A Wisconsin Fur-Trader's Journal, 1803-04

By Michel Curot1

 Journal Folle Avoine, River Jaune2 for 1803, & 1804.


I left the Grand Portage3 the 28 of JULY, towards nine o'clock in the morning with two canoes and the following men: Jean Bt Roi, Alexis Beaudoin, Tousst Savoiard, Bazile David, Joseph Boisvert, Jean Connor, Joseph Lizotte, Francois Lizotte, J. Lajeunesse, Claude Milliette, Guillaume and Hubert Deau4 (Jean B. Roi and Joseph Lizotte were to be left at the Fond du Lac; Alexis Beaudoin was to go and rejoin Mr. McBean5 in case he had left the Fond du Lac; Claude Milliette was to go with Mr. Bouvier; J. Lajeunesse for Mr. Chaurette,6 and return to the Grand Portage; Guillaume and Hubert Deau with Francois Lizotte).  Three savages, 2 women not including those of Savoiard and Beaudoin, 2 little girls who were, however, left at Fond du Lac; 7 where I arrived Sunday the 7th of August at half past seven in the morning. It being the 10th day after my departure from the Grand Portage; there having been al1 the time contrary winds, to hinder our route and keep us from sooner arriving at the Fond du Lac.  On landing Roi's canoe filled with water from a great rolling wave.  A great part of the luggage was swept out into the lake; the men had great difficulty and trouble to secure it again, the wind and waves increased greatly.   Finally, however, every thing was saved except two bags of corn, which could not be got.  They hunted for them again the next morning the 8th, when I was encamped with Mr. McBean, who was waiting for provisions from the Grand Portage on the return of Mr. Nelson, 8 whom I had met the second of the present month at a place near the two islands.  He had there asked for Lajeun­esse.  The young man for a long time refused to embark in his canoe; finally, however, he did so, and Mr. Nelson having a good wind in the rear, continued his route, while I was obliged to camp.  At the requisition of Mr. McBean, I borrowed from Roi a sack of corn, he promising to write to Sir Mackenzie9 to send him another by the canoe that was to come to the Fond du Lac.  He did not know what time it would arrive, but the canoe having come, I returned it to him, Mr. McBean having given me one before setting off for his wintering place.


Tuesday 9.  Not finding canoes made for me, I had the men go off as follows: Gardant Smith10 to mend his own canoe; to Tousst. Savoiard, Jean. Bt. Roi, Bazile David, Joeseph Boisvert, and Jean Connor I gave a keg of H. W.11 and some cloth to go and buy some canoes or have two made.   I gave to the men in parting a bottle of rum and I made them dry the bales that were wet.  La Prairie12 passed this morning with 2 canoes, and Mr. McBean was also in the portage. 

Wednesday 10.   Smith worked all day mending his canoe. Mr. McBean arrived this evening at 8 o’clock. 

Thursday 11, Friday 12, Saturday 13.   Much wind from the north; visited the nets, took 5 fish. 

Sunday 14.  The men visited the nets, and brought 4 fish.  Smith refused today his ration having demanded that of his wife, who is absent, so I refused to give it.  He said that he had the right to receive two pints of corn per day, that he was determined to have all or nothing.  I told him that if he had his wife with him, that I would not refuse him, but since she was absent I could give him only his share.  He turned his back, saying that he would get it elsewhere. I offered him a Chopine13 a day for his children, which he likewise refused.  At noon Messrs. Grignon14, Nelson, and La Marche15 arrived.  Having received a letter from Sir Mackenzie, dated the 5th of the month, that told me to fix it up with Smith.  I had him come to my tent, where I told him that I would give him the two rations since he demanded them, that I was informed that he designed to leave the society's service to go to Mr. Réaume, 16 and that he tried to pick a quarrel with me, because he was jealous of one of the men who was going into the interior with him. He had nothing to reply. 

Monday 15.  Smith came this morning to get his rations, which I gave him.  I fear that he will yet leave me before we go, because Last evening he was at Mr. Réaume's camp, who was below on the other side. I believe he is jealous of David. 

Tuesday 16.  Nelson and La Marche left this morning at 5 o’clock for La Pointe.  Mr. Réaume passed with two canoes, having left Babeux behind to make some gum and go and rejoin him at the entrance of the river Brulé.  Messrs. Grignon and Mc­Bean crossed from the other side this morning to choose a place to build Mr. Grignon's house.17  Mr. McBean left for his wintering18 at nine o’clock.  This evening my men arrived from La Pointe with two canoes, that cost 2 Kegs of mixed rum, one 2 1/2 point blanket, and one Brasse19 of cloth. 

Wednesday, Thursday 17, 18.  After gumming the canoes yesterday, I left today.  I was obliged to buy another little canoe of a woman, whom I have begged Mr. Grignon to pay for it 2 little capotes and one 2 1/2 point blanket.  I gave her 2 pots20 of mixed rum.  Smith's canoe was no good, taking in much water.  I went to the entrance of the river, where I was detained by the wind. 

Sunday 21.  I departed and camped 3 1/2 Leagues from Brulé river, being obliged to use too much force on account of the wind in the open lake which came up all at once and lasted until the next day morning.  When it lessened I set out and arrived towards 11 o’clock [at the mouth of Brulé River] and there found Mr. Réaume.  The men had cooked their corn.  I camped a little higher up the river until Tuesday the 23rd when I set out.  Smith & David went in the little canoe with the following luggage: 7 kegs of H. W., 1 roll of tobacco.  I told Smith to cache 5 kegs and to make haste.   I left this camp 5 hours afterwards.   Savoiard and I in the biggest canoe; Boisvert and Connor in the other and slept at the farther end of the first decharge.21  The portage must be about 2 arpents. A little rain fell during the night. 

Wednesday 24.  I left this place at midday and kept on until 4 o'clock when we camped.  

Thursday 25.  At 8 o’clock we embarked and camped at 4 o’clock. 

Friday 26.  We had a little rain this morning.  The weather having cleared, we proceeded and passed the night at the first of the 3 décharges, having broken my canoe twice. 

Saturday 27.  Late this morning we passed the packages across the portage of that décharge and then that of the second, camping at the foot of the third, which we have to surmount tomorrow. 

Sunday 28.  Had Savoiard and Boisvert take up the canoes and Conner the loading.  This portage is much longer and harder than the other two.22  Connor was ill, and could not keep on carrying.  I had him take a little sugar and water, which somewhat revived him.  I camped at the other end of the portage, as the rain began to fall and lasted until the next day. 

Monday 29. The rain continued all the morning.  Towards 4 o’clock in the afternoon, 3 savages arrived at this encampment, namely Le Grand Razeur, the son of le Male, and Le petit Male.23  Le Grand Razeur gave me 20 deer skins in the red.  I gave him some rum, and he and the other two drank all night.  I gave them a credit, they promising me to go immediately into the interior to make the plus, and that I should see them in the course of the next winter.  I was a long time making up my mind, telling them that last year they had not paid Smith and that I feared they would do the same this year.  Le Grand Razeur said that it was Smith's fault that they had not paid him last year, that he went out too soon; that he himself had the means to pay, but that not having found Smith, he had traded his plus partly with La Prairie and had brought the rest to Mr. Cadotte.24  The son of le Male showed me a letter, sign­ed by La Croix for La Prarie,25 dated the 20th of this month, addressed to Mr. Réaume.  That letter, having an open seal, I read there is no wild rice this year,26 he was obliged to go to the river au Serpent to trade.27  The savages said the same thing and that they had met Smith, to whom they had told the same. 

Tuesday 30.  I slept this day at la petitte Prairie, 28 having left the savages at the encampment before going to find Mr. Réaume, who had slept at the other end of the portage.  Le petit Male came one hour after us and camped.  In the night his dogs, and perhaps that of Boisvert, and those of Savoiard ate 2 deer skins, although the baggage had been well covered, and the skins were in the middle.  The pieces that were left were no bigger than the palm of the hand. 

Wednesday 31.  I slept a little higher up than the encampment of La Grande Prairie,29 having camped early. 

SEPTEMBER 1, Thursday.   Le Grand Razeur came to camp with us yesterday evening.  I gave him some rum for the 20 deer skins.  I was obliged to give to him, as well as to le petit male, a little keg of mixed [rum].  The savages have set their traps for beaver but taken nothing. 

Friday 2.  I passed the night at a place a half mile above the rapids of l'eau qui Dort.30   We mounted all the rapids yesterday. 

Saturday 3.  The last [rapid], which is the shortest but the strongest of the River Brulé, they call the rapide a' Vassal, so named because that gentleman when he entered this country could not mount it without making the portage, which is very short.  I slept this day at le Petit Pakouijawin, having encamped early.31 

Sunday 4.  I had Savoiard and Boisvert make up each a bed with a piece of cloth for each and blankets and I encamped at a League and a half this side of the St. Croix portage, where I arrived not without difficulty in passing the canoes along the little channel that leads to the portage.32 

Monday 5.  About midday David came to meet us.  Thinking he had returned from la folle avoine, I asked him how many fawn-skins [of rice] 33 they had got.  What was my surprise when he told me that had not been any farther than the other end of the portage where they had been waiting for me for 6 or 7 days to get some gum and provisions, that they had had to fast, and could not procure any gum to mend their canoes which they had broken.  I gave him some pork and flour that he took to the other end of the portage to Smith.  Savoiard and Boisvert were obliged to make two trips, after unloading the canoes in order to pass them along the channel without any damage, and Connor carried all the packages to the top of the bluff.34 

Tuesday 6.  At 11 o’clock this morning, all the pack­ages had been carried to the other end of the portage where the canoes did not arrive until evening. 

Wednesday 7.  Smith and Savoiard had mended and gummed their canoes.  I camped this day on the island,35 in order to set the nets, and wait for Mr. Réaume, who had passed the night at the portage we had just crossed. 

Sunday 11.  I stayed, until not getting any fish, Smith told me that there was another place at the entrance of the river au Boeuf,36 where there would be perhaps a better chance.  I did not have the nets set, for scarcely had the men unloaded the canoes when 3 savages put in an appearance; Ouaisza, Messeganne and the son of le Brochet.  Ouaisza gave me a wild goose and some fish, asking me at the same time for credit; he said he had paid Smith well the last year, and that he would pay me well.  I gave him what he needed, and the other two also, as Smith knew them to be good hunters.  They asked some rum of me, I gave them a pint which they drank that night. 

Monday 12.  Between 11 o’clock and noon we left the savages at the encampment to go on to l'eau claire37 where Smith had set our nets.  Afterward having raised them twice, we took 32 fish.  When we left the encampment, Smith told me that one of the savages threatened to plunder us; that we ought to be on our guard in going down; for it might easily happen that they would waylay us at some point.  Indeed we had scarcely gone ½ a League when Ouaisza rejoined us in a canoe with his wife, and said that if I did not give him some rum something bad would happen to someone.  Fearing that the threat would be followed by the deed, I gave him some rum, and he went off to find Messeganne who had threatened to plunder.  Right after dinner they came up and camped with us, and drank the rum I had given them.  Mr. Réaume an instant later also arrived and camped near us.  The savages teased me a great deal to let them have silverware on credit, especially Messeganne who insisted on seeing what was in the chest in my tent.   I told him I had papers in it.  “No”, said he, “I know better.  The traders always put silver in such places; I wish to see if I am right and if you have not lied.”  I held out a long time, and finally gained my point and did not open it.  Not succeeding in that way, he demanded of me some rum to carry away, saying to me that he was going off, and that I should not see him until the winter.  Fearing that he still had some evil design, I gave him a small keg, and he went away content. 

Tuesday 13.  Late this morning we left to go and camp at La meckoiganne.38  Rain began to fall about 4 o'clock and continued all night and until the next morning. 

Wednesday 14.  The rain having ceased, I went on to pass the night at La Bataille.39  Mr. Réaume camped with us.  I departed the next day. 

Thursday 15.  Having left Mr. Réaume at the encampment waiting for La Prairie's men, in order to get some gum, I went on and after descending all the rapids without accident passed the night at a place in the neighborhood of  le petit Gallet.40 

Friday 16.  Le Grand Male and Le petit Loup came to camp opposite us.  I gave them credit. I got from Le petit Loup, 2 fawn-skins of wild rice and one avola41 and a sack full of rice.  For this I paid a small calico shirt, and gave him a small keg of diluted rum.  From le Grand Male, [I got] a beaver for 8 strings of beads.  The latter being a chief, he ought, according to Smith's report to have a coat.  I had no rest until after I had promised to give him a keg of mixed rum, which I did the next morning.  Le petit Loup went with Savoiard deer hunting but they killed nothing.  I stayed at this encampment. 

Monday 19.  I camped on an island.42 4 savages came to me again to ask credit.  When I had given this I bought a fawn-skin of wild rice for 3 pints of mixed rum.  Hail fell today, as large as a bullet with very heavy thunder and lightning.  The brother-in-law of Smith came to camp at the end of the island and asked me to his lodge where I went with Smith.  He asked me for some ointment to put on his wound, having been stabbed with a knife by Payédigigue, when he wished to avenge the death of his brother that had been slain 3 or 4 days ago by le Razeur's band, close to the camp of La Prairie.  He also asked for a little rum in order to go off to his father at the river au Serpent, to weep for the son and brother.  I gave him some ointment and rum, and he delivered to me a Brasse of scarlet cloth, telling me not to be uneasy with regard to the rest of his credit, that the blow that he had received was not mortal (it was a little below the left shoulder), that he had had nothing from Mr. Réaume, and that as soon as he was better he would hunt in order to pay me.  He had solemnly promised Smith to go to the river au Serpent to get wild rice, saying that the savages there had cached43 a great deal. 

Tuesday 20.  Mr. Réaume having passed this morning, I left the island and went into camp near the house of la Prairie.44  I saw Le Grand Razeur, who gave me 3 fawn-skins of wild rice.  I did all that I could to hinder him from carrying off a half-keg of mixed rum, that he took in spite of me, saying that it was none too much for 3 fawn-skins of rice.  Savoiard had 4 chopines of mixed rum that he gave his mother-in-law.   I traded for the rum 4 fawn-skins of wild rice.  I bought 2 lynx and one deer skin for a little sugar and a few beads.  I traded for one otter and a large beaver. 

OCTOBER 1, Saturday.  Savoiard and Connor arrived this morning without bringing any news of Smith and Boisvert.45  The fear he had of the Sioux, and the firm belief that what he dreamed would occur made Savoiard put back, and had induced Connor to remount the rapids in the night, having been as far as the entrance of the river au Serpent.  There, the owl, bird of bad omen in this locality according to their report, since the Sioux imitate it the most frequently in their cries (if I may so express myself) had cried all night above his head, and Connor believed that he heard a whistle during the night, first on one side and then on the other side of the river, so that they believed that the Sioux had killed Smith and Boisvert.46 

Sunday 2.  Smith having appeared this morning on the other side of the river, the fear and apprehension of Savoiard all vanished.  If he had stayed until the next morning at the entrance of the river au Serpent, he would have seen Smith and I should not have been obliged to throw away about 3 fawn-skins full of wild rice, which was entirely rotted.  Smith had left Boisvert with his children at the river Grande47 to get some gum, or to send another canoe to the river Jaune tomorrow morning.  He did this. 

Monday 3.  I received in the afternoon 10 fawn-skins of rice, 2 bear cub skins, 12 deer skins, 1 otter, 1 avola and one lynx.  Smith having cached 10 other fawn-skins of rice being all he could get with one keg, 9 Gns [gallons] H. W.  According to Smith's report, the savages of the river an Serpent would have avenged the death of le Male’s son last Spring, if he had not arranged the matter during the winter.48  La Garde left this morning in a light canoe to go and rejoin Mr. Réaume; he had not gone over half the rapids of the river when one of his men, and he could scarcely speak, so hoarse they became.  This is the report of David and Savoiard, whom I had sent before Smith.  I got from le petit male a deer. 

Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5.  Babeux left by canoe this morning with his wife for the Fond du Lac, whence he is to guide Mr. Sayer.49  As far as this place, I got 2 dressed deer  skins from the wife of le petit Male.  I gave her for them ½ Brasse of cloth and a knife with a copper handle.  Her husband and Ouaisza left for a deer hunt.  Le petit Male killed nothing; Ouaisza came with one beaver and one otter.  He gave the beaver to La Prairie and gave me the otter, wherewith I credited him.  Ouaisza asked me for a man to go with him to find le Razeur's band and stay there until the winter.  I asked David if he wished to go and he said yes.  Savoiard would have been glad to go there with his wife, if she had been here, he could not without someone to dress skins; she has been with her mother since the 24th of last month.  Since Smith was not here, Savoiard did not wish to work at the house,50 saying that he is going with the savages in order to be sure of provision, that there is every probability that those who stay with me will be obliged to starve to the last extremity.  He has often been at La Prairie's house.  I do not know why, and it was only on the eve of Smith's arrival that I could persuade him to commence to work at the house. 

Thursday 6, Friday 7.  David left this morning with Ouaisza and Le petit Male and his wife to go and camp at the other end of Lake Jaune [Yellow Lake] 51 Réaume, where he could set traps for beaver and otter and also hunt deer. 

Saturday 8, Sunday 9, and Monday 10.  We have caught enough fish so that we do not need to use rice these three Days.  La Prai­rie arrived this morning with more fish and some dried meat. I don't know where he can have been for Smith tells me that all the savages have gone into the interior, and that there are none on the Grande River. 

Tuesday 11.  I asked Savoiard this morning to go after the 1/2 Cask of Rum that he had cached.  He replied that since I know where it was as well as he, I could go myself.  I punished him for his impertinence, which will be reported at the Grand Portage.  I then planned to let Smith go, who was ready.  I stopped him an instant, on which Savoiard who had been looking for the keg, said to me not to count on him any more, that a rascal should not serve an honest man and that since I was sending Smith to winter elsewhere, I could look up some other person to tell me what the savages wished to have me understand, when they should come to visit me. 

Wednesday 12.  Very early Boisvert came to find me at my tent,52 and tell me that Savoiard would do what I asked of him, that I could send Smith off.  I did so not without much grumbling on Savoiard's part, saying that it was nothing to do, that the women could help Smith to undertake the voyage from the river au Serpent.53  I let him talk and told Boisvert to go and help Smith to run the rapids of the river Jaune, and come back that night. I afterwards learned that Smith's wife had left him, and that he had taken another. 

Thursday 13.  Boisvert came back at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, having been delayed the evening before.  Rain had fallen at 5 o’clock and lasted until the next morning.  Boisvert brought 2 geese that Smith had killed yesterday en route.  All the time Boisvert was gone, Savoiard kept repeating that I would have his death to answer for, that I was the cause that he was lost or drowned.   I believe the poor wretch must have dreamed again.  At 7 o’clock, David arrived with the son of Le petit Male, they have been no farther than the watershed of the river a la Coquille.54   The wife of Ouaisza was too ill to permit them to continue their route.  He brought the meat of a deer, and 2 otters.  The savages requested him to go and find them in 8 days.  The rain lasted from Friday 14 to Saturday 15.  Boisvert broke his ax in cutting a piece of wood. 

Sunday 16.  Three savages of the Fond du Lac arrived at La Prairie's fort, the son of L'Hiver and the son of les Grand oreilles55 who came after dinner to our house.  I have never known where their hunting ground was, or whether they had any plus.  After telling them that I would send my men to their lodges with some rum and some merchandise to trade, they told me that they had nothing to trade with, that they had a credit of Mr. Grignon, and that they wished to pay him.  The daughter of le petit Male being ill, he came this evening with Ouaisza.  The first gave me 2 haunches of deer and one skin, 2 rats, a goose and 5 ducks.  The other gave me a goose.  I gave them a little rum and that night they had some medicine56 made for the sick child, having me retire with my men to the store,57 for the time being, with orders not to look. 

Monday 17.  The 3 savages went off this morning.  The clerk of La Prairie and one man with them, they had rum and some merchandise.  About 3 o’clock this afternoon the son of le vieux mauvais oiseau arrived at the fort, afterwards he came to the house.  I asked him if he came to look for the French.58  He said no, that the savages hadn't killed anything, that he was hungry, and that a few ducks and geese that he killed from time to time had kept them alive.   Mr. Réaume arrived in a light canoe with two men. 

Tuesday 18.  Three savages; La Sel, le Grand Fou, and Kaouincache, came here this evening to seek the Frenchmen and conduct them to the lodges of the others of their band to get the plus and meat.  I got from le Grand fou, 1 big beaver and a little dried meat, for which I gave him a little rum.  They have been to La Prairie's who gave them a pint of unadulterated [rum].  They drank that night in the house without my being able to stop them.  I refused to give them any more wishing them to leave early, wondering at La Prairie's having sent them that pint by Le Sel, who did not wish to drink him­self and went off as soon as they were drunk.  Savoiard hid a great part of the rum while they were away.  I had David and Boisvert get ready. 

Wednesday 19.  They left with the two savages this morn­ing.  La Prairie having gone earlier with Le Sel. 

Thursday 20.  Mr. Réaume left this morning, he took rum and merchandise.  La Prairie's clerk came with a bundle telling me to go after Smith, whom he had left below the big rapids of the river.  I sent Savoiard, and that afternoon they arrived. Smith accounted to me for the merchandise and the rum.  He got in going up from le Grand Male, 8 plus and 2 lynxes, giving him some rum.  He gave him 2 plus's worth of ammunition, one pair cloth sleeves, a 1½, Point blanket for some gum.  The wolves, so they told him, had broken into the cache he and Boisvert had made and eaten 7 fawn-skins of rice.  He brought me the 3 that were left.59   According to the report of Smith and of some women who came with him from The river au Serpent, the savages below for 10 days and 10 nights pillaged Mr. Réaume of a barrel of pure rum, and threatened to kill him, speaking of nothing but pillage and murder. 

Friday 18 [2l].  The little daughter of le petit Male died this morning, he came to announce it to me, begging me to fill for him a little kettle that he had in his hand, in order to weep for her.  I gave him 6 F'iolies60 of mixed rum, that it held, a little 1½ pt blanket to shroud her in, and one of my dishes that I lent him to add to the mourning. 

Saturday 22.  David and Boisvert arrived this morning bringing 62 plus, 7 muskrats, and 7 pieces of meat.  David brought a little savage with him to serve as guide in other Drouines.  I gave him a 2 point blanket, a pair of leggings, and mirror, in order to engage him to remain at the house; also a pair of shoes; and another pair to Connor for some little services he had rendered me en route. 

Sunday 23.  Le petit Male left this morning For lake la Coquille.61  I gave him another little keg of mixed rum, en­gaging him to come back in a few days to conduct David and Boisvert to the lodges of les Razeur.  This he promised to do. I had about 30 lb. of gum made that I paid 1/2 Ax, 1 pair of cloth leggings, and a few beads for. 

Monday 24.  Savoiard has gummed his canoe this morn­ing and left with Connor to go after 5 barrels of rum put in cache at L'eau Claire.  I advised him to bring only 4 to the house and to cache the other.  Smith took the best of the old nets to mend the other, and went this afternoon to Lake Jaune to set it.  Le petit Male came back this evening.  He brought me a bear cub and 2 avolas, and told me that the sav­ages were approaching, that I could send to their lodges, that they had plus.  I bought of a woman a big birch bark basket full of rice, that I paid a 2 1/2 point blanket for, also a little more than the half of another, that I paid ½ Brasse of cloth for.  My neighbor has given for each fawn-skin a Brasse of H. B. cloth.62 

Tuesday, Wednesday, 25 and 26.  I gave 2 shaved deer Skins that I had promised to le petit Male.  I asked David and Boisvert, although it was not their turn, to go, and they made no objection.  They got up in the night, cooked some things and at the break of day departed with the little savage who was to lead them to the lodges.  I gave them a keg of 2 gallon. H. W. pure. 

Thursday 27.  This morning David and Boisvert came back.  They got from the savages 15 plus in peltry, 10 beaver skins, 6 muskrats that David traded a few beads for, 1 cake of fat, and 5 plus in meat. 

Friday 28. This morning Smith left for the lodge of le Grand Male who should be at the Grande river.  David took a young girl 9 or 10 years old for his wife.  I sold him mer­chandise, and he sent her back to take another one, who was larger.  I also sold him some clothes to dress this second one.  About 3 o’clock in the afternoon Smith came back without having seen the savages.  Three savages came from Lake La Co­quille, Pichiquequi, Nenbennoi, and Ouaisza.  They asked rum of me, I refused them.  They went to La Prairie's fort and got some from his clerk that they brought to the house and there drank it, and spent the night. 

Saturday 29th.  At 10 o’clock this morning the 3 sav­ages left with a half keg of rum that they got at the fort.  They told me that La Prairie had passed the night before last at their lodges, that he had gone to try and find the lodges of les Razeur, that he would certainly not find them if he did not hire a savage for a guide, that in passing he had given them a little keg of rum.  I had planned to send thither, if the little sav­age had been in this region, he could have acted as guide but I was not able to find him just then.  Le petit Male who had agreed with me to act as guide no longer wished to do so.  He will go, he says, when he has taken up the body of his daughter and buried her at the lake of the folle avoine.63  La petitte mar­tre from Fond du Lac and a young savage have just come to La Prairie's fort, they asked for Frenchmen to go with them to their lodges, where they left Le Gros dos, with 25 plus and some meat.  I got [from them] a whole deer with the skin for 4 chopines of mixed rum.  He brought a letter from Mr. Sayer, who is to arrive in a very few days.  La petit Male gave me 2 sides of a deer--the skin he wished to have to go and trade at La Prairie's for some rum, that I would not give him.  I bought a pair of shoes made of deer skin, paying 2 Brasses of Nancy Prettys [sic].  I gave them to David and another pair to Boisvert.  Le Grand Male just came and gave me a haunch and one side of a deer with the skin.  He asked for a big keg of rum, saying that he is a Chief and will not be put off.  I told him he ought to be satisfied, I had already given him one as we came in, and that Smith for the few plus that he had, had given him 4 Fiolles of pure rum, but that I had no more to give without return, and that he must let me alone.  When he was hungry I would speak to him but not at present.  This night I traded with the son of le vieux mauvais oiseau, a pair of armlets worth 5 plus.  He gave me 4 on account, I ad­vanced him 3 more plus in earrings and a little cross.   Savoiard came this evening with 4 Kegs H. W. which unfor­tunately the savages saw brought into the house. 

Sunday 30th.  La Grande Male came again this morning to ask for some rum.  I made him the same reply as yesterday, he asked me for a little keg of 2 gallons that I refused; finally he demanded that I fill for him a little kettle that I had given him.  Not to be too severe as it only held 4 pints, I gave it to him telling him not to ask for any more that he couldn't have it.  La petit Male obliged me to give him 1 pint also.  I gave 2 pints to the son of le vieux mauvais oiseau and his father, an old man, who Smith and Savoiard say has been very useful to the traders.  La Petite martre asked me to send someone with him with some rum and merchandise to trade for his plus and those of the other savages; Savoiard says he will go and take what I send. 

Monday 31st.  I had Smith and Connor go off this morning to the lodge of le Brochet with some rum, ammunition, tobacco, and silverware that he had asked of Smith last autumn as we came in.  Also Savoiard with Boisvert to go with Le Petite martre, I gave them cloth and blankets, some rum, tobacco, and ammunition.  La petit male asked David to go with him to the folle avoine to look for rice and transport thither his daughter's body.  David sent off his second wife this morning after hav­ing taken from her a part of her belongings. 

NOVEMBER 1, Tuesday.  David left this morning about 9 o'clock with Le petit Male.  A moment after La Prairie arrived with his men.  Le Grand Male went to the fort and in an instant came out with a big tin kettle Full of rum, a large capote of blue molton trimmed with gilt tinsel, and a small one of the same color trimmed the same.  As soon as he was drunk, he came to find me, and as well as I could understand,64 asked me to give him a capote and some rum.  I told him that I couldn't that I didn't have either of them.  All the night it was the same demand and the same reply.  I had much trou­ble with this savage.  I received several blows of his fist, one especially that made my upper lip swell up. 

Wednesday 2.  This morning he came again to find me in order to get rum.  I still refused; he demanded some meat saying he was hungry.  I gave him a piece and led him to his lodge to cook it hoping that after eating that he would be a little less drunk.  After dinner he came and asked for another piece that I gave him, he wished to take me to La Prairie's fort.  I don't know why.  I didn't wish to go there.  About 3 o’clock Mr. Sayer arrived at the fort in his canoe with only his baggage, his wife, 2 children, a negro, and another man. 

Thursday 3.  Mr. Sayer has taken the men's house for himself and is having another one built for them.  The son of le viel mauvais oiseau left this morning to go and visit the traps that he had set from here to Lake a La Coquille and to continue as far as the lodges announcing to the savages Mr. Sayer's arrival.  At 8 o'clock this evening, Pichiquequi, Nenbennoi, and Ouaisza came in; that night they went off with a keg of 9 gallons H. W. 

Friday 4.  Savoiard's wife came this morning.  She said that the savages were starving, that le Grand fou is very ill.  The savages are busy making medicine for him, and are not hunting at all.  Towards 4 o’clock Savoiard came with 11 beaver skins, 1 dressed Elk skin, 1 green deer skin, 1 mink, and 2 muskrats, 1 plus of powder and 3 of ball.  He has put in cache at le meekaganne about 5 pints H. W. pure; he sold the 2½ pt. blanket for 2 plus, and that of 3 points for 3 1/2 Brasse of H. B. cloth for 3 plus and a half.  I got one lynx skin for a little rum and one dressed Elk skin for a pair of bracelets. 

Saturday 5.  Smith's wife went off with a savage of the Fond du Lac who came last evening.  Savoiard went to the river a la Coquille to look for his wife's goods.  I got from the son of le viol mauvaia oiseau 2 haunches of deer giving him for them a chopine of mixed rum.  At 3 o'clock Smith came with Connor, he brought 56 beaver pelts, 23 muskrats, 1 green Elk skin and is to go back in a few days with some merchandise and rum that le Brochet asks for.  He has still more plus that he wishes to trade. 

Sunday 6.  Smith went with Boisvert to the Grande river to look for the rice that his wife had cached, and brought also a deer that a wolf had strangled the day before.  Payedihique and Kitchinimiskoutte arrived here to get some rum.  I gave them a little keg of 2 gallons mixed.  Mr. Sayer having told them not to come here, that I was worthy of pity, that I had nothing; that he would leave someone next summer with them, who would give them rum and merchandise; that if they had only me to furnish their needs for them, that they would also be worthy of pity; that I would depart early in the spring, and leave no one with them.  I had them told not to listen to him, and asked them if they had ever been as well off when La Prairie was their only trader.  They replied no.  I added "Pay your Credits and you will not want for either merchandise or rum."  They left that afternoon, but did not go far.  Pichi­quequi brought them back to take part in the medicine feast that he was making at the lodge of le Jeune Corbeau who was brought here yesterday on a litter from the Grande River, it must be 3 1/2 miles away.  This young savage had his nose cut off by Le Brochet of the river au Serpent, whom he killed with blows of a knife. They were jealous of one another concerning Smith's wife, who wished, as men have two wives, to have two husbands; he was found thus, and as soon as he was seen without a nose, he gave to the other savages his knife saying to them that it would he an act of charity to kill him, that he preferred to die rather than appear such as he was. Those who were yet drunk gave him several blows of the knife that are mortal.  La petit Rocher with his family has just arrived; he reports that the Sioux have discovered them and that since he left the river au Serpent, he has not had news of le vieux Male and his son, that he believes that they have been killed by them (the Sioux). David arrived this evening with Le petit Male, he brought 2 geese, 9 ducks, a Fisher and an otter, 2 fawn-skins of wild rice for which I paid the wife of le petite Male a Brasse of cloth. 

Monday 7. Kitchinimiscoutte and Payédgique left this morning, on leaving they asked me to send a Frenchman with them, that Mr. Sayer would send one. I had already asked David if he was not too fatigued would he be willing to go with them, and he had said that he would.  He asked me for 30 balls, his horn full of powder, and one pair of deer skin shoes, and some tobacco that I gave him.  I advised him to try to hire a savage that I would pay to guide him to the lodges of les Razeurs, to send me word and I would send him a man with some rum, well knowing that La Prairie had planned to go there, but could not find their trail. 

Tuesday 8. Le Petit Corbeau died this morning at 4 o’clock.  He was buried with the ordinary ceremonies.  I lent them a pickax, which I cannot find, to make the grave.  I was obliged to give some rum, I poured out 6 Fiolles, in the course of the day; I gave 2 Pints to le Grand Male who is not to ask me for any more until next spring when he is to pay his credit.  I got from him a deer skin and 2 lynx skins on account.  The savages are not pleased with Mr. Sayer, who keeps the door of his fort closed.  I got an avola from Ouaisza, paid for it a chopine of mixed rum. 

Wednesday 9.  All the savages being quiet, I left this morning with Smith and Connor to go to the lodge of le Brochet, to obtain the remainder of his and his son’s credit and to trade for the surplus with merchandise and silver. I had gone no farther than the Grande river when I was obliged to turn back, not being able to launch the canoe, since the river was full of descending ice. La Prairie left just before me, where he was going I do not know. Le petit Rocher and his family left after dinner. 

Thursday 10.  Smith’s wife came back from her promenade last evening; he went after her today to a little lodge at half an arpent from the house.  I got from her an otter for which I paid 30 crosses, having done my best [but vainly] to get it on Smith’s account. 

Friday 11, Saturday 12.  Nenbennoi gave to Savoiard’s wife yesterday a shoulder and side of deer. Smith left today to go to the lodge of le petit Rocher and that of le petit Male, whom he didn’t find.  I got from Savoiard’s wife a cake of fat belonging to her mother for which I paid a 2 point blanket.  I bought from Smith an iron frying pan for 2 dozen rings. Le Grand Male left this morning telling me to come to his lodge in 6 days.  He asked of me in parting some medicine—a dose of Haubert Salts, which I gave him.  I gave to Pichiquequi, Nenbennoi, Ouaisza, and La Sel for the meat that they brought me 10 pints [of liquor]. Pichiquequi when a little tipsy in the night, told me that Mr. Sayer had given him a chiefs capote and a big keg, saying to him to turn away the savages, and hinder them from paying me their credits, and not to furnish me any provisions, that if he succeeded he would give him a chief’s coat &ca. next spring.  That he had replied that be was not a chief and that since he was thirsty he would go hunting either for a plus or a deer that he could trade for rum, that he did not command any savages, that they were all equal and would go where they liked to trade and that he himself would do the same.  The savages gave me on account of the rum, above mentioned, 4 green deer skins and 2 beaver pelts, and 2 muskrats. 

Sunday 13.  Pichiquequi, who should have gone with the others, came this morning to ask me for 6 Fiolles of rum on credit.  I was for a moment at my wits’ end.  Seeing that I was undecided, he assured me not to fear that he would pay me the second credit as well as he had paid the first, that he would send and notify me as soon as he had killed anything, so I let him have it. Le Grand Male’s wife came this morning to notify us to go to the lodge of her husband to get two deer; Smith and Boisvert at once left with her and in the afternoon they brought a buck with its skin, the haunch and one shoulder of the doe. 

Monday 14.  The savages left this morning.  They got from Mr. Sayer a keg of 9 gallons.  Le petit Male sent his boy to give us notice to come to his lodge.  Savoiard and Connor left with him.  Smith went to the bank of the Grande river to see if it is possible to launch his canoe to go to le Brochet’s lodge.  I had from Savoiard’s wife a bear-cub skin for a heap of barley.  Savoiard brought 2 doe skins, 2 haunches and one side of venison that he got from le petit Male. While Smith and Conner were ready to go tomorrow morning to le Brochet’s.  The latter arrived with his son who entered the house while the father went to the fort.  I sold one of the pistols, received 2 otters; and gave 20 pairs of earbobs for 2 beaver.  I gave him 6 Fiolles of mixed rum that he gave to Pichiquequi who is camped at the entrance of the Lake Jaune, he also went to get some at Mr. Sayer’s. 

Tuesday 15.  Le Brochet senior came this morning to ask me for a drink of rum that I let him have.  Le petit Male just came having received yesterday a message with a piece of tobacco that Mr. Sayer sent him by the son of petit Rocher.  He asked for some rum, I said that I would give him some when he went away.  I believe that the Monsieur [Sayer] does all he can to starve me with my men; he tries to debauch the savages, he has even had the skill to withdraw to his house the little savage, it is now four days since he has approached the house; either he is keeping him hidden, or he has sent him somewhere. 

Wednesday 16.  Smith went to visit the nets this morning, and brought back 6 fish.  Le Brochet spoke this morning with his son who is to remain here some days.  I gave him when he left a gorget to engage him not to cheat me, and not to sequester his credit.  He promised, and gave me his pipe saying that I must not leave next spring until he had seen me.  This I promised him.  He left his gun in my care.  I paid his father for what Smith got from him, for 13 muskrats and one avola, one small blanket; for 1 green Elk Skin, I pair cloth leggings; for some gum that Smith had made in his Lodge to gun his canoe, 1 pair of cloth sleeves.  La Prairie, his man, the negro, and the little boy left with them [Brochet’s party]. 

Thursday 17.  Towards 5 o’clock last evening La pierre a£ilée and Le plat65 arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort; they came soon after to the house, and asked me for rum.  I gave them a chopine of it diluted; they demanded more which I refused, promising to give them a half keg when they departed, they having said that they had Left with David 13 plus. 

Friday 18.  1 got the skin of a buck for 20 priming wires.  Le Grand fou arrived this morning. I traded some rum with him for 2 cakes of fat.  I got also from him a piece of dried meat.  Smith asked for a chopine of rum to pay for a deer that he got from him last year, for which he had not paid.  David arrived at 10 o’clock, bringing 21 plus, and a cake of fat.  I got from him a big beaver, and a blanket of 3 points that I received in payment for a Brasse of H. B. Cloth.  This was the blanket I lent him when I send Savoiard the 31st of last month with the savages of the Fond du Lac, not wishing to let the savages hereabouts know that I still had some merchandise, having refused it to several.  The savages are at the river a la Coquille, having left their first place more advanced toward the Sioux, thinking that they had heard the reports of their guns. 

Saturday 19.  This morning at the break of day I sent off David, Boisvert and Connor to go with some rum to waylay les Razeurs on their trail.  The savages told me that the reports of the guns that they had heard were probably theirs, and that they thought they were not far from the Lake La Coquille.  I gave them some shoes, powder, and ball.  Yesterday evening the savages of the Fond du Lac arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort. Savoiard brought me his axe broken.  This morning before the departure, La petitte martre came to ask me to send someone with him to his lodge to get some plus and meat.   I asked Smith if he would go there and he said no, that this savage wished to trap me and drink the rum that I unwittingly should send, that if he, as well as the others, had really something at their lodges he would have notified me yesterday, and not this morning at the moment of his departure nor would he gone so soon.  The savages left Babeux is with them, he carried some rum.  At 9 o’clock Kaouinedache arrived to get some Frenchmen to go to the lodges of les Razeurs to get their plus.  Smith left at once to overtake David &ca. and have them come to camp at the Lake Jaune where Kaouinedache would take them on his route, he having said that he would not 1eave until tomorrow morning.  Fearing that Smith could not overtake them, I had Savoiard get ready to go with him.  In the night La Prairie left with his men, and the savage who had come at 9 o’clock to advise me to be ready for he would leave early in the morning, went with him.  If there had been snow I should have undertaken a pursuit, but there was none, and no guide nor a possibility of getting one at any price.  This was during the night of Sunday the 20th, on Monday the 21st Savoiard having been on Saturday the 19th at the lodge of le Grand Male brought 2 does with the skins.  Smith arrived this morning without having seen David or the two others.  The latter arrived at 3 o’clock in the afternoon not having seen La Prairie pass. The savages of the Lake La Coquille had, however, told David that he passed very early In the morning.  He wished them to show him the trail that he (La Prairie] had taken; no one would guide them [David and his men], and he did not dare expose himself to such an undertaking as to follow La Prarie, fearing he might stray away too far. 

Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23.   Last night during the night 3 savages went to Mr. Sayer’s fort and soon returned with a keg of 9 gallons, so the women who were in the lodges near the fort told me.  Today the mother of Kitchinimiscoutte brought me a buck skin for rum.  I gave her a chopine, from another woman I got a cake of fat and a deer skin for 2 chopines.  Having observed that there were certain murmurs among the men who had no wives, that the provisions were going very fast, I determined to put them all on rations spite of the threats of Savoiard and Smith that they would leave, if I did not have provisions to give them. (I had not done this since I left the Fond du Lac until now).  Savoiard was the last to ask me that evening for his rations.  I went into the storehouse and gave him 2 chopines of parched rice which he refused to take saying that of that rice the custom was to receive 3 chopines for 2 people for each ration, because it did not make as much as that that was not roasted.  I told him that I did not know any other custom than this, a single man received one pint a day, and he who had a wife two.  That I would not give him more, that the others were perfectly contented, that he could do as they did.  He said that he would get it elsewhere. Go where you like, I told him, but before your belongings go from here I must have security for what I have advanced you and what was advanced to you before you left the Grand Portage,  since you yourself are so regular and so particular with regard to your ration.  In other words I treated him as a thief, adding that I noted that he had not taken concealed goods but that I should so regard him if he left the service of the company, and went to that of another without giving security; moreover he must find some means of having it paid. He continued to pile up his belongings muttering while doing so and tore apart his bed and threw the covers and blankets about, saying to me to come and pick up what belonged to me.  Deprived of my usual tranquility and transported with rage, I gathered it all up, and advanced to strike him. Probably I did so; we scuffed a long time until the others separated us. At last he took the 2 chopines of parched rice, N. B.  When Savoiard has nothing left in his plate or his kettle.  The next day, he [declares] he has not received his ration. 

Thursday 24.  David and Boisvert left this morning for the lodges to remain with the savages this winter—David with La pierre affilee and Boisvert with Kitchinimiscoutte. I gave them something with which to make themselves shoes.  The wife of le Grand fou notified us to go to her lodge for some meat.  I Sent Savoiard and Connor; Savoiard brought a deer; and Connor stayed at the Lodges. 

Friday 25, Saturday 26.  Yesterday 3 savages came to Mr. Sayer’s fort; today at 9 o’clock La Prairie arrived.  The savages begged me for rum, which I refused, if they had brought me meat I would have paid them, since they brought nothing, they could not have any.  David, Boisvert and Connor arrived.  I received an otter, a large bear, a deer skin, a Fisher, and a rat, as well as the meat of a deer that le Beuf66 had given them. 

Sunday 27, Monday 28.  Yesterday morning they went back to the lodges.  Today Boisvert and Connor brought a deer and 4 skins from Kitchinimiscoutte who asked me by Boisvert for a small keg of rum, that I sent him.  Savoiard killed a deer that he put in the store.  To appease him I bought the skin for a 1 point blanket. 

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30.  Yesterday, David and Boisvert left the savages, who teased them to come and get some rum.  They went back today.  The savages are about to change their encampment. 

DECEMBER 1st, Thursday.   I bought a tin pipe having a stem for a Brasse of calico on my own account, the one that I got of le petit Brochet having got broken. 

Friday 2.  At 2 o’clock in the afternoon Boisvert arrived with le Jeune Razeur.  I received from him 10 buck skins, 6 ditto of does, 1 beaver, 1 otter, 2 lynxes and one skin of a she bear.  Le petit noir sent on account, 1 buck skin and one cat; Payédgique 2 buck skins.  I got from a woman 3 martens, 3 lynxes, and 6 muskrats for 6 pairs of ear bobs and 1 pair of common cloth leggings; from another a cake of fat for 1/2 a skein of yarn, also buck skin for a little ear ring. Le Jeune Razeur asked me for a 9 gallon keg of rum, that I was obliged to promise him, having done my best to give him less, having already given him a chief shirt, and also promised him next spring on his return from hunting, if he paid his credit the coat and a big keg, but all in vain.  In the evening he told Smith that he had seen some traders from the south, that the Sioux had despoiled them of their peltry and that they had only a little powder with some ball left, he added that there were 3 men, of whom one was English and the other 2 Canadians, they had no merchandise, and were themselves hunting for provisions.  The cold was very great all last night, and continued the same today, and no snow, or at least very little. 

Saturday 3.  La Garde arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort with two men.  According to the report of a woman who came with them as guide, the savages of the river au Serpent have been discovered by the Sioux this autumn, she added that 3 spies approached Mr. Réaume’s house, that he was not at home, that they [Réaume’s party] left some time ago, and that she with 2 of Mr. Réaume’s men were there alone.  These latter saw the spies as well as she.  She also said that he [Réaume] was all out of merchandise and that they had lived for a long time on rice. 

Sunday 4, Monday 5.  Today La Garde left Mr. Lacroix and Babeux are with him.  At 10 o’clock Henry and Taillefer’s67 son came to announce the death of Mr. Lavoilette68 of the Fond du Lac.  They were 5 days on their journey.  I got from Taillefer during the night, 3 otters, 6 lynxes, one bear skin, for one pair of earrings worth 4/9 and one little ring 3/2, and one Brasse and a breechcloth of H. B. cloth.  I also got from Savoiard and Smith one lynx on their two accounts--from Smith for one piece of braid given at the Fond du Lac, and Savoiard for 20 priming wires given here. 

Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7.  Smith and Connor went yesterday to the lodge and brought the meat of a deer with 2 doe skins that they got of le Plat.  Today David and Boisvert arrived at the house not wishing to remain any longer with the savages, fearing to fast too much among them.  They told me that the savages didn’t hunt, but day and night played au plat.69  Henry and Taillefer left this morning for Fond du Lac. 

Thursday 8, Friday 9, Saturday 10.  During these days the sun was hidden, we had rain on the first two. I got yesterday a buck skin for a pair of cloth leggings. 

Sunday 11.  The day was very lovely, the cold having entirely diminished.  Le Jeune Razeur arrived at the house with one of his wives and spent the night there. 

Monday 12.  This morning Le Jeune Razeur asked me for ammunition, tobacco, and 1/2 skein of yarn. He also asked for rum, but I told him that I had no more.  He went to Mr. Sayer’s fort who gave him a 1/2 keg; he asked me for one of my men to go home with him.  David said be would go and is to rejoin him as soon as La Grand Razeur comes, who is expected every day, to begin the great medicine.  Savoiard’s wife went to the lodges 3 days ago, to get them to receive her. I lent my gun to le Jeune Razeur.  At 5 o’clock this evening his brother arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort, he came a moment afterwards to the house to tell Smith that at midnight he would come and get him to go after a pack of peltries that he had cached near here.  He did this at 11 o’clock and I received the peltries and entered them on his credit.  I got from Kaoumedoche an otter on account. 

Tuesday 12, Wednesday 14. La Grand Razeur left this morning. I gave him a 2 gallon keg of H. W. unadulterated, however, he found it too little and said be would come In a short time to ask me for some more, that he would come with nothing, that he was not like the other savages, that he would give me nothing and promise nothing, and he wanted to know if I would give him some.  I told them to tell him perhaps he could have some.  La petit noir came here and reported that the savages were all starving, that they could kill nothing, although they went hunting daily.  Smith’s wife left to stay with the savages this winter.  I had the elk skin smoked in order to have some shoes made. 

Thursday 15 to Sunday 18.  Smith stretched two nets under the ice on Lake Jaune yesterday, these he visited this morning and brought 4 pike. David went to the lodges to stay until tomorrow. 

Monday 19.  Smith visited the nets, but nothing was taken. The cold began again. La pierre affilee and Le petit Loup arrived here, saying they could kill nothing that it was too cold, and there was no snow to show the deer’s tracks.  Babeux left this morning to go up to Mr. Lacroix’s along the trail that leads to the Fond du Lac, he is to come back again.  Mr. Sayer sent off 3 of his men to the river au Serpent to look for Mr. Réaume’s packets, who sent word to Mr. Sayer on their return that he was able to defend and guard the packs that were in his care and his own also, as well as his fort, that he did not fear the Sioux. 

Tuesday 20.  The cold continues. David came this morning with Mr. Lacroix who has frozen one foot. Le petit Loup on his return yesterday afternoon shot Sarrasin,70 one of Mr. Sayer’s men who was out gathering wood, because he would not change guns with him. 

Wednesday 21.  The cold continues. Smith did not visit the nets this morning, but when about 3 o’clock it grew slightly warmer I went with David and Boisvert and brought back one small pike. Le Grand Razeur, Pichiquequi and Kitchinimiscoutte came after some rum; they got a 9 gallon keg from Mr. Sayer.  The medicine begins tomorrow. 

Thursday 22, Friday 23, Saturday 24.  In these 3 days there were only 4 fish taken in two nets.  The cold has entirely diminished.  Christmas Eve was lovely, as pleasant as spring.  I gave David some flour to make pancakes. I gave him also a taste of rum as a treat for Christmas Feast as he would not be here on that day . I gave him powder, ball, and tobacco, and something to make shoes with on Friday the 23rd, and Saturday the 24th he went to rejoin Le Jeune Razeur.  Smith went with him the savages having asked him to show them the trail they should take. 

Christmas 25.  Smith came back this morning, he brought 2 sides of venison, that Le Grand fou gave him; a beaver from le petit Loup and a Fisher from La pierre affilee.  Kitchinimiscoutte has asked for a Frenchman to stay with him.  I sent Boisvert and Conner, the latter of whom is to come back with some meat that the savages have promised to give him, having all left to go hunting this morning. 

Monday 26.  Savoiard’s wife arrived today.  I visited the nets yesterday with Smith, Took a pike, went again today, having lifted one net put another in its place, took two pike and one carp. 

Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Thursday 29, took in these 3 days 5 fish. Tuesday Boisvert came back from the lodges ill.   I believe, however, it was boredom rather than anything else, he brought 6 deer skins. 

Friday 30, Saturday 31.  Smith, Boisvert, and Connor left to go to the lodges before they break up. They arrived today with 6 sides and 8 legs of venison, 3 lynx skins, and one muskrat. The mother-in-law of La Prairie died yesterday at 8 o’clock in the morning, buried at 4 o’clock today. 


JANUARY 1.  Yesterday at noon the snow began to fall and lasted until 5 o’clock when it ceased, it began again this morning and continued all day and night.  I gave the men a bottle of rum for a New Year’s gift.  I went for the first time to make a daylight call on Mr. Sayer alone. 

Monday 2, Tuesday 3.  The snow lasted until 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Smith and Boisvert visited the nets and brought back 2 pike and a Tolibi.71  This fish is extremely soft. I measured one of the pike from its head to its tail, it was 24 inches long and 18 inches around.  At 8 o’clock this evening David arrived at the lodges with Ouaisza and La Sel, who has Smith’s wife for his own.  This did not put the latter in any too good humor.  Savoiard has great fear that his wife will likewise desert him.  These 2 savages were sent by le Grand Razeur to Mr. Sayer’s fort to get a keg of rum.  He has been made chief since he came to bring me his pack.  David brought one beaver and one otter.  The savages brought nothing. 

Wednesday 4.  The 2 savages left this morning, 2 of Mr. Sayer’s men with them and one 9 gallon.keg of rum.  I asked David if there were any furs at the lodges, and he told me there was nothing, the savages not having killed anything, that they were destitute and starving.  Visited the nets, took 2 fish.  This afternoon Savoiard asked if I would have any objection if he went with his wife to pass the winter with the savages.  I told him no, I had none, be could go and it was thus arranged.  I gave again to David some powder and ball, since he told me each time he came from the lodges that the savages had taken all away from him even took his tobacco. 

Thursday 5.  Smith, Boisvert, and Connor left before daybreak for the lodges.  I gave 15 nips of diluted rum and a small piece of tobacco for each man. Five of these Smith had asked for when he left for their lodges the 31st of last month.  David and Savoiard with his wife left also this morning. 

Friday 6.  Smith and the other two came back this morning, they brought 7 sides, 3 haunches, 3 shoulders of deer, with a beaver that Kaouinedache gave on account.  Smith sold his pistol worth 4 plus and had it put on account, also a beaver and a lynx.  He is to return to the lodges in 4 days. 

Saturday 7.  I sent by Boisvert and Connor to get the last keg of H. W. that had been cached by Savoiard last autumn at the Grande river.  I visited the nets with Smith, caught 2 fish.  Boisvert and Connor came back at 6 o’clock without the keg which they could not find. 

8unday 8 & Monday 9.  It was very cold yesterday all day.  Having moderated Smith left this morning with Boisvert to look for the keg, which they found, and at 3 o’clock they got back with it.  Smith killed an otter that he gave me on account for what he had had from me. 

Tuesday 10.  Smith, Boisvert, and Connor left this morning for the lodges.  I gave them a 2 gallon keg of H. W., they got back at 8 o’clock this evening.  The savages have not hunted. Mr. Sayer sent his clerk some days ago to tell them to take care that the Sioux were near that the band that had been with la Beuf had heard the reports of guns, and that he desired them to unite with this band and stay in a fort near by, that he was going to have La Prairie and his men build.  Two savages believed him and had already made an encampment in order to rejoin the band. 

Wednesday 11, Thursday 12.  I went with Smith to visit the nets that had caught nothing.  I made them lift them yesterday.  A little snow fell.  Today Smith and Boisvert went to Le Beuf’s Band, and at 4 o’clock Ouaisza arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort.  He came to ask me for some rum, I told him that I had none.  He said that Le Grand Razeur was seriously ill, and that he must have some for him even if he had to get it from Mr. Sayer. 

Friday 13.  This morning Le Corbeau a savage of the river au Serpent arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort, one hour after Mr. Lacroix, one man and a savage had left.  At 4 o’clock in the afternoon David came from the lodges.  He says that the savages are very hungry that for 3 days they have had nothing to eat except strips of wood, he confirms Ouaisza’s report adding that le Razeur wished to see La Prairie before he died, that he asked for some rum and a fawn-skin of rice.  

Saturday 14.  Snow fell this morning until 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  Mr. Lacroix passed with his man and Le Corbeau; he had a packet in which I believe there was more meat than furs.  Smith arrived about 3 o’clock bringing a deer that he got from le Grand fou, he left Boisvert at the lodges, who is to come back tomorrow and the savages the day after to pay up the credit that they have from Mr. Sayer. La Prairie left this morning with 2 men for le Grand Razeur’s lodge. 

Sunday 15.  David left this morning planning to come back in a few days with his belongings if the savages fast too much.  Boisvert came in with the meat of 2 deer, one of which he got from le Grand fou and the other from le Beuf.  The savages asked for Smith, he left at noon to spend the night at the lodges.   Le Grand fou arrived about 3 o’clock, he has killed nothing today, but asked me for rum, of which I gave him 2 chopines diluted.  He drank it at the lodge of le Corbeau. 

Monday, 16.  At 8 o’clock this morning Smith came to the house. The savages having killed nothing yesterday, arrived about 10 o’clock, and camped near the fort.  Pichiquequi,, Kitchinimiscoutte, Le Fils de la petite Riviere, Pichinami, and Le viel, La mer de Daigle and some women who are widows.  I got from Pichiquequi on account for his credit one Fisher.72  I did my best to secure 10 beaver skins that he has at his lodge.  I gave him a small Tin Basin that he asked for, to make himself a pipe.  I proposed to trade them for rum, for merchandise, silverware, beads, all in vain; he was absolutely unwilling to give them to me.  I demanded them from him on his credit; he was still less willing, replying that he loved them.  I offered him a blanket to no avail.  He told Smith that was he was keeping them to make a robe for himself to cover him in the night.  No proposition moved him. 

Tuesday 17.  He came this morning to ask me for rum.  I tried again before giving him any to demand of him the 10 beaver skins.  He replied, “Give me some rum.”  I gave him some hoping that he would give them to me, finally he said that they no longer belonged to him, but that I was not to be disturbed with regard to his credit, that he had already paid part and that he would still kill many beavers to pay me.  I got from his wife one dressed deer skin for a little shirt. 

Wednesday 18.  I got from Kitchinimiscoutte on account some doe skins.  I paid le Grand fou for his 2 deer 2 Gills of diluted rum. 

 Thursday 19, Friday 20.  I got yesterday from a woman a lynx skin for one pint of mixed rum.  This morning Le Grand fou asked Boisvert to go hunting with him, as it was very cold, he wanted me to give him a shirt.  I let him have one of mine, he killed nothing this day. 

Saturday 21, Sunday 22.  The weather having moderated a great deal, Smith set 2 nets under the ice that he visited today, nothing. 

Monday 23.  This morning all the savages left to be gone on a deer hunt for several days.  I got from a woman about 10 lbs. of gum for which I paid a quarter of an ell of cloth.  Boisvert and Connor went to visit the nets, they lifted one and brought back a poisson Dore.73 

Tuesday 24.  I left this morning with Boisvert to go and find the savages, who had told me that they would camp in the portage at the rapids of river Jaune.  We went there but did not find them, so we came back to the house.  At 1 o’clock in the afternoon Grand fou’s wife came to notify us to go to his lodge at the Big Hills [Grandes Côtes] for 2 deer.  Boisvert and Connor went immediately. 

Wednesday 25.  Connor arrived this morning with a manichinse74  Two haunches and the hind quarter of a female.  Boisvert having stayed at the lodge in order to go after a deer that le Grand fou had left in the woods, he arrived this evening with Le Grand fou having cached his deer that he is to get tomorrow. 

Thursday 28.  This morning Connor and Boisvert left to go after yesterday’s deer. Boisvert had to go to look for his blanket that he had lost last night, and Connor brought it back an hour after Boisvert came in with the savages.  He got from Pichiquequi 2 haunches and 2 sides, and from Kitchinimiscoutte 2 sides. Le Grand fou asked me as payment for the deer 2 gallons diluted rum.  Kitchinimiscoutte asked for 2 1/2 pints an Pichiquequi 1½ pints. 

Friday 27, Saturday 29, Sunday 29.  These 2 first days the savages drank day and night.  I bought of le Corbeau a pair of shoes made of deer skin for a chopine of diluted rum.  Today they left for the hunt and ought to be gone some days.  Smith & Boisvert are with La Grand fou.  Nenbennoi and Le Sel arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort. 

Monday 30.  David arrived this evening with the two Razeurs, Ouaisza and Le petit Male; he got from the latter, turning them over to me, 6 deer skins, 2 otters, 2 Fishers, 7 muskrats, 1 lynx, 1 mink, and 4 pieces of dried meat; from the son of le viel mauvais oiseau, 2 Fishers and a lynx; he gave me towards his credit 1 fisher and 1 lynx.  Savoiard sent a fisher on account.  According to David’s report if Savoiard would have come to the forts, Le petit Male would have given him 50 to 60 lbs. of fat.  Le Jeune Razeur is wounded in the hand, Savoiard’s gun having burst; I gave him some ointment to put on his wound. 

Tuesday 31.  Le Jeune Razeur asked me for Connor to go with him to La Grande River to hunt for his kettles that he cached last autumn.  Mr. Sayer gave to Nenbennoi a little keg H. W. undiluted that he made a present of to la Grand Razeur.  As soon as it had been opened and they began to drink in the house Smith arrived with Boisvert at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.  He had killed a deer that he put in the storeroom.  Le Grand fou has killed nothing.  The savages asked me for rum, especially Les Razeurs,  I told them I had none, they continued to tip up the little keg.  This evening being more than half drunk, indeed entirely so, the Elder of the two Razeurs first demanded a drink of rum from David who told them that there was not any.  David had gone to bed but he got up and told him to sit down in front of him that he wanted to talk to him.  A moment afterwards Le Jeune Razeur, like an enraged creature, struck David, saying to him “Dog, thou sayest that thou hast no rum.” Such a disturbance took place that I bad to give le Grand fou notice, who had told me that if the Razeurs or others threatened or struck to send him word.  This David did as soon as le Jeune Razeur was grappling with Smith who parried his blow.  The dispute was soon ended.  Le Grand fou told them that there was no rum here.  He had his knife in his hand, and would have stabbed Le Grand Razeur, if Boisvert had not hindered him.  I did not understand what was said, but thinking it would be best I went into the store, drew out the keg in which there may have been 1 pint or a little more of H. W. unadulterated and showed it to them, having them told if I had not given them any it was because if I gave them such a small quantity, they would believe that I was deceiving them, that it was all that I had, they could come in and look in the store; they replied that I had some more elsewhere, but that I did not wish to give them any, that it all belonged to them, that in the spring they would have some plus, that they liked it as much as I liked it, my rum.  They then went out, and I did not see them until the following morning, when they came to ask for ammunition and tobacco that I gave them. 

FEBRUARY Wednesday 1.  This morning the savages left, having gotten from Mr. Sayer a keg of nine gallons that they carried away to their lodges.  On leaving le Grand Razeur demanded from me the rum that he had seen last evening in his brother’s cache.  I gave it to him.  Yesterday while the 2 savages were fighting a big axe was stolen that David had left at the doorway in a piece of wood when I called him to come to my help and separate them.  He went out a minute after to continue chopping wood and it could not be found.  I had a search made in the lodges but could find no trace of it. 

Thursday 2.  Smith’s oldest daughter has been ill for several days.  I gave her an emetic.  At 10 o’clock this morning La Garde, Girard,75 and the negro arrived at Mr. Sayer’s fort. 

Friday 3..  Boisvert gave me notice this morning that he would not go to the Fond du Lac without extra pay. I asked him why he demanded at this time wages for that voyage, inasmuch as last autumn he had gone without exacting any. He replied that he would do it in mild weather, but that he no longer was willing, and that he was not obliged to go for nothing.  Then I asked him how much he wanted as his account was settled; he went up to 63 Livres for the trip.  I said that was too much, but that if he was willing I would speak either to Sir Mackenzie or to all those who would be at Grand Portage on business, that I would agree to pay him without having any fixed price, and added that he ought not to take advantage of the moment when he believed that it was absolutely necessary for me to send there in order to get a keg of rum for the spring trade.  He replied that he was satisfied and would go, and prepared to leave with Connor.  I gave each 2 pairs of shoes and some provisions for the outward and return trip. 

Saturday 4.  This morning David left to go and rejoin Les Razeurs.  Since the savages, according to his report, took from him each time he went among them his ammunition, I again supplied him on his departure with 2 chopines of powder, a Demiard76 of lead, 30 balls, and 2 Brasses of tobacco, also a pair of Elk skin shoes.  Lagarde, Girard, the negro, and 4 of Mr. Sayor’s men left for the river au Serpent, Mr. Lacroix going with them.  They took rum and merchandise, and I understand are not to return until the end of the month or the beginning of the next.  Provisions are as scarce with Mr. Sayer as at my house. 

Sunday 5.   Boisvert and Connor left this morning for the Fond du Lac.  I wrote to Mr. Grignon to send me by them a keg of 9 gallons H. W., or at least if he could not do that to fill 4 little kegs that they would bring to him, 3 of a gallon apiece and the other holding 2.  I advised Boisvert to cache them, not wishing to show them until the coming spring at the trading time.  Smith went to pass the night with the savages. 

Monday 6.  As 10 o’clock this morning Smith arrived with the savages who have much difficulty in getting near to the deer on account of the ice which forms every night and hardens the snow, and yet is not sufficient to form a crust strong enough to cut the deer’s feet.  He brought me a manichinse that he got from Pichiquequi, and a female from le Grand fou.  In his absence I had his daughter take some medicine and she finds herself much better. 

Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8.  Today La Prairie left with his wife, children, and the wife of Babeux (Smith sent his daughter with her), [and] Le vieux sarrasin for the lodge of Nenbennoi, they all are to rejoin the band of les Razeurs to make sugar with them.  The savages are discontented with Mr. Sayer, who will not give them a keg of rum, that be owes, them for the deer he has had. 

Thursday 9.  The savages have gone to camp at the Grand Pakouyawin, Mr. Sayer having given them the keg of rum, 9 gallons.  At 5 o’clock David arrived to get an emetic for le Grand Razeur, who is very ill he says.  The other savages do not hunt, these three days past they have had nothing to eat and only a little today.  In passing Nenbennoi’s lodge he brought out a skin of red deer, and a beaver that he got of a widow for a Brasse of cloth, to be put to the credit of le Grand Razeur.  He got a lynx from another woman for 8 bunches of beads that I repaid him.  The savages are fighting over the liquor. Le petit noir was stabbed twice with a knife on his thigh by the women. 

Friday 10.  At the break of day David left, taking an emetic and a little ointment for le Jeune Razeur.  I gave him 2 pints of wild rice not being able to spare him any more since there is but one fawn-skin left.  He told me on leaving that if the savages were too hungry he and Savoiard would come back to the house, that they had fasted before this for several days.  I told them that I had no desire to starve them, that they could come back if they chose, but they would stand a pretty good chance of starving here, that my neighbor Mr. Sayer did his best to hinder the savages from giving me provisions, and that he could see what provisions I had to give them.  Le Petit Loup, Kaouinedache, Payedgigue, La p1at and La pierre affilee arrived and camped near the fort this afternoon; they asked me for some rum.  I told them I had none.  They did not believe me saying they were thirsty.  I did not know what to do, having nothing to give them to quench their thirst.  I traded a 3 point blanket for a lynx, 4 lynxes,77 and 2 muskrats.  I sold my kettle [for] one bear skin, and received a beaver.  The savages went to see Mr. Sayer who gave them what satisfied them, and they went away to rejoin La Beuf’s band. 

Saturday 11.  They went back to the fort this morning and according to le Corbeau’s report who came here they still have some rum.  The savages drank from yesterday until Monday the 13th three big kegs which they got of Mr. Sayer. 

Monday 14.  The 2 bands have united to go and make sugar together, and also for the spring hunt.  Le Corbeau went off alone; saying to Smith at his departure that if he would go to his lodge after a while with some rum, he would have some deer or bears that he would give him, 

Wednesday 15, Thursday 16, Friday 17 and Saturday 18.  Smith with Babeux’s aid stretched his nets under the ice on Wednesday, took in these 4 days 4 Fish; today Smith having gone to visit them lifted the nets, nothing taken.  The savages came to Mr. Sayer’s fort to demand of him a keg H. W. that he gave them after they told him that they had at their lodges 10 whole deer. 

Sunday 19.  This morning Babeux came to ask Smith if he was willing for pay to help him bring the 10 deer from the lodges to the fort.  Smith said yes. I permitted this in the hope that Le Grand fou would have also killed some deer, that he would give him, and that he would bring it here rather than to Mr. Sayer’s. They went off together coming back the same day with 7 haunches, 8 shoulders, and 5 sides being all that there was at the lodges. Le Grand fou had not hunted. Smith got for his pains one haunch and two sides. 

Monday 20.  Smith went this morning to the lodges to get a fawn-skin of rice that a woman said he could have for a 2 1/2 point blanket; he came back this afternoon.  I resolved to give the blanket, having only one single fawn-skin of parched rice for all our provisions.  I expect David, Savoiard and his wife every day, who have suffered from hunger a great deal at the lodges.  This month the fish do not bite, we do not take a single one in the nets. Three of Mr. Réaume’s men arrived at the fort, bringing nothing. the Sioux, according to their report, have not yet been to visit Mr. Réaume.  The savages who hunt deer for him saw far from his house foot prints of 6 men whom they thought to be Sioux and even heard their gun shots. 

Tuesday 21.  Two of the men left for the river au Serpent whence they brought a keg of H. W.; it snowed a part of the day. 

Wednesday 22.  Smith left this morning for the lodge of le Corbeau. I gave him a 2 gallons keg of H. W. diluted to get some meat and some plus recommending to him to cache his keg, before arriving at the lodge, in case the savage had killed nothing.  At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, he arrived bringing no meat.  It had been too long since he had been to the lodge, the savage believing that he would not come to join his family ate the meat that he had on the scaffold.  He brought a big beaver skin that he got from le Corbeau; a big ditto, and an avola from Kaouinedache, who is going off to make sugar and for the spring hunt.  He gave them for these few plus the keg, being the remainder of the H. W.  They told him to return thither in 4 or 6 days. 

Thursday 23, Friday 24.  Yesterday the weather was very dark all day, and threatened snow.  I am very uneasy about Boisvert and Connor.  It is now 19 days since they left for the Fond du Lac, expecting that it would take 12 days to make the trip.  They carried one fawn-skin of rice almost full for provisions to the Fond du Lac.  I wish I could find some savages to send with Smith,. I don’t know what to think, whether they are lost either going or returning.  The trail ought to be marked by the men who came last autumn to announce to Mr. Sayer the death of Mr. Laviolette.  The former recommended them to make it before sending Mr. Lacroix, in the course of the winter to take the place of the deceased.  He however could not go as I have already noted, because of having frozen one foot. 

 Saturday 25.  The snow continued all last night and all today.  This morning the weather being very mild, although it is still snowing.  Babeux with Brousseau78 went to stretch 2 nets under the ice at Lake Jaune. They had not time to do it for while they were making the holes to pass a line from the bank under the ice they perceived 4 men, who were coming toward them.  They left their nets, axes, and line on the ice, and hurried to the fort to notify Mr. Sayer, came at once to the house to warn me.  He shut himself up in his fort.  Smith and I prepared our guns to defend ourselves in case of attack and if they proved to be Sioux.  It was 11 o’clock by Mr. Sayer’s watch when Babeux arrived at the fort with the warning, at quarter past one. No appearance of the men, which made us think that they were 4 Sioux spies.  We fired several times both at the fort and the house to let them know we were notifying the Sauteux to come to our succor.  Smith fortified the door of the house with 3 packs, in case they should try to force it and fire the inside, we could thus move about with more security in the house, as these would arrest the bullets. 

Sunday 26.  All last night Smith and I watched expecting to be attacked at midnight or at daybreak.  This morning the dogs barked much in coming from the side where the forest lay.  We heard no sounds in the night and none this morning such as Sioux Spies are accustomed to make, either the cry of the owl,79 or the wolf &c. This evening, between 7 and 8 o’clock, Smith lay down and went to sleep.  I thought I heard the footstep of a man move around the house and run back to the Forest.  Having called Smith who woke and got up, he kept up the fire all night in the fireplace.  We heard nothing the rest of the night..  Snow fell part of the day and the night. 

Monday 27.  This morning I went out with Smith to see if I could find any footprints.  I saw none.  I was not asleep last night when I heard the sound of footsteps.  I could well distinguish it from those of a dog, and am certain it was the step of a man, the sound that he made on the snow especially in stepping as lightly as he could imprudently and without Mr. Sayer’s knowledge, Babeux and Brousseau went to Lake Jaune to see if they could find what they had left there day before yesterday.  They found the 2 nets in another place, carried quite far, the axe had been carried off, and a bundle of net lines rolled into a ball hung from a pole. Seeing no footprints, they picked up one net which was in the water and set the 2 they found.  Mr. Sayer had offered me a place in his fort sometime before, I then refused having expected every moment to see Boisvert and Connor.  This morning as soon as his men arrived at the fort I went to see him to inquire if they had seen anyone.  They reported what I have already mentioned.  He made me the same proposition, which I accepted.  What made me decide was that Smith said it would have to be a big noise to hinder him from sleeping tonight; and moreover, I planned to send him to the Fond du Lac, if I could find a savage who would be willing to go with him for pay, in order to get news of Boisvert and Connor.  I do not try to make excuses for this step.  If I could have built a fort last autumn [it would not have been necessary], but I could not, my men were unwilling, making the objection that proper wood was too far, and that 3 men were not enough to build a fort.  I had at the time only David, Savoiard and Connor—Smith and Boisvert not yet having returned from the river au Serpent.  I fear I fear I was too ready to listen to them; in ordering them perhaps with more severity than I , I might have succeeded in getting a fort built. Too much kindness with certain men will never succeed in getting anything done.  While on the other hand, with too much harshness, one only repels them, and that causes disputes and quarrels that one often does not mean to evoke.  I admit here that I have never taken charge under such circumstances, and that I did not imagine before this winter encampment how important it is to have much resolution in managing men, particularly in all things that concern their duties.  If Boisvert and Connor or the other two had been at the house, Mr. Sayer would never have seen me in his fort, with the little merchandise I had left and the peltry. Neither would he, if it had not been for the fear of the enemy who might at any moment attack us (we not knowing their number) and the apprehension that Smith, who is very obstinate when he says a thing would not fail to carry out his threat.  I put my life and his in safety as well as the goods and peltries that afternoon when we entered into the fort.  Mr. Sayer gave me his house in which I lived alone with the pack etc.  Smith stayed with Babeux and Brousseau, and Mr. Sayer retired with his wife and children into the house of La Prairie. 

Tuesday, 28.  It was very cold all last night; we have not had so great a cold snap this winter.  Nothing extraordinary relative to the enemy. 

Wednesday 29.  The cold has much increased; we have heard nothing nor seen any sign to make us believe that the enemy is near us. 

MARCH, Thursday 1.  I asked Smith yesterday evening if he was willing to go to the lodge today to get some meat, Pichiquequi who came to the fort yesterday afternoon having told Mr. Sayer that there was some at his lodge and that of the other savages.  The savages had told him (Smith) that as soon as they killed a deer that they would give it to him, if lie would come after it at the lodge, that they would not bring it to him because he had no rum to give them, only that would induce them to bring their meat to the fort, or [they said] they would only come once more to give him some.  Therefore he came this morning to ask me for a little parched rice for his breakfast, also two green deer skins to have dressed.  I asked. him if he would stay a day or two to wait until they were done and also until the savages had killed a deer, fearing that they would have eaten that they had scaffolded before making a fort to guard against surprise, since we had informed them that the enemy had appeared here.  “You do not then fear them here any longer,” said he to me. “No,” I replied “if I had been as well assured of safety in the house, I would have stayed.” “I am afraid to go to the Lodges today.” “If you are afraid, Smith, do not go, wait for a more favorable time.”  If I had known that, I would indeed have stayed at the house.  He went out presently and carried off the 2 skins, not more than a quarter of an hour later he brought them back, saying that he would not go today.  One hour afterwards he came to ask me for one of the skins that he would dress.  About 2 o’clock in the afternoon 7 savages arrived at the fort, Pichiquequi, Kitchinimiscoutte, Kichekimanne, Ouaganné, Munigance, Payedgigue, and the son of Ia petitte Rivière.  They brought 5 deer for which Mr. Sayer gave them a 9 gallon keg H. W.   I had them asked if 2 of them would go to Fond du Lac, that I would give them a Brasse of cloth, a blanket and a pair of leggings.  No one was willing, saying it was time to work on their plus.  The savages reproached Smith for not having gone to their lodges, saying that they would have given him some meat, that they had told him to come within 4 or 5 days.  I told him to leave tomorrow morning for le Corbeau’s lodge, he tried to make some objections such as who will bring wood for you? etc.  I told him to be quiet, and to get ready to stay for a day or two in case there was no meat at the lodge. At 4 o’clock, Le Jeune Razeur, one of his wives, Ouaisza and the wife of Babeux arrived at the fort, an instant after Sarasin and the son of La Prairie came after provisions.  The savages and the French were very hungry.  The savages came to get some ammunition, one of them, Ouaisza, asked for a gun, his own having broken off a foot from the breech.  The others mentioned above left for their lodges, not caring very much to share their keg with the new comers.  Mr. Sayer would not allow them to drink in the fort, fearing too much that the Sioux enemy might appear any moment, now that there were new trails beaten down on the snow that had fallen during the last 3 days.  Le Razeur teased Mr. Sayer and me a long time for some rum.  I had none; Mr. Sayer did not wish to give him any until he went away. 

Friday 2.  Smith left this morning for Corbeau’s lodge.  Sarasin and the son of La Prairie to rejoin the savages with some provisions.  I asked to have David come and stay here, until Boisvert and Connor return from Fond du Lac; if Sarasin was willing to take charge of a little wild rice, I would send him some.  Mr. Sayer’s men arrived after dinner today with 20 pieces of dried meat, the remains of 41 deer that the savages of the river au Serpent had killed.  The rest had been consumed at Mr. Réaume’s.  With them came the son of le Male, Ouabigue, with one of his brothers, whom Mr. Sayer sent off after having given him a little keg of rum, for the river au Serpent.  He feared that Messiganne, who left the moment after his arrival for the lodge of Pichiquequi, had gone with the design of notifying the other savages to come and kill him in the night. This savage was so fearful that Ouabigue would kill him if he saw him that he asked Mr. Sayer for his pistols to defend himself, who refused him. He did not even dare to enter into the house to take his own shoes that he wished his wife to get, and left on a path for the lodge, saying that he would return at sunset. He came back in the night with Pichiquequi, who came as he told Mr. Sayer to talk with Ouabigue, and persuade him to forget the past, that the blow that had been given him last autumn had occurred when they were all drunk, and that it would be very sad for them if he were killed since they were both young; and that he was not to listen to the talk of the other savages. 

Saturday 3.  Messiganne, Ouaisza, and the wife of Babeux left for their lodges.  The first of these was not satisfied with Mr. Sayer, who scarcely gave him anything to eat and did not wish to give him the rum he had promised to carry off.  Mr. Sayer kept his men from setting their kettles over the fire, thinking that this savage would leave quicker if he saw no preparations for cooking rice or meat.  He left rather late, and as he went off, his horn full of powder was stolen from him. 

Sunday 4.  Smith arrived at 1 o’clock this afternoon with 3 men that Mr. Sayer had sent off this morning for Corbeau’s lodge, in order to take away his traps and skinning knives, in case Corbeau should give any plus to Smith, thus when Mr. Sayer knew that I had any designs in that quarter, he also showed his hand.  He told.me that I had profited by a favorable moment.  I replied that I had, and that I hoped to profit by many others, with more success than I obtained on this occasion. Smith brought a lynx and 2 haunches of a manichinse.  The savages not having killed anything were very hungry.  David came at 4 o’clock; he had not received the rice that I sent him by Babeux’s wife. 

Monday 6.  I gave David a 3 point blanket for a lynx and 2 Fishers, the lynx was received the 30th of January.  This evening the Sioux spies came to listen and prowl around the fort.  We saw Tuesday the 6th, their tracks; they came from the side of Lake Jaune.  Smith and David went this morning to set a net under the ice at the pakouiawin, 1/4 of a League from the fort.  David told us that he heard Sunday, after he came back, more than 40 gun shots in the direction of Lake La Coquille. 

Wednesday 7.  Smith visited the net this morning and brought one carp.  I changed my dwelling today.  Mr. Sayer has taken his house again; I am in that of La Prairie.  The weather is very mild although cloudy. Snow grows much less, if it continues like this until the 20th, I shall leave the fort and go and camp on the lower part of the river and there make a weir. 

Thursday 8.  Smith went to Pichiquequi’s lodge to try and get some deer; coming back at 4 o’clock. the savages have not killed anything, he found them all playing au plat.  He brought a fisher that Le petit Loup gave him on account. 

Friday 9.  Mr. Sayer sent his wife this morning to the savages’ lodges to make sugar. 4 men went with her to carry her baggage and provisions.  Smith visited his net and there being nothing in it took it up.  David gave Babeux a 3 point blanket for cutting 2 cords of wood for him. 

Saturday 10.  Smith went this morning to set 2 nets under the ice at Lake Jaune.  Mr. Sayer’s men came back at 10 o’clock bringing nothing from the lodges.  The savages there are fasting. 

Sunday 11.  This morning Smith and David went to look at the nets, they had taken nothing.  Mr. Sayer proposed to his men to diminish their rations by a half; they were very unwilling to consent, saying that while there was anything left they preferred to have a whole ration of it, and that when there was no longer anything they would resign themselves, that the rice had been considerably wasted all the winter, that they were not willing at present to deprive themselves of a single meal, that they ought to have had the provisions that La Prairie had consumed with his family, without even being satisfied with what he had eaten since after each meal, he no sooner entered his house, than he ate again, either rice that had been parched, or meat that be found In his wife’s kettle, while they had had merely their day’s rations, that were not increased, and that now on the contrary he wished to decrease.  N. B. he has no more than one fawn-skin of rice left to supply 6 men, and 2 clerks (Lacroix and La Garde).  At half past 10 o’clock 2 of Mr. Réaume’s men arrived at the fort, with a letter that they gave to Mr. Sayer. 

Monday 12.  The 2 men from Mr. Réaume left this morning, they took away nothing. Smith went to visit the nets, nothing caught.  According to the report that the 2 men gave, the savages of the river au Serpent have wanted to kill, because of hunger, Girard and Dauphine80 

Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14.   Nothing extraordinary in these 2 days.  Caught 5 fish yesterday, 3 today. 

Thursday 15.  Visited the nets, nothing taken.  Mr. Lacroix in looking in La Prairie’s box for a piece of soap that he had permission to take, found therein 4 lbs. of twine for nets and a package of Holland Thread; not finding the soap, he searched the sacks of the latter’s wife.  He did not find what he was looking for, on the contrary he found, belonging to the store one 2 1/2 point blanket, 2 Brasses H. B. cloth, and one Brasse of common cloth, one pair of scarlet leggings.  N. B. I should not have put this in my journal, if Mr. Sayer had not assured me that he was certain that La Prairie did not have these articles, having sold him some, when he left to go and stay with the savages. 

Friday 16.  Nothing caught in the nets.  Since I came into the fort I have noticed that Mr. Sayer is very fond of drink, there has been scarcely a night, that he has not gone to bed drunk, but I should never have believed that he would be fond enough thereof to drink the savages’ rum, but he himself drew from a keg that is under Mr. Lacroix’s bed while we were eating supper in his house; and brought it in there; hiding the pot under his little boy’s hat, I saw him put it in a corner. 

Saturday 17th.  Visited the nets this morning 2 little poissons Dorés caught.  Mr. Lacroix having been notified yesterday evening by the negro, that Mr. Sayer had taken rum from the keg asked him if it was he who had drawn the rum, as he perceived this morning that the keg floated. The former was a little surprised at the question, muttering in reply yes, but that it was only to taste it, and that he had thrown the rest on the fire, that his negro in drawing it, had allowed a Demiard to run on the ground.  I could not help but laugh, glancing at Mr. Lacroix, who had said a moment before that Mr. Sayer had already tasted it when diluting it; and I replying that if he should ask him before me, Mr. Sayer would say just what he did say.  Nothing more was done about it.  Mr. Lacroix told me that he was going to put it with [the account] of La Prairie’s doings in his journal.  I urged him strongly to do so.  At half past 7 o’clock, Le viel r arrived at the fort with a savage, bringing nothing.  He came to get some provisions, the savages having killed nothing and fasting much.  N. B. It is unfortunate for me that my first wintering I should have fallen among men of whom I have only complaints to make, in place of entering more interesting things in my journal.  Smith after hearing from Le viel Sarasin of the great scarcity that he was enduring came to tell me that he was going tomorrow morning to the lodges to bring away his daughter, that if they must die, it was better that she should die with him.  I told him that she must run the risk of dying here, that I had no more rice than would last tomorrow and the day after that he caught very few fish for us to live on.  “Since you have still some rice, give me my ration for tomorrow and I will take it with me,” he replied.  I did not wish to give it to him, telling him again that I was afraid of fasting too much, that I would be in want also during his absence, that I could not live on air for that time, since David was going to the other lodges tomorrow., perhaps to be likewise absent 2 days.  “Since you are so fond of your rice, go to Hell with it,” he shouted, rushing out of the door, “You will see that you have not to deal with a Savoiard.”  Any other person, in my place, would not have been so calm.  I am not afraid of Smith, and I have not much time to bother with him.  I have promised, even taken an oath that I will not come back to this post here with men who only want their own way, and that at every moment threaten to come to blows.  I was not brought up on blows, and I will not commence now to command by threatening to strike, or even to fight whoever it may be.  A plot has been formed to attack the packs as soon as the provisions are gone.  I have also promised myself, that not one skin shall go before I have defended it to the best of my ability, and until it is beyond my power to do more. 

Sunday 18.  This morning Smith left with Mr. Sayer’s men Lacroix, Sarasin, Brousseau, Trudelle, and the savage. They took 3 kegs of a gallon apiece of pure H. W. and one of diluted that Mr. Sayer gave to the savage on his departure, also some cloth blankets, lead and powder that he had asked from La Prairie, with the remains of a fawn-skin of rice, saying that it belonged to him, and a little fat.  David went with La Garde, the negro, and Manitou to the lodge of Pichiquequi to get the baggage of Mr. Sayer’s wife, whom he had had come back here, fearing that she would starve with the savages.  David is to bring a deer skin that Smith gave to Pichiquequi’s wife to be dressed.  Mr. Sayer’s wife, with one of his children, arrived at 2 o’clock in the afternoon to stay here.  The savages have not yet begun to make sugar.  I visited the nets with Mr. Sayer, having asked one of his men to come with me, who refused.  We went to only one net as it was too late to visit the other.  Caught 2 pike.  Beautiful day, the snow has greatly decreased. 

Monday 19.  At 11 o’clock this morning, David came back with Mr. Sayer’s men, bringing from the lodges only his wife’s belongings.  David brought the deer skin, and says that Kichekimanne asked him to go and prepare the plus with him.  I can not send him, for I apprehend that Smith will carry out what he told Mr. Sayer’s men, namely that he would not give me any fish; that he would himself make up the packs and that I would be obliged to get some somewhere else.  I kept this from David, who gave me the message this morning when he arrived.  About 2 o’clock in the afternoon Kinongense, his son, Corbeau ‘s son, and another little savage arrived at the fort, they brought 4 beaver skins, and a bear cub skin that they gave to Mr. Sayer.  Kinongense wished to take David back to stay with him this spring, to aid him in working the plus . I am very annoyed not to be able to send him with this savage, he is one of the best beaver hunters in this locality, rarely hunts for deer, he told David to come to his lodge with some rum as soon as navigation opened and to tell Smith that he would find him at the same place he was last autumn at the River a La Chaudiere [Kettle River]. 

Tuesday 20.  This morning the savages went away. La. Garde, the negro, and Manitou left with them.  They carried off a half keg of mixed rum and some ammunition.  Mr. Sayer gave to Kinongense a 2 gallon keg of mixed rum.  His men go to meet the savages of the river au Serpent.  David visited the nets and brought 2 pike and 2 carp.  About 5 o’clock in the afternoon, Smith came with his daughter and Babeux’s wife.  He reports that the savages are fasting a great deal, and that they are going to stay out all night to kill deer. David went to stretch a net with one of Mr. Sayer’s men, he caught in the other 4 carp and 2 pike.  Between 6 and 7 o’clock this evening a man with a savage arrived at the fort bringing letters from Mr. Letang of the Lake La Sangsue [Leech Lake]81 and from Mr. Grant of the Lake des Sables [Sandy Lake].82  I learned from them that Boisvert and Connor have been at Fond du Lac since the 10th or 11th of February, that they have not dared to risk coming back alone, not finding a guide, and that Mr. Grignon had not enough provisions for himself and his men and could not give them any for the trip, that he himself was short of merchandise and especially of rum. 

Wednesday 21st.  This morning Mr. Sayer told me that I might write to Mr. Grignon by the savage and his man from Fond du Lac, to ask him to send me my men.  I told him I should be glad to do so and would even send David with them, who would mark the trail on going so that they could find it coming back, also that Mr. Grignon not having what I needed, they might bring what Mr. Lacroix should give them for him, chiefly letters from Arabaska83, that he awaited impatiently.  Mr. Lacroix had to go away with them, to replace Mr. Laviolette until Mr. Sayer’s return, who was to go from here as soon as navigation opened. If that gentleman [Sayer] had known that David was to go as far as the Grand Portage, he would not have allowed him to leave with his guide, carrying a letter for Mr. Grignon and another in the same envelope addressed to Mr. Bethune84 or any other clerk staying at the post of the Grand Portage.  In this I asked for cloth, blankets, braid, lead and balls, 2 kegs H. W. and some provisions in order to leave 2 men that I will allow to remain inland.  For I am persuaded that those that stay for the North West [Company] will do all they possibly can to hinder the savages from hunting and even from giving provisions to those that I mean to leave.  Towards 9 o’clock this morning Savoiard, his wife and child arrived, an instant afterwards Mr. Lacroix with his men.  He brought a very pretty pack of assorted peltries that he had traded for with Le petit Rocher and some savages of the Lake Courtte Oreille, so Savoiard told me.  These savages do not owe me anything.  Smith and David visited the nets, they brought 14 fish.  Savoiard tells me that he sold a kettle that I lent him when he went off with his wife to the lodges, in order to get provisions.  He brought back a small axe, also a gimlet that I lent him.  He has the axe that was stolen the second of February while the savages were drinking at the house, David having found it on returning to the lodges on Lake Jaune. 

Thursday 22.  David & Smith went this morning to visit the nets caught 7 fish.  I gave David 2 pair of deer skin shoes and 4 pints of the remaining rice for his journey.  About 5 o’clock La Garde and the 2 others arrived, they brought 13 beaver and 7 bear skins.  If I had had any rum I would have sent some also, le Brochet having asked me for some as he went off, not being satisfied with what Mr. Sayer gave him. 

Friday 23.  This morning David left with Mr. Lacroix and the guide for the Fond du Lac.  Mr. Sayer asked me how many days I thought it would take for him to return.  I replied that it would be 12 to 15 days since he would perhaps be obliged to wait until there were enough fish at Mr. Grignon’s so that he might give him some dried.  Savoiard and David visited the nets caught 3 pike and 2 carp that I had them leave and return again this evening, they brought one pike and one carp. 

Saturday 24.  Savoiard and Smith visited the nets this morning took 21 fish and this evening 5. 

Sunday 25.  Caught today in the nets 24 fish. 

Monday 26.  Caught this day in the nets 24 fish, Savoiard went hunting, and killed a wild goose, that he kept himself. 

Tuesday 27.  Mr. Sayer sent yesterday with Kitchinimiscoutte & Payedgigue who brought him a mocock85 about 30 lbs. of sugar, 2 of his men and a .3 gallon keg of pure H. W.  The men came back this afternoon with 2 bear skins and a beaver skin.  If I had had the rum that the savages asked of me, I should have sent Smith or Savoiard with then.  His wife (Savoiard’s) went to the lodges to make sugar with her sister. Ataouabe came to the fort with them bringing nothing but about 2 Livres of sugar that he gave me. 

Wednesday 28.  The savage left this morning for his lodge.  Smith and Savoiard went to the nets, 6 fish caught.  I gave the savage a Brasse of tobacco as he left.  Mr. Sayer has had his packs pressed to the number of 21 of which 6 are beaver.  I proposed to Smith and Savoiard to help the men make the corners and the bars for the press; they were not willing. I asked Mr. Sayer if I might use it when his men were through to have mine pressed.  I have 9 of which 3 are beaver.  If your men will help work the press, he told me, you may have the use of it. 

Thursday 29.  Took in the nets today, 28 fish.  Smith and Savoiard are in a lodge in front of the fort since the latter’s arrival.  They asked Mr. Sayer’s permission to place their tents within the fort, which he accorded.  I made the request for them; his response was “Let the men Ask me themselves.”  I went this evening to their lodge before going to bed and told Savoiard to dry some fish in order to go out, since I had no salt to put them down, nor even a possibility of getting any from Mr. Sayer, who guards the little that he has left for salting his own provisions and giving some to La Prairie.  The latter is to stay inland with his family and one man.  “I don’t need to dry any fish, it is not good enough to eat without fat that you have not given us.  I prefer to eat La pitulle86 and if that does not sustain me sufficiently I will eat the skins of the packs as long as there are any.”  This threat of eating the skins is so often repeated that I really fear Smith and he will carry it out as soon as I am alone with them.  However, I declare that the first one who touches the packs to get the skins to eat will remain upon them or the pistol will not have done its work. I tried to make some reply to the threat. “Be quiet,” said Savoiard to me, “you have no right to speak.” If I had thought that they would doubt my word,87 I could name here the witnesses who, without my knowing it, heard the conversation that I had with them.  Far from me were such thoughts. I should insult the persons who had confidence in me, and deserve to lose it entirely. 

Friday 30.  Took today in the nets 18 fish. Savoiard went hunting and killed a wild goose that he and Smith with his children ate.  I warned Savoiard on his return not to absent himself tomorrow that I had permission to use the press and to notify Smith to go to the nets alone. 

Saturday 31.  I went forth this morning from Mr. Sayer’s fort with the packs etc.  I put up my tent, Smith and. Savoiard put up theirs. The packs are between the two, before taking the packs from the fort I wished to have them pressed; they were unwilling to do it, saying it was not necessary.  I pointed out the necessity in case the canoe should break in running the rapids of the River Jaune.  “For that very reason,” said Savoiard “as we would have to take them apart to dry them, we are not willing to press them.  When we are on the Grande River we shall not need any press, we will press them well, and just as well without using this press.”  I am in despair with these 2 men. I don’t know what to do.  I cannot speak to them without their replying like men who wish to see me—I do not know where—I would give a good deal to have here the other 3 men by whose means I might perhaps succeed in getting done what I wish for the profit of the company.  I cannot count on these men for anything, and I distrust them as I would my greatest enemies. 

Easter APRIL 1.  They visited the nets this morning, they caught a dozen fish, that I left for them, Mr. Sayer having asked me to breakfast with him. 

Monday 2.  Towards 10 o’clock this morning we left our winter quarters to go and camp at the Grande River, at the same place, where I camped last autumn.  Mr. Sayer left in a light canoe with his family and 3 men one hour before we did and camped a little farther up than we.  I left above the rapids of the river Jaune, half of the loading of the canoe, the water being too low to run them [the rapids] with the full load. We even broke our canoe in a little rapid on leaving the winter quarters.  Smith and Savoiard ran the canoe down, while I made the portage. 

Tuesday 3.   Mr. Sayer left this morning for the river au Serpent.  We have had rain, snow, and hail.  The night was very cold. 

Wednesday 4.  Smith & Savoiard went this morning to get the half load, not having been able to do it yesterday on account of the bad weather.  Savoiard killed 2 wild geese, going up the rapids. 

Thursday 6.   A half a foot of snow fell last night, the weather has been cloudy all day, but not cold. 

Friday 6.  Smith and Savoiard, the weather having become fine, went this morning to try to make a fish weir in the rapids.  They did not succeed, as the water was much higher and carried away their work, also the stores and wood that they had amassed as fast as they built it.  I am not sorry that they have had a little difficulty since a long time ago I had proposed to them to descend, and they refused, saying that they wished to make the weir in question first and descend afterwards if the fish gave out.  I called their attention to this last Sunday, when they asked me to leave, and they replied that it was not yet necessary, that they were sure of success. 

Saturday 7.  This morning I sent Savoiard to the lodges to get some gum and sugar.  I gave him 2 Brasses of cloth to pay for them.  He came back this afternoon with 2 young savages who told him that Mr. Sayer in passing had sent to the lodges, and that he had gotten for rum the gum and the plus there were there.  I sent him back with the 2 savages, and a Brasse of cloth to engage the women to make some gum, which I absolutely must have, not being able to use any canoe that did not at once fill.  Smith went to try for his part and make a weir in a little stream, where he succeeded; he came back this evening with 4 ducks.  La Prairie came today to camp a little above us with the men that Mr. Sayer had left at the fort to guard his belongings, having sent several days ago to look for La Prairie who was at La Meckaganne88 with his family, at the savages’ lodges. 

Sunday 8.  Smith went to see his weir, no fish; he went to hunt and killed 4 ducks.  La Prairie departed this morning to go and rejoin his wife; he left 4 men to take charge of the goods; he broke a canoe in running the rapids. These men are waiting for Mr. Sayer to get some gum and another canoe to go and camp higher up at the weir. 

Monday 9.   Smith visited the weir, nothing therein.  Savoiard arrived this evening with his wife; he sold the Brasse of cloth for a beaver and an otter.  The savages are coming to camp on the Grande River. 

Tuesday 10.  This morning Pichiquequi arrived with 3 other savages to bury his child who died yesterday morning.  I had from Manigance a beaver skin on account of his credit.  Smith went to visit his weir; took one carp therein.  I got one beaver skin for a pair of cloth leggings. 

Wednesday 11.  Smith went this morning with Babeux to put 2 nets in the water at the Pakouyawin in the River Jaune above the rapids,89 he has to pass the night there.  Yesterday after dinner Le Beuf asked me for rum.  I told him that I had none here, that the little that remained had been put in cache by Savoiard at the Meckaganne last autumn, he asked me if I would send and get it, he agreed that one of his young men should go with Savoiard and that he would lend me his canoe, mine not being fit to make the voyage, having no gum to repair it.  I then asked  Savoiard if he would go, and he said no, that I had no provisions to give him, and that he could not go 3 days without eating, adding also that the plus that the savages wished to trade for would probably be carried off by Mr. Sayer, that his men were waiting all these days, and that. I would be obliged then to give the rum without return.  He went to find Smith at the Pakouyawin and brought 9 fish that Babeux gave him, one duck that he killed. 

Thursday 12.   Smith arrived this morning with 48 fish.  Rain began to fall about 10 o’clock this evening. 

Friday 13.  This morning Smith left For the lodges with one of Mr. Sayer’s men and Savoiard went to visit the nets with another man, he brought 20 fish.  Towards noon Smith came back with 3 savages, who all came to camp near here.  He brought 4 beaver skin for one of which I paid; an otter, and 3 lynx, also paid for in merchandise, a Fisher that I received from L’otonaganne on account for tobacco.  All Pichiquequi’s band arrived this afternoon, asking me incessantly for rum, and impatiently waiting for Mr. Sayer in order to have some. 

Saturday 14.  Smith went this morning to visit the nets, Savoiard to hunt.  I got from le vieux Sourd a beaver skin for ½ a Brasse of calico.  He has still some plus which he wishes to trade for rum, having offered him merchandise for them he refused.  Took 17 fish, Savoiard killed a crane and 3 ducks.  I gave 2 deer skins to be dressed and smoked to La Petitte Riviere, one before makes 3 skins taken from pack No. 5. 

Sunday 15. Monday 16.  Yesterday Smith visited the nets and took 6 fish.  He gave me on account 2 muskrat skins.  Today Savoiard went to get the little canoe that Smith left last autumn opposite the wintering houses.  Savoiard came back this afternoon without bringing the canoe; the wind was too strong to permit him to ascend to the encampment alone.  I paid La Petitte Riviere for dressing the 3 deer skins 2 pairs of cloth leggings.  She is to make me some gum for one pair.  Pichinani went deer hunting this morning, and returned a moment after leaving; having see a strange savage that he thought was a Sioux. Savoiard reports that the dog that is accustomed to follow him did not leave him to run as usual in the woods after some wild beast.  On the contrary be went ahead a little way in the forest and returned quickly to him yelping and looking in the direction he had left.  Smith brought 8 fish. 

Tuesday 17.  Smith being ill today, Savoiard went to visit the nets, 16 fish were Taken in them. This afternoon La Prairie arrived with his wife at the Encampment. He brought nothing but his Personal Belongings. 

Wednesday 18th.  Smith visited the weir today that he had neglected since the 11th of the month, nothing therein.  La Prairie sent off this morning his boy and one man in the direction of Lake Jaune.  I don’t know why, there being no savages in that region.  Savoiard went to visit the nets and brought 6 fish.  He had a scare, as he went alone, thinking he heard someone behind him making cries of joy.  La Prairie’s men went to stretch their nets at Lake Jaune, so Savoiard reports. 

Thursday 19, Friday 20, Saturday 21.  Took during these 3 days 29 fish in the nets.  I traded one Brasse of cloth for an otter.  The savage not wishing to give it to me on account of his credit or to give me more, threatened to carry it to La Prairie. 

Sunday 22.  Took today 7 fish.  I sold a tin basin for a dozen muskrats.  I got a lynx skin and 2 rats for a few beads.  Day very warm. 

Monday 23, Tuesday 24, Wednesday 25.  Took in the nets these days 18 fish.  Smith went Monday to get the canoe that he brought in after dinner. Smith and Savoiard speared 9 fish Wednesday. 

Thursday, Friday, 26, 27.  Yesterday 20 fish were taken in the nets one Sturgeon ond one Barbue89 that Smith speared in the rapids of the river Jaune. The rain having begun to fall yesterday evening, continued to fall all night and day, so they did not visit the nets. I traded two Beaver Skins for 5 prs. of Ear Pendants and 12 Crosses. 

Saturday 28.  This morning La Prairie left with the men and his packs, to go and camp at La Meckaganne. This afternoon Mr. Sayer passed without stopping.  A moment after Mr. Réaume and his men passed; they went to try and rejoin La Prairie.  Mr. Réaume has 3 canoes.  Le Male and his family followed them.  He is one who was stabbed with a knife last autumn; he killed, some days before leaving, La vielle Siouse, his aunt.  The savages say and believe that he also killed his wife last winter.  Caught in the nets and speared 24 fish. 

Sunday 29.  I got from Pichiquequi 4 beaver skins.  In order to get them I was obliged to make him some more advances, as appears on the book of credits to the savages. 

Monday 30.  Kichekimanne gave me a haunch and a side of deer.  Smith speared 20 fish and brought back the nets. 

MAY Tuesday l.  This morning Messrs. Sayer and Réaume passed by in a light canoe with 4 men.  They went to the river La Chaudière to find Kinongense; they carried a 9 gallon keg of H. W.  Pichiquequi received this morning the chief’s coat and the keg that Mr. Sayer had promised him last autumn.  I got from Ia petitte Riviere some gum in exchange for a 3 point blanket.  The wind, which was very strong today and the rain hindered Smith from going to spear fish. 

Wednesday 2.  Yesterday evening 2 savages wounded one another; Le Grand fou received two knife blows; one on the shoulder, and the other on the thigh.  La pierre affilee received, at the hands of the former, a blow a little below the hip.  I should not be surprised if at the next drinking bout these 2 savages killed one another.  If Kitchinimiscoutte had not hidden himself, he would have been slain by Payedgigue, who hunted for him a long time to kill him.  The quarrel is caused by the women, who ordinarily begin it, and the men in a cowardly way rush between them with their knife blows, this is especially the case among this band. 

Thursday 3.  I was misinformed yesterday concerning the savages.  Savoiard’s wife who was at the lodges reported that La pierre affilee had been stabbed by Le Beuf Pichiquequi, that is why night before last he was not at all anxious, being with one of his wives in the woods near our encampment, to go back to the lodges where he was asked for and constantly called for to stop the dispute that had arisen in his absence, but he was fearful on his own account I believe that band although partly nephews and brothers-in-law [are] jealous of whoever is made chief giving preferment to any of them, since each of them separately believes himself as great a man as an other.      Le Garde came here, awaiting Messrs. Sayer and Réaume tomorrow.  I learned from him how many kegs of H. W. he brought in for this post—56 kegs, 4 have been kept for this time, and to leave with La Prairie, who is to remain inland with 2 men.  The son of le Male, Ouabique with his father and family abandons this region to remain elsewhere for 2 or 3 years.  I got one otter and 3 cakes of gum for a 3 point blanket, a breech cloth, and 18 crosses.  Smith and Savoiard today speared 61 fish. 

Friday 4, Saturday 5.  It rained hard all last night until this morning, about 7 the rain stopped.  Pichiquequi killed a deer yesterday that he brought to the encampment of Mr. Sayer.  Smith & Savoiard did not go yesterday to spear fish, today they speared 42 carp and 2 Barbues. 

Sunday 6.  This morning La Garde and the negro went to the lodges to get a savage to go ahead with them in advance of Messrs. Sayer and Réaume . Pichiquequi embarked with them, they had not been gone more than 2 hours before these gentlemen passed.  Savoiard’s wife cooked on a grill some fish for the voyage, they speared 42.  Les razeurs went out by la meekaganne before going by the river Jaune according to Savoiard’s report.  La Prairie sent 2 men in advance of Mr. Sayer to get provisions (he and his men are fasting) and to announce his coming to the savages. 

Monday 7.  Mr. Sayer left this morning to go and rejoin La Prairie at La Meckaganne.  Le Beuf followed him.  It thundered and rained much all last night until about 9 o’clock the rain stopped.  Towards 4 o’clock this afternoon the thunder and rain recommenced and lasted part of the night.  While it was pleasant, Smith went with Savoiard to the spearing place, getting 2 Barbues and 7 carp. 

Tuesday 8.  The rain ceased this morning.  Smith went to spear and got 4 Barbues and 6 carp.  I had yesterday some fish for the voyages cooked for me.  I got today a Brasse and 1/2 of bark and 3 boxes of Ouatappe [Watap] 91 that I paid for with 2 lumps of Garnets.  Le Beuf arrived this morning.  Le Sourd told me that Mr. Sayer had not got the furs of les Razeurs, having no more rum.  I hope that news is true, still more that David and the other two will arrive soon with what I have asked for.  The savages have teased me for a long time to leave 2 men to pass the summer with them, saying that they will pay whoever stays their credits.  One party [of Indians] is to leave tomorrow to go and catch beaver and otter whose skins they say are yet good. 

Wednesday 9.  All The savages left this morning to go to catch beaver and otter at the River aux Epinette, 92 they say they will stay there all this month and then come up as far as the weir.  They saw no French at La Meckaganne.  Kinondaguie and Savoiard have mended and gummed the largest canoe, leaving the other cached on the island opposite the entrance of the river Jaune.  I am to leave tomorrow morning if it is pleasant.  Savoiard announced to me that if his wife could go to the Grand Portage he would not come back here again, at least he would do his best to go elsewhere.  Smith said as much to me in the course of the winter, and again repeated it today.  They went this afternoon to the fishing grounds on the river Jaune, speared 14 fish. 

Thursday 10.  Today I left and passed the night at the foot of the big rapid.  I got on my departure from one of le Sourd’s wives, one small beaver skin for a heap of Garnets. 

Friday 11.  Left our encampment about 9 o’clock and slept above le petit Gallet.  The rain began to fall about 7 o’clock this evening and lasted until Sunday. 

Sunday 13.  David, Boisvert and Conner arrived in a little canoe this morning, with one keg H. W., one sack of Corn and another damaged, having cached the rest at St. Croix portage.  They got from Ouabique for 5 pints Pure H. W., 4 big beaver and one otter. 

Monday 14.  I turned over to Smith the merchandise that I had left as it appears on the credit book.  He cached it and we went to pass the night above the Grand Gallet.  La Prairie is at the weir with his wife and children, waiting for a canoe from Fond du Lac, with merchandise and rum. 

Tuesday 15.  We came to sleep at la Meckoiganne, which we left Wednesday the 16th and arrived at the encampment on the island in St. Croix Lake.  Mr. Réaume is camped on the other side, on the Grand Terre, opposite us. 

Thursday 17.  I had the packs remade and took one deer skin to make cords to cross them.  Smith and David went after the merchandise &c. that was cached and I visited and verified it. 

Friday 18.  I left them to Smith with the blankets of my bed, 3 pairs of 2½ point, recommending David in particular to watch over the things as I know Smith is very negligent, I want them to go to Lake vazeux93 immediately to find Les razeurs and other savages, who have brought along their peltry not wishing to give them to La Prairie who had no rum for them, this was the report Babeux’s wife made to Savoiard’s who repeated it to me.  I had them go off, promising to come to their help as soon as I arrived at the Grand Portage with some rum and a little merchandise, if Sir McKenzie did not dispose of me otherwise.  I had told the savages that I would come early to retire their credits that were due and they had promised to pay me in the course of the summer.  I left immediately after they did, Savoiard and Connor in the big canoe with 7 packs, Boisvert and I in one of 3 Brasses length with 3 packs and my personal baggage.  We camped at St. Croix portage. 

Saturday 19.  We made the portage today and camped on the hither side, we had a little rain. 

Sunday 20.  Mr. Réaume came to camp near us; his men and mine made the roadway, cut some large and small poles for the canoes; he has 4 canoes, 8 men and 37 packs, of which 16 are beaver, 3 bear, the others deer skins and miscellaneous. 

Monday 21. We departed together having left in the alder thickets, 94 where I met them, Girard, Bellaire and La Prairie’s son in a little canoe.  I saw in it only one bundle, a keg of H. W. and 2 sacks of corn.  I arrived to pass the night above the rapids of the cedars. 

Tuesday 22.  We camped this day nearly halfway down the river Brulé. 

Wednesday 23.  We made the portages of the 3 Décharges and passed the night below the 4th where we had a little rain. 

Thursday 24.  We arrived at Lake Superior early; since the wind was blowing from the northeast Savoiard put two nets into the water in the river Brulée; Mr. Réaume arrived about 5 o’clock. 

Friday 25.  The wind continued from the same direction; visited the nets, caught 8 fish. 

Saturday 26, Sunday 27.  The wind continued from the same direction these 2 days; we had some rain today.  Mr. Réaume sent off a light canoe to get some provisions at Fond du Lac. 

Monday 28.  The wind having changed and diminished we left this morning and camped early at the river La Meckanne95 where Savoiard set one net. 

Tuesday 29.  Having looked at the net this morning, where 3 little carp were taken, Savoiard took it up and we left to camp a little this side of the entrance of the river of Fond du Lac in order to fish.  Mr. Réaume and his men camped near us. 

Wednesday 30, Thursday 31.  Yesterday, I went to see Messrs. McBean & Grignon and dined with them. Mr. Sayer left for the Grand Portage in a light canoe with 9 men.  Mr. Letang is in another that followed. Caught 15 fish. Today caught 47 fish in 2 liftings of the nets, part of which we gave to Mr. McBean’s men, who came to see me a. short time this evening with Mr. Grignon. 

JUNE Friday 1.  I went to Mr. Grignon’s fort.  I got from him 8 Livres Of gum, and one box of Ouatappe [watap], with the sack of corn left by David this spring.  Took 18 fish in two liftings.  Mr. Grignon told me that my canoe that the men left at La pointe last autumn was broken to pieces, he did not know who did it.  I did not give orders to keave It there.  Mr. Grant, for the old company, came after dinner to the fort in a light canoe. 

Saturday 2.  Today caught 14 fish in 2 liftings.  Nothing extraordinary occurred. 

Sunday 3.  Today took in 2 liftings 22 fish. The wind arose from the north about 4 o’clock this afternoon and continued to increase; we had this night rain and thunder. 

Monday 5.  The wind having diminished last night, Savoiard went to lift the nets.  Caught 26 fish.  The wind increasing the nets were not put back in the water. 

Wednesday 6.  The wind continued always from the same direction and with more force than yesterday. 

Thursday 7, Friday 8.  Yesterday the wind was stronger, it was impossible to put the nets in the water.   I set one net in the water of the bay, caught this morning 2 pike.  The wind is still from the same direction but less strong. 

Saturday 9.  I went this morning to Mr. Grignon’s house to see Mr. McBean who had left yesterday evening with all his men except Bellanger96 and the 2 Lizottes, who stay to guard the house.  I left a canoe in their care, the one Mr. Grignon gave this spring to David.  I am only waiting for calm weather to leave also.  The wind changed yesterday evening, it blew toward the north, and with much force all last night and continues still today but not so strong. 

Sunday 10.  The wind having entirely decreased, I left this morning about 9 o’clock and camped at sunset at the first island after leaving Fond du Lac.97 

Monday 11.  This morning at sunrise we embarked and advanced with a light wind in the rear until about midday when it rose and changed.  This obliged us to land at the second island.  At 2 o’clock the wind again changing favorably for us, we set out and passed the night a little this side of the river au Baptême.98 

Tuesday 12.  At sunrise we left this encampment, had favorable wind at intervals, but it having failed us entirely turning broadside, we were obliged to land a little this side of the two islands.99  At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the wind going down, we set out and advanced until sunset when we camped. 

Wednesday 13th.  We departed this morning early, having the wind ahead all day. We camped at 2 Leagues from the Grand Marrais. 

Thursday 14.  Before sunrise we embarked with a contrary wind.  We advanced until about 10 o’clock, when the wind increased and we put to shore at about 1 League from the Grand Marrais.  The wind and breakers having gone down we advanced until about 9 o’clock when the wind again rising we camped in the cove just above the river Brullee, 100 whence we departed. 

Friday 15.  At Sunrise, we went on for 3 hours, contrary wind, which obliged us to put to land this side of the island.  Calm coming on about 6 o’clock, we embarked and camped at the islands. 

Saturday 16.  We set out at sunrise and arrived at The Grand Portage.


1Amoung the Masson papers in the Canadian Archives at Ottawa, we find the following journal of a fur trader's life and adventures in northwest Wisconsin during the winter of 1803-4.   It has not previously been published, although L. R. Masson makes mention thereof in a note in his Les Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest (Quebec, 1889), ii, p. 114.  The manuscript was photographed for these Collections from the original and that photograph has been Englished by us.  Of the writer little more is known than is revealed by the document itself.  Curot was in the employ of the X Y Company, and this was his first winter in Wisconsin.  He was partly educated and wrote a good legible hand and used comparatively correct French.  By his own account he was hardly competent for the command of a post, especially under the conditions of rivalry prevailing in 1803-04; and upon the amalgamation of the rival concerns in 1804, his services were probably dispensed with.  A family of this name (spelled Cureau) lived at Montreal in the 18th century, and one Amable Curot was trading in Wisconsin between 1778 and 1787.  See Wis. Hist. Colls., -xii, p. 9; Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xi, p. 559.  In all probability Michel was this trader's son, and was himself employed by the X Y Company as a clerk.  Possibly it was an emergency that caused him to be placed in charge of the Yellow River post.--ED. 

2The term Folle Avoine (wild rice) was especially applied to the St. Croix region, where the Indians were frequently known as "Wild Rice Makers"--Minn. Hist. Colls., v, p. 335.  This branch of the Chippewa was frequently spoken of as the "Folle Avoine Sauteurs," in contradistinction to the Folle Avoine or Menominee tribesmen.  Schoolcraft calls all the interior of northern Wisconsin, from Lac du Flambeau west, "the Folle Avoine country"---see H. R. Schoolcraft, Summary Narrative (Phila., 1855), p. 576.  The region of the upper St. Croix and its tributaries was the Folle Avoine country par excellence.  Yellow (Jaune) River is a tributary of the St. Croix, in the present Burnett County, Wis.  Warren, "History of the Ojibways," in Minn. Hist. Colls., v, pp. 171, 172, says that the villages on Rice Lake and Yellow River were founded on land won from the Sioux in the early part of the 18th century.--ED. 

3For a sketch of this place see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 169, note 31.  It is to be noted that Curot, in the employment of the X Y Company (Ibid, note 30), started from Grand Portage; while Malhiot (whose journal is printed in Ibid, pp. 163-233), who was in the service of the North West Company, begins his narrative at Kaministiqua, or Fort William.--ED. 

4The following is known of these voyageurs:

Jean Bt Roi was employed in 1818 by the American Fur Company in the department of Fond du Lac, Lake Superior, at a salary of $1200. 

Alexis Beaudoin was in 1810-11 with Perrault on the north side of Lake Superior; in 1818 he was employed by the American Fur Company at Lac du Flambeau. 

Tousst Savoiard rejoined the North West Company in 1804. 

Bazile David did likewise, and in 1810-11 was with Alexander Henry Jr. on the upper Saskatchewan. 

Joseph Boisvert was likewise in Henry's brigade, about the same year. 

Jean (John) Connor probably belonged to the Conner family of Mount Clemens, Mich., whose father was an Indian captive; the family had lived among the Chippewa, which would make Conner a good interpreter.  His daughter was living on the St. Croix in 1837.  See Edward D. Neill, "St. Croix Valley," in Macalester College Contributions, iii, p. 56. 

The Lizotte brothers were at Lake Winnipeg in 1804, and in 1818 were employed by the American Fur Company in the Fond du Lac (Lake Superior) district. 

For J. La Jeunesse, see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 306, note 39. 

Guillaume Deau was in 1817 a guide for the North West Company on Lake Huron.--ED. 

5John McBean had for some years been in the fur trade.  Acting at this time for the X Y Company, upon the union in 1804 he was rated as clerk and interpreter for the North West Company.  In 1811-12 he was active in opposition to the Hudson's Bay Company in the Pic department--see Mich, Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii, pp. 592, 598.  By 1816 he had become a partner in the company.--ED. 

6At this time Chorette was the X Y trader at Lac du Flambeau.  See Malhiot's Journal in Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, passim.--ED. 

7For this locality see Ibid, p.173, note 40.--ED. 

8George Nelson was a clerk in the X Y Company and after the coalition was employed in that capacity at Lake Winnipeg--see Masson, Bourgeois, i, p. 405.  In 1804-05 he was with Alexander Henry in the Red River department.--ED. 

9Sir Alexander Mackenzie, head of the X Y Company, for a sketch of whose career see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 290, note 16.--ED. 

10Nothing more is known of this trader than is related in this journal.  It is evident that he had been the X Y Company's clerk in charge of the Yellow River post for 1802-03; that his returns proving unsatisfactory, Curot was dispatched to supersede him, and Smith was thereby reduced to a secondary position, which he accepted with bad grace.--ED. 

11An abbreviation for high wines--a kind of liquor much used in Indian trade.  According to Elliott Coues, New Light on the Early History of the Greater Northwest (N.Y., 1897), p. 3, high wine was nearly pure alcohol, which when sold to the tribesmen was much diluted with water.--ED. 

12La Prairie was clerk for the North West Company, in opposition (as appears later) to Curot's outfit.  Nothing is known of this clerk save what is related herein.--ED. 

13For this term see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 216. note 14.--ED. 

14This was Charles Grignon, of Green Bay, concerning whom see ante, pp. 148, 312.  He was at this time clerk for the X Y Company at Fond du Lac post; later he entered the North West Company, returning home after the War of 1812-15.--ED. 

15A voyageur named Charles La Marche was in 1804 in the Lake Winnipeg district; and in 1810 one of the same name was with Henry on the Saskatchewan; but see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 190, for an X Y trader of this name.--ED. 

16Joseph Réaume was an experienced trader among the Chippewa, having wintered on Red Lake as early as 1785--see Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii, passim; Wis. Hist. Colls., xii, p. 81.  He accompanied Jean Baptiste Cadotte on the first expedition (1792) to the sources of the Mississippi via Fond du Lac of Lake Superior; and was in the department of Fond du Lac for the North West Company from 1799-1804.  After the coalition of the companies, Réaume appears to have retired, although a person of that name is listed in the Athabasca district as voyageur.  Joseph was a cousin of Alexis, mentioned in Id, xix, p. 345; and may have been the one whose baptism is recorded in Ibid, p. 48.--ED. 

17For the site of the North West Company's post at Superior, see Ibid, p. 173, note 40.   See a description of the building of this post in 1793 in Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii, p. 569.  Since headquarters were needed for the X Y Company, it was necessary for Charles Grignon to build a new wintering house, whose exact site is not now known.--ED. 

18McBean probably entered the Mississippi region by the St. Louis River and its portage connections.--ED. 

19For an explanation of this measure see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 216, note 15.--ED. 

20This measure is explained Ibid, note 13.-ED. 

21A décharge indicates a place where it is necessary to unload the canoes, either partially or entirely, and carry the goods by land, while the craft can be passed up the stream empty.  It thus differs from a portage, which requires the carrying of both goods and canoe around the obstruction.  The first décharge was at a point somewhat over three miles above the Brule's mouth, at a place now known as Gregory Falls.  The bed or the river is here solid brown sandstone, and at the foot of the falls on the west bank a rocky ledge overhangs the stream--the only place of this nature on the entire river.  For aid in identifying the sites on the Brulé we are indebted to the kindly offices of C. D. O'Brien of St. Paul, who has a summer camp on the stream; Joseph Lucius of the state forestry service; and John La Rock of Brule.--ED. 

22From information obtained from the gentlemen mentioned in the previous note, it would appear that these three décharges were at the rapids below the bridge that now crosses the stream where the old trail to La Pointe passed.  The rapids are here connected and practically continuous--the upper being a straight fall of some four or five feet, making a décharge "harder and longer than the other two," with a mile-and-a-half of bad, quick water.  The falls are called either Sandstone or McCaskill--the latter for a summer cottager just below the falls.  See also Fredrik T. Thwaites, Sandstones of the Wisconsin Coast of Lake Superior (Wis. Geol. and Nat. Hist. Survey, Bulletin No.25, 1912), map in pocket.--ED. 

23 These appear to have belonged to the Snake River band of Chippewa--see Perrault's "Narrative" In Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii, pp. 558, 576.  They probably met Curot near the crossing of the old La Pointe trail, noted above.--ED. 

24Probably Jean Baptiste Cadotte II, who opened the Fond du Lac district for the North West Company; see Minn. Hist. Colls., v, pp. 279-297.  It may, however, be Michel Cadotte of La Pointe, for whom see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 69, note 98.--ED. 

25The meaning is, that La Croix wrote the letter in the name of La Prairie.  There was a large family of La Croix, who were early Mack­inac residents; see Ibid, passim.  One Louis La Croix was in 1819 an employee of the American Fur Company.--ED. 

26On the importance of wild rice as an article of food for both fur traders and Indians, see Ibid, p. 189, note 65.  The district to which Curot was assigned was not only known to the company as the "Wild Rice Department," but the traders were expected to purchase with their goods considerable quantities of this edible to be used at other posts.  It was, therefore, something like a calamity when the wild-rice harvest failed.  One cause of crop failure was a season too wet for the ripening of the grain; if the water in which the stalks grew was much over a foot in depth, the rice was apt to be of poor quality.   See description of a harvest in Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii, p. 178; also the cause of failure of the harvest, Ibid, p. 520.--ED. 

27This is the present Snake River of Minnesota, rising in Aitkin County, flowing south and east into the St. Croix, through Kanabec and Pine counties.  Pine City on the Northern Pacific Railroad is situated on Snake River.  On this stream was an important fur trade post; and during the wars between the Sioux and Chippewa, the Snake was a contested boundary--see Minn. Hist. Colls., v, pp. 243, 246.   In 1832 the Indian population along its border was over 300.--ED. 

28The site of Little Prairie is not positively known.  Properly speaking there are no prairies on the Brule, but above the Bayfield bridge before one comes to the present railway station of Brule, the banks are somewhat flat.  Mr. Lucius says that considering the distances and conformation of the shore line, he would suppose this camping place to have been on the east side, in sections 26 and 35 of township 48, range 10 W.--ED, 

29Mr. O'Brien writes: "A little above the town of Brule is what is designated as the First Rapid.  Then, with quick water but no rapid, the traveler would come to what is known as Little Joe Rapid, very bad; but I doubt whether it was so bad in older times, and probably no décharge was made there.  Above this is dead water, where probably La Grande Prairie lay,"  Mr. Lucius supposes this to have been on the east bank, above the mouth of Little Brule River--ED. 

30The expression as here written means "sleeping water;" it may possibly have been l'ours qui dort, or Sleeping Bear Rapids.  The identification is not certain--Mr. Lucius thinks that they may have been the rapids not far below Nebagamon Creek, called Joe Falls;  Mr. O'Brien says that they probably were the present Nebagamon Rapids; John La Rock identifies them with the present Little Joe Rapids.--ED. 

31Above the Nebagamon Rapids the river expands into a series of lakes--Cochran's, Spring, Lucius, Big, and Sucker.  Between Lucius and Big are the rapids now known as Wild Cat, possibly the Sleeping Bear Rapids of Curot.  Falls Rapids, above Sucker Lake, while quite short are really the hardest on the upper river, and both of our informants identify these as that called by Curot "Rapide a Vassal." 

Mr. Lucius says that 25 years ago he traversed the Brule with Capt. Alex McDougall, of Duluth, who pointed out to him the places called the 2 Pakouijawins.  They’re 2 bayous or lakes just above the last quick water in section 21 of township 46, range 10 W.  From the head of these an old trail led to Superior.--ED. 

32Over twenty years ago, the present Editor ascended the Brule and made the portage from its headwater over to Upper St. Croix Lake, virtually the source of St. Croix River.  The upper part of the Brule dwindles to a mere rivulet, thickly overarched with the bushes of the water birch.  The land on both banks is boggy, and only with the utmost exertion did we push and squeeze through the cavernous passage, cutting boughs to allow the passage of our skiffs, and hewing our way through fallen logs, until we reached a small pool, scarcely a boat's-length in diameter.  From this pool began the portage to the St. Croix. 

Curot's camping ground of the 4th was probably on the west side of the stream in section 3, township 45, range 11 W.  Mr. Lucius says, "I camped there first in the summer of 1887, and it had the appearance of an old camping ground."--ED. 

33In the original French Curot here uses the word "fan" a misspelling of the French word faon, a fawn.  Jonathan Carver, Travels (London 1781), p. 525, says of the wild rice, harvest, "when it is fit for use, they put it into the skins of fawns or young buffalo taken off nearly whole for this purpose and sewed into a kind of sack."  These fawn-skin bags had an average capacity of about two bushels, and in 1820 such a skinful was worth two plus.  See Albert E Jenks, “Wild Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes," in U. S. Bureau of Ethnology, Report, no. 19, p. 1072.--ED. 

34After leaving the upper pool of the Brule, the present Editor and his fellow voyagers ascended for about fifty yards to a narrow plateau composed of a sand hill covered with recently burned timber, carpeted with blueberry and hazel bushes, from which rose a maze of slender blackened trunks.  The portage path led southwestward through this forest for about two miles, in which there were two steep hills to be overcome by the burden bearers.  Now and then the trail led through thick standing timber, the ground carpeted with pine needles; and occasionally over a little bench, on which were frequently seen the remains of an Indian camp.  The landing at the St. Croix end of the portage was swampy.--ED. 

35Below the center of Upper St. Croix Lake is a small island, much used as a camping place for early voyagers; also the site of an Indian village.- See H. R. Schoolcraft, Narrative of an Expedition, etc.- (New York, 1834), p. 139.--ED. 

36Ox Creek (River au Boeuf) enters the St. Croix from the east, shortly below the southern end of the lake.--ED. 

37The Eau Claire branch of the St. Croix is the outlet of a lake of the same name.  It enters from the east, and the town of Gordon stands at the mouth, about seven miles down the St. Croix from the lake.--ED. 

38This is probably the place known as the Sturgeon Darn or "Namai Kowagon" noted by Schoolcraft (op cit., in note 35), p. 138.  It was the site of a flourishing Indian village.--ED. 

39About fifteen miles below the mouth of the Eau Claire are the rapids now called Fish Dam.  William Gordon, for whom the town of Gordon was named, informs us through C. W. Peaslee that there was in early days a battle at this place, and that it was by the Indians called Meros-e-wingin.   The battle no doubt took place during the 18th century, when all this territory was disputed ground between the Sioux and Chippewa.  See Minn. Hist. Collsv, passim.--ED. 

40Gallet (Galet) means usually a flat-topped boulder or stone in a stream; also a shingly beach.  The exact site on the St. Croix cannot now be determined.--ED. 

41Avola is probably one of the weasel family; the word is not known to be now in use.--ED. 

42There is in the St. Croix a large island comprising six or seven acres on the Wisconsin side just opposite and a little above the mouth of Yellow River.--ED. 

43"Cache" was a term much used in the fur trade.  It was derived from the French cacher, to hide, and was a process of concealing merchandise or furs in the ground, where if properly prepared the cache kept them safe and dry for years.  The turf having been removed, a large hole was dug, enlarging as it went down, in the form of a kettle.  The earth was carefully kept and all the surplus thrown into a neighboring stream to be washed away that it might not be seen.  The cavity was then lined with small twigs and hides, the goods deposited, the turf replaced, and all traces of the deposit were obliterated.  See description in Thwaites (ed.), Original Journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition (N. Y., 1904), ii, pp. 136, 137; also Early Western Travels (Cleveland, 1905), vi, p. 272.--ED. 

44Although Curot does not say so directly, this was the terminus of the journey and not far from the North West Company's establishment under La Prairie's charge.  The exact site of the posts on Yellow River in Curot's time cannot now be determined; but when the American pioneer settlers began to come into this region, some sixty years ago, there was a post on Yellow Lake nearly twenty miles up the river of that name.  B. F. Peck of Spooner writes us that the post was located on Big Yellow Lake, about forty rods south of the thoroughfare between that and Little Yellow Lake in section 23 of township 40 north, 17 west.  The location in Curot's time appears to have been somewhat farther from either of the lakes.--ED. 

45Curot omits many details that are needful to understand his movements and those of his men.  It is evident from this narration that he had sent Smith and Boisvert in advance to Snake River after provisions, and not having found them on his arrival at Yellow River had sent Savoiard and Connor to search for them.--ED. 

46Snake River was the frontier of Chippewa territory in the direction of the Sioux, and a region of much danger for the Chippewa and their traders.  See post, in this journal.--ED. 

47Curot does not ordinarily speak of St. Croix River by name; he calls it Big River, in contrast with the Yellow, its affluent.  Throughout this journal the term Grande River refers to the St. Croix.  A trail ran directly from the post on Yellow River to the St. Croix, striking it in the northwest corner of section 10 of the township.  This was known as the Soo portage.--ED. 

48The duty of the relatives of an Indian who was slain, was to avenge his death upon the slayer or the slayer's relatives.  To avoid this, a trader or some disinterested person frequently arranged the matter, by the slayer paying what was sufficient to appease the wrath of the relatives of the deceased.  This was termed "covering the dead;" that is his grave was, metaphorically, buried from sight by the robes, blankets, etc.; given as blood money.--ED. 

49For this trader see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, pp. 173, 174, note 41.  As partner of the North West Company he had at this time charge of the so-called Fond du Lac district.--ED. 

50It is evident from Curot's narrative that the X Y Company had no permanent post on Yellow River, and that he was compelled to build winter quarters for himself and men.  In speaking of the opposition headquarters, he designates the North West Company's place "the fort" in contradistinction to his own, "the house."--ED. 

51Yellow Lake was a favorite Indian camping ground.  B. F. Peck writes us that when he first knew the region nearly 1000 souls were there.  There are in reality two lakes, connected by a thoroughfare of dead water thirty rods wide and about eighty long.  The smaller lake covers about a hundred acres; the larger is about two miles in diameter.  Both abound in wild rice and have high banks.  Curot appears to have considered this all one lake, through which Yellow River flowed.--ED. 

52The trader was still dwelling in his tent, since the proposed log house was only in course of construction.--ED. 

53It is about thirty-five miles on the St. Croix between the mouth of Snake River and that of the Yellow; moreover it is rough water, full of rapids and difficult to ascend.  The Kettle Rapids, near the mouth of the affluent of that name, are several miles in extent.--ED. 

54Shell River, now called Clam, is named for the freshwater bivalve mollusks found in the lake near its source.  It is the next affluent of the St. Croix south of Yellow, in Burnett County.  The usage in regard to the form of the name varies greatly--a map of 1858 has Clam River and Shell Lake; one of 1854 has Kayesikang, or Shell River.  The distance to its watershed must have been but a mile or two.--ED. 

55The names mean respectively, Winter and Big Ears.  For the latter see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, passim.--ED. 

56On making medicine consult Ibid, p. 194, note 75.--ED. 

57The warehouse for storing goods had evidently been completed by this time.--ED. 

58The name means the Bad Old Bird.  Curot intends to explain that this Indian first visited the North West post ("the fort") then the X Y post (“the house“).  He asked him if he had come to get some trader's assistant to go to his lodges; that is, if he had come to look for the French--the latter being a generic term for traders.--ED. 

59See ante under Monday, 0ct. 3, where Smith cached ten fawn-skins of rice which he bad bought on Snake River.--ED. 

60For this term see. Wis., Hist. Colls., xix, p. 217, note 16.--ED. 

61Shell, now Clam Lake.--ED. 

62Huduon’s Bay cloth, a firm-woven textile made in England for the fur-trade.--ED. 

63There are several so-called Rice Lakes in this neighborhood--that in Burnett County, on the upper waters of Yellow River, is the one here designated.  There is still a Chippewa village on this lake, which has been there since the knowledge of the earliest white settlers.--ED. 

64Having sent off all the men on drouinc, Curot had no one to inter­pret for him, or to aid him with this drunken Indian.--ED. 

65 “Two celebrated chiefs of the Lac du Flambeau band, who in 1804 were in the interests there of the X Y Company.  See Malhiot’s “Journal” in Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 206, note 94, for La Pierre a affliler or Keeshkenum.  Le Plat was probably Plat Coté, for whom see Ibid  pp. 184, 216.—ED. 

66An important chief of La Pointe village was named Beshike or the Buffalo [Le Boeuf}—see Minn. Hist. Colls., v, p. 464; also Schoolcraft, Narrative, p. 271.  There would seem to have been another chief of the Folle Avoine country by the same name; see Ibid,  p. 293.—ED. 

67Henry may have been William Henry, for whom see Wis. Hist. Colls., xviii, p. 505, note 41; he was at this time an apprentice in the fur-trade.  Joseph Taillefer was an old voyageur; for a record of his children’s baptisms and marriages see Ibid, pp. 505, 506; xix, p. 116.--ED. 

68Gabriel Attina dit Laviolette was born at Quebec, Dec. 18, 1748, the son of a French soldier.  He early entered the fur trade, and in 1753 had a son who three years later was baptized at Mackinac; Ibid, p. 84.  In 1784 he was wintering at La Pointe (Mich Pion. and Hist. Coll s., xxxvii, p. 518), and the following year was clerk for the North West Company; Id, xi, 549.  In 1789-90 he with Cadotte, Réaume, Sayer, and Perrault formed a partnership for the Fond du Lac, when Laviolette wintered at Leech Lake; and the succeeding year they were at Crow Wing River—Id, xxxvii, p. 555.  His death is noted by Alexander Henry Jr.; see Coues, Greater Light, p. 244.—Ed. 

69This a game played with a wooden dish or platter (hence the name) and several thin circular counters of metal or bone, one side of which is stained black.  The game consists in so striking the dish that the counters fly into the air, in the hope that the black side will fall uppermost, thus counting for the holder of the platter.  See Grant, “Sauteur Indians, in Masson, Bourgeois, ii, p. 340.—ED. 

70A voyageur of this name is mentioned in Wis. Hist. Colls., xix; p. 79.—ED. 

71The modern spelling of this word is “tullibee,” applied to Leucichthys tullibee, Richardson.  In all but the most recent works it is called Coregonus tullibee.  It is the most common whitefish found in our inland lakes.—Prof. George Wagner.  See descriptions of this fish in Wis. Hist. Colls., vii, p. 196; Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii, p. 521.—ED. 

72For account of this fur-bearing animal see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 231, note 39.—ED 

73For this fish see Ibid, p. 168, note 29.—ED. 

74The only animals yielding haunches and shoulders in our north woods would be white-tailed deer, or possibly in earlier day, moose, elk, or caribou.—Prof. George Wagner. 

75A Joseph Girard was in 1804 a voyageur in the Fond du Lac district; see Masson, Bourgeois, i, p. 410.—ED. 

76The Canadian-French say demiard, instead of demi-chopine for half a pint.  While the term demiard is common, ard is obsolete.  Thanks for this information are due Col. Crawford Lindsay, of Quebec.—ED. 

77The French words are loup cervier and chais.  The former is the Canadian lynx (Lynx Casnadensis), which is grayish hoary, waved with black; the other is Lynx rufus, which is reddish, overlaid with grayish, also called by French-Canadian trappers pichou,  Both occur in the northern part of Wisconsin; at present the latter is by far the more common,—Prof. George Wagner. 

78Joseph Brosseau is listed in 1804 as a voyageur at La Pointe; see Masson, Bourgeois, i, p. 411.  An employee of the same name went out with the Astorian party to the Columbia; see Coues, Greater Light, ii, p. 861—ED. 

79The French original gives two words for owl, hibou and chouette--the former signifying the long eared owl; and the latter, the common brown owl—ED. 

80Francois Dauphlné was enrolled in 1804 as a voyageur of the North West Company.—ED. 

81For this trader see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 192, note 73; in addition see several references to him in Perrault’s “Narrative” in. Mich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., xxxvii.  He was working with Sayer in 1794, and in opposition after 1796, and most of the time was stationed at Leech Lake (La Sangsue).—ED. 

82Peter Grant of Sandy Lake (des Sables) was a partner in the North West Company.  Born in 1764 he entered the corporation as a clerk at the age of 20 years, and in 1791 was promoted to a partnership.  His earlier stations were at Rainy Lake and the Red River, but about 1802 he was assigned to the Sandy Lake post of the Mississippi.  He was there in the winter of 1805-06, and extended hospitalities to Lieut. Z. M. Pike on the latter’s expedition to the source of the Mississippi; see Elliott Coues, Expeditions of Zebulon M Pike (N. Y., 1895), i, passim.  Grant retired from the fur trade and settled at Lachine, where he died in 1848.  For his work on the Sauteur (Chippewa) Indians, see Masson, Bourgeois, ii, pp. 307-366—ED. 

83Athabasca was a department of the North West Company, embracing posts on the lake of that name, on Great Slave Lake, and in the regions beyond.  It was spoken of as the “far famed Athabasca,” and appears to have been the most profitable region for the fur-trade in the Northwest.  Peter Pond was the first trader to adventure therein, having in 1778 founded a post on the Athabasca River.  Eight years later the Slave Lake post was erected and in 1788-89 Fort Chippewyan became headquarters for the district.  The distance from Montreal was so great that goods and supplies only reached the Athabasca the second year after leaving the company’s home city.  Each mid-winter, generally about January 1, an express was sent from Athabasca with letters from the partners at the posts.  It was these that Mr. Sayer was eager to receive, the wintering partners In the Athabasca usually being the company’s principal bourgeois.—ED. 

84Angus Bethune appears to have been at this time clerk for the X Y Company in charge of headquarters at Grand Portage.  After the coalition he was, in 1804-05, stationed in the lower Red River department, and in 1810 was out on the Saskatchewan with Alexander Henry.  In 1813 Bethune accompanied John George McTavish overland to the Pacific, arriving in Astoria in the autumn.  He spent three years and a half on the Pacific coast, part of the time in charge at Fort George (formerly Astoria).  In April, 1817, he accompanied the brigade that left for Fort William.  Later Bethune returned to the Oregon territory and went out to China as supercargo in a North West Company’s vessel—ED. 

85For this utensil see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, p. 232, note 40.--ED. 

86The term Ia pituclle is probably some local word, or one wrongly spelled.  Were it farther north it might mean tripe de roche, a lichen often eaten by starving voyageurs; but were this so Curot would probably have used the latter expression.  If they had meal or flour, it might mean the very last of it mixed with water.—Col. Crawford Lindsay. 

87In his expression “that they would doubt my word,” Curot is referring to the proprietors the company for whom the journal was prepared, not to the insubordinate menials.  This slight touch would seem to show that be did not “make good” with the company officials when his report was handed in.—ED. 

88For this site see ante, p. 408, note 38.—ED. 

89For the use of this term on the Brulé see ante, p. 405, note 31.  It would seem to indicate a strip of dead water, although John La Rock interprets it is “a swift fall of water.”  One of our correspondents suggests that it may refer in this case to Little Yellow Lake, a kind of backwater or bayou connected with Yellow Lake by the thoroughfare.  See ante, p.413, note 51,--ED. 

90Curot was here speaking of a fish with beards or barbs, so he must have meant either a bullhead or catfish, the only ones of our Wisconsin fauna so equipped; he may have meant anyone of five or six species, between which he would probably not have discriminated.— Prof. George Wagner. 

91Watap {Chippewa, Watab) is the long slender root of the spruce that is used to lace together strips of birch-bark for canoes and other utensils.  It is prepared by the Indian women, and is a necessity for all aboriginal voyaging on inland waters.—ED. 

92Epinette is Canadian-French for spruce.  Spruce River is a small stream in Pine County, Minn., that rises in Douglas County, Wis., and embouches into the St. Croix almost on the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary.—ED. 

93Vaseux (or Mud) Lake is the former name of the present Spooner Lake, near the head of the Yellow River.  The Indian name, Mr. Thomas informs us, was Ka-kwa-kish-ka-ka-kog, meaning a shallow, muddy lake.  At the present time there is found on this lake a considerable Indian village, which has been there for many years.  Two old Indians, named respectively Wolf and Chicag, who died some years ago at an advanced age, told Mr. Peaslee that over a hundred years ago there was a fur-trade post on the island in Mud Lake, now known as Harper’s.—ED. 

94See ante, p. 405, note 32, for the heavy growth of this brush.—ED. 

95Probably the present Amnicon River, in Douglas County, Wisconsin.—ED, 

96Augustin Bélanger was in 1804 a voyageur in the Fond du Lac department of the North West Company.—ED. 

97Probably Knife Island, opposite the mouth of Knife River, St. Louis County, Minn.--ED. 

98The second island was no doubt that called Encampment Island, off a river of the same name in Lake County, Minn. Baptism (au Bapteme) River is farther to the northeast, in the same county.—ED. 

99The. two islands are just beyond Beaver Bay, in Lake County, Minn., and either Curot was driven back there, or his encampment of the 11th was some distance from Baptism River, which is beyond the two islands.—ED. 

100For these localities see Wis. Hist. Colls., xix, pp. 171, 172, notes 35, 37.—ED. 


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