Victor Malhoit Journal 1806

A Wisconsins Fur-Traders
Journal, 1804-05

By Francois Victor Malhiot

Letter to the Readers

Gentlemen20 It would be too venturesome a task for me to undertake to write a full and formal journal; my education is too inadequate. * * * It is true that, in the earlier years of my childhood, I could read, but no sooner had I reached the


20 Addressed to the partners of the North West Fur Company. This organization was one of the most important in the history of the North American fur-trade. It was the successor to the French trade of the Northwest, which began to revive in 1766 at the close of Pontiacs conspiracy. In 1769 the first British trader penetrated to points beyond Lake Superior, going as far as Fort Bourbon, and returning the next year with a rich harvest of furs. For the next ten years this trade continued with increasing vigor and was extended by the efforts of Peter Pond to the Athabasca region. In 1780 the Indians conspired against the traders, several posts were attacked and many traders lives might have been lost, had it not been for an epidemic of smallpox that raged for two years among the natives. Meanwhile, unrestrained competition had wrought great evils, the Indians were debauched, and the traders, being without legal restraints, grew lawless. Several times, interests were pooled for a brief period. Finally, in the winter of 1783-84, a sixteen-share company was formed for five years at Montreal, of which the Frobisher brothers and Simon McTavish were agents; the other, or wintering, partners dwelt at their posts in the far Northwest. The general rendezvous was at the Grand Portage, on Lake Superior. In 1787 the partnership was renewed for nine years, with twenty shares,


age of reason than idleness and pleasure prevented my going further and I have remained within my limited sphere. I write because I am ordered to write and out of submission and respect for the person who has given me the order. 21
These are notes rather than a journal. No sooner did anything happen during the course of my journey, than I at once scribbled it down anyway; sometimes in bad French, sometimes in Canadian patois. I have described the character of the principal Savages of the place to the best of my ability. I have praised the post of Lac au Flambeau and have said all I thought of every person with me.
You may perhaps find me severe in my ideas and inconsistent in my judgements, especially with regard to the Savages, and you may say that it is the effect of my hatred and bad humor. But no! May God preserve me from wishing ill to any one on earth, and I declare before Heaven that all that is written in
thus admitting some former rivals to the partnership. Under the new impetus of combination, the association grew very prosperous, trebled its capital in eleven years, and controlled not only the trade, but the entire destiny of the Northwest country. Under its auspices vast explorations were made Alexander MacKenzie discovering in 1789 the river that bears his name, also the Artic Ocean; in 1793 he crossed the Rocky Mountains, and reached the Pacific by land. In 1798, the association was re-formed, with fourty-six shares, some of the old partners retiring, and clerks being promoted to partnership. At this time there were employed fifty clerks, seventy-one interpreters, 1120 voyageurs, and thirty-five guides. The companys operations continued until 1821, when after a nine-years struggle with the Hudsons Bay Company, the North West sold out to the former in that year. Its successor on American soil was the American Fur Company, organized by John Jacob Astor in 1809. ED.
21 It was the policy of the North West Company to require the clerks in charge of a post to keep a journal of proceedings therein. L.R. Masson, formerly of Montreal, made a large collection of these journals and letters, many of which he has published in Les Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Quest (Quebec, 1889). We translate and present to our readers this journal of life at a Wisconsin post in 1804-05, taken from his work, I, pp. 223-263. ED.


this book, is true and on the honor of a thoroughly honest man. Honni soit qui mal y pense!
I remain, Gentlemen, Your very humble and very obedient servant.

F. Vt. M. L. O. Francois Victor Malhiot22

22Francois Victor Malhiot was a French-Canadian of good family, the ìson of a respectable gentleman, rich in sentiment and honor.î Two of his brothers were known in the service of their country-Lieut.-Col. Pierre Ignace Malhiot, who entered the army and served in Canada, and Hon. Xavier Malhiot, representative in the Canadian parliament, who died at Boucherville in 1855. Francois was born in 1776, being scarcely fifteen years of age when he became an articled clerk to the North West Company. At the time of Malhiot apprenticeship, the young clerks were required to serve five years for their expenses and £100. Since Malhiot speaks of thirteen years of traveling and eleven years of wintering, it is possible that he spent two years in coming to the upper country for the summers only, serving in the Montreal house during the winters. It is probable that his experiences were in many ways comparable to those of Gurdon Hubbard of Chicago, who has described in his Autobiography the life of a fur-trade apprentice some twenty-five years later (1818-23).
In 1796, Malhiot received his appointment to the upper Red River department, where apparently he remained for eight years, and where in 1799 his annual salary was £240. his was the department of Assiniboine River, which unites with Red River of the North at Winnipeg; and Malhiot was under John MacDonnell, wintering partner of the North West Company (1796-1815). The principal fort was on River Quappelle, with several subsidiary posts. See MacDonnells journal in Masson, Bourgeois, i, pp. 267-295.
At the summer meeting of the partners in 1804, it was decided to promote Malhiot and send him to take charge of a post to the south of Lake Superior, where complaints of the clerk in charge, Charles Gauthier, seemed of sufficient importance to make some change necessary. Malhiots experiences during the succeeding winter are here related by himself. He repaired and rebuilt the post, and his reports were sufficiently promising to cause his return to the same place for the next year, and apparently for the succeeding one.
In 1807, having become tired of the fur-trade, Malhiot determined to retire, and resigned his position with the company. During his residence in the interior he had, in the fashion of the country, married an Indian woman. This occurred August 8, 1800, at the fort at



July 9, 1804 I left Fort Kamanaitiquoya23at 4 o’clock with an outfit of eleven assorted bales, twenty kegs of rum double strength, four kegs of powder, five bags of shot and bullets, halt


the mouth of Winnipeg River. See Daniel W. Harmon, Journal of Vayages and Travels (Andover, 1820), p. 49. ìThis evening,î he says, ìMons. Mayotte [Malhiot] took a woman of this country for a wife, or rather concubine.î Upon leaving the interior, Malhiot left his Indian wife with her own people, but took with him his half-breed son, Francois Xavier Ignace (named apparently for himself and his own two brothers). Settling at Contrevcoeur he educated his son, and lived there until his death in 1840.
Malhiot was familiarly known to his relatives and intimates as Erambert. He was a cousin of Jacques Porlier of Green Bay, and for a short tie after his return from the Northwest, lived with the latters maiden sisters at Verche`res. He is frequently mentioned in the family letters, and several letters from him to Portlier are in the Wisconsin Historical Library; i.e., Wisconsin MSS., 3B28, 4B52, 13B42, 2C57, 90. ED.

23This word has had many spellings. The accepted form is Kaministiquia, and is said to signify “river with many islands” or “river that flows around” – the Kaministiquia entering Lake Superior by three mouths. It is one of the oldest sites on that lake.Radisson and Grosseillers are supposed to have passed here in the middle of the seventeenth century. Duluth built the first trading post on this site in 1678, probably at the point where the later posts were found, on the north side of the north branch, a half mile above the mouth. The second French post was established here in 1717, by Zacherie Roubtel, sieur de la Noue, who remained in command until 1721. Thenceforward it became an important station, both as gateway to the farther West, and for the amount and quality of furs secured. In 1743 the post was leased for 3000 livres. In 1757 the price had increased to 4000 livres, and every year it sent out from sixty to seventy packs of fine furs. About this period Kaministiquia was abandoned, and when the English reopened the fur-trade on Lake Superior, Grand Portage, sixty miles to the southwest, became their headquarters. After the American Revolution, it was found that the North West Company’s post at Grand Portage was on American territory, and attempts were made to open various routes to the interior waters. It was not until 1798 that Roderick McKenzie rediscovered the Kaminis-


a bale of kettles, a case of guns, twelve traps and four rolls of tobacco, 24 the whole entrusted to my care by Mr Willliam MacGillivray 25 to be traded for furs in the Department of Montreal River.26

tiquia route, and thereupon it was decided to remove headquarters thither, The new fort was begun in 1801, and in the summer of 1804, when Malhiot was present, was about completed.
The name Fort William was not bestowed upon it until 1807. Fort William was for twenty years the centre of Western activity. It covered an area of fourteen acres, was surrounded by high pickets, and contained many buildings, chief of which was the great hall where the partners met and dined. Thither the agents of the company came each year from Montreal, to meet the wintering partners from the far interior. There the business of the year was transacted, the accounts made out, assignments arranged for the ensuing year, and outfits put up for clerks and partners. The classic description of Fort William departed. It was, however, still maintained as a post, and around it was a small settlement of retired employees. This is now a twon of 7000 inhabitants, one of the stations on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Vestiges of the old fur-trade post and its buildings are yet to be seen. -ED

24 Compare the outfit of Alexander Henry the younger, described in his journals in Elliott Coues, New Light on the Early History of the Greater Northwest (New York, 1897), p. 7. -ED

25 William McGillevray was at this time one of the chief agents of the North West Company resident at Montreal. He had served his apprenticeship in the field, going out first as clerk, and becoming a wintering partner in 1790, after buying out the interest of Peter Pond. His aptitude for the business was so great, that in 1797 he became on of the agents, and it was his duty to visit the upper country every year, and make the settlements and assignments for the succeeding year. For this purpose he had a special canoe of his own, manned by expert voyageurs who took pride in passing all brigades on the Ottawa River. McGillevray was popular with his colleagues and employees, and was very successful in keeping up the efficiency of the company. After 1804 he was its recognized head, and as such was frequently consulted by the government, especially after the War of 1812-15, in regard to new posts in the Northwest. In 1814 he was appointed legislative councillor, and having amassed a considerable fortune was one of the prominent men


River. 26 Moreover, I was supplied with as many French provisions as a proprietor might have wished for, * * * four hundred pounds of flour, two barrels and a half of pork, forty pounds of biscut, a Keg of shrub (rum), a Keg of high-wines, two of sugar, four pounds of tea, ham, bread, butter, etc. etc. The heavy wind compelled me to land at the entrance of Lake Superior; there I found Corbin, 27 one of M. Cadotte’s 28 clerks. My toothache got worse.
11th Wednesday. My people took only 2 Dores in their nets. 29 I left my camp after we had cooked a meal. At half

of Montreal. But his sympathies turned to his native land, and in 1818 he bought an estate in Argyleshire, where he retired from active life, dying in 1825 from the effects of hardships endured in the Northwest trade. -ED.
26 The term Department of Montreal River appears to be a new one in the North West Company’s nomenclature. In the assignments of 1799, all the southern border of Lake Superior is classed together. Malhiot’s expedition is apparently a new venture on the company’s part – there had been trading here before, but not in charge of a person of the grade of clerk, who reported directly to headquarters. -ED.
27 The author means that he got no farther than the mouth of Kaministiquia River, where he was storm bound.
Jean Baptiste Corbin, a young Canadian of good family, born in 1776, had received some education before entering the employ of the North West Company in 1796. He was assigned to the Lake Superior department and entered the service of Michael Cadotte, who in 1800 sent him to establish a post on Lac Court Orielle. There he married a Chippewa woman, and had much influence with his Indian neighbors. In 1808, during the wxcitement caused by the efforts of Tecumseh and the Prophet, Corbin’s post was plundered, he ebing obliged to flee through the woodsto Chequamegon. This was aprtly due to an indiscretion on his part. He soon after returned, and passed the remainder of his life at this place. In 1818 he was taken into the employ of the American Fur Company, and in 1824 aided in suppressing hostilities on the part of the Indians. He was living at Lac Court Oreille as late as 1852. See Minn. Hist. Colls., v, index. -ED.
28 Michael Cadotte of La Pointe; see ante, p. 69, note 98. -ED
29 Elliott Coues identifies this fish, known to the French as poisson dore, as the wall-eyed pike-perch (stizostedion vitreum). -ED


past five, after traveling two hours the wind compelled me to camp. * * * By all the devils, my toothache will not leave me.
12th Thursday. I started this morning at four o’clock. At eleven o’clock I met an unloaded canoe of X Y but could not find out where it was going. 30 At noon I passed the Grand Portage31 where X Y’s schooner was weighing anchor. A

30 The great succcess of the North West Fur Company provoked rivalry and emulation. In 1798 a company was formed to oppose this powerful monopoly, but it was only by dissension within the ranks of the Nor’ Westers themselves that efficient opposition with the haughty bearing and tyrannical methods of the chief agent, Simon McTavish. Accordingly, Alexander MacKenzie withdrew from the company, and going to England published his book of travels. For the discoveries therein recorded he was knighted, and received much honor. Returning to Canada in 1801 he formed a partnership with the North West Company’s rivals, Richardson, Forsyth & Co.. of Montreal, and Phyn, Inglis & Co. of London, to carry on the furtrade. This company was usually spoken of as the XY Company, probably because these letters succeeded in the alphabet the W of North West Company’s name. It was sometimes known as the New Company, and often as Alexander MacKenzie’s. For three years the competition was severe, the X Y employees followinf the Nor’ Westers, placing forts beside theirs, securing Indian favor and trade by various means, and vastly damaging the trade monopoly. Further in this journal, we shall see results at Lac du Flambeau. In July, 1804, McTavish died, and occasion for the opposition having ceased, in November of the same year the two companies united, to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. See the agreement in Masson, Bourgeois, ii, pp. 482-499.. -ED

31 The term Grand Portage was first applied to the nine-mile carry between Lake Superior and a point on Pigeon River above its falls. Gradually, however, the name came to be applied only to the landing place on the shore of the lake. This is situated in a bay, too shallow for landing vessels of considerable burden. The place was well-known during the French regime, but the Kaministiquia route was more frequently used. At the beginning of the Britishh regime, however, Grand Portage became an important centre of the fur-trade. Carver found many traders there in 1767; eight years later, Alexander Henry started thence for his tour to the interior,


moment afterward I saw her outside the islands sailing in the direction of Sault Ste. Marie. 32 At half past one o’clock, I saw Chorette33 and aide-de-camp Lalancette,34 two employees of

and found it the scene of harmful competition. Thence, until the removal (1801-04) to Fort William (see ante, note 23), Grand Portage was the headquarters of the entire North West fur-trade, and here the company of that name built an important post. After the removal to the new fort, Grand Portage gradually sank into obscurity, having only a local importance. It is now a small post village fishing resort of a few whites and half-breeds, in Cook County, Minnesota. For further particulars see Wis. Hist. Colls., xi, pp. 123-125, in which, however, Neill’s statements are inaccurate. -ED.

32 The earliest sailing vessel on Lake Superior would appear to have been that of La Rhonde, used for developing his copper-mining interests; see Id., xvii, pp. 310-313. A similar enterprise under British auspices was inaugurated in 1770-71; see James Bain, Alexander Henry’s Travels and Adventures (Boston 1901), pp. 220-229. Sailing vessels for the fur-trade do not appear to have been used until the formation of the North West Company, wich in 1784 petitioned for the priviledge of building barks on Lake Superior. The first vessel, built in 1785, was appropriately named “Beaver,” and cost L1843. Unfortunately she could not be passed above Sault Ste. Marie, so the company had to build upon Lake Superior, where in 1787 they had a schooner of about fifty tons burden – with two others on Lake Huron, transporting goods and supplies from Detroit. See Alexander MacKenzie, Voyages (London, 1801), pp. xxxix, xl. The X Y Company had likewise their vessel, as appears by this passage. -ED.

33 Simon or Simeon Chorette (Chaurette, Charrette) was a North West Company employee in the region south of Lake Superior at the close of the eighteenth century. He joined the opposition X Y Company, and as will be seen, proved an efficient rival of Malhiot at Lac du Flambeau throughout the season. After the amalgamation, he again became a North West employee. In 1818 he had entered the American Fur Company, by whom he was given charge that same year of the Lac du Flambeau post on a salary of $1200, with goods to the amout of $5100. The same year, his wife was the Company’s trader at Keweenaw Cove. Later, Chorette retired to Green Bay, where he was engaged with the Grignons and Porlier in the fur-trade as late as 1832. -ED.

34Antoine Lalancette was taken into the service of the North


XY for the Montreal River: they were camped and seemed to have three baggage outfits and three canoes. I camped here at la Riviere Brulee35 and had my nets set. My toothache will not leave me.

13th Friday. My men took up their nets this morning and caught two trout and a white fish. At six o’clock we started after taking a meal. At 11 o’clock the Savages of M. Mi[chel] Cadotte caught up to me and told me they had seen Chorette; who had told them one of the three canoe-loads was for the Riviiere des Sauteux, 36 one load and a half for the Montreal River, and the other half load for La Pointe. At three o’clock

West Company after amalgamation in 1804. In 1818 he was clerk at Lac du Flambeau for the American Fur Company. -ED.
35 Not the well known Bois Brule River of Wisconsin, part of the famous portage route through the St. Ctoix to the Mississippi, but a small stream in Cook County, Minn., not far from Grand Portage. -ED.

36 For the early history of Chippewa River (Riviere des Sauteux), see Wis. Hist. Colls., xviii, p. 79, note 18. The source of its western branch has been known for many years as Ottawa Lake, or Lac Court Orielles, practically synonomous terms. This name was given because the Ottawa acquired the name of Court Oreilles (short ears) some time in the eighteenth century; not, as often stated, because they clipped their ears, but because they left them in the natural condition – that is, the lobe was not distended, or lengthened, by ornaments or weights. The Chippewa did not take possession of this region until well into the middle of the eighteenth century; their first permanent settlements appear to have been about the beginning of the British era.
Trade was first carried among them by the Cadottes, Jean Baptiste II entering this region about 1792. In 1800 Michel Cadotte had a post at Lac Court Orielles. The clerk in charge thereof for many years was Jean Baptiste Corbin. In 1818 the American Fur Company opened trade at this place, with Corbin still in charge. By 1824 it was placed in the hands of Lyman M. Warren, who maintained the post for ten years. The reservation for the tribe was established in 1854, and there a considerable band yet dwell. -ED.


in the afternoon I camped at the Grand Marais37 because the Savages told me I should have good fishing there.
14th Saturday. We caught in the nets four fine trout, three large cisaouettes, and a white fish. 38 At five o’clock I had the canoes put in the water; at noon I met a canoe from Fond du Lac, on its way to Kamanaitiquoya loaded with bark. That night I camped at Collin’s winter quarters39 * * *
16th Monday. Yesterday the wind compelled us to camp at la Roche debout and this morning I started at 4 p’clock. At two o’clock in the afternoon I had to put ashore owing to the great violence of the wind. My toothache was so bad last night that, after trying every imaginable remedy and taking fifty drops of opium without any effect , I decided to take some rum. I swallowed at one gulp half a pint of the raw spirit, which took effect in a quarter of an hour and made me sleep until morning. My body feels broken, my jaw is tender, and I have a sensation of nausea, but my toothache has departed with the half pint of spirits.
19th Thursday. The day before yesterday I started with sails set, but at one o’clock in the afternoon I was obliged to put in at Petite Peche because it was blowing too hard. The wind and rain continued all day yesterday, and I was unable to leave camp before 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I arrived here, at the


37 Grand Marais is now the seat of Cook County, Minn., with a population of about 300. It has a fine harbor, and is still an excellent place for fishing. -ED
38 The trout was that known to the Great Lakes as Mackinac trout, cristivomer namaycush; the cisaouette (now called siskowit) was a fat variety of the same species, now properly called cristivomer namaycush siscowet. This was first described by Louis Agassiz in his Lake Superior (Boston, 1850). p. 333. The whitefish was the common whitefish of Lake Superior, coregonus clupeoformis. For this information, thanks are due to Prof. George Wagner of the University of Wisconsin. -ED
39 Probably a free trader, as no person of that name seems to have been in the North West Company employ in 1804. -ED


entrance of the river Fond du Lac, 40 at one o’clock in the morning. At 4 o’clock I went to Mr Sayer’s41 Fort. I found him still in bed and had the honor of breakfasting with him.


40Fond du Lac was a term applied not only to the end of Lake Superior, westward from Chequamegon, but also to the district drained by St. Louis River and the other tributary streams of the region. In fur-trade parlance, the Department of the Fond du Lac embraced the upper waters of the Mississippi, and the posts upon Red Cedar, Leech, and Sandy lakes. By mounting the St. Louis, there was an wasy portage, via the Saanna Rivers, to Sandy Lake, a tributary of the upper Mississippi. The fur-trade took this route during the French period; just jow early the British began operating upon this waterway, does not seem to easy to determine. Jean Baptiste Perrault was here with Alexander Kay in 1784, and found a North West wintering post on the St. Louis River. Jean Baptiste Cadotte II was given charge of the Fond du Lac Department about 1790. He built a permanent post on the bay, where in 1796 two Indians were executed for murdering a white man. The North West Company’s post was probably on the same site. Local tradition has given the place the name of “old fort;” it was at the base of Connor’s Point, not far from the present gas-works of Superior. (We are indebted for this information to James Bardon, president of the Superior Historical Society.) There the early pioneers of the present city found the remains of a considerable post-several hundred feet of stockade, and the ruins of a dock of cedar logs. A visitor of 1807 describes the place as having an enclosure of several acres, surrounded by a cedar picketing; two horses and several cattle were kept, also a garden wherein was raised on three acres 200 bushels of potatoes. There were one or more Chippewa villages in the vicinity – one on the Minnesota side of the bay waws designated in 1789, as a “band of robbers.” The importance of the post did not consist, however, in the trade of the vicinity. It was a source of supply for the entire Fond du Lac Department, and being located on the portage between Superior and St. Louis bays, was well adapted to its purpose. This North West post was abandoned after the law of 1816 forbidding British trading-houses on American soil. The American Fur Company located their post at the present village of Fond du Lac, Minn. The remains of the old post at Connor’s Point were noted by Schoolcraft and Doty in 1820; the former says that it was abandoned about six years previous to his visit. See H.R. Schoolcraft, Narrative Journal (Albany, 1821), p. 203. -ED
41 John Sayer had long been connected with the fur-trad, as well


He did me the favor of giving me a keg of sugar for a keg of gum, which had been given me at Kamanaitiquoya insteade of a keg of sugar. At nine o’clock, I took a leave of him and rejoined my men at the entrance of the river.
20th Friday. I was unable to leave the River of Fond du Lac yesterday because a heavy wind arose just as I was about to embark. I di not start until this morning and had the sails up all day. This evening we camp at the River Ciscaouette.42
22nd Sunday. I was detained by rain and wind at my same camp the whole day before yesterday, of yesterday, and until noon today, and I was unable to have the canoes put in the water before three o’clock, because the lake was too rough for a long while. I went as far as Riviere a la Framboise;43 I slept


as with the Fond du Lac Department. In 1780 he was at Mackinac, agent for Joseph Howard of Montreal, and the following year presented claims for goods seized for the St. Louis expedition; see Wis. Hist. Colls., xviii, pp. 404-410. In 1784 Perrault found him at Fond du Lac. In 1797-98 he was at Cass Lake, Minn., and the following year with Jean Baptiste Cadotte on the Mississippi. In the summer of 1802 he was at Leech Lake, and by the time Malhiot met him had become a wintering partner in the North West Company, whose agreement with XY in 1804 he signed by attorney. Sayer appears to have resided some time at Fond du Lac. A half-breed son, Guillaume Sayer, lived in the Red River country, and in 1849 his arrest caused an outbreak among the half-breeds of that region. -ED
42 This stream is now known as the Siskowit (English for ciscaouette). It is about fifty-five miles east of Duluth, in the present Bayfield County, Wis. It was much used as a “loaded canoe” harbor, since at its entrance there is a small slough that made a safe harbor. The fine sand beach on the eastern side of the bay was a favorite camping-ground of the Chippewa. Its Indian name was Kahpukmekah, and at this place occured the tragedy of the family of Biauswa, when killed and captured by the Outgami; see Minn. Hist. Colls., v, p. 127. The new town of Cornucopia is at the mouth of the Siskowit. For this information, the Editor is indebted to Hon. Samuel S Fifield of Ashland. -ED
43 The first mention that we have thus far seen, of this stream, now known in translation as Raspberry River; it enters into a small bay just east of Point Detour, about seventeen miles from Ashland. Bayfield’s chart of Lake Superior applies the name to what is now


there and started this morning at 4 o’clock. At 11 o’clock I arrived here at La Pointe, Mr Cadotte’s Fort.44 I decided to


Sioux River, entering the bay just west of Madeline Island. Doty, however, in the account of his voyage in 1820, mentions this stream (see Wis. Hist. Colls., xiii, p. 201) in the same location given by Malhiot, and doubtless this was the name usually given to it by voyageurs. It is also found on a map of 1830. -ED
44 Cadotte’s fort lay upon Madeline Island, the largest of the archipelago known as the Twelve Apostles – a title apparently suggested by Father Charlevoix, on whose maps it first appears (1744). Madeline had a title of its own, of older origin, having been named St. Michel, apparently by the early Jesuits in the seventeenth century. This name persisted until the nineteenth century, when in 1820 Schoolcraft calls it “Michael’s Island,” doubtless thinking it had taken its name from Michel Cadotte. Several other titles for this island are found on early maps; see Wis. Hist. Colls., xiii, p. 410, note 2. The appelation Madelaine, not in use until the nineteenth century, is said to have arisen from the Christian name of Cadotte’s wife, daughter of an important Indian chief of the neighborhood. The site of Cadotte’s trading establishemtn was on the south end of the island, at what is now known as “Old Fort.” The earlier French fort, so long commanded by Denis de la Ronde, lay about three quarters of a mile northwest; see Thomas L McKenny, Sketches of a Tour to the Lakes (Baltimore, 1827), p. 265.
The first trading or wintering post in the region was probably built in 1659 by Radisson and Groseillers, but this was on the mainland, to the southwest. The removal to the island was doubtless due to its good harbor and protected position. It was a prominent post under the French regime, being usually called Chequamegon or La Pointe du Chequamegon. The last French commandment was Hertel de Beaubassin, for whom see ante, p. 45, note 81 The British government never rebuilt a fort at this place. The first British trader was Alexander Henry, who came in 1765 and built his house on the shore of the mainland, opposite the island; see Bain, Henry’s Travels, p. 191. Jean Baptiste Cadotte was Henry’s partner, and his sons re-established trade at this place. At what date Michel Cadotte began his island trading post, is not certain. John Johnston was here in the latter part of the eighteenth century, but his post was on the mainland, at the village of Waubojeeg, whose daughter he married. Michel Cadotte resided permanently on Madelaine Island as early as 1800; probably some years before this. At first an inde-


spend the remainder of the day there to give the men time to make themsleves shoes for crossing the portage. I obtained eighteen white fish from the Savages in exchange for tobacco. I expressly forbade my people to trade their corn for fish.
24th Tuesday. This morning I started at 9 o’clock and at 11 I camped at Mauvaise Riviere45 because the wind was too strong to allow of my continuing my journey. The son-in-law of “Les


pendent trader, he became associated with the North West Company, and later with the South West, or American Fur Company. Selling out in 1823 to his sons-in-law, the Warrens, the latter removed the post about 1832 to the site known as “New Fort,” on the western side of the island. Around this grew up a considerable village which took the name La Pointe. It was the county seat until 1872, when that was removed to Ashland. The island is now much resorted to by summer cottagers. -ED

45 Mauvaise (Bad) River is still known by that name, which it acquired from the difficulties of its navigation. The Indian name was Muskego. It is about a hundred miles in length, and from its upper waters easy portages are made to the Namekagan branch of the St. Croix, and to the headwaters of the Chippewa; see Doty’s map in Wis. Hist. Colls., vii, p. 204. John Johnston describes this stream in his “Lake Superior,” in Masson, Bourgeois, ii, p. 167. He speaks of the small sandy bay at its mouth, and the shore line thence to Chequamegon Point (now an island), from which it is about six miles to the river’s mouth. In 1831 Schoolcraft, accompanied by Douglass Houghton and Lieut. Robert E. Clary, ascended this stream to its source. See Schoolcraft’s description in Thirty Years with Indian Tribes (Philadelphia, 1851), pp.363-370. His official account is in House Ex. Docs., 22nd Cong., 1st sess., vol. iv.

In 1845 Rev. L. H. Wheeler, Protestant missionary at La Pointe, planned an agricultural settlement near the mouth fo Bad River. There the Indians had for many years been accustomed to make spring gardens, and Wheeler taught them the rudiments of civilized life. He named the settlement Odanah, and in 1854 it was set aside as an Indian reservation. Later, the Roman Catholic mission on Madelaine Island was likewise removed to the Bad River reservation, where in 1906 there were 1174 resident Indians. Considerable money has been spent in improvements, including road- and bridge-making, and the Indians receive a good income from the lease of logging privileges. -ED


Grandes Oreilles,” called Remond, told me that they are camped at the Montreal River46 and that “Le Genou” will not start for Lac du Flambeau for some days. There are many pigeons here. I killed 24. 47
25th Wednesday. I started at half past 4 o’clock this morning from Riviere Mauvaise and arrived here, at the Portage of the Montreal River48 at three quearters past nine o’clock. There


46 The name for this river is one of the oldest on the map of Lake Superior, and probably was assigned to it by Duluth of some of the Jesuits that preceeded him. It is found on a map of 1688, and may have originate from a fancied resemblance between the bluffs at the mouth and the mountain at Montreal. Its Indian name seems to have been Kawasidjiwong. A considerable falls occurs a few yards above the mouth, which is maksed by high clay banks. Above the falls there is a succession of rapids, not navigable even for canoes. Montreal River came into prominence during the boundary adjustment between Wisconsin and Michigan. It is said to have been first suggested as a boundary line by Senator William C. Preston of South Carolina, during the committee hearings on the admission fo Michigan. According to the map used by Preston, Montreal River took its rise in Lac Vieus Desert, and very near the source of Menomonee River of Green Bay. Upon survey in 1840 this was found incorrect (see report of surveyor T.J. Cram in Senate Docs., No. 151, 26th Cong., 2nd sess., vol. iv). In 1847 W.A. Burt, deputy surveyor, was sent out by the federal land office to complete the survey and mark the boundary. See Wis. Hist. Colls., xxx, pp. 253-261.-ED

47 These birds were the ectopistes migratorius, or pasenger pigeon, which formerly migrateed in such great flocks that they darkened the air, and withy their wight broke the branches of trees on which they roosted. McKenny, in his Tour of the Lakes (Baltimore, 1827), p. 353, says that thousands perished evey year in attempting to cross Lake Superior, where its width was sixty miles. Although so plentiful in the West, even up to forty years ago, the bird has now become rare, due to these accidents and the wholesale operations of pot-hunters.-ED

48 The Montreal River portage trail commenced on Lake Superior, east of the mouth. After proceeding six or seven miles, over the river’s eastern bluff, it reached the stream at a point above the falls; here crossing the river, the path continued up the southwest (left) bank, at some distance back from the stream, apparently in order


I found old “Les Grande Oreilles” and “le Genou.” The latter told me he was greatly dissatisfied with the XY’s Fort. There is not a single grain of corn to eat, no ammunition, and pigeons are killed with sticks. I think, from what he sai, that he must have done something wrong to Chorette, or at least have robbed him, for he said [of him], “Dog! you will be an object for pity.” The last words mean many things.

I heard from one of “le Genou’s” brothers, who left Lac du Flambeau a week ago, that the Savages have been on the warpath, that they are now hunting and that our people who spent the summer in the interior were to start four days ago to come and meet us.

I gave old “Les Grande Oreilles” seven chopines of mixed rum for nothing, because every spring he gives quantities of fish to our people, when they come from the interior and moreover, he is deoted to the North-West.

26th Thursday. I ordered the men to get ready to enter the portage tomorrow. I gave each one a double handful of flour, a pound of pork and a drink of rum as a treat. * * * I gave “le Genou” 16 plus credit, 49 after many supplications and

to head some of the smaller tributaries. It ended at what was then known as Portage Lake, and there the canoes were kept en cache. Portage Lake was probably that now known as Long Lakem in the northeastern portion of Oneida County. The best description of the portage is that given by James D Doty, who accompanied Cass’s party to Lake Superior in 1820. His journal of the trip is given in Wis. Hist. Colls., xiii, pp. 163-219. A letter written to Governor Cass on his return to Detroit is printed in Id., vii, pp. 195-206, accompanied by a map. The trail is also indicated on a map published in 1883 by the Wisconsin Geological Survey. -ED.

49 “Plus” was a term expressing the monetary unit of the furtade, and represented one good beaver skin; see Masson, Bourgeois, i, p. 7. Malhiot therefore intends to say that he gave the Indian “le Genou” (the Knee) goods on credit which were worth sixteen beaver skins. The credit system was deeply entrenched in the furtrade, and the source of much trouble, as will be seen later in this narrative. -ED.


fine promises to work for us next winter. I gave nearly as much to his brother, “La Pourceline.”

27th Friday. Our people from Lac du Flambeau, Tremble` Martineau, and Le Beau, 50 arrived here at six o’clock yesterday evening with their baggage, decided to go on to Mr Cadotte at la Pointe if they had not found another clerk to replace Gauthier.52 They are thin and emaciated like real skeletons. They say they were more ill-treated than ever by Gauthier; that half the time they had nothing to eat, while he is resolved to go and work for the XY if he is replaced by another; further, that he has sworn to kill Raciot for having written against him, and that there would be murder before he left Lac du Flambeau; that he is resolved to pull up all the clearings, that is to say the potatoes and corn he had planted or caused to be planted; finally, that he is like a wild beast, and not a day passes without his swearing, storming, and inveighing against those who wintered with him last year. He has got only three packs of furs at the most, besides one he traded for his own goods.

I will not undertake the portage today because these men from the interior aska day’s rest. How weak they are!! * * * I gave each of them a drink of shrub, two double handfuls of flour, and two pounds of pork and they began to eat with such avidity that I was twice obliged to take the dish away from them, and, notwithstanding this, I feared for a long while

50Nothing more is known of these voyageurs than is here narrated. Martineau’s name was Ambrose. -ED.
51 Charles Gauthier was probably a son of the interpreter and Revolutionary participant mentioned ante, p.5, note 17. The elder Gauthier had sons by a Winnebago wife who were older than his daughters, whose baptisms ar recorded ante , pp. 78, 79. This son had some education, and was employed by the North West Company before 1799 as clerk and interpreter; little is know of him, however, beyond what is recorded in this journal. He married hinto the Chippewa tribe, and many of the name of Gauthier still reside on Lac du Flambeau reservation and at old Fond du Lac; see Frank A. Flower Eye of the Northwest (Superior, 1890), p. 43. -ED.


that injurious consequences would result; fortunately they all escaped with slight twinges of colic.
28th Saturday. I started this morning from Lake Superior with seven of my men to proceed at once to Lac du Flambeau. I took with me a bale of merchandize, a roll of tobacco, 20 pounds of shot, 20 pounds of bullets, three quarters of a sack of corn, a barrel of rum double strength, and all my baggage. Today we did forty pauses. 52 I left the remainder of my things under the care and charge of Racicot. Durocher,53 who has been poisoned with poison-ivy, is also with him; otherwise he would have come with me with a load. * * * My toothache is beginning again as bad as ever. * * * I gave my people a small drink of shrub.
29th Sunday. Today we did only 20 pauses because I suffered too much from my toothache last night, and had to get my head sweated this morning which soothed the pain a little. It is now 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we are camping because several of the men are complaining greatly of pains in their legs and it is necessary to spare them. My toothache is a little better than it was in the morning. I feel weak at times, owing to my being unable to take any food. I gave my men a drink of shrub.

52 During the fur-trade period, distances in the Northwest were measured by the number of pauses (pronounced pozes), or times that the voyageurs stopped to rest. A single pause was computed at from 600 yards to a half mile, but this depended very largely upon local conditions – the difficulty of the path, etc.; in hilly or swampy country, the pauses were shorter. They had, however, become fixed by constant usage, and each portage was spoken of as consisting of so many pauses. The long Montreal River portage was reckoned at 120 pauses, or about forty-five miles. The load of each voyageur was two packs, each of eighty to ninety pounds of weight. -ED
53 Jacques Racicot was probably from a Boucherville family of that name, in which the name of Jacques was frequent. Urbain Durocher (Desroches) was probably from l’Epiphanie, since one of that name returned thither, having married Malhiot’s abandoned Indian wife, whom he brought with him from Lac du Flambeau. After the death of Durocher, she married one Pelletier. -ED


31st Tuesday. We started at seven o’clock this morning and at last, at one o’clock in the afternoon, we reached the end of the Portage;54 the people were somewhat tired, and Bourbon had severe pains in his legs. I sent them at once to get the canoes that were cached, to have them gummed, and I made them make paddles so as to be able to start tomorrow morning.
August 2nd Thursday. I started at 4 o’clock this morning and arrived here at Fort du Flambeau at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.55 I found Gauthier quite disconcerted, trembling, and not knowing what to say. I read him the letter from Mr William McGillivray which frightened him still more and made him shed tears. I gave him all the messages from Mr McGillivray and Mr Sayer, remonstrated with him in every way, after which he admitted his errors.
I have just made out a statement of everything that might
54 See ante, note 48.
55 The dates of the journal show that two days were spent in the canoe journey from Portage (Long) Lake to Lac du Flambeau. The party first made their way by a network of streams and lakes to Turtle Lake, in northwestern Vilas County; thence by short portages they reached Manitowish River (which Doty confuses with the outlet of Lac Vieux Desert); they went eighteen miles down stream to the Flambeau River, and up the last named twenty-four miles to Lac du Flambeau. The fort stood on the north side of the lake, probably near the present Indian village, on the Lac du Flambeau reservation. This reservation, although provided for by the treaty of 1854, was not laid out and surveyed until nine years later.
Lac du Flambeau, or Torch Lake (Wauswagnining), took its name from the custom of spearing fish by torchlight. It is not one, but a group connected or adjacent lakes. Apparently it was occupied by the Chippewa before the close of the eighteenth century. The central village and first chief of the band dwelt on this lake, which has ever since been a continuous Indian residence. In 1908, Lac du Flambeau was segregated from La Pointe, and made a separate agency; the population that year was 784, of whom the major portion lived on alotted lands. They have a day school on the reservation, and several villages, and are making progress in the arts of civilization.-ED


belong to the company56 and taken possession of the garden produce. I calculated that there were three packs of furs; besides these were thirty deer, six beaver, one otter, one bear and twenty-four muskrat skins (which he says he traded for with his own goods). These I took possession of, but he will trade them at the store if he decides to pass the winter with me and will behave as an honest man should.
We are here without bread or biscuit and wait on Providence.
3rd Friday. This morning I proposed to Gauthier to go and winter at Latonagane.57 I told him I would give him a small


56The following list was not with the journal of Malhiot, but was found by Masson among the papers of Roderick McKenzie:
“List of goods received from Gauthier, August 2, 1804: 1 chief’s coat, 1 linen shirt,, 1 cotton shirt, 2 ornamented caps, 1 silk handkerchief, 1/2 piece of ribbon, 1 looking glass with paper border, 3 large knives, 2 dozen horn combs, 1 pack of cards, 3 pair of scissors, 2 men’s collars, 1/2lb vermillion, 3 doz. awls, 5 steels for striking fire, 12 wormers, 1/2 box wire for snares, 2 [boxes] medicine, 1 hat.
“Furs 4 bear skins, summer, 4 otter skins, summer, 6 marten skins, summer, 218 musk-rat skins, 20lbs. beaver skins, 100 red deer skins.
“Tools and utensils of the Fort: 4 old axes, 3 augers, 7 old kettles, 1 hand-saw, 1 plane, 1 hatchet-hammer, 1 piercer, 1 funnel, 1 old spigot, 2 old quart measures, 2 old half-pint measures, 1 old gill measure, 5 tomahawks, 1 pair spear-heads, 1 old genadier gun, 1 pistol, 1 old Bank line, 6 old nets only one of which can be used, 2 old rasps, 2 old files, 1 mattock, 1 hammer. Three old bark canoes fit only for carrying sand or earth.
“(Signed) F. VT. Malhiot.”

57Ontonagon River is one of the best-known streams on the south shore of Lake Superior. Rising in the small lakes of the interior, near the watershed between the Mississippi and Lake Superior drainage basins, it collects numerous tributaries into two branches, which until eighteen miles above the lake, into which the river pours a considerable volume of reddish, turbid water. It is navigable for canoes for over thirty miles in high water, and connected by easy portages with the source of Wisconsin River. In Malhiot’s day, a comparatively small, insignificant village of Chippewa dwelt at its mouth, and was closely connected with the Lac du Flambeau band, so that the rade was usually conducted from that point.
The early fame of Ontonagon River was due to the copper found upon its banks; although the first known mention fo the stream al-


outfit without rum, but he would not consent because he says there will be too much hardship there. He asked me to send


ludes to the large sturgeon fishery near its mouth. As early as 1665 reports of copper mines were sent out from Lake Superior by voyageurs and Jesuit missionaries. In 1668 a considerable nugget was sent first to the intendant Talon, and later to the king in France. Hence, on one of the ealiest maps, the river is designated “Nantonoagon or Talon,” but the latter name soon disappeared. Aside from the nuggets of copper found, there was a large boulder of virgin copper lying upon the banks of the Ontonagon, some twenty-five miles above its mouth. The caused the French to believe that a copper mine might be discovered in the near vicinity. In 1735 Denis de la Ronde, then commandant at Fort Chequamegon, asked the French government for experts to aid in locating these mines; see report of one Corbin in Wis. Hist. Colls., xvii, pp. 237-240. Three years later, two German miners, father and son, named John Adam Forster, explored this vicinity at the instance of La Ronde, and made favorable reports thereon; Ibid., pp. 306-315. But a fierce Indian was and the subsequent death of La Ronde, ended the mining projects of the French in the Lake Superior district. The earliest English attempt was that of Alexander Henry and his partners in 1772; see Bain, Henry’s Voyages, pp. 225-229. Douglass Houghton, in his famous geological report of 1841, alludes to this effort, and the lack of scientific knowledge shown in making locations. From Henry’s time until the advent of Americans upon Lake Superior, no further effort was apprently made to explore for copper mines. Cass’s expedition of 1820 ascended Ontonagon River to the “copper rock,” as is graphically described by Schoolcraft in his Narrative, pp. 171-188; Governor Cass lost his way, however, and did not reach the rock. Schoolcraft appends a view of the rock and the river banks at this place. In 1841-43 an enterprising merchant of Detroit succeeded in removing the rock from its place and carrying it down the lakes. He purchased permission for this enterprise from the Ontonagon Chippewa, whose chief he deniminates as Okondokon. The government made claim to the rock, however, and it was removed to the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, where it now rests. In 1842 the Chippewa disposed of their land on Lake Superior to the government, and mining claims upon the Ontonagon River at once began to be filed. The later history of copper-mining in this vicinity is well-known. The modern town of Ontonagon, with 1600 inhabitants, now lies at the mouth of the stream, on the site of the old Indian village. -ED


him to the River des Sauteux to work against La Lancette, but I told him he would get no goods from me for that purpose, and that I had other persons to send there. He then told me he would go and winter with his wife’s relatives and would obtain good from Little Mi[chel] Cadotte.58 I am to give him a small canoe with food and ammunition to enable him to go there. He complained very much of my having taken possession of the garden produce.

I have just sent Bazinet to a place three hours’ march from here where some of XY’s Savages are who have provisions. My men are resting today; tomorrow they will start to carry the things over the portage. All the clearings I have been able to see, look well. I got all the meat and furs Chorette’s brother brother-in-law could have, and my men learned there was a rumor that the Savages wanted to go on the war-path.

4th Saturday. Bazinet arrived this morning with old Plat Cote who gave me some quarters of deer-meat and some deer-skins in exchange for rum. My people start at once for the Montreal portage. George Yarns will command the march and Raciot have charge of the goods. Today I am sending Bazinet to Ouiseconsaint59 to try and get the Best skins from the Savages and also a small quantity of wild rice. He takes with him a small assortment of goods and three fourths a keg of rum,


58 Michel Cadotte Jr. was born at his father’s trading post on Chippewa River, just about Chippewa Falls, in 1791. During the War of 1812-15 he served with the British forces, especially acting as guide and interpreter in the capture of Mackinac in 1812. He was afterwards in the battle of Thames, where he was wounded and lost one arm. He continued in the Indian trade, and in 1843 Alfred Brunson met him at his brother-in-law’s post on the Chippewa River. He was living at La Pointe as late as 1852. His nephew, William Warren, in Minn. Hist. Colls., v, pp. 372-377, tells an interesting story of young Cadotte interpreting for the chief Keeshkenum (his grandfather) at Mackinac, when the latter asserted his adherence to the American cause, but desired to remain nuetral in the war. -ED

59 Probably somewhere in the vicinity of Tomahawk Lake, the nearest point on the Wisconsin River to Lac du Flambeau. The form Ouisconsaint is a rare phonetic spelling for this stream. -ED


double strength. I am sending Bourbon with him because he has pains in his legs and is unable to do his duty in the portage and I remain to keep the fort with Beaulieu, a Montreal man, who has decided to spend the winter with me, after promising me not to drink and rum, to work like an honest man, and not to set foot on the XY premises during the winter.

5th Sunday. Yesterday evening I got twelve deer skins from old La Pierre a affiler in exchange for some rum. He assured me had had nothing more and would have nothing to give his son-in-law Chorette if he came. I am sending Gauthier and Beaulieu to one of the sons of old La Chouette to get what furs and provisions he may have. I remain alone in the Fort and my loneliness may be imagined.

6th Monday. Gauthier returned last night without having been able to see the Savages. This morning I got the meat of a bear from an old La cremaillere.

Bazinet and Gauthier made me pass with the Savages as Mr McGillivray’s brother and one of the proprietors of the Company. This had had a very good effect so far, for the never call me anything but their “Father.” I am inclined to think they will respect me more than they would otherwise have done, and will deem it an honor to trade with me next winter. Therefore, far from reprimanding Bazinet and Gauthier and forbidding them to say such things, I approved of what they had done and I have reason to hope that the gentlemen will find nothing wrong in it and not be disgraced by my temerity, for it is in their interest. My only object in this is to obtain good returns and not the glory of passing for what I am not. Moreover, if I deem myself honored by passing as the brother of the chief agent of the North and the partner of his partners, they, on the other hand need not consider their dignity in any way disgraced or vilified, for I am the son of a respectable gentleman and rich in sentiment and honor.

8th Wednesday. The wife of “La Chouette” came last evening and made me a present of four pieces of dried meat. I am sending a brasse of tobacco to her husband to distribute amoung his children and his people.


Until now, owing to lack of time and to sickness, I have been unable to make any observations on the country and the Savages, but as I am better today I will begin by saying that of all the spots and places I have seen in my thirteen years’ of travels, this is the most horrid and most sterile. The Portage road is truly that to heaven because it is narrow, full of overturned trees, obstacles, thorns, and muskegs. Men who go over it loaded and who are obliged to carry baggage over it, certainly deserve to be called “men.”

This vile portage is inhabited solely by owls, because no other animal could find a living there, and the hoots of those solitary birds are enough to frighten an angel or intimidate a Casear.

As to Lac du Flambeau it is worthier of the name of swamp than of lake and at this season it would be easier to catch bullfrogs in the nets than fish. I have had the nets set three times since my arrival without catching a fish. Today I am sending Gauthier to cast his nets in another lake; perhaps we shall get some crawfish. With regard to the river I will never call it anything but a small stream, becuase in many places a mouse could cross it without wetting its belly. * * * All the Savages I have seen so far seemed to me to be good providers;60 another time, when I shall have seen them all, I will speak of them more at length.

9th Thursday. Le Petit Forgeron, a Savage from the Vieux Desert61 came here yesterday evening. I traded with him and


60 The French is, “faire de bon Besthia.” This must be a local word. Not one of our dictionaries (including those of Canadian, Breton, and Norman patois) has it. It may come from bestial, bestiaux, cattle. I have translated it good providers (i.e. good cattle, or useful people for us). Further I translate the same word as “Brutes.” This is of course but conjecture. -CRAWFORD LINDSAY, translator.

61 The term Vieux Desert has often been mistranslated as Lake of the Desert, “ the old deserted place,” etc. Doty was more nearly correct in speaking of it, as “Old Plantation;” see Wis. Hist. Colls., vii, p. 202. The term in Canadian-French means an old clearing, and was a translation in its turn of the Indian term Gete-Kitigan – old land under cultivation. The remains of cultivation can still be seen on the principal island in this lake, upon which the Wisconsin-Michigan


got a 4 beaver, 2 otter, one beaver and two dressed moose skins. I gave him on credit five plus of ammunition and tobacco and he is not to return until autumn. At last we have caught five carp and a Masquinonge62 in our nets this morning; but Gauthier had to stay out all night with Beaulieu, my Montreal man. They killed four partridges.63 What a miracle!


boundary line impinges. Lac Vieus Desert is one of the oldest sites on the map of Wisconsin. It was there that in 1661 Father Rene Menard waited two weeks for the Huronh who had deserted him, only later to lose his life upon Wisconsin River which issues from this lake; see Henry Colin Campbell, “Father Menard,” in Parkman Club Papers, No. 11. The name first appears on a map of 1718 prepared by Guillaume de l’Isle from the memoirs of those who had visited this country; it is, however, there erroneously made the source of one branch of the Chippewa (or “Bors Secours”) River, and it was so represented throughout the French period. In 1820, Doty makes it the source both of one branch of the Chippewa, and the Menominee of Green Bay. The map used by the makers of the boundary between Michigan and Wisconsin gave Lac Vieux Desert as the source of the Montreal, and it was this made a cardinal point in the northeast boundary of Wisconsin. It was not until Cram’s survey of 1840 that the true position of this lake as the source of Wisconsin River was determined. Thence, it was made the starting point of the survey of 1847 that finally marked the boundary. The Indian village was apparently on the north side of the lake; Cram calls it “Katakitakon.” While engaged in his survey, the chief of this band, whom he names Cashaosha, opposed his progress until given a written promise that the right of way shoudl be purchased by the government. In reality the land had all been sold to the United States by the treaty of 1842; but the chief again threatened to opposed Burt’s survey of 1847, until mollified by valuable presents. In 1854 a treaty at La Pointe allotted a considerable reservation for this band, then spoken of as large and important. It is now consolidated with the band of Anse Keweenaw, living on a reservation at the latter place, on the upper pennisula of Michigan. -ED

62 Masquinonge is the Chippewa form of the word now usually given as muskallunge, or maskalonge. Its significance is great pike, or pickerel, and is applied to the fish known to science as esox nobilior, a frequenter of the northern Wisconsin lakes. -ED

63 The “perdrix” here translated as partridge, must have been one of two birds: the Canadian spruce grouse, canachites canadensis canace,


The squirrels are doing much damage in the corn fields; they ate 77 ears last night.

11th Saturday. Old “Lachouette” came here last night with his band. I gave him a small keg of four pots for nothing.

We had a great deal of trouble last night owing to the liquor. They quarreled among themselves; we quarreled with them and almost came to blows. For a trifle I would retract, did I not fear to be inconsistent, and I would say they are very bad rascals. All the Savages I had sesen before them were reputed bad knavish and addicted to thieving; I found them gentle, well behaved, polite and docile. These last passed for being good, affable, and interested in the Fort, and I found them detestable. Nevertheless, they made many apologies to me in the morning, saying that such a thing had never happened to them, that they were too drunk – the usual excuses of such black dogs! I threatened old “La Chouette” telling him I would not give him his flag, and I made Gauthier deliver him a harangue suited to his conduct. I am very sorry to be obliged to note here that I did not find Gauthier resolute enough with the Savages as a man should be.

13th Monday. Providence has been pleased to succor us for this morning, we caught in our nets twenty-eight carp and four sun-fish. 64

I am quite decided, if I am destined to winter at this post next year, to ask Mr. William McGillivray for a good Sauteux interpreter, an honest man ad resolute in dealing with the tribes. The interests of the Company absolutely require it because, every autumn, rum must be given to get provisions. And what are two men to cope with somtimes forty or fifty Savages under the influence of liquor and inclined to evil deeds. Were it pos-


Linn,; or, the ruffed grouse, bonasa umbellus, Linn. Both are common in the pine districts, where not exterminated, and both are commonly called partridge. There is no basis to determine which of these the traders killed. – PROF. GEORGE WAGNER.

64 The French word for this fish is crapaix, i.e. crapets, sunfish, lepomis gibbosus. – CRAWFORD LINDSAY, translator.


sible to gather all the French of the post together at such moments, there would be nothing to fear, but unfortunately they are still in the portage, and, during this time of calamity,, Bazinet is sometimes in one village, sometimes in another trying to get a sack of wild rice. 65

“But,” you may say, “how does he manage?” I answer that he runs no risk because he arrives at a village, I suppose, with a keg of rum. He finds the Savages sober; he gets from them 10 or 11 sacks of wild rice for which he gives his keg, then he leaves at once and is rid of them, but it is different at the Fort. 66

14th Tuesday. Durocher, one of my men, came here at three o’clock in the afternoon with the youngest son 67 of Mr Mi[chel] Cadotte, whom I asked of his father at Fort Kamanaitiquoya. He comes to spend the winter with me to learn to read, and


65While having a wide habitat in the United Staes, wild rice (zizaniz aquatica) is particularily a plant of norther Wisconsin and Minnesota, and a staple food with the Indians of that region. It was probably due to this prevalence that so large an Indian population dwelt on the headwaters of the Mississippi, St. Croix, Chippewa, and Wisconsin rivers. On this and the method of harvesting the grain, see Albert E. Jenks, “Wild Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes,” in American Bureau of Ethnology Report, . 19. Jenks gives a chapter to the use of this product by the whites, and shows how dependent the fur-traders were upon its purchase. It is still used by whites, and forms an article of commerce in the northern Wisconsin towns, but is always garnered by Indians. The sacks in which it was placed were usually made from the skin of some small animal, such as a fawn, but were often woven from rushes. The price of a bushel was usually a plus, or aout $2. One Indian family can harvest, sure, thresh, and winnow from five to twenty-five bushels in the early autumn, mostly during September, which is know as the “wild rice moon,” or month. The fur-traders called the Chippewa who used this grain, Folles Avoine (Wild Oats) Sauteurs; and the territory between the St. Croix and Lac du Flambeau was early know as the Folles-Avoine district. -ED

66 Intoxicating liquor was lavishly dispensed during struggle with the XY. -MASSON.

67 Probably the person mentioned ante, p. 184, note 58. -ED


serve me as interpreter when necessay. If I teach him French, he will teach me Saulteux in return. His father came himself to bring him to the Portage with Mr. Leon St Germain, 68 who went on to Latonaganne to get wild rice.

Racicot sent me a keg of rum double strength, by Durocher, forseeing that I should need it. He wrote to tell me that General Chorette arrived at last on the 8th instant at the Portagte with his aide-de-camp Lalancette and ten men hired to work. They have sixty packages of trade goods destined for this post. Racicot says he counted them. They fired small shot at Mr. Cadotte when he passed near them on Lake Superior, but I presume they were intoxicated at the time.

From all appearaWse the more their goods are scatteredthe more they would waste and the less we should have to fear them. All the Savages told me about Mr. Cadotte [Chorette] on the subject, while I was on the lake with then, is altogether untrue, for the three canoe loads are entering here, and one Lamarche has arrived from the Grand Portage with another canoe load to work against Mr. Cadotte at la Pointe. This morning I sent back Durocher to rejoin his traveling companions. We caught nothing this morning in the nets. * * * One day of abundance and ten days of famine!

16th Thursday. Today I gave Gauthier some goods for the furs he had in the store. I cannot send him to set the nets because his wife is being confined. He told me yesterday evening that he would never go to Fort Kamanaitiquoya ig he thought he would not find Mr. Sayer there; that he hoped for everything


68 During this period there were in the Northwest several traders named St. Germain. Possibly the one here mentioned was he who served as Chippewa interpreter during the War of 1812-15. He visited Grand Portage, endeavoring to enlist the Chippewa of Lake Superior in the contest. He was commended for keeping his detachment from plundering. Leon St. Germain entered the American Fur Company in 1819, being employed at Lac du Flambeau at a salary of $2400. He was closely associated with the Cadotte family, having married a daughter of the elder Michel. -ED


from that gentleman; protection etc. etc, and would rather descend the River des Sauteux in the spring in the hope of meeting people from Michelimakinac69 there, and obtaining an outfit from them. I calmed him down and made him take other resolutions, telling him that if he acted thus it would be a manifest proof that he was guilty, and that the proper thing for him to do was to go to Fort Kamanaitiquoya, and explain to our Gentlemen all that had occured, etc. etc. In the nd he agreed with me and resolved to go there and ask pardon.

17th Friday. The heat is excessive, such as we have not had this summer, and, strange to say, there is frequently frost at night, which, in my opinion is not very good for the crops; and we could easily dispense with sickness, having famine. o! wretched people of Lac du Flambeau, everything is against you! Little to eat, much work to do; sometimes ill, uncertain of abtaining returns, with reproaches to be dreaded from the Partners, anxiety about the goods out of the fort, Savages to satisfy, and adversaries to watch. What a life!! “Poor Malhiot, when will you be relieved of such heavy burden? I have cast you nativity.70 If he who has always protected you so far and has been a second father to you, kindly continues his good graces and covers you with his mantle, you will be sheltered from the weather and will soon be rewarded for all you labor and discomfort.”

19th Sunday. Baxinet arrived from Ouisseconsaint yesterday


69 A company of traders against whom the bourgeois [of the North West Company] were competing to the south of Lake Superior. That company joined Mr. John Jacob Astor some years later. -MASSON.

Comment by Ed.- This was the Mackinac Company, whose history is briefly sketched in Wis. Hist. Colls., xviii, pp. 339, 340. Their headquarters were at Mackinac, with a secondary rendezvous at Prairie de Chien. They sent traders up the Chippewa, although it is not known that they had a post thereon. The Mackinac Company traded largely with the Sioux, from whom they secured their best returns. The North West Company had very little Sioux trade.

70 The French is “tirer ton horoscope”, that is, have your future predicted by astrology. -ED


evening at 6 o’clock. His returns are not what I had expected, but if all the goods I send out between now and the spring yield as good returns I shall not have much to complain of. He reports that the Savages stabbed one another during the drinking bout, and that he would have been killed had it notbeen for “l’Outarde.” He never ceases praising that good Savage to me, saying that he would not rouch the rum; and, during the whole time the Savages were intoxicated, he remained armed and walked to and fro in front of the tent door.
Not one devil among them intends to give three deer hides for a plus, and, to avoid displeasing them, I am obliged to do like my adversary who takes two for a plus. We have just heard several gun-shots in the direction of Chouette’s fort71 which leads us to presume that His Lordship has just landed.
20th Monday. The wife of old “La Chouette” and one of his daughters came this morning. I got some deer skins and 2 bear skins from them. Two hours after their arrival they went to Chorette’s but were thrown out by Lalancette who was then as drunk as a hog. He said to them: “Go away! Go to your Father, the Great Trader.Let him give you drink; as for us, we are slaves and have no rum.” *** Poor Brutes!72 do they think, like the Savages, that I am really one of the partners of the North West Company!
23rd Thursday. Yesterday evening at eight o’clock, Chorette passed here and told Bazinet he had been unable to see the Savages; we think the wounded are dead and that is why they delay. I think I will send some one to meet them tomorrow to make sure of the little provisions they have. I learned this morning from several Savages that one L’etang73 had entered


71 There does not seem to be any data to determine the site of the XY Company’s post. As it was abandoned upon the consolidation of the companies, or over one hundred years ago, its site is probably now unmarked. -ED

72The French word is here the unknown term “Besthias,” referred to ante, p. 186, note 60. -ED

73 This person, whose name is also spelled Le Temmps, but was prob-


the River des Sauteux with one canoe load. This completes my conviction that the 60 packages Chorette has with him are intended for this post.

24th Friday. Gauthier, having been asked by Chorette to go and see him, went there with my permission to ascertain what he wanted. At the same time, I wanted to test him and see whether he would drink, but I have the consolation of being able to say that he came back quite sober and I like to think that he will keep the promises he has made me.

We are threatened with a famine because the Savages absolutely want to go on the war-path; consequently they will put the greater portion of their rice in caches, and we shall find ourselves with very little, which we shall have to purchase at its weight in gold.

25th Saturday. Thirty canoes arrived here at noon. Chorette’s Savages made me a present of 3 sacks of wild rice for which I gave them a large keg of rum and a brasse of tobacco. I gave “le Muffle d’Original”74 a coat and harangued him as follows:

“Kinsman – I am quite willing to forget what thou didst last year and to believe it was not thy fault that we did not get all thy furs, but do not act in the same way in the future. The coat I give thee today will show thee the path thou must follow. *** I rely on all they promises; be not double-faced. I would like to have not only thy furs but also thy corn. I have many children to feed. Moreover it would soil they body to carry a single grain of corn to the other fort. My orders from out


ably identical with the Canadian-French name L’Estang, was an opposition trader on Red Lake, in the present Minnesota, in 1798. He appears to have settled finally in that state, although a family bearing a similar name resided during the eighteenth century at Cahokia. -ED

74 “Le muffle d’Original” (moose’s muzzle) must have been the chief known as Mozoboddo (Monsobodouh), who succeeded his father Keeshkenum, one of the noted Chippewa chiefs, the first settler at Lac du Flambeau. Keeshkenum was still alive in 1827, but with the chieftainship. He in turn died about 1832, and was succeeded by White Crow. -ED


Father at Kamanaitiquoya were for thee as for all the others. I was to give thee nothing this autumn and to wait until I knew thee. But, from what thou has justtold me and from what the French have told me, I am obliged to act as I am doing. Take courage therefore and think of thy Fort.”

I gave 4 kegs, of four pots and one of six to these various savages for nothing, because they are devoted to the Fort and are good hunters.

27th Monday. I sent Bazinet to meet my people in the Portage with two of his brothers-in-law, to bring me 4 kegs of rum, double strength.

28th Tuesday. Several of Chorette’s Savages came here last night to get run and to sue violence. For a long while I may say, making use of an expression among the lower orders in Canada, that “I did not know whether I was eating pork or pig” *** I was alone with Gauthier and they were at least 15 rascals all armed; those who had no knives or spears, had sticks or stones. Fortunately we all got off with calling one another names and threatening one another. “LeTaureau” came and told us that “l’Outarde” would soon arrive.

30th Thursday. The Savages were making medicine all night and never stopped smoking for war.75

31st Friday. At last “l’Outarde” arrived at noon with a following of 15 canoes of his people. I had not a drop of rum to offer him. He asked me where Bazinet was and I told him he had gone to the Portage, and would not be back until tongiht or tomorrow night because he was afraid to pass the village of Lac du Flambeau in the day time lest he might be robbed; that we


75 A large literature exists on the subject of “making medicine.” or the religious and magic rites of the Chippewa. An interesting early description of the consultation with their tutelary spirits is found in Bain, Henry’s Travels, pp. 66-69. The entire subject of what Jesuit missionaries called sorcery, and others name jugglery, as well as the great religious society found among the Chippewa, is discussed in Walter J. Hoffman, “The Midewiwin, or Grand Medicine Society, of the Ojibwa” in U.S. Bureau of Ethnology Report, vii, pp. 149-299. -ED


had been nearly killed, etc. He rushed out at once and delivered the following harangue: “What have you done, you people of Lac du Flambeau? Why have you come to worry my Trader, and have you threatened to kill him and steal his goods? I did not ask him to come here to be the sport of Savages or to be compelled to feed or treat you. He has run; let him give you some, and make him give you some. He has some etc. etc.” I looked at him while he was speaking. He looked like a solider. He re-entered a moment afterward and said to me: “No, no Bazinet will not be robbed,” and he at once commanded with authority three young men to go and meet him.

September 2nd Sunday. “L’Outarde” told me yesterday he would od all in his power to prevent the Savages from going on the war-path, because if they went I shoudl get no furs. It has been raining since noon yesterday, and Bazinet has not turned up. The Savages find the time longer than I do.

3rd Monday. Bazinet arrived at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon with the goods he had gone to get. I gave a coat to “l’Outarde” and also his flag, and one to “la Grande Loutre.” I gave a laced capot to “le Grand Canard,” and another to the Lieutenant of “La Loutre,” and to each his share of rum. I delivered the following harangue to “l’Outarde.”

“Kingsman -The coat I have put on thee is sent thee by the Great Trader; by such coats he sitinguishes the most highly considered persons of a tribe. The Flag is a true symbol of a Chief and thou must deem thyslef honored by it, because we do not give them to the first comers among Savages. One must do as thou dost to get one, that is: love the French as thou dost, watch over their preservation and enable them to make up packs of furs.
“My orders were to give thee mothing this autumn, and to wait until the spring that I might know thee, but, on account of all good things I have heard of thee from the French, I did not hesitate a moment to make thee glorious, for I am convinced thou wilt always be the same for the Fort; that thou wilt take


care of my young men, that no dog may bite them, 76 and that they will never come back ashamed when they go to thy lodges.
“As first chief of the place, thou must make every effort so that all the Savages may come and trade here in the spring; it will be a glory to thee to send the canoes full to the Grand Portage. 77

“Remember that the name of the Great Trader78 is on the flag. Wherever thou mayest go, to no matter which on of his Forts, thou wilt be received with open arms, and he cannot give thee a greater token of his friendship. He has listened to thy complaints and is very sorry Gauthier drank thy rum last year. I can assure thee, comrade, that it will be different this year.

“And ye, all of ye, look at me. See the Trader who is sent ot you! I am he whom you asked for. This summer, I received three messages from three chiefs of the prairies79 to go back and winter in their lands, but I refused in order that our Great Trader might speak truly, who wished to send me here to do you a charity and not to be despised. Nevertheless I have no reproaches to address you because this is the first time I see you. Be devoted, therefore, to your Fort; take care of it; guard its doors and enxt spring I will send good news of you to our Father.”

4th Tuesday. We had quarrels all day with the Savages of Lac du Flambeau;80 spears, knives, hatches, etc. all were


76 A figure to express the desire that no misfortune shall happen to them. -ED

77 Used to indicate the general rendezvous, which had long been at Grand Portage, but was in process of removal to Kaministiquia. See ante p. 166, note 23. -ED

78 The head of the North West COmpany, William McGillevray. -ED

79 Referring to his previous post on Assiniboine River; see sketch of Malhiot, ante, p. 165. -ED

80 The village of Lac du Flambeau would seem, by inference from this relation, to have been attached to the XY Company; while Malhiot, for the North West Company, relied upon the trade of the outlying villages. This description of a drunken fray is characteristic of the fur-trade journals, especially during the period of great competition. See J. Long, “Voyages,” in Thwaites, Early Western Travels (Cleveland, 1904), ii. -ED


brought into play. They made a breach in the Fort, broke one of the doors and had it not been for the aid of “l’Outarde,” of “l’Epaule de Canard,” and two or three young men who were quite sober at the time, there would certainly have been bloodshed and even somebody killed on one side or the other. “L’Outarde” had his head cut open with a blow from a stick, and so had one of his young men. I thanked God he had no knife during the fight, for he would assuredly have killed somebody. There were 5 or 6 at him, and I expected every moment to see him pass from this world to the other. He really looked like a madman, uttering yells that owuld grighten any one and calling out to me from time to time: “Take courage, Father! Strike everywhere – hit! Kill!” After two hours quarrel we succeeded in getting those wild beasts out of the Fort.

5th Wednesday. The Savages of Lac du Flambeau finished their nose only at nine o’clock last night, and to sign the treaty of peace I gave them a keg of four pots and a brasse of tobacco. “L’Outrade” was only half pleased at this and he wanted very much to begin the fight again. Today all is calm. They are sleeping soundly. These Savages of Lac du Flambeau do not belong to “l’Outrade’s” band.

6th Thursday. I sent Bazinet to distribute a keg of rum among the lodges. “L’Outrade” and 5 of his young men are continually in the Fort, quite sober, and so is “l’Epaule de Canard,” to prevent and stop all quarrels that might arise.

7th Friday. The end of this drinking bout was very quiet; we slept from one o’clock until this morning; we greatly needed it for we had not lain down since the 3rd instant.

10th Monday. The Savages are beginnign to leave. May they all be gone soon! “L’Outrade” started yesterday wit his young men to gather wild rice at lac de la Truite where his village is. 81


81 Trout Lake (Lac de la Truite) is in Vilas County, just east of the Flambeau reservation. It is said that when the Chippewa moved down into the interior of the country, somewhere near the middle of the eighteenth century, they tarried awhile at Trout Lake, before passing to Lac du Flambeau on the west. -ED


12th Wednesday. A band of the rascals who are camped here near the Fort have gone to camp at the village of Lac du Flambeau, until my people come.

14th Friday. Yesterday I got 4 sacks of rice from Folle Avoine for which I gave him half a keg of rum and half a brasse of tobacco. The rum was drunk last night at the lodges of Lac du Flambeau, notwithstanding all I could do and say, for I hoped that devil of a Savage would have taken it to his own grounds as he had promised me. Fortunately, drunk as they were, they did not come and ask me for more. A Great Miracle!

16th Sunday. Three of old “Lachouette’s” young men arrived here yesterday at four o’clock in the afternoon, and four others, from Lac de la Folle, 82 from whom I got 3 sacks of rice. The wind blew and rain fell to an extraordinary degree today. The Savages overwhelm us; we cannot set our nets, and we constantly eat our rice with water only. A fine and good dish! dogs would get thin on it.

21st Friday. It rained from Sunday until noon yesterday. This morning Chorette arrived with four of his men carrying loads and he told us the portages were horribly bad.

23rd Sunday. I received a letter from my people this morning; they are still in the great Portage. Through their laziness they ran short of food and went to trade for some at la Tortue’s village. 83 I sent Bazinet to meet them and hurry them on and I wrote them the following letter,
“Raciot, – I have just received your letter by “La Loche” and I am surprised at its contents. What! people with fourteen and fifteen hundred livres wages take two months to come


82 An abbreviation for Lac de la Folle Avoine, or Wild Rice Lake. Jenks, op. cit., 1115-1126, enumerates fifteen or more lakes in northern Wisconsin named for the rice growing therein. There are several in Vilas County alone; the nearest to Lac du Flambeau that now keeps the name Little Rice Lake, in township 42 north, range 7 east, northeast of Trout Lake. -ED

83 Probably on the lake known as Turtle Lake, on the Montreal River portage. -ED


through the Montreal Portage! Children that ye are! people on whom no reliance can be placed. 84 Men coming from Montral this year could have done as much as you! You have not enough sense to kknow the injury you are doing the Company by your delay. Now you find yourselves in bad roads and whose is the fault? Say, say that your hears are not in the right place and that you did not wish to do your suty.

“You, Raciot, who were about to be promoted and enter into office, why did you not command the others and make them push on by force or by gentle means? No doubt you were very glad to sleep with your face to the sun like the others. If you have been without food, it is your own fault also, and what would you have to say now, if I made you pay for the rum you gave to purchase food! You ask me for Durocher; work a miracle, cure him and he will go and warm your beds!
F. VT. M. L. O.”

26th Wednesday. The Savages pester me and my provisions are disappearing like straw in the fire. I am eager to have Bazinet come so as to get rid of them. The rascals are so crowded together in my house, especially in the last five or six days, that they have given me vermin and the more I change my shirt the more vermin I have. It is the same with Gauthier. We hardly have time to put a kettle of rice on the fire before 50 of those dogs are around us asking for some even before it is boiled. Our beards will so be as long as billygoats; and we are devoured by farcy.

27th Thursday. “L’Epaule de canard” has just arrived with 30 beaver skins; the traps he got from me a few days ago are broken.

28th Friday. My people came in at last at 4 o’clock yesterday evening. No sooner were the goods put in the store than I began to unpack them and to give some on credit to the Savages of the Vieus Desert who started at one o’clock this morning.


84 The original French reads. “gens de peu de fiate,” a local French-Canadian expression, implying that no reliance can be placed in such a person or such a thing. -CRAWFORD LINDSAY


“L’Aigle”83 left me his pipe-stem with a porcelain collar to be banded to Mr MacGillivray in the spring, and he told me he was a straightforward man and left his pipe-stem at the Fort as a token of his sincerity. I gave him a large keg and made the following speech to him:
“Kinsman, – It affords me much pleasure to smoke with thy pipe-stem and to receive thy word. Our Great Trader at Kamanaitiquoya will, I hope, receive it in the spring with satisfactionand will send thee a token of his friendship if thor continuest to do well. *** Take courage therefore; be but one with us and look at the Fort of the XY only from afar if thou wishest to obtain what thou desirest.”

I also gave a laced capot to Barsaloux with a half keg of rum and a large keg to “l’Outarde” to be distributed in his village in exchange for rice.
I forgot to state above that while Bazinet was passing through la Tortue’s village with all the goods, he gave away two large kegs of rum there for which he got only two sacks of rice. My cask of shrub was stolen from him and he gave two quarts of rum, double strength, to get it back. He also gave goods on credit to several Savages to whom I would not have given a needle.
I shall take this opportunity to speak of Bazinet according to his merits and to say that he is truly an honest man, as careful as possible of goods on a journey, eager to push on, taking the interests of the Company, working to excess in a fort, a famous hand at going out to meet the Savages and trade with them,86 but too timid with them, for if a rascal were to look somewhat fixedly at him, he could make him give up his trousers. Such being the case, I maintain that he would be very capable under an-


85 Perhaps this was the chieftain known as Gitshee Migeezee (Great Eagle), who signed the treaty of 1826, and was said to be from Ontonagon. -ED.

86 The French phrase, a common one among fur-traders, is “courir la drouine,” which means to go with the savages to their winter hunting grounds and trade with them there, instead of waiting for their return to the post. -ED.


other, but would be useless as head man of a post. He is a good hand at going out to meet the Savages and trade with them because the quantity of goods is never great and he always manages to defend himself on the person who employs him.
29th Saturday. Barsaloux came back this morning and so did “la Grue Blanche.” They say they were wrecked, and I am obliged to give them fresh goods on credit so as not to lose all. They left me their collars as pledges. Today I obtained from the som of :La Pierre a Affiler” four sacks of rice for which I gave him a half keg of rum. I gave my people a feast.

30th Sunday. My people got very drunk yesterday and, through fear, the Savages stopped drinking. Today I sent three of my men to Lac de la Truite to get rice and two others to old “La Chouette’s” for the same purpose. Chorette left this morning to go and rejoin his people in the Portage.

October 3rd, Wednesday. Old “La Chouette” arrived here yesterday with his band. I obtained from him the promise that they would not drink in my Fort. He left this morning quite pleased with his Flag and so were all his followers. A number of Savages of Lac du Flambeau were at the water’s edge where he embarked and, at my request, he did not give them a single dram.

4th Thrusday. I have just sent off Bazinet for Ouisseconsaint with an outfit of 31/2 pieces of cloth, 4 kegs of rum, double strength, one of powder etc.,etc. I am sending Raciot with him because the majority of the Savages to whom I have given credit are to winter there and he will be only to necessary there, as he ca read, to make out all the credits and also to help Bazinet when the Savages are in liquor, for, I repeat it with regret, the poor devil has no more resolution than a child.

5th Friday. I have just taken an inventory of the furs I have traded since my arrival here and I counted: 528 deer skins, 840 musk-rat skins, 107 lbs. Beaver, 44 otter skins, 16 bear skins, 7 marten skins, 1 mink skin – the whole making probably sixteen packs. This autumnj trade has greatly reduced my stock


of goods so that I am unable to send any into the country of the River of the Sauteux. Without exaggeration it would certainly have required the assortment of 16 pieces of cloth to cope with my adversaries and crush them, and I would venture to bet that Chorette would not get ten packs for all his goods had I the necessary stock to send out and compete with him in the country of the River of the Sauteux.

11th Thursday. “L’Outrade” came here last Monday very late at night, as he was to start the next day. He told me that “l’Epaule de Canard” had started to go and join Bazinet in his winter-quarters. Instead of leaving, “l’Outarde” got drunk at Chorette’s and did not get sober until today. To get rid of him and not lose the advances I hadd made him I gave him another half keg of rum for nothing for himself and his band, and he started with many presents from Chorette. That man never should have had a coat and still less a flag. He is a slave to liquor; he is too importunate and half a canoe load would not suffice to satisfy him. The Savages stole a half keg of rum, double strength, from Chorette last night and “lOutarde” was at their head.
13th Saturday. Two young men from the Lakes, 87 sent by old “La Chouette” arrived here yesterday morning. I got one hundred and ten muskrat and two beaver skins from them. I am sending to him George Yarns, his father-in-law, to get the kegs he has belonging to me and to take him ammunition and a few goods he asks for the purpose of trading on commission with the Savages of the Lakes.
14th Sunday. All is calm at last. * * * All those black faces have gone and entere their winter-quarters. May God guide them! We shall therefore begin fishing again and have some fish to season our rice. It is time, for my stomach was getting weak.
15th Monday. Having no more credit to give, I took an in-


87 Probably Pelican Lakes, not far from Rhinelander, in Oneida and Lincoln counties. The Lac du Flambeau band had, towards the close of the eighteenth century, spread into this region. -ED


ventory of the remaining goods this morning. They consist of 31/2 pieces of common cloth, and assortment; 1 1/2 Roll of tobacco; 6 kegs, double strength; 1 1/2 keg of powder; shot, bullets etc.

Had I but as much again, I could have sent to compete against Chorette in the country of the River of the Sauteux. Were I to divide what remains in two, it would spoil the trade.

17th Wednesday. My men have just arrived from Chorette’s; they tell me he has started for the Riviere des Sauteux with two bastard88 canoes and has 6 engages with him. They say they saw 3 1/2 bales of goods.

18th Thursday. I am despatching Durocher to la Pointe to inform Mr. Cadotte that I cannot send any one to compete against Chorette at the Rivere des Sauteux; that he must send himself and have him followed step by step and even have him accompanied thus until the spring. I am also asking for a two handed saw to replace the sawn lumber of my fort and protect myself against attack another year.

30th Saturday. Hitherto I have been too busy to speak of the Savages with the exception of an occasional allusion and only in a very imperfect manner; and, so tht I may not forget what I have to say about them, I return to the subject. Let us therefore make use of the oil while there is some in the lamp.

“L’Outarde” is very far from perfect. I cannot say he is a rogue and that his heart is black, but he is on the way to it, and I hope, for the pulic good, both on account of the Savages and of ourselves, and for the benefit of the North West Company, that the flag I gave him will serve as his winding-sheet.
Old “LaChouette” is improving and works with interest for the Fort, but he was lacking in courage to deserve the flag he got.
“L’Epaule de Canard” is improving and works with interest for the Fort, but he was lacking in courage to deserve the flag he got.
“L’Epaule de Canard” is the only Savage who deserved a flag and he was not given one! He is a sober, brave Savage, liked by the others, liking the French, capable of sacrificing himself for them; a good man for errands; he does not ask for things, is satisfied with everything that is given him and is a famous

88 The smallest transport canoe of the Northwest.. -Masson.


hunter. I thought I had found another man like him in Bazinet’s brother-in-law called “La Loche,” gut he is not a hunter and is still young. He told me one day he hoped to become as good a man; I ansered that many qualities were needed to entitle one to be clothed with a coat, etc; that the position of chief was hard to keep, and that a man must be reckless of his life to be a chief. He then told me he could do everything, etc. I thought proper to answer that the ladder was a very long one, that he had only mounted the first round and had a long way to go before reaching the top.
There are some other whom I might include in the number of good Savages, but, as a rule, if I could put them all in a bag and know that Lucifer wanted them, I would give them all to him for a penny. *** If they were lambs formerly, today they are rabid wolves and unchained devils. As a rule they possess all the vices of mankind and only think they are living well, when they live evil lives.
After saying what I think of those wretches, I will now deal with the French. I have said what I had to say about Bazinet; as to Gauthier it would be very wrong of me to complain of him. He no longer drinks and behaves like and honest man. At the first drinking bout the Savages had this autumn he weakened a little and seemed lacking in firmness, but it has been quite different since; he is doing his best and if he be expelled from the Company, three fourths of the people may be banished from the Synagogue.
All the other men under me behave like good fellows and are much more polite, much more submissive, and take a little more interest than the people of the North. 89

November 6th, Tuesday. My men have finished chopping their firewood and tomorrow will begin squaring the pickets for the fort.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

89 Malhiot is contrasting his employees with those on the company’s roll, north and west of Kaministiquia, called collectively “people of the North.” _ED.


December 20th, Thursday. 89 Two f the Savages went last night in spite of me to Lalancette’s to ask him to sell them some twine for nets. They came back at half past three and told me Lalancette had gone after my people. I sent Martineau today to their lodges with a kettle and two silk handkerchiefs which they asked me to trade to them.

21st Friday. Martineau and Bruno arrived at five o’clock in the evening and brought furs to the value of 24 plus, most of them beaver skins. George, Durocher and Little Cadotte remained at the lodges. Martineau told me that Lalancette had given a kettle, the first of the nest91 for two and a half plus; he also gave a new net for twenty muskrat skins and another for the damaged skin of a bear cub. The Savages also ask for provisions, shot and some other small articles.

Lalancette was so intoxicated the day before yesterday that he was obliged to sleep on the road and did not reach the lodges until noon; my people had arrived during the night. Martineau swore to me that Lalancette had fallen at least twenty times, and had wandered as much and broken as much underbrush as a moose that has remained a long time in the same place. 92

23rd Sunday. At last my people have all arrived and have brought some beaver skins. They say that Lalancette spent a four pot keg of rum, double strength, in the lodges without being able to get a single marten skin, and had it not been for his kettle and his two nets, he would have gone back empty-handed, for the Savages waited a day thinking I would send them some.

Little Cadotte is very clever with the Nations [tribes], al-


90 The part of the journal omitted from Nov. 7 to Dec. 20 contains nothing interesting. The men in the fort lived on a scant allowance of food, catching barely enough fish to season their wild rice or corn [bled]. – MASSON.

91 The smallest kettle of a series fitting one within the other, in order to economize space. -MASSON

92The French phrase is “ravage d’orignal.” Our hunters call a ravage of a moose or caribou the place where the animal has eaten moss or twigs, broken the underbrush, etc. -CRAWFORD LINDSAY.


though he is very young. My men say that he gave himself an extraordinary amount of trouble. He got a hold of the greater portion of the Savages’ Furs as soon as he saw Lalancette come on the lake, and he said to them before Lalancette himself: “Do not trade with him; he knew you were starving and he did not deign to bring you a single grain of rice; he is a hog; he makes a god of his belly.He would see the Savages die rather than give them a glass of water, etc. etc.” I take this opportunity to say that the child promises well; his sentiments are very good; he is polite, steady, saving etc. When he came here in the sutumn he did not know a single letter of the alphabet, and could barely pronounce a few words in French, and now he can read as well as a child who has been 4 years at school. He knows his prayers and his catechism; but one step more and he will be a prodigy.

* * * * *

February 4th, Monday.95 Chorette came to pay me a visit; I made him a stop and have supper with me. He told me that “La Pierre a affiler” and his young men intend to kill me in the spring; to be on my guard against them; that he was sure of their plot. I asked him why, and he said it was because Bazinet had told them I had given them all to the Master of life and they would all die before the spring.94


93 The journal from December 23 to February 4 contains nothing interesting. Fishing was a complete failure. -MASSON.

94 This indicates the superstitions of the Indians, which were largely shared by the French voyageurs. Malhiot means that the Indians believed he had cast some kind of charm or spell upon them, by an appeal tot he Great Spirit, for whom they frequently used the term “Master of Life.” Nothing more appears of this plot against Malhiot’s life; probably the warning given by his rival trader was sufficient to thwart it. The chief whom Malhiot calss “La Pierre a affiler” was the celebrated Keeshkenum, head chief of the Lac du Flambeau band. He was Chorette’s father-in-law, and therefore in the interests of the XY Company. He was a chief of great inflluence, first founder of the Lac du Flambeau band, descendant of Shadawish, great chief of Sault Ste. Marie in 1671. Keeshkenum was of the totem of the crane, and claimed pre-eminence over all the interior villages of


March 1st, Friday. 95 I arrived here four hours after nightfall after an abseence of two days at old “Lachouette’s” whence I brought back 10 beaver skins, also 7 maskinonge` for which I gave a keg of rum of 4 pots. Today we caught enought fish for one meal.

I learn from two young men who have just arrived that “le Muffle d’Original,” one of the Savages I gave a coat to last autumn, starved to such an extent that he had to eat his pack, his dogs, and ever his gun-cover; and that “le Cheef des Oiseaux,” who found him by accident, gave him assistance. I sent a carrot96 of tobacco to “le Chef des Oiseaux.”

9th Saturday. “La Tete Grise” arrived and camped near the fort with the whole of his band. When Gauthier’s wife went this morning to Chorette’s to get her snow-shoes that a Savage had taken from her, Lalancette said so many insulting things to her that the woman came back in tears. Gauthier went htere at once and I sent two men with him. He found Lalancette hidden in the garret of his house, but shame compelled him to come down when Gauthier seized him and beat him to such an extent that he cannot see. My two men took off their coats and challenged the remainder of the men in the house, but the challenge was not taken up.

13th Wednesday. Tonight, at a very late hour, “le Gros Aigle,”97 a Savage of the Vieux Desert, arrived here. He came to get us to go and collect my advances. He has just told me


Wisconsin. In 1808 he sharply rebuked the Lac Court Oreille band for their sympathy with Tecumseh. It is claimed that in 1812 he declared his alliance with the Americans. See Minn. Hist. Colls., v, pp. 372-375. It would seem by that recital that Michael Cadotte Jr. was his grandson – probably his grand nephew, as the Indians did not distinguish between these degrees of consanguinity. He was living in 1827, but soon after died. -ED.

95 The journal from February 5 to March 1, contains nothing of interest; it speaks only of the savages starving and the sufferings of the French, who have no fish. -MASSON.

96 Two or three pounds of tobacco. -MASSON.

97Probably the same Indian noted ante, p. 200, note 85. -ED.


the Tremble` whom I sent with them last autumn with over 90 plus worth fo goods, had left their lodges after trading the goods and had gone to Roy’s at l’Anse,98with a fine pack and that they had not seen him since. That Tremble` must have left his Savages abou t the 2nd or third of January.

14th Thursday. I am sending Gauthier with Durocher to


98 Francois Roy was North West Coompany clerk at l’Anse as early as 1801-02. The name was not uncommon among fur-trade employees. Probably the Indian interpreter of 1812 at Detroit, was the Roy from l’Anse, since he acompanied other Lake Superior traders. From that time he disappears from our knowledge.
L’Anse was the French term for the small bay at the botoom of Keweenaw Bay, and was frequented by the Indians from very early times. It was at an Indian village on this site that Father Menard spent the last winter before his death (1660-61), laboring among fugitive Ottawa. It soon came, however, to be Chippewa territory. Menard had given the bay name of St. Therese, but it soon reverted to the aboriginal form. L’Anse was not visited by the ordinary traveller on Lake Superior, since it lies fifteen miles south of the Keweenaw portage. A considerable Indian village at this point, however, induced trading, and the post became an auxilliary of that La Pointe. When the American Fur Company began trade in Lake Superior in 1816-17, l’Anse was one of their first post, being managed by Jhn Johnston, from the Sault. In 1826, William Holliday was clerk in charge. A mission for the Indians at l’Anse was begun in 1832, by Methodists from Canada. John Sunday, a converted Chippewa, came out and spent seven months at this place. In the autumn, ten Indians from l’Anse were baptized at Sault Ste. Marie by the well-known Christian chief, Peter Jones. Later, the mission was transferred to the care of the church in the United States. It proved to be quite successful, and by 1848 had 200 civilized Indians dweilling in houses and assuming citizenship. A reservation was laid off in 1859 for the l’Anse band, just north of the American town. The Catholic mession at l’Anse was founded by Father Baraga in 1843, in the township called by his name. There he dwelt for ten years until created bishop, and there prepared his well-known grammer and dictionary of the Chippewa language. L’Anse thus became a noted mission centre; but the invasion of miners and prospectors after 1845, brought to the Indians whiskey and demoralization. Their progress towards civilization has, however, continued, and in 1903 they were reported as self-supporting, partially educated, and living much like their white neighbors. -ED.


the Vieux Desert to collectmy advances and to trade. All the Savages of that place starved more than the others and have almost nothing; they will hardly be able to pay one fourth of their advances. I am sending Martineau and Beaulieu to l’Anse with a Savage to whom I am giving 20 plus worth of goods for his trouble. I am giving orders to those three men to try and bring Tremble` back and, if they cannot succeed, to at least seize the pack. This rascally trick does me great harm; it takes two men away from me for at least 20 days and my Fort is kept back. Nevertheless, I do not despair of having the pickets planted before I leave, but the absence of those two men during twenty days will make me lose many plus.

16th Saturday. L’Outarde” arrived here with two loads of meat which he gave me as a present. I gave him six pots of rum. A moment afterward his brother-in-law arrived thinner that I have ever seen any man and so weakened by starvation that he could hardly put one foot before the other. “Le Genou” arrived later; he told me he had killed three moose and three bears and to send for them; unfortunately, I have only one man and he is ill. Lalancette is to go and get the meat. “Le Genou” will keep the bear skins for me. I forgot to say that on the 17th we had a great deal of thunder and lightening.

April 17th Wednesday. My people have finished planting the pickets of my Fort and it is the finest of all the savage departments. “Long live the North West Company!” “Honor to Malhiot!”

Old La Chouette who has just arrived made me a present of 4 pieces of meat for which I gave him 5 chopines of rum. His son “Le Brule`” repaid me his advance and gave me a bear-skin; I made him a present of half a keg of rum; I gave him another half keg of rum on commission, also some ammunition and tobacco to trade with the people of the Lakes. I also gave his father the same quantity of ammunition. Those Savages are working very well for the Fort. * * * How scarce such people are!

15th Thursday. My men are sawing planks to cover the bastion of the Fort. Chorette gives a brasse of cloth for a


bear skin. Rum flows like water on both sides, but Chorette is beginning to complain and I still have seven kegs of mixed rum. I have hardly anymore tobacco and fear I shall have none at all before I leave. My supply of goods will also fail. * * * For eleven years that I have been wintering among the Savages I have never know a competitor trade as cheaply as Chorette. I think Lucifer brings him his goods from London as he needs them.

26th Friday. The son of “La pierre a` Affiler,” Chorette’s brother-in-law, came here last night and made me a present of an otter skin, 15 musk-rat skins and 12 lbs. of sugar for which I gave him 4 pots of rum. He went to drink it at Chorette’s with “l’Ours” and “La Petite Racine.” When they were quite drunk they cleared the house, nearly killed Chorette, stabbed Lalancette and broke into the store-room. They took two otter skins, for which I gave them some more rum this morning not knowing that they had stolen them. All this row happened because Chorette had promised them rum for their skins and had none to give them.

They came here tonight intending to get me to give them liquor, but we drove them away by striking them with poles from the top of the FOrt. In their fury they went for their guns but did not venture to fire them and went away with the shame of not having succeeded in doing naything.

I thank God every day for having inspired me with the idea of making so good a fort; impregnable to bullets and to all attakcs.

May 2nd, Thursday. St. Germain has just arrived from la Pointe. He told me, but too late, that the two Companies now form but one.99 I have engaged my men!


99 For the union of the two companies, North West and XY, see ante, p. 168, note 30. It was arranged at Montreal Nov. 5, 1804, and the agreement then drawn up remained in force until, in 1821, the North West merged into the Hudson’s Bay Company. This settlement of 1804 was of immense advantage to the trade; competition was practically abolished; “scenes of violence in the interior ceased, the sale of


10th Friday. The war party that arrived here the day before yesterday to the number of 17, went to Chorette’s, killed his dogs and, this afternoonm are feasting on the same dogs. After making me east some, they left us, to my great satisfaction, for my provisions are diminishing rapidly. Today I am sending 3 men to Chorette’s to get my canoe. He is always extravagant as usual, and gives a brasse of cloth for one otter or two beaver skins.

I am expecting another war party from day to day, God grant they may not be so long in importuning me. I also expect Bazinet from day to day. He alone detains me here and I think the fort I ordered him to make is the cause of his delay. I am alone to guard the Fort with Gauthier. My people have not had a say’s rest since my arrival here last autumn, Of all the men who may be in the upper country I do not think there are nay wh have worked as hard as nine: a house twenty feet square, of logs placed one on the other made by four men; 70 cords of fire-wood chopped; pickets sawn for a fort; a bastion covered; a clearing made for sowing 8 kegs of potatoes; and all the journeys made here and there !!!

23rd Thurday. We finished the packet at noon; I had the canoes gummed and started from the Fort at half past five in the afternoon after taking stock of what I left in Gauthier’s charge. Fine weather; all my people in good health. * * *
God be with us throughout our journey!

24th Friday. On the way I met Chorette who was coming back from Lake Superior with half a keg of rum he was taking to his father-in-law. Tremble` took advantage of the opportunity to come to me. The poor fellow gave me very bad reasons


liquor was considerably diminished, and commerce was carried on in a more regular and equitable fashion.” When Malhiot says that the news has come “too late,” he means too late for the reduction of salaries that followed the coalition. The competition of th two companies had increased wages over twenty-five percent. These were almost immediately lowered, but the employees of both companies were retained. -ED.


as excuses and I fear for him at the Grand Portage. Roy wrote me about him, and also about the trade. He is very wrong to complain because I did not send Tremble` to trade with his Savages, but with mine who obtained goods on credit at my Fort last autumn, and those same Savages are sending a pipestem to Mr MacGillivray so that I may send them more goods another year. Mr Cadotte writes me also and informs me he was unable to forward my letter to Mr MacGillivray etc.

26th Sunday. Yesterday we crossed the Portage des Six Poses and that of the village of la Tortue and, at one o’clock this afternoon we reached the Grand Portage of the Montreal River1 where my canoe was broken, and we are obliged to camp in order to allow four packs to dry that got wet. The two portages we crossed are exceedingly bad and the Savages tell me this one is still worse.

27th Monday. It rained all last night and we could not begin to portage before ten o’clock. Nevertheless, we did a good day’s work having come to camp at the Petite Riviere, this side of the Riviere de Pins.2 The portage was never so bad and the flies are eating us up.

29th Wednesday. My people did sixteen pauses today although the water was frequently up to their knees, and they


1 See ante, p. 181, notes 54,55. -ED.
2 Riveiere de Pins was probably the present Pine River, flowing from Pine Lake and by its union with Balsam River forming the East branch of the Montreal. This was the point chosen by T.J. Cram in 1841 as the headwaters of Montreal River, and from here was accordingly run the boundary line to Lac Vieux Desert. In recent years, Michigan surveeyors have claimed that this is not the true headwaters of the Montreal; that the West branch is the larger and real headwaters, and that its source in Island Lake should be the starting point for the boundary line. Were the interstate boundary thus rectified, Hurley and all the lands between the east and west branches of the Montreal would come under Michigan jurisdiction. The matter has proceeded no further, however, than newspaper agitation. The Northwestern Railway station of Sand Rock is on Pine River, not far from the old Portage Crossing. -ED.


complained a good deal. We are camping at the Riviere de Sapins.3

30th Thursday. My people fortunately finished carrying early, for they were beginning to get tired. The road is so bad and there are so many overturned trees that I was lost for an hour, and should still be so, had I not had a gun.

31st Friday. “L’Epaule de Canard” came to us last night; he is coming to the Grand Portage to see Mr MacGillivray. Today we were obliged to make a small raft to cross the Riviere du Milien,4 and we are camped there. I have not seen the water so high for a long time and I am greatly surprised to see my peopl hold out for so long.

June 2nd, Sunday. The rain prevented us from carrying. We have done only seven pauses since Friday. There are billions of flies! We are weak owing to bad food, and we shall have none at all unless the weather changes.

3rd Monday. After I had written yesterday, the weather became fine and we did ten pauses with one half the baggage. Today , it is raining hard and we are completely weather-bound.

4th Tuesday. “Le Canard” started this morning for Lake Superior because we have provisions only for two days more with great economy, and also to tell the Savages of the Mauvaise Riviere to bring us some fish, if they have any.

The weather is still cloudly; drops of rain fall from time to time. Nevertheless, my people are carrying, but they take the precaution to cover the packs with their blankets at every trip. The only food remaining is ten quarts of corn not treated with lye.5


3Probably the stream now known as Balsam River, a tributary of the Montreal in northeastern Iron County; see preceeding note for its significance in the boundary questions. For an ampler report see that of Captain Cram in Senate Docs.,27th Cong., 2nd sess., No. 170. -ED.

4 Riviere de Milieu (Middle River) was without doubt the West branch of Montreal River, which was about half way from Long (or Portage) Lake to Lake Superior. Some of the early maps give the Indian name of this stream as Gogogashugun. -ED.

5 The French expression is “bled non lescive` (lessive`). To soften


5th Wednesday. Today we are in sight of Lake Superior, my people having done 21 pauses yesterday and 20 today. Tonight we are eating our last corn cakes, and tomorrow noon we hope to be at the end of the portage.

6th Thursday. We have at last finished the portage at a quarter past twelve, all very tired. I shall not start from here before tomorrow to give my people a rest. I was lucky enough to get four sturgeon from the Savages today, which will, I hope, last me to la Pointe, where I left a sack of corn in a cache6 last autumn. Mr Cadotte’s eldest son7 arrived here at three o’clock in the afternoon with a letter from his father informing me of Mr Latour’s death.8

8th Saturday. I started today from the Montreal River and arrived at la Pointe, Mr Cadotte’s fort. While walking beside the lake I found a white fish half eaten by the eagles and halff rotten, but not sufficiently so to prevent my eating it after raosting it on a spit.

10th Monday. I had my canoe prepared yesterday to start in company with the Messieurs Cadotte. Their people came from


the grains of Indian corn, make the husk break open, and the kernel floury, French-Canadians put a small quantity of lye in the water while boiling the grain. After that treatment, the corn is known as “lyed corn.” It is eaten boiled with pea soup or with milk and sugar. – CRAWFORD LINDSAY

6 For an explanation of the term cache, see Wis. Hist. Coll., xviii, p. 279. -ED

7 Jean Baptiste Cadotte III was called “Gros Cadotte,” to distinguish him from his brother, “Petit Cadotte.” He seems to have been in the fur-trade with his father, and in 1812 went to the aid of the British and fought in several battles. In the Battle of the Thames he was severely wounded, and thereafter received a British pension. He was employed by the American Fur Company in 1819 as a voyageur on the upper Mississippi, and was living as late as 1852. It was perhaps in his honor that the town of Cadott was named in the present Chippewa County, Wis. -ED.

8 Probably this was Charles Latour, a clerk of the North West Company stationed in 1799 at Rainy Lake. An employee of the same name was in the Western country as early as 1789. -ED.


the Riviere` Mauvaise with a canoe load of sturgeon so we could not run short. This did very well, and today at 10o’clock we left la Pointe to come and camp at the Riviere` Ciscaouette in the evening.

15th Saturday. At 3 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday we left the Riviere` Ciscaouette and camped the same evening at Fond du Lac where, being detained by wind and rain, Mr Cotton9 was good enough to assist us with a sack of corn and a brasse of tobacco. On Thursday we left Fond du Lac to go and camp at the Riviere` aux Groseilles. 10 On Friday we camped at the Riviere` a` la Framboise, 11 and today, after a long day under sail we are camped in sight of Ile du Grand Portage.


9 Cotton, who in 1799 is listed as Jean Coton, belonged to the Fond du Lac Department for several years. In 1802 William Morrison found him at Fond du Lac as he passed through. During the winter of 1803-04 Cotton was in charge of a fort on Red Lake River, probably at the mouth of the Clearwater, where Alexander Henry the younger visited him. He seems, however, to have been in the Fond du Lac Department, and to have entered and returned via Lake Superior. Apparently he left the fur-trade soon after this meeting with Malhiot, since his name is not given among the list of employees after the coalition. -ED.

10 The name for this small river in Lake Country, Minn., not far above Encampment Island, has had a curious history. It is first marked upon Coronelli’s map of 1688 as Riviere des Groseliers, being probably so named in honor of the early fur-trader and explorer Medard Chouart, sieur de Groseilliers, who with his confrere Radisson was, so far as we know, the first white man in this region. The name persists on the maps with various spellings throughout the eighteenth century, but apparently was corrupted by the voyageurs into Riviere aux Groseilles; so, when Bayfield surveyed Lake Superior in 1823, he gave to it the English translation of the French word, Gooseberry River. Such it remains to the present. -ED.

11 Modern maps indicate no Riviere a la Framboise, or Raspberry River between Gooseberry River and Grand Portage. Possibly the stream called Indian Camp River is meant; it is about as far from Gooseberry River as the latter is from Fond du Lac. -ED.


9th Gave Guthier Two Cotton Shirts . . . 6
A Brasse of tobacco to smoke . . . 2
Malhiot do do . . 2
Bazinet do do . . 2
12th To Several women for husking five sacks of
Corn, 1/2 lb Porcelain beads and 1/2 a
Brasse of tobacco . . . 2
13th To Folle Avoine, for four sacks of Corn, half
a Keg and a Brasse of tobacco . . 12
28th To La Grande Loutre, for a small Fishing
Canoe, a piece of Braid . . . . 2
To La Feuille, for a sack of Corn, a keg of
four pots . . . . 5
To Le Mufle d’original for two sacks of Corn,
a keg of six pots . . . . 61/2
To Barceloux, for five sacks of corn, half
a keg and a half a Brasse of tobacco . . . 12
To Le Gros Egle, for six sacks of corn, half
a keg and a brasse of tobacco . . . 12
Sent By L’outarde to Lac de la Truite a large
keg . . . . . . . 20
29th To Le Chef des oiseaux, for four saccks of
Corn, half a Keg and half a brasse of tobacco . . 11
To Gauthier, a Brasse of tobacco to smoke 2
To Bazinet do do do 2
Gave le Mufle d’Original, for two sacks of
corn, a keg of four pots . . . . . 5
To La Feuille for a sack of Corn, a keg of
two pots . . . . . . 3
October 1st To Le Petit-Jour for seven maskininge, six
ducks, and four musk-rats, a Keg of four
pots . . . . . . 5
6th To the men, a file for the use of the fort . . 1
To an Old woman for having scraped six Deer
skins, six Brasses of braid and a comb 1
Six Deer skins used for the windows20 . . 2
15 To Gauthier, one Brasse of tobacco to smoke 2
To Malhiot do do 2
Expended, by drams, from the third of
August to this date, two and a half large
Kegs of mixed rum . . . . 50
18 To Durocher, a double handful of powder and
a handful of shot . . . . 2
To Gauthier and Little Cadotte, each as much 4
To Barceloux, provided he will give Tremble`
food all winter, A keg of four pots 5
Sixty bullets . . . . . 2
Two double-handfuls of powder . . 2
24 Gave Martineau, for his engagement feast,
half a Brasse of tobacco and a deer skin 1
20Windows were usually made of parchment, scraped thin enough to be translucent. -ED.
26 To old La Chouette for the meat of thirty
musk-rats, two outardes,21 and six
ducks, five pots of rum . . 6
27 To Brunot and Beaulieu, on their engagement,
half a brasse of tobacco and a deer skin
each . . . . . . 3
Nov. 4th To an old woman, for some Corn, a Brasse
of cloth . . . . . . 4
For two rolls of bark, a box with a burning
glass . . . . . . 2
10 To Gauthier, a Brasse of tobacco . . 2
26 To the Brother-in-law of la Chouette’s son,
for one hundred white fish, twwelve
bottles of rum . . . . . 6
half a brasse of tobacco . . . . 1
Malhiot, a Brasse of tobacco . . . 2
To the men, one file . . . . 1
December 10 To an old woman, for dressing six deer skins,
one Pair of leggings . . . . 2
To the same old woman for lacing four pairs
of snowshoes, one pair of sleeves . . 2
25 To the smae old woman, for cutting a doe
skin into thongs, a foot and a half of tobacco . 1/2
30 To Gauthier, one Brasse of tobacco . . 2
January 1st To my men, as a new year’s present, five
chopines of high-wines . . . . 5
A Brasse of tobacco . . . . 2
To the men of XY, a chopine of high-wines22 1
15 Malhiot, a Brasse of tobacco . . . 2
25th To Gauthier do do . . . 2
February 28 To Gauthier do do . . . 2
To Le Canard, for 15lbs of bear’s grease, 4
plus worth of ammunition . . . 4
To L’outarde do do do 4
To La Chouette do do do 4
March 1st To old La Chouette, for 7 maskinonge and 4
lbs of grease, 1 keg of 4 pots . . . 5
10 To the son of old La chouette for ten mas-
kinonge, a small Keg of 4 pots . . . 5
14 To L’Egle for seven quarters of meat, three
gallons of rum and 1/2 brasse of tobacco 9
To The sister of L’Epaule de canard, for half
a sack of corn, two double handfuls of
powder and 60 Bullets . . . . 4
Gave an old woman, for Lacing two pairs of
snow-shoes, a looking glass and 1/2 Brasse
of tobacco . . . . 2
21 Outarde is the French-Canadian tern for the wild-goose (bernicia canadensis). -ED.
22 See Alexander Henry’s description of the New Year’s feast at his Red River post, in 1801. Coues, Henry’s Journals, p. 162. -ED.
To La Grue Blanche, for guiding my men to
Roi’s at L’Anse,23 4 pots of rum . . 5
a Brasse of tobacco . . . . 2
For ammunition . . . . . 4
16 To L’outarde for two loads of fresh meat, a
keg of six pots . . . . . 8
To Gauthier a brasse of tobacco to smoke . 2
To Malhiot do do do . 2
26 To L’Epaule de Canard, for the meat of a
bear, a two gallon keg . . . . 5
29 To L’Epaule de Canard, for the meat of two
Moose and of two bears, a large keg . . 20
27th Gave old La Chouette for one half of the meat
of a bear and for 4 quarters of meat, 4
pots of rum . . . . . 5
28 To Barceloux, for 7 quarters of meat, 4 pots
of rum . . . . . . 5
April 6th To the son of Le cioux for going to get George
Yarns at his Father-in-law’s, 4 plus
on his credit . . . . . 4
3 chopines of rum . . . . 1
9 To Le Chef des Oiseuux, for half a keg of
Sugar24 6 pots of rum . . . . 6
15 To Gauthier, a Brasse of tobacco to smoke . 2
To Malhiot do do . 2
17 To Old La Chouette, for four quarters of
meat, five chopines of rum . . . 4
25 To the son of La Pierre a affiller for fifteen
pounds of sugar, a pot of rum . . . 2
May 7 To Old La Chouette for a Northern canoe, 25
a large keg of rum . . . . 20
8th To the war-party, for an old canoe, a double
handful of powder and thirty bullets . . 2
11 To the son of old La Chouette for a fishing
canoe, 10 plus from his credit . . . 10
18 To the young men of La Chouette, for 3 quarters
of meat, 2 double handfuls of
powder and 30 bullets . . . . 3
Gauthier, a brasse of tobacco . . . 2
Malhiot . . . . . . 2
23 See the journal for March 14, 1805, ante. -ED.
24 Maple sugar, which the Indians had just been making. -ED.
25 The Northern canoe was the largest made and used on the northern lakes. A fine description, with illustration, is found in Henry R. Schoolcraft, Narrative Journal of Travels (Albany, 1821), pp. 68-70. He says they were thirty-five feet in length by six in width, and capable of carrying four tons. -ED.




October 4th, 1804 Plus
3 Pieces common Cloth, blue @ 40 Plus the piece . . 120
3 Brasses do H.B.26 @ 4 do the brasse . . 12
4 do do Scarlet @ 6 do do . . 24
4 do do Calico @ 6 do do . . 8
2 Blankets 3- points27 @ 4 do each . . 8
11 do 21/2 do @ 3 do do . . 33
6 do 2 do @ 3 do do . . 12
6 do 11/2 do @ 2 do do . . 12
6 do 1 do @ 1 do do . . 6
3 Capots 4 ells @ 3 do do . . 12
3 do 31/2 do @ 31/2 do do . . 101/2
3 do 3 do @ 3 do do . . 9
4 do 21/2 do @ 21/2 do do . . 10
1 do 11/2 do @ 11/2 do do . . 11/2
4 do 1 do @ 1 do do . . 4
8 rolls of braid @ 2 plus each . . 16
3 Skeins of wool @ 2 do do . . 6
2 Laced caps @ 2 do do . . 4
1 Chief’s coat . . . . . . . 8
1 Chief’s shirt . . . . . . . 2
2 hats @ 2 plus each . . 4
1 Plume for hat . . . . . . . 1
3 Small children’s chirts @ 1 do do . . 3
2 Black silk handkerchiefs @ 2 do do . . 4
3 Packages of White porcelain
beads @ 4 do do . . 12
1 Dozen large knives @ 4 for one plus . . 3
6 Fine knives @ 1/2 a plus each . . 3
1 Dozen of Steels for striking
fire @ 6 for a plus . . 2
2 Dozen Awls @ 1 dozen for do . . 2
3 Dozen Wormers28 @ do do . . 3
1 Dozen horn combs @ 6 for do . . 2
6 Box-wood Combs @ 3 for do . . 2
1/2 Roll of wire for snares . . . . . 3
3 Packs of cards @ 1 pluseach . . 3
2 Boxes with burning glass @ 2 do do . . 4
2 pieces of ribbon @ 3 do do . . 6
3 Looking-glasses @ 1 do do . . 3
3 Steel boxes @ 1 do do . . 3
50 Needles @ 25 for 1 plus . . . 2
26 Probably a kind of cloth manufactured especially for the Hudson’s Bay Company and their trade. -ED.
27For the explanation of this term, see Wis. Hist. Colls., xvi, p. 400, note 2. -ED.
28 A wormer was a small coil of iron or steel, used in cleaning a gun. -ED.


40 Pairs Small Earrings @ 10 prs for a plus . . 4
40 Pair, medium sized do @ 10 prs do do . 4
50 Large brooches @ 15 do do . 3
100 Small do for the hair @ 20 do do . 5
3 Large double crosses @ 2 plus each . . . 6
6 medium-sized do @ 1 do do . . 6
1 Pair Large Armlets . . . . . . 6
1 Pair medium-sized do . . . . . . 4
1 Pair do do . . . . . . 3
50 Branches of porcelain beads @ 10 branches for a plus . 5
24 large beads29 @ 3 for do . . 8
1 Silver shell . . . . . . . 1

Entire Pieces

4 Kegs, double strength @ 40 plus each . . . 160
1 do Powder . . . . . . . 50
1 sack of bullets . . . . . . . 40
1/2 do beaver shot . . . . . . 25
1 Roll tobacco for snuff . . . . . . 60
1 gun . . . . . . . . 10
2 traps @ 5 plus each . . . 10


1 Pair of spear heads . . . . . . 1
2 half axes @ 2 plus each . . . 4
5 Tomahawks @ 1 do do . . 5

Utensils & Tools

2 Large axes @ 3 plus each . . . 6
1 Auger . . . . . . . 1
1 Hoe . . . . . . . . 1
1 Padlock . . . . . . . 1
1 Spigot . . . . . . . 1
1 Quart Pot . . . . . . . 1
1 do of a chopine
1 do of a half-chopine . . . . . 2
1 Gill measure
1 dram measure30
1 Brass kettle . . . . . . . 7
1 Tin do . . . . . . . 3


18 Bushels of Corn @ 4 plus per bushel . . 72
11/2 do wild rice @ 5 do do . . 3
29 The French phrase is “Noyaux porceline.” We are informed by a former Indian trader that this refers to a large coarse bead prized by the tribesmen. -ED.
30 The French word is “miserable,” which is argot for a small glass spirits. -CRAWFORD LINDSAY.


100 lbs flour
1/2 Barrel of Pork
1 do Sugar
1/2 lb of Pepper
6 Quarts of salt
1/2 lb of Tea

The 22nd February 1805 – The following articles Plus
4 Blankets, 3 points @ 4 plus each . . . 16
2 do 2 do @ 2 do do . . 4
1 Capot 31/2 ells . . . . . . 31/2
1 do 3 do . . . . . 3
2 Rolls of braid @ 2 plus each . . . 4
1 Brasse cloth H.B. . . . . . . 4
3 do do, common @ 3 plus each . . . 9
1 do do, scarlet . . . . . 6
10 Vergtes31 ribbon 2 verges for a plus . 5
36 Flints . . . . . . . 2
18 Pairs Earrings . . . . . . 21/2
7 Clusters [of beads] . . . . . . 2
1 Pair Armlets . . . . . . . 4
4 pots of rum, double strength . . . . . 10
May 18th
1 Sack of Corn . . . . . . . 3


May 21, 1805 Plus
69 Large bear skins @ 2 plus each . . . 138
18 Small do do . . . . . 18
47 Deer Skins @ 2 for a plus . . . 231/2
327 Musk-rat skins @ 10 do do . . 323/4
68 Beaver skins, making . . . . . 58
3 Lynx skins @ 2 plus each . . . 6
20 Otter skins @ do do . . 40
5 Fisher skins . . . . . . . 5
100 Marten skins @ 2 for a plus . . . 50
1/2 a Moose skin . . . . . . 1

Goods Brought Back

3 Large double crosses . . . . . . 3
8 Pairs of earrings . . . . . . 11/2
30 Small brooches for the hair . . . . . 1


1 Large brass kettle . . . . . .
1 Small tin do . . . . . .
2 Large axes . . . . . . .
31 “Verge” is a French linear measure, equal to an E

1 Quart pot . . . . . . . 1
1 Chopine do . . . . . . . 1
1 half-chopine do . . . . . . 1
1 Small do . . . . . . . 2
1 Spigot . . . . . . . 1
1 Funnel . . . . . . . 1
1 Padlock . . . . . . . 1
1 Northern canoe . . . . . . 30
5 Brasses of bark . . . . . . 21/2
1 Keg of gum32 . . . . . . 10



15th October 1804
3 Pieces common cloth
8 Brasses Blue cloth H.B.
4 do Scarlet do
6 do rough33 do
7 Verges calico
2 Blankets 3 points
19 do 21/2 do
8 do 2 do
2 do 11/2 do
6 do 1 do
5 Capots of 4 ells
3 do 31/2 do
3 do 3 do
4 do 21/2 do
2 do 11/2 do
3 do 1 do
14 Rolls of braid
2 Dozen Large knives
1/2 Dozen Small do
1/2 Dozen fine do
11/2 lb Vermillion
4 Small shirts
5 Skeins of wool
6 kegs of rum, double strength
11/2 do of powder
2 sacks of Bullets
1/2 do of Shot
1 Roll of tobacco
18 Carrots do
32 Both bark and gum were used in the repairing of canoes, and were necessary for any extended voyage. -ED.
33 The French term is “drap mottom,” i.e. mottore – rough, like Irish frieze. -CRAWFORD LINDSAY.



5th October 1804 – LAC DU FLAMBEAU
528 Deer skins
16 Bear do
840 Muskrat
44 Otter
7 Marten
1 Mink


40 minots34 of Corn and wild rice.

Lac du Flambeau 4th August 1804
August 4th 1804
Sent to Ouisconsaint by Bazinet, the following goods:36 Plus

1 Piece common Blue cloth . . . . . 50
3Blankets 3 points @5 plus each . . . . 15
9 do 21/2 do @ 4 do do . . . 36
2 do 2 do @ 3 do do . . . 6
2 do 11/2 do @ 2 do do . . . 4
2 Capots of 4 Ells @ 5 do do . . . 10
2 do 31/2 do @ 4 do do . . . 8
1 do 21/2 do @ 21/2 do do . . . 21/2
1 do 2 do @ 2 do do . . . 2
1 do 11/2 do @ 11/2 do do . . . 11/2
3 Rolls of braid @ 2 do do . . . 6
1 Package of porcelain Beads 3 plus . . . . 6
1 lb Vermillion 3 do . . . . 3
1 silk handkershief 2 do . . . . 2
34 A minot is an old French measure of capacity, containing somewhat more than a bushel; see Wis. Hist. Colls., xvii, p. 252. -ED.
35 For the significance of this term see ante, p. 200, note 86. The methods of the traders are clearly indicated by this book, each of the voyaguers and interpreters being entrusted with a small outfit, and sent out to a winter camp of some Indians supposed to have furs. In the original account book the outfits are entered upon one page and the returns opposite; for purposes of comparison we have made the return from each drouine; but being so much more considerable, is given a separate entry. -ED.
36 This would seem to have been a brief trial trip, followed by that of October 4, entered ante, pp. 221-224. -ED.


1 Piece of ribbon 5 do . . . . 5
1 Dozen Large Knves @ 4 for 1 plus . . . . 3
15 lbs. Beaver Shot @ 1 plus per lb . . . . 15
10 lbs bullets @ 1 do do . . . 10
18 Brasses of tobacco @ 2 plus per brasse . . . 36
2 Carrots do @ 5 plus each . . . . 10
21/2 kegs of mixed rum @ 10 do do . . . 25
6 lbs. of powder @ 1 do do . . . 6


August 10th, 1804 Plus
222 Deer skins @ 2 for 1 plus . . . . 111
1 Bear skins . . . . . . . . 2
90 Muskrat skins @ 10 for 1 plus . . . . 9
3 Otter skins @ 2 plus each . . . . 6
1 Beaver skin 1 . . . 1
For meat pounded for pemmican37 . . . . 5
For quarters of meat . . . . . . 5
Given on credit to various Savages for . . . . 15
Given a commission for . . . . . . 50


October 15th Plus
To the Vieux Desert by Remie Tremble
1 Blanket of 3 points . . . . . . . 4
2 do 21/2 do . . . . . . 6
1 Capot of 4 ells . . . . . . . . 4
1 do 31/2 do . . . . . . 3
1 do 3 do . . . . . . 3
1 do 21/2 do . . . . . . 2
2 Brasses of common cloth @ 3 plus each . . . . 6
1 Pair Scarlet leggings . . . . . . . 2
1 Piece of braid . . . . . . . . 2
2 Black silk handkerchiefs @ 2 plus each . . . . 4
1 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . . 5
3 Brasses do @ 2 plus per brasse . . . 6
1 Tobacco box . . . . . . . . 2
1 Breech-clout . . . . . . . . 1
6 Horn combs and 4 of Box-wood . . . . . 2
6 Packages of porcelain beads . . . . . . 6

37 Pemmican is a food much used in northern latitudes. It consists of equal parts dried meat, pounded or pulverized, and some kind of fat or tallow. When properly made, it will keep for many months, and formed a staple food in the fur-trade. It is still prepared for Artic regions. See account in “Franchere’s Narrative” in Thwaites, Early Western Travels, vi, p. 280.-ED.


1 Small child’s shirt and one small do Capot . . . . . 2
3 Dozen rings . . . . . . . . 3
1 Dozen awls and 1 Dozen wormers . . . . . . 1
For wool . . . . . . . . . 5
1 Fine knife . . . . . . . . 1
3 Small knives and one flint . . . . . . 11/2
9 Double handfuls of powder . . . . . . 9
300 Gun bullets . . . . . . . . 10
Return Plus38


November 2nd, 1804 Plus
Sent to la Puise by Gauthier
1 keg of 4 pots of mixed rum . . . . . . 5
1 Brasse of common cloth . . . . . . 3
1 Brasse of tobacco . . . . . . . 3
1 Blanket of 21/2 points . . . . . . . 1
1/2 Brasse of tobacco . . . . . . . 1
1/2 Roll of braid . . . . . . . . 1
For porcelain beads . . . . . . . 1


November 5th, 1804 Plus
21/2 Sacks of corn @ 3 plus per sack . . . . . 71/2
4 Muskrats and for dry fish . . . . . . . 1

Goods bought back

1 Blanket of 21/2 points . . . . . . . 3
1/2 piece of braid . . . . . . . . 1


December 20th Plus
To Lake Superior by George Yarns and Cadotte
2 Brasses of Blue cloth H.B. . . . . . . 8
2 do common do . . . . . . 6
1 Blanket of 3 points . . . . . . . 4
1 do 21/2 do . . . . . . 3
1 do 2 do . . . . . . 2
1 do 1 do . . . . . . 1
1 Capot of 3 ells . . . . . . . . 4
2 Rolls of braid @ 2 plus each . . . . . . 4
1 Verge calico . . . . . . . . 1
3 Double handfuls of powder . . . . . . 3
100 Gun bullets . . . . . . . . 3
For porcelain beads . . . . . . . 3
3 Black silk handkerchiefs @ 2 plus eachs . . . . . 6
2 Large and 2 small knives . . . . . . . 1
3 lbs. shot . . . . . . . . 3
3 Sacks of corn @ 3 plus each . . . . . . 9
1 Kettle . . . . . . . . . 51/2

38 There were no returns, because Tremble went on to the post at l’Anse. See ante, pp. 207-209. -ED.


December 23rd Plus
30 Beaver skins, making . . . . . . . 161/2
4 Otter skins @ 2 plus each . . . . . . 8
7 Marten skins @ 2 for a plus . . . . . . 31/2
6 Mink skins @ 2 do do . . . . . 3
8 Muskrat skins . . . . . . . . 1/2

Goods brought back

1 Blanket of 3 points . . . . . . . 4
1 do 2 do . . . . . . 2
2 Brasses of cloth H.B. . . . . . . . 8
2 Rolls of braid . . . . . . . . 4
1 Silk handerkerchief . . . . . . . 2
For porcelain beads . . . . . . . 2
100 Gun bullets . . . . . . . . 3
For Beaver shot . . . . . . . . 2

February 18th, 1805 Plus
To the lodge of le Genou By George Yarns

1 Brasse of cloth H.B. . . . . . . . 4
1 small wide-mouth kettle . . . . . . . 2
15 Pairs of Earrings . . . . . . . 2
10 Common brooches . . . . . . . 1
100 Hair do do 30 for a plus . . . . . 3
3 large beads . . . . . . . . 1
9 Branches of porcelain beads . . . . . . 2
1 Black silk handkerchief . . . . . . . 2
1 Pair Scarlet leggings . . . . . . . 2


February 19th, 1805 Plus
4 Beaver skins, making . . . . . . . 21/2
2 Otter skins @ 2 plus each . . . . . . 4
12 Martin skins @ 2 for a plus . . . . . . 6

Goods brought back

1 Black silk handerkerchief . . . . . . 2
3 large beads . . . . . . . . 1
9 Branches of porcelain . . . . . . . 1
10 Common brooches . . . . . . . 1
83 Hair do . . . . . . . . 2
February 19th Plus
To the Lodge of Les Grandes Oreilles by little Cadotte
1 Brasse of cloth H.B. . . . . . . . 4
1 do common do . . . . . . 3
1 Pair Scarlet leggings . . . . . . . 2
2 Rolls of braid . . . . . . . . 4
1 Black silk handkerchief . . . . . . . 2
2 chopines of rum . . . . . . . . 1



February 23rd Plus
2 Beaver skins . . . . . . . . 2
3 Marten skins . . . . . . . . 11/2

Goods brought back

1 Brasse of cloth H.B. . . . . . . . 4
1 Pair Scarlet leggings . . . . . . . 2
2 Rolls of braid . . . . . . . . 4
1 Black silk handkerchief . . . . . . . 2


February 20th, 1805 Plus
Sent By Gauthier and George Yarns to old La Chouette,
Le Canard, and L’Outarde
1 Brasse cloth H.B. . . . . . . . 4
2 do Common do . . . . . . 6
1 Blanket 21/2 points . . . . . . . 3
1 do 2 do . . . . . . 2
1 do 11/2 do . . . . . . 2
1 do 1 do . . . . . . 1
2 Pairs Scarlet leggings . . . . . . . 4
2 Double handfuls of powder . . . . . . 2
60 Bullets . . . . . . . . 2
2 Half axes . . . . . . . . 4
11/2 Brasse of tobacco . . . . . . . 3


February 21st, 1805 Plus
2 Bear skins @ 2 plus each . . . . . . 4
1 Small do . . . . . . . . 1
6 Beaver skins, making . . . . . . . 5
2 Mink skins . . . . . . . . 11/2
9 Muskrat skins

Goods brought back

1 Blanket 21/2 points . . . . . . . 3
2 Pairs Scarlet leggings . . . . . . . 4
60 Bullets . . . . . . . . 2
2 Double handfuls of powder . . . . . . 2
Given on credit for . . . . . . . 5


February 26th Plus
By George Yarns to the lodge of La Moitie de Chef
2 Brasses common cloth . . . . . . . 6
1 Pair Scarlet leggins . . . . . . . 2
2 Pieces Braid . . . . . . . . 4
2 Blankets 21/2 points . . . . . . . 6
1 do 2 do . . . . . . 2
1 Child’s shirt . . . . . . . . 1
1 Dozen rings . . . . . . . . 1
1/2 Brasses of tobacco . . . . . . . 1


February 26th Plus
1 Bear skins . . . . . . . 2
3 Otter [email protected] 2 plus each . . . . . 6
4 Marten skins @ 2 for one plus . . . . . 2
1 Small Beaver and 4 Muskrat skins . . . . . 1
6 Deer skins @ 2 for one plus . . . . . 3

Goods bought back

1 Blanket of 2 points . . . . . . 2
2 Pieces of braid . . . . . . . 4
1 Pair Scarlet leggings . . . . . . 2


March 4th, 1805 Plus
By George Yarns to the Lodge of Le Vieus Sorcier
1 Brasse of cloth H.B. . . . . . . 4
1 do common cloth . . . . . 3
1 Pair of Scarlet leggings . . . . . . 2
1 Roll of braid . . . . . . . 2
1 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 5
1 Blanket of 2 points . . . . . . 2
4 Pots of rum . . . . . . . 5


March 8th Plus
2 Bear skins @ 2 plus each . . . . . 4
2 Marten skins . . . . . . . 1

Goods brought back

1 Brasse of common cloth . . . . . . 3
1 Pair of Scarlet leggings . . . . . . 2
1 Roll of braid . . . . . . . 2
1 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 5
1 Blanket of 2 points . . . . . . 2


March 14 Plus
Sent tot he vieu Desert by Gauthier
1 Brasse of common cloth . . . . . . 3
1 Blanket of 21/2 points . . . . . . 3
1 do 11/2 do . . . . . 2
1 Pair Scarlet leggins . . . . . . 2
1/2 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 2
1/2 Brasse do . . . . . . 1
7 large beads . . . . . . . 2
For wool . . . . . . . . 2
For porcelain beads . . . . . . 1
For ammunition . . . . . . . 2
1 Silk handkerchief . . . . . . 2
4 Pots of rum . . . . . . . 5



March 20 Plus
12 Marten skins @ 2 for one plus . . . . . 6
30 Muskrat skins @ 10 for one plus . . . . . 3
1 Fisher39 and one raccoon . . . . . 1
1/2 Moose skins . . . . . . . 3

Goods brought back

3 Skeins of wool . . . . . . . 11/2
1 Package of porcelain beads . . . . . 1/2
1 Black silk handkerchief . . . . . . 2
6 large beads . . . . . . . 2
1/2 carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 2
4 Quarters of meat . . . . . . 2


March 25th
Sent to Lac de la Truite by Gauthier
4 Pots of rum . . . . . . . 5
40 Small sleigh-bells . . . . . . 3
1 Foot of tobacco . . . . . . . 1/2


March 26
1 Bear’s meat . . . . . . . 3
For grease . . . . . . . 1
2 Moose muzzles . . . . . . . 1/2

Goods brought back

25 Small sleigh bells . . . . . . 2


March 27th
Sent by Gauthier to La de la Truite
1 Keg of mixed rum . . . . . . 20


2 The meat of two Moose . . . . . . 12
2 The meat of two Bears . . . . . . 8
39Fisher, called by French-Canadians “pecan,” is the largest of the weasel family in North America. It is sometimes called black fox. The name fisher is a misnomer, since it does not fish, but will eat fish caught by others. Its scientific name if mustela pennanti; it is rare in Wisconsin. -ED.


March 27, 1805 Plus
Sent by George Yarns to The people of the Lakes
1 Blanket of 3 points . . . . . . 4
2 do 21/2 do . . . . . 6
1 do 2 do . . . . . 2
1 Brasse cloth H.B. . . . . . . 4
1 do common do . . . . . . 3
1 Pair Scarrlet leggings . . . . . . 2
2 Rolls of Braid . . . . . . . 4
1 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 4
1 Capot 21/2 ells . . . . . . . 21/2
For ammunition . . . . . . . 6
6 Pots of rum . . . . . . . 6


April 12 Plus
2Large bear skins @ two plus each . . . . . 4
1 Small do . . . . . . . 1
7 Otter skins @ 2 plus each . . . . . 14
3 Fisher skins . . . . . . . 3
3 Beaver skins . . . . . . . 3
4 Marten skins @ 10 for a plus . . . . . 2
20 Muskrat skins @ 10 for a plus . . . . . 2
For grease . . . . . . . 2

Goods brought back

1 Blanket of 2 points . . . . . . 2
1 Breech-clout . . . . . . . 1
60 Bullets . . . . . . . 2


April 30 Plus
Sent by Gauthier to Portage de la Tortue
2 Brasses common cloth . . . . . . 6
1 do H.B. do . . . . . . . 4
1 do Scarlet do . . . . . . . 5
2 do Calico . . . . . . . 4
2 Skeins of wool . . . . . . . 3
1 Blanket of 21/2 points . . . . . . 3
1 do 2 do . . . . . 2
2 Medium-sized Armlets . . . . . . 3
50 Brooches for the hair . . . . . . 2
1/2 Brasse of tobacco . . . . . . 1
2 Packages of porcelain beads . . . . . 2
6 Pots of rum . . . . . . . 8


May 2 Plus
4 Beaver skins . . . . . . . 21/2
1 Otter skin . . . . . . . 2
15 Muskrat skins . . . . . . . 11/2
1 A Mocock of sugar46 . . . . . . 4
40 The French word is “makague,” evidently a rendering of the Indian term mocock. The mococks were large vessels of birch bark, into

Goods brought back

1 Brasse Scarlet cloth . . . . . . 5
11/2 do common do . . . . . . 5
1 do H.B. do . . . . . 4
2 do Calico do . . . . . 4
2 Medium-sized Armlets . . . . . 3
50 Brooches for the hair . . . . . . 2
2 Pots of rum . . . . . . . 2


May 13 Plus
Sent by Gauthier to Portage de la Tortue
1/2 Keg of rum . . . . . . . 10
1 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 4
1 Piece of Braid . . . . . . . 2
1 Calico shirt . . . . . . . 2
1 Skein of wool . . . . . . . 1


May 14
1 Otter skins . . . . . . . 2
10 Muskrat skins . . . . . . . 1
1 Large bear skin . . . . . . . 2
1 Skin of a bear-cub with the meat . . . . . 2
2 Marten skins . . . . . . . 1

Goods brought back

1/2 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 2
7 pots of rum . . . . . . . 7


May 18
Sent by Martineau to Lac de la Folle
2 Brasse of common cloth . . . . . . 6
1 Blanket of 21/2 points . . . . . . 3
1 Small Capot . . . . . . . 1
1 Piece Braid . . . . . . . 2
1 Carrot of tobacco . . . . . . 4
For ammunition . . . . . . . 8
90 Brooches for the hair . . . . . . 3
For porcelain beads and large beads . . . . 2
1/2 Brasse tobacco for snuff . . . . . 1


May 21 Plus
To all the goods brought back . . . . . [30]
which maple sugar was packed, each holding form thrity to eighty pounds. See Mrs. Baird, “Early Days at Mackinac,” in Wis. Hist. Colls., xvi, pp. 29-33, on sugar-making and its utensils. -ED.