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Another Exploring Expedition

1841. On the opening of the navigation I set out on another exploring expedition. Without entering into particulars so devoid of interest, I would merely observe that, with patience and perseverance, we ultimately succeeded in making good our passage by the Hamilton, or Grand River, and found it to answer our expectations in every respect.

On arriving at Esquimaux Bay, we found the vessel from Quebec riding at anchor—a joyful sight, since it gave assurance that we should hear from friends and relatives, and receive intelligence of the events that had occurred in the world for the last twelve months. The Governor's communication acquainted me with my promotion, and sincerely congratulated me on the event. Whether I had reason or not to doubt his sincerity, let the reader judge who knows the treatment I had experienced at his hands. Fifteen years ago I was assured of being in the "direct road to preferment,"—twenty years of toil and misery have I served to obtain it.

Considering myself, therefore, under no obligation to his Excellency, I addressed a letter to the Directors, expressing my thanks for the benefit they had conferred upon me, and requesting permission to visit the land of my nativity next year.

I was fortunate enough to find a couple of canoes at Esquimaux Bay, sufficiently large to admit of conveying an outfit to the interior, and equally fortunate to find Mr. Davis, the gentleman in charge of the district, possessed the will and ability to promote my views. All my arrangements at this place being completed, I set off on my return, and was happy to find, on my arrival at the outpost, that the outfit was rendered in safety, not the slightest accident having occurred on the way.

I arrived at Fort Chimo in the beginning of October. The dreary winter setting in immediately, we commenced the usual course of vegetative existence; and I consider it as unnecessary as it would be uninteresting to say anything further concerning it than that this season passed without our being subjected to such grievous privation as during the last. The greater part of the people being distributed among the outposts, reduced our expenditure of provisions so much, that I felt I had nothing now to fear on the score of starvation; and the precautions I had taken the preceding winter enabled us not only to indulge occasionally in the luxuries of bread-and-butter, but also to contemplate the possibility of the non-arrival of the ship without much anxiety.

1842.—On the opening of the navigation I again set out for Esquimaux Bay, where I found letters from the Secretary, conveying the welcome intelligence that my request for permission to visit Britain had been granted, and that the Directors, agreeably to my recommendation, had determined on abandoning Ungava, the ship being ordered round this season to convey the people and property to Esquimaux Bay.

Notes of a Twenty-Five Years Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory, 1849


Notes on Hudson Bay Territory


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