Pathfinders of the West eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about Pathfinders of the West.

Lake Ontario has 200 leagues in circumference.

Lake Erie above Niagara 250 leagues; lakes Huron and Michigan joined 552 leagues:  to have access to these three lakes by boat, there is only the portage of Niagara, of two leagues, above the said lake Ontario.

All those who have been through those lakes say they are terrestrial paradises for abundance of venison, game, fishing, and good quality of the land.

From the said lakes to go to lake Superior there is only one portage of 15 (?).  The said lake is 500 leagues long in a straight line, from point to point, without going around coves nor the bays of Michipicoten and Kaministiquia.

To go from lake Superior to lake Asemipigon there is only 15 leagues to travel, in which happen seven portages averaging 3 good leagues; the said lake has a circumference of 280 leagues.

From lake Huron to lake Nipissing there is the river called French River, 25 leagues long; there are 3 portages; the said lake has 60 to 80 leagues of circumference.

Lake Assiniboel is larger than lake Superior, and an infinity of others, lesser and greater have to be discovered, for which I approve of M. the Marquis of Denonville’s saying, often repeated:—­that the King of France, our monarch was not high lord enough to open up such a vast country, as we are only beginning to enter on the confines of the immensity of such a great country.

The road to enter it is by the Grand River and lake Ontario by Niagara, which should be easy in peaceful times in establishing families at Niagara for the portage, and building boats on Lake Erie.  I did not find that a difficult thing, and I want to do it under M. the Marquis of Denonville, who did not care, so soon as he perceived that his war expedition had not succeeded.

I have given you in this memorandum the names of the natives known to us and with whom our wood rovers (coureurs de bois) have traded; my information comes from some of the most experienced.

The surplus of the memorandum will serve to inform you that prior to M. de Tracy, de Courcelle and Talon’s arrival, nothing was regulated but by the governor’s will, although there was a Board; as they were his appointments and that by appearances, only his creatures got in, he was the absolute master of it and which was the cause that the Colony and the inhabitants suffered very much at the beginning.

M. de Tracy on his arrival by virtue of his commission dismissed the Board and the Councillors, to appoint another one with members chosen by himself and the Bishop, which existed until the 2nd and 3rd year of M. de Frontenac’s reign, who had them granted at Court, provisions by a decree for the establishment of the Council.

It is only from that time that the King having given the country over to the gentlemen of the Co’y of West Indies, the tax of one fourth and the Tadoussac trade were looked upon as belonging to the Company, and since to the King, because M. Talon, who crippled as much as he could, this company dare not touch to these two items of the Domain, of which the enjoyment remained to them until cessation of their lease.

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Pathfinders of the West from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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