p. iv, Preface, dated May, 1872, and signed M.M.: The Widow and legal representatives of my lamented friend the late Chief Factor A. McDonald have, with a public spirit which commends itself, allowed me the use of his “Notes,” as he calls them—They are now given as called for—That they are so crudely given is my fault; and I have but to trust to the generosity of those who may honor the little work with a reading, pleading as my excuse…that it has only been at snatched moments from engrossing business duties, and at odd hours in the night, that I have been able thus, with running pen, to throw off these hurried pages, to meet what seemed a pressing call and inquiry.
p. 63 extracts some minutes from the HBC post at Norway House in 1825:
“Minute 108—Indians: —Industry to be encouraged, vice repressed, and morality inculcated. Spirituous liquors to be gradually discontinued, and ammunition supplied even to those not possessed of means.”
While I have this precious Minute before me, let me cite one or two more of some relative bearing.
“No. 137. Charles Lefreniere fined £20; for charitable purposes.”
And under the head “Religious Improvement,” I find the following:
“No. 138. Divine Service to be read Sundays.
“ 139. Religious books to be furnished..
“ 140. Immoral habits to be checked. Opposites to be encouraged.
“ 143. Parents to instruct their children in A B C.
p. 71, Note XXXIX written at Athabasca Lake, dealing with surveying the area: I am forced, with much regret, to draw my conclusions—unavoidably crude in many instances—merely from that accidental personal knowledge, and special garnered literature, viz., journals, reports, letters, &c., of relatives and friends in the Hudson Bay’s Company’s service, throughout their whole vast field of operations, which accident has thrown in my waay, and which I happen to command. With this special knowledge, and also that general knowledge which is to be gathered from even the “popular books” of the day, and, let me add, a good deal of blue book, I make bold, in the present discussion of Pacific Routes, to advance an opinion.” [His opinion is that the whole area from the McKenzie to the Mississippi and somehow conjoined to Greenland, once flowed with a “mighty glacial sea.” Goes on with further descriptive notes on the region.]