We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

George McDougall to William Connolly

[18 October 1829]

...I thought I would be ready to start a move [from Alexandria] on the 12th but it was too late that day before the salmon was tied in Bales to cross the river, on the 13th everything was taken across to the west Bank, the Horses hoppled, and Baggages given out to the Brigades, early on the 14th we started and last evening (our 4th day) we encamped on the borders of this river, near the point of woods you mention, in your letter of Instructions to me...which consists of nothing but small dwarf cypress trees unfit for building and there is no wood near it for fuel, I went some distance above along the banks of both rivers, but found the country still more barren of wood to answer our purpose, the only eligible place I have been able to find is a cluster of small poplars a little below the monté near which there is some rough poplar trees for our winter fuel where I intend building our winter huts, was I not so anxious to send Mr. Pambrun’s two men with the horses back to Alexandria without loss of time I would look round for a more convenient place, however if the establishment is kept up, that can be done at a further period, and proper Buildings erected, at present we must make such as the wood we have will admit of.

I have seen but few Indians yet and those are mostly young Lads, with two old men the principal men are all off to the interior with their families, some to hunt Beaver, but the most of them to their root Grounds...the Indians of the lake are off to the mountains, but are expected back in the fall, as the most of their families have remained to gather roots...

At this early period it is impossible to ascertain the quantity of salmon we may be able to get...it was a fortunate thing we brought the quantity we did from Alexandria, this, at reduced allowance will enable us to keep up the establishment to the period you have appointed 1st March...

I got the road well marked on our way from Alexandria to this place, this will save the expence of indian Guides during the winter, who might involve us in trouble to protect them...it has been raining most of the time since we arrived...

Source: BCA, Manuscript, MM/C43, George McDougall, Letter to William Connolly, October 18, 1829.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History