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Extracts from my Journal in Canada continued.

Our first object was to recruit a complement of Canadian voyageurs from the band that were usually to be found loitering about the place. This arrangement was left to one of the party who, having passed the greatest portion of his life in North America, knew the habits of the various tribes, both civil and uncivilized. From the voyageurs attached to the North West Company he engaged a number sufficient, as he supposed, for our purpose, and, having laid in a supply of provisions, ammunition, and Indian goods, we embarked in one of those great canoes at that time universally used by the fur-traders for navigating the intricate and obstructed rivers. It was nearly forty feet long, and was constructed of birch bark, sewed with fibres of the roots of the spruce-tree, and daubed with the resin of the pine instead of tar. The cargo was made up in packages weighing about 100lbs. each, for the facility of loading and unloading, and of transportation at the portages. The canoe itself, although capable of holding a freight of upwards of four tons, could easily be carried on the men's shoulders. Our craft was to be managed by a crew of ten, with two picked veterans, who were to receive double pay. These, termed the foreman and steersman, were to take their stations, one at the bow and the other at the stern, to keep a look out "a-head" and steer. The remainder, who were to work the paddles, were called middle-men.

In a few days, all having been reported ready, we took our departure from St. Anne's, near the extremity of the island of Montreal, the great starting-place of traders for the interior. Here, formerly, stood the ancient chapel of St. Anne, the patroness of the Canadian voyageurs, immortalized by Moore in those exquisite lines

"Faintly as tolls the evening chime,

Our voices keep tune, and our oars keep time.
Soon as the woods on shore look dim,
We'll sing at St. Anne's our parting hymn."

It was here the boatmen made confession, and offered up

their vows,

previous to departing on any hazardous expedition. The shrine of the saint was decorated with relics and votive offerings, either to propitiate her favour or in gratitude for some signal deliverance. It was the custom, too, of these devout vagabonds, after leaving the chapel, to have a grand carouse in honour of St. Anne, and for the prosperity of the voyage; and in this part of their duties our crew proved themselves by no means deficient. The expedition now made its way up the Ottawa, and, by the ancient route of the fur-traders, along a succession of small lakes and rivers to Michilimackinac-Anglicé, The Great Turtle. Our progress was slow and tedious, as the crew pulled regular "dock-yard fashion," and were ever ready to come to a halt, land, light a fire, put on the great pot, eat, drink, smoke, and gossip by the hour.

It was not until the first of August that we arrived at Mackinaw, situated on the island of the same name, at the confluence of Lakes Huron and Michigan. Mackinaw, at the period I write of, was a mere village, stretching along a small bay, with a fine broad beach in front of its principal row of houses, and defended by an old fort, which crowned an impending height. Here, at certain seasons, the traders arrived from all points—from Lake Superior and its tributary waters, the Mississippi, the Arkansas, the Missouri, and other regions of the west. During our stay, the place swarmed like a hive with traders, trappers, voyageurs, Indians, North-Westers, South-Westers, travellers, and idlers. Here we engaged a party of "natives" to accompany us in our sporting expedition; and there is no portion of North America more abundantly supplied with fish, aquatic fowls, and game. Myriads of ducks and wild geese frequent the rivers, bays, and lakes, and can be easily shot, as our party could testify. Turkeys, quails, grouse, pigeons, and hawks are numerous; while bears, wolves, elk, deer, foxes, beaver, otter, musk-rats, martin, racoon, wild cats, rabbits, and squirrels are found in the forests. Nothing can exceed the extent and beauty of these woods, consisting of oak, sugar, maple, beech, ash, poplar, white and yellow pine, hickory, cedar, plum, walnut, crab-apple, cherry, black and honey-locust. There is likewise an undergrowth of aromatic shrubs and creepers, together with berries of various kinds— cranberries, whortleberries, blackberries, currants, sloes, and chokecherries.

But to return to our sport. After two good days' shooting, we reached a great fishing place, and found a large body of Indians busily engaged in killing and drying salmon. Here there was a perpendicular fall of upwards of five-and-twenty feet on one side of the river, while on the other was a succession of rapids. The fish were taken in incredible numbers as they attempted to shoot the falls. It was the height of the season, and at sunrise the whole camp of Indians turned out to commence their piscatorial pursuits. The salmon began to leap as soon as the day dawned, and at that hour the black disciples of old Izaak swam to the centre of the falls, where some stationed themselves upon rocks, and others stood to their waists in the water, all armed with spears, to assail the monarchs of the finny tribe as they attempted to leap, or fell back exhausted. It was an incessant slaughter, so great was the throng of fish. The construction of the spears used on this occasion was peculiar. The head was formed of a straight piece of elk-horn, about seven inches long, on the point of which an artificial barb was made fast, with twinę

well gummed. This head was stuck on the point of the shaft, a very long willow pole, to which it was likewise connected by a strong cord a few inches in length. When the spearman makes a sure blow, he frequently strikes the head of the spear through the body of the fish. It comes off easily, and leaves the salmon struggling with the string through its body, while the pole is still held by the spearman. Were it not for the precaution of the string, the willow shaft would be snapped by the struggles and weight of the fish.

Having purchased a good supply of "kippered salmon" from these wild fishermen, we returned to Mackinaw, where, after remaining a day to attend a feast given by a resident Scotch merchant to Charley Coolhurst, who had claimed kindred with him as a cousin twenty times removed, we augmented our party to thirty, and made preparations for embarking, But the embarkation of a crew of Canadian voyageurs on a distant expedition was not so easy a matter as we had anticipated, especially as we had paid them their first fortnight's wages in advance. Like British tars, the Canadian boatmen universally preface a long cruise with a carouse, and such was the case on the night previous to our departure. We had accepted Malcolm McAllister's invitation to "spoon exercise" (as Fanny Kemble calls it, in her American Travels), and nothing could exceed the hospitality of our host. The tables were amply supplied with game of all kinds, the freshest fish, the finest venison, with other hunters' delicacies-buffalo tongues and beavers' tails. Here for hours did we sit, and listen with astonished ear to the tales of hardships and adventures of the "North-Westers." There was no stint of generous wine, for it was a hard-drinking era-a time of loyal sentiments, Bacchanalian songs, and brimming bumpers. Our host toasted his new-found cousin ; Charley responded with burning eloquence, and drank the McAllister. I also came in for a share of the honours. We then pledged to a dozen beauties; each drank to the "girl he had left behind him," and morning dawned ere we had drunk the doc-an-dorrus. While we thus revelled in hall, and made the rafters of our banquetingroom (a huge log house, ornamented with skins of every wild animal, spears, and war-like implements) resound with bursts of loyalty, patriotism, and old Scotch songs, chanted by voices cracked and sharpened by the northern blast, our merriment was echoed and prolonged by a legion of Indian hunters, voyageurs, and hangers-on, who feasted sumptuously without, making the welkin ring with snatches of old French ditties, mingled with yelps, whoops, and yellings. Every cabaret and settler's booth along the bay resounded with the scraping of fiddles; the night was given up to feasting; and it was with the greatest difficulty we extricated our crew from the clutches of the publicans, and got "all hands" on board.

Thence we pursued the usual route by Green Bay, Fox River, and the Wisconsin, the Prairie du Chien, to that great artery of the west, the Mississippi, and thence down to St. Louis, where we landed on the 1st of September.

Having a letter of introduction to a leading partner of a fur company established at this most thriving town, we were most hospitably received, and passed a few days most agreeably at his residence. St. Louis being the last fitting-out place for the Indian trade of the south-west, was, at the time I refer to, most fully if not fashionably attended. There might


be seen, the boatmen of the Mississippi, men of iron, proof against all
weather, hard fare, and perils of every kind, mingling with the gay,
good-humoured Canadian voyageurs, who, inheriting much of the light-
ness of heart of their ancestors, were feasting, gaming, and indulging
in every gentleman-like (!) extravagance and revelry. Vagrant Indians
of various tribes, deserters from the British army, unsettled settlers,
Now and then a stark Kentucky hunter,
wandered about the streets.
in leathern dress, with his rifle slung across his shoulder and "bowie"-
knife in belt, strode along, looking down upon some bustling, active
shopkeeper. Here and there were eager men of traffic from the United

The town itself was founded by some French traders in 1764. It extends for about two miles along the river, in three narrow parallel ill-paved streets, rising above each other in terraces, and has, within the present century, been greatly improved. The houses are, for the most part, St. built of limestone, and are surrounded with gardens. There are abundance of coffee-shops, billiard tables, a theatre, and dancing rooms. Louis is, in fact, a miniature New Orleans. Anxious to proceed on our expedition, we determined to push up the river as far as possible, to some point where game was plentiful; accordingly, within three days we took our departure. Our party was distributed in two boats; one was a barge formerly used in navigating the Mohawk river, the other was a large keel boat, at that time the great conveyance on the Mississippi. In this way we set out in buoyant spirits, and soon arrived at the mouth of the Missouri. The waters of the Mississippi at its confluence with the Missouri are moderately clear, and of a greenish hue. The Missouri is torpid and opaque, of a greyish white colour; and, during its floods, which occur twice a year, communicates, almost instantaneously, its We found our sails predominating qualities, to the combined stream. but of casual assistance, as it required a strong wind to conquer the force of the current; our main dependence was on the bodily strength and manual dexterity of the crew.

The boats, generally speaking, required to be propelled by oars and setting poles, or drawn by grappling hooks, from one root or overhanging tree to another; the long cordelle, or towing line, was occasionally used, where the shores were sufficiently clear of woods and thickets to permit the men to pass along the banks. During this long and tedious progress, our craft were exposed to frequent danger from floating trees, and masses of drift wood, or of being impaled upon "snags" and "sawyers""Anglice," sunken trees-presenting a jagged or pointed end above the As the channel of the river frequently shifted surface of the water. from side to side, according to the bends and sandbanks, the boats had, Often, a part of the in the same way, to advance in a zig-zag course. crew would leap into the water at the shallows, and wade along with the towing line, while their comrades on board toilfully assisted with oar and setting pole.

The territory of the Missouri, while it was in a state of nature, abounded with wild animals, which have as usual fled before the approach of civilization, and have taken refuge farther in the desert. These were the buffalo and the great brown bear, the latter a formidable animal, both from its size, strength, extreme ferocity, and, above all, its tenacity of life. Wild horses are found in droves, on the prairies, between the

Arkansaw and Red rivers; they are very fleet and difficult to be taken, and are of various colours; they are occasionally captured by expert riders, on swift domesticated horses, by means of a noose thrown with inconceivable dexterity over their necks. Deer, elk, bears, wolves, panthers, and antelopes, are numerous. Wolves and panthers follow the buffalo herds, and feed on the calves. The grizzly or white bear is found on the head branches of the Missouri, and is as ferocious as the great brown bear. Cabree and moose are plentiful, but Rocky Mountain sheep are the most common animals. The natives at the point to which we directed our steps, which was an Indian settlement, generally live by fishing; it is true, they occasionally hunt the elk and deer, and ensnare the waterfowl of the ponds and rivers, but these are casual luxuries, their chief subsistence being derived from the fish which abound in the rivers and lakes. As the Indians of the plain, who depend upon the chase, are bold and expert riders, and pride themselves upon their horses, so these piscatory tribes excel in the management of canoes, and are never more at home than when riding upon the waters. Their canoes vary in form and size; some are upwards of thirty feet long, cut out of a single tree. The bow and stern are decorated with grotesque figures of men and animals. In managing their frail barks, they kneel, two and two, along the bottom, sitting on their heels, and wielding paddles from four to five feet long, while one sits at the stern, and steers with a paddle of the same kind. The women are equally expert in managing the canoe, and (as females are often wont to do) generally take the helm. The first day after our arrival, we accompanied our Indians upon a fishing expedition, but it appeared to us tame after what we had previously witnessed. Sometimes they spear sturgeon and salmon, but more frequently use the net, and the hook and line. Occasionally they sink a rope in the river, by a heavy weight, with a buoy at the upper end to keep it flouting; to this rope several hooks are attached by short lines, a few feet distant from each other, and are baited with small fish. This apparatus is often set at night, and by the next morning several sturgeon will be found hooked by it; for although a large and strong fish, they make but little resistance when thus caught. Salmon are taken in vast quantities, principally with the siene net. The country we were in, abounded with aquatic and land birds, such as swans, wild geese, brant, ducks of almost every description, pelicans, herons, gulls, snipes, curlews, eagles, vultures, crows, ravens, magpies, woodpeckers, pigeons, partridges, pheasants, grouse, and a great variety of what Tilburina calls "the finches of the grove." The principal quadrupeds that had been seen by the Indians were the stag, fallow deer, hart, black and grizzly bear, antelope, bighorn, beaver, otter, musk-rat, fox, wolf, and panther; the latter extremely rare. The only domestic animals were horses and dogs. According to the settlers' account, the grizzly bear is the only really formidable animal. He is the favourite theme of the hunters of the far west, who describe him as equal in size to a cow, and of prodigious strength. He makes battle if assailed, and often, if pressed by hunger, becomes the assailant. If wounded, he becomes furious, and will pursue the hunter; his speed exceeds that of a man, but is inferior to that of a horse. In attacking, he rears himself on his hind legs, and springs the length of his body-woe to horse or rider that comes within the sweep of his terrific claws, which are sometimes eight

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