I found the Indians friendly, and having no apparent connection with the movements of Black Hawk, although they are subject to an unpropitious influence from the Hudson’s Bay Company, the agents of which allure them to carry their trade into that province. The American traders complain of this with great reason. Many of the Chippewas visit the British posts in Canada, and their old prejudices are kept alive in various ways; but I was everywhere received with amity and respect.
26th. Having concluded my affairs at St, Peters, I determined to return to the basin of Lake Superior, by ascending the river St. Croix to its source, and passing across the portage of the Misakoda, or Burntwood River, into the Fond du Lac Bay. This I accomplished with great toil, owing to the low state of the water, in ten days; and, after spending ten days more in traversing the lengthened shores and bays of Lake Superior from La Pointe, returned to Sault St. Marie on the 14th of August.
Aug. 15th. I had now accomplished the discovery of the true source of the Mississippi River—and settled a problem which has so long remained a subject of uncertainty in the geography of this celebrated river. If De Soto began it (and of this there seems little question, for Narvaez perished before reaching it), and Marquette and Joliet continued it; if Hennepin and Pike and Cass carried these explorations higher, I, at least, went to its remoter points, and thence traced the river to its primary forks—ascended the one, crossed the heights of Itasca to the other, and descended the latter in its whole length. This has been done in a quiet way, without heralding or noise, but under the orders and at the expense of the United States.
Letter from a mother—Cholera—Indian war—Royal Geographical Society—Determine to leave the Sault—Death of Miss Cass—Death of Rev. Mr. Richard—Notice of the establishment of a Methodist Mission at the—The Sault a religious place—Botany and Natural History—New University organized—Algic Society—Canadian boat song—Chaplains in the army—Letter from a missionary—Affairs at Mackinack—Hazards lake commerce—Question of the temperance reform—Dr. D. Houghton—South Carolina resists—Gen. Jackson re-elected President.
1832. Aug. 25th. To clear my table of the correspondence accumulated during my absence, and report my proceedings to government, required my first attention. Among the matters purely personal, was a letter of inquiry from a mother anxious to learn the fate of an apparently wayward son (named George J. Clark). “I had a letter from him, dated 24th June, 1881, in which he stated he was about to start with you on an expedition to the Upper Mississippi, and this is the last intelligence we have ever had of him.
“If he went with you on that expedition, you have, probably some information to give relative to his present condition, if alive, or of his fate, if dead.