From Washington Historical Quarterly III (1912)
Deputy Governor George Simpson (afterward knighted, and more generally designated Sir George Simpson), at the head of the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company in British North America for nearly 40 years, was a very forceful and thorough man. He had been chosen to the position at the time of the coalition with the Northwest Company in 1821, and the last District to be visited and reorganized by him was the Columbia District, for the management of which Dr. John McLoughlin had been selected as resident Chief Factor. This was the occasion for the presence of Gov. Simpson at Ft. George at the mouth of the Columbia river in November, 1824; along with Dr. McLoughlin and others he had just arrived from across the mountains.
The expedition covered by the Journal herewith (which is now published in full for the first time) had been planned several months previous; this we know from correspondence with John McLeod at Thompson River (Kamloops), instructing him to detach Mr. Annamour, a clerk, to become one of the party. Mr. McLeod had been instructed to obtain all possible information as to an outlet to the Coast by way of Fraser river or any other stream of New Caledonia; and to explore personally in the interior. It was not until after 1828, when Gov. Simpson personally made the trip up Peace River and down the Fraser, that he gave up the immediate search for such an outlet; even later he was hoping to find one further north. So immediately after his arrival at Ft. George this expedition was outfitted and sent off. It is evident that the report from Mr. McMillan was desired before a permanent location should be selected further up the Columbia for the District Headquarters. Fort Vancouver then did not yet exist except by anticipation.
The personnel of the expedition is interesting. Mr. Jas. McMillan was a man of experience on the Columbia, the same who was associated on its upper waters with David Thompson fifteen years earlier; he afterward built Ft. Langley on the Fraser river and remained in charge until succeeded there by Mr. Archibald MacDonald in 1828. The ubiquitous and brave Thos. McKay, now a son-in-law of Dr. McLoughlin, but previously a member of the first Astoria party on the Tonquin, had returned to the Columbia with the present party; he of course wanted to be present when any chance for a scrap with the Indians might occur, for he had a family score to wipe out. He was in charge of the hunting and expected to keep the party supplied with fresh meat. Mr. Annamour was a clerk in rank who did not rise to special prominence in later years; Mr. Work, the writer of this Journal, was the other clerk. Mr. John Work was of Irish descent, his name is properly spelled Wark, but less often appears so written. He became a prominent man among the H. B. Co. officials of the District. His daughter, widow of the late Edward Huggins of Tacoma, has only recently died in that city; another daughter was the wife of the late Dr. Wm. Fraser Tolmie, whose last years were spent in Victoria, B. C., and whose children possess the original Journal from which this copy has been kindly allowed. This is the Journal from which Hubert Howe Bancroft personally drew his account of this same expedition as appears on pp. 464-8 of his History of the Northwest Coast, Vol. 2. It has not before been printed in full.
Briefly stated, the expedition portaged from the Columbia river at Ilwaco across to Shoalwater Bay and from that Bay portaged again along the beach to Grays Harbor; thence followed the meanderings of the Chehalis and Black river to a source in Black Lake, from which a portage was made to either Eld or Budd Inlet of Puget Sound; thence followed the Easterly channels and bays of the Sound to a stream beyond the 49th parallel that empties into Boundary Bay and up that stream to a portage across to another stream flowing into the Fraser river at the site chosen for Fort Langley a little more than a year later, and up the Fraser river for two days, a full month being consumed to the date of turning back. Returning they paddled and sailed out of the mouth of the Fraser, rounded Point Roberts and spent a night at Birch Bay and then followed practically the same route they had come as far back as Black River south of Olympia, Washington; there the party divided, Mr. McMillan, Mr. Work and a few others proceeding by the more traveled and direct route of the Cowlitz to the Columbia and Ft. George, and Mr. McKay, in charge of the remainder of the party, taking the boats back by the route first traveled. The return was made in twelve days by Mr. McMillan. To follow this course closely with the aid of charts published by the U. S. and Dominion Governments and county maps showing careful details will be of much interest to residents of the counties bordering upon the Coast (who will appreciate what was meant by a "weighty rain") and Puget Sound and the Fraser. The journal is also of value as showing the carrying capacity of the light batteaus used by the fur traders, and the variety of food carried for their sustenance, and the manual labor and exposure common to their expeditions.
No opportunity has been available to compare with the original journal and check some uncertainties in copying.
T. C. ELLIOTT.
*After Mr. Elliott had prepared this paper for the Washington Historical Quarterly it was learned that Mr. E. 0. S. Scholefield of the Provincial Library of British Columbia had arranged to publish the Work Journal with other materials in a bulletin. Notwithstanding this fact, the Journal is here published for the benefit of readers who might not receive the proposed bulletin and also because of the fact that the record bears directly upon the field of this Quarterly.
Nov., 1824-Governor Simpson having determined to send an expedition to the Northward for the purpose of discovering the entrance of Fraser's River, and ascertaining the possibility of navigating that River with boats, and also of examining the coast between Fort George and Fraser's River as far as practicable. James McMillan, Esq., was appointed to command the expedition, which consisted of:
Thos. McKay, F. N. Annamour, John Work, clerks; Michael Laframbois, interpreter; 1, Pierre L'Etang; 2, Jas. Portneuf Abanaker; 3, Alexis Aubuchou; 4, Pierre Villandri; 5. J. B. Proveau; 6, Peter Wagner; 7. F. H. Condon; 8, Pierre Karogarajab, Ir.; 9, Louis Shatakorata Ir.; 10, Wm. Johnston, Englishman; I 1, Segwin Le Deranti; 12, Cawano: Ir.; 1 3, Louis Anawano, Ir.; 14, Pierre Karaguana, Ir.; 15, Chas. Jaundeau; 16, Louis Diomilea; 17, Andre Lonctoin; 18, Chas. Rondeau; 19, Pierre Patvin; 20, Ettuni Oniager, Ir.; 21, Louis Hanatiohe, Ir.; 22, Louis Vivet; 23, Peo Beau, Islander; 24, Thos. Tojanel, Islander; 25, Thos. Zatwaiton, Islander; 26, Jos. Loui Abanaker; 27 Andre Le Chappel; 28, J. B. Dubian; 29, Joseph Derpard; 30, Leo Depuis; 31, Jacques Patvin; 32, Louis Shorakorta, Islander; 33, Joseph Grey, Islander; 34, Bazil Pioner; 35, Momonta, Islander; 36, Cannon, American.
Besides the above group, an Iroquoy Freehunter and his slave also accompanied the party on account of his being acquainted with the coast part of the way. The voyage to be performed in three boats, the only loading of which consists of . . kegs pease, . . kegs oatmeal, . . bags flour, . . kegs pork, . . kegs grease, . . kegs rum, . . keg butter, . . kegs, sugar, . . bags biscuit, . . bags pemmican. In all . . days' provisions.
THURSDAY, 18 (NOVEMBER)
Everything being in readiness, the expedition left Fort George at a quarter past one o'clock and in 2 hours and 10 minutes reached the portage 1 in Bakers Bay, a distance of not less than 14 miles. This portage is about . . miles to the Northward of Cape Disappointment. This portage is made to avoid doubling the Cape, which is not practicable with our boats. Though the wind did not blow very strong, there was a heavy swell in the middle of the River. Mr. Kennedy acompanied in a boat to Bakers Bay and stopped with us for the night. It was drizzling rain in the after part of the day, with some showers.
FRIDAY, 19 Nov., 1824
Weighty rain all day and blowing fresh in the afternoon from the Eastward.
Commenced carrying the boats and cargoes across the portage of 1060 yards, to a small lake 2 about half a mile long. The portage was wet and dirty, but in dry weather it would be a fine road. From this little lake part of the people carried part of the cargo, while the remainder of the people with the boats and the rest of the property proceeded down a small creek 3 that receives its waters from the lake. This creek is so narrow that the boats could scarcely be got dragged through it, and all the property had to be carried the greater part of the way. The road along this little creek, which runs through a little swampy plain, is very soft and wet. We have got only about 2-3 of the way across the portage. The distance we have made from the little lake is 4,200 paces in a direction nearly N. by E.
Mr. Kennedy, who came to see us across the river, took leave of us at the little lake.
Abundance of geese and ducks are along this little river and swamp. McKay killed three and Mr. Annamour 1 goose. Some parts of the road there were a good many cranberries.
Blew a storm in the night with weighty showers of rain. Fine weather in the morning, but very weighty rain afterwards, wind S. E. The people resumed transporting the property and boats to where the tide came up the little river, a distance of 1,218 yards, here all the property was embarked, and at 440 yards farther down the passengers also embarked. Here the creek began to widen and a strong flood tide made it sufficiently deep for the boats. About two miles farther we came to the entrance of Grey's Bay,4 down which we proceeded about 9 miles and encamped about 2 o'clock P. M. at the entrance of a little river on the west side of the bay.5 Our reasons for stopping so early was its being too late to cross the bay and there being no possibility of getting water farther on. The wind being favorable, the sails were hoisted about an hour. The little valley through which we passed yesterday and today is here and there clothed with willows, which some places nearly choke up the river, in some parts it is clear and clothed with verdure, in several places it is very swampy on account of the heavy rain and the tide flowing over its lower end. The part of the Bay which we have passed through seems to be from 4 to 6 or 7 miles wide. On the W. side the shores are flat and covered with woods, principally a kind of pine, to the water's edge, wood of the same description also extends to the water's edge on the E. side, but the shores in some places appear steep and seem to be compounded of a reddish clay. Our general course all day was nearly due North.
Here there is a small village of Chenooks consisting of 5 inhabited and 1 uninhabited house.
Fair weather, a fine gentle breeze of wind from the S. E., some weighty rain in the night. As it would have been too long to wait for the tide rising sufficiently high, the boats and property were carried about 1/4 of a mile, and we were on the water at 8 o'clock. Our courses were as follows: N. E. 5 miles, which was -across to the East side of the Bay,6 then along the East side of it; N. W. 6 miles7; W. N. W. 4 miles; N. N. W. 5 miles; and W. N. W. 8 miles, which brought us to a point8 which forms the entrance of the bay on the East side at 1 o'clock. This is a low point about 2 miles across and has such a heavy surf breaking upon it, particularly that from the ocean on its north side, that it is impossible to take boats round with any degree of safety; the cargoes were therefore, carried nearly across the point, a distance of 3,300 yards. The labour of carrying will not end here, as the sea is breaking with such violence on the shore, that that business (will) likely have to be continued a good while. Notwithstanding this breach of the sea on the beach, the wind is off the land and not blowing strong. The road in this portage is very good, the ground is sound, dry, with some fir, pines and willows growing upon it. Grey's Bay widens greatly towards its entrance, it is in some parts not less than 15 miles. The E. shore appears still flat near the water, the bank on the W. side is a little higher and in some places would be difficult to land, as they are so steep. In crossing the etrance to two bays before we came to the portage, the tide ran very high, the waves were very high, but as they did not break we shipped no water
Stormy with very weighty rain in the night and blowing fresh with some showers during the day. Wind southerly.
All hands were at work at an early hour, past carrying the property 3,870 yards N. N. W. farther on the portage, and part clearing a road along a little river, so that the boats might be got through that way in preference to attempting the sea shore. About all the people were sent for the boats, which they brought with great labour a distance of about 3 miles, the greater part of which they had to be dragged through places almost entirely dry or little better than swamps. Tomorrow it is intended to carry them to the sea shore and try to get them along as the Indians do their canoes, which is to conduct them along between the beach and the shore, while thus employed the waves often break over both them and their canoes. The road through which the goods were carried today is very good and lies along the edge of the woods which is about 1/4 to 1/2 miles from the shore. Geese are plentiful, 20 were killed, they are mostly the small grey geese and very lean, however, provided a kettle for the men. Vandit and little Louis are lame.
Light clouds, fine fair weather, light wind from the S. E. At daylight all the people were employed carrying the boats from the woods where they were left yesterday to the sea shore, afterwards part of the men, 6 and boat, conducted them along shore in the inside of the breakers, where they had just water enough to float them to the other end of the portage. One of the boats was left some distance on this side of the others. In performing this business part of the men stopped in the boats with poles to keep her right and to watch the waves, while the rest dragged her along with a line; the swells were often nearly upsetting her. The surges often flowed in about the men at the line until they were up to the middle. The remainder of the people were employed carrying the property a distance of 4,620 yards N. N. W. The road still continues very good.
Mr. Annamour went to seek elk, but saw no appearance of any. He represents the country as bare and swampy and unfit for the residence of elk. 5 geese were killed, the same kind as yesterday and equally lean.
One of the men, Vanditt Potvin, who got lame yesterday, was so ill that he had to be carried today. Yesterday morning a small spot on the upper part of his foot became painful and suddenly swelled very large and is now so painful that he cannot put it to the ground. This (is) an unfortunate circumstance in our present situation.
Overcast, fair weather except some showers in the afternoon, wind S. E.
As soon as it was daylight, all hands were at work and carried the property along shore 3,20 yards N. N. W.,9 and then struck along the woods to a bracnh of the Chihalis Bay10 a distance of 2,364 yards N. E., where the goods were all brought by 1 o'clock. The road along the sea shore was the same as yesterday, but that across the woods is very bad. It lies through thick woods and is almost one continuation of swamps where the men with their loads were often on their knees in water and mud. By taking this road a great deal of labour is saved ,as it is 3 miles shorter than the road along the shore and across the other end of the point. As soon as the goods were got across the half of the people were sent to take round the boat which was left yesterday and to bring it and the other two up to this place; they have not yet arrived.
A goose and 2 ducks were killed, great numbers of ducks are in this small branch of the bay, but they are very shy and difficult to get at.
Vandit Patvin is getting worse, the swelling is extending up his leg and several black spots are appearing on his foot, he had to be carried all the way we came today.
The whole length of this portage which we have just got across is little more than 15 miles.
Overcast with drizzling rain and weighty showers. Wind S. E. blowing pretty fresh. Rained hard in the night.
At an early hour the men who remained at the camp were sent off to assist the others with the boats with which they arrived at noon, and at ½ past 1 o'clock we embarked and proceeded up the Chihalis Bay. Our courses were N. 5 miles, N. N. E. 4 miles and N. E. 5 miles along the E. side of the Bay. On account of the haziness of the weather the form of the Bay or the appearance of the country about it could not be clearly discerned, but the Bay appears to be about 6 miles wide at its entrance immediately after which it widens to from 10 to 12 miles and then narrows gradually as we advance to from 3 to 4 miles. The shores are thickly clothed with wood, chiefly pine, to the water's edge, and near the water are rather flat. It is sometimes difficult to find a dry place to encamp on account of the rising tides, fresh water is also sometimes a scarce article, and that which we got being obtained from the swamps is of a bad quality and sometimes brackish.
The Iroquoy George11 had been stationary near this bay sometime past hunting sea otter, he has now sent all his slaves to the Fort but one with whom he accompanies us.
A canoe with 10 Chihalis Indians passed us on their way to the Chenooks.
Weighty rain in the night and with the exception of a few short intervals in the afternoon, pouring down rain all day. Blowing fresh from the E. forenoon. The men were completely drenched, and it was with difficulty a fire was got made when we put ashore for breakfast.
Embarked at daylight and proceeded to the bottom of the bay,12 a distance of about 6 miles N. E. to S. E., the course in general may be considered E. The part of the bay through which we passed in the morning narrows from 2 miles to about ½ mile in breadth, the shores of the North side are pretty high and those on the S. side are low and swampy near the water. The Bay from S. W. to N. E. may be about 23 or 24 miles in length. The Chihailis River is about 300 yards wide at its entrance and narrows as we advance till about 100 yds. where we are now encamped. The banks in some places are high and steep, but often low and flat and thickly wooded to the water's edge, principally pine on the high banks and oak and alder on the low points, and all along so thickly (covered) with underwood, bush and long grass, that it would be difficult to penetrate any distance into the woods; the shores are wet and muddy. The navigation for so far is very good, the river is deep and the current slack, the tide ascends this far. In the course of the day we passed several islands. Passed 4 villages of the Chihalis Nation, 2 houses in the first, 5 in the second, 2 in the third, and 3 in the fourth, opposite which we encamped. Though these people are well accustomed to the Whites and have been still on friendly terms with them, we were surprised to find them all under arms on our approach, and at some of the villages assuming threatening attitudes, shouting from behind the trees and presenting their arms, particularly their bows and arrows, as if in the act of discharging them. On inquiring into the cause of this unexpected conduct, we learned that Cumcumilus Son Cassica had sprad a report among these people that the Whites were coming to attack them and they were too credulous as to disbelieve it, but they were soon undeceived and a present of tobacco to some of the chief men dismissed all appearances of hostility.
Patvin, the lame man, is getting no better, the swelling is rather increasing than decreasing.
These peoples' houses and appearances, etc., are in every respect similar to the Chenooks, they have a good many fine arms among them.
We can only form a conjecture as to their number, from the first 3 houses we passed a canoe followed us with 14 men whom we supposed were all that belonged to those two houses, which was 7 house, supposing each house to contain 7 men fit to bear arms, as we passed 12 houses the number of men would be 84 which is probably correct, perhaps under the thing.
These peoples' houses are constructed of planks set on end and neatly fastened at the top, those in the ends lengthening towards the middle to form the proper pitch, the roofs are cased in with plank, the seams between which are filled with moss, a space is left open all the way along the ridge which answers the double purpose of letting out the smoke and admitting the light. About their habitations there is a complete bank of filth and nastiness. At this wet season it is a complete mess mixed with the offal of fish and dirt of every kind renders it surprising that human beings can reside among it.
Poured down rain all night, blowing fresh from the S. E. It rained incesstantly with very little wind till 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when it ceased and a fair evening succeeded. Every person and every thing was completely drenched, our means of keeping them dry being ineffectual.
In order to save time and avoid the difficulty of getting a fire, we breakfasted before we left our encampment, and embarked at 8 o'clock and continued our course up the river to 4 o'clock in the afternoon where we encamped both wet and uncomfortable, but the evening being fine a good fire was soon made and all hands were soon employed warming themselves and drying their clothes. The distance made today we reckon from 20 to 24 miles through a very winding course, the river was so crooked that we were steering to every part at times, but our general course was East. The current was very strong and the people had often to use their poles. The general appearance of the river is much the same as yesterday except that the banks are high and not so soft and muddy as when the tide ebbs and flows. The breadth of the river this day might be from 60 to 80 yards. The continual rain is causing the river to rise very fast and, of course, increases the strength of the current. We passed 10 houses, first 1, next six and last 3 all of the Chihailis nation. The inhabitants did not appear in arms nor did they appear alarmed as those we passed yesterday. They were likely appeased by some of their friends who proceeded us, that they had no reason to be alarmed. At the large village I counted 47 men on the bank and saw some in the houses besides, the whole of which were upwards of 50, but some of those we saw yesterday were among them.
The filth about these houses exceeded that we saw yesterday. About and even in the houses were literally alive with maggots which had generated in the off all of fish and the stench was most offensive. Canoes of these people accompanied us from one village to another, many of them were quite naked regardless of the rain. Several tracks of elk were seen today. But not a single appearance of beaver have we seen yet in the river.
Patvin is getting worse, his foot and leg has broke in different places.
Raining the most part of the night. Short intervals of fair weather in the morning and constant rain afterwards. Wind S. E.
Embarked a little after 8 o'clock and pursued our course up the river a distance of about 10 miles S. E. to where it receives a little river called the Black River from the Northward, up which we proceeded about 10 miles in about a N. E. direction. The part of the Chihailis River which we passed today is much the same in appearance as that described yesterday. The current continues very strong, the water had risen considerably in the night. The Black River13 so named from the colour of its water, is from 20 to 30 yards wide, towards its lower end the navigation is very good, the water is deep and the current not strong, but about 5 or 6 miles up it the navigation gets troublesome as the current becomes strong and in many places so shallow that the boats could scarcely be dragged through it.
The river was also in two places blocked up with driftwood, at one of which a portage was made, a passage was cut through the other, a great deal of driftwood is piled on the shore at many places along the river. The banks of this river are in some places elevated and in some places low, the high banks are generally clothed with lofty pine and the low ones with poplar, ash, alder, etc., and the low points with thick willows. Where we are encamped is on the edge of a little plain. This river would not be passable for such craft as ours in the dry season. A great many dead salmon are in the river and many that are just alive and barely able to move through the water. Pased on Indian house belonging to the Holloweena nation, I counted 12 persons at it, probably some more were in the house.
Wind S. E. Rain in the night and a continual succession of
weighty showers all day.
Embarked at 1/2 past 8 o'clock and proceeded about 9 miles up the river in a N. E. course. In places the river was very shallow and our progress was sometimes obstructed by driftwood. In other parts the navigation was good as the water was deep and the current slack. The appearance of the country is changing considerably as we advance. The low points are covered with willows and small poplars, plane and some oak trees, while the higher banks have pine, and some distance appear hills thickly clothed with pine, between these hills and the river there are in some places fine plains. Saw several marks of beaver.-
Encamped at noon, the cause of stopping so soon was to wait for Mr. Annamour who had been sent to the principal Holloweena village a few miles off, for a trader Pierre Charles who has been with the Indians for some time. It is thought that he would be an acquisition to our party, but he could not be found.
Some of the people were sent off to hunt but returned unsuccessful though they saw both elk and deer. This is reckoned a good part of the country for those animals.
Passed two houses of the HalIoweena Nation at which I counted 10 men and as many women besides children, probably some more were in the houses. Saw some more Indians some of whom had horses.
Rain in the night and weighty rain the greater part of the day with strong gusts of wind from the S. E. We did not decamp today. Patvin's foot and leg has got so ill that there is no prospects of his recovery on the voyage, and this being the last place from which there is any chance of getting him sent back to the Fort, an agreement was made with an Indian, a principal man of the Chihailis Nation whom we met, to take him home to the Fort, for which he was to be paid handsomely on his arrival. Several of the men were, therefore sent off with the sick man to meet the Indian at the Halloweena Village where he was to proceed by the sea coast in a canoe. Eawania an Islander was sent with them to take care of him, but the men returned in the evening and reported that the Indian had made some difficulties and wanted payment before he went off. It not being considered prudent to send the sick man with the Indian, a bargain was made with another a Halloweena to take him by the Cowlitch, by which route he was expected to make the Fort sooner.
Pierre Charles, the man who was wanted yesterday, joined our party.
Several of the people went to hunt and Mr. Annamour and Little Pierre killed each a deer. Some of the others saw both elk and deer but killed none, the heavy rain was unfavourable for hunting.
Wednesday, 1st Dec
Showery weather, wind S. E. There has been more fair weather last night and today than for several days past.
In consequence of having to send the Interpreter Laframbois to finish the arrangements with the Indian and get him sent off with the sick man, we did not move camp today, until the Interpreter returned in the evening having effected his mission satisfactorily. The Indian who was engaged for the purpose had set out with the sick man by the Cowlitch. Part of the journey had to be performed on horse back. The poor man is furnished with a supply of provisions, medicines and the means of procuring provisions as the means possessed of would admit.
Several of the people were sent off to hunt, they are to proceed to a portage a short way ahead and there meet us.
Since we have been here several of the Halloweena Indians from the neighbouring village have visited us. Their mode of life, manners, language, etc., differ little from the Chihailis, indeed, they may be considered as a detached part of that tribe.
Mild fair weather, wind Easterly.
Embarked at half past 7 o'clock and proceeded about 5 miles up the river nearly N. Here the river becomes so narrow and nearly chocked up with willows and trees that it was found necessary to make a portage and the goods were carried a distance of 2,980 yards. The boats were brought up by water which was such a tedious business, a road having to be cut for them in many places through the bushes, that it was night when they reached the upper end of the portage. The part of the river through which we passed today is pretty deep and the current not strong except at some points till we reach the portage. The shores are complete thickets of willows and different kinds of deciduous trees, mostly ash. The portage is a fine road through a handsome plain. Saw several marks of beaver by their cuttings they seem to be fonder of the ash than other trees.
Wind Northerly, fair mild weather except a little drizzling rain in the morning.
Embarked at 1/4 past 7 o'clock and proceeded up the river and nearly to the head of a lake14 where it has its source, a distance of about 8 miles N. to a Portage where boats and all have to be carried across land to Puget's Sound. On our arrival at the portage at 10 o'clock the business of carrying was immediately commenced and the boats and goods carried 3,140 yards N. W., the men had a hard day's work.
The river widened a little above the portage we left in the morning, but was in many places nearly chocked up with willows, but on account of the recent rain there was plenty of water. Pine trees lined the shores which are low at some distance from the water, the intervening space is covered with thick willows and small trees of different kinds. The lake is about 3 to 4 miles long and from 1 to ½ miles wide, and appears on every side thickly wooded with, chiefly pine. In the part of the portage which we passed today the road is very good running through a small plain with ash trees scattered here and there through it and afterwards through thick woods of lofty trees of different kind, some of which are very large, and a good deal of underwood. The road is very good for carrying the pieces as it has been a good deal frequented by Indians, but it is too narrow to carry the boats through, and requires a good deal of labour to widen it, as some of the trees to be removed are pretty large, six men were employd clearing it all day.
The hunters who left us two days ago met us here. Mr. Annamour killed a deer which was the only success the party had.
Saturday, 4th Dec., 1824
Fair mild weather, wind Northerly.
At daylight the people resumed their labour on the portage, part to clear a road for the boats and part to carry the baggage. The property was carried to the end of the portage, a distance of 4,950 yards N. W., by 11 o'clock after which all hands were employed carrying the boats a part of the way. This labour is attended with a great deal of difficulty, as we advance the road gets worse, it is in many places wet and miry, the trees are of a very large size many of them fallen, and the ground among them so thickly covered with underwood, particularly an evergreen shrub called by the Chenooks Lallall, that cutting a road through them for the boats is a tedious and laborious task. The track is also intersected by thin little rivers or creeks.
The portage is 8,090 yards long, and except a little plain at its commencement, thickly wooded with different kinds of trees, pine, maple, cedar, ash and wild cherry. Some of the pine trees are very large. I measured some of them, one of the largest was upwards of 5 fathoms in circumference, another 28 feet around, the soil seems to be very rich.
Pierre Charles was sent to hunt and returned in the evening having killed two elk.
Sunday, 5th Overcast mild fair weather, wind North.
At an early hour part of the men was sent off for the meat that was killed yesterday, and the rest continued their labour at the boats which are yet a considerable distance from the end of the portage, though the people wrought at the road and carrying them all day. A good allowance of the fresh meat was served out to all hands which is a very acceptable change to them after the pease on which they have been living chiefly for some time.
Where we are now encamped is a small bay 15 of Puget's Sound. Notwithstanding that the tide rises about 6 feet yet the water is not very salt; it can only be called brackish. As the little river that falls into it here is inconsiderable, probably several little rivers discharge themselves into the bay at no great distance.
Two Indian houses of the Halloweena tribe are close by, their inhabitants are living on salmon which comes up this little bay.
Overcast, rain, cold weather, wind Northerly. Foggy in the morning.
At daylight the people went off to the boats which they brought to the end of the portage and at 9 o'clock we embarked and proceeded down the bay about 25 miles in the following courses: 4 miles N. N. W., 4 N. E., 3 N., 2 N. N. E., 2 N., 2 E. by S., 3 N E. by E., 3 E., and 2 N. N. E., mostly along the S. E. shore, through narrow channels formed by islands or points Passed three deep bays or narrows formed by islands on the West side and on the S. E. side. In the evening passed the Nisqually River which falls in from the E. into a pretty large bay. The shores are steep and bold compounded of clay, a gravel and covered with wood, principaly pine, to the water's edge. In several places the wood appears pretty clear and not much chocked with underwood. Put ashore a short time at noon to join the boats. Here we found plenty of musels, which were the only shellfish we found although the shells of several other kinds such as oysters and different kinds of cockles were along the shores in plenty, another kind of fish in a curious shape was also in plenty, this is a shapeless animal with long toes joined together in the middle, it seems to be in a torpid state and scarcely to move, it is covered with a crust or hard skin of reddish colour.
Passed a house of the Halloweena tribe, also saw two Indians in a canoe.
Encamped in the evening near 4 o'clock on a sandy point; very little fresh water.
Wind Easterly. Overcast cold weather, foggy in the morning.
Embarked at 1/2 past 7 o'clock and proceeded 3 miles N. E., 6 E and 26 North, in all 35 miles. Encamped at 4 o'clock in the evening. Our course lay through narrow channels about 1/2 mile wide and some wide openings formed by traversing bays and channels formed by some islands and points. Passed a channel and two bays on the W. side and two bays and a channel on the E. side, the last of the bays receives the Qualax16 River. Stopped at another little river where there was a village17 of the Nisqually
Nation consisting of six houses, these are miserable habitations constructed of poles covered with mats, we were detained 11/2 hours at this village, getting two men and a woman, wife to one of them, to act as interpreters and guides for us. The men are both of the Sanahomis tribe18 and are not intelligible to any of our party, neither do they well understand us but they, at least one of them, understands the language of the Coweechins which is the name of the tribe at the entrance of what is supposed to be Fraser's River. The woman speaks and understands the Chenook language pretty well and is to interpret to the men. Two canoe with 8 Indians passed our encampment in the evening, and when it was dark the Indians visited our camp, these people are from the Interior and belong to the........
The Nisqualy Indians speak a language different from any we have seen yet.
Where we are encamped is an island,19 where we see the marks of some horses which the Indians have on it.
The appearance of the shores is much the same as yesterday, still bold and high, composed of clay and generally wooded to the water's edge. Where we encamped last night we found abundance of mussels at low water.
Some rain in the afternoon, wind Easterly.
We were on the water at 7 o'clock and made according to estimation a distance of 36 miles, N. 5 miles, W. 3, N. E. 5 and N. 23. We were 73/4 hours on the water, 33/4 of which we both sailed and paddled with mild breeze, we concluded that we made at least 5 miles per hour. We this day proceeded through a fine channel formed, as the others, by the main land and an island. Passed an opening on the E. side in the morning and on the same side a bay 20 into which the Linananimis River (flows). On the West side we came through the Soquamis Bay from which there is a small opening to the Westward. Where we are now encamped opposite to a wider channel or opening21 which runs to the Westward (?) it is very deep with a number of islands in its north side and through its entrance. The channels through which we passed may be 3 or 4 miles wide, the shores appear the same as yesterday. We stopped at the Soquamis village situated in the bay 22 of the same name, it consists of 4 houses, we saw only 8 or ten men, but understand several of the inhabitants were off fishing. Our object in stopping here was to get the chief to accompany us as an interpreter, but he was not at home. The houses are build of boards covered with mats.
The country in general appearance the same as that through which we have already passed, the banks generally very high composed of clay or gravel and wooded generally to the water's edge, the timber seems not to be of a large growth. A ridge of high mountains covered with snow appeared some distance inland on the Eastern shore, two high mountains 23 were also seen covered with snow to the S. and S. E., another high one was also seen to the S. W.24
Foggy in the morning. Wind Northerly, rain, cold weather.
Resumed our voyage at 1/2 past 7 o'clock and proceeded about 28 miles through a fine channel from 3 to 5 miles wide, formed by an island on the W. side and the main land and islands on the E. side. Our courses were as follows: N. N. E. 15 miles, W. N. W. 10 and N. N. W. 3. Passed the Sinnahamis 25 Bay which receives a river of the same name on the E. side, and on the same side the entrance of a bay or channel, here was also a small island on the same side in the entrance of the Sannihamis Bay. On the W. side of the channel we passed the entrance of a bay or channel and a small island in the entrance of Sannihamis Bay. Where we are now encamped 26 is near a village of the Skaadchet 27 tribe, the smoke of two other villages of the same tribe appear at other situations around the Bay. During the forepart of the day the appearance of the country is much the same as yesterday, but towards evening it began to change considerably. The banks are still high but not so abrupt as before, the woods are getting in several places much thinner and sometimes plains were seen stretching down to the water's edge. A high ridge of snow topped mountains were still seen extending from nearly south to N. along the Eastern shore and some distant islands All the country hereabouts is represented by the Indians to abound with elk and deer.
In the afternoon passed a large house belonging to some of the Sannihamis tribe on the E. side of the channel, the inhabitants on our approach fled to the woods, but our interpreter called to some who were in a canoe and they brought back their friends. We went to this house and were treated by them with shell fish. All these tribes appear much alarmed on our approach and appear aimed to dispatch on landing, if they do not fly to the woods till they are informed of our friendly intentions. All strangers are considered by these as parties of neighboring tribes coming on war excursions. These people got some trifling presents.
One of our interpreters, being afraid to proceed any farther remained at this house where some of his friends resided. This man since he has been with us frequently boasted of his bravery and showed us how he would kill the Coweechins, the tribe who inhabit the entrance of the river of which we are in quest, and who are represented as a barbarous and wicked people. They are so wicked that the most of the Indians are unwilling to trust themselves among them even under our protection. However, the other interpreter and his wife are still bold enough to proceed.
A canoe with 10 men and a woman of the Scaadchet tribe met us in the evening and being assured of their safety by our guide, returned to where we encamped and are remaining with us all night.
Foggy in the morning and foggy with rain all the after part of the day. Wind northerly.
Embarked at 1/4 past 7 o'clock and proceeded 3 miles N. N. W., 5 N. by W., 5 N. N. W., 2 N. W., 10 N. N. W., and 11 N. W., in all 36 miles. Our course lay first round a point to one of the Scaadchet villages,28 then across a deep bay29 and through a narrow winding channel30 to another larger bay,31 down which we proceeded to an island32 at its entrance where we encamped at 1/2 past 4 o'clock. This was the only place within our reach where water could be found according to our guides. The appearance of the country is very much changed, the shores are much bolder and of rock, the islands are also rocky with apparently very little earth and clothed with trees of a stunted growth.
Last night a young man, son to the Scaadchet Chief, was engaged to accompany the party as a guide and interpreter, and principally for the purpose of introducing us to strangers whom we may pass. He accordingly embarked with us, and shortly after we were met by some people in canoes who informed him that a war party from a neighboring tribe had surprised one of the villages and slain one of his friends in the night. A kind of howling was set up and we proceeded to the village which was on our way where a short stay was made till our guide got some things for his wife, when we continued across the bay, in the meantime the Indians had collected from the different villages and followed us in five canoes to the number of 55 men armed with bows and arrows, spears, bludgeons and a few guns. Not knowing what their intentions might be our party placed their arms beside them in readiness, however, the Indians said they were going to get news of the murder which turned out to be a false report. A present of a knife and a looking glass was made to each of their principal chiefs with which they seemed well satisfied. Two of the chiefs, the father of the young man already mentioned, and another volunteered to accompany us and their offer was accepted and they embarked, all the others returned.
The Scaadchet are fine looking Indians. They are not so flat headed as the Chenooks. They go quite naked except a blanket about their shoulders, many use in lieu of blankets little cloaks made of feathers or hair. The bay in which they reside is a handsome place. Passed 12 houses belonging to these people on the E. side of our road, not far separated, and in the opposite side of the bay I counted at least 12 houses in a village, besides which at a great distance, the smoke of two other villages appeared.
A ridge of mountains 33 covered with snow extended from S. E. to N. W. at some distance from the Eastern shore, the intervening space seemed to be a flat country well wooded. In the after part of the day approached considerably nearer the shore and the country became much more hilly, even every island of any size rose to a little hill in its centre. The Indians represent this country as abounding in elk, even the islands are said in to be well stocked with these animals. The main land appears well for beaver and the Indians say they are numerous.
Overcast showery weather, wind Easterly.
Proceeded on our voyage at 1/2 past 7 o'clock and continued to 1/2 past 12 where we encamped in consequence of having a very wide traverse to make which it was deemed unsafe to attempt as the weather appeared unsettled and the sea appeared to be running high in the middle of the traverse. The distance made was 15 miles N. W. by W. and 7 miles N. W. along the main shore. The wind being favorable we sailed most of the time with a fine breeze. Passed several islands 34 to the Westward but at a great distance, there was also what appeared to be a chain of hills to the Westward farther off than the islands but on account of the haziness of the weather we could not well distinguish whether they were hills or other islands. Saw two large channels, one35 running to the S. W. and the other 36 to the West. On the East passed a small island in the morning, then two points 37 and a small bay close38 to where we encamped which is in the entrance of another bay. The appearance of the country has again changed, the shore still continues high and steep but instead of rocks are composed of clay and wooded to the water's edge, and the woods seem not to be much chocked up with underwood.
Immediately when we put ashore Pierre Charles went to hunt and shortly returned having killed 3 elk and a deer.
Overcast stormy weather in the morning and moderate in the after part of the day, sleet and weighty rain in the night.
The weather being too rough to attempt the traverse this morning, and part of the people having to be sent for the meat which was killed yesterday, we did not decamp today.
The people who were sent for the meat arrived with it in the afternoon. The great number of tracks seen by the hunters indicated that elk are-very numerous about this place.
Overcast, wind N. Easterly, a little wind in the forepart of the day but nearly calm afterward.
Embarked at half past 7 o'clock and set out with the intention of crossing the traverse, but had gone but a short way when it was thought too rough to proceed, though there was not much wind. The course was, therefore changed and the boats crossed the entrance of the little bay in which we had been encamped and continued along the main shore to another bay 39 down which they proceeded to the entrance of a small river 40 up which they continued about 7 or 8 miles, in a very winding course which was in general N. Easterly. Encamped at 1/2 past 3 o'clock.
The point above mentioned 41 to which it was intended to cross in the morning is represented by the Indians to form the entrance of Coweechan River (which is supposed to be the same with Fraser's), on the S. E. side it projects far out to sea and appears like an island but seems to be joined to the mainland which is very low by a sandy ridge which probably may be covered at high water, immense flocks of plover were observed flying about the sand. The distance to this point might be about 10 miles. Sand appears at a distance beyond the point.
The reason for proceeding up the little river was the Indians representing that by making a portage there was a road this way into the Coweechin River, but they said it was very bad and seemed most desirous to go by the point. The navigation of the little river is very bad, after getting a short distance up it was often barred up with driftwood which impeded our progress, the Indians had cut roads through it for their canoes yet they were too narrow for our boats. Farther up it is nearly closed up with willows so uncommonly thick that it was both laborious and tedious to get the boats dragged through them. It is yet some distance to the portage. The appearance of the country round the bay from which we started this morning round to the point, appears low and flat, the bay appears to be shallow. In the river nothing but thick willows are seen for some distance from the water, where the banks though low are well wooded with pine, cedar, alder and some other trees. There are the appearance of beaver being prtty numerous in this river. Where we are now encamped is a pretty little plain. Two Indian boys were found in a lodge a little above our encampment, they were treatedly kindly and allowed to depart. No information of any importance was got from them. Our Indian and they understand each other, but our interpreter so imperfectly understood the Indians who accompanied us that the information required on the most important points is very unsatisfactorily obtained.
Overcast, very weighty rain in the after part of the day.
It being found that the boats could proceed no farther up the river, carrying was commenced in the morning and the boats and baggage carried 3,970 yards which is a little more than half of the portage. This portage which is to another little river which falls into Coweechin River, lies through a plain 42 which with the weighty rain is become so soft and miry. that in several places it resembles a swamp. The road is very miry and every hollow is a pool of water. The soil here appears to be very rich, is a black mould, the remains of a luxurious crop of fern and grass lies on the ground. The country about here seems low, the trees are of different kinds, pine, birch, poplar, alder, etc., some of the pine of a very large size. Some of the men who were hunting visited the upper part of t he little river and report that they saw the appearance of plenty of beaver. Elk have been very numerous here some time ago but the hunters suppose that since this rainy season they have gone to the high ground.
Raining all day with the exception of some short intervals of fair weather.
The people resumed their labour at an early hour and by the evening had the boats and baggage at the end of the portage, a distance of 3,930 yards which makes the whole length of the portage 7,910 yards N. N. E. The appearance of the country the same as described yesterday.
In the evening as we got to the end of the portage a herd of elk was seen on the edge of the plain. Several of the people set after them but only one was killed which was by Mr. McKay. There were too many hunters and though the elk were not wild they were not approached with sufficient caution, they were followed into the woods by some of the people who have not yet returned.
These Indians came to us in the afternoon. They are of the Cahoutetts Nation. They differ little in appearance from the Indians who accompany us, their blankets are of their own manufacture and made of hair or coarse wool on which they wear a kind of short cloak made of the bark of the cedar tree, it has a hole in the middle through which the head passes, it extends to below the shoulders and breast and has an opening left on each side to leave the arms unconfined. The only arms observed with these were bows and arrows. Their language differs from that of our Indians but they understand each other. The only information obtained from them was that their tribe was in detached parties in their winter quarters in the little river, that the large river was not far off.
Rain in the night and except some short intervals, raining all day. Calm.
We were detained waiting for A. Aubutu, Thos. Taranton and Louis who went after the elk yesterday and did not return till late this morning, till 11 o'clock when we embarked and proceeded down the little river 43 from the portage through a very winding course, generally North, for a distance of about 8 miles to its discharge into the Coweechin 44 River, up which we proceeded about 2 miles E. and encamped at 2 o'clock.
The navigation of the little river is pretty good in some places it is rather shallow, the tide runs a little way up it. The country through which it runs is flat and clayey. In some parts near the portage the woods approach to the water's edge, but farther down the woods are at some distance and the river runs through a fine meadow which is covered with the withered remains of a fine crop of hay. The marks of a great many beaver and numerous tracks of elk some quite fresh are to be seen all the way along the river.
We entered the Coweechin River at 1o'clock. At this place 45 it is a fine looking river at least as wide as the Columbia at Oak Point, 1,000 yards wide. Where we come into it is opposite to an island 46 we are uncertain which what distance it may be to Its entrance. The banks of the N. shore are low and those on the South shore are pretty high, both well wooded to the water's edge. The trees are pine, cedar, alder, birch and some others. Some high hills appear to the Eastward at no great distance, topped with snow.
From the size and appearance of the river there is no doubt in our minds that it is Fraser's.
The men who went after elk yesterday evening killed 2 but brought very little of the meat home and it was thought that too much time would be lost by sending for it.
Overcast, wind Northerly, sharp, cold weather.
Embarked at 8 o'clock and proceeded up the river 4 miles E. N. E. to an island 47, which divides it into two channels, then up the N. channel 1 mile E. N. E. and 1 mile E. to the head of the island, 4 miles E. S. E. here the river is again divided into 2 channels by an island 48 1 mile E. through a channel between two small islands 48 situated in the N. channel, 11/2 miles E. N. E. and 11/2 E. to the head of the island, then 3 miles N. N. E. and 1 mile E. to the entrance of a small river, 49 North where we encamped. The river still keeps its breadth, the shores in the forepart of the day had a moderate ascent and thickly wooded to the water's edge, farther on the banks were lower and wooded in some places principally with poplar, behind these the land rises in hills which appear to be chiefly clothed with pine and cedar. The banks were in many places composed with clay that has been deposited by the water. A high mountain 50 covered with snow appeared to the S. W. in the morning and shortly after a ridge also topped with snow was extending from N. W. to N. E. Two peaks 5l in this ridge are very high, as we are approaching these mountains the country is getting hilly, some of the hills are high and close to the shore.
In the forepart of the day we saw an Indian lodge in a little bay on the N. side of the river. Our Indians were sent ahead to apprise the inhabitants of our approach and good intentions which prevented them from being alarmed. This was a miserable habitation formed of plank, both sides and roof, the usual appendages of Indian houses filth and nastiness were here in abundance, and the smell of the remains of decayed salmon was very offensive. In number 22, 7 men, 7 women and 8 children. Nevertheless, the inhabitants appeared healthy and seemed to have plenty of dried salmon provided. Our Indians were understood by these people, yet we got very little information from them. We learned that they got some fine European articles in traffic from tribes above whom obtained them from White people. The Indians got a few presents when we left them at 2 and 2 of them accompanied us in a canoe.
A village is a short way up the river where we are encamped. An Indian went to it where (one) of them remained all night, the other returned when it was dark with 3 of the Indians who stayed a short time and went off with the Intention, as we understood, of paying a formal visit tomorrow.
At the house below there was an instrument resembling in shape a salmon spear, but what purpose it is used for, its size leaves me at a loss to determine, it was 2 poles about 5 inches in circumference fitted in such a manner that they were intended to be spliced together, one of the was 42 feet long and the other 29, in all about 71 feet, it was of cedar neatly dressed, a fork made of 2 pieces of wood different from the pole and not barked nor made very sharp was fixed to the end of the pole, no cordage any other tackling was about it.
Rained without intermission all night and all day, very little wind from the N. E.
About 9 o'clock 47 men 3 women and 1boy of the Cahantitt Indians (which is the name of the tribe that inhabit the village above where we were encamped) visited us in a friendly manner. Some presents were given them consisting of a fish hook to each of the common men and a looking glass and a little vermillion to each of 3 or 4 chiefs. A few beaver skins were also purchased from one of these chiefs for a couple of axes and a few beads. These Indians, though of the same tribe, are much more intelligent than those we saw yesterday.
A new blanket, two guns, a pair of trousers and a few other European articles, some of them very old and worn out, were in the possession of these people. These articles we understood were received in battle from tribes farther up the river and that they had passed from white people through several tribes before that. A good deal of information was received from these people respecting the river. A little boy presented to the chief to forward to Thompson's River, he mentioned not fewer than 15 tribes, 8 on the south and 7 on the North side of the river, through whose hands it must pass before it reached the Forks. He named the Suswhaps and some other tribes whose names we know.
The chief of this tribe is a fine tall good looking man, but his people are of low stature. The men have generally bierds, all their heads are a little flatted. Their clothes consisted of blankets of their own manufacture, some white and some grey or of black with variegated beads of different colours mostly red and white. They wore mats to keep off the rain and conical hats.
On account of our short stay we could observe nothing respecting their manners or mode of living of these people. They offered some roasted sturgeon for sale which shows that those fish were in the river, but of their mode of taking them we know nothing. Our Indian guide understood them and was understood also. The language they speak has some little resemblance to the Okanagan.
On the arrival of the Indians at our camp this morning we learned that the Scaadchet chief who went to visit them yesterday had deserted in the night.
Mr. McMillan having determined to retire deeming it unnecessary to proceed farther up the river, we embarked past noon and retired to the camp which we left yesterday.
Cloudy fair weather, wind S. E. blowing fresh in
the evening. Poured
down rain all night.
Four canoes containing 17 Indians of the Cahotitt tribe met us, among them was the principal chief of the tribe and a second chief named . We put ashore and had some conversation with them by the help of our interpreters, they were informed of the motive of our visit and seemed highly pleased. A chief's clothing was presented to the old man and a corn. coat to the young one, besides a few other trifling articles. Some beaver skins were also traded from them. These people are of low stature their heads are a little flattened and the old men generally have beards. The old chief seems to be marked with the small pox, and is a smart looking little man though pretty old. The young one is much stouter and a good looking man. This village was at some distance up a river which falls into the bay.
We saw another canoe with three Indians in it but they would not approach us.
A pair of old blankets and an old knife were the only European articles observed among these people, they seemed to have no arms, their clothing was blankets of their own manufacture.
Though we saw but very few Indians yet they must be very numerous about this river at particular seasons of the year. We passed the site of several old villages, the one where we are now encamped extends at least ¾ of a mile along the shore, while passing it I counted 54 houses but on coming near they are found to be so situated that not more than the 1/2 of them were counted.
Overcast mild weather with fog and slight showers of rain forenoon, cleared up afterwards and became a fine sunshining day. Light wind from the E. and N. E.
Embarked at 1/4 before 7 o'clock and continued our course down the river S. by W. 6 miles and W. by S. 5 miles through one of the principal channels which is at least yards wide to its discharge into the sea. There were two other channels on the south side and a large and one supposed to be on the N. side. The channel through which we came was sounded in several places towards its dicharge and found to be from 7 to 3 ½ fathoms about high water. The land about the entrance of the river is very low and swampy with some few scattered pines of a small size and bushes. A ridge of pretty high land appears at some distance on the N. side of the river, that on the N. E. side is a low narrow strip which divides the river from the sea. The sea on each side of the entrance of this River appears to be shallow.
From the entrance of the river the boats proceeded along the outside of the low strip of land S. E. by S. 2 miles, S. E. by E. 5 miles to near a point of high land along which we continued 4 miles S. S. E.,1 S. S. E., 3 E. N. E. and 1 N. E. to its outward extremity, then across the open sea to the E. side of a bay on the northern shore E. by N. 6 miles, E. S. E. 4 and E. 4. The point above mentioned is Vancouver's Pt. Roberts, part of the shore along which we passed is low clothed with grass and bushes and has a pleasing appearance. Towards the outer end the shore is bold and composed of clay with some rocks along the water's edge, at the very lower end is a low point of considerably extent entirely covered with an old Indian village. Where we are now encamped is the Birch Bay of Vancouver.
Vancouver's Island and the islands in the E. channel between it and the main shore appeared quite plain and in many places rises into high hills. Also along the main shore to the Northward, the land could be seen distinctly a strip of low flat ground extends some distance from the shore and is surrounded by a ridge of high mountains covered with snow. extending as far as the eye can reach along the coast both to the S. E. and to the N. W. Some of the peaks are very high, some pretty high hills are also to be seen which are green and have no snow on them.
Saw a canoe with six Indians near the entrance of the river, on being called to by our Indian they approached to within a short distance of the boats but could not be prevailed upon to come nearer. On some further conversation with our Indian they pulled ashore to bring their chief who had landed, but the boats pushed on and did not wait for them. These people are of the Coweechin tribe and had just crossed from Vancouver's Island where they now live. They did not approach near enough for us to distinguish anything of their dress or appearance, they were armed with long spears.
On the low land at the entrance of the River geese particularly white ones, were very numerous and were by no means shy, they allowed themselves to be approached easily. Mr. McKay killed 3 of them.
Clear stormy weather in the night with a slight frost. Cloudy sunshining weather during the day. Light wind from the N. W.
Embarked at 6 o'clock and encamped at 2. Our course was back along the same track through which we passed on the 10th and 11th inst., viz. 12 miles S. E. by E., 5 miles S. E. by E., 9 miles S. E. by S., 5 miles S. E., and 3 miles S. E. to the entrance57 of the narrow channel. The wind was favourable and the sails were up part of the day, but it was so light that they were of little service.
Showery weather, wind S. Easterly.
Embarked at 4 o'clock and after getting out of the little
channel which was S. E. 6 or 7 miles, proceeded E. S. E. across a
bay about 10 miles to the entrance of a narrow shallow channel,58 through which we proceeded 2
miles S. S. E. into a fine bay59
up which we continued S. S. E. 12 miles to the head of an island
on the right hand, it was down the E. side of this island60 we passed on the 9th inst. From
this island our course was S. by E. The entrance of
bay to the Westward and the channel to Scaadchet Bay to the
Westward, then S. by E. 10 miles to a point in the main shore61 on Eastern side of channel
opposite a wide channe162 that
falls in from the Westward.
The road we have pursued the after part of the day is through the same track we passed on the ___ inst.
Where we are now encamped is at a little brook and though it is scarcely large enough to get a kettle of water drawn from it, yet there are the marks of beaver in it, their cuttings are carried down by the current.
Stormy with weighty showers of rain in the night. Stormy with almost continual heavy rain all day. Wind S. E.
It being too stormy in the morning, we did not embark till 11 o'clock when it became a little moderate. Our course was along the Eastern shore S. by E. 12 to 15 miles to 2 o'clock when we put ashore 63 it being too rough to proceed.
Two canoes of the Soquamis tribe which were proceeding to the Northward along the opposite shore crossed over to us. One of them accompanied us a short way but the others could not get across in time. They soon both pursued their journey under sail. These crafts seem adapted to stand more sea than our boats.
Stormy and weighty rain in the night and cold cloudy fair weather afterpart of the day.
Embarked a little after 4 o'clock in the morning and encamped at 2 o'clock in the afternoon at Sinoughtons, our guides' village which is called Chilacoom.64 It was stormy in the morning but pretty moderate afterwards. Our course all day was about S. by E. 44 miles, we are now resting in the same track we pursued on our way going.
SATURDAY, 25TH Showery in the night and weighty rain the greater part of the day. Wind S. E.
Embarked at 4 o'clock and reached the portage at 10 where the people immediately commenced carrying and had the boats and baggage more than half across the portage at night. On account of the heavy rain the road is much more wet and miry than we passed last, yet we got on more expeditiously as the road is cleared.
One of our boats was left at Sinoughtons village baggage embarked in the other two.
Last night Sinoughton was paid for his services and seemed well satisfied.
SUNDAY, 26TH Wind South Easterly. Very weighty rain in the night and raining the most of the day.
At daylight the business of carrying was resumed and by 11 o'clock we were embarked on the Scaadchet Lake 65 and pursued back the same road which we went on the to 4 o' clock where we encamped on a plain on the side of the river opposite the Halloweena village.
Passed two Indian houses on the S. E. side of the Scaadchet Lake of the Halloweena Nation.
Sharp frost in the night. Fair weather with fog. Wind Southerly.
Our party divided.66 Mr. McMillan, I. Michel, the Interpreter and 6 men to proceed across land to the Cowlitch River and thence to the Fort by water. Messrs. McKay, Annamour and the rest of the people to go with the boats the same way we came. A man went ahead yesterday to procure horses from the Indians. It was noon today when he returned with the information that they were to be had. The boats then proceeded on their route down the River and we crossed a fine plain 67 about 6 miles to the Halloweena Village, but the Indians not being able to get the horses collected, we had to encamp close by for the night.
The plain on which this village is situated has a very pleasing appearance, it is of considerable extent bounded on every side by woods, principally pine, with here and there oak trees thinly scattered over the plain. The soil is composed of gravel mixed with a small quantity of rich black mould. The surface is covered with a scanty crop of short grass and fern.
Sharp frost in the night and foggy during the day.
Having procured the horses and got everything ready, started on our journey at 8 o'clock and encamped at 4 in the evening. The people found such difficulty in dividing up the loaded horses that it was quite dark before some of them reached the camp, the men got so tired with one of the horses that they left him and carried his load themselves.
Our course was nearly S. E. about 25 miles. The road lay through plain and points of woods alternately. In the morning the road through the plains was very good but in the woods it was very bad and ran over two pretty high hills, it is very wet and miry and so slippery in places that the horses can scarcely keep their feet, and though it is a common Indian road they are so lazy that they will not remove the branches and fallen trees out of the way, which is often nearly obstructed by them, and the miserable horses with difficulty climb over the trees. The road was crossed by two pretty large rivers and several small streams some of which are now pretty much being swelled with the heavy rain, all these streams run to the S. W. As we advance the plains are of a small size, they are wetter than the large ones and the soil seemes better having a greater proportion of black earth mixed with the gravel, the crop of grass and fern seems to have been more luxurious. In the woods the trees are pine of different kinds, some of a large size, cedar, plane, alder and some others, besides several bushes of willows and a kind of crab tree. The soil in the woods seems to be richer than that In the plains.
Passed an Indian house of the Halloweena Nation.
Frost in the night. Cloudy fair weather during the day.
Proceeded on our journey at 7 o'clock and by 11 arrived at the Cowlitch River, it was 12 before all the people arrived. The course was still about S. E. 10 or 12 miles and lay through alternate plains and woods the same as yesterday. 68 Some small streams crossed the road, the Nisqually and Cowlitch mountains appeared in the morning, the former to the N. E. and the latter to the E.
A canoe was hired from the Indians to carry us to the Fort, but when we had embarked it was found too small and another had to be hired and at 1/2 past 12 we pushed off and fell down the river and reached the Columbia near 7 o'clock. The Cowlitch is in general from 40 to 50 yds. wide, the current very strong above but slack as it discharges into the Columbia. The banks are in some places bold and high at other places not so elevated, the high bank is in general clothed with pine of different kinds and cedar, and the lower ones with alder, ash and other desiduous in this trees. The general course of the River, which is very winding, appears to be about S. W. A large branch falls in from the Southward, besides several small streams from both sides. The upper part of the river is very populous, I counted 30 houses to the Forks, all built of planks.
Frost in the night. Blowing fresh the forepart of the day with of the weighty rain in the afternoons.
Put ashore to sup at 8 o'clock last night and after supping embarked and continued under way all night and arrived at the Fort at 10 o'clock in the morning. The wind being pretty fresh in the night caused a swell George that was just enough for our canoes to pass through with safety, the swell increasing about Teague Point we took in a good deal of water before we got ashore at the portage, but the wind being then off the land we got safely to the Fort. The little canoe had to put ashore in the night and did not arrive till the afternoon.
1 Present town of Ilwaco.
2 Whealdon's Pond, vulgarly called Black Lake.
3 Tarlett Slough and Cranberry Marshes.
4 Mouth of Slough at Shoalwater Bay.
5 Near present town of Oysterville.
6 Bay Center and Goose Point.
7 Toke Point
8 North Cove on Willapa Harbor.
9 Near to Westport.
10 Gray's Harbor.
11 The Freehunter already mentioned
12 Near Aberdeen.
13 This name still sticks; evidently there before 1824
14 Black Lake of today. See note on Dec. 26th ultra.
15 Eld Inlet. If Budd Inlet why no mention of the Chutes or Falls that have made Olympia famous?
16 Puyallup River.
17 Steilacoom; camped here again on return.
19 Vashon island (?).
20 Probably Elliott Bay.
21 Admiralty Inlet.
22 Port Madison.
23 Rainier and St. Helens.
24 Evident error. Must refer to Mt. Baker.
26 On Camano Island along Saratoga Passage.
27 Irish name for Skagit.
28 At Utsalady ?
29 Skagit Bay.
30 Slough between Fidalgo Island and La Conner Flats.
31 Padilla Bay.
32 Vendoli or Lummi Island.
33 Cascade Range.
34 Orcas, San Juan, etc., Islands.
35 Rosario Straits.
36 Channel de Haro.
37 Sandy and Whitehorn Points.
38 Samiamoo Bay.
39 Boundary, Bay.
40 Nikomeckl River.
4l Point Roberts
42 Langley Prairie
43 Salmon River.
44 Fraser River.
45 Future site of Fort Langley.
46 McMillan Island.
47 Creseent Island.
48 Matsqui Indian Reserve Islands.
49 Now Hatzic Slough, two miles above Mission Station.
50 Mt. Baker.
51 Cheam Peaks.
52 Barnston Island.
53 Mouth of Pitt River and Douglas Island.
54 Now passing in front of New Westminster.
55 Annacis Island.
56 Probably opposite Tilburv Island.
57 Swinomish Slough at La Conner.
58 Davis Slough at Stanwood.
59 Port Susan.
60 Whidby Island.
61 Meadow Point, north of Ft. Lawton.
62 Port Madison
63 Near Three Tree Point.
64 Steilacoom again and source for the name.
65 Impossible to reconcile this designation. It is Black Lake on present day maps 66 Near Gate station on Northern Pacific Railroad.
67 Probably Grand Mound Prairie.
68 The trail this and the preceding day follows closely the present line of Northern Pacific Railroad through Centralia, Chehalis and to point on Cowlitz River near Toledo, where later the Cowlitz Farm of H. B. Co. was located.