for a remarkable mountainous bluff 
to the north-east, between which and some other 
high land was a passage leading north. But the 
sun had set; and, after a hard day's work, my 
weary crew were happy to encamp, notwithstand- 
ing the vigorous and unintermitting assaults 
of our faithful tormentors, the sand-flies and 
mosquitos. Certainly they were pests, and sharply 
did they convey to us the moral lesson of man's 
helplessness ; since, with all our boasted strength 
and skill, we were unable to repel these feeble 
atoms of the creation. 

August 26th. — The temperature had fallen 
to 31°, and coated the lake, for a few hundred 
yards from the shore, with a thin sheet of ice; 
while the calm surface of the open water was 
literally black with dead flies. Slight as the 
impediment was, it required the utmost caution 
on the part of the bowman to open a lane, by 
breaking the ice on each side, so as to allow the 
canoe to pass without touching; for the bark be- 
ing rendered brittle by the overnight's frost, the 
least concussion would have produced serious con- 



THE SAND-HILL. 135 

sequences — to prevent which, pieces of leather, 
&c., were placed over the sides as fenders. The 
mountainous appearance of the country to the 
northward by no means answered to the character 
of the part of which we were in search, and 
greatly diminished the hopes that Maufelly had 
nourished of finding a portage to the Thlew-ee- 
choh in that direction. We therefore veered to 
the westward ; and, after paddling from fifteen to 
twenty miles, without descrying the faintest symp- 
tom of a sand-hill, we ascended a lofty hill, and, 
after considerable embarrassment, during which I 
was careful to encourage him, the Indian pointed 
to the south-east. Arriving at another point, he 
again directed us west, through a kind of strait, 
where there was an island, consisting of one conical 
mount, about two hundred feet high. Some sand 
was visible round and near its apex, and it was 
distinguished, as I afterwards learnt, by the name 
of the Sand- Hill. 

From its summit we were surprised to behold 
another immense lake, extending with a clear 
horizon to the south-west, and abounding in large 
islands, and in bays from ten to fifteen miles 
deep. How far it might be across, could not 
be conjectured, the apparent boundary on the 
other side being but dimly marked by narrow 
dark lines, which the Indian assured me were 
only islands. Resuming our journey, we passed 

k 4 



136 PROGRESS OF OUR JOURNEY. 

through the upper end of the strait, in which 
the current set to the southward ; and, having 
gone half round the compass, and passed an 
extensive opening to the right, we directed our 
course to the westward. 

The wavering uncertainty of Maufelly in- 
duced me to abstain from any remarks on the 
time lost in rounding bays to look for some near 
cut, which he had never seen, but which he 
persisted in thinking must exist. Any opposition, 
I well knew, would only produce a sulky obsti- 
nacy, and put an end to all effective cooperation. 
I therefore left him to follow his own plans, 
confiding in that instinct which will guide an 
Indian through the mazes of the darkest and 
most tangled forest. The view to the south- 
ward and westward might well be called that of 
an inland sea ; for, with the exception of a dark 
spot here and there, the range was bounded by 
an horizon of sky and water, now gilded with 
the brilliant rays of a setting sun. 

Holding more to the north, we threaded some 
bleak and picturesque islands, apparently of 
gneiss; for all were round and naked rocks, with 
little or no vegetation, and rose abruptly from 
the water's edge to a height varying from eighty 
to a hundred and twenty feet. Near the spot 
where we encamped was one considerably higher, 
with liuse boulders on its obtuse and irregular 



THE TENT PITCHED. 137 

outline, which bore an exact resemblance to the 
scenery about Fort Enterprise. 

The shelving and moss-covered mainland, 
with isolated rocks in situ, formed a pleasing con- 
trast to the bold fronting of the neighbouring 
islands. The beach where the tent was pitched 
was of a shingly gravel, composed of minute 
and rounded fragments of mica slate, quartz with 
scales of glittering mica, and red and grey fel- 
spar. A few geese, one gull, and many loons were 
seen ; and mosquitos, like the fourth plague # , 
swarmed innumerable, and banished comfort. 
When the cool air of night had benumbed them, 
and afforded me a respite for contemplation, I 
could not help feeling deeply impressed with 
the intense stillness of the scene : no living 
thing was seen or heard ; the air was calm, the 
lake unruffled : it seemed as if nature had fallen 
into a trance, for all was silent and motionless as 
death. 

Our little canoe was afloat at four a. m. of the 
27th of August; and the men, excited by the keen 
air of the morning to vigorous action, impelled 
her through the calm water with unusual swift- 
ness. Several deep bays were traversed and 
points rounded, until at last we had the satis- 
faction of seeing some sand-hills, which, as we 
drew near, Maufelly thought he recognised. 

* Swarms of flies. — Exodus. 



138 CLINTON-COLDEN LAKE. 

Twice he went to adjacent heights to discover 
some object, which might remove his doubts ; 
and the second time he returned with a light 
step, and a countenance betokening satisfaction 
and triumph. With renewed confidence he 
pointed to a bay from whence we might go to 
the Thlew-ee-choh, and, on our landing, turned 
to the interpreter, and showing him the well- 
beaten tracks of the deer, exclaimed, with a 
smile, that his old father loved to dwell on the 
feats he had performed there; " and though," 
added he, " I was but a child when I accom- 
panied him, these places look familiar to me." 

The two large lakes by which we had come 
were only separated by the strait of the Sand- 
Hill ; and, considering the first as extending 
from that strait, not to the river, but merely to 
the first narrow to the south, it will embrace a 
direct distance of twenty-nine miles, and an es- 
timated breadth, east and west, of nearly thirty. 
This I have named Clinton-Colden Lake, as 
a mark of respect to the memory of those dis- 
tinguished individuals. 

The second, or northern one, is, according to 
the concurrent testimony of the Indians, about 
sixty miles in extent towards the north-west, with 
a breadth not exceeding thirty, nor less than 
twenty miles. The eastern shores are broken 
into bays, deep and indefinable ; the rest was 



LAKE AYLMER. 139 

bounded by the horizon. This splendid sheet of 
water received the appellation of Lake Aylmer, 
in honour of the Governor-General of Canada, to 
whose kindness and consideration I felt myself 
particularly indebted. 

While employed in putting the canoe in a suit- 
able place, between two small hillocks, to dry, 
a deer was seen coming at full speed towards 
us. The Indian and De Charloit started at the 
same moment to cut it off. The trial was well 
contested ; but the latter was more active than 
his opponent; and, concealing himself behind a 
stone, watched his opportunity, and killed it at 
the first shot. After making a hasty repast, I 
sent the three men with Maufelly to look for 
the river, or the lake whence it was supposed 
to take its rise. They werejprovisioned for three 
days; and, in the event of any doubt arising on 
the part of the Indian, the bow and steersmen 
were to proceed in a due northern, and the 
Indian and interpreter in a north-western, direc- 
tion, which, I concluded, would take them within 
sight of their object. 

The observations made here gave the lati- 
tude 64° 94' 13" N. ; longitude, 108° 28' 53" W. ; 
variation, 36° 36' E. * As .the sun declined, 
some dark clouds rose from the westward, and 

* For dip, see Appendix. 



140 A STORM. 

spread rapidly over the sky, threatening to break 
up the long calm which we had enjoyed across 
the two lakes. Before I could reach the tent, 
indeed, the storm burst with such violence, as 
almost to carry it away ; and but for the support 
which, on my arrival, I lent to the poles, it would 
assuredly have gone. The canoe was whirled 
over and over, and was at last arrested by a 
rock. Malley's cooking apparatus was thrown 
right and left ; while my sextant and instruments, 
scattered about the tent, reminded me most 
forcibly of poor Hearne's misfortune on a similar 
occasion. Happily, I saved them by throwing 
my cloak over them, and then again propped up 
the tent, until the squall was over. 

August 28th. — I went along a range of sand- 
hills with my glass, but could see nothing of the 
men. The country was formed of gently un- 
dulating hills, whose surfaces were covered with 
large fragments of rocks, and a coarse gravelly 
soil, which afforded nutriment to some miserable 
dwarf birch. The tea plant, crow, and cran- 
berry shrubs also grew there, but were entirely 
unproductive. In the swamps, occupying every 
valley, the plant of the whortleberry was occa- 
sionally found, but* as in the former case, without 
fruit. 

A chain of sand-hills, embracing two thirds 
of a small lake with a pretty rocky island in its 



SAND-HILLS. 141 

centre, stretched from the eastward, and, gra- 
dually rising to different heights, suddenly ter- 
minated in abrupt cliffs ; whence renewing the 
line again at the base, it extended to within 
a couple of miles of our encampment. Thence, 
separated only by a narrow stream which flowed 
from the lake, the land ascended by a shelving 
hill to a continuation of the chain ; a tongue of 
white sand spotted with Arbutus (sac a commis* ), 
which jutted out to the southward, completed, 
with the hill on which we had taken our posi- 
tion, the girdle of a bay, the waters of which 
emptied themselves by a narrow channel to the 
north-west. To the north, as well as west, were 
other hills, detached from the chain, of a rocky 
mossy character about the declivities, but end- 
ing in rounded cones of sand, from one hundred 
and fifty to five or six hundred feet high. Many 
ravines and dry watercourses intersected the 
hills ; and in one I saw a musk ox, which con- 
trived to get away from me. The deer must 
have been, at some time, exceedingly numerous ; 
for the face of the ground for several miles was 
beaten down bv them. 

August 29th. — Becoming anxious about the 
men, I took my gun, and, following a N. N.W. 
direction, went out to look for them. Having 
passed a small sheet of water, between the 

* So called by the traders. 



142 DISCOVERY OF 

rivulet, or channel, previously mentioned, and 
Lake Aylmer, I ascended a hill, from the top 
of which I discerned, to my great delight, a 
rapid, evidently connected with the stream which 
flowed through the narrow channel from the lake. 
With a quickened step I proceeded to trace its 
course, and, in doing so, was further gratified at 
being obliged to wade through the sedgy waters of 
springs. Crossing two rivulets, whose lively ripples 
ran due north into the rapid, the thought occur- 
red to me, that these feeders might be tributaries 
to the Thlew-ee-choh ; and, yielding to that pleas- 
ins: emotion, which discoverers, in the first bound 
of their transport, may be pardoned for indulg- 
ing, I threw myself down on the bank, and drank 
a hearty draught of the limpid water. From a 
height a mile forward, the line of stream could be 
distinctly traced into an open space, which, as it 
contracted, inclined to the north ; and this, with 
the appearance of two plovers, exactly resembling 
the noisy plover ( Charadrius vociferus) about 
Fort Enterprise, convinced me that I stood 
on part of the continuous height of land which 
extends hither from the borders of the Copper 
Mine River. The men not making their appear- 
ance, I raised a dense smoke, by firing the moss, 
to apprise them of my situation ; and returned 
to the tent, passing, on my way, a white wolf, 
which was sneaking towards a deer. A smoke 










- 



- 



i 

S 
f 






£> 



V. 



IS 



2 






THE THLEW-EE-CHOH. I43 

seen to rise from behind the sand-hills anounced, 
shortly afterwards, the approach of the men ; and 
at a late hour, the Indian first, and afterwards the 
others, came in. De Charloit groaned under the 
weight of a musk-ox's head and horns, while his 
companions were more usefully laden with the 
spoils of some good fat deer. 

They had fallen on the river the second day, 
and described it as being large enough for boats. 
Returning along its banks by a wide lake, and 
two tributary streams as large as itself, they 
ascertained that it was really the same stream, 
the source of which I had thus accidentally dis- 
covered in the Sand-hill Lake close to us; which 
was now distinguished by the name of Sussex 
Lake, after His Royal Highness the Vice- Patron 
of the expedition. I had reserved a little grog 
for this occasion, and need hardly say with what 
cheerfulness it was shared among the crew, 
whose welcome tidings had verified the notion 
of Dr. Richardson and myself, and thus placed 
beyond doubt the existence of the Thlew-ee- 
choh. 



144 



CHAP. V. 

Digression concerning Hearne's Route. 

1 he route of the celebrated Hearne intersected 
the country which has been just described; and 
there is no person interested in geographical re- 
search who will not thank me for interrupting 
for a moment the course of my narrative, in 
order to introduce the following observations on 
that traveller's geographical discoveries, for which 
1 am indebted to Dr. Richardson. 

" The adventurous journey of Hearne excited 
very great public interest at the time it was 
made, and will always form an epoch in the an- 
nals of northern discovery ; for it gave the first 
authentic information of a sea bounding Ame- 
rica to the northward, and also overthrew the 
numerous vague reports that existed of straits 
connecting the Atlantic and Pacific in parallels 
south of that to which he attained. Indeed, the 
high latitude assigned to the mouth of the 
Copper Mine River was so adverse to the opi- 
nions previously entertained by the advocates 
for the prosecution of a north-west passage, that 
Dalrymple was induced closely to examine 
the courses and distances recorded in Hearne's 



hearne's route. 145 

Journal, whereby he discovered so great a dis- 
crepancy between the outward and homeward 
journeys as caused him to reject the higher lati- 
tudes altogether, or greatly to reduce them ; and, 
in doing so, he was undoubtedly right, though 
Hearne complains bitterly in his preface of the 
injustice done to him. The fact is, that, when 
we consider the hardships which Hearne had 
to endure, the difficult circumstances in which 
he was frequently placed, the utter insufficiency 
of his old and cumbrous Elton's quadrant as 
an instrument for ascertaining the latitude, par- 
ticularly in the winter, with a low meridian 
sun, and a refraction of the atmosphere greatly 
beyond what it was supposed to be by the best 
observers of the period, and the want of any 
means of estimating the longitude, except by 
dead reckoning ; this reckoning requiring an 
exact appreciation of distances, as well as cor- 
rect courses, circumstances evidently unattain- 
able by one accompanying an Indian horde in 
a devious march through a wooded and moun- 
tainous country ; we shall not be inclined to 
view with severity the errors committed, but 
rather to think that the traveller's credit would 
have been strengthened and not impaired by his 
acknowledging the uncertainty of the position of 
the places most distant from Churchill. Unfor- 
tunately, however, Hearne himself thought dif- 

L 



146 DIGRESSION CONCERNING 

ferently ; and in his published narrative, which 
did not appear until twenty years after the com- 
pletion of his journey, he attempts to establish 
the correctness of his latitudes by various un- 
founded assertions; one of which it will be suffi- 
cient to notice here. He states that on the 21st 
of July, ' though the sun's declination was then 
but 21°, yet it was certainly some heig/it above the 
horizon at midnight, at the mouth of the Copper- 
mine River.' Now it so happens, that Sir John 
Franklin encamped at that very place on the 
19th of the same month, when the sun set at 
' thirty minutes after eleven apparent time. 9 
Dairy mple had also remarked, that Hearne sub- 
sequent to his celebrated journey committed a 
great error in estimating the distance to Cum- 
berland House, and therefore questioned his 
general correctness ; and this conclusion is par- 
ried only by Hearne's giving up his longitudes 
as not being corrected by observation, but con- 
tinuing to support the truth of his latitudes. 
We shall, however, show, that his error in these 
was still greater than in his longitudes ; his ob- 
servations, if any were actually made, having 
miserably deceived him. But we should greatly 
mistake, if the detection of various instances 
of disingenuousness led us to consider him as 
entirely unworthy of credit, and to deny the 
reality of his journey. We had an opportunity, 
on Sir John Franklin's first expedition, of convers- 



hearne's route. 147 

ing with several old men who had belonged to the 
party of Copper Indians, that met Hearne atCon- 
gecathewachaga. The leading facts of his jour- 
ney are still current subjects of tradition among 
that tribe, as well as with the Northern Indians ; 
and from all that we have been able to collect in 
the fur countries, as well as from an attentive 
examination of his narrative, we are led to 
conclude that he visited the various places 
marked in his map, in the order in which they 
stand ; that all the rivers and lakes which he 
names actually exist ; and that he has correctly 
described the general physical features of the 
country he traversed. His description of the 
lower part of the Coppermine River, in particu- 
lar, is evidently that of one who had been on the 
spot. Hearne's original journal was very meagre, 
but, in common with all the residents in the fur 
countries, he seems to have had an excellent 
memory, and to have trusted much to it. By its 
aid, accordingly, and with the co-operation of 
Dr. Douglass, who edited his work, he has given 
an exceedingly interesting account of his travels 
and sufferings, together with very correct and im- 
portant details of the habits of the various ani- 
mals he was acquainted with. His printed 
work does not, however, quote his courses and 
distances so fully as his original journal (a copy 
of which we saw at Hudson's Bay) ; the ani- 

L 2 



148 DIGRESSION CONCERNING 

madversions of Dalrymple having apparently 
caused him to leave several important gaps in 
the enumeration of his daily journies both out- 
ward and homeward. 

" It is a matter of some consequence in the 
geographical delineation of the country, to ob- 
tain the true route followed by Hearne ; and 
notwithstanding the difficulties in the way of do- 
ing so, originating in the above-mentioned causes, 
Sir John Franklin's first journey supplies us with 
data for the correction of part of his course, and 
Captain Back's researches enable us to bring 
another portion nearer to the truth. From the 
former we obtain the correct position of the 
mouth of the Coppermine River, of Congeca- 
thewachaga, of Point Lake, and of the mouth of 
Slave River, by which we can readily ascertain 
all the western part of Hearne's route, the prin- 
cipal errors of which are shown by the follow- 



ing table : - 

Hearne 
Franklin 


Coppermine River. 
Lat. Long. 

71° 55' 120° 30' 
67° 48' 115° 37' 


Congecathewachaga. 
Lat. Long. 
68° 46' 118° 15' 
66° 14' 111° 26' 




4° 07' 


4° 53' 


2° 32' 


6° 49' 


Hearne 
Franklin 


Point 
Lat. 

65° 45' 
65° 00' 


Lake. 
Long. 
119° 00' 
112° 16' 


Slave Biver. 
Lat. Long. 
60° 48' 123° 55 f 
61° 30' 113° 24' 




0° 45' 


6° 44' 


0° 42' 


10° 31 



hearne's route. 149 

" It will be at once perceived, that while 
Hearne's latitude is too great at his most 
northern point, by upwards of four degrees, it 
is too little by three quarters of a degree at 
Slave River ; and there is also a great error in 
the course, for the mouth of the Slave River is 
actually two degrees to the eastward of that of 
the Coppermine, and not to the westward, as 
laid down in Hearne's map. This appears to 
have originated principally in his not having 
attended to the variation of the magnetic needle; 
though at the date of his journey it must have 
exceeded two points easterly on the Copper- 
mine ; and to give the correct course and dis- 
tance between the latter place and Congeca- 
thewachaga, that amount of variation is required 
to be applied to Hearne's courses, while his dis- 
tances are diminished to one half. A large re- 
duction of the length of his marches, though not 
always quite to this extent, must be made dur- 
ing his whole journey. When travelling with 
the Indians, their wives and children, during 
the winter, and when it was necessary to hunt 
for subsistence, he averages the daily distances 
made good at ten, and even fourteen, or twenty 
miles. Now in our journies with the Indians, 
under similar circumstances, we found that they 
seldom moved the camp above six miles in one 
day, more frequently travelling only four, and 

l 3 



150 DIGRESSION CONCERNING 

scarcely ever exceeding eight, excluding the 
windings of the route. The power of estimating 
the distance walked over can be acquired only by 
practice, in conjunction with the daily correction 
of errors by celestial observations, — allowance 
being, of course, made for the easy or difficult 
nature of the country ; but Hearne, as we have 
seen, was deprived of every means of correction ; 
and having once started with an inaccurate no- 
tion of the length of a mile, he carried the error 
with him to the end of his journey. In correct- 
ing his map, therefore, it is necessary to diminish 
the size of the lakes in an equal, if not in a 
greater degree than the distances. Upon these 
principles we have ventured to fix the following 
points of Hearne's route, taking, for conveni- 
ence, his homeward one. 

" He appears to have fallen on the Copper- 
mine River first at the Sandstone rapids of 
Franklin, and to have traced it to Bloody Fall ; 
but, as contrary to his usual practice, he under- 
rates the distance from thence to the coast, we 
are led to conclude that he did not actually go 
down to the sea, but was content to view it from 
the top of the hill which overhangs the falls ; and, 
indeed, it is not very probable that he could have 
induced the Indians, over whom he had little in- 
fluence, to accompany him on his survey, after 
they had completed the massacre which was the 



HEARNE S ROUTE. 151 

object of their long and laborious journey ; nor, 
had he gone actually to the mouth of the river, 
would he have mentioned marks of a tide four- 
teen feet high. 

" Buffalo or Musk-ox Lake, which he passed in 
going and returning, ought to be known by the 
latter name exclusively, as it is not frequented 
by the buffalo or bison. Cogead Lake is the 
Cont-woy-to, or Rum Lake, of Franklin ; and 
its waters, agreeably to Indian information ob- 
tained by Captain Back, flow by Congecathe- 
wachaga into the Thlew-ee-choh ; in which case, 
the Anatessy, or Cree River, as it is named by 
Franklin, is from its size to be considered as the 
main branch of the Thlew-ee-choh. The true 
distance from Congecathewachaga to Point Lake 
is 78 miles, though by Hearne's map it is 150. 
At one time, we were inclined to doubt the 
identity of Franklin's Point Lake with the one so 
named by Hearne, but we now consider them 
to be the same ; and, indeed, the small scrubby 
woods, which Hearne mentions as existing on its 
banks, were seen by us, this being an advantage 
possessed, perhaps, by no other lake so far to the 
eastward, and in so high a latitude. Thaye- 
chuck-gyed, or large Whitestone Lake lies a 
short way to the northward of Point Lake, and 
its waters most probably fall into that arm of 
Point Lake which Franklin's party crossed on 

l 4 



152 DIGRESSION CONCERNING 

the 23d of September, 1821. No-name Lake is 
evidently Providence Lake of Franklin. Hearne 
crossed Slave Lake by the usual Indian route, 
through the Reindeer Islands to Stony Point, 
and the Riviere a Jean, a branch of Slave River; 
but his map is inaccurate here, and does not 
agree with his text. The next place, whose 
position it is very desirable to ascertain, is 
Thelew-ey-aze-yeth, or Little Fish Hill ; and we 
may be assisted in doing this by our knowledge 
of three fixed points, viz. the mouth of Slave 
River, the edge of the woods to the north- 
ward, and Churchill Fort. The northern ter- 
mination of the woods inclines from the east 
side of Great Bear Lake considerably to the 
southward, as it runs to the eastward, pass- 
ing Fort Enterprise in 64£°, Artillery Lake in 
63|°, and continuing nearly in the same direc- 
tion until it approaches Hudson's Bay. Hearne 
makes it 63° 45' in the longitude he assigns to 
Thelew-ey-aze-yeth, but we shall not probably 
be far from the truth, if we consider it as in 
63^°. Now if we reduce the distance of one 
hundred and fifty miles, at which he places 
Thelew-ey-aze-yeth south of the barren grounds, 
to between eighty and ninety miles, and allow 
27° of variation on his route, we obtain 61° 55' 
for the latitude of that place, which is forty miles 
north of the position he assigns to it on his 



hearne's route. 153 

map. # By a proportionate reduction of the dis- 
tance between Slave River and Thelew-ey-aze- 
yeth, and from the latter to Churchill, we fix 
the required longitude at 106°. The position of 
Thelew-ey-aze-yeth is important as forming the 
junction of three branches of Hearne's route; and 
if we have correctly established it, that traveller 
must have passed over or near Artillery Lake in 
his journey north wards, which is probably his Pee- 
shew, or Cat Lake. The Thlew-ee-choh, which 
he crossed about midway between that lake and 
Congecathewachaga, is evidently not the branch 
of that river which originates in Sussex Lake, 
but a stream which flows in from the north- 
ward, most likely into the Anatessy branch. 

"The course of Thelew-ey-aze, or Little Fish 
River, is a matter of considerable interest, but 
we can derive no positive information respect- 
ing its debouchure from Hearne's map. If he cal- 
culated his distances on the same scale in his first 
journey as he did afterwards, which is likely, 
even though he had the assistance of a better 
instrument on that occasion, the chain of lakes 
which he lays down as far to the northward as 
Chesterfield's Inlet, will reach but little beyond 
Knap's Bay, and the nature of the country can 

* As this reduction applies only to one of the branches of 
Hearne's route, it would be safer for the present to let this 
place keep the latitude he gives to it, viz. 61° 15' N. 



154 DIGRESSION CONCERNING 

be considered as known only up to that parallel. 
He indicates a Little Fish River as existing at 
no great distance from Hudson's Bay, and says 
that it is three quarters of a mile wide, which 
as he estimates distances may be about five 
hundred and seventy yards ; but it can scarcely 
be the river of the same name that originates so 
far to the westward. If the latter issues in Ches- 
terfield inlet, it may hereafter afford a very desir- 
able route to Great Slave Lake. Its origin is at 
no great distance from the Lake of the Hills, as 
the traders travel to it from the establishment at 
the Fond du Lac in four days. It is known 
to them by the names of Riviere Noire and 
Thlewndiaza. 

" In conclusion we would remark, that the 
names given by Hearne to the various lakes 
which he saw are derived sometimes from the 
Cree language, at other times from the northern 
Indian ; and that his mode of writing the latter 
is different from that which we found to be best 
adapted to the pronunciation of the Copper 
Indians. He spells the term for lake whole, 
while it is written to in Captain Franklin's nar- 
rative; and the epithet translated 'great' is spelt 
chuck, whereas to us it sounded more like cho 
or choh. There are likewise some evident mis- 
takes in the names, and English is occasionally 
employed in the text, while the map gives only 



hearne's route. 155 

Indian, or vice versa. An instance of error 
originating in this practice occurs in Hearne's 
book, which shows that the author was not 
always at the editor's elbow. In page 102. 
Peeshew Lake is supposed to be the same with 
Partridge Lake. Now Peeshew is the Cree 
name for a lynx or cat, and the lake in question is 
accordingly marked on the map as Cat Lake, 
being, as we suppose, the same with Captain 
Back's Artillery Lake. Thoy-noy-kyed Lake, 
which Hearne draws correctly enough in his 
original map, as discharging its waters into Slave 
Lake, is the Lakes Aylmer and Clinton-Colden 
of Captain Back. Tha-na-koie, as the latter 
writes it, means " Sand-hill Mount," and is the 
name given to the narrows between these two 
lakes. Hearne places this spot a degree and 
a half too far north, and seven degrees and a 
half too far west." 



156 



CHAP. VI. 

Continue our Progress. — Rocks on the Thlew-ee-choh. — 
Island of singular Appearance. — Musk-Ox Lake. — - 
Conjectures on the Course of the Thlew-ee-choh. — Icy 
River. — Appearance of two Indians. — Maufelly per- 
mitted to visit his Wife. — Consummate skill of De 
Charloit. — Dwarf Pines. — Stoiy of the Rat and. the 
Beaver. — Unfitness of the Trees for Planks. — Artil- 
lery Lake. — Force of the Rapids. — Accident in our 
Passage. — Leave the Ah-hel-dessy. — A Bear killed. 
— Ridiculous Story. — March resumed. — Desolate 
Scenery. — A Deer shot. — Tormented by Sandflies, — 
Anecdote of Sir John Franklin. -^Meeting with Mr. 
M c Leod, by an unexpected Route. 

August 30. — Squalls and heavy rain prevailed 
most part of the night ; and the morning was so 
extremely foggy and raw, that nothing could be 
done towards repairing the canoe, which, to my 
regret, was found to be much more damaged than 
I had supposed. Three or four hundred deer 
came within half shot, but soon disappeared on 
discovering their mistake. Almost immediately 
afterwards a flock of geese flew close past, on 
their way to the south ; which circumstance 
Maufelly considered to be an indication of the 
breaking up of the season. 



ROCKS ON THE THLEW-EE-CHOH. 15J 

At noon the weather cleared, the canoe was 
put in order, and having made a cache of 
the spare baggage, we began to move to the 
river. The portage from Lake Aylmer is short 
of a mile, and in that space intervenes the small 
sheet of water already referred to. The actual 
height of the dividing land is consequently not 
more than two feet. We pursued exactly my route 
of the previous day, and soon came to another 
lake, at the north-eastern extremity of which 
the sand-hills dipped into the water. A crooked 
rapid, beset with large stones, impeded us so 
much, that it was 9 p. m. before we encamped. 
Many deer and grayling were seen. The coun- 
try became more broken into hills, some of 
which exposed inconsiderable masses of rocks, 
while the debris thickly strewn over every 
part of the vallies formed the bed of numer- 
ous ^ponds and water-courses, now dry. A 
portion of rock having a more compact form, 
broke ground near the river, and though not ex- 
tending more than thirty yards to the eastward, 
terminated in cliffs of twelve feet high. These 
were the first rocks on the Thlew-ee-choh, and 
were principally gneiss. 

The thermometer was 33° when we set out 
at 4 a. m. of the 31st of August, and followed a 
small lake until it ended in a rapid ; so choked 
by immense boulders that small as the canoe 



158 ISLAND OF SINGULAR APPEARANCE. 

was, a passage could not be effected without 
lifting her between the shelving pieces ; though, 
if a man slipped, there was quite water enough 
in many places to carry him under. The rough 
handling, added to the cold nights, had rendered 
the canoe so crazy, that the mere action of 
paddling now damaged her, and a third of one 
day was lost in making her tight. 

The stream again widened into what might 
be called a lake, and received the waters of Icy 
River from the westward, as well as those of 
another river from the eastward. The banks of 
the first were still cased in ponderous ice far 
up the valley, and the confluence was marked by 
a sort of curved surface, in the form of a low 
arch, from side to side, under which the water 
rushed in a yeasty current with a deep and 
rumbling noise. Some islands were passed, and 
one of the least had a singularly white appear- 
ance, which was caused, as I afterwards found, 
by large, round, light-coloured stones, which 
formed its cone-shaped sides. Situated as it 
was, nearly in the centre of a wide current, 
and in deep water, it was not easy to conceive 
to what this peculiar structure owed its origin ; 
for the stones were piled up twenty feet, were 
not encrusted with lichens, but, on the contrary, 
except in three or four spots, were perfectly 
clean, and had evidently obtained their present 



MUSK-OX LAKE. 15Q 

form from long exposure to attrition. I fancied, 
at this time, that it might have been produced 
by the combined pressure of the ice and cur- 
rent ; but the following spring showed that the 
former was level entirely round, and the latter 
less powerful than might have been expected. 
I was induced to notice more particularly the 
formation of this conical island, because the 
Indians concurred in describing the phenomenon 
of a smoking rock or mountain in a granitic 
district, nearly destitute of wood. 

For myself, I must say, that I observed no 
volcanic appearances along the whole line of our 
track, and it is not impossible that the Indians 
were mistaken as to this matter ; for having my- 
self had occasion to visit a place where one of 
my crew had fancied he saw a thick column of 
smoke issuing from a rock near the Ah-hel-dessy, 
I found that the smoke was nothing more than 
the spray rising from Parry's Falls. 

A narrow brought us to Musk-ox Lake, about 
six miles long, surrounded by tolerably steep 
hills, abounding, as Maufelly said, at certain sea- 
sons, with those animals ; and now having ar- 
rived at the commencement of a series of rapids, 
which the canoe was too weak to run, and 
too ricketty to be carried over, I had no choice 
but to stop, and rest satisfied with what had 
been achieved ; which, if not equal to my hopes, 
was still sufficient to cheer my companions, and 



160 COURSE OF THE RAPIDS. 

lure them on to the relief, as we then supposed, 
of our long-suffering countrymen. 

The rapids ran in a meandering course for an 
estimated distance of four miles, and then ex- 
panded into a wider part, the last bearing of 
which was north-east, where it was lost in a 
transverse range of mountains. According to 
the Indians, there was a large river not far off, 
that issued from the Cont-woy-to, or Rum Lake 
of Hearne, and fell into the Thlew-ee-choh. The 
distance of the lake was considered to be five 
days' march for a good hunter; and as they walk 
with little rest, I think this estimate not unlikely 
to be correct ; though it is difficult to imagine 
an outlet at each extreme, running in opposite 
directions. The Indians, however, were unani- 
mous on this head, and would not admit of there 
being a swampy marsh or narrow neck of land 
dividing the two waters ; indeed, they one and all 
laughed at the idea, and said that I had crossed 
the western river myself, meaning Bellenger's 
Rapid, where my friend Franklin had so narrow 
an escape. But without dwelling longer on the 
subject, as to which I had always my doubts, I 
was now easy as regarded the magnitude of the 
Thlew-ee-choh, but very far from being so with 
respect to its course. The river, it was evident, 
would go on increasing by successive contribu- 
tions from every valley throughout its descent, 
and would probably become a noble and ex- 



COURSE OF THE THLEW-EE-CHOH. 161 

pansive stream ; but, slavishly subject to the 
trending and declination of the land, it might 
possibly lead to some part unfavourable to our 
object; and whatever its direction, the appear- 
ance of the blue Mountains in the distance 
afforded abundant reason for supposing that we 
should have no lack of rapids and falls. 

The observations gave the latitude 64° 40' 51" 
N.; longitude 108° 08' 10" W. ; variation 44° 
24' E. It appeared, therefore, that we were 
only 109 miles south of the lower extremity of 
Bathurst's Inlet ; and as the two Indians, who 
had been any distance down the Thlew-ee-choh, 
agreed in stating that it took a turn to the left, 
and then went due north, there was a remote 
chance of its being identical with Back's River 
there, though its present N.E. trending was not 
favourable to that hypothesis. 

The Yellow Knives, who travel across the 
country in the spring to spear the deer as they 
pass the rapid, were not accustomed to go be- 
yond two days' march farther, through fear, as 
they said, of falling in with Esquimaux : little 
reliance, therefore, could be placed on their in- 
formation respecting a river known to them 
only by report. Neither they, nor the Chipewy- 
ans, evinced the least desire to extend their 
knowledge by offering to accompany us. We 
embarked towards evening, on our return; and 

M 



162 APPEARANCE OF TWO INDIANS. 

on passing Icy River, I observed that it had 
two channels, occasioned by an island at its 
mouth : the ice had undergone no perceptible 
alteration. Having made the portages of the 
upper rapids with some inconvenience, owing 
to the fragments of rocks, and innumerable large 
stones, which slipped from under our feet, we 
reached the cache at Sand-hill Bay. It had 
not been touched by the wolves ; and, with the 
exception of a solitary raven, busily occupied in 
devouring a piece of refuse deer's flesh, not a 
living; creature was to be seen. 

The canoe being repaired, we coasted along 
the eastern shore of Lake Aylmer, occasionally 
passing sand-banks of unequal height, and dip- 
ping to the south, whereas those on the Thlew- 
ee-choh dipped to the north. 

As we neared the narrows of Clinton-Colden 
Lake, on the 4th of September, a smoke was ob- 
served far south ; and, towards the evening, two 
Indians made their appearance on the bank of 
a hill, and, in obedience to our signs, came to 
the canoe. They informed us that, in a dispute 
between a Chipewyan and their countrymen, 
the Yellow Knives, the former had been killed ; 
but, as he was an orphan, no one would revenge 
his death. The Indians generally, they said, 
had been distressed for provision, though, from 
the distant smokes they had seen in the day, it 



MAUFELLY STRIVES TO GET AWAY. 163 

might be inferred that they had been successful 
in their hunts, and would soon have the means 
of bringing us a liberal supply. Maufelly now 
told me that, as he understood his old father 
was with some Indians to the westward, and, 
from his infirmities, was unable himself to hunt, 
he was anxious to go and support him ; adding, 
that the poor old man had no other dependence, 
and might be left to starve by the young men, 
who always followed the deer, regardless of 
the laggers behind. Knowing that so unna- 
tural an act was altogether improbable, and 
feeling the necessity of retaining him as a guide 
to the east end of Great Slave Lake, I refused 
my permission, unless he were content to sa- 
crifice what his labours had already earned — a 
condition which, I well knew, would not be pa- 
latable to him : and the difficulty was finally got 
over by his persuading one of the other Indians to 
become his companion, so as to enable him to 
return to his father at the earliest moment that 
I might find it practicable to release him and 
trust to his substitute. Accordingly, we made 
room for our new-comer, and, having picked up 
the bag of pemmican left in cache, encamped, at 
sunset, near the first rapid in the little river. 

Two Indians soon arrived from Akaitcho, 
whose party had that afternoon found a seasonable 
relief to the long privation, which their squalid 

m 2 



164 MAUFELLY VISITS HIS WIFE. 

arid emaciated appearance too painfully indicated. 
I knew them both : one, indeed, had been with 
me to the Copper-mine River, on Sir J. Frank- 
lin's first expedition. With the usual apathy of 
their nature, they evinced no marks of satisfac- 
tion or surprise at seeing me ; but received 
their tobacco, and smoked it as coolly as if it had 
been given by some gentleman of the country 
in the regular routine of a trading expedition. 
Their silence and seriousness soon, however, un- 
derwent an extraordinary change, when they 
heard some half dozen expressions which I had 
been accustomed to use on the former occasion. 
They laughed immoderately ; kept repeating the 
words ; talked quickly among themselves, and 
seemed greatly delighted. They were supplied 
with presents for my old friends Akaitcho and 
his brother Humpy; and as they were going, 
the interpreter came with a request on behalf of 
Maufelly, who was afraid, he said, to ask me in 
person lest I should be displeased, that I would 
give him leave only to go and see his wife, who 
had favoured him with a child in his absence, 
undertaking faithfully to return before we should 
be ready in the morning. To this there could 
be no objection ; and I shall not easily forget 
the poor fellow's transports as he leapt into the 
canoe with his countrymen, and began to sing 
and shout in imitation of the Canadians. 



CONSUMMATE SKILL OF DE CHARLOIT. 165 

September 5th. — Maufelly was as good as 
his word; for by 4 a.m. he arrived, accompanied 
by another of my Fort Enterprise acquaintances, 
who, actuated by curiosity, or the prospect of a 
smoke, was thus early in his attention. I had 
this day another opportunity of admiring the 
consummate skill of De Charloit, who ran our 
ricketty and shattered canoe down four suc- 
cessive rapids, which, under less able manage- 
ment, would have whirled it, and every body in 
it, to certain destruction. Nothing could exceed 
the self-possession and nicety of judgment with 
which he guided the frail thing along the narrow 
line between the high waves of the torrent, and 
the returning eddy : a foot in either direction 
would have been fatal ; but, with the most 
perfect ease, and, I may add, elegant and 
graceful action, his keen eyes fixed upon the 
run*, he kept her true to her course through 
all its rapid windings. The rapids brought us 
to the same lake which had been found with so 
much trouble, and crossed on the 25th of August. 
Our Indian preferred the western shore, which 
differed in nothing from its opposite, except that 
the rocks were higher, though, like the others, 
quite barren. A group of islands appeared in a 
S. S. W. direction ; and, as we proceeded, the hills 

* Lead of the water. 
M 3 



1(36 FIRST DWARF PINES. 

became more sloping and less craggy, with a 
light covering of moss upon them. Still farther 
south, in latitude 63° 15' 00" N., we saw the 
first dwarf pines, from fourteen inches to two 
feet high, which my bowman humourously 
called des petits vieux. In many of these the 
head of the stem was dead, and blanched with 
ao-e ; while a progeny of branches shot out 
from the foot, with just so much of green on their 
stunted limbs as sufficed to show that they were 
alive. Nevertheless, such as they were, they 
were welcome to us, who had not seen any since 
the 20th of August; and, as all enjoyment is 
comparative, we looked forward with delight to 
the comfort of a good fire. Men's notions of 
happiness vary with their circumstances and 
condition ; and in the seemingly trifling change 
from one kind of food to another, the voyageur 
has as keen a sense of pleasure, and is, per- 
haps, as grateful to the bountiful Giver, as 
more favoured mortals amid their boasted refine- 
ments. 

The eastern shore, though dimmed by a blue 
mist or haze, was occasionally visible, and the 
country began to assume a more wooded and 
inhabitable look. When we got to a long and 
rounded mound, about half a mile from the 
western side, I observed that both the Indians 
assumed a look of superstitious awe, and main- 



STORY OF THE RAT AND BEAVER. 167 

tained a determined silence. I inquired the 
reason of this reverential demeanour ; when 
Maufelly, after some hesitation, with a face of 
great seriousness, informed us, that the small 
island we were passing was called the Rat's 
Lodge, from an enormous musk rat which once 
inhabited it. " But what you see there," said 
he, pointing to a rock on the opposite shore, 
with a conical summit, " that is the Beaver's 
Lodge ; and lucky shall we be if we are not 
visited with a gale of wind, or something worse. 
The chief would perhaps laugh at the story 
which our old men tell, and we believe, about 
that spot." He then proceeded to narrate, with 
great earnestness and solemnity of manner, a 
traditionary tale, which, as illustrative of Indian 
notions, may not be uninteresting to the reader. 
It was in substance as follows : " In that lodge 
there dwelt, in ancient times, a beaver as large as a 
buffalo ; and, as it committed great depredations, 
sometimes alone, and sometimes with the aid of 
its neighbour the rat, whom it had enticed into 
a league, the bordering tribes, who suffered from 
these marauding expeditions, resolved upon its 
destruction. Accordingly, having consulted to- 
gether on the best mode of executing their 
design, and arranged a combined attack ; not 
however, unknown to the wary beaver, which, it 
seems, had a spy in the enemy's quarters. They 

m 4 



168 STORY OF 

set out one morning before the sun rose, and, 
under cover of a dense vapour which hung upon 
the lake, approached, with noiseless paddle, the 
shore of the solitary lodge. Not a whisper was 
heard, as each Indian cautiously took his station, 
and stood with bow or spear in act to strike. 
One, the ' Eagle of his tribe,' advanced before 
the rest, and with light steps drew near a 
cavern in the rock ; where, placing his head to 
the ground, he listened anxiously for some 
moments, scarcely seeming to breathe ; then, 
with a slight motion of his hand, he gave the 
welcome sign that the enemy was within. 

" A shower of arrows was poured into the 
chasm ; and the long shrill whoop that accom- 
panied the volley had just died away in its caverns, 
when a heavy splash was heard, which, for a time, 
suspended further operations. The attacking 
party gazed on one another in mute and vacant 
surprise ; for they had not suspected the subter- 
ranean passage, and felt that they were baffled. 
The chief, after creeping into the cavern to 
explore, directed them to embark ; and, having 
formed a crescent with their canoes at intervals 
of a hundred yards from each other, they paddled 
towards the Rat's Lodge, under the idea that 
the enemy might have retreated thither : if not, 
it was agreed, that the rat, though, upon the 



THE RAT AND BEAVER. 1 09 

whole, comparatively harmless, should pay the 
penalty of his untoward alliance, and suffer a 
vicarious punishment, for the sins of his friend 
and the gratification of the disappointed pursuers. 
The rat, however, fortunately for himself, had 
that instinctive foresight of approaching ruin 
which proverbially belongs to his race ; and, 
however ready to assist his neighbour when 
matters went well with him, and something was 
to be gained by the cooperation, he watched with 
a prudent jealousy the conduct and fortunes of 
one so obnoxious to hatred, and was ready, on 
the first appearance of danger, to stand aloof and 
disclaim him. Accordingly, when the beaver 
presented himself at the lodge of his friend, to 
crave a temporary asylum from his pursuers, the 
rat, with many protestations of esteem and 
regret, civilly declined to admit him, and recom- 
mended him to make the most of his time by 
swimming to some rocks to the south, where he 
would be safe from his enemies. 

"The beaver, though stunned for a time by this 
unexpected repulse, soon recovered his wonted 
spirit, and, feeling his situation to be hopeless, 
threw himself on the rat, and began a desperate 
struggle. How the contest might have ended, 
it was difficult to conjecture ; but the whoop of 
the Indians arrested the combatants ; and, darting 



170 STORY OF THE RAT AND BEAVER. 

a look of vengeance at the rat, the beaver 
plunged once more into the water. The chase 
was long, and many were the hair-breadth 
escapes of the resolute beaver : but the ar- 
dour of the hunters was not to be quenched ; 
and tracked to the end of the lake, and thence 
down the cataracts and rapids which mark its 
course to the next, the exhausted animal yielded 
its life, just as its feet touched the distant rocks 
of the Tal-thel-leh. 

" But its spirit," said Maufelly in a low and 
subdued tone, " still lingers about its old haunt, 
the waters of which obey its will ; and ill fares 
the Indian who attempts to pass it in his canoe, 
without muttering a prayer for safety : many 
have perished ; some bold men have escaped ; 
but none have been found so rash as to venture 
a second time within its power." 

Whatever may be thought of this strange 
story, Maufelly related it with so serious an air, 
as to leave no doubt of his own entire and un- 
qualified faith ; and the minute circumstantiality 
of the detail showed with what a religious care 
he had treasured every particular. 

The woods afforded us a cheerful fire at our 
encampment. The night was calm, and beauti- 
fully lit up by the flitting coruscations of a bright 
aurora ; nevertheless, impending storms were 



UNFITNESS OF THE TREES FOR PLANKS. 171 

threatened by the cackling of hundreds of geese, 
which, at an immense height, were winging 
their flight to the southward. Ranged accord- 
ing to their families, the Grey, or Bustard, 
the White, and the Laughing Geese, came 
past in quick succession, vying in swiftness, as 
if anxious to escape from the wintry horrors of 
the north. Nothing could be more conclusive 
of the breaking up of the season ; and we had 
reason to be grateful for being so near home. 

September 6th. — The lake gradually con- 
tracted; and I was sorry to remark that the trees 
were generally small, and unfit for sawing into 
planks for the construction of my boats. A bay, 
edged by sand-banks, seemed at first sight to offer 
a better kind ; but this also, on inspection, was 
found knotty, full of branches, and consequently 
unsuitable to the purpose. It was this spot that 
the Indians had recommended, as possessing all 
the requisites for building and supporting a new 
establishment ; and a stronger example of their 
incapacity for judging, and of the necessity 
of receiving their suggestions with caution, 
could scarcely be brought forward. The aspect 
was unsheltered and forbidding ; the waters were 
without fish; and there was hardly wood enough 
in the immediate vicinity to raise a temporary 
hut, far less to supply it with fuel. 

Accustomed to their exaggerations, I was not 



172 FORCE OF THE RAPIDS. 

myself much disappointed ; but it bore hard 
upon the men, whose utmost exertions would 
thus be required in making the necessary prepar- 
ations, at a time when they should rather have 
been husbanding their strength for the ensuing 
summer. We soon got to the southern extremity 
of the lake, which is about forty miles long, and 
twelve broad at the widest part; and, out of 
respect to the distinguished corps to which some 
of my crew belonged, and from a grateful remem- 
brance of the deep interest manifested by its 
officers * for the success of the expedition, and 
of their friendly courtesies to myself, I called it 
Artillery Lake. 

The river, by which it discharges itself into 
Great Slave Lake, began its descent by an ugly 
rapid, too hazardous to run, and yet scarcely so 
dangerous as to induce us to make a portage of. 
We compromised, therefore, by lowering half the 
way, and carrying the rest. A second rapid was 
run ; but we had not calculated on the amazing 
force of so confined a torrent; and, just as we 
gained the eddy, the old canoe got a twist which 
nearly broke it in two. Another clump of pines 
induced me to land; and, while the men examined 
the quality of the timber, I obtained a set of 

t Col. Godby, Capt. Anderson, Lieuts. Tylden, Crau- 
furd, &c. 



ACCIDENT IN OUR PASSAGE. I73 

sights, which gave the latitude 62° 53' 26" N. ; 
longitude, 108° 28' 24" W. ; and variation, 38° 

The wood was no way better than that seen 
in the early part of the morning ; and we pushed 
from the bank, with the intention of going care- 
fully down the stream ; though a look of inde- 
cision, if not of positive apprehension, betokened 
some inward working in the steersman's mind, 
for which I was utterly unable to account, until 
informed, that for days past Maufelly had been 
talking about the dangers he did know, and the 
dangers he did not know, in the Ah-hel-dessy. 
The Indians, he said, never attempted it in any 
manner, either up or down; and, as he was not in 
a hurry to die, though he was willing to walk on 
the rocks, he would not, on any account, run it 
in the canoe. I shamed him out of this unmanly 
resolution ; and when he and his companion had 
indulged in a laugh among themselves, we slipt 
down another rapid. However, on trying the 
fourth, the steersman became so unnerved, as to 
lose all self-command ; and, by not cooperating 
with De Charloit, fixed us against a sharp rock, 
that cut the canoe. Happily, it twirled round, 
and floated till we reached the shore. The man's 
confidence was gone ; and, rather than incur any 
more such risks in the foaming rapids before us, 
I abandoned an attempt which the Indian per- 



174 LEAVE THE AH-HEL-DESSY. 

sisted in declaring was impossible ; and the trusty 
and battered canoe being left, with a few other 
things in cache, each man was laden with a 
weight of one hundred and twenty pounds, and 
began to pick his way up the steep and irregular 
sides of the hills. On gaining the summit, 
Maufelly pointed out to me the spot where 
Sanpere turned back when he was sent to look 
for the Thlew-ee-choh ; so that he had never left 
the woods, and, consequently, had not been more 
than half the distance. * 

At first, we walked with tolerable speed over 
the broken rocks, and through the intersecting 
gullies ; but the kind of ladder exercise which this 
imposed taxed the muscles so severely, that the 
strongest was fain to slacken his pace, as the 
same interruptions and impediments multiplied 
upon us. We had every disadvantage in follow- 
ing the stream ; and, as I could now trace it in a 
westerly direction as far as a range of mountains 
that cut it at right angles, and along the base of 
whicli it would necessarily flow, there could be no 
reason to impose upon my crew the fatigue of 
going there, when, by following a straight line 
to the east end of Slave Lake, the distance and 
labour might be so materially lessened. 

I took leave, therefore, of the Ah-hel-dessy, 

* See page 87. 



A BEAR KILLED. I75 

and had abundant cause to rejoice at havinc 
done so ; for the whole distance to the mountains 
appeared to be an unbroken succession of rapids, 
which must have stopped us; for, whether pass- 
able or not in a boat, they were evidently imprac- 
ticable for a canoe. The mosquitos, and their 
confederates the sand-flies, had of late nearly 
disappeared, or, if a few still buzzed about, they 
were too torpid to give much annoyance, while 
the memory of their past injuries, with the pre- 
sent sense of security, had given occasion to 
many a jest: but our merriment was now inter- 
rupted by the unrelenting attacks of increased 
swarms of the latter, whose more southerly abode 
had preserved them in the enjoyment of robust 
and vigorous health. The persecution of these 
venomous insects, and the badness of the route, 
occasioned frequent halts ; in one of which a 
solitary bear caught the ever-watchful sight of 
the Indian ; and, instantly seizing a gun, he went 
with De Charloit in pursuit. 

The rock and valley favoured their approach ; 
and, though Bruin was on the look out, and, 
raising himself on his hind legs, stretched out 
his neck, with a sort of waltzing motion, sniffing 
the wind suspiciously, all his care was ineffec- 
tual — in ten minutes he was lying dead, at 
the foot of the precipice over which he rolled 
as he fell. Maufelly immediately ran to some 



176 RIDICULOUS STORY. 

willows ; and, having cut a branch and trimmed 
it into a skewer, he fixed it into the bear's mouth, 
in such a manner as to keep the jaws fully ex- 
tended ; which, he assured me, with much gravity, 
would prevent its biting, as many of its kind had 
been known to do, and as his own father had 
found to his cost. To that hour, he said, he 
bore the marks of one, which he thought had 
been dead, and was deliberately preparing to cut 
up ; when, to his great horror, it seized him by 
the leg. Aware of their obstinacy of belief on 
all matters connected with hunting, or relating 
to the animals with which they were familiar, I 
made no vain attempts to convince them of their 
errors, however ridiculous, but listened patiently, 
and without comment, to their stories ; but my 
steersman was so much diverted at the gaping 
countenance of Bruin, that he gave loose to his 
mirth ; which so annoyed the Indian, that, with 
a glance of ineffable contempt, not unmixed 
with anger, he muttered in his guttural language, 
" The white man did not laugh in the rapid." 
He then sat down and smoked his pipe, while 
his companion expertly stripped off the skin, and 
placed the meat in cache, to be sent for at a 
future opportunity. I could not avoid remark- 
ing the minute curiosity with which the operator 
inspected the entrails, the haste with which he 
threw over his shoulders a portion that he had 



RESUME OUR MARCH. VfJ 

lopped off, carefully refraining to look in that 
direction, and the smile which played over his 
features at beholding the stomach filled with 
berries. " C'est leur facon," said the interpreter 
to my inquiry, who, notwithstanding the philo- 
sophic tenor of his answer, was evidently as 
interested in the scrutiny as the Indian himself. 
By the same " fa9on, " I learned that the rein- 
deer had no gall-bladder in the region of the 
liver, nor any where else, that they could dis- 
cover ; a fact of which I have no hesitation in 
confessing my previous ignorance, but which 
was subsequently verified by the anatomical 
examination of Mr. King. 

The march was resumed, sometimes in valleys 
heaped with confused masses of debris from the 
surrounding granite, at others along narrow 
shelves of perpendicular rocks, not unlike some 
of the passes of the Alps, and threatening the 
same disastrous consequences from a false step. 
Our route seemed even perilous ; and thinking 
the Indian had purposely led us into it by way 
of revenge for the late laugh, I hastened forward 
to remonstrate; but he kept his lead, and when I 
reached the summit of the mountain, the sun was 
setting, and it was time to encamp. "Let not the 
sun go down on thy wrath," admonished me to 
be silent; and when Maufelly pointed to Artillery 

N 



178 DESOLATE SCENERY. 

Lake on the far horizon, and to another at the 
extreme south, I rejoiced that, whatever the mo- 
tive might have been, he had chosen that steep 
and weary track. It was a sight altogether novel 
to me ; I had seen nothing in the Old World at 
all resembling it. There was not the stern beauty 
of Alpine scenery, and still less the fair variety 
of hill and dale, forest and glade, which makes the 
charm of a European landscape. There was 
nothing to catch or detain the lingering eye, 
which wandered on, without a check, over endless 
lines of round backed rocks, whose sides were 
rent into indescribably eccentric forms. It was 
like a stormy ocean suddenly petrified. Except 
a few tawny and pale green lichens, there was 
nothing to relieve the horror of the scene ; for 
the fire had scathed it, and the grey and black 
stems of the mountain pine, which lay prostrate 
in mournful confusion, seemed like the blackened 
corpses of departed vegetation. It was a picture 
of "hideous ruin and combustion." 

Our encampment was broken up, and we were 
on our way very early on the morning of the 7th 
of September, but every one was too busily en- 
gaged in picking his way to speak ; not a word 
was audible until about eight o 'clock, when a 
fine buck deer, betrayed by its branching antlers, 
was espied feeding behind a point thirty paces 
from us. It was brought down ; and the haunch, 



TORMENTED BY SAND-FLIES. 17Q 

covered with a rich layer of fat two inches 
thick, afforded a luxurious breakfast. Having 
put the remainder en cache, we proceeded on 
our way, and when we had gained the top 
of a hill Slave Lake was seen right before 
us, hemmed in by mountains of considerable 
magnitude and height. A craggy range to the 
right determined the course of the Ah-hel- 
dessy ; and many a steep rock and deep 
valley between the lake and us, announced the 
fatigue which was to be endured before we 
arrived at our destination. But how can I 
possibly give an idea of the torment we endured 
from the sand flies ? As we dived into the con- 
fined and suffocating chasms, or waded through 
the close swamps, they rose in clouds, actually, 
darkening the air : to see or to speak was 
equally difficult, for they rushed at every un- 
defended part, and fixed their poisonous fangs 
in an instant. Our faces streamed with blood, 
as if leeches had been applied ; and there was a 
burning and irritating pain, followed by imme- 
diate inflammation, and producing giddiness, 
which almost drove us mad. Whenever we 
halted, which the nature of tire country com- 
pelled us to do often, the men, even Indians, 
threw themselves on their faces, and moaned 
with pain and agony. My arms being less en- 
cumbered, I defended myself in some degree by 

n 2 



ISO ANECDOTE OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN. 

waving a branch in each hand ; but even with 
this, and the aid of a veil and stout leather 
gloves, I did not escape without severe punish- 
ment. For the time, I thought the tiny plagues 
worse even than mosquitos. 

While speaking on this subject I am reminded 
of a remark of Maufelly, which as indicative of 
the keen observation of the tribe, and illustrating 
the humanity of the excellent individual to whom 
it alludes, I may be pardoned for introducing 
here. — It was the custom of Sir John Franklin 
never to kill a fly ; and, though teased by them 
beyond expression, especially when engaged in 
taking observations, he would quietly desist from 
his work, and patiently blow the half-gorged 
intruders from his hands — " the world was 
wide enough for both." This was jocosely re- 
marked upon at the time by Akaitcho and the 
four or five Indians who accompanied him ; but 
the impression, it seems, had sunk deep, for on 
Maufelly's seeing me fill my tent with smoke, 
and then throw open the front and beat the sides 
all round with leafy branches, to drive out the 
stupefied pests before I went to rest, he could 
not refrain from expressing his surprise that I 
should be so unlike the old chief, who would 
not destroy so much as a single mosquito. 

As we got to the confluence of the Ah-hel- 
dessy with Great Slave Lake, I was glad to per- 



MEETING WITH MR. MCLEOD. 181 

ceive that the trees, though knotty, were of 
greater girth, and that some small birch were 
also thinly scattered about. As yet, however, 
I had not seen any that would have answered 
for planking, and began to fear that we should 
have to send about one hundred and fifty miles 
for that indispensable material. 

We had now reached the eastern extremity 
of the lake, where, in my letter of the 19th of 
August, I had directed Mr. M c Leod to build an 
establishment. Proceeding onward over the mossy 
and even surface of the sand-banks, we were ac- 
cordingly gladdened by the sound of the wood- 
man's stroke ; and, guided by the branchless trunks, 
which lay stretched along the earth, we soon 
came to a bay, where, in agreeable relief against 
the dark green foliage, stood the newly-erected 
framework of a house. Mr. M c Leod was walk- 
ing under the shade of the trees with La Prise, 
and did not hear us until we were within a few 
yards of him. We were ranged in single file, the 
men having, of their own accord, fallen into 
that order ; and, with our swollen faces, dressed 
and laden as we were, some carrying guns, others 
tent poles, &c, we must have presented a 
strangely wild appearance, not unlike a group 
of robbers on the stage. 

This, however, did not prevent my friend 
from testifying his satisfaction at our return. 

n 3 



182 TAKE AN UNEXPECTED ROUTE. 

He had expected that our route would have been 
by a small river, about a mile to the eastward, 
invariably used by the Chipewyans or Yellow- 
knives, whenever they proceed in that direction ; 
and, as it may be supposed, quite unknown to 
me until that moment. On subsequent in- 
spection, however, it was found to be too 
shallow for canoes, being merely the outlet to 
some small lakes, and the waters of a picturesque 
fall, from four to eight miles distant. There 
were many small Indian canoes stowed under 
the branches of the willows ; and as it was 
the lowest and most favourable route to the 
Barren lands, it was preferred, it seems, to those 
by which I had passed. 



1S3 



CHAP. VII. 

" Le grand jeune Homme" — Trade with the Indians 

Sunday. — Mr. King arrives, with two Bateaux. — 
Performed a Surgical Operation. — Discomforts of an 
Indian Canoe. — Conduct of the Party. — Erection of 
new Dwelling. — Arrival of Indians. — Their Policy. 
— Aged Indian Woman. — Starving Visitors. — Case of 
Revenge for Inhospitality. — The Thleiv-ee-choh described. 

— Observatory. — Strange Appearance of the Aurora. 

— Pouring in of the Indians. — Superstitious Fancies. 

— Shortness of Food. — Domiciled in the new Building, 
named Fort Reliance. — Supplies again fail. — Akaitcho. 

— Discharge of De Charloit and two Iroquois ; also, 
of Da Charity. — Gloom of the Indians. — Story of 
a young Hunter. — Breach of Indian Law. — Death 
of the old Woman. — Christmas-day. — Short Allow- 
ance. — Experiments. — Excessive Cold. — Arrival of 
Mr. M c Leod. — Barbarous Atrocity. — - Revolting 
Story of an Indian. 

I learnt from Mr. M c Leod, that he had waited 
the arrival of the Indian chief, " Le grand jeune 
homme," at Fort Resolution ; that at first the 
chief had affected to be mightily disappointed on 
being told that I did not require his services ; 
but had gradually moderated his ill humour on 
hearing of our limited stock of goods, and the 
strict regulations that were to be enforced ; 
and finally, having been requited for his loss of 

n 4 



184 TRADE WITH THE INDIANS. 

time with the value of fortv beaver skins, he 
became perfectly satisfied, and was so left. 

Assisted by the Indians, and having picked 
up La Prise with my canoe, &c, at Hoar- 
frost River, Mr. M c Leod had arrived on the 
22d of August ; and, with only four men, had 
contrived to erect the log framework already 
mentioned. The work had been seriously inter- 
rupted by the sand-flies ; nor could the men 
stand to it at all without the protection of clouds 
of smoke, from small fires of green wood which 
were kept burning around them. 

The hopes of a new establishment on the 
borders of a lake rest chiefly on the produce of 
a fishery ; and the daily supply of white fish, as 
well as trout, yielded by the nets, seemed to 
verify the accounts we had received, and held 
out an encouraging prospect for the future. 
Some meat, also, had been seasonably brought 
in by the Indians, in paying for which, Mr. 
M c Leod, foreseeing a great expenditure of am- 
munition, had, with a proper regard to economy, 
reduced the usual trading prices. The innovation 
was by no means popular, but, as there were 
upwards of one hundred and fifty miles between 
us and the next house, it was their interest to 
acquiesce ; for, the market being near their hunt- 
ing grounds, if they got smaller profits, they had 
quicker returns. 



SUNDAY. 185 

The following clay being Sunday, divine service 
was read, and our imperfect thanks were humbly 
offered to Almighty God for the mercies which 
had been already vouchsafed to us ; and, though 
in this imperious climate, with every thing to do, 
time was certainly precious, yet, feeling that the 
first opening of the sacred volume in this distant 
wilderness ought not to be profaned by any 
mixture of common labour, I made it a day of 
real quiet and repose. 

After the men had recovered from their bites, 
rather than their fatigue, they were sent for the 
meat which we had concealed on our track ; and, 
returning by a different route, they had the good 
fortune to find a clump of trees sufficiently free 
from knots to admit of their being converted into 
the proper length of planking for boats. This 
discovery was most important, as if was afterwards 
found to be the only clump at all suited to the 
purpose; and, had it not been thus luckily 
stumbled on, the trouble, expense, and fatigue 
of sending at least a hundred miles over the ice 
for wood, might have cramped, if not altogether 
paralysed, our efforts in the ensuing summer. 

On the 16th of September, I had the gratifi- 
cation to welcome to the fort my companion Mr. 
King. He arrived with the two laden bateaux ; 
and, notwithstanding his inexperience in the 
country, he brought his heavy cargo in a very 



186 ANNOYANCES SUFFERED BY MR. KING. 

good state of preservation. He had suffered, as 
was to be expected, the usual impositions which 
the old voyageurs consider themselves entitled 
to practise on the uninitiated, and had, conse- 
quently, been exposed to frequent personal incon- 
veniences. Between Cumberland House and 
Isle a la Crosse, he met some Cree Indians, 
" who passed," said Mr. King, " in their canoes, 
in seeming high spirits ; but in a short time the 
old man of the family returned, with a request 
that I would extract a tooth, claiming me, at the 
same time, as a brother ' medicine man.' The 
difference in his first and second appearance 
was truly ludicrous, — then active and cheerful, 
now, diseased and dejected : he acted his part 
admirably, and, at his earnest entreaty, I gave 
him a few harmless mixtures, which might assist 
him in maintaining his professional respect- 
ability." The negligence of the men had caused 
his passing the pitch springs in the Elk River 
without taking in a supply ; and, on reaching 
Chipewyan, he had to send back for some. 
Fortunately, during the delay so occasioned, 
Mr. Charles, the chief factor of the district, 
arrived, and relieved him from another embarrass- 
ing situation with regard to provisions. He had 
my directions to supply his party with enough 
for thirty days' consumption, but was informed 
by the clerk in charge that he could not have 



SURGICAL OPERATION ON A WOMAN. 187 

half the quantity, as some must be reserved for 
the Slave Lake and Peace River brigades. His 
instructions were positive, to keep our sixty bags 
entire, except in case of actual starvation ; and he 
had begun therefore to provide nets, to avoid 
the necessity of trenching on them, when the op- 
portune appearance of the chief factor removed 
his disquietude, by clearing the store for him. 
Mr. King at the same time bore grateful testi- 
mony to the general courtesy and kindness 
manifested by this gentleman. Certainly, to one 
who is wandering for the first time in a strange 
land, the meeting with a generous and warm- 
hearted countryman is inexpressibly delightful. 
It cheers and refreshes the traveller, carrying 
back his thoughts to that dear land which claims 
them both for its children. That Mr. King, 
under the circumstances in which he found 
himself, should feel even more than ordinary 
gratitude was but natural. 

While at Chipewyan, Mr. King had performed 
a successful operation on a woman's upper lip, 
which was in a shocking state from cancer, 
brought on, as he thought, from the inveterate 
habit of smoking, so common among the half- 
breeds. He had met with two or three cases 
of it before ; one, at Fort William, was incurable, 
and very loathsome. His presence was hailed 
with delight at every post beyond Jack River, 



188 DISCOMFORTS OF AN INDIAN CANOE. 

either by the natives, or those who resided at 
them ; and it surprised me to learn how much 
disease has spread through this part of the 
country. 

Having procured the tar, Mr. King embarked 
in a half-sized canoe with four men, and followed 
the bateaux, which had been sent ahead, with- 
out other guide than James Spence, one of 
my men in the last expedition, who had ex- 
changed with a Canadian, to join me, — an excel- 
lent lad, but with not a very accurate memory, so 
that the canoe was nearly drawn into the fright- 
ful rapids and falls of the "Cassette," to run which 
is never even attempted. He had passed the pro- 
per turning to make the portage, and the Iroquois 
in the bow declared he could neither advance 
nor retreat. Luckily they were near the land, 
which they reached ; and, by converting their 
ceintures, or sashes, into a towing line, they 
hauled up against the strong current, and ulti- 
mately got into the right track. On descending 
the Slave River, Mr. King met some Indians, 
and engaged one to take him in his small canoe 
to Fort Resolution, under the impression of 
gaining time ; and this species of travelling he 
described as not being over comfortable. " I was 
forty hours in the Indian canoe," said he, " and 
it was decidedly the most irksome time I ever 
spent. I was not able to move hand or foot ; 
and this occasioned such a state of drowsiness, 



CONDUCT OF THE PARTY. 189 

as made sleep almost irresistible, though the con- 
sequence might have been the upsetting of the 
canoe." Some strong tea, however, dispelled it ; 
and, on reaching the Fort, he found that the 
boats had been four days before him. # 

The people, according to Mr. King's account, 
had conducted themselves as well as those of 
their station generally do, under similar circum- 
stances, with the exception of two ; and they 
were the less excusable, from the consideration 
shown them, and the generous treatment they 
had experienced from the Arctic Committee 
in England. I therefore took this occasion to 
assemble the whole of my party, and to inflict 
a public and severe reprimand upon the offend- 
ers. The binding nature of their agreements 
was recapitulated, and a brief explanation 
oiven of the system that would be observed 
throughout the service. I endeavoured to 
convince them that it was their true interest 
to conduct themselves like good and honest 
men; and I reminded them that they were 
embarked in an enterprise which, whether suc- 
cessful or not, would always receive the meed of 
public approbation. After this admonition I intro- 
duced Mr. M c Leod as an officer of the expe- 

* I had been kindly provided with various seeds, by Mr. 
Lindley, the learned Secretary of the Horticultural Society, 
some of which were left at each post. 



190 CONSTRUCTION OF NEW DWELLING. 

dition, and the person to whose superintendence 
and management our future establishment would 
be committed ; and I informed them that from 
him they would receive their orders. 

The site of our intended dwelling was a level 
bank of gravel and sand, covered with reindeer 
moss, shrubs, and trees, and looking more like a 
park than part of an American forest. It formed 
the northern extremity of a bay, from twelve to 
fifteen miles long, and of a breadth varying from 
three to five miles, named after my friend Mr. 
M c Leod. The Ah-hel-dessy fell into it from 
the westward, and the small river previously 
mentioned from the eastward. Granitic hills, or 
mountains, as the Indians term them, of grey 
and flesh-coloured felspar, quartz, and in some 
places large plates of mica, surrounded the bay, 
and attained an altitude of from five to fifteen hun- 
dred feet ; which, however, instead of sheltering 
us, rather acted as a conductor for the wind 
between E. S. E. and W. S. W. which occasion- 
ally blew with great violence. The long sand- 
banks, which ran out between the two rivers, 
and the snug nooks along the shores, seemed to 
offer a safe retreat for the white fish during their 
spawning season, which was now at hand ; and 
more nets were set, to take advantage of so au- 
spicious a promise. 

The men were divided into parties, and ap- 



ARRIVAL OF INDIANS. igi 

pointed to regular tasks : some to the felling of 
trees, and squaring them into beams or rafters ; 
others, to the sawing of slabs and planks : 
here was a group awkwardly chipping the shape- 
less granite into something like form ; and there 
a party in a boat in search of mud and grass for 
mortar. It was an animated scene ; and, set off 
as it was by the white tents and smoky leather 
lodges, contrasting with the mountains and green 
woods, it was picturesque as well as interesting. 

In a few days, the framework of the house 
and observatory were up ; but, in consequence of 
the smallness of the trees, and the distance from 
which they were carried, our progress in filling 
up the walls was necessarily slow. In the mean- 
time, there was an evident falling off in the 
numbers of the white fish, which had given place 
to trout. On examination, it was found that 
these latter had eaten the spawn of the others. 

We were scarcely settled in our new station, 
when a small party of Indians came with a 
little meat ; and, having obtained in exchange 
what they wanted, went away again, leaving, 
however, behind them an infirm old man. Two 
more elderly Chipewyans shortly afterwards 
joined him, one of whom carried on his back his 
son, who was weak from want of food. In short, 
the sick and miserable soon began to flock in 
from all quarters, in the hope of procuring that 



192 ARRIVAL OF INDIANS. 

succour from us which we could not afford but 
through the means of their own countrymen. 
Indifferent to the sufferings of those around them, 
the hale hunters move with the activity almost of 
the animal they pursue; trusting to the humanity 
of the white man to sustain the infirm or sinking 
members of their family. In a long settled post, 
the resources of which are constant, this may be 
tolerated, so long as it does not amount to 
imposition ; but in our situation, cramped as we 
were already beginning to be in our means, it 
was easy to foresee that the injudicious en- 
couragement of such a practice would involve us 
in inextricable difficulties. With this conviction, 
I resolved not to yield to it ; and, though the 
applicants never left us altogether unsolaced or 
empty-handed, they were not permitted to remain 
on the ground. Wherever a station is established, 
not only the diseased, who come from necessity, 
but swarms of other visitors, immediately repair 
to it, — women and children, old and idle, seek- 
ing what they can get, or actuated by curiosity, 
or, as they say, " coming to see their relations," 
by that term meaning the half-breed women who 
are the partners of the voyageurs. Fortunately 
we had none of these relations, and were there- 
fore free from the unwelcome civilities of their 
kinsmen of the forest. To be sure, when an 
excuse is wanted for a visit, they are not par- 



AGED INDIAN WOMAN. 193 

ticular as to the degree of affinity ; for an Indian, 
who addressed me as " brother in law," being 
asked why he gave me so affectionate an appel- 
lation, answered with great naivete, " What! 
does not the chief recollect that I spoke to him 
at Chipewyan ?" 

On the 29th of September, a fire being 
seen on the opposite side of the bay, a canoe was 
despatched to see who had made it ; and soon 
returned, not with a good load of meat, as we had 
hoped, but with a poor old woman, bent double 
by age and infirmities, and rendered absolutely 
frightful by famine and disease. The ills that 
" flesh is heir to" had been prodigally heaped on 
her, and a more hideous figure Dante himself 
has not conceived. 

Clad in deer skins, her eyes all but closed, her 
hair matted and filthy, her skin shrivelled, and 
feebly supporting, with the aid of a stick held 
by both hands, a trunk which was literally hori- 
zontal, she presented, if such an expression may 
be pardoned, the shocking and unnatural appear- 
ance of a human brute. It was a humiliating 
spectacle, and one which I would not willingly 
see again. Poor wretch! Her tale was soon 
told : old and decrepit, she had come to be 
considered as a burden even by her own sex. 
Past services and toils were forgotten, and, 
in their figurative style, they coldly told her, 

o 



194 STARVING VISITERS. 

that " though she appeared to live, she was 
already dead," and must be abandoned to her 
fate. " There is a new fort," said they ; " go 
there ; the whites are great medicine men, and 
may have power to save you." This was a 
month before ; since which time she had crawled 
and hobbled along the rocks, the scanty supply 
of berries which she found upon them just en- 
abling her to live. Another day or two must 
have ended her sufferings. 

The nights now began to get frosty, and 
diminished the chance of taking fish in any 
number, so that in a length of four hundred 
fathoms of net, only twenty-seven, and those of 
an indifferent sort, were caught. As these did 
not suffice for the rations of the day, we were 
reluctantly driven to our sea stock of pemmican. 

October. — Starving Indians continued to 
arrive from every point of the compass, de- 
claring that the animals had left the Barren 
Lands where they had hitherto been accustomed 
to feed at this season; and that the calamity was 
not confined to the Yellow Knives, but that the 
Chipewyans also were as forlorn and destitute 
as themselves. There is no reasoning with a 
hungry belly, that I am acquainted with. The 
only way is to satisfy its demands as soon as 
possible; and, indeed, when this is obstinately re- 
fused, the Indian considers, and perhaps rightly, 



CASE OF REVENGE FOR INHOSPITALITY. \Q5 

that he is only obeying the natural impulse of 
self-preservation, in laying forcible hands on 
whatever falls within his reach. 

At one of the Company's posts in the north- 
ern department, where the animals, as in our 
case, were so scarce that the natives could 
not procure subsistence, they threw themselves 
on the generosity of the gentleman in charge, 
and requested a small proportion of the meat 
out of his well-stocked store, to enable them 
to recruit their strength for fresh efforts in 
the chase. They were denied ; and returned 
dejected to their wintry abode. Now and 
then a moose deer was killed, but long was 
the fasting between ; and in those intervals of 
griping pain, the inhospitality of the white man 
was dwelt upon with savage indignation, which 
at last vented itself in projects of revenge. An 
opportunity presented itself in the arrival at 
their lodges of the interpreter, who had been 
despatched from the factory to see what they 
were doing. This man had not been popular 
with them before, and the part he had taken in 
the late transaction had aggravated the feeling 
against him. Of this he was himself aware ; and 
being a half-breed, was not without the cautious 
suspicion which is characteristic of the aboriginal. 
Still the wonted familiarity, and the friendly pipe 
that greeted his entrance into the principal 

o 3 



196 CASE OF REVENGE FOR INHOSPITALITY. 

lodge, diminished his fears ; and a little dried 
meat, given with apparent cheerfulness for the 
use of the fort, finally removed all apprehension. 
Two Canadians, who had accompanied him, left 
early on their return ; and, in an hour after, he 
followed their steps. The Indians watched him 
until he was hid by the woods ; then grasped 
their guns, and by a short cut gained a spot 
favourable for their purpose, before any of the 
three had arrived. Cowering in ambush within 
ten paces of the track, they waited for their 
approach, and at a given signal fired, and brought 
down two of the unsuspecting travellers. The 
third fled, and was pursued with savage yells by 
the infuriated Indians. Fear added wings to the 
Canadian ; and having outstripped the foremost, 
he hid himself breathless and exhausted among 
some rocks. The Indians rushed past without per- 
ceiving him, and having reached the house, broke 
furiously into the apartment of the gentleman, 
who had not yet risen, and after reproaching him 
with the horrors he had caused, instantly de- 
prived him of life. 

Their vengeance being thus horribly satiated, 
they returned to the woods without committing 
the slightest act of spoliation. The Canadian 
and another man, whom, strange to say, they 
did not molest, hastened to the neighbouring 
posts, with an account of this shocking catas- 
trophe. Fresh parties were established at the same 



THE THLEW-EE-CHOH DESCRIBED. 197 

station, and the perpetrators of the murder were 
finally hunted down by the people of their own 
tribe, — a melancholy but salutary lesson not 
only to the red man but to the white. 

It was now the middle of October, and up to 
this time a few snow birds and four white 
partridges were all that had been seen. The 
deer too, as well as the fish, seemed to have 
taken their departure. The Indians, satis- 
fied with the pittance doled out to them, and 
having been supplied with hooks and bits of 
nets, quitted us one after another, leaving only 
some of the elder ones, from two of whom I 
learnt, that they had been further down the 
Thlew-ee-choh than any others of their tribe. 
They described it favourably, and asserted that 
it was entirely free from falls, though sufficiently 
interrupted by rapids. The value of this assertion 
will hereafter be seen. Their idea of its course 
was, that it ran due north, or, if any thing, rather 
to the eastward, though, from some blue moun- 
tains often mentioned in the discourse as the limit 
of their knowledge, it was represented as taking 
a course to the left. Their statements, more- 
over, corroborated the previous opinions given 
of the The-lew, which was said to flow through 
a low marshy tract, connected with an estuary, 
opening to the sea by a narrow channel, the 
shores of which were lined by Esquimaux. On 

o a 



198 BUILD AN OBSERVATORY. 

these people, they said they had formerly made 
war, as well as on the Esquimaux at the mouth 
of the Thlew-ee-choh. 

The work of building went on briskly, though 
our substitute for mortar, clay and sand, froze as 
fast as it was laid on. The observatory was soon 
completed ; it was a square building twelve feet 
inside, having a porch at the west with double 
doors, the outer one of which opened south. 
The roof was angular, and covered with rough 
slabs of wood having the flat side down, and the 
hollows on the outside were rilled up with a 
mixture of clay, sand, and dry grass. It had four 
windows of moose-skin parchment, with a small 
pane of glass in each, facing respectively north, 
south, east, and west. The space within was care- 
fully cleared of all stones, and a thoroughly dried 
trunk of a tree seven feet long, and two feet 
and a half in diameter, was let down into a hole 
three feet deep in the centre, and then rammed 
tight by successive layers of clay and sand. 
This part was cased in a square framework of 
three feet, grooved and mortised ; and the interior 
spaces were gradually rilled up with the same 
composition as was used to plaster the walls. 
When the plaster was quite dry, a square thick 
board was mortised on the post, and the whole 
fabric was as firm as a rock. The floor was 
planked, and when the doors were closed, the 



BUILD AN OBSERVATORY. 199 

difference of temperature between the out and 
inside was 14°. There was not a nail or the 
smallest particle of iron in the building ; and to 
guard against the accidental approach of any 
person with a gun, an axe, or the like, I had 
it enclosed with a ring fence of seventy feet 
diameter. It was situated on a gentle rise, two 
hundred yards from the lake, and about one 
hundred from the east end of the house. A 
strong staff, fifteen feet high, was fixed on the 
northern extremity of the ridge pole, on the 
spindle of which was a vane ; and besides white 
poles, placed in the direction of the true and 
magnetic meridian, I had a horizontal cross at the 
north side of the observatory, within the fence, to 
enable us to take the bearings of phenomena with 
greater accuracy than can be attained by the mere 
guess of the eye. The angular heights of the sur- 
rounding mountains were also ascertained. 

Observations were immediately made for the 
magnetic force and dip, with Hansteen's and Dol- 
lond's needles, and a lozenge-shaped one after the 
suggestion of Captain Beechey ; but this, for the 
sake of clearness, will, together with our observa- 
tions of other phenomena, be thrown into a tabu- 
lar form in the appendix. Three thermometers 
(spirit) were placed inside the observatory — four 
outside, on the north, and one exposed to the sun 
on the south side. They had been previously 

o 4 



SOO STRANGE APPEARANCE 

compared, and for some time their relative means 
were taken ; but afterwards that plan was relin- 
quished, and the nearest mean thermometers were 
adopted as standards for the whole. The daily- 
variation instrument, made by Jones, on a plan 
of Professor Christie's, to be explained hereafter, 
was also adjusted in the magnetic meridian, and 
its readings registered ten times a day, between 
eight in the morning and midnight. The tem- 
peratures were noted fifteen times in the twenty- 
four hours. 

A short time after the needle was placed, 
there was a strange appearance connected with 
the aurora, and which, though it will probably be 
again mentioned when I come to treat of that 
subject expressly, I may perhaps be excused, on 
account of its singularity, for noticing in this 
place also. At 5 b 30 m p. m., while occupied 
in taking the transit of a star, I perceived the 
coruscations streaming from behind a detached 
and oblong dark cloud in a vertical position at 
E. b. S. * They issued along an undulating 
arch 38° high, and spread themselves laterally in 
beams north and south. Another arch, brighter 
and narrower than the former, suddenly emerged 
from W. b. N., and passed between a nearly 
horizontal black cloud and the stars, which were 

* Magnetic bearing. 



OF THE AURORA. 201 

then not visible through the Aurora. I immedi- 
ately looked at the needle, and found it slightly- 
agitated, but not vibrating : on returning, I was 
surprised to see the dark horizontal, cloud to 
the westward not in the same shape as before. 
It had now taken a balloon form, and was 
evidently fast spreading towards the zenith. On 
looking to the eastward, I perceived that a dark 
cloud there also was rapidly altering its appear- 
ance. So unusual a sight induced me to call my 
companions, Messrs. King and M c Leod, and we 
saw the dark broad mass from the westward 
gradually expand itself, so as to meet the other, 
which was likewise rising, at or near the zenith. 
The effect of the junction was a dark gray arch, 
extending from E. b. S. to W. b. N. across the 
zenith, and completely obscuring the stars, 
though at each side of the arch they were par- 
ticularly clear and twinkling. In the meantime, 
the Aurora assumed every variety of form ; such 
as undulating and fringed arches, 30° to 50° 
high and more or less broad, with flashes and 
beams at right angles to them. The cloudy 
arch, too, was illuminated at and around its 
N. W. edges near the horizon, while rays and 
curved beams played round its eastern extre- 
mity. In a few seconds, the part of this nearest 
the horizon assumed a zig-zag form, like forked 
lightning ; and immediately the western extre- 



202 STRANGE APPEARANCE OF THE AURORA. 

mity sympathised, undergoing momentary trans- 
itions which defy description. Such convul- 
sions at the extremes soon affected the centre 
of the arch, which becoming gradually fainter 
and fainter, at last vanished entirely, leaving the 
stars to shine forth in all their brilliance. The 
detached masses yet remained, though under 
various forms, and the Aurora nimbly played 
round and through them, especially the eastern 
one, until not the slightest vestige of them 
remained. 

On this occasion the Aurora was high, and 
consequently did not act powerfully on the 
needle, which was an extremely delicate one ; 
but I had opportunities afterwards of seeing this 
drawn eight degrees on one side, by the same 
agency ; a remark which I only make for the 
information of those, who may not be disposed 
to inspect the tables. 

The little river to the east, and the borders 
of the lake, were frozen over by the latter end 
of the month ; but the weather was very mild, 
and a fresh gale generally broke up the ice 
again in a few hours. To this unusual mildness 
of the season may be ascribed the unparalleled 
sufferings of the Indians, who, emaciated and 
worn out by fatigue, continued to pour in upon 
us from the barren lands, where, contrary to 
their habits, the deer still remained; keeping 



SUPERSTITIOUS FANCIES. 203 

at too great a distance to be followed. One 
poor fellow had not tasted meat for ten days, 
and, but for the hope of seeing us, must have 
sunk by the way. Pinched as we were ourselves, 
little could be bestowed on the wretched sufferers. 
Amongst other fancies, the Indians began to 
imagine that the instruments in the observatory, 
concealed from every one but Mr. King and 
myself, were the mysterious cause of all their 
misfortunes : nor were they singular in this opi- 
nion ; for on one occasion when taking the dip, 
&c. two of the voyageurs listened, and hearing 
only a word at intervals, such as Now ! Stop ! 
always succeeded by a perfect silence, they 
looked at each other, and with significant shrugs, 
turning hastily away from the railing, reported 
to their companions that they verily believed I 
was " raising the devil." 

Endeavouring to laugh away the whimsical 
notion of the Yellow-knives, I told them that 
they had mistaken the thing, for that the mys- 
terious instruments attracted, not dispersed, the 
animals ; as they would find when they went to 
hunt. The assertion, uttered in jest, seemed to 
be verified in earnest, for an old bear was shot 
the same day, and, though lean and tough, was 
greedily devoured. Although, among so many, 
it was but a taste for each, it excited a slight 
animation \ soon, however, they relapsed into 



204< SHORTNESS OF FOOD. 

their former melancholy; and a painful sight 
it was to behold them, singly or in groups, 
standing by the men at their meals, and eagerly 
watching each envied mouthful, but disdaining 
to utter a word of complaint. The wretched 
old woman, whom I have spoken of before, was 
too much worn out by her infirmities to be sen- 
sible of our kindness and protection ; and, though 
assured that she would be taken care of, she 
never failed to attend our scanty repast, and, 
with monotonous and feeble wailings, assailed 
my servant for the scrapings of the kettles. 

Different places had been tried for fish, but 
after the first haul, the nets were invariably 
found empty. To remedy, if possible, so de- 
plorable a circumstance, the men were divided 
into parties, and, with the exception of one 
retained to finish the house, were sent to a 
specified part of the lake for the sole purpose 
of procuring subsistence. Some succeeded, but 
others returned after a short absence, with the 
loss of two nets, and a most discouraging account 
of their labours. I had therefore no resource 
but to reduce the daily rations, and stop the 
usual allowance to the dogs, many of which be- 
came in consequence so reduced as to be barely 
able to crawl, and to this day I have not ceased 
to wonder how they were kept alive. 

In the midst of these disasters, our hopes were 



DOMICILED IN THE NEW BUILDING. 205 

somewhat brightened by the accidental but well- 
timed arrival of two young hunters, who, having 
separated from Akaitcho to look for deer, had 
fallen on a large herd, some of which they had 
killed, but, in returning to inform the chief of 
their good fortune, had got bewildered in fogs, 
and finding themselves, when the weather 
cleared, within a day's march of our situation, 
could not resist the temptation to get a little 
tobacco in exchange, to us most welcome, for 
some fresh meat. In a few hours, all who were 
capable of exertion set off for the land of pro- 
mise ; and, for a time, the immediate prospect of 
want was removed. 

On the 5th of November, we had the pleasure 
of changing our cold tents for the comparative 
comfort of the house, which, like most of those 
in this country, was constructed of a framework, 
filled up with logs let into grooves, and closely 
plastered with a cement composed of common 
clay and sand. The roof was formed of a num- 
ber of single slabs, extending slantingly from the 
ridge pole to the eaves ; and the whole was 
rendered tolerably tight by a mixture of dry 
grass, clay, and sand, which was beat down 
between the slabs, and subsequently coated over 
with a thin layer of mud. The house was fifty 
feet long and thirty broad ; having four separate 
rooms, with a spacious hall in the centre for the 



206 FORT RELIANCE. 

reception and accommodation of the Indians. 
Each of the rooms had a fireplace and a rude 
chimney, which, save that it suffered a fair pro- 
portion of the smoke to descend into the room, 
answered tolerably well. A diminutive apology 
for a room, neither wind nor water tight, was 
attached to the hall, and dignified with the name 
of a kitchen. The men's houses, forming the 
western side of what was intended to be a square, 
but which, like many other squares, was never 
finished, completed our building. As every post 
in the country is distinguished by a name, I gave 
to ours that of Fort Reliance, in token of our 
trust in that merciful Providence, whose pro- 
tection we humbly hoped would be extended 
to us in the many difficulties and dangers to 
which these services are exposed. The exact 
site is in latitude 62° 46' 29" N., longitude, 
109° 0' S8-9 77 W. ; the variation, 35° 19' east, 
and dip, 84° 44'. About a mile from the house 
was a tree which had been struck by lightning, 
and splintered twenty feet down the trunk, the 
pieces being thrown thirty or forty paces away. 
I do not recollect to have seen a similar in- 
stance. 

A continuation of mild weather, and the 
manner in which the deer were harassed, caused 
them to return to a distance on the barren lands, 
where they could not be followed at this season ; 



SUPPLIES AGAIN FAIL. QOJ 

and towards the end of the month our supplies 
again failed ; distress was prevalent, and the din 
and screeching of women and children too plainly 
indicated the acuteness of their suffering. The 
opportune appearance of my old acquaintance, 
Akaitcho, with a little meat, enabled us to 
relieve and quiet the confusion, and some of 
them went away with the chief, who promised 
that we should not want as long as he had any 
thing to send to the fort. He did not directly 
inquire about Sir John Franklin, or Doctor 
Richardson ; but his satisfaction was very visible, 
when I gave him some little presents in their 
names, and pointed to the silver medal presented 
to him at Fort Enterprise, which he was then 
wearing as a proof that he had not forgotten 
them. An additional trifle or two made him 
quite happy, and he left us to all appearance the 
determined friend of the expedition. 

Among those who accompanied him was an 
old man, who gave us information of a lake 
about thirty miles to the S. E., where on pressing 
occasions he resorted to fish ; and, willing to 
catch at the smallest chance of saving the pem- 
mican, I prevailed on him to act as guide to a 
small party selected to make the trial ; the result 
of which, if favourable, was to be communicated 
without delay. Accordingly on the third day 
La Charite, one of the party, reached the house 



208 DISCHARGE OF FOUR OF OUR PARTY. 

late at night, after a painful walk without snow 
shoes through deep snow in the woods, bringing 
four fish, and the welcome tidings, that by spread- 
ing over a greater surface there was a likelihood 
of taking more. Every man that could be spared 
was thereupon sent away with him ; we who 
remained being thrown upon our pemmican, a 
third of which was already expended. 

December 7. — Being anxious to dimmish as 
far as possible the number of our party, I now 
discharged De Charloit and two Iroquois, con- 
formably to their agreements, and La Charite, 
at his own solicitation ; but not until he had pro- 
vided a substitute, who turned out to be in every 
respect superior to him as a voyageur. They 
were supplied with the necessary means to carry 
them to the next establishment 5 and I charged 
De Charloit with my despatches for Mr. Hay, 
Under-secretary of State for the Colonies, and for 
the Admiralty — together with extra requisitions 
for the use of the expedition during the follow- 
ing year, to be sent from York Factory. Only 
four Indians arrived within this week, and they 
came for food. They were greatly dejected, 
and added to the general gloom by encouraging 
the apprehension of those calamities which, 
judging from so unpromising a beginning, might 
be expected to befal them during the winter. 
Had it been a solitary instance of misfortune, 



APPALLING VISITATIONS. 209 

their superstition, I fear, would have fixed the 
blame on the expedition ; but it appeared that 
the two preceding years had been pregnant with 
more than ordinary evils to the different tribes 
inhabiting the country about Slave Lake and 
the M c Kenzie River. To the westward, indeed, 
and more directly in the neighbourhood of the 
Riviere au Liard, forty of the choicest hunters 
among the Chipewyans had been destroyed by 
actual famine ; many others had not yet been 
heard of; and the scattered survivors, from the 
rigours of the climate, and the difficulty of pro- 
curing a single animal, had experienced the se- 
verest hardships which even their hardy natures 
were capable of sustaining. Sometimes unusual 
and appalling visitations carried them off, as in 
the case of two women and their children, who 
with their laden dogs were travelling near the 
mountains, towards their tents ; when suddenly, 
one of them called out in alarm, and before they 
had time to fly, they were caught in a whirlwind, 
and in an instant swept into eternity. One boy 
only out of the number was found, and he died 
in excruciating pain the same night. 

December 16. — The interpreter came from 
one of the fishing stations with an account of 
the loss of some nets, and the inadequacy of 
their means of support. They seldom took more 
than thirteen small fish in a day, and the Indians, 

p 



210 SUFFERINGS OF THE INDIANS. 

now reduced to a state of great weakness, crowded 
round them for a portion of what they could ill 
afford. It was the same with us ; for those who 
happened to be within a moderate distance fell 
back on the Fort, as the only chance of pro- 
longing their existence ; and we freely im- 
parted the utmost we could spare. In vain 
did we endeavour to revive their drooping 
spirits, and excite them to action ; the scourge 
was too heavy, and their exertions were entirely 
paralysed. No sooner had one party closed the 
door, than another, still more languid and dis- 
tressed, feebly opened it, and confirmed by their 
half-famished looks and sunken eyes their heart- 
rending tale of suffering. They spoke little, 
but crowded in silence round the fire, as if eager 
to enjoy the only comfort remaining to them. 
A handful of mouldy pounded meat, which had 
been originally reserved for our dogs, was the 
most liberal allowance we could make to each ; 
and this meal, unpalatable and unwholesome as 
it was, together with the customary presentation 
of the friendly pipe, was sufficient to efface for 
a moment the recollection of their sorrows, and 
even to light up their faces with a smile of hope. 

"We know," they said, "that you are as much 

distressed as ourselves, and you are very good." 
Afflictino; as it was to behold such scenes of 
suffering, it was at the same time gratifying to 
observe the resignation with which they were 



SUPERSTITIONS. 211 

met. There were no impious upbraidings of 
Providence, nor any of those revolting acts, too 
frequent within late years, which have cast a darker 
shade over the character of the savage Indian. 
While the party thus scantily relieved were ex- 
pressing their gratitude, one of their companions 
arrived, and after a short pause announced that 
a child was dying for want of food, close at hand. 
The father instantly jumped up ; and having been 
supplied with some pemmican, for we had no 
other meat, hurried away, and happily arrived 
in time to save its life. 

Like all other barbarous nations, these people 
are naturally prone to superstition ; and many of 
their legends, whatever may be thought of them 
in these enlightened days, are quite as reasonable 
as the traditionary tales which in other states 
of society dimly reveal the past, and serve to 
amuse the present age. They have their good 
and evil spirits, haunting the waters, the woods, 
and the mountains; their giants, and confabulat- 
ing animals, " animali parlanti ;" their " Pucks," 
and a host of other mischief-loving gentry. I 
allude to these superstitions here, by way of 
preface to a story related by one of our unhappy 
guests, respecting the conduct of a Chipewyan, 
whom he and many others held responsible for 
the absence of the deer. 

" We might have known, " said a young but 

p 2 



212 STORY OF A YOUNG HUNTER. 

emaciated hunter, as he ejected large volumes of 
smoke from his nostrils, — " we might have known 
that this winter would be marked by something 
uncommon. The Chipewyans have always been 
unfriendly to, if not secret enemies of, the Yellow- 
knives, and would feast and rejoice at our mis- 
fortunes. Why did he come among us ? Was 
he not cautioned by our old men to desist from 
his rash purpose, and listen to the words of 
wisdom founded on experience ? But no ; he 
had often, he said, been told, that if a solitary 
deer were beaten, the whole herd would at once 
abandon that part of the country where the deed 
was done : as if thousands of animals feeding at 
places far distant from each other could possibly 
know what he might do at any particular spot to 
one of their kind. He did not believe it ; some 
people had bad tongues, and at the first op- 
portunity he would put the matter to proof. 
Accordingly, in the spring of the year, when a 
little crust was formed on the snow by the effect 
of the heat of the day followed by the cold of 
the night, he sallied out on his long snow shoes 
of six feet ; and skimming lightly over the bright 
surface, soon discovered eight or ten deer feed- 
ing on a frozen swamp. 

"Making a circuit behind them, he approached 
with the greatest caution; yet even his almost 
noiseless tread scared these timid and watchful 



STORY OF A YOUNG HUNTER. 213 

creatures. As he had expected, they ran upon 
the lake, using every exertion to escape ; but 
their hoofs, though remarkably broad, were 
unequal to their support, and at each plunge 
they sank to their haunches in the snow, and 
became an easy prey to the hunter ; who, borne 
up by his long snow shoes, got close to and killed 
them all except one. This he beat in the most 
wanton and merciless manner, and then drove it, 
stupefied and spent with fatigue, to his lodge, 
where, amidst the laughter of himself and his 
kindred, its miseries were at last ended. 'Now,' 
said he, * I shall know if there be any truth 
in your sayings ; and, whether there be or not, 
I am a Chipewyan, and shall return to my 
lands, which are far away, and better than 
your swampy and barren country.' Did we 
speak the truth ? the deer know it, and will not 
come." — He ceased speaking, and a deep gut- 
tural " whew, whew ! " shewed the interest with 
which the recital had been heard. 

Another day a middle-aged woman, with a 
girl about six years old, came to us in great con- 
sternation, seeking protection against a hunter, 
over whose gun she had unluckily stept during 
the night. On discovering what she had done, 
which, in the opinion of an Indian, would 
destroy the qualities of the gun and prevent its 
killing, she was so alarmed for the consequences 

p 3 



214 SINGULAR BREACH OF INDIAN LAW. 

of her crime, that, though attached to the man, 
she preferred flight to the chance of what his 
fury might inflict on her. However, after allow- 
ing a reasonable time for the evaporation of his 
passion, she returned ; and as he had, fortunately 
for her, shot an animal with the same gun since 
the disaster, she was let off with a sound thrash- 
ing, and an admonition to be more careful for 
the future. This, according to Indian law, was 
most lenient, as the unhappy female guilty of 
such delinquency seldom or ever escapes with a 
slighter punishment than a slit nose, or a bit cut 
off the ears. In the evening of the day on 
which this last incident occurred, a man, his 
wife, and three children, sought our hospitality, 
in a condition which made me grieve afresh that 
we had so little to bestow. They were the most 
wretched party of all — mere shadows. The man 
was reduced to a skeleton ; and the scanty and 
tattered covering which served him for a gar- 
ment, having become hard and frozen, had, by 
constant friction against his bare legs, produced 
a dreadful state of excoriation. Nor were the 
others much better off. Our situation indeed 
now assumed a serious aspect, and it was im- 
possible to divest one's self of anxious foreboding 
for the future. In the midst of this gloom 
occurred the death of the wretched old woman 
before mentioned. In spite of all the care 



DEATH OF THE OLD WOMAN. 215 

which we could bestow, she had continued to 
sink under accumulated infirmities and disease ; 
the circulation became languid, and her ex- 
tremities were severely frost-bitten. Too feeble 
to raise herself up, she crawled whiningly along 
on her hands and knees, with a stick to make 
known her presence, wherever her inclination 
led her \ but chiefly to Mr. King's room, where, 
once a day, she received the benefit of his 
humane attention. The most indifferent ob- 
server must have been occasionally shocked at 
the loathsome objects which have met his eye on 
some parts of the Continent, and particularly at 
Lisbon ; but no form or variety of human 
wretchedness or degradation that I have ever 
witnessed could be compared with that which 
was exhibited in the person of this poor old 
creature. The effect of her appearance, — the 
involuntary shuddering which it caused, may 
perhaps be conceived, but cannot well be 
described. What a contrast between her and 
the young girl standing erect and full of juicy 
life by her side ! What a rebuke to the pride 
of lordly man ! She was found in her hut, 
stretched dead by the fire, near which were 
several pieces of spare wood. Among the In- 
dians the event occasioned not the slightest feel- 
ing ; and, as she had no relations, it is doubtful 
whether she would even have been buried, had 

p 4 



216 ANXIETY FOR AKAITCHO AND HIS PARTY. 

we not taken that office on ourselves ; an office 
which, though difficult at this time, on account 
of the frozen state of the ground, was necessary, 
to preserve her remains from the starving and 
voracious dogs. 

The anxiety I began to feel, respecting the 
actual condition of the main body of the Indians 
with Akaitcho, whom we supposed to be in 
quest of deer to the westward, was so great, 
that Mr. M c Leod, with much kindness and 
spirit, volunteered to go in search of them, and 
by his presence encourage and incite them to 
exertion. He left us on the 18th of December, 
accompanied by the interpreter and an Indian 
lad, who the previous morning had received a 
cudgelling for thieving. The very next day, 
one of our men, who had been with Akaitcho, 
arrived with a small quantity of half-dried meat, 
which he had dragged eight days' inarch. 

From him we learned that the deer were rather 
numerous than otherwise, but that they con- 
tinued to linger on the verge of the barren lands, 
to the surprise of the Indians, who declared this 
to be the first time they had deviated from their 
habit of seeking the shelter of the woods at 
this inclement period of the year. They were 
very poor, he said, but plenty were shot; and 
would have been sent to the Fort, if the dis- 
tance had been less : as it was, the persons em- 



THE FISHERY UNPRODUCTIVE. 217 

ployed to bring it would necessarily eat all or 
the greater part of their loads on the way, and 
therefore the meat was put en cache for our 
future use. All this was very well, but did not 
minister to our present need ; and as for caches, 
in a neighbourhood of wolvereens, I knew that 
little dependence could be placed on their secu- 
rity, however carefully made. 

Still, the knowledge that the animals were 
within reach, and had not entirely left us, was 
enlivening ; and though not sanguine, yet I saw 
no reason to despair of finally making up our 
original stock of coast provision. In the mean- 
time, and before this dream could be realised, 
we were mortified and embarrassed by the 
return of the whole of the people stationed at 
one of the fisheries, which was described as being- 
totally unequal to their support, having yielded 
only three or four fish a day for the last fort- 
night. Casualties such as these, coming in quick 
succession, were not a little harassing : my plans 
and prospects underwent continual change from 
circumstances which no foresight could antici- 
pate ; and when I thought myself most safe, I 
was, perhaps, in the greatest danger. However, 
it was of no use to sit still and mope. Action, 
if it had no other effect, would at least keep up 
the spirits of the men, and divert their thoughts 
from the privation which they were suffering. 



218 WRETCHED OBJECTS. 

Accordingly they were again divided, one party 
being directed to take their nets and proceed to 
the only remaining fishery, and the other to 
make the best of their way to the Indians. 

Our hall was in a manner filled with invalids 
and other stupidly dejected beings, who, seated 
round the fire, occupied themselves in roast- 
ing and devouring small bits of their reindeer 
garments, which, even when entire, afforded 
them a very insufficient protection against a 
temperature of 10 6 2° below the freezing point. 
The father torpid and despairing — the mo- 
ther, with a hollow and sepulchral wail, vainly 
endeavouring to soothe the infant, which with 
unceasing moan clung to her shrivelled and 
exhausted breast — the passive child gazing 
vacantly around ; such was one of the many 
groups that surrounded us. But not a mur- 
mur escaped from the men. When the weather 
was a little milder, we took them into the store, 
and showing them our remaining provision, re- 
presented the necessity of their making an effort 
to reach Akaitcho, where their own relations 
would supply them plentifully : for, trifling as 
was the pittance dealt out to them by us, yet 
it contributed to the diminution of our stock, and 
it was evident that by strict economy alone we 
could get through the season at all. With the 
apathy so strikingly characteristic of the inert 
and callous savage, to whom life itself is a thing 



CHRISTMAS-DAY. 219 

scarce worth preserving, some declared they 
could not, and others that they would not go. 
This obstinacy compelled me to reduce their 
allowance, a measure of necessary rigour, which 
ultimately drove the stronger away, and left us 
more means to nourish and support the weaker. 
Mr. King was unremitting in his care of those 
who required medical aid ; and often did I share 
my own plate with the children, whose helpless 
state and piteous cries were peculiarly distress- 
ing. Compassion for the full-grown may or may 
not be felt; but that heart must be cased in 
steel which is insensible to the cry of a child 
for food. I have no reserve in declaring the 
pleasure which it gave me to watch the emotions 
of those unfortunate little ones, as each received 
its spoonful of pemmican from my hand. 

Christmas-day was the appointed time for open- 
ing a soldered tin case, the gift of a lady at New 
York ; but our companion Mr. M c Leod being 
absent, we thought it fair to postpone the grati- 
fication of our curiosity till he could participate 
in it; and Mr. King and I made a cheerful 
dinner of pemmican. Happiness on such occa- 
sions depends entirely on the mood and temper 
of the individuals ; and we cheated ourselves 
into as much mirth at the fancied sayings and 
doings of our friends at home, as if we had par- 
taken of the roast beef and plum pudding which 



220 SHORT ALLOWANCE. 

doubtless " smoked upon the board" on that 
glorious day of prescriptive feasting. 

January, 1834. — Some Indians brought a small 
supply of meat, half dried and very bad; and 
by a letter from Mr. M c Leod, I learned that the 
animals had taken a western direction, which, 
with the coldness of the weather, precluded the 
possibility of the Indians following them. Mr. 
M c Leod himself, being a first-rate rifle shot, had 
by his personal exertions already assisted one 
party, and was going to visit another. 

On the 13th, the women and children were 
sent to the fishery, and our own allowance was 
reduced a quarter of a pound each. Another 
supply of lean and half putrid meat was sent by 
Akaitcho, which was augmented a few days 
afterwards by eighty pounds from Mr. M c Leod. 
He had been to the fishery, " which," he added, 
" I was sorry to find unproductive, besides being 
burthened with a number of starving natives, 
who proved expensive and annoying, but are 
now all away. The dogs can hardly stand on 
their legs. For the two last weeks I have had 
much trouble, owing to the importunities of the 
Indians by whom I am surrounded. Some are 
strangers, but others you have seen. Many are 
extremely low, but I hope not beyond re- 
covery. From what I have seen of the coun- 
try, animals are scarce." At the same time we 



EXPERIMENTS. !221 

had accounts of several deaths from famine, with 
a repetition of the former tales of suffering, 
which there were but faint expectations of bet- 
tering until the weather should be milder. 

A few days exhausted our small stock of 
meat, and I reluctantly opened another bag of 
pemmican, our store of which was now reduced 
to less than one half of the quantity originally 
put aside for the sea service. Mr. King and I 
contented ourselves with half a pound each a 
day ; but the labouring men whom we retained 
with us could not do with less than a pound 
and three quarters. Even this was but scanty 
rations ; nevertheless, the fine fellows (principally 
artillery men), far from being moody or sullen, 
were always cheerful and in good spirits. It 
had been my endeavour to foster this feeling 
of contentment by general kindness, by a regular 
observance of the Sabbath (the service being 
read in English and French), and by the insti- 
tution of evening schools for their improve- 
ment. 

We had seen the thermometer at 70° below 
zero, at which time the Aurora was bright. We now 
made a few experiments on the effect and intensity 
of the cold, the results of which were as follow : 
With the thermometer at 62 minus, a square six- 
ounce bottle of sulphuric ether with a ground 
stopper, was taken out of the medicine chest, 



222 EXPERIMENTS. 

exactly in the same state as it had been packed 
at Apothecaries' Hall, viz. with the stopper down, 
and exposed immediately below the registering 
thermometer on the snow. In fifteen minutes, the 
interior upper surface of the sides of the bottle was 
coated with ice, and a thick efflorescent sediment 
covered the bottom, while the ether generally 
appeared viscous and opaque. After having 
remained an hour, during which the temperature 
rose to 60° minus, it had scarcely changed, or, per- 
haps, as Mr. King agreed with me in thinking, 
it was more opaque. The bottle was then care- 
fully brought into the house, and placed on a 
table, within four feet and a half of the fire ; and 
though so near, and with a temperature of 32° 
plus, it did not recover its former clearness or 
purity under forty- two minutes. 

A bottle of nitric ether, similar in dimensions 
to the sulphuric, was not changed in the same 
time ; but after two hours' exposure it also became 
viscid, the temperature in the meantime having 
varied from 60 to 56 minus. A fluid drachm 
and a half of sulphuric ether was put into an 
ounce and a half bottle with a glass stopper ; 
and when it had become viscous the stopper was 
withdrawn, and a lighted paper applied to the 
mouth, when it ignited with an explosion and 
an escape of gas. On repeating the experiment, 
the ignition did not take place until the light 



EXPERIMENTS. 223 

was brought into contact with the liquid ; but it 
was accompanied by a similar explosion. 

A small bottle of pyroligneous acid froze in 
less than 30 minutes, at a temperature of 57° 
minus ; as did also the same quantity of 1 part 
of rectified spirit and 2 of water, 1 part of the 
same and 1 of water. Leeward Island rum 
became thick in a few minutes, but did not 
freeze. 

A mixture of 2 parts pure spirit and 1 water 
froze into ice in three hours, with a temperature 
from 65° and 61° minus. Another mixture of 
4 parts spirit and 1 water became viscid in the 
same time. 

A bottle of nitric ether having been out all 
night was thick, and the bubbles of air rose slowly 
and with difficulty; the mean temperature at 
6 a.m., January 17th, being 70° minus! 

A surface of 4 inches of mercury, exposed in 
a common saucer, became solid in two hours, 
with a temperature of 57° minus. 

On the 4th of February, the temperature was 
60° minus, and, there being at the same time a 
fresh breeze, was nearly insupportable. Such, in- 
deed, was the abstraction of heat, that, with eight 
large logs of dry wood in the fireplace of a small 
room, I could not get the thermometer higher 
than 12° plus. Ink and paint froze. I made 
an attempt to finish a sketch, by placing the 



224 EXCESSIVE COLD. 

table as near the fire as I could bear the heat ; 
but a scratchy mark, and small shining particles 
at the point of the sable, convinced me that 
it was useless. The sextant cases, and boxes of 
seasoned wood, principally fir, all split. Nor 
was the sensation particularly agreeable to our 
persons ; the skin of the hands especially became 
dry, cracked, and opened into unsightly and 
smarting gashes, which we were obliged to anoint 
with grease. One one occasion, after washing 
my face within three feet of the fire, my hair 
was actually clotted with ice, before I had time 
to dry it. From these facts some idea may, 
perhaps, be formed of the excessive cold. It 
seemed to have driven all living things from us : 
we had been accustomed to see a few white 
partridges about ; but even these, hardy as they 
are, had disappeared. Once, indeed, a solitary 
raven, whose croak made me run out to look at 
him, swept round the house, but immediately 
winged his flight to the westward. Nothing but 
the passing wind broke the awful solitude of this 
barren and desolate spot. 

February 9th. — A little variation was given 
to our society by the gratifying arrival of Mr. 
M c Leod, who had preceded a party of men laden 
with meat. The weather had made a visible 
alteration in his countenance, which was severely 
frost-bitten in seven places ; nor was it to be 



APPALLING SUFFERINGS OF THE INDIANS. 2 C 25 

wondered at on such a wide unsheltered lake as 
he had been travelling over, especially when 
the Indians themselves were unable to bear up 
against it, but were all, to the number of four- 
teen, similarly lacerated. The latter complained 
bitterly, and compared the sensation of handling 
their guns to that of touching red-hot iron ; and 
so painful was it, that they wrapped thongs of 
leather round the triggers, to keep their fingers 
from contact with the steel. 

The deer were represented to be plentiful 
enough, but so restless and difficult to approach 
that few were shot ; added to which they were 
edging westerly, and when left were at a distance 
of fourteen days' journey from the house. Suf- 
fering, the Indian's inheritance, attended the na- 
tives wherever they went. The forest was no longer 
a shelter, nor the land a support ; " famine, with 
her gaunt and bony arm," pursued them at 
every turn, withered their energies, and strewed 
them lifeless on the cold bosom of the snow. 
Nine had fallen victims already ; and others 
were only snatched from a like fate by the op- 
portune intervention of Mr. M'Leod, in compel- 
ling a Chipewyan to return after his wife and child, 
whom the unnatural monster had abandoned. 
In another instance, where two of the same 
tribe had deserted an infirm and starving relative, 



BARBAROUS ATROCITIES. 

his efforts were unavailing, for he was found 
dead in the woods. 

For the neglect or abandonment bv the more 
active hunters of the sick and feeble of their 
tribe, some allowance may be made, on account 
of the peculiarity of their circumstances. To 
follow and keep up with the migratory animals 
which constitute their food, is essential to the 
preservation, not only of the hunters themselves, 
but of the whole encampment. An infirm or 
diseased savage is not merely useless ; he is a 
positive clog and encumbrance on the motions of 
the rest. No wonder, then, if occasionally, in 
the impatience or necessity of the chace, he is 
left behind to the mercy of chance. But there 
are instances, it is painful to say, of barbarous 
outrages for which no such palliation can be 
found. In my progress through the country, I 
heard several stories of transactions among the 
Indians almost too revolting to be mentioned. 
Others equally shocking were related to Mr. 
King ; and one in particular, as narrated by Mr. 
Charles, the factor mentioned above, was so 
horrible, that, although the recital, it is to be 
feared, will excite loathing and disgust, yet 
I think it right to give it, as illustrative of the 
occasional atrocities of savage life. 

A Cree Indian of the name of Pepper, 
who had long resided around Chipewyan as a 



REVOLTING STORY OF AN INDIAN. 227 

hunter, came to the Fort in November, 1832, 
after a temporary absence ; and, having smoked 
his pipe, gave a plausible account of severe ca- 
lamities, which had befallen him in the preceding 
winter. After describing the horrors of starva- 
tion in the desolate forest, and his ineffectual 
efforts to ward it off, he said that, worn out, at 
length, by hunger and cold, his wife, the mother 
of his children, sunk into a lethargy and died ; 
his daughter soon followed ; and two sons, just 
springing into manhood, who promised to be 
the support of his old age, — alas ! they also 
perished ; lastly, their younger children, though 
tended by him with unwearied solicitude, and 
fed for a time on the parings of their leather 
garments, sunk under their sufferings, and slept 
with their brethren. " What could I do ? " 
exclaimed the man, with a frenzied look that 
almost startled the hearers, — " could I look up to 
the Great Spirit ? — could I remain to behold 
my strength laid prostrate ? No ! no ! One child 
was yet spared.- — I fled for succour. But, oh! 
the woods were silent, — how silent! — I am 
here." 

The boy alluded to was about eleven years of 
age, and at the close, as during the recital, kept 
his eyes vacantly fixed on the blazing fire near 
which he was seated, seeming unconscious that 
the narration was ended, and still listening, as if 

q 2 



228 REVOLTING STORY 

waiting for some dreadful story not yet told. 
His father spoke, and he started ; then, having 
given him a live ember to light his half-emptied 
pipe, he relapsed into his steadfast gaze of 
vacancy. 

Not a word, not a gesture, had escaped the 
attentive ears and sparkling eyes of some men 
of his tribe who arrived just as he began to speak. 
Never was man more patiently listened to ; his 
grief, or the long pauses which counterfeited it, 
were not once interrupted, except by his own 
wailings : but when he had concluded, a kind of 
hollow muttering arosefrom thegrouped Indians ; 
and the spokesman of their number began a 
speech, at first in a subdued tone, and then, 
gradually elevating his voice with the energy of 
one strongly excited, he finished by denouncing 
him as a murderer and a cannibal. The accused 
hesitated a few seconds, mechanically whiffing 
at his exhausted pipe, — and then, with the most 
stoical indifference, calmly denied the charge. 

But, from that instant, his spirits fell; and 
the anxious and painful expression of his 
countenance, whenever his son was absent for a 
moment, betrayed the consciousness of guilt. 
He could no longer look his fellow man in the 
face. 

Those who had roused this inward storm kept 
aloof, as from a poisonous reptile ; and, having 



OF AN INDIAN. 229 

obtained the trifling articles which they wanted 
from the store, returned to their hunting. 

The wretched man lingered about the Fort for 
some time, and at length, accompanied by his 
boy, sulkily left it. 

— — " Back to the thicket slunk 



The guilty serpent." 

But by a strange infatuation (such are the mys- 
terious ways of Providence), instead of seeking 
some lonely place where he might have hid his 
guilt, and lived unmolested, he went to the 
lodges of the very persons whom he had most 
cause to avoid, — the men who had branded him 
as a murderer and cannibal. 

He sought their hospitality, and was admitted ; 
but an instinctive loathing, not unmixed with 
apprehension, induced them to request his de- 
parture. After a slight hesitation, he not only 
refused, but, assuming a tone of defiance, uttered 
such threats that the endurance of the Indians 
was exhausted, and they shot him on the spot. 

More than one gun having been fired, the boy 
was also wounded in the arm ; and, thinking to 
mitigate their rage, he fled behind a tree, and 
offered to confess all he knew, if they would only 
spare his life. His wish was granted, and then was 
told the most sickening tale of deliberate canni- 
balism ever heard. The monster had, in truth, 

Q 3 



230 REVOLTING STORY OF AN INDIAN. 

murdered his wife and children, and fed upon 
their reeking carcasses ! That the one boy was 
spared was owing, not to pity or affection, but 
to the accident of their having arrived at the 
Fort when they did. Another twenty-four hours 
would have sealed his doom also. 



231 



CHAP. VIII. 

Exemplary Conduct of Aleaitcho. — Mr. M c Leod and his 
Family leave us. — Arrival of Maufelly. — Supply of 
Deer-flesh. — Misunderstanding between Aleaitcho and 
the Interpreter. — Preparation for building Two Boats. 
— Mr. M c JLeod!s ill Success. — Strange Conduct of Two 
Indians. — Supply of Food. — Distressing Condition of 
Mr. M c Leod. — Return of Mr. King's Party. — News 
from York Factory. — Uncertain Fate of Augustus. — 
Presence of Two Ravens. — Ravens shot by an Iroquois. 

— News from England. — Discharge of Three Men. 

— Alteration of Plans. — Appearance of Birds. — 
Adventures by Mr. King. — Arrival of Mr. M c Leod. 

— Anxiety about Williamson. — Sultry Weather. — 
Melancholy Fate of Augustus. 

During this appalling period of suffering and 
calamity, Akaitcho proved himself the firm friend 
of the expedition. The dawn of each morning 
saw him prepared for the hunt ; and, aware of the 
heavy pressure of that distress which, though he 
could not altogether avert, it might be in his 
power to mitigate, he boldly encountered every 
difficulty, and made others act by the force of 
his example. 

Complaints were incessantly preferred to him 
by all classes, young and old ; and many would 

q 4 



232 EXEMPLARY CONDUCT OF AKAITCHO. 

have yielded to their gloomy superstition, had 
they not been sustained by his language and for- 
titude. " It is true," he is reported to have said 
in answer to one of them, " that both the Yellow 
Knives and Chipewyans, whom I look upon as 
one nation, have felt the fatal severities of this 
unusual winter. Alas! how many sleep with 
our fathers ! But the Great Chief trusts to us ; 
and it is better that ten Indians should perish, 
than that one white man should suffer through 
our negligence and breach of faith." 

Mr. M c Leod's observations at the fishery where 
he had been were too unfavourable to give me 
any confident hope of receiving support from 
that quarter ; and, under these circumstances, it 
was consolatory to me that he approved my 
decision to make a further reduction in our 
establishment. I say consolatory, because that 
decision fell particularly heavy on his own family, 
whom he now offered to remove to a place about 
half way between us and the Indians, who, he 
said, would provide him with meat, as the lake 
would with fish, and in this way the separation 
might be made still further subservient to our 
benefit. Before we parted, however, his daughter, 
a pretty little girl about six years old, took care 
to remind me, that I had promised, on her father's 
return, to open the " boite a fer blanc." Ac- 
cordingly, the treasure was explored ; and she 



DEPARTURE OF MR. M c LEOD AND HIS FAMILY. 233 

was not the only one who rejoiced in the sight of 
a large plum-pudding, to the merits of which 
practical testimony was borne by the children 
and ourselves at dinner. Nor did we forget to 
drink the health of our fair countrywoman Mrs. 
Maxwell*, who had so kindly afforded us this 
luxurious meal. 

Mr. M c Leod, during his absence, had not been 
exempted from his share of privation, having 
been for days together without food ; yet, nothing 
daunted by hardships, which he treated as the 
ordinary incidents of the service, he and his 
family, with two men, left us on their cold and 
comfortless journey, on the 14th of February, 
about noon. Nothing but a conviction of the 
importance of this measure, as regarded our 
future plans, should have induced me to consent 
to this exposure of children to the severities of 
so cold a month ; but, as every precaution was 
adopted to prevent ill consequences, I entertained 
the hope of their getting safely to their des- 
tination. 

The unexpected disasters with which the un- 
happy beings to the westward had been visited 
made me more than commonly anxious for my 
former companion, Maufelly, who, with a small 



The wife of Capt. Maxwell, with whom we crossed the 
Atlantic. 



234 ARRIVAL OF MAUFELLY. 

party, had gone to the south-east, and had been 
absent now some months. No intelligence of any 
kind had been received ; and, as they had promised 
to be at the Fort in January, if alive, we naturally 
began to have gloomy bodings of what might 
have happened. Happily, however, we were now 
relieved from our suspense by the appearance of 
Maufelly himself, who, with a very melancholy 
visage, recounted the narrow escape they had 
had. There was not a track of an animal, he said, 
to be seen, except at a remote part, bordering 
on the southern waters of the The-lew, to which 
his party could not go. They had therefore 
wandered about until weakness and want had 
almost killed them, when the sight of some 
straggling deer stimulated them to exertions 
which were crowned by success. From his 
sorrowful looks, we concluded that he had hardly 
yet recovered from his debility ; but, on closer 
inspection, it was clear that the rogue was in 
good case ; and, when the necessary time for 
Indian etiquette had expired, he quietly com- 
municated the joyful information that he had 
five deer killed for us, within a couple of days' 
walk. 

This was, indeed, a windfall, and we ventured 
to think that better times were coming. Three 
men were instantly despatched for as much as 
they could carry of the precious deposit ; and as 



SUPPLY OF DEER-FLESH. 235 

they left only my servant at the Fort, Mr, King 
drove the dog sledge for wood, and I made 
myself as useful as I could. The three men had 
neither snow shoes nor sleighs ; and, when they 
got to the deep snow filling up the narrow valleys 
and ravines in the mountains, they were obliged 
to scramble across by creeping on their hands 
and knees. In this unsatisfactory and fatiguing 
manner, they neared the lodge of the Indians ; 
who, as they slipped and sunk into the snow, at 
every effort to advance, set up loud and merry 
laughs, but did not fail, nevertheless, to make 
them welcome to a kettle of prepared meat when 
they did at last succeed in getting within their 
humble dwelling. For their return they were 
provided with snow shoes ; and, having brought 
part of the meat, we enjoyed with a relish which 
may be imagined the first steak of fresh meat 
which we had tasted for three months. 

On the 23d of February, a party of our own 
people also arrived, after fourteen days' travelling, 
with a small quantity of half-dried meat ; in their 
journey for which, they had been three entire 
days without food. They reported the failure of 
Mr. M c Leod's endeavours to procure fish at his 
new station ; but added, that two of the best 
men were going from place to place, until they 
should be more successful. 

The worst information, however, regarded a 



236 QUARREL OF AKAITCHO AND INTERPRETER. 

misunderstanding between Akaitcho and our 
interpreter, in consequence of which the former, 
it was said, had declared his intention to 
cease acting for us, and to dispose of his " hunt" 
elsewhere. In our present exigency such a 
resolution would have been a blow aimed at the 
very lives of those engaged in the expedition ; 
at best, it was sure to deprive us of the assist- 
ance which I had calculated on receiving in the 
spring, for conveying our provision and heavy 
baggage to the Thlew-ee-choh ; so that, in any 
view, it would paralyse our efforts and frustrate 
the interesting object of the undertaking. 

Great, however, as was my anxiety, I derived 
consolation from the hope that Mr. M^eod's 
influence might procure some material modifi- 
cation of the purpose of the unstable chief, if 
it failed to restore him altogether to his former 
friendly disposition. 

The uncertainty of the means of subsistence, 
and the almost daily distresses and disappoint- 
ments by which we were harassed, had interfered 
with many, and altogether marred some, of my 
plans ; among others, the important task of pre- 
paring the materials for the construction of two 
light boats to take us along the coast had been 
hitherto suspended. The time, however, had 
now arrived when further delay was impossible. 
Accordingly, the two carpenters, with Sinclair (a 



ILL SUCCESS OF MR. M c LEOD. 237 

steersman), were sent to the clump of pines 
found by De Charloit in September last, and 
directed to saw sufficient planking for the pur- 
pose. 

The weather having now changed somewhat 
for the better, a little provision was occasionally 
brought from one of the hunters ; and I looked 
daily for a large supply from Mr. M c Leod. But, 
as if it were destined that matters should not go 
smoothly, intelligence was conveyed that far 
from being able to assist us, he could get neither 
fish nor flesh ; and had, as a last resource, been 
obliged to transfer the men to the other fishery 
under the charge of M c Kay, for the preservation 
of their lives. In performing this journey, the 
poor fellows were again three days without food. 
Two young Indians also came to the Fort about 
this time, as it appeared to us, solely for ammu- 
nition. They saw that our store was empty, and 
must have understood our distress ; but to our 
repeated questions as to their success, they uni- 
formly answered with apparent indifference, "Et- 
then oolah," — there are no deer. Having been 
provided with what they required, they were 
dismissed, and requested to be alert in hunt- 
ing ; but still they answered, " Etthen oolah — 
tahoutai * ; " and with the most stoical com- 
posure lounged about the house, or lolled before 

* " There are no deer." 



238 STRANGE CONDUCT OF TWO INDIANS. 

the fire for full two days, receiving merely 
such scraps of food as we could spare them. It 
so happened that at the end of that time, Mau- 
felly arrived with a load of meat, which the 
others no sooner saw, than they drew out fifteen 
tongues from a bag hitherto concealed, and 
placed them on the table without any remark, 
though we passed and repassed several times. 
The conclusion was, that they had as many deer 
in cache, and only wanted somebody to fetch 
them. When taxed with the folly of their 
conduct in so serious a case as ours, they an- 
swered carelessly that it was their custom, and 
still cried " Etthen oolah — etthen tahoutai." 
Hoping that there was now a probability of our 
obtaining regular supplies from the two parties, 
I was less fearful of increasing my party, and 
directed four men to come immediately from 
the fishery, and assist in sledging the meat to 
the house. The deer were accordingly brought ; 
yet before this welcome labour was completed, 
I had the mortification of receiving from the 
Indians on whom I had mainly depended, the 
unwelcome tidings that the animals had again 
dispersed they knew not whither, but that they 
would give us notice as soon as they had any 
thing to send. 

March 13th. — The men, who had been 
latterly subsisting on a single fish a day, arrived 
according to their instructions ; and that there 



SUPPLY OF FOOD. Qgg 

might be no leisure for brooding over their 
privations, I sent Mr. King with the whole of 
them, including those at the house, to drag the 
iron work, together with such planking as the 
carpenters might have ready, to a bay on the 
western borders of Artillery Lake, where I in- 
tended the boats to be built. 

This was occupation for four or five days, and 
in the meantime I fervently hoped that some fa- 
vourable change might take place. Nor in this 
instance was I deceived ; for no sooner had we 
enjoyed the calm consolation of divine service 
on the following Sunday, than the yelping of a 
dog too weak to do any thing else notified the 
approach of strange feet, and I was met at the 
hall door by the old Camarade de Mandeville. 
Accustomed to see the Indians empty-handed, 
it never occurred to me to inquire if he had 
brought any thing; and after the usual bon 
jour, which these people have learned from the 
Canadians, I proceeded to explain the reason 
why he found me alone. " You have no provi- 
sion then," said he ; " tiens ! the dogs are eating 
it ; " and opening the door, to my great surprise 
and no less joy, he pointed to an Indian youth, 
who was leaning on his gun, and looking at two 
sledges of dried meat which the Camarade and 
he had dragged from their lodges, five days' 
journey distant. 



240 NEWS FROM YORK FACTORY. 

The following day I received a further supply 
from Mr. M c Leod, though with the painful intel- 
ligence that he with his family w T ere surrounded 
by difficulties, privations, and deaths. Six more 
natives of either sex had sunk under the horrors 
of starvation, the nets had failed, and Akaitcho, 
on whom he relied (for the old chief had for- 
gotten his hasty expressions and was still 
faithful), was twelve days' march away. Distant, 
however, as he was, Akaitcho had managed to 
despatch some of the strongest young hunters 
with a supply of meat, and it was a part of this 
which was now forwarded to me. Mr. M c Leod's 
situation was one of great embarrassment. I pre- 
vailed on him therefore to sacrifice the comfort 
of being with his family, and to send them to 
Fort Resolution, to break up the fishery for the 
present, and stimulate the Indians to further 
exertion by keeping constantly near them. 

March 18th. — Mr. King and his party returned 
from Artillery Lake, where the requisite articles 
had been deposited, and the carpenters had 
begun the boats. On the 26th a person arrived 
late in the evening with the packet from York 
Factory, which we had been expecting daily for 
the last six weeks. The happiness which this 
announcement instantly created can be appre- 
ciated by those only who, like us, have been 
outside the pale of civilisation, and felt the 



UNCERTAIN FATE OF AUGUSTUS. 241 

blessing of communication with their friends 
but once through a long twelvemonth. Yet 
so true is it that 

" Man never is but always to be blest," 

that before we had time to congratulate each 
other, our joy was almost turned into sorrow. 
The bearer, on delivering the packet, added, 
that he believed he had brought only half; that 
the remainder had been sent from Fort Reso- 
lution upwards of a month ago, under the charge 
of two men, a Canadian and an Iroquois; that 
these had been accompanied by my old com- 
panion Augustus, the Esquimaux interpreter, 
who no sooner heard that I was in the country 
than he expressed his determination to join me, 
and had actually walked from Hudson's Bay 
with that affectionate intention; that the three 
men, having no language in common, were 
unable to convey their sentiments to each other ; 
and that having lost their way, two of them, after 
an absence of eighteen days, found their way 
back to the fort ; but without Augustus, who 
they declared persisted, in spite of their en- 
treaties, in his forlorn search. On opening my 
letters I found this account but too true, and 
moreover that the brave little fellow had with 
him, when they parted, only ten pounds of 
pemmican, and neither gun nor bow and arrows. 

R 



^42 UNCERTAIN FATE OF AUGUSTUS. 

Three days after the arrival of this sad news 
the other part of the packet was brought by one 
of my former men, who had been guided by an 
Indian ; and I then learned from Mr. M c Donell, 
the gentleman in charge of Fort Resolution, that 
on the arrival of the Canadian and Iroquois 
without Augustus, he had the same day de- 
spatched two more Iroquois with plenty of pro- 
vision, and instructions to follow the same track, 
search for Augustus, and, if found, conduct him 
to us. But, strange to say, after a similar lapse 
of time, viz. eighteen days, these two men also 
made their appearance at the Fort; and Mr. 
M c Donell had the mortification to hear that; 
they, like the first, had got bewildered, and 
having exhausted their provisions were com- 
pelled to explore their way back. An Indian, 
who happened to be with him at the time, was 
engaged as a guide to the present bearer ; and 
he added, " I hope the packet will reach you 
safe at last, As no one has come hither from 
you, I apprehend that poor Augustus has been 
starved to death." There was, indeed, every 
reason to fear the worst ; but the account of his 
companions, that they had heard the report of 
two or three guns in the direction of the place 
where they had left him, afforded me a feeble 
hope that he might have fallen in with some 
party, and be yet alive. As far as was in my 
power I circulated the fact among the Indians, 



PRESENCE OF TWO RAVENS. 2 ±3 

though they were unfortunately far away, and 
held out an unlimited reward to any who should 
find and save him. The ready zeal with which 
Augustus had volunteered to partake the hard 
fortunes of the service, his attachment and 
generous devotion to myself, and the proba- 
bility that his recompence had been a shocking 
and untimely death, impressed me with a melan- 
choly that for some time fixed deeply in my mind. 

By letters from York Factory, we were in- 
formed that the Company's two ships were forced 
to winter in the bay ; — one at Churchill, and 
the other at Charlton Island, — owing, as was 
said, to the vast quantity of drift ice which 
blocked up Hudson's Straits, and cut off all 
communication with the Atlantic. But I was 
requested to be under no uneasiness as regarded 
the expedition, since the letters for England 
were to be sent by Canada, and all my demands 
would be punctually attended to. 

April 20th. — For the last fifteen days our 
habitation had been rendered more cheerful by 
the presence of two ravens, which having, by 
my express directions, been left unmolested, 
had become so tame as scarcely to move ten 
paces when any one passed them ; they were 
the only living things that held communion with 
us, and it was a pleasure to see them gambol in 
their glossy plumage on the white snow. 

r 2 



24 1< RAVENS SHOT BY AN IROQUOIS. 

A party of men had arrived over night, and 
amongst them an Iroquois, who, perceiving the 
birds together, and being ignorant of my wishes, 
could not resist the temptation of a double shot, 
and so killed them both. In any other situation 
such an event, would, perhaps have seemed too 
trifling to be noticed ; but in our case, the ravens 
were the only link between us and the dreary soli- 
tude without, and their loss therefore was painfully 
felt. Moreover, there seemed a sort of treachery 
in the act, for the poor birds had been taught to 
look upon us as friends : their petty thefts were 
licensed ; and their sharp croaking was welcome, 
as breaking the monotony of silence. When they 
were gone, I felt more lonely, and the moaning 
wind seemed as if complaining of the barbarity. 
April 25th. — This was the anniversary of 
our departure from La Chine. We were talking 
for about the hundredth time of those kind 
persons who had come so far to see us away, 
and had begun to speculate on their different 
occupations at that very hour, when we were 
interrupted by a sharp and loud knock at the 
door. The permission to come in was unne- 
cessary, for the person followed the announce- 
ment before the words could be uttered, and 
with the same despatch thrust into my hands a 
packet, which a glance sufficed to tell me was 
from England. " He is returned, sir !" said the 



NEWS FROM ENGLAND. 245 

messenger, as we looked at him with surprise. 
" What ! Augustus ? — thank God ! " I replied 
quickly. " Captain Ross, Sir — Captain Ross is 
returned." " Eh ! are you quite sure ? is there 
no error ? where is the account from ? " The 
man paused, looked at me, and pointing with 
his finger said, " You have it in your hand, 
sir." It was so ; but the packet had been for- 
gotten in the excitement and hurry of my feel- 
ings. Two open extracts from the Times and 
Morning Herald confirmed the tidings ; and 
my official letter, with others from the long-lost 
adventurers themselves — from Captain Ma- 
conochie, Mr. Garry, Governor Simpson, and 
many other friends, English and American, re- 
moved all possible doubt, and evinced at the 
same time the powerful interest which the event 
had awakened in the public, by a great propor- 
tion of whom the party had long since been 
numbered among the dead. To me the in- 
telligence was peculiarly gratifying, not only as 
verifying my previously expressed opinions, but 
as demonstrating the wisdom as well as the hu- 
manity of the course pursued by the promoters 
of our expedition, who had thereby rescued the 
British nation from an imputation of indiffer- 
ence which it was far indeed from meriting. 
In the fulness of our hearts, we assembled to- 
gether, and humbly offered up our thanks to 

r 3 



246 DISCHARGE OF THREE MEN, 

that merciful Providence, which in the beautiful 
language of Scripture hath said, " Mine own 
will I bring again, as I did sometime from the 
deeps of the sea." The thought of so wonderful 
a preservation overpowered for a time the 
common occurrences of life. We had but just 
sat down to breakfast ; but our appetite was 
gone, and the day was passed in a feverish state 
of excitement. Seldom, indeed, did my friend 
Mr. King or I indulge in a libation, but on this 
joyful occasion economy was forgotten ; a treat 
was given to the men, and for ourselves the 
social sympathies were quickened by a generous 
bowl of punch. 

May 5. — David Williamson of the Royal 
Artillery and two other men were discharged 
from the service ; the former on account of con- 
tinued ill health, and the latter at their own 
solicitation. By them were forwarded letters 
for England. We had now a smart thaw; 
and patches of green, as well as projecting 
parts of rocks, were daily becoming visible. 
Shortly afterwards a letter arrived from Mr. 
M e Leod containing information, which I had 
some time anticipated, of the total failure of 
Akaitcho and his party to collect provision — as 
well as a hint that the chief had been tampered 

* Psal. 66. 



ALTERATION OF PLANS. 247 

with, and allowed a part of his hunt to go in 
another direction. The fact that a portion of the 
meat had been so diverted was substantiated, 
and laid to the charge of a free-man ; but the 
quantity taken by him was too inconsiderable to 
be of any consequence, and afforded merely a 
pretext for Akaitcho, to cover some little in- 
fidelities of which, I fear, he had been guilty. 
A month before, such intelligence would have 
caused the bitterest sorrow ; but now, when I 
knew of Captain Ross's safety, it was compar- 
atively of little moment ; and I determined at 
once on going with one boat instead of two 
along the coast, selecting the best men for my 
crew. This, in fact, was the only means left by 
which I could execute my instructions, and dis- 
charge the duty that I owed to the public ; for 
though the enthusiasm that had before animated 
us was now of course much abated, it still set 
with a strong, because concentrated, stream, 
towards the region of discovery. The provision 
that we had still in reserve was, or could be 
made, equal to the expenditure of three months 
for ten persons. The smallness of the party 
would be more than compensated by the cha- 
racters of the individuals who composed it — 
every man in himself a host — experienced 
voyageurs, good hunters, equal to the most try- 
ing situations. There was, therefore, no rational 

it 4 



248 APPEARANCE OF BIRDS. 

ground for apprehension that we should be unable 
to surmount the obstacles of the voyage, though 
cooped within the narrow space of a solitary 
boat on the inhospitable waters of the Arctic 
sea. The people were regularly employed in 
dragging the pemmican and baggage to Artillery 
Lake, where the carpenters had already finished 
one and half completed the other boat ; for 
though the original plan was relinquished, the 
second boat, it was thought, would be highly 
serviceable in enabling Mr. M c Leod to fulfil the 
instructions which it -was my intention to leave 
for his guidance during our absence, And I now 
wrote to him, to engage as many young Indians 
as would undertake to carry a bag (or 90 lbs.) of 
pemmican each to the Thlew-ee-choh, in direct 
distance one hundred and fifteen miles. 

On the 13th of May, a single goose, the har- 
binger of summer, flew past the house; and 
during the day it was followed by five more, all 
of which took a northerly direction. This was 
six days later than they had been seen in 1826 
at Fort Franklin, though a higher northern lati- 
tude. A fly and a flock of small birds appeared 
in the evening ; and during the three succeed- 
ing days we had gulls, orioles, grossbeaks, yellow 
legs, robins, and butterflies. 

A small swamp behind the house was the 
resort of two or three kinds of ducks, some of 



ADVENTURE BY MR. KING. 249 

which were occasionally got by Mr. King, who 
was a daily visitor amongst them. On one occa- 
sion, just as he had hit his bird, his attention 
was attracted by some more in an adjacent pool ; 
so, without staying to pick up his game, he crept 
towards the others, and as he thought disabled 
a fine drake. Eager to bag it, he waded into 
the water, when he was startled by a sharp 
whizzing noise over his head. This, he soon 
perceived, was caused by a large white-headed 
eagle, which was descending with the rapidity 
of lightning towards the precise spot where lay 
the duck he had before hit. Impelled by the 
desire at once to secure the bird for dinner, and 
if possible to get a shot at the eagle also, he 
instantly left the wounded drake, and, sans 
culottes, flew with all speed over patches of 
hard snow, dashing through the swamp, and 
arriving just in time to see the powerful ma- 
rauder quietly sweep off, exactly out of the reach 
of shot, with the duck firmly grasped in its talons. 
Having watched it out of sight, he then re- 
traced his steps ; and leaving his gun in a dry 
place, betook himself to the aquatic chase of the 
drake, which, far from being fluttered or alarmed, 
remained motionless, as if waiting to be taken 
up. Still, as he neared, it glided easily away 
through innumerable little nooks and wind- 
ings, with all the confidence of a branch pilot. 



250 ARRIVAL OF MR. M c LEOD. 

Several times he extended his arm to catch it; 
and having at last, with great patience, man- 
aged to coop it in a corner, from which there 
appeared to be no escape, he was triumphantly 
bending down to take it (gently, however, as 
he wished to preserve it for a specimen), when, 
to his utter astonishment, after two or three 
flounders, it looked round, cried " quack," and 
then flew off so strongly that he was convinced 
he had never hit it at all. The object of the drake 
had clearly been to draw Mr. King away from 
its companion, of whose fate it was unconscious ; 
indeed, so attached are these birds at certain 
seasons, that it is no uncommon circumstance, 
when one has been shot, for the other, especially 
the male, to linger about its struggling partner, 
exhibiting the greatest distress, until either killed 
or frightened away. Sometimes in such cases they 
will dive to avoid the shot, but refuse to fly ; as 
in an instance where one remained to be fired 
at no less than five times. 

On the 18th May, the catkins of the willows 
were half an inch long, and the snow was fast 
disappearing from the ground. On the 25th we 
also welcomed the arrival of our companion Mr. 
M c Leod, whose indefatigable endeavours to re- 
alize the expectations held out by the Indians 
of procuring deer, as the warm weather increased, 
had been grievously disappointed. He had found 



ANXIETY ABOUT WILLIAMSON. c >5\ 

his hunters indeed as wretchedly off as could be 
imagined ; so that the winter terminated as it had 
commenced. Bad as this was, the serious ap- 
prehension which he raised in my mind about 
the fate of David Williamson, the artillery-man, 
who had been so lately discharged, was infinitely 
worse. It appeared that he had left the fishery 
with his companions, and two Indians as guides ; 
but, being a slow walker and much encum- 
bered with useless baggage of his own, he had 
one day set out first, the route being quite 
straight ; while the others, knowing that they 
could easily overtake him, had loitered in their 
encampment, perhaps an hour after his departure. 
Aware of his eccentricity, they were not alarmed 
at not seeing him for the better part of the day ; 
but as the evening drew in, their fears were ex- 
cited, and one of the Indians retraced his way, 
in order to be quite sure that he was not behind 
among the islands. His search was fruitless, and 
he very properly returned with the information 
to the fishery. Mr. M c Leod lost not a moment 
in selecting another Indian to accompany the 
same person, directing them to use the utmcst 
vigilance, and holding out the promise of a con- 
siderable reward to whoever should find him. 
With such an inducement, it was not likely they 
would leave any part unexamined ; and, accord- 
ingly, after an absence of three or four days, 



252 SULTRY WEATHER. 

they returned to the fishery with the assurance 
that he had not stopped between their last en- 
campment and the islands, from which the tra- 
verse is made to the south shore ; on the 
contrary, they concluded that he had crossed 
over, and made the best of his way to Fort 
Resolution. For my own part I much doubted 
this ; but, at all events, it was consolatory to 
know that he had a compass, and was not des- 
titute of provision. 

Towards the end of the month, the weather 
became sultry, the temperature in the sun being 
106° ; an extraordinary contrast to that of the 
17th January, when it was 70° below zero. The 
snow was all gone, except that which had been 
drifted to a great depth in the narrow valleys, 
and under steep precipices ; and the Al-hel- 
dessy, to the westward, had burst its icy fetters, 
and opened a clear channel to the portage oppo- 
site the house: loons, gulls, and ducks took 
possession of the water, and seemed to contend 
which should make the most noise ; some small 
birds also, very prettily marked, hovered about a 
short time, and then both they and the ducks sud- 
denly deserted us. Akaitcho and thirty of his 
tribe arrived, empty-handed, and were followed 
by a couple of young Chipewyans, who brought 
a little dry meat from the Yellow Knife River, 
where one of their party had died from want. 



MELANCHOLY FATE OF AUGUSTUS. 253 

On the 3d June, the whole of the men came 
in from the fishery, and brought with them the 
melancholy tidings, that the Indians had been 
at Fort Resolution without hearing anything 
about poor Williamson, who, it was now conjec- 
tured, must have got bewildered among the 
islands away from the track, or met with some 
accident so as to incapacitate him from making 
a fire, and thereby indicating his situation. The 
remains of Augustus also had been discovered 
not far from the Riviere a Jean. It appeared 
that the gallant little fellow was retracing his 
steps to the establishment, when, either exhausted 
by suffering and privation, or caught in the midst 
of an open traverse in one of those terrible snow 
storms which may be almost said to blow through 
the frame, he had sunk to rise no more. Such 
was the miserable end of poor Augustus ! — a 
faithful, disinterested, kind-hearted creature, 
who had won the regard not of myself only, but 
I may add of Sir John Franklin and Dr. Rich- 
ardson also, by qualities, which, wherever found, 
in the lowest as in the highest forms of social 
life, are the ornament and charm of humanity. 

These were not very cheering auspices for the 
eve of our departure ; but past griefs must yield 
to present necessities, and the sharpness of the 
feeling gradually wore off under the pressure of 
mental and bodily occupation. By the 5th June, I 



254 PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 

hadgotMr.M c Leod, the Indians, and all the men 
but three, from the Fort. It was arranged that 
the former, with a chosen party, should precede 
us to hunt, and should make caches of meat along 
the line of route, so as to save the pemmican ; 
while the other Indians, with part of the men, 
should assist in dragging the baggage. One 
Indian was left with us as a guide ; but his friends 
were scarcely out of sight, when he began de- 
liberately to pack up, with the intention of fol- 
lowing them. This caprice (for he had remained 
voluntarily) was owing, it seemed, to distrust of 
the constancy of his } 7 oung wife, who was some- 
where to the north ; and it was only by threaten- 
ing to discharge him altogether from the service, 
that I could prevail on him to stay. We had in 
vain tried every allurement to induce some 
Indian family to remain and take care of the 
establishment during the absence of Mr. M c Leod: 
no temptation was strong enough to entice the 
poorest among them to accept of so dangerous 
a trust ; all agreeing that it would be impossible 
to procure a livelihood there at this season of the 
year. No more convincing proof can be given of 
the wretched poverty of the country ; for the 
people will suffer any privation short of death 
to obtain their favourite tobacco, ammunition, 
and clothing ; and as it is acknowledged that 
an Indian can live where a wolf would starve, 



LEAVE FORT RELIANCE. O55 

the neighbourhood of our residence must be 
a miserable spot indeed. I was consequently 
obliged to trust to chance for the safety of 
the papers containing the observations, journal, 
drawings, and survey. A platform was erected 
in the hall, on which the remainder of our stores 
were deposited, and carefully secured against 
wet, and marauding wolvereens. Some things 
were lowered into a cellar, the opening of which 
was closed and nailed down. The stronger 
boxes were piled into a heap, and covered with a 
tarpaulin ; and a very small quantity of brandy, 
which we were unable to take, though not un- 
willing, had economy permitted, to drink, was 
buried "full fathom five"— then, and not till 
then, being considered safe from biped or quad- 
ruped, Indian or bear. 

It now only remained to block up the win- 
dows and doors ; which done, the four persons 
remaining with me, including the guide, were 
laden with burdens of ninety pounds each, and 
two dogs, equipped with saddle bags, carrying 
meat for the journey; and thus appointed, I 
left Fort Reliance, accompanied by Mr. King, 
a little past noon of the 7th June. 



<256 



CHAP. IX. 

Reflections. — Halt for the Night. — March resumed. — 
Obstacles encountered. — The Boats finished. — Eastern 
Shore of Artillery Lake. — Pursue the Track of 
Mr. M c Leod. — Two Deer shot. — Stunted Pines. — 
Encampment. — Difficulty in tracing our Route. — 
News from Mr. M c Leod. — A Snow Storm. — Fires 
lighted on the Hills. — Accident to Peter Taylor. — 
Deviate from our Course. — Accident to James Spence. 
— Boisterous Weather. — Plunder of a Cache. — Find 
the runaway Guides. — The Ice unsafe. — Enter upon 
Lake Aylmer. — A dense Fog. — Sand-hill Bay. — 
Judicial Investigation. — Animals. — Musk-ox Rapid. 

Join Mr. M c Leod. — Survey of the River. — Indians 

return with the Pemmican. — Stock of Provisions. — 
An Indian Belle. — A Reindeer Hunt. 

There is something exciting in the first start 
even upon an ordinary journey. The bustle of 
preparation — the act of departing, which seems 
like a decided step taken — the prospect of 
change, and consequent stretching out of the 
imagination — have at all times the effect of stir- 
ring the blood, and giving a quicker motion to 
the spirits. It may be conceived then with 
what sensations I set forth on my journey into 
the Arctic wilderness. I had escaped from the 
wretchedness of a dreary and disastrous win- 



REFLECTIONS. 257 

ter — from scenes and tales of suffering and 
death — from wearisome inaction and monotony 
— from disappointment and heart-sickening 
care. Before me were novelty and enterprise ; 
hope, curiosity, and the love of adventure 
were my companions ; and even the prospect of 
difficulties and dangers to be encountered, with 
the responsibility inseparable from command, 
instead of damping rather heightened the en- 
joyment of the moment. In turning my back 
on the Fort, I felt my breast lightened, and my 
spirit, as it were, set free again ; and with a 
quick step, Mr. King and I (for my companion 
seemed to share in the feeling) went on our 
way rejoicing. 

Taking a northerly direction through the 
woods, we soon got into a succession of swamps ; 
then ascended steep rocks ; and subsequently 
gained a sight of the Ah-hel-dessy, which 
seemed in that part to be navigable, though, 
from the noise, it was certain that a heavy fall 
was not far distant. We passed many sand-hills, 
variegated by the arbutus plant, called, as I 
have elsewhere said, by the traders " sac a 
commis," cranberry and crowberry. These hills 
were generally hemmed in by broken cliffs of 
red feldspar and barren granitic rocks, with here 
and there thick masses of snow filling up their 
chasms, or sloping from the lower parts of ver- 

s 



258 HALT FOR THE NIGHT. 

tical precipices. A few old tracks of deer were 
seen near them. 

The oppressive sultriness of the weather 
having affected my servant so much that he 
was unable to proceed, we halted ; and as 
we had no tent, we took up a position for the 
night on a smooth carpet of reindeer moss, 
under the thick and spreading branches of a 
tall pine. A few willows growing round the 
margin of the small lakes we had passed were 
not so forward as those at the house, though 
the latter, probably nipped by the north-east 
winds which had latterly prevailed, had made 
little progress in the shooting of the catkins ; 
indeed, one flower only had blown, and the 
green buds of the dwarf birch were but just 
perceptible. Whether this was owing to the 
accidental lateness of the season, or to poverty 
of soil, I cannot take upon me to determine ; 
but it may not be out of place to mention, that 
some cress sown in a box, in the best earth that 
could be found, never came to perfection, at 
least in three weeks' trial, though it was care- 
fully kept in a warm room at night, and exposed 
to the sun during the day. The only green 
observed along our route was in the arbutus 
and the younger firs ; all besides wore the 
sombre brown of an advanced autumn. A 
smart fall of rain in the night reminded us that 



RESUME OUR MARCH. £59 

we were out of our rooms ; and this, or, it may 
be, the excitement of getting away, banished 
sleep from my eyes. Nevertheless, I endea- 
voured to cheat myself, by fancying drowsiness; 
and had just arrived at the falling-off point, — a 
kind of misty half-consciousness, — when a white 
partridge came burring within five paces of us, 
and rang such an alarum that no fewer than 
three heads were simultaneously popped up, 
to discover the cause of this unwelcome dis- 
turbance. 

Our march was resumed at S o'clock of the 
following morning, by descending one side and 
scrambling up the other of a very deep ravine, 
thickly interlaced with underwood, through 
which we had much trouble to get our dogs ; 
but a greater misfortune was the weakness 
of my servant Malley, which by 6 o'clock had 
increased so much as to oblige him to stop 
altogether. Believing that his indisposition was 
attributable to confinement and sedentary oc- 
cupations at the Fort during the winter, and 
that a few days would restore him, I requested 
Mr. King and one of the men to stay with 
him, using their discretion in coming forward ; 
while I, with the Indian and the remaining 
man, pushed on as quickly as possible to Ar- 
tillery Lake. 

Our way lay through swamps, covered with 

s 2 



260 OBSTACLES ON OUR WAY. 

what the Indians call women's heads, which 
are round hummocks of moss-covered earth, 
the bases of which are reduced by the action 
of the surrounding water to about one third of 
the diameter of their surface, yet strong enough, 
owing to the fibrous roots which they contain, 
to keep upright ; being, in short, something 
like a large mushroom. In crossing the sloppy 
swamp, the traveller is tempted, by their dry 
appearance, to step upon them ; but, unless 
he tread exactly on the centre, which is a 
matter of nice judgment and calculation, they 
invariably fall over, and down he tumbles, or 
gets an awkward twist ; in either case plunging 
up to the knees, or deeper, into the swamp. 
My Indian was caught twice, and called out 
"Sass" (Bear), the well-known expression of 
his tribe when not inclined to be over gentle. 

Acclivitous rocks intervened between the 
swamps ; and in going over their summits, the 
Ah-hel-dessy was frequently seen working its 
rapid course along the base of the mountain 
range, which sometimes assumed the wildest 
character. The space from the spot where I had 
left the small canoe last year to the first rapid out 
of Artillery Lake was quite open, and immense 
quantities of ice were floating down the stream. 
The temperature was full ten degrees colder 
than at the house ; large masses of ice and 



THE BOATS FINISHED. 26l 

snow encumbered the banks or borders of the 
rocks ; and the ice on the lake had not decayed 
nearly so much as was observed at the same 
season of the year in 1821 at Point Lake, more 
than two degrees to the north. 

Tracks of deer were visible at different points ; 
and leading from these tracks the Indians had 
placed rows of moss on the ice, to keep the 
timid animals in a particular direction. In 
the evening we reached the bay, and found 
that the carpenters had just completed the 
boats, which, considering the knotty and in- 
different material of which they were construct- 
ed, did much credit to the builders. They were 
precisely such as I required ; being sharp at both 
ends, with good beam, and plenty of floor for 
stowage : my only apprehension was that they 
were weak. The one selected for the voyage 
was thirty feet over all, and twenty-four feet 
keel : extra oars, masts, tiller, &c. were pre- 
pared, and the bottom of the boat was paid over 
with a coating of tar. I ought to mention, also, 
that in conformity with my directions, the lower 
part was carvel, and the upper part clinker- 
built ; for as the carpenters were neither of 
them strong enough to be included, however 
desirable it might have been, in the number of 
my picked crew for the expedition to the sea, 
I thought that, in case x)f accident, the former 

s S 



262 OUR PROGRESS RETARDED. 

construction would be repaired more easily, and 
with less loss of time, than the latter. It had, 
besides, this advantage, that there were no over- 
lapping edges, which might catch against the 
stones in the rapids. 

My first care was to despatch three smart men 
to assist in bringing up Malley ; and at 4 p. m. 
the following day, the whole party arrived with 
Mr. King, who reported that his patient would 
be unable to perform any duty for several days ; 
a circumstance untoward enough, when every 
man was required to drag forward his allot- 
ted proportion of baggage. Mr. M c Leod had 
left only two days before ; and, on examining 
what pieces he had taken, I was rather cha- 
grined to find that what remained was more 
than could be conveniently carried by us at one 
trip ; and as the arrangements had been de- 
finitive, there was no alternative but to make 
two, which was, in other words, trebling the 
distance. The evening was passed in getting 
everything ready for our departure, and to each 
of the eight men who were to compose the 
boat's crew were given a new gun, powder- 
horn, &c. 

My old guide Maufelly, with another Indian, 
had been selected to show us the nearest cuts, 
and now promised to hunt a little a-head of us. 
Accordingly, at 3. 30' a.m. of the 10th of June, 



DISPOSITION OF THE BOATS. %63 

the larger boat was dragged about three quar- 
ters of a mile through a half-dry swamp, and 
over some rocks to Artillery Lake, where she 
was placed firmly on runners plated with iron, 
and drawn over the ice by two men and six 
fine dogs. The smaller boat was launched into 
a pool, where she would be quite safe until 
required in the autumn. By 8 a.m. each 
man had his runner laden with something less 
than a hundred pounds weight; when leaving 
Mr. King to superintend the transport of what 
yet remained, I took the party forward, intend- 
ing to send them back so soon as we had attained 
the appointed distance ; which, for the accom- 
plishment of my object, would not be less than 
from six to nine miles. The scene was new 
to every one but myself, and I took care to 
encourage the mirth which the grotesque and 
awkward attitudes of slipping people continu- 
ally excited. The runners appeared to slide 
easily, and for half an hour a brisk pace was 
kept up. By degrees, however, it slackened, 
on account of the badness of the ice, which 
was literally a bed of angular spikes, of many 
shapes and sizes, but all so sharp as to make 
mere walking a most painful and laborious 
operation. From the same cause the runners 
were also peeled, or otherwise much injured ; 
and it was easy to foresee their speedy destruc- 

s 4 



264 EASTERN SHORE 

tion, unless timely measures were adopted to 
prevent it. Iron seemed to be the only effectual 
defence, but we had none left, except one large 
saw, which it was thought might answer, if the 
carpenters could manage to cut it into the proper 
breadths and lengths. 

Our prospect of reaching the portage of the 
Thlew-ee-choh on the ice depended entirely on 
the soundness of our tackle, and this early assault 
on the wood showed me the necessity of devising 
some method of protecting it, either with the 
saw, or, failing that, with reindeer horn, bones, 
or binders of birch. We halted, consequently, 
at the end of six miles ; and the people, after a 
couple of hours' rest, returned to Mr. King, who 
was desired to set the carpenters immediately to 
work about the saw, and to join me as soon as 
convenient with the rest of our provision. This, 
indeed, made the bulk of our baggage ; for in 
services like this only a very limited wardrobe 
can be allowed ; and having set the example of 
taking only one change of linen, flannels, and 
a few pair of moccassins for my own use, the 
others were, of course, obliged to submit to a 
correspondent limitation. 

The eastern shore of Artillery Lake, which 
we now followed, was less rocky than its opposite, 
being composed principally of smooth rounded 
hills, covered with verdure and large stones, many 



OF ARTILLERY LAKE. £65 

of which were ranged on the summits, presenting 
a bold contrast to the yellow sky behind. During 
the night the thermometer fell to 28° ; and in 
the morning (June 11th) I took a stroll with 
my gun, with the double object of procuring, if 
possible, a change of food, and observing what 
effect the early sun would have upon the ice. 
In the first, I failed ; but as to the second, I suc- 
ceeded in convincing myself that it would be 
injurious to the men, and very soon knock up 
the dogs, to persist in travelling through the 
heat of the day ; and that it would be better, 
therefore, to reverse the order of marching and 
rest, and to take advantage of the fresh air of 
the night. In the afternoon Mr. King and his 
party arrived, having succeeded in converting 
the pit saw to the purpose required. All were 
immediately at work in shoeing their respective 
runners ; after which, having rested until 9 p.m., 
we started again. 

To husband the pemmican, which, from the 
want of other provision, was already in consump- 
tion, I was desirous of following, as nearly 
as possible, the track of Mr. M c Leod, who 
had been instructed to put conspicuous marks 
wherever he had made a cache for us. But, 
as this would necessarily lead us round all the 
bays of the main shore, and greatly increase the 
distance and fatigue of the journey, I deter- 



266 PURSUE THE TRACK OF MR. M c LEOD. 

mined on undertaking it myself, with one man 
selected for the purpose, leaving directions with 
Mr. King to proceed with the boat, &c. in a 
straight line from point to point, until he should 
see signals to guide him to the caches, or to en- 
camp. The air was keen, even to freezing ; the 
ice hard, and galling to the feet. Indeed, the 
sensation was like that of treading on sharp 
palisades : but the runners now slipt smoothly 
over it, and opposed considerably less resistance 
to the men, who began to talk of carrying 
heavier loads, so as to avoid the fatigue of 
returning for the baggage left behind at every 
encampment. The land had a uniform and 
uninteresting outline, with here and there a 
dark clump of pines, though these began now to 
be less frequent. After four hours' brisk walk- 
ing in the night, — but not in the dark, for it 
was quite light all the time, — we stopped at the 
mouth of a small river, the banks of which it was 
thought might produce a little wood; and on 
inspecting some recent marks, the place was 
found to have been an encampment of Mr. 
M c Leod. The sun rose at 2. 15' a.m. due 
north by compass. The boat arrived safely, 
but somehow or other the men had contrived 
to break the runner ; so having harnessed the 
dogs to single sledges, they were despatched to 
the carpenters with orders to take the present 



EVENTS WHICH BEFALL US. 267 

and only opportunity of supplying themselves 
with what wood might be required for the 
reparation of the sledges, &c. By 10 a.m. all 
the things were brought. 

During our march five deer and some geese 
had been seen, but no other animal, except two 
mice, which were making a rather hazardous 
traverse across the ice ; one little adventurer of 
the same family was found dead (apparently 
drowned), at the distance of a full mile from 
the nearest land. I had been trying for a trout 
in the river, and happening to espy in the sand 
an old copper kettle, much bruised, I had the 
curiosity to take it up ; and hearing something 
rattle within, I had it forced open, when it was 
found to contain thirty-four balls, a file broken 
into three pieces, an awl, a fire-steel, and a 
crooked knife. This, to an Indian valuable 
property, had apparently been thrown away, 
according to the custom unfortunately prevail- 
ing with that people, either as an expiatory 
sacrifice for some calamity, or as a token of 
extreme affliction for the loss of a wife or child. 
At 9 p. m., the boat's runners having been 
repaired, and the dogs' feet cased with leather 
shoes, we recommenced the route; and soon after- 
wards being attracted by some stones piled upon 
an island, from which bits of moss laid in a line 
led to the shore, I expected to have discovered a 



268 TWO DEER SHOT. 

cache ; but my attendant (a half-breed) and I 
sought in vain for the wished-for treasure : we 
saw, indeed, an Indian encampment, where a deer 
had been killed, and the traces of a sledge near 
the shore, and hence surmised that our store 
had been pilfered. Before morning, however, 
we were compensated for the disappointment 
by the acquisition of two deer, shot by Sinclair 
and Taylor. 

June 13th. — The few trees now met with 
were stunted pines, from three to six feet high, 
spreading much at the base or near the root, 
and generally dead at the top. They were seen 
only on sand-hills, near small rivulets, or (very 
rarely) on some moist declivity. The double 
trips fatigued the people so much, that I ac- 
quiesced in their request to be permitted to 
take additional burdens, and travel more slowly, 
on condition, however, that they were to make 
good a greater distance each journey ; and at 
the usual hour this plan was put into execution, 
and appeared likely to answer. Some marks 
led us to a cache ; and again, at midnight, we 
found a second, the meat of which I caused 
to be placed on the ice, so that the main party 
mio;ht not be drawn aside from their course. 

The eastern land now became broken into 
bays so irregular in their form as to lead us 
more than once astray, and occasion some diffi- 



ENCAMPMENT. 269 

culty in finding the right track ; indeed, the 
continued absence of Maufelly and his com- 
panion was what I had not calculated upon, 
though I still hoped they would be found at 
an appointed place, near the entrance of the 
next river. 

We encamped this day (June 14.) at the 
point of a large opening leading to the east- 
ward, and the greater proportion of the men 
came up in tolerably good condition, consider- 
ing the badness of the ice, the spikes of which 
were just soft enough to allow the runners to 
cut through, instead of sliding over it, increasing 
thereby the labour of getting along. It was past 
noon when the carpenters, who were always 
the last, arrived ; one of them was so affected 
by the glare of the ice as to be almost unable to 
see, and would fain have excused himself on 
that account from taking any share in the work. 
He had, however, brought the evil on himself by 
not keeping pace with his comrades in the night 
march, which he could well have done, as he had 
a much lighter load to drag, and his strength was 
unimpaired ; so, notwithstanding his complaints, 
he was obliged to take hold of a cord made fast 
to his brother's sledge, and to drag his burden 
as usual. Indeed, squeamishness is little heeded 
in such travelling as this, and shirking is quite 
out of the question. I could not dispense with 



270 UNCERTAINTY OF OUR ROUTE. 

the duty of a single individual, as an exact 
distribution had been made of the baggage, 
from which any deviation might have seriously 
affected our future operations : each day's dis- 
tance, moreover, was marked out, and it was 
only by a rigid observance of these arrange- 
ments that I could expect to reach the Thlew- 
ee-choh on the ice. In short, in my case, as I 
have elsewhere said, pity for temporary ailments 
might be felt, but was not to be expressed ; the 
restraint, however painful, being absolutely in- 
dispensable. 

In the course of the night the weather 
became overcast and threatening; and being 
perplexed as to the most direct route, from the 
seeming continuity of the land to the eastward, 
as well as the deep bays and strange sand-hills 
in the same quarter, I made for two dark points 
that stood out boldly from the opposite western 
shore, in the conviction that the track would 
either be found there, or that I should recognise 
some objects which might lead me to it. The sky 
was extremely lowering, with a cold northerly 
wind; and a small sleet falling, made the ice 
so slippery that the dogs were much fagged. 
The points, when reached, proved not to be 
islands, as I had conjectured, but the extreme 
promontory of an extensive bay. I therefore 
ascended the highest hill near me, and per- 



FALL INTO THE RIGHT COURSE. 271 

ceived that we were actually on the western 
main shore; though, so great is the difference 
between a summer and winter prospect, and so 
deceptive an appearance does the snow give to 
heights, that I could not, by any strain of 
memory, recollect the outline of a single part, 
the whole being, in fact, entirely changed. 
Nevertheless, we were fortunate enough to hit 
upon the right course ; and, after some hard 
walking, were stopped by a ridge or barrier 
of ice and a lane of water, which compelled 
us to make a long detour before the line of 
route could be recovered. In doing this, we 
got sight of two sand-hills, which I remembered; 
and about 4 a. m., June 15th, we encamped 
under the shelter of a high rocky hill, about a 
quarter of a mile from the river, at which we 
expected to find the Indians. Had they been 
with us, much of the late tedious and unsatis- 
factory march would have been avoided, greatly 
to the benefit of the feet of all the party ; for this 
continual walking on spikes was certainly doing 
severe penance, and most sensibly did we feel that 
two thirds or more of the original distance was 
yet to be performed. 

Snow showers ushered in the morning ; and, 
when these cleared off, it was seen that we were 
on the borders of a swamp, caused by the melting 
of the snow from the upper lands, which, from 



272 NO SIGN OF VEGETATION. 

the ground underneath being frozen, collected 
into pools, that slowly discharged themselves into 
the lake. There was not the least sign of vege- 
tation, for the sun as yet exerted little influence 
over the cold and barren soil. Divine service 
having been performed to the men assembled in 
the tent, the journey was resumed by the line of 
the river. A partial channel in its centre in- 
duced me and my attendants to keep to the right 
bank, which, though it receded to the eastward, 
offered nevertheless, somewhat higher up, a 
shorter cut to the other side, the river at the 
place where we were being of considerable 
width. The channel, however, led us much 
farther round than had been anticipated, and 
finally ended near a small rapid, which my 
party forded ; but as a serious loss of time 
would have attended the attempt to follow us, 
I hastened back, and directed the boat and 
sledges to return to the mouth of the river, and 
go along its western bank. In the meantime 
my party kept to the right, and, on their way, 
saw occasional traces of Indians, at places where 
they had been fishing. The ice was more or less 
decayed, and shelved from the banks, where it was 
four feet thick, becoming much honey-combed 
towards the middle, where it dipped into the 
open water of the narrow channel formed by the 
current. Walking, therefore, was painful and 



NEWS FROM MR, M c LEOD. 9T/S 

dangerous ; for so slippery was the surface, that 
the nicest caution was required to keep our foot- 
ing, and a single false step would have sent us 
sliding into the stream. As some defence to the 
soles of the feet, I placed pieces of undressed 
buffalo skin with the hair on between two pair 
of moccassins and thick blanket socks, and 
obtained by this means sensible relief; though, 
even then, Peter Pindar's pilgrims, and the 
happy thought of " boiling the peas," presented 
themselves more vividly to my imagination, than 
they had ever done before. 

About 1 a.m. of the 16th, on turning a point, 
we discerned in front of us the usual mark of 
piled stones, and soon increased our store with 
two deer, a quantity just enough for as many days' 
consumption. I learned from a note, that Mr. 
JVFLeod's party were living upon the chance of 
the day, feasting or fasting, as it might happen, 
with seldom enough and never too much ; but 
that this was the fifth cache he had made, so that 
we had passed two unnoticed. Nor, under the 
circumstances which have been mentioned, could 
this be wondered at, though, as may easily be 
believed, a keen look-out had been kept. Deer, 
it was added, were scarce ; but the Indians held 
out hopes of overtaking large herds in the course 
of a few days, and for that purpose intended to 
make a straight route to the next lake, keeping 

T 



QJ4< OBSTACLES ENCOUNTERED. 

along its western shore, in which line I should 
find whatever they were fortunate enough to kill. 
The many interruptions of the ice, over 
which the boat had to be dragged, caused fre- 
quent delays, and it was late before she came 
up. Here, therefore, we encamped ; and after 
a short repose, proceeded to caulk the boat in 
several parts, to prepare her for the water, which 
was now sufficiently unobstructed to admit of 
her being towed along shore. 

The morning was gloomy in the extreme, and 
snow fell so thick as to cover the hills again with 
their wintry garment. By 5 p.m. the boat was 
ready, launched, and every thing stowed in her, 
the bow and steersman alone remaining on board, 
while the others hauled her along with a tracking 
line. The water was a great deal lower than in 
the autumn, so that, on arriving at the first rapid, 
some trouble and waste of time were experienced 
in ascending its contracted and furious torrent. 
Once the boat grounded, the line broke, and 
only by jumping out was the bowman enabled 
to save her from being driven on the rocks ; and 
such was the immense force of the water, that 
it was not until she was lightened of her cargo 
that the men succeeded in hauling her up. In 
doing this, they were obliged to pass along the 
margin of the ice nearest the stream ; and, though 
five others had done so in safety, yet the sixth 



A SNOW STORM. 9TJ5 

(Carron) broke through, and sunk over head : 
his next companion fortunately looked behind 
him at the moment, and on his re-appearance 
instantly seized him by the arm, and saved him 
from being swept away by the current. The 
weather, always cold and gloomy, soon became 
squally, which, at about 9 p.m., settled into a 
storm of sleet and wet snow, coming from ahead, 
which, driving upon our faces, so injured our eyes 
that we were frequently compelled to turn round 
to shelter and recruit them. A second rapid 
was gained, and, the channel about it being 
interrupted by ice, the former plan of dragging 
the boat on runners was again resorted to. In 
less than an hour, a third rapid made it necessary 
again to launch her, which having surmounted, 
we got fairly on the lake, not far from the island 
where, last season, I had made my cache of 
pemmican. It was here that I depended on 
finding our two Indians ; and, as they might be 
either asleep or hunting, I encamped, to give 
them an opportunity of seeing the white tent, 
which, on the barren lands, was a conspicuous 
object. 

The thermometer stood at 33°, with snow, and 
a raw cold wind that pierced through us in 
spite of cloaks or blankets. It was two o'clock 
in the morning ; and, as I had not yet dined, 

t 2 



27^ INEFFECTUAL ATTEMPT TO LIGHT A FIRE. 

certain internal gnawings began to intimate the 
propriety of supplying the organs of digestion 
with some occupation which might keep them 
from quarrelling among themselves. Oh ! thought 
I, for a cheerful fire, and a warm comfortable 
meal ! Accordingly, having managed to col- 
lect a beggarly account of wet branches, we 
applied ourselves, with laudable zeal, to ignite 
and blow them into a flame. The moss and 
shrubs were saturated, and would not burn ; 
but it was fondly imagined that, by dint of per- 
severance and relieving each other quickly, the 
dwarf birch might be importuned into a blaze. 
We puffed, and it smoked — again, and it 
lighted — still more, and it went out: the puff- 
ing was renewed — it looked cheerful, and 
wanted only a little more coaxing. " The least 
thing in the world," said one, blowing gently, 
though at the distance of a yard. " Mind 
what you 're about," cried another, — " there ! it 
will go out, — it's all over." " Oh ! get out of the 
way, let me come," bawled a third ; and thrust- 
ing himself forward, applied himself to the work 
with such vigour and force of lungs, that the 
few embers yet living flew scattered about like 
the sparks of an exploded cracker. " We can- 
not make a fire," said my servant to me, who 
had been latterly a passive though not an un- 
interested spectator of the proceeding ; " but I 



DIFFICULTY IN TRACING OUR ROUTE. ^77 

have brought you some pemmican and a little 
cold water, Sir." 

As the Indians did not make their appear- 
ance by the following noon, the men were sent 
to light large fires with the moss, which by that 
time was dry on the neighbouring hills; a well- 
understood signal, which, if they were within 
sight, would immediately bring them in. I was 
the more anxious about this, as, without their 
assistance, on a lake of such magnitude as the 
one before us, and so full of intricacies as 
to have more than once, on the expedition of 
last year, bewildered Maufelly himself, we 
could not hope to find the way correctly, at 
least without vexatious delays and many useless 
perambulations. In summer there would have 
been perhaps little difficulty ; but it was now 
like a strange country, for so complete is their 
transformation that the natives themselves, ac- 
customed as they are to the character of the 
country, sometimes go astray. To have followed 
the main western shore would have greatly in- 
creased the distance, and, indeed, would not 
have answered, since the Thlew-ee-choh lay to 
the eastward of north, and at a part where the 
traverse is so wide that a free horizon intervenes 
between the opposite shores. Under these cir- 
cumstances I determined, if the Indians should 
not come, to make as straight a course as was 



t 3 



278 FOLLOW THE RIGHT COURSE. 

consistent with the bends and windings of the land. 
To give them a further chance, for it never 
entered into my imagination that they had de- 
serted us, I remained all night; and this the more 
readily, as the weather was so cold as to make it 
desirable to court the pale sunshine of the day. 
At length, wearied with waiting, we com- 
menced the journey at 10 a. m. of the 18th June, 
in the accustomed line of march, except that 
I now preceded as guide, having deputed others 
to look out for the caches. The thermometer 
at 36 °, with a strong N. W. gale blowing, 
made it necessary to defend the eyes from the 
sharp drift that beat upon them; and going 
entirely from memory (for, depending on the 
Indians, I had not thought it worth while to 
bring my last year's survey), I can ascribe it 
only to good fortune that I hit upon the right 
course, in a part so narrow that the current, 
which was perceptible, had already forced an 
open passage. On the borders of this narrow 
grew a few straggling willows, and I had nearly 
run against one before I perceived a note for 
me stuck into a notch of a projecting branch. 
It was to apprise us that two caches had been 
made in a bay just passed; and, although I 
thought it likely they would be picked up by 
those behind, yet, to avoid disappointment, I 
sent Peter Taylor, one of my party, with the 



ACCIDENT TO PETER TAYLOR. 279 

note to Mr. King. He, wishing to shorten his 
distance, ventured on some dark ice (at this 
season generally rotten), which gave way ; and, 
but that he was a very active fellow, and kept 
hold of his gun, which stretched across the hole, 
and so prevented his going under, he would 
certainly have perished. Mr. King found one 
of the caches, and despatched a couple of light 
hands after the other. 

It was easier to launch the boat, and pull her 
as far as the narrow went (about a quarter of a 
mile), than to drag her along the shelving slips 
of ice on the banks : this done, she was again 
placed on the runners, ready for the following 
day; after which we encamped. A flock of 
geese, some gulls, and two loons were playing 
about in the open water, but cautiously re- 
mained far out of shot. A partridge that I shot 
was quite white, though those about Slave Lake, 
near the Fort, were partly brown before we left. 

The night was bleak and cold, with the same 
N.W. gale, accompanied by showers of sleet 
and snow ; and so thick and forbidding was the 
morning of the 19th, that we did not attempt 
to move before noon, when, encouraged by a 
gleam of stray sunshine, we determined on 
setting forward. Accordingly, Mr. King went 
to direct the men, who were a little apart from 
us, to get ready \ and, to his surprise, found 

t 4 



280 DEVIATE FROM THE RIGHT COURSE. 

them all snug under their blankets, quite un- 
conscious of the march of time. We were soon 
off; but met with great inconvenience, as well 
as hazard, in consequence of the snow having 
fallen in such quantities as to render the good 
and bad ice undistinguishable, and reduce it to 
a lottery whether we fell through or not. Luck- 
ily, nothing more important befel us than an 
occasional dip up to the knees ; and, as a set-off, 
marks, stretching far out on the ice, led us to 
two fine buck deer, which had been shot by 
Mr. M c Leod himself. 

I was not at all certain of the route at this 
point, remembering that last year we had gone 
astray hereabout ; and after a tedious march of 
doubt and perplexity, I ascended a hill, and 
discovered that we were too far to the eastward. 
The course was therefore changed six points, 
though upon no better ground than personal 
recollection, which, for the reason before stated, 
viz. the altered appearance of the country, was 
but vague and indistinct. The spot where we 
were seemed to be about equally distant from 
the numerous indentations of the land, in any 
one of which the course might lie, and the great 
similarity in the outline of which made it dif- 
ficult to select one in preference to another; 
indeed, our oldest voyageurs confessed them- 
selves unable to determine which was most 



ACCIDENT TO JAMES SPENCE. 281 

likely to be right. In this uncertainty I made for 
a bluff bearing N. W. ; and, rinding no pas- 
sage at its base, I ascended another high hill, 
whence I saw a black line of open water, which 
appeared to come from the direction of the 
narrows leading into Clinton-Colden Lake. This 
supposition was soon after agreeably confirmed 
by the discovery, near the spot which I have 
before described as the Deer Pass, of a rich 
cache, containing more than three whole ani- 
mals, with a note written by Thomas Hassel, a 
pure Indian, who had been educated at Red 
River, and engaged by me as an interpreter. 

The water and wind together had so wasted 
the ice near the bank here, that not unfrequently 
we had to lift the boat and sledges over dry 
stones and rivulets to get to the next sheet; and 
the sheets themselves were so rotten, that on one 
occasion James Spence fell through, and got a 
complete ducking before he could be pulled 
out. But the worst was, that this rough high- 
way strained the runners ; several of which 
were already in so indifferent a plight, that we 
should have thrown them away, if we could in 
any way have supplied their place. However, 
the people worked cheerfully, and at 8h. 40m. 
p. m. we encamped, and immediately set about 
repairing the runners. 

As we were now about to traverse Clinton 



282 BOISTEROUS WEATHER. 

Colden Lake, it was material not only to our 
comfort, but to our successful progress, that we 
should have fine weather ; and many a look was 
cast to windward to read our fortune in the face 
of nature. But the N.W. gale continued un- 
abated ; and the morning of the 20th was squally, 
dark, and cold, with heavy showers, which con- 
tributed more than any thing to the decaying of 
the ice, and making it unfit for travelling on. 
There was no change at noon; but as every 
hour was of consequence, an effort was made to 
head the gale, which was with difficulty ac- 
complished, the boat being driven greatly to 
leeward, even with the assistance of extra men 
bearing up against her. The ice was exceed- 
ingly rotten, and twice all but sunk with us (for 
in this state it does not break short), a danger 
which we endeavoured to avoid by running 
quickly and with a light step over it. The 
sledges, though heavier, were in less danger, 
because covering a larger space. 

I took a direction more westerly than that 
of Maufelly last year, hoping by so doing to 
shorten the way ; in fact, it was matter of mere 
chance whether, even if I tried, I should suc- 
ceed in tracing his route through a labyrinth of 
islands ; so that I rather trusted to the compass 
and my general recollection for groping out the 
way. In the meantime, the weather got worse, 



BOISTEROUS WEATHER. 283 

and the assistance of every man was required 
for the boat, Mr. King taking charge of some 
of the sledges. Nor was it without the most 
laborious, or, as they called it, killing exer- 
tions, that she was at length hauled to a shelter 
under the lee of a rock, which, though it seemed 
at the distance like the boundary of a bay, was 
found to open upon a large expanse of lake. 
As it was now about full moon, we looked for a 
favourable change of the weather, not without 
some anxiety ; for I was apprehensive that, with 
the constant drenchings and fatigue together, 
two or three of the weaker hands might be laid 
up. But the night was more boisterous than 
ever, and never was seen a more gloomy sky 
than that which ushered in Midsummer's-day. 
It was of a leaden grey colour, with horizontal 
streaks of dirty brick-red clouds — except to the 
north, where, in strong contrast with the cold 
whiteness on which it rested, were accumulated, 
in one black mass, all the horrors of an hyper- 
borean winter. Hail, snow, and rain pelted us, 
one after the other, for some time without respite, 
and then only yielded to squalls that overturned 
the tent. I watched till noon for some pro- 
pitious omen, but watched in vain ; so, having 
encouraged the men to stick to their work, we 
again tried what could be done, though with 
little expectation of making more than a few 



284 A CACHE PLUNDERED. 

miles. At this part the lake was so wide, that 
between the openings of the land there was 
everywhere a clear horizon. With alternate 
spells and haltings to rest, we gradually advanced 
on the traverse ; and were really making reason- 
able progress, when pelting showers of sleet and 
drift dimmed and confused the sight, so as to 
render it an extremely perplexing task to keep 
even near the course. Towards evening it 
cleared to windward, and showed us an island, 
which, though partly covered with snow, I 
thought I remembered. Accordingly, we went 
there, and were gratified by observing some 
marks which removed any doubt about the route. 
The boat arrived late, and the men complained 
of being tired. " However," said the poor 
fellows, " we should not mind that, if the sun 
would only shine for us to dry our clothes." 
Fatigued as they were, the marks were followed ; 
but, in this instance, the cache had been plun- 
dered — by whom was never discovered. 

A break now and then in the sky gave some 
token of a change, and by midnight the wind 
had much abated ; but it was only to rage and 
howl with more violence as the sun rose, bring- 
ing along with it snow and sleet so thick as to 
darken the atmosphere, and limit our view to a 
few paces before us. In short, it was more like a 
dreary day of December than of midsummer. 



SUNDAY. 285 

It was impossible to move ; and being Sunday 
(22d June), divine service was read in the tent, 
where, to the credit of the men it should be 
mentioned, notwithstanding the wet and dis- 
comfort to which they were exposed, they all 
came shaved and clean. 

At length the gale wore itself out, and long 
lulls, with now and then a feeble moan, showed 
that its strength was nearly spent. Nevertheless, 
the morning of the 23rd of June was unpromis- 
ing and dull : but as the distant land was visible, 
I lost not a moment in starting. It was from 
this island that, in our autumnal excursion, we 
had been compelled to make two or three tours 
of islands and bays before our guide had been 
able to discover the hidden passage of the Sand 
Hill, connecting this lake with the next. The 
farthest land was seen about N. W. by N. at an 
immense distance; and though the line was to 
all appearance perfectly continuous, yet from 
an impression that on the former occasion we 
had kept to the left, I now made for the S. W. ; 
and, having traversed a wide opening, suddenly 
came upon fresh marks that pointed to the horns 
of rein deer fixed on the top of a heap of stones. 
Mr. M c Leod, it seemed, had left only on the 18th, 
having been detained by collecting the meat, 
which, notwithstanding his care, had suffered 
no inconsiderable mutilation from the wolves. 



286 ANOTHER CACHE. 

The cache was most welcome, as, but for this 
seasonable supply, we must have opened the 
pemmican that night. It consisted of deer and 
musk oxen, both very poor, and the latter 
strongly impregnated with the odour to which it 
owes its name. This was so disagreeable to 
some of the party, that they declared they would 
rather starve three days than swallow a mouth- 
ful ; which coming to my knowledge, though 
not spoken within my hearing, I thought it 
right to counteract the feeling, and accord- 
ingly ordered the daily rations to be served from 
it for our own mess as well as theirs, and took 
occasion to impress on their minds the injurious 
consequences of voluntary abstinence, and the 
necessity of accommodating their tastes to such 
food as the country might supply. 

The similarity of the extensive openings right 
andleft'made me again hesitate where to direct my 
steps ; but, aware of the deception arising from 
overlapping points, I ultimately persevered in my 
first idea, though against the opinion of my party, 
who thought we were going into a bay ; nor, in- 
deed, was I by any means certain, until some rotten 
ice, and a lane of open water following, indicated 
the narrow of which we were in search. All doubt 
on this score was soon removed by a long line of 
marks leading to another cache, which, with the 
former one, made a total of eleven animals to- 



FINE WEATHER. 287 

dav. The weather was now clear and warm, 
the thermometer being 66° in the sun, and 54° 
in the shade ; so that not only were the dogs 
panting from heat, but as the snow was made 
slushy, and the surface of the ice softened, there 
was great difficulty in dragging the boat along 
at all. However, by 9 p«m. the whole party came 
up, and we encamped. 

The tent was not well up before the report of 
a gun on the opposite shore attracted our atten- 
tion to two Indians, who, on a nearer approach, 
proved to be the runaway guides. They were 
the bearers of a note from Mr. M c Leod, who 
very properly insisted on their returning to me 
immediately. Their story to him was, that being 
ordered by me to hunt a little in advance, and 
finding no traces of deer, they could not resist 
the temptation of accompanying some of their 
friends whom accident threw in their way ; and 
as for my requiring a guide, they never so much 
as thought it possible, because I had always my 
" little sun," meaning the compass, which I had 
only to ask, to be informed of the direction of 
any part of the country. 

June 24th. — A warm day was so great a novelty, 
and so much needed, that I rested, for the pur- 
pose of enabling the men to dry their clothes 
and blankets, and getting observations myself 
for time and latitude. To collect a few willows 



288 THE ICE UNSAFE. 

that were growing on the opposite side it was 
necessary to cross the d6troit ; and the strength 
of the ice being unequal, owing to the under 
current, several of the party broke through, and, 
amongst others, Mr. King, who fortunately reco- 
vered himself, however, before his chronometer 
touched the water. Towards evening distant thun- 
der was heard ; and though the breeze had blown 
from the S. E., an appearance of steely dark 
clouds to the N. W. intimated that rain might 
be expected from that quarter. Accordingly, 
just as we started at 8h. 15m. p. m. there was a 
brisk shower, but without thunder or lightning. 
The decayed and unsafe state of the ice ren- 
dered it advisable to launch the boat, and trans- 
port the baggage to the next solid piece, which 
was a little beyond the conical mound called 
the Sand Hill. Opposite to this sand-hill above 
fifteen Indians and their families were encamped : 
they formed a part of those whom we had sup- 
plied with ammunition and other articles, to help 
them to make the best of the summer ; but so 
proverbially improvident are these miserable 
people, that nearly the whole which they had 
received was already lost or expended ; a few 
had two or three charges of powder and ball, 
but by far the greater part had to depend on 
their bows and arrows or the uncertain chance 
of fishing. We were informed by them, that 



ANNOYANCE FROM THE GUIDES. 289 

many of the Yellow Knives andChipewyans, who 
were carrying our pemmican to the Thlew-ee- 
choh, had either eaten or made away with a 
considerable portion of it ; not by reason of 
any deficiency of provision, since they had abun- 
dance, but from sheer indolence or wanton- 
ness. Our guides also again annoyed us by 
their mulish conduct ; for though directed to 
hold themselves in readiness to accompany us, 
when the moment of departure came one was 
absent hunting, and the other was quietly loung- 
ing on the bank, wrapped in his blanket, and 
smoking his pipe with all imaginable unconcern. 
I ordered him, with some signs of impatience and 
displeasure, to equip himself, and come with me 
without delay, which order was silently obeyed 
after we had been kept waiting a full hour. 

As for the other absentee, I threw the respon- 
sibility of his conduct on his old father, making 
him answerable for the appearance of his son, 
within the next forty-eight hours, with the bag 
of pemmican which had been entrusted to his 
care. Nor did I entertain the least doubt that 
the requisition would be punctually complied 
with, as he well knew that in default he would 
thenceforth be scouted from our establishment. 
Indeed experience had taught me the advantage 
of assuming and maintaining an air of superiority 
over the Indians. There is no need of unkind- 

u 



290 ANOTHER CACHE. 

ness or seventy ; all that is required is a steady 
firmness, and never overlooking an attempt at 
deception, however plausible. No people scru- 
tinise more narrowly the behaviour of those 
with whom they have to deal; and if they once 
perceive that they cannot lie or equivocate with- 
out detection, they will cease to make the attempt, 
though, from a natural propensity to falsehood 
and the habitual character of their speech, they 
will do so to a stranger most gratuitously. 

Our guide led us in a tortuous direction, 
among the black and rotten ice, and frequently 
halted to try its strength by pressing on it with 
his feet, or striking it with the handle of an axe ; 
but such over caution — proper enough, if we had 
had time — ill accorded with my anxiety to get 
quickly forward : and on such occasions after- 
wards, Peter Taylor (a half-breed) boldly led 
the way across any suspected place. Still, con- 
stant impediments presented themselves in some 
shape or other, from open water, ice, or snow ; 
but all were happily surmounted : and when we 
had made a short portage across a point of land, 
we came to another cache containing five musk 
oxen and a deer. The latter only was taken, 
the remainder being left to be converted into 
dried meat, for the supply of Mr. MTeod's party 
on their return. 

We now entered upon Lake Aylmer, and 
made for a detached and rounded mass of rock 



ENTER UPON LAKE AYLMER. 29 1 

forming an island in the distance. Here we 
would gladly have stopped, had there been 
moss enough to make a fire ; but this not 
being the case, the route was continued, at a 
rate that made me wonder what had called 
forth this sudden and extraordinary spirit of 
emulation. I was obliged to put my best leg 
forward to keep up at all ; and, when we halted 
for encamping, I wiped my brow, and asked 
where the deer were which we had been chasing, 
or why they had started off at full speed, as if 
the " manito," or evil genius, had been behind 
them? After a pause, and looking at each 
other, the Indian said he thought Taylor was 
trying how fast he could walk, and Taylor 
said he was sure the Indian wished to pass 
him, which he was determined he should not 
do ; so that it seemed I had been assisting at 
a foot match ; and the people behind were four 
hours in coming up to us. Passing showers 
had fallen during the march ; but when the 
wind died away into a calm, the rain fell in 
torrents, and the under-stratum of soil being 
frozen every hollow was transformed into a 
pool of water, the accumulation of which over- 
flowing in a thousand little rills gradually un- 
dermined the tent, which, unfortunately, had 
been pitched on a declivity, and finally insinu- 
ating themselves between the blankets, awoke 

u 2 



292 A DENSE FOG. 

me in the middle of a first nap. The sun had 
not risen, or at least was not visible, and I 
much question if the most rigid Mussulman 
would have enjoyed so early an ablution. Never- 
theless my companion, Mr, King, seemed to 
heed neither rain nor flood ; for having espied 
a herd of deer on an adjacent hill, he com- 
posedly put on a blue cloak and set off after 
them ; and though he got no deer, he brought 
back some fine plover. 

The 25th was dark and gloomy, but our stray 
Indian failed not to come in with the pemmican. 
A fog, that had been more or less prevalent for 
the last fourteen hours, became rather thicker 
as night drew on ; but having now my guides, 
and judging that the men would suffer less in 
travelling than from lying inactive in their wet 
clothes, I started at 10 p. m. The Indians, 
always timorous, kept close along the land, and 
fixed us constantly amongst the bad and unsafe 
ice, which now resembled spikes from two to 
three inches long. Shoes were soon perforated, as 
well as the pieces of rein-deer skin with the hair 
on which had been fastened round them as a 
slight protection to the feet. The party with 
the boat very wisely kept farther out, and had 
consequently better ice, the surface of which 
was like a bed of madrepores, except that the 
upper edges were considerably sharper. 






















I\ 



^: 


^ 




•s 




■^ 


s. 



OUR CHEERLESS SITUATION. 293 

About midnight the guides hesitated to pro- 
ceed, on account of the dense fog : they 
thought they had already erred, and affected 
to be fearful of misleading me ; but to this 
pretence I quickly put an end by directing the 
route with the compass. It must be confessed 
that the travelling was by no means agreeable ; 
for to say nothing of the darkness, the fog 
almost wet us through, creating a chill which 
exercise was unable to overcome. 

A wild rocky point which we made I recog- 
nised as one of my last year's encamping places, 
and was not a little glad to find that we were 
within one march of Sand Hill Bay, where our 
labours on this lake would terminate. About a 
mile further we stopped, and the boat arrived at 
7 a.m. of the 26th. 

Throughout the whole of this day not a 
gleam of sunshine came to cheer our spirits or 
dry our wet clothes ; on the contrary, we had a 
weary continuation of gloomy weather, and rain 
in torrents. The night was yet more for- 
bidding, and when the usual time of departure 
came we could not distinguish objects a hun- 
dred yards off. Under such circumstances to 
continue the route was impossible. All were 
drenched to the skin, and no fire could be 
made ; but the men, with great resignation, 
making the best of their damp lodgings, looked 

u 3 



294 REACH SAND-HILL BAY. 

about for the most sheltered place to lie down : 
some wrung their blankets, while others, as a 
last resource, put on their whole wardrobe, in 
the hope of a little warmth. These precautions, 
however, were ineffectual ; for in the morning 
the greater part found themselves in pools of 
water, which their own weight had brought 
down on them from the higher surface. I 
happened to see one of them awake, and could 
not help laughing at the sudden jerk with 
which he withdrew his right hand out of the 
puddle in which he had unconsciously placed it. 
The morning of the 27th was still foggy ; 
but a prospect of clearing to the N. W. en- 
couraged us to start, and about noon it became 
fine. A fresh cache afforded a seasonable recruit 
to our provisions, which would not have held 
out beyond this day. It was a joyful sight to 
see Sand-hill Bay, and to know that we were 
now within a few miles of that water which 
was to carry us to the Polar Sea. As we n eared 
the portage of the Thlew-ee-choh a white tent 
was distinguished, with a crowd of people 
around it ; and this, of course, proved to be 
Mr. M c Leod and his party, who scarcely ex- 
pected us so early. The badness of the weather 
and the distance from which his men had to 
fetch the meat had caused two days of detention, 
for which I was not sorry, as it gave me the 



JUDICIAL INVESTIGATION. 295 

opportunity of investigating the truth of the 
report about the pemmican. 

There had been much exaggeration, but the 
charge was not altogether without foundation, 
as one man confessed that he had given his wife 
a sound drubbing for having taken some ; with 
this exception, however, neither Mr. M c Leod 
nor the interpreter would believe that the bags 
had been touched, an opinion which could not 
then be put to the test of an examination, as the 
Indians were dispersed. Among the number 
of the accused was a Chipewyan called Jack, 
who, on being interrogated, merely pointed to 
his bag, and asked if it was in any way altered, 
or looked as if it had been opened. " And for 
what reason," said he, "should I do so? Have 
I not as much and more than I can eat ? And if 
it were not so, have I been so long with the 
chief as to take his property without leave ? 
No, I am not a thief; I know white men 
better." This was spoken without any appear- 
ance of ill-feeling ; but when he learned that a 
Yellow Knife had accused him, his countenance 
settled into a sullen frown, that bespoke deter- 
mined revenge. Merely saying that he " would 
see him," he remained silent, and in the even- 
ing went away with Mr. M c Leod, who was to 
push on for Musk-Ox Rapid, and send his men 
back to our aid if he thought we should require 

u 4 



296 DOUBTS BY THE CARPENTERS 

them. It was late before the boat came; and 
the men and dogs being fagged, for it was hard 
work, we encamped. A number of mice (lem- 
mings) were seen, and some killed. There 
was this difference in them, that one kind had 
long skinny ears of a lobe shape, whereas the 
others had an orifice only. They were dis- 
similar also in colour, and in their tails ; but 
both fought with a half-bred terrier, and fre- 
quently bit it. 

The morning of the 28th being fine, I obtained 
sights which corroborated those taken the pre- 
vious year on the same spot. Having ordered 
every thing to be taken out of the boat prepara- 
tory to dragging her across the portage, about a 
quarter of a mile in breadth, to the Thlew-ee- 
choh, my astonishment may be conceived when 
information was brought me that the carpenters 
would not answer for the consequences of such a 
step, as the wood of which she was built was too 
soft to allow of her being dragged over that or 
any other portage. This was the first time that 
any such notion about the quality of the wood 
had been intimated ; for otherwise, though it 
might have cost us incredible trouble, a different 
and tougher kind should have been procured 
from Fort Resolution, or even farther, had I 
been only apprised in due season at the house ; 
nor could I now understand the matter at all, 



OF THE SECURITY OF THE BOATS. 297 

as the same man had built my last boat on the 
former expedition under Sir John Franklin ; and 
certainly a more efficient one was never turned 
out of hand, as was demonstrated by the fact of 
her reaching England, and having, as I believe, 
a^ain gone out with Captain Ross. It was a 
contretemps for which I certainly was not pre- 
pared ; and my only chance of surmounting the 
difficulty was the possibility that the crew might 
be able to carry her, though to effect this (never 
previously contemplated) it was necessary to cut 
away the wash-boards, which had been purposely 
riveted to the gunwales, to enable them to support 
the pressure. The moment of lifting the boat 
up was one of intense anxiety; and it is im- 
possible to describe the burst of my feelings, 
when I saw the men walk away with her. The 
task, however, though successfully accomplished, 
was a severe one, and taxed their strength to 
the utmost. Twice one of the best men of the 
party declared he knew not if he should stand 
or fall when, from the inequality of the ground, 
the weight pressed particularly on him ; and all 
were greatly fatigued. The reflection that the 
same operation would be impossible when the 
wood had become saturated and heavy with 
water, was not calculated to excite sanguine 
emotions : however, I trusted to circumstances, 
my own resources, and the spirit and stamina of 



298 LAUNCH OF THE BOAT. 

the crew, determining not to anticipate evil, or 
yield to fears that might never be realised. 

At 1 p.m., the boat was launched upon the 
Thlew-ee-choh ; but as the river was open only in 
and about the shallow rapids of the upper parts 
(for the lake at its source, as well as a smaller one 
about two miles farther down, were yet firm with 
solid ice), it was unavailable for any purpose of 
transport ; even when quite light, it was not with- 
out trouble and a good deal of waiting that the 
boat was floated 5 or lifted over the shoal parts of 
the first three rapids. These passed, the men 
who had charge of her returned for their baggage 
to the other end of the portage ; but this method, 
in our case unavoidable, occasioned so many 
delays that it was very late before the task was 
completed, though the direct distance accom- 
plished did not exceed four miles. 

June 29. — The baggage was again carried to 
the border of a small lake, where, after the boat 
had been made use of to set us on the ice, the 
sledges and runners were again tackled, and we 
proceeded as before until we reached the ex- 
tremity, having picked up on the way a cache 
of two deer. At the next portage we landed : 
the baggage was carried over, and the boat 
taken down the rapids, three of which followed 
in quick succession. The thermometer rose to 
64° ; and a warm southerly wind soon brought 



ANIMALS MET WITH. QCjQ 

heavy rain which overflowed the low swampy 
ground that declined to the river, swelled the 
brooks and rivulets to a depth that made it 
hazardous to wade across them, and in other 
ways considerably harassed the portage work. 
Having traversed another small lake with the 
sledges, we encamped at the head of a long 
rapid and portage, to save the pemmican from 
getting damaged by the rain, which fell without 
intermission or check throughout the whole clay. 

A few partridges, some deer, and numbers of 
lemmings were seen ; and I remarked that the 
latter burrowed under the roots of the dwarf 
birch, and sometimes of the willow, in preference 
to the large stones on the plain, possibly to 
obtain more cover from the piercing eyes of 
their great enemies, the white and brown owls. 
The willows were without catkins, or any budding 
at the extremities of the branches. 

June 30. — The labour was resumed at an 
early hour, though the sky was still enveloped 
in mist or fog ; but the immense boulders, half 
blocking up the narrow parts of the rapid, pre- 
sented impediments which greatly increased the 
difficulty and the tediousness of our progress. 
Taking with me a couple of hands, I preceded 
the party ; and having got on the ice by means 
of the boat, we soon came to a cache of three 
deer which were placed on the track. Passing 



300 DIFFICULT PASSAGE. 

Icy River on the left, more marks were seen and 
other meat found ; and while we were occupied 
about it, the interpreter, accompanied by seve- 
ral Indians, came from the hills, having left 
Mr. M c Leod to follow their companions who 
were before. Leaving a note containing direc- 
tions for the proper disposal of the meat, we 
went on, and in about two hours overtook the 
other men who were brought to a stand by the 
weakness of a bar of rotten ice that bent most 
ominously in whatever direction it was tried. 
However, we had come too far to recede, and 
one part was at length discovered that with 
careful placing of the feet on the whiter, and 
therefore stronger, protuberances, was cohesive 
enough to bear the weight of a single person, — 
who, having first passed himself with the end of 
a line fastened to his sledge, got upon the firmer 
ice, and then with a sudden jerk twitched his 
load across after him. On gaining the narrows 
that lead into Musk-Ox Lake, our progress was 
cut short by open water ahead, as well as along 
each bank. It was too deep to ford ; so having 
jumped together upon a piece of ice about twelve 
feet long and eight or ten broad, and then de- 
tached it by cutting a line with the axes, we 
made a sort of natural raft, which we ferried 
over, with the same axes and the tent poles for 
paddles. A great deal of snow yet encumbered 



REACH MUSK-OX RAPID. 801 

the eastern side of the hills, and two snow birds 
were seen which had not changed their wintry 
plumage ; yet the mosquitos, at a temperature of 
40°, were quite lively enough to execute with 
their usual skill the neat operation of cupping. 
About the time that the boat arrived, we were 
joined by our friend M c Leod. He remained with 
us through the night ; and gave an account of 
his hunting excursions, in which the superiority 
of his rifle-shooting had, it seems, perfectly 
astonished the Indians : as well it might, for at 
that work he would have rivalled a Kentuckian. 

July i. As we had now overtaken the Indians, 

it was useless to hurry on, and I gladly permitted 
the men to rest till noon. The boat then took 
us to the ice on Musk Ox Lake, and at 4 p. m. 
we reached Musk Ox Rapid, the point from which 
I had returned the previous year. Several Indians 
who were encamped here paddled to us in their 
small canoes, and assailed our ears with the 
familiar but annoying cry of " Etthen-oolah, 
Etthen-ta-houty,"— no deer, the deer are gone 
away ; and begged I would give them a little 
tobacco, for they were " hungry for a smoke." 
It appeared that the scarcity of animals had 
driven Akaitcho a short distance to the north, 
where he was forced to live upon the flesh of 
the musk ox, the flavour of which is not a 



302 UNITE WITH MR. M c LEOD's PARTY. 

delicacy even to a Yellow Knife Indian, who 
certainly is not fastidious in his taste. 

Soon after we encamped, Mr. M c Leod's party 
also came up, thus uniting our force ; and, as 
there was still daylight, a part of the baggage 
was carried forward, and the boat safely moored 
in the eddy below the upper rapid. 

July 2nd. — Some Indians with pemmican 
were yet missing; having, as it was supposed, 
loitered behind to hunt : the rest were directed 
to go with the interpreter, and deposit their 
respective charges at the north end of the port- 
age, there to be released from their servitude — 
an intimation which was received with wonderful 
satisfaction, as they were yet puzzled to compre- 
hend why we should take such pains to plunge 
into the dangers which they considered as as- 
suredly awaiting us. The desire to rescue our 
fellow-creatures from calamity or death, and still 
more the thirst of enterprise and the zeal of 
discovery, were notions far beyond the conception 
of these rude children of nature, whose only 
desires are for food and raiment, and whose pity 
is a merely animal sympathy, which ceases with 
the presence of the object that excites it. It 
seems a harsh assertion, yet I have met with 
very few indications of what may be called pure 
benevolence among these people. Akaitcho 
himself may, perhaps, be an exception : but in 



RESUME THE SURVEY OF THE RIVER. 303 

general, the motive, secret or avowed, of every 
action of a northern Indian is, in my judgment, 
selfishness alone. 

The length of the portage being four miles, 
the people were occupied all clay in carrying the 
baggage, which gave me an opportunity of veri- 
fying my former observations, as well as of obtain- 
ing the dip.* The survey, which, it may be 
remembered, terminated here the preceding 
autumn, was now continued ; and, taking Mr. 
M c Leod for a companion, I followed the course 
of the river for a few miles onward. After a 
bend to the westward, it pursued a serpentine 
and rapid course to the northward. About two 
miles down, it was joined by a large stream from 
the westward, which I am inclined to consider 
as the main branch of the Thlew-ee-choh, but 
which the Indians distinguished by the appel- 
lation of the Contwoy-to River, calling the 
one we came by, Thlew-ee-choh. Be this as 
it may, there seems no doubt that this western 
branch does take its rise in Contwoy-to, or 
the Rum Lake of Hearne ; which lake was 
fully identified by the Indians present as that 
whose western extremity Sir J. Franklin's party 
crossed in the first overland expedition at 
Belanger's Rapid. They spoke of two outlets ; 

* Appendix. 



304- SURVEY OF THE RIVER. 

and some who had been there described the lake 
as one extensive and uninterrupted sheet of 
water : they also agreed in stating that it was at 
a considerable distance, and I subsequently heard 
that two smaller lakes intervened between that 
and the Thlew-ee-choh. 

A line of rapids which the boat ran led us to 
an opening or small lake four miles broad, 
bounded on the north by a ridge of blue moun- 
tains, named after my lamented friend Captain 
Peter Heywood, R.N., which cut the lake at 
a right angle. The centre, and, indeed, the 
greater part was covered with ice; but a channel 
of open water on the eastern shore gave me hopes 
that we should not long have occasion for the 
sledges. 

July 3d. — Two Indians were despatched this 
morning in search of those who were yet absent 
with the pemmican, whom having found a few 
miles off, they conducted them to the encamp- 
ment with their burdens. This precious article, 
which, from the commencement of the winter to 
the present moment, had been a continual subject 
of anxietv to me, was now counted and examined, 
and most happy was I to learn that, to all appear- 
ance, it had been brought without injury or 
spoliation, except in the solitary instance already 
stated. The husband of the offender had himself 
given the information, and lie now expressed a 



OUR STOCK OF PROVISIONS. 305 

wish that the act of a bad woman might not be 
the means of his losing the promised reward for 
carrying it ; " for," added he, " I beat her well ; 
and if you do not believe me, ask those who 
stood by. Oh ! she has a bad head — Sass! That 
very evening she went away from my lodge ; 
nobody knew where. Two nights I remained 
silent ; but as she did not come on the third, 
fearing she miffht be lost, some of us went in 
search of her, and, after a long and fatiguing 
walk for miles in every direction, and looking in 
every nook and cranny that we could see — would 
you think it? we found her hid among the large 
rocks close to the lodge. Oh ! she has a bad 
head! but I drubbed her well — Sass ! " The 
poor fellow evidently regarded this summary 
chastisement as an expiatory offering to appease 
our resentment. 

We had altogether twenty-seven bags of 
pemmican, weighing about eighty pounds each ; 
two boxes of maccaroni, some flour, a case 01 
cocoa, and a two-gallon keg of rum : an adequate 
supply, if all good, for the three months of our 
operations. It does not become me to enlarge 
upon the difficulty and danger of transporting a 
weight, all things included, of near five thousand 
pounds over ice and rock, by a circuitous route 
of full two hundred miles ; but, when the pain 
endured in walking on some parts, where the ice 

x 



306 AN INDIAN BELLE. 

formed innumerable spikes that pierced like nee- 
dles; the risk encountered in others, where, black 
and decayed, it threatened at every step to engulph 
us ; the anxiety about provision, and the absence 
of a guide for a considerable part of the way : 
when these and other difficulties are taken into 
consideration, it will, perhaps, be conceded that 
the obstacles must be great which cannot be 
surmounted by steady perseverance. The Indians 
who, for hire, afforded us material help, were not 
more astonished at their own voluntary subjection 
to our service, than at the sight of a boat, manned 
with Europeans and stored with provision of the 
southern country, floating on the clear waters of 
the barren lands. 

The weather was thick and foggy ; and the 
picturesque lodges of the natives, constructed in 
the rudest manner, often of two or three skins 
thrown over a few short poles or sticks carried 
for the purpose, extended in the indistinct mist 
upwards of a quarter of a mile. Groups of 
dark figures huddled together under these im- 
perfect coverings — others crowded in front of 
Mr. JVTLeod's tent, or standing round the poor 
embers of a fire at which our kettles were doing 
slow duty, presented, altogether, a striking and 
interesting spectacle. In the midst of one of 
these groups was my old acquaintance and 
Indian belle, who will be remembered by the 



A REINDEER HUNT. 30? 

readers of Sir J. Franklin's narrative under 
the name of Green Stockings. Though sur- 
rounded by a family, with one urchin in her 
cloak clinging to her back, and sundry other 
maternal accompaniments, I immediately recog- 
nised her, and called her by her name ; at which 
she laughed, and said " she was an old woman 
now," — begging, at the same time, that she 
might be relieved by the "medicine man, for she 
was very much out of health." However, not- 
withstanding all this, she was still the beauty of 
her tribe ; and, with that consciousness which 
belongs to all belles, savage or polite, seemed 
by no means displeased when I sketched her 
portrait. 

The scarcity of animals in the neighbourhood 
created no little doubt in the minds of the 
hunters as to the best route to be taken on their 
return with Mr. M c Leod to the Fort ; and they 
had half decided on going a day's journey 
to the north to kill musk oxen, when the fog 
clearing away discovered the branching antlers 
of twenty reindeer spread over the summits of 
the adjacent hills. To see and pursue was the 
work of a moment, and in a few minutes not an 
active hunter remained in the encampment. It 
was a beautiful and interesting sight ; for the 
sun shone out, and lighting up some parts cast 
others into deeper shade ; the white ice reflected 

x 2 



308 A REINDEER HUNT. 

millions of dazzling rays ; the rapid leapt and 
chafed in little ripples, which melted away into 
the unruffled surface of the slumbering lake ; 
abrupt and craggy rocks frowned on the right ; 
and, on the left, the brown landscape receded 
until it was lost in the distant blue mountains. 
The foreground was filled up with the ochre- 
coloured lodges of the Indians, contrasting with 
our own pale tents ; and to the whole scene 
animation was given bv the graceful motions of 
the unstartled deer, and the treacherous crawling 
of the wary hunters. 



309 



CHAP. X. 

Instructions to Mr. M c Leod upon our Separation. — Meet 
with Akaitcho. — His Lodge. — Imminent Danger to 
the Boat. — Akaitcho' s friendly Caution. — Embark- 
ation. — Heavy Storms. — Our Crew. — Geological 
Features of the Country. — Obstructions from the Ice. 

— Perils from a Series of Rapids. — Plunder of a Bag 
of Pemmican. — Obstacles on our Passage. — Bois- 
terous Weather. — Deer-hunting. — Observations. — 
Deviation of the River. — Desolate Scenery. — De- 
tained by the Ice. — Cascades. — Land-marks. — 
Contraction of the River. — Baillie's River. — Flocks 
of Geese. — Tact requisite in Command. — Precipitous 
Rocks. — A Fox. — Esquimaux Marks. — Bullen River. 

— A Storm. — Lake Petty. — Conjectures of an Indian. 

— Encampment. — View of the Country. — Further 
Obstructions. — Observations. — Lake Garry. 

It was now unnecessary for Mr. M c Leod to pro- 
ceed farther ; and it was satisfactory to me, at 
parting with him, that I could make over a 
tolerable stock of dried meat for his party, which 
would consist of ten persons and fourteen dogs, 
otherwise entirely dependent on the success of 
the hunters who were to guide them. 

At 10 a.m., July 4th, the boat was sent off 

x 3 



310 SEPARATION FROM MR. MLEOD 



c 



with the sledges and half the cargo to the ice on 
the lake ; and I availed myself of this last occa- 
sion to repeat the substance of our former 
conversations respecting the duties that would 
be required of him during my absence ; the 
most important of which were, his going to 
Fort Resolution for the stores, to be sent 
there by the Company, and the building of a 
house for a permanent fishing station at some 
place to be selected by himself. I also deli- 
vered into his hands an official letter, requiring 
him to be again on the banks of the Thlew-ee- 
choh, by the middle of September, so as to be in 
readiness to afford any assistance to my party 
that unforeseen misfortunes might render neces- 
sary. Finally, I returned him sincere thanks 
for the zealous attention with which he had ful- 
filled my wishes, as well as for his general kind- 
ness to every individual of the expedition. By 
this time the boat had returned, and with a 
hearty farewell, I embarked for the ice. 

The boat was soon put on the runners, and, 
together with the baggage, conveyed to the 
other side of the lake ; when, the water being 
open, she was again launched, to avoid acci- 
dents only half the cargo being placed in her. 
The river, flowing from the lake, cuts through a 
chain of craggy rocks and mountains, thickly 
strewed with boulders and debris, but with 



MEET WITH AKAITCHO. 31 J. 

sufficient pasturage in the valleys and down 
the declivities to attract musk oxen and deer, 
which are said to resort to them in spring and 
autumn in vast numbers. An increasing cur- 
rent brought us to a strong rapid and fall, 
with an island in the centre ; and just above it, 
on a moss-covered rock, we perceived Akaitcho's 
son and another Indian, waving and shouting 
to warn us of the danger, which, however, we 
had already perceived. The luggage brought 
on this trip being now landed, the boat was 
sent back for the remainder. 

Akaitcho had chosen this bleak tract for his 
hunting ground, and had pitched his lodge on 
the very peak of the highest hill, a few miles off; 
which being too distant for me to visit, I sent 
him some tobacco and other presents, with a re- 
quest that he would detain his young men at his 
lodge, as we were too busy to talk. Scarcely, how- 
ever, had I returned from taking some bearings, 
when I saw the old man and several others close 
alongside. The interpreter declared he could 
not prevail on him to remain, for that as soon as 
he heard that I was there, he left his lodge, say- 
ing, " I have known the chief a long time, and 
I am afraid I shall never see him again — I will 
go." The boat had now arrived ; and the rest of 
the men being busied in making the portage, 
she was pushed off with four good hands, quite 

x 4 



312 IMMINENT DANGER TO THE BOAT. 

light, to run the fall. Unfortunately the steers- 
man kept her rather too much to the left ; in con- 
sequence of which, after descending the first 
fall, she was drawn upon a shelving rock, form- 
ing part of the ledge of the second : this brought 
her up with a crash which threatened imme- 
diate destruction, and called forth a shriek 
from the prostrate crew. The immense force of 
the water drove her farther on, so that she hung 
only by the stern. The steersman jumped on the 
rock ; but though he maintained his footing, he 
could not lift her off: he jumped on board 
again, whilst I called out and made signs for the 
men to go forward into the bow, and be ready to 
pull the larboard oars. Amidst the confusion this 
direction was not attended to, and, in an instant, 
her stem was swept round by the large fall. I 
held my breath, expecting to see her dashed to 
shivers against a protruding rock, upon which a 
wave five feet high was breaking directly before 
her; but, happily, the steering oar had been only 
half laid in ; and, taking the rock, it twirled 
her broadside to the rapid, which then carried 
her down without further injury. The water 
being pumped out, it was found that she did not 
leak ; and this being so, I was, upon the whole, 
not sorry for the adventure, as it not only gave 
the men a memorable proof of the strength of 
these clear- water rivers, but afforded me an occa- 



AKAlTCHo's FRIENDLY CAUTION. 313 

sion for cautioning them against running any 
rapid for the future, without first studying the 
lead of the current. 

The river appearing to be free from ice, as far 
as could be discerned from the heights, I thought 
it unnecessary to take all the spare people on 
with me, and therefore left the interpreter with 
others to remain at Akaitcho's lodges until the 
carpenters, who were wanted to inspect the boat, 
should return with further instructions for their 
guidance. Seeing that I was about to depart, 
Akaitcho looked very melancholy, and cautioned 
me against the dangers of a river which he 
plainly told me none of the present race of 
Indians had the least knowledge of: especially 
did he warn me against Esquimaux treachery, 
which, he said, was always perpetrated under the 
disguise of friendship ; and " when you least 
expect it," added he, " they will attack you. 
I am afraid I shall never see you again," he 
continued; " but should you escape from the 
great water, take care you are not caught by the 
winter, and thrown into a situation like that in 
which you were on your return from the Copper- 
mine, for you are alone, and the Indians cannot 
help you." Having endeavoured to quiet his 
apprehensions by acquainting him with my in- 
tended precautions, and my determination to 
keep to the river in the event of any accident to 



314 EMBARKATION. 

the boat, which could only happen by the special 
permission of the Great Spirit, in whose keeping 
we were as safe as if we had a score of boats, 
I recommended him to collect plenty of provi- 
sions for me by the autumn, and in two moons 
and a half to look beyond the mountains for the 
smoke of my fires on our return. Then, shaking 
him by the hand, I stepped into the boat : it 
was half loaded ; and pulling down stream 
we entered a small lake, whose western shore 
led to a narrow channel formed by an island 
with a rapid on either side. The one which we 
ran was rather shoal, but the boat did not 
ground ; and having rounded the north end of 
the island, we encamped at a clump of willows 
on the eastern shore, which offered every con- 
venience for drying and caulking her. In the 
space of an hour, the whole of the cargo was 
brought without dogs or sledges ; and the boat 
being turned up to dry, we were rejoiced to see 
that the bottom was uninjured, having been 
merely scraped in one place. The thermometer 
to-day was 56° with a light breeze from E. by S. 
It is remarkable that for near a month past 
there had not been two consecutive days of fine 
weather ; and now as we hoped the charm was 
broken, the clouds began to gather with the 
declining sun, and by midnight assumed an 
aspect so decidedly stormy as not to be mistaken. 



HEAVY STORMS. 315 

It really looked as if that watery saint, old 
Swithin, had taken it into his head to leave his 
favourite abode in England, just to travel north 
a little, and was then on his passage hereabout. 
However this may be, the rain poured, and the 
wind blew, first in hollow gusts, then in loud 
squalls, and last of all in a downright heavy 
gale sufficient to have laid low the pride of the 
tallest and stoutest pine in the forest : as it was, 
its fury was thrown away, the only trophy of its 
prowess being the upsetting of our tent, though 
secured with a rampart of heavy stones, and the 
carrying off of one of my moccassins. Not the less, 
however, did it continue to rage, and throughout 
the whole of July 5th the boat was untouched ; 
nor was there the least abatement on the follow- 
ing day, which, being Sunday, was devoted to 
the exercise of our religious duties, during the 
whole performance of which I observed with 
great pleasure that the men paid the most de- 
corous attention. This state of weather could 
not last much longer without deluging the 
country; and on the 7th the storm gradually 
moderated, got drizzly, and finally spit only at 
intervals, still loth, as it seemed, to leave off. At 
last the sun peeped faintly through the grey 
clouds, and at his setting lit up a hope of better 
times. The boat was finished, and the carpenters, 
with an Iroquois, who had been purposely kept 



316 



OUR CREW. 



to accompany them, were dismissed, and desired 
to return with the other men with all possible 
diligence to Mr. M c Leod. 

July 8th. — There was still rain, but a break 
in the clouds indicated something of a change ; 
and I had the boat launched and laden with her 
cargo, which, together with ten persons, she 
stowed well enough for a smooth river, but not 
for a lake or sea-way. The weight was calcu- 
lated at 3360lbs., exclusive of the boat's cover- 
ing or awning, masts, yards, sails, spare oars, 
poles, planking, and the crew. The latter, as 
now finally reduced, consisted of — 



James M'Kay, 
George Sinclair, 
Charles M'Kenzie, 
Peter Taylor, 
James Spence, 
John Ross, 
William Malley, 
Hugh Carron, 



Highlander 

Half-breed 

Highlander 

Half breed 

Orkney 

Highlander 

Lancashire 

Irish 



Artillery- 
men. 



Steersman. 
Do. & Bowman. 
Bowman. 



-Middlemen. 



Besides Mr. Richard King, the Surgeon, and 
myself. 

At 10 a. m. we pushed from the shore, and 
found the rain had caused a rise of full eight 
inches in the river, which varied in breadth from 
two hundred yards to a quarter of a mile, as long 
as it kept between the rocky ridge of the moun- 
tains, a distance of about six miles. In this 
part, I remarked the same characteristic features 



GEOLOGY OF THE COUNTRY. 317 

of gneiss and porphyritic rocks, with large frag- 
ments and boulders on them, as Dr. Richardson* 
describes as presenting themselves in the neigh- 
bourhood of Fort Enterprise and Point Lake. 
Many of these rocks were broken into cliffs and 
precipices, which faced to the east. Numerous 
regular gullies, or what might once have served 
for tributary channels, cut the river with con- 
siderable uniformity east and west. The beds of 
most of them were half filled with earth, stones, 
and moss, together with some few willows, whose 
small and tardy leaves were just beginning to 
look green. A wide and deep channel that was 
passed terminated in a rapid, which having first 
carefully examined, was run with a full cargo, 
and brought us to a small lake perfectly free 
from ice. This lake is remarkable, as forming 
the northern boundary of the Heywood chain 
of mountains, which here slope off into incon- 
siderable and regular hills, so thickly strewed 
with grey rocks and stones as to have the ap- 
pearance of an immense quarry with loose 
rubbish about it. The river now became con- 
tracted, and formed an easy rapid, upon the 
northern bank of which I made our first cache 
of pemmican, nearly opposite to a little sand-hill. 
The stream soon became wider, and opened into 
a lake so completely blocked up with ice as to 
arrest our progress, and at 6 p.m. we encamped. 

* Appx., Franklin. 



318 OUR PROGRESS STOPPED BY THE ICE. 

M c Kay and Sinclair were immediately de- 
spatched, one on either side of the lake, to find 
out the most likely part for getting through. 
But while they were absent, a light breeze from 
the N.W. sprung up, and opened a channel along 
the western shore, barred only by two pieces of 
ice, which were jammed against the point nearest 
us. Through these a passage was cut ; and on 
the return of the men, who, I was sorry to hear, 
had seen another lake covered with ice, the boat 
was hauled carefully on, and for three or four 
hundred yards we were enabled to use the oars; 
a shift of wind then closed the heavier masses 
ahead; but, by cutting and poling, we ultimately 
succeeded in reaching open water, and at l h 30 ra 
a.m. again pitched the tent. As the boat leaked 
a little, she was left in the water ; and, to pre- 
vent her getting damaged from the floating ice, 
the men slept in her. 

In the morning of the 9th there was more 
rain, so that we did not get away before 
10 h a.m. ; when it fortunately happened that 
a narrow opening was formed inshore, and 
allowed of our crossing to the eastern, which 
was the weather side, where there was a lane 
of water as far as the low points allowed us 
to see. A little more than an hour's pulling, 
however, took us to the end of it ; and we 
found that a reef of large stones, cased in ice, 



DANGER FROM THE RAPIDS. 319 

divided it from another lane. This ice being 
in shallow water, was porous and rotten, so that 
it yielded to the united effect of the axe and the 
weight of the men ; and, at the expiration of an 
hour and a half, the boat was got through, 
though not without some awkward scrapings. 

An easy rapid, and the shelving shore of a 
sand-hill, rather encouraged the hope that the 
river would turn out favourably; but that il- 
lusion was soon dispelled by a very long rapid 
immediately succeeding, where the boat was 
only saved by all hands jumping into the break- 
ers, and keeping her stern up the stream until 
she was cleared from a rock that had brought 
her up. We had hardly time to get into our 
places again, when we were carried with con- 
siderable velocity past a river which joined from 
the westward ; a rapid then followed ; after 
which another tributary was observed coming 
from the same quarter. 

The hills in that direction did not exceed 
three hundred feet in height, and often not 
fifty ; but they had the same sterile appearance, 
and were spotted with the same dark fragments 
of rocks or stones as those already passed. On 
the eastern side sandy banks were frequently* 
met with, which gradually rose into acclivities, 
or gently sloping mounds, with small streamlets 
winding round their bases, affording pasturage 



320 A SERIES OF RAPIDS. 

to musk oxen and deer. The latter scampered 
away as we approached, but the former stood 
stupidly gazing at us : luckily for them, we 
were not in want of their carcasses. 

An island, near the centre of the river, with 
thin columns of mist rising suspiciously at quick 
intervals on each side, made it necessary to land. 
Having ascertained that there was, as had been 
expected, a fall, we carried the baggage below 
it, and the boat was then brought down in a 
manner which convinced me that M c Kay and 
Sinclair thoroughly understood their business; 
for, by dexterous management in the rush of 
the fall, they avoided the principal danger, and 
the boat swept into the eddy with the ease and 
buoyancy of a water-fowl. The stream was 
very irregular in its dimensions, for it was now 
a quarter of a mile broad, and continued so for 
nearly three miles, when it contracted into two 
hundred yards, and, running in a serpentine 
direction, formed a series of no less than five 
rapids, augmented by two streams from the 
westward. A still sheet of water, bounded to 
the right by mounds and hills of white sand, 
with patches of rich herbage, where numerous 
deer were feeding, brought us to a long and 
appalling rapid, full of rocks and large bould- 
ers ; the sides hemmed in by a wall of ice, and 
the current flying with the velocity and force of 



IMMINENT DANGER. 321 

a torrent. The boat was lightened of her cargo, 
and I stood on a high rock, with an anxious 
heart, to see her run it. I had every hope 
which confidence in the judgment and dexterity 
of my principal men could inspire ; but it was 
impossible not to feel that one crash would be 
fatal to the expedition. Away they went, with 
the speed of an arrow, and in a moment the 
foam and rocks hid them from my view. I 
heard what sounded in my ear like a wild 
shriek, and saw Mr. King, who was a hundred 
yards before me, make a sign with his gun, 
and then run forward. I followed, with an 
agitation which may be conceived ; and, to my 
unexpressible joy, found that the shriek was 
the triumphant whoop of the crew, who had 
landed safely in a small bay below. I could not 
but reward them with a glass of grog a-piece, 
and they immediately applied themselves to 
the fatiguing work of the portage, with as 
much unconcern as if they had only crossed a 
mill-pond. It grew late before this last task 
was accomplished, and then Malley was miss- 
ing. Some of the men were despatched in 
search of him ; and at length he returned, 
heartily tired with rambling among swamps and 
rocks, having lost himself in consequence of 
deviating from the course of the river. Such 
incidents (among voyageurs) generally afford 

Y 



3Q C 2 PLUNDER OF A BAG OF PEMMICAN. 

a name to the spot where they happen ; so, to 
conform to the usage, I called this Malley's 

Rapid. 

On opening another bag of pemmican to- 
night, the upper part was found to be mouldy, 
as if it had been wet : on removing it, a stone 
was found, and a further examination led to the 
discovery of layers of mixed sand, stones, and 
green meat — the work of some rascally Indian, 
who, having pilfered the contents, had adopted 
this ingenious device to conceal his peculation. 
And well indeed it must have been managed, 
since it had escaped the experienced eye of 
Mr. M c Leod, who considered the whole to be 
in good order. As it was now uncertain whether 
we might not be carrying a heap of stones instead 
of provision, every bag underwent a severe 
probing, and, much to our satisfaction, the re- 
mainder proved sound and well-tasted. 

For five days the sun had been visible only 
thrice, and this night and the morning of the 
10th were so rainy, that, with an intricate piece 
of water before us, we did not venture to stir, 
until a short respite tempted us to try what 
could be done. The rapid was wedged in between 
two hills that forbade all landing in case of an 
accident : so to guard against consequences, as 
far as possible, I had the guns, ammunition, and 
instruments carried, and thought it advisable to 



OBSTRUCTIONS ON OUR PASSAGE. 323 

direct the same precaution to be observed at 
every rapid throughout the river navigation. 
We had but just started when the rain poured 
down as usual, bringing with it a cold northerly 
wind, and a fog which, shutting out from view 
the rocks under water, added to the difficulty, 
already sufficiently great, of worming out a 
passage in a strong current, broken by shoals 
and sharp stones so as not to allow of a mo- 
ment's indecision. Another rapid and a portage 
took us to what would have been still water, 
had not the wind crested it with white waves 
considerable enough to prove the buoyancy and 
dry qualities of the boat, which, considering how 
deeply she was laden, took in very little water. 
The only peculiarity in the scenery was the 
striking: contrast of the white sand-banks with the 
irregular rocky hills in the distance, which were 
of a gloomy greyish hue, scarcely enlivened by 
the dull green of the vegetation with which they 
were thinly covered Occasionally we passed 
some low islands, and many deer were feeding 
in the prairies on either side. From a narrow 
we emerged into a wide space, which various 
cliffy banks to the left induced me to think 
would take a bend to the westward ; but, on 
getting there, an opposite current was found, 
which was subsequently discovered to be owing 
to the junction of another large river. The fog 

y 2 



3 C 24< BOISTEROUS WEATHER. 

then became so dense, that the nearest land was 
concealed from our view ; and perceiving that 
we were drawn towards a rapid, we pulled hastily 
for the shore, and encamped. The magnitude 
of objects, as is well known, is increased in such 
an atmosphere ; and some ice that still adhered 
to either side wore so formidable an aspect that, 
together with the roar of the rapid, it made 
us really glad to be safe on shore. 

The 11th commenced with heavy rain and a 
gale from the N.W., which did not lull throughout 
the day ; we were consequently prevented from 
moving, as the boat could not be taken down the 
rapids on account of the spray hiding the rocks, 
as well as the impossibility of keeping her under 
control. Instead of decreasing with the decline 
of the sun, the gale freshened, and became far 
more boisterous. Neither did the morning of the 
12th bring any change for the better : the squalls 
were more violent ; and even with the shelter of 
a high bank, the tent was with difficulty saved 
from being swept down. In the former expe- 
ditions farther west, we had never experienced 
an extraordinary quantity of rain ; indeed the con- 
trary might rather have been remarked ; and if it 
sometimes blew more fresh than usual, the gale 
seldom lasted more than twelve or twenty-four 
hours at most, and was generally followed by 
fine warm weather. But here was a combination 



DEER-HUNTING. 325 

of foul and boisterous weather, a very chaos 
of wind and storm, against which it was vain 
to struggle. 

July 13th was still hazy with showers, but my 
patience was exhausted ; and at 5 a. m. we started, 
and found ourselves in what might be called a 
continuous rapid, which after a few miles was 
joined by a stream from the left, divided at its 
confluence by an island near the centre. Near 
this was a lake, ruffled by a head wind, against 
which we had some difficulty in making way. 
Two or three hundred deer, and apart from them 
herds of musk oxen, were either grazing or sleep- 
ing on its western banks, which looked green 
and swampy, and were all more or less cloven by 
inconsiderable ravines, with a clayey surface. 
These soon disappeared in the rising ground, 
which, broken by isolated rocks naked and black, 
had its boundary in a semicircular range of irre- 
gularly shaped hills. 

For the first time in nine days the sun shone 
out in the morning, and I eagerly took occasion 
of the welcome visit to get sights ; whilst in 
the meantime our hunters, unable to resist the 
tempting neighbourhood of so many animals, and 
fidgetty to try their new guns, were allowed to 
go in pursuit, with the express stipulation, how- 
ever, that they were not to fire at the does or 
the last year's fawns. In less than an hour they 

y 3 



326 OBSERVATIONS. 

returned with four bucks, which were just be- 
ginning to get into condition. The change of 
food was palatable enough to all parties ; but as 
we had abundance of provision, and the boat was 
already too much lumbered, I discouraged all 
such pursuits for the present. 

The result of the observations gave the lati- 
tude 65° 38' 21/N., and longitude 106° 35' <Z3 /; 
W. This, as to the former, agreed very well 
with the dead reckoning, but gave the latter 
more to the eastward. Having examined a line 
of deep rapids that had a clear lead, we did not 
hesitate to run them with full cargo, and in so 
doing passed some singularly serrated and rugged 
hills, which, stretching from the limit of view 
in round and naked masses, dipped into the 
water with a curiously diversified stratification at 
an angle of 170°. A white wolf, some geese, 
and partridges with young ones, were observed 
here. A small tributary came in from the left, 
and thence the river spread itself into several 
branches, which not a little puzzled me; though, 
as we were then situated, the right channel for 
our purpose was obviously that which trended to 
the westward of north. Accordingly we pulled 
towards that branch, and shortly opened a view 
to the S. E., so extensive that the extreme dis- 
tance was definable only by a faint blue line. 
I was a little alarmed at such a syphon- 



DEVIATION OF THE RIVER. 3QTj 

like turn; yet I endeavoured to persuade my- 
self that the river would not ultimately deviate 
so very far from its original course, and went 
on. to the western inlet. However, as we ad- 
vanced the opening assumed a more circular 
appearance, and the altitudes of the boundary 
hills became more and more equal and unbroken, 
until at last, when we got fairly to the entrance, 
it was evidently only a bay. But though it 
could not be concealed that a range of low 
mountains, stretching in a direction N. W. and 
S. E., seemed to oppose an insurmountable 
barrier to the onward course of the river in 
the direction of my hopes, yet, as there was 
one part unexamined, where a strong ripple 
with white waves had been seen, I was unwilling 
to abandon all hope until it had been ascer- 
tained what that ripple was. Accordingly a party 
crossed overland, and soon saw that the foam 
was caused by a heavy rapid which fell into the 
river at that part. My disappointment and un- 
easiness may be conceived. All my plans and 
calculations rested on the assumption of the 
northerly course of the river; but this deter- 
mined bend to the S. E. and the formidable 
barrier ahead seemed to indicate a very different 
course, and a termination not, as had been anti- 
cipated, in the Polar Sea, but in Chesterfield Inlet. 
However, be the issue what it might, Hudson's 

y 4 



328 DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY. 

Bay or the Polar Sea — I had no alternative but 
to make for the S. E. We were at this time 
little more than a degree to the southward of 
the confluence of Back's River with Bathurst's 
Inlet ; but all hope that this river would prove 
identical with the Thlew-ee-choh, or that the 
latter would trend to the westward, was utterly 
extinguished. Our proximity to the coast, how- 
ever, explained the cold and dreary weather 
which had lately incommoded us. 

A fresh and fair wind now relieved the men 
from the labour of the oars, and we ran under the 
foresail (a lug) until 8 p.m.; when, being stopped 
by a ridge of ice reaching from shore to shore, 
directly athwart our course, we hauled into a 
deep bay, and secured the boat in snug shelter 
under the lee of the weather land. The temper- 
ature had scarcely varied from 42°, and there 
was a chilliness in the wind which blew from the 
coast that made cloaks and blankets very accept- 
able. Towards the close of the day's journey 
the country assumed a more mountainous and 
imposing appearance, but continued rugged and 
desolate. Many parts bore a close resemblance 
to the lava round Vesuvius, the intermediate 
spaces being filled up with green patches of 
meadow, which literally swarmed with deer, 
not fewer than twelve or fifteen hundred having 
been seen within the last twelve hours. 

14th of July. — During the night, the wind 



DETAINED BY THE ICE. 329 

veered a couple of points to the northward, and 
increased to a gale, which made it impossible 
to move with our cargo. But, wishing to as- 
certain if there was any prospect of a lead 
through the ice inshore, the boat was sent quite 
light, with directions to the steersman to land, 
and examine the whole length along the western 
edge ; and, at the same time, to see if the nature 
of the ground would allow of our making a 
portage. At 8 a.m. he returned, with a report 
that the ice was closely packed, with so heavy a 
surf running that any attempt to approach it 
might stave the boat ; while the land side, he 
said, was equally impracticable, owing tp the 
unevenness of the rocks. There was, therefore, 
nothing left, but to remain patiently until a 
change of wind or its violence should demolish 
the ice and make a passage for us. This accord- 
ingly was gradually effected, and about sunset 
we had the satisfaction to perceive a clear space, 
so far as could be judged up to the blue land 
in the distance. We now, therefore, only waited 
for an abatement of the gale to take advantage 
of this good fortune. 

The night was squally ; but the wind having 
somewhat moderated, we got away at 5 o'clock 
on the following morning, July 15th, the ther- 
mometer then standing at 38°. The stream 
stiil carried us to the south-east, and though the 
different bays and openings to the westward were 



330 A SERIES OF CASCADES. 

anxiously examined, in the hope that a passage 
might be found through one of them, the land 
was found continuous, and still bore to the east- 
ward. By 10 a.m. the mountains had dwindled 
to hills, which soon gave place to sand-banks, 
especially to the right ; an ominous indication of 
the future course of the stream. The lake, 
which I have named after my friend Captain 
Beechey, visibly decreased in breadth ; and at 
length discharged itself by what, from the loud 
roar that was heard long before we got to it, was 
conjectured to be a fall, but which was found 
to be in fact an awful series of cascades, nearly 
two miles in length, and making, in the whole, 
a descent of about sixty feet. The right bank 
was the most favourable for a portage, which 
we commenced without loss of time, while the 
two steersmen were despatched to examine the 
falls. Their report was, " that it was possible 
the boat might be got down, but they did not 
see how she ever could be got up again - 9 " a con- 
sideration of no great moment yet, when we were 
not out of walking distance from the house, what- 
ever it might become afterwards. Accordingly, 
having completed the portage, and made another 
cache of pemmican and fat, to which was added 
a spare oar, the trial was made with the boat. 
She was first lifted over some obstacles, and then 
lowered cautiously down the different descents ; 



OBSERVATIONS. 331 

and so alternately lifted, launched, and lowered, 
until she was safely brought to the eddy below, 
which being also rough, she was finally hauled 
on the gravel. The observations to-day gave the 
latitude 65° 14' W N., longitude 106° 0' 53" 
W., and variation 39° 12' E. ; so that it appeared 
we had got considerably to the southward and 
eastward of our position two days before. The 
country was still composed of the same variety 
of rocky hills and swampy prairies, though the 
latter were far more extensive, and, near the 
cascades, might be called plains, all thickly in- 
habited by deer. 

July 16th. — We embarked before 4 a.m., and 
a strong current carried us to a broad part of the 
river, which, I was rejoiced to see, took a sudden 
turn to the northward ; but at a detached conical 
hill, somewhat farther on, it again bent suddenly 
to the southward, and, as there was no passage 
perceptible at its farther extremity, the crew 
jocosely said we should be sucked under ground. 
However, an extremely sharp angle led us be- 
tween cliffs in a contracted channel into a rapid, 
at the foot of which it was necessary to land to 
avoid another, the waves of which were too high 
to allow of its being run with the cargo. When 
lightened, the boat ran it uninjured. A loud 
roar of rushing water, heard for the distance of 
about a mile, had prepared us for a long line of 



332 RAPIDS AND CASCADES, 

rapids, which now appeared breaking their furious 
way through mounds and ranges of precipitous 
sand-hills of the most fantastic outline. Some of 
them resembled parts of old ruins or turrets, and 
would have offered pleasing subjects for sketch- 
ing. The course of the river became afterwards 
more tortuous, and its clear blue tint yielded to 
an olive green, more or less dark according to 
the character of the muddy tributaries which 
poured in their contents from both sides. As 
we drew away from the influence of the cold 
winds coming from Bathurst's Inlet, a propor- 
tionate and most agreeable change took place in 
the weather ; and at 2 p.m. of this day the ther- 
mometer stood at 68° in the shade, and 84° 
in the sun. We glided quickly along with the 
strong current, passing by peaked sand-hills, 
which rose like artificial structures amidst low 
shelving prairies, covered with deer to the amount 
of many thousands. After crossing a small lake, 
where the current could just be distinguished in 
the centre, the stream again contracted to about 
three hundred yards, and precipitated itself over 
a bed of rocks, forming rapids and cascades, 
which compelled us to carry the principal bag- 
gage ; a precaution, indeed, never omitted when 
there was the least appearance of danger. Three 
detached and lofty hills of gneiss, with obtuse 
conical tops quite bare, here formed conspicuous 



LAND-MARKS. 333 

objects. From the level character of the land 
to the eastward, they could be seen at a great 
distance, and might thus serve as marks for any 
wanderers whom chance or design should bring 
to this far country. 

Indeed, that they had already been made use 
of for this purpose seemed to be indicated by 
numbers of piled stones, precisely similar in 
figure to those which I remembered to have 
seen along the banks of the Copper Mine River, 
as well as by some trenched divisions of ground, 
containing the moss-covered stones of circular 
encampments, evidently the work of the Esqui- 
maux, on whose frontiers we had arrived. I 
confess that these unequivocal traces of the 
" shivering tenants" of the arctic zone did not 
a little surprise me ; since on former occasions 
we had not found them at a distance from the 
coast. Was it possible, I asked myself, that we 
were nearer the sea than I had imagined ? It was 
not likely that they had come from Bathurst's 
Inlet, though not more than one hundred and 
seventeen miles off, for that lay to the north-west, 
and they would fall on the river much nearer, 
namely, at the western extremity of Lake 
Beechey. On the other hand, if they came 
from the eastward, were they from Chesterfield 
Inlet, the western or nearest termination of 
which, according to Arrowsmith's map, was not 
less than one hundred and fifty-eight miles ? 



834) CONTRACTION OF THE RIVER. 

By a minute inspection of the marks, I was at 
length 'satisfied that they all pointed N. E. and 
S. W. with as much precision as if they had 
been so placed by compass, and hence concluded 
that it was in the former bearing that we 
might expect to find the Esquimaux; though, 
whether far or near, we had as yet no means 
of determining. 

The river, from an imposing width, now gra- 
dually contracted to about fifty yards, and this 
narrow space had projecting rocks which com- 
pressed the passage still more. In the language 
of voyageurs, this form is denominated a spout ; 
and the only danger attending the going 
through it is the risk of being thrown into the 
eddy at an unfavourable moment; in which 
case, some serious accident is sure to occur. 
We ran this one, and were lifted considerably 
higher than the side water, as we shot down 
with fearful velocitv. Familiar as I was with 
such scenes, I could not but feel thankful that 
we escaped safe, and determined for the future 
to lower down all others. The stream after 
these agitations settled into a calm though not 
very gentle current, which swept us opposite a 
magnificent river, as broad as the Thames at 
Westminster, joining the Thlew-ee-choh from 
the eastward. Some Esquimaux marks on the 
banks seemed to point this out as their line of 
route ; and I was far from being convinced that 



baillie's river. SS5 

it was not the The-lew, however much that opi- 
nion might be at variance with the accounts we 
had received from the Indians.* Whatever it 
was, it received the name of Baillie's River, 
after my worthy friend, George Baillie, Esquire, 
Asrent General for Crown Colonies. Not a 
great way from this we encamped ; and some 
explanations having been made to the crew, as 
to the caution which the smallness of our number 
rendered necessary, a regular watch was estab- 
lished, in which Mr. King undertook to look 
out from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., the usual hour of 
starting. 

The following morning, instead of gaining to 
the westward, which various gleams of open 
water in that direction had again led us to hope, 
the river turned short round to the eastward; but 
after three or four miles, again resumed its old 
course. Sand-banks and islands were constantly 
met with; and from our ignorance of the channels 
between them, we were repeatedly aground. In 
these cases, the people had to wade until the boat 
again floated freely, with the chance of being 
thrown into the same situation ten minutes after- 
wards. Since the junction of Baillie's River, 
the stream had sensibly widened ; and had it 
not been for the strong current, might have been 

* From a minute inquiry made afterwards, I have every 
reason to believe that the The-lew falls into Chesterfield 
Inlet. 



336 FLOCKS OF GEESE. 

taken for a lake. It was bordered on either 
side by a low sandy district, studded with a few 
inconsiderable rocky hills, mostly detached, and 
a mile or two from each other. Even these soon 
disappeared, giving place to an alluvial deposit, 
so flat as scarcely to rise beyond the general 
horizontal line, and to raise our hopes of being 
near the sea; a notion rendered more probable 
by the great resemblance of the country to the 
western mouth of the M c Kenzie. Once, indeed, 
some of the party imagined that they saw tents ; 
but these, as we advanced, proved to be nothing 
but a solitary and luxuriant border of fine wil- 
lows, the secure retreat of hundreds of geese, 
which having lately cast their large quill feathers, 
were unable to fly; though, aided by instinct and 
good legs for running, they frequently eluded 
our most active hunters. If in the water — which, 
however, they took all pains to avoid — they had 
recourse to diving; and on rising to breathe, 
merely exposed their heads and a small part of 
the back, so that often they were not seen, and 
still oftener missed when fired at. On land, 
they either had a fair run for it, or plunged into 
any cover that happened to be near; through 
which, however thick, they waddled sufficiently 
quick to double on their pursuers, and lead them 
into many ludicrous situations which called forth 
the merriment of the rest. 



OBSERVATIONS. 337 

The low land was now diversified by occa- 
sional mounds; and presented an opening to 
the left caused by a river which was called after 
Captain Superintendent Sir Samuel Warren, of 
Woolwich Dock Yard. The banks here were 
higher, sometimes rising into cliffs, but of the 
same dry and sandy character, barren and cheer- 
less. Again, trending more to the eastward, 
we passed Jervoise River, another large tribu- 
tary from the right; and then came to a low 
sandy opening, which seemed to be completely 
shut in, until at the northern limit a rapid 
channel led us among some rocks that appeared 
to extend from an adjacent height towards a range 
of hills to the north-west. The sun being too 
low to allow of our running the rapids before 
us, we encamped. There were some musk oxen 
here ; but neither they nor even the deer or 
geese were startled, unless they saw some one 
actually going towards them. The observations 
to-day gave the latitude 65° 9' W N., longitude 
103° 33' 8" W., and the variation 30° 6' E. ; thus 
showing that we had made nearly all easting. 
The threatening appearance of the curling waves, 
and the roar and gloom of a defile along which 
our course now lay, rendered it necessary to 
examine what there might be to contend with 
among the frowning rocks, which, overlapping 
as they receded, seemed to the eye as if they 

z 



338 TACT REQUISITE IN COMMAND. 

blocked up the passage. Some time was un- 
avoidably spent in doing this ; and the report 
was an expression of the same sort of doubt as 
on a former occasion. This, however, I looked 
for as of course ; for it could not be expected 
that the steersmen, however excellent in their 
capacity, should be equally anxious to proceed 
as myself: their predictions of the difficulties 
we should encounter on our return were, on the 
contrary, frequent, though I parried them by 
referring to my experience in these latitudes, 
and to the entire alteration produced by the dif- 
ferent periods of the season in the character of 
the rivers ; with which reasonings they were 
generally satisfied. It may perhaps appear to 
some persons that to persuade those whom I 
might have commanded was a gratuitous and 
unnecessary trouble; but it should be borne in 
mind that, in services not purely military, the 
party is not, and cannot be, brought under strict 
habits of discipline. The success of such an 
expedition depends materially on the temper 
and disposition of the leading men, who must 
sometimes be reasoned with, and at others kept 
in check, as circumstances may direct. It is 
necessary that they should feel a confidence in 
and attachment to their leader, not paying a 
mere sulky obedience to his orders ; and what 
they do will thus be done heartily and with good 
will, not as the cold fulfilment of a contract. 



PRECIPITOUS ROCKS. . 339 

Early in the following morning we pushed 
out into the beginning of the rapids, when the 
boat was twirled about in whirlpools against 
the oars; and but for the amazing strength of 
M c Kay, who steered, it must inevitably have 
been crushed against the faces of the protruding 
rocks. As we entered the defile, the rocks on 
the right presented a high and perpendicular 
front, so slaty and regular that it needed no 
force of imagination to suppose them severed at 
one great blow from the opposite range ; which, 
craggy, broken, and overhanging, towered in 
stratified and many-coloured masses far above 
the chafing torrent. There was a deep and 
settled gloom in the abyss — the effect of which 
was heightened by the hollow roar of the rapid, 
still in deep shade, and by the screaming of 
three large hawks, which frightened from their 
aerie were hovering high above the middle of 
the pass, and gazing fixedly upon the first in- 
truders on their solitude ; so that I felt relieved 
as it were from a load when we once more burst 
forth into the bright sunshine of day. The boat 
was then allowed to drive with the current, the 
velocity of which was not less than six miles 
an hour, among whirlpools and eddies, which 
strangely buffeted her about. The men, glad to 
rest from their oars, were either carelessly look- 
ing at the objects which they passed, or whiffing 

z 2 



340 ADVENTURE OF A FOX. 

the ever welcome pipe, when something was 
seen swimming a little ahead, which was taken 
for a young fawn. As we nearly touched it in 
passing, the bowman, almost without looking, 
stretched out his hand to grasp it ; but drew it 
in again as quick as lightning, and springing up 
for the boat-hook, called out, " D — n it, it has 
bit me ! it's a fox." I would not allow it to be 
fired at ; and Reynard gained the bank, and skip- 
ped about as if enjoying the trick he had played. 
Still widening, the river rolled on without 
obstruction, being here large enough to remind 
me of the M c Kenzie. Heavy and long borders 
of thick ice, with a great deal of snow, were on 
the sides of the sloping banks, full ten feet 
above the present level. As we advanced still 
most provokingly to the eastward, a large river, 
nearly as broad as that which we were descend- 
ing, came through a low country to the right, 
and after many windings effected a junction 
round a little sandy bluff. It was named after 
Rear-Admiral M c Kinley, who has uniformly 
evinced a great interest in the recent voyages 
of discovery. The land then became more un- 
even, and soon changed into hills, partly com- 
posed of bare rocks, with loose masses on them. 
On one, indeed, something higher than the rest, 
we thought for a long time there was a man ; 
but afterwards the general opinion determined 



ESQUIMAUX MARKS. 841 

it to be a heap of stones, possibly placed there 
by the Esquimaux. And this was the more 
probable, as on arriving opposite to another 
wide tributary, called, after his Majesty's Consul 
at New York, Buchanan's River, a great number 
of marks were seen distributed at particular 
points, and on commanding eminences along 
the banks, apparently for the purpose of either 
frightening the deer, which were plentiful as 
usual, into a particular course, or as places of 
ambush when in quest of them. The latter I 
think the more likely ; because at certain distances 
along: the line of marks there were semicircular 
skreens built of stones, having the high part, of 
from two to three feet, towards the open country, 
and the sloped or exposed side facing the river, 
under the banks of which the hunters would be 
effectually hid in passing to their lurking sta- 
tions ; while even if the deer were not only in 
front of the marks, but also between them and 
the water's edge, they might still be useful as a 
cover, and a communication might be kept up 
by crawling from one to another. 

The breadth of the river now varied from a 
quarter to a mile and half; and, what exceedingly 
delighted me, it made a bend to the north. The 
country became decidedly hilly, with an odd 
mixture of ravines, conical sand-hills with black 
mossy tops, and isolated rocks, which rose like 

z 3 



342 BULLEN RIVER. 

sombre fortresses over the green and yellow soil 
to the westward. It looked as if constant 
floods had washed away the lighter earth, and 
left those solid masses as monuments of their 
ravages. We made for a distant blue peak, and 
passed a cluster of islands ; one of which was 
remarkable for being overgrown with willows, 
while its neighbours were as sterile as the de- 
sert. Keeping close to the western shore, we 
rounded a jutting point, and opened upon a 
deep bay which received the waters of a broad 
river. This river has been named after my 
much respected friend Captain Superintendent 
Sir Charles Bullen, of Pembroke Dock Yard, 
under whose command I had once the happi- 
ness to serve. It is difficult to conjecture where 
it may take its rise ; but from the powerful effect 
upon the current at two miles below its mouth, 
there can be no doubt that an immense body 
of water flows through its channel. A little 
beyond, a wide westerly bay almost tempted us to 
search for an outlet, the current having now got 
so slack as to be imperceptible ; and numerous 
islands and openings at different bearings occa- 
sioned some embarrassment as to the course, 
until, after pulling inshore a little, the loom of a 
large sheet of ice arrested our attempt in that 
quarter; and having again regained the current, 
we yielded ourselves to its guidance, and were 
again led to the eastward. 



A STORM. 343 

The weather had been variable, and the ther- 
mometer as high as 68°, in the afternoon ; but 
the sky suddenly became overcast, and heavy 
black clouds rolled from the N. W., which, 
bursting with violent squalls, poured down rat- 
tling showers of sleet. The storm, however, 
passed away, and the evening was fine enough 
to draw out some swarms of mosquitoes, that 
failed not to " take the goods the gods pro- 
vided," when we encamped, as we were obliged 
to do, on the edge of a swamp. From the more 
hilly character and general trending of the shore, 
I entertained a hope that we should soon be led 
to the north ; and most devoutly did I wish to 
arrive at the gneiss formation, being certain that 
to reach the sea in the desired direction, the 
river must cut its way through rocks of some 
kind, as I had previously observed in the Copper- 
mine and M c Kenzie. In my desire to gain some 
further knowledge of the course, I ascended a 
distant hill, from the summit of which, with the 
help of my glass, I could discern several exten- 
sive sheets of water in almost opposite bearings, 
one of them being due south ; but owing to the 
intervention of rocks, and uneven ground for 
about two miles in the line of my view, it was 
impossible to determine whether they were sepa- 
rate or formed one continuous water. The doubt, 
however, was cleared up at an early hour on the 

z 4 



344 LAKE PELLY. 

succeeding morning (July 19th) ; for the cur- 
rent, to which we yielded ourselves, in a short 
time lost itself in a large lake, full of deep 
bays ; one, indeed, with a clear and uninter- 
rupted horizon, but glimmering with firm ice. 

Having taken a more northerly course than 
before, and passed two openings of about fifteen 
and twenty miles in extent, we landed on an 
island for the purpose of making a third cache 
of pemmican. From this point I got cross 
bearings, and a view of another opening almost 
entirely covered with unbroken ice : a piece of 
an old kieyak *, blanched with age, and other 
remnants of Esquimaux workmanship, showed 
that the place was frequented by them at some 
part of the year. The opening itself was distin- 
guished by the name of Lake Pelly, after the 
liberal and spirited Governor of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. 

Leaving the island, a slight current piloted us 
to a rapid, near which the latitude was obtained, 
and informed us that indefatigable as our exer- 
tions had been we had gained but little north- 
ing, and had abundance of hard work in pros- 
pect before we should be permitted to taste salt 
water. As for the men, the majority inclined 
to a tale told them by an Indian, whom I had 
not seen, — that before arriving at the sea, they 

* Esquimaux canoe. 



CONJECTURES OF AN INDIAN. 345 

would find an immense lake, with such deep 
bays that no Indian had ever been round them ; 
these he said, lay to the easward, but they must 
be careful to keep on its western side, and by 
so doing would arrive at a steep and heavy fall 
between high rocks ; this the boat would not be 
able to pass, but from thence they might easily 
walk to the " bad water ;" near which, he 
assured them, they would also certainly find the 
Esquimaux. It was true that we had consider- 
ably strayed from the direction thus indicated, 
and had come more than double the distance at 
which the Indian placed the sea ; but still, here 
was a large lake with bays answering to the 
description, or it might be that we should come 
to another still larger ; after which, it was their 
opinion, the remainder would be verified. 

The strong current from the rapid gave us 
some expectation that the tediousness and un- 
certainty of winding and groping our way in 
the lake was at an end ; but, to our chagrin and 
annoyance, we soon again found ourselves in a 
wide indefinable space, studded with islands of 
sand-hills, with, occasionally, a clear horizon to- 
wards the S. and N. W. The difficulty of finding 
the river increased as we advanced amid this 
labyrinth, between the openings of which dis- 
tant land could sometimes be faintly discovered. 
The unwelcome glare of ice was also seen. From 



346 ENCAMP ON AN ISLAND. 

time to time we found a current ; still we were 
baffled, and had often to turn on our track, only 
perhaps to make another deviation. At length 
we observed a number of grayling playing in a 
narrow, and rising at the flies which fell acci- 
dentally into the water; and aware that these 
fish usually frequent the outlets and channels of 
connecting water, we profited by the hint, and 
so far had reason to be satisfied with our judg- 
ment. But towards evening our hopes were again 
blighted by the startling sight of extensive and 
unbroken fields of ice, stretching to the extremest 
point of vision. Seeing, therefore, no chance 
of further progress at present, I encamped on a 
spot which, judging from the circles of stones 
found regularly placed, had doubtless at some 
time been used by the Esquimaux for the same 

purpose. 

We were on an island ; and the ridges and 
cones of sand were not only of great height, but 
singularly crowned with immense boulders, grey 
with lichen, which assuredly would have been 
considered as having been placed by design, had 
not the impossibility of moving such enormous 
masses proved incontestibly that it was Nature's 
work. It was with indescribable sorrow that I 
beheld from one of these boulders a firm field of 
old ice, which had not yet been disturbed from 
its winter station. The nearest land was a bold 



VIEW OF THE COUNTRY. 347 

rocky bluff about ten miles to the northward, but 
receding thence to an indistinct outline ; the 
southward view offered nothing more encourag- 
ing, for the shore in that direction was low and 
distant ; while to the eastward, which was mani- 
festly our course, a black line, supposed to be 
water, just bordered the horizon. The whole of 
this expanse was sealed with ice ; and with the 
exception of a lane of open water from our en- 
campment to a sand-hill in the south-west, and 
some small holes too remote from each other to 
serve any purpose, there was not a place that 
could with any certainty be fixed on as afford- 
ing a passage. Nevertheless the attempt was 
made the next morning a little past 3 a. m. ; and 
though without the slightest idea of getting 
beyond the sand-hill, I directed the steersman 
to pull for it : in doing which we soon lost all 
traces of the current. The lane grew narrower as 
we proceeded, until there was barely room for the 
boat to pass with the poles. The ice here, far from 
being decayed, was two feet thick, green, and 
compact, and gave ominous token of what was in 
reserve for us farther north. 

Having; arrived at our Ultima Thule, we 
ascended the highest hill near; but only to 
see one wide and dazzling field of ice extending 
far away in every direction, and presenting a 
uniform bed of sharp and ragged points, that 
would have ground the keel to powder had we 



348 OBSTRUCTIONS ENCOUNTERED 

tried to launch across it. As for carrying, the 
wood was much too sodden and heavy to allow 
the thought to be entertained. The steers- 
men, whose long acquaintance with inland ice 
had made them skilful in discovering the best 
way of overcoming such difficulties, were de- 
spatched to different stations, that by crossing 
the view they might have the better chance 
of acquiring the necessary information ; they 
returned, however, with nothing but regrets at 
their want of success, and did not hesitate to 
express an opinion that a passage could not 
be reckoned upon until the natural disruption 
of the main body. Nor was this the result of 
any lukewarmness ; for, on the contrary, they 
were zealous and hearty in the cause in which 
they had embarked, and the expression of the 
opinion was evidently painful to them. Of this 
a proof was immediately given by their cheer- 
fulness in preparing for a start when I was heard 
to say that we would try what old voyageurs 
could do. I had in fact discovered by means 
of the telescope a slip of what I took to be 
water away to the N. E., in which direction, from 
the invariable pointing of all the Esquimaux 
marks we had yet seen, I felt confident that not 
only the river but the sea would be found. 
Patches also were visible in the ice between the 
water and the opposite land ; and it was clear 



IN OUR PASSAGE. 349 

that if we could only get along the low southern 
shore, which, though apparently unpromising, 
yet from its shallowness and greater radiation of 
heat favoured the chance of a narrow lane, we 
might by making a few portages be fortunate 
enough to succeed in reaching the open water ; 
and at all events, whether we reached it or not, 
the people would be occupied, and prevented 
from brooding over their difficulties, and alarm- 
ing themselves with the anticipation of imaginary 
evils. 

For several hours we continued to creep slowly 
to the south, sometimes wedged in the ice, at 
others cutting through it with axes, and breaking 
huge masses away, — now bringing the weight 
of the boat and cargo to act, then lifting her 
with fenders on each side cautiously through the 
openings ; and thus was the way groped nearly 
all day, till, as the sun got low, a shallow part 
defied every attempt to pass it. In vain did 
the people wade and carry the pieces to lighten 
the boat ; still she would not float over the large 
stones that paved the bottom. The ice, there- 
fore, was the only chance ; and after making a 
portage for some distance over an extremely 
rotten part, she was absolutely lifted over the re- 
maining obstructions, and again loaded ; after 
which our progress was more satisfactory, and 



350 OBSERVATIONS. 

by using the same means, though at greater 
intervals, we at length (at 9 p.m.) reached the 
open water with a strong current. But though 
the picturesque sand-hills seemed close to us, 
and the crew, half benumbed as they were from 
being so long in the water, exerted themselves 
to the utmost, and had moreover the aid of the 
current, still, with all this, we did not reach 
land until past 10 p. m. Our observations placed 
us in latitude 65° 48' 4" N., longitude 99° 40' 
46" W., with variation 29° 38' E. ; and in sixteen 
hours we had only come fourteen miles. 

July 21st. — I examined the lake from the 
summit of the hill above our encampment, and 
found that the current which had befriended us 
over night became powerless about two hundred 
yards farther on ; at which point the main body 
of the ice commenced again, and stretched to an 
undefinable distance, interrupted occasionally 
by jutting points, over which in some places it 
was again visible. A small southerly channel, 
however, led to some islands, and for these we 
steered, but soon became hampered with sur- 
rounding ice. The same mode of proceeding was 
therefore adopted as on the preceding day; and 
in four hours we were lucky enough to have ad- 
vanced eight miles, though not in the direct line 
of our course. Some open water was then seen 



LAKE GARRY. 351 

to the north ; and though doubtful if the river 
would be in that quarter or more to the eastward, 
I stood over for it, as the inclination of a line of 
sand-hills rather favoured the former opinion. 
With a little difficulty we succeeded in reaching 
a lane, which ultimately led us to the main 
land, against whose rocky sides the ice again 
abutted. A portage was immediately made, and 
the boat lifted over into the water. In ten 
minutes we were again stopped by ice, so thick 
that all our endeavours to cut a passage with 
the axes, and break it as had been hitherto 
done, were utterly in vain. Another place, 
which seemed to offer fewer obstacles, was tried 
with the same result ; we therefore, landed and 
made a second portage across the rocks, which 
brought us to a sheet of water terminating in a 
rapid ; and this, though seldom a pleasing object 
to those who have to go down it, was now joy- 
fully hailed by us as the end of a lake which had 
occasioned us so much trouble and delay. In 
summer, however, or, more properly speaking, 
autumn, this lake must be a splendid sheet of 
water; wherefore, regarding it apart from the 
vexations which it had caused me, I bestowed 
upon it the name of Lake Garry, after Nicholas 
Garry, Esq., of the Hudson's Bay Company, to 
whose disinterested zeal in the cause of polar 



352 NICHOLAS GARRY, ESQ. 

discovery, and undeviating kindness to all con- 
nected with it, such honourable testimony has 
been borne by Sir Edward Parry and Sir John 
Franklin that to dwell on them here is super- 
fluous. 



353 



CHAP. XL 

Gigantic Boulders. — Danger from the Rapids, — Course 
of the River. — Lake Macdougall. — Hazardous Pas- 
sage. — Sinclair's Falls. — Northerly Bend of the 
River. — Mount Meadowba?ik. — Altitude of the Rocks. 

— The Trap Formation. — M c Kay's Peak. — Lake 
Frankli?i. — Extrication from Peril. — Sluggishness of 
the Compass. — Esquimaux — Portrait of a Female, 

— Victoria Headland. — Mouth of the Thlew-ee- 
Choh. — Cockburn Bay. — Point Backhouse. — Irby 
and Mangles' Bay. — Point Beaufort. — Our Progress 
arrested. — Montreal Island. — A Mask Ox killed. — 
Birds on the Island. — Elliot Bay. — M c Kay, etc. sent 
along the Coast. — Esquimaux Encampments. — Cape 
Hay. — Point Ogle. — Progress obstructed by the Ice. 

— A Piece of Drft-wood found. — Ross Island. — 
Discoveries by Mr. Kmg. — Magnetic Observations. — 
Point Richardson. — Point Hardy. — Conjectures as 
to a N. W. Passage and Channel to Regenfs Inlet. 

Congratulating one another on our release, 
we went on with renewed spirits. Much ice was 
carried down the rapid, which, instead of going 
into the wide space in front, was impelled sud- 
denly to the eastward, and thence again hur- 
ried by a strong northerly current into a branch 
of another lake, the bays of which were not 
less than from twelve to fifteen miles deep. 
Long ranges of conical and cliff-broken sand- 

A A 



354* GIGANTIC BOULDERS. 

hills extended irregularly nearly round the com- 
pass, but mostly to the northward and westward, 
towards which direction the stream ran with im- 
mense force. There were no rocks visible nearer 
than Lake Garry ; but gigantic boulders were 
strewed in every direction, and in two instances 
were seen on the summits of conical and isolated 
sand-hills much resembling those previously 
mentioned. One of these was very conspicuous, 
as well from its height as from its situation in 
the centre of the river, thus forming an excellent 
mark for the rapid from any direction. The ther- 
mometer had been as high as 102° in the sun, and 
was 56° in the shade, with a S. E. wind, so as to 
create considerable refraction during the greater 
part of the day. The evening, however, was cool ; 
and at a little past 8 p.m. we encamped. 

The following day we got away at the usual 
hour, w 7 ith the advantage of a swift current, 
which now swept to the northward, and in about 
an hour brought us to a strong rapid, the descent 
of which looked exceedingly like going down hill. 
After the usual examination, the steersmen were 
desirous of lightening the boat before running 
it, but the water was too shoal for landing, and 
we were obliged to pole up a small rapid to 
an island ; whence it was at length decided, as 
no eligible landing-place could be found above 
or below it, to risk the descent with the whole 
cargo. It was a case of necessity ; so off we 



IMMINENT DANGER. 355 

pushed, and in a few minutes were plunged into 
the midst of curling waves and large rocks ; but 
the coolness of the crew, and the great dexterity 
of the bow and steersmen, avoided each danger as 
it arose. At length, however, one towering 
wave threw us on a rock, and something crashed ; 
luckily we did not hang, for nothing could have 
resisted the force of the torrent, and the slightest 
check at such a time would have been inevitable 
destruction to the whole party. After being 
whirled to and fro by the velocity of counter 
currents, we escaped from this without other 
damage than a broken keel plate — an acci- 
dent which left that part from thenceforth un- 
defended — but rapid still followed rapid in 
disagreeably quick succession, and I was not 
a little rejoiced when we were again fairly in 
smooth water; for the lakes we had passed, 
with their unknown but assuredly distant bound- 
aries, and the numerous deep bays and other 
impediments to a land journey, such as I had 
acute reasons for remembering, made the safety 
of the boat a paramount consideration. Not 
that all ordinary accidents which could befall 
men in our situation had not been already con- 
templated, and as far as my ability extended 
provided for ; but these hourly demands on the 
nerves brought possible contingencies more home, 
and made them sink deeper into the mind. In 

a a 2 



356 COURSE OF THE RIVER. 

short, I could not divest myself of those cares 
and anxieties which every conscientious officer 
must feel for those, be they few or many, who 
look up to him for safety and direction. 

Much to our satisfaction the river kept to the 
northward, and gave us the hope of making a 
little latitude, now become extremely desirable ; 
when suddenly, notwithstanding the long view 
ahead, towards which the current seemed to be 
setting, it turned off at a right angle, and 
opened into a spacious lake, the extremity of 
which could not be discerned. With singular 
eccentricity, however, it soon again trended 
northward through a wide space with many deep 
bays, some of which were totally covered with 
ice. The islands were also numerous ; and 
having passed between two where there was a 
rapid, we came to so great an extent of water 
and ice, land being not visible to the north, 
that the steersman exclaimed, " All the lakes 
we had yet seen are nothing to this one !" 
In its large expanse the current was soon lost, 
and proportionate embarrassment was occasioned 
us in deciding on the most probable direc- 
tion for striking on the river. Several likely 
openings near sand-hills were explored ineffectu- 
ally between north and east ; for I was unwilling 
to think it would be found elsewhere. We 
rested on the oars, but the boat remained mo- 



LAKE MACDOUGALL. 3oJ 

tionless, and gave no clue to the current ; nor 
was it until I imagined that I caught the faint 
sound of a fall, that we reluctantly pulled along 
a border of firm ice which took us away due 
south, a direction the very opposite of that to 
which my wishes tended, and looking directly 
towards Chesterfield Inlet, — the proximity of 
which, I will not deny, began to give me serious 
uneasiness. Still keeping south, we threaded a 
zigzag passage through a barrier of ice, and 
were then led by the increasing noise to the end 
of the lake, which received the name of " Lake 
Macdougall," after my friend the Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the gallant 79th Highlanders. 

Bending short round to the left, and in a 
comparatively contracted channel, the whole 
force of the water glided smoothly but irresist- 
ibly towards two stupendous gneiss rocks, from 
five to eight hundred feet high, rising like islands 
on either side. Our first care was to secure the 
boat in a small curve to the left, near which the 
river disappeared in its descent, sending up 
showers of spray. We found it was not one 
fall, as the hollow roar had led us to believe, but 
a succession of falls and cascades, and whatever 
else is horrible in such " confusion worse con- 
founded. ,, It expanded to about the breadth of 
four hundred yards, having near the centre an in- 
sulated rock about three hundred feet high, having 

aa 3 



358 HAZARDOUS PASSAGE 

the same barren and naked appearance as those 
on each side. From the projection of the main 
western shore, which concealed the opening, 
issued another serpentine rapid and fall ; while 
to the right there was a strife of surge and rock, 
the roar of which was heard far and wide. The 
space occupying the centre from the first descent 
to the island was full of sunken rocks of unequal 
heights, over which the rapid foamed, and boiled, 
and rushed with impetuous and deadly fury. 
At that part it was raised into an arch ; while the 
sides were yawning and cavernous, swallowing 
huge masses of ice, and then again tossing the 
splintered fragments high into the air. A more 
terrific sight could not well be conceived, and 
the impression which it produced was apparent 
on the countenances of the men. The portage 
was over scattered debris of the rocks (of which 
two more with perpendicular and rounded sides 
formed a kind of wall to the left), and afforded a 
rugged and difficult way to a single rock at the 
foot of the rapid, about a mile distant. The boat 
was emptied of her cargo, but was still too 
heavy to be carried more than a few yards ; and, 
whatever the consequence, there was thus no 
alternative but to try the falls. 

Every precaution that experience could devise 
was adopted ; double lines to the bow and stern 
were held on shore by the most careful of the 



THROUGH THE FALL. 359 

men, and M c Kayand Sinclair took their stations 
at each end of the boat with poles, to keep her 
from dashing against the rocks. It was no 
common attempt, and excited in me the most 
lively concern for their safety. Repeatedly did 
the strength of the current hurl the boat within 
an inch of destruction, and as often did these 
able and intrepid men ward off the threatened 
danger. Still, amongst the many descents, she 
did not escape without some severe shocks, in 
one of which the remaining keel plate was en- 
tirely stripped away ; but cool, collected, prompt 
to understand and obey the mutual signs which 
each made to the other with the hand — for their 
voices were inaudible — the gallant fellows finally 
succeeded in guiding her down in safety to the 
last fall. There she was taken out of the water, 
and, with the assistance of Mr. King and myself, 
was, though with difficulty, carried below it. 
On our return to the baggage, I gave the men a 
good glass of grog, with praises which they had 
well earned ; and all being weary with exertion, 
we encamped for the night. 

At 3 h 30 ra a.m. of the 23d, the people began 
carrying the pemmican and boxes across, a task 
which the loose and slippery stones made by no 
means easy ; and aware that it would take them 
till noon to complete the work, I gladly availed 
myself of the opportunity to obtain observations ; 

A A 4 



360 observations. 

the result of which was, latitude 65° 54/ 18" N., 
longitude 98° 10' 7" W., variation 29° 16' E. ; 
thus showing a diminution of the latter as we 
made northing : and indeed, the powerful action 
of some influence was apparent in the increasing 
sluggishness of the compass, which of late re- 
quired to be frequently tapped at the sides to 
make it move. But the most interesting observ- 
ations were those for dip and intensity, particu- 
larly with Hansteen's needle. The former was 
taken with a vertical compass by Dollond, which 
wasvery dull and heavy, making few vibra- 
tions; and when within 10° or 15° from its last 
vibration, swagging, and ultimately stopping sud- 
denly. For the latter a horizontal one was used, 
which moved remarkably slow, and seemed to 
hang at the extremity of every oscillation ; but 
still vibrated longer and more steadily than 
might have been expected after the working of 
the other. 

I had now also leisure to ascend the highest of 
the rocks, which had a smooth table summit of 
quartz, red felspar, and horneblende, the red 
predominating at that part, though partially co- 
vered with a grey and minute yellow lichen. The 
Esquimaux had here erected a small obelisk of 
slabs, placed perpendicularly on each other; and 
within a few paces of it were two more marks, 
one consisting of three longitudinal fragments 



PROSPECT FROM <c ROCK RAPID." 36l 



1 



resting against and supporting each other, so as 
to form a triangular pyramid ; the other also of 
three pioces, but so placed as to form three sides 
of a parallelogram. The use of the last one I 
could not divine, since it was too large for a fire- 
place, of which, indeed, there was no trace, and 
not secure enough for a cache. Among the 
loose debris, a cache might have been made safe 
even from the plundering wolvereens ; but in a 
situation so exposed there could be no security. 
I could only conjecture that it might, perhaps, 
serve as a place of watch and concealment on 
hunting or other excursions which might bring 
the adventurer within reach of an enemy's arrow. 
These piles, like those farther south, pointed 
north-ecit, and not due south to Chesterfield 
Inlet; which at this point was not more than 
ninety- four miles from us, and towards which, 
until the turn at the Rock Rapid (our present 
encampment), the Thlew-ee-choh seemed to be 
directly tending. 

The prospect before us, viewed with a telescope 
from the commanding eminence of the rock, 
extended to an immense distance ; but in no 
manner aided to clear up the doubt of what 
would be the ultimate course of the river. For 
at the utmost limit to the south-east, mingling 
with the white haze of the atmosphere, water 
was distinctly seen ; which, by following the 



362 THE RAPID CHOKED UP WITH ICE. 

windings of the valleys, could be traced to 
about four miles of where we stood, this short 
intermediate space being occupied by a line of 
shallow rapids. To the north-east, indeed, in- 
terrupted glimpses were caught of a serpentine 
stream leading to some sand-hills; but, made 
cautious by disappointment, we put little faith 
in such appearances. 

Whilst making these observations, I had not 
once turned round ; but now doing so with the 
intention of proceeding on the voyage, I per- 
ceived, to my amazement, that there was no 
spray rising from the rapid, and that its deafen- 
ing roar had subsided into a grinding and hollow 
noise, which betokened the destruction of what- 
ever it was which caused it. A phenomenon so 
utterly at variance with what had existed an hour 
before made me hasten down, more, however, to 
look after the boat, than for the satisfaction of 
any curiosity, as upon consideration I could not 
but infer that it was the ice driven by the wind 
and current together from Lake Macdougall, that 
was choking up the rapid. And so it proved ; it 
was the disruption of the main body of the ice, or, 
as it is called, the last break up of the season, 
when fine weather may be expected. With this 
new obstacle there was no immediate contend- 
ing ; for in such a torrent the boat would have 
been crushed to atoms. At length, however, 



MORE RAPIDS. S63 

the stream, which rushed with amazing velocity, 
by 5 p.m. so far cleared itself as to allow of our 
loading the boat; not, however, without risk 
from the floating pieces which yet remained beat- 
ing about in the eddy, and which it required the 
entire attention of two men to keep off. Scarcely 
had we pushed from the shore, when we were in 
the midst of rapids. Two were run ; but the 
third was too dangerous to allow the attempt 5 
consequently again we had to carry all the cargo 
across a portage of half a mile, while the boat 
so lightened was brought safely down the rapid. 
The opposite shore was then discovered to be 
an island, round the western extremity of which 
another branch of the river cut a broad channel, 
and joined the one we had selected by a fall often 
feet. A quarter of a mile below the junction, this 
extraordinary stream was checked by a shelving 
ledge of low rocks that turned it to the north, in 
the direction of the sand-hills which we had seen 
in the early part of the day. 

An overcast and stormy night, with much rain, 
brought in a morning which forbade the attempt 
to start, as it was impracticable, with such a 
gale, to keep the lead in the rapid before us ; so 
that there was no choice but to wait until it should 
calm. In the meantime, M c Kay was sent to exa- 
mine the river farther down, and returned about 
noon with an account of several rapids and a 



364< Sinclair's falls. 

large fall not far from us, and of having seen 
some marks on his way. In the afternoon, the 
journey was resumed ; and having followed the 
turn to the north, and got down the rapids, we 
made a portage at Sinclair's Falls ; so named 
after one of the steersmen, who has been already 
frequently mentioned, and who was so complete 
a boatman as to be equal to the duty of the 
bow also, which station indeed he had all along 
filled. 

The river was now near a mile broad, full of 
small rocky islands, with falls between each, not 
unlike the Pelican Fall in the Slave River. The 
boat was lowered down ; and following the 
bend, which was bordered by the sand-hills, we 
came to an opening disclosing some distant 
mountains, towards which it was thought our 
course would lie. Conjecture, however, was 
useless : even here, we were twice thrown out by 
the overlapping of low points and by counter 
currents ; but at last we found a wide channel 
running to the S. E. At its entrance the fourth 
cache of pemmican was made ; and as it was too 
late to see the stones in the water, we encamped. 

July 25th. — The weather was raw and cold, 
though the wind was southerly, and the ther- 
mometer 48°. The banks on either side were 
low, but curiously paved with round stones, 
probably forced in by ledges of grounded ice. 



DANGEROUS RAPIDS. 365 

The next reach turned to the northward, and be- 
came so wide that it might well have been called 
a lake. Such expansions always occasioned us 
some perplexity, from the uncertainty and diffi- 
culty there was in tracing the run of the current. 
In this instance, however, it was less inconstant 
than usual, and for a few miles continued nearly 
in the same course ; when, after gradually con- 
tracting, it was broken by a mile of heavy and 
dangerous rapids. The boat was lightened, and 
every care taken to avoid accidents ; but so over- 
whelming was the rush and whirl of the water, 
that she, and consequently those in her, were 
twice in the most imminent danger of perishing 
by being plunged into one of the gulfs formed 
in the rocks and hollows of the rapid. It was 
in one of those singular and dangerous spots, 
which partake of the triple character of a fall, 
rapid, and eddy in the short space of a few yards, 
that the crew owed their safety solely to an 
unintentional disobedience of the steersman's 
directions. The power of the water so far ex- 
ceeded whatever had been witnessed in any of 
the other rivers of the country, that the same 
precautions successfully used elsewhere were 
weak and unavailing here. The steersman was 
endeavouring to clear a fall and some sunken 
rocks on the left, but the man to whom he spoke 
misunderstood him, and did exactly the reverse \ 



366 IMMINENT PERIL. 

and now, seeing the danger, the steersman swept 
round the boat's stern : instantly it was caught 
by an eddy to the right, which snapping an oar, 
twirled her irresistibly broad side on ; so that for 
a moment it seemed uncertain whether the boat 
and all in her were to be hurled into the hollow 
of the fall, or dashed stern foremost on the sunken 
rocks. Something perhaps wiser than chance 
ordained it otherwise ; for how it happened no 
account can be given, but so it was that her 
head swung inshore towards the beach, and 
thereby gave Sinclair and others an opportunity 
of springing into the water, and thus, by their 
united strength, rescuing her from her perilous 
situation. Now had the man to whom the first 
order was given understood and acted upon it, 
no human power could have saved the crew from 
being buried in the frightful abyss. Nor yet 
could any blame be justly attached to the steers- 
man : he had never been so situated before ; 
and even in this imminent peril his coolness 
and self-possession never forsook him. At the 
awful moment of suspense, when one of the crew 
with less nerve than his companions began to 
cry aloud to Heaven for aid, M c Kay, in a still 
louder voice, exclaimed, " Is this a time for pray- 
ing? Pull your starboard oar." "Heaven helps 
those who help themselves" seems to have been 
the creed of the stout-hearted highlander. 



DANGEROUS RAPIDS. 367 

On the eastern side we noticed some marks, as 
well as the remains of an Esquimaux encampment; 
but nothing which denoted when they had been 
there. Having made another cache of pemmi- 
can, at the foot of Escape Rapid, in order to 
lighten the boat as much as possible, we pur- 
sued our course ; but had not got more than two 
miles farther, when a thick fog and pelting rain 
obscured the view, and obliged us to land for 
shelter. As soon as it cleared, which was not 
before the evening, we renewed the attempt ; and 
were urged by a strong current considerably to 
the eastward, the river now taking that direction 
through a range of cliffy sand-hills, in which, 
on some occasions of more than common ob- 
struction, its eddies had scooped out extensive 
basins. The current, always swift, now rushed 
on still faster, and soon became a line of heavy 
rapids, which more than once made me tremble 
for our poor boat ; for in many parts, not being 
able to land, we were compelled to pull hard to 
keep her under command, and thus flew past 
rocks and other dangers with a velocity that 
seemed to forebode some desperate termination: 
happily, however, we escaped ; though only to 
begin another series. Along the banks of these 
last lay several dead deer, which had doubtless 
been drowned in attempting to swim to the op- 
posite side. At 8 p.m. we arrived near a de- 
tached mountainous rock dipping to the western 



368 SHOOT A MUSK-OX. 

shore of the river, in which quarter the descent, 
now manifest, as well as the hollow roar, plainly 
indicated something which at that late hour it 
was prudent to avoid; and, to say the truth, 
however habit may in most things produce a sort 
of callous indifference to danger, I had abundant 
proof this day that the rule does not always hold 
good, for the very dlite of my men were begin- 
ning to evince a cautiousness which was quite 
new to them ; and the order for encamping was 
executed with a very significant alacrity. 

Within a few hundred yards of us, nine white 
wolves were prowling round a herd of musk 
oxen, one of which was shot ; but, being a bull, 
was too strongly scented to be eaten. As there 
was no possibility of making a portage, should 
it be necessary, on the side where we had en- 
camped, at daylight of the following lorning 
we pulled up stream to cross over, and see if 
it was more favourable on the other side. The 
descent broke over a fall five feet deep, opposite 
to a gloomy chasm in the rock ; but as it did not 
reach quite to the eastern side, the boat was 
enabled to pass it, and then ran the Wolf Rapid. 
Some of the animals whose name it bore seemed 
to be keeping a brisk look-out for what might 
happen. 

Several other rapids (for there was no end of 
them) worked their way between high rocks, 
which now, for the first time since the river had 



NORTHERLY BEND OF THE RIVER. 369 

turned so much to the eastward, lay on that side ; 
a circumstance that I thought augured well for 
a northerly bend at no great distance. But what 
most gratified me was the disappearance of the 
sand-hills, which I beheld as so many enemies to 
our cause, that were gradually leading us away 
to the wrong side of our object. My joy, there- 
fore, may be imagined at seeing, as we advanced, 
that my hopes were, after all, likely to be realized ; 
for the late suspicious trending to the eastward, 
almost in a parallel of latitude, had again created 
doubts in my mind, and set me speculating whe- 
ther the river might not yet terminate in Wager 
Bay. 

Another cache was made, with the addition 
of a little ammunition and tobacco. Some more 
rapids led farther to the north ; and the stream, 
as may be supposed, after the addition of so many 
tributaries, maintained an imposing breadth, 
being, in some parts, upwards of a mile. Both 
sides were hemmed in by mountains, covered as 
usual with boulders and large fragments of loose 
splintery rock, the dark and purplish hue of 
which relieved the green shelving slopes dotted 
with herds of musk oxen. 

A glimpse of the sun at noon gave the latitude 
66° 6' 2V N. ; nearly abreast of a picturesque 
and commanding mountain, with steep sloping 
sides to the south-west, where cattle were feeding, 

B B 



370 MOUNT MEADOWBANK. 

but to the northward broken into fearful preci- 
pices and overhanging cliffs, inaccessible to the 
foot of man. It was by far the most conspicuous 
eminence we had seen \ and, from some fancied 
likeness, the people said, " Here's Hoy Head, — 
give way, boys, we are not far from the sea." 
The remark took me in imagination to Auld 
Reekie ; and I called the hill Mount Meadow- 
bank, in honour of the learned Lord of that 
name. 

After a course of six miles to the south-east, 

the river again veered northerly, rushing with 

fearful impetuosity among rocks and large stones, 

which raised such whirlpools in the rapids as 

would have put the strength of a canoe in 

jeopardy. The boat's breadth of beam and steady 

trim kept her up in such trials ; but, though 

we escaped the rapid, we had a narrow chance 

of being dashed on the beach by the eddy. 

The low projecting point of rock, against which 

we had been thus almost thrown and then 

whirled away from by the receding current, was 

remarkable for a row of piled stones or slabs, 

placed a few feet apart, which, as we shot the 

rapid, were at first mistaken for figures gazing 

at us. On the neighbouring hills and mountains 

were many more of a similar construction, which, 

we could easily understand, might serve for 

marks to guide the natives through the country ; 



ALTITUDE OF THE ROCKS. S7I 

but for what purpose this <c picquet" mounted 
guard at the foot of the rapid, was not quite so 
clear to our comprehensions. 

To the westward the rocks attained consider- 
able altitude, and, comparatively speaking, had 
become even mountainous. They were desolate, 
rugged, and barren ; but to the eastward there 
was more vegetation, on a shelving and regular 
country. More rapids were passed ; and, at 
8 p. m., we encamped under the lee of a high 
rock, partially clad with shrubs and moss, in 
which the musk oxen and deer had tramped deep 
tracks. It was opposite to a solitary bank of 
sand, that formed the western entrance to a small 
river apparently a favourite resort of geese, 
which, having frequented it in numberless flocks 
during the moulting season, had left thousands 
of the finest quills strewed on the sand. Carts 
mifrht have been laden with them. 

The morning of the 27th was cloudy and 
cold ; the thermometer being 40° with a south- 
west wind. We were on the water by 4 
a.m., and were gratified to find that the river 
maintained the same direction, with a breadth 
varying from three quarters of a mile to a mile, 
and with a border of granitic mountains on each 
side. A rapid that was passed caused it to 
deviate a little to the westward ; and, on the 
risrht bank of a second one, more intricate than 

B B 2 



372 THE TRAP FORMATION. 

the first, we observed the marks and traces of 
three circular encampments, the inner portions 
of which were divided into sections, as if for the 
convenience of different occupants. Near this, 
the rocks became steeper, if possible more barren, 
and distinguished from those farther south by 
their precipitous sides and cliffs facing to the 
west and north-west. 

In the afternoon, the stream took a wide 
sweep ; and at a bay to the westward, half 
screened by huge rocks, it received another large 
tributary, which I named after Lieutenant- 
General Sir Thomas Montresor. It was here 
that the trap formation first exhibited itself, rising 
ridge over ridge, like a range of long flat steps, 
with bare and rounded sides, sometimes termi- 
nating precipitously. Many dipped into the 
water in a line with a few sandy islands, which 
sprung, like sugar loaves, from the bosom of the 
stream, and the yellow surfaces of which had an 
appearance of forced and unnatural gaiety, 
amidst the gloom of that dark and desolate 
scenery. 

The swollen river now rolled on in sullen 
and deathlike silence, long undisturbed by any 
thing louder than an occasional bubbling caused 
by the unevenness of the bottom. But the 
shores got nearer and nearer, and, for a space, it 
was quite uncertain in what quarter we should go. 



m c kay's peak. 373 

There was a rocky hill, so remarkably formed 
as to have attracted the attention o£ all of us for 
some time. The base, which was equal in height 
to the surrounding mountains, was one enormous 
mass of round grey rock, surmounted by a large 
cone of the same substance, which so exactly 
resembled in outline the crater of a volcano, 
and was withal so black, that it required no 
straining of the imagination to conceive it one. 
At a distance it was taken for an island ; but as 
we advanced, we found it to be a part of the 
eastern shore, and were soon made aware that 
the contracted outlet of the river lay at its foot. 
On our landing, the steersman volunteered to 
ascend it, to get, as he termed it, " a good look 
at the river;" and in consequence we christened 
it M c Kay's Peak. From its giddy height the 
rapid looked as even and smooth as oil ; and in 
that supposition, having taken the precaution to 
lighten the boat forward, we pushed off, and the 
next minute were in it. I think I shall never for- 
get the moment of the first descent down what 
cannot be more fitly described than as a steep 
hill. There was not, it is true, a single break in 
the smoothness of the surface; but with such 
wild swiftness were we borne along, that it 
required our extremest efforts, the very tug of 
life, to keep the boat clear of the gigantic waves 
below : and we succeeded at last only to be 

b b 3 



374 A SPACIOUS LAKE. 

tossed about in the Charybdis of its almost 
irresistible whirlpools. 

Having got out of this trouble, nothing loth, 
we breathed more freely again in the wide stream, 
which now carried us gently forward. Craggy 
rocks, as before, bordered each side, the western 
being the more open of the two, with undulating 
prairies. At the end of six miles, a sandy bluff 
from the left seemed to bar the river ; but, on 
drawing closer, it proved, as expected, the begin- 
ning of another rapid; which, however, was 
more civil than the last, and allowed us to pass 
with a few good-humoured buffe tings to make 
us free of its waters. 

When we had fairly entered the mountainous 
country, and the river had taken a decided turn 
to the northward, I certainly did not contemplate 
any other interruption than rapids or falls ; my 
astonishment will therefore be understood, when, 
from the foot of the rapids, we emerged into 
the expanse of a spacious lake, bounded only 
by the horizon, and stretching away in a direction 
about N.N.W. For a while the current was 
felt, and guided us on ; but soon the old difficulty 
was experienced, and we had again to grope our 
way towards the river as we might. A cold 
head-wind with rain did not aid this operation ; 
and as the evening was already far advanced, we 
encamped, — after which divine service was read 



OPEN INTO A BAY. 375 

in the tent. I had already been to the summit 
of a tolerably high hill, but could not descry 
any land : there was, however, much ice in a 
N.N.W. bearing; and the space between the 
western shore and us, which might be from five 
to six miles, was quickly filling up by the 
drifting masses from the main body. It was, 
therefore, an important consideration to push 
on as fast as possible, and secure the passage 
that was still left ; but whether in effecting this 
the right or the left side should be preferred, was 
a question that I had some difficulty in solving. 
The general direction of the last two days would 
have inclined me to lean to the western shore ; 
but depending on the marks, which were now 
seen on every height, I chose the other ; and 
starting at 4 a. m., July 28., with a chilly north- 
west wind, and the thermometer at 38°, we made 
for an island right ahead, and bearing N.N.E. 

A short breaking sea and the ice together 
considerably impeded our progress; but on reach- 
ing the island, we opened upon a bay, into which 
I pulled, with the double purpose of finding the 
river if it were there, or of creeping under a wea- 
ther shore if it were not ; and after a course of 
about three miles to an island, which formed a 
strait with the mainland, we had the satisfaction to 
find that the current was running with us to the 
eastward. Leaving the lake, therefore, which, as 

b b 4 



376 EXTRICATION 

a slight token of my sincere regard, I called 
after my friend Captain Sir John Franklin, whose 
name will always be associated with this portion 
of America, we* followed the stream, which, as 
usual, soon broke into a rapid : this was safely 
passed ; but the next, close to it, demanded 
more caution ; for, from its breadth, which was 
not less than three quarters of a mile, and the 
white spray which was rising at the vanishing 
line, it was clearly not to be ventured on with- 
out a preliminary examination. And fortunate 
it was that the precaution was taken ; for there 
was a rapidly inclined descent of twenty feet, 
divided at the upper end by two islands, and 
at the lower end by one, thickly spread with 
perpendicular slabs set up as marks, three or four 
feet high, and many even more. The entire space 
of the rapid was shoal, and encumbered with 
stones, which threw up a continuous sheet of 
foam ; but an inner channel along the western 
bank admitted of the boat's being lowered down 
quite light with ropes and poles as far as the 
lower island. Here, however, there was an 
awkward fall, which it was impossible to lower 
down, — neither was the ground practicable for 
a launch. The only method, therefore, which 
remained for extricating her from her present 
situation, however dangerous the attempt, was 
to plunge into the breakers outside the island. 



FROM A PERILOUS POSITION. 377 

Prudence, and a proper regard for the safety of 
my companions, made me hesitate at this trying 
juncture; but at length, placing a just reliance 
on Providence, and encouraged by the manifest- 
ation of that ardour which rendered the men 
superior to danger, I ordered the movement to 
be made, directing those who were to execute 
it to keep near the outer bank of the island, and 
if possible to land and lower down. In a few 
seconds they were out of sight ; and anxiously, 
with Mr. King, I took my station on a hill that 
commanded the foot of the rapid, as well as the 
point round which they were to come. Treble 
the time elapsed that was requisite to bring them 
within sight, and still they did not appear. I 
scoured the river with the telescope, yet saw 
nothing but water and rock. In vain we strained 
our sight, in vain listened for a voice ; nothing 
was heard or seen but the torrent, which raged 
and rolled on heedless of our anxiety. At this 
painful crisis, when apprehension was beginning 
to prevail over hope, the boat suddenly appeared, 
seeming to cut her way through the solid land of 
the lower part of the island, where, as we after- 
wards learned, there was a very narrow and shoal 
channel, entirely concealed from us, through which 
the men had cautiously lifted her. The trouble 
attending this proceeding had caused the delay 
which had alarmed us; nor was it until noon 



378 SLUGGISHNESS OF THE COMPASS NEEDLES. 

that the arrangements were again completed for 
resuming the journey. 

' I may take occasion to remark here, that ever 
since leaving Rock Rapid, the compass needles 
had been getting daily more sluggish ; and at 
this place, where there were many rocks in 
situ, or lying in fragments on the mossy soil, 
though I could not find that these directly 
affected them, they would hardly traverse at all 
when at rest ; and mine frequently remained 
wherever it was placed, without evincing the 
slightest tendency to recover its polarity. How- 
ever, the constant jerking motion of pulling did 
so far move them about as to enable me to get 
the courses with some approach to exactness, 
though certainly not so as to be depended upon 
without the assistance of the chronometers. 

A fine open reach ahead at first held out 
the prospect of repaying us for lost time ; but, 
at the end of three miles, the river became 
again pent in by almost meeting rocks of con- 
siderable altitude, the summits of which were 
crowned with the usual upright marks, still 
more numerous even than before. The disap- 
pearance of the surface line of water, and 
successive jets of mist thrown up against the 
grey rocks, gave unequivocal tokens of a fall ; 
and, while examining the rapid that led to it, 
we perceived that, besides the marks on the 







; 

















n 









JS- 



ESQUIMAUX. 379 

eastern hill, there were many active and bust- 
ling figures, either pressing in a close group or 
running about from place to place, in manifest 
confusion. These were the Esquimaux, of whom 
we had so long and ardently wished to get 
a sight. Some called out to us, and others 
made signs, warning us, as we thought, to avoid 
the fall, and cross over to their side of the 
water : but when our intention of doing so 
was apparent, the men ran towards us, brand- 
ishing their spears, uttering loud yells, and, 
with wild gesticulations, motioning to us not to 
land. For all this I was quite prepared, know- 
ing the alarm which they must naturally feel 
at beholding strangers issuing from a quarter 
whence hitherto the scourge of merciless war- 
fare only had visited their tribes. As the boat 
grounded they formed into a semicircle, about 
twenty-five paces distant ; and with the same 
yelling of some unintelligible word, and the 
alternate elevation and depression of both ex- 
tended arms, apparently continued in the high- 
est state of excitement : until, landing alone, 
and without visible weapon, I walked delibe- 
rately up to them, and, imitating their own 
action of throwing up my hands, called out 
Tima, — peace. In an instant their spears 
were flung upon the ground; and, putting their 
hands on their breasts, they also called out 



380 ESQUIMAUX. 

Tima, with much more doubtless greatly to 
the purpose, but to me of course utterly unin- 
telligible. However, I interpreted it into friend- 
ship ; and, on that supposition, I endeavoured 
to make them comprehend that we were not In- 
dians, but Kabloonds — Europeans — come to 
benefit not to injure them ; and as they did not, 
like their neighbours to the north, go through 
the ceremony of rubbing noses by way of sa- 
lutation, I adopted the John Bull fashion of 
shaking each of them heartily by the hand. 
Then patting their breasts, according to their 
own manner, I conveyed to them, as well as I 
could, that the white men and the Esquimaux 
were very good friends, 

All this seemed to give great satisfaction, 
which was certainly not diminished by a pre- 
sent to each of two new shining buttons. 
These, some fish-hooks, and other trifles of 
a like kind, were the only articles which I had 
brought for this purpose, being strongly op- 
posed to the customary donation of knives, 
hatchets, and other sharp instruments, which 
may be so easily turned to use against the party 
presenting them. They expressed much asto- 
nishment at seeing me constantly refer to a small 
vocabulary with which Mr. Lewis, of the Com- 
pany's service, had been kind enough to provide 
me; and were waggish enough to laugh at 
my patchwork discourse of mispronounced and 



VISIT TO THEIR TENTS. 381 

misapplied words, and scarcely more intelligible 
signs. Whilst we were thus engaged, some old 
men, half blind, came tottering up with their 
spears, accompanied by two equally old women, 
carrying short and rudely fashioned iron knives, 
which, like the sword of the redoubted Hudi- 
bras, would do to toast or strike withal ; but, 
perceiving the uplifted hands of their friends, 
the men threw their spears on the ground. 

Conceiving that I had now in some degree 
gained their confidence, though not so entirely 
but that each held the knife or stiletto-shaped 
horn grasped in his hand by way of precaution, 
I suppose, against treachery, I directed M c Kay 
and Sinclair to go and examine the fall, with a 
view to run it, if possible, and so avoid the 
making a portage, fearing lest the sight of our 
baggage might tempt the natives to steal, and 
so provoke a rupture. They understood at 
once what we were about ; so, to draw off their 
attention, I went with them to their tents, 
which were three in number, one single and 
two joined together, constructed in the usual 
manner with poles and skins. On our arrival, 
I was struck with the sight of a sort of circum- 
vallation of piled stones, precisely similar to 
those which we had passed, and arranged, as 
I conjectured, to serve for shields against the 
missiles of their enemies ; as, besides the bow, 



382 ESQUIMAUX. 

arrow, and spear, these people make a most 
effective use of the sling. Many clogs, of an 
inferior size, were basking in the sunshine, and 
thousands of fish lay all around split, and ex- 
posed to dry on the rocks, the roes appearing 
to be particularly prized. These, which were 
white fish and small trout, had been caught in 
the eddy below the fall, and kept alive in pools 
constructed for the purpose. The women and 
children, about a dozen in number, came out of 
the tents to see me ; and the men pointed out 
their own helpmates and offspring with apparent 
fondness. Beads were soon distributed to both 
the women and children, and in return they gave 
me some trifles of their own rude manufacture. 
By this time the steersman reported the imprac- 
ticability of getting down the fall, owing to a dan- 
gerous rock near the centre ; and was instructed, 
in consequence, to have the baggage carried over 
the portage, in such a manner that one person 
should always be with the depot, while Mr. 
King, who had general directions never to lose 
sight of the boat, would superintend the whole. 
While the crew were thus occupied, I took 
upon me the part of amusing the Esquimaux, 
by sketching their likenesses and writing down 
their names. This gratified them exceedingly ; 
but their merriment knew no bounds when I 
attempted, what was really no easy task, to 



ESQUIMAUX. 383 

pronounce what I had written. There might 
have been about thirty-five altogether ; and, as 
far as I could make out, they had never seen 
" Kabloonds" before. They had a cast of 
countenance superior to that of such of their 
nation as I had hitherto seen, indicating less 
of low cunning than is generally stamped on 
their features ; though, in most other respects, 
sufficiently resembling them. The men were 
of the average stature, well knit, and athletic. 
They were not tattooed, neither did their vanity 
incommode them with the lip and nose orna- 
ments of those farther west ; but, had they 
been disciples of the ancient fathers, who con- 
sidered "the practice of shaving as a lie against 
our own faces," they could not have nurtured a 
more luxuriant growth of beard, or cultivated 
more flowing mustachoes. In the former they 
yielded the palm only to that of Master George 
Killingworth, "which was not only thick, broad, 
and yellow-coloured, but in length five feet and 
two inches of assize."* 

The women were much tattooed about the 
face and the middle and fourth fingers. The 
only lady whose portrait was sketched was so 
flattered at being selected for the distinction, 
that in her fear lest I should not sufficiently see 

* Barrow's Chron. Hist, of Voyages, c. Hakluyt. 



384< PORTRAIT OF AN ESQUIMAUX WOMAN. 

every grace of her good-tempered countenance, 
she intently watched my eye ; and, according to 
her notion of the part I was pencilling, protruded 
it, or turned it so as to leave me no excuse for not 
delineating it in the full proportion of its beauty. 
Thus, seeing me look at her head, she immedi- 
ately bent it down ; stared portentously when I 
sketched her eyes ; puffed out her cheeks when 
their turn arrived ; and, finally, perceiving that 
I was touching in the mouth, opened it to the 
full extent of her jaws, and thrust out the whole 
length of her tongue. She had six tattooed 
lines drawn obliquely from the nostrils across 
each cheek ; eighteen from her mouth across her 
chin and the lower part of the face ; ten small 
ones, branching like a larch tree from the corner 
of each eye ; and eight from the forehead to the 
centre of the nose between the eyebrows. But 
what was most remarkable in her appearance 
was the oblique position of the eyes ; the inner 
portion of which was considerably depressed, 
whilst the other was proportionately elevated. 
The nostrils were a good deal expanded, and the 
mouth large. Her hair was jet black, and simply 
parted in front into two large curls, or rather 
festoons, which were secured in their places by 
a fillet of white deer skin twined round the head, 
whilst the remainder hung loose behind the ears, 
or flowed not ungracefully over her neck and 







K 






X 





Ife^ 






■ 



\ v- 









ESQUIMAUX. 385 

shoulders. She was the most conspicuous, 
though they were all of the same family : they 
were singularly clean in their persons and gar- 
ments; and, notwithstanding the linear embel- 
lishments of their faces, in whose mysterious 
figures a mathematician might perhaps have 
found something to solve or perplex, they pos- 
sessed a sprightliness which gave them favour in 
the eyes of my crew, who declared M they were 
a set of bonnie-looking creatures." 

There was no other peculiarity to distinguish 
the tribe from those pourtrayed by Parry and 
Franklin ; except in one wild-looking man, who 
having on a pair of musk-ox skin breeches, with 
all the honours of the shaggy mane outside, 
reminded me strongly of the fabled satyrs of 
the olden time. But he was a character even 
among Esquimaux. 

They had only five keiyaks or canoes ; and the 
few implements they possessed were merely such 
as were indispensable for the procuring of food ; 
viz. knives, spears, and arrows. The blades of 
the first and the heads of the last were sometimes 
horn, but oftener rough iron, and had probably 
been obtained by barter from their eastern neigh- 
bours ; a conjecture to which I am inclined to 
attach the more weight from the fact that the 
models of some of their little presents resembled 

c c 



386 ESQUIMAUX INFORMATION AS TO THE COAST. 

the Indian daggers disposed of at the Company's 
posts throughout the country. 

They knew nothing of any ship having been 
in Regent's Inlet ; but after I had sketched the 
river near them, one of the most intelligent 
took the pencil, and at my request drew the 
coast line from its mouth, which, he said, we 
would reach on the following day; and after 
prolonging it thence a little to the northward, 
made an extraordinary bend to the southward. 
On my asking if it were indeed so far south, 
he took me to the highest rock, from which a 
range of distant mountains was visible to the 
east ; and first extending his arm towards the 
sea, nearly north, he drew his body backward in 
a curved attitude, projecting his hand so as to inti- 
mate the trending of the land in that direction. 
Continuing then to make a curve with his hand 
from west to east, he turned slowly round, repeating 
very quick, " Tarreoke, tarreoke,"— the sea, the 
sea ; and having got to a bearing about E.S. £., 
he suddenly stopped, accompanying the action 
with the observation of "Tarreoke naga," &c. ; 
importing that in that direction there was no 
sea, but plenty of musk oxen. He was also ac- 
quainted with Akkoolee, which my readers will 
perhaps recollect as having been named to Sir 
E. Parry by the Esquimaux in Hecla and Fury 
Strait, and intimated by a repetition of the same 



DIFFICULTY OF COMMUNICATING WITH THEM. 387 

movement that his tribe took that course to go 
thither. From this action, perfectly in keeping 
with the outline he had drawn, it was natural to 
infer the jutting out of some promontory, from 
which the shore took a complete turn south of 
our position ; an intimation which, far from ex- 
citing surprise, only strengthened the opinion 
which, in common with many others conversant 
with the subject, I had always entertained of a 
continuous coast line, probably indented with 
bays, between Point Turnagain and some part of 
Regent's Inlet. Had it been the will of Provi- 
dence that poor Augustus should have been 
with me, this and numberless other uncertainties 
would have been definitively set at rest; but 
where there is no common language for the inter- 
change of ideas, all conclusions must at best be 
uncertain ; and few men have so much mastery 
over themselves as not to lean almost unconsci- 
ously towards a preconceived opinion. Inde- 
pendently of the difficulty of catching the mean- 
ing of their quickly uttered sentences, of which 
the sounds escaped the memory, I was further 
unfortunate in the dissimilarity of my vocabulary 
(taken from Sir E. Parry's works) to their dialect ; 
though this, perhaps, was not greater than might 
be found in the same distance any where else, as 
for example between London and some parts of 
Lancashire, the respective aboriginals of which 



c c 2 



388 FRIENDLINESS OF THE ESQUIMAUX. 

would be not a little puzzled to find out each 
other's meaning. 

However, as regarded the Esquimaux, there 
could be no mistaking the word " tarreoke," — 
the expressive action, — or the delineation, which 
latter I have preserved. 

Information was now brought me that the 
crew were quite unequal to the task of convey- 
ing the boat over the portage, even by launch- 
ing, our last resource. So, like a prudent general, 
I at once changed my tactics ; and, taking ad- 
vantage of the good-humour of our new acquaint- 
ances, requested them to give us a helping hand. 
The request was cheerfully complied with, and, 
with their assistance, we succeeded in carry- 
ing the boat below the fall ; so that, in reality, 
I was indebted to them for getting to the sea at 
all. Altogether, indeed, whether owing to their 
natural inoffensiveness or to the fewness of their 
numbers, they were good-natured and friendly. 
They seemed, moreover, to have some notion of 
the rights of property ; for one of them having 
picked up a small piece of pemmican, repeatedly 
asked my permission before he would eat it. 

It was late when we got away, and then the 
breadth and deep bays of the river so puzzled us 
that we went astray. Having at last, with much 
trouble, regained the current, we were carried to 
some mountains on the western shore, where 



FIRST VIEW OF THE COAST. 389 

we encamped, and appointed a watch for the 
night. 

By 4 a.m., July 29th, we were afloat ; but the 
weather was cloudy and cold, with a northerly 
breeze, and the thermometer at 41J°. At sun- 
rise a fog began to spread, and soon became 
so dense that we found ourselves in the midst 
of several rapids before we were in the least 
aware of their presence ; and subsequently the 
breeze freshened, and the fog increased so much, 
that, unable to see distinctly, we were obliged 
to lie by until it should clear. In the meantime 
the sun occasionally broke through the clouds, 
and enabled me to obtain observations, the 
results of which were, latitude 67 7' 31" N., 
longitude 94° 39' 45" W. ; and the variation by 
the sun's bearing with Rater's compass, the one 
commonly used, 8° 30' W. * 

The afternoon permitted us to proceed ; and 
it was while threading our way between some 
sand-banks, with a strong current, that we first 
caught sight of a majestic headland in the extreme 
distance to the north, which had a coast-like 
appearance. This important promontory was 
subsequently honoured by receiving the name of 
Her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria. The 
sand-banks also now became broken into cliffs, 

* See Appendix. 

c c 3 



390 MOUTH OF THE THLEW-EE-CHOH. 

which, dwindling away on the eastern side to a 
vanishing point, subsided on the western into 
low flats, the level of which was just broken by 
half a dozen sandy knolls sparingly tipped with 
a few blades of dry grass. The banks on this side 
were cut by several channels leading to the left, 
but shallow, and not navigable. The country on 
both sides was swampy, and gradually sloped 
upwards to the distant mountains. 

This then may be considered as the mouth of 
theThlew-ee-choh, which, after a violent and tor- 
tuous course of five hundred and thirty geogra- 
phical miles, running through an iron-ribbed coun- 
try without a single tree on the whole line of its 
banks, expanding into fine large lakes with clear 
horizons, most embarrassing to the navigator, and 
broken into falls, cascades, and rapids, to the 
number of no less than eighty-three in the whole, 
pours its waters into the Polar Sea in latitude 
67° 11' 00" N., and longitude 94° SO' 0" W. ; 
that is to say, about thirty-seven miles more south 
than the mouth of the Copper Mine River, and 
nineteen miles more south than that of Back's 
River at the lower extremity of Bathurst's Inlet. 

The rush of the current, opposed by a fresh 
breeze, and possibly by the tide, raised such 
high and breaking waves as we put out with an 
intention of gaining the headland, that the laden 
boat was unable to resist them, and shipped a 



ICE TO THE WESTWARD. 391 

great deal of water. It became therefore not 
only prudent but necessary to pull into a bay, 
which in the map is distinguished as Cockburn's 
Bay, being so named in compliment to the first 
Chairman of the Arctic Committee, Vice- Ad- 
miral Sir George Cockburn, to whose valuable 
exertions in organising the expedition I have 
already borne testimony. From the summit of 
an adjacent rock we could discern large quanti- 
ties of ice to the westward, apparently close to 
the shore, which in that direction extended from 
twelve to fifteen miles ; but the view being in- 
terrupted by the jutting out of the headland, 
its farther direction could not be ascertained. It 
must have been high water when we landed, which 
was at 7 p» m. of the day after the last quarter of 
the moon ; for at about an hour past midnight, 
the boat, which had been left afloat in a snugly 
sheltered place, was found high and dry on the 
beach. A fresh breeze with squalls having con- 
tinued through the night, it was not practicable 
to move until 10 a. m. ; and this detention gave 
me an opportunity of getting sights which placed 
us in latitude 67 20' 31" N., and longitude 
94° 28' 14" W. : on this occasion the compass 
was placed upon the sandy beach, about a quarter 
of a mile from the nearest rocks, and agreed 
with two others held in the hand. 

The appearance of so much ice to the west- 

c c 4 



392 POINT BACKHOUSE. 

ward determined me to keep along the high 
shore where we were ; and having rounded 
Victoria Headland, we passed a picturesque 
waterfall tumbling from the rocks above, and 
came to a high craggy point, which I named 
after my friend John Backhouse, Esquire, the 
able and excellent Under-Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs. Near this was a tolerably large 
island, and some others were seen more to the 

westward. 

The weather was fine and calm, the tide 
ebbing; and some seals that quietly gazed at 
our invasion of their domain afforded amuse- 
ment to the men, as they sunk and rose again 
without causing even a ripple that could be dis- 
cerned. The shores were now becoming farther 
apart ; and as I wished, if possible, to coast on 
the other side, in order that advantage might be 
taken of any favourable openings for the passage 
to Point Turnagain, which, under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, we had plenty of time to reach, I 
landed at a mountain, and traced a line of ice 
from a bay on the western shore to a point di- 
rectly opposite, which has been called after 
Rear-Admiral Gage. The haze of the atmo- 
sphere, however, prevented the distance from 
being clearly defined ; but it was at all events 
cheering to behold clear water as far as the 
eye could penetrate ; and though it was of 



IRBY AND MANGLES' BAY. 393 

course not desirable to get hampered with the 
western ice, yet I determined to keep it in sight 
until we should be able to effect a crossing to the 
main shore beyond it. Some small islands were 
seen to our left, after which we opened a spacious 
bay five or six miles deep, and very broad (called 
after Captains Irby and Mangles, the Eastern tra- 
vellers), which it took us between three and four 
hours to traverse. At this time there was every 
reason to anticipate a prosperous issue of our 
voyage westward within ten days, even though 
less distances should be made than during the 
last ten hours ; but as we n eared a projecting 
barren rock, about eight hundred feet high, form- 
ing the northern point of the bay (and which has 
been designated Point Beaufort, after the present 
distinguished hydrographer of the navy), drift 
ice came round it so suspiciously quick, that we 
found it prudent to land for the purpose of se- 
curing the boat from damage by hauling her on 
the shelving part, where alone it was possible. 
Eagerly did I clamber up the slippery sides, in 
the hope of beholding from the height a free 
and open sea ; but the first glance as I topped 
the crest was sufficient to chill that hope, and a 
careful inspection with the telescope produced 
the unwelcome conviction that our future progress 
must be worked out by slow and laborious efforts. 
From the horizon to within two miles of where 



394> REFLECTIONS. 

I stood glared one solid body of drift ice, con- 
necting both shores. 

The shore to the westward was, for a like 
reason, unapproachable ; and though a strong 
southerly gale might disperse the entire mass, 
yet there was no predicting when that would 
happen, whilst it was certain that a very few 
days of delay would inevitably be fatal to our 
object. It was, indeed, a mortifying consider- 
ation, that after surmounting so many toils and 
perils on that long and difficult river, we might 
be thus checked at the very place where, from 
past experience of the sea to the westward, I 
least expected such a disaster ; and I could 
scarcely help entertaining some apprehension, 
that we might be at the southern extremity of 
a deep inlet, from which a change of wind alone 
could release us. 

Doubly, therefore, was I grateful that the 
primary object of the service had been provi- 
dentially anticipated. Had it been otherwise, 
the delay thus occasioned would have been 
still more mortifying. 

July 31st. — A fresh breeze from the south- 
ward sprung up about midnight ; yet a thin 
crust of ice was formed on the pools of water 
about the rocks. At daylight, the main body 
of the ice was found to be closely packed 
against the western shore, which extended 



OUR PROGRESS ARRESTED. 395 

fifteen or twenty miles abreast of us, and thence 
bent into a deep bay, trending afterwards to the 
northward until it bore N. by W. and blended 
with the icy horizon. The wind had so far acted 
as to drive the whole mass near a quarter of a 
mile away from the eastern shore, leaving thereby 
a clear passage for a length of fourteen miles in 
a N.E. direction. Beyond this we could not 
define any land, except a blue bluff, whose base 
was white with refracted ice, and which bore still 
farther to the right. It was evident, therefore, 
that we were at the narrowest part of the open- 
ing, where it would be most convenient to cross ; 
if, indeed, this were not the only place in which 
we could safely do so, in an undecked boat, al- 
ready damaged from the shocks she had received 
in the falls and rapids ; and, however anxious, as 
it may well be supposed I was, to achieve as 
much as possible, I could not but be sensible 
that to have pursued the lane to the eastward, 
and, according to the Esquimaux's outline, 
rounded the bluff to the southward, would only 
have been to depart more widely from our course, 
and to retrograde instead of advancing. Nor 
was this all : to have taken that course, amidst 
the obstacles which surrounded us, might per- 
haps have involved us in perilous if not in inex- 
tricable difficulties ; for the westerly gales, which 
on these shores not unfrequently commence 



396 OBSERVATIONS. 

early in the season, might pack the drift ice 
to the eastward, so as to render our return in 
the boat utterly impossible. We had therefore 
nothing for it but to yield to necessity, and wait 
submissively until nature should remove the 
barrier which she had placed. 

About 3 p. m. it was low water, that is, an ebb 
of about eight inches was observable on the shin- 
gle, and the taste of the water at that time was 
brackish and bad. We had reason to know 
this from the carelessness of my servant, who 
having been accustomed to fill his kettles for 
cooking at the river and lakes, thoughtlessly did 
the same thing here, and consequently spoiled 
the tea. To beguile the tediousness of the de- 
tention, I made a regular set of observations, 
which were very interesting, more especially as 
regarded Hansteen's needle. It was exceed- 
ingly difficult to adjust, but remained perfectly 
in after the set was finished. Its vibrations were 
even and regular, but very slow ; the interval 
between each having increased to three minutes 
and Jive seconds. On the contrary, Dollond's 
dipping needle, No. 2., moved more freely than 
I remembered to have seen it. The latitude 
was 67° 41' 24" N., longitude 95° 9! 16" W., 
variation 6° 0' W. \ thermometer 72° in the 
tent. 

August 1st. — The only perceptible difference 



LAND IN A BAY. 397 

in the ice this morning was, that it had closed a 
little to the east : no opening was seen by which 
a passage could be made to the other side, until 
about 10 a.m., when I fancied that with the 
telescope I could make out a small lane bearing 
N. W. The boat was immediately launched ; 
and with sails and oars together we effected our 
purpose in three hours and a half, having passed 
on our way an island, to which has been given 
the name of my companion Mr. King. We 
landed in a small bay, as we supposed on the 
main, not far from some old Esquimaux en- 
campments, indicated by four wells or shafts for 
the preservation of their meat. A party was 
immediately despatched to examine the state of 
the ice in a bay to the westward, while I walked 
along the rocks to another point with the same 
view; but the result of our examinations only 
confirmed our worst fears, the ice being closely 
packed as far as the eye could reach. However, 
this also was drift ice, so that all hope was not 
shut out, as a westerly wind might and probably 
would clear a channel inshore ; but as there 
was no immediate prospect of this, the breeze 
being from the N. E., we unloaded, and hauled 
the boat upon the beach to save her from being 
crushed by the pressure of the ice. The dis- 
tance travelled this day was about twelve miles 
from shore to shore, and this may be considered 



398 OBSERVATIONS. 

as the narrowest part of the mouth of the estuary. 
The coast here was much lower and shelving 
than the precipitous and bold one we had left; 
but we observed the same naked and round- 
backed rocks as at Point Beaufort; differing, 
however, in colour, the latter being composed 
almost entirely of a light flesh-tinted felspar and 
splintery quartz, whilst these consisted wholly of 
a dark grey felspar with minute granular quartz, 
and perhaps hornblende. Among the debris on 
the beach, it was not a little surprising to find 
fragments of limestone, though no rocks of that 
formation had yet been passed. 

The following day brought no change for the 
better ; for the north-east wind had packed the 
ice still closer to the shore. As it was therefore 
impossible to move, I took the opportunity of 
making some further observations on the dip and 
magnetic intensity, which latter showed a less 
interval ; an anomaly ascribable perhaps to the 
difference of situation, as in this instance the 
stand was placed on a sandy beach, removed 
sixty or seventy yards from the nearest rocks, 
whereas on the former it stood on the very base 
of the rock where we were encamped. It is 
necessary to remark, however, that the smallest 
piece of iron deranged the needles, especially 
Hansteen's ; and I have reason to believe that 
even my brace-buckles caused a material differ- 




^ 






K 
























MONTREAL ISLAND. 399 

ence. Towards night some men, who had been 
despatched to the westward, reported that we 
were not on the main shore, but on a large island 
adjoining to it ; a discovery which they had ac- 
cidentally made by following two deer until they 
swam across the narrow channel of separation. 
Upon this I called the place Montreal Island, 
in commemoration of the attention we had re- 
ceived from the public-spirited and hospitable 
inhabitants of that city; and as well from the ex- 
istence of an inner passage, as from my own ob- 
servation of the ice, I began again to entertain a 
hope that a south-west gale would clear a way 
for us, though in the direction towards which we 
were bound there was at present one compact 
mass before us to the horizon. A tide-pole which 
we set up showed a rise of twelve inches ; the 
highest being at ll h 40 m a.m., and the lowest 
at T 20 ra p.M. There may, however, in this be 
an error of a few minutes, and it is not impro- 
bable that the irregularity may have been aug- 
mented by the vast floating bodies of ice and 
other accidental causes. 

August 3d. — Parties were sent out in dif- 
ferent directions to see if there was any possibi- 
lity of creeping alongshore among the grounded 
pieces, but they were all so close that the at- 
tempt would have been useless. Indeed, under 
the most favourable circumstances we could only 



400 ICE BROKEN UP. 

have reached a stony point half a mile distant, 
against which the ice was thrown up in heaps. 
The main body was still unbroken, and appa- 
rently unaltered, except to the eastward, where 
an E.S. E. wind had opened a partial lane, of 
which the termination, however, could be easily 
traced. Our evening was spent in the perform- 
ance of divine service. 

The night set in with a gale from S.S.E., ac- 
companied by heavy rain, two powerful auxilia- 
ries in our cause ; and most agreeable was it to 
find in the morning that they had done good 
service, having crushed and heaped a great deal 
oficeonthe beach. With the continuance of 
the gale the sea rose, and obliged us to move 
the boat and baggage farther inland ; but this 
was done cheerfully, for there was comfort in 
watching the havoc made by the rolling surf. 
Already it had reduced a barrier of three hun- 
dred feet, which effectually blocked up the 
communication, to a breadth of not more than 
twenty feet ; and this also was destroyed a 
little after high water at l h p.m.* My anxiety 
forbade me to rest, and I went to the most 
northerly part of the island, about three miles 
off, where, taking a station on a rock about 
two hundred and fifty feet high, near some 
marks of the Esquimaux, I perceived a consider- 

* New moon. 



A MUSK-OX KILLED. 401 

able alteration in the position of the ice within 
the last twenty-four hours. It still adhered to 
both shores, from N.W. by W. to N. E. § E., 
the former ridges unfortunately being nearly 
abreast of our encampment. These were the 
extremes ; but the main and central portion had 
opened in the shape of the letter V, to the width 
of from ten to twelve miles to the northward and 
westward; thus encouraging the expectation 
that it would yet be forced out as soon as the 
effect was felt to seaward. 

To divert the attention of the men, who, hav- 
ing nothing to do, remembered that they would 
have to ascend the numerous falls and rapids 
they had come down, and began to magnify 
the difficulty, and even to talk of the im- 
practicability of the task, I sent them all after 
a musk-ox, which I had by chance discovered 
feeding under the lee of some high rocks, and 
which was eventually killed. It was a young 
cow ; and, being devoid of the disagreeable 
flavour of the older animals, afforded us two 
luxurious meals. Mr. King shot a red-breasted 
phalarope, only two of which kind had before 
been found in a swamp near the Rock Rapid. 
The island, indeed, was literally covered with 
plover, black-breasted and brown phalaropes, 
and a sort of large brown duck with plumage not 
unlike that of the hen pheasant. These last were 

D D 



402 BIRDS ON THE ISLAND. 

divers, and were at that time busied in tending 
their young broods, which they defended with 
great courage against the attacks of a half-terrier 
dog that swam after them for some time, but was 
at last fairly beaten off. The birds here men- 
tioned, with black and white snow-birds, boat- 
swains, gulls, tern, brown cranes, and loons or 
northern divers, were the only birds which we 
saw. The temperature of a duck just killed 
was 108°, and that of the ground, which was 
gravelly and frozen at twenty two inches below 
the surface, 37°. 

August 5th. — The weather was gloomy, with 
continued rain ; and the gale kept up a heavy 
surf, which threw several pieces of sea-weed on 
the beach. I returned to my station on the hill, 
and was something cheered by seeing a larger 
space of open water than before, though the 
same white line of ice extended across the ho- 
rizon from shore to shore at a part where the 
distance was estimated at five-and-twenty or 
thirty miles. But the beneficial effect of the 
wind was more clearly shown in the channel 
between Montreal Island and the main, which 
was now perfectly free ; and I waited only for 
the first moderating of the weather to take advan- 
tage of it, as every mile, under circumstances 
like ours, was an acquisition of no trifling im- 
portance. The moss and a sort of fern that we 



PROGRESS WESTWARD OF THE ISLAND. 403 

used for firing had become so saturated with the 
rain that they would not ignite, and we had 
consequently to forego our greatest comfort, the 
luxury of a warm cup of tea. Pemmican and 
water, however, served our turn tolerably well, 
though the least indisposed to that useful com- 
pound had long been satiated, and were now 
content with half the usual allowance. At 10 
p.m. there was less wind, and the swell had 
rather abated ; and although from the aspect of 
the clouds there was reason to expect a renewal 
of the gale rather than a calm, it was an occasion 
not to be lost, and the boat was launched. We 
pulled round the south-west part of the island, 
the northern being encumbered with rocks and 
shoals, which in the event of a sudden squall 
would have proved troublesome, and even dan- 
gerous. The tide was flowing, and therefore 
against us ; and a dense wet fog coming on soon 
afterwards from the southward, enveloped us at 
once in cold and darkness. Having passed an 
extensive opening, which was taken for a bay, 
and received the name of the Honourable Captain 
Elliot of the Admiralty, sail was made on the 
boat ; and by midnight we were opposite our old 
encampment. At that time not a particle of 
ice was visible ahead, and the men, encouraged 
by so unexpected a sight, put out their utmost 
strength at the oars to gain a blue streak of land 

d d 2 



404 MCKAY, ETC. DESPATCHED 

far away to the north ; but one and all must 
have been under some optical illusion, for in a 
quarter of an hour (such is the uncertainty of 
all human calculations) we were entangled in 
drift ice, which but too evidently was the ad- 
vanced guard of the main body. Several at- 
tempts were made to land, but were rendered 
abortive by the shoalness of the water ; and it 
was not until 2 h 30 ra a. m. that, after working 
with much trouble and no little risk to the boat 
between the thick drifting ice, we at length suc- 
ceeded. The boat was then unloaded, and 
hauled up above high-water mark. 

The weather was at this time calm, but gloomy 
and unsettled; and heavy rain soon followed. 
Having refreshed the men with a glass of grog, 
I appointed M c Kay, Sinclair, and Taylor, who 
were the best walkers, to proceed on foot along 
the coast as far as they could, leaving it to their 
discretion whether to absent themselves for a 
longer time than twenty-four hours, according to 
the probability that might exist of our getting 
forward. Besides noticing the state of the ice, 
they were desired to examine carefully the nature 
and trending of the western land, on their report 
of which depended the execution of a plan 
which had been for some time in contemplation, 
as a last resource in the event of our progress 
being shortly arrested. 



ALONG THE COAST ON FOOT. 405 

As the day advanced, the rain fell in torrents, 
and of course prevented the fern from burning ; 
but a more grievous spectacle was the dull white 
ice drifting again to the southward in melancholy 
succession towards the channel through which 
we had passed ; and, by the occasional gleams of 
light which broke through the rain-charged at- 
mosphere, we had the mortification to behold the 
narrow line of water on which our hopes de- 
pended gradually transformed into a compact 
and solid field of ice. The eastern shore was 
but once distinguishable ; and scarcely more so 
a point much nearer to us, which has been called 
after the Honourable Captain Duncan, with 
whom my former friend and companion, the 
lamented Mr. Hood, had served in his Majesty's 
ship LifFey. Late at night the exploring party 
returned, fagged and depressed. They described 
the land as being low, and so swampy that at 
each step they sank to the calf of the leg, and were 
only prevented from going deeper by the frozen 
earth and ice, which at that depth sustained 
them. The day had been unfavourable for a 
distant view ; but from a low point fifteen miles 
off, the coast was observed to trend westerly 
towards some high blue lands like mountains, 
where there was an appearance of open water ; 
but whether of the sea, or of an inland lake, the 
atmosphere was too hazy to enable them to 

d d 3 



406 FURTHER PROGRESS. 

determine. At the point they had counted from 
thirty to forty old Esquimaux encampments, and 
many others were seen a little farther off; from 
whence it may be inferred that the natives re- 
sort to this place in the winter for the purpose 
of catching seals. One glimpse only had been 
caught of the eastern coast, and that showed 
it set fast with ice, which was said to be jam- 
med also against the western beach the whole 
way of their march. Three deer had been 
shot, but could not be cooked for want of dry 
fuel. 

August 7th. — After a heavy fall of rain, the 
sun broke out, and a fresh S. S. E. wind drove 
the dark masses of cloud back to their dreary 
quarters in the north. In a little while, also, 
it effected a separation of the pieces, and a con- 
sequent general movement in the ice, which now 
opening a little, gave me reason to hope that we 
might be able to break ground, and get away at 
high water. But in consequence of the pressure 
from without, the ice near the beach had been 
forced half out of the water; and it cost us incre- 
dible trouble to move some of the many cumbrous 
pieces thus partially afloat even a few inches, so 
as to make a passage for the boat. This task was 
not achieved before 2 p.m., when the wind being 
fair, the sails were immediately hoisted, and on 
she went at the rate of about five knots an hour. 



OBSERVATION OF THE COAST. 40? 

A conspicuous promontory to the eastward, blue 
from distance, which had been before seen from 
Point Beaufort, was now named after Captain 
Bowles, R. N. ; and such was the change that had 
been wrought, in the short interval of a few 
hours, that the whole intermediate space was free 
from impediment, had it suited our purpose to 
traverse it. Indeed, the celerity with which the 
ice had disappeared from the part where we 
were now sailing was so astonishing, that the 
men, w r ho were novices to polar phenomena, 
looked doubtingly, and repeatedly asked each 
other if this or that particular place were not the 
same which but a short time before they had 
seen blocked up and impassable. 

From a small rocky island which was passed 
on the left, we made for a low sandy point, 
named after Sir J. B. Pechell, Bart., and re- 
marked that, scanty as was the vegetation in 
the parts which we had quitted, it was here 
sensibly growing less and less, consisting now 
only of scattered tufts, gradually subsiding into 
sterility. So flat was the western shore that a 
solitary hillock five or eight feet high was a con- 
spicuous land-mark ; while the eastern coast, on 
the contrary, was bold and mountainous, as if 
defying the rage of hail-storms from the pole. 
The chain, however, was not of great extent ; 
for at the end of sixteen miles it terminated in a 

d d 4 



408 CAPE HAY. 

bluff, laid down as Hutton Browne Bluff, and 
a huge projecting cape, distinguished by the 
name of Cape Hay, after the late Under-Secre- 
tary for the Colonies, a zealous promoter of 
the expedition, and of geographical researches 
generally. This was the northern extreme of 
the eastern coast, which in so far coincided 
exactly with the outline given by the Esqui- 
maux ; but here we lost all trace of land in 
that direction, though from our subsequent po- 
sition it must have been discovered, had it not 
from thence rounded suddenly off, as I believe 
it does, to the southward and eastward. Near 
8 p. m., after a delightful sail, we overtook our 
enemy the drift ice ; and getting hampered 
amongst it, in the attempt to find a passage 
round a low island a mile or two ahead, the 
northern extremity of which shut out the view of 
any other land in that direction, we were com- 
pelled to make for the shore, which, after consi- 
derable trouble and some risk of being " nipped," 
we succeeded in reaching. On landing, I di- 
rected my steps to a hillock of sand ten feet high, 
about two and a half miles from the beach, and 
in going was forcibly struck with the desert-like 
character of the place. It was one irregular plain 
of sand and stones; and had it not been for a rill 
of water, the meandering of which relieved the 
monotony of the sterile scene, one might have 










X 



s 






POINT OGLE. 409 

fancied one's self in one of the parched plains of 
the East, rather than on the shores of the Arctic 
Sea. From this hillock, I discerned a deep bay, 
bearing south-west, of which the sandy point of 
our encampment (called after Vice- Admiral Sir 
Charles Ogle) formed the eastern extremity ; 
while the opposite side terminated in another 
point bearing W. N. W. The land which encircled 
the bay was blue and high, and apparently much 
encumbered with ice, which stretched from side 
to side, and again northerly as far as the horizon. 
Still, however, there was a ray of hope, for nar- 
row streaks of open water chequered the surface, 
like evening shadows on a bright lake. 

Rain fell incessantly in the night, and the 
morning disclosed a dense wet fog, together with 
the unwelcome sight of closely packed ice against 
the shore. A little after noon there was a storm, 
with thunder and lightning ; the first I remember 
to have seen so far north. The steersmen were 
twice sent to examine the state of the ice as far 
as Point Ogle (which was now found to be an 
island or part of the main, according as it was 
high or low water, being connected at the ebb 
by a narrow ridge of sand and stones) ; for the 
wind, having towards evening veered to the north- 
ward, threatened to carry the outside drift ice 
into both openings, and thereby effectually pre- 
vent our moving an inch. To obviate this, it was 
my intention to have poled through the inshore 



410 OUR PROGRESS OBSTRUCTED 

ice as far as the narrowest part of the small 
isthmus that joined the island to the main, and 
then to have made a portage of boat and cargo to 
the west side, where, at present, there was a lane 
of open water, connected with that leading to the 
distant western land ; but the immense size of 
the pieces, and the firmness with which they 
were wedged together, rendered the scheme to- 
tally impracticable. Though the thermometer 
was at 42°, yet, being wet, we were chilly and 
uncomfortable, and our cheerless condition was 
greatly aggravated by the want of fire. A watch 
was set in the night, to enable us to take advan- 
tage of any movement of the ice which might aid 
our progress. The steersmen relieved each other 
also, in going to and from the island for the same 
purpose ; but all was in vain : it still remained 
packed, some even floating southward into the 
harbour ; and, to add to our wretchedness, the 
rain scarcely ceased for a moment, and the wea- 
ther continued raw and cold. This, together 
with the want of warm food, excited my appre- 
hensions for the health of the crew, and the 
rather, as one (M c Kenzie) had been for some 
days swollen and bloated so as to be incapacitated 
from performing his regular duty, and, what was 
at this time of most consequence, from going into 
the water at all ; happily, however, no other had 
as yet complained. 

I again crossed over to the hillock through 



BY MASSES OF ICE. 411 

a kind of quicksand, and saw the land as before, 
except that a high point was now visible to the 
south-west, which seemed to mark it as an island. 
To the north and west, nothing but ice presented 
itself to the view; but due east, I could distin- 
guish open water and a small island. South- 
ward, the drift ice appeared in every quarter; and 
the wind, which had got a few points to the west- 
ward, had already driven it close into the shore. 
To employ the people, they were sent in search 
of fern or moss for fuel ; but though they went 
different ways to the distance of ten miles, their 
labour was fruitless, for they returned at night 
without a single particle. 

At £ p.m. it began to rain violently, and con- 
tinued to do so without the slightest cessation 
until noon the following day (August 10th), 
when it was succeeded by a fog. Meantime a 
great part of the ice had disappeared, and the 
boat was soon laden and pulled to the island; but 
there being no channel, by which we could pro- 
ceed westerly, owing to the heavy masses wedged 
against the shore, we made a portage, and launched 
the boat across. The sand-banks were found to 
run out several hundred yards, and the ice to 
seaward, being packed apparently by a westerly 
current, had forced the lighter pieces on shore; 
which, together with the shoals, embarrassed us 
beyond measure: however, by pushing some 



41£ SEARCH FOR FUEL. 

few masses aside, and making a zigzag course, 
we managed to advance a mile ; when, being 
again stopped, another effort was made, by 
causing the people to wade and lift the boat over 
the shoals, which was successful enough, until, 
the water being little more than ancle-deep, 
necessity compelled us to encamp. Other nar- 
row lanes were sounded for a channel, but with 
no serviceable result; and the temperature of the 
water being only 37°, with a north-west breeze 
blowing, and ice to the very beach, it cannot be 
a matter of astonishment, and much less of blame, 
that even the best men, benumbed in their limbs, 
and dispirited by the dreary and unpromising 
prospect before them, broke out for a moment 
into low murmurings that theirs was a hard and 
painful duty. The boat was scarcely hauled up, 
when the fog grew so thick that nothing could 
be seen beyond a hundred yards : three of the 
people, however, went to look for .fuel, and the 
remainder assembled in the tent to hear divine 
service. 

The place where we encamped, and, indeed, 
every foot of this sandy soil was covered with 
small shells resembling cockles and bivalves. 
Innumerable rills of fresh water ran in opposite 
directions from the central ridge. About 8 p. m. 
the rain began to fall again, though without at 
all clearing the fog, and the wind from north- 



A PIECE OF DRIFT-WOOD FOUND. 418 

west increased to a strong breeze. A shout of 
" What have you got there ? " announced the 
return of the men : the jocular answer of " A 
piece of the North Pole" immediately brought 
Mr. King and myself from out the tent; and we 
found that they had really picked up a piece of 
drift-wood nine feet long and nine inches in diame- 
ter, together with a few sticks of smaller drift- 
wood and a part of a kieyack. When the large 
trunk was sawed, I was rather surprised to see it 
very little sodden with water; a proof that it could 
not have been exposed for any considerable time 
to its action. From the peculiar character of the 
wood, which was pine, of that kind which is re- 
markable for its freedom from knots, I had no 
doubt that it had originally grown somewhere 
in the upper part of the country, about the 
M c Kenzie ; and of this I was the morecompetei 
to judge from my recollection of the drift-wood 
west of that large river, which it exactly resem- 
bled. Though we had strong reasons to be 
grateful for this unlooked-for treasure, as afford- 
ing us the means of enjoying a hot meal — the first 
for several days, — yet there were other consider- 
ations which gave it in my eyes a far greater im- 
portance. In it I saw what I thought an incon- 
trovertible proof of the set of a current from the 
westward along the coast to our left, and that 
consequently we had arrived at the main line of 



414 ROSS ISLAND. 

the land ; for it is a fact well known to the offi- 
cers of both Sir John Franklin's expeditions, that 
the absence of drift-wood was always regarded 
as an infallible sign that we had gone astray from 
the main, either among islands or in some such 
opening as Bathurst's Inlet, where, by reason 
of the set of the current, not a piece of any 
size was found. 

August 11th. — A fresh breeze from the 
south-west had encouraged us to hope that the 
ice would be blown off-shore at high water ; and 
bitter, therefore, was our disappointment at find- 
ing that, if it moved at all, it was only to become 
more wedged, and piled up piece upon piece. 
The weather, however, cleared a little, and, for 
a few minutes, the sun broke forth for the first 
time during five days. We could now make 
out two islands to the north, the left extremity 
of which was named after my intrepid friend 
Captain James Ross ; and between it and a bluff 
bearing N. N. W., no land, nor any thing but ice, 
could be seen. To the westward along the shore 
where we were encamped, all was shoal, and 
paved with ice. Two islands, however, jutted 
out towards the southern bluff of the land, which 
there formed a point, and was apparently one of 
the arms embracing a bay. Progress, by any 
contrivance, was altogether impossible ; and this, 
I must own, began to shake the opinion I had all 



DISCOVERIES BY MR. KING. 415 

along cherished, that a strong south- west gale 
would clear away the ice, and give us a chance 
of making at least a few degrees of longitude. 
Some more drift-wood was found by Mr. King, 
who likewise saw a musk-ox, and the greater 
part of the vertebras and ribs of a whale lying on 
the beach. A single joint of one of the vertebrae 
was also picked up at our encampment. It 
was high water at 3 h 15 m p. m. ; D first quarter, 
change. 

The following morning the ice was so wedged, 
that for miles it was thrown up into perpendicu- 
lar pieces, like a vast area of large upright slabs, 
or a magnificent Stonehenge. At the same 
time, the pressure from seaward forced acres of 
it on shore, along the whole line of coast, so 
as to preclude all possibility of our stirring in any 
direction; and this being so, I despatched a 
party, furnished with a telescope and compass, to 
get the bearings to the westward, and occupied 
myself during their absence in obtaining observ- 
ations for the dip and intensity. In placing the 
instruments into the meridian, I was struck with 
the disagreement of the different needles in de- 
noting the magnetic north. The one then used 
(Dollond's) was a light bar needle, and indicated 
several degrees to the eastward of those which 
had cards or any other weight attached to them. 
At first I felt inclined to doubt its accuracy ; 



416 DISAGREEMENT OF MAGNETIC NEEDLES. 

but, considering its lightness and the few times 
that it had been used as compared with the others, 
as well as the fineness of the point of the 
pivot, and observing, moreover, its constancy in 
returning to zero under various trials, I at last 
concluded that it must be right, and adjusted 
the instrument accordingly. With the face of 
the needle to the face of the instrument, it swung 
more freely east and west than when turned 
north and south ; for in the latter position it was 
sometimes sluggish, and jerked as if acted on by 
two powers, whereas in the former the motion 
was smooth and easy. When it was reversed 
the discrepancy was still more apparent, and in 
one instance it did not make nearly the same 
number of vibrations. For this strange devia- 
tion I can assign no accidental cause : on this 
occasion, in particular, there was not a particle of 
iron or any metallic substance within three hun- 
dred yards of the tent; for, having remarked on 
other trials the danger of having so much as a 
pocket knife near while the observations were 
in progress, I now, to be still more certain, 
even removed my chronometers, and took off my 
brace-buckles. Having got the vertical intensity, 
and then the dip, which agreed better than 
might have been expected, I tried Hansteen's 
No. 3. needle for the horizontal force ; but I 
cannot easily describe the tediousness of arrang- 



MAGNETIC OBSERVATIONS. 417 

ing it in its meridian, which differed much indeed 
from the other. When it had at last settled, I 
drew it on one side 20° ; but the intervals often 
vibrations were irregular, varying from 3' 50" to 
3' 4f5" ; and though it stopped at its zero in five 
minutes afterwards, I found the marked end had 
moved easterly 6°, and so approached nearer 
to Dollond's. Having waited some time longer, 
during which it kept stationary, I made a fresh 
set from that zero ; but the result was not more 
satisfactory than the preceding ; and, finally, in- 
stead of settling at its last, it returned to its first 
zero. Had it not been for the variation in this 
point, i. e. the arc between the two zeros, I 
should have attributed, and probably with truth, 
the apparent difference in the interval of vibra- 
tions to the want of a fixed index or reading 
glass for enabling me to determine the precise 
moment of the turn of the needle : for so torpid 
was it, that it seemed actually to stop dead at 
the extremity of each arc, so as to render it a 
matter of great nicety for the observer, even when 
assisted by a good lens, to say when that instant 
was. In order to decide between the two, a 
set was next made with the lozenge needle, 
which showed an entire difference from Han- 
steen's of 22° in marking the north ; coinciding, 
however, in this respect exactly with Dollond's. 
The delicate pocket compass, graciously pre- 

K E 



418 EFFECT UPON THE COMPASSES. 

sented to me by Her Royal Highness the Prin- 
cess Victoria, was in this difficulty extremely 
useful. The intervals of the lozenge needle 
were, as usual, considerably shorter than those of 
No. 3., namely, I' 28* \ and, what was of greater 
consequence in the present interesting case, they 
were quite regular in two several trials, and in 
both the needle returned to its zero without 
the slightest deviation. One remark I feel it 
my duty, as an observer, to make, though it 
may possibly be unfounded. On two occasions, 
that is, at Rock Rapid and here, No. 3. seemed 
to be affected, — in the one case by the ac- 
cidental scraping out of a kettle while it was 
swinging, at a distance of one hundred and fifty 
yards; and in the second case by the simple 
scraping out of a keg. Whether the vibration 
produced thereby in the atmosphere was the oc- 
casion of this, I shall not take upon me to deter- 
mine ; but on all occasions I found it necessary, 
in order to prevent a swagging motion in the 
needle opposed to the rotatory one, to hold my 
hand before my mouth, so that my breath might 
not fall on the instrument. 

No change occurred in the ice throughout 
the day, nor was there any alteration calculated 
to diminish the annoyance of being thus vex- 
atiously detained at a time when every minute 
had a compound value ; and to our personal 



REMOTEST DISCOVERIES. 419 

discomforts was added the want of fire, and 
almost of fresh water, though the precaution of 
filling our kegs from the scanty oozing of the 
shallow rills but just discernible in the sand had 
not been forgotten. As it was the first quarter 
of the moon, and just about the change, many 
an anxious glance was cast at the sky to wind- 
ward, in hopes of discovering some token of more 
genial weather ; and at length a gleam of sun- 
shine broke through the murky clouds, and 
partly dried our wet and chilly clothes. In our 
situation even this was counted a blessing, and 
diffused a cheerfulness which, notwithstanding 
past disappointments, renewed the hope of better 
times. Soon, however, the dark clouds began 
again to gather, and, as the sun dipped below the 
northern ice, all was cold and humid as before. 
The exploring party returned at 11 p.m., and 
reported that, with hard labour, they had been 
able to follow the land for fifteen miles, and had 
gained a green hill about seventy or eighty feet 
high, which, being the most remarkable feature 
in that flat desert of sand, was named Mount 
Barrow, after Sir John Barrow, Bart., whose 
name is inseparably connected with modern dis- 
covery in the polar regions. From the summit 
of this height an immense opening was seen, 
fifteen miles wide, whose extreme bearings were 
S. W. fifteen, and N.N.W. thirty miles. It was 

E E 2 



420 POINT RICHARDSON. 

bordered on the west by low alluvial land, which 
stretched out from the foot of a blue range of 
mountains coming from the south and termi- 
nating at the extreme distance in a bluff. 

Parallel to these on the right, and forming the 
east side, was the extensive tract of high land, of 
which the north-western angle was opposite the 
encampment : but the elevation of this latter range 
gradually decreased as it bent to the north ; and, 
except in those parts where there were isolated 
rocks with large stones on them, the space be- 
yond was so low, that with a telescope a white 
fog could be plainly descried hanging over a 
glittering line of ice at the farthest limit of vision 
to the north. That western extreme I named 
after my esteemed friend and former companion 
Dr. Richardson, R. N., many of whose opinions 
respecting the Thlew-ee-choh and its conflu- 
ence with the sea have proved to be singularly 
correct. The southern point, near Mount Bar- 
row, was honoured with the name of Admiral 
Sir Thomas Hardy. A little drift-wood was 
picked up, but no other kind of fuel could 
be found, though two deer were seen trotting 
over the ground, possibly in search of food. 

August 13th. — The morning set in with rain, 
for which custom had now taught us to look as a 
thing of course ; but a faint hope was excited by 
the view of a narrow lane of water, which had 



A MAIN SEA, OR DEEP OPENING, CONJECTURED. 421 

opened — how or from what cause we knew not — 
outside, between the grounded ice and the main 
body; and preparations were already making for 
a start at high water, when the wind suddenly 
chopped round from S. E. to N. W., and fixed 
us once more to the spot. We crept sullenly 
under our sorry places of shelter, and, without 
uttering more than a monosyllabic answer to as 
short a question, prepared to pass, as we best 
could, the tedium of another restless night. 

At 5 h 30 m p. m., when the tide was at full, the 
ice was wedged as before to the shore, and not 
ten yards of open water could be seen in any di- 
rection ; thermometer 42°. About 9 p. m. there 
was a short lull, the ominous stillness of which 
was soon disturbed by an E. S. E. wind, that 
shortly increased to a smart gale; and it is 
worthy of remark, that the ice, which had re- 
mained unmoved by the wind from S., S. W., 
W., and N. E., now, as if acted on by magic, 
began to drift W. N. W. with great rapidity. I 
was convinced, therefore, that there must be, in 
that particular bearing, either a main sea or a 
very deep opening, to allow the escape of so 
great a portion of the immense extent of ice 
before us; for, had the dispersion continued at its 
then rate, a very few hours would have sufficed 
to clear the channel entirely. Late though it was 
in the season, this sudden revolution animated 

e e 3 



422 DISMAL PROSPECT. 

our drooping spirits, and three or four anxious 
hours were passed in anticipating the possibility 
of yet floating freely on the western main. But 
again the inconstancy of the breeze betrayed us, 
and, as the rising tide moved the grounded masses 
off the sands, a thick fog came on, which ob- 
scured earth and sky ; and the wind shifted round 
to N. W., which was dead on shore. The night 
was cold, for the thermometer sunk below the 
freezing point, and ice of half an inch thickness 
was formed on the pools near the beach. 

A wet fog ushered in the morning of the 14th 
August, and left every object dark and indefin- 
able at eighty or ninety paces distant. The breeze 
increased, and was fast packing the seaward 
body of ice, which now came with considerable 
velocity towards the shore, and threatened to 
lengthen our tedious and most annoying deten- 
tion. To avoid this, — as to remain where w r e 
were could lead to no beneficial result, — I gave 
orders for the boat to be taken quite light be- 
tween the few open spots of water inshore, and 
where impediments should occur to be lifted 
over, so as to return to the island, where 
she could be launched across, and so carried 
into the free space to the eastward of Point 
Ogle. This decisive step I was the more in- 
duced to take trom having observed of late in- 
creasing symptoms of uneasiness in my leading 




£ 









-. 



n 






%--r 






5 

It — « 



IT*- 



2a 



RETURN TO THE EAST SIDE OF THE ISLAND. 423 

men with respect to their return ; whilst, in addi- 
tion to the other invalid, the health of Sinclair 
was also beginning to yield either to the con- 
tinual exposure to cold and wet, or to this com- 
bined with the want of hot and wholesome food. 
The alacrity displayed by the men, on receiving 
my directions, unequivocally manifested their 
feelings at removing from so dismal a scene ; and 
the exertions put forth in no common difficulties 
proved that it was not less hearty than general. 
The boat, being dragged across, was brought to 
the place of our former station of the 9th ; after 
which the crew went back four miles for the 
baggage. The whole was safely conveyed over 
by 8 p. m., when the water kegs were burnt to 
make us a kettle of hot cocoa. 

A fresh gale from N. W. continued, with little 
or no alteration, during the great part of the 
night; but in the morning (August 15 th) the wea- 
ther became calm, and the ice again set in to the 
southward. I went to the hillock once more, and 
saw one closely packed mass of drift ice extend- 
ing from the beach to the horizon, beyond which 
there was a bright yellowish white blink. This 
was in the direction of the N. N.W. bluff, which 
I have named after my friend Captain Macono- 
chie, R. N., of whose zeal and intelligence in the 
cause of geographical science I have elsewhere 
made mention. To the north were the same two 

E E 4} 



424 CONJECTURES AS TO A N.W. PASSAGE 

islands that had been previously seen, the eastern 
extremity of which was called Point Booth, from 
Mr. (now Sir Felix) Booth, whose munificent 
patronage of arctic discovery is too well known 
to need any tribute from me : they seemed to 
be of considerable extent. To the N. E. there 
were water and ice, and beyond it a dark grey, 
or what is denominated a water sky ; while from 
the east to Cape Hay there was an open sea, with 
a single island, bearing E. by S. and laid down 
as Ripon Island, out of respect to the Earl of 
Ripon, under whose auspices and directions it 
was my good fortune to act. The only barrier 
between us and the open water was a stream of 
ice, about five hundred yards wide, which, for 
the present, was wedged against the shore, and 
prevented our moving. 

From these appearances, the fact of the 
flood tide coming, so far as I could judge, from 
the westward, the drift-wood, and the whale, 
there seems good reason for supposing a passage 
to exist between Point Maconochie and Point 
James Ross. Whether the north-eastern clear 
space is connected with and a part of the 
Western Gulf of Captain Sir John Ross, I can- 
not undertake to determine ; but I think I am 
warranted in an opinion that the Esquimaux 
outline, the sudden termination of Cape Hay, 
and the clear sea in that particular direction, are 



AND CHANNEL TO REGENT S INLET. 425 



strong inferences in favour of the existence of a 
southern channel to Regent's Inlet. On this sub- 
ject it may perhaps seem idle now to speculate; 
but, had I not known of Captain Ross's return, 
and it had thus been our duty to follow the 
eastern rather than the western passage, there 
seemed no obstacle to prevent our doing so. 
We must have been carried nearer to the Vic- 
tory, and thus, with the permission of Pro- 
vidence, we should have been enabled, had it 
been so required, to execute some part of the 
humane project in which the expedition ori- 
ginated. 

I shall not attempt to describe what were 
my feelings at finding my endeavours baffled 
in every quarter but the one with which (how- 
ever interesting as regarded the trending of the 
land) I had no concern. When the mind has 
been made up to encounter disasters and re- 
verses, and has fixed a point as the zero of its 
scale, however for a time it may be depressed 
by doubts and difficulties, it will mount up 
again with the first gleam of hope for the 
future ; but, in this instance, there was no ex- 
pedient by which we could overcome the ob- 
stacles before us: every resource was exhausted, 
and it was vain to expect that any efforts, how- 
ever strenuous, could avail against the close- 
wedged ice, and the constant fogs which en- 



426 ABANDON JOURNEY TO POINT TURN AGAIN. 

veloped every thing in impenetrable obscurity. 
No one of course can regret so much as I do 
that the important and interesting object of 
ascertaining the existence of a passage along 
the coast to Point Turnagain was not accom- 
plished ; but if there be any who think that 
little was achieved, in comparison with what was 
undertaken (though such a notion can hardly 
with justice be entertained), let them reflect 
that even in the ordinary pursuits of men, with 
all the appliances of civilized life to boot, the 
execution is rarely equal to the conception ; 
and then also consider how much greater the 
impediments must be in a climate where the 
elements war against all intruders, and confound 
the calculations and set at nought the talents 
even of such men as Parry and Franklin. 

I had for some time cherished the notion of di- 
viding the party, leaving four to protect the boat 
and property, whilst the remainder, with Mr. King, 
would have accompanied me on a land journey 
towards Point Turnagain ; but this scheme was 
completely frustrated by the impracticability of 
carrying any weight on a soil in which at every 
step we sunk half-leg deep ; destitute of shrubs or 
moss for fuel, and almost without water ; over 
which we must have travelled for days to have 
made even a few miles of longitude ; and where, 
finally, if sickness had overtaken any one, his 



DETERMINE TO RETURN. 427 

fate would have been inevitable. Thus circum- 
stanced, therefore, and reflecting on the long 
and dangerous stream, combining all the bad 
features of the worst rivers in the country, that 
we had to retrace, the hazards of the falls and 
rapids, and the slender hope which remained of 
our attaining even a single mile farther, I felt 
that I had no choice, and, assembling the 
men, I informed them that the period fixed 
by his Majesty's Government for my return 
had arrived ; and that it now only remained to 
unfurl the British flag, and salute it with three 
cheers in honour of His Most Gracious Majesty, 
whilst his royal name should be given to this 
portion of America, by the appellation of Wil- 
liam the Fourth's Land. The intimation was 
received with extreme satisfaction; and the loyal 
service performed with the cheering accom- 
paniment of a small allowance from our limited 
remaining stock of spirits. 

The latitude of this place was 68° 13' 51" N., 
longitude, 94° 58' V W., and variation, as well 
as the sluggishness of the instrument would 
allow me to determine, 1° 46' W. From this 
it appears that we were only four miles south 
of Point Turnagain, which consequently bore 
nearly due west from us. 



428 



CHAP. XII. 

^Exhilarating Influence of a Hunting Excursion. — Be- 
moval of the Esquimaux. — ■ Leave them a Bag of 
Pemmican. — Accident to the Boat. — Inundation of 
the Country. — Discovery of Esquimaux. — Wise Man 
of the Tribe. — Critical Position in the Rapids. — A 
Storm. — Adventure of a Lemming. — Encamp at 
Musk-ox Bapid. — Meeting with Mr. M c Leod. — Fate 
of Williamson. — The Yellow Knives. — Encamp on 
Artillery Lake. — Beach the Ah-hel-dessy. — Depart 
for Montreal. — The Sauteaux Indians. — Success of 
a Missionary at Sault Ste. Marie. — Beturn to England. 
— Conclusion. 

During the night the ice had parted sufficiently 
to allow of our reaching open water, and with a 
fair wind we went about twenty miles south, 
where, for the second time in nine days, we par- 
took of a warm meal. Three stars were seen. 
Rain fell in abundance the whole of the night 
and following day ; and as it was accompanied 
by a strong breeze, we were unable to move 
until 9 p. m. ; when, tempted by a lull, we set 



DEPRESSED SPIRITS OF THE CREW. 429 

out on the traverse to the eastern shore. We 
were soon, however, enveloped in a thick fog, 
which shortly turned to a heavy rain, and 
drenched us to the skin. The people exerted 
themselves to the utmost, and yet we did not 
reach Point Beaufort until past two in the 
morning. 

August 17th. — A N.W. gale set in with such 
fury, that we were obliged to move the boat 
from where she had been hauled up to a more 
safe and sheltered place to leeward, and there also 
we took refuge ourselves from the heavy squalls 
and the snow that now poured down in large 
flakes. In the evening, divine service was read. 

The succeeding day brought us no better 
weather ; and the surf and waves were much 
higher. I had long observed a depression of 
spirits in my steersmen, which I had attributed 
to the novelty of their situation, but I could 
not account for the gloom which now spread 
itself as if by infection over the rest ; except, 
indeed, the artillerymen, whose steady conduct 
was such as to deserve the highest commendation. 
The thing itself was of little moment now; but as 
melancholy faces and melancholy weather are not 
agreeable companions, and thinking that some of 
the party would be benefited by a freer circulation 
of blood, I sent them to hunt, with the promise 



430 BENEFICIAL TENDENCY OF RECREATION. 

of a glass of grog to any who should bring home 
something for supper. This infused some activity 
into them; and after an absence of a few hours, 
they returned cheerful and ruddy with exercise, 
bringing with them three fine hares and a brace 
of ducks, different from any that had hitherto 
been seen. In colour, these last resembled the 
bustard of the country, with black neck and 
bill, the latter short and more curved than in 
the other kinds ; sepia brown plumage about 
the back and wings, with a mixture of black- 
grey, the breast a dull white, and the legs black. 
They had not the least fishy flavour, and, plain 
boiled, made us an excellent meal. 

The N.W. gale gradually abated in the night, 
and on the 19th we proceeded towards the river, 
aided by a breeze from the east; and as it in- 
creased, I beheld with a satisfaction almost pain- 
ful the admirable qualities of the boat, which, 
had there been a clear passage, would have taken 
us in the same gallant style to Point Turnagain. 
The wind freshened into a gale, and made us 
seek shelter and safety under the lee of Victoria 
Headland. Here the rain fell in torrents ; and 
notwithstanding the additional covering of the 
mainsail over the tent, it was impossible to keep 
it out. The storm, in fact, partook more of the 
character of a hurricane than a common gale, 



REMOVAL OF THE ESQUIMAUX. 431 

and it was with difficulty we could keep the tent 

up at all. 

August 21. — The wind gave place to a dark 
wet fog, so thick that we were barely able to 
start by creeping along the land towards the 
mouth of the river ; and after getting frequently 
on shore upon the shoals at its mouth, we entered 
it in the afternoon amidst heavy rain, which, 
however, some of the people scarcely noticed in 
their delight at having fairly left the ice : one, 
indeed, as soon as the sea was shut out from view, 
tossed up his cap for joy. The western range 
of mountains, extending to Point Richardson, 
was honoured by the name of her Most Gracious 
Majesty; others which were visible in the 
evening, after Francis Chan trey, Esq. ; and the 
eastern range was distinguished after her Royal 
Highness the Duchess of Kent. The night was 
again rainy, and after a long detention we 
reached the lower fall, where in our descent we 
had found the Esquimaux. They had disap- 
peared, which I much regretted, not only be- 
cause my pockets were laden with presents for 
them, but because I wanted to make some more 
sketches, and to show them the survey of the 
coast as far as we had been, and obtain, if pos- 
sible, some further information. The water in 
the river had fallen three feet, and thereby 
afforded a facility for launching the boat over a 



432 AGAIN DISCOVER THE ESQUIMAUX. 

point where the baggage was also carried. 
Having proceeded four miles farther to a line of 
heavy rapids, an Esquimaux was seen on the 
hills ; and shortly after the two tents which we 
had before visited were discovered, pitched on 
the eastern bank of a strong rapid, the eddies of 
which probably furnished an ample supply offish. 
It was impossible for us to cross without endan- 
gering the boat, and we commenced making 
two long portages, while the natives watched us 
with much composure from the opposite heights, 
where they were all seated in a line. As we 
could not attract them to us by any signs, a 
number of iron hoops were placed on a pile of 
stones, with various-coloured ribbonds attached 
to them ; besides twenty-three awls, fifteen fish- 
hooks, three dozen brass rings, and two pounds 
of beads. All this was done under their eyes ; 
they could scarcely fail therefore to understand 
its friendly import, and that our intention was to 
benefit them. My only fear was lest such, to 
them, inestimable wealth should stir up quarrels 
among them, from any real or fancied inequality 
in the distribution. 

We encamped near the next rapid. It blew 
too hard on the following morning to allow us 
to move, and we saw the Esquimaux watching 
us from behind the rocks. About noon, two of 
them brought their kieyaks to the water's edge 



LEAVE A BAG OF PEMMICAN FOR PRESENT. 433 

opposite to us, with the intention, as we sup- 
posed, of crossing over ; but having waited until 
the wind fell without any further attempt on 
their part to move, I left a bag of pemmican on 
another heap of stones as a further substantial 
proof of our kind intentions, and finally pushed 
off, taking the western rapid, which communi- 
cated with Lake Franklin. Its shallowness gave 
us much trouble, but with the aid of the line the 
boat was at length hauled up. The sails were 
immediately set; and though there was a con- 
siderable sea in the more exposed part of the 
lake, we scarcely took in a drop of water. The 
weather became somewhat finer as we advanced 
through the country, but not altogether free 
from rain. As we passed a rapid, a white wolf 
was seen swimming across with something in its 
mouth, which was supposed to be food for its 
young. 

August 25th. — The rain poured down in 
such torrents, that the little dog woke me by 
scrambling under my cloak to escape from the 
water, which was running in a stream through 
the tent. The wind being with the current, our 
oars were of little service, and were relinquished 
for the line. This of course obliged us to round 
all the windings and small bays along the banks, 
and consequently lengthened the distance ; but 
on the succeeding day, a fine leading wind took 

F F 



434 ACCIDENT TO THE BOAT, 

took us to the foot of some rapids, and subse- 
quently to Mount Meadowbank, on whose 
shelving side many musk-oxen and deer were 
feeding. In the afternoon we picked up our 
cache of ammunition, and by avoiding a wide 
opening shortened the distance to the next 
rapids. The tracking along the banks of this 
part, which was steep and covered with large 
boulders, mixed with smaller round stones, was 
exceedingly fatiguing from the uncertainty of 
the footing, the shingly surface generally sliding 
away under the pressure of each step, so that the 
people were constantly falling and hurting them- 
selves. The lowness of the water too caused 
the navigation of many parts to be exceedingly 
intricate, and some which, in descending, the 
boat had passed over were now quite dry; 
nevertheless, we made such good progress that 
at night we encamped below the Wolf Rapid. 

The next day was too foggy to allow us to start 
until 10 a. m., when we ascended the rapids ; 
in one of which the boat struck so severely 
against a sunken rock, that she was stove under 
her larboard bow: however, by caulking with 
oakum and grease we contrived to reach our 
cache of two bags of pemmican, which had been 
uncovered, as was supposed, by the wolvereens. 
By this exposure to the rain a great proportion 
was too much damaged for consumption, and 



PURSUE OUR ROUTE. 43.5 

was carefully covered up again for the benefit of 
the first marauder, biped or quadruped, that 
might have the luck to fall upon it. At this 
spot the boat was cobbled up ; and, again pur- 
suing the route, we reached Escape Rapid, 
where we found a piece of the oar which had 
been broken in the descent, and was now lying 
by a drowned deer in one of the eddies. The 
falls were too heavy to haul up, and it was late 
before we had carried every thing to the south 
end. A fair wind, however, was not to be lost ; 
and, after taking up another cache in excellent 
order, we proceeded as far as Sinclair's Falls, 
near which some ice yet lingered on the banks, 
and the grass and moss were still of a brownish 
hue. The season, indeed, had been generally 
untoward ; for there was not a single berry, and, 
what was more surprising, scarcely a mosquito 
or a sand-fly — a proof that the summer must have 
been an extraordinary one, and altogether differ- 
ent from such as had been formerly experi- 
enced. Three or four musk-bulls were seen 
grazing singly and apart, under the lee of rocks 
or sand-hills : they were not much scared at our 
approach ; but, as they were not eatable, we did 
not molest them. Towards evening, two white 
wolves trotted past, evidently on the scent of a 
poor wounded deer that had taken refuge on an 
island about a mile from them. Having made 

f f 2 



436 INUNDATION OF THE COUNTRY. 

a portage we reached the Rock Rapid, of which 
we had intended to try the eastern side; but per- 
ceiving that it was certainly the less eligible of 
the two, we followed the old passage, and by 2 
p.m. were safely in Lake Macdougall. From the 
summit of a rock, I saw, with surprise, that the 
whole country was inundated ; that which in 
July had been dry and green being now con- 
verted into a wide swamp. 

It was not without difficulty and anxiety that 
we ascended the long and dangerous line of 
rapids leading to Lake Garry, whose smooth and 
glassy surface presented a striking contrast to its 
wintry covering of five weeks ago. A sand-hill 
that had served the same purpose before was 
again selected for our encampment, and a more 
certain evidence of the torrents of rain that must 
have fallen could not have been afforded, than 
by the spectacle of whole fields of unbroken 
moss, which had been swept away in a body from 
the face of the summit (a height of sixty feet), 
and was strewed like a carpet along the beach. 

August 31st. — Having made the traverse to 
that part where the ice had first detained us, we 
were rather astonished at seeing a number of 
marks on a point which none of us recollected to 
have observed when passing it before : accord- 
ingly, they were examined : and, from their ap- 
parent freshness, and the newly gathered moss 



DISCOVERY OF ESQUIMAUX. 437 

about, it was evident that they could not have 
been up many days. There were also numerous 
tracks of men and dogs on the sand. The 
weather was rather hazy ; so that, at the moment, 
objects could not be clearly made out ; but, as 
we were pulling alongshore, JVFKenzie thought 
he espied a deer on the stony summit of a 
sloping hill, which terminated in a point where 
many more marks had been erected similar 
to those lately left. It was, however, soon dis- 
covered to be an Esquimaux ; and, presently, 
two more of his companions rose up from behind 
some rocks, where they had lain concealed until, 
as they thought, we were far enough from them 
to allow them to venture out. Convinced, from 
their manner, that they would have fled, we did 
not think it worth while to return to them, but 
pursued our course ; and, when we least expected 
it, just after lifting the boat over a shoal, came 
suddenly upon twelve tents, surrounded by a 
swarm of men, women, and children ; the latter 
of whom began to howl and cry, and fled hastily 
behind the rocks for protection. The former 
displayed almost as much uneasiness ; and, each 
being armed with his spear and sling, hallooed 
and made intelligible signs, by the impatient 
waving of one hand, that we should not approach 
them. Nevertheless, we advanced, making the 
usual demonstration of friendship by raising up 

f f 3 



438 THE WISE MAN OF THE TRIBE. 

both arms ; but, when we were abreast of them, 
they retreated with precipitation to the tents 
and rocks ; and, having no interpreter to dispel 
their fears, and unwilling to add to their con- 
sternation by landing, we pulled slowly on. As 
soon as they perceived this, and were satisfied 
that we had no intention to hurt them, an elderly 
man ran after us along the rocks, keeping, how- 
ever, at a respectful distance ; and with loud vo- 
ciferations, and the same action with the hand 
as before, still bade us go away. He had not 
proceeded above a couple of hundred yards, 
when some of his friends prepared to follow him. 
This he forbade by the same wave of the hand 
that was used to us ; and then we perceived, infi- 
nitely to our amusement, that this was the con- 
juror, or wise man of the tribe, and that he was 
at that moment imitating the growling and mo- 
tion of a bear, bending himself and walking on 
his hands and knees, thinking, no doubt, to 
charm us away. It is difficult to form a correct 
opinion of the numbers of the party; though 
about sixty or seventy would probably be near 
the truth. We saw only four kieyaks ; and I 
think it probable that they were inhabitants of 
Wager Bay, or Chesterfield Inlet. 

September 1st. — Having hauled up the rapid 
which connects Lake Pelly with Lake Garry, we 
picKed up our cache at the island ; and subse- 



CRITICAL POSITION IN THE RAPIDS. 439 

quently passed another, half covered with old 
drift willows and quills. A herd of musk-oxen 
and a few straggling deer were quietly feeding 
on the sand-hills ; and many of the white, brown, 
and laughing geese were flying about, and 
seemed to be collecting for their southerly mi- 
gration. 

On the 4th, a hard gale from the N. W. indi- 
cated the commencement of the fall weather; 
and, while we were travelling, many hundreds 
of geese flew high past us to the south. It was 
necessary to haul the boat all day ; and we as- 
cended between sixteen and twenty rapids, which, 
owing to the shallowness of the water, were very 
troublesome. Sand-banks and islands appeared 
in every direction, and so changed was the 
face of the river that it was not easy to recog- 
nise it. In the centre of the Hawk Rapid the 
line broke, and threw us into a very critical 
situation ; one, indeed, which, with a less ac- 
tive crew, might have been followed by serious 
consequences. However, by clinging to the 
rocks until the damage was repaired, the boat 
was held fast, and prevented from descending 
again. As we advanced, the shoals and bars 
greatly impeded our progress ; so that, in an or- 
dinary season, the navigation would have been 
impracticable even for a boat entirely light. 
September 6th. — The morning set in with 

f f 4 



440 A STORM. 

the promise of a fine day, and a. favourable 
wind heightened the expectation that a consider- 
able distance would be made ; but so little are 
atmospheric appearances to be depended upon 
in this tract, that after two hours' sailing the 
whole sky became darkened, — -a mist rose, — and 
the rain poured, not in drops, but in lines, as if 
it fell from so many spouts ; the water, there- 
fore, was soon above the stern sheets, and we 
landed to find shelter, . and secure our remain- 
ing provision. The gale soon increased to a 
storm that brought with it heavy squalls and 
thunder, and extinguished the fire nearly as fast 
as it was lighted. However, by perseverance, 
weather cloths, and sundry other expedients, we 
got it at last fairly kindled — to our great content- 
ment, for we had shot a fat deer, and were not 
a little eager to change our accustomed dish of 
old mouldy pemmican for so savoury a repast, 
though eaten without salt, or any of those appli- 
ances which luxury has invented for relieving 
the insipidity and adding to the relish of plain 
boiled meat. The storm continued from N. E. 
all night ; and though the main-sail had been 
thrown over the tent, it was quite ineffectual 
to keep out the rain, which ran in streams 
through both. At midnight there was a partial 
lull, after which it freshened again, and soon 
blew more furiously than ever, accompanied 



ADVENTURE OF A LEMMING. 441 

with snow, which on the following morning (the 
7th) had covered the surface of the hills and 
ground around us, and given a wintry aspect to 
the scene. About 10 p. m. the water had risen 
four feet, when, for the third time, the boat was 
hauled higher on the bank. So completely cold 
and drenched was every thing outside, that a 
poor little lemming, unable to contend with the 
floods which had driven it successively from all 
its retreats, crept silently under the tent, and 
snuggled away in precarious security within a 
few paces of a sleeping terrier. Unconscious of 
its danger, it licked its fur coat, and darted its 
bright eyes from object to object, as if pleased 
and surprised with its new quarters ; but soon 
the pricked ears of the awakened dog announced 
its fate, and in another instant the poor little 
stranger was quivering in his jaws. 

September 8th. — The morning was gloomy ; 
but as the wind had fallen, we gladly availed 
ourselves of the opportunity to get away, though 
the current was strong, and the weather so thick 
that it was sometimes difficult to find the right 
channel. About 9 the sun broke out, and al- 
lowed us to dry our wet clothes. Passing 
Baillie's River, we ascended the long rapid 
where the first Esquimaux marks were seen, and 
found the country on either side quite converted 
into a swamp. Towards evening a N.W. gale 



442 ENCAMP AT MUSK-OX RAPID. 

came on, with sleet and snow, and the next 
morning all the creeks were solidly frozen. The 
cold was indeed excessive ; and what with snow, 
squalls, and mist, we did not make much pro- 
gress. The water had risen considerably, and 
the mud and sand cliffs were worn into innumer- 
able ravines from the constant drainage of the 
upper lands. It occupied the better part of a 
day to get past the cascades, and a most laborious 
and hazardous service it was ; such as assuredly 
would not have been attempted by any but 
persons situated as we were. The boat barely 
withstood the shocks she received, and was 
obliged to be repaired and caulked to keep her 
afloat. On Lake Beechy we had abundance of 
snow, and wind enough to detain us. At some 
distance from it we saw three hawks attack a 
wounded goose and a gull, which they seemed 
pretty certain of killing. 

On September 15th we took up our first cache, 
which had been eaten into by the lemmings, and 
was partly damaged ; and late in the evening we 
encamped at the upper end of Musk Ox Rapid, 
but saw no fresh traces of Indians. Only six- 
teen days earlier in the previous season the 
surrounding hills were covered with deer care- 
lessly feeding in all directions, and every thing 
had the tint of summer on it : now, not a 
solitary deer was seen j the tea plant had evi- 



MEETING WITH MR. M c LEOD. 443 

dently been frozen, the dwarf birch was almost 
leafless, the willow was bright yellow, and the 
whole country was clothed in a livery of sober 
brown. Five musk-oxen were the only living 
creatures about; all others having deserted a 
place which the year before was teeming with 
life. 

A northerly breeze brought on a fog, in the 
midst of which we crossed Musk Ox Lake, but 
were unable to see our way afterwards until 
11 a.m., when we found ourselves abreast of 
Icy River, always covered with ice. Subse- 
quently we got to the first portage on the Thlew- 
ee-choh, and on the following day (September 
17th) met our friend Mr. M c Leod, who with 
four men and two Indians had already been 
several days at Sand Hill Bay. The pleasure of 
this meeting I shall not attempt to describe. He 
had been long expecting us, and had passed, it 
seems, many anxious hours in watching the 
distant objects in the direction of our route. 
After our departure in July he had effected his 
return to the house with the loss of two dogs 
only, and had gone from thence to Fort Resolu- 
tion, to take possession of the forty bags of pem- 
mican, as well as the outfit from York Factory, 
which had been forwarded by the Company. As 
he retraced his way, he had established two 



444 FATE OF WILLIAMSON. 

fisheries* ; and having deposited the goods 
safe in store at the Fort, and left a trustworthy 
man in care of them, he proceeded without loss 
of time to fulfil my last instructions by coming 
to the Thlew-ee-choh. It was gratifying to hear 
that the men under his charge had conducted 
themselves with propriety ; but the faint hope I 
had entertained of poor Williamson's being alive 
was extinguished by the intelligence that his 
body had been found and interred by Mr. 
M c Leod. The unhappy man was discovered 
lying on the ground, with a few sticks near him, 
not far from his fire. He had died, as it seemed, 
from famine, aided, perhaps, by the despond- 
encv so observable in his conduct for some 
months previous to his discharge. The cause of 
this dejection we were unable to discover ; but 
so melancholy was he, that in the autumn 
before the house was built, and when we were 
all encamped around it, instead of associating 
with his comrades, he built himself a hut with 
pine branches, in which he ate his solitary meal ; 
and frequently in the stillness of the night, when 
most others were at rest, this extraordinary man 
would be found sitting before his dwelling, with 
his eyes intently fixed on the dying embers of 

* One fishery was opposite Reindeer Island, and the other 
near Point Keith, 115 miles from Fort Reliance. 



FATE OF WILLIAMSON. 445 

his fire. He did little duty of any kind, and 
was treated with uniform kindness by the whole 
of the people, who called him Poor David, 
seeming to regard him as one in deep distress of 
mind, whom they were bound to pity. As often 
happens to those who go astray, he was but a 
short distance from the fishery he had left, and 
to which, as was conjectured from his having 
followed a track made by some of our men but 
two days before the ice broke up, he was en- 
deavouring to return. 

The weather since our departure had been 

worse than the Indians ever remembered ; and 

they had endured in consequence more than 

usual misery and suffering in the privation of 

food. Mr. JVFLeod declared that I would not 

recognise them, unless they had wonderfully 

recovered since they had fallen in with the deer. 

The whole of the country north and east of 

Great Slave Lake had been deluged with rain, 

and blighted by frost and snow. The same thing 

seems to have happened last winter, which was 

unusually mild to the southward, and even in 

the M c Kenzie, as compared with what we 

found it; whence it may perhaps be inferred 

that the bays and inlets of the sea coast were 

superabundantly charged with ice, the influence 

of which on the atmosphere would, of course, 

vary with the locality. 



446 INTENSE COLD. 

For two days the weather was so stormy, with 
sleet, snow, and sharp frost, that we could not 
move. The small lakes became solid enough to 
bear, and the men were occupied in fetching 
some meat that the Indians had killed. 

Sept. 20th was a bitter frosty morning, with 
snow ; but the wind had abated, and we set 
forward, leaving Mr. M c Leod to follow at his 
leisure, in order that he might hunt the shores 
of the lake, which he thought could be done 
advantageously. Having crossed Lake Aylmer 
without the occurrence of any thing remarkable, 
w T e got into Clinton-Colden Lake, and found the 
hills covered to the depth of two inches with 
snow ; while the cold was so sharp that the 
water froze on the oars and the sides of the 
boat, and even stopped one of the chronometers, 
(No. 3093, French), which had hitherto been 
most regular and steady in its rate. Towards 
evening we got to the first rapid in the little 
river, and were visited by some Yellow Knives, 
whom we expected to find thereabout. They 
congratulated us on our safe return, which, 
considering the dreadfully bad season, had been 
scarcely expected. The elderly man who was 
ill last spring at the Fort, and whose exces- 
sive stubbornness had drawn upon him the 
name of Old Obstinate, was lying very ill 
in his lodge, his troubles being further embit- 



THE YELLOW-KNIVES. 447 

tered by the recent loss of one of his sons. 
The unfortunate custom of destroying all their 
clothes and property, at whatever cost of time 
and labour obtained, had been most rigidly 
observed by the whole family; so that they 
had no other covering at this bleak season (the 
thermometer being 24°), than a loose and un- 
fashioned reindeer skin, thrown carelessly and 
almost uselessly over the shoulders. 

Mr. King, with much good feeling, went across 
the country during the night, accompanied by the 
interpreter, to see the old man, and administer 
to his relief. Some of the children also, who 
were slightly affected with singular complaints, 
were attended to. Having run the rapid, we 
called at the tents for several parcels of meat 
which were ready prepared for us ; and I took 
that opportunity of asking " Old Obstinate," 
who, with the exception of another aged man, 
was the only person conversant with the coun- 
try northward, whether, to his knowledge, there 
was any chance of getting either to Cont-woy-to 
Lake or Bathurst's Inlet, from any part of the 
Thlew-ee-choh ; but he declared himself unable 
to answer my question farther than this, that 
there existed small lakes and innumerable 
streams that ran towards the Thlew-ee-choh, 
all of which, however, were rapid, and too 
shoal for anything larger than one of their 



448 ENCAMP ON ARTILLERY LAKE. 

hunting canoes. After running another rapid, 
we collected more meat at a second encamp- 
ment, to which the occupants of the former 
also, including the old man, had followed us ; 
and as they all crowded into the tent, I showed 
them the survey of the river, and particularly 
pointed out those parts where the greatest number 
of animals had been seen, recommending them, 
in the event of any future failure, to go so far, 
which I assured them they might do with safety. 
They answered, " it was good ;" but appeared 
too indifferent to allow me to suppose that they 
had any idea, at that time at least, of taking ad- 
vantage of it. They looked, however, with eager 
curiosity at the length and windings of the 
river, its numerous falls and extensive lakes ; 
and their attention was riveted to the slightest 
word relating to the Esquimaux. A few pre- 
sents from these last to me were scrutinized 
with the minutest attention, and they listened 
in profound silence to my account of their 
peaceful conduct. 

At night we encamped at the first pines on 
the western shore of Artillery Lake. While we 
were with the Indians in the morning, our dog 
had hunted and sadly pulled about a poor 
lemming, half torpid with cold. The first gripe 
had blinded it, and the little creature was now 
running about on the ice along the border of the 



REACH THE AH-HEL-DESSY. 449 

river ; while the dog, as if conscious that it could 
not escape, kept mouthing and playing with it. 
The sick old Indian was seated by the fire, joining 
in the half-smothered laugh which the sport cre- 
ated. Hereupon I rose from my seat, and calling 
the dog away, caught the mouse, warmed it by 
the fire, and when it had somewhat recovered its 
strength, laid it gently down at the entrance of a 
burrow in the sand-bank, into which it soon dis- 
appeared. I then threw in a piece of fat after it 
for food. As I anticipated, the Indians were 
not inattentive to what was passing ; and when 
I pointed to the infirm old man near them, and 
said that the helpless should be protected, they 
understood the meaning of what had been done, 
and with expressions of satisfaction promised to 
remember it. 

The weather still continued squally, with 
snow ; but the breeze being fair, the foresail was 
hoisted, and about noon of the 24th we got to 
the Ah-hel-dessy, where we were greeted by the 
sight of berries. Some Indians encamped in a bay 
made signs for us to go to them, which being 
disregarded, they ran after us to say they had 
plenty of meat : however they w r ere directed to 
bring it to the Fort. The descent of this small 
but abominable river was a succession of run- 
ning rapids, making portages, and lowering down 
cascades ; and much time was occupied in pre- 

G G 



450 OUR PROGRESS ARRESTED BY THE FALLS. 

vious examination, without which precaution 
we dared not stir a yard ; still the rapids in- 
creased in number and difficulty, until at last 
a deep and perpendicular fall, (which I have 
named after Capt. Anderson, R. A.), rushing 
between mountainous rocks into a vast chasm, 
stopped all further progress. The steersmen, 
unwilling to be arrested even by such obstacles, 
went some distance farther, but soon returned 
with an account of more falls and cascades. To 
convey the boat over so rugged and mountain- 
ous a country, most of the declivities of which 
were coated with thin ice, and the whole hidden 
by snow, so as to render mere walking difficult 
enough, was obviously impossible ; and though 
it was annoying to be forced to leave her, yet, as 
there was no alternative, she was safely hauled 
up among some willows and secured, until she 
could be brought away on sledges in the fol- 
lowing spring. A cache was also made of the 
sails, meat, &c, a great part of which, as was 
afterwards found, was destroyed by the wolve- 
reens, which, apparently out of mischief, cut 
the towing line into short lengths of from one 
to two feet, tore the sails and covering into 
rags, and so gnawed a bag that the two hun- 
dred balls it contained were strewed about, and 
most of them lost. There is, in fact, no guard- 
ing against these animals; their strength, as 



VISIT to parry's falls. 451 

compared with their size, is enormous, as may 
be understood from the fact that most of the 
stones used in forming this cache were, singly, 
as much as two able men could lift. 

Each of the crew being laden with a piece 
weighing seventy-five pounds, we began our 
march to the Fort across the mountains, now 
entirely covered with snow four inches deep. 
The small lakes and swamps were also frozen 
hard enough to bear a passage across. We had 
not proceeded more than six or seven miles, when 
observing the spray rising from another fall, we 
were induced to visit it, and were well consoled 
for having left the boat where she was. From 
the only point at which the greater part of it was 
visible, we could distinguish the river coming 
sharp round a rock, and falling into an upper 
basin almost concealed by intervening rocks ; 
whence it broke in one vast sheet into a chasm 
between four and five hundred feet deep, 
yet in appearance so narrow that we fan- 
cied w r e could almost step across it. Out of 
this the spray rose in misty columns several 
hundred feet above our heads; but as it was 
impossible to see the main fall from the side on 
which we were, in the following spring I paid a 
second visit to it, approaching from the western 
bank. The road to it, which I then traversed in 
snow shoes, was fatiguing in the extreme, and 

g g 2 



452 VISIT to parry's falls. 

scarcely less dangerous ; for, to say nothing of 
the steep ascents, fissures in the rocks, and deep 
snow in the valleys, we had sometimes to creep 
along the narrow shelves of precipices slippery 
with the frozen mist that fell on them. But it 
was a sight which well repaid any risk. My 
first impression was of a strong resemblance to 
an iceberg in Smeerenberg Harbour, Spitzbergen. 
The whole face of the rocks forming the chasm 
was entirely coated with blue, green, and white 
ice, in thousands of pendent icicles : and there 
were, moreover, caverns, fissures, and over- 
hanging ledges in all imaginable varieties of 
form, so curious and beautiful as to surpass 
any thing of which I had ever heard or read. 
The immediate approaches were extremely ha- 
zardous, nor could we obtain a perfect view of 
the lower fall, in consequence of the projection 
of the western cliffs. At the lowest position 
which we were able to attain, we were still more 
than a hundred feet above the level of the bed 
of the river beneath ; and this, instead of being 
narrow enough to step across, as it had seemed 
from the opposite heights, was found to be at 
least two hundred feet wide. 

The colour of the water varied from a very 
light to a very dark green ; and the spray, which 
spread a dimness above, was thrown up in clouds 
of light grey. Niagara, Wilberforce's Falls in 



ARRIVAL AT FORT RELIANCE. 453 

Hood's River, the falls of Kakabikka near Lake 
Superior, the Swiss or Italian falls, — although 
they may each " charm the eye with dread," are 
not to be compared to this for splendour of effect. 
It was the most imposing spectacle I had ever 
witnessed ; and, as its berg-like appearance 
brought to mind associations of another scene, 
I bestowed upon it the name of our celebrated 
navigator, Sir Edward Parry, and called it 
Parry's Falls. 

September 27th. — The journey was resumed 
at an early hour. On passing my resting place 
of the preceding spring, I was surprised to see 
the havoc caused by the summer storms, which 
had up torn by the roots and laid prostrate the 
tallest pines of the forest; and the devastation 
was even greater as we neared the lake. Late 
in the forenoon we arrived at Fort Reliance, 
after an absence of nearly four months ; tired 
indeed, but well in health, and truly grateful 
for the manifold mercies we had experienced in 
the course of our long and perilous journey. 
The house was standing, but that was all ; for it 
inclined fearfully to the west, and the mud used 
for plastering had been washed away by the 
rain. The observatory was in little better state ; 
and my canoe had been splintered by lightning. 
Nothing, in short, could present a more cheerless 
appearance for a dwelling : but the goods, and 

g g 3 



454 INQUIRIES AND DISAPPOINTMENT. 

some meat brought by the Indians, were dry in 
the store ; and, after three hours' rest, the men 
were set to work about the necessary reparations. 

The old Indian who had been, when a young 
man, at Hood's River, happened to be at the 
Fort : but he could not afford me the slightest 
information about the country near Bathurst's 
Inlet, nor did he know of any other way of 
getting there with small canoes. " But," said 
he, " why does the chief ask me, when he is the 
only one who has been there ?" 

This was a grievous disappointment ; for, could 
I have obtained the least information to be de- 
pended upon, I had a strong wish to try if some 
communication might not be found between 
Lake Beechey and Back's River, by crossing the 
mountains in a line towards the latter, and taking 
with me materials to build canoes there. But, to 
accomplish this, without any previous knowledge 
of the route, would have occupied one or proba- 
bly even two seasons more, and would have 
required an entirely fresh set of men, and much 
additional expense. When we had reached 
Bathurst's Inlet, there would have been the 
chance of finding it full of ice; and, even on 
the supposition of its being perfectly free, we 
could not, in any manner, reckon on more than 
three weeks for performing the distance between 
this place and Ross Pillar or Point Richardson, 



ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE WINTER. 455 

To go by the Thlew-ee-choh again was out of 
the question ; since, independently of its dan- 
gers, it led to the wrong end for a favourable 
passage along the coast, the eastern portion 
being probably always more or less hampered 
with ice brought by the current from the west- 
ward. Upon these considerations, and influ- 
enced, moreover, by a feeling that I was not 
authorized to swell the expense of a service 
the original object of which had been happily 
anticipated by Providence, I relinquished, though 
with sincere reluctance, the further prosecution 
of its secondary purpose as altogether hopeless 
from this particular quarter. 

It remained, therefore, only to make arrange- 
ments for passing the winter as comfortably as our 
means would permit ; and, as there was not the 
remotest probability that there would be suffi- 
cient food at the house for the consumption of 
the whole party, all except six went with Mr. 
M c Leod to the fisheries, conveying, at the same 
time, to the Company's establishment at Fort 
Resolution, the various bales of goods and other 
articles which we did not now require. A 
great proportion of the pemmican also was de- 
posited in store there, for the use of the expedi- 
tion in its passage through the country. 

The Indians brought us provision from time 
to time ; and our friend Akaitcho, with his fol- 

G G 4 



456 AKAITCHO. 

lowers, though not very successful, was not 
wanting in his contributions. The name of this 
chief is so associated with Sir John Franklin's 
first expedition, that it may not be uninteresting 
to say a few words about him here. He is no 
longer the same active and important person that 
he was in those days ; for, besides the infirmities 
that have crept upon him, he has grown peevish 
and fickle. His once absolute authority is con- 
sequently reduced to a shadow ; and, with the 
exception of his sons and his own family, he can 
scarcely boast of a single subject or adherent in 
his summer excursions to hunt. During winter, 
however, the clan still keep together as formerly. 
The Yellow Knives have drawn vengeance 
on themselves by their wanton and oppressive 
conduct towards their neighbours, the Slave In- 
dians ; an inoffensive race, whom they plundered 
of their peltries and women on the most trifling 
occasions of dispute, and too often out of mere 
insolence, and the assertion of that superiority 
with which the fears of the Slaves invested 
them. At last, after submitting to every scourge 
that the ingenuity of barbarism could inflict — 
after beholding their wives and daughters torn 
from their lodges, and their young men branded 
with the badge of slavery, they w r ere suddenly 
animated with a spirit of revenge ; and, in one 
season, partly by treachery and partly by valour, 



DECLINE OF THE YELLOW KNIVES. 457 

annihilated the boasted ascendency of their ty- 
rants, From this contest dates the downfall of the 
Yellow Knives : their well-known chiefs, and the 
flower of their youth — all who had strength or 
ability were massacred ; and the wretched rem- 
nant were driven from the rich hunting grounds 
about theYellowKnife River to the comparatively 
barren hills bordering on Great Slave Lake. This 
revolution in their fortunes, followed as it was 
by suspicion, fear, and discontent, has sensibly 
affected the race itself, and entailed a degeneracy 
from which they will probably never recover. 
There cannot now be more than seventy families 
remaining; and these comprise few able men, 
the greater proportion being aged, infirm, and 
decrepit, who are regarded as burthens upon 
the more active and working portion of the com- 
munity. To complete their calamities, they have 
been visited by a contagious disease, which is 
fatally prevalent: slowly, but surely, this is con- 
signing them to death, and, without such as- 
sistance as it. is feared cannot be rendered, must 
eventually sweep them away from among the 
tribes of the north. 

Their speculations regarding the creation, &c. 
are dwelt on at length in Franklin's Journey 
to the Polar Sea ; but most of them are either 
forgotten, or strangely distorted by the present 
generation, who content themselves with a sim- 



458 THE CHIPEWYANS. 

pie belief in the existence of One Great Spirit, 
who rewards the good and punishes the evil- 
doer. I was once speaking to the Camarade 
de Mandeville, a Chipewyan chief, on this 
subject, and was endeavouring to impress on 
his mind a few moral precepts for his future 
guidance, to which he listened with the most 
profound gravity and attention. When I had 
concluded, he raised his head a little, and, with 
eyes fixed on the floor, said, in a low and solemn 
tone, " The chief's words have sunk deep into 
my heart ; and I shall often think of them when 
I am alone. It is true that I am ignorant ; but 
I never lie down at night in my lodge without 
whispering to the Great Spirit a prayer for for- 
giveness, if I have done anything wrong that 
day." 

The Chipewyans, although they sometimes 
associate with the Yellow Knives, never do so 
without caution and watchfulness. Indeed, with 
the exception of seven or eight, who were in 
constant broils, they kept aloof, and came to 
the Fort at a time when they knew the others 
were absent. These people are by no means 
wanting in shrewdness, when occasion offers 
for the display of it. Mr. M c Leod was re- 
proving one of them for the bickerings he 
had had with the other tribe ; and, after expos- 
tulating with him on the danger of so bad an 



THE CHIPEWYANS. 459 

example, informed him that they were all 
brothers, created by the same Power, which 
made no distinction between man and man, but 
regarded every one according to the quality of 
his actions ; that they should be kind, therefore, 
and charitable towards each other, for that such 
conduct was pleasing to the Great Spirit. "Ah !" 
said the Indian, with a heavy sigh, "that is 
good -, and if the chief wishes to teach us in that 
way, which is very good, let him show that he 
fears the Great Spirit, and give me a gun to 
hunt with ; for my family are starving." 

While Akaitcho and his followers were at the 
house, I repeated to them what I had previously 
told the others respecting the river, and the 
distance they might venture down it without 
falling in with the Esquimaux, whose vocifer- 
ations and threatening manners were explained 
as being harmless, and their character described 
as peaceable and unoffending after a first inter- 
view. But Akaitcho observed that they were 
difficult people to talk with, and he did not 
think that any of his tribe would go near them, 
though for his own part he was sorry he had not 
accompanied me. 

A few presents were given to them, and they 
went away to the westward well contented. 
The Chipewyans also directed their steps towards 
the Athabasca, and left us in our cold and 



460 AMUSEMENTS ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. 

solitary dwelling to bear the brunt of another 
winter. 

The instruments were placed in the observ- 
atory, the registers recommenced, and we found 
full employment in constructing the chart, 
writing our journals, making drawings, &c. &c. 
An hour every other night was devoted to the 
instruction of the men ; and divine service was 
read every Sunday, which was always held 
sacred as a day of rest. 

The tedium of the long evenings was most 
agreeably lightened by the early arrival of 
our packet from England, containing not only 
letters, but valuable periodicals, and a file of 
the " New York Albion," kindly sent by Go- 
vernor Simpson. I had made some provision 
for a treat to the men on New Year's Day ; and 
accordingly they all came with Mr. M c Leod 
from the fisheries, and our evening commenced 
with some sleight-of-hand tricks with cards, &c. 
The men who performed these were dressed 
up for the purpose ; and having huge beards and 
mustachoes of buffalo skin, as well as a pioneer's 
cap of the same stuff, looked so droll, and in 
their anxiety not to go wrong in their parts, in 
which they were not quite perfect, maintained 
so serious a countenance, that their very appear- 
ance produced peals of laughter. His Majesty's 
health was then drank with three cheers ; and 



VISIT FROM THE WOLVES. 4.61 

the people were set down to a feast, consisting 
of a preparation of meat and fat fried in batter 
(i.e. flour and water), with cakes sweetened with 
treacle ; after which they sang and danced, and, 
to use their own expression, " had grog to their 
hearts' content." In fact, they were all tho- 
roughly happy, and I was scarcely less happy in 
seeing them so. In a few days they returned to 
their several stations, and left us to our former 
solitude. 

Our next visitors were of a more lean and 
hungry kind, being a troop of eighteen white 
wolves, which obliged us to secure the dogs 
by keeping them within the house during the 
night. They would come when every thing 
was quiet, prowling about the door; and fre- 
quently as we went to observe the needle at 
midnight, they were within sixty paces of us on 
the border of the lake, or sneaking about the 
woods, but always retreated to a short distance 
when they saw any one move. Two were 
caught in traps, and one was shot by a spring 
gun, but they were immediately devoured by 
the others, the onlv remains found in the morn- 
ing being the heads and legs. One of their 
decoys was as follows : two or three would lie 
down on the ice a few hundred yards in front of 
the house, in order to entice the dogs, which 
sometimes ventured a little way towards them \ 



462 PURSUIT OF THE WOLVES. 

and on one occasion when two of them were thus 
lying in wait, my little terrier, which had been 
bitten in the neck only two nights before, ran 
with other five dogs to within about fifty paces 
of them, when the larger of the two instantly 
singled it out, and after twice missing, finally 
seized it by the neck, and carried it deliberately 
away. By mere accident I happened to be 
looking through a pane of glass in that direction 
just as the poor little thing was in its jaws. An 
alarm was instantly given to the people, who 
hounded on the dogs, and a general chase was 
given. The wolves contented themselves with 
trotting until we were gaining on them, when 
the one which had the little dog put it down, 
and seizing it afresh by the back, increased its 
speed, and took to the woods. Here, after a 
long run, the interpreter and Taylor came up 
as it was taking its first bite, quite heedless of 
the dogs, which had not the courage to attack 
it. The interpreter's gun missed fire ; but the 
wolf w r as frightened and ran away, leaving its 
victim still alive, though it died soon after from 
its wounds. During the winter w r e caught live 
more, among which was the delinquent, and the 
rest finding nothing to live upon went away. 
The weather was severe at first, but after Ja- 
nuary it became unusually mild ; and as it was 
necessary for me to return by way of Canada, 



SET OUT ON MY RETURN. 463 

the dogs and sledges were got ready early in 
March. I then directed Mr. King to proceed 
at the proper season with the Europeans to 
York Factory, when they would embark in the 
Company's ship for England ; and taking leave 
of my companion, on the 21st of March I went 
towards the fisheries, where, having bade farewell 
to my esteemed friend Mr. M c Leod, I set out, 
and shortly reached Fort Resolution. Here 
having been kindly supplied with every thing 
necessary to forward me, on the 10th of April 
I arrived at Fort Chipewyan, where I was also 
hospitably entertained by Mr. E. Smith, a chief 
factor in the Company's service. 

I was informed that the winter had been un- 
usually mild round Chipewyan, as well as in the 
neighbourhood of Peace River, and that very 
little snow had fallen at either place. The ac- 
counts of the atmospheric register kept on the 
banks of the M c Kenzie River gave a similar 
result; while at Fort Reliance the cold, though 
considerably less severe than that of the preceding 
season, had still been so keen that the daily walk 
for exercise on the wood track behind the Fort 
could not be taken without the risk of being 
frost-bitten. Many of the people, indeed, suf- 
fered severely in this way while going to and 
from our fishery, when, as we afterwards learned 
the weather a little to the westward was mild, 
and at times almost warm ; so that it is evident 



464 ADVANCE OF THE SPRING. 

the degree of cold atone place, furnishes no infer- 
ence which can be relied upon as to the temper- 
ature of another place even moderately distant. 

About the beginning of May, the whole of 
the lake began to look black and decayed : pools 
of water were soon formed, and then a channel, 
which gradually extended itself among the 
islands and along the shoal parts near the 
shore. By the 15th swans, geese, and different 
kinds of ducks appeared in large flocks, and 
were welcomed scarcely more as harbingers of 
spring than for the amusement of shooting them, 
and the grateful change which they afforded to 
the table. Martins and other small birds soon 
followed. Vegetation also now made rapid pro- 
gress ; anemones came into flower, the catkins 
of the willows underwent hourly change, and 
the small leaf of the birch expanded itself almost 
perceptibly. Many women of the Fort were at 
this time also industriously employed in col- 
lecting the sap of these useful trees, for the 
purpose of making a sirup used as a substitute 
for sugar, of which they are extravagantly fond. 

Crops of potatoes and barley are sometimes 
grown at Chipewyan ; but these in the past 
season had failed, owing, as I imagine, to the 
proximity of the places of culture to the lake, and 
their consequent exposure to the chilling winds 
so prevalent here about the autumn and spring. 
Another trial, however, was now made, and 



ARRIVAL OF BOATS FROM PEACE RIVER. 465 

seed again sown, in the hope of a more fortunate 

result. 

On the 23d of May, some boats laden with 
furs, &c. arrived from the post on Peace River, 
whence they also brought a cow and calf, 
and thereby supplied us with luxuries till then 
untasted at Chipewyan. A few days after, two 
gentlemen made their appearance from the 
Company's farthest establishments to the south- 
west of the Rocky Mountains, a long and tedious 
journey, which they had performed partly on 
horseback and partly in canoes. They were 
sensibly affected by the change of temperature, 
and remarked that the difference even within a 
few days was like the transition from summer to 
winter. 

Chilly N.E. winds had prevailed for nearly a 
fortnight, and when these blew fresh the ice 
from that quarter drifted down in large quan- 
tities, and blocked up the channel, which at 
other times, under favourable circumstances, was 
clear enough to afford a passage out of the lake. 
On such occasions I was naturally anxious to get 
away, although unwilling to do so in the absence 
of my interpreter Thomas Hassel. He had re- 
mained at Fort Resolution at his own request, as 
substitute for the interpreter of that post, removed 
in consequence of illness to Fort Reliance for 
the benefit of the attention of Mr. King, under 

H H 



466 DEPART FOR MONTREAL. 

whose treatment, I may add, he speedily reco- 
vered. The morning of the 28th of May, how- 
ever, was so tine, and the channel so free from 
obstruction, that I immediately prepared for my 
departure, having arranged that Hassel should 
follow in one of the Company's boats, and take 
the place of the person who was appointed to 
accompany me. Accordingly, provided with 
every thing that was necessary for the journey, 
I took leave of my kind friend Mr. Smith, of 
whom it is but justice to say that he had ne- 
glected nothing which might contribute in any 
degree to my comfort while under his hospitable 

roof. 

After several detentions, principally from gales 
of wind, I got to Norway House, in Jack River, 
on the 24th of June, and found many persons 
there suffering from influenza. Mr. Simpson had 
been obliged to go to Canada ; but had directed 
every thing necessary to be in readiness, that my 
progress might not be delayed. Having, there- 
fore, examined the accounts and charges for the 
o-oods received by the expedition from the Com- 
pany, and left some brief directions for Mr. King, 
I set out very shortly for Montreal, with a crew 
of Iroquois and Canadians substituted for my 
own men, who, at their own request, were now 
discharged from the service. I next crossed 
Lake Winnipeg, and arrived at Fort Alexander, 



THE SAUTEAUX INDIANS. 467 

where we provided ourselves with a stronger 
canoe, better adapted for ascending the river. 

As we approached Rainy Lake, numerous 
deserted huts of the Sauteaux Indians were seen 
on each side of the river, generally near rapids, 
where they spear the sturgeon as it struggles to 
ascend the current. The arrival of these fish is 
their season of feasting ; for the large animals 
being nearly extinct, they often experience great 
difficulty in procuring food enough for subsist- 
ence ; and, indeed, were it not for the wild rice, 
which happily grows spontaneously round the 
lake, and which they have prudence enough to 
gather up for winter consumption, their condition 
w r ould be most deplorable. In proof of the 
wretchedness to which they are reduced, it is 
only necessary to look at the many young trees 
which have been stripped of their bark to afford 
them sustenance. Still these people are, or 
rather, when we saw them, were more than 
commonly robust, and had an air and car- 
riage greatly superior to the more peaceable 
tribes of the north. The almost constant state of 
warfare existing between them and the Sieux 
Indians makes them daring, and gives them a 
peculiar strut, assumed, probably, for the pur- 
pose of intimidating their adversaries. On one 
occasion, as we were crossing a portage close to 
the American lines, some of these Indians came 

h h 2 



468 PILFERING HABITS OF THE INDIANS. 

to us with a few fish, ostensibly for the purpose 
of exchanging them for tobacco with the voy- 
ageurSy but in reality to pilfer anything they 
could conveniently carry away. However, they 
were narrowly watched ; and nothing was missed 
until at the moment of starting, when one of our 
Iroquois, leaping on shore, went directly up to 
an elderly Sauteaux, who was quietly seated on 
a rock, pushed him aside, and discovered his hat, 
which the old fellow had dexterously contrived 
to secrete under his dress. This detection so an- 
noyed him, that when the canoe was pushed off 
from the land he began pelting us with stones, 
but desisted on my holding up my hand in token 
of disapprobation. 

The river Kaministiquoyawas found so shallow 
that three or four of the crew were obliged to walk 
along the banks ; and in attempting to make a 
short cut through the woods they got bewildered. 
After endeavouring for a short time in vain to 
recover the track by which they had entered, 
one of the number climbed a pine-tree, in the 
hope of descrying the river; but unfortunately, in 
grasping one of the topmost branches, he uncon- 
sciously disturbed a wasp's nest, suspended just 
above his head ; and so instantaneous and fierce 
was the attack upon his face and eyes, that the 
poor fellow tumbled, rather than came down, co- 
vered with stings, and vociferating loudly for as- 



EXEMPLARY SUCCESS OF A MISSIONARY. 469 

sistance. The report of a gun fired about the same 
time, enabled the stragglers to rejoin the canoe. 
At Sault Ste. Marie, which I reached about the 
end of July, I met with a most hospitable, and, 
indeed, flattering reception. Major Codd, the 
commandant of the American garrison, paid me 
the extraordinary compliment of receiving me with 
a salute of eleven guns. In the evening of the 
same day, I had also the gratification of passing 
a few hours at the mission-house of the Rev. W. 
M c Murray, whose pious endeavours to reclaim 
the poor Indians in that district are deserving 
of the highest praise. In the short space of two 
years, this exemplary man has received into his 
fold no fewer than two hundred converts ; and has 
established a school, attended, not unfrequently, 
by fifty scholars. By the liberality of the go- 
vernment, a school-house was then in the course 
of erection for the use of the mission ; and the 
appointment of a schoolmaster was in contem- 
plation. Houses were also building for the ac- 
commodation of at least twenty Indian families, 
who were to be instructed in agriculture, for 
which they were said to have manifested a 
decided inclination. Nor has Mr. M c Murray 
confined his exertions to his own immediate 
neighbourhood, some of the more zealous 
members of his congregation having been de- 
spatched along the northern shores of Lake 

h h 3 



470 MISSIONARY AT SAULT STE. MARIE. 

Superior to visit their brethren about Michipi- 
coton, who were anxiously seeking for instruction. 
A translation into Chippewa of the catechism 
and part of the common prayer of the church, 
executed by Mr. M c Murray, and printed by 
direction of the committee at Toronto, has been 
supplied for the use of the scholars and the 
mission generally; but the finances of the society 
are unequal to the excellent work they have in 
hand even at Sault Ste. Marie alone. "Incal- 
culable good," says the worthy missionary, 
" might be done in these northern regions, were 
the attention of the Christian world once engaged 
in behalf of the benighted inhabitants. There is 
work, I might safely say, for a hundred mission- 
aries." Could not some means be adopted for 
aiding, by subscription or otherwise, the benevo- 
lent views of this zealous friend of the human 
race ? I have spent many years of my life among 
Indians, and may be excused for feeling a more 
than common interest for their welfare. Nor, 
in dismissing this subject, can I forbear from 
quoting a part of the fourth annual report of the 
society, &c. at Toronto, for the year ending 
October, 1834 : — " It is by no means a circum- 
stance of the least interest connected with the 
mission at the Sault Ste. Marie that it promises, 
at some future period, to be the centre from 
which the light of Divine truth will radiate to all 



RETURN TO ENGLAND. 471 

the heathen tribes of that remote region ; to a 
portion of whom native speakers, proceeding 
from the mission at the Sault, have already 
carried such a knowledge of Christianity — by 
no means inconsiderable — as they have them- 
selves acquired under its instruction." 

Returning exactly by the same route, in pre- 
ference to the more circuitous one by the 
American steam boat, I arrived on the 6th of 
August at La Chine, having since I quitted it 
travelled over a distance of seven thousand five 
hundred miles, including twelve hundred of 
discovery. 

Both at Montreal, and in my passage through 
the United States, I experienced every where the 
same kind attentions. My baggage was not in- 
spected by the officers of the customs ; and 
every thing was done or offered which could 
minister to my convenience. 

At New York I embarked, on the 17th of 
August, on board the packet ship North America, 
and arrived at Liverpool on the 8th of September, 
after an absence of two years and nearly seven 
months. Mr. King, with eight of the men, reached 
England in the Hudson's Bay Company's ship in 
October. Much fatigue had been undergone in 
transporting the stores of the expedition over the 
ice to Fort Resolution ; and it was as gratifying 
to me to learn, as it was creditable to him to 

H H t 



472 CONCLUSION. 

have to report, that the long and tedious journey 
from Slave Lake to York Factory had been un- 
attended by a single calamity. 

On my arrival in London, I had the honour 
of laying my chart and drawings before the Right 
Hon. Lord Glenelg, Principal Secretary of State 
for the Colonies, — under the orders of which 
department, as already stated, I had proceeded, 
— and also before Lord Auckland and the Board 
of Admiralty. I was soon after honoured with an 
audience by His Majesty ; who was condescend- 
ing enough to manifest a gracious interest in 
the discoveries which it had been my good 
fortune to make, and to express his approbation 
of my humble efforts, first in the cause of hu- 
manity, and next in that of geographical and 
scientific research. 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX. 



The names of the distinguished persons affixed to the 
following papers on natural history are of themselves 
sufficient to command attention to their productions ; but 
I feel called on again to state that the merit of making 
the collection of which they give an account is entirely 
due to Mr. King, who, I am convinced, had our means 
and opportunities of conveyance been more favourable, 
would have still added to the number of specimens 
brought home. We were without the kind of shot 
calculated for killing small birds, inconvenienced by 
want of room in our single boat, and assailed by almost 
constant rain, while the barren grounds afforded little 
beyond moss for fuel. In such circumstances, much 
credit is due to him for the zeal and perseverance which 
he evinced, amid difficulties of so varied a nature. — G. B. 



No. I. 

ZOOLOGICAL REMARKS, 

By John Richardson, M.D. F.R.S. &c. 

Few people in this country have a correct notion of the 
magnitude of that part of America which lies to the north 
of the great Canada lakes ; and it may not therefore 
be out of place to inform the reader, that the area of the 



476 APPENDIX. 

territory in question is about equal to the portion of the 
old continent which would be cut off to the northward 
by an imaginary line running from the Bay of Biscay, 
through the Gulf of Lyons, the Adriatic and Black 
Seas, to the Caspian and Lake Aral, and from thence 
north-eastwardly to the sea of Ochotsk, thus compris- 
ing twenty-seven degrees of latitude, and in the sixtieth 
parallel upwards of one hundred degrees of longitude : 
or, Captain Back's journey from New York to the Gulf 
of Boothia may be likened to that of a traveller who 
should embark in a canoe at Naples, and proceed up or 
down various rivers, and across portages, until he reach 
Arkhangel and the entrance of the White Sea. In a 
country embracing so many parallels of latitude, and 
presenting a surface so greatly varied by hill and dale, 
woods and prairies, we may naturally expect a consider- 
able variety in its ferine inhabitants; and those which 
exist in America are highly interesting to the zoologist, 
as being less perfectly known than their European re- 
presentatives, — while, at the same time, their range 
having been as yet scarcely restricted, or their habits 
influenced, by man, they offer instructive studies to the 
naturalist. It is in North America alone that oppor- 
tunities occur for observing the curious operations of 
the beaver, which are guided by an instinct almost 
surpassing human reason : there too we may watch the 
regular migrations of the bison and reindeer to their 
wonted feeding-places or remote retreats where they 
bring forth their young ; and note the periodical flights of 
birds proceeding in immense flocks from warmer and more 
populous climes to the secluded shores of the Arctic Sea. 
The ichthyologist too, who shall devote his time to the 
investigation of the fresh waters of that country, and of 
its several bounding seas, will reap a rich harvest; and 



APPENDIX. 477 

the entomologist who may travel thither, will be de- 
lighted with the unexpected burst of insect life which 
enlivens the air and fills the waters as soon as winter 
has passed away. 

The distribution of animals has a close connection 
with climate ; and though this is not the place to enter 
into a lengthened discussion on that important subject, 
yet a few remarks may be appropriately made on the 
difference between the climate of Europe, and especially 
of its sea-coasts, and that of the interior of North 
America. In the former, the winter is tempered by the 
warm breezes which sweep over an open sea ; and, except 
in very high latitudes, the ground is seldom covered 
with snow for a great length of time, or vegetation com- 
pletely arrested by frosts of long duration. Most of 
the grass seeds (not objects of culture) that have been 
matured in the summer fall to the ground in the autumn, 
and, if the season be moist, have already germinated 
before the conclusion of winter. The perfection of what 
has been termed by way of distinction a maritime climate 
may be observed on the west of Ireland, or, still more 
evidently, in the islets or " holmes " of the Shetland and 
Orkneys, which, lying between the sixtieth and sixty- 
first parallels, are green during the whole winter, afford- 
ing pasture to numerous flocks of sheep : but this mild 
winter is coupled with a less genial summer. The 
growth of the cerealia and of the most useful vegetables 
depends chiefly on the intensity and duration of the 
summer heats, and is comparatively little influenced by 
the severity of the winter cold, or the lowness of the 
mean temperature of the year. Thus, in France, 
though the isothermal lines, or lines of equal annual 
heat, bend to the southward as they recede from the coast, 
the bounding lines of culture of the olive, maize, and vine, 



478 APPENDIX. 

have a contrary direction — that is, incline to the north- 
eastward, — which is attributed to the low summer tem- 
perature along the coast. 

In North America, the decrement of the mean 
annual temperature incident to the increase of latitude 
is much greater than in Europe ; and there is also, 
especially in the interior, a much wider difference 
between the summer heat and winter cold, — the 
increase of vernal heat being sudden and great. On 
the north shore of Lake Huron, which is nearly in the 
same parallel with the bottom of the Gulf of Venice, 
the snow covers the ground for nearly half the year ; 
though the mean heat of the three summer months, 
amounting to 70° of Fahrenheit's scale, equals that ex- 
perienced at Bourdeaux. Cumberland House, having 
the same latitude with the city of York in England, 
stands on the isothermal line of 32°, which in Europe 
rises to the North Cape in latitude 71°; but its summer 
heat exceeds that of Brussels or Paris. Humboldt in- 
forms us that, in countries whose mean temperature is 
below 63°, spring, or the renewal of vegetation, takes 
place in that month which has a mean heat of 33° or 
34°, and deciduous trees push out their leaves when 
the mean reaches to 52° ; thus, the sum of the tempe- 
ratures of the months which attain the latter heat fur- 
nishes a measure of the strength and continuance of 
vegetation. Lake Huron, in latitude 44°, enjoys five of 
these months ; Cumberland House, three ; and Bear 
Lake and Fort Enterprise, both in latitude 64J°, only 
two : all these places have an interior or continental 
climate. At Winter Island, on the eastern coast, in 
latitude 64^°, and at Igloolik, in latitude 66%°, no month 
in the year attains a mean heat of 52°; and at Churchill, 
in latitude 59°, the summer heat does not exceed that 
of Bear Lake, being 10° less than that which is ex- 



APPENDIX. 479 

perienced in the same parallel in the interior of the 

continent. 

The phenomenon of the isothermal lines sinking on 
the western coast of Hudson's Bay, instead of rising 
as they do on the eastern coast of Europe, has been 
variously accounted for. Dr. Brewster assumes two 
northern poles of cold, and places one of them on the 
meridian of 92°, which is the longitude of Churchill ; 
but we think that the peculiarities of the climate of this 
part of the country may be greatly owing to the con- 
figuration of the land. The coast to the northward is 
deeply indented by gulfs and sounds, and fringed by 
numerous islands, among which the drift ice is detained 
until late in the season. This melting depresses the 
summer heat ; while the ice-covered sea has little or no 
effect in tempering the cold during the winter. The 
subsoil north of latitude 56° is perpetually frozen, the 
thaw on the coast not penetrating above three feet, and 
at Bear Lake, in latitude 64°, not more than twenty 
inches. The frozen substratum does not of itself 
destroy vegetation ; for forests flourish on the surface at 
a distance from the coast, and the brief though warm 
summer gives birth to a handsome flora, matures several 
pleasant fruits, and produces many carices and grasses. 

The direction of the northern termination of the 
woods shows the gradual ascent of the isothceral lines 
(or lines of equal summer heat) as they recede from 
Hudson's Bay. On the coast near Churchill the 
woods cease about the 60th parallel ; but at the distance 
of fifty or sixty miles from the sea their boundary 
rises rapidly to the northward, and then takes a nearly 
straight W.N.W. course until it reaches Great Bear 
Lake, in latitude 65°. The most northerly tree is the 
white spruce ; but the canoe birch, which is deciduous, 



480 APPENDIX. 

terminates only thirty or forty miles to the southward of 
it ; and we thus possess the means of ascertaining how 
far to the north a summer temperature of 52° extends. 
But, in fixing this limit, some allowance must be made 
for altitude, and the nature of the soil. Thus, on the 
low alluvial delta of the Mackenzie, the spruce fir 
reaches the latitude of 68° ; and the banks of that river 
generally are better wooded than the more elevated rocky 
tracts which lie to the eastward. 

The permanence of the frosts when once they set in 
is a feature of the climate of the fur countries which 
requires to be noticed here, as it influences the dis- 
tribution of graminivorous and herbivorous animals * 
by modifying their supply of food. The carices 
and grasses have scarcely matured their seeds before 
they are frozen up for the season while their leaves 
are still full of sap ; thus they continue to afford good 
pasturage until the spring, and they drop their seeds 
only when the melting snow has prepared the ground 
for their reception. The sparrows and buntings profit 
by this vernal harvest. In like manner the Vaccineae, 
Arbuti, and several other berry-bearing shrubs, retain 
their fruits until the same period, when they yield food 
to the bears, just awoke from their winter sleep, and 
to large flocks of geese winging their way to their 
breeding places. 

The northern boundary of the woods is the limit of 
the range of the black bear, the American fox, the pine- 
martin, the fisher, the lynx, the beaver, several mar- 
mots, the American hare, the moose deer, the Canada 
partridge, the woodpeckers, &c. The " barren 

* Beasts and birds of prey depending on these tribes for subsist- 
ence are also thus influenced in their distribution by the powers 
of vegetation. 



APPENDIX. 481 

grounds " to the northward of the woods have also 
their appropriate inhabitants, such as the brown bear, 
the arctic fox, Parry's marmot, the polar hare, and the 
musk ox. The small variety of the reindeer winters 
within the verge of the wooded country, but travels to 
the northward in the summer, and drops its young on 
the sea-coast. The wolf and the wolverene inhabit 
woods and barren grounds indifferently, and the polar 
bear seldom travels inland. The " prairies, " or wood- 
less plains, which skirt the Rocky Mountains from the 
55th parallel down to the Mississippi, and enjoy milder 
winters than the more easterly districts, have another set 
of inhabitants, of which the bison is the most important. 
This animal feeds in countless herds on the grass of the 
prairies, and furnishes food to a much greater Indian 
population than the wooded districts can support. The 
bison exists also in the woods up to the 62d parallel, 
though in much smaller numbers, but it does not travel to 
the eastward of the 105th meridian ; and a few stragglers 
only have found their way across the mountains to the 
fertile and comparatively temperate country which skirts 
the Pacific. The prairie wolf, the kit-fox, and various 
marmots are peculiar to the plains ; and the ferocious 
and powerful grisly bear, though most abundant on the 
alpine declivities, also ranges for some distance over the 
flat country to the eastward. 

The north-west coast which we have just alluded to 
has a climate more like that of the east coast of Europe 
in its temperature than any other part of North Ame- 
rica : but it is very moist, owing to the vicinity of the 
Rocky Mountains. The summits of this range are in- 
habited by a wool-bearing goat named Cajwa Americana, 
and the declivities by the Ovis montana, or mountain 
sheep. The country nearer the Pacific coast is fre- 

I I 



482 APPENDIX. 

quented b}' a fox more closely resembling the European 
one than the Canis fulvus of the eastern territory does. 
The moose-deer, reindeer, wapiti, with several others of 
the genus, known to the traders under the name of mule- 
deer, jumping deer or cabree, fallow-deer or chevreuil, 
and the prong-horned antelope, also inhabit New Cale- 
donia and the banks of the Columbia. 

The following is a list of the specimens procured by 
the expedition, with a reference to the pages of the 
Fauna-Boreali Americana, where they are scientifically 
described : — 

Vespertilio subulatus, F.B.A. 1. page 3. 

Mustela (Putorius) erminea - 46. 

vison - - 48. 

Lutra Canadensis - -57. 

Lupus occidentalis, griseus - 66. 

Canis familiaris, Canadensis - 80. 

Castor Americanus - - 105. 

Fiber zibethicus - - 1 1 5. 

Arvicola Pennsylvanicus - 124. 

Georychus trimucronatus - 130. 

Mus leucopus - 142. 

Spermophilus Parryi - 158. 
Aquila (Haliaeetus) leucocephala, 

F.B.A. 2. - - - 15. 
Falco lanarius. 

Islandicus - - 27. 

sparverius - - - 31. 

columbarius - - 35. 

Buteo borealis - - 50. 

(Circus) cyaneus - 55. 

Strix otus - - - 72. 

brachyota - 75. 

cinerea - - - 77. 



APPENDIX. 



483 



Strix Virginiana, F. B. A. 2. 

nyctea 

funerea 

Tyrannula pusilla 

Merula migratoria 

Wilsonii 
Erythaca (Sialia) arctica 
Sylvicola (Vermivora) peregrina 
Setophaga ruticilla 
Anthus aquaticus 
Vireo olivaceus 
Bombycilla garrula 
Alauda cornuta 
Plectrophanes nivalis 
Emberiza Canadensis 
Fringilla leucophrys 

Pennsylvanica 
Pyrrhula (Cory thus) enucleator 
Loxia leucoptera 
Linaria minor 
Coccothraustes (Guiraca) Ludo 

viciana 
Agelaius phceniceus 

xanthocephalus 
Quiscalus versicolor 
Scolecophagus ferrugineus 
Garrulus Canadensis 
Picus pubescens 
varius 
tridactylus 
arcticus 
Colaptes auratus - 
Hirundo lunifrons 

I I 2 



p. 81. 

- 88. 
• 92. 
. 144. 

- 176. 

- 182. 

- 209. 
221. 

- 223. 

- 231. 

- 233. 

- 237. 

- 245. 

- 246. 

- 252. 

- 255. 

- 256. 
262. 

- 263. 

- 267. 

271. 

- 280. 

- 281. 

- 285. 

- 286. 

- 296. 

- 307. 

- 309. 

- 311. 

- 313. 

- 314. 

- 331. 



Lake Winipeg. 
Lake Winipeg. 
Fort Reliance. 
River Winipeg. 
Fort Reliance. 
Fort Reliance. 

Fort Reliance. 

River Winipeg. 



Fort Reliance. 

Lake Winipeg. 
Lake Winipeg. 

Lake Winipeg. 
Fort Reliance. 



Fort Reliance. 



484 APPENDIX. 

Caprimulgus (Cbordeiles) Virgi- 

nianus, F. B. A. 2. - p. 337. Lake Winipeg. 
Alcedo alcyon - - - 339. 

Tetrao Canadensis - - 346. 

Tetrao (Lagopus) saliceti - 351. 

rupestrus, Sabine 356. 
(Centrocercus) phasianellus 361. 
Columba (Ectopisles) migratoria 363. Lake Winipeg. 



Charadrius vociferus 


- 368. 


pluvialis 


- 369. 


melodus 


River Winipeg 


Strepsilas interpres 


- 371. 


Grus Americana 


- 372. 


Canadensis 


- 373. 


Recurvirostra Americana 


- 375. 


Tringa Douglassii 


- 379. 


alpina 


- 384. 


Totanus flavipes 


- 390. 


Rallus Carolinus 


- 403. 


Phalaropus Wilson ii 


- 405. 


fulicarius 


- 407. 


Fulica Americana 


- 404. 


Podiceps cornutus 


- 411. 


Larus argentatbides 


- 417. 


Lestris pomarina 


- 429. 


Anas clypeata 


- 439. 


acuta - 


- 441. 


boschas 


- 442. 


crecca 


- 443. 


Mareca Americana 


- 445. 


Oidemia perspicillata 


- 448. 


Fuligula marila 


- 453. 


rufitorques 


- 454. 


rubida 


- 455. 



APPENDIX. 485 



Clangula albeola, F. B. A. 2. p. 458. 

vulgaris - - 456. 

Anser albifrons - 466. 

hyperboreus - - 467. 

Canadensis - - 468. 

Colymbus septentrionalis - 476. 
Lucioperea Americana, F. B. A. 3. 10. 



Salmo namaycush 


- 179. 


Gadus (Lota) maculosus 


- 248. 


Coregonus albus 


- 311. 


tullibee 


- 309. 


Hiodon chrysopsis 


- 311. 



These specimens were all carefully prepared by Mr. 
Richard King, surgeon to the expedition, who deserves 
the thanks of zoologists for devoting so much time and 
labour to the promotion of the science. As it would 
exceed the limits of an Appendix to give a full account, 
or even a cursory notice, of each species, we shall 
merely say a few words respecting those which are 
objects of chase to the Indian hunter, either for food or 
for the sake of their fur, adding a few brief remarks on 
the specimens of the other species when they serve for 
the elucidation of doubtful points of their history. 

Say's Bat. Vesper tilio subulatus. (Say.) F. B.A.I. 

p. 3. 

The specimen resembles the one described in the 
Fauna-Boreali Americana so much, that we cannot but 
consider it as the same species, though it has a shorter 
tail ; and the comparative dimensions of some of the 
other members also differ a little, as the following Table 
shows : — 

I I 3 



486 



APPENDIX. 





King's Sp. 


Richard- 
son's. 


Say's. 




Inch. lin. 


Inch. lin. 


Inch. lin. 


Total length - 


3 8§ 


3 4 


2 1* 


Length of head and body - 


2 4| 


1 10 


— 


head - 


8 


9 


_— 


tail - 


1 4i 


1 6 


1 2\ 


Height of ear - 


7 


8 


__ 


Breadth of ditto - 


H 


4 


__ 


Height of tragus - 


4 


4| 


— — 


Spread of wings - 


8 6 


10 


_ 


Length of thumb - 


3} 


2i 


— 



The discrepancies in the dimensions may be partly 
reconciled by supposing the body of the specimen taken 
on Captain Back's expedition to have been rather over- 
stuffed ; while the one got by Sir J. Franklin's party may 
have been allowed to shrink too much. Mr. Say's ex- 
ample must have been a young individual, if the identity 
of the species be granted. Say's bat, which is closely 
allied to the V. pipistrellus and emarginatus of Europe, 
has an extensive range, having been found on the 
Arkansas, at Great Slave Lake, and in the interme- 
diate district. 



American Black Bear. Ursus Americanus. (Pallas.) 

F. B. A. l. p. 14. 

This bear, which is the only one of the genus that 
produces a valuable fur, may be readily known by a 
pale yellowish-brown patch on each side of its long and 
slightly arched nose. It feeds chiefly on fruit and other 
vegetable matters ; and is by no means a ferocious 
animal, seldom injuring man except in self-defence, and 
shunning the combat whenever a way of retreat is open 



APPENDIX. 487 

to it. It climbs trees or scales precipices with great 
facility ; and, being very wary, is not easily killed in 
the summer. But extreme caution sometimes proves 
the cause of its destruction ; for on hearing a noise 
or apprehending danger, it stands upon its hind legs 
every now and then to look over the bushes, and, by 
thus showing its position, enables the skilful hunter to 
make his approach. The bear is, however, much more 
frequently taken in its winter retreat; and being al- 
ways fat when hybernating, with the fur in prime 
order, it is a valuable prize to the Indian, who, from 
long practice, acquires an extraordinary skill in discover- 
ing its den, by indications that would attract no notice 
from the eye of an inexperienced person. But though 
the native hunter never neglects an opportunity of kill- 
ing a bear, he deems it an honour to be related to an 
animal possessing so much strength and sagacity ; and 
before he proceeds to skin and cut up the carcass, he 
shows it the utmost respect, and begs a thousand par- 
dons for the liberty he is about to take with his erand- 
mother. The fat of the bear resembles hog's lard, and 
is generally considered as a delicacy by the Indians ; but 
its strong flavour is disagreeable to Europeans. 

Barren-ground Bear. Ursus ArctosP F. B. A. 1. 

p. 21. 

This bear, which closely resembles the brown bear 
of Europe, and is probably the same species, frequents 
the barren lands lying to the north of the wooded 
country ; and in the summer time haunts the shores of 
the Arctic sea. It feeds upon roots and berries, and 
also upon such animals as it can surprise, or that it 
finds dead — being much more carnivorous than the 

I I 4 



488 APPENDIX. 

preceding species. One that was killed by Sir John 
Franklin's party in Bathurst's Inlet had a seal, a mar- 
mot, and many roots in its stomach. This bear attains 
a greater size than the black bear, and is dreaded by 
the Indians on account of its strength and courage. It is 
said that it will attack man when impelled by hunger, 
but all that we saw fled from us as fast as they could. 

Grisly Bear. Ursus ferox. (Lewis and Clark.) 

F. B. A. ] . p. 24. 

This is a still more carnivorous animal than either of 
the preceding species, though not so completely so as 
the Polar bear. It is the most powerful of the genus, 
being able to master the American bison, which forms 
its habitual prey. The Indian hunter will rarely venture 
to attack the grisly bear, unless he is very advantage- 
ously posted ; for it does not hesitate to assail a man 
who, intruding incautiously upon its haunts, comes upon 
it unexpectedly; and has been known to carry off a 
voyager from among his companions as they were 
seated at supper: yet it will usually make off when it scents 
the hunter from a distance, unless it be stimulated by 
hunger or incited by the presence of its mate or young to 
commence the attack. The physiognomy of the grisly 
bear is very like that of the brown bear ( Ursus Arctos), 
but it may be readily known by the developement and 
curvature of its claws, which are blackish in the young 
animal, but change to a dirty white as it increases in age. 

Polar Bear. Ursus maritimus, (Linn.) F. B.A.I. 

p. 30. 

The Polar bear passes the greater part of its life at sea 
among ice, in the pursuit of the different species of seal. 



APPENDIX. 489 

It is one of the quadrupeds which ascends into the 
highest latitudes, being an inhabitant of Spitzbergen, 
Nova Zembla, Greenland, and Parry's Islands. The 
o-ravid females hybernate under the snow ; but the males 
and other females travel over the ice in winter in quest 
of open water. This fact was established beyond a 
doubt in 1826-7, when the Dundee whaler wintered in 
Baffin's Bay. This ship was beset in latitude 74° in Sep- 
tember, and got clear in latitude 62 J° in April: the 
pack of ice in which she was enclosed having drifted 
through Baffin's Bay, and obliquely across Davis' Strait, 
in the course of eight months. In the beginning of 
February, when the ship was in latitude 68° 45' N., a 
whale being harpooned at the distance of sixty miles 
from the land, many bears, foxes, and sharks came to 
feed on the crang, very much to the delight of the crew, 
who were rejoiced to add to their scanty allowance of 
provisions the flesh of such bears and sharks as they 
succeeded in killing. * 

The Wolverene. Gulo luscus. (Sabine.) F. B. A. 

1. p. 41. 

The quickehatch, or wolverene, is another inhabitant 
of the high latitudes — its remains having been found in 
Parry's Islands, near the 75th parallel. It is a strong 
cunning animal, of which many marvellous stories have 
been told ; and is greatly disliked by the martin-trappers, 
on account of the injury it does by carrying off their baits, 
and thus rendering fruitless the labour of many days. 

* Voyage to Davis' Strait, by David Duncan. London, 1827. 



490 APPENDIX. 

The Ermine. Mustela [Putorius) erminea. (Linn. 
Gmel.) F. B. A. 1. p. 47. 

This active little animal feeds on the white-footed 
mouse and other small gnawers, hunting, like the rest of 
the family, in the night, when it frequently enters the 
dwelling of man in pursuit of prey. The noise that 
it makes in galloping over the boarded floor, gives the 
impression of its being a much larger beast. Few of the 
ermine-skins of commerce come from Hudson's Bay. 



The Mink. Mustela {Putorius) vison. (Linn. Gmel.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 48. 

The vison or mink preys upon small fish, freshwater 
muscles, &c, and swims and dives well. La Hontan 
calls it an "amphibious weazel;" and it is known to the 
Canadian fur-hunters by the name of " foutereau." Its 
fur, though darker, is shorter, and consequently of less 
value, than that of the pine-martin. It is a smaller 
animal than the latter, with a proportionably shorter and 
broader head, and a molar tooth fewer on each side. 
Easily tamed, it shows much attachment to those who 
pet it. 



The Pine-martin. Mustela mattes. (Linn.) F. B. 

A. 1. p. 51. 

Inhabits the wooded districts, and preys upon hares, 
mice, and birds. When surprised upon a tree, its ges- 
tures, the attitudes it assumes, and the puffing noise it 
makes, are very like those of a cat under similar circum- 
stances. Martin fur is very fine, and brings a high 



APPENDIX. 491 

price, being sold largely in England under the name of 
" sable ;" the real Russian sable rarely or never finding 
its way into our fur-shops. 



The Pekan, or Fisher. Mustela Canadensis. (Linn.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 52. 

Notwithstanding the name of fisher, this animal does 
not seek its prey in the water ; but entirely resembles 
the pine-martin in its habits. Its greater size, the colour 
and coarseness of its fur, distinguish it from the latter. 
The skins of the pekan are called " woodshocks" at the 
Hudson's Bay Company's sales. 



The Skunk. Mephitis Americana. (Sabine.) F. B. 

A. 1. p. 55. 

A full, bushy tail, long black hair, and a broad white 
stripe along each side, give the skunk a pleasing appear- 
ance ; but the odour of the fluid it discharges when in 
danger is so disgusting that few people can summon 
resolution to approach it. The early French settlers in 
Canada evinced their abhorrence of this otherwise 
harmless animal, by terming it "V enfant dn diable." 
Clothes tainted by the fluid it secretes are but imper- 
fectly purified after they have been buried in the earth 
for many days. The skunk is said to hybernate under 
the snow. It runs slowly ; and, but for its peculiar 
means of defence, would be easily destroyed by its nume- 
rous enemies. Dogs hunt it eagerly; but when they are 
just on the point of seizing it, a single discharge of its 
nauseous liquor puts them to flight. 



49^ APPENDIX. 

The Canada Otter. Lutra Canadensis. (Sabine.) 

F. B. A. l.p. 57. 

The habits of the otter are the same in the New World 
as in the Old; but there being a difference in the pro- 
portional length of their tails, and in some other respects, 
they are considered as distinct species. The fur of the 
Canada otter, which is much more valuable than that of 
its European representative, resembles that of the beaver, 
and is applied to the same purposes. A single skin is 
worth from one to two guineas. The otter is found up 
to the 66th or 67th parallel of latitude. 



The Wolf. Lupus occidentalis. (Rich.) F. B. A. 1. 

p. 60. 

Wolves inhabit the whole country north of Canada, 
being, as is natural, most numerous in the districts 
which nourish the largest herds of the ruminating 
animals on which they prey. The countenance and 
general appearance of the American wolf differs greatly 
from those of its European representative, and its fur is 
very dissimilar ; but it is a difficult question to determine 
whether it be a distinct species, or merely a variety pro- 
duced by climate and other local causes. The Indian 
dog differs also in the thickness of its furry coat, as well 
as in its aspect, from the shepherd's dog, which is the 
analogous European race. Indeed, the wolves and the 
domestic dogs of the fur countries are so like each other, 
that it is not easy to distinguish them at a small distance ; 
the want of strength and courage of the former being 
the principal difference. The offspring of the wolf and 
Indian dog are prolific, and are prized by the voyagers 



APPENDIX. 493 

as beasts of draught, being stronger than the ordinary 

dog. 

The common colour of the American wolf is grey 
{Lupus griseus), changing to white in the higher latitudes, 
durino- the winter ; but black individuals (Lupus ater), 
dusky ones (Lupus mcbilus), and pied ones (Lupus sticte), 
are also met with occasionally. A small wolf, which 
differs somewhat in its habits from the common one, 
frequents the plains of the Saskatchewan and Missouri 
in great numbers; and has been described as a dis- 
tinct species, under the name of the Prairie wolf (Lupus 
latrans). 

The American Fox. Vulpes fulvus. F. B. A. 1. 

p. 98. 

This fox differs remarkably from its European repre- 
sentative in its fur forming a very valuable article of 
trade, particularly the black variety ; a single skin being 
worth from twenty to thirty guineas in some years. The 
" cross " and " silver " foxes are also much prized, 
though they differ from the common red or tawny variety 
in the colour more than in the quality of their fur. This 
species inhabits the wooded districts only, and hunts 
much on the borders of lakes for the mice, lemmings, 
and small birds, on which it preys. 

The Kit-fox. Vulpes cinereo-argentatus. F. B. A. 1. 

p. 98. 

The diminutive kit-fox, similar in its habits and 
appearance to the corsac of Asia, inhabits the prairie 
lands of the Saskatchewan, Missouri, and Columbia. 
This is the smallest of the North-American foxes. Its 
fur is of little value. 



494 APPENDIX. 

The Arctic Fox. Vulpes lagopus. (Desmarest.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 83. 

This playful and handsome animal inhabits the barren 
grounds north of the woods, being most plentiful on the 
islands and shores of the Arctic sea, where it brings 
forth its young. It wanders far in the winter in search of 
food; and in particular seasons travels into the wooded 
districts. It also goes out on the ice to a considerable 
distance from the land, and, according to Fabricius, 
shows much cunning and dexterity in catching some 
kinds of fish. The fur changes from grey to white in the 
winter; but, though very close and long, it is greatly 
inferior in quality to that of the Vulpes fulvus. Many 
pleasing anecdotes of this simple animal are told by 
Captain Lyons and other Arctic voyagers. 

Coloured individuals, named " blue " or " sooty " 
foxes, are frequently seen even in the middle of winter. 



Canada Lynx. Felis Canadensis. (Geoffroy.) F. B. A. 

1. p. 101. 

This animal, which is clothed with a very fine thick 
fur, inhabits the wooded districts, where it preys chiefly 
on the American hare. It is commonly termed " the 
cat " by the traders, and is named Peeshoo by the Crees. 
Temminck considers it as specifically the same with the 
lynx of the North of Europe, which he calls Felis borealis. 

American Beaver. Castor Americanus. (F. Cuvier.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 105. 

The beaver's skin is the staple commodity of the fur 
countries, and forms the standard of value in trafficking 



APPENDIX. 495 

with the natives. The consequence is, that no animal 
is mpre persecuted ; and as the admirable works it exe- 
cutes betray its abode, it is not surprising that it should 
be greatly reduced in numbers. The flesh is much 
prized by the natives as an article of diet, — a roasted 
beaver being the prime dish on their feast days. As 
the food of the beaver consists in a great measure of the 
bark of deciduous trees, particularly of the poplar, 
birch, and willow, its range must be restrained within 
the limits of the woods; but runs to a high latitude 
on the banks of the Mackenzie. The beaver may 
be considered as the civil engineer among quadru- 
peds ; and the skill with which it selects the proper 
situation for its dam, so that it may be constructed 
with the least labour and the greatest effect for flood- 
ing a large extent of ground, and keeping up a proper 
supply of water during the winter, is very surprising, 
especially when we consider that the dam is often 
at a considerable distance from the beaver-house. It 
also shows great providence in excavating a number 
of vaults on the margin of the pond, for places 
of retreat in the event of the dwelling-house being 
assailed. Its habits, however, having been thoroughly 
studied by the Indian hunter, its skill is no match for 
his perseverance; and but for the care taken by the 
Hudson's Bay Company to preserve the various dis- 
tricts for four or five years in succession, the animal 
would soon become very scarce. Fifty thousand beaver 
skins are annually imported into London from North 
America. 

The Musquash. Fiber zibethicus. (Cuvier.) F. B. A. 

1. p. 115. 

The musk-rat, musquash, watsuss, or wachusk, — for 



496 APPENDIX. 

it has all these names, — resembles the beaver in some 
respects, particularly in the fur ; but it has a long tail, 
which, instead of being depressed or spread out hori- 
zontally, is compressed and tapering. The musquash 
is very prolific, producing three litters in a season, and 
breeding at a very early age. Every swamp or pond 
with grassy borders is inhabited by it, up to the shores 
of the Arctic sea ; and notwithstanding the vast num- 
bers that are annually destroyed by numerous enemies, 
there is no danger of its being extirpated. The import 
of musquash skins into Great Britain in one year amounts 
to nearly half a million. The fur is employed in the ma- 
nufacture of hats, and though inferior in quality to the 
beaver fur, is very generally substituted for it by the hat- 
makers. 



American Field-mouse. Mus lencopus, (Rafinesque.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 142. 

This mouse, which is the representative of the Mas 
sylvaticus of Europe, is very abundant in the fur countries, 
taking the place of the domestic mouse, and speedily 
establishing itself in every new fur post that is erected. 
It multiplies rapidly, as there is no domestic rat to keep 
down its numbers; though that office is occasionally per- 
formed by the ermine, as we have already mentioned. 

The American Hare. Lepus Americanus. (Erxleben.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 217. 

This animal, which is named " wawpoos " by the Cree 
Indians, and " the rabbit " by the resident traders at 
Hudson's Bay, is very plentiful throughout the wooded 
country. The bark of the willow constituting its chief 



APPENDIX. 497 

winter food, it resides mostly at that season on the bor- 
ders of lakes and in swamps, where that shrub and the 
dwarf birch grow. Being particularly abundant on the 
alluvial banks of the Mackenzie up to the 68th parallel, 
this hare furnishes the chief winter support of the Hare 
Indians, whose country does not nourish many of the 
larger quadrupeds. It is taken generally by snares set 
in the paths it makes through the snow. Its habits are 
more like those of the rabbit than like the hare of 
Europe, but it does not burrow, though it occasionally 
seeks for shelter in a hollow tree. The fur, which is 
brownish above in summer, changes to snow-white in 
winter. 

The Polar hare. [Lepus glacialis Leach.) F. B. A. 1. 

p. 221. 

This hare may be considered as the American repre- 
sentative of the Lepus variabilis of the Alpine and 
northern districts of Europe, but being on the whole a 
stouter animal, and exhibiting some peculiar characters, 
Dr. Leach was induced to describe it as a distinct 
species. It inhabits the barren grounds and the islands 
of the Arctic sea up to the 75th parallel ; feeding on 
the small shrubs which grow in the higher latitudes, 
such as the arctic willow, alpine arbutus, whortle- 
berry, and Labrador tea plant; delighting in stony 
places where it can find shelter ; and in winter burrow- 
ing in the snow. In summer the upper fur is hoary, 
and in winter pure white, except the tips of the ears, 
which are black at all seasons. 

Another varying hare frequents the prairies up to the 
55th parallel ; and is said to be common in the moun- 
tainous districts of the United States. This has been 
named Lepus Virginianus by Dr. Haslan. 

K K 



498 APPENDIX. 

The Moose Deer. (Cervus alces Linn.) F. B. A. 1. 

p. 232. 

The moose deer feeds principally upon the smaller 
twigs of the willow ; and is found from Hudson's Bay 
to the Pacific, in every part of the fur countries 
where that shrub grows sufficiently tall, following the 
Mackenzie river to the shores of the Arctic sea ; but 
never entering the barren grounds. From the extreme 
wariness of the moose, the acuteness of its senses of 
hearing and smelling, and its speed of foot, the art of 
killing it is considered as the chef-d'oeuvre of an Indian 
hunter, except in spring, when a crust has been formed 
on the snow, and then it may be run down without much 
skill. It is the largest of the American deer, and fur- 
nishes the best and most juicy meat, with the exception 
of the rein-deer, the flesh of which, when in season, is 
more delicate. A full-grown fat moose deer weighs 
1000 or 1200 pounds. The skin, when dressed, forms 
the best leather for mocassins. 



The Rein-deer. (Cervus tarandus Linn.) F. B.A.I. 

p. 238. 

The rein-deer, or caribou, as it is termed by the 
Canadian voyagers, is of two kinds: a larger race or 
variety, which exists in the wooded parts of the country, 
principally on the coast and near or upon the moun- 
tains; and a smaller kind, which frequents the barren 
grounds, retiring within the verge of the woods in the 
depth of the winter, but travelling to the shores and 
islands of the Arctic sea in the summer. The latter 
eats grass ; but its principal food, for a considerable por- 
tion of the year, consists of the various lichens which grow 



APPENDIX. 499 

in such abundance on the barren lands. The rein-deer 
furnishes food and clothing to the Dog-rib and Copper 
Indians, the Chepewyans, the Swamp or Coast Crees, and 
to the Esquimaux ; but none of the American tribes have 
domesticated it like the Laplanders. Every part of the 
animal is eaten, even to the contents of its stomach ; 
and the half-dried tongue, when roasted, is perhaps 
the greatest delicacy that the fur countries afford. 
Rein-deer meat, when in the best condition, is not only 
superior to that of the moose deer and bison, but, in my 
opinion, it surpasses the best mutton or English-fed 
venison. When lean, however, which is the case for a 
considerable part of the year, it is neither nutritious nor 
palatable, the flesh of a poor musk-ox being, of all the 
ruminating quadrupeds of the country, alone, of inferior 
quality. The female rein-deer has horns as well as the 
male, though they are smaller and much less palmated, 
and are also shed at a different time. The skins of six or 
seven young rein-deer, killed in the autumn, form, when 
properly prepared and sewed together, a robe or blanket 
which is constantly used by the northern Indians in 
winter ; being both light and warm, exceedingly well 
adapted to the climate, and affording a sufficient cover- 
ing for a man in the coldest night. 



The Wapiti. {Cervus strongyloceros Schreber.) 

F. B. A. 1. p. 250. 

This animal, the wawaskeesh of the Crees, which in- 
habits the plains of the Saskatchewan, the neighbouring 
country, the banks of the Columbia, and New Cale- 
donia, is the American representative of the red deer, 
and though of considerably greater size, it was long 
considered to be the same species. There are, at pre- 

K K <2 



500 APPENDTX. 

sent, some very fine wapiti in the Zoological Gardens. 
The flesh of this deer is considered as much inferior 
to that of the bison or moose deer ; its hide makes 
excellent dressed leather. 

There are several other species of deer, and an 
antelope, on the prairie lands of the Saskatchewan and 
Columbia rivers ; but the three that we have specified 
are the only ones that interest the Indian tribes with 
whom Captain Back had to do. The North American 
deer are still very imperfectly known to naturalists, and 
the specific identities of the moose deer and the elk, 
and of the rein-deer of the new and old continents, 
have been by no means satisfactorily established. It is 
probable that further investigation will prove the 
barren-ground rein-deer to be a distinct species from 
that which inhabits the woody country. 

Rocky Mountain Goat. (Capra Americana.) F.B. A. 1. 

p. 268. 

This very interesting animal inhabits the higher parts 
of the mountains from California up to the 65th parallel. 
It is most remarkable for bearing a very fine wool, well 
adapted for the manufacture of shawls. The specimens 
that have been brought home have interested the wool- 
staplers very much ; but it will be difficult to procure a 
sufficient quantity for the purposes of commerce. 

Rocky Mountain Sheep. (Ovis montana Desm.) 

F.B. A. 1. p. 271. 

This animal exceeds in size every variety of the do- 
mestic sheep, and equals any of them in the quality of its 
mutton. It is not clothed with wool, but with a close, 



APPENpiX. 501 

soft, brittle hair, like the reindeer. The ram carries very 
large horns. 

Musk-ox. ( Ovibos moschatus Blainville.) F. B. A. 1. 

p. 275. 

This animal inhabits the barren lands, and the most 
northern of Parry's Islands, but retires to the verge of 
the woods in the depth of winter. It feeds, like the 
rein-deer, chiefly on lichens ; and the meat of a well-fed 
cow is agreeably tasted and juicy ; but that of a lean cow 
and of the bull is strongly impregnated with a disagree- 
able musky flavour, so as to be palatable only to a very 
hungry man. The musk-ox does not now exist in 
Greenland; and though extinct also in Siberia, bones 
either of the American species, or of one very similar to 
it, have been found there. 



American Bison. (Bos Americanus Gmelin.) 
F. B. A. 1. p. 279. 

This ox has lately become well known in England 
under the name of bonassus ; and specimens exist in the 
Zoological Gardens, and in several parks. Its range in 
the fur countries is restricted between the 1 th meridian 
and the rocky mountains, and it does not go beyond the 
62d parallel of latitude ; but it is on the prairie lands 
only that the numberless herds noticed by authors are 
to be seen. The pemmican, which is so useful, and in 
fact almost essential, to the traveller through the fur 
countries, is made principally of the meat of the bison. 
The fleshy parts of the hind quarters are cut into very 
thin slices, dried in the sun, and pounded. Two parts 
of the pounded meat are then mixed with one of melted 

K K 3 



502 APPENDIX. 

fat, and packed into a bag formed of the hide of the 
animal. A bag weighing 90lbs. is called a " tazireau'' 
by the Canadian voyagers, and, in fact, only one bag of 
pemmican is generally made from each bison cow that is 
killed. Two pounds of this kind of food are sufficient 
for the daily support of a labouring man ; though, when 
the voyagers first commence upon pemmican for the 
season, they will each consume three pounds or more. 
In the spring they generally boil the young shoots of the 
Epilobium angustifolium along with it; and the Orkney- 
men in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company 
add flour or oatmeal, thus rendering it much more 
palatable. The best pemmican is made of finely pounded 
meat, mixed with marrow, and further improved by the 
addition of dried berries or currants. If kept from the 
air, it may be preserved sound for several years ; and 
being very portable, it might be used with great advan- 
tage in provisioning troops that have to make forced 
marches. It may be eaten raw, or mixed with a little 
water, and boiled ; and, although not much relished by 
those who taste it for the first time, the voyageur, with 
the single addition of the luxury of tea, requires nothing 
else for breakfast, and dinner, or supper ; the two last 
meals being generally conjoined on a voyage in the fur 
countries. 



The Bald Eagle. (Aquila lencocephala.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 15. 

The bald or white-headed eagle resides all the year in 
every part of the United States ; but visits the fur coun- 
tries only in the summer, arriving there in the van of 
the migratory birds. The comparative lengths of the 
quill feathers vary in different individuals. Mr. Au- 



APPENDIX. 503 

dubon states, that the second quill is longest : in a 
specimen obtained on Sir John Franklin's expedition, 
it was the fourth quill ; and in the one now brought 
home by Mr. King, it is the third that has that dis- 
tinction. 



Pigeon Hawk. (Falco columbarias.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 35. 

In some specimens the second, in others the third, 
quill exceeds the others in length : in Mr. King's, 
these feathers are equal to each other ; and the other 
primaries stand, as to length, in the following order : 
4th, 1st, 5th, 6th. 

Long-eared owl. (Strix otas.) F. B. A. 2. p. 72. 

The specimen, though in complete plumage, is very 
small, measuring only 14|. inches from the point of the 
beak to the tip of the tail. The latter member is as 
long as that of an ordinary individual, whose total length 
is 17 inches. 

Little Tyrant Fly-catcher. {Tyrannula pusilla.) 

F. B. A. 2. p. 144. 

A bird of this species, obtained on Sir John Franklins 
second expedition, at Carlton House, is figured in the 
Fauna Boreali-Americana (t. 46. f. 1.); and Mr.Swainson, 
who had obtained a specimen also from Mexico, points 
out in that work its differences from the Mascicapa querula 
of Wilson, or M.acadica of Gmelin and Bonaparte, which 
it very nearly resembles, the plumage of both being pre- 
cisely similar. T. pusilla has a shorter bill, and shorter 

K K 4 



504 APPENDIX. 

wings than querula, and there is a difference in the com- 
parative length of their quill feathers. In the latter, 
the first quill is equal to the fifth (or to the fourth, 
according to Audubon), and the second and third are 
longest; in pusilla the first is rather shorter than 
the sixth, and the fourth is visibly longer than the 
second, though the third, or longest, very little exceeds 
either of them. The specimen brought home by Mr. 
King differs from the one referred to above, solely in 
being about a quarter of an inch longer from the point 
of the bill to the end of the tail ; but the proportions of 
the other parts are the same. 

The Arctic Blue-bird. [Sialia arctica.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 209. t. 39. 

A single bird of this species was killed by Mr.Dease at 
Great Bear Lake, on Sir John Franklin's second expe- 
dition. Since then, the same gentleman has sent me 
four specimens from New Caledonia, where it is pretty 
common, and is known to the natives by the name of 
" Thlee-ooday." Mr. King's specimen proves that it 
goes as far east, on the shores of Great Slave Lake, 
as the 105th meridian. All the individuals that I have 
seen agree exactly in the colours of their plumage, as 
well as in other respects, with the one figured in the 
Fauna Boreali- Americana. In one specimen only, the 
first quill feather almost equals the second, but in none 
does it exceed it, as is the case with Sialia Wilsonii. 

Tenessee Worm-eater. (Vermivora peregrina.) 
F. B. A. 2. p. 221. t. 42. f. 2. 

Mr. Audubon says that this species is very rare in the 



APPENDIX. 505 

United States ; but it would appear to be more com- 
mon in the fur countries, having been found by Sir John 
Franklin's party, as well as by Captain Back's, in both 
instances in the 53d parallel of latitude. 



Yellow-tailed Gnat-catcher. (Setophaga ruticilla.) 

F. B.A. 2. p. 223. 

This singularly-coloured and lively little bird is very 
common in the Brazils, and in the islands of the Carib- 
bean Sea. It arrives within the limits of the United 
States early in March; and in May reaches the Sas- 
katchewan, where it may be seen sporting about among 
the lower branches of the large willows that grow in that 
swampy district. 



Reddish-brown Titlark. (Anthus aquaticus.) 
F.B.A.2. p. 231. t. 44. 

Mr. Audubon informs us, that this titlark is met with 
in every part of the United States ; but does not breed 
there. It was seen on Sir John Franklin's second expe- 
dition on the Saskatchewan, and Mr. King obtained 
two specimens at Fort Reliance on the 3d of June. 
It probably breeds in the latter quarter, or still farther 
north. 

Tree Buntling. {Emberiza canadensis.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 252. 

Three specimens of this buntling were obtained by 
Mr. King at Fort Reliance, which is farther north than 
it was previously known to range ; but it most probablv 
goes to the limit of the woods. Its winter quarters 



506 APPENDIX. 

are, according to Mr. Audubon, in the United States, 
north of the Ohio. 



Rose-breasted Grosbeak. (Coccothraustes Ludoviciana.) 

F. B. A. 2. p. 271. 

Mr. King obtained a specimen of this charming bird 
on Lake Winipeg, and has made a note of its irides 
being red. Audubon and Wilson state them to be 
hazel. 

The Spotted Grouse. [Tetrao canadensis.) F.B. A. 2. 

p. 347. t. 62. 

This bird ranges from the northern districts of the 
United States to the extremities of the woods on the 
banks of the Mackenzie (lat. 68°) ; and from the facility 
with which it can be killed at certain seasons when game 
is scarce, is of great service to the Indian hunter. It 
inhabits thick forests, and particularly swampy places 
where the black spruce grows, and on this account is 
called by the Canadian voyagers perdrix de savanne. 
The leaves of the spruce form its food, which gives its 
dark-coloured flesh a strong resinous taste. Franklin's 
grouse, an inhabitant of the acclivities of the Rocky 
Mountains, and the country to the westward of that 
ridge, differs from the spotted grouse in the twelve 
upper tail coverts being broadly tipped with white, and, 
according to Mr. Douglas, their eggs are also dissimilar. 

The Willow Grouse. (Lagopus saliceti.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 351. 

This ptarmigan is of still more importance to the 



APPENDIX. 507 

Indian population of the fur countries than the pre- 
ceding arouse, on account of its vast numbers sufficing 
for the support of many of the tribes for a considerable 
part of the year. It inhabits the barren grounds and 
the summits of the rocky hills in the woody country, 
durins the summer season, seeking shelter in the woods 
in winter ; and it is in the latter part of the year that it 
is most plentifully taken. Ten thousand have been 
caught by nets or snares in one winter at a single fur 
post. 

The Rock Ptarmigan. (Lagopus rupestris.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 354.. t. 64. 

This species is more peculiarly an inhabitant of the 
barren lands than the last, never coming into the woods 
except in the winter, and even then only for a short 
way. It is very abundant in some districts. Another 
species, named by Dr. Leach lagopus mutus, visits, ac- 
cording to Captain James Ross, the peninsula of Boothia, 
alono- with this and the willow grouse, but the rock 
ptarmigan is the most abundant in the islands of the 
Arctic sea. There is a smaller ptarmigan than any of 
these, peculiar to the Rocky Mountains, which may be 
known by the whole of its tail feathers being white, 
whence it has received the specific appellation of lagopus 
leucurus. 

Sharp-tailed Grouse. {Centrocercus phasianellus.) 

F. B. A. 2. p. 361. 

This bird is abundant in the fur countries up to the 
61st parallel, both in the prairies and among the woods. 
Its flesh, though superior to that of any of the preceding 
ptarmigan or grouse, is not so tender or white as that of 



508 APPENDIX. 

the ruffed grouse, which is also plentiful as high as the 
56th parallel. Other birds of this genus inhabit the 
plains of the Columbia, but those we have mentioned 
are the most serviceable to the Indian tribes that inhabit 
the districts through which Captain Back passed. 

Passenger Pigeon. (Columba migratoria.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 363. 

This pigeon, which breeds in almost incredible num- 
bers in some parts of the United States, visits the fur 
countries up to the 62nd parallel of latitude, but not 
in such quantities anywhere to the northward of Lake 
Winipeg, as to contribute much to the support of the 
natives : at the south end of that lake, indeed, for a 
month or two in summer, when the floods have over- 
flowed the low lands, and no four-footed game is to be 
procured, a few families of Indians subsist upon this 
bird. It visits the north after the termination of the 
breeding season in the United States. Captain James 
Ross saw a single pigeon of this species as high as 
latitude 73J° in Baffin's Bay : it flew on board the 
Victory during a storm, and must have strayed from a 
great distance. The wind, as we find by a reference to 
Sir John Ross's narrative, blew from the north-east at 
the beginning of the gale, shifting afterwards to the 
eastward. As the Victory was to the northward of the 
island of Disco at the time, if the bird came in either of 
these directions, it must have taken flight from the 
northern part of Greenland, but it is not likely to have 
found food on that barren Coast. 

The Piping Plover. (Charadrius melodus Bonap.) 

A specimen of this pretty plover was obtained by Mr. 
King on Lake Winipeg, and that piece of water is 



APPENDIX. 509 

probably its northern limit, as it was not observed on 
the former expeditions through the higher latitudes. 
It is consequently a more southern bird than the 
Charadrius semipalmatus> which was seen in abundance 
by Sir John Franklin's party during the whole route, 
and by Captain James Ross in the peninsula of 
Boothia, where it passes the summer in the marshes. 
The piping plover was described at first by Wilson 
as a variety of the common ringed plover, but in 
afterwards figuring the semipalmated plover under 
the same name, he intimated his suspicion of its 
being a distinct species. Subsequent authors have 
pointed out its peculiar characters, and the two species, 
together with a third named Charadrius Wilsonii, and 
very nearly resembling them, are well described and 
figured in Mr. Audubon's splendid work. The piping 
plover breeds as far to the southward as the Keys of 
Florida, and though it exhibits every where nearly the 
same plumage, we shall here subjoin a description of 
Mr. King's specimen, as it is the only one that has 
been brought from the fur countries. 

Colour. — Bill, black towards the point, orange at its tip. 
Upper plumage, light brownish-grey ; that is, of a pale tint, inter- 
mediate between the yellowish-grey and light broccoli-brown of 
Werner. Forehead, cheeks, throat, the whole under-plumage and 
sides of the rump, white; the white being continued round the 
neck, so as to form a narrow ring behind the nape. A narrow 
black band extends between the anterior angles of the orbits, behind 
the white of the forehead ; and there is a black patch on each 
shoulder, with a narrow connecting line crossing the breast ; but 
in this specimen, the black does not cross the neck above, as it 
occasionally does, on the tips of a single row of feathers, having pro- 
bably been worn off. The quills, greater coverts, and middle tail fea- 
thers, are blackish-brown ; but the middle of the shafts and part 
of the inner webs of the former are white ; that colour spreading 
on the fourth and succeeding primaries to their outer webs ; the 



510 APPENDIX. 

tips of the wing coverts also exhibit various degrees of white. 
Tertiaries mostly like the back; but their tips are darker, and 
their extreme edges soiled white. Outer tail feathers entirely 
white ; the next pair white at both extremities, the others show- 
ing successively less white, and the central ones, as has been men- 
tioned, entirely brown. 

Form. — Outer web of the feet notched, including only the first 
joint of the outer toe ; and merely two thirds of the corresponding 
phalanx of the middle toe. Inner web scarcely perceptible. 

Inch. lin. Inch. lin. 

Length of tail - -23 

folded wing ■ 4 8| 

tarsus - - 10| 



Length from tip of bill i 
to end of tail - 



Length of middle toe and ~| ' „ , 
nail - - j° 8 * 
Length of bill above - 6 
bill to rictus 1\ 



The Mallard. {Arias boschas Auct.) F. B. A. 2. p. 442. 

This duck is stated by Mr. Audubon to be rare on the 
Atlantic coast of the United States, but to be more 
numerous in the interior, and to breed as far south as 
Kentucky and Indiana. It is very generally diffused 
through the fur countries up to the northern extremity 
of the woods, and is the weightiest and best duck that 
resorts thither. Of the true ducks (the anatince of 
Swainson), the shoveller passes through the fur coun- 
tries in about equal numbers with the mallard, but 
breeds farther north, on the barren grounds. The 
gadwall and widgeon breed in all parts of the woody 
country, though in smaller numbers than the preced- 
ing ones ; while the green-winged teal, on the other 
hand, is much more numerous, and breeds on the 
banks of every river and lake, both in the woody 
and barren districts. The blue-winged teal is also 
numerous, to the southward of the Athabasca country; 
and the summer-duck is rare on the Saskatchewan, 
and does not tmvel farther north. These ducks 
arrive from the south as soon as the snow melts, and 



APPENDIX. 511 

before the ice of the small lakes is broken up. The 
fidigulince, or sea ducks, are also very numerous in the 
fur countries, either on their passage farther north, or 
as halting to breed there. The eider and king ducks 
are plentiful on the coast and islands of the Arctic sea; 
and also on the coast of Hudson's Bay to the north of 
Churchill ; but are never seen in the fresh waters of 
the interior. In their migrations, it would appear 
that they keep near the open sea, passing along the 
eastern coast of Labrador. The American scoter 
(oidemia Americana) is also an inhabitant of the sea- 
coast only, breeding near Churchill. The surf and 
velvet ducks travel through the interior to the arctic 
coasts and islands, where they breed : they are very 
abundant, but not much valued as articles of food, 
except when better provisions are scarce. The noisy 
long-tailed duck assembles in still larger flocks than 
these, and breeds in the same places. It is this bird 
which the Canadian voyagers celebrate in their songs, 
under the name of " caccawee." The canvas-back, 
pochard, scaup, and ring-necked ducks, breed every 
where to the northward of the 50th parallel of 
latitude up to the extremity of the continent; but do 
not appear often on the sea-coast. They associate 
much with the anatince, seeking their food in the 
same lakes and ponds, but taking it more generally 
from the bottom in deeper places, and consequently 
diving more. The Rocky-mountain garrot, golden 
eye, and spirit ducks, are still better divers than the 
preceding, and the two last are very numerous. Their 
flesh is tough. The harlequin duck is rare, and the 
very curious ruddy duck, though plentiful on the plains 
of the Saskatchewan, does not go much farther north- 
wards. This bird has a tail very similar in structure to 



512 APPENDIX. 

that of a cormorant, which it carries erect in swimming, 
so that at a little distance the body seems to have a head 
stuck up at each end. The ruddy duck is said to 
arrive in the fur countries always in the night time, and 
to be rarely seen on the wing : indeed, its short pinions 
do not appear to be well adapted for sustained flight. 

The mergansers are not rare in the northern parts of 
America; but they are of comparatively little import- 
ance, in an economical point of view. 

Trumpeter Swan. (O/gnus buccinator.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 464. 

This swan, the first of the water-fowl that revisits 
the fur countries in the spring, is hailed with delight by 
the Indians as the harbinger of plenty, for the geese and 
ducks shortly follow, and abundance reigns in the 
encampments of the natives for a few weeks. The 
trumpeter swan, even on its first arrival, is generally seen 
in pairs, seldom in flocks, and it frequents eddies under 
water-falls, and other pieces of open water, until the 
general breaking up of the ice on the rivers and lakes. 
Being difficult of approach, it is most frequently killed 
at a long shot by a single ball. As the down of the 
swan is of considerable value, the bird is skinned by 
the hunter, but the carcase even after undergoing that 
operation is very good to eat, being nearly equal to that 
of a goose. The breeding places of the trumpeter swan 
are beyond the 60th parallel, but it is not so northern a 
bird as the following species. 

Bewick's Swan. (Cygnus Bewickii.) F. B. A. 2. p. 465. 

This is a smaller bird than the trumpeter, and is 
common to Europe and America. It is plentiful on the 



APPENDIX. 513 

coast of Hudson's Bay, and breeds on the peninsulas of 
Melville and Boothia, and in the islands of the Arctic 
Sea. It arrives among the latest of the water-fowl in 
the fur countries in spring, and stays long in the autumn. 
The last swans of the season passed over Fort Franklin, 
lat. 64*J°N., on the 5th of October. 



Canada Goose. (Anser Canadensis.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 468. 

The Canada goose, named "outarde" by the early 
French travellers in the fur countries, and also by the 
Canadian voyageurs of the present day, breeds sparingly 
in the interior of the United States as low as the Ohio, 
and in the state of Maine near the Atlantic coast. It 
winters, Mr. Audubon tells us, in vast flocks in the 
savannas of Florida and the Arkansas, and commences 
its northward migration from the middle and western 
districts with the first melting of the snows, that is, 
between the 20th of March and the end of April. 
Major Long informs us that the great migration of 
sreese commences at Engineer Cantonment on the 
Missouri (lat. 41J°.) on the 22nd of February, and 
terminates in the latter end of March. The Canada 
goose breeds in every part of the fur countries, but has 
not been seen on the shores of the Arctic Sea. It arrives 
in flocks when the snow melts, and soon afterwards 
spreads over the country in pairs. The following table 
of the ordinary dates of its arrival at particular places 
gives a correct idea of the commencement of spring in 
the different parallels. 



L L 



514 APPENDIX. 






Penetanguishene, Lake Huron, Lat. 44f° N. 


March 24. 


April 2. 


Cumberland House, Saskat - — 54° N. 


April 8. 


to 12. 


Fort Chepewyan - - — 58£° N. 


— 20. 


— 25. 


— Resolution, Slave Lake - — 6li° N. 


May 1. 


— 6. 


— Enterprise - - — 64| N. 


— 12. 


— 20. 


— Franklin, Great Bear Lake — 64i° N. 


— 7. 


— 20. 



In the month of July the old birds moult, and may 
be seen in every river, followed by their young brood, 
not fully feathered and incapable of flying. When 
pursued they dive repeatedly, but are soon fatigued, 
and make for the shore ; though, unless they reach a 
swamp where they can hide themselves among the long 
grass, they fall an easy prey to the hunter, who knocks 
them on the head with a stick. A canoe is soon loaded 
at this sport ; and I have, on several occasions, procured 
a supper in this way for a large party in a few minutes. 
As soon as the ground begins to harden with the 
autumnal frosts, and one or two falls of snow have taken 
place, the Canada goose again assembles in large flocks, 
and wings its way to the southward. In their flights 
the geese generally take advantage of a favourable gale; 
and when their cry is heard in the night high in the 
air, as they hasten before the wind to warmer latitudes, 
cold weather is sure to follow. There are certain spots 
or passes which the geese always visit on their migra- 
tions ; but they do not frequent the same places in 
equal numbers in the spring and fall. In the former 
season they make considerable halts on lakes of the 
interior, which they pass over on their return, showing 
a preference in the autumn to the swampy shores of 
Hudson's Bay, where they linger after the inland waters 
are covered with ice. 

The first appearance of the Canada goose in the spring 
at a fur post infuses life into the whole establishment. 
Every gun is put in order ; and as soon as the wedge- 



APPENDIX. 515 

formed flock is seen from afar, man, woman, and child 
rush out, shouting " wook, wook, wook," at the 
pitch of their voices. The silly birds respond to the 
call ; and, wheeling round the place, generally lose one 
or two of their number. More are culled from each 
flock by the skilful Indian hunter, who, concealed from 
their view among the long grass or thick brush-wood, 
is able to call the geese to him from a great distance. 
The first birds he procures are set up on the beach as 
stales to entice others to alight ; and the ordinary rate 
of his success may be judged by the price which a 
goose bears ; namely, a single charge of ammunition, 
the chance of killing several at a shot more than 
compensating for failures. The geese fly high when 
over the land, but descend on approaching the water, 
and cross the larger lakes mostly at particular places. 
It is singular to see how flock after flock passes 
between the same islands, or through the same gap in 
the woods, each following as nearly as possible the 
track of its predecessor. At some of the posts great 
quantities of geese are salted for winter use ; but this 
method of preserving them is a very bad one, a salted 
goose being both dry and tough. 

Laughing Goose. (Atiser albifrcms.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 466. 

This is a smaller goose than the preceding; and, in 
the comparative length of the neck and form of the bill, 
it more nearly resembles our domestic goose, or its wild 
original. The laughing goose travels in great flocks 
through the fur countries, eight or ten days later than 
the first appearance of the Canada goose, and breeds 
on the coasts and islands of the Arctic Sea, north of the 

L L 2 



516 APPENDIX. 

67th parallel of latitude. Its call is much like the pro- 
longed laugh of a man. Captain James Ross did not 
see this goose on the peninsula of Boothia, and it does 
not appear to be common on the coast of Hudson's Bay. 
The autumn migration southwards of the laughing 
goose commences early in September ; and its re- 
turn at that season to the fur districts is often the first 
indication of winter having begun within the arctic 
circle. It passes on towards the United States, in 
advance of the Canada goose ; and Mr. Audubon says 
that it arrives before the latter in Kentucky, where 
many of the species winter ; but many also, he is con- 
vinced, go entirely to the southward of the United 
States' boundary. The same gentleman informs us 
that this species leaves its winter quarters a fortnight 
sooner than the Canada goose, which is different from 
the order of their appearance on the banks of the 
Saskatchewan. Its flesh is superior to that of the 
Canada goose. 

Snow Goose. (Anser hyperboreus.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 467. 

This beautiful goose has exactly the gait and form of 
the preceding; and is very little larger, when full 
grown. The two species, according to Audubon, quit 
their winter quarters, in the United States, at the same 
time ; but the snow goose generally makes its first 
appearance in the fur countries a few days later than 
the laughing goose, though the main flocks of both pass 
at the same time. The snow goose breeds in vast 
numbers on the borders of the small lakes near the 
coasts of the Arctic Sea, on the islands of the same, and 
also on Melville Peninsula. In its journey northwards, 



APPENDIX. 517 

it reaches the 54th parallel on the 15th of April; the 
57th, on the 25th of the same month ; the 64th parallel, 
on the 20th of May ; and its breeding stations, in the 
69th, by the beginning of June, when the snow is only 
melted from some elevated spots. The snow goose 
when fat is a very excellent bird, vieing with the laugh- 
ing goose in its qualities as an article of diet. 

Hutchins' Goose. (Anser Hutchinsii.) F. B. A. 2. 

p. 470. 

This bird, in the colours of its plumage, strongly 
resembles the Canada goose, and is often considered as 
merely a small variety of that species. In its form, 
however, it is more like the barnacle or brent, with 
which it will be evidently associated in an ornitholo- 
gical system. Mr. Audubon, who has given the only 
figure that has been published of this species, thinks 
that it is known in the state of Maine under the name 
of winter or flight goose. It migrates along the coast 
of Hudson's Bay, and breeds in the peninsulas of 
Melville and Boothi-a, laying three or four eggs of a 
pure white colour; and Captain James Ross informs 
us that its flesh has a most exquisite flavour. It 
arrived at Boothia about the middle of June. 

Beent Goose. (Anser bernicla.) F. B. A. 2. p. 4(39. 

This neat small goose is very numerous on the coast 
of Hudson's Bay, in its passage to and from the north. 
Captain James Ross states that it did not remain near 
Felix Harbour (Boothia) to breed, but went still 
farther north ; and that it is found during the summer 

L L 3 



518 APPENDIX. 

months in the highest northern latitudes that have been 
visited. It was found breeding on Parry's Islands, in 
latitudes 74°— 75°. 

FISH. 

Every part of the fur countries, with the exception of 
the prairie lands of the Red, Saskatchewan, and Co- 
lumbia rivers, is intersected in every direction by lakes and 
their connecting streams, all of them abounding in fish. 
In those districts in particular where the primitive strata 
prevail, the rivers are merely chains of many-armed 
lakes, linked together by narrow rapids or cascades. 
As it is in these parts of the country, at least as far 
north as the woods extend, where the furs are chiefly 
obtained, most of the forts or trading posts are esta- 
blished within their limits ; but if it were not for the 
abundance of fish, it w r ould be very difficult to obtain 
due supplies of provision, since the larger quadrupeds 
are not so plentiful in the woods as to furnish a certain 
subsistence to a numerous party for the whole year. 
Meat posts, as they are termed, can be formed only 
in the prairies, where the bison and deer abound, or at 
certain localities near the northern range of the woods, 
where the reindeer pass in large herds in spring and 
autumn. In some quarters, as we have mentioned, 
large quantities of geese can be procured for a few 
weeks, and in others vast numbers of grouse are snared; 
but, in general, no post can be considered as safe for a 
winter residence unless there be a good fishing station 
in its vicinity. 

Ample details of the various methods of fishing in 
use in the fur countries have been given by Hearne 
and succeeding travellers ; and also in the third volume 




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APPENDIX. 519 

of the Fauna Boreali- Americana; so that we need not 
enlarge on that subject, but merely mention that at all 
fishing places, the principal supply for winter use is ob- 
tained in the autumn, immediately before or soon after 
the lakes freeze over. As the fish are taken from the net, 
a rod is passed through their gills, by which they are 
suspended to lofty stages, where they are out of the reach 
of dogs and beasts of prey. Those that are hung up 
before the frost has set permanently in acquire a putrid 
taint, but are thought to be rather improved in qua- 
lity ; the others that are caught later are preserved 
sound by the frost all the winter. 

The Attihawmeg. (Coregonus albas.) F. B. A. 3. 
p. 195. t. 89. f. 2. A. & B. ; and t. 94. a. b. c. 

This celebrated fish is found in every piece of fresh 
water between Lake Erie and the Arctic Sea ; and it 
may be said that it is through the abundant supply of 
food which its fisheries yield, that the fur trade is 
carried on. The attihawmeg, or poisson blanc of the 
voyageurs, grows to the greatest size in the larger and 
deeper lakes, attaining lOlbs. weight and upwards in 
Huron, Superior, or Great Bear Lakes ; but those 
generally taken throughout the fur countries average 
about three or four pounds. When in season, it is a 
rich, agreeable, and very wholesome fish, that never palls 
the appetite ; and is preferable, even when lean, for a 
daily article of diet, to any other fish of the country. 
Though of the salmon family, the European fish that 
resembles it most, when cooked, is, perhaps, a fat 
Loch Fyne herring, fresh from the water. The most 
usual method of cooking it in the fur countries is by 
boiling, so as to form an excellent white soup ; but it is 

L L 4 



520 APPENDIX, 

extremely good when fried, and especially if enveloped 
in batter. 

The other fish that are caught in the several dis- 
tricts of the fur countries, in sufficient numbers to be of 
importance in an economical point of view, are, trouts of 
various kinds, of which the principal is the salmo namay- 
cush ; pike (esox lucius) ; several sucking carp (cata- 
stomi) ; and the methy {lota maculosa). All the trouts are 
excellent, particularly the large one we have just named. 
They answer, however, better as occasional articles of 
diet than for daily use ; and it is only in some months 
of the year, and particularly on the approach of spring, 
that they are caught plentifully. The pike is of more 
importance to the inhabitants of the fur countries, from 
the readiness with which it takes a bait at all seasons of 
the year, than from its excellence as an article of diet, 
for, in that respect, it is inferior to all the trout tribe. 
It is remarkable that the pike does not exist in the 
waters to the westward of the Rocky Mountains, though 
the species which is found in the country to the eastward 
of that ridge is the same that inhabits the rivers and 
lakes of Europe, and North Asia, and even the Caspian 
Sea. 

The sucking carp are not much prized for food ; but 
they are very numerous, and are all well adapted 
for making soup. We have selected three different 
species for representation, partly because they have 
never been figured before, and partly because the spe- 
cies being numerous and difficult to distinguish by mere 
description, the figures cannot fail to be useful to 
naturalists. 

The methy (lota maculosa), though not so numerous 
as the coregoni, trouts, or sucking carps, is yet uni- 
versally diffused through the fur countries ; but its flesh 



APPENDIX. 521 

is so disagreeable that it is never eaten except in times 
of scarcity. Its roe, however, which is composed of 
very small ova, makes good bread when beaten up 
with a little flour; and even when cooked alone, it 
forms cakes that are very palatable as tea bread, though 
rather difficult of digestion. 

There are other fish not so generally distributed, but 
which are of importance in particular districts. Thus, 
the fishery at Cumberland House, on the Saskatchewan, 
yields, in addition to those we have mentioned, the 
American sandre {lucioperca Americana) ; the mathemeg 
(jnmelodus borealis); the tullibee, a species of core- 
gonus ; the naccaysh (hiodon chrysqpsis, F. B. A. p. 232. 
311. pi. 94. f. 3. A. B. C.) ; and the sturgeon (acipenser 
Rupertianns) . 

None of the fish named in the last paragraph go so 

far north as Great Slave Lake ; but we find there the 

salmo Macke?izii, which ascends from the Arctic Sea, and 

does not exist in the more southern waters. This fish, 

though agreeing with the trouts in the structure of the 

jaws, differs from all the subgenera established by Cuvier 

in the Regne Animal, in having the teeth disposed in 

velvet-like bands, which are narrow on the tips of the 

jaws, and broader on the vomer and palate bones. 

From the crowded minute teeth, the name of Stenodus 

may be given to the subgenus, of which the inconnu or 

salmo Mackenzii is the only ascertained species. Back's 

grayling [thymallus signifer), and the round-fish (core- 

gonns quadr Hater all s), abound in the clear rivers which 

fall into the north and east side of Slave Lake, and in 

the waters in higher latitudes. They exist, but not 

numerously, in Great Bear Lake also ; but the most 

abundant fish in that vast piece of water is the Bear 

Lake herring-salmon (corregonas lucidus). The in- 



5 C 2°2 APPENDIX. 

connu does not ascend Bear Lake River, giving the 
preference to muddy streams. 

Salmon of various species spawn in the rivers that 
fall into the Arctic Sea, and were taken in great quan- 
tities by Sir John Ross in the Gulf of Boothia. It is 
therefore probable that some kinds enter the Thlew-ee- 
choh, though no specimens were brought home. 



Notice of the Plates of Fish. 

The lattice-scaled sucking carp {Catastomus reticu- 
lata, F.B.A. 3. p. 303.), is common to the southward 
of Lake Winipeg, and in the Albany River district. 

The red sucking carp {Catastomus Forsterianus, F.B.A. 
3. p. 116.). 

The picconou [Catastomus Sueur ii, F.B.A. 3. p. 118.) 



APPENDIX. o<23 



No. II. 
LIST OF PLANTS 

COLLECTED BY MR. RICHARD KING, DURING THE 
PROGRESS OF THE EXPEDITION. 

Named by W. J. Hooker, LL.D. F.R.S. &c. &c, 
Professor of Botany, Glasgow. 

Ranunculace^e. 

Anemone patens - - Fort Reliance, 
nemorosa {unusu- 
ally hairy) - Lake of the Woods, 
multifida (Poirei) Lake Winipeg. 
Pennsylvanica(£.) Ditto, and Slave Lake. 
Hepatica triloba 5 (Hook) River Winipeg. 
Ranunculus aquatilis - Saskatchewan River, 

cymbalaria - Lake Winipeg. 
affinis - Slave Lake. 

Pennsylvanicus Athabasca, 
auricomus - Thlew-ee-choh and Atha- 
basca, 
sceleratus - Rainy Lake. Slave Lake. 

Caltha palustris - - Lake Winipeg. 

Aquilegia Canadensis - Ditto. 

(3 hybrida (Hook) Slave Lake. 
Actaea rubra - - Lake Winipeg. 

Papaverace^e. 
Papaver medicaule * Thlew-ee-choh. 



524 



APPENDIX. 



FuMARIACE^. 

Corydalis aurea 
glauca 

Crucifer-SE. 
Cardamine hirsuta 

Nasturtium palustre 
Arabis petraea 
Turritis stricta 
Draba laevipes 

hirta 
Sisymbrium sophioides 
Eutrema Edwardsii 

Violare^:. 

Viola bland a 

pubescens 

Canadensis 

Muhlenbergiana 

Droserace^. 
Parnassia palustris 

Polygaleje. 
Polygala Seneka 

Caryophylle^e. 

Silene acaulis 
Lychnis apetala 
Spergula nodosa 
Larbrgea uliginosa 



River Winipeg. 
Ditto. 



River Winipeg, and Cum- 
berland House. 
Ditto. 
Ditto. 
Ditto. 

River Winipeg. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 
Lake Winipeg. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 



Fort William. 

Dog River. 

Ditto. River Winipeg. 

Slave Lake. 



Saskatchewan to Slave 
Lake. 



- River Winipeg. 



Thlew-ee-choh. 
Gulf of Boothia. 
Saskatchewan. 
Missinippi River. 



APPENDIX. 



525 



Stellaria borealis (Bigelow) 
stricta (Rick.) 
laeta 
Arenaria lateriflora 
peploides 
Cerastium viscosum 
alpinum 
arvense 

Geraniace^:. 
Geranium Carolinianum 

Leguminos^:. 
Phaca astragalina 

Oxytropis uralensis /3 
Astragalus hypoglottis 
Vicia Americana 

Lathyrus ochroleucus 

Rosaceje. 

Dryas integrifolia 
Sieversia triflora 
Fragaria Virginian a 
Potentilla arguta 

anserina 

hirsuta. 

Vahliana 

nivea 

tridentata 
Am elan drier sanguinea 

ONAGRARIiE. 

Epilobium angustifolium 



River Winipeg. 

- Thlew-ee-choh. 

- Lake Superior. 

- Gulf of Boothia. 

- River Winipeg. 

- Thlew-ee-choh. 

- River Winipeg, 

- Saskatchewan. 



Thlew-ee-choh. Slave 
Lake. 

Ditto. 

River Winipeg. 

Lake Winipeg. Saskat- 
chewan. 

Ditto. Slave Lake. 



Thlew-ee-choh. 
Slave River. 
Ditto. 

Saskatchewan River. 
Slave River. 
Saskatchewan River. 
Thlew-ee-choh River. 
Ditto. 

Missinippi River. 
Slave River. 



- Saskatchewan River. 



526 



APPENDIX. 



Epilobium latifolium 

origanifolium 
alpinum ? near 
the preceding - 

GEnothera biennis ? 



Thlew-ee-choh River. 
Saskatchewan. 

York Factory. 
Athabasca. 



SAXIFRAGES. 

Heuchera Richardsonii 
Saxifraga oppositifoiia 
cernua - 
nivalis 
Virginiensis 
vernalis 
hirculus 
tricuspidata 

Umbellifer^s. 
Zizia cordata 

Araliace^:. 
Panax quinquefolium 

Corner. 
Cornus Canadensis 

Caprifoliace^. 

Sambucus racemosa 
Viburnum acerifolium 

Lonicera parviflora 
ciliata 
caerulea 

Linnsea borealis 



Saskatchewan. 
Gulf of Boothia. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 
Ditto. 

River Winipeg. 
Ditto. 

Thlew-ee-choh. 
Slave and Winipeg Lakes. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 



- Lake Winipeg. 



- Saskatchewan. 



- Winipeg and Slave Lakes. 



Lake Winipeg. 
Slave River, and Atha- 
basca. 
Lake Winipeg. 
Fort William. 
Ditto. 
Missinippi River. 



APPENDIX. 



527 



RuBIACEiE. 

Galium boreale 
Claytoni 

Composite. 
Leontodon palustre 
Bidens cernna 
Achillea millefolium 
Pyrethrum inodorum (3 
Artemisia frigida 
biennis 
boreal is 

Arnica montana 
Senecio aureus 
palustris 

jS congesta 
Erigeron pulchellus 
purpureus 
Solidago virgaurea 
Aster paniculatus? 
Antennaria plantaginea 



- Saskatchewan and Missi- 
nippi. 

- Saskatchewan. 



Thlew-ee-choh. 

Saskatchewan. 

Ditto, and Missinippi. 

Gulf of Boothia. 

Athabasca. 

Ditto. 

Thlew-ee-choh, and Gulf 

of Boothia. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 
Saskatchewan. Athabasca. 
Missinippi. 
Gulf of Boothia. 
Lake Winipeg. 
Saskatchewan. 
Ditto. 

York Factory. 
Fort William. Slave Lake. 



CaMPANULACEjE. 

Campanula linifolia 

Ericine^:. 

Ledum palustre 

Arbutus alpina 
uva ursi 

Andromeda tetragon a 
polifolia 
calyculata 



- Saskatchewan. 



- Thlew-ee-choh. 

- Ditto. 

- Lake Winipeg. 

- Thlew-ee-choh. 

- Lake Winipeg. 

- Lake Superior. 



528 



APPENDIX. 



Rhododendron Lapponicum Thlew-ee-choh. 
Azalea procumbens - Ditto. 

Vaccines. 
Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum River Winipeg. 

uliginosum - Thlew-ee-choh. 

vitis idaea - Saskatchewan. 

Gaultheria procumbens - Lake Superior. 

Pyrolace^e. 

Chimaphila umbellata - Canada. 

Pyrola rotundifolia - Athabasca. 

var. y - Saskatchewan. 

8 - Thlew-ee-choh. 

GENTIANEiE. 

Gentiana amarella - York Factory. 

Apocyne^:. 
Apocynum rosmarinifolium Saskatchewan. 

BORAGINE^. 

Bastchia canescens - Lake Winipeg. 

Collomia linearis - Saskatchewan. 

Lithospermum paniculatum Lake Winipec. 

Hydrophylle^e. 
Eutoca Franklinii - Saskatchewan. 

SCROPHULARINE^E. 

Pedicularis hirsuta - Thlew-ee-choh. 

Veronica peregrins - Saskatchewan. 

Collinsia parviflora - Lake Winipeg. 



APPENDIX. 



529 



Rhinanthace^e. 

Euphrasia officinalis 
Melampyrum lineare 
Castelleja septentrionalis 

Primulace^. 

Menyanthes trifoliata 
Primula pusilla 
Trientalis Americana 
Lysimachia thyrsiflora 

Plumbagineje. 
Statice Armeria 



Saskatchewan. 

Ditto. 

Winipeg and Slave Lakes. 



Lake Winipeg. 
Lake Superior. 
Saskatchewan. 
Ditto. 



Thlew-ee-choh, and Gulf 
of Boothia. 



PoLYGONEiE. 

Polygonum aviculare - Athabasca. 

hydropiper - Saskatchewan. 

h. var. eglandulosum Ditto, 
Persicaria - Athabasca. 

Oxyria reniformis - Thlew-ee-choh. 



Chenopode^:. 
Blitum capitatum 

Chenopodium glaucum 

album 
Atriplex littoral is 
Lophanthus anisatus 



- Lake Winipeg, and Atha- 

basca. 

- Athabasca. 

- Saskatchewan. 

- Athabasca. 

- Saskatchewan. 



Labiatje. 

Stachys palustris - Saskatchewan. 

Dracocephalum parviflorum Lake Winipeg. 

M M 



530 



APPENDIX. 



Thymele^:. 
Comandra umbellata 

Empetre^:. 
Empetrum nigrum 

Hydrolace^:. 
Diapensia Lapponica - Thlew-ee-choh. 



- Saskatchewan. 



- Thlew-ee-choh. 



AMENTACEiE. 

Salix arctica 

cordifolia ? 

reticulata 

herbacea 
Betula glandulosa 
Alnus glutinosa 
Populus trepida 

Urticeje. 
Urtica gracilis 

Conifers. 
Juniperus prostrata 

Irideje. 
Sisyrinchium anceps 

Orchide^e. 
Habenaria rotundifolia 

bracteata 
Neottia cernua 
Cypripedium parviflorum 
Calypso borealis 



Thlew-ee-choh. 

Boothia. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 
Gulf of Boothia. 
Thlew-ee-choh. 
Ditto. 

Saskatchewan. 
Ditto. 



- Lake Winipeg. 



- Lake Winipeg. 



- Lake Winipeg. 



Saskatchewan. 
Lake Winipeg. 
Athabasca. 
Lake Winipeg. 
Fort William. 



Gulf of 



APPENDIX. 



.531 



MELANTHACE.E. 

Tofieldia palustris 

ASPHODELE^E. 

Allium schaenoprasum 

Smilace^e. 

Smilacina stellata 

Canadensis 



- Lake Winipeg. 



- Saskatchewan. 



- Lake Winipeg. 

- Ditto. 



LlLIACEiE. 

Liiium philadelphicum - Saskatchewan. Portage la 

Loche. 
Erythronium lanceolatum - Lake Superior. 



GltAMINEiE. 

Alopecurus aristulatus 

Cyperace-e. 
Carex ? 



Filices. 

Nephrodium fragrans 
Equisetum sylvaticum 
Marchantia polymorpha 
Hydrium auriscalpum 



- Saskatchewan. 



- Lake Winipeg. 
Saskatchewan. 



- Lake Superior. 

- York Factory. 

- York Factory. 

- Lake Superior. 



M M 2 



5S C Z APPENDIX. 



No. III. 

ARTICULATA. 

Catalogue of Arachnida and Lisects, collected by Mr. 
King) Surgeon and Naturalist to the Expedition. By 
J. G. Children, F.R.SS. London and Edinburgh. 
F.L.S. &c. 

The climate and the peculiar circumstances of the 
expedition necessarily limit the insects collected during 
Captain Back's journey, to a very small number. The 
most abundant belong to Latreille's third Order of the 
class, Parasita (Anoplura, Leach), many of the 
individuals of which, being the companions and conse- 
quence of poverty and filth, are regarded in general 
rather as objects of disgust than of attraction. From 
this cause, and perhaps, too, from their minuteness, 
these insects have hitherto excited less attention amongst 
naturalists than their singular, and I may say beautiful, 
forms and structure deserve ; although Redi, so long 
ago as 1688, wrote on the subject, and published no 
less than forty figures, such as they are, (including five 
Acari,) of Pediculi and Pulices, infesting mammalia and 
birds.* Since his time, they have been more or less 
observed by Linnaeus, GeofTroy, Degeer, Scopoli, 
Schranke, Latreille, and others, and more especially by 
Leach and Nitzsch ; to the last of whom we are chiefly 
indebted for a general and pretty complete systematic 

* Esperienze intorno alia Generazione degl' Insetti. 



APPENDIX. 533 

arrangement of these tiny creatures * ; but it is to be 
regretted that, with respect to species, he has merely 
given a list of names, and most frequently even without 
reference to any description or figure of any other 
author. The posthumous work of Lyonet, published 
by De Haanf, contains descriptions, accompanied by 
pretty good, uncoloured figures of a few of these para- 
sites ; and Panzer J has given some tolerable coloured 
ones of some others; but these collectively amount to a 
very small proportion of the existing species ; and, as to 
the figures to be found in the works of the older authors, 
they are in general almost useless. Very lately a 
valuable paper on three species of Philopteri, found on 
the albatross (Diomedca exulans, Linn.), has been pub- 
lished by M. Leon Dufour, in the Annales de la Societe 
Entomologique de France. § 

In the other Orders, the catalogue of arctic Insects, 
collected in the late expedition, is very small, contain- 
ing, of perfect insects, only one species respectively of 
the Coleopterous, Orthopterous, and Hymenopterous 
Orders ; together with one larva of some individual 
belonging to the Coleoptera : to these are to be 
added five species of the Class Arachnida, and one 
Intestinal Worm. But, if the present contribution 
to this branch of natural history be inconsiderable, 
we must remember under what circumstances it was 
formed ; and that it is not the extent of the gift, but 

# Die Familien und Gattungen der Thierinsekten : — Ma- 
gazin der Entomologie (von Germar und Zincken), vol. iii. 
p. 261. 

f Recherches sur l'Anatomie, et les Metamorphoses de 
differentes Especes d'Insectes. Paris, 1832. 

J Deutschlands Insekten. 

§ Vol. iv. p. 669. pi. 21. fig. 1—4. 

M M 3 



534* APPENDIX. 

the liberal spirit of the giver, that deserves our grati- 
tude ; the widow's mite was pronounced to be more 
than all the rest. 



Class ARACHNIDA. 

Obs. The spiders were examined immediately after 
they had been removed from the spirit in which they 
were preserved. 

1. Dysdera erethryna? Walck. 

Hahn, Arachniden, vol. i. p. 7* pi. 1. f. 3. 

The characters of this spider so nearly agree with 
Hahn's figure and description of Z). erethryna, that I 
have little hesitation in referring it to that species, not- 
withstanding the great distance, in point of locality, 
between the two individuals. Hahn's spider is found 
in Spain, France, and Germany. 

2. Theridion Backii (n. s.), Nob. 

Villosum ; thorace subcirculari, rufo : pedibus rufis, 
fusco annulatis, setisque undique obsitis; pari primo, 
secundo, et quarto longioribus, subsequalibus ; tertio 
cseteris breviori : abdomine globoso, saturate fusco. 

This species has considerable resemblance to the 
female of Hahn's T. quadri-giittatam (pi. 21. f. 64.), 
but is larger, and in other respects decidedly distinct, 
I have named it in honour of Captain Back. 

2. Tetragnatha extensa (var.), Walck. 

SchcefF. Icon. Insect, pi. 113. f. 9. 



APPENDIX. 535 

4. TH03USUS borealis (n. s.), Nob. 

Fuscus : mandibulis validis, glabris : thorace subcylin- 
drico, convexo, glabro : pedibus ferrugineis, subelon- 
gatis, subvillosis, spinisque raris munitis; pari primo, 
secundo, et quarto subaequalibus, tertio caeteris breviori : 
cute abdominis ovati transverse rugosa, granulosa, pilis- 
que raris, albido-flavis tecta; his ad anum ventremque 
frequentioribus. 

5. Thomisus corona (n. s.), Nob. 

Glaber : thorace subcirculari, subfusco, fascia media 
albida ad frontem latiori, coronaeque effigiem simulante : 
mandibulis albidis : pedum pari primo et secundo vali- 
dis, plus duplo caeteris majoribus ; tertio breviori : 
femoribus subpubescentibus : tarsis subtus setosis, setis 
discretis, biseriatim positis : abdomine globoso, albido. 

This species agrees very nearly with Hahn's Th. diade- 
ma, except in the form of the abdomen, which in the latter 
is angular, having posteriorly on each side a projecting 
lobe ; whilst in Th. corona it is globular. Since Hahn 
expressly states that the male, although much smaller, 
exactly resembles the female, both in form and colour, 
the difference between his specimen and ours cannot be 
sexual. Moreover, Hahn takes no notice of the singu- 
lar, white, coronet-shaped mark in the front of the head, 
in the upper projecting part of which the brilliant eyes 
of the animal shew like the jewels of a diadem. The 
four lateral eyes, as in Hahn's species, are supported on 
little projecting knobs. 



M M 4 



536 APPENDIX. 



Class INSECTA. 
Order Parasita, Latr. (Anoplur^e, Leach.) 

Genus Philopterus, Nitzsch. {Pediculus. Linn. 
Fabric. Richius, Degeer. Nirmns, Hermann, Olfers, 
Leach.) 

Subgenus Docophorus, Nitzsch. 

1. D. communis, Nitzsch. Pedic. emberizae, Fabr. 

Degeer, vol. vii. pi. 4. f. 9. ; Panzer, Deutsch. 

Insek. 51. 23. 
Found on the Snow-bird, Chatterer, and Grosbeak. 

Lon g- tw P o11 - 

2. D. platyrhynchus Nitz. ? Pedic. haematopus, Sco- 
j)oli ? 

Found on a Hawk, but the species not mentioned. 

Long. T f o poh\ 

I believe this species to be identical with Nitsch's 
Platyrhynchus^ the P. hcematopus of Scopoli (Ent. Car- 
niol. p. 382.), as it agrees in alt respects with the latter 
author's description of that insect, except in wanting the 
dorsal line on each side of the abdomen. Our specimen 
very closely resembles that of the Nivmus nisi, in the 
collection in the British Museum. Nitzsch's insect is 
stated to have been found on the Falco palumbarius. 

3. D. auritus, Nob. Pedic. auriti, Scop. Var. ? 
Dilute fulvus : capite triangulari, glabro, nitido, apice 

subobtuso: temporibus rotundatis : abdomine ovato. 



APPENDIX. 537 

subpiloso, linea dorsali incurvata, nigra: pedibus anti- 
cis antennis vix longioribus. Long. T ^o poll. 

Found on the Picus auratus. 

This species so much resembles that described by 
Schrank (Faun. Boic), and referred by him to P. auri- 
tus of Scopoli, who found it on the Picus major, and 
P. martus, that I have thought it right to adopt his 
name, but without asserting their identity. 

4. D. ocellatus, Nitzsch. De Haan. Pedic. ocellatus, 
Scop, 

Lyonet, pi. 5. f. 3. * 
Found on the Corvus corax. Long. T J(j poll. 

The British specimens in the Museum collection 
agree perfectly with the arctic species. 

According to Scopoli and Nitzsch, it is also found on 
the Corvus cor' nae. 

Subgenus Nirmus, Nitzsch, 

5. N. affinis (n. s.), Nob. 

Albidus : capite triangulari, subfusco, glabro, nitidoj 
apice rotundato : abdomine ovato, piloso, fasciis fuscis 
medio interruptis : antennis, thorace, pedibusque sub- 
fuscis. Long. ^ poll. 

Found on the Tetrao saliceti, and Ptarmigan. 

This species differs from Lyonet's figure and de- 
scription of the Pou de coque de bruyere" (which his 
editor, De Haan, refers to the Nirmus cameratus of 
Nitzsch,) principally in the form of the transverse dorsal 

* Recherches, &c, ouvrage posthume, publie par De 
Haan. Paris, 1832. 



538 APPENDIX. 

bands, which in our insect extend on each side, from 
near the middle of the back to the sides, but in 
Lyonet's present a bifurcate figure, the branches of the 
fork terminating long before they reach the margin; 
the latter is bounded by a darker line from the thorax 
to the anus. 

6. N. testudinarius (n. s.), Nob. 

Fuscus : capite triangulari, glabro, nitido, apice tem- 
poribusque rotundatis : abdomine elliptico, subpiloso, 
pilis ad anum confertioribus : segmentorum dorsalium 
suturis, lineaque medio longitudinali albidis : pedibus 
subfuscis. Long, ^o P°U» 

Found on the Curlew. 

7. N. biseriatus (n. s.), Nob. 

Capite glabro, fulvo, triangulari, apice obtuso, tempo- 
ribus rotundatis ; thorace pedibusque concoloribus, illo 
linea media, albida : abdomine ovato, subpiloso, albido, 
maculis lateralibus fulvis, biseriatim positis, exteriori- 
bus majoribus. Long. -^^ poll. 

Also found on the Curlew, and, as far as I can find, 
hitherto undescribed. 

Subgenus Lipeurus, Nitzsch. 
(Ornithobins, Leach.) 

8. L.jejunus, Nitzch. 

Pedic. anseris, Linn. Fabr. 
Redi, Exper. tab. 10. fig. dextra. 
Found on the Grey Goose. Long, -££ g poll. 
This species differs from the parasite of the Domestic 
Goose in the British Museum collection ; but appears to 
be identical with another species in the same collection, 
to which neither name nor habitat is affixed. 



APPENDIX. 539 

Subgenus Goniodes, Nitzsch. 

9. G. chelicornis, Nitzsch, 

Lyon. pi. 4. f. 7. 
Found on the Tetrao saliceti. Long. xV> lat. abdom. 



£5_ 



poll. 



Genus Liotheum, Nitzsch. 

(Pedicidus, Linn. Fabr. Ricmus, Degeer, Latrielle. 
NirmiiS) Hermann, Olfers, Leach.) 

Subgenus Colpocephalum, Nitzsch. 

10. C. subaequale, Nitzsch. 

Lyon. pi. 4. fig. 5. 
Found on the Corvus corax. Long. 2 |^ poll. 

Subgenus Physostomum, Nitzsch. 

11. P. sulphureum, Nitzsch? Pediculus dolicocephalus, 

Scopoli ? 

Albus : toto corpore glabro : capite oblongo, apice 
rotundato : abdomine elliptico, subtus marginato ; ma- 
culis frontalibus, vittaque dorsali sanguineis. Long. T V(T 
poll. 

Found on the Snow-bird. 

12. P. marginatum (n.s.), Nob. 

Albidus: capite oblongo, fusco maculato, apice ob- 
tuso: thorace abdomineque marginatis, lineaque fusca 
circumdatis : pedibus albidis. Long. T ! o 4 o poll. 

Except in size and colour, this species very much 
resembles Degeer 's Ricin du Pin c on. 



540 APPENDIX. 



Order COLEOPTERA. 



Bostrichus typographic, Fabr. 

Var. b. " corpore toto pallide testaceo." Gyllen. 
Insect. Sueci., torn. i. pars 3, p. 351. 
From dried Pine. 

2. Larva — incertae sedis ; — an Dmcmm cujusdam ? 

I am induced to think it probable that this may be the 
larva of a Dircaea (Xylita, Paykull), from its almost per- 
fect accordance with Mr. W. S. Macleay's description of 
the thysanuriform larva of the Xylita buprestoides, (Horse 
Entomological, note, p. 464.) As Mr. Macleay's work is, 
unfortunately, very rare, it may be useful to transcribe 
his description : — " Larva, whitish, elongate, scaly, 
" with few hairs, except about the last segment of the 
" abdomen ; body thickest at the middle and tail, upper 
" side rather convex, under concave ; head semi- 
" globular, with vestige of eyes ; antennas Particulate, 
" short, with the first joints greatest; mandibles short, 
" strong, and sharp ; maxillary palpi acute at point, 
" and labial excessively minute; second segment of the 
" body large, subthoraciform, and composed apparently 
" of two segments ; anterior feet large, compressed, 
" hooked, extending nearly to the top of the head ; 
" the two posterior pairs of the same shape, but so 
" short as scarcely to reach beyond the coxa of the 
" first pair, besides being in some measure hid in the 
" concavity of the body ; the third segment of the body 
" is shortest, and the others lengthen gradually to the 
" 12th, which is convex, and marked with strongly 
" impressed points ; but the singular part of the body is 
" the tail, or 13th segment, at the base of which is the 
" anal aperture : this segment is slightly convex above, 



APPENDIX. 541 

" and flattish below, but armed at the extremity with 
" two sharp horny appendages, curved upwards." — 
Macleay's larva was found, together with the perfect 
insect, in the solid wood of an old oak in Hampshire, 
by Mr. Samouelle. 

The above description applies to our larva, except 
that its colour is light yellowish brown, and the feet 
equal ; and, in addition to the horny appendages at the 
extremity, the two caudal processes and the posterior 
margin of the last or anal segment, are armed with 
similar sharp horny spines. 

Length 0.45 in. 

Found in dried Pine. 

Order ORTHOPTERA. 

Acridium sulphureum, Pal. de Beauv. 

Palis, de Beauv. Ins., rec. en Afr. et Am. p. 145. 

Orthopt. pi. 4. f. 2. 
Palisot du Beauvais' insect is from Virginia. 

Order HYMENOPTERA. 

Formica herculeana, Linn. 

Var. thorace nigro, Shuck. M. S. 

Linn. Faun. Suec. p. 426. No. 1720. 

My friend Mr. Shuckard, who is intimately ac- 
quainted with this Order, and examined this species at 
my request, observes : — " The identity of Captain 
" Back's species with the F. herculeana of Linnaeus, is 
" interesting, from its being the first proof I am ac- 
" quainted with, of the same species of hymenopterous 
" insect inhabiting both the European and American 
" continents. These ants are, indeed, smaller than the 
" European species ; but climate is well known to affect 
" developments." 



542 APPENDIX. 

RADIATA. 

Class Intestina (E?itozoa, Rudolph! ). 

Ascaris ? 

I cannot satisfactorily refer this to any described 
species. It seems not very unlike Rudolphi's A. ere- 
nata. No account is given of its habitat. 



APPENDIX. 543 



No. IV. 
GEOLOGICAL NOTICE 

ON THE NEW COUNTRY PASSED OVER BY CAPTAIN BACK 
DURING HIS LATE EXPEDITION. 

By William Henry Fitton, M.D. F.R.S. G.S. &c. 

The country near the entrance of Slave River into 
Great Slave Lake, where the route of Captain Back 
struck off, has been described by Dr. Richardson, in 
his valuable geological appendices to the first and se- 
cond journeys of Captain Sir John Franklin. The 
following observations have been drawn up, principally, 
from the notes taken by Captain Back himself in the 
course of his arduous journey, from that point to the 
sea, aided by an examination of the specimens which 
he brought to England. In arranging them in the 
order of the route, I have adhered, as far as possible, 
to the original words : — 

" On quitting Fort Resolution (a station of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, near the mouth of the Slave River), 
we went through some of the winding channels formed by 
the numerous islands in the Delta of Slave River ; and, 
having passed Stony Island, which, — as Dr. Richardson 
remarks in the appendix to Franklin's first journey, — 
is a naked mass of red granite, fifty or sixty feet high, 
precipitous on the north side, and lying near the junction 
of the flat limestone strata with the primitive rocks. — 
We then kept along the low and swampy shore, thickly 



544 APPENDIX. 

matted with drift-wood, and made for a jutting elevation, 
called Rocky Point, where the lake trends to the east- 
ward, and struck off in a northerly direction towards a 
distant cluster of islands on the south of Simpson's 
Group, which are mostly granitic, and composed of 
reddish felspar, quartz, and mica. The more northern 
of these islands attain a greater elevation, from 200 to 
1000 feet, resembling the bluff and broken features of 
those to the westward, near the "Gros-cap" of Mackenzie, 
but still more like the red granite hills of FortChipewyan 
and upper part of the Slave River. They are very 
unlike the low swampy limestone tracts which we had 
left; and almost totally destitute of the drift-timber piled 
in such immense quantities about Fort Resolution and 
the more western shores of the lake. 

" The clear green north-eastern waters here contrast 
strongly with the turbid yellow streams of the Great 
Slave Lake, hurrying rapidly towards the Mackenzie 
Conical isolated hills are in various places separated by 
narrow passages from the larger islands, whose pic- 
turesque outlines, rent into vast chasms and fissures, and 
rising to upwards of 1200 feet, are very imposing. 

" Near to the most northern of this chain of islands, 
Point Keith projects from the eastern main ; and the 
channel, between that point and the northern shore of 
the lake, is interrupted by an island called jEM-thenu- 
eh *, or Reindeer Island, remarkable for its table-land ; 
with perpendicular cliffs resting on sloping and irre- 

* This little island is not named in the annexed map. It 
is immediately on the south of the date " August 14th," and 
south-west of the prolonged extremity of Peth-the-nu-eh. 
It is to be observed, that there is a small group in the lake 
also called " Reindeer Islands," north of the entrance of 
Slave River, and about north-west of Rocky Point. 



APPENDIX. 545 

gular declivities, which gradually descend to the water's 
edge." Captain Back remarks, that a point which forms 
the western extremity of a small bay, in this part of 
the lake, consists of a mass of boulders, cemented into 
a kind of puddingstone by yellowish and indurated 
clay, to a height of from six to forty feet : the subja- 
cent rocks, as they receded from the lake, acquiring 
an altitude between 1 400 and 2000 feet. 

The point which we next rounded was steep and 
perpendicular; and from it the natives obtain a varie- 
gated marl, of a greenish grey colour, of which they 
make their calumets and pipes. A similar substance, 
of a reddish tint, and also one of a pure white, both 
admitting of a high polish, are found beyond the 
western limits of the lake. 

Proceeding to the north and east, along that portion 
of the lake which separates the long island of Peth- 
the-nu-eh from the northern main, the island itself has an 
imposing appearance; its rocks, of the trap formation, ex- 
hibiting long lines of mural precipices, resting one upon 
another, and capped by even and round eminences thinly 
clad with meagre pines. " It was impossible to look at 
them without being forcibly reminded of the same ap- 
pearances, but without trees, seen on a former occasion 
between the Coppermine River and Point Barrow, 
where the rocks are described by Dr Richardson* as con- 
sisting of clinkstone, porphyry, and earthy greenstone, 
which extended to the mouth of WenzePs River." And, 
from this resemblance, Captain Back conjectures that 
the trap formation may probably run in a line almost 
due south to Great Slave Lake, where it is lost in the 
granitic district occupying an extensive range to and 
beyond Chipewyan. 

* Franklin's First Voyage, Appendix, p. 530. 

N N 



546 



APPENDIX. 



But, though the trap formation seems to predominate 
in Peth-the-nu-eh, the specimens from that side of 
the island which forms the shore of Christie's Bay are 
composed of magnesian limestone, like that of Dease's 
River, and many other places mentioned by Dr. Rich- 
ardson. * 

The main shore of the lake on the north and west of 
Peth-the-nu-eh is also mountainous and rocky, consist- 
ing chiefly of gneiss and porphyry. At a contracted part 
of the channel, called by the natives Tal-thel-leh, it is 
said never to freeze ; and this Captain Back's experience 
proved to be the case during two winters. On the east 
of this place, an island was seen, displaying a barren and 
rounded outline to the north, but on the south distinctly 
columnar. No specimens were obtained from it; but a 
drawing of Captain Back's leaves no doubt as to its 
structure, the columns being well defined and regular. 

Columns in a small Island, east of Tal-thel-leh. 




The altitude of the north shore of the lake varies but 
little thence to the point called by the natives " The 
Mountain" ; — so named, however, not from any remark- 
able prominence, but to distinguish the spot where the 

* Appendix to Franklin's Second Voyage, p.xiv. 



APPENDIX. 547 

natives leave their canoes when striking into the interior. 
From the " mountain," the opposite peninsula of Gah- 
hooa-tchel-la, (or Rabbit Point,) has a bold and pic- 
turesque appearance, being more than 2000 feet high, 
almost perpendicular, and evidently a continuation of 
the (trap) formation of Peth-the-nu-eh, from which 
it is separated on the south and west by an opening 
leading to Christie's Bay. The shores of the eastern part 
of the lake, as they approach each other, still retain their 
distinctive characters : that on the north being round- 
backed and grey, with a few trees ; but that to the south 
precipitous, cliffy, and almost barren. The rocks, en- 
closing the east end of the lake, around the bay on the 
north of which Fort Reliance was placed, are very like 
those already passed, but more acclivitous. 

The specimens from Fort Reliance (which are 
marked " undulating rocks of considerable altitude ") 
consist of granite, having somewhat the aspect of sienite, 
but composed of reddish felspar, brown mica in small 
proportion, and grey quartz. On the beach was found 
a mass of conglomerate of flint pebbles, cemented by 
sand and slightly effervescent matter. The pebbles, 
loose on the shore hereabouts, consist of chalcedony, 
quartz, flinty slate, a conglomerate of red jasper peb- 
bles in a siliceous dark grey cement, with fragments of 
jasper of various hues, inclining to brown. 

The sandy space, where the house, or "Fort," was 
erected, was about three miles broad, and hemmed in, 
on the east and west, by two rivers, which ran respectively 
along the bases of parallel ranges of granitic hills. The 
sand was comparatively level ; and in the space of half a 
mile were two more platforms, with embankments rising 
gradually towards the rocky valleys which led to the 
barren lands. It seemed as if the water of the Great 

N N 2 



548 APPENDIX. 

Slave Lake had once been so high as to have had the 
upper of the embankments for its boundary, and had 
since subsided. 

Immediately on the north of the "Fort," including the 
space between Hoarfrost River and the Ah-hel-desseh (the 
stream leading from Slave Lake to Artillery Lake), the 
country is mountainous, and consists for the greater part 
of granite, in which red felspar and large plates of mica 
are conspicuous. The ascent here towards the barren 
lands may be taken at 1400 feet. On the north, along 
Artillery Lake, the country assumes a more open aspect, 
with sloping moss-covered hills, on which are rarely 
scattered clumps of wood; but in latitude 63° 15' N. 
the pine disappears altogether, and there it is that the 
" barren lands" fairly commence. 

The country from Artillery Lake to Clinton Colden 
Lake, and thence to Lake Aylmer, is characterised by 
the small altitude of the hills, which are more or less 
covered with large boulders of granite, and decline to 
the water's edge. 

In these lakes islands are numerous ; many of them 
consisting of great unbroken masses of granite, on the 
summits of which are huge stones and splintered frag- 
ments of rock. Similar boulders had been observed 
near Fort Enterprise during the first journey of Sir 
John Franklin, where, in fact, the height of land seems 
to be a continuation of this tract, and to be of the same 
character. Sand was seen at first along the beach, but 
soon rising into banks and mounds : and, finally, at the 
northern extremity of Lake Aylmer, forming hills of 
some magnitude, which decline to the north-west, and 
indicate the height of land that feeds Sussex Lake, — 
the source of the Thlew-ee^cho-dezeth. 

Sussex Lake is small, and encompassed by low shelv- 



APPENDIX. 549 

ing declivities. To the west of it is a low ridge of sand- 
hills, which terminate abruptly, and form a passage for 
the escape of the waters towards the north. Within a 
mile of the lake is a slight descent that way, forming a 
shallow rapid only a mile distant from Lake Aylmer, — 
the surface of which lake may be considered as three 
feet below the highest part of the dividing land. The 
river then winds its way through sand-hills, declining 
to the north-west; and, about four miles down the 
stream, passes the first rocks of gneiss in situ : — they 
have an even and tabular surface ; and are broken into 
perpendicular cliffs, about five feet high, which fall to 
the east. 

About five and twenty miles on the north-east of 
Lake Aylmer, the river cuts its way transversely, but 
without changing its direction, through a range of 
mountains running east and west, and then becomes 
very much interrupted by rapids. Sand-banks begin to 
appear again, and hills with " long sloping declivities, 
" partially covered with the usual blocks of granite" ; 
— till within sixty miles of Bathurst's Inlet, latitude 
65° 40', longitude 106° 35', where a barrier of moun- 
tains, probably continuous with the ranges to the east of 
that inlet, turns the river away to the east at an acute 
angle, for about thirty miles." Lake Beechey occupies 
the bend produced by this obstruction. The rocks 
around it were very rugged and desolate * ; but, as the 
expedition was at this time passing rapidly down the 
stream, no specimens were obtained. Some cascades, a 
mile and a half long and sixty feet in descent, terminated 
the lake ; and then the river followed the windings of a 

* In many places, Captain Back observes, the rugged- 
ness of their aspect reminded him of that of the bva 
round Vesuvius. 

N N 3 



5,50 APPENDIX. 

group of sand-hills, many of which were conical and 
partly covered with grass. 

Three isolated mountains of gneiss were seen about 
forty miles from the east end of Lake Beechey; and 
a few miles lower down, on the opposite side to these 
mountains, is the ingress of Baillie's River. The 
country now became low, flat, and very sandy, with 
an occasional smooth hill rent into watercourses ; and 
not more than half a mile from each other, were the 
obtuse and rounded tops of a few dark rocks, that peeped 
above and chequered the surface of the yellow sand. It 
then changed to a mass of rocks, (Hawk Rapid,) between 
which the current ran with extreme violence, but with- 
out much change of general direction. The specimens 
from this place consist of reddish granitic compound 
approaching to gneiss. 

Beyond these rapids, several rivers joined from both 
sides, and the main stream expanded into an extensive 
sheet of water (Lake Pelly), with clear horizons at dif- 
ferent points of the compass. There were here many 
islands; and the ridges and cones of sand of which 
they were composed were not only of considerable 
height, but most singularly and remarkably crowned 
with immense granite boulders, grey with lichen. 

A succession of dangerous falls and rapids follows this 
series of lakes, the course of which is very tortuous; but 
the main direction, from the beginning of Lake Pelly to 
Lake Macdougal, is nearly from west to east. At Rock 
Rapid, in latitude 65° 54-' 18", longitude 98° 10' 7", the 
river bursts with fury between four mountains of reddish 
granite, and turns short to the north. 

The stream now became from half a mile to a mile 
in width, with fearful rapids and whirlpools ; and the 
adjoining country was far more rugged and mountainous 



APPENDIX. 551 

thanbefore. The rocks were evidently granitic; but 
no specimens were collected, as the party were carried 
down the stream in their boat. 

Having passed through another small lake, or expan- 
sion of the river, much impeded by ice, the stream turned 
again to the east, and led to a steep fall, where Esqui- 
maux were found who had never seen Europeans. 

From about the point called Wolf- Fall, the course 
of the river is nearly from south-west to north-east; and, 
after an abrupt and remarkable elbow on the north of 
Mount Meadowbank, it runs in the bottom of a trough, 
or deep valley, to its junction with the sea. 

The object of the expedition having rendered it neces- 
sary that the party should proceed in their boat on 
arriving at the sea, very few specimens or notes descrip- 
tive of the rocks were obtained in the remotest part of the 
route. The only specimens are from a " bluff" (Point 
Backhouse) on the north-west of Victoria Headland, 
which consists of reddish granite; and from another bluff 
beneath Point Beaufort, composed of a similar rock of a 
grey colour ; — both on the eastern coast of the inlet, 
which forms the estuary of the Thlew-ee-choh-dezeth. 



The new ground therefore explored by Captain Back, 
from Slave River to the sea in the parallel of 67° 10', 
with only two or three exceptions, is composed, so far 
as appears from his notes and specimens, of primitive 
rocks ; a result which might have been expected from 
the description of the country previously known, which 
indicates a distinct line of boundary, in the north-east of 
America, between the calcareous and primitive tracts; 
the latter including the space traversed during Captain 
Back's late expedition. The exceptions are: — 1. A 

N N 4 



55% APPENDIX. 

portion of the north-east of Great Slave Lake, — includ- 
ing the long island of Peth-the-nu-eh, and one, at least, 
of the smaller islands adjacent to it, which Captain 
Back describes as composed of trap rocks, but which 
include also strata of limestone. 2. — Perhaps, the 
rugged ground about Lake Beechey ? which, from the 
description, appears to differ much in aspect from the 
primitive country. 3. — Limestone is mentioned in the 
narrative, as having been found in small fragments, on 
the shore of Montreal island, in the estuary of the 
Thlew-ee-choh-dezeth. * 

On a general view of the map of Captain Back's late 
expedition, it may be remarked that the river is obvi- 
ously divided into three portions (and the eastern part of 
Slave Lake itself may perhaps be considered as resem- 
bling them), all nearly parallel, and lying in a direction 
from about south-west to north-east, allowance being 
made for the convergence of the meridians in those high 
latitudes. These portions are : 1 . — The Thlew-ee-choh- 
dezeth, from its source in Sussex Lake, to the head or 
north-western extremity of Lake Beechey. 2. — From 
the curve a little eastward of Baillie's River, to the north- 
western extremity of Lake Pelly. 3. — From Wolf 
Fall, — and, more distinctly, from the rapids north of 
Mount Meadowbank, to the sea. 4. — Slave Lake itself, 
from the entrance of Slave River to Fort Reliance, — 
and the river which connects it with Artillery Lake. 
The first of these divisions being about eighty-five En- 
glish miles in length; the second, nearly an hundred 

* Instead of this unwieldy name for the newly discovered 
stream, that of "Back's River" has been suggested; the 
most appropriate denomination, in such a case, being that of 
the discoverer. 



APPENDIX. 553 

miles ; the third, reckoning from Wolf Rapid, about an 
hundred and twenty miles, — or, from the north of 
Mount Meadowbank, more than ninety miles in length ; 
while the less uniform line from Slave Lake, at the 
entrance of Slave River, to the head of Artillery Lake, 
is more than two hundred and fifty miles. 

Again, the watercourse which unites the several por- 
tions above mentioned has likewise, in two cases, some 
approach to parallelism ; the chain of lakes, from Lake 
Aylmer eastward, having a direction to the south of 
east, through a distance of nearly an hundred miles ; 
and that from Lake Beechey to the east of Baillie's 
River, nearly the same general direction, for about 
eighty miles. The waters which connect Lake Pelly 
with the sinuosities about Wolf Rapid, comprehend a 
series of lakes of very irregular form, and the stream 
which unites them is tortuous, but has, nevertheless, a 
general direction nearly from west to east. 

It is almost premature to speculate on evidence so 
scanty as that which has just been stated; but it is pro- 
bable both that the parallel portions of the river, and 
the less regular transverse lines which connect them, 
are the results of geological structure. The parallel 
lines along which the river makes its way towards the 
north-east, from the ground dividing the water-shed at 
Sussex Lake, — and the general course of Great Slave 
Lake thence towards the south-west, may, possibly, 
be longitudinal valleys between parallel ridges of small 
elevation, directed from south-west to north-east.* 

* This, Dr. Richardson states, is the average direction 
(or, ' strike ') of the primitive and transition strata, through 
about twelve degrees of longitude, over which his own 
journeys extended. It is also the direction of the strata in 



554 APPENDIX. 

While the rocky and elevated ground about Lake 
Beechey, which turns the river from its previous direc- 
tion, may be a continuation of the mountainous tract 
about Back's River, and on the east of Bathurst Inlet, 
the general course of which seems to be from the south 
of east towards the north of west. This also is the 
direction of the range of hills, laid down during the first 
of Franklin's journeys, near the Coppermine River, 
about latitude 66° 32', longitude 115° to 116° W. * 
The irregular ground between those hills and Heywood 
range of Captain Back (latitude 64° 50', longitude 
108°), includes the group of lakes about Point Lake; 
between which and Contwoy-to, or Rum Lake, is the 
division of the water-shed, which has the same general 
direction with the ridge or height of land that divides 
Sussex Lake from Lake Aylmer, and, possibly, may 
be a continuation of it. 

As the existence of lines of division, like those just 
mentioned, is one of the most prominent general cir- 
cumstances hitherto ascertained respecting the geology 
of this part of America, I have great pleasure in sub- 
joining the following observations from a letter of Dr. 
Richardson, by whom in person many of the points in 
question have been examined. They will be perfectly 
intelligible if the reader will place before him Arrow- 
many of the ranges in the British Islands, and on the Con- 
tinent of Europe. 

* In the last of the maps annexed to Franklin's first 
journey, the direction ascribed to this range, Dr. Richard- 
son informs me, is erroneous. It is there described as con- 
sisting of " hills running in mountain ranges to the South 
" (instead of North) West ; clay slate, with peaks of from 
" 1,200 to 1,500 feet high." 



APPENDIX. 555 

smith's, or any other good general map of North 
America. 

" The course of the Rocky Mountains chain," Dr. 

Richardson states*, "from the Sierra of Mexico, in 

1 latitude 30°, to its termination on the coast of the 

' Arctic Sea, in latitude 69°, is about N. by W., with 

8 very little deviation any where. The chain rises 

c abruptly from a flat or very slightly inclined country, 

( in which the great prairies of the Arkansas, Mis- 

6 souri, and Saskatchewan are included. To the 

' eastward of these prairie lands (at least N. of Lake 

{ Superior), there is an extensive limestone deposit ; 

i and between this and the primitive zone of hills or 

'rocks still farther east" — (to which may now be 

added the greater part, if not the whole, of the tract 

explored by Captain Back), " a series of rivers and 

" lakes, occupying the line of junction, and extending 

" from the Lake of the Woods to the Arctic Sea." 

" It is to be noticed, however, that although the lakes 
" on this line almost always have primitive rocks on the 
" east side, and limestone on the west, the connecting 
" rivers generally run wholly in one formation or in the 
" other. Thus, the River Winipeg flows through pri- 
" mitive rocks ; the edge of the limestone being a short 
way to the westward. We can trace the formation 
up the east side of Lake Winipeg to Norway Point, 
w and from thence straight to Beaver Lake ; the Sas- 
" katchewan to the westward flowing over limestone, 
" which is close to the primitive strata in Beaver Lake, 
" The Missinippi or Churchill River f traverses pri- 
" mitive rocks." 

* MS. letter, March 28. 1836. 

f Dr. Richardson remarks, that " The character of this 



a 



556 APPENDIX. 

" We lose the primitive rocks at Isle la Crosse, 
u where there is limestone; and at Portage la Roche we 
" cross a high sandstone ridge, covered with much sand. * 
" The Clear-water River, at the foot of this ridge, flows 
" over limestone, which is also seen in the Athabasca 
" River, but under much bituminous shale. On the 
st north side of Athabasca Lake (or Lake of the Hills), 
" the rocks are primitive, and the Slave River flows 
" sometimes through limestone, at other times over 
" granite, and sometimes between the two. Its mouths 
" open into Slave Lake between the limestone and 
" granite. 



" river is precisely similar to that of the Thelw-ee-cho-dezeth : 
" a series of lake-like and many- armed dilatations, connected 
" by narrow rocky rapids, sometimes one, sometimes many, 
" separated by high rocky islands. There are some curious 
" islands in the Missinippi, consisting of large granite 
" boulders, or rounded masses, piled one above the other to 
" a great height ; and on their upper points, where they are 
" out of the reach of the waves, they are hoary with lichens. 
" The water immediately surrounding these islands is many 
" fathoms deep ; and on looking at them, I was inclined to 
" think that the soft parts of a granite rock had weathered 
fi away, and left these rounded and harder masses so piled 
« up." 

* The frequent occurrence and thickness of the deposits of 
sand in this part of North America, appear, both from Dr. 
Richardson's description of the country seen during the pre- 
ceding expedition east of the Mackenzie, and from Captain 
Back's notes of his journey, to be remarkable. It well deserves 
inquiry, whether these accumulations are the deposite of the 
(comparatively) recent seas, during their occupation of that 

continent, or belong to the secondary or tertiary groups of 
strata. 



APPENDIX. 557 

" By carrying the eye over the map from point to 
" point above mentioned, it will be seen that the western 
" boundary of the eastern primitive rocks as it runs north- 
" ward, inclines towards the Rocky Mountains. There 
" are- no prairie lands north of Peace River, and no flat 
" country skirting the Rocky Mountains beyond Great 
" Slave Lake. I have seen the Rocky Mountains only 
" on the M c Kenzie, and there from a distance ; but the 
" great valleys seemed, as I viewed them in passing 
" down the river, to cut the general direction of the 
" chain at right angles. A Canadian, who had crossed 
" the mountains in the quarter I speak of, said that he 
" travelled over thirteen separate ridges. He did not, 
" therefore, go directly across the general line of the 
" chain : — or, the valleys, that I saw, do not penetrate 

" deep. 

" I cannot," Dr. Richardson adds, " give any personal 
" information respecting the country to the eastward of 
" what I have hitherto been speaking of. The high pri- 
" mitive hills on the Coppermine River (p. 5 C 25. of 
" Geognostic Observations, first journey,) lie in ranges 
" nearly parallel to the river, having a north-west direc- 
" tion (and not a south-west, as erroneously marked in 
" the map). These primitive rocks extend to the Cont- 
" wov-to, or Rum, Lake, and, I doubt not, also to 
" Back's new River. There are limestone deposits 
" between the eastern primitive rocks and Hudson's 
" Bay, and also northward, on the Arctic Sea, where 
" Captain Ross was. 

" All the primitive rocks in that part of the country 
" which I have called the " eastern primitive district " 
" are low, and do not form mountain ranges, except 
" on that part of the Coppermine River already al- 
« luded to." 



558 APPENDIX. 

The specimens and information obtained by Captain 
Back, in that part of his route which preceded his own 
discoveries, accord with the previous descriptions of 
Dr. Richardson ; and as the places referred to can be 
but seldom visited, I shall subjoin a general list of 
the specimens. Among the most remarkable are several 
fragments of a white or cream-coloured limestone from 
the north-western extremity of Lake Winipeg, very 
much resembling a series presented to the Geological 
Society some years ago (in 1823) by Dr. Bigsby, from 
the north-western shore of Lake Huron, — a spot more 
than 600 geographical miles from Lake Winipeg. ^ 



# 



* From Dr. Bigsby's account of the country around Lake 
Huron, and thence to the south-east, it would appear that 
the line of division between the primary and secondary 
rocks, is continued from the neighbourhood of Lake Wini- 
peg, nearly in the same direction with that above specified, 
for several hundred miles : — 

" The northern shore of Lake Huron, with its nearest 
" isles, consists principally of the older rocks ; the secondary 
" occupy the rest of the lake. The primitive rocks are 
" part of a vast chain, of which the southern portion, ex- 
" tending, probably uninterruptedly, from the north and east 
" of Lake Winipeg, passes thence along to the northern 
" shores of Lakes Superior, Huron, and Simcoe ; and after 
" forming the granitic barrier of the Thousand Isles, and 
i( the outlet of Lake Ontario, spreads itself largely through 
" the State of New York, and then joins the Alleghanies 
" and their southern continuations. 

" The secondary rocks of Lake Huron are a portion of an 
" immense basin, which, extending probably without inter- 
" ruption, from the southern shore of Lake Winipeg, spreads 
" itself over the greater part of Lakes Superior, Huron, and 
" Simcoe — the whole of Lakes Michigan, Erie, and Ontario; 
" much of the western part of the State of New York, — the 



APPENDIX. 559 

Having requested my friend Mr. Stokes, by whom 
some of Dr. Bigsby's specimens were described, to ex- 
amine this part of Captain Back's collection, I have 
been favoured by him with the following observations ; 
and I hope that Mr. Stokes himself will soon lay before 
the Geological Society a paper, accompanied by figures, 
illustrating the structure of these very interesting fossil 
remains. 

" Among the limestone fossils brought by Captain 

" Back from Lake Winipeg, are some like those which 

" were obtained by Dr. Richardson from the same 

" locality in the year 1820, but which were not in a 

" state sufficiently perfect to enable us to understand 

" their structure and relations. A memorandum having 

" been given by Dr. Richardson to Captain Back, of 

" the spot from whence the fossils were obtained, 

" the latter has succeeded in procuring several speci- 

" mens, which, although broken, are sufficiently well 

" preserved to illustrate the nature of these remains. 

" They are orthocerata of a peculiar kind, and resemble 

" in their most important points those found at Thes- 

" salon Island in Lake Huron, and described by Dr. 

" Bigsby in the Geological Transactions (Second Series, 

" vol. i. pp. 192. and 195. to 198.). They are, how- 

" ever, probably not of the same species ; but the 

" point of resemblance is the structure of the siphon, 

" which has a tube within it, as described and repre- 



" whole of the States of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, 
" and the rest of the Valley of the Mississippi." — (Geol. 
Trans. 2d Series, vol. i. pp. 188— 191.) See also "Notes 
" concerning the Geology of North America, from Papers 
" presented to the Society by the late Earl Selkirk." (Geol. 
Trans. 1st Series, vol. v. p. 598, &c.) 



560 APPENDIX. 

« sented in Plates XXV. figs. 1, 2, 3. and XXVI. 

" fis*. 7. of the volume above referred to. This tube is 
" continued through the whole length of the siphon, 
" and from its present irregular shape appears to have 
" been composed of a coriaceous substance, capable of 
" dilatation and contraction. The space within the si- 
" phon, between its interior walls and the outside of 
" the included tube, has a number of plates radiating 
" from the latter, throughout its entire length, and 
" apparently connecting it with the inner walls of the 
" siphon ; but these plates are too much covered by 
" sparry crystallisation to enable us clearly to make out 
" their character. This tube may have been the organ 
" into which water could be received, when the animal 
a required an increase of its specific gravity in order to 
" descend ; a purpose which is supposed to be served 
" by the siphon of the nautilus and other chambered 
" shells. 

" There is also one specimen, which, though not in 
" good preservation, is doubtless a Catenipora or chain 
" coral, a genus characteristic of the older transition 
" limestones, in which beds also, orthocerata are 
" common." 



General List of Specimens, brought to England by 

Captain Back.* 

From the Athabasca (or Elk) River; (probably from 
one of the Portages). — Porphyritic, grey, compact felspar, 
enclosing grains of quartz, and of crystalline felspar. 

* These specimens have heen compared with those in Dr. Richardson's 
collection, now in the museum of the Geological Society, of which a list 
is given in the Geological Appendix to Franklin's Second Journey. The 
numbers of the corresponding specimens in that list are indicated below. 



APPENDIX. 561 

Cream-coloured limestone, effervescing slowly, containing 
impressions of shells, and occasional nests of crystallised 
magnesian carbonate of lime, and in some places stained 
with bitumen * : found in horizontal strata on the bank of the 
river. This rock much resembles some of the specimens 
from the "Ramparts" on the Mackenzie River — Dr. 
Richardson's list, Nos. 148 — 156. p. xxxiv. xxxv. ; and 
from Lake Winnipeg, No. 1014. p. liv. 

Great Slave Lake. — Hard slaty limestone, efferves- 
cing very slowly. " From an island of large extent in hori- 
zontal strata." Compare with Richardson's, Nos. 60. 132. 
p. xxxi. ; 205. p. xliv. ; 246. 293. p. vi. 

From Christie's Bay (Peth-the-nu-eh). — Slaty (mag- 
nesian) limestone, with a vein of sparry magnesian carbonate 
of lime. Compare with Dr. Richardson's, No. 228. p. v. 
from the mouth of Dease's River, head of Great Bear Lake ; 
and 208. p. xiv. from Cape Parry. 

From a small bay in Gah-hooa-tchella. — A speci- 
men, which formed part of a boulder, found loose on the 
beach by Mr. King the surgeon of the expedition, consists 
of limestone, effervescing copiously, and exhibiting on the 
decomposed surface concretional grains like some varieties 
of oolite ; and containing also portions of a fossil, the external 
structure of which resembles the genus Stromatopora of 
Goldfuss. 

Among the specimens which have an organised structure, 
probably from the shores of this lake, is one with a tuber- 
culated surface, composed of calcareous matter, which Mr. 
Lonsdale considers as belonging to the genus Stromatopora 
of Goldfuss, and probably to his species pohjmorpha (Plate 
LXIV. fig. 8. d.) 

* This occurrence of bituminous matter in limestone, nearly border- 
ino- on a large tract of crystalline and igneous rocks, may deserve atten- 
tion with reference to the hypothesis of Dohmization ,• which regards 
the introduction, or development, of magnesia as subsequent to the de- 
position of the calcareous matter, and as connected with the proximity 
of masses containing that earth, and heated to a very high temperature. 

O O 



56°2 APPENDIX. 

From Fort Reliance, at the Eastern Extremity of Great 
Slave Lake. — Granite of several varieties. Some specimens 
having the aspect of sienite ; others containing flesh-red 
felspar, in large crystals, — described as "forming undulating 
rocks of considerable altitude." Some specimens from this 
quarter approach to gneiss; having a foliated structure, 
with mica in very large proportion. 

From the beach, at the entrance of the Lake, is a siliceous 
conglomerate ; consisting of worn pebbles of flint, cemented 
by a paste composed of sand and calcareous (effervescent) 
matter. 

The following were found in the form of loose worn 
pebbles, on the shore of the lake, near Fort Reliance : — 
Bluish grey strip chalcedony; quartz crystals; quartz of 
various shades of grey and brown ; flinty slate ; brown jasper ; 
with fragments of a conglomerate, consisting of portions of 
reddish jasper, in a dark grey paste. 

From Hawk Rapids. — (Lat. 66° 33°, Long. 102° 40') — 
Reddish granite ; some specimens indicating a slaty struc- 
ture. Grey quartz, apparently a portion of a vein. 

From Rock Rapid. — (Lat. 65° 50', Long. 98° 20') — 
Granite of different shades of reddish and grey. 

From Point Backhouse, in the estuary of Back's River. 
— Reddish granite of moderately fine grain. 

And lastly,— From a " Bluff, North of Point Beau- 
fort." — Bluish grey granite of fine grain. 



APPENDIX. 5f)3 



No. V. 
METEREOLOGICAL TABLE, 

ARRANGED FROM THE REGISTERS KEPT AT FORT RE- 
LIANCE BY CAPTAIN BACK AND MR. KING. 

The following table exhibits the temperature of the 
air and principal atmospherical phenomena observed at 
Fort Reliance, from the commencement of November, 
1833, to the end of May, 1834 ; and from the 22d of 
October, 1834, to the 18th of March, 1835. 

The temperatures were registered fifteen times in the 
twenty-four hours, between six o'clock in the morning 
and midnight. The daily means were obtained from 
the fifteen observations. The four thermometers which 
were used were coloured spirit ones, made by Newman, 
and were hung up on the north side of the observatory 
where they were registered ; but finding that they varied 
from each other as the temperature decreased, and that 
one gave nearly the mean of the whole, it was after- 
wards used as the standard thermometer, and from it 
the observations were made. 

The remarks made on preceding voyages regarding 
the generally calm state of the atmosphere during in- 
tense cold are in a great measure corroborated by the 
following table, though iu some few instances it will 
be seen that a very low degree of the thermomelei was 
accompanied by a breeze preceding or immediately fol- 



lowing a calm. 



00 c 2 



56h 



APPENDIX. 



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APPENDIX. 



571 



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573 



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576 



APPENDIX. 



• 


Prevailing Weather, and 
other Remarks. 


Clear blue sky. 
Clear blue sky. 
Clear. Overcast. 
Clear. Smart thaw. 
Clear. Overcast. 
Clear. 

Blue sky. Clear. 
Overcast. Clear. Wil- 




n 

r-" 

r- 

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bud. © 
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Clear. 

Clear. Misty. 
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goose flew past tHe 
Fort. 




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Prevailing Winds. 


A urora 
visible. 


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Calm. N.E. 

Calm. N.E. 

E.N.E. 

E. N.E. 

East. 

Calm. E.N.E. 

E. N.E. 




East. 

Calm. East. 

East. N.E. 

E.S.E. 

E. S.E. S.W. 






•** 

So 


Temperature of the Atmosphere, 

registered 15 Times in the 24 

Hours. 


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APPENDIX. 



577 



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flies 




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East. 


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E.b.N. Calm. 

N.E. S.E. 

E. N.W. E. 

Variable. Calm 

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E. E.S.E. 

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a 
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p p 



578 



APPENDIX. 



8 

«5 



_0 



e 

••as 
•* 

GO 

00 



•S 

O 



© 

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Prevailing Weather, and 
other Remarks. 


• 


DO 

a 
to 

> 

CO 

u 


Aurora 
visible. 




• 

u 

o 

u 

o 

fa, 




O 
O 

Q 




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registered 15 Times in the 24 

Hours. 


OJ 

o 

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APPENDIX. 



579 



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r* £ >H ,£3 

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pp 2 



.580 



APPENDIX. 



8 

ft? 



<* 

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e 

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Prevailing Weather, and 
other Remarks. 


Clear. Gloomy. {§$) 
Gloomy, with squalls. 


Snow-drift. 
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Clear blue sky. 
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Clear. Overcast. 
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Overcast. Snow. 
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Blue sky. 
Clear. Bay entirely 

frozen over to the 

outer point. 


Prevailing Winds. 


Aurora 
visible. 


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W.b.N. N. 

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APPENDIX. 



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as 

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pp 3 



582 



APPENDIX. 



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583 

























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584 



APPENDIX. 





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r. 
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__-^ 



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APPENDIX. 





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wo 3 


pq O 


CO 


Q 


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p 


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s 




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di 6 


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CO 


o 
cb 


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• • • • • 

XnhioO 




cu aj 
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■4— ' — 


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1 1 1 


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1 


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l + l II 


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< « 

QJ 


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o o o 


o o 


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m a » 


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CON GO 


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GO 


a -— i co r- co 




GO CM CN 


t— i r— i 




r-\ 


r— i 


1s> 

<*> 


a» — ■ 

h 

3 *e 


8 


1 1 1 


l l 


+ 


+ 


1 +++ | 






N GO 1^ 


CM O 


CO 


co 


go o o co a> 


<z> 




• 

3 
cS 


f 9 qq 


CO N 


t- 


r- 


CO ^ CO ^ G<l 


^ 


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3 bO 


cb cb cb 


f- cb 


• 


CO 


vb i> rl< cfq d> 




0) 


tJi GO GO 

l I I 


i— i GO 

1 1 


+ 


+ 


r— 1 l-H 

l + l 1 1 




• 

a 

3 


o 

C9 


r-i CN GO 


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CO 


t> 


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0) 


p 













APPENDIX. 



587 



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H 



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xn C/ 



CO . >-> 

CD ^ 



• CO 

5 £ « 



ffl « cj 3 cc 



o 

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♦I J-c 

£ 2 * 

>H fl QJ 



CO 

S .22 



C 

Ml W • 



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> a 

O <u 

CO 

CO *fl 

•fl — ' 

P O 



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o> 



ft, •_ - 

. >"» CO 

i- T3 g 

rt o « 

CU r- *-" 
"fl . <U 



CO 



fl oj+- fl o> +* «5.22 ^ o HH o> J5 •-■« 



WO PQ O 



o 5 « S 



S3 C cj 2 « C cj fl 03 fl S3 S3 

"3 *fl Gi *fl GJ '^ 02 'fl G) '-j -fl 'r; 

CO 03 -^ OS — ■< 03 ^^C3 *— < 03 .03 ,03 

Cn PhUPhQ^ OPh OPh Ph Ph 



^3 £ *S 

too to fl 



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U5 C£> 



CM 10 C£> CD 



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lo 
co 



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1— < 10 



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CO 
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coOr^cb^- cocJo r-di 

GOOOGOGOGO G0CO G0G0 

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coo 
9 9 9 

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CO 

ip 
10 

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co 



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CO 


10 


00 


CO 


l-H 


1* 


1— 1 


10 


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t- 


00 CO O 


GO 


CO CO 


CO C CO GO 


TfH 


GO 


CO 


O 00 


CO 


G0 


co 


co 


co 


CO 




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CO 


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CO 


10 


10 


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CO 


GO 


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t* GO 


CO 


CO 


CO ^ 


GO 


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1-s 


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GO 


1—1 


GO 


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1 


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GO t? 



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o ~ 

GO GO 



GO GO 
GO GO 



GO 



iO 

GO 



CO 1> 00 
GO GO GO 



CO 

c 

03 

0J 



588 



APPENDIX. 



8 

8 

J" 

SO 

JO 



So 

e 

GO 

GO 



»8 



8 

3 

*«o 

.8 



1 



eather, and 
marks. 


y- 

rcast. (Ri- 


CO 

— 

•fH 

G 

•fH 

o 


CS9 
03 

• 

-, • .« f— J 
• fh >-. >^ $-> c3 


F-H 

F— ( 

ca 

53 
CO 

• 


• 

CT 1 
GO 

• 
— 


ft. 

qually. 
isty. Drift, 
dy. 

y- 


ing W 
er Re 


eu O 
3 


03 
— 
cu 
> 
o 




O 

B 

m 

■4-5 . 


4d 


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fS ° W 


~ fG 
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3 >, 




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f* >^fQ ^<£ 




CA 


> CC « F-H 

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_g 3 rt 3 g 53 Q 
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5» ' 




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E & » > S 

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Ph 
















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o 


o 


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J- d* 


fH 




FH f* H>J H>J 










23 


C3 




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CD 




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3 




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^ CD 




t^ VO tH vo 1> 


GO 

• 


o 


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GO 

a 


O 

Ph 








CM 


!— 1 


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k 
















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r«H f-m C3 


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a 


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Atmo; 
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HH 


1 ! 




Mill 


i 


+ 


1 1 1 1 


B 


© 2 




o o o o o 


o 


o 


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ZZt 


4J 
CO 


vo O 




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o 


o 


iO iO o o 


cu 


• • 




• • • • a 


• 


• 


• • • • 


*» jS 3 


JC 


l> ■* 




C7> GO CD tJh *o 


CM 


GO 


C75 CO VO GO 


<" & 


fcJO 






i— H i— H r— ( 


I— H 


i— i 


i—i 




s 


1 + 




II 1 + 1 


+ 


+ 


+ 1+1 


3 a* 






























*j J; 




GO lO 




O CD iO GO GO 


GO 


Oi 


VO ^ GO GO 




• 


^ GO 




^ CD J> ^ ^ 


O 


05 


r-H ^H GO C75 


CO 75 


c 


• • 




• • • • • 


• 


• 


• • • • 




C3 


O CD 




CM Oi CD i— i CO 


GO 


GO 


p-h r- CD go 




l-H 




r— i CM CM i— i 






-h CM 




r*n: 


1 1 




1 1 1 + 1 


+ 


+ 


+ 111 


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CfcJ 

o 
















c8 


t-i CM 




CO rj« VO CD t"- • 


X 


Oi 


O i— i CM CO 


« 












i— 1 —H r— ( r— ( 


M 


n 















APPENDIX. 



589 



•a 


® * 3 






'6 










>> 














sLg >>rf 






00 

T3 
d 


. — 


r blue sk 
-cast. CI 
r blue sk 
r blue si 


• 

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«5 


-9 


fl tn flS Cj 

v s£ <u <u 


CO 
J-i 












o 




oooo 






• 




_ — -- _ 






fl 




a 23 a a 






'3 




• ^- Q) *2 »^* 








C3 *— ' Q e3 






Pn 




PhOPuCi* 






• 




iO GO f 3 <M 






CO 




<* 










W 










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W 




w r ^ 






fc 










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~ . • n 






w 




OHWO 






o 




o o o o 




co 


9 




9 9 9 9 




CO 


cb 




6 cb ■* cb 




cb 


00 




>3< CM CO CM 




CO 


1 




MM 




1 


O 




O O O O 




U5 


o 




ip ip © © 




*P 


& 




cb ■* >b GO 




*b 


CM 




I— ( 1— ( T— 1 






1 




MM 




l 


i—i 




^ CO lO C£) 




a> 


rh 




CO CO <M r-H 




r- 


00 




00 r^H ^ cb 




^ 


CM 




CM (M CN i-h 




T—{ 


1 




1 M 1 




1 










CO 










& 


^ 




vo co r- co 






1— 1 




l— 1 l— 1 l— 1 l— 1 















o 
o 

K5 

<D 

•+J 
eS 
U 

<D 
P« 

s 

CD 

H 
u 

a 

C 

o 

* — 

03 
> 

CD 

DO 

O 

o 



590 



APPENDIX. 



> 
O 



CO 

w 
cj> 

ft 

«< 
co 
w 



H 

W 
PS 

w 
fa 

i- 



a 

H 
W 

9 & 

W £ 

W « 

Pi 

H 

fa H 

•-• 

#\ (4 

CO — i 

9 ^ 

PS « 

PQ H3 
OB 

S ^ 
►J 



fa 
o 

w 

H 
•< 

PS 

w 
w 

H 

fa 

K 
H 

5 






H 
O 



•JU3UI9I3 

• Suipunojjns 


+ 


CM 

I-H 


i CM 
' r— i 


+ ro +2 


+ «5 


+ l^ + 


r-H 


4- rH 

T" CO 


1 


CO 


1 CM 


e J0 


























« -jaafanQ 












"|0< 










-HK^ 




M JO 


+ 


CM 

CO 


_L GO 
i^CM 


+ 2+8 


+ 8 


+ § + 


O 
rH 


i CO 

i CO 


+ 


8 


±C5 










l-H 


r— ( 


r— i 


i-H 


iH 






i— i 






' 


CD 


























M 






















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0$ 






















rt 

w 




H-l 






















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n 




CD 


ta 


a 


3 


3 


a 


fj 


3 




a 


* 




> 




















































w 






















• 

X 








■ 
CD 






• 










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CD 


01 

CO 










3 


3 


CD 


■j| 








"IS 


ti 






• 

03 




















a> a> 






CD 




















O 3 






U 


t 












































5 1 * 






O 
























O 


























CO 






































• 

a 








• 


















CD 








S S>t3 




• 

CD 




• 










a 




• 




Ther 
whei 
place 




Si 
-t-» 
P 




CD 


3 


* 


» 


*: 


o 

73 




CD 


3 




CD 




A 










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-T3 








o 




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• 
























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CD 


o 
























a 


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d 




• 




m 


• 


• 






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T— ( 


CD 




CD 


CD 


CD 






CD 




• 




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CJO 




bO 


CJO 


be 






be 




*-> 




• 


73 


73 

• -1 






73 
• 1-1 


73 

• — < 






73 
• 1-1 




*^* 




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c3 

OQ 


Ph 




Ph 


!h 


S-i 






— 




3 




CO 


Pi 






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H 


p-l 






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• 


CO 




^H 


C4_ 


eS 




a 


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c3 






rt 


CD 






CD 


o 


Pi 




P. 


Ph 


PL, 






Pi 


o 






CD 
Pi 


.rj 


73 


1 


T3 


73 


73 


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CD 


Pi 






-(-> 


-t-a 


o 


B 


o 


O 


o 


S 




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■ 






i 


5h 


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O 


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r£3 


73 








03 


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$ 


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L* 


CD 










CO 

• 


CM 

• 








CM 






• 


• 

73 

C 




CM 

• 


3 


• 
• 


m 
m 


m 

w 


CO 


3 


• 




O 


• 

I* 

• 














• 












Sh 


• 

3 




• 


^ 


M 


^ 


CD 


03 

^2 


_ 


■» 




^ 


CD 

i— < 


CO 




O 








G 


O 










o 


g 




• 

P 

o 
o 




• 
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O 
O 


• 
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• 
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• 

S 

• 

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• 
• 


• 

• 


H 




fc 




i— 1 


a 


i— i 

i-H 


GO 




o 




r-H 


CM 


c3 




«5 


^. 


CO 


t- 


CO 


O 


a 


^ 




»o 


t^ 


Q 




CM 




CM 


G<» 


CM 


CM 
















Sh 














• 




>^ 




g 

O 


CO 
CO 

GO 


CD 
O 




* 


» 








a 

CD 
> 


X 


2 


3 


3 


r— i 


o 














O 


1— 1 







APPENDIX. 



591 



1 01 


1 CO 


15 


4- 


2 + 


s 


+ 


tJ< 1 Ci _|_ Ci _1_ "— ' 
GO ' CO ' CO ~rj< 


+ 


01 


+ 


1^ 
10 


4_ ^ 1 GO 


+ ° 

• i-H 

l-H 


+ 2 


He* 


+ 


i-H 


GO 


4- 


01 1 CO 1 i-H i GO 

GO "^ CO * GO 1 GO 


+ 


GO 
GO 


rf 


l-H 

CO 


_l vo 4. ■* 


* 


^ 


a 




a 


a 




a a • a 




a 




a 


a a 


^ 


a 


• 




• 

§ 




















3 


a 


^ 




=> 


• 

in 

3 

cu 




a a a a 




a 




a 


a 






• 

Sh 

1 

Ph 


• 

-a 

• l-H 

43 

U 

a 

Ph 
<D 

• l-H 


• 

oS 
fcJO 

in 

o3 
Ah 




• 

U 
Eh 


• 

S 

o3 
• >-h 

• 

a 

■ — 

— 


Sh 

• H 
pH 




1 1 Hi ■— ' 
• O « 3 £ 

a -° 1 'S * d 

a £> cu *? a 

f O C O cu hi '^ 




• 

s 

a 

a 

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<* 

«+H 

O 

.a 


Sh 

• -H 

PP 




• 

2 

• ►«■* 

• 

a 

■ — 

GO 

O 

pH 

• PH 

Ph 


• 

s 

S ^ 
01 pp 

O Xi 

O g 

•a -a 

PP CO 


ID 
-^ 
• ph 

-a 


w 

S-> *h Sh Sh 

PP Ph PP p_ 


« 





• 
• 






oi 




GO 

a O => CO 

w 




a 




oi 

CO 


oi 

a 

w 


a 


CO 

O 


• 
03 




*a 
bfi 
• -h 

PP 


• 

a> 

1— 1 




a a a a 




a 




ta 


a a 


^ 


^ 


^ 




• 
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Hi 

I-H 


a 




• • 

k-H >-l 

• • 

< a <J 

O 01 

i-H i-H 




a 




a 


a a 


a 


i-H 

l-H 


i-H 

01 




01 


l-H 

I-H 




a CM * » 

l-H 




= 




GO 

l-H 


a a 


H 


a 


a 




• pH 

u 

Ph 

<3 






a a a % 




a 




a 


a a 



592 



APPENDIX. 



s 

•<s> 

8 

8 



r 



, 












H« 














~tt 












•;u3ui8ia. 
• Suipunojans 


+ 


CM 


+ 


2 


+ 


*0 


4 


SS 


+ 


§ 


+ 


GO ""> 


CO 


+ 




+ 


i— i 

CO 


i^ CM 


a i° 






































M 

o m 




H« 








H« 














H 1 ^ 












f_ -pafqns 
jo 


+ 


W5 


+ 


CM 
10 


+ 


GO 

CO 


+ 


GO 

GO 


+ 


CO 


+ 


° -+■ 


CO 


+ 


GO 


+ 


CO 

CO 


i CM 
i— i 






cu 






































m4 


































i 

+5 




o3 


































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- 




s 




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a 




a> 


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ft 


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m 

CO 




































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CO 


efl ■§ -2 




C 
































<U 




a> 
































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o 


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g 

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co 




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Si 

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Cm 

o 

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r-j 

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APPENDIX. 59«5 



No. VII. 

ON THE AURORA BOREALIS. 

The observations on this phenomenon were made, 
without interruption, during six months in the years 
1833-34, and five months in the years 1834-35 ; but, as 
their entire insertion would occupy too much space 
here, I have selected chiefly the instances possessing the 
greatest interest from the effect produced by them on 
the needle, and from the brilliancy and eccentric motions 
of the coruscations. That the needle was constantly 
affected by the appearance of the aurora, seems evident 
from the facts thus stated ; and, on one occasion, indeed, 
this effect exceeded eight degrees. I abstain, how- 
ever, from drawing any inferences on this subject ; and 
merely note down carefully, and with as much precision 
as possible, the whole of the phenomena. 

Brilliant and active coruscations of the aurora bore- 
alis, when seen through a hazy atmosphere, and ex- 
hibiting the prismatic colours, almost invariably affected 
the needle. On the contrary, a very bright aurora, 
though attended by motion, and even tinged with a 
dullish red or yellow, in a clear blue sky, seldom pro- 
duced any sensible change, beyond, at the most, a tremu- 
lous motion. 

A dense haze or fog, in conjunction with an active 
aurora, seemed uniformly favourable to the disturbance 
of the needle ; and a low temperature was favourable to 
brilliant and active coruscations. On no occasion, 

Q Q c 2 



5$6 APPENDIX. 



D 



during two winters, was any sound heard to accompany 
the motions. 

The aurora was frequently seen at twilight ; and as 
often to the eastward as to the westward. Clouds, 
also, were often perceived in the day-time, in form and 
disposition very much resembling the aurora. 

The observations are set down just as they were 
taken. I read off the arc of the needle, and Mr. King 
remained on the outside of the observatory, to inform 
me of the changes in the coruscations. The height of 
the arches was estimated by the eye ; and their bearing 
by reference to the houses and other marks which had 
been previously determined. The bearings are reckoned 
from the magnetic meridian. 



Rough Notes on the Aurora. 



"S 



October 27th, 1833. — The needle evinced no par- 
ticular agitation throughout the day, except the same 
tremulous motion it displayed occasionally night and day. 
At midnight the weather changed from an overcast to a 
blue and cloudy sky. The moon was clear, and the 
coruscations streamed in beams in the direction of the 
dipping needle, and formed an undulating fringed arch/ 
from a horse-shoe shaped mass, at N. N.W., 10° high 
to 70° northerly. This was met by two bright beams, 
which issued from E. N. E., 15° high. On entering the 
observatory I found the needle vibrating, and on the 
approach of the fringed arch towards the zenith, it im- 
mediately attained to 1° 0' W., and before Mr. King 
had informed me that beams were darting from the 
eastward, it bad already begun to recede, and fixed at 
1° 0' E. ; afterwards, on the apparent motion of the 



APPENDIX. 



597 



aurora ceasing, and the coruscations becoming faint, it 
settled at 0° 30' E. 

October 28th. — At 8 h a.m. the needle was at 1° 20' 
E. At 9 h I found it at 2° 20' E. : saw it move to 2° 50' E., 
and being something surprised, I went out to endeavour 
to trace some cause for such a deviation. There was 
not, however, the least vestige of a cloud, the sky being 
of an indigo colour at the zenith, and becoming fainter 
in tone till it mingled in a pale yellow near the horizon. 
The sun was very bright, about 10° high, and bore 
E. J S. (m.) * The thermometer on the north side 
of the observatory was — 4j°, that on the south, exposed 
to the sun's rays, was + 4j° : the weather calm. 

At 10 h a. m. the needle was agitated at 1° 30' E. ; at 
ll h I found it also at 1° 30' E., but in motion, which 
took it to 2° 0' E., then to 0° 20' E., to 0° 20 W., 
where it remained ten seconds, and repassed to 0° 40' E., 
to 0° 0, 0° 10 E., to 0° 30' E., 0° 20' E., to 1° 0' E., 
1° 40' E., and 0° 25' E. : when, seeming to be stationary, 
I went out, and placing myself in the shade of a fir tree 
of thirty feet high, looked directly to the zenith and to 
the westward (the sun being too bright to look to the 
eastward), when there appeared a very faint and filmy 
arch of pale white, that issued from a mass of white 
cloud precisely similar in shape to the horse-shoe mass 
of aurora of last night in the same place ; and on watch- 





* All the bearings are magnetic. 



QQ 3 



598 APPENDIX. 

ing more attentively, 1 could see a very pale yellow 
arch rising from the same mass, and extending southerly 
to S.E. by S., at an angle of 30°. Afterwards, several 
detached radial clouds became visible, and more than 
once I thought they differed much in brightness in the 
same point. 

On first seeing the needle move, it occurred to me 
that, though distant from it fifteen inches, the steel in 
the works of the two chronometers might possibly be 
the cause; but on my remaining motionless for ten 
minutes, it went through the vibrations mentioned 
above. 

At noon it was still considerably agitated, but steadily, 
not jerking, and with the most gentle motion it went 
from 1° 0' E., to 0° 20' W., and settled at 0° 0'. There 
were now many more clouds of the same pale white 
filmy form ; the whole of them coming from the same 
mass at W. N. W., while the wind, it may be remarked, 
was E. b. S. 

Not being satisfied respecting the chronometers, I 
left them, together with my braces (which had a small 
polished buckle on each), in my tent, and at l h p. m. 
found the needle tolerably steady at 0° 10' E. ; but 
while I was looking, it moved to 0° 30' E., to 0° 10' E., 
to 0° 0', and I left it at 0° 30' E. 

The weather was fine, the sun less bright than in the 
earlier part of the day, and the white clouds had become 
of a more yellowish tint, and diffused in three arches 
not unlike a common form of exhausted aurora, or that 
appearance it assumes sometimes after very rapid motion. 
At 2 h p.m., having the chronometers on as usual, I 
found the needle steady at 0° 18' E. The sun was less 
clear, and the thermometer descending. Clouds white, 
generally diffused. 



APPENDIX. 



599 



^^'^ - 




At 8 h p.m. it altered from 0° 5' E. to 0° 10' E., and 
was tremulous. 

At 4 h it was steady at 0° 10' E. Thermometer in the 
air 0°, and in the observatory + 15^°; weather fine with 
light clouds, much the same as those already described. 
At 6 h a beam rose from the W.N.W., and shot up 
towards the zenith, when the needle moved from 0° 2' 
W. to 0° 30' W. 

December 6th. — The weather had been overcast all 
day, with snow, and a strong breeze from S. W. Ther- 
mometer from + 13^° to +9°, when at 7 h p.m it became 
calm, and the thermometer immediately fell to —1°. 

At midnight there was a light air from E., a clear 
sky, and the aurora was generally diffused. The 
thermometer had fallen to —11°, and on examination 
the needle was vibrating from 0° 25' W. A mass of 
aurora appeared at E., and it moved to 0° 40' E., 0° 20' 
E., 0° 42' E., and became stationary at 35' and 40' E. 
Some beams darted up from W., and the needle re- 
turned to 0° 5' E. The aurora was then generally 
diffused, and rather faint, when the marked end re- 
mained at 0° 0'. 

Q Q 4 



600 APPENDIX. 

A beam at N. E. caused it to move 0° 10' E., where it 
stood a few seconds, but on some more beams uniting, 
so as to form a mass at N. E., the needle directly moved 
to 0° 20' E. Again, the mass was diffused in a filmy 
form from E. to W.b. S. and the marked end retro- 
graded to 0° 0'. Another change to a concentrated 
mass at E.N. E. took it from 35' to 48' E. The aurora 
again became spread, and the needle was stationary 
at 0° 0'. 

December 12th. — At 10 h p. m. the weather was 
gloomy, overcast, and calm, but from the unusual 
brightness at a time of new moon, and the distinctness 
with which objects appeared, there was every reason to 
suppose the aurora was then very brilliant above the 
clouds. On entering the observatory I saw the needle 
vibrating rapidly to the westward, and having taken the 
time, 16 h 37 m s , chronometer number 1., I watched 
it move from 0° 10' E. to 3° 20' W., to 10' E. to 
2° 50' W., to 0° 40' W., to 3° 55' W., to 0° 8' E., to 
2° 30' W., to 20' E., to 2° 30' W., to 0° 08' E., to 
2° 30' W., to 0° 40' W., to 2° 50' W., to 1° 20' W., to 
2° 20' W., to 1° 10 W., to 2° 42' W., to 1° 55' W., 
to 2° 58' W., to 1° 58' W., to 3° 10' W., to 2° 5' W., 
to 3 00' W., to 2° 50' W., to 3° 20' W., to 2° 8' W., 
to 2° 30' W., to 1° 35' W., where it remained station- 
ary five seconds, and vibrated quickly to 1° 28' W., to 
2° 10' W., to 1° 45' W., to 1° 58', to 1° 05' W., to 
1° 10' W., to 0° 40' W., to 0° 55' W., to 0° 18' E., to 
0° 20' E., where it again became stationary only seven 
seconds, then moved slowly to 00° 00', still slower to 
0° 20' W., to 00° 00', to 0° 15' W., to 0° 10' E., to 
00° 00', to 0° 12' E., to 0° 12' W., to 0° 5' W., and 
quicker to 0° 48' W., to 1° 12" W., to 1° 05" W., at 
which point it was steady three seconds, when it moved 



APPENDIX. 601 

to0° 58' W., to 1° 28' W., to 1° 08' W., to 1° 28' W., 
to 1° 08' W., to 1° 28' W., to 1° 08' W., to 1° 15' W., 
to 0° 58' W., to 1° 08' W., to 0° 58' W., to 1° 00', 
where it remained stationary at 16 h 52 m 00 s , making an 
interval of fifteen minutes. I remained there a quarter 
of an hour longer, and it vibrated with diminished force 
between 1° 00' W., and 0° 30' W. 

January 7th, 1834. — For nearly a month the needle 
had not been perceived to be affected by the aurora? 
which it may be proper to observe was always very 
faint, apparently high, and generally confined to one 
point of the heavens. 

Its motion was rarely detected, though, from some 
discrepancies in the diurnal course of the needle, such 
an occurrence may be inferred. At 10 h p.m. this night, 
the sky was nearly entirely obscured, except at the 
northern and western horizons above the hills. At the 
former were some bright rays, and at the latter a 
brilliant streaming mass of a reddish coloured aurora, 
which, as I went to the observatory, flitted across the 
zenith to the eastward. 

The needle was moving quickly, and having marked 
it at 5° 30' E., I ran for Mr. King to watch the motion 
of the aurora; and noting the time by chronometer 
( 1 7 h 30 m 00 s ), I saw the needle move from 5° 30' E. 
to 2° 00' E., to 0° 40' E., to 1° 20' E., to 0° 10' W., to 
0° 10' E., to 1° 40' E., a large mass darted up from 
S.W., and faded into the tone or colour of the sky at 
the zenith : 2° 35' E. to 1° 10" E., a beam from east to 
west, passing northerly at an angle of 80° : 1° 50' to 
1° 40' E., a high horizontal narrow mass at an angle of 
1 5° E. : 1° 55' E., 2°.! 5' E., 1° 25' E., 2° 20' E., 1° 00' E., 
2° 25' E., 1° 35' E., a beam shot up from north, and, 
dividing itself into three branches, extended to the S.W. 



602 APPENDIX. 

horizon at an angle of 25° : 3° 00' E. to 1° 35' E., to 
0° 50' E., to 1° 35' E., to 1° 10' E., to 2° 30' E., a 
large mass from west to south: 2° 00' E., 2° 10' E., 
1° 55' E., concentrated mass due south, in magnetical 
meridian: needle nearly steady at 1° 40' E., 2° 00', steady 
five seconds : 1° 50' E. to 2° 05' E., a beam from N. E. 
to N., 0° 30' E. : needle moved slowly to 1° 05' E., 
0° 0.5' K, a beam N.E. : to 1° 10' E., to 0° 30' W., to 
0° 40' E., to 0° 22' W., to 1° 40' E., and stopt sud- 
denly at 0° 5' E., to 1° 50' E., beam from east to west : 
2° 0' K, to 00° 00', to 0° 05' E., to 0° 22' W., corona 
at zenith: 1° 20' W., to 0° 40' W., to 0° 05' W., 
to 1° 35' W., to 1° 10' W., to 2° 40' W., small con- 
centrated mass over the observatory: 1° 50' W., to 
2° 50' W., to 2° 0' W., narrow arch from N. E. to 
zenith : 2° 50' W., slowly to 1° 50' W., much slower to 
2° 50' W., 1° 30' W., to 2° 00' W., a bright beam 
expanded into a narrow horizontal mass, 10° high, 
from east to west: 1° 40' W. to 2° 05' W., beams 
from S.E. to N.NE. : 1° 25' W. to 1° 45' W., some 
round patches from E. to N.W. : needle steady a few 
seconds, then moved to 1° 20' W., to 1° 45' W., 
1° 36' W., steady again, then to 2° 12' W., to 1° 50' W., 
to 2° 05' W., slowly to 1° 54', to 1° 10' W., to 2° 05' 
W,, to 1° 30' W., to 1° 40' W., where it remained 
steady fifteen seconds, and changed to 1° 38' W., to 
1° 40' W., to 1° 35' W., to 1° 45' W., stationary at 
1° 20' W., and finally settled very slowly at 1° 00' W. 
The time was then 17' 1 54 m 15 s , making an elapsed time 
of 24 m 15 s . 

On returning to the house, I remarked the total dis- 
appearance of the aurora, with the exception of a filmy 
light at E. b. N., and W. With it had vanished the 
dense covering of the sky, which was now of a dark 



APPENDIX. 



603 



blue colour, and studded with twinkling stars. The 
thermometer in the air was — 22 J°, and in the observ- 
atory — 16°, and there was a light breeze from W.N.W. 
At 1 l h there was no aurora. 

January 14th. — At 9 h a.m. mean of thermometers 

— 59° ; the sky clear in the zenith, but misty about the 
horizon. Needle 0° 58' E., slightly vibrating. As the 
sun rose above the adjacent mountain, it began to move 
between 1° 40' and 50' E. At 10 h p.m. thermometer 

— 55°, sky deep blue, weather calm. The aurora was 
generally diffused from rays at N.W.b.N., and E.b.S. 
to an attenuated arch across the zenith, emanating from 
N. E. b. E., and extending to W. But from the same 
point, and as far as due east, rose a clear serpentine beam 
which took a southerly direction at an angle of 25°, 
and terminated in an obtuse point at W.S.W., 3° high. 
Some wreaths, and four very singularly shaped beams, 
were for a time apparently stationary at E. N. E. and E., 
the latter were almost at right angles to the arch, as 




"/ ; "* v ^*^. 



(J04 APPENDIX. 

The needle was perfectly steady at 0° 12' E., but on 
returning to the house, I could not avoid remarking a 
dull reddish beam that darted up from E. b. N., and to 
which the others near it seemed attracted. It increased 
in brightness at its nearest point to the horizon, which 
was about 8° high. The western part of the arch 
previously mentioned became faint, and though dis- 
tinctly perceptible, yet it was evident by its streaming 
towards the red beam that it was concentrating at the 
east. I immediately returned to the needle, and found 
it had changed from 0° 12' E. to 0° 24/ E., where it 
remained, as did the aurora also in the same place. 

January 15th. — At l h p.m., on looking at the needle 
it appeared to be stationary at 0° 8' W., but on con- 
tinuing to look, without altering my position, I could 
detect it moving with the utmost steadiness, and so 
gently as would have escaped common observation : it 
was a full minute in retrograding to 0° 00', and it again 
advanced to 0° 5' W. The weather was almost calm, 
or there might be said to be the lightest air from 
E. N. E. ; the sky was blue, perfectly clear, and the 
sun so bright, as to make 16° difference between the 
thermometer exposed to its rays and that in the shade, 
which was —46°. As I wished to convince myself if 
my own person had not caused the motion, though I 
could not see how it should, since the motion was hori- 
zontal, and my position was in almost a direct line with 
the axis of the needle, I applied my finger to the 
glass immediately before and on a level with the needle, 
and the instantaneous effect was that of a violent per- 
pendicular, or what I have hitherto called a tremulous, 
action, which dipped half the depth of the needle below 
the graduated arc of the instrument. This did not 
affect the reading, which was still the same, viz. 0° 5' W. 



APPENDIX. ()Q5 

It may be observed, that the late intense cold had 
chapped my hands to a painful degree, and I had 
greased them a few hours previous to observing the 
needle. 

February 9th. — At 10 h 20 m p.m. the sky was 
almost entirely covered with coruscations ; but the most 
conspicuous was a broad serpentine and bright arch 
extending from E.b.N. to W. b. S., and along which 
there appeared at times to be two currents in active 
motion from opposite points. 

I found the needle vibrating steadily as follows : — 
0° 20' E., motion of aurora from W. to E. : 0° 05' E., 
motion W. : 0° 20' W., undulating motion W. : 0° 05' 
W., 00° 00', motion W. to E. across the zenith : 
0° 20' E., a bright arch at E., 10° broad: 0° 10' E., 
slight motion over the zenith, then the motion was from 
W. to the zenith, 00° 00' : serpentine motion across 
zenith from W. to E., 0° 40' E., 0° 30' E. : motion 
over zenith, 0° 10' E. : motion from W. to E., not beyond 
zenith, 00° 00'. The broad arch now moved southerly, 
at an angle of 80°, and at the same time there was a 
bright mass at S. E., 0° 20 E. : flashes flitting suddenly 
between S.E. and E., 0° 10' E., 1° 20' E. 

Motion over zenith from W. to E., 0° 20' E. to 
1° 00' E, generally diffused and very active: an un- 
dulating mass at N.E., 2° 30' to 0° 20' E. : bright 
mass at S.E., 0° 40' E. to 0° 20 E. : generally diffused 
but still bright at S.E., 0° 10' W. : beams at W., 
0° 25' W. : beams at N. E., 00° 00' : serpentine waving 
across zenith from W. to E., in an arch, 00° 00' to 
0° 25' E. : 00° 00', mass westward. 

Mass at W., extending easterly, with a rapid motion 
from W. to E., 1° 00' E., to 0° 30' E., 1° 10' E., to 
0° 35' E. : a bright mass at E., 1° 20 E. : motion AV, 



60fi 



APPENDIX. 



to E., 1° 00' to 00° 30' E.: 1° 3(Y E. to 0° 35' E., a 
waving band, motion over zenith : little motion, 0° 20' 
E. : patches generally diffused, 00° 00'. 

Corona at zenith, which changed into six figures, 
each similar to the letter S, presenting the appearance 
of so many snakes twisting with amazing swiftness, 
00° 00' to 0° 15' W. : no motion, 0° 05' E. : patches 
W. to E., southerly, 0° 35' E., 0° 30' E. : no motion, 
0° 20' E., stationary. Elapsed time, 32 m . At the 
termination, the aurora was generally diffused N. and 
S. ; streaky, motionless, and dull. Thermometer 
— 37i° ; calm ; sky, blue. 

February 1 0th. — At 10 h p.m. there was an ex- 
tremely brilliant arch of a serpentine form extending 
from W.b. S. to E.b. N., but there was no motion, 
and the needle was unaffected beyond 10', viz. from 
0° 40' to 0° 30' E. At ll h 10 m , however, the aurora 
assumed an amazing variety of forms, though the most 
imposing was a fringed and zig-zag'd undulating arch, 
composed of numberless bright rays in the direction of 
the dipping needle, but flitting with incredible swiftness 
in a lateral direction from W. to E. 

From 0° 40' E. to 0° 0.5' W., motion W. to E. : 
1° 0' E., 0° 20' E., 00° 00', no visible motion: 0° 20' E., 
motion E. to W. : 0° 30' E. to 0° 05' W., rays ap- 
pearing and disappearing, motion W. to E. : 0° 25' 
W., 0° 15 E., motion E. to W. : 0° 20' E. to 0° 18' 
W., no motion : 0° 05' W., waving arch S.W. to E. : 
0° 45' W., 0° 55 f W. 5 0° 40', bright arch S.E., gene- 
rally diffused: needle remained stationary 5 s : 0° 10' 
E., 00° 00', little movement of needle, faint corona at 
zenith : 0° 08' W., 0° 30' W., 0° 25' W., slowly to 
0° 40' W., 0° 45' W., arch W. to E., at an angle of 
30° northerly : 0° 45' W., almost stationary, a beam 



APPENDIX. 607 

S. : 0° 45' W., 0° 52' W., stationary : 0° 50' W. 5 0° 58' 
W., arch W. to E.b.N. : 0° 00' W., steady. Elapsed 
time, 22 m . Thermometer, air —24-°, in observatory 
— 13° ; weather, calm ; sky, blue. 

On going out from the needle, I observed the southern 
portion of the heavens to be more or less occupied by 
beams, and rays at right angles to them, or in the mag- 
netic position of due north and south. But northwards, 
at an angle of 10° N.E., was a bright waving double 
band, which also formed a part of the same original 
arch that extended from E. N. E. to W. b. S. 

The increasing brilliancy of the double band induced 
me to revisit the needle, supposing that I should find it 
somewhere near 00° 00' or zero ; but, so far from this, it 
had not moved, and remained still steady at 0° 55 r W. : 
from it might be inferred a negative or repulsive action, in 
opposition to our former opinions, mentioned in Franklin's 
last narrative, of an attractive or positive action to the 
nearest situated aurora. The brightness of the band 
remained the same on my return to the house. 

March 8th. — For many days past the needle had 
evinced a restlessness and vibrating action correspond- 
ing to its motion when affected by the aurora ; but as in 
some cases it had changed its position, though with less 
acceleration, after the sun had risen, and become station- 
ary after it had set, I have been at a loss to account for 
its unusual activity, the whole of these twenty-four hours 
in particular, except by supposing the invisible presence 
of the aurora in full day. 

The sky was blue and clear, with a few clouds of fleecy 
whiteness, and at each time of observing, I found it 
impossible to detect the faintest moving substance in 
the heavens : still, however, the needle kept constantly 
making unequal arcs, and I watched it in the hope of 



608 APPENDIX. 

seeing it assume some fixed point, until I was fairly 
tired out. At 7 h p. m., it being " twilight grey," but 
with a purplish blue tint over head, a very faint reddish 
aurora could be with difficulty distinguished. This be- 
came more clear as the night darkened, and at 9 h 54 m 
00 s r. m., some clouds at S.W. and E. were illuminated 
exactly similar to the effect produced by the moon when 
rising. The needle was agitated, and moved only 15' 
backward and forward, insomuch that I told Mr. King, 
who was waiting outside the observatory, that there was 
no occasion for him to stay ; but when I was about to 
return to the house, I perceived some very thin filmy 
rays flit with great swiftness from S.S.W., at an angle of 
18°, to E. b. S. : here they became united with the il- 
lumined part, which they seemed to set into immediate 
and violent motion ; at the same instant the S. S.W. 
quarter was left in darkness, while the eastern glowed 
in one brilliant mass of whirling aurora. Having called 
to Mr. King, I ran to the needle, which was moving very 
quickly to the eastward. It went from 0° 10' E. at 
once to 2° 0' E., to 2° 15' E., to 3° 10' E., arch E. to 
S. W. across the zenith : 2° 40' to 2° 05' E., beam S.W. : 
2° 50', luminous in the south: 3° 10' E., arch E. to 
S.W., motion S.W. to E. : 3° 00' to 3° 18', arch E. to 
S.W. over zenith: 1° 55' E., arch in motion S.W. to 
E. over zenith, 1° 30' E. : arch S.W. to N. E. across 
zenith, 3° 25' E.: 2° 20' E., 3° 15' E., arch S.W to E. 
over zenith, and another S.W. to S.E., at an angle of 
80° : 3° 30' E. to 2° 10' E., 4° 00' E., 2° 15' E., arch 
over zenith: 1° 55 f E., motion S.W. to E. : 1° 20' E., 
2° 10' E., 1° 40' E., 2° 40' E., 1° 40' E., 4° 10', motion 
W. to N.E. : 3° 30' E. to 3° 50' E., 2° 30' E., motion 
due E. along the same arch: 0° 55' E., 1° 30' E., 
0° 35' E., 1° 50' E., 0° 30' E„ 1° 25' E., 0° 10' W., 



APPENDIX. 60 ( J 

1° 15' E., 0° 05' E., 1° 28' E., a very irregular arch 
S.W. to E., at an angle of 45° : 0° 20' E., 0° 40' W., 

oo° oo', i° 40' w., i° 40' w., i° oo' w., i° 50' w., 

1° 10' W., luminous appearances generally diffused in 
patches : 0° 30' W., bright at W.S.W. : 1° 00' E., a 
concentrated mass at the zenith, motion southerly to the 
horizon : 0° 50' E., 00° 00', the mass travelling south : 
0° 20' E., 0° 10' W., 0° 20' E., 0° 10' W., 0° 25' E., 
0° 08' W., 0° 20' E., 0° 28' W., faint, no motion : 
0° 10' W., 0° 40' W., 0° 20' W., 0° 50' E., 1° 00' E., 
mass W.S.W. : 0° 50' E., when it was stationary five 
seconds, and then moved slowly to 0° 40' E., 0° 50' E., 
stationary five seconds, 0° 30' E. ? 0° 45' E., 0° 30' E., 
0° 50' E., luminous appearance S. S. E. : 0° 28' E., 
0° 12' W., luminous appearance from S. S.E. to E.S.E., 
at an angle of 15°: 0° 05' E., 0° 35' E., 0° 15' E., 
0° 40' E., 0° 50' E., 0° 40' E., 0° 55' E., 0° 40' E., 
1° 00' E., light appearances from W. to N. : overcast ; 
0° 30' E., 0° 40' E., 0° 20' E., 0° 30' E., 0° 05' E., 
0° 25' E., 0° 20' E. Here I finished, and, on going out, 
found the sky overcast, though some few stars were just 
visible. The aurora was then so faint, that the feeble 
light from a lantern with one pane of glass prevented 
my seeing it ; but, as the needle was still in motion, I 
naturally conceived there must be some cause for it, and 
having concealed the light by placing the lantern 
under my cloak, I could then barely make out a very 
filmy arch at S.W., which, however, soon vanished. 
The temperature outside was — 14°, inside — 4° ; calm 
and overcast. 

Time at beginning 16 h 09 m 00 s 

ending 16 33 40 

Interval 00 24 40 

April 4th. — For the last three weeks the appearance 

R R 



(310 APPENDIX. 

of the aurora has been faint, and with comparatively 
little motion. The needle in consequence has been less 
affected in the extent of the sum of its arcs, though, as 
may be seen by a reference to the register, it has seldom 
been completely stationary. Sometimes I have re- 
marked a quick vibratory motion of unequal arcs during 
the day, the extremes of which will be found to be 
always noted in their proper columns; at others, a much 
weaker action has been exerted, when the needle has 
remained a few seconds at its extreme eastern or western 
limit, then receded perhaps 10', advanced 5', and again 
deflected beyond its zero : and, finally, there were times 
when its motion was so slow, even, and regular, that a 
hasty observer would undoubtedly consider it to have 
been steady; though, by keeping the eye to the telescope, 
it would be seen to alter its position 5' or 8', but, as I 
have just remarked, with such an extremely gentle action, 
that it might have easily escaped detection. 

At 10 h p.m. this day, I was struck by an unusual 
brightness of the snow when I went out of the house, 
and on turning round perceived that it was the effect 
of a brilliant arch extending from the N. E. to the op- 
posite horizon. The sky was of a pale blue, the stars 
visible, but a thin veil of mist dimmed their brightness. 

At 16 h 24 m 00 s by chronometer the needle showed the 
following differences : — From 1° 40' E. to 1° 30' E., arch 
E. to S. W., across the zenith : 1° 38' E., 1° 45' E., con- 
centrated mass at the zenith, and patches E. to S.W. : 
1° 20' E., 1°45'E., bright at E.S.E. : 1° 55' E., 
1° 51' E.. arch E. to zenith: 1° 30', arch E. to W. at 
an angle of 10° (southerly) : 1° 30' E., 1° 45' E., corona 
at the zenith : 1° 40' E., convolving circular mass at E., 
1° 30' E., mass travelling S.W. : 1° 40' E,, steady for a 
few seconds, bands generally diffused: 1°50' E., bright to 



APPENDIX. 611 

the eastward : 2° 00' E., 2° 05' E., slight motion S. W. 
to E. : 2° 25' E., serpentine motion over the zenith : 
brighter to the westward, 1° 30' E., 1° 40' E. : a waving 
arch over the zenith E. to W., travelling S.W. at an 
altitude of 45°, 2° 5' E. : motion S.W., a circular band, 
1° 55' E. : N.W. bright, 1° 30' E., 1° 45' E. : an arch 
from N.W. to S.W. at an angle of 40°, 1° 25' E., 
1° 40' E.: motion westward, 1° 20' E. : 1° 12' E., 1° 50' 
E., an arch from N. E. to the zenith, 2° 15' E., 2° 0' 
E., 2° 20' E. : mass westerly, 2° 0' E. : the needle now 
became very tremulous, 1° 45' E., 1° 15 E. : mass faint 
to the W., 1° 35' E., 1° 20' E., 1° 38' E., 1° 28' E., 
1° 42' E., 1° 25' E., 1° 35' E. : mass brightening to the 
westward, 1° 10' E., 1° 20' E., 1° 02' E.: mass W.S.W. 
to N., at an angle of 30°, 1° 12' E., 1° 08' E., 1° 45' E., 
1° 20' E., 1° 35' E., 1° 10' E., 1° 28' E., 0° 58' K, 
1° 15' E., 0° 48' E., 0° 55' E., 0° 20' E. : a small patch 
at S. E., 0° 15' E,, 0° 05' E., 0° 15' E., 0° 05' E., 
0° 20' E., 0° 04' W. : 0° 40' W., the sky was overcast ; 
the little of the aurora that was discernible was very 
faint and without motion: 0° 12' W., 0° 48' W., bands 
at S. E. : 0° 10' W., generally diffused: 0° 05' W., 
0° 25' W., 0° 08' W., patches S.W and S.E. : 0° 50' 
E., 0° 28' E., this last vibration was very slow, arch 
passing from E.S.E. to W.S.W. across the zenith : 0° 10' 
E., where it became steady, and the aurora faded away. 

Time at beginning 16 h 52 m 20 s 

ending 16 24 00 

Interval 28 20 

Temperature of the air, + 5J°; of observatory, +17. 
Sky, pale blue, misty ; weather, calm. I may mention 
that the needle invariably moved easterly or westerly 
some seconds before Mr. King could perceive any 
change in the aurora ; and which frequently occasioned 
me to call out, "I'm sure there must be something 

rr2 



()12 APPENDIX. 

moving," " Look S.W." &c, and as frequently have I 
had an answer, " There is nothing but a faint beam 
S. W., E.," &c. ; which, in point of fact, was probably the 
very cause of the excitement of the needle. I should 
not have stated this daily occurrence,, except for the 
purpose of showing the nice delicacy of the instrument, 
and the difficulty the outside observer will always have 
in detecting the first motion of the aurora. 

November 7th. — The needle had been vibrating all 
day until 7 h p.m., when it became steady at 9 h 45 m : how- 
ever, the whole sky was more or less covered with aurora, 
in the form of beams, spiral and fringed bands, rays, and 
brilliant masses, which latter flitted to the opposite ex- 
tremes of W. S.W. and E. b. N. alternately, and not un- 
frequently made tangential movements from near the 
zenith to N. and S. ; a few streaky but extremely atten- 
uated narrow clouds were in a position across the zenith, 
and a black mass was slowly rising from the westward. 
On visiting the needle, I found it in rapid motion from 
2° 00' W. to 3° 40' W., to 4° 10' W., to 4° OCT W., 
a beam shot up from S.W. : 2° 30' W., flitting motion 
E. and W. : a mass rose from the western horizon to 70° 
altitude, 1° 50' W. : a bright mass westward, 2° 40' 
W., which afterwards formed a fringed band from N. to 
W. : arch from S. to zenith, 1° 50' W. : to 2° 30' W., 
beams from a luminous mass W. to zenith: 1° 40' W., a 
bright beam S. : faint motion N. to W. : 2° 40' W., 
1° 3& W., 2° 40' W., aurora faint, slight motion S.W. : 
1° 50' W. : mass W., 2° 30' W., 1° 50' W., 2° 10' W., 
1° 35' W., beam north: 2° 00' W., 1° 32' W., no 
aurora westerly: 1° 30' W., 2° 10' W., a beam N. : 
1° 40' W., 2° 00' W., 2° 40' W., a band E. to N. : 
2° 00' W., to 2° 50' W., 3° 05' W., 2° 40' W., 3° 05' 
W., an irregular fringed band from 10° to 20° altitude, 



APPENDIX. 613 

with a movement from E. to W. : 3° 05' W., faint : 
2° 40' W., 3° 20' W., pencilled rays at E.b.N., motion 
E. and W. alternately : 3° 00' W., 2° 50' W., 2° 20' 
W., 2° 45' W., bright at N. : 2° 30' W., 2° 55' W., 
2° 35' W., 3° 00' W., 2° 50' W., to 3° 00' W., a bright 
band from E. to N. stationary, become faint : 2° 35' W., 
motion E. to N. : 2° 40' W., 2° 30' W., needle steady : 
a faint band E. N.E. to E., moving slowly between 
2° 30' W., and 3° 00' W. : a small band at E., at an 
angle of 15°, 2° 40' W. 5 2° 22' W., 2° 30' W. : a cloud 
from W. gradually obscured the band, 2° 00' W., 
1° 50' W., 2° 05' W., 1° 48' W., 2° 00' W., 1° 45' 
W., 1° 52' W., 1° 40' W., needle tremulous : 1° 30' W., 
E.b.N. to N.E., at an angle of 15° only : a patch N. E. 
on blue sky, 1° 25' W., 1° 10' W., stationary at 1° 05' 
W., band disappeared. The stars were bright in the 
clear spaces, but not visible in the aurora. 

Time at beginning 15 h 57 m 05 s 

ending 16 19 00 



Interval 21 55 

Thermometer, observatory, +26°, air, +27°. Wind 
S.W. 5. At 16 h 40 m 00 s the sky was overcast, no stars, 
but eight luminous spots were seen at N., at an angle of 
15°, and a luminous horizon at W.S.W. 

November 21st. — The needle had been steady the 
greater part of the day, and at 10 h p.m. it was 0° 12' E. 
At midnight the coruscations presented a beautiful ap- 
pearance of concentric pencilled wreaths, convolving 
near the zenith ; while fringed and undulating bands, 
composed of innumerable small rays, flitted from W.b.N. 
to E. At the last point they would sometimes con- 
centrate into one brilliant radiating mass, and in an 
instant shoot out into multiform and eccentric shapes 
towards the zenith, while vivid rays of a perceptible 

It R S 



614 



APPENDIX. 



deep red and yellow colour danced in spiral lines to the 
opposite horizon. On going to the observatory, the 
needle was in active motion ; I found it at 0° 30' W., 
the principal mass of aurora being also in that quarter ; 
the motion of some rays at the time being from W. to 
E. It successively changed from 0° 30' W., to 0° 50' 
W., to 0° 1 5' W. : a bright irregular arch from W. to 
zenith, 0° 50' W: many rays and flashes at E., 1° 0' 
W. to 0° 30' W., to 1° 10' W. : a bright mass at W., but 
without motion, 1° 40' W. to 1° 45' W. : mass in motion 
from W. to zenith, 1° 0' W., to 1° 30' W. : a faint ir- 
regularly fringed arch, extending from E. across the 
zenith to S.W., 0° 40' W. to 1° 25' W., to 0° 52' W. : 
a faint mass without motion from W. to S.W., 0° 45' 
W., 1° 05' W. : concentric arches from W. to zenith, 




0° 35' W., 0° 50' W., to 0° 30' W. : a faint irregular 
mass from W. to S. W., 0° 30' W., to 0° 55' W., 
0° 40' W., 0° 55' W., to 0° 40' W., 0° 55' W., and 
rested at 0° 40' W. 

Time at beginning 18 h 07 m 00 s 

■ ending 18 14 30 

Interval 7 30 



APPENDIX. 615 

Thermometer, observatory, +22°, air, +25°; wind, 
S.W. 6; weather clear, moon visible. 

December 3d. — The needle had been steady all day, 
and at 7 h p.m. it it was 0° 08' E. At 10 h p.m. there 
was a bright display of the aurora in the form of un- 
dulating bands, composed principally of connected rays, 
and many beams as well as flashes were plentifully dis- 
persed. The needle moved from 20' W., to 1° 00' 
W., rays over the zenith : to 0° 20' W., motion W. to 
E. : 0° 15' E., to 0° 05' E., to 0° 30' E., to 0° 00', 
mass W. to E. : an arch over zenith, 0° 22' E. : a ser- 
pentine arch over zenith, 0° 28' E., 0° 00' : a bright 
band over zenith, 0° 15' E. to 0° 12' W. : some bright 
beams from W., 0° 20' W. : mass W. to E., 0° 00 
to 0° 25' W. : needle steady at 0° 20' W. : bright at 
extremes of band W. and E., 0° 55' W. : bright at W., 
1° 20' W.: rays flitting from W. to N., 1° 30' W. : 
bright mass from W. to N., 1° 25' W. to 0° 56' W. : 
beams in active motion all round, and bright at W. 
1° 15' W., serpentine arch over zenith : mass from N. 
towards zenith at an angle of 60°, 0° 30' W. to 1° 00' 
W. : motion W. to E., and E. to W., 0° 20' W. to 
0° 45' W. : motion W. to E., 0° 55' W. : bright mass at 
E., 0° 25' W. to 0° 50' W. : motion W. to E., 0° 38' 
W., to 1° 00' W., to 0° 35' W., to 0° 55' W. : bright 
rays N.W., 1° 20' W. : arch W. to S., 0° 55' W. to 
1° 10' W., to 0° 45' W. : arch W. to S.E. over zenith, 
0° 42' W. : bright mass at E., 0° 40' W., 0° 32' W., 
to 0° 45' W. : generally diffused, steady at 2° 40' W. 
Time at beginning 16 09 m 00 s 



en 



ding 16 21 30 



In terval 12 30 

Thermometer, observatory, — 27° 5 air, —38°. Weather, 
calm and fine. 

RR 4 



616 APPENDIX. 

December 18th. — At 10 h p. ; m., on going to the 
needle, which, from its having been steady at zero at 4 h 
p.m., and at 0° 10' W. at 7 h p.m., I expected to find 
at zero again, I was surprised to observe, on the con- 
trary, that it was at 1° 50' W., from which it moved to 
1° 25' W., and then continued to vibrate gently between 
that and 1° 35' W. The sky was perfectly clear, with 
the exception of a horizontal light cloud due N., but 
which had not the appearance of those dark grey or 
light filmy clouds, that seemed on certain occasions 
to influence the needle. The moon was bright, and as I 
had, according to custom , looked carefully for aurora 
without detecting any, before entering the observ- 
atory, I was the more puzzled to account for such an 
eccentric movement in the needle, without any apparent 
disturbing cause. At the moment it occurred to me, 
that the clear shining of the moon, which was at N. E., 
and the fineness of the night altogether might prevent 
me from distinguishing any rays or beams that might 
nevertheless be flitting about. I therefore looked again 
from different points around the observatory, but without 
perceiving the least vestige of aurora, and consequently 
thought it might be attributable to the continuance of 
the westerly wind ; for during its prevalence, for three 
days past, the needle had shown a disposition to keep 
to that quarter : but on getting in the dark shade of the 
house on my return, I immediately saw two reddish rays 
and a long slender beam at S.W. projecting towards the 
zenith, neither of which was visible in the moonlight or 
out of the shade. This appeared to answer for the deflec- 
tion, of the needle, and to give some clue to its frequent 
disturbance during the day, as has been already noticed. 

December 21st. — The needle had been moving al- 
most all day, the weather extremely cold to the sensa- 
tion owing to a fresh breeze from S.W., attended by a 



APPENDIX. 617 

gloomy and misty atmosphere. There was more or 
less aurora at 7 h p.m., and 10 h , but at midnight it exhi- 
bited one of the most brilliant appearances I ever re- 
member to have witnessed, displaying at the same time 
a remarkably deep /a^T-coloured tinge, that became gra- 
duated into orange and faint yellow, which seemed to 
vanish into pale white. 

To give any thing like a correct idea of phenomena 
perpetually altering their form, and presenting several 
striking appearances at the same instant of time, must 
be difficult, though perhaps it may be requisite to state 
that there were two connecting points at E. and W.b.S., 
from and to which the great current flowed in various 
shaped arches, fringed and irregular, or composed 
of rays, or beams, or streaming in a quick and regular 
flow, or moving in spirals, or, lastly, thrown into col- 
lateral parts, which of a sudden would dart at a tangent 
towards the northern or southern horizon, become dis- 
persed into separate, and to the eye unconnected parts, 
and then with the speed of thought concentrate once 
more at W. and E. 

The needle I found moving with a velocity which must 
have taken it against the sides of the instrument, had 
not a counter-influence in the rapid and eccentric tracks 
of the aurora prevented it. It went from 0° 30 / E. to 
1° 00' E., to 0° 40' E., 1° 00' W., 0° 00' to 0° 40' W. ; 
bright at W. 0° 5' W. ; motion at W., 0° 20' E. ; 
moving N. from W., 0° 00' ; motion across the zenith 
from W. to E., 0° 30' W., 0° 00' ; bright bands from 
W. to E., 0° 40' E., 0° 15' W.; motion westerly, 
0° 20' E., 0° 30' W., 0° 3(y E. 0° 10' W. : motion W. 
to E., 0° 20' E., 0° 5' E., dead stojj, 0° 55' E., 0° 10' E., 
0° 30' E., 0° 8' W.: motion N.W.N, to E. 0° 38' E., 
0° 5' W., 0° 30' E., 0° 0', 0° 35' E., a waving arch 
over zenith. Spiral beams from E.'to W., and laterally 



618 APPENDIX. 

to the northern and southern horizons, 0° 10' E. to 
0° 20' W., 0° 32' W., 0° 05' W., 0° 20' W., 0° 32' 
W., 0° 20' W., 0° 40' W., 1° 00' W.: motion W. : 
0° 55' W., 0° 10' W., 0° 40' W., 0° 20' W. : bright 
at W. and N., 0° 15' W. : motion W. to E., 1° 00' W., 
0° 35' W., 1° 00' W. : motion W., 0° 15' W. : motion 
E. to W. 0° 55' W. : a flitting motion over the zenith 
to E., 0° 20' W., 0° 50' W. : motion N., 0° 20' W., 
0° 48' W. 5 0° 20' W., 0° 55' W. : rays W., 0° 4tf W , 
0° 55' W. : motion W. to E., 0° 18' W., 0° 20' W., 
0° 10' W. : motion W. to N., 0° 30' W.: no motion 
perceptible, 0° 05' E., 0° 05' W., 0° 05 E., 0° 10' W. : 
bright at W., 0° 02 E., 0° 32' W. : motion at W., 0° 10' 
W., 0° 25' W., 0° 10' W., 0° 15' W., 0° 10' W. 

Time at beginning 18 h 10 m 00 s 

ending 18 26 00 

Interval 16 00 

Thermometer, observatory — ^36°, air, — 46°, calm and 
clear; moon bright, and a dark blue sky. Aurora 
apparently low. 

December 22d. — The day had been cold and misty, 
and the needle was more or less agitated, having been 
steady but twice. At 10 h p. m. the aurora was bright 
even through the mist, and was generally diffused N., 
S., E., and W., though bands of quickly moving rays 
were travelling westerly at the time I was entering the 
observatory. The needle was vibrating from 3° 30' W. 
to 4° 40' W. : aurora became concentrated, with a 
southerly motion, 3° 55 f W., 4° 00' W. : an irregular 
mass in motion from S. to W., and a thick mist came 
on, 3° 10' W. : mass seen through the mist at E., 3° 30' 
W. : a faint band with rays from S.E. to W., at an 
angle of 60°, passing southerly, 3° 00' W. : a band N.W. 
to E., 2° 40' E. : motion S. to W., 2° 50' W., 2° 20' W., 



APPENDIX. 



619 



1° 55 f W.: faint S.W. to W., 1° 55' W., 1° 20' W., 
1° 30' W-, 1° 10' W., 0° 05' W. : a band N.W. to 
N.E., 0° 15' W. : faint appearance at S., 0° 00', 0° 20' 
W., 0° 20' W. The aurora was again brightening 
when, from my fingers being nearly frozen, I was obliged 
to leave off. 

Time at beginning 16 h 15 m 30 s 



ending 



16 24 00 
8 30 



Interval 

Thermometer, observatory, — 44°, air, — 52°. Calm 
and misty. 

December 23d. — There had been aurora all the 
evening, and at 10 h p.m. the needle was in slight motion 
at 0° 40' W. At midnight the aurora was generally 
diffused ; the principal stream being at E., and extend- 
ing almost across the zenith to W.b.S. It flowed in 
three distinct bands, which separated or forked into 
three others, whose faint extremities expanded 20°, and 
were there joined by an irregular band of rays that com- 
pleted the semicircle. The needle moved from 1° 40' 




620 



APPENDIX. 



W. to 2° 20' W.: bright at S.W., 1° 55'W., 2° 15'W., 
1° 58' W. : motion W.N.W. to S.E., 2° 12' W., W.' 
1° 55' W., 2° 10' W. : faint mass at S.W., 1° 57' W.' 
2° 05' W., 1° 50' W.: spiral band N.E. to E., 2° 00' 
W., 1° 55' W., 1° 58' W., IMS' W., 1°55'W., 
1° 48' W., 1° 55' W. : motion N. to E., 1° 48' W., 
1° 55' W., 1° 48' W. 

Time at beginning 17 h 59 m 00 s 

ending 18 03 30 

Interval 4 30 

Temperature, observatory, — 49°, air, —58°. Calm, 
blue sky, and misty. 

December 25th. — At 9 h a.m. the needle was vibrat- 
ing in the same manner as when the aurora was 
present ; and the sky was clear, except an arch of very 
streaky and filmy clouds which extended from W. 
across the zenith to E. The resemblance to the corus- 




cations was perfect, but I could not detect any motion ; 
yet the needle indicated such ; for it varied in the read- 
ings between 0° 30' E. and 0° 55' E. At noon a 
light mass of cloud remained at E.b.S. ; the sun was 



APPENDIX. 621 

bright, about 3° SO 7 high, and a light breeze prevailed 
from E. S. E. ; still the needle was moving between 
1° 1C/ E. and 1° 30' E. Thermometer, observatory, 
— 33J°, air, — 37°, sun, — 36. 

January 15th. — There was a calm nearly all day, 
the weather sometimes clear, sometimes overcast, and 
the needle had been found always vibrating slowly and 
unequally. At 10 h p.m. the moon bore E., and was 
dimly seen through the grey haze that overcast the sky : 
I found the needle moving at 1° 00' E., and immedi- 
ately ran out, but could not detect any aurora, except 
by a softened flaky appearance for a moment at S.E., 
at an angle of about 45° ; on my return, the needle was 
still vibrating at 1° 20' E., from which it went at once to 
7° 50' E., the farthest I ever saw ; it then returned to 
6° 40' E., to 6° 00' E., to 6° 20' E., to 4° 50' E., to 
5° 00' E., to 1° 30' E., to 2° 25' E., to 1° 05' E., to 
2° 00' E., to 1° 25' E., to 2° 55' E., to 2° 12' E., to 
3° 00' E., to 2° 10' E., to 2° 00' E., to 1° 40' E., to 
2° 12' E., to 0° 50' E., to 0° 30' W., to 0° 02' W., to 
0° 20' W., to 0° 30' E., 0° 20' E., 1° 00' E., 0° 30' E., 
1° 20' E., 1° 05' E., 1° 15' E., 0° 50' E., 1° 02' E., 
0° 35' E., 0° 00', 0° 40', W., 1° 00' W., 0° 40' W., 
0° 30' W. 

Time at beginning 16*» 09 m 00 s 

ending 16 20 00 

Interval 1 1 00 

Thermometer, observatory, — ] 7°, air, —20°. Wind 
N.E. Weather, overcast and hazy. The aurora was 
bright before it was overcast. 

February 1st. — The weather had been particularly 
fine and clear all dav, though the needle had been either 
slowly moving, or tremulous, or swagging, which I term 
agitated. The sun was bright, and had the power to 



622 APPENDIX. 

make a difference of 36° between the thermometer at 
the north and south sides of the observatory. At 7 h 
p.m. there was a faint diffusion of aurora, apparently 
high, the needle was tremulous — 0° 02' W., but at 10 h 
p.m. the thermometer had sunk to — 50f°, and the aurora 
presented the most brilliant appearance I ever saw at so 
low a temperature : the main stream rose in a narrow 
but vivid column at E.b.N., and after making a zig-zag 
bend to E., pursued a direction to W. in an undulating 
arch 70° N. ; but from the westward there were no less 
than seven distinct parts of arcs, issuing from another 
condensed column, of a dull red and orange mixed with 
yellow. These arcs had an altitude from 20° to 50°, 
stretching towards the S.E., where I observed several 
bright rays : all of those E. and W. were more or less 
tinged with the colour I have mentioned, but beyond, or 
what I should denominate higher, were many white 
filmy rays or bands. On examination I found the 
needle strangely acted on, which was shown by the 
quickness and sudden checks or dead stops it exhibited, 
according to the current and counter-current of the pre- 
valent band or stream. One fact I was glad to ascertain, 
viz. that the marked end of the needle was at 1° 20' W., 
when the most powerfully concentrated aurora was at 
E.b.N. and E.b.S., both rising into arcs, the former 
(northerly) to W. at an angle of 60°, the latter 
(southerly) faintly to S.W. Finding that the needle 
only vibrated at different arcs between 0° 50' and 1° 20' 
W., I went out to watch the motion of the aurora, when 
it underwent transitions of form, from streaming arches 
to spirals, zig-zag'd, convoluted, and indescribable bands 
of rays, and beams altogether so eccentric and beautiful, 
as to exceed the visions of the most exuberant imagin- 
ation. Coronas were frequent, and as every part was in 
rapid motion, it will be readily conceived to be no easy 



APPENDIX. 623 

task to decide on the correct one ; and all that was 
evident to me, may be simply called two currents in 
direct opposition, sometimes along double bands or 
arches, and as often existing in a single arch, though in 
the latter case I remarked that the paramount motion, if 
from the westward, for instance, did not cease until it had 
passed the zenith of its arc, and was encountered and 
borne away by a superior eastern current. In the midst 
of these conflicting phenomena I ran to the needle, and 
found it almost steady as regarded the minute, which 
was 0° 45' W., but so tremulous (see-sawing perpen- 
dicularly) that it dipped (by estimation) full 10' of 
the graduated arc of the instrument. On going out 
again the appearances had changed, but were still 
brilliant, and more spread between E.b.N. and S.E. 
The two currents, however, were still obvious, and 
though the aurora was what I should say comparatively 
high to what it had been on other occasions, yet it not 
only excluded the stars, which it may be remarked 
were previously particularly bright, but when visible it 
made them appear to be at an immense distance. On 
the other hand, their twinkling suffered only partially 
from the interposition of the pale and flaky aurora 
which was evidently much higher than the principal 
streams ; and it may not be out of place to mention, 
that had I been unacquainted with the locality, I should 
have positively averred that I heard a whizzing noise 
during the rapidity of the motion, but which noise I 
knew was the faint murmur of Anderson's Fall in 
the river to the N.W. On returning to the needle 
it had moved to 0° 50' W., but was very tremulous, 
which may lead to a supposition that the same effect 
may be produced by a similar (though invisible) cause 
during the day; I mean, counter-currents of aurora. 



624 APPENDIX. 

February 8th. — At 9^ a.m. the needle was at 0° 37' 
E., agitated. The weather was clear with a cloudless 
sky and bright sun, when at noon I found the needle 
in rapid motion from 2° 10' E. to 2° 50' E., 2° 20' E., 
2° 50 E., 2° 20' E., 2° 40' E., 2° 10' E , 2° 00' E., 
2° 10' E., 2° 00' E., very slow to 2° 20' E., 2° 08' E„ 
2° 25' E., 2° 15' E., 2° 20' E., where it remained steady 
five seconds, then moved again to 2° 25' E., 2° 20' E., 
2° 30' E., and slowly to 2° 28' E., quicker to 2° 35' E., 
2° 25' E., 2° 32' E., 2° 22' E., 2° 34' E., 2° 25' E., 
2° 42' E., 2° 26' E., 2° 38' E., 2° 20' E., 2° 32' E., 
2° 24' E., 2° 33" E., 2° 20' E., 2° 24' E., 2° 14' E., 
2° 20' E., 2° 05' E., 2° 12' E., 2° 04' E., 2° 16' E., 
2° 18' E., 2° 15 E., 2° 14' E., 2° 20' E., 2° 15' E., 
2° 20' E., 2° 18' E., 2° 22' E., where it kept still 
moving, but very slowly. 

Time at beginning 6 h 10 m 40 s 

ending 6 21 10 

Interval 10 30 

Temperature, observatory, — 9J°, air, -—1 1°, sun, 
4- 23° ; nothing perceptible in the sky. 



APPENDIX. 625 



No. VIII. 
MAGNETICAL OBSERVATIONS. 

During the progress of the expedition every oppor- 
tunity was embraced of making the magnetical observ- 
ations requisite for the determination of the dip and of 
the variation of the needle, and of the terrestrial mag- 
netic intensity. At Fort Reliance, such observations 
were repeated on several occasions ; and a series of ob- 
servations was also instituted for determining the diurnal 
variation of the needle, and for ascertaining how far 
extraordinary changes in its direction might be attri- 
butable to the influence of the Aurora Borealis. 

These observations have been placed in the hands of 
Professor Christie, who proposes discussing most of 
them in a paper shortly to be laid before the Royal 
Society. It will, therefore, be unnecessary here to 
enter into their details. As, however, some of the im- 
mediate results may be interesting, they are given in 
the following tables. 



The Dip and Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 

The dip was determined by means of a small but 
accurate dipping instrument, by Dollond, having a 

S S 



626 APPENDIX. 

needle three inches in length, resting upon hollow 
curved agates. 

For the purpose of placing the instrument into the 
magnetic meridian, there was an apparatus, consisting of 
a cross piece, with a point and ball in the form of the 
axis of the needle ; and on the point was placed a small 
horizontal needle; and the instrument moved bodily 
round (the index for the horizontal circle being placed 
at zero), until the small needle was parallel 10 the 
divided or vertical circle. The instrument was then 
levelled in the usual manner ; but in case any accident 
should have happened to the level, this operation could 
be effected by the cross piece, before described, for 
placing the instrument into the meridian; for, as it 
acted upon the principle of the pendulum, the point 
at the bottom of the ball would show, by the division on 
the circle at 90°, the perpendicularity of the instrument, 
or the correct horizontal motion. 

The dip was found at Fort Reliance in the usual 
manner, with needle No. 1., by taking the means of 
several readings, with the face of the needle to the face 
of the instrument, and with the face of the needle re- 
versed, both with the face of the instrument east and 
with its face west; similar observations being made 
with the poles of the needle inverted : but in making 
observations for the dip with the needle No. 2., its 
poles were in no instance inverted. 

If, then, we consider that the dip obtained with the 
needle No. 1. is the correct dip at Fort Reliance, it is 
evident that the dip deduced from the observations 
there with the needle No. 2. will require a small cor- 
rection, in consequence of its centre of gravity not coin- 
ciding accurately with its axis ; and the result obtained 
with this needle in all other cases will likewise require 



APPENDIX. 



62? 



a correction, though not a constant one. Professor 
Christie, however, who proposes reducing these observ- 
ations, and likewise those which were made for deter- 
mining the magnetic intensity, informs me, that for the 
observations from Fort Reliance to the sea, the amount 
of this correction will be small, seldom exceeding ten 
minutes. 

The dip of the needle at the several stations given 
in Table I., is deduced by taking the mean of their 
readings. 



TABLE I. 

Containing the observed Dip and Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 



Place of 
Observation. 


Latitude, 
North. 


Longitude, 
West. 


Date of 
Observ- 
ation. 


Dip. 

/ 


Needle 
employed. 


Date of 
Observation. 


Variation. 




o / " 


' a 


1833. 


No. 




1 a 


New York - - 


40 42 07 74 01 15 


April 1 


73 


14 


2 


*1825 


* 1 30 48 W. 


Montreal - 


45 29 34i 73 42 27 


April 19 


77 


49 


2 






Fort Alexander 50 36 49 96 21 25 


June 10 


79 


20 


2 


. 


*15 15 41 E. 


Cumberl d House|53 57 33 


102 21 46 


July 6 


80 


49 


2 


- 


*19 14 21 E. 


He a la Crosse 155 25 25 


107 54 36 


July 17 


80 


35 


2 


- 


*23 19 20E. 


Fort Chipewyan (58 42 32 


111 19 00 July 31 


81 


52 


2 




*25 29 37 E. 


Fort Resolution 


61 10 26 


113 45 00 Aug. 9 


83 


7 


2 


1833 


37 20 E. 






f 


Oct. 9 
Oct. 10 
1834. 


84 
84 


44 
20 


2 

1 






Fort Reliance - 


62 46 29)109 00 39<( 


May 21 


84 


33 


2 












May 22 


83 


42 


1 




35 19 E. 








Mean 


84 


39 


2 




[mean.] 






i^ 


Mean 


84 


1 


1 


1834 




Musk Ox Rapid ;64 40 51 


108 8 10 July 2 


86 


13 


2 


July 2 


44 24 E. 


Rock Rapid - \65 54 18 


98 10 7 July 23 


87 


54 


2 


- 


29 16 E. 


Point Beaufort 67 41 24 


95 2 16 July 31 


88 


13 


2 


July 31 


6 00 W. 


Montreal Island 67 47 27 


95 18 15 


Aug. 2 


87 


45 


2 


Au<?. 2. A.M. 


2 43 E. 
















Aug. 2. P.M. 


6 42 W. 


Point Ogle - - 


68 13 57 


94 58 1 


Aug. 12 


89 


26 


2 


Aug. 15. A. M. 

— Noon 

— P.M. 


1 52 E. 
3 30 W. 
1 46 E. 



* Variations in 1 825 by Sir J. Franklin ! — 

At Fort Resolution the variation in 1825 was 
Ditto, in 1820 . - 

S S 2 



29° 15' 09" 
25^ 40' 47" 



628 APPENDIX. 

The variation was determined by means of a Kater's 
compass made by Jones ; and, when used, great care was 
taken to remove it from the proximity of any iron or 
other metallic substance which might be supposed to 
derange it. 

Owing, I consider, to the great diminution of the 
directive force acting on the horizontal needle, the 
variation could not be determined with any degree of 
certainty after we arrived at the mouth of the Thlew- 
ee-choh ; but whether the differences in the variation 
which I obtained at different times of the day were due 
to sluggishness in the needle, or to an actual change in 
the direction of the force acting upon the needle, to the 
amount observed, I will not venture to say, though there 
cannot be much doubt that the latter cause had some 
influence. 



The Diurnal Variation. 

The diurnal changes in the direction of the needle 
were determined with an instrument constructed by 
Jones expressly for this expedition. 

The instrument consisted of a rectangular brass box, 
ten inches long, and two and a quarter wide ; with pieces 
of plate glass at each end, and on the top ; and was per- 
fectly air-tight. It had two levels, and stood on three 
foot-screws, by means of which it was levelled. The 
needle was 8| inches long; and could vibrate in an 
arc of ten degrees on each side of the magnetic me- 
ridian. It could be used either vibrating on a centre, 
or by suspension, or both ; as a pillar, with the ne- 
cessary apparatus for preventing torsion, screwed on 
the top of the instrument. There was a small telescope, 
quite independent of the instrument, for reading off the 



APPENDIX, 629 

variation ; and which had a motion concentric with the 
graduated arcs, rendering it unnecessary to approach 
the instrument too closely, and thus obviating many 
inconveniences. 

The instrument was placed on the solid stand in the 
observatory described before. The observations of the 
direction of the needle were made for seven succes- 
sive days, in October 1833, from the 22d to the 28th of 
the month, at every hour from 8 a.m. until midnight; 
and similar observations were made in April 1834, from 
the 23d of the month to the 29th, both days inclusive; 
and again in October 1834, from the 22d to the 28th 
inclusive. 

The mean results of these observations are given in 
Tables II., III., and IV. 

From November 1833 to April 1834, both months in- 
clusive, and again, from November 1834 to March 1835, 
the direction of the needle was observed and registered 
each day, at the hours of 8 and 9 in the morning, noon, 
1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, afternoon. 

The means of all the observations for each month (with- 
out attributing any of the deviations to, or making any 
correction for the appearance of, the Aurora Borealis) 
are contained in Table V.; and Table VI. shows the num- 
ber of times, during each month, that the needle was in 
motion, whether tremulous or vibrating, at the several 
hours of registering its direction ; together with the 
number of times that the aurora was visible. 



ss S 



630 



APPENDIX. 



No. II. Showing the Mean (daily) Variation and Temperature observed at Fort Reli- 

Seven 



Month. 



Year. 



8h A.M. 



October 22. to 28. 



1 833. 



47 08 e. 



Tem. 



9h A.M. 



Tem. 10h a.m. 



Tem. 



llh A.M. 



Tem. 



+ c " + 

5( ix. 25 64 27 51 e. 25 71 



4 00 e. 126 14 



Month. 



October 22. to 28. 



Year. 


5h P.M. 


Tem. 


6h P.M. 


Tem. 


7 h P.M. 


Tem. 


8^ P.M. 


Tem. 


1833. 


t II 

1 08 e. 


+ 
25 88 


/ II 

1 34 w. 


+ 
25 74 


/ // 
5 25 e. 


+ 
25 64 


00 


+ 
25 561 



Note. — At 9 h a.m. the needle was generally agitated. At 10 h it vibrated once. At ll h 
steady. At 5 h once tremulous. At 6 h twice tremulous. At 7 h thrice tremulous. At 
At midnight twice tremulous. 



No. III. Showing the Mean Variation and Temperature, observed at Fort Reliance, 



Month. 



April 23. to 29. 



Year. 



8h A.M. 



1834. 



i a 
27 43 e. 



Tem. 



9h A.M. 



+ 



/ // 



16 2l24 25 e. 



Tem. 



10h A.M. 



Tem. 



+ 



llh A.M. 



' // 



17 216 17e. 18 00 11 34 e. 



Tem. 



+ 
18 8 



Month. 



April 23. to 29. 



Year. 5h p.m. 



1834. 



/ // 
5 17 w. 



Tem. 6h p.m. 



' // 



22 5 



5 26 w. 22 40 



Tem. 



+ 



7 h p.m. i Tem. 8h p.m 



' // 



+ 



/ ii 



Tem. 



3 26w.22 00 1 25w.22 00 



Note. — At 8 h a.m. the needle was once moving. At 9 h twice agitated. At 10 h twice 
At 3 h steady. At 4 h once agitated. At 5 h once tremulous. At 6 h twice agitated, 
once vibrating. Midnight, moving twice. (Aurora visible only three times.) 



No. IV. Showing the Mean Variation and Temperature, observed at Fort Reliance, 



Month. 


Year. 


8*» A.M. 


Tem. 


9h A.M. 


Tem. 


10h a.m. j Tem. 


llh a.m. 


Tem. 

+ 
14 50 




October 22. to 28. 


1834. 


28 51 e. 


+ 
12 93 


19 51 e. 


+ 
12 57 


■ " \ + 
11 OOe.113 86 


1 II 
5 51 e. 




Month. 


Year. 


5'» p.m. Tem. 


6h P.M. 


Tem. 


7 h p.m. Tem. 8h p.m. 


Tem. 




October 22. to 28. 


\ ' " + \ ' " 
1834. 9 OOw. 16 93 9 17 w. 


+ 1 ' " 
16 85 1 8 51 w. 


+ ' " 
16 93 11 08 w. 


+ 
17 03 


• 


Note. — At 10 h A.m. 


the needle was once in motion. At 11 h once. At noon twice. At 

tremulous. At 9 q twice in motion. At 10 h 





APPENDIX. 



631 



ance, for every Hour from 8 a.m. till Midnight, as indicated in the Table (for 
Days). 



Noon. I Tem. lh p.m. 



Tem. 2h p.m. 



I a 



+ 



2 25e.|26 35 



/ // 
1 31w. 



26 28 



/ " 



Tern. 



+ 



3h p.m. Tem. 



4 P.M. 



_, Position of 

Tem. j N eedle. 



/ // 



+ 



i n 



7 00 e. 126 40 00 26 361 4 34 e. 126 46| Suspended. 



9h P.M. 



/ // 
4 43 e. 



Tem. 



10h P.M. 



+ 

25 07 



/ // 
8 08 w. 



Tem. I llh p.m. Tem. 



12h p.m. 



' n 



+ + 

25 03 7 43 w. 24 86]' 3 51 e. 



Tem. 



+ 
24 86 



three times. At noon twice. At l h p.m. thrice. At 2 h thrice. 
8 n twice tremulous. At 9 h thrice. At 10* p.m. twice tremulous. 



At 3 h twice. At 4 h 
At ll h twice affected. 



for every Hour from 8 a.m. till Midnight, as indicated in the Table (for 7 Days). 



Noon. 



/ a 
1 43 e. 



Tem. lh p.m. 



19 6 3 00 e. 



Tem. 



+ 
19 2 



2h p.m. 



Tem. 



3h P.M. 



Tem. 



4h P.M. 



/ // 



Tem. 



Position of 
Needle. 



t a + ' * + + 

1 34w.20 00 4 26 w. 21 8 7 08w. ! 22 Suspended. 



9h P.M. 



/ // 



Tem. 



10h p.m. Tem. 



llh PM . 



Tem. 12H p.m. Tem. 



/ ii 



43w.|21 4| 00 



/ u 



' a 



+ I + 

20 5J 17w.|20 6 3 34w.l9 5 



moving. At ll h steady. At noon steady. At l h p.M. steady. At 2' 1 once moving. 
At 7 h p.m. steady. At 8 h once tremulous. At 9 h steady. At 10 h steady. Atll" 



for every Hour from 8 a.m. till Midnight, as indicated in the Table (for 7 Days). 





Noon. 


Tem. 


l h P.M. 


Tem. 


2h P.M. 


Tem. 


3h p.m. 


Tem. 


4h P.M. 


Tem. 


Position of 
Needle. 




/ ii 
4 34 E. 


+ 
15 10 


2 25 e. 


+ 
16 00 


1 31 w. 


+ 

16 43 


/ ii 
8 43 w. 


+ 
17 11 


' It 

12 17 w. 


+ 
17 03 


Suspended. 




9h P.M. 


Tem. 


10h P.M. 


Tem. 


llh p.m. Tem. 12h p.m. 


Tem. 






8 25 w. 


T 

16 86 


/ It 

5 00 e. 


+ 
16 78 


' " i + 
5 15w. 16 60 


7 34 w. 


+ 
16 78 




l h p.m. twice. At 2 h once. At 3 h twice. At 4 h once tremulous, 
once. At ll h twice. At midnight once. 


At 7 h p.m. once 



s s 4 



632 



APPENDIX. 



No. V. Containing the Mean Variation and Temperature observed at 



Month. 



Year. 8h a.m. Tem. 



9 h A.M. 



Tem. 



Noon. Tem 

I 



Nov. 

Dec. 

January 

Feb. 

March 

April 

Nov. 

Dec. 

January 

Feb. 

March* 



/ // 
1833 40 24 e. 

1833 52 44 e. 



1834 39 36 e. 24 50 



i ii 



+ 



18 7 31 44 e. 18 7 
+ 
6 4 



29 23 e. 



+ 



5 09 



1834 46 55 e. 
1834 32 30 e. 
183446 37 e. 
1834^8 12 e. 

1834 24 52 e. 

1835 22 27 e. 
1835,32 23 e. 
1835 24 26 e. 



9 4 



28 23 e. 23 90 



32 32 e. 



1 20 40 34 e, 
+ 

10 50 36 24 e, 

14 29 40 26 e. 

29 90 33 44 e, 

17 9 23 23 E. 

23 2 25 47 e, 



18 1 



29 46 e. 



9 

1 00 
+ 

11 06 

+ 
14 41 

29 9 

18 3 

23 7 

17 7 



' " + 

2 32 e. 1 9 27 

+ 

3 05 e. 5 08 



6 46 e. 23 

6 10 e. 

8 29 e. 

4 31 e. 
11 25 e. 
11 10 E. 

3 00 e. 



8 

+ 
1 50 

+ 

13 40 
+ 

14 70 
28 4 
17 9 



6 45 e. 21 9 



1 53 e. 



l h p.m. Tem. 



' " + 

4 24 w. 1 9 ] 
+ 
2 33 e. | 6 00 

2 17 E. 22 00 

2 08 e. 17 30 

+ 
6 17 e. 2 3C 

+ 

53w.jl4 30 

6 25 E.T5 38 

25w.29 4 



52 w. 



3 42 e. 20 7 



17 4 



14 4 33 w. 



13 2 



| £h P.M. 


Tem. 


1 ' " 


+ 


16 e. 


19 37 




+ 


1 04 e. 


6 2 


34 E. 


22 1 


2 53 e. 


5 00 




+ 


5 27 e. 


3 00 




+ 


20 e. 


15 30 




+ 


3 24 e. 


15 55 


15 w. 


29 2 


2 27 w. 


17 2 


53 e. 


19 


1 50 w. 


12 5 



* Only 18 Days in March. 

No. VI. Showing the Number of Times the Needle was in Motion at the 

registering Hours. 







CO 


CO 


t» 


CO 


CO 


CO 






CO 




O Oi 








01 


0> 


o> 


O 


o 


0> 


o> 


Ol 


O) 


0J 










a 


£ 


s 


£ 


H 


S 


s 


g 


£ 


£ 


o — 








H 


P 


H 


H 


H 


H 


h 


H 


jE 


• H 


£ fl 




Month. 


Year. 


^ %* 


^<M 


■«H 


5 CH 


rs 5 * 


* o 


» •— 


— <w 


<£ ti_, 


Stfc, 


j.x 


— o> 






* o 


s . o 


c o 


« O 


«s o 


SB o 


« o 


cC o 


6.' O 


c o> ~ 


°"^ 






< «! 


< • 


o . 


0, . 


a, . 


e. . 


6. ■ 


6, . 






<- C C 








_ o 


_ o 


o o 


_ o 


_ o 


o 


_ O 


O 


— o 


.e d 


£ss 


3 "5 






3o£< 


*>£ 


££ 


fifc 


oi£i 


£>£ 


** fc 


f-Z 


y» 


2* 


<> 


Nov. 


1833 


13 


10 


18 


16 


9 


6 


19 


12 


18 


16 


137 


14 


Dec. 


1833 


15 


18 


7 


6 


14 


6 


12 


17 


15 


17 


121 


15 


Jan. 


1834 


8 


10 


7 


12 


5 


2 


6 


9 


3 


16 


78 


28 


Feb. 


1834 


6 


8 


16 


16 


10 


3 


3 


3 


8 


8 


81 


14 


March 


1834 


10 


15 


13 


17 


15 


8 


13 


11 


13 


15 


122 


19 


April 


1834 


7 


15 


13 


13 


12 


7 


7 


3 


2 


9 


88 


22 


Nov. 


1834 


4 


8 


10 


11 


5 


3 


7 


4 


8 


16 


76 


15 


Dec. 


1834 


7 


17 


12 


8 


6 


4 


3 


4 


5 


14 


80 


28 


Jan. 


1835 


4 


9 


14 


12 


1 





1 


3 


4 


19 


67 


19 


Feb. 


1835 


3 


15 


12 


14 


5 


2 


7 


5 


6 


13 


82 


21 


March 


1835 


1 


9 


3 


4 


1 


1 


3 


2 


4 


6 


34 


10 


Whole Nun 


iber of 
Vibra- 
he re- 


























tion at t 












i 






1 








spective 1 


[ours 


78 


134 


125' 


129 


83 


42 | 


81 


73 


86 1 


149 







APPENDIX. 



633 



Fort Reliance, from 8 a.m. to Midnight, as indicated in the Table. 





3l»P.M. 


Tem. 


4h P.M. 


Tem. 


7 h p.m. 


Tem. 

+ 
18 7 


10h P.M. 


Tem. 


12h P.M. 


Tem. 


Position of 
Needle. 




/ // 

32 w. 


+ 
19 15 





n 
06 w. 


+ 
19 3 


i >i 
6 06 e. 


/ II 

1 50 E. 


+ 
18 6 


/ 

4 


// 
38w. 


+ 
18 00 


Suspended. 




38 w. 


+ 
6 8 


2 


13 E. 


-u 
5 09 


5 29 e. 


+ 
5 00 


07 e. 


+ 
4 00 


1 


05w. 


+ 
4 08 


— 




25 e. 


22 00 


1 


19 E. 


22 2 


7 19 e. 


21 9 


1 09 e. 


22 2 





21 E. 


22 50 


— 




55 e. 


6 7 


4 


06 e. 


5 20 


7 35 e. 


5 60 


10 45 e. 


5 90 


6 


12w. 


6 30 


^^^ m 




1 15 E. 


+ 
4 30 





31 E. 


+ 
5 00 


1 02 e. 


+ 
4 90 


6 21 e. 


+ 
4 10 


3 


33w. 


+ 
2 90 


_ 




2 15 w. 


+ 
16 50 


3 


20w. 


+ 
16 70 


1 08 w. 


+ 
17 00 


1 08 e. 


+ 
15 50 


1 


45 w. 


14 04 






4 02 e. 


+ 
15 48 


5 


13 E. 


+ 
15 07 


7 09 e. 


+ 
14 85 


7 13 e. 


+ 
14 48 


6 


22 e. 


+ 
14 25 


— 




1 58 e.!29 00 





36 w. 


29 00 


05 E. 


29 00 


1 19w. 


29 2 


13 


3lw. 


29 4 


— 




2 48 w. 


17 


5 


01 w. 


17 1 


2 llw. 


17 3 


2 07 w. 


17 4 


1 


29w. 


17 5 


— 




58 w. 


18 6 


4 


57 w. 


17 8 3 lOw. 


18 3 


11 49w. 


19 6 


4 


40w. 


20 3 


— 




2 23 w. 


11 1 


4 


20 w. 


10 40 


1 10 w. 


11 2 


8 lOw. 


12 7 


5 


53w. 


14 5 


. M 



Altogether 3190 Observations. 



634 



APPENDIX. 



No. IX. 

A TABLE OF LATITUDES, LONGITUDES, AND 

VARIATIONS. 



The Longitudes deduced are from the Mean of Three Chronometers. 



Date. 


Latitude, 


Longitude, by 
Chronometer, 


Variation. 


Place of 




North. 


West. 




Observation. 


1833. 


o 


/ // 


o 


f H 


O 1 




Aug. 16 


62 


45 35 


111 


19 52 


45 31 E. 


Near the moun- 
tain, north shore, 
Great Slave Lake. 


19 


62 


50 15 


109 


47 54 


36 52 E. 


Mouth of Hoar 
Frost River. 


22 


63 


23 46 


108 


08 16 


36 00 E. 


Lake Walmsley. 


24 


63 


23 57 


- 


- 


- 


North end of Ar- 
tillery Lake. 


27 


64 


24 13 


108 


28 53 


36 56 E. 


Sand Hill Bay. 


Sept. 1 


64 


40 51 


108 


08 10 


44 24 E. 


Musk Ox Rapid. 


6 


62 


53 26 


108 


28 24 


- 


South end of Ar- 
tillery Lake. 




62 


46 29 


109 


00 38-9 


35 19 E. 


Means of several sets 


1834. 












at Fort Reliance. 


July 13 


65 


28 21 


106 


54 01 


- 


Near Lake Beechy. 


15 


65 


14 44 


106 


00 53 


39 12 E. 


North end of cas- 
cades. 


17 


65 


09 12 


103 


33 08 


30 06 E. 


On island. 


19 


65 


53 10 


- 


- 


- 


Lake Pelly. 


20 


65 


48 04 


99 


40 46 


29 38 E. 


Lake Garry. 


23 


65 


54 18 


98 


10 07 


29 16 E. 


Rock Rapid. 


26 


66 


06 24 




r 


By sun's bear- 


Mount Meadow- 
bank. 
| Near the mouth 


29 


61 


07 31 


94 


39 45- 


ing at noon 
8 30 W. 


V of Thlew-ee- 
J choh. 


30 


61 


20 31 


94 


28 14 


.. — 


Sir G. Cockburn's 
Bay. 


31 


61 


41 24 


95 


02 16 


6 00 W. 


Point Beaufort. 


Aug. 2 


61 


47 27 


95 


18 15-T 


2 43 E. a.m. 
6 42 W. p.m. 


J- Montreal Island. 


15 


68 


13 57 


■ 94 


58 01 | 


1 52 E. a.m. 
1 46 W. p.m. 


| Point Ogle. 



APPENDIX. 6SJ 



No. X. 



Hudson's Bay House, 
London, 22d Oct. 1833. 

Angus Bethune, Esq, 
Chief Factor, fyc. fyc. 
Sault St. Mary's. 

Sir, 
I am directed by the Governor and Committee to 
acquaint you, that the packet by which this is sent will 
be forwarded to your address in duplicate ; one copy, via 
Montreal, to be transmitted from post to post by the 
Grand River, and the other by the American mail, to 
the care of the commanding officer of the garrison at 
St. Mary's. It contains letters for Captain Back, ap- 
prising him of the arrival of Capt. Ross in England; 
and it is of great importance that he should receive 
this information before his departure from his winter 
quarters. 

I am therefore to request, that the copy which first 
reaches you be sent on to the next post by a couple of 
the most active men you can find, without the delay of 
one day at St. Mary's; and that it be forwarded in like 
manner, accompanied by this letter, with the utmost 
expedition, from post to post, via Mishipicoton, the Pic, 
Fort William, Lake La Pluie, via Riviere aux Roseau to 
Red River, thence to Fort Pelly, Carlton, Isle a la 
Crosse, Athabasca, and Great Slave Lake, until it 
reaches its destination ; where, if due expedition be 
observed, it ought to arrive early in April. 



636 APPENDIX. 

The Governor and Committee further direct, that the 
officers at the different posts do not, on any pretence 
whatever, detain the packet ; and desire that the date of 
the arrival at and departure from each post, signed by 
the officer in charge, be endorsed on the back hereof; 
and also, that the messengers from each post be in- 
structed to proceed to the next, without attending to 
any directions they may receive to the contrary, from 
persons they may meet en route. 

And when the second copy of this packet gets to hand 
at the Sault, let it be forwarded in like manner. 

I am, Sir, 
Your most obedient humble Servant, 

W. SMITH, 

Secretary. 



Received at the Pic on the 7th of February, 1834, at 8 o'clock p.m. 

Thomas M. Murray, C. T. H. B. Com. 

Left the Pic on the 8th of February, at 6 o'clock a.m. 

Thomas M. Murray. 

Received at Long Lake on the 13th of February, 1834, at 11 o'clock 
v. M. 

Peter M'JTenzie, Clerk H. B. Co. 

Left Long Lake on the 14th of February at 5 o'clock a.m. 

Peter M'Kenzie. 

Received at Lake Nipigon on the 16th of February, 1834, at 10 
o'clock p. M. 

John Stvanslon, Clerk, H. H. B. Co. 

Left Lake Nipigon on the 17th of February, at 5 o'clock a.m. 

John Swanston, Clerk H. H. B. Co. 

Received at Fort William the 21st of February, 1834, at 11 o'clock 
a.m., and left Fort William at 3 o'clock p.m. same date. 

Donald M'Intosh, C T. 



APPENDIX. 



637 



Received at Bois Blanc on the 25th of February, 1834, at 1 o'clock 
p.m., and left Bois Blanc at 4 p.m., same day. 

John M'Intosh, Clerk H. B. Co. 

Received at Lac la Pluie on the 2d of March, 1834, at 6 a.m., and will 
leave this at 7 a.m. the same date. 

William Sinclair, Clerk. 

Received at Carlton on the 2d of April, 1834, 11 o'clock a. m., and 
will leave this at 1 o'clock noon, the same date. 

J. P. Pruden, C. T. 

Received at Fort Chipweyan 21st April, 1834, and will start at 3 
o'clock on the 22d, a.m. 

J. Charles, C. F. 



Received. 


Place. 


Forwarded. 


Name of Officer in Charge. 


20th of Jan. at noon - 


Sault, St. Mary's 


21st of Jan. 


H. Betbune. 


29th of Jan. afternoon 


Mishipicolm 


30th of Jan. - 


George Keith. 


7th of Feb. at 8 p.m. 


Pic 

Fort William 


8th of Feb. 6 A.M. - 


Thomas M. Muray. 


2d of March, at 6 a.m. 


Lake la Pluie 


2d of March, 7 a.m. 


William Sinclair. 


1 2th of March, at 2 p.m. - 


Red River 


13th of March, 6 a.m. 


Alexander Christe. 


25th of March, at 6 p.m. 


Fort Pelly 


26th of March, 6 a.m. 


William Todd. 


2d of April, at 11 a.m. 


Carlton 


2d of April, 1 at noon 


J. P. Pruden. 




Isle a la Crosse - 


6th of April, 5 p.m. 


R. M'Kenzie. 


21st of April, at 4 p.m. 


Athabasca 


22d of April, 3 a.m. 


John Charles. 


29th of April, at 7 p.m. 


Great Slave Lake 


30th of April, 4 a.m. 


J. M'Donell, Clerk. 



638 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS 

TO THE 

ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION, 

Under the Command of Captain George Back, R. N., in 
search of Captain Ross, R. N., and his People. 



Grant from His Majesty's Government in aid 
of the Expedition - 

The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor and 
Corporation of the City of London 

The Elder Brethren of the Corporation of the 
Trinity House - 

The Committee of the Subscribers to Lloyd's 

The Honourable the East India Company 

The Council of the Royal Geographical So- 
ciety - - - - 

The Council of the Royal Society 

The Mayor and Corporation of Portsmouth - 

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent - 

His Grace the Duke of Northumberland 

His Grace the Duke of Somerset 

The Earl of Ripon - 

Admiral Lord de Saumarez 

The Earl of Hardwicke - 

Lord Ashley - 

The Earl of Caledon - 

Earl Bathurst -• 

The Lord Bishop of Durham 

Lord Selsey - 

Lord Bexley - 

Lord Viscount Galway - - 

Lady Galway - - 

Lord Viscount Clive - * - 

The Earl of Dartmouth - 

The Marquis of Northampton 

Lord Somerville - - 



£ 


s. 


d. 


2000 








105 








100 








105 








100 








50 








113 


12 





10 


10 





20 








100 








50 








50 








20 








25 








5 








25 








10 








20 








10 








10 








1 


1 





1 


1 





20 








20 








10 








5 









LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 639 



The Lord Bishop of Cloyne 
The Lord Bishop of Llandaff 

Antrobus, Sir Edmund - 

Attwood, Wolverly - 

Aga, Selim - - 

Athenaeum, Editor of the - 

Ainsley, S. R., Esq. - 

Austin, Capt. H., R. N. - - 

Arrowsmith, J., Esq. - 

Acland, Sir T. Dyke, Bart. - - 

Angerstein, John, Esq. - 

Adair, John, Esq. - 

A. B., per Editor of the Sun 

Arbuthnot, George, Esq. - 

A Lady - 

A Wellwisher - ... 

A Lady, per Willis and Co. - 

A Lady, per ditto - ^ 

A, L . - - - - 

A Messenger in a Life Office 

Anonymous (a Lady) 

Allison, W., Esq. (of Tugwell) 

Alsager, Mrs. (collected by her) ; paid by Capt. 

Alsager, M. P. 
Anonymous (through Horticultural Society) - 

Booth, Sir Felix, Bart. - 

Baillie, George, Esq. - - - 

Baillie, Thomas, Esq. - 

Back, Charles, Esq. - 

Bowles, Capt. Wm., R. N. 

Beaufoy, Henry, Esq. - 

Beverley, Mrs. - 

Beverley, C. J., Esq. - - 

Baillie, Wm. H., Esq. - - 

Brady, Lieut., R. N. 

Brockedon, W., Esq. - - 

Barrell, Capt., R. N. 

Bedford, G., Esq. - - 

Beechey, Capt., R. N. 

Broke, Sir P., Bart. - 

Beaufort, Capt., R. N. - * 

Brazier, Capt., R. N. 



£ 


s. 


d. 


3 








5 








25 








10 








1 


1 





2 


2 





10 








2 








2 


2 





20 








25 








25 








10 








o 








1 








2 








5 








5 








2 


2 








5 








5 





5 








11 











10 





00 








5 








5 








5 








5 








52 


10 





3 








10 








5 











5 





2 


2 





2 








2 








1 








20 








— 

5 








1 


1 






640 



SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



Baron, N. J., Esq. - - 

Bosanquet, The Hon. Mr. Justice 

Brown, Thos. P., Esq. - 

Bunnatt, Capt., R. N. 

Barwis, W. H. B., Esq. - 

Briggs, Samuel, Esq. - 

Beverley, E. Parry, Esq. - 

Bourchier, Charles, Esq. - - 

Bromley, Lady Louisa - - 

Bromley, the Reverend W. D. - . 

Barrow, John, Esq. - - 

Brine, Captain G., R. N. - - - 

Boskett, John, Esq. - 

Botfield, Thomas, Esq. 

Backhouse, John, Esq. - 

Bourchier, Captain Thomas 

Birch, J., Esq. - 

Beatty, Sir William - 

Byron, Captain C. B., R. N. 

Brine, Captain A., R. N. - - 

Brine, The Reverend A. James 

Blackeston, Captain T. 

Barlow, Peter, Esq. - - - 

Buller, John, Esq. - - 

Biggs, Robert, Esq. - 

Baynes, Lady - - - 

Burgess, Miss Caroline - 

Brenton, Captain E. P., R. N. (sundry Collections) 

Baring, Thomas, Esq. - - 

Buck, John, Esq. - 

Browneker, John, Esq. - 

Blackburn, Charles, Esq. - 

Baber, T. H., Esq. - 

Brown, Lieutenant James, R. N. 

Bruce, Mr. W., Surgeon, R. N. 

Butcher, Lieutenant Jonathan, R. N. 

Buckler, Mr. W. - 

Brooke, Sir Arthur de C. 

Bremen, In honour of - - 

Box and Son, Messrs. - - 

Bourne, The Reverend R. B. 

Blair, Mr. Lambert - - 

Blair, James, Esq. 

Blair, Mr. - - - 

Bird, Lieutenant E. G. - 



£ 


s. 


d. 


5 








10 


10 





1 


1 





1 








1 








10 








1 








2 








1 








1 








5 








1 


1 





5 


5 





5 








5 


5 





1 


1 





5 


5 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 








1 








2 


2 





1 


1 





10 








1 











5 





5 











12 


6 


5 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 








5 











5 





1 


1 








5 








1 





5 








1 


I 





1 


1 





2 


2 





15 








25 








10 








2 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION, 



641 



Bourne, William, Esq. 
Belcher, Captain Edward, R. N. 
Browne, Mr. (Chester Terrace) 
Beverley, Mr. - 

Cockburn, Admiral Sir George 

Capel, Admiral Sir T. B. 

Collard, F. W., Esq. 

Cook, Mr. 

Courier, Proprietors of the 

Cook, Captain H., R. N. 

Cains, or Cranes, Mr. Richard 

Cumber, Mr. James, senior 

Carr, Miss - 

Cox, W. R., Esq. 

Conran, J., Esq. 

Crauford, W. P., Esq. 

Cornan, Captain George 

Clark, Captain, R. A. 

Crosby, Mr. John, junior 

Campbell, F. W., Esq. 

Cannon, Lieutenant J., R. N. 

Clifford, Sir Augustus 

Cock, Simon, Esq. 

Clowes, Mr. 

Colquit, Captain, R. N. 

Craggs, William, Esq. 

Curzon, The Honourable Admiral Henry 

Carr, H. B., Esq. 

Colby, Colonel 

Clay, William, Esq., M. P. 

Carruthers, David, Esq. 

CM. 

C. T. B. 

Chantry, F., Esq. - 

Cotton, William, Esq. 

Crighton, Mr. William 

Clark, Daniel, Esq. - 

C. W., The Reverend (Banwell) 

Campion, Jeremiah, Esq. 

Colquhoun, Captain, R. N. 

Comeribrd, James, Esq. 

Caley, Sir G. 

Coulman, Mrs. (per William Spence, Esq.) 

T T 



£ 


s. 


d. 


1 








1 


1 





10 








12 


6 





20 








2 








1 








1 








5 


5 





1 











5 





1 








1 


1 





5 








1 








2 








1 








1 


1 





1 








2 


2 








10 





1 








2 








2 








1 








2 


2 





5 








1 


1 





1 


1 





5 


5 





2 


2 





1 








2 








10 








5 


5 








5 





1 


1 





2 








1 








2 


2 





4 


3 





5 








1 









642 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 

Coulman, Robert John, Esq. (per W. Spence, Esq.) 
Coulman, Mrs. Robert John (ditto) 

Dalrymple, Sir A. J., Baronet 

Davis, M., Esq. 

Douglas, Admiral J. E. 

Davenport, Davies, Esq. 

Duncan, The Honourable Captain Henry, R.N. 

Drummond, Lieutenant, R. E. 

Dawes, Peter, Commander, R. N« 

Dundas, David, Esq. 

Dixon, Charles, Esq. 

Duffy, Colonel 

D. H. 

Douglas, Admiral James 

Denham, Lieutenant, R. N. - 

Dufour, James or Joseph, Esq. 

Duff, Captain A., R. N. 

Devaux, Charles, Esq. 

Devis, The Reverend Mr. 

Dowell, Mr. George, R. N. - - ■ 

Dean, H., Esq. - 

Droop, J. A., Esq. - ... 

Dalby, Captain - 

Doran, Captain - 

Dixons and Sons (remitted by) 

Dixon, W., Esq. (Blackheath) 

Drysdale, W. C, Esq. 

Dundas, The Honourable Captain Henry 

D. - 

Enderby, C. H., Esq. 

Effendi, Omar - 

Everard, Mr. W. - - - 

Edgworth, Miss A. - 

Edmonds, John, Esq. 

E. M. 

Edgar, Thomas, Esq. 
Edwards, Admiral S. 
Edwards, Captain Richard 
Edwards, Lieutenant S. 
Enterprise (a Brother Sailor) 
Ewart, Taylor, and Co., Messrs. 
Edgworth, C. S., Esq. 
E. S. 



£ 


s. 


d. 


I 1 








1 








20 








1 


1 





2 








10 








5 


5 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





5 








1 


1 





1 


1 





5 








1 


1 





1 








2 


2 





1 








1 


1 








5 





1 








1 


1 








2 


6 


1 


1 





10 








1 


1 





5 








30 


9 





1 








10 








1 


1 





1 


1 





2 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





3 


3 





2 


2 





1 


1 





1 








5 








1 








1 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 643 



Elphenston, J. F., Esq. 

Eccles, Mr. - - - 

Exeter (Remainder of Subscription) 

Elliott, Captain Thomas (Whitehaven) 

Edgell, Captain, R. N. 

Eley, Mrs. - - 

Fletcher, Son, and Teurnal, Messrs. 
Fletcher, Joseph, Esq. - 

Frazer, Colonel Sir A. 
Fane, Captain F. W., R. N. 
Finnies, The Honourable W. Twisleton 
Franklin, Captain Sir John, R. N. 
Farraday, Michael, Esq. - 

Forbes, J. H., Esq. - 
Forbes, Captain Henry - 

Fleming, Captain R. H., R. N. 
Fuller, William, Esq. 
Fowler, Captain, R. M. 
F.J. 

Five kind-hearted Children 
Fisher, Captain Peter 

Forbes, John, Esq. - " 

Fisher, Captain, R. N. (Subscription from Yar- 
mouth) 

Grimble, William, Esq. 

Gutzner, Lieutenant, R. A. 

Grant, Alexander, Esq. 

Gosse or Gape, Henry, Esq. 

Garry, Nicholas, Esq. 

Gray, Miss E. J. 

Gray, Miss M. E. 

Gandy, Edward, Esq. 

Greer or Green, Lieutenant, R. N. 

Gallop, G. J., Esq. 

Gatskell, John, Esq. 

Gray, F. A., Esq. 

Gwilt, J., Esq. 

Gillot, Mr. - " ■ 

Graham, Charles, Esq. 

Greyhurst, Miss 

Grindall, Captain H. E. P., R. N. 

Gilbert, Mrs. M. 

Gardner, Lieutenant James 

T T 2 



£ 


s. 


d. 


5 











1 





6 


1 





1 











10 





1 








50 








50 








5 








5 








5 


5 





5 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 








5 








5 








5 








1 


1 





1 








1 








1 


1 





5 








10 


10 





1 


1 





5 








1 








20 








1 








1 








2 


2 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 








3 


3 





1 


1 





1 








1 

















1 








2 








5 


5 






644 



SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



Gardner, Lieutenant James (Sundries by) 

G. H.F. 

Gordon, A. Durnford, Esq. 

Gerningham, J., Esq. 

Gladdish, William, Esq. 

Gooby, The Reverend James 

Gillespies and Co., Messrs. 

Gurney, Hudson, Esq. 

Greenwood, John, Esq. 

Hotham, Admiral Sir William 

Hotham, Admiral Sir Henry 

Hay, R. W., Esq. - 

Hooper, W. H., Esq. 

Hibbert, Captain W. 

Halford, The Reverend J. 

Hoppner, Captain, R. N. 

Humphrys, Robert, Esq. 

Humphrys, Harry, Esq. 

Hannay, James, Esq. 

Hodson, Lieutenant-General John 

Hardwick, John, Esq. 

Holford, Robert, Esq. 

Humphry, E. and S. 

Hargood, Admiral Sir William 

Humbert, T. J., Esq. - 

Hockings, Captain Robert, R. N. 

Hepburn, General Francis 

H. 

Henniker, The Honourable Captain and Mrs. 

Hyett, W. H., Esq. 

Hallewell, E. G., Esq. 

Hammond, Sir G. E. 

Hope, Captain H., R. N. 

H. L. H. 

Hollier, Richard, Esq. 

Hugonon, Mrs. General 

Hooker, Professor Dr. W. J. 

Honeycroft, or Thornycroft, The Reverend C. 

Hartford, Charles R., Esq. 

Hobson, Joshua, Esq. 

Hamilton, Miss M. A. 

Hall, Colonel W. 

Hare, Mr. Marcus, R. N. 

Hare, Miss and Miss M. A. 



£ 


s. 


d. 


3 


7 


6 


5 








20 








1 


1 





5 








2 








10 


10 





21 








1 








20 








20 








20 








1 








1 


1 





2 








1 








1 








1 








5 








2 


2 





2 








20 








5 








5 








5 








I 


1 





2 








5 








2 








1 








1 








2 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





5 








10 








1 








1 


1 





5 








2 








2 











10 





1 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 640 



Hillier, Commander W. C. 

Hodgson, M. W. T., R. N. 

Halket, John, Esq. - 

Hall, The Reverend J. - - 

Hall, The Rev. J. F. (Balance of Subscription) 

Hamilton, Captain (of Craiglaws) 

Hazard, John, and Co., Messrs. 

Jackson, Captain - 

Jerdin, W., Esq. - 

Jones, R. S., Esq. - 

Jameson, Joseph, Esq. - 

Jackson, W. H., Esq. - 

Jones, Lieutenant W. J., R. N. 

Jones, Charles, Esq. - 

J. L. 

Inglis, Sir R. H., Baronet - - 

Jervois, Captain - 

Janson, Messrs. A., and Co. - 

Jackson, Miss - 

Jekyll, Captain John, R. N. 

Journeymen Printers at Mills and Co.'s 

Jackson, H. H., Esq. 

J. B. 

Keats, Admiral Sir Richard 

K. T., or T. K. 

KolounofF, M., fait a Paris par 

Le Comte de Demidoff 200 f. (by Win. Spence, Esq.) 
Madame Baudin 20 (ditto) 

Monsieur Thernessen 26 (ditto) 

Le Normand & Co. 5 Ex. 25 80 pour 

Kerr, Neven, Esq. - - 

Kater, Captain Henry, R. N. 

Kingdom, John, Esq. - 

Knight, W. P., Esq. 

King, Admiral Sir Richard 

Kidd, R. C, Esq. - 

Kinloch, James, Esq. - 

Luckcombe, M., Esq. - 

Lindsay, The Honourable Hugh 
Lane, The Reverend Charles 
Light, Thomas, Esq. - 

Lax, James, Esq. (Bristol) 

T T 3 



£ 


s. 


d. 





8 


6 





7 





5 








5 


5 








3 





5 








10 


10 





1 








2 








1 


1 





5 








1 


1 





1 








2 








1 








5 








5 








2 


2 





2 








1 


1 








7 





1 


1 





2 


2 





20 











10 






9 


14 


7 


10 


10 





5 








1 








1 








2 








1 








20 








1 








10 








5 








1 


1 





10 


10 






646 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 

Lee, Dr., F. R. S. 
Lloyd, W. H., Esq. 
Laforey, Admiral Sir Francis 
Leake, William, Esq. 
Larcom, Lieutenant, R. E. 
Lambert, Charles, Esq. 
Lambert, Collman, or C. Lambert 
Long, The Reverend W. 
Lambert, Admiral - 

Lambert, Mrs. 
Lambert, Mr. George 
Longman and Co., Messrs. 
Lay, Mrs. - - 

Lemme, or Lucerne, T. L. 
Lay, Miss and Miss J. - 

Lihou, Captain, R. N. 
Lean, Mr. John Samuel 
Langdon, Captain J. - 

Ladies (collected by) 
Ditto (ditto) 
Leake, William Martin, Esq. 

Marsden, William, Esq. 
Montefiore, Moses, Esq. 
M'Culloch, Robert, Esq. 
Mitchell, Henry, Esq. 
Mangles, Captain J., R. N. 
Magrath, E., Esq. - 

Meek, John, Esq. - 

Morris, C, junior, Esq. 
Morris, Mrs. Charles 
Morris, Miss - 

Maconochie, Captain, R. N. 

Michael, Lieutenant-Colonel E., R. A. 

Maw, Lieutenant H. L., R. N. 

Maraillier, Jacob, Esq. 

Mangles, John, Esq. 

Murphy, Lieutenant, R. E. 

Mangles, Robert, Esq. 

Martin, Josiah, Esq. 

Martin, Captain W. F., R. N. 

Manley, Admiral 

Martin, Admiral Sir Thomas Byam 

Murcheson, R. J., Esq. 

M'Kinlay, Admiral 



£ 


s. 


d. 


1 


1 





1 








5 








20 








1 


1 





5 








2 








5 








2 








1 











5 





5 


5 





1 








2 


2 





1 








1 











5 





2 


2 





4 


4 





4 


10 





5 








10 








10 








5 








1 








3 








1 


1 





1 


1 





20 








10 


10 





2 


2 





1 








5 








2 








2 


2 





2 


2 





1 


1 





1 


1 





5 








2 


2 





10 








5 








5 








1 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 647 



M'Kenzie, John, Esq. 

Moore, John, Esq. 

Mackenzie, The Right Honourable Holt 

Martin, Sir Henry 

Mudge, Captain, R. E. 

Murdoch, Thomas 

Martin, Captain T., R. N. 

Martin, The Reverend William 

Marshall, L. J., Esq. 

Messiter, Mr. 

Munstings, or Murrislings, Mrs. 

M. E., or P. M. E. 

Moresby, Mr. 

Mitchell, Mr. W. 

Michael, Miss Mary 

Murray, John, Esq. 

M'Donald, James, Esq. 

M. E. (Shilling Subscriptions) 

Maitland, Miss ... 

Marsden, Mrs. (by Wm. Spence, Esq.) 

Marsden, Mr. (ditto) 

Marsden, Mr., junior (ditto) 

Nicholson, Mr. Robert, Manchester 
Nautical Magazine, Proprietors of the 
Nicholson, Mr. - 

Napier, Richard, Esq. 
Napier, Mrs. - 

Nettleship, Samuel, Esq. 
Nettleship, Thomas, Esq. 
Nicholson, G. T., Esq. 
Newenham, Lieutenant J. P. 
Nottige, W., Esq. 
Newton, William, Esq. 
Name unknown 
Nicholson, Sir F. 

Ogle, Admiral Sir Charles, Bart. 
Otway, Admiral Sir R. W. 
Owen, Admiral Sir E. 
Outram, Dr., R. N. 
Otty, The Reverend G. F. 
Otto, Colonel 
Ommanney, Sir Francis 
Oliverson, Thomas, Esq. 

T T 4 



£ 


s. 


d. 


1 








5 








5 


5 





5 


5 





1 


1 





5 








2 


2 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





2 








8 











2 


6 





1 








5 





5 








3 








5 


5 





6 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 








10 


6 


1 


1 





2 








1 








1 








1 


1 





1 


1 





5 








1 








2 


2 





2 


2 





20 








5 








20 








1 








10 








5 








I 


0. 





1 








8 


6 





5 









648 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



Oxford (collected by Ladies) 
Old Windsor (ditto) 

Paget, Admiral the Honourable Sir Charles 

Parkinson and Fordham, Messrs. 

Phillips, James, Esq. 

Phillips, Henry, Esq. 

Phillips, Thomas, Esq. 

Palmer, Henry, Esq. 

Pasley, Colonel C. W. 

Putman, James, Esq. 

Prowse, Captain W. J., R. N. 

Prescott, Captain, R. N. 

Pechell, Captain, R. N. 

Pepys, Sir W. Waller 

P. O. 

Penrhyn, Edward, Esq. 

Parry, Captain Sir Edward, R. N. 

Purdy, Charles, Esq. 

Perie, John, Esq. 

Powell, J. C, Esq. 

Pelham, or Pillman, Lieutenant W., R. N. 

Prosser, E., Esq. 

Pascoe, The Reverend Thomas 

Packwood, Captain Joseph, R. N. 

Prowse, Colonel G. B. 

Pym, F., Esq. (by William Spence, Esq.) 

Quickall, or Quicknall, E., Esq. 
Quarantine Department, Milford 

Ross, George, Esq. 

Ross, George Clarke, Esq. 

R. P. 

Richardson, Dr. John 

Ripley, Captain P. or J. 

Robe, Captain, R. E. 

Ramsden, Mr. Richard 

Rumsey, Lacy, Esq. 

Rubbergall, Mr. Thomas 

Robinson, Henry, Esq. 

Robinson, Edward, Esq. 

Ross, Miss (per Admiral Lambert) 

Raynardson, Miss J. - 

Robarts, Messrs., and Co. 



£ 


s. 


d. 


4 


13 


6 


2 








2 








10 


10 





1 








1 








1 


1 





5 


5 





5 








10 








3 








1 


1 





5 








5 


5 





1 


8 





1 








5 


5 





1 








2 








1 








1 


1 





2 








2 


2 





1 








5 








2 











5 





7 


6 





100 








100 








5 








2 








2 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 








10 





1 








1 











5 





1 








o 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 



649 



£ s. d. 

R.H. - - " ' ' \ ° ° 

Roy, The Reverend Doctor - - s 3 

Roy, Richard, Esq. - * 

R. G. P. (by William Spence, Esq.) 

R. M. P. (ditto) 

R. N. P. (ditto) 

R. H. (ditto) 

R. D. n in o 

Reynolds, G. S., Esq. 

Rolles, Admiral Robert 

Rennell, T. T., Esq. 

Ross, Sir. H. Dalrymple, Bart. 

Robinson, Walter F., Esq. 

Shaw, Sir James, Bart. - - ". ^ 

Sturgeon, C, Esq. - son 

Solley, R. H., Esq. - - o q 

Spence, William, Esq. - - o 9 Q 

Spence, Mrs. William - - 110 
Spence, Master - 

2 
10 10 



10 

10 

10 

2 2 



5 

2 

10 

1 1 



Smith, Captain J. B., R. N. 

Sotheby, Captain, R. N. 

Simmons, R., Esq. - 10 

1 

1 

1 
10 

2 
1 1 



Stirling, William, Esq. 

Stirling, Walter, Esq. 

Solly, Mr. 

Sharpe, Doctor or Daniel 

Smith, Mrs. 

Strachan, William, Esq. 

Smyth, Captain - 5 5 

2 2 

1 

5 

1 1 

1 1 



Sutherland, Doctor 

Scott, Admiral Sir George 

Stuckey, P. or V., Esq. 

Sotheby, William, Esq. 

Stevens, George, Esq. 

Scott, James, Esq. - o o n 

Smith, Mr. - - " f 1 

Smith, Mr. J. - " i i n 

Smith, Mr. W. - - " "tin 

Stone, Mr. William - - * J i 2 

Spene, William, Esq. - - 5 « " 

Scott, Mrs. Elizabeth (Canterbury) - - 5 " " 

Shiffner, Captain - - " " , V n 

Selwyn, The Reverend William - " 

Smith, or South, Sir James - l 



050 



SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



Sewell, Sir John - 

Sykes, Captain A. N. 

Stopford, Captain E., R. N. 

Spence, Captain, R. N. 

Stanley, The Reverend Edward 

Stanley, Lieutenant Owen, R. N. 

Saumarez, General Sir Thomas 

Stapleton, Colonel John - - 

Scott, Miss (of Thorp) 

Shepherd, Captain William - 

Smith, Samuel, Esq. - 

Sundries, per Messrs. Stuckey and Co. 

Snook, Mrs. - 

Seddon, or Liddon, Lieutenant J. R., R. N. 

Shepherd, George, Esq. - 

Sattersthwait, J. C. (of the Lancaster Bank) 

Swaffield, Joseph, Esq. - 

Scott, Mr. - - 

Sykes, Mrs. J. - 

Seymour, Captain Sir George 

Stapleton, Miss A. - 

Sabine, Captain - - 

Sundry small Subscriptions paid in by Captain 

M. C. 
Saffron Walden (collected by Ladies) 
Sundry Subscriptions paid into the house of 

Messrs. Spooner, Attwood, and Co., and no 

names given - 

Sundry Subscriptions paid into the house of 

Messrs. Drummonds, by Mr. Ross, without 



names 



Trotter, Sir Coutts, Bart. 

Thorburn, , Esq. 

T. T. 

Turner, Thomas, Esq. 

Trevelyan, W. J., Esq. 

Thornton, Captain S. 

Tregear, V., Esq. R. N. 

Townley, The Reverend Gale 

That, or Thai, John, Esq. (St. Petersburgh) 

Todd, Colonel James, E. I. C. 

Taylor, Andrew, Esq. 

Tudor, H. Dalison, Esq. 

Thompson, Alderman, M. P. 



£ 


s. 


d. 


3 


3 





5 








I 








1 








3 








2 










5 





1 








1 











10 


6 


1 


1 





2 


8 





2 


2 








5 








10 





n 


9 





5 











10 





1 








2 








1 








5 











12 





3 








23 


10 


6 


53 


1 





25 








1 


1 





10 








5 








10 








1 








1 








5 








1 


1 





3 


3 





2 


2 





1 








5 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 651 



T.M.- 
Thompson, James, Esq. - 
Thompson, C. J., Esq. - 
Tucker, Lieutenant - 
Tobin, Captain George - - 

Thompson, Thomas, Esq. - - - 

Twopenny, E., Esq. - 

Tomlinson, Thomas, Esq. (by W. Spence Esq.) 

Vincent, G. G., Esq. - 

Vane, Colonel and Mrs. - 

Vincent, G. G., Esq. (second subscription) 

Warburton, Thomas, Esq. 

Wyattville, Sir Jeffery - 

Warburton, Doctor - 

Willich, C. W., Esq. 

Walford, Thomas, Esq. - - 

Walford, A., Esq. - 

Walford, Mrs. A. 

Westby, Edmund, Esq. - 

Wainwright, Lieutenant, R. N. 

Willoughby, Captain Sir N. J. 

Westrop, Lieutenant Berkeley, R. N. 

Williams, The Reverend Doctor (Winchester) - 

Washington, Lieutenant, R. N. 

Walker, Lieutenant J. B., R. N. 

Wormald, John, Esq. - 

Wood, James, Esq. - 

Wardlaw, Andrew C, Esq. 

Williamson, Captain, R. N. 

Wyatt, Henry - - 

Willoughby, Sir Nesbet 

Watts, Lieutenant R., R. N. 

Williams, Doctor (by William Spence, Esq.) - 

Williams, Mrs. (by Admiral Lambert) 

Willis, Mr. Francis - 

Wilson, L. P., Esq. - 

Wheatley, Commander, R. N. 

Worthington, Miss - 

Winners at Cards - 

Walker, Thomas, Esq. - 

Warren, Mr. J. S. 

Wrottesley, John, Esq. - 

Wake, Miss C. - 



£ 


s. 


d. 


1 








2 








5 








1 


1 





2 


2 





2 








1 








1 








1 








3 


3 





1 


1 





5 








5 








5 








1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





2 








1 


1 





2 


2 








10 





2 


2 





1 








5 








5 








5 








1 


1 





1 








1 








3 


3 





1 








1 


1 








5 





2 


2 





2 


2 





1 











10 





1 


1 





1 











5 





5 








5 









£ 


s. 


d. 


5 


5 





5 








5 








1 








2 


2 





2 








1 


1 





2 








1 








1 








1 









652 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



W. A. - - 

Williams, Mrs. (per R. W. Hay, Esq.) 
Williams, Sir Thomas, G. C. B. - 

W.W.- 
Young, Murdo, Esq. - 
Yarrall, William, Esq. - - 
Young, William, Esq. - 

Bath. Transmitted by James Hannay, Esq. 

Richard Saummarez, Esq. -. 
The Reverend W. Fremenhere 
Joseph Wilkinson, Esq. - - 

William Sutcliffe, Esq. 



Less expense of Advertisements 



Devonport. Transmitted by Walter Reid and Henry 

Gandy, Esqrs. 

Admiral Sir Manley Dixon 

Captain Curry, of H. M. S. San Josef 

T. Woodman, Esq., R. N. 

Commander Hamilton, H. M. S. Comus 

Commander Haydon 

Lieutenant Haydon 

Doctor Dunning - 

Captain Wise, R. N. 

Henry Gandy, Esq. 

Walter Reid, Esq. - 

Captain Manley H. Dixon, R. N. 

Doctor Shepperd, Stonehouse 

Anthony Brady, Esq., Plymouth 

Several small Sums 

Captain John Pearce, R. N. 

Captain George Tincombe, R. N. 

Mr. Couch, Dock Yard 



Dum fries. Transmitted by John Commelin, Esq. 

Alexander M'Culloch, Esq. - - - 10 10 

Thomas Affleck - - - 2 6 

Andrew Hunter - - - - 2 6 



5 





• 1 





£4 





and Henry 


• 5 





■ 1 





■ 10 





■ 10 





■ 10 





■ 10 





■ 1 





1 





1 





1 





10 


6 


10 





1 





19 


6 


10 





10 





2 


6 


£16 2 


6 



ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 653 







£ 


s. 


d. 


H. R. Douglas 


- 





2 


6 


Andrew Mackinnell 


. 





2 


6 


James Robertson 


- 





2 


6 


A. Hannay - 


i 

m Fori 





2 


6 




111 


5 





Edinburgh. Transmitted by Sir William 


>es m 


id ( 


?o. 


George Forbes, Esq. 


- 


2 


2 





Adam Hay, Esq. 


- 


2 


2 





John Blair, Esq. - 


- 


1 


1 





John Mackay, Esq. 


- 


1 


1 





Miss C. T. - 


- 


1 


1 





A Lady - 


- 





5 





Doctor Maclogan 


- 


1 


1 





James Mackenzie, Esq., W. S . 


- 


1 








Miss Mackenzie - - 


_ 


1 








S. and C. Wood - 


_ 


10 








Lieutenant Campbell, R. N. 


- 


1 








Lieutenant Hunn, R. N. 


_ 


1 








J. Stenhouse (per the Commercial Bank) 


_ 


1 


1 





Edward Piper, Esq. 


- 


2 


2 





A Family in Caithness, per British 


Linen 








Company - 


- 


7 


7 





Alexander Cowan, Esq. 


_ 


1 








Eagle Henderson, Esq. 


- 


1 


1 





Trinity House, Leith 


. 


10 


10 





Captain Aitcheson, R. N. 


- 


3 








A. Kirkcaldy (per Thomas Milles) 


- 


25 


17 


6 


Anonymous (per Penny Post) 


« 


1 








William Boyd, Esq. 


H 


1 


1 





Alexander Pearson, Esq. 


- 


2 


2 





Professor Forbes 


- 


1 








Thomas Corrie, Esq. 


* 


3 


3 





Interest at 2 per cent. 


£ 





2 







82 


19 


6 



Transmitted by Robert Allan and 

Son - - £ 103 11 9 

Subscriptions at Stranraer included 
in the above and printed in this 
List - - - 53 15 

£49 16 

N. B. — No list of subscriptions received. £ 30 9s. 
subscribed at Dundee, probably included in this 
,£49 16s. 9d.; but neither any list from thence. 



654 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 

Cheltenham. 

£ s. d. 

Transmitted by Messrs. Pitt and Co. 42 2 
N. B. — No list of subscriptions received. 

Exeter. Transmitted by the Reverend William Scoresby. 

John Neave, Esq. - - 2 2 

Joseph Were, Esq. - - 1 1 
S. Parr, Esq. - - - -110 

John Milford, Esq. - - - 1 

Samuel Barnes, Esq. - - 1 1 

William Nation, Esq. - - 1 1 

J. B. Cresswell, Esq. - - - 1 

The Reverend William Scoresby - 1 

A Well-wisher - - - - 1 



Less expenses 



Hull. Transmitted by William Spence, Esq. 

Messrs. Joseph Sykes and Son 

Thomas Jackson, Esq. (Ferriby) 

John Smith, Esq. (Kirkella) 

John Terry, Esq. 

Edward Spence, Esq. 

Thomas Rodmill, Esq. 

Messrs. Buckington, W T ilson, and Co. 

Messrs. Holderness and Chilton 

Simon Horner, Esq. 

William Laverack, Esq. 

Thomas Thomson (Humber Dock) 

John Todd, Esq. (Wright Street) 

John Craven, Esq. 

William Walker (Warehouseman) 

Mrs. Daniel Sykes 

T. W. Palmer, Esq. 

Dr. Chambers - 

G. B. Lambert, Esq. 

John Bennett, Esq. 

J. T. Foord, Esq. - 

Joseph Sanderson, Esq. 

William Brownlow, Esq. 

John Aitkin, Esq. - 



£ 10 


6 





■ 


6 





£ 10 








, Esq. 






• 5 








■ 5 








■ 5 








■ 5 








■ 5 








■ 2 








■ 2 








• 2 


2 





■ 2 








. 1 








1 








■ 1 








■ 1 








1 








1 








■ 1 








• 


10 





• 


10 





■ 


10 





■ 


10 





• 


10 





■ 1 








- 


10 





£44 


2 






ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 655 

Glasgow. Transmitted by James Leechman^ Esq. 

£ s. d. 
Honourable James Ewing, Lord Provost and 

M. P. for the City 
James Martin, Esq. - 

Hugh Cogan, Esq. 
John Sommerville, Esq. 
William Maclean, Esq. 
James Hutchison, Esq. 
Archibald Maclellan, Esq. 
Very Reverend Principal Macfarlan 
Sir D. K. Sandford 
Henry Monteith of Carstairs, Esq. 
James Smith of Jordanhill, Esq. 
William Macdowall of Garthland, Esq. 
Robert Napier, Esq., Civil Engineer 
William Dunn, Esq. of Duntocher 
Colin Campbell, Esq. (Possil) 
James Nimmo, Esq. 
John Wood, Esq. (Port Glasgow) 
James Leechman, Esq. 
William Leechman, Esq. 
Thomas Edington, Esq. 
Charles Hutcheson, Esq. 
William Bennet, Esq. (Free Press Office) 
William Meikleham, junior, Esq. 
Archibald G. Lang, Esq. 
Thomas Atkinson, Esq. 
Matthew Brown, junior, Esq. 
Professor Ramsay 
David Chapman, Esq. 
James Thompson, Esq. 
Henry Miller, Esq. 
Robert Bartholemew, Esq. 
John Bartholemew, Esq. 
Thomas Bartholemew, Esq. 
Archibald G. Kielston, Esq. 
Andrew Liddell, Esq. 
Robert Douglas Alston, Esq. 
Archibald Smith, Esq. 
James Buchanan, Esq. (Queen Street) 
James Finlay, Esq. 
Robert Woodrow, Esq. 
M. M. Patteson, Esq. 
Alexander Fletcher, Esq. 



10 


10 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





1 


1 





2 


2 





1 


1 





2 


2 





1 


1 





10 








5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





1 


1 





1 








2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





1 


1 





2 


2 





2 


2 





1 


1 





3 


3 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





1 


1 





1 


1 





2 


2 





1 


1 





2 


2 





2 


2 





1 


1 





1 


1 





1 


1 






656 



SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



George Ross Wilsone, Esq. 

John Crum, Esq. - 

Walter Crum, Esq. 

John Bryce, Esq. 

George Buchanan, Esq., D. H. 

Andrew Jamieson, Esq. 

J. Gumprecht, Esq. 

John Anderson, Esq. 

Charles Stirling, Esq. 

William Leckie Ewing, Esq. 

David Ferguson, Esq. 

The Reverend John Forbes 

John Alston, Esq. 

Walter Buchanan, Esq. 

William Smith, Esq. 

James Campbell, Esq. — J. C, Son, and Co. 

James Brown, Esq. 

W. G. Anderson, Esq. 

George Hunter, Esq. 

John Loudoun, Esq. 

Robert Kinnier, Esq. 

William Hamilton, Esq. 

Archibald Bogle, Esq. 

John Downie, Esq. 

James Donaldson, Esq. 

James Dennistoun, Esq. 

Messrs. R. Dalgliesh, Falconer, and Co. 

James Lumsden, Esq. 

George Parker, Esq. 

Richard Kidston, Esq. 

Alexander Garden, Esq. 

J. G. Watson, Esq. 

Thomas Buchanan, Esq. 

James Buchanan, Esq. 

Allan Buchanan, Esq. 

Robert Blackie, Esq. 

J. A. Anderson, Esq. 

Robert Stewart, Esq. 

James Ellis, Esq. 

William Hall, Esq. (Kilmarnook) 

John Whitehead, Esq. 

Mungo Campbell, Esq. 

Peter Stewart, Esq. 

Professor Mylne 

William Wilson, Esq. (Ingram Street) 



£ 


s. 


d. 




1 







1 







1 







1 





2 


2 





2 


2 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 





2 


2 





2 


2 







1 







1 







I 







1 






1 

1 

1 

1 



2 








2 


2 





2 


2 







1 







1 







1 





2 


2 







1 







I 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 















1 







1 







1 





2 


2 





1 


1 






ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 



657 



£ s. d. 



T. S. Thomson, Esq. 

Doctor M. S. Buchanan 

James Richardson, junior, Esq. 

William Bennet, Esq. (Virginia Street) 

George Warden, Esq. 

William Mathieson, Esq. 

Michael Rowand, Esq. 

Thomas Dunlop Douglas, Esq. 

George Scheviz, Esq. 

John Smith, youngest, Esq. 

Henry Paul, Esq. 

Robert Hastie Lesmahagow 

William Jamieson, Esq. 

Mungo Campbell, junior, Esq. 

John Jamieson, junior, Esq. 

Matthew Alexander, Esq. 

Alexander Graham, Esq. 

William Middleton, Esq. 

Alexander Wilson, Esq. 

Professor Scoullar 

Lord John Campbell 

Doctor James Jaffray 

Reverend P. Macmaster Gervan 

Adam Wilson, Esq. 

William Murray, Esq. 

Andrew Johnston, Esq. 

Alexander Morrison, Esq. 

Doctor Phillip Whiteside, Ayr 



Second Subscription. 

Colin Dunlop, Esq. 
Charles M c Intosh, Esq. 
George M c Intosh, Esq. 

Third Subscription. 

Doctor A. J. Hannay 
J. Hannay, Esq. 

£, 203 16 
Expenses of meeting, advertisements, &c. 11 11 



- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 


2 


2 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 


2 


2 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 










- 




1 





- 


2 


2 





- 


2 








- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





- 




1 





£ 


193 


8 







5 


o 





- 


2 


2 





- 


1 


1 






1 
I 














6 



£ 192 4 6 



U U 



658 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 

Greenock. Transmitted by George Oughterson, Esq. 



James Oughterson, Esq. 

Quinton and James Leitch, Esqrs. 

Robert Steel, Esq. - 

William Macfie, Esq. 

James Stuart, Esq. - 

Robert Angus ... 

Messrs. John Scott and Sons 

Andrew Ramsay, Esq. 

Messrs. Hunter, Oughterson, and Co. 

Messrs. James Hunter and Co. 

Robert Ewing, Esq. - 

James Ritchie, Esq. 

Adam M'Leish, Esq. 

James Hunter, Esq. 

James Watt, Esq. - - 

Messrs. Robert and George Blair 

William Simons, Esq. 

John Gray, Esq. - 

Maitland Young, Esq. 

Thomas Farrie, Esq. 

Houston Stewart, Esq. 

George Noble, Esq. - 

Ninian Hill, Esq. - 

James Miller, Esq. - 

Messrs. Alan Ker and Co. 

Robert W T allace, Esq., M. P. for Greenock 

The Reverend Thomas Brown (Innerkip) 

Robert Jamieson, Esq. of Glasgow 

Messrs. Bownlie, Buchanan, and Co. 

Walter Bain, junior, Esq. 

Mrs. Crooks (Leven) 

Alexander Croal, Esq. 

Thomas Nichol, Esq. - 

David Heron, Esq. - 

Roger Ayton, Esq. 

John Campbell, Esq. (Kilblain) 



£ 


s. 


d. 


5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





5 


5 





2 


2 





5 


5 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





2 


2 





3 


3 





5 


5 





5 


5 





1 


1 





5 


5 





5 


5 





3 


3 





3 


3 








10 


6 





10 


6 





10 


6 


1 


1 





1 


1 






j£130 14. 6 
Additional - 4 12 6 



a£l35 7 



N. B. — £4 12s. 6d. received above the amount of 
this List, but there is no means of accounting for it. 



ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 



659 



Liverpool. Transmitted by Lord Viscount Sandon, 
through Admiral Sir William Hotham, K.C.B. 

£ s. d. 

The Mayor - - ' " * n 

Lord Viscount Sandon - - 10 

James Aspinall. Esq. - - 

Robertson Gladstone, Esq. - inn 

Sir Thomas Branker - " inn 

T. B. Horsfall, Esq. - - inn 

H. R. Sandbach, Esq. - - 10 

John Moss, Esq. - 10 

Henry Moss, Esq. - inn 

William Latham, Esq. - - " " 

Arnold Harrison, Esq. - c\ c\ 

Thomas Tobin, Esq. - - o u 

Charles Laurence, Esq. - " 

Francis Shand, Esq. - " 

Henry Stevenson, Esq. - - inn 

William Jurrie, Esq. - " " 

John Ewart, Esq. - inn 



1 



William Hadfield, Esq. 
R. McAndrew, Esq. 
William K. Ewart, Esq. 
Harmood Banner, Esq. 
Elias Arnaud, Esq. 



1 
1 
1 







J. Sandars, Esq. - 

T» Tl _ -{JO 

- 5 

- 1 

- 1 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 10 

- 1 

- 1 



R. B. 

A Friend, per J. C. Nicholson, Esq. 

Mrs Jones - 

C. S. Parker, Esq. 
Richard Rathbone, Esq. 
Thomas Booth, Esq. 
Alexander M c Gregor, Esq. 
M. D. Loundes, Esq. 
Thomas Wilson, Esq. 
John Woolwright, Esq. 

D. C. Buchanan, Esq. - - " n in n 
H. Garston, Esq. - - " " " " 
R. A. Fletcher, Esq. 
R. Aleson, Esq. 
Richard Dobson, Esq. 
H. Hargreaves, Esq. 
S. Carson, Esq. 
Thomas Langton, Esq. 
G. M c Minn, Esq. 

U U c 2 





1 

1 

1 

1 

1 

1 



660 SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 



T. Fletcher, Esq. 

John Machell, Esq. 

Henry Ashton, Esq. 

Edward Guffen, Esq. 

Henry Wilson, Esq. 

Mrs. James Dawson - 

Robert Horsfall, Esq. 

William Myers, Esq. - 

William Comer, Esq. 

John Taylor, Esq. - 

Robert Preston, Esq. 

William Waler, Esq. 

Hardinan Earle, Esq. 

William Joseph Myers, Esq. 

Francis Haywood, Esq. 

James Cocksholt, Esq. 

R. B. B. Hollinshead, Esq. 

Henry Harrison, Esq. 

George Holt, Esq. - 

Daniel Waterhouse, Esq. 

Thomas Harrison, Esq. 

James M c Gregor, Esq. 

Arnold Littledale, Esq. 

Stewart Gladstone, Esq. 

Joseph Hornby, Esq. 

Isaac Cooke, Esq. ... 

Henry Robson, Esq. 

Thomas Brocklebank, Esq. 

J. B. Yates, Esq. - 

William Potter, Esq. 

John Hall, Esq. - 

Joseph Langton, Esq. 

James Gilnllim, Esq. - 

James Hayworth, Esq. 

Ormerod Hayworth, Esq. 

William Rotheram, Esq. 

George Grant, Esq. 

William Brown, Esq. 

Laurence Heyworth, Esq. 

G. Brown Everton, Esq. 

Samuel Bright, Esq. 

John Cropper Everton, Esq. 

W. Jemmett Brown, Esq. 

W. F. Porter, Esq. 

Duncan Gibb, Esq. - - 10 



£ 


S. 


d. 


1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 


1 





1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 








1 











10 





l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








l 








i 

A 








1 








1 








1 









ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION, 



661 



£ s. d. 

Richard Harrison, Esq. - - Inn 

William Nicol, Esq. - - { 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 

- 1 
. - 10 

1 

- 1 

- 1 



William Laird, Esq. 
Thomas Leathom, Esq. 
Nicholas Roskell, Esq. 
William Dixon, Esq. 
Thomas Bolton, Esq. 
John Redgway, Esq. 
William Jones, Esq. 
William M c Cracken, Esq. 
Henry Holmes, Esq. 
John Holmes, Esq. 
Samuel Hope, Esq. 
Moses Edwards, Esq. 
William Smith, Esq. 



Ill 7 
Less expenses - 113 

£\m 14 



(Signed) James Aspinall, Treasurer 

Masham. By William Spence, Esq. 

William Danby, Esq. 
Timothy Hutton, Esq. 
Samuel Wrather, Esq. 
Captain Wrather 
Miss Wrather 
Miss E. Spence 



2 

1 

1 

1 

2 
1 



e£8 



Newbury. Transmitted by F. Page and J. E. Winter- 
bottom, Esqrs. 

Charles Eyre, Esq. (Weford House) 

C.J. 

S. H. 

John Pearse, Esq. (Chilton Lodge) 

Frederick Page, Esq. (Goldwell) 

J. E. Winterbottom, Esq. (Woodhay) 

Collected - - " 

P. Duncan, Esq. (New College, Oxford) 

John Duncan, Esq. (Bath) 

Charles Slocock, Esq. (Donington) 

Henry Tull, junior, Esq. (Crookham) 



1 











2 


6 





2 


6 


1 


1 





3 








3 











15 





1 








1 








1 








1 









66% SUBSCRIBERS TO THE 

s€ s. d. 

Richard Tull, Esq. (Ditto) - -10 

Lieutenant Le Mesurier, R. N. - 10 

Alfred Slocock, Esq. (Newbury) - - 1 

Chatteris, Esq. (Newtown) - -10 

J. B. - - - 10 

Collected - - - 15 

Miss Brinton - - - - 1 

R. Compton, Esq. - - - 1 

Collected by Ladies - - - 1 16 

John Frederick Winterbottom, Esq. - - 1 

Richard Townsend Winterbottom, Esq. - 10 

Mrs. Winterbottom - - - 1 

Miss Winterbottom - - - 1 1 

Mrs. Page - - - - 2 

*£27 13 



Portsmouth. Transmitted by James Pinhorn, Esq., Se- 
cretary to the late Admiral Sir Thomas Foley, G. C. B. 

Colonel Sir Richard Williams, K. C. B. - 2 

Major-General Sir Henry Worseley, K. C. B., 

rl. E. I. C. S. 
S. Goodrich, Esq. - 

Captain William Turner, R. N. 
Captain Askew, R. N. 
Rear- Admiral Sir T. L. Maitland 
Edward Casher, Esq. 
H. Deacon, Esq. 
Lieutenant Godench, R. N. 
Lord Colchester 

Captain Robert Tait, H. M. S. Spartiate 
The Countess of Northesk 



- 5 








1 








1 








1 








- 5 








1 








1 








- 


12 





- 5 








- 1 








- 1 








a£24 


12 






Plymouth. Transmitted by James White, Esq. 

In Single Shilling Subscriptions - - 14 14 

In Shillings and Sixpences, in a Box placed at 
Commercial Rooms, Plymouth, and afterwards 
at Devonport - - - -0156 

Miss Darracott - - - -0100 

Captain Frazer, Revenue Service - - 5 



ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION. 



663 



Lieutenant Sanhey, R. N. 
Mr. May, Savings' Bank 
Miss Ann Arthur 



Less postage 



£ 


s. 


d. 


- 


2 


6 


- 


2 


6 


- 


2 


6 


£ 16 


12 








2 





£16 


10 






Stranraer. 



Transmitted through Messrs. Robert Allen 
and Son, Hankers, Edinburgh. 



Sir James Hay, of Park Place, Baronet 

Andrew M c Dowall of Logan, Esq. 

John Cathcart of Genoch, Esq. 

Forbes H. Blair of Dunskey, Esq. 

Edward Stewart, M. P. 

The Reverend P. Ferguson (Inch) 

Lieutenant-Colonel R. M c Dowall (Stranraer) 

Doctor Ritchie (Challoch) 

Captain Hutchison, R. N. 

The Reverend David Wilson (Stranraer) 

The Reverend William Kergoe (Newluse) 

The Reverend William Rose (Kirkcolm) 

Mr. Charles Morland (Stranraer) 

Mr. Alexander M c Neel (Ditto) 

Mr. John Douglas (Ditto) 

Mr. Robert Wilson (Ditto) 

Mr. Alexander McDowall (Ditto) 

Mr. William M c Kinnel (Ditto) 

Mr. John Paterson (Ditto) 

Mr. John Agnew (Ditto) 

Mr. Simon Gartley (Ditto) 

Mr. William Main (Ditto) 

Mr. Andrew Irvine (Ditto) 



10 


10 





10 


10 





5 


£ 





5 


5 





2 


2 





3 


3 





2 


2 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 







1 








10 





■ 


10 





■ 


5 





£53 


15 






THE END. 



London: 

Printed by A. Spottiswoode, 
New- Street • Square. 






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