A few days after we reached Fort William, Mr. Keith made his appearance there from Fort George, or Astoria, with the news of the arrival of the “Isaac Todd” in the Columbia river. This vessel, which was a dull sailer, had been kept back a long time by contrary winds in doubling Cape Horn, and had never been able to rejoin the vessels-of-war, her consorts, from which she was then separated. When she reached the rendezvous at the island of Juan Fernandez, finding that the three ships-of-war had sailed, the captain and passengers, as they were short of provisions, determined to range the coast. Entering the harbor of Monterey,[AI] on the coast of California, in order to obtain provisions, they learned that there was an English vessel-of-war in distress, in the bay of San Francisco.[AJ] They repaired thither accordingly, and found, to their great surprise, that it was the sloop Raccoon. This vessel, in getting out of the River Columbia, had touched on the bar, with such violence, that a part of her false keel was carried away; and she had with difficulty made San Francisco, with seven feet of water in the hold, although her crew had been constantly at the pumps. Captain Black, finding it impossible to repair his ship, had decided to abandon her, and to cross the continent to the Gulf of Mexico, thence to reach some of the British West India islands. However, on the arrival of the Isaac Todd, means were found to careen the vessel and repair the damage. The Isaac Todd then pursued her voyage and entered the Columbia on the 17th of April, thirteen months after her departure from England.
[Footnote AI: A Spanish mission or presidency, in about the 36th degree of latitude.]
[Footnote AJ: Another Spanish presidency, in about the 38th degree of latitude, and the first European establishment to be met with south of the Columbia. [These now obsolete notes are interesting as indicative of the period when they were written.—ED.]]
Departure from Fort William.—Navigation on Lake Superior.—Michipicoton Bay.—Meeting a Canoe.—Batchawainon Bay.—Arrival at Saut Ste Marie.—Occurrences there.—Departure.—Lake Huron.—French River.—Lake Nipissing.—Ottawa River.—Kettle Falls.—Rideau River.—Long-Saut.—Arrival in Montreal—Conclusion.
On the 20th of July, in the evening, Mr. D. Stuart notified me that he should start the next morning for Montreal, in a light canoe. I immediately wrote to my relatives: but the next morning Mr. Stuart told me that I was to be myself the bearer of my letters, by embarking with him. I got ready my effects, and toward evening we quitted Fort William, with fourteen stout voyageurs to man our large canoe, and were soon floating on the bosom of the largest body of fresh water on the surface of the globe. We counted six passengers, namely, Messrs. D. Stuart, D. M’Kenzie, J. M’Donald, J.