ACCOUNT OF THE HIGHLANDS BETWEEN LAKE SUPERIOR AND THE MISSISSIPPI.
Lake shores—Sub-Indian agency—Indian transactions—Old fort, site of a tragedy—Maskigo River; its rapids and character—Great Wunnegum Portage—Botany—Length of the Mauvais—Indian carriers—Lake Kagenogumaug—Portage lakes—Namakagun River, its character, rapids, pine lands, &c.—Pukwaewa village—A new species of native fruit—Incidents on the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.
1831. LAKE SHORES.—I had a final conference with the Indians of the Ontanagon on the morning of the 14th July, and at its conclusion distributed presents to all. I sent Germain with a canoe and men for St. Mary’s with dispatches, and embarked for La Pointe at half past eight, A.M. After keeping the lake for two hours, we were compelled by adverse winds to put ashore near Iron River; we were detained here the rest of the day. After botanizing at this spot, Dr. Houghton remarks, that since arriving at the Ontanagon, he finds plants which belong to a more southerly climate.
The next morning (15th) we embarked at three o’clock and went on finely—stopped for breakfast at Carp River, under the Porcupine Mountains—the Pesabic of the Indians. On coming out into the lake again the wind was fair, and increased to blow freshly. We went on to Montreal River, where it became a side wind, and prevented our keeping the lake. I took this occasion to walk inland eleven pauses on the old portage path to Fountain Hill, for the purpose of enjoying the fine view of the lake, which is presented from that elevation. The rocks are pudding-stone and sandstone, and belong to the Porcupine Mountain development.
Returned from this excursion at seven o’clock—took a cup of tea, and finding the wind abated, re-embarked. By ten o’clock at night we reached and entered the Mauvaise or Maskigo River, where we found Lieut. Clary encamped. After drying our clothes, we went on to La Pointe, which we reached at one o’clock in the morning (16th), and immediately went to Mr. Johnston’s buildings.
SUB-AGENCY.—Mr. George Johnston was appointed Sub-agent of Indian Affairs at this point in 1826, after the visit of that year of Gen. Cass and Col. McKenney to this remote section of the country. It has proved a useful office for acquiring information of the state and views of the interior Indians, and as supervising the Indian trade. We were made very comfortable in his quarters.
INDIAN TRANSACTIONS.—Pezhike, with the secondary chief, Tagwaugig and his band, visited me. Conferred with them on the state of the Indians on the St. Croix and Chippewa Rivers at Lac Courtorielle, &c., the best route for entering the region intermediate between Lake Superior and the Mississippi.
Pezhike thought my canoes too large to, pass the small bends on the route of the Lac du Flambeau: he said the waters of the Broule, or Misakoda River, were too low at this time to ascend that stream. He said that Mozojeed, the chief of Lac Courtorielle, had been here awaiting me, but, concluding I would not come, had returned. His return had been hastened by a report that the Sioux had formed a league with the Winnebagoes and Menomonies to attack his village.