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Another Exploring Expedition
1841. On the opening of the navigation I set out on
another exploring expedition. Without entering into particulars so
devoid of interest, I would merely observe that, with patience and
perseverance, we ultimately succeeded in making good our passage by
the Hamilton, or Grand River, and found it to answer our
expectations in every respect.
On arriving at Esquimaux Bay, we found the vessel from Quebec riding
at anchor—a joyful sight, since it gave assurance that we should
hear from friends and relatives, and receive intelligence of the
events that had occurred in the world for the last twelve months.
The Governor's communication acquainted me with my promotion, and
sincerely congratulated me on the event. Whether I had reason or not
to doubt his sincerity, let the reader judge who knows the treatment
I had experienced at his hands. Fifteen years ago I was assured of
being in the "direct road to preferment,"—twenty years of toil and
misery have I served to obtain it.
Considering myself, therefore, under no obligation to his
Excellency, I addressed a letter to the Directors, expressing my
thanks for the benefit they had conferred upon me, and requesting
permission to visit the land of my nativity next year.
I was fortunate enough to find a couple of canoes at Esquimaux Bay,
sufficiently large to admit of conveying an outfit to the interior,
and equally fortunate to find Mr. Davis, the gentleman in charge of
the district, possessed the will and ability to promote my views.
All my arrangements at this place being completed, I set off on my
return, and was happy to find, on my arrival at the outpost, that
the outfit was rendered in safety, not the slightest accident having
occurred on the way.
I arrived at Fort Chimo in the beginning of October. The dreary
winter setting in immediately, we commenced the usual course of
vegetative existence; and I consider it as unnecessary as it would
be uninteresting to say anything further concerning it than that
this season passed without our being subjected to such grievous
privation as during the last. The greater part of the people being
distributed among the outposts, reduced our expenditure of
provisions so much, that I felt I had nothing now to fear on the
score of starvation; and the precautions I had taken the preceding
winter enabled us not only to indulge occasionally in the luxuries
of bread-and-butter, but also to contemplate the possibility of the
non-arrival of the ship without much anxiety.
1842.—On the opening of the navigation I again set out for Esquimaux
Bay, where I found letters from the Secretary, conveying the welcome
intelligence that my request for permission to visit Britain had
been granted, and that the Directors, agreeably to my
recommendation, had determined on abandoning Ungava, the ship being
ordered round this season to convey the people and property to
Notes of a Twenty-Five Years Service in the
Hudson's Bay Territory, 1849
Notes on Hudson Bay Territory