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Graham had apparently been engaged in the Michilimackinac trade for several years as his name appears as an Albany trader at that point in In the intervening period he had probably acquired a substantial supply of capital from the trade by Green Bay to the Mississippi and in he appears to have been one of the largest traders to that district. It was significant of the [Pg 21] impression which Pond had made on his fellow traders as to his ability as a trader, and his honesty and integrity, that he should have been chosen as the active partner for this important venture.
No higher tribute could have been paid to him. He had acquired at the end of this period a thorough grasp of the demands of the trade. He knew the character of goods required for a successful trade. He probably knew the Indian languages and had a knowledge of French. From his voyages to the West Indies and his army experience he had probably acquired a knowledge of astronomy and navigation sufficient to enable him to determine latitude and longitude.
He had prepared himself for the active years which were to follow. He was a master trader at thirty-one. A partnership with Graham was formed and a cargo weighing pounds was made up. It is probable that Graham furnished the major share of the capital and that Pond was the active partner. In at the age of thirty three Peter Pond entered his majority in the fur trade. In April he left Milford not to return for at least twelve years. New York became a more important depot for the fur trade at the expense of Montreal which had dominated the trade in the French regime.
The advantages of New York were shown in the character of the route by which goods were sent by the Great Lakes to the interior. Pond gives a valuable description of the Albany route which he had reason to know thoroughly from his experience in forwarding supplies to Oswego in and and to Detroit in later years. Graham took the goods to Michilimackinac by this route but Pond was not less qualified to describe it. The goods were shipped from New York to Albany and freighted [Pg 23] in wagons fourteen miles from Albany to Schenectady. At this point they were loaded on batteaus and hauled up the Mohawk River to Fort Stanwix.
The batteaus and goods were hauled over land for the distance of one mile to Wood Creek. The boats were taken along the south shore of Lake Ontario to the landing place at Niagara and hauled over the nine mile portage above the rapids and the falls to Fort Schlosser. From that point they were taken up the Niagara to Fort Erie and along the south side of the lake to Detroit across Lake St. Clair and along the west side of Lake Huron to Michilimackinac. Goods could be taken in comparatively large boats and the transport costs from New York by the Great Lakes favoured the development of trade from that point.
But Montreal had the advantage of experience in the trade such as had been gained in the long period of the French regime. Pond writes for example, "I wanted some small artickles in the Indian way to compleat my asortment which was not to be had in New York. Again he was familiar with the route to the foot of Lake George from the [Pg 24] unsuccessful attack on Ticonderoga.
It was fifteen years since Pond had been engaged in the memorable battles around Lake George and thirteen years since he had been at the capitulation of Montreal. He was able to purchase the necessary goods and he found the fur trade already well organized under English auspices following the collapse of French trade after the Conquest. Several canoes were outfitting in the spring of for Michilimackinac some of them owned by the firm, of his old acquaintance of Detroit, Isaac Todd, and James McGill.
He arranged with these two men to have his goods taken in their canoes and with them he embarked in a canoe from Lachine to Michilimackinac by the Ottawa River. The route from Montreal by the Ottawa to Michilimackinac was new to Pond. It has been described in numerous fur trading journals in great detail. Pond apparently found little to interest him on the long up stream journey on the Ottawa to Lake Nipissing, down the French river to Georgian Bay, along the north shore of Lake Huron until they were opposite Mackinac, and across the strait to the island on which the British garrison was located.
The incident of the trip which interested him greatly as it did other travellers was the ceremony at the church of St. Ann on the Lake of [Pg 25] Two Mountains. The voyageurs deposited a small sum and "by that meanes thay suppose thay are protected" by St. Ann, their patron saint. No one but a fur trader would have noticed that "while absent the church is not locked but the money box is well secured from theaves". Pond arrived at Michilimackinac "where I found my goods from New York had arived safe". Michilimackinac was the outfitting depot for traders going to winter in the interior around Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and the Mississippi, or around Lake Superior.
At various periods Pond spent considerable time at this depot and his description of Mackinac is worthy of addition to the large number of descriptions already in existence. He begins "This place is kept up by a Capts. Pond was much impressed with the French Catholics and their religion.
While I was hear thare was none but traveling one who Coms sometimes to make a short stay but all way in the Spring when the people ware ye most numeras then the engashea often went to confes and git absolution". The district had a large floating population, and Pond was impressed by the number of people who had come from Quebec.
Michilimackinac was primarily a trading locality. The British cut hay anuf for thare stock a few miles distans from the gareson and bring hom on boates. Others cut the gras and stock it on the streat strait and slead it on the ice thirty miles in ye winter". Fish was important as a staple food, and the traders were to a large extent dependent on this resource. Pond writes "I have wade a trout taken in by Mr. I was present. The white fish are ye another exquisseat fish. Alexander Henry has described the village of the Ottawas at L'Arbre Croche from which he obtained supplies of Indian corn and sugar.
Pond notes the existence of these Indian villages some twenty or thirty miles distant "whare the natives improve verey good ground. Thay have corn beens and meney articles which thay youse in part themselves and bring the remainder to market. The nearest tribe is the Atawase and the most sivelised in these parts but drink to exses. Often in the winter thay go out on a hunting party. In ye Spring thay return to thare villages and imploy the sumer in rasein things for food as yousal.
But this is to be understood to belong to the women—the men never meadel—this part of thare bisness is confind to the females ondley. Men are imployd in hunting, fishing and fouling, war parties etc. These wood aford partreages, hairs, vensen fixis and rackcones, sum wild pigins". During the summer tribes from the surrounding territory and from "a grate distance" came to Michilimackinac to trade, bringing furs, skins, maple sugar, "dride vensen, bares greas and the like which is a considerable part of trade.
Pond's immediate task at Michilimackinac was that of rearranging the goods which had arrived by boats, purchasing canoes, provisions and supplies, and hiring men and loading the bales in the canoes. Equipments were made up for the different parts of the country. He divided his goods into twelve parts and "fited out twelv larg canoes for differant parts of the Mississippy river. Each cannew was mad of birch bark and white seader thay would carry seven thousand wate". I had my small fleat readey to cross lake Mishegan".
Pond had engaged nine clerks to handle the separate outfits to different parts and with this large contingent he left for Green Bay.
He reached the mouth of the bay in three or four days and crossed over to the southwest side in the lea of some islands. On this side they followed the shore to the mouth of the river and to the small French farming village a short distance up. The people raised corn and "sum artikles for fammaley youse in thare gardens" and they had "fine black cattal and horses with sum swine". They traded to a certain extent with the Indians going by this route. Pond also mentions the Menominee village on the north side of the Bay, the people of which were chiefly hunters although they depended also on wild rice which they gathered in September.
After two days in the French village they ascended to the Puan village at the east end of a lake Winnebago . The women raised corn, beans and pumpkins and they lived on rabbits, partridges and some venison but there was little fish in the lake. Pond was not impressed with these Indians and "we made but a small stay". He was not conversant with their language. He narrates with great zest the story of the visit of a chief and a small band of this nation to Capt.
Turnbull at Michilimackinac "He held a counsel with them but he couldn't get an intarpetar in the plase that understood them. At length the Capt. They were not a sociable tribe—"Thay will not a sosheat with or convars with the other tribes nor inter-marey among them—They live in a close connection among themselves". Pond's curiosity was aroused by these people as he later enquired at Detroit "of the oldest and most entelagant Frenchman" regarding them.
He was told that they formerly lived west of the Missouri, that they were very quarrelsome and that they were driven by other tribes across the [Pg 30] Missouri and the Mississippi to their present location. The Fox tribe it was thought lived near them, fitting neighbours, since this tribe was driven from Detroit for misbehaviour. Whether this reputation was deserved or whether Pond had tried to carry on trade with them without success or whether he had traded with them and lost, it would be difficult to determine but the chief objection to them was given forcibly.
Later acquaintance did not improve early impressions. Pond continued up the river to the Grand Butte des Morts where this tribe "yous to entar thare dead when thay lived in that part". He describes the ceremony of some of the natives gathered to pay their respects to one of the departed. Thay fild thar [Pg 31] callemeat calumet and began thar saremony by pinting the stem of the pipe upward—then giving it a turn in thare and then toward ye head of the grav—then east and west, north and south after which thay smoked it out and filf it agane and lade it by—then thay took sum rum out of the cag in a small bark vessel and pourd it on the head of the grave by way of giving it to thar departed brother—then thay all drank themselves—lit the pipe and seamed to enjoi themselves verey well.
Thay repeated this till the sperit began to operate and thare harts began to soffen. Then thay began to sing a song or two but at the end of every song thay soffened the clay. After sumtime had relapst the cag had bin blead often. Thay began to repete the satisfaction thay had with that friend while he was with them and how fond he was of his frends while he could git a cag of rum and how thay youst to injoy it togather.
They amused themselves in this manner til they all fell a crying and a woful nois they made for a while til thay thought wisely that thay could not bring them back and it would not due to greeve two much—that an application to the cag was the best way to dround sorrow and wash away greefe for the moshun was soon put in execution and all began to be marey as a party could bee.
Thay continued [Pg 32] til near nite. Rite wen thay ware more than half drunk the men began to aproach the females and chat frelay and apearantley friendly. At lengh thay began to lean on each other, kis and apeared verey amaras. One of them was quit drunk as I was by self seating on the ground observing thare saremones, cam to me and askt me to take a share in her bountey—But I thought it was time to quit and went about half a mile up the river to my canoes whare my men was incampt but the Indians never came nigh us.
The men then, shun mentioned that three of the women had bin at the camp in the night in quest of imploy. His trip over the portage from the St. Lawrence drainage basin to the Mississippi drainage basin by the Fox River into the Wisconsin river was the next object of concern.
- Put Your Head In My Lap.
- Drawing Free (The Escape Collection).
- Dieudonné M'bala M'bala!
The whole river was easily navigated as far as the lake of the Puans and except for one or two small rapids from the lake as far as the portage. Above the rapids the channel became narrow and very winding and the water less swift. The bank is almost leavel with the water and the [Pg 33] medoes on each sid are clear of wood to a grate distans and clothd with a good sort of grass the openings of this river are cald lakes but thay are no more than larg openings. In these plases the water is about four or five feet deap.
With a soft bottom these plases produce the gratest quantaties of wild rise of which the natives geather grat quantities and eat what thay have ocation for and dispose of the remainder to people that pass and repass on thare trade. This grane looks in its groth and stock and ears like ry and the grane is of the same culler but longer and slimer.
When it is cleaned fit for youse thay boile it as we due rise and eat it with bairs greas and sugar but the greas thay ad as it is bileing which helps to soffen it and make it brake in the same maner as rise. When thay take it out of thare cettels for yous thay ad a little sugar and is eaten with fresh vensen or fowls, we yoused it in the room of rise and it did very well as a substatute for that grane as it busts it turns out perfeckly white as rise".
Wild rice and ducks were of appreciable value in conserving the food supply. The ducks had fattened on the wild rice and "when thay ris made a nois like thunder. We got as meney as we chose fat and good. If you parfer shuting them yourself you may kill what you plese". After Pond's escape from the Indian women, he and his party proceeded up the winding river to a shallow lake with an abundance of wild rice and ducks. They encamped here for the night and spent "the most of ye next day to get about three miles—with our large cannoes the track was so narrow.
Near nite we got to warm ground whare we incampt and regaled well after the fateages of the day". On the next day more slack water and a winding stream "we have to go two miles without geating fiftey yards ahead so winding" but at night they came within sight of the portage and arrived there at noon next day. They unloaded the canoes and "toock them out of the water to dry that thay mite be liter on the caring plase.
He describes the portage as very level for two thirds of a mile and consequently bad in wet weather. In the centre the ground rises to a considerable height and is covered with a fine open wood similar to that located back from the banks of the river. The land was described as excellent and covered with good timber,—the fires having destroyed the small wood.
The height of land located in the centre extended for about one quarter of the whole distance. About midday we imbarkt. Pond's journal represents with full force his reactions to the variety of travel. Writing from memory the physical reactions had left a strong impression. He notes with feeling "the warm ground" on which to camp after a hard day in marshy country, "the fat and good" wild ducks. After crossing the portage he describes the river in two places as "a gentel glideing stream". In about a day's travel they reached the village of the Sauks on the north side of the river.
At this village he stayed two days "This beaing the last part of Sept. They were of interest to Pond. Thay will take of the traders goods on creadit in the fall for thare youse. In winter and except for axedant thay pay the deat debt verey well for Indians I mite have sade inlitend or sivelised indans which are in general made worse by the operation". To the anthropologist the Wisconsin portage route had the greatest interest and the fur trader was always an anthropologist. On this route a number of tribes had settled partly because of its importance to trade and the incidental wars which had swept the area in the French period and partly because of its position—marginal to the plains Indians, the southern woods Indians, and the northern Indians.
Pond noted the cultural traits of the Sauks. In the first place "thare villeag is bilt cheafely with plank thay hugh out of wood—that is ye uprite—the top is larch arched over with strong sapplins sufficient to suport the roof and covered with barks which makes them a tile roof. Sum of thare huts are sixtey feet long and contanes several fammalayes. Thay rase a platform on each side of thare huts about two feet high and about five feet broad on which thay seat and sleap.
Thay have no flores but bild thare fire on the ground in the midel of the hut and have a hole threw the ruf for the smoke to pas". The total population was about one hundred. They had a comparatively large cleared space with excellent land. Fishing was very poor, "wild foul thay have but few", "Thare woods afford partrageis, a few [Pg 37] rabeat, bairs and deear are plenty in thare seasons". In the fall "thay leave thare huts and go into the woods in quest of game and return in the spring—before planting time.
Sometimes thay go near St. Fee in New Mexico and bring with them Spanish Horseis. Thar religion is like most of the tribes. Thay alow thare is two sperits—one good who dweles a bove the clouds superintends over all and helps to all the good things we have and can bring sickness on us if he pleases—and another bad one who dweles in the fire and air, eavery whare among men and sumtimes dose mischief to mankind"—in other words they had come under the influence of French missionaries.
Like most traders Pond was interested in their courtship and marriages. The family are lisning. If thare be aney young garl [Pg 38] in this lodg or hut that aney man of a differant hut has a likeing for he will seat among them. The parson of his arrant errand being prasent hea will watch an opertunity and through a small stick at hair her. If she looks up with a smile it is a good omen. He repets a second time perhaps ye garle will return the stick. The Semtam sympton ar still groing stronger and when thay think proper to ly down to slape each parson raps himself up in his one blanket.
He taks notes whar the garl seats for thare she slepes. When all the famaley are quiet a nd perhaps a sleap he slips soffely into that and seat himself down by her side. Presantlay he will begin to lift her blanket in a soft maner. Perhaps she may twich it out of his hand with a sort of a sie and snore to gather but this is no kiling matter. He seats awhile and makes a second atempt. She may perhaps hold the blankead down slitely. At lengh she turns over with a sith and quits the hold of the blanket.
The garl after that will not refuse [Pg 39] him.
Peter Pond — Fur Trader and Adventurer, by H. A. Innis
As in most visits described by traders the voyageurs lost little time in making the acquaintance of the women. Pond remarks of this tribe "Thay are not verey gellas of thare women". He heard echoes of the Fox wars  of the French regime in which the Fox Indians were driven from Detroit and forced to flee to the Fox river, and in which the French again carried on war against them to break up their monopoly over the Fox river portage, and he attributed [Pg 40] their misfortunes in part to these wars.
But the Foxes were also suffering from disease. I inquired the cause. Thay told me thay had a shorte time before had a sweapeing sickness among them which had caread of grate numbers of inhabitans and thay had offered up these sacrafisces to apease that being who was angrey with them and sent the sickness—that it was much abated tho thar was sum sick. Still I told them thay had dun right and to take cair that thay did not ofend him agane for fear a grater eavel myte befall them".
The produce of their fields was reduced as a result of the sickness  and Pond stayed only one day. He got the articles he needed and which they could spare and "gave them sum creadeat and desended the river to the mouth which emteys into the Masseippey and cros that river and incampt". There follows no rhapsody on the mighty Mississippi. After leaving the Fox village Pond was apparently joined by another trader with several men—in any case he camped with another trader. Hooks and lines were put out in the river and in the morning they hauled in the catch. At lengh we hald one ashore that wade a hundered and four pounds—a seacond that was one hundered wate—a third of seventy five pounds.
It had a large flat head sixteen inches between the eise. We asked our men how meney men the largest would give a meale. Sum of the largest eaters sade twelve men would eat it at a meal. We agreed to give ye fish if thay would find twelve men that would undertake it. Thay began to dres it.
After it was well boild thay sawd it up and all got round it. Thay began and eat the hole without the least thing with it but salt and sum of them drank of the licker it was boild in. The other two was sarved out to the remainder of the people who finished them in a short [Pg 42] time. Thay all declard thay felt the beater of thare meale nor did I perseave that eney of them ware sick or complaind". The following morning they crossed the river and ascended about three miles "to the Planes of the dogs" Prairie du chien.
The plain was a large level stretch of land on the east side of the river at the junction of the Wisconsin and the Mississippi. Prairie du Chien was the rendezvous of traders and Indians from New Orleans, from Michilimackinac, and the tributaries of the Mississippi. When Pond arrived he "meat a larg number of french and Indans makeing out thare arrangements for the insewing winter and sending of thare cannoes to differant parts—likewise giving creadets to the Indans who ware all to Rondoveuse thare in spring. I stayed ten days sending of my men to different parts. After completing the business at Prairie du Chien, Pond and two other traders left in October for St.
Peters River. They proceeded very slowly lest they should overtake the Nottawaseas who had preceded them and in order that "we mite not be trubeld with them for creadit as thay are bad pay masters"—"We had plenty of fat gease and ducks with venson—bares meat in abundans—so that we lived as well as hart could wish on such [Pg 43] food—plentey of flower, tea, coffee, sugar and buter, sperits and wine, that we faird well as voigers.
The banks of ye river aforded us plenty of crab apels which was verey good when the frost had tuchd them at a sutabel tim". Eventually they reached St. Peters river and Pond claims they found about fourteen miles from the mouth Carver's old hut in which he had wintered in Finally they decided to build their houses for the winter.
After staying a few days to rest them thay departed with the information to thare frends. In Jany. They ware welcom and we did our bisness to advantage. I perseaved that he seamed to have a prefrans and got more trade than myself. We ware good frends. I told him he got more than his share of trade but obsarved at ye same time it was not to be wondered at as he had bin long a quanted.
He sade I had not hit on ye rite eidea. He sade that the Indans of that quorter was given to stealing and aspachely the women. In order to draw custom he left a few brass things for the finger on the counter—sum needles and awls which cost but a trifel, leattel small knives—bell and such trifels. For the sake of stealing these trifels thay com to sea him and what thay had for trade he got. I beleaved what he sade and tried the expereament—found it to prove well after which I kept up sides.
The ice finally broke up in the spring and according to Pond the water rose 26 feet washing away a large part of the banks. With the fall of the water they loaded their canoes and drifted down stream to Prairie du Chien—"whare we saw a large colection from eavery part of the Misseppey who had arived before us—even from Orleans eight hundred leagues belowe us. Thay bring in a boate sixtey hogseats of wine on [Pg 45] one—besides ham, cheese etc.
Hear was sport of all sorts". The french practis billiards—ye latter ball. Competition was apparently keen with numerous French traders. He estimated not less than canoes from Michilimackinac each carrying sixty to eighty hundredweight as well as numerous boats from New Orleans, Illinois and other parts, and that hundred pound packs went to Mackinac.
I had grate share for my part as I furnish much the largest cargo on the river. After all the bisness was dun and people began to groe tirde of sport, thay began to draw of for thare differant departments and prepare for the insewing winter. Graham from New York with a large cargo. I had dun so well that I proposed to bye him out of ye cosarn and take it on myself. He excepted and I paid of the first cargo [Pg 46] and well on towards the one he had brot me".
Here ended the first venture. From a pecuniary point of view Pond had learned the lessons of the fur trade to advantage. He knew men and was able to judge men to superintend his outfits. Success in the trade was dependent on judgment of character since the men were far removed from direct supervision throughout the winter. He knew how to get along with competing traders and his old genius for making friends stood him in good stead.
For a competitor to give information enabling him to get a larger share of trade is no slight testimony to the man's character. To be able to gather information as to the reputations of various Indians in repaying their debts required a genial disposition as well as shrewd judgment. He had camped, travelled and traded with competitors and with pronounced success. He also knew how to handle his voyageurs. Pond had arrived at Michilimackinac, had disposed of his cargo and was immediately engaged in acquiring a new outfit. With the coming of the traders Michilimackinac was similar to Prairie du Chien.
Feasting was much atended to—dancing at nite with respectabel parsons. Notwithstanding the feateages of the industress the time past of agreabley for two months when the grater part ware ready to leave the plase for thare differant wintering ground". The cargo and canoes had to be purchased and the men to be hired. It would [Pg 48] be difficult to state the number of Pond's men who rehired with him but he probably had little difficulty in securing a complement. The young man Baptiste who had committed the theft during the winter almost certainly rehired.
At Michilimackinac one of the visiting priests was hearing confessions and "the young man heard from his comrads who had bin to confess" of the priest "who was doing wonders among the people". He went a seacond time without sucksess but was informed by his bennadict that something was wanting. He came to me desireing me to leat him have two otter skins promising that he would be beatter in future and sarve well. I leat him have them. He went of. In a few minets after or a short time he returned.
I askt him what sucksess. O sade he the father sais my case is a bad one but if I bring two otter more he will take my case on himself and discharge me. I let him have them and in a short time he returned as full of thanks as he could expres and sarved me well after". Pond had acquired a full complement and he writes "I had now a large and rich cargo".
At this point trouble appeared. About the first of August a trader coming from Lake Superior brought news that war had broken out between the Sioux [Pg 49] and the Chippewas, "and made it dangres for the trader to go in to the country". The only prospect of peace lay in the hands of the commander of the garrison.
We heard and thanked him we then proseaded to contrebute towards making six large belts of wampum—three for the Notawaysease and thre for the Ochpwase. Thay ware compleated under the Gidans of the comander and speacheis rote to both nations. I was bound to the senter of the Notawaseas contrey up St.
Peters river. The counsel with ye commander thought proper to give me ye charge of thre belt with the speacheis and the traders to Lake Superer ware charged with the others. The import of the bisness was that I should send out carrears into the planes and—all the chefes to repare to my tradeing house on the banks of St.
Peters river in the spring and thare to hear and obsarve the contents of the offesers speache and look at the belts and understand thare meaning—likewise to imbark and acompany me to Mackenac". We are told nothing of his second journey from Michilimackinac to Prairie du Chien, but it probably did not differ from his first. At Prairie du Chien he found the Indians disturbed but not about the war.
On inquiring "thay gave me to understand thare was a parson at that plase that had an eevel sperit. He did things beond thare conseption. I wished to sea him and being informed who he was I askd him meney questions. I found him to be a french man who had bin long among the nations on the Misura that came that spring from the Ilenoas" to Prairie du Chien. Thay gave him the name of Minneto Manitou which is a sperit. Peters river so much asteamed among the eastern and southern nations".
He wished to purchis [Pg 51] it from the Indan but he would not part with it. Minneto then put it into his mouth as the Indan supposed and swallod it. The poor Indan stood astonished. Minneto told him not to trubel himself about it—he should have his pipe agane in two or three days—it must first pass threw him. At the time seat the pipe was presented to the Indan. He looked upon it as if he could not bair to part with it but would not put his hand upon it. Minneto kept the pipe for nothing". After enjoying this episode he left Prairie du Chien and reached his old house on St.
Peters river on the thirteenth day. Pond was now actively interested in prosecuting the trade and he knew the country and the people. He learned from other Indians of a large band about miles farther up "which wanted to sea a trader. I conkluded ameatley to put a small asortment of goods into a cannoe and go up to them—a thing that never was atempted before by the oldest of the traders on acount of the rudeness of those people who ware Nottawaseas by nation but the band was called Yantonoes—the cheafe of the band allwase lead them on the plaines".
Pond writes that the Sioux were formerly one nation but they had broken up because of internal disputes into "six different bands each band lead by [Pg 52] chefes of thare one chois". These bands were "1. These—speke the same langwege at this day". The anxiety with which the Yanktons awaited the arrival of a trader was shown by the arrival of the chief to invite him to go up and trade just as he was preparing to leave. They both set off together, the chief going by land and Pond by water. The chief arrived before him since he was able to take a more direct route "across the plaines".
By this time it was getting late in the season. Coming to a "larg sand flat by the river side"—"about three miles from the Indians camp and it beaing weat wether and cold I incampt and turned up my canoe which made us a grand shelter. At night it began to snow and frease and blowe hard. Fortunately a number of the Indians came down on the opposite side of the river about [Pg 53] noon, crossed over and "offerd me thare asistans to take my goods to thare camp.
I was glad and excepted thare offer". The horses were loaded and the party marched to the camp. This was Pond's first experience in meeting Indians who were strangers to white traders. Sum traders long before sent thare goods into the planes with thare men to trade with these people—thay often would have them cheaper than they french men could sell them.
These people would fall on them and take ye goods from them at thair one price til thay could not git eney. I was the first that atempted to go thare with a bale of goods". His reception by them involved numerous ceremonies. I preseaved five parsons from the camp aproching—four was imployd in caring a beaver blanket finely panted—the other held in his hand a callemeat or pipe of pece—verey finely drest with different feathers with panted haire.
They all seat by me except the one who held the pipe. Thay ordered the pipe lit with a grate dele of sarremoney. After smoeking a fue whifs the stem was pinted east and west—then north and south—then upward toward the skies—then to ye earth after which we all smoked in turn and apeard verey frendlye. After smoking thay toock of my shoes and put on me a pair of fine Mockasans or leather shoes of thare one make raught in a cureas manner—then thay lade me down on the blanket—one hold of each corner and cared me to the camp in a lodg among a verey vennarable asembly of old men.
I was plased at the bottom or back part which is asteamed the highest plase. After smokeing an old man ros up on his feet with as much greaveaty as can be conseaved of he came to me—laid his hands on my head and grond out—I—I—I three times—then drawed his rite hand down on my armes faneing a sort of a crey as if he shead tears—then sit down—the hole follode the same exampel which was twelve in number. Thare was in the midel of the lodg a rased pece of ground about five inches in hight five feet long two and a half brod on which was a fire and over that hung three brass kettles fild with meete boiling for a feast.
He fead me with three sponfuls first and then gave me the dish which was bark and the spoon made out of a buffeloes horn to fead myself. As I had got a good apatite from [Pg 55] the fateages of the day I eat hartey. There was not a woman among them—then to a third after which I was taken to a large lodge prepaird for me in which they had put my people and goods with a large pile of wood and six of thare men with spears to gard it from the croud".
Pond had been advised by the chief who had come down the river to invite him to come up to trade with the Indians that the trade "was to begin at sundown", and he had warned him that "if I was to contend with them thay mite take all that I had". Unfortunately the chief was absent and "thay compeld me to begin befoar the time—At four o'clock I cummenced a trade with them but ye croud was so grate that the chefe was obliged to dubel this gard of six and I went on with my trade in safety—seventy five loges at least ten parsons in each will make seven hundred and fifty.
My people ware by-standers—not a word to say or acte". He was as well obade and kept up as smart disapline as I ever saw. One of ye band was more than commonly dairing—he ordered one of the gard to throw his lans threw him in case he persisted in his impedens—the fellow came again—the sentanal threw his lans and it went threw his close and drew a leattel blod but he neaver atempted agane. I continued my trade till near morning.
By that time thare furs ware gon". I was not in a situation to asist them beaing destatute myself". But Pond had still to fulfil his mission as peace-maker. This chefes name was Arechea. The chefe that came to me first had a smattran of the Ochipway tung—so much so that we understood each other at least suffisantly to convarse or convae our idease.
He made a long speach. By the yousel sine of a shout threw the camp thay ware willing to cumply". They began to move off. Late in the morning the chefe left me". In spite of the shortness of the time Pond had seen this band of Yankton Indians he had learned much about their life and customs. Undoubtedly his knowledge was supplemented by information gained from other tribes but he was a keen observer.
He notes that they "are faroshas and rude in thare maners perhaps being in sum masher to thare leadg an obsger obscure life in the planes. Thay are not convarsant with evrey other tribe. Thay seldom sea thare nighbers. They leade a wandering life in that extensive plane betwene the Miseura and Missicippey". When there is a number of them to gather going in front of thare band thay make a war like apearans.
Thare war implements are sum fire armes, boses and arroes and spear which thay have continuely in thare hands. When on the march at nite thay keep out parteas on the lookout". These Indians had cultural traits of peoples living on the plains and dependent on the buffalo. In order to have thare horseis long winded thay slit thair noses up to the grissel of thare head which makes them breath verey freely.
I have sean them run with those of natrall nostrals and cum in apearantley not the least out of breath". From the standpoint of the higher priced furs the country was not promising. These parts produce a number of otters which keep in ponds and riveleats on these planes and sum beavers but the land anamels are the mane object of the natives". As to other traits Pond is not less observant. They have punnishment for thefts among themselves. They sumtimes retelate by taking as much property from the ofender if thay can find it but I seldum hurd of thefts among themselves whatever thay mite due to others.
Meanwhile the Yanktons had departed. I was now destatute of frends or assistans [Pg 60] except my one men and thay could not aford me aney asistans in the provishon line of which I was much in want. Nighther could thay assist me in the transportation of my furs. I then concluded to leave a boy to take care of them until we could return with sum provishon. The poor fellow seamd willing to stay by himself and all we could aford him was three handfulls of corn.
In case of want I left him two bever skins which had sum meat on them and wone bever skin which he could singe the haire of and roste in the fire that he mite live in cas we ware gon longer than we calkalated. The furs ware in a good lodg that he mite keep himself warm. We left him in that sittuation and got back to the house whare we had left the goods by crossing the plaines. I found all safe and the clark had colected a leattel provishon but the provishons could not be sent to the boy on acount of the wather seating in so bad that the men would not under take to go across the plane.
Sum days after it grew more modrat and thay seat of five in number and reacht him in fifteen days from the time we left him. Thay found him well but feeble. Thay gave him to eat moderately at first and he ganed strength. Thay went to work and put the furs on a scaffle out of the way of woods wolves or eney varment and all seat of for home. The day befour thay arived thay ware overtaken by a snow storm [Pg 61] on the planes and could not sea thare way near night.
Thay seat down on the plane thare beaing no wood nigh and leat the snow cover them over. Thay had thare blankets about them. In the morning—it was clear with ye wind norwest and freasing hard. Thay dug out of the snow and beaing weat in sum of thare feet thy was badley frosted tho not more than ten miles to walk. The boy ascaped as well as eney of them—I beleve the best. I had a long job to heal them but without the loss of a limb". During the winter as in the previous year the Indians "found out whare we ware and came in with meet and furs to trade".
With the approach of spring arrangements were made to bring the furs down from the cache to the post. Thay had an Indan hunter with them who kild them sum buffeloes. The men cut down small saplens and made the frames of two boates—sowed the skins togather and made bottoms to thare frames—rub'd them over with tallow which made tite anuf to bring the furs down to me whare I had canoes to receve them". The chefes cuming with a number of the natives to go with me to Mackenac to sea and hear what thare farther had [Pg 62] to say".
Pond was successful in his mission and "asembled eleven chefes who went with me besides a number of conscripted men. By the intarpretar I had the speach expland and the intenshun of the belts—and after we had got ready for saleing we all imbarkt and went down the River to its mouth". Pond had left the St. Peter's river forever. Throughout his journal he constantly refers to the character of the country.
Peter is exsalant and sum good timber—the intervels are high and the soile thin and lite. The river is destatute of fish but the wood and meadows abundans of annamels. Sum turkeas, buffeloes are verey plenty, the common dear are plentey, and larg, the read and moose deare are plentey hear, espesaley the former.
I have seen fortey kild in one day by surrounding a drove on a low spot by the river side in the winter season. Raccoons are verey large. No snakes but small ones which are not pisenes. Wolves are plentey—thay follow the buffeloes and often destroy thare young and olde ones,—The natives near the mouth of the river rase plenty of corn for thare one concumtion.
Session about to expire
Arriving at the junction of St. Peter's River with the Mississippi "we found sum traders who com from near the head of the Misseppey with sum Chippewa chefes with them. I was much surprised to sea them so ventersum [Pg 63] among the people I had with me for the blod was scairs cold—the wound was yet fresh—but while we stade thare a young smart looking chef continued singing the death song, as if he dispised thare threats or torments. After we had made a short stay hear we imbarkt for the Planes of the Dogs" Prairie du Chien.
Arriving at Prairie du Chien "we joined a vast number of people of all descripsions wateing for me to cum down and go to Macanac to counsel for these people had never bin thare or out of thare countrey except on a war party. It excited the cureosatay of everay nation south of the Lake of the woods and from that place was a number chefes which was more than two thousand miles.
Indead the matter was intresting all parties espechaley to the trading party for the following reson—each of these nations are as much larger than eney of thare nighbering nations as the Inhabitans of a sittey are to a villeag and when thay are at varans property is not safe even traveling threw thare countrey". It was imperative for the safety of the trade on the Mississippi, which was of the greatest importance, that the difficulties should be settled. Leaving Prairie du Chien "everay canoe made the best of thare way up the Wisconsin to the Portage and got over as fast as thay could".
Pond [Pg 64] apparently had special obligations to the Indians from St. Peter's river. Peter's River that was in Morneing for his departed friend and wished me to take of the morneing for he had worn it long anuf. I desired he mite cum to me which was dun.
He was blacked with cole from the fire—hand and face. His haire was hanging over his eyes. I askd what I should due for him. He desird that his haire mite be pluckd out to the crown of his head, his face and hands washed and a white shirt put on him. I complied with the request and seat him on the ground—seat a cupel of men to work and with the asistans of a leattel asheis to prevent thare fingers slipping thay soon had his head as smooth as a bottle.
He washt up and I put a shirt on him which made the fellow so thankfull to think that he could apear in a deasant manner that he could scairs contain himself. We desended the fox river to the botam of Greane Bay so cald and thare joind the hole of ye canoes bound to Macenac. The way ther was fair and plesant we all proseaded together across Lake Misheagan at the end of two days we all apeard on the lake about five miles from Macenac and aproacht in order. We had flags on the masts of our canoes—eavery chefe his flock.
The flag in the fort was histed—ye cannon of the garreson began to play smartley—the shores was lind with people of all sorts who seat up such a crey and hooping which seat the tribes in the fleat a going to that degrea that you could not hear a parson speak. At lengh we reacht ye shore and the cannon seasd. I then toock my partey to the commander Capt. I seat with them an our and related the afare and what I had dun and what past dureing the winter.
After interreduseing the chefe I went to my one house where I found a number of old frends with whom I spent the remainder of the day". Pond's work on the Mississippi as a peace maker was over but the final arrangements had still to be made. Thay should live by the side of each other as frinds and nighbers.
The Chipewase likewise promis on thare part strickly to obsareve the same reagulations on thare part toward ye Nottawasis—that thay will not cross the river to hunt on the west side—after all the artickels ware drown up thay all sind them. The Commander then made a presant of a cag of rum to each nation and thay left the fort and went to thare camp whare thay seat round and ingoied thare present—sung a fue songs and went to rest in a verey sivel manner. The next day thare was a larg fat ox kild and coked by the solgers. All of the nations were biden to the feast.
Thay dined to geather in harmoney and finished the day in drinking moderately, smokeing to gather, singing and britening the chane of frindship in a veray deasant way. This was kept up for four days when the offeser mad them each a present and thay all imbark for thare one part of thare cuntrey".
With the return of Peter Pond from the second and last venture in the Mississippi country, this journal comes to an end. He was at this time a trader and an explorer and thoroughly experienced in dealing with the Indians. In the summer of after his arrival at Mackinac Pond decided to leave the Mississippi and to venture to Lake Superior, Grand Portage and the Northwest.
It is probable that a number of considerations led him to take this step. He had doubtless paid the remainder of his debt to Mr. Graham,  and was now independent, able to purchase his own cargo, and to go where trade seemed most profitable. The furs on the Mississippi were becoming less important especially with competition and trade with the Plains Indians brought small supplies of such fine furs as otter and beaver.
Proof of the finer quality of furs obtained in the north was shown in the profitable character of ventures which were being made to the [Pg 68] Northwest.