From Washington Historical Quarterly Vol. VI (1915), pp. 26-49
This is a chronological resumption of the journal published in the last number of this Quarterly and which stopped abruptly just before Mr. Work arrived at Fort Vancouver on the 12th of June, 1826. The "brigade" now returns up the Columbia and the initial entry in the journal tells us very clearly what the word "brigade" as used by the fur traders actually meant. The various chief factors, chief traders and clerks have spent a very enjoyable three weeks together at the original Fort Vancouver, situated on the higher land northeast of the later stockade and buildings which were known to the pioneers of Oregon. This second Fort was built in 1828.
It is rather an interesting company of which Mr. Work becomes the chronicler. William
Connolly is bound for Fort St. James on Lake Stuart in the northern interior of what is
now British Columbia, but was then called New Caledonia; he is already a chief factor
and is in charge of that District. It was over the rich estate left by Mr. Connolly after his
death that a certain famous contest took place in the courts of Montreal or Quebec
which established finally the legal status of the common law marriage of the fur traders
with native Indians when residing in the Indian Country. James Douglas, clerk, who
married a daughter of William Connolly and afterward became a chief factor at this
same Fort Vancouver and still later the governor of Vancouver Island, was also en
route for Fort St. James. Archibald MacDonald, clerk, had probably been upon a brief
visit to his son Ronald, then a little more than two years of age and in the care of the
grandfather, Chief Comcomly of the Chinook tribe residing opposite to Astoria or Fort
George, and was returning to either Kamloops or Alexandria. Mr. F. Annance, another
clerk, was also bound for one of the New Calendonia posts. Doctor McLoughlin and
Thom. McKay were sending their children across the Rocky Mountains to be educated.
Finan MacDonald's Kootenay or Spokane wife was starting to meet her husband further
up the river and with him to cross the Rocky Mountains for permanent residence.
The route followed by Mr. Work takes him over practically the same line of travel he
covered in the previous year and described by him in the journal published in Vol. V. of
this Quarterly, except that his destination was the newly occupied trading post above
Kettle Falls named Fort Colvile. The route includes The Dalles, Old Fort Walla Walla,
the site of Lewiston in Idaho and of the present city of Spokane. At Celilo Falls the
botanist, David Douglas, joins the party for the rest of the journey.
This journal furnishes the record of the first grain crops raised in what is now Stevens County, Washington, and of the first litter of pigs born there. No opportunity has been afforded to compare this text with the original journal, which is among the archives at Victoria, British Columbia.
Tuesday, July 5th, 1826.(1) Overcast. showery weather.
At about 1 o'clock the Brigade
for the interior under the command of Mr. Connelly, consisting of 9 boats six men pr
boat, left Fort Vancouver. Messrs A. McDonald, J. Douglas, F. Annance, J. Cortin and
J. Work passengers, also their women, and 9 children, viz.- Dr. McLaughlin's family,
Mr. F. McDonald's family, and 2 children of Mr. McKay. The cargoes consist of 72
pieces for Ft. Colville, 52 for Thompsons Riv, 60 for Nez Perce, 106 for N. Caledonia,
and 1 for York Factory, including private orders. Besides 57 pieces of provisions, 36 of
corn, 9 of pease. 9 Ind meal. 3 of grease, for the men, and 12 1/2 pieces for the
gentlemen for the voyage. Besides the families' baggage and 4 cases muskets and a
trading chest. In the evening encamped on an island,(2) a
little below Sand River. The
water is very high and the current very strong. Mr. McDonald's boat struck against the
end of a tree which went through fortunately the injury was at low water.
Wednesday, 6th. Showery, raw cold weather. Resumed our journey at daylight, and
encamped a little below the cascades. Lost a little time repairing the boat that was
broken yesterday. Bought a sufficiency of salmon in the evening to serve all (hands) for
Thursday, 7th. Overcast weather some showers. The people were at work at an early
hour and proceeded to New Portage(3) with half cargo and
(sent) the canoe back for the
remainder. The boats and cargoes were carried across the portage and the boats with
half cargoes taken to the cascades where we encamped four of the gentlemen stoped
with the remainder of the property at the portage. Notwithstanding the height of the
water we got up better than we expected. Bought a sufficiency of fine salmon to serve
the people two days and very cheap. The Indians are taking a great many salmon. A
good many Indians are about the place, but they are very quiet. Kept watch.
Friday, 8 Showery in the morning. In the morning the boats were taken down to New
Portage for the remainder of the cargoes and the boats and property afterwards carried
across the cascades portage(4) which we left towards
evening with a sail wind which
continued till we encamped. Some time was occupied in the morning gumming the
boats. The portage at the cascades was not so long as when the water was low.
Traded enough of fine salmon to serve the people two days. We have enough now to
last us fill we reach the Dalles.
One of Mr. McDonald's men, J. Cortin, got his feet lamed by which he is hardly able to
walk. An Indian slave was employed to go in the boat.
Saturday 9 Fair weather. Continued our journey at an early hour, and encamped a little
below the Dalles(5) early in the evening. Had a fine sail wind
all day, were detained some
time repairing Mr. McDonald's boat which sustained damage by striking a stone. Some
Indians visited our camp in the evening.
Sunday 10 Fair pleasant weather. Got underway before sunrise and soon reached the
Dalles, and by carrying, lightening and dragging up the boats by the line, got about half
way across,(6) where we encamped for the night. There are a
great many Indians but a
square is formed with the boats round the property. Traded a great many salmon in the
evening very cheap.
In the evening Messrs. F. McDonald T. McKy, T. Dears arrived at the other end of the
portage with two boats and 18 men and part of the Snake expedition furs from
Wallawalla, on the way to Ft. Vancouver, Mr. Ogden(7) and
part of the men are gone by
the Willamut mountains with horses. The Snake returns will be but indifferent. Mr D.
Douglas(8) also came with the party to meet us.
Monday. July 11 Pleasant weather. The boats and property were carried across the
portage in the morning (when we) took breakfast - and the chutes(9) which we also
crossed, having to make only a short portage on account of the high water and
proceeded to the little river(10) above the chutes where we
encamped for the night. The
Snake party also proceeded on to Fort Vancouver. Messrs Douglas and F. McDonald
return with us. J. Confin who got hurt at the cascades was sent back to the Fort. - Some
time was taken repairing the boats in the evening. A dog, with a pistol and an axe and
some other things were stole yesterday, the pistol and the axe were recovered. There
are several Indians about the Dales and about the chutes. I wrote to Mr McLaughlin
requesting that he would send one of the Snake men Michel Laporte, to Spokane to act
as interpreter for the Kootanies.
Tuesday 12 Warm sultry weather. Continued our route before sunrise and encamped
early in the evening about 15 miles above Day's River(11)
to gum the boats The current is
very strong and there being no wind we made but a short days march. There are a
good many Indians along the river, but owing to the height of the water they are not
getting any salmon. Bought about 20 at one camp.
The water has fallen about 4 feet since it was at its height. The water appears from drift
trees on the shore, to have been much higher some years (ago) than they are.
Wed.y. 12th Fine weather, fresh breeze from the Westward. Embarked before sunrise
and had a nice sail wind all day. Encamped in the evening a little below Big Island.(12) A
good many Indians along the river, but not many salmon.
Thursday 13 Sultry warm weather. Continued our journey early and had a sail wind
part of the day. Encamped in the evening a little above Grand Rapid.(13) Bought a few
salmon, to serve the gentlemen. Few are to be got.
Friday 14 Embarked early and arrived at Ft. Nezperces,(14) about 1 o'clock. Sail wind
part of the day. The weather very warm. The cargoes are separated, and that of
Satd.y. 15 The weather very warm, though stormy. It was expected that a number of
horses that are required could be procured from the Indians at Nezperces, but after
different councils, and consultations and speeches on both sides it turned out that a
promise had been made to the Nezperces Indians to go and trade on their lands which
if not fulfilled would disoblige them and make them less inclined to trade.
Sunday 16th Stormy but warm weather. The forepart of the day occupied with more
councils and making presents to the Indians as return for some horses which they had
presented before. 7 or 8 horses were afterwards traded,- It appeared however that the
number required could not be got in time, and the trading trip up Nezperces River was
(Learned) that the F. Head trade would not suffer but as little as possible by the late
arrival of the boats at Colville, Mr. Kittson(15) with the
Colville and Mountain boats is to
proceed at once to Colville while I am to accompany the trading party and after
completing the trade to accompany the party across land and proceed to Colville where
I expect to arrive as soon as the boats. By this method no time will be lost whereas had
all the Colville men gone to the horse trade the Flat Head summer trade would have
been lost as it is it will be too late but it cannot be helped.
Monday 17 Stormy in the night and blowing fresh during the day but nevertheless
warm. The outfit for the horse trade was packed up in the morning and about 3 o'clock
in the afternoon the party consisting of Mr A. McDonald, J. Douglas, F, Annance and
myself, an interpreter and 28 men and the Indian chief Charlie embarked in two boats
and proceded till a short way up the Nezperces River(16)
where we encamped for the
night. Bought two or three pieces of salmon from the Indians.- I am directed if possible
to purchase at least 60-70 horses, more if possible, 20 of them are for Ft. Colville, the
others to go to Okanogan. Mr. D. Douglas(17)
accompanies us to make collections of
Tuesday 18 Weather warm but fine breezes. Continued our journey before sunrise,
and had a good sail wind all day. Camped at night a considerable distance below Flag
River.(18) The current very strong and the water high,
though it has fallen about 8 feet
since its greatest height this season. Several Indian lodges along the river brought a
few pieces of fish and half dry salmon. Salmon are very dear here. The Indians have
few to spare.
Wedy 19th Very warm sultry weather no wind. Embarked early, passed the Flag River
about 3 o'clock and encamped late in the evening a good way above it. - Got very few
salmon though we saw a good many Indians. Salmon is very scarce, Traded a small
sturgeon.-were detained some time by the Indians offering horses for sale but they
would not accept the prices offered. A party of them accompany us on horse back
Thursday 20 Clear very warm weather very little wind. Proceeded on our journey early
in the morning and encamped early in the evening at a camp of the Pelushes,
Colatouche chief, in expectation of buying some horses, two were offered for sale, but
the prices asked were far too high indeed the Indians appear not to be very fond of
parting with them. - Salmon are also very (dear) we got a few pieces of dry and half
dry. Since we left the Fort we have not got in one day a sufficiency for a day's rations
for the people. however what little we do get still saves a little corn.
Friday 21. Very warm sultry weather. At noon the thermometer in the shade was 94
degrees, and 95 degrees shortly afterwards. We were detained waiting for the Indians
who were seeking some horses to trade, but when they arrived with them, only one
small paltry thing was offered and the price demanded could not be given, so after
losing all our morning we continued our route not in the best humor. Passed several
lodges and purchased a sufficiency of fresh salmon for nearly a days (living) for the
people, besides some dry ones to serve the party going overland with the horses.-
Encamped in the evening a little above Le Monte(19)
(which we passed about 4 o'clock.)
at an Indian camp where some horses (we) expected will be got, but we will probably
be detained part of the day tomorrow. - Numbers of the Indians some of whom refused
the prices offered them below are accompanying us along shore with their horses.
Satd.y. 22 Light clouds, very warm, though a little breeze of wind. Did not move camp
today. They were off in the forepart of the day collecting their horses, but they would
not trade till the afternoon, when 8 horses were purchased from them at from 14 to 19
skins each They were all young horses two of them just * but not well broke in. They
are to trade three more horses tomorrow morning. Traded 13 fresh salmon which
made* a days rations for the people. - The tardiness of the Indians trading their horses
is really vexing, they are not keen about trading.
Sunday 23 Oppressively warm weather. Thermometer 100 degrees in the shade at
noon. We were detained till near evening for the Indians who were off seeking their
horses, when they returned they were traded, and we struck our tents and proceeded
up the river, and stoped at another lodge for a considerable time and traded a good
horse, another was offered but he was too small and we would not take him. We then
continued up the river and encamped at another lodge where the Indians promise to
sell us some horses tomorrow. - The Indians seem very indifferent about trading their
horses, it is really provoking to be detained so long with them. - especially when so
little time is to spare.- We have now 12 horses 8 yesterday and 4 today, 11 of which
we traded from the Dartry band.
Monday 24 Sultry warm weather. Did not move untill afternoon as we waited till the
Indians collected their horses when we bought four one of which a small unbroke-in
one was killed. - In the evening proceeded up the river to another Indian camp and
stopped for the night as some horses are expected in the morning.
Tuesday 25. A breeze of wind the weather cooler than these days past. Bought two
horses from the Indians in the morning and started after breakfast and stopped at
different lodges as we passed and bought four more horses, making 6 today, all pretty
good at 18 to 19 skins each. The Indians have a good many horses but they are not
eager to part with them. - Salmon very scarce, we hardly get what fresh ones serve the
Wedy 26 Weather pleasant. Continued our rout after breakfast, and arrived at
Charlie's lodge a little before the forks in the evening. Traded two horses during the
Thursday 27 A little breeze of wind pleasant weather. Traded 8 horses at Charlie's lodge and in the evening came to the Forks(20)
where we found upwards of 200 Indians
(men), and two principal chiefs Alunn and Towishpat. Gave the chiefs and some of the
principal men a dram of mixed liquor and a smok in the hut the others got a smok and a
little tobacco out of doors. Towishpal and another principal man cut noses both
presented two horses immediately on our arrival. We are under the necessity of
accepting their presents in order to please the chiefs though we have to give a present
in return which makes the horses much dearer in general than were we to trade them. -
The Indians have been assembled for some days and are now rather short of
Friday 28 Warm weather, a little wind afterward. No trade was made untill after
breakfast, when the Indians began to come with horses and some chiefs presented
more horses which were paid for at a dearer rate than usual in order to encourage the
others, a brisk trade was commenced about 10 o'clock and continued untill 4 o'clock.
37 horses were traded one of which was killed. The price was generally 19 or 20 skins
few exceeding 20. They were mostly fine horses. Our blankets and beads are getting
short, which was the cause of the trade getting slack towards evening. Blue cloth does
not take well with them.
Saturday 29 Pretty cool pleasant weather a shower in the night. Not having the proper
articles blankets and beads in plenty the trade went on but slowly, only six horses were
traded, the Indians are doubtless debarred from trading a little by a dance which is
stirred up by a Schulas(21) chief who arrived yesterday with
(?). However we are
promised a few horses tomorrow, when we shall complete our trade and be ready to
start the day following. -
Sunday 30 Warm weather rather sultry. Early this morning a quarrel took place
between the Interpreter and the Indian chief Charlie. It appears that an Indian woman
who passed for a medical character, had been looking at one of the mens hands which
was sore and although she exercised none of her skill either in the application or
otherwise yet she came to demand payment and applied to the Interpreter who refused
her. Charlie interfered when some words took place and the Interpreter was called a
dog, he applied the same epithet to Charlie who took up his gun and gave gave the
other a blow, a scuffle ensued, and the noise was the first intelligence I had of the
affray, when I ran out and found them wrestling in the other tent and the Indian getting
the better, they were separated and the Indian again flew to his gun which was taken
from him several Indians had collected by this time, Charlie was now asked was this
conduct a return for all the kindness and attention that had been shown him, he replied
that he had been called a dog, and that he could not bear the insult, he remained sulky
and took up another gun which was also taken from him, an Indian then took him away,
Shortly a message came for a yard of tobacco for the Indians to smok and that their
hearts would be good. Shortly after another message came for 2 fathoms more and 20
balls and powder, this was refused and word sent to the chief that we wished to have
an interview with them Toupe came, but Charlie came accompanied by the whole of
the Indians several of them armed and took his station a short distance from the tent
where they formed a circle round us. He was black with rage. We immediately went up
to him and asked what he meant, and was he not ashamed to begin a quarrel in such a
manner about an old woman. After some time sulky silence he replied that his heart
was bad towards nobody but Toupie, and that he blamed him for not getting a better
price for their horses, he was immediately informed that the accusation was false, that
Toupe did nothing but what we desired him, they were also made to understand that, it
was to trade horses and not to fight that we came there, but that if no better would do
we would fight also and that as Toupe was under our protection and in fact one of
ourselves any insult offered him would be offered to us and would be resented. - A
demand was again made for the tobacco and that then all would be well and that the
horse trade would immediately commence. As we were situated, with very little
ammunition, ourselves on one side of the river and the horses with part of the men on
the opposite side, two of the horses astray among those of the Indians, and two others
already paid for not received, and also the great risk we ran of having the others stolen,
it was considered advisable to comply with their request except the ammunition, rather
than get into a quarrel as we had much to lose and little to gain, The tobacco was
accordingly delivered the whole of the Indians smoked and then dispersed.- Charlie is
certainly a notorious scoundrel and I consider the original of this quarrel as only a
pretext. He sold a horse yesterday and was paid the price agreed upon, but he
afterwards asked a blanket more which was refused, this I conceive was in a great
measure the cause of the dispute, and the poor Interpreter was the only one he would
venture to begin with, he has however been very useful to us since the trade
commenced harranguing the Indians to trade their horses, and ever since the dispute
he has been again telling them to trade more.-The other chiefs and principal men
except (Touispel) evidently wished to make the most of the affair and get as much as
they could by it, Old Alumie and his men are particular. however they were
disappointed as they got only 3 yds. tobacco and a few small pieces more besides the
yard first sent them. and even this was given with reluctance, but we could not well do
otherwise. Traded five more horses which finished our goods, found the two that were
astray and received the two we had paid the Indians for and crossed the river to where
the horses are in the afternoon - Our whole trade amounts to 79 horses, two of which
have been killed.
The Indian chiefs crossed to pay us a visit in the evening, and smoked. They seem to
regret what has taken place, Charlie himself is ashamed that he should have quarreled
about such a trifle. During the dispute, the Indians were all threatening to take back the
A few young men arrived in the evening from the buffalo, from them it was heard that
the F Heads are now on their way to meet us to trade. Peace is again made between
them and the Peegans.
Monday 31st. Pleasant cool weather. Having everything in readiness, the horses that
are for the different places pointed out, after an early breakfast Messrs F McDonald. J.
Douglas and myself accompanied by six men set out overland with the horses 79 in
number including 2 bought a few days ago from W. Walla by Mr F. McDonald, we
encamped in the evening a short distance 15 or 20 miles from flag(22) River. Mr. D.
Douglas accompanied us on his botanical pursuits. - Mr A. McDonald took his
departure for W. Walla with the two boats and the rest of the men at the same time we
came of - The Indians and us were good friends when we parted.
Augt. 1826. Tuesday 1st. Cool pleasant weather. Some rain with thunder and lightening
in the night. Kept a guard three men at a time on the horses all night. The horses took
fright in the night and started but they were stopped and remained quiet till the
morning, when after allowing them to feed a short time we proceeded on our journey,
and stopped again a considerable time at noon to allow them to feed and rest, and
encamped in the evening pretty late, near where we encamped last year.- The horses
are generally driven slow.
Wid.y. 2nd. Weather pleasant but warmer than yesterday. Proceeded on our journey
and ( ? ) the Spokane woods before breakfast, but missed our way crossing to the plain
where we separated last year and fell on the Spokane River below the Chutes(23) later in
the evening where we encamped for the night. The greater part of the day the road was
stony and bad for the horses feet. On entering the woods we kept too far to the
Eastward and missed the plain. The horses were allowed to feed and rest in the middle
of the day.
Thursday 3rd Pleasant weather. Continued our route at an early hour and arrived,
through a bad piece of road along the river, at the old Fort(24) at Spokane before
breakfast time. We had separated the horses and took those for Fort Colville across
the river and after breakfasting and trading some salmon from old Finlay(25) Mr. Douglas
proceeded on his journey to Okanagan with the 59 horses alotted for that place and N.
Caledonia, and we pursued our route with 20 horses for Ft Colville, and encamped at a
little river(26) in the woods late in the evening. Had we not
missed the way Mr. Douglas
would have parted with us yesterday, his coming to Spokane will cause the loss of
about half a day however it is perhaps as well as the men know the road from Spokane
and are not sure of it the other way. Mr. D. has four men with him.
Friday 4th Warm but pleasant weather, cold in the morning. Proceeded on our journey
at an early hour and arrived at Ft Colville before sunset, part of the road was very bad.
Mr Dease(27) was happy to see us, he and his people all
well. One of the horses was
jaded and a man was left with him to bring him home in the morning.
Saturday 5 Pleasant mild weather cool in the morning. Early in the morning the man
who remained behind yesterday arrived with the two horses. The crops(28) at Fort Colville
do not appear to realize the expectations that were entertained for them. The potatoes
appear pretty well, barley midling, no wheat at all came up and only a few stocks of
Indian corn green pease but indifferent. The kitchen garden stuffs turnips cabbages etc
only so so. The soil appears to be too dry.- The moles are destroying the potatoes. The
horses cattle and pigs very fat, but the grass is getting dry.
Sunday 6th Pleasant weather. Visited the falls(29)
today, where the Indians are fishing.
They are now taking about 1000 salmon daily. They have a kind of basket about 10 ft
long 3 wide and 4 deep of a square form suspended at a cascade in the fall where the
water rushes over a rock. the salmon in attempting to ascend the fall leap into the
basket, they appear to leap 10 or 12 feet high. when the basket is full the fish are
taken out. - A few are also taken with scoop net and speared.
Monday 7th Weather as yesterday Mr. Kittson arrived at the lower end of(30) the
Portage with their (three) boats and the outfit for Colville and passengers and their
baggage. He has been ten days from Walla Walla to Okanogan and ten from
Okanagan to this place in all 20 days. Horses were sent off and part of the property
brought to the fort.
Tuesday 8. Pleasant mild weather. The remainder of the boats cargoes brought to the
Fort, the outfit examined and found all correct and in good order. No certain
intelligence of the F. Heads as yet, we are now waiting for them, the sooner we hear of
them now the better
Wedy 9th Heavy rain with thunder and lightning in the night and all day.-
Sunday 13. Three Pendant Oreille Indians arrived from Pendant Oreille River and
report that a young man had arrived from the Plain(31) who
says that a few of the F
Heads have arrived at or near the Chutes, that the others are in the plains farther off
accompanied by a party of Americans, that they are indifferent whether we go to trade
with them or not, that they have very little to dispose of, having traded with the
Americans. As this thing is second hand and the Indians do not agree among
themselves little reliance can be placed upon it, particularly as a young man a F. Head,
who had left his tribe in the plains some time ago, was at the Fort two days since, and
told us that his people were on the way to meet us but made no mention of having seen
Monday 14th. Cloudy mild weather. Six men and a boy were sent off to make a road
across the portage to the Pendant O'relle River(32), through
which we had to pass on our
way to the Flat Heads.
Made up an outfit for the F Heads and Kootany summer trade for the purpose of
starting tomorrow though we are not certain whether the Indians are arrived, if they
should not we will probably be short of provisions.
Tuesday 15th. Pleasant mild weather Supposing that the men did not have the road
cut through the woods we deferred starting till tomorrow. Some Indians arrived and told
us they had made but slow progress yesterday.
Wedy 16th. Warm sultry weather Set out accompanied by Mr. Kittson, and 7 men
which with the 6 ahead making the road makes 13, to mak the summer trade at the F.
Heads and Kootanies, We have 9 horses loaded with the articles of trade, provisions,
gum etc - to repair the canoes.- Mr. Kittson and I with 12 men are to proceed to the F.
Heads and make the trade there, and a man is to cross into the Kootenay country to tell
them to come and meet us to trade at the Lake(33) on our
Did not make a long days march. encamped in the afternoon at a small river,(34) where
there was a little place for the horses to feed. The distance made today was about 15 to
20 miles. The course from the fort till we struck off the Spokane road(35) nearly South 8 to
ten miles. The remainder of the day it was about S. E. by E 10 to 12 miles. The road
was in general good and lay through clear woods and small plains, except a piece near
the fort called the Cedar, where the woods are very thicketty and the ground swampy
and boggy and a deep gully of a river to cross. There is a small lake(36) close by our
Thursday 17th Warm weather. Proceeded on our journey before sunrise and not
finding a place that we could stop, though it was hard on the horses, did not encamp till
near sunset, when we stopped at a little river(37) on the
edge of a large plain a short way
from the Pendant Oreille River. The horses are much fatigued. The road for a short
distance in the morning was pretty good, but afterwards it was very indifferent. The
woods very thicketty, often fallen trees across the road, (though the men had removed
a good many). The country very rugged a continual succession of hills some of them
steep, and the road intersected by a number of small brooks and deep gullies some
places the ground boggy, Though there is not much water in the little brooks at present
yet from the height of the rubbish on the bushes along their banks they are totally
impassable for horses during the high water not long since. It would be needless to
attempt this portage in the spring when the snow is on the ground as it would be
impracticable with horses. During this days march even at this season there is no place
to encamp where more than a very few horses could feed without the risk of their being
lost in the woods.The distance made today I judge to be from 40 to 45 miles, in about a
S. E. by E. course.
Friday 18 Cold with a thick fog in the morning, but clear pleasant weather afterwards.
Had the horses loaded and started at sunrise, made the ascent of the plain, and arrived
at the Pendant Orile camp(38) on the bank of the river near
where the canoe sent down in
the Spring was deposited. Here we found the men who had been making the road. The
remainder of the day was occupied repairing the canoe, as the whole of the people are
too much to embark in the canoes 5 men were sent on first to where the other canoes
were deposited in the Ceur d Alen portage. Traded 32 beaver, 3 (appichimous) and
some berries and roots from the Indians.
This plain is all inundated in the season of high water. where we slept last night the
water had been more than 2 feet deep in the high part of the plain and from the bank of
the little river at present the water has fallen at least 16 feet. This extensive plain is
now clothed with a fine crop of grass.
The Indian who arrived some time ago from the Flat Heads, is now at Spokane. All we
can hear from the others is that the old chief Le (Brute) and party of F Heads and
Pendant Oreill are waiting us near the Chutes.-(39) that the
rest of the tribes are in
different parties farther off wintering their horses, that they had seen a party of
Americans during the summer, said to be loaded with trading goods and that they were
going to build in the fall on the upper waters of the Missouri at a place called the Grand
(T-) No intelligence as to whether any of the ( ? ) or freeman were with them. It is said
that the Indians have been unsuccessful and have few horses and little meat. A fine
Sotiax who came from there is off a few days ago to the fort with his (hunt).
Satd.y. 19 Warm pleasant weather Embarked and proceeded up the River before
sunrise and near dark arrived at the (Ceur de Alan) portage.(40) The men who started
yesterday are at the portage before us. The current was very slack all day in the
afternoon we passed a place called the island portage(41)
where everything had to be
carried over a small rock 15 or 20 yards. Two rocks divide the river here into 3 narrow
channels down which the water rushes with great violence at low water the middle
channel is dry.
The distance made today may be about 45 to 50 miles. For the first 25 miles or to near
the Portage des Isle, the course South, afterwards it changed to the S. E.
The River is in general about 7 to 900 yds wide from the marks in the bank the water
has fallen 10 to 12 feet. The country hilly, but many points of fine meadow ground
Before we started in the morning sent off an Indian (Bascrorhy) who accompanied us
for the purpose, and Ribets boy (Francis), to the Fort with the horses. Sent letters by
them to the fort.- Left the saddles and (appichimans) in charge of the little chief till our
Sunday 20 Light clouds warm weather. By daylight the men were at work, brought out
the canoes and by 1 or 2 o'clock had given them a temporary repair when we embarked
and encamped in the evening at the lower end(42) of the
lake. The canoes had been
very badly laid up in the Spring, one of them was entirely unserviceable and the other
two much ( ? ) by the supports giving away. The paddles could not be found.
Monday 21 Weather as yesterday. Embarked at daylight and encamped in the
evening below the Heron Rapid.(43) The canoes had to be
gummed, some time was also
lost in the day by having to stop to gum one of the canoes. Saw some Indians at the
upper end of the lake, among whom were two Nezperces lately arrived from the F.
Head camps from these we learned that the F Heads are all at the Horse plains and
that a lodge of Americans are with them, that our ( ? ) ( ? ) are there also that the
American is trading but that he has only tobacco. The Nezperces camp is a little
farther off at the camass plains and that they have a few beaver, they report that the
Indians have very little provisions.
In the morning sent Mortin Kanauswapu, the only man who knew the road across the
Auplatte(44) portage with some tobacco to the Kootenay
chiefs and to desire them to
come and meet us at the lake six days hence to trade. In the event of Mortin's not
finding the Indians he is directed to wait for us unless he gets short of provisions in
which case he is to leave a mark indicating that the Indians could not be found and that
he is gone to the fort. - He is supplied with a gun and ammunition and some little things
to buy provisions.
Tuesday, 22 Cloudy but warm weather. Embarked at daylight, and encamped in the
evening late above the cascades. We were delayed guming the canoes and taking up
ball shot and some wire work that were hidden below Isle of Pine in the Spring, The
water had been over the place, and one of the bags of ball was found scattered among
the sand and gravel. The other bag which was entirely rotten and the box containing
the (wire) ( ? ) ( ? ). Got the ball picked up as well as we could, and brought it with us,
and hid the wire in another place.
Wedy 23rd Cloudy lowering weather, showery all day. Embarked early and arrived at
the Chutes(45) near sunset, and had the baggage all
arranged and the canoes taken up. -
No Indians nor any appearance of any having been here this season.-
Thursday 24 Cold weather with fog in the morning showery afterwards. Set out in the
morning accompanied by two men, Chalifoux and Dechamp to find the Indians and
apprise them of our arrival, though we expected to find some encamped at Thompson's
plains, we did not we any lodges till near the big rock(46)
below the F. Head fort where
we learned that the Indians were encamped at the Horse plains. here I sent back
Dechamp and borrowed two horses for Chalifoux and myself and proceeded to the
camp where we arrived in the afternoon and found about 50 lodges Heads and
Pendant Oreille, and four chiefs. LeBrute, Gras Pied, Grand Visage and Bourge
Pendant Oreille. I stopped at Le Brute's lodge, The old man was glad to see me and
immediately gave me to eat. - The other chiefs and the principal Indians soon
assembled and smoked, during which we were employed giving and receiving all the
news on both sides. The old chief said he much regretted that this year his people had
been unfortunate having been able to procure but a small quantity of provisions and
very few furs. That the cause of the scarcity of provisions was owing to the place being
full of other Indians who disturb the buffalo. They have had no war except some horse
stealing skirmishes in which they killed one Indian and lost one of their own men. - A
party of the F. Heads had fallen in with some of the Snake deserters and some
Americans, two of the deserters, J. Guy and Jacques accompanied them to some of the
camps and Guy presented the two chiefs Gras Pied and Grand Visage with some
tobacco and a little scarlet as from the chief of the American party Ashly,(47) whom they
said wished to see the Indians, and that he was (then) off for a large quantity of
supplies. - A few F Heads, Nezperces and 2 Snakes in all 22 have gone off to see
them. - A considerable party of the natives under (Grune) and Red Feather(48) are at
(Revine) de Mere, but the others say they have nothing to trade and that their horses
are very lean, that prevented them from coming in.
A former deserter, Jacques, states that the Americans last Spring took out(49) 200 horse
loads of beaver, that they are to return with 150 horse loads of goods and that another
company is coming in with a quantity equally as large, and that they were told that 3
and afterwards 5 ships were to come to the Columbia or near the river. This report was
also circulated among the Indians, but we undeceived them.-
Friday 25 Thick fog in the morning clear fine weather afterwards. The chiefs issued
orders last night and again early this morning for all those that had anything to trade to
be ready to start for our camp at an early hour, but though the horses were all
assembled at the tents last night and a guard set upon them (as Blackfeet Indians are
known to be in the neighborhood) yet they had strayed off through the plain, and on
account of the fog could not be collected till about 9 o'clock when the whole was soon
loaded and underway. One of the chiefs accompanied us ahead and we arrived at our
camp(50) some time before the others, who reached it in
the afternoon, and after smoking
and some conversation, trade commenced and continued till it was getting dark. - The
Indians from whom I borrowed the horses had fresh ones to change them with when I
came back to the lodges. - The men have been busy employed at the canoes and have
nearly completed repairing them
Satd.y. 26 Cold in the morning clear fine weather afterwards. Trade was resumed at an
early hour and the whole finished by breakfast time, when the men were set to to tie up
the things, and a little past noon we embarked and encamped in the evening a little
above the Isle de Pine rapid.
Had a long conversation, with the principle Indians, and made arrangements about the
time they would be coming to meet us in the fall which they said would be the usual
time. Each of the chiefs got a present of 40 balls and powder and a little tobacco, a
small present was also sent to the absent chiefs, and they were strongly recommended
to exert themselves hunting beaver and also to bring in provisions. They are all well
A report has been spread among the Indians that this was the last time we are to trade
with them. they say they were told by a young man from below who heard it from some
white men. The Americans it was added were now to get the country. This they were
told was false. We applied to them to bring in our deserters who are with them.
The trade is inferior to that of last year in everything. There were only 221 beaver, 90 (
? ) bales of meat, 66 appichimens, very little dressed leather, and some cords, and 5
Sunday 27 Light clouds fine pleasant weather. Embarked before sunrise and reached
the Kootenay portage(51) at the lower end of the Lake in
the evening, where we found
Morton and the Kootany chief with 12 or 13 of his people, the evening was employed
smoking and giving and receiving the news. They are not satisfied because the whites
did not go to their lands to trade as usual. They say messages were sent from the fort
for them to go and trade there. - They had a good many beaver. They passed the
summer in the upper waters of their own river.
Monday 28 Clear pleasant weather. Commenced trading before sunrise, and by
breakfast time had purchased all the disposable articles. The trade is good, better by
far than last year, and amounts to 382 beaver & 12 damaged do. 220 Rats, 20 dressed
skins & 25 Deer skins besides some cords etc. They have a good many rats and
dressed skins at their lodges which they say on account of the leanness of their horses
they could not bring with them. It was there fore deemed advisable that Mr. Kittson
should accompany them with a supply of trading articles and purchase the whole, they
are to lend him horses to go & return three men accompany him & Pierre L. Etang
man waits for him with a canoe till he returns, while I with the other two canoes full
loaded proceed to the Pendant Oreille portage,(52) and
send of for the horses, by this
means the trade can be finished without loss of time as the remaining canoe will will be
still at the portage by the time the horses arrive from the fort. - Mr. Kittson will probably
proceed down the Kootenay to examine(53) it and send
back the men to the canoe,
perhaps one man an Indian will accompany him, he is to be guided by circumstances,
he will still reach the fort before us. - Accordingly about 2 o'clock we both took our
departure and encamped with the canoes a little below the Cour de Alan Portage.
Tuesday Clear fine weather. Embarked before daylight and arrived at the Portage a
little past noon, and immediately sent off the men to the fort(54) for horses. The Indians
visited us to smoke and get the news. Traded a few beaver skins. No news from the
fort. Had the baggage all stored away and covered and the canoes put bye in the
Cloudy cool weather. Had all the meat(55) opened out,
and assorted and packed up in
bales of 90 to 100 lb. each for the horses. The meat is in general in fine order, only a
few pieces we found a little wet and damaged. Cords were also cut, and something
done to arranging the saddles, etc., and putting them in order. Several of the Indians
revisited us some of them got a little ammunition. The chiefs and a party are going off
to the buffaloes. The Indians are wishing to trade camass, but having no bags to put it
in and as we would have to hire horses to take it to the fort which would make it very
dear I declined trading any. The Indians have horses themselves but are too lazy to go
to the fort.
Thursday 31 Cloudy, fine weather. The men employed arranging the saddles &c., &
preparing the pieces to be in readiness when the horses arrive. A few Indians visited us
during the day, but had nothing to trade.
Sept. 1826 Friday 1 Thick fog in the morning, clear fine weather afterwards. The men
employed us yesterday. Traded a few appichimens, some dressed skins and a robe
from the Indians. The men arrived with the horses late in the evening. Little news from
Satdy. 2nd Thick fog in the morning, clear fine weather afterwards. After breakfast the
canoe which was left at the Kootenay Portage arrived. Mr. Kittson made a pretty good
trade in leather, & as was intended has gone down the Kootenay River to examine it.
The men were immediately set to to arrange the pieces brought in the canoe, and
application made to the Indians for the number of horses required in addition to those
brought from the fort, but it was found that it would be too late before everything could
be arranged and the Indian horses collected to start, therefore we deferred moving till
tomorrow. The horses sent from the fort are short 2 of the number mentioned by Mr.
(McDonald.)(56) The men say all they brought from the
fort are here, as there is no list of
the horses I can't tell the ones that are missing.
Sunday 3rd. Thick fog in the morning clear fine weather afterwards. On account of the
thick fog the Indians were some time of collecting their horses and it was late before
they arrived with them, it was 10 o'clock when we started and we encamped about 2 at
the foot of a hill, good feeding in a fine meadow for the horses. We made but a short
day's journey, but we had to put up or it would have been too much for the horses to
cross the hill to another place to encamp. The road was pretty good mostly through
plains but a piece of thick woods. Some places the road is boggy.
Monday 4 Cloudy and foggy in the morning clear afterwards. The people collected the
horses at daylight, but before they were loaded it was about 7 o'clock, where we
entered the woods and commenced ascending the hill, the top of which we did not
reach till past noon, and it was near sunset when we encamped on the Kettle Fall little
river.(57) In mounting the hill the woods are generally
thick, the road pretty good but in
many places very steep and very laborious for the horses to ascend, gullies in many
places cross the road. In descending on the West side it is also pretty steep and the
road in some places stony. At two or three places in crossing the hill a little off the road
there is water and a little herbage for the horses, but it would be difficult to keep a
(large band) for the night. The summer and fall is the only season that this road is
practicable with horses. The horses are a good deal fatigued.
Tuesday 5 Foggy in the morning fine weather afterwards. Had the horses collected at
an early hour and started a little past sunrise, and encamped a little past noon. It would
have been too much for the horses to go to the fort after the hard day they had
yesterday. Had two bales of leather that got wet by a horse falling in a swamp
yesterday evening, opened and dried, and in the evening I left the men, and arrived at
the fort after sunset, the men are to follow in the morning.
Wedy 6th. Clear fine weather. The people with the horses and property arrived in the
forenoon, where the loads were received and all opened and examined and in good
order. The trade stands as follows.
Flat Heads. Kootanians.
213 large beaver 297 Large Beaver
54 small "95 Small "
21 pap "6 Large Damaged Beaver
6 lb. (Coston)6 Small ""
71 Appichimans 4 lb. (Coston)
6 Pr. Buffalo Robes 7 Otters
6 Red Deer Skin dressed 505 Musquash
6 Buffalo ""2 Mortis
5 Lodges 3 Minks
4396 lb. Dry Meat 1 Fisher
119 lb. Cords 2 Appichimens
21 Pack Saddles 2 Com. Buff. Robes
(Pounfluhs), etc. 109 Red Deer Skins d'st
71 ( ? )
22 Pow. flasks
7 Garnished shirts
4 Pr. Leggins
Thursday 7 Cloudy mild weather. The people employed at the building.(58) Settled with
the Indians who lent us the horses at Pendant Oreille River, had 72 skins to pay, 17
horses and one Indian 4 skins each.
Satdy 9 These two days past Mr. Kittson and I busy taking the inventory. Preparations
are making for the express boat to the mountains starting tomorrow. Mr. Dease means
to accompany it with his family, and to send them across if he understands there is a
likelihood of himself following them.
Sunday 10 Clear fine weather. The express boat(59)
started in the evening deeply loaded
with passengers, baggage and provisions. There are in all 20 passengers, and 23
pieces of provisions, corn, grease and dry meat. - Mr. McDonald(60) and family, Mr.
Dease and family, Dr. McLaughlin's family, (J Cahn,) (F McKye) 2 boys & old (A Popt)
Monday 11 Clear fine weather, but cold in the night. The men employed at the
building. I was arranging the papers.
Tuesday 12 Weather as yesterday. Employed as yesterday. Rivet went off to Pendant
Oreille to hunt roots.
Wedy 13 Fine weather. The boat which started on Sunday returned with Mr. Dease
and his family, he left by mistake a bundle of letters and papers of importance for which
he had to return, and finding that the boat was too much submerged he brought back
his family. He went off again immediately. Two pieces of provisions were brought
Thursday 14. Cloudy fair weather. Had two men employed repairing a canoe to go off
to examine the Pendant Oreille River.
Friday 15th. The men employed as yesterday. two Indians with the two men are to accompany me, but one of them is off today and will not be back till tomorrow so that we will have to defer starting till the day following. It is reported among the Indians that a woman is killed at a small river on the opposite side of the Columbia, it seems she was gathering, nuts, and an Indian who was hunting took her for a bear crawling among the bushes, and shot her. One of the sows had five young pigs(61)
1. An evident error, as July 5 fell on Wednesday in 1826. This was overcome by Mr. Work later by giving two days to July 12.- E. S. M.
2. Probably Lady's Island below Washougal; called Diamond Island by Lewis and Clark.
3. Probably means that at this high stage of the water they followed a channel behind Hamilton or Strawberry Island and carried goods and canoes across the Island to avoid the Garrison Rapids.
4. The regular portage beginning just below Sheridan's Point and ending at the cove or bend above the Cascades; practically where the railroad is built today.
5. Probably where the City of The Dalles now stands.
6. This portage was on the Oregon side from Big Eddy to the head of Ten Mile Rapids, nearly six miles. Here stood the village of Wishram of which Washington Irving wrote in his "Astoria."
7. Consult page 364 of Vol. 10 of the Oregon Historical Quarterly as to this. Peter Skene Ogden, with Finan McDonald Thos. McKay and Thos. Dears, had been trapping and trading in Southern Idaho.
8. David Douglas, the botanist. Consult his own account at page 356 of Vol. V of the Oregon Historical Quarterly.
9. Celilo Falls.
10. The Deschutes river.
11. John Day river in Oregon.
12. Blalock Island, also known as Long Island to the fur traders; this camp probably at "Canoe Encampment Rapids," so known to this day.
13. Umatilla Rapids.
14. Fort Walla Walla, at mouth of river of same name.
15. William Kittson, who came to the Columbia district in 1818 and died at Fort Vancouver during the early forties. His brother was Norman Kittson, the millionaire of St. Paul, Minn., and financial associate of J. J. Hill.
16. Snake river
17. For Mr. Douglas' own account of this journey consult pages 357-61 of Vol. 5 of the Oregon Historical Quarterly.
18. The Palouse River; known to the traders also as Pavion River.
19. AImota, Whitman County, Washington; an Indian crossing place; see note on page 89 of Vol. V. of this Quarterly.
20. Junction of Snake and Clearwater rivers; their camp probably on north side of Clearwater opposite present site of Lewiston, Idaho.
22. Camp probably near Uniontown, Whitman County, Wash.
23. They reach the Spokane River at mouth of Latah Creek below the Falls.
24. They followed the south side of Spokane River until opposite the abandoned buildings of Spokane House. Consult note 145, page 279, of Vol. 5 of this Quarterly.
25. Jacques Raphael Finlay, who had built or helped to build this trading post in 1810.
26. Probably Chimakime Creek.
27. Mr. John Warren Dease, then in charge of Fort Colville.
28. A crop of potatoes had been raised here in 1825; this is the record of the first yield of grain on Marcus Flat in Stevens County, Wash.
29. Kettle Falls; the method of fishing here described was carried on within the memory of present residents of that locality, with marvelous success.
30. The trail used by the fur traders at this portage can still be seen; it is on the East bank.
31. Thompson's Prairie, Montana.
32. The trail or road for pack horses from Fort Colville across the Calispell Mountains to the Pend d'Oreille river at point near Cusick, Washington. Consult pages 147-8 of Vol. 1 of Simpson's Journey Around the World for a description of this trail. The fur traders had not used it before this time.
33. Pend d'Oreille Lake.
34. The Little Pend d'Oreille River.
35. The road leading to Spokane House, which crossed the Colville river just above Meyers Falls; this trail continued eastward through present site of city of Colville.
36. Probably a pond on section 3, township 34 north, range 40, E. W. M.
37. Probably a stream now mapped as Tacoma Creek, which empties Into the Pend d'Oreille River.
38. Near the mouth of the Calispell river, where the Indians gathered to dig camas.
39. Thompson Falls, Montana.
40. The Sineacateen crossing of mining days, where the trail from Spokane to the Kootenay country and the Clarks Fork country crossed the river; nearly opposite Laclede station of the Great Northern Railroad of today.
41. Albeni Falls, just above Newport, Wash.
42. Sandpoint, Idaho.
43. Heron, Montana; see note 123, page 265, Vol. V., this Quarterly.
44. The portage from Pend d'Oreille Lake to the Kootenay river at Bonners Ferry.
45. Thompson Falls, Montana
46. Bad Rock, just below Eddy, Montana.
47. Gen. Wm. H. Ashley; see page 247 et seq. of Vol. 1. of History of the American Fur Trade by H. M. Chittenden for sketch of his career.
48. This chief was one of Peter Skene Ogden's heroes; see chapter 2 of the book, "Traits of American Indian Life and Character," by a Fur Trader.
49. That is, to St. Louis.
50. At Thompson Falls
51. Near Kootenay Landing, Pend d'Oreille Lake.
52. Mouth of Calispell River again, near Cusick, Wash.
53. For previous attempt to examine the Kootenay River consult this Quarterly, Vol V., p. 177-8.
54. Fort Colville.
55. Dried buffalo meat purchased from the Flatheads.
56. Finan McDonald, then at Fort Colvile.
57. The Colville River.
58. Fort Colvile was staked out by Governor Simpson in April, 1825, the timbers framed during the summer of 1825, and actually built in spring and summer of 1826
59. The express boat bound for Boat Encampment at Canoe River, there to meet the officer returning from the annual meeting of the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company at York Factory or elsewhere, bringing the mail and orders for the Columbia District for the next year.
60. This is our last mention of Finan McDonald in the Columbia District; he is returning across the Rocky Mountains with his family. He came to the Columbia with David Thompson in 1807 and had been here continually since then.
61. This mother was brought from Fort Vancouver by canoe route in a crate in March and April of this year, 1826; in her company was a heifer. See page 284, Vol. V., of this Quarterly.