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this sort, the individual is arrested, and kept under restraint until he binds himself with security not to desert his family. The chief officers of the Company hold the power of magistrates over their own people; and are bound to send fugitives or criminals back to Canada for trial, where the courts take cognizance of the offences. This, perhaps, is as salutary and effectual a preventive against crime as could be found, even if the courts were at hand; for whether innocent or guilty, the individual must suffer great loss by being dragged from the little property he possesses. The community of old voyageurs, settled in Oregon, are thus constrained to keep a strict watch upon their behaviour; and, although perhaps against their inclinations, are obliged to conform to the wishes of those whose employ they have left.' [P. 62.]
In the following passage we have an animated picture of life at Fort Vancouver, and of the cheerful and agreeable manner in which the officers and servants of the Company fulfil their duties : On the morning of the 17th, Vancouver was awake at an early hour, and preparations were actively making; voyageur occasionally was to be seen, decked out in all his finery, feathers, and flowing ribands, tying on his ornamental leggings, sashes, and the usual worked tobacco and fire pouch. The latter is of the shape of a lady's reticule, and generally made of red or blue cloth, prettily worked with beads. In working them the wives of the officers of the Company exercise great taste, and it is deemed fully as essential a part of dress in a voyageur's wardrobe as in a lady's. The simple bag does not, however, afford sufficient scope for ornament, and it has usually several long tails to it, which are worked with silk of gaudy colours.
· The ladies of the country are dressed after our own bygone fashions, with the exception of leggings, made of red and blue cloth, richly ornamented. Their feet, which are small and pretty, are covered with worked mocassins. Many of them have a dignified look and carriage; their black eyes and hair, and ruddy brown complexion, combined with a pleasing expression, give an air of independence and usefulness that one little expects to see. As wives, they are spoken of as most devoted, and many of them
have performed deeds, in the hour of danger and difficulty, worthy of being recorded. They understand the characters of Indians well.
• About ten o'clock we were all summoned to the great dininghall by Dr. Mc Laughlin, to take the parting cup, customary in this country. When all were assembled, wine was poured out, and we drank to each other's welfare, prosperity, &c. This was truly a cup of good fellowship and kind feeling. This hanging to old Scotch customs, in the way it was done here is pleasant, and carries with it pleasing recollections, especially when there is that warmth of feeling with it that there was on this occasion. After this was over, we formed quite a cavalcade to the river-side, which was now swollen to the top of its banks, and rushing by with irresistible force.
On reaching the river we found one of Mr. Ogden's boats manned by fourteen voyageurs, all gaily dressed in their ribands and plumes; the former tied in large bunches of divers colours, with numerous ends floating in the breeze. The boat was somewhat of the model of our whale-boats, only much larger, and of the kind built expressly to accommodate the trade; they are provided yearly at Okonagan, and are constructed in a few days; they are clinker-built, and all the timbers are flat. These boats are so light, that they are easily carried across the portages. They use the gum of the pine to cover them instead of pitch.
• After having a hearty shake of the hand, Captain Varney, Mr. Ogden, and myself, embarked. The signal being given, we shoved off, and the voyageurs at once struck up one of their boat songs. After paddling up the stream for some distance we made a graceful sweep to reach the centre, and passed by the spectators with great animation. The boat and voyageurs seemed a fit object to grace the wide-flowing river. On we merrily went, while each voyageur in succession took up the song, and all joined in the chorus. In two hours and a half we reached the mouth of the Cowlitz, a distance of thirty-five miles.
• In the Cowlitz we found a strong current to contend against
and hy night-fall had only proceeded twelve miles farther. As we encamped, the weather changed, and rain began to fall, which lasted till next morning.
• I had much amusement in watching the voyageurs, who are as peculiar in their way as sailors. I was struck with their studious politeness and attention to each other, and their constant cheerfulness.
• On the second day our voyageurs had doffed their finery, and their hats were carefully covered with oiled skins. They thus appeared more prepared for hard work. The current became every mile more rapid, and the difficulty of surmounting it greater. The management of the boats in the rapids is dexterous and full of excitement, as well to the passengers as to the voyageurs themselves. The bowman is the most important man, giving all directions, and is held responsible for the safety of the boat; and his keen eye and quick hand in the use of his paddle, delights and inspires a confidence in him in moments of danger that is given without stint. We did not make more than ten miles during the day, and were forced to encamp three miles below the farm.
On the 19th we reached our destination. On our approach, although there were no spectators, except a few Indians, to be expected, the voyageurs again mounted their finery, and gaily chaunted their boat song (Wilkes' Narrative, v. iv., p. 370.)
The Rev. S. Parker, who had an opportunity afforded him of witnessing the proceedings of the Hudson's Bay Company, whose sentiments had no reference to ulterior events, whose opinions were entirely unbiassed, and must be taken as the honest convictions of a mind desirous of truth, and ready to award the palm of merit where it is due, thus expresses himself in 1837 :- I have already mentioned my agreeable disappointment in finding so many of the comforts of life at different trading posts of the Hudson's Bay Company. I have also given a brief description of the local situation of Fort Vancouver. These were taken from such observations as I could make in a hasty view, as I was pro
secuting my journey to the shores of the Pacific Ocean This establishment was commenced in the year 1824. It being necessary that the gentlemen who are engaged in transacting the business of the Company west of the mountains, and their labourers, should possess a better and less precarious supply of the necessaries of life, than what game would furnish, and the expense of transporting suitable supplies from England being too great, it was thought important to connect the business of farming with that of fur, to an extent equal to their necessary demands; and as the Fort is the central place of business to which shipping come, and from which they depart for different parts of the north-west coast, and to which and from which brigades of hunting parties come and go, the principal farming business was established here, and has made such progress, that provisions are now produced in great abundance. There are large fertile prairies which they occupy for tillage and pasture, and the forests yield an ample supply of wood for fencing and other purposes. In the year 1835, there were at this post 450 neat cattle ; 100 horses, 200 sheep, 40 goats, and 300 hogs. They had raised the same year 5000 bushels of wheat, of excellent quality; 1300 bushels of potatoes ; 1000 of barley ; 1000 of oats; 2000 of peas, and a great variety of garden vegetables. This estimate does not include the horses, horned cattle, grain, &c., raised at the other stations. But little, however, is done elsewhere, excepting at Colville, the uppermost post on the northern branch of the Columbia. The garden of this station contains about five acres, and is laid out with regularity and good taste. While a large part is appropriated to the common esculent vegetables, ornamental plants and flowers are not neglected. Fruit of various kinds, such as apples, peaches, grapes, and strawberries, considering the short time since they have been introduced, flourish, and prove that the climate and soil are well adapted to the purposes of agriculture. Various tropical fruits, such as figs, , oranges, and lemons, have also been introduced, and thrive as well as in the latitude of Philadelphia.
• In connexion with their farming establishment, the Company
have a flour mill worked by ox-power, which is kept in constant operation, and produces flour of an excellent quality ; and a sawmill with several saws, which is kept in operation most of the year.
This mill, though large, does not with its several saws, furnish more lumber than a common mill would, with one saw, in the United States. There being no pine below the Cascades, and but very little within five hundred miles of the mouth of the Columbia River, the only timber sawn in this mill is fir and oak. Besides what timber is used in the common business about this station, one, and sometimes two ship-loads are sent annually to Oahu, Sandwich Islands, and is there called pine of the northwest coast. Boards of fir are not so durable, when exposed to the weather, as those of pine, nor so easily worked. One half of the grain of each annual growth is very hard, and the other half soft and spongy, which easily absorbs moisture, and causes speedy decay. There is a bakery here, in which two or three men are in constant employment, which furnishes bread for daily use in the fort, and also a large supply of sea-biscuit for the shipping and trading stations along the north-west coast. There are also shops for blacksmiths, joiners, and carpenters, and a tinner.
Here is a well-regulated medical department, and an hospital for the accommodation of the sick labourers, into which Indians, who are labouring under any difficult and dangerous diseases are received, and in most cases have gratuitous attendance.
Among the large buildings, there are four for the trading department; one for the Indian trade, in which are deposited their peltries; one for provisions; one for goods, opened for the current year's business—that is, to sell to their men, and to send off to various fur stations; and another for storing goods in a year's advance. Not less than a shipload of goods is brought from England annually, and always at least one in advance of their present use; so that if any disaster should befal their ship on her passage, the business of the Company would not have to be suspended. By this mode of management, there is rarely less than two ship-loads of goods in hand, most of the time. The annual ship arrives in the spring, takes a trip to Oahu during