Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

Jacob Lindley’s Account

Page out of 108

tute huckleberries in their season, which they dry
in the smoke, to take off the insipid sweet taste —
other times, wild rye is gathered and boiled — at
others, they catch large fish, boil them, select the
large bones, which being pounded or beaten, are
packed in the skin of some beast just taken off, to
preserve for use. They kill beasts and birds, eat
the flesh and drink the blood, without either bread
or salt. Thus they live.

The trade is principally carried on (that is, the
labour,) by Canadians, who are quite as hardy, and
almost as savage, as the Indians themselves. They
are not allowed by the merchants at Montreal, to
take into the north-west, more than one bushel, as
their canoes must be of just such a weight as two
men can carry on their shoulders, and will just hold
so much, as is completely filled with goods suita-
ble for Indian trade. The company has arrived at
great opulence by this business. They extend it by
their accounts, so far as to mix, at times, and meet
with merchants of the wilderness like themselves,
employed by the Hudson Bay company. One old man
is returned, whom John Askin says he never knew
to deviate from the truth, as too many travellers do:
He says he has explored those high latitudes fifty
years, and that far beyond all buffaloes, bears, and
large beasts of any kind; the country there will pro-
duce no kind of grain, nor large trees; but the most
fine furs, the beaver, otter, and martin skins, always
selling at market for a third more than middle furs.
Askin says, Alexander Henry frequently tried to
raise corn on the banks of Lake Superior, but never
could get one ear in perfection. All which, and
abundance more that might be truly inserted, con-