Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jasper's House to Boat Encampment, part 2

Some of the people who are just joining Fur Trade Family History, have come into the middle of a long post which started -- amazingly enough -- on August 11th, 2012 with the outgoing York Factory Express that left Fort Vancouver in the spring.
It generally took about six months or so for the York Factory Express to make their way from Fort Vancouver to York Factory, and back to the Columbia District.
With one post a week, we have taken about the same length of time.
When I began this project, I did not realize it would take so long to enter these journals into my blog.
Well, we're not finished yet!
Let's get the last few batches of expressmen over the Athabasca Pass, to Boat Encampment.

Diary of a Journey from Fort Vancouver in 1835, by James Douglas:
Sat. 10th [October] Left the fort and encamped at the Little Rocher, 6 miles from the fort.
Sun. 11. Fine weather. Encamped at Henry's House. distance 20 miles; time 5 hours.
Mon. 12. Weather variable. Rain and fair weather by turns. Stopped at Prairie de la Vache, and encamped on the holey river. Distance 18 miles.
Tues. 13. Raining in the morning, and in the evening heavy snow which rendered this day particularly disagreeable; drenched to the skin by the rain in the early part of the day, we were by no means prepared for the transition which followed to heavy snow. The encampment and a good fire were highly relished by all. Stopped at Commencement of Moose Encampment, & encamped 2 miles below Grand Batture. Distance 22 miles.
Wedy. 14. Stopped at Gun Encampment and slept before commencing the Big Hill. Time 8 hours. Distance 18 miles. Rain & snow.
Thurs. 15. Stopped at foot of the Hill. Encamped after passing the point of woods. Distance 17 miles. Rain & snow.
Friday 16th. Arrived at the Boat Encampment in the afternoon. Found here 3 men from Colvile who are to assist us down with the boats. These men arrived here on the 1st and after waiting a few days without seeing us, Lamotte very properly dispatched 4 of them to Colvile remaining there himself with two others. Fair weather. Distance 19 miles. Total distance, 120 miles.

Journal of a Trip from Vancouver to York Factory, Spring, 1847, by Thomas Lowe, in charge of party:
Wednesday 20th [October] Cold weather and blowing strong. As the river was unusually high this season, I sent off Michel the Guide with 1 man to take a boat up to the Grand Traverse as we will require a boat to [carry] the packs to that place. Mr. Fraser has been engaging [himself] today to accompany us across the Mountains, and getting [ready]. Had the boats hauled up on the beach. The [men who] accompanied us from Edmonton now return there, excepting two, who are to wait here for the Express from the Columbia.
Thursday 21st. Cold cloudy weather. Started from Jasper's House this forenoon with 54 loaded horses having only 10 engaged men and 4 Indians with us, 6 of our men being off in the boat. As there is but little chance of our getting the packs across the season, on account of the depth of snow in the mountains, we take with us materials for making snow shoes. Had much difficulty in starting, the horses being wild and the men awkward, and got in consequence only as far as the head of the Lake, where we encamped.
Friday 22nd. Fine weather. Made but poor progress in consequence of having so few men. Encamped at the Rocher de Bon Homme. As the country here about was overrun with fire this spring, the roads are very bad.
Saturday 23rd. Rained last night. Fine clear weather during the day. Sent back the two men who accompanied us from Jasper's House to clear the road. In the evening reached the Grand Traverse, where we met the boat which the guide has brought up. He arrived only about an hour before us. Crossed the [river] in the boat, and swam the horses. Encamped on the opposite bank.
Sunday 24th. Beautiful clear weather, but very cold. Sent Michel & 2 men ahead to clear the road, which stands in much need of it [all the way] to the Campment d'Original.
Monday 25th. Another fine day. Made rather a short distance. Encamped at the Grand Batture.
Tuesday 26th. Cloudy all day, and snowing a little in the afternoon. Much snow in the road all day, on the height of land 2 feet. Made a very long day's march, having encamped at Mr. Rae's Encampment, but it was dark before we reached it.
Wednesday 24th [sic]. Snowed considerably last night. Got down the Grand Cote today, and encamped on the first batture.
Thursday 25th [sic]. Snow and sleet the whole day. The road through the woods was in a horrible state, but we got to the middle of the last batture, although it was late when we encamped.
Friday 26th. The weather in the fore part of the day was very boisterous, blowing hard with rain and sleet, which rendered the road through the woods exceedingly bad. Arrived at the boat encampment in the afternoon, where we found Mr. [Paul] Kane, two sons of Dr. Kennedy's, and 12 men. They brought up two boats from Colvile, which with the two we left here in the spring will make 4 boats in all to go down the river with. Mr. Kane and the two boys are to cross the mountains with the horses. I am afraid they will find much difficulty in getting across owing to the depth of snow. They have been waiting here for us for 20 days, but there is still an abundance of provisions left, as Mr. [John Lee] Lewes sent up an unusually large quantity from Colvile.

Notice that in 1847 artist Paul Kane is travelling out of the territory West of the Rocky Mountains with the outgoing express.
He will spend the winter at Edmonton House, after journeying through the Columbia district.
He gave us a lot of information about the happenings that proved so important to our history -- specifically about the Waillatpu Massacre that is covered in my blog postings dated Sunday, July 8 2012, Waillatpu Mission, Summer to Fall 1847; Saturday, July 21, The Waillatpu Massacre, November 29, 1847; and Sunday, August 5, After the Massacre at Waiilatpu.
There are two good books in the Greater Victoria Public Library, which tell us more about this period of time and also show the drawings he made, of Fort Nez Perce and the Waillatpu Mission itself.
One of them will also tell you how badly the missionary, Marcus Whitman, treated the Native men who hated him.
But most importantly, to this post, is his description of the journey across the mountains into the Columbia district.

These following quotes come from the book, Paul Kane, the Artist: Wilderness to Studio, by Kenneth R. Lister [Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2010] -- a beautiful book.
[97] "Over a three-day period [in 1846], Kane descended from The Committee's Punch Bowl down to Boat Encampment on showshoes.
"During his descent, he had to wade across stretches of river a torturous seventeen times.

[His journal reads:] "The water was up to my middle, running very rapidly, and filled with drift ice, some pieces of which struck me, and nearly forced me down the stream.
""I found on coming out of the water my capote and leggings frozen stiff.
""My difficulties, however, were only beginning, as I was soon obliged to cross again four times, when, my legs becoming completely benumbed, I dared not venture on the fifth, until I had restored the circulation by running up and down the beach. [end of journal quote]"

"On reaching Boat Encampment, he found that the brigade had been waiting thirty-nine days for his arrival.
"Due to the lateness of the season, the men were more than anxious to begin their descent of the River.
"Boat Encampment was a staging point, or rendezvous, on the Upper Columbia River.
"The name refers to the time when explorer David Thompson wintered there, and during the early months of 1811, he and his men built a plank boat.
"Here is where the westbound brigades continued their journey in boats after crossing the Athabasca Pass and where the eastbound brigades faced the climb up to The Committee's Punch Bowl and then the descent down to the Athabasca River.
"Often brigades needed to wait at Boat Encampment, as Kane himself experienced, for those brigades travelling from the opposite direction, which could be delayed by the rigours of the journey....."

And so we will continue with the last journal of the incoming Columbia express.

Journal of a Trip to York Factory with Express, Spring 1848:
Tuesday 10th [October] Beautiful day. Started from Jasper's House late in the afternoon with a band of 34 horses, 27 of which were loaded. Encamped about 2 miles above the Lake, sent off the guide with two men to arrange the boat at the Grand Traverse. Got 6 bags of Pemican and some fresh meat from Mr. Fraser. Four of our men who have sore feet and legs are on horseback. The three men from Edmonton cross the Mountains with us to bring back the horses and Mr. [John Lee] Lewes' property.
Wednesday 11th. Beautiful warm weather. Started from our encampment early am. Went on very well. Encamped at a small River a short distance below Prairie de .....
Thursday 12th. Rained during the night, but continued fair during the day. Got to the Grand Traverse about 10 am and crossed without taking off the loads. Michel & the two others had arranged the boat, but we did not require it. The road beyond the Grand Traverse are very bad, and we had a great many trees to clear out of the way. Encamped at the Campement d'Original, but it was late when we got there.
Friday 13th. Began raining before daylight, and continued so the whole day, but we went on nevertheless. Went  on very well in spite of the snow, and encamped at Mr. Rousseau's encampment.
Saturday 14th. Snowed the whole of last night and this morning there was upwards of 6 inches of snow on the ground. Brightened up in course of the day, but the melting of the snow rendered the roads miserable. Got to the first Batture at the foot of the Grand Cote.
Sunday 15th. Beautiful weather. I started ahead this morning for the Boat Encampment. When I arrived about 3 pm. found C. F. Lewes & family, Mrs. [Francis] Ermatinger & daughter, Mrs. Fraser & family and Mr. Angus McDonald waiting for us there, to cross the mountains with horses which we have brought. They have been here for only 6 days, having taken 20 days to come up from Colvile. About an hour after dark Mr. Beardmore & the brigade arrived, except 3 of the laziest who have fallen behind, and can not come up tonight. Mr. Lewes brought up two boats from Colvile, and there are 7 engaged men and 5 Indians to go back with us, also Mr. Frazer's family.

You will see that John Lee Lewes appears to leave the Columbia district twice -- first in 1847 when his possessions are taken out over the mountains.
He actually remained in charge of Fort Colvile for the next six months because of illness, which meant that Alexander Caulfield Anderson was able to go out with the New Caledonia brigades, leading them to Fort Langley over the newly opened but unfinished Anderson River trail.
As I said about this outgoing brigade, in my speech at the Author's Celebration in November 2011:
"The journey out to Fort Langley was a chaotic disaster -- the return journey to Kamloops no better.
"Horses fell from cliff tops carrying valuable trade goods with them, and frustrated fur traders had fist fights while voyageurs deserted Fort Langley for an easier life in the California gold fields, and one man took his own life rather than tackle the return journey home!
"The following year proved equally difficult, and three or four years passed before the fur traders had a reasonable, if not entirely satisfactory, trail into the interior forts from Fort Langley...."
But all these stories are told in my book, The Pathfinder: A.C. Anderson's Journeys in the West.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jasper's House to Boat Encampment, probably part 1

A short history of Jasper's House: it began its history under the name of Rocky Mountain House, in 1813 -- and it was a North West Company post.
Its first location was probably on the outlet of Brule Lake, near its junction with Solomon Creek (now on the eastern edge of Jasper National Park0.
At that time there were two posts named Rocky Mountain House (the other near the modern-day town of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta), and so the northern most post adopted the name of Jasper's House, for postmaster Jasper Hawse, who ran it until 1817.
In 1830, the Hudson's Bay Company, who had taken over the assets of the North West Company in 1821, moved Jasper's House west, to the north shore of Jasper Lake.
So in the previous posts you will see some travellers who arrive at the old post on Brule Lake, and some who travel a few miles west to the post's new location.
Most of this above information comes from Parks Canada website: go to National Historic Sites/Jasper House.
They have some very good images of the old house itself, in 1872 and of the stupendous mountains that surrounded it.
After 1853 the York Factory express no longer travelled over the mountains, and Jasper's House fell into disuse.

So, let us depart Jasper's House for good, and travel west over the mountains to Boat Encampment.
Just so you know you will see the word "batture" fairly often in these postings.
A batture is a gravel bar on the sides of the river and running under it -- like a sand bar.

Journal of a voyage across the Continent of North America in 1826 by Aemilius Simpson, R. N.:
Saturday 7th [October] A very sharp frost during the night followed by great heat throughout the day. I employed myself in the forenoon with the assistance of Mr. [George] Barnston, in measuring the height of [Miette] Rock, the remarkable mountain whose northern termination falls perpendicularly and forms the southern boundary of the grand defile through which our route lays. At its entry this mountain has its name from a Canadian who [once] had ascended to its summit, when he sat down on the edge of the precipice nearly four thousand feet high & felt so little apprehension that he amused himself by scraping his heels against the rock -- he must be very credulous that believes this story.... The outfit for this post having been delivered and our arrangements completed we embarked at half an hour past noon & pursued our journey to the Rocky Mountain portage -- Messrs. [James] Macmillan, [James] Birnie & Drummond with a few men accompanied the horse brigade for the same place. The river in all directions presents a continuing mass of snow clad hills towering their lofty summits in [word] ranges than out ... this is truly sublime. We continued our ascent of Mt. Athabasca, occasionally opposed by rapids alternating with sheets of comparatively still water -- until 6 pm, when we encampt for the night at the base of Miettes Rocks up on a grouse [gravel?] flat or Batture...
Sunday 8th. Fine and clear weather, embarked at 5 am and continued our ascent of the Athabasca. On having gone for a few miles we entered a small lake which was so shallow that we had considerable difficulty in finding a passage through it. I had to make a portage over some sand bars, which detained us considerably. The proper channel lies along the mountains on our right.... Additional ranges of mountains present themselves far exceeding in height those we have already passed or in our immediate neighbourhood, one particularly to the south covered with snow a great distance from its summit. At 2 pm we met the men who were proceeding for Jasper's House with an express from the west side of the mountain portage. As it was now unnecessary for them to proceed, their communication being directed to the gentleman in charge of our brigade, they embarked with us. At 6.15 am we arrived at the encampment from which we were to commence our land journey across the mountain and the point of separation from the brigade for New Caledonia. The weather throughout the day was fine with cold & strong gusts of wind [blowing] from the deep gullies or valleys... As we approached our encampment, the pine became limited to one kind, the scrub pine, a Pinus Banksiana -- thinly [spread] over meadow face of country forming a narrow strip along the base of the mountains.
Monday 9th. Fine and clear weather. At noon our land party & horses arrived bringing with them a supply of moose deer meat & mountain sheep. The latter is very good meat, much resembling in taste & flavour the highland mutton... This day has been occupied in making arrangement for our journey across the portage & the separation of the brigades for the Columbia & New Caledonia, the latter pursue a route that has thitherto been passed by few, report says it is a good one which soon leads them to the head waters of the Fraser River.
Tuesday 10th. A sharp frost during the night with fine and clear weather. The luggage and horses having been sent across the river to [word] Plain, we wish our friend Messr. MacGillivray & MacDougall and the rest of the Brigade for New Caledonia a farewell and commenced our journey across the portage at 10 am, our party consisting of Messrs. MacMillan, Birnie, Barnston, Sinclair, Drummond & myself with twenty four men and boys, having nineteen horses to convey the luggage and passengers. We continue our journey until 2 pm. when we encampt in a small plain, extending from base to base of the bounding mountains with a small stream meandering through it. It is named the Buffalo Encampment. Our route has been by a tolerably good track, the path thro' the wood being clear with a good hard footing for our horses, & no precipices of great importance. The weather during the day was pleasant.
Wednesday 11th. Commenced with hail and rain showers in the [morning], snow on the mountains. At 6 am we resumed our journey. At 8 we arrived on the banks of the Athabasca where we waited the arrival of a canoe that had been dispatched from [Jasper] House for the purpose of crossing our luggage & that being completed at 11 we pursued our journey, our route leading thro' a flat and woody face of country with a great quantity of burnt wood strewed over the surface for about five miles, when we arrived at another branch of the Athabasca, a narrow but deep and rapid stream which we forded with some difficulty. From here we continue our track leading along the banks of this stream principally. We occasionally ascend pretty steep eminences & pass three [thro'?] thick woods, interspersed by swamps or marshes into which the poor horses sink with their loads, and costs a great deal of labour to extricate the poor animals from their disagreeable situation. Having come about 18 miles we encampt at the Moose Deer encampment situated on a flat or batture through which the river has its course, bounded by immense mountains whose summit appear almost vertical to us. The evening is fine.
Thursday 12th. Cold weather with occasional showers of hail and rain. Commenced march at daylight, and continue travelling until 3 pm., having come a distance of 25 miles in a winding course to the SW ascending & descending high cliffs alternately, over one of which a horse fell, and the poor animal was so much injured that it was deemed necessary to kill him, an expedient that was not atall disagreeable to our voyageurs, his flesh being consumed by them, a good and seasonable supply of food. The river has now wandered away to a pretty stream, its course very much through flats or battures confined by stupendous mountains, in some places again it forces its way thro' ravines and cliffs of rock....
Friday 13th. The weather commenced cold with snow. On descending the [hills] some distance it turned to rain & on arriving at its bottom the weather became warm and fine, comparatively. We commenced our march at 6.30 am & having come thro' a defile our ground intersected by swamps and small streams or brooks, & bearing a stunted growth of pines, we arrived at the Committees Punch Bowl, which forms the source of the small streams running in opposite directions, one to the West, being one of the sources of the Columbia River, the other to the East, forming the sources of the Athabasca, at present this is only a small & nearly [round?] sheet of water, having the great depth but at certain seasons it forms a considerable surface. About a league beyond here we commenced our descent of the Grande Cote, a precipice [illegible] and which forms a very serious obstacle on the line of communication, and it is only necessary or an arduous spirit of enterprise that could have first induced man to make it a thorough fare, it has almost a perpendicular descent of about five miles, and occupies us two hours and ten minutes. On arriving at its foot and looking back up on the immense mountain, that you have just descended, you cannot [help]feeling some degree of amazement at the feat you have performed and the idea [fixes] itself on the mind, that this is by no means an agreeable barrier between separated friends. How the poor horses with their loads succeeded in getting down this immense hill is most extraordinary, [and] as you descend the mountain the face of the country assumes quite a new character.... From the foot of the Hill we pursued our route along a batture for about 3 1/4 miles when we encampt having come a distance of about 18 miles, over the most difficult & extraordinary road I certainly ever travelled.
Saturday 14th. Commenced gloomy with rain. Proceeded along a batture intersected by various branches of the river which obliges us to cross a number of them, on coming to the foot of this batture we [enter] a wood, there which the track is particularly bad for the great quantity of fallen trees, some of an enormous size lying across the path. In this place there are bogs into which the horses frequently sink, the ascent is trifling however. On getting thro' this wood we arrived on another batture extent by about 5 miles, the stream [begins] to increase considerably in size, rendering the track more difficult. At 2 pm we encampt, all foot travellers & horses having had a very fatiguing days march. In the afternoon the weather was fine with warm winds occasionally,.
Sunday 15th. Rain during the night, at day light we continue our journey & passing over a batture when we forded several considerable branches of the river, [at a distance] of about 2 miles we entered a wood, the point having a considerable elevation & affording a very difficult track from the quantity of fallen timber strewn on it. But the path affords good firm footing for the horses. On getting out of the wood, we arrived at a marsh or swamp of considerable extent covered with long grass & reeds & having with difficulty passed through it, we came to a short point of wood & then to the Boat Encampment at 10 am, terminating our journey across the Rocky Mountain portage. Here the water communication commences again, which is certainly an agreeable change in our mode of travelling. We found Mr. Dease & Mr. Finnan MacDonald here; & a few return servants & families on their way across the Mountains, who were waiting our arrival so as to return with our horses to the other side of the mountains -- the weather during the day was fine.

York Factory Express Journal, 1827, by Edward Ermatinger:
2nd [October]. Fine weather but cool. The 4 canoes were sent off about 8 o'clock this morning to proceed to the Portage, the 2 large ones laden with each 15 packs Leather and 3 Cassettes or cases and manned by 6 men -- and the 2 old ones each 12 packs, 1 Cassette and manned by 5 men. Provisions, 1 bag Pemican pr. canoe. At noon our horses being collected and the baggage tied &c our van marched and the whole party were off from Jasper's by 1 pm. All the gentlemen and families go by land to lighten the canoes. Our pieces for this amount 66 packs Leather and parchment, 18 bags pemican with our private baggage and the number of horses we are to employ on the Portage amount to to 54. We encamped at 5 pm below the point of Miettes Rock, which is high and difficult to pass. The mares are to follow us light to the Portage.
3rd. Fine weather. Started before 8 am and proceeded generally through a good track and encamped at Campement de Cardinalle, a small creek, after descending the hills beyond the 2nd Lake at 5 pm. Apisasis killed two moose near the encampment, which the horses fetch after they arrived from their day's march.
4th. Fine weather. Started before 8 am and arrived at the Portage about noon. On our way thither the hunter killed another moose. We found the people with the canoes and cargoes here before us. They arrived this morning also. The rest of the day employed drying and repacking leather.
5th. Friday. Fine warm weather. Having separated and prepared the Baggage the Columbia people set off about 10 am with 15 horses, 3 employed as saddle horses for Messrs. Todd, Ermatinger, Mr. McLeod's wife and 2 children, the other 12 laden with the following baggage &c:
Cassettes..; paper trunk and small cassette; case and basket; portmandeau; 8 bags pemican; portage straps; kegs sugar biscuit; flour; moose; beds &c &c
Mr. McDouglas has 40 horses to transport his packs &c. Memo of Art given to Mr. McD for his voyage -- 8 bags pemican; 2 canisters tea; 1/2 keg biscuit; 1 moose; sugar; 4 flagons spirits; 1/2 cheese.
Encamped on the banks of the River, having passed Campment des Vaches and a piece of Bad Woods.
6th. Fine warm weather. Started before 8 am and proceeded till 4 when we encamped 3 or 4 miles beyond Campment d'Orignal. Road much encumbered with fallen wood.
7th. Fine weather. Started at 8 am and encamped near the height of land, having passed thro' some very bad swamps and mires during the day. View of the mountains very grand. One ahead all day clearing the road in different places, and as the track is much worse farther on 4 will start early to-morrow morning for the same purpose.
8th. Sharp frost this morning, but day fine. We started between 8 and 9 o'clock and continued our march until near 4 pm, when we encamped on the battures below the Grand Cote. This has certainly been a very labourious day's march for the horses, but the road was never better, we had not the least snow on the way. Apisasis killed a young grizzly bear at the height of land, and one of the men killed a marten on the Big Hill.
9th, Tuesday. Fine weather. Start as usual. Proceeded over Battures and afterwards thro' a point of woods which is one mire from beginning to end and much encumbered with fallen wood. Encamped at the end of the Battures next to the last point of woods, 3 pm.
10th. Fine weather. Started at 7 am and arrived at the end of the Portage about 1/2 past 10. Found J. W. Dease, Esq., and family here. People occupied the remainder of the day making paddles &c.

Though he doesn't actually say it, he has reached the Boat Encampment. His next day's notation says he is in the boats on the Columbia River, and has already passed the Dalles des Morts.

Journal of a Voyage from Norway House to Fort Vancouver, Columbia River, 1831, by George Traill Allen:
Tuesday 27th [September]. We left Klyne's House today at 4 pm with twenty loaded horses exclusive of our riding horses. At sunset we encamped on the borders of a beautiful small lake situated between very high mountains. The scenery which present itself here surpassed everything which I had hitherto seen and made me regret more than once that I was no landscape painter. From this small lake the person in charge of Klyne's House procures generally a sufficient number of whitefish to feed his establishment during a great part of the winter and he who eats the Whitefish has no reason to envy the banquets of a London Alderman.
Wednesday 28th. Our route lay betwixt very lofty mountains and we passed over one of considerable height. In descending a mountain I generally resigned the bridle to my horse and in such cases he never failed to pick out the best and safest track.
Thursday 29th. The same scenery as yesterday presented itself with the difference of much higher mountains.
Friday 30th. Today we entered a point of wood and found the track so blocked up with fallen trees as to render it almost impassible to our horses. The mountains as seen today were really splendid, a thick fog having concealed the base, the summits appear, as it were, to tower above the skies.
Saturday, 1st October. On passing today between the mountains I perceived at some distance large masses of ice suspended as it were in the air, to have a nearer view of which I took a gallop in that direction. Sometimes when the path lies near the base of the mountains that are so bedecked, travelling becomes dangerous by these immense masses suddenly giving way. We heard frequently at a great distance a noise similar to thunder and which we attributed to the ice falling from the mountains. It is not many years since a gentleman had a very narrow escape by one of those masses falling directly behind him.
Sunday 2nd. We descended a very high mountain which occupied us four hours in the descent. It was so very deep that we were obliged to dismount and allow the horses to choose the best and safest track for themselves. On reaching the base of the mountain we found ourselves on the banks of the Columbia River along which we wended our way for a considerable distance and encamped for the night. On looking from our encampment at the mountains down which we had just descended, it seemed almost incredible that we could have done so with loaded or even with light horses.
Monday 3rd. We passed through some points of wood and found the path, if it could be called so, almost blocked up with fallen trees, and where no trees appeared to intercept us, we found morasses in which the poor horses would sink to the belly at every step and found great difficulty in extricating themselves.
Tuesday 4th. We arrived today at the boat Encampment so called from its being the rendezvous where the boats from the west side of the Rocky Mountains come to meet and convey the express from York Factory and Red River down the Columbia. We remained here till the 10th, when Mr. [Francis] Heron, Chief Trader, made his appearance from Fort Colvile with two boats.......

I thought this was the same Francis Heron who afterward spent many years in the Saskatchewan district, under Chief Factor John Rowand -- I was wrong.
An Irishman, Heron served at Fort Colvile from 1829 to 1833, Fort Langley in 1834, and was quickly transferred back to Fort Colvile for a year.
According to Bruce McIntyre Watson, in his books, Lives Lived West of the Divide, Heron had a run in with Dr. John McLoughlin shortly after his first arrival at Fort Colvile, and was found very unpopular.
Governor George Simpson called him "idle and indolent," perhaps because of his drinking problem.
He took a four year furlough in Europe after leaving the Columbia district, and died in 1840.

Though there is a town in British Columbia named Boat Encampment, it is not where the fur traders' boat encampment was.
Their encampment was drowned by a massive hydro-electric project on the Canadian portion of the Columbia River, and now lies under Kinbasket Lake.
But before they flooded this historic site, they photographed it -- and the aerial photograph is in my book on page 30.
To find this photograph (and others) for my book, I spent days in the British Columbia archives pouring through the folders and binders of landscape photos.
It was worth it -- not only did I find this image, which I am not sure many historians are familiar with, I found the portrait of prominent Okanagan chief, Tsilaxitsa, filed away under landscapes!
Even a few of the archival staff were excited by the last find.
It's amazing what can be hidden away for years in the archives, to be uncovered, discovered, and identified by historians or researchers.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

West to Jasper House, part two

We will begin again, continuing the journey from Fort Assiniboine to tiny Jasper's House, sometimes called Klyne's House, as you have seen in the previously published journals.
How many days did it usually take to make the journey from Assiniboine to Jasper? -- in Simpson's journal of 1826 they took only 11 days to travel from Assiniboine to Jasper's, according to my last posting.
Edward Ermatinger's 1827 journal indicates their upriver travels took 11 days, and George Traill Allen also recorded the same length of time for their upriver journey.
But as you have seen by the last posting, James Douglas' upriver voyage in 1835 was done in boats, and according to him, it was the first time they had used boats rather than canoes for this part of the journey.
It will be interesting to see how many days longer the boats will take (if any), and how many difficulties they will have in the strong currents of this rapid-filled river.

Diary of a Journey from Fort Vancouver in 1835, by James Douglas:
Saturday 26th [September] At 3 o'clock left Fort Assiniboine with 3 of the boats, 9 men in each and encamped at the lower end of the Grand Bas-Fond. Experienced no unusual difficulty in ascending even the strongest points. Fine clear weather.
Sunday 27. Proceeded on our journey at the dawn of day at 8 o'clock. Passed Compass Point and afterward Sled Point at 12, and encamped 5 miles above the Lower end of Big Island. Fine weather.
Monday 28. No accident occurred during the day. Boats rather weight[y?] in the strong points, a very harassing day's work for the men. Encamped 9 miles above the Great Bend. Fine warm weather. A violent southerly wind in the evening.
[Tuesday 29]. A very boisterous wind which sounded loud & shrill among the rigid boughs of the now leafless trees caused us some degree of alarm during the night, as large portions of the forest are frequently overturned by violent storms of wind. Our progress was not so great as yesterday, owing to the increased rapidity of the stream. Encamped above McLeod Forks.
Wed. 30. A violent westerly wind retarded us considerably this day. Saw a few Assiniboines yesterday, and another party today. The former provided us with some fresh meat. Observed several horizontal beds of coal projecting from the perpendicular banks. Encamped a few miles above Hogg's Island at a place which we have named 100 miles point, such being the computed distance from Assiniboine.
Thursday 1st, October. A slight frost made the early part of the morning disagreeable both to passengers and to the poor men who are, notwithstanding the cold, under the necessity of plunging into the water when dragging the Boat along by the line. The river in many places is very strong, with intervals of smooth water. Distance performed 23 1/2 miles. Encamped 45 miles below Baptiste's River. Saw a red deer crossing the river, but at too great a distance to be shot.
Friy 2. Rained slightly during the early part of the day. The weather cleared up in the evening and the air became somewhat chilly. Distance 20 miles. Encamped a few miles above Heron's Island on an island covered with pines.
Sat. 3. Fine weather but rather cold particularly in the morning. At 7 o'clock arrived at Cache of Leather made by the party last summer who were prevented by the sudden and uncommon rise of the water from conveying it to Mountain. They have left here 18 pieces forming 6 pieces additional for each of our boats. Our tracking lines are too weak to drag the boats up the strong impetuous currents which we are constantly encountering. Encamped 3 miles below Baptiste River.
Sunday 4. Frost during the night, but the cold moderated in the morning. Slight rain in the early part of the day. Experienced considerable difficulty in ascending Califond's River. Encamped on the pine island above Birch Island.
Mony. 5. Very mild morning and very warm during the day. Our progress tediously slow owing to the number of rapids which we had to ascend. The boat lines are too weak for such plans [sic -- places?] and the consequence is a very great loss of time, as the three lines must be attached to the same boat. If we venture to bring them up singly they snap like cobweb. Encamped on 200 miles Island.
Tues. 6. Slight frost during the morning but the day remarkably fine & pleasant. Our difficulties commenced immediately on leaving the encampment and it was 5 o'clock in the evening before we reached the comparatively smooth water above Rapide des Morts. In ascending Rapide Platte just as one of the boats was toiling up the steepest part the towing lines broke, and 2 men had rather a narrow escape from drowning. Encamped 4 miles above Old Man's River.
Wed. 7. Fair weather. Encamped 6 miles above Maypole Island.
Thurs. 8. Encamped 4 miles below the lower lake.
Friy. 9. Reached Klyne's at 6 pm.

So James Douglas' upriver journey took some thirteen days -- not too shabby!
Let's see what happens in the future -- in Thomas Lowe's journals of 1847 and 1848.

Journal of a Trip from Vancouver to York Factory, Spring 1847, by Thomas Lowe, in charge of party:
Friday, October 1st. Very cloudy and cold. Started from Assinaboine early this morning, and as the water is in a fine state, made a good distance. As no one in the Brigade is acquainted with any of the remarkable places in the River, it will be impossible for me to mark the encampment.
Saturday 2nd. Still cloudy, but kept fair until the evening, when it began to rain & blow, and continued so during the night. Made a good day's work.
Sunday 3rd. Beautiful weather. Got up as far as the place where the Otter Packs were sent back by Mr. Lane last year, when he found he could proceed with them no farther.
Monday 4th. Fine weather. Passed McLeod's River about noon, and encamped a good distance beyond. Rained during the night.
Tuesday 5th. Dull cloudy weather, and a little rain. Came the usual distance. In the forenoon passed the Cache that Mr. McDonald made three years ago.
Wednesday 6th. Beautiful day. The River has risen considerably, and we made slower progress.
Thursday 7th. Very cloudy the whole day, and a little rain. A very great rise in the river. Passed Beaver River in the forenoon, which falls into the Athabasca on the right hand.
Friday 8th. Rained the whole day, and so heavy in the afternoon that we had to encamp.
Saturday 9th. Kept fair today, but the River is now so high that it is very difficult work, and there is no appearance of its falling. Killed a moose deer this evening, which is a very [seasonable] supply, as our pemmican is nearly finished.
Sunday 10th. Fine weather. Passed Baptiste's River early in the forenoon. The Athabasca rose last night about 6 inches.
Monday 11th. Fair and warm during the day, but very cold last night. As we are short of provisions, Mr. McKenzie & Chastellain started to walk to Jasper's House in order to obtain a supply & bring it down to meet us on the way. Made very little progress on account of the high water.
Tuesday 12th. Fine day. This morning at breakfast time Mr. McKenzie & Chastellain came back saying that they found it impossible to advance through the woods, and that they were confident they could not reach Jasper's House sooner than the boats. As our situation is becoming very unpleasant on account of the want of provisions, I sent off Michel the Guide alone. The boats made better progress today as the water is falling a little.
Wednesday 13th. Fine weather. Made slow progress, as we were in a rapids the whole day, and had to cut a road in many places to haul the line. Passed the Rapid Croche and the Rapid de Mort in the afternoon.
Thursday 14th. Rained most of the day. Passed Old Man's River in the forenoon, and made good progress, not so many Rapids today.
Friday 15th. Fine weather. Came in sight of the Rocky Mountains at breakfast time. Shortly afterwards met Michel the Guide coming down the river on a raft to meet us. Finding the road almost impassible he turned back this morning, having gained but a short distance on the boats, although he has been walking for three days. He had killed a large red deer however, which will serve the people for a couple of days. Came a good distance today.
Saturday 16th. Snowing the whole day. This is the first snow we have had this season. Came a good distance as there were few rapids, and good places all the way for tracking.
Sunday 17th. Exceedingly cold weather, and snowing at intervals during the day. Had to put ashore before breakfast to make fires for the men, owing to the severity of the weather. Encamped within a short distance of the lake.
Monday 18th. Weather cold and clear. Breakfasted at the entrance of the lake where we found a good deal of broken ice. Had a strong head wind in the Lake, but succeeded in getting through it, and encamped at the Rocher de Miette.
Tuesday 19th. Cold disagreeable weather. The last of our provisions of every description was finished this morning, as we have been obliged to give all our mess stores to the men. Arrived at Jasper's House a little after noon.

In 1847, Thomas Lowe started his upriver journey later than was usual, and he took four days longer than James Douglas did.
It took Thomas Lowe 17 days to travel from Fort Assiniboine to Jasper's House in 1847.
You will notice that Lowe said that no one knew the names of the places along the river this year, and that is an indication of what was then happening in the fur trade -- the old-timers were dying off or retiring, and the few newcomers, who were joining the fur trade, had no idea of what they were in for.
The times were changing, and the express journals of these later years reflect this change.

Journal from Vancouver to York Factory with Express, Spring 1848, by Thomas Lowe:
[a long blank in the journal after Monday 11th, but they don't appear to be too far away from Fort Assiniboine, I believe].
Sept. 24th, Sunday. Fine warm day. In the forenoon while the men were walking ashore following the boat, a chocolate Bear which was running up from the water side found himself in the midst of them, and was so taken by surprise that he jumped upon one Norman Smith, and before he could be frightened off by the others had inflicted a very severe wound on his forehead, and with his tooth besides two or three smaller ones below the eyes. But nothing very dangerous. Made very good progress today, and marched about two hours up La Crosse Isle.
Monday 25th. Fine weather. Breakfasted near the end of La Cross Isle, and encamped at the further end of the Long Reach.
Tuesday 26th. Exceedingly warm, and the River has risen a little in consequence. In the afternoon we saw several freemen a little below McLeod's Forks. They had only half a beaver to give us. Two of the Jasper's House men got a small canoe from them, and are to go ahead in it. Encamped about a mile above McLeod's Forks.
Wednesday 27th. Strong head wind all day, but very warm. The two men who started ahead yesterday broke their canoe, and we embarked them again late in the afternoon. Encamped at Mr. McDonald's Cache.
Thursday 28th. Rather cloudy most of the day but no rain. Came on very well today, as there are fewer Islands, and better tracking ground.
Friday 29th. Fine day. Breakfasted at the Grand Point opposite a small river which falls into the Athabasca on the right bank. About 2 pm. passed the Beaver River, and encamped on an Island a good piece beyond.
Saturday 30th. Cloudy all day, but no rain until the afternoon when we had a thunder storm. Shortly after breakfast came to an encampment of 3 lodges of freemen, but they were all off, as I supposed, to bring home meat. Here we took a canoe which Mr. Colin Fraser has got made for himself, and put 6 men and 4 bags of Pemican in it. It will accompany us for the present.
Sunday, Oct. 1st. Raining nearly all day, but not cold. Encamped at Baptiste's River.
Monday 2nd. Snowing most of the day, and cold. A strong current all day, and made poor progress. Encamped on an Island where there was a [word] lodge.
Tuesday 3rd. Clear cold weather. Made poor progress in the morning, but got on better afterwards. Encamped about 20 miles above a large open space on the right bank which has been burned long since, and now forms a paradise. Encamped left side.
Wednesday 4th. Very cold in the morning, but warming during the day. Very strong current. In the forenoon had to put ashore to have Charlebois' boat repaired, as he damaged it yesterday in a Rapid. Stopped there about three hours. Encamped upon Canoe Island.
Thursday 5th. Same weather as yesterday. Breakfasted at the bottom of Rapid [word]. Encamped about a mile below the Mountain View.
Friday 6th. Fine clear weather. This morning Mr. Colin Fraser started ahead for Jasper's House in the canoe with 5 men light, and expects to get there in three days. Made good progress today as there were few rapids & good tracking ground.
Saturday 7th. Fine weather, not cold. Came on very well today, and encamped at the foot of the Rapids below the Lake.
Sunday 8th. Beautiful day. Breakfasted at the commencement of the Lake, and as we had a good deal of trouble afterwards in finding the channel spent the day in the Lake, and encamped about 2 miles up the River. It was fortunately calm weather, which is a very unusual thing in this Lake.
Monday 9th. Fine weather. Arrived at Jasper's House about 3 pm. and had the boats unloaded at once on the opposite side of the river. Mr. Fraser arrived here with the canoe yesterday. Had a dance tonight at the House, and there was no want of women as there are about a dozen lodges of freemen here.

In 1848, Thomas Lowe is not clear on what date he left Fort Assiniboine (he arrived at Edmonton on the 30th of September and makes no mention of the traverse across the portage).
If we presume that he left Assiboine on the first date mentioned in his journal, then he took 15 days to journey upriver to Jasper's House.
Likely, his journey took longer than that.
I told you in an earlier posting about the fur trade film that is just being put together -- The Return of the Far Fur Country. (See: www.returnfarfurcountry.ca for more information on this upcoming film).
In the preview of this film they showed an image of the men dragging their boats (or scows) up the Athabasca River.
It was an amazing image, and the image that had the greatest impact on me.
It looked like unbelievably hard work -- and I believe it was.
No wonder these fellows took so long to make their way between Fort Assiniboine and Jasper's House!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Modern day book marketing

I receive quite a few emails from my readers, who are either asking me for information, or telling me they enjoyed the book.
The most recent writer told me that he is an avid armchair historian who reads and collects books on the fur trade.
He found my book and also follows the blog, and has enjoyed the last few posts.
"I live in Edmonton," he says, "and [the journals, recently on the blog] really adds to some knowledge on Fort Edmonton."
"Thanks for bringing the fur trade history to us."

I appreciate every comment I get from readers and enjoy all of them.
There are a number of places that these comments would be very useful, in introducing my book to others who might read about the fur trade.
This is the new reality -- people don't shop in bookstores, they "shop" on the internet.
And so the author has to adjust their marketing too, to reach these new shoppers.

So, here, below, I am listing the various author pages I have set up on the internet:

Amazon Books, at www.amazon.com, or www.amazon.ca 
Find the book and comment on it, or find the author page under "Nancy Marguerite Anderson"
Amazon is making the news right now, for removing some of the comments made on authors books.
This happens when they find that shoppers, unhappy with their purchase, post numerous multiple negative reviews -- or when family members of the author (or the author him/her self) posts numerous five-star reviews.
So be fair in your review. Post only once; and be believable.
I think those of you who have the very common Anderson name as surname, will have to be especially careful to not be identified as a family member!
If you wish, mention the blog, too. It is mentioned on the site, but I have to figure out how to get the RSS feed so it shows up (the other sites just loaded it without any special problems).
Setting up all of these pages took quite a while, so I hope they work!

Good Reads, at www.goodreads.com and again, find either the book, or the "Nancy Marguerite Anderson" author page.

Library Thing, at www.librarything.com and find your way to the author page, which will be under Nancy Marguerite Anderson.

Shelfari, at www.shelfari.com and find your way to my author page, under "Nancy Marguerite Anderson" (or, of course, look for the book).
I think I don't have my photograph up on their page yet, but it will get there when I have the time.

The above are the major places where authors can set up author pages (and where I have set up pages).
But there are a number of other sites with author pages and places where you can comment on the book -- though I haven't necessarily set up pages yet.
These are at:
www.booktalk.org
www.writers.net
www.absolutewrite.com
and www.kindleboards.com -- I have found a positive comment on kindleboards already.

Every little bit helps, so I thank you ahead of time for your input, comments, gold stars, etc. etc. (but don't go overboard!)
Many of you are descendants of fur traders -- A descendant of James Murray Yale once thanked me for writing "our history."
Which is what I feel I am doing -- I am writing the shared history of all the fur trade descendants.
Alexander Caulfield Anderson's story is every fur trade descendants' story.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

From Assiniboine to Jasper House, by the Athabasca River

You will notice that everyone in these following journals mentions their first view of the mighty Rocky Mountains.
Alexander Caulfield Anderson also remembers his first sighting, and wrote of it in the years that followed -- I will take what he had to say from his unpublished manuscript "British Columbia," in the British Columbia Archives.
Before this he has been speaking of his mid-winter Leather Pass journey in 1835 --
"I have introduced this account to illustrate the facility of passing the mountains by the route in question, partly; and partly because it enables me to refer to the subject to which I have already alluded in a preceding page.
"I mean to the fact that, for some anomalous reason, large tracts of valley remain bare, or almost bare, of snow during the winter, nothwithstanding that the country around is deeply covered.
"Thus in ascending the Athabasca, on reaching what is called the "Vue de la Montage," where the first grand outline of the Rocky Mountains bursts upon the view, the snow suddenly ceases, and so continues, along the country bordering on the river, fifty miles to Jasper's.
"This was our experience of 1835; and I believe it to be generally characteristic of other winters.
"Around Jasper's the snow never accumulates during the winter.
"There is constant grass, and the large herds of horses formerly kept there roamed over an extensive valley some thirty miles or more in length, from Autumn to spring and from Spring to autumn, in all the plenitude of pasture..."

What he says is true -- the warm Chinook wind from the west affects the weather in this part of the world and melts the snow.
It is the same Chinook wind that Calgary enjoys -- it just doesn't travel west as far as Edmonton.
Chinook wind -- I think I have told you before that it was my great-great-grandfather, James Birnie (who appears in Aemilius Simpson's journal) that gave the name of "Chinook" to the warm west wind that blew from the coast, probably while he was at Spokane House.
Do I know if this is true? I do not. But this interesting little fact appears in a descendant's biography/family history in Oregon Historical Society archives.

Journal of a Voyage across the Continent of North America in 1826 by Aemilius Simpson, R. N.:
Monday 25th [September]. The course of the river is very winding... the current is very rapid, we advanced against it solely by the poles & travel about 3 miles per hour. The scenery very much resembles that on the Saskatchewan as we approach Edmonton, beyond a margin of low land, high cliffs take their rise. The [surface] of the country [is] wooded, consisting of varieties of pine, the birch, and poplar. On first embarking we passed an island extending a considerable distance below & above the post -- the channel forming it is small & full of drift wood at its entry & the same same which we crossed on our horses, coming to Assiniboine but a dense fog, preventing my getting a good view on embarking. The motion of the canoe, in consequence of the constant use of the poles, renders my compass almost useless.... A sharp frost with clear weather during the night, but a thick fog came on in the morning which continued until 11 am. Our arrangements being completed we embarked at 9 am. & pursued our route up the Athabasca River, our brigade being distributed into three canoes very deeply laden as we are to make comparatively quick progress to what we did in the boats ascending the Saskatchewan. And our Canadian crews appearing well pleased with the change they are much more [pleased], and understand the management of the birch canoes much better than the boats. To the passengers, however, the change I think offers no advantage, the heavy lading reduces our room to very small bounds. Noon, fine clear weather. At 4 pm. came up with a small canoe which we had dispatched the previous Saturday with Baptiste, an old Iroquois & 3 other hands to make their way in company with the boat sent on the same day -- but she proved so leaky that they have not [often] been able to make further progress. It being necessary to repair this canoe we encampt at 5 pm. The evening clear & frosty.
Tuesday 26th. A sharp frost during the night. A thick fog in the morning which continues until 9 am...
Wednesday 27th. A frost during the night followed by a thick fog in the morning which continued until 7 am. We embarked at 5 am. & continued our ascent of the Athabasca.
Thursday 28th. A light frost am. Clear weather in the morning being free from fog. One of our canoes, Mr. Douglas, not having come up with us since the accident of yesterday we continued in our encampment to wait her arrival which she did at 10 am...
Friday 29th. A frost during the night with a slight fog in the morning followed by fine pleasant weather during the day.  [Our brigade] not having met with any accidents have made a good days distance, having come about 10 leagues. We encampt at 6 pm. We heard a musket fired a short distance above us which we concluded was Linton from Mr. [James] Birnie's boat to acquaint us with their situation.
[So my great-great-grandfather, James Birnie, took the first boat up the river -- the one that was accompanied by the leaky canoe that fell behind, and George Linton, who was later murdered on the Fraser River south of Fort George, was with him]
Saturday 30th. Frost with fine clear weather. Embarked at 5 am. At 7 we came up with Mr. Birnie's boat, altho' she had left Assiniboine two days before us. [This proves] thus the superiority of the Birch canoe over any other [kind] of craft for this kind of navigation. Noon fine. In hauling above a rapid Mr. Douglas' canoe got broke, the frequent accidents to his canoe proceed I suppose from the [lack] of skill in his steersman & bowsman. We encampt at [time] with the boat in company.
October, Sunday 1st. Fine clear weather, soft haze from the south. A party was dispatched by land for Jasper's House, consisting of Messrs. Birnie, Linton & Sinclair, with one man, two boys & a guide, .. at 4.50 this am. We passed the junction of Baptists River, a considerable stream on the opposite side of the Assinaboine, a remarkable & steep cliff bound it. The face of the country presents a dense forest consisting of [trees] of the pine principally. We encampt at 5.30 pm.
Monday, 2nd. Fine and soft weather. We met a grizzly bear this morning on the bank of the river, he very deliberately stood & looked at us in our canoe as if intending to choose one of us for his prey, but Mr. MacMillan wounding him he scampered off to the [woods]. He was followed for some distance but without success as he made his escape good. Our breakfast situation of this morning was a very romantic one, the opposite shore being a very high cliff composed of a fine quality of [granite?] about 300 feet high. Washed at its base by a rapid...
Tuesday, 3rd. A light fog in the morning, but pleasant weather throughout the day. We embarked & continued our ascent until 9 when we arrived at the camp of a party of Strong Wood Assiniboine, we put ashore to breakfast and got a supply of Moose Deer meat from these hospitable Indians. The boat having fallen far in the rear we waited here until 2 pm. The Indians appeared well pleased to have our society, and their appearance was certainly better calculated to [impress] a stranger in their favour than most I have yet seen in the country. They were neatly dressed, their robes of leather being clean and fantastically ornamented & their persons generally bespoke a cleanliness of habit...
Wednesday 4th. Commenced gloomy with rain. We waited the arrival of the boat until 8 am, when we embarked, but had only proceeded a short distance to the first rapids... when two of our canoes came in contact which damaged us so much that we were immediately obliged to put on shore to repair. That being finished & having breakfasted we pursued our journey & got above the Cross Rapids when the river became comparatively still. Noon, showers. One of our canoes having got broke by striking a stone we encampt at 5 pm. which enabled to boat to come up with us in the evening.
Thursday 5th. This morning thick fog which cleared up at 9 am. As we came in sight of the Rocky Mountains in the SW, their lofty summits towering up to the vaulted heavens seemed to be defiant to the efforts of man to [cross] their eminences.... The weather throughout the day has been pleasant, a cool breeze blowing off the mountains. Our crews have pushed hard today, taking only four rests during the day's labour and as we no longer waited for the boat we soon left her out of sight behind. We encampt at 6.15 pm, it being dark.
Friday 6th. A very fine clear morning at the dawn, the distant view of the mountains had a very fine effect, their lefty and rug'd summits circumscribing the distant horizon, and their dark blue tent forming a firm contrast with the rich azure sky. We embarked at 5 am. and continued our ascent of the Athabasca. At noon our canoe got broke by striking a hidden rock, obliging us to put on shore immediately to repair, which occupied us until 1 pm, when we again pursued our journey and arrived at Jasper's House at 3 pm, having taken twelve days to perform the journey from Assinaboine House, a distance by estimation of 285 miles, the course of the river being particularly winding, with a very strong current & frequent rapids occurring.... We found our land party here, who had arrived only this morning. They report the track by land to be most difficult and laborious, leading through extensive forests, they frequently lost themselves & the great quantity of burnt wood strewed over the face of the country in many places was a formidable obstruction. We found Mr. Drummond here, a gentleman connected with the Polar expedition, whose remarks in this quarter are directed to the acquirement of botanical specimens which he considered a more likely situation to afford a supply of these than the [barren] shores of the Polar seas. He proposes crossing the mountains with our brigade, a trip that is likely to reward him well for his labour. There are forty horses collected here for the purpose of transporting our brigade across the mountains.

Now that I have introduced George Linton in this story, let me complete the story -- with information from Bruce Watson's Lives Lived West of the Divide:
Linton was born in London and joined the fur trade of the North West Company in 1818.
Between 1823-1830 he worked for the HBC in the Athabasca district at Edmonton, Fort Assiniboine and Lesser Slave Lake.
In 1831 he was transferred to the Columbia district (and so this year might only have been travelling west with the brigade as far as Jasper's -- we will have to see).
Governor Simpson described him this way: "A stout strong square built fellow who would have made a very good figure in the Prize Ring being an excellent bruiser, has a good deal of the Manner of a man accustomed to live by his Wits, and I suspect is out of a bad nest. A low Knowing Kind of fellow who is neither a good Clerk nor Trader -- has no prospects of advancement."
Linton worked at Fort George, New Caledonia, until the late fall of 1835 when he and his family were transferred to Fort Alexandria -- he just missed meeting Alexander Caulfield Anderson at Fort George in late 1835, in fact.
Early in November, George Linton and Westayap Campbell and families set out for his new posting in their canoes.
Both families disappeared (Linton's dog returned to Fort George, I believe) and were believed drowned, but a different story emerged in 1838 when a Native woman, who had fled her own village after her husband's death, arrived at Fort George seeking protection.
The Lintons and Campbells set up camp near a Native village, where Campbell purchased a dog for which he had not paid enough, in the dog owners' opinions.
So Campbell killed the dog and put it in his canoe.
In retaliation, the Natives shot Campbell and then Linton, while Linton was attempting to pull his gun to defend himself -- the fur traders' wives and children were then systemically murdered with guns and knives and their bodies thrown into the mighty Fraser River.
Finally the Natives damaged the canoes, so that any fur traders travelling downriver to discovered what had happened to Linton, would believe he had died by accidental drowning.

Journal of a Voyage from York Factory to Fort Vancouver, Columbia River, 1827, by Edward Ermatinger:
20th [September]. Fine weather. Our canoes being ready we embarked at 1/2 past 9 am. with the lading as follows:
Boat No. 1: 9 packs leather, 1 barrel biscuit, 2 cassettes pp. 1 cassette paper trunk, 2 kegs tea and sugar, 1 portmandeau, 2 case and basket...
Boat No. 2: 8 packs leather, 3 cassettes, 1 bag flour, 1 keg sugar, 1 bag ball, 1 roll tobacco [rest omitted]
[For those of you who are searching for your ancestors, I am including a list of passengers and crews.]
Passengers: Dr. Todd and Mr. Ermatinger, Mr. Geo. McDougall and wife, Family of A.R. McLeod, and A. Ogies (2 women, 4 children), Michael Klyne and family (wife and 4-5 children).
Crews: Michel Otatame, Pierre Karagangate, L. Ogsin, H. Lacharite, P. Gilbot, P. Therrien, A. Eno, Jos. Lapierre, J. B. Jollibois, J. B. Obichon, X.. Seguin, Loyer, Jos. Roquebrune, P. Desaire, F. LaFrance, L. Leblanc, P. Bouche, F. Lepine, J. Simpson, Bouisseau, Baptiste Iroquois, Jas. Lacharite, A. Ogre, Beaeau, A. Rondeau, Beauchamps, Louis Shargashatsh, Fallardeau, E. Pepin, Picard, Nipisingue.]
Of the foregoing cargoes -- 28 packs of Leather are for New Caledonia and 25 pcs. for Jasper's House outfit. Detained 1 hour pitching canoes. Encamped at 7 pm.
21st, Thursday. Fine weather. Embarked at 5 am and encamped at 7 after mounting a very strong and long Rapid in which Bouche's canoe got broken.
22nd. Rained last night, day overcast. Bouche's canoe having been repaired we started after 6 am having previously exchanged his steersman (Lepine) who finds himself unable to perform his duty in that capacity, his eyesight being bad. At breakfast time we found that the same canoe required more repairs and were consequently delayed four hours more for that purpose -- 2 of the other canoes were also gummed. Afterwards proceeded opposite to McLeod's Branch and encamped at 1/2 past 6 pm. River hitherto very Rapidous.
23rd. Continued raining all last night and ceased this morning at 1/4 past 5. Gummed 3 canoes at breakfast time which delayed us an hour, and afterwards one of the same required gumming again which causes another delay. Encamped 1/4 past 6 pm. Loyer and Picard were off hunting this morning but saw nothing. Jollibois falls sick with a swelling in his throat.
25th, Tuesday. Fine weather. Started at 1/2 past 5 am. Gummed our canoes twice. Encamped at 6 pm. Ascended many strong rapids today. Jollibois still unwell, unable to do duty.
26th. Rain this morning prevented from starting till near 7 o'clock. We then proceeded till 9 when we came up to a camp of Stone Indians (Assiniboine) where we took breakfast and traded with them a little dried provisions. During our stay here one of our canoes regummed. Resumed our journey at 11 am. Shortly after another canoe having got a slight break in one of the rapids, put ashore to gum. Indeed we find all our canoes too much laden to proceed without getting damaged in such strong rapids as we have passed today, and they have so often rubbed on the rocks in them that we were obliged to put ashore at 1/2 past 5 pm. and have them gummed afresh. Passed Riviere a Baptists about 1/2 past 1 o'clock. Picard and Nipisingue, two of the Rocky Mountain freemen, took leave of us this morning -- the former to hunt his way down and the latter to proceed to Jasper's. Altho' these two men disembarked out of one canoe, we find that she goes better with the remaining six than she did before with eight.
27th. Fine day. One of our men (Lafrance) having been seized last night with a violent cholic we could not start as usual. However, about 8 o'clock we made an attempt to continue our voyage, but were soon obliged to put ashore again, the man's illness having much increased. The Doctor gave him a triple dose that took no effect. About 2 pm we were enabled to pursue our voyage. During our stay here several packs which had got wet were opened and dried. Encamped a little after 6 pm having ascended several very strong rapids. Some of the canoes could not mount under the poles and the man had to drag them up. Lafrance still very unwell. Jollibois getting better.
28th, Friday. Fine weather. Started at 1/2 past 5 am. At breakfast time two of our canoes required gumming. We afterwards ascended a chain of rapids to the head of Rapids des Morts where, as our canoes required gumming again, we encamped at 5 pm. At 8 of these rapids which are very strong, three of the canoes were handed up -- only one has been able to ascend under the poles which is owing to the dexterity of the Boutes. Lafrance and Jollibois are on the recovery.
29th. Fine day. Started at 1/2 past 5 am and continued our voyage till past 5 when we camped, just below the Grand Basford, on account of bad weather, it having begun to rain. The river has been less difficult today than heretofore. We had our first view of the Rocky Mountains about noon and should have seen them sooner but for the cloudy weather. Our two men have both recovered and are on duty.
30th. Tolerable weather till evening when it began to rain and afterwards to hail. We started a little after 5 and encamped about 1/2 way up the last string of rapids about 6 pm. Loyer left us this morning to go to the fort.
October, 1st. Overcast. Started before 6 am and having got up a number of Shoal Rapids full of large stones, we arrived at Jasper's House about 10 o'clock. The remainder of the day was occupied remaking packs Leather, gumming the canoes, &c &c. Out of the packs rendered this summer at this place we find about one to be useless. We found on arrival here 3 men from the Columbia with a letter from J[ohn] W[arren] Dease, Esqr., dated from the West end of the Portage, Oct. 25th.

Journal of a Voyage from Norway House to Fort Vancouver, Columbia River, 1831, by George Traill Allen:
Wednesday, 14th [September]. We set off in the canoes. Two gentlemen and nine men in each, and during our voyage which continued thirteen days we encountered many hardships and delays. The river, so shallow and full of sand banks, or as the Canadian call them battures, as to break our frail bark canoes five or six times a day and force us ashore to kindle fires and repair them.
September 23rd. Today we came in sight of the Rocky Mountains and at sunset we had a splendid view of them, their summits towering to the skies and covered with snow. The view of these majestic mountains endowed the scene which had for some days back produced nothing for the eye to rest upon but thick and almost impenetrable woods.
Sunday 25th. On the evening of this day we arrived at Klynes House, a small fort situated in a most romantic valley surrounded on all sides by mountains of immense height, where wild sheep are to be found in considerable abundance. There are two descriptions of these animals -- white and Grey. The flesh of the latter is excellent, but that of the former smells and tastes strongly of murk. We received here a supply of fresh provisions and had an opportunity of drying packages, most of which had got wet in the canoes crossing the numerous rivers that lay in our way.

Thanks to some of our writers who have given us a lot of information about this river journey west,   we have filled six or seven pages -- enough!
I will reserve the following three journals for the next posting -- which might make that a shorter post than I normally make.
But I will finish this posting with another short quote -- a footnote in his prize-winning essay of 1872, The Dominion at the West [you can probably find this in its entirety online].
Miette is the name of the river close to the Jasper's House post, and it was named for the man who Anderson now speaks of; Jasper Klyne is mentioned in a few of the above journals:

"Some of these names are destined to be perpetuated, and in any future account of the Province it might be well to notice them.
"Miette, for example, known in his time as the "Bon-Homme Miette," whose name this river bears, was an old voyageur of the North West Company, who first ascended the stream on a trapping-tour.
"There is a conspicuous rock near Jasper's House -- forming, as it were, with the opposite hills, the portal of the pass -- which likewise bears his name.
"Jasper Klyne was a post-master of the Hudson's Bay Company, long in charge of the little outpost (now abandoned) called after him.
"A Swiss, I believe, of DeMeuron's Corps, brought out to Red River by Lord Selkirk, in 1814 or thereabout."