1. As with other more recent reprints, this introduction entitled “A General History of the Fur Trade from Canada to the Northwest” has been omitted in this Standard Ebooks edition. —⁠S.E. Editor

  2. The Slave Indians, having been driven from their original country by their enemies, the Knisteneaux, along the borders of this part of the river, it received that title, though it by no means involves the idea of servitude, but was given to these fugitives as a term of reproach, that denoted more than common savageness.

  3. Sometimes the land looms, so that there may be a great deception as to the distance; and I think this was the case at present.

  4. Flesh dried in the sun, and afterwards pounded for the convenience of carriage.

  5. Fort is the name given to any establishment in this country.

  6. Watape is the name given to the divided roots of the spruce fir, which the natives weave into a degree of compactness that renders it capable of containing a fluid. The different parts of the bark canoes are also sewed together with this kind of filament.

  7. The longitude has since been discovered, by the dead reckoning, to be 135° west.

  8. This man had conceived an idea, that the people with whom he had been at war, had thrown medicine at him, which had caused his present complaint, and that he despaired of recovery. The natives are so superstitious, that this idea alone was sufficient to kill him. Of this weakness I took advantage; and assured him, that if he would never more go to war with such poor defenceless people, I would cure him. To this proposition he readily consented, and on my giving him medicine, which consisted of Turlington’s balsam, mixed in water, I declared that it would lose its effect, if he was not sincere in the promise that he made me. In short, he actually recovered, was true to his engagements, and on all occasions manifested his gratitude to me.

  9. When they are drinking together, they frequently present their guns to each other, when any of the parties have not other means of procuring rum. On such an occasion they always discharge their pieces, as a proof, I imagine, of their being in good order, and to determine the quantity of liquor they may propose to get in exchange for them.

  10. Joseph Landry and Charles Ducette were with me in my former voyage.

  11. These people, as well as all the natives on this side of Lake Winipic, give the mercantile agent that distinguished appellation.

  12. From this day to the 4th of June the courses of my voyage are omitted, as I lost the book that contained them. I was in the habit of sometimes indulging myself with a short doze in the canoe, and I imagine that the branches of the trees brushed my book from me, when I was in such a situation, which renders the account of these few days less distinct than usual.

  13. I shall now proceed with my usual regularity, which, as I have already mentioned, has been, for some days, suspended, from the loss of my book of observation.

  14. We had been obliged to indulge our hunters with sitting idle in the canoe, lest their being compelled to share in the labour of navigating it should disgust and drive them from us. We, therefore, employed them as much as possible on shore, as well to procure provisions, as to lighten the canoe.

  15. The observation, already mentioned, I got on my return.

  16. As Captain Cook has mentioned, that the people of the seacoast adorned their canoes with human teeth, I was more particular in my inquiries; the result of which was, the most satisfactory proof that he was mistaken; but his mistake arose from the very great resemblance there is between human teeth and those of the sea-otter.

  17. Mr. Johnstone came to these houses the first day of the preceding month.

  18. The Cape or Point Menzies of Vancouver.

  19. Named by Vancouver King’s Island.

  20. This I found to be the cheek of Vancouver’s Cascade Canal.

  21. Mr. Meares was undoubtedly wrong in the idea, so earnestly insisted on by him, in his voyage, that there was northwest practicable passage to the southward of sixty-nine degrees and an half of latitude, as I flatter myself has been proved by my former voyage. Nor can I refrain from expressing my surprise at his assertion, that there was an inland sea or archipelago of great extent between the islands of Nootka and the main, about the latitude where I was at this time. Indeed I have been informed that Captain Grey, who commanded an American vessel, and on whose authority he ventured this opinion, denies that he had given Mr. Meares any such information. Besides, the contrary is indubitably proved by Captain Vancouver’s survey, from which no appeal can be made.

  22. This bay was now named Mackenzie’s Outlet.

  23. It is but common justice to him, to mention in this place that I had every reason to be satisfied with his conduct.

  24. Bitumen is also found on the coast of the Slave Lake, in latitude 60° north, near its discharge by Mackenzie’s River; and also near the forks of the Elk River.

  25. Independent of the prosecution of this great object, I conceive, that the merchants from Canada are entitled to such an indulgence (even if they should be considered as not possessing a rightful claim), in order that they might be enabled to extend their trade beyond their present limits, and have it in their power to supply the natives with a larger quantity of useful articles; the enhanced value of which, and the present difficulty of transporting them, will be fully comprehended, when I relate, that the tract of transport occupies an extent of from three to four thousand miles, through upwards of sixty large fresh water lakes, and numerous rivers; and that the means of transport are slight bark canoes. It must also be observed, that those waters are intercepted by more than two hundred rapids, along which the articles of merchandise are chiefly carried on men’s backs, and over a hundred and thirty carrying-places, from twenty-five paces to thirteen miles in length where the canoes and cargoes proceed by the same toilsome and perilous operations.