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entertain hostile dispositions towards the English. By degrees, however, the trade revived, and, being encouraged by a lew successful adventures, "was pursued with such avidity ami irregularity, that in a sew years it became ihe reverse os what , it ought to have been. An animated competition prevailed, aud the contending parties carried the trackbeyond . the French limits, though with no benefit to thetnlelves or neighbours, the Hudson's Bay company; who in the year 177 t, and not till then, thought proper to move from home to the east-bank of Sturgeor-lake, in latitude 53° 56* north, and the longitude 102* 15' west; and became more jealous of their fellow tubjects, av.d, perhaps, with more va«le, than they had been ©f those of France. From this period to the present time, they have been following the Canadians to their different establishments ; while on the contrary, there is not a solitary instance that the Canadians have followed them.
This cotrifvelilion gave a fatal blow to the trade from Canada; but, in 17.75, Mr. Joseph Frobistjer, one of the gentlemen engaged in this commerce, being more enterprising than his predecessors, went as far as to 55" -2u' N. and to 103°f west longitude, where he met the Indians iron thai quarter on their way to Fort Church;)!, and wilh some difficulty prevailed on them lo trade w itli him. He went again in the following year, anc! was equally successful; and his brother afterward penetrated nearly five degrees more to the west.
In the waiter of 1783-4, themerchants ol Canada, who were engaged in this trade, formed a junction of iuierests under the name of
the North-West company: bat i<xr.« who were diflattsfied with the marrs allotted to them, and others whu considered themselves as neglected", entered into a co-partnerstiip separate from that company; and in tots association Mr. M. engaged as a partner, and as, one of the active managers. After a severe sirHggTc with their competitors, however, they adopted the wise resolution of agreeing to an union of interests: which new engagement was concluded in July, I7S7.—The author has entered ipto a detail of the management of the North-West company; and our readers may form seme judgement of the extent of the trade, from the following account of the furs and peltries which were the produce of the year 17i>Sj
"106,000 Beawet flans,
"The number of men employed in the concern is 50 clerks; 71 interpreters and clerks; 1120 canoe men; and 35 guides."
Mr. M- has given, in this part of his work, an itinerary, or description of the route from Montreal to Fort Chepewyaii on the south fide oMhe take os (he Hills ; an estaWifcment which was formed in 17S8, in latitude .58° 3*f N. and in longitude 1 !'©» 2b' West. The labour performed by some of the carriers appears extraordinary t
"When they arrive at the Grande Portage, which is near nine miles over, each ot them has to *arry eight packages of such goods and provisions as are necctlary for the interior country. This isa labour which cattle cannot conveniently perform in dimmer, as both horses aud oxen were tried by the company without success. They are only useful for light bulky articles; or for transporting upon fledges, during lht winter, whatever goods may remain there, especially provision, ot" which it is usual to have a year's flock on hand.
"Having linilhed this toilsome part of their duty* is more goods are neeeflary to be transported, they are allowed a Spanish dollar lor each package: aud si> inured are they to this kind of labour, tbat I have known some os then* let off with two packagesof ninety pounds each, and return with two other of the lame weight, in the course os six hours, being a ditiance of eighteen mils* over hills and mountains."
Some of the Indian tribes are described in this introductory history of the fur-trade. The Knit teneaux Indians are spread o▼er a great portion of the continent of North America; and Mr. K. remarks that their women are the moil comely of any that he has seen among the native Americans. Their figure is generally well proportioned, and the regularity of thoir features would be acknowledged by the more civilised people of Europe."—" These
people are nntnrally rrttH and aff»ble as well as just in their dealings; not only among themselves but with strangers. They are affb generous and hospitable.—To their children they are indulgent to a fault."—Aster a portrait with so many excellent features, it-in with pain that we contemplate others which are very bad, and that we also learn the miserable state of the females of this nation. *' They are subject to every kind of domestic drudgery; they dress the seatlier, make the clothes nnd shoes, weave the nets, collect wood, erect the tents, fetch water, aud perform every culinary service; so tl>at when the duties of maternal care are added, it will appear tbat the life ostl>e(e women is an uninterrupted succession of toil and pain. This, indeed, is the sense they entertain ot their own situation; and, under the influence of that sentiment, they are sometimes known to destroy their female children, to (ave them from the miseries which they themselves have differed. They also have a readv way, by the u?e of certain simples, of procuring abortions, which they sometimes practice, from their hatred at the father, or to save themselves the trouble which children occasion."
Aster this introduction, which is replete with entertainment and information, Mr. M. enters on llie relation of his voyage to the north. —On Wednesday, June 3, 1789, at nine in the morning, h<r departed from Cliepew\an, on the (oulh side of (he Lake of the Hills, in a canoe made of birch bark.
The route pursued was, first, lo the western part of the Lake it the Hills; and thence lo the north, by 9 fiver whiclr discharges itself into
N n 3 a a lake, called the Great Slavelake. After having made a circuit-round lhe' greater portion os the northern snore of tlie SlaveLake, on the 29th ot June, at its ■ western part, (hey entered a river to which Mr. Mackenzie has given his ov\ n name, being then in a tract wholly new to Europeans; and they followed the cotirle of this IIream, of which the general direction was to the N. W. till it brought then) to the Frozen Sea. This lliort outline gives a very inadequate idea of the track: but, indeed, it cannot be well comprehended without consulting the map with which the narrative is accompanied.—An Indian of a tribe called the Redknife Indians (lo named from their copper knives) undertook to be their guide.
Their progrels was made by dav; • for at night they always landed and set up their tents; embarking jgain in the morning. The Indians of their party provided food by hunting, shooting, or fishing; which; however, was not their sole reliance, slnee they had taken a store of provisions in the canoe. They frequantly saw places at which the Indians had resided, and sometimes they met with Indians: but the number of them bore a very fmnll proportion to the extent of country through which the voyagers passed. Towards the sea they defended with the stream. The natives, from whom they endeavoured to obtain information, gave exaggerated accounts of rapids and falls in their way : but they were all passed without much danger or.difficulty.
The life of the unletlled North Americans must necessarilv be a slate of habitual and unceasing apurclunsion; and. accordingly Mr.
M. an-\ his party bad passed nearAf a week in Mackenzie's river, whew thev first met some of the natives.
These people told the travelled that there were very sew afiimat* in the country bevond them, and that, if they proceeded, they must peritti with hunger"; yet one of the Indians was induced to accompany them by the. offer of a small ks-ttie, mi axe, a knife, and some othrfar* tides. "As we were ready to embark, (!a\s the author,) our new recruit was desired to prepare far his departure which he would have declined; but, as none of his triendj would take his pl^ce, we may be soW, afler the delay of an hour, to have compelled him to eniraifc. Previous to his departure, he cut off a lock of his hair, and, having divided it into three parts, he fef> tened one of them lo the hair on the upper part of his wife's head, blowing on it three times with the ut» most violence, and uttering certain words. The other two he fastened, with the (ame form; lilies, on the heads of his two children."
The Indians of this village are described as meagre, ugly, and ill made, patricularly about the leg*, which were covered with scabs, "occasioned probably by their habitually roasting them before Ihe fire;" and many of them were in a bad state of health. "They were of moderate stature, and, as hir at could be discovered through the coat of dirt and gTeafe that coven them, of a fairer complexion than. the generality of Indians who are the natives of warmer climates.'"—. '* Their lodges are of a very simple structures a few poles, supported by a fork, and forming a semicircle at the bottom, with some branches or a, piece of bark as a covering, constitutes
troublesome in requiting hi* diP1 charge, that'they were glad lo exchaogt him for another; who'nfso soon took an opportunity os escaping; but they had the g<x>d fortune fliortly alterward os procuring a tliird, more willing than either of the former. To the nurli <>f oT0^ os north latitude, however, the ii»! ver beginning lo wid^p, aud to run through different channel* so.meil bv large islands, lliev were beyond his knowledge, and only determined on keeping the middle channel.
July 12th. The author took anobservation in 69° Ol' N. and no land was seen before them except islands. They made towards the west ni point osa high ifland to the north, at which they arrived at five o'clock. Ice appeared to interrupt their farther progress; no land was seen to the north bevond the island on which they then were ; and (his was the northern boundary ot their voyage. "As soon as ihe, tents were pitched," lavs Mr. Al. '■' I proceeded with the English chief to the highest part of the ilUnd.—.As tar as the eye could reach to the southwestward, we could dimlv perceive a chain os mountains, stretching farther to the north than itie cii^e of the ice, at thie distance of upward* of twenty K-a-jiiei. T» Ihe eastWard we saw many islands; and in our progrels we met with a conliderahle number of white partridge*, now become brown. There were allo doc'.-i ol verv Ueanlital piorers, and I found the nest ot one of them will) four eggs. White owls, likewile, were among the inhabitants if the place; but t:ie d^ad, as well as n.e
• " Watape is the name given to the div led roors of the fprtice fir. wliich i]ie n»flves weave into a tUgrce of cempactness th .t tenders it capable us cr-mai-in^ a tlui t. Tht different parts of the bark canoes are aifo retved together with tliis kind ol" ril.i
N n t- livinir
«t>nlt»tntes the whole of their native •rchilecture. They build two of these hnts facing each other, and make the fire between them. The furniture harmonists with the buildings; they have a few diflies of wood, bark, or horn; the vessels in which they cook their victuals are in (he shape os a gourd, narrow at ibe top and wide at the bottom, and of watape,* fabricated in such a manner as to hold water, wliich is made to boil bv putting a succession of red-hot stone-, into it. These vesse's contain from two to six gallons."
The following sentence will shew the expedition with which the voyagers were carried tovfurds the lea; '* Monday, July 6th, at three o'clock, ip a raw and cloudy morning, vye embarked, and steered westsouth-west + miles, weft + miles, west-north-west b miles, west 8 miles, west by south lf> miles, west 27 miles, south-west 9 miles, then west 6 miles, and encamped at half past seven." The autW has kept a regular and minute reckoning of the route, and in the history of each day has given an account of the progress: but it would perhap; have been more pleasant to the reader, and the route would have been more readily comprehended, if the courses and" distances had been separated from Ihe narative, and formed into a table.
Indians were seen farther to the north, of more creditable appearance than those whom we have just described; " he dthy, full of Heth, and clean in their persons." The voyagers now louud their guide lo
lining, demanded ou^altenj^on, for,
natives,, by which lay a how* a paddle, and a spear,"
'she wliolc party were unwilling that, having gone so far, lhey slwuid he obliged to return without ascertaining whether or not they had reached the sea; and, in hope* that the ice would b;eak up and disperse, ttey prolonged their stay on the. J(Iand. In this station, the latitude \yas observed 69° 11' N. The longitude, by reckoning, was 13l°\y,, from Greenwich. [In the narrative il is said l.">j° W. which must be an error os the press; the longitude in the chart being 13 (•"• W.] The variations of the compass was 36 degrees easterly. —" Fisli were caught, among which were someabout the size of a herring, which none os us had ever seen Leiore, except the English chief, who recog-: riired it as being of" a kind that
. abounds in Hudson'sJ3ay."r-"Tuesday 14th, Having fat up till three in the morning, I tlept longer than usual; but, about eight, one of my men saw a great many animals in the water, which he at first supposed to be pieces of ice. About nine,
'however, I was awakened to resolve the doubts which had taken place respecting this extraordinary appearance. I immediately perceived,that they were whales; and, having ordered the canoe to be prepared, we embarked in pursuit os them. It was, indeed, a very wild and unreflecting enterprise, and it was ^ very fortunate circumstance that we failed in our attempt to overtake them, as a stroke from the tail of one of these enormous fisli would have daslied the canoe lo piece*." The fight of the whales sufficiently demonstrated the neighbourhood of
tbe sea; but wr do not find any mention os experiments being ir.adc to determine whether the water, on which they navigated, was. in ai-.v degree salt or brackish. The spot: whence the whales were seen Nt» named, by the author, YYhale-iSand, and is nearly in I lie (ame latil&de (but 20 degrees mpre to tbe wetij as the part of the north coali whence Sir. Hearne, in 1771, saw the sea. —The return to the south by tho fame river (Mackenzie's River) was a business of much more labour ami fatigue than the voyage to the fea, since they had to mount against a strong stream, which required constant exertion of paddling, or ut tracking with, a line on si.ore. In one part of (he river, where thm breadth from shore to (hate did not exceed 300 yard;*, the deptb of wa> ter was 50 laihoms. .
. Most of the Indians seen by Mr. M. lo the northward were at variance with the Esquimaux, whom they represented as being cruel and treacherous: but from these £iqid» m.aux the author learned that,' eight ojr ten winters, ago, they had tees large canoes to the westward, fali ojf while men, from whom they had obtained iron in exchange (as leather.' From other inioraiatran, imperfectly understood, he liad uasou for conjecturing that the body os water or sea, into which Mar* kenzie's river discharges itfchs at Whale-island, comouiiiicatcs with ISorion-sound.
h will easily be credited that hard travelling ina cold climate is an excellent stimulant to the apputite) y.nd the following instance ia hero related: " We had consumed two r^in deer, sintr swans, st*.rty-nve getfe, and a considerable quantity ot fisli, in six days, but it is to ba considered